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In an attempt to combat years of poor public relations, Monsanto has decided to take their case directly to the people through various campaigns. On a new site called The Conversation they are answering questions directly from consumers. [more inside]
posted by Drinky Die on Nov 17, 2014 - 101 comments

Safe at any speed -- until the ignition cuts out

Countless articles have been written about General Motors and its massive recalls earlier this year. What hasn’t been fully told is how GM might have gotten away with multiple counts of consumercide were it not for the efforts of three men: a Georgia lawyer, a Mississippi mechanic, and a Florida engineer.
How an unsafe ignition lock helped kill tens of people and the people who found out the truth about it.
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 30, 2014 - 66 comments

How Not To Fuck Up Tools Like A Goddamned Ape

Walt Disney Studio takes 18 minutes to explain how to use hand tools for General Motors employees
posted by boo_radley on Sep 28, 2014 - 80 comments

In pleasanter anniversary news...

Hey, remember when Oprah gave everyone in her audience a new car (previously)? It was ten years ago tomorrow.
posted by Small Dollar on Sep 12, 2014 - 64 comments

Seeds of Doubt: An activist’s controversial crusade against GM crops

Michael Specter of The New Yorker profiles and critiques prominent anti-Genetically Modified crops activist (and purported leading physicist) Vandana Shiva: "her statements are rarely supported by data, and her positions often seem more like those of an end-of-days mystic than like those of a scientist." [more inside]
posted by Bwithh on Aug 25, 2014 - 89 comments

Controlling the genetics of wild populations, a next step in GM research

New GM technique injects mosquitoes with a gene that results in mostly male offspring, eventually leading to a population crash. Previous efforts to tackle the disease, that kills more than 1 million people each year – most of whom are African children – have included bed nets to protect people and insecticides to kill the mosquito species most responsible for the transmission of malaria (Anopheles gambiae). The new technique by a team at Imperial College London involves injecting mosquitoes with a gene that causes the vast majority of their offspring to be male, leading to an eventual dramatic decline in population within six generations as females disappear. “You have a short-term benefit because males don’t bite humans [and transmit malaria],” Andrea Crisanti, one of the authors of the new research, which was published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday, told the Guardian. “But in the long term you will eventually eradicate or substantially reduce mosquitoes. This could make a substantial contribution to eradicating malaria, combined with other tools such as insecticides.”
These new mosquitoes are now set to be used in Brazil, having been approved for use by the Brazilian government with a factory for their production now opened.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Aug 14, 2014 - 122 comments

The horrrific 2014 GM rolling sarcophagus deathtraps are here!

What do the words "safety," ''chaotic" and "problem" have in common? They're all on General Motors' list of banned words for employees who were documenting potential safety issues. The revelation of the 68-word list is one of the odder twists in GM's ongoing recall of 2.6 million older-model small cars for defective ignition switches. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver weighs in.
posted by Room 641-A on May 19, 2014 - 78 comments

My friend, if we go in the ditch you ain't fuckin' around with Chrysler.

In 1984, the Canadian branch of the United Auto Workers, represented by Bob White, and General Motors Canada, represented by Rod Andrew, sat down to negotiate a new wage agreement. GM had gotten the American UAW to agree to profit sharing and was dead-set on doing the same in the North; the Canadians were bitterly opposed to the idea. By the end of the negotiation, workers had struck, negotiators had been stabbed in the back, White and his allies had split from the UAW to form the CAW, and a compromise was reached that left everyone a bit unhappy - but the workers less so than their managers. Filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson used his unprecedented access to both teams of negotiators to craft Final Offer, "the best collective bargaining film ever made." You can stream the movie in its entirety at the National Film Board's website.
posted by Going To Maine on Apr 13, 2014 - 9 comments

Nuke it from orbit: GM wheat goes rogue in Oregon

NPR: "About a month ago, a farmer in eastern Oregon noticed some wheat plants growing where he didn't expect them, and they didn't die when he sprayed them with Roundup." The wheat was tested and found to be genetically engineered. "Nobody knows how this wheat got to this farm. Monsanto's last field trials in Oregon were in 2001. After all such trials, the genetically engineered crops are supposed to be completely removed. Also, nobody knows how widely this genetically engineered wheat has spread, and whether it's been in fields of wheat that were harvested for food." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Jun 1, 2013 - 125 comments

Unions, Migrations and the Spread of Hockey to the American South

Hard times and hockey on the Nashville Highway
posted by Groundhog Week on Mar 2, 2013 - 7 comments

Sense About Science

With a database of over 5,000 scientists, from Nobel prize winners to postdocs and PhD students, Sense About Science works in partnership with scientific bodies, research publishers, policy makers, the public and the media, to change public discussions about science and evidence. They make these scientists available for questions from civic organizations and the public looking for scientific advice from experts, campaign for the promotion of scientific principles in public policy, and publish neat guides to understanding science intended for laypeople. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Feb 28, 2013 - 9 comments

Over 12 years, 8 million children died from vitamin A deficieny

A Golden Rice Opportunity is an article about how genetically modified 'golden rice' may save millions of children, at least according to Skeptical Environmentalist author Dr. Bjorn Lomborg.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Feb 17, 2013 - 131 comments

Grow More GM, says former anti-GMO activist

Mark Lynas, author of several books on climate change and once a leading figurehead of the anti-GMO movement, has made an about turn on his opinions regarding GM crops. In an address to the Oxford Farming Conference, he stated: "For the record, here and upfront, I apologise for having spent several years ripping up GM crops. I am also sorry that I helped to start the anti-GM movement back in the mid 1990s, and that I thereby assisted in demonising an important technological option which can be used to benefit the environment. As an environmentalist, and someone who believes that everyone in this world has a right to a healthy and nutritious diet of their choosing, I could not have chosen a more counter-productive path. I now regret it completely. So I guess you’ll be wondering—what happened between 1995 and now that made me not only change my mind but come here and admit it? Well, the answer is fairly simple: I discovered science, and in the process I hope I became a better environmentalist." [more inside]
posted by rattleandhum on Jan 4, 2013 - 82 comments

Dont destroy research! vs Take the flour back!

On 27 May, UK protest group Take The Flour Back intends to destroy an open air GM wheat trial at Rothamsted Research, a public institution. A small attack was made on 20 May. Understandably, scientists involved in this research are concerned about the threat, launching a PR program to explain the research [original ACRE advice recommending the trial] and opening a petition against the protests.
posted by wilful on May 21, 2012 - 128 comments

An unlimited source of power.

Something For Nothing.(1940)
Cartoonist Rube Goldberg discusses the perpetual motion device, celebrates America's inexhaustible supply of fossil fuels, and mocks hydroelectric power and other whacky inventions. (A 1930s Jam Handy/GM production.) Previously.
posted by Stagger Lee on Feb 29, 2012 - 14 comments

Reality Sucks

A "remarkably ill-conceived car ad campaign", General Motors tells students to "stop pedaling. . . start driving". GM backpedaled and pulled the ad, according to ABC news (and others).
posted by Man with Lantern on Oct 13, 2011 - 105 comments

Activism should not have to be anti-scientific.

Greenpeace activists, following through on Greenpeace's opposition of Genetically Modified Organisms, have dismayed Australian scientists by raiding a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra and destroying the station's entire experimental crop of genetically modified wheat.
posted by Silverdragonanon on Jul 14, 2011 - 130 comments

Heading for the last Roundup?

Industry regulators have known for years that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide causes birth defects according to a newly released report by Earth Open Source. Regulators knew as long ago as 1980 that glyphosate, the chemical on which Roundup is based, can cause birth defects in laboratory animals... Although the European Commission has known that glyphosate causes malformations since at least 2002, the information was not made public. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Twang on Jun 7, 2011 - 56 comments

The car that goes woosh

Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten somehow talked his way into reviewing a Chevy Volt (GM's new electric vehicle) for 7 hours over 4 days. That's about 6:30 more than most reviewers get to spend with the vehicle. What resulted is a auto review unlike any other you've read before.
Previously on Metafilter.
posted by COD on Jan 28, 2011 - 130 comments

Business in the Front, Party in the Back

After nixing the idea a year ago, Chevy is again toying with the idea of bringing back the El Camino in 2015. The car will be modeled after the Holden Ute, a popular vehicle in Australia.
posted by reenum on Dec 17, 2010 - 68 comments

free parking

The last Hummer has rolled off the line in Shreveport, Louisiana. Although the H3 shared the same chassis as the Chevy Colorado, and the H2 was basically a Chevy Tahoe with a different body, the antipathy toward the gas Goliaths was immense.
posted by four panels on May 26, 2010 - 58 comments

I'm Ed Whitacre from General Motors. We want to make this a company all Americans can be proud of again.

Remember the General Motors bailout? You may have seen the commercial GM has been airing where GM CEO Ed Whitacre brags about paying back this loan "in full with interest, five years ahead of the original schedule". Ever wonder how that was possible? Reason.tv explains. [more inside]
posted by tybeet on May 1, 2010 - 53 comments

SAAB not dead

SAAB lives. Today GM reached a deal to sell (previously doomed) Swedish car manufacturer SAAB, not to Koenigsegg, maker of exclusive sports cars, but to Spyker, maker of exclusive sports cars. The fans are rejoicing.
posted by mr.marx on Jan 26, 2010 - 58 comments

Gotta stop Saabing now

General Motors has decided that Saab has reached the end of the road. [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd on Dec 19, 2009 - 98 comments

When mod doesn't mean truck nutz

Whether it's trailer hitches or complete rebody customizations; Ford, GM and Dodge all provide guides to body builders or upfitters to make safe and reliable modifications to light and medium duty trucks and vans. The guides contain wiring diagrams; dimensions and specifications (eg: how much weight can you put on your van's roof); emissions information; and information on areas to avoid mounting equipment in for safety. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Oct 10, 2009 - 9 comments

gravity

Saturn is no more. "Other industries could learn from the Saturn Corporation. Certainly GM is taking what they have learned from their Saturn investment and incorporating it into their existing plants and facilities where practical. It will not be an overnight experience. Like Saturn, it will take time, investment and a strong commitment to regain the role of world leader in the automobile industry."
posted by plexi on Sep 30, 2009 - 89 comments

The 31-year-old in charge of dismantling General Motors

"There was a time between 4 November and mid-February when I was the only full-time member of the auto task force,” Deese, a special assistant to the president for economic policy, acknowledged recently as he hurried between his desk at the White House and the treasury building next door. “It was a little scary.” [more inside]
posted by 445supermag on Jun 2, 2009 - 26 comments

Karma police, arrest this man

GM is struggling to survive, announcing today tens of thousands of layoffs and plant closings by next year, and eliminating the Pontiac Brand. Meanwhile just a few weeks ago, the president announced a high speed rail plan [pdf] between many major cities. An interesting turn of events since the documentary Taken For a Ride uses interviews and public records to argue that GM deliberately killed off transportation via rail.
posted by cashman on Apr 27, 2009 - 91 comments

War on photographers: no advance, no retreat. Just keep shooting.

Commercial artists have always had it tough, and photographers are no exception. Magazines are folding. Advertising is down. And to make things worse, this week large companies like Omnicom and GM shifted the financial burden to the artist. Some say production insurance, commonly used in film, is the answer. Others recommend fighting the already bad contracts by demanding payment before usage rights are released. Of course, if things go wrong you can always file for bankruptcy.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains on Mar 19, 2009 - 56 comments

The Beast

Apparently, the president-elect is getting a new limousine. Details are sparse, but one thing is certain: it's damned ugly. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin on Jan 16, 2009 - 90 comments

Bridge Loaner? But I hardly know her...

Andrew Ross Sorkin takes apart GM piece by piece. [more inside]
posted by jourman2 on Nov 18, 2008 - 134 comments

Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India

A recent study shows that farmer suicides in India have not increased due to introduction of GM crops The Washington based research organization IFPRI claims that "Bt cotton is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the occurrence of farmer suicides. In contrast, many other factors have likely played a prominent role." Their study has been wielded in the empirical arms race by big pharmaceutical corporations such as Monsanto against NGOs that oppose GM modified crops in India such as Gene Campaign and activists such as Vandana Shiva.
posted by bodywithoutorgans on Nov 8, 2008 - 13 comments

The cars of tomorrow

The cars of tomorrow, today. Link goes to NYT, you may need to use BugeMeNot. [more inside]
posted by fixedgear on Aug 12, 2008 - 9 comments

Global food studies

Exposed: The great GM crops myth. A new study shows some genetically engineered crops (soy, cotton) produce less than equvilent conventional crops. Meanwhile the IAASTD - sort of the IPCC of agriculture composed of 400 experts from around the world - has concluded in a major report that GM crops are not the answer to world hunger and there must be a "paradigm shift" (IAASTD report summary). They predict global demand for food will double in the next 25-50 years, but with the current food crises, some GM crops are already less taboo, but PETA is banking on vat grown meat.
posted by stbalbach on Apr 22, 2008 - 112 comments

General Motors Heritage Center houses four decades of GM's electric drive vehicles

General Motors Heritage Center houses four decades of GM's electric drive vehicles (via Digg)
posted by 445supermag on Mar 13, 2007 - 4 comments

Chevy Volt

The Chevy Volt, GM's new plug-in hybrid electric car. For a customer driving about 40 miles a day or about 15,000 miles a year, compared to a 30 mpg car, the Volt would save about 500 gallons of gasoline per year. If the car is charged every night, the driver should be able to achieve that mileage using virtually no gasoline. That same example would also save 4.4 metric tonnes of CO2 every year from each car. All it needs for mass production is a supplier for its untested lithium ion battery concept.
posted by Brian B. on Jan 7, 2007 - 68 comments

But there are such sweet ass cars out there!

Audi released its new super-sportscar, the R8, at the Paris Autoshow today. With cars like the R8 and the Bugatti Veyron at the top end and the Toyota, Volkswagen or Lexus, there's lots of neat stuff going on in the automotive world...just not from GM, Ford or Chrysler. Maybe it's just me, but pumping out crap like this may be part of the reason. Just guessing.
posted by tgrundke on Sep 27, 2006 - 63 comments

Terminator Seeds

The 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity begins March 20th. On the agenda? The possible overturning of the 2000 de facto moratorium on genetically modified Terminator Seeds. The US, Australian, New Zealand, and most recently Britain are already on board. Other countries and environmental groups are not so keen, and are pushing to ban terminator.
posted by stray on Mar 13, 2006 - 8 comments

Restoring the GM Futurliner

The Futurliners are imposing vehicles, 33 feet long, 8 feet wide and standing 11 feet 7 inches tall at the top of the driver's canopy. The driver's eyes are about 10 feet off the ground and in front of the steering wheels. This site updates a 2002 post on the restoration of one of these magnificent vehicles. via Boing Boing
posted by 327.ca on Jan 23, 2006 - 35 comments

goodness.

Glowing green pigs. Scientists from Taiwan have successfully created a bioluminescent pigs with genes from a jellyfish.
posted by delmoi on Jan 12, 2006 - 33 comments

GM fires 9% of their workforce

General Motors is cutting 9% of their workforce. Some fear it is too little, too late. Chicago Tribune fear this is only the beginning. Detroit News has an FAQ for those affected. A sad day for the US automotive industry indeed.
posted by SharQ on Nov 22, 2005 - 79 comments

When GM food is fed to rats it affected their kidneys and blood counts. So what might it do to humans?

Rats fed GM corn develop abnormalities A new study reveals that rats fed on a diet rich in genetically modified corn develop abnormalities to internal organs and changes to their blood, raising fears that human health could be affected by eating GM food.
posted by Lanark on May 22, 2005 - 73 comments

No 'dead babies' in my beer? Oh my...

In a surprise move, Anheuser-Busch has gone up against some of the biotech firms that would like to grow genetically-modified (GM) rice containing human DNA. The biotech firm that grows it says that their rice contains synthetic human genes which the company hopes to harvest and refine for use in medicines to fight diarrhea and dehydration.

Anheuser-Busch's concerns are not with the science of biotech, but rather the risk of crop-contamination, as has happened with farmers not only in the U.S. and Canada, but all over the world. The USDA has issued rice-tweakers Ventria Bioscience and 300 other biopharmers permission to plant various augmented plants around the country since 1995, but Anheuser-Busch is the first large corporation to threaten a boycott - unusual, because poultry and beef stock (PDF) are fed this kind of thing every day, and have been for the past 20 years. I guess the Budweiser brewers just don't want to see 'dead people' in their suds...

On the flip-side of this occurrence, the response of the anti-stem cell activists has been nothing short of sensory-deprivation. Shouldn't six-packs, cornfields and Porky be given the same human rights as the unborn?

Also related: Contaminated: The New Science of Food (quicktime movie)
posted by vhsiv on Apr 14, 2005 - 31 comments

What's good for General Motors is good for America

GM in trouble: "If you erased the company name from the balance sheet and showed it to a forensic accountant, the recommended treatment would probably be to seek protection from creditors by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. " GM's troubles are as much a result of the exploding costs of health care as they are due to the company's dropping market share. In Canada increasing health care costs (PDF with many charts) are taking a greater and greater share of government expenditures. In the US it's hurting big employers and regular people. But either way the problem doesn't seem likely to get better any time soon.
posted by bowline on Mar 23, 2005 - 44 comments

Weird world Series

Carter defends GM crops



40 years?
posted by magullo on Sep 5, 2003 - 20 comments

Trans Ova Genetics: Pharming Cows

In lieu of today's posts on GM foods and meat, Trans Ova Genetics is pharming cows in hopes of creating one capable of adminstering human antibodies.
posted by hobbes on Aug 25, 2003 - 5 comments

The HRE was neither holy nor roman, talk amongst yourselves (about GMOs)

Today the British government released a major report on the safety of genetically modified foods. According to New Scientist, "existing genetically modified crops and foods pose a 'very low' risk to human health and are 'very unlikely' to rampage through the British countryside", but others disagree.
posted by turbodog on Jul 21, 2003 - 58 comments

GM announces hybrids

GM announces plans to roll out gas/electric hybrid cars for consumers in the next four years -- including pickup trucks and SUVs. Plus a brief discussion of ways to get the general populace to buy hybrid... apparently tax breaks are being mooted? Interesting. The cost increase / gas savings breakdown still isn't as impressive as one might like it to be, though... would you give one a try?
posted by logovisual on Jan 6, 2003 - 24 comments

Only 12 were built.

The GM Futureliner It began with the Streamliner and GM’s 1936 Parade of Progress, the brainchild of inventor Charles F. Kettering. The show was a tremendous success. Redesigned in 1941 and again in 1953, the 12 Futureliners and its band of Paraders were ready to hit the road, set up shop in a town near you, and showcase the marvels of science. Of the original 12 built, 9 have been found, 2 are being used for parts, 1 is for sale, and 1 is being lovingly restored by a group of volunteers. [more inside]
posted by snez on Dec 21, 2002 - 11 comments

GM are looking to the future

GM are looking to the future with plans to get a fuel cell vehicle (dubbed AUTOnomy) on the road by 2010, unlike past attempts where fuel cell powerplants were shoe-horned into conventional cars GM are redesigning it from the ground up with a six inch flat chassis that contains the fuel cell and powertrain allowing them to plonk a variety of different bodies on top all the while cutting costs by being far simpler to produce than conventional cars.
posted by zeoslap on Jul 9, 2002 - 16 comments

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