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-   -   "The GM genocide" (http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/north-american-news-current-events/8265-gm-genocide.html)

suunto 02-23-2011 06:39 AM


Originally Posted by philip (Post 88174)
this is the Daily Mail we are talking about here. The Mail is the epitome of scumbag journolism. I know this looks like a weak argument to start off with; but the Daily Mail is really the lowest of the worst of the scummy bottom feeding journalism out there. Everything you read in the Mail can be safely ignored more or less.

You might then find this British-made video clip entertaining, at least...

The Daily Mail appears to have more in common with the National Enquirer than with more mainstream media such as The Daily Telegraph, the Guardian or The Times (of London).

benj1 02-23-2011 07:18 AM

Good find, suunto.

And thanks to Philip for his enlightenment.

jack 02-23-2011 08:44 AM

GM seeds and Europe - Daily Telegraph
"Previously the EU had a ‘zero tolerance’ policy to unauthorised GM. Shipments found to contain any trace of GM that was not yet approved in Europe were turned back at the port.

However in a significant victory for the GM lobby member states voted to allow imports containing up to 0.1 per cent of unauthorised seed, Europe imported 33 million tonnes of soy last year, mostly approved GM varieties for animal feed.

If the vote is allowed through by the European Parliament and Council, which is likely, those shipments could contain GM seeds that are authorised in a “third country” but may not even have been tested in Europe.

Dr Helen Wallace of Genewatch said some of the unauthorised seeds have been bred to have certain traits for industry that may be inappropriate in the food chain."

Unauthorised GM crops could be allowed in British food chain for the first time after EU vote - Telegraph

philip 02-23-2011 09:52 PM


Originally Posted by suunto (Post 88178)
You might then find this British-made video clip entertaining, at least...
YouTube - The Daily Mail Song

The Daily Mail appears to have more in common with the National Enquirer than with more mainstream media such as The Daily Telegraph, the Guardian or The Times (of London).

Heh. Nice one Suunto.

Yeah, you'd be best off leaving out the Daily Mail alright. Just for the record, a while back The Times was bought by our friend Rupert Murdoch. I would be fairly careful about what's written in that subsequent to this purchase. I personally would take the Independent over the Telegraph, if I was buying an English paper. The Guardian is very good though, true enough.


Originally Posted by Calliandra (Post 88176)
Yikes, didn't mean to bring in something from an disreputable paper-- I just followed links through, and didn't double-check the source. My apologies to everyone, and lesson learned.

I am still curious about the terminator gene, though.

It seems like such a two-edged sword. On one hand, it reduces the chance of release into the wild (for example, if any of the bt crops were to escape, it could have unintended effects on butterflies). On the other hand, it prevents farmers from saving seed, so it creates economic hardship.

How do they grow the seed?

What if pollen from a terminator-gene crop inadvertently pollinates a non-terminator-gene field?

Basically all you have to do to make a Terminator strain is to remove the ability for the next generation to be viable. In reality there are lots of ways to break viability, so I suppose Terminator Gene is a little misleading (implying that there is some single thing added to the genome that results in death).

The whole point of it (again, not that I am defending or otherwise these companies) is they want to protect their technology from being "stolen" from them. They feel they have spent a few thousand PhD hours on making rice grow in slightly salty environments (for example) and they need to make this investment back somehow.

My point is, it's an application of genetic modification.

It's a bit like saying computers are bad because they are used in missiles. Yes, they are used in missiles, but they are also used for other things. Computers are not bad per se, however they can be used to do a lot of things.

Genomics / GM / genetic engineering is nothing more than science ever was. It's an application of knowledge. Science is not something to fear (that's what bank executives are for), it's a tool.

Regarding the question of what happens if they get into the wild, they presumably die. They are missing vital information that is needed for viability in the next generation, without which they cannot survive. Therefor they vanish.

All organisms that do not have this cross are fine. Life goes on, evolution by natural selection works.

Regarding animals that live on these plants, I would imagine they would not be effected either way by whether the plant can reproduce properly. Do you care if the tomatoes you eat are sterile or not? Can you tell?

Just... an aside, I hope I am not seeming to be obnoxious in my tone here. I suppose I work (ed) in this area for a while, and I maybe feel like I need to push my point a little.
I mean no offense *at all*.

benj1 02-24-2011 07:24 AM

Philip, the best decisions are made by hearing and considering all viewpoints. I thank you for your input.

TheLorax 02-24-2011 10:25 AM


The whole point of it (again, not that I am defending or otherwise these companies) is they want to protect their technology from being "stolen" from them.
At what expense have we allowed the protection of multinational corporate profits? The patenting of life is so very wrong for so very many reasons.

MichaelCrichton.com | Patenting Life

You, or someone you love, may die because of a gene patent that should never have been granted in the first place. Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it's only too real.
Gene patents are now used to halt research, prevent medical testing, and keep vital information from you and your doctor. Gene patents slow the pace of medical advance on deadly diseases. And they raise costs exorbitantly: a test for breast cancer that could be done for $1,000 now costs $3,000.
Why? Because the holder of the gene patent can charge whatever he wants, and does. Couldn't somebody make a cheaper test? Sure, but the patent holder blocks any competitor's test. He owns the gene. Nobody else can test for it. In fact, you can't even donate your own breast cancer gene to another scientist without permission. The gene may exist in your body, but it's now private property.
This bizarre situation has come to pass because of a mistake by an underfinanced and understaffed government agency. The United States Patent Office misinterpreted previous Supreme Court rulings and some years ago began—to the surprise of everyone, including scientists decoding the genome—to issue patents on genes.
Diamond v. Chakrabarty has resulted in monopolies exploiting the entire human race. Bioprospecting is now internationally sanctioned.

The patenting of life was not necessary for scientists to do meaningful research.

Gloria 02-24-2011 01:56 PM

Something interesting to read.
Assessing Benefits and Risks of Genetically Modified Organisms | Genetics Society of America


From the viewpoint of geneticists, reduction in genetic diversity of crop plants, for whatever reason, can increase the risk of invasion by a single virulent pathogen. Solutions to the problem of loss of genetic diversity, which are not unique to GMOs, are quite distinct from the possible solutions for organisms believed to pose a direct threat to us or to the environment. There is nothing about GMOs, per se, that limits the genetic diversity of food crops, and it is possible that heirloom strains could be revived with this technology.

It is important, however, to keep in mind that it is not the method of introducing foreign genes by molecular techniques per se that is likely to make a given GMO different from anything that might have appeared or has appeared naturally, but the nature of the specific change that is made. Therefore, a scientifically valid evaluation of risks (and benefits) needs to be tailored to the specific plant and/or product that is under consideration; the properties of one GMO are unlikely to be shared by another. Much of the concern by scientists about labeling reflects the emphasis that has been placed on every GMO, that is, on the method of construction per se, an issue which is not scientifically supportable. Labeling to indicate significant changes in the composition of the final product, independent of the method of construction, would be a scientifically valid approach to this issue, and indeed is currently required by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Gloria 02-24-2011 03:09 PM

Philip, I am trying hard to understand this whole separating the method of gene introduction, from the nature of the individual change.
You are telling us that what we are doing isn't the problem , the problem is what that might cause to happen after any given change.

Gloria 02-24-2011 05:43 PM

Currently working my way through...I,m determined to understand this better.

Genetic Diversity editors Springer,Mahoney 2009 Nova Science Publishers 2008

Environmental Microbiology Edited Mitchell,Ji-Dong Gu 2010

Molecular Approaches In Natural Resources Conservation and Management 2010

Evolutionary Conservation Genetics Jacob Hoglund 2009

Speciations And Patterns Of Diversity 2009

philip 02-27-2011 12:47 AM


I had a hectic week in work, I wanted to respond carefully so I put it off.

I am just going to walk through the points made, and offer viewpoints (I just want to be clear though, not all of these view points are held by me, but I do understand the point to some extent I suppose).

Patenting of life.
So, again, I would say the phrasing it this way is slightly inflammatory. Generally what is being referred to is patenting of the use of an allele for some specific application. (Aside : from what I understand of patent law (not a huge amount) you don't patent technologies, you patent applications of technologies.)

And, at first glance this does seem bizarre. How can somebody patent something that is part of me???

Well, this is not new. The drug industry has patented chemicals ~identical to chemicals in our body for a long time.

This does not make it right, but it is not a new concept fundamentally.

The rights and wrongs of it are not black and white. We live in a Democratic, Capitalistic society. We exchange money for services. Companies must make profits
or they will cease to exist. If you want to use the tools presented to you by the understanding of bits of the genome, you need to pay for these tools to be understood somehow.
Patent law exists to allow this to happen. It allows companies pay for the salaries of armies of people to sort through data and test hypotheses. This is not a surprise.

Clearly extortion is never a good thing, but if the spirit of the law is implemented in the way it was framed it's not guaranteed that this will happen. It's easy to say corporations are evil, and to rail against this idea. But they are an outcome of capitalism. In reality not all corps are evil though.

I would be very wary of the likes of Crichton (who in reality doesn't know a huge amount about this sort of thing) defining your viewpoint. It is not as simple as he is portraying it.
The patenting of genes is definitely not necessary for science, but it is one way to go about it.
Again, to be pedantic, they are not patenting life, they are patenting an application of a technology, the technology in question being a piece of chromosome.

Also, If jurisprudence works, and abuse is found, the law can be changed. The law is generally there to protect people, not harm them.

Gloria, I suppose I am generally thinking about changes that are known as "integrated" into the genome. That is they are actually inserted into the c'some, along with some class of control elements. How they get integrated is interesting, but I am thinking about the end result, ie a new stretch of data in the c'some. Once a change is integrated, then it becomes heritable. Once it becomes heritable, then it can become wild.

This is (I think) the part that people worry about, or maybe should worry about.

What I am saying is, change has occurred for a long time in our genomes. How these changes occur does not bother me, there are a lot of ways. But saying some changes are bad, and some are OK because of how they got there seems silly to me.

Just a little aside; there is a thing called horizontal gene transfer. It's widely used in the bacterial world. Genes cut themselves out of the genome, duplicate themselves, and go through a little tube into another organism, and re-integrate themselves in that organisms genome.
Think about that. The gene simply copies itself over into another genome of another organism. This has happened for a very long time.
If anything sounds potentially disastrous, that does.

Yet, here we all are, alive and well.

Take another example, look at say any human viral genome. They regularly copy big chunks of their our genomes into their own. Why would anything want to rob our genes?
What use is it for a virus?
Well, what they use them for are for example to make molecules that change the behviour of the host's immune system to allow them to replicate better.
Imagine this, this is the most crackpot 9/11 conspirators wildest dream. The system that is meant to keep us alive, our immune system, is being cloned dropped into another genome, and used by foreign organisms to imitate and subvert its original function.

My point is, genes are moving about place at a phenomenal rate. They are jumping around the place, and doing all kinds of crazy things.
BUT, we are doing fine. And the reason we are doing fine is because we have the incalculable pressure of natural selection driving genomes to be very resiliant. It's always been doing this, brutally efficiently, and it's not about to stop.

I am not saying that we just throw caution to the wind and start to party, but I am saying that genomes are not fragile things just about to explode.

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