ArialFrom: Wayne Parrott
Subject: Re: shiva - postscript
I teach a course on tropical agriculture, and I take students down to
Central America, where they get first-hand exposure to Mayan
First, Shiva's yield information is sort of correct-- 2 t/ha for
Mexico; but yields are half that in the heartland of the Maya area
(Guatemala). By comparison, maize yields in the USA can be 6 times
than those in Mexico.
Secondly, Shiva does not factor in the amount of soil erosion and soil
fertility losses that traditional Mayan agriculture can impose. This
from the practice of burning fields prior to planting, and planting on
steep slopes with large spacing between plants.
These areas are expanding yield by expanding the area under
rather than by expanding yield per unit area. The amount of
that is going on in Central America is amazing. Given that the cloud
rain forests of Central America are among the most biodiverse in the
the loss is self-evident.
Other problems are equally self-evident. Almost every bean plant is
infected with bean golden mosaic virus, and the stored maize is
with aspergillus-- hence traditional Maya populations have a high level
exposure to aflatoxin.
I must say that I have never seen maize planted with alternating rows
legumes. So if anyone is doing that, it is not common. Normally the
plants are planted at the base of the corn stalk, and allowed to grow
the corn plant. The biggest trend I see is abandoning maize in favor
higher-value crops for export, such as broccoli and snow pea.
At 10:48 AM 6/16/00 -0500, you wrote:
>In Mayan agriculture (both traditional and modern), squash is
>grown as a ground cover between rows of other crops that include
Posted to: Biotech Activists Group (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Now that Bill Gates is investing heavily in biotech, and is now
biotech foods, I for one will be boycotting Microsoft products
possible until he wises up. Anyone care to join me?
From: "PALLAS, NORMAN R [AG/1000]" <
Subject: RE: Proof that GM soy doesn't deliver
Sorry for the late submission to this discussion. Others have already
addressed the issue of yeild variation with growing area quite
However, there is a remaining issue, the mis-characterization of
as a poison. Yes, glyphosate is poisonous ONLY to green plants.
glyphosate has been demonstrated to be less toxic to humans than
Can you say that of 'Chlorox' bleach? How about 'Drain-O', gasoline (
any of a wide variety of over-the-counter drugs? OR even alcohol.
Additionally, glyphosate biodegrades completely in a matter of days,
many of the 'natural' herbicides and pesticides used in 'organic'
Would someone like to begin a discussion of the relative toxicity of
'natural' crop protection aids vs traditional? Also, the use of
trans-genetic crops REDUCES the need for traditional aids, AND enables
no-till farming, thereby reducing soil erosion. Does anyone recall the
problems caused by poor farming technique and desertification? Mr.
Williamson, you are clearly driven by something other than facts and
Dr. N. R. Pallas
>From: Marcus Williamson <
>Subject: Proof that GM soy doesn't deliver
>Proponents of GM food, such as yourselves, have been trying to tell
>that one of the reasons for accepting GM is to feed the world's
Subj: Times Re:
Henry Miller; More Trewavas & Mae-Wan Ho; More
Date: Times Fri,
16 Jun 2000 12:34:04 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Times Tom
Zinnen at BioTrek <
Henry Miller describes a situation similar to what I tend to call
Rearranging the Furniture."
If two people are re-arranging furniture, and one is the 'pointer' and
other is the 'mover', it's easier and faster for the pointer to point
where one would like the furniture than it is for the mover to move it.
It's also much less tiring to change one's mind than to change the
location of one's couch. Likewise, it's easier to change one's
negotiating position when the other person is doing all the
eventually you start to wonder if the motive of the pointer wasn't to
rearrange the furniture but rather to exhaust the mover.
I think it may also be called "negotiating in bad faith."
Thomas M. Zinnen, PhD
BioTrek: A Science Outreach Program
of The Biotechnology Center &
of The Environmental Health Sciences Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison/Extension
425 Henry Mall
Madison, WI 53706
608/265-2420, fax 608/262-6748=20
Tollfree 1-877-BioTrek (1-877-246-8735)
>From: "Henry I. Miller" <=20
>Subject: Why Can't We All Get Along?
>Jens Katzek wonders why those who embrace and those who oppose the
>biotechnology can't make common cause for the good of mankind. Part
From:" Toby' H D Bradshaw"
> From: Tom DeGregori <
> Subj: Cheers for Alex Avery's - Vandana Shiva Antoinette: 'Let 'em
> possibly even impossible. Could I post the question to the botanists
> and biologists whether this 20 tons claim (in the composition that
> gives) is within the limits of what is theoretically possible and if
> so, how close to the limits is it? Second, does anyone on this list
A charitable explanation would be that she was reporting a wet weight
yield. By that (questionable) standard, sugarcane is the world's
crop! It is obviously not a realistic way to compare yield, though.
Toby Bradshaw | (206)616-1796 (voice)
College of Forest Resources | (206)685-2692 (FAX)
University of Washington | http://poplar2.cfr.washington.edu/toby
From: "John Mottley"
Does anyone have an opinion on the recent declaration by the food
giant 'Iceland' that it is to buy up 40% of the world's organic
produce to sell in it's stores. Does anyone think it could lead to
their stated aim of bringing organic food prices down to the level of
conventional produce. But what are the implications?
Isn't this an example of corporate control of the organic food chain?
Is big business, smelling the sweet smell of huge profits, now
making a move? Why aren't the organic lobby up in arms about it,
like they are with GM? And wouldn't it 'deprive' the rest of the world,
where Iceland doesn't trade, of organic produce, sending up prices?
With best regards,
University of East London.
('We are born naked, wet, and hungry.Then things get worse').
reports recent "World Agrochemical Markets" study highlights the "key
"The US agrochemical market, the largest in the world, grew by a total
68% between 1990 and 1998 to reach $8.9 billion, but in 1999 growth
reduced by the popularity of GM crops..." at the same time Agrow
"France, the largest European market, has shown consistent growth over
past five years, and agrochemical sales are now valued at $1.986
More evidence that in the U.S., both farmers and consumers, are
from a trend of reducing dependence on chemical use in farming through
biotechnology, while Europe continues to see growth in their chemical