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Thread: Freedom of Speech

  1. #1

    Default Freedom of Speech

    29/1/11
    Open Letter to the SBA Forum Administrator
    You have now over-reached your mandate as Administrator of this forum.
    Considering that if the present government pro GM policy is successful. Beekeepers will be harvesting honey from a plethora of GM nectar bearing crops in the not too far distant future. This will of course be GM honey. GM crops require numerous treatments by Monsanto’s Roundup, glyphosate, which is known to harm humans; otherwise they are useless. If you are of the opinion that beekeepers and others do not have the right to informed opinion on either side of the GM debate – it is time for you to go!
    There is a need for factual verifiable information on the antecedent’s of this company, which at present controls around 80% of the GM crops currently under cultivation world wide. The more so since it is now common knowledge that the original authorisation of GM crops was flawed and deemed not to require regulation. This company will ultimately control virtually all the arable foodstuff that will be consumed in the UK: GM soya, GM wheat, GM vegetable oil to name but a few. In fact once the GM policy is made law everything that we eat plant or animal will be GM and Monsanto has all the patents. Ignorance is bliss! No?
    I look forward to your reinstatement of the post on Monsanto which you so high headedly closed. It would be a pity to endanger the continued existence of such a fine platform for the exchange of ideas no matter how different, due to personal prejudice.
    I look forward to seeing you at the SBA., AGM in March.
    Eric McArthur

  2. #2
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Yes, I thought that you had some provocative aim in mind with that post.

    Your post does not require 'reinstatement', it is still there for all to see. All your posts will remain in the public domain, no matter how unreasonable or illogical. If people wish to post beekeeping-relevant posts they will be respected and left open for discussion, as long as they are not abusive or otherwise unsuitable.

    Your post above simply reveals that your thinking is still driven by conspiracy theories, in this case that Monsanto are likely to control everything we eat. That is daft.

    I have argued within the Executive that there needs to be a proper, informed debate on this topic and I would welcome some action on that prior to the Council meeting in 2011 debating and deciding SBA policy on this topic. Until now, the members have been poorly informed - to a large extent by one-sided distorted stuff from you and Salt.

    I have moved this post from the main area at the top - where your confused diatribes have been detracting from the good things this forum does - to this area where, until some revision of the site takes place, it belongs.

    Comments on your post and on your attitude and now very welcome here. This thread will remain open as you are raising the topic of SBA policy which, I should remind you, is the business of the autumn Council meeting and not the March AGM.

    Any comments anyone?

    Gavin

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Eric.
    As you pointed out, there are currently no GM crops in the UK.
    I am sure there are stacks of forums all over the internet where you can vent about GM, Monsanto, or any other hobby horse of yours.

    What about your bees? Any colony losses so far this winter?

  4. #4

    Default

    Gavin wrote;

    In your time as Scottish Beekeeper editor you had free reign to publish any kind of smear you could get your hands on. This place is different. Keep your posts relevant to beekeeping please.

    This thread is now closed.
    ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;; ;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
    Gavin
    You are on thin ice here! I printed truth, which seems to be unpalatable to you! The tabling of a few examples of these smears is now in order!
    I would also be obliged to you to have the offending thread re-opened! I would say if you go down the censorship road the Forum is in deep trouble.
    Also as I understand, as Administrator, you “administer”; you do not participate in “starting threads” - especially not as you state - “I suspect that I may be starting more threads than most”. I’ve read “Animal Farm” a couple of times and I begin to see parallels here!
    Gavin wrote
    Thread initiation to be *moderated* so that only the best topics go up for discussion.
    Moderated (censored?) by whom?
    Eric

  5. #5

    Default

    .................................................. ....................

    Bees are doing great! One colony down. All the others are very strong! Thanks!

    I would have thought that truth would be acceptable on all fora. The Scots are renowned for their fearless courage when truth and their freedom is threatened!
    The prose pasted below is fact. This is the Monsanto way. For the pigs in question in Germany read “Scotland” at some time in YOUR future world not mine!
    Eric
    .................................................. .................................................. .....

    Who Owns The Pigs Anyway?
    Translated from the South West Press, Ulm, 27/5/2010

    Recently a patent for a pig gene was rescinded by the European Parliament. However for the pig breeders of “Swabian Hall Pigs” this was only one victory in an ongoing campaign. The next event is about to take place.
    The Swabian Hall Pigs are renowned for their appetising meat. The Schwabian Hall Breeding Co-operative wishes also in the future to retain not only responsible for its quality, but also to remain the proprietors.
    They are campaigning against the issue of patents relating to animals and plants.
    Christoph Zimmer reacted like most people, who hear of such patents: “I could not believe it”, he said. That was five years ago. At that time, Zimmer, Piggery Production Manager at the Schwabian Hall Breeders Co-operative, read for the first time the proposal of the US company, Monsanto, which they had submitted to the European Patent Office in Munich. The substance of the submission was relative to a patent for a gene, which is carried by many pigs and which promotes a faster growth and especially fine meat.
    Monsanto had investigated the gene, established its characteristics and now desired to establish their ownership of the gene. “In the first instance - there was nothing new about this gene” Zimmer says. Because the breeders have been aware for years that many pigs carry this gene. This patent claim caused still greater anger and anxiety: because simultaneously Monsanto raised claim to the progeny of these pigs and also to whole herds of pigs. Since the Schwabian Hall Production Co-op had discovered that their famous, fine tasting pigs carried this gene they were extremely alarmed. Suddenly the question had arisen, who’s answer, previously no-one had every been in any doubt about.: viz- “Who owned the pigs?”.
    This was the catalyst for the resistance of the 1 000 plus membership of the Breeder Co-operative. Zimmer summarised the general consensus that: “Patents of this type should never be granted”. The group took legal advice, invited speakers on the subject and ultimately, became themselves experts on the subject. They mounted demonstration at the headquarters of the department which issued the Patent in 2008 and submitted a counter claim. After the WDR, TV station broadcast a documentary about the situation sufficient public interest was generated that the German Farmers Union, which previously had shown no interest in the case eventually became involved in the dispute in 2009 and submitted a counter claim against the Patent.
    Now a year later, at the end of April, 2009. the Patent was rescinded by the Munich Patent Office.
    Last week the Production Manager received a new Patent submission on his table – Monsanto again. Although Monsanto has publicly stated on it’s web site that it has now withdrawn from its piggery interests – this recent Patent application concerns animal feed, which has been reinforced with Omega 3 fatty acid, which also promotes good meat quality. “This fact has also been long and widely understood by every breeder and farmer, says Zimmer. “Monsanto wants to patent this kind of feed stuff and simultaneously the meat produced from it by the target animals”.
    Zimmer views this as a smart chess move. Because in so doing the company opens up a market: “This market will be able to patent pigs, which have been fed GM animal feed (soya, maize). In Zimmer’s opinion farmers who have fed GM soya without thought up until now will have to become very wary and the general public will ultimately have to become aware that something is very wrong here.

    The fact that such insane patents have even a chance of success, lies within the structure of the European Parliament. Zimmer and many others criticise the fact that the authority, being so centralised is able to regulate itself. “The Representatives who take office here must be democratically elected”. There is also a lack of independent jurisdiction within the authority.
    At the moment the Breeder Community is waiting on the decision of the Upper Appeals Court of the Patents Office, as are other interested opponents of such patents, on the outcome of the broccoli patent application. If the submission is rejected, that will be a signal to the multis, that not every submission will be allowed. If the application is accepted, then political measures will ultimately have to be taken to change the framework conditions of the patent applications system, demands Zimmer.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Right. So is this a hog forum or a bee forum?
    Eric loads of people have views for or against GM and I am sure there is an appropriate forum somewhere on the internet to express those views.
    You don't like Monsanto? Fine. I don't have much time for some of their sharp practice either but why bore us with this stuff here.

    If I wanted to read cut and paste, whether translated from the original German or not, I would invoke the spirit of the master himself Mr Borderbeeman.
    Cut and paste is the sign of a man unable to express himself in his own words.
    I think you are smart enough to do that.

  7. #7
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    It is not my intention to go back and debate the many, many anti-GM press clippings and articles published in that time, but instead to look forward to a new debate to come.

    As I have said, you are not now and have never been censored on this forum. You have had your say whenever you wanted to say something. The two closed threads needed closing. The BBKA pesticide one had run its course and some were advising me to make it disappear. I am not minded to do that, but the discussion there was interfering with the normal flow on the forum. Your anti-Monsanto one was just that, anti-Monsanto. Nothing directly to do with beekeeping, but of course as you think that we are on the verge of turning over the food supply to their control you may see things differently. Tough.

    As you know, I'm Administrator because I pushed for this forum in the first place, I organised it and I set this thing up. I don't need to be Administrator forever, but at the moment there seems to be no alternative. Most such fora have the administrator also acting as a moderator and a participant too, and this is no different. I have welcomed additional moderators. To be a moderator requires a number of things, commonsense, plenty of time, an inability to get riled and fly off the handle when provoked, a desire to keep things open for all and not appear too heavy-handed. More than anything perhaps it also requires a thick skin. So I'm very grateful to those who are there to help keep this thing stable and useful.

    I'm sorry that you don't understand the reasons for trying to set up an area where discussions on the interface between science and beekeeping can run without the hyperbole and wooly thinking that sometimes (often?) overtakes such discussions. The idea was to control the topic and give it some structure, but not censor the content.

    If anyone want to pick up on this last point, please add it to the thread up top, not here.

    cheers

    Gavin

  8. #8
    Senior Member Jon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric McArthur View Post
    29/1/11
    Beekeepers will be harvesting honey from a plethora of GM nectar bearing crops in the not too far distant future. This will of course be GM honey.
    plethora [ˈplɛθərə]: superfluity or excess; overabundance

    Hmm.
    Apart from oil seed rape what other nectar bearing GMOs do you think are about to invade Scotland on the coat tails of Monsanto.

    I don't think Scotland has the climate for Brazil Nuts, Soya, cotton or papaya!
    Have you done your research Eric or is this just personal speculation?
    let's have your list then.

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