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posted by martyb on Friday January 23 2015, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly
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).

 
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  • (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
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  • (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?