Government May Restrict Use Of Genetically Modified Farmers

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2056: Future Issue

Report: 40 Percent of American High-School Students Mind-Reading At Sixth-Grade Level

CHICAGO2—According to Department of Telepathic Education officials, standardized Rhine-Zener testing shows that two of five North American high-school students are reading minds at or below the sixth-grade level. "Psycholiteracy is essential for survival in today's world," said DTE director Ruth Edgerton2008, founder of the "Mind-Reading Is Fundamental" project. "It's a shame that some students are graduating from high school lacking the basic telepathy skills they need to compete in the current job market." Edgerton2008 then thought about the need for increased funding for the national MindStart program.

Surgery Required For New Sexual Position

ISLA LOS ANGELES—Plasmic surgeons at Cedar Sinai Medical Center are among the more than 100 doctors nationwide performing the surgery required to enjoy the sexual position "Feast Of Forty Fingers Supping Upon The Nine-Branched Lotus," as popularized by the Neo Sutra. "Attempting the Forty Fingers position without proper bio-augmentation could result in needless maiming, so please ask a doctor about the required procedures," said Dr. Joshua Mendelbaum of the Adaptive Procreative Therapy unit. "Home surgical kits and even sophisticated nanodoctor booths are no substitute for the care of a licensed sexual surgeon." Mendelbaum would not comment on the 30 percent ecstasy-induced-mortality rate among those who successfully achieve the position.

Abraham Lincoln's DNA Now Available Over The Counter

DC—Responding to pressure from vocal consumer groups and gene-gineering giant Merck-Maibatsu-Pfizer Monday, the FDA announced it will allow the DNA of America's 16th president to be sold without a doctor's prescription. "The legalization of OTC Abe is great news for expectant parents, gene-therapy patients, and history buffs," said MMP marketing director Wayne Lincoln. "Americans will no longer be shackled by the genetic heritage of their forefathers, a tyranny of flesh which condemns all men to be created equal. Now, four score and seven credits will ensure that presidential DNA for the people shall not vanish from the earth." Those using Lincoln's DNA are warned that side effects may include mild gigantism, arthritis, and severe depression.

Hemmed-In Seattle Mayor Calls For Emergency Deforestation

SEATTLE—Seattle Mayor Frances Bean Cobain-Osment issued a call for the emergency deforestation of the Pacific Northwest Monday. "Please, major logging companies, I beg you, send any spare sawmilling, pulping, or chipping equipment you have as soon as possible," said Cobain-Osment, invisible within the branches and overgrowth on the steps of City Hall. "We cannot fight off the encroaching trees and spotted owls any longer." The mayor's message concluded with a spirited condemnation of 2001's controversial Healthy Forests Initiative.

Remainder Of Ross Ice Shelf Now In Smithsonian Freezer

DC—The 25-meter-long remains of the Ross Ice Shelf, the floating Antarctic ice sheet that was once the size of France, will be displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's basement freezer through August. "We thank the generous citizens of Philadelphia, who donated this polar-cap remnant when it washed up on their shores earlier this year," curator Tim Riley said. "The ice sheet is a valuable artifact of the earth's geological past." Guests at an upcoming fundraising dinner will be served cocktails made with chunks of the shelf.

Repopulation Of Africa Begins

OLDUVAI GORGE, FORMER TANZANIA—The UN announced Monday that it has begun the directed repopulation of Africa, the continent that has lain desolate since the 2042 Saharan Scourge. "The time has come to reclaim this land from the effects of war, famine, disease, and devastating commercial exploitation," ReAfrica project head Marcus Mtume said, motioning toward the bare rock of the Serengeti shield plain. "At this very moment, scouts are determining the viability of a New Lagos settlement." Critics argue that the ReAfrica project is beyond the scope of current terra-reforming technology, and the UN resources required would be better spent on more fertile territory, such as the Marianas Trench or Charon, Pluto's only moon.

Ozone Repletion Project Nearly Finished

MCMURDO, ANTARCTIC STATES--Franklin Serwacki, lead project administrator of the Global Ozone Restoration Initiative, announced Monday that the earth's ozone layer will be restored to pre-Industrial Revolution levels by the end of the month. "With our new Bering Strait facility operating at full capacity, repletion of the ozone layer should be complete by... oh, I'd say next Thursday. It's been a busy couple of weeks, but soon we'll be able to look back on a job well done." Serwacki then offered his apologies to the more than 6 billion people who were irreparably harmed by solar UV radiation in the several decades the project was delayed by tripartisan bickering.

Leather-Clad Nomads Seize Power In Australia

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—Following months of terror at the hands of hot-rod-piloting punks, Australian Prime Minister Kellen O'Neill handed power to Lord Humongous, nominal warlord of the leather-clad marauding barbarian horde Monday. "Just walk away!" said Humongous, the official "Ayatollah of Rock 'n' Roll-ah," speaking through his vehicle's PA system from the smoking ruins of the city center. "I will spare those of you who surrender your possessions and your precious juice. Just walk away, and live." Humongous is expected to share at least a portion of his dominion over Australia with midget genius The Master, who several sources said "runs Bartertown."

117-Aerocar Pileup Clogs Troposphere For Hours

BOSTON—Travelers on Interspace 92 experienced delays of up to three hours after 117 aerocars were involved in a tropospheric pileup Monday. "We traced the problem to a malfunctioning holosign over the harbor's low-pressure zone," said Anders Featherston, lead engineer of Boston's Big Draft project. "Four horizontal lanes and three vertical lanes merged without warning, causing the first few propeller-benders, and it only escalated from there." The 22 deaths caused by the accident were only temporary, as EMTs had the victims' cortical memory stacks decanted into fresh bodies within hours.

Economy Given Big Boost By Ramadan Shopping Season

NEWER YORK—Financial experts announced Monday that the U.S. economy was boosted by millions of Americans beginning to purchase Ramadan gifts. "With rampant inflation and record-low consumer confidence, we were on the path to total economic devastation for the year," economist Karen Thewes said. "Fortunately, preparations for the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr pumped nearly Ÿ2.2 billion into the economy. In addition, there was a huge surge in the purchase of Quran plaques dedicated to Allah." Thewes went on to predict that the economy would be further buoyed by a brisk Solstice.
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Government May Restrict Use Of Genetically Modified Farmers

DC—The Department of HyperAgriculture announced Monday that it will begin investigating possible restrictions on the cultivation, implementation, and breeding of genetically modified farmers, weighing possible safety and health risks against the farmers' dramatically increased yield and efficiency.

Boise, ID GM plowborg Jed Kleebert.

"As evidenced by the many strong opinions regarding these farmers, we can all agree that more research needs to be done," said Secretary of HyperAgriculture Roald McDonald in a press conference this morning. "Whatever happens, we cannot let our growing population's need for more and better foods lead us recklessly into the creation of 'Frankenfarmers.'"

McDonald added: "That said, I can't deny the benefits of an agricultural laborer who subsists on common weeds, grows his own exo-overalls, sweats pesticides, and whose six arms end in retractable plows, scythes, and harrows."

Several larger North American corporate states are already using GM farmers to perform specialized or time-sensitive tasks. Monsanto-Idaho has successfully used a gene-gineered strain of Mountain Anderson farmer, noted for its ability to scale great heights and farm potatoes on the sheer faces of Rocky Mountain cliffs. A similar genetic model was used to create the MegaHusker, seven of which now cultivate 85 percent of Nebraska. Likewise, McCormick-Beatrice has vastly increased the shellfish and kelp harvest off the Oregon coast by using fin- and gill-equipped Eugenic Mermen.

The risks associated with GM farmers are well-documented.

Coding errors in the genetic blueprints of some common GM-farmer models have led to congenital defects, such as the inability to distinguish between terrified migrant workers and large produce items like pumpkins. Additionally, some scientists allege that GM farmers could breed with non-modified farmers, resulting in unforseeable mutations.

"We've been assured by the patent-holding companies that these farmers are sterile, and pose no danger of contaminating standard human bloodlines," McDonald said. "Contrary to stories you may have heard, there will be no havoc wreaked by a countryside populated by super-lascivious farmers' daughters."

However, some argue that the solitary lifestyle many GM farmers lead as a result of their sterility poses a danger to area residents.

"These farmers were created from human stock, and face many of the same problems as traditional farmers," said Jans Karlsen, an agricultural-oversight officer with the Second UN. "The poor creatures suffer from depression, obesity, alcoholism, and loneliness just like 'normal' farmers, but their enhanced attributes serve to amplify the effects. We're not likely to soon forget what happened when that MegaHusker went on a three-day drinking binge in downtown Omaha last year. He sang 'He Stopped Loving Her Today' for three hours at close to 150 decibels and blew out windows as far away as Lincoln. Traffic was stalled for a week while he slept it off on the downtown highway interchange."

Critics have lobbied for the scaling back or elimination of GM farming, but hyper-farming-industry leaders say it's too late to turn back the clock.

"We can't put the genie back in the bottle," Monsanto North head of research Sam Houseman said. "GM farmers are indispensable to modern agriculture. It takes 20 normal Nebraska farmers to harvest, shuck, and crib one ear of Titanicorn. Special climbing equipment and helicopter pilots are needed to tend Rocky Mountain boulder-tubers. And I frankly don't know how a wrangler with only two arms—neither of which ends in a prehensile lariat or bio-electric prod—would deal with a runaway MonSteer."

McDonald said his panel will reach a decision on GM-farmer regulations by the end of the year, adding that it is inevitable that some form of GM farmer is "here to stay."

"It would be unfair to deny the American agricultural industry the genetic-engineering advantages already enjoyed by Asian and European farmers," McDonald said. "In addition, it would seem strangely restrictive to deny the farming industry GM technology already so widespread in fields like large-scale construction, computer programming, pornography, and professional sports."

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