Alternative Agriculture

By Vanessa Schipani Alternative Agriculture The debate over genetically engineered crops rages on, but other technologies offer new hope for sustainable farming. Genetically modified soybean plants in a petri dish Bayer Cropscience AG In November 2010 a federal judge in California ordered that 256 acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings be ripped from the ground. The first court-ordered destruction of GE crops in the United States, the ru

By | February 1, 2011

Alternative Agriculture

The debate over genetically engineered crops rages on, but other technologies offer new hope for sustainable farming.

Genetically modified soybean plants in a petri dish
Bayer Cropscience AG

In November 2010 a federal judge in California ordered that 256 acres of genetically engineered (GE) sugar beet seedlings be ripped from the ground. The first court-ordered destruction of GE crops in the United States, the ruling stemmed from concerns about the environmental effects of the genetically altered plants. Before any more GE sugar beets can be planted on US soil, the judge said, a comprehensive analysis of environmental risks must be completed by the USDA, an endeavor that may take until 2012.

Monsanto, a multinational agricultural biotechnology company, genetically engineered the sugar beets to be resistant to the company’s weed killer Roundup. Known as Roundup Ready beets, the variety accounts for some 95 percent of the sugar beet crop grown in the United States. If the regulations banning the GE beets don’t change by next spring, farmers will have to plant conventional seeds, which yield smaller harvests per acre and are in short supply. As a result, the country could see a sharp decline in sugar production over the next few years, potentially leading to increased prices for consumers.

And sugar beets are just one example. The debate over GE crops continues to rage: while environmentalists worry about the crops’ effects on surrounding ecosystems, proponents of genetic engineering argue that GE crops, which can increase yields while minimizing toxic pesticide use, are needed to produce enough food for the 9 billion people predicted to inhabit the Earth by the mid-21st century.

“What gets lost in this debate in the US, where we have so much to eat, is that sustainability is important to feed the poor and malnourished and provide food at a cost that they can afford,” says Pamela Ronald, professor of plant pathology at the University of California, Davis. GE crops may provide part of the solution, she adds. “Genetically engineered seeds are just seeds. You can use them in any part of the world and in [almost] any system.”

I do not see genetic engineering as some sort of magic bullet.
— Eric Rey, Arcadia Biosciences

China, for example, with the highest population of any country in the world, rapidly adopted the use of GE crops after their introduction in 1996. GE crops have also grown to dominate more than 80 percent of the corn, soybean, and cotton farmlands in the United States, according to a 2010 National Academy of Sciences report. In addition to increasing yields and reducing pesticide use, such crops have also decreased the need for soil tillage, which diminishes soil quality and increases the rate of erosion.

Most European countries, on the other hand, have opted for precaution, insisting that GE crops must be proved completely safe for human consumption and the environment before farmers integrate them into their methods. They and others opposed to the use of GE crops cite the risk, for example, that engineered genes will be spread by wind and potentially contaminate organic fields, which ban genetic manipulation, and that crops engineered to be pest-resistant may inadvertently affect harmless insect populations. Furthermore, “the randomness inherent in our current technology for inserting novel DNA into a plant genome,” says Charles Benbrook, chief scientist at The Organic Center, a Colorado-based research organization that studies the benefits of organic farming, “[may lead to] a host of uncertainties that arise in how the modified plant is going to behave.”

But GE crops aren’t the only answer to the world’s growing food shortage. Researchers are currently working to develop alternative technologies that may offer benefits similar to those of genetic engineering but avoid much of the attendant controversy. Marker-assisted breeding, for example, chooses plants based on the presence of specific genes instead of phenotypic traits, accelerating artificial selection for beneficial traits without the introduction of transgenes. Similarly, the nascent technology of RNA interference (RNAi) has the potential to pinpoint specific pest targets and avoid killing insects that pose no threat to the crops.

“I do not see genetic engineering as some sort of magic bullet,” says Eric Rey, CEO of Arcadia Biosciences in Davis, California, a biotech company that develops GE products. GE crops will be an important part of agriculture’s future only in combination with age-old farming approaches and emerging genomic techniques, he adds.

Making use of markers

Unlike conventional breeding, which selects and breeds plants based on a phenotypic traits, marker-assisted selection (MAS) uses genetic markers known to be linked to traits of interest to identify superior plants for breeding. Using a technique called positional cloning, researchers narrow down the genome until the desired gene is located, and then design molecular markers to recognize allelic variation between individuals. MAS can help breeders avoid the trial and error involved with choosing individuals based on traits that are difficult to measure, like pest or drought resistance, and go straight to their genetic source, significantly speeding up the selection process.

Bayer CropScience tests new high-yielding rice varieties under stressful conditions.
Bayer Cropscience AG

“By reducing the number of generations and making it possible to more [rapidly] identify plants with superior gene and allelic combinations, marker-assisted selection reduces the time it takes to develop and release a stable, higher-yielding commercial cultivar or variety that is more tolerant to environmental stresses or resistant to pests and pathogens,” says Michael Gore, a geneticist at the US Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center in Arizona, which uses marker-assisted breeding to develop more productive crops such as cotton. And because the final products are fundamentally the same as conventional crops, nontransgenic plants bred using MAS technology are not subjected to additional regulatory hurdles, Gore added. Indeed, MAS-bred crops, such as corn and soybeans, are currently on the market.

Arcadia Biosciences also works with marker-assisted breeding in combination with a proprietary technology called TILLING. After creating a genetically diverse population of plants using chemical mutagenesis, the TILLING approach uses high-throughput sequencing techniques that “very rapidly find genetic variations in individual plants that might be valuable,” says Rey. With this technology, Arcadia has identified a number of genes related to improved shelf life of tomatoes after they’re picked, such as those that code for fruit firmness. Most tomatoes available today are harvested before they’re ripe and gassed en route to the supermarket with ethylene to induce redness—a process that can reduce their nutrition and flavor. Arcadia is working on breeding tomatoes that can be plucked when they are ripe and stay fresh as they are transported to market. In addition to tomatoes, Arcadia is also developing lettuce, strawberries, and melons with improved shelf life.

MAS also improves another technique traditionally employed in agriculture called backcrossing. The purpose of backcrossing is to move a trait, like pesticide resistance, from a native or genetically engineered cultivar into the genome of a commercial variety while retaining most of the commercial line’s genome. Using markers helps accelerate this process, says Gore, because researchers are again able to select specific genes of interest without using phenotypes. According to Charles Pick of DNA LandMarks Inc., a genomics company that works exclusively with MAS, most conventional corn backcrossing schemes need four to six generations before the line is ready to be released commercially. Using markers, a breeder can achieve the same end product in just two generations, trimming 1 to 2 years off the development time, Pick says.

Specialized silencing

Taking advantage of a natural cellular pathway called RNA interference (RNAi), researchers have developed a way to selectively silence or downregulate specific genes. While this technology is commonly used in basic biology labs to study gene functions, researchers have recently begun to apply it to agriculture, developing crops that have many of the same benefits of GE crops, but are even more selective when targeting pests or traits like disease resistance.

RNAi was first directly observed by researchers studying petunias in the early 1990s. After inserting additional copies of a cloned petunia gene related to pigmentation in an attempt to produce flowers with darker colors, researchers unexpectedly produced lighter, or even completely white, flowers, suggesting that the gene for pigmentation had been knocked down. In 1998 researchers finally nailed down RNAi’s mechanism—short, single-stranded RNA molecules bind to specific sections of messenger RNA (mRNA) transcripts, inhibiting translation. Though still in its early days, RNAi has already proven to be a promising method for regulating the expression of specific genes in crops without causing off-target effects.

Scientists at the US Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center use RNAi technology to develop cotton plants that are resistant to whitefly pests, which cause damage as they feed on the crops, as well as transmit plant diseases.
Peter Pattavina / Istockphoto.com

Researchers at Bayer CropScience, for example, have shown that downregulating the genes that control the production of poly (ADP ribose) polymerase (PARP), an enzyme activated under stress to protect DNA, produced plants that were more tolerant to drought, heat, and high levels of ozone. When PARP genes are downregulated, the plant redirects the energy that it would use for the PARP pathway to physiological processes like photosynthesis and growth despite the harsh environmental conditions. The researchers have yet to find any negative effects of downregulating PARP on the DNA of the plant, possibly due to the fact that the PARP gene isn’t completely silenced, which may still allow the plant to perform necessary DNA repair. After preliminary trials with model plants such as Arabidopsis, the researchers are applying the concept to crops like corn and canola.

Researchers at the Arid-Land Agricultural Center are also beginning to use RNAi technology to develop cotton plants that are resistant to one of their biggest foes: the whitefly. Many whitefly species not only feed on crops but also transmit geminiviruses that cause plant diseases and can devastate entire fields. The RNAi-engineered plant cells are armed with long double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sequences that can kill insect pests upon first ingestion of the plant. When the dsRNAs are split apart and digested by the whitefly’s antiviral machinery, the smaller single-stranded RNA pieces complement mRNAs of genes vital to the insect’s development, inhibiting translation and killing the insect. And because the RNAi technology targets a gene specific to whitefly development, the crops are able to kill off whitefly populations without harming nonpest insect species, unlike some GE pest-resistant crops. Arming the plants with the dsRNA molecules, however, does involve genetic manipulation, potentially posing some of the regulatory roadblocks that GE crops now face.

With technologies such as these striving to bring new and improved crops to market, it is clear that change is in the wind. “First we had primitive domestication, then we had directed breeding, then hybridization, then mutagenesis, and now we have genetic engineering,” says Ronald. Beyond a doubt, she adds, agriculture is going to continue evolving.

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Comments

Avatar of: Richard Patrock

Richard Patrock

Posts: 52

February 3, 2011

?Genetically engineered seeds are just seeds. You can use them in any part of the world and in [almost] any system.?\n\nThe problem with this statement is that you have to pay Monsanto for those seeds AND the pollen their plants produce. You have to pay Monsanto if your crop becomes cross-pollinated or dirtied by their patented pollen. This malfeasence and corporate bullying pulls a lot of public and scientific sympathy away from benefits that genetic engineering may provide.\n\nRoundup Ready will have a short shelf-life based upon the herbicide resistance that is showing up in wild plants. Then when the devil turns round after most of the genetic variation has been lost due to the economic pressures of monocultural dominance, where will we all stand? There are costs to genetic engineering that need to be addressed before we get stuck on a one-way road without a turnaround.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

February 3, 2011

So we produce more food for more people. Do we need more people? When will this crazy expansion in the world's human population end?
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 1

February 3, 2011

HOW is this article about sustainable ag moving forward?? Forcing farmers to rely on for-profit corporations for designer seeds is the exact opposite of sustainable ag.
Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

February 3, 2011

You know, one thing has been a constant in just about any "debate" I have ever heard on GM/GE crops - and I have heard a few, since 1986 or so.\n\nThat thing is "Monsanto": is that the only firm anyone knows? How about Pioneer, Syngenta...? Do people really think Monsanto is the only company making GM crop plants?\n\nAnd how about the assumptions that all GM crops are designed to (a) lock people into one variety of one crop, (b) penalise anyone into whose crop the pollen strays, (c) offer no real benefit to farmer or consumer?\n\nNot true: here in South Africa, where the free market adoption of GM maize has been to about 80% of the total hectarage grown, and even more for cotton, the crops were adopted enthusiastically precisely because they yielded better, benefitting the farmer, and the consumer - because market prices don't get elevated by scarcity. You see, the cost of seed for commercial growers is less of a constraint to profit than the extent of loss - and here, no-one is worrying about the spread of traits, because everyone is growing.\n\nFace it: the same folk who obsess about vaccines causing harm, are the ones obsessing about GM food and products being harmful in some way. And they don't really live in the developing world, where vaccines protect against diseases that kill, and GM products benefit poor farmers - and their customers.
Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

February 3, 2011

PS: and no, I have never received a cent from Monsanto. But I have helped make GM maize.
Avatar of: Douglas Easton

Douglas Easton

Posts: 32

February 3, 2011

Richard makes a number of claims about the negative effects of GM plants on neighboring non-GM crops, Roundup resistant weeds etc. I would like to see literature references to the papers that have documented instances of these problems.
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 107

February 3, 2011

when people obsess about the uncertainty involved in using recombinant DNA technology to introduce a single well-characterized gene into a plant species, and then turn around and propose as an alternative chemical mutagenesis -- a technique that indiscriminately affects every single gene in the target genome, and is capable of producing literally billions of unknown mutations. Also when this kind of double-think becomes the law of the land, thanks to some scientifically illiterate judge. \n
Avatar of: VETURY SITARAMAM

VETURY SITARAMAM

Posts: 69

February 3, 2011

We are battling some problems far deeper than merely some superficial equations such as better crops and more food or better vaccines and better health. These equations are actually ridiculous. The social operations and the realities are far more complex. The vaccine problem is in that when the primary vaccination costs a few cents, the companies manipulating the government to include less needed ones such as hepatitis into the universal programmes upset the whole cart of universal vaccination programme for children by making the costs go sky high. The real reason? The biotech company has to recoup its money. The same story with GM. Genetically modified for what? If names of some companies specifically come up as bad eggs, people have seen the extent of manipulation that goes into policies. The greatest danger of the simple minded answers and equations is that it prevents deeper research that make us look for real alternatives. We have difficulty in getting any plant and crop biologist look at physical chemistry of drought and yield ( we can measure these phenotypes in a day now for some time which permits proper genetics)simply because the subject matter is too complex for them. Then we hear Monsanto claiming to want to release tolerant varieties within an year. What came of it?\nHaving interacted with FAO groups, I also fear that less self-sufficient countries as in the African continent have become the playground for biotechnology firms and the sponsoring nations. I have been firmly told by many of my Indian colleagues that the evidence in favour of GM is far from clear. The farmer suicides have not decreased!
Avatar of: Steve Summers

Steve Summers

Posts: 28

February 4, 2011

Monsanto?s Roundup Triggers Over 40 Plant Diseases and Endangers Human and Animal Health\n\nhttp://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/664\n\n
Avatar of: JOHN COLLINS

JOHN COLLINS

Posts: 5

February 4, 2011

Well I never!(remember the three old ladies in Monty Python?). Companies are recouping their investment in developing and distributing superior products which have found a huge market because they perform. They are obviously evil aren't they? \nPlease hand back all your iPads, iPhones etc.\n\nIn contrast it is tacitly implied that anti-GM activists have no hidden commercial or political agendas (how naive do they think we are?): please note that the link in the first letter contains a response criticizing the author of this Link (Jeffrey Smith), ".... a ?real scientist?, a biotech professor at UC Davis, Denneal Jamison-McClung who did not comment on the article but had this to say about you, '....., I will say that we know of Jeffery Smith, his anti-GM claims, books, etc? He is making a lot of money (basically a career) out of scaring people. As a marketing consultant turned activist, he has the skill sets to slickly target the ?environmentalist? crowd and convince them of his propaganda. He has no scientific training or credentials. I can assure you, his claims have no empirical foundation and should not be incorporated in classroom teaching of science.'"\n\n
Avatar of: PHILIP DZIUK

PHILIP DZIUK

Posts: 2

February 4, 2011

I am an 84 year old agriculturist. I grew up on farm in Minnesota that would have been pleased with a yield of 50 bushels of corn per acre, now it is 200 per acre. Wheat yields have tripled, potato yields have tripled and rice yields have doubled in my lifetime due in large part to technology.Fifty years ago my father suffered ridicule because he used fertilizer, artificial insemination and other techologies of the time. We will always have luddites so long as they can complain with their mouth full. If we were producing food at the level of only 50 years ago we would now be starving. The world has less than 40 days of food reserve. we don't need to or can we afford to pay any note of those who want to go back. I have been there and it much better now. Philip Dziuk
Avatar of: Steve Summers

Steve Summers

Posts: 28

February 5, 2011

I observe that John Collins' comment is a somewhat `slick' piece of psychological gainspeak with little empirical substance, structured as a smear tactic.\n\nI note that John Collins did not address any of the points made by Jeffrey Smith in the LINK article of my comment. \n\nI report that Jeffery Smith has publicly stated that he would debate his position with anyone.\n\nI note that John Collins did not use his own scientific credentials to argue against the article in the LINK nor does he use researched opinions, beyond what is published within the article LINK.\n\nI note that Jefferey Smith reports the work of scientists.\n\nI note that the comment referred to by John Collins in the LINK article, that makes reference to Denneal Jamison-McClung, is *not* critical of Jefferey Smith but is sympathetic and is not the primary user of the term "real scientist" (i.e. using it to emphasizing distinction) but is quoting a colleague. The quote from Denneal Jamison-McClung provided by that colleague begins: ?I am unable to open the article without registering with this group, so I will not be able to read it.? As John Collins gave an opinion without commenting on any of the substance of the LINK article, it appears that Denneal Jamison-McClung gave a pre-formed opinion without even reading the article. \n\nI note that John Collins did not also relate the response of Jeffrey Smith to the above sympathetic commenter/inquirer.\n\nI note that John Collins has no problem with corporations making money from their labours, but has a problem with Jeffrey Smith making money from his labours. I have no idea what Jefferey Smith makes from his books and DVDs or how he uses it. John Collins does not offer any enlightening facts. This is typical of the technique of psychological manipulation -sans substance.\n\nI have observed that the common modus operandi of the culpable GE/GMO corporate supporter is ad hominem.\n\nI note that the modus operandi of the culpable GE/GMO corporations is suppression, smearing, intimidation, skewing of facts, dissembling, unethical political, institutional and corporate interference, bribery and coercion, conscienceless illegal activities, & etc. Research into the next set of questions will reveal this.\n\nI would invite the response of John Collins to these questions:\n\nWho is Arpad Putzai and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nA corollary question: Who is it who came to the defense of Arpad Putzai in his time of trial?\nWho is Neil Kirton and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho are Ignacio Chapela and David Quist and what are they most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Mae-Wan Ho and what is she most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Joe Cummins and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is John Losey and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho are Jane Akre and Steve Wilson and what are they most known for in the GE/GMO controversy?\nWho is Robert Mann and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Dr. Irina Ermakova and what is she most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Aaron deGrassi and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Michael Antoniou and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Andrés Carrasco and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Dr. Louis J. Pribyl and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Dr. Gerald Guest and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nWho is Percy Schmeiser and what is he most known for in the GE/GMO controversy? \nHow many others have had the experience of Percy Schmeiser?\n...for a start.\n\nIf a commenter indicates he cannot answer these questions then he does not understand the controversy.\n
Avatar of: VETURY SITARAMAM

VETURY SITARAMAM

Posts: 69

February 6, 2011

One need not disgrace the discussion on GM crops reducing to class struggles of industrial revolution, even if there is a lesson of a different kind therein. It is the field research that led to many fold increase in various crops notably cereals in the last century and not by maintaining the agricultural practices in statu quo ante. Much of the research focused once on photosynthesis and in an important paper Richards has shown that nearly 10 fold increase in productivity in these dacades was not associated with even 0.01% increase in photosynthetic efficiency! So what led to the increase? Not what the research money was betting on! A great deal of good old genetics and OR were major components and this led to feeding the peoples. The money available for research is always short of what is needed. Money available for development is even shorter in developing countries. In medicine we have learnt the need to assess the uncertainties in treatments and compare and not leave it to Pharma and insurance companies to decide what the treatment practices are. Agriculture is less critical and is still without regulation to the level required. The evidence is produced by companies in many instances. What is true in a temperate climate is often not true in a tropical climate. The bandwagon mentality has led to neglect of much needed basic training in the name of molecular breeding and clamor for GM without field testing. The newer vaccines are being thrust on people even by WHO not because because they are needed in a universal vaccination scenario nor because they are efficacious but because the companies cannot make money unless they sell where it is not needed. In the process, we lose coverage of basic vaccination with hell to pay. Interference in agriculture is even more threatening. I for one am glad to see a focus on alternatives in this paper since we do not need more intellectual support (if it can be called that) for future potential agricultural thalidomides.
Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

February 6, 2011

Woooo...strong stuff, right there!\n\nAnd how justified? Has there EVER been an introduced trait in ANY plant, that could remotely be linked to anything like as bad as happened with thalidomide?\n\nWhich is a perfectly good drug, by the way - just not a good idea to use in pregnant women!\n\nTruth to tell, the simplistic modifications of the 1980s - coat protein-mediated resistance to viruses; herbicide resistance - are giving way to increasingly more complicated modifications, many of which use targetted mutation to knock out or even to enhance production of particular proteins already produced by the plant, in order - for ecxample - to influence secondary metabolite production or concentrations of particular products.\n\nAnd they can do this without leaving any trace of the modifying agent in the progeny plant. Cool, hey?!\n\nCompare this, as an earlier poster did, with the genome-wide mutational screens done after whole-plant irradiation: this picks up the changes you can or know how to screen for; all the thousands of other single-base changes go unseen.\n\nHow much more deleterious might they be, than the VERY well characterized plants that result from any genetic modification by gene insertion? \n\nFace it, GM plants are being held to a far more stringent standard of biosafety that the products of deliberate irradiation, or even of accidental recombination that leads to desirable new traits. And it really, really is rather silly.
Avatar of: VETURY SITARAMAM

VETURY SITARAMAM

Posts: 69

February 7, 2011

There are terrible assumptions among scientists that should worry us. What is good for the USA or the West is not necessarily good for the rest of world. Ellen Hunt , I think, mentioned here recently how premature closure of DDT usage, simply because US was not affected, led to resurgence of malaria elsewhere. I have personally witnessed the aftermath. The second is that corporations are bad and doctors are good. Despite the fact the US FDA did not permit, many women got thalidomide as part of clinical trials and a great deal damage was already done. Enthusiasm for an idea is as deadly as anything and public need not suffer only due to the evil giants of corporates. Like physicians, well meaning agronomists can also do a lot of damage. And tell me what could be the problem in giving a little animal protein to a cow? The penalty for crossing the food chain barriers have not been small. Nor silly. Nature brought an issue on 20 years of biotech with the conclusion that what predicted did not come through and but what was not anticipated had some startling results. Logical genomics is far less rewarding than blatantly empirical stem cell work. That was the last terrible assumption. That we are very bright and can predict with certainty. Our failures and successes have a far greater uncertainty than we wish to believe. I think that the mistake was in creating the word GM. If it meant commercially cornerable (not just controllable) seed banks, which often the case is, one can understand the reservations and the case for unrelented public scrutiny. Enough has been said.\n
Avatar of: anonymous poster

anonymous poster

Posts: 107

February 12, 2011

If this kind of thinking prevailed in other areas of our lives, we would still be burning witches just to be on the safe side, since there is no actual proof that they are harmless. We should be content that GM foods act as a lightning rod to draw off all the superstitious hysteria in our society.\n
Avatar of: Steve Summers

Steve Summers

Posts: 28

February 16, 2011

Potential agricultural thalidomides?\n\nYes.\n\n"In 2005, Irina Ermakova....with the Russian National Academy of Sciences....reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller and could not reproduce."\n_________\n"Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov....and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto?s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.\n\nAfter feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.\n\n"The study, jointly conducted by Surov?s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, is expected to be published in three months (July 2010)...."\n\nhttp://www.responsibletechnology.org/blog/18
Avatar of: Steve Summers

Steve Summers

Posts: 28

March 11, 2011

.\nThe Bacterium That (Almost) Ate the World:\n \nhttp://kjpermaculture.blogspot.com/2008/01/bacterium-that-almost-ate-world.html\n\n"GM plants are being held to a.....stringent standard of biosafety."\n\nAre they? There are more close calls as well as plenty of damage out-of-the-box I could relate. The unknown is not regulated. Many potential and still-ignored problems, many of those unexpected, have now been defined however.\n\nThe co-founder of Greenpeace, Patrick Moore, now nuclear industry advocate, has been interviewed a lot lately around the Vancouver, Canada, region, promoting the safety of nuclear power and credulously claiming no harm in the West. With nuclear power, all it takes is one good earthquake to upset complacency about risk; so with complacency about very, very possible bioearthquakes caused by and enacted by GMO/GE organisms.
Avatar of: Steve Summers

Steve Summers

Posts: 28

March 17, 2011

.\nCracks Widen in Biotech Industry Myths:\nhttp://www.foei.org/en/media/archive/2011/cracks-widen-in-biotech-industry-myths \n\n

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