[Marxism] Frankenpolitics: The Left defence of GMOs,

Jeff meisner at xs4all.nl
Wed Jan 8 16:57:02 MST 2014

I can't justify spending more than a few minutes addressing Shane's post,
most of which isn't about the issue of discussion but about the
corporations which we both hate (again, conflating dissimilar issues!). But

At 16:32 08-01-14 -0500, Shane Mage wrote:
>Natural cross-breeding introduces nothing into the make-up of an  
>edible plant or animal that hasn't been proven edible over thousands  
>of millennia  of practice.

Wrong. Of course there are many poisonous plants! I don't know where you
learned evolution, but not being edible to humans doesn't make a plant
poorly adapted in an evolutionary sense or cause it to go extinct in the
wild; it just doesn't get used in agriculture. Or it may even be grown in
agriculture if it's just a little poisonous/unhealthy until that fact is
learned. There may be natural things we eat right now that will be
recognized as poisonous some time in the future. When I was young I
remember that asbestos was used widely with no concern at all, as its
health effects hadn't been discovered. There are many populations whose
water supply has long been contaminated with arsenic, producing ill health
but which wasn't suspected as the cause. Both asbestos and arsenic are
"natural" poisons, just as a new food developed, whether natural or GM,
could turn out to be unhealthy years after it had been accepted. All
reasons for prudence and for testing, which of course those hoping to
profit from its sales have no interest in. Oh sorry, I'm now repeating the
point of your post......

One clarification though: I probably didn't use the correct term, but by
"natural cross-breeding" I was also referring to "natural" genetic
manipulation using conventional breeding. That includes the seedless
bananas we eat, or any number of wheat strains, whose genotype never
existed in nature and do NOT have a long "track record."

> Artificial genetic modification has  
>absolutely no track record of safety, because the relevant time-span  
>cannot be less than a full lifetime of consumption and may well  
>require generations of careful observation.

Right, and that is why you don't just do testing, you use all of your
scientific knowledge to assess the likelihood of danger and weigh that
against the benefits. Except that for the corporations, only the benefit to
them (profit!) is considered and the "danger" is that it will have to be
pulled from the market. But even with the best intentions and scientific
effort, some dangers will be missed. If it turned out that some GM product
which had been adopted as "safe" then turns out to kill a million people
but only after 20 years, that would be an awful tragedy but it would NOT
negate the entire technology! Any more than a similar mistake NOT using GM
would invalidate the practice of agriculture.


- Jeff

  Even for animal testing  
>on short-lived subjects like rats, the multibillionaire monopoly- 
>capitalists--the Monsantos of this world--terminate their tests far  
>short of even one full lifespan with the patently absurd  
>rationalization that adequate testing on a sufficient number of  
>subjects would be "expensive!"  That very fact is good enough reason  
>to be highly suspicious of their "safety" claims.  The need for  
>suspicion is intensified to the nth degree by the fact that these  
>parasites are willing to spend as many millions of currency-units as  
>it takes to defeat any legislation requiring that consumers simply be  
>informed of the presence of GMOs in their food.  If they were safe,  
>why not let people choose whether to consume them?
>And Louis is right that cheerleading for their highly subsidized  
>nuclear power and for their dishonestly promoted GMOs fits like hand  
>to glove.
>Shane Mage

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