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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2008
     (1818.61)
    First off, 3 cheers for joy (Kitsune/Spiral: Joy makes me happy!)

    @St. Bernard: I think this was likely my bad at least to some degree. I was using 'GMO' to refer to entire companies and that makes no sense.

    I think this definition (yep, here we go, semantics!) is at least part of what the disagreement is about. Defining to what extent people are allowed to try their han meddling with the world's natural state is tough. I understand someone calling selective breeding 'human meddling' or something, but I think the Genetic Modification issue comes in when we're splicing bizarre things like fish and tomatoes. Splicing moustaches and potatoes. If this definition of what a GMO is can't be agreed on, then we're arguing (I mean-- discussing! Ahem!) about different things and no one's learning anything (that's the goal, right?).
  1.  (1818.62)
    @Kosmopolit

    I wouldn't say the EU ban is stupid in relation to how corporations choose to implement a lot of their GM foodstuffs.
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      CommentAuthortedcroland
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2008
     (1818.63)
    [...]we're splicing bizarre things like fish and tomatoes


    The thing is that while we are splicing these things, they aren't for the open market. We splice these things in a laboratory to better understand them, and to experiment with the outcomes. GMOs for sale at the grocery store do not contain animal genes, they contain genes from other plants that will help them in whatever condition we want them to survive in.

    Also, we're debating. :P
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      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeApr 18th 2008
     (1818.64)
    @ Lingster

    Outright banning of DDT has led to an enormous resurgence of Malaria, which now kills several million people (mostly kids in Africa) every year. It's a bad idea to spray DDT over acres of cropland, but it's a good idea to spray it on the interior walls of houses in countries afflicted with mosquito-borne illnesses.

    I'd wondered if that had something to do with the malaria outbreak. You die a lot faster from malaria than from cancer. Do you have a source for that?

    It does show that what is good for the goose is not necessarily good for the gander. Just like GM crops, or coal power, or pesticides, developing nations have different needs and different levels of acceptable risk than developed nations.
  2.  (1818.65)
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1818.66)
    Ugh... what a world. Did anyone see that movie called King Corn? Came out pretty recently... about the American Corn industry... Apparently we grow a lot of it.

    My other favorite movie that pertains to this topic is called The Future of Food.

    Anyway, I just don't know about this stuff. "Biotechnology" seems to have enveloped canola farming, and I can't say I'm happy about rice and wheat following along. What a world.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008 edited
     (1818.67)
    Hmm... interesting... I want to know why the French banned the Biotech corn, but apparently Sarkozy gave no reason?

    Of course, that's according to the BIO... I'd love to see the counter point to their argument ("There simply are no safety concerns that justify this ban.”), but I really don't see anyone giving evidence... I mean, even Greenpeace (who I really don't like relying on) say they're relying on the precautionary principle, which is a severely flawed logical form.

    EDIT: So, here's details on the report Sarkozy referred to in banning MON 810, but it still doesn't say anything beyond the fact that there's doubt...

    EDIT 2: Even Jose Bove (Super Protester Extrordinaire) says "The biggest danger which genetically modified maize represents, as well as all the other GMOs, is the impossibility of evaluating the long-term consequences of their use, and following their effects on the environment, animals and humans" in this statement he released last time he was arrested.
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1818.68)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I am against banning but I also at least want to know if the food I am buying is GM. In the US there is no law that states they have to tell people.
    It is like the one thing both sides agree on is people should not be allowed to choose for themselves.


    How are we ever going to get super powers if people are such pussies about a little gene splicing?


    I consider myself an environmentalist but I am also a meat eater and a hunter. I hate how organizations like Greenpeace make their decisions based on emotion not facts.
    Here in Canada there is a huge wave of bullcrap every year over the seal hunt. Seals are not endangered ,they are no where even close to endangered but since they are cute people donate millions to try to stop a hunt that provides a few impoverished people with some income. This has nothing to do with saving the enviroment but is really about trying to force people to do or not do what some fanatics think is right. I guess it is to dangerous or not enough media interest in going after the fleets of illegal fishing vessels from asian countries with mile long million dollar drift nets.

    The GM issue is another case like this. Some people don't like the "idea" of GM foods so are trying to get it banned for everyone. I am sick of the whole concept of bans.
    There are some things it makes sense for but now it seems like the "idea" of a ban comes when people are to cheap or lazy to tackle the real problem.
    Bans on things that people actually want like guns or drugs never work anyway.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1818.69)
    Word. The ban is lame. If it's lack of diversity that's going to cripple the agriculture industry, then give us choice! However, if the GM crops can't be contained, then we're again being robbed of said choice. How do you contain that without bannings?
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      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1818.70)
    I'm all for labeling. I am not a gene splicing pussy.
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      CommentAuthorCyman
    • CommentTimeApr 21st 2008
     (1818.71)
    Alright, alright. Splice whatever you want, humanity. "Nothing ventured: nothing gained", right? I'm all for experimentation. But let's label the stuff...
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      CommentAuthorOsmosis
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2008
     (1818.72)
    Comment piece in the Guardian on this today:

    "[...] scientists insist it would be relatively easy to introduce a basic gene construct into potatoes that would make them resistant to blight. Europe has the expertise but is thwarted by gangs of men and women who trash GM crop fields. As Sir Robert May, the government's former chief scientific adviser, once remarked, these individuals display 'the attitude of a privileged elite who think there will be no problem feeding tomorrow's growing population'. May was speaking, with remarkable prescience, at the turn of the century.


    Link.
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      CommentAuthorrickiep00h
    • CommentTimeApr 27th 2008
     (1818.73)
    I don't want to start anything here, but why is there such an ethical difference between genetically modifying something in a lab with a test tube and genetically modifying something in a field through selective breeding? The question has been posed several times but seems to be met with either willful ignorance (that is, the question is simply ignored) or the point is conceded that breeding is monkeying with genetics, and therefore genetic engineering. What's the difference?

    It strikes me as odd since, in all honesty, the goal is the same outcome about 90% of the way: to get a better product in one way or another. Higher yield corn. More hardy wheat. Whatever. The examples bandied about may be funded by giant corporations, but I'm pretty sure that, were I a wheat farmer in Africa, with an abysmally low income, I would definitely want a crop that didn't fucking die. So I could sell that crop (after keeping what I would use on my own, which is probably a pretty small amount because there's not much you can do with wheat without milling it, which, itself, is an expensive process) and buy MORE food to eat to keep myself and my family alive. And if I was given the opportunity to simply buy good seed or spend fifteen generations getting a breed that worked right, I'd take the quick and easy path.

    It's a simple question of basic economic assumptions: people act in their own self-interest, and they make rational decisions.

    I agree that there is uncharted, untested territory in the field of genetics, especially in relation to food, but simply plugging our ears and ignoring the sheer opportunity for development isn't going to help anyone. If we don't test and experiment, we can't settle on the best, most economical, and most healthy way to do things. And that goes for any industry.

    So maybe we should just stop fighting it and let things work themselves out? And that's not saying "let's leave our lives in the hands of the corporations/open market/capitalist bastards," that's saying let the complex and diverse web of reality sort out what's good and bad because that's how the world works. Throwing all this political banter into it isn't doing any good in the interest of furthering an argument. You can spew facts all day and spin things however you want, but I actually believe that some of the scientists in this world are actually trying to do GOOD, instead of chasing the leftist idea of The Almighty Dollar.

    (side note @osmosis: a good read, but a little preachy on the other side. I could have done with two paragraphs that explained why GM foods are better for fighting starvation without the political slant.)
  3.  (1818.74)
    Warren is tidying his hovel.

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