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The Atlantic: The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods.

Chinese researchers have found small pieces of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to proteins in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood. [snip] MicroRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been linked to human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.” I run across so many dubious articles, both pro- and con-. It can get difficult to winnow through the mire, so I tend to drill down to the actual research, the actual studies, rather than read editorials and opinion pieces. This one seems a good one, worthy of bookmarking and using as argument-points with your GM-loving ‘science-is-always-superior’ friends at social gatherings.

Correction: I retract my support for this article. Poor source material. Read the comments on this post here.

01/10/12 • 07:46 AM • ConsumptionCorrectionsFoodHealthLawScience • (7) Comments

Comments:

“MicroRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been linked to human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.” “

So have sunlight, naturally occurring metals in water, and concentrated sugars.

This is astro-turf.

No “very real danger”, dear fearmongering Atlantic lede-writers, and it would have been nice if they’d cared to define what “genetically modified” means, too.

“Monsanto’s website states, “There is no need for, or value in testing the safety of GM foods in humans.” This viewpoint, while good for business, is built on an understanding of genetics circa 1950.”

This person is making this claim about Monsanto, arguable the world’s preeminent researcher of food genetics???

Dude, seriously…...

Posted by Jeremiah on 01/11/12 at 11:14 PM

Caught again. Thanks, J. I did a search, and there’s a ‘Mercola’ link. I should always check there first - and if it appears, DON’T bother.

This will make up for it, I hope:

The Dangerous Blurring of News and Opinion Online:
http://bigthink.com/ideas/41897?page=all

And, The MicroRNA Blog:
http://mirnablog.com/

I didn’t know enough about microRNA to judge a good article from bad. Next time, it goes in my ‘further research required’ folder on my desktop before posting.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 01/12/12 at 09:47 AM

Note for others reading this thread - this is what I meant in my ‘12 years of blogging post’ about flat-out admitting one is wrong. I could wring my hands and try to weasel out with excuses, attempting to appear all bloggerly-omnipotent. Doing so benefits neither myself nor my audience. We are purveyors of opinion. “First, do no harm.”

I make mistakes. I learn from them and move on.

This GM situation, however, I need to step back a bit from, and do more thinking/researching/writing on my own before I cull more articles on the subject. I have a built-in dislike of GM foods, and I have to build a coherent case for why. Not just for you, the reader, but to place my opinion solidly on a well-reasoned foundation before I lose all credibility with my discerning readers.

My foundation’s shaky, and I realize it. For the moment, I’m taking GM off my list of subjects until I can build that better foundation.

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 01/12/12 at 09:59 AM

Mercola, and now the *Vatican* sides against GM. And these were going to be my bedfellows ...

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 01/12/12 at 10:01 AM

if I may…

...what you’re grappling with is an assumption about free-will. Namely, that you have it.

And this idea manifests itself in a behavior by which you believe that because you’re observing a thing, you are by proxy outside of it, specifically, you are not being acted upon because you are observing.

This leads to a perspective where you view humankind at “outside” of nature, acting UPON nature instead of being a perfect manifestation OF Nature.

It follows that something like genetic engineering would fit under the “meddling with nature” umbrella - an idea made possible by believing that we are OUTSIDE nature and acting upon it rather than subject to it - because, if we can fiddle with plants, what’s so say we’re not fiddling with YOU?

And THAT, my old friend, is the threat to your (deeply invested) view that you have free will.

Have can you be free if you’re being acted upon?

Posted by Jeremiah on 01/17/12 at 04:53 PM

By “you’re” I mean “we’re”, of course. wink

Posted by Jeremiah on 01/17/12 at 04:56 PM

But I am a god, am I not? (Big Grin).

Posted by Garret P Vreeland on 01/17/12 at 05:08 PM

 

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