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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:52 PM
Original message
The Global Spread of GMO Crops
By Peter Montague

Felix Ballarin spent 15 years of his life developing a special organically-grown variety of red corn. It would bring a high price on the market because local chicken farmers said the red color lent a rosy hue to the meat and eggs from their corn-fed chickens. But when the corn emerged from the ground last year, yellow kernels were mixed with the red. Government officials later confirmed with DNA tests that Mr. Ballarins crop had become contaminated with a genetically modified (GMO) strain of corn.

Because Mr. Ballarins crop was genetically contaminated, it no longer qualified as organically grown, so it no longer brought a premium price. Mr. Ballarins 15-year investment was destroyed overnight by what is now commonly known as genetic contamination. This is a new phenomenon, less then 10 years oldbut destined to be a permanent part of the brave new world that is being cobbled together as we speak by a handful of corporations whose goal is global domination of food. Mr. Ballarin lives in Spain, but the story is the same all over the world: genetically modified crops are invading fields close by (and some that are not so close by), contaminating both the organic food industry and the conventional (non-GMO and non-organic) food industry.

As a result of genetically contamination of non-GMO crops in Europe, the U.S., Mexico, Australia and South America, the biotech food industry had an upbeat year in 2005 and things are definitely looking good for the future. As genetically modified pollen from their crops blows around, contaminating nearby fields, objections to genetically modified crops diminish because non-GMO alternatives become harder and harder to find. A few more years of this and there may not be many (if any) truly non-GMO crops left anywhere. At that point there wont be any debate about whether to allow GMO-crops to be grown here or thereno one will have any choice. All the crops in the world will be genetically modified (except perhaps for a few grown in greenhouses on a tiny scale). At that point, GMO will have contaminated essentially the entire planet, and the companies that own the patents on the GMO seeds will be sitting in the catbird seat.


Yes, it has been a good year for the GMO industry. None of the stated benefits of their products have materializedand the U.S. government regulatory system has been revealed as a shambut enormous benefits to the few GMO corporations are right on track to begin blossoming. For Monsanto, Dow and Novartis, a decent shot at gaining control over much of the worlds food supply is now blowing on the wind and theres no turning back. As the Vice-President of plant genetics for Dow Agrosciences said recently, There will be come continuing bumps in the road, but we are starting to see a balance of very good news and growth. The genie is way out of the bottle.
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C_U_L8R Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. forget viruses... frankenfood is gonna do us in
this is some messed up sh*t right here
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John Gauger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 07:20 PM
Response to Original message
2. This is a disaster.
Three companies controlling the whole world's supply of food? Food is a strategic resource: every government subsidizes agriculture because no one wants to depend on a hostile power for food. We do not want these three companies, which each have an objectionable record, to have our world by the balls.

That aside, will Dow be allowed to sue this guy? He did break the law by growing their crops without their permission. He should be able to sue them, because they ruined his investment through their negligence. But that's not how things work.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 08:14 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. One fifth of US rice contaminated with illegal GM strain
Up to one fifth of rice entering the EU is contaminated with an illegal genetically modified (GM) strain from the US. Those are the findings of the European Commission's own investigation into EU rice imports, following the admission in August by the US government that untested strains of GM rice had entered the food chain.

If that wasn't alarming enough, our own research has shown this rice has made its way into products available in German supermarkets. Coming just one week after we revealed how Chinese products containing another illegal and untested GM rice variety were available on supermarket shelves in the UK and Europe, these results illustrate the inability of the GM industry to control its own technologies.

Out of 162 shipments of US long grain rice examined by the Commission, 33 tested positive for a strain of rice produced by agribusiness giant Bayer. The rice, LL601 as it's officially known, has been engineered to be resistant to Bayer's own herbicides but it has not been approved for human consumption anywhere in the world. Currently, no varieties of GM rice have been approved for growing or consumption in the EU, although Bayer are trying to clear some of their other rice strains that have been approved in the US and Canada.
Illegal and untested

The rice was grown in the US in 2001 but only as a test crop and the effects on human health are unknown. Worrying, then, that it is now present on the shelves of Aldi Nord, a major German supermarket. Aldi Nord has since removed the affected products from its shelves but with Germany importing about 25 per cent of its rice from the US, the contamination could have spread much further.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. Mother Earth
needs to rid herself of this homo sapiens infestation.
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:15 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. Comments like this are ridiculous.
You do realize you, your friends, and your family are part of the "infestation," don't you? Hitler and Stalin must be personal heroes of yours; after all, their actions, more than anyone's, resulted in the deaths of plenty of what you term an "infestation." Ridiculous.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 10:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Two planets' orbits intersected
Edited on Tue Oct-31-06 11:45 AM by Karenina
Planet A: Good to see ya! It's been millenia since we last crossed paths! How have you been keeping yourself? You look a bit piqued...

Planet B: Haven't been feeling well lately. Got a nasty case of homo sapiens. They're eating me up.

Planet A: That's rough. But don't worry, they go away. :evilgrin:
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Good sense of humor, but inaccurate.

Two planets' orbits intersected.


:evilgrin: :evilgrin:
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
5. This makes me sick!
I've been eating organic food and supporting organic farming for twenty-five years and we were doing fucking fine without gmo sticking it to the Planet.

I really feel for Felix Ballarin. And if you're growing yellow organic corn then it would be much harder to tell the gmo had crept in there but it would still be contaminating the crop.
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Oct-30-06 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Purposeful campaigns to contaminate
"... we are confronted with the most powerful technology the world has ever known, and it is being rapidly deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its consequences"
Susanne Wuerthele Ph.D., EPA scientist

"Genetically engineered crops represent a huge uncontrolled experiment whose outcome is inherently unpredictable ... The results could be catastrophic."
Dr. Barry Commoner, senior scientist
Center for the Biology of Natural Systems at Queens College of New York

Transgenic DNA Introgressed Into Traditional Maize Landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico
David Quist and Ignacio H. Chapela
Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720-3110, USA
(Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to I.H.C. e-mail: .)
Concerns have been raised about the potential effects of transgenic introductions on the genetic diversity of crop landraces and wild relatives in areas of crop origin and diversification, as this diversity is considered essential for global food security. Direct effects on non-target species1, 2, and the possibility of unintentionally transferring traits of ecological relevance onto landraces and wild relatives have also been sources of concern3, 4. The degree of genetic connectivity between industrial crops and their progenitors in landraces and wild relatives is a principal determinant of the evolutionary history of crops and agroecosystems throughout the world5, 6. Recent introductions of transgenic DNA constructs into agricultural fields provide unique markers to measure such connectivity. For these reasons, the detection of transgenic DNA in crop landraces is of critical importance. Here we report the presence of introgressed transgenic DNA constructs in native maize landraces grown in remote mountains in Oaxaca, Mexico, part of the Mesoamerican centre of origin and diversification of this crop7-9.
In October and November 2000 we sampled whole cobs of native, or 'criollo', landraces of maize from four standing fields in two locations of the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca in Southern Mexico (samples A1*A3 and B1*B3), more than 20 km from the main mountain-crossing road that connects the cities of Oaxaca and Tuxtepec in the Municipality of Ixtln. As each kernel results from ovule fertilization by individual pollen grains, each pooled criollo sample represents a composite of 150*400 pollination events. One additional bulk grain sample (K1) was obtained from the local stores of the Mexican governmental agency Diconsa (formerly the National Commission for Popular Subsistence), which distributes subsidized food throughout the country. Negative controls were cob samples of blue maize from the Cuzco Valley in Peru (P1) and a 20-seed sample from an historical collection obtained in the Sierra Norte de Oaxaca in 1971 (H1). Positive controls were bulk grain samples of Yieldgard Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-maize (Bt1; Monsanto Corporation) and Roundup-Ready maize (RR1; Monsanto Corporation) obtained from leftover stock for the 2000 planting season in the United States. Using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based approach, we first tested for the presence of a common element in transgenic constructs currently on the market*the 35S promoter (p-35S) from the cauliflower mosaic virus (CMV). The high copy number and widespread use of p-35S in synthetic vectors used to incorporate transgenic DNA during plant transformation make it an ideal marker to detect transgenic constructs10-1.
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Kick!
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GaYellowDawg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
8. What was the GM?
I think I'd find out what the genetic modification actually was before going off the deep end. If it doesn't affect whether corn is viable or edible, then why panic?
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Jcrowley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
13. How familiar with this are you?
I ask openly. If you have been deeply involved with this over the past decade you might understand what is at stake here. A good place to start might be to research the main viral promoter CaMV and the process of horizontal gene transfer. If you wish for more detailed information on this I will provide it for you.

You may also consider, in the least, what is required for long-term viability of any crop. We've been down this road before. It turned out to be pretty nasty. Remember the corn blight?

And then a much deeper exploration would require one to understand energy systems and ask questions about how energy intensive are the processes. GMO's in all of their manifestations are not only toxic, energy intensive and the epitome of the monoculture but also perpetuate the "wrong questions, wrong answers" insanity of corporate agribusiness.
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leesa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-31-06 08:27 AM
Response to Original message
10. Where are all the fans of Farnkenfood on Halloween? This will usher in
a great famine.
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