CSIRO on the menu

22 12 2008

CSIRO Plant Industries has a youtube channel.

Only one movie up so far, educating on what the real deal is with GMO crops in Australia.

This is a good piece that does do its part to address some concerns regarding the health and environmental impacts of genetic engineering. I think its good and educational and helps pull back from some scaremongering that come from green politics.

It does avoid some issues though, which does pock it as propoganda framing.

On allergies, I’ve never heard anyone ty to link GM with the rise of allergies (sounds Kool-Aid conspiracy). I have heard concerns of whether placing fish proteins in vegetables may be an issue for persons allergic to fish. The food might be safe for general human consumption, but to allergic persons. Will the food be marked “GMO, may contain fish proteins” or simply “GMO foodstuff”?

On company involvement. That is great that in Australia most research is done by non-afiliated organisations. But who sponsors their research? CSIRO was notorious under its previous management for offering commercial services to the detriment of “blue-sky” research – but personally, I didn’t find it affecting their ethical integrity too much (it just meant industry directed where research was performed). And probably more importantly who benefits (and who suffers)?

On environmental impact. It is great news that GMOs can decrease output of environmental waste. But can GMOs encourage any unsustainable farming methods, such as reducing genetic diversity in a crop?

I support GM technology and research (I’d much rather see it done in animals than crops though), and I like this video. What do others think of this video.

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2 responses

23 12 2008
Sandi

Try the bacterium, Bacillus Subtilis that is used as a biopesticides etc. There has been research as far back as 1969 (Flindt) that speaks about the enzyme produced by this bacterium that does in fact cause allergic responses. Even in the 1997 “risk assessment” of Bacillus Subtilis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states this as well as other health related risks. This is just “one”.

Also, in the U.S. all that is required to be on a biological pesticide, insecticide, fungicide etc. label is the “inert ingredient”. This can be as little as 0.07%. Now, haven’t you ever wondered what the “other” ingredients are?

You’d be surprised IF you read some of the patents submitted by these biotech companies as most of them read that not only is the “inert ingredient” (fungus or bacteria against a target pest) used, but they are combined with other bacteria and/or fungus – chemicals – and/or BOTH.

The Pandora’s box has been opened. It’s going to be too late to slam it shut now, if it isn’t already.

23 12 2008
zayzayem

Firstly, these are bacterium and other microbes, not plants. Rules on control of genetic engineering are a little different.

But having that they have one enzyme (out of how many enzymes produced by a single bacterium) that causes allergies. Any protein can cause allergies. So I really fail to see why this is a problem. Unmodified milk causes allergies. Dust causes allergies. Peanuts cause allergies.

Also not sure how we got onto biological pesticides. They aren’t necessarily GM.

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