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March against Monsanto


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#1 SJS

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:02 AM

Two scientists visit a March Against Monsanto rally in the UK.

 

They find lovely, clueless people.

 


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#2 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 01:11 AM

I wonder how much of the anti-Monsanto position around the world is based on Monsanto's American basis (that is, their anti-scientific stance is encouraged by their anti-American sentiment).


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#3 fenderjazz

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 02:22 AM

Nonscience must rock.



#4 fast eddie

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 04:39 AM

Monsanto has a rich history of making heinous poisons and the like, not exactly a pillar of corporate good guys. A lot of the anti-Monsanto isn't based on cold, hard science, but who sez it needs to be??? Can't folks call out a POS corp. when they strongly oppose it's policies??? Granted, they throw out some specious arguments in the process, but still...
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#5 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 04:47 AM

Monsanto has a rich history of making heinous poisons and the like, not exactly a pillar of corporate good guys. A lot of the anti-Monsanto isn't based on cold, hard science, but who sez it needs to be???

When people make claims of fact that contradict scientific evidence, that's a problem.

 

Can't folks call out a POS corp. when they strongly oppose it's policies??? Granted, they throw out some specious arguments in the process, but still...

Call it out for the policies with which you disagree, like advocating weak regulation.  But don't act like trying to make a profit based on its products or producing more efficient crops by the most efficient means we have is wrong in and of itself.

It's why you don't attack the person; attack arguments, instead.  That way, you can acknowledge the things Monsanto does wrong without sounding like an ignorant blowhard to bags on Monsanto as though they are only aware of the negative sides of its existence.


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#6 DarthLen

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 12:51 PM

http://www.theorgani...elieve-07202013

A lot of good(?) information here about Monsanto. For those of us that have been alive long enough to remember a time BEFORE Monsanto's domination, we know what's up and what is happening to our food and our bodies due to the changes in said food.



#7 OldRUSHfan

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 05:02 PM

http://www.theorgani...elieve-07202013

A lot of good(?) information here about Monsanto. For those of us that have been alive long enough to remember a time BEFORE Monsanto's domination, we know what's up and what is happening to our food and our bodies due to the changes in said food.

 

I first heard of Monsanto at Disney World in the summer of '77.  There was a big display in the Epcot Center, and a little ride thingie.....I remember thinking "Corporate Cropage"


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#8 SJS

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 08:00 PM

Monsanto has a rich history of making heinous poisons and the like, not exactly a pillar of corporate good guys. A lot of the anti-Monsanto isn't based on cold, hard science, but who sez it needs to be??? Can't folks call out a POS corp. when they strongly oppose it's policies??? Granted, they throw out some specious arguments in the process, but still...

 

What Reb said. 


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#9 SJS

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Posted 02 June 2014 - 08:33 PM

http://www.theorgani...elieve-07202013

A lot of good(?) information here about Monsanto. For those of us that have been alive long enough to remember a time BEFORE Monsanto's domination, we know what's up and what is happening to our food and our bodies due to the changes in said food.

 

Well, look at the website... does it really look like a source of "good information" (I see the "?").

 

Let's go:

 

Myth #1: No one has ever proven that GMOs are harmful to people.

 

There are over 2000 safety studies on GMOs.  There are a half dozen or so really badly done studies that imply harmfulness of GMOs; I notice the first one the "myth" website links to is the god-awful Serliani study that had to be retracted.

 

Myth #2: GMO crops are the only way to solve world hunger.

 

This isn't a myth because no one ever says this.  What is said is that broadening the varieties of crops available that can survive in different temperatures or in competition with different pests is a smarter way to go than limiting the varieties of crops to those that have been selectively bred over the past 10,000 years, prior to the advent of better crop-creating technologies.

 

Myth #3: GMOs need less pesticide spraying.

 

Not a myth

 

Myth #4:  GM is comparable to cross-breeding

 

Right, this would be a myth.  It's not comparable to cross-breeding, it's demonstrably safer and better than cross-breeding.  Cross-breeding is usually the crossing of uncontrolled numbers of genes to perpetuate one or two phenotypic traits, whereas GM requires the insertion of a single gene - much less worrisome.  The gene being inserted is known to be safe - for example, allowing rice to synthesize vitamin A, or allowing cotton to express a natural Bt toxin that kills the caterpillars that eat it, a "toxin" that is far safer than most of the things in our diet to humans.

 

Myth #5:  If the FDA allow it, it's safe

 

This is a red herring.  The claims of the safety of GMOs are based on: 1) hundreds of studies and 2) the lack of any single health effect on humans in the several decades we've been eating them.  It is appropriate that these products are safety-tested by government agencies, but claims of their safety does not hinge on receiving the blessing of these agencies.

 

Myth #6:  There is no nutritional difference between GMOs and non-GMOs

 

There certainly doesn't have to be.  Obviously any two things can differ in nutritional value, but GM-ing something can't make it less healthy just by itself.  Ironically, the nutritional content of fruits has probably been going down over time due to selective breeding as we breed fruits to be tastier (higher sugar content, lower content of bitter tasting molecules than can be vitamins and other beneficial compounds).  GM has the potential to put those things back in, or put them in places they've never been (see Golden Rice).

 

Myth #7:  GMOs are impossible to avoid.

 

Another thing I've not heard anyone claim.  What is true is that they are all over the place and, surprise surprise, no one's dying.

 

Myth #8:  Monsanto has our best interests in mind

 

Another thing no one says.  However, the opposite is also ridiculous: there are actually people who think Monsanto's business plan is mass murder.  Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.  Monsanto is neither saint nor sinner.  They're tying to make products that sell better than other people's products.  They don't control everything. And on the basis of common sense alone, let's not fall for the stupid claim that anyone who is pro-GMO is being paid off by Monsanto.  SJS gets no Monsanto money.

 

Myth #9:  GMOs are not harmful to the environment

 

Same response as myth #6.  Any two crops may differ in environmental friendliness, the technology that produces them is irrelevant.  Indeed, the technology can be used to make a more friendly crop.  There's a GM cotton that has Bt toxin right inside it.  The cotton makes it.  Organic farmers use tons of Bt toxin (it's a "natural" pesticide, so they can and do spray it).  What's better for the environment?  With GM, only the caterpillars that eat the plant die.  With sprayed Bt toxin, the toxin can drift or run off from the farm and affect a much wider area.  With GM, no Bt has to be sprayed at all.  With organic farming, it does have to be sprayed.  This is part of what increases the cost of organic food, and part of the reason why organic farming in generally worse for the environment.  (Add:  truckloads of manure and larger acreage per bushel of crop to the organic demerit side of the ledger.)

 

Myth #10:  Get used to it: GMOs are here to stay.

 

Why is this even on the list?  The point is, GMOs are really smart technology with a lot of upside.  It may not be here to stay though, because people's fears of what they don't understand are more persuasive to politicians than science.  I sure as hell hope it's here to stay, but I'm damn worried it won't be.


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#10 RushDoggie

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Posted 03 June 2014 - 08:12 PM

Monsanto has been around a long time, my Dad worked for them as a polymer chemist for 30ish years. He worked on a team that invented an automobile trim adhesive (still in use), the plastic they used to make Pampers from and the plastic they make Legos from. The patent is actually in his (and a few other guys' names). They do/did more than agriculture.

 

That said, they did force him to retire earlier than planned and screwed with his retirement benefits and insurance quite a bit, so I can't say I am a fan, even if it is what fed me.


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#11 fast eddie

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 12:42 AM

Yeah, Monsanto, maker of AGENT ORANGE, was touted by Disney in it's TomorrowLand...corporations have a right and a responsibility to make profits and prosper, but they equally have a responsibility to do right by their customers and humanity in general, I don't think the maker of AGENT ORANGE and other nasty poisons, is very upstanding in their responsibilities...but then, that's true of a good number of corps...
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#12 A Rebel and a Runner

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 04:47 PM

eddie, you are engaging in the genetic fallacy.

Stop it.



#13 Planet X-1

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:12 PM

eddie, you are engaging in the genetic fallacy.

Stop it.

 

In a roundabout way that`s what eddie is claiming about Monsanto   :P


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#14 Greg

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 05:29 PM

Len, that site you linked to is just hackneyed same old same old.  I won't go into all the reasons why (there are too many), but SJS's point by point summary above is excellent.  


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#15 fast eddie

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:08 PM

Genetic fallacy??? I'm not getting this...I never mentioned anything about Monsanto's genetic mod work...that's scary shit to us laypersons, but I agree that it's "scariness" shouldn't hinder r&d... tech advances done responsibly and with robust safeguards can be an awesome thing, but unintended consequences have accompanied much of human progress, and we need to become better at eliminating those ...
 


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#16 Planet X-1

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:37 PM

ruh-roh....


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#17 fenderjazz

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 06:39 PM

Genetic fallacy??? I'm not getting this...I never mentioned anything about Monsanto's genetic mod work...that's scary shit to us laypersons, but I agree that it's "scariness" shouldn't hinder r&d... tech advances done responsibly and with robust safeguards can be an awesome thing, but unintended consequences have accompanied much of human progress, and we need to become better at eliminating those ...
 

 

So, let me just play devil's advocate here for a minute...

 

Let's say a new species of corn or a tomato is discovered.  After sufficient lab testing determined it was not poisonous to humans and basically just corn or a tomato, is it safe for consumption?

 

So now through genetic manipulation by a company, you get a new species of corn or tomato?  Do the same rules apply?

 

We've all read science fiction stories and saw drive-in movies with 30 foot spiders.  We have to let the fallacy go and let the science be our guides.  I'm not saying Monsanto is the most well-intended corporation on the planet, but this is all case-by-case, based on science, not prejudice.



#18 SJS

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:07 PM

eddie, you are engaging in the genetic fallacy.

Stop it.

 

But all caps, Reb.  All caps!


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#19 fast eddie

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:19 PM

By genetic fallacy, are you referring to my maker of AGENT ORANGE phrase as a descriptor of Monsanto's corporate mindset??? That phrase is a bit provocative, but when speaking of corporations, you are what you make...


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#20 Always the Winner

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Posted 04 June 2014 - 07:36 PM



We've all read science fiction stories and saw drive-in movies with 30 foot spiders. We have to let the fallacy go and let the science be our guides. I'm not saying Monsanto is the most well-intended corporation on the planet, but this is all case-by-case, based on science, not prejudice.


I never saw a drive in movie about a 30-foot spider!

It was always on Channel 56 on Saturday afternoons...


Last drive-in movie I saw was Lethal Weapon 4.

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Hey...where's Perry?





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