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first_imgSecond Biotechnology WaveOn the heels of the first wave, he said, is a second wave of biotechnology: Discoveries will shift the emphasis to products that include enhanced human foods, livestock and industrial products and pharmaceuticals.”Over the next five years, biotechnology will develop many more products that will radically change American agriculture,” Phillips predicted. “One extremely exciting area of research and development is the use of animals in pharmaceutical production. The most promising work is in milk and eggs.”Sheep’s milk has been used in cystic fibrosis treatment, goats’ milk in cancer therapy and mice’s milk for arthritis treatment. Chicken eggs have also been used for treating the flu.”And the production of therapeutic proteins doesn’t cause any ill effects to the animal involved,” Phillips said.Reduced-fat Animal ProductsAnimals are being engineered to reduce fat, too, and to have less environmental impact.While plants are being developed to deliver more nutrition, safer foods and even vaccines, some of the most interesting developments are in industrial chemicals.”Research indicates that plants can be modified to produce proteins that become components of detergents, nylon, glue, paints, lubricants and plastics,” Phillips said. “The potential is very high that plants can be the source of biodegradable plastic polymers that will benefit the environmental quality. We are viewing plants in a new way: as minifactories.”Phillips urged everyone to work together to achieve the promise of the technology. “It will require creative and sustained leadership from both (public and private) sectors to make it happen,” he said. Increased fertilizer efficiency.More flexible weed control, especially for soybeans.Greater use of conservation tillage, protecting water quality and preventing soil erosion. Vaccine shots may soon be as comforting as eating mashed potatoes, as tasty as snacking on a banana or as refreshing as eating a salad.”Very promising research is resulting in foods that may one day contain vaccines,” said Michael Phillips, executive director for food and agriculture at the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Phillips delivered the 2001 D.W. Brooks Lecture at the University of Georgia in Athens, Ga., Oct. 1.”Transgenic potatoes may carry the vaccine for hepatitis B, bananas may contain a cholera vaccine and lettuce a vaccine for measles,” he said. “This is especially important for the developing world, where it’s very expensive to purchase, transport and store vaccines.”Where vaccines require refrigeration or must be transported to remote areas, he said, food-borne vaccines would be especially helpful.Biotech Crops Widely AcceptedThe first wave of biotech crops — those containing insect- and disease-resistant properties — have been widely adopted in historic proportions.”Today they’re planted on more than 100 million acres around the world,” Phillips said. “In the United States, in only five years, more than 65 percent of the soybeans, almost 70 percent of the cotton and 25 percent of the corn are varieties that have been enhanced through the use of biotechnology. For hybrid corn, one of the most recent technological revolutions in agriculture, it took almost 30 years to reach comparable adoption rates.”These adoption rates have been mirrored in other countries. In Canada, more than 65 percent of the canola, almost 50 percent of the corn and about 20 percent of soybeans are varieties improved though biotechnology.Farmers’ Competitive Edge”At least 20 percent of the soybeans grown in Brazil today are Roundup-Ready soybeans smuggled in from Argentina,” Phillips said. “That’s how desperate farmers are to get their hands on this technology. They don’t want to lose the competitive edge.”Phillips attributes the rapid acceptance to farmers’ economic bottom line. “It either increases their yields or decreases input costs, or both,” he said.The most obvious savings for farmers has been chemical pesticide inputs. The National Center for Food and Agricultural Policy reports that cotton pesticide usage has declined by more than 50 percent.Phillips said research is also documenting:last_img read more

first_imgInishowen Senator Padraig MacLochlainn has spoken out against Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s decision to wear a shamrock poppy, calling it “intentionally disrespectful.”Over 200,000 Irish troops served in the British Army during World War One, although the true amount of people who served remains a mystery as official figures do not take into account Irish people who signed up as British. At least 35,000 Irish citizens perished during The Great War, which lasted between 1914 and 1918.On the week of November 11th each year, the Poppy Appeal aims to commemorate British armed forces. To commemorate the Irish who died during World War One, a shamrock poppy is worn. The symbol of the poppy however, is divisive, according to Senator MacLochlainn, as it serves to contribute to a binary ‘us’ and ‘them’ narrative.Instead of wearing a shamrock poppy, he says there should be a unique symbol specifically for the commemoration of the Irish who died in WW1- which does not include a poppy.In his previous role as Mayor of Buncrana, Senator MacLochlainn attended commemoration ceremonies in France and Belgium for the dead Irish alongside Unionist Mayors from across the border, with peace and reconciliation being at the heart of these trips.Remembering both Unionists and Republicans who died during WW1 serves to unite both communities, but by wearing the poppy, Senator MacLochlainn says, Varadkar creates a schism. “The poppy is a divisive symbol on the island of Ireland. It’s a mistake to conflate the memory of the thousands of soldiers with the poppy,” the Senator told Donegal Daily.“The Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal is very clear in its message that it is to support the British armed forces who served and continue to serve. However, large amounts of nationalists can’t wear the poppy because of the British army, the same army who were responsible for executing the 1916 leaders, the horrors of the black and tans.“There is unity on this issue of remembrance for both Unionists and Nationalists but to wear a poppy is to divide.“These soldiers went to war in good faith but the poppy is the wrong way to commemorate them. Straight away you’ve alienated a large section of Irish society by wearing a poppy. It’s an offensive symbol.“The remembrance of the Irish who died, both Unionist and Nationalist, is something that can unite us. But Varadkar has undermined this.” “It’s not something the Taoiseach should wear”As the Taoiseach, MacLochlainn says he should be mindful that he represents all people in Ireland – Republican and Unionist.“I don’t have any objections to people who want to wear the poppy – but the Office of the Taoiseach is to represent everyone in society, much like the President, they need to think about what they do. It’s not something the Taoiseach should wear, it was very selfish and it was wrong.”Senator MacLochlainn explains that it is different when individual TDs wear emblems such as Easter Lillies and Repeal jumpers as they do not represent Irish society; whereas the Office of the Taoiseach does.“As the Taoiseach of Ireland he is the co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement – how can he say he is adhering to those conditions when he is wearing a poppy on his chest? “I wear lilies, and Unionists wear poppies, some TDs wear Repeal jumpers, but the Taoiseach of the day is bigger than the person, so they must be careful. The same goes for the President.“I have never seen Varadkar wearing an Easter Lily – and I’d assume he hasn’t worn one so as not to offend.”Towards a common symbolHe reiterates that it is a Unionist’s choice to wear the poppy, much like it is a Republican’s choice to wear a lily.“No Irish Republican will ever wear a poppy, and I wouldn’t expect a Unionist to wear a lily.“I wouldn’t wear one because the poppy is associated with crimes and horror; from the present day right back to hundreds of years ago and the havoc wreaked across the world.“I sought to build peace around this issue. Varadkar’s choice was a mistake. It was intentionally disrespectful. It was disrespectful to those throughout Ireland who see it as representing the same armed forces who killed their loved ones, who oppressed their loved ones.”Senator MacLochlainn says that Derry native James McClean’s refusal to wear the emblem is “admirable” given the history of his home city, despite him playing for a British football team.“I salute James McClean as every year he takes a stand on this and that is deserving of huge admiration. Every year he refuses to wear one, and that takes a lot of courage. He comes from a city where people were killed in the streets by that army.”Instead, Senator MacLochlainn says an alternative solution would be to come up with a new symbol to remember the Irish who died in World War One, a symbol which does not contain a poppy and its connotations.“We could come up with something new to remember the tens of thousands who died during the War – we should come up with a symbol that isn’t divisive.“If he feels he needs to wear a symbol, we should come up with a new one, a different symbol. But that symbol is not the poppy and it never can be.“We can remember and commemorate without offending,” he concluded.Other TDs however, have supported Varadkar’s decision to wear the shamrock poppy.Health Minister Simon Harris told the Irish Times that he supports Varadkar’s decision, saying “I say fair play to Leo for doing it.”Senator slams Taoiseach’s “intentionally disrespectful” poppy was last modified: November 10th, 2017 by Elaine McCalligShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:daildonegalIrelandLEO VARADKARPadraig Mac Lochlainnpoppyshamrock poppylast_img read more