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back to article Agriboffins' site downed by DDoS after GM protest

Agricultural research institute Rothamsted Research was pulled offline in a DDoS attack just hours after police stopped protestors destroying a GM crop trial at the facility. Rothamsted said that the site was down from Sunday afternoon until this morning after distributed denial of service attack. The cyber-strike came after …

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For more insight:

http://rogerpielkejr.blogspot.com/2012/05/uk-gm-wheat-war-not-really-about.html

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Anonymous Coward

Same old, same old

I used to work for Syngenta*, who do similar stuff. Their boffins were working on barley crops which grew at half the vertical height of standard grain in order to be more resistant to monsoon conditions and high winds in the Third World, thus feeding more people and er, saving a lot of lives.

Hippies attacked them regularly. I dread to think how many people those hippies killed.

*unworthy of the exalted title of "boffin", I was merely writing controller software and database links for an awesome robot they built that automates retrieval of samples. It was a very cool project. And it came in on time.

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Re: Same old, same old

you had me up until you said that the project came in on time.

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Re: Same old, same old

Hope those third world farmers can afford the inflated prices of that special seed

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Same old, same old

Third world farmers can barely afford dirt. The major sales vector for this type of grain is aid agencies, and they don't exactly pay in fucktons either.

As I was told at the time, the markup over non-GM grain is about 10-15% but the yield improvement is far higher. And no, it didn't have a genetic off-switch because they'd signed up to an EU-wide code of practise that outlawed them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "I dread to think how many people those hippies killed"

Zero.

See also: an instance of copyright infringement is not equivalent to a sale lost, if you'd like an IT angle.

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FAIL

Re: Same old, same old

More to the point, many times when people destroy a field of GM material, they end up releasing it into the wild by accident.

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Luddites

These ninnycompoops seem to want us to move back to the caves. I wish they would.

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Re: Luddites wanting us to move back to the caves

They do indeed.

See this El Reg report on the WWF's latest efforts if you want proof.

These tree-hugging idiots won't be happy until the whole human race has reverted to the chimpanzee stage.

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Their own worst enemies

What confuses the issue is the behaviour of the big US bioengineering corporations in developing infertile seed which forces third world farmers to buy new seed every year.

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WTF?

darn hippies

I'm all for them when they want to save whales or prevent fur farming etc.

I mean leather I have no problem with, we use every part of the cow, we eat it, wear it and give the remainder to dogs as treats. But when its animals bread purely for fur and the meat goes to waste that's just pitiful.

But this isn't saving lives of anything, claiming GM is evil is just... stupid. I mean hell half of the GM crops are just speeding up natural processes. Why spend 20 years carefully selecting different types of wheat and cross cultivating until you by luck more than skill get the desired results when you can speed up the process to a fraction of that time. GM is just accellerated food.

I mean, these same people might as well fly over to africa and rip up all the water pumps charities have put up because its not natural for african children to have access to clean water.

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Re: darn hippies

"I mean hell half of the GM crops are just speeding up natural processes."

You really don't know anything whatsoever about GM do you?

And as to your comment re. using the leather and meat going to waste: What about all those places where the meat is used but the leather goes to waste because the hippies didn't stop to ask what's really going on before screaming bloody mureder? (for an example of that, look to Greenland where 10s of thousands of seal skins go to waste every year because it's impossible to sell them nowadays)

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Megaphone

Lets take a good long look here

GM is not the same as cross pollination, wheat does not pollinate with mint or jellyfish. It is a grass and therefore pollinates with grasses.

No one actually knows the down side of GM crops, we just have some science that could be proved wrong over the long term, but it could also be proved right.

This particular GM experiment could cause issues in the insect worlds food chain, the jury is still out.

I am not against feeding the world, but I am against feeding the world if it means the fragile ecosystem is screwed up.

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Re: Lets take a good long look here

Fragile eco-system?

Now there's a matter for debate.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/04/kareiva_new_environmentalism_essay/

Besides, personally, I'm quite happy to wipe out whole food chains for the sake of humanity. Now before you argue that it's not up to people to make these decisions and we can't play god yadda yadda blah blah blah, bear in mind that children are dying.

Won't somebody please think of the children!

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Mushroom

Re: Lets take a good long look here

We will never get that data as these fools keep ripping the experiments out of the ground.

The hippies seem to think the GM crops will "infect" the other crops. How will they do that exactly? Get real, go back to school and learn somthing.

I used the word other above to describe todays crops as they are anythign but natural, they do not exist in nature. They were GM by Man (not sexist, as it was men that did it) over several generations to create new breeds of plant purely for agriculture. Just like their dog. Go and find one in the wild your f**king retard. This IS genetic modification. Natural Selection is genetic modificaiton. Just because we haven't gone "hands-on" so to speak with the genes till now means nothing. Genes carry the traits and "design" of all living things. So rather than selectively bredding for generations we can just add the gene to the plant to add the trait. Simples. You are more likely to see a freak or a mutation occur naturely in nature. Having said that, genetic mutations are fundamentally natural and a vital element to natural selection.

GM is the next natural step in this process, we are simply removing the random element. This means no freaks, or mutations. We can cleanly and safely add in just one or two traits to a plant and completely change is agricultural outlook. These experiments are takign place to prove this, to prove it is safe. Personally I wouldn't bother. Sensible educated people need evidence to show somethign is what it is, i.e. safe in this case. But we already have a good idea that it will be fine.

Hippes are like religious people. All the evidencce in the world (or the lack of it!) will not change their mind. Just tel; the hippies not to worry, you are not doing this for their beneift. If they want to live "naturally" remove all electirical equipment from their persons and crush their cars.

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Re: Lets take a good long look here

Don't worry. God does not exist.

If you want to troll or flame, please backup any arguments with EVIDENCE. If you have none (which you don't) please STFU.

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Re: Lets take a good long look here

You need to Google 'monsanto cross polination'. You'll see that non-GM crops can become, legally, GM crops without any action by the non-GM cropowner.

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@ukgnome (was: Re: Lets take a good long look here)

"GM is not the same as cross pollination, wheat does not pollinate with mint or jellyfish."

Not exactly true, ukgnome ... DNA is a funny thing.

I have Merlot grapes here that have Eucalyptus genes. I didn't do it (not on purpose, anyway, because I don't like the flavo(u)r of Vaporub in my plonk). I continue to grow them, press them, and ferment them, as a favo(u)r for UC Davis.

Ravenswood Winery also has a Merlot with a hint of a Eucalyptus background note ... I don't know if they have had the DNA checked, but the grapes are grown in the field alongside the road leading up to the tasting room, lined with huge Eucalyptus trees.

The Universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we can imagine ... Simak, not Clarke.

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Flame

RE: Lets take a good long look here)

Read Again

I said that wheat doesn't - it's a grass, and by nature it doesn't.

As for every one else that clicked the down arrow i think you may all need to do a bit of reading. And I don't mean the daily mail.

In nature some plants will / do hybrid themselves with all manner of other plants, although usually they do have a common link. (and animals with other animals of similar species) In this instance the wheat does not. I am not against modification, if I was i would be damming the whole human race.

But creating a strain of wheat that deters aphids whilst at the same time encourages insects that feed of aphids is a backwards step. If all the ladybirds are busy trying to live in an environment that has no food source then they will die. No one wants that, as the aphids that stay away will take a foot hold and then we'll be back to pesticide.

Thank goodness I work in IT where I can just reboot, reinstall or replace.

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Joke

Re: Lets take a good long look here

I don't have a problem with God. It's just his fanclub I can't stand.

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Is it just me, or are Anon becoming the al qaida of "hacking" these days? For every new ddos or password pile leak in the news, you get some nefarioius new group who claims or is rumoured to be linked to them. It's getting silly.

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They're not becoming like that, they've always been that way. Anyone can fly the Anonymous flag so long as they don't reveal their identity. This is why the Anonymous hacktivist* group often has disparate or even conflicting goals.

*I really hate that word...

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Much like with nuclear I really don't get peoples irrational fear of gm.

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Irrational and moronic hyperbole and soundbites from those against GM, worthless box shouting from those that willfully know better and spread ignorance.

The worst kind of person, those that know beyond doubt they are wrong, yet still beat their drum. To be against GM is to be against progress and feeding the planet, it is quite literally a black and white issue.

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Joke

really?

I thought it was Monsanto Green (R) and Agent Orange (R), not old, untrademarked black and white.

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Angel

genetically modified wheat?

Now I really am fucking scared! Is this like worse than the Day of the Triffids? Actually no - what about domesticated dogs, big tasty cows, nice colourful flowers? How long have we been doing this shit now?

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Re: genetically modified wheat?

We have been genetically modifying wheat for at least the last twelve thousand years. Wheat is a grass, but it is most emphatically NOT natural in any shape or form. For a start, it is hexaploid. Most plants and animals are diploid, and run with effectively two copies of their genome (one from mother, one from father) in each cell. Wheat and barley have six whole genomes in each cell; the plant originated as three different grasses that got combined over hundreds of generations and propagated on.

What the Rothamsted scientists have done is a step on from what I was looking at during my PhD work (which was partly at Rothamsted, part at Aberystwyth). I was looking at the sex pheromones of a nematode parasite of potatoes; I largely came to the conclusion that trying to use the sex pheromone as a control method to prevent males finding females was a hiding to nothing due to the small scale involved with soil pests.

Insect pests are a whole different ball game, and aphids actually make a very, very good target for this sort of approach. Aphids have a weird life cycle; most of the year they are all female, pumping out clones of each other. All the aphids on one plant are thus very close relations, so it is genetically favourable for alarm phermones to be used; one aphid gets killed and eaten by a rampaging ladybird, but in dying raises the alarm and lets the rest of its family know that trouble is on the way.

Spraying crops with synthetic alarm pheromone works and works well, but as the stuff is very volatile, it evaporates quickly. Slow-release formulations work better, but best of all is having the plant release the alarm pheromone its self. The great thing about this is that it only affects a few species of aphids, it doesn't contaminate the environment or lead to pesticide/herbicide resistence elsewhere, and it isn't toxic to humans. The crop is also going to be much friendlier to people on account of having had far fewer doses of insecticide applied to it.

These activists are basically Luddite idiots. With GM crops as with any other crop breeding innovation, copyright applies. As soon as the crop goes out of copyright, the cost goes down. It won't go down all the way to normal, as the producers will probably have engineered it as an F1 hybrid (save the seed and you don't get nearly as many resistent plants), but nonetheless this innovation does effectively get put into the public domain eventually.

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Stop

How to spot an Anon Op.

Lack of scientific thought - check!

Lack of imagination - check!

Lack of technical skill - check!

Bandwagon-humping - check!

Petty vandalism dressed up as "caring concern for The People" - check!

Yes, it's the Anonyputzs alright.

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Anonymous Coward

heh - anti GM folks are fucking retarded.

Oh noes you generate anti-pesticide crop NOT ALLOWED

next day

Oh noes pesticide killing some shit animal, NOT ALLOWED

Meanwhile - world population grows, needs more food, EAT THE FUCKING HIPPIE ERAGOJRAGORGOPAEJRGHEROPAJHAETOJAEROAET{TBHO

All the rage. I hate those retards, use them as pig feed.

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Childcatcher

Spot the techie website commenters!

Here are some points against GM and they aren't all scientific issues:

Anti-GM activists != luddites. You can always shut down a factory when you discover that putting mercury into the rivers is a bad idea. It's very difficult to get rid of something which you've specifically introduced because it will be more successful than what was there before. Just ask the Australians about cane toads.

We already have enough food to feed the world. The reason people starve is down to politics and finance. If the issue isn't agricultural, the solution is unlikely to be agricultural.

Industrial-scale agriculture tends to increase the scale of production and tends to monoculture. Thriving eco-systems tend to be diverse. Assuming GM pest-resistance works, your pests may well be wiped out, just as effectively as using pesticides. The question becomes, have you accounted for wiping out that population (do any beneficial species need that pest), or do your accountants only look as far as the farmers? Could you end up with another pest because you've accidentally removed the food source for a predator which keeps it at bay? Again, ask the Australians how removing large quantities of conches has altered the crown-of-thornes population and its impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

GM can steamroll over other people's rights. GM is about ecosystems and not industry. Building a nuclear power plant next to a iphone factory does not affect the iphones. Planting GM crops next to a non-GM farm does affect the rights of those who don't want the "product" just as spraying pesticide from an aeroplane might affect people living in a house next to the field being sprayed.

Soil quality and food quality. You might be able to increase production but does the food nourish you? Those nutrients have to come from somewhere, mostly the ground. If you increase production (by GM means or simply intensive cultivation) you've got more food with fewer nutrients. In a lab you can compensate for this, but the question is whether the farmers in the real world will. Are you just increasing orange production by increasing the water content of the oranges? "Feeding the world" is a noble aim, but in the real world, money talks and it generally talks in terms of kilograms produced and sold, not in how healthy the people are. This isn't strictly a GM issue, but GM can increase the problem.

Point-of-sale qualities. Everyone like nice red tomotos, correct? (Somewhat) Wrong. People like ripe tomatos and the redness is an indicator. Now imagine if you you could make unripe tomatos look red using genes from a fish. You would sell more than the mix of half-green and red tomatos in the next stand, "because the market wants it." In fact, the market has been lied to.

Do we need more? "Helping the 3rd World" is fine, but where are these innovations used? Do we need more corn, wheat or rice in the West? While more gluten in the bread is great for fluffy bread which is a boon for jam-makers and dairy farmers (less substance per slice=>more slices->more jam & butter) overly cheap wheat (corn/soy) makes its way into all sorts of things where it doesn't need to be. It thickens soups, as it is cheaper than putting in more veg or meat - that sold-by-weight thing again. Pretend your allegic to corn, soy or gluten/wheat and check your supermarket products to see what is left that you could eat. Seriously, we (in the west) don't need this stuff. The developing world doesn't need us dumping it on the world market, subsidised by our taxes either.

Nutritionists generally say "pasture-to-plate" in as few stages as possible is the healthiest option, because industrial intervention generally turns out to be not for my good. I dislike the idea of industry getting in there and messing around with my food. The problem with GM is that it tends to spread. Again, it isn't just a GM problem. Cows being pumped full of hormones to keep them producing milk when it isn't natural for them to do so, has been going on for ages.

I had to laugh (and cry a little) at some popcorn imported from the US. I looked down the list of ingredients, popcorn, pecans, corn extract,.... then I looked at the ingredients list the importer had to stick on the can. Sugar, popcorn, pecans... Yes, the original suppliers had sweetened the product with a variety of processed sugars (mostly from grain crops) so that each one was less than the ingredient they wanted to appear first. I don't trust agribusiness to look out for my interests.

The agribusiness corporates are the ones most allied with GM (despite the fine ethics I'm sure the boffins have) because any automation or simplification of the processing reaps great rewards for them. I might trust Foxconn to make a phone for me, but seeing their attitude to costs, profit and employees, I certainly wouldn't trust them with my food.

The issues involved are far-removed from networking and computing. There are no firewalls in the fields. We have the science to mess with the genes of a plant. We don't always have the science to know what the effects of the modification will be globally or in the future and we don't have a fine-tuned legal system which could prevent consumers from being duped into buying something they don't want or which is harmful.

We can't even prevent the banks from doing things they shouldn't. What makes you think we have better control over the food industry?

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Re: Spot the techie website commenters!

IT IS EXACTLY THE SAME AS EQUATING EVERYTHING WITH WORST CASE SCENARIOS ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING.

In the real world however, you're losing, and deservedly so.

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Show me non-GM wheat.

Seriously, show me wheat that hasn't been genetically modified by human beings.

When you get stumped by that conundrum, where do wild Yorkies come from?

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Not news.

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