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Genetically-Modified Organisms

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  • Citizens of the World
    Bonjour Alan, Thank you for your reply. As you know this is a huge subject and we can go back and forth citing quotes -- so much so that we can repeat
    Message 1 of 45 , Mar 18, 2012
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      Bonjour Alan,

      Thank you for your reply. As you know this is a huge subject and we
      can go back and forth citing quotes -- so much so that we can repeat
      ourselves like our resident vegan "Bob Howes" or "David McDonagh" and
      drive everyone crazy.

      I am only concerned by the uncritical acceptance of this technology
      and the biotech companies' manipulation and suppression of knowledge
      for their own profit-seeking purposes. As you rightly point out, in a
      socialist society where there is no money, thus no profit motive and
      control of ideas (and people can speak their minds freely without
      dispossession of their living) there will be much discussion of the
      uses of genetic manipulation. [Are you old enough to remember the
      tale of Rachel Carson and what they tried to do to her to suppress
      her research concerning what pesticides were inflicting on the planet
      and bird life? This "scientific discussion" of gmo's rings the same bell.]

      You are very fortunate to be able to write: "In contrast to Obama's
      approval, France has this week banned Monsanto GM maize sowing, i
      believe." (Africa doesn't have the same clout against the U.S. food
      juggernaut.) Firstly Obama has given away his right of approval to
      the biotech companies. Secondly, unlike Europe, there is absolutely
      no labelling of foods containing genetic modification in North
      America, both in the U.S. of A. and Canada. Thirdly, anything goes
      -- including the genetic manipulation of wildlife, which, like plant
      life can spread and intermingle and pollute other species -- for
      which nature has no protection.

      Your are quite right that I cited information from the Organic
      Consumers Association and your definition of its capitalist interest
      is spot on. However there is a difference in their purpose (or
      should be). They are not advocating the banishment of genetic
      modification as such but 1. the labelling of foods and 2. the
      prevention of genetically-modified crops and sentient wildlife from
      polluting organic produce. In the latter case, the biotech companies
      swore there could be no cross pollination until two years later after
      the first GM crops were sowed when it was proven to be a big fat lie,
      that in socialism would never be made. OCA cites for the most part
      information from other scientific organisations, which one can
      consider, dismissing the profit incentive behind the OCA's arguments.

      Just take a look at this series of statements from other scientific
      organisations published by the OCA to ask for donations so that it
      can hire signature gatherers to collect 830,000 signatures by the
      April 22 deadline in order to get the California initiative on the
      ballot in the November vote, and "to run an effective PR campaign
      against Monsanto, Dow, Cargill and the rest of the Biotech Bullies."
      [This just popped up on my incoming mail today.]

      The right to label is a right you in Europe have already (to a
      certain extent) I believe.

      OCA WROTE: "The Union of Concerned Scientists, doctors at the
      American Academy of Environmental Medicine, and many others continue
      to warn us: Genetically engineered (GE) foods are making us sick.
      Auto-immune disorders. Liver and kidney damage. Nutritional
      deficiencies. Allergies and autism. Accelerated aging. Infertility.
      Birth defects."

      "Between 75% - 80% of all processed foods on our grocery store
      shelves now contain GMOs. They're in almost all non-organic foods
      containing soy or canola oil, corn, sweeteners, artificial and
      natural flavorings, and in common ingredients like aspartame. Yet
      believe it or not, there's no law requiring food manufacturers or
      food retailers to tell you if the food you buy contains genetically
      modified organisms (GMOs)."

      I think these concerns at least deserve to be investigated in an unbiased way.

      Yours to incite World insight, Trevor Goodger-Hill (non-WSM)
      _____________________
      "Man is certainly stark mad; he cannot
      make a worm, and yet he will be making
      gods by the dozens."

      1533 -1592 - Michel de Montaigne
    • Bob Howes (vegan)
      Alan and Trevor, as the fossil fuel-tank runs dry we will need to grow our fuel annually on land now growing meat and dairy products. We will shortly not be
      Message 45 of 45 , Jul 24, 2012
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        Alan and Trevor,

        as the fossil fuel-tank runs dry we will need to grow our fuel annually on land now growing meat and dairy products. We will shortly not be able to run the planet without replacing the animal (exploitation) industry with fuel crops such as hemp in the short term and trees in the longer term. Neither of these crops needs genetic engineering.

        Cheers,

        Bob
        ***

        --- In WSM_Forum@yahoogroups.com, alan johnstone <alanjjohnstone@...> wrote:
        >
        > I had wondered where your response had gone to the article.
        >
        > You may find my post on my personal blog of interest where i now come up with the term BigOrg to describe the co-option of organic by BigAg.
        >
        > http://mailstrom.blogspot.com/2012/07/food-for-thought.html
        >
        > But i finish the post saying
        >
        > "...The real fact of the matter is that there is already enough food to
        > feed the world's population right now and into the future. The US and
        > Europe wastes millions of tonnes of food each year. Quite simply, GM
        > food is not needed to feed the world. Let's farm along with nature, not
        > against it. The message is clear: develop sustainably and conserve
        > thoughtfully. Agricultural biodiversity is the foundation for all food
        > production and our food security. GM crops which have come up in the
        > recent past are the greatest singular threat for biodiversity. A broad
        > genetic base is vital for healthy agriculture and overcoming new
        > epidemics of pests and diseases and for adapting to climate change. Such
        > a base is immensely reduced in the case of GM crops as they encourage
        > monoculture. What socialists seek is a self-organised, decentralised
        > economy, in which ordinary people take advantage of new technologies of
        > abundance. The beauty of the age we live in is that we possess new
        > production technology. So the question is, which model do we want to
        > follow?  Toiling under the domination of bosses and corporations or a
        > society of self-governance, leisure and mutual cooperation. That said,
        > agriculture - of whatever kind - is there to feed people..."
        >
        > Part of the post, however, i think expresses a jaded view on such commentators as the one you quote, Jim Hightower. He takes the tomato as an example, i can also vouch for the strawberry tinkered to lengthen its shelf life as tasteless even if the look is mouthwatering. Neither was result of GM but from plant breeding and grafting and whatnot horticultural manipulation to produce new strains and types and has reduced choice at the supermarket.
        >
        > But what is natural?
        >
        > The carrot being orange in colour? No, that is just a relatively modern 16/17th century Dutch farmers invention, previously they were shades of white or purple. But who would now believe a carrot is naturally cream coloured!!
        >
        > alan johnstone
        >
        > --- On Tue, 24/7/12, Citizens of the World <iwi@...> wrote:
        >
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