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Monsanto, the terminator gene, and lateral gene transfer

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posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 04:32 PM
Hello all,

If anyone here is interested in biotechnology, you have most likely heard of Monsanto. For those of you who haven't, Monsanto is a biotech giant who makes genetically modified crop seeds amongst other things. Their origination was in a variety of areas, but they did produce and distribute the sweetener sacchrin, later shown to cause cancer. Long stroy short they produce "roundup" and have since made genetically modified crops that are resistant to roundup, allowing farmers to spray roundup all over cropland, knowing it will not harm their crops. Already it has been shown that the genetically modified crops can appear in farmers fields who did not purchase Monsanto's seeds. This happens because of lateral gene transfer. These farmers have been aggressively sued by Monsanto for "stealing" the gm crops, regardless of whether they wanted this cross-contamination.

Monsanto has also developed the "terminator gene," allowing only one generation of plants to be grown from the seeds, with the seeds these plants create being sterile. Problem is if you apply the concept of lateral gene transfer to this "terminator gene," you end up with a very dangerous combo. If genetic contamination of this "terminator gene" occurred, the results could be devastating and leave crops and other plants unable to reproduce in accordance with natural order. This, in turn, could lead to mass starvations, end of life as we know it, etc, etc.

So why has Monsanto continued to develop this technology? Power and money for sure, but do I sense a hidden agenda? Monsanto's public image isn't to good for many, many reasons that leave them looking like a typical evil biotech company from the basic "disease or gm something gets out and kill alot of people and the company tries to cover up" science fiction plotline we see in many movies. So whats ATS's take on this whole thing? Trust 'em, hate 'em? Want to know why they want to control our food supply down to a yearly basis?

Links below:

and many other places on the internet (Monsanto is a HUGE company)

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:21 PM
reply to post by Electromotivation

Monsanto is the scum of the earth. The tool of the elite to kill tens to hundreds of millions. They aren't held accountable for anything they have done due to the close link between them and the gov. 95% of Soy grown in the US is GMO, and with soy & soy products in dang near everything, it is no wonder that cancer rates have skyrocketed. mmm...can I have a side of roundup with my corn on the cob? How about a nice toxic dipping sauce with my edamame? If you wouldn't ask for it in a restaurant, why would it be okay to put it in the food?

I don't particularly care their reasons, the world will not be safe until every GMO crop is torched to the ground and every GMO infected seed destroyed.

Ever wonder why there is a need for a massive seed vault of non-gmo seed? I believe that the cross contamination of crops will lead to a global famine, which will kill off the majority of the population, either through crop failure and starvation or through the poisons in the food. The rich and elite can then go grow their own heirloom/organic food in climate controlled greenhouses, with hepa filtration of all intake air and clean rooms before entering the greenhouse.

But hey, maybe I'm just a little paranoid...however everyone that I know who knows the truth about GMO and Monsanto agrees with me, so probably not.

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:35 PM
reply to post by Electromotivation

I work in a biotech lab at a midwest university and deal with questions like this daily.
Horizontal gene transfer is an unlikely culprit for the cause of other farmers crops to become transgenic and express the roundup gene. The cause was that these GMO plants would produce their own pollen and blow into neighboring fields. So, to remedy this the created plants with the "Terminator" that would not produce pollenless plants, thus eliminating the threat of spread. It is really not as scary as people make it out to be. Yes, I do agree Monsanto is ridiculous for suing farmers for this and I am not in support of their practices. I completely disagree with Monsanto's practices and their manipulation of the FDA to get their products out. I just don;t want people to read this post and think negatively about GMO plants, because in the correct hands great agricultural and scientific advances can be made. ANyway first post on this site, I'll see what happens.

"Man tends to increase at a greater rate than his means of subsistence."
Charles Darwin

posted on Mar, 10 2009 @ 05:40 PM
well I know many people who won their cases against Monsant.

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 12:57 AM
Ah...the pollen is interesting, so at least we know lateral gene transfer in it's conventional form is impossible in this case. However, introducing these plants seems to carry an innate risk since there could be unknown factors or simply parts of plant genomics we humans haven't discovered or don't understand completely.

Monsanto is doing good in the world in terms of their drought-resistant crops and parasitic insect resistant crops. As well as their gm crops that increase yield for biodiesel and ethanol production. Still, even if completely safe, the ethics of the terminator gene would seem to be more than enough to turn public opinion against Monsanto.

2 cents
And thanks for the info, above posters

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 01:44 AM
reply to post by DeusZo

Thanks for your point and is well taken.
I agree great advancements have been made.
Such that technology has indeed enabled food to grow where
there was none before.
It has definately revolutionized the farm industry!
Welcome to ATS! You will find the people here are on the ball
for the most part. I have great admiration and respect for the
posters on here and the work done. You are already doing great!

The part I worry about is the part where man screws it up eventually,
because of indifference to others, love of himself and just plain greed.
We have a history of ruining our good works by doing something
stupid sooner or later.
I worry we may play around with mother nature one too many times.
My 2 cents.

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 01:53 AM
Yea, it's scary to think if they are wrong about some component, have miscalculated or simply haven't discovered some essential information that this could backfire. They would not be able to take it back. No mulligans. No chance for error.

posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 02:07 AM
Now it makes perfect sense why they built THIS!!!

After their agenda of mass depopulation has been fulfilled, they will be able to restore the good natural seeds.


posted on Mar, 11 2009 @ 09:59 AM
I am not saying that Monsanto are a good company but the only reason we all hate them so much is because they get more attention than other chemical companies is because they were brought to the public spotlight for creating agent orange. If they hadn't been linked to that then they would most likely be no more well known than any other chemical and biotech company that produces and develops the same sort of products.

Although the bit with the cows probably didn't help.

posted on Mar, 13 2009 @ 06:36 PM
Makes me wonder if the dissapearing of the bees are caused by monsanto and their GMO plants.

Monsanto is evil!

Look at their history and what they are doing now.

Most disgusting corporation on this planet.

posted on Mar, 20 2009 @ 12:11 AM
You should understand that Monsanto's technologies have reduced insecticide sprays by up to 90%. I don't know how GMO pollen could possibly be responsible for bee death, but I do know that bees are extremely sesnitive to just about all pesticides. So surely pesticide reduction is good for bees? And without bees, we would starve in a very short time.

I see a lot on this website about terminator genes. Out of interest, Monsanto has never developed a terminator gene and has not done any work on one since 1999....facts are more important than hysteria, and I see a lot of people on this site who find it easier to be scared than informed.

By the way, I think food grown in manure should be labeled.

posted on Apr, 2 2009 @ 01:36 PM

"Even at Monsanto, many in-the-know employees won't consume the company's own GM creations."

By Jeffrey Smith April 1, 2009

If President Obama's new Food Safety Working Group dedicates all their time and credentials to prevent future food recalls, they will have saved thousands of people--but forsaken millions. Over the last decade, our radically changing diet has ushered in the explosive growth of food-related ailments, such as allergies, asthma, obesity, diabetes, autism, infertility, gastro-intestinal disorders, and learning disabilities. Of all the changes in our food, the most dangerous transformation was the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops.

When these gene-spliced concoctions, such as GM soy, corn, canola, and cottonseed, came on the scene in 1996, the proportion of Americans suffering from three or more chronic ailments. After just 9 years, that nearly doubled to 13%. GM foods are the prime suspect. Government policy at odds with science Until now, the government has sidestepped the controversy by hiding behind FDA policy, which asserts that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are "substantially equivalent" to natural foods and therefore don't require any safety studies.

But as Obama acknowledged, "many of the laws and regulations governing food safety in America" are outdated. In truth, the FDA's GMO policy was not even up-to-date when it was implemented in May 1992. FDA documents made public from a lawsuit revealed that virtually all the agency scientists asked to comment voiced strong warnings that GMOs may cause serious health problems. But the FDA was under orders from the White House to fast track GM foods, and the person in charge of FDA policy was the former attorney of biotech giant Monsanto--and later become their vice president. The scientists and the science were ignored. Now that animals fed GMOs--in labs and farms around the world--have exhibited symptoms related to the growing list of diseases in the US population, the President's Food Safety team, including Dr. Margaret Hamburg as FDA Commissioner, must update GMO regulation. A scientifically sound regulation would translate into an immediate ban of current GM crops, and the implementation of rigorous safety testing requirements before any GMO was put back into the food supply.

And certainly mandatory labeling, as promised by President Obama during his campaign, must accompany any GM food approval. Presidents and industry insiders avoid GMOs The Obama family has wisely opted out of exposing themselves to GM foods by requiring organic--and therefore non-GMO--foods served at the White House. They are even planting an organic garden on the south lawn of the White House, to feature 55 types of vegetables. The Bush family also had an organic kitchen policy. Laura Bush was "adamant" about it, but kept it all quiet.

Even at Monsanto, many in-the-know employees won't consume the company's own GM creations. Back in 1999, the management of the cafeteria at Monsanto's UK headquarters in High Wycombe, England wrote: "In response to concern raised by our customers . . . we have decided to remove, as far as possible, genetically modified soy and maize (corn) from all food products served in our restaurant. . . . We have taken the above steps to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve."

And one former Monsanto scientist told me that his colleagues, who were safety testing milk from cows injected with the company's genetically engineered bovine growth hormone, decided to stop drinking milk--unless it was organic. It's now time to let us all opt out of this dangerous and failed GM experiment. If Obama's team is serious about food safety and public health, they must take GMOs off our plates and put them back into the laboratory. © 2008 Jeffrey Smith - All Rights Reserved

[edit on 2-4-2009 by spinkyboo]

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