×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ChromeAeonium Re:Just for fun (351 comments)

We don't really understand what it does to the ecosystem when we introduce new traits at that speed and effectiveness.

Thing is, a lot of crops don't really work that way. Yes, it happens in some cases at low levels depending on the location and the species, but ask yourself, when was the last time you saw a population of feral corn just growing out in the wild? How much ecological risk is there in something that doesn't exist naturally in an area by adding an additional gene that really doesn't improve wild fitness? I can't prove that an ecological problem won't happen, but I can say that it does look very unlikely that genetic engineering is intrinsically prone to such things. It's complicated, but I feel that the fear is vastly overstating the actual risk.

3 days ago
top

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ChromeAeonium Re:So what's the point? (351 comments)

such as reduction in crop diversity,

Note even remotely how things work. Diversity is genetic sum of what you grow. Genetic engineering is a way of improving crops. They're not at all the same thing. What you are saying is like saying that spinning rims on cars are bad because it reduces the number of car models. It doesn't make any sense at all.

or unintended consequences

Oh like what? If you have evidence that there is some intrinsic deleterious effect of GE crops, show it. Otherwise, what you are doing is vacuous speculation. I could just as easily speculate on the 'unintended consequences' of vaccines, wifi, water fluoridation, or anything else I fell like opposing today, and it would be just as meaningless.

So "the point" is clear: to use labels to introduce non-health related message to consumners.

I call that deceiving people to advance an unscientific agenda.

3 days ago
top

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ChromeAeonium Re:Damn Meant to include this (351 comments)

Not quite. The insecticide in question is the Bt toxin. It has a very specific mode of action, affecting only coleopteran and lepidopteran insects, like European corn borer and cotton boll worm, and of course its only going to significantly affect the things that are actually eating the corn. Contrast that to insecticide sprays, and you get benefits in terms of field level insect biodiversity.

3 days ago
top

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ChromeAeonium Re:not honest (351 comments)

It can never be "pro-science" for information to be withheld from consumers.

Evolution is just a theory. I demand it be labeled on textbooks.

A study once found a link between vaccines and autism. I demand that parents be informed prior to vaccinating their kids.

Is either of those anti-science? If so, why? I'm just giving people information.

Thing is, a fact taken out of context and presented to those without the basic background information is deceptive. You want to lie to the public to force your anti-science agenda.

"Does somebody own the intellectual property on the corn in this cereal?"

Implying that GMO=patent and non-GMO-no patent. This is not the case. If you were well informed about the thing you wish to regulate,you'd already know that, and wouldn't be insinuating a falsehood. This is the problem here. Maybe the regulation of scientific matters should be left to those of us who actually understand the topic, and not put to popular vote of those who don't actually know the issue.

3 days ago
top

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

ChromeAeonium Re:not honest (351 comments)

Oh, the corporate conspiracy card, that didn't take long. My university has often been accused of being part of that conspiracy. We're not, and it is an easily verifiable matter of public record, but the lovely thing about a conspiracy is that everything that disproves it is just part of the conspiracy. It's great for when you want to make wild claims with bugger all to back them.

3 days ago
top

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

ChromeAeonium Re:They want us all to be dependent on them (130 comments)

I'd say its more like those who trust science and those who think science is a corporate conspiracy (see anti-vaxxers for reference). Just because a corporation uses something does not make that thing corporate in nature. Companies that sell GPS devices use relativity, but no one would ever bring up those companies in a physics discussion, unlike when the topic of genetic engineering and the related manufactroversy comes up.

5 days ago
top

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

ChromeAeonium Re:Quick history lesson (130 comments)

Yes, accusing researchers of all being in a plot to make money. I've never heard anyone do that before. By the way, did you know that vaccination and climate change are also plots to make money?

about a week ago
top

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

ChromeAeonium Re:They want us all to be dependent on them (130 comments)

People will say GE crops are bad if they can cross pollinate, bad if they can survive in the wild, bad if they can't cross pollinate, and bad if they can't survive on their own. Yay double standards.

about a week ago
top

New Advance Confines GMOs To the Lab Instead of Living In the Wild

ChromeAeonium Re:Lest we Forget.. (130 comments)

Except you're wrong. That was not protecting Monsanto, it was protecting farmers from having to destroy their crops (conditional on regulatory approval) in the event a lawsuit challenged the deregulation of an already planted crop, as happened in the case of glyphosate resistant sugar beets. Of course, the GMO denialists, for whom everything is about the Monsanto conspiracy, decided to give that a clever and misleading name, Monsanto Protection Act, because they know bugger about the agricultural issues it centered around. But I'm sure Monsanto is so big and bad that lying to make you're wrong point is totally justified.

about a week ago
top

Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

ChromeAeonium Re:...and... (381 comments)

Another potential issue is horizontal gene transfer, that is the ability for genes to be transfered to other species.

Which has absolutely nothing to do with genetic engineering. HGT happens, indeed it does, it's how we get things like pea aphids with fungus genes and sea slugs with algae genes, but it happens at an extremely small rate, and there is nothing particularly exceptional about a transgene that makes is any more or less to be transferred in such manner. That is a completely nonsensical line of thought that somehow HGT implies we should not use genetically engineered crops.

In practice, that means that some of those pesticide resistant genes may eventually end up in plants that are supposed to be killed by pesticides.

In theory, yes, it is possible that an herbicide resistance gene could jump to a weed species. In practice, that's not really a concern. The selection of herbicide resistant weed mutants is a very real and very serious problem, but that is a problem older than genetic engineering, does not occur via horizontal gene transfer, is not a problem intrinstic to GE crops but rather is due to poor resistance management strategies and over reliance (which is not the same as over use) on one mode of action of herbicide, and let me remind you, it is a problem because it threatens the benefits that those herbicide resistant crops already provide. Anti-GMO groups would have you believe that herbicide resistant crops are without benefit while simultaneously saying that herbicide resistant weeds which lessen the benefits of herbicide tolerant GMOs are these world ending 'superweeds'. In other words, they're bad because they have no benefits at all and they're bad because their benefits are diminishing. Talk about having your cake and eating it too.

about three weeks ago
top

Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

ChromeAeonium Re:...and... (381 comments)

Mixing GMOs with water fluaridation and vaccination hysteria shows you have no idea what the problems is about GMOs.

Plant scientist here. It absolutely is.

The main objection to GMOs isn't that they kill humans directly.

You're lying, You're not just ignorant, you're actively lying right now. Google the term 'GMO' and you will find tons of such claims very quickly. Hell, Jeffery Smith, one of the most notable anti-GMO activists, claims that GMOs promote AIDS. Acting as if the opposition is not claiming all sorts of bogus health scares is patently deceptive.

The IP problems surounding GMOs should be enough for slashdot types to reject them.

What IP problems? The fact that they receive a patent for a certain amount of years? You know, exactly like conventionally bred crops which have no such controversy. Yes, plenty of conventionally bred crops are patented so I guess you oppose conventional breeding too, otherwise you are being pretty selective in your logic. Patents that expire, like Monsanto's first GE soybean patent does in a few months? Or are you referring to the often claimed but completely false myth that Monsanto goes around suing small farmers if they get cross pollinated by GE pollen? Because if so, you don't have a leg to stand on. So tell me, what exactly is wrong with the IP issues surrounding GE crops, and what is your proposed fair alternative?

Also most GMOs are simply more resistent to pesticides. So more GMOs => more poison in food production.

This right here is my big problem with the anti-GMO thing. You drop people who know bugger all about agriculture into a topic they don't understand and you get these sorts of misconceptions. Yes, some GE crops are resistant to certain herbicides (the other main type which you conveniently neglected to mention is insect resistant ones which require less insecticides). Sounds bad, I agree, but only because you have been dropped in the middle of a story you haven't been following from the beginning. Okay, you use more of one type of herbicide, like glyphosate or glufosinate, but you can use better weed management practices (like no till farming, which conserves soil nutrients and reduces runoff problems) and you use less of harsher herbicides like atrazine. I'd call that a win. Do you have abetter weed management solution?

Another argument is, that GMOs have genes inserted that no plant ever could acquire naturally. So we simply have no idea what in the long term will happen with these GMO strains. Most probably nothing, but when the entire food production is at stake, I would be carful.

An appeal to nature followed by an appeal to ignorance. I hope that's all I need to say about that. You could just as easily make the same claim about vaccines, wifi, fluoride, or damn near anything, and be just as wrong and for the same reasons. Also, you neglect to mention the very careful regulations these things already go through. How about you provide a good reason to suspect GE crops of being potentially intrinsically dangerous, rather than just saying that because I can't all-knowingly prove a negative that your point therefore has merit.

I hope I've demonstrated why the anti-GMO nonsense is exactly like the anti-vaccine nonsense.

about three weeks ago
top

Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

ChromeAeonium Re:...and... (381 comments)

Agreed, but self-reporting research by Merck and Pfizer isn't science.

The corporate conspiracy card doesn't make sense when anti-vaxxers use it, and it doesn't hold water here either. There is plenty of evidence demonstrating the safety and benefits of genetically engineered crops which have been published by independent sources. That the GMO denialists choose to ignore that or act as if big bad Monsanto somehow controls every single thing that goes against their ideology is their own self-made problem.

about three weeks ago
top

Happy Public Domain Day: Works That Copyright Extension Stole From Us In 2015

ChromeAeonium Re:And that's still too long (328 comments)

You shouldn't make assumptions. I work in plant breeding, an area where patents are very controversial, with an active anti-agriculture movement who often claims that there should be no patents on the plants people like me work hard to develop, and that people like me should work for free or not at all. I've got some nifty new things right now I hope get patented in due time. I've dealt with real anti-IP sentiment, I've defended patents and copyright in general at length, and I fully agree that those who say there should be no IP of any kind are just looking to get stuff, and are deluding themselves when they say everyone can simply stop paying for movies, games, programs, ect. and the creaters will still, somehow, get a return on their creative investment.

But that's not that this is about. The copyright system as it stands now is broken, and badly. I fully realize that creators should get control of their works for a time, but this 70 years after you die stuff...how is copyright on the works of someone who has been dead for half a century fostering the arts? I get that if someone dies their next of kin should be supported and all, I'm certainty not saying IP should be automatically terminated at death, but lets face it, that's not what's going on here is it?

about a month ago
top

Happy Public Domain Day: Works That Copyright Extension Stole From Us In 2015

ChromeAeonium And that's still too long (328 comments)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman? Try the Lion King and Pulp Fiction. Works from 1994 should be in public domain. Twenty years sounds fair to me. Intellectual property is supposed to protect works, giving an ability and incentive to produce new works, not act as a perpetual revenue stream for whatever entity owns the rights to older books, music, games, and film. This life of the universe plus a month nonsense is completely counter to what IP should be.

about a month ago
top

Chinese Government Moves To Crack Down On Puns

ChromeAeonium Re:Well, Grass Mud Horse to them! (156 comments)

Could be that's why they're doing this, so that the next time someone starts talking about River Crabs they can more easily do something about it, though if so I'm not sure what's stopping them already.

about 2 months ago
top

How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

ChromeAeonium Re: SO (377 comments)

Haste can only lead to trouble.

Says the one who isn't hungry.

about 2 months ago
top

How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

ChromeAeonium Re:So, does water cost more? (377 comments)

I don't think you know what I mean when I say hybrid. I mean the offspring of two separate, inbred lines. Sure, wheat for instance is a hybrid between species, but modern day corn lines are hybrids of a different sort, between lines. Seed doesn't go bad after a year (most species anyway) but if you have a variety of genotype AB, and it produces pollen with either the A or B gene and eggs with either the A or B gene, a simple Punnett square will show you the offspring will be either AA or AB or BB, and in a 1:2:1 ratio. If AB is the best, that's a problem for you now that half your seed is no longer of that genotype, and if that same thing is happening in many traits, then its a real bugger.

Heterosis and the genetics behind it are what they are and they favor hybrid seed, with annual repurchasing. This isn't Big Ag mantra, it is a simple fact of genetics.

about 2 months ago
top

How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

ChromeAeonium Re:Nope (377 comments)

So far it looks just like the same "Red Queen's Race" evolution has always provided.

Yes, that exactly. The Union of Concerned Scientists is, as usual, misleading. When we see hessian flies overcome conventionally bred resistances in wheat, where are the cries of superpest? When we see phytophthora overcome conventionally bred resistances in tomato, where are the activists saying that conventional breeding is flawed? Nowhere, and rightfully so, because saying that biotic factors can adapt, and therefore you should do nothing against them, is completely mind bogglingly daft. It's called resistance breakdown, it happens, its been around a lot longer than GMOs have, and as for herbicide tolerant weeds, the first of those showed up decades prior to the introduction of GE crops. And yet, when this very same thing occurs and GMOs are involved, suddenly all there are cries of superpest and superweed (horribly misleading terms) and people saying that basic facts of agriculture prove it worthless.

What I like most is how they try to have their cake and eat it too. GMOs have no benefits, but simultaneously, pests and weeds might adapt and take those benefits away. And the thing is, unless you actually know what you're looking at (which describes most people who work outside of agriculture), the cognitive dissonance is easy to miss and the whole thing sounds pretty convincing, but if you do understand, it is frustratingly biased.

about 3 months ago
top

How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

ChromeAeonium Re:Lol (377 comments)

They're not. They're GMO denialists who recently made misleading claims about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation work in Africa. If you want a legitimate genetic resources organization, you want Biodiversity International. These guys are just professional activists who, rather than doing something worthwhile, are just looking for something to leech off.

about 3 months ago
top

How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

ChromeAeonium Re:Insert free advert for GMO crops .. (377 comments)

not that the seeds get any weaker.

Imagine you have a crop with genetype AB. It produces pollen (male gametes) with gene A, and with gene B. It produces eggs (female gametes) of A and B as well. The means you get a 1:2:1 ration of AA:AB:BB in the progeny. Say you only want AB, as it is the best, and now imagine this same thing is happening is a dozen traits. Do you see why seed saving of hybrids is problematic?

Through over use, weeds are developing resistance to these chemicals, meaning that more of it has to be used.

And this is a problem because it threatens to diminish just how useful those crops are, and it highlights the need for resistances to multiple modes of action of herbicide to mitigate the development or resistant weeds.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

University of Arkansas releases first Round Up ready soybean

ChromeAeonium ChromeAeonium writes  |  about a month ago

ChromeAeonium (1026952) writes "The University of Arkansas will be releasing their first soybean with the transgenic trait for tolerance to the herbicide glyphosate, commonly sold under the trade name Roundup. Originally developed by Monsanto, the patent on the popular glyphosate tolerant soybean expires in March 2015, allowing anyone to grow or breed the genetically engineered soybeans. This isn't the first time a popular crop variety went off patent; the patent on the Honeycrisp apple expired in 2008. As the patent on glyphosate expired in 2000, the both parts of the system will soon be off patent."
Link to Original Source
top

Publicly funded GMO research facing destruction

ChromeAeonium ChromeAeonium writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ChromeAeonium (1026952) writes "Shortly after the events in Rothamsted Research in the UK, where a publicly funded trial of wheat genetically engineered to repel aphids was threatened by activists with destruction and required police protection, another publicly funded experiment involving genetically engineered crops faces possible destruction (original in Italian). The trial, which is being conducted by researchers at the University of Tuscia in Italy on cherries, olives, and kiwis genetically engineered to have traits such as fungal disease resistance, started three decades ago. When field research of GE plants was banned in Italy in 2002, the trial received an extension to avoid being declared illegal, but was denied another in 2008, and following a complaint from the Genetic Rights Foundation, now faces destruction on June 12th, despite appeals from scientists. The researchers claim that the destruction is scientifically unjustifiable (only the male kiwis produce transgenic pollen and their flowers are removed) and wish to gather more information from the long running experiment."
Link to Original Source
top

New study confirms safety of GE crops

ChromeAeonium ChromeAeonium writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ChromeAeonium (1026952) writes "Much like vaccines and evolution, there exists a great disparity between the scientific consensus and the public perceptions of the safety of genetically engineered crops. A previous study from France, which was later dismissed by the EFSA, FSANZ, and the French High Council of Biotechnologies, claiming to have found abnormalities in the organs of animals fed GE diets by analyzing three previous studies was discussed on Slashdot. However, now a new study, also out of France, claims the opposite is true, that GE crops are unlikely to pose health risks (translation). Looking at 24 long term and multi-generational studies on insect resistant and herbicide tolerant plants, the study states, 'The studies reviewed present evidence to show that GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.' Although it is impossible to prove a negative, and while every GE crop must be individually evaluated as genetic engineering is a process not a product, perhaps this study will help to ease the fears of genetically engineered food and foster a more scientific discussion on the role of agricultural biotechnology."
Link to Original Source
top

Greenpeace destroys CSIRO scientific GMO trial

ChromeAeonium ChromeAeonium writes  |  more than 3 years ago

ChromeAeonium (1026952) writes "Greenpeace activists wearing theatrical hazmat suits have destroyed a test field of genetically modified wheat run by Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) that represented a year's worth of work and $300,000. The wheat, which was designed to benefit consumers by having a lower glycemic index and higher fiber content, was accused of being unsafe by Greenpeace (although it was noticed they say the same thing about other GM crops), however experts dismissed these claims, saying that the risk was negligible and noting that such tests are how safety is ultimately judged, that Greenpeace breached containment protocol in their attack, and calling Greenpeace anti-science. Greenpeace was also accused of hypocrisy for demanding action based on climate change consensus while denying scientific consensus on genetic engineering. Taking a page out of Jenny McCarthy's book, one of the vandals claims to be have done it for her children, despite the safety record of genetic engineering. This was just one in a series of recent attacks on agricultural science, following an attack on government funded GM potatoes in Germany and before possible eco-terrorism hit papaya farmers in Hawaii, spreading fear throughout the farmers there. Given the attacks against GM potatoes earlier this year, and on GM grapes before that (both government funded), it looks like freedom of inquiry in agricultural research is increasingly limited to whatever won't get destroyed."
Link to Original Source

Journals

ChromeAeonium has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?