Genetic Roulette – Documentary About GM Food

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.


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128 thoughts on “Genetic Roulette – Documentary About GM Food

  1. Jes

    You know, from a paranoid conspiracy theorist standpoint, (Which I’m usually not, really.) maybe our government sees these fertility reducing, sickness inducing foods as a way to keep the population growth down. It also simultaneously promotes the agribusiness, pharmaceutical, medical, weight-loss and legal industries.

    Eating is becoming so complicated any more that I almost want to pull a Tom Naughton and buy a small farm somewhere, so I can grow my own food.

    Don’t forget about the disc golf too. You’ll need some form of amusement while watching the plants grow.

    Reply
  2. Clark R

    I’m not convinced that GMOs are all that bad. It seems today that literally everything can lead to cancer or other bad things, so why are GMOs so bad in comparison? GMOs are responsible to driving food costs down (which is good) by creating fast growing, disease immune, anti-pest plants that are basically immortal. If we stopped using those, food prices would skyrocket and bust a hole through the roof of the graph, and people are already paying in limbs and sexual favors to get food on the plate as it is. I believe they should be regulated, and certain practices should be outlawed, but removing them altogether would be silly.

    We don’t know the health effects of GMO foods. That’s the issue. I’m not going to start jumping up and down and screaming that GMO foods are killing us after watching one documentary, but I agree with their point that the FDA shouldn’t have ignored its own scientists and declared those foods safe without actually knowing if they’re safe. Nor should our government (or any government) apply pressure on universities and other research centers to stifle scientists who say those foods aren’t safe. Nor should our government subsidize GMO crops or any other crops. Nor should our government beat up on small farmers who compete with the Big Ag concerns.

    So I’d start by getting the government out of the equation.

    Reply
  3. Denny

    I agree with a lot of the comments regarding the science and the scare tactics of this movie. While I, personally, don’t know the true causes of the diseases we as humans face, I think this film does ask some good questions. It could be possible to get to the good science by using the scare tactics (starting point?)

    I definitely don’t believe correlation equals causation, but why not just eat whole, non-GMO foods just to be safe? There are too many questions, adequately pointed out in the documentary, surrounding GMO foods that one should be wary until the science is available to support or refute the arguments.

    I also agree with Tom. I don’t believe the giant corporations are inherently evil. That said, I believe Monsanto is very evil, not necessarily for genetically modifying foods but for the extremely heavy handed tactics used against farmers and their incestuous relationship with government agencies. I also agree that the small farmers should be able to sue Monsanto for polluting the other farmer’s fields with their GMO crap.

    Perhaps Gary Taubes new venture will take on the science of GMO at some point in the future.

    All good points. The bottom line for me is that we don’t know for sure if these foods are damaging people or not. We ought to know, but we don’t. So until we do, I’d rather avoid them.

    Reply
  4. Loweeel

    Tom, I agree with you pretty close to 100%, but there are some ironies about posting this here. (I largely agree with Justin Ross’s take on this).

    First of all is the juxtaposition with the previous post, about Dr. Davis and Wheat Belly. As a libertarian, and a smart guy, you know that in the real world, the tradeoff is not between something and an ideal, but between it and the next best alternative.

    As Dr. Davis details in Wheat Belly, it’s not like scientists weren’t modifying genes prior to the advent of GMO. Rather, they were doing so through massive doses of radiation and other mutagens to artificially induce random variety in plants. (This is, for example, how modern varieties of wheat were developed, and Dr. Davis makes a persuasive case about changes to the gluten proteins from this “nuke the genome” method contributing to the rise in celiac diseasde).

    So all the fuss about GMO labeling and GMO being evil just creates additional incentive to go back to this less-scientific, far-less precise method.

    Second, there’s the irony in the title of the documentary. It’s precisely the OLD random practices that are roulette — they’re completely random. You don’t know if there are changes, where those changes will be, whether they’ll be dominant or recessive, or what those changes are. It would take a gene sequencer to just to identify what the changes are, and a full haplotype map to even attempt to figure out how they’ll affect the overall organism.

    Modern GMO, by contrast, focuses on specific genes and replaces them with other genes whose functions are largely, if not entirely known. They know where to look for the changes, and are actually engaging in science.

    To go back to the radiation analogy that’s so apt for the old method of artificially inducing variety, the old way is like nuking a city, the new way is like using radiation to target a particular tumor in a particular person. You know what you’re doing, what you’re targeting, the dose is calibrated, and have a pretty good idea of what the results — both good and bad — will be. It’s a controlled experiment, not random chaos.

    (As for the terrible bill in California, check out Jonathan Adler’s legal analysis of how it violates the First Amendment — http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/how-not-to-label-biotech-foods ; and see why the Natural Products association opposes the bill — http://www.npainfo.org/NPA/Advocacy/Get_the_Facts_about_Prop_37.aspx . If you take a look at the text, you’ll see that it really is incredibly poorly drafted, and is nothing but a giveaway for ambulance-chasing lawyers — for example, wine grapes sold as grapes or raisins or vinegar have to be listed as “genetically engineered” because they’re grafted on the rootstock of a different grape species.)

    It’s a tricky issue. That’s why I wanted to post the documentary and start a discussion about it.

    Here’s a quote from the article you linked that I consider the meat of the issue as far as the First Amendment goes:

    “But so long as there is no difference in a product itself that could adversely affect the uninformed consumer, and no outright deception or fraud in its labeling, there is no reason for government intervention in labeling.”

    Can GMO foods adversely affect the uninformed consumer? We don’t know, because the FDA doesn’t seem interested in finding out, and Monsanto sure as shootin’ isn’t interested in finding out. If a brewery sells cans of beer that actually have a bit of formaldehyde in them, I wouldn’t consider it a violation of the First Amendment to require them to put that on the label. I’d consider that a fair use of regulatory power to ensure that consumers are engaging in voluntary, informed exchanges.

    Reply
  5. Vicki Keller

    The point that the science is weak is my point exactly! Do the studies and prove that Genetic Engineering food is safe to consume. We want them and the maker of Genetic Roulette would welcome them, in fact, we should demand them. DO THE STUDIES AND PROVE THE SAFETY.

    One researcher wrote “It should be up to corporations to prove the safety of their products, not the burden of the public to prove harm”. “An open, scientific inquiry into the effects of GMO’s is the minimum we can demand — if the industry can stand behind their products, such an inquiry ought to be welcome.”

    The documentary took what evidence we have and shows it the best it can because sadly, we don’t have the proof of safety. They want the science to be done, that’s their point.

    It is really sad that we have not had long-term studies performed and a deceptive and dishonest company like Monsanto makes it extremely difficult to even conduct a study and hasn’t proven safety of their product on their dime either. The first long term study is the one mentioned above done in France. It took them a year to procure the feed to conduct the study because Monsanto doesn’t want us to know GMO’s are now showing to be toxic.

    The Genetic Mutations that occur when creating a GMO seed has unpredictable reactions and studies show they cause your own DNA to turn on genetic expressions based on the GM food’s genetic programming. Watch this report on a medical journal cell research – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T-IJikX1144

    Agreed. I thought the documentary relied on some weak evidence as supposed proof that these foods are causing harm, but the foods also haven’t been proven safe, which is where I thought the film scored its strongest points. Something is wrong when the FDA says it’s up to Monsanto to assure the food is safe and Monsanto says that’s the FDA’s job.

    Reply
  6. Lori

    Food allergies don’t necessarily have anything to do with GMOs. When I was a baby in 1969, there was no formula I could tolerate. As a kid, I had severe hay fever and took allergy shots for years. Once in the 70s, I was shucking corn, and a few minutes after I rubbed my eyes, they swelled shut. All this was years before GMO foods hit the market.

    The insecticide that splits open insects sounds scary until you recall that soapy water kills various insects and mites. Without knowing how the insecticide works, it’s hard to say what its effect on humans or gut bacteria really is.

    The people in the video who rave about a non-GMO diet are likely cutting out a lot of junk food from their diet (chips, soda, sweets, snack foods, cereal and bread) and replacing it with more nutritious food. That alone will bring an improvement for some people. (Going on a mostly paleo diet has made me practically allergy free. I eat popcorn now and then without a problem.)

    I don’t know whether GMOs are good on the whole. I’d rather see more integrated pest management, more traditional ranching and livestock growing, and less monocrops of problematic foods with little nutrition.

    Yup, there are too many variables involved to pin all the blame on one of them. Personally, I suspect the GMO foods are damaging to at least some degree, but I’d rather see people give up bread and cereal completely as opposed to looking for non-GMO versions of them.

    Reply
  7. Vicki Keller

    The World According To Monsanto – http://youtu.be/6VEZYQF9WlE

    There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic.

    Chemical Companies are buying up Natural Seed Companies and a very high rate. Why?

    The contamination of GMO (whether you understand or believe it’s risks) is spreading to ALL crops through wind and pollen. This film shows what there intentions are and OUR government role in allowing them to put an untested food source that IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT into our food without giving us the option to opt out. How can you control a study, when you don’t know whose eating what? That, I believe, is their intention.

    I’m as worried about their goal of controlling (with the help of government) the food supply as much as anything else.

    Reply
  8. Ricardo

    What about meats with Preservative like Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Phosphates are those a concern as well. People consider it processed meat because of the added chemicals. I personally would go organic but i cant afford it.

    I worry less about nitrates than I do about putting altered strands of DNA in my body.

    Reply
  9. Vicki Keller

    Monsanto says its up to the Organic Farmer to ensure their farm does not become contaminated by their GMO patented seed and will sue farmers.

    I guess the wind and pollentation doesn’t read the signs of which farm is Organic and which one isn’t. Who contaminated who? Who is the newest introduction to farming?

    http://youtu.be/sx4Dud0othY
    http://youtu.be/Ppumc3iavzI
    http://youtu.be/wC3yteAC9nk

    We are eating DNA which is information that is shown to trigger DNA signalling in our bodies turning on DNA within our bodies. It alters our Gut Bacteria.

    It does enter our human bodies and in the umbilical cord of the unborn fetus shown in this study – http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/toxin-from-gm-crops-found-in-human-blood/1/137728.html

    I watched the Gary Null documentary last night as well. I don’t know how extensive the damage from eating GMO foods is or isn’t, but I’d rather not roll the dice.

    Reply
  10. Craig

    We’ve added so many new, unnatural foods to the American diet in the past 100 years that it is hard to single out any one culprit for the rise in chronic disease. Meanwhile we have an industry built around telling people they need replace more and more of the natural foods in their diets with industrial junk. If you want to find artificial chicken nuggets made from GMO soy beans, breaded with mutant hybrid wheat and fried in rancid GMO vegetable oils the place to look for them is the “health food” aisle at your grocery store.

    Reply
  11. Denny

    I agree with a lot of the comments regarding the science and the scare tactics of this movie. While I, personally, don’t know the true causes of the diseases we as humans face, I think this film does ask some good questions. It could be possible to get to the good science by using the scare tactics (starting point?)

    I definitely don’t believe correlation equals causation, but why not just eat whole, non-GMO foods just to be safe? There are too many questions, adequately pointed out in the documentary, surrounding GMO foods that one should be wary until the science is available to support or refute the arguments.

    I also agree with Tom. I don’t believe the giant corporations are inherently evil. That said, I believe Monsanto is very evil, not necessarily for genetically modifying foods but for the extremely heavy handed tactics used against farmers and their incestuous relationship with government agencies. I also agree that the small farmers should be able to sue Monsanto for polluting the other farmer’s fields with their GMO crap.

    Perhaps Gary Taubes new venture will take on the science of GMO at some point in the future.

    All good points. The bottom line for me is that we don’t know for sure if these foods are damaging people or not. We ought to know, but we don’t. So until we do, I’d rather avoid them.

    Reply
  12. js290

    The common theme, whether GMO or HFCS, is the adulteration of our food supply. People have to inform themselves and understand how eff’d up our food supply is. Principal-agent problem…

    Reply
  13. Ruth

    Hi Tom. I’ve just recently finished reading through all of your archives. It took quite a few months, but it was very interesting. Great blog. I also saw your movie a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it immensely.

    Thank you for posting this film. I’ve sent the link along to quite a few people. I became aware of the GMO issue a couple of years ago, and have pretty much eliminated them from my diet directly, although I still buy non-organic meat and eggs which presumably come from GMO-fed animals.

    I agree with those who have stated that the film uses some scare tactics. However, huge numbers of people in North America know absolutely nothing about the existence of GMO foods, and hopefully a film like this will make some people sit up and take notice.

    I remember reading here, Tom, that you are (were?) against requiring GMO food labeling. Maybe you’ve changed your mind? I hope so.

    Yes, I’m re-thinking that issue, although I still believe information and consumer choice will ultimately make the biggest difference. Scare tactics or not, I hope the film reaches a wide audience so more people will think about the whole GMO issue.

    Reply
  14. Lori

    Food allergies don’t necessarily have anything to do with GMOs. When I was a baby in 1969, there was no formula I could tolerate. As a kid, I had severe hay fever and took allergy shots for years. Once in the 70s, I was shucking corn, and a few minutes after I rubbed my eyes, they swelled shut. All this was years before GMO foods hit the market.

    The insecticide that splits open insects sounds scary until you recall that soapy water kills various insects and mites. Without knowing how the insecticide works, it’s hard to say what its effect on humans or gut bacteria really is.

    The people in the video who rave about a non-GMO diet are likely cutting out a lot of junk food from their diet (chips, soda, sweets, snack foods, cereal and bread) and replacing it with more nutritious food. That alone will bring an improvement for some people. (Going on a mostly paleo diet has made me practically allergy free. I eat popcorn now and then without a problem.)

    I don’t know whether GMOs are good on the whole. I’d rather see more integrated pest management, more traditional ranching and livestock growing, and less monocrops of problematic foods with little nutrition.

    Yup, there are too many variables involved to pin all the blame on one of them. Personally, I suspect the GMO foods are damaging to at least some degree, but I’d rather see people give up bread and cereal completely as opposed to looking for non-GMO versions of them.

    Reply
  15. Vicki Keller

    The World According To Monsanto – http://youtu.be/6VEZYQF9WlE

    There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food, they know it — it’s strategic.

    Chemical Companies are buying up Natural Seed Companies and a very high rate. Why?

    The contamination of GMO (whether you understand or believe it’s risks) is spreading to ALL crops through wind and pollen. This film shows what there intentions are and OUR government role in allowing them to put an untested food source that IS SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT into our food without giving us the option to opt out. How can you control a study, when you don’t know whose eating what? That, I believe, is their intention.

    I’m as worried about their goal of controlling (with the help of government) the food supply as much as anything else.

    Reply
  16. js290

    The common theme, whether GMO or HFCS, is the adulteration of our food supply. People have to inform themselves and understand how eff’d up our food supply is. Principal-agent problem…

    Reply
  17. Ruth

    Hi Tom. I’ve just recently finished reading through all of your archives. It took quite a few months, but it was very interesting. Great blog. I also saw your movie a couple of years ago, and enjoyed it immensely.

    Thank you for posting this film. I’ve sent the link along to quite a few people. I became aware of the GMO issue a couple of years ago, and have pretty much eliminated them from my diet directly, although I still buy non-organic meat and eggs which presumably come from GMO-fed animals.

    I agree with those who have stated that the film uses some scare tactics. However, huge numbers of people in North America know absolutely nothing about the existence of GMO foods, and hopefully a film like this will make some people sit up and take notice.

    I remember reading here, Tom, that you are (were?) against requiring GMO food labeling. Maybe you’ve changed your mind? I hope so.

    Yes, I’m re-thinking that issue, although I still believe information and consumer choice will ultimately make the biggest difference. Scare tactics or not, I hope the film reaches a wide audience so more people will think about the whole GMO issue.

    Reply
  18. Minerva

    Denny concisely summed up many of my comments on the piece.

    The bit about Bt was an eyeopener for me as a veterinarian that sees so many dermatology cases that are food driven and has to put up with Big Pet Food defending their use of corn in so many pet foods. Its is ironic thats the Hills Pet Food has recently launched a corn free product line and a grain free product line in their OTC chain but not in their “therapeutic” chain of foods.

    Reply
  19. Bo

    Miss my tinfoil hat, now when all stuff comes out on respectable channels they don’t let me use it anymore 😉

    Jokes aside, this is very important information all humanity should be aware of, I thank you sir for linking to Jeffrey Smith’s movie.

    Reply
  20. Minerva

    Denny concisely summed up many of my comments on the piece.

    The bit about Bt was an eyeopener for me as a veterinarian that sees so many dermatology cases that are food driven and has to put up with Big Pet Food defending their use of corn in so many pet foods. Its is ironic thats the Hills Pet Food has recently launched a corn free product line and a grain free product line in their OTC chain but not in their “therapeutic” chain of foods.

    Reply
  21. Bo

    Miss my tinfoil hat, now when all stuff comes out on respectable channels they don’t let me use it anymore 😉

    Jokes aside, this is very important information all humanity should be aware of, I thank you sir for linking to Jeffrey Smith’s movie.

    Reply
  22. Bad ass bIlly gunn

    There is essentially no reason to think that genetically modified food is anymore or less harmful than “Normal” or “Natural” foods. Again it goes back to the naturalistic fallacy; just because something is found in nature, or functions a certain way in nature does not make it inherently better than that which is deemed “unnatural.”

    Not everything found in nature is good, of course, but I think there’s a very good reason to be suspicious of GMO foods. If the modification creates protein sequences our bodies don’t recognize, they’ll attack those proteins as invaders.

    Reply
  23. sapphirepaw

    The video struck me as extremely evangelical. It leans on emotions like “as a mother I’ve failed … because GMO.” When they put up the GMO-disease correlation graphs, they don’t let them linger, and they don’t go very far back in the past. The stock market has “always gone up” if you start your graph at the bottom of the last recession…

    The other big question: if going off GMO improves health *so much* within so few days, why doesn’t every farmer know this? Their livestock is their livelihood, it seems like they should have some idea if they’ve got bad feed. If Indian bulls feed on GMO plants and *all* die: why aren’t US GMO-fed animals all *dead*?

    The movie may have succeeded in its goal of “raising awareness” but I don’t really like it.

    Reply
  24. Bad ass bIlly gunn

    There is essentially no reason to think that genetically modified food is anymore or less harmful than “Normal” or “Natural” foods. Again it goes back to the naturalistic fallacy; just because something is found in nature, or functions a certain way in nature does not make it inherently better than that which is deemed “unnatural.”

    Not everything found in nature is good, of course, but I think there’s a very good reason to be suspicious of GMO foods. If the modification creates protein sequences our bodies don’t recognize, they’ll attack those proteins as invaders.

    Reply
  25. MarqueG

    As others have said, this film contains a heavy dose of activism driving the arguments. Yet one point struck me as contradictory between the beginning and end segments. When they’re talking early on about links between the start of GM agriculture and increases in various ailments (epidemiological points largely)—where some of us surely were thinking about the overlap with HFCS and the low-fat, low-cal diet—later in the film they encourage the anti-GMO activists by pointing out how many successes they’ve had around the world. Here in the US, unless I misunderstood, they managed to defeat GM wheat and potatoes.

    Well, aren’t wheat and potato products a large part of the so-called Western diet? They’re certainly two of the main ingredients of the fast-food menu: throw out the bun and fries and you’ve got the low-carb McDiet, no? Aside from sugar and HFCS, haven’t wheat and potato consumption risen since the advent of the low-fat, low-cal diet? Yet these products have remained free of genetic modification. Unless we’ve significantly increased our consumption of corn and soy generally, I’m not sure how the epidemiological stats are supposed to come from GM foods.

    Of course, only clinical studies are the ideal way to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Perhaps someone without an axe to grind can review the literature.

    (Thanks for your movie, BTW.)

    Yup, there are many variables involved here. Wheat isn’t technically a GM food because there was no gene-splicing involved, but there were chemical and other techniques used to produce semi-dwarf wheat. Even without actual gene-splicing, it’s a food that never existed until the 1970s.

    Reply
  26. Will Hui

    Hi Tom,

    To follow up on “naturalistic fallacy” train of thought, what about natural foods that a given individual has never encountered? Should I be afraid of an auto-immune response by eating bison meat, an unrecognized protein sequence? In my case, it’s quite plausible that none of my direct line of ancestors have ever consumed bison. This food would certainly be evolutionarily novel from my body’s perspective. At what point should it be considered “safe?”

    I think unrecognized proteins would have the same probability of causing harm, regardless of whether they are artificial or natural. Some food for thought.

    I doubt bison meat would contain amino acid sequences that your body wouldn’t recognize as animal protein and handle accordingly. In GMO foods, we’re talking about sequences created by inserting DNA strands from a totally different species. Again, we don’t have proof that the GMO foods are harming humans, but we should be suspicious.

    Reply
  27. sapphirepaw

    The video struck me as extremely evangelical. It leans on emotions like “as a mother I’ve failed … because GMO.” When they put up the GMO-disease correlation graphs, they don’t let them linger, and they don’t go very far back in the past. The stock market has “always gone up” if you start your graph at the bottom of the last recession…

    The other big question: if going off GMO improves health *so much* within so few days, why doesn’t every farmer know this? Their livestock is their livelihood, it seems like they should have some idea if they’ve got bad feed. If Indian bulls feed on GMO plants and *all* die: why aren’t US GMO-fed animals all *dead*?

    The movie may have succeeded in its goal of “raising awareness” but I don’t really like it.

    Reply
  28. MarqueG

    As others have said, this film contains a heavy dose of activism driving the arguments. Yet one point struck me as contradictory between the beginning and end segments. When they’re talking early on about links between the start of GM agriculture and increases in various ailments (epidemiological points largely)—where some of us surely were thinking about the overlap with HFCS and the low-fat, low-cal diet—later in the film they encourage the anti-GMO activists by pointing out how many successes they’ve had around the world. Here in the US, unless I misunderstood, they managed to defeat GM wheat and potatoes.

    Well, aren’t wheat and potato products a large part of the so-called Western diet? They’re certainly two of the main ingredients of the fast-food menu: throw out the bun and fries and you’ve got the low-carb McDiet, no? Aside from sugar and HFCS, haven’t wheat and potato consumption risen since the advent of the low-fat, low-cal diet? Yet these products have remained free of genetic modification. Unless we’ve significantly increased our consumption of corn and soy generally, I’m not sure how the epidemiological stats are supposed to come from GM foods.

    Of course, only clinical studies are the ideal way to get to the bottom of what’s going on. Perhaps someone without an axe to grind can review the literature.

    (Thanks for your movie, BTW.)

    Yup, there are many variables involved here. Wheat isn’t technically a GM food because there was no gene-splicing involved, but there were chemical and other techniques used to produce semi-dwarf wheat. Even without actual gene-splicing, it’s a food that never existed until the 1970s.

    Reply
  29. Will Hui

    Hi Tom,

    To follow up on “naturalistic fallacy” train of thought, what about natural foods that a given individual has never encountered? Should I be afraid of an auto-immune response by eating bison meat, an unrecognized protein sequence? In my case, it’s quite plausible that none of my direct line of ancestors have ever consumed bison. This food would certainly be evolutionarily novel from my body’s perspective. At what point should it be considered “safe?”

    I think unrecognized proteins would have the same probability of causing harm, regardless of whether they are artificial or natural. Some food for thought.

    I doubt bison meat would contain amino acid sequences that your body wouldn’t recognize as animal protein and handle accordingly. In GMO foods, we’re talking about sequences created by inserting DNA strands from a totally different species. Again, we don’t have proof that the GMO foods are harming humans, but we should be suspicious.

    Reply
  30. Bret

    Tom, I’ve got a question unrelated to the GMO doc. I’m sure you get this question all the time, so I apologize up front for the repetition as well as being off topic.

    I’m absolutely spellbound by all the interviews in Fat Head. Dr. Sears, Mr. Sullum, Ms. Fallon, the Drs. Eades, Dr. Oliver, Dr. Enig (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone)–I could listen to them speak for hours and hours and never need a break. I soaked up like a sponge all the bonus interviews on the Fat Head DVD as well as the clips you put on YouTube.

    Is there any more footage previously unseen? If so, are there any plans to publish/post it? I for one would love to be able to watch as much raw footage as you would be willing to provide, even if unedited. In fact, unedited might be preferable, as I’m sure the questions you asked would add to the information the experts gave.

    And as surely such a task of converting camera footage into DVD or streaming format would require time, effort, and cost, I would be willing to pay for the opportunity to watch such footage. I hesitate to speak with certainty for anyone besides myself, but I’m confident others would be so willing too.

    There was quite a bit of footage, but much of it’s repetitive. I often ask the same question more than once to give the interview subject a chance to word the answers differently. I don’t have any plans to post more of the footage, but I’ll think about going through it again and see if there’s a DVD’s worth of extra interviews in there.

    Reply
  31. Bret

    Tom, I’ve got a question unrelated to the GMO doc. I’m sure you get this question all the time, so I apologize up front for the repetition as well as being off topic.

    I’m absolutely spellbound by all the interviews in Fat Head. Dr. Sears, Mr. Sullum, Ms. Fallon, the Drs. Eades, Dr. Oliver, Dr. Enig (I’m sure I’m forgetting someone)–I could listen to them speak for hours and hours and never need a break. I soaked up like a sponge all the bonus interviews on the Fat Head DVD as well as the clips you put on YouTube.

    Is there any more footage previously unseen? If so, are there any plans to publish/post it? I for one would love to be able to watch as much raw footage as you would be willing to provide, even if unedited. In fact, unedited might be preferable, as I’m sure the questions you asked would add to the information the experts gave.

    And as surely such a task of converting camera footage into DVD or streaming format would require time, effort, and cost, I would be willing to pay for the opportunity to watch such footage. I hesitate to speak with certainty for anyone besides myself, but I’m confident others would be so willing too.

    There was quite a bit of footage, but much of it’s repetitive. I often ask the same question more than once to give the interview subject a chance to word the answers differently. I don’t have any plans to post more of the footage, but I’ll think about going through it again and see if there’s a DVD’s worth of extra interviews in there.

    Reply
  32. paddy

    I think it is a little hard to base things off of what was seen in the film. by nature things are always mutating, insects, plants, humans. its natural for things to change, they should also be considering what these subtle shifts found naturally in dna could cause in humans.

    when i was younger i heard that native americans used to alter their corn crops on a natural bases, planting 2 things together to produce different results. i dont really think it is innately a bad thing, it could be, but it seams unlikely. the human body is pretty adaptable.

    and as for the “increase” in autism, they’ve stated over and over that autism has not increased, but they’ve broadened the definition, i.e. instead of just assuming kids are weird, or “freaks” they had subtle differences in their brain that forced to seem a little weird.

    maybe they do need a lot more research, but so do a lot of things. but i still think wheat a much more credible cause for a lot of these issues.

    Cross-breeding has been around forever. Humans cross-breed plants, and so does Nature. But gene-splicing puts together combinations of DNA that would never occur in nature. That’s why people are suspicious of the technique.

    Reply
  33. paddy

    a conclusion came to mind while i went for a walk, in the beginning of the movie he said they fired a gun and implied that they were throwing that random assortment of dna into the food. is that whats happening? are they just using that as a method to get different results then using the ones that they want or seem useful and isolating the individual genes. if thats so than the dna in the gmo could be a lot more stable then implied, and might not need testing? seems like it should be considered.

    insect stomach exploding insects? is that really happening? are they using it for food? maybe research these before proclaiming truth. wheat is basically dried grass, it seems like it would be hard to eat in its natural state. processing it so it can be eaten and the side effect being damaged intestine is no real shock. that seems more likely than anything i saw in the movie…

    BT does cause insects’ stomachs to rupture. I read about that years ago in an article praising BT as a non-toxic alternative to chemical pesticides.

    Reply
  34. paddy

    I think it is a little hard to base things off of what was seen in the film. by nature things are always mutating, insects, plants, humans. its natural for things to change, they should also be considering what these subtle shifts found naturally in dna could cause in humans.

    when i was younger i heard that native americans used to alter their corn crops on a natural bases, planting 2 things together to produce different results. i dont really think it is innately a bad thing, it could be, but it seams unlikely. the human body is pretty adaptable.

    and as for the “increase” in autism, they’ve stated over and over that autism has not increased, but they’ve broadened the definition, i.e. instead of just assuming kids are weird, or “freaks” they had subtle differences in their brain that forced to seem a little weird.

    maybe they do need a lot more research, but so do a lot of things. but i still think wheat a much more credible cause for a lot of these issues.

    Cross-breeding has been around forever. Humans cross-breed plants, and so does Nature. But gene-splicing puts together combinations of DNA that would never occur in nature. That’s why people are suspicious of the technique.

    Reply
  35. paddy

    a conclusion came to mind while i went for a walk, in the beginning of the movie he said they fired a gun and implied that they were throwing that random assortment of dna into the food. is that whats happening? are they just using that as a method to get different results then using the ones that they want or seem useful and isolating the individual genes. if thats so than the dna in the gmo could be a lot more stable then implied, and might not need testing? seems like it should be considered.

    insect stomach exploding insects? is that really happening? are they using it for food? maybe research these before proclaiming truth. wheat is basically dried grass, it seems like it would be hard to eat in its natural state. processing it so it can be eaten and the side effect being damaged intestine is no real shock. that seems more likely than anything i saw in the movie…

    BT does cause insects’ stomachs to rupture. I read about that years ago in an article praising BT as a non-toxic alternative to chemical pesticides.

    Reply
  36. js290

    Actually, that’s not exactly what the “naturalistic fallacy” states. Naturalistic fallacy, as presented in the “is-ought problem” would be committed by both sides of the GMO debate. The burden of proof still lies on the side that claims GMO is safe.

    If safety is a wash, then just label it. If GMO foods are labeled as such, then suddenly the burden of proof lies with the consumer. Of course, the big fear for the GMO producers is consumers will simply reject GMO products.

    It all boils back down to the principal-agent problem. The principal (consumers) cannot depend on any agent to choose on their behalf. Each of us has to vigilant and make the best choices we can for ourselves.

    Reply
  37. Scott

    Good and alarming documentary although it’s sad to see what veganism has done to Dennis Kucinech.

    Reply
  38. Scott

    Did that guy at the end really say they got rid of all the gmo wheat, I believe he might be really mistaken on that one though, isn’t the majority of wheat the mutant dwarf variety.

    Semi-dwarf wheat wasn’t developed via genetic modification — that is, they weren’t splicing genes together.

    Reply
  39. js290

    Actually, that’s not exactly what the “naturalistic fallacy” states. Naturalistic fallacy, as presented in the “is-ought problem” would be committed by both sides of the GMO debate. The burden of proof still lies on the side that claims GMO is safe.

    If safety is a wash, then just label it. If GMO foods are labeled as such, then suddenly the burden of proof lies with the consumer. Of course, the big fear for the GMO producers is consumers will simply reject GMO products.

    It all boils back down to the principal-agent problem. The principal (consumers) cannot depend on any agent to choose on their behalf. Each of us has to vigilant and make the best choices we can for ourselves.

    Reply
  40. Scott

    Did that guy at the end really say they got rid of all the gmo wheat, I believe he might be really mistaken on that one though, isn’t the majority of wheat the mutant dwarf variety.

    Semi-dwarf wheat wasn’t developed via genetic modification — that is, they weren’t splicing genes together.

    Reply
  41. Dave Sill

    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.

    Reply
  42. Rocky Angelucci

    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.

    Reply

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