Genetic Roulette picked apart on Youtube

This comes via PythagoreanCrank in the Forum. The League of Nerds has just published an hour-long investigation into the documentary, Genetic Roulette, and they are as kind as can be expected from scientists who know what they are talking about. Just a casual conversation on a couch with no green screen, a magical cat, and just enough swear words to add color to their tin foil hats!

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Karl is a Ph.D. Candidate in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison. In addition to his research on the genetics of sweet corn, he is also completing a minor in science communication and is working on several media projects about plant breeding. His favorite produce might just be squash.


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7 comments to Genetic Roulette picked apart on Youtube

  • lars

    As soon as I saw the tin foil hats, I knew this was going to be a waste of time. I lasted less than 5 minutes. These guys THINK they’re entertaining.

    • I haven’t seen it yet but everyone has a different sense of humor. I’m glad to see people being skeptical about documentaries though. So many of these films (on many topics) are presented as god’s own truth but the reality is each documentary has its own frame of beliefs and values.

  • Ha ha ha! I can’t wait to watch it. But I’m watching the #agchat #GMO discussion this evening.

    But I am delighted to see their hats. I told them to be careful:

    http://twitter.com/mem_somerville/status/404272842662891520

  • The Bug Guy

    I’m with lars, though I made it about through ten minutes of low-content “friendly banter”.

    I support a good, skeptical look, but I can see few people making it through enough of it to make a difference.

  • theoldtechnite

    I actually watched Genetic Roulette in its entirety. I am nearly certain that some of the photos (and a graph or two) they displayed as proof of the damages of GMO’s are actually photos of GMO and non-gmo crops, side-by-side, showing how the GMO crop was faring better. They went by rather quickly but i though i recognized them from other articles, in particular, BT cotton besides non-BT cotton.

    Has anyone else seen this?

  • Tom Huntford

    Not impressed by the goof-off hats or the filthy language. The whole atmosphere is so cavalier. It only strengthens the perception that the biotechnology scientific community is arrogant and uncaring in this matter, so self-confident in their conclusions that they disparage anyone who disagrees.

    Even if you think feeding BT toxin and glyphosate-laced foods to people is perfectly safe, you at least ought to consider people’s reservations more seriously. Like the lady I met recently who has a lot of experience with autism (she has two children with this oondition). I asked her, “what percent of autistic children have GI problems?” The answer, “80%”. I asked, “What percent have leaky gut syndrome?” The answer–”50%”. And, interestingly enough, there was a 30-year old father of 3 or 4 kids there, who has terrible digestion problems due to…leaky gut. Now, the CryAB toxins drill holes in the gut. The only thing that triggers the action is a high Ph. Soooo…what happens when the BT toxin is in the human gut, and a high-Ph food is ingested? Do we know? Are we that confident? Does it cross the placental wall? Does it affect the human at…3 months?…9 months?…2 years? Do you think people like me are idiots because we are wondering why conditions like Celiac, food allergies, and autism have skyrocketed in very close statistical correlation with the increase of CryAB toxin and glyphosate-sprayed plants in the food supply?

    This 2012 academic book, Advanced Technologies for Managing Pests, is hardly anti-GMO. It has a section on the BT (Cry) toxin. I note that their tone is very, very different from the cavalier tinfoil hats, joking about Frank N. Foode, gloating over the defeat of mandatory labelling measures, etc. The authors highlight definite risks, and indications that all is NOT so made-in-the-shade with the human ingestion of these poisons. I thought it particularly interesting that the CryAB toxin structure is very close to that of…diptheria.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=mIIUxHAjWuYC&pg=PA198&lpg=PA198&dq=cry+ab+toxin+structure&source=bl&ots=ibqT5Qy7aQ&sig=MYPK2iMxf7WkLtvxFjojjq7rH_g&hl=en&sa=X&ei=dc7cUtfEBsOJogTdkYDQBQ&ved=0CG4Q6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=cry%20ab%20toxin%20structure&f=false

    And BTW, how disrespectful of people, to put filthy language in a presentation geared to convince the public, many of whom are religious. But I daresay that if they had used racial epithets it would have generated a howl of protest, and immediately been yanked, because of the obvious bigotry against a group of people. Sorry, the whole thing leaves the impression that you folks just do not care.

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