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世俗快乐原来就是终极快乐
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作者:张无忌之1989 提交日期:2004-3-22 16:07:00 | 分类: | 访问量:436
今天的功课(一)
03 月22 日
转基因长出的贪婪
A GM crop of greed
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上周,英国政府宣布批准种植一种转基因玉米,但不允许种植类似的转基因油菜或甜菜。据称,这一决定是以环境考虑为依据的:被批准种植的玉米有助于生物多样性,而油菜和甜菜不利于生物多样性。
 Last week, the British government announced that it would approve a strain of genetically modified maize, but would not allow the planting of similarly modified oilseed rape or sugar beet. The decision was said to be based on environmental considerations. The maize promoted biodiversity, the rape and beet reduced it.
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这里所说的“生物多样性”,只不过是指杂草。因此,所谓的环境损害,与你我用锄头在花床里造成的损害无异。在转基因油菜和甜菜的试验中,杂草得到有效控制。但转基因玉米的试验田比“非转基因玉米”显示出更大的“生物多样性”,也就是说,试验田里生长着并非由农民播种的物种。究其原因,无非是因为种植非转基因玉米的田里,使用了将要受到限制的强力除草剂。
 For biodiversity, read weeds. The environmental damage at issue is exactly the same as the damage you do with a hoe in a flower bed. Weeds were well controlled in the trials of GM rape and beet. But the field with GM maize displayed more "biodiversity" than its non-GM counterpart - there were species in it the farmer had not intended to be there. This was because a more powerful, and soon to be restricted, herbicide was used on the non-GM maize.
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我可不是在开玩笑,虽然我希望是在说笑。这些实验根本不可能产生可靠数据,加深或者缓解公众对于转基因农作物的忧虑。听到这些结果之后,没有任何人有理由改变对转基因农作物的看法,事实上也没有证据表明有谁改变了看法。
 I am not kidding. I wish I were. These experiments could not conceivably have produced data to support or allay public worries about GM crops. There is no reason for anyone to have changed their mind about GM after hearing these results, and no evidence that anyone did.
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这里的背景是,公众对于政府保障食品安全的承诺与能力丧失了信心。这个问题在英国最为严重:有关“疯牛病”和口蹄疫的官方声明,后来都被证明缺乏科学根据和与事实不符。重建信任需要一个缓慢的过程,不可能通过似是而非的实验来实现。从最好的方面说,转基因农作物的试验浪费了大量时间和金钱;从最坏的方面说,这些试验简直是瞎胡闹,让部长们为了眼前的政治利益宣称得到了科学依据。
 The background is a loss of public confidence in the commitment and competence of government to promote food safety. This problem is most acute in Britain, where official statements about "mad cow" disease and foot- and-mouth disease were subsequently found to be unjustified and untrue. Rebuilding trust will be a slow process. It will not be achieved through specious experiments. At best, the GM trials were a comprehensive waste of time and money; at worst, a sham to allow ministers to claim scientific support for political expediency.
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对于扮演创世主角色创造新的物种,人类普遍感到不安,这是情有可原的。可是,自然界从来不曾存在鲜美多汁的牛排、营养丰富的麦粒、忠实的宠物狗、以及柔情万种的宠物猫。它们是一代又一代选择性繁殖和杂交的产物。杂交玉米新品种的开发(即所谓“绿色革命”),是近50年来对全球扶贫作出最大贡献的因素。说穿了,从农业发明开始,人类就一直在进行基因操作。
 Humans rightly feel uneasy about playing God in the creation of new species. But the juicy steak, the nourishing wheat grain, the loyal dog and the affectionate cat never existed in a state of nature. They are the product of generations of selective breeding and hybridisation. The development of new strains of hybrid corn - the green revolution - has been the single most important factor reducing world poverty in the past 50 years. We have engaged in genetic manipulation since agriculture was invented.
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#日志日期:2004-3-22 星期一(Monday) 多云 送小红花 推荐指数:复制链接 举报



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