Genetically modified corn

Ada, OK(Zone 7a)

If anyone is interested in identifying genetically engineered corn, here is a possible way, although I haven't tried it myself yet. I will this next garden year.

Just grow the corn in a deep container and harvest it when the time is right. Then put Roundup on the plant. If it lives, it could be a GMO. I wonder if this would work? There is really nothing to lose.

I e-mailed a popular organic seed company to ask if they check their corn seeds for genetic contamination and they that replied that there was some present in a couple of shipments. This was in 2007.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

A non-GMO plant wouldn't survive being sprayed with Roundup, so it's a pretty safe bet if it survives that treatment then it IS the GM corn. Either that or you had a bad bottle of Roundup.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

You can also just grow colored corn. They have not been GMO'd.

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

When you buy GMO corn, you have to be a commercial grower & sign off on various contractual agreements- like you won't perform any independent research with it, try to save seed, etc.

RoundUp Ready crops (mainly corn & soybeans) are not the only GMOs out there. There is also crops which have BT shoehorned in somehow, to kill worms. And others engineered against pests. Those would be killed by RoundUp if sprayed. (And are also not readily available to the general public.)

GMO pollen contamination of "regular" or even organic corn seed certainly can & does happen, but it's unlikely that your test would work, since the RoundUp Ready genes in your sample wouldn't be pure.

Interesting idea, but sorry: I don't think it's a foolproof method. Or is all that necessary. Best to call the seedhouse you're going to use and ask if they test, or what precautions they take if you have concerns.

This message was edited Jan 11, 2011 12:39 PM

Ada, OK(Zone 7a)

Thank you. I really appreciate your answer.

Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

You're welcome. And I appreciate your scientific method.

At this point in the game, it just not profitable for the GMO seed companies to go after the backyard garden market. Too many variables they couldn't control, (like independent testing) and also they wouldn't get the whole 3 tier structure to their business: selling RR seed, RoundUp, & fertilizer to replace the lost or bound up nutrients that are usually provided to plants by a healthy soil food web.

In a Big Picture way, (aside from the fact that we eat RU practically every day in one form or another) the permanent destruction of soil from RU use is the biggest crime. And it is permanent. I just learned recently that they have made & have been applying GM bacteria to replace the natural ones that RU kills. That is simply insane, creating FrankenBacteria.

Quoting:
TABLE 1. Some things we know about glyphosate that influence plant nutrition and disease.
1. Glyphosate is a strong metal chelator (for Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mg, Ni, Zn) – in the spray tank, in soil and in plants.
2. It is rapidly absorbed by roots, stems, and leaves, and moves systemically throughout the plant (normal and RR).
3. Accumulates in meristematic tissues (root, shoot, legume nodules, and reproductive sites) of normal and RR plants.
4. Inhibits EPSPS in the Shikimate metabolic pathway and many other plant essential enzymes.
5. Increases susceptibility to drought and disease.
6. Non-specific herbicidal activity (broad-spectrum weed control).
7. Some of the applied glyphosate is exuded from roots into soil.
8. Immobilized in soil by chelating with soil cat-ions (Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, Mg, Mn, Ni, Zn).
9. Persists and accumulates in soil and plants for extended periods (years) – it is not „biodegradable,‟ but is rapidly immobilized by chelation generally.
10. Desorbed from soil particles by phosphorus and is available for root uptake by all plants.
11. Toxic to soil organisms that facilitate nutrient access, availability, or absorption of nutrients.
12. Inhibits the uptake and translocation of Fe, Mn, and Zn at very low, non-herbicidal rates.
13. Stimulates soilborne pathogenic and other soil microbes to reduce nutrient availability.
14. Reduces secondary cell wall formation and lignin in RR and non-RR plants.
15. Inhibits nitrogen fixation by chelating Ni for ureide synthesis and is toxic to Rhizoiaceae.
16. Reduces physiological availability and concentration of Ca, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, and Zn in plant tissues and seed.
17. Residual soil activity can damage plants through root uptake.
18. Increases mycotoxins in stems, straw, grain, and fruit.
19. Reduces photosynthesis (CO2 fixation).
20. Causes fruit (bud) drop and other hormonal effects.
21. Accumulates in food and feed products to enter the food chain as an item of food safety.



http://s230184898.onlinehome.us/CurseBuster/joomla/images/PDFs/Huber%20at%20Fluid%20Fert.%202-10.pdf

After reading that, (and "Teaming with Microbes") I no longer use RoundUp in any way on my property. I'd rather hand pull poison ivy than have one drop in my soil.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Thank you so very much for the details on RoundUp!

I hope those reading this thread are not perturbed by a request to protect our alfalfa from the introduction of a GMO version by Monsanto:


I just took action, calling on Secretary Vilsack and President Obama to reject the approval of Mosanto's GMO alfalfa and protect the integrity of organics. Approving GMO alfalfa will potentially destroy the integrity of and access to organic food, as well as the livelihoods of organic farmers.

The approval of GMO alfalfa is only days away and the Obama administration needs to hear from you and all of your friends who care about organics that the contamination of the organic dairy industry is not acceptable to risk an entire industry simply for Monsanto's corporate profits.

Please take a moment to let Vilack and President Obama know that you care about organic integrity by following this link from Food Democracy Now! Then please pass this on.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/kiss_your_organics_goodbye/?referring_akid=.191388.sr_jm1&source=taf



Windsor, CT(Zone 6a)

Jeffery Smith's outstanding article on glyphosate : http://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/664

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Thanks for the link, Kyla. I just wrote:

GMO crops constitute uncontrolled experimentation on us and our children and grandchildren. Until we have much more longitudinal data we have no business letting this genie out of the bottle. There are already signs that unanticipated negative effects are cropping up in animals exposed to these products. What do we do if we find that those effects are far worse and far more pervasive than we knew, once GMO pollen has already affected most of our food plants?

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks, GG -- I hope people will also share and spread that link. While internet activism is often belittled, it seems to be effective in this sort of situation, if enough people participate.

Ned, thanks again so much for the data.

I remember a few years ago when I was living in North Caroling and attended the Unitarian fellowship there, a woman who is a marine biologist had given a wonderful presentation to the children about "what would you put in the fishbowl" to illustrate how products we use daily can kill creatures...... (this was on the coast)

And then the next time I encountered her, she was outside weeding the little garden patch. So I pitched in, and she said the weeds were so bad she should probably just come back with some RoundUp to get rid of them.

We were, like, two blocks from the shoreline.

I was so shocked I just mumbled something like, oh, I try not to use that kind of stuff.

If I had had this information, or any of it, I would instead have said, look, give me your email address, I want to send you some data about RoundUp!

:)

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Talk about a disconnect.....

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Well, also, it is the insularity of scientific disciplines. The one hand does not know what the other hand is doing, all too often.

If she had not seen or participated in some kind of development of data around the products she was referring to in that presentation, she would not necessarily have known what the dangers were. There is an inherent conservatism of thought involved in this. Me, I tend to default to the precautionary principle, but most of the scientists I have met -- even the ones who are largely on the side of environmental conservation and good practices -- default to the other thing of, if it is not proven or demonstrated in their knowledge base, it is probably not anything to worry about. Unless the question is "interesting" in which case, maybe someone will do a study one day.

There are, of course, exceptions to this attitude, but I did find it highly disappointing in some individuals whom I had hoped would be allies in certain situations...... Again, not meaning to cast aspersions on anyone here..... And I realize too that the attitude I am describing has also a healthy component of skepticism, as there are certainly many uninformed flows of thought in the world and one needs a way to navigate that.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Although I have no evidence to back it up : I do believe the decline of the honeybee will be traced back to the over-use of Round Up!

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Honeybee, I would not be at all surprised.

Here's another way for us to register our voices about protecting our genetics from Monsanto manipulation:

The approval of GMO alfalfa is only days away and the Obama administration needs to hear from you and all of your friends who care about organics that the contamination of the organic dairy industry is not acceptable to risk an entire industry simply for Monsanto's corporate profits.

Please take a moment to let Vilack and President Obama know that you care about organic integrity by following this link from Food Democracy Now! Then please pass this on.

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/kiss_your_organics_goodbye/?referring_akid=285.4533.Vl-xLz&source=mailto

Every voice counts!
Thanks

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

a little OT here, for Honeybee in NC, see what you think -- a video exploring Colony Collapse Disorder:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MusqTKZ83I&feature=player_embedded

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Thank you for the link, Kylaluaz.

Interesting to see both sides of the same coin expressed here. As an organic gardener, I argree with Jacqueline's view.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

HoneybeeNC and all, did you see the PBS special on colony colapse last year? It was very thorough and informative, at least for me as a honeybee wannabee.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

terri_emory - I think I saw it, but am not sure.

Going back to the video...

I was very disappointed to see that some beekeepers are using plastic for the bees to draw their combs from. Hubby and I try to avoid plastic touching our food.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Vilsack caved to Monsanto:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/28/business/28alfalfa.html

There will be no restrictions on the planting of GM alfalfa, unless an appeal is successful....... reading this article, it sounds like Vilsack had a ton of pressure from various directions..... and not enough clear guidance or backup to, shall we say, do the right thing.

Phew.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

Well, what Vilsack did is not surprising, considering his history.
Here's a quote about him from Wikipedia that kind of sums it up:

"Vilsack has repeatedly demonstrated a preference for large industrial farms and genetically modified crops;[18] as Iowa state governor, he originated the seed pre-emption bill in 2005, effectively blocking local communities from regulating where genetically engineered crops would be grown; additionally, Vilsack was the founder and former chair of the Governor's Biotechnology Partnership, and was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, an industry lobbying group.[19]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Vilsack

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

This is very sad! At the risk of sounding like an old grouch, what the heck was wrong with the old alfalfa?

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

It didn't cost enough to make Monsanto stockholders fatter.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

When I read articles such as this, I'm glad I don't have grandchildren! Future generations will suffer the consquenses of these greedy b@#$%^&d's!

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

Me too. What's really creepy is that since alfalfa is used for hay for all kinds of animals, that means GMOs will be solidly throughout the food system--meat, as well as soybeans, corn, and coming up next, sugar beets.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

paracelsus - that's exactly what my hubby and I have said to each other.

I have heard that Whole Foods will be building in the Charlotte area next year. I'm hoping they will cary non-GMO produce.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

I hear ya. We have a co-op about 1/2 hour away where I get most of my organic produce. Our local grocery had some, but they started shrink-wrapping it. Talk about a contradiction--organic produce wrapped in hot plastic.

It just so happens that after posting this, I went to check out Common Dreams, which I often read. They have an article about GMOs, Vilsack, and three organic biggies, one of which is Whole Foods:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/01/28-8

Apparently, the heads of Whole Foods and Stoneyfield are freinds with Vilsack and contributed to his campaign. Along with Organic Valley, Whole Foods and Stoneyfield have said they will not oppose GMO crops anymore as long as they are "regulated" or if organic farmers are compensated with cash if their crops get contaminated. Fat lot of good that will do the soil.

Well, that is just disgusting.

This message was edited Jan 28, 2011 1:07 PM

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

That is so discouraging. It just makes me sick. The thing to do is to find an organic producer that won't accept them - if possible - and then vote with our dollars.

Elmira, NY(Zone 6a)

Exactly. The article did say that if you stick to certified organic, you should be okay. You know, this puts a whole new spin on the farmers who are saying they don't want to get organic certification because it is costly and who are instead marketing their stuff as "naturally grown." There is no testing for GMO contamination then. You'd have to really pick and choose.

This whole thing is why I quit eating corn a few years ago, much as I love it.

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

Watch the video "Food, Inc." It is the scariest thing I have ever seen in my 69 years. Our children and grandchildren do not have a chance for a healthy life. When you see the connection between Monsanto and the guvmint employees that are supposed reign them in, you will see where the money trail is. The Iowa governor is a strong example of money talks.

There is already no way to avoid GE corn in our diets as there is some part of corn in most everything. Since alfalfa or corn are the main feed sources for the animals we eat.....well there you are.

Instead of giving money to the farmers whose crops are "contaminated", Monsanto hunts them down like criminals and runs them out of business. I'm feeling sick.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I don't buy corn either, except very rarely. There's a farm stand right down the road that has wonderful corn but I'm sure it's GMO since it mostly all is. Last summer I made a clambake recipe from a Martha Steward magazine, and it called for corn. They had organic corn in the supermarket and I bought some although I expected it wouldn't be much good, having been spoiled by freshly picked corn from the neighboring farm. But it was surprisingly tasty. Expensive, though.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I'm glad to see others are getting wind of this travesty. I read a similar article in NY Times and also on the Organic Consumers Corp site that Common Dreams posted. I hope people stand up and shout out loud, surely it can be stopped even at this late date. I noticed near the bottom of the CommonDreams article there is a link to sign a petition. I suppose I may also print out the article and give to my mkt customers as well.

If ya'll want non-gmo corn you'll have to grow your own (or know someone who does) then save seed. Course now, there is still lots of non-GMO seed available but guess we'll see for how long, once it becomes the norm.

And yep, that's just for eating fresh corn. As someone says, corn is in everything from drinks to processed foods, animal feed. Bummer.

Shoe

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

LouC - I watched the Food.Inc movie from beginning to end. I feel scared for my children, and future generations. Fortunately, I can still walk outside my back door during the summer and gather fresh, organic produce, but am wondering if one day that will be illegal, too!

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Hmm..... somehow, their messing with alfalfa hits me harder than the other stuff has. I guess because I have used it so much in my gardens. Interestingly, I just, right before this ---- decision got made, ordered some alfalfa seed, to have some growing. I feel like when it gets here, I should apologize to it. Maybe I should put some of it in a vault somewhere.

sheesh.

I too hope an appeal to this mess ends up working, and I am sure the various organizations who have mobilized about this issue won't stop working on it as long as any avenues remain........

Honeybee, I refuse fear, on principle. It wastes my energy. All we can do, is what we can do. This is a good Earth still.

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I think we should keep in mind that the alfalfa seed is being created mainly for the big agri-business farms, not necessarily for us smaller gardeners/farmers. Those farms have to sign papers and agreements to use it so I doubt the GMO seed will be readily available to the general public any time soon. Kyla, if you got alfalfa seed I'd say there is an excellent chance it is non-GMO. Feel safe, be happy.

I hope this helps.

Shoe

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

Oh I know what I am getting is non GMO! but the thing is, how long will there be truly non GMO seed around, when the gm stuff starts getting planted, in big operations, cross pollinating and blowin in the breeze...... that's the big issue IMO.

And you betcha, I feel very safe, and thanks for the good wishes. :)

but I bet it will be available darn soon, cause I bet they have it and all their signed papers and stuff just waiting for the government go ahead. So, we shall see!

Efland, NC(Zone 7a)

I bet they do, too. And when it goes into action it'll be the perfect precedent to allow other crops to follow. Ugh.

Shoe (who's glad he's in an isolated area from big agribiz farms)

Desoto, TX(Zone 8a)

I am on a couple of lists that send me copies of petitions to sign and they go directly to the representatives in my district. In that I live in Texas and the dollar rules, I have little confidence in my "no" vote. We are preparing to hibernate for the next 10 days. The Super Bowl facility is less that 25 miles from our home. Everyone has gone crazy.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22449.cfm

This is a link from Organic Consumer Association saying that Whole Foods, Organic Valley and Stoneyfields have decided its time to surrender to Monsanto.

It's a very sad read for those devoted to organic living.

Richmond, VA(Zone 7a)

oof. thanks for that link though....

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

I have sent Whole Foods an email asking if the contents of this article is true.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/company/service.php

People in their "Food Politics Forum" also seem to be upset about this decision.

http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/forums/index.php?plckForumPage=Forum&plckForumId=Cat%3a8c8a349d-cbd8-4475-986c-2420c40686b5Forum%3ac1ab1da5-367b-47c9-993f-156a02507b52

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