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Science vs Politics: The Scientific consensus on GM foods.

 
 
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2020 11:50 am
Let's be clear, the science is clear (if you listen to the scientific community), From Europe, to the UK, to the US. The reputable scientific organizations, looking at the research all say the same things.

1) There is no credible scientific evidence that GM foods are unsafe.
2) There should be surveillance for new strains (rather GM or conventional)
3) There should be continuing research.

Many scientific organizations suggest that GM foods are an important technology to help meet the needs of a growing planet and to address climate change.

There has been a huge political backlash from the left against GM fools.

I use GM foods as an example of when the left (which likes to present itself as pro-science) actually contradicts the science based on political bias.

Science doesn't have a political agenda. If your views match issue for issue with a political platform, chances are your views are based on politics rather than science.

The left supports science on global warming and evolution. The left contradicts science on GM foods.

If you are pro-science, you will at times contradict both sides of the political spectrum.
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 315 • Replies: 39
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View best answer, chosen by maxdancona
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2020 12:26 pm
Pure science has no political agenda. Huge corporations do (as much wealth and power as possible) and they don't mind corrupting science to get it.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2020 12:35 pm
@edgarblythe,
True, but irrelevant.

The science says what the science says. If you are going to be pro-science, you will look at the scientific community says. It doesn't hurt to look for bias... as long as what you find isn't your own bias. It is not pro-science to reject reject a valid finding simply because you don't like big corporations.

There are more than enough studies from non-biased sources. None of them find a substantial risk to human health from GM foods.


0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2020 12:41 pm
@edgarblythe,
The political right uses conspiracy theories to avoid accepting the science on climate change. The political left uses the same type of conspiracy theories to avoid the science on GM foods.

The claim the the scientific community is being corrupted by either Greenpeace or Monsanto is ridiculous.
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livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Tue 17 Mar, 2020 08:03 pm
Genetic modification can't really be evaluated as a whole, since each genetic modification affects a specific part of an organism's genetic functioning, and the effects of that function-change could be beneficial, detrimental, and/or neutral in various ways.

Banning, or at least labeling, GM foods could prevent harmful modifications from becoming widespread.

On the other hand, if a given modification is rejected purely because it is a form of genetic modification, that could prevent beneficial modifications from having positive effects.

Another problem is that there are forms of genetic modification that can't be banned or labelled as 'GM' because they are achieved by more traditional methods, such as breeding.

So, for example, if farmers breed plants and trees in ways that ensure grafting is necessary and prevent people from sprouting and propagating their own successful fruits, nuts, and vegetables; that could be just as detrimental (or beneficial, depending on your perspective) as doing the same thing using DNA-editing/splicing.

So basically you can't either condemn or support 'GM' as a whole, because there is too much variation in what it can/could be used to do.

In general though, the more power humans gain to control and manipulate nature, the more they tend to use it for evil and shirk the responsibility to minimize harm.

So for that reason, banning/labeling/restricting GM is better than allowing it just because it has the potential for good as well as harm.

And, really, other agricultural practices besides genetic modification should also be made transparent and/or included on labelling, such as: "produced using grafted trees/plants," "ingredients lists of pesticides and fertilizers used, separate from regular ingredients lists," "planted/harvested by machine and/or by hand," "other trees/plants planted as companions," etc. etc.

Why should we limit the amount of production information consumers get regarding their food? Why not give them all the details?
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 01:57 am
@maxdancona,
Most of them are banned over here because there's not enough research into long term effects, or in cross pollination. GM foods are trademarked, the motivation is profit, the scientists telling us that GM foods are harmless are in the same league as those who were paid by the oil lobby to say global warming is a myth.

Those same scientists say it's fine to put bleach, yes bleach, on chicken.

That's why so much food deemed "safe" in the US does not pass EU standards. We want something fit for human consumption, not American consumption, We don't want to give our children carcinogenic foodstuffs just to make the ultra rich even richer.

It's called having a backbone, and if you had one we wouldn't have to endure so many whiney poor Max threads.
livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 12:33 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

That's why so much food deemed "safe" in the US does not pass EU standards. We want something fit for human consumption, not American consumption, We don't want to give our children carcinogenic foodstuffs just to make the ultra rich even richer.

EU investors are investing in that "American consumption," that you don't consider fit for humans. So either you're fine with treating American consumers as subhumans to be used for taxable business profits or you want to stop making money off business practices that you wouldn't subject your own children to.

Are you willing to withdraw the EU from global trade in order to wash your hands of business that treats Americans as subhuman, by your standards?

If so, do you think you can manage in economic isolation, i.e. without trade? Or do you think there are enough economies you can trade with that don't treat people as subhumans, by your standards?
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 02:22 pm
@livinglava,
You're an idiot, EU investors are cashing in on people like you. You've been brainwashed into thinking all government is bad so you'll do what big business tells you to do. Our government is made up of elected people responsible to the people which is why they put the welfare of people first. Your government is made up of people dependent on the vested interests that put them there. That's why you have 500+ carcinogenic food additives that are banned over here.

Serfdom was abolished over here a long time ago, we don't let people, or corporations dictate what we can eat. For someone who bangs on about freedom you sure love being told what to do, eat, and think.

Now run off and argue with Max about bottle rockets.
livinglava
 
  0  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 05:28 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

You're an idiot, EU investors are cashing in on people like you. You've been brainwashed into thinking all government is bad so you'll do what big business tells you to do.

You said that you consider US food 'subhuman' so I made the point that the investors that fund your economy make money off those 'subhuman' US markets. You want to blame the people for not trusting government, but the reality is that business lobbies government to attract and appease investors. So really it's up to the investors to stop exploiting the people, and so my question is whether you would be willing to stop using US markets to make money, and thus stop investing in the 'subhuman' food that you wouldn't feed your own children?

Quote:
Our government is made up of elected people responsible to the people which is why they put the welfare of people first. Your government is made up of people dependent on the vested interests that put them there. That's why you have 500+ carcinogenic food additives that are banned over here.

Please have your faithful representative prohibit investors from supporting the companies that sell food here that is banned there. It is the least you could do.

Quote:
Serfdom was abolished over here a long time ago, we don't let people, or corporations dictate what we can eat. For someone who bangs on about freedom you sure love being told what to do, eat, and think.

You also eat what your farmers and food corporations provide; only it sounds like you have the luxury of refusing the cheaper foods that you consider 'subhuman.' Could that be, perhaps, because of all the money you make investing in US markets and other foreign markets where people lack the means to turn their nose up at cheap 'subhuman' food?

0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 10:08 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
he scientists telling us that GM foods are harmless are in the same league as those who were paid by the oil lobby to say global warming is a myth.


This is a conspiracy theory, that is anti-science and is demonstrably untrue. There has been plenty of independent research, and the scientific community has said clear that there is no credible evidence of harm

Quote:
we wouldn't have to endure so many whiney poor Max threads.


You seem to be joining all of my threads. And ironically, you seem to be the only one whining on them. I invited you to this one, but I ask you to participate in a responsible adult discussion.

The point is that there are two sides on the GM debate.

- The Scientific community is pretty clearly saying that they have done research, and none of it has shown any risk to human health. This has included countless independent, peer-reviewed studies.

- The political left, on this issue, is denying the science. As I pointed out, on other issues it is the political right that denies the science.

maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 10:12 pm
Let me ask the nullifiable question to Izzy (or anyone else). I think it a good question... if you are open-minded and fact-based, you should have a real answer for this question.

What would it take for you to change your mind on this issue?

For me,

1) Peer reviewed, independent and reproducible scientific research showing a thread to human health would change my mind. If the threat was from a single technology, I would oppose that technology. If the threat was from genetic engineering in general, I would would oppose all GM.

2) If the scientific community, based on well-done unbiased research, came out against GM foods.. I would too.

If you are pro-science, you have to accept the science even when it contradicts your politics. Whether the issue is GM foods, or vaccinations, or climate change, invented conspiracy theories are not a valid reason to reject the scientific consensus.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 10:59 pm
If they would label that **** and give people a choice what to eat I would give a little, but would still avoid it.
maxdancona
 
  2  
Reply Wed 18 Mar, 2020 11:10 pm
@edgarblythe,
The labeling increases cost.

Any company now has the ability to label their products as gmo free, and some do. I don't care, and companies producing economically priced goods may or may not track whether the corn oil is gm or not.

The people who want labeling and the companies that serve them should pay for labeling. Those of us who don't care should get the lower prices.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 01:27 am
@maxdancona,
I would wait until adequate research has been done, and the profit incentive has been removed.
oralloy
 
  0  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 01:42 am
@izzythepush,
Adequate research has been done. The EU is just engaging in anti free trade practices. When they finally sign a free trade deal with the US, these practices will be eliminated.

Alternatively perhaps we could use retaliatory tariffs to force them to change their behavior. A 25% tariff on all cars made in the EU might grab their attention.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 07:18 am
In today's world studies are paid for by corporations and results often predetermined. Don't trust a word they say because you are a cipher to them with dollar signs attached. You can tell they are lying because they don't rely on your judgment to buy, they force it on you.
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 07:53 am
@edgarblythe,
GM foods haven't been around long enough for the long term effects to be known. Monsanto wants to cut corners by putting their products on the market before then.

Quote:
Where they are grown, GM crops are linked to massive increases in herbicide use, the extension of mono-cultural farming practices, and increased costs all along the food chain. The resulting social, environmental and economic impacts are severe – contributing to small farmers losing their land and livelihoods, and failing to alleviate poverty.

Public opposition has so far meant that GM crops are not widespread in Europe, with most GM crops grown for animal feed in Spain. However agri-business has submitted dozens of applications to grow many more GM crops in the European Union, making this a major threat to European farming, our right to choose and the environment. GM crops do not tackle hunger or poverty.

Continued industry promises about the ability of GM crops to tackle the world's growing social problems are pure myth: there is still not a single commercial GM crop with increased yield, drought- or salt-tolerance, enhanced nutrition or other 'beneficial' traits. GM crops are confined to a handful of countries with highly industrialised agricultural sectors – where GM-cash-crops are grown for profit, to be sold on the world market for textiles, feed and fuel, and not to feed people.


https://www.foeeurope.org/node/595

When Friends of the Earth support GM foods I'll change my mind.
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 08:29 am
@izzythepush,
I totally agree. They rushed them out there as soon as a politician benefited monetarily.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 08:30 am
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:
GM foods haven't been around long enough for the long term effects to be known.

That is incorrect. They are fully tested for safety before they are sold to consumers.
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livinglava
 
  1  
Reply Thu 19 Mar, 2020 10:22 am
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:
the scientific community has said clear that there is no credible evidence of harm

- The Scientific community is pretty clearly saying that they have done research, and none of it has shown any risk to human health. This has included countless independent, peer-reviewed studies.

How can science conclude anything about GM as a whole when there is so much variation possible on a case by case level?

It would be like saying that evolution doesn't cause harm. Well, of course evolution causes harm when harmful organisms evolve; and it resolves harm when other organisms evolve defenses and resistances to evolving harm.

If you can genetically modify something to be beneficial, you can also modify something else to be detrimental.

This basic fact should be obvious, yet you continue to assert that GM can be deemed harmless as a whole. Why?
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