GMO and the (mythical?) auctioning of science

#1
C C Offline
For the sake of considering the sprawling, runaway consequences in terms of confidence in science... Suppose that GMO food really was dangerous to us and devastating the planet; and that Monsanto really was the most evil corporation on Earth.

Setting aside those physical sciences that have little connection to health, society, psychology, industry, and human effects... Such should trigger a pandemic of doubt and suspicion about the competence, ethics, and reliability of the knowledge and recommendations outputted by the areas of research which do qualify. That is, if respect for those disciplines hasn't already long since fallen to the wayside for a variety reasons unconnected to GMO issues over the last couple of decades. With the speculative possibility entertained here and its upshot (if acquiring real status) then becoming nothing more than for the heck of it deciding to fire a couple of extra rounds into a crippled beast already delivered from its misery (the confidence / trust in it).

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GMO safety debate is over
http://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/bl...ebate-over

EXCERPT: The GMO debate is over — again. Last week, the prestigious National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine issued what is probably the most far-reaching report ever produced by the scientific community on genetically engineered food and crops. The conclusion was unambiguous: Having examined hundreds of scientific papers written on the subject, sat through hours of live testimony from activists and considered hundreds more comments from the general public, the scientists wrote that they "found no substantiated evidence that foods from GE crops were less safe than foods from non-GE crops."

The National Academies process was both impressively inclusive and explicitly consensual. As noted in the preface to their report, the scientists "took all of the comments" — however ludicrous — "as constructive challenges" and considered them carefully. Thus the expert committee patiently gave yogic flyer-turned-anti-GMO activist Jeffrey Smith a generous 20-minute slot within which to make his customary assertion that genetically engineered foods cause just about every imaginable modern ailment. Greenpeace also offered invited testimony. So did Giles-Eric Seralini, the French professor who suffered the ultimate scientific indignity of having his paper claiming rats fed GMOs suffered tumors retracted in 2013.

Each of their claims was examined in turn. Do GE foods cause cancer? No —patterns of changing cancer incidence over time are "generally similar" between the US, where GMO foods are ubiquitous, and the United Kingdom, where they are virtually unknown. How about kidney disease? US rates have barely budged over a quarter century. Obesity or diabetes? There is "no published evidence to support the hypothesis" of a link between them and GE foods. Celiac disease? "No major difference" between the US and UK again. Allergies? "The committee did not find a relationship between consumption of GE foods and the increase in prevalence of food allergies." Autism? Again, evidence comparing the US and UK "does not support the hypothesis of a link."

In a rational world, everyone previously fearful about the health effects of GMOs would read the report, breathe a huge sigh of relief and start looking for more evidence-based explanations for worrying trends in health issues like diabetes, autism and food allergies. But psychological associations developed over many years are difficult to break....

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Solid GMO scientific consensus – based on real science
http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skeptical...consensus/

EXCERPT: There are literally hundreds of scientific articles, most lacking any conflict of interest with those companies who are considered to be a part of the Monsanto shill gambit, that support four important conclusions about GMO crops:

1. GMO foods are safe for human consumption. Of course, this is a ridiculous concern since these genes cannot possibly have any effect on humans, since they cannot be incorporated into the human genome, nor can they have any effect on humans.

2. There is no biological plausibility that GMOs have an effect on any biological organism.

3. GMO crops are safe for other animals.

4. GMO crops increase crop yields and reduce pesticide use.

5. And GMO crops are safe for the environment.

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Do GMOs harm health?
https://ag.purdue.edu/GMOs/Pages/GMOsandHealth.aspx

EXCERPT: The National Academy for Science, the United States’ number one source for independent, objective advice to the nation on matters of science and technology, concluded that GMOs are safe for human health. The same conclusion has been reached by a large number of prestigious health and science organizations from around the world. In addition, over the two decades that GMOs have been on the market, there have been no occurrences of health issues due to genetically modified organisms.

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GMOs: Facts About Genetically Modified Food
http://www.livescience.com/40895-gmo-facts.html

EXCERPT: However, many scientific organizations believe the fear-mongering that runs through discussions of GMO foods is more emotional than factual. "Indeed, the science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe," the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) said in a 2012 statement.

"The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: Consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM [genetically modified] crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques," according to the AAAS.

[...] GMOs are the most regulated and tested product in agricultural history, according to GMO Answers, a website funded by members of the Council for Biotechnology Information, which includes BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta.

“Additionally, many independent scientists and organizations around the world — such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, World Health Organization, American Medical Association and the American Association for Advancement of Science – have looked at thousands of scientific studies and concluded that GM food crops do not pose more risks to people, animals or the environment than any other foods.”

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The GMO-Suicide Myth
http://issues.org/30-2/keith/

EXCERPT: Opponents of genetically modified cotton in India claim that the technology has resulted in the suicides of hundreds of thousands of farmers. They appear to be wrong, and the real reasons why Indian farmers take their own lives remain largely unaddressed.
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#2
Zinjanthropos Offline
Casually speaking......Aren't we all, every creature on Earth, genetically modified? Whether its evolution or man that generates the modification shouldn't make any difference. One can debate whether man is just doing what comes natural. 

I'm sure there are natural instances in Earth's history where a genetic alteration either aided or doomed a species. Oh, if only the Mauritian Dodo hadn't been genetically altered to not recognize a predator, we might still be observing it in the wild. Imagine a time when predators dined regularly on apes, dominating and shaping the simian environment. Then a slight genetic modification and Whammo!, the shoe's on the other foot. That's the type of genetic modification that changes things, all natural and a real game changer.
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