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Ed Hudgins

Dishonest Attacks on Genetically Modified Organisms

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Dishonest Attacks on Genetically Modified Organisms
By Kevin Schooler

For those who take their health seriously, it’s always a challenge to determine which claims are true and which are fiction. This task is made more difficult by those who, either out of malice or shear ignorance, spread misinformation. One example that seems more deliberate distortion is the case made by many against Genetically Modified Organisms or “GMOs.”

GMOs targeted

GMOs, unfortunately, have been the targets of much deliberate misinformation and fear-mongering by organizations like Greenpeace and countless bloggers who spread memes that ignore underlying research.

They state as fact that GMOs are somehow harmful to human health. The evidence suggests they aren't.

They state as fact that GMOs increase the use of pesticides or reduce yields. The evidence suggests they don't.

They state as fact that GMO cotton has caused the suicides of tens of thousands of Indian farmers. The evidence suggests it hasn't.

They state as fact that GMO companies, Monsanto in particular, engage in unscrupulous business practices, somehow "forcing" farmers to buy from them. The evidence suggests they don't.

The objections to GMOs are almost always demonstrably false.

Almost.
 

Truths out of context

Occasionally, there are genuine attributes of GMOs which are the basis for critics’ objections. However, these attributes are presented in the most distorted and out of context ways possible.

For example, it is asserted that GMOs are "unnatural." Technically, this is true in the sense that human intervention rather than nature evolution has resulted in altered organisms. What the anti-GMO folks don't usually mention is that apart from wild game, virtually the entire modern food supply is unnatural, the result of hundreds or thousands of years of artificial selection. ... (Continue reading here.)

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6 hours ago, Ed Hudgins said:

Dishonest Attacks on Genetically Modified Organisms
By Kevin Schooler

For those who take their health seriously, it’s always a challenge to determine which claims are true and which are fiction. This task is made more difficult by those who, either out of malice or shear ignorance, spread misinformation. One example that seems more deliberate distortion is the case made by many against Genetically Modified Organisms or “GMOs.”

GMOs targeted

GMOs, unfortunately, have been the targets of much deliberate misinformation and fear-mongering by organizations like Greenpeace and countless bloggers who spread memes that ignore underlying research.

They state as fact that GMOs are somehow harmful to human health. The evidence suggests they aren't.

They state as fact that GMOs increase the use of pesticides or reduce yields. The evidence suggests they don't.

They state as fact that GMO cotton has caused the suicides of tens of thousands of Indian farmers. The evidence suggests it hasn't.

They state as fact that GMO companies, Monsanto in particular, engage in unscrupulous business practices, somehow "forcing" farmers to buy from them. The evidence suggests they don't.

The objections to GMOs are almost always demonstrably false.

Almost.
 

Truths out of context

Occasionally, there are genuine attributes of GMOs which are the basis for critics’ objections. However, these attributes are presented in the most distorted and out of context ways possible.

For example, it is asserted that GMOs are "unnatural." Technically, this is true in the sense that human intervention rather than nature evolution has resulted in altered organisms. What the anti-GMO folks don't usually mention is that apart from wild game, virtually the entire modern food supply is unnatural, the result of hundreds or thousands of years of artificial selection. ... (Continue reading here.)

Most of the grains we eat are genetic variations of original wild strains,  basically grasses.  The genetic modification was mostly accomplished by selective breeding of the plants. Humans have been doing selective breeding for at least 10 thousand years.  That is why we have dogs.  Dogs were invented by humans by selectively breeding wolves.  The cattle from which we get our beef are also genetic modifications  of wild breeds of cattle.  This is little in our diet that arises from wild native strains  produced by Nature alone.  

What the anti GMO Luddites  bitch and moan about  are lines of plants and animals modified by gene splicing.  Both gene spliced and  selected from nature  mutations and cross breeds are equally unlike the original wild strains.  Almost no animals sold for food have been gene spliced.  The few animals which have been gene spliced are sheep which produce human insulin that can be  chemical extracted from their milk or from their pancreas if they are slaughtered.  This human insulin has made the treatment of diabetes  in humans  cheaper and more effective.  Back in the Day,  insulin for diabetics was made from chopped  up  steer pancreas.  I wonder if the GMO Luddites are against this kind of insulin treatment. 

However, I do get a little bit nervous when the folks in the labs produces new strains of bacteria and viruses.  The issue there is safe handling of their product. If their product ever infects people and animals outside the lab we will have the modified organisms forever or nearly forever.  Look how long it took to eliminate the small pox virus. 

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