Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 114 (8796 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 10-21-2017 5:08 PM
337 online now:
DC85, granpa, halibut, Percy (Admin), RAZD (5 members, 332 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: jaufre
Upcoming Birthdays: Flyer75
Post Volume:
Total: 820,976 Year: 25,582/21,208 Month: 1,209/2,338 Week: 330/450 Day: 23/72 Hour: 0/1

Announcements: Reporting debate problems OR discussing moderation actions/inactions


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
2
34Next
Author Topic:   Agent Orange Corn
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11769
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 16 of 47 (666323)
06-25-2012 10:21 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by herebedragons
06-25-2012 10:18 PM


I doubt that the problem will get to the point where there is 'no food'.

Me too.

But I fear it will make it harder and harder for the poorest people to be able to 'afford' food.

Why them? They can grow weeds too!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by herebedragons, posted 06-25-2012 10:18 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1413
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 17 of 47 (666324)
06-25-2012 10:24 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by New Cat's Eye
06-25-2012 8:15 PM


Have you heard about the problems that farmers have in dealing with Monsanto aggressively pursuing them with legal action?

Yea, when pollen from GM crops drift into another farmer's field and provides resistance or other genetic benefit to those crops, Monsanto sues.

That's another problem with GMOs. Can genetic material drift or otherwise be transferred to non-target organisms?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-25-2012 8:15 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-26-2012 12:43 PM herebedragons has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11769
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 18 of 47 (666357)
06-26-2012 12:43 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by herebedragons
06-25-2012 10:24 PM


Yea, when pollen from GM crops drift into another farmer's field and provides resistance or other genetic benefit to those crops, Monsanto sues.

That's another problem with GMOs.

No, that's a problem with greedy corporations.

Can genetic material drift or otherwise be transferred to non-target organisms?

Sure. And the GM's can evolve farther too. It don't see that as that big of a deal.

In Message 14 you said that GM-ing foods could hurt poor people. Why do you think that? The more food the merrier, no?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by herebedragons, posted 06-25-2012 10:24 PM herebedragons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by herebedragons, posted 06-26-2012 10:06 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Coragyps
Member
Posts: 5292
From: Snyder, Texas, USA
Joined: 11-12-2002
Member Rating: 3.4


Message 19 of 47 (666376)
06-26-2012 1:49 PM
Reply to: Message 13 by herebedragons
06-25-2012 10:14 PM


Amaranthus palmeri or Palmer's pigweed.

Ewww. They will have to rename it, like they had to with the fish once known as slimehead.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by herebedragons, posted 06-25-2012 10:14 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

    
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1413
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 20 of 47 (666417)
06-26-2012 10:06 PM
Reply to: Message 18 by New Cat's Eye
06-26-2012 12:43 PM


Ok, first of all I am not completely against GMOs. But I do fear the full speed ahead attitude. I fear we dont know enough about the consequences.

Honestly, I hadnt done a whole lot of research on this issue except what I put in my OP. I got interested in the subject when a vendor of mine, who owns a nursery was telling me that they were going to start spraying Agent Orange on the fields around her greenhouses because the Roundup wasnt working anymore. That sounded ridiculous to me so I looked into it.

No, that's a problem with greedy corporations.

Corporations such as Monsanto make billions in profit. What do you think they really care about public health and safety or profit? Of course, they will care about public health and safety as far as they need to in order to get their products through FDA approval. Im not a big one for conspiracy theories and the like, but I know the reality; money rules, and if they can make billions now and my childrens health suffers 25 years from now they will take the billions.

In Message 14 you said that GM-ing foods could hurt poor people. Why do you think that? The more food the merrier, no?

Money. By poor people I am thinking of mostly third-world people. The continual engineering and re-engineering of food crops will drive the price up and up, out of reach of the worlds poorest. I dont know a whole lot about the economics of third-world food acquisition, so this is only my opinion or at least my fear of what can be a result. But the promise of increased yields does not appear to be materializing. This 2009 report claims:

quote:
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields. Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.

So, failure to increase yield + increasing prices = the poorest cant afford

But that is all the political / social aspect of the issue. I kind of wanted more of the science side of the debate. If this stuff is safe, and we can engineer the solution to the next problem, then yea, go for it.

Can genetic material drift or otherwise be transferred to non-target organisms?

Sure. And the GM's can evolve farther too.

Its a bigger issue than just weed / crop interaction. If theres one thing we have learned about our environment since Silent Spring it is how interactive and connected our world is. Will GMOs upset this balance? I dont know, but I dont think we can call inviting disaster scientific progress. Progress needs to be tempered with responsibility.

So, I have done / am doing some more research on the biochemical aspect of this issue but I just dont have enough time to finish it up tonight. I will post more about that in a day or two.

HBD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-26-2012 12:43 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by crashfrog, posted 06-26-2012 10:58 PM herebedragons has responded
 Message 27 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-27-2012 9:35 AM herebedragons has not yet responded
 Message 31 by Lithodid-Man, posted 06-27-2012 11:06 AM herebedragons has responded
 Message 32 by Taq, posted 06-27-2012 11:14 AM herebedragons has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 21 of 47 (666418)
06-26-2012 10:58 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by herebedragons
06-26-2012 10:06 PM


Ok, first of all I am not completely against GMOs. But I do fear the full speed ahead attitude. I fear we dont know enough about the consequences.

Well, then it's really going to freak you out to learn that the genetics of even our non-GMO crops are just changing, willy-nilly, all the time in ways we can't even predict or keep track of! Random genetic mutations, just happening all the time, and doing god-only-knows-what.

And not just our crops, but our livestock as well! House pets, even! Even our own bodies are undergoing this process of dangerous, unpredictable genetic self-manipulation!

If theres one thing we have learned about our environment since Silent Spring it is how interactive and connected our world is.

Well, sure. But our views on how to conserve and protect the natural environment can't be based on ideas that genomes should never change, because the genes of all species are in constant change. If they change via human manipulation or random chance, I don't see the difference, and GMO opponents have done nothing to establish that there is one. Their view of species genomics seems to be predicated on ideas of species essentialism that were discredited in the 19th century.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by herebedragons, posted 06-26-2012 10:06 PM herebedragons has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 23 by herebedragons, posted 06-27-2012 8:10 AM crashfrog has responded

  
Lithodid-Man
Member (Idle past 491 days)
Posts: 504
From: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Joined: 03-22-2004


(1)
Message 22 of 47 (666424)
06-27-2012 6:16 AM


Roundup resistant weeds
I apologize for the length of this post, this topic is of some interest to me. About a year ago a family member very important to me became enamoured with Jefferey Smith and others in the anti-GMO camp. He began somewhat mildly, cutting certain foods out of his diet that were targeted as containing specific GM additives and other relative small steps. However, he quickly became more obsessed and more convinced that this is part of a greater evil. A year later he has stockpiled four tons of guarranteed GMO-free wheat, corn, beans, etc. because (paraphrased), Monsanto is going to make consumption of organic food illegal in the near future. He has tied this to NWO population control, etc. At first he started giving me literature to read under the pretense of my reviewing it for him to judge its scientific validity. This proved not to be the case when I returned an enormous stack of primary literature along with several detailed explanations of why (at least the material he gave me) was complete nonsense. I realized when he continued making the same arguments to others that his goal was not to question the material he advocated but instead trying to convert me to his viewpoint. Today the entire issue is off of the table for family discussions, at least when I am around.

I want to make it clear that I am not necessarily pro GM crops. The truth is that when I started looking into the material I was given I suspected that it would be like most complex issues, good points on both sides with the truth laying somewhere left or right of the middle. So when I started reading the first two chapters of Marie-Monique Robins The World According to Monsanto I was extremely disappointed to find that pretty much every single claim she made was incorrect. The cited references simply did not say what she claimed, the strongest claims made were unreferenced, and much of her background material was simply scientifically innacurate. I sincerely believed that at some point I would find something valid, but that just did not happen. I started realizing this was all very familiar (ever have a discussion with someone on a science topic only to discover that every single thing they are saying is not only wrong but seemingly based on a make-believe assumption about how science works? Anyone at EvC ever have that experience?).

For those of us who have been involved in arguing against pseudoscientific claims for some time, it does not take too much time to realize that the valid points you were hoping would be presented are simply not going to happen. Instead you are presented with a long series of false claims, quote-mines, opinions of people with no background in any scientific discipline, etc. Like young Earth creationism, the anti-GMO literature appears to be a large amount of misinformation that if you follow the links all seems to circle around back to the original claimants. A friend of mine has dubbed this The Hovindian Lie Cycle where a nonsense claim originates with an individual, is repeated for decades, then occassionaly repeated by the originator who cites his copycats as if the claim now carries the weight of general consensus (I hope that made sense!).

Now finally to get to the point and topic. In The World According to Monsanto, Robin spends a great deal of time attempting to demonstrate that transgenic agriculture is wholly different from traditional agriculture. That is, she attempts to counter the claim that this technology is really just another step, essentially creating the character instead of waiting for the trait to appear through mutation. She does this by dedicating most of a chapter to how the Glyphosate (active ingredient in Roundup) resistance genes could never come about naturally, could never evolve. These genes are so alien that they must be created in a lab then forced into the genome of these crops (and yes, like Jefferey Smith she describes this process using terminology that sounds like a sexual assault). But then in another section when listing the environmental harm GM crops can cause she discusses superweeds that have become glyphosate resistant! I dont know if it is simply that she doesnt see the contradiction because her knowledge of natural selection and evolution is so poor, or that she knows better but also knows her target audience will not get it. A third possibility that is also likely is that (like many of the people I speak to on the subject) she has a very mixed-up idea of what genes are and how they spread and that she therefore believes that Roundup Ready crops are somehow directly causing the weeds around them to acquire the trait (and yes, I understand lateral gene transfer does occur, but it is not in the way many anti-GMO people seem to think it does).


Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by herebedragons, posted 06-27-2012 8:41 AM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

    
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1413
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 23 of 47 (666427)
06-27-2012 8:10 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by crashfrog
06-26-2012 10:58 PM


And not just our crops, but our livestock as well! House pets, even! Even our own bodies are undergoing this process of dangerous, unpredictable genetic self-manipulation!

You don't really see random mutations that have occurred over millions of years and have been subject to natural selection as the same thing as human manipulation of genomes do you? Just look at our track record for interfering with natural processes ... not too good, wouldn't you agree?

But our views on how to conserve and protect the natural environment can't be based on ideas that genomes should never change

That is certainly not my view! Maybe the view of some radical GMO opponents, but not mine. In fact, with regard to these Roundup resistant weeds, I questioned whether we should be getting into an arms race with nature. This concern is based on the awareness that genomes DO change. And maybe nature is better at it than we are???

If they change via human manipulation or random chance, I don't see the difference, and GMO opponents have done nothing to establish that there is one.

At this point I have not reached the conclusion that GMOs are dangerous or that we shouldn't be pursuing this line of research. I am merely questioning it, looking for discussion so I can draw a conclusion. If you know of evidence that specific GMOs have been fully and thoroughly tested and proved to be safe for human and animal consumption, then please present it. What is it that has you convinced that GMOs are safe? It is not just that genomes change all the time, willy-nilly, in ways we can't predict - therefore GMOs are safe ... is it? That's just as poor reasoning as thinking genomes should never change - therefore GMOs are bad.

In fact, the burden of proof should be on the genetic engineers to prove their products are safe, not on the opponents to prove there is a problem. Should we assume they are safe just because Monsanto says they are? Because the FDA approved them? What is the evidence that they are safe?

HBD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by crashfrog, posted 06-26-2012 10:58 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by crashfrog, posted 06-27-2012 12:39 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 24 of 47 (666428)
06-27-2012 8:31 AM


The Alternatives
I can only say that I am more comfortable eating food that has been artificially genetically modified than food that has spent its entire growing season being showered in poisonous chemicals whose only intended purpose is to kill stuff.

I am not sure if current food consumption could be maintained with only organic cropsno laboratory modification and no chemical pesticides/fertilizers. I know, however, that for most people it probably won't make a difference. The average American probably eats most of their corn in the form of Captain Crunch, where there's little difference between the corn that goes into making it being artificially modified and the processed, preservative-laden, highly 'chemicalized' final product it becomes.

But I'd still rather have shelves full of Captain Crunch than fields full of poison.


Love your enemies!

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by herebedragons, posted 06-27-2012 8:51 AM Jon has responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1413
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 25 of 47 (666429)
06-27-2012 8:41 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by Lithodid-Man
06-27-2012 6:16 AM


Re: Roundup resistant weeds
Thanks Lithodid-Man

I too smell a conspiracy theory here. Like I found a whole slew of websites related to "Monsanto evil". I didn't waste any time looking at those. Any controversial subject such as this will draw its wackos to the debate, who as you said have no background in any scientific discipline.

Monsanto is going to make consumption of organic food illegal in the near future. He has tied this to NWO population control, etc.

Oh yea, and Bill Gates even owns a large amount of stock in Monsanto! Maybe he'll be the leader of the NWO??

These are the types of statements I give little credence. What got me interested in this subject in the first place was someone stating that farmers want to start spraying Agent Orange on their fields. I knew right off this was not a true statement, but an exaggeration of the real situation.

Today the entire issue is off of the table for family discussions, at least when I am around.

Well, I hope you'll follow this discussion and have some input. Hopefully I have a little more scientific knowledge than Jeffery Smith and Marie-Monique Robin . And maybe like you, as I investigate this I will find no valid scientific claims against GMOs. And that's why I wanted this in a science forum, I want more than opinions; I want to discuss the science (or the lack thereof) behind the claims .

HBD


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by Lithodid-Man, posted 06-27-2012 6:16 AM Lithodid-Man has not yet responded

  
herebedragons
Member
Posts: 1413
From: Michigan
Joined: 11-22-2009
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 26 of 47 (666431)
06-27-2012 8:51 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Jon
06-27-2012 8:31 AM


Re: The Alternatives
I can only say that I am more comfortable eating food that has been artificially genetically modified than food that has spent its entire growing season being showered in poisonous chemicals whose only intended purpose is to kill stuff.

That's the whole point though. They are genetically modifying these crops SO they can shower them with pesticides.

The average American probably eats most of their corn in the form of Captain Crunch, where there's little difference between the corn that goes into making it being artificially modified and the processed, preservative-laden, highly 'chemicalized' final product it becomes.

That is an excellent point! Why use organically grown crops only to process them to death and load them up with preservatives?

But I'd still rather have shelves full of Captain Crunch than fields full of poison.

Maybe we should all go back to growing our own food for our own families in our own backyards ... Naw.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Jon, posted 06-27-2012 8:31 AM Jon has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by Jon, posted 06-27-2012 10:21 AM herebedragons has not yet responded
 Message 30 by fearandloathing, posted 06-27-2012 10:58 AM herebedragons has not yet responded
 Message 35 by crashfrog, posted 06-27-2012 12:54 PM herebedragons has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11769
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


Message 27 of 47 (666432)
06-27-2012 9:35 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by herebedragons
06-26-2012 10:06 PM


Ok, first of all I am not completely against GMOs. But I do fear the full speed ahead attitude. I fear we dont know enough about the consequences.

Fear leads to anger...

But seriously, fear of the unknown isn't a good reason to stifle scientific progress, imo. Still tho, I don't expect you to just jump on board and if you need to be convinced into accepting it then that's fine.

Honestly, I hadnt done a whole lot of research on this issue except what I put in my OP. I got interested in the subject when a vendor of mine, who owns a nursery was telling me that they were going to start spraying Agent Orange on the fields around her greenhouses because the Roundup wasnt working anymore. That sounded ridiculous to me so I looked into it.

And you found out that it was hyperbole.

Corporations such as Monsanto make billions in profit. What do you think they really care about public health and safety or profit?

Well, we are capitalists. Monsanto does have a vested interest in the public health in so far as they need consumers to maintain their profits.

Of course, they will care about public health and safety as far as they need to in order to get their products through FDA approval.

That's right. But that can be a decent way of doing things. Monsanto is a business and they are interested in making money. They employ the scientists and they all do what they can to make the most progress. They'll have some interest in protecting the public health, but we'll leave most of that job up to the FDA. We're just going to have to trust and/or ensure that the FDA is doing their job.

Im not a big one for conspiracy theories and the like, but I know the reality; money rules, and if they can make billions now and my childrens health suffers 25 years from now they will take the billions.

I'm not so sure.... who's going to be buying their products in 45-55 years then?

Money. By poor people I am thinking of mostly third-world people. The continual engineering and re-engineering of food crops will drive the price up and up, out of reach of the worlds poorest.

I figure the increased production would lead to excesses that can be shared with the poor.

But the promise of increased yields does not appear to be materializing. This 2009 report claims:

quote:
For years the biotechnology industry has trumpeted that it will feed the world, promising that its genetically engineered crops will produce higher yields. Despite 20 years of research and 13 years of commercialization, genetic engineering has failed to significantly increase U.S. crop yields.

So, failure to increase yield + increasing prices = the poorest cant afford

Okay, that makes sense. But I don't believe in the failure to increase yield. It seems inevitable to me that yields are going to be increasing over the years. I haven't dug into your link, but I wonder how they were measuring yield and whether it was normalized or something.

But that is all the political / social aspect of the issue. I kind of wanted more of the science side of the debate. If this stuff is safe, and we can engineer the solution to the next problem, then yea, go for it.

Yeah, same here. And I too share your concerns that there could be problems. But from a scientific perspective, I'm still going with full speed ahead. We shouldn't let fear hold us back.

Its a bigger issue than just weed / crop interaction. If theres one thing we have learned about our environment since Silent Spring it is how interactive and connected our world is. Will GMOs upset this balance?

I don't see it as that "balanced". Its always in flux. And many species are always struggling to just get by. But yes, there is that interrelatedness to worry about.

I dont know, but I dont think we can call inviting disaster scientific progress.

I do. When we were trying to land on the moon, dontcha think there were guys complaining that we might bring back some alien virus that wipes out the planet, or something? That we were "inviting disaster". I wouldn't consider that a good reason to stop the space program.

Progress needs to be tempered with responsibility.

I agree. I just don't think we need to have the scientists at Monsanto who are genetically engineering crops to also do the work to show that they aren't going to hurt anything in the future. I think we have a fine system in place with the FDA that does a good enough job of tempering.

Now, you mentioned Silent Spring, and that can be a concern. But that was the system not working because of corruption.

So, I have done / am doing some more research on the biochemical aspect of this issue but I just dont have enough time to finish it up tonight. I will post more about that in a day or two.

Right on, let me know what you find out. Maybe GMO's *are* a bad idea.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by herebedragons, posted 06-26-2012 10:06 PM herebedragons has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by caffeine, posted 06-27-2012 10:16 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
caffeine
Member
Posts: 1346
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 28 of 47 (666433)
06-27-2012 10:16 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by New Cat's Eye
06-27-2012 9:35 AM


Okay, that makes sense. But I don't believe in the failure to increase yield. It seems inevitable to me that yields are going to be increasing over the years. I haven't dug into your link, but I wonder how they were measuring yield and whether it was normalized or something.

I only skimmed the report, but it doesn't say that GM crops failed to increase yield. It says they have increased it, just that the increase is not large; and not big enough to meet the growth in demand nor justify the expense.

They're a bit vague on how they selected the studies they used the collate their figures - they do discuss that it's important to select the best studies, but neglect to inform us how that is done, which casts a dubious shadow over the report, to my mind.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by New Cat's Eye, posted 06-27-2012 9:35 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
Jon
Inactive Member


Message 29 of 47 (666434)
06-27-2012 10:21 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by herebedragons
06-27-2012 8:51 AM


Re: The Alternatives
That's the whole point though. They are genetically modifying these crops SO they can shower them with pesticides.

Oh yeah; I forgot that part. Are all GMOs that way?

Maybe we should all go back to growing our own food for our own families in our own backyards

That's actually a wonderful idea. Scaling down is badly needed.


Love your enemies!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by herebedragons, posted 06-27-2012 8:51 AM herebedragons has not yet responded

  
fearandloathing
Member (Idle past 1705 days)
Posts: 990
From: Burlington, NC, USA
Joined: 02-24-2011


Message 30 of 47 (666437)
06-27-2012 10:58 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by herebedragons
06-27-2012 8:51 AM


Re: The Alternatives
That's the whole point though. They are genetically modifying these crops SO they can shower them with pesticides.

That's not exactly accurate.

quote:
Herbicide tolerance.
For some crops, it is not cost-effective to remove weeds by physical means such as tilling, so farmers will often spray large quantities of different herbicides (weed-killer) to destroy weeds, a time-consuming and expensive process, that requires care so that the herbicide doesn't harm the crop plant or the environment. Crop plants genetically-engineered to be resistant to one very powerful herbicide could help prevent environmental damage by reducing the amount of herbicides needed. For example, Monsanto has created a strain of soybeans genetically modified to be not affected by their herbicide product Roundup 6. A farmer grows these soybeans which then only require one application of weed-killer instead of multiple applications, reducing production cost and limiting the dangers of agricultural waste run-off7.

Source (seems like a fairly well balanced overveiw of GMOs here.)

Using one application of one herbicide makes sense to me.

Edited by fearandloathing, : No reason given.


A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
― Edward R. Murrow

"You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them" - Ray Bradbury


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by herebedragons, posted 06-27-2012 8:51 AM herebedragons has not yet responded

    
Prev1
2
34Next
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2015 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2017