business news in context, analysis with attitude

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a new analysis of the economics of growing genetically engineered crops indicates that at least in California, farmers who grow them may be saving as much as $17 million dollars a year.

If these savings were seen nationally, the savings could be as great as $1 billion annually -- if regulators approve all the possible uses of biotechnology and farmers embrace the technology.

However, environmental groups have criticized the report, saying that the extra cost of bioengineered seeds usually does is not offset by bigger harvests by growing the controversial crops.
KC's View:
It seems to us that there are a ton of questions that need to be answered about bioengineered crops, but we continue to be frustrated by groups that simply plant their feet and defend their positions. The study that revealed the savings was, predictable, done by biotech supporters, just as questions about its legitimacy were raised anti-biotech groups.

But the questions never seem to get answered…or, at least, the answers never seem to get communicated in a clear, concise, conclusive way. When it comes to something as potentially as significant as using technology to feed people more effectively and grow crops more efficiently, it just seems to us that everybody ought to have an open mind -- open to the positives, open to the negatives, and trying to work through them in a meaningful, intellectually honest way.