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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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7539 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Mar 2014 at 5:31 AM (32 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-18 09:20:33 AM  

Egoy3k: 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.


Don 't be an idiot.....

Let's try adding some common sense, do more extensive testing before deploying into the wild and introducing safeguards whereever possible.

Our problem is that these greeedy bastards are in a MAJOR hurry to make a serious cash and they don't give a rats ass if they  wipe out most of the planet in the process (they probably do, but I'm guessing most don't think that far ahead)...


/FORWARD thinking - how DOES it work?
 
2014-03-18 09:23:16 AM  

AlanSmithee: 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. "


I have no concerns about Bt itself.  We bought and used some on our apple tree as an eco-friendly way of dealing with a caterpillar infestation.

But Monsanto, as a corporation, is farking psycopathic.
 
2014-03-18 09:24:58 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.


Bees can fly up to 5 miles in their normal routes looking for flowers to pollinate.  I don't think anyone is making barriers that big
 
2014-03-18 09:28:39 AM  

Slam Bradley: 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.

Bees can fly up to 5 miles in their normal routes looking for flowers to pollinate.  I don't think anyone is making barriers that big


Corn is wind pollinated. No bees are needed.
 
2014-03-18 09:29:39 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.

If you're going to base policy on shiat that only exists in your imagination, make sure you include some sort of regulatory framework so I don't accidentally run people over with my rainbow-pooping flying unicorn.

2. GM may potentially become less viable to some extent a few centuries in the future.  Organic farming literally is not even slightly viable  already, switching to organics would starve 80% of the world to death within a month if you go with the  forgiving estimate of comparative crop yields, more like 90% if you consider reduced calorie content by mass.

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...

Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.  Further, GM food has actually been teste ...


Dude - you NEVER go full retard.
 
2014-03-18 09:30:37 AM  
Nothing wrong with genetically modified crops.

We should probably stop buying them from lex luthor though.
 
2014-03-18 09:31:33 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Bees can fly up to 5 miles in their normal routes looking for flowers to pollinate. I don't think anyone is making barriers that big


Corn is wind pollinated. No bees are needed


I'd like to also mention that the pesticides used by organic farmers are scarily toxic to bees.
 
2014-03-18 09:33:51 AM  

AlanSmithee: 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 i ...


It is one thing to apply BT (or any other pesticide natural or otherwise) to a play when needed to repel certain problem insects when they arise, and it is a completely different thing to engineer the plant to contain BT (or roundup, you know, whatever), because eventually the insects and bacteria and fungi that are meant to be repelled will become resistant or immune to the effects through constant exposure.  Technically, antibiotics are natural and occur all over the place in nature, but it should be obvious and common knowledge that their overuse in both humans and livestock has begun to create bacteria superbugs completely immune to their effects.

Now, I'm no hippy, but our current methods of agriculture are completely unsustainable, degrading topsoil and polluting waterways.  Careless agriculture lead to the dust bowl in Oklahoma (well that and a record drought), and we're heading in that direction but on a much larger scarier scale.  Perhaps organic methods aren't an easy solution either due to the increase in labor and cost necessary, but maybe those are the things that should be getting federal subsidies instead of big Ag.  And regardless, big Ag needs to move towards (or be forced to) more organic and sustainable practices or we're all gonna be screwed in about 50 years.
 
2014-03-18 09:41:01 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.


Ha! Good one! Rich people starving. That's a knee-slapper! Could a lack of diversity in food crops lead to large-scale famine? Absolutely. That doesn't mean that everything edible on the planet will disappear. There will always be food for those who can afford it. What the rich have earned themselves is the right to continue feasting as the world starves around them. Even the effects on the general population of the US are likely to be fairly minimal compared to what will be seen in poor, over-populated, third-world countries. Most of the starving to death will happen in places that already suck. People in the US will biatch because the price of eggs doubles and they can't afford to eat out anymore. Hell, we'll probably get even fatter as we start to rely even more on cheaper, processed foods.
 
2014-03-18 09:44:46 AM  
Sorry subby, you lie... I have it on good authority that evolution is a lie. God just upgraded this worm, that's all.
 
2014-03-18 09:47:14 AM  

Target Builder: 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 only part of a seed that is affected by the cross polination is the germ.  The rest of the seed represents the parent plants genetics.  If you sell all your crop for use then cross polination is not a concern whatsoever.  If you are planing on growning seed stock you are going to have to sell the perimeter plants for use while keeping the center seedstock.
 
2014-03-18 09:50:20 AM  
This f up is pretty bad, but I am way more concerned about a second wave of bee die offs. That would have a much worse impact overall.
 
2014-03-18 09:51:28 AM  

Carn: It is one thing to apply BT (or any other pesticide natural or otherwise) to a play when needed to repel certain problem insects when they arise, and it is a completely different thing to engineer the plant to contain BT (or roundup, you know, whatever), because eventually the insects and bacteria and fungi that are meant to be repelled will become resistant or immune to the effects through constant exposure. Technically, antibiotics are natural and occur all over the place in nature, but it should be obvious and common knowledge that their overuse in both humans and livestock has begun to create bacteria superbugs completely immune to their effects.Now, I'm no hippy, but our current methods of agriculture are completely unsustainable, degrading topsoil and polluting waterways. Careless agriculture lead to the dust bowl in Oklahoma (well that and a record drought), and we're heading in that direction but on a much larger scarier scale. Perhaps organic methods aren't an easy solution either due to the increase in labor and cost necessary, but maybe those are the things that should be getting federal subsidies instead of big Ag. And regardless, big Ag needs to move towards (or be forced to) more organic and sustainable practices or we're all gonna be screwed in about 50 years.


It sounds like you're in favor of organic farming, and that's a fine choice. Just to be clear, my problem with organic farming is when the shills of organic farm corporations completely misrepresent the results of scientific research in order to malign their main business competitors.

Your links indicate that soil degradation and pollusted waterways are problems, but don't specifically link them to GMOs.
Which method do you think pollutes waterways more: organic farming, GMO, or non-organic/non-GMO agriculture?  All three pollute (yes, even organic).

How much of the soil degradation is simply due to scale? I.e. Is there any reason to believe that organic farming would produce less soil degradation when performed on a large enough scale to feed the world?
 
2014-03-18 09:53:40 AM  

draypresct: Carn: It is one thing to apply BT (or any other pesticide natural or otherwise) to a play when needed to repel certain problem insects when they arise, and it is a completely different thing to engineer the plant to contain BT (or roundup, you know, whatever), because eventually the insects and bacteria and fungi that are meant to be repelled will become resistant or immune to the effects through constant exposure. Technically, antibiotics are natural and occur all over the place in nature, but it should be obvious and common knowledge that their overuse in both humans and livestock has begun to create bacteria superbugs completely immune to their effects.Now, I'm no hippy, but our current methods of agriculture are completely unsustainable, degrading topsoil and polluting waterways. Careless agriculture lead to the dust bowl in Oklahoma (well that and a record drought), and we're heading in that direction but on a much larger scarier scale. Perhaps organic methods aren't an easy solution either due to the increase in labor and cost necessary, but maybe those are the things that should be getting federal subsidies instead of big Ag. And regardless, big Ag needs to move towards (or be forced to) more organic and sustainable practices or we're all gonna be screwed in about 50 years.

It sounds like you're in favor of organic farming, and that's a fine choice. Just to be clear, my problem with organic farming is when the shills of organic farm corporations completely misrepresent the results of scientific research in order to malign their main business competitors.

Your links indicate that soil degradation and pollusted waterways are problems, but don't specifically link them to GMOs.
Which method do you think pollutes waterways more: organic farming, GMO, or non-organic/non-GMO agriculture?  All three pollute (yes, even organic).

How much of the soil degradation is simply due to scale? I.e. Is there any reason to believe that organic farming would produce less soil degradation when performed on a large enough scale to feed the world?


Gmo with it's no till possibility would. be best.
 
2014-03-18 09:53:49 AM  
Do you want Spice? Because this is how you get Spice.
 
2014-03-18 10:15:34 AM  
Anyone who knows corn knows the vast majority of corn seed is hybridized seed produced on specialty farms where pollination is strictly controlled.
 
2014-03-18 10:22:11 AM  

draypresct: Carn: It is one thing to apply BT (or any other pesticide natural or otherwise) to a play when needed to repel certain problem insects when they arise, and it is a completely different thing to engineer the plant to contain BT (or roundup, you know, whatever), because eventually the insects and bacteria and fungi that are meant to be repelled will become resistant or immune to the effects through constant exposure. Technically, antibiotics are natural and occur all over the place in nature, but it should be obvious and common knowledge that their overuse in both humans and livestock has begun to create bacteria superbugs completely immune to their effects.Now, I'm no hippy, but our current methods of agriculture are completely unsustainable, degrading topsoil and polluting waterways. Careless agriculture lead to the dust bowl in Oklahoma (well that and a record drought), and we're heading in that direction but on a much larger scarier scale. Perhaps organic methods aren't an easy solution either due to the increase in labor and cost necessary, but maybe those are the things that should be getting federal subsidies instead of big Ag. And regardless, big Ag needs to move towards (or be forced to) more organic and sustainable practices or we're all gonna be screwed in about 50 years.

It sounds like you're in favor of organic farming, and that's a fine choice. Just to be clear, my problem with organic farming is when the shills of organic farm corporations completely misrepresent the results of scientific research in order to malign their main business competitors.

Your links indicate that soil degradation and pollusted waterways are problems, but don't specifically link them to GMOs.
Which method do you think pollutes waterways more: organic farming, GMO, or non-organic/non-GMO agriculture?  All three pollute (yes, even organic).

How much of the soil degradation is simply due to scale? I.e. Is there any reason to believe that organic farming would produce less soil ...


These are excellent points. As to the last point, don't some GMO crops reduce the need for tillage? And thus contribute less to soil degradation?
 
2014-03-18 10:23:26 AM  
m1.behance.net

/Woot! GMO Threat!
//Grabs popcorn
///Oh noes! GMO poison popcorn! Gack!
 
2014-03-18 10:25:56 AM  

Deathfrogg: log_jammin: Farkage: My issue is engineering food to produce more and different kinds of toxin to keep bugs from eating it because it'll kill them, but saying it's okay for us to eat it because they tested it a little and pinky swear that it's okay.

who exactly is "they"? because you understand that anyone can test they stuff to determine if it is safe or not.

Your comment would be like saying "My issue is engineering vaccines to produce more and different kinds of toxin to keep diseases from your body it because it'll kill them, but saying it's okay for us because they tested it a little and pinky swear that it's okay. "

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.


Derp.

Btk is not farking Agent Orange.

And it only activates in certain gut chemistries. Gut chemistries that people do not possess.

Herp de derp.
 
2014-03-18 10:40:48 AM  

ambercat: 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...

Well, to be fair, the article does outline the ways in which this could have been prevented. The true problem with GMOs is that while they could be used wisely, the odds of them actually being used wisely and with proper regulatory enforcement are about as slim as a unicorn spontaneously jumping out my butt this very second. And if they aren't used the way that is safest and suggested by scientists, it could fark a whole bunch of things up down the road. It's not that they have to be bad, it's that we know from experience with just about every other thing that could fark us up if we don't regulate it, we won't to the most ideal degree, and whatever the crappy result of failure to do so is, we'll be experiencing it to one degree or another soon enough. So I can understand why some people feel with GMOs it's going to be an everything goes or nothing does situation and banning them is the only way to stop this.


Shhh, don't confuse the Anti-Anti GMO crowd in their quest to make other people think the same way. All GMOs are safe because it's same as nature does brah. You hating science?

/not anti-GMO per se, but I'd rather not risk it for my own consumption where I can
 
2014-03-18 10:43:19 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.

If you're going to base policy on shiat that only exists in your imagination, make sure you include some sort of regulatory framework so I don't accidentally run people over with my rainbow-pooping flying unicorn.

2. GM may potentially become less viable to some extent a few centuries in the future.  Organic farming literally is not even slightly viable  already, switching to organics would starve 80% of the world to death within a month if you go with the  forgiving estimate of comparative crop yields, more like 90% if you consider reduced calorie content by mass.

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...

Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.  Further, GM food has actually been teste ...


This was great. 8.90/10. Just....very good. polished.professional. Your letter of Commendation on Guild stationary is on it';s way. Please return $19.95  in the enclosed envelope for a coupon for framing and presenting the letter.
 
2014-03-18 10:43:49 AM  
So how do the worms taste? If they are at least as nutritious as corn an elegant solution may present itself.
 
2014-03-18 10:49:40 AM  

draypresct: It sounds like you're in favor of organic farming, and that's a fine choice. Just to be clear, my problem with organic farming is when the shills of organic farm corporations completely misrepresent the results of scientific research in order to malign their main business competitors.

Your links indicate that soil degradation and pollusted waterways are problems, but don't specifically link them to GMOs.
Which method do you think pollutes waterways more: organic farming, GMO, or non-organic/non-GMO agriculture?  All three pollute (yes, even organic).

How much of the soil degradation is simply due to scale? I.e. Is there any reason to believe that organic farming would produce less soil degradation when performed on a large enough scale to feed the world?


You're right, pollution and degradation aren't specifically linked to GMOs and are matters of scale.  By definition, organic farming should pollute less, because it requires less (or no) fertilizers and fewer pesticides.  There could still be water pollution from runoff if animals were kept too near waterways.

Organic farming is based on the idea of building the soil, not tearing it down, so soil degradation should be minimized in comparison.  Composting, crop rotation, and green manure (using cover crops that rebuild the soil and protect from erosion in the winter) are just a few of the ways it does this.  Feasible large scale?  Probably not without some major advances, however I'd love to see the government investing in research and subsidies along these lines instead of encouraging big Ag to invent new strains of crops which lead to super insects.  Don't get me wrong, I think certain kinds of genetic modification should be encouraged.  Speeding up the cross breeding process, encouraging natural disease and pest resistance, growth rate and production are all fine ideas, but these should be done in a controlled manner and new varieties should be tested before they become ok'd.
 
2014-03-18 11:03:38 AM  

Carn: By definition, organic farming should pollute less, because it requires less (or no) fertilizers and fewer pesticides


As it stands, organic farming uses a lot of pesticides, many far more toxic than synthetics. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it is good. Eg, copper sulfate, rotenone, etc..
To do without those would wipe out the organic farm industry overnight.
 
2014-03-18 11:12:29 AM  

log_jammin: 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...

9/11 was an inside job


crab66:   Next you can tell me about chemtrails and fluoride mind control.

Okay, there's now way concern about GMOs is anywhere near the level of stupidity of calling 9/11 an inside job or fluoride is a method for mind control.

AlanSmithee: 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.


Yes, it happens all the time but not at the speed which we do it using molecular biology techniques.  And the speed matters.  In lateral gene transfer, conceptually a single plant obtains the gene.  It then grows up and presumably is selected for in the long-term eventually growing to a large population.  Meanwhile, the rest of the ecosystem has time to adapt.  The way humans do it, one day the plant doesn't exist and the next day, poof we have fields full of the stuff.  Your sole focus seems to be on humans in the short term.  This article is about how GMOs effect ecosystems.

I'm all for GMOs, I actually make GMOs myself (for research purposes only) but there are a lot of considerations here.  It's not just no big deal.  We're farking with life and nature, it's kinda a big deal.
 
2014-03-18 11:23:44 AM  

AlanSmithee: Carn: By definition, organic farming should pollute less, because it requires less (or no) fertilizers and fewer pesticides

As it stands, organic farming uses a lot of pesticides, many far more toxic than synthetics. Just because it's organic doesn't mean it is good. Eg, copper sulfate, rotenone, etc..
To do without those would wipe out the organic farm industry overnight.


Fair enough, but on the topic of soil degradation, organic should be superior.  Also, it may be a matter of scale, lack of research, etc.  Maybe we just have not figured out the perfect combination of companion planting, rotation, etc. to minimize pest and disease issues.
 
2014-03-18 11:34:04 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.


I'm likely to be alive for 50 of those next 100, so it does kinda bother me. I don't have very much money (as in almost none) but you're right that I'm white.

Seriously, the next 50 years is going to be a huge challenge. Not much I can do but watch the show.
 
2014-03-18 11:35:21 AM  
It's nice to see Fark come back to sanity after fellating Monsanto and GMO for so long.
 
2014-03-18 11:49:33 AM  

Mid_mo_mad_man: Gmo with it's no till possibility would. be best.


AlanSmithee: As to the last point, don't some GMO crops reduce the need for tillage? And thus contribute less to soil degradation?


This is why I Fark. Because of these comments, I've  read more about tillage than I ever would have been motivated to otherwise. Thanks!

I'm guessing your points were that Round-Up-resistant strains wouldn't need as much of the weed-killing benefit from tillage, so GMOs would need tillage less?
Wouldn't all the other benefits of tillage (aeration, mixing organics through the soil, etc.) still apply to GMOs? Because of this, I'm guessing that tillage is an issue largely separate from the GMO/no-GMO/organic debate, but please let me know if I'm being naïve (again).

It also appears that most US farming has used conservation tillage since 1997, so this may be less of an issue than has been implied through the thread.
 
2014-03-18 11:56:36 AM  

Jim_Callahan: Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.


50 years of USDA study says you're wrong, and our food nutritional content is actually dropping.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999,Vol. 23, No. 6, 669-682 (2004). - Actual Source

http://www.riordanclinic.org/research/articles/89024122_pub.pdf  - source link

But hey, I just happen to do this kind of stuff for a living, what do you do?
 
2014-03-18 11:59:40 AM  

Carn: Fair enough, but on the topic of soil degradation, organic should be superior.


Everything has a half-life. Soil degrades no matter what you do, it's just thermodynamics in effect.
 
2014-03-18 12:00:37 PM  

lennavan: Yes, it happens all the time but not at the speed which we do it using molecular biology techniques. And the speed matters. In lateral gene transfer, conceptually a single plant obtains the gene. It then grows up and presumably is selected for in the long-term eventually growing to a large population. Meanwhile, the rest of the ecosystem has time to adapt. The way humans do it, one day the plant doesn't exist and the next day, poof we have fields full of the stuff. Your sole focus seems to be on humans in the short term. This article is about how GMOs effect ecosystems.I'm all for GMOs, I actually make GMOs myself (for research purposes only) but there are a lot of considerations here. It's not just no big deal. We're farking with life and nature, it's kinda a big deal.


Nothing (except bacterial evolution, dammit) in nature happens at the speed humans can introduce change. Genetic manipulation is only one of the ways we introduce that change. Non-GMO farming uses strains created by hybridization, induced mutation (yes, even organic farming uses these), and just plain old artificial selection. Each of these is tested less than the GMO strains, and each has produced unintended consequences.

I'm not advocating relaxing the current standards on GMOs; however, the concept that we should get rid of GMOs (and only GMOs) because of their potential dangers seems to be a plan that would hurt a lot of people just to benefit the finances of Monsanto's business competitors.
 
2014-03-18 12:05:58 PM  

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.


Yeah. Right. Zero. Cases. I crossed out your goalpost move, skippy.

Jim_Callahan: 2. GM may potentially become less viable to some extent a few centuries in the future.


Op. cit. TFA.

Jim_Callahan: Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.  Further, GM food has actually been tested to establish that it's healthy/safe.  Non-GM food has not.  You're actually taking  moreof a health risk eating non-GM food.


Let's address this mess a tad more meaningfully.
Healthier? Unsubstantiated claim. Also an asinine claim, given TFA is about corn that's been modified to produce TOXINS.
Tested? Like that rice that has contaminated the world's supply, cited above?
Non-modified foods are unsafe? Only if six million or so years of hominids eating them does not qualify as the longest longitudinal food safety study. Ever.
 
2014-03-18 12:07:57 PM  

khyberkitsune: Jim_Callahan: Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.

50 years of USDA study says you're wrong, and our food nutritional content is actually dropping.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999,Vol. 23, No. 6, 669-682 (2004). - Actual Source

http://www.riordanclinic.org/research/articles/89024122_pub.pdf  - source link

But hey, I just happen to do this kind of stuff for a living, what do you do?


This study looked at two time points: 1950 and 1999.

Because you do this for a living, you're aware that the FDA only passed the nutrition labeling and education act in 1990, right? This act standardized the reporting of nutritional panel information.

Now, before standardization, if you're marketing a food, would you A) report all nutritional information, including the nutritional areas your food is low in, or B) report the nutritional information that makes your food look good?

Non-reporting bias . . . it's what's for dinner.
 
2014-03-18 12:11:08 PM  

khyberkitsune: 50 years of USDA study says you're wrong, and our food nutritional content is actually dropping.


Is that true?  Wow, that's news to me.  I mean, the very first GMO created with the goal of improving nutrition was golden rice, published in 2000.  Here it is - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10634784

What evidence do you have that nutrition declined after that?

khyberkitsune: Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999


Oh my dear lord, what a stupid study to cite if you're attempting to rebut the claim that GMOs improve nutrition.  You're comparing years before nutritionally improved GMOs even existed.  That's okay though, you don't have any reason to know any better.

khyberkitsune: But hey, I just happen to do this kind of stuff for a living, what do you do?


Oh my dear lord.  Don't show your employer this thread.
 
2014-03-18 12:11:16 PM  

Darth Macho: So how do the worms taste? If they are at least as nutritious as corn an elegant solution may present itself.


Oh they'd be quite a bit more nutritious than corn.  Corn and it's products like HFCS and Corn Oil are really unhealthy for human consumption.

Flavor? shrug, most taste nutty.
 
2014-03-18 12:14:35 PM  

khyberkitsune: Carn: Fair enough, but on the topic of soil degradation, organic should be superior.

Everything has a half-life. Soil degrades no matter what you do, it's just thermodynamics in effect.


Yes, which is why organic farming utilizes composting and replenishing the soil with healthy organic material, not just the nutrients that are used by the plants but microbes, worms and other living things.  Organic matter (humus) is superior for water retention and erosion resistance too.  Soil is alive, or should be.
 
2014-03-18 12:24:23 PM  

Carn: Yes, which is why organic farming utilizes composting and replenishing the soil with healthy organic material, not just the nutrients that are used by the plants but microbes, worms and other living things


What's the connection to GMOs? Composting can be used regardless of the type of crop.  Or have we moved the goalpost to criticizing large-scale agriculture?
 
2014-03-18 12:27:03 PM  

draypresct: Nothing (except bacterial evolution, dammit) in nature happens at the speed humans can introduce change


Viruses are quicker.  The flu virus mutates quickly enabling it to evade vaccinated immune systems, which is why we have to get another flu shot every year.  HIV mutates even faster, we'd have to get vaccinated daily to keep up with its mutation rate.

draypresct: I'm not advocating relaxing the current standards on GMOs; however, the concept that we should get rid of GMOs (and only GMOs) because of their potential dangers seems to be a plan that would hurt a lot of people just to benefit the finances of Monsanto's business competitors.


I'm not arguing we should get rid of GMOs.  People, yourself here included, seem to be arguing "these things happen naturally, so it's no big deal."  By your definition of natural, everything is natural.  You take a bunch of natural chemicals, put them together using natural processes and poof you get a natural product like Styrofoam.  It's not natural, we are exploiting a natural process for non-natural purposes.  I get it, you want to argue it's natural to take away the scariness.  You and I can go beyond that, I'm not afraid of it -- I have made dozens of GMOs myself.  But there's no way in hell the process or the end result is natural.

Google Alba the GFP bunny.  I can explain to you using only natural processes how it is possible GFP might be transferred from jellyfish to bunnies.  There's no farking way you're going to tell me a GFP bunny is natural.
 
2014-03-18 12:27:20 PM  

lennavan: I actually make GMOs myself (for research purposes only) but there are a lot of considerations here. It's not just no big deal.


Could you transfer some smart gene's into me.

/I want to be a GMO
 
2014-03-18 12:39:53 PM  

lennavan: draypresct: Nothing (except bacterial evolution, dammit) in nature happens at the speed humans can introduce changeViruses are quicker. The flu virus mutates quickly enabling it to evade vaccinated immune systems, which is why we have to get another flu shot every year. HIV mutates even faster, we'd have to get vaccinated daily to keep up with its mutation rate.


True. Thanks for the correction.

lennavan: draypresct: I'm not advocating relaxing the current standards on GMOs; however, the concept that we should get rid of GMOs (and only GMOs) because of their potential dangers seems to be a plan that would hurt a lot of people just to benefit the finances of Monsanto's business competitors.
I'm not arguing we should get rid of GMOs. People, yourself here included, seem to be arguing "these things happen naturally, so it's no big deal." By your definition of natural, everything is natural. You take a bunch of natural chemicals, put them together using natural processes and poof you get a natural product like Styrofoam. It's not natural, we are exploiting a natural process for non-natural purposes. I get it, you want to argue it's natural to take away the scariness. You and I can go beyond that, I'm not afraid of it -- I have made dozens of GMOs myself. But there's no way in hell the process or the end result is natural.
Google Alba the GFP bunny. I can explain to you using only natural processes how it is possible GFP might be transferred from jellyfish to bunnies. There's no farking way you're going to tell me a GFP bunny is natural.


I think we're both coming to this from discussions with different focuses. I'm used to arguing with people who are pushing for the banning of GMOs, which you weren't doing, so that part of my post was irrelevant to the topic we were discussing.

I'm also certainly not arguing that GMOs are "natural therefore safe" (neither of which is true). I'm arguing that, under the current level of scrutiny, GMOs that pass the testing process are (probably) safer than a number of other agricultural products that are not tested, including some products produced by hybridization, induced mutation, and yes, even artificial selection. Each of these methods are completely unnatural and can produce harmful effects (cyanide grass, anyone?), but we as a society have decided that these risks are generally low enough to live with.
 
2014-03-18 12:44:18 PM  
Oh noes! Ag-science is kicked al the way back to ... 1995!!1!

Get a grip.
 
2014-03-18 12:45:03 PM  

draypresct: khyberkitsune: Jim_Callahan: Nutritionally speaking, GM food is typically healthier than non-GM food, that's one of the two things that it's usually modified for.

50 years of USDA study says you're wrong, and our food nutritional content is actually dropping.

Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Changes in USDA Food Composition Data for 43 Garden Crops, 1950 to 1999,Vol. 23, No. 6, 669-682 (2004). - Actual Source

http://www.riordanclinic.org/research/articles/89024122_pub.pdf  - source link

But hey, I just happen to do this kind of stuff for a living, what do you do?

This study looked at two time points: 1950 and 1999.

Because you do this for a living, you're aware that the FDA only passed the nutrition labeling and education act in 1990, right? This act standardized the reporting of nutritional panel information.

Now, before standardization, if you're marketing a food, would you A) report all nutritional information, including the nutritional areas your food is low in, or B) report the nutritional information that makes your food look good?

Non-reporting bias . . . it's what's for dinner.


Way to move your goalposts around by moving away from the subject. To quote the study:

Conclusions:
We suggest that any real declines are generally most easily explained by changes in cultivated
varieties between 1950 and 1999, in which there may be trade-offs between yield and nutrient content


Plenty of GMO been around since the dawn of agriculture. Even selective breeding for phenotype is genetic modification.
 
2014-03-18 12:50:42 PM  

AlanSmithee: Carn: Yes, which is why organic farming utilizes composting and replenishing the soil with healthy organic material, not just the nutrients that are used by the plants but microbes, worms and other living things

What's the connection to GMOs? Composting can be used regardless of the type of crop.  Or have we moved the goalpost to criticizing large-scale agriculture?


Connection to GMOs?  I've been talking in more general terms in this thread but specifically regarding GMOs I've been thinking about corn.  Is there any large scale farm producer in the US that does not grow GMO corn?   These guys say roughly 88% of corn is GMO.  You might choose to dismiss them because they're probably a bunch of dirty hippies but there it is. Roundup corn specifically strikes me as one of the worst ideas come up with in modern agriculture.
 
2014-03-18 12:50:53 PM  

lennavan: What evidence do you have that nutrition declined after that?


Oh, plenty. Which would you prefer? A direct tour through my research facility where we can grow plants WITH ZERO LIGHT and still get better nutritional quality versus the same crop under light using regular conditions? Perhaps you'd like a lab test results page where our non-GMO lettuce generally held higher nutrient quality versus the Guideline GMO of the same variety when grown under the same conditions? Yea let's post that one first.

http://imgur.com/868kcVj

Hmm, what else should I bring out?

lennavan: Oh my dear lord. Don't show your employer this thread.


Guess who provided that nutritional content image out of our records (that I don't have access to) just for this thread?

My direct boss, and investor.
 
2014-03-18 12:52:55 PM  

draypresct: I'm also certainly not arguing that GMOs are "natural therefore safe" (neither of which is true). I'm arguing that, under the current level of scrutiny, GMOs that pass the testing process are (probably) safer than a number of other agricultural products that are not tested, including some products produced by hybridization, induced mutation, and yes, even artificial selection. Each of these methods are completely unnatural and can produce harmful effects (cyanide grass, anyone?), but we as a society have decided that these risks are generally low enough to live with.


Sure but that focus seems mostly on humans in the short term.  With appropriate testing, I'm perfectly fine with the safety of GMOs.  I'm more worried about the effects on nature in the long term.  Here, in the article, a worm evolved to eat a toxin.  What happens to the organism that eats the worm?  What happens if this gene escapes from the corn population through any number of mechanisms and gets into other plants?

If this had happened naturally, we'd start with a single stalk of corn expressing the toxin to resist the worm.  The corn would slowly grow in numbers, while the worms slowly become resistant, so whatever eats them slowly adapts and so on.  But with GMOs, instead in evolutionary timescales, it's pretty much just "poof" all corn expresses the toxin.  Then "poof" worms become resistant.  Worms can adapt that quickly because they have short lifespans and large numbers of babies.  But as you move up the food chain, eventually you'll hit an organism that can't adapt that quickly and may go extinct.  An alternative possibility is the worms may have become resistant by evolving an enzyme that can metabolize the toxin.  What happens when that metabolite works it way up the food chain to our dinner plates, much like mercury does?

That's the message that needs to get out to these assholes:

But the scientists' own recommendations - an advisory panel convened in 2002 by the EPA suggested that a full 50 percent of each corn farmer's fields be devoted to these non-Bt refuges - were resisted by seed companies and eventually the EPA itself, which set voluntary refuge guidelines at between 5 and 20 percent. Many farmers didn't even follow those recommendations
 
2014-03-18 12:59:16 PM  

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.



If it's eating the corn crop, it isn't a beneficial insect.
Bt-toxin has absolutely nothing to do with any kind of defoliant, or the dioxin contaminants in the defoliants that caused all those health problems.

Bt-toxin has been used in spray-on pesticides since the 1920s, and is still in use today. As a matter of fact, the Bt-toxin is used on organic farms.
 
2014-03-18 01:02:48 PM  
khyberkitsune:  Draypresct:
This study looked at two time points: 1950 and 1999.
Because you do this for a living, you're aware that the FDA only passed the nutrition labeling and education act in 1990, right?
This act standardized the reporting of nutritional panel information. Now, before standardization, if you're marketing a food, would you A) report all nutritional information, including the nutritional areas your food is low in, or B) report the nutritional information that makes your food look good?
Non-reporting bias . . . it's what's for dinner.

Way to move your goalposts around by moving away from the subject. To quote the study: Conclusions: We suggest that any real declines are generally most easily explained by changes in cultivated varieties between 1950 and 1999, in which there may be trade-offs between yield and nutrient content
Plenty of GMO been around since the dawn of agriculture. Even selective breeding for phenotype is genetic modification.


Your response (and the study you quote) did not address the issue with non-reporting bias in early (pre-standardization) nutritional labels. Did you not read my post, or do you need to review some  basic statistical concepts?
 
2014-03-18 01:10:58 PM  

khyberkitsune: lennavan: What evidence do you have that nutrition declined after that?

Oh, plenty.

  But you're right, the evidence I posted previously had fark all to do with GMO nutrition because you were right, it only went up to 1999 and GMOs intended to improve nutrition were not created until 2000Do you mind if I replace that evidence with new evidence and pretend it never happened?

Hey, I won't tell anyone.  I doubt anyone will notice.

khyberkitsune: Perhaps you'd like a lab test results page where our non-GMO lettuce generally held higher nutrient quality versus the Guideline GMO of the same variety when grown under the same conditions? Yea let's post that one first


Your nutrient analysis only focuses on elements and only some of them.  I see that your lettuce has more Nitrogen, Potassium and Phosphorous.  The only real way to get Nitrogen, Potassium or Phosphorous deficiency is by not eating anything.  Alternatively, chronic alcoholics have issues with phosphorous.  So congrats, you have a form of lettuce that might help chronic alcoholics?

From a purely business standpoint, you might not want to use this example as evidence ever again.
 
2014-03-18 01:20:41 PM  
Old news is old.

Stupid farking corn speculators.

Goddamnit so much.
 
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