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U.S. Approves Genetically Modified Alfalfa


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#1    rashore

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Posted 31 January 2012 - 09:23 PM

www.nytimes.com said:

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday that he would authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of genetically modified alfalfa, setting aside a controversial compromise that had generated stiff opposition.

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This makes me sad... Sometimes we don't truly understand the impact of things we do till it is too late to do anything about it.


#2    DKO

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 11:58 AM

I dont see the problem, especially when they say that its mostly for horse feed and that the vast majority of corn, soybeans and cotton are already genetically engineered.

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#3    rashore

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 03:45 PM

Well... Corn, cotton, and soybeans are self contained GMO's to a greater extent. Not perfectly contained, but better contained. Not much wild corn, cotton, or soybeans grow randomly. So the possibly of spread is far lesser.
The problem with alfalfa is that the bees can carry the GMO pollen to non-GMO plants, and the resulting offspring will have GMO traits. So it's easier for the GMO traits to get into fields where the traits are not wanted. There is wild alfalfa that grows all over, and so the GMO traits can be more easily spread.


#4    Bavarian Raven

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Posted 01 February 2012 - 09:32 PM

dont you mean "monsanto" approves genetically modified alfalfa  :rolleyes:


#5    DKO

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Posted 02 February 2012 - 12:38 PM

Good point rashore. The main problem ive heard with cross pollinisation between GE and non-GE crops is that the GE crops are designed to only seed with brand specific fertiliser and insecticides. The GE alfalfa here is made to be resistant to herbicide and since most wild alfalfa usually wouldnt come into contact with herbicide it shouldnt be that much of a problem in my opinion.

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#6    rashore

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 03:55 PM

A bit of an update about Monsanto... NY Times article.
OSGATA v. Monsanto

Looks like at this time there is already a drift problem with modified seed and organic. Some organic farmers are facing having to stop growing because of Monsanto product drift into their fields. So now they are suing- to protect themselves. They want to protect themselves from possible Monsanto lawsuits because of their fields getting infected with Monsanto products. Monsanto does not want to give up their potential capability to sue the organic farmers if their fields get infected with Monsanto product.


#7    Doug1o29

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Posted 11 February 2012 - 06:52 PM

View Postrashore, on 31 January 2012 - 09:23 PM, said:

This makes me sad... Sometimes we don't truly understand the impact of things we do till it is too late to do anything about it.
While you are absolutely right, there are some mitigating circumstances.

Until we can get a handle on our over-population problem, we have increasing numbers of people to feed.  We need GE crops and synthetic fertilizers to do that.

Unfortunately, genetic drift can contaminate non-GE crops.  Rather than try to turn the whole world into an agricultural museum, we need to grow non-GE crops in protected areas, leaving the rest of our land open for GE crops and synthetic fertilizers.

Organic farms are not nearly as environmentally sound as their advertising says.  In order to create the productivity in their fields, they take natural materials from other locations, depleting those areas.  It doesn't take a genius to see that this can only be carried so far.

So how do we get a handle on our population problem?  Buckminster Fuller observed that population growth shrinks as industrialization increases.  The mechanism for this seems to be empowerment of women - given a choice, most women would choose to have fewer babies.  The economic benefits of industrialization provide that empowerment.  Population control and environmental protection are thus heavily-affected by how well women are doing.

In order to reduce development in the long run, we may have to increase it in the short run.
Doug

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#8    Leonardo

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 11:33 AM

View PostDoug1o29, on 11 February 2012 - 06:52 PM, said:

While you are absolutely right, there are some mitigating circumstances.

Until we can get a handle on our over-population problem, we have increasing numbers of people to feed.  We need GE crops and synthetic fertilizers to do that.

Unfortunately, genetic drift can contaminate non-GE crops.  Rather than try to turn the whole world into an agricultural museum, we need to grow non-GE crops in protected areas, leaving the rest of our land open for GE crops and synthetic fertilizers.

Organic farms are not nearly as environmentally sound as their advertising says.  In order to create the productivity in their fields, they take natural materials from other locations, depleting those areas.  It doesn't take a genius to see that this can only be carried so far.

So how do we get a handle on our population problem?  Buckminster Fuller observed that population growth shrinks as industrialization increases.  The mechanism for this seems to be empowerment of women - given a choice, most women would choose to have fewer babies.  The economic benefits of industrialization provide that empowerment.  Population control and environmental protection are thus heavily-affected by how well women are doing.

In order to reduce development in the long run, we may have to increase it in the short run.
Doug

Not entirely true, Doug.

The main issue with a burgeoning population (esp. over a wide geographic area) is not food production, but food distribution. This issue is obviously unaffected by GM crops.

My main objection to GM crops is the contamination of non-GM crops. One possible example - Monsanto modify their crops to only produce when fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers. Obviously, this means there is a strong potential for contaminated crops to fail unless they also are fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers.

Unless Monsanto will be required by law to provide this fertiliser free of charge to those farmers with contaminated crops, all that will happen is Monsanto assume a greater and greater monopoly over the production of vital foodstuffs.

Edited by Leonardo, 12 February 2012 - 11:33 AM.

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#9    Doug1o29

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Posted 12 February 2012 - 08:07 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 12 February 2012 - 11:33 AM, said:

Not entirely true, Doug.

The main issue with a burgeoning population (esp. over a wide geographic area) is not food production, but food distribution. This issue is obviously unaffected by GM crops.

My main objection to GM crops is the contamination of non-GM crops. One possible example - Monsanto modify their crops to only produce when fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers. Obviously, this means there is a strong potential for contaminated crops to fail unless they also are fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers.

Unless Monsanto will be required by law to provide this fertiliser free of charge to those farmers with contaminated crops, all that will happen is Monsanto assume a greater and greater monopoly over the production of vital foodstuffs.
I see your points.  You forgot to mention war as a major cause of starvation.

Monsanto's actions are unethical.  Providing fertilizers free-of-charge would be a fitting punishment.

I believe in capitalism, but some of these big corporations (monopolies) are making a good case for socialism.
Doug

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#10    Leonardo

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Posted 13 February 2012 - 04:01 PM

View PostDoug1o29, on 12 February 2012 - 08:07 PM, said:

I see your points.  You forgot to mention war as a major cause of starvation.

Monsanto's actions are unethical.  Providing fertilizers free-of-charge would be a fitting punishment.

I believe in capitalism, but some of these big corporations (monopolies) are making a good case for socialism.
Doug

While such a punishment for GM producers (such as Monsanto) might alleviate concerns with farmed produce, it does nothing to address the situation with wild plants - upon which many animals might depend.

Wild alfalfa could possible go extinct in large regions because it can't seed (assuming cross-pollination with GM alfalfa) without the GM company's fertiliser. This could have serious repercussions down the food chain.

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#11    Doug1o29

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 03:57 PM

View PostLeonardo, on 13 February 2012 - 04:01 PM, said:

Wild alfalfa could possible go extinct in large regions because it can't seed (assuming cross-pollination with GM alfalfa) without the GM company's fertiliser. This could have serious repercussions down the food chain.
If what you are saying is true, Monsanto's GM alfalfa cannot reproduce effectively in the wild.  For seed failure to occur, there would have to be massive cross-fertilization from a nearby field so that nearly all available wild plants were fertilized by GM plants, shutting out wild pollen.  The nearest alfalfa plant to a wild alfalfa plant would usually be another wild alfalfa, giving it an advantage in pollination.

I suppose that such competition might be enough to push an endangered species over the edge, but there are a lot of things that aren't being considered here.

Another consideration:  not all alfalfa varieties are on the same pollenation schedule.  Monsanto's variety is only going to be a threat to varieties/species that are on the same schedule.

All it takes to maintain a field in alfalfa is to reseed the failed spots every few years.  This doesn't take a lot of seed and the crop that is being maintained can provide the seed.
Doug

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#12    Neognosis

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Posted 14 February 2012 - 04:58 PM

Quote

One possible example - Monsanto modify their crops to only produce when fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers. Obviously, this means there is a strong potential for contaminated crops to fail unless they also are fertilised with Monsanto fertilisers.

Can you explain how crops become "contaminated" if the Monsanto crops only reproduce when fertilized with Monsanto fertilizers?

What is in a Monsanto fertilizer that is not found naturally, so that Monsanto crops only produce when they get this Monsanto fertilizer?


#13    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:09 AM

http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=23503
A very interesting read.
And dozens of things are gmo now.
90% of all corn,all soy .
Bill Gates ,WHO,and monSATANo ,all want us to eat GMOs,but they sure as hell don't eat them.
Conneticut is looking like the first state that will require labeling of GMOs.94% of all Americans,are in favor of labeling GMOs,so why is it an issue ?
Oh yeah,no one will buy it and eat it,ERGO it will fail,and they will lose billions.
Too bad,so sad.

http://globalresearc...xt=va&aid=23503
A very interesting read.
And dozens of things are gmo now.
90% of all corn,all soy .
Bill Gates ,WHO,and monSATANo ,all want us to eat GMOs,but they sure as hell don't eat them.
Conneticut is looking like the first state that will require labeling of GMOs.94% of all Americans,are in favor of labeling GMOs,so why is it an issue ?
Oh yeah,no one will buy it and eat it,ERGO it will fail,and they will lose billions.
Too bad,so sad.

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#14    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 03 April 2012 - 09:14 AM

View PostNeognosis, on 14 February 2012 - 04:58 PM, said:

Can you explain how crops become "contaminated" if the Monsanto crops only reproduce when fertilized with Monsanto fertilizers?

What is in a Monsanto fertilizer that is not found naturally, so that Monsanto crops only produce when they get this Monsanto fertilizer?

Nothing to do with that.It's killing bees and butterflies,and the animals that pollinate .
No pollination,no crops of anything.
http://www.triplepun...terfly-decline/

And then bunches of weeds,have grown resistant to monsantos crap,so the weeds are killing the crops too.
MonSATANo is just one big fail.

http://m.motherjones...-superweeds-NPR

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#15    Simbi Laveau

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Posted 05 April 2012 - 07:48 PM

Monsanto to sue any state that labels the GMOs.
We do all know that Monsanto facility cafeterias have no gmos in the food,AT ALL.
http://www.alternet....led?page=entire

http://www.eatingrig...misinformation/

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