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Biotech Science Politics

California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled 559

Posted by samzenpus
from the tastes-like-gene-splicing dept.
bbianca127 writes "In November, California will be voting on Proposition 37. The proposition would mandate putting labels on foods that have been genetically modified. While supporters of the proposition think that consumers deserve to know what they're eating, opponents call it 'anti-science' and have donated $25 million to defeating the measure. From the article: 'Unsurprisingly, the battle has gotten very expensive, very quickly. Agribusinesses and food manufacturers have donated a total of $13 million toward defeating the measure, bringing the total up to $25 million in the coffers of those proposing the proposition. In comparison, the organic farmers and environmentalists who support the proposition have managed to raise less than a tenth of that total amount.'"
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California Wants Genetically Modified Foods To Be Labelled

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  • by garcia (6573) on Monday August 20, 2012 @06:43PM (#41061053) Homepage

    Genes from animals? Genes from other plants? Genes inserted directly?

    Bacteria like E. coli actually.

  • Re:Reasonable (Score:2, Informative)

    by jxander (2605655) on Monday August 20, 2012 @07:02PM (#41061323)

    Saw this a while back, seems relevant.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/2541-Feeding-Edge

    Pretty much EVERYTHING you eat today is genetically modified on some level. To expect consumers to decide what genetic modifications are acceptable and which ones aren't, is a very tall order for the layman. If only we had some government group to Administrate the Food sold in this country. They could oversee medicine too. We would call them the FDA and they ALREADY EXIST.

  • Re:Reasonable (Score:5, Informative)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Monday August 20, 2012 @07:17PM (#41061497)

    Saw this a while back, seems relevant.

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/the-big-picture/2541-Feeding-Edge

    Pretty much EVERYTHING you eat today is genetically modified on some level. To expect consumers to decide what genetic modifications are acceptable and which ones aren't, is a very tall order for the layman. If only we had some government group to Administrate the Food sold in this country. They could oversee medicine too. We would call them the FDA and they ALREADY EXIST.

    .. and they are in the pocket of firms like monsanto. GM soybeans were approved in the us without even going through proper testing. I'm sure you don't find it interesting that outside the US (EU) for example where the testing WAS done, the gm crops were banned... hmm, wonder why that happened?

    It's worse than you think. The GM soybeans were approved right after the bush administration appointed a (now former) vice president of Monsanto corporation as the head of the FDA. The GM crops were subsequently approved with no testing, and no testing is required or even allowed to be performed on them. You can read more about it here (or hundreds of other sites, use google). http://www.infowars.com/help-stop-former-monsanto-vp-from-attaining-top-position-at-the-fda/ [infowars.com]

    This Monsanto scam is quite possibly one of the worst things done to the American people by it's own government... or maybe not, we'll never really know since we're not allowed to perform the necessary testing. If there was nothing to hide, then I think testing would not be banned.

    This stuff is BAD news for humans.

  • by l00sr (266426) on Monday August 20, 2012 @07:54PM (#41062001)

    Exactly. The "bananas" you see in supermarkets are a genetic monstrosity; basically all clones of the same individual, thanks to human meddling over the last 7000 years [discovery.com]. It doesn't get more GM than that. So, where do you draw the line?

  • Re:Land of the Free (Score:4, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:12PM (#41062201)

    > they go onto farmer's fields to test plants adjacent to Monsanto-owned "IP" and then sue the fucking shit out of farmers because their plants infringe their patents.

    Complete myth. Never happened. It's also a matter of law that patents don't apply in cases of accidental contamination.

    Cases where Monsanto has sued farmers have to do with farmers reselling seed, saving seed, or intentionally selecting accidentally pollinated seed (as in the famous Percy Schmieiser).

  • Re:What's to fear (Score:2, Informative)

    by jamstar7 (694492) on Monday August 20, 2012 @08:56PM (#41062689)
    Keep in mind that Rodale has been at the forefront of the 'back to the land' movement since the late 60's, and makes its money selling the benefits of 'organic food'. Back in the day, their biggest seller was about organic gardening and claimed you should never ever ever THINK about using pesticides on your precious garden. They were also big on the 'heritage crops' craze where they advocated tossing away hybrid plants in favor of lesser-producing 'heritage genelines'. Bit of a conflict of interest there, doncha think? Oh, and did I mention they've always had an ax to grind when it came to GM foods? Maybe they got this one right, but they put out so much noise and bullshit over the years that their signal to noise ratio is nonexistant.
  • Re:What's to fear (Score:4, Informative)

    by ChromeAeonium (1026952) on Monday August 20, 2012 @11:37PM (#41064031)

    Given the lack of testing

    What about these hundreds of studies? [blogspot.com]

    And it's been suggested that some "food allergies" are actually allergies to GMO ingredients.

    Highly unlikely. That has no evidence and was basically pulled out someone's hindquarters. There are only a few proteins inserted into the GE crops you eat (the cry proteins long used in organic agriculture safely, an altered from of the epsps enzyme that all plants have, the PAT enzyme, two viral coat proteins that are going to be present in much higher concentration in the virus infected non-GE versions).. There is no evidence that they increase allergies. Ironically, there may be an increase in allergies due to new varieties though, but due to breeding, not GE. Pathogenesis-related proteins are good for increasing a plants resistance to disease. They are also a very allergenic class of compounds. Guess what good old fashioned 'safe and proven' breeding has been increasing for the last couple of decades in an effort to produce hardier crops? One of the disadvantages to breeding is that, unlike genetic engineering, you don't always know all the genes you're working with, nor does it require the massive amount of testing and regulatory hurdles that GE does. So I wouldn't be surprised if there was a correlation between newer varieties of GE crops and allergies, but it I would be surprised if there was a causation.

    But if people CAN avoid GMO foods

    You can do that already. Corn, soy, cotton, canola, alfalfa, sugar beet, summer squash, papaya. Avoid them, or buy non-GMO/organic items, and you avoid genetic engineering. It isn't hard to learn if those who wish to avoid GE crops take the time to educate themselves. A little knowledge completely negates the need for mandatory labels (which should raise the question of why this movement is not spreading education but is instead trying to make a new law...I'm guessing it has something to do with the funding from organic companies).

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