Photo of the day

From the Telegraph animal photos of the week:

A Chinese zoo have adopted a rooster that walks standing up straight like a human being. The standing-up rooster was born on a farm in Lixin, eastern China's Anhui Province, three years ago. According to vets it probably suffered from osteochondrosis, which stops normal bone growth, at birth, which forced it to walk upright.
A Chinese zoo have adopted a rooster that walks standing up straight like a human being. The standing-up rooster was born on a farm in Lixin, eastern China’s Anhui Province, three years ago. According to vets it probably suffered from osteochondrosis, which stops normal bone growth, at birth, which forced it to walk upright.  Picture: HAP/Quirky China News/REX
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The problem with anti-GMO

Great Atlantic article by Molly Ball on the politics of GMO labeling.  You won’t be surprised to know that I’m with agribusiness (and a tiny minority of the public) on this one in thinking that GMO labeling should not be required.  I found a nice CBS/NYT poll* from 2013 that had a lot of GMO questions, and as I said, I’m in a very small minority:

GMO2

But here’s the thing, as has been discussed many times by me and my commenters, there are significant threats from GMO’s– but they are almost all about threats to the environment, not threats to human health from eating GMO’s (which you probably already did today if you had any processed food).   Here’s Ball:

Though opposition to GMOs has its roots in the liberal environmental movement, an increasing number of environmental writers and thinkers have begun to take the industry’s side in the debate, pointing to an overwhelming scientific consensus—based on hundreds of independent, non-industry-funded, peer-reviewed, long-range studies—that GMOs are safe. The scariest recent study, which claimed that GMOs caused tumors in rats, was the work of a rogue laboratory in France whose findings have been widely debunked. The National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, the U.K.’s Royal Society, the European Commission, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have all sought to weigh GMOs’ purported risks, and found that there is no evidence they are dangerous.

But, alas, this is exactly what scares people about GMO’s, as seen on this poll question (safe to say we can combine “not safe to eat” and “cause health problems.”  Now, if the anti-GMO movement was largely about the environment, I’d be a heck of a lot more sympathetic.  But, as you can see, this represents a small portion (13%) of GMO fears.

GMO

Now, here’s the thing… We don’t label food based on how bad it’s production is for the environment.  Heck, if we did that, our packages would look very different.  In fact, I suspect if people knew more they be rightly horrified by a lot of big agribusiness practices of “normal” food.  So, as long as GMO’s are not about health– as the scientific consensus tells us– that they have no place being on food labels.  And, if the scientific consensus doesn’t mean much to you, where are you on global warming?

 

*CBS News Poll, Jan, 2013. Retrieved May-20-2014 from the iPOLL Databank, The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut. http://www.ropercenter.uconn.edu/data_access/ipoll/ipoll.html
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