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gmo myths & mythinformation

The GMOLOL group on Facebook regularly posts on the subject of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and more recently - like many other pages - about the outrageous claims by the self-styled "Health Ranger" about Monsanto, likening the company & pretty much anyone with anything positive to say about GMOs to the Nazi regime of WWII. (NB he's actually gone back & added a 'preface' to the original post at that link, due at least in part to the internet fuss that followed his original posting.) Fairly soon after another webpage posted names & details of scientists working on or speaking in favour of GMOs, which was unsurprisingly viewed as quite threatening by at least some of those named. There's an interesting bit of forensic work on the 2 pages & the sequence in which they appeared here. And Orac has a thoughtful commentary here.

It was also not a surprise to see the Ranger using myth to make his case: claiming here, for example, that GMOs have led to widespread farmer suicides in India. No sense in letting the truth get in the way of a good story, I suppose. Especially when it turns out to be rather more complex

Of course, he is ignoring the fact that we have been selecting for genetically modified organisms for at least as long as we've had agriculture and domesticated animals. Sweetcorn or watermelons, anyone? Let alone that horizontal gene transfer is an excellent mover of genes that can link widely separated taxonomic groups; this example of fungi using bacterial genes to form nodules on plant roots is a case in point.

I'm guessing he wouldn't like the idea of GM insulin or using GM mosquitoes to control the spread of dengue fever, either.

The internet can be a fun place to play & to find information, but alas! it's also made it so much easier to spread mythinformation to a much wider audience than ever before.

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2 Comments

I have my own objection to Monsanto's (and the like) practices.

The patents.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20121229/03344321523/main-problem-with-patented-gm-food-is-patent-not-fact-that-its-gm.shtml

Big corporations would like to collect money from people every time someone engages in an activity that has gone on for millennia. If they can get away with it, they will do so.

By the way, the same goes for drug treatments.

http://www.cepr.net/index.php/blogs/beat-the-press/more-confusion-on-sovaldi-and-government-granted-monopolies-at-the-washington-post
~

Oh, I agree. But that's a world apart from the reprehensible actions of the Health Ranger (which by & large are based on distortions & total misrepresentations of the science involved).

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