March 23, 2015

Food — it's full of chemicals! Even non-#GMO food!

The FDA has now approved genetically modified apples and potatoes for sale, which means it's time to ramp up the anti-GMO outrage machine.

Because GMOs might have all sorts of chemicals, of course.

First, Simplot notes that the GMO taters have genetic changes that come only from domestic potato varieties out there already.

The non-browning apples? The company that created them would actually reduce chemicals, because these apples wouldn't have to have sliced or chunked versions dusted with antioxidants to prevent browning in commercial salad packs, etc.

The above picture doesn't tell the full story.
A banana also has more radioactivity
than a basement full of radon.
The real fact is, as the two photos show, that "natural" non-GMO foods, something as basic as a nanner or an egg, is loaded with "chemicals." Of course, the "chemical" issue goes beyond anti-GMOers to "nothing but organic" types.

Let's call them true-blue anti-GMOers, and proceed from there. I could call them "food simpletons," but there are lots of other people who are simpletons about food in other ways beyond the "chemicals" issue. Of course, that itself may be part of the problem.  And, it could be that many true-bluers are also New Agey types who believe that everything "real" is Platonic-idealism-type "spirit," and that matter is just a façade.

I know that true-blue anti-GMOers won't be persuaded by this any more than climate change denialists or anti-vaxxers are by scientific evidence. And, it's sad.

That said, some blanket pro-GMOers do, to some degree, ignore the big business concerns some of us liberals have about GMOs as a business concern, even more in the developing world.  It's not as bad as blanket anti-GMOers claim, though, as the original Green Revolution demonstrated.

As for the overall politics and public policy, as well as the science?

Grist Magazine, no conservative outlet by any means, had a long series of mini-articles just over a year ago.

It says about two-thirds of anti-GMOers concerns about alleged lack of testing, danger of GMOs, and other issues are 100 percent false. About 20 percent is primarily untrue. That leaves about one-eighth of issues that have what, on average, would be a moderate level of concern.

It even covers the business issues. For example, certain non-GMO plant modifications can be patented just like GMOs, per one piece.

In another piece, another Grist writer notes that what's really at stake is "narratives." Regular readers here know what I think about hardened narratives in general.

Anti-GMOers need to click that first Grist link and read each article before talking further about GMOs. And, if you think Grist is part of a conspiracy, you've got problems indeed.

And, don't eat eggs or bananas, in the meantime, if you're worried about "chemicals."

That too, is a narrative.

The reality, though, is from synthetic vitamins to many other chemicals, the man-made ones are often no different than what's in food. Sometimes, they're even better.

"Mother Nature" is an evolutionary kludge, after all; it's no more an idealistic, omnibenevolent, omnipotent creator than is Yahweh, God the Father or Allah.

Period and end of story.

1 comment:

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