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(Daily Mail)   Scientists to release thousands of genetically modified moths into the wild, because what could possibly go wrong?   (dailymail.co.uk) divider line 95
    More: Scary, chemicals, agricultural pests, insects, visual field test, eu regulations, caterpillars, maggots, canopy  
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5715 clicks; posted to Main » on 04 Sep 2013 at 2:09 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-04 07:03:29 AM
www.joblo.com
 
2013-09-04 07:04:58 AM
THE MOTHS, NOT THE MOTHS, NOT THE MOTHS!
 
2013-09-04 07:29:11 AM

SevenizGud: AverageAmericanGuy: If we can limit genetic engineering to the methods used to minimize pest harm and not in the foods themselves, I think it's an overall win for everyone.

Screw that. I want grapes as big as my fist. That's an overall win for me.


I don't think genemod can make you into a Smurf
 
2013-09-04 08:35:51 AM
Nature always finds a way
 
2013-09-04 08:36:00 AM

Raw_fishFood: I may be mistaken, but isn't releasing sterilized males of the species of bugs you want to get rid of a standard and successful practice?


Yes; but they're usually sterilized in other ways.  Also, it doesn't sound like these are completely sterile - it says all their female offspring will die as larvae, so they can still produce other male bugs with the same only-male-offspring defect until there are no females in the area and they die out.  It might not require as many, as they'd reproduce the GM male offspring only bugs until they ran out of females in the netted field... but as the article mentions, you also get many dead larvae rather than them just not producing any larvae.

Most of the fears have little to do with what exactly was changed though - it's just that the GM method that they're paying attention to.  GM anything is going to scare people for at least a generation or two regardless.  Then people probably won't even worry if it is warranted.
 
2013-09-04 09:03:25 AM
If a farmer gets caught with one in his field, will he be sued?
 
2013-09-04 09:06:11 AM
The image of science has been invoked.  We all should all trust things we are told are scientific, all the time. Nobody would ever try to use science to mislead people when money was on the line.

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-04 09:18:48 AM
Maybe that kid in Quebec will finally be able to get rid of his hockey sweater.
 
2013-09-04 09:32:25 AM
How GM are we talking? I know the USDA performs a few moth eradication programs where they have been breeding large numbers of the pests, irradiating them, then painting them pink before release. You could consider these beasties with their scrambled chromosomes as GM.
 
2013-09-04 09:58:36 AM

gmpilot: Oh my god the comments on the article are so stupid.  I try to keep optimistic, but are western education systems really this awful?


This is the same Europe where the energy Luddites want to replace nuclear power plants with coal-fired ones while simultaneously demanding auto makers lower the CO2 emissions per kilometer in new cars. In other words, the US Republican Party is not the only political movement suffering cognitive dissonance.
 
2013-09-04 10:09:53 AM
NOOOOOOOO!
 
2013-09-04 10:15:50 AM
www.filmsite.org
 
2013-09-04 10:21:38 AM

wildcardjack: How GM are we talking? I know the USDA performs a few moth eradication programs where they have been breeding large numbers of the pests, irradiating them, then painting them pink before release. You could consider these beasties with their scrambled chromosomes as GM.


No, this looks like actual GM - it's just basically a genetic disease instead of an improvement.  This is a germline modification by Oxitec which causes the bugs to only produce live male offspring and kill all female offspring.  It looks they refer to it as a Dominant Lethal gene.  They also put in some fluorescent proteins for identification.
 
2013-09-04 10:32:36 AM
paranormalknowledge.com
 
2013-09-04 10:48:48 AM
This same company has been using this same technology to combat mosquitoes and Dengue Fever.  The BBC2 show "Dara O'Briain's Science Club" had a real good expose on how it works.  Basically, the insects (mosquitoes, or in this case, moths) die in the larval stage unless they are fed a specific chemical that suppresses the gene.  This gene suppressant is not found anywhere in the wild.  This allows them breed the insects with the built in kill-switch in a lab, but as soon as they release them, they die off.

They have seen upwards of an 80% reduction in mosquito population in the areas they have used the mosquitoes, so I have some faith that it may work here as well.  My only concern is that insects are at the bottom of the good chain for a lot of animals.  Reducing their numbers could have a negative reaction farther up the chain, but that is just my gut reaction, not based in fact.
 
2013-09-04 10:56:13 AM
Life will find a way.
 
2013-09-04 11:04:00 AM
So let me get this right.

They are going to release males that aren't sterile.  They're releasing males that only have male descendents that survive to the reproductive stage, and those males descendents inherit their dad's trait, and keep it propagating in the wild as long as there are still females.

Apparently, this RIDL technique works because you can breed the flies in captivity be feeding them tetracycline, which represses the lethal factor.    It'll be interesting to see if evolution produces a female that makes it's own tetracycline,  or maybe just evolve females who don't like the smell of RIDLed males.

/maybe not The Screw Fly Solution.  It's more like The White Plague
 
2013-09-04 11:19:45 AM

Vlad_the_Inaner: The image of science has been invoked.  We all should all trust things we are told are scientific, all the time. Nobody would ever try to use science to mislead people when money was on the line.


...and then dispute it with numerous studies that finally prove that the original claims were false and everyone can enjoy their class action lawsuit.

Repeating an experiment in order to reproduce or refute someone else's results is an enormous part of science. Blindly accepting them without supporting evidence or question is woo. Those ads are not science. They are claiming to be scientific. And what kind of idiot expects anything less of advertisers. Advertisers are not scientists. How hard is that to figure out? Yeesh.
 
2013-09-04 11:20:54 AM

Vlad_the_Inaner: The image of science has been invoked.  We all should all trust things we are told are scientific, all the time. Nobody would ever try to use science to mislead people when money was on the line.


That's actually one of the easiest ways for people to get sucked into pseudoscience. Con men love to use science-y sounding words to convince people to purchase their product, usually at the same time they are disparaging real science.

The key is to understand not only how science works, but also to have a strong understanding of the things science has taught us in the past, including basic biology, chemistry, and physics. One of the biggest pseudoscientific ideas that has spread widely and is very popuar is this naturallistic fallacy - the idea that "nature" and "natural" is automatically better than "synthetic" or "man made," as if man was somehow outside of nature. It shows a complete misunderstanding of what nature is, and how the world works.

Trusting this GM item is not a blind faith in science or some corporation. Trusting it is based on an understanding of basic science with the knowledge of how this type of GM actually works compared to other "natural" ways of GM (like crossbreeding). While some synthetic GM can be bad (such as modifying a food item to be resistant to a pesticide, which can encourage increased use of said pesticide, thereby creating greater environmental harm), not all GM is bad and some is down right good (such as adding nutrients to a food item). One just simply has to pay attention to the science and be intellectually honest with how it works, all the while trying not to get suckered in to con men's pseudoscientific lies.

Unfortunately, that last part is the hardest; I've even seen some of my felloe scientists get sucked into it. Confirmation bias mixed with a few desirable or fear-based lies can be a biatch.
 
2013-09-04 11:26:10 AM

abmoraz: This gene suppressant is not found anywhere in the wild.


From what I read, its a repressor of the toxic protein made by the gene, which when fed to the bugs,allows the females to survive to reproduce.  Tetracycline

And 'not found in nature' maybe not true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streptomyces_aureofaciens

/also beer
 
2013-09-04 11:36:27 AM

Vlad_the_Inaner: /maybe not The Screw Fly Solution. It's more like The White Plague



Farking IRA.
 
2013-09-04 11:37:19 AM

abmoraz: This same company has been using this same technology to combat mosquitoes and Dengue Fever.  The BBC2 show "Dara O'Briain's Science Club" had a real good expose on how it works.  Basically, the insects (mosquitoes, or in this case, moths) die in the larval stage unless they are fed a specific chemical that suppresses the gene.  This gene suppressant is not found anywhere in the wild.  This allows them breed the insects with the built in kill-switch in a lab, but as soon as they release them, they die off.

They have seen upwards of an 80% reduction in mosquito population in the areas they have used the mosquitoes, so I have some faith that it may work here as well.  My only concern is that insects are at the bottom of the good chain for a lot of animals.  Reducing their numbers could have a negative reaction farther up the chain, but that is just my gut reaction, not based in fact.


It appears they've changed their method since the mosquitos.  The latest several bugs have only the females dependent on tetracycline, rather than releasing males that will be shortly doomed.  It means they do not have to release as many but it doesn't seem quite as self-limiting as the old version. It seems like as soon as they release them without a net, they'd spread wherever they could, as long as there were wild populations they could reach.

Further details:  http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7007/10/51
 
2013-09-04 11:38:00 AM

mgshamster: Vlad_the_Inaner: The image of science has been invoked.  We all should all trust things we are told are scientific, all the time. Nobody would ever try to use science to mislead people when money was on the line.

That's actually one of the easiest ways for people to get sucked into pseudoscience. Con men love to use science-y sounding words to convince people to purchase their product, usually at the same time they are disparaging real science.

The key is to understand not only how science works, but also to have a strong understanding of the things science has taught us in the past, including basic biology, chemistry, and physics. One of the biggest pseudoscientific ideas that has spread widely and is very popuar is this naturallistic fallacy - the idea that "nature" and "natural" is automatically better than "synthetic" or "man made," as if man was somehow outside of nature. It shows a complete misunderstanding of what nature is, and how the world works.

Trusting this GM item is not a blind faith in science or some corporation. Trusting it is based on an understanding of basic science with the knowledge of how this type of GM actually works compared to other "natural" ways of GM (like crossbreeding). While some synthetic GM can be bad (such as modifying a food item to be resistant to a pesticide, which can encourage increased use of said pesticide, thereby creating greater environmental harm), not all GM is bad and some is down right good (such as adding nutrients to a food item). One just simply has to pay attention to the science and be intellectually honest with how it works, all the while trying not to get suckered in to con men's pseudoscientific lies.

Unfortunately, that last part is the hardest; I've even seen some of my felloe scientists get sucked into it. Confirmation bias mixed with a few desirable or fear-based lies can be a biatch.



Arsenic is natural. So are crude oil, tar, and asphalt.
 
2013-09-04 11:58:24 AM

ruta: Advertisers are not scientists


And the Daily Mail is?

Science works great when people don't lie.   People often lie for money.

The ads are illustrative of history.  A visual cue to the reader to remind them lof that sort of tactic being used..

Yes, The tobacco industry funded studies, not just ads:

'Astroturfing is the modern approach.
 
2013-09-04 12:38:55 PM
One of me pet peeves is the people who try to classify trans-gene transfer type GMO as just a faster kind of selective breeding.  To me that's akin to saying that because chemicals and nuclear reactions both involve atoms, fission is a chemical reaction.  Its not.  Fission (among other processes) produces new isotopes, chemical reactions do not.

Selective breeding picks existing, likely time tested, traits for an existing gene pool.   The human population is likely already adapted to exposure.   Its not a leap from what we're adapted to.

Transgene type GMOs  are a leap.  There is no gradual 'arms-race' like adaption going on, where species adapt mutually to each others evolved changes.   They are a 'we should be able to profit by making a leap on nature' phenomenon.  It's business model that has been used in the past, not by GMO, but by importation of species evolved in different environments.

And you can end up with stuff like

upload.wikimedia.org
and

www.pir.sa.gov.au

I also have a problem with hosing down my food supply, and the environment in general with more toxic chemicals.  The fact that becomes economical is via a GMO, the GM aspect is tangential.

I'm more concerned about the fact biology is involved, and biological things can reproduce on their own without human interaction.   You start using an infectious agent for gene therapy, I worry.  Start doing transgene modifications with retroviruses, I worry.  Start using a GMO version of organism (example E. Coli) for an industrial process that could go feral and dump its payload outside the factory, I worry.  They can take on a life of their own, because they start out live.

I don't just look at the dollar signs.  I want reversible processes. so that if something goes wrong, we can go back.

I don't want to depend on the Gorillas freezing.
 
2013-09-04 01:55:52 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: One of me pet peeves is the people who try to classify trans-gene transfer type GMO as just a faster kind of selective breeding.  To me that's akin to saying that because chemicals and nuclear reactions both involve atoms, fission is a chemical reaction.  Its not.  Fission (among other processes) produces new isotopes, chemical reactions do not.

Selective breeding picks existing, likely time tested, traits for an existing gene pool.   The human population is likely already adapted to exposure.   Its not a leap from what we're adapted to.

Transgene type GMOs  are a leap.  There is no gradual 'arms-race' like adaption going on, where species adapt mutually to each others evolved changes.   They are a 'we should be able to profit by making a leap on nature' phenomenon.  It's business model that has been used in the past, not by GMO, but by importation of species evolved in different environments.

And you can end up with stuff like


and



I also have a problem with hosing down my food supply, and the environment in general with more toxic chemicals.  The fact that becomes economical is via a GMO, the GM aspect is tangential.

I'm more concerned about the fact biology is involved, and biological things can reproduce on their own without human interaction.   You start using an infectious agent for gene therapy, I worry.  Start doing transgene modifications with retroviruses, I worry.  Start using a GMO version of organism (example E. Coli) for an industrial process that could go feral and dump its payload outside the factory, I worry.  They can take on a life of their own, because they start out live.

I don't just look at the dollar signs.  I want reversible processes. so that if something goes wrong, we can go back.

I don't want to depend on the Gorillas freezing.


See? This is an example of using science-y sounding words combined with fear-based misinformation and a naturalisitc fallacy that can spread pseudoscience. In addition, the argument presented here is subtle, and can easily entice the unwary victim. It has multiple subtle scientific errors, and it only presents the potential negatives without addressing any of the positives. This is a common, yet devious form of a pseudoscientific presentation. I have years of practice finding psudeoscientific arguments, so it is obvious to me, but not everyone has that advantage; this is why I and others like me try to point it out to the reader when we see it.

Here's why the argument is wrong:
Gene modification via selective breeding is only different than gene modification by insertion because of accuracy. Selective breeding is very inaccurate and can transcribe many unwanted genes; in addition, selective breeding (or even natural evolution) has just as much of a chance to cause an transcription error as GM does. GM by insertion is precise. It can place the desired gene in the species without having all the extra unknowm junk alomg for the ride. Both have their places, both have their advantages, both have their problems. One is not inherently better than the other; it entirely depends on the purpose, the desired accuracy, and the cost effectiveness.

FYI, that image of the Kudzu vine? That is a perfectly naturally evolved plant. No "GM" involved. This is part of the misinformation and lies of pseudoscientific con men; here's a perfectly normal and natural plant being sold as a type of GM in order to inspire fear.

/I'm starting to develop a pet peeve where people are against all forms of pest control - GM, chemical, biological, etc- and still believe that large scale agricultural production is possible.
 
2013-09-04 02:32:35 PM

mgshamster: FYI, that image of the Kudzu vine? That is a perfectly naturally evolved plant. No "GM" involved.


Guess you missed that "It's business model that has been used in the past, not by GMO, but by importation of species evolved in different environments. " bit.

ps: the rabbits are natural too.   They are just placentals in an environment adapted to marsupials
(and they have not been there as long as Dingos)
 
2013-09-04 02:41:47 PM

mgshamster: Gene modification via selective breeding is only different than gene modification by insertion because of accuracy. Selective breeding is very inaccurate and can transcribe many unwanted genes;


Do tell us more about the advantages of reduced genetic diversity and monoculture.

That never ends poorly

i.imgur.com

You're still thinking about the bottom line next quarter, while I'm worried about the long term.
 
2013-09-04 02:57:10 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: mgshamster: Gene modification via selective breeding is only different than gene modification by insertion because of accuracy. Selective breeding is very inaccurate and can transcribe many unwanted genes;

Do tell us more about the advantages of reduced genetic diversity and monoculture.

That never ends poorly

[i.imgur.com image 850x553]

You're still thinking about the bottom line next quarter, while I'm worried about the long term.


Long term, GMO is going to be used to address things like UG99 getting to Russia's and China's breadbasket.  We're throwing everything we have against that, because 100% crop loss is no one's friend.  Traditional breeding might win the day, but GM techniques are likely to get the resistance needed to that disease faster.

Also, designer plants tailored to different environments will probably be all the rage.

Now, if we can just limit the patent granting process to not let companies patent specific life forms....
 
2013-09-04 03:03:28 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: mgshamster: Gene modification via selective breeding is only different than gene modification by insertion because of accuracy. Selective breeding is very inaccurate and can transcribe many unwanted genes;

Do tell us more about the advantages of reduced genetic diversity and monoculture.

That never ends poorly



You're still thinking about the bottom line next quarter, while I'm worried about the long term.


Yet another example of twisted argumentation in order to spread misinformation, my dear readers.

What we see here is deflection from the argument of "natural" vs "synthetic" and the argument of GM foods, into an argument about mono-crop production. It is widely known that reduced genetic diversity is problematic, and the Irish potato famine is a great example. But like many of the other arguments the pseudo scientist uses, this argument also includes a sliver of truth and mixing in the lies.

Genetic modification, whether via artificial selection or gene insertion is about producing a desired effect from the crop (or in the case of the article, a pest), and is a completely different issue than genetic and crop diversity.

Diversity in diet is highly important, and genetic diversity in a species is important in the event that a disease spreads. This is a major issue with modern bananas (which was developed via cross breeding); it has a low incidence of genetic diversity. Whether genetic modification via precise insertion or imprecise cross breeding, monocrops can be an issue.

I often see the pseudoscientists in the organic crowd try to mix their hatred of pesticides and GM insetertion foods with a misunderstanding of poor agriculture practices, like too much pesticide use, wrong and imprecise pesticide use, inefficient use of water, poor crop rotation, and many more.

The pseudoscientist doesn't want to get into the nuances of the issues, they only want to spread their particular form of misinformation in order to either spread their favorite ideas or to sell a product. And they often do so by trying to conflate issues.

You may also notice that the pseudo scientist is also trying to claim that I care only about profit, as if I were a shill for some company. Here, we have yet another lie, as he knows nothing about me and cannot know who I work for. For the record, I was a forensic toxicologist, and I have gone back to get my PhD in environmental chemistry. I currently do not work for any company.
 
2013-09-04 03:12:11 PM

gmpilot: Oh my god the comments on the article are so stupid.  I try to keep optimistic, but are western education systems really this awful?  90% of the fears towards any form of GM have zero basis in any science, any incident, or any situation that has ever arisen.  Worst part is, no matter how many well documented and peer-reviewed papers get published every year, nobody complaining is ever going to read a single one.  Sometimes I wonder why my fellow scientists often seem so absorbed in their own work and tire of trying to explain it to strangers; then I see abhorrent disingenuous detritus like this.  If you are legitimately concerned by GM products, there are legitimate ways to find out many of the facts.  Reading crappy articles like this is not one of them.


I've given up trying to explain it. Sometimes we have better things to do. And you know, sometimes being called a shill gets a bit wearing.
 
2013-09-04 03:17:38 PM

mgshamster: modern bananas (which was developed via cross breeding);


But don't mention that the problems are coming from its monoculture by using extensive vegetative propagation.  Its a similar case to the irish potato famine, which I reference visually earlier.

That is NOT breeding, and you should know it.  Yet another example of disingenuous conflation "see we're just doing the same-old just like before.

If the Irish were growing from seed, it is less likely one blight would have wiped out the whole crop.  Ditto with Dwarf Cavendish's current problems .You'd have thought they'd learned from Gros Michel, but bananas are just too easy to clone rather than breed.
 
2013-09-04 03:29:05 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: mgshamster: modern bananas (which was developed via cross breeding);

But don't mention that the problems are coming from its monoculture by using extensive vegetative propagation.  Its a similar case to the irish potato famine, which I reference visually earlier.

That is NOT breeding, and you should know it.  Yet another example of disingenuous conflation "see we're just doing the same-old just like before.

If the Irish were growing from seed, it is less likely one blight would have wiped out the whole crop.  Ditto with Dwarf Cavendish's current problems .You'd have thought they'd learned from Gros Michel, but bananas are just too easy to clone rather than breed.


Bananas are tiploids, which means that they can't be bred easily. They only way we get more banana trees is through vegetative propogation, induced mutation, or sifting through 10,000 bananas for seeds.
 
2013-09-04 03:50:43 PM

Kinek: Bananas are tiploids, which means that they can't be bred easily. They only way we get more banana trees is through vegetative propogation, induced mutation, or sifting through 10,000 bananas for seeds.


Or go back to crossbreeding Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
 
2013-09-04 03:56:44 PM

Kinek: gmpilot: Oh my god the comments on the article are so stupid.  I try to keep optimistic, but are western education systems really this awful?  90% of the fears towards any form of GM have zero basis in any science, any incident, or any situation that has ever arisen.  Worst part is, no matter how many well documented and peer-reviewed papers get published every year, nobody complaining is ever going to read a single one.  Sometimes I wonder why my fellow scientists often seem so absorbed in their own work and tire of trying to explain it to strangers; then I see abhorrent disingenuous detritus like this.  If you are legitimately concerned by GM products, there are legitimate ways to find out many of the facts.  Reading crappy articles like this is not one of them.

I've given up trying to explain it. Sometimes we have better things to do. And you know, sometimes being called a shill gets a bit wearing.


Most of the time, I'm just too busy. every now and then I get pockets of time where I can delve into the online arguments with strangers.

I've actually tried to get into the habit of not addressing or caring about the person I'm arguing with, but rather just try to put out correct and accurate information for the other readers.
 
2013-09-04 04:07:58 PM

mgshamster: Vlad_the_Inaner: One of me pet peeves is the people who try to classify trans-gene transfer type GMO as just a faster kind of selective breeding.  To me that's akin to saying that because chemicals and nuclear reactions both involve atoms, fission is a chemical reaction.  Its not.  Fission (among other processes) produces new isotopes, chemical reactions do not.

Selective breeding picks existing, likely time tested, traits for an existing gene pool.   The human population is likely already adapted to exposure.   Its not a leap from what we're adapted to.

Transgene type GMOs  are a leap.  There is no gradual 'arms-race' like adaption going on, where species adapt mutually to each others evolved changes.   They are a 'we should be able to profit by making a leap on nature' phenomenon.  It's business model that has been used in the past, not by GMO, but by importation of species evolved in different environments.

And you can end up with stuff like


and



I also have a problem with hosing down my food supply, and the environment in general with more toxic chemicals.  The fact that becomes economical is via a GMO, the GM aspect is tangential.

I'm more concerned about the fact biology is involved, and biological things can reproduce on their own without human interaction.   You start using an infectious agent for gene therapy, I worry.  Start doing transgene modifications with retroviruses, I worry.  Start using a GMO version of organism (example E. Coli) for an industrial process that could go feral and dump its payload outside the factory, I worry.  They can take on a life of their own, because they start out live.

I don't just look at the dollar signs.  I want reversible processes. so that if something goes wrong, we can go back.

I don't want to depend on the Gorillas freezing.

See? This is an example of using science-y sounding words combined with fear-based misinformation and a naturalisitc fallacy that can spread pseudoscience. In addition, the argument presented here is subtle, and can easily entice the unwary victim. It has multiple subtle scientific errors, and it only presents the potential negatives without addressing any of the positives. This is a common, yet devious form of a pseudoscientific presentation. I have years of practice finding psudeoscientific arguments, so it is obvious to me, but not everyone has that advantage; this is why I and others like me try to point it out to the reader when we see it.

Here's why the argument is wrong:
Gene modification via selective breeding is only different than gene modification by insertion because of accuracy. Selective breeding is very inaccurate and can transcribe many unwanted genes; in addition, selective breeding (or even natural evolution) has just as much of a chance to cause an transcription error as GM does. GM by insertion is precise. It can place the desired gene in the species without having all the extra unknowm junk alomg for the ride. Both have their places, both have their advantages, both have their problems. One is not inherently better than the other; it entirely depends on the purpose, the desired accuracy, and the cost effectiveness.

FYI, that image of the Kudzu vine? That is a perfectly naturally evolved plant. No "GM" involved. This is part of the misinformation and lies of pseudoscientific con men; here's a perfectly normal and natural plant being sold as a type of GM in order to inspire fear.

/I'm starting to develop a pet peeve where people are against all forms of pest control - GM, chemical, biological, etc- and still believe that large scale agricultural production is possible.


I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.
 
2013-09-04 04:27:34 PM

Fano: I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.


Because a chemical product with a name ending "-icide" is rarely toxic?

You must be an awesome poker player.
 
2013-09-04 04:42:03 PM
Something else to annoy you when you leave the porch light on.
 
2013-09-04 04:55:44 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: Fano: I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.

Because a chemical product with a name ending "-icide" is rarely toxic?

You must be an awesome poker player.


Nuances required:

1) Toxic to which species?
2) What dose is toxic?
3) What is the route of exposure?
3) What is the physiological pathway for toxicity?
4) How does the chemical decompose?

/Everything is toxic; it all depends on the dose and the route of administration.
 
2013-09-04 06:32:05 PM

mgshamster: Vlad_the_Inaner: Fano: I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.

Because a chemical product with a name ending "-icide" is rarely toxic?

You must be an awesome poker player.

Nuances required:

1) Toxic to which species?
2) What dose is toxic?
3) What is the route of exposure?
3) What is the physiological pathway for toxicity?
4) How does the chemical decompose?

/Everything is toxic; it all depends on the dose and the route of administration.


Yep, so I'm not sure what the whinge about the term is.  Roundup definitly toxic to broadleaf plants.  Its EPA rates it as a Class III Toxic (slightly toxic), not IV (practically non-toxic), the safest.  And that evaluation was made with 1993 pre-RoundUpReady dosage use in mind.

As to nuance, do we know everything?  Are all interactions scientifically studied? Would we be told if things were found?  (rhetoricals) So given that there will always be unknowns, it comes down to risk management.

And, unless you are an ironic believer in homeopathy, the risk probably increases with dose.  A roundup ready planting methodology means a higher dose.  It also leads to evolution of roundup resistant weeds, so farmer will need to return to more classical methods of weed control eventually, Meaning high dose for little practical gain, long term.  1996 from Roundup Ready Soybeans to 2005, the first noted resistant weed.   Less than a decade.

But it makes Monsanto money in the short term, so fark any risk.
 
2013-09-04 07:32:44 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: mgshamster: Vlad_the_Inaner: Fano: I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.

Because a chemical product with a name ending "-icide" is rarely toxic?

You must be an awesome poker player.

Nuances required:

1) Toxic to which species?
2) What dose is toxic?
3) What is the route of exposure?
3) What is the physiological pathway for toxicity?
4) How does the chemical decompose?

/Everything is toxic; it all depends on the dose and the route of administration.

Yep, so I'm not sure what the whinge about the term is.  Roundup definitly toxic to broadleaf plants.  Its EPA rates it as a Class III Toxic (slightly toxic), not IV (practically non-toxic), the safest.  And that evaluation was made with 1993 pre-RoundUpReady dosage use in mind.

As to nuance, do we know everything?  Are all interactions scientifically studied? Would we be told if things were found?  (rhetoricals) So given that there will always be unknowns, it comes down to risk management.

And, unless you are an ironic believer in homeopathy, the risk probably increases with dose.  A roundup ready planting methodology means a higher dose.  It also leads to evolution of roundup resistant weeds, so farmer will need to return to more classical methods of weed control eventually, Meaning high dose for little practical gain, long term.  1996 from Roundup Ready Soybeans to 2005, the first noted resistant weed.   Less than a decade.

But it makes Monsanto money in the short term, so fark any risk.


Sounds like my poor poker skills cause you to show your hand.
 
2013-09-04 07:34:32 PM
Yep, so I'm not sure what the whinge about the term is.

The "whinge" about the term "toxic" is that it's being used as a buzz word in order to inspire a fear based agenda, rather than trying to be as accurate as we can with the knowledge we have.  I typically see anti-science and pseudoscience folk use the word most often.  As a toxicologist, I actually hear the term less often in my professional life than I do from anti-GMO, anti-"synthetic," naturalistic, or pseudoscientific people.

Roundup definitly toxic to broadleaf plants.  Its EPA rates it as a Class III Toxic (slightly toxic), not IV (practically non-toxic), the safest.  And that evaluation was made with 1993 pre-RoundUpReady dosage use in mind.

The astute reader will note that I described pesticide resistant crops as an example of bad genetic modification. I also included the reason why it was bad: it encourages the over use of pesticides, which can lead to environmental damage.

In addition, the chemical warnings and classifications of toxicity are typically for people who come into contact with the chemical on a regular basis; it is rarely for people who come into contact with the chemical on a rare basis (aka the typical consumer).  Even with that, efforts are still made to reduce the exposure to pesticides as much as possible.

As to nuance, do we know everything?  Are all interactions scientifically studied? Would we be told if things were found?  (rhetoricals)

No, we don't know everything, and no, not all interactions have been studied. If they were, I would be out of a career. And yes, you would be told about it.  The information is available in the scientific journals where us scientists publish our results from our research.  All you have to do is go look them up. Publishing our work in scientific journals is how we tell the world about the things we discover.

So given that there will always be unknowns, it comes down to risk management.

Even with the known, it comes down to risk management. That was the point of my last post: everything is toxic. Risk management allows us to determine which doses are safe for what species, when it is acceptable to use doses that have adverse effects, and when it is not.

the risk probably increases with dose

Hormesis wold be the only time it doesn't. Also, every risk evaluation has an end point to look at (e.g. what is the effect? Cancer rates, death rates, infertility rates, etc..), and at some point there's going to be a 100% effect, so the risk wouldn't increase with increasing doses beyond that.

A roundup ready planting methodology means a higher dose.

Not necessarily.  The dose doesn't have to increase; however, because people know their pet crop is safe, they will typically use more then necessary. Once again, this is a problem with a bad type of GMO.

It also leads to evolution of roundup resistant weeds, so farmer will need to return to more classical methods of weed control eventually,

Not necessarily. The best way to prevent pesticide resistant organisms is to rotate which pesticides are used.  This is a common practice in non-organic sustainable farming. While using a pesticide resistant crop can lead to such an outcome (because an individual will likely use the pesticide their crop is resistant to), it doesn't have to with good farming practices. This is something the organic crowd likes to pretend doesn't exist; in their minds, anything that's associated with environmental health must be on the organic side and absolutely cannot be on the non-organic side (like crop rotation, efficient water management, farming diversity, etc...). In fact, this reminds me of the alt-med community, and how they like to pretend that anything diet or exercise related cannot be on the side of science, and must be on the side of alt-med quackery. It's how the pseudoscience con-man like to weave their lies - they take a bit of truth discovered by science, pretend science did not discover it, claim it is what they discovered, and then they pile on the lies to sell their agenda or their product.

1996 from Roundup Ready Soybeans to 2005, the first noted resistant weed.   Less than a decade.

A decade, huh? I've seen pesticide resistance in organisms pop up faster than that.

But it makes Monsanto money in the short term, so fark any risk.

Monsanto is one company out of many. They are not the only company in the biotech industry. They are not the only company in the pesticide industry. They are not the only company in the GMO industry.  Hell, just taking away the commercial factor from these fields, there's still the entire scientific communities at non-profit, government, and univserties that do research in all these fields. While Monsanto has shown time and time again to be a rather evil company, we cannot base all of science, all of GMO, all of the regulatory industries on how Monsanto acts - even if they are a rather large company and can do a lot of environmental damage world wide.  Blame them for what they do, but don't pretend every instance of GMO is bad because "Monsanto."

And while Monsanto may say "fark the risk, lets make profit," the anti-science folk seem to be saying, "there's a glimmer of risk; everybody PANIC!"

It all boils down to specifics, recognition of what's known and what isn't, and evaluation of risks.  There are pesticides out there that are harmful to humans, harmful to the non-target species, and can do environmental/ecological damage. I know many working toxicologists and other scientists who are trying to find ways to eliminate or reduce the use of these pesticides (and other chemicals).  I've seen pesticides developed that are target specific and do no damage to non-target species (including humans) at the doses used, and can break down rather quickly. I've seen novel techniques for exchanging an entire field of pest control for a new one, such as the one this very article is talking about (and the anti-science folks are disparaging); I've seen the use of predatory insects to control pests on crops (and yes, I've seen anti-science people complain about this, too).

There are lots of ways to solve the problems involved, but disparaging science (while using science to disparage other science you don't like) is one of the worst ways to go about it.  Spreading misinformation and fear, or attempting to turn the whole situation into an "us vs them" type thing (like when you tried to make it look like I was a corporate shill because I was shutting down your pseudoscience) just makes everyone's job harder and does little to actually help solve the problem.

Pseudoscientific con men make problems worse, not better. Don't be one.
 
2013-09-04 08:18:47 PM

Vlad_the_Inaner: Fano: I feel like the "tell" was the use of the word toxic.

Because a chemical product with a name ending "-icide" is rarely toxic?

You must be an awesome poker player.


Water is toxic in high enough doses. Dose makes the poison, to quote Parcelsus. Toxicity depends on the species, as well.
 
2013-09-05 05:21:53 AM
The only actual logic in this thread is being put forward by Vlad. It's sad that the people who think of themselves as scientists and supporters of science are completely unable to come up with logical arguments for their opinions.

It's also sad that they assume that the people who think about long-term risks, like Vlad, are unscientific. Science encompasses a wide range of fields. It's a method. Vlad is being far more scientific in his arguments than the vast majority of the posters in this thread.

Most of the people in this thread just sound like they have a hard-on for some imagined sci-fi future where magical people called "scientists" understand every detail of everything, and the corporations are working for the good of mankind and tailor-making plants and animals that feed everyone and serve our every whim.
 
2013-09-05 12:26:40 PM

UnityNow: The only actual logic in this thread is being put forward by Vlad. It's sad that the people who think of themselves as scientists and supporters of science are completely unable to come up with logical arguments for their opinions.

It's also sad that they assume that the people who think about long-term risks, like Vlad, are unscientific. Science encompasses a wide range of fields. It's a method. Vlad is being far more scientific in his arguments than the vast majority of the posters in this thread.

Most of the people in this thread just sound like they have a hard-on for some imagined sci-fi future where magical people called "scientists" understand every detail of everything, and the corporations are working for the good of mankind and tailor-making plants and animals that feed everyone and serve our every whim.


Completely lying about who is saying what generally doesn't work when you are trying to spread knowledge without a fear based agenda.

Lies are the realm of con men and pseudo scientists. Please don't be one. My job is hard enough with all the science ignorance in the general public; I don't need it to be harder with people spreading lies full of science-y sounding words.
 
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