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(io9)   Genetically modified tomatoes could save people from heart disease one day...as long as they don't attack and kill us all first   (io9.com) divider line 56
    More: Interesting, genetically modified tomato, heart disease, tomatoes, atherosclerosis, bad cholesterol, peptides, oxidants  
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834 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Nov 2012 at 5:12 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-06 10:46:50 AM

Tellingthem: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Tellingthem: think of it this way. Is this law actually for consumer benefit? Or more of people wanting to punish corporations like Mansanto? To try and scare people into not buying certain products in favor of their own.

I think it's for consumer benefit. You are free to disagree, but how does it hurt Monsanto? They make seeds and herbicide. Farmers have little choice but to buy them. It's not like you can get certified organic overnight. And corporate farms will still buy them because they allow them to produce more cash crops per acre.

How about if we decided to label anything grown using any pesticides or fungicides (regular or organic). It would be the same thing right? It would be easy to track and to avoid a lawsuit all you would have to do is put a label on it. I'm sure the people pushing for the GMO label would be all for that. Because the consumers have a right to know and make their own informed choices right?

Yes, I want to know all of that stuff. Maybe someday we'll all have Star Trek tricorders so we can just wave a sensor over the food we eat and know what's in it. Until then, labels will have to do.

Basically if they can scare people enough into not buying anything with that label on it the manufacturers will be forced to buy from other suppliers not using GMO seed, or at the very least expand product offerings into that direction. (might be a bit conspiracy theorist on my part but I always think about who will directly profit off of the proposition here in California and in this case it would seem to be the "alternative" industry)

I'm actually all for knowledge but for the right reasons. I do not believe that the motives behind this are for actual education. Because of stuff like this blatant fear-mongering on their website.Link

"This is the important story behind Proposition 37's first television ad: The Same Companies that Told Us DDT and Agent Orange were Safe."

"Monsanto, the top contributor to No on 37 with $4.2 mil ...


So Monsanto can't compete by selling non-GMO seeds? I have a hard time believing that. They are a huge company with an extensive, established sales, marketing and distribution network. As for the herbicides, again, the demand for cheap food is not going away any time soon.

As for the advertising...I've also heard the FUD from the No on 37 side, too. It's right there on the anti-Prop 37 website: "Increased costs to consumers. Arbitrary exemptions. Shakedown lawsuits. Conflicts with science." I've looked at both sides and formed my own conclusion. I assume you have, too, and your distaste for the tactics of the pro-Prop 37 side is overriding the actual issue. Or maybe you just don't care about eating GMOs. Fair enough: proponents have to make political calculations about their tactics and they obviously feel that this tactic is more likely to convince people to vote for their proposition than will be turned off by it. And you have the right to trust the FDA, which says that GMOs are safe to eat.

But I think the pro-Prop 37 ads are trying to communicate the fact that chemical companies behind GMOs were wrong about what's safe in the past, not that DDT and Agent Orange have anything to do with GMOs. Does it mean that they're wrong about GMOs? No. But I do think that, given the choice between a GMO tortilla chip and a non-GMO tortilla chip, I'd dip the latter in my non-GMO salsa. And that's all I want: the information I need to make that choice.
 
2012-11-06 10:49:08 AM

Kinek: Because the usual argument about Roundup is that it selects for Roundup resistant 'Superweeds'. It wouldn't if farmers actually listened to crop manangement people about BPA, but that's neither here nor there. The weeds have not had any genes inserted, by your silly, arbitrary and backarseword definition, and are organic. The roundup ready crop is not. That's the joke. The weeds are organic, and the things you'd actually eat, you've decided to discriminate against simply because of the method used to create them.


I'm sorry. I thought you were responding to what I wrote. You're looking for Mr. Strawman's posts.
 
2012-11-06 10:59:48 AM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Kinek: Because the usual argument about Roundup is that it selects for Roundup resistant 'Superweeds'. It wouldn't if farmers actually listened to crop manangement people about BPA, but that's neither here nor there. The weeds have not had any genes inserted, by your silly, arbitrary and backarseword definition, and are organic. The roundup ready crop is not. That's the joke. The weeds are organic, and the things you'd actually eat, you've decided to discriminate against simply because of the method used to create them.

I'm sorry. I thought you were responding to what I wrote. You're looking for Mr. Strawman's posts.


My bad.

Additionally, a note about DDT and Agent orange. The ban on DDT has cost human lives. A lot of them. DDT was incredibly effective at reducing mosquito populations and was fairly non-toxic to humans. It's use in Africa would've saved millions from Malaria. That is not to say 'Fark the birds' but there's a balance to be struck and a lot of the time that side doesn't get told.

2,4-D, an herbicide, is one of the most prevalent herbicides in the world. And was half of agent Orange. Both 2,4 D and 2,4,5-D (The other half of agent orange) are low in toxicitiy. However in the manufacturing of 2,4,5- there used to be a contaminant that acts as a carcinogen. Agent orange itself, sans contaminant, is an effective, and rather safe herbicide. But the name Agent Orange brings up 'Nam, and basically ignores any science behind the effectiveness of these chemicals.
 
2012-11-06 01:41:52 PM

Kinek: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Kinek: Because the usual argument about Roundup is that it selects for Roundup resistant 'Superweeds'. It wouldn't if farmers actually listened to crop manangement people about BPA, but that's neither here nor there. The weeds have not had any genes inserted, by your silly, arbitrary and backarseword definition, and are organic. The roundup ready crop is not. That's the joke. The weeds are organic, and the things you'd actually eat, you've decided to discriminate against simply because of the method used to create them.

I'm sorry. I thought you were responding to what I wrote. You're looking for Mr. Strawman's posts.

My bad.

Additionally, a note about DDT and Agent orange. The ban on DDT has cost human lives. A lot of them. DDT was incredibly effective at reducing mosquito populations and was fairly non-toxic to humans. It's use in Africa would've saved millions from Malaria. That is not to say 'Fark the birds' but there's a balance to be struck and a lot of the time that side doesn't get told.

2,4-D, an herbicide, is one of the most prevalent herbicides in the world. And was half of agent Orange. Both 2,4 D and 2,4,5-D (The other half of agent orange) are low in toxicitiy. However in the manufacturing of 2,4,5- there used to be a contaminant that acts as a carcinogen. Agent orange itself, sans contaminant, is an effective, and rather safe herbicide. But the name Agent Orange brings up 'Nam, and basically ignores any science behind the effectiveness of these chemicals.


Well now, this I can respond to.

I'm not doubting the effectiveness of DDT on the mosquito population, and therefore, as a means of controlling malaria.

Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said in 2007, "The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children.

The National Geographic article listed as the source of that quote precedes it with, "The problem was overuse-not by malaria fighters but by farmers, especially cotton growers, trying to protect their crops. The spray was so cheap that many times the necessary doses were sometimes applied. The insecticide accumulated in the soil and tainted watercourses. Though nontoxic to humans, DDT harmed peregrine falcons, sea lions, and salmon."

So, too much of a good thing perhaps?

The problems are that its half-life in the environment far outweigh its usefulness and that in order to control the mosquito population, you need to apply it regularly. I'm sure you can see how this would snowball, concentrate in apex predators, and eventually lead to more widespread ecological harm. (Consider what happens when apex predators are removed from an ecosystem.) Wikipedia does say that the use of DDT is still permitted in extreme cases, though not without controversy.

Agent Orange (besides being a kick-ass surf punk band in the 80's) also had its uses, but they were purely military. Of the two components in Agent Orange, 2,4-D is still widely used, but use of 2,4,5-T has been discontinued in the US

It's not clear to me whether or not the "accidental overheating" that causes TCDD to form during the 2,4,5-T manufacturing process can be avoided or if it's such a political hot potato that chemical manufacturers just decided that it just wasn't worth the trouble. But since TCDD is "commonly considered the most toxic man-made substance known," I can understand just scrapping the product. 

But, IMO, the ultimate question here is, "how much can humans shape the environment to suit their needs without invoking the law of unintended consequences?" I don't think there is any doubt that GMOs allow us to grow more food and feed more people, but what does that do to other ecological mechanisms? For instance, do we have enough clean water to support all of those people? DDT allows us to possibly eliminate malaria, which would save millions of lives. But then we'll have to increase our use of pesticides because key predators that normally would control the pest population will be extinct or severely threatened. And what will THAT do to our population? Circling back to TFA, okay, so a GMO tomato can reduce heart disease. So can eating more regular tomatoes and taking a farking walk every day. I know which one lazy, fat farks would prefer, but do we really want to encourage people to be lazy, fat farks?
 
2012-11-06 02:51:33 PM

Mitch Taylor's Bro: Kinek: Mitch Taylor's Bro: Kinek: Because the usual argument about Roundup is that it selects for Roundup resistant 'Superweeds'. It wouldn't if farmers actually listened to crop manangement people about BPA, but that's neither here nor there. The weeds have not had any genes inserted, by your silly, arbitrary and backarseword definition, and are organic. The roundup ready crop is not. That's the joke. The weeds are organic, and the things you'd actually eat, you've decided to discriminate against simply because of the method used to create them.

I'm sorry. I thought you were responding to what I wrote. You're looking for Mr. Strawman's posts.

My bad.

Additionally, a note about DDT and Agent orange. The ban on DDT has cost human lives. A lot of them. DDT was incredibly effective at reducing mosquito populations and was fairly non-toxic to humans. It's use in Africa would've saved millions from Malaria. That is not to say 'Fark the birds' but there's a balance to be struck and a lot of the time that side doesn't get told.

2,4-D, an herbicide, is one of the most prevalent herbicides in the world. And was half of agent Orange. Both 2,4 D and 2,4,5-D (The other half of agent orange) are low in toxicitiy. However in the manufacturing of 2,4,5- there used to be a contaminant that acts as a carcinogen. Agent orange itself, sans contaminant, is an effective, and rather safe herbicide. But the name Agent Orange brings up 'Nam, and basically ignores any science behind the effectiveness of these chemicals.

Well now, this I can respond to.

I'm not doubting the effectiveness of DDT on the mosquito population, and therefore, as a means of controlling malaria.

Robert Gwadz of the National Institutes of Health said in 2007, "The ban on DDT may have killed 20 million children.

The National Geographic article listed as the source of that quote precedes it with, "The problem was overuse-not by malaria fighters but by farmers, especially cotton growers, trying to protect their ...


I change my mind. I like you. Greened.

I would still say eating tomatoes -AND- taking a walk would be the best course. There is a disconnect here between Tech and Practice. I'm on the tech side of things, and so when I see awesome shiat being sidelined because people suck at Practice, It makes me want to break things. Pesticide overuse, herbicide overuse, these things do not invalidate the original technology.

It just means that people suck. Which is not news. It's for this reason of people sucking that I'm wary to trust people with knowledge that they have no way of understanding. Not you specifically. But if the laws of unintended consequences are in force wit GMOs, wouldn't we have seen them in -anywhere- but the Seraline reports? We've been eating GMOs for near twenty years now.
 
2012-11-06 05:00:58 PM

Kinek: I change my mind. I like you. Greened.


Well, I consider that a win :-)

I would still say eating tomatoes -AND- taking a walk would be the best course. There is a disconnect here between Tech and Practice. I'm on the tech side of things, and so when I see awesome shiat being sidelined because people suck at Practice, It makes me want to break things. Pesticide overuse, herbicide overuse, these things do not invalidate the original technology.

I can understand how frustrating that can be. I work in advertising and nothing sucks worse (in my little world) than having a project you've been slaving away on for weeks get ruined by a superior or a client who doesn't share your vision. Having something you've dedicated years of your life to get derailed because people "are doing it wrong" probably sucks that much worse.

But since you can't count on people to do the right thing with pesticides and herbicides, you have only the "R-word" to fall back on (regulation). And we all know how unpopular that is these days.

It just means that people suck. Which is not news. It's for this reason of people sucking that I'm wary to trust people with knowledge that they have no way of understanding. Not you specifically. But if the laws of unintended consequences are in force wit GMOs, wouldn't we have seen them in -anywhere- but the Seraline reports? We've been eating GMOs for near twenty years now.

Well, considering the recent rise in diet-related illnesses, we may be seeing that law at work and just not know it yet.

I think what will happen if people start seeing "This product contains GMOs" is that most will not care. Some will care, but due to the difficulty obtaining foods that have no GMOs in them, will keep eating what they find at the supermarket. And a small fraction will want to change things, either by actively seeking out non-GMO foods (voting with their dollars) or by pressuring manufacturers to use non-GMO ingredients. The No-on-Prop-37 crowd is afraid of the latter, but I don't think they are likely to make much of a difference. The demand for cheap food is just too great. They will be thought of as a fringe group, like PeTA, but for fruits and vegetables. But labeling will allow people like me to make my own decisions.

I will confess right now that I won't even go more than 50% non-GMO; it's just too hard. But given the chance, I will modify my purchases. I've already stopped buying dairy products that come from cows that were given bovine growth hormones and when I think it is important, will choose the grass-fed/free-range meats and organic fruits and vegetables. Not because I'm scared of the labels and implications I don't understand. But because why not? I like supporting local farmers and occasionally deal with a bug or two in my produce. The only reason not to try to change your eating habits is cost and, thankfully, I can afford the surcharge.

Thanks for engaging in a thoughtful discussion! Every now and then, I learn a LOT from Farkers :-)
 
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