GM crops will save thousands of lives


By tovarichpeter   Follow   Sun, 3 Mar 2013, 9:30am   484 views   18 comments
In South San Francisco CA 94080   Watch (0)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)  

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/03/02/184189/commentary-where-is-the-science.html

If this column appeared under the headline, “Massive defeat for the anti-science forces,” you would naturally assume I’m talking about some kind of setback for conservative Republicans, right? And you would be completely wrong. The losers in this case are the luddite shock troops of progressivism like Greenpeace. And the winners are the children of the Philippines, thousands of whom will not go blind or die because the anti-science wing of modern liberalism finally is getting some pushback. The Filipino government has finally approved the planting of genetically modified rice that contains vitamin A. “Golden rice,” as the stuff is...

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  1. Dan8267


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    1   1:56pm Sun 3 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (6)   Dislike  

    My one concern about genetically modified crops is economic, not health. These crops are patented and often cannot reproduce. This forces farmers to buy new seeds from a GM food company every year as they cannot grow food from the plants they grew from the original seeds. This makes farmers, and the entire food supply, dependent on the GM food company. And that is a terrible thing.

    Deliberately preventing crops from being able to reproduce in order to create a world-wide dependency on companies with "intellectual property" is not acceptable when the world's food supply is on the line.

    When top-tier ISPs get into a fight over profits, tens of millions of people lose Internet access. When top-tier GM food providers get into a fight over profits, tens of millions of people starve to death. That's a situation I think we have the right to avoid using the fullest extent of the law.

    GM crops should not be infertile. GM genes should not be patentable. In fact, no gene should be patentable. There is already enough profit motivation that we don't need to add to it at the risk of mass starvation.

  2. Homeboy


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    2   2:19pm Sun 3 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    They don't HAVE to grow GM crops. They can grow traditional crops and use the seeds all they like. Obviously, farmers who use GM seeds have made an economic decision that it is better for their business, even considering that they can't re-use the seeds. Nobody is holding a gun to anyone's head, so what's the problem? If it weren't economically viable for them, they wouldn't do it, and the GM companies would have to close up shop.

  3. Homeboy


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    3   2:24pm Sun 3 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    This actually seems like a variation on the meme that there should be no patents on anything (or the extension of that, that there should be no copyright). This idea is not viable. There would be no innovation if innovators knew that their idea would be immediately stolen as soon as they perfect it.

  4. CaptainShuddup


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    4   6:56am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    I confer my comments and opinions to Dan's spot on post.

    Though I would add, it gets more ugly than that. GM crops also mutate and destroy non GM crops for miles around. Making those farmer's neighbors that didn't plant GM crops, dependent on GM as well.

  5. thunderlips11


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    5   8:36am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike   Protected  

    donjumpsuit says

    GM crops don't have the ability to spontaeously Mutate.

    Wow, Monsanto found the cure for cancer!!! How long before we get this Depurination-proof technology over to humans?

  6. leo707


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    6   9:29am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    thunderlips11 says

    donjumpsuit says

    GM crops don't have the ability to spontaeously Mutate.

    Wow, Monsanto found the cure for cancer!!! How long before we get this Depurination-proof technology over to humans?

    Yeah, I don't get how DNA could be made mutation proof. Don perhaps you could shed more light on this.

    CaptainShuddup says

    GM crops also mutate and destroy non GM crops for miles around. Making those farmer's neighbors that didn't plant GM crops, dependent on GM as well.

    I have heard similar stories as well. Is there any evidence of this happening? I think I saw in a documentary a farmer who was being sued into bankruptcy by Monsanto(?) because he was "using" patented GMO genes that ended up in his crops. I looked around a bit on Google but could not find an actual reference to this.

    donjumpsuit says

    GM crops can't mutate or destroy non-GM crops. Farmers are quite informed of what is going on. If my neighbor JOE grows GM SOY, I know this, and I don't try to grow organic SOY. I probably grow organic Corn or Lettuce.

    Why should you be restricted in what you choose to grow because Joe chose to grow GM soy? If there is no danger in DNA drift from Joe's field to yours why would it matter what you grow?

    CaptainShuddup says

    I confer my comments and opinions to Dan's spot on post.

    Yeah, me too.

    I am much more worried about the food supply depending on the good graces, ethics and morality of big agribusiness than I am worried about GM crops in general.

  7. CaptainShuddup


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    7   10:59am Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    leo707 says

    I have heard similar stories as well. Is there any evidence of this happening? I think I saw in a documentary a farmer who was being sued into bankruptcy by Monsanto(?) because he was "using" patented GMO genes that ended up in his crops. I looked around a bit on Google but could not find an actual reference to this.

    That's where I saw it as well. How ever, as we all very well know that in this day and age. A company like Masanto with their abyssal pockets, coupled with the new internet laws that are Corporation friendly, can send cease and desist orders to every web site that makes reference to it.

    Just try to Google for alternate or non traditional Cancer treatments. The only pages you'll find are chocked for of people selling supplements or forums where there is so much conflicting information, that no one in their right mind would draw a conclusion based on the content on those pages.
    Where as any websites, blogs or studies dedicated to alternate treatments are curiously missing. The most complete information you can find on Cancer research on the internet is pro traditional expensive treatments.

    From Webmd chocked full of big pharma ads.

    Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want to depend on alternate treatment information. But it would be nice if it was there to be read and researched so people could draw their own conclusions.

    I'd like to see real numbers of survival rates of people that underwent traditional treatment against the survival rate of non traditional. Those studies are missing, and it's suspect.
    When you consider, there's not a topic known to man, that there is not either a website or porn dedicated to it.

  8. edvard2


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    8   12:03pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    The key to remember here is that GM crops in many ways were responsible for dramatically increasing the food supply not only in the US, but also in many third world countries and thus eradicating hunger from 10's of millions of people.

  9. Robert Sproul


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    9   2:36pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (4)   Dislike  

    I suppose one can argue the pros and cons of GMOs.
    But not the right to know whether you are eating them or not.
    And certainly not the fact that Monsanto is a hideously immoral, malign, corporation.

  10. MMR


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    10   3:22pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Maybe you should. The original claim was that the toxins were supposed to be destroyed in the gut. But apparently that isn't the case. Moving forward, I'm not sure what implications this has in the grand scheme of things, but I wouldn't stop eating organic just yet, as much as one can possibly do, anyway.

    One risk of GM foods is the possibility of antibiotic genes transferring. It hasn't been shown to happen as yet, but it's certainly plausible, if not probable.

    As it is, the world is having a hard time with drug resistant antibiotics

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=35681&Cr=ILLNESS&Cr1=#.UTUpBXy93fY

    GM food toxins found in the blood of 93% of unborn babies. The claim was that such toxins would be destroyed in the gut. If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could create antibiotic-resistant diseases. This is not completely improbable, as a significant part of human DNA is actually viral DNA

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-93-unborn-babies.html

    Dan8267 says

    My one concern about genetically modified crops is economic, not health

  11. Homeboy


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    11   11:04pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    MMR says

    As it is, the world is having a hard time with drug resistant antibiotics

    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=35681&Cr=ILLNESS&Cr1=#.UTUpBXy93fY

    That's an article about antibiotics used to treat people with illnesses. It has nothing to do with GM food.

  12. Homeboy


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    12   11:40pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    MMR says

    GM food toxins found in the blood of 93% of unborn babies. The claim was that such toxins would be destroyed in the gut. If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could create antibiotic-resistant diseases. This is not completely improbable, as a significant part of human DNA is actually viral DNA

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1388888/GM-food-toxins-blood-93-unborn-babies.html

    I'll admit that, at first, this sounded pretty serious, so I decided to do my own reading on it. After doing some research, I discovered that, like all your other hysterical wailing about this and that, it's just patent nonsense.

    All kinds of things were wrong with that study. First of all, finding Bt proteins in humans wasn't even the point of the study. They were looking for a way to track whether pesticides/herbicides like Roundup are getting to fetuses. Second, Bt proteins are not harmful to humans; they are only harmful to certain insects, so why does it matter if they find traces of it in people? It's stupid to even call this stuff a "toxin", as it is not toxic to humans in the least. Third, they had no way of knowing if the Bt even came from GM food. Bt has been sprayed on crops for a long time, even by so-called organic farmers. Fourth, all that notwithstanding, their methodology was fatally flawed. They used the wrong test to identify the Bt. They actually claimed to find amounts of Bt SMALLER than the minimum amount the test they used is able to detect. That's not right.

    Start by reading this article:

    http://soursaltybittersweet.com/content/organic-lies-about-bt-sweet-corn

    Bt insecticides are also highly specific. Each Bt strain is only effective against the larvae of a handful of species. They’re not even effective against the adults of those species, let alone other kinds of insects (including agriculturally-useful ones like bees). So it’s not true that Bt is designed to rupture the stomach of “any insect” that feeds on it. Nor does it matter if it breaks down before it gets to your dinner table, although it probably does because it breaks down pretty easily, especially when exposed to UV light...

    Then read this, which shows in detail the flaws in the study, and in the conclusions drawn by the media:

    http://www.biofortified.org/2011/04/nonsense/

    A number of methodological and interpretive limitations of this paper limit the relevance of the reported findings and conclusions about food safety. The key limitations include insensitivity of the assay method used and unsubstantiated and invalid assumptions regarding the source of the Cry1Ab protein in the diets of test subjects. Media speculation arising from this paper has also presented conclusions about the human health relevance of this paper which are not supported by either the paper itself or the broader scientific literature. These issues are discussed in more detail below.

  13. Homeboy


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    13   11:40pm Mon 4 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    (continued due to post size restrictions):

    Another rebuttal to the study:

    http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/gmfoods/fsanzresponsetostudy5185.cfm

    Then read this, debunking the claims of Bt harm:

    http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-3/3-4-bt-in-crops-and-bacteria/

    Then read this:

    http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/extoxnet/24d-captan/bt-ext.html

    No complaints were made after eighteen humans ate one gram (g) of commercial B.t. preparation daily for five days, on alternate days. Some inhaled 100 milligrams (mg) of the powder daily, in addition to the dietary dosage (6). Humans who ate one g/day of B.t.k. for three consecutive days were not poisoned or infected (12).

    And here's Vegans for a rational look at transgenic technology:

    http://www.vegangmo.com/?p=132

  14. taxee


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    14   3:19am Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Most GM food is soaked with Roundup while it is grown. It is engineered not to die while everything around it does. Technology makes weeding easy. But does it make healthy food? A quick look at Wikipedia: On two occasions, the United States EPA has caught scientists deliberately falsifying test results at research laboratories hired by Monsanto to study glyphosate.[117] The first incident involved Industrial Biotest Laboratories (IBT). The United States Justice Department closed the laboratory in 1978, and its leadership was found guilty in 1983 of charges of falsifying statements, falsifying scientific data submitted to the government, and mail fraud.[118] In 1991, Don Craven, the owner of Craven Laboratories and three employees were indicted on 20 felony counts. Craven, along with fourteen employees were found guilty of similar crimes.[119]In a 2001, three groups of pregnant rats were fed, respectively, a regular diet with clean water, a regular diet with 0.2 ml glyphosate/ml drinking water; and a regular diet with 0.4 ml glyphosate/ml drinking water. Glyphosate induces a variety of functional abnormalities in fetuses and pregnant rats.[70] Also in recent mammalian research, glyphosate has been found to interfere with an enzyme involved testosterone production in mouse cell culture.[63] A study by the Seralini lab published in 2005 found that glyphosate interferes with aromatase, an estrogen biosynthesis enzyme, in cultures of human placental cells and that the Roundup formulation of glyphosate had stronger such activity.[64] A follow up study by the Seralini lab, published in 2009, showed similar results in human liver cells.[65] A study on rats published in 2010 found that administering Roundup Transorb orally to prepubescent rats at a dose of 0.25 mL/100 g of body weight, once a day for 30 days, reduced testosterone production and affected testicle morphology, but did not affect levels of estradiol and corticosterone.[66]

  15. taxee


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    15   3:32am Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Sure hope this stuff is good for you: Global Glyphosate Market to Reach 1.35 Million Metric Tons by 2017, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc. http://www.prweb.com/releases/glyphosate_agrochemical/technical_glyphosate/prweb8857231.htm

  16. Good time Charlie


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    16   11:47am Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Great thread, very interesting. I am all for great crop yields to help feed the poor but from what I have read it does not always work out that way with GMO seeds. Farmers in India have been offing themselves over promises of greater crop yield that failed to materialize.
    http://www.naturalnews.com/032422_GM_crops_suicide.html/crops.

  17. errc


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    17   12:20pm Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I suppose it depends on what your definition os "saving lives", is

    That and I guess you'd have to consider corn and soy as "food", but not me, no thanks. I avoid that crap like the plague, and feel immensely healthier because of it.

    Enjoy your mass helpings of soy, corn, and grains,,,,,ill stick to food myself

  18. curious2


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    18   12:41pm Tue 5 Mar 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    As much as it surprises me to agree with Homeboy about something, I think he's right not to worry about GM crops promoting antibiotic resistance. If you look at the data, antibiotic resistant bacteria occur primarily in hospitals:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/03/05/173526084/infections-with-nightmare-bacteria-are-on-the-rise-in-u-s-hospitals

    One reason is because hospital ICUs seem designed to spread infection, which is very lucrative for the hospital corporations:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/09/how-american-health-care-killed-my-father/307617/?single_page=true

    That isn't a conspiracy theory per se, it isn't some star chamber cabal deciding to kill people. It's rather the predictable result of the relevant corporate machines and the people inside them following their own individual self-interest. Read Noam Chomsky to understand the difference; some people call him a conspiracy theorist, but he isn't.

    BTW, most antibiotics in America are used in animals, i.e. the mass production of meat and dairy, so if you want to avoid antibiotics then avoid those products. Look for organic milk made without antibiotics etc. An issue with rBST is, although it might not directly cause problems, it tends to increase the cows' risk of bacterial infection, which gets treated with more antibiotics.

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