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Terry Porritt
13-07-2002, 12:28 PM
I know this is a bit off topic, but it is science related.
Is anyone else absolutely horrified at the appalling ignorance of politicians, TV interviewers and the media generally at the almost total ignorance about statistical sampling, concepts of confidence level and uncertainty of measurement?

We are supposed to be in an educated age for gods sake, and yet the level of basic maths and science amongst people aspiring to lead us would seem to be going fast down-hill.

There I've got that off my chest!

Baldy
13-07-2002, 12:58 PM
What are you trying to say Terry?

I think the consensus is, there were no GE crops planted.....

I think that the Greens knew about this book for a long time (the publisher is a Green list candidate) You only had to see Fitzsimmons reaction. If it was the first she knew about it, she would have been absolutely beside herself with rage - not as calm as she appeared..... Oh, and wasn't it strange that the next morning, the Greens had plastered corncob stickers over Labour Party election hordings. I am a signwriter and it would take at least 24 hours to even set up the computer program - let alone computer generate, distribute and plaster the corncobs on th hordings.

I think there are far more important things to worry about in this country, then GE. Half the population are more worried about how they are going to buy the food - let alone worry if it has been Genetically modified.

BALDY

Heather P
13-07-2002, 01:55 PM
As far as I can see grafted plants were the start of GE. Take a good rooting system and graft the nice tomatoes it to. End result - plenty of nice tomatoes.

Shall we now ban grafted plants?

GE means attending to such things before birth rather than after it.

Agreed great care has to be taken to prevent disasters and thus the need for really good controls but the way the media has been playing it any sort of GE - or grafting - will instantly create monsters that will destroy the earth.

Where is the common sense in all this? Ah, I forgot, it's politics and jounalists trying to sell papers.

Terry Porritt
13-07-2002, 02:03 PM
It's the ignorance of interviewers and politicians rather than the GE thing itself that bothers me.

Just think a moment, 5 tons of seed, how many seeds is that?

The only way to be 100% certain whether they "conform to requirements", is to measure every one. Each of those measurements also has it's own uncertainty of measurement.
Now whether they're seeds or nuts and bolts, or car parts, the principles are the same. Sample inspections are made and immediately we are into statistics.

The media only want black or white yes or no , and thats the way politicians think too, with the odd exception.

Heather P
13-07-2002, 02:12 PM
The trouble with this one is that anyone who disagrees with the result can promptly claim "conspiracy" which then needs it's own statistics to define.

If Helen Clarke anwered on the spot - then she was reacting without facts, if she waited 7 hours to find the facts - then it was time to arrange the conspiracy. A no win situation.

Smithie 38
13-07-2002, 02:21 PM
Gooday folks. This is an interesting subject on F1.

I think baldy's comments are on the mark (only because I am bald too that I agree with him). Half the population are wondering if they can afford to feed themselves. The other half worry about health, welfare and education.

So Baldy who do we vote for Winston??

Cheers

Baldy
13-07-2002, 02:31 PM
Exactly.......

What the Greens and Nicky Hager don't seem to realise, is that in a shipment of seeds, there is always going to be cross-contamination of some kind. As Terry says, the only way to get a complete reading is to test EVERY seed in a shipment.

Election day is going to be interesting not for the election result, but to see what "actual" support the Greens have. I have a sneaking suspician that they will only get a fraction of the 10+% that the polls given them.
But hey, the polls are only a random sampling - bit like the seeds, really LOL

Regards, BALDY

Heather P
13-07-2002, 02:35 PM
Who to vote for comes down to statistics. Rate all candidates on a probability scale:

Marketing
Ability
Credibility
Issues

Not necessarily in the above order...

Now me, I'm 99% certain that my computer is about to be reformatted (and 98% certain that I've backed up everything of relevance).

Baldy
13-07-2002, 02:38 PM
Hi Smithie.

This is probably the first year I will vote with my feet.

I have had an absolute gutsfull of the polys only doing whats beneficial to themselves. I am surprised they even have a general election

BALDY

Baldy
13-07-2002, 02:41 PM
Hi Heather,

This might sound like a "joke" question - but HOW DO YOU BACKUP the stuff on your computer. Is there a suitable program that you use for it?

Regards, BALDY

Heather P
13-07-2002, 02:51 PM
Turn on husband's computer, create a directory called Heather and, using Explorer and the network, copy all files that I want to keep (plus anything that looks relevant) to his hard drive. Then, as I go for the belt AND braces idea, copy a smaller selection of files to a CD.

NOTE: the last time I used MS backup the first zip disk restored OK, the second didn't. Fortunately I'd made a second, slightly reduced, copy by the above method to a futher zip disk so all was OK.

Oh, and spot test (a 0.1% sampling rate) of the copied files (by opening and running them on the other machine) before deleting the originals!

Graham L
13-07-2002, 03:09 PM
Aha, someone else who has this odd idea that a backup isn't a backup unless it's been tested. ;-)

But Terry, people are stupid. News media people think that any number is a statistic . I have been amused (in a sad way) by the netball announcers giving "percentages" of players' goal attempts. If there are fewer than 100, there is NO SUCH THING as a percentage. Nearly as bad as the coach who, when it was mentioned that her tall players had an advantage, said that her players used other skills as well. :D

andy
13-07-2002, 03:40 PM
The other really annoying thing (well, it annoys me anyway), is this inane media practice of making a "gate" word for everything. I understand that this somehow relates to Watergate, which was the name of the hotel where Nixon met his "Waterloo" (another story altogether) in 1972. Since then, the newsmedia people have persistently come up with these stupid "gate" words for every political faux pas - lately "paintergate" and "corngate". Its really meaninless and pathetic......whoops, that just about sums up most politians and reporters, doesn't it?!
andy
(I'm bald too!)

Heather P
13-07-2002, 03:45 PM
Graham,

The network files opened, the CD file didn't. Now to try again....

Graham L
13-07-2002, 03:50 PM
My estimate is that there are millions of those 1/4" tapes which people fondly call their "backups". Could we call it Backupgate ? ]:)

Heather P
13-07-2002, 03:59 PM
My favourite was an organisation that I once worked for. Certain people reluctant to trust the Network (Novell with daily backups stored off site) saving stuff to their "unvirused protected" hard drives. The occassional backup that did happen was on floppy, stored in a drawer of their desk.

It was a school. What's the chance of arson?

Now me, the database was on the network but my EXTRA backups of it (daily and weekly!) went home with me at night!

andy
13-07-2002, 04:10 PM
Aaaarrrgggghhh!!!

Heather P
13-07-2002, 04:22 PM
That response "Aaaarrrgggghhh!!!" means:

You've met others who have done this?
You've done it yourself?
You think I'm paranoid?
......

As far as the original post goes - this is highly relevant! Statistical probablities...

godfather
13-07-2002, 04:31 PM
Statistical probabilities...can anyone point me to any freeware that will simplify my need to establish normality of a sample test of a large number of devices. I have the sample quantities needed under the appropriate standard, but need an idiot-proof method of establishing normality... (using Chi two tailed methodology)

And no, I am not testing cornseed....

I think the reactions of people were the issue for me, not the GE implications.

Graham L
13-07-2002, 04:40 PM
Have a look at http://www.utexas.edu/cc/stat/world/Freeware.html . I'm not sure about the NAG, and SPSS is definitely commercial.

Heather P
13-07-2002, 04:43 PM
Reactions were predictable and well within normal range.

Issue misunderstood, panic, hysteria, irrational, conspiracy theories...
(that was the general public)

Encouragement of the above because it makes good copy (media)

Marketing campaign gone to hell and damage control (Labour)

Point scoring and general juvenile behaviour for marketing reasons(Opposition)

Chris Wilson
13-07-2002, 04:52 PM
Terry,
I'm surprised you had that much faith in the mass media that you would be shocked at this.
The function of the mass media is to entertain, not inform! Thus accuracy on political reporting is no more important than making sure the same props are used in consecutive scenes in any other work of TV fiction.
The reporting on this issue is being done in such a way as to highlite an entertaining shitthrowing match, thus avoiding any intelligent debate, or information on the issue itself.

godfather
13-07-2002, 06:37 PM
Thanks Graham

Amazed at some of the offerings - in Fortran even!

Thinks...I used to program in that once...never again!

The most usable appear to be trials of Excel add-ins, cost after 30 days $300. Might try one or two.

Susan B
13-07-2002, 06:53 PM
> The function of the mass media is to entertain, not inform!

Really? I always thought it was to stir up sh*t. That's pretty much all they are good for.

-=JM=-
13-07-2002, 08:18 PM
>If there are fewer than 100, there is NO SUCH THING as a percentage.

so all those tests that I've done which have an 80% pass mark. When the original was only out of 50 marks. Does that then mean that it is impossible for me to pass????

Chris Wilson
13-07-2002, 09:22 PM
Susan,
Stir up Shiite or entertain..
Is there a difference when it comes to mass media?

BIFF
13-07-2002, 09:25 PM
Have you ever wondered why corn seems to come out of you just the way it went in? .....I know that I have. ?:|

Chris Wilson
13-07-2002, 09:27 PM
how would one know this BIFF?

Susan B
13-07-2002, 10:32 PM
Do we really want to know, Chris?!!!

Chris Wilson
13-07-2002, 11:05 PM
> Do we really want to know, Chris?!!!
hey dont hassle me Susan.. i didnt bring it up!
hassle BIFF!

Susan B
13-07-2002, 11:25 PM
But you're encouraging him Chris!

Chris Wilson
13-07-2002, 11:59 PM
Am not Susan!
i just went with the flow....

Does anyone actually care about the GE issue, or just the way its been (mis)handled by media? Personally i'm really quite concerned on it, I'll give Greens full credit for being the only party in resent times to stick to their guns, and i hope things are sorted so NZ can be GE free, if for no other reason than it allows us to exploit a HUGE market, and i mean HUGE global market, one big enough to make us a truly wealthy nation.

just to give some idea of the scale, the pressF1 spell checker knows the word "GE" but not the word "NZ"
Our geographic isolation puts us in a very good location to exploit this market, as no american or european farmer will be able to stay GE free as cross pollination occurs

godfather
14-07-2002, 12:04 AM
I support GE, but afraid I have no confidence in the Greens.
Too dangerous to our economy to let them loose, far too many feral elements.

puts on flameproof (non-asbestos based hemp derived) suit

Baldy
14-07-2002, 12:13 AM
I have also noticed that like corn, carrots can also come back out again, the way they went in - after a dodgy night on the plonk

BALDY

Susan B
14-07-2002, 12:13 AM
Chris, I care about it too, simply because it is a big unknown really, and we don't know what the long-term effects are, or even if there are any.

But I think you'd be flogging a dead horse with the farmers who see more benefit using GE technology than staying GE free. Do you remember myxamatosis (can't spell it but it was that rabbit disease)? The government was forced to introduce it after it was illegally released by frustrated farmers who saw it as an end to their rabbit problem.

We don't hear about it anymore, but it hasn't cured the rabbit problem like they thought it would. The rabbits appear to be building up resistance to it. Shouldn't the pro-GE crowd be taking notice of that?

Chris Wilson
14-07-2002, 12:29 AM
I went to a wee conference on the matter, held in greymouth when i was last over there... the people pushing GE products and silencing the research that showed problems were the same people who stood to make the most $$, the seed manufacturers, and the herbicide manufacturers that want special plants that their products wont kill,
There was one piece of anti pest genetically engineered bacteria that got tested in the lab quickly, and seemed OK, when put in a more thorough test, it was found that it was so effective that it turned soil to lifeless sludge..
the product was never released, and the researcher that took it on herself to further test the "product" just in case lost her funding for future research... very scientific!

If i learn how to set up a computer, i can stuff it up, and worst case scenario i rebuild it, format install a new O/S and start from scratch. I have learnt what little i know by doing just this... Now when it comes to life itself, should we take the same approach, i'll just think about that one.

And if the govt did any research to the HUGE GEfree market out there, (GE free, nuclear free clean green NZ product) and made noises about the results to the said farmers, thus exploiting our size and location, making the rural community happy, instead of playing follow the leaders for international cred, we'd ALL be better off

*Sparky*
14-07-2002, 05:10 AM
> Just think a moment, 5 tons of seed, how many seeds
> is that?


As a seed coater, and one who treated the seed upon entry into the country, there are 4 - 5000 seeds per kilo. Its too late to do the math, so you'll have to work it out yourself. :)

Terry Porritt
14-07-2002, 09:14 AM
Ok folks, I knew this would turn into a GE debate, I didn't mention GE in the body of the original posting, just "Corngate" in the subject, and away you all went.

I left school in the mid 50's in the UK when subjects were taught formally. Since then we've had "Modern Maths", "learn as you play", "discover science by doing, not by being taught". All this was supposed to produce better educated pupils, and the old tried methods were rubbished.

I am assuming that elements of statistics and sampling methods are taught at 6th and 7th form levels these days, and will have been for a long time.

When you listen to politicians and media interviewers, their basic maths and scientific knowledge is really very very poor, that is what I was getting at.

Corngate was just the latest example, demands being made for cast iron guarrantees, yes or no, regarding someting which is obviously governed by statistical methods.
Only Marion Hobbs tried to get across the concept of a 99% confidence level.

Ok, we have a 99% confidence level that after carrying out a sampling plan the level of contamination should not exceed 0.1% or whatever of the shipment.

That is still a long way from saying the shipment was not contaminated, as the interviewers, and others were trying to get an answer to.

cadifan
14-07-2002, 11:04 AM
I totally support GE. It's just the next step in medical technology.

Where would we be today if people hadn't finally accepted vaccinations when they were first introduced?

Surely those who oppose GE would have to admit that eating a GE tomato is a better way to CURE say, diabetes than shooting up three times a day for ever!

Or drinking a glass of milk to CURE MS instead of taking expensive drugs for the rest of your deteriorating life!

GE should be embraced as the answer to curing the world of our genetic defects.

Chris Wilson
14-07-2002, 12:14 PM
cadifan,
vaccinations do good?, yes we are told that, but have you ever wondered why the people who point blank refuse these preventative treatments almost never get sick?
I almost never get sick, but this year, because of an embarrassing infection, i took doxycyclene (probably spelt wrong)I knew i shouldn't have taken it, but there seemed no other choice. As a result of letting the western medical profession play with my bodies immune system i have had flu for the first time in years, i thought it was going to kill me, i have never been that sick, and have been snively most of this winter.
The top end of the western medical, and GE industries are driven by the need to make $$, not the need to keep people healthy, or feed the world. Those of us who avoid doctors like the plague, are the healthiest you will meet. There's already enough food to feed the world many times over, so it's a political/economic problem that people starve, and not a sign that natural crops are in some way inferior.

And yes i know the GEfreeNZ argument is flawed by the fact that some impurities will get in, but we still have the chance to be the nation with the pure food that a large chunk of the planets populous will want.

tedheath
14-07-2002, 02:06 PM
I really wish we had a secret police service in this country, who could quietly wax people like Hager.
People had got tired of his the 'americans are out to get us" theories and so he had to make the news with some idiot theory of a GE coverup.

Cheers
Ted

Chris Wilson
14-07-2002, 02:29 PM
While i'm unaware of hagars statement(s) it sounds like it's yet another distraction from the issue. Hagar is being used to make idiot noise, just like the small noisy bunch of protesters in the chch area get used to make stupid freakshow protests to discredit whatever issue they are going to jump up and down about. They do get used, and because they will jump up and down about anything anti govt, they will discredit issues that are sometimes valid... the masses are easily (mis)led
Hagar has his uses
GE IS politically sensitive, so people making plans WILL be discrete, this is normal business practice, however to sensationalize by calling it "American cover up" will ensure that very few people will look into what actually may be happening.
It is ridiculous to say the americans are "out to get us". They are just looking after themselves. This pathetic little unheard of set of islands are of no importance to America, or the companies behind the GE push.

J ZEP
14-07-2002, 02:47 PM
> And yes i know the GEfreeNZ argument is flawed by the
> fact that some impurities will get in, but we still
> have the chance to be the nation with the pure food
> that a large chunk of the planets populous will want.

>And if the govt did any research to the HUGE GEfree market out there, (GE free, nuclear free clean green NZ product) and made noises about the results to the said farmers, thus exploiting our size and location, making the rural community happy, instead of playing follow the leaders for international cred, we'd ALL be better off

Chris - i think i would have to back you on that - my personal feelings are similar to yours. Its a tough one though cause GE can have huge implications on both sides of the issue eg. better product etc... but at what cost. As you said why not keep our Clean, Green, N.Z image intact and use it to our advantage!!! Well just my 2cents worth as they say!
(as J Zep ducks for cover before the flaming)
As for the Media all they manage to do is add more confusion to the issue.

Graham L
14-07-2002, 03:45 PM
JM: No, you passed (skite;-)), but you got a score of 40/50 in a test. The test may have been a (very roughly) random sampling of your knowledge, but if you had a "normal distribution" of knowledge, the "80" figure is wrong: the second digit is meaningless. 80 +/- 7 might be reasonable. Why don't they just use the score? I don't know. ?:| Maybe "they" think it looks "more scientific", on the principle that any number is a statistic. :-(

Have you noticed the opinion surveys? They say (sometimes) the sample size. They also give a figure which is the uncertainty. This is to compensate for the fact that the sample is not of the whole population. It relies on a normal distributionn and confidence interval. But when a newspaper sends a reporter out to interview 8 or 10 people to get "public opinion", she comes back and reports that 70 % are for something. Bloody nonsense. X-( The rugby commentators say " he has a success percentage of 66%" --- he has succeeded with 2 out of there. IT'S NOT A PERCENTAGE. They might say that this is a deterioration, because last match he had 75% (3/4). There is a well ignored (by the ignorant) term called regression to the mean . That's why we're not all geniuses . It does not explain the fact that often all the featherless bipeds appear to be morons. ]-)

Heather P
14-07-2002, 11:57 PM
Chris,

Before you discard vaccinations out of hand.....

Mum is deaf from measles at the age of 10 and I nearly died from it at the age of 4. Yes my kids were vaccinated.

There are 2 sides to the story.

Chris Wilson
15-07-2002, 12:09 AM
Ok, granted with the measles one, but the flu vaccinations seem to only benifit the flu vacination companys, I'm sure there is research that suggests flu vaccines are a good idea. There's alot which is excepted just because someone in authority says it is so, even if that authority is the one to make the money. With the GE debate the authorities that pay for "balanced scientific data" refuse to fund anything that shows problems with GE and its associated products The same companys are devoloping herbiside resistant plants, and making herbisides that will wipe out all the weeds in any given feild, including the standard plants. Its a bit like cancer research paid for by the tabbaco companys and meat boards, certain results will not be favourable to continued employment of the researchers.

Heather P
15-07-2002, 12:36 AM
Or casinos funding parks for the kids outside the casinos.

"There was an old lady who swallowed a fly....."

Terry Porritt
15-07-2002, 08:44 AM
Trying to get back to the meat of this matter, on Morning Report this morning, political commentator Al Morrison showed quite a reasonable grasp of sampling statistics. Shaun Plunkett , ( my opinion of him is private), showed no understanding at all.

Now we also have Marion Hobbs back tracking for political damage control, by claiming that as initial testing of a small sample showed no GE contamination, then she 'was advised by her officials' that the shipment was clear and had no GE contamination.

Biggles
15-07-2002, 11:53 AM
>Shaun Plunkett , ( my opinion of him is private), showed no understanding at all.

:^O :^O :^O :^O :^O :^O :^O :^O :^O

He is such a plonker ...

Biggles
15-07-2002, 12:19 PM
Well Chris - you may not get sick, but I've known plenty of people who bought into the "vaccinations are the problem, not the cure" argument who have got plenty sick.

Nothing is perfect - not western medical science, not eastern medical science, and not holistic alternative science. Nothing is perfect.

That goes for the GE debate too. Both sides have points. There is merit in the arguments of both camps, when you can get to the real arguments and bypass the spin and hysteria on both sides.

But I will say this - I do not for one moment believe in the pipe dream of a GE-free NZ which will become wealthy through the export of GE-free produce. It is a Utopia, and like most Utopias, persuing it is dangerous. GE is an infant technology, but one with great potential. We should be cautious. But deciding now that the best future for this country is GE-free is NOT being cautious. It is making a rash decision based on few facts and dangerous assumptions. Those assumptions?

1] That there will continue to be consumer resistance to GE worldwide at a level which will make trying to sustain a GE-free agricultural economy not just viable, but desirable. Name a previous advance in technology where resisting it and purging it from your economy has lead to such a commercial advantage? This argument is like someone in the 18th century saying: "This industrial revolution thing sucks. It's smelly, and creates poor products. Let's make sure there are no factories in our country and we'll be the world leaders in exporting quality, hand-made goods!"

Of course, there were folks who thought like that - they were called the Luddites and went around smashing up machinery.

2] That maintaining a GE-free country is a viable thing to do. This assumption implies that it will be possible to legislate to keep GE out of the country indefinitely. This is despite the fact that there is not a consensus now, or is likely to ever be a consensus, that this should be done. It will become ever harder to achieve as the technology matures and becomes accepted elsewhere. It is hard enough keeping our shores free of biological pests. What will it cost to keep it free of GE contaminants? Is it even possible?

3] That the government has a right to keep out the technology. The Greens currently poll in the 5% to 7% range. Let's day then that 5% to 7% of the voting population feel strongly enough about the issue to support a total GE ban. In a democracy, how long can a government maintain a ban on a potentially beneficial technology unless it has a clear mandate to do so? Right now the ban is on filed trials. But in 12, 24 or 36 months, there will come a time when the technology is ready, and scientifically proven enough that some of it is going to be ready for release. What then? If the mandate at the polls is not there to keep the finger in the dyke, what government is going to be able to do so, or indeed have the right to do so?

Now I'm not saying that the outcome of all this will be all good. Large corporates will exploit the technology ruthlessly. That's just a fact of modern life. There will be problems, even horror stories. It's not like the industrial revolution was a bed of roses. But it is a change that WILL happen, and the question is, what will happen to NZ if we try to stop it dead in its tracks? I believe we must be pragmatic, and do our best to guide the adoption of the technology and its affect on our lives. But to try and stop it will not work, and will be a disaster for our economy. We are too small to gamble liie that.

J ZEP
15-07-2002, 01:03 PM
> Nothing is perfect - not western medical science, not
> eastern medical science, and not holistic alternative
> science. Nothing is perfect.
>
> That goes for the GE debate too. Both sides have
> points. There is merit in the arguments of both
> camps, when you can get to the real arguments and
> bypass the spin and hysteria on both sides.
>
> But I will say this - I do not for one moment believe
> in the pipe dream of a GE-free NZ which will become
> wealthy through the export of GE-free produce.

> I believe we must be pragmatic,
> and do our best to guide the adoption of
> the technology and its affect on our lives. But to
> try and stop it will not work, and will be a disaster
> for our economy. We are too small to gamble liie
> that.

Bruce - some extrememly valid points, must concede, however as i said earlier and you too, there are alot of good for and against points. One of my main worries is the PREMATURE release of GE in N.Z - I feel alot more research is warranted, longterm use research in paticular, as it is still in its infancy - But I am sure N.Z will have no choice but to follow and keep up with the worldwide trend in release terms.
Yes it is a pipe dream to think N.Z could stay GE free and in the long term could/would be to our disadvantage - But in 10 years time when/if the horror stories start to emerge people will be jumping up and down. (Hopefully that won't happen) - i am open to debate on this and my opinion is starting to sway abit more.

Chris Wilson
15-07-2002, 01:09 PM
>>Name a previous advance in technology where resisting it and purging it >>from your economy has lead to such a commercial advantage?

organic food,
thats a growing global market, and GE/organic will be the A+ top product in the range.

godfather
15-07-2002, 01:34 PM
This whole area has similarities to the Kyoto protocol, where NZ now runs the risk of being the only nation in its trading group to whack carbon taxes on energy.

That will spell the end of competitive advantage for NZ and see us relegated downwards in economic prosperity, even though the ideals are correct.

Biggles
15-07-2002, 03:06 PM
>>Name a previous advance in technology where resisting it and purging it >>from your economy has lead to such a commercial advantage?

>organic food, thats a growing global market, and GE/organic will be the A+ top product in the range.

Sorry - but the commercial advantage is not yet proven. Organic GE-free food is still not the major basis of our agricultural income. It is growing, but it remains a niche market at present. And yet some Greens would advocate that we should throw away any advantages to be gained via GE technology in favour of pursuing a totally GE-free, organic agricultutal base.

This disturbs me because putting all our free-range GE-free eggs in one basket is never a good idea. NZ has been caught out before by over-dependance ohn one source of income - Great Britain. The advent of the Common Market was not good for NZ and we have spent a great deal of time since then attempting to find new markets and diversify our agricultutral base.

In light of this past, and the knowledge that markets, tastes, and global politics are subject to change, it would be naive to believe that shutting out GE from our economy is a magic bullet. Magic bullets exist only in fantasy. In the real world you need to spread the risk, and that means investing in agricultural technologies other than pure organic, GE-free. I'd hate to wake up in 30 years and discover that going GE-free/organic did not translate into a source of wealth for the country, but that the lack of advance in agricultural science implicit in a 100% GE-free/organic economy meant we'd become a third-world agricultural nation. Do you really want to gamble on that? I cannot take on faith the notion that GE-free/organic, by deafult, is the path to riches.

Chris Wilson
15-07-2002, 03:35 PM
OK OK,
i'll agree to disagree.
how about a nice compromise, a GE free mainland??????

Biggles
15-07-2002, 03:38 PM
> OK OK,
> i'll agree to disagree.
> how about a nice compromise, a GE free
> mainland??????


Hmmm, what about Stewart Island? Oh yeah, you can keep Invergargill too. And we'll throw in Gore to sweeten the deal ...

godfather
15-07-2002, 03:41 PM
Will you settle for Stewart Island Chris...

BTW, did you know that if you allocated 1 sq foot per person, you could fit earths entire population of mankind on Stewart Island?

Chris Wilson
15-07-2002, 04:13 PM
Bruce..
i assume you have heard the infamous quote from the very early days of the rolling stones, back when they toured this tiny widdle country called NZ, and played Invercargill
"invercargill is the ******** of the universe" Mic Jagger.
how about Canterbury, then i wont have to move... actually theres this park across the road from me called "jade" or something, that doesn't seem to be doing anything very useful

Susan B
15-07-2002, 06:26 PM
Bruce, you are very definitely in the wrong job... ;-)

Thanks for your contribution, you have spoken a lot of sense on this matter.

Hey team, who wants Bruce for Prime Minister? Hands up!! :D

godfather
15-07-2002, 06:31 PM
Actually I think Bruce has a future in journalism...Oh wait...he is...

Well said Bruce

mark c
18-07-2002, 02:37 PM
Small technical point. The Green's want the moratorium on GE to be extended a further (I think) two years, not banning GE outright.

Steve Bell
18-07-2002, 04:16 PM
The anti-GE position is not "science related". It postualtes that there is a "right" way for genes to have been sorted among organisms, and any amendment that humans make to this is likely to be "wrong".

If there is such a "right"way, then who/what arranged it that way; surely a conscious and "good" being.

In other words, the basis of the anti-GE position is theist and creationist.

The thing people keep forgetting to ask about "Corngate" is WHO WAS HARMED?

The Greens have been so skilled with their PR that they have us assuming that any transfer of GM organisms (yes, that's the neutral way of describing it; even to call it "contamination" is to some degree to fall in behind the Green position) is bound to be harmful.

How many people have been killed by GM organisms?

How many people have been killed by the Wise and Good God's or Goddess's nasty fungi and bacteria?

And why does everything with even a whiff of scandal and alleged cover-up about it have to be called "-gate"?

Was that ad for the Fa Lun Gong at Auckland Airport over a departure gate? Or in a gate lounge. Please let it have been. Then we can call the controversy Gategate.