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Pro-GMO food labeling

  [vote for,

I would like foods that have genetically modified ingredients to be labeled as such—not in a scary way like some people advocate, but with an inviting "Pro-GMO Project" label like the "Non-GMO Project" label. This would help people who want to eat GMO foods, like me, find them and buy them. The current situation is just eating things that don't have the "Non-GMO Project" label and avoiding those that do (unless they're too tasty—it's not like non-GMO foods are harmful to me, just that I'd like to promote GMO ones).


notexactly, Jan 12 2017

Trump is full of GMO http://naturalsocie...-very-pro-gmo-1938/
[xandram, Jan 12 2017]

Frankenstein's evening delight https://www.google....c=YTTo2dPy2Z6CgM%3A
[xenzag, Jan 12 2017]


       //it's not like non-GMO foods are harmful to me// The hasn't been satisfactorily proven. In fact, almost everyone who eats non-GMO food eventually comes down with some sort of illness or other, or else they age prematurely (ie, before reaching 200). Personally, I think that non-GMO, "as found" stuff is dangerous and ought to be withdrawn until there's more evidence. In the meantime, we can manage on GMO foods.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       A nice nut and bolt penetrating an image of each of the GM products would be a very clear indicator of the presence of any Frankenstein foods.
xenzag, Jan 12 2017

       [xenzag], you're a real risk-taker. Fancy, eating plants many of which have evolved all kinds of toxins to deter herbivores. And so little is known about these plants! I admire your courage, but I'll stick to things whose genomes have been properly looked at, thanks.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       //Fancy, eating plants many of which have evolved all kinds of toxins to deter herbivores.//   

       There's a simple way to protect oneself from the toxic scheming of the plant world, by feeding the candidate vegetation to pigs you can glean all sorts of information. Did the pig prefer starvation to the plant matter? Did the pig eat the offering and immediately keel over? Is the pig able to live, grow and reproduce with the candidate plant as a significant part of its diet? If the latter is true, it's probably safe to eat the pig.
bs0u0155, Jan 12 2017

       Max - I'll take my chances with none of Monsanto (agent orange) carcenogenic toxins in my food. Have you read Kafka's Metamorphosis? How do you think Gregor turned into a giant cockroach overnight?
xenzag, Jan 12 2017

       //Monsanto (agent orange) carcenogenic toxins//   

       Ah, my apologies. I hadn't appreciated that Monsanto put Agent Orange into their GM crops. Or did you mean other carcinogens? Please cite, for my enlightenment.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       // How do you think Gregor turned into a giant cockroach overnight? //   

       Is that a trick question ? By standing for election on the Democratic ticket, of course ...
8th of 7, Jan 12 2017

       I think she's referring to Gregor Mendel, who invented jeans, and whose son was a composer.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       //Monsanto (agent orange) carcenogenic toxins//   

       An how exactly do these toxins end up in GMO food? Does Monsanto actually go to the trouble of modifying the plants DNA to actually produce carcinogenic toxins? Seems like a lot of work, and surely bad business.   

       ...Or have we made the logical leap from thinking Monsanto are uncaring profiteers, to actually thinking they are overtly evil and seeking to cause harm?   

       That hardly seems rational.
Custardguts, Jan 12 2017

       I tell you what though, those links certainly gave me cancer.
Custardguts, Jan 12 2017

       The reason why GM crops are gradually being accepted more widely (apart from the fact that they continue to be benign and often beneficial) is that the anti-GM lobby are, on the whole, a bunch of frothing idiots who make claims such as [xenzag] did.   

       There are a few rational, sane arguments against GM crops, but not one of the fulminating twats seem capable of either understanding or expressing them. That is why they are gradually losing ground and credibility.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       I have been disappointed that despite there being all sorts of GMO, there have been no freakishly weird newsworthy episodes related to said crops. All the news is the same old prosaic poisonings by industrial chemicals, salmonella in the peanut butter, horse meat instead of beef, aardvark meat instead of horse. A prion or 2. Bah. I was hoping the antiGMO folks might contract some Dr GMO Moreau working out of Western Sahara to construct some... things - unnatural at a distance sort of things - that would convert doubting folks like notexactly and Max.   

       Not that I am suggesting anything to xenzag.   


       I apologize if this was already the plot of a Syfy channel special.   

       If it has not already been that plot: Syfy - my rates are cheap!
bungston, Jan 12 2017

       Syfy: I'm cheaper. And I can bring my own GMOs.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2017

       I hear Putin's over-animated puppet is a big fan of Frankenstein food, and Monsanto can look forward to his leering face endorsing their products, with the simple slogan 'tremendous!' (hint to designer - attach a magnifying glass to the packaging to allow shoppers to read the label, which will be squashed down to the size of a postage stamp in one corner to make enough room for that giant flabby head)
xenzag, Jan 13 2017

       Thanks for your input
Custardguts, Jan 13 2017

       //That is why they are gradually losing ground and credibility//

Actually, the opposite is true. The market share for 'Organic' produce is increasing.
DrBob, Jan 13 2017

       In principle, I am in favour of genetic modification. However, I do not trust the companies (such as Monsanto) which control the technology. Is there a way I can campaign for GMO labelling (so as to enable informed consumer choice) without being associated with frothing loons?
pertinax, Jan 13 2017

       //Some animal proteins have been proven to be carcinogenic//   

       Cool. Can you post a link? And what are they used for in GM crops?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2017

       //[link]s I don't know if you can get a plant to synthesize casein.//   

       You could get plants to synthesize casein. But then again casein is already present in dairy products, and in human breast milk.   

       Also, a quick trawl of the web suggests that there is no suggestion that casein is carcinogenic. The "theory" seems to come from a study in china in which consumption of larger amounts of dairy products was associated with increased cancer risk (and, as noted, dairy products contain casein - but they also contain a gazillion other things). Given that the chinese have been known to add melamine to milk in order to give apparently higher protein levels (melamine reacts the same way as protein, toward the assay used for protein), I think the whole thing is probably bollocks.   

       One of the most frustrating things about the GM debate is that the anti-GM lobby (like our own dear [xen]) never focusses on the real issues; instead, they come out with these completely bollocks stories based on complete and wilful ignorance of the subject. In general, they do exactly what they accuse the pro-GM outfits of doing.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2017

       If it's good enough for Trump (who practically controls Monsanto aka Frankentox Products) then it's good enough for Max.
xenzag, Jan 13 2017

       Well, [bigs], what you say makes sense to me.   

       Yes, it's possible that high-protein diets have a link to cancer. It's also possible that animal protein is worse than plant proteins in this respect, but I would doubt it very much. Proteins are broken down into amino acids (plus a few di- and tri-peptides) very quickly on digestion. It's possible that some amino acids are actually carcinogenic, but we need amino acids, and good vegetarian diets provide roughly the same a.a. profile as any other diet. Given the other differences in diet (eg, do you barbecue meat? do you eat meat fats? etc etc), I would say that the idea that animal proteins are carcinogenic is basically hooey.   

       The idea that evolution has made resource-hungry animals more likely to get cancer is interesting but very dodgy. Evolution will tend to select for individual or species fitness.   

       And yes, obesity does increase cancer risk - partly because there's just more person to get cancer, and also because of all the metabolic crap (to use a technical term). High-fructose corn syrup (even from non-GM maize) causes more cancers than any number of Chernobyls and any number of asbestos-insulated houses.   

       Of course we should be very careful of what we eat, and should be wary of changing what we eat. Engineering crops to make more sugar (I don't know if it's been done - probably has) only makes sense if that sugar is used intelligently; if it's just used to make cheaper, sweeter sodas then it's a bad thing.   

       We should probably be very suspicious of any crops developed over the last 2-5000 years. The genetic changes in all major crops, including cereals and fruits, have been colossal - vastly increased yields and often much higher levels of sugars, starches and oils. We're just not evolved to deal with an agricultural, carb-heavy diet.   

       There are also reasons to be wary of GM crops in environmental terms. I can't however think of any specific concerns (except, as you mentioned, the possibility of GM crops contaminating non-GM crops). Glyphosate resistance (Roundup-ready) is only an advantage to the plant if the area is treated with glyphosate, so such plants are no more likely than any other to invade wild areas, or non-glyphosate-treated farmland. However, the transfer of glyphosate resistance is an issue to farmers, who may find that weed grasses (for instance) become glyphosate resistant.   

       Another possible environmental concern is insect resistance in engineered crops. For the farmland itself, it's a good thing if it reduces the need for pesticides, since it will kill only the insects that feed on the crop (rather than all or most insects in the area). If the resistance were to spread to wild relatives of the crop plants, that could be a bad thing. On the other hand, I haven't heard of insect resistance being transferred. And, on yet another hand, we do far, far more damage by introducing natural but alien species into environments willy nilly.   

       So (pausing for breath), there are some reasons to be concerned about some GM crops. The US has got it approximately right, although they should probably have been more cautious initially. The EU has never rationalized its ban on GM crops, and suffers economically as a result, with no net benefit to the environment (in fact, probably, net harm); but it is gradually becoming more open to rational argument.   

       And finally, to reiterate, what pisses me off almost infinitely is when idiots like [xen] base their arguments against GM on things like Donald Trump (seriously?) or "GM plants give you cancer". Those arguments will ultimately fail because they are uninformed and ill-educated nonsense; and any genuine arguments and concerns will be thrown out with them. As a result, we are likely to end up with too little, rather than too much, regulation of GM in the environment.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2017

       //base their arguments against GM on things like Donald Trump.// I should make you a little badge Max which says "If it's good enough for Trump to put in his mouth and swallow, then it's good enough for me" :-)
xenzag, Jan 13 2017

       //Unfortunately glyphosate resistance is not present in bees.//   

       I'm not sure I follow. Is there evidence to suggest that glyphosate harms bees? OK - a quick Google suggests that the evidence is ambiguous at best (the most recent data says no; bee advocates say yes), but it's a fair point.   

       But then there's a corollary question: if farmers can't use glyphosate on growing crops, what do they use instead, and has it been tested for bee-safeness? If you're going to use any chemical on crops, glyphosate is one of the most benign; if it replaces a worse alternative, that's a gain.   

       //self pollinating plants ?// That's actually a very good idea, and I wonder if anyone is working on it. (Of course many plants self-pollinate; but crops that can *only* self pollinate would be good.)
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2017

       //I should make you a little badge// [xen], even you know that you're making stupid (or at best, potentially amusing) arguments. If you are worried about GM crops then try learning enough to make cogent arguments.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 13 2017

       // The whole 'engineered to grow anywhere' means they are very hard to get rid of once established, and have many times have polluted non GMO crops so other farmers cannot make a choice. //   

       I was under the impression that GMO crops are usually engineered to be incapable of reproduction, so that the GMO companies get repeat customers. I was also under the impression that that's actually a bad thing in that it costs the farmers more than if they were able to take seeds from one year's crop to plant the next year.
notexactly, Aug 30 2019

       Depends on the crop. As far as I know (and I haven't kept up with it over the last few years) Golden Rice, which produces extra vitamin A, was developed and distributed pro bono, and can be regrown from harvested seeds.   

       [After a little Wikipeding]: Golden Rice is available without licence (and can be regrown from seed) to farmers earning less than $10,000pa from it, which includes almost all farmers in the regions where vitamin A deficiency kills or blinds about 1 million children per year. [xenzag] might like to know that Monsanto (as was) was one of the companies involved in granting these free rights.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 30 2019

       Maybe we could work up a rice that doesn't concentrate arsenic..? Nasty stuff doing damage that's not so easy to spot.
bs0u0155, Aug 30 2019

       Just edit it to bioaccumulate a different element from that group ... antimony, or maybe bismuth or selenium ?   

       // engineered to be incapable of reproduction //   

       Can you get GMO politicians yet ?
8th of 7, Aug 30 2019

       //bioaccumulate a different element from that group//   

       that's kind of the problem. Arsenate is a phosphate analog.
bs0u0155, Aug 30 2019

       Is arsenic accumulation by rice a problem? I suppose it might well be, in areas with unfortunate aquifers. My mate (in the jovial, comradely sense; not the reproductive sense) is working on a cheap biosensor for arsenic in well water (or, more to the point, unwell water).   

       If arsenic bioaccumulation is a problem, it might be solved by getting rice to express an arsenic binding protein (as used by bacteria; and by my mate in his biosensor) in the roots, to lock up that naughty arsenic and keep it out of the seed.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 30 2019

       That sounds like something you could get a grant for.
notexactly, Aug 30 2019

       We strongly suspect he's thinking more in terms of long-term royalties, stock options, a Nobel prize, and quite likely yet another statue to him somewhere ...
8th of 7, Aug 30 2019

       Not _too_ long term, if you don't mind. Re-roofing the northeast pineapple house won't pay for itself.
MaxwellBuchanan, Aug 30 2019


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