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Bill Gates Defends Genetically Modified Foods – Author A.W. Daniels Issues Statement
Daniels is the author of two fiction novels that address the issue of genetic engineering. Daniels believes the implications of genetic engineering, both now and in the future, are staggering
By: A. W. Daniels
“Mr. Gates,” Daniels stated, “wants us to keep an open mind about genetically modified organisms. Should we give Mr. Gates the benefit of the doubt? It just seems too easy not to.”
“It is well documented that Mr. Gates owns at least 500,000 shares of Monsanto, either directly or through his Bill Gates Foundation. Given today’s stock price of $108, that would equate to a value of $54,000,000.00. Monsanto is estimated to control over 80% of the world’s genetically modified crops.”
“That investment is hard to overlook in the overall equation.”
“Philanthropy – Mr. Gates foundation has donated tens of millions of dollars worth of seeds to farmers in poor countries. Very admirable. But is it altruistic? One could argue it is one of the basic tactics used business, the loss leader. This involves pricing a product less than the competition in the marketplace, or giving it away for free, to capture market share. Consequently, competitors are eliminated, allowing the instigator of the tactic to determine fair market price. This tactic can be augmented by the sale of companion products, in this case herbicide, insecticide and fertilizer, to offset the short term losses incurred by the loss leader.”
“One other question under this heading is the type of seeds given as donations. The term “terminator seed” continues to be included in this discussion regularly. Perhaps appropriately, perhaps not. A terminator seed is a single generation seed that does not allow fertile seeds to be grown by the plant. Such a modification would impact food supplies greatly. Typically a farmer, especially in a third world country, puts aside a percentage of a crop for seeding the next season. Terminator seeds would necessitate the repurchasing of crop seeds annually. Monsanto, on their website, refers to this as a myth and states that they ‘made a commitment in 1999 not to commercialize sterile seed technology in food crops. We stand firmly by this commitment.’”
“My question here is; do donations fall under the guidelines of commercialization?
“The next facet regards testing going forward. To quote an article in the Indypendent, of the Indymedia network, by Paige Aarhus on May 12, 2012;”
‘Added to the potential problems with GM technology are health risks-the strains of maize that were illegally imported in 2010 had been deemed unsafe for children and the elderly. Maina also worries about animal feeding trials that showed damage to liver, kidney and pancreas, effects on fertility, and stomach bleeding in livestock that has consumed GM feed. A more recent study carried out on pregnant women in Canada found genetically modified insecticidal proteins in their blood streams and in that of their unborn children, despite assurances from scientists that it wasn’t possible.’
“Currently, testing is done by the creators of the technology. And even though the developed foodstuffs are presented as ‘substantially the same as what nature offers,’ patents are being applied for, and granted. Why would a patent be granted on anything ‘substantially the same’?”
“To say testing must be thoroughly conducted is obvious. This testing must be forward progressing and include multi-generational trials in the bosom of Mother Nature, not in a clinically controlled environment, lest we be slapped with a toxic response by nature herself.”
“The grasp of control by an individual or corporation yielding power from one with such stature of Mr. Gates and Monsanto must be tempered by a governing body like the FDA. But that can only be achieved if the FDA updates its own technology to be commensurate with the task at hand.”
“If Mr. Gates is truly the philanthropist he presents himself to be, why restrict the technology through patents? Why not donate without the strings of corporate profit attached? Why not assure rigorous safety testing on a product consumed by the world’s population?”
“Granted, it’s easy to tell someone what to do with their money, I’m sure Mr. Gates hears it every day. And we can keep an open mind Mr. Gates, but what is more dangerous, a closed mind or a closed wallet?”
A.W. Daniels is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at email@example.com. Both books are available at Amazon, Smashwords and CreateSpace. More information is available at Daniels' website at http://www.AWDaniels.net.
About A. W. Daniels:
‘Genetically Privileged’ and 'Genetically Conflicted' are the first two offerings in a series of works by A. W. Daniels. The author's ability to craft compelling stories has been honed by extensive travel and observation of the human nature. This allows Mr. Daniels to weave a tapestry that colorfully, and sometimes bluntly, exposes the good and evil humankind inflicts on each other daily.
A. W. Daniels