As Muddy mentioned, in the spirit of discussion (not hostility). I don't see some of the points you've listed the same way you do.
First, allow me to state I have no personal financial stake in GMOs. I don't grow any GMOs. I am considering growing GM sweet corn at some point, but I don't have to. I may choose to grow non-gmo sweet corn.
Aside from my opinion that automobiles are as essential to a high standard of living as purchased seed (both are luxuries from that perspective) it's highly improbable (though not impossible) one car company could sell every last vehicle on the planet, but it's impossible one seed company could sell every last seed on the planet. As you know, seeds occur naturally, so one needs not even purchase seeds to have the ability to grow food. One might argue all seeds could become GMO (again highly unlikely) which because of the risk of spread through natural means could come under control of one company, but recall patents only last for 20 years. The first GMO corn seeds Monsanto produced are no longer patent protected. Likewise w/ the first generation RR soybeans. The technology for these seeds is now "public domain".
I did not find any substantial discrepancy between Monsanto's page and the Wikipedia page. Both agree Schmeiser knowingly planted RR canola (1000 acres). In terms of how Mr. Schmeiser originally obtained the RR canola seed, the Wiki page indicated the court found Mr. Schmeiser's argument it was brought in from wind pollination implausible. The Monsanto page basically says the same. The court found the real crux of the case was not how the original seed was obtained, but that Schmeiser knowingly concentrated the RR seed and planted it intentionally.
As someone who has honored plant patents for fruit trees (by never knowingly propagating a patented variety myself) I think I can offer a comparison. It's one thing for someone to propagate a few patented trees for his/her backyard which could be overlooked, but a commercial grower propagating 100s or 1000s of patent protected trees to avoid paying patent fees is stealing. Likewise w/ someone planting 1000 acres of patent protected canola seed.
I looked at several of the documents in your link and could not find any from EPA scientists (one of the three regulatory agencies for GMO). There were memos from FDA scientists. Of course not all GMOs are safe (i.e. the tomato gmo mentioned in the papers which caused gastric lesions in rats) but the FDA position is that the GMOs currently allowed on the market are safe.
Even if there are some scientists who view all GMOs as unsafe, I look at the scientific consensus on issues like these. The nature of science is that almost never will all scientists agree unless it involves an established scientific law. However, it seems the current scientific consensus is that GMOs are safe.
American Association for the Advancement of Science American Medical Association World Health Organization National Academy of Sciences Royal Society of Medicine European Commission American Council on Science and Health American Dietetic Association etc.
I don't think that's the case.
Again, I've no ax to grind in this topic, and I think we can both agree there is a lot of rhetoric and emotion involved in topics like these. I also agree with you subjects should be able to be discussed without ranting. As one friend told me, so many people want to make a testosterone test out of each encounter. Not what I'm trying to do.
I'll end my post the same as yours, If I've got any facts wrong in what I posted, I'd be happy to have them corrected. However, I reserve the right to maintain my opinions right or wrong. :slightly_smiling:
I can't believe some think it is hard to get GMO seed. I bought a bag the other day mail order. The retailer (not wholesaler) never even asked for my Monsanto number (although I do have one).
Also, after the planting season is over, what do you think happens to the unsold seed? Much of it is sold for pennies on the dollar through conservation organizations for wildlife plantings. Year old seed has a lower germination rate but that is easily overcome with ragdoll tests and increased seeding rates.
While not guaranteed as GMO, most of the beans and corn you can buy for animal feed is GMO.
Some like it, some hate it, but GMO seed, at least for some crops, is very easy to come by.
I certainly agree that "non-GMO" is a marketing ploy, but if we are going to criticize marketing ploys, we're gonna need a much bigger database and server to handle the size of the thread.
I bet the public would support GMOs more readily if they were used as intended to avoid resistance and not overplanted like Bt corn. Accepting the present "safe" versions also gives tacit permission to continue on a reckless path.
If you are going to respond to all that Olpea worked so hard to construct I think it would be helpful and only fair to actually do a little more work to explain your position. Otherwise this is just a battle about ideologies, which doesn't belong here.
I have to learn not to respond to propaganda. As is clearly littered all over this thread. I did find it funny that as proof of position links were provided that blew that position out of the water. that was actually extremely entertaining. Such as the Schmeiser case, in which the guy is clearly a thief, yet it is presented as if he was a victim, when clearly he is a criminal. Yet the other side still uses it. The public record is very clear. I have read the transcripts, he admitted it in the end. He confessed to wrong doing. At least use better propaganda than that! Any side that would do this, tells you a lot, it's an eye opener for me. When the cause is more important than the truth, I run away, and run away fast! I must admit being in the medical field I'm biased towards GMO's, and in favor as I have seen how it has saved millions of lives. It would be near impossible for me to believe such a technology is bad. Yes it can be misused but it's back to the old argument should we have the freedom, or should someone else decide we do not. A rifle is a tool, how it is used, it can be abused. Most anti-gun statements attack the gun itself. I once read five articles about SUV's in accidents, and all five stories if read grammatically correct stated the SUV killed people, not the true cause, the drivers. It could have been a golf cart, I'm not sure why it matters at all what they were driving? I do agree bad people, selfish, greedy etc exist, but let's not throw the baby out with the bath water.
Yes, I was aware of Jon Entine's ties to Monsanto, and that Monsanto is one of the funding sources of the project. It may seem strange to some, but that part doesn't bother me. It wouldn't bother me if the information came directly from Monsanto itself, as long as the information was valid.
I looked at the list of studies referred to in the Genetic Literacy link I provided and although I didn't read any of the studies, as far as I could tell they were published in legitimate peer reviewed journals (i.e. Science magazine, Nature magazine, etc.)
This isn't to say that all scientific studies are favorable to various GMOs, or the process, only that the topic has been studied considerably and independently.
I would mention, I'm not in support of the current GMO regulatory processes. Like so many scientific questions, this is becoming too politicized.
One of the links you posted referred to the lack of oversight of the FDA on GMOs for their portion of regulatory oversight. I totally agree. Regulatory compliance should not be voluntary. IMO (loosely speaking) the FDA should require the same standard of proof of safety from gmo foods as they demand from the new pharmaceuticals, not the same standard required for non-gmo foods.
Because gmo tech is still new, there are more unknowns, and therefore should have higher standards of safety, imo. I'm not saying current gmos released to the public are unsafe, or that there hasn't been a lot of research done on their safety, just that there are still more unknowns with the technology and should have a higher standard required for both the environment and for humans.
Like many new technologies, I think gmos have the potential to solve many problems as it relates to global food supplies, but I think it should move forward carefully and cautiously .
I'm not trying to pound an issue but wanted to mention some news relevant to this discussion which was released just yesterday. I saw it on the news this morning.
The Academies of Science released a report yesterday that current GM crops being grown are safe for humans.
"Genetically engineered crops are safe for humans and animals to eat and have not caused increases in cancer, obesity, gastrointestinal illnesses, kidney disease, autism or allergies, an exhaustive report from the National Academies of Science released Tuesday found."
On the other side, the report indicated GM crops did not increase yield, which surprised me, but did lower cost of production for farmers.
"Overall, genetically engineered (GE) crops saved farmers in the United States money but didn’t appear to increase crop yields."
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (a consumer watchdog group) commented that the study was "thorough and systemic"
I have learned to try to avoid discussions around GMO or "organic" but I feel the need to comment. One big downside of GMO is weed resistance to Roundup due to the huge increase in its use. 30 years ago we sprayed a small amount of Roundup down the blackberry and blueberry rows- it killed everything we sprayed. Unfortunately, A lot of weeds have developed resistance to Roundup. The weeds that are not resistant to Roundup are taking a larger rate of Roundup to control. We are using larger amounts of Roundup each year to control the weeds that used to be easy to control.
You are right but has less to do with GMO specifically and more to do with relying on a single tool for weed control. True that lower cost of weed control in RR crops using gly drove this, but it is a self correcting problem. As weeds become more resistant to gly, the less effective RR cropping system becomes. As this occurs, farmers are forced to seek other weed control regimes. Another thing to consider is our patent system. As patents approach expiration, the technology becomes less profitable incentivizing companies to pursue other GMO modifications that they will likely release a new seed/herbicide cropping system.
I'm not suggesting that glyphosate resistance is not problematic. I'm just suggesting that it is not catastrophic. It will eventually eliminate glyphosate as a low cost effective broad-spectrum herbicide, but the technology that brought it to us will eventually replace it.
We now sometimes use Rely herbicide as an alternate to Roundup, especially late in the season when Roundup can cause damage to fruit trees. With the interest in Liberty Link GMO, Rely was in short supply last year. Its also about 5 times as expensive as Roundup but its labeled for most of what we grow. It kills some of the weeds that are Roundup resistant but I don't believe it trans-locates to the roots like Roundup. Overall its less effective and the price is a big problem.
I like that i have the option to not buy GMO products, but i'm not entirely against them. I think in the long term, it will just be a race of how fast the resistant weeds take to come back. I've noticed a lot of retailers are now selling GMO free products, even though the product isn't labeled organic.
I'm having a hard time holding back making a snarky comment about the readiness of people, in general, to readily form opinions without bothering to understand the subject. It's not unusual for polls to be designed to lead respondents into replying with a desired answer, though. Maybe the pollsters just wanted a good laugh.
Farmer buys RR corn through legitimate channels and plants it. Crop fails due to weather conditions. Farmer decides to try replanting but would have a high risk of huge loss buying seed normally again. Farmer goes and buys feed corn and plants it and uses glyphosate to control weeds.
Monsanto sues farmer. Ends up in the supreme court. Farmer loses.
What you suggest physically works. The chances of an individual getting caught are low. The consequences if caught are high.