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On Monday I went to my first meeting of the Boston Skeptics. I got on the mailing list a while ago after reading lots and lots of Orac's anti-vaccination lunacy posts. I decided these were likely people I'd enjoy hanging around with. That assumption was correct.  (I should say "skeptic" is getting a bad connotation because of climate deniers, but these skeptics are the original version--the ones associated with the Randi Foundation sort of "show me the evidence" type of skeptics. And evidence means peer-reviewed science and data.)

I ended up at a table with a couple of British researchers. He studies Crohn's Disease. She studies cholera. We were totally in sync on all of our favorite denier topics and tactics. And then we moved to vaccines and GMOs.

We were discussing how difficult it is for us to understand why some of the deniers on these topics are so dismaying. These are frequently people with educational background that include some college (although often not in the fields with their new hobbies--immune system and plant science). And yet via Google U they are coming to some really mystifying conclusions.

We chalked it up, in fact, to the actual relative wealth and successes of our current lives. You don't see kids with brain damage from measles anymore. Fewer die of whooping cough (although some anti-vaxxers are trying to change that). And famines are receding in people's family experience. These are good things--but they change your view of the real threats in the world that many people still face.

The cholera scientist said to me, {paraphrased}: Yeah, they think the world is all Eat Pray Love. It's not, for millions of people.  It's Eat Pray Love Cholera.

We laughed about this. But I couldn't stop thinking about that as I saw an ad for Eat Pray Love. And then the next day I saw something else that struck me. A great post by erv at ScienceBlogs: Green our vaccines! Part II.

This post has two of my favorite topics: vaccines and GMOs. Because, as erv describes:

While poop jokes are all in good fun here in the US (and in other developed parts of the world), diarrhea really isnt all that funny for most of the planet. Dehydration due to diarrhea is the second leading cause of death for babies, worldwide (it was #1 until we started aggressive education/re-hydration efforts). Hundreds of thousands of people die from cholera and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC) infection every year.

Thats not funny :(

And it looks like a genetically modified rice may help to combat this disease that kills--hundreds of thousands of people--each year.

There's solid science here, which erv describes in this post and a prior post on the mechanism. Proteins in the rice may enable the body to fight cholera if it appears. Head over to erv for the details.

This method has huge advantages for regions where it may be difficult to get medical teams, stable vaccines, and/or require rapid distribution for outbreaks. It is shelf-stable, and immunity seems to persist for a reasonable length of time. We think it has a terrible name (MucoRice--egads), and that scientists suck at branding. But that's not it's biggest hurdle.

It's another example of a technology that some well-fed and healthy folks think babies with diarrhea shouldn't have. What do you think? Are you qualified to demand that this technology is withheld from people who might benefit from it?

Many people who wail about vaccines and about GMOs will never have to face cholera. That's great. I wish that was true for everyone. But it's not. It's not Eat Pray Love for lots of people. It's Eat Pray Love Cholera.

And my favorite comment at erv's on this, #FTW:

So...the mice that ate this MucoRice totally got autism, right?

Posted by: Scientizzle | July 29, 2010 10:45 AM

No, the mice don't get autism. They do get immunity. I hope that the kids will as well, someday. There's recently been a suggestion that battling infection might divert energy from brain development at crucial times, and may account for some deficits in impoverished communities.  

I say we use all the tools we have to try to remedy this. What tools do you want to withhold?

Originally posted to mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 05:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •   What tools do you want to withhold? (0+ / 0-)

      Would it be criminal to withhold Thalidomide
      from nauseous pregnant women?
      Many women die from being with child.

      The mouses like it? Fine. Volunteer
      yourself and your own family for rice dreams.
      Then drink some of that cholera tainted brew
      to prove your hypothesis. Then no one will be
      able to accuse you of being elitist. Of course,
      the number of such a small pool of test subjects
      would certainly be anecdotal and somewhat unscientific.

      What's that, too busy creating new wonders
      to fully study exponential implications?
      How thoroughly and typically post modern.

      Do biological pathogens serve a co evolutionary
      function with their hosts and victims?

      Might there be better ways to combat this affliction?
      Why have we no Cholera epidemics in the "western" world?

      Science, perhaps? No, it is not elitist at all to
      tell the brown peoples of the world to forget about
      clean water. Just eat this magic rice along with all
      of the other miracles and the shit won't hurt you.

      •  Ah, nice-- (0+ / 0-)

        let 'em get cholera--it's natural! They need to co-evolve! That's tragically misinformed and quite heartless, sorry.

        Might there be better ways to combat this affliction?
        Why have we no Cholera epidemics in the "western" world?

        You missed the part about the challenges of some of these impoverished regions? That's seriously elitist of you. But thanks for coming in and making exactly the denier points I was expecting!

        "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

        by mem from somerville on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 06:11:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Post Makes Me Think (11+ / 0-)

    of the wonderful book Love In The Time Of Cholera.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:03:42 PM PDT

  •  excellent! (7+ / 0-)

    of course, the title caught my eye (as I wait to add TC to Diary Rescue) :-)  

  •  EPQ (3+ / 0-)

    I thought the world was more Eat, Pray, Queef.

    But yea, I find the movement to ban 'Frankenfood' really, really dumb.  Dare I say elitist?

  •  My husband and I were looking (12+ / 0-)

    over the genealogy of his grandmother's family recently. The infant and child mortality numbers were astounding and ultimately heartbreaking. Even among his grandmother's siblings, born in the second decade of the 20th century, there were three out of eight children who did not make it.

    I don't know about anyone else, but I certainly would not be willing to condemn one or two (or all) of my children to die from a preventable disease.

  •  There are many that oppose GMOs (7+ / 0-)

    not because they reject the science or value of genetically modified foodstuffs (although there might be good reasons to proceed cautiously), but because of the business models of the corporations owning these products.

    Farmers aren't allowed to save GE Monsanto seed to plant the next season.  

    The value of Monsanto GE seeds appears to be more about selling the seeds and Round-Up herbicide than improving the nutritional content or crop yield.  IOW -- what's being done to subsistence farmers, the vast majority of farmers throughout the world, is rapacious.  And that's a very good reason to oppose this technology.

    "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

    by Marie on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:14:01 PM PDT

    •  That's opposition to a business model (5+ / 0-)

      that's not the same thing as opposition to the technology. I don't care if you hate Monsanto. But don't cripple the rest of the field because of them--that's not fair to the science.

      A lot of people are misleading others with this limited "roundup" view of what the issues are. They are not all related to chemicals and Monsanto.

      I keep trying to show people that if they could think outside their "roundup" box they've been put in, maybe they'd be able to consider other possibilities.

      "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

      by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:18:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thinking outside the Round-Up box (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wader, Larsstephens

        is easy.  It's getting us outside their corporate control that's the problem.  Thus, if Dr. Evil is controlling the products of science, the world would be better off without the science.

        "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

        by Marie on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:23:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Are you ok (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          murrayewv, zephron, wonderful world

          with academic and non-profits using this technology? Because there are lots of projects in that arena, although people use the word Monsanto to fog all discussion of that.

          "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

          by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:25:40 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Explain what happens with the research (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wader, Larsstephens

            breakthroughs in academic institutions (much of it paid for by governments).  What "non-profits" are you referring to?

            "Dulled conscience, irresponsibility, and ruthless self-interest already reappear. Such symptoms of prosperity may become portents of disaster!" FDR - 1937

            by Marie on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:43:59 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  In this case the researchers (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wader, pico, wonderful world

              are from Japan, with no relationship to Monsanto as far as I can tell. There are groups like The Global Crop Diversity Trust, CYMMIT, IRRI, and so on.

              Are they ok?

              "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

              by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:49:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Here are the affilitations (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, wonderful world

              of the authors:

              Division of Mucosal Immunology, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo Tokyo 108-8639, Japan; Department of Bacterial Infections, Research Institute for Microbial Diseases, Osaka University, Osaka 565-0871, Japan; Yakult Central Institute for Microbiological Research, Tokyo 186-8650, Japan; and Transgenic Crop Research and Development Center, National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, Tsukuba 305-8602, Japan

              and:

              Author contributions: D.T., Y.Y., T.N., T.H., and H.K. designed research; D.T., Y.Y., T.N., T.K., M.M., S.K., and Y.T. performed research; T.K., M.N., U.N., F.T., and T.H. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; D.T. and Y.Y. analyzed data; and D.T., Y.Y., T.N., and H.K. wrote the paper.

              The authors declare no conflict of interest.

              And this:

              ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Thiswork was supported by grants fromthe "Development of Fundamental Technologies for Production of High-Value Materials Using Transgenic Plants" project of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; the Ministry of Healthand Labour; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Global Centers of Excellence Program "Center of Education and Research for the Advanced Genome-Based Medicine: For Personalized Medicine and the Control of Worldwide Infectious Diseases"; The Japan Foundation for Pediatric Research; Research on Vaccine of Next Generation of The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare; and the Research and Development Program for New Bio-industry Initiatives of the Bio-oriented Technology Research Advancement Institution.

              If you can point out Dr. Evil I'd be eternally grateful.

              "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

              by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:57:32 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  The *skepticism* I have w the academic model (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Marie, Larsstephens, Toon

                is that govts more often than not pair it with private enterprise once it gets to the distribution stage.

                That brings us back to the Monsanto problem.

                I'm skeptical about the effects of that distribution model long term on impoverished communities.

                "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                by grannyhelen on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:47:55 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'd love to see more funding (4+ / 0-)

                  for academic research on this front. Plant science has been dramatically underfunded for evah. And what happens in a vacuum?  People who what to make money come along.

                  I'm delighted to hear you'd like to avoid the Monsanto problem. So when we hear about funding for things like the Global Food Security Act which has a lot of funding for academic projects in the developing world--it will be terrific to have your support.

                  "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                  by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:52:14 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I have a love-hate relationship w Monsanto... (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Marie, Larsstephens, Toon

                    ...the greater family is knee deep in agriculture - we all know Monsanto quite well. I'm the most anti-Monstanto out of the bunch.

                    The relationship between chemical corps, extension services, universities, state govt...maybe I know too much ;-)

                    This is why I'm skeptical: Prof in college told us anecdote about his son who worked for a nonprofit to feed hungry people in the Philippines. So far so good, right? Only problem was they gave the people just enough food to cause the women to get their periods, get pregnant...and then the funding dried up and they had to bail.

                    Pretty damn tragic.

                    That's why I'm always skeptical of western solutions to local problems in a non-western context.

                    "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                    by grannyhelen on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:59:03 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well, here's what I'd like (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      grannyhelen, murrayewv, Larsstephens

                      to have local scientists and farmers trained up to meet the needs of the communities. I was just reading an article tonight, actually:

                      The biggest impact may not be counted in fertilizer or seeds, however. "My boss Gary Toenniessen once told me, `The best thing we did in Asia was not so much the projects we supported, but the lasting legacy we left of having trained hundreds of Ph.D. scientists,'" says Delmer. "So human capacity building is a huge part of what we're trying to do in Africa, but it's going to require a sustained effort over a long time period."

                      The problem is that a lot of people are so dog-whistled about Monsanto (the way teabaggers are with "immigrants" for example) that they can't imagine anything besides that. It's unfortunate, and a real barrier to progress.

                      I would like to reduce food aid and have local capacity instead. But that requires investments as well.

                      "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                      by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:07:54 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Local capacity discussions have been going on (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Marie, OHdog, Larsstephens, Toon

                        since the 60's - the problem is, what model do you use? The Midwestern Big Chem/Monocrop-for-cash model? The dry land subsistence model? How do you fund equipment and seed purchases at the local level? How to you price them? What is the role of local govt in all that? What is the overall effect on the local culture and traditions?

                        It's unfortunately a lot more complicated than just pairing scientists with local farmers - it would be nice if it were that simple, but it just isn't.

                        "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

                        by grannyhelen on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:15:58 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  There was great testimony on this (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Larsstephens

                          by Gebisa Ejeta--an African-born plant scientist in support of that bill I was mentioning. This is someone who understands Africa, African farming, plants, seed distribution, etc. He was awarded the World Food Prize last year.

                          I think his grasp of this is excellent, and I was very pleased to see it so well received (except by certain foodies).

                          His testimony was great, but the link is gone now--I think I have a copy if you want me to email it. But there's also an article in Science by him.

                          African Green Revolution Needn’t Be a Mirage
                          Gebisa Ejeta

                          Africa missed out on the scientific breakthroughs that revolutionized agriculture in Asia. However, with locally developed and locally relevant technologies, a built-up human and institutional capacity, and supportive national policy and leadership, an African Green Revolution can be a reality.

                          But if you have a better grasp of this than he does I'd love to hear about it.

                          "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                          by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:34:45 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  The Senate webmaster helped me out (0+ / 0-)

                          I got the testimony PDF link back. Please read the Gebisa Ejeta "download testimony" link for his take on how to do this. And if you have criticisms (with sourcing) I'd be happy to look.

                          http://foreign.senate.gov/...

                          "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                          by mem from somerville on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 09:58:58 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

          •  Evil is those who ruin food for corporate gain (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Marie, wader, kalmoth, Larsstephens

            And this predates the GMO era.  I mean they ruined the Delicious apple and tomatoes if you don't get them from the farmer's market.  Don't even get me started on store bought strawberries!

            But whinning aside I think folks are right to be skeptical about factory foods but shouldn't let that get in the way of positive developments by academia and non-profit good guys.

    •  Oh Don't Get Me Started On Monsanto (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, wader, beltane, Larsstephens

      I wonder if folks have any clue what you mentioned. Lets say you are a farmer. You buy GM seed corn from Monsanto. You grow some corn with it. Next year you want to use some of what you grew to seed your crop. Well Monsanto sues you. They say they own the right to the GM seed even after you have bought, grew it, and harvested it. Ponder that for a few seconds please.

      I live outside of St. Louis where Monsanto is based. I am very serious when I say if the court cases on this issue, and there are many of them, find for Monsanto, we're only a step away from folks with pitch forks and torches marching on their headquarters.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 06:21:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's my trepidation w that... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie, Larsstephens

      ...and the impact that such a business model would have on sustainence agriculture.

      Just sayin.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:42:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Maybe too many ideas in one pot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mem from somerville, wader, Toon

    Combining vaccinations, GMO as science, GMO as applied in Monsanto business model...

    But the real meat of the discussion probably is

    the actual relative wealth and successes of our current lives. You don't see kids with brain damage from measles anymore. Fewer die of whooping cough....And famines are receding in people's family experience. These are good things--but they change your view of the real threats in the world that many people still face.

    Consider the time, money, energy and angst expended on ensuring none of us ever get blown up by extremists flying planes into buildings or setting off bombs in subways. Compare that to how many of us died in childhood in the not so distant past. I personally know at least two people who count themselves very lucky to have survived polio. No child today should die, or be disabled, from measles or whooping cough. As is obvious, many of those potentially fatal childhood (and adult) diseases aren't gone - they have just been held at bay by diligence and vigilence.

    "I want to apologize for that misconstrued misconstruction." Rep Joe Barton

    by Catte Nappe on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:09:05 PM PDT

    •  Well, I never said anything about Monsanto (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, zephron

      commenters did. But that is part of the issue, in fact--people are blinded by the dog-whistle word and cannot imagine anything outside of that.

      I'm trying to bring other views to their perspective. They generally resist, as we see here. I am not sure how else to do it.

      "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

      by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:11:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Maybe state up front what business model is (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens

        envisioned for adoption of the GMO seeds, so as to remove instant recoils due to their recent, strong association with Monsanto's patent-protection strategy.

        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

        by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:41:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, ok--but as far as I know (0+ / 0-)

          there is no business model. There are people here who want to even prevent research into GMOs, by academics and non-profits. They are actively trying to interfere with funding--even for research and free distribution.

          If someone has evidence that this is more nefarious than that, bring it along and we'll look at it. Until then, it's nothing but handwaving.

          "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

          by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 07:48:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  GMOs have not engendered trust for various (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Larsstephens

            reasons.

            But, the business model is the easiest hurdle to pass, I figure.  If it's not yet defined and begins within a purely academic setting for now, it may be enough to note that this is not a Monsanto-sponsored effort which involves their heavy-handed patent protections or fertilizer requirements, etc., so that you can debate the scientific and potential health benefits more cleanly, perhaps.

            Most skeptical comments I see here involve Monsanto biases (with good cause, I feel).

            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

            by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:07:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  that's too bad (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pico, zephron, Larsstephens

              because like the pharmaceutical industry, electronics industry, space, etc--a lot of research goes on that would be crazy to block because you hate General Electric or something.

              But for some reason there's this monomaniacal Monsanto paranoia that gets in the way of this topic. It's sad that people have such limited awareness. I try to help, but as you can see it's not getting far.

              The good news is that other countries are moving on without us--including developing countries doing their own GMOs:

              Crops With Attitude
              Poor nations are now starting to shake off the old 'Frankenfood' taboo.

              So when these academics and governments come along with better seeds, things will change. It will be hard for the Cuba sustainability cheerleaders to denounce the pest-resistant corn, for example.

              "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

              by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 08:24:10 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Each case should be taken on its own, I feel (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Larsstephens

                Monsanto paranoia is not without merits, because there's been plenty of cases shown where their practices may actually hurt the same farmers who were supposed to benefit from their seeds - usually due to costs incurred via the enforced business model, but I've also read it's been due to difficult crops in at least the initial years for some.

                I think people here would be fine with debate about specific GMO research and applications if the Monsanto monster can be pushed aside, contextually.  Just note that they're not involved in the diary and that could help bring more people in who would leave the discussion outright, I figure.  Monsanto is the big gorilla here, but also in India and other places which have been scrupulous about GMO produce (not always for scientific reasons, I realize).

                I don't see all GMO ideas as miracle cures, but if some can reasonably bring costs down to obtain reasonable yields, that sounds like something with which we should experiment.

                "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 09:27:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  People have been provided (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pico, zephron, Larsstephens

                  a really limited view of what's out there, and because of that that shout "Oh Noes GMOs!" immediately. It's the leftie equivalent of abortion really--few of the food fundies can envision cases that are not so black and white as Monsanto/roundup.

                  It's sad, because some would surely mock the same thing if they saw it in a religious fundie.

                  But people can't tolerate discussion of a blight-resistant chestnut tree, or a spoilage-resistant tomato, or plum resistant to pox or any number of other things that have nothing to do with the great Monsatan.

                  I'm not really writing for them, though. I'm writing for the reachable folks who can think in gray in addition to black and white.

                  "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                  by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 09:44:34 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  OK, I usually think in grey (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Larsstephens

                    But, that's also why I feel attempting to reach the more jaded audience could be a benefit here.  And, keep the noise/content ratio down a bit in such diaries - wouldn't that seem a reasonable notion?

                    "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                    by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 10:27:35 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You really can't manage (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Larsstephens

                      what goes on after you post. As I said, I didn't mention Monsanto in my text--yet a large fraction of the comment noises were about that. It's really out of my hands.

                      "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                      by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 10:30:58 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Well, I'm not helping here by sharing a reader's (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Larsstephens

                        perspective, I'm afraid.

                        I generally feel that more context helps to provide readers with your target mindset, so that they can make up their own minds on whether or not they care about what is being offered.  In this case, the floor was essentially opened to all consideration of GMO notions, I feel.

                        Admittedly, much of the context of what you offered in this subthread was not obvious to me from the diary - that's not a criticism, but a statement of how I read possible points that could easily lead from the central story.

                        By potentially leaving some common issues (such as GMO reactions, politics and emotions) unaddressed, I suppose you'll need to expect getting more of these non-targeted issues in your comments stream.

                        Good luck with the topic, going forward.

                        "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                        by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 10:37:39 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Ah, thanks for the editing... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          Larsstephens

                          but that's pretty much not what I wanted to do. I wanted to make people look at this without the other baggage--as it is specifically a different item. It is not Monsanto, it is not roundup, it is not corporate.

                          I know they'll bring it anyway. And do you really believe if I put that in the body they wouldn't have said the same things anyway?  If so, you and I haven't been in the same GMO discussions on this site before.

                          "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                          by mem from somerville on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 10:46:54 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  I believe in message management in such cases (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Larsstephens

                            People will bring it, but I can diffuse the initial responses it a bit in order to concentrate on what is possibly more important.  For those that go off the rails anyway, that's something to ignore and move on.  Some folks just have mini-agendas and will seemingly use any port in the storm.

                            So, like any touchstone point, it can ignite debate, sure.

                            But, I still like to know what the diarist's scope of intent happens to be, regardless.

                            "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

                            by wader on Thu Jul 29, 2010 at 10:57:59 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Ok--my scope of intent was (0+ / 0-)
                            1. There's a new rice that might have benefits for people who suffer from horrible diseases.
                            1. This rice should be researched and deployed if it is effective. People need to be told  about it, including those who are anti-vax and anti-GMO, because the scope of GMOs they know about is very limited in my experience.

                            I'm sorry if that wasn't suited for your needs. And I'm sorry if that didn't convey.  I fully expected people to bring Monsatan in, and in fact they made a useful point for me that they are unable to distinguish the technology from their blinding hatred. I'm fine with the way this went.

                            "It's not like she's marrying out of her species or anything," Ms. Lynch said.

                            by mem from somerville on Fri Jul 30, 2010 at 06:16:28 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

  •  Cholera's not funny at all-- it's one of the (3+ / 0-)

    most horrifying ways to die, and you can die within hours if you have a bad case of it.

    I was just reading some letters by a nineteenth-century Spanish poet, who took what should have been a one-hour train ride in the 1850s, when the second train line in Spain was laid.  She notes that a little ways into the trip, one of the train drivers got "black cholera," or really, really bad diarrhea, and the train had to stop so he could be rushed to the nearest town.

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