Without absolving them, we as a critical public need to resolve what we are giving Monsanto shit about. We are wasting a lot of time and energy arguing about one or the other; if we come to a consensus, we might effect positive change.
It’s an either/or decision. Either they get critique for genetically modified crops, or they get criticized for single season crops.
My reasoning is thus: assume, hypothetically, that agribusiness introduced a genetic modification purely for humanitarian reasons. Stay with me. In this ideal case, it would make sense to also introduce a terminator – an additional modification to prevent distribution by reproduction of a perceived benefit, which could have long-term negative consequences. Or, to summarize: I made better corn, but I’m not sure if it’s completely safe; let’s make sure it doesn’t have kids.
If “the terminator” was the only thing Monsanto introduced to their corn, it would have been a dick-ish thing to do. But considering the potential long-term consequences of the modifications they have made besides that, I don’t have a problem with them limiting the duration of the genetic strain. Take the anti-hypothesis of the previous paragraph, and assume that, instead, next years corn will turn into dragon/corn hybrids which eat kittens, just because a genetic intern forgot to carry the two. That is not a crop you want to learn to harvest for more than a single year. Because of the self-limiting nature of the product, Doritos would only be scarce for a single year. And would likely lead to a limited edition kitten scorching flavor.
I am not arguing for one side or the other; I am arguing that everyone who objects needs to get on the same side, and form a single wall, rather than engaging the semantics that I just have.
If you are against Direct genetic modification, I can’t argue against you. I hope you acknowledge that genetic modification will happen no matter what; humans turned wolves into Chihuahuas, and turned maize into tacos. We will keep breeding towards our own benefit. That being said, I can kind of understand if you don’t think spiffy but questionable DNA should be shot into crops just because it might make bugs like them less.
Similarly, I can understand if you don’t want to have to pay, repeatedly, for your corn seeds. Just understand – I don’t want those seeds to have experimental weevil resistance which, two generations later, has morphed into an active hatred of humanity, to the point of being vindictively poisonous.
You get one or the other. Make a damn choice. I’m going to go eat some rice cakes until you do.