Tag Archives | GMO

Hydroponic gardener to raise plants that produce valuable medicines

 

Bob Shaw, St. Paul Pioneer Press writes at Duluth News Tribune:

MAPLEWOOD, Minn. — For Dave Roeser, it’s not just about salad anymore.

St. Paul’s award-winning hydroponic gardener will still grow vegetables but is adding medicinal plants. He plans to raise 100,000 genetically modified plants to produce medicine for cancer, flu and — potentially — Ebola.

“This is exciting,” said Roeser, a retired controller for Hewlett-Packard.

Roeser has been operating a Maplewood greenhouse to produce vegetables for his company, Garden Fresh Farms. He will continue growing vegetables in a new location in St. Paul but has co-founded a new company — MnPharm — to convert the Maplewood greenhouse into a biological drug factory.

Scientists — and Roeser — see great potential in using plants to produce vaccines.

That’s because vaccines traditionally have been made by the cumbersome process of injecting weakened germs into chicken eggs.

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How the People Can Outwit the Global Domination Plans of Agribusiness

In Texas, large fields are prepared for the next year's corn crop. (Photo: Daniel James/flickr/cc)

In Texas, large fields are prepared for the next year’s corn crop. (Photo: Daniel James/flickr/cc)

Jonathan Latham writes at Common Dreams:

The strategic centerpiece of Monsanto PR is to focus on the promotion of one single compelling idea. The idea that they want you to believe in is that only they can produce enough for the future population. They wish you to therefore believe that non-industrial systems of farming, such as all those which use agroecological methods, or SRI, or are localised and family-oriented, or which use organic methods, or non-GMO seeds, cannot feed the world. This same PR strategy is followed by every major commercial participant in the industrial food system.

To be sure, agribusiness has a few other PR strategies. Agribusiness is “pro-science”, its opponents are “anti-science”, and so on. But the main plank has for decades been to create a cast-iron moral framing around the need to produce more.

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Genetic Engineering Plants Outside Of Regulators’ Reach

Scotts Miracle Gro HQ Marysville1.jpg

Scotts Miracle Gro HQ by Wiki Historian N OH (CC)

Some clever biologist entrepreneurs have found a way to experiment with the genetic make up of plants without having to worry about federal oversight, reports the New York Times:

Its first attempt to develop genetically engineered grass ended disastrously for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company. The grass escaped into the wild from test plots in Oregon in 2003, dooming the chances that the government would approve the product for commercial use.

Yet Scotts is once again developing genetically modified grass that would need less mowing, be a deeper green and be resistant to damage from the popular weedkiller Roundup. But this time the grass will not need federal approval before it can be field-tested and marketed.

Scotts and several other companies are developing genetically modified crops using techniques that either are outside the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Department or use new methods — like “genome editing” — that were not envisioned when the regulations were created.

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GM Food Causes Deadly Bacteria To Grow In Your Gut

bot(1)via Activist Post:

Deadly bacteria grow in your gut when you eat GMO food, according to a new study.

A new study titled, “The Influence of Glyphosate on the Microbiota and Production of Botulinum  Neurotoxin During Ruminal Fermentation,” confirms a growing suspicion that GM foods tainted with the ubiquitous agrochemical Roundup is causing widespread changes in the microbiome of those who consume them, resulting in bodily changes that are believed to lead to a wide range of lethal diseases.

As we reported in 2012, in an article titled “Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria,” a growing body of research points to the world’s most popular herbicide as causing dysbios (pathogenic alteration of gut bacteria), a condition which profoundly affects and alters the so-called holobiont, or total set of organisms that make up our bodily constitution, and as a consequence, health. Because we depend on the proper selection and quantity of bacterial strains with which we co-evolved over countless eons, any significant disruption of the commensal ties to this microbial universe will result in a state of suboptimal functioning, ultimately leading to disease.

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Hard Evidence: does GM cotton lead to farmer suicide in India?

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

Cotton has become a controversial crop in India. captrosha, CC BY-ND

In response to yesterday’s article, “Monsanto’s GMO Creations Caused 291,000 Suicides in India,” we had a Facebook commenter share this article with us.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

Read the original article.

By Ian Plewis, University of Manchester

Arguments surrounding the use of genetically modified crops and whether they are the solution to the world’s problems of food supply and public health are no nearer to resolution than when GM was introduced.

In Europe, there is widespread opposition to GM crops, with import or cultivation of many GM foods prohibited by EU regulations. In the Americas, and to a lesser extent in Asia, regulations are less stringent and a substantial proportion of the area used to grow corn, soybean and cotton is planted with GM seeds.

The agri-business companies responsible for developing the seeds, notably Monsanto, are frequent targets of anti-GM campaigners.… Read the rest

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Did GMO Corn Really Kill All Those Bees In Canada?

Toshihiro Gamo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Toshihiro Gamo (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This piece originally appeared on HoneyColony.

Last week, a story about GMO corn killing millions of bees in Canada went viral. Only one small oversight, the title was misleading and the event was two years old. With the pesticide pushers regularly spreading misinformation, it’s important that we get our facts straight. What is the current bee situation in Canada and who really is to blame?

The Link Between GMO Corn And Bees

As the director of the film Vanishing of the Bees, and the resident bee guardian within my virtual community, FB friends regularly post bee news on my wall. Last week, a handful of people sent me a story titled 37 Million Bees Found Dead In Ontario, Canada After Planting Large GMO Corn Field. It sounded familiar. Interested to learn more, I tracked down the beekeeper Dave Schuit who had lost all those bees.… Read the rest

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Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin, Says Black Swan Author

By Rebecca W via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

By Rebecca W via Flickr (cc by 2.0)

Written by The Physics arXiv Blog via Medium:

It is 20 years since the FDA approved the Flavr Savr tomato for human consumption, the first genetically engineered food to gain this status. Since then, genetically modified food has become a significant part of the human diet in many parts of the world, particularly in the US. In 2013 roughly 85 per cent of corn and 90 per cent of soybeans produced in the US were genetically modified.

Given the ubiquity of this kind of foodstuff, you could be forgiven for thinking that the scientific debate over its safety has been largely settled. It is certainly true that a large number of scientists seem to take that view. In 2012, for example, the American Association for the Advancement of Science declared that genetically modified crops pose no greater risk than the same foods made from crops modified by conventional plant breeding techniques.

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Here We Go Again: Monsanto Spends Millions to Defeat State’s GMO Labeling Effort

A 2011 rally in support of GMO labeling.  (Photo: Daneil Lobo/flickr/cc)

A 2011 rally in support of GMO labeling. (Photo: Daneil Lobo/flickr/cc)

via Andrea Germanos at Common Dreams:

Monsanto has poured $4.7 million into the campaign to defeat an initiative to label genetically modified food in Colorado.

The funds went to the No on 105 Coalition, which hopes it can beat Proposition 105, one of four statewide ballot measures Colorado voters will see on their November ballots.  If passed, the measure would require most food made with genetically modified material (GMOs) to be labeled “Produced With Genetic Engineering” starting July 1, 2016.

The GMO-labeling effort is backed by Right to Know Colorado, which says its “movement is built on the foundation that we have the basic right to know what is in our food and what we are feeding our families.”

The campaign contribution continues a pattern of big spending to defeat state GMO labeling efforts, such as those in California and Washington, not only by by the St.

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Scarf and Vest Made with Silk From a Silkworm and Spider Combination

transgenic silk blouse

0.4 Percent Spider Silk, 99.6 Percent Silkworm Silk Yoshihiko Kuwana et al., PLOS One, 2014. CC BY 2.5

via Popsci:

This silk scarf and vest have a nice drape and pretty color, but that’s not why everyone here at Popular Science covets them. No, we’re wishing they were ours because they’re made of super-strong, transgenic spider silk. Functional and good-looking! Our favorite.

The clothes were woven from silk produced by silkworms with a spider gene engineered into them. A mix of spider and silkworm proteins actually emerges from the spinners in the silkworms’ mouths. The resulting hybrid material is made up of less than 1 percent spider proteins, yet it’s 53 percent tougher than regular silk, according to the research team, five scientists from Japan’s National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences and Shinshu University.

Scientists have long known spider-silk proteins are exceptionally strong. Dragline silk, the stuff spiders use to make the spokes of their webs and to dangle creepily from ceilings, is five times stronger than an equal-sized thread of steel would be.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson: “GMO” Follow Up

Misunderstood scientist of the people or semantic sorcerer bought and Paid For? Recently I posted a video of  Tyson’s word on selective breeding. Well here is his follow up that he posted on Facebook. What is your input disinfonauts?

English: A warning sign with an exclamation markvia Facebook:

In fact — apart from my “chill out” quip in the video, which clearly deserved further explanation — I didn’t really vote one way or another on GMOs. You want to distinguish how genes are modified? Okay, then label everything, and create two subcategories of GMO. One that indicates laboratory and one that indicates agriculture. I said this explicitly in my Facebook post.

Furthermore, I never said GMOs were safer or more dangerous. I implied that if you think GMO-laboratory is **inherently** more dangerous to human life than GMO-agriculture you are simply wrong. They both can be bad for the environment. They both can be less healthy. They both can disrupt the local flora and fauna.

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