Tuesday, March 4, 2014

GMO and "science" paranoia

Hello, hello!

The other day I was at work and had a rather heated (but unemotional) argument with a co-worker of mine who was reading an article that called non-GMO (genetically modified organism) food that is grown "traditionally"  the 'frenimy" of organically grown foods.  The arguement they were making is that people see GMO as the "bad guy" so food that is non-GMO (but grown traditionally) is thought of as better/safer than GMO but cheaper than organic (which costs more to grow/raise often due to lower yields). 

My take on it was that people need to stop complaining about GMO's, as genetic modification is not the problem  There has yet to be any peer-reviewed and replicated science that shows any harm or even indication of harm based the the gene modifications of the (in particular) plants, they have been around for 30-40 years, and there is substantially no difference between GMO and more traditional hybridization/controlled selection.

The problem is not the organisms themselves, it's the process by which those (in particular) plants are grown where ANY sense of problem arise.  We should not be be talking about GMO's per se, but the process by which any and all foods are brought to the table.  Making GMO the "bad guy" mistakes the plant for the process and unjustly vilifies it.  We should be talking about overuse of glysophate herbicides and neonicotinoid insecticides and (insert other agent here) instead of what is done in labs to create plants (or animals) that make them more or less susceptible to insects/weed/disease/temperatures, etc.  But frankly, even this evidence is weak that any of it is problematic at this point.

It's like talking about guns being banned in the US, instead of regulating their use or ownership we would just ban them altogether for everyone including the military and police (because then no one can steal them from the police/military and if no one has guns then why do the police/military need them).  It's irrational to try and completely ban guns (aside form the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution - which I'll post my thoughts on someday) because there are scenarios where people would use them lawfully (hunting, law enforcement, the military, "feeling" safer, self defence and the like). 

My co-workers response to me was 'If you don't want people to blame GMO's or use the term then you know what, go start a blog and talk about it there.  Try and get people to use the terms you want them too and stop arguing with me about it.  It's the term people use to talk about it.'.   So... 

Now, if I'm wrong, can someone point me to some "good" science that supports GMO's as a problem where it's not a problem with the "process" of growing them?  Send me links in the comments and I'll take a look so we can discuss it. 


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