Thursday, January 29, 2009

Your Potato Children Will Be Deformed

Plants have reproductive organs. Who knew? Well, everyone who had to sit through high school biology, but who remembered? And/or who cared?

Soil scientists, that's who. Specifically, agronomists. And not just because they have some kind of sick plant fetish. They're not just daydreaming about the private parts of plants, they're trying to make the world a better place. And this time, someone finally thought of the (plant) children.

Concerned agronomists have determined that while herbicide tests consider whether the plant-killing substances will kill "good" plants (read: the ones that aren't weeds), the tests don't verify that the herbicides don't accidentally sterilize the good plants.

I'm all for improved testing to make sure that we can keep enjoying future generations of plants like potatoes, corn, and soybeans. However, I do think that the language in their press release is dry, densely scientific, and a little obsessed with reproductive organs.

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The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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