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Member since: 2002
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The issue for me is not the GMO, it is the business model.

Under capitalism and in practice, GMO is developed with the purpose of claiming patent on life-forms so as to facilitate the extraction of revenues to for-profit corporations. GMO opens up a further revenue stream through the increased use and thus sale of more chemical inputs. So you have this perfect convergence of Bayer and Monsanto. These are shareholder corporations with the fiduciary morality that puts the venture's business growth above all other human interests. It's no wonder that pesticide/herbicide ready GMOs are deployed, while "golden rice" (assuming it even works) remains a PR move.

So please let's discuss the political economy first, that helps us understand the technological choices that are made, and why: it's for a business model. Pure "science" may be involved in the research, but capitalism determines what gets developed & deployed.

Invitation to General Discussion: "Broken Promises of GMO Crops"

Hope to see debate, pro and con.


New York Times: Broken Promises of GMO Crops


New York Times: Broken Promises of GMO Crops

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

Always amazing when you see what we all should already know finally covered in the New York Times: GMOs do not increase crop yield, let alone present a solution to problems of nutrition or world hunger, as Russell and Hakim report.

Nothwithstanding unproven claims about the health effects of the GMO food itself, GMOs have had two main impacts:

(1) Pesticide and herbicide resistant crops mean that farmers use more pesticides and herbicides, so that higher concentrations of these poisons end up in the environment and in our bodies.

(2) Corporations claim patent and ownership on seeds harvested by farmers to the nth generation, effectively acting as feudal lords demanding annual tribute from peasants. Thus the evil is not in the product itself, but in the radically new business model it enables, which overturns 10,000 years of social and agricultural practice. Farmers do not own the seeds they grow.

This profit-making combination is why the world's biggest chemicals producer, Bayer, is attempting to merge with the world's biggest producer of GMO seeds, Monsanto. The neoliberal trade treaties TPP and TTIP, if they go into effect, would allow such companies a new and near-absolute power to overturn potential governmental regulations of their products and markets. It would mean more GMO production, more patenting of organisms and claims on the incomes of farmers globally, and more poisons in the environment.

The great lie of the GMO-producing corporations has been that GMOs produce higher yields and thus possible solutions to hunger. They have coupled this with lies about enhanced nutritional value, such as the "golden rice" with extra Vitamin A (betacarotenes, actually) they always advertise but have chosen not to introduce, probably because it does not work. And if "golden rice" is supposed to be a humanitarian move, why would they not give away the technology, as Norman Borlaug did during the Green Revolution?

Meanwhile the world produces much more food than all of its people need to eat. Hunger is a problem of poverty, inequality, markets and distribution, as well as regional ecological disasters. The pro-GMO ideology makes things worse by distracting from the real problems, by implying there is global scarcity that can be addressed by a capitalist, technocratic quick-fix. Stop worrying about poverty - GMOs will feed everyone! (One factor that always interests me is the incredible way the U.S. puts nearly half of its corn into gas tanks, at a net energy gain of near-zero.)

Meanwhile the industrial farming mentality that promotes GMOs has also encouraged the spread of monoculture farming, with attendant impact on what quality of food ends up at the supermarket at what prices.

By the way, my prediction is that you will see the Times publish some kind of outraged corporate damage control attacking this as "unscientific."

"Al Qaeda camps"

Tell yourself that. Murdering civilians, including at weddings and funerals. Classifying them as collateral damage, oops. Classifying every male murdered over the age of 14 as a "militant." Doing absolutely nothing to address the problem and causes of this terrorism. Just showing who the more effective terrorist is.

You have zero case to make that Saudi Arabia is not among the worst, and far worse than Iran, where women can drive and make up the majority of university students. Your Saudi Arabian Wahhabi-exporting ally is of course the original source and still main sponsor of this "Al Qaeda" you use as the excuse for bombing Yemen.

And that other excuse! Let's sell arms to the butchers, since they could get it on the open market. Lovely. As a defense, "just responding to the market" does not even rise to the level of "just following orders." It is odious. It is also just a distancing device for the reality: The Saudi regime exists because of US sponsorship.

The United States has brought enough destruction to the Middle East. Millions are dead. Most of what we see today there probably would not be happening in the same way, would not be as bloody, if not for the decision to launch a planned war of aggression on the nation of Iraq. The US government responsible for that crime has no standing to determine the government of Yemen.

You tell yourself that.

The US has been striking inside Yemen and mostly killing civilians there for about 10 years. Saudi Arabia launched an aggressive invasion that is tearing the country apart, bombing funerals and weddings and threatening to cause mass starvation. Can you guess who provides all of the arms used by the radical Islamist Wahhabi oil kingdom, possibly the worst regime on earth as well as the most important ally of the United States? They have no business invading Yemen to settle its domestic conflicts. The US has no business providing the arms and support for that invasion.

UN Condemns Saudi Coalition Bombing of Yemen Hospital

So fucking fucked.

Constant success = "His dreadful performance"

Please! Every election since Corbyn became leader has seen a rise in the Labour share of the vote.

Oh for fuck's sake, this city's streets...

are and always have been FULL of discarded boxes, suitcases, plastic bags, containers... also garbage bags, garbage cans, dumpsters, etc. all of which are legit. Are we not going to be able to put out the garbage on garbage day now?

Come to think of it, that's any city. There is absolutely nothing constructive to be done about this. Let's hope it blows over (not blows up, ha ha).

It's like that time back in 2002 when they shut down the Brooklyn Bridge and declared Code Orange because of a PLASTIC BAG.

This is as dumb as the "burka panic." (Only people in burkas could possibly be disguising a bomb -- ban those to stop terrorism!)

"Shattered the truce" !

Uh hello? If anything "shattered the truce," and I really hope it's not shattered, it would have been last week's US strike on the Syrian Army, "honest accident" or not, killing 62 Syrian soldiers and allowing ISIS to retake a town.

Trump totally has an idea what he's talking about.

TAKE THEIR OIL has been core message from the start. Make no mistake, he does have a core message, he's not all improvisation and bullshit to grab attention and rile crowds.

He's saying occupy Iraqi oil production.

Remember, from the start, from his first commercial with its first statement of platform:

"He will cut the head off ISIS and TAKE THEIR OIL."
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