Photo by Melody

Vegetable Gardening: GMOs - Continued

Communities > Forums > Vegetable Gardening
bookmark
Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 352, Views: 1,633
Add to Bookmarks
-
AuthorContent

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2014
4:11 AM

Post #9762743

We've come from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1330943/

How many tobacco executives saw the studies, knew about the health implications of their product, and yet concealed it - even denied them - for years? That's all I'm saying about GMOs and the corporate mindset. I would like to see many more independent studies on that subject.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 5, 2014
8:34 AM

Post #9762903

Thanks for the new thread. I'd encourage anyone finding this one to be sure and read the precursor for a lengthy and very informative debate over GMOs.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 5, 2014
9:13 AM

Post #9762929

Thanks for the new link, GHG.

One quick thought: I believe that the GMO developers are likely obliged to follow a particular testing protocol--they certainly can't just do "any old test"--and the tests would be closely monitored and witnessed by government agencies. The reason the developer pays for testing is that the alternative would, in the end, be higher taxes. (Of course, in the end, whether funded by taxes or corporate dollars, the consumer ends up footing the bill.) Perhaps drobarr can confirm this.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 5, 2014
9:30 AM

Post #9762939

GG, Thanks for setting up the thread.

Rick, I am sorry you are so disillusioned in all the rest of us. Of course there are some crooks among us, like Enron and the Communications guy in the South, but i have really found the vast majority of people i have met in all walks of life, to be basically honest, and untrustworthy people account for less than 10 or 15%.

As far as who is to blame, i have said it before and will repeat it. Pogo had the answer, when he said " I have met the enemy, and He is US."

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2014
2:04 PM

Post #9763067

I don't know how accessible the link will be, but I just read this article in the current issue of The New Yorker. It's about a Berkeley scientist who has linked atrazine to gender-shifting abnormalities in frogs as well as in humans and who has been the subject of a long-term campaign by the company making atrazine to discredit him. Which is just the sort of thing I've been expressing concerns about.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/10/140210fa_fact_aviv

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 5, 2014
2:14 PM

Post #9763082

That looks really interesting gg. I will read it all.
Shame x 100 on companies that try to discredit scientists.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 5, 2014
5:11 PM

Post #9763211

Greenhouse_gal,

You said:
>> who has been the subject of a long-term campaign by the company making atrazine to discredit him.

I don't say its unlikely that Syngenta would try to discredit his work if it cast their products in a bad light. But that article seemed say consistently "HE thought that" and "HE wondered whether".

You said "has been the subject of a long-term campaign by the company". Are you taking that conclusion from other sources, or did I miss something in the New Yorker article?

It is a huge factual leap from "one guy wonders whether" and "one guy fears" to "it happened".

Besides, the retaliation I would expect from Syngentia is to give their testing business to Yes-Men in the future, and bad-mouth his results with plausible arguments or even semi-plausible double-talk. That's all they need to do unless he has some hard evidence of what he asserts. And if he does have hard evidence, other endocrinologists will use his techniques and duplicate (or disprove) his results. Bad mouthing from big companies gives more notoriety than distrust among researchers. Among funding agencies ... I'm not so sure. But BS only works against soft results. Clear results are a very big stick with which to defend yourself.

If Professor Hayes had a shred of evidence of actual "black bag" harassment against Syngentia, he could do more damage to them among the research community than they can to him. That would be a huge tool for them to hand him, for little gain to themselves.


Also, you said:

>> a Berkeley scientist who has linked atrazine to gender-shifting abnormalities in frogs [b]as well as in humans[/b]

The New Yorker only said this, and I didn't notice any reference to any work on atrazine in humans:

>> But, when Hayes discovered that atrazine might impede the sexual development of frogs, his dealings with Syngenta became strained, and, in November, 2000, he ended his relationship with the company.

Did you conclude what you said about "in humans" from this article or some other source?

P.S. I'm no herpetologist, but if Jurassic Park got its facts right, many frog species can change gender under stress - like males becoming physiologically able to bear young. That might make them a very sensitive system with which to search for potential effects on one species' endocrine system, but it It is a huge leap from "impede the sexual development of frogs," to "gender-shifting abnormalities in frogs as well as in humans". Did you have a source for those two changes, or was it an unintentional misquote? ("In humans" and also "gender-shifting abnormalities" instead of "impede the sexual development".)

topic shift:

BTW, so we don't talk at cross-purposes: Roundup-Ready GMO crops are an ALTERNATIVE to atrazine. If atrazine is shown to be worse than was thought, that makes GE crops MORE attractive. It's yet another example of GE allowing farmers to use herbicides that are less toxic to humans (or frogs).

>> The use of GMO crops – particularly RoundUp Ready varieties – may mean that farmers are transitioning from atrazine to Roundup as their primary defense against weeds.

http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org/farminginthe70s/pests_05.html

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 5, 2014
5:29 PM

Post #9763224

>> i have really found the vast majority of people i have met in all walks of life, to be basically honest, and untrustworthy people account for less than 10 or 15%.

Ernie, I can agree with that as you you stated it there. Most people are pretty decent and certainly decent enough NOT to poison children if they thought about it that way. Perhaps even tobacco advertising people who devise campaigns to get teenagers addicted don't think that way!

However, I think two sad things that are relevant.

First, the people who can rise to power in big corporations are more ambitious than I am, and, I think, less devoted to abstract honesty than you are. Are those promotions based on "who's a nicer guy?" or "who can improve our bottom line the most despite "claims" that tobacco or insecticides might be toxic?"

As part of the first sad thing, include that the "temptation" at the top is greater than the temptation for the rest of us. My CEO got a $40 MILLION dollar bonus last year. I'm glad I don't have a 20-foot tall stack of 4100 bills tempting ME to second-guess engineering decisions that I make on a daily basis!

And those CEOs have power, which is said to be even more addictive than greed.

I recall a company Christmas party back in the 1980s, when three ambitious and sleazy younger managers had succeeded in getting the much older Top Guy to retire. I overheard the Gang of Three muttering to each other that they would make many changes once the old Top Guy was out. "He was a GENTLEMAN", one of them sneered, and the rest laughed. That was also a formative experience for me. Not just that they were low-life jackals replacing a respected lion, but so arrogant that they didn't even feel a need to hide their contempt for anyone who was honest and fair to people under him.

That was a company where the very sleaziest scum was assigned to whatever department had the greatest need for deceit - usually union relations, but then when the town began to realize what we dumped in the river and atmosphere, PR. Because his last name sounded close, we called him "Gary Liar". You could tell when a memo tacked to the bulletin board was from him without checking the signature. It started with glowing generalities and then had an ambiguous sentence that a decent person would have used to say something reassuring. But a lawyer couldn't pin it down to mean ANYTHING you could sue about. Dozens of times I stopped in the 2nd or 3rd paragraph of a full-page memo, looked down, saw "Gary Liar" as expected, and wasted no more time.

When i was a supermarket clerk, one task i had was to sort through bags of rotten potatoes, pulling out the not-yet-runny ones and re-bagging them as if fresh. We did NOT do this where customers could see, and did NOT advertise the fact.

My experiences with managers even in small companies has not been as positive as yours.

Second,

Even basically honest and quite honest people are influenced consciously AND unconsciously, by their fears, desires, loyalties and ideologies. What we believe, what we pay attention to, and what we passionately deny are driven as much or more by emotion than by "logic". Logic applies more often to math than to any real-world problem. In the real world, "who do you trust" is often a more practical approach than knowing ALL the technical nuts and bolts of a complicated issue, or the subtleties of a dubious issue.

Hence I no longer trust an online open-source journal (ISIS) once I've seen clear evidence that they publish deceit & BS. Many people don't trust anything funded by a corporation. Others don't trust anything from a government source. Many WILL NOT believe a claim that contradicts something they already feel strongly about.

Given that kind of process as a substitute for "pure logic" (if "pure logic" really is practiced much anywhere outside of math journals and the fictional planet Vulcan) it's small wonder that we fail to reach consensus about a complicated, subtle, dubious public policy issue like widespread use of GMOs.

P.S. It's not even a bad process. We HAVE to gauge the likelihood of every claim we encounter, and WHO said it IS relevant to how much weight we should give it. I mentioned a book, "Web of Belief", by Quine. It did a good job of clarifying how many subtleties go into everyday decisions.

- - - - - - - - - -
digression

When I say "dubious", I mean hard to measure, prove or disprove in concrete, simple terms.
- What is "safe enough"?

- What kinds of tests can prove an intangible negative claim like "will never be harmful"?

- What are the "best" tradeoffs among highly toxic pesticide residues, allegedly larger residues of less toxic glyphosphate, allegedly less productive 'organic' methods, and the alleged likelihood of widespread famine in the absence of continued increases in crop yields?

Not only are the facts hard to establish, but questions of relative VALUE come in.)


end of digression
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

My friend from tobacco country was loyal to pretty much everyone she grew up with, so every obvious thing she read and heard about danger from tobacco bounced right off and was labelled "false".

My SO's brothers are all very (fill-in-the-blank)-leaning political partisans, and they believe the most obviously slanted things they hear on (fill in one kind of news outlet).

Becky and I lean the other way, we think her brothers' news sources are lying scoundrels, and we believe 70-80% of what we read in (news source slanted the other way).

And yet all the deluded idiots I've just described would do well in an IQ test! The real world is complicated. Consistent honesty to self even when emotions are involved is the hardest honesty to cultivate.

Evidence that might strike a purely neutral person as "influential" or "fairly persuasive" is likely to be seen by passionate partisans as "flawed science" or "shocking proof" - depending on which way your passion leans.

I think that our unconscious is ALL too smart, and is constantly thinking things like: "If I let Rick believe THAT, he would have to do THIS, and he might lose his job, or have all his MIT buddies laugh at him, and I fear both of those. Therefore I will only let Rick believe THAT."

So unfortunately, what I think is even sadder than you thought, Ernie.

Even the 75% or 80% (or 90%) of people who strive to be as honest as they possibly can be, and think they ARE honest and never "lie", still reach many OPPOSITE conclusions from very similar evidence. They reach conclusions "honestly", but because we all wear glasses colored by our prejudices, experiences, fears, desires and loyalties, the conclusions tell us more about the people than about the facts they cling to or deny.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 5, 2014
5:47 PM

Post #9763236

RicCorey, - did you see the evidence from Syngenta internal documents, released because of lawsuit, that specifically talked about Hayes?


(or did I read glance thru your rebuttal above too quickly , and see that you discuss it?)

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 5, 2014
6:42 PM

Post #9763280

I didn't see that in the NY'er article. Oh, shoot! There are 8 more pages?? Thanks, I may have to continue tomorrow.

Short form from the first three pages - yes Syngentia DID try to belittle his work with lame put-downs, but had no success because the science biz worked the way it always does - when there's something that CAN be shown clearly, some team will find the funding to get that prestige for themselves ASAP.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2014/02/10/140210fa_fact_aviv

Syngentia did not succeed in suppressing his results:

"Hayes has devoted the past fifteen years to studying atrazine, and during that time scientists around the world have expanded on his findings, "

"Though his lab was well funded, federal support for research was growing increasingly unstable, and, like many academics and administrators, he felt that he should find new sources of revenue. "

That certainly is a real problem. Chemical companies have concentrated capital, but "the public" only has big bucks if they can pay taxes and get legislators to allocate money to things that are "in the public interest".

"Hayes wanted to repeat and validate his experiments, and complained that the company was slowing him down and that independent scientists would publish similar results before he could."

That really rings true on the research side. It also supports both sides of this debate: "bad nasty companies don't want to pay for research that shows they produce hazardous products" and "that doesn't stop researchers who want the prestige of publishing results (first) that no one can shoot down".

“It will appear to my colleagues that I have been part of a plan to bury important data.”

The kiss of death. Probably a lot of researchers would rather risk being shot from a dark alley than risk colleagues snickering at their integrity. Or risk being scooped!

"Hayes repeated the experiments using funds from Berkeley and the National Science Foundation."


That's what I think makes attempts to suppress research likely to be futile, until money is so tight that no one can do any work in the field. The truth is everywhere, and one company can only withhold ITS funding (unless they have lobbyists.)

"a statistical consultant, who listed numerous errors in Hayes’s report and concluded that the results were not statistically significant. Hayes’s wife, Katherine Kim, said that the consultant seemed to be trying to “make Tyrone look as foolish as possible.” Wake, the biology professor, said that the men on the EcoRisk panel looked increasingly uncomfortable. “They were experienced enough to know that the issues the statistical consultant was raising were routine and ridiculous,” he said. “A couple of glitches were presented as if they were the end of the world. I’ve been a scientist in academic settings for forty years, and I’ve never experienced anything like that. They were after Tyrone.”

" I’ve never experienced anything like that"

Really? Snarky, lame academic put-downs don't surprise me. Having most people in the room recognize them for what they are doesn't surprise me. If they had said that two sides of an academic debate were nagging each other and having mutual hissy fits because when one side was finally proved wrong they would lose prestige and have to come up with new and different research proposals to get their funding back, I would think "business as usual, three or four PhDs don't make you mature or wise".

I admit, when one side is a billion-dollar company with millions riding on the outcome, it sounds more serious than half a dozen post-docs trying to show that the group with tenure and department chairmen are clinging to mostly-disproved theories.

When I depict research teams like children squabbling, I don't mean to imply that is all they are. I recognize this, too, but researchers are usually too humble to say it out loud - good for Professor Hayes:

“Science is a principle and a process of seeking truth. Truth cannot be purchased and, thus, truth cannot be altered by money. Professorship is not a career, but rather a life’s pursuit. The people with whom I work daily exemplify and remind me of this promise.”

"Fussy critiques of scientific experiments have become integral to what is known as the “sound science” campaign, an effort by interest groups and industries to slow the pace of regulation. "

That also sounds typical. Bought-and-paid-for letters to the editor and articles written for Fox News by a wholly-owned "freelance columnist" aren't going fool anyone with half a clue. I think of those as totally lame, self-defeating campaigns, but maybe they do influence more people then I would think. I think of that kind of smear BS as similar to junk press by the "other side", that slap headlines like "GMOs Cause Leukemia!!!" onto a study that never said any such thing.

Hot air, sound and fury signifying nothing except the moral bankruptcy of large for-profit bureaucracies and ideological zealots alike.

Pathetic attempts that discredit either whole, partisan side. Indeed, the main effect of that campaign has to be to discredit Syngentia and every study they advance in the future. Before this, I just assumed that they and Monsanto would do this general kind of thing (but I thought they would be more subtle and effective!) Now i know it about Syngentia.

I still have trouble buying into the "never sleep in the same room twice" theory. Partly because it would be counter-productive for Syngentia whether they failed or succeeded. And maybe they are not THAT evil.

But I see your point - yes that is a sleazy attempt to discredit him. I hope I'm right that is a completely ineffective attempt.

"“Industry has learned that debating the science is much easier and more effective than debating the policy,”"

Good point. We do have to keep reading claims closely, and remember who the gross liars were last year, so we can be extra skeptical next year. Like global warming. the "theory" that we're having unusual and extreme weather. I guess that will be "junk science" until Manhattan is under water!

I'm sorry, that was only the first three pages. I hope I have time tomorrow.

Thanks for pointing out there was more than the first page. That first page would have STUNK as a whole article!





greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 5, 2014
7:11 PM

Post #9763300

I didn't realize that you hadn't read the whole thing, so I was surprised at some of your comments in the first post. The link to problems with gender expression in humans came as a result of epidemiological research - noting the presence of higher numbers than would be statistically expected of children born with genitals which were malformed or hermaphroditic in areas in which the waters tested high in atrazine. You'll come to that if you keep reading. Syngenta tried to go after the researcher and he pointed out that he hadn't done experiments - he was just pulling together data. I may be remembering the details incorrectly but that was the gist of it.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 6, 2014
5:10 AM

Post #9763463

It sounds like atrazine could be our new "DDT"

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 6, 2014
5:57 AM

Post #9763497

I know, and it's chilling that the FDA is accepting industry standards for safety and is still refusing to pull it from use.
Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

February 6, 2014
7:06 AM

Post #9763553

What is safe and what is unsafe? I have read the opinions here but no one has stated what is safe and what is unsafe. I don't think people here trust the companies to evaluate their products for safety, and I don't think they trust the University studies, that are normally paid for by the Companies marketing the products, and it obvious you can't trust the inapt government agencies to give a truthful answer. So how does a company determine the safety of a product to be released? How do we as individuals determine the safety of a product with no trustworthy source to turn to? Who do you trust in other words? Is it measured in parts per billion, or in deaths per million? The environment groups have reached the point of being nothing more than a huge industry and are turning out to be as untrustworthy as any huge industry, so what is safe and who determines it? If a product causes one death, is that safe? What are your standards? How is a company to go about meeting those standards? Why are university studies untrustworthy, why are companies and governments and environmental agencies untrustworthy? Follow the money and you will see, but what are the alternatives?
If we don't have an answer maybe we need "more studies"...?

This message was edited Feb 6, 2014 10:16 AM
back40bean
Decatur, GA
(Zone 7b)

February 6, 2014
7:41 AM

Post #9763580

RickCorey, I really appreciate your evaluation of the various ways in which intelligent and thoughtful people can come to various and disparate conclusions. I also greatly appriciate the thought and analysis you and others are putting into this subject. It really helps to hear the reasoned arguements from both, or should I say every, side.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 6, 2014
7:47 AM

Post #9763583

How about that "buying of website names" or search terms or whatever? A company buying a scientists name, though he doesn't even work for them? ( for the purpose of leading searches to their preferred material. ) Kind of a different subject, but shouldn't a person's name be sort of privately owned, if you will? inherently trademarked?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 6, 2014
10:56 AM

Post #9763713

Seedfork,
Probably our greates protection comes from Hungry Lawyers that read obituaries, looking for people that have been killed or harmed by Large Corporations with deep pockets. Corporations are very aware that if they do slip up and harm someone, either accidentally or on purpose, the Lawyers will be on them like a Duck aftter a Junebug.

Rick,
As you know, i appreciate the different perspectives and thoughtful points you post. On the trusting question, one of my sons, age 65, has the same skepticism about people in general that you do. Both him and I have suffered betrayal and dishonesty from people we trusted, so our differnt opinions of people in general does not seem to make much difference in actual experiences with others. The difference seems to be how we personnaly feel about others as we make our way through life.

Another point you made about Corporations and lying employees needs to be balanced. I doubt that you have ever been asked by upper management to lie or distort any research you have been involved in, simply because there is an old adage, that is absolutely true. "A PERSON THAT WILL LIE FOR YOU WILL LIE TO YOU". [ Or more commonly expressed, " A person that will steal for you will steal from you."], And to foster such a dishonest culture will destroy any organization. But there are always people like the ones you described, that will give in to their own weakness and perhaps encourage the people in their department or area to do things that will give them a short term gain. A well run company is continually on the lookout for those people, and when found, they are terminated or demoted for the greater good of the Organization.

And when the corruption reaches all the way to the top, like in the Enron case, the organization soon collapses. So while i agree with you that there is moral failure in individuals, it is simply not a workable method for Corporations, with all the checks and balances the free market, Lawyers, Regulations, Competition, etc., that must be allowed for.

In your field of research, if the dishonest researchers and employees are not identified and removed, the Corporation would be in the position of trusting the valuable information the research uncovers to untrustworthy employees. That would just not work in the real world.

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 7, 2014
5:55 PM

Post #9764641

Seedfork said:
>> What is safe and what is unsafe?

That a large part of the problem. If people dropped dead in droves the first time someone over-sprayed with atrazine, existing legal methods would work fine.

But it could take decades before enough millions of people are exposed to "enough" of something unsafe to create provable body counts that "debunkers" can't claim that "bad statistics" made the body count "bad science".

I assume that most people WOULD want to suppress something that DOES cause cancer or birth defect deformities from drinking the water. Then the question is probably "can you prove it's related to atrazine" than "how many deformed babies are too many".

We can err more on the side of caution if we remain open to alternative methods such as GE.

Nothing makes a difficult choice easier than having a good alternative!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 7, 2014
5:59 PM

Post #9764644

Greenhouse_gal,
you were completely right and thank you for giving me the benefit of the doubt until I found 'continued on pages 2-9". I'm going to have to come back to that next week, to see if he was mostly complaining about the kind of sleazy innuendos that academia does have some of, or whether Syngenta really is tapping his phone and lurking in shadows with silenced pistols.

I was super glad to see that other researchers are rushing to publish first and that his work is already being extended all over the world. Almost as good as publishing first is seeing hundreds of other papers citing you and using your techniques.

Researchers "win" when other people duplicate their techniques and validate their results. Corporations lose profits and market share when others build on their early work and release related products. I guess the dividing line for "legal" is defined by "patentable difference".

I guess I'm kind of a hippy when I think about the consequences to around 3-4 billion poor people today, and 5-6 billion hungry people in a few decades. There are some things that go better when there is real competition, but when there is a near-monopoly by a small number of companies with effective lobbying teams and aggressive lawyers, I don't think we get as many of the benefits of capitalism as many people assume.


Thanks very back, back40bean! It's good to hear that. Sometimes I feel like I'm arguing or (and against) both sides.

>> It really helps to hear the reasoned arguments from both, or should I say every, side.

I wish there was some pill of inhaler that a person could use to leave their memories intact, but suspend all emotions and prejudices for, say, 4 hours. I suspect that would be almost the only way to get totally reasoned arguments uncolored by bias. There has to be SOME reason that people can come to such different conclusions from viewing the same universe. Probably 80-90% of the population would realize they've been pretty UNreasonable about many things, from personal relationships to pesticides to politics. But even then, would most people come to the same conclusions from the same facts? The world is complicated and not every factual question has a clear answer.

"For every complex problem there is an answer
that is clear, simple, and wrong."
- H L Mencken


I think that kind of logic and reasonableness is mostly seen where there are no emotions, and little ambiguity in the reported information.

If we could clearly see all our own actual motivations (including unconscious and admitted motivations), I think many people would be embarrassed and become much better neighbors.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 7, 2014
6:20 PM

Post #9764658

Ernie,

As you know, I respect your opinions very much even when I reach somewhat different conclusions.

>> I doubt that you have ever been asked by upper management to lie or distort any research you have been involved in,

That's true, but when I worked in a chemical plant, I certainly WAS "encouraged" not to go to town meetings and shout about what we dumped in the river. My peers knew they would lose their jobs, and it was clear to me that the "status quo" was not what I had been taught as a child.

And when I worked in a tumor immunology lab at a very big, very prestigious university, we were doing a very small study for some drug manufacturer. It was part of much bigger program, I'm sure. We were just applying my boss's specialty to some drug that was not very soluble (an assay that focused on some circulating immune cells' ability to form "rosettes" with other cells).

The protocol supplied by the drug company specified "sonicating" (I think that was the buzzword) the drug sample to suspend it and supposedly make it available to the mice or tissue culture cells or whatever we were testing with.

It seemed unlikely to me that sonicating would get much or any of that drug into fine enough bits that the test cells would actually ingest much. If they didn't ingest any, the test would show "no effect", which was good for the drug company. I suggested some things to my boss that would probably get more drug into solution or at least very fine suspension - thinking I was "improving" the test by making its results more meaningful.

He took me aside and explained that the drug company was paying us to do the test THEIR way, even if it was guaranteed to give a "sunny day" result. (Or, I figured out, ESPECIALLY if it guaranteed the result they wanted.)

Our "integrity" came from reporting exactly what we did and that we saw no bad results. Readers could infer that the test obviously COULD NOT have shown bad results (if they noticed how insoluble the drug was). We probably printed "this work was funded by 666 Corporation" and didn't mention that the payment also paid for research and equipment that he wanted A LOT so he could do his real cancer research. Temptation. And he wasn't lying in print, exactly.

And I think that when he stressed "it's just a study for a drug company" he was also saying that EVERY researcher knew that what you did "for money" was different from your real research, and judged by different standards by your peers.

Do federal regulators know that? Presumably yes. But also presumably they have to go by the results shown to them. Just like a judge can't tell a stupid prosecutor to ask the criminal if he had the gun in his OTHER pocket, the FDA probably has limits on how detailed they can be in demanding changes to test protocols. I don't really know, but I HOPE that the kind of latent design-to-fail test that we did was the exception and not the rule.

That's the kind of reason that I don't agree with you. I wish I could agree with you! But even a decent man who cared a lot about his integrity and reputation when doing "real research" would compromise a little when it was only "a paid study for a drug company".

And I figure that really big corporations look very hard to find the 1% or 10% of people whose desire for promotions plus their ability to double-think or deny exceeds their desire to be a sterling citizen and benefactor to mankind.

They do worry about getting sued. But the standard of proof in a courtroom is high, and the threshold of belief in the court of public opinion is even higher, if you have a team of skilled liars and a complicated subject.

Once they have plausible deniability, I think many companies care more about really large profits (or corporate survival) than about "the little people" or their individual personal ethical excellence.

You said:
>> A well run company is continually on the lookout for those people, and when found, they are terminated or demoted for the greater good of the Organization.

I believe that there are industries where the good liars are identified early and then promoted to where they can do the most good (for the bottom line).

YMMV.

>> if the dishonest researchers and employees are not identified and removed, the Corporation would be in the position of trusting the valuable information the research uncovers to untrustworthy employees. That would just not work in the real world.

That does sound reasonable, but I haven't found it to be the case in the few companies I've worked in. .

Anyone who stayed long at the chemical plant I worked in adopted the management attitude of "those government regulations were written by fuss-budgets who think hot dogs cause cancer". They were not hugely MOTIVATED workers, but that plant ran for decades until tightening regulations DID force it to close.

Looked at one way, you're right - in time regulators made it to expensive for us to continue - once they started testing for the right things. Looked at the other way, that company poisoned the town and that river for decades without a qualm.

If our pollutants had been subtle enough that management could have sold the idea that "di-chloro-benzidine causes cancer" is just junk science to the EPA, I think we would still be dumping.

Probably you have wider experience than I do, but my experience has been fairly consistent.

In one company, a VP was actively proud of what a scoundrel he was, though that mainly manifested in BSing customers and breaking his word. We did get into big trouble with the IRS one year, and his excuse was that his secretary "must have forgotten to mail the check". Almost comical.

His excuse for lying to customers was that "they should have KNOWN I was lying - my lips were moving!" You should be right that we should have gone out of business, but we had a product line that no one else did, with a good niche market, and they put up with him to get the machines.

But I mention him to bring up another example of how even good people can act bad in business. he showed ZERO conscience in any business matter and boasted of it, like a Bad Boy.

I used to think he was kind of a Bad Guy ... until I had a medical problem and had to miss work, work half time, then work from a wheelchair for a while. He was angelic when you scratched his corporate facade! He would pick me up from the airport, let me work on any terms that got some of the work done, and didn't really pressure me to go back to doing field trips and installations. Needless to say I DID go on trips as soon as I almost could and tired to give back.

His personal side exemplifies your vision of "most people are pretty good". But his business side suggests that Enron and British Petroleum were his personal role models.

People are complicated.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 7, 2014
6:56 PM

Post #9764695

Rick,

All i felt like i should do is present what i have learned and obserrved in dealing with my employees, my customers and employees of other companies i did business with, I enterered management in 1950, and have been in business for myself since 1954, which will add up to sixty or sixty four years of close study of human nature, some time iin June of this year. Most of it was in the heavy construction industry, which is probably as tough and competitive as any Industry.

I try never to bullshit myself, nor allow others to mislead me, so what i believe probably has as much truth as what anyone else believes, but we all live in our own realitiies, so i understand that your truths are just as true to you as mine are to me. I am sure i have seen as many scoundrels as you have, and dislike them as much as you do, but the good, solid, honest people i have met far out number the bad ones.

We have both presented nothing but facts as we know them, and every one that has read this thread now has heard both sides, so we have done our duty, and it is left to the readers to believe as they will.

Your expertise, focused in the heart of this discussion has been of great interest and help for all of us to understand the entire process.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2014
4:14 AM

Post #9765401

GMOs and weed resistance -

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140202/OPINION/402020315/-1/NEWSMAP

And here's another study on the increase in herbicides in GMO crops due to weeds' development of resistance -

http://news.cahnrs.wsu.edu/2012/10/01/summary-of-major-findings-and-definitions-of-important-terms/

This message was edited Feb 9, 2014 9:43 AM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 9, 2014
5:48 AM

Post #9765440

I think we just better start eating weeds. Or how about we STOP using a third of our corn crop for ethanol?

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2014
6:36 AM

Post #9765508

greenhouse_gal wrote:We've come from here:

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1330943/

How many tobacco executives saw the studies, knew about the health implications of their product, and yet concealed it - even denied them - for years? That's all I'm saying about GMOs and the corporate mindset. I would like to see many more independent studies on that subject.


Its true many companies have done many bad things. Corporations are made up of people...of humans...and though I agree most of them are good...every once in a while you get a bad apple. Some of these errors are intentional and some are mistakes. The government for years and years requiered tobacco companies to put warnings on their products. I do not think you can make any comparisons here. Todays business climate is much different than say 50 years ago. Most companies want to be more sustainable and efficient, because their consumers demand it, and often it creates even greater profitability.

The difference between GMO crops and the tobacco industry is that GMO crops like medications have to go through multiple experiments over many years(many of them independent) and show they are safe in order to be approved by the government(3 separate agencies). They are highly regulated.

Auto companies have similar studies that show how dangerous their vehicles are and propsed changes they can do to make their vehicles safer but there is a cost with each of those improvements. I can see lawsuits one day to this effect...that the auto executives knew they were producing dangerous products and all to sell more units...they were greedy right? Can you see it?

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 9, 2014
6:54 AM

Post #9765531



Independent studies are great. There's just only so much money to go around.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 9, 2014
7:03 AM

Post #9765539

sallyg, you probably don't know anything about the ethanol business.
The corn used in ethanol, something like 75% goes back to feed livestock. That part is higher quality feed than the whole corn.

Air pollution is decreased by the use of ethanol. Also keeping fuel costs down.

I saw a clip on how it is made last night. Showed them making gel caps for vitamins & medicines.
Throw them all out! They are a soy oil based product. Didn't say anything about using non GMO soybean oil. How many health conscious people are eating them everyday ?

And the beat goes on.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2014
7:08 AM

Post #9765543

I can make any product be it atrazine, table salt or even water look very toxic and dangerous. The problem with these studies is they often look at rates that are much higher than anyone is ever going to come in contact with. And just because they cause certain harm to a frog at very high rates doesnt mean they will cause any harm to a human.

Atrazine is applied preemergence in corn. By the time Corn is harvested 120 days later there is not detectable Atrazine in the corn grain.

The main problem with atrazine is that it is highly mobile in the soil and and moves down into the soil and gets into the groundwater. So I agree GMO crops are a better choice.

Everything you do or apply be it or organic or conventional has risks. Hand hoeing has risks. You can injury your back, cut your foot, get skin cancer from being out in the sun etc. The key is trying to find methods that are efficient and safer than the alternative. Nothing in agriculture will ever be perfect...the goal is to make things better.

There is no doubt we have a safer cleaner and more healthy and abundant food supply than history has ever seen. And this is due to all these technological advances.

All pesticides go through rigorous testing with animal feeding studies by independent labs that last multiple years. Animals are fed various concentrations of pesticides and they find out acute and chronic toxicities. They find out if there are effects on their posterity, if they develop cancers or any other health problems etc. Studies are also done to measure residues on the final crop comodity after it is harvested. All of this information helps to develop a label to know when it is safe to apply...how many days before harvest, at what rate, how many times per season etc.

http://www.pcrm.org/research/animaltestalt/pesticides/animal-tests-for-pesticide-products

"...animal tests...are conducted for traditional pesticides used by both the agricultural and home and garden sectors. Often, one test will be conducted multiple times either using different species of animals or with different variations of the pesticide material, including the technical grade active ingredient, the pure active ingredient, the manufacturing product, and/or the end use product.
The doses in animal tests are chosen to specifically elicit a toxic effect, so they are almost always 100 to more than 1,000 times higher than the dose to which humans will ever be exposed. ...
The animals used in these procedures are always killed and examined at the end of the tests. Approximately 13,000 animals die for one pesticide to be brought to market ..."

Its ludacris to think that these products are not tested very rigorously for safety both to our health as well as the environment over multiple years. Its not one or two studies...but hundreds of them.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2014
7:18 AM

Post #9765555

greenhouse_gal wrote:GMOs and weed resistance -

http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20140202/OPINION/402020315/-1/NEWSMAP

And here's another study on the increase in herbicides in GMO crops due to weeds' development of resistance -

http://news.cahnrs.wsu.edu/2012/10/01/summary-of-major-findings-and-definitions-of-important-terms/

This message was edited Feb 9, 2014 9:43 AM


Weed resistance can happen with all herbicides regardless if the crop is GMO or not. Every time an herbicide, insecticide or fungicide is applied...be it conventional or organic you are putting selection pressure on the population and you are creating resistance. Same thing when you take an antibiotic.

It is important to rotate modes of action and use cultural and other practices to prolong or minimize resistance. Most growers are doing this because they plan to be in business a while.

There was resistance to many classes of herbides long before GMO crops came about and there will always be. That is why it is important to come up with new chemistries because the more options there are, the less likleyhood resistance will develop. Older more toxic chemistries had multiple sites of action which made it very difficult for resistance to occur. Now the EPA only approves much safer single site of action pesticides which are much less toxic and are much more prone to resistance. So one thing to keep in mind is that our regulatory climate is favoring products that plants, diseases and insects can develop resistance to much easier.





drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2014
7:21 AM

Post #9765559

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/science/guidelines.htm

Before someone says theses things arent tested enough do some homework...

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 9, 2014
7:26 AM

Post #9765567

drobarr, you know what these people are going to come back with, EPA is paid off by Monsanto!

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 9, 2014
8:30 AM

Post #9765628

Thank you CountryGardens, I did NOT know that at all! Big change in my opinion on ethanol. So , wow.
(By the way, I had started a longer post that included saying maybe we should stop using all that corn for ethanol. THen I decided to delete that and go with the short post above. I just decided it was more digression I wanted to avoid. So I guess CountryGardens was able to see it at one point.- while I was flipping windows )
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 9, 2014
9:14 AM

Post #9765656

My background is as an engineer working for a small defense contractor. Government oversight and participation in our everyday activities was intense and constant. Based on my experiences of over 30 years of this, I find the idea of a Government agency being bought off, or even being lenient in favor of a corporation, to be ludicrous. Even if someone was corruptible, so many people are in a position to know the truth that it would be impossible to keep non-compliance a secret. Conspiracies just can't happen--and be kept secret for long--when dozens of people are involved, much less the likely hundreds of folks involved in the GMO testing process.

As a quick aside, my understanding of corn ethanol is that the energy savings are quite small; the amount of energy obtained from corn is little more than what it took to produce it. Plant sources like sugar cane have a much more favorable energy balance. That's why Brazil's ethanol is a good deal. Alas, we can't grow sugar cane here. And growing any crop requires land, labor, chemicals...It gets pretty complicated quickly.

This message was edited Feb 9, 2014 2:16 PM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 9, 2014
9:30 AM

Post #9765667

Some food for thought: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/01/30/stop-legitimizing-loony-anti-gmo-voices/.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 9, 2014
10:40 AM

Post #9765711

They are trying to get a biomass plant going here using Switchgrass. I have no idea where they will grow the grass. Every bit of land is farmed here now. They talk road ditches, but in recent years they have become a very good source of income for people making ditch hay & selling it to horse & beef people.
Friends of ours, (they are both in their 70's), baled up 7000 small bales last summer. Stuff is selling for 5 to 7 dollars a bale. Most they sold right off the hayrack.

How much does it cost to produce electricity. First they mine the coal, haul it to a plant, burn the coal to produce the electricity, plus lines to get it to the consumer. I don't know why people think you can produce ethanol without expense. Dumb thoughts, I guess.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 9, 2014
12:43 PM

Post #9765804

I think we should all commend GG for her tenacity and endurance in standing up for what she believes. Most of the people that expressed the same beliefs early on in this discussion have either changed their minds or given up,but she has continued to standfast.

I would like to have her on my side of the battle if if was for something we agreed on.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 9, 2014
1:43 PM

Post #9765841

I agree with Willy re ethanol. Are you also aware of what it does to small engines? There was a class action suit a couple of years ago coming out of California on behalf of all the boat owners whose engines were ruined by this additive, but I never heard what became of it.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 9, 2014
1:51 PM

Post #9765851

I've received “Mendel in the Kitchen” and I'm about 2/3 of the way through it. Fascinating, informative book; I heartily recommend it to you all. If you've hung in there during the entire duration of this thread, you owe it to yourself to learn the details of GE, and other forms of plant breeding. There's a lot of good info and details that don't make the newscasts—which I think should uniformly be ignored when evaluating real science. Some of the book is a little tough for a non-biologist (like me), but for the most part it's readily accessible to an interested lay person. Take my advice and get a copy.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 9, 2014
7:11 PM

Post #9766049

Ethanol containing gasoline ruined my weed eater and mower and blower. I buy ethanol free gas for those small engines now. They run much better and keep power over a longer period of time and last longer.

Ethanol is typically added up to 10% by volume but does not provide much help in MPG from what I have read. So in my mind it is a filler.

Ethanol has also been heavily subsidized at a cost of billions of dollars to taxpayers. Demand for corn for ethanol has increased the price for corn making food more expensive. This has made more acres planted to corn and less acres planted to other crops which in turn has also raised those prices. Though an increase in price in commodities has been great for our farmers, they havent been good for consumers especially those on the lower end of the economic ladder.

Willy I agree there is little chance for a corporation like Monsanto to buy any influence with the EPA. The EPA makes many of the stringent requirements and they very frequently deny registrations all the time. I havent seen anything the EPA has done to be business friendly at all. They frequently cause delays, require additional testing or data and in general cause frustration for any company trying to get a product registered.

Switchgrass might be a better option over corn becuase it produces large amounts of biomass with very little imputs.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 9, 2014
8:24 PM

Post #9766079

Minnesota doesn't have land to raise switchgrass.

Minnesota also requires 10% ethanol in all the gasoline. We have used it for I can't remember how long. Never had a problem in any engine. We use a 1951 Farmall tractor & a 1960 John Deere tractor in our vegetable field. Both run on the blend.
We can buy almost any blend up to 80%. A mechanic in town runs all his vehicles on 50% blend. Non of them are flex fuel.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 10, 2014
4:53 AM

Post #9766188

drobarr, ethanol ruined our outboard, too. The marina people told us that that's happening all the time with boat motors and other small motors. Bernie, you're just lucky, I guess.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 10, 2014
6:00 AM

Post #9766257

I am not the only one in Minnesota. I have 5,350,000 fellow Minnesotans that burn 10% ethanol.
We had people claiming the same thing years ago when ethanol was first introduced. Never hear it mentioned anymore.

People with anti this & that always have claims. Who are they fighting ?

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 10, 2014
9:12 AM

Post #9766417

http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/03/gas-with-ethanol-can-make-small-engines-fail/index.htm

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 10, 2014
9:21 AM

Post #9766432

I think the biggest danger is when you are going to store your small engine and you leave the tank full with ethanol containing fuel you run some risks.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/briggs--stratton-develops-additive-to-offset-ethanols-effects-on-small-engines-b9948387z1-214705101.html

But my whole issue is that I do not think the ethanol is giving much in terms of power or milage. I think you can go more miles on a gallon of pure gasoline vs a gallon of 90/10 fuel:ethanol.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 10, 2014
10:02 AM

Post #9766457

drobarr- " I think you can go more miles on a gallon of pure gasoline vs a gallon of 90/10 fuel:ethanol."
I've heard that too.
So given all the factors, are we really doing anything better for the environment as a whole, than just using gas? JUST STAY HOME! Use the federal subsidies another way. Stop buying SUVs. There are many people in this area in large suvs for only ego purposes. Chances of needing the 4WD here are one day per year, and can be avoided with planning ahead.
Right after Katrina, gas price shot up ($2 to $5 ?) and everybody was suddenly talking less driving, combining errands etc.

Sorry greenhousegal, we are really digressing here.


CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 10, 2014
10:16 AM

Post #9766464

Nobody said it gets better or same MPG. The whole idea of it was to make us less dependent on
imported oil. Now, with the oil fields in North Dakota, we are very well off for oil. But if you close the ethanol plants, people will be out of work, farm economy will be disaster-est. Not to mention the added air pollution.

4 Wheeled Drive is a joke.
I pull a big covered trailer 3X a week to our Farmers Market, 75 miles round trip, with my 1997 Chevy 2 Wheel Drive pick up. I don't know what 4 wheel drive would do except make the repair bills bigger.
Even here in farm country, farmers drive 4X4 pickup's. Most are under 1 year old, so they won't take them off paved roads. For hauling, they all have semi trucks. Just bragging rights driving the 4X4's.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 10, 2014
7:45 PM

Post #9766852

Ernie said:
>> I think we should all commend GG for her tenacity and endurance in standing up for what she believes.

I agree!

Ernie also said:
>> I am sure i have seen as many scoundrels as you have, and dislike them as much as you do, but the good, solid, honest people i have met far out number the bad ones.

I can agree with that. I suppose that I am assuming that the relatively few bad apples tend to rise to the top in large businesses where sleaze does pay, but that is just my conclusion derived from some of my experiences. You might be more right - and i hope you are!


drobarr quoted someone saying:
>> The doses in animal tests are chosen to specifically elicit a toxic effect, so they are almost always 100 to more than 1,000 times higher than the dose to which humans will ever be exposed. ...

That kind of thing was necessary in somewhat similar testing that we did with carcinogens. if you tested realistic levels, you would have to test 100,000 animals and spend 20 years to see subtle effects. So you had to use higher concentrations to get any VISIBLE effects in a reasonable time, and then find ways to extrapolate backwards to low-does effects.

We had to be careful to avoid (when possible) doses that were just SO toxic that their effects would NOT extrapolate backwards. A level that was toxic BECAUSE it was such a huge amount.

Ideally you found part of a dose-effect CURVE where half as much compound caused half as much disease, and then extrapolated that another 100X or 1,000X. Or any kind of linear or other relationship that could be extrapolated. That was to rule out the kind of "di-hydrogen oxide" effect where too much will drown you, or burn out your liver during detoxification, but lower amounts would have NO effect.

That dose-effect extrapolation was always a source of debate. you kind of HAD to test with higher-than-reasonable concentrations to DETECT the effect. But then you had to extrapolate really far down the curve to guess at what the effect would be of parts per million in the ground water.

CountryGardens said:
>> drobarr, you know what these people are going to come back with, EPA is paid off by Monsanto!

I'm kind of arguing sideways here, or arguing for parts of both sides, when I don't trust big companies even though I do think that human toxicity risks from existing GE crops are negligible or none.

But if I was going to be paranoid about government regulatory agencies, I would lean towards paranoia about their funding being cut so that they didn't have enough inspectors to do the work. That probably applies more to environmental sampling and plant inspections than it applies to getting through the testing process.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 10, 2014
7:45 PM

Post #9766853


Reminiscing ...

The chemical plant I worked for in North haven CT gave more chemical exposure to its careless or lazy workers than to townsfolk (well, maybe not if they fished right downstream from our effluent before the EPA cracked down, and then ate the fish).

But we had to clean up A LOT before each OSHA inspection, which I thought was a crock. Anyway, this story is about the "tote bins" that we put on the "jumbler" with forklifts, and the 3 foot wide "manhole cover" that we clamped on top of the tote bins. Each tote bin held around 20 barrels, and each barrel was around 230-250 pounds if I recall. Around 2.4 tons of dry, dusty product. Those tote bins were something like 4'x4'x10 feet tall. The jumbler was huge. It took up two stories of the building and was made of big steel I-beams so it could tip and rotate those tote bins like a bartender mixing a martini. Kind of like a big, dirty amusement park ride for gi8ants.

2.4 tons of dichlorobenzidine. A Class 5 carcinogen - not the worst thing in the world, not very toxic directly and not as vicious a carcinogen as plain old fashioned benzidene, but bad enough. the OSHA regulations applied to "wipe tests" where they used chemically pure solvent and little squares of exquisitely clean filter paper to wipe down a certain square area of wall or desk. Then they would label and analyze each square of filter paper to be sure they had picked up less than some number of micrograms. It might have been nanograms, but I think the environmental limit was in micrograms. And our urine tests were supposed to be in the low nanograms.

Anyway, TRACE amounts.

So Connecticut OSHA announces a visit and we shut down production for a day, AND schedule tons of overtime to clean up ahead of time. The very dusty pack-out process was stopped early so we could do plenty of cleaning in that area. Meanwhile the tote bins filled up with dry product. ALL the tote bins.

We even had to fill up the OLD tote bins!!

Everyone knew better than to use the OLD tote bins. The collars to which we clamped the "manhole covers" for jumbling were old and eroded and the clamps would not grip the lips firmly enough. You couldn't jumble them (repeated inverting to mix the product so you could sample it for an accurate assay). The poor clamping would leak and a spray of dost would fly from this monster tote-bin-mixing piece of heavy equipment. And in theory, the manhole cover might even fall off!

When we HAD to use an old tote bin, we knew NEVER top jumble it! A senior operator would hoist it up on the big fork lift and give a few up-and-downs and taps on the floor to mix a bit for the sampling, but mainly we knew that the sample strength would be close to the bins before and after it, so the chief would talk to the lab guy and they would agree on a number. That was the Night Shift practice, at least. I'm pretty sure that, on Days, they just never used the frigging old tote bins.

Long story slightly shorter, by the time the CT OSHA guy showed up, the building gleamed like no one had ever seen before, and the hexane wipes on the walls and railings probably WERE in the low microgram or even nanogram range. We KNEW how to clean up!

Well, he needed to see us in operation, so he said "jumble a bin". I'm pretty sure he mainly wanted to make sure that knew how to don the overalls, the gloves, the filter mask, dip the sample jar from the overhead walkway, and then clean up any traces of dust that fell off the jar. Of course, after cleaning the whole building for a few days, we had plenty of practice cleaning up, and even the lazy and trusting operators had all their protective gear handy.

The operator (no fool) went to clamp a lid on a NEW tote bin, but the OSHA guy was not as simple as he seemed. He told them to jumble THAT tote bin (an OLD one).

Unnh-oh.

The operator looked at the Senior Operator, the Senior Operator looked at the Chief, and they all went pale, because they KNEW the manhole cover couldn't form a TIGHT seal and this OSHA guy would probably see GRAMS of dust fly around and contaminate all our pristine walls and floors. We would fail the microgram wipe test if he repeated it!

But they knew they could not say out loud what they were thinking ("We CAN'T jumble THAT!"). There the bins were, all full, and the procedure was that we had to jumble them.

So the Chief says to clamp that cover down as TIGHT as you can and they did. Then they used the heavy fork lift to park it on the jumbler. EVERYONE except the OSHA guy stood WELL back because even the guys who had convinced themselves it wasn't REALLY as carcinogenic as the MSDS sheet said did not want a face full of dust.

Well, the jumbler went into its tilt-a-whirl process and the manhole cover held on OK for the first few cycles. It was probably leaking dust, but not so much that you could see it in the dim jumbler area.

We thought we might luck out!

And it never did actually LEAK.

The clamp slipped free and the 3-foot-diameter manhole cover flew off entirely, missing humans and fragile piping, then most of the 2.4 tons of dry, powdered carcinogen DUMPED out of the tote bin before anyone could shut it down. Mostly into a pile, mostly burying the OSHA inspector foot-to-waist. He wasn't really CHEST deep in the pile of carcinogen - just waist deep - but the overspray did "frost" every exposed square inch of skin and clothing. I hope he held his breath.

They dragged him out of the pile (excuse me, "put on all their protective gear and THEN dragged him out of the pile") and rushed him off to the safety shower and then the decontam shower and then the regular showers while spraying and scrubbing and apologizing. As recounted to me, that was a somewhat humorous process tempered by the certainty that they were ALL going to lose their jobs when the plant was shut down with extreme prejudice.

Sad to say, everyone else had PLENTY of experience cleaning up spills large and small, though this WAS the biggest spill in the history of the plant, unless you count the time someone left a valve open on the toluene tank and no one noticed until it was almost empty. So they shoveled and then scraped and then brushed and then sprayed and then sprayed with caustic and then sprayed with decontaminating bleach ... except for the shoveling part, exactly what they had spent the last two days of overtime doing on a smaller scale.

Well, the CT OSHA guy gave us a COMMENDATION for the "skill and expertise" with which we cleaned up a spill that had clearly been an "Act of God".

We all assumed that money must have changed hands, but maybe he just could not CONCEIVE that we would have knowingly put 2.4 tons of class 5 carcinogen into something bigger than a VW bus if we knew the lid would pop off and spray product around like a giant pinwheel.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2014
10:30 AM

Post #9767159

I love your story, Rick!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2014
3:29 PM

Post #9767324

Thanks! It has been a few years since I thought about that place.

Thinking about how people band together "loyally" and adopt each other's attitudes came partly from working there. The workers wanted to keep getting their good paychecks, and no one (including me) wanted to get the plant shut down. So everyone thought "it isn't as bad for town as you might think" and "we're getting lots better about what we dump".

And the lazy workers who didn't want to suit up and do things the hard way believed at wasn't bad for them, either.

But it WAS that bad back when the plant made benzidene. There was a "followup" process where someone made management check on people who had left the plant and were no longer being monitored. I knew the guy in the Nurse's Office who made the calls.

Not only were some of the calls taken by widows who said a doctor had told them of "bladder tumors the size of silver dollars", but those widows were puzzled by the phone call, since past managers had PAID them not to discuss the matter with anyone.

Making it rather dubious that current managers were telling regulators that THEY didn't know about past employees current medical problems.

Dichlorobenzidene wasn't THAT bad.

I think the chemical industry is one where a little lying helped the bottom line a lot. And the regulations (both EPA and OSHA, not to mention RCRA) were being tightened up a lot the whole time I was there.

I also suspect that the national corporation that bought our little plant maintained some distance so they would have plausible deniability, but that's pure speculation, not fact-based.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 11, 2014
4:06 PM

Post #9767347

I posted this to the wrong thread; I kept wondering what happened to it!

drobarr, thanks for weighing in on ethanol, with links. I get awfully tired of hunting up citations for naysayers. If my marina says there's a widespread problem I believe them, even apart from experiencing it ourselves. They have no dog in this fight; they're just reporting what they see every day among their customers.

You do remember that Consumer Union came out with serious concerns about GMOs, too, right? In Hansen's article it's interesting to read about the method by which the FDA decided that they were safe.

http://consumersunion.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/WA_GE_Testimony_02_14_13.pdf

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 11, 2014
4:20 PM

Post #9767360

Jeez, Rick. You are depressing me! Please tell me this happened many years ago before people took this stuff seriously.

My overall conclusion is still that living is the primary cause of death.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 11, 2014
4:31 PM

Post #9767371

>> Please tell me this happened many years ago before people took this stuff seriously.

Totally.

Or, rather, I worked there from 1976 to 1983 and it was cleaning up its act the whole time. That plant shut down some years later.

I would like to believe that I saw some of the worst practices, but I doubt that's true. I used to think that the "Silkwood" movie and "The China Syndrome" were wildly exaggerated and ridiculous, until I compared them with some memories from his dinky little small-town plant. If billions of dollars had been riding on it instead of millions, who knows WHAT that management team would have done, if they could have gotten away with it.

When some politicians say that "American industry needs LESS regulation", I pray that the effluent pipes all lead directly to that politician's back yard and that he has to eat vegetables watered by that pipe.

Stultifying as regulations might be, I firmly believe that we would be living in "Little Chernobyl" if it were not for the EPA. And I'm not eager to drag my flippers into court and try to prove that my children's tentacles came from THIS or THAT polluter.

I have to admit that I seem to be on different sides of the isle on different days!

Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

February 11, 2014
5:15 PM

Post #9767410

Thank you Rick and all the others for so many good insights into human and corporate 'activities.'

Since we humans like the progress to make our lives more comfortable and speedy, it sure brings some residual baggage. Now some of our chemical and manufacturing ''problems' have been shipped to China, India, and other countries. I worked in the skilled trades at an auto original equipment manufacturer where there was quite a bit of metal fabrication processes. I suppose today it would just be too hard to pass muster profitably so it goes to Korea.

To me, the sum of the matter is that everywhere we turn there are minute poisons. It seems that the best we can do it limit the risks. Even soil [all of it anywhere] contains so many parts per million or billion of unhealthy elements or compounds. When I go to my dentist, he believes in fluoridation but I don't.

I read about where in Chicago there was a large cancer research place with 6 stories. People were busy doing the animal tests and women were doing neat slices between glass and carefully labeling them. Another building housed all those samples, but they were stacked everywhere and were falling on the floor and being walked on. The person reporting on his trip there summarized: If anyone really found a great cancer cure, they would likely be buried under the cement floor! Well, that may be a bit harsh, but sometimes the funding may be the big thing and we need to keep the funding coming.

When Rick talked about $40 million dollars as a stack so high, he was amazingly close. Once at the Bureau of Printing and Engraving where they print money in Washington DC, there was a stack of money on a skid that the tour man said contained about 6 million dollars. It was about 40 inches high and included about 8,000 sheets. These were $20 bills. Each sheet contains 32 bills and there are about 200 sheets to an inch. This is before the sheets are inspected and then cut.

I( remember when our national debt was about 5.5 trillion dollars. If you laid those uncut stacks of $640 each horizonally, They would reach from me to Topeka, Kansas. Now they would reach to Nevada.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 11, 2014
6:18 PM

Post #9767471

The mentions above of OSHA provides an opportunity for me to balance the mentions of Corporate Corruption with some personal experience showing corruption is not limited to employees of large corporations. All of you are proabalby familiar with OSHA, but they have a duplicate bureaucracy, MSHA. That is the acronym for Mining, Safety, Health Agency.. OSHA covers Rock Quarries along with other Occupations, and MSHA covers Mining operations.

Our work Crushing rock takes place under both Agencies. But instead of having identical safety rules for the heavy equipment, there are many small differences in how back up alarms, rotating lights, ladder steps, etc, on the equipment is placed, so a machine that is set up for OSHA can be out of compliance when moved to a Mine, and vice versa. This provides a perfect opportunity for some widespread corruption. As soon as a machine was moved, the inspectors would swoop down and search for those minor infractions and write tickets for any we had missed changing. We got to know the inspectors over the years, and they would talk freely about why they liked to write so many tickets. It seems their annual budgets only provide money for a forty hour week, but the proceeds from the fines are placed in a fund that covers EXTRAS, like overtime and office parties and such. I am not talking about broken lights or back up alarms that do not blow, or genuine safety hazards, I am talking about minor differences in location, and such things as that.

And, of course, like all other expenses, the cost was passed on through to the taxpayer or ultimate consumer. So, I am sure there is as much or more corruption in the Governmetnt bureaus, as there is in the Corporations.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 13, 2014
6:15 PM

Post #9768778

After mulling over “Mendel in the Kitchen” for a few days—and then beginning to read it a second time—things are beginning to crystallize for me. To wit: Pretty much every bite of food you've ever eaten is chock full of...genes! (Sadly, over half of Americans in a poll thought that only genetically modified foods had genes.) Salt doesn't have genes and, I guess, neither do dairy products, but meat, veggies, fruit, herbs, spices—they're nothing but cells loaded with DNA and genes. DNA, no matter “whose” or “what's” DNA, is the same and DNA doesn't do anything but code for protein creation; proteins that are common to ALL life. When is the last time you heard of someone being hospitalized for exposure to DNA? Or genes?

There is, at the very bottom, no essential difference between the DNA and the genes in a bacterium and the DNA and genes in your body. Sure, humans have more genes than bacteria, but much of the information (DNA and genes) contained in both us and bacteria is the same. Only about 300 genes separate us from mice! This isn't surprising, since we've all evolved from a single ancestor. The point is, I'm beginning to (think I) understand, DNA and genes in and of themselves aren't a threat.

If there are issues with genetic engineering, they're more subtle. Perhaps a gene from a peanut plant gets grafted into, say, a celery plant (I'm not saying that's a real possibility). The risk isn't from peanut DNA or genes; humans have eaten peanuts for eons. One real risk is; however, that maybe an allergen from peanuts—a definite threat for those with peanut allergies—came along for the ride. We test for problems like these—by law. Interestingly, though, if the new plant was produced by traditional means, no one would care. No one would check. There is no government agency to make sure that traditional breeders are producing a safe product. Only things considered “genetically modified” (and just what does that really mean?) are regulated.

By the way, the term “traditional breeding” encompasses much more than you think. A potato variety known as 'Lenape” got released by Penn State in the late 1960s. 'Lenape” a cross between a “standard variety and a wild Peruvian variety, was bred to be resistant to insects and blight, but it turned out to contain high levels of glycoalkaloids (common in wild potato varieties and there's some in all potatoes). People got sick and 'Lenape” was recalled. Did you know that the grain triticale, a popular health store variety, is a cross between wheat and rye, two species that can't be interbred “in the wild”. It turns out that triticale is a product of what is known as “chemical mutagenesis”. That is to say, it's a product of mutation via chemical exposure. Some common commercial grain varieties are a result of nuclear irradiation. Plant breeding long ago ceased to be the “innocent”, “simple”, “natural” process most of us think it is. Don't forget that centuries ago, Europeans and Americans were convinced that potatoes and tomatoes were bad. Chocolate, too! Some folks (Johnny Appleseed, for one) were convinced that grafting fruit trees was unnatural and wrong. After all, nature doesn't do grafting.

No matter where you stand on the GMO issue, read “Mendel in the Kitchen”. At least be knowledgeable and accurately informed about your concerns. Ignore the scaremongers like “Yoga-flyer” Smith and learn the truth for yourself. You are a gardener! Unless you are truly clueless, you know you eat bug poop, insect pieces, viruses, bacteria, and who knows what else. They all contain “foreign” DNA and genes. Does that worry you?

This message was edited Feb 17, 2014 11:09 AM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 13, 2014
7:22 PM

Post #9768806

Ernie...good points. Who is regulating the regulators in government? All it takes is a few people with power in those agencies and they can wreak havoc on your business or even shut you down. All it takes is for someone to let their personal beleifs or political persuasion control their decision making. People with power in government are notorius for going after those they disagree with.

Willy...I havent read the book but I am familiar with all of the methods of plant breeding past and present. Mutation breeding has been around for a century or more using chemicals, xrays, radiation etc to develop new characteristics in varieties. In fact many organic crop varieties were developed this way.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutation_breeding

http://www.amusingplanet.com/2013/03/atomic-gardening-breeding-plants-with.html

But mutation breeding has been done by the sun for millions of years. Yes the good ol all natural sunshine has been causing all sorts of mutations in plants and other organisms.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 13, 2014
7:57 PM

Post #9768818

Interesting thoughts.
My (maybe interesting) thought for today was:
Some people think its really weird to wonder if GMO crops can hurt us.
People also probably thought Leeuwenhoek was weird when he said " I think there might be something interesting in my oral gunk", and really weird when he said "There are tiny little animals living in everybody's mouth"

So bravo to all the scientists willing to think weird thoughts and ask the weird questions.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 14, 2014
7:26 AM

Post #9768988

Put simply, mutation is the reason life has progressed beyond its first primeval form. Think of all the mutations it took to get from bacteria to man and sequoias.
DonShirer
Westbrook, CT
(Zone 6a)

February 14, 2014
7:45 AM

Post #9768999

I have been following this interesting thread through its second generation, but an increase in my commitments means I cannot take the time to read this anymore, so I will just make this one post before leaving.

I see a lot of nonsense and little or no science from GMO opponents just repeating the same untruths again and again. This does not help their cause. For an example debunking one of their latest diatribes, see
http://www.examiner.com/article/doctor-oz-spins-fibs-about-gmos-again?CID=examiner_alerts_article

Since as far as I know the only GMO crops are intended for large farms, I am not worried about buying seeds for my home garden.

Since the edible product of GMO crops like beet sugar is identical to ordinary sugar, I'm not worried about checking labels on grocery shelves. In fact I think that my state legislature passing a law about GMO labeling was premature and ill advised. Why? Read this article:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/labels-for-gmo-foods-are-a-bad-idea/

It may be possible, of course, that future genetic modification might somehow produce a harmful product. That is why I am glad that such crops must undergo extensive (and expensive) testing before release. I must trust that interested readers like you will continue to insist upon such controls while discarding unreasonable fears based upon polemics by untrained alarmists and other vested interests.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 15, 2014
6:18 PM

Post #9769990

WillyFromAZ wrote:Put simply, mutation is the reason life has progressed beyond its first primeval form. Think of all the mutations it took to get from bacteria to man and sequoias.


Willy...so we elvolved from bacteria to man and then sequioas in that order? lol I'm just kidding with you.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 17, 2014
12:28 PM

Post #9771035

Time for a little levity--I hope everyone finds this humorous. I heard a fellow call into a radio talk show and announce that we are actually in an ice age and he implied that Monsanto is somehow at least partly to blame for it. Also to blame are the contrails from jets, which are evidently evidence of a conspiracy of some sort. This fellow noted a lot of contrails one fine morning and, lo and behold, it clouded up in the afternoon. I am not making this up.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 17, 2014
12:32 PM

Post #9771037

ha. Someone wrote a letter to the editor to our local paper recently about contrails- we have a major airport in this county. Forget GMOs, greenhousegal, it's the contrails that'll git ya!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 17, 2014
1:55 PM

Post #9771101

I grew up 20 miles from an army base where National Guard trained during the summer.
When they were firing the big guns our windows would rattle.
It didn't matter weather we had big thunderstorms or drought, people blamed it on the big gun fire.
Shook the clouds, I guess.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 17, 2014
5:18 PM

Post #9771198

>> announce that we are actually in an ice age

There is a pretty good science fiction novel with exactly that as a premise. The authors postulated that we would already be in the middle of major glaciation (NATURAL glaciation) if it were not for all the industrial CO2 (and cow methane) we have produced in the last few hundred years.

Then the Greens got into power and the Kyoto Protocol took hold and were successful at greatly reducing CO2 emissions.

(You have to suspend awareness of the probable fact that it will take many decades or a few centuries for atmospheric CO2 levels to actually change back to where they were 200 years ago).

So the glaciers started advancing. Advancing really fast, for plot reasons. Canada was all under a mile of ice, and the USA was half buried.

But the environmentalists wouldn't relent because the ice age was "natural", and they were in POWER.

(It was a very "anti-Green" and "pro-tech" novel.)

Falling Angels
Niven, Pournelle and someone else
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 17, 2014
5:30 PM

Post #9771208

I think the dispute was settled when the Warmies changed the name from "Global Warming" to "Climate Change".. No one disputes that the Climate changes, cooling like it did several years ago, and then warming like it did for a few years just passed.

But anyone that has ever cut an old tree down and looked at the growth rings can see the climate has been changing up and down forever.

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 17, 2014
6:06 PM

Post #9771230

My doubt about global climate change vanished the first time I saw the Keeling curve. I think that was in the mid to late 1980s. It was just too obvious from the measurements and high school physics.

As soon as I saw how MUCH the CO2 level has risen since the Industrial Revolution, I knew that the burden of proof was on climate change "Deniers" to come up with some theory to suggest any possible way, or plausible way, that such a huge CO2 change could NOT have a huge effect on climate.

As if you had a bed with an electric blanket, and then threw several comforters on top of it and did NOT expect it to get warmer, or at least very different. How could that NOT happen?

Except that the climate is a complex system, and the changed CO2 levels are more like hitting a complex machine with a brick and then not expecting it to have an effect.

This is another one where we will probably continue to disagree, but I personally don't think it is an issue where the science is in question.

Every "debunking" site that I've seen uses dramatic language and changes of subject and attacks ad hominem instead of any plausible "here's why the obvious conclusion is wrong".

Like some of the fervent anti-GMO sites, if it's all loud fluff, I question the rigor and even the motivations of the writers.

It affects me just a little that the "Warmies" seem to be professional climatologists (plus some rabid anti-technologists) and the Deniers all seem to have political connections or an ideological bias.

Listening to George Bush "deny" every scientific study was very convincing to me - that what he was "Denying" was any science that was inconvenient to his political agenda.

I thought that the last few years of extreme weather was enough to knock the "natural variability" theory in the head. We've had a few years of hearing multiple instances per year of "the hottest X on record" or "the driest Y in 200 years" (and the paradoxical "more snow than in the last X 100 years", that still supports the climate change and extreme weather observation (no longer solely theory).

I'm willing to just say we disagree, but I expect from the last 3-5 years for it to become unarguably obvious in the next 3-10 years that we are in the "elbow" of transitioning into an obviously chaotic period, or already in that period.



ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 17, 2014
6:56 PM

Post #9771276

Rick,

You and I both know that i am in way over my head arguing science with you, so i will not try to discuss the Carbon in the atmosphere, but as far as the electric blanket goes, I sleep under one and have not yet felt the imaginary heat from the three imaginary comforters.

If the Warmies cannot prove a positive in re the warming after several years of trying, how do you expect the Neutrals like me, or the Coolies to prove a Negative?

Isn't it pretty well understood that it is easier to prove a positive than a negative?

Having spent 75 years outside in the weather, not in the laboratory, the only difference i can see is the rapid communication about how bad the weather is everywhere. This one year dry spell in CA has already received more press than the several years of Dust Bowl Drought, and that increased publicity, not the actual weather, is what i think has scared so many people so much.

This extreme heat and cold that we are seeing has not set very many all time records, just a daily record here and there, and multiplying all the possible locations by all the days in the year, there are millions of locations where records are yet to be broken.

And until i see some proof, i am not going to want to spend a lot of other people's money preventing something that may or may not happen.

I still agree with you on a lot of other things, so we can agree to disagree on this.

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 17, 2014
7:31 PM

Post #9771296

>> And until i see some proof, i am not going to want to spend a lot of other people's money preventing something that may or may not happen.

That is probably reasonable, no matter how much I disagree with it. On the other hand, it MIGHT be the epitaph for millions of people experiencing desertification and famine. Or just a few thousand drownings and monsoon victims. Or relatively minor climate change. Or the salvation of the world by sharply reversing population growth.

>> something that may or may not happen.

I do agree with that. But I'm all pumped up about the likelihood that something really serious may happen - like serious on a planetary and human species scale. I do read a lot of science fiction.

Perhaps fortunately, I suspect that unarguable proof is coming in the near future, like years not decades. I could be wrong, it could be a few more decades before it is very obviously not just "random variation". I mean "obviously PROVEN severe now" to everyone, not just climatologists saying "probably serious to disastrous in years to decades"

UNfortunately, I think it is very plausible that by the time we have totally undeniable proof, it will be like proof that yes, indeed, we DID fall off a cliff 20-50 years ago, and now the wind is whistling around our ears so fast that we can HEAR that we are falling, and closing our eyes is no longer an effective strategy.

When the glaciations recurred, there is a lot of evidence that things changed a little and gradually up to some point, and then BAM the global climate changed VERY rapidly after hitting some not-yet-well-understood "tipping point".

Most likely (in my opinion), if we had started in the 1980s, somehow made it a high priority for every country and impacted every economy, we would have stretched out and slowed down the onset of major symptoms. Maybe we could have made the peak damage less severe by starting that early.

I suspect that current delay and ineffective treaties are making the peak damage worse and bringing it closer in time.

I can't prove that. But I do feel confident of my immediate reaction back in the 1980s: "we are doing WHAT to the atmosphere?!!!?"

I would love to luck out and discover that I'm a simplistic alarmist.

That somewhere in the complexity of global climate and carbon cycle is some loophole that deals with the huge change in the atmosphere in some way that does not make large parts of the globe uninhabitable or reduce global agricultural production by a factor of 30%.

That desertification is just a random fluctuation and will go away on its own.

It would reinforce my belief in a Deity that looks out for us no matter how hard we try to shoot ourselves in the foot.

You know, I hear myself being very alarmist, like many websites that I disdain and think of as "looney". So I'll just repeat that these are my beliefs and speculations. I don't think much has been established with high confidence, scientifically, except "look at the SIZE of the brick with which we've hit the complex mechanism of climate".

There are many models speculating on what the effect of that brick will be. I pay attention to "this VERY bad thing may happen" and "these pretty darn bad things seem more and more likely to happen" and "look, dramatic extremes are already occurring".

I think you're paying more attention to "none of those are proven".

And maybe we could both agree that, "when you don't know, you DON'T know".
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 17, 2014
8:30 PM

Post #9771324

Rick,

I believe you hit on the key words when you emphasized MIGHT HAPPEN. If you balance that with MIGHT NOT HAPPEN, that puts you back in Neutral where i stand on it.

I have worried about enough things that never happened to finally understand that the things we worry about seldom actually happen, and so we are often surprised by the UNEXPECTED.

But to pass laws like the one banning Fluorcarbons, Freon, in the USA, raising the cost of refrigerator gas in the USA to $30,00 a pound instead of the $1.00 a pound it costs in Mexico or the rest of the world, does not make sense until it is proven that real damage is happening. We use a lot of refrigerant in this country, and wasting that much of other people's money is just as harmful as any other damage of comparable cost.

We MIGHT have another Asteroid hit the earth and change the climate like the one they think killed the dinosaurs, or maybe a few Krakatoas erupt and cloud and cool the climate, like the first one did. Either one would make every thing we spend on Climate Change immaterial.

I have no problem with Survivalists spending their own money and time preparing for disasters they think MIGHT HAPPEN, but i would hate to be forced to do what they are doing based on what they believe, not what has been proved. And that is all the Global warming regulations are doing, except on a much larger scale.

I have enjoyed all of the discussions you and i have had, both posted and on online, as they have provided good mental exercise.

To go back to a commment you made a few posts ago, where you were bowing out of the Political Discussion. I have thought the entire GMO thread has been a perfect example from the beginning, of the Political Divisions in this Country, with the more liberal factions espousing more Government Control and Regulations, the Conservatives arguing the opposite, and the Libertarians annd Middle of the Roaders trying to find a balance somewhere near the middle. .

Ernie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 17, 2014
10:22 PM

Post #9771348

It seems that RicCorey feels about global warming, the same way greenhousegal feels about GMOs.
Each has something that based on their personal situation, for whatever reasons, they feel merits concern.

I agree with Ernie that
"I have worried about enough things that never happened to finally understand that the things we worry about seldom actually happen, " and soon enough, something comes from left field to tell you what you really should have 'worried about' all along, but didn't...then you deal with it.


Let's please respect the thread topic and not further digress.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 18, 2014
6:20 AM

Post #9771501

Just a little clip from our local paper.

AMBOY — Blue Earth County farmer Lynn Olson has been selected as a winner in America's Farmers Grow Communities, sponsored by the Monsanto Fund. Lynn Olson selected Amboy Fire Department to receive the $2,500 donation.

America's Farmers Grow Communities works directly with farmers to support nonprofit organizations in rural communities. The program encourages farmers to enter to win $2,500, which is then directed to the farmer's nonprofit of choice. Launched nationally in 2011, the program has grown to include 1,289 eligible counties in 39 states.

This is an example of things the Monsanto killers don't understand.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 18, 2014
6:31 AM

Post #9771511

Thanks, Sallyg. In this case Rick Corey and I are in agreement, re global warming. Since it's not as directly plant-related as GMOs I've been sitting this one out, but enjoying it all the same.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 18, 2014
7:15 AM

Post #9771544

I think you are very wrong. Global warming & plants are very much related.
Check out what is happening in California.
Vegetable prices may go through the roof soon.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 18, 2014
9:01 AM

Post #9771614

For the record, I share the concerns of GG and Rick regarding global warming, although the video posted by Seedfork on the other thread gave some pause for thought.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 18, 2014
9:56 AM

Post #9771663

Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 is beneficial to C3 plants and has no effect of C4 plants. Plants need CO2 like we need oxygen. A warmer earth would in general stimulate plant growth assuming that there is enough water because the reaction for photosynthesis would be more favored. It would also open up new areas in the higher latitudes to agriculture.

I do not think anyone is denying that there seems to be much greater fluctuations in temperatures and there does seem to be an increase in extreme weather. In the 1970's records indicate the weather was cooling. In the 80's and 90's it was warming and since 2001 it has again been cooling. Obviously there has been some major changes in the poles and what is happening there. Nothing that is happening hasnt happened before which is reassuring but the pace is what is alarming.

As a scientist myself...an agronomist I think that there could be many causes for all of the fluctuations. Some of them natural and some of them caused by human activity. But it is my opinion it is not all caused by CO2. The earth is too big and too complex.

Has anyone though about how we have changed the face of the land? We have turned great deserts (which traditionally cooled th earth by reflecting heat back out into space) into irrigated neighborhoods and farms that absorb heat(yes plant growth traps the suns heat and warms the earth). How about all the roads and buildings, asphalt, rooftops, etc. You ever flown over a city in the summer in a plane and felt all the turbulence from all the heat rising from below?

How about just all the heating we do...not the CO2 itself but the heat escaping from our houses and cars and our breathing...

I am not a climate scientist...But I do know they do not all agree. here is an interesting page that describes records on all the hurricanes and tropical storms over the atlantic. It wasnt until 1966 that they were even able to detect storms over the oceans that never made landfall.
http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/E11.html

"large increase in short-lived tropical storms and hurricanes in the last decade, which is likely due to improved monitoring capabilities, that may be influencing the climatological average number of TCs in the Atlantic basin. With the artificial jump in the 2000s in the frequency of short-lived systems, a more realistic estimate of the long-term climatology may be closer to 13 tropical storms and hurricanes per year.
* 1950 is recorded as the busiest season in the whole database for number of Major Hurricanes with 8.
+ 1886 is recorded as the most active hurricane season for the continental USA with 7 landfalling hurricanes."

Interesting that an increase in storms is likely due to better detection. Also you will see that storms making landfall are not increasing like we are all led to believe.

Damage from storms maybe increasing as population centers have moved to the coast.



sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 18, 2014
5:55 PM

Post #9771932

whoa nellie on that last sentence "Damage from storms maybe increasing as population centers have moved to the coast." Population centers have for millennia been either near the coast or the shore or riverbanks.

Loss to major infrastructure may be greater but maybe it is not more of a loss in life and in relative infrastructure than has gone on for ages. - seems to me anyhoo!


drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 18, 2014
7:30 PM

Post #9771997

Sally your point is valid. But now we have virtually every beach along our entire coast with a house or some other development. Many coastal areas particularly outer banks areas were not inhabited until more recently. And populations along the coast continue to grow more rapidly.

Florida coastal areas have drastically changed just in the 20 years I have been visiting. Florida itself has increased population significantly in the same time.

People continue to build too close to the coast...probably where they should not. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/2267557

All I am saying is that the frequency and or intensity of hurricanes that hits landfall has not increased...though the damage has and...that is because now there is much more damage to do. This is the same with tornados.

Many of the things global warming scientists have said would happen have not happened and this has hurt their cause. In summer the entire north pole is melting and we havent seen much rise in the ocean. We havent seen more tornados or hurricanes.

Just more damage as population becomes more concentrated in the areas where these disasters take place.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 19, 2014
4:53 AM

Post #9772113

A friend whose fixed dock was built, in 1995, to be well above fifty-year flood tides is now seeing it inundated at every high tide. It is obvious to people who live along our tidal rivers that there has been a significant rise in ocean levels. Towns have had to be abandoned because of this. Streets which once were lined with houses are now far out in the bay, covered with water.

You wouldn't notice that in Hummelstown, PA, I guess.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 19, 2014
4:59 AM

Post #9772119

Dr O, we agree
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

February 19, 2014
8:29 AM

Post #9772272

greenhouse gal, Well, how much higher is the ocean level?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 19, 2014
9:30 AM

Post #9772299

GG,

That is odd, as i would think it would have effected the Pacific Ocean, too, I have kept a boat in the Alamitos Marina in Long Beach CA for 50 years and there has been no noticeable difference in the high water mark on the Sea Walls..

They are in the process of rebuilding the Marina for another fifty years and are not changing or raising the seawalls, so they must be high enough.

But a lot of land areas near water do suffer from subsidence, which can have the same effect..

Storm surges can also be a problem, and those would not normally be added to Spring Tide Tables.

Sally, i apologize for digressing, but felt this should be replied to.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 19, 2014
9:47 AM

Post #9772307

Indy, I don't know; I haven't checked it out. This is just from personal observation. We've lived here for over forty years and the yard never flooded when we had a high tide. Now it floods routinely, and our friend almost lost her dock due to ice because of the high level of the water.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2014
10:07 AM

Post #9772322

It has risen 7 inches in the last 145 years. It rises a few milimeters per year.

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

But its hasnt risen like the climate scientists have predicted.

GG wrote:"a significant rise in ocean levels. Towns have had to be abandoned because of this. Streets which once were lined with houses are now far out in the bay, covered with water." This is not true. which towns have been abandoned? Show me pictures please.

In fact when floating ice melts, it doesn't change sea level. Floating ice displaces it's weight in water. When it melts, it weighs the same and displaces the same amount of water.

As far as a friends dock built in 1995... the oceans haven't risen even an inch since then. So either the dock was built to low to begin with or it is sinking.




This message was edited Feb 19, 2014 2:11 PM

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 19, 2014
10:17 AM

Post #9772325

This argument is sort of like liberal and conservative views. Liberals feel their philosophy is best for America, if not for mankind. Conservative feel just the opposite. It just depends on one's core view of climate change. Generally speaking, it more often depends on what we watch (news casts) and what we read (newspapers and magazines).

According to NASA,125,000 years ago, global sea levels stood 14-20 feet HIGHER than the present. But 20,000 years ago the global sea levels stood a whopping 400 feet LOWER than the present. That was during the last great Ice Age. During all these thousands of years in the interim, there have been numerous changes in global sea levels, both up and down. What mankind did, or didn't do, had absolutely nothing to do with these climate changes. It was just Mother Nature at work.

Now if you believe Al Gore (who became a multi-millionaire giving lectures and writing a book about "Global Warming"), the world as we know it is coming to an end. All our coastal cities will be under water. Actually, again according to NASA, in the last 100 years our global sea levels have risen approximately 6 inches. IF this continued at the same rate, it would take 1000 years for that level to rise 50 feet, and sure enough, our coastal cities would be under water.

That is IF we don't have a COOLING climate change during that time.

Notice that none of the "talking-heads" now use the term "Global Warming". They have all quietly changed it to "Climate Change". Three years ago, all we heard about was the fact that the ice-pack in Antarctica was melting at a rapid pace. Then this past year, scientists discovered that new ice was forming there at a rapid pace, faster than had been seen in recorded history. So which is it, loss of ice or gain of ice? Again, it all depends on who/what you want to hear/read. We just pick what sounds best to us, what fits our core beliefs.

There is and probably will never be (at least in any of our lifetimes) an end to this argument. We will continue building our cities and our homes in coastal areas. We will have years with more hurricanes than average, a warmer/wetter climate, more frequent tornadoes (and the list goes on and on). Aah ha, surely a sign of global warming. And then, all the scientific predictions are proven wrong - less hurricanes, a colder fall/winter than normal, drought, and again, the list goes on and on.

Personally, I prefer to use my energy worrying about other things, things I can at least have partial control over. Let's talk about plants and related subjects. In my opinion, that is far more interesting.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2014
11:31 AM

Post #9772387

By calling it climate change they can then attribute every extreme in the weather be it cold or hot or flood or drought or storm or blizzard...and blame it all on Exxon Mobil or Halliburton or BP.

If we are plant lovers we should support higher CO2 since plants do better in increased CO2 environments..at least C3 plants. Everytime you exhale you should also feel good. Actually plants prefer a bigger carbon footprint not a smaller one. So what is truly "green" is in the eye of the beholder!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 19, 2014
11:57 AM

Post #9772405

Drobarr,,
I took a lot of pleasure from seing the name switch to Climate Change from Global Warming as the only logical reason for that was to admit defeat.. It may take a while for blind followers to realize it, but the two titles describe very different behavior of the atmosphere. Global Warming was a theory or hypothesis, while Climate Change is a fact and a constant, ongoing occurence.

Kirk,
I was chastized for describing this thread as a reflection of our political beliefs, but i agree with you. Replying to many of the posts with a comment about GMO would simply not be responsive to the post.;

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 19, 2014
1:04 PM

Post #9772444

Ernie,

Your are correct climate change has always happened. And the name change was needed in order to not loose support for the theory. What is attributed to nature and what is attributed to man though is still not clear...tough for even climate scientists to determine. It could very well have nothing to do with human activities at all.

But if humans are causing any part of it I do not think we can only atribute it to one factor...be it CO2 or any other. The earth is a very very complex planet.

Does anyone realize that every oxygen a plant releases through photosynthesis is converted back to CO2 when that plant dies and decays? So where does Oxygen come from? Whats the source?


klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 19, 2014
2:26 PM

Post #9772512

Welding supply companies is my best guess. LOL

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 19, 2014
3:10 PM

Post #9772536

drobarr, if you're going to respond to my descriptions of the situation in my area with statements that they're simply not true, there is no point continuing the discussion.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 19, 2014
4:20 PM

Post #9772562

I tellya what--I'll start a climate change thread separately. I do find the comments interesting, but they are off topic.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 19, 2014
4:24 PM

Post #9772565

Good idea. It has gotten off-subject.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 19, 2014
5:00 PM

Post #9772582

Willy,
That is a good idea, and i hope you allow the discussion to develop as the participants lead it.
I am sure most of us have said about all we have to say about GMO, so that thread may not have much of a future for new ideas on it.

Nearly every post that i have seen has been responsive to a prior post, so those have all followed the "Thread",

Ernie

This message was edited Feb 19, 2014 5:01 PM

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 19, 2014
7:25 PM

Post #9772697

Ernie, thanks. I am OK but I wanted to acknowledge that the original thread starter might be bothered by digression. Some are annoyed, some don't mind.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2014
4:46 AM

Post #9772816

I don't mind the occasional digression; I do mind having my observations dismissed as not being true when I have seen what I claim with my own eyes. That's just plain rude.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2014
5:21 AM

Post #9772831

GH gal, I am sure no one doubts what you have said. Nothing can be more true than what you have experienced first-hand. I just think lots of folks doubted the whole notion of Global Warming, and using that as an excuse to spend billions of tax-payer's money to "solve" it. I lived on the Mississippi Gulf coast for many decades, and though I have now moved upstate, I still have many friends living there. I can tell you that neither I nor they have seen any increase in tidal levels. But saying that, I don't have a clue whether there has been noticeable changes in the sea-level in other areas. Apparently, from your observations, there has been. I have no reason to doubt what you have seen.

NOAA states that there has been an increase of about 6 " in the last 100 years. That's science, and why would anyone doubt that figure?

Ken

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 20, 2014
6:46 AM

Post #9772910

Ken, it was drobarr who told me that what I said wasn't true. In our area we deal both with sea level rise and with subsidence of the land mass, so the problem is exacerbated.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 20, 2014
10:01 AM

Post #9773023

Sea levels are constantly moving up and down within well documented limits because of the Tides.. Water is held to this planet by the Earth's gravity and responds to the gravitational pull from both the Moon and the Sun. If the Moon and the Sun are aligned, we have the highest or Spring tides being pulled around the Earth. When the Sun and the Moon are opposed, the pull is the least, and we have Neap tides. There are other smaller factors that influence it, but that is the main driver.

There is a lot of money spent monitoring this information, and the amount of change in sea level, if any, is very important, so we can be sure the official measurements are correct and any measureable increase anywhere would be accurately recorded.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 20, 2014
11:56 AM

Post #9773079

Perhaps we could all agree that curling seems to be a goofy sport?

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2014
12:27 PM

Post #9773099

Nope, not even that. I like the mathematics of it. I just wish I understood more of the strategy. Needless to say, we have no winter sports here, so all the these sports are a novelty to me. If I wanted to find white stuff covering the ground, I would have to travel to Pensacola, FL.!

Ken in Mississippi
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 20, 2014
1:06 PM

Post #9773120

How about this: Watching "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" is a complete waste of time?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 20, 2014
1:07 PM

Post #9773121

Curling is not a goofy sport!
Ask any good Minnesotan. It is a sport that any age can play. Not like the hockey, basketball, football, so forth that all require athletic ability & young age.
Of course you don't earn millions of dollars playing it.

What does curling have to do with the famous GMO ?

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

February 20, 2014
1:08 PM

Post #9773123

I think the whole bunch of you have went off the deep end.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

February 20, 2014
2:28 PM

Post #9773179

Now Willy…I laughed and cringed at Honey BooBoo BUT you have to grant that they try to do things together as a family, they have a hardworking Dad…and it's important to understand that people have many different ways of living.

Here's one- Grass is green! Or is it….

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 20, 2014
4:41 PM

Post #9773289

>> I'll start a climate change thread separately.

Cool.

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1350831/

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2014
6:50 PM

Post #9773366

greenhouse_gal wrote:A friend whose fixed dock was built, in 1995, to be well above fifty-year flood tides is now seeing it inundated at every high tide. It is obvious to people who live along our tidal rivers that there has been a significant rise in ocean levels. Towns have had to be abandoned because of this. Streets which once were lined with houses are now far out in the bay, covered with water.

You wouldn't notice that in Hummelstown, PA, I guess.


GG...can you please share with us the names of the towns that have had to be abandoned. The names of the streets with houses way out in the bay, now covered with water?

ACCORNING TO NOAA THE OCEANS HAVE RISEN 1" SINCE 1995.

So are you saying that NOAA is incorrect?. I cant say what you are seeing is true or not. But tides and surges can be the cause or sinking ground...not a rise in sea level of more than an inch since the dock was built.

Yes I live at 450' but I grew up on the coast and have friends there and none of them have been able to detect a rise in their area which is what many others have also commented.

Im guessing your localized flooding is because of some other reason than an increase in sea level.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 20, 2014
7:13 PM

Post #9773385

greenhouse_gal wrote:drobarr, if you're going to respond to my descriptions of the situation in my area with statements that they're simply not true, there is no point continuing the discussion.
e

Can you be specific about what I said that isnt true?

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2014
10:12 AM

Post #9773730

MIT's Technology Review had a great article about GMOs in the Jan-Feb issue. They make points about rising world population requiring continued increases in crop yields, and a need to maintain growth in crop yields despite erratic and extreme weather.

In theory, we can read it online, but the text doesn't show up for me.

http://www.technologyreview.com/featuredstory/522596/why-we-will-need-genetically-modified-foods/

The March-April issue will have an article focused on the new GE tools Talens and Crispr, (discussed in another thread in this forum). That one CAN be read online:

http://www.technologyreview.com/review/524451/genome-surgery/
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 21, 2014
10:37 AM

Post #9773755

it shows up for me--thanks for the link.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2014
1:22 PM

Post #9773905

Here's an article about two towns that had to be abandoned due to high tides and storm action:

http://www.thedailyjournal.com/article/20090402/NEWS01/90406015/Local-News-Tidal-Wave-Hits-Cumberland-County-1950-

Here's a quote from you: "GG wrote:"a significant rise in ocean levels. Towns have had to be abandoned because of this. Streets which once were lined with houses are now far out in the bay, covered with water." THIS IS NOT TRUE [my caps]. which towns have been abandoned? Show me pictures please."

Thompson's Beach and Moore's Beach as well as East Point are either totally gone or badly eroded. All you'd see in pictures of Thompson's Beach and Moore's Beach would be the bay and some concrete slabs. Nothing else is left. Gandy's Beach and Money Island are two others on the Delaware Bayshore which are imperiled by rising water.



drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2014
2:22 PM

Post #9773941

GG...good try but that story has nothing to do rising sea level...that was from a tidal wave and storm surge in the 1950's and those homes were built on a sandbar prone to frequent flooding every time a storm came around.

Please share the names of towns abandoned because of rising sea levels...the ones with the streets full of water. Houses out in the middle of the bay.

This message was edited Feb 21, 2014 6:30 PM

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2014
2:39 PM

Post #9773945

More violent storms will cause such coastal problems more often.

I know it's not proof quite yet, but in 10-20 years, I suspect they will draw the line for "when it was obvious" around 2-5 years ago, say 2010.

Hindsight is always clearer, but the Captain of a ship he cares about doesn't wait until the ship is broken in half on the rocks before starting a turn away from the rocks.

But as long as there is a difference of opinion about how conclusive the evidence is, or how complete the models are, or how totally obvious the Keeling curve is, we will disagree about how much we should disrupt the global economy to react to what some still deny is a threat.

Perhaps the MOST interesting stage will come after everyone agrees that it is about as crucial as steering a ship away from reef.

Well worth efforts exceeding those made for (for example) World Wat II.

Global efforts, international efforts.

There is no mechanism for enforcing such efforts, sharing the burden, or punishing "violators". If the USA is any example, we might not even be able to raise funding through taxes or agree to half-measure treaties.

And I agree that it will be a problem if 3/4 of the planet bites the bullet and China just burns more coal. Who says that global nuclear winter is no longer possible? Maybe that's how we'll solve the long-term warming problem AND population growth.

We might watch the global population crash and the Breadbasket turn into a desert while political parties fight over their unwillingness to do anything.

They will probably only be able to agree that their short-sighted planet-killing grandparents back pre-2100 SHOULD have addressed the problem while it was still possible to solve.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2014
3:37 PM

Post #9773977

It is kind of difficult keeping up with all this "information", when part of it is posted on the "GMO" and part of it is posted on "Climate Change". Both threads are under "The Vegetable Gardening" forum. It would be far simpler IF all these posts were under the Climate Change thread, don't you think?

Ken, confused in Mississippi

P. S. The area where I live in Mississippi averages about 300' above sea level, with our hills averaging around 500' above sea level. Huge areas of sea shells are located in my county, both in the "low-lands" and the hills. Frequently, fossilized sea life is found in these areas. At one time we were under the sea. You think the oceans might have covered a little bit more of the earth back then? This was 10,000-100,000 years before man.

P. S. S. I am also posting this on the Climate Change thread.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 21, 2014
4:04 PM

Post #9773995

My guess is that most people are talked out about GMOs.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 21, 2014
4:19 PM

Post #9774008

drobarr, Moore's Beach and Thompson's Beach are two of the towns I'm referencing. Yes, storms did a lot of damage, but that doesn't negate the fact that all of their streets are now underwater in the bay. I'm not going to argue this anymore, though; I feel as though I'm feeding a troll.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2014
7:44 AM

Post #9774298

feeding a troll? lol

I do not deny what happened at Moors Beach and Thompsons Beach. But you have to admit that it has nothing to do with climate change, global warming or rise in sea level as you had suggested. It had to do with a catastrophic tidal wave and hurricane and storm surge that caused serious erosion and sinking of the the subsoil in the 1950's.

You mentioned earlier that because of the rise in sea level that there were towns and streets in the bay and underwater. I just wanted you to name them and you havent been able to do so. You are correct no more to discuss.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 22, 2014
7:56 AM

Post #9774303

RickCorey_WA wrote: "More violent storms will cause such coastal problems more often."

Rick...Do you have a source?

As far as I know, nobody can predict the future. How many times have we heard that we should expect an active hurricane season and we had nothing. Storms have not be getting more frequent or more violent. http://www.aoml.noaa.gov/hrd/tcfaq/E11.html

What has increased is the destruction from storms...but because there is more damage to do from increased coastal urbanization, not from any increase in frequency or intensity of the storms.

Its very hard to preduict weather more than 7 days in most cases let alone predict climate over years or centuries. All we know is that it will change. Nearly all of the climate scientists predictions have proved false so far. Why keep beleiving them? Anyone ever think that if they predict a catastrophy that is going to secure them some funds to look into their horrible predictions? Job security anyone?

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 22, 2014
9:26 AM

Post #9774357

Doc, can we get all these posts in the "Climate Change" thread. I have absolutely no interest in GMO's and am tired to going back and forth to see the posts about our climate/sea changes/elevation changes. I do find this interesting, though know that we will never come to a consensus.

You certainly are right about predictions, and hurricanes are a good example. One does not have to go very far back to see the hurricane predictions totally wrong - just last year.

Also on the topic of hurricanes, the ONLY thing that made hurricane Sandi a "super storm" was the fact that it hit a heavily populated area. Nothing else. It had a very typical size and a fairly weak winds. Compare the size and compare the strength with hurricanes Katrina and Camille. Sandi is not even in the same ballpark with these two storms, and there are many, many others that it could be compared to. The Weather Channel loves to put labels on things. It sells!

Ken
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 23, 2014
9:58 AM

Post #9775005

Thanks again for the link to the MIT article, Rick. Very interesting. It was informative to understand some of the issues and to see how climate change is making the task more difficult. I wish articles like this were more widely available and reported in the popular press. So, off on a tangent (quick one). The advent of 24 hour news has done nothing to educate the population, it's served only to divide us and keep us informed of the likes of Justin Bieber's or George Zimmerman's antics. Very little in the way of useful information, even in politics--mainly stuff like who insulted whom, will he/she apologize... The real downside of the US losing to Canada in hockey is, I understand, we have to keep Bieber.



This message was edited Feb 23, 2014 5:17 PM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 23, 2014
10:17 AM

Post #9775020

The other article on talens and crispr was great also. Fascinating implications for genetic diseases.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 23, 2014
4:09 PM

Post #9775196

Kirk,
I will only post Climate Change responses in the CC thread, and if we all do likewise, it will soon straighten out.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 23, 2014
4:51 PM

Post #9775217

Ill do the same.

klrkkr

klrkkr
Starkville, MS
(Zone 8a)

February 23, 2014
7:08 PM

Post #9775319

Thanks, all.

Ken

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 24, 2014
4:10 AM

Post #9775463

Back to GMOs, I just found that article by Consumer Union's Michael Hansen about concerns re GMO foods and toxicity:

http://consumersunion.org/news/consumers-union-statement-on-new-long-term-study-of-feeding-ge-grains-to-pigs/
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
10:08 AM

Post #9775716

Thanks for the link to the paper, GG. I will read through it--Jeez, these papers are tough for a non-biologist!

I also want to make a point, maybe in reality more like pose a question. I don't know yet--not having read the article--specifically what the GMO crops were bred for, but, the paper itself makes a big deal of the fact they're GMOs. It may well be that, if the GMO is a Bt variety, that consuming an entire diet of foods containing "Bt Toxin" can lead to problems. I find it hard to believe, though, that GE itself is the problem. An example from the other direction: the 'Lenape' potato was conventionally bred and, after release, was found to have issues relating to toxins inherent in all potatoes to some degree. It made some people quite ill. What would you think if the headlines of new articles read a;long these lines? "Toxicology Study Involving Traditional Plant Breeding Methods (TPB) Shows TDP Potatoes Are Poisonous".

In and of itself, GE is nothing more than swapping genes between organisms, something that has gone on from the beginning of life on earth. GE itself CAN'T be THE problem. The introduced genes certainly can result in issues, but so can genes introduced by conventional means; see 'Lenape' potato. I am still creeped out by transgenetics, which Bt corn definitely is, but I am (naively?) optimistic that testing like that in the subject paper will minimize potential issues.

I do believe we worry inordinate amounts over new and/or poorly understood technologies. To go back to my nuclear issue for an example, we fear radiation, which is everywhere. I wonder how many of us realize that there were zero Fukushima deaths caused by radiation (same is true for Three Mile Island). About 18,500 people died from the tsunami that caused the Fukushima disaster. In the case of Fukushima, estimates are that roughly 100 additional cancers will result from the exposure. Some studies suggest perhaps 1,000--2,000 additional cancers. Radiation aside, estimates are that roughly 2 million deaths per year result from air pollution, another reason to eventually do away with coal-fired electric plants.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 24, 2014
10:42 AM

Post #9775728

Willy, but GE is not the same kind of plant breeding and selection that's gone on since the beginning of life on earth. With GE we can take the genes of a mosquito and implant them in the genetic code of a fish or a variety of soybeans. Natural selection or even selective breeding can't produce offspring that contains radically different organisms' code in its genetic makeup. And when we tinker with those codes, unintended consequences often arise. People who are concerned about GMOs feel that much more testing needs to occur before they are released into the environment and can contaminate non-GMO varieties, as has already happened in numerous places. Right now an Australian organic farmer is suing his neighbor because his neighbor's GMO crops contaminated the farmer's organic ones and he has lost his organic certification and now has a product that he can't sell. Furthermore China is no longer accepting large shiploads of corn from the U.S. because they've found traces of GMO contamination in them.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
10:47 AM

Post #9775732

My observations on the GMO paper referenced above in GG's post:

1) It seems very thorough to my non-biologist mind. I do believe it was not peer reviewed and would like to see comments from people who are in the field. The results do suggest that the GM feed has a physical effect.

2) I was most disturbed by the statement that 22.7 weeks is the lifespan of a typical commercial pig. Wow. What a dismal life.

3) I was puzzled by a reference to "other GM crops" (page 39) such as potatoes, tomatoes, and peas. I didn't think any such crops have been released for public consumption yet. I certainly could be wrong about this.

4) I learned that pigs are raised in a "piggery". A small thing, but...

5) On page 42, it states that "male piglets were neutered at three days of age in order to fulfill market requirements for meat free of "boar taint"". I must admit that I don't like learning about how our meat is raised.

Finally, I was most disturbed by the fact that the authors thanked, among others, Mr. Yoga, Jeffrey Smith. To me, that taints their entire study.

This message was edited Feb 24, 2014 11:49 AM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
11:03 AM

Post #9775742

GG--I do understand how GE differs from traditional breeding, that's why I made a separate comment about transgenics. I still maintain it is not logical to assert that GE itself is the cause of any issues that arise. It is just the technique. I do believe that transgenic crops deserve more evaluation before they are released and I hope that, if the study you referenced is a valid one, more studies will be done. Transgenic crops can results from non-GE techniques. Triticale is one good example. Its a cross between wheat and rye--a cross that cannot happen in nature and was accomplished without using molecular GE techniques.

Here is a reference to a good discussion of Jeffrey Smith's "Genetic Roulette": http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
12:03 PM

Post #9775779

I just found an interesting video dealing with the broader issues that are being touched on in the organic, GMO, and climate warming threads. Specifically, it's about politics clouding your objective lens. I've only watched a few minutes so far (it's about an hour long), but I think most of the contributors here might find it very interesting.

It's here: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 24, 2014
2:41 PM

Post #9775917

One of the problems with GMO literature is that on both sides it attracts hyperbole and emotionally-driven rhetoric. I don't put any credence in people like Jeffrey Smith, but I am impressed when European and other countries take a much more conservative approach to GMOs than we do.

Unfortunately I can't watch the video because I have a data cap on my internet access; makes it hard for me to check out lots of things that people recommend to me!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 24, 2014
2:53 PM

Post #9775926

Willy,
I posted similar to this on Climate Change. I watched the entire video and did not see anything new or of great interest.

I trust Science, it is just some of the Scientists i do not trust.

For people that are religious, It is fine to trust God, but they should not Trust all the Preachers.

It was worth the time it took to watch it, but that was about all it was worth to me.

The speaker with the fluttering hands would have been more impressive if he had put them in his pockets while speaking.

GG, you might not have liked,, or agreed with quite a bit that was said about GMOs.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 24, 2014
2:59 PM

Post #9775929

No GMO peas, tomatoes or potatoes on the market. And no varieties of those crops have ever been commercialized. Bt potatoes were developed in the mid 1990's but never commercialized. The flavorsaver tomato came the closest but wasnt ever fully commercialized.

Gmo crops that are commercialized right now are limited to corn, soybeans, cotton, sugarbeats, alfalfa, and canola. The only crop where pollen can move to non transgenic crops is corn. Corn pollen can travel up to 600 ft.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
3:10 PM

Post #9775937

I am pretty sure that GM canola has pollinated neighboring wild mustards, no?

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 24, 2014
5:04 PM

Post #9776017

It is possible.

http://www.gmo-safety.eu/science/oilseed-rape/275.oilseed-rape-his-family.html

After 18 years on the market it hasnt yet been an issue. And 99.6 percent of canola is now gmo.

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
5:23 PM

Post #9776029

I was interested to learn that until 30 or 40 years ago, rape seed oil was not fit for human consumption. Then it was bred to minimize one "bad" form of oil and replace it with a "good" form of oil. At that point, it became "canola", short for "Canadian Oil". I don't think the breeding was GE, though I'm not sure of that. I do know it wasn't done by simply breeding rape in the old fashioned way.

drobarr, I'm glad you are "in the biz" and can provide some factual info and personal experience. Same to Rick, who seems to be very well informed on things biological. I have a technical background, but it ain't in biology. I struggle with the technical articles and papers.

Hey, maybe in 2024, we can have a GMO reunion somewhere and all meet face to face. lol, again.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 24, 2014
6:18 PM

Post #9776076

Update on the GM paper: I was just casually looking the GMO/pig uteri sturdy again and I noticed the following: The author's organizations seemed to be a bit on the non-university side. I picked one author, one who represents one "Verity Farms" in Maurice, Iowa. A quick visit to their website revealed anti-GMO links and, lo and behold, explains that Verity is proud of their commercial product, Verity Revitalized Water. To quote them directly: "Verity Revitalized Water contains greater caloric capacity to perform work, expel wastes, absorb temperature changes and enhance energetic influences." Like the claims of several other outfits I've seen, some folks can alter the physical properties of water. Remarkable.

I didn't bother to research the other "authors".

My conclusion is even stronger in the "this paper is bs" camp.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2014
7:57 PM

Post #9776135

Willy, I struggle with the journal articles also! I haven't worked in biochemistry in 35-odd years, so don't take me as any kind of authority.

I read the original long-term pig-feeding journal article, and I was more impressed by the authoers' statement that they looked closer and developed new techniques for looking for smaller changes than were done in any normal feeding study or autopsy.

June issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Organic Systems
Lead researcher Judy Carman
the study itself: http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf
(You can download the PDF. It is 17 pages and dense scientific jargon. Great study.)

"Researchers said there were no differences seen between pigs fed the GM and non-GM diets for feed intake, weight gain, mortality, and routine blood biochemistry measurements."

It would interesting to see what abnormalities their state-of-the-art enhanced scrutiny would find as a result of other dietary practices.

It was a great study in most ways, and presented very well and sounded honest and unbiased to me.
90% of the GM corn was a triple-stacked GE cultivar (two Bt genes and one RoundupReady mod.)
The soy was all RR RoundupReady .

The non-GM corn and soy were fairly close to the GM feeds, but not genetically near-identical varieties.

The piggery workers were somehow kept blind to which group of pigs were which (nice touch!), but still fed one set with GM feed and the other set with normal feed.

Too bad they didn't store the GE feed as mold-free as they stored the conventional feed. Their testing showed "allowable" amounts of highly toxic aflatoxin and some other mold toxin in the GE feeds (I THINK from Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus).

"2.08 ppb total aflatoxins and 3.0 ppm total fumonisins in a pooled sample of the GM feed
and no aflatoxins and 1.2 ppm total fumonisins in a pooled sample of the non-GM feed.
No other mycotoxins were detected. "

That "allowable" amount of mold toxins MIGHT have caused the changes they observed, or other mold products might have caused the inflammations and organ size changes. Certainly the "allowable" limits did not use all the new techniques that these admirable researchers developed to put an extra-powerful microscope on the results of 100% GM fodder.

As I said at the time, the test actually supports "pro-GMO" activists more than "anti-GMO" activists. A really good long-term study feeding 100% GMO feeds found only changes so slight that usually no one would have noticed them!

As they said:

“The results indicate that it would be prudent for GM crops that are destined for human food and animal feed, including stacked GM crops, to undergo long-term animal feeding studies preferably before commercial planting, particularly for toxicological and reproductive effects.”

There certainly are many tests that are required already before GMOs get licensed - I had assumed some of those were long-term feeding studies! I see that the Consumer's Union says: "There have been very few animal feeding studies of GE food to date, and extremely few that lasted longer than 90 days."

A 6-month feeding study certainly is a long one, but I agree there is value, especially in triple-stacked GMOs, and ones with brand-new genetic additions.

I guess it is arguable whether the long-term studies need to have tests invented and performed that are more advanced and sensitive than any food product has ever been subjected to before. Including tests that, when they come out positive (some organs enlarged by 25% which I guess is statistically significant with 168 newly-weaned pigs including controls). I would love to know whether the stomach inflammation was related to Bt, aflatoxin or poor feed storage. "More studies are desirable ..."

Of course, the best long-term feeding study is that farm animals have been eating a high % of GM crops for 15 years. Damage is not discernible.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2014
8:00 PM

Post #9776138

drobarr said:
>> Gmo crops that are commercialized right now are limited to corn, soybeans, cotton, sugarbeets, alfalfa, and canola.

My sole source for the following is the very pro-GMO article in Technology review cited far above ...

"So far, the short list of transgenic crops used directly for food includes virus-resistant papaya grown in Hawaii, Bt sweet corn ... and a few varieties of squash that resist plant viruses".

I don't know if the papaya and squash varieties are commercialized yet, but that article made it sound like they were. I don't know.

That same article said:
The Indonesian ag agency expects to approve a blight-resistant potato "soon".

J.R. Simplot hopes to commercialize its own blight-resistant potato GM potato by 2017.

Monsanto may try again to commercialize a GM wheat some time.

Cornell researchers are working with India, Bangladesh and the Philippines to make an insect-resistant eggplant available to farmers there.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 24, 2014
8:01 PM

Post #9776139

Thanks, Willy. I've re-read that first MIT article about three times. It was the first time I saw Talens and Crispr mentioned, and that firm that offers GE "toolkits" for a few hundred dollars was thrilling or chilling, or both.

I need to read the second Talens & Crispr article - human gene-tailoring, am I right?

I was amazed to learn the commercial potato cultivars for the US' Northeast are specialized for regions only 500 miles in radius! That small a change in day length and climate makes a difference. How much more of a difference would variable or changed weather make?

Whether or not you think any degree of unusual climate is likely to occur soon (or after a few decades) , those plant physiologists are thinking ahead (or, at least, thinking about things relevant to parts of the world that don't have access to plenty of fertile, well irrigated agricultural land with steady, predictable climates.)

Several people in that article made the point that the GE revolution has not benefited the Third World much at all, and has mostly affected crops where profits could be increased, and profits for the GE company assured. If the GE revolution is ever to address issues like drought, heat, salinity, and plant diseases in poor regions, some mechanism other than mega-corporations seeking profit will be needed. Maybe Talens and Crispr and non-transgenic GE methods leading to relaxed regulatory standards will help meet that goal, i.e. feeding the next 2 billion people to be born.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 25, 2014
10:06 AM

Post #9776494

A couple of thoughts regarding your last posts, Rick.

The Talens/crispr article does discuss all GE, but it mentioned human genetic diseases also. I hadn't seen much mentioned on that aspect in other places.

"Mendel in the Kitchen" discusses some GE (Golden Rice and at least one other that escapes me now) that has been donated to other organizations and that is aimed at feeding and providing better nutrition for the poor. This really is a worthwhile read.

My overall impression of commercialized GE crops to date is that their potential promise is largely unmet so far, especially with regard to food/nutrition value.

I am still not as skeptical of the profit motive as some others here.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2014
5:04 PM

Post #9776697

>> I am still not as skeptical of the profit motive as some others here.

I'm sure that I only talk about what I think of as shortcomings of our entire economic system, not its benefits.

The profit motive is good at what it does, but doesn't address things like monopolies, oligopolies, selective regulations, and the partial list of illegal and improper business practices that I learned about in a "business ethics" course.

That course had dozens of names for different anti-competitive practices, many of which were technically illegal but easily sleazed around. Like Inuits having many names for "snow", businessmen know of so many ways to conspire against competitors and then beat the rap that just naming them and defining each takes hours.

Well, to be fair, I AM the kind of liberal that would like to see poor children, people with devastating illnesses and old people have alternatives to getting sick or dieing in the streets. Things that the profit motive does not provide. And also things that go far beyond minimal health care, things that different political philosophies could disagree about "legitimately".

There is pretty good fossil evidence that even Neanderthals took care of some unproductive members of the tribe, like hominids with broken legs and disabling arthritis. Whoever compared House Freshmen Representatives against the Affordable Care Act to Neanderthals was being unfair, unkind and probably libelous ... to the Neanderthals.

YMMV
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 25, 2014
5:13 PM

Post #9776709

I just learned what YMMV meant--thanks.

A quick tangent for a chuckle. Last night, I caught an episode of Family Guy, Which I haven't watched much, but I may need to rectify that in the future. Anyway, without giving the silly background of why this scene happened, Jesus, driving a car, wielding a gun, and generally acting like Mel Gibson, was driving a vehicle with the license plate "WWID". Cracked me up, and still does.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 25, 2014
5:21 PM

Post #9776717

I hope I haven't crossed the line into religion too much.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 25, 2014
5:42 PM

Post #9776743

I love the "What Would *I* Do" vanity plate!

One great South Park episode featured a (heavily armed) Jesus rescuing Santa Claus, at Christmas time, from Middle Eastern terrorists. My 'always cracks me up image' is Jesus in robes criss-crossed with ammunition bandoleers, slapping a magazine into an AK and saying "Let's rock".

During the rescue, Santa is saved but Jesus dies from gunshot wounds.

Afterwards, the secular townspeople decide that we should remember and revere Jesus at Christmas time "because he gave his life rescuing Santa Claus" from terrorists at that time of year.

No one remembered that there was any other connection between Jesus and Christmas ...



This message was edited Feb 26, 2014 4:33 PM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 25, 2014
6:05 PM

Post #9776782

Rick,
Our economic system isnt perfect. But I think it is the system that does the best at providing the most good to the most people. Economic liberty has allowed us to prosper like no other nation has. I am not opposed to a safety net...but the vast majority of people are capable on their own to provide their own housing, food, medical care etc. I dont think the government needs to provide medical care to the 85% of people who can provide it themselves. But I have no problem helping those that dont have it...but focus should not be just giving...but helping them eventually be able to get it themselves instead of creating dependency.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 25, 2014
7:04 PM

Post #9776852

Here's an article on the implications of glyphosate-resistant weeds - which evolved due to glyphosate-resistant crops - and their promotion of the use of ever-more-toxic herbicides:

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/24_d_and_dicamba_resistant_crops_and_their_implications_for_susceptible_non
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 25, 2014
7:17 PM

Post #9776864

John,
I agree that able bodied people should not receive welfare, as the worst thing you can do to a human being is to trade him or her free food and shelter, making them Dependent, in return for their Pride and Self Respect.

But people truly unable to support themselves, children and Mothers with small children need to be taken care of by the community.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2014
4:06 AM

Post #9777013

This is an interesting discussion about GMOs as a means of dealing with citrus greening:

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/blog/2927/genetically-engineered-oranges-not-all-theyre-juiced-up-to-be#
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 26, 2014
12:01 PM

Post #9777287

When I went to the citrus greening article, a big pop-up ad appeared. It said "DOW--Destroying Our World. Another clever phrase on the site--Monsanto or Monarchs.

I suspect these folks aren't serious scientists doing objective work.

As for the claim the GE is being promoted as the "only" solution, that's just plain hogwash. A quick look at web sites dealing with citrus greening will reveal that many approaches are being tried concurrently. IF GE citrus can help, it won't be for years. Immediate solutions will not involve GE--or any other breeding including conventional techniques.

One of the reasons I started the "organics" thread is my growing disgust with what I am seeing as plain old fashioned dishonesty, probably mixed with a great amount of ignorance, on the part of many so called environmentalist organizations. Good intentions don't feed people.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2014
12:08 PM

Post #9777290

Amen Willey!
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 26, 2014
1:25 PM

Post #9777356

I just discovered a new podcast (I don't know about you, but I can't live without my mp3 podcasts when I walk the dog). It's called Inquiring Minds and it can be found here: [HYPERLINK@itunes.apple.com] Coincidences of coincidences, the last two episodes feature a discussion of GMOs and a discussion of climate change. The podcast is hosted by a PhD neuroscientist and another person I don't know about. It is a science promoting effort.

I have yet to listen to either podcast mentioned above.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 26, 2014
1:36 PM

Post #9777369

Willy, just because there's a pop-up ad touting anti-Monsanto whatevers doesn't mean that the site isn't quoting a serious scientific article. I usually try to link to the article on the journal's original site but I didn't bother here. You should still read it. Pro-GMO pieces are often quoted on GMO-industry sites as well but that doesn't mean that no science exists to support them.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 26, 2014
2:36 PM

Post #9777406

GG--My post was a bit too harsh; I should have taken more time to write it. Nonetheless, I did read the article. It isn't a paper, it's an opinion piece. It isn't research, it's an article written by someone who has no intention of ever thinking GMOs could be useful or good. As my earlier post noted, the writer claims GE is being pushed as the only solution to citrus greening,. In the writer's own words: "And with growers and producers at their wits’ ends, there’s been a lot of talk about genetic engineering (GE) as the only solution—notably at Friday’s Agricultural Outlook Forum at USDA, where USDA researcher Ed Stover pushed transgenics as the “best possibility” for the industry, and Marylou Polek, vice president for science and technology at the Citrus Research Board, touted it as “the only long-term solution”."

I can guarantee that not one scientist or grower associated with this very serious problem (your morning OJ could soon be very pricey) believes the GE is the immediate answer. It can't possibly be the answer as the industry could be destroyed before a GE solution is found, proven, and implemented. As I said, a quick Internet search reveals that many solutions are being explored, some of which the article writer herself later discusses. To present GE companies as thinking only GE will solve the problem is flat dishonest. Even in the quote I cited above, the pro-GE people note that GE is a LONG TERM answer.

She then harps on "monocultures". I live in a big citrus state and I can tell you that even homeowners with a single tree have lost that tree. This disease strikes all citrus from limes to grapefruit to oranges. No doubt a monoculture approach hastens the spread of the disease. But what is the alternative? Make our orchards ten times bigger and fill them with other plants. We haven't the land to significantly expand the size of growing areas. In Phoenix, orchard after orchard is being converted to housing tracts.

Finally, I don't think it was a pop-up ad per se; it was a part of the site itself. The same phrase is permanently a part of the article page; check the upper right at the top of the page.

As you know, I do have concerns about GE crops, especially as relates to the hastening of resistance to some herbicides (Bt), but that isn't a feature of GE per se, it can and does happen to any "cide" or antibiotic. By the time DDT was outlawed, it's my understanding that it was becoming ineffective anyway.

I believe that most "concerned" environmental writers and bloggers are very good at using a few dozen words--monocrop, diversity, Frankenfood, etc--without really having a grasp of the bigger pictures. As I wrote a couple weeks ago, this saddens me and is most definitely NOT a conclusion I wanted to reach.


drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2014
3:36 PM

Post #9777440

I agree Willy. It is not a paper and it isn't scientific. Organic production is also a monoculture. Resistance is an issue with both conventional and organic methods.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2014
4:57 PM

Post #9777497

GG, thanks for that link about making new GE crops that will be resistant to 2,4D and dicamba. Hey, if they can RESIST 2,4-D, maybe we can use them to decontaminate SuperFund toxic waste sites!

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/24_d_and_dicamba_resistant_crops_and_their_implications_for_susceptible_non

I kind of expected GE to go in this direction eventually, but I had not read about it already happening:

“... several companies are actively developing crops that can resist glyphosate, 2,4-D and dicamba herbicides,”

As soon as resistance builds up to the newer, less-toxic Roundup, I expected that we would develop GE crops that resist more toxic herbicides. Sadly, then, the motivation to use the highly toxic herbicides IN MODERATION is less: they won't kill the crops as much as they used to.

Also:
"Egan also said that if farms become too reliant on herbicides, farmers will find it more difficult to use integrated weed management approaches. Integrated weed management includes planting cover crops, rotating crops and using mechanical weed control methods. Farmers can use herbicides in this management approach, but must use them in a targeted, judicious fashion."

I guess one small glimmer of hope is that, if there are three very different herbicides that different GE crops can resist, there are OPTIONs for weed management that won't increase three-way resistance in weeds AS FAST as reckless applications would. If farmers follow practices designed for everyone's long-term best interests, having three herbicides in their arsenal COULD let them mitigate the weed-tolerance problem. But not if very many of them shoot for short-term profit or reduced labor and reduced risk to themselves, in the current season.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2014
5:09 PM

Post #9777502

Hey, here's an idea for a "herbicide" that weeds could not develop resistance to: nanotechnology, or rather inch-scale robots.

I've given up on training slugs to eat only weeds, but vision systems and robotics are almost up to the task. Right now, they might cost thousands of dollars each and be the size of cats, and trail power cords behind them, but robotic technology is shrinking and becoming cheaper very quickly.

(Deleting an apology for bringing up science fiction ... Google robotic weeding.)

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

February 26, 2014
5:40 PM

Post #9777513

John, you said some political/economic things that I partly agree with and partly disagree with.

Helping hard-working or willing people to get some technical training makes more sense than years of unemployment insurance, but I do fear that "middle class" jobs and "blue collar" jobs are getting fewer and worse-paid, while high-tech jobs are not everyone's cup of tea (and there may not be enough of those to go around, either). Not blaming, just worrying.

I know there is a strong political undercurrent in all of the GMO discussion, but I'm going to reinforce my own intent to stay closer to science than politics in the future (despite my ranting about Neanderthals last time).

Hopefully you've already heard 99.9% of anything political I might bring up "on the other side" and my failure to make as good an answer as you deserve won't deprive you in any way.

I don't actually have anything new or interesting to contribute to the "entitlement / Neanderthal" political debate
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 26, 2014
6:04 PM

Post #9777527

Rick,
Here is another subject that you and i can debate over, and that is what has harmed the middle class.

The lack of control of our borders, because emigrants, whether from Greece or Mexico, are almost always that Country's brightest and bravest. Not all illegals remain gardeners and laborers. Many of them have stepped up in to skilled trades, and other traditional middle class jjobs, so not only have the several million immigrants caused a labor surplus in the lower paid jobs, hurting that group, they have also taken many good paying jobs that were formerly the mainstay of the middle class. And both the increased qualified applicants and their willingness to work for less money, has prevented the increased salaries and wages the Middle class were getting before the influx.

The second source of damage to the middle class is this: The growth of our Government has required a large increase in taxes to support it. Regardless of what the average person is led to believe, ALL taxes are paid by the consumer, and since the Middle Class is the largest group of consumers, being more numerous than rich people and having more money to spend than poor people, they are the ones that wind up paying most of the taxes.

Businesses have to treat the taxes they pay exactly like they treat other expenses, and pass them all on to the consumer. Consumers, of course cannot pass on their expenses since they have nothing to sell.

So, with wages being held down, and taxes and expenses for everything going up, the middle class is in an extreme squeeze. I am amazed that they have managed to do as well as they have.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 26, 2014
6:05 PM

Post #9777530

You ever try to yank a dandelion out of the ground only to have the top break off? The taproot stays in the soil and grows back. This is a form of weed resistance. No matter how you control weeds...be it chemical or organic or physical or cultural methods...weeds will eventually adapt.

So its important to rotate modes of action, rotate control methods so as weeds are selected by the use of one method you can use another to keep one step ahead. Growers are well aware of resistance issues and very few only rely on chemical controls alone.

Dicamba and 2,4-D tolerant crops (soy, corn, cotton) will first be sold in 2015. I am directly involved in some of these projects. These two broad spectrum herbicides have been in use for over 60 years. They will help combat resistance and allow growers to had another mode of action to rotate with. Even though these herbicides have been used for so many years in crops and turf etc there are almost no issues with resistance. These herbicides can already be used in corn but the resistance put into corn via GMO methods will minimize injury that is currently seen in these crops and widen the application window.

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 26, 2014
6:27 PM

Post #9777551

I have had personal experience with both Roundup and 2 4 D. I used Roundup three or four times a year on thirty miles of large ornamental tree rows, As only the rows were irrigated, that was where the weeds grew. The trees were sold and the rows renewed about every five years, and during that time, the weeds did not show any resistance, nor did the Roundup seem to harm the soil.

But we had four miles of electric fence where the ground had to be kept weed free so as to not short out the fence. I used 2 4 D on that, and as the ground was never disturbed, it became sterile in some parts of it. The point i am making is that different weed killers are needed for different jobs, and will always be needed is some situations.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 27, 2014
9:56 AM

Post #9777989

One thing I think that gets forgotten here is that farmers who use GE crops don't have to use them. Those that do use them do so for what they perceive to be benefits. If the product isn't worth its cost, they don't have to, and surely won't, buy it.The other aspect of this is that the farmers are a heck of a lot smarter, more knowledgeable anyway, than we are about the pros and cons of each and every practice or tool they use. It's kind of insulting and sanctimonious in a way for us to apparently assume that farmers are just dumb fools being led around by Monsanto.

Another thought on profits. Why is it that evil profit mongerers are always companies like Exxon and Monsanto, yet Trader Joe's, the New York Times, Starbucks, and Apple never earn the "profit grubbing" moniker? Your local food coop is "for-profit" and likely quite pricey as well. I think dragging the term "profit" into these discussions is somewhat similar to an ad hominem attack. Non-profit, by the way, does not mean that profits aren't earned. Indeed if a non-profit lose money, they are gone just like a "for profit" business. Legally, non-profit just means that profits cannot be distributed to shareholders.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

February 27, 2014
11:39 AM

Post #9778049

Willy,

Very well said. The general populations lack of understanding of Profits, Taxes, and Corporations just boggles my mind sometimes.

While the few people that hold exclusive patents or propieatary items that are in great demand are able to charge what they please for a limited time, those situations only prevail for a few percent of total busineses. Most are in very competitive situations, and for a business to survive long term they must make a profit of between about 3 and 10% on their invested Capital. Less than 3%, inflation and better run companies will eventually put them out of business.

On the top side, if times are good and they all get too greedy, raising prices to the point they are all in that group making, say, 15%, that makes it easy and attractive for new companies to enter that area, which results in increased competition, driving prices back down, and forcing some of both the New and Old companies out of business.

If anyone would take the time to read the fiinancial information, which is available for all Public Traded Corporations, they would see just how little return those Corporations are making on their Capital.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 27, 2014
11:51 AM

Post #9778077

Rick--your comment about releasing carbon every time you till a field is kind of what got me started on all this "what is the truth" stuff. The more we understand things, the less apparent it is what is actually "good". Here in SE AZ, we have a fairly famous river--the San Pedro. You being from the Pacific NW might think it's a stretch to even call it a "crick". Anyway, it's apparently the last free flowing river in the desert SW. For long sections of it, there is no visible water part of the year. Along it's stream bed are lots of big cottonwoods. Some folks think we should cut them all down because they consume water. But those trees hold carbon and house birds and...

It's complicated.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 27, 2014
5:44 PM

Post #9778318

Ernie--Thanks.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2014
4:38 AM

Post #9778536

Willy, a lot of farmers are turning away from GMOs - I think I even posted a link to a couple of articles about that - because they can grow more with traditional crops, they don't need to spend as much money, and there's an increasing market for them.

Here's an interesting article about effects of glyphosate on endocrine systems. It's reproduced by antiGMO people but it's a peer reviewed piece:

http://nhrighttoknowgmo.org/BreakingNews/Glyphosate_II_Samsel-Seneff.pdf

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2014
4:59 AM

Post #9778544

http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/adoption-of-genetically-engineered-crops-in-the-us/recent-trends-in-ge-adoption.aspx#.UxCFoFAo7qA

GMO crops are not on the decline. GreenhouseGal you are so out of touch with the average farmer. Though there may be one or two anecdotes from anti GMO farmers...actually GMO crops are on the rise.

And they are on the rise because they are more sustainable, less expensive, more efficient.

Thumbnail by drobarr
Click the image for an enlarged view.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

February 28, 2014
10:02 AM

Post #9778772

We obviously read different sources, but you don't have to be rude.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 28, 2014
12:38 PM

Post #9778874

GG, I can't make the link work and a general search hasn't worked yet either.

You know, the claim the GE crop use is diminishing will perhaps help me flesh out an thought. First, I would be pretty certain that drobarr is correct about the fact that use is not declining (rudeness aside). He works directly in the field of GE and the data is from the USDA. What seems to me to be a pretty consistent pattern is the anti-GMO websites will grab any straw to make a point. In the case of declining use of GMOs, the claim seems to be factually incorrect; most likely the source is cherry picking comments to present, quite frankly, a false case. I am seeing a fairly consistent pattern of stretching the truth, scare-mongering, and picking one-off (and generally poorly done) studies to make an anti-GMO point. I think it's significant that folks with "real" concerns, say, the Union of Concerned Scientists, don't use hype or misstate the facts when expressing their concerns. Their web sites don't feature Frankenstein caricatures or "Monsanto Kills Monarchs" banners. The anti-GMO websites seem to uniformly realize that, when the facts don't offer much help, scare people--exaggerate. I see similar things all the time on young earth creationist web sites.

I believe a GE crop can present real risks (not catastrophic like the anti claims), but so can conventionally bred crops, though very likely to a lesser degree. I trust (Jeez, I can't believe I'm saying this) government and business together to explore the risks and minimize hazards. In my own garden, I will stay mostly organic. I can't buy GMO and I suspect that if I could, I would chose not to do so. When it comes to feeding the world, one that will be 2.5 billion people larger in 35 or so years, I think that we need all the technology we can muster to increase production while minimizing land use.

If GMOs prove inadequate, farmers will reject them for newer GMOs or even for something else all together. Earlier, Rick noted that viewing agriculture as one side vs the other isn't very productive. We need to pick and choose the best techniques and keep on improving in general. Not to be corny, but this means cooperation and open minds. Just being a naysayer won't get us very far. BTW, one very promising area for GE exploration that I've heard mentioned is adding genes for nitrogen fixing to non-legume plants. That would be a huge boon in a very many positive ways, including reducing nitrogen run-off and reducing oil usage.

I appreciate reluctance about GMOs, and even share it a bit on a gut level, but I do think GE is a promising and safe technology if implemented properly. Same thing is true of electric power, no?

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

February 28, 2014
1:17 PM

Post #9778901

drobarr--Are you aware of any serious plans to do GE work as relates to fixing nitrogen?

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

February 28, 2014
4:30 PM

Post #9779038

GG,

I am sorry if that came accross as rude I was just stating a fact. At least I didn't call you a troll like you did the other day and you haven't apologized for. Saying that one is out of touch is not in insult. But again sorry if you took offense.

Saying that GMO's are on the decline is as silly as saying that some people are giving up their smart phones because they are afraid of getting cancer. Though there may be one or two people who get rid of their smart phones they are still overall growing in popularity.

You might be able to find one or two studies that show GMO crops dont perform as well as non GMO but 99% of the time they are superior in yield and quality and efficiency. Thats why they have been rapidly adopted and continue to grow.



greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 1, 2014
8:55 AM

Post #9779446

"Feeding the troll" is internet-speak for continuing an argument with someone who doesn't want to hear what you're saying, and that's the way I felt about the way you were responding - or not responding - to my input. I know a number of people who used to have woods behind their homes and now have only dead trees and salt marsh instead because of the rise in bay level, but you simply kept arguing that I didn't know what I was talking about. That's uncalled for. And saying "you are so out of touch with the average farmer" IS rude. You might have said "I think you're out of touch with the average farmer" and I wouldn't have taken umbrage, but the way you phrased it was neither polite nor respectful, and I have tried to maintain a civil tone throughout these threads.

Willy, I don't know why that link doesn't work for you; I tried it via that post after you mentioned it and it worked for me. It's a pdf, though, so maybe that was the problem, if your browser isn't set up to access those. Here's a link that may work better -
http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/gluten-intolerance-from-roundup-herbicide-zw0z1402zkin.aspx

This message was edited Mar 1, 2014 1:02 PM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 1, 2014
1:10 PM

Post #9779541

Thanks for the link, GG. The electronic world is a puzzle indeed. Rick posts a link that he can't read but I can. You post a link that you can read and I can't. Go figure

To be frank, the article is way over my head. I do note that the authors are the same folks that Rick pointed out were perhaps somewhat suspect in an earlier post on the first GMO thread. In both papers, the subject is the dangers of glyphosate. Perhaps this is the same information repackaged? I pursued it far enough to discover that the journal it was published in is also an open source journal and is Slovakian. Not that being Slovak means it isn't real science, but it is curious that the authors didn't get published in their own country.

Like I said, the article is way over my head, so no comment there.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 1, 2014
5:18 PM

Post #9779680

Not peer reviewed. but what the heck: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/2014/01/15/heads-anti-gmo-blind-people-might-see-nip-bud/. What I think is interesting here, aside from the message itself, is that the article states: "The trial was small and experimental, so no conclusive results can be gleaned at this early stage, but researchers were given enough hope to continue research." When was the last time you read a statement like that on an anti-GMO website?

And another non-peer reviewed piece: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/2014/01/12/amy-harmon-gmo-dupe-great-journalist/.

This message was edited Mar 1, 2014 6:25 PM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 1, 2014
9:24 PM

Post #9779805

The rates of glyphosate studied in that paper were much higher than are what are found in harvested corn or soybean residues. In fact nearly always no glyphosate residue is found. This is because glyphosate is used prior to the reproductive stage(60 plus days prior to harvest). It has no residual activity in the field and what enters the plant is quickly metabolized.

The interesting thing is even at much higher rates than what would ever be encountered in food the result was inconclusive.

I read that study and see nothing conclusive.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 1, 2014
9:30 PM

Post #9779814

GG

We will have to just agree to disagree. I think I have been civil.

And I don't doubt about what you have seen. I just think it is from subsiding soil and storm surge or tides and nothing to do with climate change.

And I dont think you are out of touch with farmers...from what you said I know you are. But you are entitled to your opinion.

I wasnt trying to offend or be rude. I at least have some data to back up my point of view that GMO's are on the rise.

I didnt take offense when you said they were on the decline...but thought I should set the record straight.

This message was edited Mar 2, 2014 1:36 AM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2014
3:57 AM

Post #9779863

greenhouse_gal wrote:I don't mind the occasional digression; I do mind having my observations dismissed as not being true when I have seen what I claim with my own eyes. That's just plain rude.


I have noticed you have accused me of being rude a few times...but after reading all I have written and had a few others read what I have written...nobody can find where I have been rude. Disagreeing with an idea isn't rude. Nobody dismissed your observations. I never once said that you didn't see what you saw. I said that your observations were due to other reasons than what you attribute them to. And that is NOT rude.

Well its my observation that farmers are adopting GMO's. So I guess using your logic...you are being rude by dismissing my observations. But more importantly there is hard data to support my observations and the fact that GMO adoption by farmers is increasing. So how can it be rude then if it is my observation you are out of touch with farmers adopting GMO's...if you talk with any of them it is a technology that most are very enthused about.

I think people accuse others of being rude usually when they come to the realization that they are losing an argument...realizing that GMO use is rising when they say the opposite...or that no cities are under water due to rising oceans...but due to subsiding, storm surges, tidal waves and storms.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 2, 2014
5:00 AM

Post #9779885

I was objecting to comments like

- GG wrote:"a significant rise in ocean levels. Towns have had to be abandoned because of this. Streets which once were lined with houses are now far out in the bay, covered with water." This is not true. which towns have been abandoned? Show me pictures please. -

When someone makes an assertion based on his or her own observation, I don't think it's polite to say "This is not true." Essentially it implies that the person is either lying or is too limited to be able to interpret the evidence of his own eyes correctly. I don't understand how that can be considered anything other than rude.

Willy, the examples you linked to, as you say, aren't peer-reviewed and are more opinion pieces than anything else, but the sarcastic tone is off-putting to me. The need to use sarcasm often suggests weakness in the argument, but I can understand that for someone who disagrees with the concepts being pilloried it's very satisfying to read that tongue-in-cheek approach.

Anyway, here's another article about impacts of glyphosate. After this we might need to go to a new thread, though, since this is getting very long, especially for people who are stuck with dialup access!

http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/new-study-renews-roundup-weedkiller-toxicity-concern

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2014
6:46 AM

Post #9779943

Gg, I was asking for evidence of towns under water due to the rise in sea level as you had claimed. And the reason I said that it isn't true is because I did some extensive research and no such cases have occurred due to sea level rise.

So your observations were due to another reason...nothing to do with rise in sea level. And when you named the two towns I looked into them and again nothing to do with sea level. But you were trying to attribute what had happened there to a rise in sea level.

So again the "not true" was not attributed to your observations...rather your assessment that they were caused by a rising sea. And its not rude to say the truth.

Its still not true that there are houses in the bay due to rising seas...because the oceans have not risen enough yet. But it may be true for other reasons including subsiding, storm surges, erosion, storms, and other reasons.


drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 2, 2014
7:28 AM

Post #9779994

Again this study looking at glyphosate proves that it is safe...but harmful it claims because of the adjuvants used in some formulations. Again the 1ppm IS MUCH MUCH HIGHER than anything ever encountered in a harvested food.

They state: "at dilutions far below agricultural applications." Again this may be true...but dilutions far below what is applied...are far higher than what is ever found in a harvested commodity.

I equate this to a study saying tylenol is harmful because they gave 50 pills to someone and it made them sick. Its just not a fair test of what people are really exposed to.

Gg...you may not know this...but glyphosate is approved in numerous crops applied as a harvest aid. For crops like rice or wheat or sunflowers or soybeans including non GMO crops it can be applied to help dry down the crop or any weeds for ease of harvest in the combine. But even at this late stage you still do not have residues approaching the 1 ppm level. It was used this way for many years before gmo crops were commercialized and is still widely used. The product used before was paraquat and was much more toxic.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 2, 2014
7:41 AM

Post #9780009

I think the bunch of you should go find out about farming before you beat it into the ground.
Willy from AZ didn't even know about castrating pigs. Good grief that has been done forever.
Beef cattle & sheep also. Even chickens in some cases.
You people wouldn't leave a vegetable in the garden way past it's prime so why would you want a pig to grow forever.

Most city people don't know where things come from, let alone how it's raised.
I'm sure with all the research on the internet, you could be more intelligent on farming practices.

I'm off to eat my GMO corn squares from Aldi's.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 2, 2014
10:20 AM

Post #9780144

Touché CG

In my defense, I'd like to point out that I made a comment about trusting farmer's knowledge and judgment a few days ago. As for pigs, I was very surprised to learn that slaughter is done at 20 weeks; I had assumed a decent sized pig would take a year or more, like cattle. What is the reason for castration? I gather it affects taste?

I hope you enjoyed your GMO corn squares.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 2, 2014
11:13 AM

Post #9780165

Biggest reason is safety. Male animals are aggressive. A steer, castrated bull, will not chase you & try to kill you. A bull will.

A stallion is very mean. A place in Minnesota was going to have a breeding farm for horses. He would house the stallions & people would bring their mares to be bred. It only lasted a short time, as the many stallions all went into a rage when the mares were brought in. There was no way to control it.

Pigs are actually older now than a few years ago. They used to be butchered at 220 Lbs. Now they are going for larger hogs, so around 260 to 280 now days.

Chickens are ready for market at 6 to 8 weeks.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 2, 2014
12:08 PM

Post #9780186

Willy,
In addition to what CG said, castration also affects the growth rate and tenderness or texture of Sheep and Cattle, so may do the same for pigs,

Taste difference will become more apparent in older animals than in the younger ones.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2014
8:31 AM

Post #9780788

There is quite a civilized discussion going on under Cooking in Garden Web about GMOs; I enjoyed reading it. They referenced this post by a mother who's concerned about GMOs in her children's food
http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/stunning_corn_comparison_gmo_versus_non_gmo

The person who started the conversation on Garden Web also said that she has allergic reactions to foods like Aldi's GMO corn squares, whereas non-GMO corn squares are fine for her. I'm glad they don't bother Bernie!

Willy, we always castrated our ram lambs unless we planned to use them for breeding, of course. Rams can be nasty critters, too. We don't keep roosters for the same reason. If you've ever eaten a capon, they are altered roosters and are tenderer, plus they put on weight more easily, than do unaltered males.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 3, 2014
9:15 AM

Post #9780822

How do you know the others don't contain GMO's ? I just assume they do because most corn is GMO. Give us proof.

Just like gluten & lactose tolerance. How much of that is just in your head because you heard about how bad it is.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 3, 2014
10:54 AM

Post #9780901

If it's organic it doesn't contain GMOs. That's how you know.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 3, 2014
6:15 PM

Post #9781233

GG--I'm sorry to say this, but the "stunning" corn report is certainly BS (energy (!?) is 100 vs 340,000?). To put it mildly, some of the data are nonsensical. These kinds of scare reports are what have led me to conclude that the anti-GMO folks have no case at all--and I was willing to go where the data led me when I started this journey. Here are some sites that attempt to show how and why this particular report is not valid.

http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2013/05/you-asked-for-independent-replication.html?m=1

http://thephysicspolice.blogspot.com/2013/04/dont-eat-soil.html

If you just want confirmation of your opinion that GE is a bad technology, by all means keep reading stuff like Moms Across America, Meanwhile, I hope some folks in the biology field can weigh in on this.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 3, 2014
6:33 PM

Post #9781252

Here's something that I hope will provide an example of why I say the anti-GMO crowd has no real evidence. The "stunning corn" report basically says that GMO corn is nutritionally void--worthless as food--yet the "pig uteri" report says, with the exception of "inflammation" and "uteri weight", the GMO pigs differed in no way, including weight or general health, from the non-GMO pigs. So, how could nutritionally useless feed produce normal weight pigs?

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2014
10:32 AM

Post #9781708

I agree, obviously the GMO food has nutritional value. That's a huge error.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2014
12:27 PM

Post #9781797

GG, I think it's more than an "error". I am certain that, somewhere along the path from its creation to its publication on the Net, there is intent to deceive.

Examples:

1) Organic matter at 1% or 2%. I can't find a definitive statement of what percentage of a corn kernel is water, but I'm inferring that it's around 30%. This means that roughly 70% of a corn kernel should be "organic" matter. Corn that is only 2.1%, as with the "superior" non-GMO sample, organic would certainly scare me.

2) One property tabulated is "cation exchange capacity". That's a soil parameter, not a nutritional parameter.

3) pH is given. That isn't a common food or nutritional parameter, but it is of interest in a soil test.

4) Most nutritional information includes info on proteins, carbs, sugars, vitamins, etc. There's none of that in this "report".

5) Formaldehyde!!!!!??????

6) Note 5 says Brix is a measurement of "nutrition, energy, and protein". WRONG! Brix is a measure of sugar content.

7) Given that everything is a "chemical", what does it mean to say that the "chemical content" is 60 ppm?

8) What is "available energy"?

This report is a fraud and was written to deceive and scare, in my opinion. Alternatively, it could have been prepared by an uneducated fool.

I have to snidely remark that the (fictitious) non-GMO sample contains higher levels of heavy metals--selenium, molybdenum--than the (fictitious) GMO sample.

This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 2:21 PM

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 4, 2014
3:15 PM

Post #9781890

You're right, I didn't read it carefully enough. Sorry about that!!

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 4, 2014
3:26 PM

Post #9781897

Corn put in storage is 15% moisture. More than that it spoils. To low & it loses feed value.

There are entirely to many of these false reports around.
How does it go, don't believe everything you read.

A good example of rumors, etc. Our Farmers Market has to move because the mall lot we were using decided they couldn't host us any longer. When our Treasure went to pay the rent in December, she was turned away. They said road construction was going to be going on there.
Now after we found a new place & people started commenting on it both for & against, this fool in charge of the mall denies telling us we had to move. Some people just plain stink.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2014
3:39 PM

Post #9781906

CG--Yep!

GG--It's easy to get fooled by "official" documents. I've been fooled plenty in my life, that's why I'm a skeptic now. I remember as a younger fellow trying to convince my Dad that a money-making chain letter just HAD to be a great idea and a sure thing. He finally talked me out of it, but I was still worried I was missing a sure thing. There have been plenty more times since then that I've been misled.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
4:34 PM

Post #9781933

>> It's complicated.

Willy, again you said the most in the fewest words.

>> I trust (Jeez, I can't believe I'm saying this) government and business together to explore the risks and minimize hazards.

I'm also right there with you on both sides of this comment, except that I might say "I MOSTLY trust ..." and qualify it that SOME farmers, being human, will misuse or over-use any tool that might help them not go broke.

And large corporations will slant what they say, but at least they are smart enough to stay close enough to the truth that people will keep reading, unlike some anti-GMO propagandists.


>> We need to pick and choose the best techniques and keep on improving in general. Not to be corny, but this means cooperation and open minds. Just being a naysayer won't get us very far.

True, but that is a pretty difficult hurdle for us to jump, being human. Maybe overpopulation is like an IQ test combined with a wisdom test: if we can't hang together enough to promote our common interests and feed ourselves without torching the planet in the process, we don't deserve to flourish.


>> adding genes for nitrogen fixing to non-legume plants

I've been seeing that as a "someday goal" or "Holy Grail" for longer than there have been practical crop GE tools!

Hal Clement wrote a science fiction novel "The Nitrogen Fix" where something like that got out of control, and converted all the oxygen in the earth's atmosphere to nitric and nitrous oxides and nitric acid.

P.S. Genengineers are more likely to succeed in convincing corn or wheat to accept "traditional" nitrogen-fixing bacteria from the genus Rhizobium, (legumes) and Spirillum lipoferum (cereal grasses?) Then, develop "traditional" N-fixing root nodules.

Googling, I didn't find any "we are working on this right now" reports. Just the same "wouldn't it be cool" suggestions that have been around a while.

But the "second generation" GE tools Talens and Crispr ought to make it more nearly possible in the foreseeable future. Having complete gene sequences for corn, wheat and N-fixing root-invading bacteria will help, too. But it sounds like a big job to me!

Another big challenge is how to defeat plant diseases like potato blight. And dealing with higher peak temperatures and drought and saline water.

http://www.genewatch.org/sub-568864
"This idea was first proposed over thirty years ago by the US Office of Technology Assessment in its 1981 report. But it is very difficult to achieve in practice because the ability to fix nitrogen depends on a complex relationship between bacteria and the roots of plants."


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20817544
http://phys.org/news186923765.html

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
4:45 PM

Post #9781937

GreenhouseGal,

I want to plead "guilty" for not even following that link. "Peer-reviewed" is an empty word, now that I understand that Entropy and ISIS call themselves "peer-reviewed".

And the link includes the name "Seneff". Last time, I spent hours researching her, but then I found that her "big paper" reported on no research whatsoever, just words on top of words. And she has no training in biochemistry or agronomy. Her fields are Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Self Promotion Through Amphigory.

Her big self-proclaimed interest was "exogenous semiotic entropy".

I'm content to file her in my mental listing along with Mr. Yoga Flying until she repairs her credibility.

I keep reminding myself that just because there are many bozos trying to blow smoke up my skirt on the "anti-GMO side" doesn't prove that everything said against GMOs is necessarily wrong.

But in my mind, the burden of proof, and even the burden of credibility for a "paper" to be worth reading, is "show me that the author is not just another hype artist".

Heck, there are not even that many good liars among most of the links I've followed! As if they were content to preach only to the faithful.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 4, 2014
4:48 PM

Post #9781940

Glad to see you back, Rick! I was worried you might either be ill...or disgusted. lol

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
4:55 PM

Post #9781944

Ernie,

I would rather discuss GMOs than tax and regulatory policy.

That said, I would mention a few factors in addition to those you've mentioned.

I think that many jobs that used to pay middle-class salaries have either disappeared or now pay less (or pay "the equivalent of less" as pensions disappear and benefits are reduced). My belief is that the biggest factor is reduced number of jobs as manufacturing is offshored and repetitive jobs are automated. I kind of thought that 2nd and 3rd generation illegals were moving up into the shrinking middle class job market, competing with residents.

(It didn't help the middle class any to have their traditional major source of investment (their homes and real estate) drop in value by a factor of what? Two or three? But that is a separate issue.)

You mentioned "control of our borders". In software and aerospace, the immigrants who are willing to work for less are mostly Indian or Asian and after that, "from everywhere". I can't think of any Mexican-descent immigrant I had to train. These are skilled "upper-middle-class" jobs.

In the case of Indian software engineers, a very clever Indian contracting agency ("HCL") bamboozled our management into training UNtrained workers on the job while paying them salaries.

Then at the end of the first year's contract, they swapped in all new untrained people! We had to train AND pay THEM.

That was really a classic blunder on our part, enforced by a contract we made with Boeing to offshore a certain % of the work "to reduce costs". We finally managed to organize them into tasks where they did less damage that we needed to correct, and by the 3rd or 4th year we got some useful work at last.

(I guess that is also a digression from the off-topic digression. But it is amazing how stupid big corporations can be, especially when distracted by a high-pressure contract. I think the people in them are just like us and make no more blunders than we do , but they LOOK dumber than us when the decimal place in the cost of their blunders moves 4, 5 or 6 places to the right!)

I think our only uncontrolled border is with Mexico. You are probably right that most UNskilled labor comes overland across that border, and most illegal immigration comes that way. Is the first generation of illegals taking middle-class jobs, or taking lower-class jobs that most Americans now would rather get onto Welfare than take?

>> 15%, that makes it easy and attractive for new companies to enter that area, which results in increased competition, driving prices back down,

I think that was more true 50 or 100 years ago. Now it is mostly only true for smallish businesses in relatively unregulated industries. I think there are plenty of industries where technology, economies of scale, specialized expertise and regulations make "breaking in to the industry" a multi-decade, multi-billion-dollar exercise.

For example, developing more efficient solar cells - including their effective manufacturing - is not for start-ups. Inventing the production process and facilities alone (let alone more efficient solar cells) is a multi-billion-dollar task).

"Competition" is very different when you're talking about a Mom-and-Pop-shop, a supermarket chain, a software startup, or Boeing.

When developing software for aviation, the regulatory burden is something somewhere around 3-4 times harder than making the darn airplane itself. A legal/business/technical arcane specialty. Even the purely technical people spend 90% of their time (literally) meeting regulatory requirements that only theoretically contribute to safety. (What they really do is prove that things were done "the official way" to prevent anyone from suing anyone. The safety gets shoehorned in with other technical concerns, in the other 10% of our time. )

It used to be a joke that no new plane could take its first flight until the weight of paperwork is greater than the weight of the plane. Now, it is NO JOKE. And that's just the tiny subset of all the electronic docs that some oldster printed out on paper because they're old-fashioned.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 4, 2014
5:06 PM

Post #9781952

>> I was worried you might either be ill

Naah, just offline. Thanks for asking.

P.S.

No matter how lame some websites get in protesting that the sky is falling, we SHOULD keep watching closely for cracks. As we add new gene complexes and more ambitious metabolic changes to crops, we should keep testing them rigorously.

Hopefully really intense studies like the long-term pig-feeding stomach-inflamation enlarged-uterii study will set a standard for future GMO testing. If more studies were done like that one, we would probably learn a lot about long-term feeding studies and subtle pig health issues.

Maybe repeating and varying the study that found some changes in protein expression would tell us something about the significance of that, or how to do the test in ways that made it more meaningful.

We should especially maintain seed banks with old varieties, traditional landraces and wild varieties.

"Make new genes but keep the old.
One is silver and the other gold."
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 4, 2014
8:19 PM

Post #9782092

rrr I would rather discuss GMOs than tax and regulatory policy.

eeeThat is because you know more about GMOs, and i would prefer to discuss the huge effect that Taxes and Regulations have on GMOs and every thing else, because that is the part i am most familiar with.

rrr I kind of thought that 2nd and 3rd generation illegals were moving up into the shrinking middle class job market, competing with residents.

eeeWhile illegals coming across the Southern border are rarely scientists, many of the smarter ones either brting skills or are smart enough to learn quickly and compete for high paying jobs in the construction and manufacturing areas, Over half of our heavy equipment operators, making 75 to 100,000 a year are Green card migrants and 1st generation Mexicans. That is well into middle class and forty years ago, Equipment operators were almost all caucasian US citizens.

rrrYou mentioned "control of our borders". In software and aerospace, the immigrants who are willing to work for less are mostly Indian or Asian and after that, "from everywhere". I can't think of any Mexican-descent immigrant I had to train. These are skilled "upper-middle-class" jobs.

eee We do not see any Indians or Asians in skilled trades in construction work.


rrr Is the first generation of illegals taking middle-class jobs, or taking lower-class jobs that most Americans now would rather get onto Welfare than take?

eee Green card migrants and 1st generation are taking both middle and lower class jobs, but most have enough ambition to work their way up the ladder. Many also become owners of Trucking Companies, and other small businesses. Owning a few trucks that cost 200,000.00 each is not a Mom and Pop operation.

>> 15%, that makes it easy and attractive for new companies to enter that area, which results in increased competition, driving prices back down,

rrr I think that was more true 50 or 100 years ago. Now it is mostly only true for smallish businesses in relatively unregulated industries. I think there are plenty of industries where technology, economies of scale, specialized expertise and regulations make "breaking in to the industry" a multi-decade, multi-billion-dollar exercise.

eeeThe huge majority of businesses have less than 50 or 100 employees and that is the size of business i was referring to. Huge businesses like Monsanto or Boeing are the result of many decades of growth and mergerrs, and are seldom started on that scale you refer tol

rrrr"Competition" is very different when you're talking about a Mom-and-Pop-shop, a supermarket chain, a software startup, or Boeing.

eee I disagree. Competition with Boeing has eliminated Douglas, North American, and countless other Airplane companies. Competition either bankrupted them or forced them into mergers. Competition is Competition, regardless of size.


Ernie



This message was edited Mar 4, 2014 9:27 PM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 5, 2014
8:12 AM

Post #9782314

But Ernie, the topic is GMOs. :«)

Willy, who lives ten miles from the border.
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

March 5, 2014
9:16 AM

Post #9782358

"But Ernie, the topic is GMOs. :«)"

Yeh, but we rather talk about other things..heh, heh.

Speaking of first generation illegals...There is a saying: "The first generation builds it; The second generation uses it; The third generation looses it."

I think that it works like that a lot. The founders fought and built it. They knew the price that was paid. The next generation prospers and appreciates it. The third generation INHERITS it and fails to appreciate it and begins to look around and sluffs off.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 5, 2014
10:02 AM

Post #9782390

We see it all the time with farmland. Grandpa bought the land, had it paid for. Son farmed it for his lifetime. Grandson inherits it & blows the whole thing. To much work to farm!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 5, 2014
10:16 AM

Post #9782396

Willy,

I do believe that taxes, rules and regulations have an adverse effect on every nook and cranny of our lives, including Genetic Engineering. One of the main arguments when the GMO threads first started was whether it should be labeled and regulated or not.

In the past, when people demanded discussions be strictly limited, the discussions rapidly died, but opening them up to wider aspects gave us all a chance to learn other people's thoughts. And Willy, I am not sure how connected castration of pigs is to GMOs, but i think you learned something new there. LOL,

But i will be careful and only respond to comments by others, as i was doing in the post you commented on.

Errnie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 5, 2014
10:49 AM

Post #9782433

Ernie, my comment was somewhat light hearted. Heck, I even made a smiley face! I actually enjoy the diversions and agree that it's easy to be too strict in limiting the scope of a thread. I've done my own share of digressing. I also heartily agree that regulations, profits (profit-bashing) and the like are part and parcel of several of these discussions we have going on. I did think that getting into illegal immigration was veering off course a bit far.

The pig castration was directly related to the paper on GMO fed and was simply a one-off comment by me about being surprised at it and somewhat "disturbed" by it. I'm not a PETA person (PETA should stand for People Eating Tasty Animals), but some of the details of animal operations are quite unexpected to someone who doesn't know about them. We can't all be lucky enough to be farm kids. I grew up in teeny, really teeny, mining towns and I'm guessing I could educate most of you on what you don't know about mining.

I'll also add the my sense of humor tends toward dry--some would say it just plain lousy--and I suspect "dry" doesn't always translate well into print.

As to me learning things, I've learned a bunch here from most everyone who has chipped in, not to mention from my reading on the side. I thank everyone who has contributed to this, and all other, threads. It's what makes DG a very worthwhile web site and why I will continue to be a paid member.

This message was edited Mar 5, 2014 11:52 AM
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 5, 2014
11:29 AM

Post #9782449

Willy,

We are on the same page here. I was pretty sure you were kidding, as i have enjoyed your excellent posts. My answer was also directed at some members that have very strict feelings about digressing from the title of the threads.

Notice i put the LOL after the pig joke.

While i am not too concerned about most of the subjects we discuss, I am very concerned about the destruction of our once prosperous middle class, caused by the burden of paying, mostly indirectly, for all of the taxes and the poorly conceived and terribly executed, government programs, including lack of solving the illegal immigration problem, so it is difficult for me to pass up an opportunity to point out who actually is paying for all of this.

So, no offense taken, nor intended.

Ernie, who lives 30 miles from the border.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 5, 2014
11:31 AM

Post #9782451

While we worry about whether or not GMOs are bad for us, I note that a new report just out states that high protein consumption can shorten lives (Atkins diet, anyone?). It also says that maybe high protein is good for older folks, but not younger ones. There is no one who is a bigger believer is science than I am, but I think we'll worry ourselves to death if we fret about each new "discovery" on possible harm in our diets. All things in moderation, eh? And, don't worry, be happy!
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 5, 2014
11:34 AM

Post #9782453

Is there a DG equivalent for politics? Maybe a good opportunity there!

LOL noted (I did miss it previously).
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 5, 2014
12:04 PM

Post #9782474

Willy,
I am not positive, but i believe Political Discussions per se, may be forbidden by DG. That is directly Liberal v Conservative, but the Growing Government taxes and oppressive regulations are a product of both parties, so that is not directly political.

Terri reads all these posts, and she will let us know if we break the rules.

Ernie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 5, 2014
4:45 PM

Post #9782659

Terry is going to have health problems due to inactivity if she really reads every post on DG. I assume that when people are all civil, they (we ) can (Might) fly under the radar.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2014
4:45 AM

Post #9782883

I think the administrators primarily get involved when people alert them that there are problems.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 6, 2014
10:44 AM

Post #9783170

Looking around Amazon today, I found a book by William Engdahl entitled "Seeds of Destruction". It was (as is too often the case) highly rated. It approaches the "dark side" of GMO not from a biology perspective but from a political/corporate point of view. The Amazon reviewers noted that it appeared well documented. I thought it sounded worth pursuing further. I googled Engdahl and found a wiki article that claims he is also a climate change denier, a denier of peak oil (in fact he denies the claim that fossil fuels are biological in origin, but are rather produced by geological forces deep in the earth). He apparently also claims that the Arab Spring was engineered by Bush (with the G8) and the Egyptian revolution of 2011 by Obama. I followed up with one claim to confirm Engdahl's beliefs about oil. I didn't try to confirm the other claims about his beliefs.

Needless to say, I won't be trying to get a copy of the book. Why is it that virtually all "popular" anti-GMO folks are loons?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 6, 2014
12:18 PM

Post #9783239

Willy,

For sure, i do not know, but it is not just the GMO matter. It seems that a certain percentage of people, many of whom are smart and normal in other ways, often get carried away by really outrageous and unsubstantiated claims. I have known some of them personally, and could never figure out why.

Ernie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 6, 2014
2:29 PM

Post #9783346

there are many people here freaked out by new 'smart meters' on the electrical utility.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 6, 2014
2:50 PM

Post #9783357

I'm almost looking forward to hearing the cries of anguish when people start implanting cell phone receivers into their inner ears so they don't have to "do all the work" of holding the phone to their ears.

"Mental implants! Mind-control chips! Brain cancer!"

"Global conspiracy by aliens / governments / corporations / The Phone Company / Republicans / Liberals / jack-booted UN thugs / quiche-eating Socialists!"

I'm sure it will be entertaining. And then, when anyone disagrees with us, we can just ask him "do have The Chip in your head?!?" If they say yes, we can just nod wisely and say "I thought so" and then disregard their opinions completely since they are just echoing their masters' voice, be it aliens, governments, corporations or whatever.

Almost the only group I can think of that NO ONE accuses of being an evil global conspiracy is home gardeners.

(Edited to add:
And that's because no two of us can agree completely on anything gardening-related to save our lives. We can't even agree on COMPOSTING, and the only practical way to prevent things from composting is to freeze them solid.)



This message was edited Mar 6, 2014 3:52 PM
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 6, 2014
3:26 PM

Post #9783376

The first panic i can remember started about sixty years ago when people started worrying about Electrical Transmission Towers and power lines killing everyone near them by causing Brain Cancer.

I have always wondered where the buried all those people that must have died from that.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 6, 2014
5:15 PM

Post #9783464

Some more articles about GMOs - this one deals with toxicity levels in glyphosate as enhanced by the formulations in which it appears
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/179691/

and this one discusses the possibility of glyphosate/Roundup as a causative agent in kidney pathology
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 6, 2014
7:33 PM

Post #9783543

Gosh, I like quiche. Am I suspect?

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2014
2:56 PM

Post #9784216

greenhouse_gal,

I read parts of this link:
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/179691/

... but the kicker is that it is testing the effect on bare human cells in tissue culture .

>> "We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides, comparing active principles and their formulations, on three human cell lines (HepG2, HEK293, and JEG3)."

Those are incredibly delicate and sensitive to many things that a creature with skin would not be affected by. They are a good way to look for any POSSIBLE effect of a compound, but the single fact that something was toxic in tissue culture would not make me at all concerned that it was also toxic to whole organisms (until that was demonstrated by other lines of testing).

For example, when we did tissue culture in glass, we had to use special kinds of soap and 9-tmies-rinsing because it was impossible to rinse any normal soap enough times to keep ti from killing the very vulnerable HeLa cells we worked with.

Maybe the fact that some herbicide adjuvents are basically kinds of soap (surfactants or things that help put oily things into water solutions) was the reason that this kind of testing found the adjuvents "up to one thousand times more toxic than" the insecticides, herbicides or fungicides.

Probably because tissue-culture-testing is NOT a realistic way to evaluate overall toxicity to plants or animals.

I found this, but note they still say " cellular toxicity " and " cytotoxic " which are totally different from organism toxicity. If I'm right, their results would be relevant to spraying Roundup formulations around a tissue culture lab, not around a farm or lunchroom.

"We used the embryonic (HEK293), placental (JEG3), and hepatic (HepG2) human cell lines because they are well characterized and validated as useful models to test toxicities of pesticides [18–20], corresponding to what is observed on fresh tissue or primary cells [21–23]. These cell lines are even in some instances less sensitive than primary cells [24, 25] and therefore do not overestimate cellular toxicity. "


I know some of the text of that paper makes it sound like (Voice Of Doom) "We found things MANY HUNDREDS OF TIMES WORSE than herbicide active ingredients."

I read that as "these types of tests can detect hideous toxicity in hand soap and other harmless compounds". I might be wrong, but if aI was reading the paper for scientific content, I would look for the section where they went on and showed some RELEVANCE of their results to some part of some research program.

Something like "this team has a lot of expertise on detecting differential effects of different phospho-lipids on cell walls in human lung tissue with emphysema and now we want more funding to continue our research".

Here is the closest I found:

"Adjuvants in pesticides are generally declared as inerts ..."

If they are saying that their research suggests more research is desirable into the (realistic) toxicity of adjuvents in every kind of agricultural product, more power to them. Maybe the entire industry and every lab that ever looked at toxicity OVERlooked the effects of the adjuvents. Maybe.

Or more likely they found that applying a very inappropriate kind of test can find cytotoxicty almost anywhere.

"In the scientific literature, in contrast with regulatory beliefs, some harmful effects of the adjuvants present in this study are reported. In the formulations (Table 1) Starane 200, Opus, and Eyetak, the adjuvants include solvent naphtha (a petroleum distillate), which is known to have developmental effects in rodents [33]. Xylene (in Eyetak)"

That started out snippy and boastful, then got ludicrous. DUHH! Are they saying that they "discovered" that naptha and Xylene are toxic? Normally I would stop reading except for noting the authors' names for future reference when looking for a chuckle, but not useful information.

"The distinction between AP and “declared inert” compounds appears to be a regulatory assumption with no toxicological basis,"

I guess that can be taken with a straight face except for the tone.

I guess the whole paper could be boiled down to "most agricultural product labels only list as ACTIVE ingredients those that are ACTIVE in insecticidal or herbicidal effect. Soaps, surfactants, solvents and other things that help deliver the insecticide are not listed as ACTIVE ingredients. The other ingredients are mostly known by high school students to have well-understood and obvious toxic or irritant properties to some greater or lesser degree."

If they want to say that every TOXIC ingredient should be listed as a TOXIC ingredient, fine, but that does not make them "ACTIVE" in the sense that everyone uses the word on labels.

Not having to list proprietary mixtures like naptha or Xylene as an ingredient in the MSDS sheet is more of a legal question than a practical one: in those two cases, anyone with a nose KNOWS - what you smell is what you get.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2014
3:09 PM

Post #9784222

I wasn't sure how much that paper was deliberately misleading and how much it was just "nose buried in test tube" near-sightedness.

This makes me think "deliberately misleading":

"It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides. This idea is spread by manufacturers, mostly in the reviews they promote [39, 40], which are often cited in toxicological evaluations of glyphosate-based herbicides. However, Roundup was found in this experiment to be 125 times more toxic than glyphosate. Moreover, despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions [41]."

They measured cytotoxicity in tissue culture, than reported conclusions about "toxicity". The polite term would be "deliberately misleading", but they go on to blather politics in the conclusion of what they allege to be a scientific paper, hypocritically committing the sin they blame others for:

"This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions [41]."

BZZZT. That's enough reason for me to class them as "liars" and try to remember their names as unscrupulous. Even if large biotech firms DO slant their results, these "scientists" did not measure and observe that, so including it in their 'conclusions" is BS. They should instead have listed those beliefs in their introductions (we are anti-agribusiness zealots) or under conflicts of interest where they sanctimoniously claim "none".

Robin Mesnage,
Nicolas Defarge,
Joël Spiroux de Vendômois,
Gilles-Eric Séralini
BioMed Research International ("open access journal")
Hindawi Publishing Corporation

Now that I think about it, I've seen "Séralini" elsewhere. I wish I remembered where, so I could be more skeptical of that one as well.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 7, 2014
3:19 PM

Post #9784225

There was a subject about renewing land that had been mined in western states on RFD-TV this morning.
It works like this, spread seeds of native plants & grasses. Then cover the area with hay. Turn cattle in until they eat most of the hay. The cattle moving around, get the seeds into the soil & their manure & hay waste fertilizes it. Move the cattle off the land. Then as soon as it rains the seeds sprout & grow. It can't be duplicated by mechanical means.

Just thought this fit as much as other things on this thread.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2014
3:57 PM

Post #9784243

greenhouse_gal said:

>> and this one discusses the possibility of glyphosate/Roundup as a causative agent in kidney pathology
http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2125

I would have said it differently. Something like "the kidney-toxcity of arsenic, cadmium, Chromium etc in drinking water may become worse when Roundup runoff is added".

(P.S. If it is the chelating effect that makes arsenic more toxic, the same thing happens with the chelating agent EDTA which is in toothpaste and many other household products.)

The way you said it sounds more like discussing whether RU harms kidneys.

Instead this explicitly said that

"glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, "

The paper was talking about heavy metals that are known to kill kidney cells becoming more toxic when chelated with Roundup (and then, from the illustration, when the runoff from sprayed fields entered drinking water).

It presents their theory that Roundup may make certain metals known to kill kidney cells MORE toxic.

It is quite clear that it is talking only about certain local conditions including "nephrotoxic metals" and hard water.

Note that the metals they are talking about include Arsenic, Cadmium, Chromium, Nickle, Cobalt and Vanadium.

" Here, we have hypothesized the association of using glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the disease endemic area and its unique metal chelating properties. The possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America. Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals.

The illustration also seems to suggest that the toxic heavy metals came from the fertilizer used. I hadn't heard about fertilizer as a source of Cadmium, Chromium, etc.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 7, 2014
4:43 PM

Post #9784275

I feel very much as though the anti-GMO folks and the young earth creationist folks are one in the same kind. They just KNOW that their ideas are correct and they cannot abide any other conclusion. I am actually quite surprised that the scientific evidence for the anti-GMO side is so weak. Prior to this discussion (in these DG threads) I was definitely not an advocate on either side, but I did feel a certain queasiness, and still do I guess, about us "messin' with genes". It's probably fair to say that I was predisposed to find in favor of anti-GMO positions. On the other hand, I am a hard core skeptic and a strong believer in science as the only real truth in the long run (last four words are key).

Despite the above, I conclude that the anti-GMO side hasn't a leg to stand on in terms of actually showing (to date) that real danger and real damage have occurred. I continue to be wary of the possibility of negative effects from SOME GMO products (allergies and the like), but...I refuse to believe the genetic "equivalent" of the earth being 6,000 years old. I hope at least some folks who were skeptical of GMOs have had their opinions tempered.

Rick, thank you for your rigorous and unbiased approach to this topic. To all of you, from GG to drobarr to CG to Ernie to many more of you, thanks very much for contributing.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 7, 2014
4:45 PM

Post #9784277

Thanks for taking a look, Rick. And it's my fault for using shorthand re the possible effects of RU on kidneys. Mea culpa! I still thought the article was interesting, though.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 7, 2014
5:33 PM

Post #9784312

GHG, I figured that you were not deliberately slanting a description.

It WAS very interesting and refreshingly honest. They called a spade a spade and a theory a theory.

I was trying to figure out why they made such a big deal about "hard water" until I saw a phrase that implied some researchers had already correlated the chronic kidney damage with hard water (Ca, Mg and Fe, I think).

I wonder if that helps the really toxic metals get into drinking water, or disguises the taste so people don't know to avoid the arsenic/Rounup runoff. Or stresses kidneys so they are more prone to damage. Or correlates geologically with the toxic heavy metals.

Anyway, it's worth remembering that Roundup (like EDTA and any other chelating agent) makes many metals including arsenic more soluble. If you're farming in toxic-metal-contaminated soil, maybe Roundup is NOT a good idea.

Or, if you have enough rainfall and good drainage, it might help leach arsenic out of the root zone (as long as it doesn't carry it into the water table).

Metals can be nasty.

P.S. The "iron phosphate" slug bait also has a chelating agent (EDTA) to help the slugs take large amounts of iron into their (?blood?) and choke on it. I forget whether that MSDS sheet took the chelating agent into account when it discussed the toxicity of the iron phosphate!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 7, 2014
5:35 PM

Post #9784314

Willy,
You should have included yourself on the list, as you have added to it, also.

I never counted the people on each side when the GMO discussion first started, but as i recall there were many more contributors on the Anti GMO side, and most of the ones on the other side were not so much for it as just skeptical of the claims being made of the dangers.

For whatever reason, most of the Anti GMO faction have dropped out of the discussion, while the other side has gained adherents, some of whom, like Rick and Drobarr that had the expertise to present facts in such a way they are difficult to deny.

I have learned a lot and also enjoyed the discussion very much.

thanks,
Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 12, 2014
11:59 AM

Post #9788127

Ernie...

I couldnt agree more. As a scientist myself I would beleive that GMO's were harmful if there was science that showed that. But so far I havent seen any study to date that shows it is any more harmful than non GMO agriculture.

I think GMO's should be tested to make sure they continue to be safe.

And overall I see GMO's of being of benefit into the future more so than they have up to now.

I think it also goes to show sometimes the wackiness of your opponents can often help your own cause. Especially when their arguments are based on an emotion or an imagination rather than scientific experimentation.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 12, 2014
7:34 PM

Post #9788428

Dr. Mae Wan Ho is a big anti-GMO person--PhD in genetics no less. Unbelievably, she doesn't/can't see the obvious quackery behind the stunning corn comparison AND she is an advocate of homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies are prepared by diluting an original solution in water (maybe other things like alcohol too) to the point where there are literally no molecules of the original substance left. Homeopaths believe that somehow the original substance leaves behind an "essence" or some such crap. I used to think that homeopathy was somewhat like herbalism, maybe not 100% scientific, but with some validity acquired from folk wisdom through years of experience. Not so--they're quacks.

Every single time you run a prominent anti-GMO person to ground, you find...a nut. Homeopaths, flying yogis, exogenous semiotic entropy,...

This is not to say that the concerns of some aren't justified. It is to say that the "legitimately" concerned don't present false evidence and fantastical lies.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 12, 2014
8:46 PM

Post #9788472

As to what causes so many people to get carried away with baseless worries and concerns, it seems to me the main underlying reason for a lot of it is simply that Common Sense is Not Very Common.

Ernie

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 13, 2014
5:24 AM

Post #9788578

Mostly it's their fear of corporations.
I cannot believe the reactions we got when we were forced to move our Farmers Market location.
The mall parking lot where we were for 27 years told us we were no longer welcome.
We had to look for new location. Only lot big enough & OK to use was a Best Buy parking lot. (We have upwards of 40 vendors.) The Best Buy guy was very favorable & gave us some very good help & a very good deal.
People started responding on our FB page.
Many claimed they wouldn't shop the market as long as it was on corporate property.
Dah! The mall is also owned by a corporation.

Talk about no common sense!

Is there much besides corporations in business these days ?

Even most family owned farms are corporations.
What the heck, our market organization is incorporated!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 13, 2014
6:37 AM

Post #9788635

CG,

It may be Fear, but it also may be Ignorance. Everyone with a pension depends on Corporations making money to be able to pay dividends to the Pension Funds where their checks come from, or to pay Government taxes if their pension comes from the Government.

I have never understood why people do not take the time to study just what it is that keeps their comfortable lives moving along on the right path.

Ernie



drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 13, 2014
7:06 AM

Post #9788664

it may be fear and it may be ignorance...but I think farmers are to blame...

American farmers have managed to provide more than enough safe, clean and healthy food for very cheap consistently for years and years. This has allowed the average person to stop worrying about their next meal, where its going to come from, or how they are going to afford it. How they are going to grow it. They dont worry about crop failure or pestilence, or how to can or store their food. They dont worry about if they can store enough to make it to the next crop. They dont worry about if it is going to rain or not and how that will affect their harvest. They dont worry about weeds overtaking their crop and they arent out there breaking their backs day after day after day hoeing weeds. They dont worry about what to do when food runs out.

Since modern farmers have removed the worries that humans had on a daily basis since human history began...we now have the luxery to worry about something else. Not only worry about something else...we have the time to worry about other things. Many of them things that dont need to be worried about! In fact we have so much time that now farmers are seen as villans...instead of what they truly are which are heroes.

But again maybe we would be better off without farmers...without them we might begin to worry about the things that really matter...

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 13, 2014
7:17 AM

Post #9788676

I just read a history of Monsanto.
Better stop your medicines if you oppose Monsanto. Lots of the popular ones were invented by Monsanto or their acquired companies.
Lots of interesting information in there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2014
6:31 PM

Post #9789066

Interesting commentary from Mother Jones, of all places:http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/06/gmo-bt-pesticides-crops.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 13, 2014
7:07 PM

Post #9789077

Thanks for the link, Willy. It just froze up my computer for 10min.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 13, 2014
7:23 PM

Post #9789090

Well, you're in frigid MN (I was a Youper once upon a time) and you probably have eaten too much lutefisk...or played too much curling.

The link did work fine for me.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

March 13, 2014
7:34 PM

Post #9789099

Just plain stupid!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2014
3:29 PM

Post #9789594

I couldn't find anything about GMOs or bt on that page; there was a creepy article about BPA but that was it.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2014
4:26 PM

Post #9789632

>> the wackiness of your opponents can often help your own cause.

I agree.

Late one night, after several beers, I came up with a theory that Monsanto stimulated the "anti-GMO" press by planting rabid and exaggerated anti-GMO stories. That gave some activists the idea that they could get away with wildly unsupported scare tactics and blatant deceit. They figured that, if they drew the yoga-flying fringe into the anti-GMO movement, it would discredit reasonable "anti" arguments.

Probably just a conspiracy-theory daydream. The unscrupulous propagandists didn't need any help discrediting and drowning out the reasonable people with concerns. However, they've also drowned out the basic science and reasonable people on BOTH sides.

>> Every single time you run a prominent anti-GMO person to ground, you find...a nut. Homeopaths, flying yogis, exogenous semiotic entropy,...

I don't know - maybe it is just that nuts feel free to use short, emotional, scary arguments that "play well" in mainstream press and in people's imaginations. Both reporters and many readers change channels after several minutes of long words and longer sentences. So the "nuts" become well-known and are widely published.

Politicians find that emotional "sound bites" sell people better than long, technical explanations that start out "it's really complicated ...". The sound bite doesn't have to be true or make any sense, to excite people.

>> This is not to say that the concerns of some aren't justified. It is to say that the "legitimately" concerned don't present false evidence and fantastical lies.

Unfortunately, that restricts them to accurate but boring truths!

- - - - - -
>> it may be fear and it may be ignorance...but I think farmers are to blame...

Genius! If you could get the farmers to do a "Lysistrata" for one week, withholding food shipments, it might make people think about how dependent the 98% are on the 2% (farmers and ranchers).

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 14, 2014
4:49 PM

Post #9789650

Actual understanding of anything complex, is way too much time and effort for many people.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 14, 2014
6:33 PM

Post #9789775

Sorry to all of you for the bad link. Here it is again: http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2012/06/gmo-bt-pesticides-crops.

If that doesn't work, try a search for "Sarah Zhang" (the author) and "In Defense of Genetically Modified Crops" (article title). I found it with the search words mother jones gmo--it was the sixth hit on a google search.

I didn't mean to offend, CG, it was a light hearted attempt at humor from a former fellow northerner (it is "freezing" in MN, right?).

Rick--I don't buy the "sound bite" argument. At least I'll say that I hope we as a country aren't that stupid yet. I do mean what I said--every PROMINENT anti-GMO person (that I've read) is a nut case. If you (everyone, not Rick alone) aren't familiar with homeopathy, do a little digging. The basis for it is crazy. Notice that the Union of Concerned Scientists publishes reasonable, logical concerns, not idiotic hysteria. And I still don't buy into the "Monsanto et al" are evil argument either.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2014
6:34 PM

Post #9789779

>> Actual understanding of anything complex, is way too much time and effort for many people.

Hmm! Maybe that is most of what's wrong with modern society.

We can eat and sleep and have TV and Internet access without putting out very much effort (once we manage to find a job).

Few people are used to working hard anymore unless they're personally driven by some passion (or they have so much job stress that they don't do anything but drink and blog after going home).

But trying to understand most modern issues is like having a hive of bees live in your head! And hard work.

Your idea also explains most of modern politics:
Replace thought with sound bites.
Replace "getting to the truth" with accepting lies as normal.
Replace difficult compromise with tantrums.
Replace "understanding different points of view" with "demonizing hyper-partisanship".
Replace "making things work" with denial and disaster.

Hmm.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 14, 2014
6:41 PM

Post #9789784

>> every PROMINENT anti-GMO person (that I've read) is a nut case.

I think I understand that. That's what I was trying to partly agree with when I went on about it being easier to make "good copy" from alarmist BS that is not constrained by trying to explain complicated facts.

If you are willing to lie boldly enough, or you're such a raving nut-case that you believe obvious untruth, then it probably IS easier to become "prominent".

I think that we are agreed that there are many "moderate" anti-GMO people, like those who just want it labelled in the grocery store, or who know that their queasiness with the idea doesn't come from a body count or Men In Black falsifying data.

>> Better stop your medicines if you oppose Monsanto.

Dupont is another major player in the GMO / GE field. The original "better living through chemistry" people.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2014
7:20 AM

Post #9790024

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lp-clBQsRac
Go to about 3:20 in the video to hear the song...lyrics below...


Those Polar Bears now, who really cares now?
- They're breedin gender bendin babies who won't be breedin none
Cos PCBs, yeah! are in the seas, yeah!
We like to think that there's a little piece of us in everyone

Cos we're Monsanto! - That's right, Monsanto!
We're turning Satan into Santa by givin kiddies cancer
Comin thru now - we're changin YOU now,
The mother- nature terminators of Food 'n Health 'n Hope

That DDT ban - don't lay it on me man!
Cos we had all these creepie-crawlies fallin on the food we grew
Was a revolution-ary solution,
It's just a shame that what we sprayed on made the turnips toxic too!
Let me remind ya 'bout Indo-china
- Them commie dominos were fallin, so they sprayed 'em into Hell!
Gave peasant farmers Orange pajamas
We made their jungle-cover wither, then we withered them as well!

Cos we're Monsanto! - That's right, Monsanto!
We're turning Satan into Santa by givin kiddies cancer
Comin thru now - we're changin YOU now,
The mother- nature terminators of Food 'n Health 'n Hope

It's not our fault there's Chemical warfare,
But if there's dollars in dioxin it's our duty to supply
That rain of poisin they washed our boys in,
A Cancer Agent from the C.I---Hey! - I cannot tell a lie!
From Pentagon came that drug Aspartame,
Our Pepsi-Cola with no calories was every kiddies' treat!
When there were rumours it gave 'em tumours
Somebody falsified the data - and we called it NutraSweet!

And you get more juice now from a Dairy Moo-Cow,
Monsanta's daily dose of hormones, them udders gonna swell!
Don't blame the cream though, if you're in chemo
- There may be B.S.T masectomies, but nobody can tell!

Cos we're Monsanto! - That's right, Monsanto!
We're turning Satan into Santa by givin kiddies cancer
Comin thru now - we're changin YOU now,
The mother- nature terminators of Food 'n Health 'n Hope

Robert Shapiro! Well he's our hero!
He's on a mission with a vision of Sustain-ability
Which means we're goin to keep on growin
-till we're the biggest corporation in the 21st Century
Seein no future for the big polluters
He spun an eco-friendly line in re-designin DNA
Genetic eyes on that far horizon
Where every thing alive is privatised and every seed'll pay!

We've got the Soya, we've got the Lawyers,
The politicians in our pockets all the way to President!
The press and TV, to guarantee the
Co-operation of your nation in our new experiment!
You did not choose it, but you'll have to use it,
We'll get our Round-up Ready fingerprint in every pie you eat,
With every patent, be a bit more blatant,
Till our Corporation's domination of your Globe'll be complete!

Mister Monsanto! Monster Mutanto!
We're turning Satan into Santa - Give Everybody cancer!
Comin thru now, we're changin YOU now,
The Mother-Nature Terminators,
Hell-on-earth creators,
Gene- manipulators,
Biotech dictators,
The future's gonna hate us
Food 'n' Health 'n' Hope!

This message was edited Mar 15, 2014 12:56 PM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 15, 2014
7:23 AM

Post #9790028

Heres a better recording... http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl_2ugkvG8E
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 15, 2014
9:40 AM

Post #9790109

drobarr--that song sums up the anti-GM position pretty well.

"hive of bees..."--Firesign Theater!!
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 17, 2014
6:41 PM

Post #9791948

I see that Kevin Trudeau was sent to prison for ten years today. He was a huckster of the first order, preying on people's fears and hopes regarding weight loss and natural cures. He was believed by many who think the "system" is out to deceive. He tried to sell "easy" weight loss and "easy" cures that the system was keeping from public knowledge. I think his story is an exact analogy to people like Jeffrey Smith who see an opportunity to rake in the bucks by taking advantage of ordinary people with limited scientific knowledge, but whom are concerned about doing the "right" thing. I am glad to see Trudeau sent away and I hope he rots--and has other "interesting" experiences--in prison.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2014
6:12 PM

Post #9794190

A Nice Story:


Norman Borlaug* and Vandana Shiva were walking along a beach when they came upon a bottle. Borlaug reached down, picked it up and opened it.

A genie appeared and thanked them for releasing him. He was so grateful that he offered to grant the two any wish they wanted.

He turned to Borlaug and asked him what he wanted. Borlaug didn’t miss a beat and said, “I wish there was a new solution to help agriculture advance and help feed the poor of the world and increase nutrition in areas that lack it.”

The genie winced and said, “Well, I don’t have the power to create the solution, but I can give you a scientific tool that will help. It’s called genetically modified organisms.” Borlaug was thrilled, thanked the genie and walked away smiling.

He then turned to Shiva and asked what she wanted. Shiva furrowed her brow and then perked up and said excitedly, ”My neighbors get better yields with gmos than my organic farm. I want you to destroy my neighbor’s farm.”
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2014
6:14 PM

Post #9794192

And Another Nice Story:

She (Vandana Shiva) should know about this stuff. She’s an expert in organic farming and agriculture. Consider this incident as told in the Houston Press from 2000:


Before leaving Alvin to prepare for a 7 p.m. lecture in Houston titled “WTO, Basmati Rice & the Stolen Harvest,” Shiva walked across the road and looked out into a shaggy field. “They look unhappy,” she said. “The rice plants. Ours at home look very happy.” “That,” RiceTec reports, “is because it’s not rice. That’s our test field, it was harvested in August. That’s weeds.”
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 20, 2014
6:28 PM

Post #9794208

And one more just for the laughs:

After SCOTUS victory, Monsanto calls it quits

May 13, 2013

Hours after their victory in the Supreme Court, seed and chemical giant Monsanto filed for bankruptcy citing the enormous cost of “buying everybody off.”

At a hastily called press conference, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant told assembled reporters the company never really thought through their ”buying everybody off, scheme .”

“I mean, do you know how many people are in the Nation Academy of Sciences? Something like 2,000. So, a few million to a scientific body here and a few million to every independent scientist in the world there, and it begins to add up.” That’s not even including having to pay those thousands of keyboard jockeys who defend us on internet comment boards.

The final straws were the members of the Supreme Court. “Those bastards didn’t come cheap,” Grant sighed.

Anti-gmo activists were left slack jawed. “We just lost our boogeyman,” one activist lamented. “It’s not fair.”

Asked what was next for the bankrupt Monsanto, Grant explained that it was too early to tell, but excitedly suggested they were thinking of getting into the organic farming business. ”Man, do you know what a cash cow that racket is? I was in Whole Foods the other day and they get like 4 bucks for a freakin’ tomato. Sweet. We’ve gotta get in on that action.”

Hours after the announcement, Organic Consumer’s Association honcho Ronnie Cummins and alt-health freak Mike Adams had to be talked down off a Maharishi University rooftop after Jeffrey Smith pleaded with them saying, “Cmon guys. We can still make stuff up about gmos.”

In a related story, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she planned to retire from the Court and buy the Bronx.

From here: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/2013/05/13/after-scotus-victory-monsanto-calls-it-quits/

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2014
5:45 AM

Post #9794452

Sri Lanka has just banned glyphosate

http://www.news.lk/news/sri-lanka/8708-sri-lanka-bans-weedicide-glyphosate

due to a recent study suggesting that glyphosate in combination with hard water and nephrotoxic metals is causing an unprecedented epidemic of kidney disease in its population

[HYPERLINK@www.documentcloud.org]

Nice that the government isn't deciding to wait until studies are conducted to prove the relationship.

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

March 21, 2014
6:20 AM

Post #9794478

I saw an article on that before- see the document with a graphic of the cup of drinking water coming right out of the ditch , well that may be just a graphic, but I think too true. So many people could be better off with safe water supplies.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 21, 2014
8:25 AM

Post #9794556

While i think Glyphosate is relatively harmless when used properly, it is terrible that some people have to drink out of drainage ditches filled with chemical laden runoff from the fields.

But this is a typical Government solution as it is easier and cheaper to ban glyphosate than to provide clean water,

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 21, 2014
3:20 PM

Post #9794862

Interesting that you think the government should be providing the clean water. In other comments you seemed to feel we depend far too much on the gov't to fix things. If the water is basically potable without glyphosate, though, and has been for decades or centuries, why not just remove the glyphosate. Makes sense to me.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 21, 2014
4:37 PM

Post #9794903

Sri Lanka. Let's see. Glyphosate was indeed outlawed by a unilateral decree of Sri Lanka's president Rajapaksa. Rajapaksa has been honored by Russian and Chinese universities. He is suspected of murdering Sri Lankan civilians belonging to opposing political groups. The UN claims 40,000 killed. There are claims that voting was suppressed when he was elected. After his reelection in 2010, the Sri Lankan constitution was amended to permit the president to be reelected indefinitely (it was formerly two terms max).

I'm sure he's a good scientist who makes rational decisions and all around good guy..

Pardon my sarcasm, but I just see another sketchy character in the anti-GMO, anti-glyphosate war.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2014
4:59 PM

Post #9794913

I read that or a very similar article before, also. Note that the "nephrotoxic metals" are heavy metals including arsenic, cadmium and strontium.

"There is some consensus that
this is a multifactorial disease. The main factors include chronic exposure to arsenic (As) [1],
cadmium (Cd) [11] and pesticides [2,12]. Consumption of hard water, low water intake and exposure
to high temperatures resulting in significant dehydration, are among the other factors. "

Ouch. Dehydration, plus heavy metals. That certainly is a formula for kidney damage!

I'm still scanning the paper for what I seem to recall somewhere: that RoundUp has some chelating power, which of course makes heavy metals more soluble and hence more toxic. Maybe the very hard water also interacts badly with RounUp runoff, if RU really is a chelating agent. After all, they put EDTA in the iron phosphate kind of slug bait, to make the iron more toxic to the slugs.

Yes, page 5. In fact,

"The former Stauffer Chemical Company (Westport, CT, USA)
initially obtained a patent for aminophosphonic acid {glyphosphate = RU} as a chelating agent, wetting agent and
biologically active compound [19]. Glyphosate was initially used as a descaling agent to clean out
calcium and other mineral deposits in pipes and boilers of residential and commercial hot water
systems. Descaling agents are effective metal binders, which grab on to Ca, Mg, etc. ions and make the
metal water soluble and easily removable. Later, the Monsanto Company has acquired the chemical
from Stauffer and obtained a patent for aminophosphonate for its herbicidal properties [20]."

I went to high school in Westport and the Stauffer company gave me a $300 scholarship when I graduated, to help with college expenses! It's a small world. But that's not why I defend glyphosphat/RU agianst some of its criticisms.

So, it SHOULD already be in the label instructions for RU: "contraindicated for use in areas contaminated with arsenic and other toxic heavy metals, low rainfall, and shallow water tables."

Maybe when it is imported into impoversihed and arid regions, the warning labels should also caution against drinking from ag runoff ditches while contaminated with RU runoff.

I realize that the villagers in Sri Lanks had no choice, but whoever is importing and selling the RU there should have read the label ... or Monsanto should have pointed the problem out to importers in arid regions.

And :

"... demonstrated that there is a link
between hardness and arsenic toxicity. They have identified toxic levels of arsenic in urine,
hair and nail samples of CKDu patients as well as in apparently healthy individuals living in the
CKDu endemic region. They proposed that arsenic, derived mainly from tainted agrochemicals
(chemical fertilizers and pesticides),
when combined with calcium and/or magnesium in the ground
water can ultimately damage the kidney tissues. Even though there is considerable evidence to suggest
that the agricultural workers in the CKDu endemic areas are exposed to arsenic, the exact source and
mode of entry of arsenic remains controversial"


also:
"The low concentration of a cumulative nephrotoxin and its bioaccumulation could have taken
12–15 years to cause damage to the kidneys leading up to the level of clinically identifiable CKD."

In other words, it's a chronic problem, perhaps pre-existing if the the arsenic did NOT come from fertilizer, perhaps made worse by the chelating nature of glyphosphate.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2014
5:06 PM

Post #9794917

I read in one place that Sri Lanka used to ban certain fertilizers (maybe ammonium nitrate?) because they were being used by insurgents to make IEDs.

It seemed a little odd in that paper to speculate that "fertilizer or pesticides" might be tainted with arsenic. I could understand fertilizer, if processed from local ores. But how would a heavy metal get into organic synthesis? It could be RU-bashing, but sounded like the researchers were too in love with statistics: kidney damage correlated with (among other things) increased use of herbicides. "After it, therefore because of it."

I hope their statistics controlled for the effect of increased crop yields. Less starvation -> longer life -> increased chronic disease.

I wonder if they irrigated productive fields more than they did earlier, less productive fields. More irrigation -> more runoff -> more heavy metals -> more kidney damage.

Anything involving human beings is even more complicated than the underlying crop science.

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 21, 2014
5:12 PM

Post #9794920

Rick,

When i read the article and saw the info about Arsenic, I started to dissect it like you did, but got bored with it, and stopped. I am glad i did, as you did a much better job on it than i could have done.

But, with Roundup banned, What will they kill the weeds with? Maybe use more Arsenic like i had to use 60 years ago to kill weeds.

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2014
6:31 PM

Post #9794972

I forgot that! Good point.

I read old gardening books when I can find, and usually I'm impressed that most of what we have changed is language. Like "compost" instead of "well-rotted manure".

I mean the stuff they apply to fields! Not our discussion! Besides, if I remember correctly, in this thread we agree, right?

Then I stumble on a phrase like "then spray liberally with arsenic sulphate or nicotine sulphate".

I think the new "second generation" GE tools like CRISPR will make it practical to create triple-stacked, quadruple-stacked and quintuple-stacked GM crops, resistant to enough different herbicides that the farmers can rotate the herbicide they use and reduce the weeds' resistance.

After all, often or usually, a resistance mechanism "costs" the weed something. Once there is little selective pressure for the resistance, weeds WITH it die out and the genes are (mostly) lost.

But, as we create more-highly-modified crop genomes, I hope we remain careful and test what we create, in on-going ways. Just because CRISPR inserts same-species genes into know locations, and even makes "clean edits" easy, that doesn't make us smarter or immune to unintended consequences.

Even if the future is not as grim as I think in regards to long-term climate change, we still have great ability to step on our wienie as we deploy square miles of "experimental" plants.

For example, ones more resistant to heat, drought, salinity or flooding.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 21, 2014
6:53 PM

Post #9794985

Rick,

I think we agree on everything, even if it is to agree to disagree.


Arsenic was scary, nasty stuff to work with, and i am not easily scared. Nicotine, the way we used to get it to control tomato worms was nasty, but not scary. We would soak cigarette buts in a can of water and sprinkle that on the vines.

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 21, 2014
7:07 PM

Post #9794995

>> Arsenic was scary, nasty stuff to work with, and i am not easily scared.

Dust, right? The only scarier form of a toxin is gas or vapor.

Aflatoxin is not as cumulative as heavy metals, but I think it takes fewer micrograms to give you nasty, fast-growing tumors. Now that I look it up, the LD50 is large, so arsenic IS much worse for immediate toxicity.

I've worked with a few radioisotopes, but only radio-Iodine really scared me, in the very small quantities we used.

I interviewed for a job with New England Nuclear once, and when I heard I would be producing and handling a few CURIES per week, I kept on looking elsewhere!

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 21, 2014
7:30 PM

Post #9795008

Glyphosate is very tightly bound to the organic matter and clay portion of the soil and does not move with water. So the only way glyphosate is in water is if it is dumped into or sprayed on top of water which is contrary to its label.

Willy...you mention Dr Borlaug. The nobel peace prize winning father of the green revolution credited with saving a billion lives with genetic dwarf varieties of wheat and rice that could be fertilized boosting yields and finding disease resistant cultivars. While doing my doctorate at Texas A&M Borlaug was a distinguished professor there and was able to hear him talk and was able visit with him a few times. Borlaug has since passed away. But he was an ardent supporter of GMO crops and their future potential. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norman_Borlaug
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 21, 2014
7:58 PM

Post #9795029

drobarr--Borlaug is probably the most under appreciated person of the late 20th century. I'm jealous that you were able to hear him and talk with him.

I recently read that he estimated that the green revolution saved roughly 20 million square miles of wilderness from being turned into agricultural lands. For reference, California has an area of 156,000 square miles. I don't think most people appreciate what we're up against in the coming years as the world's population grows.

My sister is an Aggie--vet school.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 21, 2014
8:19 PM

Post #9795050

>> Arsenic was scary, nasty stuff to work with, and i am not easily scared.

rrr " Dust, right? The only scarier form of a toxin is gas or vapor"


Rick, No, this was back in 1954/55, and it was an evil looking, nasty smelling dark green syrup in fifty gallon metal barrels. We would tip the barrel into buckets and pour it in small towed type sprayers,dilute with water, and then spray grade with a wand and hose to keep weeds from growing up through the new asphalt.paving.

No protective gear, and we would get a splash once in a while.
Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 24, 2014
6:27 PM

Post #9797376

Ernie,

I can see why you're not quivering with anxiety about GMOs or glyphosphate. Surviving arsenic mist and splashes makes those sound like very small beer.

>> Glyphosate is very tightly bound to the organic matter and clay portion of the soil and does not move with water. So the only way glyphosate is in water is if it is dumped into or sprayed on top of water which is contrary to its label.

Thanks, Drobarr. That seems to argue against the Sri Lanka / arsenic / hard water / glyphosphate connection. Unless, indeed, they are also spraying the ditches.

Or maybe (pure and 100% speculation), if glyphosphate binds tightly to soil and clay, maybe it displaced some of the toxic metals that had previously been bound ionically to the clay, and then those flowed into the ditches.

[HYPERLINK@www.documentcloud.org]
(I couldn't find the earlier link)

I've heard "The Green Revolution" called "The Second Green Revolution", considering the invention of agriculture itself to be the first Green Revolution.

That author considered genetic engineering to be the third Green Revolution, but I don't think we're there yet.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 24, 2014
6:48 PM

Post #9797391

Rick,

Working conditions prior to OSHA would seem inconceivable to people now, and there were many dangerous situations in both Heavy Construction and the Oilfields where i had personal experience, and undoubtedly also in other jobs. But accidents were no more common then than now, simply because we all knew our personal safety was up to us.

But now, everyone is aware of all the regulations, and think that makes the work safer so they do not care and do not need to pay attention to protect themselves. There are a few small improvements, like Diesel Motors were not required to have mufflers, so my hearing was ruined at an early age, while now inspectors measure the decibles the equipment produces to be sure that is safe, and the employees get in their cars to go home, and ruin their hearing with loud music.

So the best of intentions and lots of regulations are not the total solution. We can spend large amounts of taxpayer money to label GMO products, and people will still ruin their health and shorten their lives eating and drinking junk food.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 24, 2014
7:16 PM

Post #9797403

My two cents: Given the nature of things in Sri Lanka (see March 21 post), I don't think we should place much faith in their actions.

Sri Lanka ahead of Europe and the US in terms of protecting citizens?

My cynicism grows daily.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 24, 2014
8:49 PM

Post #9797465

>> people will still ruin their health and shorten their lives eating and drinking junk food.

For sure.

Regulations not perfect? Totally.
Some ineffectual? Sure.
Many are very expensive? I have to admit that, too.

But having seen what one small chemical company used to dump before they were regulated, and still dumped as long as they could get away with it, I accept a lot of costs to keep the carcinogens, toxins and heavy metals out of that river! Mostly I think of it as the cost being borne by the company and customers that derive the benefit: that river was not theirs to pollute, and they rightly should pay what it costs to make those products without polluting that river.

The inefficiencies of the regulations are regrettable, but not as bad as everyone living in a toxic dump.

Sort of like democracy: many drawbacks, but better than any known alternative.

In the case of labeling, I challenge the "large amounts of taxpayer money" argument. The tiny cost of re-labeling packages vanishes into the cost of frequently re-labeling them anyway, so they can shrink the size slightly to hide price increases, and to change the advertising verbiage.

The idea that inspecting would be expensive certainly need not be so. Allow people to sue if the labels are falsified, and make some of the shipping records public-access, and it might even be made self-policing. Competitors might rat each other out, if the fines included a "whistle-blower" fee to the informants.

Cost of separate supply chains for non-GMO ingredients? Paid for by those who will pay extra to see a label that says "contains no ingredients from GMOs".

ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 24, 2014
11:07 PM

Post #9797513

Rick, just two points need to be addressed. The small Chemical company you referred to should be fined for any transgressions made after the dumping was forbidden. But as long as he was obeying the law while he was dumping, both he and his customers, as you said, should bear the cost. But I do not know of any cases, and we had lots of them in CA, where the customers, that shared in the reduced price of the chemicals, also shared in the cost of the Cleanups.

What the Government did to many law abiding companies was very similar to the situation if your City allowed you to legally park your car in the street for 20 years and then changed the law, forbidding you to park there, and posting a fine of 100 dollars a night for violators. Then they made the law retroactive and sent you a bill for $730,000.00. That put a lot of companies out of business, but that is what they did when they made companies clean up what had been legal operations.

Rrr In the case of labeling, I challenge the "large amounts of taxpayer money" argument. The tiny cost of re-labeling packages vanishes into the cost of frequently re-labeling them anyway, so they can shrink the size slightly to hide price increases, and to change the advertising verbiage.

Rick, Many people that want labeling make the same mistake you are making here. Of course the cost of the paper and ink are negligible. But without a huge organization to inspect and track every load of soybeans, from farm to table, the labels would be worthless. So millions of dollars would be spent organizing the huge bureaucracy to inspect it. Then to keep from making any costly mistakes and paying huge fines the producers would have to develop an entire new department to be sure every bean was non GMO. Then inspite of both huge expensive staffs, the Government would have to create a third bureaucracy to enforce and prosecute any violators. Without all producers duplicating these efforts for every state that required labeling the labels would be totally worthless.
If the inspection and enforcement regime is not necessary then why do we have the same setup fpr Meat, a different one for poultry, and several more different products? Or for that matter, if we turn the law enforcement over to the lawyers, why do we need any of the Government inspectors for anything?

Ernie

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

March 25, 2014
4:02 PM

Post #9797992

I admit I know little to nothing about crop or meat inspections.

But I assume that whatever safety inspections are required, are already being done.

The difference needed to create separate paths for GMO and non-GMO (it seems like to me) would be mainly to use different silos and warehouses for GMO and non-GMO.

And it's not like you need to sample and do genetic testing to determine what is or is not GMO: if they know what they planted, they know which it is.

Or maybe you are right, since someone has to PROVE what kind of seed was planted.

Are there "huge" expenses involved in certifying crops and ingredients as "organic"? I know that proving "organic" is more complicated than just "what did you plant".

Well, the key thing I should say is that "I don't know".

I guess eventually the consumer demand for non-GMO crops will drive someone to service that demand, presumably patterned after being certified "organic", but much easier to prove.

Strange, I have read in a few places that the 4-5 digit "Price Look-Up" code and barcode on stickers on fruit already provided for GMO, organic, or non-GMO, non-organic fruit:

Sigh, go not to the Internet for information, for you will read both fact and misleading BS.

(See the debunking sites listed below the bunking sites.
A good example of willfully fostering a mis-impression without QUITE lying.)

http://www.snopes.com/food/prepare/produce.asp

http://www.drfranklipman.com/what-do-those-codes-on-stickers-of-fruits-and-some-veggies-mean/

http://blogs.kqed.org/bayareabites/2012/11/20/food-labeling-how-to-identify-conventional-organic-and-gmo-produce/

The next few paragraphs are misleading bunkum

"0 — Applies to all non-qualified produce (and is generally presented without the leading "zero" digit).
8 — Applies to genetically modified produce (GMOs)
9 — Applies to organic produce"


"If there are only four numbers in the PLU, this means that the produce was grown conventionally or “traditionally” with the use of pesticides."

"If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “8″, this tells you that the item is a genetically modified fruit or vegetable."

"If there are five numbers in the PLU code, and the number starts with “9″, this tells you that the produce was grown organically and is not genetically modified."

==============

Then I found the following in the Huff-Po, which debunks the first three sources with some plausible text. I see the by-line is "Jeffery Smith". I seem to recall someone distrusting him.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/plu-codes-do-not-indicate_b_473088.html

"According to Kathy Means, {{ Produce Marketing }} Association Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs, this is an optional convention for retailers and their supplier..."

"Those that run PLU-universe figured that someday some retailer might want to distinguish between a GMO and a non-GMO for price or inventory purposes. So they created a convention of 5 digits starting with an 8, just in case it catches on. But it hasn't. No one uses that number 8 as far as we can tell. And why would they? Most Americans say they would avoid GMOs if they were labeled."

"...l there are only 4 GMO veggies or fruits at this point: papaya, but only from Hawaii and no where else; some zucchini and yellow squash, and some corn on the cob. For these, unless it says organic or boasts a non-GMO sign in the store, eating them is a gamble. It could be GMO."

It sounds to me as if the Produce Marketing Association is a pro-organic-food association. I wonder if they see GMOs as future competition, if people realize that it means "fewer pesticide residues" and "no till".

My guess is that many (not all) organic-food-buyers would rather eat "organic" pesticide residues like rotenone and pyrethrin than see the words "GMO".

I wish we could tell from the labeling what we were getting, and thus make informed decisions. "Truth in advertising".

At least it would be a wake-up call for people who still don't realize that 99% of all processed food has ingredients from GMOs, like corn syrup, corn starch, and sugar-beet-sugar. And (I guess) 99% of all meat animals are fed a lot of GMO corn and alfalfa.

Would they say "I've been eating it for decades and feel fine, so it must be safe", or "OMIGOD, I'd better become an organic vegan right away"?

I imagine that 99% of the population will ignore the difference between eating Fritos fried in nearly-chemically-pure corn oil from Bt corn, and eating whole ears of GMO sweet corn!




ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 25, 2014
6:03 PM

Post #9798073


Rrr I admit I know little to nothing about crop or meat inspections.

rrr But I assume that whatever safety inspections are required, are already being done.

rrr The difference needed to create separate paths for GMO and non-GMO (it seems like to me) would be mainly to use different silos and warehouses for GMO and non-GMO.

Rick, It took me a page and a half too just describe all the expensive things like silos and such it would require to keep the grain separate as it entered the commodity market and I am not going to post several pages detailing why it would be so expensive. But believe me, it would be a nightmare keeping the products separated after they enter the conmodity handling process..
Ernie

rrr And it's not like you need to sample and do genetic testing to determine what is or is not GMO: if they know what they planted, they know which it is.

rrr Or maybe you are right, since someone has to PROVE what kind of seed was planted.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 26, 2014
11:46 AM

Post #9798492

When I go through the checkout at my supermarket the cashier scans the products, and she commented to me the other day that something I selected under the impression that it was organic (it was in the organic part of the produce section) was not, because its number didn't begin with 9.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 26, 2014
12:27 PM

Post #9798505

Interesting, GG. I'll start paying attention to the UPC now to see if it does categorize organic vs non-organic. I do assume that most organic produce will have a sticker saying so, but that may well not be true.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

March 26, 2014
12:43 PM

Post #9798513

Once in a while they'll put non-organic produce in with the organic types, so it's good to have that method of checking, although really, you can see on the label if it's supposed to be.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2014
7:39 PM

Post #9801549

If one wants to ensure they dont get GMO food they can buy organic. So it seems there is already a process in place for folks to get GMO free food without additional labeling.

Thus I do not see a huge need to label, though I am not necesarily against it. Since GMO's are safe I dont see what the benefit of labeling it would be. I guess we could also put on the label that the crop was irrigated with dihydrogen monoxide. Shouldnt people know that too?
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 30, 2014
7:47 PM

Post #9801555

Dihydrogen monoxide--I'm staying away from ANY chemical.

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

March 30, 2014
7:55 PM

Post #9801560

Willy...you better not breathe in any air then...or drink any water! In fact we are nothing but chemicals...
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 30, 2014
9:23 PM

Post #9801584

Who polices all the Organic produce to verify that none of it has never had any chemicals applied, even in the dark of night?

I am pretty sure the percentage of Crooks, thieves and other Evil doers is the same among profit hungry Organic Farmers as is true about profit hungry Corporation Employees.

I do think that percentage is very small, but as far as i have noticed, it is pretty evenly spread out anomgst all of us.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

March 31, 2014
8:42 AM

Post #9801871

Amen, Ernie. I once had a farmers market vendor tell me he used cotton defoliant to rid his plot of weeds. (I suspect that defoliant is not legally used except for cotton) He did not make a claim that he was organic, but most folks patronizing farmers markets do assume organic. I heard another vendor say she bought bell peppers at the supermarket (3 for a buck) to resell at the FM.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

March 31, 2014
9:27 AM

Post #9801912

Willy,

When i lived on my boat, doing my own cooking and food shopping, i patronized a large Farmers Market that set up every Sunday in the Marina parking lot. Some of the small farmer Verdors would drive as much as 150 miles to sell their produce, but about half of them had nothing but commercial crates on their trucks that had been purchased at the large Wholesale Produce market in Downtown Los Angeles. Some claimed Organic and some did not, but like you say, most customers just seemed to assume it was healthier.

Samples of each product were put out, cut from unwashed fruit, with bare hands, and were just gobbled up by the public, I have never been nervous about things like that, but knowing how scared most people are of germs and chemicals, I always got a kick out of watching them grab and gobble the free samples.

Ernie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 2, 2014
5:19 AM

Post #9803210

yup yet again people are irrational!

my nearby farm stand also has some wholesale items. AT least it is partly grown right here, and partly from a good orchard about forty miles away, and the wholesale stuff to fill out the stand and give people more options.
ncredbird
Greeneville, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2014
5:26 PM

Post #9805059

I get a newsletter from The Healthy Home Economist and the one I received today states - "With one fell swoop in 2005, Monsanto grabbed approximately 40% of the US vegetable seed market with its acquisition of Seminis". It also mentions the "Monsanto Protection Act" which I verified with Snopes actually exists. The "Monsanto Protection Act" effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds — which has been driven by the massive Monsanto Company — and their exploding use in farms across America came on fast and has proved a huge boon for Monsanto's profits. You can read more on this at Snopes.
I don't know about the rest of you but I don't want GMO's in the food chain and I don't want to be ingesting them. Europe has banned them and I believe they should be banned. Rather than assuming that they are harmless until being proven to be dangerous why can't we assume they are dangerous until being proven harmless. Can you imagine the repercussions if similar legislation had been passed by the tobacco companies 50 years ago? This is a giant mess being silently unleashed on the American public all in the name of financial profit. Monsanto now owns most of the heirloom seed available in the US and at some point we won't even be able to obtain seed that hasn't been modified so keep saving your heirlooms and keep trading seeds folks!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 4, 2014
6:01 PM

Post #9805092

bird,,

It continually amazes me how those of you that are so consuumed with envy towards successful companies never check the facts before you make the blind accusations. I do not own any stock in Monsanto, but i do like to support the truth with actual facts. so i just checked.
Monsanto's profifits that upset you so much follow. In the last nine years they have lost money 3 years and made a small profit the other six. The past year they made a profit of $3.15 on each share that costs $114.18 cents, or 2.75% return, The owners of the company, which are mostly Pension funds and Widows and such, made up of ordinary people across the country, received a dividend on their investment of $1.47 , which looks like it is between 1.25% and 1.50% return, with the remaining share of the earnings being retained by the company for re investment and research. With inflation of just under 3%, they actually just about broke even or lost money.

But without the nonsense of Monsanto making unreasonable profits, i think you have the absolute right to not eat GMO products, so just seek out sources that sell non GMO products and buy your food there. Just do not make foolish claims about unreasonable profits without checking your facts.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 4, 2014
6:30 PM

Post #9805111

Good points, Ernie. I noted a few weeks ago (some thread somewhere) that Monsanto's stock has lagged the S&P for some time. Not that that will curb the "ungodly profits" crowd. Only Starbucks and Trader Joe's can make a legitimate profit.

I'm pretty sure that to assert that Monsanto owns most heirloom seeds is pure poppycock. Monsanto does own most big seed companies as measured by sales volume. That doesn't mean my Brandywine tomatoes or Blue Lake beans are Monsanto owned. Please, do real research.
ncredbird
Greeneville, TN
(Zone 6b)

April 4, 2014
7:44 PM

Post #9805151

Ernie,
Not consumed by Monsanto's profits at all. Their modification of food sources however does concern me and the quote on Monsanto's earnings came directly from Snopes while verifying info on the Monsanto Protection Act. I don't understand why Monsanto should need legislation for protection if, in fact, what they are doing is "harmless".
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 4, 2014
8:27 PM

Post #9805162

Bird,
i have heard, but never bothered to confirm, that Snopes is not impartial.. But frivolous lawsuits can drain a companies assets and hinder progress in areas where we need new methods and products to increase the food supply. As far as i know, no actual damage has ever been shown to be caused by GMO or GE. And if it was dangerous, i would think it would be well known by now.

And to go back to your prior post, where you suggested GMO should be considered dangerous until proven harmless. isn't that similar to being considered guilty until we can prove we are innocent?, That is not the American way;

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 4, 2014
8:50 PM

Post #9805169

Ernie said "And to go back to your prior post, where you suggested GMO should be considered dangerous until proven harmless. isn't that similar to being considered guilty until we can prove we are innocent?, That is not the American way;"

So you don't think that drug companies should do extensive testing before releasing a product for sale? After all, the products are innocent until proved guilty, according to your reasoning. But thankfully no one applies the same standards to pharmaceuticals as they do to someone accused of a crime. The point of drug testing is to ensure that products are safe. The difference between drugs and GMOs, however, is that people with ties to the GE industry have promoted the concept that GMOs are not substantially different from regular foods and therefore don't need the same sort of rigorous and longitudinal testing that pharmaceuticals undergo. But 90-day trials aren't sufficient to show subtle or insidious long-term effects, and that's what people who don't want to eat GMOs are concerned about.

With the proliferation of GMO food products it is becoming more and more difficult for organic farmers to retain their certification due to the cross-contamination that GMO companies insisted would never happen. In that case there will be no other choices but GMOs available to the consumer. That is a true disservice to those of us who wish not to consume them. We have rights, too.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 5, 2014
9:42 AM

Post #9805476

G G,

That is stretching what i said so far that it sounds like a desperation move on your part.

Nothing i said in any way refers to products not being tested. Every human and every animal that has ever eaten a bite of GMO food has been a test. None of them have been shown to be harmed. And i am sure Monsanto did tests of their own, the nuts on your side of the fence have tested and tested an not found anything dangerous yet. So, i do think GMO products should be considereed safe until at least a little bit of proof that they are unsafe is documented.

And comparing GMO plants which are combinations of plant material or combinant chemicals, none of which have been proven dangerous, to Drugs, which are often combinations of known dangerous components is another desperate stretch.

A Doctor told me that most medical drugs are designed to kill somethiing, and taking too much of any of them may kill a personl, So it is perfectly sensible to do extensive testing on Drugs to be sure the right dosage is used.

Keep hoping and searching though, and maybe GMOs will eventually do some damage and then you will have a usable argument.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 5, 2014
1:22 PM

Post #9805612

Ernie, drop the sarcasm. It has no place on this thread; if you can't be courteous please don't post. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 5, 2014
3:25 PM

Post #9805677

Dear GG,

Please Practice what you Preach.

Sincerely,
Ernie

This message was edited Apr 5, 2014 6:39 PM
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2014
4:14 PM

Post #9805697

A couple thoughts on GMO contamination of neighboring fields.

1) I doubt very much that any sane person or company would declare that pollen from one corn field would not or could not contaminate a neighbor's corn field. No one who grows corn would ever believe that claim. It's like claiming that Monsanto told someone the Easter Bunny was real. This assertion has all the earmarks of legend to me.

2) Everyone who has EVER planted corn knows that an adjacent crop of corn, whether a neighbor's or simply another variety in the same garden, can easily pollinate a corn crop and cause it to not come true. This has nothing to do with GMO and everything to do with the fact that corn is wind pollinated. Cross contamination is and always has been an issue with corn.

3) If it is true that Monsanto sues farmers whose crops were contaminated by pollen from Monsanto GMO crops, Monsanto should shoot their CEO and legal staff. That's just plain lousy PR and stupidity as well.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 5, 2014
5:12 PM

Post #9805725

Willy,

All i know about GMO is what I have learned from GG, but what you say makes sense, since birds and bees, along with the breeze can certainly spread the pollen.

But as i dimly recall, Monsanto was suing farmers that kept seed from GMO plants for planting the next year, to save money by not buying new GMO seed, Protecting expensive patents seems to make sense, even to Apple and Micosoft.

And with the cost of Lawyers, I would doubt anyone with any sense would sue over small amounts of stray pollination.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 5, 2014
7:24 PM

Post #9805810

Claims like those made by ncredbird (above) are why I am slowly becoming disenchanted with the whole organic/environmental movement. Let me stress here that my entire heart and mind WANT to believe that organic agriculture and groups like the Sierra Club are 100% right. Unfortunately, far too much of what the “greens” say is total, unsupported BS.

Snopes is a reliable site in my experience. Interestingly, Snopes does not confirm what ncredbird claims. First, Snopes gives this claim a rating of “mixture”, which is to say it is partly true (and therefore also partly misleading or false).

Just to be clear, there is no bill called “The Monsanto Protection Act”. Snopes explains that an agriculture bill included a rider technically called Section 735 that detractors have labeled “The Monsanto Protection Act” (also the “Farmer Assurance Act”). The rider, according to Snopes, either allows (per the rider’s pro-GMO sponsors) “that the Farmer Assurance Provision prevents activists from manipulating the court system to force farmers to abandon or destroy genetically modified (GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) crops that have already received U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety approval” or (per the GMO opponents) “Congress kowtowed to big business by sneaking into an appropriations bill a provision that allows large biotech companies like Monsanto to do an end run around the court system and avoid legitimate legal challenges to the safety of their products”.

In any event, President Obama signed the bill into law—jeez, the Prez in in Monsanto’s pocket, too!!!

Also, a careful reading of the info on Snopes does not confirm that: “The "Monsanto Protection Act" effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds — which has been driven by the massive Monsanto Company — and their exploding use in farms across America came on fast and has proved a huge boon for Monsanto's profits.” The preceding quote actually comes from an unspecified opponent of the rider, it is not a statement of fact by Snopes. If you want to read part of the text of the bill, it is on the Snopes site (here: http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp). Note once again, the sleezy “outrageous profit-type” claims, which are not borne out by the facts as represented by Monsanto’s stock price history.

To summarize quickly, the rider says that the courts cannot prevent use of AN ALREADY APPROVED GMO just because a court case is/has been filed or is being adjudicated. An analogy—let’s say your neighbor sues you to prevent you from engaging in a lawful act on your own property and the neighbor claims your actions are negatively affecting him/her. You disagree. Per the anti-GMO crowd logic, you should be forced to stop your actions JUST BECAUSE the neighbor filed suit. Per the intent of the bill, you should be allowed to continue whatever it was you were doing UNTIL the judge rules. What do you think is right here? BTW, who could reasonably believe that a company that sells a product that is causing health damage could ever be protected in perpetuity from law suits?! Asbestos manufacturers?

If the information on Snopes is still correct, the provisions of the rider expired on 15 December, 2013.

And another point—GMOs ARE tested, thoroughly—to the tune of roughly $250 million and ten years of testing PER GMO crop. No GMO is released for use without extensive testing. There is NO testing required for any other crop or breeding method, including crops that are chemically mutated (can you say Bob’s Red Mill triticale?) or those that are mutated via radiation.

My creationist experience once again applies. If you EVER see a claim of science on a creationist (or, it appears, an anti-GMO) website, assume it is at best a distortion and most likely an outright lie. Research the claim—do not ever assume it is true.

Speaking of anti-GMO claims, I see that Zen Honeycutt of Mom’s Across America still insists the “stunning corn comparison” is valid (Google it if you don’t know what I’m talking about), despite its inanity and obvious untruth. I guess if one already knows the truth, facts don’t matter.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 5, 2014
7:44 PM

Post #9805820

Willy,

I do not have the patience to research and point out a lot of the nonsense, but I, and i am sure a lot of others appreciate your taking the time to do it.

I have seen the claim about the Monsato Protection Act many times and assumed it was not true, so you did confirm what commonsense and a fair understanding of how the laws work had indicated.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2014
6:26 AM

Post #9805976

What has been called "The Monsanto Protection Act" has expired. Obama was forced to approve it because it was tied inextricably to a general budget bill which couldn't be postponed without doing serious harm to people and programs. However, he did promise when he was elected that he would push for GMO labelling, and supporters are upset that this hasn't happened.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2014
7:16 AM

Post #9806019

GG, Are yuou sure Obama signed a budget? It seems to me we have been operating with a continuing resoloution for his term because the Senate has not passed a budget for several years.

I think he has failed tto keep some of his other promises too, that were even more important than GMOs/

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2014
7:40 AM

Post #9806037

From Snopes.com:

"On 26 March 2013, President Obama signed into law a bill passed by the House and Senate earlier that month known as the "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013" to provide funding for various federal agencies through the end of the 2013 fiscal year. One of the provisions included in that bill in the section for "Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and related agencies" was Section 735, variously dubbed the "Farmer Assurance Provision" or the "‘Monsanto Protection Act," an inclusion which reignited a clash between the agribusiness industry and food safety groups. The former maintains that the Farmer Assurance Provision prevents activists from manipulating the court system to force farmers to abandon or destroy genetically modified (GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) crops that have already received U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) safety approval; the latter assert that Congress kowtowed to big business by sneaking into an appropriations bill a provision that allows large biotech companies like Monsanto to do an end run around the court system and avoid legitimate legal challenges to the safety of their products:
Not only has anger been directed at the Monsanto Protection Act's content, but the way in which the provision was passed through Congress without appropriate review by the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees. The biotech rider instead was introduced anonymously as the larger bill progressed — little wonder food activists are accusing lobbyists and Congress members of backroom dealings.

The Food Democracy Now and the Center for Food are directing blame at the Senate Appropriations Committee and its chairman, Sen. Barbara Mikulski. According to reports, many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the "Monsanto Protection Act" even existed within the spending bill, HR 933; they voted [for the bill] in order to avert a government shutdown.
The "Farmer Assurance Provision" is not new to 2013: it was also part of the initial draft of a FY2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill in June 2012. The text of the provision (Section 735) states that:
In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary’s evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner: Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary's authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.
The provision directs the Secretary of Agriculture to grant temporary deregulation status to allow growers to continue the cultivation of biotech crops that had previously been approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) while legal challenges to the safety of those crops are underway, and it prevents courts from interceding in the review process — a situation which critics contend unconstitutionally bars the court system from taking part in ensuring the safety of food products:
The "Monsanto Protection Act" effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds — which has been driven by the massive Monsanto Company — and their exploding use in farms across America came on fast and has proved a huge boon for Monsanto's profits.

But many anti-GMO folks argue there have not been enough studies into the potential health risks of this new class of crop. Well, now it appears that even if those studies are completed and they end up revealing severe adverse health effects related to the consumption of genetically modified foods, the courts will have no ability to stop the spread of the seeds and the crops they bear.
The American Soybean Association (ASA) and other major agricultural associations expressed support for the provision in 2012, stating that it "addresses a costly vulnerability in the regulatory process for biotechnology that is discouraging innovation in agriculture and unnecessarily putting farmers at financial risk" by allowing biotech opponents to mount challenges to GE crop approvals based on procedural, rather than scientific, issues:
Opponents of agricultural biotechnology have repeatedly filed suits against USDA on procedural grounds in order to disrupt the regulatory process and undermine the science-based regulation of such products. These lawsuits have also created tremendous resource constraints for
USDA and have resulted in significant delays in approval of new, innovative products that will help growers provide Americans with an abundant and economical food supply while remaining competitive in the world market.

[This provision] provides certainty to growers with respect to their planting decisions. If enacted, growers would be assured that the crops they plant could continue to be grown, subject to appropriate interim conditions, even after a judicial ruling against USDA. The inclusion of [this provision] is a positive step to ensure that U.S. farmers and our food chain are shielded from supply disruptions caused by litigation over procedural issues unrelated to sound science or the safety of biotech crops. This legislative solution ensures that national agricultural policy is not being decided by the court system while providing a level of certainty that is critical to ensure that our agricultural producers continue to lead the world.
Dozens of food and consumer groups opposed the provision on the grounds that it was unnecessary and undermined the judiciary's authority to regulate the growing of genetically engineered crops:
Reeling from federal court decisions that have found approvals of several genetically engineered (GE) crops to be unlawful, the biotech industry has quietly slipped a policy rider into the FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill now being debated in the House Appropriations Committee. The provision would strip federal courts of the authority to halt the sale and planting of an illegal, potentially hazardous GE crop while the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) assesses those potential hazards. Further, it would compel USDA to allow continued planting of that same crop upon request, even if in the course of its assessment the Department finds that it poses previously unrecognized risks. Far from safeguarding farmers, the only parties whose interests are "assured" by this rider are those of GE crop developers.

The "farmer assurance provision" has very little to do with farmers and everything to do with the developers of GE crops. It would strip the Judiciary of its authority to fully adjudicate violations of law by USDA and compel USDA to take actions that might harm farmers and the environment — all to "assure" the profits of a handful of biotech companies, including Monsanto, Dow and Bayer CropScience.

Every court that has reversed a USDA decision to approve a GE crop has carefully weighed the interests of all affected farmers, as is already required by law. No farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed. USDA already has working mechanisms in place to allow partial approvals, and the Department has used them, making this provision completely unnecessary.
The provisions of this bill (including the "Monsanto Protection Act") were originally to remain in effect for six months, until the end of the fiscal year on 30 September 2013. The bill was later extended to expire on 15 December 2013.
Read more at http://www.snopes.com/politics/business/mpa.asp#E4C4Pf8PPX9oydCr.99"

And from CBS News:

"Seeking a "balance" to the newly minted law, Food Democracy Now has shifted its tactics to encouraging supporters to sign and send letters to Mr. Obama, chiding him for signing the legislation despite that refusal to do so would have expired the federal budget and triggered a government-wide shutdown this week."
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 6, 2014
8:30 AM

Post #9806082

Ernie--to clarify. This bill was not a "budget". Someone else may have more details than I know, but I am pretty sure that this White House has never submitted a budget on time and that Congress has not passed a budget for at least several years. Instead, they do "continuing resolutions" and such in place of doing a true budget. I don't really understand it well and should do more research. Corrections to my comments are welcome and probably necessary.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 6, 2014
8:49 AM

Post #9806109

GG--the Snopes article contains excerpts from organizations who opposed the legislation. The excerpts are indented and are not part of the "Snope's opinion"; they are, for lack of better words, "supporting info" for the Snopes' decision to say the original claim (printed below) was only partly true. I wish Snopes had made more clear who the writers were. There is a list of sources at the bottom of the Snopes page, but attribution is missing for the specific excerpts.

The Snopes "claim": "I received an email regarding The Monsanto Protection Act is this true? On March 21st, Congress passed The Monsanto Protection Act that was slipped into a short term budget resolution. This dangerous rider found in Section 735 of the bill would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review of genetically-engineered crops, allowing them to be planted without federal safeguards in place that protect our environment, family farmers and citizens. Call President Obama today; tell him to strike section 735 from the 2013 Continuing Resolution. Add your voice to the groundswell in response to this dangerous bill! Together we WILL be setting right this gross imbalance!"

So the above claim is what Snopes says is partly true.

I'm sure it's true that Obama would rather not have signed that particular rider into law. It's true for pretty much every bill that passes Congress that riders are attached, which is why some keep saying we need a line item veto. Every President signs bills that contain parts he wishes weren't present.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 6, 2014
9:17 AM

Post #9806119

I just did a bit of research on the claim that Monsanto sues farmers whose crops were accidentally cross pollinated by a Monsanto GMO. It turns out that the claim is not true. It is also not true that Monsanto sells "Terminator" seeds. Again, the anti-GMO literature and websites are often full of misinformation.

One more note: My earlier comment about Obama signing the bill and being in Monsanto's pocket was a dig at those who think Monsanto controls "everything".
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2014
1:39 PM

Post #9806237

Willy,
We have exactly the same understanding. Since it was politically ujnpalatable for the Senate to produce a Budget while so much over spending was being done, in order to keep the Government operating each year they would agree to continue the funding without preparing a new budget.. There is slight truncation apparently of the the terminology, and what I referred to as a "Continuring Resolution", is perhaps more exact to say the Senate passed a Resolution to Continue the existing Appropriations.

But the term promoted by the Anti GMO group, "Monsanto Protection Act" is similar to pejorious terms some groups use, like Eco Nuts, and as such, that only serves partisan postions.

So, the only commment i have after reading the full article posted by GG, is that it does, in fact, protect thousands of Farmers, and only one Monsanto, as the farmers would be devastated, since that is their sole income, while GMO is only one of many income sources Monsanto has.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 6, 2014
2:16 PM

Post #9806270

Willy, I got that Snopes was quoting. I just pasted the whole thing in the Reply box because I thought it was clearer that way.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 6, 2014
5:41 PM

Post #9806438

GG--OK, sorry to assume otherwise, but I just wanted to be sure. Good idea on your part.

I do think once the article is pasted into DG that the fact that the indentations disappear makes interpretation harder. I actually tried to bold and indent a section and, when pasted, it all went bye-bye.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2014
6:34 PM

Post #9806482

There are lots of problems posting on this site that i do not have normally. When i am replying to an intricate post like some of Rick's i like to do my typing on Office Word, but when i paste it on to here, it all mushes together, and makes it easier to misunterstand.

Ernie

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 6, 2014
6:55 PM

Post #9806490

Ernie--Amen! And on top of that, the written word is harder to pick up nuances from than face-to-face speech. Thank goodness for lols and such.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 6, 2014
7:21 PM

Post #9806510

Willy,
For sure, misunderstandings are far too common. Kind of a toss up between writing it out and face to face, because the verbal misunderstandings are harder to resolve, At least when it is written down, you can go back and see where the trail was lost. And the misunderstandings seem more frequent when feelings run high like they do in some of the discussions.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2014
7:35 PM

Post #9806522

Good points Ernie and Willy.

Can you imagine if a judge ordered that no GMO's could be planted? Thats like 80-90% of the corn and soybean crops left unplanted. Just think of what would happen to the price of those commodities, the shortages, the chaos. The legislation had very little to do with aiding Monsanto. And that is why Obama signed it.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2014
5:30 AM

Post #9806674

I understood that Obama signed it because he couldn't separate that provision from the rest of the bill which was necessary to maintain vital programs. I didn't see anything which would have suggested that he signed it because he approved of the GMO piece. Maybe I missed something.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 7, 2014
7:37 AM

Post #9806801

I do not believe Presidents ever have the power to add or remove items from any legislation. That was decided by the Supreme Court's decisiion on the Line Item Veto. But on a Continuing Resolution , maybe no one can change anything, as the agreement presumably just continues paying the bills as before.

But allowing the entire farming industry to be shut down until something that has not been shown to be harmful can be proven safe would have to be one of the dumbest things that ever came out of Washington..GMO is a small part of Monsanto's income, but modern farms usually have one main crop, so that would put a lot of farmers out of business.

It seems when movements like the Spotted Owl or the Anti GMO, the proponents become so foused on their narrow concerns they do not give any thought to the damage they may be causing to everyone else. It seems so unreasonable to me. WHERE is the common sense?

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 7, 2014
9:15 AM

Post #9806917

GG/Ernie--I agree with you that Obama "had" to sign the bill and that it is not possible to separate out sections that he disagreed with because we have no line item veto. Again, this is something every president faces on probably almost every single bill that is signed. Riders that may have little chance of passing on their own, or that might put a sponsor in a bad light if considered on their own, get attached to a larger bill that "must" be passed.

I can't bring to mind any good examples right now, but this situation is often used to target a politician who voted for or signed a bill that contains a rider like this. In this case, say, someone could target Obama--or anyone who voted for the bill--as being "pro-GMO" or "in Monsanto's pocket" because the bill contained this rider. Anytime one hears that a politician voted for something that seems unlikely, look to see if the item in question was a rider like this. Sadly, politicians know no shame.

Having said the above, this particular rider seems sensible to me.

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 7, 2014
9:37 AM

Post #9806943

Whew--I just did a quick Google search for "Obama position on GMOs". The "green" element is certainly lambasting him for signing the bill. I scanned through three pages of hit results without finding a reasonable sounding article to read. Based on the articles I did look through, my gut feeling is that Obama is probably not a serious objector to GMOs (he is likely fine with GMOs imo), but has stated he favors labeling as a way of straddling the fence so as not to anger anti-GMO supporters without actually doing anything about the issue. As Prez, he has certainly not made labeling an issue.

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 7, 2014
10:36 AM

Post #9806991

No, and people are upset because he campaigned on labeling GMOs. However, I have seen lots of information on why he had to sign the bill, often on sites run by environmental groups. People do try to be fair, although that may not come up on a quick Google search.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 7, 2014
10:51 AM

Post #9807005

Unfortunately for our Country, Obama, and too many other politcians do not care whether GG dies from eating GMO, or thousands of farmers go broke because GMOs are banned. His only concern about people is how they vote and how much money they donate to his Party's campaign.

So he will make a few promises and then count the votes, and the Anti GMO group, being outnumbered, do not get much sympathy or help from him.

Too bad, but it is our fault because we elect our Presidents on what they promise and not on what they do.

Remember that perfume advertisement, "Promise Her Anything, but Give her Arpege" . Politicians do that but give us something else that does not smell like Arpege.

Ernie
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 7, 2014
11:02 AM

Post #9807010

If Obama had wanted to do anything about GMO or anything else, his only way as President, would have been by LEADING the Congress to enact the legislation he wanted passed.

And there are many things much more important than GMO, Like the Economy and the Debt, that need leadership, so while the GMO matter is of importance to some people, it is relatively small among the problems we have as a Country, that are not being taken care of.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 7, 2014
12:32 PM

Post #9807069

I'm pretty sure Obama supports GMO's and understands the significant benefits the technologies provide. Though I agree he is probably for labeling. Would be nice to have something official on his policy.

Again he hasnt proposed any bill to my knowledge to change anything from they way it is currently.

WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 7, 2014
5:01 PM

Post #9807278

Curses to you all for getting me started on this subject!!! :«)

Anyway, in my random meanderings around the web in search of GMO thoughts, I stumbled into the "Food Babe", another collection of inane, anti-science presented as sensible health concerns. The topic here is actually her objection to microwave ovens and the source is a web site mocking her (here: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/scam-stud/), but it seemed somewhat relevant to our GMO topic, so I thought I'd post a Food Babe thought regarding microwaves ovens, which, it turns out (or not) affect the way that water molecules freeze (I am not making this up). Anyway, the quote from the Food Babe:

"Last by not least, Dr. Masaru Emoto, who is famous for taking pictures of various types of waters and the crystals that they formed in the book called “Hidden Messages in Water,” found water that was microwaved did not form beautiful crystals – but instead formed crystals similar to those formed when exposed to negative thoughts or beliefs. If this is happening to just water – I can only imagine what a microwave is doing to the nutrients, energy of our food and to our bodies when we consume microwaved food. For the experiment pictured above, microwaved water produced a similar physical structure to when the words “satan” and “hitler” were repeatedly exposed to the water. This fact is probably too hokey for most people – but I wanted to include it because sometimes the things we can’t see with the naked eye or even fully comprehend could be the most powerful way to unlock spontaneous healing."

Enjoy!

Willy

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 7, 2014
5:17 PM

Post #9807288

hahaha...she doesn't watch Mythbusters.
I'm sure you've heard the 'fact' that microwaved water won't sprout seeds. Very easily tested but many people would repeat the fact and not test it out first.

"Unfortunately for our Country, Obama, and too many other politcians do not care whether GG dies from eating GMO, or thousands of farmers go broke because GMOs are banned. His only concern about people is how they vote and how much money they donate to his Party's campaign."

agreed
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 7, 2014
6:00 PM

Post #9807318

I confess to having fun mocking folks who are anti-science and afraid of everything that smack of modern technology, but I have a reason (many reasons, actually) for this. Anti-science kills. A neighbor came down with cancer a few years ago. He was inclined to frequently disparage "Big Pharma" and Big Medicine" (big money-grubbing business in general), so, with some encouragement from an acquaintance of his, instead of seeking medical help from the actual medical community--those who spend their lives learning about real facts and actually try to cure people, he chose to go to Mexico to see an "alternative" doctor (an herbalist, I think, but am not sure). I understand he paid $5,000 to this "doctor". You can see where this is heading--he did not get well and, in the end, he went back to a "real" doctor. It was too late and he died a few months later. He was over age 65, so you and I paid for his belated (wasted) medical bills after the Mexico quack failed. To make the story even worse, the "friend" who encouraged the quack remedy came down with cancer soon after. Apparently chastised, this "friend" immediately sought real medical care in this country--no trips to Mexico--and is now in remission.

To be clear, this IS NOT an attack on Mexican medicine. The particular quack in question just happened to live in Mexico. We have plenty of quacks in America. Food Babe and Zen Honeycutt come immediately to mind.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 7, 2014
6:40 PM

Post #9807364

Willy,

On "Your curses to all, for getting you involved", I frequntly ask my self why i waste so much time just trying to add a little bit of reason and common sense on some of these discussions, when it is obvious they are not looking for the truth, just confirmation.

And all i have been able to come up with for an excuse is, I just have too much time on my hands.

Ernie

sallyg

sallyg
Anne Arundel,, MD
(Zone 7b)

April 8, 2014
5:22 AM

Post #9807558

well Ernie, there are few people I am connected to in real time that care about these issues enough for prolonged discussion. And this method allows a prolonged discussion, which could not happen in my real life, unless I found a similar group and made time for lunch once a week with them. Even then, I tend to listen more than talk, and would not get my 2 cents in ever. Till that happens, I think this is a fine way to exercise our skills of persuasion, communication, analyzing written material etc. A good brain game , maybe.

I think many people have already identified themselves internally (Skeptic, Free Thinker, Logical, etc) and then choose a side on many issues which supports that position. This identity could and probably does change over lifetime, I know as a 20 yr old I thought I 'knew better!'

By the way, a Hopkins doctor was on our local radio saying brain games like Lumosity don't work. He does take DHA and tells his family to also.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 8, 2014
8:37 AM

Post #9807698

Sally,

Lack of Discussion gets worse as you get older and outlive not only your enemies, but also your friends. So you are correct, these discussions do keep our minds working.

What is DHA?

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2014
11:20 AM

Post #9807796

A serious and sincere question: What is the nature of the threat by which the technology known as GMO inherently produce a dangerous or unhealthy product? Or, why would being a GMO automatically equal "not safe"? All life shares many genes--we have much in common genetically with even plants.

Somewhat off topic: Occasionally at times through several of these somewhat related threads, comment has been made as to how it can be that intelligent people can have such different beliefs, especially with regard to politics and religion. I read an interesting book entitled "The Righteous Mind" a year or so ago by a social psychologist named Jonathan Haidt who documents how people process information differently and how they have certain "value" differences that explain political leanings. I thought the book was interesting and worth reading. Just yesterday, I heard of a book by John Hibbing (and others) called "Predisposed" wherein they discuss their findings that there are actually biological differences between "liberals" and "conservatives". I am going to get a copy and read it, then I'll maybe know why so many of you think wrong. LOL--just kidding
Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 8, 2014
12:05 PM

Post #9807813

Ah, good, Now that the 'science' parts of GMO and kindred subjects have been hashed /bashed pretty good here, we can move to philosophical probings...like, "why do mass shootings in our country seem to happen in gun free zones?"...just kidding.

DHA may be new to me. I have heard of DHEA though. I believe many nutrients can be healthful, but for most of us most of the time a single item has limits.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 8, 2014
12:14 PM

Post #9807816

The World just turned upside down.

I saw on TV this morning that a big new study has shown that Vegetarians or people that do not eat meat have a 50% greater chance of dying from Cancer and Heart attacks than do people that eat meat.

I am sure the people that believed Red Meat was the cause off death will dispute this.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2014
1:23 PM

Post #9807872

A very true statement is "nutrition science is in its infancy". A corollary, "doing nutrition science is extraordinarily difficult as there are so many variables and interactions to consider, not to mention the difficulty of finding and accurately monitoring what people eat".

The above is not meant to disparage nutrition science; it's just an acknowledgement of the issues it faces.

Ernie--the news you saw is stunning (not to be confused with "stunning corn comparisons"). The last news I caught that was that contrary to popular belief was one a few months ago that found taking vitamin supplements was pretty worthless.

I'll be long gone before we can be confident about nutritional guidance. I do believe eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies is probably good. I also believe that eating some meat is important since it is part of our evolutionary heritage. Isn't it B12 that is pretty much nowhere to be found except in meat?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 8, 2014
3:19 PM

Post #9807944

Willy,.

I recall the news about Vitamins but did not hear much followup after that, I have tried them at different times but the only one that i could feel did any noticeable difference was the large doses of melt in your mouth B-12, and that gave me energy when I badly needed it. Otherwise, just never made much difference.

I just saw that about the Meat on the News today, so it will be interesting to see the Study blessed and cursed, depending on how it affects peoples income or beliefs.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 8, 2014
4:15 PM

Post #9807982

Below is an abstract I copied from a National Institutes of Health website (here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9677052). It makes a number of important points:
1) About half of all chemicals tested on rodents prove to be rodent carcinogens
2) Rodent testing is conducted at the MTD (Maximum Tolerable Dose), which is far above any reasonable consumption rate, way far above.
3) Cancer death rates in the US are declining if lung cancer (mostly caused by smoking) is excluded
4) 99.99% of the pesticides we eat are naturally present in plants
5) More than half of the chemicals in coffee that have been tested (19 of 28) are rodent carcinogens
6) Coffee contains more than 1,000 “chemicals”.
7) There are more rodent carcinogens in a single cup of coffee than potentially carcinogenic pesticide residues in an average American’s diet in a year.
Some other things I’ve learned recently (if I re-find the sources, I’ll post the links)
1) The strains of rodents used for carcinogen testing have been intentionally bred to exhibit a high propensity for developing tumors. This characteristic makes it “easy” to detect potential carcinogens. Some researchers fear that the tumor propensity is getting so high that testing these rodents for carcinogens will be pointless because the rodents will always develop cancer.
2) Only 70% of the chemicals shown to produce cancer in rats also produce cancer in mice. What percent also produce cancer in humans is unknown because humans don’t consume the MTD, or anywhere close to it.
Moral of the story: The dose makes the poison.
Here is the NIH abstract:
The idea that synthetic chemicals such as DDT are major contributors to human cancer has been inspired, in part, by Rachel Carson's passionate book, Silent Spring. This chapter discusses evidence showing why this is not true. We also review research on the causes of cancer, and show why much cancer is preventable. Epidemiological evidence indicates several factors likely to have a major effect on reducing rates of cancer: reduction of smoking, increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, and control of infections. Other factors are avoidance of intense sun exposure, increases in physical activity, and reduction of alcohol consumption and possibly red meat. Already, risks of many forms of cancer can be reduced and the potential for further reductions is great. If lung cancer (which is primarily due to smoking) is excluded, cancer death rates are decreasing in the United States for all other cancers combined. Pollution appears to account for less than 1% of human cancer; yet public concern and resource allocation for chemical pollution are very high, in good part because of the use of animal cancer tests in cancer risk assessment. Animal cancer tests, which are done at the maximum tolerated dose (MTD), are being misinterpreted to mean that low doses of synthetic chemicals and industrial pollutants are relevant to human cancer. About half of the chemicals tested, whether synthetic or natural, are carcinogenic to rodents at these high doses. A plausible explanation for the high frequency of positive results is that testing at the MTD frequently can cause chronic cell killing and consequent cell replacement, a risk factor for cancer that can be limited to high doses. Ignoring this greatly exaggerates risks. Scientists must determine mechanisms of carcinogenesis for each substance and revise acceptable dose levels as understanding advances. The vast bulk of chemicals ingested by humans is natural. For example, 99.99% of the pesticides we eat are naturally present in plants to ward off insects and other predators. Half of these natural pesticides tested at the MTD are rodent carcinogens. Reducing exposure to the 0.01% that are synthetic will not reduce cancer rates. On the contrary, although fruits and vegetables contain a wide variety of naturally-occurring chemicals that are rodent carcinogens, inadequate consumption of fruits and vegetables doubles the human cancer risk for most types of cancer. Making them more expensive by reducing synthetic pesticide use will increase cancer. Humans also ingest large numbers of natural chemicals from cooking food. Over a thousand chemicals have been reported in roasted coffee: more than half of those tested (19/28) are rodent carcinogens. There are more rodent carcinogens in a single cup of coffee than potentially carcinogenic pesticide residues in the average American diet in a year, and there are still a thousand chemicals left to test in roasted coffee. This does not mean that coffee is dangerous but rather that animal cancer tests and worst-case risk assessment, build in enormous safety factors and should not be considered true risks. The reason humans can eat the tremendous variety of natural chemical "rodent carcinogens" is that humans, like other animals, are extremely well protected by many general defense enzymes, most of which are inducible (i.e., whenever a defense enzyme is in use, more of it is made). Since the defense enzymes are equally effective against natural and synthetic chemicals one does not expect, nor does one find, a general difference between synthetic and natural chemicals in ability to cause cancer in high-dose rodent tests. The idea that there is an epidemic of human cancer caused by synthetic industrial chemicals is false. In addition, there is a steady rise in life expectancy in the developed countries. Linear extrapolation from the maximum tolerated dose in rodents to low level exposure in humans has led to grossly exaggerated mortality forecasts.

AAARRRGGGHHHHHH! I must cease this obsession of mine. I know--it's happy hour!
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 8, 2014
5:07 PM

Post #9808012

Willy,

I just fininshed my Happy Hour and while doing so, i saw something i am going to post over Climate Change.

The discussion we have been having is moving up from the Amateurs to the Professionals/


Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 9, 2014
9:16 AM

Post #9808465

Interesting comments:

Salk Institute scientist reveals why he opposes GMOs
IN LETTER TO MEXICO’S PRESIDENT

Lic. Enrique Peña Nieto

Presidente de la República Mexicana

Palacio Nacional Edif. 10 P.B.
Col. Centro, Del. Cuauhtémoc, C.P. 06067 México, D.F. enrique.penanieto@presidencia.gob.mx

Lic. Enrique Martínez y Martínez
Secretario de Agricultura, Ganadería, Desarrollo Rural, Pesca y Alimentación
 Avenida Municipio Libre 377
Col. Santa Cruz Atoyac, Del. Benito Juárez, C.P. 03310 México, D.F.
enrique.martinez@sagarpa.gob.mx

Ing. Juan José Guerra Abud

Secretario de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales

Blvd. Adolfo Ruiz Cortines 4209
Col. Jardines en la Montaña, Del. Tlalpan, C.P. 14210 México, D.F.
juanjoseguerra@semarnat.gob.mx

My name is David Schubert. I have a doctorate in immunology and serve as a Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, considered one of the top medical research institutions in the world. As a member of this institution I actively work on the development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s and stroke. Therefore, I possess first-hand knowledge of molecular genetics, toxicology and safety testing involving new chemical and biological entities. I am also knowledgeable about the technology of genetically modified organisms (GMOs ) and have published articles in leading scientific journals on GM plants and their effect on human health.

Recently, I've written letters, like this one, that have contributed to the debate on the introduction of GM eggplant in India and Bangladesh. In both cases, the process of introduction [of the transgenic varieties] has been suspended. Since eggplant is native to these countries, just as corn is a native crop of Mexico, the situations and problems related to the use of GM technology in both regions are nearly identical.

Therefore, I am convinced of the need for Mexico to follow the advice of scientific panels of scientists and government review in India, Bangladesh, the European Union, Japan, South Korea and the vast majority of the free countries of the world, and reject the introduction of transgenic maize. This conclusion is based on several reasons discussed below.

Points 1 through 5 are exceptionally important but have been treated by other people. I will focus, then, on the impact of GM maize on human health, which falls within my area of ​​expertise. To my knowledge, the following statements are documented in scientific and government publications:
1) No necessity. The [diverse] corn crop [in Mexico] is not severely threatened by pest infestations.

2) High environmental risk. Corn is native to Mexico and transgenes will unquestionably pollute and degrade its natural populations. In addition, Mexico is the center of biodiversity and a global treasure of plant varieties capable of fighting disease and climate change. These capabilities would be diminished if GM seeds are introduced into their territory.

3) Higher costs. The annual purchase of seeds, as opposed to seed saving, will increase production costs at all levels of the food chain. Small farmers and peasants, who are the most important nodes of the agricultural production system in Mexico, will be most affected by the high costs and potential crop failures because some varieties of GM maize are not the most appropriate in all planting sites. The transgenes entering the local populations eventually contaminate all local varieties.

4) Social and political dependency. Once the foreign companies control the seed market for any plant [in Mexico] they will continue introducing GM seeds of other species and therefore wield enormous power through political processes over the peasants who constitute a large segment of the Mexican population. This has already happened in the U.S. where the seed companies are the main financial support of both political parties (Republicans and Democrats) and have designated persons in positions of high power to dictate national and international agricultural policies.

5) Irreversible. When GM maize is introduced into Mexico, even on a small scale, it will irreversibly contaminate native varieties. This is unequivocal and the only way to prevent it is to not allow GMO plantings.

6) Bt proteins pose human health risks. Transgenic corn expressing the Bt crystal proteins is also resistant to herbicides so the chemicals required for cultivation are compound the threat to the health of those who consume it. I delve into these issues that are of great importance for a country like Mexico where maize is consumed in large quantities and often un a manner involving little or no processing. However, I would first like to dispel some myths that are used by the proponents of GM maize to argue that this is harmless.
It is claimed that, as there is no human illness associated with the consumption of Bt corn in the United States, it should be a safe food to eat. This conclusion is invalid for several reasons. In the first place, only a small fraction of Bt corn produced [in the U.S.] is consumed directly: the vast majority is used as livestock feed and to produce [vegetable] oil, high fructose syrup, and ethanol; none of these products contain the Bt proteins. The corn consumed that has Bt proteins is more than anything else likely to be eaten as an ingredient in a highly processed food, e.g., chips and other snacks that are not [supposed to be] important components of a [healthy] diet.

In contrast, the Bt proteins of GM maize cultivated in Mexico would be consumed directly and in larger quantities because corn is the staple food and is therefore an important element of the Mexican diet. Additionally, according to the richness of traditional food, GM maize will be prepared following an infinite number of recipes leading to potential chemical changes of Bt proteins and causing unknown toxicity and immunogenicity effects. In this regard, even if there have been some studies of GM maize food safety, these have not controlled for the health effects [we surmise may be associated] with different methods of food preparation [like we would expect to be the case in Mexico’s more diverse recipes involving corn].

Second, it is logically false to assert that since there is no evidence of disease related to the consumption of GM products, that these are therefore safe for human health. [This is not a scientific statement and] Making such an assertion requires a well-designed experiment with proper controls [and has not been done.] Moreover, this problem is more serious because the foods derived from GM crops will not be labeled as such [so controlled studies are nearly impossible].

Therefore, perhaps the greatest concern about the introduction of any GM product on the market should be that, even when it causes harm to human health, it would be impossible to detect due to the lack of epidemiological studies and technical limitations. For example, to detect a disease epidemic requires an incidence of at least twice the normal rate. If the GM maize was harmful and caused a disease like Parkinson’s, which has an incidence rate of almost 20 new cases per year per 100,000 people, then in Mexico some 25,000 annual new cases would be diagnosed and tabulated to identify a significant increase and yet there is no way to associate the disease directly with some GM crop consumption.

Furthermore, the symptoms of many diseases related to environmental factors take decades to appear [and are therefore cumulative effects]. Clearly, once the GM maize is released commercially there will be no way to monitor adverse health effects caused by the product itself. Biotech companies are aware that for this reason they will never be held accountable for the damage to human health that their products might cause.

Most varieties of GM maize are modified to be insect-resistant (Bt varieties) or herbicide-resistant (e.g., glyphosate). Bt protein and glyphosate have been documented to cause damage to human health which will be discussed separately [for each transgenic technology] in the following paragraphs.

Bt Corn and Human Health

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the United States recommended extensive testing on the safety of Bt crops [1], but due to lack of federal laws that require rigorous safety tests for GM foods in the U.S. this has never been undertaken [2]. The United States does not require any proof that GM food is safe for human consumption before marketing.

There are at least four mechanisms by which introduction of the Bt gene in the maize genome may cause damage. These include: (1) random insertion of transgenes in plant DNA and resulting unintended consequences [3]; (2) alterations in plant metabolism because of the inserted protein which results in new toxic products; (3) direct toxicity of the Bt proteins; and (4) the immune response obtained by the [presence of the] Bt protein. Documented scientific evidence for all four of these mechanisms exists.
An example of the first is the discovery of unintended alterations, such as the synthesis of nine known carcinogens in GM tobacco plants [4]. For the second mechanism, studies have documented abnormal levels of production of a molecule called Bt lignin [5]. This feature was discovered thanks to the dramatic changes that began to be observed in the hardness of the stem of this [GMO] plant. Many varieties of Bt corn possess this characteristic so it is likely that the increase in the production of lignin is related to the expression of the Bt protein itself and not due to [random] mutations caused by the same genetic modification process [2]. There are probably more unforeseen changes in GM crops, and many of them have already been registered [6]. The direct toxic and immunological dangers of Bt proteins are discussed next.

Allergies are complex responses of the immune system to foreign substances, and its symptoms can vary unpredictably from one individual to another. Bt toxins, for their part, have been used for some time as aerosol insecticide sprays for many crops, but [the toxin] can be washed off the plant and contain[s] a less toxic form of the protein than that produced by the GM plant – in which the toxin is in all consumable parts of the plant [and not just the surface]. The aerosol spore consists of Bt toxin that must be activated in the digestive tract of insects. In contrast, the Bt toxin produced in maize is an activated form of the protein that does not require any modification to become toxic. Therefore, it is much more powerful than the variety used in aerosols.

On the other hand, there is strong evidence that the Bt proteins have provoked strong immune reactions in some farm workers [7], probably because these are composed of amino acid sequences that are homologous to certain well-known allergens [ 8, 9 ]. Moreover, the concentration and quantity of active Bt toxins people would be consuming by eating Bt corn is much higher than the levels of exposure agricultural workers are subjected to.

In support of the results found among humans, when [other] animals are exposed to Bt toxins, these also act as a potent ‘immunogen’, triggering immune system responses in the blood and intestine [10, 11, 12 ]. More recently, there was a long-term feeding study in the U.S. with pigs, which have a resemblance to the human digestive system. The pigs were fed a mixed diet that included GM maize Bt proteins. After five months, drastic stomach inflammation levels in were found in the GM-fed pigs were found and females had heavier uteri than those given the no GM diet [13].

Additional studies with animals have shown that Bt toxins cause direct tissue damage. For example, Fares and El- Sayed proved that mice fed Bt potato had abnormal intestinal cells structure [14 ]. Other studies reported histopathological changes in both liver and kidney in rats consuming Bt corn [15], and changes in the levels of urea and urine proteins of rats fed Bt rice [16].

The research cited above demonstrates that the family of Bt proteins may act as allergen or toxicant in animals and some humans. This is of great importance to the health of the Mexican population because, if the introduction of Bt corn is approved since there will be such a huge [unparalleled] number of people who will consume Bt toxin at levels many thousands of times higher than ever before in the short history of GM technology.

As genetics and the health status of an individual determines the response to foreign proteins such as the Bt toxin, and Mexicans represent a very heterogeneous population with different genetic composition, age, and health, the consequences of using Bt maize will be unpredictable. The sickest people will undoubtedly be the most vulnerable to the toxic and immunological reactions. Since the ability of Bt toxin to cause allergic responses in some individuals is ambiguous, it is virtually certain that within the Mexican population, a large number of people consuming GM maize will develop such severe allergies and even immune responses resulting in anaphylaxis and possible death.

The number, however, cannot be predicted and, as there is no system to track this type of adverse reactions within a population, if Bt maize is grown commercially, their genetic presence in a food that is calorie source basic for a major section of Mexico will be irreversible. The introduction of this transgenic crop, therefore, must be prevented.

Herbicides

In addition to high levels of Bt toxins, most GM maize varieties have also been modified to be resistant to herbicides. While a large number of herbicides are in use the most studied is glyphosate since it is the active ingredient in so many different products. If corn or soybeans GMOs are introduced in Mexico, there will be a huge increase in the use of this herbicide in Mexico; after the introduction of GM crops in the United States, glyphosate use increased tenfold between 1996 and 2009 (from 27 million to 250 million pounds)[17]. A similar increase was observed in Argentina [18].

The relevance of this is that contrary to the assertions of its producers, glyphosate and its active formulation are harmful to human health. Like many environmental toxins, many years passed before we could identify the problems it causes, but these are now being documented in various scientific publications in the public domain. Some important risks are discussed immediately below along with other facts that are rarely included in the debate.

-->
1) Glyphosate spray contains more than the herbicide and instead includes a mixture of compounds that help glyphosate to penetrate all the tissues of the plant including those we eat. Additional compounds called surfactants are not disclosed (and remain as trade secrets) and therefore do not undergo safety tests nor are they monitored on plants or in human drinking water. This is the case despite the fact that the surfactants are much more abundant in the formulation of the herbicide than the glyphosate itself. These, then, are not assessed chemicals whose human and animal consumption will increase dramatically once the GM maize is introduced in Mexico [19]. In the U.S., the EPA frequently performed tests to detect glyphosate in drinking water and groundwater, but it has then several times increased the allowable limits of these residues in food at the request of chemical producers.

2) The herbicide spray applied and all its components remain inside the plant and are consumed. They are not washed away!

3) Within 10 to 15 years, the weeds will be more resistant to glyphosate, so that even more toxic herbicides will be required for the production of GM corn. The next in line is the herbicide 2,4-D, a known carcinogen [20, 21].

4) Evidence of glyphosate found in the urine of several people in certain areas [22].

5) Part of the increased levels of glyphosate in drinking water, food and animal feed is due to the fact that it is now used as a drying agent, which is applied directly on the plants before harvest [23].

6) Some of the toxic effects of glyphosate that have been published are listed below, and all of them can or have been extrapolated as a serious risk to human health:

a. When ingested in food or water, glyphosate kills bacteria that form part of the beneficial intestinal microbiota, resulting in the growth of pathogenic microbes [24].
b . In support of the first point, for nine months when pigs were fed transgenic food treated with glyphosate increased intestinal inflammation compared to control animals was observed [13].
c . A large increase in tumor formation was documented in rats fed for two years with herbicide resistant GM maize [25].
d . More and more cases of human illness related to glyphosate exposure
are being reported in countries like Argentina [18].
e . Even in small interventricular concentrations, glyphosate causes defects in embryonic development of amphibians and chickens; defects similar to those observed in studies of Argentine human populations [18, 26, 27].
f . Glyphosate has negative effects on testosterone production in rats [28, 29], and promotes the growth of cancer even in human cells in concentration at levels that are below detectable in the blood and urine of some individuals [30].

The publications cited above represent only a fraction of the extensive evidence that on the whole demonstrate real and projected harmful effects of glyphosate on human health. Glyphosate levels will quickly increase in food and the environment if GM maize is introduced to Mexico. Nothing will have served its purpose if, within 10 to 15 years, glyphosate is no longer an effective herbicide as different weeds develop resistance, as has occurred in different regions of the planet. Is it worth it, then, to take this type of risk in a country like Mexico?

My conclusion is therefore that GM maize is of no benefit to your country, but rather a great danger to the health of Mexicans.

It would be a profound mistake if GM maize was approved to enter the food supply in Mexico.

Respectfully,

Professor Dr. David Schubert
Salk Institute for Biological Studies
La Jolla , California 92037

References

1. Lewis, P., et al. (2000) Bt plant-pesticides risk and benefit assessment systems. FIFRA Scientific Advisory Panel. SAP Report No. 2000-07, http://www.epa.gov/scipoly/sap/2000/october/octoberfinal.pdf.
2. Freese, W. and Schubert, D. (2004) Safety testing of genetically engineered food. Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews 21:299-325. http://www.centerforfoodsafety.com/files/freese_safetytestingandregulationofgeneticallyebgineeredfoods_nov212004_62269.pdf.
3. Schubert, D. (2002) A different perspective on GM food. Nature biotechnology 20, 969. http://sembremvalles.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/schubert02_5percent.pdf.
4. Mungur, R., Glass, A.D., Goodenow , D. B. and Lightfoot , D.A. (2005) Metabolite fingerprinting in transgenic Nicotiana tabacum altered by the Escherichia coli glutamate dehydrogenase gene. J Biomed Biotechnol 2005 , 198-214. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16046826.
5. Saxena, D. and Stotzky , G. (2001) Bt corn has a higher lignin content as non- Bt corn . Amer J Botany 88, 1704-1706.
6. Zolla , L., Rinalducci , S., Antoniolini , P. and Righetti , PG (2008) Proteomics as a complementary tool for Identifying unintended side effects occurring in transgenic maize seeds as a result of genetic Modifications . Journal of Proteome Research 7, 1850-1861. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18393457.
7. Bernstein IL , Bernstein , JA , Miller, M., Tierzieva , S., Bernstein, DI , Lummus , Z., Selgrade MK , Doerfler , DL and Seligy , V.L. (1999) Immune responses in farm workers after exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis pesticides. Environ Health Perspect 107, 575-582. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1566654/.
8. Metcalfe , DD, Astwood JD, Townsend , R., Sampson , HA, Taylor , SL and Fuchs, RL (1996) Assessment of the allergenic potential of foods derived from genetically engineered crop plants. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 36 Suppl, S165 -186. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8959382.
9. FAO- WHO (2001) Evaluation of allergenicity of genetically modified foods . Report of a Joint FAO / WHO expert consultation on allergenicity of foods derived from biotechnology. January 22-25. http://www.fao.org/es/ESN/food/pd/allergygm.pdf.
10. Vazquez-Padron RI, Moreno-Fierros, L., Neri-Bazan, L., De La Riva, GA and Lopez-Revilla, R. (1999) Bacillus thuringiensis Cry 1 Ac protoxin is a potent systemic and mucosal adjuvant . Scand J Immunology 49, 578-584.
11. Vazquez-Padron RI, Moreno-Fierros, L., Neri-Bazan, L., De La Riva, GA and López-Revilla, R. (1999 ) Intragastric and intraperitoneal administration of Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis you induce systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice . Life Sciences 64, 1897-1912.
12. Vazquez-Padron RI, Moreno-Fierros, L., Neri-Bazan, L., Martinez-Gill, AF, De La Riva, GA and López-Revilla, R. (2000 ) Characterization of the mucosal and systemic immune response induced by Cry1Ac protein from Bacillus thuringiensis HD 73 in mice. Braz J Med Biol Res 33, 147-155.
13. Carman, JA, Vlieger, HR, Steeg, LRV, Sneller , VE, Robinson, GW, Clicnh-Jones, CA, Haynes, JI and Edwards, J. W. (2013 ) A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM ) maize am and GM diet . J Org Systems 8, 38-54.
14. Fares, N. H. and El- Sayed, A. K. (1998 ) Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice delta- endotoxin faith don -treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes. Nat Toxins 6, 219-233.
15. Kilic, A. and Akay, M. T. (2008) A three generation Study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol 46, 1164-1170.
16. Schroder, M., Poulsen, M., Wilcks , A., Kroghsbo, S., Miller , A., Frenzel, T., Danier J., Rychlik, M., Emami , K., Gatehouse, A., Shu, Q. , Engle, KH, Altosaar, I. and Knudsen, I. (2007) A 90 -day safety study of genetically modified rice expressing Cry1Ab protein (Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) in Wistar rats. Food Chem Toxicol 45, 339-349.
17. http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/pnsp/usage/maps/show_map.php?year=2009&map=GLYPH OSATE & thread.
18. Report from the 1st National Meeting of Physicians In The Crop-Sprayed Towns. (English translation). Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Cordoba, Argentina. August 27-28, 2010. Print.
19. Mesnage, R., Bernay, B. and Séralini, G. E. (2012) Ethoxylated adjuvants of glyphosate-based herbicides are active principles of human cell toxicity. Toxicology 313(2-3): 122-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23000283.
20. World Health Organization. (1987) IARC monographs on the evaluation of carcinogenic risks to humans: An updating of IARC monographs volumes 1 to 42. Supplement 7. WHO, Lyon, France. Print.
21. Zahm SH, Weisenburger DD, Babbitt PA, Saal RC, Vaught , JB Cantor, K. P. and Blair , A. (1990) A case-control study of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in Eastern Nebraska. Epidemiology 1(5): 349-356.
22 . Brändli , D. and Reinacher , S. (2012) Herbicides found in human urine. Ithaka Journal 1, 270-272. http://www.ithakajournal.net/druckversionen/e052012-herbicides-urine.pdf.
23. http://www.monsanto.com/products/documents/glyphosate-background-materials/agronomic benefits of glyphosate in europe.pdf.
24. Samsel, A. and Seneff, S. (2013) Glyphosate suppression of cytochrome P450 enzymes and amino acid biosynthesis by the gut microbiome: pathways to modern diseases. Entropy 15(4): 1416-1463. http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416.
25. Séralini, G.E. et . al. (2011) Genetically modified crops safety Assessments: present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe. http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10.
26. Paganelli, A., Gnazzo, V., Acosta, H., Lopez, S.L., and Carrasco, A.E. (2010) [Online], Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Produce Teratogenic Effects on Vertebrates by Impairing Retinoic Acid Signaling. in Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2010, 23 (10):1586–1595; http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx1001749.
27. Antoniou, M., Habib, MEM, Howard , CV , Jennings, RC and Leifert , C. (2012) Teratogenic effects of glyphosate-based herbicides: divergence of regulatory decisions from scientific evidence . J Anal Toxicol Environ S4: 006. http://omicsonline.org/2161-0525/2161-0525-S4-006.php?aid=7453.
28. Claire, E., Mesnage, R., Travert, C. and Séralini, GE (2012) A glyphosate-based herbicide you induce necrosis and apoptosis in mature rat testicular cells in vitro, and testosterone decrease at lower levels. Toxicology in vitro 26, 269-279.
29. Yousef , MI , Salem , MH, Ibrahim, HZS , Seehy , MA and Bertheussen , K. (1995 ) Toxic effects of glyphosate on carborufan and semen characteristics in rabbits. J Environ Sci Health B 30, 513-534.
30. Thongprakaisang, S., Thiantanawat, A., Rangkadilok, N., Suriyo, T. and Stayavivad, J. (2013 ) Glyphosate you induce human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors. Food Chem Toxicol 59, 129-136, http://appprecautionaryprinciple.wordpress.com/2013/08/05/glyphosate-induces-human-breast-cancer-cells-growth-via-estrogen-receptors/

Indy
Alexandria, IN
(Zone 6a)

April 9, 2014
10:10 AM

Post #9808485

Uh, maybe we are back to square one.


Ernie writes, "I recall the news about Vitamins but did not hear much followup after that, I have tried them at different times but the only one that i could feel did any noticeable difference was the large doses of melt in your mouth B-12, and that gave me energy when I badly needed it. ..."

Since so many ads are for pharmacedicals products, a lot rides on 'learning' the public to rely on them. A lot of money rides on that. Vitamins and such are small potatoes but could be a threat just as organics could be.

Some of those "studies" of vitamin proficiency are shams whether the media realizes it or not. They just like to repeat "studies that throw bad light on vitamin and other nutrients as it pleases their financial backers...pharma.

Take for example one vitamin...vitamin E. Natural vitamin E has 8 components. Those "studies' likely only used synthetic vitamin E alpha...one part of 8 and synthetic at that...likely more harmful than helpful. With ignorance like this, no wonder your One-A-Day or Centrum did little for you.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 9, 2014
12:53 PM

Post #9808589

As i am not a Scientist, my comments on Professor Schubert's narrowly focused letter to Mexico's President will be limited to the Non scientific aspects of his letter.

As so often seems to happen with the Anti GMO activists, they limit their thinking to what they can see out the Laboratory Window, or what they read in the reports.

While i do not claim to know more than he does about science, it is very clear that i know a lot more about Mexico than he does. I have spent about 19 winters down there, spread over the last 55 years, and much of it in the back country where the poor people mostly eat corn.

So, assuming he is correct that the GMO might kill a few people which he says will be so few it will not be noticeable, there is so much malnourishment and probably starvation during lean years, that i am sure the increased production from GMO crops would save many times the lives that he THINKS POSSIBLY MIGHT POTENTIALLY BE LOST. So, this is just one more case that i have seen repeatedly, where Anti GMO supporters do not give a fair consideration to all the circumstances, and only focus on their fear.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2014
10:27 AM

Post #9809880

A few days ago, I asked the question as to why GMOs should inherently be dangerous; no one has responded. Let me make the point a bit more clearly. On February 13, on this very thread, I wrote about a potato variety called ‘Lenape’. ‘Lenape’, a traditionally crossed potato resulting from a standard variety bred with a wild Peruvian potato, was released by Penn State in the 1960s. Because of its “wild” ancestry, it had too much of the natural chemical compound known as glycoalkaloids and it made some people very sick. Glycoalkaloids, found to some degree in ALL potatoes, are a natural poison. ‘Lenape” was withdrawn from commercial trade for this reason.
Now, imagine that a paper was published with the following title: “Traditionally bred ‘Lenape’ potato causes poisoning”. Can you see why that title is not fair or reasonable? Are traditional breeding techniques to blame here? I don’t think so, and I’m guessing no one else reading this does either, so why should a paper published under a title like “GMO corn causes health problems” be considered unbiased? Why should the breeding method enter into the picture? Gosh, could the researcher maybe be biased? Maybe, or maybe not, a specific crop bred by GE techniques can cause a problem. Unless your goal is to discredit GE, the “GMO” reference is immaterial.
No doubt the following example is simplistic, but consider it anyway. For dinner tonight, you eat salmon and fresh tomatoes. Salmon genes and tomato genes end up in your tummy. Now, think about the goofy sounding cross between a salmon and a tomato. What are the consequences? Salmon genes (very few) and tomato genes end up in your tummy. Why should the GE version cause problems when the “regular” meal doesn’t? What happens to the genes in the tomato-salmon cross to make them bad for you as compared to the “traditional” meal?
I know the standard answer is “nature doesn’t cross salmon and tomatoes”, but why should what nature does or doesn’t do be a consideration? Do you drink treated water or do you drink “natural” water from the local swamp? Do you relish foods in your pantry that cockroaches or weevils have infested. Do you make sure your water has “natural” arsenic”? By the way, just because you drink from a well it doesn’t mean that your water doesn’t contain heavy metals or other natural (or man-made) contaminants. Do you avoid antibiotics when you have an infection because antibiotics are man-made? Do you drive a car or use a cell phone? I hope not, because most of what car and phones are made from is man-made. No doubt most of your clothes are made of materials that don’t exist in nature. Steel and aluminum alloys are not found in nature, nor are any synthetic fabrics. Nor are any of the plastics or ceramics found throughout your home. Solar panels are made from compounds that don’t exist in nature, as are most wind mill components. Radioactive materials like uranium, radon, potassium, plutonium, and carbon are natural; however.
The letter written by David Schubert reflects some things that are all too common in the anti-GMO world. First, Mr. Schubert is one of Jeffrey Smith’s consultants and is credited with helping him on his book “Seeds of Deception”. Next, some of the “papers” cited in Mr. Schubert’s letter are among those that have been widely discredited. Among them are Samsel and Sentoff and a G.E. Seralini paper. Note that the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology withdrew its publication of a Seralini anti-GMO paper in November 2013 after it was widely criticized for its poor design and bad conclusions. Jeffrey Smith cites similar folks. The world of anti-GMO sure seems quite inbred—isn’t inbreeding a genetic problem we should worry about?
As always, some of the problems Schubert identifies aren’t GMO related at all. If cross contamination threatens Mexico’s corn heritage, shouldn’t hybrid corns threaten it as well? Corn is wind pollinated and ANY corn—hybrid, heirloom, or GMO--will “contaminate” any other corn within range of its pollen.
And the idiotic mention of the cost of GMO corn arises again. Does anyone really think so poorly of farmers that they believe Monsanto leads farmers around by the nose? Golly, if only farmers were as bright as Zen Honeycutt! The issue of more expensive seed arose with hybrids many decades ago. If the yields from hybrids, or GMOs, didn’t justify the costs, farmers wouldn’t buy the hybrid or GMO seed. Here is a link that shows corn yields since 1860 (http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/08/16/a-brief-history-of-u-s-corn-in-one-chart/). The web page has nothing to do with GE crops; it just charts corn yields. Notice that beginning about 1950, yields begin to skyrocket in response to the introduction of hybrid varieties. Hybrids can’t be saved as seed corn either, thereby “forcing “farmers to buy seed every year. Given that yields rise from less than 30 bushels an acre to over 150 bushels an acre in 60 years, do you really think ANY commercial farmer saves that old 30 bushel an acre heirloom seed?! Or that any farmer is getting ripped off by being “forced” to buy seed annually? Resistance to pesticides is another issue commonly brought up by the anti-GMO crowd (any argument in a storm!). Pesticide resistance is an issue that plagues ALL pesticides, even organic ones. It is in no way an issue peculiar to GMOs.
Anti-GMO lives on lies. From Zen Honeycutt’s campaign promoting the deceitful “stunning corn comparison” to false claims that animals won’t eat GMO corn (how do the folks conducting the trials showing “enlarged pig uteri” or “blue rat testicles” get the pigs and rats to eat GMO corn?), virtually everything they say is an exaggeration or outright untruth. I’ve gone from not paying much attention to the GMO issue, but being not particularly comfortable with GMOs, to realizing that the anti-GMO leaders are mostly a bunch of fear mongers, techno-phobes, and outright crooks and publicity hounds, many of whom are either essentially zealots or simply out to make a buck. The deeper one digs, the more “stunning corn comparisons”, absurd claims of ripping farmers off, and Yoga flying lunacy one finds. If you don’t want to eat GMOs, buy organic. It’s your right. Please do realize though that there is no real science behind your refusal to accept the technology of genetic engineering.
True, the Union of Concerned Scientists says they have concerns about GMOs, although they acknowledge positives, too. But wait, who is the UCS? Maybe not who you think they are. Do any of you want to be a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists? No need to be a scientist, just send them $35 and, voila, you are a “concerned scientist”. They are actively seeking you as a member—no need for any degrees (one fellow I read about on line enrolled his cat)—so hurry up and send your check now. The president of the “scientists” is Kenneth Kimmel, an environmental lawyer. The former president (he left in 2013 to join the Government) was Kevin Knobloch, who holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration. His BS was in journalism and English. The UAC is an environmentalist lobby group, not a science organization.
The American Medical Association says GMOs are safe. The American Academy of Sciences (very, very prestigious, and, no, you can’t join this one for a $35 donation) says GMOs are safe. The US Government says GMOs are safe. The World Health Organization says GMOs are safe. Even science organizations from European countries that have banned GMOs say they’re safe: (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/08/29/are-gmos-safe-global-independent-science-organizations-weigh-in/). (It turn out that it’s not European scientists who are afraid of GMOs, it’s European politicians who fear them (or maybe they just fear anti-GMO voters). As a bonus, if you’ll scroll down a bit on the just mentioned link, you’ll also find an interesting discussion of the “persecuted” Tyrone Hayes.
Seriously, why would all these reputable organizations—not to mention your Government--conspire to feed you poisons? In the meantime, I’d like to ask again: what is it that is inherently and automatically dangerous about genetic engineering?
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 11, 2014
4:57 PM

Post #9810161

Willy,

Perhaps when NOTHING is the answer, NOTHING is what you get in the way of answers.

Be sure if the Fearful Faction had some facts, they would be glad to provide an answer to your question.

Your post was very well done, and much more sensible than a lot of the articles that have been posted from various sources.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 11, 2014
6:11 PM

Post #9810222

Thanks, Ernie. I'm really not trying to be an A^%*ole, but I am really coming to a crossroads in my understanding of "how things work". So much of what appears "logical and "common sensical" just isn't either logical or common sense. Those people, and I include (sometimes former) myself to a great degree, who pine for the good old days just don't really understand how brutal the good old days were. It hasn't been too many centuries since lice and fatal disease leading to early death were common parts of everyday life. Technology has made a world of difference for us and our comfort. This does not mean that technology is perfect or that we shouldn't watch for negative effects, but, to me, it does mean that fighting any new advance because it's new and different is pretty self-defeating. We are lucky in this country that we can choose foods (organic, non-GMO, whatever) to suit our viewpoints. Many in this world don't have any choices, much less enough to eat.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 11, 2014
6:33 PM

Post #9810243

'Willy, sometimes i cannot remember where i put my car keys 30 minutes ago, but I do not have any problem remembering how Bad the Good Old Days were. We never had lice, but i can remember having to kill Bedbugs with Kerosene, and how long the smell stayed in the mattresses. And that was not several centuries ago, that was only 8 decades ago..

Everything that Evil Business men using techology have done to make our lives better has had many detractors and people campaigned against it, from Mosquito control poison to Fluoride to save your teeth, has been the cause of a Crusade to Ban Progress.

They seldom win, and when they do, time usually proves they made a mistake, like DDT, or the Spotted Owl Crisis, but I guess the Protesters keep having babies, as each genration produces a few more AGINNERS.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2014
4:30 AM

Post #9812039

New research on glyphosate focussing on the "inert" ingredients and their impact on human cells at varying concentrations:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 14, 2014
9:23 AM

Post #9812337

The Scientific American article is from 2009. Seralini is considered a "rogue" scientist and his work is widely criticized. One of his papers condemning GMOs was published in a scientific journal, then later retracted by the journal itself after the study was shown to be flawed.

The study talked about in the Scientific American article consisted of exposing human cells to inert ingredient(s)--in this case the inert is essentially a soap or detergent. If human cells were exposed to any detergent, say the Dove or Joy in your sink, they would be damaged, too. Note that the article does state that the inert ingredient in question POEA, is approved for use in organic pesticides.

About the same time as this study, maybe even earlier, Dr. Rick Relyea published a study showing glyphosate formulations did damage to aquatic life. (Note that the Round-Up label prohibits use near water) He showed damage to pond life--specifically amphibians--and (if my memory is correct) attributed that damage to the fact that algae supporting the pond life was killed, resulting in a cascade of events up the ladder of pond life. I think he attributed the damage more to the inert ingredient than to glyphosate. The level of application far exceeded a typical usage dose and, again, Round Up is prohibited for use in water.

My observations continue to confirm my opinion that, in general, anti-Monsanto folks are ideologically motivated and their goal is more to discredit Monsanto than to do real, honest research.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 14, 2014
11:31 AM

Post #9812487

The Anti-Roundup group has been infomred several times that prior to Roundup becoming available people basically had two choices for killing weeds. One was 24D, and the other one was Arsenic.

Both are many times more dangerous than Roundup, but not one time have i seen the Anti folk deny or refer to that information. They just keep harping on Roundup. If they were truly concerned about seeking the least dangerous weed killer, which is just as important to agriculture as fertilizer is, they would debate the relative weedkillers available.

Funny how some people can become so engrossed in a "CAUSE" they disconnect from realitiy.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 14, 2014
12:53 PM

Post #9812561

Whoops, I didn't even notice the date on that Scientific American article. But although the publication which featured Seralini's article withdrew it subsequently, it has been under fire from scientists all over the world for doing so because it wasn't even following its own protocol for retraction; none of the conditions listed as a basis for retraction held true in Seralini's case. Furthermore the French government was concerned enough about his findings to launch their own long-term study of GMOs, and they are taking a much harder stance against them since he published.

I'm familiar with Relyea's work; it was especially interesting that he found pathologies in the wild that didn't appear in anurans in the lab after exposure to RoundUp and its surfactants. The severe population drop in frogs is a major concern and it was posited that pesticides may have had some rôle in their disappearance. The problem with RoundUp is that even though it's not intended for use near water, it ends up in streams and water tables because of run-off.
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 16, 2014
5:22 PM

Post #9814509

I have debated for several days now on whether to post this or not, and I’ve finally decided to so. I mean no disrespect to those who disagree, but I frankly think you are dead wrong.
I did some more searches for Seralini and found this article that seemed to be an accurate summation of the issues surrounding Seralini’s work: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2014/01/16/flawed-seralini-gmo-study-back-in-spotlight-as-hastings-center-makes-ethical-stumbles-in-ethics-critique/.
To sum up some of the highlights:
1) Seralini is the founder of an anti-GMO organization called CRIIGEN. Not exactly an unbiased person.
2) Seralini embargoed release of his paper to all except journalists who were known to be anti-GMO and swore them to secrecy (didn’t allow them to consult other scientists) until after his press conference.
3) His release of the study coincided with the publication of his book entitled “We are All Guinea Pigs” (English translation from a French title).
4) 3) The release of the study also coincided with the release of an anti-GMO film in which he was featured
5) He is a consultant for a homeopathic company—Sevene Pharma (If you think homeopathy is valid science/medicine—do some research. Homeopaths are 100% quack)
6) A sizable portion of his funding came from organic food companies. I’m not sure the funding source matters, but when Monsanto funds studies, anti-GMO folks seem to think it does.
7) He set out on a mission to prove GMOs are bad and he “succeeded”.
Perhaps most damning of all is this quote from the highly respected science journal “Nature”, which said: “Bowing to scientists' near-universal scorn, the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology today fulfilled its threat to retract a controversial paper claiming that a genetically modified (GM) maize causes serious disease in rats, after the authors refused to withdraw it.” (Source: http://www.nature.com/news/study-linking-gm-maize-to-rat-tumours-is-retracted-1.14268). The phrase “near universal scorn” seems quite compelling when coming from a staid science journal.
Here is another seemingly sensible commentary on the Seralini affair: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/02/05/1275346/-The-S-ralini-Retraction-Sherman-and-Fugh-Berman-Respond#. It comes from the Daily Kos, not exactly a right-wing or pro-business site. The article condemns Serelini on three accounts: 1) unreliable findings, 2) unethical research (UNETHICAL!), and 3) failure to disclose conflicts of interests (his funding sources).
Just like the Heartland study on global warming being from a source that many feel really has little legitimate business weighing in on the science of AGW, the few anti-GMO sources are of exactly the same ilk. Like those who reject AGW, there are indeed people and scientists who defend Seralini. They are a small minority and, in my opinion, they are predisposed, and determined, to be anti-GMO. It’s interesting to see how many of the websites use the title “chorus of condemnations” when discussing the Seralini paper retraction. Gee, it seems like they all have the same headline writer?
I can find “scientists” who defend young earth creationism, scientists who insist, despite the overwhelming evidence from every branch of science that is relevant, that the earth is only 6,000 years old. I can find “scientists” who believe in UFOs, alien abductions, and the Loch Ness Monster. There are oodles of books published about Kennedy assassination conspiracies and Big Foot sightings. I choose, sensibly I believe, to reject them and the anti-GMO propaganda. I am continually finding anti-GMO organizations to be very much like the people who are convinced, despite a total lack of evidence, that Barack Obama is a non-US citizen who is a secret Muslim. No amount of evidence will ever convince them that they are wrong.
Despite the fact that GMOs are outlawed by the European Union, I offer the following contrary opinions from, amongst others, European science organizations:
The American Medical Association (Chicago) “There is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods. Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer- reviewed literature.”
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (Washington, D.C.) “The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.”
The National Academy of sciences (Washington, D.C.) “To date more than 98 million acres of genetically modified crops have been grown worldwide. No evidence of human health problems associated with the ingestion of these crops or resulting food products have been identified.”
Food Standards Australia New Zealand (Australia & New Zealand) “Gene technology has not been shown to introduce any new or altered hazards into the food supply, therefore the potential for long term risks associated with GM foods is considered to be no different to that for conventional foods already in the food supply.”
The Royal Society of Medicine (United Kingdom) “Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.”
The Union of German Academics of Sciences And Humanities (Germany) “In consuming food derived from GM plants approved in the EU and in the USA, the risk is in no way higher than in the consumption of food from conventionally grown plants. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior in respect to health.”
The European Commission (Belgium) “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are no more risky than conventional plant breeding technologies.”
The French Academy of science (France) “All criticisms against GMOs can be largely rejected on strictly scientific criteria.”
Seven of The World’s Academies of Sciences (Brazil, China, India, Mexico, the Third World Academy of Sciences, the Royal Society, and the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.) “Foods can be produced through the use of GM technology that are more nutritious, stable in storage and in principle, health promoting— bringing benefits to consumers in both industrialized and developing nations.”
World Health Organization (Switzerland) “No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of GM foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.”
Indeed, it really does seem that the Europeans who are opposed to GMOs are politicians who are afraid of voters. When it comes to believing, I’ll choose the scientists over politicians
I continue to discover that most anti-GMO work is shoddy, biased, and often untrue. Most anti-GMO literature comes from people who are already certain the GMOs are bad—no need for facts (Facts?! We don’t need no stinkin’facts!). If there was good, solid evidence of harm from GMOs, the GMO opponents wouldn’t need to resort to poor experiments, misrepresentations and lies.
I ask again, why should something that is genetically engineered be inherently unsafe to eat? What is it about genes that is unhealthy? Pretty much everything you eat has, and always has had, genes. Why do the major science organizations of the world—pretty much ALL of them--want to poison the citizens of the world?
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 16, 2014
5:26 PM

Post #9814512

While the topic isn't DIRECTLY related to GE things, I recommend highly the PBS program "Your Inner Fish". It does touch on genetics and the common ancestry for all life on earth and it is probably the best single science program I've ever seen--even better than "Cosmos". The second (of three) episodes is on tonight (Wednesday April 16). If you missed the first episode, you can still watch it on the PBS website, Outstanding!

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 17, 2014
8:06 AM

Post #9814855

http://www.growingproduce.com/vegetables/tomatoes/new-study-on-tomatoes-addresses-gm-biochemical-concerns/?utm_source=knowledgemarketing&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=avgenews 04172014

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 17, 2014
8:15 AM

Post #9814864

The inert ingredients in roundup and most other herbicides are horticultural oils made up of vegetable and seed oils that assist in penetrating the waxy layer of the leaves of weeds. Adjuvants are also frequently added to many pesticides to aid in deposition, penetrating, spreading, or sticking. If the pesticide is absorbed or sticks better to the plant you have less run-off or drift. Glyphosate is a postively charged material and the soil is highly negatively charged. So Glyphosate is not mobile nor has any herbicidal activity in soil. It also can not run off into the water unless soil with glphosate is eroded away or if a recently sprayed crop has a deleuge of rain and the water carries the glyphosate without it coming in contact with soil.

This message was edited Apr 17, 2014 11:36 AM
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 17, 2014
8:32 AM

Post #9814875

John,

I, and I am sure many others on this site appreciate you sharing your obvious knowledge about so many of these things about agricultural chemicals and related subjects.

There is so much difference between the factual info you add and the hysterical claims and conjectures submitted by the other self styled "experts".

Thanks,
Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2014
5:12 AM

Post #9816158

Here are scientists who have serious concerns about GMO crops; they are not "self-styled experts" making "hysterical claims." But then, I presume that they are all totally mistaken?

And Willy says "Indeed, it really does seem that the Europeans who are opposed to GMOs are politicians who are afraid of voters. When it comes to believing, I’ll choose the scientists over politicians I continue to discover that most anti-GMO work is shoddy, biased, and often untrue. Most anti-GMO literature comes from people who are already certain the GMOs are bad—no need for facts (Facts?! We don’t need no stinkin’facts!). If there was good, solid evidence of harm from GMOs, the GMO opponents wouldn’t need to resort to poor experiments, misrepresentations and lies."

But this is a consensus from 297 international scientists - not politicians.

http://www.ensser.org/media/0713/

This is the statement that they all support. It addresses many of Willy's points:

http://www.ensser.org/increasing-public-information/no-scientific-consensus-on-gmo-safety/

This message was edited Apr 19, 2014 8:35 AM
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 19, 2014
8:46 AM

Post #9816342

There have been many general references to the fact that many Countries have banned GMO products, and Politicians are mentioned as having been the cause of it moreso than any proof of actual Danger.

I have had personal experience in two instances of products being embargoed by Politicans to protect Special Interest groups in their countries, as well as having enough interest in other embargoes to trace out the reasons.

When i had my boat in New Zealand, back in the 1980's i tried to purchase an Igloo Ice chest, but all that was available were the Polystyrene foam chests that are very fragile. As i looked for one, i was told several times that because a Manufacturer had set up to make the Foam chests, the country had raised the duty on imported ice chests to protect and reserve the market for the N Z manufacturer.

The second personal experience was when i was operating an Ornammental Tree Nursery in Idaho, 30 miles from the Canadian border. Flowering Crab Apple trees were one of the products we grew well in that area. I had developed my market in the Intermountain Western States, but several of my friends in the local Nursery association had found a rapidly expanding market in Canada. As the Canadian Nurseries began to feel the competition, simply because having milder weather in Idaho, the American Nurseries were producing better trees cheaper than the Canadians could, the Canadian States embargoed the importation of trees using as and excuse, the same diseases the trees had that were grown in Canada. That seriously affected many of my friends, and both embargoes were strictly Political to assist their home producers.

Other instances are the Japanese embargo of Washington State Apples because the Japanese farmers could not compete in price, and the Japanese embargo of Beef for the same reason.

So, as far as the safety and health issues, they have nothing to do with any embargoes that are placed on the GMO products.

Ernie

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2014
9:57 AM

Post #9816365

That's not what the articles I posted are talking about.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 19, 2014
10:53 AM

Post #9816396

GG

i was not responding to any specific or recent posts, but there have been many statements declaring that different "Countries" have banned GMOs. While that infers the GMOs are being banned for health and Safety reasons, others have said the embargoes were done by Politicians, so i thought it was worthwhlle to provide some actual observed situations where embargoes are actually imposed by politicians to benefit specail interest groups.

If GMO embargoes had been based on proven dangers to Health, that would have been specified.

Ernie
WillyFromAZ
Sierra Vista, AZ
(Zone 8b)

April 19, 2014
11:18 AM

Post #9816410

It's been fun and educational--thanks to all of you for your posts--but I'm outta here!

greenhouse_gal

greenhouse_gal
Southern NJ
United States
(Zone 7a)

April 19, 2014
11:19 AM

Post #9816412

I posted those articles because people are saying that there's no science behind concerns about GMOs and they derive from hype by non-experts and by politicians. I wasn't talking about embargoes. However, I have posted similar lists of concerns by scientists in the past and that hasn't seemed to affect anyone who is convinced that GMOs are fine, so I'm not sure why I bothered this time. I think I'll go spend my time elsewhere.

Just saw Willy's post; he and I are in agreement on this one! Bye.

This message was edited Apr 19, 2014 2:20 PM

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 19, 2014
2:01 PM

Post #9816484

GG,

The vast majority of scientists and all experimentation has shown that GMO crops are as safe as non GMO crops. They are also more ecological and more sustainable and use less pesticides and/or less toxic pesticides.

Just because some scientists are concerned doesnt mean it is unsafe. Anyone can buy a bag of GMO seed and test it.

No tests to date have proven anything more dangerous than non GMO conventional production systems. I exclude organic because GMO and conventional food is safer than organic when it comes to the number of acute deaths of people annually that consume it.

Ernie you make some great points. Much of Europe's opposing GMO's is financial. Since their Agribusiness doesnt own much GMO technology they can eliminate competition with US agricultural commodities by excluding US products.

But Europe isnt GMO free as much as one thinks. The EU has approved some GMO crops and they are grown in Spain and several eastern European nations.
ERNIECOPP
Vista, CA

April 19, 2014
5:50 PM

Post #9816709

I have learned a lot from some of the posts here, too, and hope the simple facts here have eased the irrational fear of GMOs for at least some of the people.

I have grown weary of this subject, too, but Willy, and John, I am going to keep an eye out for your ;future posts on other subjects as i have found them to the be most interesting and informative of all.

Ernie

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 19, 2014
6:12 PM

Post #9816726

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regulation_of_genetically_modified_organisms_in_the_European_Union

Europe imports 30 million tons of GMO feed each year to give to their cattle.

Two GMO crops...Bt corn and Amflora potato have been approved to grow in Europe and several more traits are being reviewed with many of them expected to be approved in the next few years.

There are 48 total GMO's approved in Europe...many of them for food processing like cheeses.

Several member countries have petitioned the European Union to permit growing GMO's.

CountryGardens

CountryGardens
Lewisville, MN
(Zone 4a)

April 22, 2014
5:54 AM

Post #9818579

Just came across an interesting article in a local ag paper.
There is a program called Ag Acre. A farmer pledges one acre of crop to Second Harvest Food Bank. This is then distributed to food shelves in their local area.
For every dollar the farmer donates, average $668 per acre, Monsanto matches.
Bad guy helping feed the poor!

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 22, 2014
7:53 AM

Post #9818705

With 350+ entries I moved this to a new thread...

http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/1357373/

You cannot post until you register, login and subscribe.


Other Vegetable Gardening Threads you might be interested in:

SubjectThread StarterRepliesLast Post
very important question farmgirl21 31 Jan 8, 2008 12:31 AM
Need Source For Chinese Vegetable Seed berrygirl 18 Jun 15, 2008 7:21 PM
An accidental lesson Farmerdill 26 Feb 24, 2013 12:10 PM
Planting the "Three sisters" HilltopDaisy 94 Jul 6, 2011 3:38 AM
Rhubarb emilyrasmus 19 Apr 25, 2013 4:55 PM


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America