Anti-GMO 'Santo' movie

Discussion in 'News from around the damp planet' started by Earth's Internet, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Pakanohida

    Pakanohida Junior Member

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    I would prefer to think we both are. I do not pretend to understand statistics, the only thing I have truly been taught about it is that it can be made to show anything the statistician is paid to do. I also know of companies that pose people on FB, Twitter, faux websites, etc. to help sway what ever is trending on the Internet.

    I just found some of those links suspect, especially the last 2.

    I grew up watching Mt. Sinai hospital modifying genes in humans, I know the potential of genetics, but with that said, I cannot be PRO-GMO in any way shape or form. The mutations would not of happened in nature naturally, and thus I cannot adopt a philosophy were man puts him or herself above nature. I honestly believe Heirloom stocks, and a Permaculture frame of mind would do more to feed the planet then any geneticist ever could.

    We already have trans-genetic mutations occurring in nature due to GMO science, and as such, we are creating unknown unknowns of unknowns that are already harming humans, and other fauna of the world.

    You and I could debate this back and forth Ad infinitum.


    Hope you have a nice day.
     
  2. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I'm willing to go out on a limb and say GMO's are just stupid and will never solve one single problem.

    They are just an extension of unsustainable big agriculture and big agriculture IS the problem. The solution is small agriculture.

    I'll go out on another limb and say that Anti-GMO movies and Anti-GMO permaculture threads also do very little to solve the problem. The rise of GMO's are just another symptom of an ailing system. Small, local agriculture/permaculture is the solution.

    Full Stop.
     
  3. 9anda1f

    9anda1f Administrator Staff Member

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    Look EI, I've warned you before about attacking the poster instead of the ideas. This is your last warning. (I've "redacted" the most offensive portions of your posts above.)

    You don't have the market cornered on "the truth". All of the varied opinions here (including yours) are based on each individual's quest for that elusive truth, in the face of much disinformation being spread "out there". In posting and examining the various claims to "truth" we sometimes share things that, at face value seem to bolster our opinions, but after a closer look are found to be lacking in credibility.

    Please respect each of our hard-earned opinions, and we'll each respect yours. Differences in opinion based on articles floating around on the internet are to be expected and accepted gracefully. Leave the intense emotions out of it and respond calmly, rationally, and address the issues without the personal attacks.

    Thanks.
     
  4. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Personally, I'd like to think the same thing. I just have concerns that we (7.1-plus billion of us, and growing) are running out of time. GMOs could buy us that time, or it could kill us all off. Either way, unsustainable farming practices coupled with a growing unstable (both due to being largely uneducated about permaculture and other secular, socio-ecologocal paradigms) human population means that the effects of climate change will probably take (at least most of) us out first. Cheers, and with respect, M.
     
  5. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Yes, I agree, the final solution. However, in order to get there, we are going to have to employ a suite of responses. GMOs may not be the best way, and certainly are not the only way (nor my preferred way), but if we are ever going to stabilise the world's population, they can certainly add to the suite. As this recent paper explains:

    Qaim & Kouser (2013) Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security

    I'd like to think that once the millions of small, local cotton farmers in India get enough to eat AND educate their children, that just some (hopefully enough) will be in a position to implement a socio-ecological (read: permaculture) response, and in doing show the majority that there is a better way.

    Peace to all, and especially the Bt cotton farmers of India, M.
     
  6. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Thanks
     
  7. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    Im sitting on the same Limb as G

    If GMO science was putting wireweed root systems on say a wheat crop so you could grow it on a sandhill will one splash of water i for one wouldnt have the alarm bells ringing in my head . But of course that wont happen no money or taxes to be gleaned forever in that senario . The people doing this research arnt really to blame they have spent a large slice of thier life and financial resources and just like doing what they have trained to do , the push as always comes from above , a small minority with thier noses in the trough .

    The world doesnt need GMOs to get through a population explosion that would be a never ending spiral .
    Rob
     
  8. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    G'day Rob, thanks for your reasoned input. True, the world doesn't need it, but it certainly wants it. Granted, I'd love it if GMO knowledge - like all scientific knowledge - was used only for 'good', but the chances of that occurring are rather slim. Also true that by employing GMOs - as one part of a whole suite of intervention - without increasing the overall rate of free, secular and universal education around the world is akin to nourishing a disaster 'spiral'.

    I'm not a fan a GMO, never have been, but I do understand that it has been with us for close to 20-years and whether we like it or not, we have to work through the challenges it poses if we are to ever see a more sustainable (in every sense of the word) world. OK, so I've taken a purely pragmatic stance concerning this topic. But what else? Sure, I could jump on the bandwagon and latch onto any new bit of 'science' that comes along and claims GMO is 'bad', but would that help? Should we throw out all of the sound, credible scientific knowledge we have built up over the years just for that sake of one dodgy paper? I don't think so. Science is not perfect, nor is the peer-review process. However, if we don't continue to engage with it and demand that it serves us, rather than we it, then we lose and the major corporations win. I like to think I can promote the development of credible scientific knowledge, AND at the same time NOT be an advocate for corporate greed. The two are not mutually exclusive.

    In closing, here's hoping that GMO scientists can one day see their efforts used for 'good', which is in my mind, is the development of a stable (educated) global human population. I offer the following story about potato farmer Walter De Jong not with the intention of 'flaming', but rather as a gesture to further this process:

    Maxmen (2013) GMOs May Feed the World Using Fewer Pesticides

    Thanks again, M.
     
  9. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Saying that using GM food to get to a point of stabilization of population and then permaculture can step in is a bit like saying that we need nuclear power plants to be built to tide us over until renewable energies are available to all. Pointless and dangerous. They don't know the long term or cumulative effects of GM foods. Just like nuclear, when something goes wrong the cat is out of the bag, there's no going back in. All sounds good in theory, but in reality they are playing a high stakes game with nature and that includes us.
     
  10. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Thanks Annette, as usual, a constructive point of view. I certainly am not advocating for GMO as the only way to get us to the point of a stable global human population, but merely suggesting that it could be used in a suite of responses.

    Yes, I'd like to see permaculture adopted globally. As such I have spent the best part of the previous 8-years advocating for it. However, the question I feel that is often overlooked in the broader discourse is, do we (the future humanity) have enough time? What right do I - a white, reasonably well-educated, middle-class male living in one of the most financially wealthy countries of the world - have to dictate to millions of predominantly black, uneducated, hungry people living in some of the most financially poor, ecologically barren and socially oppressed regions of the world about how they should try to feed themselves?

    Yes, by all means, let's try to intervene in a manner that promises to introduce the least possible harm, to the greatest number of people on the planet. Yes, by all means, let's try to employ the precautionary principle to the best of our ability. But please, let's not stand idle (granted, albeit while we continue to work in our own permaculture systems) while one-seventh of the world's population literally starves to death.

    Of course GMO on its own is not the answer. The question remains, then, to what degree does it help, and to what degree does it harm? If someone can provide me with a broader appreciation in response to this one, I surely would appreciate it. From my reading of the literature to date, the 'help' seems to outweigh the 'harm'. Which begs me to ask the bigger question: Does the means justify the end? Life is full of quandaries. Sitting on the fence is a luxury people like me can afford, but unfortunately for many of the world's people, it is a luxury denied. History tells us, in order for we 'rich' people to continue to live a life of relative luxury, 'poor' people have to suffer. Sometimes humanity, either singularly or collectively, has to take a giant leap. Is this one of those times? Only history will tell.

    Thanks, all, however I really must get back to my reading, M.
     
  11. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    There was a bit of chat about science on the ABC radio a couple of days ago , very few paid jobs going they all have to compete for short term contracts so end up doing ( call it what ever you like ) for a living , so im wondering how much of this is actually worthwhile and how much is done to keep the shareholders interested .
    Rob
     
  12. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Great question, Rob, and one that deserves an immediate response. When is enough, enough? Has science taught us all that we will ever need to know? Have we reached the pinnacle of scientific knowledge? Some days I feel that we have. Yet others, like for example when I think about young people with 'incurable' diseases, or the masses of starving poor, I wonder if we have. It's a bit like your tagline, if we fail to try new things, then how will we ever know if we could have done just that little bit more? I guess my greatest fear is that if we give up on the scientific pursuit, what have we got to replace it with? Ideology? Superstition? Religion? The metaphysical in general, or faeries at the bottom of the garden in particular? Perhaps these might all be better (more sustainable) options in the future, although if the past is anything to go by, I doubt it. In terms of where we direct our scientific endeavours, and in our capitalist-led economy this means our largely stolen resources, I'd like to think that we could focus on the things that really matter - climate, soil, water, and by extension, the easing of disease, death and destruction of human and non-human species alike. For me, the only option I see is to increase the availability of a universal, free and secular education (including the scientific method) to all of the world's people. But, perhaps I'm just a dreamer...
     
  13. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    I'm wondering if a shortage of food is the problem and that's why they are pushing for GM food in the guise of feeding the poor and hungry. I think it is more a distribution problem. The elites in these countries do not go hungry. Poverty causes the hunger and there is a list of reasons a mile long why people end up in poverty depending on where they are. These reasons include elites (from within and outside the country) buying up land, using land for biofuels, governments forcing farmers to plant crops for export income, to name a few. If inequities in these countries were eliminated, I think the problems of food shortages would dissipate considerably.

    Food aid (when not for emergency relief) can actually be very destructive on the economy of the recipient nation and contribute to more hunger and poverty in the long term. Free, subsidized, or cheap food, below market prices undercuts local farmers, who cannot compete and are driven out of jobs and into poverty, further slanting the market share of the larger producers such as those from the US and Europe. Many poor nations are dependent on farming, and so such food aid amounts to food dumping. In the past few decades, more powerful nations have used this as a foreign policy tool for dominance rather than for real aid.
     
  14. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Another excellent, thought provoking contribution from Annette, thanks again! Oh, for sure there is currently a 'distribution problem': 7.1-billion people (and counting), the 'top' percentile of which is literally eating itself to death, while the 'bottom' percentile is starving. However, what's causing this situation and perhaps, more importantly, how do we best respond? This is the perennial question. Annette provides us with many of the 'usual suspects', each of course are related to power imbalances. This of course has led to stop gap measures or 'band aides', such as Bt cotton in India. But what lies at the crux of the issue? How can the people, all of the world's people achieve an equal footing? In the nearly 20-years I've been asking myself this question, the only answer that continually comes to my mind, is - and yes, you all know exactly what I'm going to say - education (preferably of the universal, free and secular variety). What's all this got to do with GMOs? The answer is, about the same as what it has got to do with permaculture. While all of the world's people lack an opportunity to participate freely in a universal and secular education, they are denied the very tools they require to differentiate between the two.
     
  15. annette

    annette Junior Member

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    Yes I don't know Mark. I too have thought about it and can only come up with "radical" and highly unpopular ideas. Education for sure. Telling the IMF to forgive all loans, confiscating land from the usurpers and giving it back to the original farmers or descendants, requiring that the needs of the residents in regards to food be fulfilled first before exports are allowed, foreign countries pay a premium wage to workers and pay dividends to the local community, corporations be made to pay for any environmental problems caused by their exploitation, make the taxation systems fairer, stop the globalisation of the food supply, provide free contraception, stop the exploitation of third world peoples for the sake of first world consumers (now that would be radical!), take all Bill Gates and those on Wall street, the Vatican and the royals and thieving bankers' money and use it to provide safe and healthy communities for those that need it, stop all wars............... I'm a dreamer too!
     
  16. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    The thing is we can't solve it. It is not something to be solved. It is a thing to acknowledge in terms of it is as it is, what is your response?

    You won't solve it, GMO's certainly won't solve it. But, you can act in a way that if everyone else acted as you do it would change. That is all you can do and it is everything.

    I haven't done it for a while so here are a couple of verses from the Tao Te Ching as translated by Stephen Mitchell

    On trying to get others to change...

    And on just doing your work...

     
  17. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    Cheers, Brother.
     
  18. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    It's a great reminder to not get bogged down in frustration that you can't change the world overnight. Thanks Grahame.
     
  19. Terra

    Terra Moderator

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    If a tiny slice of the money spent chasing rainbows to feed the "Poor and Hungry" was spent on infastructure (Water storage and disribution) in thier own country most of the problem would sort its self out , interesting that a search of rainfall on Ethiopia for example , fairly small country (we have pipe technology) has rainfalls ranging from 2200mm to 200mm , drought proofing is a big part of the solution everywhere .
    Rob
     
  20. ecodharmamark

    ecodharmamark Junior Member

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    https://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/ethiopia_statistics.html#103 :(
     

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