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Readers' views for March 4, 2011

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Organics merely a niche industry


I for one think you are devoting way too much ink to the organic industry. There is a small minority of people who think organics are the wave of the future. They aren't!


If you could get a copy of Deere & Co.'s magazine, The Furrow, you would learn that by the year 2050 there will be 9 billion hungry mouths to feed. Genetic engineering is the way it will be accomplished.


You can have your boutique restaurants serving organic food, but the masses are going to survive with GMO food. ... Look at corn and soybean yields. They are going through the roof because Bt has been introduced in corn to get the borer before the borer gets the corn. Now you can spray soybeans with Roundup to kill velvet leaf before those large leaves can cover the combine sieves, creating huge losses.


This lawsuit against the sugar beet industry is a straw that could break our back. GMO sugar beet seed has been raised in the Willamette Valley for over 16 years without a cross-pollination problem. They wait until the industry is 95 percent GMO to file a lawsuit and find a liberal judge in San Francisco to sympathize with them. With GMO beets, we spray once or twice with a chemical that is neutralized upon contact with the soil. Before GMO we had to spray three to four times with a cocktail of more harmful chemicals that sometimes were less than adequate. If all of a sudden we reverted to organic agriculture a huge percentage of the population would starve to death.


I am sick of people thinking that genetic engineering is where you take a gene out of a monkey and splice it into a banana tree so the banana can peel itself. For the most part it is hybridization on the fast track. Through selective breeding, I am sure you could breed Roundup-resistant crops, but it would take a very long time.


P.T. Rathbone


Marsing, Idaho



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