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   PastimesGenetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)


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To: LLCF who wrote (84)6/28/2010 6:18:22 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
 
I enjoy posting and getting feedback--although I pretty much
confine it to the personal computer thread now. As far as
the biotech guys, the core group of about half a dozen is
still here, I havn't been monitoring those threads--and
I don't expect to be speculating in biotech again, but
it was a great experience when the market was hot.

Getting back to GMOs, here are fast growing salmon
nytimes.com

I don't mind saying that fast growing salmon make
me uneasy--but in general GMO crops do not. I'll leave
it there--I'm just not informed or educated well enough to
say anything one way or the other about GMOs. I certainly
do eat plenty of them--I'm not really into the orgainic
free range 'sustainable' movement.

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (85)6/29/2010 11:38:19 AM
From: LLCF
   of 103
 
<I'm just not informed or educated well enough to
say anything one way or the other about GMOs.>

Me neither... AND my concern is that:

1.) It's not an issue of education... NO ONE fully understands how it works. I recommend a general reading on developmental biology... as that is where all the interesting info on evolution is coming out of. Good search words for learning about how little we know about how genes work are "epigentics" & "micro-Rna's" for a starter.

2.) There are many of the "movers and shakers" are in the same position as we are but are either too close to the trees to realize they don't understand the forest, OR won't admit it.

DAK

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To: LLCF who wrote (86)6/29/2010 9:14:03 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
 
I haven't thought it out at all--but I do have
a kneejerk reaction to farm raised Atlantic
salmon, and I never buy it. Now intellectually
I should eat more fish, especially oily salmon
which is so good for you, but I only treat myself
to a little wild salmon now and then. Having
cheap farm raised fish is probably a net net
good thing and I think I'd be on very thin ice
if I said it is in any way different from wild
(except to say that it competes with fishermen,
and that when it isn't colored it looks to me
rather unappealing).

I've been eating more halibut lately, gosh it has
been good and they had a good catch this season.

I'll try to do a little reading and maybe I'll get
around to clarifying my unease about farm raised
salmon--if I figure it out. I eat pork--and it is
a little nutty to do that and be at all squeamish
about farm raised fish. My stomach is stronger than
my intellect.

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (87)6/29/2010 9:32:06 PM
From: LLCF
   of 103
 
< Having
cheap farm raised fish is probably a net net
good thing and I think I'd be on very thin ice
if I said it is in any way different from wild>

Oh, it's different... you can see it, feel it and taste it. That's not to say one shouldn't eat it. :)) OTOH, like farming, it probably depends on HOW it is raised.

<<(except to say that it competes with fishermen,
and that when it isn't colored it looks to me
rather unappealing).>>

Well, there is also the lack of plentiful fish in the wild these dayz... good reason to eat farm raised fish right there.

DAK

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To: LLCF who wrote (88)6/30/2010 11:42:32 AM
From: No Mo Mo
   of 103
 
Here's a very good source of info about quality and sustainability of fish/seafood:

montereybayaquarium.org

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To: No Mo Mo who wrote (89)6/30/2010 1:18:53 PM
From: LLCF
   of 103
 
Thanks! Wonder if there are similar groups commenting on GMO crops... some of it certainly doesn't seem to make sense to me... but of course common sense doesn't = "scientific proof" that something is harmful... ie. cigarettes. :)

It is interesting to me that supposedly there is evidence creeping up way down at the protien level:

responsibletechnology.org

FOR sure we know that genes work via multi-level mechanisms which NOBODY fully understands... ie. we don't understand the full effects on the plant or consumer.

In fact, on the crop level (not getting into what people eat) GMO acceptance represents an acceptance as safe and understood of an area of science in it's infancy that no scientist claims to understand.

THis business accepted by some that plant breeding used for thousands of years = today's version of GMO is really ignorant IMHO... it would be interesting of there are any scientists around SI that understand this stuff would comment.

DAK

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

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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
nytimes.com

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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.

Ashley

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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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