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Whatevah's Comments

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If Genetically Modified Trees Could Help Stop Climate Change Would You Support Them?

If Genetically Modified Trees Could Help Stop Climate Change Would You Support Them?

Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 07:59:38 in Green

“The report says that nearly one-third of global carbon emissions could be absorbed with these trees.

That's a LOT of greenhouse gas. You can't come close to that goal with conventional trees or other plants.

Since nobody is doing anything else with any chance of having nearly that much impact, I think these trees could do a lot to reduce the extent of the ongoing greenhouse catastrophe.

Yes, I support this idea.”

DocSkull on Oct 7, 2010 at 11:35:47

“"The report says that nearly one-third of global carbon emissions could be absorbed with these trees."

Whatevah loves GMOs!

It says that trees planted on "land currently under cultivation" would result in "less than one-third of total carbon emissions caused by human activity." It would be more prudent to reduce CO2 emission by a third than converting croplands into GMO tree stands.

As the author also points out:

"Obviously some of the same issues that dog other GM crops would still be in play: Health issues, cross contamination with non-GM plants, and (the bigger issue to me) continued consolidation of corporate control over essential elements of life."”
huffingtonpost entry

GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 07:45:40 in Home

“The link you provided about canola had nothing to do with GMO food.

Remember, this is what I asked:

"Please acknowledge that GMO critics have been claiming for decades that eating GMO food might someday, somehow cause some physical harm to somebody - and that it has never happened. "

I'm happy to address the issue of GMO pollen and canola, but let's not change the subject just yet. Before we switch topics, please acknowledge that there is no evidence of anyone ever being hurt by eating GMO food.”

horizonr on Oct 8, 2010 at 11:47:17

“As I mentioned earlier...

You and others here write as though GM technology was time-tested and "in the clear," simply because we've not seen tangible signs of a health or environmental crisis in the first 30 or so years.

But 30 or so years is a snap of the fingers in eco-biological time.

Recessive genes and traits lie dormant all the time, only to spring into action generations later.

Sometimes the other shoe takes a long time to drop.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 07:42:41 in Home

“Ah, the shill fallacy.

Why is it that so many of you anti-science types think that anyone who disagrees with you must be a shill? That's a sign of poor logic.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 7, 2010 at 07:41:11 in Home

“For independent scientist who favor GMO technology, check out the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the National Academy of Science, and the Royal Society.

Here's an AAAS report on the challenge of feeding 9 billion people by 2050. Skip to Table 1 for proposed uses of GMOs:

www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/327/5967/812

Here's info from Sense About Science, an independent charitable foundation of English scientists who prepare objective reports on a wide range of issues. Download their report on GMOs here:

www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/index.php/site/project/16/

Here's an entire book by the National Academy of Science:

www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10386&page=45

If you were a real scientist, you would already know that the mainstream consensus is that the anti-biotech crowd is a bunch of luddites. Why are you pretending to have expertise when you clearly don't?”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 16:31:25 in Home

“What about the fact that no evidence of actual harm has surfaced after all these years?

I don't mind going down that road, but I do feel you should acknowledge that it has always - always - led to a dead end so far.”

goldfarmer on Oct 5, 2010 at 01:04:13

“Did you read my last link? Is that not considered "harm" to you?
http://newswire.uark.edu/Article.aspx?id=14453

Listen, I'm open to non biased studies. Do I want to do to the work to find these supposed multitudes of independently funded studies? No! I farm Organically on my own land, and help my family farm conventionally on the rest of our land. We have never bought a single GMO seed because we've never had to. I try not to begrudge other farmers who do. Maybe they feel they need it. Our farming methods for corn silage, wheat, & oats have always worked for us without GMO. Standard hybrid is cheaper anyway.

What you feel I should acknowledge is your own belief in the superiority of GMO technology. My experience is that I don't need that technology.

We were 'promised' by industry funded studies that artificially created genes cross breeding into naturally bred plants would never be an issue. Well, IT IS NOW!!! I grow a product that an increasing number of people want; GMO free food. It is my right to grow it, and their right to demand it, and their right to buy it. Patented gene pollution into seed banks that I, and thousands of farmers across the country like me need for our businesses, should be a crime.

You prove to me that the product you love, won't infect the seed bank that keeps me in business?

Beyond that, I won't acknowledge jack.”

gp Idaho on Oct 4, 2010 at 23:50:03

“literally... a dead "terminator" end.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:54:09 in Home

“I see that you are the latest person to accuse me of somehow being a cheerleader for Monsanto.

It's funny. When I accuse the anti-vaccine fanatics of being anti-science, they claim I must work for some pharmaceutical company. Creationists accuse me of being aligned with the devil.

A few weeks ago a critic of fluroidation accused me of being a dentist.

Why do all you anti-science types think anyone who disagrees with you is a shill?”

ProfessorHempinstead on Oct 3, 2010 at 12:17:54

“You are making huge assumptions that I am anti science. I am not nor ever have been anti science. I embrace change and welcome technology. You can look at the science all you want. I will look at the behavior of the people behind the science. Quite frankly I think it would be hypocritical to use a computer and dis science at the same time. Maybe you could use that one for your anti science types. But it wont work on me. And yeah, I'll admit it. You do sound like a cheerleader for monsanto. Maybe I am wrong. Maybe you just love the science and disregard whatever monsanto has to do with the process. If that is the case....my bad. Either way, your selling and Im not buying.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:51:13 in Home

“Goldy, I've sent you an awful lot of links. If necessary, I'll get the citations for the various university researchers who have worked on GMO salmon over the years.

Before I do that, however, I'd like to you acknowledge something.

Please acknowledge that GMO critics have been claiming for decades that eating GMO food might someday, somehow cause some physical harm to somebody - and that it has never happened.

Please put in writing the fact that the idea that there is something dangerous about this salmon is just the latest in a long series of claims that have never, ever come true.

In addition, please tell me how many years need to go by before this "new and untested" complaint should be retired.”

horizonr on Oct 3, 2010 at 20:43:26

“We could talk about how GM crops are grown in monocultures that kill biodiversity.

We also could talk about how GM seeds often are "terminator seeds" that --- unlike traditional seeds --- farmers cannot save from harvest to harvest, to plant each successive generation of crops. Farmers have to keep going back to a company like Monsanto to buy the seeds. Which means that, for all intents and purposes, the corporation owns the organism.

To state the obvious: Corporate ownership of organisms is a big problem.”

goldfarmer on Oct 3, 2010 at 15:35:40

“Oh, and don't waste your time with university research that is funded by anyone that could directly benefit from the patent.

There is research going on at UC Berkeley right now related to Miscanthus for bio fuel production that I am intrigued by, but it's still funded by those who will benefit from the patent.”

goldfarmer on Oct 3, 2010 at 13:19:56

“I think you're confusing we with someone else.

You have sent me two links. The first was a poor attempt to show me that Certified Organic allows lots of toxic pesticides, which was a big fail. There are some 'allowed' naturally based substances that can be considered toxic, but that link showed none of them. The second was concerning Percy Schmeiser, which I gave you credit for, tended to support your view that he just wanted to steal patent technology. Although after studying that link I only see him guilty of being negligent and, frankly, stupid, for under estimating Monsanto's power.

As to your questions:

1. When I see completely independent studies that have taken into account the many variables in Nature, that GMO is safe - then I will admit that there is evidence as you claim.

2. How can anyone really know whether GM Salmon is safe or not at this early date? I'm open, all I asked for were completely independent tests.

3. How many years? Let a group of scientists who are leery of GMO, run their own tests on those patented organisms. Again, how many years? Well, why don't we ask people like this:
http://newswire.uark.edu/Article.aspx?id=14453
instead of just rush to get a new organism out there, interbreeding with what millions of years of Nature created, just for a fatty return on an investment.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:42:29 in Home

“The idea of genetically modified salmon is an old one. It has been researched and tested at several universities over the years. AquaBounty is only one of many players interested in this field.

However, you need to acknowledge that opponents of GMO food have been making this safety charge for more than 30 years. In all that time, not one of the claims of danger have ever come true.

At some point I need to see some actual evidence of a problem that isn't imaginary.”

horizonr on Oct 4, 2010 at 12:55:26

“You and others here write as though GM technology was time-tested and "in the clear," simply because we've not seen tangible signs of a health or environmental crisis in the first 30 or so years.

But 30 or so years is a snap of the fingers in eco-biological time.

Recessive genes and traits lie dormant all the time, only to spring into action generations later.

Sometimes the other shoe takes a long time to drop.”

horizonr on Oct 3, 2010 at 14:04:39

“Monsanto is the most famous example of GM promises made and (badly and irredeemably) broken.

Is AquaBounty the Monsanto of salmon? Advocates of GM salmon like to tout this project as the way to save wild salmon. But are these GM salmon apologists prepared for the likelihood that, at some future point, GM salmon will escape from a location that is not nearly as far away from wild salmon as Panama? Are they prepared for the possibility that some of these GM salmon will breed with wild salmon, with the result that, over the course of several salmon generations, the GM salmon will eradicate and replace the wild salmon altogether? Are they prepared for the larger ecological consequences of this?

What I hear from the pro-GM lobby are lots of famous last words.

Just like Monsanto.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:38:37 in Home

“If you read this thread, you'll find numerous examples of factual errors made by "anti-GMO" types.

In my experience, an individual opposition to biotechnolog is directly proportional to their ignorance of the science. People who actually study this stuff are overwhelmingly in favor.”

benwha on Oct 3, 2010 at 09:24:27

“I have always found it interesting that antiGMO organizations keep their followers in the dark about the various aspects of gmo. It isn't like it has to be automatic that by understanding gmo or conventional farming accurately will automatically mean you support it. So why do antigmo organizations like greenpeace peddle in so much misinformation?”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:36:38 in Home

“Yes, life is hard.

That's why it's good to take advantage of technological approaches that might make success more attainable.”

horizonr on Oct 3, 2010 at 21:24:05

“Why pursue genetic mutations of salmon, when we have not yet exhausted the better technological approaches to salmon that already are out there?

Ockham's razor.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:35:56 in Home

“These other practitioners are indeed inspiring.

I hope they succeed in producing enough salmon to make a difference.

For the same reason, I hope humanity gets a chance to pursue new technological ideas that have the potential to help. Help is needed too much to turn away from important opportunities; no opportunity is more important that biotech.”

horizonr on Oct 4, 2010 at 13:41:19

“I'd say that the main "opportunity" being pursued here starts with "m" and rhymes with "funny" --- only it's not.

Speculation has a long history in this country --- and that's what AquaBounty is doing: fishing for dollars.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 3, 2010 at 08:33:54 in Home

“Pure speculation based on nothing.

Any technology can be misused. The problem is that the current technology is being misused today, with devastating consequences. Blind opposition to technological alternatives is a vote in support of the status quo.”

horizonr on Oct 3, 2010 at 21:19:31

“Do you seriously doubt that upscaling to industrial levels of GM salmon production would result in more lax physical containment controls?

You are right that inferior existing salmon technology and practices are being pursued. But GM is not the obvious response to that. The obvious response is to nurture greater industry saturation of superior existing salmon technology and practices.

Ockham's razor.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 20:06:12 in Home

“I really don't think there's any reason to believe that folks who stock shelves or drive trucks understand all that much about the actual challenge of growing food.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 20:02:20 in Home

“I get my information from independent scientists with no financial motive or political agenda.

FOr a change, try the Royal Academy of England, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or the National Academy of Science. That's where to find the judgement of people who actually understand this stuff.

Sense About Science is a non-profit charitably foundation that exists to allow scientists to provide laymen with objective information on controversial topics, from animal experimentation to vaccination. Check out what they have to say about GMO food.

FYI: It's based in England - no FDA-Monsanto conspiracies possible.

www.senseaboutscience.org.uk/

ProfessorHempinstead on Oct 3, 2010 at 07:31:44

“Nothing you can say will make me change my mind about monsanto. These are not conspiracies but plain facts about fda and monsanto. For some one who goes by "Whatevah" you seem awful determined to to get people to change their mind. What about the freedom of choice? Why is it not my right to know what I am eating? What I am feeding my kids? Because they will make less money if I know what is in the food or how it is grown or manipulated from seed? I could give a damn about their profit margin. Let me know what I am eating and I will decide. Not some scientist across the ocean. It is the most basic of human rights. Even if you were right(which I dont believe for a second) I wouldnt support a company with their track record. Just the agent orange incident alone would make me not support their company if they were selling girl scout cookies. To me it is not only about food safety but also principle.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 16:07:34 in Home

www.allenbrothers.com/99851.html

Note that this company will ship you 8 six-oz. pieces of Loch Duart salmon for $130 bucks.

I can purchase that much farmed Atlantic salmon at my local grocery store for about $15.

I really see no way to look at this product and not see it is a luxury item for an elite audience.

I have no idea whether I would consider you to be rich, but most of the world's people have a definition of rich that would cover anybody who can afford a computer and a web connection.”

horizonr on Oct 2, 2010 at 23:39:31

“Allen Brothers is a luxury catalog which --- as all such catalogs do --- adds a ridiculous premium for convenience and packaging. So that price is *far* from typical.

I don't pay anywhere *near* $44 a pound for Loch Duart --- $17, maybe.

And: If you're paying $5 a pound for farmed Atlantic salmon, you should report your vendor to the local health department. Farmed Atlantic salmon at that price would be *well* past its sell-by date.

But the real issue is: Of *course*, better salmon --- better in terms of responsible methods, environmental impacts, quality, etc. --- should be more expensive. And those of us who can afford to spend a little more for salmon like that should be doing so.

One reason why we have the salmon crisis we have is that more people have not been willing to pay the "sustainability premium" for "the good stuff."

Ironic that many of those very people have been the quickest to jump on the GM bandwagon.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 15:44:45 in Home

“There is no debate over the fact that roundup is less toxic than the herbicides it replaces.

I realize that lots of web sites spread the nonsense that roundup is some extra nasty chemical. The opposite it true. In addition, it allows farmers to use "no-till" methods that curb erosion, reduce run-off, save water, and reduce carbon emissions.

Roundup is not a poison. It interferes with plant metabolism; weeds die of starvation, not poisoning. It has no effect on insects, birds or other wildlife; the same is not true of the older chemicals replaced by roundup.

Drinking roundup is a bad idea. You'd get sick. You'd have to drink a very large amount to die. Again, this is not true of the older chemicals used before roundup was invented.”

ProfessorHempinstead on Oct 2, 2010 at 16:50:38

“Talk is cheap and I dont get any of my information from political pages. Your arguments sound very political though. Where do you get your info from? Sounds like you just pull words off of monsantos web site. The same company told us agent orange was safe too. And DDT. And PCBs. The same company is patenting seeds which is on every level wrong. The same company with rotating doors into and out of our FDA, EPA,USDA. You keep posting your agenda and I will keep searching for the truth.

Peace!”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 15:37:18 in Home

“It has indeed been shown that the AquaBounty technology is better in specific ways:

1) The fish would be grown in inland pools, preventing the kind of pollution and infections found in older forms of fish farming.

2)The GMO fish would mature faster, requiring less feed, less time, less energy, and producing less greenhouse gases.

3) The level of control of water and feed would eliminate the problems of mercury and PCB contamination.

If you meant "net," you should have said that. If you had, I would have pointed out that the whole point of the GMO technology is to have lower net risk. If lower net risk is what you want, this technology is the way to get it.

Remember: the old way has wrecked salmon fisheries and driven many types of salmon to extinction or the brink of extinction. THAT is where the risk lies.”

horizonr on Oct 3, 2010 at 00:57:47

“Inland freshwater tank technology definitely is worth exploring, by the way. But one doesn't need to go GM to do so --- http://www.sweetspringsalmon.com/local.shtml

That said, inland freshwater tanks do have their own challenges:

1
These tanks are extremely energy-intensive.

2
There have been consistent difficulties in replicating natural saltwater environments in a way that enables saltwater species --- including salmon, who spend their mature years in saltwater --- to survive.”

horizonr on Oct 2, 2010 at 23:01:07

“And...

Understand that when you talk about "the old way," you are not talking about the entire salmon farming and fishing sector. You are talking about industrial salmon farming and fishing, which, to be sure, is most of the sector --- but it is not all of it.

Granted, there are not many salmon farmers who farm as responsibly as Nick Joy and Loch Duart. But the ones who do approach issues of feed, density, husbandry, waste, and the like in ways that differ fundamentally from the industry at large --- ways that are much better for the salmon and much better for the environment.

To pretend that these practitioners are not out there setting an example for the industry is like saying that, just because we get most of our hamburger from industrial feedlot cows, people like Joel Salatin and his Polyface Farms don't exist.

The fact is, people doing it the right way *do* exist. We should be supporting them with our dollars and our forks --- not sidling up to the genetic craps table.”

horizonr on Oct 2, 2010 at 22:59:31

“I'm sure that the initial phase --- Prince Edward Island and Panama --- *would* use only inland tanks. But once the move was made to scale production up to the industrial levels necessary for AquaBounty to recoup its initial investment and start making serious money --- and let's not forget, that's the point of this whole thing --- it would be only a matter of time before the physical containment controls used to sell GM salmon to the F.D.A. (and anybody else willing to buy it) would be dumbed down.

That's just the way the world works.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 15:26:55 in Home

“It is very helpful when the generalization happens to be true.”

gp Idaho on Oct 6, 2010 at 23:49:32

“Whatevah, I am not at all ignorant of biotechnology and the fact that is "profit" of Biotechnology companies is way more important to them than the health and safety of the consumer and the environment.
And show me the evidence of people "outside of biotechnology employees" who study GMO and are in complete favor of GMO. I can find a whole bunch of scientist/ecologists who are not in favor of GMO crops and products because the GMO companies have little to no control on their product impacting the environment and they also know that industry has no long term data to support non-impact on health and the environment.”

gp Idaho on Oct 3, 2010 at 20:06:37

“Yeah... nooo you got that wrong. If GMO is safe and great for us for consumption why doesn't GMO foods get promoted in their advertising? We are a pro-technology society, you would think we would go for it and be very excited about it.
So why does the EU and other commonwealth countries have much more stringent regulations on GMO products than the US? I beg you, inform me on this one Whatevah.”

horizonr on Oct 2, 2010 at 23:03:29

“In this case, it's not.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 08:42:47 in Home

“The balance has shifted irredeemably. We've gone over that cliff, and can't turn back.

A recent study published in NATURE estimates that the number of ocean fish species to go extinct will hit 90 percent around 2048.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 08:40:26 in Home

“In every single case in which farmers have been given a choice, the majority have embraced GMO technology. Every single time.

Note that the food safety issues that have surfaced have not involved GMO technology. Every single problem has occurred with older technologies.

The way to solve problems is with common sense and innovation. Mindlessly standing in the way of an entire field of technology is a good way to guarantee we will have more problems in the future.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 2, 2010 at 08:37:32 in Home

“Actually, that is a wonderful definition of techonophobia.

All human activity has a non-zero level of risk. You propose holding a technology to a standard that is impossible and irrational. That is pure technophobia.

In addition, GM salmon doesn't exist in a vacuum. it replaces a technology with many large and damaging dangers. Clinging to a bad process while rejecting a better technology is pure technophobia.

Thanks. I'm glad SOMEBODY finally pointed out that anti-GMO types are technophobes!”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 21:09:20 in Home

“The labeling issue is fundamentally dishonest. It is part of a two-step process.

Step one is to create a false sense of danger around GMO foods.

Step two is to institute a system of separating foods that will be so complex and costly it will force producers to abandon GMO technology.

I don't want technophobes in charge of American food policy. We've seen what anti-science types have done to vaccination; we don't need a repeat of that disaster.”

horizonr on Oct 1, 2010 at 21:54:57

“Demanding scientific proof that GM salmon has zero negative health and environmental impacts is not the same as technophobia.”
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GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 21:06:05 in Home

“I see nothing misleading in saying that farmers overwhelmingly favor GMO agriculture. This is reflected in numerous polls, including the ones that count most: the decisions farmers make when they have a choice.

The idea that American farmers have been bullied into accepting GMO technology is beyond paranoid. I'd love to hear the reaction if you said something like that at a meeting of actual farmers. They would laugh as such an out-of-touch idea.”

horizonr on Oct 1, 2010 at 21:50:37

“I think it's worth asking: What are the conditions that would qualify as providing farmers with a real "choice."”
huffingtonpost entry

GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 21:03:33 in Home

“I don't see the reason for the mystery.

We currently get salmon from a variety of sources which all cause a certain level of environmental damage. This new technology is as good or better than any existing method of getting salmon.”

spitbug on Oct 3, 2010 at 09:31:12

“That's just crazy corporate speak.”

horizonr on Oct 1, 2010 at 21:48:09

“You write:

"This new technology is as good or better than any existing method of getting salmon."

Really? That's a pretty bold statement. Do you have a comparative analysis --- including AquaBounty and every "existing method" --- that you can share with us?”
huffingtonpost entry

GM Salmon Is Just Plain Wrong

Commented Oct 1, 2010 at 21:01:46 in Home

“There is no doubt that Nick Joy runs a state-of-the-art facility for the production of extremely expensive food for rich people.

Are you disagreeing with the idea that existing fish farming methods represent old technology? Or that fishing (and overfishing) represents old technology?

The new technology is an improvement over the old technology. I see nothing controversial in saying that.”

horizonr on Oct 1, 2010 at 21:42:04

“It's inaccurate to dumb down "existing fish farming methods" as "old technology," as though there was not an enormous difference --- which there is --- between (1) what a farm like Loch Duart is doing and (2) what obtains in most industrial fish farms.

Also: The characterization of Loch Duart as "a state-of-the-art facility for the production of extremely expensive food for rich people" is just false and uninformed.

I eat Loch Duart --- and I am not, I assure you, *anybody's* idea of "rich."”
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