Other Agricultural Technologies Irrigation – Old and New The Roman Aqueducts http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oTMrfyAt6Mo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FN1v5FYkTLQ&NR=1 Modern Irrigation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j120rdlLDDU&feature=related Intensive Dairy Farming: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDo5c-ksmRs Aquaculture: Aquaculture: Harvesting of fish in control environments. Fish are grown in large tanks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0Xxypp39Sg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3uvozt7rME4 Hydroponics: Hydroponics: the growing of crops without the use of soil. The medium used is water. Mostly done in greenhouses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHBhyqowSEchttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHBhyqowSEc Aquaponics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8M2Gp8Dqnohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8M2Gp8Dqno Agribusiness: companies like Kraft Foods own all aspects of making a product like cheese. From the diary farm, the farm that grows the food for the cows, the processing and packaging plants. Rainmaking: production of rain by artificial means now generally disregarded, though it is probable that rainmaking increases rainfall from clouds suitable for natural rainfall. Interest spurred by drought and the need for irrigation water. http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/2714955.htm Topography: The Banaue Rice Terraces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNSYtaHIhR8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNSYtaHIhR8
Few places in the world are ‘PERFECT’ for farming Only 9% of the earth is cultivated. One fear is the expansion of cities. Cities tend to locate near cultivated land. Once city starts to grow, valuable farmland is lost. Burlington, Toronto, Niagara Most of the time there is some “deficiency” in one or more of the factors mentioned. Farmers must work at overcoming them.
Canada: Every year, an estimated 11 to 13 million Canadians suffer from illnesses caused by food-borne illness. The most common symptoms may include the following: stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever. United States: We estimate that foodborne diseases cause approximately 76 million illnesses, 325,000 hospitalizations, and 5,000 deaths in the United States each year. Three pathogens, Salmonella, Listeria, and Toxoplasma, are responsible for 1,500 deaths each year, more than 75% of those caused by known pathogens, while unknown agents account for the remaining 62 million illnesses, 265,000 hospitalizations, and 3,200 deaths. Overall, foodborne diseases appear to cause more illnesses but fewer deaths than previously estimated. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2627714/pdf/10511517.pdf http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2627714/pdf/10511517.pdf Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Swine and Avian Viruses (Viruses transferred between animals and humans): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a4fzxS_ipg Food Illnesses in Canada and the U.S.A.
Political and Corporate Control Economy – Controlling Prices Economy – Controlling Prices The developed world controls the economy and trade and make it difficult for the developing world to compete. Tariffs: Tax placed on imported goods to allow the domestic goods to compete (E.g.The Ivory Coast and Cocoa). Subsidize: Governments in developed countries give money to their farmers to keep the prices of certain products down. Outcome: more competitive in the world market. Aid: The developed countries will aid the developing countries in food supplies, but the aid is sometimes connected to some other kind of favour (cheaper minerals, military base in country).
Absentee landlords: In many countries the rich own the land and they either leave the land alone or they rent it out to ‘peasant farmers’. Venezuela land reform program Land Holdings: The U.S.S.R. had a system (Collective farming) where the government owned the land and the farmers worked there much like a factory. This system was a disaster since the farmer had no incentive to improve the land. Infrastructure: Usually governments fund this program. The developing world lacks electricity, roads, trucks, railways, storage facilities and distribution networks (difficult to distribute).
Communist Countries: set the price for food – there is no incentive for the farmer to improve his/her output. Capitalist Countries: Price is dependent on Supply and Demand. Rich countries can manipulate this and in turn control the price by storing the surplus food, destroying the surplus or government paying farmers NOT to grow more. Why not give extra food as aid to starving people. Meat is a major part of the developed world’s diet. A lot of grains are given to animals to beef them up. The Animals Save the Planet - Gassy Cows http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIforUNXrUQ
America Revealed: Food Machine http://video.pbs.org/video/2214315175/
DID YOU KNOW: Diversity Facts Apples: There are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples. Different varieties are bred for various tastes and uses, including in cooking, fresh eating and cider production. But just 100 of them are grown commercially Beans: There are 40,000 varieties of beans Wheat: There are about 200,000 varieties of bread type wheats and yet only a few genetic lines of wheat feed the world. Corn: There are thousands of strains of corn, with more than 200 varieties of sweet corn alone. Potatoes: According to Washington State Uniersity there are 575 different varieties of potatoes. Rice: 200,000-400,000 varieties of rice
Why Care about Diversity There is no such thing as a best type of variety. Today’s best variety might be tomorrows lunch for an insect, pest, or disease. Maybe the varieties that we do not appreciate have resistance to disease, pests or even climate change. Perhaps it has one unique trait. Diversity gives us options. Options to feed a growing population and options to help us combat drought and famine. We are loosing diversity (possible extinction) to political, economic and environmental factors. Example: Seed banks are susceptible to natural disasters, war, lack of funding. Cary Fowler: One seed at a time, protecting the future of food http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/cary_fowler_one_seed_at_a_time_protecting_the_future_of_food.html Jonathan Drori: Why we're storing billions of seeds http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_drori_why_we_re_storing_billions_of_seeds.html
Conventional Plant Breeding -Humans have been breeding plants for around 10,000 years. -The basic goal of breeding was to improve certain plant characteristics. -For example wheat, a common cereal crop, has been bred to produce more and larger seeds than its wild ancestor, and to fight off infections. -Basically, plant breeders would interbreed related plants (closely or distantly related) to create new varieties with desirable qualities. Breed different types of wheat in search of the best qualities. -Example: A mildew resistant pea may be breed with a high yielding pea plant (a plant that produces a lot of peas) with the goal having a high yielding pea plant that is mildew resistant. -The new plant would then be breed again with the high yieling parent to ensure that the progeny was most like the high yieling parent (Backcrossing) -Progeny: A descendant or the descendants of a person, animal, or plant; offspring: "the progeny of mixed marriages".
Introduction to Modern Day Biology In the mid-19th century Gregor Mendel showed using pea plants that traits are inherited in a predictable way. A Century later (mid 1900’s) Watson, Crick, and Franklin suggested a model for the structure of DNA, which proved to be correct by Avery and colleagues in 1943. The inherited material, genes, was the DNA. From this discovery new techniques started springing up to manipulate, duplicate and sequence DNA. Knowing the sequence of an organism’s genetic material leads to an understanding of how the cells work. Using DNA sequencing technology, breeders can select the plant that has a favorable gene and leave unwanted DNA.
Generating a Transgenic Plant Towards the end of the 20th century scientists were able to move pieces of DNA between organisms. Plant biologists inserted genes that could impart resistance to common pests that plagued them. This has become very contoversial but this is how it is done. Step 1 select a “gene of awesome” that you want your plant to express. For example: Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Corn contains a “gene of awesome” that imparts resistance to the herbicide glyphosphate (chemical used in Roundup). This allows farmers to use Roundup to control weeds in their fields without killing the crop. The idea is that if a glyphosate-resistant enzyme from bacteria could be transferred to plants it might make the plants resistant to the herbicide. The C4 strain of Agrobacterium sp. is a species of bacteria that was found growing at a factory that made glyphosate. The EPSP synthase enzyme from this bacterium (C4 EPSP synthase) was almost completely insensitive to glyphosate. Step 2 Once you have your “gene of awesome” you need to put it into a plasmid. This circle of DNA will contain at least one other gene (a genetic marker), used to make sure it works. The gene called GUS is mainly used because when it is incontact with a chemical it turns a plant blue Step 3 Then you need to get your plasmid into a plant cell. This is done in many ways including the use of a “gene gun”. Step 4 After growing the cells into seedlings, the GUS marker can then be used to select the seedlings that contain the “gene of awesome”. The new transgenic plants are then grown
Possible Problems With GMO Diversity Loss Potentially become invasive Using just one species it might become susceptible to disease (potato famine). Companies may select the best of the progeny which will give them the highest yield, the most money, and aesthetically the nicest looking. Nutrients could be compromised for higher yield. Genetic alteration to increase the yield might be at the expense of a product which is less nutritious. Potential of a gene to produce a protein that someone is allergic to. Gene can impact other genes in the seed. I.E. Could change the seed into something invasive.
Synthetic DNA The strange new craft of making life from scratch http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17436365 Craig Venter & Synthetic Life Debate - BBC Newsnight & BBC America Reports http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6yV7NHxA0o
Multinational Organization: A corporation that has its facilities and other assets in at least one country other than its home country. 2010 Financials
Fertilizers: any substance such as manure or a mixture of nitrates used to make soil more fertile. Chemical Fertilizers: are chemical products designed to help restore or add nutrients to the soil. Positive aspects are the increase in yield and it’s assistance in providing nutrients to soil that may not be available. Negative aspect are chemical accessing water table, accessing the plant and diminishing soil fertility. Pesticides and Herbicides: any substance intended to prevent, destroy or control pests in the production process (mice/rats/weeds). Issue: most insecticides harm non- target species, air, water and soil. Agriculture Definitions
Fertilizer use can lead to ‘diminishing returns’. You have to add the right amount of fertilizer for optimal yields. Pests and Fertilizer use FertilizerTotal YieldIncrease (kg)(bushels)(bushels) 11010 22111 33211 44210 551 9 659 8 In this case the point of diminishing returns is at 4 pounds of fertilizer.
Sources: http://www.monsanto.com/whoweare/pages/monsanto-history.aspx http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/securit/addit/sweeten-edulcor/saccharin-eng.php History 1901 -John F. Queeny founds the original Monsanto. -The first product the company produced was called saccharine. -Saccharin is a non-nutritive sweetener used around the world. -It has not been allowed in Canada as a food additive since the 1970s. -In the 1970s, studies raised concerns that saccharin could be carcinogenic in laboratory rats. -More recent studies have revealed that the carcinogenic effect of saccharin in rats is not relevant to humans. -In 2006, a letter was sent to stakeholders informing them of the results of Health Canada's evaluation and the intention to propose regulatory changes to allow saccharin to be used as a food additive. -If saccharin is relisted as an approved food additive, commercial products will have to include saccharin in their ingredient list.
History 1945 -The original Monsanto produces and markets agricultural chemicals, including 2,4D. -2,4D is a synthetic auxin widely used as a weedkiller -2,4-D is a component of Agent Orange (2,4-D and 2,4,5-T TCDD). 2,4,5-T TCDD is a dioxin that has been shown to cause cancer. -2,4,5-T is no longer on the market. -Agent Orange was manufactured for the U.S. Department of Defense primarily by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical. The Goal was to defoliate forest and force migration of peasant farmers to major cities. -Estimated 20,000,000 US gallons (75,700,000 l) of chemical herbicides was dumped in parts of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia -The U.S. military sprayed tons of Agent Orange on Vietnam and was also allowed to test it at CFB Gagetown in the summers of 1966 and '67. (U.S government) http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/12/16/bc-agentorange.html http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/cps-spc/pest/part/protect-proteger/use-utiliser/_24d/24d-faq-eng.php http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/2,4-d http://envirocancer.cornell.edu/factsheet/pesticide/fs14.2_4-d.cfm
2,4D -Health Canada Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has determined that 2,4-D meets Canada's strict health and safety standards. -2,4-D can be used safely as a herbicide when used according to label directions. -Some Physician groups say 2,4-D can cause cancer in children. Health Canada says that no other international regulatory body considers 2,4-D to be a human carcinogen. -The annual use of 2,4-D in New York State was estimated to be 141,665 pounds, making it the seventh most used herbicide in this state. 2,4-D's primary use in agriculture is to control weeds in wheat and corn fields. In addition, it is used in home lawns and gardens, to control broad-leaf weeds like dandelions. The EPA has estimated that 12 to 28 million pounds of 2,4-D is used each year in non-agricultural settings.
History 1964 -Ramrod herbicide is introduced -For control of annual grasses and certain broadleaf weeds in sorghum and selected vegetable crops. -Ramrod may be used for short-term pre-emergence control in maize, sorghum and selected vegetable crops such as beetroot, sweetcorn, direct seeded onions, transplanted broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, and Chinese cabbage. -Rated Toxicity category III: Slightly toxic and Slightly irritating, -Ramrod toxicology report: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/cleared_reviews/csr_PC-019101_26-Mar-79_002.pdfRamrod toxicology report: http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/chem_search/cleared_reviews/csr_PC-019101_26-Mar-79_002.pdf (Refer to page 3-5) http://search.nufarm.com.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=931&function=GetProduct&ProductID=944892&Details=Y&CompanyID=509228 http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/monsanto-found-liable-for-weedkiller-poisoning-in-france/2012/02/13/gIQAp2WcBR_blog.html
History 1968 -Lasso herbicide introduced to begin the trend toward reduced-tillage farming. -Lasso (alachlor) are used to control annual grasses and certain broadleaf weeds such as redroot pigweed, common lambsquarters and common ragweed. -A Special Review of all pesticide products containing the active ingredient alachlor was initiated on January 9, 1985. The EPA determined that alachlor produces tumors in laboratory rats and mice and that humans can be exposed to alachlor through consumption of treated crops, consumption of water, or contact during handling. -Alachlor (Lasso) Herbicide Profile http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/herb-growthreg/24-d-butylate/alachlor/herb-prof-alachlor.htmlAlachlor (Lasso) Herbicide Profile http://pmep.cce.cornell.edu/profiles/herb-growthreg/24-d-butylate/alachlor/herb-prof-alachlor.html -As a result of the Special Review and the reregistration process, the following label changes have been made. Lasso will no longer be approved for use with potato crops or in aerial applications. -Lasso has been banned in France since 2007. It was also withdrawn from sale earlier in Belgium, Canada, the UK and some other countries. -US firm Monsanto 'guilty' in France poisoning case http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17024494US firm Monsanto 'guilty' in France poisoning case http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17024494
History 1976 -Roundup herbicide is commercialized in the U.S.. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup -GMO crops have resistance to glyphosate so that weeds can be controlled -The toxicity of glyphosate itself is very low. -Roundup® is a very popular herbicide due to the low toxicity to non-target organisms Without a surfactant, however, glyphosate’s effectiveness as a herbicide is drastically decreased. Source:http://www.trentu.ca/biology/berrill/Research/Roundup_Poster.htm -While glyphosate alone has low toxicity, the formulation of glyphosate with the surfactant polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), which is widely used, is significantly more toxic. -Some concern has been expressed over the possibility that glyphosate could react with nitrite in the diet to form N-nitrosophosphonomethyl glycine (NPMG), a putative (commonly put forth or accepted as true) carcinogen. Source: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/glyphosate/index-eng.phphttp://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ewh-semt/pubs/water-eau/glyphosate/index-eng.php -Glyphosate can be an effective tool in weed control programmes and is relatively less harmful than many of the products. There is nevertheless evidence of toxic effects on the environmental, indirect environmental damage and resistance in some target weed species. Source: http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Actives/glyphosa.htmhttp://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Actives/glyphosa.htm -Fish and aquatic invertebrates are more sensitive to glyphosate and its formulations. -The toxicity of glyphosate to mammals and birds is generally relatively low. -The Forestry Commission believes that glyphosate and other herbicides commonly affect hedgerow trees causing die-back. -There is also concern that the genes which display glyphosate resistance may be transferred to non- crop species including weeds.
Inert: A substance that does not react chemically; unable to move or act. Many of these ingredients aid in the penetration of herbicide into the plant cell. polyethoxylated tallowamine surfactant (POEA)
History 1982 -Scientists working for the original Monsanto are the first to genetically modify a plant cell. 1987 -The original Monsanto conducts the first U.S. field trials of plants with biotechnology traits. The first genetically modified crops of tobacco and tomatoes were tested in the United States -In 1992, the FDA ruled that GMO’s are not dangerous and do not require special regulation. -One estimate stated that by 2001 more than 50 million acres of American farmland had been planted to genetically modified crops, most of it corn, soybeans, cotton and potatoes engineered to withstand herbicides.
History 1994 -The first biotechnology product to win regulatory approval, Posilac, bovine somatotropin (Bst) for dairy cows, goes on sale in the U.S. -Prior to 1980, Bovine Growth Hormone (BGH) could only be obtained from cows. However, through genetic engineering scientists were able to get bacteria to produce BGH. -When injecting a hormone into an animal or a human, it affects other hormones and it can have multiple effects which no one really knows. -The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1993 ruled that it was not harmful and could be injected into cows to improve their milk production. -According to a new study, if U.S. farmers injected their dairy cows with bovine growth hormone, it would take just 843,000 cows to produce the same amount of milk as one million untreated animals. -Pros: Savings on animal food, reducing global warming impact (methane) and an increase in milk production.
-Cons: Some studies have linked it with a risk of mastitis (udder infection) in cows. -Bovine growth hormone is also known to stimulate the production of insulin like growth factor 1 (IGF1) by the liver; some studies have shown that high levels of IGF1 in the bloodstream may heighten the risk of prostate and breast cancers as well as a woman's chance of conceiving twins. -As a result of consumer concerns, farmers in Australia, Canada, the EU and New Zealand do not inject their cows with bovine growth hormone. Source: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=can-bovine-growth-hormone-slow-global-warming -Many U.S. dairy farmers have pledged not to use the growth hormone. Kraft Foods and Wal-Mart have announced plans to shift to dairy products that do not contain artificial hormones. -Monsanto sold its POSILAC® bovine somatotropin brand and related business to Eli Lilly and Company (Oct. 2 nd, 2008).
Ganmaa Davaasambuu, a Mongolia-trained medical doctor, a Japan-trained Ph.D. in environmental health, and a current fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study: 'The milk we drink today may not be nature's perfect food.' (Staff photo Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office) Hormones in milk can be dangerous From The Harvard Jounal
History 1994 - Present Day GMO Product Line AlfalfaAlfalfa: Genuity® Roundup Ready® Fewer weeds means it provides high- quality forage and hay. CanolaCanola: Genuity offers the Roundup Ready® This trait is a tool for farmers to help manage weeds and increase yield potential CornCorn: Monsanto’s corn traits help farmers get the most yield out of every acre of corn, while using as few inputs as possible. CottonCotton: Cotton growers are benefiting from second-generation and stacked trait technologies, which provide more levels of protection. SorghumSorghum: Sorghum is an efficient crop in the conversion of solar energy and more drought-tolerant than other crops such as corn and soybeans. SoybeansSoybeans: Whether it’s a higher yielding soybean with weed control (Roundup Ready®) or a soybean plant that helps reduce trans-fatty acids, Monsanto has a lot to offer soybean farmers. SugarbeetsSugarbeets: Fewer herbicide applications, increased yields and more sugar content all make Genuity Roundup Ready® sugarbeets attractive to many farmers. WheatWheat: Since acquiring the WestBred brand in 2009, Monsanto has initiated an intensive effort to incorporate breakthrough breeding technologies
History 1994 - Present Day Acquisition: 1996:Agracetus and purchases an interest in Calgene (bio research firms) 1997: Holden's Foundation Seeds L.L.C. and Corn States Hybrid Service L.L.C., a supplier of high quality seed 1998: DeKalb Genetics Corp. Was the U.S. leader in hybrid corn seed 2000: The original Monsanto merges and changes its name to Pharmacia (Pharmacia eventually becomes a subsidiary of Pfizer). A new Monsanto Company, based on the agricultural division of Pharmacia is created. 2004: Monsanto's ASI subsidiary acquires Channel Bio Corp. 3 rd largest seed supplier in the U.S. 2005: Monsanto's ASI subsidiary acquires four companies that are the shareowners of the CORE Group - including Fontanelle Hybrids, Stewart Seeds, Trelay Seeds, Stone Seeds and Specialty Hybrids. 2005: Monsanto's ASI subsidiary acquires NC+ Hybrids, Inc. Conventional and biotech lines of seeds. 2005: Monsanto acquires the Stoneville cotton business, including its NexGen cotton seed brand. 2005: Monsanto acquires Seminis Inc. a global leader in the vegetable and fruit seed industry. It supplies more than 3,500 seed varieties to commercial fruit and vegetable growers and in more than 150 countries worldwide. 2006: Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences LLC sign a global agreement cross-licensing intellectual property, product licenses in corn and soybeans, cotton technologies, and enabling technologies. These companies will offer a seed that combines eight different herbicide tolerance and insect-protection genes into top-performing hybrids. 2006: Monsanto’s ASI subsidiary acquires Diener Seeds, Sieben Hybrids, Kruger Seed Company, Trisler Seed Farms, Gold Country Seed, Inc., Heritage Seeds and Campbell Seed. 2007: Monsanto and BASF announce a long-term joint research and development in plant biotechnology. They will focus on the development of high-yielding crops that are more tolerant to conditions like drought. 2007: Monsanto acquires Delta&Pine Land Company and got rid of Stoneville&NexGen cotton. Cotton Seed Producers 2007: Monsanto and Bayer CropScience AG announce a series of long-term business and licensing agreements related to key agricultural technologies such as; herbicide, insecticide, fungicide, seed treatment or canola seed, 2008: Monsanto acquires De Ruiter Seeds Group, De Ruiter Seeds is one of the world’s top breeding companies. 2008: Monsanto acquires Semillas Cristiani Burkard, a privately-held seed company in Guatemala City 2008: Monsanto acquires Aly Participacoes Ltda., operates sugarcane and breeding technology in Brazil.
FULL (EXTENDED) INTERVIEW: Vandana Shiva http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3d9k23UyQQ Dr.Vandana Shiva named by Forbes as one of the 7 most- influential women in the world. The article called Dr.Shiva a "leading thinker of our time," and argues that women must be front and center in order to solve the issue of food security
WHY THERE AND WHO/WHAT PUT IT THERE? Monsanto identified a problem: Farmers Saving Seed & Worked to Make it illegal To Save Seed That They Produce. They helped created the patenting of life treaty that was then taken back to the U.S. government where it was then imposed on the world. U.S.A. Refer to History of Seed Patents in the U.S.A. (Next Slide) WTO (Some refer to the WTO as a Parliament, Court and Government all in one) Member states are required to uphold the following patent protection. Article 27.3(b) deals with patentability or non-patentability of plant and animal inventions, and the protection of plant varieties. Broadly speaking, it allows governments to exclude some kinds of inventions from patenting, ie, plants, animals and “essentially” biological processes. However, plant varieties have to be eligible for protection either through patent protection or a system created specifically for a unique purpose, or a combination of the two.
Members of the WTO 154 Members as of April 12,2012
WTO 30 Observing Governments as of April 12,2012
WHY CARE? -Loss of Seed Diversity to farmer planting GMO seeds -Do we truly know the long term impact of GMO’s. The pace at which we have create, marketed and sold these products is only within the last 20 – 30 years. Long term testing has not been done. -Trust is key if you are going to allow organizations to alter seed and put pesticides on plants: Monsanto guilty in 'false ad' row and 1996 false advertisingMonsanto guilty in 'false ad' row 1996 false advertising -Patents, like copyrights, are a form of intellectual property protection. When farmers purchase Monsanto seed, they agree not to save and replant seeds produced from the crops they grow from Monsanto. -Climate change is forcing food diversity (i.e. global warming). Loss of seed diversity -Monsanto seed could lead to the loss of seed diversity on a massive scale. -The GMO process combines the traits of other species to create a benefitial plant. Diversity allows for this process. -Are there health related impacts with consuming GMO’s or the herbicides/Pesticides? -Environmental impact (herbicide/Pesticides impact on the natural world fish, water, plants, animals, soil, insects)
-Herbicides are not known to directly cause genetic mutations in weeds that lead to resistance. However, herbicide resistant biotypes may already exist in native weed populations. When a herbicide is applied over and over again, some of these biotypes survive, mature and produce seed. (Source: Monsanto Website) -Control of a corporation over the very thing that allows us to survive (Ethics/Morals) -Corporations responsibility to increase profitability. More money can be made in seed than in chemicals (biotechnology) -Farmers required to buy seed each year instead of saving seed like they have been doing for thousands of years -Ultimately if they have control over the food supply they have control over price. -Address the famines and starvation that take place in drought stricken countries -Increasing population needs to be fed -With future water challenges this technology might be able to address water shortages by creating seeds that need little water or soil nutrients. WHY CARE?
NZ food bill to make growing food a government privilege rather than a human right The God-given human right to freely cultivate food is under attack in New Zealand (NZ) as special interest groups and others are currently attempting to push a "food security" bill through the nation's parliament that will strip individuals of their right to grow food, save seeds, and even share the fruits of their labor with friends and family members. http://www.naturalnews.com/034337_New_Zealand_food_freedom_human_rights.html#ixzz1sblHKoYs
WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? ? TEDxFruitvale - Gerardo Reyes-Chavez - Making Corporations Pay http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6fly-p3hu0
Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering http://www.ted.com/talks/paul_root_wolpe_it_s_time_to_question_bio_engineering.html Janine Benyus: Biomimicry in action http://www.ted.com/talks/janine_benyus_biomimicry_in_action.html In Japan, when a train enters a tunnel it would create a sonic boom, disturbing the surrounding area. In nature, when a Kingfisher dives quickly into the water, there is no disturbance. By elongating the nose of the train to emulate the shape of the Kingfisher's beak, the sonic boom was eliminated. Mark Bittman on what's wrong with what we eat http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat.html http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/mark_bittman_on_what_s_wrong_with_what_we_eat.html