‘World’ (i.e., thousands of activists in real world of billions) marches against abundance of affordable food made with technology (aka GMO food)

In “‘No Monsanto!': World marches against GMO food”, RT.com reports:

Thousands took to streets across the world’s cities on Saturday to protest the use of GMO products, with Giant Monsanto being the main target. Over 50 countries have been taking part in the march for world food day, and across 47 different US states.

Berlin, Strasbourg, Chicago, London, Sydney and Mumbai are just a few of the 500 cities worldwide involved in the rallies, with each one drawing hundreds.

The demonstrators have been calling for the permanent boycott of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and “other harmful agro-chemicals,” according to March Against Monsanto’s official webpage. Protesters wielded large banners denouncing GMO products, and donned fancy dress: In Washington DC a group dressed as bees to highlight the impact of insecticides on bee populations.

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58 responses to “‘World’ (i.e., thousands of activists in real world of billions) marches against abundance of affordable food made with technology (aka GMO food)

  1. It is funny to see Russians cheering for these mentally ill. As things stand, Russia is well underway to become an importer of cereals.

    • Become and importer of cereals? Russia has never been able to feed itself.

      • It has almost never been the matter of ability in Russia, but it may become one soon. Historically, Russia (as well as pre-Russia in its various instances) fed itself by robbing its neighbours and taxing trade routes traversing its territory. That was swell enough to grow the strongest military on the continent, the largest and the most corrupt bureaucracy, and they still had a surplus of gold large enough to erect pompous buildings wit gilded roofs everywhere one cared to look.

        Eight episodes of famine in a millennium, with four of those occurring during the last century or shortly prior (1891-1892). That’s not exactly never, I’d call it “sometimes”.

        According to their own stats, they are doing fine now:

        http://rt.com/business/russia-grain-exports-july2013-100/

        … but this growth is due to a productivity increase and diversification of food markets. There is a rapid loss of arable land happening in the background; they are loosing it to weeds and invading forests.

  2. It’s easy to protest when your belly is full.

    BTW . . . an internet search for “March Against Monsanto” October 12 found virtually NOTHING on duh world wide waste of time. “Thousands took to streets” . . . maybe in all 500 cities combined.

    Yawn.

  3. Where are the bodies of those harmed by GMO? No one has ever died from GMO products. Nearly all the corn, soy and other crops in the US are modified by gene splicing. How would it be possible to feed many of the world’s billions of people if not for GMO?

    The pecksniffs protesting against this technology should be ashamed of being the Luddites they are.

  4. It always amazes me how the Left is for science until the oppose it. It really just shows how easily duped these idiots are by their Marxist overlords.

    • There is nothing amazing in their actions when you recognise that their SOP is to take a common word and redefine it, usually to mean the exact opposite. Look what they’ve done to “liberty”, “freedom”, and “democracy”.

      Science has been a victim of subversion for a long time. Global warming is science. Genetics is “false science” (this exact expression was used to accuse scientists in Russia before exterminating them). The party decides what science is and what it is not. For decades, they called communism “science”. I kid you not.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_communism

      What is amazing is how long it takes people to wake up to the fact that parts of their language have been hijacked. In particular, today, we see how “science” becomes a dirty word in the English-speaking world.

  5. Let them eat dirt.
    It has no DNA.

  6. I’m a pretty pro-technology guy. “Nobody has died from it yet” seems a pretty flimsy justification for irrevocably altering one of the basic necessities of all human existence, based on a science which we’ve really only just begun to understand.

  7. You’re not seriously comparing selective breeding with direct genetic manipulation, are you? Because that would be rather… imprecise.

  8. No one marched in Sydney.
    Heard no reports of any marches anywhere else in the world.
    What a fizzler of a protest.

  9. Let us compare the maize genome to a deck of Poker cards.

    Selective breeding, then, is roughly comparable to drawing new cards to improve your hand: knowledge of the game will improve your odds, but you are always drawing from the same deck.

    Genetic manipulation, on the other hand, is like replacing one of your Poker cards with an Uno card because you like the aesthetics. You have altered the deck, and therefore the game (bluffing is not possible with that cards, some hands will no longer be available, and how does an Uno card operate in a hand of Poker?).

    There was not a “pile of bodies” when agriculture introduced grains and legumes as staples in the human diet–in fact, the accessibility of calories allowed a huge increase in human population. However, heavy ingestion of these foods, which human bodies are not built to process, also led to everything from the incidence of tooth decay to diabetes to huge increase in cancers. Epigenetics strongly implies that altering the natural genome of these plants will only make such effects worse, and given the rise of insecticide use in the last decades, there does not seem to be any trade-off in hardiness for these “foods”.

    • Please give some evidence that grains increase tooth decay, diabetes and cancer? Sedentary lifestyles do that. As does longevit. Any claim to prove that has to contend with the fact that pre-agriculture, we had barely 30 year lifespans. There is literally no basis for your wild and ludicrous claims. I’ve heard them before, and I’ve dismissed them before as preposterous nonsense made by “intellectual” elites who want to feel better than the rabble.

    • You speak utter rot. Your analogy of poker and Uno are inequitable with what happens with GMO foods.
      You are not seriously suggesting that the grains we eat today are the same measly stuff that the first arable farmers came across?
      They have been genetically modified ad infinitum since the beginning of time.

    • That is not an appropriate comparison for any useful purpose I can imagine. The genome is not a deck of cards, nor it is a string of random characters. If I had to substitute the detailed knowledge of life with a simple analogy (impossible, I know, but not all analogies are equally incompetent), I would ask you to imagine a wire bent in a certain shape, that shape being functional overall, with certain parts more important to that function and other parts less so. You have the freedom to continue to bend it as you like, with the goal of improving the function. Which shaping method will you choose:

      1. Tweak it in certain places that you consider important, assessing the result visually and testing the function as you make any adjustments.

      2. Ask a blind man to keep hitting it with a stick or toss it in the surf and let it tumble for a while, then test.

      • I understand your position, but you are operating on an out-dated understanding of genetic expression: it is not a set function at birth. We interact on a genetic level with our environment, including our food (cf. “epigenetics”). Adding previously non-existent information to the genome of a species, does more than give a new phenotype expression; it changes the way that species affects the genetic expression of other species which interact with it.

        Acting only to express a phenotype, without understanding the epigenetic repercussions of such actions, makes us the “blind men”. And we’re eating the wire…

        • You lost me here. I interact with my food on an a genetic level? What do you mean? Please specify the process, the time scale, the stage of development, the tissue, or whatever. Something I can wrap my brain around. The only part of me that interacts with my food genetically on the time scale of hours to days, in any way that would be interesting for the purposes of this discussion, is my gut biome. The rest is either normal development that starts at inception and ends at death, or damage/repair/maintenance — all too slow to matter.

          The rest of what you wrote sounds tautological to me. Yes, we change. Yes, we “interact”. Hunter-gatherers also interact. What’s wrong with that?

          No, we’re not blind men. We are sighted enough to see how natural evolution gets trapped in local optima, and we know where to push it to take it out of one and make it land in a better one. We know enough about how things work to get the phenotype we desire. Now we have the new traits fixed. Who cares if they are fixed genetically or epigenetically (whatever that means)?

          There is “new information” in all genomes every day, want it or not.

  10. If you’d like something a bit more graphic, there is a classic text called “Nutrition and and Physical Degeneration”, by a man named Weston Price, with a rather robust photographic comparison of the teeth of members of tribes transitioning from traditional, hunter-gatherer diets to modern agricultural diets.

    It is quite illuminating.

    • What does this have to do with GMO?

      • That has to do with the request above, for evidence that eating things that human body did not evolve to eat (I.e., grains, legumes, et al.) lead to illness.
        Also, of course, since we are not made to process grains, we are even less made to process grains with artificially-inserted genetic material.

        • I state with full authority that my body has evolved to eat everything I can lay my hands on. I can also eat the genetic material (DNA, if that is what you mean). When I am not busy earning my food, I am busy eating it. I estimate that more than halfway into an average lifespan, I have already consumed a dozen of lifetime food rations, simply because it has been a fun thing to do. My teeth are fine, thank you. I like to give fright to small animals by showing them my teeth.

          • Are you sure your teeth are “fine”? Or are they “usable”, due to daily specific maintenance and regular intervention by a specialist? Hunter-gatherers generally have no palate crowding and no cavities, for life, without seeing a dentist.

            • “Hunter-gatherers generally have no palate crowding and no cavities, for life, without seeing a dentist”.
              Just who are you talking about?

            • My teeth are functional, and I have access to technology that will keep them functional until I die. During the early part of my life, when the technology was not so good, I saw my teeth decay fast enough to require a couple fillings a year. That decay slowed down by a couple orders of magnitude when I was introduced to proper hygiene. I was 18 then; during the following 30+ years, I only needed small fixes to old fillings.

              But that’s just me. I know a man who is now 88; he only had to see a dentist once to have his wisdom tooth extracted; he never brushes his teeth, eats all the same things I do and drinks extremely sweet tea. His teeth show some attrition but are otherwise healthy. I guess how much technology you need for survival depends on how good your saliva.

              If you compare hunter-gatherers and early cereal eaters, the most obvious dental problems in the latter were caused by flour contamination by abrasive dust from grinding stones. We haven’t used stones since at least a century ago, so that is no longer an issue.

          • Well I reckon you are one real lucky guy Gene – you had ancestors who clearly ate the right stuff.

  11. You don’t need teeth if you eat fast food, so what’s all the fuss?

  12. If genetically-modified “foods” were that easily identifiable and containable, I wouldn’t care.

  13. Reblogged this on Home of the Little-Known Blogger and commented:
    I usually agree with what Mr. Milloy posts. On this topic, however, he and I apparently disagree.

  14. Thank you for the links, lkb, but these are not peer-reviewed articles and do not appear in any medical publications of note, such as The Lancet. I do not know who the people in the photographs, appearing on the front cover of “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, are.
    That they seem to have all their teeth says nothing to me of their diet.
    When an article starts to speak of “holistic” diets I have a problem: Which diet exactly are they referring to as being “holistic”?
    Even the authors of the articles agree and clearly demonstrate that the diets of the groups they reviewed are disparate yet apparently all “holistic”.
    So, do you eat all fish and harvests from the ocean, or do you eat just grains, or do eat only corn and beans? Can you have ocean food AND corn and beans? Do they not drink llama milk? Or goat’s milk?
    What does that say about our nutritional pyramid? You know, the one that is cited by all the expert nutritionists around the world?
    Boy, we’ve been had.
    However, I was watching a documentary about the Masai people the other day and I can assure you that most of the people (and they just loved to smile for the camera) had quite a few missing teeth. And apparently they were in their 20s.
    These sites are somewhat similar to the IPCC reports. You know the ones? All written by “top” “scientists”? And they’re as clear as mud.
    But thank you for trying to educate me.

    • The answer is easier than you imagine: what has the human diet been, for most of our history? Especially when we still faced significant evolutionary pressure?

      The answer is that we ate primarily meat (including fish and fowl) and fat, with significant amounts of vegetable matter. Fruits were consumed when available. Grains, legumes and dairy were not. This leads to diet which is far more nutrient-dense and calorie-sparse than the so-called “food pyramid”. Here’s something to ponder on that: there are essential amino acids, which means that we need to eat meat. There are essential fatty acids, which means that we need to fat. There are no essential carbohydrates–so why are grains and breads, essentially empty carbohydrate calories, the base of the pyramid?

      Because the pyramid is written for an agenda, and it is not ideal nutrition.

      As for the Maasai, tooth removal is actual a cultural practice.

      Thank you for a thoughtful reply.

      • Grains are easy to grow and provide a lot of calories for their weight. There are no “empty” calories, our body turns carbs into energy. Without grains I doubt we could feed the current world’s population. I’ll put up with some minor side effects which can be easily solved to avoid mass starvation.

        • 1) Actually, yes, there are empty calories. And your body is built to run on ketones, not carbohydrates. We can make our own carbohydrates if we need them.
          2) The side effects of grain, et al., consumption are hugely expensive and not easily overcome at all; we do not yet know the full extent of possible effects from genetic modification of an already abnormal diet.
          3) It’s true, many people would starve without the production of agricultural grains. I’m not calling for an end to modern agriculture. Just an end to subsidies for growing GMOs, an end to regulations against growing and selling REAL food, and a clear label for the customer.

      • You seem to pass yourself off as an authority but you have not answered my questions.
        The idea that meat was readily available is a fallacy. Fruits and berries were the mainstay of the early diets. This is still the diets of many African tribes that live in this manner. They move from area to area depending on fruit and seeds and root vegetables. If they are lucky enough to eat meat every few weeks, they are over the moon. But this meat is attained by hunting over several days or weeks sometimes without success.
        The women themselves are concerned when there is no meat as they have noticed considerable growth in their children when game is available…and they observed all this without going to Cambridge or Oxford.
        You speak from a stage of plenty.
        Perhaps if you would go and live the subsistence lifestyle you advocate for everyone else perhaps we will believe you. Remember, no meat of any kind and only the seeds or fruits you find after walking for miles every day.
        As a matter of fact, why don’t you do this with little children.
        Or better still, with a pregnant woman. Make a campsite for a few weeks while you go hunting but reassure her that fruit and seeds are all she needs, that her teeth won’t fall out and that her unborn child will be born totally healthy and will grow big and strong on this diet, (just in case you don’t get back with any game).

        • So; berries and root vegetables (both much higher in micronutrient availability and lower in glycemic load than grains) and meats. Not grains–and the berries would be only seasonal, whereas hunting can be performed year-round.
          And of course, during glacial periods–probably our periods of greatest evolutionary pressure–plant matter would have been far more difficult to come by. Compare to the Paleolithic “hunting” technique of simply driving a herd off of a cliff, for meat which can preserved for later use.

          • Simple walking by the way, was the easiest hunting method. You simply singled out one animal, stalked it slowly it until it dropped from exhaustion. Knocked it on the head. Simple.

            • Yes, it’s true. The Australian aboriginals were masters at it. Human muscle endurance is many times greater than food animals. We can walk for days. They cannot. Mostly though they ate the food the women found or dug up. Most men are inherently inherently lazy unless you give them a strict upbringing, whip them a lot, or force them to earn a living to survive. And woman still do more work on less pay don’t they?

        • Where is this uber-berry diet going on, anyway? Somebody needs to show those poor folks how to set a trap, because… They’re about to run out of berries.

    • On the topic of peer review: not sure why it would be germane to the topic at hand, but the sources I listed previously WERE peer-reviewed; the studies in “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”, for example, were published in both JAMA and JADA.

      The later articles I posted simply because they were more easily accessible.

  15. Steve, can we get a Magic Foods tag on this thread?

  16. Sorry about the typos – laziness and sloth.

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