Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Keith Kloor Does Jellyfish

Now that Keith has decided the genetically modified organisms are the best club to bash hippies and bunnies with, Eli has figured out the solution to the coming jellyfish is the only thing in your fridge epoch

Business as usual:  We will choke down jellyfish burgers.

Adaptation:  Monsanto will engineer better tasting jellyfish burgers to choke down.

Mitigation:  The Pielkesphere don't do that.

Looks like the use of Round-up Ready crops has hit the wall, in what, 20 years.

The area of U.S. cropland infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds has expanded to 61.2 million acres in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Stratus Agri-Marketing.

Nearly half (49%) of all U.S. farmers interviewed reported that glyphosate-resistant weeds were present on their farm in 2012, up from 34% of farmers in 2011. The survey also indicates that the rate at which glyphosate-resistant weeds are spreading is gaining momentum, increasing 25% in 2011 and 51% in 2012.
Which means, pretty much, if there is an environmental advantage to any GMO, it is going to spread into the wild in about the time needed to grow up for college.  So if we want to introduce something new, it had damn well better be something we want our grandbunnies to live with.  Not saying that there are not such things (maybe Golden Rice, for example), but we better be prepared and ready for the spread.


crf said...

It says nothing special about "any GMO". So you are wrong about that.

It says something about Glyphosate resistance in some weeds. From spraying glyphosate. Perhaps glyphosate resistant crops means more glyphosate spraying, which will lead to quicker resistance in weeds. But I don't know that.

Some studies have shown that resistance genes can spread from GMO plants to other closely related weedy plants. I've read nothing to suggest that this is a big problem in the wild, or that it is something that will occur with all GMO crops.

I guess I don't like this post. Maybe you shouldn't hold your breath for ten seconds if something Pielke or Kloor writes displeases you?

dhogaza said...

" Perhaps glyphosate resistant crops means more glyphosate spraying, which will lead to quicker resistance in weeds. But I don't know that."

Given that the whole point of glyphosphate resistant crops like round-up ready corn and soybeans is to allow the use of glyphosphate on these crops, and given that the whole POINT of Monsanto's research and development of these crops was to increase the market for and sales of round-up ...

you don't know much.

The spread of glyphosphate resistance to weeds is a big deal, and as Eli points out, has only taken 20 years. It was predicted in advance, we've learned a lot from the use of antibiotics and DDT and one of the things that has been learned is that selection for existing but low-frequency traits, or random mutation followed by selection, will result in the spread of resistance even if our knowledge of biochemistry at the time would appear to make it impossible.

Brian said...

Kloor's is an incredibly annoying "look at me, I'm a centrist (mostly doing hippie-punching), so I must be smart" pundit. This issue points out that GMO plants shouldn't be used in places where the wild ancestor still exists. Kloor occasionally half-admits this to be true, then backs off and claims there are no environmental repercussions.

EliRabett said...

One of the predictable things about Roundup Ready is that it would (and has) lead to the use of more herbicide per acre than previously used. This was because the farmers did not have to worry about affecting the crop when spraying the weeds, so they simply dumped the stuff all over.

Anonymous said...

Brian is an incredibly annoying "look at me, I'm a leftist (mostly doing Republican-punching), so I must be smart" pundit.


EliRabett said...

Well, it helps that Brian is smart and you are not.

Anonymous said...

I'm smart enough to curb my and my departments carbon footprint, Brian is not.

Smoke that Rabett.


Mal Adapted said...

crf: "Some studies have shown that resistance genes can spread from GMO plants to other closely related weedy plants. I've read nothing to suggest that this is a big problem in the wild, or that it is something that will occur with all GMO crops."

From a comment I made on Mark Hoofnagel's denialism blog:

"in at least one case, genes for herbicide resistance (“Roundup Ready”) were deliberately introduced into a pernicious weed. Creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera), a Eurasian species, is a popular turfgrass, used in lawns, golf courses, etc. In some areas, e.g. Oregon’s Willamette valley, it is an agressive invader of native plant communities, and once established is nearly impossible to eradicate (personal experience). In 2002, the Scott’s Company and Monsanto Corparation conducted field trials of RR creeping bent in a “production control” area of Oregon, in the process of obtaining APHIS approval for commercial release. Despite precautions, the RR genes escaped into feral populations, and intensive efforts at eradication have failed. USDA-APHIS has not approved RR creeping bent for commercial release, but the genes are now in the wild, and conservationists and ecological restorationists are losing one of the few effective weapons against a troublesome invasive alien plant."

Unknown said...

Glyphosate resistant weeds is only one of the negative effects of the widespread use of RR crops. In areas where there is indiscriminate spraying, e.g Argentina, there has been a large increase in the number of fetal malformations. In particular neural tube defects have shown a dramatic increase. What has that got to do with glyphosate you ask? Well, glyphosate has recently been shown to interfere with the retinoic acid signalling pathway during development which has been shown experimentally to lead to neural tube defects..

Chem. Res. Toxicol., 2010, 23 (10), pp 1586–1595 (http://tinyurl.com/2b4duw2)

So now we have laboratory data showing that glyphosate can cause these defects (and why) correlated with actual findings of an increase of these defects in humans.

So much for Monsanto's continued bleating about how safe glyphosate is. In fact, lobbying by Monsanto has caused the EPA to raise allowable limits for glyphosate considerably.

Ian Forrester said...

That last comment about glyphosate and neural tube defects was posted by me, Ian Forrester, not sure why it didn't list my name.

Anonymous said...

As others have indicated above eventually ya gots ta pay the piper.

Oh, he might not hold his hand out for ages, because he's happy to collect interest, but sooner or later...

And if you don't, the debt goes to your kids, courtesy of Hamelin Financial Services... "Have a plague problem? We'll look after you!"

Bernard J.

Tenney Naumer said...

Are jellyfish any good for making solent green?

Lionel A said...

'Are jellyfish any good for making solent green?'

Only if the jellyfish are fed on dead Rabett's and other old folk like myself. Does Kloor qualify here?

EliRabett said...

Sorry, Keith still has young kids he can help screw up the world for.

Anonymous said...

And I repeat:

Who indeed could possibly be anti-GMO when DOW Chemical, responding to Monsanto's "completely unexpected" Roundup-resistant gene escape, has petitioned the USDA for approval of it's own corn strain that has a gene conferring resistance to 2,4-D, half the cocktail of agent orange?


John Puma

Ian Forrester said...

The other major GMO trait, inclusion of the insecticidal protein Bt, is also having problems. The first problem is similar to what is happening with the RR trait, insects are becoming resistant to the Bt protein. The companies are trying to get around this by adding additional Bt proteins (there are a number of related toxic proteins produced by Bacillus thuringiensis) but this will only delay the inevitable.

The second problem is one that was not anticipated. Plants produce their own insecticides or insect avoiding chemicals when they are attacked by leaf munching insects. This effect repels not only the leaf munchers (caterpillars etc.) but also repels other insects such as aphids and leaf hoppers which suck sap rather than graze on the leaves. It has now been shown that in Bt cotton insects which were never a problem in cotton fields are now attacking Bt cotton because of this. Thus farmers have to spray fields which they were told would not have to be sprayed thus increasing their costs. This has been of particular significance in India.


EliRabett said...

And, of course, remember the butterflies