GMO foods.

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by The Castellan, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    Yet you also advocating "joining the other countries in banning GMO foods". What happened to allowing me to enjoy them as much as you enjoy your milk? Labeling? Fine. Information is power for the consumer. But if I had to trade the FDA's tyranny over food to yours, I choose the FDA.
     
  2. M'Sharak

    M'Sharak Definitely Herbert. Maybe. Moderator

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    Now who in this thread was saying anything like that?

    Besides no one, I mean.

    I suspect that you secretly enjoy playing the part of "anti-progress quack" - just a little, anyway.

    But I could be wrong about that.
     
  3. Spock/Uhura Fan

    Spock/Uhura Fan Captain Captain

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    I don't mind that GMO food exists, I just think it should be clearly labeled (same with irradiated food (I'll never buy milk off of a regular store shelf)). The ingredients section on packages/cartons should have an asterisk next to all of the GMO ingredients used as well. I prefer organic food, and I've been eating organic produce long enough now that I can taste the difference (or at least I could when I tried eating a non-organic banana last week).

    The only time/thing I don't like about GMO food is when it's pushed off on people (and if it's not stated that's what the food is by poor labeling). If you watch Food, Inc., then you'll really not like how some American farmers are being pushed into using GMO soy for their crops. Unlike regular soy you can naturally replant each year, the GMO soy seed has to be sold to the farmers on a yearly basis (read: expensive) for them to have a crop and the farmers are watched like they are under CIA surveillance. It was interesting to watch. Of course you could say it's a movie with an agenda and just one side of the story (after all don't farmers get subsidies?), but it was an interesting side nonetheless.
     
  4. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    ^^This.

    We humans are a toolmaking species. We've been altering nature, improving upon nature, ever since we discovered how to make fire. Any new technology has its risks and its rewards.

    I thought he was talking about a Mexican masked wrestler.
     
  5. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Well, there are labeling changes that I'd also like to see.

    Some of them are:

    1) How much artificial irrigation was used to produce the product, perhaps in liters/kg of food or liters/calorie.

    1a) How much irrigation was used as a percentage of total water that grew the product (vs. rainfall)

    1b) How much irrigation was used compared to the region's available water resources.

    1c) How much irrigation was used compared to seasonal availability of water (was it grown during a monsoon versus a drought).

    1d) How much irrigation was from depleted aquifiers versus runoff in streams and rivers, and how much, if any, was from desalination plants.

    1e) How much irrigation was from artificial dams, and how much electricity did these produce as a byproduct?

    1f) How much CO2 was emitted to power the irrigation system, and what was the energy breakdown of solar, wind, hydro, natural gas, coal, and nuclear.

    1g) What is the deuterium and oxygen-18 isotope ratios in the irrigation water used.

    1h) Did any of the water come from rivers containing endanged or threatened species.

    Of course 1a through 1h would need to be broken down by constituent ingredients.

    2) Similar to 1, but focused on other inputs, primarily fertilizers.

    3) Similar to 1, but focused on herbicides, along with a much more detailed environmental impact statement.

    4) Similar to 1, but focused on pesticides, along with the EIS.

    5) Similar to 1, but focused on the control of pests like rabbits and birds, along with the EIS.

    6) Chemical analysis: How much natural cyanide, pseudo-estrogens, dioxins and trace carcinogens are in the product, broken down by type.

    7) Elemental analysis.
    How much mercury, chromium, vanadium, osmium, rhenium, and other heavy metals are in the product, and what valence states are they in.

    8) Radioactive analysis.
    How much uranium, thorium, polonium-210, cesium, strontium-90 and potassium-40 are in the product, and what is its radioactivity, both in raw units and human dose equivalents. Which of these elements are biologically active and become part of our tissues, versus being flushed straight through?

    9) Supply chain analysis
    9a) Which ingredients were grown in different countries, and what are those countries human development and freedom indexes.

    9b) What was the average income of the farmers who grew the crops, in purchasing power parity.

    9c) What was the financial position of the farmers, in terms of debt load owed to banks, outstanding loans, etc.

    9d) What was the average income of the employees at the processing plants, and how does it compare to the CEO's of those processing plants.

    9e) What were the average incomes of the packagers and distrubutors of the products, along with their CEO information.

    9f) Which companies provided the seeds for the plants used, and what is their financial portfolio.

    9g) What kind of licensing agreements, support agreements and contracts, and sales agreements were in place up and down the entire supply chain, from dirt to table?

    9h) What kinds of political and charitable contributions were made by these companies, and made by the companies' employees.

    9i) What is the religious and party breakdown of the people in the supply chains.

    9j) Which people in the supply chain have criminal records that should be flagged for attention.

    10) How much packaging was used for the product (obviously a lot given the size of this label) and how much of the package used recycled materials.

    11) A breakdown of chemicals in the packaging materials, similar to the breakdown for the food ingredients.

    12) A simple description of what the food tastes like, recommended serving temperature, suggested dishes, and the like.

    13) Warnings about misuse of the food, and demographic groups who might take offense at being served the food. (ie. Catholics, Hindus, Muslims, Vegans, etc)
     
  6. YellowSubmarine

    YellowSubmarine Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    I also want labels showing people of what genders touched my food. How will I know which apples to buy if I don't know who touched them?
     
  7. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    Don't know how I missed that one. Make it #14 and also throw in STD status as a subheading, along with their vaccinations and exposure to things like hepatitus C, HPV, measles, mumps, whooping cough, and tuberculosis.
     
  8. Coloratura

    Coloratura Snuggle Princess Premium Member

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    Now that I can agree on. To me, GMO foods are just as safe and healthy as their organic counterparts. The problem is in the politics, but even then you have to keep in mind that everything in this country that has the potential for massive profit is going to be controlled from the top down no matter what.
     
  9. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    You'll notice that it's always privileged children of the West who have the luxury of driving between a dozen stores and farmer's markets and who have never felt true hunger; the kind where you don't know if your next decent meal is weeks or months away or perhaps never coming, who are always the most paranoid and outspoken in their crusade to ban genetically modified livestock and crops. People in the developing world where famine and malnutrition is a either a very real possibility or an existing problem aren't interested in your arrogant social engineering inspired by some conspiracy website or celebrity activist without a science background.

    None of this is a result of any actual concern for people's health, it's just an extension of your existing distrust of all things government or authority figure related. You don't like politicians or scientists or experts in the field telling you what to do, so you push back against it. The only problem is, that because of kooks in the Western world stalling progress, much needed assistance doesn't get to people in the developing world who need it and as a result wars happen, people die in massive famines, mothers and their children go malnourished, and kids have to work in the fields even harder instead of getting an education which might make it possible to break that cycle.

    Before the world population is predicted to level off around ten billion by the end of the century, we still have billions more people who will be born into a world with ever decreasing arable land due to rising sea levels and climate change, desertification, and urbanization. How do you intend to feed those people without genetically modified crops that provide higher yields on less land in harsher environmental conditions? Keep chopping down rainforests for farmland and increasing the greenhouse effect as a result? Or do you just not care about them because you're provided for in a country where we have so much we waste farmland on producing ethanol instead of corn? Well, you might not even get to continue that life of privilege here if things continue to get progressively worse from this year's harvest, so be careful what you wish for. The only reason we don't have Dust Bowl conditions like during the Depression any more is because we solved the problem with the widespread application of technology in agriculture and high-yield crops. You might be singing a different tune about genetically modified crops and livestock in the near future if trouble hits your door because those techniques are no longer allowed.

    Where's the science behind your claims that genetically modified organisms are on the whole inherently dangerous? Can you cite some reputable scientific journals that back you up on that? I'm not talking conspiracy sites, survivalist blogs, and books by people who aren't experts in any relevant field but are experts on making a buck off of the gullible and paranoid, I want to see peer reviewed studies by actual scientists who say all genetic experimentation on crops and livestock is wrong by its very nature.

    Have you ever heard of the late Norman Borlaug (no, he's not a big fiery demon that Gandalf fought on a bridge)? The man has probably saved more human lives than any single individual on the planet; an estimated one billion over the past fifty years, and he did it mostly with genetic crossbreeding to produce disease-resistant, high-yield, semi-dwarf wheat that could survive harsher environments while using less arable land. He turned countries that faced famine into net exporters of wheat within a year, and received the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom, National Medal of Science, and dozens of other accolades for his work as a result. There probably was no greater expert in the field of agriculture and feeding the developing world than he was, and he faced many of the criticisms you are leveling now about propping up agrobusiness like Monsanto and developing "unnatural" solutions to problems. You know what he has to say about the world food supply and GMOs?

    But I'm sure you know more than him, right? And before you attempt to discredit him as a selfish pawn of agrobusiness, bear in mind that he didn't use his knowledge to become super-rich and world famous, because despite his accolades from those in the know, he's relatively unknown to most of the world. The man selflessly spent his whole life trying to help those in need and arguably did so more than any other human being in history. I think his words should carry considerable weight as a result.

    I'm fine with preaching caution and regulation, because scientific research like anything else can be abused or misused, especially by corporations seeking profit above all else. I'm fine with demanding labeling, since people have the right to know what they're eating and how it's made. I'm fine with non-GMO alternatives remaining available to privileged hipsters and paranoid nutters who think fluoridated water is a government plot to brainwash the populace and vaccination is the devil's handiwork. What I am not fine with however, is those same children of privilege and crazies imposing their backwards-thinking fringe beliefs on everyone else and getting people sick and killed as a result.
     
  10. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Will you marry me?
     
  11. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    He's mine! Mine! Mine! :scream:
     
  12. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    [​IMG]
     
  13. iguana_tonante

    iguana_tonante Admiral Admiral

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    To give a slightly more serious answer: It's legitimate to be cautious about GMO, and it's healthy to be be suspicious about corporate interests. However, I see very little evidence of both in the OP, just hysteria and scaremongering.

    Oh, and this:

    is just crap. Tell me about it the next time you catch anything worse than seasonal flu. You'll be crying at your pharmacist's door in no time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2012
  14. thestrangequark

    thestrangequark Admiral Admiral

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    ^Indeed. The Naturalistic Fallacy is responsible for not just idiocy, but death when it comes to medicine.
     
  15. Locutus of Bored

    Locutus of Bored The Mod Awakens Moderator

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    I'm curious about what this means:

    Do you think they're irradiating the foods at the store itself from some centralized source? Or do you think the irradiated foods are all housed at the center of the store and the radiation affects everything around them?

    I guess it could explain that three-armed kid at the checkout. Fastest grocery bagger I've ever seen.
     
  16. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

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    ^It does explain why the Twinkies always seem to be near the center of the store.
     
  17. gturner

    gturner Admiral

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    ^ You're suggesting the center-of-the-store theory came from The Simpsons?
     
  18. Grey

    Grey Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Really, I support as much information as possible about what we consume being made available to us.

    I'm not going to say I'd never eat GMO foods (I do all the time, sine it's what is available to me) but I'd at least like to know what my options are and what's going on with the food I eat.

    The other thing I'd like to see is straightforward labeling with regards to "natural" vs "frankenfood." Never going to happen; as long as lobbyists can get away with it the definitions of those words will always bend.

    I'm still absolutely in support of GMO labeling, though.
     
  19. scotpens

    scotpens Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I also demand to know the breed of dairy cattle my milk came from, the conditions under which the animals were raised, and the individual name of each cow.
     
  20. RJDiogenes

    RJDiogenes Idealistic Cynic and Canon Champion Premium Member

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    I want pedigree documentation along with my Cheeseburger. And I want fries with that.
     

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