Advocacy of anti-GMO by vegan organizations hurts veganism - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 09-26-2013, 10:15 AM
 
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I find it disturbing that a vegan organization is co-opting veganism to promote anti-science FUD:

 

http://nwveg.org/events#538

 

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Come have a great plant-based meal with friends then stay for a presentation on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), and Washington Initiative 522. Washington I-522 is the initiative in WA to label foods with GMO ingredients. Sandy Cole of the campaign will be our guest speaker.

 

IMO, the anti-GMO movement has nothing to do with veganism and promotes the same kind of anti-science rhetoric as the climage change deniers.

 

 

The American Medical Association on recombinant DNA - genetic engineering:

 

Quote:
 (1) Our AMA recognizes the continuing validity of the three major conclusions contained in the 1987 National Academy of Sciences white paper "Introduction of Recombinant DNA-Engineered Organisms into the Environment." [The three major conclusions are: (a)There is no evidence that unique hazards exist either in the use of rDNA techniques or in the movement of genes between unrelated organisms; (b) The risks associated with the introduction of rDNA-engineered organisms are the same in kind as those associated with the introduction of unmodified organisms and organisms modified by other methods; (c) Assessment of the risk of introducing rDNA-engineered organisms into the environment should be based on the nature of the organism and the environment into which it is introduced, not on the method by which it was produced.

 

https://ssl3.ama-assn.org/apps/ecomm/PolicyFinderForm.pl?site=www.ama-assn.org&uri=%2fresources%2fdoc%2fPolicyFinder%2fpolicyfiles%2fHnE%2fH-480.958.HTM

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#2 Old 09-26-2013, 10:21 AM
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To be fair I didn't read the piece linked to, but just from your quoted portion I wonder how is an initiative to promote accurate labelling "anti-GMO"?

 

Food producers should be under legal obligation to provide full and accurate labelling of all food products. It should be the automatic right of every consumer to have accurate information concerning the contents of any food stuffs they purchase. Be they GMO or not.


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#3 Old 09-26-2013, 10:29 AM
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You're right, veganism doesn't have much to do with GM0s necessarily, but a good amount of vegans are concerned about it, and it makes sense since they are concerned with food issues. This is just trying to bring in another group that is in the fight against GMO. This isn't hurting veganism.

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#4 Old 09-26-2013, 01:20 PM
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I am not sure if I should respond to this because I am heavily involved with I-522 organization and social outreach, so... I am a vegan who is very anti-GMO. I will say the following:

Labeling GMO's is not anti-science in any way. No one part of that particular initiative is trying to get GMO foods out of stores, we're simply saying we would like to know what is in foods that already come with a label. This position goes beyond science and into social issues, such as the types of companies that are selling GMOs and other misinformation related to those companies.

To me, a requirement to label is a very vegan cause. I have a T-Shirt that reads "Vegan: Ingredient Reader Extraordinaire" because vegans read ingredients all the time. It's how we make sure we are sticking to our ethical guns. Full knowledge of what I put into my body is very important to me.

Also, if there is nothing wrong with GMO then what's the problem with labeling it? I understand the No on I-522 people would like to have labeling... labeled as a scare tactic, but why not put their resources into educating people about the unclear evidence for or against GMOs than simply saying "Don't you worry your pretty little head about it".

There are reasons corporations like Monsanto are banned from even entering entire nations. Washington is a very agricultural state with a unique culture, particularly Western Washington where community organic gardens have waiting lists and the universities have farms to teach people about learning with their hands.

And you can't say there is no health risk attached to GMO's, because there is still no where near enough data to prove that hypothesis.

Here is an abstract from a study done on salmon:
Quote:
The present experiment was conducted to study the possible effects of genetically modified (GM), full-fat soybean meal (FFSBM) from Round-up Ready® soybeans compared to its parental, and closest near-isogenic, non-modified (nGM) soybean variety, added at moderate (150 g kg−1) and high (300 g kg−1) inclusion levels. The fish showed a high specific growth rate (SGR 1.27–1.52), and nearly doubled their body weight (BW), with final weights varying from 1009 to 1110 g. Increased levels of dietary FFSBM, independent of the soy being GM or not, significantly decreased mean values of SGR, thermal growth rate, condition factor, final BW, liver somatic index, lipid efficiency ratio, apparent digestibility coefficients (ADC) of protein and gross energy, liver lipid content and plasma cholesterol, and significantly increased ADC of starch and muscle fatty acid levels of 18:3n-3, 20:4n-6, 20:5n-3 and total n-3. Increasing dietary GM FFSBM significantly increased feed conversion ratio, and significantly decreased protein efficiency ratio, ADC of lipid and dry matter and plasma triacylglycerol (TAG) levels. Spleen somatic index was significantly larger in fish groups fed GM FFSBM compared to groups fed nGM FFSBM, which might indicate a possible immune response exerted by the GM soybeans. Mean normalized expression of heat shock protein 70 mRNA in distal intestine was significantly up-regulated while normalized expression of catalase in liver was down-regulated, in fish fed FFSBM compared to fish fed FM. In conclusion, substituting moderate to high levels of GM Round-up Ready® FFSBM in diets for Atlantic salmon and compared to the closest near-isogenic counterpart available, resulted in many effects independent of the soy being GM or not, but with the notable exceptions of enlarged spleen and lowered plasma TAG.[ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
G.-I. HEMRE, et al. "Organs Development, Gene Expression And Health Of Atlantic Salmon ( Salmo Salar L.) Fed Genetically Modified Soybeans Compared To The Near-Isogenic Non-Modified Parental Line." Aquaculture Nutrition 14.6 (2008): 556-572. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.

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#5 Old 09-26-2013, 02:50 PM
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There are many reasons to oppose GMOs, Effects on human health, real or not, are among the least of them. The transformation of global agriculture into an enterprise completely dependent on corporate big ag is arguably the most important. Unfortunately, fears about "frankenfoods" stoked by interests well versed in the discourse of "health store" nutritional evangelism are much more compelling than the fates of producers. Self interest trumps community again. We are correct to join the war, but probably aren't engaging in the correct battle.

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#6 Old 09-26-2013, 03:15 PM
 
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And you can't say there is no health risk attached to GMO's, because there is still no where near enough data to prove that hypothesis. 

We label cigarettes and alcohol because their is wide agreement that they are associated with health risks (based on peer-reviewed science). Labelling something for which these is no evidence of risk is absurd. Moreover, these laws would significantly increase costs for smaller producers (and less-developed nations). It's no surprise that the GMO labelling movement is heavily funded by large corporations.

 

It's also absurd that laws are being written to target genetic engineering but not "natural" induced mutagenesis or forced hybridization. Any scientist will tell you that introducing many random mutations into a genome is riskier than introducing a single gene of known function.

 

Quote:
 There are reasons corporations like Monsanto are banned from even entering entire nations.

IMO, the problem with Monsanto is their predatory capitalist practices, not the science of genetic engineering. Most people have friends or family whose lives have been extended or saved by drugs produce via GMO. Should we label synthetic insulin or herceptin?

 

Quote:
 G.-I. HEMRE, et al. "Organs Development, Gene Expression And Health Of Atlantic Salmon ( Salmo Salar L.) Fed Genetically Modified Soybeans Compared To The Near-Isogenic Non-Modified Parental Line." Aquaculture Nutrition 14.6 (2008): 556-572. Academic Search Complete. Web. 26 Sept. 2013.

 

Let me quote from the long-term follow up study by the same authors:

Quote:

The present study was a long term trial to clarify somewhat
inconclusive results from earlier trials, as well as assess consequences
of longer term feeding and feeding during a physiologically challenging
stage of salmon development, the parr–smolt transformation. In
conclusion, fish in both diet groups had similar nutritional and health
status and managed the adaptation to life in seawater equally well. No
adverse effects were observed. Some minor changes observed in other
studies with GM soy fed to Atlantic salmon were not confirmed. This
lack of reproducibility indicates case-by-case variation, even within
the same crop and genetic modification, and that other confounding
factors (such as variations in ANFs) rather than genetic modification
per se may be involved in the effects observed. The results presented
here support and strengthen the conclusion made in earlier studies
that GM soy can be used as an equivalent and safe substitute for
traditional soy varieties in feeds for Atlantic salmon.

 

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0044848609004499

Full text available here: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/1920818/1576200556/name/Kedelai%2BTransgenik%2Bpada%2BIkan%2BSalmon%2B2009.pdf

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#7 Old 09-26-2013, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dave in MPLS View Post
 

The transformation of global agriculture into an enterprise completely dependent on corporate big ag is arguably the most important... We are correct to join the war, but probably aren't engaging in the correct battle.

 

Comrade, I am definitely with you on this war. I am opposed to most forms of intellectual property and believe that many multinational corporations are  criminal anti-competitive enterprises that should be broken up under the sherman antitrust act and/or RICO.

 

 

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#8 Old 09-27-2013, 12:37 AM
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What River said:

 

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Originally Posted by River View Post

Labeling GMO's is not anti-science in any way. Not one part of that particular initiative is trying to get GMO foods out of stores, we're simply saying we would like to know what is in foods that already come with a label. ...

To me, a requirement to label is a very vegan cause. I have a T-Shirt that reads "Vegan: Ingredient Reader Extraordinaire" because vegans read ingredients all the time. It's how we make sure we are sticking to our ethical guns. Full knowledge of what I put into my body is very important to me.

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#9 Old 09-30-2013, 11:17 AM
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Labeling GMO's is not anti-science in any way.


Its exactly as anti-science as labeling biology textbooks with stickers about the "doubts" surrounding evolution because students have the right to know and choose which theory they believe.
http://skepticalvegan.com/2011/10/29/food-labeling/

 

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No one part of that particular initiative is trying to get GMO foods out of stores, we're simply saying we would like to know what is in foods that already come with a label. This position goes beyond science and into social issues, such as the types of companies that are selling GMOs and other misinformation related to those companies.


Yeah, and textbook labeling proponents werent ultimately trying to get evolution taken out of public schools either... :rolleyes:

Enough labeling proponents have made it more than clear that they would prefer GMOs to the banned. Labeling is simply a trojan horse for further anti-biotech action.

Quote:
To me, a requirement to label is a very vegan cause.


The requirements to label animal products would be a vegan cause, not labeling GMOs. And where are these mandatory labels on all animal products??? As a vegan why not fight for those first?


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I have a T-Shirt that reads "Vegan: Ingredient Reader Extraordinaire" because vegans read ingredients all the time. It's how we make sure we are sticking to our ethical guns. Full knowledge of what I put into my body is very important to me.


So you are saying that despite a lack of government mandated labeling denoting the presence of animal products in a food item that you are still able to avoid animal products and stick to veganism? Then why not do the same for GMOs?

Seriously vegans already know how to research food items with ingredients of unknown origin so lets not play the victims about corperations shoving food down our throats.


Quote:

Also, if there is nothing wrong with GMO then what's the problem with labeling it?


The very point of not labeling it is because there is nothing wrong with it. Government mandated labeling is for legitimate, science-based health concerns, not unfounded health concerns or political concerns of people who voluntarily adopt restricted diets. If you want labels to avoid GMO foods the seek out products labeled through independent certification schemes, such as the Non-GMO Project, and . This is what vegans do when we seek out products with a Vegan Society (or similar) certification logo. It is what Jewish people do when they seek out products with Kosher certification. It is what Muslims do when they seek out products with Halal certification. It is what some people do when they seek out Fair Trade certified products. Thrid party certification already works and already puts the burden of labeling where it should be, on those who want it.

Quote:

I understand the No on I-522 people would like to have labeling... labeled as a scare tactic, but why not put their resources into educating people about the unclear evidence for or against GMOs than simply saying "Don't you worry your pretty little head about it".

I see the No on I-522 doing far more to try and educate the public in a rational manner on this issue than the Yes on 522 folks. Want a good place to start? Try http://www.biofortified.org/ or http://www.vegangmo.com/

 

Quote:

There are reasons corporations like Monsanto are banned from even entering entire nations.

Im not sure they are very good reasons though...

 



 

Quote:
And you can't say there is no health risk attached to GMO's, because there is still no where near enough data to prove that hypothesis.


We have looked long enough.

over a decade of EU funded research ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/kbbe/docs/a-decade-of-eu-funded-gmo-research_en.pdf
& over 600 safety assessments http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/p/450-published-safety-assessments.html

It doesn't matter to the anti-GMO folks though, NOTHING would be enough. Because its not about science and evidence, its about what they just "know" in their gut. They will keep moving that goal post til the very end.

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#10 Old 09-30-2013, 11:30 AM
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Just label the food truthfully and let the consumer decide.
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#11 Old 09-30-2013, 12:18 PM
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Just label the food truthfully and let the consumer decide.

 

Yes. After all, if it's good enough for the European Union, then why not the US?

 

http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gm_labelling#.UknNzGQacRY

 

Quote: "In the EU, if a food contains or consists of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or contains ingredients produced from GMOs, this must be indicated on the label. For GM products sold 'loose', information must be displayed immediately next to the food to indicate that it is GM."


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#12 Old 09-30-2013, 01:00 PM
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Just label the food truthfully and let the consumer decide.


it is really not that simple, why focus on on GM crops, there are so many other breeding techniques we could label as well. And why just the breeding technique, Why not the exact species and variety. How about just a full genome sequence.

 

In the end GM foods ARE labeled truthfully as long as they aren't labeled "non-GMO". We dont disclose if something is a hybrid or was produced with mutation breeding.
 


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#13 Old 09-30-2013, 01:15 PM
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Yes. After all, if it's good enough for the European Union, then why not the US?

 

http://www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gm_labelling#.UknNzGQacRY

 

Quote: "In the EU, if a food contains or consists of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), or contains ingredients produced from GMOs, this must be indicated on the label. For GM products sold 'loose', information must be displayed immediately next to the food to indicate that it is GM."


I dont see that as a good argument at all. The fact that another nation has a certain law is not at all reason for us to adopt a similar policy.


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#14 Old 10-01-2013, 11:10 AM
 
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Thanks for the information-laden posts SkepticalVegan!

 

I am also still waiting for someone to explain what being anti-GMO has to do with avoiding exploitation.  Genetic engineering has the potential to make agriculture less reliant on animal inputs  (e.g. the development of nitrogen-fixing cereal crops). Isn't this something that all vegans should support?

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#15 Old 10-01-2013, 11:36 AM
 
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RADIATION-induced mutagenesis of food crops:

 

Many grapefruit cultivars (essentially all red varieties).

All commercial peppermint cultivars.

Common barley cultivars (used in beer and scotch production).

Some calrose and basmati rice cultivars.

Asian pear cultivars.

Chickpea cultivar.

Lentil cultivar.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/28/science/28crop.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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#16 Old 10-22-2013, 04:51 PM
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http://www.nationofchange.org/scientists-say-no-consensus-gmo-food-safety-1382450730


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#17 Old 10-23-2013, 08:35 AM
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I dont see that as a good argument at all. The fact that another nation has a certain law is not at all reason for us to adopt a similar policy.

 

While I take your point, the EU is comprised of a whole gamut of nations, twenty eight in all.

 

I think it's reasonable for any Western democracy to at least refer to how other Western democracies approach matters such as public rights and freedoms. In this instance the right to know what is in one's food is clearly considered a public right among European nations, it's not unreasonable to wonder why people in the States are not afforded equivalent rights.


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#18 Old 10-23-2013, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by LedBoots View Post

Just label the food truthfully and let the consumer decide.

This!

 

This is why I want labels. If GMOs are perfectly safe in someone's opinion, fine. If not, well, fine too. Labeling works both ways and simply allows consumers to make their own informed choices. I think you can be vegan and also on board with other food issues. I'm into vegan eating, but also organic and GMO. I feel like it's ok to branch out. 


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#19 Old 10-26-2013, 12:07 PM
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I find it disturbing that a vegan organization is co-opting veganism to promote anti-science FUD:

 

Thankyou unethicalvegan! I’m glad you are noticing that the antiGMO conspiracy theorists (that’s what they really are) are co-opting the vegan movement. Lemme tell you about our recent experiences.

 

I run a group called Vegan Chicago. Our mission is to support local vegans and partly how we do that is we encourage good critical thinking skills and supply scientific sources of information. We don’t put up with charlatans who prey on our members so we take a pretty staunch and proactive approach in fortifying our members with the tools to better defend themselves.

 

Anywho, every year we table a a local festival called Chicago VeganMania.  And every year we see an antiGMO table there which seems to get bigger and bigger. This year though they had the biggest presence of any cause taking up three tables together with a wall of huge full color banners, posters, fliers petitions etc. It’s not unreasonable to imagine though I guess when the organizer of the antiGMO booth, Mike Durschmid is also a Chicago Vegan Mania organizer.
 

The labeling effort is their latest disingenuous tactic to ban GMOs so I quickly drew up a flier to hand out in response at our Vegan Chicago table:

 

Well, they didn’t quite like that apparently:

 

After the event we sent out an email explaining a few things in cad their were any misunderstandings as to the things we did and the conversations that were had.
 

We got many emails in response to this, half were supportive and thankful and the other half confused and angry. A few people asked us why were were going on with proGMO since it was off topic for veganism but that is part of the point! I wonder how many people have also contacted Chicago VeganMania complaining that the antiGMO or altmed tables were off-topic? While there is bad information targeting vegans, Vegan Chicago won’t be afraid to challenge it. And THAT is how it's on-topic for us.

 

I’ve been saying for years that the vegan movement is being relegated by the parasitic fringe elements who prey upon it. This antiGMO nonsense is the latest form and it’s akin to having those 9/11 Truther tables at GreenFest

 

Vegans, stand up, speak up for your cause! These factions rely on your complicity to stay relevant. I know you don’t want to incite discontent or rock the boat for the sake of the movement but you won’t have a movement left while these cancerous leeches undermine it. What kind of culture are we making here? You know, many of the people who came by my table were embarrassed to admit their support? Doctors, scientists whispered their credentials looking around nervously. WTF is that about? Why are we hostile to these valuable assets of our community?!

 

People have tried to paint a scarlet letter on us by accusing Vegan Chicago of being pro-GMO. Well, damn right we are. We’re pro-science so therefore we are pro-vaccination, and pro-biotech. You should be too and be proud!

 

Well, that got ranty didn’t it? ;) Thanks for reading, love to hear some thoughts.

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#20 Old 10-26-2013, 12:22 PM
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Genetic engineering has the potential to make agriculture less reliant on animal inputs  (e.g. the development of nitrogen-fixing cereal crops). Isn't this something that all vegans should support?

YES!  Why Are We Pro-GMO? - Vegan GMO

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#21 Old 10-27-2013, 06:26 PM
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Wow, this place is a ghost town now.

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#22 Old 10-28-2013, 09:59 AM
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Many thanks to unethicalvegan, SkepticalVegan, and dandelion. I truly appreciate the efforts to increase science literacy regarding "GMOs" (ugh, hate that term - it could be applied to *every* crop). "GMO" is on par with "natural" for annoying and meaningless food labels.

 

I have a PhD in plant molecular biology, and many of my friends and former colleagues work for Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow, and various small biotechs. I do find the anti-'GMO' sentiment in the vegan community irritating. I hate having to shop for vegan items in health food stores, with their anti-science labeling and shelves full of junk supplements (except D2 and chewable B12, of course!). I see all the possibilities of plant biotech beyond what most people are perhaps aware of:  the promise of plant-expressed vaccines, crop nutritional enhancement, and novel anti-herbivory strategies that don't involve pesticide production. I see the reduction of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. I also see the leagues of nice people who work long hours on this stuff for surprisingly low pay.

 

A lot of the anti-GMO sentiment really seems to boil down to dislike of agroscience corporations, Monsanto in particular. I always tell people that if they hate Monsanto's business practices, they should insist that the government provide more funding to plant scientists at public and government institutions. Publicly-funded science - and improved crops, etc. - belongs to the people, and the government can provide the technology to farmers at lower cost. Monsanto and their ill-conceived RoundUp-Ready crops aren't the be-all and end-all of biotech; the possibilities for plant biotech are really so unlimited that you could never paint every development with the same brush.

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#23 Old 10-28-2013, 10:43 AM
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Stewart Brand, among other futurists, has long spoken for genetically modified crops as pretty much our best countermeasure against global food shortages. As more and more of our arable land turns to desert, we have to make the most of what's left, developing crops that mature further north in a shorter growing season and are more resistant to drought and insects, among other qualities. More ears of corn per stalk, more kernels per ear. Or for soy, more pods per plant and more soybeans per pod, yielding more food per acre and on smaller doses of fertilizer and pesticide. I'm as willing as anyone else to look at evidence that new strains, and Roundup Ready strains, and corn that grows its own Bt, are harmful. But until I see convincing evidence I will continue to be skeptical of claims based on hypotheticals. With more people and less land, global agriculture does have to do something in that direction, and going forward I can't envision turning back from genetically modified crops. 

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#24 Old 10-28-2013, 03:44 PM
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You don't have to be anti-science to be cautious about technology. 

 

That's not to say no one does carry it to that extreme.  But proponents need to understand where the suspicions are coming from.  After all, our land is turning to desert in the first place because of unintended consequences.  Modern institutions can be pretty narrow in their approach to problems. 

 

Ultimately, though, I have to agree:  if you can't say what you want, then all you can do is protest.  Neither every plan is good nor every plan bad.  Even people who reject authority are too dependent in their thinking.  We need more informed citizens.  I support public funding and accountability.


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#25 Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 AM
 
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I know I am a bit late to this party, but I feel two things have not been explained by the proponents of GMOs:

 

Why would being against something which hurts humans, hurt veganism?

Why should vegans not be involved with labeling food more clearly?

And why should vegans not be proponents of preserving natural lineages of fruits and vegetables, and allow greater biodiversity?


-North
CalicotsRevenge is offline  
#26 Old 11-01-2013, 04:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dandelion View Post
 

Wow, this place is a ghost town now.


Hey Dandelion, Somehow your responses did not come up on my "replied to" posts. I'm a huge fan of both your PyCrank blog and your efforts with Vegan Chicago. Please keep up the good fight!

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#27 Old 11-01-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CalicotsRevenge View Post
 

I know I am a bit late to this party, but I feel two things have not been explained by the proponents of GMOs:

 

Why would being against something which hurts humans, hurt veganism?

Why should vegans not be involved with labeling food more clearly?

And why should vegans not be proponents of preserving natural lineages of fruits and vegetables, and allow greater biodiversity?

 

Can you provide an example of a "GMO" harming human beings?

We don't label hybrids or radiation-induced mutants so why should we label simple transgenic organisms?

I don't see why "GMO" has any impact on preserving natural lineages of fruits and vegetables. It's simply a tool like traditional plant genetics.

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#28 Old 11-01-2013, 04:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ScienceVegan View Post
 

Many thanks to unethicalvegan, SkepticalVegan, and dandelion. I truly appreciate the efforts to increase science literacy regarding "GMOs" (ugh, hate that term - it could be applied to *every* crop). "GMO" is on par with "natural" for annoying and meaningless food labels.

 

I have a PhD in plant molecular biology, and many of my friends and former colleagues work for Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow, and various small biotechs. I do find the anti-'GMO' sentiment in the vegan community irritating. I hate having to shop for vegan items in health food stores, with their anti-science labeling and shelves full of junk supplements (except D2 and chewable B12, of course!). I see all the possibilities of plant biotech beyond what most people are perhaps aware of:  the promise of plant-expressed vaccines, crop nutritional enhancement, and novel anti-herbivory strategies that don't involve pesticide production. I see the reduction of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. I also see the leagues of nice people who work long hours on this stuff for surprisingly low pay.

 

A lot of the anti-GMO sentiment really seems to boil down to dislike of agroscience corporations, Monsanto in particular. I always tell people that if they hate Monsanto's business practices, they should insist that the government provide more funding to plant scientists at public and government institutions. Publicly-funded science - and improved crops, etc. - belongs to the people, and the government can provide the technology to farmers at lower cost. Monsanto and their ill-conceived RoundUp-Ready crops aren't the be-all and end-all of biotech; the possibilities for plant biotech are really so unlimited that you could never paint every development with the same brush.

 

Hi ScienceVegan, As a molecular biologist and clinician it's always heartening to encounter other vegan scientists.

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#29 Old 11-03-2013, 05:50 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unethicalvegan View Post
 


Hey Dandelion, Somehow your responses did not come up on my "replied to" posts. I'm a huge fan of both your PyCrank blog and your efforts with Vegan Chicago. Please keep up the good fight!

Sorry, it wasn't meant to be a comment on this thread but on VB/message boards in general in today's internet climate. Off topic, mods can edit if necessary. (great forum BTW, no disrespect)

dandelion is offline  
#30 Old 11-03-2013, 06:33 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceVegan View Post
 

Many thanks to unethicalvegan, SkepticalVegan, and dandelion. I truly appreciate the efforts to increase science literacy regarding "GMOs" (ugh, hate that term - it could be applied to *every* crop). "GMO" is on par with "natural" for annoying and meaningless food labels.

 

I have a PhD in plant molecular biology, and many of my friends and former colleagues work for Monsanto, Pioneer, Dow, and various small biotechs. I do find the anti-'GMO' sentiment in the vegan community irritating. I hate having to shop for vegan items in health food stores, with their anti-science labeling and shelves full of junk supplements (except D2 and chewable B12, of course!). I see all the possibilities of plant biotech beyond what most people are perhaps aware of:  the promise of plant-expressed vaccines, crop nutritional enhancement, and novel anti-herbivory strategies that don't involve pesticide production. I see the reduction of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. I also see the leagues of nice people who work long hours on this stuff for surprisingly low pay.

 

A lot of the anti-GMO sentiment really seems to boil down to dislike of agroscience corporations, Monsanto in particular. I always tell people that if they hate Monsanto's business practices, they should insist that the government provide more funding to plant scientists at public and government institutions. Publicly-funded science - and improved crops, etc. - belongs to the people, and the government can provide the technology to farmers at lower cost. Monsanto and their ill-conceived RoundUp-Ready crops aren't the be-all and end-all of biotech; the possibilities for plant biotech are really so unlimited that you could never paint every development with the same brush.

 

Thanks ScienceVegan!

 

"GMO" is a misnomer yes but there's still a concern behind it and I'd like to crack that nut especially within the vegan community....well, as far as I'm willing to stomach it, alas.

 

I have also seen a few of the smart, awesome, caring people who work in biotech and their passion rivals anything I've seen in the vegan community. It's quite unfortunate that for a group of people who eat only plants should shoot themselves in the foot by deriding this awesome opportunity technology affords us! It's another front we need advocates and allies before GE animals become more and more prevalent.

 

The Monsanto boogeyman has become an effigy for biotech. Publicly-funded science all the way. Put your money where your mouth is!

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