I was delighted to see you address the topic of using better-defined terminology in your January editorial (“It's Channeling, Not Identity-Preserved,” page 6).
If those of us deeply involved in agriculture misunderstand each other, how much more so is the case with those who are casual readers?
Too often, many of us are so familiar with a topic that we use “in-house” terminology that may not be precise. It may be so broad that interested readers who are not familiar with the jargon cannot understand.
Kudos also to Syl Marking for using “transgenic” instead of the commonly employed “GMO” modifier for transgenic plants (“Die, Rootworm, Die,” page 10).
The term “Bt hybrids” is even more precise in his article, except that some still do not know what “Bt” really means, and why genes from that organism are used.
More power to you to keep up the pressure. If others understand our words, maybe they will understand what we are about.
It will not be easy.
John Pesek, Emeritus Professor of Agronomy, Iowa State University
Biotechnology — all parts of an industry that knowingly create, develop and market products through the willful molecular manipulation of life forms.
Bt — Bacillus thuringiensis, a naturally occurring soil bacterium that occurs worldwide and produces a toxin specific to certain insects.
Corn channeling — the act of keeping corn separate after harvest as it's delivered to a specific market or end user.
Identity preserved — a carefully controlled production and distribution system that maintains integrity of the crop being delivered.
Transgenic — an organism whose cells contain genetic material derived from a source in addition to or other than the parents.