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GM and the Greens

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Gottard
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Re: GM and the Greens

#221 Postby Gottard » July 27th, 2015, 4:17 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Thank you Alan, this info is much interesting. :thumbsup:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#222 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 9:39 am

Scientific ignorance is alive and well and living in the Scottish Government: Scotland to ban GM crop growing
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: GM and the Greens

#223 Postby animist » August 9th, 2015, 10:54 am

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 34010.html

"Scientists sound alarm over "supercharged" GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental-disasters"; so this is not Greenies but scientists themselves warning that there could be risks as well as benefits in this new technology

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#224 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 11:22 am

Not that you'd get it from the title, this is about GMOs in labs, not those already approved for commercial outdoor use.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#225 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 11:41 am

The statement from the Scottish Government: GM crop ban
I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what's best for our economy
Not science, then?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#226 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 12:37 pm

Expert comment from the Science Media Centre: Expert reaction to Scottish government announcement on ban of GM crops
The Scottish government is to ban the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Prof Rob Edwards, Head of the School of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Newcastle University, said:

‘This would seem like a hasty decision based on the potential for public good and confronting the major issues we face in sustainable agriculture and horticulture in the UK. We need to produce more nutritious and healthy food, with reduced inputs and a need to minimise the impact of farming on the environment.

“The climate change models suggest the northern agricultural areas of the UK will be more strategically important in providing us all with food in the future in the coming decades.

“Unless I am missing something there are no magic bullet solutions based on our current farming practices that offer to square those challenges in the time scale we need to work to.

“Surely to future proof your food industry on the global stage all technology options should remain open.”



Dr Joe Perry, former Chair of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) GMO Panel, said:
“It’s time Governments stopped equating an anti-GM stance with care for the environment. GM crops can be of benefit to the environment if regulated sensitively. Furthermore there is no reason to ban them on safety grounds. Blanket bans like this are irrational.”



Maurice Moloney, Chief Executive Officer, Global Institute for Food Security, Saskatchewan, Canada and Former Chief Executive of Rothamsted Research, said:

“This decision might seem to be symbolic, as the only GM crop grown in Europe is insect-resistant maize. Maize is not a significant crop in Scotland. However, the second GM species approved for use in Europe is a potato, which is much more relevant to Scotland and its farmers. Breakthrough science from the Sainsbury Laboratory in Norwich recently showed the effective protection of potatoes against the potato famine disease, late blight. Potato blight in wet years still decimates the Scottish potato crop and requires frequent spraying of fungicides. For Scotland to deny to its farmers such a critical innovation and to deny consumers the possibility of reducing pesticide use is irresponsible. Positioning a nation in this way gives it an international reputation for being a science-free zone, not the modern Scotland that it aspires to be.”



Prof Ottoline Leyser, Director of the Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge, said:

“It is ironic that Ministers have justified their decision by stating that they are not prepared to “gamble with the future” of Scotland’s food and drink industry, because that is exactly what they are doing. In the short term, this is a zero risk, eye-catching announcement that will have no impact whatsoever, because there are currently no approved GM crops available that are suitable for cultivation in Scotland. In the long term, however, when products such as blight resistant potatoes eventually reach the market, Scottish farmers will find themselves at a serious disadvantage. But maybe this is not such a gamble- a week is famously a long time in politics, so when the time comes, no doubt an elegant U turn can be effected.”



Prof Anne Glover, University of Aberdeen and former Chief Scientist to the European Commission, said:

“I am not aware of the full context of the SG ban on GM crops so it is not possible to make detailed comments. Generally, it would be hard to justify a ban on the grounds of safety as GM technology for plant breeding is supported by a global scientific consensus with regard to safety. With appropriate choices, GM technologY can offer one approach to sustainable farming by reducing the need for chemical inputs which benefits the consumer, the farmer and the environment.”



Prof Huw Jones, Professor of Molecular Genetics, Rothamsted Research, said:

“This is a sad day for science and a sad day for Scotland. GM crops approved by the EU are safe for humans, animals and the environment and it’s a shame the Scottish Parliament think cultivation would harm their food and drink sector. If approved, this decision serves to remove the freedom of Scottish farmers and narrows their choice of crop varieties to cultivate in the future.



Declared interests

Prof Rob Edwards: None received

Prof Ottoline Leyser:
Employment and paid consultancies
Director, The Sainsbury Laboratory, University of Cambridge
Company of Biologists, Editor of “Development”
European Research Council, grants board member
Ad hoc payments for one off consultancies for universities and research institutes, funders etc.
Gatsby Foundation, Plant Science Advisor
Norwich Research Park Science Advisory Board
Current Opinion in Plant Biology, Co-Editor in Chief
Biotechnology and Biological Science Council occasional committee work

Other organisations (unpaid)
Umea Plant Science Centre: Advisory Board Member
Gregor Mendel Institute, Vienna: Advisory Board Member
Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Tubingen: Advisory Board Member
European Molecular Biology Organisation: Member
Athena Forum: Chair
Clare College, Cambridge: Fellow
Society of Biology: Fellow and Education
Royal Society: Fellow and Council member, Chair, Science Policy Advisory Group
National Academy of Science, USA: Foreign associate
Leopoldina: Member
International Plant Molecular Biology: President
British Society for Developmental Biology: Chair
Sense About Science: Plant science panel member
Science and Plants for Schools: Grant holder
International Plant Growth Substances Association: Council member
Numerous academic Journals: Advisory Editorial Board member
Science Media Centre: Trustee

Current Research Funding
Gatsby Foundation
European Research Council

Others: None declared
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Re: GM and the Greens

#227 Postby animist » August 9th, 2015, 5:11 pm

Alan H wrote:The statement from the Scottish Government: GM crop ban
I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what's best for our economy
Not science, then?
I think that particular statement is perfectly reasonable. Science can only "govern" anything indirectly as in itself it simply says what is, or seems to be, the case about some part of the natural world. From his comments he seems to think that the Scots food brands will be harmed by perceptions of customers about GM, and he may be right on this level

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animist
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Re: GM and the Greens

#228 Postby animist » August 9th, 2015, 5:16 pm

Alan H wrote:Not that you'd get it from the title, this is about GMOs in labs, not those already approved for commercial outdoor use.
true, but it is not reassuring - probably just the sort of concern that bothers the Scottish government

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Gottard
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Re: GM and the Greens

#229 Postby Gottard » August 9th, 2015, 5:27 pm

Alan H wrote:The statement from the Scottish Government: GM crop ban
I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what's best for our economy
Not science, then?

Alan, let me say that "health" should come in prominence. Besides, I don't like the fact that often semences are "copyrighted" and unable to re-germinate causing added cost to produce growers.
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Gottard
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Re: GM and the Greens

#230 Postby Gottard » August 9th, 2015, 5:35 pm

Can anyone explain why the fruit that I buy at supermarkets today, be it apple, peer, peach.....taste all the same (i.e. light pumpkin taste)? I could as well buy the cheapest ....given the "equated" taste!
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#231 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 5:39 pm

Gottard wrote:
Alan H wrote:The statement from the Scottish Government: GM crop ban
I firmly believe that GM policy in Scotland should be guided by what's best for our economy
Not science, then?

Alan, let me say that "health" should come in prominence. Besides, I don't like the fact that often semences are "copyrighted" and unable to re-germinate causing added cost to produce growers.
I'm not sure being patented (rather than copyrighted) is a particular issue: many conventionally modified strains are likely to be highly protected and kept secret so competitors can't re-create them. The Genetic Literacy Project says: Patents and GMOs: Should biotech companies turn innovations over to public cost-free?
Seeds for genetically modified crops are not the only ones that are patented. As documented by the US Patent and Trademark Office, there are many conventionally bred crops that are patented, as well as decorative plants and flowers. Considering the amount of time, money and effort that it takes to create a plant through traditional methods that has the traits and qualities that the breeder desires, it makes sense to protect the investment through a patent.

This same argument applies when it comes to genetically modified crops. According to GMO Answers, the cost of generating a new genetically modified crop is $136 million, and biotech companies rely on patents to safeguard their investment. These patents are protected through the World Trade Organization (article 27), the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (also known as UPOV), and laws of the member nations. Whether or not these patents should exist in the first place is outside the scope of the GMO discussion and could be argued for most patentable or copyrighted items: software, drugs, books, etc.


For germination, see what I quoted earlier from Sense About Science (see also the GLP page above):
Terminator Technology

Genetic Use Restriction Technology (GURT) is a proposed method for restricting the use of GM plants by causing second generation seeds to be sterile. In the late 1990s, GURTs, nicknamed ‘terminator’ technology, were conceived by companies to protect their commercial interests and intellectual property rights in GM crops. This was seen as a violation of the rights of farmers to grow crops from saved seeds. A global moratorium on the testing and commercialization of the technology was established under the United Nations Convention on Biodiversity in 2000. It was reviewed in 2006 and still stands.

Environmental concerns about the cross-pollination of GM crops have led to renewed interest in using GURTS so that any resulting seed would be sterile, but at present the technology is not used or ready for use. The European research programme, Transcontainer, is looking at other technologies that might prevent cross-pollination.

It wasn’t made clear in previous discussions about GURTS that in conventional agriculture farmers buy new seeds every year as standard practice, and are usually tied to a supplier for each season’s seeds. Popular F1 hybrids are also single use because the plant characteristics aren’t reliably repeated the following year. Farmers in developing countries use this system where they can, as it guarantees quality, although many still use home-saved seed and choose varieties that enable them to do that.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#232 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 5:40 pm

Gottard wrote:Can anyone explain why the fruit that I buy at supermarkets today, be it apple, peer, peach.....taste all the same (i.e. light pumpkin taste)? I could as well buy the cheapest ....given the "equated" taste!
You have lost your sense of taste? :D

It's market forces: they produce products down to a price, not to a standard.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Alan C.
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Re: GM and the Greens

#233 Postby Alan C. » August 9th, 2015, 5:46 pm

Gottard
I don't like the fact that often semences are "copyrighted" and unable to re-germinate causing added cost to produce growers.

That's my biggest issue with GM crops but the supporters [of GM] ignore it and make out that the only issue is food safety, it's not!
Cross posting.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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animist
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Re: GM and the Greens

#234 Postby animist » August 9th, 2015, 5:50 pm

Alan C. wrote:
Gottard
I don't like the fact that often semences are "copyrighted" and unable to re-germinate causing added cost to produce growers.

That's my biggest issue with GM crops but the supporters [of GM] ignore it and make out that the only issue is food safety, it's not!
Cross posting.

Alan, as someone who actually grows food, what do you think about the claims that GM could help Scottish farmers cope with potato blight?

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#235 Postby Alan H » August 9th, 2015, 6:00 pm

Alan C. wrote:
Gottard
I don't like the fact that often semences are "copyrighted" and unable to re-germinate causing added cost to produce growers.

That's my biggest issue with GM crops but the supporters [of GM] ignore it and make out that the only issue is food safety, it's not!
Cross posting.
But what is the problem with patenting? You say supporters of GMOs ignore it, but I have cited two different organisations that have tackled that issue head on, so they can't be accused of ignoring it.

ETA: As Mark Lynas (one time opposer of all things GMO, but now pro-GMO) says:
The anti-GMO campaign does not even have the benefit of intellectual coherence. If you truly think that herbicide-tolerant biotech crops are an evil plot by Monsanto to achieve a stranglehold on the entire world’s food supply, why would you also oppose all other non-patented and open-source applications of biotechnology, which have nothing to do with Monsanto, apparently without exception? This is like being against all computer software because you object to the dominant position of Microsoft Office.
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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Tetenterre
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Re: GM and the Greens

#236 Postby Tetenterre » August 10th, 2015, 10:09 am

animist wrote:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/scientists-sound-alarm-over-supercharged-gm-organisms-which-could-spread-in-the-wild-and-cause-environmental-disasters-10434010.html

"Scientists sound alarm over "supercharged" GM organisms which could spread in the wild and cause environmental-disasters"; so this is not Greenies but scientists themselves warning that there could be risks as well as benefits in this new technology


Of course there are risks to this technology; there are risks to all technology. We don't generally deny ourselves the benefits of technologies that also carry risks: we use the benefits and mitigate the risks. If we didn't do that, we'd probably still be living in caves, wearing pelts, and communicating by going "Ug!"

From the article:
“Just as gene drives can make mosquitoes unfit for hosting and spreading the malaria parasite, they could conceivably be designed with gene drives carrying cargo for delivering lethal bacterial toxins to humans,”


Irrigation water "could conceivably" be used to drown people: must we stop irrigating crops because of that? My kitchen knife or my bench vice or my blow torch "could conceivably" be put to all manner of nefarious uses: should I be denied them because of that?

If a bio-terrorist decides to develop something capable of (for example) "delivering lethal bacterial toxins to humans", exactly how is that risk enhanced by (for example) millions of lives are being improved by the golden rice or farmers no longer losing their papaya crops to ringspot virus? Can someone please explain to me how banning, or even just not using, any beneficial so-called GMO crops will have any effect on the dangers that are scare-mongered by that article?
Steve

Quantum Theory: The branch of science with which people who know absolutely sod all about quantum theory can explain anything.

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Gottard
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Re: GM and the Greens

#237 Postby Gottard » August 10th, 2015, 3:53 pm

I wrote "copyrighted" when I should have said "patented".

Re,:
"Considering the amount of time, money and effort that it takes to create a plant through traditional methods that has the traits and qualities that the breeder desires, it makes sense to protect the investment through a patent".
My position: do direct investment elsewhere, plenty of non-food applications to choose from.

Re.:
"I may have lost the sense of taste": fine, I will only buy pumpkins, henceforth. :hilarity:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan C.
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Re: GM and the Greens

#238 Postby Alan C. » August 11th, 2015, 8:26 pm

animist
Alan, as someone who actually grows food, what do you think about the claims that GM could help Scottish farmers cope with potato blight?
[Citation needed]

Did you mean Irish farmers? Tattie blight isn't an issue in Scotland, plus blight resistant tatties have been available for years, long before GM, the problem in Ireland in the 1840s was that they all grew the same variety and from what I've read didn't follow crop rotation.
I grow 4 or 5 different varieties every year (not the blight resistant ones) I've never had blight, crop rotation and not having all your eggs in the same basket is the answer, something that maybe the 19th century farmers weren't aware of.
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#239 Postby Alan H » August 11th, 2015, 8:42 pm

Alan C. wrote:Tattie blight isn't an issue in Scotland
That would appear to be not entirely accurate. From the Euroblight website:

SAMPLING SITES AND GENOTYPE MAPS

2015-08-11_20h41_11.png
2015-08-11_20h41_11.png (365.35 KiB) Viewed 1624 times
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?

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animist
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Joined: July 30th, 2010, 11:36 pm

Re: GM and the Greens

#240 Postby animist » August 11th, 2015, 9:45 pm

Alan H wrote:
Alan C. wrote:Tattie blight isn't an issue in Scotland
That would appear to be not entirely accurate. From the Euroblight website:

SAMPLING SITES AND GENOTYPE MAPS

2015-08-11_20h41_11.png
so maybe Alan C should be teaching the Scots (and others) how to grow blight-free tatties. :wink: If Alan C does not see a need for GM, then that strengthens my doubts about its usefulness

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Alan H
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Re: GM and the Greens

#241 Postby Alan H » August 11th, 2015, 10:09 pm

I'm not so sure. This UK site, Blight Watch would seem to imply that eternal vigilance across all of the UK is required and that, a relatively small change in the weather or climate might see it a bigger problem than it might currently be. Perhaps it's prudent to grow blight-resistant crops now rather than waiting for it to happen then panic?
Alan Henness

There are three fundamental questions for anyone advocating Brexit:

1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
2. What damage to the UK and its citizens is an acceptable price to pay for those benefits?
3. Which ruling of the ECJ is most persuasive of the need to leave its jurisdiction?


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