Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

posted by martyb on Friday January 23 2015, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the DNA->SNA->SLA->TLA->TBA->NBA->NBC->NEC->SEC->SEO->SCO->TCO->TMO->GMO dept.

The Washington Post contains an article on a recent survey by Oklahoma State University where over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA,”

The Oklahoma State survey result is probably an example of the intersection between scientific ignorance and political ignorance, both of which are widespread.The most obvious explanation for the data is that most of these people don’t really understand what DNA is, and don’t realize that it is contained in almost all food. When they read that a strange substance called “DNA” might be included in their food, they might suspect that this is some dangerous chemical inserted by greedy corporations for their own nefarious purposes.

The article discusses the wider issue of scientific ignorance driving policy decisions, and there is some further comment at io9. A summary of the full survey results is available (PDF).

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by WizardFusion on Friday January 23 2015, @01:33PM

    by WizardFusion (498) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @01:33PM (#137226) Journal

    It's not "80% of americans are stupid", its "80% of some backward retard state in america are stupid"
    If you are going to bash the americans for being stupid, at least get it right.

    If you live in one of the many backward retarded states in america, my condolences.

    • (Score: 1) by g2 In The Desert on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM

      by g2 In The Desert (3773) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM (#137257)
      Yup. Boy are you right. Simple minded. But right. Only those "backward retarded states in america" (sp) do things like that! http://www.nbcnews.com/id/4534017/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/local-officials-nearly-fall-ho-hoax/#.VMJjKsZU_EI [nbcnews.com]
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:53PM (#137310)

        He never said that California wasn't a backward, retarded state. That is where the absurdity of silicon valley, hollywood, and the whole of L.A. are after all.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:39PM (#137365)

        While I'll admit that poking fun at 'red' states (which I think is the original poster's intent) is not particularly accurate when it comes to general public ignorance. The ignorance really is everywhere.

        I do feel compelled to point out that according to your link the town that was fooled for a short time over the long staning H2O joke, Aliso Viejo, is a suburb of Orange County. For all practical purposes, Orange County follows basically the same neo-liberal, pro-super rich (anti everyone else, including amusingly enough, themselves), pro-ignorance culture that 'red' states are believed to follow. In other words, I think the GP's inherent point was not refuted ;)

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:00PM (#137379) Journal

        Local officials nearly fall for H2O hoax.

        • (Score: 2) by frojack on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM

          by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @07:49PM (#137395) Journal

          World plus dog fell for the DHMO hoax when it first appeared many years ago.
          New Zealand [nzherald.co.nz], Denmark [loc.gov], etc.

          Its a common tactic for these hoaxers to ambush people on the street corner with some question like

          WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.

          The big scary chemical name is as far as most people read, because 1) they don't care, 2) they don't appreciate the interruption in their business, but don't want to be rude, 3) the survey is probably done by special interest kooks, because most of these surveys are.

          If the question is read to them, rather than or in addition to it being written, they are even more likely to stop listening at the big chemical name.

          --
          No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
    • (Score: 2) by bradley13 on Friday January 23 2015, @05:29PM

      by bradley13 (3053) Subscriber Badge on Friday January 23 2015, @05:29PM (#137330) Homepage Journal

      "... weighted to match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence"

      It ain't just Okies. The average level of science education in the US sucks. FWIW, that's just as true of progressives as it is of conservatives. Try the Dihydrogen-Monoxide test on a few unsuspected, non-technical acquaintances, if you can do it with a straight face.

      --
      Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
      • (Score: 2) by monster on Friday January 23 2015, @06:15PM

        by monster (1260) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:15PM (#137352) Journal

        It's not a matter of sucking, it's just that most people are easily confounded when asked about non-everyday terms, specially if the question is expressed with intent to get a visceral response.

        There's a similar case from some years ago about asking people how would they react if their children told them that they were heterosexual. Few people stopped to fully understand what was the meaning of that before answering.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:47AM

      by dry (223) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:47AM (#137491) Journal

      Actually going by your election results, every State is retarded. In 2000 every State voted for either Al Gore or George W. Bush. Results are similar in every election, not one State makes an intelligent choice.

    • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:28PM

      by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:28PM (#137619) Homepage Journal

      100% of the people who made the survey are either incompetent, stupid, or disingenuous. It's pretty obvious to me that when the question was asked, the respondent knew that everything living has DNA and logically assumed that the questioner wasn't being clear and thought they were talking about genetically modified food.

      I was involved with surveys in my career, my boss held a PhD in statistics. There ARE such things as stupid questions.

      --
      Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 1) by treeves on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:24PM

      by treeves (1536) on Wednesday January 28 2015, @08:24PM (#139001)

      No, you need to get it right: the actual paper (http://agecon.okstate.edu/files/Survey%20Info%20(pdf4556).pdf) says, "FooDS is a monthly on-line survey with a sample size of at least 1,000 individuals, weighted to
      match the US population in terms of age, gender, education and region of residence. " It is not a sample of people in a particular state.

  • (Score: 0, Offtopic) by curunir_wolf on Friday January 23 2015, @01:36PM

    by curunir_wolf (4772) on Friday January 23 2015, @01:36PM (#137228)

    The most obvious explanation for the data is that most of these people don’t really understand what DNA is, and don’t realize that it is contained in almost all food.

    What do you mean, almost all food?

    --
    I am a crackpot
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:43PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:43PM (#137230)
      ALMOST all...

      there's more than a few things out there that are pure chemical combinations and were not from anything living.

      granted these are very unhealthy junkfoods usually. but still. no dna...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:13PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:13PM (#137468)

        "Sandwich slices".
        Wouldn't surprise me to discover there is no DNA in that.
        Hydrogenated oils, yes.

        -- gewg_

      • (Score: 1) by esperto123 on Friday January 23 2015, @11:39PM

        by esperto123 (4303) on Friday January 23 2015, @11:39PM (#137477)

        Even in those there would be some bacteria and viruses, there is pretty much not a way around it (not even nasa can clean a probe completely).
        So you would still get some DNA.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:49PM (#137232)

      Salt and Sugar usually don't contain DNA.

      • (Score: 1) by Mesa Mike on Friday January 23 2015, @04:56PM

        by Mesa Mike (2788) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:56PM (#137311)

        Salt doesn't contain DNA?

        Then, where in the world does "organic" salt [iherb.com] come from?

        Hmmm....

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:21PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:21PM (#137324)

          You misunderstand what "organic" means when it comes to food. It doesn't mean its from live creatures, it just has to do with how its grown or harvested; something like "kosher" I suppose (which also has nothing to do with what's in it, but more how its prepared).

        • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Friday January 23 2015, @07:04PM

          by DeathMonkey (1380) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:04PM (#137380) Journal

          Then, where in the world does "organic" salt come from?
           
          1: The UDSA defines/regulates the term organic [usda.gov] with regard to food labeling. Generally means no pesticides.
          2: You didn't even get the joke right. Organic in chemistry terms means 'contains carbon.' Salt doesn't.

          • (Score: 3, Funny) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:49AM

            by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:49AM (#137492) Journal

            I always thought Lot's wife's name was Ester, because she was an organic salt.

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:09AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:09AM (#137583) Journal

            Carbonate is also salt (in the chemical meaning of "salt"). And it certainly contains carbon (that's where it gets its name from).

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 1) by curunir_wolf on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:24PM

        by curunir_wolf (4772) on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:24PM (#137676)
        Pure salt may not have DNA, but most sugar will, unless it's hyper processed into pure glucose. Then again, both of those things (especially salt) are more accurately food additives, and not really categorized as "food".
        --
        I am a crackpot
    • (Score: 2) by mth on Friday January 23 2015, @01:51PM

      by mth (2848) on Friday January 23 2015, @01:51PM (#137234) Homepage

      Items like bottled water and salt would not contain DNA (other than neglible amounts from contamination). I guess milk wouldn't either, since it's something excreted by cells rather than the cells themselves that you're consuming, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:02PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:02PM (#137238)

        Milk has bacteria in it unless it's labeled "ultra-pasteurized [wikipedia.org]". The pasteurization process normally used in the US does not kill all of the bacteria, which is why milk will go bad even if you don't open it. Also, dead bacteria might still contain DNA, although enough heat to kill the bacteria may also include destroying the DNA.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:53PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:53PM (#137235)

      Sugar is just sucrose. I suspect there are other foods where the parts containing DNA have been separated, but I'm not sure what they are.

    • (Score: 2) by RamiK on Friday January 23 2015, @02:30PM

      by RamiK (1813) on Friday January 23 2015, @02:30PM (#137247)

      Fizzy drinks, candy floss and chewing gum mostly don't have DNA in them.

      --
      compiling...
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:58PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:58PM (#137252)

        There's not much spam in that one.

        • (Score: 2) by meisterister on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:05PM

          by meisterister (949) on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:05PM (#137671) Journal

          There's not much in spam, either.

          --
          (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Immerman on Friday January 23 2015, @03:23PM

        by Immerman (3985) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:23PM (#137262)

        They also don't have food in them. They have a few *components* of food in them, but calling them food is like giving somebody a bag of bolts and calling it a car.

    • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Friday January 23 2015, @03:40PM

      by dyingtolive (952) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:40PM (#137266)

      Well, I'm sure the extruded foam and soft plastic that they use for food at McDonalds is safe from this warning...

      --
      Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
      • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:51AM

        by dry (223) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:51AM (#137494) Journal

        I think the workers usually add some of their own DNA after the food is cooked.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:51PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @06:51PM (#137372)

      What do you mean, almost all food?

      Haven't you ever eaten at McDonalds?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @01:53PM (#137236)

    Stop the presses!

  • (Score: 1) by Nuke on Friday January 23 2015, @01:57PM

    by Nuke (3162) on Friday January 23 2015, @01:57PM (#137237)

    So what? Even with all the other health and safety crap on labels, I am sure they could still find some room for "Contains DNA". Add dihydrogen oxide too and a list of every substance on Earth because there could be trace of it.

    It is like nuts. Every food, even soda water, I buy these days says " May contain traces of nuts". It has ceased to be meaningful.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:11PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:11PM (#137239)

      That's because can of tuna does not need to have tuna in it.

    • (Score: 2) by E_NOENT on Friday January 23 2015, @02:29PM

      by E_NOENT (630) on Friday January 23 2015, @02:29PM (#137245) Journal

      I was going to mention the dihydrogen oxide stuff as well.

      This just in: Simple concepts can be expressed in a way that makes them sound complicated, and given the right context, people reflexively assume the worst!

      It's all sensationalist clickbat.

      --
      I'm not in the business... I *am* the business.
      • (Score: 2) by MrNemesis on Friday January 23 2015, @04:58PM

        by MrNemesis (1582) on Friday January 23 2015, @04:58PM (#137312)

        You might very well glibly say that from the comfort of your home, but how would you feel if you knew that agents working under the Democrats are allowing hydric acid to pollute the water supply of states that predominantly vote Republican? And that neither the president, CDC or FEMA plan to do anything about it?

        What's next, children's ice cream?

        --
        "To paraphrase Nietzsche, I have looked into the abyss and been sick in it."
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:54AM

          by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:54AM (#137495) Journal

          Hydric acid??? I suppose you're saying H+ + OH-, but wouldn't that by hydroxic acid or something. Hydric acid should describe any acid at all, as the H+ ion is practically(?) the definition of acid.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 2) by dyingtolive on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:56PM

          by dyingtolive (952) on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:56PM (#137696)

          If I were him, I'd continue speaking glibly until I saw I was in a red state. :(

          --
          Don't blame me, I voted for moose wang!
    • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:10PM (#137258)

      "It is like nuts."

      I agree, the labeling crazyness is nuts.

      The worst part is, there are things that should be labeled, but get drowned out in a wave of "Fat Free Organiciy GMOed Tree Nuts" labels.

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:35PM

        by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @02:35PM (#137620) Homepage Journal

        The one that REALLY amuses me is "GLUTEN FREE!!!" as if gluten was some sort of poison. Guess what? Gluten is only a problem if you have celiac disease, a rare genetic disorder. It has as much meaning to a normal person as "low calorie" has to a skinny guy like me who would like to add a few pounds.

        --
        Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
        • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Tuesday January 27 2015, @05:27PM

          by nitehawk214 (1304) on Tuesday January 27 2015, @05:27PM (#138581)

          At least it is something measurable and actually makes a difference to someone.

          "Certified Organic", now that is a load of bullshit right there. At least they used organic fertilizer.

          --
          "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
          • (Score: 2) by mcgrew on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:52PM

            by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Wednesday January 28 2015, @01:52PM (#138858) Homepage Journal

            There has been a lot of criticism of the word "organic", but that word has more than just the chemical meaning. OED: "(Of food or farming methods) produced or involving production without the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, or other artificial agents." Of course, it also gives the scientific definition.

            Criticism should go towards those who use use "organic" as a meaningless buzzword. If you use glyphosate and call your crop "organic" you're a liar. Of course, true organic farming uses a lot of real, physical bullshit.

            --
            Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:15PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:15PM (#137470)

      [Labeling] [...] has ceased to be meaningful

      In California, you'll see one of these on the front door of e.g. Starbuck's.
      Prop 65 warning [kqed.org]

      The anybody-can-make-up-a-law thing can really turn up some poorly-educated folks who shouldn't be doing that.

      -- gewg_

    • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:56AM

      by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:56AM (#137496) Journal

      FWIW, I bought a bag of almonds that had the warning "Caution: may contain nuts".

      I blame the intersection of the lawyers and the court system.

      --
      Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
      • (Score: 1) by ncc74656 on Saturday January 24 2015, @06:18PM

        by ncc74656 (4917) on Saturday January 24 2015, @06:18PM (#137654) Homepage

        FWIW, I bought a bag of almonds that had the warning "Caution: may contain nuts".

        The jug of milk in my refrigerator has this line on the label:

        Ingredients: Milk, Vitamin D3. Contains: Milk.

        A jug of milk contains milk? No sh*t, Sherlock. If it didn't, I'd take it back and complain.

        Lawyers will be the death of us if they're not brought under control.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:06AM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:06AM (#137574) Homepage Journal

      A little girl recently died because she accidentally ate a cookie that had peanut butter in it. She knew what was going to happen, begged her parents to save her life. Her parents were prepared with three Epipens - spring-loaded, automatic Epinephrine syringes - but just three injections failed to save her.

      In less than twenty minutes, she perished in horrible agony right in front of her stricken parents.

      You know how little children can be. I really have no idea but speculate that it was no accident that she was given that particular cookie.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:21AM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:21AM (#137584) Journal

        The label "can contain traces of nuts" could be helpful to allergic people if it were only put on food which has a non-negligible chance to contain traces of nuts.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:25PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @02:25PM (#137243)

    Just as ACA is a step in the right direction towards single payer system, "containing DNA" is the step towards identifying food containing GMO .

    Neither ACA or "containing DNA" are good or make much difference but I would vote for both

    • (Score: 2) by ikanreed on Friday January 23 2015, @03:06PM

      by ikanreed (3164) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:06PM (#137255) Journal

      Define "genetically modified" for me.

      • (Score: 2) by edIII on Friday January 23 2015, @10:38PM

        by edIII (791) on Friday January 23 2015, @10:38PM (#137455)

        Genetically Modified:

        1) Anything containing DNA that is encumbered by the constraints of intellectual property and the capitalism and/or politics surrounding it. Specifically, if any human being, directly or indirectly (corporations), is granted legal entitlements to powers and controls over the nature of a living thing and its interactions with other human beings and/or life. (This is my preferred labeling method myself, aka The Food's Been EULA'd)

        2) Anything containing DNA, in which the genetic pattern of the DNA has been sufficiently altered from a previous generation outside of natural processes. Specifically, if a human being, or any device or process who's genesis and operations were caused by a human being, are shown to make a single willful and premeditated modification not possible outside of natural processes. Natural processes are defined as those processes already found in nature, or processes considered to be part of Mendelian genetics.

        --
        Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:07AM

          by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:07AM (#137500) Journal

          Sorry, but part 2 needs work. In particular, I challenge you to show that ANY genetic change could not occur in nature. (FWIW, humans have some inactive plant virus DNA in their DNA. Probably also some plant DNA, but I don't definitely know that, I just believe it.)

          Genes are a lot more mobile over the millennia than people normally assume.

          That said, I definitely agree with point 1 (i.e., I want to know if a product is built from patented genes), and I *think* I agree with what you probably meant by point 2. (N.B.: I won't necessarily refuse to buy something just because it depends on patented organic life, but I want to have that information available for consideration.)

          OTOH, I consider pesticides considerably more significant than GMO...so far. But there are numerous reports of people who can't eat wheat in the US, but who have no trouble with wheat grown to European criteria. GMO? Pesticides? Something else? It would be nice to be able to collect information...but that requires informative labels.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday January 23 2015, @03:57PM

      by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:57PM (#137274)

      How does this make sense? Virtually everything we eat contains DNA. In fact, I demand DNA be in things like cheese.

      Now, if they did genetic testing to ensure that the item contained the DNA they claimed, sure. But that would be horrifyingly expensive, and largely unnecessary.

      And besides, do you count the DNA from the bacteria that is on your food?

      --
      "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
      • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:09AM

        by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:09AM (#137501) Journal

        FWIW, DNA tests have frequently found that fish sold are often not of the species claimed. Whether this is important to you or not, fraud of this nature is common.

        --
        Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:24PM (#137327)

      All corn is genetically-modified, since its no longer maize, so all corn must be labeled GMO. Many plans have been genetically modified by humans, to the point where labeling them "GMO" would be pointless.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:57PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:57PM (#137398)

        Just like somebody actively listening to the radio must be radioactive...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:25PM (#137429)

        A genetically modified organism (GMO) is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:37PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:37PM (#137435)

          What if it is treated with radiation or a mutagen to attain a desired phenotype?

          • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:17AM

            by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:17AM (#137504) Journal

            Are you counting seedless watermelons?

            Seedless watermelons are created by chemical treatments early in the generation of the individual plant (or fruit, I don't know the details, but it's not genetic, unlike navel oranges).

            --
            Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
  • (Score: 5, Funny) by sudo rm -rf on Friday January 23 2015, @02:26PM

    by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Friday January 23 2015, @02:26PM (#137244) Journal

    I wouldn't care, I don't eat anything that casts a shadow anyway

    • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Friday January 23 2015, @02:40PM

      by GlennC (3656) on Friday January 23 2015, @02:40PM (#137249)

      I wouldn't care, I don't eat anything that casts a shadow anyway

      So where does this transparent food come from? ;D

      --
      Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
      • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday January 23 2015, @03:13PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:13PM (#137260)

        Or perhaps it is 2 dimensional food?

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 2) by HiThere on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:21AM

          by HiThere (866) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:21AM (#137505) Journal

          Well, there's the gourmet restaurant in Chicago that serves as sushi flavored, colored pieces of rice paper... I've never tried it, as 1) I don't live in the area, 2) it doesn't sound appealing, and 3) it's probably too expensive, but oriented correctly it shouldn't cast a shadow.

          --
          Javascript is what you use to allow unknown third parties to run software you have no idea about on your computer.
        • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Sunday January 25 2015, @05:18AM

          by GeminiDomino (661) on Sunday January 25 2015, @05:18AM (#137780)

          Nah, just 2-dimensional food consumers.

          --
          "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @03:27AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @03:27AM (#137527)

        Can see it in hospitals - often delivered via bags and tubes.
        http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Nutrition+through+an+Intravenous+Line [thefreedictionary.com]
        http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-63311/amino-acids-325-with-electrolytes-26-glycerin-intravenous/details [webmd.com]

        FWIW cooking oil, raw egg white; sugar, starch, soluble fibre and multivitamin solutions don't cast much of shadows. Not sure how long you'd last on that though.

    • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Friday January 23 2015, @03:04PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:04PM (#137253)
      So you pretty much subsist on vampires?
      • (Score: 2) by nitehawk214 on Friday January 23 2015, @03:13PM

        by nitehawk214 (1304) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:13PM (#137259)

        What was the character in HHGTTH that only ate other sentient beings?

        --
        "Don't you ever miss the days when you used to be nostalgic?" -Loiosh
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:13PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:13PM (#137469)

          What was the character in HHGTTH that only ate other sentient beings?

          Actually, if we are going with HHGTTG, a more apropos comparison would have to be Gargravarr, the disembodied mind and custodian of the Total Perspective Vortex on Frogstar World B.

    • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:23AM

      by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:23AM (#137585) Journal

      Ah, I see, you only eat in the dark.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by morgauxo on Friday January 23 2015, @02:29PM

    by morgauxo (2082) on Friday January 23 2015, @02:29PM (#137246)

    I misunderstood when I first read the title.

    I thought maybe they were talking about DNA testing food to see what species are in it kind of like how they survey microbe populations. It made sense to me, to see how much weed material makes it into your grain for example.

    • (Score: 2) by dry on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:09AM

      by dry (223) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:09AM (#137502) Journal

      They were doing similar with fish in Canada and finding that most fish was mis-labeled as far a species. Luckily the fish companies lobbied for smaller government and got that part of government shrunk to nothing. Small government is the best thing for the freedom of business to rip people off and as a bonus the government can put all the savings into spying on citizens to make sure they can't vote if they're considering voting for one of the other parties.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Friday January 23 2015, @03:47PM

    by Freeman (732) on Friday January 23 2015, @03:47PM (#137270) Journal

    So long as it's Green Free, I'm good.

    --
    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:09PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:09PM (#137283)

    I hate the term "organic". Just about the only non-organic substance in the grocery store is salt.

    All "organic" means is that they did not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides (which are often organic chemicals) in production.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:20PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:20PM (#137323)

      > I hate the term "organic". Just about the only non-organic substance in the grocery store is salt.

      Words can have more than one definition. How old are you that you still haven't been able to come to terms with that?
      Expecting that people use the word organic only in the sense of organic chemistry is sheldon-cooperism.

      > All "organic" means is that they did not use chemical fertilizers and pesticides (which are often organic chemicals) in production.

      USDA Organic labelling requirements [usda.gov]

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @06:43PM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @06:43PM (#137366) Homepage Journal

      If to be organic requires that something be composed of covalently-bonded carbon, why do I work so hard to obtain organic links to my website?

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:11PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:11PM (#137284)

    When 100% of all organic food has "contains DNA" on it, people might actually learn something.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:50PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @04:50PM (#137309)

    Are we going to list every part of a cell too?

    Contains Mitochondria, Ribosomes, Golgi, Cytoplasm, and Vacuoles

    Seems really ridiculous.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:02PM (#137316)

      Mitochondria are people too!

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by cellocgw on Friday January 23 2015, @07:24PM

        by cellocgw (4190) on Friday January 23 2015, @07:24PM (#137391)

        "MItochondria are people too."

        Aren't they the ones invade our bodies so we can sense the Force?

        I know someone who's a hypochondrian. How many Mitochondrians per hypochondrian?

        (ok, ok, I'll stop now)

        --
        Physicist, cellist, former OTTer (1190) resume: https://app.box.com/witthoftresume
        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:27AM

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @09:27AM (#137586) Journal

          "MItochondria are people too."

          Aren't they the ones invade our bodies so we can sense the Force?

          No, they invaded the "bodies" of our early single-celled ancestors so they could use oxygen to help with getting energy from food.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 1) by cellocgw on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:38PM

            by cellocgw (4190) on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:38PM (#137609)

            Yr a buzzkill :-)

            --
            Physicist, cellist, former OTTer (1190) resume: https://app.box.com/witthoftresume
          • (Score: 1) by GeminiDomino on Sunday January 25 2015, @05:21AM

            by GeminiDomino (661) on Sunday January 25 2015, @05:21AM (#137781)

            What was that PSX game that boiled down to a "mitochondria rebellion" that was making people spontaneously combust? I think it was published by Square...

            --
            "We've been attacked by the intelligent, educated segment of our culture"
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:15PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @05:15PM (#137320)

    Knowing about DNA is not something that 99% of the population needs in order to go about their daily life. Just like there are millions of things that you don't need to know about to live your life. The stupid people here aren't the ones answering the question, it's the people asking the question without better defining it first. Compare it to an article summary submitted here full of acronyms without definitions - when that happens it is considered poor form.

    The people answering this question were basically subjected to a vocabulary test in disguise, except they also relied on the fact that food labelling goes through a process mediated by experts. So they were happy to express support for more stringent labelling requirements, even if - not being food scientists themselves - they couldn't express it with precise terminology.

    All you smug people going on about dihydrogen monoxide and the like are really just showing off your ignorance of the human condition.

    • (Score: 0) by t-3 on Friday January 23 2015, @05:50PM

      by t-3 (4907) on Friday January 23 2015, @05:50PM (#137340) Journal

      Excellent point!

    • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Friday January 23 2015, @06:51PM

      by hemocyanin (186) on Friday January 23 2015, @06:51PM (#137373) Journal

      This should be +5 already.

    • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @06:58PM

      by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @06:58PM (#137377) Homepage Journal

      Consider that many mental illnesses are demonstrably genetic. Were the public to understand genetics in more detail, it would go a long ways towards reversing the stigma against mental illness, which to this very day is commonly regarded as a character defect on the part of the one who suffers.

      The concern about GMO foods isn't just hippies being politically correct. Monsanto developed a species of corn that produces its own insecticide. While they claim that humans don't digest the insecticide, it's found in the breast milk of nursing mothers.

      My main gripe about GMO foods is that they are primarily not used to promote human health - as is the case with Golden Rice, which contains Beta Carotene - but that GMO crops are commonly used to enable pesticide resistance. What that means is that we are breeding insects that are increasingly resistant to pesticides themselves.

      Humans have had agriculture for roughly 8,000 years. We've had chemical pesticides for roughly eighty years. Are chemical pesticides really necessary?

      I would argue that they were, for a few decades. However the developed world now has a huge surplus of food. The problems of hunger could largely be solved through more equitable distribution of the food we already have as well as enabling the developing world to take advantage of agricultural technologies other than pesticides. For example I myself used to write image processing code for an agricultural consulting firm that used multispectral aerial imaging to diagnose crop diseases as well as to predict yields.

      That would be cheap as dirt to do with a quadcopter.

      --
      Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:25PM (#137430)

      The idea here seems to be the capacity of people to make stupid misinformed decisions. Poor understanding of biology 101 may not have much impact on society, but these same people are subject to being manipulated by bullshit like "national security" and "think of the children" in order to legitimize government overreach through popular support.

      Democracy and culture of ignorance is a terrible combination.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:23AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @12:23AM (#137486)

        > but these same people are subject to being manipulated by bullshit

        Like the way the study's authors did in choosing to ask a question practically designed to get the results it did?

        This should be a lesson in how easily someone running a survey can gin up the results they want simply by leaving out important context and letting both the people answering the questions project their context and letting the people like you and me who read the results project a different context onto the question.

        • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:16AM

          by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:16AM (#137575) Homepage Journal

          In general one can use the same trademark as someone else uses, provided one's own use of the market is not "confusingly similar" to that of the other holder's use.

          I met a psychology graduate student who once worked for a legal firm that pressed trademark infringement suits. What they would do is survey a randomly-selected set of volunteers who would answer questions as to whether the St. Louis Arch (single arch, silver in color) was confusingly similar to McD's Golden arches.

          Based on the results of the first survey, they would revise the questions so as to yield the desired response, but also in such a way that the questions aren't transparently obviously biased.

          Lather, rinse, repeated and a St. Louis engineering firm had to come up with a new logo, as well as to reprint all of its marketing materials.

          But to my great joy, a distant cousin of mine threatened to throw the McDonald's Corporation COMPLETELY OUT OF SCOTLAND when some jackass attorney sent a cease and desist letter to the Donald Clan Chieftan, telling my cousing he had to change the name of his pub!

          Roughly ten years ago - I don't clearly recall when - the Supreme Court of Canada rules that any business may call itself "McDonalds" provided it not sell hamburgers.

          I myself am contemplating setting up some manner of employment agency that will in all seriousness help applicants get McJobs.

          Provided I am not directly across the street from a McDonalds, and that I avoid certain specific practices - such as the precise shades of red and yellow - while McDonalds is used to getting its way, in reality the law is on my side.

          I have some gripes with McDonalds myself. Don't even get me started.

          The great thing about being busted flat broke while at the same time living near some of the world's finest law libraries, is that I am uncollectable as well as don't have a whole lot better to do than hang out in courtrooms.

          --
          Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @09:54PM (#137440)

      Bullshit. People know about DNA so it is not a vocabulary test in disguise.
      I understand your point though. This is more of a failing in scientific literacy since people do not connect the dots necessary to know why DNA would be in their food if it was not GMO.

      • (Score: 2) by martyb on Saturday January 24 2015, @10:52PM

        by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Saturday January 24 2015, @10:52PM (#137713) Journal

        Quoth the AC:

        This is more of a failing in scientific literacy since people do not connect the dots necessary to know why DNA would be in their food if it was not GMO.

        What do you mean "not connect the dots"? It's as plain as day in the story's "dept" line!

        from the DNA->SNA->SLA->TLA->TBA->NBA->NBC->NEC->SEC->SEO->SCO->TCO->TMO->GMO dept.

        But in all seriousness, I had great fun creating that! One, and only one, letter is changed per step. Do you recognize all the TLAs?

        --
        Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @06:14PM

    by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @06:14PM (#137351) Homepage Journal

    This according the Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague".

    Not Publicly-Funded Health Care such as Obamacare. Public Health such as ensuring restaurants aren't overrun by roaches.

    --
    Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:25PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @08:25PM (#137405)

      But... but... the free market would sort those restaurants out, honest!

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @10:02PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @10:02PM (#137444)

      Roaches do not carry human diseases.

      • (Score: 2) by MichaelDavidCrawford on Friday January 23 2015, @11:12PM

        by MichaelDavidCrawford (2339) Subscriber Badge <mdcrawford@gmail.com> on Friday January 23 2015, @11:12PM (#137467) Homepage Journal

        I'm heavily into cooking. I've always thought it would be cool to operate my own restaurant.

        --
        Yes I Have No Bananas. [gofundme.com]
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:42AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:42AM (#137509)

          Catering might be a good stepping stone. You have a limited menu, set dates to plan for, do not have to deal with the restaurant stuff, and the initial investment is not as high.

          I would recommend buying an immersion circulator if you do not already have one and like to cook.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:21PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @07:21PM (#137390)

    “Do you support or oppose the following government policies?”
    “Mandatory labels on foods containing DNA”

    I want all food I buy to be labeled, so I'd mark yes for that question. The question says nothing about what the label would look like. No where does it infer that the label would be something like "This product contains DNA". I would interpret this question as someone wanting to remove the already mandatory labels as a law saying "No mandatory labels on foods containing DNA" means all current mandatory labels can be removed. Thus I'd vote 'Support' and people would call me stupid.

    This is another example of a poorly designed survey. Surveys should leave nothing to interpretation. They should have provided examples for all of their questions.

    ----
    Software would be better if people didn't make so many assumptions while developing it.

  • (Score: 2) by naubol on Friday January 23 2015, @11:47PM

    by naubol (1918) on Friday January 23 2015, @11:47PM (#137478)

    Would be amusing to figure out how to gut cells and serve pure bi-lipid layers.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 24 2015, @01:51AM (#137511)

      Add a food grade detergent until you hit the CMC and solubilize the membranes.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:52PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23 2015, @11:52PM (#137480)

    It's usually denatured by the time you eat it.

  • (Score: 1) by Happy.Heyoka on Saturday January 24 2015, @05:23AM

    by Happy.Heyoka (4542) on Saturday January 24 2015, @05:23AM (#137554)

    So when I buy my little tub of fruit salad, I demand the full sequence of every distinct DNA present be printed (in no less than 9 point type) on the side of the container.

    Of course that would required the surface area of the label to be about the same as a shipping container.

    I think this is misguided and could be used to skew the argument for labelling GMOs (eg: "those people are crazy, don't they know everything we grow to eat has DNA").

    Personally, I have no problem eating GMOs - I don't have allergies and unless they introduce some really novel proteins or something then I trust my gut. Label them and let the market decide.

    Introducing GMOs into the environment willy-nilly without some regulation... that's a different story.

  • (Score: 2) by meisterister on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:13PM

    by meisterister (949) on Saturday January 24 2015, @08:13PM (#137672) Journal

    Since the mere act of living involves sorting through massive quantities of data, our brains developed heuristics to try to free up some mental processing time for whatever else early humans were doing besides staying alive. It looks to me like at least one of the following is true:

    1. In the US, we're using the heuristic of "Ban $CHEMICAL_SOUNDING_THING? Sure!"
    2. That many people either genuinely don't know what DNA is or couldn't remember.

    Now, if we would teach critical thinking in this country, people would be far less likely to be fooled by things like this.

    --
    (May or may not have been) Posted from my K6-2, Athlon XP, or Pentium I/II/III.
  • (Score: 2) by sudo rm -rf on Sunday January 25 2015, @09:40AM

    by sudo rm -rf (2357) on Sunday January 25 2015, @09:40AM (#137822) Journal

    Soylent News has a pager(*)! I didn't know that...

    (*)seems broken, though