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Friday, November 28, 2008

Researchers win approval for GE crops

Researchers win approval for GE crops
Lincoln scientists have been given approval to continue their controversial experiments on genetically engineered (GE) crops. Crop and Food Research's application to grow GE onions, spring onions, leeks and garlic at a 2.5ha secret site near Lincoln has been approved by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (Erma). But the Crown research institute will be allowed to let only a small number of GE onions flower and produce seed, and those plants will have to be contained in double-layered cages to ensure pollinating insects and pollen cannot escape. Only laboratory-bred fly pupae and no bees will be allowed inside the cages, and all flies will have to be killed before the cages are opened. Pollination cages will have to checked daily by Crop and Food staff to ensure they are intact and no insects can escape, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry will also inspect the site. The 10-year programme, led by Colin Eady, aims to test the plants' tolerance to herbicide and resistance to fungi, bacteria, viruses and insect pests, and also to test efforts to alter their smell, flavour, sweetness and colour.

Hmmm – laboratory-bred fly pupae with special double-layered cages all to prevent any of this Genetically Engineered crop from escaping into the environment and the reason for it? So the crop can be drenched in Round-up, see I don’t think all the challenge and cost required to try and stop GE crops from escaping all because we are trying to grow a crop that can be drowned in herbicide when there are organic options is anything other than a solution looking for a problem.


At 28/11/08 10:35 am, Blogger TROLL said...

Organic growing doesn't scale well. Usually all weeds are manually pulled. ~20% lower yield than conventional methods along with another 10% of produce thrown away due to pest damage. The use of GE seed could lead to more produce grown with less chemicals which is basically inline with organic principles.

At 28/11/08 11:39 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

nonesense troll, the crops need to be resistant to round up so they can drench them in round up to kill off the weeds that have become resistant to the milder use of round up meaning more residual pesticide on your food and the UN have come out and said we need more organic farming, not less. GE won't save the worlds hungry, we already produce more than enough food for the planet, the reason we don't feed the poor is because monsanto can't make money from poor people, claiming they are pushing ahead with GE to feed the planet is bullshit.

At 28/11/08 1:14 pm, Anonymous nepenthe said...

Anon - You're talking shit. GE herbicide resistant crops use less herbicide, because they only use one type which is the relatively benign round-up, compared to using many different kinds of herbicide, many of which are much more toxic and hang around in the soil for much longer. If you actually looked into it you'd see that herbicide resistant crops are more environmentally friendly. I have no problem with herbicide resistant crops it's insect resistant crops that pose an environmental risk and we should all be concerned about those. People have been selectively breeding crops for thousands of years and have been inducing mutations which is perfecttly legal despite being potentially more dangerous than GE for the past century. GE is just the next step it's silly to be scared of GE crops just because they're new.

At 28/11/08 2:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

GE is just the next step it's silly to be scared of GE crops just because they're new.

The reason to be scared of GE crops is not because they are new or because of potential health effects.

The reason to be scared is because they give corporations such as Monsanto control over crops by patenting seeds etc. etc.

This guy says it best...

the increased centralisation of power on the part of the agro-chemical industry, the commercial patenting of plant genes, and the increased expense for small scale farmers in delevoping countries. Add to that an over-dependence on cash crops and monoculture, which leaves whole countries dependent on one or two crops for survival and at the mercy of world commodity prices. The issues surrounding GM are much, much more complex than just irrational refusal to accept new technology.

At 28/11/08 5:40 pm, Anonymous nepenthe said...

Anon - We have dependency on a few species of crops regardless of GE. We have vast monocultures regadless of GE. I'm very very left wing so don't talk to me about corporations. We have in recent history had "a centralisation of power" into ever larger corporations thorughout the corporate world it's not limited to agro-tech companies. They maybe able to patent new crop varieties which they can do using other breeding techniques anyway, but Monsanto's patent on glyphosate(round-up) has long since run out. Time and time again it has been shown that there are no health risks from HR crops. They are screened far more scrupulously then new crop varieties breed through other means. I bet you don't disagree with majority of scientific opinion on climate change, but you wish to with this. I wish my fellows on the left would take a breath and examine the evidence with regards to GE and form a well reasoned opinion on the issue instead of making us look like luddites. GE crops have been grown since the eighties with no disasters yet. They offer many possibilities there are risks as there are in most human endeavors. Agriculture does immense environmental damage no question about that. This new technology offers the chance to alleviate some of that damage. Millions of people in the world are starving if governments would focus their attention and put their resources on trying to intitiate a new green revolution or maybe Africa's first green revolution it would be great for the world. You should get past your naiveté on this issue and try to see the possibilities.

At 28/11/08 7:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's dictators like mugabe who are to blame for starving poor people, not corporations.


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