There are only two applications that have been commercialized
in these twenty years of genetic engineering.
One is to make seeds more resilient to herbicides,
which means you get to spread more Roundup,
you get to spread more Glysophate,
and you get to spread more poison.
Not a very desirable trait in farming systems.
Especially since what Monsanto will call weeds
are ultimately sources of food.
It gets even better from there.
These are illusions that are being marketed
in order for people to hand over the power to decide what we eat
to a handful of corporations.
Camano Island is NW of Everett, Washington, and this article is from 2002,
responding to an article in the local paper there. -jsq
A Call for Skepticism
by Steven K. Roberts
If ever we needed a demonstration that the fundamental flaw in many
arguments is a lack of discrimination regarding information sources,
we have it in the Nels Konnerup article, "Toxicology 101 Defended,"
in the March 26 issue of the S/C News.
The author makes a "plea for cogent thought, rather than a visceral
reaction to the use of pesticides and herbicides," and cites a number of
references "authored by highly qualified and respected scientists." So
far, so good.
But just for fun, I spent a few minutes researching some of these sources
to see if I could determine the affiliations and biases of their authors.
"To human cells glyphosate is already toxic in a very low dose.
A farmer uses a much higher dose on the field.
Roundup is even more toxic than glysophate,
for that is only one of the ingredients in Roundup."
Roundup says none of this applies to humans and Roundup is safe.
A study released by an Argentine scientist earlier this year reports that
glyphosate, patented by Monsanto under the name "Round Up," causes birth
defects when applied in doses much lower than what is commonly used in
The study was directed by a leading embryologist, Dr. Andres Carrasco,
a professor and researcher at the University of Buenos Aires. In his
office in the nation's top medical school, Dr. Carrasco shows me the
results of the study, pulling out photos of birth defects in the embryos
of frog amphibians exposed to glyphosate. The frog embryos grown in petri
dishes in the photos looked like something from a futuristic horror
film, creatures with visible defects—one eye the size of the head,
spinal cord deformations, and kidneys that are not fully developed.
"We injected the amphibian embryo cells with glyphosate diluted to
a concentration 1,500 times [less] than what is used commercially
and we allowed the amphibians to grow in strictly controlled
conditions." Dr. Carrasco reports that the embryos survived from a
fertilized egg state until the tadpole stage, but developed obvious
defects which would compromise their ability to live in their normal
The Valdosta Daily Times caught me working on being tactful.
writeup actually conflates two different county commission meetings, but gets the gist right:
The fate of the tree canopies lining the rural road were thought to hang in the balance. Several residents spoke in favor of the paving, citing dangerous conditions along the road during periods of stormy weather.
John and Gretchen Quarterman, whose ancestors lent their name to the country lane, led the fight to preserve the road in its original pristine dirt-road condition.
The forest along Quarterman Road is “a scrap of the longleaf fire forest that used to grow from southern Virginia to eastern Texas,” said John Quarterman following the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “This forest has been here since the last ice age.”
Quarterman Road, pre-paving, was the kind of dirt road down which Huckleberry Finn might be envisioned skipping barefoot with a fishing rod projecting over one shoulder.
It was the kind of road near which Thoreau might have planted a cabin.
“Many people don’t know that a longleaf pine forest has more species diversity than anything outside a tropical rain forest,” Quarterman said. “In our woods, we have five species of blueberries, ...
Oh, the beaver will be mad. I forgot to mention the beaver.
The VDT has a good picture of Gretchen cutting the ribbon.
But it's not over just because one road project is completed:
“More people around the county seem to be paying attention these days. Commissioners tell us that already another road in the county has had its canopy saved during paving, and the commission has promised residents of Coppage Road that if their road is paved, their canopy will be saved. Commissioners even seem to like the idea of recognizing canopy roads as a feature of quality of life for residents of the county and for visitors.”
We have a forest. The county just has roads.
Now let's go see what they're doing to the rest of our roads. And schools, and waste management, and biofuels, and industry....
If you'd like to help, please contact the Lowndes Area Knowledge Exchange.
Medical bills are behind more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, U.S. researchers reported on Thursday in a report they said demonstrates that healthcare reform is on the wrong track.
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
"Unless you're Warren Buffett, your family is just one serious illness away from bankruptcy," Harvard's Dr. David Himmelstein, an advocate for a single-payer health insurance program for the United States, said in a statement.
"For middle-class Americans, health insurance offers little protection," he added.
The United States is embarking on an overhaul of its healthcare system, now a patchwork of public programs such as Medicare for the elderly and disabled and employer-sponsored health insurance that leaves 15 percent of the population with no coverage.
The researchers and some consumer advocates said the study showed the proposals under the most serious consideration are unlikely to help many Americans. They are pressing for a so-called single payer plan, in which one agency, usually the government, coordinates health coverage.
Most medical insurance only pays for a proportion of large medical bills, and has a cap on the total it will pay. You can get medical insurance that covers everything above a large deductible, but most people probably don't know it exists, insurers don't want to sell it, and many people probably couldn't afford the deductible for small medical expenses.