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It might be an idea to start a separate section on stuff that might be connected to Terraforming?  If so, here is a contender for consideration:

Mystery Science: More Details on the Strange Organism That Could Destroy Monsanto

May 5, 2011

http://www.bnet.com/blog/food-industry/mystery-science-more-details-on-the-strange-organism-that-could-destroy-monsanto/3052

Back in January, a noted plant scientist who spent much of his career at Purdue University sent a letter to the USDA informing the agency that he’d discovered a mysterious new disease-causing organism in Monsanto’s (MON) genetically engineered Roundup Ready corn and soybeans. Now, that scientist — Don Huber — has written a follow-up letter to the USDA and appears in a videotaped interview where he presents an even scarier picture of the damage he claims Monsanto’s herbicide chemical glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup) is doing to both plants and the animals who eat them.

In the 20-minute interview, which was conducted by Food Democracy Now’s Dave Murphy, Huber makes a strong case for his own credibility, appearing as a droll, erudite Midwestern scientist with deep connections to corn and soybean growers and livestock farmers. Although Huber’s findings have not yet been verified by outside scientists or published in a peer reviewed journal, the severity of his claims is such that the USDA ought to give them immediate attention.

It’s not the genes, it’s the herbicide

Huber’s issue is not with genetic engineering per se, but with the huge amounts of glyphosate (185 million pounds in 2007) in herbicide now used on America’s farms. Use of glyphosate has soared thanks to widespread use of Monsanto’s soy and corn seeds, which are genetically modified to survive its effects.

The problem with glyphosate, Huber says, is that it effectively “gives a plant AIDS,” weakening its defenses and making it more susceptible to pathogens, such as the one his team discovered. The scientists have taken to calling the bug “the electron microscope (EM) organism,” since it can only be seen with an electron microscope.  [emphasis added]

A big part of the problem, Huber says, lies with the way glyphosate prevents plants from absorbing vital nutrients, particularly the mineral manganese. In the Food Democracy interview, Huber says some studies have shown that Roundup Ready soybeans and corn have up to 50% less manganese than conventional varieties. Huber claims that the double whammy of weakened defenses and the new EM organism have contributed to “unexplained epidemics” of disease on farms — sudden death syndrome of soybean crops and Goss’ wilt on corn.

<snip>

Huber says the same thing has happened in animals. He’s heard from cattle farmers who are struggling because they’re experiencing a 15% infertility rate and 35% rate of spontaneous abortions among their herds. When the farmers switch to non-GE soy and corn for feed, the problems decline dramatically. Huber has talked to other animal vets who’ve experienced high death rates and have found that their GE-fed animals are severely deficient in manganese.

And whenever Huber has worked with vets to analyze tissue samples from GE-fed animals that were inexplicably sick or had fertility problems, the tests always come back positive for the EM organism.

It’s anecdotal, not data — but it’s still scary

Of course, all this is merely anecdotal. Whether it can be scientifically proven that farm animals are suffering because they’re eating Roundup Ready soy and corn is another story. But since GE food crops are such a fundamentally new part of agriculture (first planted in 1996) and Huber’s account — if accurate — spells disaster for American agriculture, it’s worth finding out what’s going on before allowing more of Monsanto’s RR crops onto the market.

But that’s not what the USDA did. A week and a half after Huber had his letter hand delivered to secretary Tom Vilsack, the agency gave the greenlight for Roundup Ready alfalfa. Huber was deeply disappointed:

I would have hoped that there would have been a delay and the resources allocated to answer the questions, to verify that we’re not going to further increase the severity of this organism…. Can we afford to just open the floodgates wide open before we have the answers. What’s the urgency?

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This says volumes about what we are doing to our environment

I am always amazed at your uncanny ability to pluck the most current and appropriate relevant matter out of the net.   

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That is why I try to use as much organic gardening supplements as I can...

However the grounds will be contaminated before you know it...

Why aren't the guidelines more stringent...We are talking about our food here...

Thanks Nex...

Cz

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Well I suppose if you destroy the food by "accident" it's not really a crime is it. Depopulation through lack of food anyone. Monsanto etc got a lot to answer for. It's sad to see what some people are willing to do to the planet for money.

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It seems they haven't given up on warming the Earth yet...under guise of cooling it maybe...

Snip:

Scientists told UK MPs this week that the possibility of a major methane release triggered by melting Arctic ice constitutes a "planetary emergency".

In summer, seawater would be pumped up to the top using some kind of renewable energy, and out through the nozzles that are now being developed at Edinburgh University, which achieve incredibly fine droplet size.

In an idea first proposed by US physicist John Latham, the fine droplets of seawater provide nuclei around which water vapour can condense.

The idea of putting dust particles into the stratosphere to reflect sunlight, mimicking the cooling effect of volcanic eruptions, would in fact be disastrous for the Arctic, said Prof Salter, with models showing it would increase temperatures at the pole by perhaps 10C.

And last year, the cloud-whitening idea was also criticised by scientists who calculated that using the wrong droplet size could lead to warming -

More at link:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17400804

Cz

8)

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Ah it seems some scientists are starting to play with the concept of using water in the atmosphere... its a pity they just don't understand...

Droplet size is not the issue by the way... as moisture condenses it forms larger droplets that fall to earth as rain.

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