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Posted on Feb 2, 2017, 2:51:01 PM PST
It turns out that horizontal gene transfer between vascular plants is not a rare phenomenon.


In reply to an earlier post on Jan 29, 2017, 7:52:13 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 29, 2017, 8:00:38 AM PST
"they have to keep increasing the poison to do the same job, because of the bugs developing resistance to it?"

Roundup is an herbicide, not an insecticide. Furthermore, herbicide resistance was identified as far back as the 1940s. For some reason, anti-GMOers seem to believe there was never a problem with herbicides before evil Monsanto developed Roundup, and that farmers before that time eliminated weeds through the judicious use of magic fairy dust.

"If all of this stuff is so safe how about mixing it STRAIT in water and drinking it, then give it to your kids with flavor in it"

Should we try that with the pesticides used in organic farming? Might not be a good idea to give the kiddies drinks containing copper sulphate, pyrethrin, nicotine and lime sulphur:

"Everything aside, you said you were raised by a farmer, think he'd REALY want to eat food with chemicals in them"

Yes, farmers eat the same food we do, so they have a vested interest in keeping it safe. They also realize that organic farming practices do not guarantee safe food. For one thing, dumping large quantities of manure on cropland has downsides which including runoff and pollution of waterways, and increasing risks of E. coli contamination.

"STRONG HEALTHY HEIRLOOM seeds NEVER EVER needed Garbage to protect them."

I use many heirloom seeds because some offer taste or other advantages over modern hybrids. However, they are far from pest-resistant and commonly require more attention when it comes to defeating bugs and diseases (as well as yielding less). These problems are manageable in my garden, but a lot more difficult in a large-scale farming operation, which is why farmers prefer modern pest-resistant hybrids (whether they're GMO or non-GMO). Tip: if your tomatoes have been developed for resistance to fungal diseases, you don't have to spray them with copper sulfate like the organic farmers with their heirloom plants.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2017, 6:03:33 PM PST
Bobbiecat says:
Excuse me, but have you looked to see what is IN Roundup? What chemicals are used? How they are made, what they cause, what effect they have on living organisms, what's left from just MAKING them? How, once used, they have to keep increasing the poison to do the same job, because of the bugs developing resistance to it? Just research it. If all of this stuff is so safe how about mixing it STRAIT in water and drinking it, then give it to your kids with flavor in it , my husband was trained in EPA crap, one sight where they made a lot of chemicals was a paint factory, I'm sorry, but I don't want to eat anything in my food made at a paint factory, visit one. If it's so safe, add it to your salad dressings, or your milk, or, or, or..... OH, wait they already do that for you. Do you REALLY believe that after your children use it for years, that they're DNA is still going to be normal? Have you never saw the movies about what REALY happens to us when it gets in our ground or water? DOESN'T mater how it gets there. It's in the whole plant, including what they plow, or burn back into the ground for next year. And once on the ground where do you think it goes? And just in case we ran not getting our daily dose of poison, the lining of each can has a nice coating of more chemicals to protect you from the metal! They are so caring. Everything aside, you said you were raised by a farmer, think he'd REALY want to eat food with chemicals in them instead of just straight food grown naturally aided by more natural solutions such as manure, flowers that keep bugs away, ground cover crops that keep weeds away, and STRONG HEALTHY HEIRLOOM seeds NEVER EVER needed Garbage to protect them. Please, for your own sake look this stuff up. There are enough sick, harmed, and suffering people. We don't need more.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 15, 2017, 3:38:09 PM PST
Polno says:
A herbicide is not a pesticide. A herbicide targets plants, and a pesticide targets pests. I am a scientist, and I am an independent scientist (my research is not funded by industries that profit by a genetically modified plant), and I do research to develop genetically modified plants so that we can feed the world and avoid the toxic effects of some synthetic pesticides. So, pesticide use IS down in many crops that have Bt toxins because they are very targeted, very effective in controlling target pests. Soon, there will be plants expressing dsRNA to target pests; this is necessary mostly because there are some populations of pests that are evolving to avoid the toxin. We will constantly be evolving in our technology to control pests, because there is an increasing world population with a decreasing amount of farmable land.

As far as the herbicide glyphosate, yes, I think the use of Roundup and such product has increased much more than the doubled you mention, because it is very effective in reducing weeds in fields. Farmers have adopted these GM technologies because they are safe and effective, and worth the cost. As with insects, weeds are also evolving resistance to glyphosate, and so scientists will need to continue to look for new alternatives.

What I and trying to clear up on this forum is all of the misinformation from well-intentioned members, but without facts to back up claims. I am happy to discuss this in the spirit of trying to get the truth out about genetically modified foods, because without them, we will not be able to feed future populations.

Posted on Jan 9, 2017, 1:46:40 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 9, 2017, 1:52:32 PM PST
Sobering evidence that crank magnetism can affect even our major medical centers - the Cleveland Clinic is attempting damage control after the revelation that the M.D. who heads its "Wellness Institute" is an antivaccine crank.

Dr. Neides also thinks we need to "detoxify" ourselves due to environmental chemicals and is an anti-GMOer (he recommends readers get info on food ingredients from the Food Babe). One of the more hilarously inept comments in his recent article on shows that he is hopelessly confused about plant breeding:

"First, I need to make a correction from last month's article. I incorrectly stated that wheat may come from GMO (genetically modified organism) sources. That is incorrect. At this time, the USDA has not approved GMO seed for wheat. Our wheat has been genetically engineered to its current form but we cannot call it GMO. Sounds like semantics but I want to be accurate."

I don't think he meant to say this, but Neides is actually correct that it's "semantics" to argue that genetic manipulation is confined to biotech crops and not conventionally bred varieties. Neides' statement does go against the grain of typical anti-GMOers who want us to think that conventional breeding using radiation or various crosses with potential for random genetic combinations is safe but that the precise techniques of biotechnology are, like, really Bad.

Oh, and Neides supports the idea that glyphosate causes all sorts of afflictions, from obesity to Parkinson's disease.

Wonder if he's worried about chemtrails too.

Posted on Jan 8, 2017, 2:42:11 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 8, 2017, 2:43:54 PM PST
ParrotSlave says:
"Biologists long ago accepted that microbes can swap DNA, and they are now coming to terms with rampant gene flow among more complex creatures. 'A large percent of the genome is free to move around,' notes Chris Jiggins, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. This 'really challenges our concept of what a species is.' As a result, where biologists once envisioned a tree of life, its branches forever distinct, many now see an interconnected web."-- (Elizabeth Pennisi, Shaking up the Tree of Life, Science 18 Nov 2016: Vol. 354, Issue 6314, pp. 817-82)

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 2, 2017, 4:18:24 PM PST
You think someone like Seralini would be stripped of his research duties simply because he creates study after study with glaring (and relatively easy to control) confounding variables, but I guess when you're head chair of an anti-GM organization that keeps funding these things, the organization tends to turn its head the other way.

Posted on Jan 2, 2017, 3:40:34 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 2, 2017, 3:42:07 PM PST
More scientists from related fields are weighing in on the findings reported by the Seralini group, and the commentary is damning:

"The choice of lines (corn varieties) used in this study introduces several major sources of variation that make it impossible to account for. Because the lines are not isogenic (or near-isogenic) and there is no information on if they were hybridized to the same parent line, it is impossible to say if the observed differences are due to the transgenic trait or due the fact that lines with differing genetics were used. The risk of misinterpreting the results based on this would be far too great and this type of experiment is too expensive to waste money like that. This is one of the reasons why researchers will generate their own NILs. Other issues with the study include the poor plot design that lacks randomization (or any other standard design for an experiment like this), lack of replications (different blocks within the field, other locations, repeated growing seasons, etc.) and the lack of information about these lines. No pedigree is offered and these lines are no longer on the market (I couldn't find any information on these lines online), so we can't say for sure how likely it is that they are closely related or not. This is bad science and this paper never should have made it through the peer review process with these and other major methodological issues intact (not to mention all of the grammatical and typographic errors)."

"In contrast with compositional analysis, which is done for every application, and reported by EFSA, and which involves proper replicated field trials, this study appears to have been done with single, unreplicated plots.

Therefore it is not possible to say with any certainty whether the differences reported are due to differences between the treatments or differences between the two fields (or two plots within the fields) used.

In other words the basic tenets of experimental design seem not to have been followed. For that reason I could not yet describe this as a thorough piece of science."

Posted on Jan 1, 2017, 7:46:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Jan 1, 2017, 7:53:21 AM PST
Informative article on Seralini and his conflicts of interest, including ties to the organic food industry and supplement manufacturers:

"Funding for much of Seralini's research has come directly from the alternative health and organic industries, and in particular by various organizations tied to the Rodale Institute, a 501c3 that bills itself as advocating for policies that support farmers, and educating consumers about how going organic is the healthiest option for people and the planet. Anthony Rodale, chairman emeritus of Rodale Organic and grandson of the founder, is a vocal supporter of Seralini's work."

"The funds are funneled to the French scientist through the Sustainable Food Alliance (SFA), headed by Patrick Holden, former director of the UK Soil Association, Britain's organic industry trade group which is a charity campaigning for "planet-friendly organic practices and healthy, humane and sustainable food, farming and land use". A study released in December 2016 claiming GM corn is not substantially equilvent to non-GMO varieties was financed by SFA."

"SFA, with branches in the US and overseas, provides research funds to organic and anti-GMO groups around the world, including to scientists such as Seralini, without having to make the grants public. About US$2 million appears to have gone from this NGO to research for herbicide and toxic evaluations between 2011-2013. Seralini's research group acknowledged support from SFA in the PLOS ONE article. Seralini has previously received funding from Greenpeace, which financed a 2007 study that claimed that GM corn caused health problems in rats. The study was reviewed by the European Food Safety Authority, which concluded that all of the statistical anomalies cited by the study group were attributable to normal biological variation.

"Additional funding for much of Seralini's research and to support his France-based laboratory comes from Sevene Pharma, a French company that promotes cures using homeopathy, which mainstream scientists including the US Federal Trade Commission consider pseudo-science. Sevene sells homeopathic remedies but also pays Seralini to research atrazine and glyphosate risks. It markets detoxification homeopathy products to treat the alleged toxic effects of glyphosate and atrazine contamination, which is the focus of Seralini's research, a clear conflict of interest the professor has apparently been forced by PLOS to now acknowledge."

What really counts is the quality of Seralini's research - which has been dreadful. This is typically what happens when people desperately seek out "facts" to confirm their prejudices, instead of conducting rigorous science.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 8:32:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2016, 8:34:09 PM PST
"I no longer attempt any real, honest discussion here."

When have you ever made such an attempt?

I invited you to comment on the Harrigan et al study I linked to, as it directly relates to the claims made by the study you referenced (which, if you failed to notice it, was co-authored by Seralini). But you're unwilling or incapable of rationally discussing the issues here. Whenever you re-emerge in this thread, it's to post some random idiocy that popped up on one of your newsfeeds and to whine about how the meanies are keeping you down.

Find someone willing to tutor you on basic principles of the scientific method and how to read and analyze a research paper.

And, Happy New Year. :)

Posted on Dec 31, 2016, 3:18:34 PM PST
And I love how they mention putrescine and cadaverine - organic compounds which are found in ALL healthy cells. They are the products of amino acid catabolism. Funny how the study omits that little fact. But the words sound vile, so they only present you with half the information hoping you think this is exclusive to GMO plants. Sorry. It's not.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 3:07:24 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2016, 3:07:37 PM PST
Your study makes references to Seralini. If the data you're pulling is flawed, your study conclusion will be too. Seriously, like I've said a million times, if I were asked to make a credible argument against GMOs, my first step would be to distance myself from Seralini. And speaking of, one of the references just takes you to a home page with NO data related to the point being made, so there is no way to actually check the assertion being made.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 3:02:35 PM PST
This study is reminiscent of the GM bean vs non-GM bean study in which they glaringly left out the variety of bean and the growing location. Makes you wonder if they did that intentionally to skew the results or if these people really do not know how to conduct a carefully controlled study that eliminates confounders. I'm equally baffled on how these people get funding when such a huge confounder is present.

Posted on Dec 31, 2016, 3:00:28 PM PST
"No doubt you find it frustrating that your attempts at being "sciency" continually fall flat. Why not make a New Year's resolution to learn basic principles of science and critical thinking and come back when you've mastered them?"

Yeah, I once found it frustrating that you reject any study that does not support your preconceived notions about GMOs, but I have learned to accept your responses and your ad hominems. That's the reason I no longer attempt any real, honest discussion here. A discussion with those who make no attempt to go beyond what they believe and are told by selective sources aren't worth my time.

By the way, the study was done by Dr Michael Antoniou, not Seralini, and you are hardly qualified to say what Seralini knows.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 2:58:32 PM PST
You keep posting the SAME junk over and over and over and over and over again with this uncanny ability to act as if it's something new. And Seralini references do not help your case.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 2:36:18 PM PST
I see we're back to Seralini and his not-so-magnificent-obsession with GMOs.

In short, Seralini does not comprehend what "substantial equivalence" means, his so-called "metabolic disturbances" have no demonstrated impact on animal or human health, and there's evidence such "disturbances" can be greater in conventionally bred crops than in biotech crops and vary widely depending on the area of a field one samples.

From another recent paper:

"Results demonstrated that the largest effects on metabolomic variation were associated with different growing locations and the female tester. They further demonstrated that differences observed between GM and non-GM comparators, even in stringent tests utilizing near-isogenic positive and negative segregants, can simply reflect minor genomic differences associated with conventional back-crossing practices."


"The effect of GM on metabolomics variation was determined to be negligible and supports that there is no scientific rationale for prioritizing GM as a source of variation."


"you boys will no doubt reject/debunk"

No doubt you find it frustrating that your attempts at being "sciency" continually fall flat. Why not make a New Year's resolution to learn basic principles of science and critical thinking and come back when you've mastered them?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 31, 2016, 1:34:19 PM PST
"I realize that it is not popular these days to seek facts and truth, but some might be interested."


Here's another study that you boys will no doubt reject/debunk:

Posted on Dec 28, 2016, 11:20:17 AM PST
ParrotSlave says:
You can get the brand-new Genetically Engineered Crops: Experiences and Prospects (2016) from the National Academies Press right now. The pdf is free, but the print version is $89. You can also read it online: .

"After two decades of production, some groups and individuals remain critical of the technology based on their concerns about possible adverse effects on human health, the environment, and ethical considerations. At the same time, others are concerned that the technology is not reaching its potential to improve human health and the environment because of stringent regulations and reduced public funding to develop products offering more benefits to society. While the debate about these and other questions related to the genetic engineering techniques of the first 20 years goes on, emerging genetic-engineering technologies are adding new complexities to the conversation.

"Genetically Engineered Crops builds on previous related Academies reports published between 1987 and 2010 by undertaking a retrospective examination of the purported positive and adverse effects of GE crops and to anticipate what emerging genetic-engineering technologies hold for the future. This report indicates where there are uncertainties about the economic, agronomic, health, safety, or other impacts of GE crops and food, and makes recommendations to fill gaps in safety assessments, increase regulatory clarity, and improve innovations in and access to GE technology."

I realize that it is not popular these days to seek facts and truth, but some might be interested.

Posted on Dec 27, 2016, 4:44:35 PM PST
ParrotSlave says:

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 8:35:27 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 23, 2016, 8:35:50 PM PST
We don't need no steenking genetic engineering! Tell those cancer patients to just suck it up, or use homeopathy the way God intended. Cures are unnatural!

And those Hawaiian farmers whose livelihoods were saved by GM papayas, they're just Baysanto puppets.

Ban the GMOs! Let's party like it's 1899!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 5:41:12 PM PST
"So, just what is the purpose of genetic engineering technology? Why is it needed?"

Because you just can't any old trait you want isolated with such methods (the article admits it's no fool-proof as well)....unless you want to wait another 8-10 thousand years of selective breeding.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 5:34:34 PM PST
Of course it's not new. So, just what is the purpose of genetic engineering technology? Why is it needed? Using it to make varieties that ultimately result in use of more chemicals isn't exactly a good thing. Unless you want to eventually destroy the earth and kill off bunches of wildlife and people, of course.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 5:29:05 PM PST
Isn't that the point? Sooner or later, GMOs will contaminate all other varieties of a species and there will be no non-GMOs. Anyone know if any studies (not funded by the industry) have been done...yet addressing the issue of horizontal transfer to non-related species?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 5:25:44 PM PST
"The desired trait was achieved without using GMO technology."

And? This is not new.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 23, 2016, 5:23:04 PM PST
Since you boys want to ignore the link I posted and talk nonsense, let me point out the obvious: The desired trait was achieved without using GMO technology.
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