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I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S NOT GMO

Terry Boyle 
Monsanto pic
Ben Paynter from Wired Science has written about Monsanto, a GIANT in agriculture, (GMO) genetic modifications of crops, (and they even made plants that are resistant to Round-Up weed killer). Wow, how great! If you didn't know, Monsanto has been suing farmers who try to reuse their seeds more than once, for years. It's a hegemony thing; naughty children! Monsanto are the quiet achievers - designers of GMO corn, soya and lots of other 'designer genetic goodies' found in just about all our foods, from big farms and on shelfs. They are responsible for their GMO pollination of non GMO crops as their modified spores float in the air to land on massive agricultural farming regions. Hey, 'no food shall be grown that we don't own"!

Makes me shudder to think that massive production giant companies have permeated, no, not permeated, but dominated the whole food production and agriculture that our supermarkets and food outlets offer - not locally only, but throughout the world is their influence. And that now they are moving into guess what? ORGANICS! 

These giants, like big Pharma operate on relationships based on nothing less than hegemony,  but as Ben points out "Monsanto may be best known for genetic modification—like creating corn that resists the effects of Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup. But when it comes to fruits and vegetables you buy in the store, genetic modification is off the menu." He says. But, I think it is more like..."the backlash to our GMO means it is NOW off the menu - we gotta keep going where the money is". Okay, so let's do ORGANICS now and see how we can control this supply chain too!

Ben states, that "Monsanto thinks no one will buy Frankenfoods," (he is referring to GMO products as like 'Frankenstein' creations I presume) "so the company is tweaking its efforts—continuing to map the genetic basis of a plant’s desirable traits but using that data to breed new custom-designed strains the way agronomists have for millennia." Hey it all sounds good don't it? But do we trust these manipulators and are we prepared to keep giving them our dollars in light of the hegemonious production and supply chain manipulation they have created?

Beside all the preaching in this, it is worthwhile knowing how old ways work—and how the results differ from GMO crops. Bearing in mind, cottage organic and biodynamic farmers have been doing this for ages already. Of course the big players are doing it for all the same reason aren't they? Or perhaps they are looking for the money in this cross between high and low tech, so a new era of super-produce may be upon us - the GMO backlash - just getting back some more control of markets they are losing to real ORGANICS coming from authentic cottage industry.  

The Old Way 
- Identify plants with recognizable, desirable traits.
- Crossbreed those plants together.
- Grow the offspring.
- Wait to see if the traits show up. Repeat as necessary.

The Genetic Modification Way
- Identify plants or other organisms with recognizable, desirable traits.
- Isolate the genes that manifest those traits.
- Use enzymes to clip out those genes and paste them into the genomes of other plants, or inject them using a “gene gun” (for real) or by piggybacking them on a bacteria or virus.
- Grow the plant with the inserted gene. If the gene has successfully incorporated into the plant, you’ll have a novel phenotype.

The New Monsanto Way
- Identify plants with recognizable, desirable traits.
- Crossbreed the plants.
- Sift through the offspring genome for known markers for desirable traits.
-  Grow only the plants with those markers.

Anyway, it pays to know your source don't it?
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