Resection to culture

Ignorance, and fear of the unknown future

Same as any radical, new, or drastic new technology.

I, for one, have no qualms about eating a Big Mac. Do you seriously think, with the sheer amount of people who eat them daily, that if there were bad for you, it wouldn't have been heard of until now? Yet I haven't heard a peep of any actual dangers, just some illogical what-if rants from some agricultural Luddites.

What do I care if the cow I am eating was fed hormones, or genetically modified? I *don't* care! As long as I get my beef cheaply and safely, and all indications I am aware of say that I am. Without modern advances in food production, millions would starve to death every year. You'll notice it's only well-fed people protesting the "horrors" of hormones in food animals - the rest are too busy trying to avoid thinking of beef, because it makes the hunger pangs worse. You try and quantify the payoffs: the risk of some probably imaginary, as-yet unproven harm from eating hormone-laced meat or SR fruits and veggies, or death from fucking starvation. Tough one, huh?

The only problem with SR and chemically enhanced food that I see is mismanagement of the technology. The "terminator" issue turmeric raises could lead to abuses and monoculture, which is unhealthy in the long run. A SR plant that refuses to go away when no longer wanted could be nasty, but there's an easy solution: build in a weakness to a certain chemical compound as an herbicide, so if neccessary it can be destroyed. As for genetic crossover, I'm seriously doubting it; haven't seen the evidence yet. The main problem I see it corporate irresponsibility; a company could make a crop that is devastating to the environment in many ways, but not care at all. My fix would be some sort of international regulatory body which inspects SR and other "enhanced" food products, and puts a seal or certificate of inspection on those which pass certain requirements.

The claim that they're not is simply not assertable at this point

People have died from assorted causes thousands of years before those causes were established.

The claim that "people aren't dying" from SR food is therefore a falacy. The best you can claim is that nobody has established a link between deaths and SR food.

Currently, alumin(i)um is believed to be linked to a form of brittle-bone disease, a form of anaemia, and a form of Alzheimer's Disease. Certainly, this link is hotly contested (especially in the US, where a lot of companies using Alumin(i)um products are based), but the evidence of some link is now pretty close to irrefutable.

However, alumin(i)um, brittle bones, anaemia and Alzheimer's Disease have all existed, long before atomic mass spectrometry, desfereoximine or even modern medical terminology.

AIDS certainly pre-dates 1980, and historic medical texts - when examined - do reveal the existance of AIDS-like symptoms as far back as the 1600s. Yet, AIDS as a diagnosis is relatively recent. Deaths from AIDS prior to the ability to detect HIV antibodies will be documented as being caused by something else - likely a secondary infection, as that's usually the "killer".

In short, that we haven't shown that SR foods cause deaths, shows us exactly nothing. Historically and scientifically, we can conclude only that we have no data available, and therefore that we know absolutely nothing definitive.

That is why it is paramount that a totally independent and extremely thorough investigation is carried out, so that risks can be accurately assessed. "Thorough" does NOT mean "whatever the doctor attributes as cause of death", it means carrying out a detailed investigation, at the cellular level and preferably the sub-cellular level. High level statistical studies mean exactly nothing, as you can't define the variables well enough. The noise level on chaturbate is too great to get decent data.

Perhaps it exists

I have never heard of a GE crop being 'resistant to pesticide.

but what is actually going on right now in reality is that most soybeans and several other plants are impregnated with agene to resist ----HERBICIDE----.

the ---HERBICIDE--- kills ---WEEDS---. you cant breed 'weed resistance' into crops, because weeds dont directly attack crops. instead they use up nutrients and make shade and provide habitat for viruses/funguses/bugs that damage crops.. and some weeds emit allelopathic chemicals that inihibit growth of crops. ok -maybe- you can make a crop resist allelopathy of a weed. but you cant make a crop that magically resists the shade cast on it by a weed, nor that magically 'unsteals' the nutrients stolen by the weed.

the most famous ---HERBICIDE-- is called 'roundup', and is made by monsanto, a giant chemical company. 'roundup ready' is the name given to plants infected with the gene for resistance to roundup, the --herbicide--. yes, this lines the pocket of monsanto.

now, there are a lot of other genes, that do things like ---PEST-- resistance. note that 'pest resistance' is different from 'pesticide resistance'.

but the problem you are gonna have is that a lot of pro biotech whiners are claiming that pest resistance genes DECREASE THE AMOUNT OF PESTICIDE NEEDED. why is this? because these 'pesticide resistance' genes actually make peesticide INSIDE THE PLANT.

This is in effect moving the pesticide production from a factory somewhere into the fields, the plants themselves do it. Which makes chemical compnies lose business at their factories, maybe, but that is why those chemical companies (monsanto for example) are doing biotech. . . because they dont want to get left behind in the change of technology.

So i hope you can fix this problem with your article. But there is another problem

You do not mention 'terminator technology'. This makes it so that seeds that farmers buy will grow plants that are sterile and wont reproduce seeds next year. This is important, because farmers can no longer save their own seeds. They have to buy all their seeds over again from monsanto, every year. Forever.

This is a bedrock of patented genes in plants. Without terminator you couldnt control the spread of your technology at all. It is like 'copy protection' on game discs. It is not totally perfect. But it kind of works. So basically instead of being self reliant, now all farmers in the world will have to pay monsanto to buy new seed every year because all their crops will be sterile. Aside from economics/power problem, this also destroys genetic diversity... because the unique conditions to every little microclimate in which farmers grow their crops around the world are what drive the process of natural / artificial darwinian selection that are what create new variations of crops in the first place. If you grow a crop in a certain place for 20 generations, youa re going to have a different variety of crop than the seed you started with, and it will be more suited to your environment, the temperature, moisture levels, rain patterns, diseases, bugs, soil conditions, shade levels, etc. Take away the reseeding of crops, and replace it with buying everything from monsanto, and you have a worldwide monoculture.

Now what happens with monoculture? One pest or disease comes up in one year unexpectedly and suddenly you have lost all your crop. This has happened many times. Some people say the irish potato famine was partly due to them all planting one type of potato. But more recently this happened with corn in the US... some huge percentage of the corn crop was all the same variation and some freak pest or something came along and wiped it all out. They had to go back tot he genetic 'libraries' in central america to figure out how to solve this problem: the same genetic libraries that would be wiped out if monsanto has its way and makes everyone plant the same thing everywhere.

So I hope you say something about that too in your jasminlive article. This obsessive attachement to 'human health' of GE crops is a red herring for much larger issues that are more obviously important and that we know will have effects, because we have seen it happen before. The human health thing is still an unknown.

But you have one last problem in your article, and that is that you do not mention the propertyu theft that this enables Monsanto and others to participate in. The problem is that the genes can 'spread' to non-GE crops... because pollination happens through wind and through insects. That is how plants reproduce. And this pollen can spread for several miles, depending on the wind and the insects. Id imagine int he right storm conditions it could cross dozens of miles, but I dont know. Anyways, the thing is that anyone who happens to grow a crop within an x mile distance of a GE crop, well, if their crop gets 'infected' with GE crops, then monsanto can claim they are violating copyrights and patents, and come seize their property .

Another way this can happen is when gigantic bags of unlabeled seed are shipped elsewhere, and farmers just take it and use it. Or maybe a few sacks are left over or one spills out or something. Farmers just use the seed. They dont know where it came from. They probably cant read the english on the bags even if the bags were labeled, which they wouldnt be in the first place.

This has already happened in Mexico, and the lawyers for the big US corporations went around basically saying 'well if they are getting the benefit of our technology, then we aim to get our money or stop them'. Can you imagine if you have lived in some little village in Mexico for decades farming, and all of a sudden Monsanto sues you for patent violations you didnt even know you were committing? And you are wiped out? all your land is taken? all your crops are taken?

Or perhaps they make a 'deal' with you, that forces ou to continually buy their seed for the rest of your life every year if you want to grow corn?

I wish you would talk about some of these issues in your article, because all the philosophical mumbo jumbo you add in the last half is kind of pointless and stupid when you consider the very real, very obviously evil and wrong things that GE has already done and will continue to do.... and that you are participating in the red herring bullshit that the Monsanto PR flacks are happy to see you participating in. Thank you.

Damn the torpedos, full speed ahead

The main difference between the two continents is that it seems that people in the US have unlimited faith in science, in the believe that science can only do good and that even if harm is done it will be fixed.

In Europe in general I think Jasmine live people are a bit more skeptical of the "latest and greatest" and marketing is not always bought the same way it is in the US.

The comparision between Frankenfood and Frankenstein is surely alluring to you but I thin it is also flawed in the sense that you can easily distinguish Frankenstein from other human beings, but how do you know that the Carrott or Strawberry that you are eating right now is SRO free?

A lot of the argument in europe is about the LABELING of SRO food, and that is something that (for one reason or the other) the food industry (mainly driven by american companies) doesn't want.

The question should not be: Why are europeans afraid of Frankenfood, but rather: Why is the industry afraid of labelling their food accordingly.

A short answer: Because they can't control it anymore. SRO is almost everywhere already (Soy) because the attempts to "contain" the crops to their own fields have failed miserably.

Of course messing directly with the genetic code carries increased risks and necessitates greater oversight. With great power comes great responsiblity. Can we screw it up? Yes. But the benefits are so huge to the world, SR can not be ignored. The genie can not be put back in the bottle. Such is human nature. We will not ignore SR and discard the technology, nor should we.

Not discard the technology but definetly not forge ahead along the lines of.

Exactly because this technology is so powerful, holds so much potential (and doom) we NEED to make certain that it is working in our (and the worlds) benefit. Blindly distributing the stuff will backfire.

You gonna trust a bunch of crazies to get things right?

If you buy a toaster, or a car tire, and on first use it explodes, killing or injuring the user, the company has sold you a defective product. It has not performed as advertised, and has failed to operate in a manner consistant with the purpose for which it was bought. Firestone has learned a lot, in recent years, on the consequences of defective products.

If you buy SR'ed food, and - for some bizarre reason - it, too, explodes, killing someone, the company has no legal responsibility at all. Even if the product is relatively untested.

Consumers are stupid, but they're not THAT stupid! If they have no protection whatsoever, and they know that risks in related industries (the only other field that produces ingestable material is the drug industry) are so high that testing and protections are incredibly extensive, they're going to back off.

SR companies, by demanding their products are safe (while, at the same time, providing zero actual proof of this, no protections against errors, and no labelling to mark what is SR and what isn't), are doing themselves no favours.

If companies want to be trusted, they must first prove that they can be trusted. That means rigorous labelling, consumer protections, and thorough testing.

Oh, and SR companies are suing farmers whose crops are cross-pollinated with SR crops by your average, everyday insect population. For IP infringement! This is even stupider than SCO suing IBM over Linux. If we accept that as being insane, then the SR companies involved in IP lawsuits are even crazier.