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posted by janrinok on Monday January 09 2017, @02:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the but-it's-safe-I-tell-you dept.

Sometime around 2003 Scotts GMO grass crop in Idaho escaped its plot and blew across the Snake River into Oregon up to 30 miles away. The crop in question is a Roundup ready creeping bentgrass that is used for putting greens. Regulators and locals are in for a fight as Scotts is ready to abandon the ongoing approximately $250,000 per year effort to eradicate the grass in favor of running an informative website on Roundup ready bentgrass removal. Scotts canceled the development program because the golf industry is experiencing a decline, yet the company still wants the product deregulated.

Locals are left holding the bag as it threatens Oregon's international reputation as a "GMO-free" grass-grower and its seed industry. Regardless of whether direct genetic modification is bad in and of itself, grasses are an important crop for the state. Additionally, the grass has been found interbreeding with other feral grasses. Interestingly, the company has hired an attorney that specializes in bio-diversity to defend its interests.

The battle pits farmer against farmer, regulator against regulator, seller against buyer. Scotts spokesman Jim King insists the company has done its part and significantly reduced the modified grass's territory. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which for 14 years had refused to deregulate the controversial grass on environmental concerns, suddenly reversed course last fall and signaled it could grant the company's request as early as this week.

Many find the prospect alarming. The Oregon and Idaho departments of agriculture oppose deregulation, as does U.S. Fish and Wildlife, which predicted commercialization of the grass could drive endangered species to extinction.

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  • (Score: 2) by VLM on Monday January 09 2017, @01:41PM

    by VLM (445) on Monday January 09 2017, @01:41PM (#451439)

    Many find the prospect alarming.

    Pyramid power or pyramid theory sounds like a pot smoking 70s BS but stay with me.

    Real problems in engineering and politics often follow a pyramid structure with immense annoyance at the very wide base and a tapering shape as intensity increases up to rare disaster incidents at the top.

    So most rusting is just 90s and 00s automobiles with cosmetic damage that don't matter, and there's a hell of a lot of it, and thats the wide base of rust, and the tippy top is some bridge collapsed decades ago due to corrosion once, and that's quite an impressive disaster but its really rare and virtually all rust that happens in the world just makes cars look bad.

    Another analogy is Muslim terrorism. According to my Jewish coworkers with relations back home, for every 10 kids throwing rocks in your general direction due to peer pressure or WTF theres 1 kid actually aiming at you, for every 10 folks doing random suppressive fire in the air or in the general direction of your car there's 1 guy aiming an AK47 at you, for every 10 car bombs that half assed it but did technically blow up there's like 1 that was really well targeted and kills like 100 times as many people. Its very pyramidical, you can expect your windshield cracked like 100 times for every time someone takes a decent well aimed shot at you. This pyramid of terror BTW really triggered the hell out of people WRT the American 9/11, seriously we're going zero to maxed out in one attack and expect no one to think that odd or unlikely? Anyway non-false-flag terror attacks traditionally very pyramidal in shape, with a shitton of rocks for every bullet, a shitton of bullets for every arty shell, a shitton of arty shells for every jetliner landing in your skyscrapers assuming any of that was real, etc.

    In other words the problem needs to be managed but most of it is just a minor PITA despite breathless infotainment fake news TV.

    So we've all been promised that GMO will lead to earth looking like the dead surface of the moon or every baby is a three headed reptilian alien baby or zombie apocalypse we all gonna die, but the reality of GMO is there will be a vast and very wide pyramid of annoyance where the base is chemically unkillable lawn grass and similar annoyance with the peaks such as the zombie apocalypse being rather unlikely and rare.

    Its safe to predict from pyramid theory that for the next couple decades most GMO "malfunctions" are going to be minor PITA and even once we achieve the zombie apocalypse, the majority of GMO problems will, despite the occasional headliner disaster story, still continue to be minor annoyance category problems.

    This GMO grass is actually a very normal and predictable GMO failure, not a novelty.

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  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10 2017, @11:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 10 2017, @11:53PM (#452298)

    Its safe to predict from pyramid theory that for the next couple decades most GMO "malfunctions" are going to be minor PITA

    Gambler's fallacy, these are (mostly) independent events.

    I agree with your point in general, but this conclusion doesn't follow.
    We could safely predict they'd be a minor PITA before this happened, and this happening doesn't affect that in any way.