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livewire

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GMO's... Good or bad?
« on: August 13, 2013, 09:43:26 AM »

I am hearing a lot of things from uninformed people regarding the pros and cons of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO's), but even more specifically, GM corn.  Monsanto is evil, and wants to kill everyone, etc.

What are your thoughts?
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eriemermaid

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2013, 10:08:02 AM »

Monsanto is evil and wants to kill everyone!  That's my thought!  :P
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Flanders

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2013, 10:13:29 AM »

I don't see what the big deal is.  I'd much rather eat disease resistant corn than one covered with anti-fungal or whatever spray.

These people do realize that bananas (yellow sweet) are also a mutant strain as well... ?
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excelsior

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2013, 10:51:26 AM »

It was not that long ago when it was called cross breeding plants.
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old salt

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2013, 11:29:37 AM »

Good in that they are disease resistant.  Bad, in that you cannot grow your own seed corn, making you beholding to Monsanto year after year.

Please correct me if this is incorrect.
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livewire

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 04:44:34 PM »

Good in that they are disease resistant.  Bad, in that you cannot grow your own seed corn, making you beholding to Monsanto year after year.

Please correct me if this is incorrect.

This is correct, Old Salt.  Well, sort of...

If you want to spend 15 or 20 years, and millions of dollars developing the cross strains that are similar to the varieties that are being used today, no one will stop you.

Or, you could simply buy a seed variety that is not a product of years of development, although it won't have any of the qualities in today's modern seed, such as glyphosate resistance, disease resistance, and insect resistance.  Then you can save your seed from year to year.  Your yields would be comparable to yields from 30 years ago, and you would be quickly out of business.

And now there are other companies that are doing what Monsanto has done, so they will have some competition.

As a farmer, I don't look at it as being "beholden to Monsanto".  I have options, if I want.  I choose to buy Roundup Ready VT3 corn hybrids because they perform well, and they are worth the price.
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BigRedDog

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2013, 08:25:34 AM »

When I was little it was somewhat common practice to use last year's harvest for this year's seed.  Some farmers would go 2 or 3 years without buying new seed but my Dad would only go the first year.  Seems like he would refer to the seed as one or two years 'from certified'.
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livewire

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2013, 07:52:14 AM »

That's true, BRD.  When I was farming in the 80's, I was a seed dealer for a company called Pro-Seed, on Sugar Street in Blissfield.  Their soybean seed was nothing but soybeans out of the combine, treated with extreme care, for seed.  Their corn varieties were almost all hybrids - so they were one or two generations away from the parent seed variety.  Those were "expensive".  They sold for around $70 to $85 a bag.  That was before the days of Roundup Ready corn.  Corn seed today sells for $250 to $500 a bag.

Today's RR varieties are slightly different.  They are genetically changed to have certain traits in the variety.  Corn seed is still the product of cross breeding several varieties, over 12 years or more.  So if you saved the corn from your harvest, it will grow, but it may not yield anywhere near what the original seed did, even though the genetic traits will be passed down to the next generation of seed.  Besides, these days if you DID save RR corn or beans for seed, it is illegal, and pretty stupid, if you ask me.  But back in the 80's it happened all the time.
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Monroe Native

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2013, 08:18:59 AM »

Besides, these days if you DID save RR corn or beans for seed, it is illegal, and pretty stupid, if you ask me.  But back in the 80's it happened all the time.

Why is it illegal?  Just curious...  don't see where it would hurt anyone except the yields of the farmer that planted them.
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eriemermaid

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2013, 08:21:00 AM »

That's the big thing about GMO's.  They can put any dang thing they want in the seed, which then goes in our animals or straight to our stomach! That is too scary to think about! :(

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livewire

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2013, 02:48:55 PM »

Why is it illegal?  Just curious...  don't see where it would hurt anyone except the yields of the farmer that planted them.

The technology itself is patented.

Monsanto, Syngenta, and other companies that pour millions of their dollars, as well as decades of research into a certain trait in a plant (like resistance to glyphosate, certain insects or diseases), protect that investment carefully.  And I don't blame them.

It's like if you were to take an iPhone apart, reverse engineer it, and start your own production of them... I think Apple would have something to say about that, and rightly so, IMO.

Certain varieties of RR1 soybeans (the first Roundup Ready plants that Monsanto produced) are having their patent expire in 2014 and 2015.  There is a lot of buzz in the farming community that now some farmers would want to save those beans, legally, for use as seed the following year.  But the general consensus is that those varieties are already 20 years old, and saving that seed is false economy.  The new varieties available today far out-yield those old varieties, to the point that it's much more economical to pay the big bucks for current production seed.

For the record, I agree with that thinking.  All of my seed is the best I can buy.  It's like putting cheap gas in your car.  Doesn't make sense.


That's the big thing about GMO's.  They can put any dang thing they want in the seed, which then goes in our animals or straight to our stomach! That is too scary to think about! :(

True. 

But that's also true of NON-GMO food as well.  Any time you are not watching EVERY stage of development of the food we eat, you have no real idea what you are eating.  What is FAR more scary to me are things like McDonald's hamburgers.  Do you know what is in that "hamburger"?  How about those tasty little chicken McNuggets?  If you knew, you would never eat there again.

All of us have been eating GMO food for decades.  Did you know that?

There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows GMO foods of any kind harming people or animals.  Ever.

But I'm curious, Erie... what could they put in the seed that would be harmful?  What are you afraid of?  That is the crux behind why I started this thread.  I know some people are afraid of GMO's, and I want to know their thoughts on it.  I see people fearing something that I see as a huge benefit for the world.

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Monroe Native

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2013, 04:17:39 PM »

Monsanto, Syngenta, and other companies that pour millions of their dollars, as well as decades of research into a certain trait in a plant (like resistance to glyphosate, certain insects or diseases), protect that investment carefully.  And I don't blame them.

It's like if you were to take an iPhone apart, reverse engineer it, and start your own production of them... I think Apple would have something to say about that, and rightly so, IMO.

So it would be a patent violation to buy a seed, harvest, and plant seeds from your harvest?

I don't think the iPhone analogy works.  The purpose of an iPhone is not to replicate itself.  That is the purpose of a seed.....  and I give the credit for that miracle to God....
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Dan Hamilton

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #12 on: August 15, 2013, 10:32:57 PM »

So it would be a patent violation to buy a seed, harvest, and plant seeds from your harvest?
Yes.

There has also been problems with the Roundup ready seed requiring more and more pesticide to kill the weeds because the weeds are becoming resistant. Much like infections becoming resistant to penicillin.

There are many more problems with GMO as outlined here.

http://web.mit.edu/demoscience/Monsanto/impact.html
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eriemermaid

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2013, 06:29:35 AM »

http://sustainablepulse.com/2013/05/12/nestle-folds-to-consumer-pressure-over-gmos-in-south-africa/#.Ug39tm38k7k

This is what scares me Livewire.  What are we putting into the mouth of our children?  And thankfully, I have not had any fast food since last September, but I do eat out and who knows what is in the burger or chicken that I have ate??  Even the corn??  Scary!
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BigRedDog

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Re: GMO's... Good or bad?
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2013, 08:00:02 AM »

When I was little my dad had a small apple orchard on our farm.  Various varieties...   I remember a tree blowing over in a storm but the following spring there was a new little tree growing out of the stump of the old tree.  When it got big enough to produce apples again the apples were a completely different apple than what it had produced prior to the storm. 

My dad explained 'grafting' to me...  and that's something the Chinese developed about 4000 years ago so the concept of modifying the foods we eat has been around a long, long, long time.
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