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Hidden Viral Gene Discovered In GMO Crops

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the food-is-tasty-in-proportion-to-how-much-it's-trying-to-kill-you dept.

Biotech 391

Jeremiah Cornelius writes "Researchers with the European Food Safety Authority discovered variants of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S in the most widely harvested varieties of genetically-modified crops, including Monsanto's RoundupReady Soy and Maze. According to the researchers, Podevin and du Jardin, the particular 'Gene VI' is responsible for a number of possible consequences that could affect human health, including inhibition of RNA silencing and production of proteins with known toxicity. The EFSA is endorsing 'retrospective risk assessment' of CaMV promoter and its Gene VI sequences — in an attempt to give it a clean bill of health. It is unknown if the presence of the hidden viral genes were the result of laboratory contamination or a possible recombinant product of the resultant organism. There are serious implications for the production of GMO for foodstuffs, given either possibility."

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Anything that screws monsanto (5, Insightful)

shaitand (626655) | about a year ago | (#42663297)

Can't be all bad.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (4, Insightful)

eksith (2776419) | about a year ago | (#42663359)

...Will also screw those eating their products. Please resist the temptation to treat this so light-heartedly as just another case of hubris. These things affect not just one or two lives, but entire communities and even a couple of generations.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663401)

Newsflash, for all intents and purposes, you're already dead.

And in this whisper of illusion, floating behind your corpse, in a blink of space-time


Why was that viral gene inside in the first place? (5, Interesting)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year ago | (#42663481)

There are many questions one should ask:

* 1. Why is that viral gene in there?

* 2. Was it put there by accident or by purpose?

* 2(a). If by accident, how, when, what happened?

* 2(b). If by purpose, why, and by whom?

* 3. How come the American scientists never detected this viral gene?

* 3(a). Was it because of incompetence, or was it because the American scientists were not allowed to publish their finding, if they had found it before the Europeans?

Re:Why was that viral gene inside in the first pla (3)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42663911)

There are many questions that can be answered.

In this particular case by reading The Fine Article.

Even better, TFA can point out better questions with salient answers.

Who knew?

Hype, hype and more hype (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663941)

It's highly likely intentional. The CaMV 35s promoter sequence is widely used in transgenic plants to drive expression of the desired transgene.


To give a little bit of a simplified background, there are three critical elements in gene expression:

The PROMOTER is a genetic sequence that comes UPSTREAM of a GENE which is recognized by TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS

TRANSCRIPTION FACTORS bind to PROMOTER sequences and start the transcription of the GENE found downstream of the PROMOTER into mRNA

The mRNA of the GENE is then transported out of the nucleus to ribosomes to be translated into functional PROTEIN products

What the authors of this paper believed was that the sequence of the CaMV 35s promoter is similar to a viral protein used by many RNA viruses to protect their RNA from degradation (P6) so *IF* the CaMV promoter sequence itself is translated instead of the downstream gene (this is assumed to be possible, has not been observed) they hypothesized that it *MAY* have some functionality of the P6 protein. The odds of the CaMV promoter itself being translated into a protein are so remote that the possibility that it makes the (infinitesimal) odds that such a protein product would be functional seem astronomical be comparison. Furthermore, the authors never actually showed that the CaMV promoter is ever translated nor whether its translated product is functional, they merely compared the potential structure and sequence of the translated product to databases of known allergens and toxins and found.... nothing.

What a load of FUD.

Re:Why was that viral gene inside in the first pla (2, Interesting)

kelemvor4 (1980226) | about a year ago | (#42663947)

1: Monsanto put it there
2: On purpose
2b: Monsanto put it there to control the world
3: American scientists did not test the GM crops.
3b: neither, the crops were untested.

Actually, 1 and 2 are bullshit (most likely), but if you've followed the GM and anti GM saga (or just look it up) you'll find my answers to 3 and 3b are accurate.

Re:Why was that viral gene inside in the first pla (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664067)

1. It's a part of a gene. It was cloned because of the promoter sequence that drives the expression of the transgene. (Viral promoters are very convinient - small but powerfull). Along with the promoter the transgenes carry a portion of a viral gene. Not sure why. Most likely because regulatory elements necessary for the promotor to work are embeded in the coding part.

2. It is on purpose. They need it to drive the expression of the gene that they put into the plants.

3. They didn't have to. They and everybody else new about it all along. I don't realy understand why it had to be "detected". It was there by design that is published in many research papers.

The paper quoted in the summary is useless junk.

Fuck Monsanto (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663619)

No, I am currently alive. I wish to remain that way, until either my mind or my body decides that unable to continue doing so.

As such, I attempt to avoid what toxic and poisonous substances I can.

Just because my life is finite does not mean I go around huffing gas and drinking bleach.

When I purchase fresh produce, I do with the assumption that it is not, in fact, going to poison me any more that providing fuel and nutrients to my cells. Aging is poisons, you see.

You are correct in one manner though;

I am worried about a grain of rice. A grain of rice that came from a crop. A crop that could be feeding hundreds, if not thousands of people.

A grain of poison, in a grain of rice, feed to hundreds of people.

Sounds pretty scary in that case.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (5, Interesting)

nrasch (303043) | about a year ago | (#42663483)

...Will also screw those eating their products. Please resist the temptation to treat this so light-heartedly as just another case of hubris. These things affect not just one or two lives, but entire communities and even a couple of generations.

Oh I wouldn't worry about the light-heated treatment of hubris. I'm sure Monsanto will pull of bunch of political strings, make some key campaign donations, and this whole thing will be forgotten. Maybe you forgot how things work here in the USA....

In the meantime, be sure to stock up on corn and soy products!

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (4, Insightful)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | about a year ago | (#42663847)

By placing this virus into Monsanto's Family-Friendly (TM) products, we ensure that a robust resistance to viruses is present not only in our corn, but in the very bodies of the children you love -- and Monsanto love -- so dearly. We've shown that this genetic profile is safe in the lab, safe in the field, and safe in the human body.

Monsanto. Family Friendly. (TM)


Re:Anything that screws monsanto ? (3, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42663541)

...Will also screw those eating their products.


According to the source linked by TFA:

Multiple variants of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (P35S) are used to drive the expression of transgenes in genetically modified plants, for both research purposes and commercial applications.

So, right away we learn that it wasn't a "hidden viral gene". Its known and expected that P35S would be present.

A bioinformatic analysis was performed to assess the safety for human and animal health of putative translation products of gene VI overlapping P35S. No relevant similarity was identified between the putative peptides and known allergens and toxins, using different databases.

So again, nothing that might be been produced (but in fact have not been seen - hence "putative") by this gene's presence was found.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663545)

Worse than that. The world is starving, and GM crops are the only way to change that. This event, will set back the whole GM thing back by decades.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (3, Insightful)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#42663601)

Actually there's plenty of food in the world. The poblem is that large parts of it can't pay enough for us to bother getting it to them.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663681)

Yes, we have all the food.

Where we happen to grow GM crops.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (2, Insightful)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year ago | (#42663951)

WTF are you about? GM crops are not going to help 'feed the world'. Places that are having food shortages suffer from poor soil, lack of water, poor infrastructure and little money. GM crops don't answer any of those issues.

Kool Aid, especially in large quantities, is harmful to higher cognitive functions.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (0, Troll)

mikael (484) | about a year ago | (#42663701)

Africans could feed themselves with enough food to export as well. Shame they spend so much time on pointless wars burying landmines everywhere. But even then, you would have to shift millions away from subsistence farming so that fields could be ploughed and crops grown according to modern farming rotation methods.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663615)

That's the whole idea. Anti-gmo "environmentalists" want all those inconvenient people to starve.

Really? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663823)


So we're starving and GM crops will save us..?

Not, you know, refraining from throwing out one third of our food. That's just insufficient??

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (5, Interesting)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | about a year ago | (#42664131)


There are more than enough foods produced world wide to feed everybody. There is no effective way to gather the excess of one region and distribute it to those in need in another region.

Further, the monoculture approach that is used with GM crops damages good farm land. Monsanto's fix for that, involving the increased use of petroleum based pesticides and fertilizers, completes the destruction of the damaged soils. As a farmer once told me almost 50 years ago, "All they use the dirt for is to hold the stalks up." Things have gotten worse since his day.

Monsanto's approach is not a sustainable agriculture.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (3, Insightful)

bistromath007 (1253428) | about a year ago | (#42663561)

Actually, anything that screws Monsanto will greatly benefit the communities eating their products taking any view longer than about a week and a half. If there is any corp that can be rightly described as pure evil far beyond what is necessary to just make a profit, it's that one.

Re:Anything that screws monsanto (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | about a year ago | (#42664033)

allowing monsanto to exist has *already* screwed us. Getting rid of them will simply get us past the hump of all the problems and shit they brought about in the first place. If you think we're living because of monsanto crops, you're mistaken. sustainable solutions (and life as we know it) has existed for thousands and thousands of years without them.

Fun fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663351)

In French "Podevin" or "Pot de vin" (jar of wine) means "bribe".

I would have expected this guy to side with the GMO companies.

It's the end of the world! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663357)

Now even the scientists are anti-science!

Begun (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663373)

The clone wars have...

Is it in non GMO? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663379)

But is it found in non-GMO plants? We've seen latent genes from virii in many plants and animals.

timing is everything! (1)

Rudisaurus (675580) | about a year ago | (#42663385)

What do you have to say now, Mark Lynas [slashdot.org] ? Maybe you should have waited another couple of weeks ...

Spot-On referencing is everything, 2 (1)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year ago | (#42664109)

While you'd have held my interest if your argument was, "In nature's humble opine, there are too many great hominoid's for the balance of present resources and ecosystems." , the convenient renouncing of a former cheerleader falls south of the too-good-to-be-true bar. Npsqiz tbzt, 'if there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it.'

The danger with GMO is what we don't know (3, Interesting)

kawabago (551139) | about a year ago | (#42663387)

The danger with GMO crops is what we don't know about gene splicing and the like. This is a prime example of my point. Despite all their supposed safe guards, genes with unknown potential have entered the food chain. This might be the next BSE in the food supply.

Re:The danger with GMO is what we don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663473)

Honestly speaking, as long as they do sample testing reasonably, I see no issue with GMO foods for exactly the same reason you are uncertain. We don't know, but because we do not know we should test it. It really isn't that much of an issue that they don't have the same stringent testing requirements that drug companies have to go through for human testing..... Well now. Maybe they should. I wouldn't like the turn around, but it would provide better products and deal with the spite of others and myself.

Re:The danger with GMO is what we don't know (4, Insightful)

cervesaebraciator (2352888) | about a year ago | (#42663539)

This is true of many things in life. It reminds me of a line from a Wendell Berry work which stuck with me, albeit not verbatim. It was something along the lines of, 'Wisdom is knowing what to do in state of ignorance.' His point was the technical knowledge we've accumulated can sometimes blind us to the possible consequences of our overwhelming ignorance in a complex universe, even as the same knowledge gives us ever greater ability to make those consequences worse.

Even if such a thought doesn't stop someone from acting, if it gives them pause long enough to find a way to act more prudently, I think it good.

Re:The danger with GMO is what we don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663727)

This might be the next BSE in the food supply.

I hope so.

It's getting so I cannot find a parking spot at the mall any more.

This might be nothing to do with the GM. (3, Informative)

robbak (775424) | about a year ago | (#42663743)

Contamination of a organisms genetics with pieces of virus DNA happens in nature ALL THE TIME. It is only because this is a GMO crop that it was tested, and found.

When the testing is finished, this may well be found to be a bit of perfectly natural, happened in the field, no-scientists-required genetic mangling.

The only difference with GM is it is done in a carefully controlled manner with a known goal, and carefully tested to determine any unwanted side effects. Random, uncontrolled genetic modification, whose consequences are totally unknowable, is completely natural.

As it is, one of the later posters linked to an article that actually looked at the research paper in question. It searched the known genomes for known toxic genomes, and found nothing. It found one possible thing that might be allergenic, looked at it further and ruled it out as well.

In the end, they found a possible cause for a GMO to be less effective - stunted growth, late flowering - and concluded that this is something that geneticists should look out for.

To finish, we have yet another study that shows how GM is completely safe. And how the media is totally untrustworthy when it comes to providing information. OH, and the article makes my point about natural virus proteins, too.

Re:This might be nothing to do with the GM. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664049)

NO. This "gene manipulation happens all the time in nature and is coooooompletely safe bullshit has to stop. It's probably the most cynical and intellectually dishonest bullshit shoveled around since shipping people to gas chambers was referred to as "relocation". In nature, potatoes does not crossbreed with fish. End of story. STFU, LIAR

Re:The danger with GMO is what we don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663747)

Do people actually suppose there are safeguards? There's no long-term testing done, while many of the GMO foods are of the type eaten several times a week for most of a person's lifetimes. (In the case of corn, many times a day, most days, for most of your life.) Then, of course, there's the issue of how invasive the GMO version is and how effectively we can "recall" a GMO version of a crop if it's determined to be dangerous.

Re:The danger with GMO is what we don't know (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664189)

This might be the next BSE in the food supply.

considering the amount of GMO ingredientsin the food chain, if what you say was true we would all have been dead by now

have any ill effects shown up? (1)

mug funky (910186) | about a year ago | (#42663407)

this has been kicking around for ~20 years. have we seen health effects that can be attributed to this particular gene sequence yet?

btw, slashdot, you're a bit slow on the uptake with this one. this story has been on my facebook feed for a couple of days.

Re:have any ill effects shown up? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663555)

There has been an increase in the last couple decades of gastrointestinal cancers affecting younger people. So, maybe. The cause(s) of this increase in GI cancer, among the young, has not been found yet.

Re:have any ill effects shown up? (0)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42664081)

Well, if you are going to go the "random correlation" route, how about life expectancy? That's gone up the last 20 years as well. It's also clearly responsible for the depletion of our fisheries, obesity, antibiotic resistance, and the rise of diabetes. I imagine it correlates nicely with some stock prices as well.

Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (1)

jfengel (409917) | about a year ago | (#42663431)

My first thought is to ask whether it's a product of the genetic modifications, or if all plants have some of it. Is the cauliflower mosaic virus used in genetic modification?

If there is indeed unexpected, and potentially dangerous, DNA introduced during the genetic modification process, that's definitely a factor to consider in regulation. But if it's just something you'll find in any (ahem) garden-variety tomato, then it's merely an interesting tidbit of evolution.

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (2)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | about a year ago | (#42663547)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cauliflower_mosaic_virus [wikipedia.org]

So yes, cauliflower mosaic virus with "a full length, terminally redundant 35S RNA" exists in normal cauliflower, too. Maybe TFA has some answers but TFS fails for not answering your question, which is the first thing any of us should be asking.

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (5, Informative)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42663675)

1) Yes: Multiple variants of the Cauliflower mosaic virus 35S promoter (P35S) are used to drive the expression of transgenes in genetically modified plants

2) No its presence was not unexpected

3) Its merely a tidbit of speculation:
"putative translation products of gene VI overlapping P35S" were examined. (These have never been observed in the wild, they simply "Supposed them into being".) Upon Examining them they found "No relevant similarity was identified between the putative peptides and known allergens and toxins".

Translation, These genes have sequences that might overlap to produce other "translations" (re-combinations).
Nobody's ever seen it happen. So we had to use a computer.
We speculated all the possible outcomes from such translations.
We found nothing harmful.

No film at 11. Nothing to see here folks.

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663907)

The Monsanto shills are out in force today!

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664051)

It should be easy to refute what he said then, right?

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42664101)

That seemed like a pretty informative post. Why not counter his arguments rather than name call?

Re:Is it also found in non-transgenic food? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664083)

Not quite.

What they found was that the sequence for the promoter overlaps the sequence for gene VI, i.e., there is more than one open reading frame. That's not uncommon, of course. However, what it means is that plants which contain the transgenic promoter also contain a partial sequence for a foreign gene.

Now, IF it is expressed, and that's a big if, then an incomplete P6 protein will be expressed. What this would do, if anything, to the plant or the animals consuming it is unknown. It could harm the plant, it could harm the people eating it, hell it could make your penis double in size and give you a six pack.

The point of this paper isn't that this is dangerous. It's that a common argument in favor of GMO safety -- that the genes being introduced are well-characterized, so there can't be unexpected phenotypic effects -- is bullshit. This is a demonstration of a plausible mechanism by which a foreign protein could unexpectedly appear in a transgenic plant.

GMO crops are completely safe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663433)

Because.. SCIENCE!

Debunked (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about a year ago | (#42663447)

I'll just link to this post [alandove.com] that explains what the news reports misunderstood. It contains quotes from the original authors of the study whose results are misrepresented here.

Re:Debunked (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663525)

Bullshit. Go cash your Mosanto check now...

Re:Debunked (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | about a year ago | (#42663583)

What part of...

No relevant similarity was identified between the putative peptides and known allergens and toxins, using different databases.

...don't you understand from the original paper?

Re:Debunked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663799)

Right, exactly. Please RTFA before you post nonsense. Case in point: the Daily Mail covered this story.

Re:Debunked (0, Troll)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42663833)

Fact: Feeding cooked food to cats causes disease and sterility after generations, proven during the mid 1900's. Cats fed raw fresh food were healthier over more generations.
Fact: Eating raw and unprocessed foods is healthy.
Fact: Nature has achieved balance over the course of millions of years, a fine tuned perfected balance.
Fact: White man has way to much fucking hubris to think they can outsmart the universe all in one go, in one century.
Fact: Humans invented greed, poverty, and in-balance of power, in nature, and in their culture.
Fact: Monsanto doesn't care about feeding anyone. They do care, and have a fiduciary responsibility to control over the market.
Fact: Science is imperfect and can be fallible, it has been fooled in the past. Its only as good as our scientists are. We are far from a thorough, well thought, slow moving race. Particularly when employed for the big bucks.
Fact: Science only provides a limited model of what we understand about the universe.
Fact: You motherfuckers are retarded as shit, insane, and suck for believing this shit can only end in a good, charitable, humanitarian, philanthropic way.

More facts, I'm in a trollin (not really, epic trolls require more subtley and finess), flamewarrioring mood. Sometimes polite discourse isn't as effective and fun as being an ass. You won't be able to convince me, a reasonably well educated middle aged white boy that GMO is perfectly safe. Because I know better. But I wan't you to know that I thoroughly disapprove of the god-damn bullshit arguments I see that say GMO perfectly is safe. Thats like attributing safety to the scientific method. It has no morals or ethical concern about safety. Its a process. Mr. Wizard does not give a shit about little Timmy.

Re:Debunked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663997)

I suggest you try eating all of your meat raw. Seriously, do us all a favor and prove your point, please.

Re:Debunked (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42664037)

Uma Thurman does. She also looks like a creepy skeleton in my opinion.

Its incredibly hard to eat raw meat safely in an industrialized society. But raw meat is digestible and perfectly safe. Fresh killed poultry that is free roaming and well taken care of, is more or less safe. We at some time in the 1900's have started overcooking foods and running pig slaughter mills that have infested our food chain with crap.

Also there's fermented fish that is un-cooked that has been left to rot, its a rare cuisine.

And sushi.

Re:Debunked (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42664045)

And uncooked, fruits and vegetables are generally healthier. Hence people who juice to get more nutrition from them, rather then boiling them and canning them.

I will not argue that we cant feed more people with canned, processed, and cheaply produced food. Thats a pro of the way we do it now. But it does not necessarily provide an increase in an individuals quality of life.

Re:Debunked (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#42664173)

All juicing does is strip the vegetables of their fiber and ensure that you get an even larger dose of whatever industrial chemicals have been used to grow those vegetables. If you have a good nose, you can just smell the resulting juice.

Contrary to popular opinion in some circles, we are not cows. Tryign to pretend that we are cows is counterproductive. A man's gotta know his limitations. That also includes acknowledging the fact that he's missing some rather significant enzymes.

Re:Debunked (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42664213)

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=raw+food+diet [lmgtfy.com]

Try and explain the missing enzymes there to the first 100 results on google, its not a fad. Its scientific fact that humans can eat raw-anything.

My personal favorite is salmon and if I could eat copious amounts of that on a daily basis cheaply I would cream my pants and love life. (a little over dramatic, but you get the abstract point I hope).

Re:Debunked (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#42664119)

I actually do eat a large majority of my proteins raw. This has included pork on many occasions.

I think you're just ignorant of how to prepare raw foods. Go take a few culinary classes, and get some semblance of an education, which you have shown you lack.

Re:Debunked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664075)

Some neat built-up in your debate fodder. Interesting start. Entertaining middle. Then after all that build-up, I was hoping the last two paragraphs might say something really deep and interesting ... instead comes a wild-jump in logic.

Rating: 6/10 ... nice start/middle, ends with generic trolly rant rather than keeping with an intellectual theme.

Re:Debunked (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42664115)

6/10, above average, god its nice when you can just barely make it to the finish line eh?

Mr. Wizard does not give a shit about little Timmy.

I was particularly cloud about this witty cultural reference. Oh well. Thanks for the rating.

Re:Debunked (1)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42664123)

Holy crap Freudian typing frenzy tonight.. *cloud=proud

Re:Debunked (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664251)

Investigated the cats and cooked food thing. Was interesting and learned about taurine. Knowledge +1. Heh, so 6/10 with +1 bonus modifier ;-)

Re:Debunked (2)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year ago | (#42664245)

My goodness, the Pottenger Cat Study? How is that an analog for human cooking? He fed them no taurine, and the cats can't make it themselves. Mystery solved.

The greedy are not trustworthy (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663449)

If GMO is so safe, why do the food-industry fight so hard to avoid labelling the products?

Re:The greedy are not trustworthy (0)

Sperbels (1008585) | about a year ago | (#42663593)

I'm not really a GMO proponent. But the answer to that is obvious. Irrational fear.

Re:The greedy are not trustworthy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663649)


Given that corporations are hell-bent on maximizing profits, being cautious of them and their black boxes' is the correct approach.

Re:The greedy are not trustworthy (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year ago | (#42663791)

People should be free to be irrationally fearful. It is Monsanto's job to convince them not to be. But buying government regs in its favor, while effective in keeping a low profile, will do nothing to assuage that fear but rather, will exacerbate it.

And who knows -- it may turn out to be justified fear. Most grade school teachers don't pour out mercury and let the kids play with it these days (as I recall being allowed to do). Our idea about what is safe changes over time and sometimes with good reason.

Re:The greedy are not trustworthy (2)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#42663617)

I'm not goign to take a side on whether or not it's safe. But there's a perfectly reasonable reason to avoid that. Two in fact.

1: Monitoring which foods are and aren't GMO will cost money that they'd rather not spend.
2: there's a lot of people who (correctly or incorrectly) fear GMO and thus sales would drop.

Re:The greedy are not trustworthy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663979)

#1 is very communist of you. Eat What We Tell You To.
#2 is none of your frigging business. How the fuck are you supposed to "Vote With Your Dollars" if you're not allowed to fucking vote by not buying the bastard stuff???

And for axis100, how can people being misinformed be cured of that if you refuse to give out information?

muhahaha (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663517)

Queue conspiracy theory #843842: They're planning to wipe out the human species, one modified corn husk at a time.

Europe, eh? (0)

Gothmolly (148874) | about a year ago | (#42663523)

So lets see... two FRENCH researchers found something bad in GMO crops? And that it's either lab contaminants or something legit, and they published anyway? Wow, they're trolling the world.

I told you so. (0, Flamebait)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42663535)

Suck it you Monsanto loving Nazi bitches. FUCK YOU.

Yes, ban this pseudonym for speaking the truth and rubbing it in your fucking faces.

-Q'plah my fellow luddites.

Re:I told you so. (1)

Coolhand2120 (1001761) | about a year ago | (#42663735)

The whole article is just wrong. http://alandove.com/content/2013/01/whos-afraid-of-the-big-bad-orf/ [alandove.com]

-Q'plah my fellow luddites

A luddite on a tech site. How quaint.

Re:I told you so. (2)

flayzernax (1060680) | about a year ago | (#42663999)

You think you can fool this insane luddite with your scientific doublespeak? Its a shame people write so many papers that end in a "Maybe, with so many percents of probability".

The paper says there's crap in the food. Most smart people understand this is not necessarily going to kill you.

But there's still crap in the food. Even if the next step in the scientific process hasn't been taken yet to determine what probability it has of killing you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_M._Pottenger,_Jr.#Meat_study [wikipedia.org]
While I agree that cats are not humans and the effects don't scale neccissarily because we've gone through some natural selection process with cooked foods. I think there is a lesser negative effect. The more bad shit we eat the more potentially bad end results. Industrializing the world has increased the population, but its created a proportional effect of suffering and death and B.S.

I'm not going to tell you to get back to nature and live like predator from the aliens movies. But I am going to laugh my ass off while you and your descendants get cancer infested, sterile, and retarded and enslaved by Monsanto.

Smart Luddites know slightly better and try not to consist on a diet consisting entirely of GMO produced corn chips. There's a reason for the story. You can't stop progress, but it can be tempered with some intelligent, intuitive, common sense.

-your quaint /. luddite, at least since 2000 I know there's probably a few older ones out there.

How come (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663557)

How cum the Europeans find this stuff out and we can't.

Know what you eat (4, Insightful)

WiiVault (1039946) | about a year ago | (#42663645)

I'm not a tinfoil hat type who won't touch GMO because of any silly number of silly new age concerns or paranoid fantasies. But, that doesn't mean people don't have aright to know what they eat. Sure labeling won't solve problems like in TFA, but anything additional that informs consumers is a good thing. And knowing the potential pitfalls of different food choices should be a right. The current inability of shoppers in the US to know what foods are GMO means consumers have no choice. It also leads to suspicion and support to the luddite part of the anti-GMO crowd.

Labeling is the first step to educating the public on GMOs and what they provides as well as potential impacts worldwide from GMO such as increased yield (with less chemicals) on one hand, and things like genetic diversity concerns and the role of seed/pesticide suppliers and patents on the other. The reason labeling here is so opposed by the industry isn't because of some conspiracy or concern that customers will decide to stop eating their product, or radically change their diet. Americans have known what we eat and its volume are deadly and McDonalds hasn't been shut down.

Instead the reason behind non-labeling is to keep the status quo, labels on food mean questions, questions lead to competing information and the rise of the conspiracy theorist. Not having to label is just the path of least resistance. But keeping a few loud mouth idiots quiet isn't a good reason to not engage honestly with the public about a very profound change in the way we produce food, and quality to support a growing population.

A Modest Proposal (2)

phage434 (824439) | about a year ago | (#42663897)

The next obvious step is to label ALL food with the exact sequence of the plant/animal. Educated consumers will then easily be able to determine the safety and even the flavorfulness of their food. Don't like that pesky CMV promoter? Don't eat it. This is a much superior proposal to the worthless "GMO" label, that only tells you if some scientist did something (no telling what). And, you'll find out what all of those changes inserted with "natural" techniques involve -- most of which are far more "interesting" than the GMO modifications. Might take some space on the label, of course, but use a small font.

Re:A Modest Proposal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664207)

Slippery Slope is a logical fallacy. There's traditional crossbreeding that humans have been doing for thousands of years, and then there's everything else, and it really is as simple as that.

Accidents *will* Happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663741)

and unintended consequences.. and if we are talking "germ line" modifications, and post-release, then whatta ya' gonna do ? A *fine* ?!?
F* this

most macrobiota has viral genes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663821)

every plant and animal anyone has ever eaten contains multiple copies of viral genes. this sounds like silly FUD stuff

Maize Maze (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663901)


Possible parallels of GMO and radical politics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42663957)

I have the same issue with the current generation of GMO that I have with radical politics. The existing systems have evolved methods of dealing with various issues that we humans may perceive as problematic (largely we see them this way due to them causing suffering to fellow humans). They deal very well with what is thrown at them while it's within tolerable levels. To change this requires some level of evolution. Evolution takes time, perhaps sociological evolution is more rapid than genetic, although on a philosophical basis I'd claim that we don't have the capacity to even measure these things let alone compare them. So I suppose it's more correct for me to say "adaptation takes time".
Keeping with the analogy GMO is akin to radical politics is akin to revolution. Now name me any one revolution that wasn't accompanied by great suffering. Arguably the suffering is the cause and not the effect. I'd suggest however that the true cause surely has to be a radical change somewhere in a balanced system. So I'd suggest we should concentrate on evolution, not revolution. While I myself cannot think of ways to mitigate against such an effect and still indulge in genetic modification I'll not try and claim such mitigations are impossible. Although the people judging the value of the "advances" (and hence the required level of mitigation) will likely not be the same as those suffering the consequences.
So basically the above is why I tend towards a radical left-wing conservative view. I see where I want us to be, I also see how we must take baby steps to get there or risk creating more problems than solutions.

i dunno (1)

CHRONOSS2008 (1226498) | about a year ago | (#42664005)

first we get xl bad meat story up in canada
then we get horse meat in beef burgers in the uk

and when your thinking we'll screw ths crap ill go vegetarian you get americans poisoning you with rice
LIKE what the fuck are we supposed to eat that is safe...
safe form your fucking god damn tampering.

Problem is not modified genes it's lack of testing (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year ago | (#42664127)

The problem is not the modification of the genes themselves, which is what selective breeding does, it's the lack of testing of the modified genes on animals and then on humans.

A lot of modifications are being added to "turn off" crops without specific promotors. Mostly to keep revenue - otherwise you could just keep the seeds from the crops and grow your own second and subsequent crops from the first batch. But nobody knows if those "silencers" may have other impacts on humans.

Because the FDA doesn't test that.

I'm not saying it's bad, just that we literally do not know if it does have an actual impact on humans, or if subsequent materials in the environment may cause it to behave differently. That could be harmless. Or it could be bad.

Here, hold this nuclear hand grenade. It's safe. Trust me.

Misrepresented Research: (3, Interesting)

Hartree (191324) | about a year ago | (#42664149)

Cauliflower mosaic virus infects various different plants that you eat (yes, even non-gmo "organically grown" ones) including turnips.

You already get fully formed protein VI in any of them you eat that were infected. So, this isn't something new. We've been eating the protein they're upset about for millenia at least.

The sequence for protein VI overlaps part of this 35S promoter that's used in some genetics work. It's not normally expressed (changed from DNA into the active protein) and in fact they couldn't find any evidence that it ever was.

So, they asked the question "what if" this thing we never see happen did by some miracle happen. And when they did, they still couldn't find anything that looked dangerous. But, being scientists, they said they couldn't absolutely, completely, absitively and posolutely rule out any effects on the plants themselves.

So, there you have it. The thing we never see happen, even if it did happen is the same as something that already happens all the time for the past millenia with no known ill effects.

Meanwhile, at the Monsanto conf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664199)

Hahaha, they EAT it! They really eat it!

Can we call them "GMO Deniers" now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42664225)

Because they're pushing this kind of ignorant anti-science propaganda.

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