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View Diary: 6 Reasons Why Prop 37 Is Not A Failure (15 comments)

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  •  If there's one staple of progressivism.... (1+ / 0-)
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    Roadbed Guy's the idea that even though we lost, we really won.  That's a lot less healthy than eating GMO food, if you ask me.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 09:17:38 AM PST

    •  Personally I think that these foods should (0+ / 0-)

      be labeled - there's already so much "noise" on the labels that this will be ignored by 98% of people out there in any event.

      Actually regulations, however, would open a huge can of words considering that virtually all food crops now commercially used are genetically modified in one way or another, so again, the labeling would either have to be very narrow in scope, or so ubiquitous as to become meaningless.

      •  "in one way or another" is a way of obscuring (1+ / 0-)
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        the issue. genetically modified crops engineered through gene splicing are done by a totally different process than breeding hybrids or new varieties through methods that go back to the domestication of crops in the neolithic era. to conflate the two is an agribiz PR strategy.

        •  I'm not necessarily talking about that (0+ / 0-)

          I'm talking about "radiation breeding"

          The method was discovered some 80 years ago when Lewis J. Stadler of the University of Missouri used X-rays to zap barley seeds. The resulting plants were white, yellow, pale yellow and some had white stripes — nothing of any practical value.

          But the potential was clear. Soon, by exposing large numbers of seeds and young plants, scientists produced many more mutations and found a few hidden beneficial ones. Peanuts got tougher hulls. Barley, oats and wheat got better yields. Black currants grew.

          The process worked because the radiation had randomly mixed up the genetic material of the plants. The scientists could control the intensity of the radiation and thus the extent of the disturbance, but not the outcome. To know the repercussions, they had to plant the radiated material, let it grow and examine the results. Often, the gene scrambling killed the seeds and plants, or left them with odd mutations. But in a few instances, the process made beneficial traits.


          So basically, this method massively disrupts the genomes of plants, in a much more nefarious manner than the targeted genome changes in the so-called "GMO" lines (which they are of course, but so are all the crops generated by radiation breeding)

          What is the scope of this:

          Though poorly known, radiation breeding has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world’s crops, Dr. Lagoda said, including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum. The mutant wheat is used for bread and pasta and the mutant barley for beer and fine whiskey.
          here's another link

          And grapefruit!

          Another practical result of the BNL irradiation program is gourmet grapefruit – Star Ruby and Rio Red.

          In the late 1950’s, a Texas citrus grower found a natural mutation on a Foster Pink grapefruit tree. Called Hudson Pink, the fruit was sweet and red, but contained a lot of seeds.

          In 1959, the Texas A&I University Citrus Center sent to BNL more than 3,000 Hudson Pink seeds for irradiation. Six seeds produced an almost seedless grapefruit with peel an orange-red color and juice the color of ripe tomatoes. From these, one was selected that consistently produced the fruit with the fewest seeds. This was the Star Ruby grapefruit – a brilliant, red grapefruit with a higher sugar and citric acid content than its predecessors.

          IMHO, these deserve to be labeled as GMOs as much as anything out there . ..
          •  mutations are part of evolution (0+ / 0-)

            splicing genes between different species? far less common.

            •  Not really, genes are transferred (0+ / 0-)

              between species (even kingdoms) with regularity.  The human genome for example, has something like 240,000,000 bp of genetic material transferred to us from some other species (via viruses).  That's a whole shitload, not a rare event.  Plants are way more promiscuous than that even in transferring genetic material.

              In fact, the toolkit of enzymes used by genetic engineers come from nature.

              Seriously, you have to totally twist yourself into a major knot to be for one approach and against the other.

    •  any initiative that changes things significantly (0+ / 0-)

      usually has to go up in a couple election cycles before it passes, especially when said initiative stands to hit a powerful interest in the pocketbook. the trend lines matter nearly as much as the results.

      see also: every other grassroots activism-driven issue that started out losing a close initiative race in california.

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