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(Mother Jones)   Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson gets back in the ring with the Anti-GMO crowd for a little more rope-a-dope   (motherjones.com) divider line 123
    More: Interesting, deGrasse Tyson, genetically modified organism  
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4538 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 05 Aug 2014 at 4:18 PM (10 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-08-05 06:23:34 PM  

iron de havilland: Tyson concludes:

If your objection to GMOs is the morality of selling nonprerennial [sic] seed stocks, then focus on that. If your objection to GMOs is the monopolistic conduct of agribusiness, then focus on that. But to paint the entire concept of GMO with these particular issues is to blind yourself to the underlying truth of what humans have been doing-and will continue to do-to nature so that it best serves our survival. That's what all organisms do when they can, or would do, if they could. Those that didn't, have gone extinct extinct [sic].

He said "extinct" twice.


maybe he was using Siri and forgot that only works when you say period twice.  Like "the Jurassic period."
 
2014-08-05 06:24:26 PM  

someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.

Again. Google.is.your.friend.

As an aside, he's also won gold medals in Latin Ballroom dancing.

People can be many things that you're unaware of.

OK, but Google brings up, almost exclusively, links to this same story. I see that he has strong opinions that seem well thought out. What I don't see is that he has any particular background in this subject that makes his opinion any more worthwhile than your average Joe who is well-read and interested in this subject. Maybe I'm missing something here?

Let's try this: NdGT is an expert in ballroom dancing because he has won awards for it. NdGT is an expert in GMOs because ..?...


He is a Science Communicator.
He has the information that those particular scientists have. And I would think he has formed opinions on his own, based on that knowledge.

Think about it like this: with,say, climate change, many people have an opinion. Some of those people have done a lot of reading on the subject, based on the present day known science. Some have based their opinion on much less than that. Me? I know which opinions I'm interested in hearing.

Disclaimer: this is in no way an invitation to anyone to discuss climate change. Don't threadjack.
 
2014-08-05 06:28:15 PM  

meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.


I love this comment so so much.
 
2014-08-05 06:30:25 PM  

voran: What does he have against muscle cars?


He doesn't like the little modified Pon-Pon ;-)
 
2014-08-05 06:31:42 PM  

lindalouwho: meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.

I love this comment so so much.


Whoops... I meant BOTH comments.
 
2014-08-05 06:33:39 PM  

BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.


You can do that with selective breeding too.
 
2014-08-05 06:34:57 PM  

JolobinSmokin: iron de havilland: Tyson concludes:

If your objection to GMOs is the morality of selling nonprerennial [sic] seed stocks, then focus on that. If your objection to GMOs is the monopolistic conduct of agribusiness, then focus on that. But to paint the entire concept of GMO with these particular issues is to blind yourself to the underlying truth of what humans have been doing-and will continue to do-to nature so that it best serves our survival. That's what all organisms do when they can, or would do, if they could. Those that didn't, have gone extinct extinct [sic].

He said "extinct" twice.

maybe he was using Siri and forgot that only works when you say period twice.  Like "the Jurassic period."


Which is why you should call a full stop "full stop".

Period.
 
2014-08-05 06:35:52 PM  

satanorsanta: That is actually the point of the article. The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.


That's really a different issue though.  I certainly agree that we can debate and criticize specific applications of genetic engineering.  Where I have an issue with when people start throwing around words like "Frankenfood".  Guess what?  Your body doesn't care which organism a particular gene came from.  It's all C, N, O, S and P in the end.
 
2014-08-05 06:43:00 PM  

lindalouwho: lindalouwho: meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.

I love this comment so so much.

Whoops... I meant BOTH comments.


I get what he is getting at, and it is a common mistake to call glyphosate/RoundUp a pesticide.  It detracts from the argument when you mix up the herbicide resistance being engineered into the plants versus the pesticide production being engineered into the plants though.

And BT is one of the safest pesticides we use too.

However, RoundUp was being used before RoundUp Ready (RR) plants were around.  Farmers would spray the field to prep it for planting, wait the designated time for the weeds that popped up to die, then plant the seed.  RR meant they can also spray after their RR plant emerges. 

Also, large scale no till farming in American heavily relies on herbicides rather than mechanical destruction of weeds by plowing them under. 

//The Mr. Internet Chemist may have been a bit harsh though.
 
2014-08-05 06:54:30 PM  

Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.


Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?
 
2014-08-05 06:54:42 PM  

someonelse: It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.


How about judging his arguments on the merits of that argument (and the evidence underlying it) instead of worrying about whether you should afford him more or less weight on the basis of his background?

Is that somehow a crazy idea?
 
2014-08-05 06:56:26 PM  

lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.

Again. Google.is.your.friend.

As an aside, he's also won gold medals in Latin Ballroom dancing.

People can be many things that you're unaware of.

OK, but Google brings up, almost exclusively, links to this same story. I see that he has strong opinions that seem well thought out. What I don't see is that he has any particular background in this subject that makes his opinion any more worthwhile than your average Joe who is well-read and interested in this subject. Maybe I'm missing something here?

Let's try this: NdGT is an expert in ballroom dancing because he has won awards for it. NdGT is an expert in GMOs because ..?...

He is a Science Communicator.
He has the information that those particular scientists have. And I would think he has formed opinions on his own, based on that knowledge.

Think about it like this: with,say, climate change, many people have an opinion. Some of those people have done a lot of reading on the subject, based on the present day known science. Som ...


Would you go to a Podiatrist instead of an OB/GYN? They're  both MD's...
Just because NdGT is intelligent, educated and on TV doesn't make him omniscient and no, he doesn't have access to secret information they only give to  Scientific Educators.

/I happen to agree with his opinion on this subject but not because he's the one saying it.
 
2014-08-05 07:00:28 PM  

BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?


3.bp.blogspot.com
Here's a Geep:
news.softpedia.com

You get it from:

31.media.tumblr.com
 
2014-08-05 07:02:25 PM  

meat0918: RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.


satanorsanta: If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop.


I had it right the first time but then started using pesticide herbicide interchangeably.

No hard feelings, it made me smile.

/I really am a chemist though
 
2014-08-05 07:06:25 PM  

Billy Liar: Pro-GMO or No-GMO, I think what's on ballot measures is the question of whether GMO products should be labelled as such, so that people can make a choice,  not whether they should exist.


Sure. We can put those labels right next to the ones that state whether the food was ever within 20 feet of a microwave or air conditioning, cuz a lot of people believe those are dangerous, too.

Or, instead of labeling food based on the pseudo-science crisis of the moment, we properly educate the public about what they should and shouldn't be afraid of.
 
2014-08-05 07:10:39 PM  

RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]



Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.
 
2014-08-05 07:12:46 PM  

kenryoku_one: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.

Again. Google.is.your.friend.

As an aside, he's also won gold medals in Latin Ballroom dancing.

People can be many things that you're unaware of.

OK, but Google brings up, almost exclusively, links to this same story. I see that he has strong opinions that seem well thought out. What I don't see is that he has any particular background in this subject that makes his opinion any more worthwhile than your average Joe who is well-read and interested in this subject. Maybe I'm missing something here?

Let's try this: NdGT is an expert in ballroom dancing because he has won awards for it. NdGT is an expert in GMOs because ..?...

He is a Science Communicator.
He has the information that those particular scientists have. And I would think he has formed opinions on his own, based on that knowledge.

Think about it like this: with,say, climate change, many people have an opinion. Some of those people have done a lot of reading on the subject, based on the present day known science. Som ...

Would you go to a Podiatrist instead of an OB/GYN? They're  both MD's...
Just because NdGT is intelligent, educated and on TV doesn't make him omniscient and no, he doesn't have access to secret information they only give to  Scientific Educators.

/I happen to agree with his opinion on this subject but not because he's the one saying it.


Nonsensical comment is nonsensical and cherry-picks.
 
2014-08-05 07:14:13 PM  

shower_in_my_socks: Sure. We can put those labels right next to the ones that state whether the food was ever within 20 feet of a microwave or air conditioning, cuz a lot of people believe those are dangerous, too.

Or, instead of labeling food based on the pseudo-science crisis of the moment, we properly educate the public about what they should and shouldn't be afraid of.


885fa5ce61295ebf3c84-35b073afd3cf2f7bae35b2b9457774cf.ssl.cf2.rackcdn.com
 
2014-08-05 07:27:43 PM  

BafflerMeal: Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants. Or pigs and rabbits with humans. It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.


Is that really so unnatural? Viruses are quite capable of taking DNA from one host species, incorporating it into its own genome and the reinserting it to another hose species in a naturally occurring process.
 
2014-08-05 07:28:30 PM  

BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.


Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.
 
2014-08-05 07:29:47 PM  

shower_in_my_socks: Billy Liar: Pro-GMO or No-GMO, I think what's on ballot measures is the question of whether GMO products should be labelled as such, so that people can make a choice,  not whether they should exist.

Sure. We can put those labels right next to the ones that state whether the food was ever within 20 feet of a microwave or air conditioning, cuz a lot of people believe those are dangerous, too.

Or, instead of labeling food based on the pseudo-science crisis of the moment, we properly educate the public about what they should and shouldn't be afraid of.


The thing with labeling is that just saying "GMO" tells you nothing useful unless it also describes what genes were modified. I suppose we could require the entire genome to be printed on the label.
 
2014-08-05 07:31:33 PM  

lindalouwho: BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.

Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.


Past, the seeds you are so afraid of can't either
 
2014-08-05 07:42:46 PM  

satanorsanta: meat0918: RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.

satanorsanta: If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop.

I had it right the first time but then started using pesticide herbicide interchangeably.

No hard feelings, it made me smile.

/I really am a chemist though


I briefly considered it as a career once.

CSB warning:

I also wanted to do gene research of pretty much what they are doing now directly improving the seed lines with science. I decided I didn't want to be vilified as a mad scientist and moved targets before college to chemical engineering (for the money mostly, turns out I hated the engineering part), then thought about a pure chemist or high school chemistry teacher since I had a good chunk of chemistry credits in college already, finally settled on computer science.

I was also raised on a farm, my grandfather grew soy, corn, and wheat with my father helping when he was laid off for years from the local automotive plant, but later converted a portion of the land to Christmas trees and leased the rest to other farmers after my grandfather grew too old to farm and my father had been rehired. I helped where I could.  We never planted RoundUp Ready crops, as we'd started leasing the land before they were available, but we'd used Round Up.  I still remember being yelled at to not play with the pink corn seeds too.

Modern farming has it's problems, don't get me wrong.  I've met a lot of people that are scared of what the future of farming holds.  The answer isn't to run backwards though to some pastoral and idyllic image of what farming is, which is what I feel some (but not all) are advocating, but to take what we have learned so far and improve upon it (which is what we are generally doing).
 
2014-08-05 07:44:16 PM  
Tyson concludes:

If your objection to GMOs is the morality of selling nonprerennial [sic] seed stocks, then focus on that. If your objection to GMOs is the monopolistic conduct of agribusiness, then focus on that. But to paint the entire concept of GMO with these particular issues is to blind yourself to the underlying truth of what humans have been doing-and will continue to do-to nature so that it best serves our survival. That's what all organisms do when they can, or would do, if they could. Those that didn't, have gone extinct extinct [sic].



My objections are thus: I'm uneasy about mucking with our food supply.

The artificial selection we've been engaged in for millennia has been slow and done on a more localized scale. It takes longer for something to go wrong and it was limited to a smaller area. The damage could be contained. Monoculture food crops makes our food supply more vulnerable. If something goes wrong it can very easily affect our entire food supply.

They're taking the process of artificial selection to a whole new level. It's not just crossing various species of plants but adding genes from other species as well. What if the results produce something unexpected and lethal? Adding pesticide genes and making non-perennial seed crops for example. I mean moral issues aside is that really a good idea? What if the problems don't show up for several generations? Do we really know what we're doing?

I don't think the big corporations are intentionally malicious but they're concerned with maximizing profits and repeat business. Maybe I'm overestimating the danger due to my ignorance of the subject but I think caution is warranted. Mass famine is NOT something any of us want to experience but there tend to be missteps with new technologies. Any missteps with this could be particularly painful.

Also, I find agricorp business practices to be somewhat deplorable.
 
2014-08-05 07:44:37 PM  

chitownmike: lindalouwho: BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.

Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.

Past, the seeds you are so afraid of can't either


Huh?! Where did I say anything about the seeds? The only part of GMOs that bother ME are the evil corporations.
 
2014-08-05 07:45:39 PM  

chitownmike: lindalouwho: BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.

Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.

Past, the seeds you are so afraid of can't either


Yes, they can. Terminator seeds aren't a thing.

The GMO and/or hybrid(I must stress hybrid plants are NOT GMO in common parlance) may not breed true, but these seeds can be harvested and replanted.
 
2014-08-05 07:49:07 PM  

MechaPyx: Tyson concludes:

If your objection to GMOs is the morality of selling nonprerennial [sic] seed stocks, then focus on that. If your objection to GMOs is the monopolistic conduct of agribusiness, then focus on that. But to paint the entire concept of GMO with these particular issues is to blind yourself to the underlying truth of what humans have been doing-and will continue to do-to nature so that it best serves our survival. That's what all organisms do when they can, or would do, if they could. Those that didn't, have gone extinct extinct [sic].


My objections are thus: I'm uneasy about mucking with our food supply.

The artificial selection we've been engaged in for millennia has been slow and done on a more localized scale. It takes longer for something to go wrong and it was limited to a smaller area. The damage could be contained. Monoculture food crops makes our food supply more vulnerable. If something goes wrong it can very easily affect our entire food supply.

They're taking the process of artificial selection to a whole new level. It's not just crossing various species of plants but adding genes from other species as well. What if the results produce something unexpected and lethal? Adding pesticide genes and making non-perennial seed crops for example. I mean moral issues aside is that really a good idea? What if the problems don't show up for several generations? Do we really know what we're doing?

I don't think the big corporations are intentionally malicious but they're concerned with maximizing profits and repeat business. Maybe I'm overestimating the danger due to my ignorance of the subject but I think caution is warranted. Mass famine is NOT something any of us want to experience but there tend to be missteps with new technologies. Any missteps with this could be particularly painful.

Also, I find agricorp business practices to be somewhat deplorable.


We actually experienced that problem in the 70s with corn way before we were inserting genes into it.

We're (somewhat) smarter about it now.  Monoculture is still big problem that needs to be addressed a bit more thoroughly.
 
2014-08-05 07:49:18 PM  

lindalouwho: chitownmike: lindalouwho: BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.

Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.

Past, the seeds you are so afraid of can't either

Huh?! Where did I say anything about the seeds? The only part of GMOs that bother ME are the evil corporations.


Than quit saying it's about GMOs
 
2014-08-05 08:03:43 PM  

chitownmike: lindalouwho: chitownmike: lindalouwho: BafflerMeal: RexTalionis: BafflerMeal: Mentat: BafflerMeal: Well that and sometimes combining organisms that aren't on the same branches of the genetic tree.

You can do that with selective breeding too.

Humans and rabbits? Humans and pigs? Rats and soybeans?

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 550x201]
Here's a Geep:
[news.softpedia.com image 728x400]

You get it from:

[31.media.tumblr.com image 400x307]


Yep, quite aware of those.  Mules too.  But those parent organisms are close enough in genetic profile to actually reproduce.

Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants.  Or pigs and rabbits with humans.  It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.

Not to mention the fact that those particular cross-bred animals will never themselves be able to reproduce, it's not in the realm of possibility.

Past, the seeds you are so afraid of can't either

Huh?! Where did I say anything about the seeds? The only part of GMOs that bother ME are the evil corporations.

Than quit saying it's about GMOs


I truly have no idea where you're coming from.
 
2014-08-05 08:17:43 PM  

RexTalionis: someonelse: It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

How about judging his arguments on the merits of that argument (and the evidence underlying it) instead of worrying about whether you should afford him more or less weight on the basis of his background?

Is that somehow a crazy idea?


I already said that I largely agree with him and think he's awesome. I was referring to the implication upthread that he had more authority on this issue because he is a scientist, which I don't really think he does in this case. But maybe I inferred something that wasn't implied, since hardly anyone else had the same reaction.
 
2014-08-05 08:19:28 PM  

Marcus Aurelius: stpauler: Marcus Aurelius: stpauler: The GMO banana, aka the Cavendish

I hate to break it to you, but the Cavendish was discovered long before GMO technology existed.

GMO technology is prehistoric, about 12000 BCE.So no, the Cavendish has not been around as long with the stone age ending between 6000 and 2000 BCE.

"GMO" technically refers to the use of genetic engineering to extract a gene from one organism, and splice it into the DNA of another organism.  This was first done in 1973.  You are thinking of "selective breeding", not "genetic engineering".


Because BIG FARKING DIFFERENCE.

C'mon, Marcus, you're not supposed to be one of the Fark Derp Brigade.
 
2014-08-05 08:19:47 PM  

BafflerMeal: Pretty sure humans and rats can't reproduce with plants. Or pigs and rabbits with humans. It's one thing to discuss selective breeding or natural selection, but it's disingenuous to try and talk around recombinant dna.


If anyone were talking around it, you might have a point.
 
2014-08-05 08:47:24 PM  
Question, how can there be a 'round 2' if one of the opponents was KOed by logic in the first...?
 
2014-08-05 08:48:41 PM  

Iczer: Question, how can there be a 'round 2' if one of the opponents was KOed by logic in the first...?


Kick 'em when they're down. It's the only way to be sure.
 
2014-08-05 09:08:08 PM  
I'm impressed. It's actually been quite a few weeks since Fark has blown this guy. Remarkable restraint, everyone.
 
2014-08-05 09:12:13 PM  
MechaPyx:
My objections are thus: I'm uneasy about mucking with our food supply.

The artificial selection we've been engaged in for millennia has been slow and done on a more localized scale. It takes longer for something to go wrong and it was limited to a smaller area. The damage could be contained. Monoculture food crops makes our food supply more vulnerable. If something goes wrong it can very easily affect our entire food supply.



www.historyplace.com

This happened many times before recombinant DNA or big agribusinesses came into being. If anything, truck farming and GMOs from labs have reduced dust bowls and almost eliminated famine (at least where an external political pressure isn't enforcing one, like Ethiopia in the 80s, or the ones now where European agriculture has pressured African states to turn away GMO food relief from Canada and the US).
 
2014-08-05 09:17:38 PM  
muchosmundos.com

He is right.....here is a wild banana ....looks tasty doesn't it?
 
2014-08-05 09:38:26 PM  

luidprand: MechaPyx:
My objections are thus: I'm uneasy about mucking with our food supply.

The artificial selection we've been engaged in for millennia has been slow and done on a more localized scale. It takes longer for something to go wrong and it was limited to a smaller area. The damage could be contained. Monoculture food crops makes our food supply more vulnerable. If something goes wrong it can very easily affect our entire food supply.


[www.historyplace.com image 346x203]

This happened many times before recombinant DNA or big agribusinesses came into being. If anything, truck farming and GMOs from labs have reduced dust bowls and almost eliminated famine (at least where an external political pressure isn't enforcing one, like Ethiopia in the 80s, or the ones now where European agriculture has pressured African states to turn away GMO food relief from Canada and the US).


GMOs are a greatly beneficial technology but have the potential for harm as well. Recombinant DNA tech seems like it could help maximize the potential benefits but could also increase the risks. I think we should continue to develop this tech but with caution and an awareness of the potential dangers.

As for megacorps, I trust them to do what's in THEIR best interests but that's not necessarily what's good for me or everyone else and quite frankly, I don't think large monopolistic corporations can be trusted with that kind of power over our food supply. They certainly can't be trusted with self regulation with regards to safety and environmental concerns. Unfortunately the agencies that enforce regulatory precautions are subject to undue influence and corruption so the can't be entirely trusted either.
 
2014-08-05 09:38:34 PM  

someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.


And that precludes him from learning about GMOs?
 
2014-08-05 10:56:52 PM  

quatchi: The smart money is betting on NdGT in this fight.


Did Monsanto get a new stock symbol?
 
2014-08-05 11:27:34 PM  

Billy Liar: Pro-GMO or No-GMO, I think what's on ballot measures is the question of whether GMO products should be labelled as such, so that people can make a choice,  not whether they should exist.

That's all.  Now I have to go back to burning my flag, which the SUPREME COURT says that I HAVE TO DO.


This. Plain and simple. The right to choose as the right to know.
 
2014-08-06 12:05:55 AM  
I find it amusing that an astrophysics PhD isn't allowed to talk about biology because it's not his field, but a bunch of random non-scientists on Fark can pontificate all they want.

Newsflash: It's actually possible to be educated in multiple topics.
 
2014-08-06 12:20:51 AM  

meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.


Fun fact: the definition of "pesticide" that the EPA (and various internet dictionaries) uses includes herbicides as a subset. While Mr. Internet Chemist did cop to making a mistake, it wasn't really a mistake. At least not in the eyes of the EPA.

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/
 
2014-08-06 03:42:32 AM  

mookielove: meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.

Fun fact: the definition of "pesticide" that the EPA (and various internet dictionaries) uses includes herbicides as a subset. While Mr. Internet Chemist did cop to making a mistake, it wasn't really a mistake. At least not in the eyes of the EPA.

http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/


I am amazed I have never seen that definition, or heard it, and I have been involed with anti-"toxics" people as we try to address industrial pollution(including herbicide exposure) in our neighborhood, plus have done a decent amount of reading on the subject. There is always a distinction.

Thank you. I mean it, no sarcasm intended.
 
2014-08-06 03:46:02 AM  

HortusMatris: mookielove: meat0918: satanorsanta: czetie: Some of us object to GMOs despite understanding the science and safety perfectly well. What we object to is the prospect of megacorporations like Cargill or Monsanto controlling food production, for example by producing seed lines that have to be repurchased or relicensed each year; or crops that can only be treated with insecticides and weed killers that they alone produce. And you know what? We don't trust Cargill or Monsanto or their ilk with that kind of power, and with good historical reasons.

In other words, Monsanto, Cargill and others want to bring the equivalent of DRM to our basic food supply -- now, raise your hand if you think DRM has even been a good thing for the consumer?

Now, I will freely award 1,000 points to anybody who can manage to engage with the actual point I'm making here, rather than pretending I'm an anti-science left-wing neo-hippy fearmonger. And by the way, the reason the GMO fight continues is precisely because it's supporters fail to recognize this objection and address it.

That is actually the point of the article.  The difference is that there are plenty of non-GMO versions of each plant, but they are not compatible with the pesticides sold by those companies and cannot be without genetic modification.

If you want to use Roundup weed killer you need a roundup ready crop. This isn't based on the same concept as DRM, which is artificial, but is a result of how the pesticide works biochemically. There are 2 ways to get a roundup ready crop, 1: GMO, 2: develop resistance (selective breeding). GMO is faster and cheaper and more reliable.  You have part of the concept backward. Monsanto seeds can be treated with other pesticides/herbicides but that would be a waste, however Monsanto pesticides (Roundup) can only be used with Monsanto seeds.

/PhD Chemist/medicinal chemist

RoundUp is an herbicide, Mr Internet Chemist.

Fun fact: the definition of "pesticide" that the EPA (and various interne ...


Stupid phone, logged me in as my wife's account, even though it said I was logged in as me.

She's gonna be a bit upset with me.
 
2014-08-06 03:55:02 AM  
The source of some of the debate here seems to be that we have about two acceptable public faces for science communication in this country.  While they can't be an expert in every topic, we just keep coming back to them because reality tv gets an infinite number of celebrated persons and the sciences just get NdGT and Bill Nye.

How about we use this thread to promote some of our fav scientists who could and should be more known to the public?

I'll start with Brother Guy Consolmagno, Vatican research astronomer, Carl Sagan medal winner, and, from all the personal accounts I've heard, overall nice guy.

/I love you, but you lost that rap war with Newton, Bill Nye
//your arguments were all personal; by that standard we'd have had to let Edison beat Tesla because pigeons
 
2014-08-06 07:38:20 AM  
I like the guy (Pluto may or may not have had it coming,) and I am not and anti-GMO nutter, but I wish he would stick to the Astrophysics stuff. I think the celebrity thing is getting to him, like a Hollywood actor/actress who thinks their opinions on everything are important enough to share with the world.

Resist the dark side Neil


www.astro.caltech.edu

sites.psu.edu
i.kinja-img.com
 
2014-08-06 07:43:41 AM  

lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.

Again. Google.is.your.friend.

As an aside, he's also won gold medals in Latin Ballroom dancing.

People can be many things that you're unaware of.


Or they can just generally be smart people.  And have opinions about subjects that their entire life's work is not immediately focused on.

Like NDgT.  Or George Clooney.
 
2014-08-06 08:00:04 AM  

Close2TheEdge: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: someonelse: lindalouwho: Bith Set Me Up: someonelse: I don't disagree with my make-believe brainiac boyfriend, but isn't this a bit out of his purview?

"I believe that a scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy - and when he talks about a nonscientific matter, he will sound as naive as anyone untrained in the matter."

You aren't saying GMOs today don't involve science, are you?

It does, (and again I cannot believe I am taking issue with NdGT, because he is awesome and I would climb that man like a tree) but I fail to see why his opinion on, say, the patenting of seeds should carry more weight than anyone else's.

BECAUSE HE IS A SCIENTIST WHO IS EDUCATED ON THE SUBJECT.

/sorry for yelling, but cripes sake

I understand that he's an intelligent, educated person, of sound judgment, and I am interested in what he has to say about most anything he chooses to address. But his education is in astrophysics.

Again. Google.is.your.friend.

As an aside, he's also won gold medals in Latin Ballroom dancing.

People can be many things that you're unaware of.

Or they can just generally be smart people.  And have opinions about subjects that their entire life's work is not immediately focused on.

Like NDgT.  Or George Clooney.


Thank you for that ;-)
 
2014-08-06 08:00:55 AM  

wildcardjack: Marcus Aurelius: stpauler: Marcus Aurelius: stpauler: The GMO banana, aka the Cavendish

I hate to break it to you, but the Cavendish was discovered long before GMO technology existed.

GMO technology is prehistoric, about 12000 BCE.So no, the Cavendish has not been around as long with the stone age ending between 6000 and 2000 BCE.

"GMO" technically refers to the use of genetic engineering to extract a gene from one organism, and splice it into the DNA of another organism.  This was first done in 1973.  You are thinking of "selective breeding", not "genetic engineering".

Don't skip the 50-60 years we spent making genetic freaks through radiation exposure. No one seems to complain about Ruby Red grapefruit.


This.  We've been doing it for a very long time.  The methodology is all that has changed, enabling more diverse combinations.

That is it.  You're not going to absorb DNA and have it affect you.  You're going to digest what you can of what you eat and break it down into it's component parts, and shiat out the rest.  It's always been that way.  The methodology isn't going to change that basic function.

That's not to say a given genetic modification could be bad, a certain specific protein so that it is now undigestable.(just a random potential example), or that the FDA will miss such a thing and sanction it as a source of protein, or that a "new" species will a terrible effect on the local wildlife(ie importing frogs to Australia).

IF you take issue with those, that's fine, but limit your arguments to what you understand on a fact based level, instead of wholesale bannination of such a practice that really can help with things like world hunger or over-sensitive crops(or other lifeforms: see below) that are dying out.

IMO, we should be doing a lot of research into helping out bees.
 
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