GM industry puts human gene into rice

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by jhubbard, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. jhubbard

    jhubbard Well-Known Member

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    In an effort to be able to douse your foods with more poisons (to kill weeds) without killing the food, a company in Japan has put a human liver gene into rice.

    "Scientists have begun putting genes from human beings into food crops in a dramatic extension of genetic modification. The move, which is causing disgust and revulsion among critics, is bound to strengthen accusations that GM technology is creating "Frankenstein foods" and drive the controversy surrounding it to new heights."

    "...he and other scientists caution that if the gene were to escape to wild relatives of the rice it could create particularly vicious superweeds that were resistant to a wide range of herbicides."
     
  2. birdie_poo

    birdie_poo Well-Known Member

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    :haha: :haha: :haha: Just a thought, but wouldn't a good dousing with vodka kill the liver gene?? :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:
     

  3. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    But first the plants would get really happy. :p

    Sorry ...

    This isn't the same as "Golden rice" is it? The kind that's supposed to have vitamin A in it to make rice more nutritious? I thought the vitamin A gene came from flowers.

    Ann
     
  4. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    Can we say Soylent?
     
  5. tamilee

    tamilee Well-Known Member

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    Hi Jhubbard;
    I followed the link and read the story. We joked about such things in college years ago but NEVER thought someone would actually do something like that! I also signed up for the daily emails. Who publishes The Independent?
    Thanks for the post.
    tamilee
     
  6. jhubbard

    jhubbard Well-Known Member

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    Here ya go....

    This stuff is making me sick..... But, how can we stop it? This stuff WILL cross-polinate and end up polluting the world's food supply.

    We don't want to have to resort to eco-terrorism like ELF. So, what do we do?
     
  7. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    When you combine things like this and Monsanto buying up all the other seed companies and so forth it gets even more sickening. For those who worry about the agenda of a particular source, don't in this case. This study is being reported elsewhere, though only lightly. One report is in ISIS, a scientific report promoting sustainability (there claim, not mine) that report this and continued testing of Bt GMO rice as good and needed advances. :no: I was not really a believer that GM plants can produce carcinogenic effects, but was very worried about "plant plague" vectors, until they started plant/animal cross gene splicing, and are doing so without impunity or regulation. Just to soap box a bit, if they keep it up we may not have to worry about world overpopulation for that much longer if they keep it up. I better go back to playing with my birds before I get too riled up.
     
  8. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    I guess this makes those who eat GM foods cannibals-but from a neat little package. No messing with the full body now...just eat from the bag-you get not only your helping of human, but your grains as well! :p


    This is disgusting. And, it's getting harder to avoid with all the cross-pollination...maybe we'll have to grow all our food in sealed up greenhouses to avoid it? :no:
     
  9. jhubbard

    jhubbard Well-Known Member

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    Good idea....but what seeds will you use?

    We are gathering a collection of DNA-certified "clean" seeds that we are growing in a warehouse/greenhouse now. We should be ready to supply seeds in another year that are certified organic. (We even have inside bee hives for pollination and honey.)

    It makes me wanna puke to think that we have to do this......but, what else ya gonna do?

    We're looking into raising fish the same way.....to give a mercury-free alternative to those that want it. I don't really expect the quality to rival that of free-swimming fish, but with no mercury residue, it will be a safe alternative for expectant mothers and growing children.

    We really need a state (or island) that will stand up against this crap.

    This is the ultimate arroagnce....destroying the future ecosystem for the sake of greed.

    If anything is worthy of the death penalty, this is.
     
  10. jhubbard

    jhubbard Well-Known Member

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    (taken from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution )

    Biotech tree tests rooted in caution
    Genetic modification can add helpful traits, but effects on a forest's web of life call for extra care.
    Mike Toner - Staff
    Monday, April 25, 2005

    Behind a locked gate in a quiet corner of a University of Georgia research forest, 30 spindly poplar trees have earned another year of life.

    Another spring. Still no flowers. In the rest of the forest, spring is a celebration of new life. For these trees, one of these years the budding of yellowish green blossoms will mean certain doom.

    "When that happens, these trees will be destroyed," says UGA forest geneticist Scott Merkle. Flowers, of course, mean pollen. "And these woods are full of yellow poplar," he says. "If the pollen from these trees escaped, it would be out of our control."

    Merkle's 15-year-old yellow poplars are among the oldest genetically modified trees ever grown in the open air. The first pollen they produce is expected to prove that engineered traits --- in this case an innocuous bacterial marker gene --- can be passed to succeeding generations of trees.

    And that is precisely why no one wants pollen from these trees drifting on the wind through a landscape where native yellow poplars --- a species found from New England to Florida --- live to the ripe old age of 300 years.

    This spring, farmers across America will plant more than 100 million acres of genetically modified corn, soybeans and cotton. Down on the farm, transgenic crops have become as common as fertilizer and weeds.

    In the forest, the brave new world of biotech trees is not so deeply etched. As transgenic trees move out of greenhouses into the open air --- and the industry edges closer to large-scale commercial plantings --- some vexing questions remain.

    "Genetically engineered trees can live for decades, are very closely related to their wild relatives and can spread their pollen for hundreds of miles," says Brian Tokar of the Institute for Society Ecology, one of several environmental groups that this spring asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to halt further releases of such trees.

    Unlike farm crops, trees are part of a natural web of birds, insects, microbes and plants that make up forest ecosystems. A tree designed to resist insect attack or grow faster may have clear advantages for growers, but also unpredictable ripple effects that won't end with the first frost.

    "We have many of the same concerns that our critics have," says Merkle. "The difference is that instead of shutting things down, we want to do the experimental plantings that will answer these questions."

    Out in the open

    Most biotech trees still grow only in laboratory dishes and greenhouses. To answer some of the questions, however, transgenic trees --- "frankentrees" to their critics --- are increasingly moving outdoors.

    So far, the USDA has approved at least 124 open-air tests --- ranging from trees that can absorb mercury from contaminated soils around a former hat factory in Danbury, Conn., to a virus-resistant grapefruit with a gene from the snow drop lily in Texas' Rio Grande Valley. Transgenic walnuts, cherries, apples, pears, plums and persimmons are under development.

    Although it's gone largely unnoticed by U.S. consumers, most papayas from Hawaii now carry a novel gene designed to resist to a devastating ringspot virus. They're the first transgenic tree fruit to have entered commercial production.

    In China, however, foresters are planting hundreds of acres with two strains of poplar trees engineered to produce their own insecticide --- more than 1 million trees so far in seven provinces. Brazil is expected to begin planting commercial quantities of transgenic eucalyptus trees within the next year or two.

    Most of the tests in the United States are still limited to a few acres and a few years' duration. These experimental plantings encompass several broad goals of biotech forestry --- the restoration of vanishing tree species, "improved" trees for the forest and paper industry, and the use of trees as "toxic avengers" for industrial decontamination.

    An Arbor Day ceremony in Syracuse, N.Y., this week, for instance, marks the first planting of transgenic American elms outside the laboratory. Scientists at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry hope the 2-foot trees with artificial genes planted in front of the college library will be a symbolic step toward vanquishing Dutch elm disease, which has destroyed millions of elm trees across America since the 1930s.

    By this fall, SUNY forester Bill Powell also hopes to plant the first transgenic chestnut trees. The saplings incorporate a wheat gene designed to make them resistant to chestnut blight, which has wiped out the once-dominant tree in eastern forests.

    "It will take five years or so to see if our technique works, but if it does, we also have our eye on other things like butternut canker, white pine blister rust and dogwood anthracnose," he said.

    Paper industry boon

    Commercial foresters are designing trees that grow faster, resist insects and herbicides, and are better suited to their end purpose. The pulp and paper industry, for instance, is eager to try out the "woodless tree" developed by Vincent Chiang of North Carolina State University.

    Chiang's aspens are not really woodless, but they have only half the normal amount of lignin --- the molecular glue that provides trees with rigidity by binding tree fibers together --- and increased volumes of cellulose, the stuff from which paper is made.

    "For the pulp and paper industry, removing lignin takes a lot of energy and chemicals, so the savings could be enormous," says John Cairney, associate professor of biology at Georgia Tech's Institute for Paper Science.

    Industry studies project that low-lignin trees could save the U.S. pulp industry between $1 billion and $3 billion a year. Field trials of the trees in England and France have so far found no harmful environmental effects, but researchers say more research is needed before the "woodless" trees are ready for large-scale plantings.

    Initially, the industry expects to use any "improved" trees on privately owned tree plantations, which currently account for about 34 percent of all trees harvested in the United States. The industry now plants nearly 2 billion new seedlings a year.

    In the United States, the leader in transgenic tree experimentation is Charleston-based ArborGen, a $60 million joint venture paper of forest industry giants such as International Paper and MeadWestvaco.

    For security reasons, ArborGen won't disclose the exact locations of its field tests, but USDA records show it holds permits for more than 67 open-air experiments on eucalyptus, pine, poplar and sweet gum.

    Most of the test plots are in South Carolina, but the company also has tests under way in Georgia, Florida and New Zealand. Anticipating that a key to future commercial plantings is likely to be assuring that engineered traits don't spread from tree plantations into the open forest, ArborGen is working to perfect sterile trees --- using what is sometimes known as terminator technology --- that would be incapable of pollinating others of the species.

    Cleanup role studied

    Researchers are also working to perfect trees that could aid in the cleanup of toxic wastes. Massachusetts-based Applied PhytoGenetics, using technology developed at the University of Georgia, is testing the ability of transgenic cottonwoods to remove mercury from the soil at industrial sites in Connecticut and Alabama.

    Early indications are that the cottonwoods --- engineered with a bacterial gene to detoxify mercury --- are prospering in contaminated soils that would be deadly to most trees.

    "If this works," says Chief Executive Officer David Glass, "we are doing with genetic engineering something that does not exist in nature."

    Industry sources are torn between wanting to publicize the potential of transgenic trees and the need to protect their open-air experiments. Most companies simply won't disclose the locations of their tests for fear their trees will be damaged or destroyed by environmental activists.

    The fear is not unfounded. In 2001, the Earth Liberation Front claimed responsibility for two arson attacks aimed at transgenic tree research --- a $3 million fire at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture and a $500,000 fire at an Oregon tree farm.

    Few environmental groups --- even those opposed to transgenic trees --- condone such attacks. But as the industry eyes commercial plantings, even some professional foresters are urging caution.

    The Forest Stewardship Council, a group of forest research and management officials that certifies about 100 million acres of "sustainable" forests throughout the world, has flatly prohibited the use of transgenic trees on the lands it oversees.

    Without more knowledge about the consequences and better machinery to regulate releases, the group says, any use of the technology outside research settings poses "unnecessary and unacceptable risks."
     
  11. tamilee

    tamilee Well-Known Member

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    Hi JHubbard;
    Thanks for the link about the background info about The Independent. I appreciate the reports about the GM industry. Makes me kinda sick and uneasy though.
    tamilee
     
  12. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    I can see where someone who is vegetarian or wants to keep Kosher having a problem with the rice as described.

    Ann
     
  13. willow_girl

    willow_girl Very Dairy

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    Yeah, I'm vegetarian but even if I wasn't, I think I'd still have a problem eating something made from PEOPLE!!!!!

    YUUUUUUCK!
     
  14. Rosarybeads

    Rosarybeads Well-Known Member

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    An excellent source for old, true to genes seeds is the seed savers exchange, it is made of people like you and me, who are keeping all the old varieties alive and going. I think we will be needed eventually... Do a search on the internet. I love their seeds and varieties, and they have a big, thick book full of folks and their seeds as well.
     
  15. BobK

    BobK Well-Known Member

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    Do any of you eat meat? If yes then you are eating the same identical genetic material and identical enzyme apparently with no problems...where's the beef?
     
  16. antiquestuff

    antiquestuff Well-Known Member

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    Hahahaha! I thought you'd try to defend the GM stuff BK....humans no different from animals? Please! Enjoy your human BK....
     
  17. GRHE

    GRHE Mountain Ogre

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    The beef is that for profit, without our permission and consent, and without regard for what it might do to the us, the environment, agriculture, or whatever, you have person without conscience gene-splice cross phylum, in what many of us consider to be basically crime against nature and humanity. In my most humble opinion. These are the same people who have put the world agriculture into a genetic monoculture incredibly susceptible to a agricultural plague on a scale much larger than that represented by the Irish Potato Famine. And no it is not identical genetic material, or they would be using swine or bovine genes, they aren't they are using human genes. Many of us do not approve of the genetic tampering being done to meat either, that is why we are actively engaged in steadily becoming out own suppliers. If you prefer to consume the laboratory creations offered you by Monsanto, Dow Chemical, et al, then you are welcome to them, but keep them out of my kitchen, garden, and barnyard, and prevent you Frankienfood from contaminating mine. Not that this is a hot point with me or anything...
     
  18. Marilyn in CO

    Marilyn in CO Well-Known Member

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    Nix on all this GM stuff. While our GM/roundup ready corn lovin farmer neighbors are loading their planters with it, we are faithfully loading ours with the good old basic seed. But how long until we won't even be able to get the "non" GMO seed? Makes me :grump:

    When we had to buy some GM corn to grind for our cattle, because we ran out of our own good stuff(just try to find some unmodified corn :grump:), the farmer noticed a marked difference in the consumption(they ate and ate and were not satisfied). GM corn simply lacks nutritional value. It was like feeding sawdust.
     
  19. MaineFarmMom

    MaineFarmMom Columnist, Feature Writer

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    Golden Rice has an inserted daffodil gene.
     
  20. Natureschild

    Natureschild Well-Known Member

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    Well a good start is boycotting anything Monsanto- and that includes Round-up.
    Buy organic foods to support the demand for REAL food. And spread the word whenever and wherever.

    Because really, this is too much. Iam a vegatarian, but even if I wernt, I find putting animal genes into food, disgusting :grump: