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Sunday, May 27. 2012
Insty noted that California is considering forbidding genetically-engineered foods.
Well, that is retarded. Very few of the things humans eat have not been genetically-engineered by humans. Bear meat, for one. Fish and shellfish. Mushrooms, I suppose, also preserved from the scourge of genetic engineering.
But why should we stop improving our foods now, after 5000 years of doing it with remarkable success? We're much better at it now because we figured out the mechanism.
Hunger was once the norm. Now obesity is the "problem." I think obesity is just fine, for those who want it. Cheap and plentiful high-carb and tasty food is thanks to human ingenuity, and we all now struggle not to be over-fed. What a terrible problem, a human tragedy. Too much food.
Even our dogs are genetically-engineered. Nobody wants to sleep with a wolf at the foot of the bed, and nobody wants teosinte-on-the cob.
Photo is the pre-genetically-engineered teosinte, from which ancient central Americans engineered maize (corn, to us). Who would eat that mangy weed at a Memorial Day cookout?
By the way, corn (maize) is a high-carb food and is not on your weight-loss diet. It's like bread, grain.
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Banning things seems to be a pastime that dems enjoy. It enables them to revel in their power. In addition, it is a pleasant escape from confronting the real problems facing them. You know, minor things like imploding economies and unbalanced budgets and out of control pensions.
But I wonder why they stop there? Why not ban herbicides, pesticides and animal health products while they are at it?
In fact, they could go further than that and ban mechanized farming to lessen the carbon foot print.
Yeah. Let's roll back agriculture a 100 years. That otta work. What could possibly go wrong?
My complaint about the Monsantos is that they have been sueing farmers for "stealing" their genetic hybrids when they cross pollinate to other varieties that the farmers raise. Perhaps Monsanto should have to prevent their genetically modified varieties from cross polinating to nonhybrid field and sweet corns. Or any other genetic variety from cross polinating to nonhybrid varieties.
Got to control those bugs from genetically-engineering our plants!
Fortunately for California, they've fixed all their problems, such as a $16 billion dollar shortfall, around 100 of 480 some-odd cities on the verge of bankruptcy, hospitals shutting down due to illegal aliens, prisons over-run with illegals, gangs, business fleeing for other states, and out of control property prices, so they can deal with minor issues like this.
Bread is a grain? I should sue my school for not teaching me that...
There is a huge difference between cross pollinated plants or hybrid plants and genetically engineered plants. In the former cases you still have the makings of the original plant. In the latter you have some of the original plant and mixtures of human, animal and other DNA which significantly alters the plant -- if it can still be called that. There is no long term knowledge of what will happen to those who consume altered DNA plants.
Now if you believe in evolution, feel free to eat genetically engineered plants and meats. For that matter, visit Japan and drink the Fukushima water and hang around the reactors for a bit. Than you have a good chance of evolving into the next level of human. Please don't force me to do the same.
The Barrister: Very few of the things humans eat have not been genetically-engineered by humans.
There's a very significant difference between cross-breeding related organisms along with selection, and manipulating genomes by splicing genes from distantly related organisms, or the possible use of artificial genes.
The Barrister: But why should we stop improving our foods now, after 5000 years of doing it with remarkable success?
Much longer than 5000 years. In any case, humans should continue to improve their foods, but it makes sense to tread carefully with genetic modification.
You can have my butter-soaked corn on the cob if you can pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Corn and maize are two very different plants. You know that corn is a tall plant with multiple heads per plant and each ear of corn has many kernels.
Maize is a waist high plant with one head of grain per plant, growing at the tip of the plant. Each grain is on a distinct stalk and appears to be the size and shape of BBs.
While they're at it, they should also ban so-called artificial irrigation. This is justified by the "precautionary principle" -- an argument generally deployed when they have no evidence of negative consequences. Ban something until there is a 100% guarantee nothing will EVER go wrong -- *ev-er*.
Besides, artificial irrigation uses dihydrogen monoxide. I wouldn't even want to speculate on the death toll from DHMO -- a proven killer!
Ask yourself: Artificial irrigation -- is it really worth the risk? What about the children?
bgarrett: Corn and maize are two very different plants.
Maize is usually just considered a different name for corn, though you are perhaps thinking of Indian corn.
Even more interesting is the similarities and differences between teosinte and modern corn, which share a common ancestor about ten thousand years ago, close enough a relationship that they can still crossbreed.
Sorry, I missed the part in our history with the space ship stopping on Earth and giving us the ability to gene splice plants 5,000 years ago.
No one has been genetically engineering plants or anything else for 5,000 years. You all are using the wrong words to express your thoughts. Genetic engineering is gene splicing in the lab not cross pollinating or anything else that man has done in the past.
As a note you should read how a Monsanto rep was beat up in India after he promised great returns on his GMO seed and chemical program. Instead the Indian farmers got a ruined crop, no return on their money and no food to carry them through the year. There is a huge list of failed attempts to use genetically engineered foods all around the world and our news won't carry the stories. This isn't your grandma working on developing roses in the back yard.
Please don't confuse your genes with your jeans.
"There is no long term knowledge of what will happen to those who consume altered DNA plants."
There never has been for anything we eat.
"There is a huge list of failed attempts to use genetically engineered foods all around the world and our news won't carry the stories."
And a huger list of successes that you won't carry.
Consider the possibility that you are not operating from science, but from sciencey advocacy sources. I grant that there is some truth to what you say - that this type of engineering is different. But it is not any more different than a thousand other things we accept as different from the past.
Final word: put yourself among actual impoverished people for a week or two, then review your assumptions.
Assistant VIllage Idiot: put yourself among actual impoverished people for a week or two, then review your assumptions.
Bt cotton has failed admits Monsanto ... productivity of cotton has fallen from 560 kg lint per hectare in 2007 to 512 kg lint per hectare in 2009. And pesticide expenditure has gone up from 597 crore in 2002 to 791 crore in 2009.
There are several problems, including crossbreeding with other strains, evolved resistance, and due to patent laws, you have to buy the seeds new every year instead of propagating from the previous crop. That doesn't mean these problems can't be overcome, but it is clear that genetic modification has its own inherent problems beyond that of simple plant breeding.
AVI, there are studies showing that GMO corn and the fertilizers and pesticides that must, not should be but must be, used with them are contributing to the honey bee colony collapse disorder. No bees, limited or no pollination and then we start having real problems. These are unintended consequences for genetically engineered foods.
Mankind has been eating cows for some time now and there is a pretty good track record for their consumption. Genetically engineered cows are not the same as a crossbred cow and the DNA inside the meat is not tested long term to see how it reacts inside man's gut after it is consumed.
Most of the hunger problems around the world are caused by politicians and greedy rulers rather than the need for genetically engineered foods.
I am a conservative who very much believes in eating organically. As I learn more about our food system I am surprised that organics isn't a conservative value. One of the core beliefs is that government should butt out and let us eat what we want. Why should it be illegal for a farmer to sell raw milk to a customer that wants to buy it? There isn't a single agency that is on the side of the small farmer, that is why there are so few small farmers left.
As for Monsanto, they should be allowed to do what they want. But the FDA should also do their job and actually test for long term effects. GMO crops were not introduced to the public until 1995, so I guess we'll find out soon what the effects will be when someone spends their whole life eating them.
I think that food containing GMO's should be labeled and let the consumer decide. But guess who is fighting this tooth-and-nail; Monsanto of course. Keep em ingorant I guess.
And I am surprised at the lack of concern when Monsanto sues these little farmers, who have nothing, because some of their 'technology' migrated onto the farmers fields and ended up in his seed bank. Even if common sense prevails and the farmer wins, he already spent his life savings on defending himself and is ruined. Sad.
Organics is not about turning back the clock 100 years. We have learned a lot since then and should be using that knowledge improve the NUTRITION and TASTE of our foods, not seeing how much we can grow.
Yes, we ship a lot of food to 3rd world countries, but not because they need it, because we have too much. And it screws up the whole local economy of the small villages. Who's going to buy food from the local farmers if America is giving it away?
Lastly, I do not agree with banning GMO's or the size of softdrinks, like in NY. While I limit these things, everyone has the right to choose what they want (part of my conservative AND organics view).