Great little video featuring Pam and Raoul in Davis California:
GMOrganic: A Botanical Love Story from News21 Berkeley 2011 on Vimeo.
Nice try, but not buying it. What all these GM lovers don’t say that you will have to buy these seeds from them for the rest of the life when nature gives it for free, forever. Another thing they never tell that nature always and I mean always rewrites the ‘code’ back to original.
Nature is perfect.
It is not true that farmers will not be able to save their own seeds- that is a myth perpetuated by the anti-GE/Big Organic lobby. In general, GE seeds can be saved just like any other. On the other hand, farmers generally do not save their own seed anyway, and havn’t done for a long time at least in developed countries. This is because seed saving is a specialist skill that requires preventing cross-pollination etc- you are correct that seeds tend to revert, which is why most seeds are saved by specialists. This is an issue for all seeds, not just GE ones (actually it is probably ore of an issue for traits developed through traditional methods.) “Nature is perfect” sounds very much like a religious veiwpoint which can only come from someone who knows nothing about farming. ALL our food crops have been genetically modified through traditional methods, plants have always been improved by farmers, for thousands of years.
““Nature is perfect” sounds very much like a religious veiwpoint which can only come from someone who knows nothing about farming.”
Thanks Graham, I really appreciate your opinion.
Could you say out loud what you see next time you look at the mirror?
All the best, Aldas.
Um- well I generally try to avoid looking in the mirror until I manage to get some nature-improving dentistry and possibly a nose-job! As regards improved crops and seed varieties, try comparing the original wild carrot with a big fat juicy improved genetically modified one- unless you profess to only ever eat wild plants I cannot take you seriously.
I have to disagree with you Graham. Seed saving is not a rocket science, well in Ireland it might be difficult especially with plants that are not native to this country. If plant is native it will take care of itself, there is no point in saving seeds then. If it was not true there would be no forests and other unique ecosystems on this planet. I also have to disagree with your statement that “ALL our food crops have been genetically modified through traditional methods”. Cross pollination is not a genetic modification. I cross pollinate pumpkins with zucchini and cucumbers in my garden and do it with my hands, and I get weird stuff from that, but I have to stress that I do not genetically modify by doing so. The whole nature cross pollinate all the time.There is no need for the wise farmer to invent new things. Wild carrots are not 100% pure carrots, they are also cross pollinated hybrids. Genetic modification is a completely different process from cross pollination and there is a lot of academic data available on this subject. I have to agree with Aldas, he is right by saying that you cannot save seeds. You can of course but it will be illegal practice. You can try to buy Monsanto seeds even right now but you will be forced to sign an agreement that will limit you in you ownership of the seeds. Check this site, it clearly states what you can/cannot do: http://www.monsanto.com/food-inc/Pages/seed-saving-and-legal-activities.aspx
Just a quick quote : “The agreement specifically states that the grower will not save or sell the seeds from their harvest for further planting, breeding or cultivation.”
And Graham, traditional farming philosophy is a bit of an obsolete thing. It has no future, same like GMO, if it stays the way it is now. If you have time read “Plants for the Future” by Ken Fern. My favorite part is when he explains about lettuces It should explain why there is no point in spending your time “perfecting” carrots.
And lads, please don’t fight make love instead Have a good day both of you.
“I cross pollinate pumpkins with zucchini and cucumbers in my garden and do it with my hands, and I get weird stuff from that, but I have to stress that I do not genetically modify by doing so”
Oh yes you do! Plant breeding results in genetic modification- it is the changing genes that gives you the weird stuff. You are confusing this with genetic engineering. What’s the difference? Well one is very hit or miss- you don’t know what you are going to get- the “weird stuff”- the other is precise because you take the exact gene with a precise characteristic and put it into the plant you want to grow. That is how Prof. Ronald gets her flood resistant rice, which no-one had managed to do using traditional breeding methods.
“traditional farming philosophy is a bit of an obsolete thing. It has no future, same like GMO, if it stays the way it is now.”- that’s why we need Genetic Engineering- it is qualitatively different from “conventional” chemical-based approach in that it is a biological approach. GE technology is not “more of the same”- it is a fantastic example of a technological development that really can help ameliorate some of the problems of the past.
Yes it is true that Monsanto has patents on its transgenic crops- but there are many other initiatives, such as that of Prof. Ronald, which will not have such restrictions, and seed from these crops can be saved as usual. Of course the home gardener can save seeds no prob but on a farm scale for grains- which provide most of our calories- most farmers find it easier to leave to specialists, just as they find it easier to have others make their tools and machinery. Most farmers have not saved their own seed in the west for at least a generation. So by all means campaign against seed patents if you see them as a problem- but the reason to do so is to make the technology more widely available, not less. And note also that patents expire- the first Monsanto round-up ready soy will expire in the next few years and become widely available. See the discussion on this post also.
See also Prof. Ronald’s excellent post on GE here:
Still, to date, compounds with harmful effects on humans or animals have been documented only in foods developed through conventional breeding approaches. For example, conventional breeders selected a celery variety with relatively high amounts of psoralens to deter insect predators that damage the plant. Some farm workers who harvested such celery developed a severe skin rash—an unintended consequence of this breeding strategy (Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health and National Research Council 2004).
Yes I have Plants for a Future and have met Ken Fern years ago. One of Ken’s thoughts is “wouldn’t it be great if carrots grew on trees!” well with GE maybe one day it will be possible… here’s hoping!
all the best Graham
Ages ago people thought that Sun was spinning around the Earth, but turns out it is vise versa. Dunno who is right and who is wrong but according your logic (cross pollination is genetic modification) all people on this planet are genetically modified Well if you take a girl from China and a man from UK their children will be something in between China and Europe, no white no Asian, cross pollinated/inseminated (genetically modified???!!)human beings. Not sure if you can get anything out of insemination of a cow with a lion, or you still think you can get something? But in laboratory, avoiding natural (I stress natural/organic or what ever people call it!!) processes of insemination.cross pollination it is possible to get ‘something’ out of mixing fish+wheat+human that will most likely grow well under the right conditions that usually involve special chemicals and mixtures. If you know anything about GMO then you sure know that you need a special liquid in order for the seed to germinate. Otherwise you will end up with empty field. The only reason I can get weird stuff out of pumpkin & cucumber pollination is because they are the same family, but I will never get any results by crossing pumpkins with tomatoes. Tomatoes and potatoes maybe, but with no lettuces, carrots or lime pollen. But “magic” is possible in Labs especially when there is a multi-billion profit behind it.
GMO is a profitable business. Food in general is a profitable business. People can leave without Ipod but they cannot live without food. GMO and food is like B2B agreement. Food and seed monopoly is a silent slavery. Lets face the fact – people don’t care what they put into their mouth, as long as it is cheap. People care about the price. People fight for the prices but not for the quality. The only conclusion I make is that GMO if for people who don’t care.
People in Bangladesh don’t need that “magic” rice that will be a famine salvation. They need less greed in the world that will stop their country from deforestation and other non ecological and non human exploitation of the country and land. What we and they have on this planet is a result of our own making, which is sorry really silly. There are many techniques to resolve “famine” issue. If we ignore economical and human thinking issues, then fruit forests and Biodynamic agriculture can be perfect solutions, as long as people are not stopped by the “power” of human/corporations invented laws.
My oh my Linda what a lot of parroted myths all in one post!! For the first part- correct, that is the difference between GM (which occurs in traditional plant breeding) and GE which allows cross-species breeding. But, no, this does not effect the resultant seed, which (patent laws notwithstanding) as I say can be sown as normal, and will reproduce the modified traits as normal.
OK so you dont like corporations making profit. However, we have already dealt with this- Prof. Ronald, and many others like her work for state universities and do basic research. I have met Prof. Ronald and was amazed to see she does not have little horns growing out the top of her head and seemed to be quite harmless, normal and motivated by science and the need for human development. Above all. she and her husband are concerned about sustainable agriculture, and improving the productivity of poor farmers.
Issues about food quality are for the rich- as they say, the wealthy and well-fed have many problems, the hungry have only one. In the past, we were all poor- and noone has come out of poverty without improved technology. The anti-GE argument is really an anti-corporate position, the point is, it is more important to feed people- and allow poor farmers to increase their productivity- than it is to attack corporations. Please, read the discussion on the post I linked to above- all these discussions are the same!
The biggest environmental problem- and a big cause of deforestation is poverty. As technology developed, environmental problems are reduced and even resolved. It is the “Deep Greens” who hypocritically want the poor to remain poor, and who oppose technology, who are as much the problem as anything.
As for Biodynamics- see this previous post. for starters. No Im not going to debate it with you here again!! Thinking you can solve world hunger with whacky woo-wah is like treating cancer with homeopathy- a very dangerous delusion. In the rich world we can live with our delusions for a very long time without having to pay the price because we have such an abundance of technology and cheap food available to us. But please, please don’t inflict your ignorance on the poor.
I am doing Herbal Science course that is actually (indirectly) is giving hope to all cancer sick people that one day there will be no need to go through that horrible chemical therapy and that it will be enough to grow plants in the backgarden that will sustain people healthy. That is what I am actually planning to do for my MA degree. Should I listen you your statement that “homeopathy is a very dangerous delusion”? No don’t think so . I am not changing my plans and I truly believe that people can help themselves as long as they are given a change.
And yes you are right, quoting to make it more legible for you “we can live with our delusions for a very long time without having to pay the price”. Not sure about not pay the price, what goes around comes around, always with no exception. But the first part is absolutely right
All the best on your path in search for the knowledge
God help us.
As long as his help is welcomed
So the choice we have is god or the corporations
Then despite my concerns over how they behave I’ll go with the corporations. We need a new legal framework for, not just in intellectual property but to hold them accountable and remove their special person status. Specifically on IP I work in an area where I see businesses using the current system to stifle competition and block innovation. That will be a challenge due to the current economic orthodoxy. But with the political will we would have some small chance of changing that. With political will we could also fund research programs directly perhaps the most significant lever government might have if they were to chose to use it.
If the alternative is praying and homeopathy or GMO then I guess I’ll go with GMO, someone profiting from misery is a lesser evil than just hoping it will go away by splashing water around. I’m still not convinced entirely that this is the choice we should have.
As George Carlin said in different circumstances “Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death. Has been for thousands of years.”. Corporations are far from perfect but they haven’t quite managed to accumulate the body count of the faithful.
“…profiting from misery is a lesser evil…”
An interesting concept. If i may, i’d like to split that into two versions. One, is the arms dealer model, whereby, the dealer actually profits by continuing the misery he/she serves.
Two, the model discussed here, whereby the dealer or company profits by eliminating and/or alleviating the misery he/she serves.
Clearly, the first case can be called an evil, but is the second case really evil? If it is, then i put to that, since starvation is a misery, all farmers are then evil by profiting from alleviating starvation. Indeed any endeavor whereby a misery is eliminated or alleviated but produces a profit for someone would then be evil, which would be most endeavors, i would think.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>
Notify me of followup comments via e-mail