December 22, 2015

#GMO #Frankenfood folks? It's in your cheese, your baguette, and more

A couple of years ago, GMO peed in ant-GMOers organic cornflakes with its series of mini-articles entitled "Panic-free GMOs."

A fancy, stinky cheese? Full of GMO-made enzymes. /Grist
The gist of the series is that two-thirds of what anti-GMOers claim about GMO safety, inspections, etc. is totally wrong and of no concern, one-quarter is of minor concern and one-twelfth is of modest-moderate concern.

In fact, for me, the piece is a litmus test of how open-minded anti-GMOers are. I point out when I post the link that it's from "noted, respective environmental magazine Grist." If they still write it off, I mark them as not very open-minded. If they mark it off and for bonus points, claim Grist is on the take or whatever, they're the type of people I'll then block on Facebook or something.

Anyway, Grist is at it again. This time, with what can only be called a bitch slap for the anti-GMO wing of foodies.

Your organic, pesticide-free French baguette flour?
Full of mutagenic, irradiated wheat. / Grist
Artisinal cheese and GMOs? French organic wheat in Parisian baguettes and GMOs PLUS mutagenesis? Quelle horreur! But, yes, and yes and Grist has the details.

Beyond that, as Grist notes, the real issue is that depending on exactly how you define the phrase "genetically modified organism," you could kill almost the entire modern food supply.

And, by "modern," for people who lament the lack of simplicity in today's Big Ag, I mean all corn of the last 80-90 years, for example.

Unfortunately, until 1992, the US allowed many of the same genetically modified organisms in the organic-labeled food supply that the EU still does. Unfortunate in general, because despite myths here in the US, the EU is not some anti-GMO bastion. Unfortunate in particular, because US anti-GMOer foods can't be hoist over a petard while eating a baguette. (They still can while eating a fancy cheese, whether from France or Merika.) I've already covered the petards hoist with mutagenic crops, like Rio Star grapefruit and beer barley.

And, beyond close-mindedness, and a wish for a "good old days' agricultural simplicity that's as much naivete as reality, anti-GMOism in general, to me, is getting closer and closer to things like the gluten-free world. Food snobbery combined with food porn.

That said, for people who aren't snobby but who are in the nutbar wing of greens, whether small-g or capital-G of certain members of the Green Party (which is why I'm not a registered member), stances on this issue, like on vaccinations, undercut claims to be in the reality-based community, or decrying climate change denialists for not following the science.

As Grist goes on to point out, following the science shows genes jumping species boundaries on their own. That's the way evolutionary biology works; it's weirder yet that the original Darwinian version, as the modern neo-Darwinian synthesis has noted.

And, THAT is the reality-based community.

Oh, and beyond genes, plants are full of chemicals, too. And, lab-created meat is not yet "just around the corner," but it's getting closer. And, yes, I'd eat it. And, anti-GMOers, yes, I'll use it as another petard against you as needed.

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