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1 Locker  Wed, May 8, 2013 8:25:58am

I’ve moved a lot on this issue from the anti-GMO position towards the middle and even a bit towards the pro-GMO side of things. I can’t stand “chicken little” arguments which is what I hear from most of my left side friends with regard to GMO crops. Hate that shit.

2 goddamnedfrank  Wed, May 8, 2013 4:14:52pm

This is really stupid. GMO opponents are actually the exact opposite of climate skeptics. They may be wrong, but if so their wrongness is rooted in an understanding that human activity can be shortsighted and have great impact on the planet. Their entire position is based in an overabundance of caution. Contrast this with AGW skeptics who maintain a steadfast denial that man could possibly have an effect on something so vast as the Earth’s climate. This position is based in an absolute distain for reasonable caution in the face of overwhelming evidence.

3 Bert's House of Beef and Obdicuts  Wed, May 8, 2013 4:56:12pm

re: #2 goddamnedfrank

It’s both. There are kneejerk conspiracy theorist anti-GMO people too, a lot of them, who completely abuse and misuse science.

4 cinesimon  Wed, May 8, 2013 5:07:31pm

It’s like reading Andrew Sullivan. He’s decided that because a sub group of anti-GMO people are conspiracy theorists and anti-science, then they must all be.
Yay for ‘both sides do it’, dishonest wimpery.
True bravery - and once again, a Slate article.

5 Velvet Elvis  Wed, May 8, 2013 6:14:03pm

In both groups there’s the refusal to accept the scientific consensus in favor of FUD and/or one’s gut feelings. The mistrust of science is equally strong in both cases.

6 cinesimon  Wed, May 8, 2013 6:45:42pm

re: #5 Velvet Elvis

So, you’re saying anti-GMO people are one group?
I can only assume you haven’t bothered to look into it much. And of course, it’s much easier to just presume that your assumption is correct. Actually checking into such a claim is, of course, too much hard work.

7 Velvet Elvis  Wed, May 8, 2013 7:30:01pm

FWIW, I’m not grouping people who correctly observe that Monsanto is the embodiment of evil with people who reject the technology as a whole. The genetic modification of organisms is a tool that can be used for the benefit or detriment of society.

Once climate change really takes hold, GMOs are most likely going to be what prevents mass starvation.

8 Dark_Falcon  Wed, May 8, 2013 8:09:37pm

re: #7 Velvet Elvis

FWIW, I’m not grouping people who correctly observe that Monsanto is the embodiment of evil with people who reject the technology as a whole. The genetic modification of organisms is a tool that can be used for the benefit or detriment of society.

Once climate change really takes hold, GMOs are most likely going to be what prevents mass starvation.

To add to that: One can oppose Monsanto’s actions while not think that the company is part of some elaborate plot to harm the citizenry. But its a line of thought that normally gets overshadowed by some nutcase DERPing out a conspiracy theory. The human brain being wired as it is, attention typically focuses on the motion and noise made by the DERPer, even if they are paired with far less intellectual content than the more responsible explanation. The conspiracy theory also fills the need many people have to feel smug and self-righteous.

9 EiMitch  Thu, May 9, 2013 1:37:17am

re: #2 goddamnedfrank

Ignoring evidence is ignoring evidence. Confirmation bias has no asterisk for “good” intentions. So screw philosophical differences. They’re only good for special pleading. “I’m not the same as him. I was wrong for the right reasons, while he was just being a dumb-dumb head.”

re: #6 cinesimon

You complain about GMO opponents being painted with the same brush, but fail to address the article’s main point: the evidence of GMOs causing harm is painfully lacking.

As imperfect as GMO regulations may be, they are preventing the apocalyptic scenarios anti-GMOers keep crying about. If you think those regulations need improvement, propose and advocate such changes. Otherwise, stop crying wolf already. Like the author said, humans have been deliberately changing plant and animal genes since the invention of farming. GM is just another method of that. And frankly the novelty wore out years ago IMO.

Having said that, there is still one legit complaint left about GMOs. And that is the dubious laws surrounding gene-patents. Long story short, alot of small farmers got screwed out of money and/or land, and Monsanto now owns pretty much all corn. In this regard, people are right to vilify Monsanto. They are unscrupulous monopolists.

Speaking of unscrupulous villains, I haven’t been able to forgive Monsanto since I learned they were the company who invented and manufactured (and allegedly still do) Agent Orange. Yes, the Agent Orange, that notorious defoliant. For that alone, f*** Monsanto until my last breath.

I’m sorry. What were we talking about?

10 StephenMeansMe  Thu, May 9, 2013 4:34:18pm

re: #2 goddamnedfrank

I see them as mirror-images, both harboring a curious sort of denialism. Whereas AGW deniers refuse to believe that human activity can ever negatively impact the environment, GMO deniers refuse to believe that human activity can ever positively impact the environment. There’s a common refrain (compare to “God won’t let the world be destroyed!”) in anti-GMO circles of “We can’t improve on Nature!” or at least “Nature won’t be controlled!” Even after you get past the Monsanto-as-Satan stuff, there’s a cynicism about technological progress.


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