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  #1  
Old 10-29-2007, 09:38 AM
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GM Crops expand in Europe

Massive rise in Europe GM crops
By Tom Heap
BBC News

The maize grown in Europe is cultivated for animal feed only. Figures published on Monday show the area planted with genetically modified crops in Europe has grown by 77% since last year.

This year more than 1,000 sq km (386 sq miles) of GM maize was harvested.

The biotech industry says this proves its products are appealing to farmers and are safe for the environment.

The only genetically modified crop grown widely in Europe is maize resistant to the corn borer - a moth larva which eats the stem. The maize is cultivated for animal feed - not for human consumption.

Planted in Spain for the last 10 years, the maize is now proving popular in France where the acreage has tripled in a year and also in Germany and the Czech Republic. Neither the pest nor the GM maize is found in Britain.

One thousand sq km (386 sq miles) is still a small fraction of the total farmed area of Europe and also tiny compared with the one million sq km (0.38 million sq miles) under GM around the world - an expanse four times the size of Britain. Some environmental groups claim beneficial insects could also be harmed by the crop; and in France, President Nicolas Sarkozy has suspended all GM plantings until next year.

Clare Oxborrow is a Friends of the Earth food campaigner. She told the BBC that the increase in the area planted with GM crops should not be viewed as beneficial.

"The reality is, these crops have failed to deliver benefits, and more and more evidence is, in fact, coming to light showing that there are increased concerns about their environmental risks," she said.

"GM crops, GM industry is not competitive, it is not creating jobs, it is not creating any new environmental benefits, it's not accepted by consumers, and I think we need to take a long, hard look. These figures today are more about the industry trying to reassure its investors than any significant success."

But Julian Little, who chairs the Agricultural Biotech Council, an umbrella group that represents six major companies interested in the commercial use of GM crops, countered this point of view.

"For the first time in the European Union, there is over a 100,000 hectares of GM crops being grown, exploding yet another myth in the whole line of myths that said that GM crops don't work, GM crops will never be popular, GM crops will never be embraced in Europe.

"Year on year, we see increases in farmers excited about the technology, trying it - it works," he told BBC News.

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  #2  
Old 10-29-2007, 10:09 AM
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Good. GM crops are a huge step in the right direction. The more grown, the better.
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  #3  
Old 10-29-2007, 11:00 AM
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Good, better than using chemicals.
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  #4  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:13 PM
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I don't know.... I'm a firm believer of "don't F$#% with mother nature". Although,,, wouldn't it be fun to have a lab where you could splice animals together? Like maybe a penguin polar bear, snake ostrich or a squid cat.
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  #5  
Old 10-29-2007, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by 300EVIL View Post
I don't know.... I'm a firm believer of "don't F$#% with mother nature". ...
Where will you go to find such a place?
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
Where will you go to find such a place?
I mean in terms of genetic altering. We are dealing with a living, reproductive organism. Where as a chemical can just be taken out of use, a genetically altered plant can go on living without assistance from man. We know for a fact that some chemicals and pesticides made 50 years ago caused other negative side effects. For example, the same genetic mutation used to ward off crop infestation in corn from other insects may just as well be killing off our bees. I have no doubt that one of these "Frankenstein crops" are going to cause a massive problem for the ecosystem in some form, sooner or later.

I'm gonna go hug a tree now!
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:45 AM
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I had no idea that General Motors was into the agriculture business.
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  #8  
Old 10-30-2007, 10:50 AM
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I had no idea that General Motors was into the agriculture business.
Almost a joke unless you consider how much ADM worked with GM on the 'Flex Fuel' program.....
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  #9  
Old 10-30-2007, 10:53 AM
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Where will you go to find such a place?
Mars.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:01 AM
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Almost a joke unless you consider how much ADM worked with GM on the 'Flex Fuel' program.....
The agribusiness scares me sometimes. Perhaps it is more efficient than smaller family farms, but big beauracracies of any kind seem like breeding grounds for all sorts of sinister activities.

God, I'm sounding like less and less of a Republican everyday!
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  #11  
Old 10-30-2007, 11:07 AM
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Bot, what are your thoughts on GMO's? Even though I'm in the ag business it's on the turf and homegarden/small-scale farming side so there isn't an application yet and I don't know enough about it.

On the surface it seems that decreasing fertilizer and pesticide needs is a good thing. OTOH I know that they've already started finding some glyphosate resistant weeds in and around Roundup Ready corn and soybean fields. Scotts has had RR bentgrass ready for mass production to the golf market for a couple of years now but I think the EPA and USDA are concerned with the implications of weed resistance once it gets into a "cosmetic" application as opposed to a food source.

I wonder if the outcry was similar when hybrid vegetables first started showing up in the market? Hybrids are widely accepted now for their insect and disease resistance as well as hardiness and production even though they're technically genetically modified.

We get several phone calls a week wondering if we carry and GM varieties and instead of getting into a long discussion about technicalities and what not, we just tell them we carry open pollinated and hybrid varieties and leave it at that and the conversation usually ends.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dee8go View Post
The agribusiness scares me sometimes. Perhaps it is more efficient than smaller family farms, but big beauracracies of any kind seem like breeding grounds for all sorts of sinister activities.

God, I'm sounding like less and less of a Republican everyday!
Now c'mon, that's awful cynical

In it's current incarnation I would have to agree.
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Old 10-30-2007, 11:26 AM
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I'm a rather cynical kind of guy . . . . although I'm trying to be a more COMICAL kind of guy.
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  #14  
Old 10-30-2007, 12:32 PM
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SwampYankee: Bot, what are your thoughts on GMO's?



I have no problem with the concept. I have a big problem with the legal implementation. I find it morally corrupt to allow anybody to patent genes.

Bot
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  #15  
Old 10-30-2007, 01:19 PM
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Levi strauss did. I couldn't resist, the peanut gallery.

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