Daily Show Jeffrey Smith smackdown: “I purposefully play dumb” on GMOs

| | April 24, 2015

Holy Monsanto!

Where do the liberal “chattering classes” stand on the issue of genetically modified foods?

Two years ago, even last year, it was decidedly negative. But the tide has gone out on the anti-GMO movement, as the scientific evidence in support of the safety and sustainability of GM crops has grown. The dramatic shift was never more evident this week as news satirist Jon Stewart’s Daily Show took a very funny look at the latest GMO scare controversy, the approval of a genetically engineered potato made by the Simplot company that doesn’t brown when cut and doesn’t make acrylamide, a carcinogen found in non GE potatoes–including organic ones.

Related article:  Survey showing health benefits from non-GMO diet? 'The misinformation is staggering'

Watch as “reporter” Aasif Mandvi explores the bizarro world of one of the most strident anti-GMO leaders, Jeffrey Smith, a former flying yogic instructor [Note: Read GLP profile of Jeffrey Smith], who tried to make the case why this remarkable innovation is a New Age killer.

“The Return of a Simplot Conspiracy”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

24 thoughts on “Daily Show Jeffrey Smith smackdown: “I purposefully play dumb” on GMOs”

  1. Having the Daily Show support the ideology of GLP is a big score. Congratulations. It is unfortunate that the producers of that show missed certain facts, though. True, eating GMOs has virtually no effect on human DNA, but that is not the case for the flora in the human gut. It has been shown that horizontal transfer of microbial transgenes present in genetically modified crops occurs. That affects humans.

          • You’ve got to the be joking right ? did you read this paper ?
            quote from such study
            conclusion “As described above, native cry genes display ubiquitous presence and have also been detected in foods. Overall reviews of safety data indicate that there is no toxicity of Cry proteins to humans [157,174, 192]. We therefore conclude that the horizontal gene transfer of cry genes from plants to microorganisms, if it would occur, is unlikely to contribute to pathogenicity of recipient microorganisms in humans and domestic animals”

          • Yes, I did read it, I wanted to know if Peter Kleiss did. If anything it should have dispelled concerns about any harmful horizontal gene transfer involving transgenic events.

        • You’ve got to the be joking right ? did you read the study ?

          quote from the study

          conclusion “As described above, native cry genes display ubiquitous presence and have also been detected in foods. Overall reviews of safety data indicate that there is no toxicity of Cry proteins to humans [157,174, 192]. We therefore conclude that the horizontal gene transfer of cry genes from plants to microorganisms, if it would occur, is unlikely to contribute to pathogenicity of recipient microorganisms in humans and domestic animals”

          • What is your definition of impossible? According to quantum physics, it is unlikely but not impossible that you can walk through a concrete wall.

          • That seems to be a troll like answer? How about the consumer doesn’t want GMO’s? What do you gain from fighting for GMO’s? I don’t want them.

      • And even so, we have untold trillions of gut bacteria in each of us. That transfer, if it occurs at all, would only be to a couple bacterium, with no accompanying survival advantages. Those couple would be flushed out in your next bowel movement.

    • If I understand your argument right,we should first ban the use of organic Bt spray on crops. Then we should also ban all the bacteria present in the soil!! The genetic transfer between soil or insecticidal bacteria is orders of magnitude more likely than from plant cell with plant regulatory regions.

      • If that were true, then why create and patent Bt crops in the first place? After all, genetic transfer between soil or insecticidal bacteria is orders of
        magnitude more likely than from plant cell with plant regulatory
        regions.

        • The answer to your question is to make the Bt crops available to growers. By the way, your reference to ‘patents’ is irrelevant. The regulatory agency that governs human safety, environmental impact, approval & deployment of plant incorporated protectants such as Bt protein expression does not concern itself with patents, or patent status, or anything about patents. Patents are in the realm of civil law, not the regulation of pest mitigation technology. You are barking up the wrong tree when you refer to patents. It’s a common misconception among the (progressively smaller) anti-GMO subset that patents are the main objective of biotechnical modifications to crop plants. In fact, patents are a very small consideration. The major factor is the development & deployment of new technology, coupled with ownership of the supporting data. The motivating incentive to put forth continually better technologies and products based on them so that the customer will buy them. Usually that incentive comes from the private sector, i.e. “companies” in the colloquial jargon, but it could also come from academic institutions. You should keep in mind that academic institutions (universities) as well as governmental agencies (USDA for example) also patent-protect crop improvement technologies that they develop. In any case, the relevance of any patenting is fairly minor.

    • It has been shown that horizontal transfer of microbial transgenes present in genetically modified crops occurs

      It has? Can you point me to a study showing that? I’m interested to learn more.

      EDIT: Never mind, I see the title in another comment of yours. That source doesn’t actually present evidence that this has occurred, it only states that it is a possibility. I agree, it’s theoretically possible. We should keep it in mind when considering transgenes. But it’s not an existential threat.

          • Can I ask you, and by extension all supporters of GMO organisms, something?

            Do you eat that stuff? Do you ever buy a half-peck of “Arctic” apples to snack upon?

          • By “that stuff” I will assume you are referring to foods involving the GE process. I will not speak for all “supporters of GMO organisms”. I do eat foods involving the GE process.
            Can I ask you, do you understand the process that developed Arctic apples, and do you have concerns about them?

  2. The video is funny. And the potato scientist is right about the anti-GMO movement: their activism indirectly gave rise to the “seed monopoly” by big corporations like Monsanto. No thanks to the anti-science lobby!

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