Quoting:Interest in Non-Genetically Modified Soybeans Growing
USAgNet - 04/07/2009
U.S. soybean production is 95 percent dominated by genetically modified Round Up Ready soybeans. However a small percentage of that crop -- perhaps 5 percent -- will be planted to non-GM soybeans, and the trend toward the latter is expected to continue in the near future, said Jim Beuerlein, an Ohio State University Extension agronomist.
"Round Up Ready soybean seed is becoming expensive and there are a number of markets, both stateside and internationally, that want non-GM varieties and they are willing to pay the premiums for it," said Beuerlein, who also holds a research appointment with the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.
"There's a shortage of normal germplasm seed because we've been growing Round Up Ready varieties for so long and there wasn't a big demand for non-GM seed...
Good! That might set the devil on his heels for a minute. I didn't see it mentioned exactly but maybe some farmers are also waking up to the fact that they can get back into the export market with non-GM beans.
We've been sending terminators and other GM grains to developing countries and calling it aid. They'll never buy the stuff of their own free will. It would be so much more aid if they could save a little for seed.
I've noticed a spike in many seed categories this year and have invested heavily into open polinated types so I can save my own. I've grown mostly hybrids all my life and don't have any objections to them. Most seed saving is so easy there's really no reason not to once you find one you like. Maybe I'm just being ornery but it adds to my sense of security.
There's also a growing interest in de-hybridizing some good hybrids, especially tomatoes. This is an area that would make a good project for me but there's already so many good ones that it seems futile.
That is a river of interest to me. You know sometimes things have to get bad enough in order for the pendulum to start swinging the other way. Watch that pendulum as it starts swinging more toward non-GM.
Nina Fedoroff is the sci and tech adviser to the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton and her predecessor C. Rice. In a recent interview with the BBC, she stated the American government's position on GMs.
"We accept exactly the same tech (as GM food) in medicine, and yet in producing food we want to go back to the 19th century." She also believes the world population may have already exceeded sustainability.
If you google her name, there are a bunch of interesting articles in which she makes some good points. I trust science but how do you know which scientists you can trust?
She believes global climate change, desertification, salination, water shortages and population growth will all necessitate GM crops in the future because nature cannot adapt quickly enough to overcome all the escalating problems. To put it another way, what works now won't work then. Very scary IMHO.
What about the recent suggestions that non-GM foods may be outperforming GM products, or that the extra boost that GM gives may be short-lived. I know I saw several posts about that but this is all I can find right now:
It is interesting too that more and more people and countries are speaking up and saying that they don't want GM food. Just because you can give a belly food and make it full doesn't mean that nutrition has been achieved. It is nutrition that keeps a body working, not a full belly.
In all the public uproar over HR 875, Monsanto quietly got a bill passed in committee that has to do with the US (aid) sending GMO seed to Africa...sigh. I forget where I read it but I might still have it...
It's obvious that as a nation, we have long supported GM science and are largely responsible for the current status. Some respected scientists have proven that education and new methods can significantly improve natural production but the American way is to throw out the old so $ can be made with the new. Is policy driving science or the other way around?
I think the energy and economic crises have had a sobering effect and folks are craving the stability of the past. The pendulum is indeed starting to reverse as we've become cynical with practically everything in our lives. GMs are perceived as artificial which doesn't fit in our comfort zone with something so basic as food. We've enjoyed many "miracles" from science and I'm glad they're working on genetics, learning from it, but I'm far from convinced that we need it here and now in our food.
I've made a personal choice to stay with open pollinated or naturally bred seeds but there's no telling how long they'll stay that way as more crops are modified. At least I won't do any harm.
I don't think it's policy driving science or the other way around either one. I think some genes from the Robber Barons became airborne and invaded much of the rest of the human race.
Yes, I'm cynical... and jaded, and a host of other adjectives. The only thing keeping me from utter despair is the gleanings of hope when I read of some small incursion to sanity. There are lots of us who care... who choose to do no harm... maybe we all need to waken tomorrow in matching colors so we will recognize each other?
I'd sign up for that CSA in a heartbeat. If she has a years long waiting list then why in the world aren't more people jumping into this kind of niche farming? Do they think it's a fad that will soon fizzle? I've been disgusted for years that I can't find decent European type bread flour locally or sweet butter to go with it. Flour is available by mail but the prices are crazy and then when you add shipping it becomes a real luxury I can't justify. I really need to just get over it since it won't grow here.
There are folks over on the market growers forum making a lot more than pocket change just from their back yards and small acreage. They enjoy what they do and seem to be anticipating a big growing demand. Surely there's a lot more where they came from and I hope big ag is forced to notice.
If I could ask a bird why he liked to fly, he'd probably say "because I can". I really wonder if the same situation exists with many of our scientists. I mean by promoting awareness of an exaggerated problem, attracting major finance to pursue your interests and then the glory of providing the solution...as in science is going to save the world with GMs.