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It's funny.  Laugh. Science

Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA 351

HughPickens.com writes Jennifer Abel writes at the LA Times that according to a recent survey (PDF), over 80% of Americans says they support "mandatory labels on foods containing DNA," roughly the same number that support the mandatory labeling of GMO foods "produced with genetic engineering." Ilya Somin, writing about the survey at the Washington Post, suggested that a mandatory label for foods containing DNA might sound like this: "WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children."

The report echoes a well-known joke/prank wherein people discuss the dangers of the chemical "dihydrogen monoxide" also known as hydrogen oxide and hydrogen hydroxide. Search online for information about dihydrogen monoxide, and you'll find a long list of scary-sounding and absolutely true warnings about it: the nuclear power industry uses enormous quantities of it every year. Dihydrogen monoxide is used in the production of many highly toxic pesticides, and chemical weapons banned by the Geneva Conventions. Dihydrogen monoxide is found in all tumors removed from cancer patients, and is guaranteed fatal to humans in large quantities and even small quantities can kill you, if it enters your respiratory system. In 2006, in Louisville, Kentucky, David Karem, executive director of the Waterfront Development Corporation, a public body that operates Waterfront Park, wished to deter bathers from using a large public fountain. "Counting on a lack of understanding about water's chemical makeup," he arranged for signs reading: "DANGER! – WATER CONTAINS HIGH LEVELS OF HYDROGEN – KEEP OUT" to be posted on the fountain at public expense.
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Americans Support Mandatory Labeling of Food That Contains DNA

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  • Link to the study (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @09:28AM (#48897853) Homepage
    The original study can be found at http://agecon.okstate.edu/facu... [okstate.edu] : Another fun bit in the study:

    Another fun excerpt: "Secondly, participants were asked “Did you read any books about food and agriculture in the past year?” Participants were asked to select “Yes”, “No”, or “I don’t know”. Just over 16% of participants stated that they had read a book related to food and agriculture in the past year. About 81% answered “No”, and 3% answered “I don’t know”. Those who answered “Yes” were asked: “What is the title of the most recent book you read about food and agriculture?” The vast majority of responses were of the form “I don’t remember” or “cannot recall”. Fast Food Nation, Food Inc., and Omnivore’s Dilemma were each mentioned about three times. The Farmer’s Almanac and Skinny Bitch were mentioned twice. One respondent mentioned the bible."

    This appears to follow the general pattern that people will lie to interviewers to seem more smart, educated, or intellectual than they are. They don't mention in the study a correlation between those who said yes to reading a book and then couldn't "remember" it when pressed and those who wanted to ban food containing DNA, but I'd be willing put money on their being a correlation.

    • by TheRealHocusLocus ( 2319802 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:30AM (#48898059)

      This appears to follow the general pattern that people will lie to interviewers to seem more smart, educated, or intellectual than they are.

      There is some phenomenon at work. School curriculum seems to contain the essentials of literacy and a general sense that a modern world exists to be explored and understood, but for a great many children now and their twenty-something parents, there seem to be great gaps of knowledge... it is as if a great pool of historical and practical trivia such as that which would be imparted by oral tradition as conversation and interaction with elders, has gone 'missing'.

      Perhaps it is not the educational system that has failed us, but a knowledge-transfer process between the generations. I speak not of a direct and simple connection with one's parents and grandparents, but ongoing dialogue with anyone 20+ years older.

      From pre-school through college children are becoming independent at younger ages and are managing to slice out their own separate social lives. We encourage this, shape it even. It is possible for them to maintain contact principally with others their own age right into adulthood. Their parents are typically distracted and engaged with work, and everyone has their own directed entertainment to immerse in at the end of the day. Are sundown get-togethers between generations a thing of the past?

      Until the post-war '50s there was little in the way of a teen-age subculture. Even before graduation there were life choices to make. You would typically be home by sundown, a great deal more interaction with adults and steady pressure for at least one of the younger to adopt the traditions and vocations of parents was real. Who will manage the farm, who will be the first apprentice at the clock shop? Who will join the Marines, who will be the teacher?

      Throughout the Nuclear Age the nuclear family has been in steady decline. Where we had once been paced by the animals and family tradition [slashdot.org] we were increasingly paced by tides of external stimuli. Diverse political ideology, lifestyle options and the fossil fuel-rich economy encouraged far migration. Today families span more geographical distance on average than at any time in history.

      Modern technology helped this to happen. We are a push-button society and kids push buttons as well as anyone. This extends to push-button entertainment and distraction. Maybe we've spent the last three decades of pushing separate buttons instead of spending long hours talking to one another about the little things and the big things.

      What if this simple, sad message of generational estrangement [youtube.com] as voiced by Harry Chapin... could be applied to a whole country?

      Perhaps it's not too late to open those channels again.
      Call your Mom.
      Ask her what DNA is.

      • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @11:23AM (#48898277) Homepage

        Come on. You're blaming people not being able to handle qualitative and quantitative explosions in information (if not knowledge) on the family (or lack thereof)? Yes, family is important. No, family is not (and historically has not been) the general arbiter or source of most information. You're confusing family with society, especially pre literate society.

        How in bog's green earth is any sort of family unit supposed to deal with the current knowledge set? Hell, even a university level professor can barely keep track of what goes on in their own field.

        I think you're conflating a series of basic homilies and perhaps moral constructs (as useful and as important as they are) with knowledge. They are different concepts.

        • by dkf ( 304284 )

          How in bog's green earth is any sort of family unit supposed to deal with the current knowledge set? Hell, even a university level professor can barely keep track of what goes on in their own field.

          That's what the professor's family is for, to keep track of all the rest of human knowledge that the professor hasn't got time for.

      • Perhaps it is not the educational system that has failed us, but a knowledge-transfer process between the generations.

        Seems like it's both. If school's job is to prepare you to be a good citizen, then shouldn't it be finding ways to take up the slack? And perhaps to build a better parent? Since that's what kids grow up and become, in part.

        Throughout the Nuclear Age the nuclear family has been in steady decline.

        You can say that again. But maybe it's a good thing. I never got along with my family. Why shouldn't I form a synthetic family with people more like me? It's a proven fact that family won't necessarily stand by you, so no difference there.

        Call your Mom.

        My mom has been focused firmly on herself since before I was born, and talking to her makes me feel like crap every time. Why don't you call my mom, if you think she needs a phone call so much?

      • by h8sg8s ( 559966 )

        Interesting observation. My sample size is 5 children, and though it's not statistically significant, it does offer some insights. My children who came of age before ubiquitous connectivity are better conversationalists and are more connected with "tribal knowledge" of the spoken and relational kinds, whereas my youngest are totally connected to the Internet teat and are more disconnected from familial and "tribal" inputs. It will be interesting to see what they and millions of their peers do to the poli

    • Ummm. Don't all plants and "animals" contain DNA? Don't we humans also "contain" DNA? Whisky Tango Foxtrot, over. OMG Ponies. I hear that our local water contains di-hydrogen oxide.
      • Doh! Too early, damnit!
      • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @08:06PM (#48901213) Homepage

        So yes, the majority of people support the mandatory labelling of 'ALL' food. What exactly is in it. So what is so new about that. So some smart arse sucks in people who don't know what they are talking about thinks they win. So why didn't that same shit for brains ask people simple questions in a foreign language and laugh at their ignorance. Seriously give a few people a little more brains than average and they think they are geniuses.

        It is pretty damn obvious that people want to know what is being put in their foods and screw all those that want to lie and deceive so they can stick shit in it because it is cheap and then add artificial flavours to hide the taste of that shit.

    • I read a lot of books but am lousy at remembering the titles. If asked that question about the books I've read concerning food and agriculture I know that I've read at least four in the past year but can only remember the title of one, Cooked. I can give the summary of three but the title escapes me. One of my favourite authors is Patrick Rothfuss and I can remember he's writing The Kingkiller Chronicle but can't remember the books in it.

    • Which books did you read? Oh, all of them.

  • by MadCow42 ( 243108 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @09:30AM (#48897859) Homepage

    For April fools jokes, isn't it?

    • Oh, I assumed it was DNA as in GMO... but it's just DNA... that makes a lot of food!
    • 1) people nearly always want to answer a question rather than admit "i don't know" if it is a question which is knowledge oriented.

      2) if you frame a question in about "do you think people should be informed about substance A being in consumer product B" many people will simply answer Yes no matter the substance. Try it with something innocuous : it works nearly always.
       
      So the study is not really about that specific question, but about a known psychological pitfall.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Remember when news organizations didn't so blatantly try to push agendas? Well, I'm not sure if there ever was such a time but it certainly isn't today.

    • I can't remember that far back. It must've been well before the sinking of the USS Maine.

    • The purpose of a free press is to promote a knowledgeable society. If the agenda is to stomp out the stupidity of the masses and their dangerous influence over lawmakers then yes, I welcome these agenda-toting muckrakers of truth with open arms.

  • I can see it now. "WARNING: This lettuce contains lettuce DNA. Eat at your own risk. Wholefoods is not liable for side effect due to the consumption of lettuce DNA"

  • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:01AM (#48897969)
    Most people don't have the knowledge to assess by themselves if a product fits their expectation. Not only for food, any product needs a thoughtful advice/label from an independent and competent / national team to guide customers. What difference does it make for a customer who reads for the first time "chicken raised outdoors" and "chicken from battery cages"? The answer is here [wikipedia.org], and it's a big long, but a summary on a sticker would help customers to chose more wisely - and that would dramatically improve competition between very-low quality products sold 0.9 X against a much better product sold X (while the manufacturing cost of a "good" product would be twice the cost of a "bad" product). People tend to chose the cheapest one, by lack of information.
    • by Chris Mattern ( 191822 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @12:50PM (#48898741)

      They're *getting* advice. That's the problem. They're getting *bad* advice, and they can't tell the difference.

      How do they judge "much better product"? Is non-GMO "much better", in spite of the fact that extensive research hasn't turned up proof of *any* bad effects, and can provide effective nutritional advantages in many cases?

      • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

        Is non-GMO "much better", in spite of the fact that extensive research hasn't turned up proof of *any* bad effects, and can provide effective nutritional advantages in many cases?

        Indeed. The strongest nutritional advantage seems to be "Monsanto's executives and stockholders are able to eat much finer food now."

  • Just for fun (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:12AM (#48898009)

    I googled for "GMO Hazards"

    https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

    and out of the top 10 sites not one had actual problems that were caused by GMO foods

    Lot of might and could be, but no actually. No "Killer corn ate my baby "

    So How bout labeling foods that are produced from selective breeding genetically engineered as well ?
     

    • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:14AM (#48898021)

      From one of the sites

      http://foodrevolution.org/blog... [foodrevolution.org]

      I refute the claims of the biotechnology companies that their engineered crops yield more, that they require less pesticide applications, that they have no impact on the environment and of course that they are safe to eat.

      That's nice he ought to let the farmers know they can buy cheaper seeds and still do as well.

      If it seems like I am laughing at these people and the Euros who seem to think it's in their interest to pay more for food, I am.

      • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @01:31PM (#48898983)

        Being a farmer myself, I find that quote pretty funny. Guess he never bothered to actually visit a farm and fine out. I can't comment on the "safe to eat" part but I can certainly attest that yields are much higher, and pesticide application is much reduced with GMO varieties of corn, canola, and soybeans. However with the increase in yield comes increased disease pressure, so overall, with or without GMO, pesticide use is still on the rise and that concerns me, not so much for food safety, but for sustainability and environmental reasons. It's kind of like hospital antibiotic resistance issues.

        The blogger also would be interested to know that the majority of food crops we eat (cereals) are not genetically engineered at all; they are bred as we've bred them for thousands of years. The real next stage for cereals is to develop cereals and bacteria cultures that can fix nitrogen. That is going to be a game changer.

        As far as "organic" pesticides go, Chemical companies do work on naturally-derived pesticides all the time, but few of them make it to market because they fail toxicity tests (don't want them to kill birds, animals, etc). It's in their interest to develop good organic pesticides because there's huge public demand for it, and a lot of money to be made. But it's a very hard thing to do.

        • Pesticide application is "reduced" because the GMO corn is pumping out it's own pesticide. Not directly dangerous to humans but the systemic threat it represents to beneficial insects is real.

    • Re:Just for fun (Score:5, Interesting)

      by quantaman ( 517394 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @04:54PM (#48900193)

      I googled for "GMO Hazards"

      https://www.google.com/search?... [google.com]

      and out of the top 10 sites not one had actual problems that were caused by GMO foods

      Lot of might and could be, but no actually. No "Killer corn ate my baby "

      So How bout labeling foods that are produced from selective breeding genetically engineered as well ?

      I think the labelling thing is nonsense since I don't think health risks are a big concern but I am a bit more cautious about the long term environmental effects as I suspect we're underestimating the probability of black swan events.

      I think of selective breeding vs GMOs is a bit like traditional medicine vs modern medicine. Traditional medicine generally ranges from slightly beneficial to mildly harmful, you're not going to do yourself much harm, but you're not going to help much either. By contrast modern medicine is devastatingly effective in good ways and bad.

      Right now you'd be a fool to choose traditional medicine over modern medicine, especially if you have a serious health issue, the benefits are too strong and we know how to manage the nasty side effects.

      But at the dawn of modern medicine? You're probably better off dealing with the traditional stuff, a lot of people died because modern medicine was an incredibly powerful tool and people didn't know enough about that tool to use it safely.

      I worry we're at that stage with GMOs and the environment. We don't really understand what it does to the ecosystem when we introduce new traits at that speed and effectiveness. We really can't know until we've done it a while. I'm sure GMO crops are the answer for the future, but I'm worried our capabilities are outstripping our knowledge.

    • Re:Just for fun (Score:5, Insightful)

      by visualight ( 468005 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:39PM (#48900763) Homepage

      When Monsanto and their "buy seeds from me till the end of time or we'll end you" business model are both long gone we can talk about GMO. Till then I am 100% against GMO ( because GMO == Monsanto ).

  • by rmdingler ( 1955220 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:13AM (#48898011) Journal
    This is humor in the same vein as, "Do you want a Hertz donut?"

    Strictly speaking, the phrasing is designed to generate the wrong answer so the respondent can then be mocked.

  • by serano ( 544693 ) * on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:14AM (#48898023)
    There's also GAME-C (Group for Atomic Material Exposure Control), a group which has launched a campaign to force the pharmaceutical industry to label medicines comprised partially or entirely of atoms.
  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:30AM (#48898061)
    I need to start marketing the Ronco DNA Extractor. Safely and quickly remove any residual DNA to make smart, healthy family meals.
  • by thermowax ( 179226 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @10:41AM (#48898089)

    This showed up in The Washington Post a week ago... and I'm still aghast.

    Slashdot has classified this as a "humour" story, but I find it simply frightening. There's always going to be a certain quantity of dullards on the left end of the curve, but... 80%?! 80% of Americans are unfamiliar with one of, if not *the* most fundamental concepts of biology? This isn't "Dihydrogen Monoxide" trickery, DNA is DNA and it's functionality is taught in high school- usually repeatedly.

    However, the thing that really, really scares me and keeps me awake at night is that *these fuckers vote*.

    • by ihtoit ( 3393327 )

      what should terrify you is that these fuckers breed.

    • by Longjmp ( 632577 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @11:08AM (#48898199)

      80%?! 80% of Americans are unfamiliar with one of, if not *the* most fundamental concepts of biology?

      Recently I explained to a friend why you shouldn't freeze some fruit, because the water will break the cells and the fruit will become mushy.
      Her reply: "What are cells?"
      After a few moments of baffled silence, I tried to explain how cells are the base "Lego bricks" for all life.
      Next she asked "So if you eat cells, it's good for you?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I know exactly what it means, but depending on the context I could see answering yes to a question like this by accident. Load up a questionnaire with a ton of stuff about untested chemicals, GMOs designed in a lab, etc, and then slip that one in near the end. Your brain doesn't read it as simply "DNA" but instead connects it with all the stuff it just heard.

      Sort of like when someone asks you ten "yes" short questions as quickly as possible and then slips in one that should obviously be "no" but you're on

    • Biology is blasphemy, with all its ramblings about heresy like evolution and common building components like DNA and RNA. We try to teach as little of it as possible.
    • What about all this carbon pollution stuff?
    • by swillden ( 191260 ) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Sunday January 25, 2015 @12:58PM (#48898769) Homepage Journal

      Slashdot has classified this as a "humour" story, but I find it simply frightening. There's always going to be a certain quantity of dullards on the left end of the curve, but... 80%?! 80% of Americans are unfamiliar with one of, if not *the* most fundamental concepts of biology? This isn't "Dihydrogen Monoxide" trickery, DNA is DNA and it's functionality is taught in high school- usually repeatedly.

      I don't think it's that bad. I think this is "Dihydrogen Monoxide" trickery, only a slightly subtler form.

      The dihydrogen monoxide trickery is using an unfamiliar name for a familiar substance. Unless you've taken some chemisty and know how to parse "dihydrogen monoxide" as "a molecule consisting of two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms", you don't realize it's water and the selective quotes, presented in a context that implies that the speaker/writer is a reasonably-intelligent person who genuinely believes there is a risk, obviously causes listeners to assume that it's dangerous.

      A really essential part of the joke/scam is the fact that the speaker/writer appears to be intelligent and sincere. It's a social engineering scam, relying on the fact that most people are intelligent and sincere (the slashdot elitist tendency to assume general stupidity notwithstanding) and that therefore absent some sort of contraindications people tend to believe other people, because that's what makes society work.

      In this case, I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of the 80% who were confused actually know perfectly well what DNA is, and fully understand that most of our food contains it because most of our food is made from living organisms. And they understand that children get their DNA from their parents, including their mother.

      But the way this is presented strongly implies that the topic of discussion is some other DNA, which is not supposed to be in the food and can have some sort of deleterious effect, and that warning labels might be useful. Further, the similarity of the ratio with those who support labeling of GMO foods indicates that the presentation may have caused the respondents to conflate the question with one about GMO. Some of them might even have assumed that the survey was in error and intended to ask about GMO foods and answered in the affirmative while shaking their heads about the cluelessness of the survey author. The apparent intelligence and sincerity of the speaker motivates people to believe there's a real issue, rather than this being a joke or a trick.

      So I suspect that the 80/20 split here is less an artifact of education levels than it is an artifact of the distribution of different personality types. To what degree are you skeptical of scientific-sounding claims that are presented to you as factual? And how willing are you to lend your support to crusades pushed by apparently well-intentioned people, particularly when they appear to have little, if any, downside? The suggestion that the action to be taken is just labeling makes this a relatively low-impact campaign, even if successful, so the cost to society is low, and the cost to the survey respondent is nearly zero. In that sort of situation, many people will agree merely to be agreeable, regardless of their opinion on the issue.

      • Unless you've taken some chemisty and know how to parse "dihydrogen monoxide" as "a molecule consisting of two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms", you don't realize it's water

        The fact that so many of us didn't get any chemistry is vindication of the statement that we're fucked, though. Being a nerd, I figured it out the first time I heard it, which was convenient since I first heard it from one of the people instrumental in spreading the meme early on. Being a part of the scruz geek scene was fairly magical, even though I caught the tail end of the golden years.

        Everyone should be getting basic chemistry and biology, like it or not. I never had to dissect anything. Closest I've c

        • The fact that so many of us didn't get any chemistry is vindication of the statement that we're fucked [...] Everyone should be getting basic chemistry and biology, like it or not.

          Meh. I took two years of chemistry in high school (second was AP). It was okay, and I suppose it's been marginally useful. I'm not sure everyone needs more chemistry than is taught in seventh and eighth grade science class, though... atoms and molecules, a bit about chemical reactions, an overview of the periodic table, including a basic notion of what the columns mean, a brief discussion of the ideal gas law, etc. I think that's sufficient for most. Stoichiometry, understanding valence shells, etc... not s

      • Nobody uses these names, but technically the IUPAC systematic name for ammonia is "azane", and water is "ozane". (Google says they're a Star Refrigeration subsidiary in the US and an exterminator business in New Jersey.)

        I'm imagining Slashdot stories like "Fracking Fluid Contains Significant Amounts of Ozane", "Ozane Responsible For Rising Sea Levels", "Guantanamo Prisoners Tortured Using Ozane", "Oncoming Ozane Crisis Threatens Civilization", "Weak Beer Found To Contain Excess Amounts of Ozane", "Linus Tor

      • In this case, I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of the 80% who were confused actually know perfectly well what DNA is, and fully understand that most of our food contains it because most of our food is made from living organisms. And they understand that children get their DNA from their parents, including their mother.

        Sadly that's not true. The average American, although supposedly schooled, has no idea what DNA is. Try to parse that. They passed their science tests by multiple choice without understanding anything, and retain nothing from their schooling. I don't mean this is as a "look how stupid they are, we are better because we know more" kind of thing, just a level set of what you should expect from Americans. This country is fucked. There is no way to recover. If you are looking for a culture that still res

    • by ljw1004 ( 764174 )

      80%?! 80% of Americans are unfamiliar with one of, if not *the* most fundamental concepts of biology?

      I support mandatory labels on *all* food products. Therefore I support mandatory labels on food containing DNA, and I've have ticked the "yes" box on this questionnaire too.

      But to be pedantic the question actually asked "Do you agree with the government's policy to require mandatory labels on food containing DNA". If you had to answer yes or no to this nonsense question (since there is no such policy) I'd assume the questionnaire, like so many others, was badly written and was referring to an actual governm

    • Any grade schooler should know what DNA is and not be fooled by that.
      Any high schooler should have enough education that they won't fall for the Dihydrogen Monoxide gag either.
      Sadly, that is not the case in this country.
      And you wonder why the other countries keep laughing at us behind our borders.
  • by nicodoggie ( 1228876 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @11:18AM (#48898243)
    ...can finally advertise as 100% DNA free!
  • by hduff ( 570443 ) <hoytduff@3.14159gmail.com minus pi> on Sunday January 25, 2015 @11:19AM (#48898245) Homepage Journal

    Since college, I have been encouraging people to help save the American Clay Pidgeon, colorfully-marked creatures "fragile as eggs" that a slaughtered every day and left to rot in fields at the hands of wildly enthusiastic gunners.

  • I'm not sure what the point is here. Could it be:

    • Some chemicals with unfamiliar-sounding names are harmless, therefore we should assume that all are?
    • Warning labels about chemical hazards are stupid, because the public should be sufficiently educated about chemistry and toxicology to know if a compound is dangerous by it's name alone?
    • Unfamiliar substances should be assumed to be safe unless we know otherwise with certainty?

    Furthermore, if you use the name "di-hydrogen monoxide" for water, I'm going to assum

    • The point is to use content labels to stimulate democratic change by hoping consumers become more concerned about words on a label with information they've been taught to pay attention to for health reasons. Now I do believe there are very legitimate social/environmental concerns over GM DNA, such as reduction in crop diversity, or unintended consequences. But there are no health concerns deriving specifically from the fact DNA was "modified" (could be bad, could be good, GMO is not health information).

      • such as reduction in crop diversity

        We grow only one kind of banana. It was developed in 1948, long before "GM DNA". Heck, the Irish Potato Famine was caused by monoculture.

        You don't need genetic modifications to create a monoculture. We already do that, and have for a very, very long time.

        • Are you talking about the Big Mike or cavendish? I was the last generation to enjoy them on a regular basis. I got to eat one again about 3 years ago, boy was it good. really banana tasting and it had a lot of seeds inside. yummy, that's banana cost me a fortune, was well worth it.

    • If DNA is unfamiliar, we need to completely revamp our education system. It's one of the fundamental things taught about biology. And they even asked with the acronym, so the respondents didn't need to know what DNA stands for.

      So if you're ridiculing people for not recognizing "dihydrogen monoxide", you're also looking like an noob to people who know better.

      The noobs would be the ones who don't ask "what's that?", and instead just go with "chemicals bad!!!"

  • by X10 ( 186866 )

    Someone told me a big mac is free of DNA.

  • not honest (Score:2, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 )

    This is kind of a dishonest way for the food/chemical industry to try to push an agenda. Most people don't listen to the questions they're asked. They start thinking of an answer before the question has even been completely asked. I'll be most were really answering the question, "Do you support mandatory labeling of food that's been grown using intellectual property developed by companies that are famous for creating the world's most deadly products?" And the answer to that question about labeling of G

  • Looking at the survey results, it's clear that the question pertaining to DNA was giving in the context of other questions on governmental policies. If I answered the survey, I would have answered based on what I thought the researcher meant by the question, and not the literal text of the question. When I saw the question, I would ask myself, should I be a smartass and answer the question as written, or should I assume the researcher means to ask, "Mandatory labels on foods containing modified or isolated

  • In the McCarthy era a poll quoted the Bill of Rights and people said it was Communist propaganda. This is a symptom of the failure of the US education system. It has nothing to do with people being stupid or not stupid. This is stuff you're supposed to learn in school and if people didn't, it's because the schools suck.
  • You have the right to remain stupid.

    Nothing new here. Move along please.

  • by caseih ( 160668 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @01:38PM (#48899017)

    The story about the water fountain sign reminds me of the sign at the Foucault pendulum at the uni where I studied. They had problems with people touching the pendulum, stopping it, etc. So they put up a sign that said, "Danger, do not touch! 10,000 ohms." Haven't had problems with people messing with it in many years!

  • Because people don't know anything about it, GM foods are safe? Is that the message?

    That's akin to "Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?"

  • by reboot246 ( 623534 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @03:23PM (#48899617) Homepage
    I have gout, caused by excess uric acid in the bloodstream. Uric acid is formed from the purines we eat. Purines come from the DNA in cells of plants and animals. It would be nice if food products listed the amount of purine.

    I know that lowering my intake of purines won't completely cure gout, but it would be nice to lower the risk of flareups.
  • by Mr. Freeman ( 933986 ) on Sunday January 25, 2015 @06:17PM (#48900661)
    Do you realize that these idiots are allowed to vote? I know it's all the rage right now to blame politicians for everything, but why don't we take a good, hard look at the people who put them into office.

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