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   PastimesGenetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

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To: LLCF who wrote (90)8/8/2010 2:37:45 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (91)8/15/2010 1:28:29 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
Judge Revokes Approval of Modified Sugar Beets

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (92)8/21/2010 11:42:34 PM
From: A.J. Mullen
   of 103
Judge Revokes Approval of Modified Sugar Beets

Interesting. I'm in favor of GM crops. One big plus is the potential for reduction in the use of pesticides. That's not the case for round-up ready crops. I don't know the law, but clearly round-up ready crops allows for massive increases in application of pesticides - something worth some thought.

I prefer the more subtle approach of getting a crop to produce its own pesticide, and Monsanto is a pioneer in this field too. In this case, it might be more important that safety be established and Monsanto got an easy ride for those crops too. There's reference to criticism of Monsanto and the FDA here: Message 26249071, and a discussion follows.

It's the old story: GM is a powerful tool. It could be of great use, and it might do considerable damage in some circumstances. Some are opposed to any GM. That's a mistake, but it doesn't mean all opposition is ill-founded.


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To: A.J. Mullen who wrote (93)8/22/2010 1:26:40 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
Thanks for the link!
I don't have any knowledge about the toxicity of herbicides
versus pesticides and haven't given it much thought up til
now. I'll tell you a story anyway though (any invitation
to chew up an ear)

When my kids were toddlers, before that really, and I knew
they'd be crawling around on the lawn, I went to an organic
lawn and yard. I suppose it was mostly organic to begin with
but I went further and have used no pesticides or herbicides
around the house over the past decade. My youngest seems to
be on a kick of chewing on grass a lot, we spend a lot of
time on the lawn, it was an easy choice--extra weeds and
extra bugs are easy to live with.

So, the other day a nest of ants came streaming up out of
a crack in our driveway--close enough to invade the garage.
Without thinking, I went to my storage chest with all the
various unused poisons I've never thrown out (waiting
for a hazardous material pick up day I suppose).

I grab a can of hornet spray--the sort you aim at the nest,
and I soak all the ants. Bug spray, all over the driveway
where the girls walk, barefoot, where they climb in and out
of a pool I'd set up.

What have I done?! Well, this is getting long and boring but
in a nutshell I was nervous for only the time it took to
read up on the chemical. Turns out I hadn't contaminated my
yard with arsenic, but rather a small amount of a synthetic
pyrethroid. Well, I'm no chemist, but after a few minutes
of reading, I'm perfectly comfortable and wont hesitate to
grab that can again if another swarm of ants return.

Anyway, I think if I could see the amount of herbicides and
pesticides that go into raising the crops we eat...and if
I knew more about how they break down (and whether meaningful
amounts actually remain in the environment) then I'd could
make an intelligent choice between organic and regular food
etc etc. But of course I'm not even that far along!

The question of how I feel about GMOs is even farther removed.
I eat them, they taste great, they're cheaper than organic
food most of the time--and that's all I know. It is a wonder
I was into biotech stocks at one time for all I know.

Anyway, I'll be sure to read that Monsanto subthread on the
biotech valuation board, thanks very much for that and
thanks for enduring my little anecdote.

(here it that url again for anybody who had trouble with a
comma or something that kept it from working for me)
Message 26249071

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (94)8/22/2010 3:20:47 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
fwiw, Monsanto, Syngenta and The Scotts Miracle-grow company,
two year stock performance:

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (95)8/31/2010 1:56:07 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
Gates Foundation ties with Monsanto under fire from activists

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From: waitwatchwander9/14/2010 11:06:44 AM
   of 103
... meeting the enemy and discovering it’s us

Fish facts

• What happened: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration launched a 60-day approval process on Friday for genetically modified North Atlantic salmon. If approved, it would be the first animal to be engineered as food for human consumption in North America.

• How it’s done: Growth hormones from two salmon varieties, Chinook and ocean pout, are added to conventional Atlantic salmon, which grows twice as fast as similar fish. That lowers the cost and greatly increasing production.

• What’s next: The FDA holds a meeting for public input Sept. 21. If approved, GM salmon will be in stores within two to three years. A 31-member coalition of consumer, animal welfare, environmental and fishery groups has formed to oppose approval.

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (96)3/7/2011 2:51:58 PM
From: LLCF
1 Recommendation   of 103


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From: LLCF8/30/2011 2:03:46 PM
   of 103
Message 27604813


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To: LLCF who wrote (99)9/9/2011 12:27:56 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
I've only driven through the grain states once, and
certainly don't know a thing about farming. But I'm
going to express an idea you see in science fiction
stories and such...

In the future, we will have thousands of strips of land running
through the corn belt. There will be bugs and birds and
foxes and a whole ecology. Much more diverse and wider
versions of the hedgerow. Surely there are less productive
areas of land that ought to be pulled from production right now.

On vacation, I drove U.S. highway 2 across the northern part of the
Columbia basin recently--during the wheat harvest. I'd like to have
seen pockets of natural vegetation, especially in the cooler wetter hollows
where the grain was still green and not even ready for harvest.

I'm sure some farmers here do have hedgerows and such. And maybe taking
land out of production causes problems for adjacent farmland that is
still productive, I don't know. Of course I have heard about reserves
for pests, so that they do not become resistant--but maybe the nation
needs to have a whole lot more of that.

I'm just expressing something that is very obvious, but I hadn't thought
about it recently and always welcome the chance to think out loud.

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