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Horrid. Not YOU, the EXTENSIVE list! I cannot thank you enough for providing this, especially as it is time to ponder my 2013 garden..and proper planning takes so much time...
So, thank you again, Cristina - you're the "Bees Knees!"
Thanks, Country Gardens- I was concerned reading that list because I am counting on Big Beef being my #1 next year, and saw it on the list. In my opinion, that is comparable to boycotting a company for one thing, but that same company is in bed with so many others that it is impossible to isolate anything any more.The world is just too full of scares lately, and although I plan to use my common sense in as much as I can, I refuse to be bullied by paranoia.
I don't think the OP is necessarily concerned Monsanto developed any of those varieties, she just doesn't want to support them with her money. That's totally legitimate, but as others have said, it's a complicated issue. Unless you grow ALL your own food, you really can't get away from putting money in their pockets, from anything with corn, soy, sugar beets or cotton. Because of corn and soy, that means buying meat also benefits them.
Monsanto also owns the Cargill, Dekalb, Holdens, De Ruiters seed companies, and their numerous regional subsidiaries. Monsanto no longer is in the pharmeceutical business or rBGH (Pfizer bought them out).
CindyMzone5 - I don't shop at Walmart or Costco. But I am a bonafide Trader Joe's Shopper! NicoleC = thanks for the information. You make a great point as well! Callalily - I did not see anywhere where it was stated that Monsanto developed the varieties, but I may have missed something! Country and Jo, thank you! I, too, appreciate information and try to be a responsible consumer, but, as was once pointed out to me, "You are responsible for your own ignorance."
So that is what I try to do - eliminate as much ignorance in my life as possible!
Read through the comments under that link. Some are rabidly opposed to buying anything from Monsanto either because (1) they are developing GMO corn seeds or (2) they have poor labor practices. Some point out problems with the list not addressed by the original poster. Anyone is entitled to shun a company they disapprove of, especially if because of (2), but there is much misinformation about (1).
Many of the varieties listed are heirloom or open pollinated and were developed long before artificial gene-modification was even thought of. (Natural mutations also modify genes.)
Even if Monsanto genetically modifies one of these garden varieties whose trademark they presumably now own (and the probability is small because the cost involved would be prohibitive except in seeds intended for the large farm market) wouldn't they have to change the name to avoid confusion and to prevent others selling competing products under the same name?
I normally buy OP seed from companies that are privately owned, and am not going to turn my back on a variety because a company owned by Monsanto also sells it. If I am ever tempted to buy a hybrid whose trademark is owned by a Monsanto company, I will balance its benefits against the apparent drawbacks in (2) before making my decision.
Don, I am glad to read some reasoned, non-hysterical comments about this. It distresses me, that so many people have so much animosity towards large Corporations, when those corporations contribute so much to our high standards of living. Walmart provides good steady jobs for over a million employees, and while i do not like walking a half mile and then look for a half hour to buy something, which is why i do not trade there, i am sure if i was a a single mother raising several kids, i would appreciate the low prices they charge. Monsanto has also developed many products that have made our lives better and also provided good jobs for many people. So people should not buy specific products they choose not to, but i do not see any reason to condemn the entire operation. Corporations are owned by many investors, some small and some large, and they are all run by hired hands, not faceless aliens.
I have been a small businessman, but never had any animosity towards my larger competitors, and do think they contribute a lot to our economy.
I live right in the "corn belt". If not for Monsanto & GMO corn & soybean seeds, the world may be very hungry. That technology has added at least 50 bushels per acre to corn & 15 bushels to soybeans. Just multiply that by the thousands of acres of each to see how much food would not be avaiable.
There is a shortage of both right now because of dry conditions. How short would it be without this technology.
CG, I remember when Wallace began working trying much simpler methods of plant breeding to improve Corn Production, after WW2, there were people complaining and worrying about what he was doing. I think humans have been trying to improve plant production as long as they have been growing it.
Too many inconsistances to even bother. Ever so often this link shows up on DG, anyone who is interested can do a search of DG and you should get hits.
Under peppers it shows Habanero, how many different Habs are there out there? I didn't know O/Ps were trademarked. There are so many seed companies that if somebody wants to stay away from Monsantos it shouldn't be hard, but I wouldn't rely on this list for my guidelines.
A member of my immediate family is one of the VPs of Cargill so I can tell you Monsanto does not own Cargill, they have formed a partnership, a joint venture to develop genetically modified feed products.
Monsanto owns Seminis seeds.
Cargill is not into developing vegetable seeds for the home gardener, their business is all about big agriculture, mostly corn and soybeans.
Thanks for clearing that up. I think 1 of the biggest misconceptions, regardless how an individual feels about Monsantos, is that their GMOs are not available to the general public (home gardener).
Also, Monsantos may hold the patent on some of the popular hybrid seeds that are sold by many companies, this doesn't mean they own part of the business. Many seed companies offer these seeds bc they are very popular and sell well, however these are hybrid seeds not GMOs.
Plant Genetics often get modified, naturally, which accounts for dozens or hundreds of different varieties of plants and trees of the same species. I do not know how the Laboratories do it deliberately, but there has not been any harm done by the natural modifications. If they are not superior to the old ones, no one wants to grow them.
While propagating Flowering Crab Apples, we had a natural modification that was much superior than the parent variety, healthier, faster growing, prettier, etc,. just everything as growers we would like to have in our garden. It is becoming very popular in the industry. We also found a few that were not any better so we did not bother with those.
So, since i do not know what the harm is, if any, can someone tell me what all the concern and fuss about is about?
Nobody have proved that they cause a problem of any kind.
At one time we had two vendors at our Farmers Market that grew things organic. Belittled people that farmed conventionaly. Big kicker, both smoked like fiens, even while they were selling. One died young, the other finally quit smoking.
People should look at themselves before critizing others.
in spite of all you say that is pro monsanto-they are single handlely responsible for the decline of the bee population(roundup). i personally do not want to eat corn that is bred to blow up the stomachs of the insects that prey on it. if it not so bad, why are so many countries banning gmos? why did monsanto pay millions to defeat a bill requiring them to be labeled in calif?
Roundup apparently does not kill bees. It is not an insecticide. I spray roundup within 4 feet of a beehive, and the bees have increased tremendously in the two years i have lived here.
I was also pleased to notice today how many mason bees and possibly some honeybees, were working the blooms on the buckwheat. Insecticides, do of course, kill bees, but i do not think Roundup kills honey bees.
The Honeybee population has been severely decimated, at least in the Western States, by different diseases or parasites of the bees, and unless the Chemical companies can come up with a chemical that can kill that pest or disease, the future for honey bees looks pretty bleak.
A wise old doctor told me one time that there was a little bit of poison in every prescription drug he prescribed, and it was the poison that made them effective. It is really a complicated world we live in.
Just a side note, Bt ( which is a certified organic pesticide) works by messing up the digestive tract of the catapilers that eat it so they starve to death. But it is Organic.
Ernie-GMOs are created in a laboratory, genes are inserted that could not be done by nature. It has nothing to do with natural selection, random mutations or hybridization. What you described in your above post is what I would consider hybridizing. But GMOs are created in a lab at the molecular level.
The main place consumers will find GMOs is in the grain section of their supermarket. I too, would like the products I buy to be labeled GMO or not. I feel that we all have the right to make that choice on our own.
ERNIECOPP wrote:Plant Genetics often get modified, naturally, which accounts for dozens or hundreds of different varieties of plants and trees of the same species. I do not know how the Laboratories do it deliberately, but there has not been any harm done by the natural modifications. If they are not superior to the old ones, no one wants to grow them.
So, since i do not know what the harm is, if any, can someone tell me what all the concern and fuss about is about?
GMO's are genetic crosses across species' and sometimes phyla. The infamous (and now defunct) "Flavr Savr" tomato used genetic material from E.coli and inserted it into tomato DNA. Bt corn is bacterial DNA inserted into corn. "Golden rice" has carrot DNA inserted into rice DNA. There's a frost-resistant tomato that has flounder genes.
This is an entirely different process than conventional breeding, where plants of the same species are crossed to produce new varieties or hybrids. These crosses are generally done under controlled conditions but are essentially the same thing as if the two varieties crossed without assistance. You are never going to see a fish and a tomato breed.
Why is it a big deal? Potential health concerns are as yet unproven, but to be fair they are also virtually unstudied, and the few studies there are are not well structured. From an environmental standpoint, GMO plants can still cross with non-GMO plants. This is especially a problem with rape and corn. There are NO long term studies on the effect that may have on wild populations and the health of the gene pool but it has certainly had deleterious effects on farmer's downwind of GMO fields, particularly organic farmers who lose the value of their crop when it becomes tainted with GMO pollen. We know farmed salmon escape their pens and have severely damaged wild salmon stocks with diseases and parasites, as yet we're going to release new genetically modified salmon in those same pens because they can be "contained?"
Finally, there are allergy concerns. Doctor's don't know what causes food allergies in individuals. I personally have a life-threatening food allergy. You stick DNA from an onion into an unrelated food and I *could* have an allergic reaction. Or not. There's no way to tell, the product is not labelled and it's not tested for safety.
No one can say one way or the other if GMOs are safe for mass consumption and for the health of critical world food crops. That in itself *is* the big deal -- the general public is unwittingly part of a giant bioassay test.
Personally, I think there is great promise in genetic engineering for medicines and... possibly... for food crops. But I think these crops need to be grown in clean-room lab conditions and carefully studied for safety instead of letting the genie out of the bottle willy nilly hoping nothing bad happens.
I must have not made myself clear. We were not crossbreeding or hybrizing the trees.
We were cloning by bud grafting established cultivars. All were identical clones, except very rarely, something would happen during the bud grafting to cause a genetic mutation.
If the resulting tree was not superior to the established cultivar, it was not saved. I am sure they discard many failures, and only market the improved GMO plants, too. It would be financial suicide for any of them to market harmful products, so that led to my query as to why it seems to scare some people so much.
Thanks for taking time to thoroughly discuss this.
I definitely believe in freedom of choice. I haven't eaten mayonnaise in years, due to the G-M-O soybean oil, nor corn on the cobb. Cottonseed oil is especially dangerous because the use of pesticides are not regulated as a food product. I purchase organic cornmeal from our local food coop, and elk meat or grass fed beef. The first time I purchased meat from the local elk ranch, I asked if the animals were finished with corn. She said no, and that people who order (from all over the US) meat from them are concerned about feeding corn before slaughter, due to allergies they've developed. I wish everyone would do deep research on this issue, as it is an issue that doesn't stop with our plates, the ge crops contaminate surrounding crops, and eventually, unchecked, there will be no more choice in what we can grow. It's in the beef, chicken, and other meats in grocery stores because they're corn-fed. We want freedom of choice, not monopolies in our food. I believe in innovation, but this one is deadly.
I hope society can get back to the basics we were given "in the beginning" - the healing foods and herbs available to us, knowing what heals what almost became a lost art, but there's a movement afoot - we just need to do the research for ourselves and our families, lest we "perish for lack of knowledge."
I want a choice and a label on it so I can avoid them. Freedom of choice. Better yet, they should be outlawed.
I had heard some numbers recently about the increased use of herbicides such as Roundup, linked to growing more Roundup-ready GMO crops. Can't believe that (if true) the increase is good for the environment. Agree with Nicole that there should have been more tests before unleashing GMOs and related issues into the environment with no thought of how to correct any mistakes (impossible?).
I absolutely agree that everyone has the right to make all of their own choices, and i am not trying to change any minds, i am just looking for information.
Where is the negative evidence? Lawyers are starving to death and a large part of the advertising on TV is from Law Firms looking for reasons to sue large corporations. When a few people get sick from eating bad hamburger or peanut butter, it makes big news, but i have not seen one bit of mainstream news about people actually being damaged by GMO food.
And to the person that believes Roundup is a major factor in Bee deaths, my actual personal experience has been directly contrary to that. I used Roundup on my Nursery, and i agree it diminished the bee fodder by killing dandelions and Canadian Thistle, but that surely increased flowering tree blossoms by many times the amount, and a local beekeeper was very glad to have the opportunity to keep many hives of the property, knowing i used Roundup. The same situation on a smaller scale is right here. My neighbor has a beehive about 3 feet from the fence line that i spray with Roundup, and the flowers and other plant blossoms i grow has increased the bee activity around his hive several fold.
I would like to see contrary evidence from an unbiased source on this matter, because i certainly do not want to harm or decimate Pete's Bee population.
if you read the studies on the declining bee population you will see that roundup is directly attributable, not that it kills bees instantly, but that the long standing effects of roundup on bee's food sources is causing declines in populations. monsanto's solution: buy the research company that proved this to shut it up.
you might also want to research the effect of roundup on groundwater.
you might also want to research how many countries thoughout the world have banned monsantos gmo corn
they all cant be wrong.
all i am saying is be informed.
monsanto is now trying to get a corn on the market that cant be killed by agent orange. who the heck needs something like that?
I respect your opinions, but as hungry as the Media is for news, and as hungry as the lawyers are for provable cases, why don't we hear more about it?
We have had so many dire situations, that have turned out to be false alarms, I no longer know what to believe. I am sure you recall the DDT scare, when it caused the Pelicans to lay eggs with soft shells. The alarm was raised, and DDT was banned, and then they found out DDT actually did much more good than harm, as it saved babies lives in Africa by killing the Malaria carrying mosquitoes, so now they are using it again.
It may well be that you are correct in believing GMO is harmful, but with no deadly evidence yet, it seems to me to be too soon to judge or condemn it, until we have had time to compare the actual, not perceived, harm, to the benefits.
As the World's population continues to explode, we are going to have to produce a lot more food from the same amount of acreage, and while not every attempt will succeed, the ones that do will be much appreciated.
Thanks to all of you for sharing your opinion and the information,
you dont hear about it cause monsanto is very good at damage control
think about this: monsantos gmo corn is banned is many countries around the world.
gmos in general are banned more and more in other countries around the world.
if there is nothing wrong with gmos why did monsanto pay $18,000,000 to fight prop 37 in calif that would have made labeling gmos mandatory. if there is nothing wrong with gmos why not label them?
what is monsanto hiding?
check out occupy monsanto, gmo free, and many other world wide movements to ban gmos.
just google "list of countries that ban gmos"
in the usa, sad to say, money can buy anything.
monsanto is buying up seed companys at an alarming rate.
do you even know about the "safe seed pledge" that companies adhere to to fight gmos?
Why are some people so opposed to companies that are making the world better ? Would you like to see more famines like they have in Africa ?
I personally like eat. How will I eat if you ban food ?
I noticed in your last article a link to world ending soon. Why not get on a highhorse to stop that. It is more pressing.
Do you smoke ? Do you drink ?
They will get you before GMO corn.
How about medicine ? Someone mentioned posion in medicine. Yes I take it everyday, for my heart health.
Millions of people will die before GMO's kill the world.
Everyone, please do the research on your own, here are some terms to google and read first hand accounts and research that's already coming forth. It is not safe to assume anything is safe until you research it yourself.
Start with searching "GMO dangers" and go from there.
Monsanto has spent years building their brand with beautiful and family-friendly-sounding television ads. This has caused many to not see what they're doing, because they've succeeded in making people trust their brand. It's falling apart on them now, though. When you build trust, you'd better not break that trust, and they have.
The reason you don't see "GMO killing animals and making humans sterile" type stories on mainstream news is because most of the large news corporations have accepted government stimulus money and many of the Monsanto executives are now entrenched in the FDA and many other organizations - it all boils down to money. The company gives probably millions in campaign and public 'service' donations each year, in addition to lobbying in their own behalf.
Don't ever trust mainstream media to give you the real news, or the whole news. It's all about money, now. It's not about doing good things for people. I spent many years as a news reporter, and believe me, it doesn't matter who it hurts, if there's money to be made on gmo seeds and industries, pharmaceuticals, etc. The world is not the one my grandparents knew. It is a corrupt system but you can be armed with knowledge if you do the research. I hope everyone will. Maybe you can't change the world with your knowledge, but you can be prepared for the future.
I have only taken a quick look at this but I was under the impression that the main concern with GM crops is the potential for accidently hybridizing with nearby non-GM crops. This would be bad for an organic farmer, of course, but a bigger concern is loss of genetic diversity. So you really wouldn't want to grow anything GM in the area that a plant was originally native from. So corn would be more of a corncern in North America than soy.
Roundup - I hadn't heard that roundup hurts bees, but I could see where it would indirectly if used to gid rid of bee forage. One of the advantages of Roundup is that it goes inert fairly quickly. I heard that it does this by binding with metals - so if you had iron-poor soil, it could make it worse. I was concerned about what happens when it binds with heavy metals in aquatic situations - if something happened to cause the chemical bonds to break down, could you suddenly get a spike in heavy metals? I couldn't find a good answer to that question.
Personally, I avoid using anything that ends in "-cide", especially insecticides - even if the product is "Organic". I am more careless with fertilizers that do not contain pesticides - I don't care whether they are organic or not. I try to encourage bees and beneficial insects, but I have to confess, I have used "Raid" on crevasses near my house that were serving as Black Widow condominiums. I didn't like doing it, but the poison spider situation was getting out of hand. I have more native Wolf spiders now.
I don't drink or smoke. I do take medicine BUT it is labeled so I am making a choice that the benefits out weigh the side effects.
How did farmers farm before GMOs? By cranking out more food each individual fruit or veggie contains less nutrients and energy, as a plant can only produce so much energy. So while people may not go hungry they aren't getting the nutrients or we have to eat twice as much to get them same nutrients.
I wonder if the farmland, where Round Up Ready crops are being grown and Round Up is being used regularly, will ever be able to grow anything else? Will it be a dead zone?
I think it's really important to realize that there is a huge difference between what is used in the Ag industry and what the home Gardner uses.
My father, now deceased, was with the department of Agriculture. He said that fields that were always used for the same thing were hard on the soil - and that Soy was particularly bad. I guess that it adds nitrogen, but sucks all the other nutrients out. This was before GM soy. So yes, I imagine that repeated plantings of Roundup resistant soy could leave a farmed-out semi-dead zone. I assume only semi-dead because I assume over time there would be Roundup-resistant invasive weeds developing along with the GM soy. I'm not saying the GM soy would cross with the weeds - but weeds could get the same result through natural selection.
Again, I avoid using anything that is a "-cide". And over-treating for a problem you ain't got is just asking for trouble. It is an invitation to get the problem - and a resistant form of it.
ERNIECOPP wrote:I am sure they discard many failures, and only market the improved GMO plants, too. It would be financial suicide for any of them to market harmful products, so that led to my query as to why it seems to scare some people so much.
Do you really think it's financial suicide to market harmful products? Because Phillip Morris, Coca-Cola and may other companies make billions selling harmful products. There is a long litany of poorly tested products which have later turned out to be disastrous if not deadly and many of those companies are still doing quite well, up to and including Monsanto who killed many Vietnam war vets (as well as Vietnamese people) with Agent Orange. Sometimes the company involved is quite aware of the problem internally but releases it anyway or doesn't take it off the market after the problem is known.
Thalidomide, DDT, PCBs, asbestos... corporations can be trusted to enhance their bottom line. That's all corporations exist to do.
I had dropped out of this discussion, but i will reply to your post. Yes, it is financial suicide, and Phillip Morris is just a shadow of what it used to be. As a young man, i was almost always the only non-smoker in the group or on the job, but now that has reversed and smokers are rare. So, the product was bad and the product is failing in the market place.
But as long as people are willing to buy a product, it delays the final reckoning. Some people that use tobacco and Coca Cola live a long time and some people that never use either die young, and both groups have the right to choose whether or not they use it.
But anytime a product loses its customer base, it is no longer viable. As long as some people believe smoking is worth the risk, whether it suits you or not, that is their choice.
You chose some products that pretty well proves my statement. The financial damages from the manufacturers of Thalidomide, and Asbestos put those specific operations out of business which is financial suicide. The manufacturers in some cases had other products, but the damages they paid were many times the profits they made from those products.
I read within the last year or two, that so many people were dying from mosquito bites in other countries that they are again manufacturing and using DDT, so i am not sure just where that stands on your list.
But i repeat my earlier remark that i think you have the perfect right to choose not to use the GMO, but is it really your place to make dubious or unproven claims against a product, trying to change other people's minds and convince them to do as you say?
I do not think it is my right to try to talk you into using something you do not like.
Now lets get with the good that Round Up & GMO's are doing.
1930's there was the dust bowl. Wheat was a very good price. So farmers plowed up the prairie grasses & cultivated it until no weeds grew. Then it got dry, wheat didn't grow, so the wind blew all the loose soil away.
Now with weed control, farmers no longer plow. Do not have to cultivate 2 or 3 times a season. So soil stays put, soil is healthy & crops thrive.
This part of the country received very little rain in June, July & August, the major growing months for corn & soybeans. Yield was about 90% of expected crop.
Corn stalks & bean straw are mixed into the top layer of the soil, not plowed under. This system is now collecting the moisture from winter rains & snow.
We are in the middle of a blizzard as I type. I gaurentee the snow will stay in the crop residude. 20 years ago the ditches would be black with soil blowing off the fields.
Now if this isn't progress for saving the earth for future generations, keep up your hounding of corperations.
By the way most family farms now days are corperations.
if i had to pay more for things that did not include carcinogens, that seems a fair trade off. hmmm cancer causing cheap things or non cancer causing more expensive things- everyone makes their own choice.
and, if the bees all die off, it wont matter anyway cause the entire food chain for the planet will be gone within 4 years of that happening, if not sooner. no bees, no food end of story
I think a lot of it has to do with choice. But if it's not labeled we can't make a choice. I don't think people realize how wide spread GMOs are in grocery stores in the grain section. All of the above may be dangerous but we can choose to drink or smoke. Regardless of what we believe to be positive or negative we can't make a choice if we don't know...
From what I've read there are already "super" weeds that are immune to herbicides. I just wonder what years of spraying Round Up on a certain area will do to it? I have a feeling I know, but it will take years to find out and by then it will be too late.
If $4 billion a year in profits at Altria is financial suicide, a lot of companies would love to be so lucky. Granted it's not as much as they used to make, but a lot of people still got filthy rich.
I totally agree that people should have the option to choose to partake of GMOs or not and to make an informed choice. Sadly, these products are not in any way labelled and realistically cannot be completely avoided at this point. I'd be much happier of someone had merely tried to "talk me into using something I don't like" instead of removing the alternatives.
Nicole, I am sorry to see you take partial information about Altria, as with Monsanto and GMO, to form a distorted impression.
Altria dropped from # 11 on the Fortune 500 list to # 134, and has laid off thousands of employees. They are a conglomerate, and the dwindling cigarette business is not their only asset. Whether that is financial suicide, or just a slow death, it is not a good trend.
Why do you seem to feel so much resentment towards people that got filthy rich? Tobacco is not a business i would want to be in, but they were providing a product and service that their customers demanded.
The only point i have wanted to make in this discussion is the simple truth that if we are going to protect our own freedoms, we must allow other people to have the freedom, too, to do as they please. So whether we use it or like it or not, we absolutely need to let other people smoke, drink, eat GMO food, etc., and then we will have the right to do, or not do, what ever we choose.
I will let you win the rest of this discussion, as I have said all i wish to say.
On the whole I agree with most of the above BUT I do have one little pet peeve -
Colorado was originally a mining state. Our mining industry and history are pretty well forgotten. But I would like to remind folks that asbestos, arsenic, lead, cadmium, and quite a few other poisons are NATURALLY occurring minerals or compounds in certain rock and soil formations. And natural disasters are still Disasters. Natural isn't always synonymous with good! That is why I want to know how Roundup reacts with heavy metals in water - it could be a problem here if it removes natural traces then later breaks down and releases them in larger amounts.
Also, Thalidomide was never legally prescribed in the U.S.A. - the FDA delayed approving it, Thank God. The Thalidomide babies in North America got the drug out of Canada.
I am all for Bio-Diesel, but "free choice" folks - you have to admit, planting large-scale GMO crops next to a small scale Organic Farmer just isn't neighborly! It could cost the organic farmer his organic certification and he would lose his market and income.
Organic certification. Do you know what it means ? Probably not. One rule is there must be a buffer of 30 feet between organic & non organic crops. Seed corn companies require much more than that, I think it is 300 feet. Drive down the road where they raise seed corn & check it out. Most of the time there is not another regular corn field within a ¼ mile.
If 30 feet can mean you are eating organic food, you are fooling yourself.
People rant & rave, but have no idea what they are talking about.
Go look up stuff on farming, not just some persons private opinion.
Please share what you find out about the effect of Roundup on heavy metals, from the sources you mention.
As an ex-farmer right on the bank of the beautiful Kootenai River, i was always concerned about the problems of chemicals reaching the water, but until you mentioned the Roundup/Heavy Metal concern, i thought the major problem was with nitrates. I am interested in what you find out from unbiased sources.
Not many discussions going on, on DG anymore, so it's enjoyable to discuss a topic like this.
I try not to take sides, because we need many of these things, weather good or bad, or if we agree or disagree.
Here is one from the National Institute of Health that seems to say that Roundup helps bind/sequester metals except mercury - mercury uptake increased in the aquatic plant tested (So the plant is sequestering it instead of the Roundup? I'm not sure whether this is good or bad):
Here is one from Monsanto saying that in solution, negatively charged glyphosate can bond with positively charged metal ions - making both partially unavailable. They don't recommend combining them in a spray.
But still no info on what happens when/if the chemical bonds break down. I sent an email to the National Pesticide Information Center. They have information on Glyphosate, but it doesn't cover interaction with metals.
If it was a simple as letting someone else grow or eat GMO foods and those that don't want to don't have to, then I'd be more accepting. Unfortunately too much research has been done proving how disastrous for the planet, animals, and humans GMO products are (Please watch Dr. Mercola's interview with Dr. Huber). The main reason GMO seeds have been banned by many other countries is the fact that GMO can contaminate other crops, causing farmers to no longer be able to save their seed, and in some cases the company sued the farmers even though it wasn't their fault that Mons. GMO crops contaminated their fields. CountryGardens and Ernie are pro-GMO but I think they just don't know enough of what has already happened to people's health, the loss of their farms, massive suicides over a ruined way of life because of GMOs. No one will ever make me believe they're okay. They're not. This country is so owned by the corporations that we can't even get labels like other countries. I am only one voice amongst millions who've done the research. I'm all for people being able to advance, to make money and even lots of money, because that's what freedom means- the ability to prosper and have a good life. This issue isn't about that at all. Some reading and watching the documentaries and videos on this subject might just change the minds of those who aren't alarmed.
Dr Mercola is far from non-biased- although I agree with him on some things, he can not be accepted as the ultimate authority on subjects he addresses. As with all things internet- you just can't believe all you see, hear, or read. Our society has become one of "be afraid- be very afraid", and at some point one has to take the reins and decide for themselves, based on common sense- yes, definitely be active in educating yourself, but do not believe all- and don't be intimidated by panic mongers.
Because when bias is based on truth, that's a good kind of bias. You should read more about him and others who are on the side of labeling and prohibiting the infiltration of dangerous foods. I don't trust forums totally either, because some of these big companies hire people skilled in social networking and propoganda on behalf of the particular company. I just don't want people to be hurt by the food they're eating, nor their livestock, nor their farm, nor their pets eating the stuff in their food. I don't know why people can't just care about others and love them. Why does there have to be all this awful stuff happening... Oh well. I've had my say. Believe it or don't, it's okay.
Man, I am convinced that there are a bunch of old hippies, tree huggers, and jeese, even geeks, on this topic, and I am very honored to live in this great country where we can all "chew the fat" in forums like this, and learn from each other! I appreciate EVERY comment.
Yep, count me in the "Old Hippie" category.
I have spent quite a bit of time researching these topics the last two days. Obviously very Controversial!! Here is the facts/trivia I have picked up: I don't want to upset anyone, but it seems like GMO cotton really has decreased pesticide use, helping the environment over-all. The GMO corn that had pollen that was toxic to Butterflies is no longer on the market - but not because of the butterflies. Other GMO corn that has Bt incorporated into the leaves but not the pollen should have seen the pesticide reduction that cotton has seen, but hasn't. So it should be doing more good than it is. I am undecided about the Roundup-ready GMOs because I am undecided about Roundup. The GMOs that have been approved by the USDA weren't approved because of pressure from corporations - the were approved because of pressure from farmer's organizations and associations, and because the FDA couldn't find anything wrong with them. Vegetable oil is the grocery store product most likely to contain GMOs, so all of us that are using it to avoid saturated fats have already consumed GMOs. All GMOs must be approved as food safe even if they are going to be used for Bio-Diesel, because they tried having separate standards and there was cross-contamination in the storage, sale, & processing after it left the farm (all field corn is handled the same, and gets mixed together, after the farmer sells it).
Roundup is considered one of the safer herbicides. That means it is safer than 2-4-D, not safer than organic or mechanical control of weeds. So if your grower is going to use a herbicide anyway, Roundup might be preferable to 2-4-D. I am concerned about over use of any pesticide - including "organic" pesticides - and I am concerned that Roundup-ready GMOs encourage overuse. I am still trying to get the facts on Roundups chemical interaction with metals - both good nutrient mineral metals and toxic heavy metals.
I got my information from mostly .edu and a few .gov sites (and from Monsantos own guidelines concerning micronutrient metals). I avoided .org and .com sites because they just weren't impartial enough with the facts to be credible with me.
Thanks for the report. I am sure that took a lot of time and effort. I will add two comments.
Biodiesel has an uncertain future until Crude oil reaches the 150 to 200 dollar a barrel range so it can compete price wise, and especially so if and when the country runs out of money for subsidies.
As to your concern about overuse of Roundup as GMO crops become more common, there will always be some careless farmers and employees, but the cost of the chemicals is an important economic factor and that is probably by far the best control against overuse on well run farms.
We have historically had a no-political-discussion rule in place here; it was iron-clad in the days following 9/11 and has slowly relaxed over the years. Now we try to take a fairly hands-off approach unless a thread turns from discussion to debate. (And since that is a somewhat subjective call, we occasionally must make a choice that is undoubtedly unpopular with at least half the thread participants.)
In this case, please know that Melody and I are aware of this thread, and we both commend all the posters for remaining relatively civil and constructive in your comments. If it turns into personal attacks, we'll have to shut it down - but we really hope we don't need to do that.
A recent "research" test was run in France concerning cancer from GMOs. It came up with a result that GMOs caused cancer. Turns out that the strain of rats or mice were strains that were bred to develop cancer so that cancer drugs could be tried out on them!! Obviously the research was dismissed by more reliable groups, but you have to wonder how long the misinformation circulates among certain groups.
Anyway, I am not totally happy with big ag, but I don't like the control of our lives that many liberal groups are acquiring either.
The only downside I see- and I may have my subjects mixed- but the lawsuits potential for pollination of non GMO growers products needs to have limits for things out of their control, it actually has nothing to do with the benefits of the plants- I LIKE some from each side of the fence.
>> A wise old doctor told me one time that there was a little bit of poison in every prescription drug he prescribed, and it was the poison that made them effective.
It's a truism in pharmacology that "the dose makes the poison". Most things, and almost every drug, is toxic if you take too much, effective if you take just the right amount, and ineffective or worse if you take too little.
If you take too little of an antibiotic, you only slow down the bugs it should have killed, until those with a little resistance form most of the population. Then the most resistant of THOSE are selected for the next time someone takes a low dose of that antibiotic. That's how we got where we are now, with almost every infection resistant to multiple antibiotics.
I think it was Mercury that was considered the patron deity of both doctors and poisoners. Also, of merchants and thieves, diplomats and liars. He really went both ways.
I agree with a post from Nicole, way way back.. The most reasonable approach to GMOs that I know is to be dubious about transgenic organisms - those with genes received from another species. I have a harder time getting worked up about genes being moved from (say) a rare wild variety of corn into a productive commercial variety. (That kind of thing happens all the time in nature.)
I'm more suspicious of genes being moved from bacteria into higher plants. But that is very rarely done. Thanks for listing the examples, Nicole.
And, very tentatively and speculatively, just in my own mind, I'm not cliaming that anyone well-eductaed on this subject believes i9tg, IF the newer crop genetic engineering techniques make moved genes more "mobile" within a plant's genome or in the genome of anything it cross-pollinates with, THEN I might worry that we are making all varieties it can cross with, less genetic ally stable. But I don't know if the modern G.E. techniques are at all like what I'm thinking of (plasmid and cosmid transformation in bacteria). This is purely speculative. But antibiotic resistance in bacteria has "jumped on buses", and now travel from one strain to another faster than they used to, because they have accumulated in plasmids that can jump from strain to strain (and, less easilyh, from species to species and genus to genus).
But more than any of that, I'm concerned about the simple and unarguable the fact that a very high % of all corn grown is now one of just a few very highly specialized and inbred strains, instead of the entire genetic universe of multiple, traditional landrace gene populations.
But whaddaya gonna do if they are 2-3 times as productive? Or 4-5 times? If the whole world were so prosperous that everyone was willing and able to pay 2-3 times as much for food, and use 2-5 times as much land and water, there would be many solutions that would satisfy everyone's concerns. Until that daydream-day, we probably all have to make trade-offs.
And most of all, if I did understand it correctly, I resented engineered crops with a sterility gene built in that can transfer that sterility to their neighbors' crops via pollen. I would have favored that being subject to suing penalties at least, and maybe even criminal penalties. It would have been "genetic pollution", if I understand the "terminator gene" concept correctly (F2 sterility) . Since everything I've read has been heatedly partisan, I don't claim to KNOW if any or all of this is true. I see that Monsanto pledged NOT to market it, back in 1999. Now they rely instead on it being illegal to save seeds from their "designer crops".
BEEOLOGICS, the world's leading research firm on bee colony collapse disorder was bought by MONSANTO in Sept of 2011. A GMO Franken-Bee has now been created and will soon be released into the environment and will inevitably effect the already endangered natural population.
These bees which are immune to the insecticides implanted in GMO corn will cross pollinate into neighboring fields, and accelerate the demise of organic corn stocks. Field trials are already being conducted in the US and Hawaii. It won't be long until this Bio-technology is fast tracked thru the FDA and GMO honey is in the system.
Please contact your legislators and share this link with everyone.
Bee decline -
They haven't found any link, so this is just wild speculation on my part - but wonder if the bee decline is caused by hauling them around on Semi-trailers to pollinate crops. It seems like the travel would be unnatural and stressful, which would weaken their immune systems. Then the colonies would be unnaturally large - so that would hasten the spread of any problem. And they would drive these stressed bees farther than they would travel on their own, spreading problems through stationary bee populations along the route. I had a friend tell me that she had witnessed over-heated bee hives on a truck being hosed-down at a rest-stop. I have wondered about the life of traveling bees ever since.
They have been hauling bees for years.
The bee keeper at our Farmers Market takes his bees to Texas for the winter. Just to live, not pollinate. He says they do better there than staying in Minnesota for the winter.
Some nut trees in California need bees to produce nuts. But only need the bees for a short time. So they move on to do another crop somewhere.
People should quit commenting on things they know nothing about.
That's how all the troubles start.
My beekeeper friend in Idaho hauls his bees to the Central Valleys of CA for the Almond bloom, and he is like any other livestock farmer. He would never do anything to jeopardize the well being of his bees. He knows he has to protect and take care of them if they are going to take care of him.
People do not always know what they do not know, so i think it is okay for everyone to voice their thoughts or opinions on these wide ranging discussions. Sometimes the responsese or corrections lead to very interesting points being made.
RC, I will miss you, but i am very grateful to Monsanto, because without their help, i would probably still be outside pulling weeds.
There are also many beekeepers who have the opinion that hauling bees around the country exposes them to more diseases and weakens their immune systems. Some actually boycott almonds because of the practice. Guess we can't generalize about all beekeepers.
I agree there are many different practices among beekeepers, but the Almond industry in CA, where most of the almonds are grown, could not survive without the transient bee hives, as that area could not support all the bees the Almonds need, for the rest of the year. That is just another good example of where there is a need, some people will step forward to fill it.
Another aspect of it is, with just the 100 day growing period in Idaho, he needs bee pasture somewhere else.
Ernie, there are many other companies that produce herbicides BUT I believe that is the only company that has produced patent crops that are immune to it. As far as I know, Monsantos is the only company that puts genetic markers in their genetically engineered seeds. These seeds have been introduced to small farmers in developing countries. Many of these farmers have been sowing the same seeds for generations and are told the "new" seeds are fantastic, only to find out when the marker shows up in the seeds they have been sowing for generations, that their seeds now belong to Monsantos. To a small farmer his seeds are like gold and when they are gone so is his livelihood. I wouldnt thank them for anything. realize that they have done some incredible things but we have managed with out these for centuries.
I realize that they allow more food to be produced but its not as nutritious and it creates a "false niche". The best I can discribe this is with the population of deer in our area. There wouldnt be too many except for people feeding them. Another words, their natural environment could not support this population. There is not enough for them to eat.
Ive always heard that the bee decline was not truly understood but thought to be a fungus.
I cant thank Monasantos either. The only problems theyve managed to fix are the ones they have created.
Lisa, You are much better informed on this GMO matter than i am, but your comments bring up a lot of legal questions. Until those questions are settled, it is hard to say much about whether the GMO actually hurts or helps.
But i remember the little old nubby ears of corn small farmers were growing back in the early 1930's, and then we moved to CA, and i lost direct contact with the corn, but as the corn seed was improved by selecting and crossing, the little nubby ears disappeared. That type of corn is still available down in Mexico. The improved corn and wheat has been of great benefit, and if the GMO is just a continuation of the improvements, but in a different form, it will benefit all of us.
If, as some people are worried about, it actually harms us, then the Courts and the Marketplace will eliminate it. That has been my only point, in that all of us, Individuals and Corporations alike, should have the freedom to try to improve things, knowing that if we mess up and cause damage, we will have to pay for it, and of course we need the freedom to choose whether we want to use it or not. But in order to protect our freedoms, we have to also protect the other person's freedom.
So if Monsanto harms you, join a class action, and there wil be a lot of them, and recover your damages. If Monsanto helps you, be grateful to them, but we realy should allow them the freedom to work on it until we know for sure whether it is good or bad. We should not try to stop them until we see proof that it is bad. There were people protesting the early work that was done in corn breeding, believing seed should be left alone.
I am grateful for Roundup, as it has killed a lot of weeds for me.
Bees have a lot of problems, both with mites and parasites, and fungus, but they have always been controllable before, and i have not talked to my friend for 2 or 3 years about it, but the last time i talked to him, they had not found out the reason for the decline, but it was leveling off.
To go back to your comment on the deer population, i do agree that Deer regulate their population to the amount of available food. But humans do not do that, and without continually increasing the food we grow, there will not be enough to feed the increasing population, so the point you made seems to support the need for improved corn.
>> Ive always heard that the bee decline was not truly understood but thought to be a fungus.
Onc e or t3wic e per year, I read an article that says someone else thinks THEY found "the" answer. It always turns out to be whatever their field of research is.
My intuition says that, when they answer is this hard to find and agreement is non-existent, that "the" answer will turn out to be combination of things.
For example (and I'm purely, purely guessing) a combination of more than 5 of these things :
- fungi (combin ation of species and varieties)
- mites (combin ation of species and varieties)
- sub-lethal doses of insecticides
- sub-lethal doses of other "cide"s
- sub-lethal doses of other pollutants
- sub-lethal doses of chemicals that everyone thinks are beneficial
- climate change
- jet lag
- pollen sources changing faster than "over decades"
- less genetic variety in pollen sources
- more genetic variety in pollen sources
- cell phone radiation
- playing too many video games
- other things I can't think of, even facetiously.
If it's like debugging software or diagnosing disease: if two things are causin g the problem, it's 8 times harder to figure out what they are.
If three things are causing the problem, it's 27 times harder to figure it out.
Or it's like when you ask someone how to do something. If they give you half a dozen different ways t6o do it, the odds are that none of those ways are really effective, easy and cheap. If there was an effective, easy, cheap way to do it, that would be how they do it, and they would have told you only one way!
The corn improvements that you are speaking of don't have anything to do with GMOs as far as I know. Hybridization does. Completely different story. GMOs don't get better with the next generation. The seeds are sterile and must be purchased again every year. The only possible improvement is at the cellular level in a lab.
It's so much more complicated then a class action suit. How can I tell if it has hurt me if they don't have to lable the products that it's in?
I have heard of famines in developing countries so yes, not enough food limits the population. A plant can only produce so much energy and the more times it's divided up between fruits the less nutrition is in each fruit. But that isn't do to GMO either. GMOs are when genetics from one species are put into another species in a way that could never happen in nature.
I highly doubt that some of the small farmers in developing countries even know what a class action suit is. They may not even know what a lawyer is but I bet they know who Monsantos is, now that Monsantos has laid claim to the seeds they have been growing for years.
I, personally, don't have a problem with Round Up and anyother herbicide. I think it could be left out of the conversation there is a lot more to Monsantos and GMOs. There is a thread on DG about Superweeds that naturally have become immune to Round up.
I have nothing else to add to this discussion and see no reason to repeat myself but I will read others comments and insights.
'I highly doubt that some of the small farmers in developing countries even know what a class action suit is. They may not even know what a lawyer is but I bet they know who Monsantos is, now that Monsantos has laid claim to the seeds they have been growing for years.
I would wonder why they would "lay claim" to those seeds. I would also wonder if this is mainly an echo from the Canadian canola situation of many years ago, or is this a real time problem there and now?
1lisac wrote:The corn improvements that you are speaking of don't have anything to do with GMOs as far as I know. Hybridization does. Completely different story. GMOs don't get better with the next generation. The seeds are sterile and must be purchased again every year. The only possible improvement is at the cellular level in a lab.
GMO's are just genetically modified, not inherently sterile. That doesn't mean the modification will carry over, but chances are the seed will grow. That's actually been at the crux of a lot of the concern about GMO's - the spread of those introduced genes into crops of nearby farmers who save some of their seed for future planting.
DonShirer wrote:Natural mutations also modify genes.
Quite true. Intentional genetic modification has also been carried out for a very long time. Look up Colchicine. It is a naturally occurring compound derived from Autumn Crocus. It has been used to cause multiplication of the normal number of genes in plants. E.g.: I believe virtually all cultivated daylillies are now polyploid. And if you grow seedless watermelons, technically you are growing genetically modified plants, because obviously seedless plants don't reproduce.
Sometimes seed from Hybrids come back remarkably true to the parent - it is just that you can't count on it & odds are against it. I should also mention that saving these seeds for propagation is illegal, because most Hybrids have some degree of trademark or patent. But if you like to experiment with seeds, it is something you can try. They probably won't be true to type - and if they are, you can't give the seeds to anyone else using the original name.
I have a flower, I won't mention the name here. It was created by crossing a Midwest native with a Mexican native to get the Midwest cold-hardiness and the larger more abundant flowers of the Mexican type. I bought one plant & I assumed it would be sterile. But it must have been self-pollinating because it seeded itself back and the seedlings look almost exactly like the parent. Unlikely, but it can happen.
Open-pollinated types don't always come back true to type either. If you are serious about saving seed, you need to take some precautions about unintended crosses between varieties. Which brings us full circle back to bees or GMOs or hybrids I guess.
PS - It is true that I don't know anything about bees that live out their entire life on a semi-trailer. We do have bee-keepers that rotate their hives between farms, and take them somewhere for a vacation in the off-season. We just don't do it on as large a scale as the West Coast. I do know a little about bees, though - I intentionally plant stuff to attract pollinators and beneficial insects to my yard. I have fruit trees that need pollinated. About half my bees are honey bees, the other half natives. The honey bees must be feral - there are no domestic hives anywhere close.
I have not seen it mentioned in this forum, but the US Supreme court has agreed to hear the Monsanto V. Bowman case regarding the replanting and sale of soybean seed. Lower courts found against Bowman, but the Supreme Court does not usually review cases that they totally agree with. I believe it was mentioned that the case will be heard Jan. 13, but probably no one knows just when the decision will be released.
I did not find anything that prohibits the GMO produced second generation seeds from being used by the growers for their own use, such as livestock feed or consumption. If that is true, then Monsanto cannot claim to "Own the Seed".
PG, There is a honeybee hive just across the fence from me, and they get quite aggressive when they hear the lawn mower, but the bees i prefer are the Mason bees as they are active in cooler weather than are honeybees, I am encouraging them by making nesting sites for them. I was pleased to see a lot of them working the Buckwheat blooms a week or so ago.
We had plenty of bees this summer. Closest hives are about 8 miles cross country. We did pay a beekeeper a number of years ago to bring some bees here. He didn't put them where we wanted & so people were getting stung. 3 times that we know of they swarmed. He came & put them in new boxes. Maybe some others swarmed & went into a hollow tree in our grove or something.
We had 2050 strawberry plants that produced over 1900 pints of berries between May 26 & October. Never an unpollinated berry!
Oh, the strawberries were hybrids by the way. I gave some plants to friend who was going to his winter home in AZ & plant them there. Will I go to jail ?
The word "hybrid" might be used in a variety of ways.
People selling seeds typically make it explicit that they mean an F1 hybrid (which probably includes four-ways). Two diffent parent strains (P1a and P1b) were crossed, and that cross' seed is sold as "F1".
The sense in which "almost all plants are hybrids of SOMETHING even if they are now a stable OP cultivar" is a different use of the word hybrid. Things crossed multiple years ago, or decades ago, or centuries ago, intentionally by human intervention and unintentionally in the wild or in fields.
Even stable, inbred OP cultivars came from that original gene pool, so you could call them hybrids if you don't mind giving one word two very different meanings.
It's true that many OP strains started as a cross between A and B. For example, F1 Sungold tomatoes are eaxctly that: someone crosses A with B and sells you the F1 hybrikd result.
However, many people have crossed their F1 Sungold plants to produce F2 seed, then again for F3 seed, and kept selecting and inbreeding and rogueing until their resulting population is (fairly) stable and produces rather uniform plants that are reasonably close to the original F1 Sungold int he traits that those breeders cared most about.
After multiple generations of inbreding and selection, calling it a 'hybrid' is misleading. It is descended from hybrids
By the way: I knew that there were plants legally protected against asexual propagation (e.g. cuttings). Isn't that what "PP" means? But I thought that you could always propagate those sexually (from seeds) without any legal barrier. And that makes sense becuase their value is in their exact duplication of the unique plant they were cloned from. I thought that seeds from those kind of unusual individuals almost always lost most of the unique traits that made them valuable.
Is there some other law that protects seeds? I only recently read that Monsanto fairly recently gained legal protection against re-use. I thought they had deployed their "Terminator gene" that c aused F2 steriklity (but what I read suggests that is incorrect.)
Maybe that is a spin-off of the MEDICAL research gene engineering explosion, where courts decided that companies could patenmt genes that they discovered (or is it only gen es that they modified?) The argument I recall was that no company would spend years and billions discovering and creating some medical miracle if anyone could clone or reverse enigneer their final product and sell it at 10% the price without having to recoup any investment.
Rich, Google up Supreme Court, Monsanto v Bowman. Monsanto won the case against Bowman in the Appeals Court but the Supreme Court is going to hear it, maybe Jan. 13, so it has not been decided yet.
From what the analysts were saying, it is a pretty close call, on how far down the line Mon can protect the patent. It also seemed to me from what i read that there is no problem with regrowing for your own use, just in the selling or making a profit from it. But as on now, it has not been finalized.
>> no problem with regrowing for your own use, just in the selling or making a profit from it.
That's re-assuring. It even makes sense to the extent that you have to expect to recoup an investment, if you plan to MAKE an investment. But it doesn't make sense from the perspective of "I pollinated your crop against your wishes, now you can't use your own crop."
MAYBE it makes sense to say "you can't SELL seeds with our genes". After all, if developed-world farm ers grow a crop FOR saleable seed, they have to observe separation distances anway.
But I see how a farmer growing a crop to sell as organic food would cinsider that Monsnato pollen as gene pollution and reasonably seek damages.
As I read the "asexual propagation" law, it said "NO asexual peropagation of a protected plant". Not "no COMMERCIAL propagation".
But I never expected Plant Police to break down my garden fence if I took a cutting or divided a rootball.
And what woujld they do if a Protected Plant spread by roots or suckers? Arrest the plant?
CountryGardens wrote:You better study up on producing hybrids. A hybrid is a hybrid.
In corn there are F1, two way cross, four way cross & many others.
Pioneer seeds used to raise hybrid seeds in this area.
If you're referring to my response...I kinda thought I did, when I was earning my bachelors and masters degrees in horticulture. Hybrid is a general term.
Ok, I never known an O/P to be patented or trademark. When I want to know if something is hybrid or O/P I ask Farmerdill, Ive never had a problem getting a straight answer from him. Plantfiles says O/P or hybrid. I see no reason for it to be anymore confusing. It's either one or the other but that's my real life experience.
I only know about these GMO things from farmers that are my neighbors. They don't plant their own soybean seed because the saved seed is inferior to the seed produced to raise crops.
One neighbor grows soybean seed for one of the seed companies. He plants "Registered" seed & the resulting seed he raises is "Certified".
Seed corn is more complex. 6 rows are planted with female corn, the 1 or 2 rows of a male pollinator. The tassel is pulled out of the female plant before it has pollen. That gets the hybrid cross.
An op plant can be Trademarked or PVPed [Plant Variety Patent]. Some examples are the "tillage radishes" which are trademarked as a seed line of that cover crop. Legacy watermelon is protected from someone else selling that seed. African violets are often patented.
I Trademarked a naturally mutated Flowering Cherry, that was much superior to the mother tree we cloned it from. But i found out during that process that i was only able to trademark the name, and that other people could clone my tree and put a different name on it and sell it.
So, as i wanted it to become popular, which it has, i gave the licenses away instead of charging royalties.
Patents are different that Trademarks as the Patents deal with then plant, not just the name. Trademarks are expensive, but not nearly as expensive to get, but not nearly as expensive as Patents.
I just read in American Vegetable Grower Magazine, that Proposition 37 was defeated in California in the November election. 53% to 47%.
It would have required labeling of foods with GMO.
California usually is the trend setter for food regulation. Safety, packaging, storing, etc.
A lot of big money was spent by both sides. Maybe Prop. 37 was defeated because people realize all the labels and other regulations just increase the cost of food without doing any good. Sadly, all the labels on food listing how many calories in each serving has not helped me lose a single pound, which was one of the benefits touted when it was passed.
The only label anyone reads is the one for the $, & I am not sure about that.
Recently gas has been going down. I saw an empty station with gas 10¢ cheaper than the one across the street that was full of cars.
I do read the portions and I've been shocked to see that something was packaged obviously for a single serving was actually 2 servings. My ex MIL is always so proud of herself for being so well info. and health conscience. She was so disgusted with me bc I pointed out that the Bran Muffins she was eating were extremely high in calories and sugar. She let out a huge sigh and got the muffins to show me the package and how utterly stupid I was. I pointed out that each muffin was 2 servings...my ex FIL was very amused. She just put the muffin back and didnt talk to me again. Lol
Hmmm - the increase in the cost of food - only the label needs changing if producers choose not to go non-GMO - not the actual cost of food itself. And producers are always changing labels (usually to reduce the net weight or add the word "natural") and it's not as expensive as you might think. And I do read labels, especially ingredients and nutrients. I'm very interested in what I'm eating and want the option to choose.
Here is what I understood of the Google article on PVPA (seeds and tubers) and plant "patents" (cutting and root divisons).
The Plant Variety Protection Act of 1970 (PVPA), is an intellectual property statute. It gives breeders 20-25 years of control over seeds from their new variety of SEXUALLY reproduced plants.
It must be a NEW variety, clearly distinguishable from any other known variety. The variety must be uniform and stable when reproduced (any variations in crops grown from seed are commercially acceptable) as F2, F3, F4 etc crops.
The PCPA gives the breeder the right to exclude others from SELLING the variety (or reproducing it, or using it in PRODUCING a hybrid or different variety, but this part gets confusing to me)..
It sounds like it can be used in DEVELOPING a hybrid or different variety, which is somehow different from PRODUCING a hybrid. Maybe that is the "research" exemption for plant breeding?
There is also an exemption to allow farmers to SAVE AND RE-PLANT seed on their OWN farms. (How is that different from "reproducing" it? It sounds like the law has see-sawed over that point.)
"Plant patents" are different - they apply to ASEXUALLY reproduced plants (clones like cuttings). Last time I looked, you were technically forbidden to take cuttings from a PP plant, and plant them in your own yard.
As far as I know, you ARE allowed to collect and use seed from PP plants (kind of futile since you lose the unique quality that were commercially valuable) or take cuttings from PVP plants (a lot of work for crop plants!)
I phrased my statement to include labels and other regulations as a source of the tremendous increases in the price of groceries and everything else.
While i doubt the cost of one label, once the printer is set up, would amount to more than just a little bit, but multply that by the billions of labels that needed changing, include all the costs and you wind up with a whole lot of "little bits", that equal pretty big money. For example someone making a product sold nationwide would have had to change all the labels for the product, not just those sold in CA. And while you, as a user, might benefit from having that information, the millions of people that are not paranoid have to help pay for millions of labels that most people do not read.
The biggest lie that the public is told, is that "We will pass a regulation, Evil Corporations will have to pay for it, so it will be FREE, so why not?" But every item that costs the producer money, is added on to the cost, so you and I, and all other consumers are indirectly paying for every penny that all of the unnecessary rules and regulations are costing us. The huge increases that we pay for cars and houses and other items, from just a few years ago, are mostly because of labels and regulations, that do not directly apply to making or creating the product.
Bottom line - label all GMO products from seed to table with a warning label that side effects aren't proven through long term human studies. Furthermore, all owners, investors, and employees of "GMO companies", all bureaucrats and politicians (and their families) that see no harm from GMOs and who accept any form of "compensation" from these companies - must, without exception, consume GMO foodstuffs. That way those who allow these on the market will be the human lab rats!
Believe what you will, support whichever side of the issue you wish - just give the consumer enough information to make a choice and therefore live with the consequences. One would think that if Monsanto believes so very much in the great benefits of their creations to mankind, they would be proud to support labeling products containing GMOs.
Just think of the good Monsanto would've provided had they contributed that 18 million to charity instead of fighting the labeling proposition...or better yet, compensating farmers in India for the harm done them...or the farmers in Canada from lawsuits brought against them by Monsanto for patent infringement when pollen from Monsanto GMO crops "raped" their non-GMO crops! Hard to believe Monsanto won and was as "awarded damages" when they were the aggressor - a case of the perpetrator triumphing over the victim.
Back to my 2013 seed catalogs, the hope of spring and the aroma of newly turned soil...