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Make Way For "Mutant" Crops As GM Foods Face Opposition

timothy posted about 9 months ago | from the pure-safe-organic-pesticide-free-nightshade dept.

Biotech 194

squiggleslash writes "The concerns, legitimate or otherwise, about genetically modified foods such as Monsanto's Round-up Ready soy-beans, may be causing unintended consequences: Monsanto's rivals such as BASF are selling 'naturally' mutated seeds where extreme exposure to ultra-violet is used to increase the rate of mutations in seeds, a process called mutagenesis. These seeds end up with many of the same properties, such as herbicide resistance, as GM seeds, but inevitably end up with other, uncontrolled, mutations too. The National Academy of Sciences warns that there's a much higher risk of unintentionally creating seeds that have active health risks through mutagenesis than by other means, including relatively controlled genetic engineering, presumably because of the blind indiscriminate nature of mutations caused by the process. But because mutagenesis is effectively an acceleration of the natural system of evolution, it's very difficult to regulate."

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Hail to the uninformed (5, Informative)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about 9 months ago | (#45507579)

Is this a joke article? Please.
We've been using random mutagenesis for over 25 years now to improve seeds, and guess what, we improved our technology over time. Not only is the secondary mutation mitigated via thorough back-crossing, but these days technology moved that only the gene of interest is actually changed. Read some recent patents by Monsanto or Keygene for a clue. This article is fear mongering bullshit that would have had truth in it if it was written in 1975.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507607)

It might be because most of these GM fear mongers have their brains stuck in 1975.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45507625)

Well, there is another weird undercurrent here. OK, you can treat plants with mutagens, we get that. You get mutants. (MUTANTS!). Then they sell the irradiated seeds? Just that? Who does the selection (that's the hard part)? Who decides what is a better product - the shinier fruit or the ones are walking down the field?

Either you're right and this is some weird joke or their is something very much missing in TFA.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 9 months ago | (#45508351)

I guess they'll do it in the exact same way as you'd do it when you test any other row crop: Some work at a single plant level is made to figure out which plants have any value at all, then you bulk up the seed, plant a bunch of those survivors in a few dozen locations, along with some commercial plants that you use as a control. Then you compare yields, resistance to disease, or whatever else you feel like looking at.

If you really want to add some tech, you can do a genetic analysis of the plants early on to see of the genetic changes have anything to do with the ones you were looking for.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45508747)

Sounds like a lot of work for an individual farmer. If they're that into things, they could have done this a long time a go by setting up a research station. No need to spend big bucks to expose things to mutagens. Something's missing. Perhaps I need more coffee (a known mutagen, BTW).

Re:Hail to the uninformed (2)

yndrd1984 (730475) | about 9 months ago | (#45509369)

Who does the selection (that's the hard part)?

Breeders. That's an actual job title at many seed companies.

Who decides what is a better product - the shinier fruit or the ones are walking down the field?

Usually they pick a particular trait that they would like to develop, preferably one that's easy to test for. They measure plants in the field, measure their output, scan the resulting product with near-infrared spectroscopy or nuclear magnetic resonance scans to find composition, and even look at genetic markers. Then they ship the seed for the next generation to be planted somewhere warm to shorten the generation time. Monsanto and Syngenta have labs a short drive from where I live that do NIR, MR, and PCR/marker testing for breeders, and there are lots of small fields full of odd-looking plants around here.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507691)

Monsanto lies. A *lot*.

Despite the occasional nutjob giving a bad name to other protesters, Monsanto has been responsible for massive dioxin poisoning, the creation and misuse of Agent Orange in Vietnam, abusive oversales of fertilizers leading to Sahara desert expansion as the crop growth was unsustainable, ruiined watersheds, and left the ground bare for desert expansion, and have generally sold agricultural tools and products for maximum short term profit. Monsanto's safety research can no more be trusted than that of cigarette companies saying their wares are "scientifically proven safe". They've been caught lying far too

Oh, and we've been using "random mutagenesis" to improve crops for more like 25,000 if some of the very early paleontoligical research is correct about pre-historic farming. The dangers of this arise from typical Monsanto approaches: excessive speed of deployment, aggression of sales, and poor safety checks. The chances of even modest Monsanto *loves* their high yield monocultures: they make real profit for Monsanto, customers get locked into the single product line, and then are fiscally devastated if Monsanto raises prices and they can't compete. Targeted mutagenesis *will not help* with this, because the high yield crop line will come to dominate the market place, *again*, and be vulnerable to a specific rot, *again*. Look into the history of bananas, and the current corn blights decimating Monsanto's highest price GMO corn crop.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1, Interesting)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about 9 months ago | (#45507959)

I'd like proof that they lie. I looked into corn blight and there are none 'decimating the corn supply' like you say (and thus, makes you a liar). A link would be helpful (and not from one of those bullshit news blogs like naturalnews that quote themselves and act like that's ok). Monsanto may have made agent orange but they didn't decide to throw it all over the vietnamese, so don't try to blame them for what their customers did. I am far more inclined to believe a corporation like monsanto opposed to a bunch of rabid hippies who believe they're more in tune with nature because they haven't worn shoes in 7 years. You need to look up the current orange blight, the one that no 'natural' oranges have an immunity to, and the GM oranges that do have an immunity to it. In ten years there won't be a non-GM orange alive. Of course knowing you retards you're going to say monsanto probably caused that disease too, as you like to accuse without evidence.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 9 months ago | (#45508423)

He is going for the shock value. If you want to stop an out of control dog, you don't try to calm it down. You smack it on the nose. First and foremost, you have to call him a liar. Bullies have to be confronted. Otherwise, the shock produced by "monsanto lies" trash lines is all that will be remembered. The shock produces an adrenaline rush. And that helps in memory formation.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (4, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508635)

In what universe can you called suing farmers for cross-contamination and then locking farmers into having to buy seeds from Monsanto an ethical or sustainable business practice?

People see smoke all around and then start asking for evidence of the fire.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

Deluvianvortex (2908365) | about 9 months ago | (#45508869)

In what universe can you call suing software developers for copying software licenses and installing them on all their computers a sustainable buisiness practice? Oh right, this one. You act like that all monsanto does is sue sue sue but in reality they've only sue the people who willingly violate the license they signed when they did buisiness with monsanto. Or is it okay to violate user agreements in your world?

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45509077)

Monsanto has sued massive numbers of farmers and threatened our food supply. We're going to take them down by any means necessary now.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45509091)

I'd like proof that they lie.

http://www.monsanto.com/products/Pages/roundup-pro-concentrate.aspx [monsanto.com]

The active ingredient, glyphosate, has favorable environmental characteristics such as low volatility and binds tightly to soil.

http://www.cdms.net/LDat/mp8CC006.pdf [cdms.net]

Dissipation Soil field :Half life 2-174days

That's some range there. But I guess since it "binds tightly to soil", it will not leach into ground water. Oh wait, it does. Maybe it just washes out and does not "bind tightly to soil" as claimed, which explains that massive, massive range.

Monsanto lies to make money. Their ROE lifetime is 20 years, and damn the rest because patents expire.

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/08/monsantos-roundup-herbicide-soil-damage [motherjones.com]

hmm, so maybe not that good for stuff in the soil....

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508269)

Well, there have been hundreds of peer-reviewed studies on GM crops, the bulk of which are produced by Monsanto, and there is a wide scientific consensus on the safety of the technology.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45508391)

customers get locked into the single product line, and then are fiscally devastated if Monsanto raises prices and they can't compete.

Uh, how does this work exactly? If someone buys corn seed from Monsanto this year, they can't switch to another seed provider next year? It could be you're just ranting.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508649)

What other seed provider would this be and where will you go when they all do the same thing? I don't think you have the slightest clue how this works, do you?

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 9 months ago | (#45508697)

lol you clearly don't

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#45508963)

What other seed provider would this be and where will you go when they all do the same thing? I don't think you have the slightest clue how this works, do you?

Wow talk about ignorant. Let's see, off the top of my head I can name co-op, croplan, masters choice, pioneer, pride, horizon, and I know that I'm scratching the very top of the barrel, there's 40 or 50 more.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

argStyopa (232550) | about 9 months ago | (#45508549)

Here's a tip: you come off as far more reasonable and less of a tinfoil-hat whacko if you even moderately edit your post to correct gross an obvious misspellings, unfinished sentences/thoughts, etc.

As it is, this post seems so frenzied it's hard to take seriously.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45509095)

Monsanto lies. A *lot*.

So do the people who say we're all going to starve or that we're all going to get cancer from various chemicals.

Monsanto has been responsible for massive dioxin poisoning, the creation and misuse of Agent Orange in Vietnam, abusive oversales of fertilizers leading to Sahara desert expansion as the crop growth was unsustainable, ruiined watersheds, and left the ground bare for desert expansion,

Monsanto may have created some of that crap, but the US government is responsible for using Agent Orange in Vietnam, and the countries adjoining the Sahara desert are responsible for misusing fertilizers.

and have generally sold agricultural tools and products for maximum short term profit

Yes, that's their job. It's the buyer's job to decide whether those tools and products are right for their environment and applications.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (2)

countach (534280) | about 9 months ago | (#45507917)

If that's true, it only reinforces that the article makes a good point that its no different to genetic engineering. In fact, then it really is genetic engineering using a different technique and should be regulated the same way.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (2)

Dan Olner (3442641) | about 9 months ago | (#45508027)

It's been around a lot longer than 25 years. Mutagenesis via irradiation's been with us since the 50s. For a rather silly example, have a read of this look at amateur grower involvement [blogspot.co.uk] as well as the wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] on atomic gardens. So yeah: very extremely not a new thing.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about 9 months ago | (#45508097)

Yeah i know, therefor it said OVER 25 years....

Re:Hail to the uninformed (0)

pmontra (738736) | about 9 months ago | (#45508115)

+1 informative, I was about to post the same link.

You fools! (1)

rcamans (252182) | about 9 months ago | (#45508315)

The seed mutations and GM modifications are not necessarily the big deal. The big deal is that the plants have been given improved resistance to herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides, as well as the ability to make their own. So the farmer uses more and nastier chemicals on ther plants, and you wind up eating more nasty chemicals. Then you mutate into brain-dead closed-minded idiots. Oh, wait, too late. Haven't you seen the studies of lab rats, etc who have been feed gmo corn? They look horrible.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (4, Informative)

squiggleslash (241428) | about 9 months ago | (#45508375)

Is this a joke response?

I ask because:

1. The article doesn't say the technology is new.
2. The article is about how the techology is being used as an end-run around bans and other restrictions on GM foods.
3. Claims that the technology has been improved hardly negate the notion that this is inherently a less safe technology than standard genetic engineering for the reasons outlined.
4. You're criticizing attacks on alternatives to GM foods, that are being introduced because of a nonsensical fear mongering campaign against GM foods, where those alternatives are objectively not as inherently safe as GM foods, as "fear mongering bullshit". Really? Seriously?

In your knee-jerk rush to defend mutagenesis you've decided to ignore what's being pointed out - that a mindless fear mongering campaign against GM is resulting in use of technologies that more closely fit the complaints made against GM food, you've ignored the article pretending it doesn't state facts that it clearly does, and you've failed to address any of the issues raised.

All because you want to attack critics of the use of mutagenesis (even though in this case we're talking about people who are criticizing its use as an alternative to GMO, not critics of its use overall) as "uninformed".

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

Dan Olner (3442641) | about 9 months ago | (#45508507)

You're right, the article doesn't say it's new, but the vast majority of people don't know it isn't - I think that could have done with a mention. It is, actually, mentioned in the linked article: "Mutagenesis isn’t new: Breeders have relied on it for decades to produce thousands of varieties of lettuce, oats, rice, and other crops."

Re:Hail to the uninformed (3, Insightful)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508759)

2. The article is about how the techology is being used as an end-run around bans and other restrictions on GM foods.

4. You're criticizing attacks on alternatives to GM foods, that are being introduced because of a nonsensical fear mongering campaign against GM foods, where those alternatives are objectively not as inherently safe as GM foods, as "fear mongering bullshit". Really? Seriously?

Trying to separate GM food from the use of this technology is also a joke. The logical conclusion of the wide use of GM food is that you won't be able to grow anything without Monsanto. That is their business model. We also have no idea what the long-term effects would be of this level of trust in a handful of powerful companies nor what kind of crops we would get with this unfettered. You're faced with a future situation where even growing anything in your back garden could cease to be a viable alternative. People can call it scare mongering all they like, but we won't know until we're in that situation and if and when we are it will be too late. Allowing companies to control natural food production is inherently dangerous and unethical.

Re:Hail to the uninformed (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508597)

Read some recent patents by Monsanto or Keygene for a clue.

Is this a joke?

Sounds Like Unlucky Charms (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507589)

"It's mutantly delicious!"

The real risk (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 9 months ago | (#45507593)

is letting one corporation get a choke-hold on the world's food supply.

Re:The real risk (5, Informative)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 9 months ago | (#45507663)

is letting one corporation get a choke-hold on the world's food supply.

"Roundup" herbicide is already off patent. The "Roundup-Ready" gene that infers resistance goes off patent in 2015. Most BT corn patents have been invalidated.

Re:The real risk (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 9 months ago | (#45508971)

"Roundup" herbicide is already off patent. The "Roundup-Ready" gene that infers resistance goes off patent in 2015. Most BT corn patents have been invalidated.

Local soil builders have been complaining of Aluminum in readily available soil stocks. Monsanto happens to have a patent on genes for Aluminum uptake resistance. Not sure where Al's coming from.

Re:The real risk (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45509327)

It's the third most common element in Earth's crust. Mostly bound up in forms that are not bio-available but not always.

Re:The real risk (2)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45509307)

But because of irrational fear of GMOs, people are still going to die of malnutrition that could be prevented by growing and eating Golden Rice.

Not all transgenic crops are the same. It matters what genes you add or remove. You could identify that remove the genes that make the stuff that people are allergic to in peanuts and remove them.

That's not the same as adding pesticides to the genome. Those are toxic to other organisms at low levels and could potentially become toxic to at least some people at some levels, or with long term exposure. The foods we eat are already loaded with naturally occurring pesticides that our metabolisms have adapted to tolerate.

That aside, we certainly haven't fully explored the natural and cultivated genomes of the species we eat. There's still lots of room for simple breeding methods to improve yield, growing environment tolerance (e.g. drought and salt tolerance) and pest resistance of crops. And there may be problems coordinating that with GMOs. If the developer picked the wrong seed stock to modify in the first place, you can have a GMO crop that's inferior in many regards to available varieties and the introduction of the new gene may inadvertently affect expression of genes that create desired characteristics.

Re:The real risk (-1, Troll)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 9 months ago | (#45507677)

Exactly! While I am convinced GMO crops, in particular those by this large, greedy American corporation, are hazardous, the fact that Monsanto is becoming an extension of the U.S government, is a greater threat. The aim is not to feed people, but to use production and supply of food as a political weapon. The world must reject Monsanto, and ideally all American mega-corporations where possible, or you will see them take over more and more control over trade and politics over your countries.

Re: The real risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507689)

Soooo are you suggesting that mom and shops will be able to adequately supply the worlds 7 billion and growing population? I'm not saying that i agree with the route being taken, but at least it's going in the right direction...is it too early to be ethanol fueled?

Re: The real risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508173)

It's been proven that you could grow crops anywhere using polytunnels. Climate controlled environments where the temperature and humidity are maintained, and water is recycled. The only problem? It doesn't boost international trade. Every country could become self-sufficient and Keynesian economics would fall apart.

Re: The real risk (1)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 9 months ago | (#45508519)

There is no shortage of food, the problems are uneven distribution and enormous waste.

Re: The real risk (1)

flaming error (1041742) | about 9 months ago | (#45508943)

"are you suggesting that mom and shops will be able to adequately supply the worlds 7 billion and growing population?"

I would suggest that:
1) we don't really need to grow past 7 billion people. I can think of no problem facing humanity today which lessens as population increases.
2) There are down-sides to industrial-scale monoculture such that it's not clear to many of us that that is "the right direction."

Re:The real risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507705)

Good to see the paranoid delusional people are awake and posting nonsense. Top O' the Morning to ya, laddie!

Re:The real risk (1)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | about 9 months ago | (#45508497)

You must be dumb and unable to see farther than the front of your computer screen, if you can't put in context U.S foreign operations and expansion since the 1900's, see the big picture and connect the dots. Either that or you're just some dumb shill. Try educating yourself instead of letting corporate media school you.

Yeah. It's Monsanto, Cargill (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507739)

Re:Yeah. It's Monsanto, Cargill (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508793)

Monsanto owns the patent on this technique, but has promised not to use it.

Uh huh. Yer right. It isn't necessary to continue reading after that one.

Patents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507601)

Question is: are the 'mutants' patent encumbered?

"There is also at least a chance (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 9 months ago | (#45507615)

...that one of the "other, uncontrolled, mutations" turns out to be a cure for something." From the Roundup-resistant strawman.

Re:"There is also at least a chance (2)

DavidClarkeHR (2769805) | about 9 months ago | (#45507737)

...that one of the "other, uncontrolled, mutations" turns out to be a cure for something." From the Roundup-resistant strawman.

My bet is on cure for hunger. Though, solving the problem of not enough money flowing from the poor to the rich might accidentally happen, too.

Blind indiscriminate nature of mutations (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507633)

That is the nature of ALL mutations

This is the crap that these pearl-clutching Luddites actually believe. They don't even know what natural is.

Re:Blind indiscriminate nature of mutations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507861)

The problem is that people have natural fear of change. The fear is so powerful that priesthood was always the third branch of humanity using the fearmongering as a base to promote whatever religion they wanted. That is why climate change fear is so popular.

Earth's last words. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507641)

Hey, let's mutate the shit out of our food. What could possibly go wrong?

Re:Earth's last words. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507671)

If history is a guide then it could evolve into a sentient animal that invents the internet and posts uninformed comments based on 1950s horror movies.

Re:Earth's last words. (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 9 months ago | (#45507827)

Hey, let's mutate the shit out of our food. What could possibly go wrong?

Sounds a fuck load better than: Let's purposefully graft pesticide producing genes into our food...

Re:Earth's last words. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508101)

Hey, let's mutate the shit out of our food. What could possibly go wrong?

Sounds a fuck load better than: Let's purposefully graft pesticide producing genes into our food...

A lot of plants produce pesticide as self defense. And it is a whole lot more effective to have small amounts of pesticide exactly where it is needed rather than indiscriminately spraying large areas with large amounts of it.

Re:Earth's last words. (1)

surd1618 (1878068) | about 9 months ago | (#45509377)

Bt proteins are highly selective now, but who's to say that they won't start having effects in humans if the genes are altered, say by irradiation...I don't want pesticides to be sprayed or added to the tissues of plants. What concerns me more, would be if a plant with the Bt genes became a common weed, and proceeded to wipe out e.g some rare (or common) kinds of butterflies.

Re:Earth's last words. (1)

thunderclap (972782) | about 9 months ago | (#45507965)

Hey, let's mutate the shit out of our food. What could possibly go wrong?

Zombie apocolypse

Re:Earth's last words. (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 9 months ago | (#45508373)

corn can be eatable, apples can become tasty and juicy, hunger can become a thing of the past in the industrialized world, etc. all cultivated crops are "genetically engineered". you can sit a round and wait for genetic variation to happen because of accidental errors in copying genes. or you can create introduce features into the copying that you want. the former is "cultivation". the latter is genetic engineering. you are an idiot.

No, they're bred. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508609)

If this GMO is the same as the ybridisation and controlled evolution that humans have been doing to their food for thousands of years, then why the fuck are they being patented?

Yours is the same apologetic bullshit that has "Your car is powered by the sun" because the oil comes from plants or animals left underground and their body chemistry was stored energy from the sun.

Monsanto Generated FUD (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507643)

This sounds like an add for Monsanto and FUD against their competitors. Notice how Monsanto's brand name is mentioned, but not those of their competitor's products brand names.

Re:Monsanto Generated FUD (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507975)

I disagree. GM was also mentioned, but they didn't talk about their cars!

anyone who fucks with our food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507681)

should get the death penalty.

Re:anyone who fucks with our food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507811)

So, bees deserve to die?

Re:anyone who fucks with our food (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507953)

So, bees deserve to die?

Already taken care of [beesfree.biz] .

Re:anyone who fucks with our food (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 9 months ago | (#45508333)

seek help. actually, better not. let natural selection take care of you.

Re:anyone who fucks with our food (1)

segedunum (883035) | about 9 months ago | (#45508843)

let natural selection take care of you.

I hope you realise the irony in that statement.

Re:anyone who fucks with our food (1)

PPH (736903) | about 9 months ago | (#45509155)

Its not your food. You didn't want to eat GM crops anyway.

While I'm eating hearty, you can go out and pick through the leftovers of organic crops for whatever the bugs didn't eat.

Hail Soy Beans! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507697)

I, for one, welcome our Soy Overlords

(Don't blame me - I voted for Monsanto)

Has Nothing to do with Opposition to GM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507723)

Has everything to do with opposition to gene patents and contracts governing use of sold seeds.

So these won't be accepted, either. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507801)

So what's the worry?

We don't let irradiated food in the marketplace without labelling for it, and since this is not patentable, it looks to me like this is more about one of two things:

1) A big FUCK YOU to consumers who do not accept patented GMOs
2) An attempt to make up a scary proposition to force people to "accept" GMOs

Neither a real attempt to make a product.

Re:So these won't be accepted, either. (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 9 months ago | (#45508209)

Only the first generation would be irradiated. The point of this seems to be getting around Monsanto's patents and perhaps selling crops in areas where GMOs are banned.

Re:So these won't be accepted, either. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45508805)

Then who selects for the 'right' crops? Do you infest the field with the herbicide that you want your crop to be resistant to and hope for the best? If you get crap yields, you might get hungry / broke pretty fast. These sorts of breeding programs don't necessarily work in a season or two.

Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the money (-1, Flamebait)

gregor-e (136142) | about 9 months ago | (#45507813)

The whole anti-GMO "movement" is funded in large part by the organic food industry. Finding themselves unable to win the race for consumer's hard-earned money by being better than their competition, the organic food industry is trying to win by tripping the other runners. There is essentially no scientific support [realclearscience.com] for anti-GMO propaganda.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507941)

The whole anti-GMO "movement" is funded in large part by the organic food industry. Finding themselves unable to win the race for consumer's hard-earned money by being better than their competition, the organic food industry is trying to win by tripping the other runners. There is essentially no scientific support

Monsanto on the other hand is obviously a grass roots civil movement... If it's science you want, here's some for you Precautionary principle [wikipedia.org] .

If we fuck up things to eat on this planet, it's a rather big deal.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

countach (534280) | about 9 months ago | (#45507951)

The organic industry was ALWAYS marketed as naturalness, not "better" (whatever that means).

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 9 months ago | (#45508133)

'Naturalness', whatever that means too. We've been doing selective breeding on all of our foods for millennia, so I don't consider organic foods to be particularly natural either. Traditional, I'll give them that, but natural? You have to be kidding me.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 9 months ago | (#45508419)

You know, "naturalness," like smallpox, yersinia, polio and Ebola.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

gregor-e (136142) | about 9 months ago | (#45508575)

It's not just selective breeding. Many of the varieties on offer at your local "organic" food stall are the product of radioactive mutation [wikipedia.org] . There's nothing in the standards for designating food "organic" that bars using crops whose DNA has been randomly scrambled by radiation or mutagenic chemicals. So it's no surprise that many of them are [nytimes.com] .

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45508819)

"Natural" is nasty, brutish and short. Not to mention one hell of lot smaller population density than we have there.

Hmm.. Maybe you're on to something.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (2)

dargaud (518470) | about 9 months ago | (#45509005)

"Organic agriculture", or as our grandparents called it: "agriculture".

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 9 months ago | (#45509407)

The organic industry was ALWAYS marketed as naturalness, not "better" (whatever that means).

You must not live in Canada or have visited the EU in the last 5 years or so. They've marketed it as "better" and "healthier" for you, not sure if they still do in the EU, but in Canada they got fined for it.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

gerddie (173963) | about 9 months ago | (#45508053)

The whole anti-GMO "movement" is funded in large part by the organic food industry. Finding themselves unable to win the race for consumer's hard-earned money by being better than their competition, the organic food industry is trying to win by tripping the other runners.

No: it has been found that the yield of GMO crops is not better then that of classical crops [motherjones.com] . Unfortunately, the original article is behind a pay wall [nature.com] .

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

jkflying (2190798) | about 9 months ago | (#45508183)

No, from the very papers you referenced, it has been found that *a single* GMO crop didn't have higher yields than classical crops. You can't extrapolate that to others.

Your generalization is like saying the inline assembler optimizations one programmer performed didn't speed up a program, so inline assembler optimizations can't speed up programs. Which is clearly BS.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

superwiz (655733) | about 9 months ago | (#45508307)

You can't extrapolate that to others.

Of course, he can. And he does. Sure he does it to support an agenda. But cherry picking science is how the anarchists manage to convince everyone that they are on the side of reason. Don't bother arguing actual scientific method with anyone against-GM-crops, pro-AGW, against-fraking, etc. They are not out to establish scientific facts. They are out to justify their own ineptness.

Re:Further proof that anti-GMO is all about the mo (1)

hibiki_r (649814) | about 9 months ago | (#45508253)

So the question is, if a GMO does not provide better yields than a traditional crop, why do farmers purchase them? They are certainly more expensive than the alternatives. With something like Soybeans, you'd be hard pressed to find many field that have non-gmo soybeans in the US.

So if your conclusions hold, either the farmers are complete idiots, or are being controlled by the illuminati.

Why is selling spam still working? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508685)

Nobody answers it and it's bloked to buggery, therefore how is spam still working?

For the same reason as GMOs in the USA do: the farmers are being convinced that it is beneficial.

Thing about confidence limits is that you can try to show a benefit 20 times and even if there's no benefit whatsoever, you can expect to see one false positive in the sample.

So sit on the 19 others and produce the one.

Simples.

Errrrmm (3, Insightful)

countach (534280) | about 9 months ago | (#45507849)

If this is so "natural", they won't be patenting the result.... RIGHT????

The same ignorant peasants (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45507881)

The same ignorant peasants opposing GM that oppose vaccination programs that oppose nuclear power?

every 5 years (3, Interesting)

superwiz (655733) | about 9 months ago | (#45508257)

This needs to mentioned every 5 years since most people don't realize how Europe works. The main political force in the European Union is France. The main political force in France is the french farmers. French take industrial competition to be a state affair. They do so as a matter of fact. The French industry is far behind the US industry as far as genetic engineering. This puts French farmers at a market-place disadvantage. This is the sole driving reason behind all European anti-genetic engineering propaganda. Everything else is excuses. Are there occasional problems with some ge crops? Sure. Just like there are bugs in programs. They get fixed. It's not a disaster. It's a nuisance.

Re:every 5 years (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508647)

That would explain the superiority of American cuisine then.

They are both GM, mutagenesis and transgenesis (1, Informative)

TwineLogic (1679802) | about 9 months ago | (#45508339)

The concerns, legitimate or otherwise, about genetically modified foods such as Monsanto's Round-up Ready soy-beans, may be causing unintended consequences

This is all wrong and mistaken.

The concerns are legitimate. Look into "gliadin" if you do not already know. That was a product of 1976 mutagenesis experiments. People who eat it consume an additional 400 calories every day. It's popular with the food industry and it is why many people are fat.

The unintended consequences are the result of lax anti-GM regulations. Mutagenesis is Genetic Modification (GM). The problem is not that the "backlash" against transgenic Cauliflower Mosaic Virus vectors has pushed people to these crude methods, the problems are multiple and are as follows:

#1. that mutagenesis has ever been legal and has already been used to produce GM food.

#2. that gliadin-enhanced food is legal

#3. that glyphosphate (Roundup) is legal

#4. that glyphosphate-resistant crops are made via Cauliflower Mosaic Virus transgenic infection is legal.

#5. that any person who speaks English would write one word in favor of the hubris of Man and the obscure mutation of nature.

Hail to the misinformed who think agricultural mutagenesis has benefited humanity. You need to re-learn.

Re:They are both GM, mutagenesis and transgenesis (2)

gregor-e (136142) | about 9 months ago | (#45508727)

Dude, you need some medication or something. You seem to think the DNA was writ by the immortal hand of god and is therefore sacrosanct. It ain't. Mutation is natural. DNA is thermodynamically unstable. The mechanisms by which DNA is replicated induces errors. Each of us has a dozen or so mutations to our own DNA. Every organism is constantly undergoing mutation. It is possible, though very tedious, to simply use selective breeding and wait for nature to provide the qualities we seek, whether it is increased shelf-life or Roundup resistance. All that adding radiation or mutagenic chemicals does is speed up the clock to give us these desirable mutations, (along with thousands of useless mutations), faster. All that genetic engineering does is give us the exact changes we want more or less immediately.

Re:They are both GM, mutagenesis and transgenesis (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45508853)

How DARE you insult His Noodliness so! He is Perfect!

You will be riven through his Colander of Might and reduced to bare semolina!

effectively an acceleration of the natural system? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45508367)

No, it isn't. The natural system is mutate-compete-crossbreed-mutate-compete-crossbreed-mutate-compete-crossbreed, not mutate-mutate-mutate-mutate-mutate.

What's next? Telling people who bear misfigured children due to radiation exposure "ooooh, you are so lucky: your child will be like the end product of a million years of evolution!". That's just crap.

Die Monsanto! (1)

Terminus32 (968892) | about 9 months ago | (#45508437)

GM 'food' is destroy our planet and killing the population - no one can justify using them, other than to line Monsanto's pockets and give them control of the world's food supply.

Re:Die Monsanto! (1)

XcepticZP (1331217) | about 9 months ago | (#45508837)

I love reading articles pertaining to GMO. It brings out the anti-GMO nutjobs in droves. Which I then proceed to add as foes, so I can ignore their obvious trolling and idiocy in other articles.

Re:Die Monsanto! (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 9 months ago | (#45508863)

"Killing our population"

(Looks around). Well, they certainly aren't doing a very good job of it, are they?

yum! (1)

jd (1658) | about 9 months ago | (#45509093)

Deadly mutagenesis! Happens naturally all the time. See any number of stories of fungi becoming deadly for no apparent reason.

We use it ourselves, as others have noted.

Actually, "deadly" is just code for a failure of your microbiome to process the organics. If you have crappy microflora, don't blame the UV. Blame your diet. If you have flexible, powerful microbes, you're going to be fine.

Translated: Eat well or die, Earthling scum! (Sorry, channelling my inner Sontaran.)

Monsanto belivers riddle me this (1)

WaffleMonster (969671) | about 9 months ago | (#45509125)

I have two questions for the crowd here and elsewhere who asserts GMOs are safe and haters are just paranoid fools.

1. When you go to the store and buy roundup to kill grass/weeds at your local home depot the label warns of danger of getting any on your skin suggesting you should immediately wash any off.

The only reason to modify crops to be resistant to roundup is so they can be sprayed by accident and not die. However if you do this there is no longer any incentive to keep crops from not being sprayed arbitrarily to save time/money. This means more shit we are eating contains more roundup than it otherwise would within it.

Is this untrue or unfair? Why? Please be specific.

Assuming the above is true how is ingesting food containing roundup any safer for you than getting a little on your hands while weeding the lawn? Is only the home depot purchased roundup harmful for you?

Please I just don't understand the logic... it makes no sense on its face at all. Please tell me how to make it make sense...what am I missing?

2. "GMOs are safe backed by decades of studies" I have never asserted and never will assert all GMOs are unsafe. Not all things that grow "naturally" are safe either. However GMOs are changing all the time and new strains are being constantly produced. How the hell can you just blanket assume all GMOs are safe all strains regardless of the details of each strain and regardless of studies produced before the introduction of subsequent strains?

Radiation resistance (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 9 months ago | (#45509147)

What those crops will evolve is a mostly useless trait: radiation resistance.

WTF (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#45509277)

I am embarrassed that so many people have opinions on this and so few have spent even 10 minutes researching both sides of this subject. I would not be surprised if there wasn't a single person on here is actually a farmer. The fact is that decrying GMO foods is a luxury of those who live in first world countries and have food. This ignorence and the fear caused by it doesn't hurt anyone but the people who need help the most, those without food. The world needs food and it needs better ways of growing that food. Mankind has been actively modifying the genetics of plants since we started cultivating land to grow food. Nature has been doing it for even longer then man. Everything you eat has been genetically modified through selection and breeding. Have you ever seen what the banana looked like before man modified its genetics though selective breeding and cultivation? http://www.bypassfanpages.com/2010/04/what-the-banana-looked-like-before-humans-started-selective-breeding/ [bypassfanpages.com] nature can only get us so far on it's own. That is why we have brains and opposable thumbs, to improve the world around us. If you don't like the way Monsanto does business or creates products then get off your ass and develop an open source alternative to their products. Nobody is stopping anyone from developing a better system or product and sharing it with the world. You could be the worlds hero for solving hunger and be filthy rich. If you are just complaining and not working hard to present a real viable alternative for the whole world then you are wasting oxygen that could be used for people willing to actually do something.
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