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Old 01-04-2013, 03:20 PM   #1
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Default Lecture to Oxford Farming Conference, 3 January 2013

Admittedly I haven't read this yet, and only scratched the surface of the video, but my science friends on facebook seem to be enjoying this a lot, and it opens with the guy who started the Anti GM Crop movement saying Sorry for having done so.

Seems like it might be worth discussion. View Here.
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Old 01-10-2013, 01:13 AM   #2
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I for sure feel it’s worth discussing but then.... I'd classify myself an old school environmentalist.
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We may never agree but…. that’s ok... to each his own. I think the “science” was settled for Lynas on AGW so it’s coming as no surprise to me it’s now settled for him on genetically engineered foods. According to Lynas….. "The GM debate is finished….We don't need to continue to discuss it. You are more likely to get hit by an asteroid than to get hurt by GM food." To me…. that smacks of a journalist who’s been financially motivated to jump to conclusions before the “science” is in. Far be it for me to stop him from placing his newly acquired faith in the ability of the creators of GMO’ed anything to “evaluate” their own products but…. I don’t have to share his belief that GMO’ed food is perfectly safe and that pesticides and hormones and antibiotics in our foods aren’t harmful. I’m not buying into any more “settled” science AND feel we should all have the right to know what’s in the food we’re buying.
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Something I considered…. his timing on publicly renouncing his long held beliefs….. coincided with the release of his new book and he’s got another in the works. BTW…. where’s the data in that report he “unleashed”>>>? I couldn’t find any data in it. I ‘spose we should all run out and buy his newest book so we can see if he’s got anything backing that “change of heart” of his. And about this most recent “work” in which he “admits” he was wrong then “apologizes” while masterfully presenting the “facts” from BigBio’s side…. emotional egocentrism is powerful “stuff”…. there’s gonna be a lot of buyers out there because there’s no way to challenge BigBio’s “facts” in the absence of independent research into long term human health and environmental impacts. Anyone else wondering how many powerful allies with deep pockets aside from BigBio he created given his hot-off-the-press newly chosen belief system and…. how many honorariums he's now in line to collect since he’s seen their light>>>?
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According to Wikipedia, the dude holds a degree in history and politics, Mark Lynas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. He’s a freelance writer working full-time on global warming “issues” who had his boat rocked by what happened in Copenhagen and again last summer in Rio de Janeiro and yet again just over a month ago in Doha. I’m sure he saw the writing on the wall since he’s a man who makes his $$$ off of gaming a political end. He’s no better than a lobbyist IMO. My take is he adjusted his sails by rebranded himself so his “work” will be more marketable to BigBio…. that pen of his has always been for hire. I’m thinking he’s gonna make a LOT of $$$ until he ultimately goes down in the annals of history with the likes of tobacco shills that claimed smoking hadn’t been proven harmful therefore it was “safe”. I really think this is nothing more than a more promising and…. profitable shade of "green" for him but what did your science friends think MasterAnts? They must have said something that struck a chord with you or you wouldn’t have started this thread.
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FWIW…. Monsanto isn’t exactly an American Corporation….. it’s a multinational complete with “stakeholders” and “stockholders”. They may not be pure evil but…. their loyalties don’t exactly lie with lowly humans or the environment.
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Old 01-10-2013, 03:04 AM   #3
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My science friends fall on the pro GMO side of the debate. They look at the numbers and innovations offered and think what a shame it is that GMO's have been branded so harshly or out right banned in countries that would benefit from them greatly. Though another issue there is a lot of middle eastern countries don't seem to have the soil (or enough of a balance between natural areas) or farm land for chemical free agriculture. It doesn't sound like the ideal environment for GMO testing.

I agree with your take on Mark. He's not that good of a public speaker and I lost interest several times during his speech. I got the idea even he doesn't believe 100% in what he's saying. Perhaps it's just fear of being called a hypocrite in a room full of scientists. Comparing Organic to what the Amish are doing really struck home with me though, and I can attest all the Organic vegetable seeds I tried this year didn't do well at all.

One thing I don't think he addressed was when these developed genes escape into the wild, the effects they may have. Things like Corn and Tomatoes don't really grow wild but what happens when they start making Apples and Strawberries with natural pesticides inside them? And what happens when they start mixing with wild populations? I don't like this idea at all.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:20 AM   #4
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I understand where your friends are coming from. It hasn't been all that long since I was on that "side" of the issues.... armed with models that all assumed anthropogenic global warming was real that I could throttle.
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Any seed can be grown "organically". I'm using mostly OP seed but... not all. What I'm finding is that there's a HUGE learning curve to gardening without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. I've found there's an even bigger learning curve to choosing the right variety of seed for where I garden and sometimes.... it's next to impossible telling whether my many flops are from seed choice screw ups or flat out not knowing enough about how to garden properly and by that I mean.... when to call it quits and reach for a pesticide. Pesticides.... do have their place.
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I can tell by your thoughtful comments you're thinking for yourself. You nailed what makes me so uncomfortable... there's been no independent research into long term human health and environmental impacts. We just don't know the risks and neither does anyone else yet we're being asked to trust them. The technology is just too young.... it could end up being the answer to some of our food security issues but as of yet.... it's untested. Something else you probably understand better than your friends because of your bees is that uniformity leads to a reduction in genetic diversity which in turn has left some transgenic crops more susceptible to pests and pathogens. And lordie lordie lordie.... what about the crops BigBio developed that produce the insecticide Bt toxin?
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"Things like Corn and Tomatoes don't really grow wild". It's true...modern day varieties of corn are all of "garden origin" but.... think Maize (Zea mays) and how it was the genetic foundation for every other variety of corn, NativeTech: Native American History of Corn. Now think about how corn is wind pollinated. Yikes, eh? Z. mays is an integral component of native plant communities that have now been compromised. The only way to eliminate the risk of contamination to Z. mays is stop growing transgenic corn. BigBio's crops have disrupted entire ecosystems and they've already damaged some native plant and animal populations.... is the damage reversible.... I don't think so but.... nobody knows.... it's not being researched. A topic for another day.
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This is 1 of my all time favorite quotes, "We should be humble; we may never fully understand the invasion process, particularly for each of the hundreds of potentially invasive species in each of our many ecosystems. One truth is clear: as time passes, many species will spread to new areas or increase in density if controlling actions are delayed."
-Faith Thompson Campbell
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Nighty night MasterAnts. Sweet dreams. I have to go to bed or I'll keel over at work tomorrow.
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Old 01-12-2013, 01:10 PM   #5
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Hey MasterAnts… I found this surfing the net, 'Monsanto blocks research on GMO safety', www.redgreenandblue.org/2011/02/14/monsanto-blocks-research-on-gmo-safety/. I’m thinking the letter written to the EPA by the entomologists will interest you the most.
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