December 12, 2006

GM prohibition and Amazonian deforestation

"European consumer opposition to genetically modified (GM) crops has meant that most of the protein deficit [for livestock] has been supplied by northern Brazil, including the Amazon, which is the world's largest supplier of non-GM soy." This is causing part of the current Amazonian deforestation (from Daniel C. Nepstad, Claudia M. Stickler And Oriana T. Almeida, Conservation Biology). Note that the quote wrongly attributes the opposition to GM crops to European consumers. European consumers cannot choose between GM and non-GM crops because the former are politically forbidden. We are not allowed to express our preferences.

2 comments:

  1. We are not allowed to express our preferences.

    I'm sure had the politicians decided to ban GMOs and the consuming public disagreed, the political elite would let you demonstrate in the street to express your preferences, no?

    Yes.

    IIRC the consuming populace expressed their preference on consuming GMOs.

    Now, I'm sure you mean the minority is not able to express their consuming preference.

    This is true and the result of the tyranny of the majority. Sorry.

    A much more interesting post would have been if you'd have picked up and ran with the unintended consequence - the offshored, if you will - of the environmental degradation resulting from the consumer preference.

    That is: the Amazon rainforest is being cut down to produce non-GMO soy to feed Yurp. Yurp is exporting their environmental degradation to poor countries.

    Much more interesting than your attempt to sway students toward free markets.

    Best,

    D

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  2. "I'm sure had the politicians decided to ban GMOs and the consuming public disagreed, the political elite would let you demonstrate in the street to express your preferences, no?"

    No.

    "The consuming populace expressed their preference on consuming GMOs."

    No.

    "Now, I'm sure you mean the minority is not able to express their consuming preference."

    Nobody is able.

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