About That Fruit Fly Research…

…it’s applied research. As far as I can tell, the McCain campaign is referring to a study of olive fruit flies which are an agricultural pest. From the congressman who wrote the earmark:

“The Olive Fruit Fly has infested thousands of California olive groves and is the single largest threat to the U.S. olive and olive oil industries,” he said. “I secured $748,000 for olive fruit fly research and irradiation in the (fiscal year 2008) appropriations bill for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA will use some of that funding for their research facility in France. This USDA research facility is located in France because Mediterranean countries like France have dealt with the Olive Fruit Fly for decades, while California has only been exposed since the late 1990s. This is not uncommon; the USDA has several international research facilities throughout the world, including Australia, China and Argentina.”

So this is applied research into agricultural pests, something more than one southern Republican congressman has funded, and not basic research (not that there’s anything wrong with basic research).

But the key point is one that Tristero makes:

But what it really demonstrates is how unqualified the upper echelons of the Republican party are to run this country. She certainly didn’t write this speech: John McCain’s advisers did and approved every appalling word.

We need to get this right–this isn’t Palin, this is mainline Republican operatives doing this. This pig-headed, willful stupidity is institutional, not individual.

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10 Responses to About That Fruit Fly Research…

  1. RossK says:

    It looks like the Forebearers of the Empress of The Stoopid hate ALL research.
    Is that a change we can believe in?
    (great work Mike – my take on the speech’s intent to slap research with little creepy crawlies, and federal funding for it, up the side of the head because it is most definitely not in the public good is here.

  2. mommom says:

    So you’re saying she didn’t read the speech before she gave it ?She has a college education and this did not stick out like a sore thumb ?This is basic highschool freshman biology.

  3. mark says:

    I suggest that her remarks reflect very poorly on the competence of McCain’s science adviser. (I expect scientific illiteracy from Palin and her fans.)

  4. Trin Tragula says:

    Thompson is not alone. Olive fruit fly research was also backed by Doug Ose, a Republican who served in Congress from 1999 to 2005.

  5. Holy Fucknoly!!!! But olive farmers are REAL AMERICANS!!!11!!1!!!

  6. TomJoe says:

    This isn’t the first time McCain has taken a shot at ARS (Agricultural Research Service), the in-house research agency of the USDA. He’s done this multiple times, and in all instances, it deals with application-based research science initiatives (which is just about ARS does).

  7. Well, if Drosophila melanogaster are not fruit flies, then I think we should all, from now on, stop calling them fruit flies and call them “Freedom Flies” in honor of Palin.

  8. take on says:

    the in-house research agency of the USDA.

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