View Full Version : "You GM? We GM too!" says weed, defiantly
07-02-2003, 08:47 AM
Herbicide-Resistant 'Superweeds' Signal GM Crop Setback (http://www.rense.com/general38/beh.htm)
As if this SHOULD come as a surprise to anyone. Except of course those members of the corporate research community who are enamoured of their godlike abilities to generate profit in the laboratory.
I am so tired of superficial quick fixes being flogged as the next miracle until -- oops! turns out we didn't understand things fully after all. Again. :mad:
07-02-2003, 08:52 AM
Ummm, is GM genetically modified? Here in Detroit, GM is General Motors. :rolleyes:
07-02-2003, 09:04 AM
I'm with you, CompassRose. Of course this would happen! Why do these agribusiness companies always seem to think only in the short term?
07-02-2003, 09:52 AM
I think the issue of GM crops is really quite complicated. I'm not an expert on this topic, but I would say that it is hard to discount entirely all GM crops. People often object to them out of fear that somehow applying genetics to agriculture is dangerous and will result in some direct harm from eating the crops. Fundamentally speaking, people have been selecting for different traits in plants over thousands of years, such that the crops we have now scarcely resemble their wild ancestors. This has not been an entirely bad process, because often more nutritious and convenient variants were selected. Depending on how the crops are "modified", it could be just a sped-up version of what has been happening for years. In particular, making crops that have more nutrients could be immensely helpful, particularly where food is scarce. It is hard for me to see how most of these crops could be harmful to one's health, especially if tested. HOWEVER, it seems today with the large companies running the food industry, the principal concerns are for such factors as tolerance for long distance shipping, which is not necessarily correlated with increased nutrition, and disease and pest resistance, which as the quoted article pointed out, is an issue of great concern. I think that the HUGE issue here, scientifically speaking, is not direct health effects on humans, but the effect on the surrounding ecosystem, since the introduction of something new could wreak havoc on the plants and animals already there. It may be that some GM crops will not have adverse effects on their surrounding environment, but there have been many examples of people introducing NON-GM flora and fauna into non-endemic environments and really bad things happening as a result! Witness the cane toad in Australia, for example. There would need to be extensive testing to make sure that there would be no problems in this respect, and I am guessing that this would have to be taken on a case by case basis. In addition, in the situation with African countries who need food aid but reject US GM crops--even if there is no harm, the problem is that Europe will not buy GM crops from them and once they establish GM crops, it will be hard to go back. This is an economic and political issue, not a scientific one, although at the root is the European rejection of GM crops, which is at least somewhat related to scientific issues. I don't know, it seems to me that a wholesale rejection is unreasonable, but a wholesale embrace without examination, accompanied by attempts to bully others into accepting GM crops and placing an economic stronghold on the poor (I heard that some GM crops are engineered such that farmers would have to repeatedly buy seed from the US rather than collect seed from year to year from their own crop) is possibly worse.
07-24-2003, 03:23 PM
Just a little update on GM news...
07-24-2003, 03:39 PM
Thank you for that link, cindyluwho. While far from conclusive, it definitely is food for thought. I particularly like this pragmatic statement: "We cannot generalise about GM crops - the risks and benefits depend on the genes you put in," says Mark Tester, a plant scientist at Cambridge University."
This issue needs SO much more examination, and while Europeans may be overly fearful of GMOs, I think that it's equally wrong for Americans to be as UN-informed as we are. I'll bet that this report gets zero coverage on any American news.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.2.0 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.