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Old 11-20-2006, 04:11 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Genetically modified bananas

Hi all;

I am just wondering after a discussion with someone at work; Are there bananas on the market that would qualify to be called "Genetically modified"? I am asking because of all the bio-molecular methods beeing used to combat sigatoma and Panama disease...

Thanks;
Erlend
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Old 11-20-2006, 12:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

All bananas sold commercialy are not GMO. GMO bananas do exist, however there is still lots of work to be done before they can realistically consider growing them for commerce.
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Old 11-20-2006, 04:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

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All bananas sold commercialy are not GMO. GMO bananas do exist, however there is still lots of work to be done before they can realistically consider growing them for commerce.
Do you think as consumers we will be informed when this happens or just misled like we are now with other GMO products?

At least the GMO banana crops can't cross pollinate the organic banana crops like what happens with Soy, Corn, Wheat, etc. Who wants some fish DNA with your breakfast cerial?
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Old 11-20-2006, 05:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

If you live in the USA, unless laws change, you will most certainly not be notified if the banana you're buying is GMO. If the latest round in Oregon is any indicator, laws are proposed and struck down by the intense lobbying of the GMO industry - money rules, not consumers or reality. So... growing your own is certainly the safest way nowadays. I cannot believe that GMO is making headway into the EU! I thought they'd resist - but again, money talks, consumers suffer.

Mike

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Do you think as consumers we will be informed when this happens or just misled like we are now with other GMO products?

At least the GMO banana crops can't cross pollinate the organic banana crops like what happens with Soy, Corn, Wheat, etc. Who wants some fish DNA with your breakfast cerial?
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

GMO is illegal in Norway, and I am unshure about the situation in the EU.
Even triploid fish in aquaculture is illegal, wich apparently does more harm than good. (In the US, many aquaculture species are triploid) I have yet to hear a great reason for not supporting GMO-products. An american lady won the Nobel Peace Award years ago for her work involving GM on corn. This work helped developing countries a great deal. Offcourse, we all want what's natural, but it's easy to let feelings come before facts on the GMO-subject.
The big question I was wondering about, is how to save the cavendish banana without GMO.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:51 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

I think I posted it here way early (more than a year ago, IIRC) about GMO bananas currently being tested in the US. My complaint was that, the GMO modifications was not related at all to cold hardiness. But noting that how clumsily various GMO spliced genes got away into nature, and the not so controlled environment, it is always a big concern for gene pool contamination, and statistically speaking, preventing contamination is improbable.

Bayer, Genentech and other biotech companies are suing people who happen to have GMO crops if they don't buy from them, but us people could not sue them for contaminating the gene pool. After all, they own the patent rights, and we demand every right to be protected from their patent contamination. The laws are written lopsided in favor of the biotech companies. This has to change, wether you love GMO crops or not, we cannot have any contamination to those who don't want these proprietary owned contaminants.
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Old 11-21-2006, 04:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

I love these discussions, that's why I go to extremes on both sides.

Joe, this is probably just the tip of the iceberg of hazards related to todays' GMO. But can a sterile GMO-cultivar get lost in the gene-pool of nature? And what's the status today, are these cultivars we have allready destroying species? (I really don't know the answer, I am in over my head allready)
I am thinking maybe GMO could be OK, as long as environmental issues and health issues are thoroughly quality-controlled.

What I have observed is that people are generally suspicious to GMO, but primarly for health reasons, not environmental reasons. Also, a general trait of mankind is to be afriad and weary of the new and unknown. (I for example, have recieved hate-letters in my mailbox from neighbors disliking me planting tropical plants/bananas in Norway, thinking this is the end of Norway as we know it!)

I should have highlighted what I insinuated before; I have never heard of a toxic GMO on the market. Contrary, I have heard of GMO improving yields and saving lives in the 3rd world. Also, isn't most corn in the US GMO these days? Americans aren't dying like flies, are they?
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Old 11-21-2006, 10:14 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

Americans are dying like flies. And so are the pets and animals Americans are keeping. Cancers, diseases, whathaveyou. No one is fingering GMO, but no one has discounted it's possible cause. You tell me - why do they put hazardous labels on bT toxin, but then turn around and modify plants to produce that toxin in all its tissues - some of which will be consumed? The industry is in control of this and since they're offshoots of existing chemical industries, they're already well practiced in hiding the drawbacks and barking about the benefits, not to mention their power in government. After all, they are using the USA to force GMO on countries that don't want it! What the hell? That's like Chevy forcing me to buy a Kia trade-in using the strong-arm capabilities of government officials! We'll even use the WTO to force GMO on people. I'm sorry - but I don't see anyone forcing, say, Organic produce on people who don't want it. Or even conventional produce! What makes GMO so special that our very government gets involved in peddling it to countries that'd rather not have it?

A lot of people swallow the "developing nation benefits" myth hook line and sinker, but the fact of the matter, every GMO seed is intellectual property - no one owns that seed or the plant it produces or the seeds that plant produces but the people who developed that seed. You're paying for the right to grow that seed and consume it's produce and that's where it stops. Monsanto "giving" seeds to some poor nation is like Drug Dealer Bob "giving" cocaine to 5th grader kids. Before long, those kids are going to be enslaved to Drug Dealer Bob, and the same goes to those nations. They will be forced to stop saving their own seed (something that's actually in the new Iraq Constitution [edited - oops - actually it's the Iraq Legislation, not Constitution]!!!!) and use exclusively the GMO, deleting centuries of established strains of veggies and grain into extinction under the mythological promise of the "superior" GMO product.

If nothing else - the cloak-n-dagger approach to forcing GMO on other nations should raise your suspicions. Why are they going thru the trouble on trying to force people to have something that they don't want? Why are they using political pressure to try to force themselves into markets that simply are not interested?

Control food, control the world.

There is nothing that GMO can do that conventional breeding cannot accomplish. And there's nothing that GMO can do in productivity than good agricultural practices cannot accomplish. Organic methods concentrating on the most important part of any crop - the soil ecosystem - are just the tip of the iceberg here. Terra preta's secrets are also showing great potential. And, none of these methods strip farmers of their rights, and they don't make farmers criminals as GMO has already done. And they don't make all farmers potential criminals as GMO will.

Let's also not forget the Pharm GMO experimentation and our bumbling that with the result of pharm-produce getting into the human food chain. To err is human - which basically means that there's no way we can be certain that what we are eating isn't chock full of hormones, drugs and whatnot if we allow that to continue unabated. Hey guys, feel your figure slimming down and your voice rising and for some reason your chest seems... bigger? Could be the corn-flakes you're eating. Nothing like a bowl of estrogen every morning.

And GMO isn't going to solve banana's problems. The problem isn't the cavendish. It's the method of agriculture. Every cavendish out there is a clone. If one is susceptible to a disease, every other one in cultivation is too - all over the world. Why is that the fault of the plant? In nature, plants overcome disease by breeding resistance. When you bypass that by cloning, you've effectively eliminated the natural method of overcoming disease. Only breeding can solve this problem and seeking a more diverse gene-pool, and perhaps weening the public off their uniform 9" yellow nanner and introducing them to some variety. GMO nanners will have the same problem - they may be engineered to resist fusarium wilt - but as they become ubiquitous in agriculture, it's inevitable that another disease will find them vulnerable and we're in the same boat - after spending a mint in licensing fees for the intellectual property we're still no better off. It's an arms race out in nature and our agricultural methods are giving disease the upper hand.

Mke

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Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
I should have highlighted what I insinuated before; I have never heard of a toxic GMO on the market. Contrary, I have heard of GMO improving yields and saving lives in the 3rd world. Also, isn't most corn in the US GMO these days? Americans aren't dying like flies, are they?

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Old 11-21-2006, 11:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

So they are dying like flies

Thanks for the enlightment, Mike. You seem to have studied this.

As you probably guessed, I know little about GMO. I am by no means supporting GMO, but it's great to get the facts on the table - from both points of view. Boring discussions with everyone beeing politically correct.

I am from the seafood/aquaculture-business. What's scary to know, is that maybe 1 out of 10 consumers believe salmon is a GMO. Contrary, it's one of the cleanest foods in the world. Now there's something you can't challenge me on, Mike!
The idea of triploid fish has been brought up here before. Could save the business millions each year, as well as the destruction of wild-salmon. Still, not even the slightest genetic modifications are allowed in this country.
Supermarkets are these days asking consumers to return rice bought between june and august this year, cause it may contain GMO.

In any case, it seems to me GMO is more political than anything else, if it's like you say, Lobbyism at its' worst.

And what was that happening in the new constitution of Iraq? Better not threaten those delicious Iraqi-dates!

Almost forgot wich board I am on, How are your bananas, by the way?

Quote:
Erlend
Americans are dying like flies. And so are the pets and animals Americans are keeping. Cancers, diseases, whathaveyou. No one is fingering GMO, but no one has discounted it's possible cause. You tell me - why do they put hazardous labels on bT toxin, but then turn around and modify plants to produce that toxin in all its tissues - some of which will be consumed? The industry is in control of this and since they're offshoots of existing chemical industries, they're already well practiced in hiding the drawbacks and barking about the benefits, not to mention their power in government. After all, they are using the USA to force GMO on countries that don't want it! What the hell? That's like Chevy forcing me to buy a Kia trade-in using the strong-arm capabilities of government officials! We'll even use the WTO to force GMO on people. I'm sorry - but I don't see anyone forcing, say, Organic produce on people who don't want it. Or even conventional produce! What makes GMO so special that our very government gets involved in peddling it to countries that'd rather not have it?

A lot of people swallow the "developing nation benefits" myth hook line and sinker, but the fact of the matter, every GMO seed is intellectual property - no one owns that seed or the plant it produces or the seeds that plant produces but the people who developed that seed. You're paying for the right to grow that seed and consume it's produce and that's where it stops. Monsanto "giving" seeds to some poor nation is like Drug Dealer Bob "giving" cocaine to 5th grader kids. Before long, those kids are going to be enslaved to Drug Dealer Bob, and the same goes to those nations. They will be forced to stop saving their own seed (something that's actually in the new Iraq Constitution!!!!) and use exclusively the GMO, deleting centuries of established strains of veggies and grain into extinction under the mythological promise of the "superior" GMO product.

If nothing else - the cloak-n-dagger approach to forcing GMO on other nations should raise your suspicions. Why are they going thru the trouble on trying to force people to have something that they don't want? Why are they using political pressure to try to force themselves into markets that simply are not interested?

Control food, control the world.

There is nothing that GMO can do that conventional breeding cannot accomplish. And there's nothing that GMO can do in productivity than good agricultural practices cannot accomplish. Organic methods concentrating on the most important part of any crop - the soil ecosystem - are just the tip of the iceberg here. Terra preta's secrets are also showing great potential. And, none of these methods strip farmers of their rights, and they don't make farmers criminals as GMO has already done. And they don't make all farmers potential criminals as GMO will.

Let's also not forget the Pharm GMO experimentation and our bumbling that with the result of pharm-produce getting into the human food chain. To err is human - which basically means that there's no way we can be certain that what we are eating isn't chock full of hormones, drugs and whatnot if we allow that to continue unabated. Hey guys, feel your figure slimming down and your voice rising and for some reason your chest seems... bigger? Could be the corn-flakes you're eating. Nothing like a bowl of estrogen every morning.

And GMO isn't going to solve banana's problems. The problem isn't the cavendish. It's the method of agriculture. Every cavendish out there is a clone. If one is susceptible to a disease, every other one in cultivation is too - all over the world. Why is that the fault of the plant? In nature, plants overcome disease by breeding resistance. When you bypass that by cloning, you've effectively eliminated the natural method of overcoming disease. Only breeding can solve this problem and seeking a more diverse gene-pool, and perhaps weening the public off their uniform 9" yellow nanner and introducing them to some variety. GMO nanners will have the same problem - they may be engineered to resist fusarium wilt - but as they become ubiquitous in agriculture, it's inevitable that another disease will find them vulnerable and we're in the same boat - after spending a mint in licensing fees for the intellectual property we're still no better off. It's an arms race out in nature and our agricultural methods are giving disease the upper hand.

Mke
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

I love salmon! Haven't heard much about GMO in concern with that. I've heard pros and cons about fish farming - but then, if done right that would alleviate the raping of our oceans, right? I think all criticisms of fish-farming can be addressed and any techniques found wanting can be improved. I've always wanted to "farm" my own fish here on the property and have a few red-claw crayfish as a starter, with hopes for tilapia and perhaps catfish later on. We'll see where that goes...

Oops - The Iraq thing is not constitution, but legislation:
http://www.google.com/search?q=Plant...ient=firefox-a
I hope their dates are preserved too. Hah! Get it? Preserved? Okay, so I'm not a comedian...

LOL, bananas? Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Well, they're settled into their greenhouse and growing happily in spite of freezing/near-freezing temperatures. Very happy. I need to pot some up here pretty soon. They have slowed down already tho - shorter photoperiod perhaps? It gets pretty warm in there during the day, and the earthmass helps at night. I certainly hope our market doesn't get polluted by an infiltration of GMO nanners!

Be well,
Mike

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Originally Posted by mrbungalow View Post
So they are dying like flies

Thanks for the enlightment, Mike. You seem to have studied this.

As you probably guessed, I know little about GMO. I am by no means supporting GMO, but it's great to get the facts on the table - from both points of view. Boring discussions with everyone beeing politically correct.

I am from the seafood/aquaculture-business. What's scary to know, is that maybe 1 out of 10 consumers believe salmon is a GMO. Contrary, it's one of the cleanest foods in the world. Now there's something you can't challenge me on, Mike!
The idea of triploid fish has been brought up here before. Could save the business millions each year, as well as the destruction of wild-salmon. Still, not even the slightest genetic modifications are allowed in this country.
Supermarkets are these days asking consumers to return rice bought between june and august this year, cause it may contain GMO.

In any case, it seems to me GMO is more political than anything else, if it's like you say, Lobbyism at its' worst.

And what was that happening in the new constitution of Iraq? Better not threaten those delicious Iraqi-dates!

Almost forgot wich board I am on, How are your bananas, by the way?
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:10 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

Quote:
I love salmon! Haven't heard much about GMO in concern with that. I've heard pros and cons about fish farming - but then, if done right that would alleviate the raping of our oceans, right?
Well, it depends. If you farm omnivorous fish such as tilapia, carp, catfish, shellfish, etc. it is a very sustainable way of making proteins. With salmon it's a bit different since the feed comes from marine resources, more specifically fish-meal from the Chilean coast. (These are said to be the cleanest waters in the world, with a low concentration of environmental toxins.) So basically for salmon and trout you are roughly taking out 2 pounds of protein-resources and refining it to one. But salmon tastes a heck of alot better than herring!!
None of the salmon stock in Norway are genetically modified, but are in strict breeding programs. Thats' why they can grow 1 lbs of meat from 1 lbs of feed. So with fish you get the most growth per lb of feed compared to hogs, chicken, beef, etc. How is this possible you might ask? Because feed is dry and meat contains water!
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

i go fishing for king salmon in the pacific once a year. They are very tasty, especially if you eat them raw (sashimi style) or barbecue them right away. Perfect combo with Banana Sherry Wine, to keep this in topic, LOL!
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Offcourse, we all want what's natural, but it's easy to let feelings come before facts on the GMO-subject.
The "facts" you say? What facts. How about you prove to me that GMO products are safe for human consumption? The bottom line is that you can not prove it because the only real human study that has been done on humans was with tomatoes and it was a miserable failure that wreaked havoc on our immune system.

You want another reason why not to support it? How about the "fact" that this untested and unsafe crap is cross pollenating the organic fields of heirloom grain and produce here in the US.

Our food comes from long lines of Heirloom seeds that are in danger of disappearing forever, and if people blindly support this nonsense there may come a day when they finally have to admit this stuff is dangerous for human consumption but it's too late to turn back because we have to feed the masses, just like what's happening with US beef and all the hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and the mad cow they won't talk about for fear of wiping out the stock markets.

Hopefully at that point the seed savers will save the food chain.

It's not too late to stop the madness!
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:06 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ooooh - salmon lightly steamed, wrapped in banana leaves! There's on-topic for you!

Grin,
Mike

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i go fishing for king salmon in the pacific once a year. They are very tasty, especially if you eat them raw (sashimi style) or barbecue them right away. Perfect combo with Banana Sherry Wine, to keep this in topic, LOL!
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Old 11-21-2006, 02:31 PM   #15 (permalink)
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This GMO topic is truly large, I am just presenting my current state of thought and summaries from years of studies by my friends directly working or even CEO's of some start-up biotech companies and I enjoy grilling them at times, over a couple of wines.

One of my major concern about GMO is that we don't have long term studies on the comprehensive effects of these brand new unnatural recombination (Direct Genetic Sequence Manipulation and cross species gene splicing) of DNA that will form new untested genes. For sure gene splicing and recombination is not new, it has been occuring in nature without human intervention. The gene splicing part is done by viral types. But we usually have several thousand years if not millions of years that the rest of nature reacts, adapts and equilibrate with these recombinations.

That is why with traditional plant breeding, those genes have already been tested through time and we are not concerned about these traditional methods. Unlike today, the biotech companies will short circuit the traditional plant breeding methods, cross transfering genes from various species, and not wait the comprehensive testing of thousands of years to make sure they are safe for nature and humans, perhaps we can cut this down to a lifetime test of 100 years, but surely not trust the currently very short tests on humans.

Even the sterile forms of GMO plants, these gene splices could be transferred by viral pathogens without pollination. How much more if these plants are pollenizers? In a similar way, with antibiotic chemicals that have been fed to healthy chickens, cows and swine, they are now found in our global water cycle, and most bacteria have spliced genes to counteract these antibiotics.

Which brings to my number two concern which is contamination. These companies owns the patent rights to these sequences of DNA and they will surely contaminate the gene pool of related species when planted out there. Do the current copyright and patent laws allow these companies to lay claim to the contaminated gene pool? Who would take the responsibility of preventing contamination and cleaning up of the gene pool? These same intellectual property owners should bear the sole responsibility if they were to reap the benefits.

No, I am not at all against GMO. For me, if the final product has no toxins, no chemicals that are harmful to mankind, no hormones that could alter mankind, why shouldn't it be safe to consume? Of course, that's just the eating part, we also have to look at how such new GMO species would impact nature in the long run, for we know they are bound to contaminate nature, and that would require thousands of years study to complete.

I have eaten a GMO tomato, the Flavr Savr out of curiosity, this is the one that prevents the rapid rotting away of tomato once it has ripened. And so I have become mortal and is bound to die. All Americans will die, and we will be dying like flies. And let me quote Jay Leno:

"With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks,"Are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?"

Now after taking out God, we will be splicing it with GMO and drug resistant microbes......
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:06 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

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Originally Posted by JoeReal View Post
No, I am not at all against GMO. For me, if the final product has no toxins, no chemicals that are harmful to mankind, no hormones that could alter mankind,
Joe, who will you trust to tell you the truth about the safety of GMO's? The same people who told Bush that there IS global warming only to have him not accept their findings and have them altered?

When it come to politics, corporations, and anyone who wants to rule the world by any means possible....I don't trust them! I could never trust them when they won't even inform the consumer that they are eating GMO products that have not been tested on humans? Not me, no way.......they'll have to pry the organic food out of my cold dead hands.

"F" all GMO products!
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

WikiPedia has some good info on GMO's


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

Quote:
The "facts" you say? What facts. How about you prove to me that GMO products are safe for human consumption?


After reading my posts, I can see how someone might think I am supportive of GMO. Actually I am pretty blank on the subject, and in fact, a littlebit sceptical. More so after hearing from Mike and Momoese.
My questions are meant to provoke (wich leads to good discussions), and not necessarly representing how I feel on the subject.

The question is, is there a possibillity that there can be produced a GMO that is proved perfectly safe to eat, no threat to the environment, invindsable to all disease, and unbeatable in forms of yield? Would such a crop be worth the effort of research? Or should research on GMO stop alltogether and be replaced with traditional breeding?

My true personal opinion on the subject is that GM is fine as long as these factors are 110% certain. But the bottom line is that it never will be, and proving such a claim would be impossible. And if you could, the masses would still be sceptical. The market as a whole doesn't want GMO either. So I'd rather be happy eating ice-cream, lacatan, or even nibble on a pitogo if Cavendish should disappear for good.

By the way, anyone here involved in breeding of bananas experimentally or professionally?
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:40 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

I happen to have first hand research testing data from UC Davis, of people whom I can trust with my life, and they have done related works and testing about GMO. That is why to a certain extent, I have tried their products. But outside of this circles of colleagues, that would be an entirely different matter when it comes to trusting the FDA and people with political non-scientific agenda.

You have every right not to trust non-scientist politicians, aka, the government and political appointees, those mal-informed decision makers. It is so hard to trust the government because of political rather than scientific discussions, and I'm with you on how they have handled issues related to global climate change ... but I still try to keep an open mind on them, they are the only ones we've got, and I have voted a lot of them out last November 7.



Quote:
Originally Posted by momoese View Post
Joe, who will you trust to tell you the truth about the safety of GMO's? The same people who told Bush that there IS global warming only to have him not accept their findings and have them altered?

When it come to politics, corporations, and anyone who wants to rule the world by any means possible....I don't trust them! I could never trust them when they won't even inform the consumer that they are eating GMO products that have not been tested on humans? Not me, no way.......they'll have to pry the organic food out of my cold dead hands.

"F" all GMO products!
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:47 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Default Re: Genetically modified bananas

But by and large, GMO is not yet ripe for public release, not in my lifetime.
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