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Kimmo

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“There is no consensus amongst scientific researchers over the health or environmental safety of GM crops and foods, and it is misleading and irresponsible for anyone to claim that there is."

 

What? Who is this Professor at Lancaster University by the name of Brian Wynne?

 

Then he has the gall to say the following:

Indeed some key public interest questions revealed by such research have been left neglected for years by the huge imbalance in research funding, against thorough biosafety research and in favour of the commercial-scientific promotion of this technology.

 

 

Then this other professor lady Vyvyan Howard, some kind of medically trained toxipathologist (whatever the hell that means) chimes in with this crap:

 

A substantial number of studies suggest that GM crops and foods can be toxic or allergenic, and that they can have adverse impacts on beneficial and non-target organisms.

 

yeah right, obviously she didn't get the memo about "Universal Consensus".

 

Then she goes blah blah blah some more:

 

But as the US has no GMO labelling and no epidemiological studies have been carried out, there is no way of knowing whether the rising rates of chronic diseases seen in that country have anything to do with GM food consumption or not. Therefore this claim has no scientific basis.

 

Then this Andy Stirling professor dude and the UK government’s GM Science Review Panel crony pipes in:

 

The main reason some multinationals prefer GM technologies over the many alternatives is that GM offers more lucrative ways to control intellectual property and global supply chains. To sideline open discussion of these issues, related interests are now trying to deny the many uncertainties and suppress scientific diversity. This undermines democratic debate – and science itself.

 

Then Dr Hans Herren, a former winner of the World Food Prize and an Alternative Nobel Prize laureate, and Dr Pushpa Bhargava, known as the father of modern biotechnology in India, both signed on.

 

Nonsense

 

I bet some giant corporation is paying them millions to write this.

Edited by Kimmo

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More Consensus:

 

 

Michael Hansen, Ph.D., senior scientist for Consumers Union:

 

 

 

There are a lot of uncertainties related to genetically engineered crops including potential allergens and unknown health risks. If these foods are not labeled, it will be very difficult to identify an unexpected health effect resulting from eating a genetically modified food.

 

 

Edited by Kimmo

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Sadly misunderstanding science again...

 

Just pick a topic and you can always find "brave maverick scientists" that disagree with the consensus. To believe them over the evidence is proof of a bias that you desperately want confirmed.

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Very interesting Kimmo. If you are so scientifically literate, would you please include a sample size with your observation? That way I can actually tell what proportion of the total scientists in the relevant fields believe that GMOs are harmful. Disproving the idea of a consensus would be best accomplished by showing the actual proportion of scientists in the relevant fields who do not agree. Simply dropping a few names with Ph.D.s after them doesn't do it for me.

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I have some good ideas for labels, ones that actually inform the public about established health risks:

 

Contains high levels of Sodium

 

You are about to consume the equivalent of 10 tsp of sugar with this can of Coke

 

Yes, it says 4 servings, but we know you will eat the whole thing. After you do, you will have consumed enough saturated fat for the entire week.

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Very interesting Kimmo. If you are so scientifically literate, would you please include a sample size with your observation? That way I can actually tell what proportion of the total scientists in the relevant fields believe that GMOs are harmful. Disproving the idea of a consensus would be best accomplished by showing the actual proportion of scientists in the relevant fields who do not agree. Simply dropping a few names with Ph.D.s after them doesn't do it for me.

 

Hello Nate, how are you today?

 

con·sen·sus noun, often attributive \kən-ˈsen(t)-səs\

: a general agreement about something : an idea or opinion that is shared by all the people in a group

 

In the above definition, note the word "all". This seems to be the definition implied by most who argue that all GMO's are perfectly safe, properly tested, etc. etc. and that ALL scientists agree on this.

 

My point is that this is simply false. And no, one doesn't need to cherry pick from the lunatic fringe to find scientists who question the wisdom of our current approach to GMO's.

 

Dr. Gurian-Sherman holds a doctorate degree in plant pathology from the University of California at Berkeley. He conducted post-doctoral research on rice and wheat molecular biology at the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Albany, California.

 

Dr. Gurian-Sherman is widely cited by the national and international media including The New York Times, Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Time, the BBC, and National Public Radio's Science Friday.

 

"This will have an impact worldwide, because our trading partners do not want genetically modified wheat," said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at the Consumers Union. "This crop may be safe to eat, or it may not be. We don't know because we haven't done the proper scrutiny."

 

There Are Plenty of Reasons to Worry about GMO Food

 

106 91

By ROBERT LAWRENCE , Professor in Environmental Health Sciences at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

 

ok whatever, you can do the research if you really care. there are just too many qualified scientists to really start listing here.

 

don't fall under the spell of a "consensus" amongst scientists regarding GMO safety, yields, environmental impact, labeling, effects on the poor, nutrition, etc. etc.

 

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People on this forum adopt some disturbing memes that aren't actually true. For example:

 

  • Kimmo is scientifically illiterate
  • Kevbone is dumb
  • Adding "tard" or "cuntz" to any descriptor makes me clever
  • My membership in some group or subculture ensures I'm not an asshole
  • My climbing ability makes me better/smarter/more worthy than you
  • "Spray" means it's okay to be an uncivil sociopath
  • My shit smells like strawberries

Ya'll get the gist I'm sure. Point is, if I decide you're a detriment to the character of this website, you may wake up and find yourself gone. You know, all capricious like. Try and debate the points and leave the ad hominem jive in your head where it won't irritate me and other members of this forum.

 

And yes, I'm speaking as a moderator, not as a participant in this debate.

 

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Hello Nate, how are you today?

 

 

Shitty, that's why I decided to spray on the internet machine. My bad, sorry that I turned the previous post into a personal attack.

 

By your definition of of the word, I would agree that there is not a consensus, because there is not agreement among all within the scientific community. But there isn't ever agreement by all scientists on anything. You can find people with advanced degrees in biology who don't believe that natural selection is a mechanism of evolution.

 

Scientists who disagree with an established position aren't necessarily wackjobs- a scientist with degrees from prestigious institutions might fight very hard against a changing tide if it would prove their research (often their life's work) wrong. Despite the evidence. Or if they have any other sort of vested interest in standing firm in their contrary position. Scientists are people too.

 

So in light of that, the best we can do is see what the majority of researchers in the relevant fields have to say about it. The larger the majority, the more convincing the position becomes.

 

 

Edited by Nater

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Hi Nate, apology accepted, thanks.

 

And for the record, is your position that GMOs have been proven to be safe, most scientists think so, and there is no further need to be concerned?

 

 

 

Edited by Kimmo

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  • Kimmo is scientifically illiterate
  • Kevbone is dumb
  • Adding "tard" or "cuntz" to any descriptor makes me clever
  • My membership in some group or subculture ensures I'm not an asshole
  • My climbing ability makes me better/smarter/more worthy than you
  • "Spray" means it's okay to be an uncivil sociopath
  • My shit smells like strawberries

 

the raytarded dog i live w/ once ate a car air-freshner, and i assure you sir, his shit DID stink of strawberries for a fortnight at least

 

no sociopaths in spray is like no smoking in french bars - makes a man wonder what knocked the earth of its kilter :)

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Hi Nate, apology accepted, thanks.

 

And for the record, is your position that GMOs have been proven to be safe, most scientists think so, and there is no further need to be concerned?

 

 

 

The way I see it, genetic engineering is like a powerful wrench. But at the end of the day it doesn't matter what kind of wrench you use, it matters what bolts you tighten. Nobody can say "all GMOs are safe" anymore than they can say "all non-GMOs are safe. "

 

Remember, selective breeding can also turn safe products into unsafe products, which has happened -- for example, the toxic potato they accidentally made in the 50's -- they bred a potato that made perfect chips, but had high levels of the chemical that makes green potatoes toxic. Oops.

 

Modern GE can also make bad things, but the process itself isn't any different than what happens with selective breeding -- it's just more specific. A food isn't anymore dangerous just because of how it's genetics were manipulated, what matters is what genetics were manipulated.

 

You could theoretically make a roundup-resistant soybean via selectie breeding -- evolution develops herbicide resistance in nearly all crops. It would just take a lot longer to do it the "old way" -- but the resulting genetic creation would be the same.

 

That's how I see it anyway. :) cheers, and don't forget to vote.

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Hey Kimmo. Yes, in a nutshell that is pretty much my position, with the addition of "BUT we should be open to new evidence to the contrary".

 

When I was younger I thought science was able to reveal absolute truth in the world. And while I still think the scientific method is the best way to discover how the world works, I don't have the illusion that science can remove uncertainty. The statistical analyses that scientists use to evaluate hypotheses are an example.

 

Risk and probability lie on a continuum, and I support GMO technologies, not because they have been proven to be totally and 100% safe and always will be, but because I think the benefits far outweigh the risks. The scientific literature on the subject, as a whole, suggests the risks are small. When human health is at stake a higher burden of proof is warranted and the balance between risk and benefit changes the equation. But with the risks to human health appearing to be very very small (never zero), GMOs in my mind have still met that higher burden of proof.

Edited by Nater

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Thanks Nate, for the thoughtful reply. I've gotta run to the pool, so time for only one quick question:

 

 

with the risks to human health appearing to be very very small (never zero), GMOs in my mind have still met that higher burden of proof.

 

Since I imagine you are deferring here to the opinions of what I'll call "main-stream" science organizations (am I correct?), how did they establish the above conclusion, namely that GMOs pose little if any risk to humans? Did they use feeding studies on humans, feeding studies on lab animals? Or some other form of studies?

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Structure-of-scientific-revolutions-3rd-ed-pb2.jpg

 

FW, did you really think you were the only nerd around here? I will take your Kuhn and raise it a Popper:

 

The_Logic_of_Scientific_Discovery.jpg

 

They disagreed on more than a few things, but if you want to go with Popper, you can use his version of falsifiability to refute a lot of so-called science--including the now "irrefutable" notion of anthropogenic global warming. Of course, he hedged a bit with verisimilitude. :o

Edited by Fairweather

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Brian Martison (Nature, 2005) found that one-third of 3,000 surveyed scientists, drawn primarily from the biological sciences, admitted to behaving unethically in their research, and 15.5% of them specifically admitted that “they had changed how they conducted an experiment or its results in response to pressure from a funding source”.

 

Considering how difficult such an admission would be, even in a confidential survey, this may be a conservative estimate.

 

Since this was a broad survey across a spectrum of biological sciences, what might the results be with scientists associated specifically with GMO work funded by Monsanto?

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Thanks Nate, for the thoughtful reply. I've gotta run to the pool, so time for only one quick question:

 

 

with the risks to human health appearing to be very very small (never zero), GMOs in my mind have still met that higher burden of proof.

 

Since I imagine you are deferring here to the opinions of what I'll call "main-stream" science organizations (am I correct?), how did they establish the above conclusion, namely that GMOs pose little if any risk to humans? Did they use feeding studies on humans, feeding studies on lab animals? Or some other form of studies?

 

Not feeding studies, but an understanding of genetics, at least to refute the idea that a gene or multiple genes from an organism spliced into the genome of a vegetable or other food plant will make that plant toxic for consumption. If the gene encodes for a protein that is poisonous to humans, then it will be poisonous. But if the DNA being spliced into whatever plant they are working with does not code for something that is toxic to humans, then we shouldn't worry, even though a flounder gene in a tomato sounds weird.

 

There are other reasons of course to be concerned about GMOs, but the idea that this or that plant having some genes spliced in from an unrelated organism makes it toxic is countered by an understanding of genetics. And that seems to be the main concern in regards to human health and GMOs. I think there is more uncertainty in regards to environmental impact.

 

 

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They disagreed on more than a few things, but if you want to go with Popper, you can use his version of falsifiability to refute a lot of so-called science--including now "irrefutable" evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Of course, he hedged a bit with verisimilitude. :o

 

I'll admit, I haven't read either of them, their works have just been summarized in this study design and stats analysis book I have. But I got them in my Amazon shopping cart right now.

 

The philosophy of science hurts my head a bit. I'd rather be out collecting data than thinking about it, since collecting data for me has meant being outside, and thinking about it has meant being in front of a computer.

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My problem with GMO foods isn't that I think they are unhealthy for human consumption. Rather, I think they pose a danger to the natural environment and crops hybridized by more traditional methods. What's more, I think we're heading toward a place where science will have to keep producing ever-new variations of their GMO products just to stay one step ahead of natural selection and its penchant for favoring survivor pests, fungi, etc. When the lab goes dark, the monoculture shit we have left won't hold up. Or, just as bad, the lab owners will hold us hostage. (Which is already happening.)

Edited by Fairweather

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They disagreed on more than a few things, but if you want to go with Popper, you can use his version of falsifiability to refute a lot of so-called science--including now "irrefutable" evidence of anthropogenic global warming. Of course, he hedged a bit with verisimilitude. :o

 

I'll admit, I haven't read either of them, their works have just been summarized in this study design and stats analysis book I have. But I got them in my Amazon shopping cart right now.

 

The philosophy of science hurts my head a bit. I'd rather be out collecting data than thinking about it, since collecting data for me has meant being outside, and thinking about it has meant being in front of a computer.

 

Good reads, both. Keep in mind while reading Popper that he recanted some of his better-known stuff later in life. Kuhn is more durable, but then again his overall premise isn't really all that deep.

 

Mr. JayB is the real expert on this stuff. Prole says I'm just his waterboy. :cool:

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Not feeding studies, but an understanding of genetics, at least to refute the idea that a gene or multiple genes from an organism spliced into the genome of a vegetable or other food plant will make that plant toxic for consumption. If the gene encodes for a protein that is poisonous to humans, then it will be poisonous. But if the DNA being spliced into whatever plant they are working with does not code for something that is toxic to humans, then we shouldn't worry, even though a flounder gene in a tomato sounds weird.

 

So if I understand correctly, you have been taught that the consumption of any GMO is completely safe, as long as the spliced gene does not code for something toxic to humans, is that correct?

 

And that this theory is so beyond doubt that any actual real-world testing of its validity is unnecessary?

 

 

 

 

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