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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 00:25 
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Selective breeding is far different from directly modifying the make up of an organism by manipulating its genetic code. It's not that I'm against it, but their methods are highly questionable as well as the outcome. They are playing with fire here and unfortunately we are the one's that are going to get burned.

Also, as BW points out - Do you really put all your trust in these people to do what is right for humanity? Or is it more likely that they will do what is in the best interest of their company (i.e. producing GMO's that cannot reproduce).

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 02:30 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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As try as I might, I've never been able to get a tomato to breed with an Arctic flounder.

And I've tried. Oh boy I've tried. see http://adultsonly.floundertomato.com

The advantages are huge. A tiny little bit of flounder gunk, inserted into the tomato, makes the cells not burst when you freeze the tomato. For the first time ever we can take a tomato to sub zero temperatures, and store them for months.

Thats a huge advantage to the business that makes them, but the chances of it ever happening in the wild are in the quagazillions to one against. That's not to say it couldn't happen, but its very very unlikely.

If tomatoes developed the ability to keep their pips about them in a freeze naturaly, it would be done gradually. If its done gradually, there is a chance the companion critters that live on tomatoes and their pests might evolve to meet the colder climates they find their hosts in. If not, they wont.

So if we develop a Gm tomato that can handle growing in the acrtic, we also have to develop and control the pest, parasite, predator relationships that go with it.

Or, pour poison an anything that moves faster than an arcticfloundertomato. Which isnt a problem, because lucky for us, the same people are making the pesticides.

The problem isnt the GM food.(actually the problem may be the GM food) but...

The problems are...

poor people cant compete in a market where they have to buy their seed from a company rather than keep their own because the GM tomatoes can be frozen and the natural ones cant.

Poor people who want to collect their own seed anyway cant, because the bees dont care where your farm ends and the one next door begins

GM foods address only limited aspects of the food chain. bigger faster colder. But fail to make sure the GM modified lady birds are around to keep up the arms race if the companies go bust and stop making the now, even more roundup resistant strain for next years planting.

It's not like the natural process, or even the human aided selective breeding process, because we are not taking the best of the seed from this year, adding in the fields to the best of the ladybirds from last year, and having them all compete against the best of the aphids from last year.

What it all boils down to, is the shit works, but the danger is that if they dont bring out seed next year, 3 billion people die. And more to the point, those 3 billion people dont get a say in it.

Unless something goes terrible wrong with our system, for the time being at least, you'll be fine, I'll be fine, but they all die.

It's also worth asking yourself this. Which of the... say 10,000 year old civilisations would you have been happy trusting with the rest of the worlds food supply forever. Trusting, that is, to still be a powerhouse of scientific activity that they were 10,000 years ago. Trusting that each and every year, without fail, they will be still there to micro manage evolution and overcome whatever future nature vomits at them.

No tech can be kept in a glasshouse. Recently we in australia had a rabbit killing virus let out by someone who thought they were doing what was best for australia. Well meaning USA scientists gave the plans for nukes to the russians (probably for the best, but hardly secure) I can lock something up for a few years , but thousands? Not so sure.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 02:41 
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Seriously, this cant be healthy.
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Here's the test.

If it might be dangerous, you better keep it in a secure glasshouse.

There is no such thing as a secure glasshouse.

If not everyone wants it, but due to the pesky nature of bees, everyone is going to get it, you better keep it in a secure glass house.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 02:50 
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not for the first time, I'm going to quote myself because this bit is really important.

-----------------
It's also worth asking yourself this. Which of the... say 10,000 year old civilisations would you have been happy trusting with the rest of the worlds food supply forever. Trusting, that is, to still be a powerhouse of scientific activity that they were 10,000 years ago. Trusting that each and every year, without fail, they will be still there to micro manage evolution and overcome whatever future nature vomits at them.
--------------------

Really really important, and for some reason never really argued. Please re-read this and understand it. I'm happy for you to disagree, but please everyone understand what this bit means.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 03:16 
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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 03:51 
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Humans are in plague at the moment, but I really, really like some of them, and really dont want to see us die out. Some of my favourite humans are less than two years old, and almost never get to vote on anything that they care about, so would all the grownups please step up and make good decisions on their behalf.

oh and dont forget the people 10,000 years down the track. I think one of them is named Charlie.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 06:11 
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I've never understood why farmers buy new seed every year. The longer a plant grows in your soil with your farms environmental conditions the more it adapts to them. As a gardener I understand this. My pumpkins did better this year because it was seed saved from last year. In a few more years the plant will do even better. I keep the seed from the paw paws that have been growing here for years. They will handle the frosts better than ones from a warmer area.

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 07:08 
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Dufflight wrote:
I've never understood why farmers buy new seed every year. The longer a plant grows in your soil with your farms environmental conditions the more it adapts to them. As a gardener I understand this. My pumpkins did better this year because it was seed saved from last year. In a few more years the plant will do even better. I keep the seed from the paw paws that have been growing here for years. They will handle the frosts better than ones from a warmer area.



The problem arises when you are selling your GM non-freezable tomatoes up against the next guy who hasnt thought it through.

and

Most of the coolest research is to make things like peas grow in land we have $#@%ed up and turned to salt. It all happens too quickly, so we need to develop quick responses.

Because we cleared so much land and changed the environment and water tables so quickly, plants haven't had time to adapt. Thus we get tempted to speed things up even more, even though its speediness that caused the problem in the first place.

It all boils gown to deciding if we are willing to commit to taking total control, and micro managing everything ever for the next zillion years.

With the possible exception of my now dead grandmother, I cant think of anyone I would personally trust with micro-managing everything for eternity.

And given my beliefs about an afterlife, and that the last time I saw her she didnt have much to say,it leaves the living firmly in the position of having to make a decision about the future.

I for one don't have enough facts to make such a decision to embrace GM foods.

Perhaps you (not directed at anyone in particular) do

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 07:16 
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Dufflight wrote:
I've never understood why farmers buy new seed every year. The longer a plant grows in your soil with your farms environmental conditions the more it adapts to them. As a gardener I understand this. My pumpkins did better this year because it was seed saved from last year. In a few more years the plant will do even better. I keep the seed from the paw paws that have been growing here for years. They will handle the frosts better than ones from a warmer area.



It's economically not viable to resist that 1% increase in yield that even non-GM seed can offer.

This is one of the mega problems facing the developing world.

The farmers are faced with either growing grain that will produce fertile seed for next year (as long as there has been no cross pollination from the GM crop next door) or higher yeilds/higher market price for acrtic-flounder-tomatoes

most choose the tomaco

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 09:14 
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BullwinkleII wrote:
With the possible exception of my now dead grandmother, I cant think of anyone I would personally trust with micro-managing everything for eternity.

And given my beliefs about an afterlife, and that the last time I saw her she didnt have much to say,it leaves the living firmly in the position of having to make a decision about the future.


While your grandmother may be in line for sainthood (no disrespect intended), Mother Nature is the one who will win in the end... with or without US. I only hope that we are smart enough to let her do her thing and hopefully enjoy the ride :)

btw BullwinkleII, you win the award for most replies to your own posts :D

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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 09:41 
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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 09:47 
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PostPosted: Jun 18th, '11, 11:28 
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Yeah, what happens when Monsanto makes a few wrong investment decisions, investing in dodgy derivatives, and it all collapses, suddenly farmers lose the seed supply they need to plant next year.. And because Monsanto has been so good at pressuring and wiping out non Monsanto seed users, there will be no seed around.. Monocultures do not work, the more pure a monoculture becomes the more likely it is to topple. Look at the famine in Ireland? They went from having a diverse range of potato varieties, to growing pretty much only 2 varieties, ones that just happened to be very susceptible to potato blight.

If they had kept their numerous varieties going the famine might not have been so bad..

This is only touching on yet another aspect of why GM crops are so bad, not even considering any of the other aspects and unknowns..

Even when people are growing what we currently consider to be monoculture, say out in the wheat belt here in W.A.. It may be a monoculture but there is still quite a lot of genetic diversity, with each farmer keeping his own seed and replanting that, there would be a huge genetic mix across the landscape making it far more difficult for disease or pests to wipe out everything.

You have just a handful of regulated growers growing all of the GM seed for all of a particular crop, for every plant industry wide around the world? It's just going to take the right bug or disease to get in there and there will be serious trouble in such a narrow gene pool...

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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '11, 13:16 
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Are you aware that some of Monsanto's roundup ready seed patents are about to expire? Enter the new and improved roundup ready 2 seeds! I kid you not.

http://www.monsanto.com/productperforma ... beans.aspx
According to their website, Genuity® Roundup Ready 2 Yield® soybeans delivered an average yield advantage of greater than 3 bushels per acre versus competitor varieties of the first-generation Roundup Ready® trait.

I hate to burst their bubble but I'm still waiting for the improved crop yield from their original patented seeds. There was improvements but it was in the traditional acreage and from better management practices. Monsanto still wanted to take credit by saying that traditional crops benefitted from less pests due to the GM crops growing along side them.

Personally, I've been doing some research on wheat. It still doesn't have any GMO patents on it, although they do for hybrids. My concern is a new wheat disease that was discovered in Uganda in 1999 and it is a stem rust disease called UG99 that can cause 100% crop failure. Scientists are petrified over this one as there are no known resistant wheat strains as of yet.

From the L.A. Times-
Crop scientists fear the Ug99 fungus could wipe out more than 80% of worldwide wheat crops as it spreads from eastern Africa. It has already jumped the Red Sea and traveled as far as Iran. Experts say it is poised to enter the breadbasket of northern India and Pakistan, and the wind will inevitably carry it to Russia, China and even North America -- if it doesn't hitch a ride with people first.
"It's a time bomb," said Jim Peterson, a professor of wheat breeding and genetics at Oregon State University in Corvallis. "It moves in the air, it can move in clothing on an airplane. We know it's going to be here. It's a matter of how long it's going to take."
Though most Americans have never heard of it, Ug99 -- a type of fungus called stem rust because it produces reddish-brown flakes on plant stalks -- is the No. 1 threat to the world's most widely grown crop.
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/jun/14 ... eat-rust14

And there is a new variety of wheat called Apogee that was designed for NASA that produces three times the yield of field grown.
http://www.asi.org/adb/04/03/05/nasa-space-wheat.html

Similar to Borlag from the "Green Revolution", the researchers crossed his wheat plants with other low yielding dwarfs and produced even smaller more prolific semi-dwarfs with shorter, stouter stems that are grown in 24 hr. daylight in a hydroponic setting. Two varieties so far are the Apogee which is 18" tall and the Perigee which is 7 1/2" to 8" tall. Also interesting to note is that hydroponic wheat had higher protein content than field grown.


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PostPosted: Jun 21st, '11, 16:22 
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Angie wrote:
Are you aware that some of Monsanto's roundup ready seed patents are about to expire? Enter the new and improved roundup ready 2 seeds! I kid you not.


And with the expirey other companys will be able to make and distribute roundup ready products, there are already farmers using the alternative products and in the next few days I get to find out what it actually is :think:

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