"Soylent Contains GMOs-And Proud Of It"

people trying to sell it to us

Monsanto and other seed-making companies don’t need our approval to sell their product. They sell it on a scale and at a stage that is irrelevant to the average consumer. They just want farmers to keep their heads. I bet half their employees laugh seeing anti-GMO protests on their way to work. Its kinda like anti-nuclear protests. Sure, the public can complain, but nobody in the energy industry cares what the average citizen thinks. They never will.

But back to the whole commodification thing, GMO-free stickers are the gold standard for any half-decent coffee shop / whole foods type store. Throw in “gluten free” and “organic” and nutrition nuts will come in hoardes.

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You say that, but when was the last time we built a new nuclear power plant? Oh right, 30 years. (Oh, actually the first one in 30 years just got approved.)

I’m guessing public perception has a LOT more to do with that than you think.

Nuclear plants are a substantial up-front cost and may take decades to pay for themselves. It has nothing to do with public opinion. The energy industry doesn’t care what people think of fracking, nuke plants, tar sands, methane pockets. Doesn’t matter what danger something poses or how little the world wants it, if its cheap or easy to get to its gonna happen. No democracy on Earth is going to stop it. The IEA is just a glorified finger wagger. All talk, no pull.

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I see what you did there! Because the article starting this thread is from “Very Cherry”, a feature on scepticink.com.

Well played. Way to bring it all back to the article.


So in other words, there have actually been zero valid points on the anti-GMO side.

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Ladies and gents, please keep this civil. This topic can get very political. It’s a really interesting discussion piece, but keep it on topic. Preemptive warning from your friendly community manager. :heartpulse:


“In terms of nuclear power, Forbes magazine, in the September 1975 issue, reported that “the anti-nuclear coalition has been remarkably successful … [and] has certainly slowed the expansion of nuclear power.”” - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-nuclear_movement#Impact_on_policy

There is a pro-nuclear coalition just as well, and plenty of folks on both sides that parrot information with no understanding of what they’re talking about. I have no side in this and part of me wishes nuclear was a reliable source of baseload power. But anyone who seriously thinks nuclear can reach terawatt capacity doesn’t know how to read material flow accounts.

Well, I’d say zero valid points against GMOs directly, but they do have valid points in support of increasing regulation of GMOs(although the regulations they have been proposing so far have gone way beyond what their arguments could justify, in my opinion)

True, but they need our willingness to buy the products grown from the seeds they make.

If there were no studies done to show that GMOs are perfectly safe the anti-GMO people would have a much easier time scaring the general public. If everyone actively avoided GMOs there would be no incentive to grow them or buy the seeds. So essentially @Telos is right. Monsanto is performing the studies so we will feel safe enough to eat the stuff grown from their seeds. Thereby creating a market for their products.


I’m not opposed to GMO as a general topic. But I am violently against the deceptive and oppressive business practices of many companies that are involved in the field. Props to soylent for being open about their recipe and research from the beginning.

GMO products themselves could be harmful or not, depends on the company and their propensity to put profit over safety. Something that corporations have had a proven track record of doing.

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I’d like to point out that the studies funded by Monsanto aren’t actually conducted by Monsanto. The conflict of interest statement is mandatory, but it’s not a confession of corrupt intentions. It has no bearing on the soundness of the experimental methods used or the statistical significance of the data. Not all of such studies have been sound or statistically significant, of course, but many have been.

Sure, Monsanto can potentially try to use their money to convince researchers to fabricate positive results, and we can’t rule out the possibility of such corruption, but there are a lot of names involved in this kind of research. I’m not convinced that every single one of those people would feel compelled to take such a risk. Research is costly, and the money doesn’t come out of nowhere. Acquiring funding is often the biggest hurdle in doing research, so when someone wants to fund you it’s a good idea to accept that funding even if it means having to put a statement of conflict of interest at the end of the paper. After all, not many people have a vested interest in pouring money into the study of the potential harms/benefits of GMOs other than those who can profit most from their use.

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Imo, it’s not the gmos themselves that are bad, it’s unethical business practices.

Patenting the soybean and forcing farmers to sign unfair and extortionate contracts are not good things.

Creating more nutritious food that lasts longer, tastes better, produces more, and requires less pesticides are definitely good things.

Just my 2¢


I believe that some GMO companies have unethical business practices. I do not believe this is a quality exclusive to GMO companies. In fact, I think this about most companies.

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You mean taking actions that make perfect sense from a business perspective? I get that farming used to be this holy practice and a central part of our culture, but that world is over. Farmers will compete with each other and the ones that fail to keep ahead will go bankrupt. Which is better for everyone in the long run. The idea that Monsanto is “forcing” farmers to sign contracts is just dubious. Contracts require all signatories to be willing and competent under the law or they aren’t legitimate. This is Torts 101.

I won’t pretend the company is totally innocent and always has been, but lets be practical here. The US government slaughtered the entire indigenous population of America. Nobody blames them today because they’re under new management and vastly new rules.

If we were to disband them to “open up competition”, they aren’t going to very well spill all the dirty details on all their most sophisticated methods and technologies. Many of their top employees have ND agreements already (also not forced). Is sacrificing the potential for a better fed population really worth letting a few holier-than-thou types get their 15 minutes of fame over issues that happened decades ago?

The thing that none of Monsanto’s critics want to admit is that the company has ultimately been a force for good in the world. They’ve advanced agriculture massively and are directly responsible for many more millions of people being alive today than would have been possible without them. And not that its a relevant point anyway but they’ve saved WAY more lives than they’ve harmed.


City folk preaching about farming. I love it.


How about instead of making crops that resist bugs and competing plants themselves (has been done before, and it’s perfectly safe), they make crops that resist pesticides and herbicides (specifically the ones that Monsanto conviently sells) instead.

Three words: Straw man fallacy.

Yes they have, but they can do better (see first paragraph). Spraying roundup from planes is really not good for the environment.

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Would someone like to explain the furor over patenting seeds?
If you couldn’t patent it then you would have to recoup the entire cost of developing that seed in the sale of the single seed, otherwise you’re going to be competing with someone whose only cost to making more of the seeds that you spent billions on developing is a pot of soil and a little water.

What is the alternative to being able to patent a new seed?
If you couldn’t patent it it seems to me the only thing you would be able to do is grow the crops yourself since if you sell it everyone else will instantly gain the competitive advantage you spent billions on developing… the only way to recoup those billions is to become a mega-farmer yourself. Then, as time passes, the laboratory with the best seeds ends up with materially all of the best farming land closing down every other lab and farm effectively ending competition both for better seeds as well as for better farming practices.

Who entered the transaction involuntarily?
If this is such an unfair deal who is it unfair to? There are exactly two parties to this deal, the seed seller and the seed buyer. The seed buyer is not under threat of violence when they purchase the seeds. I’m not going to argue that every human on the planet behaves rationally all of the time, but I have trouble imagining that every farmer who enters these deals does so in a fit of irrationality, and if we accept that is true then those farmers must believe the seeds provide some utility (in fact we must then believe that the farmers believe that the seeds provide greater utility than the dollars they exchange for them).


Monsanto spends billions of dollars on R&D.

Because patents are too absolute. You can violate a patent by having the wind blow a seed onto your land, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

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