GMOs and Monsanto
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13-06-2014, 10:14 AM
GMOs and Monsanto
There are topics I know a lot about. This is not one of them. But, every time I go on to Facebook I see my ultra leftist cousin posting all these links about GMOs and Monsanto. Then I noticed some of my leftist leaning friends were posting stuff about GMOs and Monsanto. I did a couple of quick Google searches and, based on a very check, there does not seem to be a whole lot of supporting evidence for any of the accusations about GMOs.

And, that, in and of itself, seems to be part of the conspiracy. Seems that because a for-profit entity says it's ok, and the government backs that up, there must be something wrong because for-profit companies and the government are both evil and everything they do is evil and anything they say is a lie to further evil. So, therefor, GMOs are bad for us and it's all a cover up. At least, that's what I read in my quick search.

Does anyone follow this issue? Is there anything to this? Any evidence to back up these claims?

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13-06-2014, 11:02 AM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
(13-06-2014 10:14 AM)BnW Wrote:  There are topics I know a lot about. This is not one of them. But, every time I go on to Facebook I see my ultra leftist cousin posting all these links about GMOs and Monsanto. Then I noticed some of my leftist leaning friends were posting stuff about GMOs and Monsanto. I did a couple of quick Google searches and, based on a very check, there does not seem to be a whole lot of supporting evidence for any of the accusations about GMOs.

And, that, in and of itself, seems to be part of the conspiracy. Seems that because a for-profit entity says it's ok, and the government backs that up, there must be something wrong because for-profit companies and the government are both evil and everything they do is evil and anything they say is a lie to further evil. So, therefor, GMOs are bad for us and it's all a cover up. At least, that's what I read in my quick search.

Does anyone follow this issue? Is there anything to this? Any evidence to back up these claims?

It's a staggeringly high pile of bullshit. For starters "GMO" is more or less meaningless as a category - nothing we eat (by which I mean you or I or any living human being) bears any resemblance to its wild ancestors. Even transgenic modification or cloning or other recent biotechnology is nothing but a small difference in kind.

As for why things should be deliberately harmful - that's insane right there. Why would anyone do that? Shits and giggles? Moustache-twirling evil? But conveniently enough, every single legitimate study ever conducted on recent "GMO" strains has demonstrated no effect.
(incompetent crank studies to the contrary warrant rather less consideration)

See, for example, these fine folks among others.

And the "but there's no evidence, see, 'cause THE MAN is in on it" is the flawless logic of the paranoid schizophrenic. It's unfalsifiable delusion - impossible to engage with.

Incidentally, you may recall the widely trumpeted, er, "fact" that Monsanto has sued farmers because Monsanto seed ended up on their property. That never happened. What happened to be well-publicised and misunderstood once was that a farmer kept and sold a patented strain without paying the due fees. That's illegal under patent law, and whether you agree with it or not, that's how patent law has applied to agricultural strains for over a century. So it could not possibly be less of a true story.

It's like people shitting their pants when they hear the word "nuclear". OOOOH SCARY. Tell that to thousands of dead coal miners.

Meh. This one really bugs me.

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13-06-2014, 11:28 AM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
Well it depends. I mean GMO's aren't like super painfully harmful. I don't they are harmful at all now that I think about it.

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13-06-2014, 11:35 AM
GMOs and Monsanto
We've been eating GMO food since we started cultivating good artificially selected for better crop yields.

“It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.”
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13-06-2014, 11:36 AM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
(13-06-2014 10:14 AM)BnW Wrote:  There are topics I know a lot about. This is not one of them. But, every time I go on to Facebook I see my ultra leftist cousin posting all these links about GMOs and Monsanto. Then I noticed some of my leftist leaning friends were posting stuff about GMOs and Monsanto. I did a couple of quick Google searches and, based on a very check, there does not seem to be a whole lot of supporting evidence for any of the accusations about GMOs.

And, that, in and of itself, seems to be part of the conspiracy. Seems that because a for-profit entity says it's ok, and the government backs that up, there must be something wrong because for-profit companies and the government are both evil and everything they do is evil and anything they say is a lie to further evil. So, therefor, GMOs are bad for us and it's all a cover up. At least, that's what I read in my quick search.

Does anyone follow this issue? Is there anything to this? Any evidence to back up these claims?

I am not an expert on the subject either. For a full-blown scientific report try this:
http://www8.nationalacademies.org/onpine...rdID=12804
And also Wikipedia, as always, has some information on the matter, here.

As far as Monsanto is concerned, there is an interesting documentary by Marie Monique-Robin titled "Le monde selon Monsanto" (The world according to Monsanto).
There is a dubbed version of it. Now although Monique-Robin is clearly on the left side of the political spectrum, this documentary is well-grounded in facts.

The gist of the documentary is this: The problem with Monsanto is its long history of trying to make as much money as possible by almost all means necessary. Monique-Robin documents lies, intentional slander of an opponent and even outright fraud by the company in order to get its way.

So personally the problem seems to be twofold:
1. We know too little about long-term effects of
a) the consumption of GMOs
b) the environmental consequences of releasing unnatural gene sequences
into the wild.
2. Given their history, as documented by Monique-Robin, of blatant dishonesty and
use of unethical business practices, Monsanto is the type organization one would
least want to handle the issue.

Let me know if this helps.

"Newton's third law: The only way humans have ever figured out of getting somewhere is to leave something behind." - TARS, Interstellar
"Newtons drittes Gesetz: Der einzige Weg wie Menschen irgendwo hin kommen, ist der dass sie etwas zurücklassen." - TARS, Interstellar
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13-06-2014, 12:23 PM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
(13-06-2014 11:36 AM)therealJim Wrote:  So personally the problem seems to be twofold:
1. We know too little about long-term effects of
a) the consumption of GMOs
b) the environmental consequences of releasing unnatural gene sequences
into the wild.

A-freaking-hem:
(13-06-2014 11:02 AM)cjlr Wrote:  See, for example, these fine folks among others.

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13-06-2014, 03:00 PM (This post was last modified: 13-06-2014 03:40 PM by therealJim.)
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
(13-06-2014 12:23 PM)cjlr Wrote:  A-freaking-hem:
(13-06-2014 11:02 AM)cjlr Wrote:  See, for example, these fine folks among others.

Interesting stuff. Thanks for posting. It looks like I will have to update my position on the subject (I have so far only taken a cursory look).

UPDATE: Having looked into the NAP report, and at the abstracted of the paper from the NIH website I see four things. I summarize them in quotes from the sources. First the NAP report (all quotes can be found in the executive summary):
1.
Quote:To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.
2.
Quote:Although the array of analytical and epidemiological techniques available has increased, there remain sizeable gaps in our ability to identify compositional changes that result from genetic modification of organisms intended for food; to determine the biological relevance of such changes to human health; and to devise appropriate scientific methods to predict and assess unintended adverse effects on human health.
3.
Quote:[Image: p2000a7b3g4001.jpg]
FIGURE ES-1 Relative likelihood of unintended genetic effects associated with various methods of plant genetic modification. The gray tails indicate the committee’s conclusions about the relative degree of the range of potential unintended changes; the dark bars indicate the relative degree of genetic disruption for each method. It is unlikely that all methods of either genetic engineering, genetic modification, or conventional breeding will have equal probability of resulting in unintended changes. Therefore, it is the final product of a given modification, rather than the modification method or process, that is more likely to result in an unintended adverse effect. For example, of the methods shown, a selection from a homogenous population is least likely to express unintended effects, and the range of those that do appear is quite limited. In contrast, induced mutagenesis is the most genetically disruptive and, consequently, most likely to display unintended effects from the widest potential range of phenotypic effects.

Note: The report was written in 2004(!). If more current information is available, I'll be happy to look into it.

Now the abstract from the NIH website:
Quote:It is concluded that suspect unintended compositional effects that could be caused by genetic modification have not materialized on the basis of this substantial literature. Hence, compositional equivalence studies uniquely required for GM crops may no longer be justified on the basis of scientific uncertainty.
The paper was written by Herman and Price, and published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food chemistry, 2013, 61 (48), 11695-701. doi: 10.1021/jf400135r

I have not seen any information about conflicts of interest with regard to the authors. So I will withhold judgement about it, and take the statements made at face value.

"Newton's third law: The only way humans have ever figured out of getting somewhere is to leave something behind." - TARS, Interstellar
"Newtons drittes Gesetz: Der einzige Weg wie Menschen irgendwo hin kommen, ist der dass sie etwas zurücklassen." - TARS, Interstellar
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13-06-2014, 03:25 PM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
There is just no evidence that GMOs are harmful, and no scientific merit to believing they might be. It is another great example of uneducated and unscientific people shaping public opinion about scientific topics.

Monsanto is an evil shitty corporation, but that doesn't mean the products they produce kill people.
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13-06-2014, 03:42 PM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
(13-06-2014 03:25 PM)Michael_Tadlock Wrote:  There is just no evidence that GMOs are harmful, and no scientific merit to believing they might be. It is another great example of uneducated and unscientific people shaping public opinion about scientific topics.

Monsanto is an evil shitty corporation, but that doesn't mean the products they produce kill people.

At best one can only say they are trying to make us ill, and even then that is not the reason. It is because we want to get more money why they use GMOs. And money does not affect how healthy the food is.

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13-06-2014, 05:04 PM
RE: GMOs and Monsanto
Correct me if I'm wrong, one of the things scientists working with GMOs are doing is to make crops resistant to bugs. My understanding, and I could be way off base here, is that the bugs are evolving faster than they thought would happen making more crop failure.

Can someone set me straight.

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Stigmatical in making, worse in mind.
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