With so much information (good, bad, and ugly) available, some of us regularly get to the "21st Century Schizoid Man" stage. More might be less when it comes to information about controversial ag issues—but the digital wave keeps coming, so we need to deal with it. Readers should check sources, pull intelligent input from several angles, and follow the science. A dose of common sense doesn’t hurt either.
Plenty of material available about the following three items, and these links just provide a jumping-off point:
Gene Editing--Futuristic Is in the Past:
In the 1980s while I was teaching at an international high school in Japan, we needed a mascot for an intramural sports team. We dug deep and found the word “chimera,” a Greek mythological lion creature with a goat’s head arising from its back and a tail that might bite like a snake. Our team didn’t win much, but we had a funky name.
In 1996 I was teaching a futuristic literature course to high school seniors, and Dolly the cloned sheep bounded from Scotland into our discussions of Frankenstein and The Island of Dr. Moreau. Some futuristic literature is ancient—and sensationalized—but now that gene editing has become “crisper,” the medical opportunities have blossomed. Some impressive work has already been done with salmon and “hornless cattle,” but newer ventures are sure to bring on debate and controversy. Some worry that fear and regulation could impede progress. And this article/video comes from the perspective that human organ growth in animals is an important step.
What’s in a Name?
As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” and now the courts might have to decide whether or not milk by any other ingredient is still the real thing. Dairy farmers say that milk only comes from animals, while plant-based milk companies argue that foods should be judged on how they are used by consumers. If you have a “got milk" mustache from almond or soybean milk, is it still legit?
Water, Water Everywhere,
The Iowa Supreme Court ruled that the three counties being sued by the Des Moines Water Works are immune from damage claims. The Des Moines Water Works alleged that farmers were making illegal discharges of pollutants into the Raccoon River, the city’s primary source of drinking water. The county defendants said the drainage districts have been statutorily immune from lawsuits for more than a century.
by dan gogerty (pic from eonline.com; song reference in opening line from King Crimson)