״Several biotechnology firms are currently concentrating on the laboratory production of thaumatin—a sweetener derived from the fruit of the thaumatin plant, grown in West Africa. Thaumatin is the sweetest substance yet discovered in nature, and in its pure form is 100,000 times sweeter than sugar. In the mid-1980s the gene that codes for the thaumatin protein was successfully cloned by scientists at Unilever in the Netherlands and at Ingene in Santa Monica, California.^^

The laboratory production of thaumatin and other sweeteners is likely to further weaken the worldwide sugar market, which has already been hurt by the introduction of corn sweeteners and sugar substitutes like NutraSweet. Sugar imports to the United States declined from $686 million in 1981 to $250 million in 1985.^^ According to a Dutch study, upwards of 10 million farmers in the third world may face a loss of livelihood as laboratory-produced sweeteners begin invading world markets in the next several years.^^

Scientists are just beginning to explore the great potential of tissue-culture production in the laboratory. Researchers have successfully grown orange and lemon vesicles from tissue culture, and some industry analysts believe that the day is not far off when orange juice will be grown in vats, eliminating the need for planting orange groves.

Recently, researchers at the Department of Agriculture “tricked” loose cotton cells into growing by immersing them in a vat of nutrients. Because the cotton is grown under sterile conditions, free of microbial contamination, scientists say it could be used to make sterile gauze.^” Although the production of cotton in vitro did not use gene-splicing technology, it provides still another example of the potential of reducing agricultural commodities to their component parts and then mass-producing them.

Tissue culture is seen by many as the inevitable next stage of a process that has continued to reduce the market share of farming in the food-production system. For the better part of the twentieth century, farming has dechned in importance as an increasing number of its activities have been expropriated by the input sector on the one end and the marketing sector on the other. For example, chemical fertilizers have replaced animal manuring on the farm. Commercial pesticides have replaced crop rotation, mechanical tillage, and hand weeding. Tractors have replaced horses and manual labor. Today only a handful of farmers package their own produce or transport it to retail markets. These functions have been increasingly taken over by agribusiness companies.

Now, chemical and pharmaceutical companies hope to use genetic-engineering technologies to eliminate the farmer altogether. The goal is to convert food production into a wholly industrial process by bypassing both the organism and the outdoors, and ”farming” at the molecular level in the factory. Martin H. Rogoff and Stephen L. Rawlins, biologists and research administrators with the Department of Agriculture, envision a food-production system in which fields would be planted only with perennial biomass crops. The crops would be harvested and converted to sugar solution by the use of enzymes. The solution would then be piped to urban factories and used as a nutrient source to produce large quantities of pulp from tissue cultures. The pulp would then be reconstituted and fabricated into different shapes and textures to mimic the traditional forms associated with “soil-grown” crops. Rawlins says that the new factories would be highly automated and require few workers.״

״Indoor tissue-culture food production will eliminate millions of jobs along the entire agricultural grid. In addition to making most farmers redundant—a small percentage of them will still be required to manage biomass crops—continuous-process food production will eliminate jobs in auxiliary industries related to the farm sector, including the manufacturers of farm equipment and long-distance haulers.

The advantages, argue the proponents of tissue-culture farming, include reduced use of land, less soil erosion, less agrichemicals, and reduced energy and transportation costs. Continuous-process production in the laboratory also means that production can be regulated to daily market demand and not be dependent on the uncertainties of climate, seasonal disruptions, and political influences.״

״With the new laboratory processes, multinationals will be able to exert far greater economic control over world markets, with far less risks to themselves. Controlling genes in the laboratory is far less troublesome than con-

trolling climate, land, and workers in a third-world country. Food Technology magazine summed up the economic and political advantages of the revolutionary new approach to food production: “Many of our flavors and other products come from remote parts of the world, where the political instability of governments or the vagaries of weather yield inconsistent supply, cost, and product quality from season to season. In a plant tissue culture process, all parameters . . . can be controlled.״

״The era of whole-commodities food production is likely to decline in the decades ahead as chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech companies are able to increasingly substitute tissue-culture production, significantly lowering the price of food products on world markets. The economic impact on farmers, especially in the third world, could be catastrophic. Many third-world nations rely on the sale of one or two key export crops. Tissue-culture substitution could mean the near collapse of national economies, unprecedented unemployment, and default on international loans, which, in turn, could lead to the de-stabilization of commercial banking and to bank failures in first-world nations.״

״The recent technological breakthroughs in world agriculture promise increased productivity and reductions in labor requirements more spectacular than any comparable technology revolution in world history. The human price of commercial progress is likely to be staggering. Hundreds of millions of farmers across the globe face the prospect of permanent elimination from the economic process. Their marginalization could lead to social upheaval on a global scale and the reorganization of social and political life along radically new lines in the coming century.״

״The specter of the worlds farmers being made redundant and irrelevant by the computer and biotechnology revolutions is deeply troubling. Even more unsettling, the manufacturing and service sectors, which have traditionally absorbed displaced rural workers, are undergoing their own technology revolution, shedding millions of jobs to make room for re-engineered, highly automated work environments. Transnational are entering a new era of fast communications, lean-production practices, and just-in-time marketing and distribution operations relying increasingly on a new generation of silicon-collar workers. Much of the human workforce is being left behind and will likely never cross over into the new high-tech global economy״

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

ציטוט מתוך: Jeremy‏, Rifkin. ״The end of work : the decline of the global labor force and the dawn of the post-market era.״ New York : G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1995. iBooks.
‫יתכן שחומר זה מוגן על-ידי זכויות יוצרים.‬

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