Author Topic: In the News  (Read 82216 times)

TTG4

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Re: In the News
« Reply #360 on: January 15, 2015, 12:33:29 AM »
Following on from the EU vote on GM crops, I missed one key point. A country can decide to plant a GM crop as long as they clear safety tests, but they can also ban these crops for NON-scientific reasons.

From my point of view, this is a bad idea, crop yield is probably going to fall in the next few decades, especially if we continue banning pesticides/fertilisers on the weight of very little evidence, such as the current issues with the loss of oilseed rape to flea beetle because neonicotinoids have been banned for two years based on fairly slim evidence of effects on bees.

So we need to look at alternatives, and GM is a very promising one of these.

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #361 on: January 15, 2015, 10:04:33 AM »
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Although Euro MPs and ministers have agreed to give states more flexibility, EU scientists will still play a key role in authorisations.

Quote
But the UK Conservative group in Strasbourg has criticised the new law, saying it "allows member states to proceed directly to national bans, rather than first seeking a more legally sound 'opt-out

So does this mean that Governments will have EU approved power to allow things and complete access on banning things? If so that's stupid and pseudo-hypocritical. Let bias be known: anti-EU, even if its irrelevant here.

@TTG4 Is GM still too new to have blanket use among countries with the tech to do it or are there (non-moral, I don't even get the morals against it anyway but ehh whatever) future implications such as, erm I don't know, weakening the crop through excessive engineering? Or would it be a good idea to modify everything to increase size, nutritional value, insect-proof-ness etc?
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TTG4

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Re: In the News
« Reply #362 on: January 15, 2015, 09:54:46 PM »
So does this mean that Governments will have EU approved power to allow things and complete access on banning things?

I believe so, I understand that things need to go through safety screening, but I don't think the politicians should be able to tell the farmers not to use a thing if it's been shown to be safe enough for use.

@TTG4 Is GM still too new to have blanket use among countries with the tech to do it or are there (non-moral, I don't even get the morals against it anyway but ehh whatever) future implications such as, erm I don't know, weakening the crop through excessive engineering? Or would it be a good idea to modify everything to increase size, nutritional value, insect-proof-ness etc?

To just use GM and not use any conventional breeding just isn't feasible. Something like herbicide resistance or even resistance to disease is fairly easy to do as compared to just trying to increase yield, because the genetics of yield are portugaling complicated! As with most new things it's not a panacea, but I think that used sensibly it's a good idea.

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #363 on: January 16, 2015, 07:18:48 PM »
Hell, the math on yield is complicated :P

Fair enough though. I've been trying to do a little reading on GMO and such, damn there's so much negativity towards it, for as far as I can tell, almost no reason. Bee population decline isn't from GMOs, grain yields are up and rising (http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/YieldTrends.html) and the farmers that I've seen enter the discussion pretty much all are much happier using them than organic farming.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/agriculture/geneticmodification/11196045/Genetically-modified-crops-are-the-future-and-must-not-be-blocked-say-scientists.html
Apparently blight is not just a thing from Warcraft 3 and kills loads of potatoes #JeSuisPotato.
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TTG4

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Re: In the News
« Reply #364 on: January 17, 2015, 12:03:53 AM »
damn there's so much negativity towards it, for as far as I can tell, almost no reason.

Yeah, there's a commonly held idea that GM food is just a tool for agri-business to profit from at the expense of public health, which just isn't true. In the bill mentioned a UK green MEP from the south east spoke and implied quite heavily that the only anyone wants to introduce GM crops is to profit from it. That's the level of argument I expect from hippies on the internet, to see it entering politics is depressing.

The yield thing is indeed true, but that's also due to improved agri-chemicals and more productive farming techniques, which may not be sustainable.

Apparently blight is not just a thing from Warcraft 3 and kills loads of potatoes #JeSuisPotato.

Yeah, Irish potato famine. That was a super-virulent version but it's a pretty powerful disease anyway

TTG4

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Re: In the News
« Reply #365 on: January 18, 2015, 08:48:51 PM »
New polling suggests a similar proportion of people support labelling food for if it contains DNA as support labelling of GM foods

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/01/17/over-80-percent-of-americans-support-mandatory-labels-on-foods-containing-dna/

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #366 on: January 19, 2015, 06:32:01 AM »
Lol.
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Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #367 on: January 19, 2015, 10:59:39 AM »
According to Oxfam the worlds richest 1% might soon have more wealth than the rest of the world combined. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30875633

And I found this article on why that may well actually harm said 1% to be quite interesting, never really thought about it before but I've also never understood the point of being so wealthy. I mean you surely can't actually notice any difference in owning 10 billion or 20 billion, how would you reasonably spend anywhere near as much as that?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-30878840

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Re: In the News
« Reply #368 on: January 19, 2015, 12:51:05 PM »
I could do with a billion.
I'd be more apathetic if I weren't so lethargic.

TTG4

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Re: In the News
« Reply #369 on: January 19, 2015, 06:41:11 PM »
When you think about, 1% is actually quite a lot of people, at least 70 million.

If I remember rightly, in order to be in the top 1% of wealth you have to own your own house and it be worth at least £500000. Which doesn't seem too extreme.

Statistics are fun!

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #370 on: January 19, 2015, 07:00:27 PM »
I'm pretty tired at the moment but I can't see what reason they're giving as to why such inequality is bad. Don't get me wrong, I know why its bad but for looking I can't see anything explaining just why.
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Pentagathus

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Re: In the News
« Reply #371 on: January 19, 2015, 07:59:33 PM »
Oh the reasons seem pretty weak, its not actually a good article (in my opinion.) Basically they are saying that hoarding wealth would cause stagnation of the economy and that a lack of money addressing problems suffered by poor folks can mean those problems get a lot bigger and end up costing more money when rich peeps have to pay attention (and money) to them. But I'm pretty sure most/all of the super wealthy will have the majority of their wealth already invested in things rather than sitting around in many giant pairs of socks. And not spending money on poor people's problems is more of a not caring about other peoples problems problem which definitely isn't something that only affects the wealthy. Actually I seem to recall that the evidence is that millionaires are more likely to be philanthropic than the rest of the population is.
I just found it interesting because I've never understood why the super rich push themselves to be the super rich, I understand that its more about competing/winning than it is about having money but I just don't see it being a fun game. Meh.

Clockwork

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Re: In the News
« Reply #372 on: January 19, 2015, 08:15:36 PM »
Ah ok fair enough. Given that I'll never see that kind of money I try not to think about it :P
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Jubal

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Re: In the News
« Reply #373 on: January 28, 2015, 12:23:06 PM »
And now for something completely different:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-31018677

Quote
Florida 'zombie cat' crawls out of grave
A cat in Florida has had surgery after apparently clawing its way out of his grave following a collision with a car.
Bart was discovered by its owner's neighbour in Tampa five days after he was found lying in the road stiff in a pool of blood, and was presumed dead.
He is now recovering after treatment for a broken jaw and ruptured eye.
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Tom

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Re: In the News
« Reply #374 on: February 03, 2015, 05:45:05 PM »
Was the cat on bath salts?