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Avoiding GM Foods? Monsanto Says You're Overly Fussy

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the eats-like-a-bird dept.

Science 835

blackbeak writes "The BBC today characterized those who avoid GM foods as overly fussy, the very same day that the Wall Street Journal announced that picky eating may be recognized in the 2013 DSM as a psychiatric disorder. The DSM item refers to something completely different, though I'm sure many will confuse the two. Of course, this was not done without subterfuge; the BBC's author, Professor Jonathan Jones, in no way indicates his close ties to Monsanto. Point by point Jones regurgitates the same pro-GM arguments debunked numerous times all over the net for years, while serving up some stale half facts too."

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835 comments

GM (5, Funny)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823284)

I Want to avoid Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota foods too

Re:GM (5, Interesting)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823332)

I just want to avoid Monsanto's products GM food might be 100% harmless but Monsanto isn't.

Re:GM (5, Interesting)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823620)

Spot on.

Although I don't agree with John's 'close ties to Monsanto. If you actually follow up on the links provided, Prof. Jones is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for Mendel Biotechnologies, which in turn does business with Monsanto.

This does not qualify him as a shill.

And I agree with his point that regulation is creating monstrosities like Monsanto, only not with his answer: regulate less.

It took us decades to fully realize the danger of radioactive materials, it might take decades to fully understand the implications of GM. Until we have a reasonable comprehension of the dangers and risks, we should use other methods for improving crop yields, which, also as the Prof. tells, are to be easily found in better irrigation and fertilisation for third world countries.

And let's not forget; famine is mostly an economical problem these days, bringing in the likes of monsanto to 'solve' this will not bring relief to the starving and ill nourished people of the world.

Re:GM (0, Troll)

Jawnn (445279) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823742)

And let's not forget; famine is mostly an economical problem these days, bringing in the likes of monsanto to 'solve' this will not bring relief to the starving and ill nourished people of the world.

Why not? I mean look at BP and how they've helped with "solving" the world's energy shortage. Oh, wait...

Re:GM (5, Informative)

FriendlyLurker (50431) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823668)

Very true. Monsanto and friends have bought off the political side [guardian.co.uk] and continue to lobby heavily so that clear labels on GM food are not required [google.com] - preventing consumers from making an informed choice in the free market. Now as part of this broader campaign of voter/consumer deception, they just need to convince all the consumers that are not paying attention that their products are all A-Ok for consumption - so they trot out people like this Jonathan Jones so called "professor" to use his credentials to sway public opinion.

They have to do this campaign to deceive, since consumers tend to avoid GM Food in droves [wikihow.com] - just look at how fast McDonald's had to drop GM potatoes from their fries [organicconsumers.org]. They may be able to buy politicians and hide their GM labels, but consumers are still a force to be reckoned with, and thanks to the internet - more informed than ever.

Re:GM (4, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823732)

They may be able to buy politicians and hide their GM labels, but consumers are still a force to be reckoned with, and thanks to the internet - more informed than ever.

That's kind of like saying that consumers are underinformed because there are no autism warning labels on vaccines. Anti-vaccine people aren't demonstrating that they're more informed than the rest of us - they're just demonstrating that they don't know WTF they're talking about.

Same applies to the anti-GM-food people who try to get the public into a panic by suggesting that GM food will make them sick or whatever, when the true agenda of the people who started the anti-GM movement is simply a far-left anti-corporate one. The misinformation they spread about GM foods is just as bad, if not worse, than the lack of information about which products are and aren't genetically modified.

That said, Monsanto is a bunch of assholes because they sue farmers for doing what farmers are supposed to do.

Re:GM (3, Insightful)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823752)

I agree with both of your conclusions. Throw in a bit about how the environmentalist movement is more concerned with lowering the US and Europe's standards of living to those of a third world country, rather than lifting the third world to ours, and how they oppose nuclear power even though it is the cleanest realistic energy source we have available, and you'd would be spot on. Of course, expect the wave of downmods to come heading your way when it hits lunch time in the land of the Euro.

Re:GM (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823754)

Very true. Monsanto and friends have bought off the political side [guardian.co.uk] and continue to lobby heavily so that clear labels on GM food are not required [google.com] - preventing consumers from making an informed choice in the free market.

Too weak. They can't win that one. Knowing the sentiment of the consumer, all producers of non-GM food need to do is label their products with "no GM ingredients inside" label.

Re:GM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823500)

No, no! In the future, we don't need roads. Toyota, Chrisler and Ford's favourite food will be soylent green.

Another Win for Linux (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823592)

It is well known that Monsanto is in bed with Microsoft, using a closed source, proprietary operating system (Windows) to do all their genetic modifications in an inherently inferior and insecure environment. Monsanto scientists sit in cramped cubicles, using Visual Studio to do all of their genetic modification, but even with Resharper installed it cannot come close to the power of even EMACS or VI on Linux.

So, where Monsanto to use a free, open source operating system (any flavour of Linux would do) to do their genetic modifications, they would gain access to powerful tools like EMACS and VI, and would immediately notice a surge in productivity. Plus, they could upload everything to GitHub where the public could inspect their code for bugs.

Re:GM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823690)

I Want to avoid Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota foods too

What have you against buckwheat noodles, the holiest type of appendages of the Finite Sta...Flying Spaghetti Monster!?

ah, Monsanto (5, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823290)

They're the guys overly fussy about protecting their intellectual property in genetic modification, right?

Re:ah, Monsanto (5, Interesting)

data2 (1382587) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823466)

Yes, and they are the same guy patenting pigs(!) which have eaten their crops.

Re:ah, Monsanto (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823534)

this. where are my mod points.

'Viewpoint' (5, Informative)

DCBoland (700327) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823302)

I'm sorry but TFA says 'viewpoint' quite clearly. Apparently his points have been 'debunked numerous times' and his facts are 'stale half facts', but where are the links supporting these claims?

Re:'Viewpoint' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823478)

Trying to debunk claims about GM foods is like trying to debunk claims about technology in general. If it doesn't work the first time, if it doesn't do what you want, you make another version that does. If there's some flaw, you remove the flaw.
 
You simply can't reject an entire field of research and all its practical applications on the basis of "we've never needed it before and some of the previous attempts were no good".
 
I agree with this guy's idea that we need more people doing GM foods. That way if one company is misusing the tech, you can ignore them and go to another one that isn't.

They will ALL abuse the tech (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823498)

They will ALL abuse the tech. The only way to avoid that is the same way you avoid totalitarian government control: DO NOT ALLOW THE CONTROL. So don't let people use GM tech and the tech will not get abused.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (1, Flamebait)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823576)

What? I'm sorry but you're argument makes no sense...

Without GM foods the world would be starving right now.

We should probably ban computers too, yah know to prevent a robot revolution from occurring.

While we're at it, let's stop working on nano tech, it could potentially result in a grey goo scenario.

Hell, why are we letting people work on medical technology? It's only going to result in overpopulation and exacerbate the situation between the Haves and the Have-Nots.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823630)

Eh, the world *is* starving (third at least).
USA is the main users of GM foods, other parts of the world use much less. We would get by just fine without GM foods.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823692)

Without GM foods the world would be starving right now.

[Citation Needed]

And, as other poster put it: parts of the world are starving right now. You'd still have to make a convincing point that GM foods are doing any difference in this respect.

Heck, the colouful brochures of GM industry are more convincing than your ranting.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (4, Insightful)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823710)

The world is starving, and Monsanto is a huge contributor to it thanks to having a monopoly on their seeds, while roundup kills pretty much everything else, and of course their "license agreement" doesn't allow stocking seeds for the next year, and has led to farmers getting sued to ruin for having their field pollinized by GM crops. Fuck off shill.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823780)

Fact is that the world produces enough food for everyone. Blame the governments and dictators who deny food and aid to their hated enemies and there is your problem solved. Food and diamonds can be compared since there is an artificial scarcity of both. One because of money and profit, and the other due to power and hate.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823784)

Funny how you mention diamonds, as in that case, too, they're under the control of a huge megacorporation who basically owns governments. Governments, dictators and corporations are to blame. The last one is important.

Re:They will ALL abuse the tech (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823688)

Hmm.. so we don't want the government to have totalitarian control over anything.. apart from when it furthers your own agenda?

Re:'Viewpoint' (1)

Dalambertian (963810) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823518)

The first time I heard of Monsanto was in this interview with Vandana Shiva, concerning the effects of patented seed on Indian farmers: http://www.hulu.com/watch/133725/cooking-up-a-story-vandana-shiva-the-future-of-food-part-1 [hulu.com]

Re:'Viewpoint' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823770)

Please don't link to Hulu on Slashdot. This is an international site (like most of the internet). Hulu is US only.

Re:'Viewpoint' (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823614)

Are we going to have to assassinate these clowns to unclog government pores?

Obvious conflict of interest. Why is this news? (3, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823306)

In other news, U.S. Radium says radium paint is safe [wikipedia.org]. News at 11...

Re:Obvious conflict of interest. Why is this news? (0, Redundant)

takowl (905807) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823524)

Only because of the completely inaccurate /. title. In fact, it's not Monsanto saying it:

Professor Jonathan Jones is senior scientist for The Sainsbury Laboratory, based at the John Innes Centre, a research centre in plant and microbial science

Monsanto better say it! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823310)

'Cause nobody else'll be sayin for them...

Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (5, Insightful)

krisbrowne42 (549049) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823318)

I would personally prefer to stay away from Monsanto based products not because I don't trust their science, but because I dislike their business practices and media tomfoolery. GM crops are a double-edged sword by all neutral study, having definite benefits of their own but creating potentially disastrous consequences (super-bugs and super-weeds, which are nearly immune to conventional herb- or insecticides), but the Intellectual Property abuse that comes of their use is hurting more farmers than those issues for now.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (5, Informative)

Noam.of.Doom (934040) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823360)

Don't forget the fact that they create a monopoly by requiring farmers that plant their seeds to exclusively use certain brands of pesticide and fertilizers.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823438)

As I understand it, there wouldn't be much point buying their seeds while using other brands of pesticide, as the crops are modified to be resistant to their specific pesticides anyway.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (1)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823476)

To be most exact they are also not allowed to use any of the seeds and have to buy licensed seed material from Monsanto every year.

Granted, very few farmers in the developed world do their own seeds nowdays. They go and buy seed material and there is a reasonably wide market for that. If GM in the form advocated by monsanto is allowed this market is killed outright and converted into a near monopoly for Monsanto. That is by the way the primary concern of legislators, regulators and governments in the EU. It is not the GM itself, it is the fact that if it is allowed a monopoly on par with United Fruit of old will shortly follow.

In any case GM as advocated by Monsanto is actually unnecessary in the longer term. Induced mutations (radiation, chemicals, etc) and other means to create initial material for the standard selection process are perfectly legal and are now widely in use throughout the industry. When this is combined with DNA sequencing and modern mol biol techniques to track the results it allows perfectly legal selection methods which result in pretty much the same as what Monsanto is trying to offer. It takes longer, but it is also applicable to plants and animals that are presently outside the GM scope. The super-wheat and super-corn obtained through such "legal" methods is probably less than 5-10 years away anyway and most importantly it will _NOT_ be a monopoly. There will be multiple varieties to chose from.

From this perspective the prohibition of Monstanto style GM is a very good thing. I am all for it.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823404)

GM crops are a double-edged sword

Agreed.

Barring Monsato's obvious dickishness here, there are plenty of reasons GM crops are both good and bad. The benefit of having far more crops is good for any nation with high populations or small amounts of fertile ground, but the potential danger of breeding with other plants to create superweeds, or of just lacking multiple strains of a crop in case of sudden virus mutations/weather changes/new insects/etc are incredibly bad.

Putting all your eggs in one basket is never good.

If anything, we should be growing multiple strains of supercrops with a minimum x% genetic variation out in the fields while keeping, in laboratories or private farms as many lesser, ordinary strains in case we need to cross-breed them. This should at least allow for a bare minimum sustenance in case one supercrop fails while also allowing for other strains to experiment with for new, better supercrops with different genetic strains.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823424)

I personally want Viagra laced foods. Us Amerikans have gots to out breed them darkies!
Nah I'm not raycyst I just lyke to fuck.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (3, Insightful)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823460)

... and don't forget that Monsanto will come out with an exclusive patented super-weed killer to handle those pesky super-weeds. And since they are the inventor of both the super-weed and the killer to keep it under control, they win. It's a vicious circle that feeds itself.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823496)

Monsanto is an enemy of human kind, GM health issues apart. I thought this was out of discussion.

Re:Monsanto isn't an unbiased voice (0)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823648)

This isn't Monsanto speaking. RTA, follow the links, I don't think this Prof Jones is a shill for Monsanto.

pot calling kettle black? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823326)

Kdawson complaining about crappy news reporting...heh.

NaturalNews talks a lot about this stuff (-1, Troll)

yuhong (1378501) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823334)

the very same day that the Wall Street Journal announced that picky eating may be recognized in the 2013 DSM as a psychiatric disorder.

I am subscribed to the NaturalNews [naturalnews.com] newsletter, which talks a lot about this kind of stuff. They even have a Disease Mongering Engine [naturalnews.com] to make disorders up.

Re:NaturalNews talks a lot about this stuff (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823408)

that would be the same naturalnews that have such a firm grasp on the concept of medicine then..

For example their wonderful views on MMR http://www.naturalnews.com/025596_vaccines_immune_system_doctors.html

Re:NaturalNews talks a lot about this stuff (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823776)

And yet, all of a sudden, by pushing vaccines, these same doctors are admitting they have NO faith in the technology of the very human beings they claim are genetically superior thanks to natural selection!

I'm out of words to describe this article.

Re:NaturalNews talks a lot about this stuff (1)

HungryHobo (1314109) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823436)

wow.
That disease mongering engine has to have come from the church of Scientology.

And I say (1, Insightful)

Dracophile (140936) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823364)

And I say that while I have a meaningful choice in what I eat (I've started growing my own food) Monsanto can suck my dick.

Re:And I say (4, Funny)

Halo1 (136547) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823390)

Monsanto can suck my dick.

Given Monsanto's business model, that might render you infertile more quickly than you can say "Monsanto's SuperSperm Discount Pack".

Re:And I say (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823604)

Just remember though, you're dead no matter what you eat - might as well eat what tastes good and / or is cheap.

That's why I don't understand the people who say "Don't do X, it's bad for you!" - you're not getting out of life alive, so you might as well enjoy yourself while you can.

Please give me GM everything. (4, Insightful)

MikeFM (12491) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823374)

All this alarmist bullshit that is hurting the availability of GM and and nano products is nothing more than people whining. Sure a small portion of this stuff may be harmful but it'll be overwhelmingly beneficial. The best way to find the problems is to put it into mass use. It's very unlikely that it is worse than the stuff people willingly expose themselves to - drugs, alcohol, sugar, fried foods, etc. Hell even vegetables can be bad for you. As a non-obese diet caffeine free soda drinker in his early thirties that has recently found out he is diabetic I can tell you that damn near everything you could want to eat seems to be cursed.

It's completely ridiculous that they can't give GM crops to starving people because protestors, that aren't starving, think it's better to let the people starve than give them more viable crops that offer more nutrients than other crops, which aren't even being offered, would.

I will eat GM food and use GM and nano products. Please make em available. If other people are to scared of the bogey man then great I'll have benefits they don't. Please figure out a way to make carb free bread that doesn't suck.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823410)

If you are in the USA you are already eating a lot of GM food. But as for it being designed for your benefit, pfft, why would they do that? Current ones are for instance designed to leverage a companies monopoly in seed supply to a monopoly in pesticide.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (5, Informative)

nido (102070) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823430)

The best way to find the problems is to put it into mass use.

Health problems are often subtle, and frequently masquerade as something else.

As a non-obese diet caffeine free soda drinker in his early thirties that has recently found out he is diabetic ... I will eat GM food and use GM and nano products. Please make em available. If other people are to scared of the bogey man then great I'll have benefits they don't.

Like diabetes, eh?

It's completely ridiculous that they can't give GM crops to starving people because protestors,

It's completely ridiculous that there are starving people, with all the food that goes wasted or goes into ethanol/biodiesel. Mechanization -> unlimited abundance. Poverty is now a political problem more than anything else.

Please figure out a way to make carb free bread that doesn't suck.

How about this: your body can't handle bread. Stop eating it. That'd be the smart thing to do.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (5, Insightful)

Anghwyr (1245932) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823452)

Why on earth do you need a carb-free bread? Unless you are allergic, just manage your eating habits in a normal way.

The point of the above sentence being: medicine is not always the best answer. Third world countries are starving because we 1. destroy their local farmers' economy by dumping free food on them (note that when the chinese are dumping textile on european / USA markets, we start adding trade taxes for a reason), and 2. destroy what food-production they still have by making it financial beneficial for individual farmers to grow cheap maize for our cattle, rather than food for their countrymen. (3. Because their governments are far from brilliant, but we're not making it easy for those governments either).

I can see that one solution is to make the few farmers these countries have be more efficient in producing grain with GM crops, but there's also the solution of 'lets stop to abuse the fcuk out of third world countries', which seems to be the higher moral ground.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (4, Insightful)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823482)

Being a scientist, I would ask for the tests that show GM products to have a low risk of causing harm to the human body. In their absence, given the record of the companies involved that used dangerous pesticidal and antibiotics, I don't trust them to provide a correct view. They played with public health in the past and it would be foolish to assume they won't do it again.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823664)

+1 Speaks the truth!

Re:Please give me GM everything. (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823502)

Or you could just change your diet. Just like I don't need "lactose free milk" when there's a shitton of alternatives.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (3, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823722)

I don't need "lactose free milk"

Indeed. I suspect my milk is getting fussy being surrounded Monsanto's genetically-engineered, artificially-flavoured soy products. Or as Lewis Black put it,

There's no such thing as soy milk. It's soy juice. But they couldn't sell soy juice, so they called it soy milk. Because anytime you say soy juice, you actually... start to gag. Know how come I know there's no such thing as soy milk? Because there's no soy titty, is there?

Milk. Straight from the tit.

Indeed, you're both boobs... (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823744)

But what does this have to do with soy millk?

I'm also aware that most of soy products are GM, I mostly buy Almond milk however. Not to say I don't use soy, I use it a lot, thanks to being used to the cooking we do on the asian side of the family.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (1, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823570)

1. Umm, being no worse than stuff already considered harmful, is hardly making anything good. Especially since it's not as an alternative to, but effectively in addition to. It's like saying that kicking someone in the nuts is OK, because he would have suffered worse in a car accident and he obviously doesn't mind risking that every day. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

2. The risks to people are but a small aspect of it. The breeding super-weeds was even on Slashdot recently. Given that agrobacteria which transfer genes between plants exist in the wild -- and in fact that's how the GM gang is doing it in the first place -- it was just a matter of time until weeds started appearing with the exact same genes for producing pesticides or resisting herbicides that the GM crops have. Now they have actually been found. Now what?

3. In the same vein, some GM crops have already driven some harmful or even beneficial insects and worms nearly exitinct in some places, because frankly the pesticides they produce aren't the most discriminating ones. We're far from figuring out the DNA that encodes a more narrow action pesticides, and basically all that happens is copying some existing genes from bacteria and the like. The spread of those genes even to weeds now, well, you can see where that is going.

4. I don't remember Monsanto giving any starving people any crops. Would be nice if they were that charitable, but they aren't. On the contrary the crops they sell are sterile, so you have to buy another truckload of seeds next year. So basically you'll have to do better than that if you want to paint the GM guys as the knights in shiny armour and the protesters as some kind of villains.

5. Carb free bread? How do you think that might happen? To wit, there are two ways the plants store energy for the sprout in the seed. One is starch, which only some grasses do (grain being a grass) and oil which most plants use because it has higher energy density. And even if you converted grain to have an oily seed instead of starchy ones (though you probably wouldn't want to eat that kind of "bread" anyway), there's the issue of the cellulose inherent in plant cell walls. It's a polymer of sugar too, and cooked it ends up absorbed as carbs. So, what, your great hope for GM crops is to produce a BS fantasy bread? You might as well wish for the lembas bread from LOTR or Dwarven war bread from Discworld then.

Basically, please, while there is a case to be made for GM crops, that kind of uninformed regurgitating talking points and making stuff up simply isn't it.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (4, Interesting)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823590)

Just to make it clear what one aspect of those super-weeds is: if you're a farmer that doesn't use GM crops, if those spread to your field, then the weeds are much more resistant to herbicides than the actual crops. Your choice to plant anything else than what at least has the same genes just went down the drain right there. I don't think it's entirely fair to force that kind of a situation upon anyone.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823598)

That and let's face it, at the level of awareness we're at, most species' genomes are pretty fucking close.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823738)

"4. I don't remember Monsanto giving any starving people any crops. Would be nice if they were that charitable, but they aren't. On the contrary the crops they sell are sterile, so you have to buy another truckload of seeds next year. So basically you'll have to do better than that if you want to paint the GM guys as the knights in shiny armour and the protesters as some kind of villains."

Except that if the crops were not sterile they would spread a lot more easily. So basically in your world it is impossible for the GM guys to ever be anything but the villains and the protesters to ever be anything but the knights in shiny armor.

Which is a good reason not to even discuss with you.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823768)

If they were not sterile Monsanto would remain villains because they've shown what happens when pollinization happens: "OMG OUR IP" and sue the already half broke farmers of the region.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (1)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823686)

"It's completely ridiculous that they can't give GM crops to starving people because protestors, that aren't starving, think it's better to let the people starve than give them more viable crops that offer more nutrients than other crops, which aren't even being offered, would."

Yeah right, because that's the real reason GM crops aren't feeding starving people.

Most people are malnurished or starving because THEY HAVE NO MONEY TO PAY FOR FOOD.

And ... Monsanto and other GM companies ARE IN IT FOR THE MONEY.

I'll leave it as an exercise to you to finish the sum and to conclude if GM is an answer to starvation.

Sorry for shouting, Thank you for your attention.

Re:Please give me GM everything. (3, Insightful)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823698)

How will a company that makes people rebuy seeds every year, makes a pesticide that kills everything else, and sues the pants off farmers whose fields get pollinized by the monsanto seeds help feed starving people who can't afford that shit anyway?

Re:Please give me GM everything. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823772)

"The best way to find the problems is to put it into mass use."

I guess it works, that's how we found out DDT, cigarettes and asbestos are bad for you. We just see how many people die and decide whether it's enough to take it off the market or if corporate profits are more important. The problem is we already know people are having bad reactions to GM products but it's hard to pin down because there has been no testing and people don't realize what's making them sick. Let's say as an example they decide splicing a peanut gene helps preserve corn twice as long as regular corn. Hey your corn chips last twice as long with fewer preservatives. Where's the bad. Say you are allergic to peanuts and have been eating corn chips all your life. One day you eat a handful of corn chips and end up in the hospital. You aren't allergic to corn and they don't list peanut oil on the bag, which they are required to list, so you know it isn't the corn chips. You get home from the hospital and happily finish off the bag of chips only this time you die. Can't happen? Don't bet on it. You have no idea where the genes came from, other plants, animals or bacteria. Even if you have no allergies the new mix of genes may cause a reaction for you. That's just one potential problem. Wanta know what is likely to cause mass starvation in the very near future? A lack of biodiversity. What is keeping the world alive has been reduced to a few dozen species of food items. Yes there are still thousands of different foods consumed but staples number in the dozens. Ever hear of the potato famine? Millions died and it wasn't that long ago and they died in Ireland not some third world country. What if a type of corn crop fails and is no longer viable to grow commercially? We're facing that with Bananas right now and they are a staple in parts of the world. One problem with GM crops is they don't produce a dozen types it's more cost effective to produce one so everyone grows the same type of corn or wheat. Let's say you add a corn gene to wheat suddenly the corn may get wheat diseases. Whether it's GM or just focusing on a single strain a lack of biodiversity is the single biggest threat to world food with drought following close behind. FYI starvation isn't caused by a lack of GM crops it's caused by over population. GM crops don't address that problem they just kick the can down the road.

GET A CLUE (-1, Troll)

johnjones (14274) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823376)

dear scared american

a long time ago a monk by the name of Gregor Mendel did genetic experiments on wheat

avoid wheat

on a serious note yes things need to be tested and very strict oversight but seriously don't complain about the science but the outreach and education...

regards

John Jones

Re:GET A CLUE (3, Insightful)

DMiax (915735) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823434)

He did not do genetic engineering. Stop clouding the issue. It is complicated enough when discussed rationally.

Re:GET A CLUE (5, Insightful)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823484)

A) Mendel did not do engineering, he did experimentations on crossbreeding
B) He also did not then patent the genome of wheat or peas so that all german farmers would have to buy their seeds from his monastery, their fertilizer from his monastery, and their insecticides from his monastery, while suing people who would accidentally get his seeds through natural pollinization.
Die, shill

Would you prefer "irrational"? (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823378)

Genetically modified foods are just foods. There's nothing "natural" about selectively bred crops. Unless you're going into the woodlands and picking wild berries for breakfast you're eating unnatural food. Welcome to the modern world.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823512)

Also, the people decrying the lack of long term studies about the safety of GM quietly ignore (or are ignorant of) the fact that thousands of new artificial drugs enter medical and over-the-counter usage every year without long term studies.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (1, Insightful)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823516)

*citation needed*
I decry both.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (0, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823734)

Why is a citation needed? Its quite plain to see the lack of protesting against new drugs coming to market, compared to the protesting against GM food.

Does anyone else feel 'citation needed' is becoming overused? Most usage of it these days comes across as 'I don't agree with what you are saying, but I cannot answer your points so I will just try and create doubt on them by pushing the requirement for further validation back on the original poster'.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823568)

lol good random introduction of the naturalist fallacy. Strawman though; no-one even mentioned "natural". But yeah direct manipulation at the level of the genome is just the same as selective breeding. Not. You may as well say what's the problem with nuclear power we've been burning wood for years.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (1, Informative)

Kijori (897770) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823632)

There's an important difference between genetic modification and selective breeding, though: selective breeding causes gradual change. Genetic modification is like doing selective breeding without the hundreds of years of gradual testing through eating and planting, and as such it carries much more chance of unintended consequences. That's why there needs to be regulation of GM food - in order to create the possibility of new, improved crops you're removing the natural oversight, and it needs to be replaced by something comparable.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (2, Insightful)

izomiac (815208) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823666)

Exactly. Modern crops have been artificially selected for over 10,000 years and bear little resemblance to their ancestors. Strangely enough, the leading causes of death are related to diet... Eating unaltered food is probably a good idea, but it's not like modern agriculture grows anything like that, GMO or not.

Heck, most genetic engineering methods (e.g. tranduction) can occur naturally, and probably have given the time-frame, so it's not like this is unprecedented. The primary difference being that a scientist is guiding it, rather than several generations of farmers waiting for it to happen randomly. Plus the farmer only has appearance and taste to go off of.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (1)

agnosticnixie (1481609) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823680)

There is a huge difference between ten thousand years and ten thousand hours; for one, in these ten thousand years, we had a lot of time to do trial and error and figure out what was a bad idea or not. Some of the earliest plants cultivated had horrible effects on the health of people because they're basically empty calories, and only appeared widespread in a few small regions before mostly disappearing. At least until the 20th century.

Re:Would you prefer "irrational"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823728)

You might want to do some reading on how GM foods came into being. Naturally selecting crops is far different than the GMO process. To create a "round-up ready" crop, they had to introduce a virus to get the cells to accept genetic material that they would naturally reject. There is no possible way that the GMO seeds could naturally occur even after a million generations.

2 words for Monsanto... (4, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823440)

Fuck. You.

There is probably no more evil company on the planet. It's got nothing to do with so-called GM foods, but rather their business model based on blackmail and coercion. They are destroying what's left of America's agriculture industry and trying to spread their influence into other countries as well. If they are not stopped they will have a complete and utter monopoly over our food supply from the fields to the table.

I refuse to buy any product known to have come into contact with anything related to Monsanto.

Re:2 words for Monsanto... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823606)

If I had mod points, I'd mod the parent up. The scam here is that Monsanto sells genetically modified seeds which are able to grow in the presence of Roundup, the pesticide that they also produce and sell -- after which nothing else except their seeds will grow in that area of ground anymore. Their required agreement to obtain the seeds includes not keeping/stockpiling any seeds for following seasons, thus mandating that you re-buy THEIR seeds every year, which are EXPENSIVE. This is putting Indian crop producers out of business and causing them to commit suicide, as they are going into debt buying Monsanto seeds and unable to grow anything else afterwards. Then if some of the crop goes airborne and grows in an adjacent field, Monsanto sues that plantation for patent infringement even though they weren't even involved in choosing to grow GMO crops. It's a vicous cycle that shows no end in sight. It's ridiculous.

I think its a worrying trend (5, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823462)

I think its a worrying trend when a company attempts to have people who don't like their product as suffering from a psychiatric disorder. The corporate masters of Western society are using the same techniques as the Soviet Government. What's next, compulsory treatment of people who avoid certain foods? I know that all they probably have in mind mow is having their detractors classed as mentally unstable, but if that becomes generally accepted what will the next step be?

Re:I think its a worrying trend (1)

equex (747231) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823588)

Oh, the next step is mandatory vaccinations against all sorts of bullshit, like swineflu/birdflu. Oh, and Tamiflu is an anti-viral drug, not a vaccine just so you know. Be sure to tell them that when they strap you to a chair so they can ram it in you. Rumsfeld has major stakes in the flu business. That alone should make you realize what kind of powers we are dealing with.

Re:I think its a worrying trend (3, Insightful)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823708)

Oh, the next step is mandatory vaccinations against all sorts of bullshit, like swineflu/birdflu. Oh, and Tamiflu is an anti-viral drug, not a vaccine just so you know. Be sure to tell them that when they strap you to a chair so they can ram it in you. Rumsfeld has major stakes in the flu business. That alone should make you realize what kind of powers we are dealing with.

Patient: But doctor I don't tink this injection is really necessary!
Doctor: Don't worry we have another injection that will cure you of that delusion.

Re:I think its a worrying trend (2, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823594)

I don't think it's quite that. Even the summary admitted that "the DSM item refers to something completely different".

I'm not quite sure what the cause of it is, but there is an odd prevalence in mainly white, upper-class, liberal-ish areas of strangely heightened food allergies, with many people being supposedly allergic to two or three things that would otherwise be quite rarely found at all, much less together. Maybe there's a scientific reason that there are so many more food allergies among upper-class white residents of San Francisco than among lower-middle-class black residents of Atlanta, but it's at least possible that the reason is psychosomatic.

Re:I think its a worrying trend (1)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823642)

Wow, way to do a very bad job of reading the summary (let alone RTFA). Monsanto is NOT trying to label people who are picky eaters as having a psychiatric disorder, it's a group of Psychiatrists who are wanting to label picky eaters as having a disorder.

Yeah, right. "We didn't say that" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823792)

Obviously, either you are naïve and don't know how such things work (hint: flattening by the media machinery plus association), then you are involuntarily part of the ploy -- or you are voluntarily part of the ploy in the first place.

what risks are we talking about ? (5, Interesting)

Moabz (1480009) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823468)

Eating those crops _might_ not pose a health risk, you might not die from it. This can be and will be proven again and again, but that's not the issue.
Allowing a company like Monsanto muscle itself into the world food business by IP protected crops, that's the real illness that we must protect ourselves from.
There is so much evidence that Monsanto is a dirty company, anyone who eats there GM stuff must be a Microsoft fan boy.

This Mr. Jones is on the scientific advisory board of Mendel Biotech, which states on their own web page: "Mendel's most important customer and collaborator for our technology business is Monsanto".

Superweeds (5, Insightful)

idji (984038) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823556)

what about superweeds [nytimes.com] that are now glyphosate resistant and mirid bug plagues [discovermagazine.com] in Northern China because they haven't been using pesticides on their bollworm killing GM-Cotton from Monsanto. Nothing is as simple as Monsanto wants you to believe. We are only now seeing the effects of decades of use of this stuff.

A Bad Seed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823560)

Mon$anto is a Bad Seed Plain and Simple

Most forums sensor the word Mon$anto so they can avoid trouble and not get sued!

debunked? (5, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823582)

Point by point Jones regurgitates the same pro-GM arguments debunked numerous times all over the net for years, while serving up some stale half facts too.

I'm afraid that "debunked numerous times all over the net" isn't a persuasive argument. Any nutcase can claim to "debunk" anything, and many do. You can find many self-proclaimed "debunkers" of climate change, evolution, the Holocaust, Obama's nationality ... anything. Having a bunch of bloggers attacking a topic doesn't have a damn thing to do with how scientifically accurate an idea is. Why didn't this guy actually cite some SCIENTIFIC refutations instead of a scaremongering blog?

Personally I think that Monsanto has some pretty evil business practices, but as for health effects to consumers, I have no problem. I don't believe Monsanto could cover up evidence of that if they tried. There are already a lot of unpleasant things in food -- pesticides, rat droppings, steroids, antibiotics, radioactives, etc, etc. As much in "organic" foods as anything else. Not to say these are fine, but that there are no perfectly pure and healthy foods if you examine them in microscopic detail. You have to measure and set a limit; but zero is just impossible. The real world is imperfect.

Debunked - by the farmers or by whom? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823602)

You would think that the best people to 'debunk' whether GM food is better or not from a _farming_ and _volume_ perspective are the farmers who have decades of experience growing food, right?

As a shitton of farmers plant GM crops, seems it's a game set and match for their virtues in favour of the pro-GM crowd.

Of course, what is preferred by the _farmer_ says nothing about the _health_ effects - but eating genes in themselves is not a problem, like eating a tumor does not give you cancer.

Bad Public Policy (4, Interesting)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823650)

These problems can nearly all be traced back to one thing: corn subsidies. We pay farmers to grow corn so intensively that it has become cheaper to chemically process corn into whatever food-like product we want than it is to grow real, healthy food. Our entire food chain is dependent on mass produced, cheap corn - but it doesn't have to be that way. Farms do not have to be operated on the factory model, and we don't have to sacrifice output to do things the right way, the sustainable way if good public policy decisions are made. We WOULD however be sacrificing profitability and efficiency and that's why market forces cannot be trusted to fix the problem, as the market will always tend towards higher profits regardless of the long term problems it causes. We need policy that will encourage small scale farming, and discourage the kinds of practices that we know are harmful to our health and the environment: chemically altered corn-derived ingredients like HFCS, use of hormones, over-use of chemical fertilizers and insecticides, feed lots, shipping food hundreds of miles to be sold. I'm thankful I can afford to buy healthy food, millions cannot and this is a tragedy worthy of the greatest of efforts to end.

Maize People (1)

bunabeans (1845860) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823726)

"Today 93 percent of soybeans and 80 percent of corn in the U.S. grow from seeds genetically altered according to Monsanto company patents." http://theemergencyfoodsupply.com/archives/93-percent-of-soybeans-and-80-percent-of-corn-in-the-u-s-grow-from-seeds-genetically-altered-by-monsanto [theemergen...supply.com] "Wheat, rice, and maize provide just over 50 percent of the world’s plant-derived food energy." "The maize found even in remote areas of Mexico today is not the same as the maize found in the same location hundreds of years ago. Maize is an open-pollinating species that readily exchanges genes with other maize plants growing nearby. Farmers long ago recognized this as a way to adapt varieties to their own needs. Mexican farmers say that their maize “gets tired.” When this happens, they seek other varieties to mix with it." http://www.idrc.ca/en/ev-31631-201-1-DO_TOPIC.html [www.idrc.ca]

Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32823740)

The health issue is of concern as not enough research has been done on the effects of Genetic Engineered food. The problem is does have is the ecological damage on the environment.

Follow the money, brown nose the boss... (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | more than 3 years ago | (#32823762)

Consider the source: He works for Rupert Murdoch now, and he knows where his genetically modified bread is buttered - that is to say, with the same Vegemite yellow journalism that permeates "Fox News" and the rest of that "neo-fascist-corporate domination can do no wrong" ideology they slather on our media. I guess buying MySpace was his backup plan in case the "sheeple" misbehave and start to clone the truth incorrectly.....

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