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Well look at that will you, one of the, just say no to genetic engineering crowd, finally gets it.

Dr. Jason Clay, senior vice president at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

"We will have to get better" at producing more food with fewer resources, he said.

Clay said agriculture's footprint on the Earth must be "frozen" but emphasized that this doesn't mean decreasing or "not expanding" production; rather, agriculture/food producers need to become increasingly more efficient.

Accordingly, he said producers must adopt advanced genetics, management practices and technology and emphasized that "we cannot abandon modern genetics and technology."

Indeed, Clay said WWF, in the interest of the health of the planet, has backed off its previous anti-genetic modification position.

​"Tonight, find out why you could be putting your whole family at risk by serving foods high in radioactivity. That's right, radioactivity. Find out more about this shocking, potentially lethal news here on KEOW tonight at 10 o'clock."

We’ve talked about high fructose corn syrup many times here at Biofortified. There’s a lot of subjects to be considered, including whether we should be growing so much corn in the first place. The biggest concern about HFCS, though, judging by popular magazines and websites, is health. People are worried that corn syrup is worse for us than other sugar sources, which has resulted in the latest marketing scheme of switching corn syrup for other sugars so products can be labeled “HFCS Free”.

This week the drug company AstraZeneca paid out £125m to settle a class action. Over 17,500 patients claim the company withheld information showing that schizophrenia drug quetiapine (tradename Seroquel) might cause diabetes. Why do companies pay out money before cases get to court?

There is an interesting blog debate going on between PZ Myers and Ray Kurzweil about the complexity of the brain – a topic that I too blog about and so I thought I would offer my thoughts. The “debate” started with a talk by Kurzweil at the Singularity Summit, a press summary of which prompted this response from PZ Myers. Kurzweil then responded here, and Myers responded to his response here.


 

Comments

Well look at that will you, one of the, just say no to genetic engineering crowd, finally gets it.

Oh Christie Norm. The envoronmental community isn't nessecarily the No GE crowd.

People are worried that corn syrup is worse for us than other sugar sources

Yes, which looks to not be be the actual problem. Instead it is clear its health impact is mostly about how it is so pervasive in almost every processed food we buy and is fed to many people without their knowledge, often in attempt to cover huge amounts of salt.

Oh Christie Norm. The envoronmental community isn't nessecarily the No GE crowd.

I think generally speaking they are. Tell you what you name the ones that aren't? A quick check shows that you can exclude Greenpeace, Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Sierra Club, there may be some, but the biggies until now have been pretty solidly against GMOs

So if you take out three of the biggest and best known organizations and all the single issue groups that have no stated opinion on the matter, you then have a significantly anti-GMO group.

That could be more profound.

But really my point is that it isn't to your bennifit to make the enviro movement your enemy in this discussion even if the overlap is significant. For the majority of poeple that consider themselves environmentalists this issue isn't really on their radar.

The environmental movement isn't my enemy. There concerns about global warming are also my concerns, and my views parallel their views on many issues.

But they are also working at cross purposes on the issue of Genetic Engineering and so I think twice about giving them financial support since they may use it to promote an anti-GMO agenda.

So it's nice to find an organization who shares my views on that issue as well.

The Nature Conservancy is officially agnostic about GE crops, I have heard a lot of good things about them. Here's an interview I did with one of their scientists: http://www.biofortified.org/2010/02/robert-mcdonald-at-the-2009-bio-convention/

See Norm, Even karl agrees.

I think that it depends on the environmental organization. Those that come at the issue from a science-based perspective of measuring effects and determining causes and thinking about the most practical way to mediate or reverse bad things and encourage good things, are probably agnostic or open to things such as GE. But those that use a philosophical stance as a starting point, e.g. that being 'unnatural' a GE crop that is growing on a farm or in the wild is 'damage' to the pristine aspects of the environment even if it has no effects on it - they will be more likely to reject it outright. I think I agree that for most environmentalists, GE crops rates low on their list, unless you ask an anti-GE person.

I think even those groups (and individuals) "that come at the issue from a science-based perspective" recognize that science funding and infrastructure are such that "the most practical way to mediate or reverse bad things and encourage good things" is to keep them as far away as possible from the organizations that are lobbying on behalf of GMOs. We unfortunately live in a time in which political and scientific positions must be summed up in a bumper sticker slogan in order to be effectively conveyed to the public, and "GMOs might be of some use in addressing the coming global food crisis, but only if the narrow corporate interest that already pervades the science is completely eradicated" makes for a poor bumper sticker slogan, so Greenpeace, et al. go for something a little catchier, albeit less true or accurate.

I actually think this continuous attempt by Norm and Karl and Michael Specter and Pam Ronald, etc. to debate GMOs in purely scientific terms is doing the debate and the public a disservice. It is not a purely scientific question; it is a question of who controls the food supply. Removing resistance to GMOs is almost the same as giving Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Bayer and a handful of other demonstrably insouciant corporations control over the global food supply, regardless of the soundness of at least some of the science surrounding GMOs.

So there are two questions at issue:

Can genetic engineering, if conducted by responsible scientists with no ties to corporate objectives, provide answers that will benefit mankind in the coming global food crisis without endangering human health? Probably.

Will genetic engineering be conducted by responsible scientists with no ties to corporate objectives under our current funding and regulatory apparatus? Probably not.

Perhaps the bumper sticker could read, "Against GMOs, but with qualifications."

Or for the pro-GMO crowd, "For GMOs, but with qualifications."

Or maybe, "I was for GMOs before I was against them."

Ohhh, A JK reference. Classic.

And cutting out meat just a few days a week has a greater effect than GMO's and none of the economic concerns, and no need for scientific research to determine its level of safety/environmental impact.

And all these studies showing the positive effects of fresh vegetables yet locavores insistance that "local" should mean "from less than 2,000 miles away" is somehow a failed idea because some northern climates take more energy to produce food than southern climates.

I agree with norm that we all need to be particularly mindful of our own superstitious beliefs and certainly food is amongst those catagories that has plenty of superstition. We spend time criticizing Anti-vax and Global warming deniers so we should be able to look in the mirror on occasion. I just don't know that looking in the Mirror and taking stock makes me think GMO is an overall plus even if all the science is valid.

I knew that you couldn't stay away from your addiction to GMO's for long. In an earlier debate on the GMO subject, Norm compared my arguments to those in a book I had never heard of and sent a link that debunked it - http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2010/08/linkswithyour_1341.html - near the bottom. At the link he gave, you find out from the biography of the author, Jeffrey Smith, that he has no particular qualifications and even seems to be a bit of a crackpot. You also learn that his books are self-published. Neither means that he has nothing useful to say, but it leads to doubt. In this case, in debating it is use of guilt by association, or the strawman fallacy.

It was a long article and I looked up a few points that seemed to have some relation to my arguments. I didn't find any. Maybe there were somewhere in it. Another poster there, Betty Jo, has an informative diatribe(her word)about golden rice. In one of your replies, you accuse her of guilt by association because she mentions the industry supporting the research. You do even worse to me since I had never mentioned that book.

I am not a scientist either, and sometimes I have to read serious articles more than once to try to get a grasp on the explanations. I don't have a particular expertise on GMO's, so don't publish books pretending to have it. There are authors who are not scientists who can and do write well on scientific topics. Maybe one day I will accumulate enough preferably verifiable information about one thing or another and then publish a book about it.

One of the problems with the article you link, is that GMO's have not been demonstrated to have a positive effect on feeding the world. They are still just gold for the Monsantos and they are damaging to small farmers.

I would suggest also that readers go to the link above and read Betty Jo's comments towards the end.

Re: bernarda: Jeffrey Smith more often than not gets things wrong, and sometimes completely backwards. Here is a site that debunks his list of 65 claims in his most recent book: http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/

Click on some random stuff in the list of claims, you will find that he often finds things in papers that aren't even in there - as in, makes stuff up. Expertise is not a guarantee that you are right, nor is lack thereof a guarantee that you are wrong. But it sure affects the odds.

The Union of Concerned Scientists published a non-peer-reviewed paper called Failure to Yield last year, which many people claimed found that GE crops did not increase yield. In fact, it concluded that Bt traits in corn have increased yield by 3-4% overall, but tried to minimize this or hide it behind the language of the summary. Yield is just one thing, but that is a definite positive effect on feeding the world. And if you read the Organic Center's report on GE crops and pesticide use, they also conclude that BT traits have decreased insecticide use in corn, and especially in cotton. Report: http://www.ucsusa.org/foodandagriculture/scienceandimpacts/science/failure-to-yield.html

For the final nail in the coffin on Smith, any guess as to what he thought this report said? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/monsanto-the-worlds-posteb436233.html "Called Failure to Yield, the report demonstrated that in spite of years of trying, GM crops return less bushels than their non-GM counterparts." Completely backwards. No straw man fallacy to find here, just plain old bad research and irresponsible journalism. You can't trust what he says even when he says where he got it from! You have to check the source every time, so you might as well not read Jeffrey Smith at all.

Karl, you mention Smith's book and seem to think I was defending it, even though I said that I thought he was a bit of a crackpot. So I don't see your point.

Norm, I have read the stuff you like, except I must of missed the one on rBGJ. Maybe you can refresh my memory. It appears to me that you have looked at some of mine, like the documentary from French-Gernman television, "The World According to Monsanto".

The article on the man from the WWF says "Accordingly, he said producers must adopt advanced genetics, management practices and technology and emphasized that "we cannot abandon modern genetics and technology."

Here there are two things, the writer attributing "producers must adopt" and the partial quote, "we cannot abandon modern genetics and technology". I have previously said that I am not against research, so I could even agree with the quoted part if he means research. But I don't know what the entire quote is.

He also is reported to have said, "Since producing any product, including any food product, will have an impact on the planet, it's critical that producers identify the metrics they will use to "measure" their progress toward becoming more efficient, he said." And, "Furthermore, he said the measures taken and results achieved need to be based on science."

I can agree with that. But one of my arguments is that those things are not being done, but that the use of GMO's are solely based on corporations' bottom line.

Jonathan Becker, as I said, the article goes on to enumerate the bad effects of rBGH. I just didn't want to make the post too long by quoting everything.

I was replying to the Strawman Fallacy part of your comment in particular, but also to the part of your comment where you said that GE crops have not been demonstrated to have a positive effect on feeding the world. I didn't overlook that you said that Smith looks like a crackpot, on which we both agree, but I wanted to add a little more depth to the reason why Smith is not a reputable source.

One of the problems with the article you link, is that GMO's have not been demonstrated to have a positive effect on feeding the world.

They certainly have shown to have a positive effect.

Furthermore I'm sure you'll agree that less you of pesticides is a good thing, and that is something GMOs have contributed too.

Bt corn and cotton have delivered consistent reductions in insecticide use totaling 64.2 million pounds over the 13 years. Bt corn reduced insecticide use by 32.6 million pounds, or by about 0.1 pound per acre. Bt cotton reduced insecticide use by 31.6 million pounds, or about 0.4 pounds per acre planted.

http://www.biofortified.org/2009/11/does-using-gmos-really-increase-pesticide-use/

Now be careful, I don't want to hear that biofortified is a pro GMO site, since the quotation is from the Organic Consumer Union, decidedly opposed to all GMOs.

I knew that you couldn't stay away from your addiction to GMO's for long.

And I knew you couldn't stay away from your bullshit arguments. You simply do not know enough about the topic to comment intelligently. Harsh I suppose but you've earned my disdain. Contrary to what you say you obviously don't read the links I provided.

Furthermore the link today is simply pointing out that the World Wildlife Fund sees the need and the benefits genetic engineering can provide, both for feeding the planet and creating a sustainable model for doing so.

Another aspect I have not seen you mention is rBGH, which I have mentioned before.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-robbins/is-your-favorite-ice-creab686629.html

"Starbucks now guarantees that all their milk, cream and other dairy products are rBGH-free. So do Yoplait and Dannon yogurts, Tillamook cheese, Chipotle restaurants, and many others. But ice cream giants Haagen Dazs, Breyers and Baskin-Robbins continue to use milk from cows injected with rBGH, a hormone that's been banned in Canada, New Zealand, Japan, Australia and all 27 nations of the European Union. As if to add insult to injury, Haagen Dazs and Breyers have the audacity to tell us, right on the label, that their ice cream is " All Natural."

We have Monsanto to thank for rBGH. Monsanto developed the artificial hormone and marketed it aggressively for years, before selling it in 2008 to Elanco, a division of the Eli Lilly drug company. Of course, Monsanto (and now Elanco) wants us to think the hormone is in every way completely satisfactory and safe. Monsanto's party line has consistently been that there is "no significant difference" in the milk derived from cows who have been dosed with the hormone compared to those who haven't.

Pardon me for not swallowing Monsanto's hooey, but if that's so, why have so many countries outlawed rBGH? Are these countries all run by ignorant Luddites who oppose technology and progress? Or might there actually be compelling reasons?"

He goes on to explain the effects of rGBH.

Pardon me for not swallowing Monsanto's hooey, but if that's so, why have so many countries outlawed rBGH? Are these countries all run by ignorant Luddites who oppose technology and progress? Or might there actually be compelling reasons?"

bernarda, this is not the first time i've seen you making the argument that "because the e.u. (or the u.n. or whatever) thinks or does something that it is therefore worthy of consideration. i too am not a scientest and i freely admit that most of what i know about this argument comes from 1gm, including your own contributions. but don't you think it's possible that, just as rgbh is marketed based on purely business considerations, it might also be banned based on purely business considerations? the fact that the e.u. and australia et. al have banned it doesn't, to my mind, necessarily have anything to do with health or safety considerations or, more to the point, with the e.u. knowing or accepting something that americans "just don't get".

of course these considerations would be used in the political forums affecting legality as justifications, but they are in america too- with the opposite results.

long story short- i don't trust any of these bastards, and the e.u. is just another corporation as far as i'm concerned.

Another aspect I have not seen you mention is rBGH, which I have mentioned before.

It was covered in a link I sent you earlier that as usual you failed to read.

Example of PZ Meyers rhetoric:

Posted by: PZ Myers Author Profile Page | August 21, 2010 10:37 PM

Astonishing! So protein folding really is a trivial problem, and all we have to do is sit back and wait for processing power to catch up, and then we'll just solve it all by brute force!

You really are a fucking moron, Greylander.

By repeating "as usual" you confirm your opinion and denigrate mine. I could equally say, "as usual" you don't respond to certain links I have previously mentioned. So in this case it was a link inside a link? I just asked you to refresh my memory.

Already you have Karl on my case for a book, by Smith, I had never heard of until you posted it, and he seems to think I defend it.

Wouldn't it be easier just to post the said link I apparently missed?

Jonathan, I responded to you in a post above. You should read the rest of the article.

I happen to be back and it occurred to me that many years ago DDT(a Monsanto product like was agent orange)- I know, guilt by association - was considered a sort of wonder cure.

It may have done some good things like eliminating malaria from some areas, including Southern Europe, particularly Italy.

But the long term effects have had a different result.

Then there is asbestos, which was known as a dangerous substance since about 1910, and apparently even long before with the ancient Greeks. I have read that there is good asbestos and bad asbestos.

But companies continued to promote these products and make money in all legality.

Suppose we discover that in 20 years Bt Cotton, just for example, has very bad effects. It will be a bit late.

That is why I am for more rigorous testing and multiple testing by independent agencies.

Honest question here, from someone who is not a scientist, and who tries not to react to corporate boogey-man paranoia:

Let me know if this is an apt analogy:

I drive a diesel truck for work. It gets better mpg than a gasoline truck of comparable size. It's easy to pat oneself on the back for being that much more efficient, until you realize that diesel is simply more energy-dense (I realize that may not be a scientific term) than gasoline. The amount of carbon used does not equate to the volume of fuel, so it's not a good measure of relative efficiency. The principle of "no free lunches" seems to apply. Diesel vehicles may have higher mpg, but swapping out a fleet of diesel for gas wouldn't make much of a difference in the amount of crude to be extracted and later refined.

GM crops yield more than non-GM crops. I assume it's either because they are able to extract nutrients from the soil in a wider variety of circumstances (can better respond to temp, water fluctuations.) Or, given a constant set of circumstances, they are somehow able to pull more nutrients out of the soil.

My question: There's nutrients in the soil that we can't access w/o plants converting into stuff we can eat. Plants can suck the nutrients out of the soil quickly or slowly or whatever, but does that change the amount of nutrient initially available in the soil? Won't a more efficient plant simply burn through the available fuel at a higher rate, leaving that much less for next year's crop?

How do we keep nutrients in the soil? By fertilizing with tons of petrochemicals. The same stuff that we might conscientiously try to use less of by walking, biking, etc. What happens to productivity if those resources become scarce and expensive?

My worry is that we create a food bubble -- increase yield at an artificial and UNSUSTAINABLE rate. And when the bubble bursts, a whole lot of people suffer. If we measure by yield, aren't we overlooking the true resource of nutrient in the soil? To quote from Blade Runner, "The candle that burns twice as bright lasts half as long."

Excellent question! Too bad you asked it on a nearly dead blog.

a challenge!!

Yeah. Wondering if our host will take notice.

GM plants that would increase USABLE yield (as opposed to an increase in gross production) by reducing after-harvest loss from pests wouldn't be an issue under the terms of my previous post. Neither would blight resistance.

In either case, though, the problems of monoculture persist -- lack of variety means more susceptibility to disease and blight.

sorry we aren't more lively Sygnas.

Saysyes

I asked the same question awhile back.

I believe the answer was both yes and no. Some plants are more efficient, some absorb nutrients they normally wouldn't and others produce more and do absorb more nutrients.

I'll get to your other comments later. I've been out of town dealing with some family business.

the problems of monoculture persist

Monoculture is not a problem unique to genetic engineering you can just as easily have monocultures with non-GM crops. It's point that gets missed again and again people failing to make a distinction between tools and how they are used. The organic farmers are not the only ones that understand the benefit of rotating crops.

I look forward to it. I don't comment much, but enjoy this blog. "Family business" is rarely good news. Hope all is well.

Once again this is not a GM crop issue. If your analogy is true it's also true of traditionally bred plants. The history of agriculture has been one of breeding plants to produce more in the same amount of space. Sustainability is the key of course whatever the plant. Perhaps a better comparison would be a more efficiently built car. One that uses less resources but uses them more efficiently, the difference between a Hummer and a Prius, they will both get you from A to B but the Prius is far more efficient.

Maybe a bad example, so far Toyota doesn't seem to have problems with the Prius, but considering their other problems, we will have to wait and see.

In the plant world what does "efficiency" mean? Some plants are favored by the Monsantos and the rest forgotten. But the living world is complex and I oppose this idea that "one size fits all".

What am I saying, how could I doubt the responsibility of a company that gave us DDT and Agent Orange?

But GMO's are far from my only interest. I noticed that only one poster, Andyo, responded to my post about the fate of the universe. Rather than just using "sound bite" articles, it might be better to look into such subjects more deeply.

How do GMO's relate to the end of the Universe?

I oppose this idea that "one size fits all".

What am I saying, how could I doubt the responsibility of a company that gave us DDT and Agent Orange?

I doubt the motives of most/all corporations, they are in it for a profit, and it is the job of government to regulate them.

What am I saying, how could I doubt the responsibility of a company that gave us DDT and Agent Orange?

You're hot into the fallacy business though you often get it wrong, explain to me what is fallacious about the argument you are making here.

I get a kick out of BigDaddy, who repeats his mantra that we shouldn't embrace GMOs because corporations are the major players, but of course that's true of most technologies from medicines to energy to . . . in fact I think you'd be hard-pressed to name any technology that doesn't have a corporate influence. The solution is not to ban the technology but to regulate the corporations. He apparently doesn't oppose a life-saving drug produced by a corporation, but opposes a technology that can increase the nutritional value of a plant which can also save lives or a plant that can increase production and all because corporations are involved. I don't suppose he eats food produced by corporate America, he could avoid it of course, but probably compromises his principles on occasion.

By the way I'm still waiting for someone who is opposed to genetically modified plants to explain why it is they are opposed to cisgenic as opposed to transgenic plants. I've only seen one attempt and that wasn't very persuasive.

Finally here is the link I gave you before you said you read through the list but didn't see anything that applied to your concerns. You obviously didn't read carefully enough.

http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-7/

I get a kick out of BigDaddy, who repeats his mantra that we shouldn't embrace GMOs because corporations are the major players, but of course that's true of most technologies from medicines to energy to . . .

Well, this is true but Corporations have different influences on different products. As we have seen from the recent egg recall having reduced numbers of sources threatens the safety of our entire food system. Also we know from our biology classes that mono-cultures are threatened by disease and pests, and a global monoculture would increase that threat.

There are industries in which this level of integration is limited by govt and consumer action.

It isn't reasonable for consumers to act politically and with their wallets to bring that sort of regulation to food production.

Last sentence should have a "?"

I get a kick out of Norm, who repeats his oversimplification of my position.

I oppose GMOs for the same reason I oppose bottled water, which is that it only benefits the corporations and provides little or no benefit to the public. Are there some instances in which bottled water is helpful? Sure. Do those rare instances adequately justify the actions of Nestle Waters North America? No, they don't. (I love the fact that Nestle's spokesperson is named Deb MUCHMORE.)

He apparently doesn't oppose a life-saving drug produced by a corporation... Indeed I don't oppose a life-saving drug produced by a corporation, what I oppose is, say, Viagra being marketed to the public while AIDS and overpopulation represent serious health threats simply for Pfizer's short-term financial gain, or drugs that later turn out to be harmful being fast-tracked through the FDA's Tammany-style approval process.

The solution is not to ban the technology but to regulate the corporations.

I completely agree. And the horse of regulation should come before the cart of GMOs. Once we get our regulatory apparatuses intact, Norm, then let's discuss the potential uses of GMOs. How's that sound?

Maybe a bad example, so far Toyota doesn't seem to have problems with the Prius, but considering their other problems, we will have to wait and see.

http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota/toyota-consumer-safety-advisory-102572.aspx

Toyota has a great idea that has been mucked up somehow. I know people with great Prius models, but also know friends of friends who've been in life threatening circumstances.

Just a response to this comment. Mostly I'm reading through everyone else's comments to see what their thinking. I'm sure this conversation will keep reappearing in updated forms so I can jump back in when I'm caught up.

I probably missed something along the way, but why does GE necessarily equal monoculture? If diversity were the goal, I would expect GE could easily accomplish that. Wouldn't it be great if they could engineer corn and soy so they could be grown on the same field at the same time? Harvest might be tricky, but having soy to provide nitrogen and soil retention, so the corn wouldn't be so detrimental to the soil would be awesome.

I think that was a trick the indians used. Maybe not soy, but some other legume.

My grandparents (Tewa) would first grow peas during the cooler weather as they add nutrients to the soil. Then when it warmed up, they would grow blue corn in the same soil. The blue corn meal can be used for a delicious drink with milk and honey.

but why does GE necessarily equal monoculture

It doesn't of course, but if you are true believer that GM is bad in spite of the consensus of scientists including the National Academy of Scientists that GMOs are safe given that we observe a few precautions. It is in my opinion one of those issues where if you're a liberal you have an obligation to oppose it. The evidence is overwhelming on the side of the benefits of genetic engineering and yet it has become such an emotional issue that otherwise bright people abandon the science and react in primarily emotional ways.

The conflation of genetic engineering with monoculture is just one example of the dishonesty those opposed to GM crops repeat, and unless you study the issue it's hard to get past the propaganda of groups such as Greenpeace. The fact that corporations are evil fucks compounds the problem because once again GMs are unfairly painted as a corporate conspiracy. The irony is that those opposed to GMOs have actually aided the corporations in monopolizing the field because they make it so difficult to pursue, that only corporations have the resources to do it.

But it is not all bleak there is great work being done in the field that are not for profit and there would be more, again but for the irrational rantings of those opposed.GE is proven to have value, and has great potential for being used in a way that will benefit us all.

You know you can oppose corporatism and not oppose GMOs. Genetic engineering is a tool, a method. It's not industrial farming, it's not mono-culture, it can be used to benefit industrial farming, it can be used to support mono cultures, but like a fucking tractor it can also be used to support sustainable farming. I find the fact that so may can't see that distinction disconcerting. Most of them are blindly opposed to all GMOs, not just those developed by corporations, which demonstrates that for them it's an unquestioned dogma.

It doesn't of course, but if

huh? Non GE crops are raised as monocultures? Is there evidence that GMO's won't be the same way?

The cost of producing a GE product would also dictate that one uses that original genetic material as widely as possible to maximize profits. I am not sure why that would be a point of debate.

I am linking this largely unrelated video from TED to illustrate a point.

http://blog.ted.com/2010/08/24/inside-an-antarctic-time-machine-lee-hotz-on-ted-com/

This is about the climate in the past, which you will ask WTF?

However at about minute 4 the speaker mentions that the samples they collect are sent to 27 different research institutes to be examined.

This is about ice and the past. Are GMO samples or even "results" of each new product sent to 27 different independent research institutes for evaluation?

re" By the way I'm still waiting for someone who is opposed to genetically modified plants to explain why it is they are opposed to cisgenic as opposed to transgenic plants."

Norm, can you give me an example of a cisgenic crop currently commercially available? I can't find a one. Thanks!

There may not be one. I know that it is a technique they are using to create blight resistant potatoes. Maybe Karl can shed some light on the topic.

Since cisgenics are under the same regulatory requirements as transgenics some will use traditional breeding to accomplish the same thing, even though it takes longer from the point of view of getting the end product they want, when they factor in the regulatory requirements it is easier to do it the long way.

For those who don't know what Cisgenesis is here is a article on the subject.

http://www.nature.com/embor/journal/v7/n8/full/7400769.html

If they are both used the same way, your beef is with modern agriculture, not GE. A breakthrough!

Let's see if we can tear down another wall!

Which monoculture do you have a problem with? Is it the lack of genetic diversity of a certain crop (every corn stalk is a clone of it's neighbor) or is it the lack of diversity within a given field (only corn or only soy)?

I'll start a forum topic about it.

Re: Nature article on Cisgenesis

"Cisgenesis is the genetic modification of a recipient plant with a natural gene from a crossable—sexually compatible—plant. Such a gene includes its introns and is flanked by its native promoter and terminator in the normalsense orientation."

with such a definition, well you might say, where's the beef? Indeed, if I saw in a store, a product labeled "C-GMO" and I knew this was the definition of it's manufacturing process, I might even considering buying it. Who knows. Perhaps by the time our Bioscientists succeed in making one, there will be a labeling law in the US and I might have a choice to do so.

As it happens though, there are multiple different definitions for cisgenesis and transgenesis being used in the literature.

Some ,as this one, assert that the insertion is in normalsense orientation, and that only native promoters and terminators are used. Other definitions permit alien promoters and terminators, All seem still to permit agrobacterium in their manufacture.

I'm partway through a really informative paper on this, called "Food and feed safety aspects of cisgenic crop plant varieties" from the Netherlands Institute of Food Safety. on Page 12 (section 4.2 'Cisgenic-like' approaches in scientific literature - definitions' they present a summary of all currently used definitions.

check it out.

So where's the link, and what exactly is wrong with using agrobacterium in their manufacture? I assume you have hundreds of examples of the damage that has done. Perhaps you could provide a few.

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