UK’s leading Permaculture author Patrick Whitefield and SkeptEco blogger Graham Strouts recently exchanged a few tweets about genetically modifying potatoes to fight blight disease. The conversation was sparked by Whitefield’s tweet:
If people suggest we need GM to counter potato blight, let them read this. http://t.co/kD3IwIoScv
— Patrick Whitefield (@PatrickWhitefi) March 31, 2014
Strouts countered with a blog post arguing for the necessity of genetic engineering technology:
Genetic engineering does have significant advantages over traditional breeding methods- new blight resistant varieties can be turned around in just one growing season as opposed to 10-15 years, keeping ahead of the blight’s own evolution. Either way, we are on a tread-mill, always striving to keep at least one step ahead of Nature who would starve us as soon as look at us. Moreover, a wider choice of tools surely leads to more resilience- just as the permaculture principle of “multiple sources” would advise.
You may as well say we don’t “need” computers since the postal service does an admiral job, or we don’t need buses and trains since the humble horse can carry us to Tipperary just as well. On the face of it is just seems like an excuse to undermine a technology which is somewhat arbitrarily the subject of a vitriolic environmentalist campaign.
Read the full, original article: Permaculture and GMOs