GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field

Masterful rhetoric.

Just like any other artificially introduced organism, I’m concerned these new GMO strains will displace everything. They ought to as deeply thought about as introducing foreign species into a different ecosystem.

I’m curious as to whether the farmer, in this case, has some sort of recourse against Monsanto. You can bet that, if this were one of Monsanto’s commercial products, and it was growing on a farmer’s land (and the farmer hadn’t licensed/purchased it), they would sue the pants off the aforementioned farmer. They’ve done that in many cases. What can the farmer do now that Monsanto is polluting his land, dumping their unwanted, not commercially viable, and supposedly never released in the wild product on his land? Granted, it wasn’t with malice, but it was almost certainly with negligence on Monsanto’s part (esp. since they claim the product was never released in the wild, yet, here it is…)

There is no case of Monsanto suing anyone for inadvertent contamination with their seed.

To be fair, I suspect we still don’t know the full effect of the accelerated wheat breeding schemes of the past 50 odd years, without even including gmo’s. I have read articles and sections of books that hypothesize that our bodies haven’t quite caught up and that the increased prevalence of gluten sensitivity is one byproduct of this change.

These GMOs aren’t just “oh, hey, this plant produces more wheat”. Most of the engineering revolves around creating insect and disease resistant strains. Here is an article that explains what they are engineering into various plants, why they do it, and why it is regulated. Before you assume this anti-GMO, you should read it. It’s actually fairly pro-GMO and explains the added benefits and lower costs that come with resistant crops.

I’m fine with fully tested crops and GMO in general. What concerns me is untested crops (like the one this thread was kicked off about) spreading on accident. What if a strain turns out to, oops, kill honey bees? What if the toxin remains in the insects and proves harmful to birds? Remember DDT? Once it was figured out that it was causing harm, use was stopped. But what if it was in the DNA of the plants instead of just sprayed on them? And what if that plant had already become the primary strain of wheat that was being planted?

So again, I’m quite pro-GMO. I believe it’s the only way we can keep up with the needs of the world, and when control properly it prevents the use of insecticides that are far more harmful to humans and nature. We can’t have companies allowing untested strains to escape though. They are potentially dangerous. No they aren’t going to cause people to mutate into the Toxic Avenger, but they do have the potential to cause other problems.

I think this is all pretty messed up for many other reasons besides the anti-GMO crowd.

Oh hey? Enjoy that corn? Enjoy any grains? Every single agriculturally used seed is a “GMO” in one way or another. You do know that the crops grown today are seeds that have been selected and bred for the traits that we need/want today. Monsanto is just speeding up the cross-pollination of cultivars of certain plants. GMOs is how farming exists today. Animal husbandry, cross breeding of crop strains, etc. All modifications of the genetic codes of plants/animals. Monsanto is doing their modifying in labs, where the “natural” modifications have happened over generations in the fields. That is the only difference. It is faster, cheaper, and more effective.

What I don’t like, is stories like the one in the OP, where these patented genetically modified crops are escaping into other farmer’s fields. The problem with plants is that you can’t really control their seeds. Birds, bees, animals, wind, they all will spread plants around. Monsanto is patenting their specific modifications. The GMOs they create are supposed to be sterile and not cross breed with other crops… but that isn’t happening. Dr. Malcolm’s quote that “Life finds a way” is particularly apt here. We are talking about strains of wheat that are escaping the test fields and getting mixed in with the neighbor’s farm. This has happened a few times already. Organic farmers are preparing themselves for the future Monsanto legal fights. As much as Monsanto thinks they can keep a lid on the GMOs, their modifications are going to leak out sometime or another.

Another way to look at it, Monsanto is putting some sort of “DRM” (CRM? Crop rights management?) into their GMOs as well. Using seeds generated from a crop of Monsanto’s GMO’s is not legal. Their genetic patents extend to the progeny of their original crops. It is a really FUBAR situation. Seeds planted generate more seeds, and if you want to use the offspring of those Monsanto “Roundup Ready” soybeans that you planted last year. You gotta pay up. CRM.

At least Monsanto isn’t getting any love in Brazil.

In other words, GMOs (in general) are good and necessary for world food production. Monsanto is bad.

What is being proposed is the opposite, I think. Why don’t farmers whose fields have been contaminated sue Monsanto for damaging THEIR livelihood?

The other difference is that you will never have a situation where a gene from a frog would end up in a plant. Random mutation can tweak one or another aspect of the plant, but having entire gene spliced in is not something that happens in multicellular organisms.

And it is different, and thus it must be bad!

Bad in a super secret, undetectable way, that will sidestep all current testing mechanisms!

Define fully- tested. I think that is part of the problem. At a certain level, foods that we depend upon for daily ingestion don’t have to be tested for immediate affects, but rather effects that may not show for generations. This is a big deal.

Sinij’s point, and I think we can all agree, is that all our bread turning into velociraptors as we are trying to make toast WILL HAPPEN.

I just don’t think that is an undesirable outcome.

Oh please. Simple issues like a sterile version of Monsanto’s plants infecting everything such that they die in 2 generations is a nightmare scenario enough.

Timex, your intellectually bankrupt position that for some reason you continue to double-triple down on is that genetic engineering is nothing but chemistry and any output should be considered in this light.

While genetic code is made up from various molecules that do interact chemically, it would be gross oversimplification to claim that there is all to it. It is not unlike trying to explain that Intel i7 is just an abacus with transistors used for counting, so if we have understanding of arithmetic we should be able to fully understand CPU design.

With GMO, jJust like with a gun, prudent thing to do is to assume it is loaded. This should be done because consequences of being wrong are just too grave. We are dealing with humanity’s food supply and/or entire ecosystem. You, on other hand, advocating putting the gun toward our collective temple and pulling the trigger to find out if it is loaded.

Genetic engineering is not a mature science, and gene interaction is not well understood. We probably don’t even know what the worst-case scenario is, least can accurately predict what can trigger it.

Finding untested GMO wheat strain is very serious concern - it is evidence of contamination of our food supply. This case could end up harmless in its effects, but it is contamination and it is unintended. Because of that it should be taken very seriously, because next time, or time after that, it could be very harmful.

Timex, your intellectually bankrupt position that for some reason you continue to double-triple down on is that genetic engineering is nothing but chemistry and any output should be considered in this light.

Sinji, while you are free to throw out terms like intellectually bankrupt here, it’s painfully obvious that you have literally no understanding of what you’re speaking about.

Genetic engineering is not a mature science, and gene interaction is not well understood. We probably don’t even know what the worst-case scenario is, least can accurately predict what can trigger it.

Ah yes, this makes sense. Let us be afraid of unknown consequences of unknown actions, and use that to justify a halt in the use of a technology which can help feed the human race. That totally makes sense.

So you ARE essentially afraid of demons inside the DNA.

Finding untested GMO wheat strain is very serious concern - it is evidence of contamination of our food supply.

There’s actually nothing “untested” about that wheat strain. It was tested, and it’s perfectly harmless to humans. The only issue with it showing up in other wheat fields is that other countries share your luddite views regarding GMO crops, and thus having GMO wheat could make them refuse to import US wheat. It has nothing to do with a scientific fear for public health.

It is painfully obvious that some kind of impairment prevents you from comprehending my posts. While I am not unsympathetic to your predicament, I do not think there is any point to this one-sided conversation where instead of considered response you pop out like jack-in-a-box with your “You just don’t understand! It is safe, because Trust Me!” generously sprinkled with ad hominem and straw man attacks.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask them, otherwise please spare us your continued participation in this thread. Thank you.

Destruction of local fauna might be a little undesirable.

Honestly, I’m happy to eat anything provided there’s sufficient regulation and testing. My concern is that these products are hitting the wild faster than we can analyse the impact.

Don’t try and paint everyone who is in favor of the precautionary principle as a luddite. I’m a computer programmer and my wife is a molecular biologist, and we are both firmly against GM food. Amazingly, neither of us considers ourselves luddites, we just don’t trust the makers of napalm with the safety of the food chain.

Monsanto’s GMO soybeans, their biggest GMO crop, are not sterile. They tried to market a sterile version, but it was not well received…

There is a pretty well-established principle in evolutionary biology that states that allele frequencies do not change in the absence of selective pressures.

In other words, suppose today you replaced 1% of the world’s soybeans with GMO Roundup Ready soybeans, walked away, and came back 500 years later. You should expect to find that the GMO seeds still made up 1% of all plants. The only way the GMO soybeans could “displace everything” would be if we actively helped them spread, i.e. by spraying Roundup on everything else.

They only sue farmers who take knowing advantage of the GMO features, i.e. farmers who use Roundup to protect their crops without paying for Roundup resistance.

I’m not afraid of GMO crops any more than all my other mundane exposures. But the anti-GMO crowd does have one valid point: when aftermarket studies demonstrate previously unknown risks, it’s a lot easier to eliminate chemicals stored on shelves than those stored in seeds. And this isn’t an uncommon event, which is why the FDA requires ongoing testing even after giving initial market approval.

Even if there are no external selective pressures, you still have to assume that alleles have no effect on fitness.

Are you familiar with work done on deleterious mutations (e.g. Fishery effect) in captive populations? There is huge problem in fish farming where maladaptive genes tend to spread to entire population within only couple generations.