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Thread: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

  1. #1 Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) 
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    Recently in my unit 4 biology class we have been studying genetics and in particular, genetically modified organisms.

    The issue of GMOs is quite strong and many people are either for or against. Whilst there are benefits involved with GMOs, there are also many potential risks.

    I am looking for some opinions on the issue of GMOs, along with your reasoning behind these.


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    Okay, i am for genetically modified organisms, as it makes our life easier. Say it's better to make a species of corn resistant to the disease, then to spray it multiple times with chemicals before it can be harvested. Also a bacterium can create insulin much more efficient then, say a horse with a tube in it's gut. Also much more animal friendly.

    But i'm not for anything involving in genetically increasing human potential. Although i see a lot of opportunities, there will also be a lot of problems. People will divide up, the rich will get most benefits, the poor will be left, ready to die. The environment will not be changed, we will be changed to better coop with toxins. We should not try to get rid of the problems, we should get rid of the reason to these problems.

    If GMO will be let loose on people, we'll be stuck with another kind of olympics, the superhuman olympics. Where they will jump 100 meters, 10 meters high, 30 meters with a stick, run 100 meters in 4 seconds... etc.. Though if it was for everyone, i would like it, just no division.


    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    I am sure that genetically modified humans will never happen. You see how far cloning went after dolly the lamb? it's gone nowhere because laws will prohibit such scientific undertakings. They don't even let new kinds of potentially usefull plants into the country easily.
    Walking every street of Toronto to raise awareness of global warming http://www.whatscoolerthancool.org/
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrychristmas View Post
    I am sure that genetically modified humans will never happen. You see how far cloning went after dolly the lamb? it's gone nowhere because laws will prohibit such scientific undertakings. They don't even let new kinds of potentially usefull plants into the country easily.
    I think in some country they don't even let any natural foreign plant into their country, they also do not let any new animal either. This is not related to prohibiting scientific undertakings but to prevent any invasive species from proliferating in their country and distrupt ecosystem. For example: you can't bring any seed, or any plant or any undeclared food into Australia*.

    *Australia has history of invasive species such as (natural) rabbits and (natural) frog. They use viruses to kill all the rabbits but not sure what they did for the frog...
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    look into genzyme transgenics
    and their transgenic goats
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    But i'm not for anything involving in genetically increasing human potential. Although i see a lot of opportunities, there will also be a lot of problems. People will divide up, the rich will get most benefits, the poor will be left, ready to die. The environment will not be changed, we will be changed to better coop with toxins. We should not try to get rid of the problems, we should get rid of the reason to these problems.


    I never understood the logic of denying everyone even when you can help some. Reminds of a bucket full of crabs, one's claw is locked onto the edge and would be able to climb over and escape if not for three other crabs clasping onto his other legs and holding him. down.
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    The problem with GM is that it has got so political that reason no longer gets a look in.

    To date, no significant harm has come from anything GM. GM foods, for example, are eaten by millions of people daily, and billions have eaten them at some stage or other. There is still, not a single scientifically confirmed case, where the fact that the food eaten was GM has been demonstrated to have caused harm to the eaters health. Not even one such case, no matter how minimal the harm.

    The lack of such data has not stopped those who want to oppose GM. In the absence of anything real, they turn to speculation, and ask a million, usually stupid, "what if" questions. If humanity let such ridiculous "what if" questions stop developments, we would still be chipping stone tools and living in caves.

    I remember reading a few years ago about an interesting case of crop breeding. A new strain of potatoes had been bred, and one of the research team cooked them up and ate them. He died. Immediately. Turns out that the new strain of potatoes had an unexpectedly high amount of the natural pesticide, solanine, which is poisonous to humans, and is the reason you should cut any green bits out of any potato you eat. If this had been a GM crop, we would never have heard the end of it. But since it was conventionally bred, there was not even a murmur of protest.

    So why is it that conventionally breeding a poisonous potato gets no mentions, but the least hint of any GM crop having even a speculative problem hits world headlines?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox View Post
    But i'm not for anything involving in genetically increasing human potential. Although i see a lot of opportunities, there will also be a lot of problems. People will divide up, the rich will get most benefits, the poor will be left, ready to die. The environment will not be changed, we will be changed to better coop with toxins. We should not try to get rid of the problems, we should get rid of the reason to these problems.


    I never understood the logic of denying everyone even when you can help some. Reminds of a bucket full of crabs, one's claw is locked onto the edge and would be able to climb over and escape if not for three other crabs clasping onto his other legs and holding him. down.
    I recall the same comment, and i made the same comment like that before. It's not like the bucket full of crabs, it's like a nuclear weapon whiping everyone out but the ones who have an atomic bunker at their disposal. It's like using a machine gun, and the ones wearing a bulletproof vest will survive. If that's like the crabs, then so be it.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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    In the professional sports world there is widespread speculation that gene doping is already taking place. Even though the reproductive cells are not changed yet, the story is that genes that code for certain hormones are injected into muscles in the form of, for instance, mRNA (that would be the "mild" method, as opposed to using retro virusses for instance as a vector to permanently insert new genes into the genome). This would have a beneficial short term effect. Those "patients" are therefore well on their way to being genetically modified, even though their children wouldn't inherit the trait. This method would be untestable with current technology. In Fact, it would be extremely difficult to test these athletes, because it would have to invlove genetic screening for certain genes (in the DNA form) to match with the RNA versions that would be present and might even have to invlove screenings of both parents as well)!
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    The problem with GM is that it has got so political that reason no longer gets a look in.

    To date, no significant harm has come from anything GM. GM foods, for example, are eaten by millions of people daily, and billions have eaten them at some stage or other. There is still, not a single scientifically confirmed case, where the fact that the food eaten was GM has been demonstrated to have caused harm to the eaters health. Not even one such case, no matter how minimal the harm.

    The lack of such data has not stopped those who want to oppose GM. In the absence of anything real, they turn to speculation, and ask a million, usually stupid, "what if" questions. If humanity let such ridiculous "what if" questions stop developments, we would still be chipping stone tools and living in caves.

    I remember reading a few years ago about an interesting case of crop breeding. A new strain of potatoes had been bred, and one of the research team cooked them up and ate them. He died. Immediately. Turns out that the new strain of potatoes had an unexpectedly high amount of the natural pesticide, solanine, which is poisonous to humans, and is the reason you should cut any green bits out of any potato you eat. If this had been a GM crop, we would never have heard the end of it. But since it was conventionally bred, there was not even a murmur of protest.

    So why is it that conventionally breeding a poisonous potato gets no mentions, but the least hint of any GM crop having even a speculative problem hits world headlines?
    There are many concerns about GM crops including the politics of the main patent holder, that these GM seeds are NOT as drought resistant and productive as ordinary varieties and that several weeds are now demonstrating resistance to glyphosate, the the active ingredient of Monsanto's herbicide Roundup.

    Controversies

    Some of the many controversies related to the use of Roundup Ready (RR) crops are illustrated by the testimony of Troy Roush, an Indiana farmer, before Congress in 2010: [23]
    "I have been using genetically engineered (GE) soybeans since 2000, when a lawsuit for patent infringement against my family was dismissed by Monsanto. After having endured two years of costly litigation that took its toll on my family, we decided that, in order to protect ourselves from future baseless lawsuits, we would make the conversion to biotech crops and began using Roundup Ready (RR) varieties for our non-organic crops. "During the first few years we were able to rely exclusively on RR technology for weed management, applying glyphosate for burndown and again to eliminate weed pressure after the crop emerge. However, due to problems with glyphosate tolerant weeds, the skyrocketing costs of RR seeds and the price premiums being paid for non-GE soybeans, we have since returned to using conventional varieties on approximately half of our 2,600 soybean acres. The diminishing effectiveness of glyphosate, as demonstrated in the dramatic increase in glyphosate tolerant weeds, destroyed any benefit from the technology. "Fortunately, Indiana enacted Farmer Protection laws in 2002 after my lawsuit with Monsanto to prohibit patent infringement cases where small amounts of GE content is detected in crops and fields. Without those protections, our return to conventional soybean production would have brought with it the potential of significant risk of patent infringement liability. "In 2005, we first began to encounter problems with glyphosate resistance in marestail and lambsquarter in both our soybean and corn crops. Since there had been considerable discussion in the agricultural press about weeds developing resistance or tolerance to Roundup, I contacted a Monsanto weed scientist to discuss the problems I was experiencing on the farm and what could be done to eradicate the problematic weeds. Despite well documented proof that glyphosate tolerant weeds were becoming a significant problem, the Monsanto scientist denied that resistance existed and instructed me to increase my application rates. "The increase in application rates proved ineffectual, and I was forced to turn to alternative methods for weed management including the use of tillage and other chemistry. In 2007, the weed problems had gotten so severe that we turned to an ALS inhibitor marketed as Canopy to alleviate the problem in our preplant, burndown herbicide application. In 2008, we were forced to include the use of 2,4D and an ALS residual, to our herbicide programs. Like most farmers, we are very sensitive to environmental issues and we were very reluctant to return to using tillage and more toxic herbicides for weed control. However, no other solutions were then or are now readily available to eradicate the weed problems caused by development of glyphosate resistance.... "As I mentioned earlier, I have now returned to the use of conventional soybean varieties for about 1/2 of my total acreage. That proportion of acreage will increase if supply of quality conventional seed varieties increases. While conventional soybean varieties have been very difficult to find, a number of small, independent seed companies are now beginning to respond to the demand. This year, I was able to find convention seeds from a small seed company that sources germplasm from an Ohio breeding program that allowed me to increase acreage in conventional varieties." This testimony highlights: 1) intimidation and legal threats by Monsanto against farmers 2) lack of availability of high quality non-GMO seeds 3) the problem of glyphosate resistant weeds resulting from the use of RR crops and the resulting overuse of Roundup and 4) questions over the claim that use of RR crops reduces or eliminates the use of more toxic herbicides.
    A lot of related content and links to be found at Roundup Ready Crops - SourceWatch
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    When you use a pesticide, a common consequence is the development of pesticide resistance. This is not the fault of the GM crop. Just of spraying a pesticide.

    GM in crops is a tool. No more. No less. It is a very useful tool, which is demonstrated by its widespread adoption, and the fact that today there is more than a billion hectares of GM crops in the ground.

    The problem, as I said, is politics. There are many extremists in this world who believe, superstitiously, that anything 'unnatural' must be bad. These people prejudge anything GM with the fallacious 'logic' that GM crops are unnatural, and therefore they must be harmful. As I said, this is superstition. A proper scientific approach is to thoroughly test things you are not sure of, and make the final judgment based on empirical test results. When this is done, most GM crops come out looking good.
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    I agree that the problem is political, but it is not just because some people blindly reject it as not being natural. It is also political in the arena that scheherazade and Zwolver are hinting at: MONEY. I'm all for GM, even for humans, but I'm a little dubious about patenting genes and proteins. Starts to sound like Apple trying to copyright a rounded corner. Just silly. Just for money.
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    Quote Originally Posted by merrychristmas View Post
    I am sure that genetically modified humans will never happen. You see how far cloning went after dolly the lamb? it's gone nowhere because laws will prohibit such scientific undertakings. They don't even let new kinds of potentially usefull plants into the country easily.
    Actually, there was a doctor in Greece trying to clone a human back in 2004. Didn't succeed, mind you, but the research is still being done.
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaL View Post
    I agree that the problem is political, but it is not just because some people blindly reject it as not being natural. It is also political in the arena that scheherazade and Zwolver are hinting at: MONEY. I'm all for GM, even for humans, but I'm a little dubious about patenting genes and proteins. Starts to sound like Apple trying to copyright a rounded corner. Just silly. Just for money.
    Indeed. Farmers are constantly on the lookout for ways to increase the productivity and quality of their crop but there is evidence that the GM crops are not proving as resilient as expected to changing weather conditions.

    The matter of who owns the seed is far more serious than most people may be aware. The seeds of this planet are the heritage of all humans and in patenting and promoting the GM seeds, we are losing diversity that may be essential to our future and giving up control of our seed base to seed companies and governments. Seed companies are motivated by profit and governments change and with them, their policy.

    I would like to retain my right to choice of what I eat, not have it dictated by the parties named above.

    The jury on GM is still out, IMO, because the long term results are not yet determined. For that reason, many people just want clearly stated labeling so that they can make informed decisions. If GM is all that it's proponents believe, then this simple advertising strategy is their best tool. That they are resisting the call to label clearly only increases concern in the public mind.

    The plea that it is too expensive to do so is horse-feathers. Trot out the data and let the public vote with their wallets.

    Keep GM seed on a leash until it has passed probation and take measures to ensure that it does not contaminate conventional and organic farms.
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    Seed diversity is not a problem. There are seed gene banks set up in a number of countries, and literally thousands of strains of crop plants are being preserved.

    GM crops not being resilient?
    Not true. A GM crop plant is exactly the same as the non GM crop plant except for a small number of specified genetic changes. If the parent crop plant has defects, so will the GM crop plant derived from it, but the fault is not in the genetic modification.

    Labeling?
    The reason companies are reluctant to label GM foods is simply because most people are superstitious, and the companies will lose market share due to that superstition. I see their point.

    GM foods have now been big time on world markets for over 15 years. Billions of people have eaten GM foods. They are not in some kind of trial period. They passed beyond that many years back.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Seed diversity is not a problem. There are seed gene banks set up in a number of countries, and literally thousands of strains of crop plants are being preserved.

    GM crops not being resilient?
    Not true. A GM crop plant is exactly the same as the non GM crop plant except for a small number of specified genetic changes. If the parent crop plant has defects, so will the GM crop plant derived from it, but the fault is not in the genetic modification.
    Farmings Systems Trials would seem to indicate otherwise. (See below.)

    Labeling?
    The reason companies are reluctant to label GM foods is simply because most people are superstitious, and the companies will lose market share due to that superstition. I see their point.
    If their data was as good as they claim it to be, that should not be a concern. From what I have read, the politics is strong and the research is questionable otherwise why not bare all? People are not superstitious so much as they are concerned and skeptical of the policies and process, with cause, IMO.

    GM foods have now been big time on world markets for over 15 years. Billions of people have eaten GM foods. They are not in some kind of trial period. They passed beyond that many years back.
    The fact that people have not been kept informed of this infiltration of their food supply is precisely why they are unhappy. Their right to make an informed choice for any number of reasons, has been compromised. Hopefully that will change. Put the details out there and allow this matter to be decided by fair public process instead of this cloak and dagger policy.

    30 Years of the Farming Systems Trial: Yields | Rodale Institute

    GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROPS According to the Department of Agriculture, 94% of all soybeans and 72% of all corn currently grown in the United States are genetically modified to be herbicide-tolerant or express pesticides within the crop. So, in 2008, genetically modified (GM) corn and soybeans were introduced to FST to better represent agriculture in America. GM varieties were incorporated into all the conventional plots.
    We incorporated the GM crops to reflect current American agriculture, rather than to specifically study their performance. Our data only encompasses three years, but the research being done in the community at large highlights some of the clear weaknesses of GM crops:


      • Farmers who cultivated GM varieties earned less money over a 14-year period than those who continued to grow non-GM crops according to a study from the University of Minnesota.




      • Traditional plant breeding and farming methods have increased yields of major grain crops three to four times more than GM varieties despite huge investments of public and private dollars in biotech research.




      • There are 197 species of herbicide resistant weeds, many of which can be linked directly back to GM crops, and the list keeps growing.




      • GM crops have led to an explosion in herbicide-use as resistant crops continue to emerge. In particular, the EPA approved a 20-fold increase in how much glyphosate (Roundup®) residue is allowed in our food in response to escalating concentrations.

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  18. #17  
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    To scheherazade

    I must warn you of anything published by the Rodale Institute. This organisation is little more than a marketing arm of the multi-billion dollar organic food industry. They were set up and financed by that industry in order to generate "data" that could be used to make organic food look good and to discredit such things as GM food. In other words, what they publish is mostly bullsh!t.

    If you want to quote science in relation to this issue, I suggest you look for reputable material.
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    @skeptic

    Here is some more 'bullshit'. You are welcome to post some peer reviewed evidence to the contrary.

    Peer Reviewed Scientific Publications on the Farming Systems Trial
    1. Anonymous 2006. Organics outperform conventional in long running trial (summary of Pimentel 2005 article in Bioscience 2005, 55 pp 573-582). Pesticide News 71, pp 18-19.
    2. Buyer, J., and L. Drinkwater. 1997. Comparison of substrate utilization assay and fatty acid analysis of soil microbial communities. Journal of Microbiological Methods 30: 3-11
    3. Buyer, J., and D. Kaufman. 1997. Microbial diversity in the rhizosphere of corn grown under conventional and low-input systems Applied Soil Ecology 5(1): 21-27.
    4. Dabbert S. and P. Madden. 1986. The transition to organic agriculture: A multi-year simulation model of a Pennsylvania farm. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. Vol 1, No. 3. The transition to organic agriculture : a multi-year simulation model of a Pennsylvania farm
    5. Doran, J., Fraser D., Culik, M., and W. Liebhardt. 1987. Influence of alternative and conventional agricultural management on soil microbial processes and nitrogen availability. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture. Vol. II, No 3:99-106.
    6. Douds, D., Janke, R., and S. Peters. 1993. VAM fungus spore populations and colonization of roots of maize and soybean under conventional and low-input sustainable agriculture. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 43:325-335.
    7. Douds, D., and P. Millner. 1999. Biodiversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal fungi in Agroecosystems. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 74:77-93
    8. Drinkwater, L., Cambardella, C., Reeder, J., and C. Rice. 1996. Potentially Mineralizable Nitrogen as an Indicator of Biologically Active Soil Nitrogen. Soil Science Society of America, Special Publication 49:217-229
    9. Drinkwater, L. 2002. Cropping systems research. HortTechnology 12(3):355-361.
    10. Drinkwater, L., Janke, R., and L. Rossoni-Longnecker. 2000. Effect of tillage and intensity on nitrogen dynamics and productivity in legume based grain systems. Plant and Soil 227(2):99-113.
    11. Drinkwater, L.E., Wagoner, P. and M. Sarrantonio. 1998. Legume-based cropping systems have reduced carbon and nitrogen losses. Nature 396: 262-265.
    12. Frank-Snyder, M., Douds, D., Galvez, L., Phillips, J., Wagoner, P., Drinkwater, L., and J. Morton. 2001. Diversity of communities of Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi present in conventional versus low input agricultural sites in eastern PA, USA Applied Soil Ecology 16:35-48.
    13. Fricks, B. Kaye, J. and R. Seidel. 2009. Abiotic nitrate retention in agroecosystems and a forest soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 73:1137-1141.
    14. Hanson, J., Johnson, D., Peters, S., and R. Janke. 1990. The Profitability of Sustainable Agriculture on a Representative Grain Farm in the Mid-Atlantic Region, 1981-89. Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 19(2):90-98
    15. Hanson, J., Lichtenberg, E., and S. Peters. 1997. Organic versus conventional grain production in the mid-Atlantic: An economic overview and farming system overview. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12(1):2-9
    16. Hanson, J.C. and W.N. Musser. 2003. An economic evaluation of an organic grain rotation with regards to profit and risk. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland, Working Paper 03-10.
    17. Harris, G., Hesterman, O., Paul, E., Peters, S., and R. Janke. 1994. Fate of Legume and Fertilizer Nitrogen-15 in a Long-Term Cropping Systems Experiment. Agronomy Journal 1994, 86:910-915
    18. Hepperly, P., Douds, D. and R. Seidel. 2006. The Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial 1981 to 2005: Long Term Analysis of Organic and Conventional Maize and Soybean Cropping Systems. Long-term Field Experiments in Organic Farming. Verlag Dr. Koester, Berlin. pp15-31. ISBN 3-89574-590-1
    19. Hepperly P, Seidel R., Pimentel D., Hanson J. and D. Douds. 2007. Organic Farming Enhances Soil Carbon and its Benefits. Soil Carbon Management. Economic, Environmental and Societal Benefits. CRC Press. pp 129-153. ISBN 1-4200-4407-9
    20. Jaenicke, E., and L. Drinkwater. 1999. Sources of productivity growth during transition to alternative cropping systems. Agriculture Resources Economic Review 28(2):169-181.
    21. Liebhardt, W., Andrews, R., Culik, M., Harwood, R., Janke, R., Radke, J., and S. Rieger-Schwartz. 1989. Crop Production During Conversion from Conventional to Low-Input Methods. Agronomy Journal 81(2):150-159
    22. Lotter, D., Seidel, R., and W. Liebhardt. 2003. The performance of organic and conventional cropping systems in an extreme climate year. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 18(3):146-154.
    23. Marriott E. and M. Wander. 2006. Total and Labile Soil Organic Matter in Organic and Conventional Farming Systems. Soil Sci. Soc. Am J. 70:950-959.
    24. Marriott E. and M. Wander. 2006. Qualitative and quantitative differences in particulate organic matter fractions in organic and conventional farming systems. Soil Biology and Biochemistry Vol 38, Issue 7, July 2006, 1527-1536.
    25. McCarthy John. 2005. Carbon fluxes in soil: Long-term sequestration in deeper soil horizons. Journal of Geographical Sciences 15,2: 149-154
    26. Moyer, J., Saporito, L., and R. Janke. 1996. Design, Construction, and Installation of an Intact Soil Core Lysimeter. Agronomy Journal 88(2):253-256.
    27. Pallant, E., Lansky, D., Rio, J., Jacobs, L., Schuler, G., and W. Whimpenny. 1997. Growth of corn roots under low-input and conventional farming systems. American Journal of Alternative Agriculture 12(4):173-177.
    28. Peters, S. 1991. Organic and conventional beyond transition. Organic and conventional beyond transition
    29. Peters, S., Wander, M., Saporito, L., Harris, G., and D. Friedman. 1997. Management Impacts on SOM and Related Soil Properties in a Long-Term Farming Systems Trial in Pennsylvania: 1981-1991 in Soil Organic Matter in Temperate Acroecosystems; Long-Term Experiments in North America, Paul,E., Paustian, K., Elliott, E., and C. Cole (eds.), CRC Press.
    30. Pimentel, D. 2006. Impacts of organic farming on the efficiency of energy use in agriculture. An Organic Center State of Science Review.
    http://www.organic-center.org/report...ENERGY_SSR.pdf
    31. Pimentel, D., Hepperly P., Hanson, J, Douds, D., and R. Seidel. 2005. Environmental, Energetic, and Economic Comparisons of Organic and Conventional Farming Systems. Bioscience 55 (7): 573-582.
    32. Pimentel, D., Hepperly P, Hanson J, and R. Seidel. Organic and Conventional Farming Systems: Environmental and Economic Issues. Environmental Biology.
    http://dspace.library.cornell.edu/bi...eport_05-1.pdf
    33. Puget, P., and L. Drinkwater. 2001. Short term dynamics of root- and shoot- derived carbon from leguminous green manure. Soil Science Society of America 65(3):771-779.
    34. Radke, J., Andrews, R., Janke, R., and S. Peters. 1988. Low-Input Cropping Systems and Efficiency of Water and Nitrogen Use. ASA-CSSA-SSSA. Cropping Strategies for Efficient Use of Water and Nitrogen, Special Publication no. 51: 193-217.
    35. Ryan, M., Mortensen D., Bastiaans, L., Teasdale J., Mirsky S.; Curran, W., Seidel, R., Wilson, D. and P. Hepperly. 2009. Elucidating the apparent maize tolerance to weed competition in long-term organically managed systems. Weed Research 50, 25–36.
    36. Ryan, M., Smith, R., Mortensen, D., Teasdale, J., Curran, W., Seidel, R., and D. Shumway. 2009. Weed-Crop Competition Relationships Differ between Organic and Conventional Cropping Systems. Weed Research 49, 572–580
    37. Ryan, M.R., Smith, R., Mirsky, S.B., Mortensen, D.A., Seidel, R. 2010. Management filters and species traits: Weed community assembly in long-term organic and conventional systems. Weed Science. 58(3):265-277
    38. Tonitto, C., C. Li, R.Seidel and L. Drinkwater. 2010. Application of the DNDC model to the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial: challenges for the validation of drainage and nitrate leaching in agroecosystem models. Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems 1385-1314.
    39. Ullrich Silke D., Jeffrey S. Buyer, Michel A. Cavigelli, Rita Seidel, and John R. Teasdale. 2011. Weed Seed Persistence and Microbial Abundance in Long-Term Organic and Conventional Cropping Systems. Weed Science 2011 59:202–209.
    40. Wander, M., and L. Drinkwater. 2000. Fostering soil stewardship through soil quality assessment. Applied Soil Ecology 15(1):61-73.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    The regulation process is questionable to many. In politics, there is no trust.

    Is Regulation Too Soft?

    So you might ask, what's the big deal? The U.S. government wouldn't allow a product on the market without strict testing and approval, right? It seems genetically modified foods are a bit of a scientific anomaly, a creature that U.S. regulation agencies aren't quite sure how to efficiently manage.

    Regulation for genetically modified foods falls under three jurisdictions: The FDA, EPA, and USDA. But industry experts say the green light on market approval is left mostly to the companies creating the technology. Monsanto Co. dominates the industry, accounting for a 90% share of genetically modified crops worldwide. Dow Chemical Company and Syngenta AG, among others, control the rest.
    Despite differing opinions on genetically modified food safety, most experts agree on one point: The regulation system is flawed.
    "Clearly I think the regulation system in the U.S. could be greatly improved," says Gregory Jaffe, director of the Biotechnology Project at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a nonprofit, public advocacy group that supports the use of this biotechnology. But he says a CSPI study released in January 2003 showed that biotech companies don't always voluntarily comply with federal requirements.
    "They did not do state-of-the-art tests when they needed to do those. In some instances they had errors in their submissions, and the agency did not do a thorough review of those. Our view is that there should be a mandatory, premarket approval process by the FDA before biotech foods go on the market; that the public is entitled to have the FDA determining that the food is safe and not relying on [companies such as] Monsanto telling us the food is safe."
    The FDA litmus test for genetically modified food safety is based on a policy that states genetically modified foods are substantially equivalent to non-modified foods.
    "No serious scientist in the world would stand behind that unless they're on the payroll of the biotech companies. If they're substantially equivalent, why do these companies have a patent on them?" says Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association and author of the book, Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers. "You can summarize it in three words: [Genetically modified foods] are unpredictable, they are untested, and they are unlabeled."
    Monsanto states that genetically modified foods are "more thoroughly tested than any other food on the grocer's shelves to date" and "there have been no adverse effects documented from food produced from biotech crops." Among industry supporters of this technology are heavy hitters such as the American Medical Association.
    Genetically Modified Foods (Biotech Foods) Pros and Cons
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I've observed an increase in labeling at the store where products are voluntarily stating the absence of GM organisms or artificial additives, major allergens etc.

    I rather expect this debate will be decided in the marketplace with or without the co-operation of government and the GM patent holders. At least one can identify whether the produce they are buying is GM, Organic or conventional by means of PLU codes.

    Four digit codes are conventionally grown.
    Five digit with leading digit being '9' is organically grown.
    Five digit with leading digit being '8' indicates genetically modified produce.

    At this time of year, the produce by our local growers flies off the shelf because anyone can drive out and observe exactly how this food is grown, local people work there, and any questionable practices would soon be disseminated by the 'moccasin telegraph'.
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    I buy local if possible NOT because I care about the food being genetically modified, but because I hate the idea that some asshat thought he could copyright a gene (and succeeded!). It's ridiculous, says I. Can't boycott it entirely because I eat out a lot and I'm not going to start asking the wait staff "where is that broccoli from?" but for the things I buy to take home, I like to buy local.

    Tangential: if you guys like sci-fi then I highly recommend The Windup Girl, set in futuristic Thailand. Extraordinary book full of political intrigue, corporate espionage, and of course genetic modification. Absolutely fantastic.
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

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    Scheherazade

    Your reference noted that the American Medical Assn supported GM foods. Those guys are not idiots. There are many other supporters, including the British Royal Society and even the Pontifical Academy of Science (Catholic Church).

    You need to be very careful of who you quote if you want to oppose GM. Most opposing web sites are either total crackpot or bordering on crackpot, or supported by conflicting commercial interests.

    And certainly there are a lot of companies that put labels on their food saying it is free from GM ingredients. That is not a service to their customers. It is an advertising ploy. They are tapping into the superstitious nonsense that opposes GM.

    It was interesting to see the immediate and vehement opposition of the organic food industry to GM foods when they first appeared, and ever since. The reason for this, of course, is that many GM foods are grown without pesticide sprays. This is tapping immediately into the main advertising claim for organic, and makes GM foods a direct competitor. The multi-billion dollar organic food industry acted to try to discredit GM foods, at which they have produced lots of very successful bullsh!t. Myriads of claims of harm from GM foods, all of which are based on nothing. But it has still created a lot of suspicion and confusion among members of the public who have no way of judging that it is basically all lies and innuendo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    And certainly there are a lot of companies that put labels on their food saying it is free from GM ingredients. That is not a service to their customers. It is an advertising ploy.
    Reminds me of how companies put FAT FREE on something like a piece of candy. Uh... OK, it might not have any fat in it, but that is obviously not why you're shouting this at me. You're implying or hoping to imply that this candy is not quite as unhealthy as that other candy over there. The fact that it has no fat has nothing to do with the calories, etc, etc... Classic marketing BS.
    "The only appropriate attitude for man to have about the big questions is... doubt. Doubt is humble, and that's what man needs to be, considering that human history is just a litany of getting sh*t dead wrong."

    Take two of these and call me in the morning
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    There is one thing we agree one, skeptic, and that is that there is a lot of B.S. out there, by all parties concerned.

    The organic people are quite concerned about losing their certification if GM foods drift and cross-pollinate their fields. There seems to be no satisfactory means to address the concern of contamination because open pollination is nature's method of dispersing and hybridizing, aided by the foraging and movement of birds and mammals.

    I don't expect to change the mind of any who have entrenched positions by what I post but I have worked closely enough inside government to know that all is not as it seems. It has taken me a considerable number of years to become this cynical, lol...

    Let the people do their own research, make their own choices and let government give the people all of the information on this topic when it is requested.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Originally posted by skeptic:

    You need to be very careful of who you quote if you want to oppose GM.
    It is not that I oppose GM, skeptic, it is that I have reservations about patenting seeds and who controls their distribution and long term effects on the ecosystem.

    Frankly, I am far less concerned about this generation of people than I am about the legacy of diversity and a healthy environment for future generations of all species.
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  27. #26  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    The organic people are quite concerned about losing their certification if GM foods drift and cross-pollinate their fields.
    The solution to that one is obvious and very, very easy.
    Simply change the certification requirements. Since there are no credible reasons for suspecting GM food, what the hell does it matter if some part of 'organic' food turn out to be GM? This "problem" is self generated by the organic food industry, and is simply another part of their campaign to hold back a competitor technology.

    On patenting seeds - that is a separate issue. While GM seeds are among those patented, they are only a small part. Every year, large numbers of conventionally bred seeds are also patented. This is an issue of law, not science, or agricultural science. I am not a lawyer and I do not hold a strong opinion one way or another about such patents.

    Your concern about legacy of diversity and healthy environment seems to have little to do with GM. Whether farmers plant GM seeds, or conventionally bred seeds, those issues remain the same.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    Your reference noted that the American Medical Assn supported GM foods. Those guys are not idiots. There are many other supporters, including the British Royal Society and even the Pontifical Academy of Science (Catholic Church).

    You need to be very careful of who you quote if you want to oppose GM. Most opposing web sites are either total crackpot or bordering on crackpot, or supported by conflicting commercial interests.

    And certainly there are a lot of companies that put labels on their food saying it is free from GM ingredients. That is not a service to their customers. It is an advertising ploy. They are tapping into the superstitious nonsense that opposes GM.

    It was interesting to see the immediate and vehement opposition of the organic food industry to GM foods when they first appeared, and ever since. The reason for this, of course, is that many GM foods are grown without pesticide sprays. This is tapping immediately into the main advertising claim for organic, and makes GM foods a direct competitor. The multi-billion dollar organic food industry acted to try to discredit GM foods, at which they have produced lots of very successful bullsh!t. Myriads of claims of harm from GM foods, all of which are based on nothing. But it has still created a lot of suspicion and confusion among members of the public who have no way of judging that it is basically all lies and innuendo.
    The claims about reduced pesticide use are being challenged. I expect you will be dismissive of the organization but the analysis is based on widely accepted USDA data.

    New Benbrook data blow away claims of pesticide reduction due to GM crops Wednesday, 04 July 2012 12:02 – Courtesy of GM Watch
    Data presented at a conference by Dr Charles Benbrook analyse pesticide use on GM and non-GM equivalent crops over the first 16 years of use, from 1996 to 2011. The analysis is based on widely accepted USDA data.
    Crops considered are herbicide-tolerant corn, soy, and cotton; Bt corn varieties engineered to resist corn rootworm and European corn borer pests; and Bt cotton.
    Benbrook’s new data challenge “conventional wisdom” on GM crops and pesticide use. Dozens of papers in peer-reviewed journals assert GM crops reduce pesticide use, either based on no data or proprietary surveys of “representative fields”. Scientists repeat the claim in professional meetings and policy venues and lack of independent analyses by government or university experts allows the claim to go unchallenged, despite growing evidence to the contrary.
    Institute for Responsible Technology -
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    scheherazade

    That is a popular misconception.

    It is not that GM crops reduce pesticide use in toto.
    It is that GM crops reduce the use of the worst pesticides.

    The big one is glyphosate resistant crops. These actually increase the use of glyphosate. However, such crops use only glyphosate, which is environmentally much friendlier than other popular herbicides such as atrazine, and pretty much harmless to humans. If you double the use of glyphosate, while cutting atrazine use almost to zero, the environment is the winner.

    There are also insect resistant crops such as Bt cotton. Cotton grown in places like India and China are subject to boll weevil infestation, and the poor cotton farmers use back pack sprayers to spread really nasty insecticides. However, being poor, they cannot buy proper safety equipment such as full body suits to protect them. End result is literally hundreds of cotton farmers hospitalised each year with insecticide poisoning. The Bt cotton, however, is partially resistant to cotton boll weevil. Thus, while insecticide spraying continues, it is cut at least 5 fold. This means far fewer farmers suffering insecticide poisoning.

    If you total up all pesticides used on GM crops, including glyphosate, you will find no apparent benefit. However, if you total up the amount of nasty pesticides used, the GM crops cut these very dramatically.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see what the outcome of Proposition 37 is come voting day. I was not aware of this initiative until tonight.

    The opposition to this proposition is certainly well funded and I note with interest the list of corporate backers that are backing Monsanto.

    Of greater interest is the fact that Monsanto supported labeling in England in the 1990's yet opposes labeling now. What gives there?

    California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food (2012) - Ballotpedia
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    "Of greater interest is the fact that Monsanto supported labeling in England in the 1990's yet opposes labeling now. What gives there?"

    Probably marketing--that would be my guess. They might that thought the new tech would be welcome and attractive--instead they've lost the PR battle against the alarmist and mostly false claims that organic foods are better for you.
    Meteorologist/Naturalist & Retired Soldier
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Out of concern for genetically modified organisms and because many feel that the long term effects have not yet been adequately evaluated, people often seek out 'organic' products thinking that they will be choosing a better option for their health. 'Organic' is the latest consumer trend and this label is being attached to a great number of processed foods, especially cereals because it is a great marketing tool. The information at the following link compares how a number of the big name 'organic' brands stack up and interestingly, a great many of them contain GMO crops, the very thing that people are hoping to avoid by selecting organic choices.

    I was pleased to note that the two products that I use in this household are on the top billing, made by Nature's Path.

    Very disappointing to see how many of these other big names are in our store, riding the organic wave but not delivering on the promise.

    The Cornucopia Institute
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    Scheherazade

    The belief that GM foods are unhealthy is pure superstition. There is no scientific data showing any harm to human health from eating food where the harm comes from the fact that the food is GM.

    If you offered me a choice between non GM food, and 100% GM food, where the GM food was 5% cheaper, I would go for the GM. I reject the bullsh!t claims of the superstitious. I repeat, there is no scientifically credible data to show any harm whatever from food being GM.
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    If you offered me a choice between non GM food, and 100% GM food, where the GM food was 5% cheaper, I would go for the GM.
    I wouldn't be so cavalier. I'd want to find out what kind of genetic alteration.

    Anything that modifies in favour of amplifying antibiotic content or promoting antibiotic resistance in animals I'd be wary of. (But not so wary that I saved the relevant comment that a botanist put on another site I was visiting. I'll think about where it came from and get a good reference if I can.)
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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    Adelady

    The main antibiotic marker used in GM crops is ampicillin. The anti-GM crowd have tried to say that this will increase the incidence of ampicillin resistance in gut bacteria, by gene transfer. However, studies have shown that 80% of all people in the western world have ampicillin resistant bacteria in their alimentary canal already. Any gene transfer is already happening wholesale, with or without GM foods.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    But i'm not for anything involving in genetically increasing human potential. Although i see a lot of opportunities, there will also be a lot of problems. People will divide up, the rich will get most benefits, the poor will be left, ready to die. The environment will not be changed, we will be changed to better coop with toxins. We should not try to get rid of the problems, we should get rid of the reason to these problems.
    Ugh: "look at this thing I've invented. I call it an an ax. You can use it to kill bigger prey animals quite easily."
    Agh: "That's a dreadful idea. Not everyone will have an axe or know how to use it. Some people will get to live an easy life and eat well and the rest of us will be third class."
    Ugh: "Well, how about this. If I strike this stone against another one I can start a fire. It can keep us warm at night and food tastes better when you heat it up."
    Agh: "That's a dreadful idea. You can burn yourself on fire and what if the whole forest catches fire? We would have nowhere to live."
    etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    But i'm not for anything involving in genetically increasing human potential. Although i see a lot of opportunities, there will also be a lot of problems. People will divide up, the rich will get most benefits, the poor will be left, ready to die. The environment will not be changed, we will be changed to better coop with toxins. We should not try to get rid of the problems, we should get rid of the reason to these problems.
    Ugh: "look at this thing I've invented. I call it an an ax. You can use it to kill bigger prey animals quite easily."
    Agh: "That's a dreadful idea. Not everyone will have an axe or know how to use it. Some people will get to live an easy life and eat well and the rest of us will be third class."
    Ugh: "Well, how about this. If I strike this stone against another one I can start a fire. It can keep us warm at night and food tastes better when you heat it up."
    Agh: "That's a dreadful idea. You can burn yourself on fire and what if the whole forest catches fire? We would have nowhere to live."
    etc.
    Ingh: "I found this plant, and if i eat some of it's leaves, it simply makes me feel all wonderfull inside, and when i take more of it, it'll make me feel like i can fight a bear."
    Angh: "Why don't you keep this discovery to yourself, and stop using it, until you understand all of it's effects, before you actually start deliriously starting to fight a bear, a fight you will lose."
    Ingh: "Then what about these blueberries, that when i throw them at something, it simply dissolves it."
    Angh: "I worry about everyone using these things on everyone, there would be nobody left if we all used these."
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  38. #37  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope sculptor's Avatar
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    my main bitch against GMOs is that the roundup ready gmos use roundup which has the surfactant polyethoxylated tallowamine
    which lasts in frog ponds for over a year(from a Canadien study) and kills most amphibian species.
    It's deadlier than the glyphosate

    here's some from one study saying roughly the same thing. It is easy to find a dozen more.

    Relyea found that Roundup® caused a 70 percent decline in amphibian biodiversity and an 86 percent decline in the total mass of tadpoles. Leopard frog tadpoles and gray tree frog tadpoles were completely eliminated and wood frog tadpoles and toad tadpoles were nearly eliminated. One species of frog, spring peepers, was unaffected.

    “The most shocking insight coming out of this was that Roundup®, something designed to kill plants, was extremely lethal to amphibians,” said Relyea, who conducted the research at Pitt’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology. “We added Roundup®, and the next day we looked in the tanks and there were dead tadpoles all over the bottom.”
    "what kills one of gods children ain't no good for the rest"
    It's your world. Choose how you wish to live(or die) in it.
    Instead of eating a roundup ready GMO, why don't you just take a machine gun out to the frogpond, and blast a vew.
    Or, you could use dynamite, hand grenades, axes, sledge hammers, or .................
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    Quote Originally Posted by sculptor View Post
    "what kills one of gods children ain't no good for the rest"
    Say what?

    If ones survival means the death of others. And actually it does. It means that just to live, means your a killer.

    All the bugs i stomp accidently on in my lifetime, are combined heavier then myself.

    I eat about 400 times my own weight in meat in my lifetime.

    If i breathe, my exaust fumes negate the existence of lifeforms that are more sensitive to carbondioxide then myself.

    About 100.000.000 trillion microorganisms die in my colon in just a year.

    If i buy 1 can of tuna, i'll kill about 1 fish that got stuck in the nets with it.

    My shoes are made from rubber, plastic etc. To transport it, harvest it, or mine it, wildlife had to move, and eventually die. The garbage disposed from the factories that created these shoes, also killed thousands of critters, and are a continuous scourge to the entire world.

    For simply living, i am a killer. I don't like it. As it wasn't me who made the decision to be a killer. The choice was made during the ages, the past, my ancestors.

    I only wish that i can help the world in one way, to kill a little less, and help a little more then is expected from me.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  40. #39  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    The belief that GM foods are unhealthy is pure superstition. There is no scientific data showing any harm to human health from eating food where the harm comes from the fact that the food is GM.

    If you offered me a choice between non GM food, and 100% GM food, where the GM food was 5% cheaper, I would go for the GM. I reject the bullsh!t claims of the superstitious. I repeat, there is no scientifically credible data to show any harm whatever from food being GM.
    My point in posting to this thread once again was merely to demonstrate how commercial interests and politics have clouded the issue. It's all about the public's right to know so that they can make their own informed choices when purchasing. GM and government has basically let itself down by taking the paternal view that 'we know best' when history shows otherwise in a great many cases.

    Interesting to me that the first GM food was a tomato, was labelled as such and was very well received so what went wrong?

    First, the world’s first commercially available GE food, Calgene’s Flavr Savr„¢ tomato, was labeled. Back in 1994, stickers on plastic-wrapped packages informed shoppers that the tomatoes contained in them had been “Grown From Genetically Modified Seeds.” An accompanying tomato-shaped brochure explained the process and gave an 800 number for consumers who wanted still more information.
    Second, those labeled GE tomatoes were favorably received by the public. They were so popular for a time that one grocer took to rationing them — two tomatoes per person per day. Transparency was evidently good for both buyers and sellers of the world’s first GE food.
    But no GE food has been labeled in the United States since the Flavr Savr tomato. For nearly 18 years, even though poll after poll has indicated that the public wants these products labeled, transparency about GE foods has gone missing in U.S. grocery stores. Capitalism and the U.S. regulatory system for dealing with the food products of genetic engineering have let Americans down.
    Belinda Martineau: A Scientist Says Yes on Prop 37 to Label Genetically Engineered Food | Cornucopia Institute
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  41. #40  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwolver View Post
    Say what?... .
    What?

    ........

    (OK, i have a freezer 1/2 full of animals that I have murdered for my eating pleasure-------intentional killing seems a tad less offensive than inadvertent slaughter)
    Last edited by sculptor; November 5th, 2012 at 09:40 AM.
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    scheherazade

    As I said before, the organic food industry declared war on GM foods, and did so very successfully, to the extent that most people today think that GM foods are harmful to their health. They have no idea why, and no concept of any rational reason for that belief. But that is the result of advertising, propaganda, and other such bullsh!t. The truth, as I pointed out, is that no harm is there.

    The sad thing is that producers of food with GM components now have to fight tooth and nail to stop any requirement to label them, because most of their customers will stop buying, because of their false beliefs about harm from GM.

    People call it a 'consumers right to know'. But do the consumers not also have a right to the truth? A right not to receive bullsh!t lies from those who stand to make money from promulgating falsehoods?
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  43. #42  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I'm still wondering what transpired between the first genetically modified tomatoes being received positively and the situation as it currently stands today? Where did the train jump the track? The organic movement is relatively small in numbers and the observable statistics that show big names buying up as many organic companies as possible demonstrates that this issue seems to be far more about economics and politics than anything else.

    As far as cow droppings go, I am not impressed that many of the big names are undermining the organic label by marketing product that is not accurate in what it is offering.

    I do not expect you to change your position skeptic although I may well be more skeptical than your forum name suggests. One certainly needs hip waders in trying to sort out the facts from the fiction. I used to think that the tree-huggers and health nuts in these parts were just blowing smoke also but the more I read and research, they come across as not being so far out to lunch as I earlier credited them with being.

    I have also worked close enough with government to state that if you buy into everything they and their 'studies' are promoting to know that one does not get an accurate picture either.

    I remain interested in the outcome of tomorrow's vote in California. If money carries the day, Proposition 37 is seriously out-gunned but one can never predict what the voting public will do.
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  44. #43  
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    Where did the train jump the track?
    I think it's mainly cultural. A move away from anything 'science-y' is good of early to mid 20th century. I remember getting a real jolt watching tv last year. It was something about modernising (or somesuch) India. One older bloke, no way to judge whether he was 55 or 75, said eagerly that India was now a modern country like those others. We've got nuclear weapons!!

    It reminded me of my grandfather, born before 1900, who had similar unquestioning enthusiasm about the universal goodness of any and every large or little thing that 'science' and 'modernism' had given us.

    We're now on a too large swing of the pendulum the other way.
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
    "nature is like a game of Jenga; you never know which brick you pull out will cause the whole stack to collapse" Lucy Cooke
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  45. #44  
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    To scheherazade.

    You pointed out that the Favr Savr tomato was well received. Yes it was. That was before the profoundly negative propaganda was fired out.

    And the organic movement is not small. The organic food industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. They know that GM foods are a major threat, so they never let up on the negative and lying propaganda. Of course, they have allies in organisations like Greenpeace, and all the 'nature is good, and anything artificial is bad' movements.

    On being skeptical.
    Being a skeptic does not mean being a non believer. What it means, instead, is basing your belief system on good science - credible, empirical and objective evidence. I am a skeptic because I am an evidence freak. I look for the evidence behind claims. On the claims that GM foods are bad, the evidence is lousy.

    The opposite of skeptical is 'gullible'. Gullible people are those who believe what they are told, simply because they are told, without looking for evidence. When Greenpeace, or the organic food industry tries to tell me something, my response is : "Where is the evidence?"
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Yes, the organic food 'industry' is becoming quite large now that the corporate players have gotten involved, lol.
    I really don't get why they don't just put a GMO/Non-GMO sticker on things and be done with it. The cost would be minimal, and they will pass it on to the consumers anyway along with the rest of the propaganda and size reductions they attempt to slide by the consumer with each 'new' product launch. I have worked in retail grocery and read enough labels to see that the 'smoke and mirrors game' is ongoing.



    As for labeling their products GMO scaring away buyers through implying a potential health risk, that argument has me rolling on the floor laughing for two reasons:
    1) Most people are pretty much resigned to buying what they can afford and if GMO is cheaper, they will have a captive market after the first 3-6 months of reaction.
    2) The tobacco industry is the best proof going that:
    a) Doctors used to endorse the product.
    b) Now that the evidence has been in for decades, labeling has not been the demise of the tobacco industry.
    Tobacco-Related Cancer Fact Sheet
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  47. #46  
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    Scheherazade

    Your two points need modifying.

    1. "If GMO is cheaper". A label will ensure that GM foods will have to be substantially cheaper, and that will cost big bucks. Obviously the producers do not want that.

    2. Tobacco is addictive. That makes it very different. That comparison is apples and oranges.

    Since there is no health issue with GM foods, we must be suspicious of the motives of those pushing for labels. Either they are commercial interests, out to remove a competitor, or they are superstitious idiots, who believe something negative for the wrong reasons. Such people should not be listened to.
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  48. #47  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post
    Scheherazade

    Your two points need modifying.

    1. "If GMO is cheaper". A label will ensure that GM foods will have to be substantially cheaper, and that will cost big bucks. Obviously the producers do not want that.
    I call 'horsefeathers' on this point of cost. From observing buying trends, people are counting their pennies and buying products based on marginal price difference because it makes a difference to their pocketbooks. That the proponents of GM are willing to pour a fortune into the political battle instead of embarking on a positive advertising and labeling campaign seems illogical to me.
    2. Tobacco is addictive. That makes it very different. That comparison is apples and oranges.
    You suppose that eating is not absolutely essential to life? Many persons have successfully stopped smoking but I know of none who have been able to quit eating indefinitely. As for addictive, there is a whole science behind developing food additives and flavor enhancers that are addictive. These are also added to pet foods. ( I worked with a pet food company in developing a high protein/high fat dog food suitable for the canine athletes who race in the Yukon Quest, billed as the toughest sled dog race on earth. The company was soon thereafter purchased by Purina.)

    Since there is no health issue with GM foods, we must be suspicious of the motives of those pushing for labels. Either they are commercial interests, out to remove a competitor, or they are superstitious idiots, who believe something negative for the wrong reasons. Such people should not be listened to.
    I am equally suspicious of those who oppose labeling for the same reasons you mention.
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  49. #48  
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    To scheherazade

    First : horsefeathers on cost.
    Most foods with GM components contain small amounts of GM foods. To reduce the cost of those components by a small amount will make little difference to the overall cost to the consumer of that food. To add a label saying the food contains GM ingredients works to create resistance in the minds of would-be buyers. To reduce the overall cost of that food to keep it attractive would require the small amounts of GM components to be ultra cheap. This is not commercially viable.

    Eating being essential to life is a silly argument.

    Opposition to labels?
    The motives for such opposition are very clear cut. If food is labelled to show it contains GM ingredients, that will create consumer resistance. That means the producers will make a lot less money. A very simple motive. You do not need to be suspicious of that motive - it is clear cut.

    The problem is the bullsh!t propaganda generated by the organic food industry, and by anti-GM movements. That propaganda is false, but the average consumer does not know that, and is influenced by it.
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  50. #49  
    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeptic View Post

    Eating being essential to life is a silly argument.
    As you please, skeptic. If that's your best rebuttal, I think that I shall seek elsewhere for information.
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  51. #50  
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    You were comparing a drug addiction to eating, and implying they were the same. I think I am correct to say that is a silly comparison.
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  52. #51  
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    You were comparing a drug addiction to eating, and implying they were the same. I think I am correct to say that is a silly comparison.
    Not entirely. I got 88 hits on Google Scholar for papers since 2011 with search term "food addictive". (Too many hits without the date restriction.) food addictive - Google Scholar
    "Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." Winston Churchill
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  53. #52  
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    Adelady

    People can get addicted to any damn thing, including gambling and internet, (or science forums) which are not even ingested. There is a big difference to a truly addictive substance like nicotine.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    I came across a fact that I was unaware of in regard to Aspartame. Apparently genetically modified bacteria are used in it's manufacture and it is made by Monsanto.

    Aspartame breaks down into three components – a methyl ester and two amino
    acids: phenylalanine and aspartic acid.
    The sweetener industry repeatedly pointed out that these compounds occur naturally in food and drink, yet that statement hid the complex science that makes each one is harmful to humans when found in aspartame.
    In food, phenylalanine and aspartic acid are bound to other amino acids in long, complex chains of proteins so that they are not absorbed in a way that could cause damage.
    But in aspartame they are not, and enzymes in the gut can easily split them apart.
    Once phenylalanine is released in its free form, it is metabolized into diketopiperazine, a carcinogen. Aspartic acid in its free form becomes an excitotoxin, a toxic molecule that stimulates nerve cells to the point of damage or death.
    The third component of aspartame, methyl ester, is the most harmful. It is metabolised by the body into methanol, a well-known poison.
    In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency defines safe consumption of methanol as no more than 7.8mg a day.
    Anyone drinking three cans of a drink sweetened with aspartame a day is consuming about 56mg of methanol.
    ...aspartame, considered by many to be the most widely used sweetener in the world, is found in soda, sweets, diet foods and a host of other processed foods.
    It is becoming abundantly clear to me why industry does not want to label their products. Once the public realizes that GMO's have been infiltrating their food supply chain for decades without the proper public dialogue and process preceding such action, there may well be a backlash of unprecedented proportions and deservedly so in my opinion. When Aspartame is added to the picture this issue cuts a much wider swath and throws into question the trustworthiness of a lot more government agencies than just the FDA (Discussing USA regulatory agencies here which may be meaningless to some in other nations).

    Regardless of the research, which seems questionable at best when you examine the regulatory process and sources of funding, the public trust of the American people has been violated as I see it. I am very glad to live in Canada which at least does not allow Bovine Growth Hormone in our milk and has an identification system for GMO produce.

    I note that you live in New Zealand, skeptic, a nation which hitherto has had a fairly anti-GMO stance but may be considering a change in policy to remain competitive in the global marketplace by what I read.

    Yes, it is definitely about the money and human health and the environment can go to hell in a hand-basket as far as some are concerned. Bread and circuses, skeptic, bread and circuses...
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  55. #54  
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    Quote Originally Posted by scheherazade View Post
    It is becoming abundantly clear to me why industry does not want to label their products.
    I have told you the reason a number of times. It is because they will lose money. Duh!
    If food is labelled to show it contains GM ingredients, then a whole bunch of people will refuse to buy it, and the manufacturers will lose a whole heap of $$$$$.

    You need not dream up anything more paranoid than that.

    And the opposition to aspartame is about as crazy as anything we have ever seen. That is a firm case of forming your conclusions first and then cherry picking data to try to rationalise the idiotic conclusion later. For example : methanol is formed inside the human body quite naturally at levels more than ten times as great as any aspartame could ever do. Aspartame, according to good scientific data, is as close to harmless as any sweetener can be.

    And no one allows bovine growth hormone to be added to milk. It is injected into cattle, which causes a greater flow of milk, before it is metabolised by the cow. Lots of research has been done on this, and the hormone is not present in milk at any level significantly greater than in the milk from cows that were never so injected. Those levels are way too low to cause any harm whatever to the consumer.

    Really. scheherazade, you need to stop reading crackpot literature and get your facts from reputable scientific sources.
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    people are counting their pennies and buying products based on marginal price difference because it makes a difference to their pocketbooks.
    Some are perhaps. Than again look at the huge number of Americans willing to pay twice as much for food just when it's labeled organic, regardless of any credible evidence that it's any better for them....or even much better for the environment. Against that headwind, GMO labeled food would rot on the shelf.

    GMOs have lost the PR battle. Damn unfortunately because in the following decades GMO are probably the only way to sustain a still growing population in the face of global environmental changes.
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    Northern Horse Whisperer Moderator scheherazade's Avatar
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    Sceptic, I am quite aware that recombinant bovine growth hormone is administered to the cows and not added to the milk.


    I am very glad to live in Canada which at least does not allow Bovine Growth Hormone in our milk industry and has an identification system for GMO produce.
    Your replies are less than respectful, skeptic, and I bid you good evening and goodbye.
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