Soylent is Proudly PRO-GMO


#1

Hello Community,

We have a new blog today written by our VP of Research.


#2

Damned right. :+1:


#3

Your VP of Research is an incredibly good writer. :clap: :clap: :clap:


#4

I agree the blog is well written. The problem is that it doesn’t use science to convince people. I wrote that last sentence specifically to make your brain start yelling about how stupid I am. By “use science to convince people” I mean use what science knows about how the human brain works to convince people of something they don’t believe.

People do not use facts to make decisions. The people that believe already believe the facts. The people who don’t believe have already ignored the facts and will continue to do so.

You have to come up with something that will sway people. The word “frankenfood” was a great example of this. I believe it has swayed more people to think GMO’s are bad than all the facts proving that they are good. If we want to sway people we have to come up with ideas like that. Decades ago when the space race was on and space was cool (still super cool, BTW) the word “spacefood” would have done well.

Personally I would ignore GMO. Convincing people that GMO’s are good is not a battle you will win and really doesn’t help sell Soylent. Opposition to (S)soylent will slowly fade away as it becomes a “normal” part of the world. I wish I knew how to make that happen faster.


#5

Weren’t GMO’s linked to all the bees disappearing {CCD}? Monsanto and others I think I heard it’s the stuff used to grow the GMO’s.


#6

No.


#7

[quote=“Muggle, post:5, topic:25870, full:true”]
Weren’t GMO’s linked to all the bees disappearing? Monsanto and others I think I heard.
[/quote]There are several factors including disease, global warming, but mostly it’s pesticides and pollutants. GMO generally uses less pesticides than organic stuff. Though i’m unsure which specific ones.

A smaller issue is monoculture. All the plants flower at the same time, meaning bees need to do the same work in less time rather than having different flowers at different times. While GMO isn’t the cause of monoculture, it’s encourages it, and since everything is genetically identical they flower closer together. But that’s probably the only effect GMO has on bees.

Also, the EU has more bee loss and less GMO then the US. It’s not a randomized controlled trial, but you’d expect the opposite if there was a big issue.

And Soylent’s algae doesn’t rely on bees.


#8

The solution is painfully obvious - we just need GMO bees.


#9

bees are weak


#10

This. Is. Glorious.

Termites move the most resources per year, even by the most conservative estimates. Perhaps we could conscript them to smelt and build our skyscrapers someday.

Bees are cute though. I try to be selfish but when it comes to insects, I just have this unexplainable favor for bees. Moths are cool too! Entertaining even.


#11

There is good science both ways on GMOs - your smugness that GMOs is always great and safe is as extreme a view as those who say everything about GMOs is evil. So thinking you had your science down as a company - and with this current over the top we know everything about science statement - well I am out, because if you can blow this one what else of your testosterone driven we know and wont learn view of science - have you screwed up with soylent. ( and yes I am a scientist and have read all the published papers in this space).

For one you seemed to forget corporations and greed ( or maybe you just want to be one of them) that is, … I think GMOs are great, that is when we do about 20 more years of research we will have a clue here, how all this works and then it will be time. But currently as human scientists we barely understand the big picture and details of genetics and are somewhat guessing about what might work. So large companies for “quick in” greed reasons are trying things with Genetic Modifications without a real holistic approach/understanding of the biology/chemistry/molecular … ( because we as humans we are years off to fully understanding it), and we have little regulation or understanding on the other end - that is regulating and testing if a GMO manipulation really works. Now medicine uses this same approach too but at least that is to save lives and warrants risks say in just manipulating a past drug and hoping for the best.

point 2: So all of Europe and its scientists are wrong then ( for reasons above and others) in how they are much more cautious about GMOS. What knowledge do you have as a company to think you know more than country’s like Germany and France with some of the best Research Institutions in the world.

point 3: You are implying 100 % safe. How pompous of you. (again if you are that pompous and ignorant here where else did you cut corners on a product I give to my family). So this is factual easy to dispel or prove. By a proven scientific method. Peer reviewed papers and the reputation of the journals that are from. Simply use google scholar and see significant papers in the space that show at least some real issues in some cases with GMOs. Rather than list the scores of them, I’ll just take this overview piece from oh look the New England Journal of Medicine: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1505660#article

And remember you said totally safe and never bought up ANY evidence of studies that dispute your claim.


#12

I’ll give you the same challenge I give everyone who brings up herbicides and GMOs. Find some documented cases of people becoming sick from eating GMO foods laced with any of the mentioned herbicides.

As mentioned in the Soylent article you seem to take such an exception to all herbicides have the same problem with resistant weeds.


#13

But safety is more than getting sick from specific consumption - it is getting sick from the pesticides/herbicides that are in the air/soil, it is the health of the ecosystem, the heath of how fall out into streams/waterways/oceans. It is how a chemicals effect the whole biosystem - that is about health and safety short and long term too.

And to your question,

There is good science articles showing that GMO need more herbicide not less.
Did you even click on the New England Journal of Medicine link I have )( again real science from a top 5 journal). It states:

“People have been manipulating genes in plants for centuries, but arguing that this means GMOs are safe “misses the point that GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides, and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer,” Dr. Philip Landrigan, a professor of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and Charles Benbrook, a crop and soil scientist at Washington State University, wrote in an opinion article published in the Aug. 20 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).”

or see this other overview of studies in Forbes ( a biz, typically pro GMO mag)

GMO Crops Mean More Herbicide, Not Less
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/07/02/gmo-crops-mean-more-herbicide-not-less/#2e1f1c0ca371

-steve


#14

What kinda scientist are you?

[quote=“dipaola, post:11, topic:25870”]
because we as humans [/quote]


#15

I will admit I didn’t read the entire article.

But in any case it seems like your issue is with the pesticides used not with the genetic modifications themselves. The modifications don’t require more herbicides the resistant weeds require more herbicides to kill them. What would you suggest we do instead of using herbicides?


#16

I am a cognitive scientist, who uses/writes computer algorithms (AI) to emulate / model cognitive processes by emulating biological processes. I am not a biologist, just someone who likes to read science papers. In my area, I am a prof that runs a research lab with 1 postdoc and 8 PhDs and have wrote over 80 published papers. I have done research / was faculty at SFU, Stanford and NYIT - typically teaching conciousness, cog sci, AI and VR. I am not or never claimed to be an expert in the food science or biology space, just a scientist who cares that we speak the truth and read journals to understand that truth.


#17

Could happen. A friend of mine is GMOing fruit flies.


#18

Didn’t we already try that?


#19

I know you have reasonable point to make, but I don’t think you’re doing a very good job of arguing it.

Snarky, pompous tone aside, the NEJM article you linked is an opinion piece. It’s not a survey paper, and they perform no new analysis of prior work. This is not a peer-reviewed paper offering any new scientific insight, it’s a call for policy changes based on two scientists’ pre-established opinions.

This is also an opinion piece, written by a journalist who, as far as I know, has no scientific background. The main citation is a report put out by Food and Water Watch, an activist organization which has petitions to the EPA to ban glyphosate and whose homepage says “Say no to toxic chemicals in our food”. You can read the report yourself, but it should come as no surprise that they’re cherry-picking and misrepresenting the actual science.

EDIT: I should clarify, just because these are opinions doesn’t mean they’re wrong. It just doesn’t demonstrate the sort of scientific rigor I think you were hoping to present. Just not very convincing.

Keep in mind that herbicide resistance is only one aspect of GE, and one of the main points of this Soylent article is to bring to attention to golden rice, papaya ringspot virus resitance, and high-calcium carrots. If you’ve got an issue with glyphosate, we can talk about that, but don’t you think the rest of the article is pretty spot-on?


#20

Yes I linked to top opinion pieces that were accepted into the New England Journal of Medicine. Do you think NEJM takes any kind of opinion piece - no - they take ones from very prominent scientists in the field or where they believe, as an association of scientists understanding their field, needs to be said. These are 2015 opinions that this journal is debating. I ask why dear readers, are the folks at Soylent ( with this pronouncement) at odds with the scientists at NEJM (and elsewhere in the top areas this relates to - again all European scientists in the aggregate) where at least they believe a more balance pro/com risk assessment of the science is warranted. I did it because I not sure I wanted to hoist the ~ 50 or so papers on very specific studies and have to defend them from every direction.

And the issues are way more than pesticide / herbicide based. It is more we as a scientific community must acknowledge that we are in very very early days of understand genetics and should proceed with caution espically when we are talking editing and manipulation of molecular nature systems, regardless of the short term economic ( greed?) based incentives to companies.