GM Sugar Beet
Started by anonymous
Viewing 3 posts - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)
Sunday 26 January 2003 at 11:47
Please can you offer some proof that these varieties are GM or people might start to think that this is totally trumped-up.
Sorry to be persistent about this, I am not accusing you of making it up, the name of whoever told you they are GM will do. I am trying not to be argumentative but sometimes I get the impression that if I leave claims about GM to go unchallenged in these forums they are assumed to be true and every now and again it is worth doing a reality check.
For the record despite the hype from earlier I think the only GM genes in the British countryside got there as a result of field trials. My understanding is that it is a legal requirement of growing GM sugar beet is that all bolters have to be destroyed before they go to seed and this is something that can not be done from the tractor seat. In other respects GM probably does offer an easier way of farming but that does not make it better, easy options seldom are.
Coping without spray is certainly not for the faint-hearted or anyone afraid of hard work. It is true that for our efforts organic can sell at quite a premium but that does not mean we have any less of a social conscience, most of our customers at the door are actually people who can not afford to shop at supermarkets. My part of the world is not particularly affluent, solid Labour for the last 80 years, but many of the most socially disadvantaged are supportive of the way we farm and are happy for the work it provides (and I am happy when they are happy to be paid in potatoes).
On the other hand I have less sympathy for the former boss at Monsanto Hendrik Verfaillie whom I understand got paid 1.2m dollars last year during which time the companies share price halved due to "consumer unease with genetically modified food". I think you ought to get on their pay roll for you efforts to talk the price back up again but please can you avoid using their methods of spin. Those of us who question the wisdom of GM are not nutters or the sort who think manure should not be used in agriculture (I don’t remember any trade wars being fought over that). Nor are we unconcerned about the starving. The latest spin seems to be that GM is everywhere so resistance is futile.
In return I will try to avoid using the word contamination if it so upsets you. I did not think I had used it lately but contamination simply means a substance out of place. If whisky got into the bulk tank my milk purchacer would deem it contaminated.0#946506
Monday 27 January 2003 at 17:13
I am very pleased that you can be persistent about the truth as I was when some of the many claims about GM appeared last year and all the previous three years whilst we were growing trials. It is hard work establishing the truth, as I found, but we must all persevere and get off the tractor seat some time.
I am sure that someone, somewhere does know the truth about GM tomatoes and the simultaneous totally unnatural ripening on the vine. I did find the technique under one of the American Universities websites but have been unable to find it again. The tomato seed salesmen are not helpful in their definition of the breeding evolution.
However maybe if we could find out who withdrew tomato paste from the market because it was GM after a full two years of sale and use in this country, we might make progress. Surely the supermarkets would be in breach of contract if was not GM.
I would imagine that if there are GM genes lurking out there in the countryside they would be there because someone had put them there.
However I spoke to a grower who had trials some 9 years ago and they have no problems today.They are still growing the same crop in the same field.
I am glad you have a social conscience, long live the half price organic offers at Safeway.
On the subject of the original boss at Monsanto I have misplaced my original research notes from some three years ago and I wish to verify some of my facts on a later post. Since we have all come this glorious agreement that there is to be no more spin I had better reciprocate with similar kind thoughts. No more contaminated Frankenstein foods, just a mix of moderate unemotive language.
GM news website was saying that GM was everywhere as I pointed out to you. The sooner it is labelled the the better and then the public can choose and accept GM as thay have in America.
Write again soon with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
All good clean fun!
Tuesday 28 January 2003 at 11:13
With regard to Hendrik Verfaillie, I have had yet another go at finding my original files from when we first undertook the trials work.
Part of my sources were two old friends, one an extrovert huge Texan Episcopalian minister from El Paso who had researched the ethical viewpoint from a church point of view and his extremely radical son in law who does social work in the extremely poor and deprived and hates Monsanto with fanatical zeal.
Between them, probably in between heated debate, they did manage to send me quite a dossier, which I cannot find now.
It did include a breakdown of the original guy in Monsanto who had the vision to realise the environmental benefits of being able to utilise a plants own ability to resist disease. I believe the real breakthrough in genetic manipulation was discovered by two Brits, I do not remember their names either.
Part of the dossier was a reprint from I believe it was The New York Herald tribune and did include what seemed to be an evenhanded investigation into GM.
It also included a history of this Monsanto guy, who was I believe of something like Lithuanian or Latvian origin, but who was involved in all the Flower Power anti Viet Nam protest in his days at either Los Angeles Campus or San Francisco.
I have sometimes wondered if there was not some connection between this guys realisation and the trouble that various firms went through in the production of dangerous chemicals like that in that film that Julia Roberts played in, what was it called?
If you look up Heindrik Verfaillie,s history he is of Belgian origin and does not appear to fit the bill, especially not with regard to his university days, he went to University in Belgium.
GM is an emotive subject, a farming friend of mine told me years ago to avoid it. It brings out emotive words like spin, contamination when mix would do just as well and polarises debate. We have experienced all these extremes here, although not inthe last year or so, protest dies a death when people accept progress and wonder what all the fuss was about.( Wind turbines are accepted and welcomed here now, the newspaper editor has lost some circulation, but what the hell?)
Must do some work,
Viewing 3 posts - 16 through 18 (of 18 total)