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KnightDeclan
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KnightDeclan
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http://www.thelibertybeacon.com/2013/06/17/gmo-global-alert-2yr-scientific-study-certifies-gmo-is-poison-cancer-causing/

The food companies are using pesticides that cause cancer. It's scientifically proven and it's horrible. Monsanto doesn't know what they're doing, and someone has to change it. Either shut them down, or make find a cleaner, and healthier way, to live.

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Getoffmydangle
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Getoffmydangle
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Thanks Mage and Macil. Thats a good read.
I like that it mentions the development of agriculture ~10,000 years ago. I think that stuff is very interesting. I heard from some author (i can't remember who, so this is basically hearsay) that with the change in their diet that accompanied agriculture, those humans grew less, were weaker, and were generally less robust. (if true) This would be related to the loss of animal protein from hunting. Therefore, they had to adapt and domesticate animals as they completed the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmers, which they did ~9000 years ago. At some point after that, members of our species evolved to be able to digest milk. This is evolution in the purest sense of the word, because those who could digest milk survived and reproduced, ahead of (or killing) those who did not. And doesn't the fact that we evolved to eat dairy and agricultural foods, kind of make it "natural?" And This is a cool article that talks about the high frequency of lactose intolerance among the hunter-gatherers, who were then replaced by farming groups. *side note, I'm obviously not a biologist, so I'm using the words 'natural' and 'unnatural' as referring to a continuum, where it seems like Dawkins might be using it dichotomously. So if i'm wrong about that .... ) sue me

5,000-10,000 years may be short in evolutionary terms, but those dietary changes took place then, and were relatively constant for the rest of our history until about 50 years ago. Our diet has changed more over the last 50 years than it did in those previous 12,000 years, or probably our entire history. The pace of that change, and what it has changed into is orders of magnitudes higher than anything before. So to me, that comparison is interesting, but not terribly meaningful.

The current manner of production, growth, addition of chemicals and toxins, transportation, processing, and preparation of our food now is all very unnatural. 50 years ago, most of the stuff we (US population) eats did not exist. The bread, milk, butter, pasta, all the snack/junk foods (obviously) and (the processed, aka 'deli') meat would by law, not have been allowed to labeled as such. I would all have to be called "imitation ___". As you can tell, I am complete agreement with Dawkins about all those dangers he mentioned in industrialized agriculture and livestock. But I disagree about the "crying wolf, complacency point." I think real leadership (he wrote this letter to the prince) has to, at times, ignore the cries of the people (~50% of whom have average or less-than average intelligence) and do what is right. The burden of proof lies with those who develop and sell GMOs, not people like me, you , or any other non-scientific agency. And I don't think they have yet met that burden, plus all that other supervillany, lex luthor type crap that they are doing.

It may sound paradoxical, but if we want to sustain the planet into the future, the first thing we must do is stop taking advice from nature.

That just seems silly. He distinguishes our brains as one of the most unique things in history and then tells us to completely ignore an entire planet's worth of natural evidence?
furthermore, this thing he said seems to contradict his paradoxical advice.
There really is a sense in which ecosystems are balanced and harmonious, with some of their constituent species becoming mutually dependent.

Why wouldn't we try to emulate that? An example is trying to emulate the natural impact grazing animals have on grasslands to reduce/reverse desertification.

Much as we might like to believe otherwise, natural selection, working within each species, does not favour long-term stewardship. It favours short-term gain. Loggers, whalers, and other profiteers who squander the future for present greed, are only doing what all wild creatures have done for three billion years.

In regard to within-species natural selection (short term gain at the expense of the future), his point is very well taken. If we as a species don't use our brains that we uniquely evolved to be able to predict the future and mentalize others, to start doing some of that long-term stewardship, we will naturally select ourselves into the bin with those other 99% of species.
Getoffmydangle
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Getoffmydangle
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The current manner of production, growth, addition of chemicals and toxins, transportation, processing, and preparation of our food now is all very unnatural.

I wanted to clarify my meaning a little bit here. 1st, meaning "unnatural" as in "how far removed for the natural process" it is. I also intend 'natural' to mean 'sustainable, and in congruence within the ecosystem. So the current methods are unsustainable in that they won't be able to continue on this course forever. Industrialized farming is losing more and more topsoil, using more and more/stronger and stronger herbacides, pestacides, antibiotics, and chemical fertilizers, killing off other living things in their ecosystem up and down the foodchain, from microorganisms to apex predators, increasing monoculture, killing off the pollinators, etc. The bee problem is so bad they are trying to develop robotic pollinators. (sarcasm alert I guess robotic bees would be sustainable if you think about it.
NoNameC68
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Wheat is just one example of many foods we have altered through artificial selection. Oranges, bananas, broccoli, (...It's almost 4a.m. and more examples are slipping my mind right now.) are all examples of this same genetic modification Dawkins is mentioning. What we call GMOs is simply us controlling the mutation itself, rather than the selection of a mutation.


The topic ended up changed before I could get that far with her. : (

That hasn't necessarily to do with GMOs. I read articles about a doctor who urges all his patients to cut out wheat completely, and reports apparently great results. I'm not saying wheat is bad, but as adressed in the letter above, the wheat we eat is far from the original plant and seems to have not only positive influences on our physiology. I think your friend could still eat some of the more ancestral forms of grains still on the market, maybe in specialised shops, without much problems as long as she ignores the highly modified modern wheat.


How does the wheat of today compare to wheat from 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 1,000 years ago? 5,000? 10,000? My co-worker argued that the wheat of today is different than that grown 50-100 years ago. She does address wheat allergies, but it seemed she flip flopped between everyone having wheat allergies to some people having wheat allergies (I believe she was trying to argue that everyone has allergies to wheat, some people worse than others). Of course, having "allergies" or any form of negative effect is normal for just about everything.

I like that it mentions the development of agriculture ~10,000 years ago. I think that stuff is very interesting. I heard from some author (i can't remember who, so this is basically hearsay) that with the change in their diet that accompanied agriculture, those humans grew less, were weaker, and were generally less robust. (if true) This would be related to the loss of animal protein from hunting. Therefore, they had to adapt and domesticate animals as they completed the transition from hunter-gatherer to farmers, which they did ~9000 years ago. At some point after that, members of our species evolved to be able to digest milk. This is evolution in the purest sense of the word, because those who could digest milk survived and reproduced, ahead of (or killing) those who did not. And doesn't the fact that we evolved to eat dairy and agricultural foods, kind of make it "natural?" And This is a cool article that talks about the high frequency of lactose intolerance among the hunter-gatherers, who were then replaced by farming groups. *side note, I'm obviously not a biologist, so I'm using the words 'natural' and 'unnatural' as referring to a continuum, where it seems like Dawkins might be using it dichotomously. So if i'm wrong about that .... )


Well said, I'll have to take a look at those articles when I'm not nose deep in Fire Emblem.

sue me


I hope you're loaded with cash. : )

Seems pretty bogus to me. Single atrands don't just "fuse" with other strands. They have to be uncoiled, seperated, translated, transcribed, etc, etc. assuming, that a human RNA sequence exists that is reversely paralled to the GMO, and assuming that all the amino acids in the GMO strand can be found in the human nucleus, and assuming that such a b*stard RNA protein actually has an affect on anything...


Eventually I'll relearn everything I can about DNA and RNA. I just need to stop being lazy. (This is why I asked here, so you could all do my homework for me. : D )
HahiHa
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How does the wheat of today compare to wheat from 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 1,000 years ago? 5,000? 10,000?

I don't remember exactly, but well, the wheat has been continuously selected for best yield possible.. resulting in numerous polyploidy or something. Which might not be the best digestible thing to us.. I don't know, I'm no nutritionalist nor geneticist or physiologist, so I can't make a clear statement, but it's something like that.

Of course, having "allergies" or any form of negative effect is normal for just about everything.

In this case 'allergy' doesn't seem to match, really. It's not like people get an immunitary reaction after eating wheat. It just doesn't seem to be the ebst thing for our body, as is eating all the sugar we're eating..

... and on that last topic, I can't resist to post this, er, educational video in relation to the threads topic

Animaniacs - Be Careful What You Eat
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