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View Diary: 14 Year Old Girl Destroys pro-GMO TV Host (80 comments)

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  •  So why not allow labeling (4+ / 0-)

    And allow consumers to make their own decisions as to whether or not the herbicides are "safer".  

    And while the round up ready crops may work and benefit a farmer's bottom line, are they safe enough for human consumption?

    •  Sure, labeling is fine (3+ / 0-)

      it will just be another line on an already over-labeled label that 97% of people will ignore.

      But if it's important for everybody else - absolutely, it should be on there.

      And the assumption that the so-called GMO crops are not safe for human consumption falls into the "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" category.    And since I've never seen any proof, much less extraordinary proof of this, I'm not sure how much of a concern that should be.

      •  I can't watch the video here, but (4+ / 0-)

        I have heard audio from it before. I'm pretty sure that the young lady points out that because the long-term effects of the GMO crops is not yet known, we the consumers are essentially acting as the guinea pigs. I think this is a salient point.

        "She was very young,he thought,...she did not understand that to push an inconvenient person over a cliff solves nothing." -1984

        by aggressiveprogressive on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 09:44:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thank you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Glen The Plumber, JamieG from Md

          That is, in fact, the salient point.  

          I am not against GMOs in theory, but I don't want to be a guinea pig and I want to know what I'm eating.

        •  I'm not sure what the "long-term effects (0+ / 0-)

          of GMO crops" would be regarding humans eating the food.

          Products produced by gene splicing are used for other purposes, and are not harming people.  For example, most of the human insulin that diabetics use nowadays, is produced by bacteria.  A gene has been spliced into a plasmid in the bacteria, and results in the production of insulin.  This is a very safe and efficient way to produce insulin.

          As far as eating the DNA containing the spliced gene, this would simply be broken down and metabolized by our digestive system.

          Food produced by GMO crops should certainly be tested and regulated, and I have no objection to an indication on the label of a food product that it contains GMOs, but I think that there is an unsubstantiated fear of GMOs based lack of knowledge of what they are, and on propoganda and dislike of Monsanto.

      •  I'm with you on this one. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        never forget

        Labeling is good.

        But is the real objection that GMO crops haven't been proved safe for human consumption (other than kicks82's assertion--I mean more generally), or haven't been proved safe environmentally?

        My assumption is that the latter is the real objection, and the former is simply a more useful stance in terms of activism, even though it's not, as I understand it, anything close to proven.

        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

        by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 09:46:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Virtually every crop and food eaten by (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Praxical

          people is "genetically modified"

          If we were to insist on some undefinable standard for "safety" we'd all starve to death rather quickly.

          I'm curious just exactly what health and environmental impact are you so concerned with?  Because scientifically there is precious little to raise concern.

          •  That's like saying that (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elfling, JamieG from Md, DawnN

            our land masses were formed by massive shifting of tectonic plats, so earthquakes do not pose any danger.

            It's not a real argument. Genetic modification that took place over generations is not equivalent to what we can do in a lab today. Which also isn't to say that what we're doing in labs is necessarily bad ... but the analogy is at least as weak as the proof that GMO food causes health problems.

            I'm not much concerned with health impacts. From what little I've read (and this isn't really my issue, so I haven't read much) there aren't any. Though is it true that the EU feels otherwise? And much of the research into possible health effects was funded by the industry, which raises obvious questions. (Tell me if I'm wrong about the GMO industry funding health research; it's baseless hearsay.)

            In terms of environmental impact, I'm more concerned. I remember reading something about genetic drift (if that's the phrase), where modified genes spread into environment with no control and little-to-no oversight. And given our record with introducing 'artificial' substances (with the assurance of our best scientific understanding at the time) into the environment, I think a great deal of caution is indicated.

            It reminds me a bit of archeological digs, where at some point they stop digging and leave stuff buried, pending the development of less-invasive tools. That strikes me as much more humbly scientific approach than assuming that their current tools and knowledge are sufficient when interfering with complex systems.

            "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

            by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:21:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Um. Plates. Not plats. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Roadbed Guy, elfling

              Tectonic plats is where earth-monsters votes.

              "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

              by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:22:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Most genetically modified crops were (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GussieFN, kicks82, Praxical

              not developed over generations - they were developed almost instantaneously by "radiation breeding" - which rips the genome to shreds allowing it to recombine in new and helpful ways in a tiny, tiny fraction of plants.  Giving them beneficial qualities.

              There are thousands of crops currently eaten by people derived by this form of genetic modification that is WAY more disruptive genetically than gene splicing methods are.

              Yet no one objects - I always wonder why.

              Because to me they have the potential to be way more dangerous - an example is Ruby Red grapefruit - just how did they become so brightly colored?  From perusing the internet, no one really seems to know - the mechanism is untested (so again, why aren't people running around with their hair on fire about this) but if I had to guess, the obvious answer is that this type of grapefruit has massively upregulated amounts of biological chromophores that are red.

              And biological chromophores tend to be conjugated (i.e., flat) ring systems that can intercalate into DNA and cause mutations, and ultimately cancer.    Is there evidence for this?  again, none that I've found - but I could put together a rather "scientific" case for this by cherry picking the scientific literature (something that anti-GMO types are absolutely masterful at doing, btw!).

              •  'Radiation breeding?' (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Roadbed Guy

                I never even heard about that!

                Holy crap! I'm now reading this.

                I thought you meant, which I've from some people, that over thousands of years humans selected for bigger fruits, etc., and planted those seeds, blah blah blah. Not bathing seeds in gamma rays!

                So I'm wrong about that one. Sorry.

                You lost me completely at 'biological chromophores.' Didn't understand a word after that, really, except that my grapefruit is trying to kill me.

                I don't know. As I said, I'm utterly ignorant on the science. And it's certainly possible that I've been mostly exposed to alarmism. (Scorpion genes in turnip - scornips!) But I also suspect that while ignorant layfolk like myself are too-easily alarmed, there are good historical, if not scientific, reasons to proceed with a great deal of care.

                I guess I have three (off the top of my head) questions:

                1) Is 'industry capture' an issue in re. regulation of GMO crops?
                2) Is industry funding an issue in re. scientific studies of the impact, health and environmental, of GMO crops?
                3) How can we be confident that this (a jpeg) isn't going to happen again? GMO is good for me!

                "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 10:47:16 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The difference between GMO and radiation breeding (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GussieFN

                  Is definitely a scary one.  I didn't know the distinction until you shared that.  Thanks for the info.

                  But again, goes back to the original point the girl was trying to make in the interview... mutant-bred crops aren't labeled either (or at least not in the information that I could find), and that's inexcusable.

                  •  I love when I learn something here! (0+ / 0-)

                    Many thanks for the diary.

                    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                    by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 11:15:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  There are two ways of looking at this (0+ / 0-)

                    1) it is an outrage in both cases

                    2) thousands of crops bred by radiation and chemicals, combined with a smaller number (but consumed by hundreds of millions of people) "GMO" crops have more or less established the safety of both approaches.

                    The preponderance of evidence points to scenario 2 being correct.

                    Heck, people eat just about * everything * (historically speaking, if you don't believe me just go to Asia . .. . ).  And they generally do fine.

                •  Yes, chemical mutagens are essentially (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GussieFN

                  the same thing.

                  Yay for Wikipedia!!

                  And about DDT, unless you're an insect or a bird, it's really not that bad for you!

                  In fact I recall a burst of hope over Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" idea - but in the end it all went for naught

                  the context being that there is a really, really annoying bird. or flock of birds, that sits outside of my window early in the morning and makes an awful racket that disturbs my sleep.

                  Yup, 50 years later, they're still there!!  As annoying as ever.

                  •  Perhaps I can live with DDT, but (0+ / 0-)

                    I can't live without the insects that DDT kills!

                    But what're your answers to numbers 1 and 2?

                    "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                    by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 12:15:22 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I don't understand what number 1 means (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      GussieFN, bernardpliers

                      (i.e,. "industry capture" is vague to me)

                      As far as industry influencing studies, that is possible I suppose.

                      But there is an enough understanding of basic science out there that even with no study at all being done, in general industry's claims of safety ring true much more than anti-GMO activist's claims of danger.

                      For example, eating Bt or Round up Ready plants cannot pose a danger to human health through any known biochemical mechanism.  In fact, if they did, that would be quite astounding - probably a prion-level finding that would warrant a Nobel Prize (e.g., along the lines of proteins having completely un-protein like capabilities - which in the case of prions means that they can act as infectious agents).

                      Believe me, there are any number of struggling academic researchers who'd die (figuratively speaking) to find out something like that about GMO organisms. Instant fame, no more funding worries, etc etc.  But in 30 or 40 years, they haven't.  That is quite telling to me.

                      •  You idiot! It's only vague (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy

                        because it's completely the wrong phrase. Erm. I don't know how that came out of my fingers. In the future, please read my mind and not my words. I meant  'regulatory capture.' Oops!

                        As for 2, you're talking about just the health--not the environmental, which I think is a bigger concern--impact of just two GMOs. Although I have no way of determining if these are credible, I found this and  this and a zillion others. They don't seem to focus on eating the plants, but being exposed to Roundup itself? Lots of stuff about 'allergens.' They're all fabrications?

                        "Gussie, a glutton for punishment, stared at himself in the mirror."

                        by GussieFN on Wed Aug 21, 2013 at 02:29:56 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  Absence Of Evidence Is Not The Evidence Of Absence (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Roadbed Guy

                        Samuel L. Jackson and Charley Murphy as white punks doing a mashup of Pulp Fiction and Donald Rumsfeld.

    •  Why not allow labeling? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Roadbed Guy

      For the same reason we don't label whether a crop was farmed by blacks, mexicans, or whites. It's irrelevant to one's nutritional well-being.

      •  Why Not Go Ahead And Label "GMO Free?" nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  Then that's your prerogative (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JamieG from Md

        Personally, I don't believe it's irrelevant to one's nutritional well-being.  I want to know my food is safe, and there has to be a reason why the EU requires labeling and more stringent testing, right?  They don't just take Monsanto's word for it.

        •  ns (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Roadbed Guy

          They require it because people like you exist who conflate an evil corporation with a benign product. Not everything the EU does is saintly and sacrosanct. If it were as dangerous as the EU (and you) believe, then the WHO and the CDC and every other major medical organization in the world would not have explicitly stated that GMO's are not harmful in any significant way.

          •  In the same way (0+ / 0-)

            That smoking was "good for you" or "physician approved" in the 1900s?

            Also, this statement doesn't seem entirely conclusive to me

            Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.
            •  No (0+ / 0-)

              But this statement does, the one right after it that you chose to ignore:

              GM foods currently available on the international market have passed risk assessments and are not likely to present risks for human health. In addition, no effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of such foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.

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