Digesting: GMO roundup

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Certifiably man-made crop circles such as this one featured on Greenpeace's website have begun "cropping up" in fields around the world: in the Philippines, France, Spain, and Mexico—the birthplace of corn. The message is clear: we do not want genetically engineered corn in our fields or in our food. (To share your opinion with Mexican President Vincente Fox, click here.)

In other news:

Inter Press Service News Agency: Mexico shuts the door on growing GM maize in their country ... again. Unfortunately, about 6 million tons of corn continues to be imported from the U.S., of which a third is genetically modified.

National Catholic Register: Three American professors presented eight years of research to the Holy See on the benefits of genetically engineered seed. The jury is still out on what the Vatican believes should be its moral view on GE crops. The pitch was heavily focused on the supposed benefits of GMOs toward ending hunger.

The Telegraph (Calcutta, India): Rice exporters and environmentalists call for a freeze on field trails of genetically engineered rice in Delhi, India, pointing to the negative worldwide response to U.S. exports since the disclosure of rice contamination by Bayer CropScience rice (LL601) and its effect on U.S. farmers.

Heise Online (Germany): The German division of Bayer has tried to get the web hosting company of Greenpeace's German web site, EinkaufsNetz, to block the page encouraging people to contact some of Bayer's executives. Apparently these executives are being flooded with e-mails from consumers outraged by the emergence of genetically engineered rice in their food supply.

IBNLive.com: Indian farmers have set rice crops on fire after learning they are genetically modified test beds. (At least we think that's what this awkwardly written article is saying.)

Stuff.co.nz: Security will be very high for a proposed planting of a GM vegetable crop in New Zealand.

And some intriguing news:

Guardian Unlimited (UK): The new frontier is called genomics, which features an agricultural technology called marker-assisted selection or MAS. Touted as less ethically challenged than the gene splicing currently employed by Monsanto, et al., and as more of a return to genetic selection like our ancestors utilized. Environmentalists are guardedly optimistic.

Washington Post (via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette): Another recent article about the dawning of a second biotech revolution. Still, farmers will be charged for seeds from suppliers, and patenting will surely continue (at least until reason prevails saying life cannot be patented, ethically or morally, for profit). Ironically, researchers are looking to seeds' forebears, to utilize their genetic heritage in creating today's plants as more drought resistant, hardier from disease.

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