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View Full Version : Why don't they leave our food alone?


Mark Bennett
01-15-2008, 04:20 AM
Scientists unveil 'supercarrot'

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7188969.stm

This stuff is really starting to piss me off :mad:

Discuss?

Allen Yeh
01-15-2008, 04:27 AM
Great! A carrot that gives you more calcium....but then 10 years from now they'll find out that it has an undiscovered potent carcinogenic....heh.

It's like I told Scott about that Lipodisolve crap....
My prediction is that in 10 years from now they will find evidence that Lipo dissolve seeped into peoples bloodstreams and erodes fatty tissue anywhere….i.e. brain

Thus the beginning of the movie Idiocracy.

Scott Kustes
01-15-2008, 04:42 AM
This just in...FDA approves meat from clones animals. Who's ready to start that farm?

Allen Yeh
01-15-2008, 04:51 AM
This just in...FDA approves meat from clones animals. Who's ready to start that farm?

In Costa Rica right? At least you guys will be grass feeding them...

Scott Kustes
01-15-2008, 08:35 AM
Wyoming or Texas works for me

Mike ODonnell
01-15-2008, 08:53 AM
Is there any mandatory labeling of food/milk from cloned animals? Or are we all just a walking science fair experiment at this point?

John Alston
01-15-2008, 09:30 AM
We are all walking experiments.
All of our food is genetically modified. You think broccoli grew like that 30,000 years ago?
I'll eat cloned food. Sign me up.

-Ross Hunt
01-15-2008, 10:38 AM
How did our broccoli used to grow?

:confused: :(

John Alston
01-15-2008, 10:44 AM
Broccoli, like just about all our vegetables, have been selectively bred into more useful forms. The wild, pre-human breeding experimentation forms would not be recognized by us.
Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower and brussel sprouts, I think, are descended from the same plant, just for an example.

David Gutierrez
01-15-2008, 11:43 AM
Mike,

The comment made by an FDA doc stated that there were no requirements to lable such food sources. He stated that if one wanted to ensure they were not consuming cloned products they should purchase products labeled "organic." Pretty weak response, in my opinion. I'll try and find the article and post the link.

David Gutierrez
01-15-2008, 11:49 AM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,322767,00.html

Last paragraph mentions the labeling ...

John Alston
01-15-2008, 11:59 AM
Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).

Steven Low
01-15-2008, 01:24 PM
Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).
I'm not sure why either. I'll eat them.

As you said and I know, most of our veges and fruits are genetically modifed already.. well, all other plants too like wheat, etc. It's just taken a little longer with the animals.

Scott Hanson
01-15-2008, 01:39 PM
Can someone make explicit all the implicit fears hinted at in this thread? Why are people scared of (eating) cloned animals?
You know, all your apples are clones, too (unless you're eating wild ones).

John,

One fear is that there is a difference between selection (natural or human-influenced) such as in selection of plant cultivars that naturally display a desirable characteristic, or even hybridizing two plants that exhibit more than one characteristic that is desirable, versus genetic engineering, in which genes that do not naturally occur in a given species, or even kingdom (e.g. plant versus animal) into an unrelated species. My own concern in eating cloned animals is that the clone is not perfect. If it were, there would be no concern since it would be effectively the same as consuming identical twin cows/pigs/chickens etc. From what I have read, cloned animals generally have a shorter longevity for reasons yet to be discovered, but appear to be related to weakened immune systems (wfs) http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/02/0211_020211_tvclonedmice.html. The FDA apparently studied the chemical, but not the genetic make-up of these animals in declaring them safe for consumption.

FWIW, many plants naturally reproduce by cloning themselves (aspen trees for one), and I believe that some bacteria do as well, but higher animals do not. Any biology types out there feel free to correct or elaborate, I'm an amateur only.

John Alston
01-15-2008, 02:06 PM
Scott
What you're saying is what I kind of understood it as. I think it's a "fear of the unknown."
I guess I was kind of curious to see if there are known, specific issues, or maybe examples of food safety related to these processes.

Mike ODonnell
01-15-2008, 02:19 PM
My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?

Kim Chase
01-15-2008, 02:52 PM
My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?

That last question is really funny. :D Cattle sex is a thing of the past already, for the most part. Almost all cattle from industrial (and probably organic/"natural" , I don't really know) sources are the product of artificial reproductive technologies. Relatively few 'ideal' bulls' sperm is harvested and shipped around. The idea is to obtain uniformity and promoting certain qualities in the cattle for quality of meat, tolerance for the way most cattle are raised now, how fast they put on weight, etc.

I guess it's hard to make a really top-notch bull and the really top-notch cows can only have so many offspring over the course of their lives. Cloning would solve that problem. According to this article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/14/AR2008011402941.html?hpid%3Dtopnews&sub=AR), for years to come, you wouldn't likely be eating cloned meat, but rather cloned animals' offspring. Which still squicks me out.

Here's a rebuttal to the FDA's risk analysis: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/AnimalCloning_PR3_21_07.cfm

Scott Hanson
01-15-2008, 02:57 PM
My question is why do we need cloned cows? Are the normal cows not having enough sex to reproduce naturally? Do the cows have erectile disfunction?

I'm not saying we need them, but I understand that cows are bred a lot like race horses, or any other domestic animal. The prime specimens are worth a lot of money and used as breeding stock. I don't think they generally get to have sex at all. If you had a prize bull that was in high demand, you'd probably be sorely tempted financially to clone the fella so that you could continue a good thing (as a semen donor) as he declines with age. Sounds like at least initially, this would be the likely scenario. You wouldn't actually be eating a cloned animal, but the offspring of a cloned animal, because of the high cost of cloning. You might avoid any meat that sells for over $50/lb!

Patrick Donnelly
01-15-2008, 07:34 PM
I'd hate to be the guy who has to collect the bull's sperm...

Susie Rosenberg
01-16-2008, 05:37 AM
I'll tell you why food technologies scare me.

It has to do with unintended consequences.

Here's an example from an unrelated issue. The incidence of autism has skyrocketed over the past 20 years. The numbers are large enough now to suggest a link (not causal, just an association) with assisted reproductive technology. I know this because I am the mother of a child with autism, and yes, he was conceived with ART. Years ago, I noted with another mother that a lot of us had conceived with ART, so it doesn't surprise me to see this connection.

Another example is the use of thalidomide to treat morning sickness resulting in offspring with limb deformities. Or DES used to treat threatened abortion resulting in GYN cancers in female offspring. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a physician and certainly drugs can be life-saving and I prescribe them, but I'm a pretty conservative prescriber as they go!)

The point is, when we mess with the natural order, we can't always foresee all the consequences, since most of our science is reductionistic, and nature is very complex.

So they may find that carrots with calcium render the antioxidants useless, or that some bacteria really likes the stuff and we get sick, or some other unintended consequence. So in doing these things, we need to ask what the risk/benefit ratio is. Is the risk of an unintended consequence worth the benefit of the procedure? To my mind, a calcium fortified carrot is utterly ridiculous, given all the other sources of calcium available to omnivores.

I'm currently reading Michael Pollan's IN DEFENSE OF FOOD, and while I don't find it quite as compelling as his OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA, he makes a good point. He says that nutritionism has so focused us on macro and micronutrients that we have lost sight of food. He reminds us that food is complex beyond scientific reckoning, and as an example, lists all the antioxidants found in thyme. (There are about 2 dozen, most of which we don't know all their functions in the body, except that they bind free radicals.) Yet we use thyme because it makes food taste good.

Putting fish genes into tomatoes to make them insect resistent just spooks me. There's a difference between breeding tomatoes to make them tastier or more insect resistent by using plants who exhibit that trait and splicing genes from another species.

I'm afraid of the law of unintended consequences.

Susie

Mark Bennett
01-16-2008, 06:24 AM
Good post Susie!

One of the problems with this is they say that this is to "ward of conditions such as brittle bone disease and osteoporosis" If this is the case why does the US for example have some of the highest rates of these problems in the world, despite the massive amounts of calcium consumed? In other words is a lack of calcium the problem? If not, why bother? And surely they know that people generally don't eat enough veggies in the first place, so again why bother? Their time would be much better spent on finding the cause of these problems, while leaving something that has served us fine for many a year (i.e. nature) alone.

John Alston
01-16-2008, 06:42 AM
Fear of unintended - unknown - consequences should also be weighed against knowns. GMO and other food technology of the last few decades of the 20th century is what prevented the massive famines prophesied by Paul "Population Bomb" Ehrlich.

Vitamin A rich "Golden Rice" might be the easiest way to alleviate blindness for millions in the developing world, but it might be shame, (or a crime?) to block it's deployment, as some people in the developed world want to, based on fear of the unknown and values that place the abstract concept of nature over the practical needs of actual people.

Garrett Smith
01-23-2008, 03:31 PM
Video: Jeff Smith--The Effects of Genetically Modified Foods (http://www.worldhealthnet.tv/video/jeff-smith-the-effects-of-genetically-modified-foods)

Over the last 20 years Jeff Smith has worked with over 30 scientists to collect all of the known health risks of genetically modified foods. Studies have produced thousands of sick, sterile and dead laboratory animals; thousands of people linking toxic and allergic type reactions to these foods and damage to virtually every system in the laboratory animals studied. Despite this alarming evidence 70% of the foods in our supermarkets have genetically modified organisms in them.

From folks who watch their diets very strictly and appear to be noticing Black Box symptoms from the Bt gene-modified foods:

Biotech Foods- Symptoms of Excess Bt-Gene Worm Killer Toxin (http://noarthritis.com/Bt-symptoms.htm), Dr. Norman F. Childers Ph.D

Reports of people symptoms of excess toxin from the Bt-gene worm and Monarch butterfly killer (Bacillus thuringiensis) seem to be minimized or non-existent in the media. The Bt gene in late 1999 was reported to be in about 50 percent of the corn and 30% of the soybean products, some tomatoes and potatoes on the U.S. Market; but eating at restaurants, bars, and eateries one could not be sure which foods have the gene. The corn (syrup for sweetener and starch) and soybean (oil and lecithin) products are labeled in numerous foods across the board as bread, grits, candies, cakes, muffins, cookies, cough drops, sodas, cereals, salad dressings, some ice creams, and numerous other foods. One needs only to read the "Ingredients" listing on packaging to avoid even bits of the toxin which can accumulate from several foods. People susceptible to arthritic aches and pains seem to be among the most susceptible. Some people may be able to tolerate small amounts of the toxin, but also may get mild symptoms unaware of the cause. Among our Foundation's current 4,000+ cooperators, reports of mysterious new symptoms are coming in which can not be explained by our dieting routine. Long-time cooperators seem to have a rationalizing attitude, "Guess I'm just aging, lets face it." Our Diet program is essentially avoiding rigidly the nightshade foods which are relatives of tobacco and are relatives in the same family, Solanaceae. The nightshade food plants, like tobacco, contain mild drugs such as nicotine which may help explain why these vegetables (tomato, potato, eggplant, and peppers) have come to occupy a fourth to half of almost every meal. No-Nightshades Dieters are mostly free of arthritic aches and pains and are in good health, living longer. Hence, when new pains and harsh symptoms mysteriously appear, Dieters usually know something new has entered their dieting routine.

People symptoms of too much Bt toxin apparently have not appeared in the International media. The few reports to our Foundation to date (since 1999) are: stiff fingers and in areas of most stress as hands may become swollen, hot to the touch, inflamed, sore and thumb or finger joint may start cracking on bending; weak in lifting; can't sleep well; fuzzy thinking and hearing; sight and teeth may be affected on the side of the body most affected; dry unruly hair, some falling; generally tired on arising in mornings; want to sit down or lie down; little ambition and energy. Symptoms may worsen soon after consuming more toxin and may gradually disappear over a few days to two weeks after one begins to try to avoid the toxin. It is not certain but many people seem to have a lingering occasional tickling of the throat leading to coughing. Symptoms can be severe. A few cooperators report not being able to get out of bed in the mornings, and if they do, needing a cane to get around. This happened to me after eating a handful of mixed nuts which were "roasted" in cottonseed oil which can be powerful. Especially on an empty stomach like I had. The doctor found no evidence of a stroke. One person was crawling on hands and knees and doctors were suggesting a form of arthritis (fibromyalgia.) Another was in bed three weeks because they couldn't walk. The only treatment is to exercise and drink plenty of water to "wash" the toxin through the system. The U.S. media has not reported symptoms coming from Europe (or the United States) which are apparently clear cut, resulting in the GM labeling law passed in England, October 1999. Perhaps the media is reluctant to cover this issue, fearing a panic may ensue.

Agriculturally trained professionals likely would be very cautious in weaving a gene in food plants that can develop a toxin which kills worms eating the plant; in ornamentals perhaps "yes." But what would such a toxin do to people who consume it in their food? If it were done, they would at least run animal feeding trials before entering the market, and not use humans as guinea pigs to hurriedly make big money. Pharmaceuticals (Monsanto e.g.) are leading this program. The Bt gene could be quite valuable to the farming business. The Bt toxin spray has been applied to the outer surfaces of food plants for years with no apparent problem.

The concern for GM (Genetically Modified) foods has spread rapidly over the world. It is suggested that you contact the managers of where you eat out, or the chain restaurant head managers and ask them simply to request their suppliers to try to get foods and ingredients which are free from genetic modification (GM). This is the best we can do of switch to organically grown foods which are free of chemicals and gene modification. The organic items are now available in many supermarkets. Leading genetic engineers continue to claim vigorously that their foods are "safe" (without scientifically performed data to prove it!). Concerned people can also phone the 800 numbers on food packaging and ask the companies if they are using biotech genetically modified foods (the Bt insecticide gene is the key problem), and if they are, please stop for the public's benefit, at least until the problems are corrected. A congressman in Washington, DC (a successful nightshades Dieter) has contacted us in regard to the food problem.

Reported in 1999 by the Arthritis Nightshades Research Foundation and as of 2002 there has been no change in regulations by the FDA or EPA. They still claim the food to be "safe."