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Interesting article about glysphosphate

Posted by harvestman 6 (My Page) on
Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 7:28

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/business/misgivings-about-how-a-weed-killer-affects-the-soil.html?src=recg

To keep conversations going here on controversial topics related to fruit growing here's an article about glysphosphate and its affect on soil when used regularly in large scale crop production.

It probably doesn't have a lot to do with its affects in the context of limited home use, but is interesting, none the less.

Sorry that there is no easy way to post a link when posting a new topic. Maybe I can get some help with that.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

It seems you cannot post a link in a new thread, obviously the code for that is missing in the new thread set-up. So I've done it for you.
This article makes me wonder when the powers that be will catch on, perhaps living in their ivory towers they think it won't affect them. WRONG...
I will advise the organizers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Glysphosphate


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

I am one who likes to post lots of links to make a point. I dont like being able to do so line on here. I dont think there is any real way to do so HM.

ANyways check out the link below. You may be interested. It has been linked to a few things

Here is a link that might be useful: isis panel round up


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Jus for fun.... There doesnt seem to be any real yeild difference in round up ready crops either:

Here is a link that might be useful: PSU RR crop yeild vs conventinal


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

The way to post a link in a new post is click on preview.. the next time the URL box will be there, add it and hit preview again. This bug has been there since forever.

Re: the article, the fact that glyphosphate can bind to certain minerals in the soil is concerning. If you are changing the mineral composition of the soil you are going to change the microbial activity since many microbes are using the minerals as part of their life processes. Fertilizer will get the minerals to the plant but soil is a living body not just a container for nutrients.

Here is an article giving the other side view:

Biology Fortified link.

This article has a long debate between scientists in the comments which I found very informative.

My overall conclusion is there is cause for concern on many fronts and I hope scientists keep working on it. In general scientists have taken far too long to realize the importance of microbes in the soil. The medical profession has made the same huge mistake in being far behind on the importance of microflora in the human gut. It just doesn't fit the simple scientific picture, it makes things more muddy, so its conveniently sidelined.

On the other hand I don't see strong enough evidence at this point to require that roundup use be limited.

Scott


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

LOok at the link above scott. There hasnt been many studies showing higher yeilds with GMO/round up ready crops. IF anything the genetics are more variable then conventionally grown crops


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Newspaper articles, especially New York Times articles, need to be read all the way to the end, to get to where they say " these studies are very limited, and there are opposing studies" or something to that effect. In other words as my dad used to say, "You better take all that, with a good dose of salt" Al


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What I liked about the article was that it didn't seem to be pushing the reader to one side or other of the the issue while informing readers of a couple of issues I was previously unaware.

That glysphosphate binds to chemicals in the soil, some of which are of nutritional importance, may be limiting their availability to crops. Also the question of whether glysphosphate alters the bulk density of soil making it more compact, less aerated and harder for roots to penetrate is important and needs to be resolved.

I thought claims of Monsanto scientists and the strong anecdotal observation of a commercial grower pretty much balanced each other out making me hungry for further, objective research.

Ultimately the farmers will figure out what is most profitable if the gov. isn't subsidizing one approach or another. If soil is being damaged by glysphosphate no PR campaign by chemical manufacturers will stop farmers from choosing what is best for their soil in the long run if it affects their profits.


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It seems farmers are loosing money using RR crops, which is the funny thing...


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 14:08

This message board supports HTML for adding links and images. Links are dead simple to add to your posts. Take 5 to 15 minutes and learn how to post an HTML link.

If you think there is cause for concern with the use of Glyphosate, then vote with your money and buy organic. If you are so ambivalent as to not even spell "Glyphosate" correctly, then just buy the cheapest food products you can find and spray away freely. :)


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Can, does the RR seed need be more productive? Isn't the point to reduce the expense of weed control?

Mr. Clint, your remark comes off to me as being a bit surly. Spelling words is not the same as understanding or caring about their meaning. I frequently misspell chemical names as there are so many I can't be bothered looking them up when the spell check often indicates misspelling no matter what you type.

I rarely use or recommend the use of Roundup in my business no matter how I spell it and only when the weeds won't be controlled any other way when trees are being established. I use mulch and a weed whacker in my nursery although I'm unsure the weed whacker is ultimately kinder to the environment. I expect it isn't- my whacker is a dirty 2-stroke.

I've not read any research showing that the residue of this product is an issue in the healthiness of food. Do the roundup ready plants absorb the chemical into the seed?


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If I am not mistaken the whole idea behind the GMO grops and RR crops is increased yield, be that genetics or through reduced competition by killing weeds, as with RR. I also believe that farmers were said to make more money due to said increased yields.


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The problem being with RR....Superweeds.
So where it was supposed to increase yields the opposite is now the norm. Whole areas are being written off due to impossible conditions created by superweed encroachment, reducing viable land for crops. ergo:- less earnings.
Dread to think what it's doing to the bacteria etc in the soil.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Can, it appears it is also about expense of weed control according to this article. It also seems to be a bit complicated assesing the advantages and disadvantages from a profit perspective and probably depends on conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: benefits of rr corn


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Try this: Misgivings About How a Weed Killer Affects the Soil - NYTimes.com.

Firefox has a copy/paste option. Hi-Lite, right click, select copy as HTML and paste.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Thanks Albert, I will try that next time.


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I no longer use glyphosate because my peach trees are easily harmed by spray drift of it. There have been several mandatory GMO labeling laws proposed that have then failed due to well funded GMO industry advertising.
The GMO industry's own scientists won't eat anything with GMO in it. But, due to ease of production, higher yield, better shipping qualities, and lower energy inputs of GMO, it looks like it is here to stay until people reject it as the inferior food that it is. It is too bad that glyphosate leaches minerals out of the soil. We need those minerals in our bodies to fight cancer.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by mrclint z10SoCal Valley (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 0:58

"I frequently misspell chemical names as there are so many I can't be bothered looking them up..."
I'm trying to clarify a few points in the interest of accuracy. Surly is when you can't be bothered to spell things correctly or learn to post a link, or by being quick to state, "I've not read any research showing that the residue of this product is an issue in the healthiness of food" when I just posted a link to "Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines". The friendly thing to do would be to post a link to a contrary journal reference, rather then just resort to name calling and making excuses for being inaccurate.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Mr. Clint, we clearly don't have very good chemistry as on-line conversationalists and I will accept some of the blame for that but let's try to put animosity aside. My question was not combative- I was actually curious if such research existed. I wasn't, in this case, asserting otherwise, and I don't know why you would read that into my statement beyond a preconceived notion of what I represent.

The research you provided does not make me very concerned- maybe because I don't really understand its implications.

We have different beliefs about the importance of eating organic food for overall health. What amazes me is that no broad demographic study has been done comparing the health of people who spend their money to eat all certified organic food and those that mostly eat conventionally grown food. Seems like a relatively inexpensive kind of study to perform and would go much farther clarifying the value of such an investment of time and money for consumers.

I don't know why you get so fired up on the subject, however, as if we were on different teams. I really don't care if people choose to eat organic food and I'm not a supporter of conventional agriculture either. I am someone who goes out of their way to grow much of their own food because I prefer products not industrially grown- just for a somewhat different set of reasons then your own.

I happen to believe that whatever dangerous chemicals we get from consuming non-organic food is a relatively minor dosage compared to other sources of such chemicals. You've never responded to that line of thinking and if you want to discuss this subject with me rather than engage in combat I'm curious how you feel about that idea.

There is a huge industry in the production and distribution of organic food and I believe the claims of its importance in overall health is completely unsubstantiated. Isolated studies of certain agricultural chemicals are not really very useful to my way of thinking as the relative importance of risks are never established.

I don't see why my holding this opinion should be a source or anger or irritation to you. I don't assume my position is correct and yours is wrong and I don't think either position reflects anything that should create conflict here.


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Interesting discussion, some really good links. What I find most interesting and very disturbing is scientists thinking the louder they yell, the better their unsupported claims will be heard and taken for truth. Also the underlying reasons like to sell mineral supplements, or carbon credits etc. Thanks for the links!
The good news is it is near impossible for various groups to hide the true motives anymore. The internet certainly helps in that regard.
I myself am more concerned with other herbicides. No doubt we have to use herbicides, and to go after relatively safe ones, when so many others are so much more disruptive makes no sense to me?
For some people evidence or not, they have faith they are right. and evidence, or anything else is not going to change their minds. I give up on ever changing anyone's mind. As people are very close minded. It's almost like a religion. Certainly a lot of preaching going on.
Life expectancy keeps going up,so whatever we're doing, it's working!


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Drew, I don't think the motives of the researchers always goes beyond the normal human tendency to exaggerate the importance of ones own work or contribution to any group project.

I like the evolutionary psychological explanation of this often unconscious behavior which is that such a belief strengthens one's position in any given negotiation. If you go into a negotiation believing you deserve more than you do you'll likely end up with a larger share than if your conception was accurate.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Clint,

Did you even read your posted link??? The below is a quote from your link.

"These effects were more dependent on the formulation than on the glyphosate concentration"

Now that is very telling. One would logically gather that if the concentration of Glyphosate was raised it would be more damaging if in fact Glyphosate is the damaging agent. What the scientists are telling us though is that the formulation is the controlling agent in how damaging it is. A lot of Glyphosate formulations contain POEA and it is known to be toxic. So as you can see the link you posted is meaningless, it clearly shows that it is the additives that are causing the damage. What the scientists need to do is strip out the surfacants and additives and test just the pure Glyphosate to see if it is damaging. It would be like taking an apple pie and sprinkling it with arsenic and feed it to lab animals. When the lab animals die they would say see???? Proof that Apple pie is lethal. It amazes me how easily some people are tricked in to believing bad science.....


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Interesting information, but I believe that that spraying Roundup around fruit trees is much different than spraying Roundup over the top of GM grains. The rates per acre are much less and their is no direct contact between the herbicide and the fruit tree in the first case. I'm not concerned about the use small amounts of Roundup in the orchard but massive use of roundup in RR grain does concern me. Roundup use in orchards in my state is in a decline anyway. The current suggestion in NC is to use Roundup no more than 2 times per year in the orchard and not after June to prevent damage to the trees. Rely is an alternate product labeled in my state and may be safer for the trees but it cost about 5 times as much as Roundup


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A good tip is to always add ammonium sulfate to the tank as with it you can use much less glyphosate and get the same results.


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  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 13:46

I got some glyphosate on a few non-bearing trees this summer. It stunted them. It was really absorbed through the lower foliage. Since the trees were young, there was a lot of low foliage we had to work around. I plan to trim all that low foliage off this winter. I try to keep everything mulched as much as possible so it doesn't take as much herbicide. I only had to make one glyphosate application this summer.

Glyphosate gets a lot of bashing because of the whole GM/Monsanto thing, but it's probably one of the best products out there from an environmental and safety standpoint. Because it tightly binds to the soil, it has a very low leach potential. Compare that with atrazine products, which are the most likely substitute in field crops. They have a much higher leach potential to the point the EPA has established max. tolerance levels for atrazine in drinking water.

That's what's easy to forget, reducing glyphosate use will increase use of other herbicides, unless we want to go back to tillage, or eliminate row crows. Tillage won't eliminate herbicide use for row crops completely, but will reduce it. Of course tillage has it's own problems (soil erosion and others).

Regarding yields of Round Up ready crops, I noticed something in the Purdue study (linked above) that I've never noticed before. As I read it, they planted the GM corn but used other herbicides (not glyphosate) on the Round Up ready corn, then compared the yields.

This is not a fair comparison IMO. From my observations, other conventional herbicides stress corn and beans. I remember when Round Up ready crops became available in the 90s. The difference in my area was amazing. The crop seemed to have complete immunity to glyphosate.

Even though RoundUp was expensive back then (still being under patent) and the price of the patented seed expensive, RR crops were quickly adopted in my area because of increased yield and less use of other herbicides.

In the last year (as a result of one of these discussions on GardenWeb) I came across some information which indicated RR crops do not out-perform conventional crops and concluded RR crops don't increase yield after all. Now I'm wondering if that information was based on the Purdue study above, or some other study using the same methodology.

Many times one study isn't conclusive at all anyway. I think the best approach is a consensus of studies. This is especially true for health studies and pesticides. I don't recall ever reading a study where any pesticide had no negative effect on lab animals. The difference in the lab and real life, is of course the dosage.

The NYT article was interesting. Perhaps most interesting was the subtle battle between companies that produce RR seed and those that do not. Those which sell conventional seed can (and do) take every opportunity to bash the other side, even when it's not justifiable.

In the 90s when RR beans came out, there was a farmer down the road who planted RR beans but didn't spray them (with RoundUp or anything else). The bean field was a mess of weeds. A local field rep from another seed supplier (who sold only non-RR beans) wanted to take a picture of the field with a RR bean sign in it, to supposedly show RR technology didn't really work. I don't know if he got the picture or not, but the whole idea was a complete farce.

The question of economics with RoundUp Ready crops has always rested with the high cost of the technology. Monsanto knew the savings RR crops would generate in less herbicide use and greater yield, and priced their products accordingly (to capture as much of the savings as they could for their own pockets). I remember the dirt farmer who rented our land fussing about the high price of RR seed. He complained he had to compete with Brazilian farmers who had access to the seed (because they could save the seed back and Monsanto couldn't go after them) but didn't have to pay the high royalties.

There are more and more "superweeds" immune to glyphosate. Eventually row crop farmers will have to incorporate other herbicides in their program, but I think glyphosate will always be used to some extent.

I think the farmer in the NYT article is stretching his case way too far (probably at the encouragement of the company supplying his conventional seed). I can understand drift hurting his crop, but supposedly the rest of the crops in his field were harmed by runoff?

First of all, glyphosate doesn't move unless the soil moves. Secondly, even if he did receive some of his neighbors soil, glyphosate can't be taken up though the roots except under conditions of sandy (very low organic matter) soil. Fields are sprayed year after year with glyphosate and yields continue to go up. No way enough glyphosate washed on to the guys soil to affect his yield. His corn suffers from other causes (probably rootworms if he's not spraying).

Another thing of note is that one of the "farmers" mentioned farmed less than 400 acres. That's not a full-time farmer. Unless he has a very diverse operation, it's a hobby farmer who's under no real pressure to make a living at farming. This is something I see more and more. People who aren't really farmers being interviewed on the best way to raise food.

I saw a cooking show some time back and the host was interviewing an organic guy who "farmed" one acre. As the host was asking questions and the guy responding, the caption "farmer" flashed at the bottom of the screen. It made me laugh. I can read studies on the best way to farm just like anyone else, but if I'm going to rely on someone's experience on the best way to farm, I want him to be a real farmer.

I only have 18 acres and I don't consider it a real farm. I call it a farm, but that's just because I can't think of a better word for it. I used to farm, but that's been many years ago.

"A good tip is to always add ammonium sulfate to the tank as with it you can use much less glyphosate and get the same results."

Bamboo,

That really does help with plant uptake. I tried it for the first time this summer and cut the glyphosate back and it was still very effective on everything except bindweed. I plan to cut it back more next year.

This post is longer than I intended starting out.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Ground Ivy is a 'superweed' that I cannot kill with roundup!


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Hmmm, interesting how two comments were removed here. Is this the active editing of Mr. Clint? If so, perhaps the comments inspiring them should have been removed as well.

No one has the right to judge someone's seriousness or attitude about an issue based on a spelling error or the ability to post a link. Those are just cheap shots and not at all relevant to the discussion.

I didn't post a useful link and yet the topic has inspired an interesting discussion, including olpea's last comments.

Olpea, what about the matter of roundup changing the bulk density of soil- do you think there might be something to that? Maybe you answered that by saying that after years of roundup use soil remains productive.

The description in the article about how this might happen certainly seems reasonable.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Europe has almost completely rejected GMO crops. The following publication explains from a university/U.S. government perspective of why it is approved here.
Remember that multinational corporations own the genetics and that pollen is mobile. Many farmers have been squashed by litigation when saving and using their own seed which contained the traits. Also consider the merger of state and corporate power in the crony collectivist market system we have here in the U.S. and the revolving door between state and corporate jobs that keeps the money pumping for everyone involved. The small farmer or independent minded landowner is a target of this system.

Here is a link that might be useful: OSU Fact Sheet:GMO crops


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It is always interesting to read conflicting opinions on a subject...and just watch who can stay honorable and who gets nasty and personal. There will always be the tree-huggers and the tree-cutters. In my state it is quite difficult to obtain herbicides and pesticides that are actually effective. However, if you drive over the state border...there are few rules and restrictions on many of these things. Furthermore, I am a bit amazed at what you can ship to my state from an internet order. There is a lot of loopholes and inconsistencies in the system. Individuals surely realize that herbicides/pesticides have potentially devastating effects. Some not so much. The question is: how does this affect you, and what are you doing about it? Meanwhile, let's keep it positive, and enjoy the "fruits" of our labor.


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  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Mon, Sep 23, 13 at 21:32

"Olpea, what about the matter of roundup changing the bulk density of soil- do you think there might be something to that?"

I think it's another case where one looks at the preponderance of the scientific opinion. At this point the consensus seems to be it has no long term effect on the soil. Some farmers have been using it for more than 20 years. Even before RR crops, no-till farmers used glyphosate as a burn down before planting. That's a lot of usage. I would expect if glyphosate negatively affected the soil to a significant extent, soil symptoms would be easy to identify (from a scientific basis) yet the article mentioned the agronomists at the USDA reviewed the research and found glyphosate to be fairly benign.

At this point I'll go with the majority of USDA scientists vs. the one USDA scientist on the other side. Plus they stated the same thing I've observed. Yields have increased despite years of glyphosate usage.


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"Glyphosate gets a lot of bashing because of the whole GM/Monsanto thing, but it's probably one of the best products out there from an environmental and safety standpoint."

Olpea - When I say this It is not directed at you, but I have heard this too much. Leathal injection is "humane"....... There are many drawbacks using any agro chemical and saying they are "Safe for the environment" (even relative to others) does not show them in the proper light. They are synthetic chemicals that in all reality we havnt the foggiest idea of the long term ramifications of their use.


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"Glyphosate gets a lot of bashing because of the whole GM/Monsanto thing, but it's probably one of the best products out there from an environmental and safety standpoint."

Olpea - When I say this It is not directed at you, but I have heard this too much. Leathal injection is "humane"....... There are many drawbacks using any agro chemical and saying they are "Safe for the environment" (even relative to others) does not show them in the proper light. They are synthetic chemicals that in all reality we havnt the foggiest idea of the long term ramifications of their use.


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Canadian...I know what you are saying about the unknown, but sometimes people chase ghosts because of the "what if" factor. You mentioned "synthetic chemicals"...this is what fuels our food supply. Unless it is a "certified" organic grower (products too costly for most people)...we are eating the chemicals (synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides). It is just life in the 2013 world.


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It goes way beyond the food supply. Synthetic chemicals are absorbed by our bodies whether we eat organic food or not. Someone here a while back mentioned a study of the presence and quantities of these chemicals in our bodies having very little to do with what is sprayed on our food- this is research I find interesting but not something that gets much funding.

Every product packaged in plastic, every synthetic chemical volatile in the air which is concentrated indoors and in our cars as well as the air pollutants that are so prevalent in our cities are readily absorbed by us through our lungs, skin and mouths.

In my not particularly educated opinion , part of the reason people focus on organic food is to provide a kind of security blanket in the face of a scary and rapidly changing world. These are often people in urban areas where hospital and death rates go up every time there is a high air pollution day but this receives far less attention than the unproven benefits of eating organic food.

Personally, I'm more interested in the affects of agricultural chemicals on the land itself than their affects on my own health. I'd like to think this concern is much greater in the people who own and work the land where these chemicals are being used. Olpea helps me believe this is the case.

Of course, there is also the issue of run-off from farms, which doesn't affect the bottom line of farmers. At least with glyphosphate any environmental damage is going to be mostly contained in the area where it's used which would, in itself, seem to make it a relatively safe agricultural chemical. Any consequences of its use is "bound" to be concentrated on the property of the user.


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  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 8:13

"There are many drawbacks using any agro chemical and saying they are "Safe for the environment" (even relative to others) does not show them in the proper light. They are synthetic chemicals that in all reality we havnt the foggiest idea of the long term ramifications of their use."


Canadian,

I suppose there is some truth to that with some of the newer pesticides, but there has been considerable effort to make them safer, not more dangerous, than the older pesticides.

We've been using pesticides for a long time, so scientists have had time to study the effects on the environment. We know lead arsenate is bad the for environment. What about Guthion? We've used it for 50 years. It's one of the most dangerous pesticides used. So much so, this year is the last year it can be legally used in the U.S. It obviously has some negative impact on the environment (like all pesticides) but I don't think the negative impact is beyond most human activities in general.

I'm not saying it won't kill fish, birds, bees, etc. Pretty much any pesticide will at the right dose. What I'm saying is that historically, under normal use, I'm not aware it has caused more environmental destruction than other human activities or farming in general. Tilling soil causes a lot of destruction to the land, kills lots of rodents, destroys habitat, etc. Even mowing is pretty hard on wildlife.

In terms of the effect of these unknowns on humans, for me, the unknown part of the equation is best answered by research from those who are most exposed to these chemicals.

In this case, it would be farmers. There have been multiple studies on the life expectancy and cancer rates of farmers The life expectancy of farmer's is higher and overall cancer rates lower than the general population (If there is a study that contradicts this, I haven't seen it yet.)

This is quite surprising to me for several reasons:

From surveys, the only personal protective equipment (PPE) most farmer's wear is a pair of leather gloves and a ball cap. Even with PPE, applicator exposure to pesticides is higher than the general population. Without PPE (or with PPE farmer's typically use) exposure is higher still.

The studies are based on exposures of older (more dangerous) pesticides, yet despite being exposed to pesticides known to be more toxic, farmer life expectancy remains stubbornly higher than the general population.

Farmer's are not only have more exposure to pesticides but also more exposure to all kinds of other potentially hazardous chemicals. If you've farmed, you know what I'm referring to. Welding fumes, covered in grease, oil, diesel, etc.

Really farmers do all kinds of what would be considered risky things. I knew a farmer who once applied anhydrous ammonia with a footstep tractor because his cab tractor was broken. He "held" his breath and raced down the rows applying the ammonia. Quite funny really.

The other day, I was inside a sprayer tank welding. The fumes/smoke was so thick it was hard to see (and breathe). I hated to have to weld like that, but there was no other way to get it done. Farmers do all kinds of things like that.

For my own part, I don't expect to beat the statistics. I have too many strikes against me. My dad died at 57 of a heart attack and I never exercise because of some back and knee problems. Plus I eat too much ice cream.

To their credit, farmers probably eat better and are more active than the general population, so that could have a bearing on the statistics. How much so is purely subjective. My own opinion is that the healthy aspects of farming would not offset the higher exposure to pesticides, if the pesticides were truly dangerous at levels set by the EPA.


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Fireduck - For all our "advances" in science we still use technology and methods that are 100 years old. Just because we are used to using synthetic fertilizers does not mean we cannot grow food in other less harmful ways.

HM - "Someone here a while back mentioned a study of the presence and quantities of these chemicals in our bodies having very little to do with what is sprayed on our food- this is research I find interesting but not something that gets much funding."""

I hope you are not saying that agricultural chemicals are present in out bodies NOT from farming? I think you are saying that there will be synthetics in general in our bodies not from agriculture?

"""These are often people in urban areas where hospital and death rates go up every time there is a high air pollution day but this receives far less attention than the unproven benefits of eating organic food.""

This is a whole other can of worms. Not saying I disagree but IMO just because we are "used to it" does not mean it is the way it should/can be.

"""Of course, there is also the issue of run-off from farms, which doesn't affect the bottom line of farmers. At least with glyphosphate any environmental damage is going to be mostly contained in the area where it's used which would, in itself, seem to make it a relatively safe agricultural chemical. Any consequences of its use is "bound" to be concentrated on the property of the user."""

IT is called "run off" because of water. The problem is wate seeps into the soil bringing any chemicals down with it. The water goes into the ground water then eventually into the rivers and lakes. Using agricultural chemicals is anything but a "local" problem.

THere is the problem with bio accumulation. The ground and hard surfaces in the water will absorb some of these chemicals, it already happens with chlorine. It is held in the cells and living tissue of the aquatic life. DDT is known to have spread around an ecosyste due to the allocation of energy in the food web. It is basic ecology.

Then there is stating the obvious; How can we say it is effective, when we still use it and they have to continually make new formulas? They have switched genes in the RR crops and since monsanto gets away without doing any clinical testing becasue by their own definition "the food is the same as non GMO food" we really wont know how it can effect us and the ecosystem.

Its playing russian roullette blindfolded in the dark.....

Just to clarify as well I am not ignorant to the fact that chemicals unfortunately are the soul reason for our population increase..... and so far that population increase has a detrimental effect on the planet.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Why does one need to use RoundUp in an orchard setting? Just seed clover or whatever in the orchard and use a lawn mower to keep it short? I guess when starting an orchard it could be useful (I use woodchips/mulch). Don't recall where I read this, but the article was stating that trees grown in grass (apples) had sweeter fruit...not sure if that true or note, but my guess is that the grass soaked up excess water/N?


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

I agree Frank. OMAFRA (Ontario ministry of agriculture and Food) advocates groud covers and mulch (link below). Clovers and vetches with winter grains and short grasses. I only use mulch and ground covers. So what if I have a atch of grass a foot across? Is that really going to take that much nutrients and water from a tree whose root systems are in some ways larger and take up different levels in the soil?

I dont like the idea of a lawn ground cover. Monocultures can breed problems which we usually turn to chemicals to "correct". You mention the N uptake? If the grass is mown and left to rot in place you wouldnt loose so much nutrients in the process. The same idea would be like mowing clover or lightly turning winter vetch then using your spring/summer crop.

Using ground covers effectively can actually increase the yield of an orchard as well. The clover can be used to make clover honey. Interplanting strawberries can create a strawberry crop. Its just a matter of research and trial and error.

Here is a link that might be useful: OMAFRA cover crops


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Harvest man wrote:" I thought claims of Monsanto scientists..."

Montsanto is evil in my opinion. If they have their way, one day they will control almost all of our food supply. The power they have over our elected officials is frightening.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

> The GMO industry's own scientists won't eat anything
> with GMO in it.

I keep reading this in these kinds of discussions....but never a reference to back it up. Do you have one?


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

>Once freed, the roots spread out flat like a fan and were
>studded with only a few nodules, which are critical to the >exchange of nutrients.

What nodules is the author writing about?!?! Is she confusing soybean plants with corn?

Alex


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 15:59

"Why does one need to use RoundUp in an orchard setting? Just seed clover or whatever in the orchard and use a lawn mower to keep it short?"

Frank,

I think this is the best question on this thread.

I only have about 300 peach trees plus a few apple, cherry, plum trees and some blackberries. Very small from a commercial perspective.

Even so from my perspective, it's just plain tough to keep up with the weeds. It's different than mowing your lawn once a week. And it's so very different than taking care of trees in a backyard orchard.

With all these trees it's a constant battle to keep the weeds down. They want to grow up through the trees every time you turn around. Our trees aren't even mature and we are constantly chopping weeds under the canopies.

I've talked to organic growers and this is the biggest challenge to them as well. Most of them give up on fruits they can't grow organically, but still face the continual weed pressure. Several years ago I toured the site of an organic grower around here and noticed the growth under her apple trees was different than the surrounding grass. I asked her about it and she sheepishly told me she was using Roundup under her trees.

I use wood chips as mulch and it's still tough to keep up. We've used gramoxone to burn the weeds down and the weeds need sprayed again two weeks later. You can't get the herbicide on the trunk of young trees, so you have to go through the rows to chop weeds close to trunks, and they pop right back up (amazingly quickly). As gardeners, how often have we let weeds get away from us in the garden. It seems like a daunting task to go out and finally weed the garden. Imagine that multiplied by 1000.

I mow as much as I can under the trees with a sickle mower, but the weeds quickly figure out how close they need to be to the trees to be safe from the mower.

I would never plant a legume like clover in my area. As many universities in the Midwest have attested, they draw stink bugs like a magnet. Plus blooming crops are a no no if you care about bees and have to spray. You'll kill the pollinators.

If I tried to push mow under trees, I'd be mowing all summer, and I'm small time. I know the guy who runs the only wholesale peach orchard around here. He has 9000 trees. If you suggested push mowing to him, he would look at you like you were from Mars.

It's just so very different when you are trying to grow food for profit. You have to count labor.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

"Montsanto is evil in my opinion"

I heard they even eat their own children!


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Can, glyphosphate binds to the soil so runoff can only occur with erosion- that is my point. Even if it runs off in this state it is presumably inert because of this binding. You'd have to eat the soil itself to get it in your body.

You don't need to use Roundup in non-commercial orchards and most sites aren't like olpea's. In worse areas around here I can throw 3" of woodchips over woven landscape fabric and not need any other weed control for a season except a tiny bit of hand pulling near the trunks. Many sites the fabric isn't necessary- especially if you use shredded woodchips. I manage hundreds of acres of orchard area without ever resorting to herbicides but we aren't trying to make money by selling fruit.

In commercial orchards sod middles with herbicide managed tree rows are the norm because less competition from weeds means larger yields and quicker establishment. Other methods of managing weeds are more expensive and without maximum profit you may be out of business.

The idea that Monsanto is evil is silly, in my opinion. Corporations have no souls (not that I actually think people do) and they generally have no ethics. It is their job to make money only and our job to maintain a government that makes sure they don't do too much harm along the way. If corporations have our government bought off you can't blame Monsanto for that. You don't disarm unilatterally if you want to survive. Monsanto plays by the same rules as most corporations.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Is their any way to use cover crops under the trees? Or like a prairie landscape? I guess not with some of your comments.I don't use roundup myself, never have. But I have more finger's than trees. I feel your pain Olpea! Thanks for trying to produce unique fruits for public consumption. If I lived near you I would be buying whatever you had for sale.
I like a lot of people here, but some of the opinions are way out there. If you feel too many people are on this earth, that is sad. I would think then you would be in favor of using harmful chemicals to cull our numbers. Or even war. I myself feel whom am I to decide such things? I do know the earth doesn't care one lick in what we do. The only reason to care is to make life better for humans. Any other reason is silly. What's sad is one day all evidence of life ever being on this planet will be wiped out. No living thing get's out alive after the sun goes out. Maybe a few satellites sent out of the solar system will be the only record that anything was even here. So is the way of the universe.
At any time a moon size asteroid could go by within a few hundred thousand miles and just ripe our atmosphere off the earth, and that will be it. You can't change the laws of physics. Seize the day!


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Come on Drew, you can imagine a more appealing myth and possible future. Can't you? Anything is possible. If humans somehow manage to survive long enough they needn't be tied to this planet or even to a biological expression of existence. Technology just moves faster and faster now that billions of minds are computer linked. Human consciousness is already an electronic-biological hybrid.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Some possible reasons why GMO industry scientists don't want to eat the stuff:

Here is a link that might be useful: GMO soy studies of mammalian reproductive effects


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 22:02

Reported instances of conventional farmers only buying organic produce from other operators for personal consumption are not unique. There's that business with no soul for you - yet it affects other people to take that approach, because

BUSINESSES DO NOT OPERATE IN ISOLATION AND WITH NO IMPACTS ON THE PUBLIC WELFARE

Won't eat their own factory farm strawberries, because they "know what's on them" (actual statement) but it's okay to send them off by the truckload for other people to eat because, hey, it's just business.

Glyphosate sprayed on forest lands can be recovered in recognizable states miles downstream.

Individuals can limit drift by mounting the top half of a bleach bottle on spray nozzles, to form a hood.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

>Some possible reasons why GMO industry scientists don't
>want to eat the stuff:

I'm asking for a reference to support your claim that "The GMO industry's own scientists won't eat anything with GMO in it". The reference you provided does not address that.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

It is always interesting to see people "compete" for their point of view. Portions of this thread have become a bit strange to me. haha


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Olpea - I guess your stance depends on what we would call weeds? No plant is "useless", and all plants attract certain insects. I have never seen stinkbugs here or any warnings about using such in ontario orchards. Most of the time it will pop up anyways, so why waste time pulling it if its just an upward battle?

I have plants but up against eachother and they all connect across the yard. Sure, its not untrue that it is a "highway" for pests but for beneficials as well. The second i started spraying aphids this year the worse they got. I did nothing and within 2 there were no aphids, just a whole bunch of ladybugs. Basically I learned to see that situation not as an infestation of aphids but a lack of ladybugs.

In my experience there are only 2 real "Weeds" ; Ground ivy and lawn grass. Mind you it does smell good when crushed and has its uses but its almost impossible to get rid of. They arent hurting anything mind you, I just understand they are unwanted not harmful, therefore see no need to use harsh chemicals.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 10:17

Canadian,

I think Canada is different than the lower Midwest where I'm at. By all accounts the colder weather, shorter growing season, and less precipitation limits insect pests (and weeds) quite a bit. If there is anywhere where a permaculture of diverse food plants can work in harmony to produce a significant amount of food, it's places like Canada, or moderated climates with low precip like California.

Here I wish aphids was the only thing I had to worry about. There are so many other pests, aphids aren't even on the radar.

I don't pull legumes up, but I wouldn't plant them in my orchard either. According to Penn State:

"Cultural Management

Preventing broadleaved winter annual weeds and legumes in and around orchards can reduce the populations of these bugs. Legumes such as clover and vetch should be avoided as cover crops. Good control of early blooming broadleaved weeds may improve the performance of catfacing sprays."
See link below

Stink bugs blow in from the field south of me when it's planted in beans.

In re-reading my post above, I see I exaggerated a little on the amount of effort in controlling weeds. We probably don't spray the same area with gramoxone every two weeks (although sometimes we do spray for weeds every two weeks, but a different areas of the orchard). Glyphosate lasts much longer since it kills the roots.

It's just hard not to become emotional about weeds. We devote such a disproportionate amount of time controlling them (spraying, mowing, chopping, moving mulch to smother them). It wears you out.

I agree most home orchards wouldn't have to use herbicide to control them.

For me it's not a question of managing for maximum profit, I'm just trying to survive. I keep my trees low and weeds seem to grow up through the canopy every time I turn around. This topic is near and dear to my heart. I feel it just about every time I go out to the farm.

Here is a link that might be useful: Penn State Extension


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Point taken Olpea.

I will state that in some ways the stigma that we dont have pests up here is not true. Up here we had dutch elm in the 60s and 70s wiped out almost evey street tree in the city. We also had an outbeak of ash borer a few years ago (which was controlled).

Its hard to grow any ribes becasue of the natural predators here. My Jostaberry and pixwell gooseberry get eaten every year so far. The pests we DO have tend to be a bigger problem where pests are more diverse as well. I have never seen an aphid outbreak like we had this year. They only really attacked 2 plants though: Rose "the hunter" and my toka plum. Both had vigorous lush growth though. Lots of green wood.

Please dont take my above post as an personal attack, I just dont understand why people make such a big deal about unwanted plants. I guess I am on the opposite side of the spectrum of you lol. In my mind I would rather have a patch of grass in my beds then have bare soil or take the time to pull them (unless I am replacing them with something desierable).

I have read and seen people spend all day weeding and I did not want to spend my time making my garden "perfect". No weed will be harmful enough (minus hogweed of course) for me to sweat over it. In some cases I am surprised by what comes up and what those "weeds" do. Many of the plants people consider weeds up here are actually some of the best plants to attract bees.

I will say as well. Permaculture has been used in the tropics, africa, the middle east, up 5000M in austria (sepp holzer) the UK and even in new mexico. Each area has its challenges which IMO is the best part of using pemaculture, observation and trial and error.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Whoever said the GMO scientist won't eat GMO products: Truth is more important then agenda, so don't just believe stuff automatically because it is on your side. We avoid GMO's in my house but I have experience with large corporations through contract work, and my experience is the opposite of that. I haven't done anything at Monsanto, but did work for an evil drug company and my observation is that the people who work there are enthusiastic about the products and use them personally. many drug scientist use themselves to take experimental drugs as the most direct route to learning certain details (like dizzy, tired etc) Same positive attitude at the big evil bank, fast food, and so on. BTW, worst place was a VA office building. That was a horrible environment. No one willing to say anything or do anything helpful as it might come back on them. Being PC is job #1.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Here is one well publicized instance where GMO industry scientists won't eat GMO.
If glyphosate binds to minerals, then logically they are less available to the plants. Plants absorb minerals in the soil even if they don't need them. See the studies about mercury and lead uptake into corn. I use roundup too, but I really don't want to eat anything grown in it, and that is of course my choice.

Here is a link that might be useful: Corporate scientists refuse GMO food in corporate cafeteria


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Glyphosate and breast cancer:
www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170

Glyphosate and the chelation of minerals:
http://www.goodfruit.com/Good-Fruit-Grower/September-2010/Use-glyphosate-with-caution/

GMO potato news:
http://www.naturalnews.com/030411_GM_potatoes_food_supply.html

Here is a link that might be useful: Synergistic health hazards of glyphosate


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 19:30

Swamps,

A careful reading of the article linked indicates it has nothing to do with Monsanto's employee preferences.

It's an independent catering company that Monsanto has hired to serve it's employees that has made the decision to serve non-GMO food.

The article stated that Monsanto employees actually preferred GM products because they are sprayed with less pesticides.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

The catering company changed its policy due to customer requests. The "customer" was that particular office cafeteria, monsanto employees specifically, who didn't want it served there.

See my other links for reasons you may not want to eat gmo.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Notice that in the article in question, that there are two separate cafeterias mentioned. The pharma factory and the agribusiness facility.

It was the pharma factory people that didn't want to eat it. There was no mention of who was serving the agribusiness facility the gmo they wanted to eat. But we all know that agribusiness loves gmo anyway.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 21:26

"The catering company changed its policy due to customer requests. The "customer" was that particular office cafeteria, monsanto employees specifically, who didn't want it served there.

Swamps,

I don't read that in the article. According to the article, the owners of the catering company made the decision. The article doesn't state the decision was based on any customer preference. To wit:

"Sutcliffe Catering, owned by the Granada Group, said it had taken the decision "to remove, as far as practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant."

Notice at the end of the article it says "now it appears that even Monsanto's own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology." (emphasis added) It doesn't say anything about Monsanto's employees. It appears it was purely the decision of the catering firm. I can't imagine Friends of Earth would let it slide by if Monsanto's own employees requested non-GMO food.

I've reprinted the full article below:

"Monsanto, the biggest promoter of genetically modified food, was hoist with its own petar when it was disclosed that it has a staff canteen in which GM produce is banned.
The firm running the canteen at Monsanto's pharmaceuticals factory at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, serves only GM-free meals, Friends of the Earth said. In a notice in the canteen, Sutcliffe Catering, owned by the Granada Group, said it had taken the decision "to remove, as far as practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant. We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve."
Monsanto confirmed the position. "Yes, this is the case, and it is because we believe in choice," said the company's spokesman, Tony Coombes. But employees at Monsanto's agribusiness plant at Cambridge were happy to eat GM produce, he said. "The notice in the restaurant there says some products may contain GMOs [genetically modified organisms] - because our staff are happy to eat food sprayed with fewer chemicals."
Monsanto says crops engineered to be tolerant of its own weedkillers need less pesticide, but critics say that though the dosage may be less, the impact on the environment of these pesticides is much greater. Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth's food campaigner, said: "The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear - now it appears that even Monsanto's own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology."


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

The pubmed abstract is interesting, though it's impossible to say from that how it relates to people eating food from plants that have been sprayed with roundup.

The second article makes the claim " This property, chelation, is the mode by which glyphosate kills plants.". This is total nonsense. If it were true, then the genetic modifications made to roundup ready crops would not work to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate kills plants by blocking the synthesis of some amino acids (curiously, mentioned later in the article). Specifically, it interferes with the activity of the EPSPS enzyme. RR plants have a modified version of that enzyme, making them resistant to roundup. If glyphosate was killing the plants by chelation, modifying the EPSPS enzyme would have no effect.

The natural news article is clearly written by someone with a poor understanding of biology. He writes: "loaded with genetically altered amino acids". More nonsense. The amino acids themselves are not altered. The genetic code is altered, which leads to a different sequence of amino acids in the produced protein. "Altered protein" or "altered gene" is fine, but the structure of the amino acids remains the same. He then writes "The genetic intelligence of the host could be disrupted with the introduction of the new gene, creating an adverse reaction". I have never heard the term "genetic intelligence". Any idea what it means?

He says genetic modification defiles nature......clearly some kind of philosophical objection, not a scientific one.

A lot of the claims made by GMO critics seem to depend on the premise that farmers are not smart enough to assess the condition of their soil, and unable to do the simple arithmetic of figuring out yield and profit.

I think there are genuine concerns regarding the use of an herbicide on millions of acres. It's really unfortunate that those concerns get drowned out by so much loud nonsense.

Alex


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

I don't think anyone here really believes that the owners of the catering company forced their way in to the plant's cafeteria. They were chosen to serve the food by the people working at the plant.

Yum, biotech food! It's "proven technology". It's safe and good for you.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Alex, that is true of so many controversial subjects. Thoughtful and reasonable dialogue between opposing opinions just doesn't make good entertainment. Much more fun to appoint hidden and wicked agendas to the opposition and make all fights about your good against their evil.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Harvestman says:

"fly by night- no names no references just pure sweet propaganda without a table of contents. i believe, i so believe

those evil scientists and their conspiracies will be the death of us all. why do they do this? probably cause they sucked at sports and we never liked them."

The biotech companies do have a hidden and wicked agenda that I would ascribe to their financiers and controlling interests, not the scientists. That agenda includes population reduction and pushing people off the land and back into cities where they can easily be controlled. Key to this plan is the biotech itself which allows for very limited human involvement in food production. This reason alone is enough for me to reject biotech food.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

  • Posted by olpea zone 6 KS (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 26, 13 at 21:47

"I don't think anyone here really believes that the owners of the catering company forced their way in to the plant's cafeteria. They were chosen to serve the food by the people working at the plant."

Swamps,

It's not that Monsanto employees specifically hired a catering firm who served only non-GM food, rather the catering firm (owned by the Granada Group) already had a contract with Monsanto, and Granada made the decision to start serving only non-GM food. Granada's decision was not specific to the Monsanto Canteen, but a blanket ban which covered all of Granada's Catering business.

This occurred in 1999 when the public GM debate was extremely intense in Britain. The British Parliment had banned GM foods from their work supplied meals and restaurants. 24 of the leading 30 food manufacturers operating in the UK had removed GM ingredients and derivatives, or were in the process of doing so. Sutcliffe Catering (i.e. Granada Group) was simply following suit.

Monsanto responded to the decision by stating, "Yes, this is the case, and it is because we believe in choice."

The BBC had a more in depth and objective article about it, which is linked below

Here is a link that might be useful: BBC - Monsanto's caterers ban GM foods


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Excuse me Swamp, but you quoted my "poetry" out of context- a fact you should at least acknowledge if you are going to quote me. That was written in response to an article on another post that seemed to suggest a dark conspiracy by climate scientists (yup, pretty much all of 'em and over the entire world) to promote the "fiction of man-made climate change".

But as long as you brought it up here I do think a little satire is in order in response to those who paint Monsanto as evil.

Can you be evil if you are not equipped with a conscience? Are lawyers evil if they represent guilty clients?

If you believe Monsanto is evil I think you are pretty much saying that you consider corporate capitalism to be evil.

In Europe Monsanto is constantly being shackled by various governments. Maybe the "sin" of Monsanto's tactics lies in the soul of U. S. government and not Monsanto.

Instead of getting all fired up about an individual corporation your energy might be better spent in trying to get corporate funding out of campaign financing in this country so our congress is not so beholden to the corporations that currently finance the career survival of the people we rely on to protect us from damaging corporate policy.

This may not be any more hopeful of a quest than signalling out Monsanto's agenda but at least you'd be focusing on the central problem.

Or you cold strive for revolution and attempt to create a government based on the theories of Marx or some other model not proven to work in herding our species into a reasonably cooperative synergy.


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RE: Interesting article about glysphosphate

Ill just post this quote from monsantos website

""Why aren’t you running human clinical trials on GM crops?
Because existing food crops are recognized as safe, the logical starting point for safety assessment of a GM food is to ask “what’s different?”

Safety assessment can then be appropriately focused on what is different about the GM crop. All GM crops are analyzed and compared to non-GM counterparts in order to determine whether they have similar concentrations of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, amino acids, fiber, vitamins and a variety of other components. Two crops which are alike in all respects are said to be “substantially equivalent.”

All crops vary in nutrient and other components. No two crops--or even samples of the same crop--are identical. Substantial equivalence, more technically, means that the range of concentrations for components of the GM crop falls within the typical range for the non-GM counterpart.""

Bascally they are saying they dont need safety trials because the food is a "substantial equivalent" to non gmo food. They are saying its the same so why test it?

That statement alone speaks volumes IMO


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