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Comment: Re:Does it matter? (Score 1) 338

by ChromeAeonium (#49524641) Attached to: Study Confirms No Link Between MMR Vaccine and Autism

That's something I've also noticed. Internet conspiracies have very mobile goalposts, so while their conclusions are always the same, they frequently manage to adapt and change to continuously counter facts. If you hit on last years version of the conspiracy (in this case, autism as opposed to 'too many too soon' or some other such excuse) then you're the one they call a dummy because they're totally over that and on to something else now. Completely countering them (not that many will accept being demonstrated to be wrong anyway) requires that you stay up to date on the latest misinformation.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49502001) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I like how you're not even trying to counter my points, just saying that more people agree with you, therefore you're right. Fortunately, regulations are not decided by majority vote, and for good reason. Do you really think the opposite should be the case, that regulations should be decided by majority vote?

and they overwhelmingly want to know if there are GMOs in them.

Depends on how you ask them. Ask what they want, few say GE labels. Ask if they want GE labels, then they say yes. Of course, labeled products are already available, and consumers can already tell if something is GE or not as I explained in my previous post; that they either do not buy the former or do not educate themselves is no justification for a new law.

Don't you think that's an interesting development?

Not really; look at your own loaded questions for the reason. Even independent biotech information organizations are accused of being corporate propaganda.

Personally, I wan organic food labeled as having been grown in 400-700 nm radiation. What's wrong with letting the consumer know that?

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501855) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You know what would really help consumers a lot? If there were LABELS to tell which were GE crops and which weren't. Why are you so anti-consumer on this issue?

There are; they're called ingredient labels. Corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, papaya. Know that, and a few details behind them, and you can tel if something is GE or not. Why do you need a label to replace educating yourself?


Yeah, that's practical. You offering to pay for all the tracking necessary to do that?

No let's talk "all the safety data that shows no problems" instead. Citation please?


one. There's plenty of information if you are willing to search through the scientific literature and not just random blogs and activist rants. Can't say the same for the supposed dangers though.
Now how about you point me to a single person who has gotten so much as a headache from GE crops? I notice you surprisingly ignored my request to elucidate the biochemistry behind how or why GE is intrinsically dangerous. Given how much genetic engineering is used in basic research, if you're right then there's a lot more than food that needs re-evaluation; step forward and claim your worldwide recognition, please.

But of course we would never find out about the linkage given the industry's fear of "Killer GE Crop" headlines...

Oh look, it's the old 'industry controls everything' conspiracy card. Didn't take that one long to come out.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49501783) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Are you saying that genetically modified food products are exactly the same as non genetically modified food products?

No. I am, however, saying that GE crops are no more different than those derived from hybridization, mutagenesis, bud sports, somaclonal variation, induced polyploidy, ect. all of which you eat unlabeled all the time, and you probably don't even know about them. I'm saying that unless there is a difference to the end consumer which is significantly different than what could otherwise be expected from the crop, then it should not matter for the purpose of labeling.

Why are you irrationally singling out one aspect of crop improvement, one that just so happens to be controversial (but not scientifically controversial [and yes, as a plant scientists, this stuff is about as controversial in my field as vaccines or the validity of evolution]), without demanding anything else be labeled (like other aspects of crop improvement and production, including but not limited to the other crop improvement techniques I mentioned, rootstock, PGR use, biocide use, fertilizer use [where's my poo label on organic foods?] date and location of harvest, ect) , without telling the details (such as gene inserted or what it does, ex NPTII, Bt, EPSPS, bar, CSPb, various cp genes, ect), without telling the benefits (ex. reduction in mycotoxins, reduction in insecticides, shift away from harsher herbicides such as atrazine, saving crops from viral infection, ect.).

You seem to want to be very specific and selective in what you tell the consumer, which is very fishy when we are talking about a thing that can be identified simply by knowing what you are looking for (corn, soybean, canola, cotton, alfalfa, sugar beet, summer squash, and papaya are all the GE crops out there). I can always tell if something I'm eating is likely to contain GE ingredients; why can't you educate yourself enough to do the same? Millions of vegans, Jews, Muslims, and Hindus with religious or personal dietary restrictions do the same, and they don't deserve a special law catering to their beliefs. You don't either.

If so, how can they be patented?

The same way non-GE crop varieties such as Clearfield wheat, Beneforté broccoli, and Snowsweet apples can be patented. You do realize that non-GE crops can also be patented, yeah? My question is why you're trying to use a legal argument on a topic that should be decided on the scientific basis of the things; if they are scientifically different, th

Comment: Re:Did they mention the yummy GMOs (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499549) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

There's noting wrong with truth in labeling. A lie of omission, however, is still a lie. If you tell consumers just enough about a single, arbitrarily selected manufactured controversy for them to be afraid, and don't give them any context whatsoever, then you're not really being honest, are you?

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499533) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

Modifying it so that it can withstand being soaked with ever-increasing quantities and varieties of synthetic pesticides is another.

Let's think about this economically; do you really think farmers would have adopted this technology so rapidly if the only use for them was to spend more costly herbicides on crops, which detract from the farmer's bottom lines? Be real; your 'soaking' rhetoric is extremely misleading. The reality is that farmers apply what them need after the seeds come up, thus avoiding the need for pre- and post-emergent applications of herbicide cocktails. It's not ideal, but I don't here any anti-GMO groups coming up with better weed management strategies.

As for your point about weed evolution, yep, that's been going on for a long time, before GE crops were a thing. Saying we shouldn't use that technology because of it is pretty off base though. Better resistance mitigation strategies, yes, but not completely forging the technology simply because it exists within a biotic system. If that's your stance, I hope you never get something that requires any anti-viral medication, because by your logic, that viruses evolve means we just shouldn't treat them. Pretty bad reasoning, no?

Comment: Re:I guess he crossed the wrong people (Score 3, Insightful) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499521) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the technology. Glyphosate use hasn't just go up; it has displaced other herbicides (including some harsh alternatives like atrazine, or just soil eroding tillage) and allowed farmers to hit the field with a single post emergent application of one of what is actually one of the more beneign herbicides out there. I wouldn't go drinking it, but glyphosate is hardly one of the scarier agrochemicals.

So yeah, glyphosate use is up, but so what? That's better than the alternative. Do you have a better weed management solution? Because if you do the farmers of the world would love to hear it; it isn't like they spend all that money on glyphosate for nothing. What you are saying is like saying that a line of cocaine is better than a glass of wine because the cocaine weighs less; you neglect to take into consideration that not all herbicides are equal. Furthermore, you consider only the one option against an ideal, when in reality, it is one of several options, and the ideal is not one of them.

Comment: Re:in my opinion this guy is like Jenny McCarthy (Score 1) 320

by ChromeAeonium (#49499499) Attached to: Columbia University Doctors Ask For Dr. Mehmet Oz's Dismissal

I stand against genetically modified crops because I don't want fucking multinationals to own the intellectual property rights over basic foodstuffs.

First off, you are against a technique because of how some people use it? Do I really have to point out how bad that logic is? Second, no one forces anyone to use Monsanto/Syngenta/Pioneer/ect.'s seed. They don't 'own' basic foodstuffs, they own the IP on very specific strains of crops. Don't like it? Fine, don't use them. Problem solved.

And this is what you represent:

You're claims that supporting genetic engineering equate to supporting all the things various companies have done in the past is like saying that supporting vaccination equates to supporting all the nasty things pharmaceutical companies have done. Your logic is again completely off base.

And they're the people saying GMOs will feed the hungry when GMOs are mainly targeted to countries where there are no hungry people.

Yes, things like Golden Rice and BioCassava and..oh wait, anti-GMO activists have worked to get such things blocked so that only large corporations have the money to get through the regulatory hurdles. That's a pretty key detail you conveniently neglected.

And, I'm also more than a little offended by people who say that consumers don't have a right to know the provenance of the food they eat. As if you've become some new arbiter of what information consumers may be allowed to base their purchasing decisions on.

If it objectively matters, it gets labeled, if not, no label. Same reason why there is no mandatory labeling on Halal/Haram, Kosher/non-Kosher, vegan, ect. Don't want to eat GE crops? There are only 8 species of food crop that are GE; if doing five minutes of research are so hard then perhaps you don't care that much anyway.

What I hate is when people use a lie of omission to imply a falsehood. Labeling GE foods is like labeling evolution teaching textbooks with 'Evolution is just a theory.' Technically true, but also misleading politically motivated garbage and everyone knows it. I'll believe you care about 'knowing what's in your food' and not just fearmongering when you demand all other methods of crop improvement (which most people outside of plant & agricultural science [that's you] don't even know about) be labeled and demand labeling for the hows, whys, and benefits of what has been genetically engineered.

Also, the studies on GMO safety have been extremely narrow, looking for toxicity and certain types of cancer-causing effects. There have been no studies at all on people who've eaten GMOs for 20 years, because they've only been selling GMOs to people for 20 years.

And there haven't been any 20 plus years on the effects of Wifi either, and yet, I don't see you panicking about that. Maybe when you give me a reason to suspect genetic engineering, instead of arbitrarily singling it out, I'll ignore all the safety data that shows no problems. So, lets talk biochemistry; what is it you find uniquely suspicious about genetic engineering, and be as specific as possible.

If you're so ashamed of where that food comes from, well that tells me something, too.

So you write a post slandering the flawless safety record of GE crops, reflecting the multitude of misinformation on the internet, then wonder why farmers and seed companies don't want them labeled? Gee, I can't imagine why.

Comment: Re:'Sacred' is the magic word... (Score 1) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49435265) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Yeah, actually that was the motivation. The varieties of local importance are somewhat unique, and pretty minor on the global scale. Consequently, methods which minimize the amount of genetic change are desirable, because just like how a seeding of a Pinot noir and some other grape is not the same as the actual Pinot Noir, a hybrid between a poi taro like the Maui Lehua variety and a Chinese one like Bun Long will have the unique properties of the Hawaiian parent damaged. Is there something otherwise that you wish to imply? I'm sure you'll have proof of your statements if you do.

Comment: Re:'Sacred' is the magic word... (Score 1) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49433553) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

That happened a few years ago here with the genetically engineered taro disaster. Basically, university researchers wanted to insert a disease resistance gene into taro, a historically very important Hawaiian crop, so that the unique Hawaiian varieties could be preserved without having to hybridize them with other varieties. People flipped out, saying that changing the taro is offensive because it is sacred. Of course, no one told the ancient Hawaiian that, because if these people knew the history of the crop, they would have known that Hawaiians have been selecting somatic mutants for centuries, which lead to the diversity present in Hawai'i. But they invoked the sacred and offensive cards, and not enough people called them out on their bullshit rhetoric for exactly the reason you mentioned. The research was banned, as for the taro the activists claimed to care so much about, yields are in decline and fairly little is being done to really promote it.

I work in plant science in Hawai'i, had it is hard for me to miss the similarities between the two situations. I don't want the same thing that happened to my field to happen to the astronomers. It's my understanding than ancient Hawaiians would go up Mauna Kea to look at the stars. Now the same thing is bad? No, it is just people playing political games and using the cheapest identity politics tricks they can find. As far as I can tell, if the ancient Hawaiians were alive today, they would be all for it. Unfortunately, this is all very political, so history, science, and facts don't matter one bit to the loudest of the activist groups.

And don't misunderstand me, I fully understand and recognize the cultural aspects of the Mauna and the natural beauty that all people can recognize, as do the astronomers behind the project. The anti-TMT people are just taking things way too far.

Comment: Re:13 Telescopes already at the Summit (Score 1) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49433509) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

If you ever make it the the Visitor's center on the Big Island halfway up Mauna Kea, they have some relatively fancy computer controlled telescopes for the public to look through. I was just there a few weeks ago, and you could see the clouds of Jupiter through one of them. If you're ever in the Hilo area, that's really a great thing to go to. The IFA is very good and active with their outreach. As for the observatories, those are not so easy to use, and there are waiting lists for astronomers to use them, so I don't think they're going to see any public use anytime soon.

But you know, if you don't speak up, they win. I work in plant science on O'ahu, and if you live in Maui, you know how controversial that one is. If we don't want laws passed against research, we have to speak up, because the activist groups certainty have no problem with making noise.

Comment: Re:NIMBY strikes again (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49433327) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

Native Hawaiians are mostly anti-technology, anti-progress, anti-growth, anti-business, and anti-modern-world.

I want to point out here that the opposition is a vocal minority; there are a lot of Native Hawaiians who support the observatory. I don't live on the Big Island myself, but from talking to people who know a lot more on the topic than I do, it is my understanding that most Native Hawaiians are in support of the TMT. Most people in the Hilo area support the TMT, and recognize that it will being in economic, cultural, and educational benefits, as well as prestige and international recognition. It is the extremists who are protesting.

I can see where you are coming from though, and lets face it, there is a not insignificant segment of the Hawaiian community that really does seem to have some problems with the extreme anti-progress lot, especially with the Hawaiian independence activists who will stir up shit at any opportunity. These people build themselves around and value one thing and one thing only: being Hawaiian. That's it. How many cultures in history find success after getting so caught up in their own culture that they stop doing anything else? Not many. And yet, that is exactly the path these protestors want to take.

There is a great opportunity here for astronomy research, but do they want Hawai'i known for astronomy? Nope, just 'culture'. There is ongoing controversy about biotechnology here, with genetically engineered taro (University of Hawai'i developed, before anyone invokes that conspiracy) being banned previously for 'religious reasons' by exactly the same people now protesting the observatory. Do they want Hawai'i know for biotech? Nope, just 'culture'. And as you mentioned, there was the geothermal issue. Do they want that? Nope, just 'culture'. Every time, it is the same people protesting. It's like they want to kick out as much important things, things that actually matter and have social, educational, and economic value, until the islands are left with nothing...nothing but them of course.

The thing to remember is that the independence activists like to kick up a big fuss about anything they can to draw attention to themselves. And they don't care what the long term effects are. They don't care about a thriving Hawai'i...oh they say they do but their actions say otherwise. What they care about is bringing power and influence to themselves, and they find plenty of useful idiots along the way, both angry Hawaiians who have been told that all their problem are the fault of the US and they would be so much better under a new monarchy as well as hippie dipshits so overcome by white guilt that they bafflingly enough think a reestablishment of a race based Hawaiian Kingdom where they would be essentially second class citizens would, somehow, be a good thing. There is, as you see everywhere else, politics underlining anti-science, and in this case pretty nasty politics at that.

Personally, I'd be on the first plane to the mainland in the unlikely event any of these assholes ever got any real power. Their beliefs are simply unacceptable.

Comment: Re:Other reasons (Score 3, Informative) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49433117) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

To my knowledge, they have and there is public information available on the environmental impact statement. This work is being done by astronomers who really do care. I've seen far to many people act as if this is some big mean corporation who just wants to profit at the cost of the environment or something. I've met these people, they are scientists, who value the environment and respecting culture. And if that were the main problem, the activists should hit those issues specifically instead of calling for the scrapping of the whole thing, and also, if that were the main issue, we wouldn't have prominent activists wanting a removal of all telescopes. It doesn't surprise or convince me when people who call for the TMT stopped on every conceivable ground also call for it to be stopped on environmental ones.

Comment: Re:Hawaii (Score 3, Insightful) 228

by ChromeAeonium (#49433001) Attached to: Amid Controversy, Construction of Telescope In Hawaii Halted

This is the most likely reason. You see a lot of the same people protesting this as you see against a lot of other things (like geothermal power, biotechnology, tourism, ect.). They don't care what they protest, as long as they make some noise to draw attention to their cause of re-establishing the Hawaiian monarchy...with themselves as the new kings no doubt...and recreating the Hawaiian kingdom for people with Hawaiian blood. That, of course, is an inherently racist proposition. And I've snooped around those independence rallies before; I've seen these Hawaiian community leaders and independence activists play the race card in manners that, quite frankly, I think are unacceptable in an enlightened society.

They're people who live in the past, and play identity politics and pointless localism to enrich themselves by giving people something to hate on, no matter the cost (really, no different than you see in the South with those 'The Confederate States will rise again!' assholes). Of course, the Hawaiian nationalists don't care if this place goes to shit after they do as much damage as possible to achieve their goals, as long as they're the kings of shit mountain, and tough luck for everyone else, including no doubt their supporters who would then be in a much worse off position without the US and all the economic drivers the nationalists would like to see gone. It's really sad that anyone gives these assholes the time of day.

Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm. -- Publius Syrus