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27/06/2012 Mike

Wild Oats

If you try to modify a living thing by interfering with it’s genes you enter a world of Pandora’s box. There is no relationship between it and natural breeding or interbreeding. Even if you decided for the hell of it to reproduce an existing species using GE technology, even here you would end up with something different. Why? Read “GENETIC ENGINEERING IS NOT AN EXTENSION OF CONVENTIONAL PLANT BREEDING: How genetic engineering differs from conventional breeding, hybridization, wide crosses and horizontal gene transfer” Michael K. Hansen, Ph.D. Research Associate Consumer Policy Institute/Consumers Union January, 2000.

Full text available at this web site:

Once you have stuck the gene you want, plus the marker gene plus the promoter gene somewhere in the vast length of the chromosome, they all start throwing switches on the other genes, both locally and way down the string. It is neither possible to control nor predict the resultant behaviour of these disrupted genes.

Thus, although Monsanto’s scientists were convinced that they had simply created a soya bean that would resist glyphosate herbicide by putting in a glyphosate resistant gene, they didn’t account for all the other manifestations that would result. So far only two have been publicly mentioned: cattle fed on this soya put on more fat, and because the plant produces more lignin than the real one, the stem splits and the plant dies when the temperature of the soil exceeds about 50deg C. Either example is sufficient to see that in no way is this genetically mutilated plant “substantially equivalent” to the real thing. Science is a blinkered linear discipline. It can only see what it desires to see, and only when the unexpected grabs it by the throat will it condescend to examine it. Scientists work best with rockets and colliding snooker balls. Their training does not suit them for the complex interactions of life itself. The list of disasters already encountered in the name of progress in GM technology bears witness to this.

There are lots of links to GMO information on the Links page.

Read all the stuff on all the good sites. It’s a hideously complex subject, and you can’t give meaningful information in simple soundbites.