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China May Restrict Genetically Engineered Rice

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the no-rice-for-you dept.

China 183

An anonymous reader writes "China's State Council has released a proposal for a grain law that establishes legislation restricting research, field trials, production, sale, import and export of genetically engineered grain seeds, the first initiative in the world that deals with GE food legislation at state law level. Monsanto had tried and failed to commercialize GE wheat in Canada. Now they were hoping China would become the first guinea pig, opening the gate to genetic experiments with staple crops."

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When it comes to rice (4, Funny)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204005)

A billion Chinese can't be wrong.

Re:When it comes to rice (2, Funny)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204045)

They're communists, they're never wrong about anything.

Re:When it comes to rice (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204651)

Those evil communists are just jealous of the freedoms in the US.

Re:When it comes to rice (0, Flamebait)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204693)

Are they? I work with Chinese people all time. I've never known them to be especially evil. Self involved, arrogant, generally poor communicators? Absolutely. But evil? Where are you getting this information?

Re:When it comes to rice (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205139)

I believe the word you're looking for is "Whooosh"... you know, the sound a facetious comment makes as it's flying over your head? (spelled it out for you just in case). Your sig might have Super Cow Powers but you sure as hell don't. Lighten up.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204311)

Yeah. What a bunch of rice niggers!

Jews: Gold Niggers

Arabs: Sand Niggers

Blacks: Plain Old Niggers

American Indians: Prairie Niggers

You: Easily Offended PC Slashdot Nigger

The hilarious thing is, the Jews control the media and the media promotes lots of race-mixing and multiculturalism and other bullshit. They push it like crazy. That's why blacks are 13% of the US population but appear in 80% or more of all commercials. But the Jews themselves, they don't race mix. They want to remain pure Jew. Why, it's almost as if they have a policy of Malign Encouragement, trying to get other people to do things bad for them that they won't do themselves. Huh.

Of course you're too busy modding this down to think about that for a minute. Just like they done trained you to do. All emotion, no thought. Knee-jerk at will now.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204447)

And Europeans + descendants are ...?

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1, Flamebait)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204697)

Jackasses that talk to much, generally.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1, Troll)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204805)

well, the funniest one i've heard is "ice nigger".

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204485)

I think you're the same moron that posted about "race-mixing" in another thread. Go jerk off a few times, you're obviously pent-up.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1, Offtopic)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204701)

I'm not. But sure, I would love to. I notice you're providing directives, but no instructions. Please elaborate.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1, Troll)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204719)

Hey, if Jews control the media, why am I not getting a cut?

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205047)

because someone has given consent for your tiny management role.

Any moment one of those seven Jews from Brooklyn who control the entire world could put your "media control" to end.

Re:When it comes to rice niggers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205231)

I modded you down because you are a faggot

Hillarious Bias (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204011)

opening the gate to genetic experiments with staple crops

You know, like most of the corn we produce in North America...

Re:Hillarious Bias (4, Interesting)

Xandrax (2451618) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204239)

Very true. In fact, if not for the genetic manipulation of wheat, the people of the world would have actually faced the catastrophic starvation that was a concern in the early-mid 1900's.

For what it's worth, Norman Buraug, the Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist who fathered the Green Revolution, said a year before he died (2003) that GE crops would become the accepted norm in much the same way that genetically engineered antibiotics have been.

Re:Hillarious Bias (4, Interesting)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204549)

GE crops have LOWER yields than traditional ones. http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/exposed-the-great-gm-crops-myth-812179.html [independent.co.uk] If we switch to GE grains en mass it will lead to food shortages and higher food prices, like we're starting to see now. A second point: raising more foods always ends up with more humans, leading to starvation. The only limit on human population is food, so growing more just delays the trouble.

Re:Hillarious Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204639)

This particular GE crop, which was engineered for something other than yield, yields less than traditional soy. Not a surprise and not reflective of all GE crops.

Re:Hillarious Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204677)

Wait, are high yields good or bad? You went both ways there.

Re:Hillarious Bias (2)

RoknrolZombie (2504888) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204681)

Don't know how significant this is: http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v27/n9/full/nbt0909-801b.html [nature.com] (it's paywalled and I don't feel like spending $32 to find out what their "clarifications" about the claims in the above article). I suspect that their numbers are misleading - I had always thought that GM crops *do* produce less, but a given crop may survive drought conditions or freezing conditions (extending the growing season)better. Different crops that have already been modified (as mentioned, corn and wheat) may have been modified do behave in different ways - it would just depend on what problem they're trying to solve in that area. Under those circumstances, tests performed under "ideal conditions" wouldn't show the benefits of using GM crops. Of course, how much of what I "know" is propaganda, I can't say. Generally speaking, I trust Penn & Teller, but I can't promise facts :p

Re:Hillarious Bias (2)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204759)

So lets just stop making that nasty polluting artificial nitrate and let 2 billion people starve.

Re:Hillarious Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204555)

In fact, [citation needed].

Re:Hillarious Bias (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204669)

That's not true at all. Breeding is not the same as genetic engineering. Breeding happens naturally on its own, genetic engineering is specifically only possible with external tinkering.

Nice troll post though.

Re:Hillarious Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204765)

because it was SOOOO hard to grow these crops without GE, just like it is now. In fact you can't grow a crop without it!

oh wait, you can.

Re:Hillarious Bias (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205073)

Yes let me know if you want your children to eat this corn
http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

Even people with problems growing their own crops won't touch the garbage
http://www.ecocentricblog.org/2011/12/07/hungary-destroys-all-monsanto-gmo-corn-fields/

And finally:

new study by Indiana’s University of Notre Dame has revealed that streams across the U.S. Midwest contain insecticides from adjacent fields of genetically engineered corn, even well after harvest. The transgenic maize (GE corn) in question has been engineered to produce the insecticidal protein Cry1Ab. Pollen, leaves and cobs from those plants enter streams bordering on the cornfields, where they are said to release Cry1Ab into the water.

Notre Dame ecologist Jennifer Tank and colleagues conducted a field survey of 217 stream sites in northwestern Indiana, six months after the corn harvest. 86 percent of those sites contained corn crop debris, and Cry1Ab was detected in the debris at 13 percent of those sites. That said, Cry1Ab that had presumably leached out of corn debris was detected in the water itself at 23 percent of the original 217 sites. The concentrations were not provided.

"Our study demonstrates the persistence and dispersal of crop byproducts and associated transgenic material in streams throughout a corn belt landscape even long after crop harvest," Tank stated.

The study also concluded that 91 percent of the 200,000 km (124,274 miles) of streams and rivers in Indiana, Iowa and Illinois are located within 500 meters (547 yards) of corn fields. Cry1Ab, a byproduct of the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, does already occur naturally in the environment – expansive crops of corn that produce it, needless to say, do not.

Re:Hillarious Bias (5, Informative)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204259)

I was thinking the same thing. Corn is a staple in the U.S... though it doesn't hold my papers together very well.

China is wise and correct in this case to block Monsanto and their monkey business. As the Monsanto story unfolds, it becomes increasingly clear that Monsanto's crap is needless at the very least and is dangerous at worst. I say dangerous in the same way that the over-use and improper use of anti-biotics have resulted in the creation (dare I say selective breeding) of "super-bugs" Monsanto's insecticide foods are creating super-insects which can eat their poisonous plants and survive. I don't think the planet needs swarms of insects which have adapted to survive insecticide.

Meanwhile, Monsanto only has interest in getting GM seed spread across the planet so they can later sue for ownership of wherever the seeds find themselves.

By making Monsanto's crap illegal in their nation, they are closing the doors on Monsanto's game. It would be pretty hard for Monsanto to make claims against Chinese farmers when their product is illegal. On the other hand, Chinese farmers might find themselves in a hell of a lot of trouble should Monsanto's crap end up in their crops. Kind of frightening if you think about it.

Re:Hillarious Bias (1, Troll)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204289)

And they are closing their doors on vitamin fortified rice, and closing their doors on a substantial tool to feed their people. All for nothing but alarmist responses and irresponsible reporting by people who have no clue what they are talking about.

Yes, because it it's one thing China is known for, it's protecting IP~

You're just making up motivation to fit into your pet ideas.

Re:Hillarious Bias (5, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204457)

And they are closing their doors on vitamin fortified rice, and closing their doors on a substantial tool to feed their people. All for nothing but alarmist responses and irresponsible reporting by people who have no clue what they are talking about.

Yes, because it it's one thing China is known for, it's protecting IP~

You're just making up motivation to fit into your pet ideas.

Alamist?
Tell that to Troy Roush the vice president of the American Corn Growers Association. A 5th generation farmer. You seem to know more that he does. When their gene spreads like wildfire and contaminates farms all across America and they aggressively sue the contaminated farms out of business there is nothing alarmist about that. When food staples are all becoming Monsanto's "intellectual property" There is nothing alarmist about that. Patenting life forms should not be allowed period.

Re:Hillarious Bias (2)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204539)

With corn pollen drift is a problem, with rice not so much. It's "estimated" at 0.1% spread/mixing because as scientists we wouldn't say "zero".

Re:Hillarious Bias (4, Interesting)

currently_awake (1248758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204567)

You ignore IP when climbing up to the top, then enforce it to hold your position. Every single world power follows that route. Given that Monsanto (USA) owns most of the GE grains it makes perfect sense for China to block the competition while they develop their own.

Re:Hillarious Bias (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204613)

And they are closing their doors on vitamin fortified rice, and closing their doors on a substantial tool to feed their people. All for nothing but alarmist responses and irresponsible reporting by people who have no clue what they are talking about.

Yes, because it it's one thing China is known for, it's protecting IP~

You're just making up motivation to fit into your pet ideas.

Duh, EVERYBODY KNOWS there is no China anymore, it is a desolate ghost-town of a country. All those thousands of years of raising natural crops resulted in terrible malnutrition and all the Chinese died. They didn't have Monsanto to save them.

Wait, that's not what happened at all. Why, it's as though natural crops can feed the populace after all.

Re:Hillarious Bias (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204463)

The reason the Chinese are rejecting Monsanto's offer has nothing to do with Capitalism. If they wanted it, they'd take it. That's the funny thing about being a soverign nation these days.

Oh No. The reason the Chinese are Rejecting Monsanto's offering is because there are no studies prooving the GM Corn is safe. In fact, if you look around, there are very few studies whatsoever at all. Once the FDA approved it, everyone assumed it was safe.

Here's the one study you're going to find, and it basically says the findings are inconclusive.

http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm

Does it bother you 65% of the corn in the USA is Genetically Modified, with no studies on human health? Look, farmers make food, and farmers sell food, and they also breed their plants and cattle to make better plants and cattle. That's one process; the other process includes blasting genes into a genome until they stick and hoping what they knocked out if it wasn't important

I'm not saying natural selection is better at getting results. I'm saying patenting a corn crop, allowing it to reproduce (what are bee's good for?), introducing it into the US, Sueing every farmer that doesn't pay the monsanto tax, while bribing the FDA to allow it and sueing anyone who even considers questioning the product or publishing a study, is a bad idea. It's a very bad idea. And I don't even NEED to argue the health perspective; If 1, little tiny Insect figures out how to bypass the protien they injected into that crop, you've got a famine. You don't think, on a long enough timeline, that won't happen??? Are you stupid? I don't even need nature for that one. I get some Locusts, I feed them some percentage of GMO corn, some percentage of regular food. Some die, some live; the ones that live reproduce, I up the ratio until all they eat is corn, and I release them. TADA, I'm an angry farmer and just killed that product line and a few thousand people from the saftey of my shed in a few years.

Hrm, Gee, I wish there was some kind of Historical Precident to compare this too....oh yeah. rBGH!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_somatotropin

Did the FDA protect the market? No. Did the States protect the market? No, they didn't want the FDA to come after them.

Who protected the market? The Sellers of the product. Enough Customers developed SERIOUS health problems; I myself developed diahrea with blood after drinking their milk for more than a few days straight and stopped drinking milk entirely for nearly 6 years. Customers decided they weren't going to buy rbgh/rbst trashed milk, and enough health problems arose and enough people stopped buying milk or switched to buying organic milk that the sellers responded.

What's happening now? What food are studies being done on?

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fructose-corn-syrup/AN01588

"Some believe that your body reacts differently to high-fructose corn syrup"

I will bet you my entire livelyhood that the next thing that will happen here is people will realize, perhaps slower than they did with milk, that products with Corn Syrup in them are bad. And they will stop drinking them. And where might that FIRST show up at?

Probably in Soda, since they're the #1 consumer of corn syrup.

5 years ago; I go into the aisle of a super market, I'd be hard pressed to find Sugar in my soda.

Now?

Lots of "Wayback Mountain Dew" and "1960's Classic Cola" and lots of "fancy" soda's with SUGAR in them.

Yeah....

Re:Hillarious Bias (2)

No, I am Spratacus! (2281684) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204623)

Is this really worthy of -1: Troll? Perhaps someone more familiar with this can verify or dispute the claims presented.

Re:Hillarious Bias (1)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205461)

Meanwhile, Monsanto only has interest in getting GM seed spread across the planet so they can later sue for ownership of wherever the seeds find themselves.

Not so. They make a profit on the seeds themselves and it expands their market for their pesticides. That's sufficient motivation to want to sell their seeds everywhere they can.

Re:Hillarious Bias (1, Flamebait)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204347)

Yes and don't get caught planting any of that corn without paying a license fee to Monsanto per hectare of Corn/Soy also If your crop gets contaminated with Monsanto GM corn through cross-pollination or any other natural cause then expect an expensive trip to court. Oh and don't bother saving the seeds from last year's crop for the next year. You will be sued out of existence. The 90% of corn that is grown in North America is Monsanto's Intellectual property you don't own your crop they do and they aggressively pursue anyone that violates their "intellectual property" FUCK Monsanto.

You're why people don't believe statistics (3, Interesting)

MaizeMan (1076255) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204531)

Ninety percent huh? Ever heard of Pioneer Hi-bred? Syngenta? BASF? Monsanto's market share if the american seed corn market fluctuates between 30-40%. And yes, their lawyers are trigger happy. But that's no excuse for getting your facts wrong.

Re:You're why people don't believe statistics (1)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205471)

I meant GMO soy is 90% of the market

Greenpeace. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204015)

Can I get some intelligent commentary on the topic from a resource who isn't Greenpeace? I figure you can trust them for reliably at least as little as you can trust Mosanto.

Re:Greenpeace. (3, Insightful)

spyder-implee (864295) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204065)

Strongly agree. Greenpeace and Monsanto may appear at the opposite ends of a spectrum, but they're equally as biased when it comes to their own agenda.

Re:Greenpeace. (3, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204871)

Monsanto's bias is towards profits, including profits that are high enough to pay criminal penalties and still have plenty left over. Greenpeace has a bias to protecting the environment and taking a very 'conservative' approach to putting the environment and us at risk.

So they are apples and organes biased not equally biases. To be equally biased it would have to be two corporations, pushing genetically modified crops with limited and unverified, as well as pumping toxic agricultural chemicals into the food chain, both claiming there junk is safe while the others guys is toxic and should be banned.

Re:Greenpeace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205269)

No, because bias has no cost, and in fact increased bias from Greenpeace makes it more likely that people will listen to them so 100x bias would be a reasonable start.

Re:Greenpeace. (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204091)

Nope, because the intelligent discussions on the topic, you know by scientists and experts in the field, get shouted down by the ignorant unthinking masses.

Re:Greenpeace. (5, Insightful)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204495)

The problem is the current poster child for genetically engineered foods is Monsanto. They are effectively the RIAA/MPAA of GE foods. You bought some seeds, and want to replant some seeds produced by those plants? Nope, that is copyright/patent infringement. You don't intend to copy their product, but seeds accidentally fall on your farm by natural dispersion (someone playing licensed music too loudly), they feel they can sue you for the leaked material.

The thing that has me pulling my hair out over this debate is this. It would be good to see scientists and experts argue back and forth, or even give a consensus. But as you say, they are drowned out. The two voices that get all the ink in newspapers either are the equivalent of the RIAA or people who want all music banned because RIAA is a bunch of crooks.

Re:Greenpeace. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205083)

You bought some seeds, and want to replant some seeds produced by those plants? Nope, that is copyright/patent infringement.

That is a problem now, but what will farmers do when Monsanto decides to use their Terminator? The Terminator technology allows the creation of seeds that grow into plants which have sterile seeds (i.e. if you want to plant again you have to buy more seeds). When (and that's when, not if) they decide to use this DRM commercially they will hold farmers and everyone else by the balls.

People saying GE can solve the famine problem are wrong - hunger exists because of a problem of distribution, not shortage. Simply having more food without solving the other problems will just mean an even larger population in this already over-populated planet.

Re:Greenpeace. (3, Interesting)

pseudofrog (570061) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205469)

seeds accidentally fall on your farm by natural dispersion...they feel they can sue you for the leaked material.

Okay, can you give me a citation for this? In Percy Schmeiser's case, the court ruled (correctly) that he purposefully experimented for and then grew Monsanto seeds. I've never come across a case where a farmer was sued for accidental contamination, yet this argument comes up repeatedly every time Monsanto is mentioned.

Re:Greenpeace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204507)

I guess the science you support is weak if that's the best you can do.

Re:Greenpeace. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204151)

Check out a documentary called The Future of Food [thefutureoffood.com] . I won't claim that it's completely unbiased, but it features commentary from a number of small family farmers and does explain some of the science behind genetically modified food crops. I grew up on a farm myself and my parents still farm and the stuff that Monsanto is doing makes me mad as hell, both as a consumer and for what they're doing to the little guys (family farmers). IMHO Monsanto is a shining example of corporate greed and massive corruption. They aren't even all that bashful about it.

Probably Not the Best Test Market (4, Insightful)

mentil (1748130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204093)

Rice is a staple food in China, any unforseen problems with a strain of genetically-engineered rice could lead to a massive famine, which would likely be (attempted to be) covered up similar to the previous Chinese famine. Poor rural people would be unable to afford the expensive imported rice, or the remaining good domestic rice, due to shortages.

Imagine a monoculture of cheap rice that had only previously been grown in small quantities for a couple decades, which is overtaken by a fungus (like in the Irish potato famine). Due to new communications infrastructure, China could have a serious uprising on their hands.

Then there's the problem of IP. Chinese industry is notorious for not respecting IP laws whenever possible; even if counterfeiters weren't making 'counterfeit' rice, their government could simply nullify the patent for being vital to the country's interests. Monsanto would be wasting their money. American farms are up in arms over Monsanto lawsuits and 'terminator genes', and they're much more modernized than Chinese farms, so imagine how much respect an American company would get there.

Re:Probably Not the Best Test Market (5, Interesting)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204557)

Psst, rice already is grown in a monoculture. Two and three cropping seasons per year.

The possibility already exists for this to happen.

Re:Probably Not the Best Test Market (4, Insightful)

steelfood (895457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204589)

You hit the nail on the head. Monsanto only wields power here because they have the rule of law on their side and deep pocketbooks to keep it so.

They'd be laughed out of China if they tried some of the boneheaded maneuvers they've tried here. That is, assuming they're not brought in front of a firing squad.

Re:Probably Not the Best Test Market (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204883)

'terminator genes'? Well, so they've finally invented GRM.

GRM = Genetic Rights Managment.

Re:Probably Not the Best Test Market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205237)

Wheat GRM?

Ugh. (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204109)

If they ever implement the death penalty for 'legal persons', I'd like to see Monsanto as one of the first against the wall.

Genetically Modified Food. (3, Insightful)

hackus (159037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204113)

So bad, let me count the ways...

1) Growing Food crops that are 100% genetically identical is so stupid, it borders on idiocy.

2) Genetic conatmination of the environment. People seem to have a big problem if they see CO2 anywhere, but if you want to wipe out native species of grains and destroy the gene pool, hey, thats A O.K.

3) Greed, surprise! The small handful of people who run everything and pick who you get to vote for, rip off huge pension plans from everyday people and then claim they aren't cost effective and are socialist anyway also want to control the food, _ALL_ food you eat. Hell, they don't just want to control it, they want to turn those little genes on and off depending on how much nutrition you can pay for. No no...that is not enough, the good food you see, they get to eat as they build gigantic native grain, non GMO seed vaults for themselves and their families world wide, quietly and away from public attention.

You see, GMO's isn't just about money. They want to be able to turn off your food supply and make it illegal for you to grow any of your own food without a intellectual property agreement.

Besides, growing your own food is communist, socialist...or any other kind of ism if they can't control it themselves directly.

-Hack

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (5, Informative)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204195)

I'm no expert, but I can tell you aren't either.

1) Growing Food crops that are 100% genetically identical is so stupid, it borders on idiocy.

Who is talking about that? You can still have a mix of crops: genetically modified from several suppliers and conventional from several suppliers. There is even the potential for genetically modified crops to only fill in where conventional crops fail (such as saline environments), thus displacing no conventional crops.

but if you want to wipe out native species of grains and destroy the gene pool,

Native species of grains? What agriculturally useful grain is this you see growing out in the wild? Rice, wheat, and especially corn are all dependent on man to cultivate the soil and plant them.

I think it is perfectly reasonable to have reservations about GMOs, but the discussion should be based on some form of reality.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204319)

Who is talking about that? You can still have a mix of crops: genetically modified from several suppliers and conventional from several suppliers. There is even the potential for genetically modified crops to only fill in where conventional crops fail (such as saline environments), thus displacing no conventional crops.

You can have a mix of them, but odds are pretty good you won't. Even without GMOs, commercial cultivars managed to severely reduce the diversity -- and often the quality, since they were bred for shelf-life or color rather than flavor -- of what's available in the market, with many heirloom cultivars being completely wiped out. Soybeans, for instance, became very difficult to find without GMOs, even though there wasn't any particular need for farmers to use GMO versions. They bought the line that Monstanto (et al.) were selling.
 
And yes, you can have GMOs only be used to fill in otherwise uninhabitable (for crops) environs, but do you really think that's a possibility? The only reason most GMOs exist is to increase the profits of their manufacturers, and those manufacturers aren't going to allow requirements that GMOs only be used where necessary.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1, Informative)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204547)

I'm no expert, but I can tell you aren't either.

Troy Roush a 5th generation farmer and Vice President of the American Corn Growers Association is the expert look him up.

Who is talking about that? You can still have a mix of crops: genetically modified from several suppliers and conventional from several suppliers. There is even the potential for genetically modified crops to only fill in where conventional crops fail (such as saline environments), thus displacing no conventional crops.

Actually no you cannot. The GMO stuff you have License from Monsanto and they have special rules about what you are supposed to do in the license agreement. Also in practice the GM Corn and Soy are dominant and they cross-pollinate the conventional corn and soy. If your corn or soy gets contaminated by GM corn or soy then you have to pay for a license from Monsanto plus purchase seed from them.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (0, Troll)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204691)

If your corn or soy gets contaminated by GM corn or soy then you have to pay for a license from Monsanto plus purchase seed from them.

Liar.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204869)

Liar? Thats a bold statement.. And the parent is right...

that's EXACTLY what monsanto has done lately. sued farmers whos crops got contaminated by gmo varietys.. sued them and won!
You wanna replant any of your contaminated varietys? You owe monsanto money!

I don't know what sort of shill you are.. But fuck you. I hope you die in a fire for trying to fuckup the world to make money.
Fuck you and everything you stand for.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (4, Insightful)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204789)

I'm no expert, but I can tell you aren't either.

Troy Roush a 5th generation farmer and Vice President of the American Corn Growers Association is the expert look him up.

Argument from authority.

Actually no you cannot. The GMO stuff you have License from Monsanto and they have special rules about what you are supposed to do in the license agreement. Also in practice the GM Corn and Soy are dominant and they cross-pollinate the conventional corn and soy. If your corn or soy gets contaminated by GM corn or soy then you have to pay for a license from Monsanto plus purchase seed from them.

With GMO you can certainly have a mix of crops. It's just that with Monsanto's particular brand of bullshit you can't mix and match. While what Monsanto is doing might be morally hideous and broader-line racketeering, that doesn't mean GMO as a technology is flawed or inherently immoral. Attack the evil-doer, not the technology.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205181)

With GMO you can certainly have a mix of crops. It's just that with Monsanto's particular brand of bullshit you can't mix and match.

I think you're talking past each other.

Yes, in the larger sense, you can technically have a mix of GMO crops, but in the US Monsanto is GMO and there will be no mix of Monsanto GMO crops.

If Monsanto were to disappear tomorrow, they still will have poisoned the name of GMO for years, perhaps decades to come.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205359)

With GMO you can certainly have a mix of crops. It's just that with Monsanto's particular brand of bullshit you can't mix and match.

I think you're talking past each other.

Yes, in the larger sense, you can technically have a mix of GMO crops, but in the US Monsanto is GMO and there will be no mix of Monsanto GMO crops.

If Monsanto were to disappear tomorrow, they still will have poisoned the name of GMO for years, perhaps decades to come.

Monsanto have 90% marketshare in US GMO seeds. But 90% isn't 100%; Monsanto isn't GMO. If Monsanto were to disappear tomorrow, the companies that make up the other 10% will have 100% of the market to compete in by definition.

Those other companies might be as corrupt as Monsanto. They might even be worst than Monsanto. But that still doesn't mean GMO as a technology should be blamed.

they still will have poisoned the name of GMO for years, perhaps decades to come.

I agree that's the case for the general population. However it's easy to see the fallacy here. Just because a knife was used to murder someone doesn't mean that all knife owners are murderers. Rational people can differentiate between Monsanto the corporation and GMO the technology.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (5, Insightful)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205555)

It's not about GMO its about patenting life-forms that can spread and contaminate other life forms with the patented trans gene then suing everyone who gets contaminated with that patented transgene out of existence with an army of lawyers. Its about the company that is the face of GMOs in North America. Their internal studies that have been leaked shows clearly that their methods are not safe. This is Monsanto we are talking about. The same people that said DDT was safe, then Agent Orange was safe, then rbst was safe, feeding cattle corn was safe, they claimed Round-Up was biodegradable...it was not. now they are claiming that their Round-Up ready products are safe when their leaked internal animal studies have shown not to be so and their claims about previous products have shown to be consistently false. Why are people so willing to stick their heads in the sand on this matter?

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204955)

You can still have a mix of crops

No. There is a very good chance you can't. This is basic biology from micro to macro. It works all the way up the chain. Whenever you introduce something that outcompetes the natives, the natives die.

You put a few cells of yeast in some batch, control the temperature properly and Boom! The yeast go nuts and you get wine, or beer, or some other tasty drink.

Now that's fine because outside of a brewery yeast are kept in check by a lot of other things. They've evolved to live in harmony with all those other things, so yeast have not overtaken the planet.

Not so with GMO. Remember I said it works on all levels up from micro. Spanish and native Americans, with the occasional smallpox vector riding along on a blanket. Entire civilizations, gone. OK, you've got a point insofar as people in general are still around and some of them are even healthy Spanish-Native hybrids. OTOH, do you really want to go through something like that with grains? Who could possibly benefit from that?

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1, Troll)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204247)

1. It's bad because it's bad. That's not a "way" that's a restatement of the assertion. If you have a reason in mind, state it.
2. Absolutely. We must do everything in our power to make sure that the environment isn't contaminated with... genes. Did you know that genes have become so prevalent that some have even been found within the human body?
3. I am immune from this as all of my hats are made from 93% tin.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (2)

andydread (758754) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204861)

Nice trolling there. i'll bite.

1) its bad because the strain is a dominant patented strain owned by one company. In the case of corn and soy the Monsanto strain is in 90% of crops. 90% of those crops are now Monsanto's "intellectual property" and they aggressively pursue violators intentional or not. The strain contaminates conventional crops with Monsanto's patented gene causing people who are growing conventional crops to have to take out a license agreement with Monsanto. Farmers are not allowed to save the seed from their crops, must buy new seed every harvest, must purchase all their chemicals from Monsanto. This is also not good for the free market.

I wont bother with 2 and 3 since your statements regarding those were nonsensical.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205411)

That is an argument against the particular business practices of Monsanto as well as with related legal structure and rulings, one with which I agree. That is not at all an argument against genetically modifying food plants.

Also, statements with which you disagree are not automatically "trolling" or "nonsensical."

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (2)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204321)

You're understanding of crops and this situation doesn't border on idiocy, it plows right on in.

I'm not an expert, but I can see one from my cube. Hey Paul!

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204325)

Oh crap. I wish I read your sig before bothering to post. You clearly can't think rationally and logically.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (1)

jason777 (557591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204525)

Not to mention the organ failure, intestinal damage, and a host of other health issues with GMO foods.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (5, Informative)

bjpowers39 (768740) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204665)

I have actually done some work for major seed companies. There is no danger of the crops being "100% genetically identical." The industry is very good at protecting their underlying crop lines, the licenses are only for the particular traits. The company which licenses the traits then incorporates it into their own plant lines. Most of the major plant companies have a wide variety (hundreds or thousands) of different plant lines from a wide variety of regions with a pretty complete breeding and growth history-they are very aware of the problems involved with monocultures and work very hard to avoid that. The plant company then picks the seed lines where they think the trait will have the most impact/greatest demand and then they incorporate the trait (and the trait only) into that line. The technical term for this is "introgressing" the trait and they have worked for a long time to develop techniques which are very specific for individual stretches of DNA.

Sometimes (and this is getting more frequent now) they will incorporate more than one trait in a particular plant line. This is a major issue for things like glyphosate tolerant plants. By incorporating multiple modes of herbicide tolerance into a single plant line, the farmer can use a mix of herbicides on the field to make sure that the weeds do not become tolerant to a specific type of herbicide. Similarly, extensive studies are done to make sure that insects do not become resistant to certain traits. One of the primary approaches for this is the use of "refuge" which consists of planting non-insect resistant crop with the insect resistant crop. By having the appropriate mix of the two, you can manage the tolerant insects to prevent losing the effectiveness of the trait. This is also important to the plant company because nobody will purchase the trait if it no longer works. The refuge requirements for a particular trait have a pretty good safety margin included as well to make sure that the trait will continue to be effective.

I respect individual decisions to eat modified crops or not, my family generally eats organic primarily to benefit local growers and give them a better margin in return for a product which is not mass-produced. We like meeting and knowing the farmers who grow our food. Whatever your opinion might be, disinformation and conspiracy theories is not the way to have an intelligent debate. The plant companies are well aware of the risks and it is in their best interest to mitigate them. Having worked with a number of employees from plant companies, all that I have met take their responsibility for feeding the world very seriously and want to do what they can to increase yields, decrease pesticide/herbicide use and protect the food supply.

Re:Genetically Modified Food. (-1, Troll)

hackus (159037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205081)

"The plant companies are well aware of the risks and it is in their best interest to mitigate them. Having worked with a number of employees from plant companies, all that I have met take their responsibility for feeding the world very seriously and want to do what they can to increase yields, decrease pesticide/herbicide use and protect the food supply."

No, it is not in there best interests to mitigate them. It is in their best interests to destroy all know forms of native plant species so that you can only purchase food from them. That is their interest.

Why? Because monopolies maximize profits.

Don't treat people here like children. You can search the web and PLAINLY SEE THIS IS NOT WHAT THESE COMPANIES LIKE MONSANTO ARE DOING.

A judgement day is coming to this world on how we use science to satisfy a few peoples greed and criminality.

I hope to God at the top of the list for that Judgement is Monsanto Employees if there is any justice in this Universe with Bankers and Politicians left.

-Hack.

A Cause for Concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204117)

Here in The States, there is a growing movement to at least be aware of GMOs. For instance, in California, signatures are currently being collected to add a ballot initiative to this years election to make it law that all GM foods be labeled in stores. Pro or con, there is a lot of debate on the human health risks, environmental safety from the contamination of transgenes into native plants/animals and the issue of lawsuits from Monsanto and other biotech companies. However, I know there are many advantages to GMOs, like higher crop yields and less reliance on petrochemical fertilizers and pesticides. Does anyone know of any peer reviewed articles relating to the pros and cons of GMOs? I think this community in particular would all benefit from such an article.

Re:A Cause for Concern (0)

Proudrooster (580120) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204609)

Ha, peer review.... what a joke. Monsanto pays for the research not the farmers. Write a critical paper or review of a GMO practice and no funding for you.

Re:A Cause for Concern (2)

zill (1690130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204803)

Good thing we have public funded universities and the NSF then.

"natural" breeding can be much worse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204127)

In days of yore, scientists used to wait for mother nature to produce genetic variety. Nowadays, they stress seeds like crazy to get them to mutate. poison radiation

Methinks GM crops are probably safer.

GM crops in the US (5, Informative)

rgbrenner (317308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204169)

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/BiotechCrops/ [usda.gov]

Soybeans: 94%
Corn: 72%

The first GM crop was planted in the US in 1996

GM Foods (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204235)

http://www.ers.usda.gov/Data/BiotechCrops/ [usda.gov]

Soybeans: 94%
Corn: 72%

The first GM crop was planted in the US in 1996

Huh. And what about Ford and Chrysler crops?

Of course, I'm sure Toyota, Honda, and the other Japanese companies did it waaaay before the Americans and with better fuel economy to boot!

I understand that BMW has some "ultimate" growing crop in the making.

the first guinea pig? (3, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204193)

the first guinea pig ? What in the world are they talking about? Monsanto has been using the US citizens as guinea pigs for years?

Re:the first guinea pig? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204707)

the first guinea pig ? What in the world are they talking about? Monsanto has been using the US citizens as guinea pigs for years?

No doubt that was sarcasm. However anyone not real familiar with the Monsanto story should do some searches as they have been playing with people's lives since well before they made their first move into bio-engineering. They have also been long in bed with the US government. No telling what everything is that they might have buried on government activity with them that gained them protection from the government as well as non-stop subsidies of their business. Monsanto's actions have resulted in a lot of death over the years and their death toll continues to grow. Too much evil to document here even if did have it all documented, just start searching and follow where it leads you (everyone) for as long as you can stomach what you find,,,then look some more!

Vitamin A (1, Funny)

Intropy (2009018) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204253)

Vitamin A, who needs that crap, anyway?

Component of Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204383)

A government restricting research: 68%
Monsanto: 90%

No need to sit on the fence here.

They'll just steal it anyway (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204435)

China will send a couple of "post-grad interns" to study at Monsanto, and steal the IP anyway.

Greenish revolution (1, Interesting)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204559)

Much of what made the Green Revolution [wikipedia.org] so successful wouldn't be acceptable to the organic farming True Believers - pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, cultivation practices, etc. But billions of lives have been saved by using them. Genetically Modified crops are the next extension of that revolution. Like it or not, people need to eat.

The "fail" in Canada was with Roundup Ready wheat. But it's now "a matter of when, not if" GE wheat becomes commercially grown. [growersfor...nology.org]

Re:Greenish revolution (1)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205117)

Green Revolution was all about finding the right breed of rice by cross breeding different varieties of rice. It was something that had been done for centuries, but now at a large scale. The effects of cross breeding are mostly known, and nothing too radical is expected.

I agree, Genetic Engineering is the future, but it needs to well studied and effects understood before it can become mainstream. China and India (see Monsanto attempt to introduce Genetically Engineered Egg Plant in India - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bt_brinjal [wikipedia.org] ), have not really banned generic engineering, but only have asked for more data. Especially with Monsanto, trying to fast track everything, I would say the scepticism is warranted.

NOBODY wants it (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204561)

Maybe someday Monsanto will clue in to the fact that they can't buy off ALL the world's governments.

NOBODY WANTS GMOS EXCEPT THE PEOPLE PRODUCING THEM.

Re:NOBODY wants it (2)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204687)

Actually most people don't really care. Activists have been successful because for the vast majority it's a non-issue.

Re:NOBODY wants it (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204783)

Nobody except the farmers and citizens of just about every country EXCEPT the US.

"State Advances While the Private Sector Retreats" (3, Insightful)

Guppy (12314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204577)

My cynical interpretation is that Monsanto failed to make sufficiently generous offers for technology transfer. In which case the ban will last until Chinese laboratories make sufficient advances to field their own GM crops.

The problem with banning ALL GMO crops (2)

the plant doctor (842044) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204593)

We're working to develop rice that can still produce even under drought conditions using genes from bacteria, genes that aren't expressed in the grain itself at all. This is something that could be quite useful to farmers, yet because of shortsightedness and Greenpeace, efforts like this may never be released for use.

It's not all about poisoning insects, or killing weeds, some of the GMO stuff is done to, you know, help people eat.

Re:The problem with banning ALL GMO crops (2)

cshark (673578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204747)

Yeah, but we have no long term studies on what genetically engineered crops are actually doing in our bodies. All the consumer rejection of gmo foods isn't all about xenophobia. Some of them appear to be dangerous, and it's reckless and irresponsible of Monsanto and company to pour these things into the market before we have a good understanding of this. I think at the very least gmo food needs to be labeled so consumers know what they're buying. But China's move to ban genetically engineered rice is not an unwise one.

Re:The problem with banning ALL GMO crops (2)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205569)

Yeah, but we have no long term studies on what genetically engineered crops are actually doing in our bodies. ;

We have no long-term studies of the long-term effects of CFL bulbs, either, and yet here we are, all bathed in their light, every night. Why aren't you calling it reckless and irresponsible to pour those onto the market?

There are ways we can know that GMO crops aren't likely to be dangerous in the long term, just like we have ways of knowing that CFL bulbs aren't likely to be dangerous in the long term.

Re:The problem with banning ALL GMO crops (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205067)

If only those short-sighted humanitarians would get out of our way we could research splicing genes for photosynthesis into humans to reduce our dependence on edible food, produce our own antibiotics and insect repellent, and enrich the soilent green crops. Agricows herds could grow hay on their hides, and survive harsh conditions or long migrations by eating themselves.

I'm sick of everyone holding back progress. If only we were allowed to we could wire up new senses directly into the brains of human foetuses so they'd grow up to have upgradeable digital eyes ( maybe even in the back of their heads ), actual mental telepathy (wifi), faster minds that interface directly with computers, or even collective conciousness hive-minds.

Screw Evolution! We stopped doing that since our medicine and ethics gave the finger to Darwin and his natural selection. If we're going to pollute all of the gene pools, let's put some effort into it and do it right!

...

Heh, they think I'm joking.

one reason: monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204647)

China is smart enough not to allow on foreign interests for their food production. The very second China has their own GMO laboratories, they will force it down your throat.

Monsatan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204703)

My friend used to work as a lawyer for Monsanto breaking class-action suits. He referred to them exclusively as "Monsatan", but admitted that they pay very well.

No competition in GE foods. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39204823)

I don't have a problem with GE food, but it is produced and controlled by one company, Mansanto. Mansanto lobbies the Congress through the campaign donations, so that the company would have near monopoly on the GE seeds. The current laws favor the Mansanto. There should be competition in GE seeds. No one company should control the GE seeds. Monopolies are bad for the market. Monopolies abuse their power to protect the market dominance.

growing food crops? (1)

gsivaram (2585643) | more than 2 years ago | (#39204835)

growing genetically food crops is so stupid and dangerous

With Apologies to General J. Ripper: (2)

Hartree (191324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39205037)

Do you realize that genetic modification is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?

Do you realize that in addition to modifying corn and soy - why, there are studies under way to modify tapioca, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk, ice cream? Ice cream, Mandrake! - children's ice cream!

Do you know when genetic modified crops were introduced?

Nineteen hundred and ninety-six. 1996, Mandrake. Just after the World Trade Organization was established. How does that coincide with your New World Order Commie conspiracy, huh?

It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign genetic substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual - certainly without any choice.

That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

Mono culture is not the only problem. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39205273)

Pests are developing tolerance and immunity to GE crops.
    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/pest-evolves-resistance-to-gm-crops-779794.html

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