ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
 
Date:  14 December 2000

THE  CALVINISTS  ARE  COMING and a blind spot!

Dr Roger Morton is the zealously pro-GM aussie CSIRO biotechnician who was recently identified as the source of multiple mails to the biotech-activist list, a public list for GM sceptics, under a 'real_kids" alias!

It was also suggested that he may have been mailing people under the assumed identity of known GM critics. [For more on this see: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/224.htm ]

Subsequently Dr Morton posted the following warning to Prakash's AgBioView list:

"The Calvinists are essentially accusing hundreds of scientists of fraud."

The first thought this prompted was that the Pope's recent criticism of agbiotech was triggering a wave of religious persecution mania on the Prakash list - to complement its constantly raging organic paranoia.

However, Dr Morton subsequently clarified his interesting comment, as follows:
...
From: Roger Morton <roger.morton@pi.csiro.au>
Subject: Myths corrections

Due to a spell check error the following sentences in my recent post which read:

"The Calvinists are essentially accusing hundreds of scientists of fraud."

should have read:

"The activists are essentially accusing hundreds of scientists of fraud."

Also the sentence: "The bibliography above shows that he is infarct wrong."

should read:  "The bibliography above shows that he is, in fact, wrong."
...
Despite this, Dr Morton's, or perhaps his word processor's, playful sense of the absurd is still being given full rein, it seems.

Yesterday Wytze de Lang -- at least one assumes it was Wytze de Lang, as this is, in fact, one of the identities Dr Morton has been known to assume!! -- drew our attention to the following in Dr Morton's latest post to Abiasedview:

Edited From Agbioview

From: Roger Morton <roger.morton@pi.csiro.au>
...... in answer to Red's questions.

If this level of vitamin A intake is very low at the moment then shifting the dietary intake to 1.3% [of what is required] may be a massive improvement.

Activists have a blind spot in their vision which makes them unable to accept the fact that this technology could have some possible use for the poor and will produce any argument they can.............

Just face it - golden rice disproves just about every argument the activists have had on GM foods.
......
R. Morton
*  *  *
Obviously nobody could think that a hi-tech fix introducing unpredictable risks in return for addressing such a miniscule part of the targeted dietary requirement - a requirement which could be much more efficiently addressed by assisting those affected to grow some high Vit A containing vegetables - could make any sense. So a Morton gaff or a Morton spoof?

Infarct, long-time Morton watchers are taking the comments at face value.

Greg Todd of BEC New Communities HDFC, Inc. <becnc@igc.org>: writes to the good doctor:

Roger

Is a miniscule increase in vitamin A intake worth the cost [of GM crops in the developing world]? Genetic drift into related plant species, allergic reactions, corruption of non-ge foodsupplies, increased use of pesticide, fertilizers, increase level of farmer bankruptcies due to excessive debt loads, etc.

What arguments does Golden Rice disprove? That foods can be genetically altered to express traits that provide a consumer benefit, as opposed to just a benefit for the producers or growers? That gene giants could do that is obvious, the only question is what took them so long to figure
this out. ...

When will Dr Morton and his fellow pro-GM Calvinists hurry up and face the farcts?
*  *  *
Talking of those famed for their gaffs - quote of the week (c/o Ron Baxter):

"One could not be a successful scientist without realising that, in contrast to the popular conception supported by newspapers and mothers of scientists, a goodly number of scientists are not only narrow-minded and dull, but also just stupid."
- JamesWatson

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