Meanwhile, in Russia:
People used to hate and fear potatoes:
And tomatoes. Largely because, as that piece you linked to fails to mention, they were correctly recognised as members of the solanum family, the most common native European form being the deadly nightshade. As it happens, the foliage of both tomatoes and potatoes is pretty toxic, as are the fruit produced by potato plants, and the green skins of tubers that have been exposed to light.
If you're intending this as some kind of analogy for a widespread irrational fear of GE then I'd suggest that if you dig a little deeper you'll find that it doesn't really hold up. There are just as many early historical examples of potatoes being cultivated for food in Europe and the American colonies as there are about the misguided caution about their toxicity.
You probably are not aware that conventional animal breeding results in birth defects, abnormalities and deaths of animals. That is ignoring the culling of animals that showed no improvement in the trait of interest.
Khrist you can be condescending. As it happens I grew up in the rural sector, something that's not too uncommon in this country, and while I'd rather not dwell on it, I've seen a few naturally occurring animal birth defects, and done rather more than my share of 'necessary' killing than I'd have liked. On the internet you never know just who you may be talking to on a given subject, and while your scientific credentials give you a certain credibility, they don't afford you ownership of any debate that happens to involve your expertise.
Implying that those who question Jimmy Suttie's management of what appears to be a genuine stuff-up are 'politically correct' is a very cheap shot. The man comes across as arrogant and inhumane, not to mention an ineffective apologist. I'll say it again - we have a duty to minimise suffering to animals in our care, it's a measure of how civilised we truly are. Simply claiming that they're afforded the best veterinary treatment is meaningless in an ethical vacuum, which Suttie's glib 'no big deal' comment indicates is pretty much the case.
The cows died because the experiment had an unexpected result. Everything leading up to the experiment indicated that they should not have died. In short the researchers expected the best for those animals, if they had expected anything else the trial would not have been done.
According to this account, the researchers were well aware of the risks:
The Official Information Act documents show a Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) investigation found deformities and respiratory problems among animals at the facility - something AgResearch had been open about - but said that was a foreseeable by-product of the project.
While the scientists involved may, as you claim, be exemplary humanitarians, such niceties don't extend to management level:
AgResearch's applied technologies group manager, Dr Jimmy Suttie, said he did not see the deaths as a "big deal", and they were part of the learning process for scientists.
Bart, someone stuffed up bigtime at Ruakura. The results speak for themselves. It was a dubious experiment with questionable goals, and grocers had nothing to do with it - not that they have squat to do with anything these days.
I'm a little dismayed by the contrast between the self-pity you're able to muster for the "horrendously restrictive" conditions under which you labour, and the utter disregard for the animal victims of bungled research. If you're at all representative of the bioresearch community in NZ then you appear to be a heartless and self-serving bunch.
The demonstrator’s behavior posed a threat to the security and dignity of the delegation, and far exceeded the boundaries of the freedom of speech and freedom of assembly.
Give these types an inch and they'll viciously thrust their groin into some hapless goon's knee.
When Bush the lesser addressed a joint sitting of the two Houses of the Federal Parliament in Canberra in October 2003, Green Senators Bob Brown and Kerrie Nettle wore signs calling for the release of the two Australians held at Guantanamo. Brown interjected during Bush's address, and although he later shook the preznit's hand the speaker of the house, Neil Andrew, used his powers to "name" Brown and Nettle, effectively suspending them from Parliament for the next 24 hours. This prevented Brown from being present during a similar address by Chinese President Hu Jintao the next day, where he'd openly announced that he intended to display the Tibetan flag.
. . . only one particularly tricky intersection on the route, and we would get off our bikes and become pedestrians for that section . . . and the daughter stopped cycling to commute- Not because of having to cycle in a helmet (having not known anything else) but because of having to cycle in a kilt.
Perhaps the wind changed, and she was stuck with being a pedestrian. Stuff like that happens to kids.
About time and for all who see Sue Kedgley as "out there", her perseverance on animal welfare got Simon Bridges, then the National Party on board.
Thanks Sofie, and 3 cheers for civilisation. While Sue Kedgley may be a tad flakey on the issue of vaccination, this is an achievement that makes all our lives better. MMP working as it should.
I don't think GM experimentation is more inhumane than a lot of other experimentation, and that includes things as simple as changing feed.
I'd be mildly curious to know how changing one's diet could lead to, say, a set of unfeasibly large (and ultimately exploding) testicles. While the cost in terms of animal suffering was way too high in the case of this bungled experiment, that wasn't my main point. It's an example of how, despite assurances from those who claim to know, things can and do fuck up.
We have a moral duty to minimise any suffering to animals that we hold power over, it's a measure of how civilised we really are. The careless approach shown at Ruakura should, like live sheep exports, never have been allowed to happen.
As for using what happens to animals in nature as some kind of benchmark, in the early 90s the circus owner who was carting the last performing elephant around this country attempted to justify the animal's treatment by claiming in a radio interview that Somalis would be happy to be exhibited in his show because they'd be better off than they would in their war-torn homeland.