I don’t believe a position that is “anti-GMO” is a tenable one, because most insulin that is synthesised today is derived from a genetically modified organism, usually from E.Coli or yeast (S. cerevisiae). Being anti-GMO in principle would mean protesting medicine for diabetics.

I understand having objections to particular GM crops, say BT corn; I also understand having objections to the industry monopolies possessed by unscrupulous agribusiness firms like like Monsanto. Further, I think it is perfectly reasonable to have objections to unsustainable farming practices that deplete soil and eat up forests, or predatory business practices that take up tracts of indigenous land.

What I don’t understand is being against fruits and vegetables that have received the transgenic equivalent of a vaccination: like the Ringspot-resistant Papaya, or the Sharka-resistant Plum.

It’s the lack of clarity and specificity in this conversation that I find maddening: I think complex questions deserve complex answers, and those aren’t to be found in a consumer boycott, or a sign that reads “hell no GMO.” If you are protesting GM crops, but can’t tell me the names of five, then why are do you feel entitled to speak on behalf of people who work in agriculture and horticulture?
— 

biodiverseed

If you want to learn about the wide variety of crops available, check out the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment’s Global GM Crop Database.

#GMOs
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Bill Nye Explains Why He Changed His Mind About GMOs

Bill Nye made waves last March when he changed his views on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) following a visit with Monsanto. Previously he had expressed major concerns about the safety of GMOs. 

For how Bill Nye feels about extraterrestrial life watch the full interview here. 

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So I thought some of you might be interested in this app. It’s called “Buycott”. Basically you make a free account, select the causes or campaigns to support or oppose, then you can scan products and it’ll tell you whether you’re boycotting them or not. The top three are my attempts to buy some organic jelly. The bottom is some of the categories of campaigns you can choose from.

Coming from that rural-centred background, it’s frustrating to me to see agricultural justice activism co-opted by urban-dwellers who hysterically yell about getting cancer from everything, when they have no connection to, or idea about how food is produced, or who produces it, or even who needs it most. It’s easy for the perpetual consumer to say “hell no GMO!” and talk about the purity of the natural world, or an ethic of noninterference, but I dare them tell the kid halfway around the globe with nutritional deficiencies that amino-acid enriched sweet potatoes should be banned, because they are “unnatural.”

This shouldn’t be about drawing artificial lines between manmade and natural: we gave up the right to complain about that when we domesticated animals and started farming during the Neolithic Revolution, 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Nothing about the way we live now is “natural,” but paradoxically, that sort of means everything we do is, because we too are evolving biological organisms, and technology–as well as being masters of our own genetic destinies–is a part of our evolutionary trajectory. If there is anything I learned in studying anthropology, it’s that this nature/culture divide is a false dichotomy.

With that in mind, one of my goals here at BiodiverSeed is to change the conversation about GMOs: let’s make it about scientific ethics, about not using poor people as guinea pigs, about food justice, about affordable land access, about protection of biodiversity, and about protecting open-source genetics, instead of debunked studies about GMO corn causing tumours in rats. Let’s centre an agricultural and food justice movement first and foremost on the needs of the people who produce our food, and around the people in the world who need more food.

We can change the conversation if we make a point of being critical, scientifically-literate, and open-minded. We started “playing God” when we invented agriculture, surgery, vaccines, and 3-D printed organs. We’re not about to stop with our food; so let’s make sure that food is healthy and accessible, and doesn’t continue to destroy the integrity of our biomes as we produce it.

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Most people I talk to are NOT educated about what GMOs are, so i’m just going to go ahead and assume that a good majority of bloggers on here are not aware as well. 

GMO -  Genetically modified organism. 

Monsanto - Corporation that manufactured Agent Orange (Most common use was in the Vietnam War to KILL jungles) and is CURRENTLY manufacturing Round-up etc. 

If you’re still confused about what GMOs are, let me help. 

Blue Sky  

Coca Cola  

Hansen  

Kraft  

Nestle  

Procter and Gamble  

Libby’s  

Ocean Spray  

Kellogg  

Nature Valley  

Nabisco  

Hershey  

Lifesaver  

Quaker  

Pepperidge Farm  

Campbells  

Frito Lay  

Hostess  

Heinz  

Crisco  

Kashi  

Peter Pan  

Smuckers  

Skippy  

Hormel  

Progresso  

Eggo  

Boca 

Marie Callender  

Morningstar Farms  

Stouffers  

Betty Crocker  

Pillsbury  

Aunt Jemima  

Duncan Hines  

Beech-nut  

Enfamil  

Good Start  

Similac  

Isomil  

Yoplait  

Land O Lakes  

Keebler  

And Dannon

Are all companies that use GMOs in their products. 

“Hey thats not a lot.. I must be okay." 

Wrong. Most of these companies are parent companies, that expand and expand and expand.. if you look on the back of something you have in your house I can almost guarantee that it will trace back to one of these companies. 

"But I still don’t know what GMOs do to me? I don’t give a fuck.”

Well start giving fucks, because the food we’re eating even if it is labeled “Organic” is literally killing us.

Our Bodily Toxicity Increases - We have reproductive problems - Cancer is highly likely - and we could die. 

Now if you don’t care, and you want to continue eating the garbage you’re eating now, and let these corporations keep poisoning you. Be my guest. 

But think about your kids. If you have them now, or if you want to be a parent some day. 

This is only GOING to get WORSE if somebody doesn’t stop it now.

The MAJORITY of the world has eliminated GMO’s from their foods and has KICKED out Monsanto.. The only reason why we (Americans) have not followed is because no one cares enough.

Start caring. 

act.credoaction.com
Sign the petition: Keep GMO salmon out of the U.S.

External image

I just signed a petition urging the FDA to keep GMO salmon out of the US. I think you should, too.

AquaBounty, the company creating the first-ever genetically modified salmon for human consumption, is playing fast and loose with environmental regulations, and we may end up paying the price.The FDA is still considering approval of the company’s dangerous GMO salmon. This could have huge ramifications if we don’t speak up to prevent it.

Check out what I found while skinning a bag of potatoes at the Fry Shop!  Does this studly spud remind you of anyone?

Maybe a certain blogger?

It’s me!  It looks just like me!

I’m sure the boys in the White House Science Lab would have you believe this agricultural abnormality is nothing to worry about, but my tater twin here is no doubt part of a plan to replace all of mankind with high carb clones!  Who could be behind such a ssssinister ssscheme?  The answer lies in all those extra s’s!  Ssssssee you next time, Weirdateers!

New ‘Hybrid’ Tomatoes

Part of a Series: #Marketing with Plants

Talking about new products in the horticultural and agricultural worlds is a bit like a game of telephone: a concept is set loose in the world, and then by some perverse combination of marketing, bad journalism, and re-shares on social media, a merely grafted tomato plant becomes some sort of miraculous new 'hybrid.’ It’s kind of like the Science News Cycle.

The worst manifestation of this 'trickle-down discourse’ is the GMO conversation, where “drinking a shot glass full of glyphosate herbicide might land you in the hospital,” turns into “GMO crops will give your children autism.”

But this general confusion about food production and plant life manifests in more banal ways: as it has with the 'Pomato,’ a.k.a. 'Ketchup nFries,’ a.k.a. ’TomTato,’ a.k.a. ’Tomoffel’ a.k.a. ’DoubleUP Potato Tom’ tomato/potato plant, and the ’Black and White’ tomato.

Hybrid tomatoes do, of course, exist. They are usually bred for traits like disease resistance, size, uniformity, and shelf life. A true hybrid will often be annotated with F1 (Filial 1 hybrid) or F2 (Filial 2 hybrid): direct from the supplier, these seeds will produce uniform offspring, but seeds that are self-harvested thereafter will not produce true-to-type. That is the big difference between hybrid and heirloom seeds: hybrids will perform well for one season, and heirlooms will perform in perpetuity. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. [x]

The two greenhouse novelties above, however, are mere grafts, resulting in what would properly be called a “chimera” (because the resulting organism retains two genetically distinct tissues). Grafting is a practice that has been used in horticulture for at least 2000 years. What’s more, these are grafts you can do at home with a little research, instead of shelling out 5x the price of a normal tomato at a nursery.

The 'Pomato’ is usually a graft between a cherry tomato, and a potato plant. These plants are both a part of the Nightshade (Solanaceae) family, which also includes tobacco, eggplant, pepino dulce, ground cherries, tomatillos, petunias, peppers, and deadly nightshade. Their botanical closeness means that certain cultivars will have compatible tissues, and can therefore share nutrients and water if their vascular tissues are joined.

The 'Black and White’ tomato is a graft between the famous anthocyanin-abundant Indigo Rose tomato, and a White Cherry tomato. Grafting tomatoes is an excellent strategy for saving space, imparting disease resistance, or increasing vigour: one that I would recommend every home gardener try.

More: In Defense of Grafting Tomatoes

When you harvest seeds from these grafted plants (unless the tomato itself is planted from hybrid seed), they will be true to the original type that was planted before the graft took place. The plant is still genetically the same as it was before the graft.

Even in the case of what was formerly called a “graft hybrid”–where the grafted tissues blend together–genetically distinct reproductive cells are maintained, so the resulting plant is now correctly-termed a graft-chimaera, rather than a graft-hybrid.

There is no doubt that these are exciting and novel products, but they certainly aren’t miraculous: with a little practice, you could be making them for free!

#tomatoes #potatoes #garden science #DIY