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Old 01-07-2020, 09:56 PM
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Where do I go if I WANT GMOs in my food?


So, I know that GMOs allow more food per acre, and therefore more people to be fed, and "non-GMO" food is going to be more expensive for no reason (other than other people's paranoia). So what do I do if I WANT to buy food with GMOs? Can I assume it's in pretty much everything that isn't labeled "non-GMO"? Should I be writing letters to companies that use GMO food, thanking them for helping feed the world, to counter-balance all the crank letters they get about "Frankenfood," or will I sound just as crazy?
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:45 PM
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Can I assume it's in pretty much everything that isn't labeled "non-GMO"?

That's pretty much it. If it's not labeled non-gmo, it's most likely gmo.
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:52 PM
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If you want to be sure, go to Tractor Supply and buy some feed corn.
The tortillas you make from that are pretty much guaranteed GMO.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:04 AM
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Can I assume it's in pretty much everything that isn't labeled "non-GMO"?

That's pretty much it. If it's not labeled non-gmo, it's most likely gmo.
This applies to many processed foods.

Most fruits and vegetables are non-GMO.

The vast majority of fish and meat is non-GMO unless one wants to go bonkers over animals sometimes eating GM grain. In which case, stay away from other people because we've probably all eaten a corn chip or other GM product at one time or another and are also contaminated by the Evil DNA.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
So, I know that GMOs allow more food per acre, and therefore more people to be fed, and "non-GMO" food is going to be more expensive for no reason (other than other people's paranoia). So what do I do if I WANT to buy food with GMOs? Can I assume it's in pretty much everything that isn't labeled "non-GMO"? Should I be writing letters to companies that use GMO food, thanking them for helping feed the world, to counter-balance all the crank letters they get about "Frankenfood," or will I sound just as crazy?
Just buy the cheaper products that are not labelled as GMO-free. If in fact the product is made from ingredients of which the GMO version is cheaper/more efficient, then the cheaper products will highly likely be made with the cheaper, efficient GMO ingredients. And if the product is not made from ingredients of which this is true, then why would you want to favour the GMO ingredients?
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:08 AM
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Over the past year or so, I've seen a few food packages that specifically say that the product contains GMOs. I can't think of any specific examples, but it is clear that a few companies are going the "informed consent" route.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:23 AM
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Most fruits and vegetables are non-GMO.
This is quite inaccurate.

Most common fruits and vegetables have been heavily genetically modified, for tens or even hundreds of years, to produce the fertile & flavorful varieties we eat now. If you looked at the original versions, before humans began breeding and cross-fertilizing them, you would hardly recognize the originals.

And it continues even now. At my school, the University of Minnesota, I have met the people who created the HoneyCrisp apple, the 5th most common apple now. But it didn't even exist before 1974.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:45 AM
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Most common fruits and vegetables have been heavily genetically modified, for tens or even hundreds of years, to produce the fertile & flavorful varieties we eat now. If you looked at the original versions, before humans began breeding and cross-fertilizing them, you would hardly recognize the originals.
But that's not at all what "Genetically Modified" means, as the phrase is commonly used. People have been selectively breeding things since antiquity, more or less. "Genetically Modified" refers more specifically to the modern technological practice of chemically tinkering with the DNA of organisms at the molecular level.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:15 AM
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Unfortunately a lot of people have bought into the myth of GMO and the propaganda of large corporations.

I suggest you read

GMO Myths and Truths

It's a scientific book with a large number of references to peer-reviewed published scientific papers.

Quotes by reviewers:

Quote:
“Using peer-reviewed studies and other documented evidence, GMO Myths and Truths deconstructs the false and misleading claims that are frequently made about the safety and efficacy of GM crops and foods. The book shows that far from being necessary to feed the world, GM crops are a risky distraction from the real causes of hunger. What is more, there is no reason to take this risk, since GM crops do not consistently raise yields, reduce pesticide use, or provide more nutritious food. GM crops and foods have not been shown to be safe to eat – and both animal feeding studies and non-animal laboratory experiments indicate that some GM foods, as well as most of the chemicals required to produce them, are toxic. Fortunately, the book shows that there are effective and sustainable alternatives to GM that can ensure a safe and plentiful food supply for current and future populations. GMO Myths and Truths is an invaluable and easy-to-read resource for everyone, including students, scientists, and members of the general public.”--David Schubert, PhD, Professor and Director, Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, La Jolla, California, USA

“Genetic engineering and its applications in agriculture are complex topics, even for scientists that are engaged with them. The range of techniques is large, as is the range of their implications for different groups in society, from the farmer, through to the citizen, to the corporation. It is difficult sometimes to have the latest information at the end of the fingertips and to understand the difference in how the same evidence is framed depending on the interests behind the science. GMO Myths and Truths is a great resource for me. It is written in a form that makes it readable to non-experts without losing value for the expert looking for the latest references. It has become one of my standard ‘go-to’ reviews when I need to refresh myself on the history, practice, or technical details in this fast moving, demanding and important area.”--Jack Heinemann, PhD, Professor, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, New Zealand

“Many who defend the use of GMO crops and foods claim that there is no evidence that any GMO is harmful to health or the environment. But this is wrong. There is plenty of sound empirical evidence of such harm, presented by qualified scientists in peer-reviewed literature. This book is a succinct summary and documentation of that evidence.”--Richard Jennings, PhD, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK

“GMO Myths and Truths is unquestionably the go-to source for up-to-date, scientifically rigorous evidence bearing on genetic modification. As a scientist, I applaud not simply the heavy reliance on refereed literature, but also the attention to organization and interpretation, which makes technical information accessible to the non-specialist.”--E. Ann Clark, PhD, Associate Professor (retired), Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph, Canada
One of the authors:

Michael Antoniou, PhD is a Reader in Molecular Genetics and Head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King’s College London School of Medicine, UK. He has 34 years’ experience of using genetic engineering technology, including genome-editing tools, in the investigation of gene organization and control, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications. He holds inventor status on gene expression biotechnology patents. His discoveries in gene control mechanisms are being used for research as well as the development of diagnostic and therapeutic products for genetic disorders. Dr Antoniou has taken an active interest in the safety of GM crops and their associated pesticides.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:48 AM
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What concerns me and many of my friends is that GMO crops are sterile, so a subsistence farmer (or any other farmer) has to buy seed from Monsanto or whoever and cannot use part of his crop to provide seed for next year. This makes farmers dependant on big corporations.

We also are learning much more about the need for biodiversity and how monoculture is a Bad Thing.

Last edited by bob++; 01-08-2020 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:16 AM
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The problem here is that "GMO" is just as undefined as "Organic".
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:38 AM
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The problem here is that "GMO" is just as undefined as "Organic".
Not at all. It's clearly defined. Corporate interests would like people to think that it includes traditional selective breeding, in order to muddy the waters, but it does not.

GMO means that the DNA has been directly altered by genetic engineering.

The definition of GMO by the World Health Organization and the European Commission is that the organisms must be altered in a way that does "not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination".

The EU ban is not due to being unscientific. It's due to valid scientific concerns. The difference from the US is that EU regulatory agencies are not influenced by corporate interests.
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:41 AM
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What concerns me and many of my friends is that GMO crops are sterile, so a subsistence farmer (or any other farmer) has to buy seed from Monsanto or whoever and cannot use part of his crop to provide seed for next year. This makes farmers dependant on big corporations.
Big Agra has also sued farmers who do keep their own seed and don't buy from Big Agra when the GMO pollen fertilizes those plants, resulting in the farmers "stealing" the GMO product when really it wandered over to their fields on its own.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:22 AM
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What concerns me and many of my friends is that GMO crops are sterile
No, they aren't.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:28 AM
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Big Agra has also sued farmers who do keep their own seed and don't buy from Big Agra when the GMO pollen fertilizes those plants, resulting in the farmers "stealing" the GMO product when really it wandered over to their fields on its own.
Percy Schmeiser intentionally propagated RR Canola. Nobody has been sued over accidental pollination.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:32 AM
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To the OP, the list of current GMO crops is here:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...modified_crops

That does not tell you about market penetration though.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:38 AM
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Should I be writing letters to companies that use GMO food, thanking them for helping feed the world, to counter-balance all the crank letters they get about "Frankenfood," or will I sound just as crazy?
[Moderating]

Given that the OP, rather than just ask a straight question, has introduced the debate over the pros and cons of GMO food, let's move this to Great Debates.

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Old 01-08-2020, 09:44 AM
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On a related note, I'm vaguely looking forward to trying vat-meat.


Quote:
Originally Posted by one of the book reviews cited earlier
Using peer-reviewed studies and other documented evidence, GMO Myths and Truths deconstructs the false and misleading claims that are frequently made about the safety and efficacy of GM crops and foods. The book shows that far from being necessary to feed the world, GM crops are a risky distraction from the real causes of hunger.
Heck, even if GMOs never existed, the causes of world hunger would be political, not agricultural or scientific.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:47 AM
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Quoth GreenWyvern:

Not at all. It's clearly defined. Corporate interests would like people to think that it includes traditional selective breeding, in order to muddy the waters, but it does not.

GMO means that the DNA has been directly altered by genetic engineering.
And what do you think the first step in selective breeding is? Alteration of the DNA. And when it doesn't happen fast enough naturally, humans deliberately induce mutations. That's how it's been done since time before history. The only difference is that now, we've taken the blindfold off, and some people think that somehow makes it less safe?
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:22 AM
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Unfortunately a lot of people have bought into the myth of GMO and the propaganda of large corporations.

I suggest you read

GMO Myths and Truths

It's a scientific book with a large number of references to peer-reviewed published scientific papers....
I wouldn't be so quick to trust that book. It appears, at least in Amazon's mind, to be associated with the following books, all being advertised on the same page (including left-right scrolling):

Unvaccinated: why parents are choosing to not vaccinate...
The Autism Vaccine (claims vaccines cause autism)
Vaccine Epidemic (...corporate greed, etc...)
Healing and Preventing Autism, by that renowned doctor Jenny McCarthy
The Case against Fluoride (claims fluoride is hazardous waste and dangerous)
WiFi & Cellphones' Hidden Harms by Joseph Mercola
Herbal Antibiotics, Alternatives for treating bacteria
Homeopathic Cell Salt Remedies
Lab 257, the government's secret germ laboratory
Exposed, the Electronic Sickening of America (claims WiFi and cellphones are dangerous)
Altered Genes, Twisted Truth (claims GMOs are bad for you)
Seeds of Deception (claims GMOs are bad for you)
Food Forensics (your food is full of "toxins," and GMOs are bad for you)
Genetic Roulette (GMOs are bad for you)
Whitewash, the story of a weed killer...
Never Fear Cancer Again (how to prevent and cure cancer, a holistic approach. Cancer is caused by toxins)
Deadly Medicine & Organized Crime (claims Big Pharma (organized crime) is bad for you)
Modified: GMO Threat to our food, our land, etc.
Tripping Over Truth (claims everything we know about cancer is wrong)
The Toxin Solution (...hidden poisons in air, water, food, etc.)
Under an Ionized Sky (chemtrails, etc.)
Healing is Voltage (cure disease with electric current)

And no, I didn't cherry-pick this list all that much, and I omitted titles that could not readily be analyzed as woo. I couldn't find ANY with reliable science, or even a reasonable hint of such. And my list is only a subset of what I found.

My conclusion? Unless you are into holistic medicine, alternative medicine, homeopathy, toxin therapy, electric healing, McCarthy & Mercola, the linked book is worthless by association.

Last edited by Musicat; 01-08-2020 at 10:23 AM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:08 AM
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I wouldn't be so quick to trust that book. It appears, at least in Amazon's mind, to be associated with the following books, all being advertised on the same page (including left-right scrolling)


Wow, you're dismissing the book because you don't like the recommendations of other books generated by Amazon's algorithms on the same page?

I guess you don't watch YouTube videos either if you don't like the other videos YouTube suggests along with it. Twitter must also be a problem for you because it automatically suggests other people you might want to follow.

Do you refuse to read newspaper articles if you don't like the ads alongside them?

That has to be the most utterly ridiculous reason for dismissing a book I've ever come across!
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:28 AM
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This is quite inaccurate.

Most common fruits and vegetables have been heavily genetically modified, for tens or even hundreds of years, to produce the fertile & flavorful varieties we eat now.
Yes of course, but "GMO" is commonly used to describe varieties produced through specific molecular techniques that target one or a few genes, as opposed to
"conventional" cross-breeding which is far more of a crapshoot and not demonstrably safer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bob++
What concerns me and many of my friends is that GMO crops are sterile
A good example of a non-sterile GMO crop is golden rice, seed of which is being made available to farmers to save and replant as they wish, without paying licensing fees.

Scientists in the EU have tended to agree with their American counterparts that food produced using genetic modification techniques is safe. And Europeans in general don't seem to be very concerned about the issue these days.

As for "GMO Myths and Truths" - I haven't read it, but I wouldn't be too quick to embrace a book gushed over by such luminaries as Jane Goodall (who has called genetic modification "a monstrous crime against plants") and Don Huber (who for years has been warning of a horrific pathogen allegedly spawned by glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crops, causing widespread human disease and plant death. Except nobody but Don has ever been able to find this mystery pathogen and he has refused to provide samples to other researchers).
As for it being a "scientific book with a large number of references to peer-reviewed published scientific papers", I'm reminded of "Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies", which boasts of 400 studies supposedly showing how terrible vaccines are, but which are largely misinterpreted, irrelevant or outright bad science - while the author* admits he entirely left out the vast body of science supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

*who elsewhere claims to have communicated with extraterrestrials, going Jeffrey Smith** one better.
**Smith is a long-time prominent anti-GMOer whose "scientific" credentials include attending Maharishi University and the ability to levitate.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:41 PM
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Percy Schmeiser intentionally propagated RR Canola. Nobody has been sued over accidental pollination.
Cite?

I cannot give a cite either but I heard the same claim that Broomstick stated.

It seems to me that essentially everything we eat (except for wild-caught fish) has been genetically modified over the past 10 millennia. The only difference is that the GMOs, so-called, have been modified by people who know what traits they are looking for rather than selecting random mutations. Also the GMOs have been studied for safety and the random ones not. However, one plausible objection is that often the chosen trait is resistance to certain poisons used to destroy weeds. It is those poisons that should concern us.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:49 PM
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Cite?

I cannot give a cite either but I heard the same claim that Broomstick stated.
If you're asking about the first sentence, there's a Wikipedia article about the case that anyone who bothered to Google the name has found already. If you're asking about the second sentence, then shame on you for asking for someone to prove a negative.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:04 PM
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While we're at it, where can I get a nice, big bowl of gluten?
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:08 PM
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That has to be the most utterly ridiculous reason for dismissing a book I've ever come across!
1. You are known by the company you keep.

2. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it just might be...a zebra?
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:28 PM
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As for "GMO Myths and Truths" - I haven't read it, but I wouldn't be too quick to embrace a book gushed over by such luminaries as Jane Goodall (who has called genetic modification "a monstrous crime against plants") and Don Huber (who for years has been warning of a horrific pathogen allegedly spawned by glyphosate and glyphosate-resistant crops, causing widespread human disease and plant death. Except nobody but Don has ever been able to find this mystery pathogen and he has refused to provide samples to other researchers).
As for it being a "scientific book with a large number of references to peer-reviewed published scientific papers", I'm reminded of "Miller's Review of Critical Vaccine Studies", which boasts of 400 studies supposedly showing how terrible vaccines are, but which are largely misinterpreted, irrelevant or outright bad science - while the author* admits he entirely left out the vast body of science supporting the safety and efficacy of vaccination.

*who elsewhere claims to have communicated with extraterrestrials, going Jeffrey Smith** one better.
**Smith is a long-time prominent anti-GMOer whose "scientific" credentials include attending Maharishi University and the ability to levitate.
One of the three authors of the GMO Myths book is Claire Robinson. She is listed as author or co-author of the following books:

Signatures, Miasms, AIDS: Spiritual Aspects of Homeopathy
Losing Weight Thru Chia Seeds
Anyone associated with subjects like this does not gain my respect for their attempts at science. You lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruken
Percy Schmeiser intentionally propagated RR Canola. Nobody has been sued over accidental pollination.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hari Seldon
Cite?
I've never heard of a single case where Monsanto or another agribiotech company sued a farmer over inadvertently growing a patented GM crop through "contamination".*

"There is no documented instance of Monsanto or any other biotech seed company suing a farmer for unknowingly reusing patented seeds. Likewise, there have been no lawsuits over instances where GMO seeds blew onto a farm and germinated. However, Monsanto says it has filed 147 suits against farmers since 1997 (an average of eight per year, while Monsanto has licensing agreements with 325,000 US farmers) who have knowingly violated patent rights by saving seeds for replanting, despite being prohibited from doing so. Monsanto says only nine of those cases have gone to trial, with the company collecting more than $23 million from its targets."

http://gmo.geneticliteracyproject.or...nly-grow-gmos/

Besides the Schmeiser case, there was an Indiana soybean farmer who bought up soybeans at a grain elevator (most of which were likely to be GM) and planted them, raising a glyphosate-resistant crop without paying a fee to Monsanto. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court which found in favor of the company (Elena Kagan wrote the unanimous opinion).

You don't have to be a fan of Monsanto (now a Bayer subsidiary) or any large corporation to recognize that some of its products are valuable. Unfortunately Monsanto has become a convenient bogeyman for anti-GMOers in much the same way that antivaxers try to demonize vaccines by associating them with Big Pharma.

*I've also never heard of a GM farmer suing an organically farming neighbor because pollen from the organic variety "contaminated" his GM crop and lessened its productivity/value.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:31 PM
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This Scientific American piece from 2013 presents a much more balanced (and accurate, I would argue) view than the GMO Myths and Truths book posted above. It even quotes David Schubert (one of the kvelling reviewers mentioned above) in a more balanced way.

A conclusion that satisfies the science as well as the fear (reasonable fear, that is):
Quote:
There is a middle ground in this debate. Many moderate voices call for continuing the distribution of GM foods while maintaining or even stepping up safety testing on new GM crops. They advocate keeping a close eye on the health and environmental impact of existing ones. But they do not single out GM crops for special scrutiny, the Center for Science in the Public Interest's Jaffe notes: all crops could use more testing. “We should be doing a better job with food oversight altogether,” he says.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:12 PM
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While we're at it, where can I get a nice, big bowl of gluten?
Make a ball of dough with flour and water, knead it well, and let it rest a while. Then, put the dough ball under running water and wash the starch away. You'll be left with a big ball of gluten, to eat to your heart's content. Vegans call it mock duck.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:16 PM
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USDA has a program to certify foods are organic. Don't know how strictly they enforce it but you see USDA organic labels on boxes.

https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:39 PM
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While we're at it, where can I get a nice, big bowl of gluten?
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Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
Make a ball of dough with flour and water, knead it well, and let it rest a while. Then, put the dough ball under running water and wash the starch away. You'll be left with a big ball of gluten, to eat to your heart's content. Vegans call it mock duck.
Or, if that's too much work, you can just buy some
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:37 PM
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I recall "gene-splicing", an early bio-engineering technique - Recombinant DNA (rDNA), which has produced fluorescent GloFish as pets. Has anyone yet spliced eucalyptus genes into a canine genome for dogs that repel fleas?

I agree with arguments that increased food production alone is no cure for global hunger. Global food loss and waste[1] amount to between one-third[2] and one-half[3] of all food produced. Food crops engineered to reduce such losses would help. But food shortages are products more of politics and economics than agriculture itself.

Could some or many humans be badly affected by GMO foods? Sure - but that, and allergies, aren't the only problems. Washing e.coli from harvested crops and culling diseased food animals can help.

Could inadequately tested GMOs wreak havoc on Earth's biosphere or at least homo sapiens' realm? Sure. Yet another path to extinction, YAPE! Asteroids, nukes, evolving diseases, nanoplastics, human-caused climate change, and now GMOs. We're doomed.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:14 PM
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USDA has a program to certify foods are organic. Don't know how strictly they enforce it but you see USDA organic labels on boxes.

https://www.usda.gov/topics/organic
USDA and assorted nations set various standards for organic certification. I recall controversies over USDA standards as too lax. Perhaps that is merely realism, that crops and creatures cannot be raised totally cleanly, just as "pure" foods may legally contain up to n% insect parts or droppings.

As mentioned, if you want GMO foods, buy cheap, uncertified stuff.

I'll note that pesticides prevent many crops from being devoured by, y'know, PESTS. Cheap chemically-treated and GMO foods allow arrogant "organic" consumers to feel elevated, purified, better than the riff-raff surviving on pennies. My Quaker great-grandpa ate organic by trapping squirrels and picking wild fruits and berries. (Home-brewed his moonshine, too.) I see no commercial organic squirrel-pot pie marketed. Hey, there's a product niche! I should start a GoFundMe campaign.
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Old 01-08-2020, 07:28 PM
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I posted a variant of this in another thread about GMOs and Monsanto. Basically, you can still be anti-GMO and anti-Monsanto even if there's nothing inherently "bad" about genetically modified food crops or Roundup. Here's the various important bits as I see them.

1. Genetically modified foods are generally safe for consumption, the same as selective breeds and hybrids.

2. GMOs are not the same thing as selective breeding and hybridization. It is either impossible or would take centuries to develop these type of crops via traditional means. GMO refers to using bacteria or specialized laboratory tools and other vectors to inject genes directly into the DNA of the plants to be modified. Genes from incompatible or even completely different species and kingdoms can be used in this way that is impossible with selective breeding.

3. Roundup is generally safe when used on food crops, with the possible exception of industrial-scale exposure.

4. The success of both genetically modified foods, whether Roundup-ready or for improved yields or other pest/herbicide resistance, increases monocultures as they become the "go-to" crops.

5. Monocultures lead to greater risk of widespread crop failure due to unexpected new pests and diseases, including those developing resistance to the herbicide/pesticide they were engineered against in the first place.

6. The patent system and licensing allows for external control of food crops by those providing the seeds rather than those growing it.

So overall the health and safety concerns seem to be mostly moot. That does not mean one has to support GMO crops and/or Monsanto because you can still oppose having one company be the gatekeeper, so to speak, of some of our most important foods. A very quick look suggests that Monsanto controls 80-90% of the GMO corn and soybean supply in the US, which is about 1/3 of all corn and soybeans grown. I'm surprised that the amount of GMO corn and soybeans aren't higher, but within that group Monsanto is pretty close to a monopoly. At the same time, you don't have to support the increase in monoculture that these crops encourage. Similarly, you may not support patenting genes or living organisms at all. It is kind of getting into the weeds of intellectual property rights, and our IP laws in the US are really going crazy (more so for copyright than patents, but they're both far out of whack from their original intent).

I think this is the overall root of much of the resistance to GMOs in Europe. It's not so much that they think they're unsafe or even unhealthy per sé, but they don't want to lose control of their own food production to a big corporation, and a foreign one at that. The benefits of GMO crops accrue mainly to the seed and herbicide suppliers, and less so to the farmers and the rest of the people. There might also be concerns about contamination of heirloom crops which are much more important than they are in the US (France is one of the most vociferous opponents to GMOs, which isn't surprising as they don't even like foreign words contaminating their language). I can certainly see skepticism in trusting a company like Monsanto trying to peddle their wares overseas, especially to cultures whose identities revolve around their foods. It's also fair to say that it's just too soon to know all the potential problems of GMOs, so a more conservative "wait and see" attitude is preferred over diving in head-first, future be damned. It's not so much "anti science" as it's "anti big foreign corporation factory farm profiteering."
  #36  
Old 01-08-2020, 09:31 PM
Bijou Drains is online now
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Some company produced tomato plants that would not be killed by roundup , I guess Monsanto. I assume they still sell those. Maybe it was not hard because roundup does not kill poison ivy so that may have been how they got the genes. You have to get special roundup to kill poison ivy.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jjakucyk View Post
6. The patent system and licensing allows for external control of food crops by those providing the seeds rather than those growing it...A very quick look suggests that Monsanto controls 80-90% of the GMO corn and soybean supply in the US, which is about 1/3 of all corn and soybeans grown. I'm surprised that the amount of GMO corn and soybeans aren't higher, but within that group Monsanto is pretty close to a monopoly.
It's an easy "monopoly" to break - just come up with a crop variety that outperforms Monsanto's - or is close enough in productivity so that cheaper seed is worthwhile.

There's nothing stopping farmers from planting conventional bred grain crops or heirloom varieties*. Many jumped on the GM bandwagon because it made economic sense for them.

The idea that agrobiotech companies that developed GM crops are preventing farmers from saving their own seed and replanting it is farcical. Conventionally bred hybrids typically do not come true from seed, with subsequent generations performing more poorly than their parents, so farmers weren't saving seed in pre-GMO days. It should also be noted that GM varieties were not the first to be patented - that was and is commonplace with conventional hybrids. Corporate control!

I agree that monoculture is a problem in modern agriculture, along with pesticide resistance, the latter having occurred with numerous chemicals (although some seem to think it's unique to glyphosate). Such longstanding problems may have been exacerbated to some extent by dependence on genetically engineered crops, but they're nothing new.

Meantime there's great news from the Philippines, which is the first country with a vitamin A deficiency problem to approve genetically modified golden rice. This article notes that childhood deaths could be reduced by one-third. Bangladesh could be next to save lives and prevent blindness through cultivation of golden rice. And yes, the golden rice project was explicitly set up to allow farmers to save seed for replanting.

This hasn't stopped Greenpeace, a bitter opponent of genetic modification technology from trying to get the Philippines approval overturned. Apparently dead kids are a small price to pay when you're determined to eliminate GMOs.

*moaning about potential "contamination" of heirloom crops by GM crops seems silly to me if one accepts there are no health consequences. It's not going to make a difference when a tiny bit of your Bloody Butcher corn harvest contains a gene for glyphosate resistance, if you're not spraying glyphosate. And as I noted earlier, "contamination" runs both ways. If I'm growing a few rows of modern supersweet corn and some ears are wind-pollinated by my neighbor's heirloom Golden Bantam corn, am I supposed to get upset and take him to court? Or make sure my crop is located far enough away to stay "pure"?
  #38  
Old 01-09-2020, 08:22 AM
Ruken is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bijou Drains View Post
Some company produced tomato plants that would not be killed by roundup , I guess Monsanto. I assume they still sell those. Maybe it was not hard because roundup does not kill poison ivy so that may have been how they got the genes.
Maybe you'd like to punch
GMO tomato
into Google and give that another go.
  #39  
Old 01-16-2020, 10:59 PM
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Long before transgenically altered crops, commonly referred to as GMOs, we were already genetically modifying crops not simply through selective breeding, but also through "mutation breeding". Exposing plants and seeds to chemical agents and radiation sources in order to produce more random mutations has been around since the early 20th century, and is still being used. Look up "mutation breeding" or "atomic gardening". We have no idea what all the results of the mutation(s) will be, and far less testing, if any, is done on mutation bred crops than with transgenic GMO crops. Canada seems to be one of the few countries that considers mutated crops and transgenic crops to both be GMOs. I find it rather illogical that few people seem to be afraid of eating food produced through untested random mutations, while GMO crops, with precise, limited, and planned genetic alterations are the boogeyman.
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