It’s rare that us lowly eaters experience any personal gain from genetically modified food. But over the weekend The New York Times published a long piece by Amy Harmon that made the benefits of genetically modified oranges explicit.
That benefit? Having any oranges at all. An insect-spread disease, which turns oranges green and sour, is spreading throughout the world. Harmon quotes one scientist as saying:
People are either going to drink transgenic orange juice or they’re going to drink apple juice.
That may be a bit of an overstatement: Orange groves are succumbing fast, but growers are fighting back.
Growers in Florida did not like to talk about it, but the industry’s tripling of pesticide applications to kill the bacteria-carrying psyllid was, while within legal limits, becoming expensive and worrisome. One widely used pesticide had stopped working as the psyllid evolved resistance, and Florida’s citrus growers’ association was petitioning one…
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