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#1 orphadeus

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:24 PM

According to Rothamsted Research:

Quote

The GM plots will be separated from the edge of the trial by 10 meters of barley (or space) plus a 3 metre 'pollen barrier' of wheat that helps to contain pollen from the GM plants within the trial site. All these plants are treated as though they are GM and harvested /destroyed at the end of the trial. There will be no cereals grown for 20 metres outside the boundary of the site and no wild relatives of wheat that can cross with our cultivated variety exist in the vicinity.' Couch grass species, distant relatives of wheat will be controlled in a 20 metre wide area around the trial site to avoid any slight possibility of cross-pollination.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (click on Health and Safety quetions)

According to Gene Flow In Wheat At The Field Scale, by Matus Cadiz M.A.; Hucl P; Horak M.J; Blomquist L.K:

Quote

'Research to date has not measured gene flow, the exchange of genes between different but usually related populations, over longer distances in wheat'

Quote

'In addition, random sampling was conducted in 2000 and 2001 from surrounding wheat fields to estimate gene flow rates over distances of 180 to 2760 m.'

Quote

'One case of long-distance intraspecific pollen-mediated gene flow was confirmed at a rate of 0.005% at a distance of 300 m to the NW of the 2000 pollinator block (Table 4). This gene flow event probably resulted from wind-mediated pollen movement promoted by strong and prevalent winds.'

https://www.crops.or...ticles/44/3/718

There was unconfirmed gene flow at 1210 metres. It has been windy this month, whether more I don't know.

I'm out of time, will add more.

Edited by oolongcha, 30 May 2012 - 03:48 AM.
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#2 oolongcha

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:52 AM

Interesting stuff - will wait for you to add more, but in the meantime;

:doh:

#3 orphadeus

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:45 AM

Thanks for the edit.

According to Rothamsted Research:

Quote

Wheat is 99% self-pollinating and it is a real challenge to make wheat-to-wheat hybrids, let alone cross wheat to something else.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (scroll down)

According to Natural Hybridisation of Wheat and Rye In Russia by G.K. Meister:

Quote

The mass appearance of hybrids in the plot No.648 should be attributed to the peculiar biological character of this variety of wheat.


According to The Telegraph:

Quote

The experimental crop of GM wheat was planted in April and is due to grow until September. It has been developed with genes from the mint plant.


http://www.telegraph...t-research.html

The Times editorial on Monday made the same claim.

According to Rothamsted Research:

Quote

The genes we inserted into the wheat plants were chemically synthesised and not taken from another plant or animal.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (click on Technical Questions for further detail)

If I could make an observation, if what The Telegraph and The Times claimed was true, probably about 70% of the British public would be against the experiment but possibly a lot of that would be quite apathetic. If the public were told the truth about the genes and the wind issue, it would be a rock solid 99%

That raises the question as to whether journalists are incompetent.

Edited by orphadeus, 30 May 2012 - 11:21 AM.


#4 Harlequin

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:31 AM

View Postorphadeus, on 30 May 2012 - 10:45 AM, said:

Thanks for the edit.

According to Rothamsted Research:

Quote

Wheat is 99% self-pollinating and it is a real challenge to make wheat-to-wheat hybrids, let alone cross wheat to something else.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (scroll down)

According to Natural Hybridisation of Wheat and Rye In Russia by G.K. Meister:

Quote

The mass appearance of hybrids in the plot No.648 should be attributed to the peculiar biological character of this variety of wheat.


According to The Telegraph:

Quote

The experimental crop of GM wheat was planted in April and is due to grow until September. It has been developed with genes from the mint plant.


http://www.telegraph...t-research.html

The Times editorial on Monday made the same claim.

According to Rothamsted Research:

Quote

The genes we inserted into the wheat plants were chemically synthesised and not taken from another plant or animal.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (click on Technical Questions for further detail)

If I could make an observation, if what The Telegraph and The Times claimed was true, probably about 70% of the British public would be against the experiment but possibly a lot of that would be quite apathetic. If the public were told the truth about the genes and the wind issue, it would be a rock solid 99%

That raises the question as to whether journalists are incompetent.

It's not just wind, pollen is carried by many insects. Well the genie has been out of the bottle for some time now, we've just got to wait to see if we've made a collosal error, or see whether it matters little.
We've acted as an evolutionary attribute, and introduced a mutant into the ecosystem, I've mixed feelings about GM foods, there's lots of scope for real improvement, and even more scope for stupidity.


Let's hope they can keep the mutated sources out of the Seed Arks.

http://www.scienceda...10224201859.htm

#5 oolongcha

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

I note this in the New Scientist from the research institute in question. I'll reply more fully in due course with a worked out response. But one thing I would point out is that this is a publically-funded piece of research, the results of which will be open and transparent and free for use (should it be successful): I would sooner it be that way than a corporation like Monsanto.

:doh:

#6 oolongcha

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:02 PM

I think what's interesting is the lack of "Frankenfood" hysteria this time, compared to, what was it, 15 years ago?

I don't actually see anything too scary about this research. I don't see it as anything new, as humanity has hybridised animals and plants for millennia - wheat itself has been hybridised, of course; modern wheat varieties are shorter as result of, er, genes introduced by hybridisation 50-odd years ago. (Hybridisation itself is an evolutionary mechanism to transfer genes across species and routinely occurs in nature.)

And maybe it's just me, but it matters not if you physically take a gene out from a physical plant, or synthesise the same gene in a lab: it's the same mint gene (in this case).

That said, I get the specific concern raised here, that of the efffects of wind on pollination. I stand to be corrected, but my understanding is that the literature overall tends to point to the fact that the distances are much shorter than the study you've cited; that even then the chances of successful hybridisation are slim, especially as wheat is self-pollinating (it's difficult to hybridise them "naturally", as routinely happens with other crops); and then for it to be successful in an environment in which competition is limited, makes it close enough to zero as to not really any lose any sleep over.

I note that the Meister Russia article dates from 1921; that the particular variety of wheat being referred to in "plot 648" is one that is not used in Britain, anywhere, let alone for any trial (much more modern varieties are used); and that the wheat crossed with rye in a neighbouring row - not in a field, not several hundred metres and it was not a wheat-to-wheat hybrid.

And while in 2004, not much research into measuring gene flow may not have been done, some research since has. Rieben S, Kalinina O, Schmid B, Zeller SL Gene Flow in Genetically Modified Wheat (2011) suggested that:

Quote


pollen-mediated gene flow between GM and non-GM wheat might only be a concern if it occurs within fields, e.g. due to seed contamination


I guess overall I find it difficult to be arguing for less research, which is in effect what a number of the GM crop protesters are doing - problems often arise because of a lack of research; not because there's been too much.

#7 orphadeus

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Posted 08 June 2012 - 10:39 AM

I was in Harpenden yesterday putting leaflets through letterboxes:

Rothamsted Research

Rothamsted Research assured everyone:

• The GM plots will be separated from the edge of the trial by 10 meters of barley (or space) plus a 3 metre 'pollen barrier' of wheat that helps to contain pollen from the GM plants within the trial site. All these plants are treated as though they are GM and harvested /destroyed at the end of the trial. There will be no cereals grown for 20 metres outside the boundary of the site and no wild relatives of wheat that can cross with our cultivated variety exist in the vicinity.
• Couch grass species, distant relatives of wheat will be controlled in a 20 metre wide area around the trial site to avoid any slight possibility of cross-pollination.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (click on Health and Safety Questions)

Gene Flow In Wheat At The Field Scale, by Matus Cadiz M.A.; Hucl P; Horak M.J; Blomquist L.K. states, 'Research to date has not measured gene flow, the exchange of genes between different but usually related populations, over longer distances in wheat', and notes, 'One case of long-distance intraspecific pollen-mediated gene flow was confirmed at a rate of 0.005% at a distance of 300 m to the NW of the 2000 pollinator block (Table 4). This gene flow event probably resulted from wind-mediated pollen movement promoted by strong and prevalent winds.' There was unconfirmed at 1210 metres.

https://www.crops.or...ticles/44/3/718

Contradicting science correspondents in the media, according to Rothamsted Research:

• The genes we inserted into the wheat plants were chemically synthesised and not taken from another plant or animal.The gene that makes (E)-β-farnesene, encodes a protein that is similar to that found in peppermint but versions of this gene are also present in many other plants. The other gene that is needed, the "farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase gene", is widespread in nature and can be found in most organisms.
• We used synthetic genes which is a standard procedure for modern molecular biology. The synthetic form of the farnesyl pyrophosphate synthase gene we used encodes a protein that happens to be most similar to that found in cow but is not significantly different to the versions found in nearly all other organisms. It is not a cow gene, it just looks like one. A bit like two unrelated individuals who have an uncanny resemblance to each other.

http://www.rothamste...idWheat&Page=QA (click on Technical Questions)

#8 orphadeus

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:26 AM

You might like this: http://orphadeus.ang...d-research.html

Edited by orphadeus, 22 June 2012 - 02:26 AM.


#9 oolongcha

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 03:45 PM

Are you able to sum up in a few sentences exactly the nature of your concerns and what should happen? What is it you would like to see?

I've gone through most of the stuff you've posted, but can't really find the problem - only tantalising hints that I don't think stand up to scrutiny.

You see, my problem is that you're after the wrong people. This institute is not a mult-national corporation or some such entity, lacking in any kind of transparency and pursuing purely profit-based agenda without regard for public safety. It's a publically-funded, fully transparent, research institute run by real scientists with expertise in their field (no pun intended) - expertise measured in peer-reviewed research papers and the like. You apparently... have none, although I stand to be corrected.

So it seems to me that the only avenue of neutral, disinterested research is being attacked without any obvious grounds for concern; I mean, the research needs to be done because food security is going to be a big issue in the next 10-20 years; because if publically-funded, open, transparent Institutions don't do it, MNCs with ulterior motives and without an obligation for transpareny will almost certainly do it, and because, well, research, asking questions, adding to the body of what's known through science is what underpins our civilisation, frankly.

So if you're going to wage a campaign against an endeavour (science) that's basically at the heart of what makes Western civilisation the greatest civilisation in the entire history of the planet, frankly, then you've really got to have a solid case. As it is, you seem to have some vague piffling concerns about some of the finer linguistic points buried in dense paragraphs of text with which you're going public, without a solid grounding in the science, and apparently without seeking answers from the Institute in question. It just seems to me... a slightly odd way of doing it. If the answers you get are clearly suspicious, and they're not doing what they say they're doing, then at that moment you might have a case. But otherwise...?

#10 orphadeus

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 08:53 PM

Oolongcha, thats a very peculiar post.

Aside from that, theres very close links between Rothamsted Research and Monsanto.

'Among the Rothamsted scientists involved in overseeing the trials were Dr Mike May and Dr Alan Dewar who have also undertaken research for Agrevo (later part of Aventis and later still Bayer) and Monsanto - companies whose crops were assessed in the farmscale trials.

'Rothamsted’s Dr Peter Lutman was a co-author of a report to the government on progress on the trials. Dr Lutman also works for CropGen , a pro-GM lobby group set up and financed by the biotech industry.'

http://www.lobbywatc...e1.asp?PrId=188


'And this industry alignment is perfectly illustrated by Rothamsted itself, which partners up with corporations like Bayer, Syngenta and Dupont. It also has an Institute Director who not only drives a Porsche with a GMO number plate but has a c.v. to match. It is Maurice Moloney’s GM research that lies behind Monsanto’s GM oilseed rape.'

http://spinwatch.org...ing-greenies-ni


Its basically public funded Monsanto.

#11 orphadeus

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Posted 25 June 2012 - 09:01 PM

Taking the premis that Oologncha is remote control from the Guardian seems reasonable. I've referred the Ian Sample to the Guardian's Corrections and Clarifications. There is no expectation of a correction. I would expect that Corrections and Clarifications is for correcting minor accidental mistakes.

Edited by orphadeus, 25 June 2012 - 09:07 PM.


#12 oolongcha

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 01:29 AM

View Postorphadeus, on 25 June 2012 - 08:53 PM, said:

Oolongcha, thats a very peculiar post.

Well, it would have been had been able to show that Rothamsted Institute was not pubically funded and the research not publically funded.

I don't for a moment doubt that the Institute has links with industry - virtually every engineering and science university department has.

I've no doubt that some of the scientists have worked on projects for corporations.

I've no doubt that some people have Porsches with personalised number plates representing their field of interest.

But the research is NOT Mansanto's -the research is publically funded, and the research results free for all: not the property of Monsanto.

Although I stand to be corrected, this claim seems as wrong-headed as the fatuous - and I have to say disappointing claim from you - that I have some sort of link with a newspaper.

My questions, though, still stands unanswered, because I still don't quite get what you're driving at:

Quote

Are you able to sum up in a few sentences exactly the nature of your concerns and what should happen? What is it you would like to see?


#13 orphadeus

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:41 PM

FFS.

#14 rederic

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:46 PM

Quote

FFS.

Very enlightening!

Is it your position that this research shouldn't happen at all?

#15 oolongcha

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 01:02 AM

View Postrederic, on 26 June 2012 - 08:46 PM, said:

Quote

FFS.

Very enlightening!

Is it your position that this research shouldn't happen at all?

Thank you, rederic! It's not just me, is it...?! A straight answer to a straight question.

I'm only really trying to understand where the bloke's coming from - I'm not necessarily against what he's saying if it actually stands up.

Until such a time when there's clarification, I think I'll just have to assume that Orphadeus lacks any real understanding of what he's talking about and is unsure about what it is he's opposing. There's being skeptical, questioning and open-minded - and then there's, well, making a bit of a tw*t of yourself. I'm beginning to suspect that he's just against something for the sake of being against something. :doh:




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