Anti-GMO attitudes study Nature 2019

Submitted by Joel O’Bryan, PhD

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 10.15.01 PMFrom NPR on-line, there is this news item:

“People Strongly Against GMOs Had Shakier Understanding Of Food Science, Study Finds”

January 26, 2019 7:00 AM ET

“People who most intensely oppose genetically modified food think they know a lot about food science, but actually know the least, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in January in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.”


“But, she said, consumers often are less likely to learn the facts when it’s something they feel very passionate about, “especially if they feel like it’s challenging their moral values.””

My note: Where have we heard something similar to this? (see below)

The NPR story is from this Nature Human Behaviour original research article:

“Extreme opponents of genetically modified foods know the least but think they know the most”


There is widespread agreement among scientists that genetically modified foods are safe to consume and have the potential to provide substantial benefits to humankind. However, many people still harbour concerns about them or oppose their use. In a nationally representative sample of US adults, we find that as extremity of opposition to and concern about genetically modified foods increases, objective knowledge about science and genetics decreases, but perceived understanding of genetically modified foods increases. Extreme opponents know the least, but think they know the most. Moreover, the relationship between self-assessed and objective knowledge shifts from positive to negative at high levels of opposition. Similar results were obtained in a parallel study with representative samples from the United States, France and Germany, and in a study testing attitudes about a medical application of genetic engineering technology (gene therapy). This pattern did not emerge, however, for attitudes and beliefs about climate change.


Although the article at first appears to have a Nature paywall, Nature makes it publicly available (via PDF format) with this shortened URL:

which itself is in a Supplements Info page from the Nature site:

My comments:

I think it is likely the authors were forced by editors and reviewers to include the word “Extreme” as a modifier in the headline title. In their abstract, they noted it wasn’t categorical, but rather a continuum of “objective knowledge about science and genetics decreases,” correlates with “opposition to and concern about genetically modified foods.” So of course, that equates with more extreme anti-GMO one is, the less they actually know.

So it is not just the ‘extreme opponents’ to GMO, but nearly all opponents increasingly show less and less scientific (objective) objective knowledge. Where else do we see this?

And of significant Note:  the authors were so concerned that climate alarmism “deniers” (like me) would use their results to show how ignorant climate change believers are in general of science they had to add the disclaimer.  The disclaimer (in bold, last sentence of Abstract) was probably insisted on by the editors/reviewers. Why was negative result (on Climate Change) which was not the focus of the study (GMO food attitudes) the final conclusion line of a study abstract?

Fortunately, the authors of this GMO attitudes study references the Kahan (2012) paper, where that study found: “Members of the public with the highest degrees of science literacy and technical reasoning capacity were not the most concerned about climate change.”(ref: 1)

In using that Kahan (2012) reference in their Discussion, the authors wrote,

When an issue becomes polarized, people’s attitudes reflect affiliation with their ideological group and not individual knowledge. That is, individuals subscribe to whatever their in-group believes, regardless of how much they know about the issue.

Such an indictment of Liberal academia if there ever were one. The climate change faithful with academic institutions today fit this exactly. In that one statement (in italics), they explain why almost all of Liberal academia must find itself in support of Climate Change alarmism despite any objective knowledge to the contrary, simply because their group affiliation in politically Liberal (Democratic Party aligned faculty) dominated environment that is today’s Liberal-dominated universities and colleges. And spreading a fear of climate change, climate doom, and imparting an alarmism of climate existential threat most certainly depends on a general public “who knows the least” in any objective measure of science knowledge, even though these authors took pains to try to distance themselves from that glaring reality.

Ref: (1) The polarizing impact of science literacy and numeracy on perceived climate change risks.   Dan M. Kahan, Ellen Peters, Maggie Wittlin, Paul Slovic, Lisa Larrimore Ouellette, Donald Braman & Gregory Mandel. Nature Climate Change volume 2, pages 732–735 (2012).

206 thoughts on “Anti-GMO attitudes study Nature 2019

    • Probably the same thing they say for every food advance: “Well, how do we KNOW it’s safe? They can’t test for every possible side effect! It’s bound to screw up something.”

      I’ve noticed the precautionary principle worms its way into nearly everything. If you really want to be against it and not think about why you’re against it, that is.

      • Exactly, Peter Morris. They have been doing it for many years with things like the Golden Rice project which is an attempt to prevent dietary vitamin A deficiency, and hence irreversible blindness, in children around the globe, usually living in extreme poverty.

        But to answer StephenP’s question directly, so-called charities like Greenpeace [*] simply just don’t care about humans of any race, creed, or skin color when there is a planet to be saved and a technology to be banned. As a result, the implementation of GM crops is decades behind where it should be in the European Union. Just like nuclear power.

        [*Militant environmentalists like Greenpeace and “Friends of the Earth” have been aided and abetted over the years by their equally ill informed friends, allies, and members at the BBC: feasting on funding from the government and those legally-enforced TV licence-fee payers normally called the general public. The angry ignorance is there for all to see yet it is quite normal for the BBC to go straight to them so they can flaunt their ignorant opinion on many stories, as if they were some sort of experts with a government mandate to make policy. It’s shameless.]

    • This website is science based on AGW but hackneyed gee whiz gosh darn cool ain’t it? On GMOs. The science says GMOs are completely unnecessary for food! The science says basing food production on chemical inputs is unhealthy and unnecessary. Not sure how you guys are missing it. Organic farming produces more nutritious food and doesn’t harm the soil and water like Big Ag does.
      Heard about the dead zones in the gulf? Algae blooms? Increased rates of cancer? Antibiotic resistance? Glyphosate causes more problems than practically any other substance. Have a look at the real science. You guys are looking at investor spreadsheets. Biotech is gonna be big?

      Too bad GMO food is a disaster and a joke. Stick to AGW. That’s enough for one site. Oubhuys teying to be like Tesla? Get your nose into everything? Ya ha ha

  1. That graphic would be much more effective if it specified “supports non-biological gender” rather than some of those other things. Anyone who thinks food and bio-medical sciences aren’t as corrupt as climate science hasn’t been paying attention.

    There was some interesting denial expressed in another thread I posted this in. Astonishing, really.

    • big pharma and big pFarmer are hand in glove and less that clean or honest from much reading/research Ive coma across…way much profit and patenting to be had in both.
      Ive been saying for years that the sledging of Skeptics on climate vaccines and pharma meds and Gmo all have a lot more in common then many think
      Im not totally antivax but the volume and range need to be stepped back and looked at hard
      the GMO debate for me is different
      cross species inputs- CRISPR now admitted to be NOT perfect and having unforseen effects- breeding what end up as superweeds from outcrossing-seeds that dont even replicate the supposed patented traits in first gen let alone escapees
      check this for idiocy. the plant mentioned grows like a weed produces well as it is and has nothing special about it nutritionally to merit…
      this effort
      in ALL the climate/ vaccine/ pharma and GMO the exact same derogatory claims are made about anyone daring to think or dissent
      all of the same issues are about control profit and controlling the populaces

      and gee thanks for using the scuzzy haired dipsh*t picture (not)
      not every non gmo advocate is a hippy low iq numbat

      • “and gee thanks for using the scuzzy haired dipsh*t picture (not)
        not every non gmo advocate is a hippy low iq numbat”

        Honestly, I can’t tell if it’s a guy or a girl.

        • The New York City council has identified 32 genders. “guy/girl” is so very 19th Century patriarchal. Safer to refer to them as “it” or “thing”.

          • Yeah that’s OK. Many languages work without distinction between he/him/his and she/her/hers. I don’t use even a pronoun that refers to humans, but the word that works as ‘it’. It works well.

            With the exception of dogs of course. They’re ze/zem/zir.

            I kind of fail in English because it is, IMO, just plain wrong to have remains of the Germanic gender system so that a hip is an ‘it’, and a ship is a ‘she’. Be progressive. The noun gender ist so protoindoeuropeisch.

        • I think Xer is the correct terminology. Or possibly They.

          Unless it’s a worm-kin, in which case it’s Urgh.

        • “and gee thanks for using the scuzzy haired dipsh*t picture (not)
          not every non gmo advocate is a hippy low iq numbat”

          Nope; not all of them, some are still waiting for the lobotomy.



      • Great comment. “Science for Sale” by David L. Lewis PhD, is a great book about corruption in science in general and the EPA in particular.

        I’ve always advocated extending the double blind process so that the company wanting a new drug/GMO/vaccine on the market has no knowledge of which universities were assigned the testing and vice versa. Testing protocols would be agreed upon between company and gov agency then it would go for testing.

      • There is a need for commonsense in all things. There is no doubt that vaccines have saved millions of people from debilitating illnesses. When I was young there was a polio clinic not far from my school, and seeing those people with supports on their limbs without which they could not walk, was harrowing to say the least. The vaccine has brought an end to that suffering.

        On the other hand, American kids these days are compulsorily pumped full of such a cocktail of vaccines that you wonder if this is good or bad for them.

        We don’t have compulsory vaccinations here, yet the rates of vaccination are high and the incidence of illnesses for which there is a vaccine, is low.

        I was ill for a considerable time last year after having the flu vaccine. This in spite of my having had it several times before without ill effect. I think this underlines that any state acting as Big Brother in enforcing vaccinations, takes a huge responsibility on its shoulders.

        It’s really the same syndrome that applies wherever bureaucrats gain control. Instead of being applied sensibly, it must then be ALL things to ALL people in ALL places and at ALL times, and must cover ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of eventualities. (Of course it doesn’t help if these are vested business interests involved, which there often are.)

        We have a similar problem with MoT (Vehicle roadworthiness) tests in the UK. They were introduced years ago to get potentially dangerous vehicles off the road, and at that time covered sensible issues like heavily rusted brake pipes or loose suspension joints. Now it’s gotten to the stage where a blown bulb on the dashboard can put your car off the road. I understand the States has no such test, and in spite of this the rate of accidents through vehicle malfunction is low enough to not be a concern.

        • Individual states in the U.S. each have their own approach to automobile safety safety inspection. It ranges from none to an annual inspection. I lived in Southern California for 28 years, and they had no inspection requirements. I’ve also lived in Missouri, Maryland, and currently in Virginia. All three of those have safety inspection requirements. IIRC, Missouri and Maryland required it only for initial registration of the vehicle. Virginia requires it every year, and one of the tests is whether all of the factory-installed exterior lights are functioning. That became a problem for me once, when I had to actually travel to California to get a replacement tail light for a custom truck topper. I bought an extra, just in case…

          • In Oz it’s the same. In Queensland there is no roadworthy test until you sell a car. This means that if you buy a car you can drive it until it literally falls apart around you, and never get it checked. It may be illegal to drive, but a lot of people do, I’ll bet.

      • The fact remains that there is no evidence that vaccines cause any problems.
        As to GMO, of course they don’t always hit the gene that they are targeting. That’s why they grow a couple generations of the plant in the lab first.

        • Mark, not to try to be contrary but there is no evidence that vaccines cause any problems is simply not true. You can look at the insert for any vaccine and it will list the possible side effects. Last year my wife and I got the 2 shot shingrex (for shingles) vaccine. After I received the second one I came down with a fairly bad head cold with chest congestion and fever. I am fairly sure I was not exposed to anyone with an infection as I work from home, and when I checked the FDA’s site about vaccine side effects this was listed as one. Being an RN I know enough that I don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater because someone had a side effect of some drug but I also don’t discount that people do have issues with medicine they take.

          Would I take the vaccine again? Yes because the effects from shingles are far worse even though my chances of developing the illness is between 0.5% and 1% at my age.

          • Catching a partial effect of what the vaccine is vaccinating against isn’t unusual. And when you look through the medical pages of the possible side effects of vaccine, you are correct. It lists everything from zero effect to fatal for 1:10,000 people. To me, that’s still way too high a risk. I don’t want to be that unlucky 10,000th person.

            But Autism is a brain wiring thing, not a thing that you can catch after birth. It appears to be genetic, with many possible markers. Any one, or a combination is required for Autism to form, and it rewires the brain. It can not be caught like the flue.

          • The strongest correlation for autism is men over 40 conceiving children. Theory has it that the longer a man makes sperm the more likely for them to have mutations. Nobody wants to here this they prefer an external demon

          • Greg and Mike, as an FYI, I don’t believe there is a connection between vaccines and autism and didn’t mention it in my post. Just saying that every drug has side effects that can affect some people even if only a small portion of the population and most are mild but they exist, even for vaccines.

        • “The fact remains that there is no evidence that vaccines cause any problems.”

          Oh yeah there is unless you choose to be totally blind. 3 twins (2 male, 1 female) developing autism within hours of each other is genetically impossible.

          • Some significant percentage of dementia is revealed as Alzheimer’s – through an autopsy – but the incident of actual Alzheimer’s is well below the general impression. Aside from an autopsy there is no way to make a positive diagnosis. Regardless, Alzheimer’s is a label based on behavioral traits that is widely applied as a default, but is far from always correct.

            Autism seems much the same, “Rewiring” is a image that is convenient for casual conversation but extremely difficult to diagnosis. Autism is a convenient label for a wide range of behaviors with essentially no common core. Two different s”autism” victims may share no common traits. Some damage that effects behavior is an extreme way may get labeled as autism because there is no other handy and familiar term. That hardly means that because autism occurs before birth (assuming for the sake of conversation there is truth is that assertion) something observed as occurring only well after birth must be mistaken or made up from whole cloth.

          • I’m supporting AndyHce 100% here.
            Replying to icisil who states that 3 children having autism is 100% impossible is nonsense.

            Autism is generally accepted as a genetic condition. That is not fixed in stone however. From what I’ve read, the father is the carrier in most cases, again not fixed in stone. Much debate is ongoing, and as AndyHce points out, there are many aspects to it all lumped under the autism umbrella.

            Autism and Aspergers are similar but different. Different enough that the DMS5 has changed the name Aspergers to Autism Spectrum Disorder, but kept the two conditions as separate entities.

            They are considered a spectrum disorder, which means that any particular aspect, lets call it sensitivity to sound, sits on a spectrum. I could be dull to particular frequencies while my sister find those same frequencies painful to hear. So the spectrum goes from -10 to +10. Normality is considered everybody who sits within -6 to +6. Outside of that range you have an autistic trait.

          • “Replying to icisil who states that 3 children having autism is 100% impossible is nonsense.”

            That’s rather dishonest, Greg. I said triplets (2 male/1 female) becoming autistic within hours of each other. In the video it was said that geneticists said that was genetically impossible.

    • Again…I was vaccinated. My brother was vaccinated. My sister was vaccinated. My wife was vaccinated. My brother in law was vaccinated. His wife was vaccinated. Their boys were vaccinated. Their 3 grandchildren were vaccinated. My sister’s two kids were vaccinated. Her grandchild was vaccinated. My extended family some 250 at the last Garrett family reunion were all vaccinated (every one had the large round small pox vaccine scar on their upper arms. sister’s ex husband has a brother who’s wife received no vaccinations and walked with crutches and braces thanks to polio. One case of autism in my family out of more than 300 and the only bad case of illness was due to no vaccinations. It is my daughter with autism but I would still vaccinate her all over again (she is a later in life baby). Vaccines and Autism… not buying it!
      I will always be a proponent for vaccinations. When Small Pox/Polio/Measles/Mumps etc. comes around again, and one of them will, only those ant-vaxxer kids will get sick and spread it to others.

      • The so-called anti vaccination believers aren’t usually anti-vaccination… they just think that 3 diseases in one jab is overkill (the MMR Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine) and think they should be available singly where the pressure on baby’s immune system is not as severe.

        • They can think whatever they like. Until they produce some actual evidence, they will continue to be ignored.

        • No, they’re largely a complete bunch of nut jobs. Vaccination is a ploy by Bill Gates to sterilise the world, vaccines have Mercury & Aluminium in them, sending us all mad.

      • “When Small Pox/Polio/Measles/Mumps etc. comes around again, and one of them will, only those ant-vaxxer kids will get sick and spread it to others.”

        Not true. There is about 5% of the population who are “low responders” and will still get sick.

        Smallpox was the perfect target and won’t be coming around unless released by a weapons lab. You and I no longer have immunity to it. Unlike naturally acquired immunity the vaccine for it doesn’t give life long protection.

        You should read “Demon in the Freezer” sometime. Great book about the eradication.

        • Not sure about no immunity to smallpox. I’ve had so many smallpox vaccinations in my childhood, in high school, in college, and in the military, that I would be surprised if some of the imuunity didn’t stick around. OT — BTW I remember when my sister in grade school had her smallpox vaccination, and slammed the garage door down on her shoulder — had a bloody mess to deal with.

          • My mum was in med school when small pox last reared its head in Toronto. She said that death rate in the unvaccinated was about 30%. There were also some cases who had been vaccinated greater than 30 years before: none of these actually died of the disease. This implies that there was some residual immunity for that disease.

            Has no one on this site heard of confirmation bias – the very strong tendency humans have to notice one positive correlation, and discount many negative ones. All of the antivaccer stories are one offs, and make the assumption that the CDC or equivalent is not monitoring. If any real correlation is found, the agent is pulled fast. If 4 children in one family get sick at the same time, I would be looking for pathogens or some kind of environmental toxin before I blamed the vaccination.

            And yes, there are rare cases of serious adverse reactions to vaccines ( However, the measles mortality rate in the US is between 0.1 and 0.2%. This ignores the larger numbers that are brain damaged, deaf or get serious pneumonia. Whooping cough deaths are similar, but in the US 43% of cases in infants under 6 months required hospitalization (cost??) and immune system is depressed for about 2 years after. If you add up all the risks for diseases you kid could be vaccinated for, you will easily get to over 1% for death aside from other complications and costs.

            There is one other reason to vaccinate: to protect those with immune defficiency. This includes other kids with leukaemia, adults under going chemotherapy, and the aged whose immune systems gradually fail, and rare genetic disorders.

      • All who think that vaccines do anything really should look at a graph showing the prevalence of polio (or other diseases for that matter) vis-a-vis their vaccine introduction. For example, deaths from polio plummeted before the vaccine was even introduced. I’m quite fallible, so corrective information is well received (if it’s legitimate).

        • I was a child when the polio vaccine was first introduced. At the time, the March of Dimes used pictures of children on crutches (like its founder, FDR) and iron lungs to promote donations. I have personally never known anyone with polio. I have had all the prescribed vaccinations, including a battery of them while in Basic Training. I have never had the diseases I was vaccinated for and have never had complications. From my perspective, vaccines appear to work as promoted, and have little risk.

          As to the claim that “deaths from polio plummeted before the vaccine was even introduced,” that may have been the result of better medical intervention and the introduction of affordable iron lungs in the 40s and 50s. A better metric for the efficacy of the polio vaccine is not deaths, but rather new infections.

          • You can’t say it’s polio without a lab analysis. (PCR I think)

            It isn’t just me saying it, it’s the vaxxers. In India many people have got the polio disease by not the polio infection, according to analysis.

            Look it up!

          • Polio incidence plummeted around 80% from the high in 1952 to 1957 when the Salk vaccine became widely used.

      • The fact that the concept of vaccination is valid, that it has been shown as very useful in some cases, is no proof that all vaccines are safe from causing extreme problems for some recipients or even an unacceptable percentage of recipients. Refusal to consider the evidence, if evidence is offered, is no different than refusal to consider the evidence that additional CO2 in the atmosphere does not result is dangerous temperature rises or that infrasound from wind turbines does result in serious health issues.

    • “icisil January 29, 2019 at 2:58 am

      There was some interesting denial expressed in another thread I posted this in. Astonishing, really.”

      Not astonishing.
      What is astonishing is your blatant emoting attempt.

      Not denial! What you obfuscate as denial is your own projection.

        • If only they had one of them left unvaccinated. The next argument would have been “Those vaccines are contagious.”

          Do I need /s?

    • Dunning/Kruger applies to those who have the inability to process facts staring them in the face due to cognitive bias. What you’re implying is exactly the same bnllsh!t I constantly hear from smug climate scientists.

  2. There is widespread agreement among scientists that genetically modified foods are safe to consume and have the potential to provide substantial benefits to humankind. However, many people still harbour concerns about them or oppose their use”

    It’s interesting how some climate skeptics can say consensus means nothing in climate science, yet turn right around and say that consensus is authoritative in food science (and other fields of science, as well). Let’s be consistent, please.

    • People accepting GMOs are safe foods, may have something to do with a total lack of evidence that GMOs are harmful or dangerous foods. You could call that a ‘consensus’ if you really wanted to be perverse and pretend there is some sort of double-standard occurring here, but the lack of evidence to back your apparent concern is for you to come to terms with.

      • I have no data that GMO foods are bad. However, due to the historical corruption in food (and related) science I simply don’t believe what they say anymore. I’m comfortable making my own educated decisions while I await further evidence.

        • I have no data that GMO foods are bad.

          and yet you go on to insist that might be/probably are (because you don’t believe what “they” have to say) and yet claim to be making “educated decisions”. and you wonder why people “slam” you on such nonsense.

          • eh, well, I am kind of technically/scientifically/intellectually competent to evaluate such things for my own needs. But really more importantly, when I see scientists producing such cr@ppy, contradictory work I’m like, “Why bother with what they say?”

          • you are “kind of technically/scientifically/intellectually competent to evaluate” that you “have no data that GMO foods are bad.” but think they’re bad anyway just because you don’t trust “scientists” ooooookay. How about getting back to us when you have some actual data to technically/scientifically/intellectually evaluate *before* making judgements rather than making judgements based on the people instead of the science.

          • So even if we take everything you say as correct you have no idea about GMO food safety so stop spamming us with junk as we don’t care what you think as you have no facts.

          • Whatever. You do your thing, I’ll do mine.

            “Don’t eat many eggs because cholesterol is bad”, “Wait, nevermind, eggs have good cholesterol”
            “Butter is bad, margarine is good” “No wait, trans fats are bad and saturated fats are good”

            And on and on and on…

            Yeah, scientists really know WTF they’re talking about…

        • “I have no data that GMO foods are bad. However, due to the historical corruption in food (and related) science I simply don’t believe what they say anymore. I’m comfortable making my own educated decisions while I await further evidence.”

          In the same vein, I too would like to make my own educated decision while awaiting further evidence – Unfortunately, in CS, the zealots what skeptics to conform immediately when they lack good scientific evidence.

          • So make you own decisions and get groups to ask for GMO free labeling just stop asking us to spend money to pander to your whims so you can make informed choice … it’s called taking responsibility as any vegetarian or vegan.

          • Ldb – You missed my point
            1) first I was quoting icisil comment
            2) I was pointing out the the climate science zealots want the world to conform to their superior belief that agw will be catastrophic and the world to take drastic action immediatitely to stop the doom
            3) Third, I prefer to wait until the empirical science catches up and either proves or disproves agw.

        • Icisil: Even food products that are labeled organic are GMO foods they just use the slow method called breading.



      • uh huh
        and every time someone tries to GET seed to study the agrimobs want to put their staff in to supervise the research?
        that was done to a uni who werent antigmo at all but wanted to study the corn borer bugs and the effects on them from the corn
        every person /group doing ANY studies on the food is pilloried smeared and threatened with legal action and gets immediate bad press coverage

        see the same with climate issue too dont we?
        willie soon and so many more

        • There is a clear potential for the seed to be diverted to others for their own dodgy purposes. So why should a company not protect its reputation, and potentially billion-dollar products from such potential? You have no right to their product, they do. You need their approval to study it, so you must meet their requirements or do something else. Don’t like it then don’t expect access. Should the company sacrifice their product, reputation or future to sate someone’s passing scientific curiosity? I sure wouldn’t. We have regs to test such products for approval. That’s as far as a commercial company has to expose themselves, any other access you do with their approval.

          People immaturely claiming dodgy dealings or corruption need to stop their own BS and accept the, “innocent until proven guilty” principle, of civil society and commercial and scientific practice or they only have themselves to blame for any legal issues they then encounter. All the rest sounds like ideology or excuse-making for the chip on their shoulder, to me.

        • sorry but that is wrong on many levels, I have a friend getting a masters in Botany and has had GMO seed many times with no oversight other than his professor, you take soundbites from crazed anti-GMO mobs and run with it you will be wrong every time.

          • I can only assume he was talking about the latest test gen mods, and trying to get them before the companies have even grown them in test fields themselves.

            And yes, we also get them out here in Indiana all the time. You used to be able to drive down country roads looking for the newest varieties, because the sellers would give you a discount if you placed markers at the edge of the field identifying which mod you had in it. It was hoped that if that mod did really well, other farmers would see that and want it next year.

            Needless to say, after the anti-GMO craze got going, most farmers didn’t want to advertise what was in their fields to the kind of crazies who would poison or even burn GMO crops.

      • Anyone, who desires to learn history about our common foods quickly learns that people are fed mutated foods.

        Man’s early grain crops were cultivated and harvested to propagate mutations. Otherwise grains would still be borne as small seed pods on small plants.

        Tomatoes, peppers, squash, greens, tubers and a multitude of fruits and vegetables modern crops are based on mutations carefully isolated and propagated by mankind.

        Brassica originates from a weedy plant from the coastal cliffs of Western Europe.
        Careful selection, breeding and mutations result in the vast multitude of brassica descendents today that fill the world’s food lists; e.g. ‘Brassica oleracea”, i.e. cabbage, brussel sprouts, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, etc. etc. etc.

        Tomatoes are very close relatives to deadly nightshade and datura. It isn’t a surprise the people who revered psychedelics and other experiences considered a look alike fruit to datura and nightshade as possible food.
        But, it is a long genetic manipulation path from the original wild tomato, ‘solanum pimpinellifolium’, to the large juicy modern tomatoes.

        Mankind’s progress and civilization is based on genetic manipulation and mutations of foods. Wailing about GMO solely because of genetic manipulation is pure hypocrisy.

        • The traditional method of creating new crop varieties was to expose the seeds to known mutagens. Plant and grow the seeds, then study the crop to see if any of the mutations were useful.

          This technique is 100% acceptable to those who fear GMOs. However precisely targeting the gene the scientist wants to change, sends them over the wall.

          • “However precisely targeting the gene the scientist wants to change”

            It’s more precise but far from exact. There are other unknown mutations, with the cannon technique or with the more modern hyped technique.

        • The big difference was that in the past, the genetic changes were random. Dangerous changes could be made along with beneficial ones. I’m sure there were many deaths and agricultural disasters along the way, but in the long run we obtained a rich and plentiful food source. Today we can target specific genes with a high degree of accuracy, and have much greater knowledge as to what the effects will be on the plant. This is a huge improvement over the past and will allow us to continue to improve our food sources.

      • Actually there is no evidence they are harmful, unless you are an insect or a weed.
        Disproving the negative, as is discussed frequently here at WUWT, is actually impossible.

        An unprovable assertion: Invisible space aliens are walking among us everyday here on Earth. Now, Prove I’m wrong. (That is not science, science can’t do that.) Science can only show there is no evidence for such a space alien hypothesis, thus it must be rejected in the present if rational thought is to prevail.

        Just like there is actually no evidence that recent storms, droughts, floods are unprecedented unless one Cherry-Picks certain start-end dates for the comparisons. Only assertions based on model studies containing such large internal error bars that they are worthless. Further, every hurricane in 2017 and 2018 has historical analogs, the only different was any specific land-falling locations, which is a crap shoot.

    • ICISIL,
      There really is a qualitative difference. A difference that makes all the difference.

      GMO safety is evidence based. And there is no observational evidence of GMO harm, unless you’re an insect or a weed. If there were actual evidence for harm (unlike there is for smoking or asbestos inhalation), it would have been withdrawn by the regulators or the industry itself for fear of lawsuits.
      While virtually all of claims of Climate Change being catastrophic are model based and completely evidence-free. For example any attempt to blame the 2017&2018 hurricanes on CC must be met with,”Then why the 12 year drought of major US landfalling hurricanes 2005-2017.” That is skepticism. And major hurricanes landfalling on the US during hurricane season has lots of precednts long before CO2 levels bagan to rise. There is no actual evidence of anything unprecedented about recent storms, droughts, heat waves or cold waves, anywhere in the world, only fact-free assertions. Even hemispheric warming patterns are inconsistent with climate model predictions.

      Thus climate change alaramism deserves much skepticism, while the former (GMO crops) does not. Actual observational evidence is how science actually moves forward to determne what is true and what is likely not true. Science actually never determines something is absolutely false, it just finds no evidence to support a theory/hypothesis, which tne must be discarded.

  3. It depends on the modification. If plants are now producing pesticides internally, then the ingestion of these could be dangerous. If the modification is say, just to grow bigger then it wont.

    • Plants have always produced pesticides internally. Plants don’t wastw resources producing toxic substances for fun.

      • Yup. Just as they expend energy on growing thorns to discourage predation by vertebrate herbivores, so do they make toxins and malodorous and foul tasing chemicals.

      • Yes, plant toxins are natural. In fact one theory is that plant anti-oxidant levels correspond, in part, to the need for plants’ self-regulation of it’s toxins.

        And, in human trials, anti-oxidant supplementation (mega-doses) does not provide benefit, but can even be detrimental in some cases. So this theory considers the possibility that human ingestion of plant toxins (rather than anti-oxidants) is a beneficial factor (aside from nutrition) we get from eating plants; while plants rich in anti-oxidants should really be considered to correlate to the existance of useful plant toxins. A simple explanation of this theoretical “health” value from non-lethal ( to humans) plant toxins might be in the saying : ” what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

  4. I’ve always believed this applies to socialists and economics as well. I would also hazard a guess that this group over-estimates their own intelligence more than almost any other.

  5. and impatiently the morally superior expect the global warming “” awarding cermony.

  6. Don’t we believe “let the market decide”? Why are GMO’s different? To make an informed decision one must know what one is buying. Good, bad or indifferent don’t I (and others) have a right to buy what I want to eat, and decline what I do not? So a simple “GMO” on the label accomplishes that.

    • and the food industry have managed again to step into that and change the way GMO foods will be labelled
      ie not using the GMO tag but a logo wording not 100% settled I dont think but looking a bit like the organic logos .

      If you want to eat GMO go right ahead
      the labelling for free and informed choice is crucial
      as is segrgation of seeds and paddocks to isolate them from normal crops.
      they do NOT breed true to the supposed perfect gene inserts, and that was proven when germany tested what was found to be GMO corn when tested the actal seeds werent what they actully stated they were alterations wise. so in truth the bigagri didnt have jackschitts worth or “rights n royalties” on those seeds either.
      the spurious term of -equivalence-..think about it
      if its so NEW or Novel it gains patents and breeders rights BECAUSE of its different special attributes
      then how is it “equivalent” to standard ???

      • Personally you want none GMO then that is up to you to get enough consumers to make a market and put the controls in place like for organic status. I would go the other way and have a GMO free label and standard which companies may use as a market tool. I don’t see why the rest of society should be forced to wear the cost for a small minority who believe in something … USER PAYS always.

    • After years of “organic” foods, we still don’t know what is “organic”, except when compared to inorganic.

      • The whole organic label is marketing not science. All foods that are grown (fruits, vegetables, meats) are organic by definition (IE carbon compounds which are found in living things). So those carrots labelled organic are just as organic as those carrots that don’t carry the label and are cheaper to buy. Organic, in science, does not mean “pesticides and other chemicals not used in growing”.

        • “Organic, in science, does not mean “pesticides and other chemicals not used in growing”.”

          But “organic” in food production does typically mean the absence of such things. It’s a dumb term, but there it is. It means what it is.

          • It’s not a scientific term (as already pointed out) but a marketing term. Organic has a meaning in science and the fact that marketers misused the word to describe food production that doesn’t use chemicals (such as fertilizers and pesticides) doesn’t change the fact that that is *not* what organic means. to reuse my example, carrots that were grown with fertilizers are *still* organic (per science) regardless of what the marketers would have you believe.

          • The organics brigade put an awful lot of unpleasant stuff on their growing products to prevent the bugs getting at them, & despite what some people say, I truly defy them to be able to taste the difference in a truly blind tasting, without knowledge of which is which! Once they know which they are eating, their minds take over their judgement, the mind is a very, very powerful tool & weapon!

          • Indeed, there is no real difference between an “organic” grown carrot and a non-“organic” grown carrot. They’re both carrots. they both taste like carrots. they both cook like carrots. The only significant difference is the price.

          • “The organics brigade put an awful lot of unpleasant stuff on their growing products to prevent the bugs getting at them”

            Unpleasant? You mean worse than organophosphates?

          • Yes, much worse. They have to use ‘natural’ fertilizers, and that means somethings shit. And that also means whatever intestinal parasites that something had as well.

            If your ridiculously lucky, they use pure cow manure, from cows that HAVEN’T been pumped full of antibiotics and growth hormones. More likely you get a mix of everything for cows, pigs, horses, and sheep, clear down to chickens and turkeys.

            There’s a reason that ‘Organic’ foods are 8 times more likely to harbor salmonella and other diseases and parasites.


  7. ps re Aus this last week the actual medicos are now examining the rise in allergies and food issues that seem to have spiked at the exact time the new whooping cough vax started to be widespread..
    vets admit yearly vaccines arent really needed and are quite probably also adding to the rise in allergies food issues and arthritic/autoimmune problems in pets
    the ONLY yealr y required is Parvovirus the rest should be no more than 3 to 5 yrs booster

    • In the US, there is an issue with the 5 year rabies vaccine – the vaccine works fine, but the stupid public health people still won’t change the regulations that require an annual vaccination. I get it that rabies is a terrible disease, but when clinical trials show a jab is good for 5 years, then set the requirement to the vaccine, not the disease.

    • I was told by a vet that they give vaccines in different spots over the life of a pet because of their concern that repeated vaccines in the same spot causes cancer there.

      • “I was told by…” is right up there with “some of my best friends are…” and “I read it on the internet so it must be true” as indicators of a kind of technically/scientifically/intellectually competent mind./sarc

        • Whataboutism negates all contradictory evidence. So they say. Whatever…

          btw, veterinarians, who absolutely have no right to claim scientific prowess, are such inept science-denying fools.

          • What contradictory evidence? unverified anecdotes and hearsay is not evidence of anything.

            silly auto-correct.

        • I guess that’s why he’s only “kind of” technically/scientifically/intellectually competent to evaluate such things. If he’d actually learn the details rather they rely on rubbish he “was told”, perhaps he could *actually* be technically/scientifically/intellectually competent about such things.

        • I’m not spouting anything. I’m just passing on what a vet told me. Yano, those unscientific denier types…

          • You are trying to argue from authority based on an unverified anecdote about something you clearly know nothing about. It doesn’t work, except to make you look even more foolish then you already do.

          • Not at all. I’m conveying what one trained in veterinary science told me. Do you dispute his/her competence?

          • I dispute your competence:
            1) we only have your word that a vet told you that (hence “anecdote” and “unverified”)
            2) what you claim to have been told is rubbish as LdB pointed out with a link explaining why the need for rotating injection sites (hint: it has nothing to do with fear of developing cancer)

            As I said you are appealing to borrowed authority on a subject you clearly know nothing about.

          • we only have your word that a vet told you that

            Well, I’M willing to take icisil’s word for it that an actual veterinarian told them that.

            Do you dispute his/her competence?

            I sure do! Because
            A) We already know the real reason for moving the location of the injections, and
            B) I’ve never seen anything scientific linking multiple injections in the same location with cancer.

            So sorry, I don’t really care if it was a vet, or a top surgeon, or the Surgeon General himself. It’s still Argument from Authority, and it still doesn’t prove anything. And it REALLY doesn’t stand up well against actual facts.
            But let me know if there’s ever a scientific study on it.


            Wait. Why wouldn’t you know if the vet was a he or she? Were they a Pansexual Genderfluid Vet? Was it someone on a message board who just TOLD you they were a vet? And is too late to take back what I said about taking your word for it?


      • Funny, my vet always gives my dog his vaccinations in the same two spots. Right hind leg and back of the neck

        • That is called lazy and bad procedure they should note the last injection spot and rotate them you have told why. Just do a search on “vet best practice for injection rotation” this is hardly rocket science.

    • They’ve found out much of what they were forcing on us since 1960 is “not really needed:” Annual physicals, pelvic exams, PSA tests, screening mammograms, and most PAPs have been shown by meta-analysis to be a waste of time and money that mostly create over-dignosis leading to the active harm of treating conditions that should have been left alone. Ditto putting anyone on statins who isn’t a man in a certain tight age bracket who’s already had a heart attack; BP pills for anyone except the highest quintile of hypertensives; and treating Type II Diabetes with drugs while still encouraging patients to shovel carbs in their face under the guise of the long-debunked “low-fat heart-healthy” diet. How ’bout a revisit of basic human evolutionary biology–how we evolved, what we ate when we did it, what the diet we evolved to eat is supposed to be? The answers are, to put it mildly, not what the PC crunchy-crowd thinks!

    • Parvovirus and Distemper vaccines in the UK are licensed for three years, as are most Rabies vaccines. We are encouraged to use them only as required but there is little or no evidence that repeated vaccinations cause problems in animal except for the still-under-investigation case of ‘feline injection site sarcoma’. I have seen FISS in cats which have probably not had one vaccination, let alone repeats.

  8. I will try to remember this as best I can as I can’t find the piece but one of the TV channels in the UK ran a bit on GM being bad and the reason given the workers (in India I think it was) were being exploited in their labour practices. Ergo GM is bad?
    I was left with the feeling that if that is the worst thing about GM (I have to admit to some misgivings about some of the plans for it’s use) But.

    James Bull

    • A big problem with GMO seeds is that farmers can’t replant with seed from the previous year’s crop. Licensing totally upends conventional practices and potentially impoverishes farmers because they have to keep paying for seed year after year.

      • The “problem” exists with hybrid seeds as well. The improved performance of hybrid and/or GMO seed over landrace seed is well worth the expense.

          • You have it slightly backwards some GMO plants have gene splicing to deliberately make the seeds non viable or the seed viability may be suspect as they aren’t bred for that. It is a commercial seed aimed at commercial farmers not subsistence farmers.

            Basically most of this junk is a matter of lack of education that the poor farmers in poor countries lack the education and resources to select a correct grain to purchase. There are plenty of grain suppliers out there who will provide whatever the market demands.

        • Exactly Tom H., – Farmers buy new hybrid seeds because yields (thus income) are more predictably better than from the seed they could simply save from the hybrid; let alone the landrace varieties the hybrid outperform. I have trialed many different seeds for different suitable crops that grow productively in different seasons in the tropics & looked to find variable traits I want with hybrid seeds. Whenever I re-planted saved seeds of a suitably performing hybrid there was some loss of trait(s) & later that season’s potential was evaluated as less than hoped for (ie: wasted opportunity of seasonal soil moisture).

  9. Read and understand James Franklin’s The Science of Conjecture: Evidence and Probability Before Pascal (JHU 2001). Carefully teaches differentiation of signs, evidence, proof, certainty.

    Introduced me to the concept of eristic against truth, and that led me to Semiotics, Pragmatism, Pragmaticism, Charles Sanders Peirce and William James.

  10. what many arent aware of is the loophole in food ingredients
    “clean label” status
    many things IN foods arent required to be labelled as theyre called processing/flowing agents etc
    recent studies showed titanium dioxide especially nano fine particles DO get into organs in our bodies and they accumulate
    mri showed them up
    whats it in?
    well sunscreens kids lollies in a big way
    anything thats white ie the jubes xxxand cream types all sorts of foods where a white appearance is desired.
    manufacturers fall overthemselves to get the no listing required additives to try and make their food look less fake or added to
    even though its old The Jungle by Upton Sinclair is worth a read
    times change but practices to hide disguise bad foods ahvent
    even additives to remove tainted smell or taste are legal and used in todays products
    food we wouldnt serve at home can be “tidied” and sold to us for profit.

  11. The thing that separates CAGW skeptics from anti-gmo and anti-vaxers is that CAGW skeptics are at least as knowledgeable about science as are the proponents.

    As respondents’ science literacy scores increased, their concern with climate change decreased, … link

    The main thing that separates CAGW skeptics from believers is their general outlook on life.

    … people’s cultural views – how much they value things like individualism and equality — affect their views on global warming much more than actual knowledge about science. Regardless of how much they know about science, individualists were relatively unconcerned about global warming, whereas those who value equality were very concerned.

    In other words, one can fairly accurately guess someone’s stance on CAGW if one knows that person’s political affiliation. Democrats overwhelmingly embrace CAGW doctrine. Republicans do not.

    • Democrats (liberals) are go-along-with-the-group types. They are easily herded/conned. Getting liberals to think a certain way simply involves converting a few key people. These “leaders” are often motivated by personal gain, not evidence. Support for a cause grows exponentially once liberals believe other liberals believe. Thus, I say liberals are persuaded by appeal from authority and majority. (A corollary characteristic of liberals is their belief that others can be persuaded by disapproval. They think calling you a name will move you to agree with them. This tactic does not work on most conservatives.)

      Republicans (conservatives) are decide-for-themselves types. Getting conservatives to think a certain way involves convincing them one by one with evidence. This is the very reason conservatives are called conservative. They do not flock to the latest fad. Conservative support for a cause grows exponentially only after confirming evidence is common knowledge. (A corollary characteristic of conservatives is that they use evidence to persuade others. This tactic does not work on most liberals.)

      So, naturally, if a cause/belief lacking supporting evidence is presented by liberal leaders (because they stand to gain personally), liberal followers will go along even though they do not personally benefit.
      Conservatives will go along only if/when confirming evidence is produced.

      CAGW and GMO distrust are causes/beliefs that fit this description.

      There is a third group that only a relatively few fall into. I call them contrarians. This group disbelieves something almost all others believe. Flat Earthers and anti-vaxxers are contrarians. Supporting evidence for their anti-beliefs is generally not required. They know others require evidence, but don’t actually understand what constitutes evidence. Conservatives are not persuaded by contrarians’ attempts at presenting evidence, while liberals are not persuaded due to contrarians small numbers.


  12. If food products were labeled “hybrid” (canned, fresh, frozen, whatever), would that affect sales at the grocery stores? Hybrid crops are more robust and flavorful than the parent plants, but won’t reproduce if allowed to go to seed and the seeds planted.

    I realize that gene splicing is completely different from cross-pollinating two parent plants to get a new varietal, but there’s that whole aspect of trying to fool Mother Nature that seems to escape the gene splicers. Mother Nature is extremely resourceful. The gene splicers have already been faced with bugs that shifted their own DNA to overcome the GMO splicers.

    • Strawberries are a three-way hybrid strain and one of the most allergenic foods known. If it was invented now it would never be allowed to be sold.

      Or potatoes. The fruits are quite poisonous and the tubers may become poisonous too, if exposed to light.

  13. I have family members that look a lot like the young lady in the picture. Holding contradictory positions and claiming science supports them is pretty common. Seems to me that humans understood early on that there is a cost benefit to everything. As Frankenstein said “Smoke good. Fire bad”

    The trick is to beat back the hop-heads while civilization moves forward.

    • French Safety Agency Discovers 60 Toxic Chemicals including Glyphosate in Baby Diapers

      …Wait, What?
      First, Glyphosate isn’t toxic. That’s been proven over and over again, even by the hyper regulatory EPA.
      Second, Glyphosate wouldn’t have any use in the production of diapers. So the only way it could even get in would be if some part of the diaper had come into contact with it at an earlier stage, like the Cotton as it was grown.

      Except even with Roundup Ready Cotton, you can’t spray it with a Glyphosate herbicide after the first growth stage.

      So there should never be Glyphosate sprayed directly on the Cotton boul, or even on any part of the plant that could absorb it before the flowering stage, because it damages the Cotton plant and prevents it from producing Cotton.

      Frankly, I’m willing to bet that all 60 of these ‘Toxins’ or in quantities so incredibly small that only homeopathy would qualify as a hazard vector.


        • The article doesn’t specify, but the gist seems to be no. It’s the diapers themselves that contain the “toxins”. Near the bottom (no pun intended) of the article, it’s said that some of the toxins are added intentionally as fragrances (presumably there to help mask the smell when said diaper gets filled) while others come from the contamination of raw materials or manufacturing processes.

  14. Depending on how you measur GMO, just about everything that grows in the soil has been modified over the last millennium, mostly naturally. We are just trying to do it better and scientifically. Many of the results have helped feed people in impoverished nations that have little access to water for example. Americans generally can afford to consume pretty much whatever they want. Just try and not have your beliefs affect the poor around the world.

    • I’ve always wondered if “animal husbandry” is a form of biotech gene modification.
      Sure, it’s on a more macro scale, but it’s really the same thing.

      • It’s because of the Green Revolution that India can feed itself, supporting a population of 1.4 billion, up from under 450 million in 1960, before the Green Revolution.

        As has happened everywhere else, much higher ag productivity naturally reduces the demand for farmers. This has occurred dramatically in the US, for instance. In 1870, despite ongoing industrialization, almost half of Americans were still employed in agriculture. A century later, that share was down to around two percent.

    • The vast majority of foodstuffs consumed by humans is genetically modified, in some cases beyond recognition from its wild ancestors. Very few of us subsist on unmodified bacteria, algae, plants, fungi or animals, hunting and gathering only undomesticated foods.

      Nor is our food solely the result of selectively breeding for desired mutations occurring without human intervention, the most common form of genetic modification, followed by hybridization. We also introduced or induced mutations, gene sequences and proteins long before modern GM techniques. But even today’s GM relies on naturally occurring methods of inserting desired genes, ie via viruses.

      Gene transfer between two of the three multicellular eukaryotic kingdoms, plants and fungi (which are more closely related to animals than plants) has been important to food crops:

      In nature, ie without human action (not that we are unnatural), organisms widely separated phylogenetically transfer genes all the time. Horizontal gene transfer is more common among prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea without cell nuclei) than more complex eukaryotes, and even less so in multicellular eukaryotes, such as humans. However even n our genome, well over 100 genes from other, often distantly related, species have been found. The total is probably hundreds; 190 would be one percent, at the present estimate of the number human genes (which keeps falling).

      Here’s an instance of observed natural GM (horizontal gene transfer) between different grass genera, for instance:

      This is no different from transferring genes from one plant to another via GM techniques.

      • Here’s another way to look at it.

        Thanks to common descent, humans share about 60% of our genes (protein-coding DNA sequences) with bananas. So adding another human gene to the banana genome is no big deal. It well could have occurred naturally, ie without direct human intervention.

        Of course it works the other way, too. As noted above 145 human genes have been identified as coming from other animals, fungi, plants, unicellular eukaryotes and prokaryotic microbes.

        • Banana’s went through what is called “whole genome replacement” in 3 seperate rounds between 65 & 100 million years ago. The 1st being ~100 milion years ago, then the 2nd & 3rd occuring relatively closer together ~65 million years ago.

          For bananas about 77% of their genes are duplicates. About 50% of banana genes today arose from whole genome duplication events. Whole genome duplication involves single copy genome integrity genes, multi-copy signaling/transport/metabolism genes & gene copies for regulation of gowth/development/transcription.

          Following a whole genome duplication bananas kept genes for protein complexes encoding & cascades integral to regulation since these processes can be problematic if cause disproportionate level of activity. To control for this despite a whole genome duplication bananas kept genes relevant to transcription factors, elongation translation & transduction of signals.

  15. Exactly, what value does marking eggs as “free range” contribute ?
    Obviously, the egg never really was “free range” unless it sprouted legs and ran about like in a Looney Tunes cartoon with Foghorn Leghorn.

    • Supposedly means they have access to more natural stuff, like bugs, grass, worms, etc. Not solely dependent on feed partially made from other chickens and polymers used in chicken slaughterhouse wastewater treatment (damn that sh!t stinks!!!).

        • Definitely not an expert. I just know what I was told… in a chicken slaughterhouse. The suspended solids (blood, feathers, guts, skin, etc.) are removed from the process effluent (via dissolved air flotation and polymers), compressed and sent off to chicken feed processors. I used to design and automate such processes. That is the only reason I would ever be in such a place to receive such information. I suspect they knew what they were talking about.

          • You were told “by a vet”,”in a chicken slaughterhouse”, etc. Is all your “knowledge” told to you by such anecdotal sources? would explain a lot.

          • The fact there are multiple chicken feeds and standards for multiple chicken breeds got lost in translation … apparently there is only one breed of chicken and one chicken feed.

          • So who told you there was a “JA” in this thread? because as I see no posts from this JA fellow, whomever told you that was just as daft as all the other “I was told” ancedotes you’ve brought up.

          • so says the idiot that tries to argue from borrowed authority (“I was told by an authority”) based on an unverified anecdote on a subject he clearly knows nothing about. You calling anyone else a dumb@ss is rich and show a complete lack of self-awareness.

          • Oh dear. Someone who thinks a company that shipped chicken waste solids off to chicken feed manufacturers is a “borrowed authority”. IMO you definitely have career potential in academia.

          • No someone who thinks your unverified claims (we one have your word that those conversations took place, and your word is worth chicken waste) is borrowing the authority of
            1) vets (earlier in the thread) and
            2) Company that is involved in chicken waste disposal.

            Just because you claim it happened doesn’t make it true.

          • Um, ‘chicken waste solids’ aren’t sent to make chicken feed, they’re sent to make ‘organic’ fertilizer. Which frankly is several times more valuable (or at least costs more).

            Most places have done away with the “grind up the leftovers and feed it back to the next generation” style of animal processing, ever since the Mad Cow epidemic. In fact, many had abandoned the practice even before that.

            Honestly, about the only part that they still ‘reprocess’ are bones to get Calcium for ‘Layer’ feed (for egg laying chickens) and that’s normal Cow and Pig bones.

            Of course the take home is, it USED to be done, but it’s not anymore, because it turned out to be dangerous in a way we never imagined.

          • “Of course the take home is, it USED to be done, but it’s not anymore, because it turned out to be dangerous in a way we never imagined.”

            That may be so, I don’t know. It was the late 1990s when I was told they did that.

          • You should see what goes on the the Cat factory up the road from me. In order to make the intestines for new kittens, they slaughter thousands of innocent tennis rackets every year. The place is always beset with protests by the local sporting goods rights activists.

      • Have you ever seen one of these “free range” farms. Im sure the chickens are much happier being able to move around and scratch, but the proportion of “natural stuff” in their food is minuscule. the density is too high for that.

        • No I haven’t. I only see what my free range chickens eat, and they are quite fond of natural. You ought to see how they can gulp down a salamander. It’s almost like agricultural alchemy – turning lizards into food.

        • We’ve got ‘free range’ chickens. Or as we call them ’round here Yard Birds. It definitely saves on Feed when they can get most of their food from nature. And the eggs really do taste better when they are eating seeds, bugs and stuff. Larger, Yellower yolks.

          We started the latest bunch two years ago with two dozen. We’re down to eight, now. Partly through accidents, having them get into the pig pen, and two we had to put down because they weren’t developing right.

          Mostly because coyotes and possums are also free range.


        • “Free range” is a legal marketing term in USA. It means a “free range chicken” is the source of the egg.

          The legal definition of a free range is having access to go out of the housing structure. In manyn(most?) instances the protected area for them to range in is not some expanse of open field, but more of a fenced in “run” alongside their living area.

          In practise the chickens are not sent (forced) out of doors for any length of time; they may wander out some of the time, or not. By providing access to get out from under a roof the producer gives them freedom to range about during the day & then those chickens are legally “free range egg” layers.

          In developing countries households with chickens usually do allow them to range freely in their yards; sometimes into the house as well. My neighbors with stand alone kitchens out back of their dwelling let their chickens wander in & out of there, as well as up on things; a lot just prop rustic ladders against yard trees for nightime chicken roosting.

          By the way, I have read a report that said feeding some larvae of the black soldier fly to chickens makes the size of eggs laid by that chicken bigger.

    • My favorite label on eggs is “Vegetarian Fed Hens”. What difference does it make who feeds the hens? (sarc)

  16. Speaking of energy. My thoughts and hopes go with the people of Venezuela as they attempt to shake off the tightening coils of a corrupt dictatorship. Stay in the streets until the incompetent bus driver takes his long overdue holiday. Liberty loving people everywhere are with you.

    Libertad Venezuela!

  17. Just to be clear, there are, by definition, NO non-GMO foods (except, perhaps, Twinkies™). ALL foods originate from Genetically Modified Organisms. Jus’ sayin’ . . .

  18. Quistion: Why does the media focus on the blabbering of those who know the least?
    Answer: They don’t know anything, either.

    • “What gets us into trouble is not what we don’t know. It’s what we know for sure that just ain’t so.”
      ― Mark Twain

  19. I’ve pointed over the years to anti GMO people that synthetic genetic modification of foods has been going on since the 1930’s. That is seed irradiation (and others) to induce mutation. It’s estimated that there are 3000+ varieties of fruits and vegetables on the market developed this way. So I say to them you prefer randomly genetically modified food vs selectively modified. Most non scientist don’t know what DNA does to begin with.

    • True. And before that we relied upon “naturally” occurring mutations to improve plant and fungal crops and livestock. Irradiation and other mutagenicc agents just speed up the process of selective breeding.

      Modern GM techniques differ from induced mutations by inserting specific desired genes into the target organism, rather than generating beneficial mutations “randomly”.

      • In the case of gene insertion we know what protein the DNA will produce. In one case of corn it’s a protein from a soil bacteria that is toxic to the borer. It is non toxic to humans. The same protein as an extract is used by organic farmers as a “natural” pesticide. This is another example of absurdity by anti GMO’s.
        With the mutagenic agents we have no idea what undesirable by products may have been produced

        • Mike,

          Breeders in the 1930s until the advent of moderen GMO techniques tried to weed out the negative mutations, but as you note, some not readily recognized might have slipped through.

          The advent of molecular biology helped find problem mutations.

          • There is a famous case of the conventional bred hybrid Lenape potato which produce so much of the toxic alkaloid solanine it made people sick. Pre GMO breeder via mutation would not know they created something like that.

    • They could also just act like organic, and vegans etc and simply try to setup GMO FREE marketing rather than burden everyone else with the cost of their choice. If there is a market companies will market to it.

    • For that matter, consider maize. It is quite unlike teosinte, even though maize is still fertile with it. It shows just how much “genetic modification” can be done in a low tech environment.

      • The problem stems from the World Health Organization definition

        Has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination

        “Natural” is a not a very clearly defined word it means different things to different people.

        Bringing a species from the northern hemisphere to a southern hemisphere species and mating them could be natural or unnatural depending on your view.

        I suspect they should have gone down the technical term of splicing genetic sequences from species that could not be achieved naturally being the definition of GMO.

      • Maiz went through a “whole genome duplication” (introduced a few comments above concerning bananas) about 5-12 million years ago (much more recently by the way than banana’s when they got 8 cytokinin encoding gene copies). So what did maize get from this?

        Maize ended up in the ethylene gene pathway (ripening, development & abiotic/biotic stress response) with 4 genes for ACS (ethylene bio-synthesis enzyme), 12 genes for ACO ( another ethylene bio-synthesis enzyme), 5 genes for ERS/ETR/EIN4 (5 different kinds of ethylene receptors), 4 genes for RTE (modifiers of sensitivity ro ethylene receptor type ETR1), 4 genes for EBF (ethylene binding factors; after ethylene binding 2 kinds work on transcription factors – for example both are required to segue for tomato ripening), 9 genes for EIL (ethylene transcription factor), 3 genes for EIN2 (endolplasmic reticulum bound protein sending a part to nucleus), 2 genes for RAN1 (copper transporter; for making ethylene receptors), 1 gene for ETR1, & 84 (eighty four) genes for ERF (promotor regions binding ethylene transcription factors).

        The central role in ethylene signalling is played by 9 genes of EIL (stands for ethylene insensitive 3- like trabscription factor) & 4 genes of EBF (ethylene binding factor, two called EBF 1 & EBF 2). Still the level of ethylene bio-synthesizing enzyme ACS (1-amino-cyclo-propane-1-carbixylate synthase) changes in response to different stresses. Which makes me wonder (curiosity) if that whole genome duplication 5-12 million years ago was a response to decreasing CO2/glaciation.

        • Maize is a C4 plant, so has clearly adapted to lowered CO2 levels of the past 50 million years since its mid-Eocene high.

  20. The problem with GMOs like the roundup ready soy beans and corn is that they allow farmers to spray roundup directly onto the crops. So now there are more herbicides in the food chain.

    With non-GMO crops in the old days, farmers had to avoid spraying onto the food because it would kill the crop.

    • There. Somebody said it. Not only that they spray glyphosate directly on grain crops to desiccate them for harvest.

    • Most of us don’t care it is only a problem to you.

      If it is so important to you get a group of like minds together and get a commercial group to pander to your whims like organic and vegans do, stop try to enforce your beliefs on us.

      That is why we all hate anti-vaxers and anti-GMO craziess because you all try and force your beliefs on us.

      You have a belief fine group up and do something about it among yourself stop expecting us to pander to you.

  21. If we were to accurately label GMO foods, then there would be no food anywhere on the planet that would be able to avoid that label.
    All food has been modified, going back to the first time man saved a seed and planted it.

  22. The anti-vaccination lifestyle is now playing out in a health crisis declaration in Washington state next to Portland.

  23. The strength of belief is inversely proportional to the amount of knowledge.

    I propose this as a new Murphy’s law.

    • There is already an alternate formulation:
      “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure.”

  24. Where? They don’t do that here in Indiana.

    Hell, Roundup costs money. No one I know sprays it after early to mid july. That’s even before flowering, much less fruiting.

    Some Roundup Ready species also can’t be sprayed over the top after their first development phase. And unless there’s been some major development recently that I haven’t heard about, most vegetables and fruits don’t have a Roundup Ready variant yet.

    In fact, as far as I can find, the ONLY plants that have Roundup Ready types are Soybeans, Corn, Canola, Cotton, Sugerbeets, and Alfalfa.


  25. Don’t forget natural childbirth at home with an untrained midwife. I know a lot of these fruitcakes. “Childbirth is natural!” So is dying in childbirth, idiots.

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