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photo corn_rootworm_zps535d9f49.jpgAdult corn rootworm beetle on a corn plant. Image: Sarah Zukoff/Flickr

Thanks to CroneWit for alerting us to the evolution of rootworms resistant to genetically engineered "rootworm resistant corn," "Bt corn." In a rush to maximize short-term profits, farmers and seed companies defied guidelines established by the EPA and scientists, allowing rootworms to gain the upper hand. Brandon Keim, tells the tragic story, Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It in Wired, which highlights why we need a more independent EPA, and independent academic scientists to help protect and promote the common good, and why we should not let those led only by short-term profit motivation set agricultural, governmental, or other social policies by themselves.  

Genetic engineers created Bt corn by incorporating the genes of the pesticide producing Bacillus thuringiensis into genes of the roots of traditional corn, vastly reducing the amount of pesticides needed, and increasing crop yields. Keim tells us that Bt corn is now used in three quarters of the U.S. crop.  

 photo butteredcorn_zps80d8c181.jpgDemocrats support science which helps keep our corn safe and healthy

Scientists warned that unless farmers and regulators set aside reserve areas, to keep mixing in with the genes of rootworms not growing in Bt corn, resistance could emerge.  


Key to effective management, said the scientists, were refuges set aside and planted with non-Bt corn. Within these fields, rootworms would remain susceptible to the Bt toxin. By mating with any Bt-resistant worms that chanced to evolve in neighboring fields, they’d prevent resistance from building up in the gene pool.

But, did seed companies and farmer listen? No! They brazenly defied these reasonable warnings from scientists that they plant up to 50% of their corn crops with non-BT corn.  Seed companies even induced the EPA to set the guidelines down between 5% and 20%, and many farmers didn't even follow those reduced guidelines! Another lesson here is we need a more lobby resistant EPA.

 photo corn2_zpsa123890a.jpg

So now, rootworms resistant to Bt corn have evolved independently in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, and South Dakota.  

'A widespread increase in trait failure maybe just around the corner.'
In the new paper, Gassmann describes further incidents of Bt resistance in other parts of Iowa. He also found rootworms resistant to a second variety of Bt corn. Moreover, being resistant to one variety heightened the chances of resistance to another. That means corn engineered to produce multiple Bt toxins — so-called stacked varieties — won’t do much to slow the evolution of rootworm resistance, as was originally hoped.

Entomologist Bruce Tabashnik of the University of Arizona is pushing for the EPA to double current refuge requirements. But, “Biotech companies have successfully lobbied EPA for major reductions in refuge requirements,” say Tasbashnik.  

Entomologist Elson Shields of Cornell University agrees. “Resistance was caused because the farmers did not plant the required refuges and the companies did not enforce the planting of refuges,” said Shields, who has written that “a widespread increase in trait failure may be just around the corner.”

Crop rotation is an additional strategy for disrupting rootworm resistant populations, but few crops are as profitable as corn. Continuous corn production is the perfect environment for growing resistant rootworms.

Keim's excellent and well documented article also describes how the seed companies enforced long legal delays on scientists trying to study rootworm resistance by denying them access to documents and crops. Professor Shields claims entomologists could have discovered this problem much earlier had seed companies cooperated.


“Once we had legal access, resistance was documented in a year,” Shields said. “We were seeing failures earlier but were not allowed to test for resistance.”

There’s a lesson to be learned for future crop traits, Shields said. Rootworm resistance was expected from the outset, but the Bt seed industry, seeking to maximize short-term profits, ignored outside scientists. The next pest-fighting trait “will fall under the same pressure,” said Shields, “and the insect will win. Always bet on the insect if there is not a smart deployment of the trait.”

Seriously, folks, here we see yet, another example of the vital role government regulation plays in our everyday life, and the production of food, and agricultural productivity. The Tea Party philosophy of "let-everyone-do-their-own-thing" is proven wrong, every day. Yesterday, we saw an article with a similar theme showing a little bit more funding for the NIH, and NSF might be able to yield enormous improvements in the research into the REST protein in Alzheimer's disease.

When Governor Rick Perry self destructed in the 2012 GOP presidential primaries by not being able to remember that the EPA was one of the three federal agencies he wanted to shut down, most people thought his main disqualifying factor was he was not intelligent enough to be president. Perhaps, a bigger disqualification should have been that he was wrong - dangerously wrong, blinded by zealous ideology.  

 photo corn_zps676d119e.jpgCory the CornCob says: Help keep our corn supply safe with science - vote for Democrats!

To win the upcoming November elections we have to tell stories like this around the water coolers at work, at church, in bed with our sweethearts, at family reunions, everywhere, and to everyone, we need independent scientists, the EPA, the NSF, the NIH, the FDA, the SEC, etc, and government to promote the common good, and protect our collective interests.

Next time some idiot at a social function, says something stupid like "let's shut down the EPA," you can respond, "WTH? and have the country overrun with voracious Bt resistant rootworms?!?!" And, everyone will laugh, and shake the heads, in disbelief, that anyone would be so stupid.  

So let this be a lesson to anyone who should dare to defy science! Or, call for shutting down the EPA. Bwa, ha, ha. Woof, woof!

12:53 PM PT: Could folks help me think up some good poll responses for some Friday Night Fun for those of us not going out tonight? I know one of the responses already is going to be "I like my corn hot and slathered with butter?

If you come up with funny responses I'll think up the question - Right now I'm think of "How do you like you corn?" or "Which response best reflects your thoughts about corn"  -- something general. - Thanks

Oh, anoher's going to be "Bt Corn? - Damn, I thought this article was going to be about Bit Coins, now I've got to call my broker back right away!"

1:38 PM PT: I was thanking CroneWit because she found this article and emailed it to me last night, or early this morning. Thanks again CroneWit.

5:06 PM PT: Corrected reference to CroneWit from he to she, and took the incorrect h out of her name. Sorry, CroneWit and thanks again for sending this article to me.


Poll

Which response most closely reflects your feelings about corn?

7%85 votes
0%9 votes
0%7 votes
0%5 votes
3%40 votes
1%21 votes
1%19 votes
3%41 votes
2%25 votes
0%4 votes
2%25 votes
1%16 votes
1%21 votes
46%537 votes
25%297 votes

| 1152 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (221+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, kenwards, JeffW, HugoDog, Egalitare, Bad Cog, nocynicism, Cassandra Waites, MJ via Chicago, cv lurking gf, this is only a test, Brecht, juliesie, la motocycliste, Glacial Erratic, orlbucfan, George3, gypsytoo, cotterperson, Jim P, bakeneko, Attack Gardener, No one gets out alive, freelixir, catfishbob, GAS, slksfca, JamieG from Md, political mutt, trivium, GeorgeXVIII, Agathena, Mortifyd, Penny GC, rmabelis, pico, ontheleftcoast, flowerfarmer, middleagedhousewife, enhydra lutris, ExpatGirl, joanbrooker, Cat Servant, tonyahky, Brown Thrasher, greengemini, CanyonWren, greenbastard, Aunt Pat, Nowhere Man, gnbhull, cocinero, peachcreek, YucatanMan, Involuntary Exile, cwsmoke, bfitzinAR, slowbutsure, marleycat, fb, Lily O Lady, LinSea, Matt Z, mikidee, ybruti, Lencialoo, Tool, Free Jazz at High Noon, FiredUpInCA, NYWheeler, Joieau, IreGyre, shanikka, devis1, LeftCoastTom, nuclear winter solstice, jnhobbs, MKSinSA, wilderness voice, VirginiaJeff, Ice Blue, bubbanomics, camlbacker, rapala, Polly Syllabic, CroneWit, davidincleveland, native, KenBee, opinionated, markdd, onionjim, davelf2, petulans, Glen The Plumber, DawnN, roberta g, Mr Robert, blackjackal, tegrat, maybeeso in michigan, CwV, The Hindsight Times, wader, Ageing Hippie, CA Nana, GDbot, thomask, Gowrie Gal, randallt, Hastur, HedwigKos, side pocket, leeleedee, monkeybrainpolitics, Paul Ferguson, freesia, shermanesq, Emerson, bluezen, Capt Crunch, tapestry, ozsea1, Aaa T Tudeattack, DEMonrat ankle biter, EricS, rbird, Naniboujou, FriendlyNeighbor, Hey338Too, weck, GreenMother, FarWestGirl, sunny skies, emmasnacker, SingerInTheChoir, i saw an old tree today, stagemom, BusyinCA, writeofwinter, Halfton81, oceanview, AJayne, 207wickedgood, ER Doc, worldlotus, PeteZerria, PeterHug, antirove, Toyotabob7, Lujane, ATFILLINOIS, NinetyWt, nirbama, Regina in a Sears Kit House, Auriandra, Ginny in CO, sturunner, carpunder, kurt, Knucklehead, IndieGuy, kerflooey, terabytes, SilverWillow, kbman, maggiejean, grollen, offgrid, high uintas, science nerd, doingbusinessas, asym, greycat, basquebob, subtropolis, ORswede, AaronInSanDiego, terremoto, pimutant, NYFM, Tinfoil Hat, Simplify, JoanMar, Youffraita, ItsaMathJoke, psnyder, Prognosticator, riverlover, dot farmer, bythesea, codairem, Smoh, eeff, TomFromNJ, o76, LarisaW, SGA, Terri, Mayfly, rubyclaire, angelajean, Ironic Chef, dewtx, spooks51, vahana, zerelda, Skyye, pvasileff, Sychotic1, Eric Nelson, Creosote, Tex Arcana, ptressel, vigilant meerkat, Seanachi, ivote2004, wilywascal, Oh Mary Oh, not a lamb, skyounkin

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:32:12 PM PDT

  •  It's not nice to fool Mother Nature (44+ / 0-)

    but keep the GMO hits coming folks...and the heavy use of fertilizer and pesticides...and putting all our genetic eggs in one basket...

    Blue is blue and must be that. But yellow is none the worse for it - Edith Sidebottom

    by kenwards on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:36:15 PM PDT

    •  Shhhhh, if you criticize GMO crops (31+ / 0-)

      for any reason you're anti-science and a dirty hippie.

      Even if it's for scientifically sound reasons.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:35:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am not against GMO (12+ / 0-)

        But I am against using it stupidly, thereby defeating the purpose of a given modification in the first place.

        What the EPA should do is ban the use of a pest-resistant crop until there are at least two or three different pest-resistant modifications of that kind of crop.

        Mandate that there has to be yearly rotation of the three pest-resistant crops, and you'll get more cooperation from the farmers, who won't fear that their neighbor will prosper by bending the rules.

        For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

        by Ptolemy on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:41:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  nah, scientifically-sound reasons are fine (29+ / 0-)

        It's the scientifically-silly stuff like "we'll get cancer from eating the genes!!!" that doesn't help our side any.

        My gripe with GMOs has nothing to do with science, though--it's political and economic. GMO is just used as a tool by Monsanto to crush its competition and to lock the entire agrarian sector into a semi-feudal dependence. I find that intolerable.

        I also find the very idea of patenting a natural process for profit, intolerable.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:45:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is far more than silly stuff (12+ / 0-)

          Industry may have had problems with the "protocols" of the scientists from Caens, but here's two things to cosnider:

          This past week, over in the Far East,  a study similar to the one from Caens was repeated with the same results.

          Secondly, although there is no reason to stop Industry from complaining about various studies, the fact is that in my 25 years of investigating the Pesticide Industry, and now the Gm industry - not once does the giant firm say, "Well although the study was too small, and/or failed in some other aspect, we realize that certain points were demonstrated, and we will use some of our profits to fund a similar study which corrects a few of the flaws, while examining some very serious issues.

          Not once! And usually the giant industry people are concerned about a study's size - so I'd say: Just redo the test using your money (Much more abundant to you than to grad students somewhere!) and get back to us in  a  few years...

          But they rarely do.

          •  can we see the peer-reviewed papers, please? (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mconvente, rbird, murrayewv

            Thanks.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:34:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The peers... (8+ / 6-)

              ... are all on the same payroll as the pseudo-scientists that approve this hokum.

              Science has become a religion that we follow blindly in many cases, especially cases where billions of dollars are on the line.

              They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

              by CharlieHipHop on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:32:55 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  so that would be "no, we can't see the peer-review (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fluffy, rbird, Smoh

                papers".

                That's what I thought.

                HRd for idiotic CT arm-waving. Believe it or not, not all of the scientists in the world work for Monsanto. Your silliness is no different than Exxon blithering that all the world's climate scientists work for Greenpeace. And should be equally ignored. And HRd.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:41:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  HRing someone you're in a discussion with is (6+ / 0-)

                  against the rules. FYI.

                  Not that the rules here are enforced.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:46:11 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I encourage you to take it to Kos (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rbird

                    Kos made it clear in his FP diary that arguments of this sort--unsupported CT theories about people being shills or plants or paid trolls--are not only HRable but bannable.

                    This is a reality-based community.  Idiotic CTs are HRable and bannable.

                    And the idea that all the scientists in the world are plotting to shill for Monsanto, is idiotic CT.

                    If Kos agrees that this post is acceptable, I will withdraw my HR. But I have the feeling Kos will have a different view of that.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:55:01 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Kos won't do shit (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kalmoth

                      you can tell this is a dictatorship because rules are only enforced arbitrarily.

                      Not Hring someone you're in a discussion with has always been against the rules. If you think it's bannable why don't you contact someone?

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:57:24 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  This (0+ / 0-)

                      Is concerning, if true.

                      It was clear to me that this is the commenter belief.

                      Belief expressed is an opinion.

                      Very concerning if this is against the rules here.

                      What happens when members here hr another members comment? Do they get banned?

                      If so... well I better not express my thoughts..

                      done

                  •  see my diary here: (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Hey338Too, rbird

                    http://www.dailykos.com/...

                    I'm sick of this sort of idiotic shit, I won't tolerate it any more, and I'll HR it wherever I see it, no matter which side of what issue it comes from.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:56:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                •  please remove your hide-rate n/t (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ER Doc, worldlotus
                •  Did you ask CHH for "peer-review papers" ? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  i saw an old tree today

                  Or did you ask EliseMattu for "peer-review papers" ?
                  I think you might be going after the wrong person .

                  "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                  by indycam on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:30:27 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  well, I want peer-reviewed papers that show (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    rbird, murrayewv

                    any such effect from GMOs.

                    I ain't particular about who posts them for us.  :)

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:41:45 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You asked (4+ / 0-)

                      EliseMattu for "peer-review papers"
                      CHH replied that even if EliseMattu did come up with some "peer-review papers" they might not be worth the money they were written on .
                      Then you went after CHH for not coming up with the "peer-review papers" you asked EliseMattu to come up with .

                      Funny that you would hide rate CCH for that .

                      Or have I got it all wrong ?

                      "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                      by indycam on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:46:50 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  you have it all wrong (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        murrayewv

                        That isn't what I HRd him for.

                        I HRd him for the idiotic and unsupported CT that all the world's scientists are on Monsanto's payroll and conspire to protect Monsanto.

                        That is no different than Exxon's bullshit that all the world's scientists are on the payroll of Greenpeace and are conspiring to fake global warming.

                        It is nutty CT, and is HRable.  It should also be bannable. It makes us all look like tinfoil-hat kookers.

                        And I'm still waiting for the peer-reviewed papers--so far all I've gotten is excuses about why I don't need to see them.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:25:17 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Can you point out where he said this ? (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT, steelman
                          I HRd him for the idiotic and unsupported CT that all the world's scientists are on Monsanto's payroll and conspire to protect Monsanto.
                          I've read his comment a few times and I just don't see it .

                          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                          by indycam on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:41:50 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I sure can (0+ / 0-)
                            The peers...
                            ... are all on the same payroll as the pseudo-scientists that approve this hokum.

                            Science has become a religion that we follow blindly in many cases, especially cases where billions of dollars are on the line.

                            I'm pretty sure he's not talking about McDonalds. . . .

                            It's silly CT horse shit.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:58:12 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  The peers are all = (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            protectspice

                            "all the world's scientists" ?

                            The peers that do the review are all on the same payroll = all the world's scientists ?
                            I don't think that's what he is saying .

                            Have you ever come across any of what he is talking about ?
                            Did tobacco ever have bad studies that were backed up with bad peer reviews ? Anything along those lines ?

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                            by indycam on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:06:40 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  yeah yeah yeah (0+ / 0-)

                            And scientists are faking all the evidence for global warming.  And evolution. Because tobacco companies did it.

                            Spare me the silly CT kookery.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:41:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You should not let your mind run free . (0+ / 0-)

                            It goes places it should not .

                            GMO is just used as a tool by Monsanto to crush its competition and to lock the entire agrarian sector into a semi-feudal dependence.
                            Is this CT ? Or do you have peer reviewed proof of your accusation ?

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                            by indycam on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:07:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  nice word game (0+ / 0-)

                            Not interested in playing, though.

                            Have fun.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:44:27 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  " So that would be (0+ / 0-)

                            "no, we can't see the peer-reviewpapers".
                            That's what I thought."

                            "It is nutty CT, and is HRable.  It should also be bannable. It makes us all look like tinfoil-hat kookers."

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                            by indycam on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 10:50:45 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you ask for (0+ / 0-)
                            can we see the peer-reviewed papers, please?
                            for the results of the
                            This past week, over in the Far East,  a study similar to the one from Caens was repeated with the same results.

                            "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

                            by indycam on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:30:15 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                •  BTW Lenny Flank, I do not notice (0+ / 0-)

                  too many here addressing my question:

                  Why is it that the Big Pesticide, Big Gm promoting firms, will critique studies that are not favorable to their products, citing the smallness of the study, but then they never go on to fund a larger study like the one they critiqued?

                  •  obviously because they run the whole world (0+ / 0-)

                    and are all engaged in an enormous conspiracy spanning the entire planet to prevent anyone from learning anything about anything.  (yawn)

                    Now, can I see the peer-reviewed science data that supports any of your claims?

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:37:33 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Here is a link to what happens when (0+ / 0-)

                      Decent and reliable scientists undertake a study, that had five referees before its publication,  and it goes on to be peer-reviewed, but since the study  took up  an issue of risk that the Big Industry forces need to have buried:

                      http://permaculturenews.org/...

                      •  how dreadful (0+ / 0-)

                        So what.

                        How does that show that GMO genes have done anything to anyone anywhere at any time.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 01:54:37 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  ps--given what the idiotic "pig study" did, I'm (0+ / 0-)

                          not even remotely surprised to find this study dismissed as "inconclusive" too (a polite way of saying the data doesn't match the conclusion). The pig study shouldn't have fooled a fifth grader, but all the anti-science fringers quoted it as gospel because it told them what they wanted to hear. So I take the conclusions of this report too with a boatload of salt, until I see the actual raw data for myself.

                          I've been asking for YEARS now to hear a mechanism through which eating a GM gene causes a health effect, but eating the billions of other genes that you did at breakfast this morning, doesn't.

                          I'm still waiting. I expect I'll be waiting forever. I expect that most of the fringers don't even know enough science to understand the question.

                          Illiteracy like this just hands Monsanto a club to keep beating us over the head with.  I don't why on earth the fringers are so anxious to help Monsanto by making us ALL look like uneducated buffoons.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 02:18:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Sorry, HRing you (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kalmoth

                Science still works. Yeah, there are bought-and-paid-for pet scientists out there, working to promote the lies of the 1%. It may take time, but they are eventually smoked out by real scientists. That's the magic of science, "Trust nothing without testing it first."

                There is no appeal to authority in science. Challenge Einstein if you think you have the observations and experiments to do it.

                Or to put it more bluntly, anyone who says shit like this...

                Science has become a religion that we follow blindly...
                ...is gonna get an HR from me.

                Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

                by rbird on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:57:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Well that's the thing though. Big Oil tried to (5+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  AoT, protectspice, worldlotus, codairem, Skyye

                  sway the climate debate with their false science, but there were tons of institutions and individuals studying the climate that could refute their bull.

                  When it comes to doing studies of the potential effects of GMOs, which are always patented and making them extremely risky, or downright illegal to study for fear of legal reprisal, there's hardly any independent science being done.

                  If Monsanto had patented Ernest Rutherford's technology, then said splitting atoms is not dangerous, we'd be selling radioactive candy to kids and you would be fuck-all trying to prove otherwise.

                  So, maybe the true results of some science can be kept hidden? Maybe? Ya' think?


                  "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

                  by Pescadero Bill on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:14:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Uprated to offset Lenny Flank's and other's (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                protectspice, Skyye

                stupid hr.


                "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

                by Pescadero Bill on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:59:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Also many people do not understand how strange a (0+ / 0-)

                Process that "peer reviewed" happens to be.
                For instance, let's say you have written a paper on "Bee mortality and Bt Corn."

                And I am a scientist whose specialty is the vulcanization of rubber.

                If Monsanto knows I will serve their purposes in agreeing with your  paper and its thesis that  Bt in corn doesn't affect the bees, I can be chosen over other scientists who actually have knowledge of Gm processes, and the biology of bees.

                Also, gone are the days of a corrupt industry official meeting someone in a back alley with a sack full of cash. So it is much more likely in the above scenario, for Monsanto to reward my Daughter -IL with a cushy job, or even my spouse, than to pay me off directly.

            •  are you saying that you don't look them up (9+ / 0-)

              yourself?

              And its not just the poison that might affect people. Its the poisons that affect our biosphere and impact our food web that we all depend upon.

              Loss of genetic diversity, loss of pollinators, loss of insectivores, all spell doom for us should we be hit by the equivalent of an Irish Potato Blight, for corn or soy at this point.

              THat's why so many of us UNSCIENTIFICAL types make a point of saving open pollinated heirloom seeds, and while creating (as much as one can) pesticide and herbicide free zones and pollinator oasis or corridors.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:49:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  best yet (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird, i saw an old tree today

            levy a fee from the corporations to pay for government administered research grants.

            •  they do pay taxes..... (0+ / 0-)

              and there have been government funded studies on GMOs that have been published.  Starting decades ago.  

              You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

              by murrayewv on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:16:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  A fee not a tax (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Skyye

                Part of the application process for approval. Yes studies have bend done but there are still unresolved issues because when the corporations pay scientists directly the conflict of interests is unacceptable. The same applies to chemical studies and drugs.   Corporations should not be allowed to do their own trials

        •  Every time I've presented scientifically sound (10+ / 0-)

          reasons I've been lumped in with everyone else. Supporters of GMO have a hear no evil policy in my experience, any criticism is dismissed, and then we end up with a bunch of crops that don't increase yields and are more susceptible to all sorts of things, and make it harder to not use GMO crops because of the mass use of GMO crops.

          Supporters of GMO crops live in a land of pretend where everything is regulated. That's not the real world.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:55:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wouldn't know, since I'm not a GMO supporter (6+ / 0-)

            (despite the ideologues here who can't tell who is on their side and who isn't).

            I haven't seen any scientifically-silly arguments here from you.  If I do, I'll point them out.,  ;)  Science is our ONLY method of knowing anything about the world, and it must be defended. The very idea that all the scientists in the world are plotting to shill for Monsanto is just as idiotic and stupid as the idea that all the scientists in the world are plotting to foister a global warming hoax on us. They're both idiotic CT kookery, and they should both be bojo'd out of the reality-based community. Especially since they are being made here in a SCIENCE group, for fucksakes.

            I find it disheartening, as someone who worked with FUCKING GREENPEACE (!!!!) to oppose GMOs, to hear all the idiotic anti-science drivel that is coming from some people here. Such arguments do not help us--they merely make us look like uneducated morans who flunked fifth grade biology. We should not use them, and if they are used, we should not let them go without pointing out that they are drivel.

            There are plenty of good reasons to oppose GMOs (and Monsanto). We don't need to make stupid shit up.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:06:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  THIS!! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus
              Science is our ONLY method of knowing anything about the world, and it must be defended.

              Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

              by rbird on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:02:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And oit must be defended against corporations (5+ / 0-)

                as well.

                Look back at tobacco "studies" for why.

                Pretending like every government or corporate study is science is foolish, and not CT to say otherwise.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:53:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I agree... (0+ / 0-)

                  ...that's essentially what I said in a previous post. There are always sell-outs, not matter what the field. The great thing about science, it has a built-in mechanism to catch them...if it's allow to operate.

                  Beware Lysenko!

                  Lysenkoism is used metaphorically to describe the manipulation or distortion of the scientific process as a way to reach a predetermined conclusion as dictated by an ideological bias, often related to social or political objectives.

                  In 1948, genetics was officially declared "a bourgeois pseudoscience"; all geneticists were fired from their jobs (some were also arrested), and all genetic research was discontinued. Nikita Khrushchev, who claimed to be an expert in agricultural science, also valued Lysenko as a great scientist, and the taboo on genetics continued (but all geneticists were released or rehabilitated posthumously). The ban was only waived in the mid-1960s.

                  Thus, Lysenkoism caused serious, long-term harm to Soviet knowledge of biology. It represented a serious failure of the early Soviet leadership to find real solutions to agricultural problems, throwing their support behind a charlatan at the expense of many human lives.
                  http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                  Lysenko had Stalin's ear, so he had the power of the state to promote his crazy ideas. If the testability of Lysenko's claims had not been waived, he would have been discovered at a fraud early on.

                  I see zero evidence that the entirety of American science has been overthrown in this manner.

                  One warning, evidently the right-wing has tried to appropriate the term as a way to denigrate those who say environment has a big role in a child's "IQ."

                  This makes two comments on this thread. My rule is, no more than two on a contentious thread. I don't flame for anyone. I bid you all a good night.

                  Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

                  by rbird on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:25:25 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Its all about the money (4+ / 0-)

            I mean these GMOs can be patented like a song or a drug, and that means cornering the market, that means controlling the flow of cash.

            So that in addition to being a natural threat to our genetic diversity (because pollen travels) we also deal with the agricultural equivalent of vulture capitalism.

            Control the food and you control a lot.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:51:04 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oddly enough, that is precisely exactly what Exxon (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv

              says about Greenpeace and global warming.  "It's all about the money".

              Oh, and all the scientists are in on the conspiracy.

              Sound familiar?

              It should.

              That's what ALL pseudoscience sounds like.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:01:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Yea climate deniers worried about losing their (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PeteZerria, Skyye

                cash regarding fossil fuels that are causing anthropomorphic climate change.

                The nerve of those environmentalists. I mean thinking that they have a right to clean air--the cretins!

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:25:19 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you're babbling again (0+ / 0-)

                  I worked for Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club. Remember?

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:59:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What percentage of studies done on GMO (0+ / 0-)

                    are funded by corporations?

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:07:34 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  none of those in Russia. Or China. Or (0+ / 0-)

                      South Africa. Or Chile.

                      Any conspiracy theory that depends on "science" to "hide the evidence" is, on the face of it, silly.  Science CAN'T hide evidence.  It's utterly impossible. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can go and see the evidence for themselves, and Monsanto can't do a damn thing to stop anybody.

                      If GMOs are causing cancer, then any medical researcher anywhere in the world can see that in the data, and Monsanto can't stop them from seeing it.

                      If GMO is producing two-headed fish or turtles with feathers or whatever, then every biologist in the world could see that, and Monsanto can't hide it from anybody.

                      And before you give me the "costs money to do studies" baloney, I'll point out that if Greenpeace can afford to have a fleet of ships operating all over the world, they can afford to study three-eyed fish near Monsanto-crop fields. And what about these "scientific studies that show GMO makes pigs sick" and such bullshit---who the fuck paid for those? How in hell can people tell me on the one hand that Monsanto stops everyone from doing any research boo hoo hoo, and then in the same breath tell me here's all this wonderful research that shows GMOs will make you grow a second head or whatever. Make up your damn mind.

                      And what about scientists in Russia, or China, or Germany--places that would be entirely happy to tell Monsanto to go fuck themselves.  What makes THEM join this conspiracy? How does Monsanto prevent THEM from finding all the evidence?  They can't feed corn to a cow and see if it dies or gets cancer or grows a fifth leg or whatever the hell it's supposed to do? How does Monsanto stop them?

                      It's just as idiotic as Exxon claiming that Greenpeace prevents all the scientists in the world from seeing the "real evidence" that global warming is a hoax--despite the fact that anyone, at any time, can take the measurements for themselves, and nobody can stop them.

                      It's like UFO kooks claiming that the government conspires to hide all their wonderful evidence, or the Bigfoot kookers yelling that science prevents them from doing research, or the creationists weeping that the big bad scientific journals are unfairly repressing their startling discoveries. Even the fucking tobacco companies couldn't hide anything--they could dn't stop doctors all over the world from conducting studies that showed smoking causes cancer.

                      It's classic CT nuttiness, the same sort that pseudoscience cranks have been wanking their weiners about for centuries.

                      You're a smart guy.  How in hell can you fall for crap like that?

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:58:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I asked a simple question. (0+ / 0-)

                        And I didn't see an answer.

                        I mean, you are seriously saying that there aren't agricorps in China and Russia?

                        Do you have a number?

                        Do you even have a number for what percentage of GMO crop studies come from what country?

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:17:30 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  (sigh) (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          murrayewv

                          I like you and respect you, so I'll end this conversation before I say something I wish I hadn't said.

                          This is like asking "how many studies that concluded there were no flying saucers were NOT funded by NASA, hmmmmm?"

                          I mean, you are seriously saying that there aren't agricorps in China and Russia?
                          Why in hell would they defend Monsanto.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:44:53 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  I guess you haven't heard of patents and patent (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        codairem

                        licenses.  Monsanto can definitely add a clause to their patent licenses that prohibit researchers from studying the health risks without the prior written approval of Monsanto and then sue them into oblivion if they do so anyway.

                        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                        by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:20:25 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  but they didn't..... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AaronInSanDiego

                          so saying they could is kind of silly.  Besides, all these things are coming off patent.  Read the literature and you will find 25 years ago, publications that said insects would evolve resistance to Bt.  Wave after wave of pesticides have been replaced with new ones in response to evolution of resistance.  And corporations will replace the Bt genes in the plants and re-patent the new ones that will now be effective- and the technology will co-evolve with the resistance in about the cycle of the patent expiration.  Its a feature of the technology.

                          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                          by murrayewv on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:24:36 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

        •  So insects die... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenMother, PeteZerria, Skyye

          ... if they eat these GMO crops, but they're fine for human consumption, right?  No, we won't all get cancer from eating this crap... just most of us.  Not to mention allergies, neurological disorders, gastro-intestinal problems and a host of other things that have exploded in "popularity" since Americans have been force-fed this garbage.

          They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

          by CharlieHipHop on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:31:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, that's right (4+ / 0-)
            So insects die...... if they eat these GMO crops, but they're fine for human consumption, right?
            In case you didn't notice, insect physiology and human physiology are not the same.

            That's why bugs don't die from human colds, and you don't die from grasshopper viruses.

            No, we won't all get cancer from eating this crap... just most of us.  
            DNA and proteins in your stomach cannot express themselves, and have zero effect on any DNA in the somatic cells of your body.

            (sigh) This just keeps getting more and more surreal.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:10:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Which is why bees are used as homologues for (3+ / 0-)

              human nervous systems in scientific studies.

              "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

              by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:52:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  which is why bees are NOT used as homologues for (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                murrayewv

                human pesticide exposure in scientific studies.

                "Bee nerve cells" "bees".

                "Human nerve cells" "humans".

                (shakes head)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:04:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  By your logic, then we shouldn't do animal testing (0+ / 0-)

                  Animal cells--animal
                  Human cells--human.

                  "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                  by GreenMother on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:03:40 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Oh sigh... Things are tough when everyone is so (0+ / 0-)

              stupid. Sigh, Shrug.

              "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

              by shmuelman on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:30:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  So are you saying... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus, protectspice, Alexa

              ... you would willingly ingest insecticides?

              Because that's what you're arguing, that it's perfectly OK to ingest insecticides because insect physiology is different from human physiology.

              And when you ingest this corn, you're ingesting insecticides that have been bred into it.

              But I really shouldn't bother with arguing with you after you and your gang HRed me unfairly for my other comment about the corruption of science by big money.  Some people misinterpreted that comment as anti-science.  It was no such thing.  It was anti-big money corrupting science.  But I digress...

              GMOs are unnecessary and the precautionary principle alone should have prevented them from being thrust en mass into our ecosystem and bodies.  There is also a pretty massive and conclusive body of scientific evidence to support the theory that they are, in fact, dangerous and possibly related to the rise of certain chronic conditions in the parts of the world where they are consumed.  This, of course, is being covered up by big-money PR and big-money corrupt science.

              http://gmwatch.org/...

              They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

              by CharlieHipHop on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:29:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I am fine eating Bt.... (0+ / 0-)

                I am not fine with eating prior generation pesticides.  Bt acts on a receptor in the insect mid-gut very specifically.  In the paper reported on, the receptor has changed and now the Bt doesn't bind.  So your mammalian gut doesn't have insect receptors to bind to so it won't affect you..

                You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                by murrayewv on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:27:31 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Fine (0+ / 0-)

                  You go ahead and roll the dice like that.  As for me, I believe that if they are going to use me as a guinea pig for these frankenfoods, they should have to let me know.  

                  Why are they so afraid of GMO labeling laws if GMOs are perfectly safe and people would have no problem ingesting them?  That is an entirely rhetorical question.

                  Personally, I'm offended that we've been force-fed these nasty things for 15 years and do not believe the rise of various diseases (particularly the astronomical rise in gastro-intestinal and autoimmune diseases) to be merely coincidental.

                  But, hey, if you want to be a guinea pig, that's your own poorly thought out choice.

                  They tell me I'm pretty amusing from time to time working with 140 characters or less.

                  by CharlieHipHop on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:41:31 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Have you had chocolate? (0+ / 0-)

            Nearly die from it?

            Theobromine (found in chocolate, tea) can be consumed (in reasonable) quantities by a human or rat which would cause a dog to drop dead. One large chocolate bar, or a chocolate Easter bunny, which night cause you to worry about calories can kill a small dog.

            Dogs are more closely related to humans than insects.

            •  Right, you can eat a tablespoon of DDT with no (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT, protectspice

              effect. In fact, I do it every day.

              "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

              by shmuelman on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:30:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hardee har (0+ / 0-)

                Do you have it with coffee? Because when you drink coffee, you are consuming a pesticide: caffeine.

                •  I'm gonna let you take over now (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm tired of trying to teach fifth grade biology to the willfully obtuse.  

                  The level of scientific illiteracy here is staggering.

                  So much for that whole "reality-based community" thingie . . .

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:16:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Funny you should mention that (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                murrayewv, AaronInSanDiego

                DDT is on its face not very toxic:

                While adults appear to tolerate moderate to high ingested doses of up to 280 mg/kg, a case of fatal poisoning was seen in a child who ingested one ounce of a 5% DDT:kerosene solution (3).
                That converts to about twenty grams for the standard seventy kilogram adult.  With about fifteen grams in a tablespoon, you could in fact eat a tablespoon of DDT every day - with an extra teaspoon on Sunday - and you'd be OK.  Not a good idea, but you could do it.

                That is why people greated DDT as a miracle compound.  It saved hundreds of thousands of lives in the public health aftermath of World War Two by killing the disease bearing insects that had gotten out of control and otherwise would have caused epidemics of typhus and such.

                To make my point clear, it is wise to keep one's exposure to anything as low as practical but it is also wise not to exaggerate the dangers.  A lot of these things are pretty well understood and you can wind up looking foolish when you go around hurling baseless charges.

                o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                by tarkangi on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:03:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Yes because as we all know a substance magically (0+ / 0-)

          becomes safe when it is produced inside an organism via genetic engineering.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:17:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  um . . . . . (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            murrayewv, rschndr, AaronInSanDiego

            1. Bt has already been around for several hundred million years

            2. Bt was sprayed directly onto plants for almost one hundred years before there even WAS ever any genetic engineering existing

            3. The whole time it was being sprayed all over the place, Bt was never shown to have any health effects on  anyone anywhere at any time

            and

            4. the Bt made inside that organism is precisely absolutely identical in every way to that made outside it.

            (shakes head) The level of anti-science CT kookery here is staggering.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:41:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It's amazing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT

        how much the "hippie" has come to be what used to be called a lazy bum.
        In the 60's hippies were chased and beaten (see Easy Rider)
        Had their buildings burned and were shot for smoking pot.
        All because of growing their hair out below the collar line.  That's where it started and that little thing absolutely enraged the 50's establishment.
        Think about it.
        The ACLU stuck up for them for a while and then it went on to other things leaving it open for our personal rights to be dismantled because the "hippies" were seen as such a major threat.  After that you could be arrested for "Conspiracy" for the first time which leads us right to the NSA today.
        For one thing they named themselves "Flower children" and the environmental movement began because of their dedication to preserving the beauty of Mother Earth.  As I see it the "Flower Children"  were visionaries and prophets and it scared the BeJesus out of those who wanted dismantle and plunder the Earth for profit.
        As the great man said "and so it goes".

    •  horses, dogs, cows, fruits, grains... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, mwm341

      fooling with Mother Nature is pretty much what the human species has done since we climbed down out of the trees.

      since this particular GMO reduces the need for heavy pesticides I'm not sure which side you want to take in that battle.

      •  And in all that time we didn't mate (11+ / 0-)

        a starfish with a tomato. Now we do. That ain't fooling with Mother Nature, that's fucking with her.


        Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:27:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  actually that's not quite true . . . . (11+ / 0-)

          Horizontal gene transfer from one group of organisms to another has been a feature of evolution for almost 4 billion years now.

          About one-sixteenth of your own DNA was put there by a virus that probably carried genes from a non-human host and inserted it into our human DNA. That may be one reason why we share over 50% of all our genes with a banana plant.

          Biochemically, all earth life is pretty similar, and we all share most of our genes in common. And a gene is a gene is a gene--the same gene does the same thing whether it's in a dog or a daffodil. Indeed, that fact is what makes GMO possible at all.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:38:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Which human-engineered crop/animal did we use (7+ / 0-)

            before GMOs which came about through mating separate kingdoms?

            To talk of viruses as if they were a part of one of the kingdoms is quite a huge stretch. This kind of stuff we see Corporations doing today ain't been done before.


            Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

            by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:01:35 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There have been isolated examples of gene (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GreenMother

              transfer between plant and animal, but they've been very, very limited and never done by humans.

              If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

              by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:08:22 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well . . . (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                rbird, murrayewv

                About six percent of the Human DNA comes from viral transfers.

                That is not an insignificant amount of DNA.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:36:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  But you acknowledge that's nowhere near, say, (3+ / 0-)

                  taking a slice of DNA from a plant, and placing it in an animal, correct?


                  Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

                  by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:43:37 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  perhaps you are unaware of what (0+ / 0-)

                    "viral transfers" means . . . . .

                    Yes, part ofm your DNA was transferred from plants to you, through viruses.

                    Indeed, you share about 50% of your total DNA with a petunia.  That means that about half the DNA in your body (and that percentage is MUCH HIGHER for the actual cellular structures) is exactly precisely one-hundred percent the same as that in a plant.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:12:15 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  perhaps you are unaware of what 'overnight (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      protectspice, Skyye

                      on the scale of all time' means. Nor the word 'arbitrary.'


                      Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

                      by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:26:00 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  multicellular life on earth is about (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        rbird

                        600 million years old.

                        That is "overnight" on the geological time scale.  

                        And horizontal gene transfer via virus vectors has been happening that whole time.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:44:35 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ah. And arsenic and the White Cliffs of Dover (3+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          AoT, protectspice, steelman

                          are all composed of atoms, mostly of the same type, so they're pretty much the same thing. I see where you're going now.

                          Looking at your comments I can also infer that the science curriculum no longer teaches what 'sophistry' is. Or, come to think of it, perhaps it's required.

                          No fucking frog-potato sprang up in the space of a few months ever before. And you know damned well that that's what we're talking about.


                          Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

                          by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:32:06 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  OK, so you don't understand biochemistry (0+ / 0-)

                            I'll not bother with you, then.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:00:30 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I do understand that you are pretending (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            steelman, protectspice, Skyye

                            processes which evolve in an organism over millions of years, by your own testament, are identical to processes done in days.

                            And you pretend that all the consequences of gene-splicing are already known in the absence of experience and observation.

                            The obvious failure of your essential claim: 'this is all already there so nothing new is being done' lies in the fact that if it were all already there, what would be the need to spend fortunes to make it be there?

                            I can understand why you'd rather say goodbye than admit that processes evolved in specific environments over millions of years are radically different than processes created overnight. Which is a fact available to reason, logic, common sense, and experience. But not to faith-based science, evidently.


                            Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

                            by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:19:24 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the process is not done in days (0+ / 0-)

                            That is precisely where you are wrong.

                            These are not new genes.  They were not made in a lab last week.

                            They have already existed for millions of years.

                            You do not understand biology, you do not understand biochemistry, and you do not understand how genetic engineering is actually done.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:01:49 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Lenny (0+ / 0-)

                            you should go some place else because you are just disruptive.
                            My husband is a biologist and re: the current GMO situation you are just plain wrong.  You need to do a broader spectrum of research.

                          •  haul your husband in here (0+ / 0-)

                            Let him explain some basic biochemistry to people.

                            PS---What research do you suggest. I thought the big evil corporations were banning all the research. Now, apparently they are not. Make up your damn mind.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 08:40:07 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  The DNA we share with a petunia (0+ / 0-)

                      has nothing to do with gene transfer.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:57:10 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  actually it does, since the genes we share with (0+ / 0-)

                        a petunia are precisely those ancient genes (controlling cellular functions) that were transferred from group to group by viral vectors and by bacterial conjugation billions of years ago.

                        That's precisely why we share them.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:03:08 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  We do not share 50% of our DNA with (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Skyye

                          a petunia because of Gene Transfer by viruses.

                          Unless you have some evidence for that.

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:27:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  partially, we do (0+ / 0-)

                            The genes we share with petunias were the earliest genes, the ones that control basic cell functions.

                            Different parts of that cellular mechanism (and the genes for them) were formed at different times in different organisms (indeed many of our cellular structures were themselves once free-living independent organisms), and became incorporated into a single common cellular ancestor later, through horizontal transfer processes such as viral vectors and bacterial conjugation.

                            Biologists refer to this as "the mangrove-tree model".

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:01:41 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  We didn't get the 50% we share (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            codairem, Skyye

                            because of virus transfer. We got a small percentage.

                            Most of the DNA we share with any other species we share because of a common ancestor not because of gene transfer. And most of the DNA we share with plants we share from around the time that Eukaryota split.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:10:53 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  not exactly (0+ / 0-)
                            Most of the DNA we share with any other species we share because of a common ancestor not because of gene transfer. And most of the DNA we share with plants we share from around the time that Eukaryota split.
                            The common ancestor itself got it from horizontal transfer. It was itself assembled from bits and pieces of cellular machinery that appeared independently and were brought together by transfers. And that is the basic machinery found in any living cell, whether plant or animal or fungus or prokaryote or whatever. It makes up about half of our genes.

                            The other stuff came later.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:46:13 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  That's what I said (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            codairem

                            We share the DNA because of common ancestry. How that common ancestor got it is a different question. This is a difference between Eukaryote and Prokaryote. In Prokaryote gene transfer is fairly simply, what with the lack of a cell wall. And most of the shared DNA comes form a common prokaryote ancestor.

                            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:19:11 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  Have you some (0+ / 0-)

                      link to this statement and others you make? Some evidence?

                      this is not me trying to be pissy, it's me wanting to know where you get these statements from. So if you have links, I would be interested in reading and understanding your strong opinions.

                      thanks

                  •  A genetic Chimera--artificially created is not (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PeteZerria

                    the same as millions or more years of biological evolution during which we adapt to the presence of certain viruses or other bugs.

                    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                    by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:03:17 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  yes it is (0+ / 0-)

                      The genes are exactly the same genes as have always existed.  They are no different.

                      PS--there are "genetic chimera" that occur in nature under natural circumstances. You and I happen to be one.  About 6% of our genome came from other organisms, brought to us by virus carriers.

                       

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:28:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I said plant and animal (0+ / 0-)

                  Which was what the previous commenter was talking about. There's a huge difference between getting DNA from something that uses your DNA to reproduce and getting it from a different Eukaryota.

                  If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                  by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:44:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  plants and animals share the same (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    sharman

                    cellular biology--and the same DNA for their cellular biology.

                    That's why you share half your genes, literally, with a gardenia.

                    And many of those genes were indeed transferred from plants to animals, way back before there WAS hardly any division between "plants" and "animals".

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:13:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  "Gene Transfer" is a specific thing (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PeteZerria, worldlotus

                      it's not simply sharing some genes. And what you're talking abut is evolution, I'm perfectly clear on how it works. There is a huge difference between inserting a gene from a plant into an animal and a plant and an animal having a common ancestor, or even viruses inserting random strands of DNA from one specimen to another. Especially when we're talking about eating them. Using genetic modification on our food almost immediately after we had the ability to do so strikes me as one of the stupidest things humans have done in a long time and it's going to come back and bite us in the ass along the way, as everything we've done without long term testing has done.

                      On that subject, have you seen the new Cosmos? I thought the coverage of evolution was okay, but terribly basic, and reinforced the "gene's are everything" version, not even mentioning gene expression or epigenetics. Although I suppose that's inevitable. He did convey the basic idea very well.

                      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:56:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  no, there's no difference (0+ / 0-)

                        It's the same gene, making the same protein,and it has already existed for millions of years in combination with mostly the same other genes.

                        Your mistake is in assuming that these genes are somehow "new". They're not. They are the same genes that have already existed in the fish or the bacteria or whatever for millions of years.  And since the cellular biology of a fish and a petunia aren't all that different, that gene has already been interacting with the same basic other genes for all that time.

                        There's nothing new there.

                        And eating them is the safest thing one can do to any gene, since no gene can make a protein or express itself in any DNA inside a stomach. The purpose of a digestive system is to break down genes and make new genes from the parts. We eat literally billions of genes every day. None of them do anything except get digested.

                        And in addition to all that, we already know what exact protein the gene makes, we've already seen that protein doing its thing since life began, and if it doesn't cause cancer if we eat the gene in a fish, there's zero reason to suppose it would cause cancer if we put the identical same gene in a tomato and ate it there. If we put the fish and an ordinary tomato in a blender and whipped them together, would we expect the fish gene to cause cancer if we ate them both together? That is no different.

                        In any case, the very idea that eating a gene can cause cancer is simply ludicrous, and is credible only to those who don't understand basic biochemistry.

                        On that subject, have you seen the new Cosmos? I thought the coverage of evolution was okay, but terribly basic, and reinforced the "gene's are everything" version, not even mentioning gene expression or epigenetics. Although I suppose that's inevitable. He did convey the basic idea very well.
                        Alas I didn't see it yet--I cut my cable last year. I'm not surprised though if he simplified it (or even oversimplified it)--it's an introductory science show specifically for people who don't know much science, and it's probably best to just stick with the most basic of ideas.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:11:09 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I agree about eating DNA (0+ / 0-)

                          I've seen that one floating around and it's nonsense.

                          As for the rest. Yes, the cellular biology is similar between many plants and animals, but the gene expression and development of the organisms varies wildly. You seem to be working from a very simplistic model of genetics.

                          I'd definitely suggest checking out the first episode, you should be able to watch it here

                          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:21:34 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  And thats why we have to be careful when we (0+ / 0-)

                      create poisons for some life forms, that we may also be creating poisons for ourselves.

                      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:04:20 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  all of them (0+ / 0-)

              All life on earth has genes that were transferred from one kingdom to another by viruses.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:37:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, you've turned your focus so broad (4+ / 0-)

                that you've managed to side-step the reality that you can't name one animal or crop that was on my father's farm, nor on his forefathers back to the time before writing, wherein a slice of DNA was taken from one being and put into another which has entirely different nature.

                Not one.


                Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

                by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:46:33 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  perhaps you are unaware what "genes" are (0+ / 0-)

                  About one-sixth of your genes came from being transferred there by a virus.  And many of those originally came from plants.

                  You share about one half of your DNA with a petunia.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:15:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So because that might happen on accident, its okay (0+ / 0-)

                    for you to decide to do it us, without so much of a by your leave?

                    Ever heard of Scientific or Medical Ethics?
                    Bodily Integrity or the meaning of the Word NO.

                    Your For your Own Good Shit, sounds just like the RWNJ when they tell me what medical procedures I am allowed to have.

                    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                    by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:05:48 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

          •  Ya Lenny (0+ / 0-)

            All well and good if it doesn't kill off all the insects...not just the bad ones.  You should do more research on why other countries think that this is a bad idea.

            •  they think its a bad idea for the same reason I do (0+ / 0-)

              It allows a handful of megacorporations to dominate the entire agricultural sector.

              Other countries have no more scientific evidence or data that eating GMO has any health effects whatsoever, than you do.

              If you disagree, please by all means show us the studies.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 06:08:38 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Okay, this isn't meant dickishly… (0+ / 0-)

            Earlier in this thread, you've repeatedly stated how different we are from insects.  However, in this last statement you're stating how similar all Earth life is.  As much as I've agreed with many of your arguments, you're arguing that we, in fact, may become susceptible to gene manipulation based upon contact should a virus somehow become involved in the equation.  For this reason alone, would it not be prudent to avoid ingesting them?  

            I'm damaged and I like it, it made me what I am! BTW, my avatar is as stollen as my father's retirement fund, the old man died almost penniless. Bankers don't go to prison for breaking our laws, they buy bigger yachts.

            by Damaged262 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 05:47:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Sorry, that was to Larry Flank. (0+ / 0-)

              Didn't someone else just curse the lack of an edit button?

              I'm damaged and I like it, it made me what I am! BTW, my avatar is as stollen as my father's retirement fund, the old man died almost penniless. Bankers don't go to prison for breaking our laws, they buy bigger yachts.

              by Damaged262 on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 05:50:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  insects and humans share over half their genes and (0+ / 0-)

              biochemistry.

              But not all of it.

              We are similar.

              We are not the same.

              Bt kills insects, but has no effect on humans, for the same reason the HIV virus kills humans but doesn't kill insects----it attacks the biochemistry that is different, not the part that is shared in common.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Tue Mar 25, 2014 at 06:12:12 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Actually... (0+ / 0-)

            This is my area of expertise. I am currently doing laboratory research on miRNA's with one of the cutting-edge experts in the field. There is strong evidence that the parts of our DNA that code for miRNA's originate from transposable elements, which are themselves viral in origin. It is actually more likely that somewhere between 50% and 90% of our DNA came either directly or indirectly from viral infection of our genome.

      •  You're missing the point (10+ / 0-)

        The point is that the stupid idea of incorporating Bacillus thuringiensis genes into plants is rendering a once-valuable biological insecticide useless. Instead of sporadic exposure, when Bt is sprayed only if needed, Bt crops provide constant exposure. It's very much like putting antibiotics in animal feed--you're basically guaranteeing the development of resistance.  

        In other words, short-term pursuit of profit by the GMO industry will, in the long term, result in heavier use of petrochemical insecticides.

        •  I get that point (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rbird

          And am not disputing it. Yep, absolutely, improper use of pesticides and herbicides for shortterm profit leads to longterm resistance and therefore the uselessness of said pesticides and herbicides. No argument there.

          But you miss the larger point----development of resistance to Bt, or to Roundup, or to any other pesticide or herbicide, will happen anyway. Period. It can't be stopped--at best we can delay it for a while. That's how evolution works. And (here's the kicker) none of that has anything to do with the presence or absence of modified genes or GMOs. The resistance develops anyway, and it develops in exactly the same way, whether there is any GMo in the scene or not. Indeed, Bt- and Roundup resistant weeds had already appeared before either of them was the focus of GMO efforts.

          Which makes GMOs entirely irrelevant to the whole issue.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:49:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GreenMother, PeteZerria

            My comment was intended as (and on my monitor shows up as) a response to sweatyb, who unlike you apparently did not get that point.

            Since I'm here, though, I'd say your point is arguable. You are of course correct that "the development of resistance can't be stopped--at best we can delay it for a while." But "at best" can be really, really good.

            My own death is inevitable, but at best I can delay it for a while--so I don't smoke, or support Republican policies. I think it's worth it, and I think it would've been worth it to prolong the efficacy of externally applied Bt for another however many years. And since constant exposure to Bt didn't happen until the development of GMO Bt-producing plants, GMO is indeed relevant to this timeline.

            •  you are mistaken on this part . . . (0+ / 0-)
              And since constant exposure to Bt didn't happen until the development of GMO Bt-producing plants, GMO is indeed relevant to this timeline.
              Bt was being sprayed externally on crops for almost a century (from back in the 1920's), long before GMO ever appeared (Bt Corn was approved in the US in 1996 IIRC)--and is still currently being sprayed on crops that have never ever been genetically modified.

              Under those conditions, development of resistance is inevitable, GMO or no GMO.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:10:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That's why I say, "Let's make a buck on (0+ / 0-)

            pesticide and antibiotic  resistance while we can. Fuck conservative practices."
            If the resistance develops anyway, why even bother with GMO's? Or antibiotics for that matter?

            "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

            by shmuelman on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:36:34 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  it is not a matter of "if" the resistance develops (0+ / 0-)

              anyway.

              It does.

              That is a simple fact.

              Or are you suggesting that resistance to herbicides or pesticides never happened before GMOs began to be used in the 1990's . . . . ?

              (sigh)

              The level of scientific ignorance here is just colossal.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:06:02 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No, I am suggesting we deal with GMO's and (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                steelman, Alexa

                antibiotic resistance how we deal with everything else. We should ignore future consequences and make the dollars while we can. BTW I develop software that looks at pathogen cross resistances (as well as many other factors) of antibiotics for empiric treatment of sepsis and septic shock. There are bugs like Stenotrophomonas that that are naturally resistant to antibiotics without any exposure. So what? Does that mean that you load up chickens and cattle on ampicillin because the farming practices are so unhealthy or you want to take the animal to market a little earlier? Because staph will become beta-lactam resistant in time anyway? I don't understand your point, other than you believe you are smarter than everyone. A multifaceted approach to controlling pests, whether they are gram negative bacteria or boll weevils is required. The fact that everything evolves requires greater management and prudence and the use of GMO's is antithetical to that. I have absolutely no faith in GMO technology or the corporations behind it whatsoever, if only because it is entirely profit driven.

                "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

                by shmuelman on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:00:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  90% of your rant does not refer to GMOs (0+ / 0-)

                  The 10% that does, does not refer to herbicide resistance.

                  You are babbling.

                  I have absolutely no faith in GMO technology or the corporations behind it whatsoever, if only because it is entirely profit driven.
                  And I agree with this absolutely. Monsanto uses GMO technology to maintain a feudal control over the entire agrarian sector.  It should not be tolerated. And NO natural process should be patentable for private private. That should not be tolerated either.

                  But that does NOT mean that the silly non-scientific arguments like "eating GMO causes cancer!!" or "GMO produces superweeds!!" are any less silly and non-scientific (indeed many people here have demonstrated that they are ANTI-scientific, and view science itself as just another big corporate conspiracy--an idiotic tinfoil-hat CT that should not be tolerated in a reality-based community).

                  Silly arguments like those only make ALL opponents of Monsanto look like half-educated simple-minded dumbasses. We should not use them. And we should point out their dumbassery when others use them.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:54:22 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  it's a brilliant idea (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          It is a shame that some of the best ideas of human society are implemented by some of the most venal and short-sighted people and organizations, but all invention and creation in human history has had to navigate those same waters.

          •  And look how those other ideas turned out. (0+ / 0-)

            And wonder why people don't trust GMO crops.

            Look at global warming and the industrial revolution for a great example. I mean, no worries people, we're just burning these things like we've always burned things, how could it go wrong.

            That's my worry. Not this ingesting DNA stuff.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:59:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yep, Mother Nature's backlash (2+ / 0-)

      sure can be brutal!

      She doesn't like being messed with!

      Every great cause begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket. Eric Hoffer

      by LynChi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:34:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Or perhpas it wouldn't be going too far to say, (14+ / 0-)

      letting people who don't believe in science (period) influence or make decisions about science.

      But then the assault on reason itself has reached epidemic proportions, perhaps almost reverse evolution, in some of the sub species.

      "It is not all books that are as dull as their readers." --Thoreau's Journal

      by blueoasis on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:36:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Even Scientists aren't immune to hubris and cash. (3+ / 0-)

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:07:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  some, right? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GreenMother, AoT, blueoasis

          I can't say I ever met two scientists alike, though we did used to play a game of spot the statistician

        •  show us (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          If you are going to make an accusation like that, I want some proof for it.

          Show us a scientist in, say, Russia or South Africa or Chile, who hides evidence that genetic engineering will give usn all two heads or whatever, because they are paid by Monsanto.

          Name names.  Put up or shut up.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:32:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  True or are shackled by those who are controlled (0+ / 0-)

          by their own greed and hubris which often work together for the plutocracy with or without their explicit self awareness.

          I've been amazed to learn how many forms of manipulation of one's greed or hubris exist today and how easily we fall into traps which neither our evolutionary development nor education have prepared us to recognize and avoid.

          If pure science can be controlled and manipulated, then the rest of our lives, including the internet will be a piece of cake....in the Marie Antoinette symbology.

          "It is not all books that are as dull as their readers." --Thoreau's Journal

          by blueoasis on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:48:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nonsense (0+ / 0-)

            Even the cigarette companies could not hide the evidence that smoking causes cancer.

            It is simply impossible to hide scientific data.  it is impossible to prevent anyone, anywhere, at any time, from measuring that data for themselves.

            It's just anti-science kookery, no different from the flying saucer nuts who blither that science is conspiring to hide all THEIR evidence, too.

            It saddens me greatly to see this sort of nonsense at the "reality-based community".

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:20:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes it is. Ever hear of non disclosure agreements (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              protectspice

              and anti-research clauses in patent licenses?

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:26:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  hang on there, young Jedi-----I thought there were (0+ / 0-)

                all sorts of real scientific studies that show GMOs are bad bad bad and cause pigs to get sick and butterflies to die and all sorts of other bad bad bad things. . . .

                How the fuck did those studies get done?

                Make up your damn minds.  Are there no studies because Monsanto disappears everyone who tries to do a study---OR are there gobs and gobs of studies proving GMOs unsafe that are all rejected by science because conspiracy.

                I wish you'all would at least be consistent in your balderdash.

                You sound EXACTLY like the creationists, who also weep and whine and piss their pants because the big bad scientists won't let them do any scientific research boo hoo hoo but on the other hand look at all the scientific research we did that proves science to be wrong wrong wrong.

                (sigh)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:28:13 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Worry Not, Bt corn will just create a new strain (12+ / 0-)

    of corn to deal with these new resistant rootworms. And, if they should become resistant again-- because the profit's already been had-- well, then they'll just create another.

    You know, it's a variation on "There was an old woman who swallowed a fly..."

    "A popular government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a prologue to a farce or tragedy"-- James Madison

    by Bad Cog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:51:28 PM PDT

    •  oddly, that is precisely what antibiotics have to (8+ / 0-)

      do.

      The ones we used 50-odd years ago, don't work any more.  The ones we have now, won't work in 50-odd years.

      Evolution is relentless. It never sleeps.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:51:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes but (14+ / 0-)

        We're not producing new antibiotics nearly as quickly as the old ones are becoming useless.

        One reason is the big pharmaceutical companies don't see much profit in an antibiotic that you take for two weeks.

        They'd rather develop a drug that you're going to take for the rest of your life like Lipitor or Viagra.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:55:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  true on both counts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Hey338Too, rbird

          It may very well be that our days of using antibiotics to counter lethal diseases may come to an end simply because the germs can evolve faster than we can produce new antibiotics (after all, the germs evolve forever, but there is not an unlimited number of antibiotics).

          One reason is the big pharmaceutical companies don't see much profit in an antibiotic that you take for two weeks.

          They'd rather develop a drug that you're going to take for the rest of your life like Lipitor or Viagra.

          There is also the problem of "orphan drugs", in which a disease is not common enough in the population for the pharma companies to make a profit in any cure or treatment for it, so they don't bother. Treating people for limp dick is profitable because half the population gets it sooner or later---treating people for something that only a few thousand people a year get, though, doesn't make enough ROI.

          It may be that genetic engineering itself will be the adopted solution--modifying an individual's own particular genome to treat the particular disease. But the technology isn't at that level yet (though some diseases are being treated currently with individual gene therapy). And that presents the same economic profit-motive problems.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:04:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  If doctors had been rotating (6+ / 0-)

        antibiotic types and not over prescribing we would not be in the situation we are with antibiotic effectiveness. It's almost the exact same problem. Once again ignoring evolution.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:10:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that is absolutely correct (0+ / 0-)

          Although that would just delay the problem, not solve it---eventually the germs would develop resistance to ALL of them. Leaving us back where we started.

          The basic problem, alas, is that the germs can evolve much more rapidly than we can produce new antibiotics--and sooner or later we'll run out of antibiotics to produce, while the germs will never stop evolving resistance.

          In the long run, there's simply no way for us to win.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:17:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Basic evolutionary biology suggests (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rbird, murrayewv

            that if you use separate methods of control on a correct rotation then you could have the various antibiotics work for an extremely long time. And each new antibiotic you put into rotation would increase the length of time by a great amount, more if the method that it works by is fairly different from the other ones.

            The connection between different phenotypes, resistance to each antibody being its own phenotype, would mean that there would be a lot more mutations required as resistance to one antibiotic often means less resistance to the other antibiotics. So each new antibiotic you add in potentially increases the amount of time they would be effective exponentially.

            What's really needed at this point is a completely novel antibiotic. What we've done with Fleming's discovery is an absolute outrage. Having a new antibiotic that works through a completely different mechanism would mean that we could work out an evolutionary therapy for the various species that antibiotics are used against that could in theory extend their usefulness indefinitely.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:53:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  alas, "an extremely long time" =/= "forever" ;) (0+ / 0-)

              We can delay it. We cannot avoid it.  In the end, we simply cannot win.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:12:49 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  We may be extinct from other means (0+ / 0-)

                by that point. And if we wait long enough the oldies may work again.

                Sometimes I wonder if every old folk remedy didn't used to work at some point and just got used up because they only used that one remedy again and again.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:24:03 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  some "folk remedies" were nonsense, but "worked" (0+ / 0-)

                  anyway.  Take snakebite, for example. Over the centuries there have been all sorts of idiotic nonsensical "cures" for snakebite--everything from the plausible-sounding (putting a cut-open chicken on the bite to draw out the venom) to the simply ridiculous (drinking a glass of blood from the snake that bit you). Why did they "work"? Because even in an untreated snakebite the death rate averages less than 30%. That means that in about two out of every three cases, the "cure" "worked". Of course you'd still have recovered even if you did absolutely nothing. But what people saw was that they did X Y or Z, and you didn't die. Therefore X Y or Z must work.

                  Even though it didn't really do a damn thing.

                  (shrug)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:20:54 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  And notice how there have been great action taken (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        to limit their use in medicine and our food supply to slow down the cluster fuck we created in the last 40 years with over use and misuse.

        I have a cold doc--(a virus), well lets give you an antibiotic!
        Yes, that will work perfectly (snark)

        Ear infection? Might be a fungus might be a bacterium--no need for a swab to determine that--here's an antibiotic!

        Allergies? antibiotic.

        Now lets make medicine so expensive that people share their antibiotics communally, and fail to take the recommended dosage--gee I wonder why we have MRSA?

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:09:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Ding Ding Ding Ding--We have a winner! (0+ / 0-)

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:07:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  snark aside (11+ / 0-)

    that's a pretty quick evolution given bt corn has not been available for long (only since 1996), but with the right selection pressure (all the worms not resitant being killed off) anything could happen. I'm curious if the rootworms already had native resistence to bacillus thuringiensis, since it already lives in the soil.

    those of you who beleive mother nature is a real, living thing, will derive some kind of meaning out of that.

    Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

    by terrypinder on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:52:44 PM PDT

    •  This is the problem with GMO crops (20+ / 0-)

      There is a massive issue of monoculture that has not been addressed. When you use these crops on such a wide scale it applies broad evolutionary pressures that inevitably lead to this outcome. There were almost certainly a few rootworms out there already resistant, the massive monoculture meant that those little fellows would reproduce like wildfire with their fresh food supply and no competition.

      This is all part of why GMO crops don't increase crop yields, and may actually lower them.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:39:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  to be fair, monoculture was an enormous (22+ / 0-)

        problem long before GMOs ever appeared. And will remain an enormous problem even after GMOs are gone. GMOs may enable more "efficient" monoculture, but they don't cause it.

        For well over half a century now, nearly all of humanity has been utterly dependent for the majority of its calorie intake from just six species of food plants--which are available now in just a handful of different genetic strains.

        The Irish Potato Famine should remind us how risky that is . . . (and the Irish Potato Famine happened a century before anyone even knew what "DNA" was).

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:49:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  GMO crops further narrows the genetic range (6+ / 0-)
          The Irish Potato Famine should remind us how risky that is . . . (and the Irish Potato Famine happened a century before anyone even knew what "DNA" was).
          You mean the English genocide of the Irish people. The supposed famine happened while more than enough food to feed the people of Ireland was being exported from Ireland to make money. Yet another crisis created by capitalism and colonialism. But one which is illustrative in current circumstances. Once again the pursuit of profit has led to problems, and the government has once again sided with profit.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:55:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it does to the extent that GMO strains (8+ / 0-)

            dominate the market (which of course is precisely Monsanto's intent). It doesn't necessarily HAVE to do that, though, since the GMO genes can be inserted into any arbitrary number of different strains and there's no necessity at all to make it a monoculture. The reduction in genetic variability is not a function of the GMO itself--it is a function of Monsanto's greed.

            But then, before GMOs ever even appeared, Monsanto and other agribusinesses had already eliminated most genetic strains and reduced the entire world's crop supply to a tiny handful of strains. Indeed, nearly every human food crop today is a genetic monoculture--even those that have never been GMO'd--and that extends also to livestock such as sheep, pigs and cattle. Most of the older breeds are now gone--most of the remaining herds are of just a handful of genetic varieties. There is now an effort being made to find some living examples of the older "legacy strains" so they can be reintroduced into the gene pool to provide some needed genetic variability and help to ease the monoculture problem.

            The supposed famine happened while more than enough food to feed the people of Ireland was being exported from Ireland to make money.
            Yes, the famine itself was caused by the Brits exporting food. But the trigger was a fungus disease that attacked the vulnerable monoculture and killed off much of the crop--which would not have happened if there had been a number of different strains being grown (some of which would have been resistant).

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:11:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  ironically GMOs can make potatoes.... (0+ / 0-)

            blight resistant and this work is done by agricultural scientists working for government agencies, not corporations.  http://www.bbc.com/...

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:37:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  xkcd had a fascinating infographic (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, tarkangi

          last week.

          Pretty much most of Earth's mammalian land biomassis humans and the creatures we've created via domestication.

          Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

          by terrypinder on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:03:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, long-term -- short-term trade-off (0+ / 0-)

        "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

        by HoundDog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:35:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  problem with agriculture in general. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DawnN, flowerfarmer, Naniboujou, FinchJ

        most everyone in my area plants corn. it is just standard corn. miles upon miles of corn. Even the Amish (after all, their farms are businesses.)

        and it's feed/fuel corn. not for human consumption.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

        by terrypinder on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:01:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  GMO has led to an increase in monoculture (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flowerfarmer, Naniboujou

          But, yes, it is a larger problem than just GMO.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:02:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  a very much larger problem (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            terrypinder, tarkangi

            GMNO is just a small part of the monoculture problem.  it's also just a small part of the pesticide-resistance problem--the carrying of resistance-genes by pollen being the biggest part of that, and that can be easily solved simply by making the pollen in such plants nonviable--which Monsanto has the capability to do but chose not to for whatever reason. Indeed, since they have no desire to have their proprietary genes spread around all over creation by the wind, they have every interest to NOT have their GMO crops produce viable pollen, and I assume they will correct that in their next version (which they likely are already working on since resistance to Roundup will make their current GMO obsolete in just a few decades).

            The real problems with GMO lie elsewhere--mostly in the social, political and economic sphere. Indeed, if you listen closely to most of the arguments made against GMOs, most of them are actually arguments against pesticides--to which the GMO itself is largely irrelevant. Spraying X amount of pesticide on a GMO plant has exactly the same environmental effect as spraying the same X amount of pesticide on a non-GMO plant. The presence of absence of the modified gene doesn't change the pesticide's effects.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:23:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  GMOs Kill Butterflies! (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv, DrTerwilliker, ballerina X

              No, they don't.

              We should be saying this over and over again:

              The real problems with GMO lie elsewhere--mostly in the social, political and economic sphere.
              In this particular case, which really gets under my skin if you can't tell, the big market for corn entices farmers to put every square inch of arable soil under the till.  Acting rationally, they take out every scrap of weedy grassland they can get which destroys the milkweeds on which the Monarch Butterflies feed.  Roundup and GMO corn may be the tool used, but they could just as well be using brush hogs and hoes if the price were right.

              After the disaster of the Dust Bowl, back in my homeland, we learned the wisdom of storing up treasure in the soil bank.  Perhaps the time has come to set up an analogous weed bank, to preserve a critical mass of diversity amongst the monoculture.

              o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

              by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:00:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  If I may break in (0+ / 0-)

        I would like to make a (perhaps subtle) point that I think is extremely important.

        You write:

        There were almost certainly a few rootworms out there already resistant, the massive monoculture meant that those little fellows would reproduce like wildfire with their fresh food supply and no competition.
        It is not "almost certain" but "absolutely certain" that this is what happened.

        When people (not you, but this is common) talk about 'worms evolved resistance,' they talk as if little worm scientists were hard at work developing counter measures to the threat.  In fact the way evolution works is that some trait is present in the population, perhaps at a low frequency because the trait has some cost, and when the environment changes - such that the trait enhances reproductive fitness - then that trait becomes more common.

        In extreme cases like this, the original population is virtually annihilated - which leaves a virgin territory wide open to exploitation by the descendents of the lucky few survivors.  These survivors are uniformly resistant, as will be their descendents.  Thus the necessity for untreated buffer zones: because Bt resistance is costly to a population that is not being zapped with the toxin, repopulation with non-resistant worms from the buffer zone prevents the resistance from becoming established in the population at large.

        And in this particular case, we know that Bt resistance has been around forever as it protects against the Bt bacterium that has been around forever.

        o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

        by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:48:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "building up resistance" reminds me of the example (0+ / 0-)

          my high school biology teacher gave about the theory of increasing an exposure bit by bit until you got immune. Somebody brought up the subject and he said that believing in that was like believing if you first got hit with a speeding roller skate, then speeding wheelchair, then a bicycle, then a bed on rollers, etc, that meant eventually you should  build up resistance to be hit by a speeding car and suffer no injuries. He then said that's make a great project for somebody, would anybody like to try it?
          Silence. And the point was well-made.

          Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

          by fourthcornerman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 03:38:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Great Point (0+ / 0-)

            In fact, it is possible to build up tolerance against some chemicals: arsenic, barbiturates, heroin, alcohol.

            But this individual resistance is a qualitatively different matter from, say, antibiotic resistance in bacteria which operates through the "kill them all, except for the lucky survivors" jawn.

            I was itching to introduce Stephen Jay Gould's concept of the Hekatomb, by analogy to the ancient greek practice of ritual sacrifice, but I stopped when the comment threatened to wander into honors seminar territory.

            Thanks.

            o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

            by tarkangi on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 02:15:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Bt's been sprayed on corn for decades (5+ / 0-)

      It's a first choice against earworms, really anything lepidoptra.

      One of my favorites. Harmless to anything w/ an acidic digestive tract.

      •  Yup, for more than 75 years in fact (6+ / 0-)
        These [referring to Bt] proteins have been used as organic sprays for insect control in France since 1938 and the USA since 1958 with no ill effects on the environment reported.
        It's like the resistance to the Bt protein actually came from both the spraying and the GMO corn. Using it almost exclusively was like hanging an "Mutations Welcome" sign on the door.

        Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

        by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:18:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Was Bt spraying that common? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, ontheleftcoast, tarkangi

          I'm not sure the organic industry is large enough to cause wide-spread immunity.

          •  Immunity was bound to happen though (6+ / 0-)

            That's what I was trying to get at, what happened was a massive acceleration of the spread of that immunity. Actually, given this is a naturally occurring toxin it may have had a resistance already in the bugs centuries ago but since it gave no specific advantage to survival it wasn't pushed to prominence. It's why I want to scream every time I see some stupid hand sanitizer commercial say "Kills 99.9% of germs!" like it's a good thing. Just wait until some strain of E. coli or listeria develops a resistance to that stuff.

            Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

            by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:19:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It's cheap and effective. (0+ / 0-)

            Everybody uses it.

          •  Bt isn't limited to the organic farming sector (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            murrayewv

            It was widely sprayed by non-organic farmers too, for many years.

            As for Roundup, several resistant strains of weeds had already appeared for that too even before Monsanto introduced its GMO "Roundup Ready".  In another 20 years or so, Roundup itself (and its GMO partner) will no longer be used--it will simply be ineffectual as more and more weeds develop resistance to it.

            And that is what inevitably happens to all pesticides and herbicides.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:26:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bt itself has been around for millions, perhaps (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        terrypinder, ontheleftcoast

        hundreds of millions, of years.  Ever since bacteria were eating other bacteria.

        Life on earth has been a long history of using genetically-manufactured protein poisons to stop others from eating you. Especially plants.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:41:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ahh...so the resistance (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, davewill, murrayewv

        the worms developed is probably a lot older than the first use of bt corn.

        Dawkins is to atheism as Rand is to personal responsibility. uid 52583 lol

        by terrypinder on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:04:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sure, but spraying, by nature, is spottier. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, flowerfarmer, blueoasis

          Some farmers will spray less often, or not at all. Even amongst those that do, there are times between application where the non-resistant bugs can propagate. GMO pesticide is there all the time, and virtually ALL the resistant bugs will die off...it's even worse if every field for miles all have the same GMO corn.

          "Nothing happens unless first a dream. " ~ Carl Sandburg

          by davewill on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:28:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  yes. but until the stuff started appearing in (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          terrypinder, Naniboujou, murrayewv

          the corn in large amounts, the resistant bugs had no particular advantage, since even the nonresistant ones didn't usually eat enough to kill themselves.

          Now, though, the nonresistant ones die, leaving behind those who are resistant.

          There was always some level of immunity, but it was never actively selected for. Now it is.

          That is always what happens with any pesticide or herbicide, though.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:29:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The best part is, that the Neonicotinoids in the (0+ / 0-)

      field are decimating not just pollinators, but also insectivores which could help control adults and larvae of the corn worms.

      OOPS!

      I guess they didn't cover that in 6th grade biology class.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:11:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Neonicotinoids are not GMO, thank god (0+ / 0-)

        they have not been inserted into plants we eat yet. Although if the Simpson's predictive ability is as good as I expect they will be inserted into tomatoes art some point.

        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:03:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  though in fairness, neonicotinoids are (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv

          synthetic analogues of nicotine---a quite ordinary natural pesticide produced genetically by an entire genus of plants, for millions of years.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:08:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And of course we all know that nicotine is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, Alexa

            perfectly safe and that goes double when it is part of a GMO crop.  Would you like some of my GMO corn with a few genes from clostridium botulinum inserted?  After all, as you said "DNA and proteins in your stomach cannot express themselves, and have zero effect on any DNA in the somatic cells of your body" so what harm could it do?

            You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

            by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:32:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you're babbling (0+ / 0-)

              Nicotine is not part of any GMO.

              And DNA and proteins in your stomach CAN'T express themselves or have any effect on your somatic DNA.

              If you disagree, please pretty please by all means show me how. Then explain to me how it's only the GMO genes doing this, and not any of the other billion or so genes you just ate today.

              (sigh)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:20:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  It's amazing how someone can be so smart and so (0+ / 0-)

          dense.

          "They aren't GMO"

          No--but --and I repeat again, these are the favored chemicals for GMO Crops. This is the favored treatment for seed for Corn, Soy, and Cotton.

          So it is part of the chemical arsenal that is used on millions of hectares in our country, that is part of the GMO culture.

          Cheese and Crackers.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:00:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  mother nature (13+ / 0-)

    abhors monoculture.  And mother nature practises evolution on a much greater scale than mankind.  So who do the odds favor again?

    •  There is no such thing as "Mother Nature" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, murrayewv

      The amount of reification in these discussions is grimly amusing.

      "Nature" is not a thing or entity. It is our basket word for an immense number of processes that are in a dynamic balance with each other, and which reach a new balance every time one of them is changed. We don't understand some of these processes now -- we'll never understand all of them completely, since every new answer generates new questions -- but to pretend it is somehow an entity in and of itself is pathetic. No feelings, no emotion, no memory. Just reactions.

      We often mock the teahadists for constructing a "God" who somehow agrees with them on every point they try to make. You're doing the same with "Mother Nature." If you are going to make mistakes, at least make original ones.

      "They bash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn, Gulag Archipelago volume 3)

      by sagesource on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:14:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  as an aside, I always found it amusing when the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Naniboujou, tarkangi

      fundamentalist nutjobs attacked evolution as being the basis for "racism" and "Nazism". See, evolution as a process is utterly dependent on genetic variability and variety, and produces an endless supply of many variants on every theme.

      Racism and Nazis, by contrast, depend in their ideology on the idea of a "master race" which is "genetically pure"---i.e., on a monoculture.  And anyone who passed fifth grade biology knows that a monoculture is the least stable genetic configuration and the one that is most likely to be wiped out.

      If the human species is to survive longterm, it MUST have as much genetic variation as possible. And that is what evolution produces.

      The very antithesis of racism and Nazism.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:45:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And so you defend this process WHY? (0+ / 0-)

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:13:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  defend what, exactly . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tarkangi

          I'm not "defending" anything.  

          I have no idea what you are babbling about . . . .

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:34:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  So you are just arguing to argue--okay now I get (0+ / 0-)

            it. This means nothing to you, except for the fact, that you feel it's okay to screw with the people that it upsets. You know like some people go to redstate and kick up their heels.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:02:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  "Roundup-Ready" crops are on the way out too (9+ / 0-)

    Many weeds are already developing resistance to it.

    Such is the way of life.  Any pesticide or herbicide or antibiotic, whether genetically-engineered or not, is only good for a few decades at most, until the targets start evolving resistance to it.

    That will never change.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 12:55:49 PM PDT

    •  They aren't developing resistance (6+ / 0-)

      There were weeds that WERE resistant, and we selected for them.

      For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

      by Ptolemy on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:43:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually on several occassions there is (7+ / 0-)

        Already proof that different species of weeds hybridized, under the influence of the RoundUp and its effects on the soil, and the GM stuff in the Monsanto-ized crops,  to form a new and  more resistance super weed.

      •  populations develop resistance (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, Lily O Lady, Egalitare, bernardpliers

        Individual plants don't. They either have it or they don't.

        Evolution is, by definition, a change in the frequency distribution of those individuals in the population over time.

        You are right that we in effect select for them, by exposing them to the selection pressure (the pesticide or antibiotic).

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:17:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes and no (0+ / 0-)

          One problem with Monsanto's process is that it places the modified gene in the plant's germ cells (it's pollen, in particular), and that allows the gene to be carried to other plants with which the crop can hybridize. And that in turn spreads resistance to the herbicide.

          But that will happen anyway. There were already Roundup-resistant weeds before GMO was ever introduced (since Roundup was being used as an herbicide for years before any GMO was even developed), and if GMOs are banned tomorrow, weeds will continue right on developing resistance to the herbicides anyway. The percentage of weeds that got their resistance through hybridization with escaped Monsanto pollen is pretty small (hybridization itself is just a tiny proportion of plant reproduction). The vast majority of Roundup-resistant weeds got their resistance through natural variation and selection--the same way weeds have always developed resistance to any pesticide GMO or not.

          The "superweeds" were already there before GMO was developed, and they'll still be there after GMO is banned.  Mother Nature herself produces them in prodigious quantities. And we'll never be able to stop that. Just as we'll never be able to stop the appearance of antibiotic-resistant pathogens--and for exactly the same reasons.

          That is how evolution works.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:26:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Also when you ignore history (9+ / 0-)

    Historically, the majority or civilizations that have foundered did so because they were not able to feed their population. The rest packed up because they did not share the military technology of invaders.

    Greed and complacency often ruins well thought out irrigation systems, crop rotation plans and soil renewal programs.

    So: since we were not able to learn from the Chaldeans, the Mesopotanians, the Egyptians and the Maya, we are going to share their fate.

  •  Please forgive my ignorance about this: (8+ / 0-)
    Genetic engineers created Bt corn by incorporating the genes of the pesticide producing Bacillus thuringiensis into genes of the roots of traditional corn, vastly reducing the amount of pesticides needed, and increasing crop yields.
    Does this mean that beings are actually also consuming a pesticide????  

    To my ignorant layman's eyeballs, eating corn incorporated with the genes "of the pesticide producing Bacillus thuringiensis" means eating pesticide.  Frankenoided corn.

    If so & if we are what we eat, then what the heckfire is that doing to any beings genes?

    •  Good question. (4+ / 0-)

      I avoid eating it; don't feed it to my animals either.

    •  No, I think the pesticide parts are just in the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jim P, worldlotus

      roots of the corn plants.

      I hope, I don't actually, know. I was just about to say, I'm the seed companies would have thought about this and not done anything that could harm the consumer.

      "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

      by HoundDog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:27:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes and no (8+ / 0-)
      The Bt protein is expressed throughout the plant. When a vulnerable insect eats the Bt-containing plant, the protein is activated in its gut, which is alkaline (the human gut is acidic). In the alkaline environment the protein partially unfolds and is cut by other proteins, forming a toxin that paralyzes the insect's digestive system and forms holes in the gut wall. The insect stops eating within a few hours and eventually starves.
      Unless you eat about a thousand Rolaids with your corn flakes your gut will be acidic, not alkaline, and thus you won't cause the protein to unfold and create the pesticide.

      Food processed to be nothing more than simple starches with two dozen flavorings and stabilizers added to make it appear to be food isn't "food". It's "feed" -- what you give to livestock to fatten them up for slaughter.

      by ontheleftcoast on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:31:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Bt is expressed throughout the plant's cells (6+ / 0-)

        This is the reason that when larval insects, butterflies and other non-pest insect eat plant parts or pollen, they die.

        Unless we buy organic corn, which is almost impossible to accomplish these days, we are also eating Bt.
        Bacillus thuringiensis

        Cry toxins have specific activities against insect species of the orders Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes), Coleoptera (beetles), Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants and sawflies) and nematodes. Thus, B. thuringiensis serves as an important reservoir of Cry toxins for production of biological insecticides and insect-resistant genetically modified crops. When insects ingest toxin crystals, the alkaline pH of their digestive tract denatures the insoluble crystals, making them soluble and thus amenable to being cut with proteases found in the insect gut, which liberate the cry toxin from the crystal.[8] The Cry toxin is then inserted into the insect gut cell membrane, paralyzing the digestive tract and forming a pore.[11] The insect stops eating and starves to death; live Bt bacteria may also colonize the insect which can contribute to death.
        What's for dinner- just ask Monsanto.

        'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

        by flowerfarmer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:50:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yikes, this sound terrible. So could this be why (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          we don't see as many butterflies and bees around these days?

          I remember when I was young we'd see hundreds of butterflies in the spring and summer.

          "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

          by HoundDog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:43:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The Bt toxins are pretty specific (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            HoundDog

            Once people started looking for them, they found dozens of Bt toxin genes with various targets.

            Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

            by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:56:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  From Mother Jones (10+ / 0-)
            Unfortunately, the monarch populations appear to be in a state of decline. Why? A new study (abstract; press release) from University of Minnesota and Iowa State University researchers points to an answer: the rapid rise of crops engineered to withstand herbicides.

            Their argument is powerful. Monarchs lay their eggs on one particular kind of plant: the milkweed. And when the eggs hatch, the caterpillars feed exclusively on the weed. Milkweed is common throughout the Midwest, and has long thrived at the edges of corn fields. But when Monsanto rolled out its "Roundup Ready" seeds in 1996, which grew into plants that could thrive amid lashings of its flagship Roundup herbicide, the Midwest's ecology changed. As farmers regularly doused ever-expanding swaths of land with Roundup without having to worry about the hurting their crops, milkweed no longer thrived—and as a result, the charismatic butterfly whose caterpillars require it can no longer thrive, either.

            The researchers estimate that the amount of milkweed in in the Midwest plunged by 58 percent from 1999 to 2010, pressured mainly by the expansion of Roundup Ready genetically engineered crops. Over the same period, monarch egg production in the regions sank by 81 percent. And it turns out that monarchs tend to lay more eggs milkweeds that sprout up in and around cultivated fields. So when farmers snuff out the milkweeds with Roundup, they're exerting a disproportionate effect on monarchs.

            From Cornel...
            An increasingly popular commercial corn, genetically engineered to produce a bacterial toxin to protect against corn pests, has an unwanted side effect: Its pollen kills monarch butterfly larvae in laboratory tests, according to a report by Cornell University researchers.

            Writing in the latest issue (May 20) of the journal Nature, the Cornell researchers note that this hybrid crop, known as Bt-corn, has genes from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) spliced into the plant genes. These hybrids are very effective against the ravenous European corn borer, a major corn pest that is destroyed by the plant's toxic tissue. The engineered corn is safe for human consumption.

            Unlike many pesticides, the Bt-corn has been shown to have no effect on many "nontarget" organisms -- pollinators such as honeybees or beneficial predators of pests like ladybugs. But the Bt-modified corn produces pollen containing crystalline endotoxin from the bacterium genes. When this corn pollen is dispersed by the wind, it lands on other plants, including milkweed, the exclusive food of monarch caterpillars and commonly found around cornfields.

            'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

            by flowerfarmer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:08:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but here is the difficulty . . . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus

              Roundup was also being sprayed on NON-GMO crops, for years, before any GMOs were ever introduced.

              That would have exactly the same effect on the butterflies.

              The problem is with the pesticide, not with the GMO--the presence or absence of the modified gene has no effect whatsoever on the butterflies. It's the level of pesticide use that is causing the problem, not the presence of the modified genes.

              I'm all in favor of regulating the level of pesticide use (for ALL pesticides, not just those used in conjunction with GMOs) to a level that is environmentally safe.  And if that makes GMO seeds no longer useful, then tough shit.

              But the reality is that it is the pesticides causing all the problem, not the GMO.  When we spray the same pesticide at the same level on non-GMO crops, we get the same effects.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:33:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  So, for starters, Monsanto should eliminate BT (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus, grover

                from seed corn.
                Big part of the problem solved.

                Backyard gardeners do not create a toxic thousand acre pollen cloud.

                'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

                by flowerfarmer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:02:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm all in favor of regulating the levels of ALL (0+ / 0-)

                  pesticides, GMO or not, to levels that do not cause enviro9nmental harm.

                  If that makes Monsanto's GMO seeds useless or pointless, then tough shit on Monsanto. (shrug)

                  But it should be pointed out that if we eliminate GMO Bt tomorrow, that won't make a shred of difference if we just spray Bt onto non-GMO plants---as we =did for almost 100 years before GMO ever even appeared.

                  The harmful  effects come from the Bt, not from the GMO genes. The BT has the same effect whether it comes from modified genes or is sprayed from an airplane. Which makes the GMO largely irrelevant.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:28:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Red Herring (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              worldlotus

              The crucial sentence is here:

              The researchers estimate that the amount of milkweed in in the Midwest plunged by 58 percent from 1999 to 2010
              The Monarchs are failing to reproduce because there is less food, not because Roundup is killing them.

              This may sound like quibbling, but the core issue is that weedy grasslands that support milkweed are being eliminated.  The tool being used is Roundup, but the driving force is the profitability of corn & soy and the lack of incentive or regulation to keep the milkweed habitat in place.

              If you think I am exaggerating, search on "roundup kills butterflies" and get a list as long as my arm of articles that quite pointedly say that roundup kills butterflies.  They go on to discuss the habitat loss issue, but that is killing the lede.  Even if atrazine and Roundup and all those deadly poisons had never been invented, farmers would be destroying milkweeds with the tools available.

              I maintain that this is an important point, because if we do not attack the correct problem we will never achieve a correct solution.  Remove the incentives to wipe out milkweed habitat, and the butterflies will - along lots of other good stuff that we all want.

              o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

              by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:22:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you are absolutely right (0+ / 0-)

                90% of all the arguments here against "GMO" don't actually have a damn thing to do with GMO---they are about the effects of Roundup and Bt. If we outlaw GMO tomorrow, it won't change ANY of the effects of Roundup and Bt (both of which were widely used for many years before GMO ever even appeared, and both of which will continue to be used of we can GMO tomorrow).

                I got no problem accepting ALL of the various anti-pesticides arguments here.  I worked for years with both Greenpeace and the Sierra Club to reduce or eliminate pesticide use to levels that are safe for the environment.

                But NONE of that has a goddamn thing to do with GMOs. It's ALL shooting at the wrong target.

                (There has been only ONE good argument against the actual GMO genes themselves--and that is their effect at spreading pesticide resistance through hybridizing with other plants by pollen dispersal.  And that will soon, I suspect, be a non-argument--I fully expect that Monsanto doesn't want its proprietary genes thrown all over the place for free by Mother nature, and will do with their next GMO seeds what they SHOULD have done with the last ones--make the pollen sterile.)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:13:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  as an aside--organic corn is grown in dirt (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maybeeso in michigan, worldlotus

          Dirt contains thuringiensis bacteria, by the hundreds of trillions.

          They live on the corn plant wherever the dirt touches it. They also live on your tomatoes and your shoes and your fingers and anything else that dirt touches.

          They produce Bt toxin.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:18:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Good thing the butterflies aren't eating (2+ / 0-)

            mud pies then! Sort of irrelevant, too.

            •  funny, but (0+ / 0-)

              are you under the delusion that flowers (or corn plants) are sterile and contain no bacteria on their surfaces . . . . ?

              Botulin bacteria live in dirt too. So do anthrax. Ever wonder how animals or people get botulism or anthrax?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:34:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The point is that insects would never ingest (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                OHdog, freesia, GreenMother

                a significant quantity of these things w/o their insertion into GMOs.

                Colony collapse, who cares? We still got our Cheetos.

              •  In the case of cornfields and milkweed, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus

                and their co-existance in close proximity,  the large problem for monarchs is contamination by deadly pollen drift.
                Over thousands of acres of conjoined fields.
                This should matter to all of us.

                Lenny, you changed the conversation from GMO plants carrying BT to anthrax and botulism.
                Not a problem for monarchs.

                'How like fish we are: ready, nay, eager, to seize upon whatever new thing.......And how we rue our haste, finding the gilded morsel to contain a hook". ALDO LEOPOLD - A Sand County Almanac

                by flowerfarmer on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:53:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the pollen problem can be easily solved, and (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  flowerfarmer, worldlotus

                  likely will be, if for no other reason than that Monsanto doesn't want Mother Nature giving away their proprietary gene for free.

                  I expect that in their next GMO crop (which I assume they're already working on since Roundup-Ready is reaching the end of its useful lifespan), Monsanto will remove the ability of the plant to make viable pollen.

                  Lenny, you changed the conversation from GMO plants carrying BT to anthrax and botulism.
                  Well, the problem is that we have two different conversations going on in these comments at the same time--one for Bt, which is a pesticide actually inside the plants, and one for Roundup-Ready GMO, which has no insecticide whatever inside the plant.

                  Butterflies have presumably been exposed to Bt (produced naturally in the soil by bacteria) for millions of years. What they have not been exposed to are the levels of Bt found in the modified plants.

                  As I noted in another comment, I am entirely open to regulating the levels of pesticides (whether GMO or not) to levels that are safe for the environment. And if that means the allowable levels get reduced to the point where Monsanto's plants become unusable, then tough shit on Monsanto.  (shrug)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:20:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Serious Question (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  worldlotus

                  You write:

                  the large problem for monarchs is contamination by deadly pollen drift.
                  As you have perhaps noticed, I think you are exactly wrong here.

                  Now, if I am wrong I would dearly love to be shown the error in my thinking.

                  Would you please explain to me, exactly, how pollen hurts the butterflies.

                  Thank you.

                  o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                  by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:27:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  found it: (0+ / 0-)

                    http://www.news.cornell.edu/...

                    It's the caterpillars more than the butterflies (since adult butterflies only drink nectar).Apparently the pollen containing the Bt toxin lands on nearby Milkweed plants and is accidentally ingested by the caterpillar and kills it. (Bt is used primarily because it is very targeted and only acts on a small number of animals--but apparently Monarch caterpillars are susceptible to it.) So it seems to be a matter of an unfortunate side effect hitting a species that happens to be vulnerable to it.

                    Monarch populations have been declining since the 1980's, though, and it probably isn't helping that their primary wintering grounds in Mexico are being destroyed.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:24:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Thank You (0+ / 0-)

                      I am now, if not smarter, then at least better informed.

                      o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                      by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:34:02 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Corn borers hide inside the plant (0+ / 0-)

                        Quite apart from the butterfly/pollen interaction, there were these three sentences:

                        Before the advent of Bt-corn, this pest was extremely difficult to control because it bores into the stalk, where it is protected from pesticides. It produces several generations a year. Because it was so difficult to control effectively with pesticides, annual losses averaged $1.2 billion.
                        Corn borers, boring into corn, gain a physical wall of protection against pesticides.

                        So it's not simply cost and ease of use that made Bt corn so valuable.  This angle makes the spread of resistance all the more distressing.  

                        o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                        by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:42:19 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  those of us in the reality-based community have (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        tarkangi

                        no fear of science or of scientific facts.

                        Those who let their anti-corporate ideology run away with their common sense, on the other hand, do.

                        (shrug)

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:58:10 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  The best part is that Neonicotinoids also in the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                AoT

                soil of mono-GMO-Corn Crops, affect the soil fauna causing certain microsporidians to flourish over others. Nosema which is deadly to Bees for one.

                So for all we know, this could also be affecting the larvae of lepidoptera in these fields as well, in addition to some species eating on plants expressing Neonicotinoid residues that travel from the roots of the plant into the vascular system of the plant to be expressed in every part of the plant, including the nectar and pollen and guttation.

                "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

                by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:18:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  maybe, maybe not. but (0+ / 0-)

                  All of this has bupkis to do with GMOs.

                  Indeed, I have found that most of the silly non-scientific gripes people have been making here, don't have bupkis to do with GMOs.  The effects of Roundup, yes. The effects of Bt, yes. But those effects are the same whether they are sprayed on GMO crops or non-GMO. (shrug)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:37:00 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  In those it's in the roots (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog, worldlotus

      But the pesticide it produces doesn't effect humans.

      If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

      by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:43:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thats what they said about Neonicotinoids (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        originally. That it was only in the roots of the plants treated. We know better now don't we.

        "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

        by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:20:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you do understand that neonicotinoids are not (0+ / 0-)

          any part of genetic engineering or GMOs, . . .

          Right?

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:39:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They're made by the same people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            so people are going to stick them in the same group.

            Humans.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:05:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You do understand that Corn and Soy are (0+ / 0-)

            put on GMO crops don't you. Your attempts to derail the obvious are pretty spectacular.

            GMO crops require More and More pesticides and Herbicides.

            Neonics have been making inroads to insect resistance, so like it has always been with the inception of chemical pesticides, it's time to a) create more variations--from Imidacloprid to sufloxafor, and B) create a caustic cocktail and see if the worms are immune to both or more when they are present in the field simultaneously.

            Now ask me what happens when we throw a fungicide into the mix.

            "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

            by GreenMother on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:56:50 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I was in fact wrong (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          worldlotus

          It isn't just in the roots.

          Don't give your GMO corn to your pet crustacean. It will probably kill it.

          If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

          by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:45:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  as an aside, copper water pipes in your house (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            tarkangi, worldlotus

            will also kill your crustaceans.  And mollusks. I learned that the hard way.

            Why doesn't the copper kill me, too? Because human physiology is different than crustacean or mollusk physiology.  That's why Bt kills bugs but doesn't kill humans, too.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:15:37 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Pesticide doesn't mean man-made chemical (6+ / 0-)

      It means something that kills a pest.  You eat bacteria toxic to other species all the time.  If you take probiotics, you are eating bacteria specifically to outcompete bacteria that might make you feel bad.
      Bacillus thuringiensis is harmless to us, but bad for most rootworms.  Except now, we selected for the few rootworms that could tolerate it.  They don't even have to be immune to it, just less often sick or made less sick than their neighbor rootworms.

      For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

      by Ptolemy on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:46:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's not in the corn you eat (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cocinero, worldlotus, tarkangi

      the bt genes express in the roots of the corn, where the rootworm lives. the corn is the same genetically modified creature humans have been manipulating, shaping and sculpting for hundreds generations.

      •  curious-how do they switch off the gene expression (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus

        in other cells outside the roots . . . . . .

        I think you are mistaken. I think the gene is expressed in all of the plant's cells, because we don't have that level of control yet over gene-switching. And may never.

        In medicine, we can place genes into particular cells and express them only in one specific area.  But we do that by actually placing the genes there AFTER the cells have differentiated.

        In GMOs, the genes are all in just one cell--the fertile seed. And every cell in the plant is a copy of that one seed cell.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:49:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  While I believe that I have read this (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, worldlotus

        the part about Bt gene being expressed only in the roots, a quickie web search did not turn up anything either way.

        In the interests of not fooling myself into believing something because I think it would be awesome if it were true, I am moving this idea into the "undecided" category in my head.

        On the happy side, I did run into this quick review from Nature.

        For those not in the know, Nature - the flagship journal of British Association for the Advancement of Science - is one of the premier journals in the science world, along with its American counterpart, Science.

        If you read something scientificky in either of these journals, it's probably going to be reliable.

        o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

        by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:44:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  unless, of course, they are part of the Monsanto (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tarkangi

          conspiracy too . . . .

          (snicker)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:49:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  People are not mind readers (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, worldlotus

            What I am really trying to say here is that Nature has the mojo to crush Monsanto like a ripe mango, should the Editors chose to summon up the righteous anger of Every Scientist on Earth.

            o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

            by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:54:30 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the whole idea that scienctists can conspire to (0+ / 0-)

              hide data or evidence, is simply silly. Anyone, anywhere, at any time, can replicate a study and measure data for himself, and publish the results to the whole world, and no power on earth can stop him.

              Even the tobacco companies that the CTers like to wave their arms about, could not prevent medical researchers all over the world from doing their own research, publishing their own data, and proving that cigarettes cause cancer.

              It's nuclear-level tinfoil-hat kookery.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:30:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You are wrong, there is a power that can stop (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                protectspice

                scientists from doing their own studies on Monsanto's GMO crops.  Specifically, patent licenses and non-disclosure/non-research agreements built into those patent licenses.  No scientist wants to be sued into oblivion which is what would happen if they tried to do such a study without Monsanto's approval.  In fact, had software style "shrinkwrap licenses" been commonplace back then those cigarette studies never would have happened.

                You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:41:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Get approval (0+ / 0-)

                  True that if you knock on the castle gate and demand seeds so you can prove that Monsanto is evil and is trying to kill us all, you probably won't get very far.

                  If you write a proposal for seed samples, based on legitimate concerns, you might actually get somewhere.  The Seralini study was hammered, not because it criticizes Monsanto but because it was poorly designed and shoddily reported.

                  If you are truly convinced that GMO seeds are doing something horrible you can, in the worst case, make your own GMO seeds.  The methodologies have been around for more than thirty years (.pdf).  It won't be easy, and you will have to learn a lot, and it will take some money and a whole lot of work but a dedicated outside team can show that GMO is intrinsically dangerous - if that is in fact the case.  The promise of Science is not that the process is easy but that it does work, and the truth will come out in the end.

                  o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

                  by tarkangi on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:08:01 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you don't even need to do all that (0+ / 0-)

                    If GMOs are killing cows or pigs or whatever, then there should be a lot of fucking dead cows and pigs to point to--and Monsanto can't stop anyone from going to farms and counting dead pigs.

                    If eating GMOs cause cancer or make you grow two heads, then any medical researcher anywhere in the world can look at the data and see those deaths, and propose a biochemical method for those genes to do whatever the heck it is you'all think they do, and Monsanto simply can't do a damn thing to stop them.

                    The reason such studies aren't happening is because there are no subjects to study.  There are no piles of dead cows from GMOs.  There are no pigs with two heads from GMOs.  There are no waves of cancer patients from eating GMO.  It's all arm-waving and wishful thinking. There's no "there" there.

                    If you disagree, then let's see it.  Show me.  Point to the dead cows and the cancer patients for us, so we can study them (and Monsanto can't do a damn thing to stop anyone from studying them).

                    But you won't.  You can't.  There aren't any.  

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:40:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That won't work as they can require that they (0+ / 0-)

                    approve the contents of any study before it can be published and have the right to edit anything they want before publication.

                    You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

                    by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 12:21:28 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'd like to see any court in the US enforce that (0+ / 0-)

                      contract. Companies on Amazon can't even get unfavorable reviews taken down, and you think any court in the US is gonna let Monsanto have control over a scientific journal it doesn't own, as part of its fucking sales contract?  You are seriously deluded.

                      Monsanto will have to argue one of two things to the court.  Either

                      1. their GMOs really did it and they just don't want that published---which will get laughed right out of the courtroom

                      or

                      2. their GMOs didn't do a damn thing. In which case it's hard to see what they're bitching about.

                      Either of them would provide immense entertainment, kill Monsanto's credibility, make them look like the biggest ass in the world, and lose their court case anyway.

                      Monsanto simply does not have the godlike powers you seem to think they have. They have no legal right to control what non-employees write about them. No matter what their idiotic contract says.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 01:07:44 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                •  then who the hell did all those studies that you (0+ / 0-)

                  folks claim proves GMOs to be unsafe and bad?  The pig study, for instance?

                  Which is it?  Are there no studies showing GMO to be unsafe because Monsanto stops you from doing them boo hoo hoo, OR, are there lots and lots of studies showing GMOs to be unsafe and everyone is just too close-minded to accept them.

                  Make up your goddamn mind.

                  Geez.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:31:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  How many decades did it take though? (0+ / 0-)
                •  who cares? (0+ / 0-)

                  Is there as time limit or something?

                  No one has ever successfully prevented scientists from examining any goddamn data they want to examine.  Nobody.  Ever. Nor CAN they. The very idea is idiotic.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:33:43 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  not in the sense that you probably mean (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      McWaffle, worldlotus, tarkangi

      Virtually all plants produce natural pesticides to avoid being eaten by bugs. Indeed, virtually every chemical produced by plants--everything from aspirin to nicotine, is a pesticide produced by plants to protect them from bugs.

      You eat them every day.

      They do you no harm because you're not a bug.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:55:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be explicit... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ontheleftcoast, worldlotus, tarkangi

        If you have ever had a cup of coffee or tea, or any drink with caffeine, you are specifically consuming a pesticide.

        •  ditto if you've ever smelled a rose or an orange (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikidee, worldlotus, tarkangi

          Those scents come from aromatic oils in the plant---designed to keep away herbivorous insects.

          Indeed it is the biochemical effects of these plant pesticides that make them useful in medicine--and that is why most of our medicines are either plant extracts or synthetic analogues of plant extracts.  They are, quite literally, poisons--used by the plant to kill its enemies.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:15:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Probably All Plants Are Loaded With Toxins (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT, tarkangi

          Carrots, celery, figs, beans, fruits, especially sprouts, and any vegetable are loaded with toxins of various types.

          Soybeans contain estrogen like phytohormones capable of disrupting reproduction, and soybeans are a top allergen.

          Not to mention that every year more than three thousand Americans die from bacterial and viral contamination of their food, including organic produce and raw milk.

          And of course, toxins affect various species react differently to toxins. Dogs can be killed by onions.  Am I worried about this?

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:03:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  RAW MILK IS LIKE 9/11!!!! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            flowerfarmer, bernardpliers

            Sorry, couldn't resist.

            This does remind me of the episode of the show Wilfred where the dog tells Frodo that he's poisoned him with Theobromine! It's in the chocolate cake.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:32:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  There's Definitely Raw Milk "Truthers" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              AoT

              Who know all about the government conspiracy to deprive Americans of the Elixir Of Life.

              But I used the 9-11 analogy in this diary

              http://www.dailykos.com/...

              ...where I point out that every year, more Americans probably die from food contamination than were killed on 9-11.

              And some of the deadliest outbreaks have involved inadequately pasteurized milk, with single incidents killing dozens of people and sickening tens of thousands.  Nor are raw milk producers immune.

              Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

              by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:52:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  yes and yes and yes with links: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      When Bt was sprayed onto the outer layer of a crop's leaves, the spraying occurred in relationship to the harvest. So that by the time the crop was sitting on a person's dinner plate, the Bt had little impact on that person. (Plus many people wash off their veggies and fruits after bringing them home from the store.)

      But if the Bt is inside the plant's very substance, there is no way to get it out.

      http://foodintegritynow.org/...

      Our guts may continue producing the insecticde BT once it s cells have come in cotnact with the BT-cotnaining corn
      http://www.responsibletechnology.org/...

      http://www.naturalnews.com/...

      •  how (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus
        Our guts may continue producing the insecticde BT once it s cells have come in cotnact with the BT-cotnaining corn
        Since digestion by definition breaks down DNA and proteins, how exactly can any ingested DNA express itself inside an organism's stomach and produce proteins in such a way as to have any effect whatever on anything.

        How, pray tell, is it that the presumably-produced Bt is not itself immediately digested by the stomach (which is of course the purpose of a stomach--to break down proteins).

        The "news article" you link to gives some anecdotal stories, but no peer-reviewed scientific studies that (1) show any such link or (2) demonstrate any plausible mechanism for producing any such link.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:54:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lenny Frank, obviously I am not a scientist & can (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          AoT

          definitely be counted amongst the "scientifically ignorant" so I am confused with regards to this:

          Since digestion by definition breaks down DNA and proteins, how exactly can any ingested DNA express itself inside an organism's stomach and produce proteins in such a way as to have any effect whatever on anything
          .

          Are there not proven substances that, when ingested by pregnant beings, directly have an (adverse) effect on the fetus?

          Beit alcohol or specific drugs orally ingested & digested-how then would "BT" be different?

          Respectfully & with appreciation, I thank all who have answered my original question.

          •  When we digest DNA it won't hurt us (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            worldlotus

            When we digest proteins it won't hurt us.

            Viruses are basically little strands of DNA with a weird bit on the end to get into cells.

            Bt is a bacterium in the same genus as things like botox and anthrax. So if you got it in your system in some way other than digesting it then you could in theory have a problem, but because the Bt in these GMO can only enter the body through digestion you digest them, they can't live in acidic environments like your stomach.

            There are plenty of things, including bits of DNAish things like viruses or misbent proteins(prions that cause mad cow disease) that you can digest and get sick from. The specific thing created by this corn is not dangerous to humans because of the nature of our system vs how bugs digest things.

            Think of how a cat can die fairly easily from eating chocolate whereas we eat it all the time.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:51:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks AoT. Still a ponderable for me considering (0+ / 0-)

              things like the following:
              Thalidomide-defects
              Alcohol-defects
              BPA-defects

              Drugs, hormones, chemicals, pesticides, a beverage(alcohol) made from foodstuff that can cross the placenta & cause havoc on a developing fetus.

              Two new studies - one human and one rat - show that active BPA and its inactive metabolite freely cross the placenta from a pregnant mother to the fetus. Even more important are the chemical transformations that occur in the fetus: the active form of BPA remains active while the inactive form can be converted to the active form. Together, these studies provide evidence that prebirth exposures occur in people and may pose a bigger risk to the developing fetus than previously thought.

              Nishikawa, M, H Iwano, R Yanagisawa, N Koike, H Inoue and H Yokota. 2010. Placental transfer of conjugated bisphenol A and subsequent reactivation in the rat fetus.  Environmental Health Perspectives http://dx.doi.org/....
              Balakrishnan, B, K Henare, EB Thorstensen, AP Ponnampalam and MD Mitchell. 2010. Transfer of bisphenol A across the human placenta. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 202:393e1-e7.

              -snip-

              Context
              Bisphenol A (BPA) is a component of polycarbonate plastics and is used in the resins that line food and beverage cans. Its presence in plastic baby bottles and infant formula cans is of particular concern because of exposures during early life development.
              People are routinely exposed to BPA through a variety of consumer products, including certain plastic water bottles, dental sealants, can linings and some carbonless copy receipts. The main source of exposure, though, is most likely from food. More than 90 percent of Americans have detectable levels of BPA metabolites in their urine. BPA has been measured in blood taken from adults, pregnant women and fetuses. It has been detected in human placenta, amniotic fluid, fat and breast milk
              Source: http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/...

              Then there is this new study regarding higher levels of (womb) exposure to a flame retardant and a chemical in a banned pesticide resulting in slightly elevated autistic behaviors. (Previous research has linked changes in children’s brain development only)

              Found here:
              http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org/...

              Makes one ponder....

              •  There are a lot of questions about GMO crops (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                worldlotus

                The one thing I know is that they must be taken on their own. The simple act of modifying a crop doesn't make it a problem, and for humans Bt corn is one of the least likely to affect humans.

                That's not necessarily true of all GMO.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:51:46 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  So then why is botulism poisoning such a (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice, tarkangi

          concern.  After all, if digestion by definition breaks down DNA and proteins, how exactly can that protein have any effect on a person.  Thus botulism being a threat is also a big lie.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:43:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bt is not botulism (0+ / 0-)

            And botulism does not work by expressing any genes, or by affecting the DNA in the somatic cells.

            (sigh)

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 11:43:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Good Question (0+ / 0-)

            The answer is that the dose makes the poison.

            Botulism comes from (mostly) improperly canned goods where the bacterium has been growing, casting off a high concentration of the toxin.  When the tainted food is eaten, much of the toxin is deactivated but in the time needed for the reactions to go the gut absorbs an effective dose that causes the symptoms.

            In the olden days, when a can of food was suspect you would boil the crap out of it and deactivate the toxin that way.

            It would be really dumb to make a botulism based GMO corn, or a tetanus based GMO corn for that matter, but the amount of toxin contained within the seed would likely be too small to be of concern.

            o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel: Parati

            by tarkangi on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 02:33:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it is eating pesticide. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      flowerfarmer, worldlotus

      The Bt toxin(s) expresses in every cell of the plant.

      There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

      by Joieau on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:07:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And when the corn seed is treated with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus

      neonicotinoids, it is a systemic pesticide that travels through the vascular system of the plant when the seed germinates. You eat that too.

      "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

      by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:15:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My 5-yr old grandson, seeing back-hoes (10+ / 0-)

    and earth movers in his favorite park, said, "When they mess with nature there's going to be trouble." I mad him repeat it because it was such a strange and yet accurate thing for him to say. He's too young to have heard the tv admonition "don't mess with Mother Nature" - he saw trees being uprooted, gardens being turned under and was very sad.

    The point is, if a five year old knows this, surely it must pass through the heads of the people responsible for GMO crops. But they are led by profit not science so any thoughts about destruction to the ecosystem pushed aside.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:20:29 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the info HD (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, AoT, worldlotus

    nosotros no somos estúpidos

    by a2nite on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:23:29 PM PDT

  •  Good work HoundDog, keep on "crying all the time" (4+ / 0-)

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 01:24:57 PM PDT

  •  Which response most (7+ / 0-)

    closely reflects your feelings about corn?

    (.) other

    And I'll tell you why. Corn used to be a wonderous thing, rich with the flavor of summer, still warm from the field when Mom would lower the cobs into the boiling water. Now it is a dangerous mystery. Is the corn I am about to buy a GMO? Is it Bt corn? Is it from an acreage sprayed throughout with Roundup? Because I can't answer those questions, I don't buy corn anymore unless it is organic. Corn is one of the worst crops for sustainability. It uses a lot of water and is a heavy nitrogen feeder--so much so that soils used exclusively for corn culture are now all but sterile and grey, devoid of microbial life and healthy tilth. American cornlands are mostly responsible for the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. Organic corn is the only one you should be buying. If you grow corn, do so organically.

  •  I'm surprised (8+ / 0-)

    that the farmers didn't plant the non-Bt corn refuges the way they were told to do. Because anyone with half a brain could see that doing it any other way was guaranteed to produce resistant critters. Usually farmers at least listen to the ag agents.
    Same with the 'Roundup-ready' crops.

    Monoculture (all one variety of one plant) is bad, and planting right up to the roads, leaving no refuges for insects and critters, is bad.

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:07:15 PM PDT

  •  my plant geneticist dad only fiddled with (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Lily O Lady, HoundDog, worldlotus

    the flavor (genes) of the produce he developed.  

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:15:56 PM PDT

    •  Would that have been upping the sugar (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      HoundDog

      content? I'm not sure that's a boon to mankind.

      "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

      by Lily O Lady on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:42:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Once again... (8+ / 0-)

    ...capitalism has produced science-resistant dumbasses.

    "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win". Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by DaveinBremerton on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:22:28 PM PDT

  •  OT, maybe, maybe not: Pollyanacide: suicide (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, protectspice, worldlotus

    through unreasonably optimistic assumptions that one has complete and total knowledge of something new. (I just invented that word.)

    Like nuclear power, GMOs are the result of being able to technically execute something; assuming 'nothing can possibly go wrong'; and then letting the technique be applied widely without sufficient sample over sufficient time to validate the assumption.

    The problem is Reality has a way of testing all human premises, sooner or later; the ones researched, the ones unforeseen and even unimagined.

    The word 'science' comes from the Latin word for 'knowing.'

    It amazes me how few are able to distinguish the difference between employing a technique (with unverified/unverifiable outcomes) derived from using scientific methods, and actually 'knowing of a certainty.'

    A 'best guess given what we think we know now in the absence of a large sample size over a long period of time' is not the same thing as actually knowing.


    Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

    by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:45:55 PM PDT

    •  actually, virtually all GMO genes have already (0+ / 0-)

      been tested, in the wild, for millions of years.

      BT, for instance, has been living in the soil for several hundred million years--as long as the B thuringiensis species has existed.

      The freeze-resistant tomatoes use genes from the founder fish----that gene has been living in that fish for millions of years.

      Golden Rice uses two genes, from a daffodil and from a bacteria, both of which have had those genes for millions of years.

      Even Monsanto's Roundup-Ready didn't make a completely new gene--it simply copied a gene for herbicide resistance that was already found in wild plants. So that experiment too was already happening for decades before Monsanto ever modified a single seed.

      Some of us seem to have the idea that "genetic engineering" produces totally new genes that have never existed before and spring them onto the world voila.  It doesn't.  Every GMO process in use today works by taking a gene that already exists (and has already existed for billions of years) out of one organism and placing it into another. So that gene has already been "tested" for millions of years.

      "But what about how that gene interacts with the genes in the new organism !!!" you may ask.  Good question.  We already know that too, since all earth organisms share basically the same genes. In total DNA, humans and bacteria share about half their genes. Most of the differences come from things like eyes, legs and hair, which the bacteria gene doesn't effect and isn't effected by. As far as the actual basic biological genes which control the cellular processes (and which are relevant to things like cancer), those are virtually one-hundred percent identical in all living things. So we already have a hundred million years of data on how the genes interact.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:31:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please, that's just pettifogery and shifting the (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TakeSake, OHdog, worldlotus, marina

        goalposts. Nature never produced a frog-tomato in the space of a few months. Nature never produced cabbage with scorpion venom on a Thursday. Spiders and goats never mated.

        Taking entire sections of DNA from one class of being and sticking it into another is a NEW thing. Why pretend otherwise?

        And it's impossible for any honest person to say that the down-the-road consequences of this kind of fuckery is a known thing.


        Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

        by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:56:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Saints in heaven! Just reread what you posted. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TakeSake, OHdog
          The freeze-resistant tomatoes use genes from the founder fish----that gene has been living in that fish for millions of years.
          Right. And how long in Tomatoes? Millions of years in tomatoes you're saying. Or what is it now, 3 or ten years?
          Golden Rice uses two genes, from a daffodil and from a bacteria, both of which have had those genes for millions of years.
          And...... for how long in rice? Millions of years IN RICE, you say?

          This is the kind of stuff that gets self-proclaimed scientists a lack of trust. You understand that if you go look in the dictionary for a picture of sophism, these kinds of things you wrote would be what you would see, right?


          Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

          by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:01:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  what you don't grasp is that it's the same gene (0+ / 0-)

            There is no "new gene". None. At all. Nada. The gene is absolutely identical in every way whatsoever whether it is inside a tomato or a fish.  And that gene has already existed for millions of years.

            You can wave your arms all you want--it doesn't change those two simple basic facts.  (shrug)

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:58:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what you don't grasp is that the gene is in an (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              protectspice

              environment of other genes, and slicing it from one set where it has evolved and adapted over a period of millions of years and throwing into another 'ecology' where it has never been operative is a major change in the recipient organism.

              If what you were saying were true, IT WOULD BE UNNECESSARY TO SLICE IT FROM THE TOMATO AND PUT IT IN THE CHICKEN BECAUSE THE CHICKEN WOULD ALREADY BE EMPLOYING IT.

              BUT THE CHICKEN DOESN'T, and there might very well be good reasons for that: reasons which it would be impossible to know because genetic science is in its infancy; and there has not been time enough to gain data on what fucking around with things does.

              Sophistry mimics knowledge and reason, but it leaves out salient points.


              Real fixes, outside the coffin fixes, ain't ever pragmatic says DC Bubble Conventional Wisdoom.

              by Jim P on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:38:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I grasp that fine (0+ / 0-)

                What YOU don't grasp is that:

                1. the gene in question is already in basically the same environment, since the cellular genes of all organisms are basically the same

                and

                2. the genes selected for GMOs are NOT pleiotropic--that means they only do one thing, and do not interact with other genes. They are not involved with regulation, they are not involved with development, and they are not involved with cell division or cellular functions.

                If what you were saying were true, IT WOULD BE UNNECESSARY TO SLICE IT FROM THE TOMATO AND PUT IT IN THE CHICKEN BECAUSE THE CHICKEN WOULD ALREADY BE EMPLOYING IT.
                You're babbling nonsense. Mostly because you don't understand basic biology and biochemistry.

                The genes they have in common are the basic cellular genes, the ones that control things like differentiation and cell division. The things that, when they go wrong, cause things like cancer.

                The genes they do NOT have in common are the species-specific adaptations to their particular environment. Chickens don't have a gene for antifreeze because they don't live in the Arctic. The fish does.

                But (and here's where you want to mlisten closely and look up any words you don't understand) the fish gene already lives with the same basic cellular genes as the chicken has. The fish cellular-control genes and the chicken cellular-control genes are virtually the same.  Indeed, you could (and scientists HAVE) take the cellular gene out of the chicken and put it into the fish, and it works precisely the same.

                So when you take the fish antifreeze gene and put it into the tomato or the fish, it works precisely the same.  The genes it is now with are no different than the genes it was with before, because the chicken and the tomato and the fish all have the same basic cellular-control genes.

                And that is why you don't get two-headed chickens, or tomatoes with feathers, or whatever the hell else you are yammering about.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:26:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  um, no, it's reality (0+ / 0-)

          A fish gene is a fish gene is a fish gene, whether it's in a fish or in a tomato. They are absolutely identical.  They have exactly the same ACGT sequence.  And they produce precisely the same protein.

          And since that fish gene has been in the environment for millions of years, we already know what its effect on the environment is.  It has the same effect whether it's inside a fish or inside a tomato.

          You are indeed under the delusion that genetic engineers produce totally new genes that have never existed before.  And you are quite wrong about that.  The genes have already existed since before the time of the dinosaurs.  (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:37:27 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Genes don't have an effect on the envionment (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AoT, worldlotus

            but organisms do. And the products of metabolism resulting from  expression of transferred genes in new plant hosts may affect the environment (soil, other plants, animals, microbes) in novel and unpredictable ways. But don't worry, be happy. In the meantime I'm still waiting for the 60's dream of tranferring THC production from marijuana into it's closest relative, the hop plants for some awesome beer.

            Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

            by OHdog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:57:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  you have shown no such interaction. none. (0+ / 0-)

              And indeed since the gene has already existed for millions of years (inside the same basic biochemical machinery) and has produced no such effect, I think you will not show any such interaction.

              But I'm always open to evidence.  Can you point to an observed example of such an effect in soil or environment or other plant or animal or microbes? And please make sure you explain how transfer of a gene is bad bad bad when it comes from a transplanted gene, but NOT bad bad bad when it comes from the original source of the gene---why is transfer of a fish gene that has been inserted into a tomato bad bad bad, but the  transfer of that very same gene from the fish itself, is not? Are there little molecular traffic cops that patrol around looking to see which organism a particular gene originally comes from?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:32:07 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Take the case of the locust and the grasshopper (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                marina, OHdog

                They are the exact same genetically. Literally the same species, same everything. And yet entirely different. And the fact is that we can't know what triggers there may be in the various genes we've inserted. The likelihood that they're benign is probably high, but who knows what the interactions with other genes will produce? And more importantly, who knows what interactions with other genes in the changing climate will produce.

                So the idea that we can just insert a gene into a new organism and it will turn out the same is absurd. That's magical thinking.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:41:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  not a good example (0+ / 0-)

                  That is not caused by interaction with any non-locust gene. And if you insert a locust gene into a porcupine, it won't make the porcupines gather in a huge mass and eat their way across North America. Why? Because the behavior in the locust is not even caused by a single gene.

                  And the fact is that we can't know what triggers there may be in the various genes we've inserted. The likelihood that they're benign is probably high, but who knows what the interactions with other genes will produce? And more importantly, who knows what interactions with other genes in the changing climate will produce.

                  So the idea that we can just insert a gene into a new organism and it will turn out the same is absurd. That's magical thinking.

                  But you are mistaken on two counts:

                  1. Yes, we CAN know what the gene will do in the environment, because it's already been in the environment for millions of years. The fish antifreeze gene in the tomato has been around since there were fish living in cold water, back to the Devonian. The gene has no effect on the environment.

                  2. We also know what the gene will do in interaction with other genes, because the fish already shares over half its genes with the tomato and has been interacting with those shared genes for millions of years.

                  Despite all the horror tales, there is no example of any transplanted gene causing any damage to anything of any sort whatsoever.  And that is not at all surprising, since the same gene has already been around for millions of years, and did bupkis to anything.

                  You would have a more valid argument if it were directed against a real NEW gene, one that was artificially designed and never existed in nature (and that has not been done by any commercial GMO company---though i would be very surprised if the military Biological Warfare guys were not working on it, that incidentally being another very valid argument against GMO technology). But even then, the odds would be astronomically low. It would be very difficult to even come up with a totally new gene, since Mother Nature is very inventive, and if any gene can have any noticeable biological effect, it's probably already been tried. Evolution works by randomly trying every possibility and keeping the things that have effects. Any artificial "new" gene would almost certainly either already exist somewhere in nature for millions of years or just be a variant that does something that another gene already does. After all, genes simply produce proteins, and Mother Nature is pretty sure to have already tried any particular protein. I doubt we can actually make anything truly "new".

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:55:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What you seem to be saying is that (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    OHdog

                    genes and proteins have a one to one correlation and that the existence of a gene in one organism means that the gene will produce the same protein in another organism and effect the organism the same way.

                    After all, genes simply produce proteins, and Mother Nature is pretty sure to have already tried any particular protein.
                    Then why are there more proteins in the human body than there are genes?
                    the fish already shares over half its genes with the tomato
                    It shares half its genes with a tomato, which means it doesn't share the other half. So it hasn't interacted with half of the genes that it is now interacting with. That's a huge number of genes. A tomato has more than thirty thousand genes. That's not a small number by any stretch of the imagination.

                    Gene's do not simply produce proteins. If this were true it would be impossible to take a gene from a food we can eat and add it to another food we can eat and get something we cant eat. Do you have an ounce of evidence for that claim?

                    I also wonder how you account for protein interaction in the model you're working from. There's the case of prions, BSE and Scrapie being the most well known. Gene's obviously can't bend proteins so a switch between families could mean a completely different expression in that respect.

                    I just feel like you're being unnecessarily reductive because some people are afraid of eating the wrong DNA.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:43:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no--what I am saying is that the genes that are (0+ / 0-)
                      genes and proteins have a one to one correlation
                      selected for GMO use have a one to one correspondence.  They are specifically selected because they only do one thing, and are not involved with the function of any other genes.

                      That is not true of ALL genes, but it IS true of all genes used in GMO.  That's why they were chosen to begin with.

                      It shares half its genes with a tomato, which means it doesn't share the other half. So it hasn't interacted with half of the genes that it is now interacting with. That's a huge number of genes. A tomato has more than thirty thousand genes. That's not a small number by any stretch of the imagination.
                      But that half is irrelevant, since they are genes specific to the tomato, and they don't interact with the other genes.  The genes all living things have in common are the ones that control the basic cellular functions---cell division, cellular structure, cell differnetiation, emrbyonic development.

                      The cells that are different (50% different in humans and tomatoes, 0.5% different in humans and chimps) are NOT those genes--they are the specific genes particular to that species--such as hair in chimps and antifreeze in fishes.

                      Now here is the important part to understand---those genes are NOT involved in any way with cellular division or differentiation or development. Just as your gene for eye color has zero effect whatsoever on your cellular functions, the gene for fish antifreeze doesn't have anything to do with ITS cellular development or division.

                      That is why mutations in your gene for eye color don't give you cancer--that gene simply has bupkis to do with cellular functions.

                      And that is why a fish antifreeze gene has no effect at all on the cellular division or differntiation of any other organism that it is placed in---because that gene doesn't interact with those genes. It has no cellular function. For the very same reason, placing your gene for eye color into a frog won't make it grow two heads--because that gene has nothing whatever to do with growing heads.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:33:35 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  "genes and proteins have a one to one correlation" (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        OHdog

                        This is false.

                        Let me quote Nature Magazine

                        How Many Protein-Coding Genes Are in That Genome?
                        Interestingly, the same "remarkable lack of correspondence" can be noted when discussing the relationship between the number of protein-coding genes and organism complexity. Scientists estimate that the human genome, for example, has about 20,000 to 25,000 protein-coding genes. Before completion of the draft sequence of the Human Genome Project in 2001, scientists made bets as to how many genes were in the human genome. Most predictions were between about 30,000 and 100,000. Nobody expected a figure as low as 20,000, especially when compared to the number of protein-coding genes in an organism like Trichomonas vaginalis. T. vaginalis is a single-celled parasitic organism responsible for an estimated 180 million urogenital tract infections in humans every year. This tiny organism features the largest number of protein-coding genes of any eukaryotic genome sequenced to date: approximately 60,000.
                        Genes are far more than just proteins.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:46:16 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  you are mis-reading (0+ / 0-)

                          Not all those 35000 or so human genes are involved in regulatory or cellular functions. Many are, but not all. The gene for eye color, for instance, isn't. It only has one function, and it doesn't interact at all with any of the regulatory genes.

                          The same is true for other species. And those are the genes that are selected for GMO.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:36:21 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Several genes affect eye color and it is the (0+ / 0-)

                            combination that that determines the observed color. Seems that as with many of your assertions, you have not done the background reading.

                            Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

                            by OHdog on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 08:07:38 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

          •  You don't know what you're talking about (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice
            And since that fish gene has been in the environment for millions of years, we already know what its effect on the environment is.  It has the same effect whether it's inside a fish or inside a tomato.
            This is flatly wrong. Completely wrong. Gene's are not gene expression and a gene does not necessarily correlate one to one with what happens to an organism. This is a nineteen fifties version of genetics and doesn't conform at all with contemporary genetics.

            You clearly need to read some more about genes and development if you really believe that  gene have been "tested" because they've existed in some organism before.

            If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

            by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:17:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  actually I do (0+ / 0-)

              The genes used in GMO are specifically selected because they are NOT pleiotropic. They do not interact with any developmental genes, and they produce only one protein.

              Why the heck would they WANT to do otherwise? Their only interest is in getting a particular protein into the target, whether it's Bt toxin or fish antifreeze or whatever. They don't WANT that gene to do anything else--that only makes everything harder and more complicated. So they deliberately do NOT select any genes that play any role in development or differentiation--they pick the ones that are NOT pleitropic. They WANT the gene to do what they want it to do--and nothing else.

              It's like your gene for eye color.  If you put it into a frog, it's not gonna make the frog grow two heads, it's not gonna cause the frog to get liver cancer, it's not gonna turn the frog pink.  Why not? Because that gene doesn't play any role in cephalization or cell division or skin color. All it does is make a particular-colored protein in the iris instead of a different-colored protein.

              Yes, many genes play roles in development and differentiation, and many genes make more than one protein that plays different roles.

              But many do not.  And those are the ones used in GMO.

              Specifically because they only have one effect.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:47:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  They don't interact with any protein (0+ / 0-)

                in the original organism. That's true.

                Your claim that genes are tested in the environment makes no sense.

                If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:56:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  they don't interact with any other genes, either (0+ / 0-)

                  Indeed they are specifically selected because they don't.

                  And that makes the whole question of "what other genes are they found with?" completely irrelevant, since they don't interact with them anyway.

                  The genes have been tested in the environment.  They have existed for millions of years. In the environment.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:11:57 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have yet to be presented with evidence (0+ / 0-)

                    that they don't interact with other genes.

                    If you have said evidence I would be happy to see it.

                    You speak as if every gene is "tested in nature" just because it's a gene and it exists. You seem to have changed that to say that the genes that are chosen for ingestion don't interact, but again you haven't offered any evidence for that. Honestly, you haven't offered evidence for anything, just claims.

                    I would suggest that you present evidence along with your claims if you want to represent the scientific side of things.

                    If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                    by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:23:26 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  so you don't accept the existence of (0+ / 0-)

                      non-pleiotropic genes . . . . ?

                      Come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:51:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  They don't interact with genes in the original (0+ / 0-)

                        organism. You're claiming that a gene that doesn't interact in one organism can never interact in any other organism. I have yet to see evidence of that.

                        If knowledge is power and power corrupts, does that mean that knowledge corrupts?

                        by AoT on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 09:12:06 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  that's what non-pleiotropic genes DO (0+ / 0-)

                          That's what mAKES them non-pleiotropic.

                          It's like claiming just because trees don't eat cats at the seashore doesn't mean they don't eat cats on a mountaintop.

                          You're just being silly.

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:01:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't buy that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        OHdog
        "But what about how that gene interacts with the genes in the new organism !!!" you may ask.  Good question.  We already know that too, since all earth organisms share basically the same genes.
        By that logic, you'd let your dog chow down on dark chocolate, since humans are fine with it, and you'd drink methanol, because it doesn't harm laboratory rats. And your dog would be dead, and you'd be blind.

        Then there's epigenetics. As I understand it, GMO genes are basically shotgunned into the recipient's genome, so there's no control over where it ends up. Which means there could be a position effect. Or variable frequency of transcription of the new gene. Or partial transcription. Or different folding of the new protein, because of its different environment in a different organism.

        •  OK, so you don't know what (0+ / 0-)

          "regulatory" genes are, or "cellular mechanisms".

          Do you know that you share half of your genome with a banana?  Do you know WHY you share half your genome with a banana? Do you know the difference between the genes that you share with a banana and those that you don't?

          (sigh) The level of scientific illiteracy here is stunning.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:54:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  "Resistance is futile" n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. --Martin Luther King Jr.

    by Egalitare on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 02:54:05 PM PDT

  •  Corn would be far less profitable (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TakeSake, Mr Robert, TheDuckManCometh

    if it's prices weren't being propped up by requiring its use in ethanol, against all sense and logic...

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 03:35:14 PM PDT

  •  BT toxin also has toxic effects on bacteria in (6+ / 0-)

    insect guts and 99% probability on your gut microbiome too.  When your gut bacteria get out of balance due to antbiotics or in this case a bacterial toxin acting as an antibiotic, things like overgrowth of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) can happen. Although BT toxin won't make your gut leaky like it does to the insects the dysbiosis it causes could certainly lead to overgrowth of some normal gut bacteria and cause translocation of bacterial products into blood and lymph leading to low grade general inflammation which if chronic can predispose to numerous ailments. Sure you may be able to degrade the usual amounts of BT toxin you come across from natural sources but when it is expressed inside edible cells of food plants it's certain some will make it to your gut.

    Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

    by OHdog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:47:58 PM PDT

    •  GMO MadLibs nt (0+ / 0-)

      Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

      by bernardpliers on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 04:58:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No just a microbiologist writing with a good (4+ / 0-)

        deal of science behind  the above comment. But I should not feed the trolls.

        Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

        by OHdog on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:03:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  indeed, the level of scientific ignorance here is (0+ / 0-)

        astounding. Though I suppose not surprising, since most Americans are abysmally pig-ignorant of the world around them.

        Though to spew this crapola in a SCIENCE group certainly takes some gonads. Fortunately for them it's a Friday night and virtually nobody's here (except me and you, who apparently have no social lives). Otherwise they'd have to be accusing an awful lot of people of working for Monsanto.  (snicker)

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:41:26 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well why don't you go find some utopia where (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, protectspice, steelman, OHdog

          everyone swallows your opinion hook line and sinker.

          It must be so hard for you to dwell amongst us lesser beings--My heart bleeds for you Lenny.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:23:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  a better response would have been to give us some (0+ / 0-)

            evidence to support any of your silly accusations.

            Feel free to turn this into a personal thing if you think it will help.  I suggest you insult my mother--she's very overweight.

            Noe of that will change the simple fact that there is zero evidence of any sort for any of the idiotic anti-science arguments I've seen here.  None.  Not a shred.

            And you won't present any. You CAN'T. There ISN'T any. (shrug)

            PS--science doesn't give a flying fuck about my opinion.  Science only cares about evidence.  That thing you don't have.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 07:39:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  well yeah, that's generally what "toxins" do (0+ / 0-)

      I bet that caffeine toxin you drink everyn morning doesn't make your gut biome do situps either.  (shrug)

      Ohhhhh, except that your stomach breaks down those toxins before they ever reach your intestines--that being what "digestion" is, and all . . . . . .

      Sure you may be able to degrade the usual amounts of BT toxin you come across from natural sources but when it is expressed inside edible cells of food plants it's certain some will make it to your gut.
      OK, so this is a modified version of the bullshit "pig study" . . . . The one where the actual data showed that FEWER pigs who ate the GMOs got seriously sick than who did not.

      There is no demonstrated connection between ingestion of Bt and any intestinal disorder. None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Your "it may be" hand-waving notwithstanding.  

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:38:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well there are studies that show an effect on (0+ / 0-)

        intestinal bcteria and although you will like their conclusions the changes are not toward a stable community. They did not look for trans-located bacterial products and they cite the number of changes rather than  the functional groups those changes represented. After all people have known that the disappearance of just one bacteria, Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, was indicative of Crohn's Disease and other intestinal problems. It is early on in the age of the microbiome so hypotheses grounded in science are not hand waving they are where you need to explore further.

        Life is just a bowl of Cherries, that stain your hands and clothes and have pits that break your teeth.

        by OHdog on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 07:58:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Much like the super bugs being evolved in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, worldlotus

    livestock through regular use of antibiotics. Evolution can be fairly rapid since every dog on earth today grandfather in 10,000 BC was a wolf. We sped up that evolution on purpose sometimes with bad results eg. Yorkies.

    Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

    by J Edward on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:41:05 PM PDT

  •  But GMO is science, pure science! (0+ / 0-)

    Unintended consequences of thinking you can fuck with the gene pool. As Jeff Goldblum says in Jurassic Park, "Nature finds a way." Kind of like thinking you can just take a pill to fix your sicknesses rather than have a healthy lifestyle. And then you need a pill for the pill...
    Absolutely no one can predict, over decades of time, what will happen with GMO crops (and animals and people). I am steadfastly against this technology which is engineered for profit and corporate control of the food supply, not long term sustainability of a planet careening toward 8 billion people.

    "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

    by shmuelman on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 05:44:31 PM PDT

    •  you are saying two different things (0+ / 0-)
      Absolutely no one can predict, over decades of time, what will happen with GMO crops (and animals and people).
      Yes we can. Because the gene in question has already existed for millions of years. We know exactly what effect it has on the environment--the same effect it has already been having since the Devonian. The genes are not new; they did not suddenly appear in a lab yesterday. They've already been here for millions of years.
      I am steadfastly against this technology which is engineered for profit and corporate control of the food supply, not long term sustainability of a planet careening toward 8 billion people.
      And HERE is where you are quite correct. THAT is precisely the problem with GMO, and the reason why I too am steadfastedly against it. It is a tool used by a giant corporation to monopolize itself over everyone and establish semi-feudal control over the entire agricultural sector. It should not be tolerated. And NO natural process should be patentable for private profit. That should also not be tolerated.

      But the pseudo-scientific "arguments" being offered in this diary against GMO are, mostly, silly, and based on an appalling ignorance of science and biology. Indeed, many of us here have denied the very legitimacy of science itself and declared it a kooky global conspiracy akin to that being used to fake global warming or evolution--an attitude more suited for the benighted lunatic RW nutters than for presumably "reality-based" people.

      I find it appalling and am ashamed that such people are on the same side as me.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:55:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats are unfortunately part of the problem (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    Especially when a Democratic president hands over the Department of Agriculture to a Monsanto goon:

    Vilsack is a Monsanto shill.

    Another Monsanto Lobbyist in a high power position appointed by Obama.

    And it's really scary to see how deep the corruption runs.

    The takeover has been thorough. Monsanto's growth hormones for cows have been approved by Michael Taylor, a former Monsanto lobbyist turned U.S.D.A. administrator and F.D.A. deputy commissioner. This was after Margaret Miller, a former Monsanto employee, oversaw a report on the hormones' safety and then took a job at the F.D.A. where she approved her own report.

    Islam Siddiqui, a former Monsanto lobbyist, wrote the U.S.D.A.'s food standards, allowing corporations to label irradiated and genetically engineered foods as "organic."

    The recently passed and signed law nicknamed the Monsanto Protection Act strips federal courts of the power to halt the sale and planting of genetically engineered crops during a legal appeals process. The origin of this act can be found in the U.S.D.A.'s deregulation of Roundup Ready sugar beets in violation of a court order. The U.S.D.A. argued that any delay would have caused a sugar shortage, since Monsanto holds 95% of the market.

    The revolving door keeps revolving. Monsanto's board members have worked for the E.P.A., advised the U.S.D.A., and served on President Obama's Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 08:53:50 PM PDT

  •  Holy shit Batman, who could have predicted that?! (0+ / 0-)

    n/t

    "The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread." -- Anatole France

    by terremoto on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 10:32:19 PM PDT

  •  I see everyone who hates GMO crops homed in (0+ / 0-)

    to this page like bees to honey. But the supposed Evuls of GMO is not what this is about.
    Its about good science being trumped by human stupidity and greed. Again. About the power of evolution when your generation time is a few weeks and your broods number in the dozens, whether Real Americans (TM) believe in it or not. And finally about the fact that Mother Nature can be one hostile bitch.

  •  This is what happens when money rules (0+ / 0-)

    politics and policy and even the most obvious science is thrown out the window. From the 1970s until I retired I had a segment in my lectures about the history of environmentalism that talked about bacterial and insect capacity to breed resistance (quoting from Rachel Carson's Silent Spring) and of other species to concentrate trace amounts of chemicals in the food chain. I quoted Barry Commoner on the latter from a comment he made to me in a bar after he gave a lecture: I asked him how people can avoid eating bio-concentrated chemicals, he said "eat low on the food chain." The point is we have understood both of these basic problems comprehensively for a half century or longer, but money has now flat out crushed science within the political process.

    We have only just begun and none too soon.

    by global citizen on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 04:42:18 AM PDT

  •  So now genetically altered food is good? I'm (0+ / 0-)

    confused.  One day we're castigating the anti vaccine (anti science) bunch and the next day we're the anti gene changing (anti science) bunch. Its a confusing world.  

    If I comply with non-compliance am I complying? Sarcasm is the ability to insult stupid people without them realizing it.

    by thestructureguy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 at 05:47:28 AM PDT

  •  Don't Japan and China ban imports of GMOs? (0+ / 0-)

    There was this incident in Oregon a short time back where some GMO wheat I think it was suddenly appeared in some farmer's field, and nobody knew how it got there. Of course Monsanto (or whoever was the company) denied having anything to do with it (though they produced the seeds). But then there was a big uproar because China and Japan buy a lot of Oregon wheat, and have strict bans against importing any GMO food. So it looked like they were going to bail out of buying the 50-60% (or whatever, it was a big number) of Oregon's wheat crop they had contracted for -- and suddenly things got really shitty for Monsanto, as they had a whole bunch of people and companies in Oregon whose survival was on the line and looking for blood.
    You can say it's not nice to fool with Mother Nature, but the only real hurt comes down on businesses that fool with other companys' bottom lines.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Sun Mar 23, 2014 at 04:10:18 AM PDT

  •  Vote for Democrats? (0+ / 0-)

    You mean like the ones who voted for the Monsanto Protection Act and support the TPP?  Really?  The trick is to actually know the true stance of a politician on matters like GMO and engineering, trade pacts and science then make a decision...Better yet, work against all that don't support stopping this horror show and assuring the only candidates are honest people concerned about the health and welfare of all people - that includes Democrats, Republicans or any other candidate

  •  bad corn (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004

    I don't eat corn any more.
    I make my own tortillas out of non GMO corn.
    I know that everyone doesn't have the time to do this but I encourage you to do the research and try to understand why the rest of the world doesn't want our GMO products.
    I have been an activist for a long time and along with nuclear power this is the most dangerous experiment that the humans have tried.  It could change the structure of every plant and insect on the planet.  Think about it!

  •  Idiots (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004

    Absolute, moronic, complete and total fucking IDIOTS.

    All because the farmers have fallen for the RepubliTard propaganda. A

    And because the RepubliMorons' puppetmasters (the corporations) are too greedy to use any modicum of sense when they fuck with nature.

    These idiots are going to kill is all.

  •  Game Theory (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivote2004

    Any theoretical economist or mathematician could have predicted this outcome.  It went straight to a Nash Equilibrium, i.e. "screw you all, I'm getting mine today, and the hell with tomorrow" (and is one reason why economists consistently fail accurately to predict the behavior of normal human beings, especially in face-to-face situations - Game Theory makes no allowance for common courtesy, human decency, warm fuzzy feelings and altruism).

    That's why we need intervention, from a government agency that hasn't had all its teeth pulled.  There needs to be an adult in the room, because god knows most corporate interests have no interest in decency, or long-term outcomes.

  •  Farmers (0+ / 0-)

    In my home country the word for "farmer" has 2 meanings. One meaning applies to their job, the other is a synonym for "dumb bell". Too bad that these 2 meanings apply to US farmers as well.
    What galls me is that the GMO industry has so much money that they can buy their way into our food supply and eventually kill us all.
    Another thing that galls me is the horrendous and horrible use of corn syrup for all kinds of "food". What is wrong with the US people that they love things so outrageously sweet? Are they all "farmers" and do not understand the harm of sugar and sugary syrup? As a European I find most foodstuff in the US appalling, disgusting, and harmful.

  •  Don't eat corn. Just fight the GMOs. (0+ / 0-)

    I haven't eaten corn in quite a few years.

    Because quite a few years ago I started getting bad headaches after eating corn.

    Guess what? You really can live an excellent life without eating corn.

    And guess what else? With all that extra energy ya get from not eating corn and not having headaches, you can do a lot more to fight against the spread of GMOs :)

    #3: ensure network neutrality; #2: ensure electoral integrity; #1: ensure ecosystemic sustainability.

    by ivote2004 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 at 10:45:06 PM PDT

  •  Umm corn (0+ / 0-)

    Government is not the enemy, unless it's a Republiclown doing the talking. While most government agencies do have problems, I think it's due to the interference created by Rethuglicans and their corporate masters. I would rather live in a world where someone is watching out for me versus some corporate shill claiming " Would I sell you something that's bad for you"? Let's play the Republiclown Bengazi game. This conspiracy to destroy the corn crop was created by the oil companies. No corn- no ethanol. Equals more gas sold. Equals more money for the Kock brothers. Bad science, or no science at all always leads to catastrophe.

  •  So we should vote (0+ / 0-)

    Democrat because of evolution?  Last time I read anything the Dems were in the pocket of the lobbyist also especially in the corn belt.  This is a science and health issue not a partisan issue.  

  •  Maximum Short-Term Profits (0+ / 0-)

    are the name of the game for corporations throughout the world. The safety and health of consumers and the viability and diversity of our environment mean absolutely nothing to corporations and our astute politicians in Congress and our state legislatures. Our politicians have been in the back pockets of corporations and the wealthy for decades. I don't expect it to change in the future.

  •  Stupid Chemical Companies! (0+ / 0-)

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohohoheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeheeharharharharharharharharhar!!! Stupid Monsanto and stupid DOW Chemical corporations! Fools! Greed is the only motivator, plain and simple. What twits these corporate leaders have been and still are. And farmers who ignorantly USE these chemicals...well, they're fools as well.

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