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Denzil Washington as Malcolm X breaks down why Pork is not to ever be consumed by black people

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Bill Nye Explains Why He Changed His Mind About GMOs

Bill Nye made waves last March when he changed his views on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) following a visit with Monsanto. Previously he had expressed major concerns about the safety of GMOs. 

For how Bill Nye feels about extraterrestrial life watch the full interview here. 

I don’t believe a position that is “anti-GMO” is a tenable one, because most insulin that is synthesised today is derived from a genetically modified organism, usually from E.Coli or yeast (S. cerevisiae). Being anti-GMO in principle would mean protesting medicine for diabetics.

I understand having objections to particular GM crops, say BT corn; I also understand having objections to the industry monopolies possessed by unscrupulous agribusiness firms like like Monsanto. Further, I think it is perfectly reasonable to have objections to unsustainable farming practices that deplete soil and eat up forests, or predatory business practices that take up tracts of indigenous land.

What I don’t understand is being against fruits and vegetables that have received the transgenic equivalent of a vaccination: like the Ringspot-resistant Papaya, or the Sharka-resistant Plum.

It’s the lack of clarity and specificity in this conversation that I find maddening: I think complex questions deserve complex answers, and those aren’t to be found in a consumer boycott, or a sign that reads “hell no GMO.” If you are protesting GM crops, but can’t tell me the names of five, then why are do you feel entitled to speak on behalf of people who work in agriculture and horticulture?
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biodiverseed

If you want to learn about the wide variety of crops available, check out the Centre for Environmental Risk Assessment’s Global GM Crop Database.

#GMOs
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Sign the petition: Keep GMO salmon out of the U.S.

I just signed a petition urging the FDA to keep GMO salmon out of the US. I think you should, too.

AquaBounty, the company creating the first-ever genetically modified salmon for human consumption, is playing fast and loose with environmental regulations, and we may end up paying the price.The FDA is still considering approval of the company’s dangerous GMO salmon. This could have huge ramifications if we don’t speak up to prevent it.

Fast-casual food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has announced it has removed all ingredients made with genetically modified organisms from its menu, making good on a two-year-old promise. It’s the latest example of the food industry stripping away ingredients, some more questionable than others, as consumers demand a say in what’s in their dinner.

There is no scientific evidence that GMOs pose a risk to health, as Chipotle founder and co-CEO Steve Ells readily acknowledges. “I don’t think this is about GMOs being harmful or not being harmful to your health,” Ells tells The Salt. “It’s a bigger picture. It’s really part of our food with integrity journey.”

Chipotle Says Adios To GMOs, As Food Industry Strips Away Ingredients

Photos: Meredith Rizzo/NPR; iStockphoto; PepsiCo; iStockphoto; iStockphoto

This is why you shouldn’t believe that exciting new medical study 

By Julia Belluz on Vox // March 23, 2015 

A highly regarded service that vets new studies for clinicians finds — on average — only 3,000 of 50,000 new journal articles published each year are well-designed and relevant enough to inform patient care. That’s 6 percent.

More often than not, single studies contradict one another — such as the research on foods that cause or prevent cancer. The truth can be found somewhere in the totality of the research, but we report on every study in isolation underneath flip-flopping headlines. (Red wine will add years to your life one week, and kill you quicker the next.)

For a study on whether everything we eat is associated with cancer, academics randomly selected 50 ingredients from recipes in The Boston Cooking-School Cook Book. Most foods had studies behind them claiming both positive and negative results. Researchers cannot always replicate the findings of other researchers, and for various reasons many don’t even try. All told, an estimated 85 percent — or $200 billion [USD] — of annual global spending on research is wasted on badly designed or redundant studies.

This means early  medical research will mostly be wrong until maybe eventually, if we’re lucky, it’s right. More tangibly, only a tiny fraction of new science will lead to anything that’s useful to humans.

Read more


*Think about this is you ever come across a study that tells you GMOs and glyphosate directly cause cancer, autism, alzheimers, and gluten intolerance.  

Check out what I found while skinning a bag of potatoes at the Fry Shop!  Does this studly spud remind you of anyone?

Maybe a certain blogger?

It’s me!  It looks just like me!

I’m sure the boys in the White House Science Lab would have you believe this agricultural abnormality is nothing to worry about, but my tater twin here is no doubt part of a plan to replace all of mankind with high carb clones!  Who could be behind such a ssssinister ssscheme?  The answer lies in all those extra s’s!  Ssssssee you next time, Weirdateers!

Scientists call for ban on editing human genome

While the technique has many benefits, such as curing genetic diseases, it can also be used to enhance qualities like beauty or intelligence – something ethicists believe should not be done.

The biologists are also concerned that the technique is so easy to use that doctors may push ahead with it before it’s clinically safe to do so, they say in a paper on the subject, which was published in the journal Science.

Writing in the Journal of Animal Science, in the most comprehensive study of GMOs and food ever conducted, University of California-Davis Department of Animal Science geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam and research assistant Amy E. Young reviewed 29 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of genetically engineered animal feed.
The field data represented more than 100 billion animals covering a period before 1996 when animal feed was 100% non-GMO, and after its introduction when it jumped to 90% and more. The documentation included the records of animals examined pre and post mortem, as ill cattle cannot be approved for meat.
What did they find? That GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO feed. There was no indication of any unusual trends in the health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested. Considering the size of the dataset, it can reasonably be said that the debate over the impact of GE feed on animal health is closed: there is zero extraordinary impact.

Coming from that rural-centred background, it’s frustrating to me to see agricultural justice activism co-opted by urban-dwellers who hysterically yell about getting cancer from everything, when they have no connection to, or idea about how food is produced, or who produces it, or even who needs it most. It’s easy for the perpetual consumer to say “hell no GMO!” and talk about the purity of the natural world, or an ethic of noninterference, but I dare them tell the kid halfway around the globe with nutritional deficiencies that amino-acid enriched sweet potatoes should be banned, because they are “unnatural.”

This shouldn’t be about drawing artificial lines between manmade and natural: we gave up the right to complain about that when we domesticated animals and started farming during the Neolithic Revolution, 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent. Nothing about the way we live now is “natural,” but paradoxically, that sort of means everything we do is, because we too are evolving biological organisms, and technology–as well as being masters of our own genetic destinies–is a part of our evolutionary trajectory. If there is anything I learned in studying anthropology, it’s that this nature/culture divide is a false dichotomy.

With that in mind, one of my goals here at BiodiverSeed is to change the conversation about GMOs: let’s make it about scientific ethics, about not using poor people as guinea pigs, about food justice, about affordable land access, about protection of biodiversity, and about protecting open-source genetics, instead of debunked studies about GMO corn causing tumours in rats. Let’s centre an agricultural and food justice movement first and foremost on the needs of the people who produce our food, and around the people in the world who need more food.

We can change the conversation if we make a point of being critical, scientifically-literate, and open-minded. We started “playing God” when we invented agriculture, surgery, vaccines, and 3-D printed organs. We’re not about to stop with our food; so let’s make sure that food is healthy and accessible, and doesn’t continue to destroy the integrity of our biomes as we produce it.

When the food movement was all about addressing serious health and environmental problems, increasing food security for the vulnerable, and rebuilding community through shared cooking and dining, it was something everybody wanted to be a part of it. As the most highly visible exemplars of the food movement have become entitled shoppers and diners finding ways to signal their superior education, taste, and virtue – it’s just become a boor. The setup to the punchline of a Portlandia sketch.
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Earlier this month, Swiss seed and agrochemical company Syngenta rejected Monsanto’s second takeover bid in a year. Syngenta’s board said the offer undervalued the company and did not fully address regulatory risks. But the St. Louis-based biotech giant, the world’s biggest seed seller, is not deterred and is planning a new offer to Syngenta, the world’s biggest pesticide and fertilizer seller. If approved, it would be the biggest agribusiness merger in history. But clearing antitrust regulators in the U.S. and the EU is a big if.

The biotech giant is close to the biggest agribusiness merger in history. Our food supply hangs in the balance

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When Design Harms Instead Of Helps
Bruce Nussbaum's firsthand account of how a celebrated agro-design went terribly wrong.

The forthcoming MoMA book Design and Violence collects blog posts from the museum’s interactive online experiment of the same name. Read Bruce Nussbaum’s story about design and genetic modification via Co.Design.