WH Relents and Allows the FDA To Proceed with Genetically Modified Salmon


By 121212   Follow   Fri, 21 Dec 2012, 12:03pm   12,716 views   237 comments
Watch (1)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (5)   Dislike (1)  

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2012/12/21/genetically_modified_salmon_white_house_had_blocked_fda_but_now_approval.html

White House Relents and Allows the FDA To Proceed with Genetically Modified Salmon

The Food and Drug Administration today released an electronic version of its environmental assessment for a genetically modified salmon developed by AquaBounty Technologies—effectively giving its preliminary seal of approval on the first transgenic animal to be considered for federal approval.

« First     « Previous     Viewing Comments 118-157 of 237     Next »     Last »     See most liked comments

  1. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    118   7:41pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    @121212: Equal time such as creation science? Should we be teaching that in schools? People used to live with dinosaurs right?

    Someone mentioned you're liberal so I would guess the answer is, "no".

    As a moderate who's lived in the bay area for the past 15 years far left folks like you sound just as crazy.

    That being said I think I saw you make some good posts in a dating/marriage forum earlier, so I know your aren't, you've just been drinking too much cool-aid. I really want to reply in that thread but I have a hot date! Woohoo, get me outta here!

    Oh, BTW, that 'research' you pointed out was the laughing stock of our department a few months back. A French guy in the group blasted it out to all of us. Union of Concerned Scientists and similar groups are a bunch of quacks. Also, it's hard being a good scientist. You don't think it might be easier to write a book or something else to scare people and make much more money that way? You bet your a$$ it is.

  2. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    119   8:00pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    `New Renter says

    As an ex-farmer perhaps you can tell me - in your opinion can traditional farming methods provide food for the world as abundantly, reliably, cheaply and safely as the commercial methods used today? If not, how traditional can farming be without putting the worlds food supply at greater risk?

    A good and difficult question to which I will give a qualified; yes traditional farming/organic farming could feed the world. It would require a complete reconfiguration of how ag. is practiced including an end to mono-culture, more livestock integrated into individual farms, the use of acceptable technology ( such as hybrid seed, new mechanical weeding devices etc.) and many more people living and working on the land. Of course an end to corn based ethanol would occur. Many of these changes IMO would be positive but given the huge industrial complex built up around production, transport, processing and sale of food it would be incredibly disruptive to the economy.

    I farmed both organically and conventionally. It is certainly possible to get very good yields organically. It takes more skill and labor to farm organically. Farm chemicals particularly herbicides and chemical fertilizers have allowed, in conjunction with enormous machinery one farmer to farm vast tracts of land. That just cant happen with traditional/organic methods. GMO crops have made this even easier but have provided little increase in crop yield. They have merely replaced other inputs that worked but took more time and or money to use. So GMO's could be dropped should society decide to do so with no threat to the food supply

  3. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    120   8:18pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Homeboy says

    This makes no sense. How do you know what "could" or "could not" happen to genes in nature? All the selective breeding that has been done over thousands of years would not have happened without the intervention of man. This is just a different method of changing genetics. Your belief that it is somehow inherently evil isn't based on any facts.

    Yes I cant know what has occurred in nature over millions of years but there is a scientific understanding as to how various species evolved and to my knowledge no one has claimed that transmigration of genetic material from a plant to a fish has played a part in the evolution of life on Earth, as it is understood and accepted by science. If you have an example of this please provide.

    If you think I feel GMO's are " inherently evil" you need to re read my posts because that is another fantasy you have concocted. I believe in questioning science, it is not infallible and we do not need to accept everything science offers as either desirable and or of value.

  4. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    121   8:22pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    @rdm: Have you read Cadillac Desert? It's a good read and makes many of the points you do and then some. I think it's wishful thinking though. I too come from a farming family but my parents didn't do that sort of work by the time I was around. (Iowa)

    From what I've read we already produce enough food to feed the planet now and it's more of a distribution problem. About a decade ago a couple of countries in Africa were starving, we sent them food and their govt turned it down and let them starve simply because it was GM. Pretty sad.

    When we add 1-2 more billion people I don't think we'll be able to not use everything we've got to feed people. It's also one of our biggest exports right now along with wood. A few years ago I found some cool maps on the web that displayed counties based on different parameters. The US was huge on the export maps showing wood and food but tiny for just about everything else. Japan was huge for cars, each country is 'sized' but 'topic' so the maps aren't scaled as you'd normally expect. I wish I could find it for you but I'm a bit busy getting ready to go out. It was about 5 years ago but what really stood out was nobody else was producing food in relative terms. It appeared that if we ever decided to not ship food every other country would literally starve.

  5. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    122   8:26pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I think this is it and I don't remember China looking that large:

    http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=123

  6. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    123   8:27pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Actually this is it and they've subdivided by food stuff:

    http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=47

    Click around there are lots of interesting things to see.

  7. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    124   8:31pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    121212 says

    Thanks Renter

    You think you can dismiss the entire argument with three links? This was contained in one of your links.

    Yes, the part where you presented this highly controversial paper as proof:

    121212 says

    B U L L S H I T!

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/stench-of-eu-corruption-in-monsanto-gmo-whitewash/5316294

    Cancer of Corruption, Seeds of Destruction: The Monsanto GMO Whitewash

    The problems with the Séralini study are clearly outlined in links 1 and 2. Did you even read these?

    Link 3 was an overview of the response from the Séralini team. In it they attack the objectivity of their critics and in a separate paper give a point by point defense.

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512008149

    Séralini and his team are doubling down on their work which should be expected at this point as they have little more to lose. If their research was indeed valid it will be reproduced in other labs, if not their work will likely join cold fusion and piltdown man as poster children of bad science.

  8. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    125   8:45pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Here is a good one:

    http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=363

    The US by far donates more food to the world than any other country. I don't think we'd be able to do it without current commercial methods.

    I found another map showing how much Europeans protest:

    http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=361

    Seralini and crew fit in nicely in that one haha...

    I was wrong about wood, apparently that is Canada.

  9. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    126   8:49pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    rdm says

    Of course an end to corn based ethanol would occur.

    I have heard that the mash (silage) from ethanol production is actually healthier animal feed than straight corn. Any truth to that?

  10. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    127   8:51pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    just_passing_through says

    The US by far donates more food to the world than any other country. I don't think we'd be able to do it without current commercial methods.

    That is my big concern as well.

    Of course there is the argument that plentiful food just encourages population growth.

  11. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    128   9:02pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    just_passing_through says

    Here is a good one:

    http://www.worldmapper.org/display.php?selected=363

    Wow, I knew our nation was overweight but damn!

  12. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    129   10:36pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    I have heard that the mash (silage) from ethanol production is actually healthier animal feed than straight corn. Any truth to that?

    I dont have any direct experience with distillers grains. What the ethanol production does is remove much of the carbohydrates from the corn leaving a fiber rich high protein residue and it is highly valued as an animal feed. Corn protein is typically (there are specialty types) not a complete protein for ruminates as it lacks the amino acids Lysine and tryptophane. But this a still a valuable bi product of ethanol production, one often overlooked by critics

  13. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    130   10:59pm Fri 28 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    rdm says

    Yes I cant know what has occurred in nature over millions of years but there is a scientific understanding as to how various species evolved and to my knowledge no one has claimed that transmigration of genetic material from a plant to a fish has played a part in the evolution of life on Earth, as it is understood and accepted by science. If you have an example of this please provide.

    What? Sorry, could you link to this source that says AquaBounty is inserting plant genes into the Salmon? According to them, they are not:

    "AquAdvantage® Salmon (AAS) include a gene from the Chinook salmon, which provides the fish with the potential to grow to market size in half the time of conventional salmon. In all other respects, AAS are identical to other Atlantic salmon."

    Having said that, yes, genes mutate in nature and could change to pretty much anything. A fish that grows faster could occur in nature, it could occur through selective breeding, or it could occur through direct genetic manipulation. Just because you don't understand the third of those is no reason to go slapping random labels on things. It is not necessary to warn people of something that is not a threat. If you feel we need to warn people of everything that didn't happen by "nature", it would pretty much require a special label for everything in the store.

    If you think I feel GMO's are " inherently evil" you need to re read my posts because that is another fantasy you have concocted. I believe in questioning science, it is not infallible and we do not need to accept everything science offers as either desirable and or of value.

    You seem to think we have to slap a warning label on everything produced that way, so yeah, it sounds like you think it's inherently evil. I DID read what you wrote, and it sounds like alarmist bullshit.

  14. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    131   9:42am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Homeboy says

    You seem to think we have to slap a warning label on everything produced that way, so yeah, it sounds like you think it's inherently evil.

    Evil is essentially a religious term, dualistic (opposed to good) and without nuance and a term I would rarely if ever use or attach my opinions to. If you feel that the desire to label a product as genetically modified somehow throws one into a feeling that product must be considered evil then you have no sense of nuance and live in a Manichean mental world. Just as I want to know if salmon is farm raised and what the country of origin is, I want to know if it is a GMO product. This has noting to do with good or evil it is simply trying to maintain some modicum of control over what I put into my body. It is my body not yours, the government's or some corporation trying to make a buck.

  15. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    132   11:42am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    So they used an animal gene to make faster growing salmon. What's to say it's going to stay species specific because of the method used? What if it allows salmon to cross breed with sharks or some other non salmon species? I think they say the female genetically altered salmon are infertile. But that doesn't mean that the male salmon sperm isn't viable and doesn't get out into ocean water.

    Fish are friends (with benefits), not food!

    I'd worry more about things like this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudanese_goat_marriage_incident

  16. Quigley


    Follow
    Befriend (5)
    56 threads
    2,185 comments
    Huntington Beach, CA

    133   11:54am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Having caught many Chinook salmon from which this gene splice was derived, I can attest that they are great examples of the species, being hard fighters and remarkably tasty. They can also get huge! Biggest one I caught was 65 lbs, but the record is over 100 lbs.
    if this is what Atlantic salmon are becoming, I'm all for it!

  17. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    134   11:55am Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    and since the nature of things is to evolve and reproduce and survive - how do the scientists know that what they genetically modify will stay modified the way they intended?

    I think you watch too many science fiction movies.

  18. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    135   12:14pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Homeboy says

    Zlxr says

    and since the nature of things is to evolve and reproduce and survive - how do the scientists know that what they genetically modify will stay modified the way they intended?

    I think you watch too many science fiction movies.

    Like this one:


    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149261/

  19. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    136   6:30pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    Please also explain how a gene that was spliced into the corn plant jumped over to make weeds Round Up Ready.

    If genetically altered corn pollen can affect another plant group - how is that? Isn't that altering how nature works?

    One of the problems they are having involves weeds becoming resistant to Roundup which is a non selective herbicide, it kills most everything and therein rests its value. This has nothing directly to do with the genetically altered corn plant or soybean plant. It is simply nature selecting plants that have more resistance to the herbicide. They survive go to seed and create new generations of more resistant weeds. This is a common problem with insecticides and a growing problem with certain highly used herbicides. The issue is rather small but growing in scope at present (in the mid west I think it worse in the South). The only connection is that there is vastly more Roundup being used then say 20 years ago. This may shorten the lifetime of this particular GMO.

    Regarding corn pollen almost no farmers use open pollinated corn seed which would in the next generation indeed be affected by the a genetically altered pollen. The wind borne pollen could affect the genetic makeup of plant's seed, the corn grain. But I think this is a pretty minor and managable issue. Organic farmers are already required to have fairly sizable barriers between their crops and conventionally raised crops. There have been some cases of certain benign and or beneficial insects being killed after eating the pollen of BT corn, monarch butterflies in particular. This is an issue but a pretty minor one IMO. The use of air or soil borne insecticides is far more disruptive to the general beneficial insect population. Given our farming methods are not going to dramatically change there are some real environmental up sides to GMO crops. That doesn't make them safe or not safe but it certainly is a consideration in a debate over their use

  20. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    137   10:33pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    OK - please explain why it was necessary to introduce the Round Up Ready gene into alfalfa.

    I used to raise a fair amount of alfalfa. It is an incredible crop, deep rooted so drought resistant and pulling minerals from a depth typical row crops never reach. It is a legume so no nitrogen fertilizer is needed as bacteria living on the roots have a symbiotic relationship drawing nitrogen from the air making it available the plant and enriching the soil. The smell of curing alfalfa is one of the most wonderful scents I have ever experienced.

    There is only one common reason to use herbicides on alfalfa and that would be in the initial establishment of the crop. Alfalfa is a tiny seed and the seedling can struggle to be established. There are several ways farmers have used to establish the crop without any herbicides but they yield little alfalfa the first year. Herbicides would probably allow for at least one decent cutting the year of establishment. Depending on ones use and rotation it is quite possible to get 5 years of hay off an alfalfa field before it thins to the point it needs to be "plowed" down. We typically cut it 3 times a year sometimes one can get a fourth cutting (in Illinois). After establishment there are typically no issues with weeds in alfalfa assuming a good stand has been obtained. It comes on in the spring early smothering sprouting weeds and after cutting comes back very quickly smothering weeds. I think this is a near frivolous use of gmo, not needed and one that will probably not be very popular.

  21. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    138   10:46pm Sat 29 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    And there is at least a 1% chance of the female fish being fertile. They plan to only create female fish because the male of this genetically modified fish is of inferior quality. What does this mean if the modified female fish get loose and breed with the wild population?

    Or if the wild male salmon wastes his sperm on infertile eggs.

    I also read one site that said the fish eat 5 times as much but only grow twice as big. I can't confirm this - but if it's true then it doesn't make sense that it's economically a good idea.

    They are also more suceptible to parasites. And fish farms are helping to spread fish parasites.

    Another issue is that some of the fish food is being brought in from other parts of the world - so that means bringing in other parasites and diseases as well.

    Seems to me you are starting with the premise that GM is "bad" and then looking for things that might be wrong with it. I think you have already made an assumption and no amount of evidence will ever change your mind.

  22. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    139   12:25am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I happen to love salmon. However, I am appalled to learn about the farmed salmon living conditions. It's sort of like they are being raised in a septic tank and fed rather odd stuff. So other than wild caught I will probably give up salmon for the most part and it's disappointing.

    It's also disconcerting to learn that it takes 3 pounds of fish to feed a salmon so that it can grow 1 lb. That's not a very good trade off. Because it means that someone somewhere is not eating so we can have salmon. It's also depleting other types of fish. And I don't like the idea of feeding chicken guts and feathers and stuff to the salmon either. At least not the one's I want to eat. My choice.

    The GMO salmon is not a better or a healthier salmon - it just is ready to harvest at an earlier age. Also the fact that it has a weaker immune system and is largely sterile is a concern.

    Scientists have released sterile female insects into the wild to destroy certain insect populations. So if that theory holds and these salmon escape into the wild - then we will see the wild salmon population decline or possibly become less healthy and also decline in a way that it cannot be saved. If I am wrong then that won't happen - but if it does happen - then what? Is it worth taking the chance?

    The other questions that haven't been dealt with is if they keep increasing salmon production - then they'll either run out of other fish in the ocean to feed them - or salmon will have to become vegetarians and they aren't meant to be vegan. With decreasing fish populations - you would think it would be better for us people to take the 3 lbs of fish instead of feeding them to the salmon to get 1 lb. of salmon.

    From everything I can find out - salmon are healthier in every way if they are free to follow their normal life cycles in an open ocean and have free access to the rivers to go back and spawn.

    I think many fisherman have better ideas than I do about how to save the ocean - but they also have concerns about staying employed. So I think we should hire the fisherman to help restore the health of the ocean and help restore the fish populations. They may have to cut back on actual fishing for awhile but they'll still be employed and helping to restore the ocean so they'll have something to fish later on.

  23. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    140   12:40am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I agree about the alfalfa - it smells so good fresh or dried. I remember that - and the fact that we used to let the chickens run around in it all day and those were the best chicken eggs ever.

    I remember walking through it when it was knee deep and not seeing any other weeds mixed in. I know it has roots to China because they were trying to convert a couple acres for a grape vineyard and the alfalfa just kept coming back.

    So I really wondered what the heck Monsanto was up to with even attempting to genetically alter something that was already perfect.

  24. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    141   9:18am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    I happen to love salmon. However, I am appalled to learn about the farmed salmon living conditions. It's sort of like they are being raised in a septic tank and fed rather odd stuff. So other than wild caught I will probably give up salmon for the most part and it's disappointing.

    That sounds like most commercially farmed meat these days. Then again it also sounds WAY better than my goldfish bowl.

    Zlxr says

    It's also disconcerting to learn that it takes 3 pounds of fish to feed a salmon so that it can grow 1 lb. That's not a very good trade off. Because it means that someone somewhere is not eating so we can have salmon. It's also depleting other types of fish. And I don't like the idea of feeding chicken guts and feathers and stuff to the salmon either. At least not the one's I want to eat. My choice.

    Sure, its your choice and you are welcome to it. Keep in mind that this biomass inefficiency is true for ALL animals including wild salmon and you as well. As for the diet of the salmon why does the idea of a fish eating chicken guts and feathers bother you? Those wild salmon are eating fish guts, fish fins, scales and God knows what. Wild fish are also chock FULL of parasites. If the idea of animals eating chicken by products disturbs you don't read the ingredient list of your pets food and for heaven's sake DON'T EAT real Chinese food!

    Keep in mind young salmon themselves are prey fish. Perhaps they give as good as they get.

    Zlxr says

    Scientists have released sterile female insects into the wild to destroy certain insect populations. So if that theory holds and these salmon escape into the wild - then we will see the wild salmon population decline or possibly become less healthy and also decline in a way that it cannot be saved. If I am wrong then that won't happen - but if it does happen - then what? Is it worth taking the chance?

    I believe salmon are famous for their instinct to return to the very stream from which they were hatched to spawn. By this nature modified salmon should avoid breeding with wild salmon from other streams.

    I agree that the farmed salmon I have had in the past was not as good as the wild fish. I am hoping this is part of the learning curve in the making a better product.

    Now if you want a really tasty sustainable fish you can raise yourself give Tilapia a shot.
    http://www.tilapiafarmingathome.com/Pages/default.aspx

  25. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    142   9:42am Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    It's also disconcerting to learn that it takes 3 pounds of fish to feed a salmon so that it can grow 1 lb. That's not a very good trade off. Because it means that someone somewhere is not eating so we can have salmon. It's also depleting other types of fish.

    Intersting tidbit from Wikipedia - Farmed salmon takes LESS wild caught fish than wild:

    On a dry-dry basis, it takes 2–4 kg of wild caught fish to produce one kg of salmon.[15] Wild salmon require about 10 kg of forage fish to produce a kg of salmon, as part of the normal trophic level energy transfer. The difference between the two numbers is related to farmed salmon feed containing other ingredients beyond fish meal and the fact that farmed fish don't spend a lot of metabolic energy catching a dinner that doesn't want to be caught.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaculture_of_salmon

  26. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    143   2:35pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Actually if you read about the sea lice - the wild salmon lose those lice when they swim back up into the fresh water rivers to spawn because the sea lice are salt water only. But then when the baby salmon come back out to the ocean they swim by the salmon farms and pick up more parasites because the parasites concentrate around the fish farms which are in close proximity to the mouth of the rivers. That alone kills off a certain amount of wild salmon.

    I have been up to the fish hatchery in Folsom and I have to say that even 30 years ago when we went I wasn't too thrilled with what I saw. The fish were crammed together like 4 inches apart - well close enough not to have much room to move in. Some of the fish were losing scales, some had things hanging off of them and some had like this cloudy film of something on them. Not all the fish had problems - just some of them but I had never seen sick looking fish before.

    Wild fish that I have seen look much healthier. At least they did in the past.

    I know - all our food is pretty much polluted anymore. That's why I try to get grass fed beef and organic chicken. Although - I think chicken meat has gotten kind of mushy and less tasty in the last few years. You shouldn't be able to just poke your finger through a piece of raw chicken so easily. And ideally you should get a whole chicken with the actual liver from that chicken so you have an idea as to how healthy that chicken was.

    As for why I question what the salmon eats. Well I guess I believe animals should eat their natural diet. At least the salmon is geared to eat fish. It may not be able to digest chicken feathers and chicken guts. Plus it's just adding more possible problems to the mix. Even if I could raise the salmon myself in a special fish tank -I would not be feeding them chicken guts and feathers. I would be feeding them small fish and insects and stuff more like that. Plus they are putting some pretty high powered antibiotics in the salmon feed along with the dye. They swim in dirty water, they don't move much and whatever. It just makes me lose my appetite. Like I said it's my choice.

    I'm rethinking how I feel about farmed fish. At least certain types. I'll be checking into how the types of fish are raised anymore before I buy them.

    I probably only eat the equivalent of 4 or 5 chicken drumsticks in a whole week anymore. I'm eating more soups and stews and beans and rice these days. If mangoes and avocados didn't cost so much I would say that Carribean black beans over brown rice with avocado mango salsa makes for a pretty good substitute. I mean it makes a great substitute but it's not necessarily cheaper.

  27. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    144   2:37pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    you would think it would be better for us people to take the 3 lbs of fish instead of feeding them to the salmon to get 1 lb. of salmon.

    I like salmon. You are free to eat the crap that they are feeding to the salmon, but please do not force me to eat it. I doubt it's anything you would want to eat.

  28. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    145   2:41pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    I know - all our food is pretty much polluted anymore. That's why I try to get grass fed beef and organic chicken. Although - I think chicken meat has gotten kind of mushy and less tasty in the last few years. You shouldn't be able to just poke your finger through a piece of raw chicken so easily. And ideally you should get a whole chicken with the actual liver from that chicken so you have an idea as to how healthy that chicken was.

    As for why I question what the salmon eats. Well I guess I believe animals should eat their natural diet. At least the salmon is geared to eat fish. It may not be able to digest chicken feathers and chicken guts. Plus it's just adding more possible problems to the mix.

    Your thoughts seem to be very muddled. We are talking about genetic modification. The living conditions of animals and what they are fed certainly is an issue, but it is a completely unrelated issue. Salmon was farmed before GM was even invented. If you are against raising fish on farms, that's a valid issue. What does it have to do with GM?

  29. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    146   3:18pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    As for the GMO salmon mixing with wild salmon.

    Apparently 1 - 5% of the GMO salmon are fertile.

    As far as just breeding goes - salmon are attracted to each other by size. GMO female salmon are larger so the wild male salmon may just go wasted on pairing up with a GMO female and trying to mate with sterile female eggs. This would leave the wild female salmon alone laying unfertilized eggs and this would pretty much decimate the wild salmon population after a few generations.

    Out of the GMO females that do succeed in breeding - who knows. The GMO males are inferior and wouldn't be good breeding stock and they say they aren't creating any GMO male stock - so we don't know what we'd get if we got a GMO - Wild Salmon Cross. There are 2 new genes in the mix and the females are somehow not sterile when they should be - so we don't know how these characteristics will express themselves when mixed back with the wild population.

    The worst case would be a Giant fish that invades and eats everything in site - that ends up also being an inferior fish that dies young. Or that is also sterile.

    Other possibilities are that it wouldn't be so bad but that the whole wild salmon population would be so altered that it couldn't be taken back to what it was.

    And also since there is a patent on GMO fish - does that mean that Monsanto or whoever = then owns all the fish that end up with GMO DNA??????

    Another train of thought that was brought up was that there are companies who are gearing up to - or trying to own streams and rivers for hydroelectric purposes and that the salmon get in their way. Therefore - they would prefer that all salmon be farmed and bred in captivity and leave the waterways clear for them to utilize.

    Another thing to think about is all the wildlife that feed off of spawning salmon. Without the salmon - where will the bears and the eagles and the wolves etc. turn to for their food? Will it bring them into our backyards more often? Or will they just die off too?

    Also - I didn't know that Atlantic Salmon was referring to a type of Salmon. I thought it meant where they were farmed. Anyway - they are growing the Atlantic Salmon over here on the West Coast up in British Columbia. I don't know if they are the GMO's - but they are huge especially compared to the wild caught.

  30. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    147   3:33pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Homeboy - how did they insert the argument gene into you? Did you just take a pill or did they give you a shot in the butt?

  31. Homeboy


    Follow
    Befriend
    39 threads
    3,546 comments

    148   4:15pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    Homeboy - how did they insert the argument gene into you? Did you just take a pill or did they give you a shot in the butt?

    I got a shot of logic and common sense. You should try it.

  32. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    149   5:13pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    @donjumpsuit: Very interesting, I didn't realize folks were directing with such precision these days.

    For the doomsday folks who may recall the 70s when it was said that we'd run out of oil and natural gas in the 90s, aluminum in 2003, population boom and starvation, global cooling would cause us to freeze to death and so on. None of this happened and in fact human ingenuity found ways of finding more resources and made it cheaper to get to boot!

    Matt Ridley has written a book called, "Rational Optimist" in which he describes his perception of why this is true. It's about things like how many dumb people in a room come up with better ideas and solutions than many smart ones in a room if the former are allowed to communicate and share ideas and the later don't communicate. How top down authoritative paradigms extinguish this (why I am slightly more conservative than liberal) and uses what he calls "idea sex" meaning that ideas are crossed in a similar fashion as genetics by Homo sapiens resulting in better and more robust versions of society.

    It might make some folks feel better about all the change (which is uncomfortable to me as well) that is going on:

    http://www.rationaloptimist.com/

    Rational Optimist
    The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves

    Published: May 2010 (All day)

    A counterblast to the prevailing pessimism of our age, and proves, however much we like to think to the contrary, that things are getting better.

    Over 10,000 years ago there were fewer than 10 million people on the planet. Today there are more than 6 billion, 99 per cent of whom are better fed, better sheltered, better entertained and better protected against disease than their Stone Age ancestors. The availability of almost everything a person could want or need has been going erratically upwards for 10,000 years and has rapidly accelerated over the last 200 years: calories; vitamins; clean water; machines; privacy; the means to travel faster than we can run, and the ability to communicate over longer distances than we can shout.

    Yet, bizarrely, however much things improve from the way they were before, people still cling to the belief that the future will be nothing but disastrous. In this original, optimistic book, Matt Ridley puts forward his surprisingly simple answer to how humans progress, arguing that we progress when we trade and we only really trade productively when we trust each other. The Rational Optimist will do for economics what Genome did for genomics and will show that the answer to our problems, imagined or real, is to keep on doing what we've been doing for 10,000 years -- to keep on changing.

  33. Patrick


    Follow
    Befriend (55)
    5,666 threads
    6,354 comments
    male
    Menlo Park, CA
    Premium

    150   5:29pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    You also might like The Skeptical Environmentalist by Bjorn Lomborg:

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Skeptical-Environmentalist-Measuring-State/dp/0521010683/ref=sr_1_sc_2?tag=patricknet-20&ie=UTF8&qid=1356916998&sr=8-2-spell

    He points out that most measures of human welfare (life expecancy, infant mortality, pollution) have actually been improving in the long term (decades to centuries) in spite of all the dire predictions of doom.

  34. just_passing_through


    Follow
    Befriend
    3 threads
    215 comments
    San Diego, CA

    151   5:36pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks Pat! That does look to be a good read. I particularly liked seeing this, "He supports his arguments with over 2500 footnotes".

    Not sure I'd have the time in my lifetime to follow up on those though. ;^)

  35. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    152   9:26pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Thanks Just Passing,

    While I could see where GMO could certainly have some uses - I still think we need to go slowly and test what we create to make sure that we don't screw things up.

    My 3 biggest concerns are actually that the current laws will encourage someone to create a new version of a good thing just so they can patent the DNA and own something they really don't have any business changing.

    And second of all - if Monsanto really believes what they create - then they should stand behind their inventions instead of having the purchasers of their seeds sign contracts and take the responsibility for what the seeds might do.

    And 3rd - if their patented DNA gets into another person's plant because their DNA pollen drifted over - then they should be at fault for polluting - not the plant that acquired the DNA through natural means.

    So you could say my biggest issue is with greed and the desire to own nature.

    And while scientists love a challenge and will try to create whatever they are asked to create - we have to be more realistic as to what we are creating. And at least observe and test to make sure it's a good addition to other life forms here on earth.

    I don't believe that alfalfa needed to be GMO.

    I think that instead of making Round Up Ready seeds and using so much Round Up - they should have pursued ways to get the weeds to sprout so they could spray once or till them under BEFORE they plant the crops. Did they even think of that approach before they did what they did? And I would like to know what that gene did if it made any other differences in the plants that were GMO'd for Round Up Readiness.

    I question why they invented an apple that doesn't turn brown when it's cut open. Does this mean they are working on cows that produce chocolate milk and salmon that grow up with that already smoked flavor?

    From what I have seen so far - it would appear that Monsanto (not necessarily their scientists) are not being as careful or as forthcoming as I think they should be.

    There does seem to be an increase in allergies - especially peanut allergies (in children I know of under the age of 5). And I have concerns.

    I'm not totally blaming GMO - I just think that inventors don't always think of every aspect of what they have created. I might have weird ideas or questions - but if my concerns are honestly considered and someone can honestly show me that something is really and truly better or completely safe - then I have no problems.

  36. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    153   9:59pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Also - when it comes to grubs that live in the ground and attack plants.

    Do they even consider that possibly tilling the ground and letting Guinea Hens or something run around and eat the grubs - or say use some Diatomaceous Earth might work better. I'm not saying these will even work. But just because a chemical company specializes in chemicals doesn't mean that more chemicals is better than trying some of these other things.

  37. rdm


    Follow
    Befriend
    4 threads
    294 comments

    154   10:26pm Sun 30 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    Do they even consider that possibly tilling the ground and letting Guinea Hens or something run around and eat the grubs -

    The basic problem is that agriculture has really become an industrial enterprise. The scale of production of corn and soybeans is such that given current conditions, practices that might work on a few acres are simply impractical on the scale that ag. is practiced in the the major crop producing areas.

    If you are referring to the corn rootworm there is a very simple practice that can be used. One simply plants corn one year and soybeans the next. This simple rotation almost completely eliminates the need for rootworm insecticide or GMO BT corn. It simply breaks the cycle of the insect. However, given that corn in recent years has been (on good quality land) far more profitable then soybeans farmers opt to plant continuous corn. This has proven to be extremely lucrative, many farmers have gotten rich in the last 5 or so years by growing corn. Thus BT corn has really become very popular as you do not need to use insecticide with it on continuous corn.

    People still think of farmers as hayseeds with chickens pecking around the yard, tending gardens. Hell, most people think sweet corn sold in supermarkets is the same corn raised on millions of acres crop land. Most farmers today are sophisticated business people, marketing their crops with the use of the futures markets, operating hundreds of thousands of dollars of very complex equipment with huge capital investments in grain storage and or livestock complexes.

  38. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    155   3:01am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    I do not think farmers are hayseeds.

    I realize you take huge risks because you have to buy seeds and fertilizer and all kinds of stuff and then the weather can go haywire and you can lose everything. Or you miscalculate how much you'll get for your crop. Believe me I do have an idea of what can go wrong. Even on a small scale - I have seen what rain and gophers and deer can do. Not to mention gopher holes that detour all the irrigation water down the hill and wash out rows of garden. As kids we got paid for catching gophers so I know all about setting the traps and stuff like that. I realize that gets expensive for large scale farming but it's the safer healthier way to get rid of gophers (other than snakes and cats) just like it's technically better to pick off tomato hornworms by hand.

    We have lots of people with no work to do, we should by rights pay more for food (and less for medical) and it's getting kind of obvious that good cheap food is a thing of the past.

    However, if we want to have a sustainable food source - I think we have to think beyond just modifying a plant and using chemicals just because it is easier and more expedient.

    And to be honest - if all you farmers only cared about $$$ you would grow marijuana instead of food because a few pot plants would make more money than a few acres of hard work raising something else does. So I really do appreciate what you are trying to do.

    I don't know what's feasible and what's doable - so I guess it would be nice to sit down and think it out and see what can be done.

    Such as - would it work if farmers who owned lot's of land could rent out acreage to people who could/would be willing to do more intensive work and try less chemicals and more natural means.

    If you can't go that route - would it work if groups of people who wanted more organic produce - worked out some kind of enterprise with the farmers so that you grow what they want - but they also help with some of the risk and maybe even take some time out to contribute some help on occasion.

    Sometimes I think I would like to have a couple acres so I could grow my own food - but it does require the expense of a fence, figuring irrigation which gets expensive with treated water, and then maybe I can't grow some of everything I want to grow. So then I think it would be nice to have access to some land and plant some trees and grow some produce and maybe swap produce with someone else who might want to trade with something I have. But if I'm going to grow trees then I need something long term - and yeah I might get too old to prune the high up branches and pick all the fruit so I might want to pay for a little help. And I might want to can some of the fruit and veggies and I might want to dehydrate some of it and a small community of like minded people might make it easier. Not to mention that someone who has been farming for longer than I have - might be able to teach me a thing or 2.

    If you're out in farm country in the midwest - you're probably laughing at me. But here in CA an acre of land could easily run $170,000 per acre. Depending on how close to a city you are - and even owning or renting a house with a 1/2 acre yard is completely unthinkable unless you have alot of money and/or connections in city areas. The other part is that if we only have access to treated water - it costs around $60 a month for water and then we pay extra for anything over 300 gallons per day - so raising good veggies and fruit trees could potentially cost more than buying organic at the store. But even buying organic at the store leaves out lots of fruits and vegetables that could be grown. Don't get me wrong - we have lots of good produce here in CA - but unless you live in specific areas you just don't get access to some of the best apples and oranges and grapes and kiwis and tomatoes, and peaches and nectarines and plums and figs and watermelons and all the other melons. And if you want to make your own pickles or you want special eggplants or asian veggies - you might have to grow your own. We do have all kinds of lettuces and greens but whenever I have raised my own I found they had more flavors than what I get in the store. I'm not sure with regards to the fruit if it's the actual fruit tree or if it's because they pick the fruit when it's still green and tasteless - but even when ripened at home it still doesn't get the tastes we grew up with. I had an orange tree not that many years ago and it was awesome. The best oranges in the store don't come close.

    So - I guess what I'm saying is - can it be done for farmers and semi farmers and just regular people to work together so all the risk doesn't sit on one person. So we can have more variety, healthier fruits and veggies and the choice to pick it when it's actually ripe etc. etc. etc.

  39. Zlxr


    Follow
    Befriend
    49 comments
    Martinez, CA

    156   3:32am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Also - I noticed that lot's more of Northern CA is heavily planted with corn. Not rows of corn. Fields of corn packed so tightly together noone could get in - so I'm guessing this is corn for ethanol.

  40. New Renter


    Follow
    Befriend (3)
    35 threads
    6,735 comments
    San Jose, CA

    157   9:42am Mon 31 Dec 2012   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Zlxr says

    But if I'm going to grow trees then I need something long term - and yeah I might get too old to prune the high up branches and pick all the fruit so I might want to pay for a little help.

    High density orchards can help both the acreage and the too-tall-to-harvest problems. Put in 3-4 dwarf fruit trees per 18" hole and keep them pruned to 6' or below. You can also put espaliered fruit trees along your property fences to maximize space efficiency:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Espalier

    You won't be self-sufficient by any means but even a few well thought out fruit trees with a small vegetable garden can yield plenty of farm fresh fruits and vegetables. Depending on your local ordinances a coupe of chickens can convert the bugs into eggs for you as well.

« First     « Previous comments     Next comments »     Last »

121212 is moderator of this thread.

Email

Username

Watch comments by email
Home   Tips and Tricks   Questions or suggestions? Mail p@patrick.net   Thank you for your kind donations

Page took 171 milliseconds to create.