US Passes "Monsanto Protection Act"

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Moolaka, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    My point was not to say that the processes are the same. Only that on a very basic level they can accomplish the same thing. Induction of new traits. One method just allows for a greater variety of traits to be changed. In the end a gene is a gene and how it gets transferred is irrelevant to the argument about whether it is dangerous.

    Resistance is a problem, true. That's not a reason to stop the research. It's a reason to keep doing it IMHO. It's like hitting a moving target. Sort of like antibiotics. Research into those slowed and when the bacteria caught up with the drugs we have, in some cases there isn't anything we can do.

    People might not bring it up due to it not being very PC, but it would still be true :lol:

    That would all depend on who you ask. To some people the process is less important than the end result. That's where we don't agree.
     
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  2. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    Not trying to defend a corporation here. Just the science.
     
  3. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Sorry, but you're wrong, and you also seem to not understand the evolutionary process.

    Evolution works via changes/mutations, and by selection, whether natural or by human -guided husbandry. Everything builds on what came before, with incremental changes.

    That's why you can't breed a creature which looks like a mythological griffin, because there are no normal lions with six limbs to sacrifice a pair in order to make some wings. Similarly, you can't breed a rabbit to glow in the dark, as the gene doesn't already exist in rabbits to begin with.

    Genetic modification, when discussing GM plants and animals, refers to transgenic modification. Genes are taken from one species and inserted into an unrelated species.

    You're just repeating the Monsanto talking points.

    The best illustration of how wrong you are is... if they were really the same, why didn't they just breed plants and animals to instantly get the result they wanted? They couldn't, in the same way you can't instantly breed two rabbits or monkeys and get a fluorescent offspring.

    Transgenic is not the same as husbandry. Simple and straightforward, and (assuming the subject came up) I'm surprised your classes never covered the distinction.
     
  4. Cancer

    Cancer Cancer:The Crucifuct

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    Just my .02$ (and not to derail), but the best alternative is vertical farming. Vertical farming increases the surface area we have to farm on, allows for natural farmland to repair itself (from non-use), and because it's enclosed, doesn't need to same amount of pesticide we currently use (if at all).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertical_farming
     
  5. The Atomic Ass

    The Atomic Ass Redefining Sound

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    (My comment is meant to agree, not ridicule)

    Time for the return of the victory garden. Even city dwellers can join in.
     
  6. tm20

    tm20 SS.org Regular

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    scientists don't fuck up the world, greedy business men do :lol:
     
  7. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    As I said in my previous posts, obviously the process of making a transgenic organism is different. That's irrelevant as to answering the question of whether such an organism is dangerous. The resulting organism shouldn't be feared because it was created by scientists. That's the point I was trying to get across.

    I'm not just regurgitating information I heard in a lecture while in school. I worked with transgenic Arabidopsis (model organism used in plant research) for quite a while.

    I'm just trying to present this information is a logical manner without sounding too disrespectful. However, I feel like I'm going to be re-wording and posting the same information over and over again if I keep coming back to this thread.
     
  8. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Actually, you didn't.

    And that's why I decided to clarify, because I was surprised that you made that second statement.

    Going further, you decided to choose a fairly innocuous example in defense of the idea that we know all the implications of any given transgenic modification.

    Here's a question for you: How do you prove the safety of a plant which creates its own pesticides, given how promiscuous plant genes are?

    You know that the genes can jump.

    You know they can jump into other plants which are used as food sources.

    It's a fairly straightforward example of a large risk. I'd be interested in hearing how there isn't anything to worry about with such genes being released into human food crops, not just a weak assurance about how we just *shouldn't* worry, or stating that the average person is just overreacting to what is an obvious and easy-to-understand danger.

    And, as you've done work in the hard sciences, you can appreciate how little work has actually been allowed by Monsanto in testing the safety of these product... and hopefully also realize the implications on Monsanto burying as much of it as possible. As a scientist, I'm sure you'd be in favor of actual testing and studies of the various dangers to be sure that they are as minor as you are saying, right?

    ----

    For those interested, I'll again observe that organic crop yields > conventional crop yields > GM crop yields, undermining another of the Monsanto talking points.
     
  9. Moolaka

    Moolaka SS.org Regular

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    What is going on, and has been going on since the American Revolutionary War, is an American conglomerate trying to alienate the population from their needs for profit. There is plenty of food for everyone (it grows on trees, literally), what there is not is short term profit margin for equal rights to that food.

    If you read "Confessions of an Economic Hitman" by John Perkins he explains what he did as a former economic jackal, what the rest of the world has known about American economic conquest since the 70's. The GMO movement is political, it is being pushed on the third world in the interest of profits, NOT in the interests of human necessities.

    Semi-related, read Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. They explain more of the surrounding politics of the point I just brought up.
     
  10. Overtone

    Overtone SS.org Regular

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    Even if you don't see an issue with transgenic GM in food crops wouldn't you still have a problem with the OP topic... that the bill being passed basically favors the producers over the population and environment in a case where the regulatory agencies DO determine that there is a problem? If there is no issue, it'll never come up... so why do they need that protection?
     
  11. axxessdenied

    axxessdenied Arium Addict

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    People don't consider their long term health. I for one do not want to be one of those people suffering from cancer in my final years because I was too lazy to stay healthy and not eat poisoned food.
     
  12. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Can you provide some sources for that?

    I mean that in an "it'd be interesting to read about" sort of way, not an "I think you're full of shit, so prove it" sort of way, just to clarify.
     
  13. The Atomic Ass

    The Atomic Ass Redefining Sound

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    Even though I already believe it, I'll +1, because one can never have too many sources.
     
  14. Andromalia

    Andromalia Pardon my french

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    The science actually isn't the problem here. ;) Corporate behaviour is.
     
  15. AxeHappy

    AxeHappy SS.org Regular

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    As a person whom has no issues with the concept of GM food, this. This exactly. This bill is bullshit. Monsanto is Bullshit. I am really upset by this bullshit.
     
  16. JeffFromMtl

    JeffFromMtl Уродливый, но честны

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    Ah, food politics and the monopolization of the seed and agriculture industry. Anyone who still questions what's wrong with this simply isn't aware that the science is the least of the problems. The sociological impact is massive, and you only need to look as far as the fact that suicide is the leading cause of death among farmers world-wide to understand why this is a problem. It just isn't right that in order to pay a corporation that sued you for not using their seeds on your farm, the only pay-out high enough is your life insurance policy.

    The Farm Crisis | International Society for Ecology and Culture

    And for the complacent bunch who say if you don't like it, then grow your own food, there's a lot going on globally in subsistence and urban agriculture. Read up on the Detroit agricultural movement which was a response to economic, social and racial issues, look at what's happening in Cuba agriculturally and what's going on in the global south. There's a lot of things moving in a positive direction and a lot of people doing great things for their communities and the world as far as food production goes.

    I firmly believe that the world would be a far batter place if every would get off their lazy asses and either a) put some research into the food and consumption choices they make or b) learn to provide for yourself. Grow your own food, and hunt your own meat. Either one would be a much healthier and more ethical option than whatever you can get from your supermarket, not to mention how much further it'd take your dollar value. Plus as far as I'm concerned, anyone who can manage to survive and feed themselves with just a few tools, some determination and a strong skill set is as badass as a person can get.

    It may seem daunting at first, but I'm wrapping up the construction of a self-sustaining year-round hydroponic window farm in the greenhouse at my University. Soon enough, I'll be able to feed myself with vegetable and herbs grown in wine bottles hanging from a window just a few kilometers from my apartment. The whole process is a lot easier than you'd think, and it's even more rewarding than it is simple, so don't be afraid to get your hands dirty and take back control of what's in your food and where it comes from!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. narad

    narad Progressive metal and politics

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    There is so much misinformation in this thread, I'm almost astounded. Too much to clarify.

    Randomly I want to point out that the roundup resistant crops are not a result of gene-jumping, this is simply the evolutionary process functioning in an environment with a new artificial constraint. Weeds aren't going for a roll in the roundup-resistant hay and breeding a new plant. The behavior is exactly what we observe in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and why using antibiotics on populations of annoying bacteria without obliterating them can cause a lot of problems downstream. This is because you're artificially selecting all surviving members of the population, the ones with the most resistance - even if they would eventually die off, and breeding within that top population. This greatly increases the chances of introducing increasingly more resistant populations, until at some point your antibiotic or your pesticide is no longer useful.

    But yea, don't take that as being pro-Monsanto. I almost feel bad about writing a pro-GM paper almost 15 years ago for an econ class. What Monsanto is doing to the small farm through litigation, and to genetic variation in crops, is unbelievably reckless. We're having centuries of hand-selected crops wiped out through cross-contamination with GM-fields. It's not very easy to undo.
     
  18. Explorer

    Explorer He seldomly knows...

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    Sorry, I might have been conflating a few things from work, where we're currently studying organic standards, GMOs, and conventional farming, as well as food safety. I've been reading a lot on studies in progress (although Monsanto doesn't want such studies done), white papers, and other materials.

    And part of that reading has been on getting most yield out of terrain, including how to increase production on working farms. Previously farms had integrated livestock and crops, until that system was neatly divided into many problems (fertilizing without animals, eliminating animal waste, and so on). That was what I was conflating with organics, as a lot of organic farmers are looking at such integrated solutions.

    I'm not even sure if I can find many published studies on conventional versus GM crops, as Monsanto often pulls the plug and sues if their technology is used in ways counter to the signed agreement, including most uses outside of just growing crops.

    I'll withdraw my previous assertion until/unless I can find something in the metric ton of paper on my work desk, but I can probably find something on the conventional>GM angle more easily...
     
  19. Overtone

    Overtone SS.org Regular

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    When peak oil comes back to the forefront people will have a lot more incentive to do this kind of thing unless they are wealthy enough to double/triple their food costs as a % of income. It is great to have the opportunity to prepare in ways like home gardening and also changing diet. I've been cooking more vegetarian food the last few years and it cut my budget pretty much in half! This year I finally get to start a balcony garden... very excited about that! All in all it is costing me about $50 in materials and whatever water I'll need (will try to make a rainwater collection device from free parts some day) for a whole bunch of plants!
     
  20. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, business practices aside, the fact that they own something like ~95% of the seed market is just plain scary even if everything was on the up and up. They literally control what grows and they are an unethical company to boot. Now they can just do whatever they want without any consequences thanks to the bill which just adds to how bad the situation is and that is excluding the GMO aspect all together.
     

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