The Tao of Biotechnology

Monday, November 28, 2005

Needed: Modern Poultry Industry

After reading this article about farming conditions in China, one thing seems clear to me: farmers cannot continue as they have. As long as birds are raised in squalor, germs will continue to breed, and viruses will continue to kill. I don’t know what the answer is. I know the farmers depend on the income from birds for their livelihood, but in some ways I think the governments in these Asian countries should take over the raising of birds, provide them with clean conditions, segregate them from the human population, and provide the farmers with a different form of livelihood. I know I am recommending that we take a primitive people and bring them into the modern world; but the world is modern already. It is these farmers who are lagging behind. And it is they, by their primitive practices, who are creating a bird flu that threatens all mankind

There is continued discussion of creating genetically engineered chickens. This solution is fraught with problems, as this article acknowledges; whereas, if Asian governments would just take the initiative and create sanitary farms for the raising of birds, they might be starting from scratch in the creation of a modern poultry industry, but at least they wouldn’t be starting from scratch in the creation of genetically engineered chickens, the result of which no one can predict.

Here is some information for consumers about Tamiflu.


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