Americans demand mandatory food labels for DNA


Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.

We are doomed: A new survey has found that more than 80 percent of Americans support the idea of requiring labels on any foods that contain DNA.

If the government does impose mandatory labeling on foods containing DNA, perhaps the label might look something like this: “WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.”

I truly fear for the future, not so much because so many people haven’t the slightest idea what DNA is, but because so many people are so eager to force food labeling (or any other regulation you can think of) on others at the slightest whim.

Share

22 comments

  • Cotour

    I was trying to think of a quote that I was not happy with that came from Ted Cruz and it was related to food labeling and GMO foods.

    ““We need to stand up to the hysteria,” Cruz said in discussing genetically modified foods. “For families, for parents, that don’t want to feed their kids GMOs, in the private marketplace, there has grown up an abundant market. You can go and purchase organic, if you want to pay more …We shouldn’t let anti-science zealotry shut down the ability to produce low-cost, quality food for billions across the globe.”

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/cruz-global-warming-gm-food-labeling-115857.html#ixzz3TpnAzIJS

    The minimizing of the issue of genetically modified foods by contriving through some trick public survey interview is a tactic to confuse. The following logic to that is, because 80 % of the public may think that DNA is a dangerous chemical and it in fact is what is the code for our very existence that its perfectly OK to genetically modify and eat that food. I do not agree with that, that is BS.

    I do not believe that the labeling of genetically modified produce through DNA manipulation that keys different produce DNA to work at the genetic level with certain chemicals and those chemicals are meant to kill insects through their ingesting that modified produce as being unreasonable. There are some interesting study’s on the subject and how it effects human beings.

    People have the right to know what they are eating, lets not get on this band wagon so fast and claim it to be an emotional liberal over reacting.

  • Pzatchok

    the more people I get to know the more I tend to agree with this surveys outcome.

    80% of the people in the world are ignorant.

    Personally I eat no food without DNA in it. Its just not like mom used to make without it.

  • Cotour

    There is something more to think about over and above some Jimmy Kimmel type survey about DNA and GMO, thats politics and big business disguised as comedy, not science. That is a big Ted Cruz red flag to me.

    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/06/dr-huber-gmo-foods.aspx

  • Cotour

    Oklahoma Sate University does a survey and finds that 80% of people are confused about or don’t know what DNA is. How many knew what GMO was? How many knew what or if they had a uvula? How many of you reading this know if you have or what a uvula is? 20%?

    http://www.agfuture.org/s/1342/index.aspx?sid=1342&gid=1&pgid=339

    I suggest we follow the money before jumping on the Jimmy Kimmel science band wagon. Big corporations fund Big and small universities, you can fill in the details.

  • You are missing the point again. The issue here is not genetically modified foods. Nor is it the ignorance of the public, though that is a cause for concern.

    My point and real concern is the nonchalant willingness of 80% of the American population to impose rules on everyone else, even when they know almost nothing about the subject. How can we have even the slightest amount of freedom in such an oppressive culture?

    We can’t. Freedom is dying, and this survey illustrates that.

  • Robert

    Right on. Most would bicker with the surface issue and never bother with the more important fundamental. That too is a sign of our lost intellect.

  • I’m doomed. Not only is my body full of DNA, but I regularly consume dihydrogen oxide.

  • To be fair, the meaning is genetically modified DNA, not just DNA. OBVIOUSLY, there are cases that if you modified the DNA of an organism then it would become toxic for humans to eat. So there needs to be some testing process to confirm the modifications are safe.

    Bob Clark

  • IaChops

    There already is a testing process to confirm the modifications are safe. That is what the FDA, EPA and USDA do already. The products that might get such a label are already approved by these federal agencies as safe.

  • Cotour

    I do not miss your points, you usually make very good points, I don’t always totally agree with you and how you make them. I think that when you make your points with a very generalized and wrap around kind of an argument it is too simplified and implies that the issue is of a singular nature.

    To point out the ongoing stupidification of the American public this purposefully confusing by design kind of Ag university survey / study example IMO is not the way. This is an important issue and you seem to be willing to take the results of what has to be a biased and contrived “study” as being non biased and indicative.

    While your point about peoples willingness to demand labels on things is one issue, but mash it together with other more important issues and the importance of the other issues goes away and the labeling issue appears to be the primary concern.

  • Cotour

    You might have better results with JD 7 with 40% alcohol, instead of your usual DNA supplemented with Dihydrogen oxide, if you in fact are doomed, its a better way to go.

  • wodun

    “the other issues goes away and the labeling issue appears to be the primary concern.”

    I would feel more comfortable if the anti-agriculture crowd knew anything about the history of agriculture or even the tiniest bit about how farming is actually done.

    We have been genetically modifying crops since the advent of agriculture and if you count domesticating animals, even earlier.

  • wodun

    “My point and real concern is the nonchalant willingness of 80% of the American population to impose rules on everyone else,”

    It is just the leftist ideological impulse to regulate everything, they don’t even need to know any details because regulation is always viewed good. Part of it is reflexive tribalism, siding with those they view as their tribe. You see it with the man on the street interviews where people support any crazy position if the interviewer prefaces it by labeling it an Obama proposal.

    While I often see this done to Democrats, I wonder how people on the right would respond in similar scenarios. The dynamic isn’t necessarily ideological, it is a human trait and as such all humans are prone to it.

  • Cotour

    I think to put a finer point on it WE have been genetically modifying plants through a process of selecting for desired characteristics, that has been going on for thousands of years but not by modifying the DNA of a plant by cutting out a piece of it and splicing in DNA from another source, whether it be plant, animal or insect.

    Two very, very different things I would think. And as I understand it, Round-Up works with seeds specifically modified in this way with certain DNA that effects the gut of the insects that would eat the plants.

  • Cotour

    What do you know, Jimmy has had his team of “science researchers” drill down on the GMO issue : http://youtu.be/EzEr23XJwFY

    Label NAZIsm aside I think this guys comment sums up what can be the ultimate take away from the “study” and essentially makes the point of this DNA labeling story post.

    “Dr Emilio LizardoRobbie Gonzalez 1/18/15 11:22am

    I think that they didn’t just prove that 80% of Americans are scientifically illiterate; we sort of knew that already and Somin gives a competent defense of it. What they really proved is that it is easy to manipulate people who don’t know jack about a topic to make them believe whatever the hell you want to believe and that is much, much more frightening. Because then we ask those people who have no clue what they are talking about to make binding decisions about the very things they know nothing about, so the decision is influenced more by PR firms than facts.”

  • Max

    Mothers can pass DNA onto their children? Imagine that. Next thing you know they’ll be modifying the AIDS virus to carry genetic material to change DNA and RNA !
    The place such a label should be placed first is on the immunization shots and flu shots. Monkey DNA and chicken DNA injected directly into the bloodstream causes autoimmune problems. (if you are allergic to eggs, a flu shot could kill you)
    This is why they would like to put human DNA to pigs so that they can transplant hearts from pigs directly to humans without antirejection drugs. (growing a new heart with stem cells from the patient and a 3-D printer seems to be working better than anything else they’ve tried yet)
    Breeding is harmless and rarely results in anything harmful other then to the Results of the breeding. (shorter lifespan, mean temper, back and joint problems)
    Gene splicing on the other hand creates a whole new class of life form, and whether it’s poisonous or not is anybody’s guess. They tried to create a tomato that can withstand the cold by splicing in a gene from a fish in the Arctic that has a natural anti-freeze in the blood.
    They gene-spliced some fungus in a lab in New Zealand, the fungus walked out of the lab.
    In Hawaii where Monsanto genetically modified foods are created, the cancer rates and death rates are unusually high near the farms. A petition by the natives to remove them from the islands was gaining so much ground that an executive of Monsanto had to be appointed by the president to be over the FDA. (it’s okay, we can trust him…)(that’s sarcasm)
    Anything you modify to be poisonous to bugs is also poisonous to humans. The rule of thumb for farmers is that if the bugs and animals don’t eat it, neither should you.
    It is said that one half of all the pesticides created are sprayed on the cotton crop. Since it’s not a food item, no one cares. Unfortunately they started putting cottonseed oil in foods as an additive like coffee creamer. More people are allergic to Cotton clothes now than ever before.
    The point is “unintended consequences”.

    As to Roberts point of the dumbing down of America and doing what’s popular rather than what is smart, is of great concern. It seems that people will believe anything they are told.
    For example, the belief that cows making methane is harming our planet. It is not true in the least but do they consider that the hay and grass the cows do not eat will rot on the ground just like the tree leaves and turn in to methane anyway? Cows take a product that we cannot utilize and turn it into food for humans to consume. A perfect symbiotic relationship.
    Or the destruction of the ozone? To destroy ozone you must first remove what ozone is made of (oxygen) and what creates it (sunlight). As long as you have these two ingredients, ozone will always be present. The excuse they used to ban chlorofluorocarbons was that it would break down and release Chlorine that would accelerate the destruction of ozone back to oxygen.
    It’s ridiculous of course, and obscene that they would ban a product so a substitute would need to be used so the company could continue to make billions in profits. And yet no concern for the free chlorine in washing machines, pools, drinking water, or that salts in the ocean, when broken down, release free chlorine. (chlorofluorocarbon is a very heavy molecule and very stable. High temperature is needed to break it apart. If you could get this molecule, that is many times heavier than air, to float into the ionosphere were intense radiation can break it apart, then make it fall back down to the ozone layer, there to do it’s magical damage.)
    Yes, people believe this Fairy tale and passed laws. To this day it is a $10,000 fine to knowingly release refrigerant to the atmosphere. (unless you have asthma and use an inhaler)
    FYI, there are pictures from the space station of the night time sky giving up its energy of ozone and nitrous oxide and reverting back to their natural form. The sky glows green at night.
    I bet most of you can also think of a great many junk science examples.

  • IaChops

    Cotour, “Round-Up Ready” seeds do not have anything to do with affecting the guts of insects.

    Round-Up is a herbicide. Seeds genetically modified to be “Round-Up Ready” have been modified to overexpress (make more) of a naturally occurring plant amino acid metabolic enzyme. This overcomes the effect of the Round-Up herbicide and so allows the crop plant to survive a herbicide spray whereas the weeds do not. There is no toxin made by the modified DNA or other organism DNA in Round-Up Ready crops.

  • Cotour

    IaCops:

    Thanks for the clarification, I remember hearing in an interview that Round-up worked in the insect gut, Round-up ready makes the plant resistant to the Round-up, if I have it clear.

    If you have some expertise on the subject, am I correct that because the plants are a result of the hybridization or DNA manipulation, the seeds that the plants produce are sterile so if you become a Round-up farmer you are committed to buying all of your seed exclusively from Monsanto?

    And there are instances where when the fields of non Round-up farmers adjacent to Round-up farmers become cross infected with the Round-up ready seeds Monsanto brings legal action against those farmers?

    Monsanto = God?

    And how many plant species are they looking to exclusively own?

  • IaChops

    Cotour,

    Yes, Round-Up Ready seeds makes the plant resistant to the herbicide Round-Up. No more, no less.

    Round-Up ready corn plants are hybrid plants using traditional (non-genetically modified) to give most of the usual agronomic traits (disease resistance, yield, etc.. = hybrid vigor) as well as DNA manipulation for the Round-Up resistant trait. There may separately be DNA manipulation for other traits such as corn root worm resistance (the expressed Bt toxin affects the insect gut as you said before). But, they are separate processes that may or may not be combined with Round-Up Ready trait depending on the seed variety.

    The corn plants are not sterile. If you plant the Round-Up Ready seed you will get wimpier corn plants due to the loss of the hybrid vigor. This has nothing to do with the Round-Up Ready technology. You would also be violating the technology agreement signed when purchased new seed. About 10% of USA corn is non-GMO. But almost all of that is still hybrid seed so you probably wouldn’t want to save the seed and plant that either…

    Soybeans are different….

  • Max

    It is poison plain and simple. The plants treated with Roundup will die, those plants that are Roundup resistant come close to death. They need twice as much water but the harvest is sometimes less than half. Their mineral uptake is so poor that the plants are yellow and weak. Animals fed this food need supplements because of the lack of necessary minerals and nutrients. Farmers love the GMO corn because mice and raccoons won’t touch it. Good bacteria like in your gut won’t survive, but bad organisms and disease feed off the stuff.
    If you compare DDT to round up, Roundup is 1000 times worse. No long-term study has ever been done, but Europe has done their own studies and have baned it out right. China is on its way to banning GMO.
    There is even a new prion type life form that grows on GMO foods and has been linked to many illnesses and spontaneous abortions/stillborns. China is worried because they’re experiencing the same thing on their imported GMO foods and is causing problems there. This life form does not have DNA or RNA ! It closely resembles mad cow disease.
    Comparison study of pigs and cows who eat GMO foods has shown that premature aging has occurred as well as tumors and inflammation of the stomach and bowels. It is said that those who eat this food will shorten your lifespan and that the children that are raised on it will not live as long as their parents. And probably won’t have children themselves.

  • Max

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j42Iyh-MOXA

    The best explanation of what round up and GMO foods are. If you can’t watch the whole thing, skip to the end where the best and most damaging information is given.
    You’ll never eat GMO foods again.

  • Edward

    Max,

    I disagree with you on a couple of points.

    1) GMO

    This is a fascinating topic. Somehow, people are concerned when scientists carefully and scientifically modify genes, but when farmers willy nilly cross species or breed species for specific traits, that is OK. Worse, no one seems to be concerned that even naturally occurring foods (e.g. wild blackberries) undergo random mutations. This latter case is euphemistically called “evolution,” and no one worries whether the natural foods become poisonous from such random mutations. Indeed, they seem to prefer the randomly mutated natural foods — where is the call for warning labels?

    Yet careful, well thought out and tested breeding *does* require a label?

    And what about the random mutations that occur after the farmer has finished his willy nilly breeding?

    2) Poisoning insects.

    There are poisons that are specifically aimed at insects yet do not harm humans. This is possible and is routinely done. Just because one species of life is harmed by one poison does not mean that all are, and this need not even apply within classes of living things. I have forgotten the plant, but a cow can eat a plant that is poisonous to humans, but the cow is not poisoned — however, the milk produced by the cow becomes poisonous to humans.

    Since poisons can be specific as harmful to one family but not another (within a class), it is not as hard as you think it is to poison insects without harming humans.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *