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Chalk up another win for corporations
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Author:  aristide1 [ Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Chalk up another win for corporations

"We The People?" Get to the back of the bus.

"Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' written by Monsanto-sponsored senator"

http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-bill-blunt-agriculture-006/

Author:  Cistron [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

aristide1 wrote:
"We The People?" Get to the back of the bus.

"Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' written by Monsanto-sponsored senator"

http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-bill-blunt-agriculture-006/
I think the article fails to address the actual evil of Monsanto, Pioneer and their like. It's not the fact that they plant GMOs, it's the fact that they bring many a farmer into an unhealthy dependency by flooding the market with (initially cheap) hybrid seeds, which are only good for one harvest.

Just a few words on GM plants.

Does the wider public even understand what has been modified? Probably not. The vast majority of these plants carry either genes covering roundup resistance or allowing the production of a Bacillus thuringiensis toxin, which is an insecticide. The arguments for such gene introductions are obviously that one has to use less herbicides and insecticides on the crops. Then you have the odd one such as golden rice that produces beta-carotene, launched as a charitable project to prevent blindness based on vitamin A deficiency.

The gross of "normal" crops are far worse, having been treated the "conventional" way by chemical mutagenesis for certain traits, introducing millions of mutations vs a single or a few genes of well defined function.

Besides, GM plants are already in wide-spread use. Most Soya, a huge quantity of cotton, etc.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

It's factory farming in general that is the main problem, but genetically modified foods in particular are also problematic on many levels.

Soil erosion and water use and oil and natural gas use to produce our food is terrible. We are eating oil, for all intents and purposes. The SIX FEET of wonderfully rich soil that we had in places like Iowa is largely gone - we are down to inches. Water supplies and the deep aquifers are being used up - Lake Mead is down to about 30% capacity. We use 10's and 100's and 1000's of gallons of water to produce food. A POUND of beef takes several THOUSAND GALLONS of water to produce.

The average food item travels about 1,400 miles before it gets to your plate. We have come to expect all food to available all year round. Reading 'Animal Vegetable Miracle' was a revelation.

Look up 'super weeds' the useful lifespan of most genetically modified seeds is already gone. And if you want proof of evolution, look no farther than super weeds.

We are silting up the Mississippi River, and the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico is not just from the BP oil spew. Nitrous oxide is about 25% of the greenhouse gas that we produce.

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:14 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

So let's thank Obama for behaving like Mitt Romney.

Monsanto:

http://www.naturalnews.com/029325_Monsa ... ption.html

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

While i agree with what both of you have said concerning factory farming and that most people don't know what GM crops are.

The problem is that we sadly need both to feed the population of the world, In the last 2 hundred years the world population has grown from 1 billion to 7 billion.
It took us about 150 to 200 thousand years to reach that 1 billion so its only recently that the population of earth has spiked so massively :cry:

Author:  aristide1 [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 6:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

While the prior statement is true, what we are seeing is the methodology used ends up profiting very few people while enslaving the masses to them.

If Monsanto had it's way anything and everything we plant would require paying them a fee. That's the road we're on.

Author:  frenchie [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 9:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Factory farming is NOT necessary. This is a fraud invented by Monsanto and their friends to justify selling their crap,and forcing people who don't want any of it to buy it anyways ! And then they can use all the money that they have to bribe lawmakers into passing laws that suit them.
fyi : http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/summary ... D000000055

beginning of rant :
There are people who farm in a very sustainable way, get an output that is very close to what you're supposed to be getting from the previously mentioned corporate liars, but yes, it does require some effort, and you just can't buy a "miracle" crop that will cost you your life, your money, and will make you dependent on one company. Not to mention that it destroys your land, and then you're screwed.
Go to the countryside, visit a sustainable farm, ask how the crop is grown, how the animals are raised, how they are killed, be aware of what you are eating. Ask what the costs are, what the revenues are. You will understand why the prices need to be what they are instead of the cheaper the better...
One last thing : ever heard of e-coli ? did you know that it is barely exists in a cow that eat grass. But a cow that eat corn (WTF ? corn ? really, must be from all that corn cows eat the wild ? talk about the corn lobby...), is packed with e-coli. In other word, meat from CAFOs is shit.
source : http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19351974
the summary from the article, copy pasted as-is (a government article btw... ) : "Ten years ago researchers demonstrated that populations of total E. coli were higher in grain-fed than in forage-fed cattle, and when cattle were abruptly switched from a high grain diet to an all hay diet, total E. coli populations declined 1000-fold within 5 days and reduced the ability of the surviving E. coli to survive an acid shock mimicking passage through the human gastric stomach"

A final reference : check out the polyface farm videos, websites, books... it all about sustainable agriculture, very interesting.

End of rant... sorry about that, but this is something I'm very passionate about... :)

Author:  Cistron [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 2:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

frenchie wrote:
Factory farming is NOT necessary.
Certainly isn't. I think most people who you take a bit of time to deal with the topic come to the same conclusion. Primarily that eating the quantities of meat we consume is ludicrous and that it consumes the majority of our resources breeding the life-stock.

You might enjoy the documentary "we feed the world". It's a German film, but at some point I was able to find a subtitled version on youtube to watch with my friends. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0478324/

Quote:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19351974
Just from the abstract, that's quite a striking discovery.

Author:  Reachable [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

These are 1990s figures, but one can assume that they haven't changed in any profound way -- 70% of all the grain grown in the U.S. (and I think that figure also includes legumes) is used to feed livestock. Worldwide the figure is 30%. Add to that now the grain that's used to produce ethanol.

Consider all the arable land in the world that's used to grow non-nutritive tobacco, coffee, tea, khat, opium, coca. etc.

My purpose for mentioning this is not to hammer guilt for not living an austere style of life, but to point out that all this luxury of available land further exposes the lie that these GE crops are needed to feed the world's population.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Factory farming is not sustainable - and that means in the end, we have to do farming that *improves* the land; not depletes it. Oil and gas are finite, and chemical fertilizers *kill* the soil, and they add to climate change. We cannot grow foods far away from where they are eaten - that depends on oil.

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 12:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Yes while in a perfect world sustainable farming is the best choice i agree. Sadly a large proportion of the worlds population don't live in a ideal world they have to contend with droughts, poor soil, insect swarms, etc, etc.

I cant really speak specifics regarding the Monsanto bill as i live in the UK, and this is where everyone is probably going to think im a nut job :lol:
But IMHO as long as the human population is allowed to carry on growing the way it has been in the last 200 years things look pretty grim, it is expected the world population will grow by 1 billion every 15 years and there is only so much finite resources to go around.

FYI im not arguing against sustainable farming or that factory farming is doing more harm than good.

Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:50 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Let's say you plant ordinary soybeans, not Monsanto's product. Your neighbor plants their product and pays the costs. Afterwards seeds from his property blow onto your property and begin to grow. You haven't paid Monsanto for that right and they haul you into court and sue you. The law now allows them to do that because they have manipulated the law to their advantage (just like all corporations). The way it's suppose to work is the law requires intent and action, but here intent is no longer required. And yes Monsanto employees sniff around such farmland looking for such violations.

It's the perfect setup, world domination masquerading as global feeders.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

In addition to what Aristide1 has pointed out, the crops get mixed together at the grain elevator, and a farmer needs to buy some seeds for the late crop or next springs crop, and he gets some seeds with the modified genes - and Monsanto sues him for using "their property" without paying them for it.

Plants, uh, produce seeds, and unbeknownst to the farmer, some of the seeds he pays for are from another farmer's crop - that he paid for from Monsanto. Who should be paid for the subsequent generations of seeds? After they are sold to the grain elevator, no one knows which have the modified genes? If a buyer wants to buy a grain *without* the gene, how can anyone say it is a natural grain or a GM one?

And why are we subjecting ourselves to this science experiment when Mother Nature has already made an end run around the supposed benefits? The superweeds are pretty much like drug resistant bacteria - and the chemists take another stab at a new super poison and the required super-modified genes to regain the "advantage"... This is insanity.

The actual problem is the monoculture factory farm. Bugs and weeds are presented with easy pickings, instead of a wide diversity of competition and synergistic crops, that have been carefully chosen by the experienced farmer who has the accumulated knowledge of ancestors. Crops can be complimentary and any one pest or weed has a much harder time taking over a vast field - because the diversity of crops actually builds the soil instead of depleting it, and there is no need for *any* poisons to come anywhere near our food supply...

Author:  aristide1 [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Quote:
and Monsanto sues him for using "their property" without paying them for it.


The main question is who drafted such laws that allow for crimes without intent. It goes against every principle of the US penal law. And it's far fetched even in civil court.

No need to ask why.

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Yea the way you describe the Monsanto bill does seem like its been dreamt up in some corporate legal eagles head who doesn't have any idea what nature is :cry:
Not that im defending them, but i see why they may want to protect there investment in R&D and all that but it seems this bill has been written by people thinking if they make a law saying nature shouldn't do something it will obey them and if it doesn't they can sue someone for nature not obeying this new law.

I did read something about it only lasting a year is that correct ? where they talking about the bill its self or something else ?

In the UK people are mostly against any GM crops to the point of people finding out where they are being tested and destroying the crops (good on them i say)
Now when there are tests of GM crops they go to great extents to keep it secret and hire security to try and keep people away.

Author:  Cistron [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 1:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Spoon Boy wrote:
In the UK people are mostly against any GM crops to the point of people finding out where they are being tested and destroying the crops (good on them i say)
And thwarting years of possibly beneficial research, whilst destroying public funding. The hypocrisy of protesters is phenomenal. We happily use antibiotics, insulin, growth hormone and loads of other transgenic proteins. Guess where these things come from? GMOs.

edit: yeah, that went a little OT from the bill.

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

But the difference with GM crops is the possibility that these test may contaminate normal crops and there is no way back once this happens.
From my understanding of the Monsanto bill, this cross contamination is exactly what people are concerned about.
In that if the GMO happened to find it way into your normal crops you can be sued if you didn't pay Monsanto to use there "product"

Author:  Cistron [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Spoon Boy wrote:
But the difference with GM crops is the possibility that these test may contaminate normal crops and there is no way back once this happens.
From my understanding of the Monsanto bill, this cross contamination is exactly what people are concerned about.
In that if the GMO happened to find it way into your normal crops you can be sued if you didn't pay Monsanto to use there "product"
Knowing Monsanto these crops won't produce fertile seeds (hybrids). This is the standard highly lucrative business practice of the seed producers. As I mentioned earlier, this forces many a farmer into an unhealthy dependence.

But yes, if your neighbour's purchased seeds are blown to your field you obviously suffer from this silly legislation.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 4:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

The supposed "benefit" from genetically modified seeds is a bit less than a decade of profits for Monsanto before the superweeds take over the fields.

Again, monoculture factory farming is ruinous to the land and the rich soil will not last very long. Chemicals completely halt the natural life-building processes in the soil, and the massive oversized tractor sized fields are erosion machines. We are over-pumping fossil water from the deep aquifers like it is going out of style. One or two more big droughts and we'll be wishing for local farms again.

Author:  Reachable [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Around 1990 I read about an early experiment with GM crops that had been begun ten years prior. A variety of crops were used. For each type of crop, one field of non-hybridized "wild" seeds was planted. In the same location, one field of conventional hybridized seeds was planted. A third field, with genetically modified seeds, was planted also in the same location. Then nothing further was done.

Ten years later the fields of wild seeds were still producing a strong yearly growth. The conventional hybridized seeds had failed by about half that time. The GM seeds didn't even make it to two years (and these weren't plants designed to make sterile seeds.)

The more the hand of man is present in creating something, the more the hand of man has to be there to maintain it. The forces of nature as a whole will maintain a forest, but they won't maintain your car.

GM organisms are far more vulnerable and require more human effort to maintain. In most cases, this cannot be viewed favorably.

Author:  aristide1 [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Quote:
The more the hand of man is present in creating something,


Humans are prone to instant gratification. Farmers strapped for cash need any way out of their mess they can find.

No one is teaching the long term consequences, so why would the masses be aware of them?

In Greece farmers see the warning labels on herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers. They maintain 2 separate batches of crops, one for the masses where they dump the chemicals, and a small chemical-free plot for themselves.

Makes me want to ask - What exactly is Miracle Grow?

Author:  Spoon Boy [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 9:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

aristide1 wrote:
Makes me want to ask - What exactly is Miracle Grow?


Isn't that the stuff balding men put on there head :lol:

Author:  Cistron [ Tue Apr 02, 2013 11:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Reachable wrote:
The more the hand of man is present in creating something, the more the hand of man has to be there to maintain it. The forces of nature as a whole will maintain a forest, but they won't maintain your car.

GM organisms are far more vulnerable and require more human effort to maintain. In most cases, this cannot be viewed favorably.
Do you still have a source or article for these findings? I'm curious as to why that would be the case. The "hand of man" is involved in every crop. If it weren't the case, potatoes would be poisonous and the grain harvest meek.

Even what you might call "wild" plants fail all the time, or have we all forgotten the great potato famine in Ireland? That's the perfect example that any massive mono-culture are very susceptible to pathogens.

Author:  Vicotnik [ Wed Apr 03, 2013 7:36 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Cistron wrote:
Do you still have a source or article for these findings? I'm curious as to why that would be the case. The "hand of man" is involved in every crop. If it weren't the case, potatoes would be poisonous and the grain harvest meek.

Even what you might call "wild" plants fail all the time, or have we all forgotten the great potato famine in Ireland? That's the perfect example that any massive mono-culture are very susceptible to pathogens.

Yeah. As someone who farms a little I can tell you that even such a basic thing as tilling the soil is hard work. :) I believe more of "one straw revolution" stuff will be more popular once the price of diesel shoots though the roof.

It's not very controversial to claim that the more the hand of man is present in creating something, the more the hand of man has to be there to maintain it, is it? GM crops comes with it's proprietary pesticide etc.

Author:  Reachable [ Wed Apr 03, 2013 2:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Cistron wrote:
Reachable wrote:
The more the hand of man is present in creating something, the more the hand of man has to be there to maintain it. The forces of nature as a whole will maintain a forest, but they won't maintain your car.

GM organisms are far more vulnerable and require more human effort to maintain. In most cases, this cannot be viewed favorably.
Do you still have a source or article for these findings? I'm curious as to why that would be the case. The "hand of man" is involved in every crop. If it weren't the case, potatoes would be poisonous and the grain harvest meek.

Even what you might call "wild" plants fail all the time, or have we all forgotten the great potato famine in Ireland? That's the perfect example that any massive mono-culture are very susceptible to pathogens.


That was such a long time ago, but I think it was in an issue of The Economist, and I think it was 1990.

The results of the experiment seem completely unsurprising. Non-hybridized plants are adapted to surviving in non-farming situations, which is what the experiment pretty much was. Hybridizing of plants takes away some of that adaptation for the sake of other goals.

This principle shows up in animals also. Most hybridized wolves (dogs) are helpless in the wild.

By "the hand of man" here I mean the willful altering of the form of a natural object by humans. The greater the degree to which this is done, the more humans have "the responsibility of God" in perpetuating the form.

Author:  Cistron [ Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:29 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Vicotnik wrote:
It's not very controversial to claim that the more the hand of man is present in creating something, the more the hand of man has to be there to maintain it, is it? GM crops comes with it's proprietary pesticide etc.
My very scientific answer would be "it depends...". The proprietary pesticides, like Glyphosate (Roundup), just kill all other plants and is has been used to clear out rail tracks of plants for some time. Doesn't mean you couldn't grow the plant in the usual way. Whereby the usual way is already quite high maintenance, including fertilisers and the whole shabang.

So Reachable obviously has a point, but nature tends to maximise entropy and we cannot eat poisonous plants. If we returned to the most fundamental farming method, we all be farmers again living in fear of starvation, as was the case in the middle ages. But as I alluded to earlier, I believe that's hypocrisy as well, given that all crops were adapted for our gain. Of course today's overproduction is taking it several steps too far. We all have to thank Earl Butz for this.

And there is no doubt that Neil is right, as the herbicides put a lot of selective pressure on other plants. The resistant will survive and might become an annoying pest.

Author:  Vicotnik [ Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Cistron wrote:
If we returned to the most fundamental farming method, we all be farmers again living in fear of starvation, as was the case in the middle ages.

I think this is a myth. E F Schumacher talks a bit about this. We are led to believe that the cathedrals of europe was built by miserable people, on the brink of starvation. Sustenance farming with sensible technology would result in less starvation than todays industrial farming.

Author:  NeilBlanchard [ Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

We have learned a lot more about farming, and we can do better than we did before chemicals. Sustainable farming is the only way we will survive - and in fact we will thrive, because it *improves* the soil.

Factory farming with large machinery and chemicals is not sustainable - because the soil itself is not doing what it must do in order to keep going. It is being seriously degraded both because the chemicals we use kill off the natural processes in the soil, and the soil erodes away.

Chemicals are a temporary and artificial boost to the soil - but they kill off the very cycle that made the soil to begin with.

If we continue to use chemicals on our farms, we will starve. And the GMO's that make it "easier" to use chemicals are moot.

We used to have SIX FEET of soil in places like Iowa. Now in less than 6 decades, most of that soil is GONE.

Author:  HFat [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

frenchie wrote:
There are people who farm in a very sustainable way, get an output that is very close to what you're supposed to be getting from the previously mentioned corporate liars ...
Go to the countryside, visit a sustainable farm, ask how the crop is grown, how the animals are raised, how they are killed, be aware of what you are eating.

Or you could look at proper studies comparing farming techniques in which other variables are held as constant as possible.
Then you'll understand why so many farmers have abandonned sustainable techniques long ago for many crops. No factories or huge corporations were involved back in the day.
Fertilizers actually work. People used unsustainable fertilizers before synthetics. Even fertilizers which are called sustainable actually compete with food grown for human consumption.
There is no way to feed billions of people sustainably with current tech. And so I've never seen a single professional farm that was anywhere close to sustainable. Sure, people raise livestock sustainably on marginal land (or worse). People also grow a bit food sustainably on the side but that won't feed very many.

frenchie wrote:
One last thing : ever heard of e-coli ? did you know that it is barely exists in a cow that eat grass.

People die from the e. coli on organic food too. Did you know that organic fertilizer often contains e. coli whereas chemicals do not?

Author:  HFat [ Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Chalk up another win for corporations

Vicotnik wrote:
We are led to believe that the cathedrals of europe was built by miserable people, on the brink of starvation.

Please consult actual historians. In the absence of a welfare state or plentiful food aid, inequality means some people eat while others die. Cathedrals were built during a long period. During that period, there were striking population collapses on a decadal scale in many areas. The "great leap forward" famine in Maoist China was small potatoes in comparison. People did starve and then they died from epidemics, as starving people are wont to do. Going by the church records, infants in particular apparently died in droves as you'd expect when people are starving.

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