"That’s all well and good, Ms. Coles," said one of the politicians, "but how do you propose to convince the residents of this City that releasing microbes into the sewers that are connected directly to their homes is safe? And I will assume that these microbes are engineered for their specific tasks."

Undaunted, she pressed on. "Of course, all of the results of the testing, independently confirmed by a third party, will be made available for public review, and no doubt, prior to any acceptance of this procedure—or Dr. Goldstein’s—will be discussed in public hearings."

Joel knew how public hearings worked. The public and activist groups were allowed to vent their frustrations and air their concerns—after the proposal had already been expedited and was already in the works for implementation.

"Once again," he said, "how do you propose to convince the residents that it’s a safe procedure? After all, we are all pretty well aware of the consequences of introducing engineered organisms into the environment, regardless of what the so-called testing results showed. "

Joel couldn’t agree more. He was an undergrad when the Great Honey Bee Kill occurred and recalled quite vividly the results of that devastating debacle, all of which was traced back to engineered food that, as a byproduct of some of the gene splicing, incorporated reproductive inhibitors that all but wiped the species of honey bees from existence. If not for the brilliant work of the leader of the Sisterhood of the Faith Organization and their somatic cell conversion to reproductive cells, it was quite plausible that the entire world as they knew it would have been changed inalterably.


Unto the Living Earth © 2007 Walter R. Milton