mennomom_gw

gmo cottonseed meal

mennomom
February 12, 2007

It has been stated in this forum that 75% of cottom is GMO. I haven't verified this, but if that were true, why would that be a problem as far as using cottonseed meal for fertilizer? Does it have an adverse affect on plants or soil life?

Comments (16)

  • Kimmsr

    Most cotton seed is Genetically Modified to cope with applications of glyphosate products and then has that gene in the seed. So you need to suspect that all cottonseed meal is contaminated with that gene unless the seller can certify it does not.

  • captaincompostal

    For USDA certified organic gardeners and farmers, don't use it.

    For 100% sustainable, natural gardening methods, it is perfectly safe and economical.

    Happy Gardening!

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  • Dibbit

    As I understand the mechanics of plant breeding/genetics, the only reason to worry about the gene for glyphosate resistance spreading is if the pollen from such a plant reaches the stigma of the flower of another plant sufficiently related to it to be compatable. The resulting seed(s) will probably carry the glyphosate resistance. Cottonseed meal has been ground up and will not affect your seeds or plants, through the spread of its pollen - it doesn't have any.

    That said, I would like to see REALLY good, and very impartial, plant growing trials over several generations, using it as a fertilizer, with good controls, using GMO meal, non-GMO meal, and another grain/plant meal, testing the plants AND the soil web, before I would be totally happy using it myself. On paper, I have no grounds, using the present level of knowledge and general public confidence, for such an opinion. I just feel that the GMO organizations - mostly Monsanto and its minions, and the big seed companies - are a bit too cavalier in their assurances that GM is totally safe, and any plant so-modified will do no harm. I therefor see no reason to assist them in any way, financially or otherwise, if I have a choice. I can get alfalfa meal easily, and so I use that. To the best of my knowledge, no modifications have been done to/for alfalfa, as yet.....

  • mennomom

    dibbit - where do you get alfalfa meal, and how does the NPK compare to cottonseed meal? How does the cost compare? I have a large garden plus fruit and cottonseed meal is $9.00 a 50-pound bag.

    I cannot even begin to sort out the GMO controversy. How did food get to be so complicated?

  • althea_gw

    Dibbit, yes, gmed alfalfa is being grown - rr I think.

    Besides rr, cotton has been modified with bt toxin. The seeds, like the rest of the plant contain bt toxin which has been shown to affect soil life. Below is one of the best cautionary statement I've read regarding the introduction of any gmed material.

    "1: Riv Biol. 2003 May-Aug;96(2):207-23.
    The ecological risks of transgenic plants.

    * Giovannetti M.

    Department of Chemistry and Agricultural Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy. mgiova@agr.unipi.it

    (clip)

    The debate on genetically modified (GM) organisms broke out all over the world only when GM crops were released into the field. Plant ecologists, microbiologists and population geneticists carried out experiments aimed at evaluating the environmental impact of GM crops. The most significant findings concern: the spread of transgenes through GM pollen diffusion and its environmental impact after hybridisation with closely related wild species or subspecies; horizontal gene transfer from transgenic plants to soil microbes; the impact of insecticide proteins released into the soil by transformed plants on non-target microbial soil communities. Recent developments in genetic engineering produced a technology, dubbed "Terminator", which protects patented genes introduced in transgenic plants by killing the seeds in the second generation. This genetic construct, which interferes so heavily with fundamental life processes, is considered dangerous and should be ex-ante evaluated taking into account the data on "unexpected events", as here discussed, instead of relying on the "safe until proven otherwise" claim. Awareness that scientists, biotechnologists and genetic engineers cannot answer the fundamental question "how likely is that transgenes will be transferred from cultivated plants into the natural environment?" should foster long-term studies on the ecological risks and benefits of transgenic crops."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=
    PubMed&list_uids=14595899&dopt=Abstract

  • Dibbit

    Thanks for the update on alfalfa, Althea. I didn't know that, but at least it's ONLY rr and not with the Bt. THe Bt use is scary, in my opinion, because it will create a host of resistant bugs in the next 3-10 years, and THEN what will we use? Meanwhile, the scientist are all saying, whether they truly believe in their innermost thoughts, that it won't happen. Yeah, right....

    Mennomom, I get the meal at a local feed store - it's been a while since I got a 50lb. bag, but as I recall, it was a bit more than you are paying for the cottonseed meal - somewhere around $11-13 per bag. One of the other stores might be a little cheaper, but that one also has the brand of dogfood that agrees with my dog, so.... I don't now remember the NPK ratio, I used to but am having a vague morning... Can someone else help out? As I recall, it was similar to the cottoneseed meal, but a bit heavier on the N.

  • hitexplanter

    I sell alfalfa retail at my garden center for $9.99 for a 50 LB. bag the range throughout central Texas seems to run around 8 to 13 dollars. It of course varies somewhat year to year depending on supply and demand. n-p-k is typically considered about 3-1-2 but again varies crop to crop year to year to some degree. If I recall cottonseed runs closer to 7 percent nitrogen.
    I am still interested in cottonseed meal but these thoughts above still gives me some second thoughts.
    Happy growing David

  • althea_gw

    Dibbit, here's another update on the ill-fated alfalfa that has fallen victim to the gene gun.

    "Federal Court Finds USDA Erred in Approving Genetically Engineered Alfalfa Without Full Environmental Review

    * Center for Food Safety, Feb 14, 2007

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Contact:

    Will Rostov, Center for Food Safety,
    (415) 826-2770 (415) 307-2154 (cell);

    Joseph Mendelson, Center for Food Safety
    (202) 547-9359 (703) 244-1724 (cell)

    (Note: Individual farmers and representatives of organizations who are plaintiffs in the lawsuit are available for comment).

    Precedent-setting Decision May Block Planting, Sales of Monsanto Alfalfa

    Washington, DC (February 14, 2007) - In a decision handed down yesterday, a Federal Court has ruled, for the first time ever, that the U.S. Department of Agriculture failed to abide by federal environmental laws when it approved a genetically engineered crop without conducting a full Environment Impact Statement (EIS).

    In what will likely be a precedent-setting ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Charles R. Breyer of the Northern District of California decided in favor of farmers, consumers, and environmentalists who filed a suit calling the USDA's approval of genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa a threat to farmers livelihoods and a risk to the environment. Judge Breyer ordered that a full Environmental Impact Statement must be carried out on "Roundup Ready" alfalfa, the GE variety developed by Monsanto and Forage Genetics. The decision may prevent this seasons sales and planting of Monsantos GE alfalfa and future submissions of other GE crops for commercial deregulation.

    Judge Breyer concluded that the lawsuit, brought last year by a coalition of groups led by the Center for Food Safety, raised valid concerns about environmental impacts that the USDA failed to address before approving the commercialization and release of Roundup Ready alfalfa.

    In his ruling, the judge consistently found USDA's arguments unconvincing, without scientific basis, and/or contrary to the law. For example:

    * The judge found that plaintiffs' concerns that Roundup Ready alfalfa will contaminate natural and organic alfalfa are valid, stating that USDA's opposing arguments were "not convincing" and do not demonstrate the "hard look" required by federal environmental laws. The ruling went on to note that "&For those farmers who choose to grow non-genetically engineered alfalfa, the possibility that their crops will be infected with the engineered gene is tantamount to the elimination of all alfalfa; they cannot grow their chosen crop."

    * USDA argued that, based on a legal technicality, the agency did not have to address the economic risks to organic and conventional growers whose alfalfa crop could be contaminated by Monsanto's GE variety. But the judge found that USDA "overstates the law&Economic effects are relevant when they are 'interelated' with 'natural or physical environmental effects.'&Here, the economic effects on the organic and conventional farmers of the government's deregulation decision are interrelated with, and, indeed, a direct result of, the effect on the physical environment."

    * Judge Breyer found that USDA failed to address the problem of Roundup-resistant "superweeds" that could follow commercial planting of GE alfalfa. Commenting on the agency's refusal to assess this risk, the judge noted that "Nothing in NEPA, the relevant regulations, or the caselaw support such a cavalier response."

    "This is a major victory for farmers and the environment," said Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety. "Not only has a Federal Court recognized that USDA failed to consider the environmental and economic threats posed by GE alfalfa, but it has also questioned whether any agency in the federal government is looking at the cumulative impacts of GE crop approvals."

    "This is another nail in the coffin for USDA's hands-off approach to regulations on these risky engineered crops," said Will Rostov, Senior Attorney of The Center for Food Safety, which just last week won another judgment calling for USDA to provide more environmental documentation for any new GE field trials."

    Here is a link that might be useful: full text of good news for a change

  • hayne

    Here is the truth about BT cotton and ANY scare tactics used by others will be nuked by this info:


    What about "gene altered" cotton?

    Biotech cotton DNA and protein from the transgene
    [see G.P. Fitt, P.J. Wakelyn, J.M Stewart et al. Report of the Second Expert Panel on Biotechnology of Cotton. International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), Washington, DC, USA, Nov. 2004.]
    Rigorous assessments have identified no human health risks from biotech cotton varieties or the products generated from them. A review of all safety information indicates that current biotech cottons do not pose any different risks to human or animal health than conventional cotton (Gustafson et al., 2001; Nida et al., 1996, 1996a). DNA is considered a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) substance by U.S. FDA and is readily degraded by the human digestive system. Each of the pesticidal proteins introduced into commercialized biotech cottons has been exempted from a tolerance by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which means these proteins are considered safe (based on digestibility, lack of toxicity, and lack of allergenic potential) for human or animal consumption (Matten, 2000). Regulatory approvals for the use in food and feed of products derived from biotech cotton varieties have been obtained following scientific review in the USA, Japan, Australia, Argentina, South Africa, Mexico, Canada and China (Mainland). In addition, there is no evidence for indirect effects on beneficial species through consumption of Bt intoxicated prey.

    You can eat it if you want to.

  • Dibbit

    Hayne, this is probably true regarding its safety around human beings and animals - I don't want to open that can of worms, so can we agree to differ, and leave it there? My main concern about the use of the Bt gene in plants is that by its introduction into the plant, it is 'applied' indiscriminately, and not for a specific target pest/caterpillar at the time when the population density is regarded as dangerous to the crop. The likelihood of non-target insects/caterpillars developing Bt resistance is greatly increased, and has been seen as a possible, not to say probable, outcome, by scientists in Europe as well as those among the organic community in the USA. While I don't often use Bt myself as a control for caterpillars, I know that many organic farmers and commercial producers do. Having a widespread resistance to it means that a very low-toxicity product is going to have to be replaced with something more toxic. That is one of my major concerns.

    Bt, by its nature, IS toxic to caterpillars. You may note that the citation says nothing about its safety with insects/caterpillars, because it isn't safe for them.

    I am afraid that the EPA's track-record, and the track-record of GRAS substances which have then turned out not to be safe, not to mention my own chemical sensitivities, does NOT lend itself to a calm acceptance of any of their pronouncements, nor to the pronouncements of those who make their living in the industry that uses such substances.

  • althea_gw

    Hayne, you need to get an update to that report to reflect the real world scenario.

    These sheep & goats in India last summer tell a differnt story.

    ** Continuing Controversy in India over Mass Death of Sheep from Eating GE Cotton

    * BT cotton in yet another controversy
    By Uma Sudhir
    NDTV, June 1, 2006
    Straight to the Source

    (Hyderabad): There is yet another controversy linked to the genetically modified Bt cotton plant and this time it is the alarming reports of sheep and goat taking ill, even dying after grazing on leftover Bt cotton fields.

    This is what farmers and shepherds in Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh are saying.

    The central government has reportedly ordered independent toxicology tests on Bt cotton leaves to ascertain the facts.

    "They just became very dull and lifeless and died," said Pendala Venkatamma describing what happened to her sheep.

    Earlier this year in February-March several villages in Warangal reported that sheep and goats were dying in unusually high numbers from a disease they did not recognise.

    The only clue they had was that the animals grazed continuously on fields where Bt cotton had been grown.

    "They were grazing on Bollguard cotton. In 4-5 days, they became dull, their stomach swelled up and they died," said Gantaiah, Shepherd.

    Fact finding team

    An independent fact-finding team that surveyed three random villages said animals that fed continuously on Bt cotton for up to a week became listless with erosive lesions in the mouth, nasal discharge and blackish diarrhea.

    The mortality was as high as 25 per cent against the usual 5-10 per cent for this season.

    "They took one or two sheep from the dead animals. Doctors conducted post-mortem but could not find viral, bacterial or fungal problem with that," said Ramprasad, scientist, Centre for Sustainable Agriculture.

    In Warangal, about 11 hectares was on cotton this year and 20 per cent of that officially on Bt cotton.

    But the unofficial figure puts that at upto 50 per cent. In January this year, following rains and some irrigation, there was fresh foliage but few bolls, so the fields were let out for grazing.

    "Animals that have been grazing on non-Bt cotton also, shepherds are reporting that on such fields even if they grazed for 15 days, there was no problem reported. Whereas on Bt cotton, with 3-4 successive days of grazing, they started showing symptoms," said Kavita Kurungati, Researcher.

    When contacted, Monsanto, which has released Bt cotton commercially in India, said safety studies on goats, cows, buffaloes, chicken and fish have been conducted as part of the regulatory process to get Bollgard approved.

    "We conducted goat-feeding stury with Bt cotton seed and found it to be safe," said Dr Vishwanathan, Industrial Toxicology Research Center, Lucknow.

    Critics point out that there was no bio safety study on Bt cotton leaves, which is consumed by cattle during open grazing.

    But Monsanto says Bt protein is present in miniscule amounts in cotton leaves and a goat will have to eat over 24 tonnes of old leaves to reach the upper safe limit of 4300 mg/kg body weight of Cry 1Ac toxin present in the Bt plant.

    The company says the deaths could have been due to pesticide residues.

    Inquiry ordered

    The state government has ordered an investigation by the animal husbandry department.

    "We have immediately alerted animal husbandry dept to give us the details of villages where this has happened and what are their findings regarding this. We are certainly going to pursue this further with the research institutes genetic research institutes, which can analyse the whole thing and yes, it is a cause of concern," said Poonam Malakondaiah, Agriculture Commissioner, Andhra Pradesh.

    Only a detailed scientific investigation may be able to establish whether at all there is a link between Bt cotton and the mortality in sheep and goat.

    Even otherwise it would be wise to go for much more comprehensive bio safety testing not just for Bt cotton but the whole range of genetically modified food crops that may soon be part of commercial Indian agriculture. **

    (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_646.cfm)

    This report about biotech risk assessment came out last week. This seems to be the standard procedure for industry assessment of studies whose results are different from what industry would like to have us believe.

    ** * GM Potatoes are "unfit for human consumption"
    GM Free Cymru, Feb 16, 2007

    A secret feeding study of Monsanto GM potatoes, conducted in 1998 by the Institute of Nutrition of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences and suppressed for 8 years, showed that the potatoes did considerable damage to the organs of the rats in the study (1) (2). In comparison the rats in the "control groups" which were fed on normal potatoes or on a non-potato diet were healthier, and had much less organ and tissue damage. This research, fully supported by Monsanto through the provision of the GM potatoes, was conducted at approximately the same time as Arpad Pusztai's research in the Rowett Institute. **

  • Kimmsr

    "Rigorous assessments have identified no human health risks from biotech cotton varieties"
    This was simply a review of the published material available of which there was none because there has never been any kind of testing of the affects any of these gene altered plants have on humans. The FDA and the USDA have simply accepted the industries contention that injecting a gene that would never get into a plant in any other way is the same thing as plants have been doing for eons, normal pollinating.
    And that is the reason many of us do not want GMO produce in our marketplace. If this "stuff" is so good why have the manufacurers of these plants worked so hard to prohibit labeling so no one knows whether they are buying GMO products or not.

  • althea_gw

    Here's a link which refutes more of the Council's pronouncement(I'm thinking of the part where they say it is readily degraded by the human digestive system). This is a clip about gmed bt that refutes the substanially equivalent implication.

    **4.1. Genetically engineered plants are not equivalent to bio pesticides

    A study spanning several years has monitored the quantity of Cry1Ab toxins in DK-440 BTY (MON 810) corn. Cry toxins are compounds that have gained acceptance in pest control (i.e., in bio pesticides such as DIPEL). However, genetically engineered plants are not equivalent to these bio-pesticides from the aspect of environmental analysis and ecotoxicology.

    The principal difference with regard to toxin release is related to the extent and duration of exposure: while bio-pesticide applications release a small quantity of the toxin on a single or several occasions, the GE plant produces the toxin protein on a continuous basis, unnecessarily, during its entire vegetation cycle, as long as the gene section(s) added artificially to the plant and responsible for encoding the protein are active.6

    4.2. Cry toxin produced in the entire plant during the whole growth period Székács et al6 have confirmed that the Cry toxin is produced in the plant during the whole period of growth. That is, in a dry plant, under moderate temperature, the toxin remains biologically active for several years. Post-harvest the maize stubble contains a significant quantity of Cry toxin. Cry toxin, over-wintering in the stubble, can be detected in plant residues after a period of one year.

    4.3. Comparisons between bio pesticides and Bt plants

    Székács et al compared the quantity of Cry-toxin proteins produced by the Bt-plant with the doses registered and permitted for their use in bio pesticides, and determined the toxin quantity in DIPEL. They found that MON 810 Bt-corn produces 1500-3000 times more Cry1Ab toxin than the Cry1Ab toxin dose corresponding to a single treatment with DIPEL.

    They also found that only part of the toxin from the Bt-plant is decomposed during the growth period. Further, a significant part of the remaining quantity in the stubble enters the soil, where it may affect soil life (animals and micro-organisms).**

  • chezron

    I won't use GMO cottonseed meal in my garden


  • albert_135   39.17°N 119.76°W 4695ft.

    chezron

    ''I won't use GMO cottonseed meal in my garden''

    We know, Love, we know.

  • kimmq

    No true organic grower would use Genetically Engineered cottonseed meal, or any other Genetically Engineered product, in their garden or anywhere else.

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