“@silverguru: There was a time when I would have agreed with you, but then I started reading the scientific literature (on both sides) and getting hands-on experience in this field. Now, I couldn't disagree more with your position. Industrial processes are great at cheaply & efficiently mass-producing automobiles. So, we assumed we could apply this template to a massively interconnected biological system (earth).
This is a faulty assumption. Monoculture is not biologically sustainable, GMO or not. Facts: it kills the soil, it requires ever-increasing external input as soil health degrades (water, petro-chemical fertilizers, etc) and ever-increasing pesticides to overcome the problems it creates (see Benbrook C. Impacts of GE crops on pesticide use in the US – the first sixteen years. Environmental Sciences Europe 2012, 24,24 doi:10.1186/2190-4715-24-24). Essentially, nature attacks monoculture systems the same way our immune systems attack a virus. We now have a handful of companies with a vested interest in perpetuating this flawed approach to food production fighting against nature (a multi-billion year old, ever-evolving, open-source biological system) using GMOs and ever-increasing volumes and types of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc.
Take away the subsidies and factor in the externalities, and you'll quickly realize that the food this model produces are far from being "cheap," just as feeding your family McDonalds for every meal is not actually saving you money over the long run.”
Photofarm on Nov 13, 2012 at 12:45:32
“You must not have understood what you read. First off, most of the ground is under crop rotation, not monoculture. Even with crop rotation problems develope over time. It was a given you didn't need to worry about corn rootworms if you rotated away from corn for one year. Over time, the root worm adapted and will lay dormant a year waiting for corn to be planted again and then start feeding on corn roots.
There is nothing flawed about the system, especially if you look at the output and reliabilty compared to old system. All you are really advocating is turning away all the science we have learned about food production in the last 100 years and go back 100 years in farming methods. Any farmer that is over 50 years old knows how wrong headed that would be.”
“GMOs are a complex issue (transgenics, cisgenics, mutagenics, etc), and we're so disconnected from our food (and the environment) that high percentages of people don't even know where milk, eggs, or ketchup comes from. Whether we admit it or not, we've successfully created the most unhealthy, environmentally destructive food production & distribution system in human history and the companies at the top of the food pyramid scheme are now spreading this system to other parts of the world, "maximizing shareholder value" while concurrently hiding the compounding externalities from public view. Their argument: the only way we can feed 7 billion people is to poison the soil, water, air & food.
This system should not be allowed to scale to produce "food" for the ~10 billion people that are expected on earth by 2050. Let's focus on modifying our minds, communities, and agricultural system, not our seeds. Permaculture and organic agriculture provide a proven, viable alternative to our current approach by establishing localized/decentralized means of "food sovereignty," superior biodiversity, healthier ecosystems & people, and a wide range of economic benefits at a community level. These are not fringe unsubstantiated ivory tower opinions, my wife and I "live this" daily and are also supported by legitimate scientific studies [20 year study backs organic farming: Science (vol 296, p 1694); 2010 UN Report "Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter"]. This goes beyond food: it's the upstream source of virtually every massive national & global problem that we're dealing with today. Get educated and”
silverguru on Nov 12, 2012 at 02:04:44
“If there was a cheaper alternative to big agro's methods of growing food on a reliable basis for all of mankind -- low water, low disease, high yield -- guess what we'd call it: Big Agro. Because that's all they do. Produce food for as cheaply as possible, without sacrificing the one thing that organic et al. does not -- reliability. Reliability is the ultimate sustainability -- b/c what matter are the humans who eat.
Get a grip guys -- we're talking about food not guns.”