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Response to hedgehog (Reply #26)

Fri Mar 9, 2012, 08:46 PM

32. exactly so....

That's been the sorry history of every insecticide introduced since WWII. Hell, forget Bt for a moment-- DDT was a solid boon to humankind, one of the most amazing things we've ever invented, and before anyone takes that as environmental heresy they should stop and consider history. DDT saved hundreds of millions of lives by increasing crop yields dramatically and breaking the vector cycles of insect mediated diseases. Hundreds of millions saved.

But, you object, at what environmental cost? Yes, the cost was prohibitive, but only because of vast and gross overuse. We have used EVERY insecticide the same way, even though we've gotten maybe just a little bit more judicious over the decades, but not much. We could have gotten all the benefit of DDT with little or none of the environmental damage if we'd used it wisely and then we'd STILL have a large potential arsenal of population controls for insects that, instead, we overused terribly and now many pests are resistant to nearly everything. Remember, this isn't just about getting blemish free apples to the grocery store-- insects consume fully one third of the human food supply even today, so they are our number one competitor for food and fiber.

So back to Bt. My primary objection to GMO Bt crops is that they continue the cycle of overuse in spades. Even places where corn rootworm isn't an economic problem become resistance breeding laboratories if any susceptible species co-occur with Bt corn. We use a ton where a gram would be sufficient. We do it that way because it's convenient and because it provides some false sense of security-- if we did it right, pests would constantly return, but we'd be able to handle them easily when they did. Overuse makes it appear that we've solved the problem permanently, but it's really a ticking time bomb.

Bt had INCREDIBLE promise. It is the most environmentally benign insecticide EVER used by humans. It was a gift, and we're fucking it up, mainly for convenience and profit.

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hedgehog Mar 2012 OP
bemildred Mar 2012 #1
xchrom Mar 2012 #2
lovuian Mar 2012 #3
MuseRider Mar 2012 #4
AllyCat Mar 2012 #6
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laundry_queen Apr 2012 #81
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mike_c Mar 2012 #9
MuseRider Mar 2012 #18
hedgehog Mar 2012 #22
mike_c Mar 2012 #34
caseymoz Mar 2012 #49
siligut Mar 2012 #5
CanSocDem Mar 2012 #7
The Doctor. Mar 2012 #8
mike_c Mar 2012 #10
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hedgehog Mar 2012 #27
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Tumbulu Mar 2012 #44
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hedgehog Mar 2012 #39
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zeemike Mar 2012 #14
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mike_c Mar 2012 #31
DCKit Mar 2012 #41
Tumbulu Mar 2012 #47
DCKit Mar 2012 #53
hedgehog Mar 2012 #26
LineLineLineLineReply exactly so....
mike_c Mar 2012 #32
hunter Mar 2012 #38
hedgehog Mar 2012 #40
Tumbulu Mar 2012 #46
Tumbulu Mar 2012 #43
Trillo Mar 2012 #11
HubertHeaver Mar 2012 #17
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