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Publicly Funded GMO Research Facing Destruction In Italy 245

Posted by timothy
from the for-great-justice dept.
ChromeAeonium writes "Shortly after the events in Rothamsted Research in the UK, where a publicly funded trial of wheat genetically engineered to repel aphids was threatened by activists with destruction and required police protection, another publicly funded experiment involving genetically engineered crops faces possible destruction (original in Italian). The trial, which is being conducted by researchers at the University of Tuscia in Italy on cherries, olives, and kiwis genetically engineered to have traits such as fungal disease resistance, started three decades ago. When field research of GE plants was banned in Italy in 2002, the trial received an extension to avoid being declared illegal, but was denied another in 2008, and following a complaint from the Genetic Rights Foundation, now faces destruction on June 12th, despite appeals from scientists. The researchers claim that the destruction is scientifically unjustifiable (only the male kiwis produce transgenic pollen and their flowers are removed) and wish to gather more information from the long running experiment."
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Publicly Funded GMO Research Facing Destruction In Italy

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  • "Kiwis" (Score:5, Informative)

    by Malcolm Chan (15673) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @10:39PM (#40279519)

    male kiwis produce transgenic pollen

    In NZ, "kiwis" are only either the people (New Zealanders) or the birds, but never the kiwifruit plants! Very confusing...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:07PM (#40279665)

    This is a case of a GMO project that's ignoring regulations. The project had been ordered to follow regulations or shut down back in 2008. They did neither, so now they're being forced to shut down because it's been made clear they can't afford to follow the regulations (ie: putting the trees in a roofed and floored structure, as required by Italian law).

    I really want GE/GMO to become universally accepted, but they need to do it properly. These scientists are just giving that much more ammo to the anti-GE lobby.

  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:5, Informative)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:24PM (#40279761)
    Population is not a concern. The only reason why we have hunger is due to corrupt governments not because we can't produce enough food. We throw warehouses of bread out daily in the west. Western "food pantries" and the like are picker with what they will accept and won't accept than I am at the grocery store. Seriously, I volunteered at one and things that I'd have no problem buying at the grocery store they told me to throw away! Things such as pop tarts that had a hole in the box (not the individually wrapped pastries mind you), a gatorade bottle where the label had fallen off (despite the fact the top of the sealed container clearly said gatorade), etc.

    The population will naturally decrease over time in the developing world like it has in the developed world, no need to be concerned. The world is a big place.
  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:4, Informative)

    by istartedi (132515) on Sunday June 10, 2012 @11:28PM (#40279773) Journal

    Selective breeding and GMO are too entirely different things. Allowing GMO makes about as much sense as letting self-driving, self-replicating motorcycle drones on the road because "we're pretty sure" they won't go Terminator on us.

  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:4, Informative)

    by Artifakt (700173) on Monday June 11, 2012 @12:11AM (#40279971)

    Sorry, but that's proof that the plural of anecdote is not data. I'm a regular volunteer at my church's outreach food distributions, and when we get more food than is needed we pass the rest on selectively to several different area food pantries, and usually stick around after delivery, help out, and sometimes even call their needs list for them and such to help them deal with a sudden spike in resources like that. What they will accept is very variable (Which is as it should be - private charities don't all need to be in lockstep.), and while I know places that would wory about a label coming off, I know more that wouldn't. For the hole in the outer package, it may make a difference if it was clearly a puncture or tear or if it looked like it might, even just possibly, be gnawed, but again, some places would take the foil packets out and pass them on, and some would give it out as is.
                I'm not disagreeing with what you wrote about the effects of corrupt governments either, but I suspect you are extrapolating too far, and maybe treating it like the whole story. Right now, giving to some nations mans propping up the parasites they have for "leaders", and .knowing a lot of materials won't get through. But, people have the choice to give to organizations that largely work around those governments, and there are ways, so long as your standard is not 100% honest government selflessly concerned about every starving person in that nation, and blind to any ethnic differences, or you're not going to give at all. There are still places where people are just plain going hungry.

  • Re:stop this crap (Score:4, Informative)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday June 11, 2012 @01:35AM (#40280307) Journal

    Best read up on ERVs. Horizontal gene transfer through viruses or directly between bacteria has been going on for billions of years.

  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:5, Informative)

    by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Monday June 11, 2012 @02:12AM (#40280471)

    you can be sued by a big corporation because of something perfectly legal your neighbor did

    I agree with that. However, if you look at any high profile case where a farmer was sued, the Schmeiser case, the Parr case, the Roush case, the Rinehart case, the Ralph case, ect., you find that when charges were pressed there was more than simple cross pollination occurring. I've often asked people who make that claim to direct me to a case where it actually happened but every time deeper investigation reveals it did not (though if that's not the case I'd rather have my foot in my mouth than go uncorrected). The lawsuits come from one of two sources: either someone signed a contract agreeing not to save seed, then did anyway, or someone was cross pollinated and was found to have intentionally selected for the trait. Don't do either of those and you don't get sued. So, the patent violation angle really doesn't pan out very well as an argument for keeping GE crops in a glass bubble. If you are talking about what courts should find, here's what they did find: a recent lawsuit filed against Monsanto, suing them to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers for cross pollination, was dismissed on the grounds that it does not happen. [reuters.com] If it did happen it would be a concern, no one disagrees with that, however, whether or not it actually happens is important.

    I doubt you'll see sterile crops after the uproar over the terminator gene, despite it being able to prevent cross pollination issues. Damned if you do and damned if you don't.

  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:3, Informative)

    by sFurbo (1361249) on Monday June 11, 2012 @03:06AM (#40280655)

    There is now evidence that such engineering has caused collapse of bee colonies.

    Do you have a quote for that? Last I heard, neonecotinoids were the most likely cause of CCD, and I can't find any references to plant being genetically modified to make neonecotinoids.

    Imagine that next year, thanks to your allergy to some weed and the wonders of genetic engineering, you are now also allergic to wheat, corn, soybeans and carrots that contain the popular new plant-pesticide.

    Assuming we do not transfer genes which produce known allergens (I assume we are not, please inform me if I am mistaken), this isn't more of a problem than it already is other crop modification techniques.

  • Re:GE/GMO crops (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 11, 2012 @07:54AM (#40282229)

    It's potentially caused by GMO corn HFCS

    Did you even read what you posted retard?

    Many bee-keepers have turned to high-fructose corn syrup to feed their bees, which the researchers saydid not imperil bees until U.S. corn began to be sprayed with imidacloprid in 2004-2005.

    DID NOT IMPERIL BEES UNTIL SPRAYED WITH PESTICIDE.

    GMO has fuckall to do with it you lying cunt.

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