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Old 12-01-2006, 08:24 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
 
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Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


Since genetically modified crops were first planted a decade ago, the
acreage devoted to them worldwide has been growing at double-digit
rates, and it did so again last year, jumping 11 percent to 222 million
acres, according to a new report.

The crops are gaining popularity in middle-income countries such as
China, India and Brazil, the report says, with small cotton farmers in
particular embracing a technology that allows them to grow more cotton
while reducing the use of chemical pesticides.

The report notes that the world's most important food crop, rice, could
be on the verge of a transformation. Iran has already commercialized
gene-altered rice and China appears nearly ready to do so, the report
says. Widespread acceptance of such rice could put crop biotechnology
into the hands of the tens of millions of small rice farmers who grow
nearly half the calories eaten by the human race.

Commercialization of rice that has been genetically altered to resist
insects "has enormous implications for the alleviation of poverty,
hunger and malnutrition, not only for the rice-growing and -consuming
countries in Asia, but for all biotech crops and their acceptance on a
global basis," says the report, compiled by the International Service
for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications. The group publishes
an annual review, funded partly by the Rockefeller Foundation, that is
considered the definitive global analysis of trends in crop
biotechnology.

Proponents of the technology welcomed the findings, saying the spread
of biotech crops demonstrates their usefulness for farmers and society.
But two advocacy groups preemptively attacked the new report before it
was published, putting out reports of their own this week that
questioned industry "hype" and disputed the impact of gene-altered
crops.

The Polaris Institute, an anti-globalization group in Ottawa,
acknowledged that biotech crop acreage appears to be increasing but
noted that the technology is still concentrated in a handful of
countries, with the United States, Argentina, Canada and Brazil
accounting for 90 percent of the world's biotech acreage. The group
pointed out that the technology is widely used in only a few crops --
mainly cotton, corn, soy and canola.

Industry claims that the technology would help alleviate poverty in
Africa have proven illusory so far, the group said, a point echoed by a
report from environmental group Friends of the Earth. And the groups
said growing biotech crops can hurt farmers' export markets in
countries that are skeptical of the technology.

"Instead of wholesale adoption, we are seeing at most experimentation,"
David Macdonald, a Polaris Institute analyst, said in a statement.
"Worldwide farmers have good reason to be wary."
It's clear, in fact, that even after a decade of growth, biotech crops
are grown on only a small fraction of the world's arable land -- well
under 1 percent. But the trend is also clear: When they were first
commercialized in 1996, biotech crops were planted on 4.3 million acres
in six countries, but the report says that by 2005 farmers were
planting them on 222 million acres in 21 countries. "Biotech crops
deliver substantial agronomic, environmental, economic, health and
social benefits to farmers and, increasingly, to society at large," the
report says.

Almost a third of the agricultural land in the United States is planted
in gene-altered crops, and more than half in Argentina and Paraguay,
the report shows. Brazilian farmers had been illegally planting biotech
crops for years, but that country has now legalized them and the
acreage there is growing rapidly, the report says.

The report says China stands to become a major player in the field.
Clive James, chairman of the group that published the report, estimated
that 2,000 scientists in China are working on numerous gene-modified
crops. "If we look at the investment in China in biotech crops, it is
very significant," he said in a conference call yesterday from Sao
Paulo, Brazil.

Agricultural companies, led by Monsanto Co. of St. Louis, created the
first biotech crops in the 1990s by moving genes from other species
into plants. Bacterial genes give some plants the ability to resist
worms, and others gain the ability to survive heavy applications of
herbicides that kill nearby weeds.

But a controversy erupted over the technology in Europe in the late
1990s, with advocacy groups saying the crops posed unnecessary
environmental risks and much of the European public agreeing.

The United States has been trying to pry open the European market, with
some recent success. The new report notes that five of 25 European
countries are now growing at least small quantities of biotech crops,
though only Spain has embraced the technology in a big way.

The United States filed a complaint against Europe over the issue with
the World Trade Organization, and a ruling is expected soon. The
European Commission in Brussels has been battling resistance by
individual countries and this week ordered Greece to permit a variety
of gene-altered corn.

2006 The Washington Post Company


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...011102210.html


  #2 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 12-01-2006, 09:44 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
Mike McWilliams
 
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Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !

Article snipped

judging by your subject line to present the article you think
genetically altered foods such as rice are a bad idea.

Rice has been genetically altered for some time, the most popular being
the golden rice.

This particular modification generates a vitamin A precursor in the rice
which upon consumption reduces the need of dietary intake of vitamin A
from other sources.

Considering that the level of vitamin A provided by the golden rice is
still very low (not high enough to satisfy the daily requirement), some
might be tempted to toss it entirely.

Except that even at the low level, it can prevent blindness brought on
by vitamin A deficiency in the worlds poorest.

In addition the licence for golden rice is such that subsitence farmers
can grow $10,000 worth per year before they have to pay licencing fees.

People who hate biotech like this are stupid and deserve to lose their
agricultural competitiveness to countries which embrace the new biology.

I guarantee that the half blind starving person will take golden rice if
you give it to them.
  #3 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 12-01-2006, 10:17 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


wrote in message
oups.com...

Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


snippage...

You do realize don't you that every crop food you eat has been
"genetically modified" don't you? You don't really think you are
eating whatever the original plant was do you?


  #4 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-01-2006, 06:31 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"rick" wrote in message
nk.net...

wrote in message
oups.com...

Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


snippage...

You do realize don't you that every crop food you eat has been
"genetically modified" don't you? You don't really think you are
eating whatever the original plant was do you?



GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the long run to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless. So you can call both techniques
"genetic modification". What does this tell us that is relevant to the
issue? Nothing, it's just playing with words.

David


  #5 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-01-2006, 06:51 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
Oz
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !

David Hare-Scott writes
GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the long run to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless.


Why?

Selective breeding is a lot faster than 'thousands of years'
particularly if its easy to select.

Note that a range of plants (eg ryegrasses in australia) have developed
resistance naturally in very much less than 1000's of years.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.

Use functions].
BTOPENWORLD address has ceased. DEMON address has ceased.



  #7 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 16-01-2006, 12:53 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
...

"rick" wrote in message
nk.net...

wrote in message
oups.com...

Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


snippage...

You do realize don't you that every crop food you eat has been
"genetically modified" don't you? You don't really think you
are
eating whatever the original plant was do you?



GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the
long run to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective
breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless. So you can call both
techniques
"genetic modification". What does this tell us that is
relevant to the
issue? Nothing, it's just playing with words.
=================================

Really? then why do these people talk like the foods they ate
before GM are the same as they have been for eons? It just ain't
so. Besides, selective breeding doesn't mean safety anyway.
There have been selective breeding programs to produce pest
resistant strains of food that have turned out toxic just to
handle.


David




  #8 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 07:54 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"Oz" wrote in message
...
David Hare-Scott writes
GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the long run

to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless.


Why?


Because both the genetic changes and the methods used to create them are
completely different.


Selective breeding is a lot faster than 'thousands of years'
particularly if its easy to select.


True, it may be faster than thousands of years. I just picked that figure
as humans have been doing it for that long with food species. It doesn't
make any difference to my point.

Note that a range of plants (eg ryegrasses in australia) have developed
resistance naturally in very much less than 1000's of years.


OK and if you do selective breeding with microbes you can get genetic
changes in very short times. But this information doesn't contribute much
to the original question.

David


  #9 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 08:00 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"rick" wrote in message
ink.net...

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
...

"rick" wrote in message
nk.net...

wrote in message
oups.com...

Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


snippage...

You do realize don't you that every crop food you eat has been
"genetically modified" don't you? You don't really think you
are
eating whatever the original plant was do you?



GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the
long run to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective
breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless. So you can call both
techniques
"genetic modification". What does this tell us that is
relevant to the
issue? Nothing, it's just playing with words.
=================================

Really? then why do these people talk like the foods they ate
before GM are the same as they have been for eons? It just ain't
so.


Because "people" may be ignorant. Whatever the reason it doesn't make the
two methods the same.

Besides, selective breeding doesn't mean safety anyway.


True there are no certainties but given the amount of time we have been
doing it and the number of cases of development of new varieties through
selective breeding mean that we have reasonable confidence in the kinds of
results that will be obtained.

There have been selective breeding programs to produce pest
resistant strains of food that have turned out toxic just to
handle.


Please cite your sources for this information.

David


  #10 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 09:20 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
Oz
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !

David Hare-Scott writes

"Oz" wrote in message
...
David Hare-Scott writes
GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in the long run

to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless.


Why?


Because both the genetic changes and the methods used to create them are
completely different.


So, its the genes that count.

Selective breeding is a lot faster than 'thousands of years'
particularly if its easy to select.


True, it may be faster than thousands of years.


Much, much faster.

I just picked that figure
as humans have been doing it for that long with food species. It doesn't
make any difference to my point.


What is 'natural' and what is 'artificial'?
Who cares?

Note that a range of plants (eg ryegrasses in australia) have developed
resistance naturally in very much less than 1000's of years.


OK and if you do selective breeding with microbes you can get genetic
changes in very short times. But this information doesn't contribute much
to the original question.


Was it a question or a statement?

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.

Use functions].
BTOPENWORLD address has ceased. DEMON address has ceased.



  #11 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 09:23 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
Oz
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !

David Hare-Scott writes

True there are no certainties but given the amount of time we have been
doing it and the number of cases of development of new varieties through
selective breeding mean that we have reasonable confidence in the kinds of
results that will be obtained.


Hardly...

Toxic potatoes (solanins)
Eczema celery (psilorins)
Lethal courgettes (cucubins)

have all been bred in in recent decades and have come to market or very
nearly so (potatoes). These are just the ones one hears about.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.

Use functions].
BTOPENWORLD address has ceased. DEMON address has ceased.

  #12 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 10:53 AM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
David Hare-Scott
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"Oz" wrote in message
...
David Hare-Scott writes

True there are no certainties but given the amount of time we have been
doing it and the number of cases of development of new varieties through
selective breeding mean that we have reasonable confidence in the kinds

of
results that will be obtained.


Hardly...

Toxic potatoes (solanins)
Eczema celery (psilorins)
Lethal courgettes (cucubins)

have all been bred in in recent decades and have come to market or very
nearly so (potatoes). These are just the ones one hears about.


So you are saying there are cases of selective breeding producing vegetables
with toxins. This may or may not be so, solanins are naturally occuring
toxins that may develop in all potatos and I cannot find any reference to
psilorins or cucubins, so please supply some references.

If these cases are as you say what is your point? Are you saying this mean
that selective breeding is a seriously flawed technique that should be
abandoned? Given the benefits that have accrued over the history of mankind
you have a long way to go to prove that. If not what are you saying?

David



  #13 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 02:25 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
Oz
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !

David Hare-Scott writes

"Oz" wrote in message
...
David Hare-Scott writes

True there are no certainties but given the amount of time we have been
doing it and the number of cases of development of new varieties through
selective breeding mean that we have reasonable confidence in the kinds

of
results that will be obtained.


Hardly...

Toxic potatoes (solanins)
Eczema celery (psilorins)
Lethal courgettes (cucubins)

have all been bred in in recent decades and have come to market or very
nearly so (potatoes). These are just the ones one hears about.


So you are saying there are cases of selective breeding producing vegetables
with toxins.


Selective breeding is 90% to do with producing toxins. Toxins is
typically how you produce plants resistant to pests and diseases.
Fortunately (or as a consequence) most of our food plants (pther than
cereals) come naturally packed with high doses of toxins so are pretty
pest and disease resistant.

This may or may not be so, solanins are naturally occuring
toxins that may develop in all potatos


Quite. Its expressed in different amounts so that (food) potatoes have
very high (lethal) levels in leaves and fruit whilst tomatoes have very
high levels in leaves but not fruit. The potato variety was one
developed to be particularly resistant to tuber attack by insects and
slugs (which it was).

and I cannot find any reference to
psilorins or cucubins, so please supply some references.


google curcubin threw up 13 refs you aren't even trying.

If these cases are as you say what is your point? Are you saying this mean
that selective breeding is a seriously flawed technique that should be
abandoned? Given the benefits that have accrued over the history of mankind
you have a long way to go to prove that. If not what are you saying?


That selective breeding is no more safe (and arguably less safe) than
typical GM methods.

--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.

Use functions].
BTOPENWORLD address has ceased. DEMON address has ceased.

  #14 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 02:49 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan,uk.business.agriculture
Oz
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


A good place to start

http://museum.gov.ns.ca/poison/pptoxin.htm

http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~djw/pltx.cgi?QUERY=squash

No 8 (as an example)
AUTHOR(S): Kirschman, J. C.; Suber, R. L.
TITLE: "Recent food poisonings from cucurbitacin in traditionally bred
squash."
YEAR: 1989 CITATION: Food Chem Toxicol, 27 (8), 555-556 [English]
FDA #: F06386 || GRIN: 3164
COMMON NAME: squash || STANDARD COMMON NAME: ---
FAMILY: Cucurbitaceae || LATIN NAME: ---
STANDARD PLANT NAME: Cucurbita genus

http://www.geo-pie.cornell.edu/issues/toxins.html
Some Common Plant Toxins and Antinutrients

Chemical families of naturally-occuring plant-made toxins found at low
levels in many foods that we eat. Effect on humans and animals is based
on laboratory tests using toxin concentrations much higher than the
concentrations normally found in food.

Toxin Family

Examples of Occurrence in Plants

Effect on humans and animals
Cyanogenic glycosides Sweet potatoes, stone fruits, lima beans
Gastrointestinal inflammation; inhibition of cellular respiration
Glulcosinolates Rape (canola), mustard, radish, cabbage, peanut,
soybean, onion Goiter; impaired metabolism; reduced iodine uptake;
decreased protein digestion
Glycoalkaloids Potato, tomato Depressed central nervous system; kidney
inflammation; carcinogenic; birth defects; reduced iron uptake
Gossypol Cottonseed Reduced iron uptake; spermicidal;
carcinogenic
Lectins Most cereals, soybeans, other beans, potatoes Intestinal
inflammation; decreased nutrient uptake/absorption
Oxalate Spinach, rhubarb, tomato Reduces solubility of calcium,
iron, and zinc
Phenols Most fruits and vegetables, cereals, soybean, potato, tea,
coffee Destroys thiamine; raises cholesterol; estrogen-mimic
Coumarins Celery, parsley, parsnips, figs Light-activated
carcinogens; skin irritation

http://www.geo-pie.cornell.edu/issues/convtoxins.html
Plant toxins in Conventionally-Bred Crops












Conventionally-bred crop varieties may actually pose a greater risk from
increased plant toxins than genetically engineered plants. In order to
develop varieties with improved disease resistance, plant breeders
usually begin by crossing the disease-prone conventional variety with a
disease-resistant wild relative of the crop plant. Because the disease
resistance in the wild variety may often be caused by higher levels of
natural pest-killing toxins, the breeder may be unknowingly selecting
varieties with increased levels of a chemical toxic to both the plant
pest and to humans. One variety of potatoes developed in the 1970's to
be resistant to insects was found to have very high concentrations of
glycoalkyloids, a family of chemicals that can cause a potentially
lethal suppression of the central nervous system. This potato was never
marketed-- primarily because it tasted very bitter!

Plant breeders developed a variety of celery that was highly insect-
resistant. Surprisingly, people who handled the variety and then were
exposed to strong sunlight developed rashes and burns. It was later
discovered that the new variety contained almost eight times the normal
quantity of psoralen, a light-activated natural compound known to be
toxic and carcinogenic. This celery variety was on the market for
several years (including long after it was learned to have high toxin
levels).

The FDA does not require any pre-market safety testing of whole-plant
foods derived from plant breeding. Although the FDA has the authority to
remove foods from the market which are determined to contain unsafe
levels of toxins, quantification of those toxins before marketing is a
responsibility left entirely to breeders and producers.


--
Oz
This post is worth absolutely nothing and is probably fallacious.

Use functions].
BTOPENWORLD address has ceased. DEMON address has ceased.

  #15 (permalink)   Report Post  
Old 19-01-2006, 10:15 PM posted to sci.agriculture,sci.skeptic,alt.food.vegan
rick
 
Posts: n/a
Default Coming Soon to a Paddy Near You: Frankenrice !


"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
news

"rick" wrote in message
ink.net...

"David Hare-Scott" wrote in message
...

"rick" wrote in message
nk.net...

wrote in message
oups.com...

Bionic Growth For Biotech Crops

Gene-Altered Agriculture Trending Global
By Justin Gillis
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, January 12, 2006; D01


snippage...

You do realize don't you that every crop food you eat has
been
"genetically modified" don't you? You don't really think
you
are
eating whatever the original plant was do you?



GM by direct intervention at the gene level may turn out in
the
long run to
be good, bad or indiferent but lumping it in with selective
breeding over
thousands of years is just pointless. So you can call both
techniques
"genetic modification". What does this tell us that is
relevant to the
issue? Nothing, it's just playing with words.
=================================

Really? then why do these people talk like the foods they ate
before GM are the same as they have been for eons? It just
ain't
so.


Because "people" may be ignorant. Whatever the reason it
doesn't make the
two methods the same.

Besides, selective breeding doesn't mean safety anyway.


True there are no certainties but given the amount of time we
have been
doing it and the number of cases of development of new
varieties through
selective breeding mean that we have reasonable confidence in
the kinds of
results that will be obtained.

There have been selective breeding programs to produce pest
resistant strains of food that have turned out toxic just to
handle.


Please cite your sources for this information.

David
==========================
So, as a typical 'expert' here on usenet you'll dispute things
that you know nothing about, and won't even bother to research.
You must be veg*n, they're the willfully ignorant ones on most
subjects.


"...The potato contains a naturally occurring chemical that's
quite toxic, called a glycoalkyloid. Those glycoalkyloids in some
potatoes, as a matter of fact, have caused severe human
poisonings and near death. When you breed potatoes, it's possible
to breed in high levels of that toxin into a potato. And as a
matter of fact, there are a number of breeds of potatoes that
have high levels. Fortunately, they did not make the marketplace
for that reason.
Another great example of the risks of traditional breeding is
celery. Celery naturally contains a chemical, when it hits
sunlight, becomes toxic. There was a case in California where a
new variety of celery was bred. It had, unknown to the people who
bred it, high levels of this toxin in it. It was planted, and the
workers who harvested this came out with a very severe skin rash.
So normal kind of breeding can produce risks, just as any other
genetic or other kinds of breeding can produce risks..."

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/harvest/etc/script.html

If you were really interested in knowledge, you could look things
up, but it appears you just want to remain willfully ignorant.












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