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(Wired)   Life finds a way: Worm evolves to eat corn genetically engineered to kill it   (wired.com) divider line 258
    More: Interesting, corn, ecological damage, genetic modifications, biotechnology company, Bacillus thuringiensis, insecticides, agricultural science, National Academy of Sciences  
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7541 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Mar 2014 at 5:31 AM (35 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-18 07:33:12 AM  

log_jammin: Farkage: Go learn how vaccines work and rethink your post mkay? Not remotely the same.

I didn't say, or imply they work the same way.

what I was saying, is that you are using the exact same fear mongering tactics used by anti-vaccers.

Farkage: Now tell me the long term health consequences of ingesting bt toxin. Show your work.
We'll wait.

as I said, anyone is free to test that. no one is forced to take Monsanto's word on their "pinky swear"

now, do you have a peer reviewed study that shows the long term health consequences of ingesting Bacillus thuringiensis? Because I never claimed to have that information, but you seem pretty sure of it, so lets have it.


No, I don't and I freely admit that. I prefer to err on the side of caution when it comes to engineering our food to become more toxic though. Glad to see you are so complacent on the issue.
Food genetically engineered to produce more vitamins isn't a concern of mine, just the ones that are done to express things like bt toxin, as nature rapidly evolves so the bugs are resistant to that. That leads to wonderful ideas about making it more toxic to keep ahead, or it doesn't work. Do you even remotely see what I'm getting at?
 
2014-03-18 07:33:47 AM  

Deathfrogg: Except that the toxins those GMO plants produce kill as many beneficial insects as harmful ones. Not to mention the fact that engineering plants to produce the same toxins used to clear the forests in Vietnam during the 1960s really doesn't seem like a good idea, considering the health effects that are still being seen more than thirty years after the fact. Children are still being born with massive birth defects, and people are still getting a hundred different types of cancers they weren't getting before the American War there.


more fear mongering and zero substance.
 
2014-03-18 07:34:57 AM  

log_jammin: Deathfrogg: Except that the toxins those GMO plants produce kill as many beneficial insects as harmful ones. Not to mention the fact that engineering plants to produce the same toxins used to clear the forests in Vietnam during the 1960s really doesn't seem like a good idea, considering the health effects that are still being seen more than thirty years after the fact. Children are still being born with massive birth defects, and people are still getting a hundred different types of cancers they weren't getting before the American War there.

more fear mongering and zero substance.


I don't see much substance on your end either...
 
2014-03-18 07:35:52 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Peki: We're genetically engineering ourselves into a famine,

Not really.  We're very, very easily staying ahead of actual reductions in output, the only potential thing we're in danger of falling short of is keeping up with increased demand.

So... go convince people to stop having more than one child per capita for us, will ya?

demaL-demaL-yeH: I know: Let's widely plant these GMOs without adequate testing, contaminate natural strains of crops so there's no heirloom stock left to save our butts, and then sue the organic farmers into bankruptcy for stealing our shiat.

1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination. Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.



Wrong.   Sorry, buddy, gonna have to code you as a GM shill now.  You're deliberately phrasing your response to avoid the OUTFLOW of gmo genes, which has occurred.

Basically, non-GMO farmers already have to consider legal and insurance defenses, since the "all GMO good, all the time" crowd has, unsurprisingly, ass-farked them:

http://www.flaginc.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/GMOthreats.pdf

Full disclosure:  As an investor, I make money from GMO crops.

Like fracking, though, I just don't see the need to pretend it's all sweetness and light, all the time.

It ain't.
 
2014-03-18 07:39:10 AM  

log_jammin: Deathfrogg: Except that the toxins those GMO plants produce kill as many beneficial insects as harmful ones. Not to mention the fact that engineering plants to produce the same toxins used to clear the forests in Vietnam during the 1960s really doesn't seem like a good idea, considering the health effects that are still being seen more than thirty years after the fact. Children are still being born with massive birth defects, and people are still getting a hundred different types of cancers they weren't getting before the American War there.

more fear mongering and zero substance.


Also, genetically engineered food causes erectile dysfunction.
 
2014-03-18 07:41:03 AM  

Farkage: Glad to see you are so complacent on the issue.


I'm not complacent . I just recognize that I'm not a scientist with expertise in this field. My opinion is 100% irrelevant on the subject of the long term effects of Bacillus thuringiensis on the human body.

Farkage: Food genetically engineered to produce more vitamins isn't a concern of mine, just the ones that are done to express things like bt toxin, as nature rapidly evolves so the bugs are resistant to that. That leads to wonderful ideas about making it more toxic to keep ahead, or it doesn't work. Do you even remotely see what I'm getting at?


yes I do see what you're getting at. unfortunately your opinion on a highly complex topic, involving different branches of science that you have no experience in, is irrelevant. You're just another ranting fear monger clouding the issue.

Much like creationists, anti-vaccers, and 9/11 truthers, you seem to thank that just by being alive you opinion holds weight. It doesn't. just like 99% of the population, you knowledge on the topic is nil, and your opinion means jack shiat.
 
2014-03-18 07:41:07 AM  
Nothing brings out the luddites quite like a GMO thread.
 
2014-03-18 07:42:25 AM  

Farkage: I don't see much substance on your end either...


"hurr durr no u!"

Molavian: Also, genetically engineered food causes erectile dysfunction.


that doesn't seem like a good idea.
 
2014-03-18 07:44:55 AM  

Cataholic: Nothing brings out the luddites quite like a GMO thread.


And nothing stops GMO shills from throwing around the word "luddite" instead of refuting claims with links.

It's almost like they have nothing but ad hominem attacks...
 
2014-03-18 07:45:48 AM  

PunGent: GMO shills


lol!
 
2014-03-18 07:46:27 AM  

Farkage: This is exactly why GMO shiat should be outlawed.


You are a moron. I could spend an hour rebutting you and pointing out the flaws in your logic, but alas, I am not a moron and have determined that no one will benefit from the exchange and I have better things to do.
 
2014-03-18 07:49:41 AM  

log_jammin: Farkage: Glad to see you are so complacent on the issue.

I'm not complacent . I just recognize that I'm not a scientist with expertise in this field. My opinion is 100% irrelevant on the subject of the long term effects of Bacillus thuringiensis on the human body.

Farkage: Food genetically engineered to produce more vitamins isn't a concern of mine, just the ones that are done to express things like bt toxin, as nature rapidly evolves so the bugs are resistant to that. That leads to wonderful ideas about making it more toxic to keep ahead, or it doesn't work. Do you even remotely see what I'm getting at?

yes I do see what you're getting at. unfortunately your opinion on a highly complex topic, involving different branches of science that you have no experience in, is irrelevant. You're just another ranting fear monger clouding the issue.

Much like creationists, anti-vaccers, and 9/11 truthers, you seem to thank that just by being alive you opinion holds weight. It doesn't. just like 99% of the population, you knowledge on the topic is nil, and your opinion means jack shiat.


Wow, project much?
 
2014-03-18 07:50:06 AM  

Strik3r: I was looking for a key poiont that we, as humans seems to have a stigmatism about (because we KEEP doing it).

FTFA:

"a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits"

and

"There needs to be a fundamental change in how the technology is used"


It is truely amazing how we can make brilliant technological breakthru's and then apply them in the most assinine ways.................


It's pretty much "this".

It's like the nuclear power guys, who insist that the underlying process is safe, and new reactors won't be dangerous.

Well, sure, the underlying process might well be safe; they just neglect to account for fundamental human nature in their calculations.

People cut corners, make mistakes, and, in some cases, act maliciously.  Corporations are made up of people, and so corporations are subject to all the same errors.

If you're an engineer, and your systems analysis doesn't account for that, it's LESS useful than that of the most ignorant shrieking luddite, because your credentials mean you might be taken seriously...and you've made a fundamental error in them.
 
2014-03-18 07:50:49 AM  

Farkage: Wow, project much?


aaaaand you got nothing....
 
2014-03-18 07:51:09 AM  

TwistedFark: Farkage: This is exactly why GMO shiat should be outlawed.

You are a moron. I could spend an hour rebutting you and pointing out the flaws in your logic, but alas, I am not a moron and have determined that no one will benefit from the exchange and I have better things to do.


AKA, you've got nothing to add.
 
2014-03-18 07:51:24 AM  

Farkage: This is exactly why GMO shiat should be outlawed.  The things (bugs, worms, etc) that they are developing it for will become resistant to it, because that's what evolution does over multiple generations.  In the meantime, we are eating this crap without it actually being proven to be 100% safe because reasons.But, you know, as long as Monsanto is making lots of money...


Eh, there's WAY too much money behind to outlaw it.

Best you can hope for now is some sensible regulation, but I wouldn't hold my breath on that.

Cross your fingers and carry on; that genie's out of the bottle.
 
2014-03-18 07:57:26 AM  
static1.dallasblack.com
 
2014-03-18 08:00:14 AM  

fusillade762: Also: creationists can suck it, too.


Also: organic farmers and consumers can suck it, too. These transgenic crops protect themselves from insects by bathing themselves in bt, the organic pesticide that organic farmers have until now been able to use to fight infestations. That was a tool available to all of mankind, and the biotech folks have, apparently, ruined it in a decade and a half. Thanks, FDA.
 
2014-03-18 08:05:59 AM  

Molavian: log_jammin: Deathfrogg: Except that the toxins those GMO plants produce kill as many beneficial insects as harmful ones. Not to mention the fact that engineering plants to produce the same toxins used to clear the forests in Vietnam during the 1960s really doesn't seem like a good idea, considering the health effects that are still being seen more than thirty years after the fact. Children are still being born with massive birth defects, and people are still getting a hundred different types of cancers they weren't getting before the American War there.

more fear mongering and zero substance.

Also, genetically engineered food causes erectile dysfunction.


This must be the answer. Thirty years ago when I was twetny there were no problems and no GMO foods. Now look. ;D
 
2014-03-18 08:06:11 AM  
Another pop-sci evolution article.

The worm did not evolve to eat the corn, some of the worms stopped dying when they tried.  It's different.
 
2014-03-18 08:06:39 AM  

Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.


Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.
 
2014-03-18 08:06:56 AM  
Maybe I could spell when I was twenty also.
 
2014-03-18 08:09:35 AM  

mutterfark: Maybe I could spell when I was twenty also.


Proof that GMO foods also cause spelling errors.
 
2014-03-18 08:12:18 AM  

Molavian: mutterfark: Maybe I could spell when I was twenty also.

Proof that GMO foods also cause spelling errors.


Nothing my homeopathic chiropractor can't sublax. Where's my enzyte? Crap, GMOs cause Alzheimer's too, don't they?
 
2014-03-18 08:12:29 AM  

MemeSlave: Another pop-sci evolution article.

The worm did not evolve to eat the corn, some of the worms stopped dying when they tried.  It's different.


And those worms bred baby worms that didn't die either.

See? Evolution.
 
2014-03-18 08:14:24 AM  

Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.


You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough
 
2014-03-18 08:24:06 AM  
What I take away from the story is that farmers are greedy and thrifty; the proper management technique, alternating fields of Bt and non-Bt corn, would have reduced their profit per acre by some fraction, while adding some cost for buying more than one kind of seed, and perhaps having to buy and apply some conventional pesticides.  They're mostly cash-renters, not owners, on the land they farm, so they don't have the same tie to the land as a farmer that's had that property in the family for generations. They look at the field as just another kind of factory. And Monsanto lobbied the government to keep the refuge percentage guidelines low and unenforced. So, near-term profit overrides long-term common sense and care.

Yet again.
 
2014-03-18 08:25:40 AM  
Thanks, Obama.
 
2014-03-18 08:28:49 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.

You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough


So you are stating, as fact, that no GM-corn has ever been grown within pollinating distance of non-GM corn on neighboring farms? Which going by this article appears to be up to 150 meters

You are also stating, as fact, that no bee has ever visited a GM-soybean plant and then stopped by a non-GM soybean plant on its way back to its hive?
 
2014-03-18 08:29:01 AM  

Any Pie Left: What I take away from the story is that farmers are greedy and thrifty; the proper management technique, alternating fields of Bt and non-Bt corn, would have reduced their profit per acre by some fraction, while adding some cost for buying more than one kind of seed, and perhaps having to buy and apply some conventional pesticides.  They're mostly cash-renters, not owners, on the land they farm, so they don't have the same tie to the land as a farmer that's had that property in the family for generations. They look at the field as just another kind of factory. And Monsanto lobbied the government to keep the refuge percentage guidelines low and unenforced. So, near-term profit overrides long-term common sense and care.

Yet again.


While I liked your post you read the article...

3.bp.blogspot.com

Burn him!
 
2014-03-18 08:30:41 AM  

dready zim: Deathfrogg: Peki: We're genetically engineering ourselves into a famine, polluting ourselves into a nasty weather feedback cycle, while simultaneously telling people that only the people who deserve to be poor are the ones starving and coughing in the streets.

The next 100 years is going to be very interesting.

Read: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. The story takes place after several generations of that.

All the super rich have done is earn themselves to be the last to starve when things go to shiat. They cause the problems, then blame the people affected by those problems for suffering the effects the problems they created. They would happily murder 2/3 of the human race rather than admit they're farking the world up.

If they did, would that not solve a lot of problems?


Actually something very similar happened about 800 years ago. The Black Plague wiped out 50% or more of the population in Europe. The rich at the time, who were relatively more sanitary, and thus less exposed to the rats carrying the fleas that transmitted the plague were the ones who were more likely to survive. When all was said and done, there was a significant amount of work that needed done and not nearly as many laborers as there had been before. Thus wages went up, guilds (forerunner of unions) developed and groups like the Freemasons came together to push wages and standards of living higher.
 
2014-03-18 08:30:48 AM  

MemeSlave: The worm did not evolve to eat the corn, some of the worms stopped dying when they tried. It's different.


Well.. yes... in the sense that what you apparently imagine evolution to be and what evolution really is are quite different things....
 
2014-03-18 08:31:59 AM  

Any Pie Left: What I take away from the story is that farmers are greedy and thrifty; the proper management technique, alternating fields of Bt and non-Bt corn, would have reduced their profit per acre by some fraction, while adding some cost for buying more than one kind of seed, and perhaps having to buy and apply some conventional pesticides.  They're mostly cash-renters, not owners, on the land they farm, so they don't have the same tie to the land as a farmer that's had that property in the family for generations. They look at the field as just another kind of factory. And Monsanto lobbied the government to keep the refuge percentage guidelines low and unenforced. So, near-term profit overrides long-term common sense and care.

Yet again.


If Free Market Capitalism has a fatal flaw, it is this.
 
2014-03-18 08:35:27 AM  
Wow, this thread is doing a great job of drawing out the anti-GMO idiots.  Genetically engineered crops are one of the most significant scientific advances of the last couple decades (aside from the genetic selection that was performed for thousands of years before we understood genetics). No advancement is going to be without its problems, but you would be a fool to deny the benefit that GM foods bring to humanity.

/Monsanto sucks, but their products do not
 
2014-03-18 08:36:42 AM  

Any Pie Left: What I take away from the story is that farmers are greedy and thrifty; the proper management technique, alternating fields of Bt and non-Bt corn, would have reduced their profit per acre by some fraction, while adding some cost for buying more than one kind of seed, and perhaps having to buy and apply some conventional pesticides.  They're mostly cash-renters, not owners, on the land they farm, so they don't have the same tie to the land as a farmer that's had that property in the family for generations. They look at the field as just another kind of factory. And Monsanto lobbied the government to keep the refuge percentage guidelines low and unenforced. So, near-term profit overrides long-term common sense and care.

Yet again.


Also this, the problem is not with the GM food, ITS WITH THE FARMERS BEING IRRESPONSIBLE WHEN THEY GROW THE FOOD
 
2014-03-18 08:39:32 AM  
www.seriessub.com
minus
www.biography.com
equals
topliners.eloqua.com
 
2014-03-18 08:45:56 AM  

Target Builder: Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.

You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough

So you are stating, as fact, that no GM-corn has ever been grown within pollinating distance of non-GM corn on neighboring farms? Which going by this article appears to be up to 150 meters

You are also stating, as fact, that no bee has ever visited a GM-soybean plant and then stopped by a non-GM soybean plant on its way back to its hive?


I never mentioned soybeans. Anybody who knows corn that you don't plant different strains near each other.
 
2014-03-18 08:47:00 AM  

PunGent: Strik3r: I was looking for a key poiont that we, as humans seems to have a stigmatism about (because we KEEP doing it).

FTFA:

"a cautionary tale of how short-sighted mismanagement can squander the benefits"

and

"There needs to be a fundamental change in how the technology is used"


It is truely amazing how we can make brilliant technological breakthru's and then apply them in the most assinine ways.................

It's pretty much "this".

It's like the nuclear power guys, who insist that the underlying process is safe, and new reactors won't be dangerous.

Well, sure, the underlying process might well be safe; they just neglect to account for fundamental human nature in their calculations.

People cut corners, make mistakes, and, in some cases, act maliciously.  Corporations are made up of people, and so corporations are subject to all the same errors.

If you're an engineer, and your systems analysis doesn't account for that, it's LESS useful than that of the most ignorant shrieking luddite, because your credentials mean you might be taken seriously...and you've made a fundamental error in them.


So basically: Humans aren't perfect so keep burning coal for power and keep slashing and burning rain forests for more and more agricultural acreage.  That's not exactly a great plan.
 
2014-03-18 08:48:12 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.

You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough

So you are stating, as fact, that no GM-corn has ever been grown within pollinating distance of non-GM corn on neighboring farms? Which going by this article appears to be up to 150 meters

You are also stating, as fact, that no bee has ever visited a GM-soybean plant and then stopped by a non-GM soybean plant on its way back to its hive?

I never mentioned soybeans. Anybody who knows corn that you don't plant different strains near each other.


Anybody who knows corn knows
 
2014-03-18 08:49:59 AM  

MemeSlave: Another pop-sci evolution article.

The worm did not evolve to eat the corn, some of the worms stopped dying when they tried.  It's different.


It's almost as though the worms that were most fit to handle the change in their environment survived and reproduced while those that were less fit withered and died. Totally different.
 
2014-03-18 08:52:50 AM  

robohobo: Next 100 years....who the fark cares? Every one of us will be long dead by then. I'm pretty sure the most of fark has a little money and even less pigmentaton.


The idea isn't "after" 100 years, but "for the duration of" 100 years. So, unless we're mourning your passing, you and I and lots of the rest of us are merely at the beginning of the next 100 years.

But I don't think things will be interesting. Grinding poverty isn't interesting.
 
2014-03-18 08:54:24 AM  
Go worm!
 
2014-03-18 08:55:21 AM  

fusillade762: Ha! Suck it, Syngenta!


As a former Syngenta employee, you have no idea how hard they can suck it. Although I will admit, the company treated me well, our managers, however, were incompetent to put it politely.
 
2014-03-18 08:56:00 AM  

Deathfrogg: Peki: We're genetically engineering ourselves into a famine, polluting ourselves into a nasty weather feedback cycle, while simultaneously telling people that only the people who deserve to be poor are the ones starving and coughing in the streets.

The next 100 years is going to be very interesting.

Read: The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi. The story takes place after several generations of that.

All the super rich have done is earn themselves to be the last to starve when things go to shiat. They cause the problems, then blame the people affected by those problems for suffering the effects the problems they created. They would happily murder 2/3 of the human race rather than admit they're farking the world up.


I tried. I got a few chapters in but frankly it was deadly boring and the science of energy storage was so hilariously wrong I couldn't get into it. When the entire premise hinges in basic science that is wrong, and rather stupid, I can't read it. No, I don't care about the justification, we are not going to lose the ability to generate electricity. Even in the book hooking up a damn generator to the 'mainspring winding' mechanics she details would result in electricity generation at useable levels. And they obviously have chemical and mechanical storage methods.

Plus the writing was boring.
 
2014-03-18 08:56:15 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.

You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough

So you are stating, as fact, that no GM-corn has ever been grown within pollinating distance of non-GM corn on neighboring farms? Which going by this article appears to be up to 150 meters

You are also stating, as fact, that no bee has ever visited a GM-soybean plant and then stopped by a non-GM soybean plant on its way back to its hive?

I never mentioned soybeans. Anybody who knows corn that you don't plant different strains near each other.


So what was your original objection to my non-species specific comment that there's an absurdly low chance that a GM plant has never pollinated a non-GM plant?

As to corn growing - I'm not a farmer but to me it seems unlikely that neighboring farmers who both grow corn would each give up 75 meters around the perimeter of their farm. AFAIK cross-pollination does not affect the crop, just the offspring if you save the seeds. Most farmers don't save seeds, they buy them from suppliers - so would they really care about cross-pollination enough to maintain buffer zones? I'll be happy to be corrected on this if I'm wrong.
 
2014-03-18 08:56:35 AM  
Apparently, the case study of how to fark up antibiotics in five decades didn't make it into the executive summary.
 
2014-03-18 08:57:15 AM  

Farkage: So you're telling me that corn genetically engineered to produce bt toxin is safer and healthier than corn that isn't?


Why, it is indeed.
You do realize that Bt is a natural pesticide, approved in organic farming? Bt bacteira is a very common soil bacteria, and you've probably inhaled/digested quite a bit on your lifetime.
The 'pesticide' part of the bacteria is a protein, and it is the gene from that bacteria that is transferred to the corn.

Oh, I should add this (quote from biofortified.org):
"
Ironically, crops expressing Bt have reduced toxin exposure all over the world. Corn expressing Bt has dramatically reduced incidence of fungal infection and of potentially deadly mycotoxins (toxins produced by fungus). Why? The Bt corn has fewer insect bite marks, which is how the fungus enters the kernels to colonize the ear. There are other ways to prevent fungus growth, but none are better than Bt, especially in tropical and sub-tropical areas such as southern Africa and Central America where maize aka corn is a staple. In addition, use of Bt has allowed farmers to use fewer broad spectrum insecticides, letting more non-pest insects live and reducing exposure to farmers and neighbors during pesticide application. Finally, because Bt protects corn from insect damage, Bt corn has higher yields so less land is needed to grow the same amount of food."

As for that fearmongering that OMG GENES ARE TRANSFERRED FROM ONE SPECIES TO ANOTHER, whoa, settle down. This happens in nature all the time, and has been happening for millions of years. It's called lateral gene transfer. Usually via bacteria that are really good at inserting genes into their new host's genome. As a matter of fact, a popular technique used in biotech is harnessing those bacteria that naturally do these cross-species (up to even cross-kingdom) to do the oh-so-evil gene transfer.

So to sum up: Bt bacteria is natural and all over the place. Gene transfer is natural and has been going on since time immemorial, with or without man.
 
2014-03-18 09:03:32 AM  

Target Builder: Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Mid_mo_mad_man: Target Builder: Jim_Callahan: 1. There are 0 verified cases of cross contamination.  Not "almost zero", not "we project basically zero".  Literally not a single plant that has been planted with GM seed has expressed a modified gene without us intentionally setting it up to in the entire history of modern agriculture.

Given that the seeds aren't sterile there's an absurdly low chance that there has never been any cross contamination.

You know how I know your not a gardener or farmer? Unless they are planting gmo and non gmo next to each they can cross. Corn pollen is spread by wind. It actually has to be fairly close to spread from plants. Twenty feet between strands of it is usally enough

So you are stating, as fact, that no GM-corn has ever been grown within pollinating distance of non-GM corn on neighboring farms? Which going by this article appears to be up to 150 meters

You are also stating, as fact, that no bee has ever visited a GM-soybean plant and then stopped by a non-GM soybean plant on its way back to its hive?

I never mentioned soybeans. Anybody who knows corn that you don't plant different strains near each other.

So what was your original objection to my non-species specific comment that there's an absurdly low chance that a GM plant has never pollinated a non-GM plant?

As to corn growing - I'm not a farmer but to me it seems unlikely that neighboring farmers who both grow corn would each give up 75 meters around the perimeter of their farm. AFAIK cross-pollination does not affect the crop, just the offspring if you save the seeds. Most farmers don't save seeds, they buy them from suppliers - so would they really care about cross-pollination enough to maintain buffer zones? I'll be happy to be corrected on this if I'm wrong.


The product you sell from corn is the seed. It could become feed,seed or whatever. It all starts as a seed. It is also standard to isolate corn that you don't want crossed.
 
2014-03-18 09:16:35 AM  
An excellent, scientific overview of Bt here:
http://web.expasy.org/spotlight/snapshots/014/

"
Bacillus thuringiensis has been used commercially - in the form of dried spores and crystal toxins - in agriculture since the 1930s. Its use increased in the 1980s when it was clear that insects were becoming resistant to synthetic insecticides which were harmful to the environment anyway. Bt is organic and affects only specific insects. With biotechnology flourishing, it was not long before specific Bt endotoxin genes were integrated into plant genomes and genetically modified crops were created: the 'Bt crops' which now include 'Bt corn', 'Bt potato', 'Bt cotton' and 'Bt soybean'.
The advantage here is that farmers do not have to spray crops with Bt and that only the insects which harm the crops are attacked; even those which have a go at the plants' roots. No harm can come to humans or other mammals either, since not only are toxins ineffective in mammalian physiological pH but they do not have receptors for the toxins anyway. "
 
2014-03-18 09:18:29 AM  
One might say the worm has turned.

The thread is full of hobby horse riders.

Of Hovercrafts and Eels.
 
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