Vegans argue they’re a ‘creed’ under Ontario human rights law

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Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture
lagatta

God, that moggie looks pissed off.

More on the Dutch-based "Vegetarian Butcher": http://www.telegraph.co.uk/food-and-drink/features/mock-meat-the-rise-of...

Devogenes

Timebandit wrote:

Oh, don't mistake me - there are still issues. Although there are actually fewer chemicals used on GMO than on other crops, there are still some environmental concerns, and I take those seriously.

That's not true at all. In fact it has been known to be untrue for years.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bronner/herbicide-insecticide-use_b_...

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X2012...

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/10/how-gmos-ramped-us-pesti...

The vast majority of genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand the herbicicde glyphosate (marketed as RoundUp by Monsanto). Rates of glyphosate use have skyrocketed as a direct result of the spread of genetic engineering. Because of the rapid (predictable) development of herbicide resistance in quick-succession plants (weeds), the chemical companies have now gained approval to market 2,4-D resistant crops.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/epa-enlist-duo-weed-killer_n_59...

lagatta

Those are the kind of concerns I have. I'm REALLY not anti-science.

Right now, I'm wringing my hands because a friend is hosting a "live-blood testing" for the modest sum of $100 per sucker, er client, based on the more than dubious theories of one Gaston Naessens, a notorious quack who still lives in Sherbrooke. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/714-X It really bothers me that an educated person would fall for this type of crap, but it isn't the first time. I didn't want to argue with him; I just told him I didn't have the money. I didn't add that I wouldn't have the money for that even if it were five cents.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

About fifteen years ago, for reasons I can't even remember, my wife was avoiding pork.  So, on a whim, I picked up a pack of Yves' brand faux-meat breakfast sausages.

Those familiar with real breakfast sausages know that they're unctious, salty, strongly seasoned, and have a curious texture that's both tender and gristly at the same time.  In other words, a hard act to follow.

I was pleasantly surprised!  The faux-sausages wouldn't ever fool me in a blind taste test, but for something made entirely of vegetable matter, they came much closer than I would ever have expected.  I'd give them 8/10.

The main downside was that they were 2-3 times the price of actual breakfast links.

Similarly, I walk past YamChops all the time, and read their "sales" on their little standy-sign out front, and most of what they feature seems to be considerably more expensive than the real thing.  For me, faux-meat is just another food, and one I'd cheerfully try, but only once it becomes less "boutique" in price.

6079_Smith_W

Go to any chinese market and get a can of braised gluten. Mock duck or otherwise. It is cheap and great. Sadly, it is made of the one thing that is perhaps more toxic than meat for them that are overly concerned with such stuff.

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Well, the obvious one, plus MSG (which I still make at least a small effort to avoid, even though apparently concerns over "MSG headaches" have been debunked).

Still, though, I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled.  If it's cheap enough I might have to try it just out of curiousity.

6079_Smith_W

Nothing wrong with MSG if you aren't one of those people who get the alleged headaches (which scientists have not been able to replicate in the lab).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monosodium_glutamate

It is kind of a taste cheater, as you can tell if you buy one of those ramen soup packs. But if you are going to that chinese market you should also pick up a small tin of MSG, just to see how it tastes all on its own. I have one up with the spices.

 

LB Cultured Thought

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It's not the science around GMO that I am so concerned about.

It is the wisdom of growing our food in poison - the pesticides and herbicides the GMO tweaking is designed to allow them to survive - simply because the science works.

Reducing pesticide use should always be a goal; however, whether your food is a GMO or not, some kind of pesticide was almost certainly used to help it survive (in addition to all of the pesticides plants already make on their own).

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And that large companies can legally "own" corn, wheat and other staples, push their version of it on all farmers because they control the market, prevent farmers from saving and growing their own seed.

This was the case well before GMOs came around. Any new variety can be patented, no matter how it was developed. And other varieties are readily available, if farmers really want them.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

 

And if a farmer who doesn't buy in and some pollen happens to drift into his field, he gets sued.

Hasn’t ever happened.

 

LB Cultured Thought

Devogenes wrote:

Timebandit wrote:

Oh, don't mistake me - there are still issues. Although there are actually fewer chemicals used on GMO than on other crops, there are still some environmental concerns, and I take those seriously.

That's not true at all. In fact it has been known to be untrue for years. 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bronner/herbicide-insecticide-use_b_...

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X2012...

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/10/how-gmos-ramped-us-pesti...

I think Timebandit is correct here.

I couldn’t get your first three links to work, but based on the 2012 dates I assume they are all based on the Benbrook, 2012 report from the Organic Center (Available here http://goo.gl/nMRP6l). Basically, Benbrook used USDA-NASS data to estimate total herbicide use on GE and conventional acres, which is quite difficult to do because 1) These datasets are pretty incomplete due to limited USDA resources and, 2) The data don’t separate use on GE and non-GE crops, so quite a few assumptions need to be made.

So Benbrook extrapolated 4-5 years past (limited) available data and concluded herbicide use was increasing dramatically. But his projections only seem to take a couple of tail end data points into account, not the general trends. For crops like cotton, there is a clear increasing trend in total pounds/acre, but for corn there is a clear decrease from 1995-2005 (10 data points) – Benbrook then predicts a complete trend reversal based on a single data point from 2010. Most other studies show a reduction in overall herbicide use, so that seems more plausible (although I wouldn’t attribute a reduction in overall herbicide use to GE crops, since that wasn’t their designed intent, but rather to better application practices).

More importantly, it isn’t really the total pounds/acre that is most important for pesticide/herbicide use, but the environmental impact of those applied pounds. For Roundup Ready varieties, glyphosate use goes up dramatically (you are correct in this), but the use of other herbicides is greatly reduced. In 1996, pendamethalin was used on 23% of soybean acres. This was reduced to 3% by 2006, while glyphosate use increased from 15% to 85% over the same period (other herbicides also decreased). The Environmental Impact Quotient [EIQ] (a rather imperfect measure of overall environmental harm from pesticide application, but simple to use) of pendamethalin is 31.17, versus 15.33 for glyphosate. So even if you increase the amount of herbicide applied, switching to glyphosate should be better for the environment. As the USDA and EPA stated (HT = herbicide tolerant):

 “Some studies suggest that herbicide use on HT soybeans may be slightly higher than herbicide use on conventionally grown soybeans in the United States. However, glyphosate (the herbicide used on most HT crops) is less toxic to humans and not as likely to persist in the environment as the herbicides it replaces. Consequently, increased herbicide use on HT soybeans is not necessarily indicative of worse environmental outcomes.”

Another point to consider is that herbicide tolerance isn’t unique to GMOs. There are plenty of herbicide tolerant varieties produced through conventional breeding (such as Clearfield varieties from BASF – also patented) and others that have been developed, but not released because there isn’t current demand. So GE isn’t introducing anything remarkably new, it just allows for more rapid development.

Devogenes wrote:

The vast majority of genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand the herbicicde glyphosate (marketed as RoundUp by Monsanto). Rates of glyphosate use have skyrocketed as a direct result of the spread of genetic engineering. Because of the rapid (predictable) development of herbicide resistance in quick-succession plants (weeds), the chemical companies have now gained approval to market 2,4-D resistant crops.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/15/epa-enlist-duo-weed-killer_n_59...

2,4-D has an EIQ of about 16, so it’s not terrible to use, and has been used for many years already. Applying herbicides isn’t inducing resistance, it is only selecting for resistant mutants, so the emergence of new varieties hasn’t increased since the introduction of GE crops. It’s actually quite difficult to control herbicide resistance; it can certainly be done, but the associated costs are probably much greater than you might expect. The easiest method is probably to use more herbicides to begin with, which obviously has negative effects on the environment. Using multiple herbicides is a good strategy, but it’s not easy to predict which types of weeds will be problematic year to year, and is prohibitively expensive on lower acreage crops such as sugarbeets (fewer available herbicide options). If you are rotating crops, you also need to ensure that you aren’t using herbicides that have a long soil longevity (like 3 years for imazethapyr) that prevent you from planting other crops in that field. You can, of course use other weed management methods (tillage, cover crops, hand weeding, etc.), but these also have high costs and weeds can develop resistance to all of them as well.

 

6079_Smith_W

It did happen, LB Cultured Thought.

Monsanto and Percy Schmeiser:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Schmeiser

They are very litigious when it comes to farmers they feel have violated their patent agreements.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_legal_cases

That farmers feel pushed into using these strains and pushed into debt because they can't re-use seed is yet another argument against GMO.

Virtually all this patenting and pushing of those strains to the exclusion of all others has to do with genetic modification.

And one of the main GMO tweaks is to allow plants to grow in RoundUp, which otherwise WOULD kill them like it kills every other plant it touches.

And no, it is not true that all food was most certainly grown in a pesticide to help it survive. It is not true at all. Though those pushing chemical monocrop farming would love to have us think that it is the only option.

 

 

LB Cultured Thought

6079_Smith_W wrote:

It did happen, LB Cultured Thought.

Monsanto and Percy Schmeiser:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Percy_Schmeiser

It says right there on the wiki: “…Schmeiser violated the patent by intentionally replanting the Roundup Ready seed that he had saved”. He deliberately saved and used the patented seed; nobody sued him for having it blow into his field and that has never happened.

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Virtually all this patenting and pushing of those strains to the exclusion of all others has to do with genetic modification.

And one of the main GMO tweaks is to allow plants to grow in RoundUp, which otherwise WOULD kill them like it kills every other plant it touches.

And no, it is not true that all food was most certainly grown in a pesticide to help it survive. It is not true at all.

Yes, patenting has everything to do with genetic modification. Every new strain has altered genes, but most aren’t made by techniques that would make them considered GMOs. Farmers tend to purchase new seeds every year regardless, since storing seeds is a challenge and hybrid strains won’t perform as well in future years. It’s a business decision.

And yes, Roundup kills weeds; that is the entire purpose of herbicides, so I’m not sure I understand your point. Reducing yield loses to weeds is a good thing.

I’m not aware of any data to show total acres grown with no pesticides (Maybe you have some?), but I’m guessing it would be negligible. And ALL plants produce their own pesticides, few of which have been tested! (Although those that have been tested are about as toxic as the synthetic pesticides we use)

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

Thanks for the information, LB. I had read some of that, but didn't have time to go search it up. 

Anecdotally, my hubby's cousins who are still farming have noted that instead of multiple sprayings and a large amount of storage of nasty chemicals, the move to glysophate has been a welcome one. They spray once, they don't have to use the massive quantities and it's actually safer than the herbicides they were using before.

I object to some of the business side of GMOs - but that's a social and political criticism.

6079_Smith_W

LB Cultured Thought wrote:

I’m not sure I understand your point.

How much more clearly do I have to say it? I said my concern is about growing food in poison.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate

If you want, brush over the links to lymphoma. Look at the effects on amphibians. 

And here is an article about the rise in birth defects in Hawaii, where restricted pesticides are used in GMO research:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/23/hawaii-birth-defects-pest...

And yes, my objection is also to the business model, and of monocropping. The 2013 UN report on food security and agriculture found that the best model was to be found in small-scale farms, local-based food systems, and rotation and multi-crop planting.

As for being able to produce food without chemicals. I manage to keep myself in tomatoes, greens and squash without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides. And while the numbers might not look that impressive on paper, it is a different story when you go into a grocery store and see how much of the produce section is organic.

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/industry-markets-and-trade/statistics-and-marke...

Quote:

Today the organic food market is described by industry analysts as the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry. The global market for organic products, once a small scale niche market, reached a value of almost $US 63 billion in 2011 (Source: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Worldwide, about 37.2 million hectares of agricultural land are certified according to organic standards, and there are about 1.8 million certified organic producers.

But really, my point was that your claim there is virtually no food grown without herbicides and pesticides is false.

 

 

 

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

There's a huge difference between a backyard garden and larger scale agriculture. 

I had a great-uncle who was probably the best market garden farmer in the Qu'Appelle Valley back in his day (he died in the late 1980s) - not one to use anything newfangled (srsly, indoor plumbing was deemed newfangled and dispensed with!), but the choice between no pest or weed control (his preference, for cost and labour) and not was a vastly reduced and poorer quality crop. It just wasn't possible.  And his operation was very modest by current standards.

Organic does not mean grown without pesticides, herbicides or chemical fertilizers. Only that they're grown with a reduced range of such chemicals.

6079_Smith_W

Sure.

The UN Report was about global agriculture, and it found that small scale farming and local networks are the most sustainable way forward, rather than multinational-controlled industrial farming.

http://www.iatp.org/blog/201309/new-un-report-calls-for-transformation-i...

And yes, I know that most small farmers use these seeds and these chemicals. Hard not to given the financial risks, and the market being entirely geared toward those single crops.

And is this an argument along the lines of plants' "natural pesticides"? Come on. There is a difference between ashes, soap and diatomaceous earth and organophosphates, and let's not pretend there isn't.

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

There are other, more poisonous "naturally derived" pesticides that are commonly used.  They are every bit as toxic as the "unnatural" sort - they're just less processed. Organic doesn't mean benign. In concentration, they can be equally destructive. What you get at the organic counter is as much factory farmed as the rest of the produce in the grocery store and it uses its fair share of chemicals. It's the source of the chemical that's at issue, that's all.

Devogenes

LB Cultured Thought wrote:

I think Timebandit is correct here.

I couldn’t get your first three links to work, but based on the 2012 dates I assume they are all based on the Benbrook, 2012 report from the Organic Center (Available here http://goo.gl/nMRP6l). Basically, Benbrook used USDA-NASS data to estimate total herbicide use on GE and conventional acres, which is quite difficult to do because 1) These datasets are pretty incomplete due to limited USDA resources and, 2) The data don’t separate use on GE and non-GE crops, so quite a few assumptions need to be made.

So Benbrook extrapolated 4-5 years past (limited) available data and concluded herbicide use was increasing dramatically. But his projections only seem to take a couple of tail end data points into account, not the general trends. For crops like cotton, there is a clear increasing trend in total pounds/acre, but for corn there is a clear decrease from 1995-2005 (10 data points) – Benbrook then predicts a complete trend reversal based on a single data point from 2010. Most other studies show a reduction in overall herbicide use, so that seems more plausible (although I wouldn’t attribute a reduction in overall herbicide use to GE crops, since that wasn’t their designed intent, but rather to better application practices).

More importantly, it isn’t really the total pounds/acre that is most important for pesticide/herbicide use, but the environmental impact of those applied pounds. For Roundup Ready varieties, glyphosate use goes up dramatically (you are correct in this), but the use of other herbicides is greatly reduced. In 1996, pendamethalin was used on 23% of soybean acres. This was reduced to 3% by 2006, while glyphosate use increased from 15% to 85% over the same period (other herbicides also decreased). The Environmental Impact Quotient [EIQ] (a rather imperfect measure of overall environmental harm from pesticide application, but simple to use) of pendamethalin is 31.17, versus 15.33 for glyphosate. So even if you increase the amount of herbicide applied, switching to glyphosate should be better for the environment. As the USDA and EPA stated (HT = herbicide tolerant):

 “Some studies suggest that herbicide use on HT soybeans may be slightly higher than herbicide use on conventionally grown soybeans in the United States. However, glyphosate (the herbicide used on most HT crops) is less toxic to humans and not as likely to persist in the environment as the herbicides it replaces. Consequently, increased herbicide use on HT soybeans is not necessarily indicative of worse environmental outcomes.”

Another point to consider is that herbicide tolerance isn’t unique to GMOs. There are plenty of herbicide tolerant varieties produced through conventional breeding (such as Clearfield varieties from BASF – also patented) and others that have been developed, but not released because there isn’t current demand. So GE isn’t introducing anything remarkably new, it just allows for more rapid development.

2,4-D has an EIQ of about 16, so it’s not terrible to use, and has been used for many years already. Applying herbicides isn’t inducing resistance, it is only selecting for resistant mutants, so the emergence of new varieties hasn’t increased since the introduction of GE crops. It’s actually quite difficult to control herbicide resistance; it can certainly be done, but the associated costs are probably much greater than you might expect. The easiest method is probably to use more herbicides to begin with, which obviously has negative effects on the environment. Using multiple herbicides is a good strategy, but it’s not easy to predict which types of weeds will be problematic year to year, and is prohibitively expensive on lower acreage crops such as sugarbeets (fewer available herbicide options). If you are rotating crops, you also need to ensure that you aren’t using herbicides that have a long soil longevity (like 3 years for imazethapyr) that prevent you from planting other crops in that field. You can, of course use other weed management methods (tillage, cover crops, hand weeding, etc.), but these also have high costs and weeds can develop resistance to all of them as well.

That's weird. I'm not sure why the links didn't work since they work if you copy/paste them:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-bronner/herbicide-insecticide-use_b_...
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X2012...

EDIT: it seems to be causing the same error. I don't know what's up with it, this janky forum seems to be truncating the links. Anyone that wants to can just do a search for pesticide use increases and GMOs

Anyways, yes it's true that herbicide tolerance isn't unique to GMOs. However, glyphosate resistance is a problem now because of the dramatic increase in recent years of glyphosate applciation, which has gone hand-in-hand with the rapid increase in genetically modified crops. Monstanto's published advice in scientific journals has been for years to simply increase the dose.

Quote:
Applying herbicides isn’t inducing resistance, it is only selecting for resistant mutants, so the emergence of new varieties hasn’t increased since the introduction of GE crops. It’s actually quite difficult to control herbicide resistance; it can certainly be done, but the associated costs are probably much greater than you might expect.

What?? I don't know what point you're making about induction. Obviously it is selecting for resistant mutants: that's exactly what we're talking about. What does it mean to say it "only selecting for resistant mutants"? That's exactly the mechanism we're talking about! Quick succsession plants (ie weeds) willd develop immunities faster than we can keep up with them. That's exactly the problem. That's an endemic problem in pesticides. All the species which we attempt to control with these poisons (be it aphids and mites or weeds) have rapid reproductive cycles and will develop immuntities to the toxins we're applying to them.

Your suggestion that we simply apply more poison is not only bad for the enviornment, it exagerates the rate of resistance development because it increases the selection pressure on organisms which are defined by their capacity to reproduce rapidly and explosively. Incidentally, it is exactly the same advice Monsanto has been giving farmers up til now which is observably failing, which is precisely why 2,4-D resistant crops are now being introduced. We will then experience the same jump in 2,4-D application which we have seen in glyphosate, and we will see the emergence of 2,4-D resistant weeds.

You cannot separate an analysis of GMO agriculture from pesticides because it is the same companies which produce and market both. It is absolutely not surprising that we would see what we are seeing now.

LB Cultured Thought

6079_Smith_W wrote:

How much more clearly do I have to say it? I said my concern is about growing food in poison.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate

If you want, brush over the links to lymphoma. Look at the effects on amphibians. 

And here is an article about the rise in birth defects in Hawaii, where restricted pesticides are used in GMO research:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/aug/23/hawaii-birth-defects-pesticides-gmo

The SciAm article is about a joke study from Seralini (I didn’t see an actual study linked, but all of his groups work seems to follow the same absurd methods), while the Wikipedia basically confirms glyphosate is quite safe. Obviously we should be reducing pesticide use to a minimum, I’m not disagreeing with that. But the hyperbole of “growing food in poison” is what I was objecting to. While technically true it implies some kind of danger that simply doesn’t exist.

Birth defect rates are decreasing in Hawaii and at a glance, seem comparable to US averages:

http://health.hawaii.gov/genetics/files/2013/04/HBD_Surveillance_Report_1986-2005.pdf

6079_Smith_W wrote:

And yes, my objection is also to the business model, and of monocropping. The 2013 UN report on food security and agriculture found that the best model was to be found in small-scale farms, local-based food systems, and rotation and multi-crop planting.

As for being able to produce food without chemicals. I manage to keep myself in tomatoes, greens and squash without the use of chemical pesticides or herbicides. And while the numbers might not look that impressive on paper, it is a different story when you go into a grocery store and see how much of the produce section is organic.

http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/industry-markets-and-trade/statistics-and-marke...

Quote:

Today the organic food market is described by industry analysts as the most dynamic and rapidly growing sector of the global food industry. The global market for organic products, once a small scale niche market, reached a value of almost $US 63 billion in 2011 (Source: International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements). Worldwide, about 37.2 million hectares of agricultural land are certified according to organic standards, and there are about 1.8 million certified organic producers.

But really, my point was that your claim there is virtually no food grown without herbicides and pesticides is false.

Timebandit beat me to it, but roughly 1% of farmed land in Canada is organic, with average farm size 60% the Canadian average. It can work well for certain crops and certain locations, as well as small scale things. Obviously, growing a backyard garden is quite different than managing a 1000 acre farm. As a speculative aside, I wonder if there might be significantly more pest problems in backyard gardens if everyone grew vegetables. There perhaps isn’t enough density to sustain pest populations.

In any case, “organic” doesn’t mean no pesticides are used; it means the pesticides aren’t synthetic. Which, of course, says nothing about their toxicity, effectiveness, or application rates. 

 

6079_Smith_W

Timebandit wrote:

There are other, more poisonous "naturally derived" pesticides that are commonly used.  They are every bit as toxic as the "unnatural" sort - they're just less processed. Organic doesn't mean benign. In concentration, they can be equally destructive. What you get at the organic counter is as much factory farmed as the rest of the produce in the grocery store and it uses its fair share of chemicals. It's the source of the chemical that's at issue, that's all.

Maybe you could ante up with a specific example what you are talking about so we can discuss it in a specific way - pyrethrum? BT? nicotine? And yes, my grandmother just about passed out from the latter back in the day. They still aren't nerve agents. 

And  organic vs chemical farming and small scale vs industrial are two separate issues. Just because some industrial producers might grow organic foods doesn't turn the whole thing into jello, though some might make that argument.

 

 

6079_Smith_W

And again, even if some organic farmers do use some pesticides that does not alter MY argument. Many of these poisons concentrate up the food chain and are believed to be contributing to colony collapse disorder. Better living through science doesn't really work if you kill off the animals that are the foundation of a large percentage of all agriculture. And the birds, and the frogs, and everything else that lives on them.

I know skepticism is cool. But given the corporate and imperialist aspects of this, as well as the environmental and health concerns, this is taking it to the point of denial that I am used to hearing from the anti-climate change crew.

 

 

Timebandit Timebandit's picture

BT isn't harmful to humans, although mention a monsanto corn that produces its own and you'll have the detractors of GMOs howling about how dangerous it is.

Nicotine, yes, pyrethrum, rontenone, just a few off the top of my head. And of course, for all of them, the dose makes the poison. My argument isn't that there are terrible chemicals used in organic farming so much as that they aren't any better than glyphosate, which isn't really harmful to humans, either.

Quote:
For example, glyphosate, which is often paired with herbicide resistant GMO crops, shuts down a biochemical pathway in plants that simply doesn’t exist in mammals. In contrast many of the natural toxins found in plants can be harmful to mammals. Yet we’re far more concerned about glyphosate residues than we are about natural formaldehyde in pears. Check out the graphic at the end of this article that highlights this point: we fear anything that’s synthetic because we assume that it’s “bad for us”, but there’s plenty of stuff that’s “natural” that can be harmful at a certain dose.

I’ve read a lot of arguments from anti-GMO groups about how transgenic crops that have the Bt-toxin will kill us all, because it’s a registered pesticide with the EPA. “Do you want to eat something that’s a pesticide?” is what I’ve read time and time again. But as I’ve noted above there are plenty of “natural chemicals” that are registered pesticides, but no one seems to be freaking out about basil and mustard seeds.

https://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2015/03/20/myth-busting-are-synth...

PS - I've put Bt all over my organic garden time and again...

ETA: another interesting link

Quote:

When you test synthetic chemicals for their ability to cause cancer, you find that about half of them are carcinogenic.

Until recently, nobody bothered to look at natural chemicals (such as organic pesticides), because it was assumed that they posed little risk. But when the studies were done, the results were somewhat shocking: you find that about half of the natural chemicals studied are carcinogenic as well.

This is a case where everyone (consumers, farmers, researchers) made the same, dangerous mistake. We assumed that "natural" chemicals were automatically better and safer than synthetic materials, and we were wrong. It's important that we be more prudent in our acceptance of "natural" as being innocuous and harmless.

https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

LB Cultured Thought

Devogenes wrote:

What?? I don't know what point you're making about induction. Obviously it is selecting for resistant mutants: that's exactly what we're talking about. What does it mean to say it "only selecting for resistant mutants"? That's exactly the mechanism we're talking about! Quick succsession plants (ie weeds) willd develop immunities faster than we can keep up with them. That's exactly the problem. That's an endemic problem in pesticides. All the species which we attempt to control with these poisons (be it aphids and mites or weeds) have rapid reproductive cycles and will develop immuntities to the toxins we're applying to them.

Your suggestion that we simply apply more poison is not only bad for the enviornment, it exagerates the rate of resistance development because it increases the selection pressure on organisms which are defined by their capacity to reproduce rapidly and explosively. Incidentally, it is exactly the same advice Monsanto has been giving farmers up til now which is observably failing, which is precisely why 2,4-D resistant crops are now being introduced. We will then experience the same jump in 2,4-D application which we have seen in glyphosate, and we will see the emergence of 2,4-D resistant weeds.

You cannot separate an analysis of GMO agriculture from pesticides because it is the same companies which produce and market both. It is absolutely not surprising that we would see what we are seeing now.

Fair enough, I wasn’t very clear there. Let me try again:

1)     GMOs haven’t increased the rate at which unique herbicide resistant weeds appear.

2)     The emergence of herbicide resistant weeds is evenly spread over GMO and non-GMO crops.

3)     The initial documentation of glyphosate resistant weeds occurred at the same times in GMO and non-GMO crops.

4)     None of the RoundUp Resistant weed varieties were the result of gene transfer between RR crops and the weeds.

So my point is that GE crops aren’t increasing the incidence of herbicide resistance in weeds. The only reason that the resistance to RoundUp is seen as a problem is because it is making the most useful weed control systems in use less useful. But the alternative may have simply been never having those weed control systems. In terms of overall resistance to used herbicides, GM crops don’t seem to have contributed to the problem more than anything else. Part of the problem has been poor farming practices in past years, such as keeping a no-till RR corn crop on the same field forever in the Southern US. That’s never going to work; herbicide resistant crops should be built into good crop rotation and diverse weed management practices.

Another important point is that weeds will develop resistance to whatever weed control system is used to combat them, not just herbicides. Some examples:

1)     Hand weeding can lead to weeds mimicking the appearance of the crop they grow in to avoid weeding.

2)     Weeds have become resistant to gall flies used as a biological control.

3)     Dandelions in your lawn can become better at avoiding your mower and spreading seeds when mowed

 

6079_Smith_W

I have used BT as well. I am not talking about BT. And I know that "natural" poisons are poisons.

Is that in any way an argument that we should keep using DDT?

As for Roundup, there is a study on that wikipedia page showing links to lymphoma, and much more serious treat to amphibians.

6079_Smith_W

I have used BT as well. I am not talking about BT. And I know that "natural" poisons are poisons.

Is that in any way an argument that we should keep using DDT?

As for Roundup, there is a study on that wikipedia page showing links to lymphoma, and much more serious treat to amphibians.

It is interesting to note the difference in opinion between the US EPA and the World Health Organization:

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/glyphosate-faq_64013.pdf

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