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Europe Needs Genetically Engineered Crops, Scientists Say

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the feed-me-seymour dept.

EU 586

First time accepted submitter Dorianny writes in with a story about the ongoing battle over genetically engineered crops in Europe. "The European Union cannot meet its goals in agricultural policy without embracing genetically engineered crops (GMOs). That's the conclusion of scientists who write in Trends in Plant Science, a Cell Press publication, based on case studies showing that the EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector to its own detriment and that of its humanitarian activities in the developing world. 'Failing such a change, ultimately the EU will become almost entirely dependent on the outside world for food and feed and scientific progress, ironically because the outside world has embraced the technology which is so unpopular in Europe, realizing this is the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture,' said Paul Christou of the University of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center and Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats in Spain."

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586 comments

now we wait (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553281)

for 1000 posts claiming that monsanto causes cancer...

Re:now we wait (4, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#43553377)

"Scientists claim Europe must surrender to Monsanto or starve."

To surrender to a corporate tyrant is just as bad as to surrender to any other sort of tyrant.

Re:now we wait (1, Troll)

gadget junkie (618542) | about a year ago | (#43553385)

"Scientists claim Europe must surrender to the European Commission or starve."

To surrender to a corporate tyrant is just as bad as to surrender to any other sort of tyrant.

There, fixed it for you.

Re:now we wait (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43553535)

Isn't birth rate dropping fast in Europe? Fewer people, less need for food.

Re:now we wait (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553697)

There's also immigration, but that's a moot point.
Some EU countries produce more, some less, both by choice. The newer members on the other hand, those in the former communist block, produce less now, than they did 20 years ago, because it's cheaper to import, than subsidize.

Price is a good indicator for demand, and food prices have been growing in the past decades only because of the growing oil prices, not for any other reason.

Re:now we wait (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553621)

Apparently monsanto already owns the EU. With predictable results:

See here [deutsche-w...richten.de] (german, google translate [google.com],
open letter [seedforall.org],
petition [global2000.at] (german).

Bottom line: Everyone, down to hobby farmers, will be forbidden from using any seeds unless regulated, registered, allowed.

Scientific progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553287)

How is scientific process going to get affected by Europe depending on othe nations for food?

Re:Scientific progress (5, Insightful)

nebosuke (1012041) | about a year ago | (#43553361)

It is the wholesale rejection of an entire body of science and technology on non-scientific bases that will affect both Europe's ability to contribute to scientific progress in those areas and its ability to produce its own food.

In other words you have confused the direction of the cause and effect relationship between scientific progress and food production in this case.

Re:Scientific progress (5, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#43553437)

It is the wholesale rejection of an entire body of science and technology on non-scientific bases that will affect both Europe's ability to contribute to scientific progress in those areas and its ability to produce its own food.

Actually that describes the report pretty well. It is blatant scare-mongering by an industry body and the university professor they sponsor.

Re:Scientific progress (5, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43553555)

Ohh boy. Please guys, don't fall to their level. GMO is valid technology if applied right, as was genetic selection in the past (your poor man's GMO).

If you don't trust corporations, fine. But if you want to be taken serious in counterargument, please don't use "that's what they said". If you think their assumptions are wrong, please at least explain why.

And communism is valid government if applied right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553715)

Problem is, we have humans applying it and that's where it gets screwed up.

Same with GMOs.

Or Nuclear power.

Re:Scientific progress (5, Interesting)

Cenan (1892902) | about a year ago | (#43553739)

Ohh boy. Please guys, don't fall to their level. GMO is valid technology if applied right, as was genetic selection in the past (your poor man's GMO).

If you planted GMO anywhere in Europe you could argue, and win, that the technology was being applied incorrectly. EU farmers are being paid to not use their fields. For a variety of reasons, one of them being price of crops, another being that the soil cannot handle re-sowing of the same crop over and over again.

GMO is not going to fix that, it will make the problem worse. Fertilizer helps, but we'd rather not use that in a high enough degree to make it viable. So the option is to leave fields unused to let the soil recover. This is simple. Farmers in the fucking iron age knew this. This article is a fearmongering attempt because a really big market isn't drinking the kool aid, and Prof. WhatsHisFace is a sad panda.

Re:Scientific progress (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about a year ago | (#43553447)

Yeah, I don't have a problem with genetically modified food sciences, but you give 'em an inch and they take a mile. If we could trust them to simply improve the size and frequency of fruiting bodies' production then that would be great, but they don't stop there -- Some of these GMO food producers decide that we need to make poisonous plants to prevent bugs from eating them without actual long-term studies to validate their claims of harmlessness -- Scientists don't make conclusions based on lack of evidence. We need proof they're not harmful to us and the environment. We don't have that proof.

It's the unwillingness of people to think clearly that is harming us. We can use SOME types of genetic modifications without using others; However, corporations maximize profits and pundits aren't typically adequately educated, so we end up with people polarized on the issue and no real way forward -- no compromises, no middle ground.

The wholesale rejection is the only option for some if the ones making the modified food say they'll put the poison gene in or you get no GMO at all... The gene splicers are just as much at fault for this, and that's without even delving into BS patent issues and neutered seeds that could lead to even MORE dependence on foreign entities for food.

Be careful when you paint with a wide brush, you may end up with paint in your eyes.

Re:Scientific progress (3, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43553539)

"We need proof they're not harmful to us and the environment. We don't have that proof."

That's why you lobby for solid government agencies who actually do very good job on checking food safety (at least in my country).

You can't ignore food problems with clause "we don't trust corporations". Well, I don't, but what choice we have. It's not like we gonna change capitalism for something workable and better (I believe we can, but that's for another day). We need to lobby and support actually working government institutions to check on corporations. EU has better success in this regard, despite some members being in bed and naked with corps for years (hey UK).

Let's work within system. GMO food can be good, just let's keep pushing stuff we see as necessary for it to work. Just inflicting fear in general public won't work in long term I'm afraid.

Re:Scientific progress (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43553641)

GMO food can be good, no doubt about it. The problem is that the goal of producer and user are widely different. For the user, increased production is the goal whereas it is only the necessary evil to sell it for the producer.

Re:Scientific progress (5, Insightful)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | about a year ago | (#43553647)

One problem "Monsanto"

They produce most of the GMO that people are aware of, are notorious for suppressing any study that they do not like, for not publishing results, for patenting entire plants, for suing poor farmers who never bought their seed, for poisoning the environment .... etc ....

They may not be typical of GMO companies, but they are the poster child and best known, and are the worst possible advert for GMO ....

Re:Scientific progress (1)

blue trane (110704) | about a year ago | (#43553549)

Why don't the scientists open source their research so that many eyes can find the potential bugs?

Re:Scientific progress (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553609)

It is the wholesale rejection of an entire body of science and technology on non-scientific bases that will affect both Europe's ability to contribute to scientific progress in those areas and its ability to produce its own food.

In other words you have confused the direction of the cause and effect relationship between scientific progress and food production in this case.

Separate science, technology, and business in your argument. Please tease out the differences between these three and I'll take a look at your thesis again. Until then. Fail.

Pandora's box (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553305)

When the lid is opened there is no way of closing it again.

There are certain technologies mankind is not yet responsible enough to use.

If nuclear power leaves waste for 10000s of years... gene modification does so for the rest of existence.

And no. Cross breeding is not the same as gene modification. There are very few herrings that mate with a tomato IRL.

"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year ago | (#43553309)

No one *needs* genetically-engineered crops, they simply result in a higher profit (and possibly various unknown health risks).

Re:"Needs"? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553351)

They may also result in cheaper food.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about a year ago | (#43553373)

Yes, moving most of your agricultural sector over to commercially proprietary seed and crop varieties will certainly result in cheaper food.

Re:"Needs"? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553495)

When was last time price food was of any concern in western europe???

Re:"Needs"? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553567)

We'll keep that in mind once some disease wipes out the entire Monsanto Wheat (tm) monoculture is wiped out by some plant disease or pathogen and causes widespread shortages. Our crops might be less efficient, but we have diversity, and our farmers are free to farm instead of bothering with patents and lawsuits.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

Wowsers (1151731) | about a year ago | (#43553607)

Cheaper food for how long, until the company that has the GM patent has 50% of food production, 80%, 100%? It's a one way ticket to economic disaster, let alone the long term health and ecological impact that nobody knows.

Nature wants bio-diversity, not the junk that GM is.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43553659)

When, in the history of commerce, has cheaper means of production ever meant cheaper end product if there wasn't a pressing need due to competition? It is highly unlikely that the cheaper production will eventually reach the consumer. Even if the original producers have to slave away at dumping prices, the margin will easily be gobbled up by the people in between to ensure nothing remains when you can finally buy something in a store.

Re:"Needs"? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553379)

No one *needs* genetically-engineered crops, they simply result in a higher profit (and possibly various unknown health risks).

Similarly, no one *needs* stem cell research, nor nuclear power plants, nor galileo navigation satellites... But not having it in your back pocket may result in dependency on other countries for certain things and some of those things may or may not be more or less important to you. It like many things is simply a choice and not everyone makes the same choices...

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553451)

That may be true. But what we (I live in Europe) really don't want to deal with is all the consequences, side-effects and bad mojo that comes from genetically-modified, well, anything. We really don't need any of that sh!t, hence no *need* for GMOs

No, no, no, no. DO NOT WANT. Take it away.

Re:"Needs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553391)

When it becomes unprofitable (or impossible, in he case of crop density) to grow natural crops in order to feed everyone, then you do need genetically modified crops. In a similar way nobody would suggest rearing non-selectively bred cows for milk production; you could do it, but it would be prohibitively unprofitable. The difference being that selectively bred crops have been sufficient so far.

Of course, getting rid of some of the hugely nonsensical subsidies that the EU currently gives out would certainly lessen the pressure, but after the recent decision to leave things as is, that doesn't seem likely.

Re:"Needs"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553619)

When it becomes unprofitable (or impossible, in he case of crop density) to grow natural crops in order to feed everyone, then you do need genetically modified crops. In a similar way nobody would suggest rearing non-selectively bred cows for milk production; you could do it, but it would be prohibitively unprofitable. The difference being that selectively bred crops have been sufficient so far.

Of course, getting rid of some of the hugely nonsensical subsidies that the EU currently gives out would certainly lessen the pressure, but after the recent decision to leave things as is, that doesn't seem likely.

Please the story that the EU cannot feed its own citizens is pure bullshit.
In fact agriculture in Europe is so productive that the EU subsidizes farmers TO DESTROY CROPS that would otherwise go over specific quotas. We don't need GMOs, not now, not ever. What we need is a better agricultural policy (hear that France ?). Oh well, better to deal with what is known than embark in come crazy dream foistered upon us by corporations that want nothing more than to control the world's food supply.

Re:"Needs"? (2)

hajus (990255) | about a year ago | (#43553693)

Actually, if the EU subsidizes farmers to destroy crops, this is one of the causes of the higher food production. That is the purpose of a subsidy. In this case, if they grow too much, they are paid by the gov't. Thie higher food production is a result of the burning of the subsidized crops, not the other way around.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

giorgist (1208992) | about a year ago | (#43553449)

Soooo if I can grow less crops with less pesticides in the same block of land leaving the rest for nature is a bad thing ? How about we all go organic and have the population settle at the 2 billion and solve another problem as well.

Re:"Needs"? (3, Insightful)

Mashiki (184564) | about a year ago | (#43553517)

No one wants to admit they're a malthusian, but people who are against GE crops generally are.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | about a year ago | (#43553671)

Soooo if I can grow less crops with less pesticides in the same block of land leaving the rest for nature is a bad thing ?

You are definitely not a farmer. Less pesticides AHAHAHAHA. GMO is all about planting seeds that are super resistant to special proprietary pesticides. After that you spray the fuck out of your fields without worrying about the yield.
You dont have to worry about weeds nor your plants dying from too much crop dusting. You have to worry about re buying seeds every single year and getting addicted to Roundup.

Basically its the same scam as juicing healthy cows with antibiotics.

Re:"Needs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553705)

That's not going to happen.
More crop with more pesticides in more land will be planted leaving nothing for nature, in the name of profit.

Re:"Needs"? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553477)

Almost the only non--European food I buy is banasas. Twice a month perhaps. Wast areas of land here are canola for biofuel.

Why would we need "GE" food here? To become obese? To have the fields sprayed with even more poison, because this is what the "GE" food is mainly for today? To become dependent of fucking troll extortion companies shitting around with patents?

When I was a kid, the area here was polluted by factories. Yet the meadows, even the lawn outside blocks, was humming. Tens of species of various insects, flowers, herbs. Frogs were singing a whole night. Today the environment is said to to meet "EU norms", yet what you see instead is a silent piece of green, sometimes one or two kinds of flowers. A bee a few times a year, mostly a wild one.

Re:"Needs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553497)

People who can't afford food need genetically engineered crops. If GM can make worldwide staple crops cheaper, then we can reduce the number of people who go hungry.

Re:"Needs"? (1)

Ignacio (1465) | about a year ago | (#43553651)

People who need food might not be able to afford genetically engineered crops once they're all that exists. And as always, the problem isn't producing food, it's getting it to the people that need it.

Re:"Needs"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553725)

Food price is unrelated to costs and is decided in places full of people with suits. Crops are destroyed and farmers are paid to not produce food to keep the price from dropping.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Interesting)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43553525)

No one *needs* genetically-engineered crops, they simply result in a higher profit (and possibly various unknown health risks).

I'm waiting for the follow-up story that tells us who funds these scientists.

Re:"Needs"? (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about a year ago | (#43553673)

I was wondering the same. For years the EU had problems with overproduction, and suddenly there's a shortage? So you mean all those subsidies to farmers who can't get rid of their production (which the EU "has to" buy to "ease" their suffering) wasn't necessary because we need more production anyway.

Someone is lying here. It's either the EU or the EU.

Humanitarian? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553317)

I really wouldn't call dumping a big surplus in agricultural products humanitarian. It destroys the incentive to grow crops locally and we still destroy a lot of food, because we just produce too much. Europe is in a nice spot to have plenty of food grown and could produce even more. The governments here pays the farmers to leave fields alone in an attempt to stabilze prices.

Eh, what? (5, Informative)

dunkelfalke (91624) | about a year ago | (#43553323)

EU pays farmers for not growing stuff because it it produces too much food. There have been surpluses for decades, only recently they have been depleted because of the world market.

Yes, obviously there are imports, but only in winter time or for exotic fruits.

Re:Eh, what? (5, Informative)

DustinB (220805) | about a year ago | (#43553427)

Very true. Production is not the bottleneck; it's distribution which often times is hindered due to political reasons. We are not at peak production either.

Re:Eh, what? (2)

Dorianny (1847922) | about a year ago | (#43553507)

Most of EU gm imports are grains for animal feed. If farmers were forced to raise their livestock with non-gm crops, prices would skyrocket.

Re:Eh, what? (4, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43553533)

Yep, saying Europe needs GMO crops is ridiculous when it ends up with massive surplus each year that it has literally nothing to use for other than destroy.

If anything we should be working to get those stockpiles to places that really need it like parts of Africa, then they wont need GMO crops either.

Re:Eh, what? (2)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43553581)

For what I have heard, this is kinda mixed bag. There's stuff that gets destroyed due of quotas (like milk), but not in so much big quantities as we like to believe. However, in EU all farming is heavily subsided. In result we don't know actual cost.

Personally I would see Europe clean up subside mess more than allowing GMO. It's much urgent problem.

Who funded this research? (1)

clickclickdrone (964164) | about a year ago | (#43553333)

And does their name begin with M? Also, when does this obsession with profit and short termism start to wane over long term stewardship? As a species, we are getting so fucked up. In history we used to wonder how once great nations could possibly collapse back to nothing, well here it is on a global scale.

Re:Who funded this research? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553541)

http://www.patentmaps.com/inventor/Paul_Christou_1.html

He does R&D for the big M

another hit from technology (biotechnology) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553335)

Is this also according to definition is "technology taking away human freedom", or it is just like with some products, where biggest profit will take over normal food, no GMOs should be even allowed for future production, as there is small tests on there affection to human body-we can't allow next century cancerogens aveable anywhere.

Re:another hit from technology (biotechnology) (4, Informative)

ecbpro (919207) | about a year ago | (#43553443)

Since 25 years GMOs were tested and not a single case of adverse effects has ever been described. GMOs are not more dangerous than plants coming from classical breeding, actually GMO products are much safer because they are actually being tested. While classic breeding products (even mutagenesis!) are not tested even though it causes massive uncontrolled genetic changes (e.g. jumping genes get activated).
There is also no documentation that organic products are healthier in any way. You can find cancerogenic compounds in many organic products (e.g. aflatoxins) and nobody cares about that because it is "organic".
You should get out of your romantic view of nature, nature is dangerous!

What is interesting is that only people who do not understand anything about biology, plant breeding and GMOs are against GMOs.

Re:another hit from technology (biotechnology) (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553709)

Of course nature is dangerous, but not tested? Ever heard of evolution and selection?
Breeding also works since thousands of years and not only 25.

Independant GM research is almost non-existent:

http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/13/opinion/la-oe-guriansherman-seeds-20110213 [latimes.com]
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/companies_put_restrictions_on_research_into_gm_crops/2273/ [yale.edu]

http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf [earthopensource.org]

Please stop spreading lies.

GMO "could" perhaps be acceptable if... (4, Interesting)

lfourrier (209630) | about a year ago | (#43553353)

... IP laws where removed so as to prevent the monopolization of species when (not if, look for the literature) genes jump from GMO to naturally occuring varieties.

Re:GMO "could" perhaps be acceptable if... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553445)

and if gmo could be restricted to the crop planted, products containing it labeled and any unitended cross fertilization deemed polution for which compensation would be payable.

Re:GMO "could" perhaps be acceptable if... (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year ago | (#43553515)

At the very least, unintended cross-fertilization should be "tough shit", so far as IP goes.

Competitiveness? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553365)

If agriculture policy was about competitiveness, then it would completely exclude any type of subsidies and the market would have been allowed to work out who produces food and where, and in that case prices would drop, many farmers would stop farming what they are farming and Africa would be a much wealthier continent.

Agriculture policy by government is not about competitiveness at all, it's about a huge subsidy and corruption, in that case all normal market considerations are removed, so there is no real pricing mechanism and nobody can really say what will happen to supply, we can only be sure that prices will stay artificially high.

Re:Competitiveness? (5, Insightful)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#43553545)

It's a huge subsidy, but it also has a crucial strategic value. Without the subsidies, farming in the EU would steadily decline into irrelevance and you become ever more dependent on imports. But food is even more critical than oil. What if there is a drought in the future? Import restrictions? Huge price increases? Shit, suddenly the EU can't feed its own citizens anymore. Other countries can use the EU's dependence on its food imports to exert diplomatic influence, essentially up to the point of blackmail. Take Russia for example. The only reason why it gets away with its subjugation of democracy and freedom of speech is because Europe is hugely dependent on energy imports from Russia. If Europe is not self-sufficient in its food requirements, it opens up another attack vector.

There's plenty of food. (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553375)

1. The world, and the EU, produce plenty of food. People in certain areas do not have enough food due to problems in the food distribution system.

2. 90%+ of GMO food is either herbicide resistant or produces its own insecticide. It's focus is not producing more or better food. Yes, this could change some day, but that's how it is and has been for a long time.

Unsurpringly, Europe responds in unison with a (1)

ScaledLizard (1430209) | about a year ago | (#43553387)

"Yuck, no thanks, keep your s..."

Except for those getting paid for saying otherwise...

I call BS on this (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553413)

the EU has a food surplus for decades

Nonsense (0)

Nocturna81 (1427457) | about a year ago | (#43553421)

What a load of nonsense, the Netherlands alone is responsible for most of the vegetables grown in the world : http://www.hollandtrade.com/sector-information/agriculture-and-food/?bstnum=4909 [hollandtrade.com] and that's not even mentioning France!

Re:Nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553491)

What a load of nonsense, the Netherlands alone is responsible for most of the vegetables grown in the world

Yes that statement is a load of nonsense...
Holland might be one of the major *exporters* of vegies, but mostly certainly are NOT responsible for *most* of the vegies grown in the world...

Bullshit (5, Insightful)

BlackPignouf (1017012) | about a year ago | (#43553425)

First, this guy developed the first transgenic soybean, which has then been sold by Monsanto ( http://www.sciforum.hu/programme/speakers/paul-christou-research-professor-university-of-leida-spain.html [sciforum.hu] ). What else is he gonna say?
Then, there's enough food everywhere for everybody provided : it's seasonal, regional and mostly vegetarian.
Sure, if you want huge steaks for every meal, with tomato salads, mango and strawberries for dessert all year round, you'll need a lot of antibiotics, pesticides, GMO's, oil and water.

here is the Monsanto connection (5, Informative)

Moabz (1480009) | about a year ago | (#43553433)

Paul Christou

He received a first class honors degree in Chemistry (University of London) followed by a PhD in plant biochemistry (UCL, London) in 1980. Following postdoctoral research at UCL, he joined one of the very first plant biotechnology companies, Cetus Madison Corp (subsequently Agracetus, Inc.) Madison Wisconsin, USA. He led a research group which achieved the first genetically transformed staple crop (soybean). Subsequently his team developed a variety-independent gene transfer method for rice. These two achievements had a significant impact, as the first transgenic soybean on the US and global markets sold by Monsanto was a direct output of his group’s research efforts.

Lack of at least partial objectivity in debate (4, Insightful)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43553439)

Problem is complex. There's general fear of anything related with "genetic modification", because of this theme exploited so heavily in tabloids, junk and paperback sci-fi, and by conservative politicans betting heavily on science fearing crowd. And then there's huge greedy corporations like Monsanto, which are blinded by gold rush in this field. Then there's politicians, desperate to have at least some kind of investment in countries, relaxing some rules so far that it's really irresponsible.

In overall, GMO debate has almost same semantics as nuclear one. Done right, this field would really do right for humanity. However, there's that very strong question - can we really do right for humanity? It seems that we as society don't trust ourselves - or current capitalistic system we embrace.

So, this is actually discussion "we don't trust multinational corporations to do theoretically dangerous stuff", not "is GMO good or bad", isn't it? However no one discuss corporations, because it's well...just not worth it. Because when money talks, everyone asks how high to jump (including media).

Re:Lack of at least partial objectivity in debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553563)

Personally I'm more worried about the commercial aspects (companies will own and control the IP of everything we eat) than the scientific ones. I don't trust companies not the governments that serve them to do the right thing.

Re:Lack of at least partial objectivity in debate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553589)

GM tech is not the problem. Roundup/Patent enforced monoculture is.

industry backed research? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553441)

This looks like GMO industry backed research to me.

And whats this about "undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector"? the EU has never been competivie in the agricultural sector and thats clear, precisely why its highly subsidized. Its not GMOs that will make the EU competive against lower cost produce coming from the global south and the US. What the US is really looking for is a change in EU policy so that they can have a new market for all their Franken-crops.

Also, the whole research is based on the assumption that GMOs produce higher yeilds: not always the case.

The De-Facto Dangerous Cults of 2013 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553453)

DANGEROUS CULTS IN 2013 AMERICA
dangerous cults in media 2013
dangerous cults in government (GUS) 2013
dangerous cults in the monetary system 2013
dangerous cults in the food industry 2013
dangerous cults in the health industry 2013
dangerous cults in the spy agencies 2013
dangerous cults period wherever they lay 2013

Factors: (low)1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10(high)
1 Internal Control: Amount of internal political and social power exercised by leader(s) over members; lack of clearly defined organizational rights for members.
2 External Control: Amount of external political and social influence desired or obtained; emphasis on directing members external political and social behavior.
3 Wisdom/Knowledge Claimed by leader(s); amount of infallibility declared or implied about decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations; number and degree of unverified and/or unverifiable credentials claimed.
4 Wisdom/Knowledge Credited to leader(s) by members; amount of trust in decisions or doctrinal/scriptural interpretations made by leader(s); amount of hostility by members towards internal or external critics and/or towards verification efforts.
5 Dogma: Rigidity of reality concepts taught; amount of doctrinal inflexibility or ôfundamentalism;ö hostility towards relativism and situationalism.
6 Recruiting: Emphasis put on attracting new members; amount of proselytizing; requirement for all members to bring in new ones.
7 Front Groups: Number of subsidiary groups using different names from that of main group, especially when connections are hidden.
8 Wealth: Amount of money and/or property desired or obtained by group; emphasis on membersÆ donations; economic lifestyle of leader(s) compared to ordinary members.
9 Sexual Manipulation of members by leader(s) of non-tantric groups; amount of control exercised over sexuality of members in terms of sexual orientation, behavior, and/or choice of partners.
10 Sexual Favoritism: Advancement or preferential treatment dependent upon sexual activity with the leader(s) of non-tantric groups.
11 Censorship: Amount of control over members access to outside opinions on group, its doctrines or leader(s).
12 Isolation: Amount of effort to keep members from communicating with non-members, including family, friends and lovers.
13 Dropout Control: Intensity of efforts directed at preventing or returning dropouts.
14 Violence: Amount of approval when used by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s).
15 Paranoia: Amount of fear concerning real or imagined enemies; exaggeration of perceived power of opponents; prevalence of conspiracy theories.
16 Grimness: Amount of disapproval concerning jokes about the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
17 Surrender of Will: Amount of emphasis on members not having to be responsible for personal decisions; degree of individual disempowerment created by the group, its doctrines or its leader(s).
18 Hypocrisy: amount of approval for actions which the group officially considers immoral or unethical, when done by or for the group, its doctrines or leader(s); willingness to violate the groups declared principles for political, psychological, social, economic, military, or other gain.

Not surprising, coming from a Monsanto man ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553455)

According to a bio of Paul Christou, http://www.icrea.cat/Web/ScientificForm.aspx?key=319, he "Worked as senior scientist at Agracetus Inc. Madison WI USA." According to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agracetus), "The Agracetus Campus of Monsanto Company is the world's largest soybean transformation laboratory.". Not surprising therefore his comments, being a Monsanto man and all.

Europe Needs Genetically Engineered Cops?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553459)

I sometimes see headlines from the future. It's a gift! :-)

Natural = Unsustainable? (2, Interesting)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about a year ago | (#43553465)

"ironically because the outside world has embraced the technology which is so unpopular in Europe, realizing this is the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture"

What kind of propaganda-soaked, bullshit statement is that? So for the past 4000 years humanity has been performing natural, "unsustainable" agriculture? The whole article reeks so much of bundles of pharmaceutical 100 dollar bills that it stinks.

Re:Natural = Unsustainable? (2)

ecbpro (919207) | about a year ago | (#43553551)

I don't know if you noticed, but most of the past 4000 years people were starving to death thanks to "natural" agriculture:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Famine_(Ireland) [wikipedia.org]
It is only thanks to the advancement of science and technology that we are not starving anymore. GMOs are just the next logical step in that development.

Re:Natural = Unsustainable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553703)

It is interesting how these same extremely vocal people fighting for heirloom plants grown organically are not so vocal about getting rid of medicine (fight for only herbal treatments) or stopping developments in transportation (as apposed to walking or swimming everywhere) or fighting against communication developments (as opposed to talking face to face only...no internet) or .... everything else that is not natural that we use.

Re:Natural = Unsustainable? (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43553677)

Famines used to be common, a simple fact of life. They just happened, like earthquakes. Today they fall under the category of "man-made disasters". Why could that be?

researching the researcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553467)

http://www.sciforum.hu/programme/speakers/paul-christou-research-professor-university-of-leida-spain.html

"He led a research group which achieved the first genetically transformed staple crop (soybean). Subsequently his team developed a variety-independent gene transfer method for rice. These two achievements had a significant impact, as the first transgenic soybean on the US and global markets sold by Monsanto was a direct output of his group’s research efforts."

Hardly objective and impartial science.

Re:researching the researcher (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553489)

http://www.patentmaps.com/inventor/Paul_Christou_1.html
he is named in monsantos' patent apps

Please do not supply crapy food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553475)

People still have to consume in order to live. Please do not make crapy food from crapy crop. Know there are nonsense studies, don't they are so nonsense.

A Spanish scientist did say that? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553479)

Well, no surprise here, considering this:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops
and this: http://beforeitsnews.com/alternative/2012/09/leaked-us-to-start-trade-wars-with-nations-opposed-to-monsanto-gmo-crops-2-2464512.html
According to this cables story, Spain and 'Murrica work closely together to get Europe to adapt GM-crops.
F*** them. They all should choke on their GM shit.

Biased.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553493)

He may never been employed by Monsanto but based on the fact that are the assignee on a number of his patents I would say he could be susceptible to bias:
http://www.patentmaps.com/inventor/Paul_Christou_1.html

Famine has nothing to do with low food production (3, Insightful)

orzetto (545509) | about a year ago | (#43553579)

There is already today an excess of food production. People do not starve because there is not enough food, they starve because they are not given the food, usually because they are too poor to afford it, or because their supply lines have been cut by wars or embargoes. There is no need to increase world food production, only to get the food to those needing it.

It's been a while (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43553583)

I've been successfully cultivating anti-americanism in my backyard, thanks to the constant fertilization my crops receive from news like these. Growing perfectly fine without pesticides and\or GM.

Well GM crops could fix the problem... (1, Insightful)

GeekWithAKnife (2717871) | about a year ago | (#43553605)

But hen again I have noticed some deficits and unemployment in Spain, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and some of those other places that are...well mostly in Europe...they have a lot of people needing jobs, why not get them into farming? Sure, it's more efficient to use giant machines and GM crops to make certain key corporations filthy rich but on the flip side if they are obligated to employ a reasonable amount of people we might make a dent in those countries negative figures & turn that big Euro zone frown upside down...

They are right (1)

eennaarbrak (1089393) | about a year ago | (#43553627)

Matt Riley of "The Rational Optimist" (http://www.rationaloptimist.com/) also argues for increased use of GM crops. GM crops can produce higher yields, using fewer insecticides and chemicals than even organic foods do.

Of course, the question is: what will we do with this increased yield? If we use it to convert redundant farm land into nature reserves and green spaces, then I'm all for it. If we use it to help ourselves to a nice population burst, then hell no.

So when the toxins from these (0)

future assassin (639396) | about a year ago | (#43553631)

gmo foods that are compsted start leeching iinto the water table/ecosystem than what? Hmm dead bugs = less pollination and less heirloom/natural plants = more food crop control in the hands of gmo producers. Someone somwhere is salivation over this food control future.

Evil Gravity (1)

b4upoo (166390) | about a year ago | (#43553639)

This works like the cabinet shop on the corner. The owner can not compete if he pays his workers more than what he suspects his competitors
pay their workers. So if Europe does not apply the most modern methods in raising food the food providers will be out of business in short order.
Since food is vital in essence Europe has no real option. Whether it is good, safe, moral or wise are not even part of the decision process.
                              Our politicians can never confront the problem. We have way too large numbers of people to care for and the only real solution is serious birth control. Science does provide breakthroughs and the edge of the cliff does get pushed back a bit from time to time but the plain and simple truth is that we are in a death spiral due to over population. It is the root of almost all of our issues. Pollution, global warming, employment, energy are all nothing more than proof of excess population. Wars and hostile politics are also driven by over population.
                            The sad truth is that only in a dictatorship does the government have the ability to consider reproduction a privilege and determine exactly
who can create babies. In the US if a politician breathed a hint of wanting firm reproduction control he would be out of a job permanently.

Re:Evil Gravity (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | about a year ago | (#43553699)

The moment that reproduction becomes a privilege is the moment that elites exempt themselves and apply the rules to everyone else. It's not an exaggeration, it's already happened in China. Have we considered that the European population is actually *declining* and hence they need *more* babies? How else are they going to fund today's borrowing if there are fewer future taxpayers?

EuCitizen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553643)

Keep your GMO-poison away from EU!

Campact campaign against EU seed monoculture (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553741)

https://www.campact.de/saatgutvielfalt/appell/teilnehmen/

Slashdot, Y U NO ban such obvious Monsanto propag. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43553753)

That's not news, that's propaganda from Monsanto, that company, that slaves farmers by IP.
Karma level is the same as BP and Exxon Mobile.

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