Vicki Keller of the Health Seeker blog sent me a link to an interesting documentary about genetically modified foods and the possible negative effects they’re having on our health.  The filmmaker is putting the film, Genetic Roulette, on YouTube for free viewing for one week only.  So if you want to see it, now’s your chance.  Let me know what you think.

Share
64 Responses to “Genetic Roulette – Documentary About GM Food”
  1. Dave Sill says:

    Two points for Vicki Keller:

    First, there’s really no way to prove the safety of a product. You can test it for various potential hazards, but there’s no exhaustive list of all of the ways in which something can be harmful. Of course it’s a good idea to conduct tests, but just because a food passes a few tests one shouldn’t assume that it’s been proven safe…believed to be safe would be a better way to phrase it.

    Secondly, the French GMO corn/rat study has been pretty well debunked. They used a line of rats that are known for developing tumors–they’re used primarily for testing anti-tumor drugs.

  2. The points made here about this documentary not offering conclusive evidence of GMO’s harmful effects are valid. There simply hasn’t been enough research to prove conclusively that GMOs are harmful. At the same time, due to a variety of unsavory influences, there hasn’t been enough research to prove that they’re harmless, either.

    I wonder how the debate would sound if we were discussing a medication that had undergone so little safety testing and correlates, even speculatively, with so many instances of harm. In the eyes of the typical consumer, there seems to be an aura of legitimacy that surrounds anything called “food,” no matter how it is produced, thus shifting the burden of proof to those who claim harm.

    Even in the absence of scientific certainty, I’m compelled by the limited research that has been performed, and by the many anecdotal reports of harm, to act on the side of caution and avoid GMOs altogether.

    Like I observe on my blog, the question isn’t whether GMOs are harmful. The question is which group do we want to be in, the experimental group or the control group?

    For me, the answer is simple: there is simply no compelling reason to be in the experimental group.

    My sentiments exactly.

  3. Will Hui says:

    The claims made in this documentary (and the associated book) are debunked here:

    http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/

  4. J. Smitts says:

    Tom, if you hate GMO foods, would be cool with the estimated 2 billion people that would starve if we no longer had any genetically modified foods. It’s cool though, you’re a libertarian, so you don’t care about anyone that past your doomstead property line.

    The definition of a libertarian is someone who believes government force and the threat of government violence should be limited to protecting people against violence and fraud. So apparently, your definition of a person who cares about others is someone who favors using government force and the threat of government violence against people who aren’t attempting to harm or defraud others.

    Yeah, if only I were a nice guy like that …

    My definition of a caring person is someone who chooses to help others voluntarily, not someone who votes to give away his neighbor’s property and then pats himself on the back for being so generous.

  5. Victoria says:

    An interesting article on the effects of cloning cocoa and the poor results the farmers have had from these cloned crops.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/science/7821389/Frankentrees-cocoa-cloning-goes-bad

  6. J. Smitts says:

    Congrats on avoiding my initial question. Would be OK with 2 billion people starving to death if we no longer grow GM crops?

    p.s. I saw a YouTube clip of your ‘roast’ on the low carb cruise. You’re not that funny of a stand up comic. Sorry to burst your bubble.

    1) I don’t accept that the premise of your question is necessarily true. How do you know 2 billion people would die without GM crops?

    2) If people would starve without GM crops, that doesn’t mean they’re good for us, it doesn’t mean those of us who have a choice should be eating them, and it doesn’t mean Monsanto should be bullying farmers into growing them.

    3) Nothing cracks me up more than someone who probably couldn’t get a gig repeating knock-knock jokes to kindergartners thinking he’ll wound a standup comedian who actually made a living at it by saying “You’re not funny.” It’s like hearing some little weenie of a sports fan yell to a professional athlete, “You suck!” Humor is subjective. Stupid people, for example, don’t find cerebral comedians funny but think Gallagher is hilarious. I had a friend who insisted The Seinfeld Show wasn’t funny. When my parents watched Monty Python, my mom roared and my dad barely chuckled. That’s the humor biz. So I don’t really give a rat’s ass about your opinion of my standup. The bookers who hired me over and over for comedy clubs and cruise ships thought I was funny, and unlike yours, their opinion actually had value.

  7. Rebecca says:

    If there were no GMO foods farmers would actually have to WORK. Not only that but there would be more local farmers and those are the people we want to encourage. I support my local farmers market it is those foods that should be sold in our grocery stores not Monsanto GMO bullshit and food flown in from Mexico!!

    Farmers managed before GMO’s and they certainly would manage with out them. Now for the billions starving in the non industrialized world aren’t they still starving? Even with all the rice and corn given to them; wonderful diet by the way. If your sooo keen on helping the starving why not give them QUALITY food or teach them how to grow and cultivate their own crops! Oh but we can’t do that. Instead of teaching them good health practices lets force them to be dependent on our help.

    Shipping our cheap, subsidized crops overseas has also put many local farmers there out of business. They can’t compete with below-cost food.

  8. To accept that two billion people would starve to death without gmo food is to assert that two billion people are currently living on, or downstream in the food chain from, gmo food.

    Joel Salatin has given a particularly compelling argument on how much food could really be grown on well maintained, intensively managed pastures instead of o0ur current monoculture, open-air grain manufacturing operations.

    Cheers

  9. Nowhereman says:

    “Shipping our cheap, subsidized crops overseas has also put many local farmers there out of business. They can’t compete with below-cost food.”

    The problem has never really been that more food needs to be grown (the documentary makes this clear, but doesn’t go into details), it’s getting the food to where it’s needed.

    It doesn’t help when even if we do ship food to a place that genuinely needs it because the infrastructure is totally trashed, it then gets intercepted by a penny-ante dictator or warlords, who then give it to their thugs. Either that or it sits in a warehouse on a dock because everyone is too scared to move it out into the areas due to said warlords and criminals, and or government corruption and mismanagement.

    Exactly. Name a country where people are starving, and you’re almost certainly naming a country run by a dictator or suffering from a centrally-controlled economy … or both.

  10. DJ says:

    J. Smitts: So instead of letting 2 billion people starve, your best suggestion is to feed them something that may kill them slowly instead? What a great suggestion! But since they didn’t starve, we can pat ourselves on the back for saving them from starvation and completely ignore the fact we killed them with heart disease / diabetes / etc.

    I though people like yourself weren’t all for prolonging suffering…

  11. Nina says:

    Thanks for posting this.

    Beware of complacency about the situation in Europe. Tony Blair was a great advocate of GMO crops and wanted to override concerns about their introduction in the UK. It was the major supermarkets which told governments of consumer resistance. However, we still have to be alert for sneaky ways of getting them through as ingredients in processed food. Our food labelling was relaxed under Blair.

    Nina

  12. Frank says:

    If GMOs are OK, why are the heads of state “adamant” about eating “organic”.
    Do they know something the rest of us don’t ?

  13. Be honest, if you value your life would you eat GM foods after watching the documentary. Thanks for the great work

  14.  
Leave a Reply