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Agr. Sprays

Mar 1, 2002 | 15:10 31 I have been following your GMO discussion with tremendous interest, and just have to put in my two cents worth. (I hope I don't end up with organic fertilizer inside my boots!)

We have grown GMO canola for the past 3 years, and plan to again this year. It is true it is a decission based in part on costs and profitability. However, from another point of view, I would not consider producing anything, that I felt would be unsafe or detremental for my family to consume.

A conventional field of canola, which has to be sprayed for quackgrass, broadleaf weads, and wild oats would see at least 3 different types of herbicide applied at full rate.


A roundup tolerant canola field would see one type of herbicide, and only at half rate!

From a consumers point of view, or even anyone moving toward organic farming, which one would you choose to eat?

I believe that the public and many of us farmers, lack a basic understanding as previously stated. As a society, it is difficult to determine where to draw the line with technology.

Eg: A tomatoe grown on a plant, which is genetically modified with a gene from a fish,(in order to produce a cold tolerant plant), could inconceivably become a health hazard for someone allergic to fish.

Your GMO potato, I have not problem consuming either. We had a run of Colorado Potatoe beetles almost 10 years ago. The only thing we could do was hand pick them or go to really bad insecticides. Genetically modified potatoes, contain a gene which makes the leaves taste bad to the insect.
Thereby ellimimating the problem without harmful chemicals. It is not my understanding that actual insecticides are present in GMO potatoes. Maybe someone more knowledgable could correct me. Reply With Quote
Mar 2, 2002 | 05:24 32 Bombay: And lets not forget how safe Round-up is. All herbicides/pesticides are tested for their safety towards mammals/insects. What they come up with is a number called a LD number. It basically reflects how much chemical you need to kill a bunch of rats. The higher the LD number is, the safer the product. Round-Up has an LD of over 6000 while 24D is somewhere around 380 I believe. Now just about all herbicides contain a portion of 24D and for a product like Escort or Attain the LD numbers would probably be in the area of 600. So as you can see Round-up is 10 times safer than most sprays. Just another thought when considering GMOs. Reply With Quote
Mar 2, 2002 | 11:46 33 Bombay you raise some good points. In the beginning of all this controversy with respect to the GMO potato, for example, if the companies would have come to consumers and asked how they would like a potato that is sprayed far less, as potatoes can be sprayed up to 7 times or more for the various things and my friends on PEI tell me that there are certain periods when spraying goes on everyday - I wonder what the reaction would have been?

The benefit was not given as a consumer benefit, but as one for the producer, which was likely the wrong way to approach it. I know for myself I would rather take my chances with something that has been sprayed less times, not only for my own health, but the health of the environment as well. Not to mention less costs to the producer etc. Even McCain's when saying that they wouldn't use GMO potatoes agreed that the science was good, just not good in the public's eye, so they weren't going to use them. Were they thinking about consumer welfare or their own pocketbooks? Probably both.

In terms of the fish in tomato scenario, the product would likely never get to the consumer because of the built in precautionary principle and the fact that testing would show that there could be problems. They were made aware of this by the very real situation of a brazil nut gene being put into soy - I think it was - and realized that those with nut allergies would have problems, so the project was scrapped and it never did see the light of day.

I'm afraid that through various types of media, we have been brought to a certain level of fear and mistrust and a Frankenstonian type of mentality.

I still say give me the information and let me decide. Reply With Quote
Mar 3, 2002 | 18:04 34 Cowman: Trivia question: What appears on the containers of most herbicides, but not on Roundup? Extra points if you can post a picture or link to a picture . Reply With Quote