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GM Foods in your fridge, in our fields

34 posts in this topic

Folks, below is a link to a movie that matters and everyone should watch and get informed (if you aren't already).

http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/the-world-according-to-monsanto/

Much of Europe is now rejecting GM crops including France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Switzerland, and Ireland to varying degrees. Canada has also banned some GM crops. A number of Local Governments in Japan and the US are declaring themselves GM free.

Unfortunately, here in Australia (and I assume the same goes for most other counties not previously listed) we are largely ignorant about GM crops. For example, who can tell us which GM crops are being grown where? Was there any public debate as to whether we should allow GM crops in your part of the world?

Who can tell what products in our supermarkets contain GM products? Why is there no labeling to state such (have you seen the diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks)?

After you have watched the film "The World According to Monsanto" feel free to download and print out the supermarket GM food guide at.

http://www.truefood.org.au/documents/TFG2010-fullguide.pdf (not sure if all the brands are relevant worldwide).

Hope this gets folks thinking and likewise gets people to take the initial action with their own purchasing power!

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scary stuff...

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This is an interesting area.

I think some of the concern may be way overblown.

That said, there are concerns, and consumers have a right to know what's in their food, and where it comes from, and refusal to make full disclosure is good reason to boycott. If you don't want to eat GM foods, you have the right to be able to make a simple decision on that point.

I recall the Wall Street Journal having a series of fascinating articles about how Monstanto has created GM crops that could stand being sprayed with glyphosate. So, farmers started planting those crops, and spraying the glyph and weeding became an afterthought.

Until, of course, some of the weeds genetically modified themselves to stand the glyphosate too. Now, weeding is fun again. Ah, spring is here, and the pigweed grows as high as an elephant's eye, or T-Rex's thigh. Smell the -- ugh? what?

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

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Like any and every scientific advancement, it can be used responsibly and for the benefit of mankind, while also having the potential for error or evil. But to shut down breakthrough technologies because there is a potential for harm, would have eliminated many of the scientific achievements we enjoy today.

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can i GM my palm trees to make them grow faster,bigger, cold heardy and make fun of pine trees? :blink:

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

Good point. I avoid genetically modified foods but will readily admit processed foods like the one you mention are much worse and there are several that I crave sometimes!

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What I have a real problem with is that these are the same folks that held their hand on their heart and swore black and blue and promised that there chemicals (such as DDT, Agent orange, PCB's, Dioxins etc) were safe! We all know how that turned out. I'm also fundamentally concerned with Monsanto's control of food production. It seems the only thing that matters is profits (story of the world isn't it).

I mean, don't you all think this is getting a bit out of control? Natural selection is one thing... tweaking fruit and vegetable genes with animals genes and pesticides is quite interesting, but quite alarming at the same time (especially when it's just put out there for us to eat with no longitudinal studies undertaken). Just an anecdotal observation to think about - I've been organic for the best part of my life now, and its interesting to see how much my friends (who don't eat organic etc) get sick every year (some lead similar lifestyles, some don't).

Dave - yes, we had that discussion about glyphosate in a previous thread. Nasty stuff.

Kim - that is an interesting way to look at it and a fair call to all those who don't eat properly (the vast majority I believe). Unfortunately, most of those junk foods contain GM products also so it's a double whammy for those consumers!

Dean - this beside the point that I'm trying to make really but I'm glad you are trying to put forth a different view in contrast. I totally dig science (I'm an Civil Engineer) and I fully agree scientific advancement has got us to where we are today, but I'm astounded these products can be introduced into the mainstream without the proper longitudinal testing being undertaking (and to also to mention the unethical ways that Monsanto operates and how they have gone about it all). I could also argue that the world we live in today, without certain scientific advancement could have been a better place. I guess in the end it's not sciences fault, but more so humans and our apparent inferiority complex (Alder was right!).

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My guess would be that the most negative consequences from GM food do not come from eating it, but instead the long term negative impact it might have on the environment by possibly creating super weeds that are capable of competing with a plant that can be drenched in roundup. These weeds could make it impossible to grow non-modified crops and lower the yield of modified ones. Thus, modified crops would lead to even further modified crops to deal with the unintended consequences of the last ones. Anyone that spends enough time in nature understands that it is an incredible self balancing system and rarely does it give up something for nothing in return.

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Is it really much different than using and developing antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and gene therapy? Bacteria and viruses become resistant, and what will manipulating genes in the human body while treating Parkinson's and to repair nerve damage end up doing? But we have seen and believe that the benefits have outweighed the potential dangers - and there have been many things that have gone awry with pharmaceuticals, vaccinations, and genetic manipulation of embryonic and stem cells. But on the whole, modern medicine has been a plus for civilization. Isn't that always that case with most everything in life - weighing the risks vs. the rewards?

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Totally agreed, Dean. It's all about risk assessment.

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Some 80% of all processed foods on store shelves contain some form of corn product. And probably all of that corn is Roundup-ready. And unless you know the seeds your corn came from aren't GMO seeds, then you are eating GMO corn products. Monsanto and the other big ag companies don't think we need to know our food is from GMO seeds. They also don't want farmers to save their seeds and use them. I try very hard not to buy processed food of any kind. I buy only pastured, grass-fed beef, pork, and chicken. I won't buy the new GMO salmon soon to be approved.

We as consumers have a right to know where our food comes from and whether or not it is from GMO seeds.

The biggest problem with GMO seeds is that we are loosing the diversity of our crops. So if soemthing comes along and wipes out all of the GMO crop and we don't have any heirloom (for want of a better word) seed stock then what?

Scary stuff I can tell you.

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Thanks for posting that Bruce. Unfortunately, another he said, she said argument that overlooks the fact that current mass produce farming practise are totally unsustainable as well as not even taking into consideration the actually root cause of these fundamental food issues in these corrupt counties.

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It isn't the new inventions that bother me (and the risks that may come from them), its the sometimes total irresponsible handling of the new product, and the lack of integrity that ensues getting some of these to market. I am talking about deliberate lying, fixing test results etc that companies can and do practice. Unfortunately avarice almost always seems to win over safety. There are times when it doesn't, but that usually happens because someone (government, groups etc) hold their feet to the fire by conducting their own tests.

Intelligence( at the level that we practice) is in such a young stage in evolution. Sometimes I think that we are like kids in a candy store where there isn't an adult around. I wish there was some more caution as to the long term effects of our intelligence. This doesn't mean that I don't enjoy the fruits of our intelligence-but I still get concerned at some of what we do.

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Before GMO crops, ag companies would simply irradiate a batch of seeds to scramble their DNA a bit. They would then take that scrambled seed out, plant it and examine how it coped with environmental and cultural pressures. The best ones would be next year's seed source.

Now ask yourself, was this a better system?

Before irradiation, it took generations, or even hundreds of years of selection to get a new strain of food crops. In today's world, that would equal starvation on a mass scale. So ask yourself which is worse, starvation, irradiated seed with random and unknown consequences, or GMO seed with good food production but some unknown consequences? There are no free rides in this life.

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To answer your question Jerry-I am not sure. Its the end part of your question that concerns me-or gives me pause--"unknown consequences " . Considering we are talking about consequences that might affect the world's food sources, that's a 64k sort of question. In a better world I would start to think about other ways to feed the masses-which would involve each countries politics etc. A lot of corruption and bad or lack of planning in some of these countries that are suffering the most, which is why I said "a better" world.

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Before irradiation, it took generations, or even hundreds of years of selection to get a new strain of food crops. In today's world, that would equal starvation on a mass scale.

Have a look around the world... People are starving already, and it's got nothing to do with getting a hold of 'new strains of food crops', so I'm unsure what you are implying. It's exactly the opposite. Pressure to conform and tow the line from the corporations with mass food production and killing off the small lot farmer is where it's at. Relocalisation is where it needs to begin.

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Try viewing FOOD, INC., there is some interesting presentations in that documentary flick. :bummed:

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My point is that I don't want unknown or dangerous hybridizing between wild or natural plants and GMO plants, but I don't know if it can be avoided. I think original seed stock should be preserved. People are starving today because of political corruption and marginal cropping. It is important to realize that we get a lot more food to the acre than we did 50 or 100 years ago because of GMO crops. Hunger would be much worse without it.

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Before irradiation, it took generations, or even hundreds of years of selection to get a new strain of food crops. In today's world, that would equal starvation on a mass scale.

Have a look around the world... People are starving already, and it's got nothing to do with getting a hold of 'new strains of food crops', so I'm unsure what you are implying.

Edit - Jerry snuck in ahead of me, and didn't need my help. But read on anyway. :)

I think it's clear what Jerry is implying - that starvation and death on a much larger scale would occur without the scientific advances in farming, processing, and distributing food - of which GM is just one. But you are right, the pockets of starvation occurring around the world have nothing to do with what we are discussing. Jerry was referring to the starvation that could occur as a result of a true inability to produce enough food - not because of politics, economics, education, etc.

Have you ever heard of Thomas Malthus, and his theory of Malthusian Catastrophe?

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

In 1798, Thomas Malthus published a lengthy pamphlet criticizing the views of the Utopians who believed that life could and would definitely improve for humans on earth.

Thomas Malthus argued that because of the natural human urge to reproduce human population increases geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, etc.). However, food supply, at most, can only increase arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, etc.). Therefore, since food is an essential component to human life, population growth on the planet, if unchecked, would lead to widespread catastrophic starvation.

But because of scientific achievements in food production, thankfully he was wrong - so far. And life has continued to improve for the 200+ years since his prediction. But stop scientific advancements, and he will eventually be right.

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I think over population is going to be the death of us regardless of how much food we produce. There are other factors that play into the planet's health and ability to sustain a extremely large and demanding population. And it isn't going to be the planet that disappears....

I am also not sure that we can keep up with solving the problems that monocrop farming present.

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I think over population is going to be the death of us regardless of how much food we produce. There are other factors that play into the planet's health and ability to sustain a extremely large and demanding population. And it isn't going to be the planet that disappears....

I am also not sure that we can keep up with solving the problems that monocrop farming present.

For thousands of years there has been no lack of predictions for the end of civilization due to war, disease, over population, etc.

And the same could be said for the end of the world itself. And someday they will all be right. :)

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Agriculture as it is today is not sustainable. The soils where these crops are grown is no longer fertile because of monoculture. It would take years of cover crops and mulching to bring the soil back to where it was. Where a farmer could grow wheat and other crops consistently over the years, he can no longer do that. The seeds and plants require gallons of herbicides and pesticides because the strains created by Monsanto and the other big ag companies are too fragile. A farmer is no longer able to save his seeds but must purchase them from the same big ag company. If he is caught saving his seeds, big ag comes after him. Only a few farmers have sued and won against compies like Monsanto. When a potato farmer won't eat the potatoes he grows for MacDonald's, I don't think I will either.

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

Actually Kim, it is the opposite. Most GM crops are used in processed food, not the fresh stuff you buy in the market. The top four GM crops are corn, soy, rapeseed (Canola), and Cottonseed, all the staples of the processed food industry. Of course there are others, but these four are the bulk of the exposure.

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

Actually Kim, it is the opposite. Most GM crops are used in processed food, not the fresh stuff you buy in the market. The top four GM crops are corn, soy, rapeseed (Canola), and Cottonseed, all the staples of the processed food industry. Of course there are others, but these four are the bulk of the exposure.

I'm sure you are correct, Keith, my response was to the word "refrigerator" and I was thinking of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Anyone eating any kind of processed food is getting GM corn overload. One more good reason to eat unprocessed foods. I like to eat such things as tomatoes, spinach, fish, and apples, but who knows what the cows ate from whence my Greek yogurt is made. And yes, I ate some of those candy conversation hearts this month, so I'm polluted like everyone else, but a bit less than average, I hope. :)

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

Actually Kim, it is the opposite. Most GM crops are used in processed food, not the fresh stuff you buy in the market. The top four GM crops are corn, soy, rapeseed (Canola), and Cottonseed, all the staples of the processed food industry. Of course there are others, but these four are the bulk of the exposure.

I'm sure you are correct, Keith, my response was to the word "refrigerator" and I was thinking of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Anyone eating any kind of processed food is getting GM corn overload. One more good reason to eat unprocessed foods. I like to eat such things as tomatoes, spinach, fish, and apples, but who knows what the cows ate from whence my Greek yogurt is made. And yes, I ate some of those candy conversation hearts this month, so I'm polluted like everyone else, but a bit less than average, I hope. :)

That's why I only keep beer in the fridge and vodka in the freezer.

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Well, if you are eating genetically modified foods, at least you are eating fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains, instead of Pringles, Pop Tarts, and fast food. :rolleyes::innocent:

Actually Kim, it is the opposite. Most GM crops are used in processed food, not the fresh stuff you buy in the market. The top four GM crops are corn, soy, rapeseed (Canola), and Cottonseed, all the staples of the processed food industry. Of course there are others, but these four are the bulk of the exposure.

I'm sure you are correct, Keith, my response was to the word "refrigerator" and I was thinking of fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Anyone eating any kind of processed food is getting GM corn overload. One more good reason to eat unprocessed foods. I like to eat such things as tomatoes, spinach, fish, and apples, but who knows what the cows ate from whence my Greek yogurt is made. And yes, I ate some of those candy conversation hearts this month, so I'm polluted like everyone else, but a bit less than average, I hope. :)

Kim,

I found a local farmer who sells raw milk "for pet consumption only". I make butter, yogurt, cream, and cheese from it. Easy and so much better. She has heritage breed cows and they are pastured. I also use the whey to make pickles, kimchee, and all sorts of fermented foods. So much better than what you buy in the store.

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Kurt, we are GM free over here, surprising to hear it's not a major political issue for you guys. No nuclear material either thank goodness.

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Another good thing about New Zealand! Definitely on my bucket list of places to visit before I die. I hear you all have very strict immigration policies as well. Weight limits, enough money to live, healthy - any of this true?

As to the subject of this thread, I avoid processed foods - even though my husband loves them! Once in a while I will buy a bag of chips for him. I make potato chips instead. They are better for him and taste better. But for us to really know what's in our food, we need to demand clear labeling and learn an ancient skill - cooking from scratch using real food. Real food - something your great-grandmother would recognize as food. Cook what is in season locally if possible. No mangos in December - freeze some when they were in season.

Clear, easy to read labeling - the cereal Honey Bunches of Oats lists corn as the first ingredient. And I think some kind of sugar is the second. Where are the "Oats"?

Canning and preserving are staging a comeback. The only way things will change is through our spending habits. I am getting a spot in my garden ready for a kitchen garden. I will start small - 10X10 - and move up from there. I already grow my herbs, including some edible flowers. Nasturtiums have a wonderful, peppery flavor. And when I retire, I will grow even more.

Monoculture is not sustainable. Modern agriculture is not sustainable. The only way we can increase the yield per acre using today's methods is by applying more fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides. That is not the kind of produce I want.

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Actually, it is a surprise, that this was published. Heinemann is a known Anti-GMO biased researcher. His papers supporting your article have already been panned. Furthermore, this link to myscienceacademy.org is written more like a propagandized scare advertisement than a legitimate piece of science reporting.

GMO's are safe, and everybody hates Monsanto. If you want to change things, get the legal system where you live to disallow patents on naturally occurring gene sequences. As soon as they can't make money for patenting this stuff, you'll see GMO's that only improve the quality of the food and not just put a DNA-trademark on a product.

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Actually, it is a surprise, that this was published. Heinemann is a known Anti-GMO biased researcher. His papers supporting your article have already been panned. Furthermore, this link to myscienceacademy.org is written more like a propagandized scare advertisement than a legitimate piece of science reporting.

GMO's are safe, and everybody hates Monsanto. If you want to change things, get the legal system where you live to disallow patents on naturally occurring gene sequences. As soon as they can't make money for patenting this stuff, you'll see GMO's that only improve the quality of the food and not just put a DNA-trademark on a product.

It's interesting to note how much attention one fringe article can garner while the many successes of GMOs like higher crop yields, nutritional improvements, and resistance to pathogens that have threatened to wipe out whole industries are rarely, if ever promoted. Like all things in science, the potential good must be weighed against the potential bad. And the promise that gene modification in medicine and agriculture offers for the benefit of mankind cannot be denied.

Are there potential dangers? Sure. But there has never been a scientific advancement that didn't present some hazards - along with creating a cadre of dedicated naysayers to point them out.

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Playing with fire if you ask me, which you didn't ! Human beings are so arrogant thinking they can mess with nature and have any comprehension of the possible ramifications. Who'd have thought intensively farmed chicken could be a contributor to the mental illness explosion? And as for holding up Western agribusiness as a shining light of scientific advancement.....

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