Technology Diffusion as the Ultimate Democratic Process

The Guardian follows up on the Nature article last week which indicated that most applications of GM crops have been successful.

It’s sad to see the the first reaction of many of the anti GM side of the debate is to attempt to portray the writer of he Guardian article as biased or beholden to big GM business in some way. If that’s not sufficient then another commenter raises the oft cited ‘ethical’ objections along the lines of

– Agro-chemical companies work for profit
– That profit has to come out of someone’s pocket
– That someone is first and foremost the farmer, and always has been.

I’m often shocked by the naivety of the anti technology arguments, especially that if someone makes a profit it then the technology must automatically be bad. Profits means that people are employed and taxes get paid which pays for all the wonderful services we take for granted. If there wasn’t any money in it, then we wouldn’t have most modern crops, drugs, electricity. computes, mobile phones…

Unless the farmer has a lower IQ than the seeds he is planting, it will be simple economics which determine whether he uses GM or non GM seed. Feed your familay and sell your surplus.

That’s all there is to technology diffusion, whether GM, nanotech or anything else. It is the ultimate form of democracy, because it is us, the people, who eventually get to choose whether a technology is used or not, not politicians, companies or single issue campaign groups.

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  1. Pingback: Stephen Fry, Cambridge University, and nanotechnology « FrogHeart

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