Continuing on with this silliness. GMO.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:11 AM

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

I thought we were complaining about excessive government intervention in our lives. You know how threads can evolve here...

Vista, CA

G G,
I do want to compliment you again, as i did with the last post on the old thread.

You brought up the perfect example of the mess Government Regulations cause with your query as to whether Gay Marriage and Abortion should be regulated by Government.

I strongly believe they should be left to the individuals concerned. Just as i have never heard of any actual damage caused by GMO, i have never heard of a good solid Hetero marriage that was harmed by Gay Marriage, and Abortion must be one of the toughtest decisions anyone will ever have to make, and it should be left to the person that has to make and live with the decision.

So, thank you again for pointing out the perfect examples.

Ernie

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

And as I said on the previous thread, I am with you 100% there.

But to continue in that vein, I also think we should be free to eat GMOs or not, as we choose, but we can't choose if we don't know. It should not be up to the government to decide that we don't need that information.

Vista, CA

GG,
We do agree on some things, but it seems to me that it should not be up to the government to force labels be put on anything unless it is proven harmful.

I just do not think the Government should do anything but build our roads and fight our wars, and such as that. We are all developed human beings, and we should be able to do our own thinking. And asking the government to regulate the OTHER GUY, but leave me alone, just does not seem like a workable plan.

Ernie

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from greenhouse_gal :
And as I said on the previous thread, I am with you 100% there.

But to continue in that vein, I also think we should be free to eat GMOs or not, as we choose, but we can't choose if we don't know. It should not be up to the government to decide that we don't need that information.

If you buy "organic" (whatever that is these days), it should at least be non-GMO, and there are already a growing number of brands that are labeled "non-GMO". Since you feel strongly about it and are willing to spend the extra money, I suggest you seek them out and encourage more companies to offer non-GMO foods. Then you'll be paying for the labels you want, and the extra labor, fuel and pesticides required to grow non-GMO corn and soy, and the rest of us will be able to choose whether we want to spend the extra money. That is the way the market economy is supposed to work.

Vista, CA

Rich,
You have expressed my feelings exactly. Absolutely no one should be forced to eat GMO foods, and absolutely no one should be forced to pay for labels they do not want.

There is an old Aphorism that i believe is the truth, that says, "A person that will steal for you, will steal from you," And if the Government will steal my freedom making him pay for labels for you, the Government will turn around and steal your freedom, making you pay for something someone else wants that you do not.

We should all try to keep the Government out of our personal decisions.

Ernie

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

GMO ingredients are in so many products where you wouldn't expect them now, though. I had to switch my chickens to organic feed because I realized that just avoiding medicated feed was no longer enough to ensure an old-fashioned diet with unadulterated ingredients. It's a very heavy burden to place on a populace, the majority of which would like to see GMO labeling according to the studies I see referenced in the mainstream media. Apparently the U.S. and Canada are among the few industrialized nations that don't require labels. Here's a quote:

"If companies say genetic engineering is fine, then OK let's label it and let the consumers make their own decisions," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, which produces Consumer Reports. "That's what all the free market supporters say. So let's let the market work properly."

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from greenhouse_gal :
"If companies say genetic engineering is fine, then OK let's label it and let the consumers make their own decisions," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union, which produces Consumer Reports. "That's what all the free market supporters say. So let's let the market work properly."

The problem is STILL that we're talking about paying more taxes to have our hopelessly inept government set up yet another ridiculously inefficient bureaucracy and create more regulations we will all pay for, whether we are interested in GMO or not. That is most decidedly NOT letting the market work properly.

If you are HONESTLY interested in eating only non-GMO food, here's where you can start WITHOUT dragging us all into it:

http://www.nongmoproject.org/
http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com/

Have fun!

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:12 AM

Vista, CA

G G,
You sound like a very intelligent person. Why don't you focus on locating cases of actual proven damages that are directly related to GMOs damaging people's health or killing them. Forget the hyped up propaganda in the fringe press, and look for people that have died from GMO. Once you get some solid factual and provable evidence, the mainstream press will be on your side, as that will be big news.

But presenting doubtful or ridiculous evidence like the French Study, which was written by a Scientist that had his nose out of joint because he had not been chosen to sit on the panel of scientists that wrote the report, causes a huge loss of credibility to your cause.

If you could prove it was harmful, like say, Thalidomide was, you would immediately get support to have it banned. But as of now, there apparently is not any concrete evidence that the process is harmful, so the majority of people do not want to incur a lot of unnecessary expense.

If you can come back with evidence that will stand in a court of law, I would join your cause, but the causes would no longer be necessary because the Government and the lawyers would shut the Industry down.

Ernie

Madras, OR

Actually I believe Monsanto may now be able to sell seeds that are gmo's but not reveal that they are. Since they have purchased a number of seed companies, who to this point have provided organic seeds, this could be cause for concern.

here is just one backroom deal

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/03/22/monsanto-protection-act-sneaks-through-spending-bill

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from greenhouse_gal :
It's a very heavy burden to place on a populace, the majority of which would like to see GMO labeling according to the studies I see referenced in the mainstream media.

If I had a dime for every inaccurate or politically slanted or completely fabricated "report" I've seen in the "mainstream media", I could treat everyone here to a good (non-GMO) meal. I seriously doubt a "majority" of people in the US even know what a GMO is.

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

You don't like ABC News? Here's a quote:

*Polls show Americans overwhelmingly support GMO labeling. An ABCNews.com survey conducted last summer found that 93 percent of Americans say the federal government should require labels on food that indicate whether it has been genetically modified or "bio-engineered." At least 22 states are considering legislation requiring GMO labeling for foods.*

You guys cherrypick your sources, attack ours no matter what their origin is, and then accuse those with concerns of being biased? We're not talking about harm from GMOs, all we're asking for are labels, in the same way that the government requires labeling of irradiated foods and addition of artificial colors and flavors. What are the producers of GMOs so afraid of?

Thanks; I'm done.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> An ABCNews.com survey conducted last summer found that 93 percent of Americans say the federal government should require labels on food that indicate whether it has been genetically modified or "bio-engineered."

I may be nit-picking, but very little food has been genetically modified unless you eat alfalfa. Is GM corn eaten as such, or does it all go for oil and syrup and animal feed? I don't know. Golden rice is not available in the USA (or anywhere?) Soybeans?

Ingredients USED IN food came FROM plants that were genetically modified (and in some cases fed to animals). And those ingredients are in almost every food in the USA.

But "bio-engineered food" sounds scary enough to provoke a "news-worthy" sound bite. Personally, I despise every "TV News" program I've seen since around the mid-70s. Now we have entertainment, pure an d simple, not anything I would call news (at least on TV).

I would have respected questions like:

"Should GMO labels be required on any food made with any ingredients from any GM plant (XX% of all products in a supermarket) if it cost YY times as much to identify, track and regulate such labeling?"

"How much extra would YOU be willing to pay to buy food with such labels?"

"How dangerous do YOU think ingredients from these GMOs are?" ... and then provide a list

And, because I'm a nerd:
"What EVIDENCE do you have that there are any risks in the ingredients currently made from GMOs?"

Polls are even easier to slant than scientific studies (or semi-scientific studies, or pseudo-scientific studies).

In this case, the bias is too clear in the way the question was asked. They might as well have asked "are you in favor of truth?" or "do you prefer healthy food?" and touted that as support for GMO labeling.

P.S. I think a fair answer would be: "I don 't know, but neither does anyone KNOW what the long term effects will be if we go much further in the GMO direction."

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Aside from the economic consequences, I WOULD like to see a European-style labeling law enacted in the USA - as an educational process. Truth in labeling. Why not?

At first, every box, can, diary and meat product (or 99%) would have to be labelled. That would not be very expensive, just change the graphics on the label.

But many consumers' heads would explode as they found they have been eating all "GM food" for decades, and nothing else has been available on the shelves.

A few producers would try to leverage their existing organic certification and make the extra effort to exclude GM alfalfa, corn and soy products from their animals' feed, making THEIR products even more expensive.

Hopefully some manufacturers of corn and soybean oil, corn syrup, cane sugar and beet sugar would find ways to identify and exclude GM corn, GM soybeans etc from their raw materials, and pass those costs on down.

Hopefully some manufacturers of processed foods would buy the "GM-free sugar" and "GM-free corn syrup" so they could label their consumer-level packaging "GM-free ingredients". And pass their costs down to THEIR customers.

The education would occur when people were able to see how many GM ingredients are already in their diet, and how much it costs to exclude them. Optimistically, people would then even THINK about it and make reasoned decisions.

Some will pay a lot extra to avoid even minute perceived risks.

Some will pay more, or drop some ite4ms out of their diet out of fear, with or without evidence or a plausible theory.

Most will keep eating what they have been eating, at only slightly higher prices.

Maybe the "non-GM-ingredient" label would become like Kosher labels: different levels or degrees. For example, one level might mean "no ingredients from GM plants EXCEPT sugar, oil and corn syrup". If that caught on, it MIGHT serve the valuable purpose of deterring release of marginal GMOs. If it exerted a consumer-level pressure so that only GMOs with clear economic and ecological benefit were released, probably good.

On the other hand, if fear trumped reason, and even GM corn, alfalfa and sugar beets became unsellable, farmers would go back to spraying with much more toxic, more persistent herbicides to keep prices down without having to add the dread "non-GM-ingredient" label.

And if global climate change leads to more frequent regional famines, the GMOs that were developed but not released will be released when people com pare the real risk of famine and war against the perceived risk of "maybe someday something bad will happen if we do something new or different".


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:13 AM

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

GMO sweet corn? That's new to me. ... Oh, I see, 2012 release. Thanks. I almost posted that the frozen vegetable isle ought to be mostly GMO-free.

Potatoes? I thought Monsanto discontinued Newleaf. (I read that McDonald's stopped using them due to consumer complaints.) I heard about field trials a year or two ago ... I'm far from on top of it. Thanks for mentioning those. I thought there were no "humans-eat-the-plant-itself" GMOs since Flav-r-saver and maybe soybeans.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:13 AM

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Before GMO sweet corn, they would spray with an airplane. The stuff was so potent they placed warning signs around the fields so people stayed out. 4 days would pass before they harvested the corn.

Way back in the '70s, my girlfriend wrote a senior paper about organo-phosphates for an organic chemistry project. Under "Uses" she made an illustration showing the chemical structure of a dozen organo-phosphate compounds. They all looked very similar - just minor variations on a theme (from the organic chemistry perspective).

In the left-hand column were 4 compounds designed as human neuro-toxins: war gasses.
In the right-hand column were four compounds designed and used as insecticides. They looked very similar.
The middle column had four compounds that could be used either way. "Keep Out", indeed.

But "bio-engineered" sounds scary because it's new. "Toxic insecticide residue" is old news, hence not sexy enough for the evening "news" or scary enough to arouse popular outcry.

BTW, I like the new thread title! You have to know what you're interested in, and make up your own mind, to keep following it.

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:14 AM

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

I think it was Columbo who said "follow the money".

Most of the time, if you ask "why do professionals all do it that way", the answer is "it's cheaper" or some other version of "more profit".

Or "less likely to go bankrupt this year".

Vista, CA

Rick, CG,
Very interesting NEW information you have been posting. Thanks,

Corn Farmers have been making big easy money because of Biofuels demand the last few years, but over the years, Farmers do not make a decent return on their Capital Investments. So we cannot blame them for using GMO or anything else that will help them make a living.

Ernie

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from RickCorey_WA :
I think it was Columbo who said "follow the money".

Most of the time, if you ask "why do professionals all do it that way", the answer is "it's cheaper" or some other version of "more profit".

Or "less likely to go bankrupt this year".

Absolutely. We b*tch and moan when our gasoline prices go up, but farmers get hit all sorts of ways besides fuel costs. Nitrogen fertilizer is very energy-intensive to produce, and phosphorus fertilizer takes quite a bit. Most potassium comes from China, and they use the supply as a political tool. I used to use a purified form of potassium chloride in my water softener. It was $8 for a 40 pound bag only a couple of years ago, 3X the cost of ordinary salt but easier on the environment. That same bag now costs around $26 - out of my budget. Farmers don't have a choice whether to pay or not.

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

>> Biofuels demand the last few years,

There's a topic I know little about, but still have an opinion. at least I know it may be an UNFOUNDED opinion. Maybe I was just captured by a snappy saying.

Corn is a pretty demanding crop, heavy-feeding crop right?
And mostly edible, so little is returned to the soil?
The kind of thin g that used to be grown in rotation with less demanding crops and green manure?

The snappy saying was: "Burning biofuel is like burning our topsoil."

Perhaps unfair. What do you think?


Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:14 AM

Vista, CA

C G, Is it true what we hear about the demand for Corn to make Biofuel has doubled the price of corn, driving up the price of fed beef, along with Chickens and other uses for the corn?

If so, just imagine how much more expensive it would be without the GMO boost in Corn production. Almost everything in the economy is tied together, either directly or indirectly.

Ernie

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

By the way, how many here, involved in agriculture on a small or large farm, grow GMO corn or other GMO crops?

This message was edited Mar 27, 2013 2:45 AM

Vista, CA

Solace,
Regardless of how many are directly involved in the actual growing, we are all involved in the Economy, which is the major underlying subject of this discussion. Remember: "No Man is an Island unto Himself."

Ernie

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks, CG.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from Solace :
By the way, how many here, involved in agriculture on a small or large farm, grow GMO corn or other GMO crops?

I would bet that most people who are actual farmers either don't bother with a gardening list or dropped off the thread as soon as they saw the topic.

Gainesville, FL(Zone 8b)

Quote from CountryGardens :
Corn & soybeans fed to hogs, goes back into the soil as manure. They can get enough on the soil so they don't have to use other fertilizers.

You make it sound like it is common practice to use hog manure as fertilizer, or even for every hog farmer to grow their own feed. Is this the case really? I was under the impression that feed lots constituted one problematic source of nitrogen pollution.


This message was edited Mar 28, 2013 4:55 PM

Lewisville, MN(Zone 4a)



This message was edited May 19, 2013 7:15 AM

sun city, CA(Zone 9a)

I have but one question, and this if GMOs are not harmful, why was the monsanto protection act just signed into law, prohibiting anyone from suing them for damages caused by their GMO products?

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

I was wondering when somebody was going to bring that up. I think it was just signed on Mon. I thought if people were so concerned and so knowledgeable about GMOs somebody would be up on what was going on right now.

Hum....I wonder why they need protection...? Why would they even ask for it if their products are so safe. It reminds me of the asbestos companies. They knew it was harmful but they sold it anyway.

If we lived without GMOs until 10 yrs ago why can't we do it now?

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Luckily the Monsanto Protection Act expires in six months, and hopefully the outcry over its passage will encourage Congress to take a closer look at labeling laws. Unfortunately Obama has no line item veto in this type of legislation so if he had refused to sign it we would have had a government shut-down. Here's a link explaining that
http://www.politicususa.com/congress-sequester-crisis-slip-corporate-give-monstanto.html

and here's an excerpt from an excellent explanation by proorganic.org.

*Section 735 "Monsanto Rider" is reported by NY Daily News to have been written in concert with Mosanto by Sen. Roy Blount (R-MO), perhaps Monsanto’s biggest Senate contribution beneficiary. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) allowed the language to stand without consultation with the Agriculture Subcommittee, or any others, for that matter. This infamous action has been widely criticized in the strongest terms, even within the Senate. Sen. Mikulski's Facebook page has dozens of comments in opposition. Unlike a typical "Rider," the "Section 735" paragraph did not appear at the end of the bill. Because of this, the President could not issue a Signing Statement nullifying it. We know Mr. Obama consulted the White House Consul in detail to explore this possibility.

Most believe Section 735 of this bill violates the US Constitution’s “Separation of Powers” which provides for the Courts to maintain authority whenever cases are brought. This provision requires the Secretary of Agriculture to grant permits and temporary deregulation without Court intervention. Additional opinions suggest it violates the National Environmental Policy Act which calls for vairous Environmental Impact disclosures among other procedures.*

Everett, WA(Zone 8a)

We have the finest Senators that money can buy.


Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Thank you gg!

On his FB page? Lol

Why do they need protection?

Southern NJ, United States(Zone 7a)

Lisa, beats me!

Oh, and Mikulski's a she.

Liberty Hill, TX(Zone 8a)

Yap, he is a she I didn't read it right. I don't understand much that it says anyway.

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