Weight Loss News and Current Events - GMOs, and doesn't THIS put a different light on the subject?




misspixie
01-05-2013, 08:17 PM
http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/01/03/mark_lynas_environmentalist_who_opposed_gmos_admit s_he_was_wrong.html
Interesting, very very interesting.
I dunno what to think anymore!


newleaf123
01-05-2013, 09:20 PM
Wow! Interesting indeed...

CanadianCutie
01-05-2013, 09:47 PM
Interesting read. I believe some of the modifications done to food have been for the greater good, some however are a little scary.


Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 08:57 AM
He is out of his mind if he thinks the GMO debate is over! It has just begun, and my state is the next one fighting to force them to label the stuff!

"Lynas concludes that people who want to stick with organic are entitled to—but they should not stand in the way of others who would use science to find more efficient ways to feed billions."

I would point out that all we are ASKING is that we be entitled to eat without consuming this pesticide-loaded garbage... by requiring labeling!! My little brother has a terminal illness thanks to Monsanto spraying Agent Orange all over him in Vietnam; now they want to do in the rest of us. It won't happen without a battle!!

Yes, the mega companies spent millions to defeat it in California... and they are of course most likely to try to do the same here. If enough states start getting this on the ballot (and we already have more than enough signatures here to get it there) and the companies have to spend enough mega bucks to fight it, perhaps they will get the message and find it costs them more to fight it than simply label their garbage and tell us what it is.

Trust me, the battle is GROWING... it is NOT over!!! Sheesh... so WE are standing in the way of those who are so much smarter than we are and can produce this garbage food... do some googling and find out just WHAT is actually in the processed food in our grocery stores. I have... and it is appalling.

The US is one of the few developed countries who have not banned or restricted GMO use. Of course it would not be that our govenment is "in bed with" the major food processors, now, would, it? Naaaah of COURSE not.

http://www.ehow.com/info_8527757_countries-banned-gmo-foods.html

If they think the battle is over, they are in for a big surprise LOL. That is what we were told about cigarettes, too, a few years ago when we had to sit in offices full of it in order to have jobs. The GMO battle is just getting started. :)

Nikel1979
01-06-2013, 10:43 AM
Blanketly saying GMOs are evil or GMOs are great is vastly over-simplifying the issue. And yes, GMO =/= pesticide. There's a naturally occurring biological control that a lot of people freak out over. Sorry that I can't remember what it is, but it isn't the same as a pesticide by any stretch of the imagination. Also, GMO can mean something like drought tolerance or something similar. As we destroy the soil fertility, we may need GMOs to be able to grow things in less nutrient rich soils.

I don't understand the jump to pesticides. But what do I know? I'm only a soil and environmental science major that works in a plant pathology lab.

marigrace
01-06-2013, 10:44 AM
Monsanto is not to be trusted....pesticides or GMOs....well....pick your poison... If GMOs are so good, why are they hiding it by not putting it on the labels ?

Heather
01-06-2013, 10:44 AM
Thanks for posting the link. I've long wondered where I want to stand on the GMO debate. Like many of our controversies, it is very hard to get clear, unbiased information. This is a very interesting perspective and one I will read very closely.

As the article states, it is VERY difficult to own up that you were wrong when you've been so actively promoting another viewpoint, and I always read these turnarounds with great interest, trying to learn what evidence convinced them. I get the sense that a lot of the initial fears of GMO foods were based on fears and not knowing what GMO actually means. Sounds like Lynas has been looking at different information to change his thinking.

Nikel1979
01-06-2013, 10:49 AM
Monsanto is not to be trusted....pesticides or GMOs....well....pick your poison... If GMOs are so good, why are they hiding it by not putting it on the labels ?

You can think GMOs aren't the devil and still not like Monsato. ;)

ICUwishing
01-06-2013, 10:55 AM
Agreed, there's a lot of conflicting information out there, and "bad science" on both sides. Personally, I want to know when I'm eating them. The herbicide thing IS coming home to roost - all you need to do is google "superweeds" and find out that these herbicide-resistant plants are driving some very nasty weeds that could take farming right back to the hoe and the plow. Nikel, I think you may be referring to Bt, and that's something worth a review as well, because some of these so-called foods continue to generate this toxin while the body is in the process of digesting the plant.

I want 'em labeled. I will choose to avoid them until I am comfortable that enough is known about long-term effects.

Nikel1979
01-06-2013, 11:03 AM
Yes, Bt. Here's why I think the freak outs about it are over the top. It naturally occurs in the soil. Even if we don't add it to crops, it's still gonna be in some crops.

I'd also argue that hoe and plow isn't a bad thing. I'm Team No-Till though and want to see sustainable agricultural practices replace current practices.

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 11:06 AM
I thought the use of pesticides was a different issue to that of GMOs that you could use pesticides with GMO crops or not, and with "natural" for lack of a better word crops. You link highly processed aka junk food with GMOs like equating Cheetos with raw GMO wheat. I think the author is saying that the science behind throwing GMOs out the window is flawed in his opinion and agree or not thats ok thats the point of the article not pesticide use is good or that Kraft Dinner is good for you. He's saying if you want organic whole raw foods great but thats a luxury to people who are starving in other countries and who would benefit from the use of GMOs to increase the amount of food available to those whose choices are limited by economics. Im not making a judgement on this saying hes right or wrong Im trying to explain his point of view.
Im also trying really hard to understand why you are linking pesticide use and Cheetos and the Vietnam War to GMOs. These are all separate issues cause you can consider one without the other and they all exist independent of each other.

GMOs are not just modifying crops... Monsanto is breeding pesticides into the crops so they can then spray them with MORE Monsanto and it will kill the weeds but not the crops.

I have LIVED in a country where people are starving and been a part of a relief team delivering supplies, so am very likely to be far more aware of and educated on that than most of the people reading this. They are NOT separate issues from Agent Orange... the SAME company is now contaminating our food with their pesticides.

Also, please note... while I personally think GMOs should not even be legal, the big battle going on now is over LABELING them. They don't want us to KNOW what we are eating.

We WILL fight it!!

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 11:11 AM
Yes, Bt. Here's why I think the freak outs about it are over the top. It naturally occurs in the soil. Even if we don't add it to crops, it's still gonna be in some crops.



Manufactured pesticides do not "naturally" occur in soil. Granted it is still going to be in some crops because when they spray it all over one area, some of it i bound to contaminate other areas.

But we will do the best we can.

Heather
01-06-2013, 11:18 AM
Okay everyone, deep breath. Calm down.

I don't believe anyone has called anyone names. Nikel1979 said "the freak-outs are over the top" which is not the same as calling someone names.

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 11:20 AM
I get the sense that a lot of the initial fears of GMO foods were based on fears and not knowing what GMO actually means.

Actually it is quite the opposite. GMOs were allowed to develop in this country very quietly without most people even realizing it was going on. Many people are now becoming more and more educated about what it actually involves and are working to put a stop to it.

I am amazed at how many people think it is just introducing one crop into another, etc.... which indeed HAS been going on for years. And this is NOT what most of the objections are involving. We don't want pesticides bred into our food crops so they can then be doused with even more pesticides without dying.

To those who are implying I am uneducated on the subject... one, I grew up on a farm and have handled many a hoe and plow myself, including a hand plow behind a team of mules LOL. Two, I grew up extremely poor myself; so poor that my entire family lived on sauerkraut juice for two weeks after having lived on the sauerkraut for quite some time before that. Three, as I mentioned in another post, I have lived in a country where people are starving and helped deliver relief supplies; and four, I work in the biotech industry.

You may not agree with me but I assure you I am quite intelligent, well studied on the subject.

Heather, my apologies, since you say the "freak out" was not name calling. I disagree since it was in direct response to my post but, hey you're da boss. :)

Heather
01-06-2013, 11:22 AM
Misti -- Well, Mark Lynas himself says it was fears that drove his activism. He was very anti-science when it came to GMOs. I haven't finished reading his lecture, but it's here:

http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/

And again, I think Nikel1979 was not calling you a freak-out personally.

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 11:33 AM
Misti -- Well, Mark Lynas himself says it was fears that drove his activism. He was very anti-science when it came to GMOs. I haven't finished reading his lecture, but it's here:

http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/

And again, I think Nikel1979 was not calling you a freak-out personally.

Again, my apologies and I have edited my post and responding only to you (as moderator) and not other comments on it; and withdrawing myself from the thread.

Heather
01-06-2013, 12:16 PM
Misti -- Your passion for the topic is obvious, and I'm sorry you feel the need to remove yourself from the thread.

mandalinn82
01-06-2013, 12:31 PM
Also, please note... while I personally think GMOs should not even be legal, the big battle going on now is over LABELING them. They don't want us to KNOW what we are eating.

Historically, labeling has led to a withdrawal of such ingredients from the market, so while the law may be about labeling, history (in Europe, Japan, and Australia, among other major markets) demonstrates that requiring labeling results in removal of those ingredients from the marketplace.

For those who are interested in avoiding GMOs in the US, you do already have that option. If you purchase organic foods, those foods by definition do not contain any GMO ingredients.

kaplods
01-06-2013, 03:18 PM
It's been my understanding that genetic science has not yet reached the level at which artificial, man-made substances can be genetically coded into an organism.

That is that genetic modification can only be done by inserting bits of existing genetic code from one plant or animal, into another.

That means that any "pesticides" that are genetically coded into a plant have to be pesticides that are found in the natural, animal kingdom.

I understand that it may be possible to put animal DNA into plants, but ordinarily that isn't done.

That means that what they're doing with GMO plants is taking bits of DNA (and what that DNA does) into other plants. So the "pesticides" being bred into some crops are pesticides that occur naturally in other plants (though some of these are plants that we do not generally eat).

Since the pesticide has to be organic (has to come from a living plant or animal) to be inserted into the DNA of the plant being modified - that means it's a pesticide that organic farmers are allowed to use.

One of the reasons I decided against entirely organic diet, is that I could only afford mass-produced organic - and many of the organic pesticides used on large organic farms are every bit as dangerous as the non-organic ones.

I'd rather eat a GMO crop that contains the genetic coding to produce a natural pesticide than to eat a crop heavily treated with either man-made or organic pesticides - but my preference is to eat locally grown, small-farm, organic. The cost of becoming certified, is prohibitive for small farms, meaning that most small organic farmers can't afford to be certified. And many small farms, even if they're not fully organic, generally produce safer crops than mega-farm organic.


I'm not saying that all or even any GMO crops are perfectly safe, but it does mean that it's important to not only know if a crop has been genetically modified, but how it's been genetically modified.

For example there's a genetically modified corn that is fed to cattle, but not to humans. The reason being that the corn contains I believe a bit of soy or peanut DNA (or some other plant that is a common allergen). The reason it's not considered safe for human consumption is that people allergic to the plant that was used to modify the corn, might react to the modified corn with that plant's DNA.

A few years ago, some of the GMO corn got into the food supply. Only a few brands of corn meal and corn tortillas were affected (if I'm remembering correctly) and it caused a bit of a panic. Many people believed that all corn was unsafe to eat.

I'm not so worried about GMOs that take genetic code from one edible or safe-to-eat plant (some plants are safe to eat, but are considered inedible because of flavor or the amount of undigestible fiber) and insert it into another (which I believe is as far as Monsanto and genetic engineering has gotten outside of the lab, that is into the food supply).

I think there is potential for problems, of course because it's at least theoretically possible to put tangerine DNA into an apple and get something toxic, but in practice I think it's unlikely.

The biggest risk of GMO crops currently (in my opinion) is to the economy and to the ecology.

To the economy because Montanso "ownes" the genetically modified organisms. That means if your crop becomes cross-polinated with a GMO, Monsanto owns your crop as well as it's own. It also means that you can't buy and grow GMO plants without the permission of (and payment to) Monsanto.

To the ecology because GMO crops, because of their modifications have an unnatural advantage over the natural vegetation of an area. Send GMOs to third world countries and you might save the population from starvation, but destroy their ecosystems in the process.

In terms of edibility, I think GMOs are currently pretty safe because they're blending edible plants, and if anyone has proof otherwise, if you could refer me to publicised data - journal articles, books, or professional association or university websites, I'd greatly appreciate it (not private organization or individual websites though - there are tons of those out there claiming outlandish and impossible things).

Nikel1979
01-06-2013, 03:19 PM
Manufactured pesticides do not "naturally" occur in soil. Granted it is still going to be in some crops because when they spray it all over one area, some of it i bound to contaminate other areas.

But we will do the best we can.

Bt is NOT a pesticide. And yes, it does naturally occur in soil.

Nikel1979
01-06-2013, 03:25 PM
Misti -- Well, Mark Lynas himself says it was fears that drove his activism. He was very anti-science when it came to GMOs. I haven't finished reading his lecture, but it's here:

http://www.marklynas.org/2013/01/lecture-to-oxford-farming-conference-3-january-2013/

And again, I think Nikel1979 was not calling you a freak-out personally.

Sorry, yes, I was referencing some WAY OTT freak-outs on facebook. Like it's all a terrorist plot conspiracy type freak outs. Freak out as in verb, not noun.

Just for clarity here, Bt is a naturally occurring microbial soil bacterium. I'm a soil science major, entomology & plant pathology minor, and work in a plant path lab. I'm quite certain on this point.

Misti in Seattle
01-06-2013, 06:54 PM
Just to clarify... I didn't feel as if I "had" to leave the thread. But I am at 3FC to lose weight... to receive support and hopefully offer encouragement to others. I am not offended and not upset in any way... the GMO debate over labeling is "hot" in my state right now and I have and will continue to fight for labeling. However, this forum is, for me, not the place for it. :)

deetermined2
01-06-2013, 07:10 PM
I think the consumer should be able to know what is in their food. If food producers are afraid of consumer reaction to a GMO label, the producer can stipulate what has been done to the product, and then the consumer can use or not use that product based upon that additional information.

Currently, I've been trying to buy more organic, but it is pricey.

Attached is a link to one GMO study:
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-57517377-10391704/study-says-genetically-modified-corn-causes-tumors-but-other-scientists-skeptical-about-research

TripSwitch
01-07-2013, 03:06 AM
Very interesting... thanks for the links... this is one of those areas that I always wonder if I'm just being too overly concerned about...

Heather
01-07-2013, 08:56 AM
I think one of the biggest problems I've had with the GMO issue (actually, with many issues) is that the anti-GMO arguments have really been designed to evoke fear, without necessarily addressing the central issues. Mark Lynas essentially admits the latter in his talk.

I teach a college seminar in persuasion and have read a lot about persuasion from a psychological POV. Fear is a very popular persuasion tactic, and it tends to do a great job at changing attitudes. So when I see fear tactics being used (and using death and illness as outcomes of doing X is definitely a fear tactic), especially when logical arguments seem to be avoided, I tend to just be skeptical of the endeavor. So I have been wondering about GMOs, because so much of the persuasion involves fear appeals, and what science I do know seems to be ignored.

Anyway, reading Mark Lynas' talk confirmed to me that many of the people leading the anti-GMO movement were doing exactly as I feared.

My personal opinion is that the issue is complex, and if our goal is to feed the planet the solution not necessarily obvious. GMOs are likely not nearly as dangerous as many would like us to believe, but probably the outcomes of using GMO foods not completely known.

I do think that any of us who are concerned would benefit from really figuring out what we mean by GMO and do our best to seek out unbiased sources -- or at the very least not pay attention to sources who seem to only want to scare us. But that can be tough!

I think that advice actually goes for lots of issues...

Just my mutterings and musings...

deetermined2
01-10-2013, 11:17 PM
There may be some benefits to some GE crops, but I have mainly heard of the examples where the seed failed to deliver what was promised. Attached is an article about farmers who used GE seed.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/03/gmo-crops-affect-farmers.aspx

deetermined2
01-12-2013, 07:29 PM
Here is another link to the effect of GE crops on earthworms, soil, and poultry.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/01/12/ge-crops-affect-soil-fertility.aspx?e_cid=20130112_DNL_art_1

Amarantha2
01-13-2013, 07:42 AM
I have an app in my phone that rates food products on various criteria & gives an option to warn me about GMOs. It warns that GMOs are "likely" in almost all products I have looked up & rates them down on that. I love the app but to me it reflects certain points of view that I mostly share but are clearly just opinion & l often find myself lacking possession of an informed personal conclusion that I can come to but at least I have a kind of labeling system.

I would like to see more effort made in the U.S. to actually require a definition of GMOs & other factors about the production of each individual food sold & a clear labeling requirement.

JudgeDread
01-13-2013, 11:56 AM
If you all have 27 minutes you should watch this........................ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Jq4DGEn9Is) (there's a part 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9GZckAfFTYE))

Pretty good points brought up...even though it is Penn and Teller lol.

ICUwishing
01-14-2013, 08:35 AM
I didn't know that Forbes took the action of retracting Monsanto's 2009 "Company of the Year" award over their business practices (thanks, deetermined2). I remain unconvinced of the safety of this stuff, and will continue to campaign to get it labelled. Monsanto and the food processors have already started their work on weakening the meaning of the USDA Organic label; check the list of newly-approved additives if you're interested.

Heather, I absolutely agree with you that the fear tactic seems to have become the sole way information is presented. I am so very sick of being told how to "feel" - instead of being given facts, and being allowed to THINK. It seems to me that this might have a lot to do with why civilized dialogue has become such a rarity; everyone's so caught up in emotional absolutes that they have trouble listening to opposing viewpoints and evaluating potential merit and (gasp) learning from them.

thewalrus0
01-14-2013, 08:00 PM
I am not 100% knowledgable on GMOs and I probably will never be...but I definitely support putting it on labels.

I think we should have the option to eat it or not and we should have labels to help us make those decisions. I don't personally care if they're on the market. Cigarettes are on the market, alcohol is on the market...but they have to be labeled as such.

I want to know exactly what's in my food. Sorry if some fat cat business owner loses out on some money to give me the freedom to choose.

deetermined2
02-17-2013, 11:58 AM
Hi, all!

Some very interesting information has come out about Mark Lynas and his former position within the environmentalist movement. The link below puts a whole new spin on why he is speaking out in favor of GMO, and how he gets paid for it.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/02/17/biotech-industry-increases-propaganda-plans.aspx?e_cid=20130217_SNL_Art_1&utm_source=snl&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20130217