Thursday, August 2, 2012

Trait Wars

Monsanto has won the latest legal trade war with a jury granting them a one billion dollar settlement from DuPont Pioneer who were judged to have infringed upon their trait use agreement.

I wonder how much have attorneys made since the first trait was found and the Plant Variety Protetion Act was amended to protect that trait and those since? It has to be billions of dollars, if not hundreds of billions. Who pays for all of this?

You and I pay for these legalities, of course. We pay as farmers when we purchase the seed and we pay as consumers when we purchase food that was produced with that seed.

Biotech was sold as improved agriculture because less pesticide had to be used to control the pests the traits offer. Many people wonder, are we really better off?

That is a huge discussion and not the point of today's blog. I just keep thinking laws and lawyers raise the cost of living due to the lack of common sense. Scientific advancement isn't always what it is cracked up to be, either.

I think less pesticide has been used due to biotech but I am not sure if that has made us safer or our food more plentiful and less costly. We call that progress, right?

Corn yields have increased over time but biotech may not have had has much impact as hybridization of purebred lines. Soybean yields have flattened for several years and now corn may, too. Weather is blamed and often connected but I don't think it is the whole story.

Do you think biotech has increased yields on your farm or nationally? Do you think your food is safer with biotech traits?

Ed

3 comments:

  1. Ed, I know little about bio tech other than our conventional corn yields as well and often better than stacked traits. The traited corn has better standability.Traits in corn doesn't increase yields here and I will try to e-mail our soil and crop newsletter comparing non-gmo and gmo corn and out of approx. 20 trials gmo varieites only had 3 economic advantage wins. RR beans are easy to work with but (and not blaming RR trait) we just can't get the yields we got 15 yrs. ago. Even in '75 (a perfect weather yr.) our corn was 135,soys 57 and what 79...now our top wheat is 100,corn-200 and soys struggle to do much over 50 even in good yrs., a lot more 40-45 bu.best regards-kevin (ontario)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Kevin. Those long chain bT proteins must be why they stand better and rot slower. Some fellows really have a time planting corn after corn to the point they don't recommend notill. That is interesting stuff you posted. I will have to blog about that!

    ReplyDelete
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