French Anti-Biotech Protests Achieve A Glorious State of Sheer Lunacy

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Tuer les biotechnologies des cultures!

I have often marveled at the hypocrisy of anti-biotech crop activists who ignored hundreds of crop varieties produced using the relatively crude method of chemical or radiation mutagenesis. As I pointed out back in 2007:

Anti-biotechies worry about a few genes inserted here and there in crops, but completely ignore the wholesale reshuffling of genes that takes place through mutation breeding. The New York Times is running an excellent article on mutation breeding today. The article explains that there are currently thousands of crop varieties that have been created over the past eight decades by blasting seeds and buds with gamma radiation. Breeders plant the irradiated seeds and wait to see what (if anything) comes up. If breeders find an interesting characteristic they begin the process of commercializing it. Keep in mind that no regulatory authority oversees this process of wholesale genetic mutation. And given its history of safety, there is no need for such regulation.

For a list of crop varieties produced by mutation breeding, see the FAO's Officially Released Mutant Varieties Database here.

As the New York Times reports:

Though poorly known, radiation breeding has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world's crops, Dr. [Pierre] Lagoda [the head of plant breeding and genetics at the International Atomic Energy Agency,] said, including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum. The mutant wheat is used for bread and pasta and the mutant barley for beer and fine whiskey.

Lagoda who irradiates plants to produce mutants is being somewhat disingenuous when he says, "I'm not doing anything different from what nature does." True, mutations occur in nature all of the time, but it seems somewhat doubtful that plants out in a field experience anywhere near the number of uncharacterized mutations produced in a lab by gamma rays.

But I couldn't just shut up—I had to ask:

If anti-biotechies are so afraid of genetic changes in their foods, why aren't they out protesting varieties produced by means of mutation breeding?

Now French anti-biotech activists, filled with pent up antinomian fury over something or other, have now heeded my question. They are now destroying "hidden GMOs"—that is crop varieties produced by mutation breeding. French biologist Marcel Kuntz reports:

Having no GM crops or trials to destroy in France (since there are almost no GMO culture any longer in this country, apart from two small field trials), anti-GMO activists have found a new enemy: on Saturday July 24 2010 at Sorigny and St. Branchs (Indre-et-Loire, France), they vandalized plots of sunflowers they termed as « mutated » and herbicide tolerant. They are not GM, but opponents call them "hidden-GMOs" to continue to use the arguments successfully developed against GMOs and to mobilize their supporters.

 What the anti-GMO activists are targeting now is mutagenesis use in plant breeding and, in particular, to produce herbicide resistance, such as those of Clearfield or Express Sun sunflower varieties (the former having actually been originally obtained by a spontaneous mutation).

 Actually, the destruction at Sorigny concerned a high-oleic variety of sunflower. Oleic varieties do result from mutagenesis, and some are also used in organic farming. Therefore, if one follows the anti-GMO opponents' rhetoric, it is ironic that organic farmers are using « hidden-GMOs »!

 In requesting that "the regulation on 'transgenic GMOs' also applies to 'GMOs' obtained by mutagenesis, cell fusion or other manipulations of life", opponents who are basically radical anti-capitalists hope to achieve for the entire plant breeding industry, and consequently for all major agricultural crops, the same economic sabotage as the one which has been so successful against GMOs in Europe.

 The argument is the same: « against the new seed privatization thatagain represents a strategy for corporate confiscation of life ». Despite being wrong, this rhetoric is highly efficient in mobilizing anti-capitalist protesters.

Similarly, claims of « unintended effects that can cause serious damage to health … » are without factual basis, but aims to frighten consumers (who do not realize they have always eaten « mutants »…).

The stark beauty of this outbreak of lunacy will become fully refulgent when the protesters realize that hundreds of crop varieties grown by organic farmers were created using chemical and radiation mutagenesis. Eventually, the internal logic of their anti-scientific worldview must lead them to burn wheat fields because it came to be when three grasses unnaturally combined their whole genomes. And surely they will want to rip out corn plants as the misbegottn mutants of natural teosinte. Madness, I say. Complete madness!

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171 responses to “French Anti-Biotech Protests Achieve A Glorious State of Sheer Lunacy

  1. They are only mad because a corporation did it. When Monsanto begins producing more (and better) pot their heads will asplode.

    1. I figure we’ve got about 15-20 years until someone isolates the gene(s) that code for THC production and learns how to splice them into other plants. At that point weed prohibition will finally be abandoned .

      But I think it will be someone in Europe, not Monsanto.

      1. Tomatojuana?

        1. It’ll have to be grape tomatos. The big ones will clog the bowl.

      2. It is technologically possible now. There’s just no incentive to do it, primarily due to how highly restricted THC is (DEA Schedule I in the US).

        1. Sure, the gene-splicing technology is in place. The difficult part is figuring out which genes do the encoding you want. It’s a huge combinatorial problem. I don’t think anybody, right now, has any idea which part of the cannabis genome is responsible for THC production.

          1. I don’t think our customers would buy GMO hemp.

          2. I know which parts. I have been looking at the pathway. It’s actually my retirement plan to put the pathway into mint. You can’t stop that stuff from growing. And the mojitos will be killer.

        2. Once biohacking becomes something that teens do in their garage like our generation did with personal computers, that will be utterly irrelevant.

      3. Actually, this is totally my retirement plan. I was planning on using mint–as it will keep coming back and make dynamite mojitos….

  2. Talk about your anti-science agenda. At least the creationists aren’t starving people.

    1. And last I looked creationists were not vandalizing people’s labs. These people really do want us to return to the dark ages.

    2. Yeah, but I’m not hungry so who cares?

    3. Aren’t these people de facto creationists? They believe that the only valid crops are those that existed at an arbitrary point in time. Any evolution from that point is to be burnt out of the genome.

    4. As usual, it all boils down to ignorance, whether it’s good old-fashioned religious fanaticism or the modern religion of environmentalism. Faith is a stubborn and tenacious enemy.

      1. Envy is quite stronger than faith, too, and they’ve got that going for them.

    5. The people who are starving people are the corporations who deny abundant food to starving people and sell them GMOs instead. So they can collect the royalties and sue them when they accidentally contaminate the native crops.

      Human produces more than enoguh to feed everyone without introducing these dangerously untested crops. The problem is distribution, unequal distribution, not production. The problem is inequality. If we just shared all the produced food equally then nobody would starve.

      1. Like most “environmentalists”, you appear to be a watermelon: Green outside, red inside.

        1. Stupid outside, huge cunt inside.

        2. And what’s wrong with being red?
          The communists weren’t bad people, the had the highest ideals of mankind at heart. We should all strive towards a truely communal society. The Marxists were merely too obsessed with the machinery of industrialization, instead of living the communal lives of peasant farmers and tribal societies that is humanity’s natural heritage.

          1. Oh, OH, THIS is a good troll. This just drips sincerity.

  3. Should have let Germany keep France after WWII.

    1. I’ve always advocated Germany getting Alsace-Lorraine back and giving east Germany to Poland (or whoever is willing to take it) in return.

      1. France is a beautiful place. Unfortunately, it is occupied by the French.

        1. Splitting up France might help: Secession for Corsica, Brittany, etc.

          1. It couldn’t hurt.

        2. I have the delight of standing at my bus stop each morning with three little French girls.. They’re sisters, ages 13, 15 & 16 (approximately). Cute as it gets. They chat with each other in their native tongue, which is great as one doesn’t hear French in the ghetto very often — if ever. I think they’re just here for the summer as part of some exchange program.

          1. Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir?

    2. You can’t do that. What would motivate the Germans if they already had France?

      1. Poland?

        1. It’s just not the same thing. I mean, I guess the Germans could reunify with Poland, but their hearts wouldn’t really be in it.

          1. Poland DOES NOT want to reunify with Germany. Never has. Never will.

            1. What do Poland’s desires have to do with Germany’s well being?

  4. We surrender

    1. I laughed

    2. +1

  5. This is just cruel, evil idiocy. How many people could be eating now but for the laws these people pass?

    If the media had any sense, they’d report this vandalism for what it is: snatching bread from the mouths of the hungry.

    1. The media are stupid, and they believe what they are told, according to their own sense of life, which tends to skew left.

      1. It’s even worse, many in the media are sympathetic to the far left lunies and cut from the same cloth.

        1. lunies

          Is that like:

          Moonies -> Moon -> Luna + Loonies -> Lunies?

        2. That cloth doubtless being locally-grown organic wool woven by Native populations into traditional patterns.

      2. which tends to skew left.

        This is where I get confused. What is left about being anti-GM? Seems like more of a conservative impulse to me than anything else.

        1. No, because their knee-jerk reaction to genetically modified foods isn’t “that’s tampering with the natural God-ordained order of things!” It’s “corporations are fucking around with our food and they’re going to poison everyone!”

  6. When I was in college my roommate had a sign that said “no genetic engineering”. I spent an entire year of college thinking it was a joke. I didn’t think that anyone could be stupid enough to seriously object to genetic modification of things like crops. I had always been around farming, so I was aware of the green revolution.

    Only later was my youth nativity ended and I realized that yes some people really are that stupid.

    1. And to think, I only had a “NO DEAD, NO BAND, NO CAT STEVENS” sign.

      1. I like the Band and enjoy the Dead in small doses. Yusuf Islam, however, should be put on an ice floe to die (and you might as well throw James Taylor on there to keep him company while you’re at it).

        1. “Morning Has Broken” is a beautiful song and more than makes up for “Peace Train”.

          Especially since “Peace Train” became a little less offensive when it made Natalie Merchant cry.

        2. Don’t forget Jackson Brown…he too should die in a fire.

          1. Throw him on first.

      2. The Band is a great. As club med Yusuf Islam should be put on an ice flow with James Taylor to die.

    2. my youth nativity

      That’s good one, even for you John.

      1. God put a genetic block on my ability to spell “naive” and all of its derivatives.

        1. Use the umlaut: na?ve.

          1. It’s a diaeresis.

    3. So, he was a creationist?

      1. No. Just a hippie. Great guy. Still friends with him.

    4. I didn’t think that anyone could be stupid enough to seriously object to genetic modification of things like crops.

      Where do you stand on the genetic modification of humans, John?

      1. I think that if we figure out a way to prevent genetic disorders (e.g., CF, sickle cell anemia, Huntington’s…), we should ban those technologies and kill the recipients (after all, they were going to die anyway), just to send a message.

      2. To cure disease and such, I don’t have a problem with it. If consenting adults want to make themselves freaks, have fun. The only line I would draw would be genetically engineering children; trying to create super athletes from the womb and things. That for me is a choice issue. A person should have a choice whether their genes are altered. And an unborn child can’t choose. Also it makes people into means rather than ends. What happen when the therapy doesn’t work and junior is just an average athlete? Do we throw him away and start over?

        1. You trade him to the Cleveland Indians for half their rotation.

          1. +1

            You what happens to you if you have talent and play for the Indians? You get traded away for three guys who don’t.

          2. Pretty shitty trade if you ask me.

        2. Do unborn children have a choice now? Did Trig Palin want to have Down’s? Did I want to be a lousy athlete with bad vision?

          1. No they don’t. But they were at least created by random chance rather than as a means to an end. I would have no problem intervening to prevent a condition like downs that prevents them from living a normal life. But intervening in hopes of making that life into one thing or another is wrong.

            1. What is the particular virtue of randomness?

              And what’s the difference between preventing Down’s, preventing ADHD, and preventing White Man’s Disease (inability to jump)?

    5. When I was in college my roommate had a sign that said “no genetic engineering”.

      During the G20 here in Pittsburgh, some students from CMU held a joke protest mocking the anarchists, with signs like “End the Duality Gap!” and “Bayesians Against Discrimination!” and of course “Ban Genetic Algorithms!”

      1. Heh. Bayesians Against Discrimination. Win.

      2. I still want Westboro to protest something in Louisville so I can show up
        with my sign:

        GOD HATES FIGS
        Matthew 21:19

  7. Nice use of refulgent, Ron.

    Wait a second…humans have mutated over time! Burn them!

    1. Life is a mutation of nonliving matter.

      1. Destroy the universe!

        1. All we have to do is induce a gamma ray burst to get rid of the icky life.

          Anyone have a couple of neutron stars we can slam together?

          1. You fool, that would produce a race of Hulks, all angry! Do you never stop to think of unintended consequences?

            1. When everyone is angry, we will finally all be free.

              1. Unless we become X-Men (& X-Women) and then some of us can be angst ridden.

          2. I sold mine on eBay.

          3. I’m available.

            1. But are you… uh… supermassive? If not, you won’t get the job done, you know what I mean.

              1. My mom thinks I’m a star.

                1. Your mom thinks you’re super massive as well.

        2. That’s a bit much, isn’t it? Unless you’re positing that the universe is, in fact, a living, [shudder] mutating being.

    2. Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean.

      1. I suddenly understand the motivation for the creation of the Berserkers.

  8. This sounds like a relatively small problem that can be readily solved by a couple of good snipers.

      1. Why don’t some people just start killing these assholes?

  9. At least the creationists aren’t starving people.

    Splitter! Vege-creationists are creationists, too.

    ? bas des ?volutions non-Gaianes, yo.

  10. Obviously the only solution is to encase France in lead so as to prevent gamma irradiation of her fields.

  11. Oddly enough, I was just reading a NYT piece on algae-based fuel research. A large portion of the thing was taken up by reassurances that genetically modified algae will not actually conquer the world and destroy us all.

    1. That is just because they are a shill for big algae.

    2. Green Goo?

    3. I, for one, welcome our new algaean overlords.

  12. Wait, blasting seeds with gamma radiation? I remember that episode of Gilligan’s Island.

    In other news, people who think Jeremy Rifkin is a “visionary” aren’t just scientifically, politically and economically illiterate, they frequently smell bad, too.

    1. seriously. i had to read his book “the end of work” in college. 10 years later, here i sit at work. wtf?

      1. He also wrote something like “The North Will Rise Again” in 1978…still waiting on that one.

  13. Wait, blasting seeds with gamma radiation? I remember that episode of Gilligan’s Island.

    In other news, people who think Jeremy Rifkin is a “visionary” aren’t just scientifically, politically and economically illiterate, they frequently smell bad, too.

    1. Sorry. Some sort of self-replicating mutant post action going on.

  14. If only they had a strong leader to lead them in the fight against the mutants.

    1. Great book.

      1. Great premise, mediocre book.

      2. Spinrad is great. I used a quote from Bug Jack Barron as a sigline for years:

        “The saddest day of your life isn’t when you decide to sell out. The saddest day of your life is when you decide to sell out and nobody wants to buy.”

        1. Speaking of great quotes, the mention of the book made me reread Ursula K. Le Guin’s review of the book:

          the book is a flawless example of clean obscenity. It will pass any censor, except the one that sits within the soul.

          1. Hopefully, Le Guin will have a pen in her hand when she keels over so that the scribble and line across the paper can win a Nebula.

  15. [sigh]

  16. “You cannot go against nature, because when you do, that’s nature too”.

  17. The stark beauty of this outbreak of lunacy will become fully refulgent when the protesters realize that hundreds of crop varieties grown by organic farmers were created using chemical and radiation mutagenesis.

    One could hope that they would refuse to eat ALL foods made from such crops, but I’m not keen on watching even idiots starve to death.

  18. “Antinomian,” dude? Antinomian means “amoral,” like when George Orwell accused the Twenties crowd of sliding into “sluttish antinomianism,” which actually sounds kind of fun to me. Absinthe cocktails for breakfast, anyone?

    I think the word you’re reaching for is “stupid.” Or maybe “French.”

    1. Aren’t those two words synonyms?

    2. Maybe “antediluvian”?

    3. Shouldn’t you be at home working on your next Conan the Barbarian novel?

  19. Tell Congress to pass the Mutant Registration Act NOW.

  20. How much do you wanna bet that these dumbasses think the crops are radioactive because 20 generations ago someone blasted them with gamma rays?

    I guar-ONNNNNN-tee you that these dumb hippies hear “gamma rays” and say, “But that’s radiation, man. I don’t want radioactive food, man. Get the corporations to stop feeding us radioactive food, man. We should have a hippie jam concert to let everyone know about this, man. And get everyone to work together.”

    1. Exactly so.

      There was a kerfuffle a couple of decades back about using radiation to help preserve food. Most of those opposed argued vehemently that the food would become radioactive.

      (I honestly don’t know if they succeeded in banning the use of radiation to preserve food or if the protests just died away and the practice continues.)

      1. At least in that case the fear has some reasonable basis, since the food being consumed is directly irradiated.

        In this instance, seeds several generations back were irradiated, and the current crops have never been near radiation – but I am absolutely sure the opponents of the practice still consider it “radioactive food”.

        Why am I sure of this? Because it’s the dumbest thing you can think.

        1. Considering non-ionizing radiation is used, it isnt a reasonable basis.

      2. If I remember correctly, any food preserved using radiation has to have big warning labels all over it saying that it has been irradiated. Of course, since your average person understands radiation about as well as they understand statistics…

    2. How do you know it’s not radioactive?

      Those irradiated genes could be unstable and when they break down they might release radioactive isotopes. I don’t think humanity understand the true secrets of physics well enough to play God with atoms.

      Hubris!

      1. I hope you’re kidding, I never can tell. Just in case you’re not kidding – mutations caused intentionally by radiation or chemicals are the same as mutations caused accidentally by radiation (the sun) or anything else. No matter the cause, mutations are simply mistakes in how DNA is copied. Without going into too much detail, radiation is one thing that can cause mistakes. There isn’t any radiation in the genes, no unstable isotopes, no hubris necessary. Of course, there is some evidence that creating new mutations is more risky than genetic engineering, but that’s another story.

  21. The fact that they are French hippies does not make me want to change my caricature. Just so you know.

    I picture French hippies being just like our hippies, only it’s been even longer since they showered.

    1. Or worked

      1. or mattered

        1. This is not a standard libertarians should support.

    2. The 60s seemed so much cooler in Europe. When I think Europe in the 60s I think skinny ties, Peter Sellers, a young pre junk Mary Anne Faithful and Catherin DeNeuve. When I think the 60s in America I see some dirty hippie yelling “The New York Thruway is closed man”. Not a flattering comparison.

      1. Fuck you.

  22. Eventually, the internal logic of their anti-scientific worldview must lead them to burn wheat fields because it came to be when three grasses unnaturally combined their whole genomes.

    Not to detract from the point of the article, but the link you refer to doesn’t actually state that three species combined their genomes, but rather that there are three distinct species of commercially important wheat. Each of those has been selectively bred to create varieties distinct from their wild precursors, but there is no “wheat” that is the result of the combination of three entire genomes, at least not according to what you linked to. I wonder if you are confusing hexaploid (three sets of chromosomes) here: that only means that there are three sets of chromosomes from the same species in an individual, not that they come from separate species (although hexaploid hybrids are possible as well, but nothing in the article talks about that). Polyploid plants are extremely common even without human interference and tend to produce higher yields than diploid plants.

    Maize, on the other hand, is what you describe.

    1. Nearly every crop we eat has been selectively bred for thousands of years. So none of it is “natural” if you define natural as occuring through chance with no human intervention whatsoever.

      1. We couldn’t eat “natural” by that definition if we wanted to. Good luck finding a truly wild strain of wheat.

        1. I hope you have bad luck finding that wheat because it ain’t no good for the human body.

    2. Untermensch: It’s in there, but buried a bit: Hexaploid wheats evolved in farmers’ fields. Either domesticated emmer or durum wheat hybridized with yet another wild diploid grass (Aegilops tauschii) to make the hexaploid wheats, spelt wheat, and bread wheat (Hancock 2004).

      1. Thanks, I did miss that bit. However, that would make two precursors in the hybrid, unless I’m missing something: (ether domesticated emmer or durum wheat = 1) x (Aegilops tauschii = 2). Or is there something else?

        Again, that doesn’t detract from the overall point, and it’s just a quibble.

  23. Don’t make that croissant angry. You wouldn’t like it when it’s angry.

    1. maybe with some jam, but not angry

    2. eat me

    3. Croissants are actually from Vienna. Bakers made pastries in the shape of crescents to wave at the Ottomans as they retreated to taunt them.

  24. Free Pro-Tips for European Farmers:

    1. Dogs. Big ones. Chompy ones.

    2. Motion-sensing Lights. Bright ones.

    3. Rifles. Shooty ones.

    1. 1. no mutant dogs allowed
      2. must validate small carbon footprint of these lights
      3. no one is allowed to have guns (except us)

    2. The french farmers are too busy rioting in Paris, blocking streets with their tractors, etc, to actually tend their fields.

      1. Shit, i forgot about that! Cow-tipping anyone?

      2. French Capitalism = You have two cows. You strike because you want three cows. NOW.

  25. Can we mutate those frenchie quotation marks back to being unkinked and at their proper place at the top of the line?

  26. Now explain to them the difference between modern corn and the original teosinte and send them on a rage against all corn crops.

    That would be fun.

    Teosinte ear (Zea mays ssp mexicana) on the left, maize ear on the right, and ear of their F1 hybrid in the center (photo by John Doebley)

    http://teosinte.wisc.edu/Image…..osinte.jpg

    1. Corn was bred by the natural indigenous processes of Native Americans, not by scientists wearing white lab coats!

      1. Does wearing a lab coat automatically make you “bad” and being a Native American automatically make you “good”? Seems rather arbitrary to me.

        1. What about a Native American wearing a white lab coat?

          1. No self respecting native american would participate in the corporo-techno-fascist rape of the planet.

  27. Though poorly known, radiation breeding has produced thousands of useful mutants and a sizable fraction of the world’s crops, Dr. [Pierre] Lagoda [the head of plant breeding and genetics at the International Atomic Energy Agency,] said, including varieties of rice, wheat, barley, pears, peas, cotton, peppermint, sunflowers, peanuts, grapefruit, sesame, bananas, cassava and sorghum. The mutant wheat is used for bread and pasta and the mutant barley for beer and fine whiskey.

    So why don’t I have super powers yet?

  28. I suppose that at some point in the future we will be able to economically construct our food atom by atom. Plants and animals will be replaced by nano technology. What then?

    1. With tech like that, why not power ourselves directly from sunlight?

      1. It turns out sunlight tastes just like lemon dishwashing detergent. You get tired of it pretty fast.

        1. Yes, but I will be so busy launching grey goo attacks on my enemies and transforming into a giant Optimus Prime style robot to stomp on shit that I won’t notice how much I miss the roast chicken at Hammersley’s.

          1. There’s an app for that!

    2. Indeed, nanotechnology scares me even more than biotechnology. We’re inventing entirely new self-replicating life-forms. how do we know they won’t someday turn on us and reduce humanity to a mass of raw goo that they’ll use to self-replicate and spread like a virus?

      1. How do we know that a new hemhorragic fever won’t evolve to wipe us out by turning us into goo and spreading like a virus? There’s billions of viruses trying to reach that level of efficiency, versus hundreds of people working on self-replicating nanotech.

      2. We will shoot them to another corner of the universe via the Stargate.

  29. We’re only been eating these hidden GMOs for a few decades, surely that isn’t long enough to test them for safety. After all, human evolution took million of years and we were eating natural crop plants produced by Mother Earth for tens of thousands before this.

    Perhaps these radioactive crop species are responsible for the recent declines in fertility in the Western world. We’re blasting our ovaries from birth with these radioactive genes and then we wonder why nobody can have babies.

    The past 100 years has seen way to much rapid change in our lifestyles to know if any of it is safe for humanity in the long term. Or the planet.

    1. Perhaps these radioactive crop species are responsible for the recent declines in fertility in the Western world.

      I suspect it’s more likely to be due to the Pill…but I suspect that’s one unnatural modification of the human body you support, eh Organic Girl?

      1. No, there are more women who are infertile today than there were 100 years ago. We’re all becoming sterile, like in that book, the Handmaiden’s Tale.

        1. The infertility couldn’t possibly be due to attempting to get pregnant later in life, could it?

        2. There are more women today than there were 100 years ago. Billions.

    2. If you only want to eat “natural crop plants produced by Mother Earth” better stop eating corn, wheat, apples, cows, chickens, and just about everything else. They’ve all been altered by humans trying to produce plants and animals that grow faster, taste better, and have other characteristics we like. You’re left with fish, deer, some berries and herbs. Probably very healthy.

    3. Do you ever get tired of towing your corporate line? All you do is spout the same old tired mantras and expose your scientific illiteracy.

    4. Perhaps the fungal toxins from organic or ‘natural’ crops are causing this—they’ve obviously infiltrated the logic center in your brain.

  30. Now they say they have a cure for mutants. But I say — we ARE the cure!

  31. Genetic engineering, as currently practiced, is also a very efficient mutagen. Both of the current methods used to genetically engineer plants are highly mutagenic. For example, the Agrobacterium method was used to specifically mutate (for research purposes) every gene in the model plant Arabidopsis. Mutation rates with this method can be as high as 30-40%.In one academic study I know of, out of 10 randomly chosen genetically engineered plants, the “transgene” had interrupted a gene in the recipient, thereby mutating it, in 4 of the 10. Statistically relevant (larger) studies have also corroborated these estimates.

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