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GM Sugar Beet

Started by anonymous

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)

  • #946490

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
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    Their Lordships seem really taken in by the Broom Barn study but it is flawed for three reasons.

    1) British Sugar have made it quite clear they will not buy GM beet. The first rule of business is that the customer is always right and the customer does not want GM.

    2) It is unsustainable. Weeds would soon become resistant to the herbicides used requiring the development of new ones and new GM crops. The experience of farmers in the US and Canada is that the only people benefiting from GM crops are the biotech companies themselves. Having grown GM maize, rape and soya they are bitterly opposing the introduction of GM wheat which is why there is pressure for it to be grown over here.

    3) The field trials have shown that GM genes spread from the field where they are grown both by pollination and farm machinery despite the strict regulations in place. GM crops set farmer against farmer and would end much traditional sharing of machinery. In the great GM Public Debate Mrs Beckett may be surprised to learn that most farmers are not as stupid as she seems to think we are.

    Even if farmers can be persuaded to let weeds go to seed in field of sugar beet only to be sprayed off again the RSPB seem distinctly unimpressed of its value to birds. I have been given a letter from their lark expert Paul Donald about what skylarks need, they do like going down the rows eating weed seeds but only in winter and I’ll paste a letter from Mark Avery below.

    Could someone please do me a costing of growing 2 acres of GM sugar beet in this way compared to 1 acre conventional sugar beet next to 1 acre of set aside managed in a bird friendly way, I know which the birds would prefer. For this exercise let’s pretend that a buyer for GM beet could be found and that GM seed is only twice as expensive.

    ————————————————————————————————

    The Independent (London)
    January 17, 2003, Friday
    SECTION: COMMENT; Pg. 19

    FOOD FOR SKYLARKS
    by DR MARK AVERY

    Sir

    The suggestion that genetically modified crops help skylarks (report, 15
    January) is not strongly supported by the facts.

    This study shows that the currently recommended techniques
    for growing genetically modified sugar beet actually lead
    to fewer weeds surviving, and thus potentially less food
    for skylarks and other farmland birds. As farmers would
    most likely follow such guidelines, the declines in many
    once-common farmland birds could be further exacerbated and
    the conservation work of many in the farming community
    undermined.

    Dr MARK AVERY
    Director of Conservation
    Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
    Sandy
    Bedfordshire

    #946491

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom,

    GM can be blamed for many things, but not for stopping sharing of nachinery.

    Our neighbours combine helped us out with combining. On the side of his combine was a GM free zone sticker. Wherever you are you are money talks,

    Jack

  • #946492

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Jack

    I am not suggesting that farmers will stop helping their neighbours just because they are growing GM crops, it’s just the time it would take to clean every last rape seed from combining a GM crop to a GM-free one that will make it impractical. I hope your good-hearted neighbour thouroughly cleaned his or his farm will no longer be a GM-free zone.

    #946493

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom,

    Come to think of it he probably did not clean his combine. That would explain why he has two heads.

    He wasn,t good hearted enough to forget the bill though,

    Jack.

    #946494

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Jack

    I don’t care how many heads he has got, if the next farm he went to ends up losing its GM-free status due to his negligence he could end up with a bigger bill than the one he gave you. Liability still needs sorting before GM crops are ever grown here commercially but progress is being made. I’ll copy it for you below.

    ————————————————-

    MEPs urge radical changes to liability plan
    EnvironmentDaily 1368, 22/01/03

    The European parliament’s environment
    committee has made sweeping and radical changes to a
    planned EU liability regime forcing polluters to pay for
    damage to the environment. The MEPs’ vote today was the
    first expression of parliamentary opinion since the
    European Commission tabled proposals last year. The final
    verdict may be very different, however, as the rival legal
    affairs committee is leading the assembly’s debate. The
    environment committee has rewritten virtually all the
    important provisions in the Commission’s proposal. Its
    amendments would put the prime responsibility for clearing
    up or avoiding imminent damage back on individual
    operators, instead of making member state authorities do
    this first and claim compensation later. The changes
    restore elements of a civil law framework that the
    Commission originally proposed but later dropped (ED
    22/10/01
    http://www.environmentdaily.com/articles/index.cfm?action=a-
    article&ref=1086 2 There would be mandatory liability
    insurance for businesses, the possibility of joint
    liability for damage, plus the option for non-governmental
    organisations to take direct legal action against firms.

    The directive’s scope would be widened, with nuclear and
    oil tanker damage included and GMO-related damage more
    explicitly covered. The directive would apply to dangerous
    activities beyond those covered by existing EU laws. Also
    painful for firms is the removal of two legal avenues for
    them to argue against being made liable for damage. These
    are the so-called compliance with a permit and
    state-of-the-art defences. They would allow businesses
    using modern equipment and operating within pollution
    limits to be immune from prosecution for certain damages.

    The industry lobby is passionately opposing their
    exclusion. "It’s one of the best outcomes we could have
    hoped for," rapporteur Mihail Papayannakis of the left-wing
    GUE/NGL party told Environment Daily after the vote. "My
    only regret is we didn’t have a larger political majority
    in favour of the changes."

    Though it supported many individual amendments, the
    centre-right PPE group opposed the overall package, which
    was adopted without its backing. The PPE’s stance is
    important, as the group is the largest in the parliament
    and its votes are crucial to pass amendments at the
    definitive plenary voting stage. Before then, Mr
    Papayannakis must try to get the amendments adopted by the
    legal affairs committee, where lead rapporteur Toine
    Manders is proposing a fundamentally different approach (ED
    29/11/02
    http://www.environmentdaily.com/articles/index.cfm?action=a-
    article&ref=1340 2 Mr Manders told Environment Daily today
    that he supported many of the amendments, though he still
    wanted to include the permit defence. If the legal affairs
    committee rejects today’s amendments, Mr Papayannakis must
    then canvas for enough MEPs’ signatures to have the
    amendments directly submitted to the plenary session.

    Follow-up: European parliament environment committee
    http://www.europarl.eu.int/committees/envi_home.htm, tel:
    +32 2 284 2111. [Entered January 23, 2003]

    #946495

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom,

    Oh how I love a GOOD CONSTRUCTIVE TRUTHFUL argument!!!

    It is great to learn something useful from debate.

    Jack

    #946496

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Jack

    I’m not arguing, just passing on information. The EU is on the brink of a trade war with the US over GM and I thought you might be interested to know why.

    ——————————————————
    "The long-running row took an unambiguous twist earlier this month when US Trade Representative stated that some EU authorities had threatened to cut aid supplies if GM sources were accepted. European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian
    Aid Pool Nielson responded with equal frankness; "This very negative lie has been circulated and repeated recently by Robert Zoë. if the Americans would stop lying about us, we would stop telling the truth about them. This is a proposal for normalising the discussion."

    Away from the African aid issue, US authorities are still considering a World Trade Organisation legal case against the European ban on GM products, which has stood since 1998. The openly hostile exchanges of this week strongly suggest that a lifting of the moratorium may not be as imminent as first thought. "

    ————————————————–

    If I did want to pick a quarrel with you it would probably be about those tomatoes. Tell people they are GM often enough and they may start to believe you without any proof being offered. According to my sources there is not a GM tomato on sale in the country, you may have stumbled across something that has eluded the rest of us but that does not mean I think you are right. I hope my good nature is not seen as a sign of weakness.

    #946497

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom
    Please spare us these rants which will persaude no on they are plainly only for the uninformed.
    you state three quasi facts here are the answers.
    1 british sugar will not take GM beet for two reasons
    a. it is illegal at the moment
    b. The british public is obviously not ready for it yet.
    2 you state that weeds will become resistant to the technology, true but they also become resistant to other weedkillers.
    3 you worry about gene flow. Shows you know sod all about sugar beet which specifically should not flower and set seed if it is to produce realistic yields of sugar.
    If you worry about seed production this does not take place in the UK but in parts of the world where they no doubt are already breeding GM varieties.
    Lastly if you worry about the native fauna and flora I would say that this a few years ago I adopted band spraying and hoeing for the beet crop as i thought it was cheaper and more environmentally friendly, This year through pressure of work we reverted to overall spraying.
    This is the first year I have had plovers breeding succesfull for several years and we are sure skylark numbers arwe up as well.
    We should also remember that the beet sprays we use are some of the most toxic on the arable farm as most of the technology is old hat being a small crop in world terms meant that money has not been spent developing newer more benign sprays

    #946498

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom,

    It will be a good thing when GM labelling is initiated in Europe as people will realise to what extent they are dependent on GM technology and come to accept that there is no need for all this climate of fear and misinformation, and the forever repeated word "contamination" is an abomination and totally irrelevant. This post is from a site which also supports that Hong Kong lady so I am sure you will accept its veracity::::

    GM Enzymes

    Here a just a few GM enzymes currently used to make processed foods.

    In many cases the enzymes named below are brand names. They may appear under other names as well. Enzymes are usually found in minuscule quantities in the final food product. The toxin found in genetically engineered tryptophan was less than 0.1 percent of the total weight of the product, yet it was enough to kill people. The use of enzymes is pervasive in the food industry. Nothing is known about the long-term effects of genetically engineered enzymes. We include this information so you can make an informed choice about whether you want to eat them or not.

    Chymosin: used in the production of cheese (a non-GM microbial rennet is now availble and is being used some companies, including Lind McCartney Foods.

    Novamyl(TM): used in baked goods to help preserve freshness

    Alpha amylase: used in the production of white sugar, maltodextrins and nutritive carbohydrate sweeteners (corn syrup)

    Aspartic (proteinase enzyme from R. miehei): used in the production of cheese

    Pullulanase: used in the production of high fructose corn syrup If you want to absolutely avoid genetically engineered enzymes you will have two choices: avoid foods in the following categories, or call the food manufacturers directly and ask them if their enzymes are genetically engineered. They will probably have no idea. Ask them to check and call them back again. Let us know if you get written confirmation.

    Beers, wines and fruit juices: (Enzymes used: Cereflo, Ceremix, Neutrase, Ultraflo, Termamyl, Fungamyl, AMG, Promozyme, Viscozyme, Finizym, Maturex, Pectinex, Pectinex Ultra SP-L, Pectinex BE-3L, Pectinex AR, Ultrazym, Vinozym, Citrozym, Novoclairzym, Movoferm 12, Glucanex, Bio-Cip Membrane, Peelzym, Olivex/Zietex)

    Sugar: Enzymes used: Termamyl, Dextranase, Invertase, Alpha Amylase

    Oils: Enzymes used: Lipozyme IM, Novozym 435, Lecitase, Lipozyme, Novozym 398, Olivex, Zeitex

    Dairy products: Enzymes used: Lactozym, Palatase, Alcalase, Pancreatic Trypsin Novo (PTN), Flavourzyme, Catazyme, Chymosin

    Baked goods: Enzymes used: Fungamyl, AMG, Pentopan, Novomyl, Glutenase, Gluzyme

    Source: "Mothers For Natural Law" website.

    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

    With regard to the tomatoes if you look up the research done by American Universities they will tell you how easy it was to use GM technology to modify especially the tomato plant so that you get simultaneous ripening along the truss and also promote the longevity of life of the fruit to cope with sellby dates. Of course plant breeders are not going to broadcast the fact that the tomatoes are GM because of the effect on the trade, caused by by scaremongering against a food which is eatable and harmless as is proved by the level to which we are dependent on GM already, in this country and the US.

    I apologise for the length of this article, but your arguments do need the benefit of the light of truth,

    Jack Caley.

    #946499

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Jack

    No need to apologise about the length of your posting and I do accept the list as true, you pasted it before on the "GM labelling" thread.
    However it contains no tomatoes, which varieties are GM?

    #946500

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
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    Stephen

    Please can you help with the costings, what is the current return on an acre of sugar beet?

    #946501

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom
    I am sorry I have not got the figures to hand just at the moment I will come back on that.
    I do believe two things
    1 we will not make more money out of GM beet due to increased seed costs
    2 When the Quota is done away with in approx 2006 – 2008
    the only way forward will be GM beet as the spray cost will be far lower and the seed cost will sink in line with the market returns. whether the final return will be sufficent to maintain the industry is in doubt but as it currently generates BS £165 million a year they have an incentive.

    #946502

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
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    Likes: 15

    Tom
    Costings
    We have 1500 tonne quota approx
    we grow this on 75 acres
    sprays come to £5078 of which herbicides are approx 3600
    ie. intrchangable with roundup
    the bulk of the rest is temik which again could be modified for before any one says we can use seed dressings there is no dressing for docking which we are prone to.
    Ferts – 2230
    seed 3600
    variables total £10908
    our spray bill is high as we also grow potatoes which means we use more shield and sufonyl ureas
    This appears quite a useful crop until you look at the sapecialist drilling and harvesting tackle
    storage of beet in clampps waiting delivery to factory etc and the late harvest date combined with soil damage which means you never get that good a crop of wheat
    in fact many people growing beet say it is the only profitable crop in the rotation
    drilling costs are £10 – £12 per acre
    harvesting £30 -70 per acre whether you lift yourself or use contractors to do the whole job and type of harvester
    our contract tonnage comes to about £27 a tonne delivered
    clamping costs about £1 – £2 per tonne
    surplus tonnage anything from £2 to £10 per tonne delivered the lower figure is closer in a normal year depending on the world price of the day 10 – 12 years ago 18 -20 pounds was more the norm for surplus tonnage
    yields quite variable poor years 15 tonnes is common good years 25 is common this year has been good
    You can see that we would save about £40 an acre using GM beet on sprays. further one of the main herbicides we use Goltix is toxic and i as the spray man would dearly like to see the back of that!
    but I completel;y agree with you and BS that it is no good growing a product that people do not want to buy. If we did though would the public have any different perception to sugar as opposed to corn oil which is of course derived from GM corn. The problem, BS have of course is that cane sugar has always for no good reason had a better standing in the eyes of the public although it is an identical product and certainly is worse for environmental degradation than beet is.

    #946503

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
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    Likes: 15

    Tom,
    Some of Stephen Colletts reasons for support of GM as a technology within the field would coincide with mine. Possibly you might also look on the Arable Forum and see the latest contribution there. The identity of the contributor intrigues me somewhat as it is obviuosly someone with experience.

    My own enthusiasm is also mostly for the huge environmental benefits offered. I do have some reservation as to the global control by large companies but in this day and age R&D is also hugely costly and only affordable by the few.
    Incidentally one the reasons why the original bossman of Monsanto pursued GM was because he recognised the environmental benefits. His life history is quite interesting, an ex flower power Viet Nam radical with a conscience. An interesting story in contrast to the bogeyman he is made out to be!

    With regard to the tomato varieties I have already given you IKRAM from Spain, there is another from Israel called BABY MAYA, although there are many others. Those two are sold by Safeway, there are other seeds sold in this country, apparently not very popular, because like most of these vine tomatoes they bear no comparison to old Brit varieties like Ailsa Craig. Many other loose tomato varieties exhibit the same characteristics, ie rock hard, long life which is what the original tomato paste varieties were bred for.

    Incidentally I have been into Safeway in Hedon lately, not made myself known, but Ann did manage to get some organic mince for half price. As you are probably aware we live close to Prescottland, where house prices etc are about half of other areas. The organic counters there are quite small and it is often easy to get special offers there, so that is also one of my reasons for a social conscience for people who still need safe good food but cannot afford niche market prices.

    Jack

    #946504

     
    anonymous

    Member
    Topics: 7342
    Replies: 44296
    Likes: 15

    Tom,
    Some of Stephen Colletts reasons for support of GM as a technology within the field would coincide with mine. Possibly you might also look on the Arable Forum and see the latest contribution there. The identity of the contributor intrigues me somewhat as it is obviuosly someone with experience.

    My own enthusiasm is also mostly for the huge environmental benefits offered. I do have some reservation as to the global control by large companies but in this day and age R&D is also hugely costly and only affordable by the few.
    Incidentally one the reasons why the original bossman of Monsanto pursued GM was because he recognised the environmental benefits. His life history is quite interesting, an ex flower power Viet Nam radical with a conscience. An interesting story in contrast to the bogeyman he is made out to be!

    With regard to the tomato varieties I have already given you IKRAM from Spain, there is another from Israel called BABY MAYA, although there are many others. Those two are sold by Safeway, there are other seeds sold in this country, apparently not very popular, because like most of these vine tomatoes they bear no comparison to old Brit varieties like Ailsa Craig. Many other loose tomato varieties exhibit the same characteristics, ie rock hard, long life which is what the original tomato paste varieties were bred for.

    Incidentally I have been into Safeway in Hedon lately, not made myself known, but Ann did manage to get some organic mince for half price. As you are probably aware we live close to Prescottland, where house prices etc are about half of other areas. The organic counters there are quite small and it is often easy to get special offers there, so that is also one of my reasons for a social conscience for people who still need safe good food but cannot afford niche market prices.

    Jack

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