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Dodging the Negative Reaction To GE Crops

Zonk posted about 8 years ago | from the agile-genetics dept.

349

BINC writes "Wired has an article up today entitled 'Selective Breeding Gets Modern.'" From the article: "Genetically modified food has gotten a chilly reception from consumers, especially in Europe and Asia. Just last week, Japan suspended imports of American long-grain rice after authorities discovered that a genetically modified variety had accidentally mixed with conventional rice. To skirt such problems altogether, biotech companies are creating superior plants using genetics technology that is advanced but which falls short of grafting genes from one organism into another."

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Someone remind me... (2, Interesting)

goldspider (445116) | about 8 years ago | (#15986123)

...what the problem is with technology that can produce vast amounts of nutritious food that can feed people who may otherwise not have access to such a resoruce?

Re:Someone remind me... (0, Flamebait)

Yusaku Godai (546058) | about 8 years ago | (#15986131)

I dunno. There are some legitimate complaints regarding GM crops contaminating existing ecosystems. But mostly it's just a bunch of asshole science-fearing luddites.

Re:Someone remind me... (2, Interesting)

DesireCampbell (923687) | about 8 years ago | (#15986158)

GE foods available for purchace are never harmful to humans. They are tested extensivly before release. That said, we almost lost the Monarch butterfly because of GE wheat a few years ago (I can't remember what exactly it was, something missing in the wheat... I dunno).

So, while GE foods could pose health risks (both to humans and the enviroment), they usually don't.

Re:Someone remind me... (5, Insightful)

debilo (612116) | about 8 years ago | (#15986189)

GE foods available for purchace are never harmful to humans.

What a bold an unfounded statement.

They are tested extensivly before release.

So are drugs, and yet we have huge scandals every few years because someone made a mistake.

So, while GE foods could pose health risks (both to humans and the enviroment), they usually don't.

They usually don't? How do you know? How long has GE food been around, and to what extent has it been produced? We don't have enough empirical data as of yet to come to the conclusion that they are "never harmful to humans".

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 8 years ago | (#15986221)

It's not always a mistake it's just playing the odds.

If you have a 1/100000 chance of killing someone with your drug [who wouldn't have otherwise died] and then the chance of them linking it and suing is 1/1000 you have a 1/100000000 chance of getting screwed. Of course it's more like 1/10000 and 9/10 but you know what I mean :-)

Remember the goal of companies like GSK [and their ilk] is to make money for shareholders. Not actually treat real medical problems. I give you, viagra.

tom

Re:Someone remind me... (2, Funny)

FLEB (312391) | about 8 years ago | (#15986393)

Of course it's more like 1/10000 and 9/10

That's assuming, of course, that there needs to be a link to be a lawsuit. Just apply enough fearmongering and whining in a speedy enough manner to discourage proper scientific inquiry. If the lawsuit is faster than the studies, ya' win.

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

Dare nMc (468959) | about 8 years ago | (#15986377)

>GE foods available for purchace are never harmful to humans.

What a bold an unfounded statement.

it is a stupid statement, a more correct statement would be "GE foods are not more harmfull than non GE foods."

If non GE foods were never harmful, I would never want anything else either. un-modified food crops have been introduced in lots of places with disasterous results to the native plants, and wildlife. Because their is still alott more attention paid to GE, and those introducing them, they know 1 mistake in these early stages would be disasterous to them.

their are so many people with food alergies regardless of the foods background (not to mention cholestrol, fat, diabiates) their is very little food that could fit the category "never harmful to humans."

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 8 years ago | (#15986390)

How long has GE food been around, and to what extent has it been produced?

It's been around for many thousands of years, and just about every single commercial crop in the world right now has been genetically modified, either through selective cross-breeding, or via a test tube.

Re:Someone remind me... (2, Interesting)

Chas (5144) | about 8 years ago | (#15986408)

How much empirical data do you have that a straight-pollinated cross-breed of two strains of a particular plant are safe to eat?

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15986191)

Its not the first time tested substances have been found to be bad for us [wikipedia.org] .
Waiting until after the defects start coming in with something as dangerous as GM crops would be horrific, not least how would you REMOVE it from the earth after its cross pollinated?
Fully natural hybrids have been used and tested for millenia and are PROVEN (you and I wouldn't be here without it working) to work, the methods described in the article are just a fine tuning of that.
If we can get ALL the same benefits of GM crops without randomly inserting DNA from who knows what then I am all for it, this article would appear to make GM foods days numbered - its just not worth the risk in my eyes.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Chas (5144) | about 8 years ago | (#15986419)

"Fully natural hybrids have been used and tested for millenia and are PROVEN"

I call bullshit!

Today's non-GE corn bears fairly little resemblance (other than superficial) to the maize that some of the first Europeans were introduced to when they came to the US.

They say so (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986194)

GE foods available for purchace (sic) are never harmful to humans. They are tested extensivly (sic) before release.

Um, a big part of the problem people have with GM foods is specifically BECAUSE no testing is required. The FDA offers a "consultation" process but the process is voluntary. I don't see why I'm supposed to trust entirely to the good will of the companies that they are performing adequate testing on the product that they themselves want to sell?

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

MisterBuggie (924728) | about 8 years ago | (#15986278)

extensively tested???? Can you give me some links to those extensive tests of yours??
How long have we been able to produce GM crops? And how long have they been tested on humans? Most of the varieties haven't even had more than the most basic testing on humans. These crops should get years of testing before being put on to the market. In fact, considering the fact that unlike medecine that goes through years of testing for drugs that will only be taken for a short period of time, here we're talking about food that is going to be eaten all your life. Who's to say what kind of build up they could cause over a lifetime of consumption. They don't even know what eating it on a regular basis for a year would do to people.

I would find american stance on everything to do with ecology and nature almost funny if it wasn't so dangerous for the rest of the planet. You are the only country on Earth to seriously believe that global warming is some sort of conspiracy and not reality. Naturally, it goes without saying that you're one of the only countries on Earth that doesn't care what's in its plate as long as it tastes good. Actually, no, as long as it's in huge quantities. I don't think American slashdotters realise that most "foreign" slashdotters find the mainly American comments pretty incredulous. I mean honestly, comments like this one:
But mostly it's just a bunch of asshole science-fearing luddites
We're talking about decisions taken by Japan and the leaders of the EU. I would hardly term them "asshole science-fearing luddites"

NB: The article fails to mention that it's not just Japan that's boycotting American long grain rice, but also the EU.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

HairyNevus (992803) | about 8 years ago | (#15986340)

Normal food is tested by the USDA. GM food is tested by the USDA, FDA, and EPA. If anyone has Showtime it would make you a less ignorant person to watch the episode of Bullshit! where they cover this. I think it is also out of DVD... Using the defence "it hasn't been created until recently so we don't know what will happen" is ridiculous. First off, GM foods have been around for about 30 years. Secondly, we know exactly what happens when Mr. Scientist changes the genes to produce a higher crop yield/resistance to insects/less need for water. The plant then produces more fruit per stalk/isn't attacked by bugs/requires less water so it can grow in arid countries. All of this is saving MILLIONS of people especially in Africa where there is only currently enough arable land to support 66% of its current population. So...are you telling 33% of people on one continent to just "fuck off and die". That's advocating genocide.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Ksisanth (915235) | about 8 years ago | (#15986293)

GE foods available for purchace are never harmful to humans. They are tested extensivly before release.

The FDA considers them GRAS [fda.gov] (generally recognized as safe), for being "substantially equivalent" to the non-GE counterparts.

That said, we almost lost the Monarch butterfly because of GE wheat a few years ago (I can't remember what exactly it was, something missing in the wheat... I dunno).

Bt corn [checkbiotech.org] ? herbicide-tolerant soybeans [organicconsumers.org] ? Lots of GE crops have been blamed. Seems a tad suspicious.

Re:Someone remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986309)

Yeah, why would anyone complain about DDT? It was extensively tested, it helps increase crop yields, no one could possibly complain about it!

Except for the damage to the environment, of course.

Just because they've been "extensively tested" in labratories doesn't mean that they're safe in the real world. We don't understand genetics. GM crops are made by randomly mixing genes until a random desired trait is discovered. We have no idea what the side effects are going to be.

You can take your chances with frankenfood, I'll stick with the food that's backed by however many millions of years of evolution we've had.

Re:Someone remind me... (2, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15986176)

No, GM modification is taking random DNA (which might be animal based) and placing it into plants for our consumption.
The scales of the Deep sea herring appears to repel greenfly, so they extract what appears to be the active fragment of DNA and implant it into a donor plant.

Mrs perkins down the road is allergic to fish and very wisely avoids eating anything fishy.

All of a sudden the bread she is eating makes her have a reaction, for such a staple product like wheat or rice this is NOT a good situation, she doesn't know what she can avoid anymore or worse she might not be around to know.

Thats only one of the possible scenarios, what happens if this crop is worldwide before we realise that DNA strand acted in a strange way on our offspring?

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 8 years ago | (#15986190)

Thats only one of the possible scenarios, what happens if this crop is worldwide before we realise that DNA strand acted in a strange way on our offspring?

Just to be safe, maybe you should stop eating anything with those scary GENES in them.

Re:Someone remind me... (0, Flamebait)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15986197)

How about just wanting to lead a healthy 100% natural life eating food grown by selection: 100% open source.
I don't want propriety food tyvm.

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about 8 years ago | (#15986210)

How about just wanting to lead a healthy 100% natural life

Yes, how about that. Get back to me when you are naked, living in the forest, gathering fruits and berries for food.

Re:Someone remind me... (2, Interesting)

shawb (16347) | about 8 years ago | (#15986259)

I believe one of the more legitimate concerns with transgenic engineering is the possibility of introducing an allergenic agent into a food that traditionally does not have it. People that are allergic to, say, shrimp and peanuts know to avoid them. They have to read labels, ask at restaurants if those ingredients are used, etc. Transgenic products are generally not labeled as such, and even if they were WHICH organism the genes were taken from is generally not advertised. If a section of DNA is taken from a plant that encodes a protein which a person is allergic to, any product that gene is put into becomes dangerous, possibly even fatal to the allergic person.

I'm not saying it is LIKELY that someone will die from this, but the possibility does exist. Knowing which chemicals to avoid due to allergy potential gets very tricky when you start putting in genes from organisms not usually used for food. If the genes you are introducing to the new plant encode for some variety of insect or bacterial resistance, it becomes more likely that the encoded protein is biologically active in organisms other than the targetted pest. And these new crops do not have to undergo FDA testing to ensure safety. It is possible for something to slip through that is flat out toxic (long term low dose exposure risks are very tricky to weed out,) but the possibility of a group of people being unusually sensitive or allergic to the new compounds is very real (although not necesarilly very high) with very serious public health consequences.

That, and many other countries have little reason to trust that giant U.S. corporations will perform the due dilligence required to ensure that their products are safe. Especially on food crops targetted for export.

Genetic engineering has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool to increase the standard of living for everyone on the planet, through better food, medicine and even better clothing, building materials and eventually even cheaper fuel if biofuels ever take hold. But I don't think that companies such as Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland have ever shown that they care for much besides their bottom line.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

spiritu (8757) | about 8 years ago | (#15986320)

Europe bans GM crops as an excuse to provide cover for their program of protecting and subsidizing their local farmers against competition from superior American farmers. Everything else is just a rationalization for this destructive economic practice.

Re:Someone remind me... (5, Informative)

rts008 (812749) | about 8 years ago | (#15986288)

Not all of the opposition to GM crops stems from "...asshole science-fearing luddites."
How about all of the farmers getting sued for infringement by Monsanto because Monsanto's GM crops contaminated the farmer's own crops?

Start here:
(http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls =org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial_s&hl=en&q=GM+crops +%2B+infringement+lawsuits&btnG=Google+Search)

or here's this:
" The real possibility of interbreeding is dramatized by the defense of farmers against lawsuits filed by Monsanto, the agribusiness company most involved in research and development of genetically modified crops. The company has filed patent infringement lawsuits against some farmers. Monsanto claims that the farmers obtained Monsanto-licensed genetically modified seeds from an unknown source and did not pay royalties to Monsanto. The farmers claim that their unmodified crops were cross-pollinated from someone else's genetically modified crops planted a field or two away.

Percy Schmeiser has been farming in Saskatchewan, Canada, for 53 years. He has served in the Canadian Parliament and been a mayor. Instead of retiring, he has spent the last several years fighting Monsanto after having been sued for patent infringement. Schmeiser grew canola plants on his farm, over the years developing his own seed that was resistant to diseases common in western Canada.

Property rights

In 1998, he was sued by Monsanto, charging that Schmeiser had infringed on their patent by growing genetically altered canola--Monsanto's Roundup Ready--without paying their technology fee. Schmeiser claimed he had never purchased seed from Monsanto. The suit went to trial in June 2000 in the Federal Court of Canada. The judge ruled that it didn't matter how Monsanto's genetically altered canola got onto Schmeiser's land, that any conventional plant that cross-pollinates with the genetically modified plants becomes Monsanto's property, that patent infringement had taken place and that Schmeiser must pay his 1998 profits from his canola crop to Monsanto." This is from here: (http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/i s_30_38/ai_87353922)

So maybe you want to change that last declaration a little, unless you are truly that stupid...if so, nevermind- you're as closed minded as your "asshole science-fearing luddites", and a troll not worth having a discussin with.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

xeoron (639412) | about 8 years ago | (#15986354)

This is just another form of cross breeding plants, which nature does on its own and humanity for thousands of years. So over all, that should not be a problem. What can be a problem is what genes they splice into a plant and the effects is may cause, along with genes jumping to other plants in the wild-- such as chemical resistance has jumped to weeds. The problem is whether it is wise to add certain "powers" to a plant, or as for safety for consumption, which is tested by the way. If it is to increase yeilds, make it more tastey, smell and look better (happens all the time with things like cheese, cherries for example), incubate medicine, etc... really should not be a problem. When we start to add chemical resistance or means for the plant to fight off certain bugs, fungus, etc-- we also need to study how that affects the wildlife around it and make sure it is not harming or doing things we really should not occur.

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

debilo (612116) | about 8 years ago | (#15986139)

...what the problem is with technology that can produce vast amounts of nutritious food that can feed people who may otherwise not have access to such a resoruce?

Nothing's wrong with that.

What people fear are unforeseen long-term consequences of messing with genetics and releasing the results of that into the wild. Once it's out, it's extremely difficult to undo any damage.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

goldspider (445116) | about 8 years ago | (#15986159)

And in the meantime we continue to poison existing crops with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. That doesn't make me feel any safer.

Re:Someone remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986206)

Um, correct me if I'm wrong, but I've been under the impression that most GM crops have been designed so that they are infertile (don't live beyond the first generation), so that the farmers are stuck buying seed every year from those holding the patents on the GM seeds.

Also, this eliminates the problem of cross-pollination with non-GM crops.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

ral8158 (947954) | about 8 years ago | (#15986224)

Have you ever read Jurassic Park?

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Interesting)

debilo (612116) | about 8 years ago | (#15986226)

Also, this eliminates the problem of cross-pollination with non-GM crops.

Yes, that's what GE companies have always promised. However, read this: [slashdot.org]

Since the mid-1990s, it has sued some 150 US farmers for patent infringement in connection with its GE seed. The usual claim involves violation of a technology agreement that prohibits farmers from saving seed from one season's crop to plant the next. One farmer received an eight-month prison sentence, in addition to having to pay damages, when a Monsanto case turned into a criminal prosecution. Monsanto reports that it pursues approximately 500 cases of suspected infringement annually.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

ichigo 2.0 (900288) | about 8 years ago | (#15986216)

That is probably true in the slashdot population, but I'd say the general public (here in Europe that is) is afraid of GE because it's bad. And gives you cancer. It's like radioactive, man!

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Chris Graham (942108) | about 8 years ago | (#15986349)

Some more educated people, yes. But most just fear that their food is going to be poisonous. It drives me mad -- all the things the body can take (e.g. dozens of units of alcohol), but suddenly a few genes changed in some existing plant/animal, and people think they're going to grow a second ass or turn into a shark by consuming the stuff.

I don't see the public saying medicine should be banned due to the evolution of superbugs that can spread out of the hospital environment. But hey, evolution -- that's natural (or a "lie"), and medicine saves lives, so it's AOK if we don't consider the future ramifications of that.

The zookeeper says: (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about 8 years ago | (#15986154)

Please don't feed the trolls.

Thank you.

Hunger: the big myth (2, Insightful)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | about 8 years ago | (#15986161)

The world now has more fat people than starving people http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/more-fat-peopl e-in-world-than-there-are-starving-study-finds/200 6/08/14/1155407741532.html [smh.com.au]

Why do we keep hearing the myth that we need GE for more food?

Re:Hunger: the big myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986265)

What so because we have fat people letting others starve is right? I dont see your logic, also making more efficent crops could free up more space for the growing of bio-fuels.

Re:Hunger: the big myth (2, Informative)

boysimple (188175) | about 8 years ago | (#15986425)

>making more efficent crops could free up more space for the growing of bio-fuels.

The main reason GE foods exist is so that the companies that own them can patent the gene and own the plant. They don't increase production of the plant significantly, that is not their desire, as there's plenty off food currently (starvation is primarily a distribution issue, not a supply issue).

The reason that I choose organic whenever it's available, is because I want to vote with my dollars to say that I don't support giant companies owning the plants that we need to survive.

As a disclaimer, my girlfriend was the Narrator (among other tasks) for 'The Future of Food [imdb.com] ' and it was the research that she came across there that changed how we eat. It's a film that covers the aspects of this discussion quite well, but with a bit of a leftist slant. Not intentionally though, monsanto refused any interview requests to present their side of the story.

Also, if you've got a spare few days, give 'The Omnivores Dilemma' a read. It's long, but not heavy, and a lot of good information. My favorite part is the bit about the "grass farmers".

What are you talking about exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986162)

We're talking about farming practices in Japan. What are you talking about?

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

rolfwind (528248) | about 8 years ago | (#15986181)

I think part of this is somewhat like the battle between closed source and open source.

With normal fruit/vegetables, you have seeds and can grow them freely and as you wish.

With GE crops, the seeds of the fruit/vegetables either come out sterile and you are dependent on the company to provide you with more or the seeds are okay but you have to license it from them to be allowed to use it, sort of like how you could theoretically put Windows on unlimited PCs with just one CD but the BSA will come knocking.

I think this is part of the backlash and I don't blame farmers/people not wanting any part of it.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

NOCjock (995398) | about 8 years ago | (#15986183)

It might bite back! [oldamericancentury.org]

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | about 8 years ago | (#15986187)

Not that Japan is complaining about it, but one problem is when patented GM food cross-germinates, as nature is wont to do from time to time, with neighbour's non-GM food, and then the neighbour gets sued for not buying a license for said patent. (Note - I'm staunchly right-wing and pro-business. I have my name attached to two patent applications. And this disgusts me.)

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | about 8 years ago | (#15986239)

I'm picking on your comment of being right-wing and pro-business.

You can still love to produce something of value for sale and respect others and their freedoms.

It's a myth that you need to DRM [and the like] restrict people into your business model to have a success.

Tom

Corporations owning our entire food supply? (5, Insightful)

ikekrull (59661) | about 8 years ago | (#15986200)

GE crops are patented and trademarked. You can't independently grow these foods, prices are completely insulated from traditional agricultural pricing mechanisms and the danger of these corporations dumping vast amounts of GE crops at a loss only to make it up by raising prices and exploiting the monopoly they just gained later on is obvious, and very real.

Not to mention the terrible weakness and loss of variety that will result from basing entire food chains only on the single strain that provides the biggest profits for the corporation who holds the patent on the crop.

Basically, it comes down to an issue of trust. And no, i don't trust Monsanto to act ethically, fairly or honestly, and I have no trust in the governments that supposedly provide the checks and balances on these companies either.

GE food would probably be fine under the following conditions:

No patents on genetic sequences.

No forced sterilisation of seeds.

If these GE foods really are that good, why can't they compete on their merits with other foodstuffs instead of having all these additional 'GRM' - genetic rights management mechanisms added.

Thats my big beef with GE foods, its got nothing to do with productivity or efficiency. People have been growing their own food for thousands of years - widespread GE foods would essentially criminalize that activity.

Re:Corporations owning our entire food supply? (1)

NineNine (235196) | about 8 years ago | (#15986370)

Thats my big beef with GE foods, its got nothing to do with productivity or efficiency. People have been growing their own food for thousands of years - widespread GE foods would essentially criminalize that activity.

OK, so why would a company want to spend many millions of dollars developing a new kind of corn, only to have a competitor buy a handful of seeds, and start selling them under their own label? Assuming all other things are equal, the company that developed the new strain is out many millions of dollars. Doesn't seem to smart to me to spend another red cent developing new strains of crops if they couldn't patent them. And if this were the case, we'd have a LOT more starving people in the world.

Re:Corporations owning our entire food supply? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986399)

Hear hear
Bloody good points
Listen to this man people
Wish this was digg so I could just click the thumbs up icon

Re:Someone remind me... (0, Redundant)

legoburner (702695) | about 8 years ago | (#15986212)

I would say the main problem is that 70-100% of all GM crops are controlled by one company (monsanto). They only provide crops which are not able to breed and have a 'terminator gene' which means every year you need to buy new seed from them. This gene has cross pollinated with some wild crops causing them to die out in areas around some GM farms. They are very oppressive with their IP and have patented specific genes and processes including common breeding techniques for pigs, granting ownership of those pigs to monsanto (in 160 countries). So yes, the main problem is that most of the GM crops are controlled by one very unethical monopoly.

The problem is the greens (0, Flamebait)

Iloinen Lohikrme (880747) | about 8 years ago | (#15986230)

I as an European and as an Finn have never understood why we don't have GE foods in Europe too. In my view and opinion common people are not against nor supporting GE-food, they just don't care. The real reason why we don't have GE-foods in stores is more todo with alarmist greens and politicians afraid of changing anything, which can be easily be translated into anti-technology and anti-change...

I think we should allow GE-food, of course it should be labeled to it, and let the markets, that is consumers , to decide... atleast the markets usually get end in to a rational conclusion versus the politicians. If I remember correctly, a few years ago there was an African country which had hunger-epidemic going on and the US offered to help them, the help was refused because american help was GE-food. I just can't understand their rational, is it really better to let people die in hunger, than to accept GE-food that most likely would not cause no health problems? Or if it would, if it would cause few or hundres to die, it still would have been better than not to accept it...

Oh well... people are stupid... can't help it, can't fight it, just have to accept it.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

gdegnbol (865650) | about 8 years ago | (#15986253)

What is wrong with forcing you to eat stuff you don't want to eat, if you can't prove it is harmful?

Re:Someone remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986261)

They are meddling with the primal forces of nature and will atone.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

JSchoeck (969798) | about 8 years ago | (#15986263)

The problem with this logic is that GE food is NOT available to starving people.
Or have you seen an african kid eating GE rice/corn/wheat?

Re:Someone remind me... (4, Insightful)

intnsred (199771) | about 8 years ago | (#15986274)

The world produces enough food right now to feed everyone on the planet. So why aren't they getting fed? The problem is within capitalism and the distribution system.

GM food will not solve either capitalism or the distribution system's problems.

What GM food will do is to pollute the world's plants by gene migration from GM plants to other plants (already seen and documented) and impact us in many unforseen ways (e.g. the butterflies dying from GM-altered plants).

And, of course, GM food will also shift power to corporate agribusiness in a huge way, which is the real reason the US gov't pushes GM crops.

In our puppet state of Iraq -- one of the areas where agriculture literally originated -- US-imposed laws now forbid Iraqi farmers from harvesting seeds from crops to use to plant next year.

Re:Someone remind me... (0, Troll)

thefirelane (586885) | about 8 years ago | (#15986314)

GM food will not solve either capitalism or the distribution system's problems.

Dead wrong. GM foods can be grown in new places (where there is hunger) so it does indeed solve the distribution system.

Considering you have a '911 truth' sig, I doubt you let facts stand in the way of your opinions however.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 8 years ago | (#15986287)

There are many well known objections. While it's perfectly reasonable to argue about those concerns, I don't understand the benefit of playing stupid and pretending they are unknown. Just a few examples:

  • increasing the dependency of farmers to big companies
  • depleting the richness of biotopes
  • reducing the usage of genetic variant grain strains
  • unwanted gene spread

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | about 8 years ago | (#15986298)

...what the problem is with technology that can produce vast amounts of nutritious food that can feed people who may otherwise not have access to such a resoruce?

Basically, it's superstition. Europe et al likes to act superior when they make fun of our creationists (who should be made fun of), but the general public over there is just as fearful and anti-science as most other populations. This is just one of the ways it gets expressed.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Pius II. (525191) | about 8 years ago | (#15986304)

The problem I have with GM food is the fact that the genes used are patented by large corporations.
The crops on totally unrelated farmer's fields are being cross-pollinated by GM plants, and the farmers are sued afterwards (for "using" the patented genes). This sucks.
Even if you believe in the (to my eyes, silly) idea that something as basic as genes should be patentable [1], there should never be any possibility for people to sue others after letting their own "property" escape in the wild. Yet this exact case happens.
Of course I am against it!

[1] Who am I kidding? Remember the case [scijournals.org] of that guy who started growing yellow Mexican beans in the US, then proceeded to sue everyone who imported those same "patented" beans? Just patent anything, genes or not...

it makes world hunger worse (1)

oohshiny (998054) | about 8 years ago | (#15986371)

World hunger is largely a consequence of poor family planning, migration, unsustainable practices, and poverty. None of those problems are solved by making "better crops".

In fact, genetically engineered crops make the problem of world hunger worse because they make third world agriculture even less competitive.

Re:Someone remind me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986410)

There is one thing that's very wrong with it. Many GE crops are modified to tolerate lots of pesticides. For example soja is grown in very large monocultures, thousands of miles in a stretch. The pesticides kill all insects. The result being there are no birds or rodents at all, and hardly any weeds. This has a devastating effect on nature, the country being effectively dead.

Re:Someone remind me... (1)

Heembo (916647) | about 8 years ago | (#15986431)

1) Pioneer and DuPont (big GE machines) have both been found in violation of EPA "safe planting" regulations 2) GE companies do not disclose to the public which genetic test are being done in local communities 3) Long term economic costs of GE are unknown 4) Leading scientists, including US Food and Drug Administration warn GE crops post unique risks to human health 5) GE organisms are alive. Once they are release, they can never be recalled 6) "Biopharmacuticals" crop that are designed to produce drugs, vaccines, or indsutrial solvents, are being tested in local communities (see 5) 7) Some GE crows produce LOWER yield and cost MORE to farmers that conventional or organic crops (not to mention farmer liability) 8) GE CROPS CONTAMINATE CONTENTIONAL OR ORGANIC CROPS Damn, I get the heebie-jeebies just typing this out....

First GE post? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986124)

First GE post?

Finally, scientists appear to "get it". (3, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15986125)

A process which takes the best of the natural world and the best of our scientific processes and gives natural selection a helping hand.

Because the desirable features all come from varieties of natural crops, the chances of three headed luminous offspring appear unlikely.

When they were first talking about skin colour of wild plants I thought it was a waste (because you can see the fruit colour), but they are sequencing the saplings of these plants before they have grown enough to bear fruit. It allows them to tell within days which of the crop has the desired features.

I just wonder how many samples it take to identify a marker though - you can't use a single sample and must really DNA test an entire range of pre-categorised samples.
I wonder if any of the seed banks [google.co.uk] will allow their stock to be tested?

This is in effect similar to the genetic testing of embryos for certain high risk hereditary diseases, but goes to show just how cheap and "normal" DNA testing has become.

Re:Finally, scientists appear to "get it". (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15986376)

A process which takes the best of the natural world and the best of our scientific processes and gives natural selection a helping hand.


As if there is a human being in the entire world qualified enough to do that. Am I'm not talking about "playing god" here. I mean there is no-one on earth with enough competance to relieably predict the long term effects of introducing a gene into an enviornment. The world is a complex, chaotic system. We can't even predict the long term motion of a homogeneous fluid. Is there anyone who can seriously stand up with a straight face and tell us that long term, GM crops are safe? Oh yes, marketers.

The reality is, the GM engineers are basically running things by the seat of their pants. They splice genes in and out of organisms with only the vaguest idea of the outcomes on the individual phenotype, let alone its ecosystem. It's trial and error, with little in the way of a predictive theory; and they know it. Of course, those who object are being worry wart luddite pinko treehuggers.

You want the reality of genetic engineering. Read Jurassic park. Not the movie, the book. It basically, and accurately describes how no matter how hard you try to engineer organisms, chaos theory will screw you over. Biological engineers does not exist; they would never get certified. Any geneticist making claims about minimal long term effects is either a liar, or just ignorent. In either case, outside of their lab, their expertise is less than that of the farmers they sell to.

Cognitive dissonance (1, Insightful)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 8 years ago | (#15986127)

Europeans and Asians get their knickers in a knot over the nebulous dangers of GE foods, but they smoke like fiends. I don't get people who ignore the real hazards in life to focus on the unproven ones.

Re:Cognitive dissonance (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 8 years ago | (#15986168)

Interesting perspective - I never thought of that. You are a lot more likely to die on the way to the grocery store in a car crash then to have fish DNA that has been spliced into your tomato make a transgenic leap into ragweed and make your lungs glow. Or something like that.

To be fair, I don't think that the objection to engineered crops is their safety - I think most of the objection comes from the conduct of the companies that control the resulting seeds, and the risk of the spliced genes "infecting" the environment. Both objections actually have some grounding in reality, but the obvious solution is increased public-sector research, and I don't see much of a push for that from the anti-GE crowd. It's a shame, because public research is what gave us the green revolution of the 60's.

If I'm wrong and the main popular objection to GE food is food safety, then you are completely correct in your characterization of those people having their danger-o-meters calibrated wrong.

Re:Cognitive dissonance (1)

nietsch (112711) | about 8 years ago | (#15986208)

True, but the resistance against GM is the result of a good working FUD campaign. Smoking is in part stimulated by well orchestrated advertising campaigns.
It is hard to break the habit once you are addicted to ciggies, but it is very easy to act like you think you are supposed to act when answering some questionaire.

Parent is not Flamebait :( (0)

DesireCampbell (923687) | about 8 years ago | (#15986219)

Sadly, there are many things that the public at large believes without any kind of scientific backing. If you get enough people to believe you, it doesn't matter that you can't prove it.

I mean, there's no proof that 'Global Warming' is making the Earth hotter than ever - but people believe it. There's no proof that a "god" created the universe - but people believe it. There's no proof that recycling is beneficial to the environment - but people believe it. There's no proof that second-hand tobacco smoke causes cancer - but people believe it. There's no proof that genetically engineered food is dangerous to people - but it's becoming more and more common a belief.

Re:Parent is not Flamebait :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986240)

I see you have watched the same episodes of "Bullshit!" as I have.

Re:Parent is not Flamebait :( (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986262)

And apparently took them as gospel truth without any questioning.

Interesting, that.

Re:Parent is not Flamebait :( (1)

redkazuo (977330) | about 8 years ago | (#15986329)

However, experience tells us messing with Nature's balance usually ends poorly. Most of these issues are very often taken too lightly by western countries, especially in the American Continent.

It really didn't sound so bad to get a few rabbits over Australia or to cultivate Amazonia. It also took us many years to prove smoking causes cancer, an look how easy that one is.

Every other generation we seem to think we're wise and powerful enough that we know what we are doing, but it's wrong to think Science has all the answers, ignoring all our history.

Re:Parent is not Flamebait :( (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 8 years ago | (#15986381)

I mean, there's no proof that 'Global Warming' is making the Earth hotter than ever

No, there isn't. However that assumption is the scientific main stream. So to claim there was no scientific backing for it seems a little far-fetched.

Re:Cognitive dissonance (1)

John Jorsett (171560) | about 8 years ago | (#15986271)

Europeans and Asians get their knickers in a knot over the nebulous dangers of GE foods, but they smoke like fiends. I don't get people who ignore the real hazards in life to focus on the unproven ones.

Wow, parent modded down 2 points. Looks like the Euros/Asians don't like having their idiosyncratic behavior pointed out.

Re:Cognitive dissonance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986413)

That's what happens when you attempt mixing tomatoes with oranges. You smoke, you get cancer, you die.

- Sad story for you and your familiy, but limited in scope and all your own doing.

Mega-agressive "terminator" genes, as described in post above, escape from "safe" crops, and infect the crops major parts of our civilisation rely on. In this case greed causes millions starve to death since suddenly major part of these crops decide it's time to die.

- Disaster, and you can never say "it won't happen", because this type of crosspolination has already happened, even if the doomsday consequences seem remote yet. But who would take that as an gurantee? It's like keep playing russian roulette and saying, "Look I'm not dead yet, it's perfectly safe."

Hair Splitting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986164)

At some point this highlights the rather unscientific anti-GM stance I see too much of. If nature can survive MAS tagging putting almond genes into peaches, I bet nature can survive plasmids and other forms for the gene transfer and potentially more varied species targets.

Q:How far can pollen travel? (1)

drfrog (145882) | about 8 years ago | (#15986169)

A:How far can the wind blow?

There hasnt been enough testing to allow these types of crops out in the wild
maybe in a self contained lab, sure.

They are screwing around with the only biosphere we have, oh well.

Re:Q:How far can pollen travel? (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15986306)

Question: How much genetic modification do you think occurs naturally and continuously "in the wild"?

Answer: a hell of a lot more than we're doing.

Mother Nature is modifying the genomes of millions of species as we sit here typing these silly messages back and forth. Whether it be natural selection, spontaneous gene uptake, DNA replication error, viruses, radiation and/or chemical assault, indeed any of the innumerable mutagenic factors that exist in our environment ... well. Life changes over time, it just does. Sometimes those changes are subtle and go unnoticed, at others they are simply ineffective and die out, other times they cause substantial damage. But to presume that the biosphere is somehow stable and safe unless we muck with it is just disingenuous, but that's what a lot of anti-GM activists would like you to believe.

The real concern with genetically modified crops is that when the beneficial traits in the GM crops do get into the wild and start affecting non-GM crops, matters start to get complex. Less because of any supposed environmental impact than of the need to bring in lawyers to prevent illicit use of the manufacturer's "intellectual genetic property" (which is a whole 'nother can of worms.) Ultimately, I suspect that companies such as Monsanto will have to come up with effective methods to limit the spread of their products just to keep the gravy train flowing. I mean, once their "improved" plants are everywhere nobody will bother buying any. Besides, these guys are absolute hardasses when it comes to allowing anyone to profit by growing their crops, unless they pay the appropriate tithes.

The problems we see with genetically-modified crops are, at this point, really more political and economic than environmental. That's not to say that will always be the case, it's certainly (remotely) possible that some gengineering firm might release a Frankenplant that will eat us all to the bone. That would serve us right, I suppose. But the reality isn't quite so frightening. Besides, there are far greater threats to our food supply right now ... I'm more concerned about Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease than I am a genetically-tweaked ear of corn.

Variety (1)

(Score:1) (181164) | about 8 years ago | (#15986173)

It's all about variety. I for one wouldn't like the world to become an average-tasting bulb of engineered soja. Or not even a great-tasting one. Although TFA is not about DNA-modified veggies, but about better, DNA-supported selection, it still decreases variety, because variety (and random genetic drift) decreases predictability and thus quality and profit.

I would think the world would be at a loss if only my good qualities would be cloned or selected, doing away with the balance nature shows again and again, over and over and over and over...

A bit off topic, but ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 8 years ago | (#15986335)

Your comment applies equally well to any field which becomes dominated by a few large players. The music industry is one, the movie industry another, and operating systems ... well. All of them have suffered from a lack of diversity.

Re:Variety (1)

oohshiny (998054) | about 8 years ago | (#15986402)

It's all about variety. I for one wouldn't like the world to become an average-tasting bulb of engineered soja.


Too bad that that has been the primary consequence of modern industrialized agriculture: we have lost huge numbers of varieties of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. And we can't engineer flavor back in; genetic engineering only gives you resistance and other simple properties.

What's wrong with a little pea in the gene pool? (1)

w33t (978574) | about 8 years ago | (#15986179)

How much genetic variance is there in a GM crop to it's counterpart as compared to different races of the same species?

Is a GM crop really that radically different than their natural sibling?

I would venture to guess that even the glowing white mice are much more genetically close to their lab family than to a wild brown mouse.

What is the big problem? even if GM crops were to interbreed wouldn't their unique properties eventually be completely (for all intents and purposes) diluted. And if their unique genetics manages to survive and thrive in the "wild", is that not a simple example of natural selection and an indication of their hardiness?

Re:What's wrong with a little pea in the gene pool (1)

ostrich2 (128240) | about 8 years ago | (#15986218)

And if their unique genetics manages to survive and thrive in the "wild", is that not a simple example of natural selection and an indication of their hardiness?

I think the part you're missing is that certain plants thrive in certain conditions to the detriment of other vitally important plants. Take kudzu in the southeast USA. It's not necessarily hardier than an oak tree, but it doesn't have any naturally-occuring limiting factor, so it grows rampant. It kills other trees and shrubs. All of a sudden, there isn't enough food to support wildlife in the area. Animals that relied on those trees and shrubs have to move elsewhere to live.

It's called an invasive species. In their natural environment, there's nothing wrong with them, but move them elsewhere and you have all sorts of trouble. So what's the natural environment for patently-unnatural plants?

Re:What's wrong with a little pea in the gene pool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986241)

The problem is that natural selection doesn't necessarily do us any favours. Our success rate for introducing new species (which is what GM crops are comparable to) in the hope of improving things isn't very good.

And yes, it's just like natural selection, except that one species is changing faster than the natural process of selection is likely to achieve. If one species gets a big lead in the evolutionary arms race, it tends to wipe out the competition.

Re:What's wrong with a little pea in the gene pool (1)

Asic Eng (193332) | about 8 years ago | (#15986346)

In the past we have several times introduced species from one environment into another. (E.g. rabbits in Australia.) The result can be harmful. That on it's own doesn't mean that the method is generally invalid. However I don't see any large-scale research in the matter which would provide a means to assess the risk. I'd say that introducing substantially genetically modified species should pose similar risks, though.

And if their unique genetics manages to survive and thrive in the "wild", is that not a simple example of natural selection and an indication of their hardiness?

Yes, of course - good for them. However that would only be relevant if our main concern were e.g. the rabbits in Australia - they are doing fine. Typically our concern is on us, though... ;-) So sticking to the example: knowing what we know now, would we rather not have a rabbit pest in Australia? (Depends whether you like Australians, of course.)

what's the point again? (1, Insightful)

ostrich2 (128240) | about 8 years ago | (#15986180)

I'm not sure I'm being misanthropic here, but I always wonder just what is the point of making ever-increasing amounts of food. I seem to remember from my high school biology class that any group of organisms will invariably grow until it outstrips its food supply. From that standpoint, increasing the food supply does NOT decrease the number of people that will go hungry. If the ratio of hungry to not-hungry populations stays constant, you're increasing the number of hungry people, aren't you? Whenever a topic like this comes up, I just can't help but feel like we're trying to help, but we're making things worse.

Re:what's the point again? (1)

Goaway (82658) | about 8 years ago | (#15986205)

Yes, that makes perfect sense, because the ratio of hungry people on the Earth is a natural constant, unchanged for billions of years!

Re:what's the point again? (1)

JebusIsLord (566856) | about 8 years ago | (#15986234)

If want to live in such a "stable" world, where the birth rate matches the FUCKING STARVATION RATE, then that's your opinion. I would rather find a more humane approach to overpopulation.

Re:what's the point again? (1)

ostrich2 (128240) | about 8 years ago | (#15986284)

Interestingly, you didn't provide such an approach. But I think you're right: overpopulation is a significant problem. Does increasing the food supply decrease overpopulation? At best, it decreases the number of people without enough food. What about water? What about shelter or land? What is the carrying capacity of earth, really? I'm reminded of the Thoreau quote: "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."

GE? General Electric? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986198)

Why on Earth would you call these things GE crops? General Electric is far more well known as the proper name associated with the acronym GE.

Genetic engineering is thousands of years old (1)

Myria (562655) | about 8 years ago | (#15986260)

Humans have been doing genetic engineering for many thousands of years. 15,000 years ago, humans started genetically engineering wolves. In those years of genetic engineering, they made a Chihuahua and Shih-Tzu from wolves. Later, humans started genetically engineering grasses, and the result was eventually civilization.

Does the fact that DNA can now be manipulated directly really make a difference as to what we're doing? In both cases, we are artificially selecting genes.

Also, keep in mind that genetic engineering of humans will eventually become necessary. Medical technology is allowing people with severe genetic defects to live and reproduce that would have died without it. Eventually this will result in a polluted gene pool. Considering the only ways to stop this are removing medical technology, eugenics, and genetic engineering, which one would you rather have?

Melissa

Re:Genetic engineering is thousands of years old (1)

Stormwatch (703920) | about 8 years ago | (#15986412)

Also, keep in mind that genetic engineering of humans will eventually become necessary. Medical technology is allowing people with severe genetic defects to live and reproduce that would have died without it. Eventually this will result in a polluted gene pool. Considering the only ways to stop this are removing medical technology, eugenics, and genetic engineering, which one would you rather have?
Prebirth testing and abortion of fetuses in which congenital disorders are detected.

Re:Genetic engineering is thousands of years old (4, Insightful)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | about 8 years ago | (#15986423)

Humans have been doing genetic engineering for many thousands of years. 15,000 years ago, humans started genetically engineering wolves. In those years of genetic engineering, they made a Chihuahua and Shih-Tzu from wolves. Later, humans started genetically engineering grasses, and the result was eventually civilization.

Massive difference. That "engineering" was based on crossbreeding phenotypes, not genotypes. Modern genetic "engineering", is based on crossbreeding of genotypes, whos phenotypes are not even able to crossbreed. Moreover, the phenotypes created are not even subject to rigorous study before being chucked out to pasture, in a process more akin to introducing rabbits to australia than breeding two types of pig.

GE? (4, Funny)

Shadyman (939863) | about 8 years ago | (#15986291)

Am I the only one wondering exactly when General Electric started growing crops?

Re:GE? (1)

IvyKing (732111) | about 8 years ago | (#15986386)

No, my first impression was reading 'GE' as General Electric as well. Also tend to read GM as General Motors...

Re:GE? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 8 years ago | (#15986397)

the absolute funniest GE Product (this is the company with the slogan "we bring good things to life") is the M61 "vulcan"

a six barrel gatlin that can send 6000 rounds per minute "downrange"

my own two cents on GE crops (4, Informative)

gsn (989808) | about 8 years ago | (#15986303)

I remember there was this outcry against Monsanto in India quite a few years (4-5) ago. The plan was to release designer seeds with much better characteristics than natural varieties but these seeds would feature a "Terminator" gene (no I promise it was called that I don't have a very large tin foil hat). The gene would prevent future seeds produced by the crop to be viable. Their buisness model was thus that you bought the seeds from Monsanto every year.

Most farmers in India are poorer than most of you can imagine and save some of the seeds from one years crop to reuse the next. There was also some concern that the Terminator gene would find its way into the natural crop varieties and render them useless. This in particular reeks of a company creating something principally to safeguard its profits without there being any actual value added to the farmer.

I think the result of the mess was Monsanto stopped testing it and I think later stopped developing it. That a company would try to develop something like this makes me actively distrust them and its no wonder that a lot of people are scared of genetic engineering. A lot of these groups also tend to be very secretive treating some of their research as trade secret. This is definetly what I'm used to in physics and its definetly not how science should be done. Perhaps its just me but I'm much more skeptical of research done by groups that seem primarily motivated by profit.

I'd worry that a lab environment is just too controlled and the nature has a lot of unplanned for scenarios which may end up producing unintended consequences. I've some respect for their ability to identify what a particular gene as they are doing in the present articles research - I'm more skeptical of their ability to predict what that gene will do if it is suddenly found in another species say. And no matter how extensive your lab trials become they do not address very slow processes which may well occur with GE crops. This selective breeding is less controversial but I'm no biologist and I can already see that there might be a risk with a lack of genetic diversity and that leading to an increased susceptability to disease.

I'm not so afraid of "golden corn"... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986311)

Which has more vitamin A than normal corn. I'm more afraid of the government and corporations getting together and adding antibiotics and antidepressants into things like corn, whey, and rice and seeding them in farms next to the real deal.

That's why I dislike anything that's synthetically engineered.

What is wrong with kudzu, then? (1)

bidule (173941) | about 8 years ago | (#15986323)

What is wrong with kudzu [wikipedia.org]

There is a real world out there, and it is hard to control growth of anything anywhere. We have damaged so many ecosystems willingly or unwittingly. Many GE plants are done by megacorps for the profit of megacorps. Anyone can duplicate Monsato's weed killer, but no one can duplicate Monsato's GE seeds.

My opposition to GE does not stem from fear for the environment, but from fear of corporate greed.

GE crops (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986355)

Gee, I remember that DDT is completely safe, nuclear energy is completely safe, cigarette smoking is completely safe, Thalidomide is completely safe. So why would anyone doubt GMOs are completely safe??

Farmers sued for I.P. patent infringement. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986387)

Farmers who NEVER purchased G.M. seeds were sued when DNA tests proved they had 'STOLEN' I.P. of nearby G.M. crops.
Turns out, of course, that the G.M. plants' pollen blew onto the fields of nearby farmers, contaminating their G.M. free soybeans with patented DNA. The innocent farmers -Lost- their case in court, and had to pay up.

What's next? Exploding ears of Sony Corn, via DRM-DNA Spontaneous Combustion genes?

How do you do a Recall on Bad DNA foodstuffs *after* they have been eaten?

The most dangerous DRM gene is the Terminal Gene which produces plants that can not reproduce,
requiring you to purchase new plants from the selling corporation.
It has been theorized that if Terminal Genes spread, surrounding populations of plants could be wiped out permanently.

Engineer your kids but not your food? (4, Funny)

daemonenwind (178848) | about 8 years ago | (#15986389)

Why is it that the same people who want to embrace the wholesale slaughter of embryos to drive stem cell research - which is genetically engineering drugs - get up in arms about GE food?

Seems to me that these folks just value their dinner more than their humanity

Science is not corporate marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986392)

The notion that concerns over GM food are not scientific and promotion of GM food is are false. The GM foods are not individually tested for safety. The mixing of species genes can cause problems for allergy sufferers especially when the GM varieties mix with the general population. Science requires a ratiional hypothesis subject to logical scrutiny. That hypothesis must then be compared to empirical data that has been replicated and the hypothesis must be the best explanation to fit the data. This process has not ocurred with GM food.

      The "unscientific" smear was applied to critics that pointed out the possibility of migration of genes. Corporations insisted that migration couldn't happen. If you listened through all the noise, the crircs were insisting on scientific evaluation of crop separation standards while corporations would have none of it. Well, migration is now a proven thing.

      The ones against scientific evaluation of GM foods are the ones producing the GM foods and the gullible youth that seem to love "Hate anyone that disagrees with the Unscrupulous" message.

    Concerns over GM foods include: migration of genes to non GM genepools(proven by experience), tranfer of traits such as resistance to herbicides (proven by experience), inability to farm without legal peril should carryover infect your seedstock(proven by experience), attempts to reduce competition by introduction of seedstocks that result in infertile plants(proven and intentional), reduction of present biodiversity by infecting wild plants(infection of wild plants proven, reduction of biodiversity probable).

    There is no scientific evidence, hypothesis, or body of study that would disprove these concerns. The studies where they have been done have shown that these concerns are real.

    To argue for GM food is unscientific though the industry can buy lab coats and scientific sounding titles.

Tobaco and hemp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15986394)

I'm surprise the tobaco companies hasnt graft tobaco plnat and hemp together

GM doesn't scare me nearly as much (2, Insightful)

rsilvergun (571051) | about 8 years ago | (#15986422)

as the rest of the crap going on with our food supply. My personal favorite is Cambell's Soup, which has ingredients added to it soley to assit in the formation of Monosodium Glutamate, that way they can truthfully say "No MSG Added", because, hey, they didn't add any. All they did was wait till the other stuff they added created MSG on it's own.
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