Comedian Flays GMO Zombie Myths

By Keith Kloor | June 7, 2013 4:01 pm

On the GMO front, I bring you the latest important news, articles and entertainment.

First the serious stuff: An important study just published in PLOS One was summarized nicely by this Los Angeles Times headline:

Genetically modified cotton helps farmers escape malnutrition

Since when do people eat cotton, you ask?

They don’t (unless it’s “cotton candy” sold at circuses and sporting events). But if small farmers in India can produce more of it at less cost via biotechnology, then that provides them more income for food. Read the study to learn how genetically modified crops improve food security for those who can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods.

Speaking of giant organic gourmet stores, be sure to check out this excellent Guardian piece by business journalist Mark Gunther, who explores the unintended environmental consequences of GMO hysteria. The issues Gunther raises would be much more constructive to debate than some of the zombie myths anti-biotech activists shamelessly perpetuate.

Speaking of zombie myths, Dusty Smith, the raunchy internet comedian, takes them all on in a new Cult of Dusty video. It’s hilarious, but only if you don’t mind a healthy dose of George Carlin-like foul language.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Dusty Smith, select
  • mem_somerville

    That video is hilarious. I’m really impressed that some people who have been sympathetic to–or at least carried along with–the hysteria are starting to question that.

    I wish I knew what had triggered that.

  • Graham Strouts

    Yes absolutely spot-on, brilliant! Dusty is not afraid to say all the things I feel like saying but generally feel I had best not.

    “Since when do people eat cotton, you ask?
    They don’t…” not yet of course, but didnt Karl Haro von Mogel say at the CATO “debate” that there is a GE cotton coming down the line with edible seeds?

  • http://www.facebook.com/marina.poliakoff Jelena Poliakoff

    Thank You, for being rational.

  • mickjo

    I’d be interested to see any video he might have posted about climate change. Is there one?

    • Santa Who

      No. He should make one. He’ll hit on it every once in a while, he’s an Atheist cheerleader, so he’ll mention it in relation to Christian stupidity every once in a while but I have never seen a full video on it.

  • jh

    I’m makin’ me one of them T-shirts!

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Phillip Jordan

    this guy is a moron. he kept saying ‘pollinization’…

    • Susan

      Yes. For a minute I thought it was an Anti-Gmoer!

  • ronaldmsonntag

    Call me suspicious, but why is it that I have been seeing nothing but pro-GMO articles in this magazine for the last month? I thought science was supposed to be objective? Hey, Discover Magazine, would you care to publish all of your financial contributors? Just asking. I could be totally wrong.

    • Shane

      Should there be articles on creationism and flat earth theory too?

      • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Jonathan Tracey

        Sounds perfect!

  • Susan

    I am smirking a bit about the man quoting Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Groupuscule/GMO

    • mem_somerville

      OMG, that is the worst misinterpretation of the science I have seen. I’m glad someone is proposing deletion. The Institute of Medicine is a “low quality” source?

      Now I’m smirking too. Thanks.

      • Susan

        You’re welcome. I know there is “broad scientific consensus” from poor Wiki sources that are amending the page. Yes there is pseudoscience being quoted here.

        • mem_somerville

          It’s stunningly clueless. How did you come across that wiki page of Groupuscle? It’s pretty obscure as well as being hilariously and tragically absurd.

          • Susan

            You’re always good for a laugh…always

        • mem_somerville

          Ha ha–and now it’s certified crankery. GMWatch has cited it. http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14908

  • Mr X

    Follow the money — what really terrifies Monsanto is Chinese guts in the next ten to fifteen years choosing Russian non GMO grain fed beef over American GMO corn fed beef.

    http://www.aeonmagazine.com/be

    The above article presents some pretty strong evidence that it’s the food supply chain — whether hi fructose corn getting into everything processed in North America, GMO corn/soybeans as monocrops across much of North America etc. rather than just sedentary lifestyles or excessive portions that’s making human beings fatter than ever.

    And non-human pet animals like rats aren’t exempt either. Something is going on at the genetic or molecular level here [to account for the increasing obesity across the board].

    As for the determination to defend GMOs often exhibited by Discover or Skeptic et al, I often wonder how aware they are of just how large the non-GMO grains crop is outside of North America. Principally Russia, Ukraine and Kazahkstan barring a new mini Ice Age stand to outcompete Monsanto in the vast East Asian meat and grains markets. Meaning that Monsanto is increasingly desperate because they understand an affluent Chinese or Indian is more likely to pick the meat or product labelled non GMO than they are the GMO product. Just because Monsanto can magically swing plebiscites that were trending 60% plus against them in California and block labelling in the U.S. doesn’t mean they aren’t losing market share to labelling and non-GMO competitors everywhere else.

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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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