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Comment Re:Salmon's now on my "foods to avoid" list (Score 1) 513

However, they are grafted onto -- orange roots and stems.

Well, not quite. Poncitrus is a different genus, and is quite different from a true citrus. Poncitrus is often used as a rootstock because it is quite fact, Poncitrus can even survive frosts down to USDA zone 6a. Unfortunately, they taste like crap, and despite attempts no one has been able to produce a palatable citrange (a Citrus x Poncitrus hybrid). This leaves them as a novelty for northern gardeners (yep, even if you live in a place with cold winters, you too can grow an orange, just don't use it for anything except marmalade...also they're thorny monsters) and as a rootstock for commercial oranges.

Not all citrus are infertile. It is true that the common orange, Citrus × sinensis, is a hybrid of C. maxima and C. reticulata, but it is not a recent hybrid, and it is a fertile hybrid. Some of them are infertile (sometimes this is the result of being treated with mutation inducing radiation, also unlabeled), but that's not really why they are grafted. Most fruit crops (with a few exceptions like papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and some of the less commonly cultivated fruits like golden berry and kiwano, which all have short lifecycles) are propagated asexually, either through cuttings (like blueberries, figs, gooseberry, dragonfruit, and kiwis) or offshoots (like blackberries, bananas, and strawberries), but very commonly for larger woody tree fruit (and nuts) through grafting. This is done to get genetically identical crops. The thing with long generation crops like most fruits is that, unlike vegetables and grains, it would take many decades more than a breeder is going to live to get a tree that produces true to seed (in most cases, peaches kind of sort of do it). So if you plant a seed from an orange, apple, pear, mango, lychee, ect. you will get a plant, but just like the offspring of a person is always going to be different, the fruit quality will vary, and usually not for the better. This is the main purpose for grafting, although it is also used to speed the time to first harvest, and to impart specific traits to the crop, for example, dwarfing rootstocks are often used in apples, table grapes (Vitis vinifera) are often grafted onto fox grape (V. labrusca) for phylloxera resistance, and pears are sometimes grafted onto quince (an under appreciated fruit in a related genus) for dwarfing.

Now, if they were all sold as plain Gala apples, that might be different.

They are though. You are confusing bud sports with varieties. Bud sports are like varieties of varieties, so there's the original Gala, but there's also mutants that pop up every now and again, emerging from a single bud, hence the name. You've been eating those bud sports your whole life and probably never even realized it. Even notice color variation between two of the 'same' type of apples from different farms? That's not just environmental differences you're seeing there. A lot of things go unlabeled at the store. You never see blueberries labeled as Vaccinium angustifolium, V. corymbosum, or V. ashei, the three most common species of blueberry. You never see if a squash is the Daisey variety, or the Daisy variety (to commercial varieties of yellow crookneck). You never see that a tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) has for example the Ph-3 gene from S. pimpinellifolium for late blight resistance. I've never seen a watermelon juice containing produce state if the watermelons came from a diploid watermelon with the natural two copies of each chromosome or the triploid varieties, with a chemically induced additional set of chromosomes (made by doubling the natural two to four with a chemical like colchicine or oryzalin and then crossing a two with a four to get a seedless three chomosome containing watermelon plant that so many are fond of). There's an entire world of crop science that your average shopper doesn't know about and takes completely for granted as the browse the produce isle at their local megamarket. All this is the background context that is absolutely essential to understanding genetic engineering. This is why I am opposed to mandatory labeling. I want people to understand this topic. I work in this field, you you really think I want people to know less about what it is I actually do? Of course not. But a label without context, knowing full well how easy that could be to misunderstand in today's climate where there is so much FUD spread about the topic, is not the way.

Then there are honey crisp apples that are relatively pricey because they are hand pollinated (or something like that).

They're pricey not because of their pollination demands, which are no different than other apples, but more because of the high demand, that they are a relatively new apple, and that they are a bit of a pain to grow compared to some of the other apples.

It's not as if there are naturally occurring honey crisp apples and manipulated ones.

All Honeycrisp apples are manipulated. They were developed by the University of Minnesota in the 60's. Before that, they did not exist. An unmanipulated apple is hard, small, and rather sour, basically, a crab apple. It is certainty true that this genetic manipulation was not done with genetic engineering, but it is nonetheless genetic manipulation. If you look at apple diversity, you will see that quite a lot of manipulation has been done. You've got huge ones like Spigold, small ones like the crab hybrid Wickson, pink fleshed ones like Pink Pearl, sour ones like Granny Smith, super sweet tropical tasting ones like Snowsweet, all sorts.

We already do this with other livestock. So, what is so special about salmon to treat it differently?

I don't think we do. I am admittedly much less well informed about the animal side of agriculture, but I've never seen a chicken, turkey, cow, or pig product labeled as to what breed of animal it came from. To mandate labeling of this issue would be to treat it differently.

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

And favoring the GM industry might even end up killing the Organic Foods industry. Didn't know it was some kind of government mandate to favor a side of an industry against any other.

Do you not see the logical contradiction of that sentence? If the organic industry cannot exist without undue burden being placed on genetic engineering (not true at all by the way), then the government must place that burden because to do otherwise would be to favor those who use biotechnology? Then you say the government shouldn't be favoring industries?

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

Because the people who are paying the bills want it.

Argumentum ad populum. You still haven't exaplined why it its good idea, just that a lot of people want it (when you word the question a specific way that it), no doubt due to years of fearmongering. Fortunately, we live in a republic, not a direct democracy. Do you really want to claim that doing otherwise, especially when it comes to regulations, is a good idea?

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

Well, I suppose if developing something that makes the world a better place and funding further research by patenting it, eventually allowing to to fall into the public domain as it has, is what you consider an 'abuse of the system', then it looks to me like you're probably just dead set on hammering home an indefensible point.

Comment Re:Salmon's now on my "foods to avoid" list (Score 1) 513

An orange grown from a orange tree that has been grafted onto the rootstock of another plant is genetically no different than an orange grown for an orange tree that has its own roots.

Irrelevant. I just want to know what I'm buying. I want to know if I'm buying an unnatural Franken-orange. Why are you supporting keeping that hidden from me?

See what I did there? You're partially right, but not entirely, about the genetics, by the way. While actual gene transfer from rootstock to scion shoot is, as far as I know, restricted to to point of tissue contact (although that does indeed happen), grafting has been shown to alter gene expression. Why or why not is that sufficient for labeling? And that's just one example of many I could use. Take bud sports for example, like Gale Gala and Autumn Gala, both naturally occurring somatic mutants of the original Gala apple. Not labeled, and even if they were, the average person has no idea what a bud sport is.

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

That is a misconception. Plenty of non-GE crops are patented. The plant patent system is older by far than genetic engineering. Honeycrisp apple, for example, is non-GE, and until a few years ago was under patent by the University of Minnesota, who developed it and used the patent royalties to fund further research (hence why it was patented at all). That they are different in one way does not mean they are not substantially equivalent.

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

The information isn't hidden. Corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, papaya, apple, potato...those are the species you need to remember. Saying that the information is hidden is like saying that because bacon is not labeled as Haraam that Islamic dietary guidelines are hidden. PErhaps if you are too lazy to learn about your own beliefs they are hidden, or maybe if you have a fearmongering ax to grind you'll call them that, but how can something I explained in a single line ever be considered hidden?

And furthermore, I've seen just as much case indicating that we should label if something was produced via hybridization, inbreeding, grafting, somaclonal variation, bud sport selection, mutagenesis, wide crossing/embryo rescue, grafting, tissue culture, or any of the other things I could demand. Where's my label indicating if a bean come from a high aerenchyma line, or the label saying if my sweet corn was from a high maysin line, or my labeling indicating if my tomato has genes from Solanum pimpinellifolium, or my label indicating that my Vitis vinifera was grafted on V. labrusca? Can you give a rational reasoning as to why only one thing, which just so happens to have public controversy, should be singled out?

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

That's your opinion

No, it's not, and you did not answer the question.

If I don't want to eat Broccoli, Tomatoes, etc... or GM crops for that matter I do not need to justify why I don't want to eat them to a judge and jury in a court of law.

I never said anything of the sort. You have every right to not eat them. Just like Jews have every right to eat Orlah fruit and Muslims have every right to avoid gelatin. You are confusing a right you have with an obligation for society to cater to your belief system. And you know, I would never dream of insulting a Muslim, Jew, Hindu, ect. for holding to a dietary restriction that I myself do not hold. I would never call them names for that. But then again, they're not trying to pass off their dogma as science and attempting to craft legislation favoring their belief system, are they?

Unless someone is forcing you to eat corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, and certain papayas, apples, and potatoes (the GE species), you have no leg to stand on, as I have just told you exactly what to look for if you wish to avoid GE crops. It isn't that hard.

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

Asbestos was also once safe. And so was Talidomide.

Saying 'science was wrong before' is a bad argument when creationists use it, bad when anti-vaxxers use it, and bad when GMO denialists use it.

GE salmon farmers want to engage in unfair competition with regular farmers, even if they need to grease up the FDA.

Yeah, that's why it took two and a half decades of testing, all that corruption fast tracking it. You are making things up. And what exactly do you mean by 'unfair competition?' You mean producing something rather than hitting hard the declining wild stocks? You know, if any other technology were being used, I'll bet everyone would be up in arms that some would spitefully choose to do more harm to the environment than adopt new technology, but suddenly when genetic engineering is involved, that's somehow okay and preferable.

I will now pay double for wild salmon,

And I'll choose the option with less environmental impact.

Oh, and they can forget about ever exporting farmed salmon to Europe.

Not exactly something for Europe to be proud of.

Comment Re:GM producers are shooting themselves in the foo (Score 1) 513

No, innocent until proven guilty is a pretty good standard. Do you have evidence that GE crops are intrinsically dangerous? Because I have plenty of reason to think otherwise. Saying there might be some potential but as of yet unknown unknown is as compelling as warning me about the invisible pink unicorn.

Especially because the guys who want to prove it safe have huge financial motivation and anyone trying to prove the opposite just wants to eat food because they purchased a lifetime subscription to a digestive tract.

Really, you mean to say there isn't a multi-billion dollar organic industry out there, and plenty of professional activists staking their careers on making noise? And you mean to imply all those in academic positions who work with GE are part of some money making plot? That's bullshit and you know it.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang