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  1. 27 Oct '16 07:19 / 1 edit
    Yesterday I was reading an article in which the Hungarian government destroyed by fire thousands of acres of crops that had at least some percentage of genetically modified crops.

    http://www.offgridquest.com/news/hungarians-just-destroyed-all-monsanto-g

    The article claims,

    GMO seeds are not considered worrisome and dangerous simply because they are modified, but it is that they are modified to handle massive doses of glyphosate (Roundup), and not die. They are made to take baths in the chemical herbicide that is so dangerous for human consumption, and it is the fear that the buildup of glyphosate within crops is a potential cause for the recent rapid increase in autism, cancers, and other long-term developing illnesses. The company Monsanto has been so aggressive legally to cover up any public ill, believed to be hushing farmers, buying off segments of the government and paying off scientists in the U.S. that it is hard for anyone to know what logistical data has been soured, and what truths to believe. It has become easier for countries like Hungary to plow under the crop than to try to disseminate between what is fact and what is farse with Monsanto's disastrous reputation and communication failures.

    Is there any evidence for these claims that a buildup of glyphosate within crops is a potential cause for the recent rapid increase in autism, cancers, and other long-term developing illnesses? That companies are buying off government and scientists?

    What effect does the use of glyphosate have on the environment? Does its extensive use adversely affect bees by way of example?

    If anyone knows anything about it or can point me in the right direction I would be very appreciative.
  2. 27 Oct '16 08:19 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Is there any evidence for these claims that a buildup of glyphosate within crops is a potential cause for the recent rapid increase in autism, cancers, and other long-term developing illnesses? That companies are buying off government and scientists?
    If there was, your source would not need to claim that there was a massive cover up and would simply give references.

    There are many chemicals used in farming today, and GM crops are far from being unique in this. In fact, GM crops typically require fewer chemicals, although there may be exceptions.

    The reality is that there is a lot of politics in agriculture so it is hard to sort out the politics from the facts. The real reason for burning the GM crops probably had nothing whatsoever to do with the claimed reasons.

    Does its extensive use adversely affect bees by way of example?
    Very unlikely given that it is a herbicide not an insecticide.


    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate
    Based on Wikipedia I would say there is a possibility that there is a cancer risk in very high doses but probably not in the doses found in diet. Keep in mind that almost any substance poses some cancer risk. You, for example, should be a lot more concerned about alcohol.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866727
  3. 27 Oct '16 08:29 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If there was, your source would not need to claim that there was a massive cover up and would simply give references.

    There are many chemicals used in farming today, and GM crops are far from being unique in this. In fact, GM crops typically require fewer chemicals, although there may be exceptions.

    The reality is that there is a lot of politics in ...[text shortened]... fect bees by way of example?

    Very unlikely given that it is a herbicide not an insecticide.[/b]
    I found this

    http://naturalsociety.com/mit-scientist-glyphosate-to-cause-autism-in-50-of-children-by-2025/

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/

    and I am in the process of wading through it, it will take not a little time. A couple of questions though, if GM crops are less resistant to disease then why must they be sprayed with hefty amounts of Glyphosate? Is the claim false? Also even though its a herbicide its airborne and may affect bees and other organisms in ways that were previously not accounted for, after all even though it was designed for a specific purpose does not mean that its not toxic.
  4. 27 Oct '16 09:01
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    If there was, your source would not need to claim that there was a massive cover up and would simply give references.

    There are many chemicals used in farming today, and GM crops are far from being unique in this. In fact, GM crops typically require fewer chemicals, although there may be exceptions.

    The reality is that there is a lot of politics in ...[text shortened]... ample, should be a lot more concerned about alcohol.
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/866727
    The opinions from the wikipedia article are conflicting.
  5. 27 Oct '16 12:54
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I found this

    http://naturalsociety.com/mit-scientist-glyphosate-to-cause-autism-in-50-of-children-by-2025/
    All that article says is that there is a correlation between two graphs that slowly increase over time. The danger there is that you could pick absolutely anything that slowly increases over time and it too will show a correlation.
    To be convincing, we need to see data showing a strong correlation between geographical use of the chemical and autism.

    A couple of questions though, if GM crops are less resistant to disease then why must they be sprayed with hefty amounts of Glyphosate?
    Huh?
    1. GM crops are not less resistant to disease.
    2. Glyphosphate is a herbicide used to get rid of weeds. Weeds compete for nutrients and sunlight and have very little to do with disease.

    Also even though its a herbicide its airborne and may affect bees and other organisms in ways that were previously not accounted for, after all even though it was designed for a specific purpose does not mean that its not toxic.
    Of course that is true. But just because something might be the case doesn't mean it is. You could say the same about all farm products and in fact all chemicals. Most are tested fairly extensively before being approved. I think you will find that insecticides are generally more harmful to bees than herbicides - and there are plenty of insecticides in use. It seems silly to start looking for poison in the bread while you are stuffing yourself with arsenic pills.

    Keep in mind too that the Glyphosate has been used from long before GM crops existed and it is not exclusively used on GM crops.
  6. 27 Oct '16 13:06 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    I found this

    http://naturalsociety.com/mit-scientist-glyphosate-to-cause-autism-in-50-of-children-by-2025/

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/.
    I have gone through it and through one of her presentations. Although I see no harm in investigating links between such chemicals and diseases, it is interesting that she has no actual evidence whatsoever. All she has is a claimed correlation between various diseases that are on the rise and a rising use of this particular product.

    Given that many other chemicals have seen increased use over the same time period that is simply not enough. She needs to show some strong correlation by location, or show some actual scientific evidence for a mechanism by which the chemical causes harm, or show human or animal studies with proper methodology showing evidence of a strong correlation.

    Given that correlation by location would not be at all hard to do, it is surprising that she has not done so - especially given that such statistical analysis is her speciality.
  7. 27 Oct '16 14:50 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I have gone through it and through one of her presentations. Although I see no harm in investigating links between such chemicals and diseases, it is interesting that she has no actual evidence whatsoever. All she has is a claimed correlation between various diseases that are on the rise and a rising use of this particular product.

    Given that many oth ...[text shortened]... ng that she has not done so - especially given that such statistical analysis is her speciality.
    Yes this was my thoughts as well, I wondered perhaps if she said more in her presentations because mostly she offers the same power point presentations and its difficult to see what substantiating evidence there is.
  8. 27 Oct '16 15:00 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    All that article says is that there is a correlation between two graphs that slowly increase over time. The danger there is that you could pick absolutely anything that slowly increases over time and it too will show a correlation.
    To be convincing, we need to see data showing a strong correlation between geographical use of the chemical and autism.

    [ ...[text shortened]... sate has been used from long before GM crops existed and it is not exclusively used on GM crops.
    GM crops are not less resistant to disease? I thought that was one of the reasons why companies advocate their use? If not then what is the point? Glyphosphate is also used just prior to harvesting as a crop desiccation although several countries have banned its use as such.
  9. 27 Oct '16 16:18
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    GM crops are not less resistant to disease? I thought that was one of the reasons why companies advocate their use? If not then what is the point? Glyphosphate is also used just prior to harvesting as a crop desiccation although several countries have banned its use as such.
    A GM crop is any crop that has been genetically modified. There are many such modifications in existence. There is almost nothing that one can say about all of them.

    The ones that go in association with Glyphosphate are crops that have been genetically modified specifically to be resistant to Glyphosphate. This means the farmer can spray the whole field with herbicide without killing his crop. It has nothing whatsoever to do with disease resistance. It does mean that farmers use more herbicide which is the concern in this particular instance.

    There are other GM crops that have been modified to include insecticide in the plant tissues thus making them resistant to pests. This allows the farmer to use less pesticide.

    I do not actually know of any GM crops that are more resistant to disease, but they may exist. Making them less resistant to disease wouldn't make any sense, so I will assume that was a typo.
  10. 27 Oct '16 17:49 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    A GM crop is any crop that has been genetically modified. There are many such modifications in existence. There is almost nothing that one can say about all of them.

    The ones that go in association with Glyphosphate are crops that have been genetically modified specifically to be resistant to Glyphosphate. This means the farmer can spray the whole fiel ...[text shortened]... Making them less resistant to disease wouldn't make any sense, so I will assume that was a typo.
    In Scotland we have banned the introduction of GM crops because there is simply no necessity to introduce them. As for the benefits,

    Herbicide-resistant soybeans and corn (maize), for example, can be “weeded” with herbicides that are more effective, less toxic, and cheaper than the alternatives. Cotton and corn have been modified to incorporate Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes, producing proteins that are toxic only to larval pests. Crops can also be modified to ward off plant viruses or fungi. Even though the seed is more expensive, these GM crops lower the costs of production by reducing inputs of machinery, fuel, and chemical pesticides. In addition, due to more effective pest control, crop yields are often higher.

    http://www.rff.org/blog/2010/benefits-genetically-modified-crops-and-costs-inefficient-regulation

    you can readily see that they have been modified to resist certain types in infestation and disease as well as be resistant to herbicides.

    This is of some interest.

    http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol4/iss1/art13/
  11. 27 Oct '16 18:59
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    In Scotland we have banned the introduction of GM crops because there is simply no necessity to introduce them.
    No, you have banned them for two reasons:
    1. Political reasons.
    2. Misinformation about them because of political reasons.

    you can readily see that they have been modified to resist certain types in infestation and disease as well as be resistant to herbicides.
    Interesting. I wasn't aware of that, but thought it might be possible. But as I said, it is only one possible modification, so any comments / arguments with regards to disease resistance should only apply to those GM crops with that specific attribute.

    This is of some interest.
    http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol4/iss1/art13/

    Although interesting, the reality is that outside politics it is a mistake to group all GM crops together. All crops, GM included should be considered in any study. There is absolutely no reason to group say GM beans that have improved disease resistance with GM corn that is herbicide resistant and treat them as having common attributes to be studied.
    Rather when choosing a crop for a given area you should study all available crops GM or otherwise and make a choice.
    Legislation against GM is as I say above entirely political and non-scientific.
  12. 27 Oct '16 19:05
    I must add some exceptions to the above.
    There are some issues that are unique to GM crops although not universal to them.
    These include patenting of crops and all that goes with it - higher seed prices in some instances, a single supplier (monopoly), essentially a ban on using your own seed and more.
  13. 27 Oct '16 20:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, you have banned them for two reasons:
    1. Political reasons.
    2. Misinformation about them because of political reasons.

    [b]you can readily see that they have been modified to resist certain types in infestation and disease as well as be resistant to herbicides.

    Interesting. I wasn't aware of that, but thought it might be possible. But as I sa ...[text shortened]... make a choice.
    Legislation against GM is as I say above entirely political and non-scientific.[/b]
    Scotland has been producing the best oats and barley for centuries. There is no necessity to introduce genetically modified crops and as has been stated in this thread there are some real concerns not only from a public health perspective but because of environmental issues and the opinions of scientists are conflicting. Public opinion was against it and it can offer us nothing that we do not already possess, top notch oats and barley.

    The article was excellent because it demonstrated a framework for evaluating the impact of GM crops from different perspectives, health, environment etc I disagree, there are certain conclusion that can be drawn even though the genus might be different, after all one can measure run off, the time it takes to degrade, its propensity to infect other genus etc regardless of what type of crop was sown.

    I don't think it is as clear cut. The Gm crops in India initially did very well, but after two successive sessions is was found to be inferior to the native seed.
  14. 27 Oct '16 20:41
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    I must add some exceptions to the above.
    There are some issues that are unique to GM crops although not universal to them.
    These include patenting of crops and all that goes with it - higher seed prices in some instances, a single supplier (monopoly), essentially a ban on using your own seed and more.
    This is really what its all about, intellectual property and trade, the ability to control foodstuffs. Its like Microsoft and windows, they realised that it wasn't hardware that was the thing, its was the ability to control and license software. That ability made fortunes for certain people. Thats what certain seed manufactures are trying to do with GM crops. In India it has proved disastrous because normally the farmers would hold back some of the native seed for replanting next year but now after sowing GM crops they were told that they could not do so because it was under license. This made the cost prohibitive for many.
  15. 27 Oct '16 20:48
    Originally posted by robbie carrobie
    Scotland has been producing the best oats and barley for centuries.
    Not exactly true. All countries have been improving their crops with time.

    There is no necessity to introduce genetically modified crops and as has been stated in this thread there are some real concerns not only from a public health perspective but because of environmental issues and the opinions of scientists are conflicting.
    Not true at all. This thread was about a herbicide, not GM crops.
    And the issue is not whether or not they are necessary, the issue is whether or not they are better. If they are not better, then there is no need to ban them as nobody will use them.

    Public opinion was against it...
    My point number 2.

    I disagree, there are certain conclusion that can be drawn even though the genus might be different, after all one can measure run off, the time it takes to degrade, its propensity to infect other genus etc regardless of what type of crop was sown.
    Degrade?
    You seem very confused about what GM crops are.

    I don't think it is as clear cut. The Gm crops in India initially did very well, but after two successive sessions is was found to be inferior to the native seed.
    Which crop? Inferior in what way? What is not 'clear cut'?
    I never claimed GM crops were superior in any way.
    My point is that every variety of every crop is unique and one must judge them on those grounds, not on the label 'GM'.
    In Zambia we have many varieties of maize each of which is suited to a different situation. There is no perfect variety. If GM maize were brought, it would depend on what characteristics it had as to whether it would be superior to a given Zambian variety.