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Comment Re:Well no (Score 1) 709

I do not know how well I or others may metabolize sheep designed to put spider silk proteins in their milk or corn designed to make its own pesticide.

Pretty well actually. While the sheep isn't for eating, the protein inserted into corn is the same thing that has been used in organic farming for decades to no ill effect. We know how the protein works, there have been a plethora of safety studies, and there has never been a single case of someone being hurt by that kind of corn. Also, 'corn designed to make its own pesticides' describes all corn. Even your non-GMO corn will be chock full of natural insecticides like maysin...plants all make insecticides, how else did you think they defend themselves from insect attack? And talking about things that have been in the food chain since life began then mentioning corn is somewhat ironic. Corn, as a New World crop, is a relatively new addition to the diets of people of European, Asian, and African descent, and far from having been around since time began, it was created by humans from teosinte.

Comment Re:Speaking as a vegan (Score 1) 260

Too bad that when it comes out, there will be more than the yuck factor. It will be justified. There will be (baseless) claims that any company involved in this is unethical. There will be (severely flawed) studies proving this meat causes cancer. Just wait. New technology, especially biotechnology, when some people find it 'yucky,' will have justification for the angst. That and its new, science is scary, labs are scary, there will be Frankenstein monster imagery, ect.

Comment Re:Great and all... BUT (Score 1) 758

Cross pollination of farmers crops, and then demanding royalties from the seed owners,

That only happens when someone knowingly and intentionally selects for and propagates the cross pollinated plants. The infamous Schmeiser case was not the result of cross pollination alone but of intentionally propagating plants with the transgenes. Saying that people get sued for cross pollination is like seeing a case of someone who receives a DVD and burns off a bunch of copies get sued then saying that receiving DVDs will get you sued.

engineering the crops to disable re-planting the same seeds for the purpose of profit.

That would actually be pretty nice because then you avoid the problem of accedental cross pollenation. too bad they are not in use anyway and due to the political problems of people who don;t know that farmers in general have not been saving and replanting seed since the rise of hybrid seed in the 30's, they probably never will.

One actual example would be allowing a patent to monsanto on basmati rice

That's misleading. Those patents are granted on new varieties developed from old varieties, not the old varieties themselves. It would be like saying that a patent on a new watch means a company now owns all watches. It is frustratingly false.

Comment Re: every increase in crop yield (Score 1) 758

You are confusing production in developing countries with transport form developed countries. While it would be nice for the latter to be improved (while somehow avoiding the problem of cheap or free imported food destroying local farmers' business), improving the former will most certainly help, or do you deny that crop failures in developing countries have ever harmed anyone?

Comment Re:ringed some bells (Score 1) 758

First, you could say the same of tractors. Doesn't make them bad. Second, false dichotomy between biotech and agroecology. Third, or course a well managed agroecology type system is going to be better than the poor systems a lot of the world has. That's not saying much.

Comment Re:This is a rare breed of human. (Score 2) 758

Honesty is exactly why I oppose requiring mandatory labeling. There are many aspects of food I could demand be labeled. for example, is something produced via hybridization, induced polyploidy, mutagenesis, bud sport, grafting, tissue culture, somaclonal variation, embryo rescue, ect.? They're not labeled. Why not? If they're so safe, why are they hidden? Of course that's ridiculous. They're not labeled because the are ultimately not different. But if I were to, say, single out one of these things (while a movement existed that opposed this thing and had no problem spreading unscientific FUD on the topic) it would make that one thing look like it was wrong somehow, would it not? I mean, hey, it is labeled, that must mean it is bad, right? Granted, its a no win for GE crops since many folks also say that if they are not labeled, they must be hiding something from you and therefore it must be bad (damned either way).

The thing is that there is no reason to label something that does not affect the end product. What if I demand, say, that the variety of parsnip or species of blueberry (yes, species, there is more than one cultivated) I find in the store be labeled? What if I demand that the specific bud sport of apple (do you think the last Gala or Fuji you had was the original? I'll be it wasn't!) be labeled, or that citrus produced with radiation a few decades ago carry a radiation symbol, or if squash produced via doubled haploid hybridization carry l label saying 'produced with toxic chemicals'? It would all be true, but I don't deserve that and more than a Jew deserves mandatory Kosher labeling or a Muslim deserves mandatory Halal labeling because, ultimately, that information is not relevant to the product and they are equivalent to items produced without those things. It's the same with GE crops. Okay, they are GE. That doesn't mean anything to the nutritional properties of the end product, and while some may think so, some might think certain beef might send you to hell, but that doesn't mean they deserve a law catering to them. And speaking of individual genes, simply labeling things as GMO without providing more details is meaningless and you know it. It is as informative as saying I modified my can. Can you tell me what I did to it based on that information alone? No, so how would that be informative for food? And if you do include the individual genes, why do all other genes get a free pass? What if I want rice with the sd-1 gene labeled, or raspberries with the A1 gene labeled, or tomatoes with the Ph-3 gene labeled (all conventionally bred by the way)?

Besides, there are already free market solutions, such as organic and Non-GMO Project certified foods, and you can also just educate yourself on the topic to know for sure. Anything with corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beet, alfalfa, summer squash, and papaya is likely GE unless market otherwise. If you can't be bothered to educate yourself, quite frankly that's your own problem. And sure, you could just say that people want it, but I'm sure that most people would like a pony too, but that doesn't mean they should get one. Just because someone wants a law doesn't mean the law should be passed (see Prop 8 and cannabis prohibition for reference).

Basically, I'm opposed to requiring mandatory labeling for the same reason I'm opposed to those warning labels on textbooks stating that evolution is 'just' a theory. That, as we know, was a political move to single out a single theory and mislead those who do not know what the term actually means. The movement to label GE crops is a political movement that seeks to single out one aspect of crop genetic alteration to confuse and mislead consumers who are not educated on the subject. I've yet to hear a convincing, scientifically and morally consistent argument that takes into account the full scope of crop genetic alteration.

Comment Re:Here it comes... (Score 2) 540

In terms of beliefs? That's for you to decide. In terms of actions and the things that really matter? Not even close. When the Mormon church has been implicated in things like Operation Freakout or Operation Snow White, or any of the other crazy things the CoS has done to people that you can learn of after 5 seconds on Google, then your false equivalence of comparing the CoS to other religious bodies might have a point. The modern Mormon church is, as far as I know, generally decent and full of okay folks. I don't know if I can say the same of the CoS, judging by all the stuff they've done, and that's the issue here.

Comment Re:"didn't appear likely to pose a threat" (Score 1) 204

If someone knowingly and intentionally introduces something new into the environment which would prevent nearby "GMO Free" farmers from being able to grow "GMO free" food and that has a negative economic impact on these farmers, the person introducing the item should be liable for damages and stop doing it.

That's a good point, and one with a lot of hard issues to consider. I think it gets confusing fast though. Say I'm growing Red Kuri squash. My neighbor grows Galeux d'Eysines. We cross pollinate. Both of those open pollinated would get a premium, but now the next generation is hybridized. Who has to pay up? What if a sweet and field corn mess each other up? Or two fields of parthenocarpic citrus varieties cross pollinate and result in seeded fruit? Those guys get by just fine through communicating with their neighbors and taking measures to prevent problems (like staggering their planting dates, collecting seed from the center of the field, ect). It is only now that we hear of cross pollination becoming an issue, strangely. On one hand, if you are producing a product a certain way, shouldn't the onus be on you to take care of your operations? A somewhat absurd example, imagine if someone was selling food grown outside the presence of wifi (which makes about as much sense as the anti-GE thing and had the professional activists who started the GE nonsense made that into a problem I guarantee would be a thing), should everyone else turn off their routers? On the other hand, yeah, there is something starting on field A and moving unwanted to field B, so I can certainty see your point. On the other other hand, it is pretty unreasonable to hold all farmers accountable for their pollen, no? Ultimately, given the nature and necessity of farming, I'm inclined to think it is. You certainty wouldn't want Monsanto taking action over simple cross pollination, so I'd apply the same for being cross pollinated.

Comment Re:stop complaining (Score 1) 204

The first GMO's were things like rice that grew Vitamin A so rural Asian children wouldn't go blind. That was good.

Actually, that one isn't even on the market yet. The first GE crop was actually virus resistant tobacco, in China. the second was the Flavr Savr tomato, in the US. Do you think that Golden Rice is a good idea? Then keep in mind that, by and large, the same people opposing the other GE crops you mention are opposing Golden Rice.

But instead, we got crops that are resistant to pesticides that are applied by the tanker load

I agree that it sounds bad, but not when you consider things holistically. Those herbicide tolerant crops have increased the usage of some herbicides, but they've decreased the use of harsher herbicides and reduced the need for environmentally damaging tillage. They've actually been pretty beneficial. Note also that many of Benbrook's works have been often criticized. Obviously, spraying chemicals is never a good thing if it can be avoided, but if you've got a better way to control weeds a lot of farmers would love to hear it.

and vegetables that express their own pesticides, which, we're kinda-maybe-sure don't effect humans

They don't. It is the same protein that has been used in organic farming for years to no ill effect. We know very well how it works, and yes, there has been much study on the health effects. By the way, all plants produce pesticides. It's how they defend themselves. Even your non-GE corn is going to be full of insecticidal maysin.

Comment Re:"didn't appear likely to pose a threat" (Score 1) 204

With absolutely no idea what the long-term health effects are going to be from human consumption of a modified genetic animal,

Appeal to ignorance. We have no reason to suspect long term harm, and you can claim unknown unknowns about anything. Can you prove that eating triploid seedless watermelons won't kill us all in a few decades? I can't. But I have no reason to suspect that is the case, so my inability to prove a negative won't stop me from eating them.

And given how we're now finding out the honey bee collapse syndrome is a direct result of the Monsanto creations

You do realize that CCD is happening even in areas with GE crops, yes? Last I heard the most likely culprit was neonicotinoids and overly stressed hives, possibly with the help of mites. The GE angle is nonsense preached by the anti-GE folks who blame GE crops for just about everything.

Comment Re:"didn't appear likely to pose a threat" (Score 2) 204

what fucking good can come from patented (or copyrighted?) organisms?

This. That is Snowsweet, my all time favorite apple. I would choose it over any other variety. Notice the royalty fee and patent? It is a patented organism. It was produced by the same people who developed Honey Crisp, which was also patented (was, the patent has expired). It was produced after Honey Crisp, using the royalties form the Honey Crisp patent. I doubt my favorite apple would exist without patents. What good does patented food do? It generates income for the people who make food better, enabling future development. There's nothing wrong with that.

Do the biggest corporations not yet have enough control over our lives that now they need to get money out of us for the "idea" of a fish? Or the "idea" of corn?

Not even close to what happens. Just like Snowsweet's patent doesn't affect Red Delicious, those patents don't affect any other fish or corn, just the varieties covered by the respective patents.

Don't be surprised when future generations look back on the first decades of the rise of biotech food in the same way we look back on putting radioactive paint on wristwatch hands and asbestos in home insulation and lead in house paint

Or look back on the opposition to it like we look back on people who futilely opposed every other technology.

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