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EU Science

Europe Needs Genetically Engineered Crops, Scientists Say 586

First time accepted submitter Dorianny writes in with a story about the ongoing battle over genetically engineered crops in Europe. "The European Union cannot meet its goals in agricultural policy without embracing genetically engineered crops (GMOs). That's the conclusion of scientists who write in Trends in Plant Science, a Cell Press publication, based on case studies showing that the EU is undermining its own competitiveness in the agricultural sector to its own detriment and that of its humanitarian activities in the developing world. 'Failing such a change, ultimately the EU will become almost entirely dependent on the outside world for food and feed and scientific progress, ironically because the outside world has embraced the technology which is so unpopular in Europe, realizing this is the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture,' said Paul Christou of the University of Lleida-Agrotecnio Center and Institució Catalana de Recerca i Estudis Avançats in Spain."
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Europe Needs Genetically Engineered Crops, Scientists Say

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  • Pandora's box (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:15AM (#43553305)

    When the lid is opened there is no way of closing it again.

    There are certain technologies mankind is not yet responsible enough to use.

    If nuclear power leaves waste for 10000s of years... gene modification does so for the rest of existence.

    And no. Cross breeding is not the same as gene modification. There are very few herrings that mate with a tomato IRL.

  • by lfourrier ( 209630 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:24AM (#43553353)
    ... IP laws where removed so as to prevent the monopolization of species when (not if, look for the literature) genes jump from GMO to naturally occuring varieties.
  • by allcoolnameswheretak ( 1102727 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:43AM (#43553465)

    "ironically because the outside world has embraced the technology which is so unpopular in Europe, realizing this is the only way to achieve sustainable agriculture"

    What kind of propaganda-soaked, bullshit statement is that? So for the past 4000 years humanity has been performing natural, "unsustainable" agriculture? The whole article reeks so much of bundles of pharmaceutical 100 dollar bills that it stinks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:46AM (#43553479)

    Well, no surprise here, considering this:
    and this:
    According to this cables story, Spain and 'Murrica work closely together to get Europe to adapt GM-crops.
    F*** them. They all should choke on their GM shit.

  • Re:"Needs"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:52AM (#43553525)

    No one *needs* genetically-engineered crops, they simply result in a higher profit (and possibly various unknown health risks).

    I'm waiting for the follow-up story that tells us who funds these scientists.

  • Re:Eh, what? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @03:53AM (#43553533)

    Yep, saying Europe needs GMO crops is ridiculous when it ends up with massive surplus each year that it has literally nothing to use for other than destroy.

    If anything we should be working to get those stockpiles to places that really need it like parts of Africa, then they wont need GMO crops either.

  • Re:"Needs"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:15AM (#43553673)

    I was wondering the same. For years the EU had problems with overproduction, and suddenly there's a shortage? So you mean all those subsidies to farmers who can't get rid of their production (which the EU "has to" buy to "ease" their suffering) wasn't necessary because we need more production anyway.

    Someone is lying here. It's either the EU or the EU.

  • by Cenan ( 1892902 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:27AM (#43553739)

    Ohh boy. Please guys, don't fall to their level. GMO is valid technology if applied right, as was genetic selection in the past (your poor man's GMO).

    If you planted GMO anywhere in Europe you could argue, and win, that the technology was being applied incorrectly. EU farmers are being paid to not use their fields. For a variety of reasons, one of them being price of crops, another being that the soil cannot handle re-sowing of the same crop over and over again.

    GMO is not going to fix that, it will make the problem worse. Fertilizer helps, but we'd rather not use that in a high enough degree to make it viable. So the option is to leave fields unused to let the soil recover. This is simple. Farmers in the fucking iron age knew this. This article is a fearmongering attempt because a really big market isn't drinking the kool aid, and Prof. WhatsHisFace is a sad panda.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 26, 2013 @04:32AM (#43553761)

    Mega bullshit! Europe is easily able to feed its own 450 million people with traditional crops. Hungary alone is able to feed its own 9.9 million and a further 14 million via exports, even though she has less territory than Maryland. Luckily Hungary has recently put into her national constitution that genetically altered crops are banned. Even if Monsanto bribes the European Union politicians, we will not let GMO into our country. Those lands where they were utilized previously have been torched and plowed over on government decree.

    Remain GMO-free if you want to live!

  • Re:Eh, what? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Zumbs ( 1241138 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @05:19AM (#43553941) Homepage

    I'm interested in the funding of these reports.

    Me too. I live in Denmark, and we export foodstuffs for some 12 billion Euro. Yes, this is a very small and densely populated country. The Netherlands export foodstuffs for $55 billion, also a small and densely populated country.

  • Alternatively... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by clickclickdrone ( 964164 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @05:53AM (#43554069)
    So this guy says we need to make more food? Is this so it can just be thrown away like we do currently? []

    Maybe if we did a better job of using what we make, this would be a total non problem (not that it is anyway, unless your a Monsanto salesman)
  • Re:"Needs"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tehdaemon ( 753808 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @05:54AM (#43554071)

    You have opened your mouth and removed all doubt, you are a fool.

    Virtually all crop plants, GMO or not, are highly resistant to pesticides. Pesticides kill bugs, usually insects, not plants. You can't even get the basic terms correct. It is so bad I am wondering if I am feeding a troll...

    You are confusing pesticides with herbicides - stuff used to kill weeds - and some GMO crops engineered to be resistant to roundup. Glyphosate (aka 'roundup') is one of the safest and cheapest herbicides available. GMO crops resistant to it let farmers use safer, cheaper, and LESS herbicide than they would otherwise use. Not more, as your ignorant rant claimed. How is that bad? Oh, and the US patent expired years ago. It isn't proprietary anymore - please keep up with the times.

    There are actual problems with GMO crops today. They all have to do with patents, lawyers and big greedy corporations. There are potential problems with the safety of GMO crops, but so far they are just potential problems, all known GMO crops in production today have proven to be extremely safe for human consumption, and better - usually much better - for the environment.

    Your concern about 'buying seeds every year' is extremely misguided and mostly wrong. Most farmers buy seed each year anyway, GMO or not. It is cheaper to let someone else deal with producing quality seeds and just get yield. There was some talk years ago about 'terminator' genes that would prevent GMO plants from producing viable seeds. DRM for plants if you will. This is one of those potential problems. It has never been used. Worry about it if it shows up, worry about it if Monsanto starts talking about it again. Don't worry about it in the fields today, 'cause it doesn't exist there. Lying and fear-mongering about it makes you no better than Monsanto.


  • by blackest_k ( 761565 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @06:29AM (#43554197) Homepage Journal

    Not sure if that is true, this winter has been a long one the delay of seasonal weather due to the jet stream having been low longer than usual has caused a few problems. It finally moved northwards about 2 weeks ago.

    For cattle and sheep apart from the many sheep dead in the UK frozen to death right in the lambing season there has been problems with grazing, the grass has been fairly dormant leaving farmers in a dire situation without feed or money to buy feed for their herds. In Ireland there has been a help line set up to help farmers who cannot feed their animals. For crops the persisting frosts have put many crops and plants around a month behind. The last couple of years the summer temperature and rainfall has lowered yields too.

    It's pretty essential that the jet stream rise northwards for europe to experience its 'normal' climate. Without the warm air keeping back the cold air, you don't get the germination temperatures needed.

    Natural selection should favour plants most suited to the climate that they grow in, as they will be the plants that grow to maturity and set seed which can be planted the following year. Wouldn't Monsanto seed policy of not allowing seed collection work against natural selection, so the seed available will be the seed Monsanto has decided has optimal characteristics and if they are wrong well that could be a major problem.

    Fairly recently Colmans mustard crops were found to have falling yields and it turned out that they needed diverse seeds to get high yields luckily they do keep seed from past years and were able to reverse the trend but without that they were in big trouble.

    I don't think Monsanto has it's GM Seed banned in Europe it just isn't welcomed by Europeans and if a product has GM on it, it is labeled as such and it doesn't sell. Fortunately for Monsanto the FDA refuses to label GM food in the USA, if that changed Monsanto likely would be in trouble as consumers boycotted their products.
    why wouldn't it be the same as in Europe?


  • Re:now we wait (Score:2, Interesting)

    by symbolset ( 646467 ) * on Friday April 26, 2013 @06:37AM (#43554213) Journal

    In Europe immigration is a problem because invasion and subversion by immigration and reproduction is an actual thing there. In the US it's a strawman for now, but in Europe it is a real and present danger. France is having issues dealing with a large fraction of the populace that demands Sharia [Muslim jurisprudence] be law, and uses Sharia in practice as law despite the official secular legal process.

    I wouldn't have a problem with this but that the Muslim community doesn't seem to have a mechanism in place to moderate their non-secular idiots who feel it is their manifest destiny to kill everybody who doesn't agree with them, and their nonfriendly positions on gays, women, liquor and civil rights.

  • by Rubinhood ( 977039 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @06:55AM (#43554271)

    The GMO producing companies are the most evil entities in the world.

    They keep suing farmers when the wind blows their cr@p on other people's land. The fertilizers that keep their seeds going are a natural disaster for the soil, for the animals and all other crops in the vicinity. They forced a law in the US that doesn't even *allow* people to find out whether the product they buy is GM or not. They bait new customers with low prices, then when those farmers can no longer switch back to natural seeds, they ruin them. They expressly want natural seeds to die out so the whole world has to buy from them: they are sworn enemies of natural seeds because farmers can save those.

    I trust natural selection. I don't trust greedy corporations that don't care about anyone or anything else. If you want the truth about them, read the stories of farmers who battled their army of lawyers for years. Percy Schmeiser's moving story at [] is a good start.

  • 3 links of many (Score:2, Interesting)

    by codeButcher ( 223668 ) on Friday April 26, 2013 @08:00AM (#43554571)

    Here is some reading matter regarding GMO foodstuffs, just randomly selected from Google results, which turns up many more.

    That's sufficient scientific evidence for me not to touch the stuff with a 500km pole (even considering the sources).

Someone is unenthusiastic about your work.