Saturday, December 11, 2010

GMO oranges, China, and the loss of another piece of America’s agricultural base

Another insidious GM event; this time it's our oranges. The reason given is "greening" which is an interesting term, given the use of "green" to denote, and invoke postive and conscious actions concerning our food, energy and envirnoment. Greening or citrus greening is a bacterial disease that is very damaging to fruit and trees. However, natural methods to resist greening are ignored by the U.S. biotech/agri-biz. Insted of natural alternatives, the usual allieance of agri-biz corporations are:

Southern Gardens is a unit of Florida-based U.S. Sugar Corp and it has been working, under field trial permits issued by the USDA’s Biotechnology Bioregulatory Services arm, with researchers at Texas A&M University and a Florida company called Integrated Plant Genetics on the development of transgenic greening-resistant trees.
Mirkov’s own work, which he said could lead to the first commercial plantings in as little as three years, involves inserting a few genes from a plant that he identified only as “commonly consumed around the world,” into citrus trees to make them resistant to greening. (Reuters)

The above is being outsourced to China:
In a bid to curb overall costs, but also to accelerate research, Arnold said an agreement with the Fujian Academy of Agricultural Sciences in China was being used to conduct some of the more labor-intensive work into psyllids, citrus germplasms and disease resistance.
“The labor in China is reasonable and inexpensive, so we’re taking advantage of that,” Arnold said. “They can hire a whole line of technicians, maybe 70 technicians and line them up, for the same amount of money that it would take us to hire three or four,” he said. (Reuters)

Ironically, China has successfully used natural methods to combat greening.

GMO oranges, China, and the loss of another piece of America’s agricultural base

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