Anti-food-technology movement is just like the anti-evolution movement.
Its got jack to do with the science.
Its got everything to do with politics and personal ignorance.
So lets all pretend to act shocked and surprised that an anti-GMO group has taken a page from anti-evolutionists on how to prevent children from learning science in schools:
Practical experiments in which students learn how to use plasmids to alter the DNA of the bacteria have been under way for 17 and 18-year-olds in the final year of the scientific baccalaureate at schools across France for the past decade. But this year teachers have for the first time been offered the option of teaching the experiments to younger students.
The Committee for Research & Independent Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) in Caen, France, which lobbies for stricter controls over genetic engineering, is particularly upset because in the experiments the students modify the bacteria to become resistant to the antibiotic ampicillin.
… He warns against trivialization of a sensitive subject, contamination risks and possible violation of European directives on the manipulation of genetically modified organisms in confined spaces. “I am also concerned that practical classes erode the time spent imparting knowledge of biology,” he adds.
Karl at Biofortified takes this down in a much more educational manner than I am capable of. I have very little patience for this crap.
Heres my response:
This is Creationism reformulated for the idiotic left vs the idiotic right. There is no scientific reason to stop doing these experiments. Its political. And its fantastically stupid– If you want another analogy, its like some anti-technology nutbar is lobbying to the government to stop children from building robots in their science classes, because it trivializes the very real threats of Skynet and The Matrix, and besides, we should be memorizing shit out of books, not like, doing things.
I urge my readers to do two things.
1– Actually read Biofortified and Tomorrows Table and other plant genetics blogs (feel free to leave other favorites in the comments), and actually learn about what this technology is and why scientists do it. There is nothing I do in the lab, virtually no reagents I use, that are not genetically modified.
2– Think about who else is on your side. If you find yourself making arguments that sound a heckovalot like ‘BIG PHARMA SHILL!!!!’ except youre saying ‘MONSANTO SHILL!!!!’, or ‘Im not against GMOs, Im just pro-safe-GMO!’ instead of ‘Im not against vaccines, Im just pro-safe-vaccines!’, if you are using the same tactics as the Creationist movement, you gotta start thinking that maybe, just maybe, you arent as educated on this topic as you think you are. See #1.