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News Unapproved GMO Wheat Found Growing Wild In Oregon

  1. May 31, 2013 #1
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/busin...fe7abe-c95e-11e2-8da7-d274bc611a47_story.html

    How safe is GMO if you can't control it? What if the strain was dangerous for consumption or dangerous to the eco system.
     
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  3. May 31, 2013 #2

    turbo

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    It's hard to tell. The main organic farmers' group here in Maine is trying to restrict the use of GMO crops, because if it's impossible to prevent cross-pollination many of their crops will be lost. These are the farmers that supply seeds to your favorite seed/gardening outlets. Search on MOFGA for more information. If we can't have access to non-GMO seeds, we will have suffered a terrible loss.
     
  4. May 31, 2013 #3

    We can control it with this. Problem is, the anti-GMOers don't like it. Then again the anti-GMOers will oppose any and all development of the technology because it doesn't fit with their reactionary view of "natural purity".
     
  5. May 31, 2013 #4

    Monique

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    Crop growers already use that a lot right? That the second generation is not fertile? Otherwise they would be out of business when people can harvest their own seeds. The use of a terminator gene might not be optimal, since when it cross-pollinates it will kill entire fields of crop? It's better to stop reproduction before that happens.

    I've heard that there is a Nature publication that showed GMO crops elicit an immune response, something that I'd doubt a lot, does someone know about this?
     
  6. May 31, 2013 #5

    russ_watters

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    That's certainly a bizarre story, but I'm not sure I'm seeing a connection in your two sentences. Or rather, a relevant connection: If the strain is dangerous, it would be bad to not be able to control it. But has there ever been a "dangerous" strain? Is a unique danger (as opposed to a normal danger) even possible?

    Most of the real dangers with GMOs are "normal" dangers, such as food allergies. There's not a lot of practical difference between making sure your cake wasn't baked with a peanut extract and making sure the wheat that went into the flour doesn't have any peanut genes in it. Now I suppose if it was spreading undetected that would be a unique danger, but on the other hand, who in their right mind would introduce a potential/known allergen into an unrelated product in the first place?

    The angles of this story I'd like to learn more about are:
    1. Why was the application for FDA approval withdrawn?
    2. Does this accidental release mean that the product is now in the public domain and un-patentable?

    Speculative, but:
    If there was a desire by Monsanto to eventually patent/market this but they decided to delay because the political climate wasn't right and/or they wanted to focus on maximizing profits for other products before those patents ran out and they lose the patent by accidentally releasing it into the public domain, that could be a $100 billion mistake.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  7. May 31, 2013 #6

    russ_watters

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    They do, but they also have protections that make it illegal to use the seeds you harvest, so the pharma companies are covered either way.
     
  8. May 31, 2013 #7

    FlexGunship

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    [I think] Your last sentence seems like a bit of a non-sequitur. [I think] It's essentially guaranteed in the future that all of our food will be genetically modified in some way. Norman Borlaug famously said "we will have to double the world food supply by 2050." And added that 85% of that growth would have to come from existing farmland. (http://blog.chron.com//sciguy/2008/07/norman-borlaug-genetic-modification-can-feed-the-world/)

    [I think] Non-GMO foods are quickly becoming a novelty. [In my opinion] It's a bit of a painful fact that we've outgrown out planet (and that we continue to outgrow it carelessly). [In my opinion] We should be cautiously optimistic about genetically enhanced foods transitioning into the wilderness. I can certainly understand the fear... especially in the case of an uncertified food crop. But, realistically, isn't this bound to happen in the very near future?
     
  9. May 31, 2013 #8

    Monique

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    Then how does a genetically modified crop end up in the open field? I've worked with genetically modified nematodes and fruit flies and the regulations are very strict. The nematodes were not allowed to come near concrete, the GMO inspector was afraid they would start living in the porous material (how??). The fruit fly larvae cut open and pinned down are not allowed to be transported outside GMO-assigned locations, because they might reproduce (how??).
     
  10. May 31, 2013 #9

    Evo

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    What it boils down to, IMO, is that people fear what they don't understand, so they make irrational decisions.
     
  11. May 31, 2013 #10

    turbo

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    This is not a case of ignorance and fear. Come to a MOFGA get-together and find out how peoples' livelihoods are being threatened. GMO can cross-pollinate and ruin some of the most valuable sources of seeds in our country.
     
  12. May 31, 2013 #11
    Monsanto had test fields of the wheat in Oregon. It is really no big surprise to me that it popped up. It had probably been growing there all along. It doesn't look any different than regular wheat.


    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nadiaar...at-found-in-oregon-farm-should-we-be-worried/

    Farmers do save part of their crop for the next year when it isn't covered by a patent.

    Monsanto had a GMO potato that they also dropped when the fast food restaurants refused to buy them.
     
  13. May 31, 2013 #12
    GMO drastically reduces biodiversity in our crops. IMHO I see nothing wrong with GMO crops themselves. What the farmers are allowed to spray on them is another story.

    More and more studies are showing POEA, the surfactant used in roundup is more toxic than the roundup.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=weed-whacking-herbicide-p

    The whole roundup safety question will soon be a moot point. Weeds have become resistant to Roundup. Cut worms have become resistant to bt corn that produces it's own pesticide. The roundup ready patents expire in 2014.

    Monsanto, Bayer, and Dow are all coming out with new GMO crops that can withstand being sprayed with new herbicides and combinations of herbicides.

    2.4.D isn't exactly new by a far shot.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013...20130510?goback=.gde_1807778_member_240465256

    BTW I provided links for most of the above in a thread that was closed.

    Late edit to add link
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  14. May 31, 2013 #13
    Monsanto dropped the GMO wheat at the time because a lot of wheat is exported and farmers were afraid it might lead to a price drop.

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/nadiaar...at-found-in-oregon-farm-should-we-be-worried/
     
  15. Jun 1, 2013 #14

    You mean like how the Luddite's livelihoods were threatened by mechanization? From that and various other anti-GMO statements, I would very much say that this is a case of ignorance and fear.
     
  16. Jun 1, 2013 #15

    turbo

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    If you will come out and figure out where your nation's seed-stock originates, you might discover that much of the diversity of plant-life that you rely on originates from places that you least expect. Check the mofga site for more information. I don't have the time nor motivation to try to educate you.
     
  17. Jun 1, 2013 #16

    Office_Shredder

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    If it's too hard for someone who supposedly knows where the information is to go and find a link, how can someone who doesn't know where that information is be expected to find it?
     
  18. Jun 1, 2013 #17
    The plot thickens:

    Zementa is the farmer. He did not intend to plant this year and he sprayed what he thought was volunteer plants from the previous years crop.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/29/us-wheat-monsanto-idUSBRE94S1GD20130529

    Bold mine.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/30/us-wheat-asia-idUSBRE94T0JA20130530
     
  19. Jun 22, 2013 #18

    OmCheeto

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    I've yet to run across a legitimate article on GMO's being unsafe for consumption. Though consumption is not the only factor in whether or not something is safe.

    We were discussing this at work following the news broadcast. I told people it reminded me of the movie "Andromeda Strain". But as I've said before, I've had a personal experience with GMO's which makes me very suspicious of them in general.*

    Unfortunately, the wheat crops of Oregon and Washington, worth $1.5 billion annually, have lost their markets in Japan and Korea, perhaps due to a similar fear.

    I suppose it's fine and dandy to call people stupid who have a fear of GMO's based on news reports, but I applaud the farmers that have started suing Monsanto.

    Monsanto hit with class action lawsuits in mystery GMO wheat case

    And what does Monsanto have to say about it?

    Ref



    *It involved the genetic modification of a tree to make it survive outside of it's normal climate. Unfortunately, an infectious disease is suspected of making the trip with the trees. So although the trees won't kill you, the disease can. And like "The Andromeda Strain", this pathogen is mutating, as it moves down the west coast of North America. <insert twilight zone music>
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  20. Jun 22, 2013 #19

    SteamKing

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    Crops like wheat and corn have been genetically modified for ages, but by farmers and others who do their own cross pollination of the plants. You can still see examples of maize raised in pre-columbian North America, you know, the stuff that looks like corn but has all of these crazy-colored kernels which are not yellow. Of the two kinds of wild wheat, emmer and einkorn, emmer itself appears to be a natural hybrid of two wild grass species, neither of which appears to exist today. There are other examples of wheat which have naturally hybridized. The Japanese themselves are not unsullied in the hybrid wheat business, having produced a 'short-stalked' wheat which was part of the 'Green Revolution' of the TwenCen.

    It's a hoot that the Japanese won't touch GM wheat, but they'll regularly sit down to a meal which, if not prepared properly, could kill you (that's right fugu, I mean you). I'll bet they weren't as choosy while they were waiting to see if Fukushima was going to make central Japan a glow-in-the-dark no man's land.
     
  21. Jun 23, 2013 #20

    OmCheeto

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    Speaking of glow in the dark, I think there's a difference between cross pollination, and having fish that glow in the dark.

    I once took my goldfish for a walk in our local river. I thought it was completely safe, as her body shape, transformed over centuries of selective breeding, made her little more than a wiggling oddity in my living room, and if she escaped, in my mind, she'd soon be eaten, by the local Barracuda like Pike fish.

    But once released, she swam like a freakin' salmon!

    lucygoesforawalk.jpg

    Crossbreeding two strains of wheat is natural.

    Crossing fish with coral creates a mythological chimera.

    Monsanto, and their ilk, can ... :devil:
     
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