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The stupid, it burns.

Damn it, another day, yet another fucking idiot to make fun of.

Last week, a Native American botanist argued that the genetic modification of crops is a form of rape. Perhaps the next step in the #MeToo movement involves returning to the low crop yields before the Green Revolution, which saved billions of lives by making food more available through genetic modification, among other things.

Robin Wall Kimmerer, a botanist, member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment at SUNY-Syracuse, called corn “one of our deepest and oldest relatives.” In an interview with Wisconsin Public Radio, she humanized corn as the “Corn Mother,” saying, “Corn is sacred because she gives us her children in return for protecting us.”

Kimmerer wasn’t talking about the sweet corn Americans love to eat today, but rather the Native corn that comes in hundreds of varieties. She contrasted this wild corn with the genetically modified corn her neighbor grows.

“There’s a word for forcible injection of unwanted genes,” Kimmerer said. “Rape.”

There’s also a word for people who try to anthropomorphize non-sentient plants:  Fucking idiots.

OK, that’s a phrase, not a word, but same difference.

We eat well today, and so does much of the rest of the world — including the shitholes that used to bury millions who suffered and died from malnutrition and plain old starvation — mainly because of one man who sparked the Green Revolution mentioned above:  Norman Borlaug.

What blows my mind is that the whole idea of genmodding crops is only a step removed from the old ways of farming for greater yields, which involved things like culling, grafting, and selective breeding — all of which changed the genetic makeup of crops over thousands of years so that we actually have the non-GM crops we have today.

Wheat was just a grass.  Corn (maize) was also just a grass.  Vegetables we take for granted today like cauliflower, broccoli, and others of the family of Cruciferous vegetables, are all descended from the humble mustard plant.

And none of them got where they are today without someone — a lot of someones — selectively breeding them for desired qualities, including the size of the “ear”, that is, the seeds.  Wheat originally had little gluten content, but modern strains have lots of it.  Borlaug himself created high-yield strains of wheat by crossbreeding existing strains and combining their qualities — he might take one strain known to produce large ears, and another strain known to be resistant to some particular disease or fungus that was plaguing the first strain, and combine them until he had a new strain that had both large ears and disease resistance.

Genmod simply takes the ancient practices and goes a little deeper.  We get things like golden rice that way, which saves millions of Third World children from vitamin A deficiencies and prevents them from going blind.  We also get wheat that is resistant to stem rust that way.

So as the article continues,

Wisconsin Public Radio noted that the sweet corn “has been altered by agribusiness,” but the article did not mention the role genetically modified corn has played in the Green Revolution, which has been credited with saving 1 billion lives and averting the doomsday prediction of Paul Ehrlich’s The Population Bomb.

[snip]

The Green Revolution combined genetic modification with new fertilizers and agro-chemicals, controlled water supply, and new mechanical cultivation. These new methods may strike an advocate for native practices as strange or even barbaric, but they saved more than a billion people across the world.

Those who wish to see corn as a sacred “Corn Mother” represent a return to the ancient animistic view of the world. Treating plants as sentient beings may sound hip and “progressive,” but Kimmerer’s rejection of genetic modification is backward, and it could be dangerous. Would she really want to reverse the Green Revolution and bring back pre-modern levels of starvation?

Well, I don’t know, but she sure sounds like she would.  There sure isn’t any going back without condemning millions of people to starvation and death.

People with this level of Luddism and idiocy are dangerous, and really need to be removed from positions of influence and authority before they do actual harm.  Sadly, they’ll probably stay right where they are for years, and continue to sell their brand of stupid to successive classes of mush-for-brains college students.  We can only hope that they’ll shake it off in later life and realize how fortunate they are to live in a modern age where most of us don’t have to worry about food shortages, famine, and starving to death.