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'wonderful GM plants'
2006\01\01@192149 by Russell McMahon

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> http://www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,,1535428,00.html

>
> Russell is going to feel vindicated ?

A better subject ljune may have been "GM rape", which is what the
article is about 9and which term is mentioned therein). The pun is
originally unintended but highly apposite.

But, vindicated? - Not really. It's so obvious that GM "contamination"
can and will happen that any given instance is of no great
significance to me, accept as a milestone along the way to greater
disasters. Which will come. The key issue is, WHEN will we experience
the GM disaster which harms millions of people and/or irrevocably
damages us all in a way that can't be denied.

ie once you open the stable door of Genetic Engineering and let
essentially randomly engineered plants into the environment with
essentially no idea of what may happen then your reasonable
expectations are liable to be fully realised. Theonly question is, how
long?

It's worth noting the credentials and position (intertwined) of Brian
Johnson, cited below. Note also that "The Guardian" is largely
regarded by those who disgree with its general ethos, as a scurrilous
rumour mongering rag of little merit and of low factual content.
There's enough fact behind that opinion to allow such people to remain
smugly assured when the Guardian reports the direst disatsers - no
matter how factual.


           Russell McMahon
_________


For those who wonder:
Extract from the above story:

   The cross-fertilisation between GM oilseed rape, a brassica, and a
distantly related plant, charlock, had been discounted as virtually
impossible by scientists with the environment department. It was found
during a follow up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops
which ended two years ago.
The new form of charlock was growing among many others in a field
which had been used to grow GM rape. When scientists treated it with
lethal herbicide it showed no ill-effects.
___

To give the report some perspective. best comment in the article is:

       Brian Johnson, an ecological geneticist and member of the
government's specialist scientific group which assessed the farm
trials, has no doubt of the significance. "You only need one event in
several million. As soon as it has taken place the new plant has a
huge selective advantage. That plant will multiply rapidly."
Dr Johnson, who is head of the biotechnology advisory unit and head of
the land management technologies group at English Nature, the
government nature advisers, said: "Unlike the researchers I am not
surprised by this. If you apply herbicide to plants which is lethal,
eventually a resistant survivor will turn up."

_______

2006\01\02@173914 by Peter

picon face

On Mon, 2 Jan 2006, Russell McMahon wrote:

>> www.guardian.co.uk/gmdebate/Story/0,,1535428,00.html
>>
>> Russell is going to feel vindicated ?
>
> A better subject ljune may have been "GM rape", which is what the article is
> about 9and which term is mentioned therein). The pun is originally unintended
> but highly apposite.
>
> But, vindicated? - Not really. It's so obvious that GM "contamination" can
> and will happen that any given instance is of no great significance to me,
> accept as a milestone along the way to greater disasters. Which will come.
> The key issue is, WHEN will we experience the GM disaster which harms
> millions of people and/or irrevocably damages us all in a way that can't be
> denied.

GM contamination within variants of one species is one thing, GM
contamination *across* species as described above is scary. And it's a
fact already ?! We will all become dead supermen eventually ?!

>   The cross-fertilisation between GM oilseed rape, a brassica, and a
> distantly related plant, charlock, had been discounted as virtually
> impossible by scientists with the environment department. It was found
> during a follow up to the government's three-year trials of GM crops
> which ended two years ago. The new form of charlock was growing among
> many others in a field which had been used to grow GM rape. When
> scientists treated it with lethal herbicide it showed no ill-effects.

I love the wording of 'virtually impossible'. Did they, like CHECK that
the new genes really weren't in the supercharlock or are they waiting
for a message from the charlock that says 'take me to your leader' ?

{Quote hidden}

That is true, but can't they, like *analyze* the new shrubs to make sure
they really don't have the new modifications instead of fighting it out
on paper ? I think that this issue is *rather* important ? No ? Also
this piece of news was picked off Slashdot or such so it is not exactly
'unknown' or 'obscure'. Some kind of reaction should become visible soon
imho.

Peter

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