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November 9, 2012

Pollan is Mystified

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Michael Pollan:
 
Q: Are there any positive advances that biotech has made recently in the food industry? Any on the horizon?
 
A: They’ve been on the ever-retreating horizon for a long time. I started writing about biotech in ’98 and I remember being told by executives at Monsanto that Roundup and Bt were just the first chapter in this wonderful story and within five years so many other interesting crops, crops that could withstand saline or salty soil or crops that could withstand drought or crops that might even be able to fertilize themselves with fixed nitrogen, crops with higher yields and for reasons that remain something of a mystery to me, those wonders have yet to appear. I don’t know why, whether they’re proving harder to engineer than expected might be one reason. Or they could tell you regulatory hurdles are standing in the way but in fact there are very few regulatory hurdles introduced in these crops.
 
Allow me to lift the veil of mystery for Mr Pollan:
 
G……M……Os……DON’T……WORK.
 
The fact is that only two things about GMOs ever sort-of worked for a little while: Herbicide tolerance and internal pesticide expression. As predicted by anyone who knows even the slightest bit about how nature works, the weeds and pests which Roundup and Bt expression were supposed to suppress quickly transformed themselves into Roundup-resistant superweeds and Bt-resistant superbugs. Roundup has totally collapsed. (Which is why the next generation of 2,4-D resistant GMOs is in the pipeline. This ever-escalating herbicide treadmill is an intended outcome of corporate/government policy. Otherwise the USDA would admit that herbicide tolerant GMOs don’t work and refuse to authorize any further commercialization of them.) Bt crops no longer work, and ever more toxic pesticides need to be sprayed on them.
 
In fact, we’re left with only two meager things that GMOs do as advertised: Bt crops do express Bt toxin, even though it no longer works. And glyphosate-resistant crops can have glyphosate sprayed upon them without killing them, which doesn’t help because glyphosate also doesn’t kill the weeds it was supposed to kill.
 
That’s all GMOs do.
 
And for that worthless performance, we’re willing to physically poison ourselves and economically and politically enslave ourselves? I think humanity better wake up and abolish GMOs, by whatever means necessary, while there’s still time.
 
But the fact that we’re not likely to do so with any help from liberal elitists is exemplified here: “I await those products and I would love to see this industry make a significant contribution to solving one of the world’s problems. But they’ve been promising that for a long time and have so far grossly under-delivered.”
 
Pollan doesn’t specify which “problems” he means. He knows perfectly well that the only problems with the world’s food are problems caused by corporatism, especially GMO corporatism, and that the only solution is the abolition of food corporatism. But as a good technocratic and pro-corporate elitist he can’t countenance real solutions.
 
Like all liberals, in the end he’s a triangulator in the total war of corporations vs. humanity. He wants to procure somewhat Better Policy within the corporate framework, but also wants to run interference on behalf of corporatism. In the end, when they’re finally forced to choose, most of them will side with Monsanto.

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November 8, 2012

NOW Obama’s Going to do Good Stuff! (Michael Pollan version)

Filed under: Climate Crisis, Corporatism, Disaster Capitalism, Food and Farms — Tags: , — Russell Bangs @ 2:30 am

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Here’s a good test of liberal Obama-worship, a prediction by Michael Pollan:
 
“I think we will stop subsidizing biofuels very soon, perhaps right after the election.”
 
Obama, of course, has been aggressively pro-ethanol so far.
 
Pollan’s a typical case. He spent eight Bush years calling for bottom-up food relocalization and warning against technocratic control of our food, including faith in the central government. As soon as Obama came along, Pollan performed a 180 degree flip-flop. Suddenly the future of the food movement depended on begging elites for Better Policy. This included support for the Food Control Act, whereby Pollan mystically believes that giving far more power to the Monsanto-adjunct FDA will, by magic, make it less pro-Monsanto. Someone with common sense might be forgiven for suspecting that it’ll merely help the FDA further Big Ag’s interest even more aggressively, but then we’re not initiates of the liberal cargo cult.
 
At least Pollan supported the Right to Know initiative, so he’s a somewhat less pure liberal elitist than the scum mentioned in this piece, who opposed the initiative simply because as a good “process” liberal he “distrusts” filthy peasant ballot initiatives as such.

 
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