Sunday, November 21, 2004

A Victory for Democracy

Genetically engineered crops will not be grown in Great Britain:

Industry has dropped its last attempts to get GM seeds approved for growing in Britain, in a final surrender of its dream to spread modified crops rapidly across the country.

Personally, I've been against this haphazard, dangerous, willfully misrepresented technology for years, so I find this to be cause for celebration. Some people may disagree with me, and others may have no opinion, and that's fine. I'm posting this not because I dislike GE technology, but because it's an incredible example of the power that informed consumers and activists have to stop politically favored programs dead in their tracks.

The amount of money and promotion that biotech firms and their handmaidens in government spent on GE is incalculable. But they failed, because the population in Europe simply didn't want it, and made it abundantly clear through buying decisions, boycotts, and direct action. This grassroots effort, which has thwarted the aims of the biggest agribusiness firms on earth, is a huge victory for democracy and representative government, and should be a model for action in this country. They may not count our votes on election day, but the fact is that we vote every time we make a buying decision, and those are the votes that ultimately matter most.

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