> Joel's comment about these genes not being synthetic is apt. Most of these
> genes come from organisms that are already widely-distributed (that is, to
> which we are exposed via contact with their native organism). If they
> t seem harmful when in their native organism, why, suddenly, would they
> behave differently when inserted into another critter or plant?
I have no idea why it should be so, other than nature continues to surprise. A
noted researcher in the UK who first found that modified DNA can be taken up
whole after digestion was fired from his postion last fall, and has now been
partially re-established and publically vindicated by the agency that
dismissed him. A netherlands investigator proved a similar capability
recently. These reports may have been on SANET as well. I don't remember where
else, other than I get the information from two other sources with UK and EU
media retrieval resources. And then sometimes two weeks later they get posted
from another source.
Independently all the genetic material is natural. I am in interested in the
organic/natural interrelation. I am focused on the Organic Foods Production
If a material is natural it can be used in a wide variety organic
applications, from fertilizer to botanical pesticides, and is a benchmark in
determining what sort of materials/substances can be used in processing. My
position is that all GMO products are not natural.
What is synthetic is the process. Three nearly unrelated species are utlized
to create a new industrial product. A Bt squash for example. The three species
are a cucurbit, an invasive carrier or vector-penetrant like a virus, and the
Bt . Labtechs piggy back the Bt onto the vector, the Bt is incorporated into
the squash, the EPA says that they'll overlook the fact that a mosaic virus
has been incorporated into a product grown on a few hundred thousand acres and
EPA also classifies the squash itself as a pesticide. The three species are
represented in this new, man-made synthetic product. The National Organic
Standards Board ruled that the process is a synthetic, therefore all its
products are synthetic. Therefore all GMO products, including the GMO canolas,
GMO cotton seed meal, GMO soil innoculants, vitamins and supplements derived
from GMO grain, in other words, all GMO related products, inputs, by-products
and seeds should be prohibited in certified organic production.
This covers all of organic agriculture, including processing. I try to be
open-minded about science. I was at first intrigued by the Calgene frostproof
strawberry when it was released a number of years ( 8?) ago. Since then, I
have yet to see one of these inventions that does not have some sort of
downside, whether short term or long term, whether minor or catastrophic,
whether agronomic, social or politcal. The World Trade Organization, the
Multlateral Agreement on Investments corporate bio-patenting trends and the
"terminator" dovetail so well one would think that Robert Ludlum or Ian
Fleming made this up ( cribbing from Aldous Huxley and George Orwell).
The conventional agriculture dialogue on whether or not GMOs are still natural
can be debated much more broadly, and at greater length. I don't know if it is
possible to come up with a determination philosophically. Philosophically I
suppose the bottom line is that all things are natural if they exist.
Philosphically, chlorothalonil and PCB s are natural, unless humanity is not
part of nature ( hint). Organic is a definition close to being pure and
springing from nature without human intervention-but not entirely without
human aid. F1/F2 seeds could be debated. Cultivation could be debated. But as
I said, since the NOSB, as a lawfully empowered consultative board to the USDA
Secretary, has ruled that GMO as a process and its products, are synthetic, I
am using that as the benchmark for desion making about things like the canola
meal. I appreciate the discussion.
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