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GMO's.....yes or no?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:53 am    Post subject: GMO's.....yes or no? Reply with quote

I know there is already a thread in the Galley regarding GMO's but I would be interested as to what the folks here think. Do you eat foods with GMO's? I used to be ok with it but more and more I have concerns. I heard on NPR that Monsanto is now splicing genes of a winter beetle into corn to make it more resistant to cold. I thought that is crazy but behold, it's happening frequently now.

www.pbs.org/pov/hybrid/getinvolved_article.php
Quote:
Genetic engineering is the process of breaking the natural boundaries that exist between species to produce new life forms that will produce a variety of desired traits. For example, genes from salmon can be spliced into tomatoes to make them more resistant to cold weather, thereby yielding a larger crop when the weather is less than favorable. Hybridization is the fertilization of the flower of one species by the pollen of another species-or artificial cross pollination (right?).



This is a bit one sided but has some interesting information.
www.responsibletechnology.org/10-Reasons-to-Avoid-GMOs
Quote:
10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

2. GMOs contaminate―forever.
GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
Most GM crops are engineered to be "herbicide tolerant"―they deadly weed killer. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.

Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in "superweeds," resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments' superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn't require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie. Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA's own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto's former attorney, later their vice president. He's now the US Food Safety Czar.

6. The biotech industry uses "tobacco science" to claim product safety.
Biotech companies like Monsanto told us that Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. They are now using the same type of superficial, rigged research to try and convince us that GMOs are safe. Independent scientists, however, have caught the spin-masters red-handed, demonstrating without doubt how industry-funded research is designed to avoid finding problems, and how adverse findings are distorted or denied.

7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
Scientists who discover problems with GMOs have been attacked, gagged, fired, threatened, and denied funding. The journal Nature acknowledged that a "large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge." Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored.

8. GMOs harm the environment.
GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists' 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were "highly variable" and in some cases, "yields declined." The report noted, "Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable." They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out. In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America's dairies.

The Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to achieve a tipping point against GMOs in the US. The number of non-GMO shoppers needed is probably just 5% of the population. The key is to educate consumers about the documented health dangers and provide a Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make avoiding GMOs much easier.



It seems Europe has a very different perspective on GMO's.

www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm
Quote:

Countries & Regions With GE Food/Crop Bans
From GENET, the European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
(genetnl@xs4all.be):

Dear friends,

With its new GE free Newsletter GENET will inform about the
wordwide increasing activities of citizen groups that call for GE
free zones and try to convince their municipalities, governments
or private companies to ensure a GE free status of a distinct
region or certain commodities. The aim of this grassroot movement
is not to work as an isolated group but to establish a worldwide
network of like-minded organizations and to steadily increase and
connect GE free zones.

Below you will find a short summary on different regions which have
declared to be GE free by banning some or all GE crops from their
territory. This list is by far not complete nor can we provide all
respective official documents related to GE free zones. If you know
more GE free zones, have relevant articles or even can supply us with
copies of official documents, do not hesitate to contact GENET at
genetnl@xs4all.be.

Yours,
Hartmut Meyer

EU AND ITS MEMBER STATES

The recently adopted revised EU regulation 90/220 on deliberate
release does not contain direct provisions to enable Member States
to declare GE free zones. A respective amendment introduced by
the Parliament to give national authorities the unqualified power to
take action to protect environmentally sensitive areas was lost. The
safeguard clause on health and environmental protection derived from
the EU Treaty, known in the existing 90/220 as Article 16, still exists
as a mechanism for national protection but is intended to be only a
short-term measure pending arbitration at EU level. In practice this
Article has been invoked so far by six member states without any
enforcement measures being taken by the Commission to repeal the
bans.

Italy: The four regions Tuscany, Molise, Lazio and Marche and
around 25 provinces, cities and communes banned GE crops,
including Rome, Milan, Turin, Brescia and Genoa. These are all
democratically-taken decisions in local or regional councils and
in the case of Tuscany, the result has been ratified by the national
government - the decision means that regional governments have
been given the authority under Italian law to overturn decisions
taken at EU level.

Austria: Bans on three GE maize (Novartis, Monsanto and AgrEvo),
the Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas is
pressing for GM free legislation and published a study on GE-free
zones, initiatives in the States of Vorarlberg and Salzburg to ban GE
trials.

France: ban of PGS and AgrEvo HR rapeseed

Germany: Ban of Novartis Bt maize. The initiative "No GE on
communal land" of BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) launched
activities in several German communities to discuss and vote on the
GE-free resolutions. Application are launched in: Bad Vilbel,
Blauenstein, Lahr, Konstanz, Hannover, Hamburg. Application are
accepted in: M¸nchen, Reutlingen, Freidrichsdorf, Blomberg, Seligenstadt,
Niddatal, Maintal, Riedstadt, Adendorf, Schwebheim, Pinneberg,
Schwabach, Langenhagen, Wyhe, Burgdorf, Neetze, District Traunstein.
Several protestant regional church organisations: banned GE crops from
their land: Hannover, Hessen und Nassau, Sachsen, Protestantic Church
of Westfalen, Protestantic Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Church Province
of Sachsen.

Luxembourg: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

Portugal: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

Greece: Ban of AgrEvo HR rapeseed, moratorium of GE crop trials.

Spain: The Basque Government went for a five year blanket
moratorium for GMOs. The Basque Government claims full powers
for agricultural policy and thus that they can provisionally ban GMOs
if they so wish. The three provinces of Castilla-La Mancha and Baleares
banned GE food, AndalucĚa declared a five year moratorium on GE
crop trials and GE food.

UK: The Church of England has refused permission for GE crop trials
on 60,000 hectares of its land, dozens of local authorities supply GE
free school lunches, the House of Commons banned GE foods for its
catering. The vote of the Welsh Assembly to keep Wales GE free was
counteracted by the ministry of Agriculture approving a GE maize variety.
The Island of Jersey banned GE crops.

OTHERS

Switzerland: Although a center of GE science and industry, only two
trials with GE potatoes in 1991/92 have been performed until now.

Norway: Banned the import of several GE crops and products which
contain antibiotic resistance genes.

Australia: The State of Tasmania banned GE rapeseed as weed,
Western Australia has banned commercial GE planting. Australian
States are given the right to declare themselves GE free. Some
communities (e.g. Bondi/Sydney, West Wimmera Shire) declared
themselves GE free.

New Zealand: Some local bodies in Auckland and Wellington have
declared themselves GM free. Trials with GE salmon have been blocked
by the government.

Thailand: Banned imports of 40 GE crops for commercial planting,
but not for research purposes.

Philippines: The community of Valencia called for a five-year
moratoria on GE food and GE crop trials and commercialization.
The Philippine president announced a moratorium on GE crop
research.

Saudi Arabia: Banned food that are made from GMOs and declared not
to import GE wheat.

Egypt: Declared not to import GE wheat.

Algeria: Banned the import, distribution, commercialisation and
utilization
of GE plants except for research purposes.

Brazil: Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil
for the time being, the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso
do Sul have declared their intentions to remain GM-free, 18 States
called upon the Central government to block commercial GE crop
planting.

Paraguay: The Ministry of Agriculture plans to ban GE crops from
commercial planting.

USA: Various bills calling for moratoria on GE food (Vermont), bans
of GE wheat (North Dakota, Montana) have been filed within the last
year. Several municipalities declared moratoria on GE food
(Burlington/Vermont), bans of GE crops (City of Boulder/Colorado),
or urged the federal government to ban GE food (City and County of
San Francisco/California). Many attempts to adopt such bills or
resolutions failed in the past.


So I am wondering, do you eat GMO foods and why/why not?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Against it. Monsanto delenda est. They are the most evil company in all the world, in my opinion.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They're fine, and Monsanto is doing some cutting edge, interesting techniques to bring us better produce than nature ever dreamed.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like to think of it like this: we all ready genetically alter our food through botany... how many variations of apples have we created? What's different from GMOs than what we do with botany except: it's quicker to what we want and oooo, GMOs are new and scary Rolling Eyes

Here's the other thing: through GMOs we have this thing called Golden Rice which can be easily grown and is highly nutritious... it could go a long way to combating malnutrition in third world countries. But nooooo, the relatively richer white people that can afford more food than they can eat say its bad, that it is better that these people are malnourished, or that less food is grown with older and more dangerous herbicides because they see so much better in their ivory towers.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If somebody can produce crops that require less water, produce higher, more nutritious yields and can be grown more easily, I'm all for that.

I'm not in favour of companies making sterile crops to force people to continue buying seed, or trademarking genomes etc. though.

--A
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my favorite products from Monsanto are these tiny bell peppers. I use them in my salads at least 3 times a week. You can chop one up and use it completely, instead of leaving half a bell pepper to dry out and go bad. They taste awesome, too.

The latest innovations from Monsanto don't actually genetically modify the food itself, but instead uses genetic techniques to vastly speed up the selection process of particular traits in already occurring varieties of natural or hybrid plants. Then it can choose those for selective breeding, just like we've been doing for 1000s of years, except on a much compressed time scale.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my least favorite of modified veggies is tomatoes... bred for thicker skin so they transport better.....blech...

oh and picking veggies prior to being ripe and spraying Ethylene on them after they get to the store so they will ripen. Makes tomatoes have zero taste and makes bananas get rotten too fast.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, store bought tomatoes are still a problem. I hope Monsanto gets on that.

Until then, I'm babying my tomato plants as long as I can, covering them up on cold mornings. They're still producing tomatoes every day.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sigh.........guess I should have left this in the Galley.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm for GMOs.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As a species we've been genetically modifying animals for 25,000 years and plants for 10,000. There isn't one major cereal food crop that isn't far different from its wild ancestor. It doesn't bother me.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

lorin wrote:
sigh.........guess I should have left this in the Galley.
Why do you say that?
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
If somebody can produce crops that require less water, produce higher, more nutritious yields and can be grown more easily, I'm all for that.

I'm not in favour of companies making sterile crops to force people to continue buying seed, or trademarking genomes etc. though.

--A


I concur. If someone will actually make crops which will help put food into the hands of people who need it the most then I see no problem with them being modified. Now...if only the governments in those places will quit stealing all the food away from its own citizens and selling it on the black market to line their pockets....but it isn't like that is going to change any time soon.

Trademarking genetic sequences is ridiculous in any event. What happens if your trademarked sequence is found in something that occurred naturally? Are you going to sue Mother Nature? Besides, it is only a matter of time before GMO crops somehow wind up being distributed into places where they weren't seeded and begin growing naturally. If Farmer John didn't buy your GMO seed but your GMO crops are in his field then he isn't liable for what the birds did.

My only concern with GMO is what happens if an unintended consequence occurs? What happens if a GMO rice strain causes a rogue protein to be created in people who ingest the rice? Your product could kill millions of people before the cause is discovered and eliminated.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hashi Lebwohl wrote:

[color=green
Trademarking genetic sequences is ridiculous in any event. What happens if your trademarked sequence is found in something that occurred naturally? Are you going to sue Mother Nature?

Besides, it is only a matter of time before GMO crops somehow wind up being distributed into places where they weren't seeded and begin growing naturally. If Farmer John didn't buy your GMO seed but your GMO crops are in his field then he isn't liable for what the birds did.[/color]


To the first, at least one court ruled a couple months or a year ago that naturally occurring sequences can't be patented. But that the exact procedures they used to isolate them can. [if you can isolate it a different way, you're fine]. And they CAN patent one if they create it from scratch. No one has done that yet [though they've added artificial pieces/parts to natural ones]. So it's only a matter of time.
I think the case...and others similar...are in the pipeline. New ones and appeals of existing ones.

To the second, that has already happened at least twice. The company sued the farmers and won. Stupid. Wrong.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is this where I post a link to Scorched Earth? Wink

I learned something interesting about quinoa when I was doing research for that book. The reason it's so expensive is that Monsanto and its brethren haven't figured out yet how to modify it so that it grows well anywhere but its native habitat in Bolivia -- and the small farmers there can't keep up with demand. Ah, here's the article:

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/07/11/quinoa-should-be-taking-over-the-world-this-is-why-it-isnt/

I'm not crazy about modified seeds, although I'm not rabidly against it. After all, the practice has been around since Gregor Mendel. Wink It's the predatory patent activity that make me so suspicious of Big Ag.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pandora's box.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vraith wrote:

To the second, that has already happened at least twice. The company sued the farmers and won. Stupid. Wrong.


Beat me to it. Very Happy

Ali, here's another interesting thing about quinoa...it used to be a staple diet in Bolivia, but it's rising commercial value have forced local people to turn to less expensive and less nutritious alternatives, causing nutrition problems in the population.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Vraith wrote:

To the second, that has already happened at least twice. The company sued the farmers and won. Stupid. Wrong.


Beat me to it. Very Happy

Ali, here's another interesting thing about quinoa...it used to be a staple diet in Bolivia, but it's rising commercial value have forced local people to turn to less expensive and less nutritious alternatives, causing nutrition problems in the population.

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Not entirely true. One of the issues is not necessarily that it is not available, but that they want to eat noodles and rice (those are exotic to them!).
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's not unavailable, it's just become much more expensive.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 27, 2016 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

*poof* Thread necromancy.

In related news, more shoppers are buying products labelled "natural" these days...only...there is no indication as to what "natural" really means, from a legal/food label point of view.


Quote:
The U.S. has a confused consumer epidemic — more shoppers are seeking foods labeled "natural" despite not fully understanding what the claim means.

The percentage of people who regularly buy food labeled natural has grown from 59% in 2014 to 62% in 2015, yet confusion abounds, according to research out Wednesday from Consumer Reports. The study shows the majority of people don't know what they're paying for when it comes to natural labels. At the same time, pressure is mounting to define a term that's never been legally regulated.

At least 60% of people believe a natural label means packaged and processed foods have no genetically modified organisms, no artificial ingredients or colors, no chemicals and no pesticides, according to the study by Consumer Reports. And 45% think that natural is a verified claim. It's not.

In fact, none of those attributes is necessarily true, because use of the word is not regulated. At least, not yet.

The report comes as the Food and Drug Administration takes a closer look this year at how the term is used, whether it should be defined and how. A public comment period is taking place through May 10, according to the FDA site.

"Natural" is a seemingly straightforward word that's taken on an increasingly confounding meaning as our food preferences and definition of health evolve. The FDA does not formally define the word, meaning its use isn't regulated by any law. A "longstanding policy" interprets it to mean nothing artificial or synthetic has been added to a food that wouldn't normally be expected in that food, according to the FDA website. But the policy isn't intended to address food production, processing or manufacturing methods.

Organizations, including Consumer Reports and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, have been urging the FDA to define the term in recent years, as shoppers have moved away from processed and packaged foods and food companies have pledged to phase out artificial ingredients.

The lack of federal oversight, some say, is leading shoppers to make value-based decisions that end up being meaningless.


This is just like the word "organic", which doesn't mean what you think it means when you see it at the grocery store.
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