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Prince Charles says, "Count me out". Just say No to genetically modified foods.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Prince Charles thinks genetically engineered foods will be the “biggest disaster environmentally of all time.”

The Prince also thinks GM [genetically modified] foods are an experiment that’s gone seriously wrong, causing untold problem which become expensive and very difficult to undo.

The Times online has promptly published a piece rebuffing what Prince Charles has to say.

Read what ‘The Independent Science Panel’ has to say about the GM foods at their website.

Prince Charles also says,”…the classic way of ensuring there is no food in the future” is relying on gigantic corporations for food that would result in “absolute disaster”.

To rely on only a few gigantic corporations for anything could turn into absolute disasters. Antitrust laws were written precisely to avoid the ‘absolute’ problems that accompany absolute power.

“if they think this is the way to go…we (will) end up with millions of small farmers all over the world being driven off their land into unsustainable, unmanageable, degraded and dysfunctional conurbations of unmentionable awfulness.” The Prince is quoted as saying.

I’m no expert, and I’m certainly not the son of the Queen, but I do have a backyard garden. This year that garden is tortured. Many of the plants in my vegetable garden are ‘trade marked’ plants. Admittedly my story is only anecdotal but none of these plants has born a fruit worth the energy it takes to remove it from the plant. It’s horrible.

Scientists claim the attacks on their GM food research are setting them back. I’d be willing to bet my last dollar, the ’scientists’ making those claims are working for some of the largest ag corporations on earth.

Insurance company spokespeople have compared GM crops to Thalidomide, Asbestos and Acts of Terrorism.

Read the Canadian canola farmer’s, recipient of the Mahatma Gandhi award 2000’s disconcerting story.

When asked ‘why he would plant Monsanto’s GM crops’ Percy Schmeiser said, “I think the reason was this. …Monsanto told farmers that it would be more nutritious, it would be a bigger yield, but most of all, less chemicals…”

“Our land is contaminated. Our water is contaminated. Farmers now realize that we’re just killing ourselves and we’re killing the environment-our insects (bees?) our birds, and everything else.”

Schmeiser goes on to say,”Number one, it was not more nutritious. It was not a bigger yielder.” Monsanto never noted anything about quality. Schmeiser says, “…farmers are now using from 6 to 10 times more chemicals.”

Imagine that…

Monsanto would like to be the worlds sole food source. Monsanto seeds grow best with Monsanto fertilizers. Monsanto is the seed and fertilizer giant!

If you’re looking for some good Karma, an investment in Monsanto may not be the place for you. If you are looking to make a killing…it may be.

Monsanto is increasing the price of its corn seed by $100.00 a bag. On 1,000 acres that an extra $40,000.00. At the U.N. Food Summit in Rome Monsanto announced that it would be saving the world from a food crisis. It pledged to double its yields on soy and cotton over the next 20 years.

Like Nancy Regan used to say…”JUST SAY NO”.

Genetic diversity keeps our food system resistant to disease. Let’s talk incest. There is a reason you cannot marry your cousin.

GM seeds, are ‘akin’ to incest. One more anecdotal story please…I once knew a wonderful family seemingly normal in every way. But, the parents were first cousins. All seemed well, until the children (2 of them) grew up and tried to start families of their own. The daughter of this union died while she was pregnant,(keeled down dead while making toast) the son was never able to produce any children. Kind of like the plants in my garden, unable to bring forth fruit.

If you are busy buying up any protected seeds as I am, your hopes may be dashed like mine.

While we were sleeping, Monsanto agreed to buy De Ruiter Seeds. The acquisition by MOnsanto will serve, “the protected-culture” vegetable seed market”.


Labels: Food Crisis, Food Shortage, GM crops, Monsanto, Prince Charles, gentically modified

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Prince Charles says, "Count me out". Just say No to genetically modified foods.

Hot Potatoes. Genetically Modified, Mashed or Boiled. Will Potatoes Save a Starving Planet?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The much miligned potato is entering the fast track on it’s way to genetic modefication. Being nearly perfect as it is the lowly potato could turn out to be the linch pin in the chain of food security.

The U.N. has named 2008 the year of the Potato. The lowely tuber is being looked upon as the ’silver bullet’ to fire into the heart of the rising food crisis.

Peru, where the Potato finds its origins, is sending thousands of seeds this year to the Doomsday Vault for storage. There are said to be nearly 5,000 different types of potatoes.

The potato grows almost anywhere, in almost any kind of condition and at nearly any altitude, it matures in as little as 50 days.

Of course blight on the potato was responsible for the great famine in Ireland and still causes about 20% of the world’s potato crop loss. But, never fear; the Potato is on the fast track for genetic modification!

Actually, fast track to genetic modification isn’t exactly correct. According to GM Free Cymru, Monsanto has been working on GM potatoes for a number of years.

The German company BASF was denied approval for Amflora cultivation in the EU. The genetically modified Amflora Potato was being developed for industrial applications for use in paper products and some types of glue by using the potato’s amylopectin starch. The EU Commission has delayed approval for planting Amflora in 2008.

The starch from the BASF Amflora potatoes could also be used in the textiles and even concrete. The residue of the crop was to be mix into animal feed as well. Monsanto and BASF have been working together on other GM projects.

Another player in the GM potato game is Syngenta. The South African government has allowed Michigan State University to experiment with GM Potatoes in an open environment for the past seven years. Syngenta owns the patent on the BT gene that causes the potatoes to be resistant to the tuber moth. What isn’t known is what damage this gene has on benificial insects that come into contact with the GM potatoes grown in the open. Also the risk of cross pollenation with natural crops is huge when the experimental crops are grown in open environments.

Ireland knows a little something about Potatoes. At this link you can find a lot of good information on the dangers of GM potatoes.

Photo Thanks: gm-free The slide in the photo is rat colon tissue. The one on the left has been fed GM potato, and the one on the right has not.

Labels: BASF, GM foods, Monsanto, United Nations, Year of the Potato, gentically modified

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Hot Potatoes. Genetically Modified, Mashed or Boiled. Will Potatoes Save a Starving Planet?

Touting the Virtues of Trout. Super fish may become the new Super Hero.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A company called Aqua Bounty is developing advanced-hybrid fish. ‘Average’-Hybrids just aren’t good enough anymore. The new ‘avanced-hybrids’ come in the form of salmon, trout, and talapia broodstocks.

These fish are “engineered to grow faster than traditional broodstock. The Patented fish, called AquAdvantage ™, were developed to reach market size twice as fast and convert their feed into body mass 10-30 times more efficiently than normal fish.

Aqua Bounty thinks their new ’super fish’ will decrease fish waste and use their food more efficiently. Less time in the tank automatically means less waste in the water. The faster the fish grows to market size the fewer meals it needs to eat. With luck they will also grow faster than those pesky diseases known to affect aquaculture’s farmed, pen grown fish.

These fish can be grown efficiently inland which will also mitigate the need for more expensive “consequential ocean pens.” The fish are also neutered so there is no threat of interbreeding with native populations. I wonder if each little fish gets a vasectomy or a tubal ligation. That sounds pretty labor intensive. Maybe these fish are ‘engineered’ to be sexless. Maybe engineering creates a ‘happy accident’ of non-gendered fish.

At any rate, finding faster ways to provide food for an ever expanding population will turn out to be part of our salvation or part of our destruction.

Maintaining the status quo won’t solve the increasing problem of how to feed the world’s increasing population. It isn’t clear yet what increased and unintended problems we will be creating. Only time will tell and time is running out on a hungry world.

Labels: Aqua Bounty, Salmon, aquaculture, genetically altered fish, gentically modified, trout

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Touting the Virtues of Trout. Super fish may become the new Super Hero.

Would you eat a steak grown in a petri dish?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Would you eat a salmon that grows 10 to 30 times faster than a normal one? How about a nice piece of fried chicken that was grown from cells in a lab?

PETA is offering $1 million dollars to anyone that is able to produce an in vitro chicken meat product and sell it to the public by June 30, 2012.

Is it any wonder the Mayan calendar stops in December of 2012? Maybe the Mayan had a vision of what was to come and decided it just wasn’t worth going on to 2013.

In the PETA competition, the challenge is not only to grow the meat, but it must taste good and sell for a competitive price when compared to real chicken. If you’re interested in tossing your skillet and your gene splicers into the ring, you’ll need to also obtain the fried “chicken” recipe from the website.

Your in vitro stem cell chicken meat will have to taste great bathed in this batter and submitted to the judges! No doubt, using the same ‘fry’ recipe is meant to put everyone on an even playing field. Most of us however don’t have the first clue as to how to splice a gene or harvest a stem cell from a chicken; average Joe need not apply.

In vitromeat uses animal stem cells placed in a medium to grow and reproduce. According to the PETA website, some promising steps have been made toward this technology.

Whether or not the public will eat meat grown in a dish from a few cells, would perhaps depend on how hungry they become. It may also depend on whether or not they would ultimately know the origins of the meat.

Art Thanks: Lauren Barnes

Labels: PETA, genetically altered fish, gentically modified, in vitro meat, meat stem cells, million dollar meat

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Would you eat a steak grown in a petri dish?

Bee T Phone Home. Honey Bee’s Are In Real Peril!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Back in January PennState College of Agricultural Sciences issued a warning to growers in Pennsylvania to contact beekeepers and arrange for pollination services well ahead of time.

Why? During the last 3 months of 2006 the college began receiving reports from commercial beekeepers that an alarming number of honey bee colonies were dying the the eastern united states. Since the beginning of the year beekeepers from all over the country had been reporting ‘unprecedented losses’ of bee colonies.

More than 100,000 honey be colonies have been lost in Alberta over the past several months and there is great concern there are not enough pollinators for farmers dependent upon honey bees for pollination.

Alarming losses of the honey bees are not just a North American problem. Enormous losses have also occurred in 9 European Countries.

There are nearly as many theories as to what may be causing the die-off as there are dead bees. Varroa Mites, pesticides, tracheal mites, Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus, fungus and an array of bacterial disease are only a few of reasons being vestigated.

Once scientists started investigating the puzzling die-off many were surprised to discover the bees were in fact stricken with a large variety of problems; not just one.

There has even been heavy speculation that the dramtic increase in ‘genetically modified crops’ could even be a contributing factor. One more therory is that an increase in UV radiation has degraded the quality of pollen being produced for the bees consumption and they are becoming malnourished leaving them succeptable to disease and…perhaps even causing them to have problems with their vision.

One study done in Germany even suggested Cell phone may be at the bottom of the disappearing honey bees. Could cell phone signals be interfering with the bees ability to navigate their way back to their hives? Bees refused to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby. This theory is being called unlikely.

What about wireless phones? Geman bees may have a highly developed sense of design aesthetic and merely taken offense at having a wireless phone base inserted into their decor.

Regardless of the reasons for the alarming disappearance of the honey bee one thing is certain. Life as we know it will come to a sudden and disruptive change without them.

It feels odd that so little coverage about this new threat to the worlds food supply has been presented in the news. There are suggestions a media moretorium was placed on reporting about the loss of the bees. Color me dubious on that one. A media moratorium would suggest several nations were in colussion to keep the seriousness of this situation away from the public.

This is a big story with even bigger consequences. Check back, there will be more to come!

Photo credit: USDA

Labels: Disappearance, Honey Bee, Honey Bee's, gentically modified

© 2009, Pacific Spirit Marine Institute.

Bee T Phone Home. Honey Bee’s Are In Real Peril!

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