An Ag Science blog

May 14th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Bob Edlin is blogging on Ag Science at his Ag Science Blog.

A recent blog was on new generation GM crops:

The next wave of genetically modified crops is making its way to market—and might just ease concerns over “Frankenfoods”, according to a report in Nature reproduced in Scientific American (here).

Anastasia Bodnar, a biotechnologist with Biology Fortified, is quoted as saying that when the first genetically modified (GM) organisms were being developed for the farm, they were promoted as futuristic, ultra-nutritious crops that would bring exotic produce to supermarkets and help to feed a hungry world.

But the technology so far has bestowed most of its benefits on agribusiness, largely through crops modified to withstand weed-killing chemicals or resist insect pests. This has allowed farmers to increase yields and spray less pesticide than they might have otherwise.

Yet the Greens are still against.

Some of the new generation of GM crops now making their way from laboratory to market will tackle new problems, from apples that stave off discoloration to ‘Golden Rice’ and bright-orange bananas fortified with nutrients to improve the diets of people in the poorest countries.

The fiends. Monsanto must not be allowed to make money from improving nutrition in poor countries.

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15 Responses to “An Ag Science blog”

  1. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    The Green policy for crop production has been tried and tested, by Pol Pot, who wanted a socialist organic farming agrarian paradise.

    The scientific ignorance of the Greens is well known, but when they mess with food production it costs lives. If our crops were not modified (as most are) then billions of people would need to starve. There is no way we could feed them. Almost all of our domestic crops are heavily modified and bear no resemblance to the original. This includes so called “heritage” strains.

    The Greens ignorance is not harmless.

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  2. Manolo (13,828 comments) says:

    The Luddites, the anti-progress brigade disguised in green clothes (under which there is a flaming red colour.)

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  3. kowtow (8,512 comments) says:

    I doubt someone starving in the poorest country gives a shit about the colour of an apple (whatever about even getting one)

    Nice looking apples are a marketing gimmick for stupid consumers.

    So all this science and spending is going into making a display of apples look good to “discerning” consumers in Boston or Seattle who think themselves so clever they probably take pride in telling people they voted for Obama.

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  4. Longknives (4,763 comments) says:

    Unless it’s Cannabis or Vegan food the Greens are going to be against it…

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  5. mandk (996 comments) says:

    @ Kea
    I don’t think the Greens are ignorant. They are led by a highly educated bunch of zealots, who thrive on misfortune and misery.
    They are a bit like the Labour lot, who are only happy when employment is down and unemployment is up.
    The Greens really hate the idea of increased crop yields, combined with the use of less pesticide.
    Labour really hate the idea of a buoyant economy.

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  6. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    Longknives, I have no real issue with Cannabis or Vegan food , but you ain’t going to feed the world that way !

    If the Greens had any credibility they would campaign on population control, with promises to remove benefits and WFF. If the population continues to grow then so will demands to produce food, burn oil, ect.

    No amount of hemp shopping bags and windmills will change that. We could survive on organic farming methods IF the population was small enough.

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  7. Harriet (4,972 comments) says:

    “…..Longknives, I have no real issue with Cannabis…”

    I’m telling Grief that Kea! :cool:

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  8. hj (7,031 comments) says:

    I think it’s an argument that will win some and loose some, but at the end of the day it is a fantasy to think that humans can behave as they want and master nature. Fish stocks are being depleted, CO2 concentrations are increasing and the Earth is warming in response.

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  9. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    He already knows Harriet :)

    I have suggested his use of cannabis may increase is susceptibility to believing doomsday predictions.

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  10. hj (7,031 comments) says:

    You’d think the fact that CO2 concentrations haven’t been this high for over a million years might trip the doubters sensible button?

    One wonders what it could take (if anything)?

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  11. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    “One wonders what it could take (if anything)?”

    It might take you finding out some facts before writing such palpably dishonest crap.

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  12. mandk (996 comments) says:

    hj: “One wonders what it could take (if anything)?”

    How about some disinterested science and sound logic? Your 12.57 post linked depletion of fish stocks to CO2 and (supposed) global warming, but by far and away the main cause of fish stock depletion has been over-fishing.

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  13. Martin (8 comments) says:

    Well, it’s news like this https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130513/12113523062/monsanto-wins-case-seed-patents-planting-your-own-legally-purchased-grown-seeds-can-be-infringing.shtml that tend to make people distrust Monsanto.

    And news like this http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2211737/How-GM-crops-increased-use-danger-pesticides-created-superweeds-toxin-resistant-insects.html that tend to make people distrust the claimed benefits of GMO.

    But the solution is simple: let the market decide. Mandate that genetically modified food, and any derivatives thereof must be labeled as such, and let us consumers choose to buy whatever we like.

    Bizarrely this free market solution is opposed by Monsanto: http://www.kcet.org/news/ballotbrief/elections2012/propositions/prop-37-genetically-modified-foods-labeling.html Thus lessening consumer trust in the concept: after all, what’s to hide?

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  14. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    You’d think the fact that CO2 concentrations haven’t been this high for over a million years might trip the doubters sensible button?

    The trouble is there has been no warming for close on 20 years and Antarctic ice is increasing, with record cold and ice in the North this winter.

    So yeah, I guess it has tripped the “doubters sensible button” . It is unfortunate it has not tripped the alarmists.

    Are you aware that CO2 is not a pollutant and the vast majority of it is from natural sources ? Within the massive amount produced by nature you would expect variations, that account for the modest increase recently alledged by alarmists paid to say alarming things.

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  15. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    A good title for this would be “GE advocates’ promises for the future the same as they were ten years ago”. We seem to be permanently on the verge of a wonderous breakthrough.

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