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Old 2014-08-27, 19:55   #1
Xyzzy
 
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Default Genetically modified foot?

There are a lot of soybean fields where we live and we see them every day as we ride around the countryside. We were curious how soybean farming works, so we did a casual search for soybeans and 4-H, since 4-H has been a great source of information about farming.

One of our first search hits was this article: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/indo...uncil-01022014

The way it is written is, in our opinion, a bit over-the-top, like a conspiracy theory, but we decided to investigate further.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic..._controversies

We had no idea that this was a big issue, although we are out-of-touch with a lot of things.

We are curious what your thoughts are about this issue.
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Old 2014-08-27, 20:56   #2
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Ecological group Greenpeace says GM crops are part of large-scale intensive farming which degrades soils and pollutes water. It says they create herbicide-resistant superweeds that require more pesticides and are not proven to be safe to eat, with much of the research funding coming from industry.
http://www.euractiv.com/sections/tra...deal-eu-302876
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Old 2014-08-27, 20:58   #3
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New law threatens to open up Europe’s fields to GM crops

https://www.foeeurope.org/ministers-...GM-bans-120614
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Old 2015-02-14, 17:39   #4
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http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...-u-s-1.2956546

Quote:
But when news of the B.C. cultivation first emerged in 2012, a poll commissioned by the B.C. Fruit Growers' Association and a group of Quebec growers showed significant concern among the public, with 69 per cent of respondents opposing approval of the Arctic apple.
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Old 2015-02-14, 19:49   #5
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It's not a big issue to scientists, GM crops are safe, have been proven safe, and the opponents have much in common with anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers.

Especially bad are groups like Greenpeace and their opposition to Golden Rice, which in my mind makes Greenpeace responsible for the death of hundreds of thousands of people a year and the permanent blindness of millions.

I've referred to the Billion animal/trillion meal study of GMO's before on this forum. Here's a link that breaks it down pretty well.

It is easy to scare people with things they don't understand. Here's a question to ask yourself, when a company like Syngenta adds one gene to another plant and then tests it people get scared because of the chance of super-scary things, but when a farmer crossbreeds plants in "natural" ways that change thousands of genes at the same time people think that's okay, does that make sense?

The odds of something bad happening are exponentially worse in traditional breeding than in a lab.
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Old 2015-02-14, 19:59   #6
chalsall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
It's not a big issue to scientists, GM crops are safe, have been proven safe, and the opponents have much in common with anti-vaxxers and climate change deniers.
I agree with you. But, as often, there is another dimension to this debate.

Google for Monsanto...

Seeds which only produce a single yield seem non-nominal to me.
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Old 2015-02-14, 20:17   #7
chappy
 
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I live and work in St. Louis, I know all about Monsanto :)

However, I wouldn't necessarily trust anything I read online about the subject.

I understand people don't like to buy a one-season crop. And that they want to use those seeds again.

However, when they sign an agreement to buy the crop, they sign an agreement not to save seeds for replanting (and this occurs across the industry and pre-dates GM plants by decades.)

Farmers have a choice: make more money planting GM crops (of which Monsanto is only one of the players--you forgot to mention DuPont and Syngenta) and not saving seeds, or planting non GM crops which they also agree not to save seeds for (and make less money), or plant crops where they get to save the seeds and make even less money.

Most farmers, smartly, choose one of the first two options.

The only ones making money on the third options are the "organic" farmers, who are selling you something other than a farm product. (when is also mostly 'organic')
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Old 2015-02-14, 20:59   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chappy View Post
However, when they sign an agreement to buy the crop, they sign an agreement not to save seeds for replanting (and this occurs across the industry and pre-dates GM plants by decades.)
Are you familiar with Monsanto Canada Inc vs. Schmeiser?
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Old 2015-02-15, 05:54   #9
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I am and this, and all other cases Monsanto has brought to court, have been ruled in Monsanto's favor.

I assume you have a point?

Like how "accidentally" 95% of his crops were Monsanto's property. Because, apparently all the other farmers in the area accidentally dropped enough seeds the year before to perfectly seed his property but not leave any traces of it in the surrounding fields?

Here's an unusually unbiased Mother Jones article about the case.
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Old 2015-02-15, 18:51   #10
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The anti-GMO crowd is just so silly to me. Most of them prefer to hate on GMO than put in the (small amount of) work required to understand the issue. It's easier to remain ignorant. In fact, after explaining myself as simply as I can, someone tends to answer with the "Yup, it's all very complicated" which is always a 99% indicator that they didn't understand whatever you were saying, usually because they prefer not to.

Every living thing has DNA. It defines every single characteristic of said living thing. DNA encodes RNA which in turn encodes proteins and these proteins are what make your eyes blue, for example. The idea of GMO is to take the portion of DNA which is at the roots of whatever characteristic in Organism A which you would like to see in Organism B. For example, I want to find the DNA that makes fish resistant to cold and put it into a strawberry so that it can grow in colder weather.

People are scared that the now modified strawberry poses some risk to them if they eat it. They're scared to eat the strawberry with fish DNA in it but they're perfectly fine eating the fish itself, and having a strawberry with desert. In the end, they've eaten the same DNA and they've consumed the same proteins. They can only be at risk if the original organisms were themselves risky to eat.

The only other conceivable threat is that something else about the strawberry was altered in the process but that's part of the experiments. The scientists don't just drop a few mutated strawberries into the rest at the supermarket to see if anything goes wrong.

Last fiddled with by TheMawn on 2015-02-15 at 18:54 Reason: Spelling
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Old 2015-02-15, 20:36   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMawn View Post
[...]The only other conceivable threat is that something else about the strawberry was altered in the process but that's part of the experiments. The scientists don't just drop a few mutated strawberries into the rest at the supermarket to see if anything goes wrong.
Yes, that's the threat. Do you trust worldwide big business always to wait for the experiments to complete before unleashing the new crops with genetic characteristics which have never been seen before into the ecosystem?
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