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Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Greener than you think

Last November, I reviewed a rare old book for you: "Greener Than You Think," by Ward Moore. The sci-fi book describes a mutant strain of grass which grows out of control, resistant to all attempts to poison, burn, bomb, or nuke it. Written in 1947, it was a witty satire of human behavior, but could also be seen as a warning about genetic engineering long before anyone knew how to do that.

Well, the monsters at Monsanto and Scotts are attempting to infect us with "Roundup Ready" lawn grass. Apparently designed for golf courses, this mutant vegetation can withstand barrels full of Roundup weedkiller being dumped on it. The idea, of course, is that Roundup can then be used to kill the weeds while the grass thrives. Amazingly enough (you won't believe this!!!), Roundup is also made and sold by Monsanto and Scotts, the same people making this frankengrass!

So what's the problem? Well, this grass is hard to contain, with very light pollen. It will grow in places where people don't want it, and herbicides like Roundup won't kill it. It may also start sharing genes with dandelions or giant puppy-eating Venus flytraps, and we won't be able to eradicate those either. It also encourages excessive use of Roundup, which can have negative effects on the water supply and animals that come in contact with it. Not to mention ordinary plants unprepared for Monsanto's brave new world of GM insanity.

That these creeps continue to inflict this crap on us without any real controls or even voter approval is one of the many great crimes of recent years. Any one of these mutant plants could end up with just a bit too much of an advantage and run rampant, destroying biodiversity and threatening the food supply. Monsanto should be administered the corporate death penalty; this type of crap should NOT happen.