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Posts tagged ‘GMO’

Everything can happen… the "Queer" of transgenics to rescue the GMO "Queen"

February 24th, 2010

Take a look at these splendid potatoes… more than 3000 varieties, one for everyday, for the next 10 years…

But now you will get the transgenic “duke of York”, the GMO “King Edward”… the GMO “British Queen”…

Excellent… the brand new Royal GMO potato family brought to you by the incredible mad hatter… no, no, sorry, stop. Where is “Prince Charles”?

I wanted to talk about the new potato collection prepared for you by the icon of transgenic labs, the Sainsbury foundation of England. It has succeeded to get the GREEN light (dont laugh) to plant them, as test, behind barbled wired high fences, under high security and arms. One must remind that this Sainsbury lab has nothing to do with the supermarket chain of the same name, the first big chain to kick away GMOs from their shops.

Transgenic what for? To resist blight, the desease which provoqued the Irish famine, the allmighty scarecrow to pass any GMO in the UK. Transgenic as well to resist to nematods, the little invisible worms eating the potatoes before we do. Of course each transgenic potato has its’ own specialty, you cannot get all at a time, choose your disease comrad…

How glorious it is to see that the same tricks and recipies still work like in the old time, use fear to swallow something even more dreadfull; cuddling intelligence by tetanizing it, a good old tradition of warriors to tackle good sens with terror.

Save the world from famine? defend our crops from climate change? This is what the GMO fans of Albion are running for. They chose their defender of the moment in the person of Lord Chris Smith, chairman of the Environment Agency; who better?. The eminent former member of government, daring and utmost sympathetic, the first politician to declare his homosexuality and seroposivity at the parliament, an event at the time. A man of guts. He is now testing the British public opinion on GMOs. What a wierd political communication strategy: the “Queer” of transgenic to rescue the GMO “Queen”, before the great battle in Brussels to be led by the European governments and pro GMO Manuel Barroso. Perfide Albion.

GMOs have to pass at any cost… Potato so easy to replant and multiply… it has to be controled totally by BASF and the other true serious corporations.

Biologists know perfectly well that Blight is a mushroom and that any mushroom can be controled by another mushroom; when you use the oyster mushroom mycelium for example, you also boost your potato crop. As for nematodes are killed by Tagetes Minuta, a plant that grows everywhere on the planet and particularly in association with the potato. It would be interesting to give some basic information about botanics to the farmers… they are supposed to deal with plants everyday, but they dont know the basics. They are not the only ones, but sometimes we can ask ourselves if it is not so on purpose.

Nature is jolly well done, isnt it? But if farmers start to think like this, they wont buy any drugs from any company. How can you milk a farmer if he starts to do so? How can you finance our good old European corporations, sustain solid infrastructures, get a serious political class? Say, where would go our world if it was free to do what it wanted? If peasants were free to produce their own seeds, fertilizers and remedies?

To feed the world? in reality the target is rather confused :

“A star(ch) is born” announces BASF, with its legendary German humour. Starch, yes; to make your paper more glossy, your Savile Row suite even more stif, your threads shiny. 20 years now, that they have been working on selecting the starch potato from potatoes they croped in Mexico and Peru. Biopiratry? What are you talking about? They are true researchers who have created a potato, a “novel” product. To show that it is THEIR OWN creation, they inoculated to it a marker gene. Here the marker is a gene resistant to antibiotics protecting us against E. Coli and other agents provocateurs of nosocomial diseases. Thanks.

Yes you read well, they inoculated a potato with a gene resistant to the antibiotic kanamycine, the antibiotic which helps us to survive from a bacterial disease, all this to recognize THEIR POTATO, which they have patented.

They named the potatoe amFLORA, probably for its beautiful flowers (flora in latin). Because it makes flowers, which is the traditionnal way to select and intercross the genes.

“My dear MPs, potato has also its’ sexual life, it is no mystery”.

Ouch, what a coming out : it takes 20 years to obtain a new potato by crossing potato flowers and get proper seeds.

“This gene cannot be transmitted to man, because this potato is not for eating and the reproduction through flowers is neglectible”. They gave it as little name : amFLORA… strange German humour? Because pollen goes from one flower to another. It is so light, that a slight breeze can bring it up to the stratosphere. From there it can turn around the world and one day fall anywhere, maybe on a potato for man or a pig. Maybe it can seduce a pollinator… can you imagine the amount of pollen in thousands of hectares of potato fields needed by the industry?

The Sainsbury lab, seems more pragmatic: “why wait 20 years to create a blight or nematod resistant potato when we can stick the gene right away?” Life is so simple. But in the first hand, why spending so much money on a problem which has been solved with success for more than 2000 years? You only need to know about it? Sorry for the XIXth century Irishmen. You need to teach the peasants. Why hide them the truth? Three cheers for BIODIVERSITY. One must learn from it and use it.

Hopefully we live in a wonderfull world… Farmers are claiming for a GMO free label, special to label the meat and the milk which is produced without feeding on imported trans soy from Brasil and Argentina for which we are the N°1 clients.

Lets forget for a while the pollen, the planet and its’ stratosphere, lets dream…

Argentine 6 : when it comes to agriculture, the important is a woman.

May 5th, 2009


The success of an agricultural project depends on the success of a social project.

In Argentina today, agriculture is a man’s business and above all it is in the hands of business men. The huge properties all belong to private corporations or traders with very little agricultural traditions. The Gauchos and the regular farmers are now ordinary land workers. The owners are depending now on agronomic engineers, the ones who have turned agriculture into a globalised industry worldwide.

This 100 000acres estancia produces calves which are bound to be finished in feed-lots. A few weeks after birth, more than 70% of Argentina’s calves are sent in the suburbs of Buenos Aires and will never see a bit grass anymore. They are fed on trangenic soja and GMO corn, resulting from the bio ethanol production.

Within 15 years, the Argentine meat, reknowned as the best in the world, has totally disapeared. It became a biproduct of transgenic agriculture, injected with chemicals. How sad. After SARS, the swine influenza, what else is cooking?

While experiencing this disaster what can do the proud Argentine Gauchos ? Why the engineers are spreading glyfosate on the rich pastures? Why are there eradicating all the rich biodiversity needed by the calves to put up there immune defenses?

The Gauchos became employees at the mercy of the economical conditions of the owner. There one and only motivation would stay the entire day long in the immensity of the Pampa. But in reality the Gaucho has very little motivation left for his job. Finally, the Gaucho “blues” described by Jorge luis Borges, was probably their golden age…

Here, in the estancia where we work, the Gauchos, which are named by the engineers “peones”, simple farm workers are paid twice the salary of anyone else in Argentina.  The new owner insists on his social action towards his men for the sake and future of his estancia. But here, 5 hours of bus from the nearest city, there is nothing to spend your money on. Here money is not all.

There are 30 families, 30 maried men, 30 women and 3 to 6 children each. They live without any life project, not any single community project. It is a man’s world, “machos” we would say in Spanish, which is not pejorative here. Machos who do their task with not a word to say about it. They observe agricultural ways on which they dont always agree on. It does not belong to them so… Their houses have just been renewed free. The slight problem of decoration… to a missing electric bulb they turn to the owner to complain. To a foreigner they would rather seem childish than proud men. An estancia today rather looks like a classic expression of an old time patriarcal revival than a modern enterprise.

Where can we end up like this… right in the wall?  History is full of similar examples.

And therefore we come :  Simulteanously with the agriculture advising we suggest to work on 3 different social field in order to dynamise the people on the estancia, gain in creativity and spirit of development :

  • Their participation and understanding in the agriculture strategies : so that the Gauchos can give their opinion, understand more about their future and share their experience.
  • To give a place, a bigger role to the women : by creating a company in which they can participate and own shares together with the estancia. A company in which each one can start his own project, once approved by the community. It will organise microcredit, shelter creation, production and distribution of all the products they could make from what is available in the estancia.
  • Prepare the future of the children, set sustainable basis for the employment in the estancia with a steady development.

For the Gauchos, it is essential to take part in the future of the estancia. To belong is the most important concept. It is therefore important to organise regular fiestas, with music and the traditional Argentine Asados, which will be the excuse to discuss of the agriculture destiny of the estancia in order to benefit from their suggestions, knowledge and experience on a territory they cross everyday.

But the most important concerns the women. Today it is as if they do not exist at all. But the future of the estancia depends on the rolewe are giving them. They need to take the place they diserve through the creation of a company to create, produce and distribute products derived from the agriculture, as well as from the nature in the estancia. It will be a way to develop micro credits to finance ideas and support small initiatives, pay for training and education in order to make better products and develop the creativity of the inhabitants of this under exploited place .

The success of this company will radiate on the fame of the estancia by the quality and inventivness of its products as for being a first for such an endeavour in Argentina.

This share holder company can start by producing simple products destined to the Argentine market, which need very small investment :

- Specialities made from wild products :

  • edelflower and fruits jams, preserved wild peaches, preserved Berberis…
  • Wild honey, and honey combs.
  • Wild honey candles

- Specialties made from the agriculture :

  • Blackberry jam, cranberry jams,
  • cranberry juices
  • Organic “dulce de leche” , the Argentine mythical milk jam (the vet from Buenos Aires eats entire jars when he comes here, while saying it is the best in the world).

- Dry meat specialities :

  • “Grisons meat” made from the sirloin.
  • Cecina, the dry spanish entrecote.
  • Pastrami, Kosher and Halal dry entrecote entrecote with garlic and chile.

All these meat specialities are strangly missing in the Argentine menu. They love dried ham, they love beef, why not creating an Argentine version with the best organic beef ever?

- Develop high value added products :

  • Andine specialties : Andine native potatoe, quinoa, maca …
  • Ornemental plants :special  begonias, jasmin of Juyjuy,…
  • Fresh mushrooms for the Asiatic communities in Argentina and Brasil : ganoderma sp., shitake, etc.


Cheese specialities :

  • The quesadilla: an Argentine mozzarella which goes with the dulce de leche.
  • A cow cheese…

But here rises the importance of creating a company : to train people to get better know hows.

A small anecdote :

When the Paris SIAL, the most important World Food Fare asked the Foodingues associated with the company NovaleNext, to display the food world trends on a 350 sqm stand, one of our dream was to show the best Camembert ever…

When General de Gaulle arrived at the Elysée Palace, he banned all cheese from the Presidential table. Too many chees in France, it delays too much the meals. All? No. Only a Camembert, the Royal Montgomery, was authorized. The funny thing was that it was the same cheese that at the table of the Windsor’s, the Royal family at Buckingham Palace. De Gaulle did not apreciate them at all.

So we contact Mr Durand at Camembert who has retired since 1982, to make the cheese again… vacheveauxjpg1“My dear man, when I was making my cheese, my cows were producing 3000 litres of milk per year; now they are producing ten times more… the grass is still the same… Sorry such a cheese is impossible to make again.”

The estanciahas 200 Pardo Suisse cows, very rare breed. They have not been exploited for ages… it is a true treasure considering the exceptional biodiversity of pasture they live on.

The company will have to train in the production of Parmegiano cheese to satisfy the local taste. This will be possible little by little thanks to the profit made which will finance cheese courses.

- Specialties from the wall nuts (8000 wallnut trees are being planted this year) :

  • wallnut oil;
  • sweet wall nut specialties
  • wall nut cakes with the remains of the press for oil…

Not only food, the women can produce small lines of organic cosmetics with the products of the estancia. This line can be developped in association with the biology lab of Tucuman University in which the women interested could take simple courses.

- Simple organic cosmetics line :

  • soap based on micro algaes oil;
  • comsetic cream with algae oil
  • food supplement high in chlorophile and mineral based on algaes
  • essential oils : vervena, sage, lantana, etc.

These women will benefit from design courses by les Foodingues, packaging wise as well as formulas and recepies.

This endeavour will allow them to develop their environment, build a cinema, a concert hall,… activities they would like to have… bring dynamic to their life and to the estancia with their entire participation.

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Argentina 5 : how to turn pollution into biodiesel

April 18th, 2009

entreepgmaisonWhen we started in this territory of 100 000 acres North West of Argentina, the agronomic policy has just made a Uturn since 4 years ago. The former owners did not have a penny to invest; they had to cope. But the new ones hired modern agriculture engineers.

Along with this modernity, chemicals became almighty remedies. Need to clean up the bushs? a dash of 24D; get rid of the weeds before planting? a drop of glyphosate with herbicide resistant GMO seeds; need to clean up the rivers and irrigation canals? a spray of 24D a bit of 245T mixed with a dash of detergent so that it can penetrate more easily in the plant…

These local plant get rid of all the native plants to let an open access to other plants… after two weeks of observation, scientific trials, etc. we see that in this place the herbicide give an open space to galega officinalis, and  conium maculatum.


Galega is a leguminous plant which is in Europe a medicinal plant used against diabetes. It is also a natural green manure with the nitrogen it fixes in the soil. But here in Argentina, the cattle does not eat it so it has no interest, it is a weed. Conium maculatum is the deadly poisonous hemlock made famous by the death of Socrates.

Below you can see a stripe of hemlock along the irrigation canal which has been prayed by the man on the right few weels ago.



But when it comes to a large surface it is another story: to get rid of the galega in a field of 30ha they spread all the chemical herbicide they could get hold of: the more they sprayed the more hemlock grew…

cigue-represa22the horses pass through this field of 2meters high hemlock, hears backwards, with the worse feeling ever.

To get rid of this disaster? a man with a cosmonaute suit to eradicate by hand or machine a day with no wind? When the plant will have fullfilled her role it will disapear… but when? burn the whole bunch? But what about the cyanide fumes 30 hectares of hemlock cn produce?

There is nothing to do.

But here we come :

In the mid of the vale there is a stream; at the end downwards, a narrow pass. What would happen if we could floud the field? we would produce methane, fossile carbon, CO2, cyanides and nitrites… Hell.

But without noticing we would have recreated a microcosm of ancient geological time little similar to what could be late Precambrian time… the Proterozoic. The interesting thing about botanic is that you can find in nature existing living relics of almost every age of the planet… It is the evolution of these beings which have prepared the planet for us to come.

What was living at Precambrian? micro algaes… These micro algaes use cyanures as fertilizer, transform CO2 into oxygen and carbon into oil. They reproduce themselves every 6 hours and have from 30 to 60 % oil in there body at maturity. In short these algaes get rid of toxic components, produce bio diesel and the rest is proteins, vitamins and chlorophyll. Alimentary my dear Watson. Anything more ?

30 hectares can be enough to produce oil to heat the big house and fuel cars and tractors; the remainder is pure protein vitamin and chlorophyll, perfect as food supplement in hard winter time for the cattle as well as excellent organic fertilizer for the crops.

could this algae become invasive and pollute the rivers? No, it is too important in the alimentary pyramide and can feed almost anybody. It is a real sweet, and this is what makes it problematic: once the place depolluted and the algaes production running, what quantity will escape predators? What predator will suddenly develop in excess? (fish, batracians, birds…). In the lab you can get about 90tons per hectar/yearly, what will happen in nature… We will tell you further on.

From now on les foodingues are puting an end to the selection of the right algaes and designing the croping and processing devices to get the more oil out of this venture. A true creation which we hope will free the farmers from their energetic constraints in the end.

If the algaes production is a success as we planed, we will have to sustain by throwing away the skin of the wallnuts in order to feed them with carbon and cyanure, once the initial pollution has disapeared. We have here 400 wallnut trees, which once the nuts process produces quite a heavy pollution which could be recycled by producing biodiesel.

But if in the end the production of oil is not significant… the algaes would have depolluted the place of this highly toxic plants and avoided the spreading of greenhouse gases. A positiv result in any case.

Agriculture Design Assignment – Argentina 3 / the biodiversity which has to be protected

March 23rd, 2009


- The pastures with their cocktails of Medicinal plants and the Rubioceas which can give maximum productivity in meat with the equal quantities of forrage, a quality that only nature can produce :


- auxiliary insects which feed on the pests and the necrophage insects that transform cow shit into fertilizer :



- Psylocibes and necrophage fungi which transform carbon into sugars which they exchange with the plants directly at their roots where they need it, thanks to their Mycelial net.


All these beings are the best allies of the agricultor, the guaranty of a sane and rich forrage.


But many are those unaware of this and prefer more radical ways.


Here are two organochloride molecules which have been invented in 1942 to put an end to the Second World War by creating a weapon capable of readicating the soil, all cultures, defoliate all vegetation to spread famine. Added to a detergent so that in can penetrate more easily in the cells of the plants, it is sadly famous under the name of “Agent Orange”. Note that the carbon links of both molecules are very stong and not easy to degrade by nature. Here, near the big house, you see a man weeding the banks of the stream which brings the water to be used by the people in the village… These mollecule have been invented by synthetising growth hormones of the rice… According to Professor Séralini of the University of Caen, with dosis 100 000 less strong than the one suggested to any gardener, they provoque necrosis on the placentas pregnant women.

This what is used here to weed: our mission is to show that these weeds are not altogether bad, nor competing with the cultures… Our aim is toshow that some are helping the cultures and it needs observation and a good managment of sowing to turn some weed in the best allies possible for the cultures. And all this use of potentialy dangerous products, what is it for? to grow genetically engineered soja (GMO) modified in order to resist to such products… You can see above the 3rd crop in three years of GMO soja 25 days after sowing… no more bigger than the “weed” which have been sprayed 3 times since sowing; there is no much more than one seedling of soja every 2feets…


In Argentina the price of such products have raised 25% in 2008 and it is said that the raise willbe stronger in 2009 … to spend so much money on so mediocre results… anyway from our experience on this site the experience is far from successful … Not to mention that all the biodiversity shown above have disappeared from these fumigated fields.

Argentina is now one of the biggest users of these chemical products for its’ agriculture. Today, more than 60% of the Argentinian meat is bred in “feed-lots”, also fed with GMO corn and soja. In January 2009, the Argentinian government has asked the medical and biochemical university of Buenos Aires a report on the sanitary impact of the agriculture on the people at a national level, due to be released in 4 years.