Why GMO Myths Are So Appealing and Powerful

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Last week, an executive with a biotech trade group asserted in an interview that it wasn’t too late to win the hearts and minds of consumers suspicious of genetically modified foods.


Biotech advocates just need to do a better job of explaining the technology and its benefits. The headline for the piece read:

 It’s not too late to change the conversation on GMOs

While I admire this optimism and agree that we should continue to engage in conversations about GMOs, there are certain present-day realities that constrain our efforts to find common ground on this very controversial topic.

At the top of this list is the sheer amount of information we are inundated with every day. Many of us are tapped into mobile technology. We are referred to as ‘just in time’ users (Rainie and Fox 2012).  We account for 62% of the entire adult population who often look to online sources and online social networks for information. Anti-GMO interest groups have successfully leveraged these networks to disseminate misinformation and influence public opinion. Using carefully crafted words (frankenfoods!) and images (syringes in tomatoes), they create myths–GM corn causes cancer, fish genes have beenforced into tomatoes or GM corn kills the larvae of monarch butterflies–that tap into people’s fears about genetic engineering.

When you combine these myths with our cognitive habits, things become even more complex:

People are conspiratorial thinkers: Public Policy Polling (2013) conducted a survey earlier this year where (among other things) it found that 20% of voters believe there is a link between childhood vaccines and autism while another 14% of voters believe in Bigfoot. As Maggie Koerth-Baker reported in her article in the NY Times last week: “Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness” where the human brain jumps into “analytical overdrive … in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative.”

Written By: Cami Ryan
continue to source article at blogs.discovermagazine.com

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  1. I think there is a lot of irrationality on both sides of this issue. Dismissing concerns about GMOs by just talking about conspiracy theories is as close minded as the people who just assume GMOs must be evil because they don’t like companies like Monsanto. You can look at the history of new drugs and chemicals and see something very clearly: sometimes the harmful side effects are not apparent until its been used for many years (Fen Fen, Thalidomide, Asbestos,…). The human body and the environment we live in are incredibly complex. Harmful effects can take time to accumulate, they can be influenced by various combinations of factors, etc. And there is a major difference between GMO foods and traditional drugs and chemicals. You can always recall a drug like Thalidomide. Once a GMO is out of the lab it may be impossible to “put back in the bottle”. It seems perfectly rational to me to err on the side of caution.

    • In reply to #1 by Red Dog:

      I think there is a lot of irrationality on both sides of this issue. Dismissing concerns about GMOs by just talking about conspiracy theories is as close minded as the people who just assume GMOs must be evil because they don’t like companies like Monsanto. You can look at the history of new drugs…

      It is very difficult to get unbiased objective information and even more difficult to understand the science behind it.

      Why GMO Myths Are So Appealing and Powerful

      Or putting it another way:- Why GMO Companies Are So Appealing and Powerful, when their track record on pharmaceuticals, pesticides, environmental pollution etc. is so dubious.

      This rather looks like a rehashing of the fallacious polluters’ argument that the AGW environmental scientists & climatologists, are all tree-hugging hippies!

      You can always recall a drug like Thalidomide. Once a GMO is out of the lab it may be impossible to “put back in the bottle”. It seems perfectly rational to me to err on the side of caution.

      A precautionary approach would seem sensible, although that is NOT what is being done at present in the rush for output and profit. We already know the effects of many invasive species accidentally of deliberately introduced into ecosystems where they do not belong and do not fit!

  2. I agree. I struggle just to have 50/50 view of the topic.

    You can’t just watch a 5 min YouTube animation and make an informed decision about this technology!

    I’ve seen some good websites that goes deep enough into the technology the will inform choice, but they are not JIT stuff!

    It took me weeks just to navigate through all of this website

    You can’t have something for nothing. If the biotech companies want people to understand and accept, they’d better help educators with a multi-modal and germain curriculum and start sending more kids to university to study bio. Quite simple really.

  3. Poor peppers look as tho they’re about to be attacked by ‘killer tomatoes’.

    Last weekend there was an organized mulit-city protest against GMOs. The K.C. protest occurred at a popular up-scale shopping district, meaning it got on the news.

    Meanwhile, farmers are dealing with soggy fields, and cattle are being injected with something (can’t remember what) as a result of last year’s drought. Beef doesn’t seem that appealing now.

    • In reply to #4 by bluebird:

      Poor peppers look as tho they’re about to be attacked by ‘killer tomatoes’.
      Beef doesn’t seem that appealing now.

      Eew. I hope there isn’t some onset of some post-GMO distress disorder, or something!

      I finally watched Richard Dawkins and physicist Lawrence Krauss talking in “Rise of the New Atheists?.”

      I really enjoyed the part where they talk about the “awe & wonder” of science (& nature?). In 2006 I had an overwhelming “spiritual” feeling while reading about spider embryos in Climbing Mount Improbable and things haven’t been the same since!

      That feeling soon went away. Reading GMO gives me really depressing affectations!

      I’d understand if Richard Dawkins didn’t want to jeopardize the careers of his students with anti-GMO support, I certainly wouldn’t, but it would great if he moderated a debate or impartial steering group on this matter. I’d actually trust the outcome of that.

      In reply to #5 by Prime8:

      I’m no biologist but no biologist has dare shown me any dedicated journals on either polarity. Very poor scientists! I’ve found some quite good papers in US Dept. Agriculture and on Plos, I think..?

      Life, it seems, is a lottery…

  4. Are there ANY peer reviewed journal articles that show damaging effects or any downsides of GMO’s? I am trying to keep an open mind but struggling to find any any GMO info that isn’t merely baseless propaganda…

    • In reply to #5 by Prime8:

      Are there ANY peer reviewed journal articles that show damaging effects or any downsides of GMO’s? I am trying to keep an open mind but struggling to find any any GMO info that isn’t merely baseless propaganda…

      There was a discussion topic on this recently, think it is still on the home page, and I asked the same thing. Someone recommended the book Pandora’s Picnic Basket. I’ve only read the introduction but so far it seems pretty balanced. The author has a good description of how both sides in the debate tend to use hyperbole and how important it is to focus on science not emotions. I haven’t actually read the book yet though but it seems like one worth looking at.

  5. The biggest problem with GMOs is the lack of reversibility. In most cases if you discover you are doing something really dumb, you just stop doing it. With GMOs, that is not enough. You have irrevocably introduced your genes into wild plants and weeds and non GMO crops. This means you need an exceptional amount of care and testing which is inconsistent with profitability. One classic example was introducing a GMO bacterium that produces alcohol. At the very last second somebody noticed that this thing killed nearly all plants by drowning their roots in alcohol.

    I think we need some research why so many people are now allergic to wheat. It did not used to be so. I did not used to be, but now I am. It could be that wheat itself has changed.

    In general I want more caution on anything you administer to almost everyone. Testing should be much more cautious than for a drug you administer to just a few people, for whom serious side effects are acceptable.

    Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as
    possible. Assuring its safety is the F.D.A’s job.

    ~ Philip Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications.

    Playing God in the Garden
    New York Times Magazine, 1998-10-25

  6. There are a whole set of very good very scientific reasons why GMO technology can be problematic. The primary one is that it is very disturbing to biodiversity. It facilitates even more intensive agriculture and the science is very very clear. Loss of habitat because of agricultural intensification causes biodiversity losses. There is no question about it.
    I think mankind needs to grown out of this judaeo-christian idea that we are given dominion over the planet and realise that we are not shaped in the image of an omnipotent being.

    Th article actually does something which is really quite UNacceptable. It places a link on the site to something saying that GMOs affecting the monarch butterfly is a myth , when in fact the link, (which anyone who has ever had a website will know most people will not click on) actually says that GMOS most certainly HAVE affected the monarch butterfly in a deleterious way. Put simply the crops are engineered to be resistant to a herbicide. It is sprayed. It kills the milkweeds the caterpillars need and the butterfly population falls.

    If you want proof of this journalistic skulduggery we have just been asked is there any peer reviewed research showing an adverse effect and it is there right on the misdescribed link. Here is the paper.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00196.x/abstract

    If you really want to think about GMO technology compare it with other technologies When I was in school we had a disturbed young man in my chemistry class. He loved chemistry. He used it to do things like brew Nitroglycerine in his garden shed and I know one of his neighbours felt rather alarmed at the craters he used to blow in the lawn.
    Travelling to school he would throw spontaneous combustion mixtures wrapped in foil at his fellow students.
    Fortunately I did not succumb to the poison gas he brewed up in the chem lab. Several of my schoolmates were not so lucky and spent time in hospital! I had known this guy since nursery school. He was obviously not right in the head and I know for a fact that he suffered from some kind of psychotic disorder which led to him being hospitalised as an adult.

    Look at how computer technology has grown. Sitting here in my spare bedroom I can spin up artificial intelligence technolgy that would have been unthinkable only a few years ago, and pass information around the globe. Facebook started in a college bedroom. All this has been facilitated by the growth in technology which has become steadily cheaper and easier to use.

    Now just imagine if my psychotic schoolmate had been interested in genetic modification and had access to the cheap GM tools that we might well have in the future.

    Or imagine that with the coming advances in neurophysiology some deluded faithhead acting on the orders of his imaginary friend decides to brew a virus that makes the sufferer more vulnerable to religious indoctrination.

    Yes, there are potential good uses to the technology but it is a real Pandora’s box and it needs to be treated with caution

    • In reply to #8 by rationalmind:

      There are a whole set..

      Thanks for correct link, and agree with your comparison of technologies and re: human behavior. If people are involved something’s gotta give. Psychotics’ brains also don’t use emotion to make their very high-functioning, rational, logical decisions that cause harm. C2 systems will help make every decision, taking every historical and predictive factor into account, but it doesn’t control the acute stress responses of personnel in the battle theater. We’re wired to use emotions to make all of our decisions, even all of our scientific, business, and engineering ones. A project manager can make as many cost/benefit chi squares analyses she wants and the project will still fail. IEEE ethics discussions are, well, ‘interesting’ too.

      Why would science and rationalists not want people to be happy about what they eat? Do we cook badly? Surely, the secret to selling any idea is eliciting happiness? Perhaps McDonald’s can tell these biotech companies how to do it, but in my travels food is a tool brings us peace and togetherness. Why would it be in our interest to get rid of that pleasure?

      In reply to #10 by Stafford Gordon:

      When we are eventually overpopulated, then I think we’ll die of thirst if we chose 2 which leaves 1. What a predicament!

    • In reply to #10 by Stafford Gordon:

      Choose: 1) Control the global population increase. 2 ) Genetically modify for increased crop yields. 3) Starve.

      Takes deep breath and hits “Submit” button.

      That’s a completely fallacious dichotomy. Just as I expect people concerned about GMOs to provide me with scientific evidence of real danger I expect proponents of GMO to provide strong science if they claim its the only possible solution to feeding the world. I see no such evidence. Monsanto doesn’t care about feeding the world, they care about maximizing profit. If feeding the world will do that great if not that’s fine too. Profit is what counts not altruism. (BTW, not saying that is a bad thing, with the right controls its a great system)

      There is a lot of debate that the problem with feeding the world has to do with not enough food at all. Many people say that the problem isn’t not enough food but the way the food is made and distributed too many people just don’t have the resources to afford a healthy diet. I just did a quick google search and found this link right at the top: http://www.wfp.org/hunger/causes and at the very beginning it says this:

      Food has never before existed in such abundance, so why are 870 million people in the world going hungry? In purely quantitative terms, there is enough food available to feed the entire global population of 7 billion people. And yet, one out of every eight people is going hungry. One in three children is underweight. Why does hunger exist?

      The question of world hunger is complex and I’m not saying of course that this one study is at all definitive. My point is that you can’t start off assuming that GMOs are the only cure for world hunger when a lot of people who work on the problem say that the main issues isn’t that we don’t have enough food.

      There is also some evidence that if anything GMOs do as much harm right now as good. The whole GMO model is (at least mostly) toward big factory farms. Smaller family owned farms, local people cultivating their own resources, is much more sustainable (at least some woud argue) and moving to that model would do a lot more to end hunger then super seeds.

      Again, I’m not claiming to have made a definitive argument. I’m just saying to frame this is as “the rational people want to feed the world and the irrational hippies are afraid of Frankenfood” is in fact an irrational argument that ignores many issues.

      • In reply to #11 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #10 by Stafford Gordon:

        Choose: 1) Control the global population increase. 2 ) Genetically modify for increased crop yields. 3) Starve.

        Takes deep breath and hits “Submit” button.

        That’s a completely fallacious dichotomy.

        While I agree with the rest of your post, I strongly disagree here. Overpopulation combined with unsustainable industries and lifestyles are the bases of nearly every global problem currently in existence. So long as the global population increases, more pressure is put on environmental resources (many of which are non-renewable), and a population crash becomes more likely. This is standard ecology.

        2) should be modified to “cushion the population increase”, but in any case it cannot be the long-term solution. 3), if a little melodramatic, basically represents the worse case scenario. Personally, I’d push for 1) and push hard, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

        Also, it’s a trichotomy, not a dichotomy.

        Just as I expect people concerned about GMOs to provide me with…

        I think the real issue with GMOs is not how safe they are in themselves, but in A) how companies handle the technology, and B) what GMOs are expected to do. A) is a major problem because companies do not have a great track record when it comes to ensuring environmental safety, and the last thing the GMO crop needs is a company monopoly hoarding the technology for the sake of profits. B) can get out of hand because increasing food production can only ever be a short-term improvement. In the case of global overpopulation, it would actually make things worse in the long run because an increased food availability gives rise to a corresponding population increase.

        • In reply to #26 by Zeuglodon:

          While I agree with the rest of your post, I strongly disagree here. Overpopulation combined with unsustainable industries and lifestyles are the bases of nearly every global problem currently in existence. So long as the global population increases, more pressure is put on environmental resources (many of which are non-renewable), and a population crash becomes more likely. This is standard ecology. 2) should be modified to “cushion the population increase”, but in any case it cannot be the long-term solution. 3), if a little melodramatic, basically represents the worse case scenario. Personally, I’d push for 1) and push hard, but I don’t see it happening any time soon.

          This is where critical thinking is important. Because I understand your point of view and I had it for a while as well. And it seems as if it must be true but as we find in science the same is true in politics, things that seem obviously true are often more complex. Its true that extra population is a major factor in world hunger. But if you listen to the people who spend their careers trying to address the problem of world hunger most of them that I’ve heard say the major problem right now and the major problem causing world hunger through history is not that there are too many people and not enough food. Its a problem with food distribution rather than food production. Did you look at that report I linked to? It says quite clearly that there is more food right now then ever and that the reason so many people are hungry has nothing to do with their not being enough food to feed them it has to do with the economic systems that make food so unaffordable and unobtainable for certain populations. I’m not claiming I’ve proved that to be true. Its not a topic I spend a lot of time researching so I’m willing to be convinced that what I’m saying is wrong but you haven’t even begun to convince me by just restating your position with no more evidence.

          Also, it’s a trichotomy, not a dichotomy.

          Its a trivial point but while the original comment had three points it seemed to me what you were really proposing is that option one (we stop increasing the world’s population) was just rhetorical, you didn’t even see that as a serious option (which unfortunately I think is true) so really what you were proposing was a dichotomy: either we use GMOs to feed the world or we let all those extra people starve.

          • In reply to #28 by Red Dog:

            In reply to #26 by Zeuglodon:

            While I agree with the rest of your post, I strongly disagree here. Overpopulation combined with unsustainable industries and lifestyles are the bases of nearly every global problem currently in existence…

            That’s right, urban areas are overpopulated, but the world as a whole is not overpopulated, not even close. Plenty of room for everyone to build a home and live off their own supply GE-free or not.

            And there is an excess of food. You only need to look at the dump of every major city. In most places, the major fast food franchises discard their food, not even giving their food to staff, in order to maintain price. No wonder they’re not very fast! In a more frugal challenge a 40 seat restaurant might be lucky to reduce a night’s food wastage to a 20l container. We have bad habits that’s all there is to it.

            As an aside, I once used the term “food distribution” and was labelled a liberal (no, I hunt pigs and deer and expect violence to erupt) and a pinko (no, I like having money and merit). It’s a shame that some people confuse ‘distribution of food’ with ‘distribution of wealth’ the latter being closer to liberal economics. Not many people have even looked into this, but I must try harder to accept that.

            Feeding mouths doesn’t mean anybody gets less or isn’t allowed to accumulate wealth. GMOs aren’t required to feed most, there a cheaper solutions with less risks that are actually known and well-evidenced.

          • In reply to #29 by fractaloid:

            I once used the term “food distribution” and was labelled a liberal (no, I hunt pigs and deer and expect violence to erupt) and a pinko (no, I like having money and merit).

            When people resort to name calling I usually take that to mean I’ve won the argument. But just fyi, I know a few people who would be proud to label themselves “pinkos” and have and like lots of money.

          • In reply to #29 by fractaloid:

            That’s right, urban areas are overpopulated, but the world as a whole is not overpopulated, not even close. Plenty of room for everyone to build a home and live off their own supply GE-free or not.

            This shows a lack of understanding of the ecology of population balance. There are boom and bust cycles! The unsustainable world growth of human populations, is at the expense of other life-forms throughout the planet where habitat destruction and even food generating resources are being destroyed.
            Despite the vast size of the oceans, there have been massive reductions in fish populations due to over fishing for example.

            And there is an excess of food. You only need to look at the dump of every major city. In most places, the major fast food franchises discard their food, not even giving their food to staff, in order to maintain price.

            The waste of food and resources by the wealthy is nothing new. Many ancient populations regularly starved, while their military and religious rulers feasted.
            In the recent past, parts of India and Africa, had starving local populations while foreign companies in cahoots with their corrupt rulers, exported food. In many third world countries, indigenous populations, who have sustainable life styles, are having their lands seized, forests illegally logged etc. by armed or tooled up, unsustainable urban populations who have the cash resources to lobby and bribe governments.

    • In reply to #10 by Stafford Gordon:

      Choose: 1) Control the global population increase. 2 ) Genetically modify for increased crop yields. 3) Starve.

      No the choice is just – Control the global population increase by legislation,or starve.
      You cannot have an infinite population growth on a finite planet.
      Genetically modified food at best is just a temporary fix, at worst it is a just a protection racket.

  7. @ Stafford Gordon

    Exactly. GMO is coming whether anyone likes or not because as Norman Bouloug said we need to feed mouths now ( not to mention Monsanto needs mega-profits now! )

    All the subtle parsing of this subject are just words and rather powerless. One may be able to ameliorate the worse aspects of genetically modified organisms, or one may not be able to do that, still HMO is here and it will stay regardless of what anyone feels about it.

  8. The best thing for GMOs would be to discover some anti-trust angle and emasculate Monsanto.
    Whether Monsanto is a big evil satanic company or not, no matter what is concluded about GMOs a huge portion of the population cries MonsterMonstano!!! Personally, I don’t like the idea of such a company wielding so much power. Patent laws are also a problem.

    • In reply to #15 by old-toy-boy:

      Is Monsanto an evil company?

      I think they’ve done some things that most people thought were unethical. But so have most if not all large corporations. I think the whole idea that a corporation can be “evil” is wrong. Corporations try to maximize profit, that’s just what they do. Its the job of government to set limits so they don’t destroy the planet in the process. Capitalism IMO can be an amazing thing, the best wealth creation mechanism, which in some ways makes it the best well being generation mechanism ever. But what is required is that governments and world organizations have the appropriate power and set the appropriate limits. In the US at least its been skewed completely toward the corporations for over a decade. And with the current lunatics in charge of our Congress its not going to change.

  9. Just a couple thoughts. What is the benefit to me? Who is doing the research to determine the safety of these GMOs, besides the companies who make them? As far as I know the FDA puts their faith in the research done by the companies who make them. The same thing makes me wary about private companies developing and testing drugs, the science is being done by those with a vested financial interest in a certain outcome. I don’t know what the solution is. Someone else mentioned potential allergies, I also have wondered about this and the fact that we don’t know which foods contain GMs means this might be hard to discover. If we can harness this technology to actually help people and improve people’s quality of life I’m all for it. All I see at the moment is a way for rich people to get richer monopolizing part of our food supply. I think a lot of good points were being made here. I look forward to reading the ones I haven’t got to yet. One more point/question actually, has Monsantos’ tendency to go after small farmers livelihoods been exaggerated as well?

  10. Where is the peer reviewed science to back up the idea that GMOs will help feed growing populations? Seems to me I read that America produces five times the food necessary but much of it is fed to livestock (or just wasted). I could try and verify that but even if it is less we could switch to near vegetarianism and feed a lot more people. We eat a lot of meat, often at the expense of our own health and the environment. Letting scientists modify some genes just sounds nicer than eating less meat, but is corn that makes its own pesticide really going to make that much of a difference to our food supply? Evidence please.

  11. I’m sad to see even here at RichardDawkins.net people are susceptible to anti-scientific propaganda. GMO is science at the cutting edge. It has already improved agriculture and has immense potential to foster another Green Revolution. Obviously Monsanto is driven by the profit motive. Who isn’t? I wish Richard Dawkins would chime in here and put you guys to shame.

  12. Oh, Richard Dawkins has already chimed in on GMO. In a letter decrying Prince Charles’s anti-science stance, he said

    “Incidentally, one worrying aspect of the hysterical opposition to the possible risks from GM crops is that it diverts attention from definite dangers which are already well understood but largely ignored. The evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria is something that a Darwinian might have foreseen from the day antibiotics were discovered. Unfortunately the warning voices have been rather quiet, and now they are drowned by the baying cacophony: ‘GM GM GM GM GM GM!’

    Moreover if, as I expect, the dire prophecies of GM doom fail to materialise, the feeling of let-down may spill over into complacency about real risks. Has it occurred to you that our present GM brouhaha may be a terrible case of crying wolf?”

    God has spoken.

    • In reply to #21 by prietenul:

      Oh, Richard Dawkins has already chimed in on GMO. In a letter decrying Prince Charles’s anti-science stance, he said

      “… hysterical opposition… diverts attention from definite dangers which are already well understood but largely ignored.”

      In my cynical opposition I find it hard to swallow that I might be getting in the way of GE. It’s good as long as it’s not destined for my dinner plate, but I’ve found that readable output on the understood dangers are too few. More science please, I’m begging.

      The problem for me is that none of the dangers can be concluded to be definite, so how could a leading biologist have such poor statistical reasoning.

      “The evolution of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria is something that a Darwinian might have foreseen from the day antibiotics were discovered.”

      That doesn’t qualify GE as the right thing to do. Similarly, we’re hard-wired to believe in our own BS but we don’t like that do we? Although there are plenty of BS machines, just go to a casino.

      I’m pretty sure that evolution also didn’t imply that a non-salmon becomes a salmon overnight. A naturally evolved organism that went through gradual stages and a GE organism are different. They are at the GE molecular level too.

      prietenul: God has contradicted himself like the rest of his pantheon. And yes, I’m getting tired of RDFRS for the same reasons as you.

      GE is just one of many fledgling technologies that I think are operating well above their station and perhaps technology is not real science but a business activity: enter a whole new set of known dangers.

    • In reply to #21 by prietenul:

      Moreover if, as I expect, the dire prophecies of GM doom fail to materialise, the feeling of let-down may spill over into complacency about real risks. Has it occurred to you that our present GM brouhaha may be a terrible case of crying wolf?”

      It is a feature of problems with new technologies that many effects are long term. They do not “pop-up” instantly! Warnings about anti-biotic resistant pathogens were ignored for decades (and still are in many places) while the salesmen praise the “wonders of technology”! There are already massive health risks from chemical pollution and bio-hazards globally and locally all over the planet. (in the air, in rivers, in lakes, and in abandoned mines and industrial sites.)

      Engineers, chemists, and sales executives, are often very ignorant of biology, health risks and bio-hazards, so simply cover-up problems while they rake in profits. Even with well-known hazards, under-funding and sloppy incompetent supervision, regularly causes disasters (Gulf oil spill? Bhopal? )

      There is a long history of these activities and deceptions from the likes of the tobacco and carbon industries, for those who bother to research them.

      • In reply to #25 by Alan4discussion:

        In reply to #21 by prietenul:

        Bhopal was so bad, but I think you’ll find the most powerful exemplar (with sufficient evidence) of human / technical / business failure comes from the ’86 challenger “disaster”: NASA is (or was) so well-funded and resourced with incredible scientific backing; a subcontractor’s engineer who warned about the statistical probability of o-ring failure; and the commission, starting with Richard Feynman’s critical involvement. This is not the Dan Brown conspiracy theory that anti-GMO sorts are likened to, this is real.

        In reply to #26 by Zeuglodon:

        In reply to #11 by Red Dog:

        In reply to #10 by Stafford Gordon:

        B) what GMOs are expected to do

        … or B) What the Challenger Space Shuttle was supposed to do.

        • In reply to #27 by fractaloid:

          Thanks for the links. They led me to this:

          “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman

          Applies to GM as much as to the Space Shuttle, or any other technology.

          • In reply to #32 by OHooligan:

            “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.” – Richard Feynman

            Applies to GM as much as to the Space Shuttle, or any other technology.

            Very much so!

            Zeuglodon – @26
            I think the real issue with GMOs is not how safe they are in themselves, but in A) how companies handle the technology, and B) what GMOs are expected to do. A) is a major problem because companies do not have a great track record when it comes to ensuring environmental safety,

            Particulary when they are planning to boost sales and profits by regularly soaking food-crops in weed-killer! (as I link @31 on this other discussion), while ignoring the leaking of modified genes into other related species.

            http://www.richarddawkins.net/discussions/2013/5/26/genetically-modified-food#31

  13. You can quote about hysterical opposition (where exactly is the prophecy of doom?) or you could address some of the very rational concerns that have been addressed here. As I said, how does this technology benefit me? No one is being hysterical. Show me some evidence.

  14. Reply button still busted.

    Red Dog: # 11

    Read/Google: Norman Bouloug.

    If I need putting straight on this I need to know as much and I know just the person to do it; and he’s around here somewhere.

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