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I consider myself to be part of the "far left."  I also have multiple scientific degrees and work in the health care field.  I strongly believe that my science background has resulted in my Progressive ideology.  The reason being is Progressivism is a fact and science based ideology, whereas Conservatism is a faith based ideology.  Conservatives offer religious, faith based solutions to social problems.  Moreover, they rely on faith in the "invisible hand" for solutions to the economy, and any free market outcome - whether good or bad - is a moral outcome regardless of its practicality.  Hence, wanting to let the economy hit rock bottom after the financial crisis, because that was the "moral"/free market thing to do.

Why do I bring this up?  Because a biologist recently wrote a diary criticizing the far left for being a home for GMO truthers.  And, unfortunately, Meteor Blades recently promoted GMO nonsense on the front page.

I would probably say that most progressives don't know much about GMO at all because this topic - especially the science behind it - is not discussed nearly as much as something like climate change or evolution.  And this is perfectly all right!  It is impossible to know everything about everything.  You know GMO has something to do with big corrupt corporations (i.e. Monsanto) and there are a lot of people and groups you inherently trust who say GMO is bad, so you are naturally inclined to think of GMO as a negative thing.

However, the great thing about this issue is that is is very science based.  And you can look at independent research to come to a firm, fact-based conclusion on where to stand.  Now there are people with a severe case of cognitive dissonance who, no matter how much science you shove in front of their face, will refuse to accept reality.  I have very little patience - or respect - for these people, whom I call GMO truthers.  For the rest of you hopefully this diary will educate you about this issue and encourage Progressives to distant ourselves from this anti-science crowd.  Being associated with GMO truthers and people of their ilk is making Progressives look bad.

How do you decide which side is scientifically valid?

So I guess we should start of with something very basic: how do we judge if something is scientifically valid, and how do we make scientifically valid arguments?  The most obvious answer is to look at the research.  

But for someone who never took a science class after high school, how do you know what to look for?  Well you look at a number of things.  For one, the study should be relatively recent (ideally within ten years).  But when evaluating a scientific study the first thing I look for is the journal it was published in.  The journal should at least be peer reviewed, where leaders in the field evaluate the research's methodology, analysis, and conclusions for holes and errors.  If the research passes the peer review process then it is worthy for publication.  Not all journals are peer reviewed, and I don't spend a lot of time on those studies that are published in such journals.

Now it is very difficult to wade through all that research on your own.  That is what review articles and meta-analyses are for.  You should look for such articles in peer reviewed journals as well.  They will give an overview of the research on a topic, and often times perform a statistical analysis of compiled data spanning the studies.  

A good tool that I used when I was in school for finding such studies and articles is PubMed, which is a search engine of sorts for scientific research.  Just running a quick search myself I found this recent review which showed no health hazards for GMO products.

Now how do you decide what is right after researching a scientific topic?  Well whatever side has the preponderance of studies supporting its position is generally considered the scientifically valid position to hold.  Certainly there will be some studies supporting the other side, but if you base your position on a minority of studies because of your preconceived opinion then that is confirmation bias.

What is not a valid way to make a scientific argument is to make appeals to authority rather than research.  Because some European political bodies, Senator Merkley, or even a scientist you hold in high esteem espouse an opinion doesn't mean a damn thing unless there is scientific evidence to back it up.

And certainly science could be wrong, but probability wise if there is a well-supported scientific theory and one or multiple anti-science theories the theory with the greatest probability of being right is the scientific theory.  And this is why public policy should rest on science.  Science may not be right all the time, but it gives you the greatest odds of establishing the correct policy.

Dispelling myths regarding GMO

In this section I hope to dispel some myths and frankly bad logic justifying the hatred of GMO pushed by GMO truthers.

Claim: European scientists think GMO is bad

This is not remotely true.  European scientists have disagreed vigorously with European politicians and political bodies over their ignorant and self-destructive actions on this subject (link, link).  More importantly there is very little research coming from European scientists that show a negative impact of GMO.

Claim: GMO causes cancer, autism, diabetes, allergies, etc.

The GMO truther movement was born out of the Natural Movement, which is promoted by the Natural News website.  This movement has pushed every crackpot theory you can think of from fluoride-in-the-water to AIDS/HIV conspiracies.  Some of their nonsense like anti-vaxer conspiracies have taken root among some in the left (i.e. Bill Maher).  Because of this many of the GMO truther claims are strikingly similar to anti-vaxer crap.  You now even have some GMO truthers claiming that GMO causes autism and diabetes.  However, there is little to no scientific support for any of this (see here and here).

Recently, GMO truthers have jumped on a study from France that show rats get cancer from being fed GMO corn.  However, it has been widely panned by the scientific community for poor methodology, statistical fishing, and its results have not been replicated by another study.  If you want to read a detailed explanation of the problems with this study go here.  This situation actually reminds me of the Andrew Wakefield debacle, which is just another parallel between the GMO truther and anti-vaxer movements.

Claim: GMO puts toxins into your foods

Genetic Modification in itself does not put toxins in anything.  Could it? Yes.  Theoretically you could make a plant that spits out cyanide gas, but genetic modification is just a tool.  GM is also used to produce plants that add nutrition to our food.  GM is just a tool or a process.  You can smelt metals to make good things or you can smelt metals to make weapons.  This doesn't mean we should ban smelting.

If you want to ban something ban the product, but banning the technology itself is idiotic and counter-productive because it can be used to make any number of things.

Claim: GMO may or may not be harmful but forcing companies to label their products helps educate consumers

There has been a movement afoot to force companies to label GMO food.  Their argument is whether or not you think GMO is harmful (it is most definitely not) consumers have a right to be informed about what they are eating.  But the problem is labeling GMO foods would only misinform consumers and hurt small farmers who want to use GMO.  Any label would connote something negative, when in fact there is no scientific basis for this.  The government shouldn't force companies to do something that could potentially hurt their brand and has no scientific basis simply to indulge people's ignorant beliefs about an issue.  

Public policy needs to be based on science.  If a company like Whole Foods wants to profit off people's ignorance, well that is their right.  But the government shouldn't force companies to do something that has no scientific basis and could only make consumers more confused.

And if you don't want chemicals in your food we already have a label for that: Organic.  

Basically there is valuable knowledge to be gained from knowing the fat content, sugar content, and the ingredients of your food.  There is nothing valuable to be gained from knowing that your food was in part made from GM.  GM is not an ingredient.  It is a process/technology.  There is just as much scientific basis for labeling GM produced food as labeling food made with a certain brand of tractor: none.

Claim: All of these scientists are Monsanto shills

This is just ridiculous conspiracy theory nonsense.  The industry does fund some science, but not all of it.  This claim is on its face absurd and not worth my time.

Claim: GMO hurts small farmers

Like I said before GM is a technology.  GM in itself doesn't hurt small farmers.  If anything hurts small farmers it is our nations patent laws.  Companies like Monsanto may abuse the patent system, but so do millions of other companies in completely unrelated industries.  A better thing for Progressives to do would be focusing our energies on reforming our nation's patent laws, but like many things with the GMO issue this gets conflated with the technology itself by GMO truthers.

On the flip side, many small farmers want to plant GMO crops, but unnecessary and scientifically baseless regulatory restrictions placed on GMO products could hurt them as well.  So it cuts both ways.

These are only some of the myths pushed by GMO truthers.  I could list countless others, but I don't want to turn this diary into an encyclopedia.  Simply put the science is clear: GM in itself is perfectly safe.  Furthermore, GM could become one of our best tools to alleviate world hunger and malnutrition, but that is only if well-fed Westerners abandon their ignorant fears and get out of science's way.

Originally posted to Obamalover20122 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:38 AM PDT.

Also republished by Science Matters and SciTech.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I see you are being followed by the spinning vase (6+ / 0-)

    of doom

    Trying to stir up trouble?  Progressives are a big tent.

    •  Are we going to let the anti-vaxxers in as well? (10+ / 0-)

      Just saying, at some point a line has to be drawn in the sand, er, make that the mounds of GMO pollen!

      •  Unfortunately (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roadbed Guy, Neuroptimalian, Stwriley

        We have a great deal of anti-vaxxers as well, though not so much on this site. Take folks like Bill Maher, for example.

        Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

        by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:09:17 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Google (GM0s Autism) For 1,700,000 Hits (7+ / 0-)

        And it's all like:

        Autism rates have gone up after GMOs were introduced.  Just a coincidence????

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:43:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not the same thing at all. (8+ / 0-)

        I would oppose anyone who insisted that the fact that what they are being administered are in fact vaccines could be hidden from the people, just as I think consumers have a right to know if the food they are buying contains GMOs (and the specific nature of those GMOs.)

        And I would vehemently criticize any corporation which sued people if they somehow, through no intent of their own, had a vaccine administered to them (a silly scenario, I agree, but analogous to what Monsanto does to farmers.)

        And, contra the diary, there is still credible scientific  question about the safety of GM products, as well as with Roundup itself, which will presumably be used on any "Roundup Ready" crops.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:49:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your first link (5+ / 0-)

          It pretty much lists various concerns that have been raised, and then proceeds to provide the scientific evidence debunking them.

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:06:05 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I read it differently. (7+ / 0-)

            I don't see any successful debunking of all scientific questions there.  I see an open controversy.

            And in light of that (and in the context of industry suppression of independent research), I think demanding labeling is entirely reasonable and not at all on the level of climate change denial or anti-vaccine activism.

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:28:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Indie research is vital (4+ / 0-)

              and the majors are hiding behind the proprietary curtain, in effect not allowing good science to be done.

              .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

              by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:42:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Like Creationism - Teach The Controversy nt (3+ / 0-)

              There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

              by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:07:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Seriously? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                k9disc

                You see no distinction?

                “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:33:59 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Feel Free To Explain nt (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Obamalover20122

                  There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                  by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:55:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  There is absolutely zero scientific support (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kevskos, serendipityisabitch

                    for the Biblical story of creation.  Zip.  Zero.  Nada.

                    There is at least some peer-reviewed research indicating some risks from some GMOs - enough to cause Nature Magazine, for instance, to say:

                    Tidy stories, in favour of or against GM crops, will always miss the bigger picture, which is nuanced, equivocal and undeniably messy. Transgenic crops will not solve all the agricultural challenges facing the developing or developed world, says Qaim: “It is not a silver bullet.” But vilification is not appropriate either. The truth is somewhere in the middle.
                    I defy you to find any reputable scientific journal who have made the analogous statement regarding creationism vs. evolution.

                    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                    by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:55:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  The only verified allegation in that article (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      The Voice from the Cave, HiBob

                      is:

                      GM crops have bred superweeds: True
                      And that's not even really true - the use of pesticides associated with the GM crops have done that.  

                      Of course, if GM crops had not been used, other pesticides would have been used, leading to the development of "superweeds" against them.

                      Bottom line - it is just common sense that you don't (or shouldn't!) overuse a single agent for this purpose.

                      But is this really a scientific controversy?  No, not really - not anymore than the issues associated with resistance to antibiotics, which has become a substantial clinical problem.  But one that can be solved.  Same with the GM crop issues.

                      •  So there can only be an open controversy (3+ / 0-)

                        if the allegation is verified?  Interesting standard you've got there.  

                        Personally, I think if something is unknown (as the section on spread of transgenes is labeled in that article) then that's sufficient to say there is still an open controversy.

                        Furthermore, I fail to see why it's so dangerous to give people information, which is all I ask.  The diarist takes the elitist position that information must be withheld from the public because they are incompetent to use it and therefore might draw the wrong conclusion.  I deeply and fundamentally disagree with such an approach.

                        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                        by jrooth on Fri May 31, 2013 at 05:41:40 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You are saying (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Roadbed Guy, MRDFS

                          that unsupported allegations make for an open controversy?

                          "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                          by happy camper on Fri May 31, 2013 at 06:48:05 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Did you argue for nuclear power in the sixties (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            paz3

                            I bet you did- because your arguments mirror those I heard then.  Introduce gene mixing from different phylums and even kingdoms into the environment and start with the assumption that they are all safe until proven dangerous.

                          •  I, too, would feel better if we had the (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            paz3

                            precautionary principle in effect. That would be nice.

                            I have absolutely zero faith in our regulatory bodies to oversee political and economic giants like Monsanto let alone the titanic industry cartels where they and others like them are the principal members.

                            Nobody should.

                            GMOs are in theory, OK, sure thing, I'm with you there, but GMOs in the hands of rapacious and amoral robber baron corporation is just bad public policy.

                            This diary is offensive, it's a bait and switch - some derivative of the Houle Hoop.

                            Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

                            by k9disc on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:18:25 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I made no arguments (0+ / 0-)

                            in this thread. You have confused me with someone else.

                            I'm just wondering how much lack of evidence is required before there's no open controversy?

                            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                            by happy camper on Fri May 31, 2013 at 11:32:22 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Some GMOs have no additional genes, (0+ / 0-)

                            they just have some (particularly allergens) removed.

                          •  This sounds like an argument from a Creationist (0+ / 0-)
                            Introduce gene mixing from different phylums and even kingdoms
                            you know - God made them separate and commanded them to be so evermore.

                            In reality, genes mix between different phylums and even kingdoms all the time.

                            Humans, for example, have dozens of bacterial genes in their genomes (and even more viral DNA that gawd only knows where it came from in the first place . . ).

                          •  No, I'm saying scientific research (0+ / 0-)

                            with indeterminate results makes for an open controversy.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Fri May 31, 2013 at 07:19:07 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  One man's indeterminate result (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Roadbed Guy

                            is another man's negative result. I'm currently agnostic on this issue, and although I'm deeply suspicious of Monsanto, I try to avoid reading too much into finding very little.

                            "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

                            by happy camper on Fri May 31, 2013 at 11:41:06 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  GMO crops are essentially a technology (0+ / 0-)

                            and like all technologies holds risks if not used properly.

                            For example, a smart phone can kill, if you attribute traffic deaths to them caused by texting.

                            But that is an eminently solvable problem. And not particularly controversial.

                            Of course, there are also claims that they cause brain cancer (well, not just smart phones but cell phones in general) - now that's getting into the controversial area!  

                            But the evidence is rather lacking - but since it is once again impossible to prove a negative (i.e., that brain cancer has never been caused by a cell phone nor will it ever be in the future) - internet scaremongering can continue apace.

                        •  Actually the spread of transgenes (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          happy camper

                          from GMO corn into the 400 heritage maize crops was a big deal when it was published.  That publication of course was later retracted, i.e., there turned out to be no evidence that these crops were contaminated by GMO pollen after all.

                          However, it is difficult to prove a negative - that is, that no plant anywheres, ever, has been "contaminated" with GMO pollen (actually I'd be shocked if that hasn't happened - gene flow through nature (not the magazine!) is ubiquitous and robust).

                          So that was labeled "unknown"

                          I'm surprised that Nature (the magazine) labeled the GMO-caused suicides as false.  To me that is also something that is unknown, and in fact unknowable really.

                          Basically, you * can * label these issues as "controversial" - but to me they are simply questions that have not been fully answered.    There are lots of such open questions in science . .. (e.g., "what causes (most) cancer?"  "how does gravity work?")

                        •   I fail to see why it's so dangerous to give (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          CriticallyDamped
                          I fail to see why it's so dangerous to give  information, which is all I ask.
                          The difference is between requiring information as opposed to  giving it voluntarily.

                          Are people interested in knowing if a food item is Organic? Absolutely.

                          Are producers legally required to label organic foods Organic? No. Are farmers and producers required to document every single organic practice or product they use, even if they are not pursuing organic certification? No. Do they have to transfer that documentation to wholesalers, etc, and then label the final product with "made with Organic ingredients or practices"? No.  

                          There is a big market for GMO free goods; I'm all for a voluntary certification/labeling process for farmers and producers who wish to enter it.

                        •  You can get the goddamned information. (0+ / 0-)

                          It is not difficult to find out if a given company's products are made using crops that were grown from seeds that have been "genetically modified" in some way.  The internet exists, fucking use it.

                          Giving people information is not dangerous.  Forcing companies to put misleading information of their products IS.    Further, relying on the advertising that appears on packaging to make your health decisions is incredibly fucking stupid.  Do the research, and make your own decisions.  If you're not qualified to do that, then you're not qualified to participate in the discussion in the first place.

                          Any questions?

                          •  Really? You think what crops were used (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            progressivevoice

                            to produce every product can be found on the internet?  Bullshit.

                            And there's nothing "misleading" about requiring the ingredients list to say (for example) "Roundup ready corn" instead of just "corn" - you've got a damn peculiar concept of "misleading" if you think otherwise.

                            And as for your condescending crap about whether I'm qualified to participate in the conversation - go fuck yourself.

                            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

                            by jrooth on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 08:03:47 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Kicked out? ReaLLY? (35+ / 0-)

    You have an opinion based on what you read and choose to believe.

    Many people do not trust Monsanto or any other mega million corporation to have our best interests at heart when it comes to our health or our pocket books.

    I for one am not convinced this is for world hunger,  more like Monsanto bottom line.

      Call me a silly truther if you will, you have not convinced me otherwise.

    My Brothers Keeper

    by Reetz on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:46:16 AM PDT

    •  Progressives need to decide if their movement (8+ / 0-)

      is going to be based on science or not

      •  Science is good, so is information, so I just want (16+ / 0-)

        labeling and then I can decide for myself

        •  Should every hyrbrid plant you eat (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PJEvans, sagesource, gabjoh, elijah311

          Be specifically labeled to include the details of every gene exchanged?

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:12:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

            •  If people (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              elijah311

              Have some religious/philosophical objection to GMO foods, they can buy organic or shop at a place like Whole Foods.

              Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

              by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:20:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Why? (8+ / 0-)

              I'm certainly sympathetic to the argument that consumers have the right to know. I think the diarist, in his argument against labeling, is extraordinarily dismissive to a consumer's right to know what's being purchased. But what is the rationale for avoiding all GMO's? There is no scientific basis for arguing all GMO's are bad anymore than there is for arguing that labeling is misleading.

              •  Even hard to label. . . (9+ / 0-)

                Genetic modification has been going on since the beginning of the agricultural age. Our "corn" cannot be found anywhere in the natural environment, it is a blend (genetic modification) of a number of precursor species that central americans developed long ago.

                So, it is hard for me to come up with a true definition of what is genetically modified. True, there is a new, more direct way to exchange genetic material in a petri-dish rather than a seed and like anything new, there are dangers associated with it. Using caution is just sensible.

                But, labeling "Genetically Modified" as being something in and of itself to be suspicious of? No,  I worry far more about the chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

                Blessed are the peacemakers, the poor, the meek and the sick. Message to Repug Fundies: "DO you really wonder "what would Jesus do?" I didn't think so.

                by 4CasandChlo on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:50:51 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wholeheartedly agree (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  NYFM, 4CasandChlo

                  I think a GMO label would be almost without value. I suspect quite a bit of produce currently labeled "organic", would also qualify for the GMO label.

                  •  It would be of great value (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ebohlman

                    if the agenda was to create distrust among consumers. GM labeling, by design, is to intentionally discredit the process.

                    •  Anyone remember the proposals in the (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      HiBob

                      late '90s to add a new rating to the TV rating system? It was called the "HC" rating. The arguments for it were pretty much the same as the ones for GMO labeling: it would enable parents to make an informed choice about what shows they'd let their kids watch.

                      Needless to say "HC" stood for "homosexual content" and would have applied to any show that depicted gay characters (it was largely a reaction to "Will and Grace" and "Ellen"). The only groups supporting it were well-known anti-gay groups.
                       

                      Sometimes truth is spoken from privilege and falsehood is spoken to power. Good intentions aren't enough.

                      by ebohlman on Thu May 30, 2013 at 05:42:22 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  How About Non-GMO? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    splashy

                    I'm starting to see products that are labeled "Non GMO." How long before this puts sales pressure on GMO producers, and they sue those who do note their non GMO production to cease and desist.

                    Which would be corporate tyranny.

                    "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

                    by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:49:25 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I doubt anybody would sue (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      murrayewv, happy camper

                      Manufacturers put all sorts clever notations on their products. I've seen "no trans fats" on things that never had any fat in them to begin with. Likewise "gluten free" on things that never had anything resembling flour as an ingredient in the first place.  Whatever it is they think will make the product more appealing, they'll say.

                      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

                      by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:53:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  There has already been suits (3+ / 0-)

                        I remember a food company that wanted to put something about not having synthetic growth hormones (IIRC) on what they produced, and they were sued by Monsanto.

                        Or something like that. I need to find it again.

                        Found this:
                        http://azstarnet.com/...

                        This statement is interesting to me:

                        The federal government has not mandated special labels on GMO foods because there's no chemical difference between them and non-modified versions.
                        If there is no difference, then how can they patent the modifications? That makes no sense.

                        Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                        by splashy on Fri May 31, 2013 at 02:47:35 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                    •  I think we've already been down this road (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Time Waits for no Woman

                      with rBST (bovine growth hormone). "rBST-free" labels have been challenged in court in several states; so long as the labels didn't make any health claims the challenges have been smacked down hard. I doubt lawsuits against "GMO free" labels would fare any better, especially with those precedents in place.

                      •  IIRC, some of this was due to milk being sold as (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        HiBob

                        BST-free. But milk isn't BST free because it comes from a cow and cows have BST in their blood and it comes out in the milk. SO one could not really distinguish such milk.

                        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                        by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:10:55 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Wrong. Natural plant and animal (7+ / 0-)

                  breeding and cross-breeding does not involve significant changes to the genomes accomplished with the addition of destabilizing expression sequences and viral promoters.

                  Now, there are less directly intrusive (on the genome) methods of hybridization accomplished in labs these days that can also lead to genomic destabilization. Hence pasture grass that poisons cattle with cyanide.

                  As a general rule of thumb, I will avoid destabilized genomes wherever possible. Food labeling would help.

                  •  Wrong (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    murrayewv, Kane in CA

                    Our cultivated varieties of most crops are the result of massive chromosomal rearrangements, usually through duplications of the entire genome or chromosomes, followed by generations deletions until it becomes stable.  And there are vast amounts of viral sequences in there.

                    Given that plants in the wild are naturally isolated, each population is unique genetically.  But when it's natural this "diversity" is good, but if it's man made it's terrifying.

                    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                    by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:13:36 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Cultivation is the preference for a certain genome (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      terjeanderson

                      found in the wild.  It is categorically different from insertion of genes from other species.  Each change in the stasis of life could cause a death spiral by some logical fluke, in the earth biosphere.  But all changes aren't created equal for example, introducing the H-bomb was more likely a threat than killing a praying mantis.

                      •  Species Of Plants Cross More Easily Than Animals (0+ / 0-)

                        If you cross two different species of animals, any discrepancy in the number of chromosomes or arrangement of genes is likely to produce a nonviable embryo or sterile offspring.

                        In plants, the limiting step is likely to be something like the compatibility of the pollen with the female flowers stigma, which could be made possible by a simple mutation.  After that, we know that plant cells can stand having their genomes shuffled like a shoe of blackjack cards.

                        So this thing you say never happens has probably happened in the evolution of most plants, over and over.

                        Besides, given that plants are more likely to be isolated geographically and inbred over time, the ability to outcross with other species would be a huge evolutionary advantage. Otherwise the rate of extinction for plants would be much much higher.

                        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                        by bernardpliers on Fri May 31, 2013 at 12:18:59 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Animal developmental processes require (0+ / 0-)

                          considerably more coordination etc. than do plants. Thus hybrids between more distant relatives are rare in animals because there's more things to go wrong in making an animal than a plant. A lot of hybrid dysgenesis issues in animals are that transposable elements get released from suppression and "scramble" the developmental processes.

                          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                          by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:14:01 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                •  GMO means that it contains DNA inserted (10+ / 0-)

                  from other species (which by definition could not have interbred).

                  It does not mean selective breeding, and it never has.

                  Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

                  by elfling on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:25:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Conflation of gene splicing and (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Kevskos

                  all that other stuff. It really helps your argument, well done.

                  .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                  by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:33:17 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  Proper Term Is GE (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Time Waits for no Woman
                  Genetic modification has been going on since the beginning of the agricultural age. Our "corn" cannot be found anywhere in the natural environment, it is a blend (genetic modification) of a number of precursor species that Central Americans developed long ago.
                  The proper term for what Monsanto does that's under discussion here is genetic engineering.

                  Plants cross-pollinating via the wind, or humans performing hand or otherwise intentional pollinating among varieties is not the same as what you describe, biologically. It just isn't!

                  Do some research, please!

                  "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

                  by paz3 on Fri May 31, 2013 at 10:33:20 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes, the results of pollination and hybridization (0+ / 0-)

                    are MUCH less predictable than the results of recombinant DNA processes.

                    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                    by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:15:20 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Doesn't matter. (7+ / 0-)

                People should have the right to decide for themselves what they will or won't eat, for whatever reason (or none). It's certainly none of your business, is it?

                •  Ditto. Don`t you want to know what is in it... (5+ / 0-)

                  or would you rather just roll over ... trust the folks who brought us ....PCB`s, Agent Orange Dioxin, Aspartame, Fluoride, Bee killing Roundup...

                  How about having NO choice on what you wish to eat or grow.

                  How about paying them for the privilege each year of growing food from seeds = total monopoly.

                  I refuse to be a science experiment for such a killing corporation.  How about you.

                  1967: Monsanto entered into a joint venture with IG Farben = the German chemical firm that was the financial core of the Hitler regime, and was the main supplier of Zyklon-B gas to the German government during the extermination phase of the Holocaust; IG Farben was not dissolved until 2003.

                  1961-1971: Agent Orange was a mixture of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D and had very high concentrations of dioxin. Agent Orange was by far the most widely used of the so-called "Rainbow Herbicides" employed in the Herbicidal Warfare program as a defoliant during the Vietnam War. Monsanto became one of 10-36 producers of Agent Orange for US Military operations in Vietnam. Dow Chemical and Monsanto were the two largest producers of Agent Orange for the U.S. military. The Agent Orange produced by Monsanto had dioxin levels many times higher than that produced by Dow Chemicals, the other major supplier of Agent Orange to Vietnam.

                  This made Monsanto the key defendant in the lawsuit brought by Vietnam War veterans in the United States, who faced an array of debilitating symptoms attributable to Agent Orange exposure.

                  Agent Orange is later linked to various health problems, including cancer.

                  U.S. Vietnam War veterans have suffered from a host of debilitating symptoms attributable to Agent Orange exposure. Agent Orange contaminated more than 3,000,000 civilians and servicemen. According to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to Agent Orange, resulting in 400,000 deaths and disabilities, plus 500,000 children born with birth defects, leading to calls for

                  Monsanto to be prosecuted for war crimes.

                  Internal Monsanto memos show that Monsanto knew of the problems of dioxin contamination of Agent Orange when it sold it to the U.S. government for use in Vietnam.1993: By April, the Department of Veterans Affairs had only compensated 486 victims, although it had received disability *CLAIMS* from 39,419 veteran soldiers who had been exposed to Monsanto's Agent Orange while serving in Vietnam.

                  No compensation has been paid to Vietnamese civilians and though some compensation was paid to U.S. veterans, according to William Sanjour, who led the Toxic Waste Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), "thousands of veterans were disallowed benefits" because "Monsanto studies showed that dioxin [as found in Agent Orange] was not a human carcinogen."

                  An EPA colleague discovered that Monsanto had apparently falsified the data in their studies. Sanjour says,

                  "If [the studies] were done correctly, they would have reached just the opposite result."

                  MUCH MORE... FULL TIMELINE HISTORY:
                  http://bestmeal.info/...
                  •  Don`t you want to know what is in it (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pengiep

                    In that case, GMO labels aren't the way to go. Genetic engineering is a process, not a list of ingredients. A GMO label doesn't tell you if something was added  or if something (like an allergen), was taken away, or what that something is.

                  •  Get over yourself. Making "guilt by association" (0+ / 0-)

                    connections, particularly impugning a company because they dealt with a company that though were suppliers to the Nazi's, but weren't Nazi's after the war, is wrong. It diminishes the Holocaust and real horrors in an attempt to make a cheap point and is a form of lying. Monsanto is a big company. Big companies are profit driven and will do things in quest of profit that are wrong. But Monsanto isn't much different than any other big company. Criticize what they do when they do something wrong. But they aren't good or evil. They are just a big company with all that entails.

                    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                    by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:21:55 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Why do you want to avoid it? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Dem in the heart of Texas
              •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Russgirl, Kevskos, mhanch
                Why do you want to avoid it?
                If you can't see from the replies - particularly those that show scientific knowledge of the processes of seed reproduction - why people want to know what they are consuming, then you are very close to trolling.

                "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

                by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:54:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I want to avoid GM corn (0+ / 0-)

                Because it makes my GI tract hurt. I can feel where it is as it passes through. Very uncomfortable.

                Organic corn, on the other hand, is fine. No problems.

                Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                by splashy on Fri May 31, 2013 at 02:50:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  There are a lot of differences between (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pengiep, aimeehs

                  the strain of corn an organic producer might choose to use (for example "silver queen" is a really popular heirloom) and the extremely productive disease resistant hybrids Monsanto would choose to use as the parent for a GM strain.

                  If you notice differences between how your GI tract reacts to NK4640 and NK4640BT (the parent hybrid  and BT GMO strains respectively) when given them in a blind protocol, then you're on to something. Short of that I'd tend to believe the reaction you are having isn't to the GM part of GM corn. I'd put money on it being due to:
                  -the hybrid strain used to create the GM version,
                  -conventional farming practices (vs Organic),
                  -or just plain feeling uncomfortable about eating GM foods.

                  If you (not you in particular, splashy, just "generic you" for the sake of argument)  are convinced the food you are eating is going to make you sick then it probably will.

                  •  I know it's not the last one (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HiBob

                    Because I didn't think of it until I had the problem. It took me a while (perhaps 5 years) to figure out what it was, and I didn't have it before they started to have so much in the food supply.

                    About  the other two ideas, I don't know. All I know is corn was not a problem when I was younger, then it was. Corn chips, grits, corn meal - it's all the same if it's not organic.

                    I know you want to say it's "all in your mind" with your last statement. All I have to say is I wish it was, just like my allergy to beef, pork, venison, and other mammals. That wasn't happening until I was bitten by a Lone Star Tick. That also took me a while to figure out too, with different symptoms.
                    http://news.sciencemag.org/...

                    My family has a genetic tendency to sensitivities. It's a real pain in the rear.

                    Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

                    by splashy on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:25:21 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It's possible that there were chemical residues on (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    HiBob

                    the non-organic corn to which this person is sensitive. As we know an allergy can make people really sick even with tiny amounts of the material to which people are sensitive. Though glyphosate is pretty benign as herbicides go, I'd not be in the least bit surprised if someone were acutely sensitive to this material. I'd expect such sensitivity to be quite rare, but rare is not non-existant. And it could be a number of other things too. This reaction, if real, sounds a lot like an allergy.

                    "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

                    by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:26:12 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm curious.... (0+ / 0-)

                      How do you know for certain that glyphosate is benign?  And is that the only ingredient in Roundup?  

                      •  It's probably not the only ingredient in Roundup (0+ / 0-)

                        Pretty much anything you spray on a plant has other ingredients included to get it to stick to the plant, stay in solution, etc.

                        As to how benign it is: Round up is approved for use by normal residential people, not just farmers. Translation: people are bathing in it, wind blowing it back in their faces, breathing it in, etc.  If there were any immediate effects, they should have been identified by now.

          •  Not parallel nor relevant, hybrids are not (5+ / 0-)

            created by splicing genes from species which cannot normally be interfertile, let alone splicing them into chromosomally novel locations.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:49:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Seems To Happen Pretty Often In Nature nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              murrayewv

              There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

              by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:15:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Splicing BT into corn doesnt happen in nature (6+ / 0-)

                Bacillus thuringiensis.

                Thats what Monsasnto did. and the funny thing is overuse of BT was understood 30 years ago. Now beetles have developed resistance to Monsantos BT corn, that particular strain of BT. Needless to say the BT corn isnt selling much anymore.

                .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

                by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:21:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  resistance to BT is due to (0+ / 0-)

                  spraying of BT, not transgenic BT expressing species. Spraying conventional crops with BT means lots of critters (and not just the ones in the fields) get exposed to varying levels of BT. As you said, overuse of BT was understood 30 years ago; BT expression in crops probably delayed resistance since it meant much less spraying.

              •  Natural hybridization of species which (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kevskos

                aren't interfertile happens often? 500 examples, please. Start with 50.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:44:58 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You Can't Have It Both Ways (0+ / 0-)

                  GMO critics complain that horizontal gene transfer happens more often than we expected, then when someone says "OK so we agree it's not unnatural," then you (specifically) try to say horizontal gene transfer doesn't happen.

                  There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                  by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:51:06 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not "GMO critics", natural hybridization of (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Kevskos

                    species which aren't intefertile is not at all common and is not at all analogous, priod.

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:37:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Probably Can Be Found Anywhere We Care To look (0+ / 0-)

                      http://www.nature.com/...

                      Our genome analyses of the moss Physcomitrella patens identified 57 families of nuclear genes that were acquired from prokaryotes, fungi or viruses.
                      And a parasitic plant has obtained genes from its host

                      http://scitechdaily.com/...

                      “We found that several dozen actively transcribed genes likely originated from the flower’s host,”

                      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

                      by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:49:27 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Except that the articles cited and the work (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Kevskos, terjeanderson

                        examined specifically do not deal with hybridization. They are concerned with "horizontal transfers"while hybidization is a "vertical transfer".

                        Other than microbiota, known cases are still a tad rare too. Where e the corn-beans and mustard-grapes?

                         

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 05:48:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Hybrid is NOT (7+ / 0-)

            the same as GMO.

            That is one ancient red herring.

            'A scarlet tanager broke the silence with his song. She thought of the bird hidden in the leaves somewhere, unseen but nevertheless brilliant red. Nevertheless beautiful.' Barbara Kingsolver/ Prodigal Summer

            by flowerfarmer on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:15:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Much more complete explanation (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos

              by  enhydra lutris above.

              'A scarlet tanager broke the silence with his song. She thought of the bird hidden in the leaves somewhere, unseen but nevertheless brilliant red. Nevertheless beautiful.' Barbara Kingsolver/ Prodigal Summer

              by flowerfarmer on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:20:30 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Not The Same! (5+ / 0-)

            I'm sorry, but plant hybridization through cross-pollination is not the same process as gene splicing, biologically-speaking. In pollination, the genes passed are within the same genus. The genes passed on via natural pollination or "hand" pollination are compatible, biologically, or the seed would not be fertile.

            Gene splicing bypasses this process. Otherwise incompatible outside-the-genus genes can be passed on, meaning that pollen can be contaminated by unwanted GMO contaminants.

            Agriculturists have been hybridizing vegetable and grain crops for decades, maybe even centuries if you look at flower hybridizing, and no issue of danger to other organisms was ever raised or identified.

            Suddenly people are getting cranky, and getting paranoid about GMOs?

            Lots of marginalizing rhetoric and condescension coming from the pro-GMOers in this thread.

            Must be, again, about money, and it's daddy, pride.

            "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

            by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:38:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry, no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, terjeanderson

            Hybridizing of related organisms is not the same thing as gene splicing of non-related ones.

        •  Pro label? U R a GMO truther (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, Agathena, splashy

          GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther, GMO truther,

          Did I say it enough?

          But the problem is labeling GMO foods would only misinform consumers and hurt small farmers who want to use GMO.
          Small farmers who want to use GMO seeds? Aren't most Organic farms small?

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:41:41 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed! - This is where the author went wrong (13+ / 0-)
          There has been a movement afoot to force companies to label GMO food.  Their argument is whether or not you think GMO is harmful (it is most definitely not) consumers have a right to be informed about what they are eating.  But the problem is labeling GMO foods would only misinform consumers and hurt small farmers who want to use GMO.  Any label would connote something negative, when in fact there is no scientific basis for this.  The government shouldn't force companies to do something that could potentially hurt their brand and has no scientific basis simply to indulge people's ignorant beliefs about an issue.
          1) Consumers HAVE the right to be informed.  Letting corporations make the standard of what to label/not to label is DEFINITELY NOT a progressive idea.

          2) It would NOT mis-inform the consumer, the ideas a consumer draws from a label are their own.

          I am not going to get into the whole scientific debate about if GMO is good or bad, people should be able to decide for themselves and not have the corporations set the rules of the debate.

          Never underestimate stupid. Stupid is how reTHUGlicans win!

          by Mannie on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:12:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The problem is that EVERY SINGLE ONE of our crops (0+ / 0-)

          has been "genetically modified". Every Single One. Some have been further modified by target insertion of genes, whereas others have been modified by selection, introgression of genes from other species and mutation. How do you decide which get the label of Genetically Modified? Presumably a label that said "Produced by use of recombinant DNA technology" would be accurate. Would it satisfy anyone?

          "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

          by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:59:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Lemme see. Science says pesticides improve yield, (36+ / 0-)

        fertilizers improve yield, and antibiotics keep animals healthier and the honey bees die, the dead zones bloom in the waters and resistance to antibiotics soars.

        My problem isn't that they exist or might do some good in a short run, my problem is that we don't fully understand the long term effects because, well, you can't scientifically study long-term, large scale effects in a lab.

        If GMO's were entirely without risk, why does the industry fight so hard against requiring labels that identify GMO products??

      •  Yes they do, which is why bullshit, like this (11+ / 0-)

        diary, serves no useful purpose. There is no science supporting the prohibition on labeling GMOs, and no science supporting the idea that none can ever be invented which would be harmful and no science demonstrating the long term safety of the existing GMOs for human consumption.

        Don't blather about science unless you intend to rely upon it.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:46:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  You act as if you've no clue (5+ / 0-)

        about the nature of progressivism. Hint: if it qualifies as a 'movement' and not just a position in a spectrum, it is a political 'movement'. Politics is not a scientific discipline, and in fact is quite antithetical to science and scientism by virtue of its nature.

        Now, it is true that once politicians manage to get into positions of governing power, they get to shape policies in many areas and affect various legislation and/or implementation regimes of said policies. And for policies related in some way to scientific knowledge and/or investigation, it would be wise for the governing power(s) to seek input from science in order to help inform and/or shape said policies and implementation regimes.

        But in the end science will inevitably have less of a role in this process than jurisprudence (law), sociology (custom) and applied propaganda (psychology) will have. That's just the way politics work, like it or not.

        So no, progressives (add political philosophy/position on the scale here) do not need to decide if their 'movement' is going to be based on science or not. Science simply doesn't have enough governing power to call the policy shots. They do get to contribute to the debates, just as do most other interest groups.

      •  You are confusing 3 things... (5+ / 0-)

        Science, faith, and truth. Your faith in the rather incomplete science which justifies GMO's approaches scientism. People who who take an opposite view are accused of being "not scientific" and not having a place in this discussion, and should be "kicked out". Not only that, you and other posters here seem fond of circular reasoning, or asserting demonstrably false statements such as hybridizing is the same as genetic modification, therefore GMO food should not have to be labeled. Heh!

        Btw, the attack on Meteor Blades was not called for.

    •  The problem is conflating the business (20+ / 0-)

      practices of a corporation like Monsanto with a potentially highly beneficial, scientifically sound technology.

      It's somewhat like being against air travel because Boeing is a fucked up corporation (e.g., it's union-busting efforts and being a significant part of the MIC gravy train . . .).

      Sure, there * might * be reasons to dis air travel, but they're entirely separate from all that.

      •  ^^ good analogy ^^ (6+ / 0-)



        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ebohlman, Kevskos

        I had a great deal of sympathy for the protests against Monsanto, given their corporate practices, but not with the anti-GMO sentiments that went with it. One thing is not the same as the other.

        There are even practices associated with GMO crops (and, to be fair, all other patented seed-stock whether it's GMO or not) that are very problematic and should be changed. But these have to do with things like mono-cropping, forcing out local crops (and thus destroying genetic resources associated with these strains), and the unwanted effects of what's designed to go with those GMO crops in the planning of companies like Monsanto (i.e., the increased use of pesticides and especially herbicides that these crops make possible.) But these are not the issues that the GMO-truthers gravitate towards; instead they focus on disproven or patently unscientific ideas that keep any real reform of farming practices and rapacious chemical corporations.

        Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

        by Stwriley on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:53:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cross Pollination Contamination (5+ / 0-)
          There are even practices associated with GMO crops (and, to be fair, all other patented seed-stock whether it's GMO or not) that are very problematic and should be changed. But these have to do with things like mono-cropping, forcing out local crops (and thus destroying genetic resources associated with these strains)...]
          One matter I find very alarming is GMO contamination of organic (and non-organic) crops grown for seed.

          This has already happened, and it recently caused economic damage to Oregon wheat growers.  

          Sorry to repeat this story from Oregon Live that I put in a reply above.

          "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

          by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:20:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  One must not conflate Monsanto with GMO's (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Stwriley, Russgirl, Heart n Mind

          in general, of course not.

          It is the globe's largest seed purveyor—and its dominant vendor of genetically modified traits. How dominant? Here's NPR on the company's mastery over the US GMO market: "More than 9 out of 10 soybean seeds carry [Monsanto's] Roundup Ready trait. It's about the same for cotton and just a little lower for corn." It also sells nearly $1 billion worth of herbicides every three months.
          http://www.motherjones.com/...

          To thine ownself be true

          by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:42:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I don't think anybody should be "kicked out" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley, Heart n Mind

      Enforcing some kind of ideological purity hurts the movement. I won't be doing anything to hurt Senators Begich or Merkley and in fact I will be strongly supporting their re-elections.

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:32:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not liking Monsanto's corporate behavior (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Catte Nappe, terjeanderson

      is not the same thing as GMO=BAD.  I happen to very much agree with the OP about the bandwagon behavior of many of my progressive friends against GMOs, based on little or no science.  That said, I have no love lost for any large corporation that behaves as Monsanto does.

      Plus, Monsanto makes Round-up.  Reason enough to despise the company.

      Join us in the Grieving Room on Monday evenings to discuss mourning and loss.

      by Dem in the heart of Texas on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:23:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Education > exile. (0+ / 0-)

      Personally, I wish Monsanto would just shut down or get sued into oblivion for abuse of the patent system.  They are dishonest, and I think if anything was going to be labeled, it shohuld be labeled MONSANTO, not GMO.

      Railing against foods made from GMO is a lot like railing against foods that were made from animals and plants bred to be food.  Breeding them for traits or simply adding them is a preference.  Banning one makes as much sense as banning the other.

      Should food made from GMOs be tested for health affects?  Yes!  Abosolutely!  So should every other kind of food.

      I liked the tractor metaphor.

      Though again, I'd love to see any product created in whole or in part by a Monsanto product labeled as such, so we can treat the people who use their stuff much like we treat the people who take money to advertise for Rush Limbaugh.

      I'd also never want to lose Meteor Blades from the big tent no matter what label he wanted, and that's probably more important than any of this other stuff.  Spinning Vase of Doom indeed.

      Advocates of capitalism are very apt to appeal to the sacred principles of liberty, which are embodied in one maxim: The fortunate must not be restrained in the exercise of tyranny over the unfortunate. - Bertrand Russell

      by Aramis Wyler on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:39:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why should they be kicked out, unless they refuse (0+ / 0-)

      to accept facts. Then people should just refuse to communicate with them. Trying to argue with someone who refuses to accept facts and logic is like giving a corpse medicine.

      "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

      by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:56:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mega-corporations are bad (0+ / 0-)

      whether they have GMOs or not.

      So let's not concern ourselves with the GMOs, but the mega-corporations.

      How about an anti-trust rule banning any corporation from having over a billion dollars in revenue and requiring them to break up when they reach that point?

  •  Read the short (40+ / 0-)

    diary from the biologist.  Not all GMO's are the same.  MB diary was right on addressing an abusive corporation that is not allowing us to make the rational decisions that we need to make about GMO's.

    I have a degree in biology and I do not like you shoving me in a hole with the anti vax nuts.  

    Do you work in Bio-Tech?

  •  100% (9+ / 0-)

    GMOs are not a scientific problem, they (like so many things in our modern world) are a business problem.

    Take it easy, but take it.

    by ltsply2 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:48:01 AM PDT

    •  Or to put it another way: (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, daysey, Eyesbright, paz3, Heart n Mind
      The technology is not the problem.
      The abuse of the technology is the problem.
      (It's like, you can't fight a war against terror, because terror is only a tactic: You fight entities that use terror as a tactic to achieve political or economic ends, so long as they continue to use it, in order to establish the principle that terror is never an acceptable way to pursue those ends, whatever they may be.)

      As it turns out, most of the abusers are corporations like Monsatan that jump at the opportunity to make a lot of quick cash (& corner markets in perpetuity) in the confidence that any negative implications can be hidden, obfuscated once revealed,fought tooth&nail once clarified in courts that give corporate offenders every benefit of the doubt, & even after losing in courts of law can be evaded by convenient bankruptcies or other financial sleights-of-hand that eventually fob the costs off onto the rest of society while the 0.01% saunter away unscathed.

      So you fight the abusers of GM. And if you believe that corpitalism only affords the ROI that the rich crave when the corp's don't have to clean up after themselves, that means you fight corpitalism in general.

      BALTIMORE RAVENS--SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS! WOOO-HOOO!

      by Uncle Cosmo on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:13:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed (13+ / 0-)

    I "genetically modify" the flowers in my garden since I breed my own.  Purists would argue that I'm just doing what nature does (nature does not, however, use cheesecloth and a camel's hair paintbrush, nor is she working toward a particular shade of crimson).

    The only thing I dislike about GM is the potential to put herbicide-resistant genes into them, a la Roundup Ready crops.  Unless and until we're completely certain that Roundup isn't causing issues, I'd prefer to minimize use.

    We should note I do use Roundup in the gardens for its easy kill and wide spectrum.  I go through a gallon of mix every five years, though, in 2,000 square feet of garden.

    Theoretically, the future of GM could be very scary indeed.  Imagine a crop that's so adaptable it can out-perform every other plant (sort of like crown vetch on steroids).  That could be a major invader.  But that's only a theoretical and nothing I'm presently worried about.

    (-6.38, -7.03) Moderate left, moderate libertarian

    by Lonely Liberal in PA on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:49:26 AM PDT

  •  this shall amuse me greatly (10+ / 0-)

    1. for the "casting out of the special club."
    2. for the reverse "casting out of the special club" i.e. "no one who supports GMOs can be a real progressive!"
    3. for the scientific illiteracy on all sides (that's always fun!)
    4. for the pie fight.

    please proceed Daily Kos. Please amuse me.

    (As a disclosure, I think "genetically modified food" as in "laboratory modified food" should be labeled, but their existence really doesn't bother me much, and I do eat them. I also think Monsanto has pretty sucky corporate practices.)

  •  What was the "nonsense" promoted (36+ / 0-)

    by Meteor Blades?

    Is there something anti-fact about advocating labeling of GMO products?  Is science somehow offended by providing that information to consumers?

    Or perhaps you think it's nonsense to oppose Monsanto's bullying tactics including suing farmers who through no fault of their own have had their crops contaminated by cross-pollination from Monsanto plants on neighboring fields?

    Please do point out the specific "nonsense" in the post you linked.

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:54:32 AM PDT

    •  MB=nonsense is a heavy lift (5+ / 0-)

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:52:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And *that* is why I HR'd this diary n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Roger Fox, cordgrass

        To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

        by Eyesbright on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:08:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  and that is sad.... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          paz3, Deward Hastings

          very very sad.  Suppressing a different point of view because you don't agree with it.

          You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

          by murrayewv on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:23:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My HR is righteous because (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            splashy

            this diarist wrote this:

            Meteor Blades recently promoted GMO nonsense on the front page.
            That sentence adds nothing to the diary and is totally egregious.

            Diarist is specifically insulting one of our most trusted DailyKos members.  Meteor Blades has been researching and writing about matters like this for many, many years (since long before he started writing at DailyKos) and to accuse him of "promoting nonsense" is waaaaaay beyond the pale.  

            It's a dickish move to specifically name Meteor Blades.  ISTM that's against Kos rules but, whether it is or not, there is no justification for it.  

            Frankly, I'm surprised and very disappointed that there aren't more HRs because of the reasons I've given.  

            To stand in silence when they should be protesting makes cowards out of men. -Abraham Lincoln

            by Eyesbright on Thu May 30, 2013 at 05:48:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  The claims about danger to the health (15+ / 0-)

    of consumers may be silly and ignorant CT, but what about the ecological impact of gene flow into wild populations?  That seems like a valid concern to me.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:54:45 AM PDT

    •  My concern (5+ / 0-)

      as well.  Most plants just love to spread the sperm around everywhere and crosses are common.  IMHO adding non plant DNA to the mix is going to cause problems and come back and bite us.  The world should not be treated like a lab.

    •  It's a valid concern about (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos

      particular applications of genetic modification. The problem is extending it to the entire technology. There's no question, for example, that the availability of the Internet has greatly increased the amount of child pornography produced. But that's hardly an argument for restricting electronic communications technology in general, or for attempting to limit it to that which was available at a particular time. You can be pro-Internet and anti-child porn at the same time.

      As someone pointed out earlier, metal refining technology can be used to produce plowshares, and it can also be used to produce swords (or AR-15s). That says nothing about the inherent safety or desirability of metal refining.

      My position is that each individual application of genetic modification has to stand or fall on its own merits (and should be treated as the introduction of a new species into one or more ecosystems).

      Sometimes truth is spoken from privilege and falsehood is spoken to power. Good intentions aren't enough.

      by ebohlman on Thu May 30, 2013 at 05:58:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Genetic modification is a way (25+ / 0-)

    to make all sorts of changes to plants. Therefore, it is impossible to say that all GMOs are harmless because we simply do not know. Who can say what modifications will be made in the future.
       Where you cross the line into Monsanto shilldom is when you oppose labelling. People have a right to know what's in their food, period.
       You oppose GMO labelling because you believe that consumers who know that a food product containst GMO will choose not to buy it. Maybe, maybe not.
       But markets can't work if only one side has relevant information. So, not only is your treatise dissing the public's right to know, you also advocate detroying the market system.
       

    •  Normally I would support labeling (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee, sagesource, murrayewv, Bob Love

      But a great deal of disinformation has been spread on this issue, to the point where the "labeling" laws effectively call for a warning label. Furthermore, the premise of the proposed laws are based on bad science: http://kfolta.blogspot.com/...

      GMOs are an issue of science, and laws regarding the technology should get the science right. I don't think its fair to call people who hold the above opinion "Monsanto shills".

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No warnings, just basic yes-gmo or no-gmo nt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie, splashy
        •  I would prefer (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe

          Descriptions of what genes have been transfered and modify and what the intended effect is. If such a proposal were to make it to the ballot, I would happily support it.

          At the same time, this also raises the concerns about whether each individual hybrid crop should be labeled, as that process includes the transfer and modifications of thousands of genes.

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:15:00 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Simple enough to simply (6+ / 0-)

            highlight the GMO ingredients on the label's ingredients list (in order of appearance) as GM, follow with an asterisk or something. Then (also in order of appearance) list the specific modifications to the soy or corn or whatever that's been engineered, one double space beneath the main list. At most two single-spaced lines of 6-point type separated by semicolons giving the particulars (glyphosate resistance, Cry proteins & which ones, identified fish or other foreign genes to protect from cold or extend shelf life, etc. Plus the specific virus from which the promoter sequence(s) were taken.

            Not everybody cares, nor does everyone bother to read labels. Monsanto, et al. have no real reason to make their cultivars some kind of state secret.

  •  ohhhh, you stepped in it now . . . . . .. (11+ / 0-)

    ;)

    The left has always been just as prone to nutty conspiracy theories as the right. The difference is that their anti-science kookers get to run the EPA, and ours mostly just get laughed at.

    I prefer a reality-based reality, and science is the only reliable method we have of learning about reality. We reject science at our own peril.

    The entire technology of genetic engineering (note that technology is a whole different animal than science) presents human society with both opportunities and dangers--and some of those are potentially far-reaching in their effects (whether for evil or good). It is a path we should tread cautiously and without outpacing our own knowledge.

    But I do have to agree with you----if there really were valid scientific arguments against GMO, that debate would be happening in the peer-reviewed science journals, not on Internet websites. It does remind me a lot of the anti-vax ballyhoo.

    Monsanto are fucking predatory bastards, and their economic and political actions are more than enough to condemn them in my eyes.  I don't need any non-science thrown into the mix.

  •  Start with labeling (23+ / 0-)

    Demanding that GMO food be labeled accordingly is not a conspiracy theory.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 08:58:50 AM PDT

  •  I do believe it is not merely theory (14+ / 0-)

    but fact that GMO's can produce cyanotic plants.  Hybrid forage under the right conditions can be stressed into producing enough cyanide to kill the foraging cattle.

    Many plants produce toxins when stressed in nature, never let a wild cherry tree into a pasture around horses, wilting leaves are deadly.  Sometimes science doesn't ask the right questions or go far enough in deciding if something is in fact dangerous.  And sometimes we notice correlations, can't establish causation and eventually science provides a link.

    I don't think that every genetically modified crop is to be feared.  But those known unknowns may kill you or your herd one day.

    And always be wary of who paid for the study.  Lots of studies from the tobacco industry proved tobacco wasn't all that harmful or addictive , etc.   Now we know they manipulated the information.

    •  Are you referring this incident? (4+ / 0-)

      No, genetically modified grass isn’t killing cows with cyanide

      If so, not sure of its relevance to the current discussion (other to point out the perils of unthinkingly accepting everything you read on the internet as being true.  including this very comment!)

      •  you're right it was a hybrid (4+ / 0-)

        not a GMO, I just forgot and should have looked it up.

        But I think the point is still valid, we create crosses by genetic manipulation or old fashioned crossing techniques, and we don't always pay attention.   To be merely bad management, one must know that the plant produces cyanide in the first place.  I don't know that that is half as well publicized about a commercial product, think of the lawsuits, as a plain old wild cherry tree.  Tift Bermuda is drought resistant and very popular around here, I don't know that I have once heard a warning about it.  It is also similar to another popular hybrid around here, a strain of fescue.  It wasn't made known by the manufacturer, but it has an endophyte fungus, part of what makes it drought resistant (notice a them starting here that may make this scarier as places warm up?), but that fungus has some nasty effects on cattle and horses.  All of which came out slowly over time.  Another unfortunate side effect, as it is much more hardy, it spreads, making it virtually impossible to keep a pasture in this area fungus free with a non-endophyte variety.   And yes, it can be managed, but it takes work and time and money to make sure the animals aren't harmed.  Further some of the recommendations for minimizing the side effects include planting pastures with legume crops that bring their own problems being frequently toxic in their own right.

        And that leads to the comments on the 'business' model being the problem.  We have to rely on the manufacturer or industry studies most often, there is generally little funding for truly independent research.   What isn't on the package when you buy your seed at the feed store?

    •  um, what? (0+ / 0-)

      Do you have anything to back that up?

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:17:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  GMO cassava to prevent natural cyanide (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers, Catte Nappe

      production is being produced. This massively staple plant that feeds millions in the tropics must be washed to lower the natural occurance of cyanide and this loweres the nutritional value of the food.
      And a cyanotic plant does NOT produce cyanide. It produces blue flowers.

      I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

      by OHdog on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:52:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GMO's (15+ / 0-)

    I think this diary grossly mischaracterizes legitimate concerns about an industrial process that accounts for 90% of the corn-based crap being fed to the general population.  The biggest problem is that we don't know, gmo's haven't been around long enough to be studied thoroughly.

    While I appreciate your effort to debate honestly, I think you are way off the mark to claim a solid scientific basis for your opinion.  There simply isn't enough science to make that call, which is why gmo's should be banned until there are definitive studies.

    We're all just monkeys burning in hell.

    by smokeymonkey on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:00:22 AM PDT

  •  If you loves you some GMO, knock yourself out. (23+ / 0-)

    Step right up and eat your fill.

    As for the rest of us, we deserve to know what's in our food. We should make the decision as to what we eat, not you, not Monsanto, not anybody else.

  •  No thanks (10+ / 0-)
    GM is also used to produce plants that add nutrition to our food.
    I don't need "nutrition" added (or removed for that matter) to my foods.  I'd rather have foods as they naturally exist and choose what to eat accordingly.

    Nutritionism is the guiding star of much of GMO science and it is a path down which I would prefer not to be guided.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:06:47 AM PDT

    •  None of the foods you eat (5+ / 0-)

      "Naturally exist".

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:08:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let me go tell my chickens (8+ / 0-)

        that the eggs coming out of rears today don't "naturally exist."  That's a good one. I bet they'll cackle when they hear it.

        •  How much human manipulation of the genome (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Amayi, zubalove, Catte Nappe, ebohlman

          (including trial-&-error crossbreeding that long predates genetic modification) has gone into producing the particular strain of chicken that lays your eggs?

          I have no way of knowing, but I'd find it awfully hard to believe the answer is "none."

          BALTIMORE RAVENS--SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS! WOOO-HOOO!

          by Uncle Cosmo on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:26:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Selective breeding isn't at all the same thing (0+ / 0-)

            as genetic engineering. Our chickens didn't come from a lab,  nor did any of their genes.

            They're bantam mutts, produced only by one chicken doing the nasty naturally with another chicken. Period.

            •  It's the same thing (0+ / 0-)

              in a much more inexact & uncontrolled laboratory at a much slower rate using a much less precise method of genetic manipulation. The goal is the same: to alter the characteristics of the offspring in ways advantageous to the breeder. (I imagine the roosters enjoy it a bit more though, & I suppose that's something.)

              It sounds to me (please correct me if I'm wrong) that you're of a mind to trust that Nature would not allow any "bad" genetic experiments produced by "doing the nasty" to be viable. From a logical standpoint, that seems to me uncomfortably close to the Far Wrong notion that a rape victim should be compelled to carry a resultant fetus to term because "God" would not have allowed the pregnancy if "He" didn't want the child to be born.

              BALTIMORE RAVENS--SUPER BOWL XLVII CHAMPIONS! WOOO-HOOO!

              by Uncle Cosmo on Fri May 31, 2013 at 06:21:16 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  That's you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mikidee

      And that's the first world. Other parts of the world value added nutrition. They don't have the abundance and choices we do.

      “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

      by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:09:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Agreed. So label accordingly and have at it. (8+ / 0-)

        But for every "latest nutrition fad" that comes out half-baked from early research leads the marketing arm of the Processed Food industry to start ratcheting up all sorts of unnatural concoctions to appease the latest created "want".  There needs to be another option for those of us that "don't want".

        There is no magic nutritional formula to create a Fountain of Youth and all the Omega-6 Producing Tomatoes, or "Good Cholesterol Meats" or Antioxidant Fortified processed corn cereals or Acai Berry extract yogurt additives or whatever the hell else they come up with to get us to buy their shit in the world is not going to cure the world's pain.

        Just label your stuff as "Genetically Modified" and allow people to choose.  If you have to hide the process by which you make your "food" in order to get people to eat it, then I think there is a lesson to be learned there.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:24:38 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Other parts of the world, like Cuba? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cordgrass, Kevskos, flowerfarmer, Russgirl

        where they have had a revolution in organic  farming. No chemicals, no GMO's. Natural food organically grown, and they can collect their own seeds.

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:25:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, Cuba might be a place in need of nutrients (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mikidee, sagesource, NYFM, Sky Net
          Cuba, with a population of a little over 11 million people, imports about 80% of its domestic food requirements. A number of measures are being taken to increase food production
          The main public health problem is anaemia, with a prevalence in the east of 56,7% among children under the age of 24 months and 20,1% amongst those between the ages of 2 and 5.

          There are a number of reasons for this, the main ones being: i) inadequate food intake; ii) parasitic or infectious diseases; iii) dearth of iron-rich food; iv) difficulties in access to food; v) insufficient knowledge of anemia; vi) inadequate use of dietary supplement

          http://www.wfp.org/...

          “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

          by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:42:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The UN disagrees (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos, Joieau

            And I can't see a date for your quotes.

            The head of UN Food and Agriculture, 4 May 2013:

            Cuba's food security  is today similar to that of developed countries, with malnutrition affecting less than 5 per cent of the population.  All the countries to have achieved the Summit's goal before the 2015 deadline will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement at a ceremony on June 16 in Rome.
            http://www.fao.org/...

            The US could lift its embargo if it was really interested in the people of Cuba's welfare.

            To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:01:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The UN disagrees with itself, then (0+ / 0-)

              Source of my quotes is

              WFP is the food aid arm of the United Nations system.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:21:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  That DOES sound bad (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jrooth
            The main public health problem is anaemia, with a prevalence in the east of 56,7% among children under the age of 24 months and 20,1% amongst those between the ages of 2 and 5.

            There are a number of reasons for this, the main ones being: i) inadequate food intake; ii) parasitic or infectious diseases; iii) dearth of iron-rich food; iv) difficulties in access to food; v) insufficient knowledge of anemia; vi) inadequate use of dietary supplement

            But I can't tell if that describes Cuba or any of the 1500 American cities located in a Food Desert.   I think we'll agree that malnutrition often accompanies poverty. So,
            Living in the largest producer of GMO foods + poverty = Nutrition problems.
            Living in a country with no GMOs + poverty = Nutrition problems.
            So which one of those is an noneffecting variable and which is a constant?

            Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

            by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:15:28 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  If we only produced food that was produced (6+ / 0-)

      in their "natural form" before human intervention there would be world wide famine.  The yield size of grain, other vegetables, and livestock would be well below what is necessary to sustain human life in its current form on this planet.

      •  No one wants "before human intervention" (9+ / 0-)

        Stop distorting, it does not help your case.

        If you want to make an earnest argument that genetic engineering is the same as cross-breeding and hybridizing then make it; I would be interested to read it.

        But much of GMO technology is focused on three goals:

        Production:  Which often overlooks the increased requirements for fertilizer and pest control in an industrial monoculture and assumes that more must unequivocally mean better.

        Resilience: Which is built up to allow a better and more efficient use of pesticides in industrial farming.  "Round-Up Ready" is simply a license to use a staggering amount of sprayed Glyphosate with complete impunity.

        Nutrition:  Which has been an indecipherable moving target for over a century as we have struggled to understand this science and utterly-reversed ourselves innumerable times as foods went from being healthy to unhealthy to the best thing ever to a cause of cancer to a fad weight-loss diet to an artery-hardener to a gourmet ingredient and back again.  

        So the idea of wholeheartedly embracing a new technology (or "tool" as you call it) to rapidly expand and speed up the market-penetrating vectors of all these things across every imaginable segment of the edible spectrum all of which is fueled, almost exclusively, by a profit-seeking incentive of large agro-corporations is just not something many of us are willing to trust at face value.  

        Add to the fact that the very first GMO was introduced not even twenty years ago (Calgene's Flavr Savr Tomato - 1994) and I think even the inner-scientist in all of us might suspect that we are still in the "data collecting" stage of evaluating the effects of mass-consumption of GMO-foods.

        ..or maybe we're just as crazy as people that think the government planned 9/11 and that the Chicken Pox vaccine causes Down Syndrome.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:47:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  False industry talking point from industry 'man' (4+ / 0-)

      Analysis Finds Monsanto’s GE Corn Nutritionally Inferior and High in Toxins

      A report given to MomsAcrossAmerica4 by an employee of De Dell Seed Company (Canada's only non-GMO corn seed company) offers a stunning picture of the nutritional differences between genetically engineered (GE) and non-GE corn. Clearly, the former is NOT equivalent to the latter, which is the very premise by which genetically engineered crops were approved in the first place.

      Here’s a small sampling of the nutritional differences found in this 2012 nutritional analysis:

      Calcium: GMO corn = 14 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 6,130 ppm (437 times more)
      Magnesium: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 113 ppm (56 times more)
      Manganese: GMO corn = 2 ppm / Non-GMO corn = 14 ppm (7 times more)
      GMO corn was also found to contain 13 ppm of glyphosate, compared to zero in non-GMO corn. This is quite significant and well worth remembering.

      Glyphosate is ROUNDUP. Why is this even an argument FFS?

      http://articles.mercola.com/...

      •  This supposedly leaked study has not been seen (4+ / 0-)

        by anyone other than the Naturalists foods Mercola and why would "the only non-GMO" seed company in Canada not release such a shocker? No way this is from a real study. Using bogus reports and pseudo-science is not the way to make a realistic point. This kind of crap is what scares business about GMO labelling since it is spread faster and farther than real science particulaly since Monsanto has made itself a non-believeable source.

        I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

        by OHdog on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:04:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  That is not a real study (0+ / 0-)

        Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

        by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:21:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Organic Corn As Much Calcium As Cheddar Cheese??? (0+ / 0-)

        because hard cheese has 200 mg of calcium an oz

        (200 mg/28,350 mg = .007  or 7000 ppm

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:38:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Organic Yellow Corn (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos

          has about 7mg Calcium per 100g of Corn.

          (Has 287mg of Potassium though!)

          I do not have any insight or background on the numbers quoted above.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:24:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well That's 70 ppm Calcium (0+ / 0-)

            7 mg/100,000 mg * 10/10 = 70 mg/1,000,000 mg = 70 ppm

            Or 70 mg of calcium per kilo of organic corn, which is about the same calcium as one tablespoon of Parmesan cheese,

            There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

            by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:43:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that makes more sense (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              bernardpliers, Catte Nappe

              Corn has never been considered a source of calcium, has it?  I don't know where those numbers in the earlier comment came from.

              Corn is a grass.  At least its not as bad as Wheat, which can actively BLOCK calcium absorbance.

              Wheat Bran is not a bone healthy food (from the National Osteoporosis Foundation

              Wheat bran. Like beans, wheat bran contains high levels of phytates which can prevent your body from absorbing calcium. However, unlike beans 100% wheat bran is the only food that appears to reduce the absorption of calcium in other foods eaten at the same time. For example, when you have milk and 100% wheat bran cereal together, your body can absorb some, but not all, of the calcium from the milk. The wheat bran in other foods like breads is much less concentrated and not likely to have a noticeable impact on calcium absorption. If you take calcium supplements, you may want to take them two or more hours before or after eating 100% wheat bran.
              I don't know what can compete with dairy... hmm.. Collard Greens have 266mg of Calcium per 1 cup serving.  ...is that close?

              Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

              by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:52:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Digestability An Issue? (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                gene s
                I don't know what can compete with dairy... hmm.. Collard Greens have 266mg of Calcium per 1 cup serving.  ...is that close?
                I probably should have said "absorbability" in the subject line, but I understand that the calcium in milk (cows milk, anyway) is more difficult for humans to absorb than some other common, vegetable sources.

                I'm just suggesting that the actual levels of calcium in various food sources may not cross over into usable nutrition directly, on a ppm or mg per unit basis.

                "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

                by paz3 on Fri May 31, 2013 at 11:34:30 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  what got me was that the GM corn (0+ / 0-)

          was apparently more radioactive than everything output by Fukushima. okay then.

  •  You Had Me Until... (13+ / 0-)

    I applaud you (and rec'd you) for taking on the anti-science tendencies of a part of the progressive movement. Whether its the anti-vaccine crowd or the anti-gmo wing crowd, anti-science tendencies are troubling to me and are a drag on the progressive movement which should always be grounded in fact. I agree with almost everything you said until you got to the part about GMO labeling and consumer rights. Consumers should have a right to know about the ingredients and the sources of the food they are consuming. Its a pretty simple basic concept. The consumer will not be mislead by labeling itself. Even if they make their decisions based on fallacy, rumor and prejudice...consumers still should have this right. The GMO industry will win over consumers by being honest with them. When the food industry hides behind a wall of lobbyists and lectures consumers not to worry their pretty heads, they don't do themselves (or consumers) any favors.

  •  But I still want to know what products do NOT (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, Agathena, S F Hippie, mungley

    have GMO in them, if I wish to remain stupid!

  •  Tipped (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM

    Might have recced if your title weren't all about "kicking people out".

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:11:02 AM PDT

  •  Ha. This diary is amusing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wisper, Reetz, Kevskos
  •  Thanks Mr Science Expert (6+ / 0-)

    For setting us poor benighted fools straight.  Let's not sully our pure reality-based progressive community with concerns about our food supply, I'm sure our wise and super smart scientists know what they are doing and everything is going to be OK.

  •  Okay, if GMO foods are so great, let's label them (14+ / 0-)

    Why hide the truth of their origin from the public?

    lI prefer local organic food personally.

    You really shouldn't make up names for people who disagree with you. Why not write articles for Forbes instead.

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:23:04 AM PDT

    •  Make Organic Growers Prove They Are GMO Free? (0+ / 0-)

      How many ppm contamination will shut them down?  

      There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

      by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:45:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Make GMO farmers prove that their food is (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Reetz, joanneleon, flowerfarmer

        more nutritious.

        To thine ownself be true

        by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:03:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  How Does That Rule Not Destroy Organic Foods? (0+ / 0-)

          I'm not going to hold my breath waiting for an answer, but if GMO labeling is mandatory, how does that end without the organic farmers going out of business?  Because their customers are primed to run right off a cliff over 5 parts per million contamination with a GMO variety,.   That sort of occasional contamination is inevitable, and their customers who have been conditioned by 30 years of "scandal" and panic will put those companies out of business overnight.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Organic farms will not go out of business (0+ / 0-)

            in fact it is growing and thriving, especially where I live. More and more people are rejecting industrial food.

            It doesn't matter if people supporting industry call everyone else names that will not stop the trend.

            To thine ownself be true

            by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:19:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are welcome to all the GMO (0+ / 0-)

            food you want to eat. I care about what goes in my body, that's why I'm staying away from it. Why certain people would want to shove GMO foods into everyone's mouths is beyond me.

      •  Organic growers have to prove (5+ / 0-)

        they are GMO free at least every other year. Inspection is part of the certification process and maintenance. They check the soil and the compost as well as the crop for the presence of transgenes or their products. The equipment for handling the crops and/or cleaning seeds must not be used at any time for handling GMO crops or seeds.

        There are lots of nifty hoops for organic farmers to jump through, some of them courtesy of Monsanto, et al. In separate actions, Monsanto also tried hard to allow GMOs "grown organically" (What? No Roundup on Roundup Ready?), and then to eliminate farm-based and co-op based seed cleaning altogether.

        •  Use of BT? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Agathena, Kevskos

          Is that allowed on organic farms?

          Monsantos BT corn failed over the last few years, beetles developed resistance. I consider that overuse of BT, I first read about overuse of BT in 1985, I'm sure Monsanto was aware of the issue.

          Now we have beetles resistant to that strain of BT landing on organic farms, organic corn. What is the impact to the organic farmer in this case. My guess is their corn crop would fail.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:12:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Organic farms can use Bt spores (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Russgirl, Agathena, Kevskos

            but they do not use Cry proteins. The bacteria are in dormant spores until ingested by their class of 'target' insects. Whereupon some digestive enzyme specific to that class of insect dissolves the spore and releases the bacterium to reproduce, which produces and releases the toxin and kills the insect (usually larvae).

            Mammal (amphibian, reptile, bird, etc.) digestive enzymes do not dissolve the spores - they go on through - so these animals are never exposed to the toxin unless they eat an infected caterpillar/worm. Which no doubt happens, but can't really be equated to ingesting Cry toxins in every single cell of the staple foodstuff they're eating 2 to 4 times a day.

            Healthy crops don't attract pest insects as much as unhealthy (stressed) crops. Even spraying Roundup on Roundup resistant crops causes stress. Resistance is not immunity. A certain percentage of crops are lost regardless of the farming method, some to insects. But unless you're talking a plague of locusts or something, much of the crop will survive. Organic farmers can make use of introduced predator insects (or birds, toads, garden snakes, etc.) to manage insects and slugs. I have a couple of opinionated Pekin ducks who are absolutely dedicated to keeping my garden bug-free (if they're smaller than mantises and not wasps or bumblebees, which they don't like). Chickens do the same, I've heard. So long as I keep them out until the plants are established it works great. So does my Satanic Habanero Sauce, if need be.

            •  Well said, Joieau (0+ / 0-)

              Don't you get the feeling that at some point, these crops will just totally fail? It seems that everyone of these crops is generating it's own host of problems. If this industry had to function under a true "free market", they would have gone out of bz long ago.

        •  That's Not The Same As Product Labelling (0+ / 0-)

          If non-organic foods require warning labels on every package, then the "organic" products should be tested batch-by-batch.

          What's the point of having a stringent regulatory and labeling system that exempts a class of products?  Would that not create a scenario that would lead to fraud and abuse?  Why not eliminate inspection of only swordfish?  Then I'll see you carp and call it swordfish.

          But that was the problem with Prop 37, someone spent all of 3 minutes drafting it.

          There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

          by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:32:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Why are GMOs so Important to Business (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cordgrass, elmo, MKinTN

    They are so important because the goal of business is to impede the production of crop unless a tax on that production is obtained by the business.  That tax is a seed tax.  I have little or no sympathy for scientists who choose to forget the real world effects of technology and focus on the "anti-science" aspect of some particular opponent.  The practical effects of giving your argument any credibility is to make more likely the corporate control of our agricultural gene pool.  At such time as the Supreme Court no longer chooses to make GMOs' ownership an issue I'll reexamine.

  •  since you seem to be up on things (0+ / 0-)

    and I still need some more amusement, have there been any studies on the effects of domestication on wild populations in plants and animals?

    I'm genuinely curious.

    •  Here's One (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Russgirl

      Domestic cattle gene traces in bison The cattle genes caused bison to be smaller, which is negative - a specific body mass is critical for survival in cold weather, and fighting off predators.

      Google can genuinely help you, too...

      "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

      by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:00:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  All I know is my fragile digestive system (5+ / 0-)

    Now requires three times the fruit if I buy it at the grocery store instead of the farmers market to get the same nutritional boost.

    Like the 15% beef Mc Donalds hamburger the content of what is grown is lacking.

    In addendum how exactly is Monsanto going to prevent contamination of other crops with their pollen?

  •  Right here, you lost me: (20+ / 0-)
    But the problem is labeling GMO foods would only misinform consumers and hurt small farmers who want to use GMO.  Any label would connote something negative, when in fact there is no scientific basis for this.
    This was exactly Monsanto's argument for why we shouldn't be informed about whether our milk was produced with RGBH. It is offensive, it is condescending, it is deeply authoritarian, and it has no place in any conversation about the rights and responsibilities of consumers and producers in a liberal democracy.

    By putting forth this particular argument, you brand yourself as a particular kind of ideologue; this means that every fact -- as opposed to opinion -- that you offer has extremely low credibility, and in order to evaluate your thesis, I would have to fact-check every single damned thing you've said. Sorry, but I'm just not up for that exercise.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:31:21 AM PDT

    •  Yup. Arguing labels harm & R negative (0+ / 0-)

      is hand waving, and puts the rest of the dairy into question, big time.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:03:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Think That GMO Can Benefit Third World (0+ / 0-)

    countries by helping with hunger.  The problem is that sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.  Imagine coming up with a plant that grows in the desert, and eventually takes over the whole place and can't be killed and is harmful to the environment over time.  These are things that need to be looked at.  Scientist need to not be Dr. Frankenstein's, but be environmentally careful and don't let profits talk, but let humanity talk.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:35:33 AM PDT

  •  Sorry, you lost me here (7+ / 0-)
    The government shouldn't force companies to do something that could potentially hurt their brand and has no scientific basis simply to indulge people's ignorant beliefs about an issue.  
    The government is us, and it's meant to represent us. If consumers don't want to buy GMO products  for whatever reason (good, bad, logical or illogical) we have that right. Producers don't have the right to do whatever they feel like to our food secretly and then sell it to us without disclosure. We shouldn't have to prove that something is unsafe in order to have something accurately labeled.

    If I buy an apple, I'd like to know if it was created by nature or through the artifice of science. It may take many years for the full implications of GMO foods to become known. In the meantime, I don't particularly care to be a guinea pig. That's my right as a consumer. If you want my food dollars, don't mess with Mother Nature.

  •  Speaking of Scientists, what about the revolving (5+ / 0-)

    door between Monsanto and the FDA?

    In 2009, President Obama appointed Michael Taylor as a senior adviser for the FDA. Consumer groups protested the appointment because Taylor had formerly served as a vice president for Monsanto, the controversial agricultural multinational at the forefront of genetically modified food.
    [...]
    Smith cited as problematic Taylor’s prior involvement in overseeing the policy of Monsanto’s genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH/rbST). Milk from injected cows has been a controversial topic, Smith points out, with many medical organizations and hospitals speaking out against it.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

    To thine ownself be true

    by Agathena on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:40:51 AM PDT

  •  I need to ask a question. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton

    I only took a couple of science classes in college that relate to this. I wanted to understand evolution so I took a couple of biology classes including one about genetics and evolution. It seems to me that all of our food is GM and all our pets and livestock too. Weren't the people breeding new types of plants and animals choosing the ones with the genetic traits that they valued and breeding them together to create something new? I thought of the development of maize/corn from teocinte (I bet that I spelled that wrong) and the modern bulldog. Isn't it just that the people doing this did not know they were genetically modifying these things?

    It would seem to me that the only issue is that modern GMO foods might be modified to have some traits that the modifier prefers, like those plants that will produce much more food or that produce only sterile seed, but at the same time they are ignoring negative traits that come along with the trait that they have been breeding for? Is this an issue? How can we tell if this is happening? I understand just enough about this to worry me and not enough to know what the real answer would be. It would seem to me that GMO should be judged on a case by case basis and judged by the traits that have been bred into them and not by the scary stories we hear on facebook. Any help or advice on this?

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:43:47 AM PDT

    •  absolutely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      stevie avebury

      they should be treated on a case by case basis.

      GM is just a technology.  Just like any technology can produce both bad things and good things.  But banning or labeling the entire technology is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Just labeling something as "GM" doesn't really tell you all that much and only misinforms people who may not be as educated on this subject.

      •  That's ridiculous. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, Russgirl, cordgrass, Kevskos

        Labeling GMO content simply informs the consumer that the food contains GMOs. It does NOT "misinform" the consumer about anything.

        Your objection is to why a consumer might want to know, and that is based on your fear that the consumer might already believe something about GMOs that you don't agree with. Tough titty. A majority of the consumers in this country want to have GMO food content labeled. That must include a good many who don't even bother to read labels, but appreciate the fact that foods are labeled so that consumers CAN know what they want to know about their foods.

        Hence your objection has absolutely nothing to do with science. It has to do with your personal authoritarian mindset, that believes citizens DO NOT have a right to information they clearly want to have.

        Furthermore, insisting that people who want their foods labeled for GMO content "need" to be "kicked out of the Progressive movement" informs us that your politics is not the least bit progressive.

  •  If They're Not Labeled, People Who Might Have a (4+ / 0-)

    sensitivity issue cannot discover what's bothering them.

    I'm someone who can't tolerate wheat, probably the single crop civilization is most based on. Yet there are plenty of us throwbacks who need to know when such a "beneficial" ingredient is in food we might buy.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:44:49 AM PDT

    •  There is no study that shows genetic modification (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sagesource, ebohlman

      creates an allergen.

      GM is just a technology.  Just like any technology can produce both bad things and good things.  Products made from this technology should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

      But banning or labeling the entire technology is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Just labeling something as "GM" doesn't really tell you all that much and only misinforms people who may not be as educated on this subject.

      •  Nonsense. (5+ / 0-)

        Monsanto's GM soy was found - by the FDA - to produce some "unintended large proteins" as a result of the engineering process. Large proteins are known to cause allergic reactions in sensitive people. As occurred to the Starlink corn cultivar, a large "unintended" protein that binded to the Cry9C protein to make an even bigger (and digestively resistant) molecule labeled 'potentially allergenic'. So the cultivar was restricted by FDA/USDA to animal feed only. When it 'got loose' and ended up in the human food it was a regular big deal. The human food chain has been tested for Starlink's 'unique' Cry9C since 2001 to ensure it doesn't happen again.

        Allergens happen. Medical science has a good handle on what they are and how they work, to the point where it's purely 'routine' in evaluating foods, food additives, dietary supplements and drugs (Food and Drug Administration) to predict or just note the presence of a possible allergenic molecule and require more specific testing by the producer or restriction on approval.

      •  Heres a paper that says GMO soy=allergen (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Russgirl, cordgrass, Kevskos

        J. Ordlee, et al, “Identification of a Brazil-Nut Allergen in Transgenic Soybeans,” The New England Journal of Medicine, March 14, 1996.

        http://www.researchgate.net/...

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:28:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why Won't Greenpeace Pay For One Credible Study? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MrAnon

    They've been raising money off this issue for 30 years, you'd think there'd be enough cash around to lease a greenhouse.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:44:54 AM PDT

  •  Fuck The Environment, Let's Panic Over Corn Flakes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obamalover20122

    People just can't get excited over complex issues they wayt they can for fairy tales with sinister villains.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:48:40 AM PDT

  •  Barbara Kingsolver made a case against GMOs in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    an essay in "Small Wonder: Essays" that I found interesting and, as a non-scientist, compelling.

    The world is not interested in the storms you encountered, but did you bring in the ship.

    by Hanging Up My Tusks on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:50:26 AM PDT

  •  IMO. This is not a helpful diary. (17+ / 0-)

    IMO this is in effect a "troll" diary.  

    The economic, political and scientific effects of GMO engineering in our food system worldwide are well documented. You misdirect our attention.

    In fact, the confluence of pesticide based farming and GMO engineered corn with corporate players like Monsanto that have been convicted in court of abuses with substances such as Roundup and Agent Orange is part of the public record.

    By the way, a perusal of the past diaries you have written does not present you as a "far left" type.  Your approach sometimes seems like disinformation to me.

    •  You seem to be conflating other issues with GMO (0+ / 0-)
      •  Please read the research before you talk. (4+ / 0-)

        Confluence?  GMO corn for example was first engineered to make it pesticide resistant.  (Roundup)

        Confluence?  The economics of farming and fertilizer, pesticides, and seed all contribute to the bottom line.  Follow the Benjamins is the rule with the GMO seed companies.

        Confluence?  Scientific research paid for by Monsanto for example should obviously be taken with a grain of salt if it is paid and run by Monsanto.

        Confluence?  Political clout and money was used to prohibit food labeling here in Hawaii (The home of GMO seed corn) as well as other places in the world.

        Confulence?  The rest of the world's scientific community understands the risks and costs of abandoning GMO foods.  I guess that they are all wrong?  Do you really think that they would waste all the money involved on a new age whim?

        Pau.  Enough.

        •  herbicide resistant, use the right term please (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Keone Michaels, Kevskos

          Monsantos BT corn has failed, beetles developed resistance. Over use of BT was known 30 yrs ago, but Monsanto went right ahead anyway.

          .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:07:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Similar Style To... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Keone Michaels

      This diary, and the responses of the diarist to criticism remind me, stylistically, of a certain Kos diarist who has attacked Matt Taibbi's columns as unfair to the Administration's response to TBTF banks.

      "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

      by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:17:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  2 points: (7+ / 0-)

    1. No one needs to be "kicked out" of the Progressive movement.  If you can't convince people by virtue of the facts, then that's your problem, not theirs.  You don't get to arbitrate who belongs here and who doesn't.   You may not "have the patience for it", but... welcome to democracy!

    2. I'm a supporter of GMOs as a technology and an opponent of labeling for a very long list of reasons.  And I agree with a lot of what you're saying about scientific ignorance and ideological blind spots.  But I'm not going to hash out everything here, because your lede in this diary is the opposite of productive, and it'd probably be best to scrap it and start over.

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:53:46 AM PDT

    •  my thoughts exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, mikidee

      although I'm not an opponent of labeling as a concept, the movement's reasoning for forcing labeling is a bit off.

      but this diary is even more off.

    •  Do you support the way front page writers (0+ / 0-)

      like Markos talk so derisively about anti-climate change nuts?

    •  Question (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pico, flowerfarmer, jrooth

      Were you also opposed to labeling milk?

      I haven't read enough about the arguments against GMO labeling to have a strong opinion, but I do clearly remember the battle in Pennsylvania about labeling milk and I strongly want that labeling.  It seems like most of the arguments would be similar.  Are they, in your view?


      "Justice is a commodity"

      by joanneleon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:06:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite the same: (0+ / 0-)

        Without going into too much detail (I wouldn't want to derail such an important diary!, heh), I think there's a more defensible argument to label a specific hormone - rBST - than to apply a GMO label, which is functionally meaningless and elides both between different types of technology, but also different potential risks associated with different products.  I laid out the latter argument both in that diary linked, but especially in the comments.

        Now, what people should be arguing, if this is what they really want, is a "Monsanto" label on products derived from their seed.  That would involve a much bigger sea change in the way people consume and think about their food, and it'd put more of the focus on what (I suspect) is the stronger opposition to GMO.  It also allows small tech companies to continue developing their GM products without being lumped in with a company that so many people despise.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:12:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In cases where (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jrooth

          the GMO plant is designed to be paired up with a pesticide, for instance, that's functionally meaningless?


          "Justice is a commodity"

          by joanneleon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:19:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The label 'GMO' is functionally meaningless. (4+ / 0-)

            What do a pesticide-paired corn and a trait-suppressed apple have in common?  Do they share any risks, benefits, or traits?  The labeling doesn't tell you anything about 1. what the modifications are, 2. what the benefits associated with those modifications are, 3. what the risks associated with those modifications are, 4. what the commercial origin of those modifications are (i.e. Monsanto, or a small local company, or whatever), etc. etc.  

            If you haven't read that link above, I recommend it (and the comments) - I put a lot of work into bringing together a ton of sources so that people interested in this wouldn't just be talking past one another.  

            Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

            by pico on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:24:48 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  exactly (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              MrAnon, NYFM

              label the product not the technology.

              Telling someone this is made with GM technology doesn't inform you of anything substantial and is much more likely to confuse rather than educate.

            •  Fair enough (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, Kevskos

              I'll read it.


              "Justice is a commodity"

              by joanneleon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:32:38 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  See (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Kevskos, pico

              this comment for a meaningful yet fairly simple suggested form of GMO labeling.

              Sure, just saying "GMO" on the label is useless - but that doesn't mean the whole labeling idea is useless.

              “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

              by jrooth on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:20:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thanks: (0+ / 0-)

                I'll have to think on it a bit, but that idea is without a doubt leaps and bounds better than the GMO labeling that's usually proposed.  I'm still concerned over what I think is an artificial distinction - e.g. no one labels ruby red grapefruit as "created by subjecting grapefruits to radiation until their genes mutated", which... when you write it out like that, sounds a lot more dangerous and subject to "unpredictable consequences" than any GM on the market today.  I do think the labeling idea is a harmful one because it encourages a basic ignorance about what GM is and how it works.

                But on the merits, yeah, that idea is a much better one and would allay many of my concerns.

                Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

                by pico on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:55:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  Agreed on GMOs except for labeling (4+ / 0-)

    GMO seeds are designed to increase yield and withstand more stress (even putting aside the resistance to Roundup). The exact degree to which this is the case depends on which studies you look at, but unless your position is that there is literally NO difference between GMO and non-GMO seeds, asking for labeling is not CT or "counter to science." It's merely consumers saying they want this knowledge when making their decisions. You may disagree in terms of how important it is to you personally or even whether you think it's appropriate for the government to require labeling on something that hasn't been proven to be a health risk. And that's fine, but the opposing position to yours on that is of a very different nature than some of the other anti-GMO stuff you cite.

    As for the "progressive movement" and kicking people out, that just seems ridiculous. There's no such thing as a progressive movement in the sense of anything uniform. The way to counter ideas we don't agree with is to counter them, not vilify groups of people.

    Want a progressive global warming novel, not a right wing rant? Go to www.edwardgtalbot.com and check out New World Orders

    by eparrot on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:54:45 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for this diary - and I'm hardly surprised (4+ / 0-)

    to see it received with, um, confused hostility.

    For more science-based information on the GMO battles, lots of good reading can be found in a recent set of articles in Nature (International weekly journal of science),  GM Crops: Promise and Reality.

    If that reading is a little dense for some of you, try this editorial in a recent issue of Discover magazine that provides some commentary on the articles in Nature.

    The bottom line, for me, is let the science and the scientists so the talking.

    Out with the gloomage - in with the plumage!

    by mikidee on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:55:17 AM PDT

  •  GMO Corn Will Kill Us All, Really, I'm Not Kidding (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM

    An old snark diary that I had to make sillier and sillier because people weren't  getting that it was snark.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

       Critics say "How can you blame GM pollen when bees are dying in countries that have little or no GM crops such as Scotland, Germany, and Poland?" That's what make it frightening - this stuff is so toxic that it can strike down its victims thousands of miles away.

        Professor Plum underestimates GM pollen's cataclysmic menace by comparing it to evil magic pixie dust. But it's much worse than regular evil magic pixie dust, it's like radioactive evil magic pixie dust.

        And don't let people minimize the danger of GM food by calling bees the "canary in the coal mine" - we have had reports from the Ukraine of pollen from American GM corn killing actual canaries in real coal mines, and frankly, the miners are pretty upset.

    Mr Green attributes this stunning toxicity to the principle of homeopathy - that biologically active compounds can be diluted almost infinitely with no loss in activity.

        This stuff is just as deadly 5,000 miles away as it is at 100 yards. Just like second hand smoke!

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 30, 2013 at 09:58:49 AM PDT

  •  When someone starts a discussion... (12+ / 0-)

    proclaiming themselves a liberal or progressive, they almost never are.

  •  I'm not totally against GMOs & I'm for labeling (6+ / 0-)

    The Lakeridge Winery located in Florida wouldn't exist if not for the University of Florida's Ag Dept genetically modifying the muscadine grape so they could produce a full range of wines. This winery is very open about how their grapes came to be. I buy their wine with the full knowledge the wine's grapes are GMO. (BTW, They make a very pleasing Port.)

    Most grape varieties cannot grow in Florida's climate, so the only possibility is for the grapes to be grafted and have other GMO manipulations for the vines to be viable.

    Same for the orange industry. The root stock of the orange tree is a sour orange, while the tree top is a sweet orange. Plant a seed from an orange, and you'll get the sour orange root stock. You have to graft a branch from a sweet orange to get your Honeybelle, Valencia and other varieties. I don't believe most people are aware that oranges are grown in this manner. Orange growers don't hide this information, but it's not on a label either. Then again, oranges are a common food allergy. Maybe this information should be on a label.

    The issue with Monsanto is that they have a checkered past. They created DDT and sold it to other countries after it was banned here. They gave us PCBs, Dioxin, Bovine Growth Hormone and Agent Orange. Monsanto has touted their chemicals as safe, then years later when we find out they were overly optimistic, they try and dodge responsibility. I've seen up front and personal the affects of Agent Orange on our veterans. It's criminal. Their GMO RoundUp resistant seed correlates to the flourishing of RoundUp resistant super weeds. We need more studies done by researchers that DON'T have a conflict of interest to find out if it's just a correlation or if there is cause and effect.

    So, no; I don't think we should kick people off the Progressive Island for objecting to GMOs or requiring GMO foods be labeled GMO. I think it's totally acceptable to demand to know what it is we are eating.

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:23:16 AM PDT

    •  Grafting is not Genetic Engineering (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kevskos, flowerfarmer, paz3

      Grafting plants goes back to 2000BC in China.  Greece has TONS of documented grafting for things like figs, grapes, dates, etc.

      I think we're all okay with that not being labeled.  If its been around for 4000+ years, I think we can consider it safe.

      But yeah, that wine should be labeled as GMO.  

      Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

      by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:32:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's still a type of genetic engineering (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mikidee, JDWolverton, NYFM, pico

        people graft sweeter oranges onto sour rootstock as it then gives the entire plant cold hardiness that it otherwise wouldn't have.

        •  Hmm... We don't entirely agree there. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos, flowerfarmer

          Grafting is a form of inosculation.  Typically there is very limited genetic modification and only at the site of the graft.  There is no mechanism by which to alter the nuclear DNA of the scion and the stock.

          This is known as the Lysenkian Theory and offered as an opposing argument to Mendelian Genetics and once heralded as the scientific breakthrough that would be used to change the Soviet Tundra into a lush agroscape to rival America's Midwest.   This idea was considered to be junk-science that relied on Lamarckist theories of evolution.

          That being said, however; there has been some recent evidence that some very minor changes can pass across but this is still relatively new and nothing close to the scale of changes of true man-made genetic engineering.  Bit of a misnomer, I think, to equate this to the wholesale modifications we see today.

          Exchange of Genetic Material Between Cells in Plant Tissue Grafts (Science Magazine - Free registration required)

          Although the grafted tissues fuse and establish vascular connections, the stock (the lower part of the graft) and scion (the upper part, usually supplying solely aerial parts to the graft) are thought not to exchange their genetic materials. But grafting (whether natural or assisted) provides a path for horizontal gene transfer. Gene transfer is confined to the graft site and no long-distance transfer may occur. Analyzes indicating that large DNA pieces or even entire plastid genomes are transferred. Only plastid genes may be transferred, no transfer of nuclear genes occur. Plant cells are connected via plasmatic bridges called plasmodesmata, but the passage of large macromolecules requires the action of specific plasmodesmata-widening proteins. Whether large DNA pieces or even entire organelles can travel through plasmodesmata requires further investigation.

          Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

          by Wisper on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:55:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes, that's true, but (0+ / 0-)

            grafting a valencia orange for example onto sour orange rootstock such as trifolate orange (which typically is hardy down to zone 5---i have one in my yard), absoultely will confer cold-hardiness to the entire plant. Not down to zone 5, of course. Works for height too. grafting onto dwarf rootstock ensures the tree will remain small enough to stay in a container. These seem to be very big in all the garden catalogues this season.

            There's actually a neat little cold-hardy citrus hobby community that's busy trying to create an orange that can be grown all over through the grafting of branches onto the tree, the grafting of trees onto the rootstock, and seedlings selected for their particular cold hardiness. I still consider this genetic engineering, even if it's not done by delibertely splicing genes in. genes are still being selected for. trifolate oranges in particular are used to create hybrids. I have one in my yard because by the time we jump into zone 7, it'll be mature enough for me to jump in. But I'm talking about two different things here.

        •  The muscadine grape root stock had to be (0+ / 0-)

          modified to take the grafts from the more conventional wine varieties. There was both GMO and grafting on the grapes.

          I think there is some GMO work being done with oranges too. Right now, Florida is possibly going to lose all of their orange trees to a new parasite that came in throught the Port of Miami about 10 years ago. It's very serious. I believe Gainesville is working on a GMO solution.

          If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

          by JDWolverton on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:14:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It Is Not Engineering (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos

          Wrong! Aside from any possible epigenetic issues,[ /snark -look it up] the genes in the rootstock and the genes on the scion of the graft do not change, so no "engineering" has occurred.

          Grafting is simply a mechanical process.

          "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

          by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:41:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I Take That Back (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos

            Due to a far better informed post, scientifically-speaking, that I hadn't read, by Wisper.

            "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

            by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:45:07 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Plnat a seed (0+ / 0-)

      from a citrus and get a new type of tree. It will probably be sour and yucky but you never know.

  •  scientific study showing potential harm from GMO (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice, mungley, ZhenRen, paz3, Russgirl

    http://independentsciencenews.org/...

    In the course of analysis to identify potential allergens in GMO crops, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has belatedly discovered that the most common genetic regulatory sequence in commercial GMOs also encodes a significant fragment of a viral gene (Podevin and du Jardin 2012). This finding has serious ramifications for crop biotechnology and its regulation, but possibly even greater ones for consumers and farmers. This is because there are clear indications that this viral gene (called Gene VI) might not be safe for human consumption. It also may disturb the normal functioning of crops, including their natural pest resistance.
    This finding was discovered accidentally, because ACTUAL research on GMO crops that shows them in a bad light is legally censored by the GMO companies.
  •  There is no science supporting a prohibition (7+ / 0-)

    on GMO labelling, nor any reason nor logic. To prohibit labeling is to limit information, which is unscientific and antiscientific. More importantly, it requires that we be able to say with certainty today that Monsanto and Syngenta et. al. will never, ever, at any future time, create any GMO that is harmful to the environment or to people. That cannot be said with any basis in science or reason.

    It is simply an unscientific and a-factual lie that providing information to consumers misleads them. We heard this same bullshit lie about point of origin labeling, fresh or previously frozen labeling, nutritional content labeling, organic labeling, etc. There is never a reson to prohibit informative labeling and it does not, by definition, mislead.

    Now, the reality: There have been no studies on the long term safety of existing GMO products on humans, there is absolutely no science whatsoever supporting their safety.
       Meanwhile:
    Syngenta has been criminally charged with denying knowledge that its genetically modified (GM) Bt corn kills livestock during a civil court case that ended in 2007.
    link

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:42:28 AM PDT

  •  I am confused (5+ / 0-)

    at the conflation of hybrids, grafting, and GMOs.  All these are separate, right?  Can I still think of all three processes as equivalent?

    Does the pro-GMO argument include the recently-announced GMO salmon?  I already have problems with the introduction of hatchery salmon, and its diluting of wild stocks' DNA.

    I'm for labeling, just because.  In Oregon, you have to label the "state of origin" for chicken, so if you choose, you can buy a chicken with better odds of being fresh and salmonella-free.

    I don't care if studies show little difference between chickens from Creswell, and from Arkansas, I treasure that little difference and don't want to give it up.  

    Under the same principle, I'm not anti-GMO but folks who are, should be allowed to avoid it.

    Orly, it isn't evidence just because you downloaded it from the internet.

    by 6412093 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:48:16 AM PDT

    •  Yes they are & no they're not (0+ / 0-)
      I am confused at the conflation of hybrids, grafting, and GMOs.  All these are separate, right?
       Yes they are, biologically.
      Can I still think of all three processes as equivalent?
      Maybe a bit, visually, but a hybrid seed will not produce a plant that isn't in the same genus (or, at least, family?). A graft will not require any initial gene modification (some may occur at the site of the graft, as explained by Wisper, above).

      "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

      by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:02:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  GMOs should be labeled as such. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    joanneleon, Kevskos

    I suspect that over time we shall discover that most are perfectly safe...and also that a handful are not.

    But regardless, I have a right to know what I am buying.

    Frankly, an awful lot of this is just an effort by Monsanto to own the rights to every freaking seed in the world.

    I don't think they should be allowed to patent foodstuffs...any more than private companies should be allowed to own the air.

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Thu May 30, 2013 at 10:49:57 AM PDT

    •  Certainly some GMO products may be bad (0+ / 0-)

      But GM itself is just a technology.  Just like any technology can produce both bad things and good things.  Products made from this technology should be treated on a case-by-case basis.

      But banning or labeling the entire technology is like throwing the baby out with the bath water.

      Just labeling something as "GM" doesn't really tell you all that much and only misinforms people who may not be as educated on this subject.

      •  Pesticide industry is full of labels (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:14:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There is a scientific basis for that labeling (0+ / 0-)

          however.

          •  After decades, Agent Oranges impact was understood (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Kevskos

            After many Vietnam Vets came home and started having families, and problems, did Agent Orange get the attention it deserved.

            Dursban was banned for residential use 13 years ago, Diazanon was banned for residential use 9 years ago,

            Both were developed in the 1950's, risks were not understood until decades later. There was no scientific basis for limiting the use of these pesticides in the first decade or two of use.

            .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

            by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:58:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Eat your frankenpeas! (4+ / 0-)

    And love it.

    Keep the TVA public.

    by Paleo on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:16:24 AM PDT

  •  Rec'd For Good Info on GMO Issues (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYFM, mikidee

    Though I don't think we need to kick anybody out of anywhere.

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:32:10 AM PDT

  •  Monsanto is an AgriBUSINESS, it totally depends (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    protectspice

    on obscene profits and like any other corporation will do anything to get them. Their first concern is not science, its profits and therein lies the problem.
    You want a conspiracy theory, how about this.. no food should be for profit.. no water should be for profit.. nothing that was given to sustain life on this earth by whatever, whoever, however that made or created this place and us should be for profit.

    Here is an interesting Marketwatch article on Monsanto (and those the diarist thinks should be "kicked out")..
    http://www.marketwatch.com/...

    •  Food being for profit (0+ / 0-)

      Has been the case long before Monsanto or GMOs.

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:46:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  The point is (0+ / 0-)

          That your concerns have little to do with the specific issue of GM crops, Monsanto, or labeling.

          Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

          by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 11:53:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Dear Mr. Anon, comprehension please, profits have (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            protectspice, Kevskos

            everything to do with Monsanto, GM crops and labeling. Yes, its all about the profit. They don't care about you, your cat, your kids, the future, hungry people, the earth. The only reason a corporation exists is to make profits and make them in any way they can. Enjoy your frankencorn.

            •  Let's make this clear (0+ / 0-)

              Take away Monsanto and GM technology and you will still have agribusiness whose goal is to make profit. Even organic producers desire profit.

              Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

              by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:17:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Thats the thing about us progressives, we will (0+ / 0-)

                always see progression. One must always take the first steps and keep steppin after that. Seems in this case the first step is Monsanto. There have always been wars, doesn't mean its right and it doesn't mean you stop trying to end them.

                •  In that case (0+ / 0-)

                  The more productive thing would be to raise awareness and protest patent laws, rather than make the debate about GMO science and safety.

                  Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

                  by MrAnon on Thu May 30, 2013 at 07:27:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Progressives can actually do more than one thing. (0+ / 0-)

                    Who are you to determine concerns that people have. I would imagine parents would want to raise awareness and stop GMO's until they KNOW its safe for their kids. BTW Monsanto has just caused a trade disaster. Just what we need right now for the economy...

                    http://news.yahoo.com/...

              •  Nothing Wrong With Non-exploitive Profit (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Kevskos
                Take away Monsanto and GM technology and you will still have agribusiness
                But it might be safer...if regulated towards safety and sustainability.

                Precautionary principle.

                "Treat others as you would like them to treat you." -St. Luke 6: 31 (NEB) Christians are given a tough assignment here: Love the people you don't even like...

                by paz3 on Thu May 30, 2013 at 04:07:37 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  I totally agree that (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    it is an issue when people without a strong scientific aptitude write about science, this can lead to gross misconceptions.

    How you get from there to being anti label is beyond me.

    .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

    by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 12:16:30 PM PDT

  •  the 90 day feed studies (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, protectspice

    are designed for single compounds, not whole foods. They do not speak to developmental or reproductive impacts. They also don't speak to their impact on the ecosystem etc etc etc. ALL they say is: if you eat this for 90 days, you will not be poisoned outright.

    So, as an advocate of science, I would think the appropriate response would be: We don't know the long term impacts, so lets find out.

    The none scientific response would be:
    Lets feed this shit to humans and see what happens.
    or
    ZOMG U DON'T LEIK SCIENCE, GTFO!!!

    If I could HR this diary, I would.

    •  It took decades to understand the impact (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      protectspice, Kevskos

      of Agent Orange, Diazanon & Dursban.

      There was no scientific basis for the current use bans in 1967.

      But know we know better.

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:17:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  For the record, I think you could make a ... (6+ / 0-)

    ...better case if you weren't giving Monsanto a pass here. The company is engaged in more than patent abuse. A look at its absolutely outrageous behavior in jiggering the data in its dioxin studies ought to give pause to anyone—scientist or not—about what kind of lies Monsanto may be telling us now.

    There are political issues as well for those—like me—who are more concerned about the synergistic impacts of planting ever more patented crops engineered to only be affected by patented pesticides than about the unlikelihood that GMO crops will have harmful health effects.

    Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

    by Meteor Blades on Thu May 30, 2013 at 01:11:08 PM PDT

    •  I'm not giving anyone a pass (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SpeedyGonzales

      I hate Monsanto.

      But it does seem you are conflating two issues: patent law and GMO.

      I think if Progressives focused this energy on changing our patent laws it would not only do a lot of good for agriculture in this country but for a whole host of other things... Including scientific innovation!

    •  Also what complicates the other part of your (0+ / 0-)

      argument is that there are independent studies, and they show that GMO in itself is just as safe as non-GMO products.

      •  Study Says GMO Soy was an allergen (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Kevskos

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:32:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Study Says horizontal gene transfer to humans (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Kevskos

        Genes engineered into one organism have transferred to bacteria in the mouth3 and gut of humans.4 In the only human feeding study ever conducted to test GMOs, the Roundup Ready® gene from soy trans­ferred to the bacteria found in the gut of humans. The fact that the bacteria took up the Roundup Ready® trait is an example of horizontal gene transfer, a phenomenon long discounted by the biotech industry. Most worrying, these studies show the potential for bacteria to also take up antibiotic resistant genes often engineered into GMOs. Bacteria could then become resistant to the antibiotics we use to combat dis­eases and fail to be cured by antibiotics.

        Netherwood, et al, “Assessing the survival of transgenic plant DNA in the human gastrointestinal tract,” Nature Biotechnology, Vol 22 Number 2 February 2004. http://www.food.gov.uk/....

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:38:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Study Says: Mice Fed GM Peas Show Immune Response (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Kevskos

        Mice Fed GM Peas Show Immune Response

        Mice that were fed GE peas engineered with a gene from a bean demon­strated an immune response, including inflammation of the lungs and increased serum antibody levels.5  Significantly, the protein produced from the natural version of the same gene in beans does not cause these responses. The study shows that heedlessly transferring genes from one organism to another via genetic engineering can have health conse­quences, including allergies and other adverse immune responses.

        Vanessa E. Prescott, Peter M. Campbell, Andrew Moore, Joerg Mattes, Marc E. Rothenberg, Paul S. Foster, T. J. V. Higgins, and Simon P. Hogan, “Transgenic Expression of Bean-Amylase Inhibitor in Peas Results in Altered Structure and Immunogenicity,” Agric. Food Chem., 53 (23), 9023 -9030, 2005. 10.1021/jf050594v S0021-8561(05)00594-7, October 15, 2005:Mice exposed to alpha-amylase inhibitor of GM-peas showed evidence of an immune response after two weeks, with the response increasing at four weeks. The reaction in mice was evident by inflammation in the lungs and increased serum antibody levels. The research also showed that after eating the GM peas, there was evidence that the pea alpha-amylase inhibitor protein primed the mice to react to other food antigens.

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:40:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Study Saysw GMO Starlink corn unsafe (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Eyesbright, Russgirl, Kevskos

        for human consumption

        William Freese and David Schubert, “Safety Testing and Regulation of Genetically Engineered Foods,” Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews, Vol. 21, 299-324 November 2004.

        http://www.saveourseeds.org/...

        .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

        by Roger Fox on Thu May 30, 2013 at 02:43:52 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think you have a case of confirmation bias (0+ / 0-)

          you are just linking to the studies that somewhat conform with your world view.

          The vast majority of GM studies say it is perfectly safe.  Ignoring those studies and just focusing on the minority of studies that agree with your preconceived opinion is confirmation bias.

  •  I was just informed that my diary is on the front (0+ / 0-)

    page of reddit... nice

  •  you are no better than your objects of criticism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Roger Fox, mungley, jrooth
    GMO is harmful (it is most definitely not)
    There are a vast number of different GMOs and there is no justification for this categorical statement.

    For example, will the introduction of genes to produce BT toxin lead to insect immunity?  Each case needs to be evaluated independently.  Making changes to the genes of broadly consumed foodstuffs merits scrutiny, not head in the sand denial.

    Just because "Natural News" website is contemptible junk. that does not justify your position.

    •  I agree it needs to be judged on a case by case (0+ / 0-)

      basis.  But the technology itself is perfectly safe.  

      See in my diary:

      Claim: GMO puts toxins into your foods
      •  GMO Use a Tricky Question (3+ / 0-)

        Thank you for an interesting and provocative post. As with many new technologies, GMO seeds have potentially enornous benefits, but also raise some serious concerns.

        I am very surprised that some of the most significant concerns have not been raised in the responses to your post.  One of the largest concerns is that, because it is not possible to completely control the spread of seeds, GMO plants can spread uncontrollably.  Additionally, if a single stronger strain of a crop plant dominates a region and then is attacked by a disease that it is susceptible to, serious food shortages can occur.

        Another concern that has barely been mentioned is the potential effects of modified crops on organisms in the environment that depend on the plants as part of their lifecycle. If a plant is made to be resistant to insects, and a beneficial insect species depends on that plant, this causes problems.

        The fear of being poisoned by GMOs is far overblown, and is largely based on an ignorance of the science involved.

        Despite the concerns with GMOs, they offer the possibility of very significant benefits.  For example, plants can be modified to survive in climates or soil conditions where they otherwise could not, thereby bringing food to regions where hunger is prevalent.

        Another potential benefit is reduced use of pesticides due to plants that resist the pests themselves.

        I can also envision the creation of plants that provide nutrients that may become difficult to find in available foods. For example, as fish become more and more contaminated, there may be plants that produce omega 3 fatty acids.

        I think it is possible that some of the aversion to GMOs by progressives comes from linking them to Monsanto, rather than viewing the concept by itself. Monsanto is no better or worse than other corporations such as Exxon, and cannot be expected to act morally without government regulation.

        I am not against very simple labeling that only indicates that a food is a GMO, as I have a problem with believing that witholding information from people is a good thing.

        I think use of GMOs is an issue that merits serious discussion, but that most of the discussion to date is focused on the wrong issues.

      •  clearly false (0+ / 0-)
        But the technology itself is perfectly safe.  
        If someone wanted to they could insert a gene for producing strychnine or ricin into a food crop.  Any technology that is useful can be made to do unsafe things.
  •  Nice try? I'm not sure of your goals here. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    I'm not sure what your goal was here.
    Was to assault people who don't like certain types of laboratory modified foods in their diets?

    Was it to confuse the difference between basic farming practices that have been going on for millenniums and the modification of specific parts of a plant's genes in a laboratory?

    Was it to alienate people who want to know what is in their food?

    By conflating all methods of genetic manipulation and calling them GMOs you have done whatever it is you are trying to convey a disservice.

    If you want to pretend that cross pollinating two species of tomato is the same as splicing the genes of a winter flounder into a tomato, that's great, but it fails to help your case.

    Take back the House in 2014!!!! ( 50-state strategy needed)

    by mungley on Thu May 30, 2013 at 03:03:09 PM PDT

  •  Some counter-arguments: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, Kevskos

    I.  Roundup-ready plants:
        A. Transfer the Glyphosate resistance to related weed species leading to "super weeds", by cross-pollination.
        B. Enable, and thus encourage, more application of Glyphosate (which is NOT safe), leading to higher residues in foods.

    II. BT- producing plants:
         A. Transfer BT-production to related weed species leading to more "super weeds", by cross-pollination.
         B. Kill non-pest insect species too leading to more rapid ecological breakdown.

  •  Western science should be in held in check. (0+ / 0-)

    The Western, "superior" way of doing of things may be based on science, which may be better than religion by comparison, but it is still is driven by white, male, American and European colonialist interest groups, who believe that only they have the power to feed the world, and do it in a way that they see fit.

    It isn't whether or not GMO's will shave two years off my brief life-span, or whether or not it's safer than guns or smoking. Those questions are me-centric questions that don't take in consideration the impact on the environment, or the impact on non-Western cultures around the world.

    We have an obligation to preserve the ecosystem, and to stop creating GMO's, just because we can scientifically, that will compete with Earth-evolved creatures that have been here first. Even if we don't directly benefit from the existance of Earth-evolved creatures, scientifically or otherwise, our values should dictate that we protect this Earth-evolved ecosystem.

  •  Righty tighty, lefty loosy. (5+ / 0-)

    Can we get rid of the anti-vacc crowd, the goofy New Age crystal healing people, the anti-flouride whackos, and the anti-wheat cultists too?

    The left has its own wingnuts, and some of them are every bit as dangerous as the godbothering, biblethumping gunwavers on the right, but maybe more insidious. Yelling about brown people and homosexuals at least doesn't make whole areas of the country lose their herd immunity.

    There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the Republicans no matter what. Our job is not to worry about those people.

    by xenothaulus on Fri May 31, 2013 at 05:13:46 AM PDT

  •  Terrible diary. (0+ / 0-)

    Better food through chemistry economics!

    My problem with the science is that many of the health issues experienced with the radical alteration of food production and consumption is that the results are often not seen until many years in the future - multiple generations, perhaps.

    We're talking about hormones, radiation, DNA alterations, manufactured chemicals designed to kill living cells, manufactured chemicals for flavor and price.

    We're talking about massive factory farms, farm pollution, soil erosion, and other massive ecological changes.

    All of these things introduced into the food supply in the last 3 generations - most by companies that just happen to also do GMO work. The science has been done by the industry, for the industry, and in the last 20 years the patenting and intellectual property rights have made doing unapproved and unsponsored science quite difficult.

    This diary narrowly defines the GMO issue as the concept of genetic modification itself while ignoring the behavior and motivations of the chief players in that space.

    This appeal to 'science' as an ultimate political authority (or get the hell out!) is just that, an appeal to authority, and it will serve as a bludgeon to hammer on progressives who are interested in Healthy Food and local and personal control over food consumption and production.

    I think it's pretty clear that is the diarist's intent.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Fri May 31, 2013 at 08:48:24 AM PDT

  •  Excellent post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeehs

    that is sorely needed to be widely appreciated. One has to wonder if there isn't some 'set point' in the culture for conspiracies and as one conspiracy is laid to rest another must spring up to fill the void.

  •  Not all opposition to GMO is anti-science. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AaronInSanDiego

    One of the things that I find annoying in this debate is the anti-science BS from people on my "side" of the issue. There are serious problems with current GMO practice and law that need to be addressed, and pseudo-scientific scare tactics do not help the issue. The more foods like Golden Rice that genetic engineering can give us, the sooner world hunger can be alleviated. By the same token, the sort of monolithic agriculture than results from farmers all growing the same patented seeds makes crop failures more likely. Bad science in the GMO debate just makes it easier for companies to paint ant opposition as a bunch of kooks.

    Workers of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your shackles. It is by the picket line and direct action that true freedom will be won, not by electing people who promise to screw us less than the other guy.

    by rhonan on Fri May 31, 2013 at 11:26:01 AM PDT

  •  Interesting approach... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oh Mary Oh, AaronInSanDiego

    ...but I can't say as I wholly agree.  Having addressed this myself recently in a somewhat ironically titled video ("The REAL TRUTH about GMO's, Monsanto, and You," feel free to look for it on YouTube, as I don't want to be accused of "spamming" for linking it here), I think it's worth looking at where we diverge in our opinion.

    On one hand, I think you make some excellent points in regards to hyperbole, the utter uselessness and profit motivation of NN.C, etc.

    On the other hand, you've also overlooked some key concerns that legitimate scientists have raised and that are self-evidently valid to any reasoned person who considers them.  In a nutshell:

    - Safety (consumption):  It is no more scientifically valid to say for certain there are no risks or that GM "is most definitely not" harmful.  In reality, we don't have that certainty about GMOs or really about anything, and in the case of GMOs there's a troubling lack of study, especially with regards to long-term possibilities.  This is a bit of a conundrum for science, because the simple reality is that we haven't had GMO's to study "long term."  This dovetails into another legitimate issue...

    - Safety (viability):  The possibility exists that any one of these mods may create a vulnerability to diseases, pests, etc. of which we are not yet aware.  This wouldn't be as big a deal if we had 20 or even 50 percent GM crops, but for some critical agriculture GM prevalence in this country approaches or exceeds 90% (e.g. maize 86%; soybeans 93%).  If there is a vulnerability created by (for instance) Roundup-Ready modification of maize, and suddenly ten or twenty or fifty years from now that modification allows for a decimating disease to infect and kill maize crops, now instead of risking 10 or 20 or even 50% of the crop we're risking almost all of it.  That's an unacceptable risk.

    In both these cases, the risk is unknown.  There may be no risk at all, there may be significant risk.  And risk is fine, right, you don't take a step forward without taking the chance you'll turn your ankle and break your leg, so we can't be paralyzed by fear of the unknown.  At the same time, you work to minimize such risk.  Any scientist will tell you that putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea, and there are innumerable examples of a too-cavalier approach to risk coming back to hurt us, from tobacco to the over-use of antibiotics.  This isn't to say "omg kill all the GMOs," but you also don't want to be in a position where suddenly 9 of every 10 maize plants grown in the US are wiped out by an unexpected issue.  To deny or ignore this risk is no less bad science than to assume that all GMOs are evil.  As things stand right now, from a functional standpoint this is precisely what we're doing, and it's precisely what your article advocates.  One does not correct an error of extremity by going to the opposite extreme.

    The patenting issue is also a problem; Monsanto can and has successfully sued people for inadvertently growing Monsanto-owned GM plants, most recently just a couple of weeks ago.  I'm a bit less reactionary than some with regards to "big business," and I recognize both that Monsanto has done some good in the world and that they deserve to profit from their work, but when that extends to a point where one large company, or a handful of them, can use the courts to force people to buy commercially grown and packaged food because it's impossible to grow food that has no patented genetic code, it's gone too far.  Regardless of what you may think personally of someone's choice to avoid store-bought food, it's their choice and their right to do so.  Turning the justice system into a private IP security guard for private industry has very ugly implications.

    In the end, I find your approach here to be just as "extreme" as that which you are opposing.  A balanced and reasoned approach to this issue takes these legitimate concerns into account and seeks a "golden mean," a moderation that allows for experimentation and technological advancement while also avoiding the error of going "all in" on technology that has multiple risks of unknown nature and scope.  What we need here is not extremity in either direction, but moderated reason.

    •  Patented Genetic Code (0+ / 0-)

      I suppose Monsanto has the right to patent a type of seed it has developed by altering it's genetic code.  The idea of patenting genes that exist in nature, however, is absurd.

      There are companies patenting genes from the human genome, which I think is absolutely ridiculous.  Does this mean that they will be able to then charge anyone who is alive for using their patented genes?

  •  GMO <> evil (0+ / 0-)

    I have no problems with the idea of GMO foods.  A right-winger I am friends with is pretty much against any GMO foods - but then, she also is a right-winger, so who knows what level of sanity she has...  :-P

    Anyways - why not label GMO food until we know for sure?  Shoot - we label kosher and hillel food (voluntarily, of course), so why not GMO?  Giving people information on what they are buying is never a bad thing.

    What I DON'T like about GMO food is related to the corporations producing and patenting it, not the food itself.  When Monsanto can prevent folks from planting seeds they keep, and forcing farmers to rebuy (and rebuy and rebuy) seeds from them just to grow corn, something is wrong with the system.

  •  Nice try. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ebohlman, aimeehs

    But I've now started to embrace the nutbags. I think tying themselves to Alex Jones, Jeffrey Smith, Mercola, Gary Null, and all the rest of the derp team actually makes it easier to dismiss them.

    And I know that I've already told some of these same people in these threads years ago that they were mistaken on all the claims--such as pollen transfer to superweeds and barriers to research.

    I love that they claim there are barriers to research and simultaneously claim that there's all this research that shows harm.

    I have now learned that lemon juice cures everything anyway, so you all have nothing to worry about any more.

    “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

    by mem from somerville on Fri May 31, 2013 at 12:15:08 PM PDT

  •  Writer is right on the science (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Obamalover20122, pengiep

    I read up on this issue about a year ago, and a month ago when a spate of GMO trutherism started making the rounds.  I came to the same conclusion the writer did on the science.  I don't believe, however, that anyone should be kicked out of any movement.  I do think the anti-GMO people, given the current state of the evidence, have not stated a valid position.

    The shame is that valuable humanitarian GMOs, like Golden Rice, will be tossed on the scrap heap when they could be keeping hundreds of thousands of kids annually from dying.  Bill Gates, for one, is backing the effort.  

    Also, please do not ascribe morality to whether a corporation or business is big or small.  It seems to be some of the "organic" interests are pushing the anti-GMO stance to make their products seem more attractive.

    •  The thousands of kids will still die because (0+ / 0-)

      no-one is putting money into subsidizing the food for their purchase. Same as the "Green Revolution". You can grow more per acre if you can afford the inputs, which include the patented seed, but small holder farmers in the 3rd World cannot afford these inputs.

      •  India actually is doing a lot of work that should (0+ / 0-)

        provide  GM enhanced seeds at a much more reasonable price and availability to poor farmers. I'm all in favor of this sort of activity. I would guess all the big seed companies hate this, but that's tough. The Indian effort to get the benefits of modern genetic technology into the hands of the poor is a great counterbalance to the seed monopolists.

        "Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens," -Friedrich Schiller "Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in Vain"

        by pengiep on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:35:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm a skeptic about this; I *fervently* hope (0+ / 0-)

          that India's government can prevail, as they have with some challenges to the Pharmaceutical industry. But India's farmers are typically so poor that it's just not an option for them to pay for inputs. That's why I'm a doubter about this.

  •  Reason for HR (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades, tytalus, EverGrateful

    So, let me get this straight: we should kick anyone you deem a "GMO truther" out of our movement, regardless of how progressive they are on other issues - economic justice, GLBT, gender andd minority rights, environmentalism, et al. - because they disagree with you on this one issue?  

    Even a proven progressive stalwart like Meteor Blades?  To the point of misrepresenting the content of his diary?  What I saw was a pretty straightforward news diary reporting on GMO protests and protesters.  The quoted articles didn't even take an anti-GMO stance other than to report the views of the protesters - certainly within the bounds of responsible, objective journalism.  Should we now censor the reporting of factual information that goes against your putative party line?

    I don't think so.

    As far as GMOs themselves, I think the jury is still out.  I share the concerns expressed by others about possible, unanticipated side effects and I think consumers have the right to know if the food they buy contains GMOs.  These are points on which reasonable people can disagree.

    But you've demonstrated an authoritarian mindset more appropriate for a Tea Party Patriot than a scientist and member of the "far left."  And for that, you get my donut.

    See the children of the earth who wake to find the table bare, See the gentry in the country riding out to take the air. ~~Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"

    by Panama Pete on Fri May 31, 2013 at 03:20:45 PM PDT

    •  I'm Hopeful Meteor Blades will change his mind (0+ / 0-)

      now that he knows there is wide scientific consensus on this issue

      •  Change my mind about what? Monsanto?... (7+ / 0-)

        ...Reporting the fact that two million people protested Monsanto or GMOs and some protested both?

        What IS my position on GMOs, by the way?

        Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

        by Meteor Blades on Fri May 31, 2013 at 06:21:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't say for sure, and I don't want to try (0+ / 0-)

          to read your mind, but you were promoting anti-GMO nonsense on the front page.

          I have no problem hating Monsanto.  I hate Monsanto just like I hate all corporations that abuse our system.  But those protests were triggered in large part by the so-called "Monsanto protection act", which is actually a misnomer.  It is an anti-GMO act.  That is a common tactic by GMO truthers: they try to blur the line between hating corporate malfeasance and hating GMO.

        •  Two million responded on facebook maybe (0+ / 0-)

          Perhaps 1/10 of that actually showed up. Clicktivism--yeah, that's deep.

          And yet in a really short time a teeny outfit raised a good sum of money to make a GMO tchotchke.

          Glowing Plants: Natural Lighting with no Electricity

          Too bad some of these folks couldn't instead raise money to do some experiments that address their claims. I said to an activist just the other day: why don't you fund a study to look at countries that do label, and see if it had any impact on allergic reactions?

          She asked me why she would do that. Why?

          To her credit, she's probably right--it wouldn't show what she wants. But you can't know that until you actually see the data.  

          “I apologise ...for not making myself clear. I should have said that this new age drivel is undermining the very fabric of our civilisation --@ProfBrianCox

          by mem from somerville on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 06:37:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  You're Missing the Point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EverGrateful

    How could anyone be against scientific progress?

    The problem -- as usual -- is the capitalism.  Patents, licensing, monocultures, mass marketing, victimization of consumers, dishonesty and pofiteering by socially and ecologically irresponsible, litigious, multinational corporations.

    "... all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you." --Mark 11:24

    by november3rd on Fri May 31, 2013 at 04:59:51 PM PDT

  •  downratings are abusive (0+ / 0-)

    should be removed

  •  Single-issue litmus tests (0+ / 0-)

    are awesome.

  •  Arrogance is not the spirit of science (0+ / 0-)

    This study from a country that isn't renowned for its consumer advocacy.

    How can a 'scientist' be opposed to information?

    An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. -Benjamin Franklin

    by martinjedlicka on Fri May 31, 2013 at 09:37:38 PM PDT

  •  since when? (0+ / 0-)

    Pretty amazing. Daily Kos presenting itself as a voice for progressives while simultaneously shilling for big ag, big pharma and their corrupt 'scientist' henchmen ~ you know, the recipients of the Obama administration's revolving door free passes. Rachel Maddow's paycheck might explain her shilling for the corrupt corporate propaganda machinery, but what is the excuse for Kos?  After Kos was rightly catapulted into the pantheon of elite 'progressive' news sources due to its coverage of black box election fraud against the 99% years ago, the question arises: just which laws of politics have kept Kos among the top 1000 sites in the US, despite an incriminating track record of apparent shilling for the 1%?

  •  GMO Needs Oversight & Regulation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man

    One, scientific studies (even "independent" ones) are often self-serving, and we don't have time thesedays to research, cull, and compared data/methodology. Two, natural foods evolved over eons, GMO food hasn't. Three, if the connotation of GMO labeling would be "negative," then GMO proponents need to make more compelling arguments than the detractors. Four, Bill Maher is NOT a Progressive. Five, we are NOT experts on the genome of ANYTHING, let alone all of the GMO foods; How do we know whether a negative mutation is being invited when altering age-old genetic structures? Six, it IS about Monsanto making tons more money, which is more dangerous to small farmers survival. Seven, making plants at certain stages toxic to insects could NEVER mutate into other plant stages becoming toxic? Never? Really? Eight, as far feeding starving nations is concerned, almost ANYTHING goes, as it's more likely to die from starvation, than any potential or unknown negatives in the methods of agriculture.

    No, we mustn't simply assume GMO is safe, just because we believe we altered the gene that does 'x'; We don't know what else a given gene may do. We must monitor, regulate, and have ongoing testing of these products, and we should provide information as to whether a particular product contains GMO food.

  •  Incompetent scientist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Dead Man, HamdenRice

    Just as we want information on trade in derivatives to be public, so that Rudolph can make their own decisions about the liabilities of the parties involved, we want information on our food.

    The economy, science, democracy - all run on information.

    As far as I am concerned, a scientist who wants no GMO labeling on the grounds that information is bad for the public, should have never even been awarded a bachelor's degree.

  •  Neo-libs, gun nuts and war mongers first. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    You show a little grit and you lands in jail.

    by cal2010 on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 01:45:06 PM PDT

  •  Good elucidation, and I agree almost entirely. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    I have the same problem with "GMOs are safe, you idiot!" as I do with "GMOs are the devil incarnate, you monster!"  As you note, the technology is not the issue - it's what you do with it. I think that responding to ignorance-based concerns with a brushoff of "It's harmless!" is not at all useful, and in addition, reinforces the illusion that "GMO" is something whose danger or lack thereof one can talk about without specifics. There is no inherent danger in genetic modification, any more than there is inherent safety.

    I voted against the CA law b/c of the stupid way it was promoted, something like "we have a right to know about and protect ourselves against things that will harm us." I don't have any problem at all with labeling something with "GMO: XLGGF5 added under the control of XYZZY promoter, expressed in roots only." I just have a problem with people running around with their hair on fire b/c someone dares to mention a decades-old technology.

    For the record, my Ph.D. is in Biochemistry.

    We all understand that freedom isn't free. What Romney and Ryan don't understand is that neither is opportunity. We have to invest in it.
    Julian Castro, DNC 4 Sept 2012

    by pixxer on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 02:11:53 PM PDT

  •  I am eating an heirloom tomato right now (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    and it is delicious -- much more delicious than the chunks of red cardboard at the store designed to look good for weeks and resist noxious chemicals.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Sat Jun 01, 2013 at 03:53:33 PM PDT

  •  How about this logic? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    To genetically modify an organism, see it through the patent process, and market it, requires a large corporation.  

    Large corporations are sociopathic "persons", who care not a whit about climate change, the environment, worker safety, consumer safety, or the human condition in general.  Their only care, written into the law that creates them, is to make as much money as possible for their stockholders.  

    So anyone who has an axe to grind about possible misuses of genetic modification technology, I'm glad to listen to them and have them in the progressive movement.

  •  This statement is FALSE: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice
    "And, unfortunately, Meteor Blades recently promoted GMO nonsense on the front page."
    Which makes me doubt the credibility of the diarist. You know, from a purely factual and scientific basis.

    "It is easier to fool people, than to convince them they've been fooled" - Mark Twain

    by Sarge in Seattle on Sun Jun 02, 2013 at 05:06:52 AM PDT

  •  I wonder how much GMO conflates with rBGH? (0+ / 0-)

    I've tended to ignore the clamor against Frankenfood. I'm also not blown away by organic qua organic, since poison ivy is organic and I don't want to eat it. (I do, however, end up with a lot of organic produce because that coincides with local producers of much better stone fruit, tomatoes, etc.)

    But I'm skeptical of bovine growth hormone. Shoving antibiotics into animals has had a lot of negative consequences, and I'm very reluctant to have more unnatural treatment of animals, discovering bad sequelae down the road.

    Do you suppose that all these issues are getting lumped together? Seems likely to me.

  •  Not mentioned in your article (3+ / 0-)

    People can debate back and forth about the medical benefits or drawbacks of GMO's. Personally, I don't know what is true and what isn't.  That said there is a social aspect of GMO's that doesn't appear to be discussed as much as the potential health effects.

    Specifically, Monsanto owns the patent on a gene that can render all the seeds of it's GMO's sterile.

    This idea presumably has its roots in a real genetic modification (dubbed the Terminator Gene by anti-biotech activists) that can make a plant produce sterile seeds. Monsanto owns the patent on this technique, but has promised not to use it"
    My feeling is, if they promise never to use it, what's the point in owning the patent? Even if there was a legitimate technical reason this is a dangerous situation inasmuch as it represents a silent threat. Consider this analogy: Assume nukes were never invented. Then a large private corporation comes along and unravels the technology to build a nuclear weapon, patents it, but "promises" to never use it.

    Far fetched, I agree. The US government would likely seize the patent. But what if a new kind of WMD isn't recognized for what it is? If I kill a million people by incinerating them or by starving them what's the difference? The "Terminator Gene" could be used by unscrupulous individuals/corporations and or governments to blackmail entire populations.

    Couldn't happen? Think again. Prior to 2000 who would have believed the United States would unilaterally invade a sovereign country? Or that we would engage in torture, or that the US government would be involved in illegal surveillance of 300,000,000 Americans or that corporations would be given the green light to spend as much money as they want on US federal campaigns, etc.

    My point is that things change. Using food as a weapon is not without precedent, if fact, it's done quite a bit. Allowing a private corporation to retain control of this kind of power is extremely unwise.

    No being has inherent power, only the illusion of power granted by others who similarly have none.

    by Mark701 on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 07:31:05 AM PDT

  •  This diary turns my stomach (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    i saw an old tree today

    To conclude that people who want to ask questions and share information should be kicked out of the progressive movement, because you believe that every possible question about the safety of GMO foods has been asked and answered displays mind-boggling arrogance. Scientists are even now making new discoveries about how our digestive systems work, how bits of genetic material from foods we eat can become incorporated into our own cells, etc. And yet you've declared that everything important that can ever be discovered on this subject has already been discovered, and anyone who thinks we should proceed with great caution because we don't know everything should be forcibly ejected from the discussion. And that people who believe the jury isn't in yet should not be permitted to know whether they're eating GMO foods, because -- well, because you know what's best for them.

    Diaries like this one provide evidence for those who claim that progressivism is an intolerant, totalitarian movement.

    Please visit: http://www.jkmediasource.org

    by Noisy Democrat on Mon Jun 03, 2013 at 12:06:16 PM PDT

  •  misguided attack (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jesse Douglas, belinda ridgewood

    The problem with GMOs is not that they have been proven to be bad or dangerous but, rather, that they have not been adequately studied.  They have not been adequately studied because of their abuse of the patent system and the obscene amounts of money that they dump into the political system.  They do not allow for effective research because it would endanger their intellectual property.  Given that, there is no basis for having confidence in either what they claim or the research which they sponsor.  

    If GMO products could be freely studied at our universities and were slowly entering the marketplace I don’t believe that people would have much of an issue.  But the reality is that they don’t allow study of their seeds and GMO products are taking over the market at an alarming rate for certain crops.  Having one seed for an entire crop is a problem of a different sort but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem.  

    The bottom line is that Monsanto is not playing by the “rules” of our political system or our research “system” and until they do a lot of us will remain skeptical and resentful.  

  •  Name calling - Expulsion (0+ / 0-)

    Who is playing science and who is playing fair? Obviously not you! Then cherry picking facts and issues to make your case. Obviously you have not learned that you don't do those tactics with people who are on your side. You are the one who should be schooled and then sent to the corner!

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