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comment by organicAnt
organicAnt  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What do you think of Dr Jill Stein and The Green Party?

Can you explain why those policies are "out-there"?





thundara  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

- Pan-abolishing student debt would financially wreck all organizations that loaned those students their money and likely pull down whole sectors of the economy with them. Dislike the system all you want, abolishing debt is simply a non-viable and downright lazy to pass off as a solution.

- See above. Remember that whole mortgage crisis from 2008? Now imagine if there was less incentive for any renter / home-owner to pay.

- Labeling: controversial, I disagree with, but not out there. Moratorium: absolutely a bad idea.

Imagine if you're a farmer and suddenly the gov't says you can't plant any of the same crops or use any of the same fertilizer until they have a chance to "figure out what's going on". A moratorium also flies directly in the face of the fact that there's already the EPA, FDA, and USDA regulating these crops / pesticides.

It's liberal fear-mongering and science-denialism, the same as conservative climate denial.

goobster  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.

It's also proving a negative.

You can't prove something is "safe". However, you can prove that "testing up to today has not shown any clear patterns we should be concerned about", which is a test that all pesticides and GMOs currently pass.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    which is a test that all pesticides and GMOs currently pass

Shit, really? I grew up with the notion that pesticides are terrible for health, and now - are you telling me they're fine?

goobster  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Pesticides are sprayed on your food.

You eat food.

Are you dead? :-)

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

They're sprayed on the food? Shit, you're opening a new world for me!

I mean, I had a vague idea but didn't know for certain. Anything else I need to know?

OftenBen  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Your humor is essential, and I value it.

organicAnt  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

How can you assert the consumption of GMO safety based on the past when there's no labelling to know what is and isn't GMO food? How could patterns have been found?

goobster  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

GMO food is actually tested in the same way all other food is tested for safety.

And "GMO" doesn't actually mean anything. Using standard hybridization techniques that were developed 5,000 years ago, you can "genetically modify" how a plant grows, and we continue to do it to this very day.

Anybody that understands basic biology, or works on a farm, knows the basic techniques for getting a plant to grow differently to emphasize a particular feature, like seedless grapes, or yellow tomatoes.

The change that people are worried about with "GMOs" is that these genes are being spliced directly in a lab, and inserted into the plant, rather than waiting for the mutation to occur naturally, and then encouraging that mutation.

Can science go too far? Yeah. Maybe. But it hasn't. The food they make is still food by every measure we have managed to come up with.

Will this always be true? Who knows?

THAT is why you can't say any food is "safe". You just don't know what we may uncover in the future, regardless of whether there is gene splicing going on or not.

couchpillow  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

This - goobster is correct.

The whole GMO thing isn't about whether or not it's safe to eat. It's much more about shitty business practices by companies like Monsanto and the stranglehold they may develop on the seed/food market. I'm all for labeling, for the sake of knowing who you are giving your money to ultimately and what kinds of business practices you are supporting. But we really need to get everyone on the same page and stop mis-information about GMO being unsafe to consume.

goobster  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Right. And it would be far more informative for someone to tell me what pesticides they used on their crops, than it would be which seeds they used.

organicAnt  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Have you heard of the FDA "revolving door"? How can you trust a regulatory agency that is ran by ex-executives of the industry they regulate?

I did grow up on farm so thank you for the credit. But please don't try to confuse cross pollination with gene insertion across different species. The first generates very small changes over a long period of time giving the ecosystem a chance to adapt. The second creates abrupt changes, which organisms may or may not be able to process correctly. Also nature doesn't use antibiotic markers to merge genes.

    Can science go too far? Yeah. Maybe. But it hasn't.

I would argue that the atomic bomb is an example of science going too far. However, we are discussing GMOs here not science in general. To have a precautionary approach about new technology is not to be anti-science, like you're trying to paint it, is to be responsible.

Back specifically to GMOs, I have posted before on the subject. This pretty much sums up my stance.

goobster  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh I am well aware of the FDA. My Uncle works there. He's the world's leading expert on the Red Tide and similar toxins.

If the testing of a new material or product is insufficient, then it should change.

But that insufficiency needs to be scientifically proven.

Because - like I said before - you can't prove something is safe. You can only prove it hasn't hurt anyone or anything yet.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Oh I am well aware of the FDA. My Uncle works there.

You still keep amazing me.

organicAnt  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On your first two points, have you heard her explanation of how that would work?

Healthy or not, if you're happy eating GMOs it doesn't mean everyone has to. As for regulation on safety, most studies are industry financed, regulating agencies are known for being ran by ex-biotech industry executives. The point is that there are no long term studies, that's all she's asking for. Having a cautious approach to specific scientific discoveries is not being anti-science, it's being responsible. And there's no need to patronize farmers abilities in order to defend GMOs. I'm sure they're smarter than you give them credit for.

thundara  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    On your first two points, have you heard her explanation of how that would work?

Not encouraged to search myself, but happy to hear a summary. I'm highly doubtful of any plan that doesn't supplant debtors' payments by a gov't subsidy, which usually leads to a "tax-the-rich!" conclusion, which is handwavy.

    Healthy or not, if you're happy eating GMOs it doesn't mean everyone has to.

Hence understanding the labeling argument. Understand that would have a massive cost to the food processing pipeline as GMO vs. non-GMO would have to be tracked at every step along the pipeline, supermarkets would have to stock now three versions of food (organic, non-gmo, and gmo), etc. It's simply not as easy as "gluten-free" when it's not opt-in. The best-case scenario is you end up with another case of:

Which is an absolute joke back home.

    The point is that there are no long term studies, that's all she's asking for.

There are, 1, 2, 3, she just chooses to ignore them. The best anyone can point to to the contrary is Séralini, who is a scientific hack.

    Having a cautious approach to specific scientific discoveries is not being anti-science, it's being responsible.

When you're talking about crops that have been around for two decades, it's definitely anti-scientific to propose suddenly banning them without any evidence.

    And there's no need to patronize farmers abilities in order to defend GMOs. I'm sure they're smarter than you give them credit for.

It's not that they can't grow other crops, it's that there would be massive costs involved in suddenly forcing them to shift away.

organicAnt  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dr Jill Stein explains how to abolish student debt.

Europe has always had GM labelling and food didn't get more expensive.

Those studies are 90-110 days long. Is that long term?! How about the revolving door I mentioned before, that doesn't bother you? How about patenting of living organisms? If you care so much about the farmers why make them buy the seed every year?

For the third time in this post (it's quite discouraging to witness intelligent people use obvious fallacious arguments to defend GMOs while at the same time claiming to be on the side of science): the last 2 decades of GMO consumption does not constitute as proof of their safety. For such a self-proclaimed science driven industry, this is a fairly unscientific argument to make.

To prevent hijacking the main topic of this post, this is my last post on this subject. A previous post on GMOs pretty much sums up my stance.

thundara  ·  1766 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Dr Jill Stein explains how to abolish student debt.

"We bailed out the guys on Wall Street" ... who paid us back. "QE will save us" ... well ...:

    This is wrong. Flat wrong. Quantitative easing was an unconventional monetary policy tool the Federal Reserve used to try and revive the economy after the financial crisis once it had emptied its normal bag of tricks. There have been vigorous debates about whether it was wise, or whether it worked. But it did not involve buying and canceling debt owed by the banks. Quite the opposite—it involved buying and holding onto debts owned by the banks (or other investors, for that matter), such as Treasury bonds and mortgage-backed securities.

    This might sound like a small distinction if you're not a monetary policy obsessive. But it's absolutely essential to understanding what the Fed was doing, and the rationale behind it. (Among other things, holding onto the debts, rather than canceling them, was a key part of how the Fed planned to contain inflation down the line.) Stein's description is so far off, it's as if someone asked Stein how to play basketball, and she answered that teams scored points by kicking the ball off the backboard.

I'm not going to pretend I'm an economic expert, but that entire interview seemed like a hand-wavy: "they got their's, why can't we get ours" without much attention to the risks and complications involved in these interventions.

    Europe has always had GM labelling and food didn't get more expensive.

Yeah, because GM food is effectively non-existent in the EU. Estimates that include only the cost of generating labels put the change at $2/year. Estimates that include the cost of restructuring the US's food processing pipeline to track GM crops from start to finish put the change at $800/year.

    Those studies are 90-110 days long. Is that long term?!

The animal studies go up to two years, which is quite long term in the field of toxicology. The trouble with doing multi-year nutritional studies in humans is that it's insanely expensive and challenging to run a controlled trial with a large group of people on that diet for that long. The sane solution is to examine animal and epidemiological data, and use prior knowledge to hone in on diseases or populations you may believe are at risk.

See... (Can't copy-paste, so pages 138, 143, 147, 154)

And on and on... All evidence points to glyphosate / RoundUp being safer than previously used herbicides, and Cry / Bt toxin being safer than other insectides.

    How about the revolving door I mentioned before, that doesn't bother you?

It's not ideal, but you'd be hard pressed to find people knowledgeable enough for those positions who haven't had some involvement with the industry during their career. Have you known anyone to go directly into the FDA right out of college and stay there for the rest of their life?

    How about patenting of living organisms?

RoundUp crop patents started expiring last year. I have no issue with a company patenting a genetically engineered organism or a process to make or use one. Farmers are free to choose what they see as advantageous, and patents open up trade secrets and encourage new developments.

    If you care so much about the farmers why make them buy the seed every year?

We've literally had this exact same conversation before. Check out hybrid vigor if you need a refresher.

    the last 2 decades of GMO consumption does not constitute as proof of their safety

(1) There's no such thing as proof in science, only evidence supporting or rejecting a hypothesis; (2) that's pretty decent evidence supporting their safety when combined with other methodology; (3) the entire point of your link is that GM is a category of technology, and as such each product should be evaluated individually, but in every one of these discussions that we have, you simply argue against GMOs as a whole.

Read up on Bt. Read up on RoundUp. Read up on PPO-less apples and PRSV-resistant papayas. Read up on the farming practices each and encourage and each replace. It might change your perspective. But my mini-essays sure don't feel they're doing anything. So I'm going to stop trying after this.

organicAnt  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's obvious that we hold completely opposite views not just on bio-tech but on how society should be organised as a whole.

So far you seem to support:

1) Bailing banks but not bailing people

2) Executives holding positions with a conflict of interest

3) Privatisation of life by profit driven corporations

4) No accountability for said profit driven corporations

5) Centralization of food production by a handful of biotech corporations

6) No consumer choice when it comes to know what we're buying

May I ask, what would the perfect society look like to you? Because to me it sounds like fascism.

thundara  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  

You are being ridiculous. Please stop mischaracterizing what I say. You clearly have no idea about any of my views or philosophies. Notice how instead of refuting any of my points, you simply went into an attack on my character as a whole.

I have a BS in Biochemistry. I am working towards a PhD in bioengineering. This does not make me a fascist biotechnology dictator. It does not make me an agricultural shill. It does make me more qualified to talk about this topic than you.

You're argument all along has been that GMOs are unsafe and should be banned. I have refuted that point several times, giving you several examples of evidence to the contrary. I have pointed out that the only evidence showing GMOs are unsafe has come from scientific hacks. I have pointed out that there is no correlation between the introduction of GMOs into a country and the markers of that country's health.

Do you know what labels I am perfectly fine with?

I used to manage food for a house of 60 hippies. I'd buy all of the above. I support opt-in labels driven by consumer desire. I support farmers choosing the stock of seeds amenable to their practice. But I don't support the FUD you bring to this discussion.

So I'm blocking you. Good day.

goobster  ·  1765 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We are all laughing at organicArt. You did good work here, thundara.

I just don't have the patience any more to argue with dimwits who equate "science" with "scary", and "dogma" with "evidence".

...stands and applauds thundara as she exits the arena...

tacocat  ·  1764 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My favorite badges are intellectual beatdown badges