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GM corn comes to Canberra

By johnboy 6 October 2008 32

The Canberra Times reports that the CSIRO is planning to grow genetically modified corn for research purposes here in Canberra.

This will upset some of you, but I doubt it’s really going to make much difference in the bigger scheme of things beyond whatever good comes of the research.


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GM corn comes to Canberra
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miz 10:10 pm 09 Oct 08

To avoid GM, avoid soy, corn (unless grown yourself from seed) and canola. Unfortunately, these three are cheap oils that are added to a lot of stuff. For example, it’s almost impossible to avoid soy these days (eg if allergic), it’s even in most breads (it’s in the leavening agent). I was most annoyed when a brand of tuna I favoured switched from peanut oil to soya and/or canola oil. Yuk.

sepi 7:11 pm 09 Oct 08

how can i not eat gm food if it has invaded the whole crop?

Becoming a premium member will make beer taste better and make you more attractive to members of your personal gender preference.*

What happened to that much younger bird you were hooked up with?

Ralph 3:35 pm 09 Oct 08

Well then don’t eat it, and stop being such a luddite. Heaven forbid that companies may actually want to make money from developing GM products. We’ll all be enslaved by the serfs before we know it…

The benefits of organic products are mostly psychosomatic.

sepi 3:24 pm 09 Oct 08

From the CT on Wed.

“It took just 3 years for Canada to lose it’s conventional crop to GM [canola] which has now contaminated that country’s industry on a massive scale.”

This is from pollen cross polinating with other crops.

Trials of GM food have not been done on humans, and tests on animals have showed worrying results.

I don’t want to be a guinea pig for this stuff.

nathan 1:27 pm 08 Oct 08

I’m glad it’s the CSIRO doing this – it’s not the GM food that alarms me so much as the companies that sell it.

I am a little concerned that the “Terminator” trait could transfer to other crops or native species. Is that possible, Mr_Shab?

Mr_Shab 1:18 pm 08 Oct 08

There are a few realities that apply in Australia that don’t apply in Switzerland, sepi. The sheer scale of agriculture for one. Rainfall for another. Soil, geography, salinity, seasonality, crop selection, land use patterns, pest and disease interactions, biota interactions, albedo, light intensity…ahem…you get my drift. We’re not going to become a nation of rosy-cheeked organic farmers in rich black alluvial valleys and well-watered hillsides anytime soon. If we want organic agriculture that works in Australia, we’re going to have to figure out a way of doing it that doesn’t ape Europe. I think we’ll also have to stop being so goddamned precious and smug about what is “organic”.

Say what you will about intensive and/or modern agriculture, but it manages to feed over 6 billion of us with plenty to spare. If we all went organic and vegetarian tomorrow, half of us would starve in short order and the other half would be reduced to lives of agragarian drudgery. Not to mention the fact that most people don’t know (and have no desire to know) the first thing about agriculture and the mechanics of feeding themselves. I’m not even going to start on the fate of several billion domestic animals.

The green revolution allowed us to expand our population to unprecedented levels, but we’ve dug ourselves into a very deep, dark hole thanks to our reliance on an ever-shrinking well of fossil fuels. GM might be one of the mechanisms by which we’ll be able to haul ourselves out.

sepi 8:20 pm 07 Oct 08


But we don’t know for sure.

Only a few decades ago they thought asbestos was great stuff. And thalidomide.

Some things take a long time to show up as problems. I just don’t see what the rush is to get this stuff out there.

I think it is a really important issue, and legalising it should be something we get to vote on, rather than just something that state premiers decide.

Intensive farming/modern agriculture is a bit of a disaster in many ways. I really think Australia should go the way of Switzerland and have all organic farming. We could export our food for mega prices, and all be healthier too.

Mr_Shab 5:20 pm 07 Oct 08

The GM stuff out there at the moment are primarily sterile hybrids. This ensures that farmers cannot save seed and have to buy more seed from seed companies, not to mention protecting the IP of said seed companies. It also prevents the admixture of GM crops into the greater biota.

There was a lot of horrified talk about these so called “terminator” seeds; but while people are still concerned about GM genetic “contamination”, sterile hybrids are a suprisingly responsible, if unintended element of GM food production.

There are much nastier things in the food chain than GM crops; most of them produced by good ol’ Ma Nature in response to intensive farming techniques. A dose of enterohaemorrhagic E. coli will do far more horrible things to you than GM canola could ever dream of doing in it’s most evil fantasies.

sepi 4:15 pm 07 Oct 08

Labelling is good, I am actually against the introduction of the GM stuff full stop.

Once it is out there, it can self-seed itself around, and we won’t know if we’re eating it or not.

At the moment, if you grow veg yourself from seed you can at least feel confident that what you see is what you get. Once GM stuff is out, even that won’t be a guarantee.

AG Canberra 3:51 pm 07 Oct 08

If you’ve eaten margarine in the last five or so years then you’ve eaten GM cottonseed oil.

I agree – the labelling of such items needs to be strengthened to ensure the consumer has the ability to decide. Once they have that ability, the market will decide if GM crops are worthwhile.

jakez 9:59 am 07 Oct 08

johnboy said :

Becoming a premium member will make… you more attractive to members of your personal gender preference.*

*(Well it did for me, your mileage may vary)

Mate when you at zero, where can you go but up? 😛

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