Book 2 – Text Updates 048

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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Wed May 18, 2011 11:28 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:Sir! You forgot about The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, and He'll save us all for sure!
I am not familiar with the positions of those parties. But I am certain that they are only partially correct, ignore major issues, and pander to a populist viewpoint. Because this is the default. :shock:

Could I make it any more clear that I am a political independent? As Treebeard said so well in LotR (paraphrased) "I'm not altogether on anyone's side, because no one is altogether on my side." Both parties have ideals which I embrace, and both parties screw up in ways which I abhor. And I'll be damned if I'll treat politics as I and many treat sports: Root for the home team no matter how they play. The Redskins get my cheers win, lose, or draw, for no other reason than they are my home team. But no political party will ever get my unreasoned support. I have friends and family members who simply do not get this. They feel that once their wagon is hitched to a particular horse that they must support that horse no matter how well or poorly that horse performs for them. I have a differing opinion.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby drachefly » Thu May 19, 2011 10:35 am

cheeseaholic wrote:Is "vegan" the name of a club or something? As far as I know vegans don't eat meat or dairy, and that's the only thing you can say about them. As far as I know pesticides, etc aren't part of that definition. Unless pesticides are made of meat, of course.


You're incompletely correct. Veganism requires not using animal products for anything. No leather, no wool. Veganism does not bear on pesticides. However, most actual people who are vegan also prefer organic growing, many to the extent they think it doesn't go far enough, and some to the extent described above.

I know several vegans, and none that I know object to the use of farm machinery. Some object to the use of badly designed farm machinery, others just don't think about it.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Thu May 19, 2011 8:42 pm

MarbitChow wrote:Yeah, about that... seeing as how we still have 20% of the polled population in America that believes that our President is not a natural-born citizen even after seeing 2 copies of his birth certificate, I'm not convinced that polling the population is the best method of decision-making. :D
I have an Uncle who, and I kid you not, told me during the pre-election period that he thought that Obama was an al-Qaida "sleeper agent." I'm not really sure what the hell that means, but I suspect it means that someone sent out a political spam email (because this Uncle forwards many of these on to me), and it both disagreed with Obama's politics and proposed this preposterous theory, and my Uncle chose to accept the second because he was already pre-disposed to accept the first. This is a man who runs a very successful small business, and is well educated. Really.

But when the founding fathers were contemplating only allowing property owners to vote, an argument was made that the possession of an ass (donkey, if you please) does not make one more able to arrive at a valid opinion. If I recall my civics class, Franklin asked something like [ok, I found it, quoted below]
Franklin wrote:Today a man owns a jackass worth 50 dollars and he is entitled to vote; but before the next election the jackass dies. The man in the mean time has become more experienced, his knowledge of the principles of government, and his acquaintance with mankind, are more extensive, and he is therefore better qualified to make a proper selection of rulers—but the jackass is dead and the man cannot vote. Now gentlemen, pray inform me, in whom is the right of suffrage? In the man or in the jackass?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Thu May 19, 2011 9:52 pm

DoctorJest wrote:Ignoring that the "facts" vegans tout about how food is produced are often times faulty... the irony is, of course, that Genetically Modified Foods, which vegans are vehemently against, not only can in theory, but already HAVE in fact gone a long way towards ending world hunger.
Please note that I not only did not support a vegan position, I also quoted some very simple and verifiable facts. If you feel that eating animals which adds an enormously inefficient step in between calorie production and human consumption is necessary, I'll simply refer you back to those facts.

But don't believe me, go look for yourself. Research the caloric value of the amount of cereal grains any given acre of land is able to produce, and then research the caloric value of the amount of meat that the same amount of acreage is able to produce. You'll arrive at the common consensus: Passing your grains through the belly of a cow is a very, very inefficient method of producing food calories. Tasty? Yes. Efficient? No.

Take your rant against the vegans to someone who espouses the vegan lifestyle. I referenced it tangentially, but focused on the far more rational vegetarian lifestyle. Giving up eating meat animals is rational (except for the longing I feel for bacon...), but giving up eating eggs and drinking milk or eating cheese is a radical departure. This conclusion is not drawn using "giving a fuck about killing things" as a weight, it only measures the cold hard calculus of getting calories out of any given land area. Fuck the mice killed by threshing machines, and while I'm at it, fuck the birds chopped to pieces by clean power producing wind wills. You apparently cannot produce energy without pissing someone off, but that does not make the protests against clean energy worthwhile. The argument that "You're fucking up my ocean view by parking your ocean based windmills off my coast" or "You're killing a few migratory birds" pales in comparison to the alternative of "Let's give a fuck-load of money to Iran as we buy foreign oil so that they can fund Hamaas." Pick your fucking battles, please.

This wasn't directed at you personally, Dr. Jest. The "you"s and the "your"s above are intended to be generic. You just pushed a few buttons and I launched into an off topic tirade. Zeku will be along shortly to tell me that "it does not belong here", even though the site owner has said that such discussion (religion, politics, other hot button topics) is OK with him as long as it remains civil. I hope that I have managed to remain civil, even if my views are not shared by all.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby MarbitChow » Thu May 19, 2011 10:30 pm

Oberon wrote:I have an Uncle who, and I kid you not, told me during the pre-election period that he thought that Obama was an al-Qaida "sleeper agent."

So, by eliminating bin Laden, Obama moves up the ranks of al-Qaida! It's brilliant! How could we not have seen it before?! Obama raised millions of dollars to become the Commander-In-Chief of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, and uses those resources to eliminate his main competition for control of a marginalized and persecuted terrorist organization. Oh, god, how could we have been so BLIND?!? :D
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Thu May 19, 2011 11:06 pm

MarbitChow wrote:
Oberon wrote:I have an Uncle who, and I kid you not, told me during the pre-election period that he thought that Obama was an al-Qaida "sleeper agent."

So, by eliminating bin Laden, Obama moves up the ranks of al-Qaida! It's brilliant! How could we not have seen it before?! Obama raised millions of dollars to become the Commander-In-Chief of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, and uses those resources to eliminate his main competition for control of a marginalized and persecuted terrorist organization. Oh, god, how could we have been so BLIND?!? :D
Allāhu Akbar, brother. Here, take this explosive bin Laden vest and arrive at the target site at the designated time. The infidels will pay! With your death, but shush. Think instead about the 70 year old virgin awaiting you in heaven. Yes, that's what I said. That part about 70 virgins was a typo, so sorry.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby joosy » Fri May 20, 2011 8:35 am

Oberon wrote:
MarbitChow wrote:
Oberon wrote:I have an Uncle who, and I kid you not, told me during the pre-election period that he thought that Obama was an al-Qaida "sleeper agent."

So, by eliminating bin Laden, Obama moves up the ranks of al-Qaida! It's brilliant! How could we not have seen it before?! Obama raised millions of dollars to become the Commander-In-Chief of the most powerful military the world has ever seen, and uses those resources to eliminate his main competition for control of a marginalized and persecuted terrorist organization. Oh, god, how could we have been so BLIND?!? :D
Allāhu Akbar, brother. Here, take this explosive bin Laden vest and arrive at the target site at the designated time. The infidels will pay! With your death, but shush. Think instead about the 70 year old virgin awaiting you in heaven. Yes, that's what I said. That part about 70 virgins was a typo, so sorry.


what? Darn it- I thought that I would finally have a bunch of people to play Magic and/or D&D with.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Fri May 20, 2011 12:02 pm

joosy wrote:what? Darn it- I thought that I would finally have a bunch of people to play Magic and/or D&D with.
It's only males who play D&D and MtG who are virgins. :twisted:
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby effataigus » Fri May 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Re: Genetically modified foods. I think the most notable argument against these foods is that genetically modified foods are leading to genetic uniformity in our food supply (and not that they are "weird" or "unnatural"). Genetic uniformity is dangerous (especially in the food supply) because it means that there is a decreased likelihood that a significant portion of a population will survive a disease or pestilence that is strong against that genotype.

Marbitchow, I share your sentiment to some degree... and I think that people looking for solutions need to look within the context of human nature. However, I should point out that the vegans that I've known are pursuing it so as to "not be as much of a part of the problem" rather than to spark a solution. It also bugs me when people assume that veganism is little more than a witch-hunt against anything "unnatural." Yes, there are those people out there, but the majority of people that I know that identify with veganism are just people that have given careful consideration to some of the ramifications of their lifestyle on the environment. I think that that is to be admired, but that too many people just view it as a threat to their lifestyle. But then, the fringes of every movement give that movement a bad name, and are invoked by outsiders as evidence of the craziness of an idea.

Oh, and wasn't the right of internet forums to go off topic guaranteed in the Dec of Indy or something?
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Sieggy » Fri May 20, 2011 2:34 pm

This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. Monsanto (who is both the primary producer of GMOs as well as the herbicides for which the GMOs are designed to survive)(Roundup) has been extremely aggressive in trying to suppress anything which points to dangers in GMO consumption.

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured; rodent populations were divided into 5 sets. One was fed 100% GMO foods, the next 75%, the next 50%, then 25%, and the control group was fed non-modified foods. The first generation of all sets consuming GMOs showed an increased rate of tumors and endocrine issues, as well as reduced fertility and an increase in nonviable offspring. The second generation had severe health issues and malformed genitalia, with a less than 25% survival rate among offspring. The third generation had drastically shortened lifespans and severe birth defects, and was totally incapable of producing any offspring whatsoever. There was no 4th generation. The control group had none of these issues. Monsanto went bugboop crazy suppressing this study, and embarked on a campaign to discredit and vilify the researchers.

I simply see this as Brother Malthus having the last laugh after all. I actively avoid GMOs, and would strongly recommend others do the same, but it's your call.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby BLANDCorporatio » Fri May 20, 2011 4:18 pm

Sieggy wrote:This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby matador » Fri May 20, 2011 4:30 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.


OK, love Erfworld, but registered simply to applaud this brilliant reply. Seriously.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Sieggy » Fri May 20, 2011 5:26 pm

BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.

Ah, that would have been one of the studies commissioned by Monsanto . . .
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Fri May 20, 2011 6:59 pm

On the original topic: wasn't that color of blue of the magic scroll the same as the Fate magic spell? Page 13, Book 1 Would that imply that our friend orange-and-beardy has a Fate-magic scroll? What would that tell us? (Although I also recall Wanda saying it was findmancy/lookmancy to Jillian in the dungeon. Hmm.)

On the emerging political topic: It's my belief that the most efficient decision-making process (but not necessarily the most far-sighted) is a strictly hierarchical (vertical organization) government, and the one that would produce the best long-term results, but not necessarily in time, is a simple democracy (horizontal organization), perhaps mixed with some sort of Meritocracy. However, neither of those would or has actually functioned well in the real world; one short-sighted, the other unable to react quickly.

Probably the best (or, like Churchill said, the least bad) that we can hope for is a vaguely American-style mixed democracy, with a Legislative body, Executive, and a Judicial body. The Executive reacts to emerging situations, and puts in a quick-fix until the Legislative body can decide on a robust, long-term policy. The Judicial body then determines how well those fixes policies thrive in the real world, and if they break the Rules. [/Armchair Philosophy]

On the issue of GMOs. Technically speaking there's nothing that must be bad about GMOs. Imagine a cake*. If you have a good understanding of how to make a cake, and good ingredients, and the execution is good (including good, clean tools), then you can make a very enjoyable product. Omnomnom. If you don't know what you're doing, your ingredients aren't up to spec, or the execution is lacking, suddenly your cake can be bad for people, or at least untasty. No omnomnom.

Remember that no matter how sacred you consider humans, animals, and nature, we are natural machines in a purely biological context. If we do have souls, I'm pretty sure they aren't troubled by indigestion. I mean, good god, that would be awkward. If you give machines input that doesn't complement their/our machinery, you produce adverse results. Incompatible inputs can be found in both nature and artificial products. The advantage of artificial foods is that we can make lots of them, and once we understand the biological machinery that we're applying these foods to, we have a chance of making more nutritious foods than emerged naturally.


*Substitute pie at your leisure. Or, complement cake with pie.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Fri May 20, 2011 8:50 pm

Sieggy wrote:
BLANDCorporatio wrote:
Sieggy wrote:This is getting way off topic (Erfwise), but I have seen some very unsettling study results that point to profoundly harmful health effects from consuming GMOs. {snip}

There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured {and they were worrying}


Really? I saw a study from two years ago in Austria where the rats that were fed GMOs were quicker at solving mazes, were humping like rabbits on meth, had increased milk production, longer life-span, better smell and eye-sight, developped team coordination allowing them to fight off predators and eventually escape the lab. There were concerns that the rapidly multiplying escaped rats would pose a severe problem for the local agriculture, but eventually a spokesperson from the governing Republic of Austria Traditionalist party calmed spirits after a press conference.

Ah, that would have been one of the studies commissioned by Monsanto . . .


Citations or they didn't happen. :P

On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Sieggy » Fri May 20, 2011 10:20 pm

I didn't keep the study I cited, as it's not my field, though I regarded it with concern. And it was a while back . . . However a quick Google on the subject came up with the following list of studies and reported issues.

http://www.seedsofdeception.com/Public/ ... /index.cfm

I find this sufficiently alarming for me to make a serious effort to keep it out of my diet. But then, I find as I get older (and have a deep and abiding desire to keep on doing that for as long as possible), I'm getting much more picky about what I put in my body. I made a conscious decision to cut the crap out of my diet a few years back, went from 240+ lbs (107 kilos for you metric types) to 185 lbs (80 kilos) without any major dieting, exercise regimen, or hassle. I just ate better, and not as much. I still drink beer, eat (good) chocolate, and remain a dedicated carnivore. But I avoid foods with high fructose corn syrup, highly processed carbs, partially hydrogenated oils, and flatly refuse to consume anything that says 'lite', lo-cal', 'diet', 'artificially flavored', or 'healthy', as I know they're lying through their teeth.

As a result, ALL of my health issues have vanished, and I can regularly beat guys a third my age on the field (I do full contact renaissance fencing). Of course it helps that I'm a tricksy bastard, mind you . . . I figure if I treat my mind and body right, given the advances in medical technology, I can realistically expect to remain healthy and active well past the century mark. Assuming the world doesn't end tomorrow, of course.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby ╒╦╧╬╩╦╦╛ » Sat May 21, 2011 12:20 am

WaterMonkey314 wrote:Citations or they didn't happen. :P

On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).



Well... you are assuming wrong... Monsanto did made at least some GMO to express "some sort of toxin". bt-corn (amongst others) produce it's own insecticide. Now, I know Monsanto said it is safe for human even though it kill caterpillar, but as far as eating a living insecticide factory goes, I'm against. I'd rather be on the safe side and pay a little extra for my food than be a test subject for something everyone isn't informed enough on to make a sound opinion (including and especially those who make a living out of GMOs if you want my opinion).
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby The.Healing.Mage » Sat May 21, 2011 8:41 am

WaterMonkey314 wrote:
Sieggy wrote:On a more serious note, I have trouble imagining how exactly a GMO would be any different in your stomach from a non-GMO; wouldn't everything all get nicely digested by our digestive juices? (I am, of course, assuming the GMO hasn't been modified to express some sort of toxin or something like that).


One of the very cutting-edge fields of genetics right now is "epigenetics", which studies the "epigenome". (For those who don't know your genome is the sum total of all of the information used to build your body, and the epigenome is the sum of the activation/inactivation patterns of the genome. That's why you have cells with different shapes and functions: they don't have different genetic codes, they just use the code in different ways.) It turns out that various foods can impact our epigenetic patterns. (Cause that's a shocker, amiright?) Unlike more general cell health, however, the epigenome isn't as well understood. However, it is known that epigenomic patterns are to some extent heritable, which is why mothers eating badly can cause health problems in the next generation.



A more general answer to your question is that if you have a molecule that's similar to a normal one, but subtly different, you can really gum up the cellular works.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby Oberon » Sat May 21, 2011 8:50 pm

Sieggy wrote:There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured; [...]
Can you provide any kind of link or reference to this study? If not, then either the illuminati have won, or the study is a figment of the imaginations of those who have determined for whatever reason that GM foods which are simply more disease resistant or more fruitful must be bad because man had a hand in their creation.

As I said before, our world is full of GM cereals which have been with us for thousands of years, they were just created using much lower tech.

On the flip side, a very real impact of GM foods is that in order to protect their copyright and profitability many GM crops are sterile. Meaning that the crop cannot be sustained, as the seeds the cereal produces are sterile and cannot be used for the next years production. Farmers must then buy the seed year after year, sustaining the profitability of the companies which produced the GM strain. This leads to a situation where a breakdown in production of the non-sustainable seeds may bring about a year where there is little or no production. In a worst case scenario, imagine a world which is completely dependent upon the yearly provision of seeds to produce a sterile crop. Any disruption in seed production could induce a global famine. And all this may take would be a single person with a suicide vest gaining access to the seed production facility.
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Re: Book 2 – Text Updates 048

Postby WaterMonkey314 » Sat May 21, 2011 11:25 pm

Oberon wrote:
Sieggy wrote:There was a controlled study about 3 years ago in Italy where the effects of GMO consumption were measured; [...]
Can you provide any kind of link or reference to this study? If not, then either the illuminati have won, or the study is a figment of the imaginations of those who have determined for whatever reason that GM foods which are simply more disease resistant or more fruitful must be bad because man had a hand in their creation.

Sieggy posted a link shortly after my own post asking for citations; that link allows some more chaining before hitting some actual papers (though the one I looked at was published in an exceedingly crappy journal).

From a different angle than Oberon's practicality one, I see those issues (with the epigenetics or self-manufactured insecticides) as being more of a general biochemistry problem than one limited solely to GMOs. It is very true that we understand little about the human body - but I have yet to see anything showing that GMOs present any greater risk of potentially harmful compounds than, say, regular food sprayed with pesticides (or water laced with pharmaceutical residue). The problems are not exclusive to GMOs, and not all GMOs necessarily are affected by them; it is, in my opinion, therefore beside the point to focus our concern on GMOs.
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