Not A Bright Idea

of all the misguided and dangerous technological trends,this is one of the most disturbing...we have barely come to grips with the ramifications of frankenfood.

Only time will tell what the efffects of this particular Pandora's box will bring for the future of our food supply and the interrelations of life on this round little globe we call home...in the meantime~educate,agitate,organise.!!!

support small local farmers and just say no to Monsanto and their ilk-future breakfasts are at stake,and I for one am fond of breakfast. 

dubkebab dubkebab
46-50, M
13 Responses Feb 20, 2010

you make the statement zotz123 but don't you realize that GM's are not even tested. There have been almost no significant studies on GM plants done anywhere. Only industry studies that are more marketing than anything else.<br />
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The FDA' stated policy is that GMO's are no different fro natural organisms but does not require ANY testing or evidence to support it. It is an unfounded statement not backed up by any serious science whatsoever.

Nice to chat with someone from the eastern side of the US. Rural depopulation is an issue here in Saskatchewan as well. Farms are getting larger, farms are getting fewer and fewer as are the number of farmers. We are a pretty small farming operation with my Dad and I farming about 1800 acres. I know of several 5000 ac farms and a few 20000 ac farms in the general area. Many many small towns are dying or for all intents and purposes are dead already. Kids are being bused further and further away as schools consolidate in larger communities. I am sure this is not something unique in western Canada. I am sure this is an issue in the US as well. I am not sure what the answer is...maybe there isn't any. Here in Sask, towns were established about every 9 miles apart on the railway. The idea in the early years was that was about as far as one could haul grain with a horses and wagon. There just isn't the population to sustain all these towns anymore.<br />
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These are all issues that are being debated by concerned people, no matter what farming system you believe in. I kinda chuckle at some urban people that still seem to think that farming should still be practices like it was in the 30's, 40's and 50's. I watched my grandfathers work the land with an old John Deere R tractor or in the other case an old case with a 10-12 foot one-way and I sure wouldn't want to go back to those days...lol.

Nice to chat with someone from the eastern side of the US. Rural depopulation is an issue here in Saskatchewan as well. Farms are getting larger, farms are getting fewer and fewer as are the number of farmers. We are a pretty small farming operation with my Dad and I farming about 1800 acres. I know of several 5000 ac farms and a few 20000 ac farms in the general area. Many many small towns are dying or for all intents and purposes are dead already. Kids are being bused further and further away as schools consolidate in larger communities. I am sure this is not something unique in western Canada. I am sure this is an issue in the US as well. I am not sure what the answer is...maybe there isn't any. Here in Sask, towns were established about every 9 miles apart on the railway. The idea in the early years was that was about as far as one could haul grain with a horses and wagon. There just isn't the population to sustain all these towns anymore.<br />
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These are all issues that are being debated by concerned people, no matter what farming system you believe in. I kinda chuckle at some urban people that still seem to think that farming should still be practices like it was in the 30's, 40's and 50's. I watched my grandfathers work the land with an old John Deere R tractor or in the other case an old case with a 10-12 foot one-way and I sure wouldn't want to go back to those days...lol.

I applaud anyone who is making a difference in our industrial society's dependance on fossil fuels-as coastal enthusiasts were again reminded recently,this is a risky and ultimately disasterous way for us to behave.Yes,many elite pundits decry the use of food crops for fuel(and yes,there are still people starving in our world...)but how many of them are willing to research solutions,much less put their money where their mouth is?We need to diversify,especially where our agrarian base is concerned...<br />
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Gmo's still make me nervous,but I am grateful to be learning more about this topic.<br />
Hybrids needing to be reseeded each year?-my point exactly!...convienient for agribuisness at the expense to those who work the land...it burns my griddle.<br />
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as the ol' folksong reminds us-"the farmer feeds 'em all" glad to hear you appreciate your lifestyle,I hope things go well for you up there in scenic Canada.<br />
I have seen firsthand the phasing out of traditional farming traditions in my naitive Vermont and it's a sad story.When ol'Mr. Hughes next door to my Mom passes away,his 200 acres of dairy pasture will most likely be subdivided and yuppified,there goes the neighborhood...?<br />
unless some New York filmmaker likes the look of the place as is,that has been known to happen too. I'd personally rather smell a working small dairy/apple orchard then an asphalt lot,but I am admittedly a bit of a throwback.

Thanks for your comments dubkebab. It's refreshing to actually discuss or debate this issue in an open and frank manner. The technical use agreement is basically a fee for using their patented seed. It doesn't tie you to any other inputs such as fertilizer or pesticides. Now in the case of Roundup Ready canola, you could use herbicides that other non-RR varieties could use. However, with that glyphosate tolerant gene, that would mean spending $20-30?ac as compared to $2.50-$5/ac. Another issue that although is not necessarily GMO, but involves hybrids. The hybrid varieties of canola and especially corn are becoming much higher in usage. In the US, probably 95% of the corn grown is hybrid. There can also be GMO types of a herbicide tolerant that are also hybrids. The problem with hybrids are that although they do yield significantly higher than non-hybrid varieties, you have to purchase new hybrid seed each year. These are all expenses borne by the farmer and high profits for the companies.<br />
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regarding your comments on small scale farming, yes it is a challenge. we don't get the breaks the big farmers get on a variety of inputs simply due to economies of scale. another problem we have here in Saskatchewan and Alberta is an aging farmer demographic. Low commodity prices don't exactly attract young farmers. Also the huge swings in income and stress also can reduce new farmers. economics play a big role as well and since the economic meltdown this past year or so, it's even harder for a young person who wants to get started in farming to get any loan to get started unless that person is backed by a relative. I know of many many farmers who have actively discouraged their children from going into farming. This is such a shame because it really is a great lifestyle overall. <br />
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You are so right that farmers and food products are taken so much for granted by people in the cities. I have started growing an oilseed called camelina. It is an oilseed crop that is used almost exclusively to make biodiesel and jet fuel. I know a lot of the urban folks have this thing that we as farmers are shameful for growing a food crop and using it for a fuel. Personally I have no issues with it as if we got paid a decent price for our food type crops, we would grow it. However, when the prices are as low as they were in the 1920's and 30's, if I get a better price for my crop and it is using it for fuel, so be it. This new crop, camelina has no real food uses and I hope it stays that way. Helps avoid that issue. And it is a good crop for me as it is better adapted for my area whereas canola is a much higher risk crop and requires much more inputs.<br />
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E

I appreciate your input Ethansask-you have much to add and seem much more informed on this issue,I'm happy to be learning other contrasting viewpoints.<br />
I myself have lived and worked on small family farms,so I empathise with the various factors you name,It's a wonder anyone can get by farming on a small scale theese days.I like your point about urban folks taking for granted that abundant and cheap produce come their way no matter what,and yes,I think they would utterly lose it if confronted with similar stressors in their livelihood-well put.<br />
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"the technical use agreement"...? now we're talking! doesn't that make the liscencee beholden to the chemical conglomerate-forced to purchase patented plant additives,fertilisers and future seedstock? I think it's creepy,corporate profit the bottom line.<br />
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I'm glad to see activity in this forum,especially from people with experiencial knowledge-(lest we forget,that is the whole point of EP) my vegetable garden is pesticide free,and messy(and non-commercial) I till and weed by hand. I compost. I'm also blessed with rich alluvial soil (with tons of nitrogen and pesticide residual from the huge grape conglomerates upstream-oh well...)<br />
next time you folks enjoy a nice Napa or Sonoma county caraffe of Vino,realise that it comes at the expense of our water table and Oak forests. cheers.

It truly amazes me of the naivete of people on this issue. So many have fallen to the misinformation and fear mongering of the anti GMO group. This system takes specific genetic material, such as the genetic material from a soil bacteria, that is inserted to make crops glyphosate tolerant. What people forget is that this, unlike most of the other systems of plant breeding, takes specific genetic material that has a known result. Most of the traditional breeding practices and almost all of the breeding systems that the Europeans use and is so highly touted as non-GMO, uses radiation and/or chemicals to cause mutations in the plants to eventually bring about a desired mutation to be used in breeding a new variety of a crop. For all the hoopla and concern over GMO crops, I would much rather have the GMO system, as we know specifically what genes are involved in the desired result compared to the whole host of unknowns in the so-called traditional methods. It is so hypochritical to claim these concerns over GMO bred crops and say nothing or have any concerns over the "traditionally" bred crops. <br />
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I shook my head when McCains Foods, a company in Canada that provides frozen vegetables and frozen french fries, refused to take GMO potatoes because there was a GMO variety that resisted the potato beetle. As a result farmers didn't have to spray any insecticides for the potato beetle as compared to 5 to 10 applications of a pretty nasty insecticide. Now to me, that seems like a very significant improvement and safety for the public. <br />
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Of course there are those that claim that organic is the only way to farm. Well I hate to break the bubble, but we in western Canada farmed organically from the late 1800's, when the land was first broken till about the 1950's. The tillage based system of farming, that organic systems predominantly still uses, was responsible for the loss of approximately 50-60% of the organic matter in the soil and resulted in huge amounts of soil erosion and loss. In addition, every tillage operation for weed control and preparing the land for seeding, breaks down organic matter, loses soil moisture and releases CO2 into the atmosphere. There are consequences to farming practices, no matter what system one uses to farm. However, there is no research that has shown organic produced foods are any more healthy or nutritious than from so called "conventional" farming systems.<br />
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Those urban folks who have no concept of farming, especially the challenges of farming, drive me crazy with their attitude and comments. Now don't get me wrong, I have no love of multi-national companies making huge profits off the backs of farmers, but GMO crops do significantly reduce the input expenses for farmers and reduces applications of higher risk pesticides. as a result, I am a farmer who does welcome GMO crops, but hate the technical use agreement one has to pay for to the companies. We also are probably the only industry in the world that has to pay retail price for everything we use to produce food, but have to sell at wholesale prices. Our risks are high in making a profit. We hear a lot from the urban folks when crop prices get high in a year and the food prices go up, but oddly, prices usually don't seem to go down the next year when crop prices reach very low levels. How many urban people would have a bird if their income dropped by 70% in one year? Or lost money 2 years in a row? <br />
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Thanks for letting me vent and add my voice to the conversation.

I'm missing Zotz and his " most numerous scientists" with their affordable solutions,but I suppose he's not up for comparing notes-so it goes,I wish him well with his illusionary take on this issue.<br />
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you almost made me cry there,Squigglefish...ain't fair.

I welcome dissenting opinions,but wonder which scientific bodies this guy is citing-bring it on,cite your facts,tell us why you feel this mess to be begnign....

The name of the group is "I do not like ...", so mostly we will find information here about what is NOT to like about it. I fee ill when I eat some of it, especially corn products recently, and I want you to see pictures of the corn I bought that was horrifying to me, having grown up on a farm.<br />
I'll add them to the group photos.

noo.. this geneticaly altered crap food is just another way to bring in moeny get food out faster and bigger!!..im with you dub!...either way its giong to far..no GMO

ok,to be sure-most food crops are "genetically altered"-bred to encourage specific traits...but when a food crop is engineered to bond with certain patented pesticides,for example-we are treading on dangerous ground,in my and other's opinions.<br />
theese newly altered genetic strains are absolutely different from traditional crops and pose a danger to neighboring farms from cross contamination and have not been adequetly tested.<br />
we are being used as giunea pigs and I for one don't appreciate it.

Unfortunately, dubkebab is wrong, at least according to the most numerous scientists and scientific bodies around the world. Genetically altered seeds are no different from the new varieties developed using traditional techniques of crossing and hybridization. Europe can afford traditional crop seeds. But most other nations in the world can't. The advantages of genetically altered seeds can bring crop yield increases that nothing else can. Whether Monsanto should continue to get rich on the backs of poor farmers outside the developed or almost developed nations (e.g., Brazil) is another question. If you're in the United States now, you have eaten plenty of genetically altered material.