[Purdue President Mitch Daniels on February 25th gave a talk to the Agriculture Outlook Forum meeting in Arlington, VA. The thrust of his talk was that any who do not accept genetic engineering of crops are anti-science, ignorant, and immoral. My response to him is below.]
I was shocked when I read the Wall Street Journal article about your talk to the Agriculture Outlook Forum in Arlington, VA; “Mitch Daniels on Anti-GMO Cruelty”. Your conclusions about genetically engineered crops and foods could have come right out of the playbook of any of the large chemical/seed corporations public relations departments.
In my opinion, the way biotechnology is currently being used in agriculture is both risky and reckless. It is risky for human health, for livestock, and for the environment. The primary reason for GE crops to date has been to allow them to be massively dosed with pesticide that kills surrounding “weeds” but does not kill the crop. The principle pesticide, glyphosate, has been determined to be carcinogenic. We spray it everywhere. All kinds of problems and questions are emerging regarding the chemicals and the genetically engineered crops that become either feed or food.
I have included with this letter a document to read. Please note it is extensively documented. In addition, Dr. Don Huber, Purdue professor emeritus, has it right in spite of the fact he has been called, “an embarrassment to Purdue” by one ranking academic at Purdue. If you have not, I suggest you read some of what Dr. Huber has written as well.
Large corporate agriculture is headed in the wrong direction. It is a train wreck waiting to happen. Many in Europe have already recognized this. It is encouraging to know that there are some at Purdue that know this as well; I have heard them.
Purdue does have an opportunity to lead. It is my hope it leads in directions healthier for people and the environment.
Kent H. Blacklidge
Past Publisher/ The Kokomo Tribune
MS Aquatic Toxicology and Fish Biology
MS Conservation of Natural Resources
BS Industrial Management
Note: the document included with the Daniels letter is titled, “10 Reasons we don’t need GM foods”. It is available in full at http://www.gmwatch.org/files/10-reasons-we-dont-need-GM-foods.pdf