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Open Mike 07/07/2017

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 7th, 2017 - 48 comments
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48 comments on “Open Mike 07/07/2017 ”

  1. Ed 1

    We continue to imperil our children’s future by not being good custodians of our land and water.
    Why do we allow such mercenaries to destroy our environment?

    ‘New Zealand King Salmon’s ‘inadequate’ biosecurity plan criticised following salmon death investigation.
    Salmon covered in open wounds, unexplained fish deaths, and the discovery of bacteria never previously identified in New Zealand.
    A new report has revealed the details of a biosecurity scare in the Marlborough Sounds that put the biggest salmon farmer in the country on notice.
    And despite concerns over the presence of the two newly discovered bacteria, the company, New Zealand King Salmon, continued to take risks, the report says.’


    • Ed 1.1

      More of the same.
      If you play with nature, nature bites back….

      ‘US company applies to bring GM potato products into New Zealand.
      A United States company has applied to export genetically modified potato products into New Zealand, but mystery remains as to exactly what the products are.
      It is not asking to export GM potato tubers, because no tubers of any sort can come into New Zealand.’


      • Ed 1.1.1

        Neoliberalism not only destroys the environment.
        It does not care for people either.

        ‘Rate of farm worker accidents higher than that of employers

        Farm workers are more likely to have serious accidents than the people they work for, Worksafe New Zealand’s figures show.
        For every 1000 employees (farm assistants, labourers) in the agricultural sector, 20 suffered an injury requiring more than a week off work compared with 12 out of every 1000 farmer or contractor. The time period was for April 2012-March 2015……
        …Council of Trade Unions president Richard Wagstaff said the Government needed to admit farming was a dangerous occupation, which it has not for legislative purposes.
        “Communication isn’t engagement; we need to train workers and there ought to be more WorkSafe representatives out on farms.”
        Wagstaff said no-one was advocating for workers because they were not unionised, but farmers would not take kindly to the idea of them being organised. ‘


      • Psycho Milt 1.1.2

        If you play with nature, nature bites back…

        Says the man parading his unreason to the world using a computer and the Internet…

        The most depressing part of that linked story is the mention of Dr Connor:
        In the 2000s, Dr Tony Conner from Plant and Food Research at Lincoln University developed GM potatoes with increased resistance to bacterial rots and the potato-tuber moth. After opposition to his work, he quit.

        The Stuff story doesn’t have it quite correct – it should read “After opposition to his work by irrational, scaremongering wazzocks like the Soil and Health Association, he quit and took his expertise and valuable research elsewhere.

        • Glenn

          Totally agree.

        • Molly

          It may be of interest to you to read the background to what Wikipedia refers to as the Pusztai affair – the story behind the approval of the British government for GMO.

          There is a more detailed background to the political shenanigans here.

          Despite the subsequent shunning of Árpád Pusztai by the scientific community in Britain, he received a whistleblower award from the Federation of German scientists in 2005.

          (Ed, you will probably enjoy the second link. )

          • Andre

            For anyone that isn’t triggered into a swivel-eyed conspiracy loon at mere mention of genetic modification, here’s a more nuanced look…


            It’s the characteristics of the organism that are important to examine, how those characteristics were achieved is very much of secondary importance. If the organism has characteristics that may be risky to the environment, then how they were achieved becomes more important.

            So for instance, if a plant is given the ability to express Bt toxins by simply injecting some genetic material through cell wall, like organisms have been swapping genetic material since time immemorial, then it’s fairly likely to spread and I’d ask a lot more questions. But if it was done with a newer technique like CRISPR that directly edits a more stable part of the genome, then I’m satisfied the risk is much lower.

            But when we consider that older methods of genetic modification like mutation breeding seem to be accepted without objection, I just find it bizarrely irrational. Seriously, look it up.

            • Molly

              Without sarcasm, thanks for that link. Gives an alternative view to Putzai, but does miss the initial background to his appearance on television where he was required to give a summary of his research to the British government, even though he had not published and been peer-reviewed.

              This summary was used as justification for government approval for GMO’s.

              It was only after he raised concerns about that use, and the development of tumours in rats that he asked permission to (and was given) appear on tv.

              He was vilified for presenting his views, even though those views were utilised by the government to make a decision.

              The article you link to advocates what you do not. It asks for rigorous science and reviews:

              “…Science writer Emily Waltz has catalogued other examples of what looks like overreaction to research suggesting problems with genetically engineered crops. Much of the criticism is legitimate (if ferocious) scientific exchange. But some of it is probably orchestrated by industry. There’s evidence that the Bivings Group, a PR firm, spread false information about Chapela using pseudonyms on an Internet forum for scientists. And we know that Syngenta has stooped to ad hominem attacks.

              You could say the same and more about activists campaigning against biotech: Anti-GMO trolls relentlessly bully and defame scientists, while spreading misinformation. Groups of thugs, like those that trampled a plot of Golden Rice recently, try to stop experiments. Swiss researchers running recent GM trials spent 78 percent of their research funds on security.

              But there’s a crucial difference: Anti-GMO activists aren’t in positions of power. The Golden Rice experiments, unlike Pusztai’s, will be completed. I haven’t found any example of a scientist losing her job for a finding that’s favorable to biotech.

          • Psycho Milt

            I’m aware of the Pusztai affair. Researchers have spent the two decades since then trying to find something unsafe about genetically modified foods and haven’t found anything, so it looks like Pusztai’s experiment was as flawed as his opponents’ claimed it was. Which isn’t surprising, because as Andre pointed out, it’s the characteristics of the organism that affect safety, not how the characteristics were achieved.

            • Molly

              For me it starts more about the social impact on indigenous farmers and their traditional lands with the introduction of large corporate monocultures.

              Many people are losing their land in India and Africa because the investment of large overseas corporations demands vast tracts, without islands of settlement in them.

              I don’t have the trust of corporate scientists, or journals funded by corporate advertisements that you seem to. I would like to, but as pointed out in the article linked to by Andre, the current system leaves a lot to be desired. As someone who thinks biodiversity, and ecological systems should be looked at as a whole, the intent of replacing a variety of food sources with one “product” that provides all nutrients, while allowing for liberal use of herbicides misses a bigger picture.

              How do subsistence farmers pay for the use of this seed? Do we really believe in market choice, when most consumers don’t want this choice, but it is taken from them? Should we be committing resources and research into sustainable farming practice in order to reduce vulnerable people’s dependence on industrial agriculture – especially in light of climate change? There is also the social impact on cultures: regarding seed sharing, environment and food culture.

              A myriad of considerations that should take place asking whether it should be done, before we discuss whether it can be done. Meeting one well-meaning but isolated intent, might cause more problems in other aspects of life.

              • Andre

                Those are social, political, and legal questions that are very separate from whether GMOs are safe in the food chain or harmful to the environment.

                Corporate dominance, monocultures, shafting indigenous peoples were problems long before any modern genetic engineering techniques were developed, and would continue to be problems even if GM were to be banned.

                Tackling those problems needs to be done head-on in a focused way, rather than dreaming that if we just get rid of GM, big ag will stop shafting us all.

                As far as helping people adapt their agriculture to climate change, directly inserting genes for drought resistance (or excess water tolerance), pathogen resistance, higher yield and availability of nutrients etc is likely to produce useful results a lot faster than cycles of cross-breeding, growing a generation, selecting the best, more cross-breeding and so on. With accelerating climate change, being able to quickly modify an organisms characteristics is a huge benefit.

              • For me it starts more about the social impact on indigenous farmers and their traditional lands with the introduction of large corporate monocultures.

                Then your issue is with corporate agriculture displacing indigenous farmers, not genetic modification. They’re two different and unrelated things.

                • Molly

                  I also don’t trust the corporate scientists to be designing, and ethically running trials – and publishing all results.

                  I’m concerned about both issues, but consider the impact of one to involve the other, which is why I don’t look at it in isolation.

                  • That lack of trust should apply to all science carried out by the private sector – again, there’s nothing specific about genetic modification there. Fortunately, a lot of work on GE is carried out by public sector institutions (most of it, in this country at least). Which in turn means that if western countries did turn their backs on GE, the places where it was carried out would be the least-trustworthy ones (Third-World countries and authoritarian dictatorships).

                    • Molly

                      I thought the comment on the end of Andre’s linked article was worth consideration.

                      How to fund research without relying on bodies that would have a vested interest? Public institutions set up to design and run final trials utilising students and education facilities? I don’t know, but it would be useful to have some kind of discussion about how to reinstate trust in decision making and the information that is provided.

  2. Carolyn_nth 2

    • Ed 2.1

      Derrick Jensen on the mass murder of rivers by dams.

      • Ed 2.1.1

        Endgame is a two-volume work by Derrick Jensen, published in 2006, which argues that civilization is inherently unsustainable and addresses the resulting question of what to do about it.

        • Robert Atack

          ‘Civilization’ is a heat engine, and it cooked our goose 150 plus years ago
          The teegal timer has poped and it’s burnt offerings for all of us including the fish
          But 99% of the general dumb public don’t get it ie they think voting will change things
          Go the greeds and there continued support of GROWTH via Kiwisaver, and as it seems now airtravel
          I think it was the late great Russell Norman, who was oh so pro tourism, as opposed to felling soon to be extinct West coast forests
          Keep lying you bastards

      • Robert Atack 2.1.2

        Funny as fuck, watching Derrick’s talk at the New York Ocupy protests, he basically said NY needed to go back to the swamp it came from, and all the idiot protesters cheered, ignoring the fact that that would lead to 15 million homeless.
        Humans the dumbest spices on the planet, the fungus in my toe nail is smarter 🙂

    • Ed 3.1

      Move Labour left.
      Burn neo-liberalism not buildings.

      • tc 3.1.1

        Start another party, these beltway troughers are part of the problem as they are captured by a broken system serving the wealthy elite.

        Labour/greens is the most viable option this GE after 3 terms of damage under nact but we should be seeking a new way to return NZ to the people not foreign interests looking to own this country as a bolthole/gilt edged dividend stream.

        You move them left by forcing the issue as it’s far too comfy for the lot of them currently.

        • gsays

          “You move them left by forcing the issue as it’s far too comfy for the lot of them currently”

          While I agree with yr sentiment tc, I disagree with yr solution.
          Voting to the left/non neo-liberal of lab/greens is a far clearer signal to troughers and wanna be troughers.

  3. Re: the G20
    Why don’t they have these meetings in say Fiji (no insult on Fiji) or Invercargill ?
    Why hold them where they do the most damage, what the fuck is going on in their power control heads
    10 to 15,000 protesters against 15,000 cops?.. what a clusterfuck

  4. ianmac 5

    Any one know if us@sumofus.org is legit? Just been asked for a donation to save Putaruru’s precious Blue Spring from bottlers. Sumofus appears to be an American company.

    • Gristle 5.1

      I think they are partnered with Action Station. So Check with them.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 5.2

      I don’t know but I’d vote for any political party who unequivocally stated that all exports of water will cease immediately once they are in power.

      • roadrage 5.2.1

        Its not the issue, sure it has value. The issue surely is recycling. Recycling should be a dirty word. By which I mean looking at the planet not as a resource but as our home where all we are has value. There is no waste as waste has its own cycle aka recycling is a dirty word as all exists to be reused as a natural part of our civilisation. Part of the water debate is people living unbalanced with their environment. Fresh water fountains in public places.

  5. National under pressure again in Southland.

    “Robertson asked Adams if she had decided against investigating the trust because “those who drove the chief executive out” had close links to the National Party and that the chair of the trust, Margot Hishon, was also the chair of the Clutha-Southland branch of the National Party.”


  6. Todd Barclay‏Verified account @ToddBarclayMP 7 Dec 2016

    I’ll be supporting fellow-Diptonite @honbillenglish for PM. I appreciate all his support in the past & it’s an honour to be able to repay it

    Todd Barclay‏Verified account @ToddBarclayMP 7 Dec 2016
    I’ll be supporting @simonjbridges for Deputy PM

    Judith Collins‏Verified account @JudithCollinsMP 1 Jul 2016
    Big congrats to @ToddBarclayMP & Clutha Southland @NZNationalParty Membership stars this year.


    Acting Clutha-Southland electorate co-chair Margot Hishon said she had “no concerns with Todd’s behaviour at all”.

    “Todd’s got a very good following in the electorate and he’s very well supported, that’s all I have to say – everyone I’ve spoken to is delighted with Todd and the work he’s doing.””

    “Robertson asked Adams if she had decided against investigating the trust because “those who drove the chief executive out” had close links to the National Party and that the chair of the trust, Margot Hishon, was also the chair of the Clutha-Southland branch of the National Party.”

  8. ianmac 9

    David Fisher writes:
    “Investigation: NZDF blunders again over NZSAS raid as fresh details emerge…”

    ” First the NZ Defence Force said there were none – and the NZ Herald showed it was wrong.

    Then they said there was only one camera taking photographs – and now the Herald has proved that was wrong too.

    The NZ Defence force is blaming an “administrative error” but it has led to further claims of a cover-up….”

    Thank goodness for David.

    • Cinny 9.1

      Far out an ‘administrative error’ yup blame the office staff and hope it all goes away.

      Cheers for the link Ian and big ups to the JOURNALIST 😀

  9. Pete 10

    Green MP Jan Logie is right to call out this ignorant man:


    • A church spokeswhatsit responds:

      “If you had heard the whole message it would bring clarity to your perspective and you would not see the need to sensationalise a portion of this message to harvest a story for ‘fake news’.”

      Trump really has provided a role model for conservative arseholes the world over, hasn’t he?

  10. joe90 11

    Clueless and incompetent.

    White House officials apparently waited too long to book accommodations for President Trump, leaving him without a hotel in Hamburg, Germany, as world leaders converge for the G20 summit.


    • Andre 11.1

      I s’pose if they couldn’t find a low-rent backpackers for him he could just schlep back to the airport and doss down in his transport.

  11. ianmac 12

    Polish First Lady slid past Trump to shake Mrs Trumps hand instead. Oops. Tough on Donald’s outstretched hand.

  12. greywarshark 13

    On RT:
    ‘Intentional violence:’ French mayor arrested for knocking down female ex-minister at campaign rally (19 June 2017)
    Things are hotting up politically everywhere.

  13. greywarshark 14

    Tourists – look at these numbers. We are in for the same as our beauty and good nature and stability get milked. For how long?

    2 July 2017

    Europe’s urban tourism is experiencing an unprecedented boom. But cities like Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik can no longer cope with the crowds and are on the verge of collapse. We ask who the actual profiteers are.

    Europe’s urban tourism is experiencing an unprecedented boom. Stimulated by cheap flights offered by budget airlines, a growth in cruise ship tourism and clever marketing strategies, cities like Venice, Barcelona and Dubrovnik are being literally overrun by tourists: 30 million flock to Venice every year, 1.7 million to Dubrovnik, and Barcelona soon expects to attract 10 million visitors.

    Cities can no longer cope with the crowds and are struggling with problems of congestion, mountains of rubbish, soaring rents and empty city coffers. Mass tourism is destroying exactly what tourists love about these cities: their cultural diversity and cosmopolitan lifestyle.

    We show three cities that are turning their authenticity and unique atmosphere more and more into a lucrative business model that is ultimately damaging both citizens and tourists. The winners are international consortiums and investors that support a kind of tourism that brings profits only to a few and socializes the losses. But residents have had enough.

    Protest movements are emerging in all three cities. We meet mayors, tourism experts, political activists, residents and victims. Venice & Co are on the verge of collapse. Can they still be saved?

    This refers to a video that can be seen on RT at certain times – have to check the site on the link.

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