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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:28 pm 
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Well true there are natural pesticides and that is a similar concept as antibiotics. I guess I'm just not very trusting of the companies doing it plus it didn't seem as their were any long term studies on it being done before they started doing it.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 1:51 pm 
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linanil wrote:
Well true there are natural pesticides and that is a similar concept as antibiotics. I guess I'm just not very trusting of the companies doing it plus it didn't seem as their were any long term studies on it being done before they started doing it.


We already had decades of evidence and research showing Bt to be safe actually. Its been in use in organic ag for a long time. From the Bayesian approach we had no good reason to believe it would be harmful in this new use, nor do we have much evidence of harm after its use. Considering that Bt crops prevent the spraying of million pounds of insecticides per year and increase many farmers yield and have prevented millions accidental poisoning incidents every year, not using Bt crops could be the worse option.

When real farmers are actually dying from unnecessary pesticide applications, giving into fears about theoretical (and unlikely) toxicity of one of the tools to reduce pesticide sprays is irresponsible.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:27 pm 
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I'm fine with the idea of GM and use to wonder why people complained about them. The gene pool is constantly changing anyways- mixing it up a little faster and making plants that work in more places, last longer, are more nutrition, and tastier mean a veg diet is easier.

I also would like argue that if more food is produced or if its cheaper to produce food because of GM, then GMs could reduce (not end) world hunger by making food more affordable and making charity's money go further. And if it is able to grow in more places, then the possibility of people taking care of themselves exists.

Am I for existing GM products? I haven't really looked into them, so I will refrain from giving an answer. One would have to look at each one on a case by case basis.


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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2012 5:05 pm 
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Quote:
The introduction of GM foods infringes on my rights as an individual not to consume them, as if the UK follows the same route as the US the food chain will become polluted and all processed food will more than likely contain an element or percentage of GM


The introduction of hybrid foods infringes on my rights as an individual not to consume them, as if the UK follows the same route as the US the food chain will become polluted and all processed food will more than likely contain an element or percentage of hybrids

does a fundamental right to this kind of information make as much sense now?

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 5:19 am 
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Ok, I can't get the video to work. But if you go on here http://taketheflourback.org/ there's a video. With Lego people in it.


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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:13 pm 
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Crusty Rat wrote:
Ok, I can't get the video to work. But if you go on here http://taketheflourback.org/ there's a video. With Lego people in it.


If you go back to page 3 here we have discussed that campaign a little bit already but I'm willing to go more in depth.

So upon watching the video once again I wanted to take note of the specific claims

at the 1:00 mark the claim that scientists add "Synthetic Gen similar to one found in a cow", thats a somewhat simplistic and mischaracterization of the situation. It obviously trying to use weirdness to invoke disgust or mistrust, its a cheap emotional ploy. Its a bit more complicated than that

Quote:
Chemically synthesised gene sequences that had been codon-optimised for wheat encoding plastid-targeted enzymes (E)-β-farnesene synthase and farnesyl diphosphate synthase were assembled by GenScript Inc.....The nucleotide sequences of these genes are synthetic and chimaeric and not found naturally. However, the enzyme encoded by the EBFS cassette is similar to that found in peppermint (Mentha × piperita) and the enzyme encoded by the FPPS cassette has most similarity to that from cow (Bos taurus) but is generally ubiquitous and occurs in most organisms. Both plasmids carry right and left T-DNA border sequences, origins of replication and bacterial selectable marker genes necessary for maintenance in E.coli and Agrobacterium.

Chipmunk wrote:
So the amino acid sequence is similar to cow, but the gene is going to differ quite a bit.


The "antibiotic-resistance gene marker" is mentioned with out context, again to scare. As discussed in the paperwork submitted for this trial
Quote:
The plants also contain two selectable marker genes which both originate in bacteria. The bar gene gives the plant resistance to glufosinate herbicides and was used in the selection of transgenic plants. The nptI gene confers resistance to the antibiotic kanamycin and was used in the gene cloning steps. Glufosinate will not be used to control weeds on the trial site and this antibiotic resistance gene is not considered harmful in the context of this trial.


They then mention that is has a "gene resistant to a dangerous herbicide", also design to scare and presented out of context, in reality this herbicide was only used in the lab to help select for the modified plants and they explicitly state that it will not but used in the field trial

Im personally quite excited about this trial and hope it works out. This is exactly the kind of GM trait I think about when I think of vegan-friendly GMOs, a crops that repels pests and reduces impact on non-target insects at the same time. I think the vehement opposition to the trial is unfounded and the called for criminal destruction are highly irresponsible.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:53 pm 
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Next at the 1:15 mark they claim that there has been no proper safety research, when this is just plain false. I invite folks to read the paper work submitted regarding this trial for info on the safety evaluation that was conducted that found no real risk, along with extensive safety measures in place during the trial. Further this ignores hundreds of previous independent studies in to GM safety

They then claim that "releasing antibiotic resistant anything into the wild is a bad idea" This is simply false and shows a misunderstanding of of the science behind this modification, once again Ill direct folks to the paperwork submitted in regards to this trail for explanations about antibiotic resistance. This is NOT a realistic concern for this particular trial and TakeTheFlourBack fail to making a compelling case that it is.

They then talk about wind pollination and cross contamination, again read the paperwork linked above. This was taken into account and numerous safety measure were put in place to prevent this. The risk is considered negligible. TakeTheFlourBack fail to make a compelling case in this area as well.

The rest of the video then just goes on the repeat common anti-Gm talkign points, distortions, and falsehoods, many of which have been dealt with previous and are not specific to this trial so I will not break down the rest of the video

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 8:16 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 11:57 am 
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Skepticalvegan- tell me why this article is wrong.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/ ... evolution/

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 2:26 pm 
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The statement about metabolic mutants only having each other to compete with seems a bit strange, given that these are fields where resistant crops are being grown.


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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2012 10:44 pm 
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Do you think that the thrust of the article is off the mark though Chipmunk? Is it sensationalizing a non-issue or might this be a legitimate problem with this type of GMOs?

I guess even if this is an issue for pesticide/herbicide resistant GMOs, it has no real ramifications for the large number of other uses they have.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 12:24 am 
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I liked this article from The Atlantic.
Quote:
It doesn't matter how the cow is raised -- in an idyllic pasture or a feedlot -- either way, the animal of 2012 is not the animal of 1940 or 1980 or even 2000. A group of USDA and University of Minnesota scientists calculated that 22 percent of the genome of Holstein cattle has been altered by human selection over the last 40 years.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:01 pm 
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vegimator wrote:
Skepticalvegan- tell me why this article is wrong.

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/ ... evolution/


I'll give it a go...

First I would say they are so much "wrong" as "likely wrong" since they as making guesses about the future. And truthfully thats all it looks like they are doing, guessing. They dont seem to offer much evidence or well reasoned arguments.

These mulch-herbicide resistant crops are being create specifically to deal with emergence of single-herbicide resistant weeds (which aren't really "superweeds"). By switching from season to season which herbicides they use farmers are able to cut natural selection off by not allowing a few remaining glyphosate resistant weeds from the previous seasons applications to breed by killing it with a different herbicide. The problem of resistance really only emergence when you are applying the same selective pressure over multiple generations. But switching herbicides often prevents the build up of resistant genes in the gene pool.

Truthfully Im not sure what the author was thinking. Ive message a few scientist buddies about the article and will post their more scholarly replies if I get any word back ( I dont always, they are busy folk)

vegimator wrote:
Do you think that the thrust of the article is off the mark though Chipmunk? Is it sensationalizing a non-issue or might this be a legitimate problem with this type of GMOs?


Its not that its not a issue, its that its not a GMO issue, its an issue of agriculture. But right now biotech including GMOs offer us some interesting tools to actually reduce the problem.
I really recommend reading this post
Humankind vs Weeds - The Epic Battle

Quote:
I guess even if this is an issue for pesticide/herbicide resistant GMOs, it has no real ramifications for the large number of other uses they have.


Bingo

also I really hear much complaints about non-genetically engineered hybrid herbicide resistant crops on the market

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 1:55 pm 
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An appeal from the scientists at Rothamsted Research who are responsible for this Gm wheat trial targeted by Take The Flour Back for criminal destruction.

You can read the appeal letter and sign the petition to defend science
Rothamsted Research

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 3:30 pm 
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"First I WOULNT say they are so much "wrong" as "likely wrong" since they ARE making guesses about the future"

sorry typos, Im still tired from all the MayDay stuff

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 5:48 pm 
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also wanted to point out...

from the "take the flour back" site
Quote:
This experiment is tax-payer funded, but Rothamsted hope to sell any patent it generates to an agro-chemical company.


this appears to be an outright falsehood. the researchers involved in this project have openly stated that they specifically do not want their work to be privately owned by a corporation

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2012 8:09 pm 
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I wanted to post a link to blog post i just wrote on the issues of animal genes in gmos & the Rothamstead Wheat Trial
http://skepticalvegan.wordpress.com/201 ... eat-trial/

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 2:41 pm 
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So an update on the Rothamstead GM wheat trial. After the Rothamstead scientists acquired a venue for a public debate Take The Flour Back backed out and would not attend, despite it being their demand in the first place. The protestor have cut off all communications with the Rothamstead scientists and now one has vandalized part of the wheat trial.

Demand more research, then destroy it, Demand to talk, then dont show up, you just cant win I guess

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:09 pm 
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Lucy Harrap of take the flour back says that she doesn't oppose research into GM, just that she doesn't believe it's been tested enough to be planted outdoors. Has it been tested enough? When I've got a bit more time on my hands I hope to be able to read some of the proper scientific literature on it to try and put together some sort of logical opinion on this. A quick google gave me this I haven't read the actual application but are some valid points not raised in this letter?

I'm always concerned that with things like GM food which I am so strongly for, and which many people are so against, that I dismiss any arguements against it as, basically, haters hating. And perhaps I'm ignoring valid arguments because I'm so sure that GM is a step in the right direction that I can't quite accept that just because overall it's a good thing there are still examples of it not being done well.

Not to mention I just get confused with both sides acting as though what they're saying is true. I'm not good at separating the truth from the lies (obviously not skeptical enough!)


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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 5:32 pm 
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Quote:
Has it been tested enough?


it went through greenhouse and lab testing before hand, open field testing is the next logical and necessary step. The Anti_GM activists will always say it hasn't been studies enough, they just keep moving the goal post, additionally these activist generally arnt in the position to be making informed judgments about what kinds and amounts of testing are warranted, though they feel perfectly justified in questioning the integrity of the majority of relevant expert in the field just cause they dont agree.

We have had a number of GM wheat trials in the past, none resulted in any harm, there is no reason to think this trial would either. Also the UK has over 40 varieties of wheat, they remain genetically stable despite lack of barriers to "genetic contamination", because wheat doesnt need much of a barrier and the contamination issue he is a non-issue. As is the anti-biotic marker gene and herbicide tolerance gene.

Quote:
A quick google gave me this I haven't read the actual application but are some valid points not raised in this letter?


Not really. The points contained have been addressed multiple times but Take The Flour Back simply refuses to engage in dialog.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:53 pm 
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incomplete science. for seed crops, even if the mother plant is non-GMO, if the father plant is GMO, the seed (the part we eat) will be GMO. (FYI: all grains, nuts and beans are seeds.) it's not just referring to what the farmer plants, it affects the crop itself.

it frustrates me when GMO proponents provide the existence of intra-specific, interspecific, intergeneric and even the extremely rare interfamilial hybrid as examples of genetic modification. (especially when they cite gene selection in our long history of humans encouraging corn/wheat development. that's not fair. it's all genes from within the same species!) if the plants/animals reproduced on their own, then there's nothing wrong with it. (even if it was aided by bacteria or viruses naturally, it's no big deal) it happened in nature, it was supposed to happen. (fine, you can argue that humans happened, and we're natural, and our science creating otherwise impossible hybrids is natural, but maybe then we should keep our science within our own family.)

in nature, no hybrids past the family barrier happens. it terrifies me that the genes can escape and taint the entirety of the species. once they escape, there is no turning back. the unknown is some scary shiitake. we as humans have done some terrible things. we've introduced diseases that were once contained to remote locations (dutch elm disease) and countless invasive species that are killing off native species. it terrifies me of the possibilities.

especially with the synthetic genes. introducing synthetic genes into living organisms terrifies the bejeezus out of me. gaaaah!

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 9:30 pm 
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You mention fear a lot...but of what exactly? You seem to assume that genetic spread is inherently harmful.

the risks of GE tech are only theoretical and remote while the harm from the problems we seek to alleviate with GE tech are very real and very harmful.
This aphid resistant wheat could mean the drastic reduction in pesticide use in the wheat industry and will save non-human lives.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:12 pm 
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the unknown. anything can happen, and when it does, it'll be impossible to reverse. (i gave examples of natural escaped things that have previously been contained prior to their introduction elsewhere. you can also compare it to diseases and how they run amok.)

what if a synthesized gene introduced into a food doesn't cause diseases in rats, but it does cause diseases in humans after being exposed to it for long enough? by the time we discover the cause, it'll be impossible to contain.

what if the synthesized (or introduced nonnative natural) gene is unstable in it's new host after a few generations, and starts to morph into something destructive?

instead of focusing on aphid resistant wheat (which the surviving members will be resistant to and then will produce completely resistant progeny, and everything will be for naught. especially for gigantic monocrops.) using beneficial predators is way more safe and effective over the long run. pesticides and herbicides are short term solutions. natural genetic mutations/survival of the fittest is amazing and will thwart the best intentions of the scientists. being picked off by predators keeps our food supply safe, and the insects are left to adapt to each other, not the crop.

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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:35 am 
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Again, that's an extremely essentialist view of what a family or species is. The human genome is riddled with viral DNA, some of which also encodes for proteins.

The proteins inserted into the wheat in question already occur in the food chain. Not sure what you mean by "unstable" or "morphing".

The aphids also aren't being killed directly. They're being repelled with a volatile pheromone they usually emit themselves in case of danger, which also serves to attract their predators. They start ignoring the alarm signal coming from the wheat, the predator eats them.


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 Post subject: Re: GM Food
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 10:00 am 
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is that the stuff that smells like rancid garlic? oh man, i would not want to use rancid garlic smelling wheat in my sweet breads.

and i mean mutate. it was theoretical. genes mutate all the time, and wouldn't you think a gene that wasn't supposed to be there would be more likely to mutate?

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