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Anti-GM protesters aim to rip up trial

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  • #870171

     
    Jonathan RileyJonathan Riley
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    Anti-GM protesters have vowed to tear up a trial of GM wheat at Rothamsted research centre in Hertfordshire. Despite agreeing to an invitation by scientists to discuss the GM issue, activists from Take the Flour Back have insisted they still intend to pull up the crop.

    What are your views? Should the trial go ahead? Or do you sympathise with the protesters?

    #870172

     
    branstonfen
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    I don’t condone illegal actions against the GM trial but nor can I condone this irresponsible and irrelevant trial.

    Irrelevant because spring wheat is only 1% of the UK wheat crop; aphids are not always a problem and when threshold levels are exceeded we can treat for about 2.50/acre using insecticides that reducing the impact on beneficial insects; and it certainly won’t help with the challenge of feeding an increasing population from diminishing resources. 

    Irresponsible because the trial could contaminate our food chain – just look at the $40m worth of damages caused by a GM trial to US rice farmers – and again bring into question the reputation of farmers as custodians of the countryside into question.

    The trial is costing 1.25m to grow a GM crop that is already fully understood from previous glasshouse experiments and has no practical or commercial application because the marketplace has rejected GM wheat and even the Americans have not commercialised GM wheat.

    This has to bring into question the use of scarce public funds to trial a crop with no commercial prospects and no financial benefit to growers when other research projects that could be of real benefit to farmers and society have been shelved for lack of funding.

  • #870173

     
    dragon
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    perhaps ‘ branstonfen’  has a point that a nearer market research project would have had more relevance to current UK cropping.   We should however not confuse or mix either the regulatory processes or scientific ethics  of the UK and other parts of the world.   

    The GM genie is out of the bottle and  it is far better that we  work with such technologies than rely upon other countries to develop them.    It will be costly to import that knowledge in science or in food security.   One thing is certain the transferable knowledge from these trials are vitally important.   Apart from some massive catatrosphic event as another world war,   we do have to improve yields to feed the world.   

    WE never know  within a future generaion whether or not we shall be reliant upon spring wheat.  We should be far more open to the wider considerations of such trials.    After all who knows what the marketplace will do when it is hungry?

    #870174

     
    TeslaCoilsTeslaCoils
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    jon riley

    activists from Take the Flour Back have insisted they still intend to pull up the crop.

     

    Section 2, 1971 Criminal Damage Act.

    A person who threatens to, such that the other party has reasonable grounds to fear, damage anothers property is guilty of an offence.

    So, there we go. Call in the coppers and arrest some now. Unless they will get more publicity from seeing hooligans destroy a trial site than from taking it harvest. 

    #870175

     
    DickDick
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    Anti GM protesters. Crazy Luddites and Leftwing loonies. 

    Why cant our police protect the crops in question? Since when has it become lawful to destroy property simply because you dislike it?? If that was the case it would be the end of civilisation as we know it.

    Dick.[:@].

    #870176

     
    Ananda
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    Hi Dick, are you sure they are the looney one:

    **********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Here is an interesting article for those of you who believe that GMOs
    will ever work, nothing short of a catastrophe is developing in the
    USA:

    http://www.delawareonline.com/proart/20120418/business06/120417035?pagerestricted=1

    Scary
    stuff, don’t you think. Americans are in it up to their necks by the
    looks of it so the next step is to try and spray their way out of it but
    I don’t think it will happen. Would you like to know why, here is why –
    please note that ‘rapidly herbicide resistant weeds’ bit:

    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/04/18/us-crops-petition-idUKBRE83H0L020120418

    I
    guess we have reached the point when biotech companies can lie as much
    as they like but the truth about GMO danger cannot be hidden any longer:

    http://www.responsibletechnology.org/posts/?p=2070

    So,
    as far as US is concerned in a few years time napalm will be the only
    thing that works against these Hulk type weeds resistant to anything
    that mankind can throw at them. Give it 5 years and they will develop
    pesticide that will obliterate every living thing in radius of a mile at
    the cost of $1000 per acre, as opposed to $45 in the good old days when
    Monsanto didn’t rule the world. Is this the path that any of you would
    like to take?

    Oh yes, Australians are doing well too:

    http://gmwatch.org/latest-listing/1-news-items/13871-monsanto-props-up-weak-gm-crop-price

    Who knows, maybe they are having fun in India:

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Business/Ministry-blames-Bt-cotton-for-farmer-suicides/Article1-830798.aspx

    They are not by the looks of it. Three continents – same story. 

    I
    tried publishing this comment on Rothamsted’s website but with no
    success. I bet they will blame it on their forum’s software.

    #870177

     
    bovrilbovril
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    Ananda

    Here is an interesting article for those of you who believe that GMOs will ever work, nothing short of a catastrophe is developing in the USA:

    Can’t get on to read the first one.
    Second one is just about how dangerous 2-4 D is. What a load of rubbish! It’s a very common herbicide for grassland.
    Third is not about the danger of GM, but about how EU policy is distorting the world market.
    Last one is a bit of an over dramatic leap to link the particular GM cotton to all the suicides.

    Ananda

    I guess we have reached the point when biotech companies can lie as much as they like but the truth about GMO danger cannot be hidden any longer.

    Any large company would find it all but impossible to tell lies. Legal departments would have a fit if there was easily provable dishonesty going on. They can avoid talking about downsides, and overly promote benefits, but not actually lie.
    Anti protesters have no such problem though. Although most of their propaganda is the deliberate misquoting of articles and twisting of highly selected data, they have no qualms about downright lying to make their point. There can be very little comeback to lots of individuals posting on many internet sites!

    #870178

     
    Ananda
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    Hi ‘bovril’, apologies, this link should work:

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/environment/story/2012-04-16/failing-herbicide/54319726/1

    I find it very brave to rubbish opinion of 2000 farmers in US but I guess you are entitled to your opinion which I respect.

    ‘Any large company would find it all but impossible to tell lies’

    I would consider it a personal favor if you would watch Jeffrey Smith’s video ‘Seeds of deception’ as you obviously haven’t already.

    When you see that I am happy to continue debating your point that large companies would find it impossible to tell lies. They are not overly promoting benefits, they are lying and they are lying through their teeth. That first link I have posted will show you where US farmers are today thanks to GMOs. They are fighting a battle they cannot win because the weed is now resistant to anything that they can throw at it and that is where we are heading if we allow for these organisms to be released into out countryside.

    ‘Last one is a bit of an over dramatic leap to link the particular GM cotton to all the suicides’. It is your right to remain ignorant to the scale of the problem but this cannot be ignored for sure:

    http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/Occupy,Monsanto,GMO,Genetic,Engineering,Modified,Organism,Food,Sustainable,Local,Locavore,Organic,RoundUp/vandana-shiva/

    Towards the bottom of the page you will find the actual number of farmers

    linked to debt created by high cost non-renewable seed, unreliable seed like Monsantos Bt Cotton.

    Shall we ignore that too and label it as ‘a bit of an over dramatic leap to link the particular GM cotton to all the suicides’ as well as the opinion of India’s environment ministry?

    Watch Jeffrey Smith’s video, please: 

    http://www.geneticroulette.com/

    linked to debt created by high cost non-renewable seed, unreliable seed like Monsantos Bt Cotton.

    Source: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/18Oxr)

    linked to debt created by high cost non-renewable seed, unreliable seed like Monsantos Bt Cotton.

    Source: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/18Oxr)

    Happy to continue our little debate after that.

    #870179

     
    bovrilbovril
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    I wasn’t looking for a little debate. I was merely pointing out that while I take what the big manufacturers say with a pinch of ***** I’ve learned to have a default disbelief of anything the antis come out with.

    #870180

     
    the cornish ba#t*rdthe cornish ba#t*rd
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     I have to agree with Bovril! In my experience, single issue groups, whether it be anti GM or anti fox hunting, are less trustworthy and more inclined to be “liberal with the truth” to suit their own agenda, than the most shady of big businesses and govvernment departments.

    Herbicide resistant crops are a tiny, tiny aspect of the bio tech industry, but it’s the one everyone focuses on. The anti’s fail to mention the genetically modified rice now being grown in China that has been engineered to produce more vitimamin A so less children are born blind. A GM good news story that doesn’t suit their agenda.

    Personally, I am a bit sceptical about herbicide resistant crops, but we need to wake up and look to the future. The potential benefits of GM goes way, way beyond this one, small sticking point.  Those of us who produce food are being asked to produce more of it, on less land, with less inputs. This isn;t going to happen by some sort of miracle. If you believe in the loaves and fishes story then good luck to you, but personally, I doubt we have much choice in the long term than to embrace certain aspects of the bio tech industry.

    #870219

     
    TeslaCoilsTeslaCoils
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    Perhaps a better target of the anti-GM brigade (myself as one of them – yes, shock, a farmer who doesnt want GM in my own fields thanks) should be the huge amount of GM food this country imports already perfectly legitimatly, rather than one tiny trial? Fact is we cant grow them on scale without lots of laws which wont get passed, yet we are happy to import tons of the stuff? Seems silly. If you dont want it grown here, you should all really be banging your drum to stop all GM imports into the EU. And I will be there supporting. But dont go round smashing up someones lawful trials. Go smash up some ships with GM soya in the hulls.

    Here is a proper link. It is to the Food Standards Agency.  http://www.food.gov.uk/safereating/gm/gmanimal It is all about GM foods. Please read it and learn about the agencies which regulate this, then go and lobby them using peacful and legal means please.

    #870181

     
    Ananda
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    Well, what is important in case like this is to remain impartial and open minded. Trust me when I tell you, I am trying desperately to stay both but after having spent more than 10 years following closely what has been going on with GMOs what I have seen so far disturbs the hell out of me. Wherever you look, whichever side of the world you look everybody is telling the same story. I am talking about scientists who opened their mouth removed from their posts, being threatened as well as their families, tests designed in such a way that potential flaws can never been found, level of bribery and intimidation by bio tech companies you can only dream about and so on:

    http://www.alternet.org/food/154951/millions_against_monsanto%3A_the_food_fight_of_our_lives?page=2

    Here is some more:

    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_18944.cfm

    What makes you think you will be treated differently, you won’t. Do you want to do business with these people, trust them with your farm? The end result of introduction of GMOs and you can check this for yourself is a complete loss of diversity, small farmers going out of business so that the only one running the show is the big biotech companies selling obedient farmers GM seeds at 4 times the price it used to be. This is before we start talking about countryside being so drenched in pesticide that nothing can grow any longer. Please spend some time researching what is happening in USA. ‘Herbicide resistance crops are a tiny, tiny aspect of the bio test industry’. Not according to American countryside choking under its siege. That guy said himself ‘we’re in it up to our knees’. Well, get your wellies out as you will need them by the looks of it. Farmer in Holland is complaining about pigs fed by GM soy developing all kind of illness which disappears when he switches to non-GMO feed and profitability increases as he no longer has all those high medication costs. Farmer 20 miles down the road – identical experience. Deformity, higher disease and death rate, you name it:

    http://stienster.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/gm-soy-implicated-in-pig-disorders.html

    There are links and videos available wherever you look to confirm the same story. India with its bt cotton is a brilliant example of how disastrous GMOs really are. Thousands and thousands farmers getting out of business and committing suicide, there are links available in my previous posts. One cannot simply ignore everything that is going on and the scale of it.It just doesn’t work. If you want to destroy diversity, to be enslaved by Monsanto then by all means go for it but before you do that just be aware that when you do there will be no going back. Ultimately, who are you going to sell it to? There is a small revolution brewing in US with one state after another introducing mandatory GM labeling. 90% of interviewed Americans would refuse to buy GM produce if it was labelled as such. Oh dear, they are finally waking up and now what. In UK, you can check Morrison’s Facebook page, thousands are no longer shopping there since they started feeding animals GM feed, same story with Sainsbury’s. You calculate the cost. Tesco is one of the few sticking with GM-free feed with whom I have also shopping now rather than Sainsbury’s and I haven’t seen queues I am seeing now before. People don’t want GM food and for many, many very good reasons. Monsanto will have a tough time showing it down our throats.

    #870220

     
    Ananda
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    bovril

    Any large company would find it all but impossible to tell lies. Legal departments would have a fit if there was easily provable dishonesty going on. They can avoid talking about downsides, and overly promote benefits, but not actually lie.

     

    Are you sure about that:

    http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/0503/22.php

    #870182

     
    TeslaCoilsTeslaCoils
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    Ananda

    Well, what is important in case like this is to remain impartial and open minded. Trust me when I tell you, I am trying desperately to stay both but after having spent more than 10 years following closely what has been going on with GMOs what I have seen so far disturbs the hell out of me

     

    Yes, an open mind is important. And to help keep it open, it is vital to take account of the impartiality of sources and information. I must say, therefore that I put groups like the Organic Consumers Association in the same “biased” camp as Monsanto. Fortunate than, that the government allows small scale trials to go ahead from time-to-time, and respectable research organisations get to scrutinse the data. Show me one source that says “x” and I will show you another that says “y”.

    Personally, I dont really give a damn about the science. Fact is that Mr & Mrs UK Consumer dont want to (willingly) buy GM foods. So therefore I wont grow GM crops as they wont be bought! Trouble comes from Mr & Mrs UK Consumer, who also love high welfare meat, however when they see the price buy cheap imports anyway, whilst burdening us with the welfare levels that their cheap imports dont reach. 

    I must say, though, that GM is not the cause of small farmers going out of business or a lack of diversity. Both of these are prevelent not just in UK farming, but in all aspects of business in all countries. Big shops / industries / etc take over small ones. Farming is not a special case in this respect. 

    Dont worry, UK farmers wont be allowed to grow GM foods. Not becuase a group of half-wits go ripping trials up, but because there is no demand for the goods. 

    No put the shoe on the other foot. If you were pregnant and at a routine scan were told your child would have some kind of disease, but hurrah science could alter the defective gene to fix it, what would you do? Now in this case, Mr & Mrs UK consumer would very quickly jump on the GM bandwagon. But i suspect even though they would have a GM kid, they wouldnt buy GM food. Same people are those who drive Toyota Prius and love being carbon nutral, but will bank their gong at the idea of a wind farm near them. And that is the reason we have governments who sort access to this king of thing out – because people are selfish. Not a perfect system, but better than mob rule.

    #870183

     
    kansasfarmerkansasfarmer
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     You are a little bit over the top here Ananda.  Countryside drenched with pesticide?  How so?  Even when you get weeds resistant to Roundup(lets face it, that is what they are getting resistant to, not every single pesticide, just glyphosate) you aren’t a whole lot worse off than you were before RR.  We didn’t use a whole lot of the stuff before GM, we used a lot of other herbicide.  I have developed resistant weeds myself, mostly marestails.  I am now having to use 24D in the burndown mix(for no till) and coming back with a preemerge for soybeans, for corn it hasn’t changed too much because I always did use a preemerge with the glyphosate for backup.  Thanks to GM we are no longer putting down an insecticide for rootworms in corn, we use to use Furadan which is now banned anyway.  Taken as a whole, I would say it is very easy to see we aren’t using any more chemicals than we would have without GM, and probably are using less.

    My understanding about the resistance is it is probably our own fault, because so many could not resist the temptation to use a half rate of Roundup early on.  We were told over and over again not to do it, but it was so darned easy and cheap few paid any attention.  If my memory serves me, Monsanto warned about weed resistance from the very beginning.  By using the half rate we developed our own RR weeds.

    Seed being 4 times the price, as opposed to when?  My first year of farming on my own, 1987, new soybean seed was running $10 per sack,  and soybeans sold that year for a little under $5 per bushel.  Today soybeans are about $14, and seed is costing me about $60, so yes seed is a lot higher than it was years ago before GM, but you could also buy land for $300 an acre, work boots for $50, a new pickup for $12000, it goes on and on.  You can still buy conventional soybean seed, and it is only about $10 a bushel less than RR.  You can still keep your own seed, it just has to be conventional and not GM.

    The stories about the deformities in livestock are running the web over here too, I haven’t seen it.  I raised hogs up until two years ago, they were getting a steady diet of GM corn and GM soybean meal, as were those of the other farmers in our marketing pool.  Other than low prices for hogs, we didn’t see any problems.  My cattle today eat silage from GM corn all winter long, I see no defects.  

    Monsanto has never held a gun to my head to get me to plant GM crops.  You do have to sign an agreement you will not save the seed, that was always a given and known upfront.  You can’t expect a company to spend millions developing a new technology and then give it away.

    Could some of the problems be real and me just not seeing them? Sure.  Is weed resistance a problem?  Sort of.  I can still kill any weed I want to, I now just have to use different chemicals.  For many of the weeds, Roundup works just fine.  Do I love Monsanto?  No, but I don’t hate them either.  They are a company selling me a product and they want to make money, same as Case New Holland, or any other company I deal with.  I can say with absolute certainty if I wanted to I could go GM free, no one is going to bully me into planting GM crops, and the seed is available, although not readily available.  For a feed grain I could grow grain sorghum instead of corn, there is no such thing as GM grain sorghum.  All these pig farmers who claim to be suffering from the effects of GM grain could feed GM free soybean meal and grain sorghum if they wanted too.

    If you say all this stuff, then you get labeled a “paid Monsanto shill”.  I don’t give a damn about Monsanto one way or another, and I certainly don’t get paid by them.  But lets base our decisions in farming on facts, not propaganda, and it is pretty hard to get facts, if YOU DON”T DO RESEARCH.  So, are the people out to destroy the test fearful of the crops, or fearful the results won’t be what they want them to be?  It may well be proven here in the USA we jumped into GMO crop production without knowing all the facts, and should have done more research.  None of that would have ever been solved by doing less testing because we were afraid it would offend some group.

    I have chafed over Monsanto’s tech fee for years, it irritated me.  But, every spring I make the decision to keep planting GM crops, because it still works better than conventional for me.  As long as it is legal and works, I will be a customer.

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