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11/15/2014 at 18:12
He references the book Seed of Destruction.
So I'm pretty sure he knows how very little actual science (90 day trials which makes things all A-OK for the FDA to be fed to humans, add one month and the rats have huge tumors).
That stuff is a bunch of lies and Greg knows it for sure, all of the crap pushed on by Monsanto (basically a revolving door of US government officers at some time or other and vice verca).
Location: Berlin, Germany
06/05/2010 at 10:44
Well, the fact that this song is about genetic ingeneering (in food) seems well-established. The question is HOW sceptical of it this song (Greg) is. The undertone of the entire song (plus the title) seems to be that of scepticism, which I find a little hard to believe. I mean, I am certainly not saying that genetic ingeneering is absolutely uncontroversial (science, by definition, hardly ever is - there are always uncertainty and open questions that are gradually answered). But fundamentally I'm all for it. And Greg as a scientifically (speciically biologically) trained person, I would think, would appreciate the possibilities that come with genetic engeneering.
04/30/2010 at 15:10
Recently, Graffin introduced this song in Duisburg, Germany as follows:
"How many of you guys are into horticulture? [...] This song is not specifically about horticulture but it is talking about something that concerns all of us: genetic engineering."
I will illustrate my view on this one with an example:
I live in Germany and for those of you who don't know: If you want to market a gentically modified (GM) plant, this country is probably the most inappropriate place to choose for. In March 2010, 13 years after the approval application has been filed, the European Commission finally allowed cultivation of the GM potato "Amflora" in the EU. This potato is a product by BASF Plant Science and it is intended for use in industrial starch production. It is not to be sold as food, besides it wouldn't taste so well either.
One of Amflora's most criticized features is that it contains a bacterial antibiotic resistance gene. This gene has been introduced to the plant together with the "gene of interest" which mediates the desired property, in this case production of high quality starch. Here, the resistance gene is used only as a genetic marker in the lab. It allows the scientist to determine quickly whether the desired gene transfer has taken place (he treats the plant with the corresponding antibiotic and waits to see whether it survives).
The reason why resistance genes in GM plants are a matter of intensive controversy is that some people believe that those genes could somehow be transferred from the plant to pathogenic bacteria, which thereby also become immune to the respective antibiotic. This might become a problem if you want to cure a specific disease and suddenly your antibiotic doesn't help any more.
If you are not familiar with microbiology it might sound strange to you that a gene could travel from a plant to a bacterium. Nevertheless, stuff like this really happens. The easiest way would be that those genes were adopted directly by the soil bacteria in the field. If I am right on my interpretation, Graffin is among those who believe that this kind of gene transfer could give rise to some super bugs which otherwise wouldn't turn up. He associates plant biotechnology with a regress in medical progress and drug development. The term "germs of perfection" is ambiguous and can be interpreted as referring to either the seedlings of genetically improved plants or to the infectious bacteria becoming more and more dangerous because of antibiotic resistance acquisition.
Fortunately, those critics often miss the fact that common resistance genes used as genetic markers in plants (and so in Amflora) are already very abundant in soil bacteria. This is not because of "contamination" by GM organisms, it's simply pure nature. Since gene transfer occurs more frequently between bacteria themselves than between plants and bacteria, GM plants carrying a resistance gene would contribute only very little to its distribution. Another point is that if there is no "selective pressure" and a bacterium is not exposed to an antibiotic, it might also loose a newly acquired resistance gene again. This is why multi-resistant germs usually evolve in hospitals where antibiotics are applied frequently, but not in the field.
There is much more room for interpretation on this one but since my contribution is already growing way too large, I will leave it as that. There are of course good reasons to be against genetic engineering (as there are reasons to be against virtually anything else) but the common arguments usually don't work if you think about them carefully. And btw: GM food is no more toxic than anything else!