bad clown no nugget

Police haul away Ronald McDonald after he locked himself to the gates of a McDonald's distribution center in Wiri, New Zealand. Ronald -- actually a Greenpeace activist dressed as the enemy -- was protesting McDonald's alleged use of chickens that have been fed genetically engineered grain.
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29 Responses:

  1. wntd says:

    But it was worth it, because all GM foods are dangerous and evil. All those people with their "science" and "rationality" bullshit are just trying to keep you from the truth.

    • jwz says:

      However, you should never, ever trust a clown.

    • jck says:

      GM food isn't "evil", just completely under-tested, IMHO. It's not a matter that GM food should never be used for public consumption, it's that pushers of GM food have ramrodded into our lives without rigorous enough testing. We are talking about our food here - I'm fine with doing without the economic advantages of GM food in exchange for knowing that it's completely safe for consumption and wise for our ecology.

      Then again, most people have the choice to just get their food at a natural foods co-op anyhow. There are plenty of equally good health and environmental reasons not to eat at the Golden Arches other than their use of GM foods...

      • thealien says:

        What sort of tests haven't been run that should have been?

      • jwz says:

        The vast majority of the screaming about GM food is completely baseless -- we used to call it "breeding." There is basically no food that humans eat that is not "genetically" "modified" in some way. You can (and we do) produce ecology-destroying plague-encouraging antibiotic-resistant monocultures the old fashioned way as well.

        But this new way is scarier because it involves "lasers" or something.

        Criminal lack of testing and oversight are not exactly confined to so-called "GM" foods; witness mad cow. That has nothing to do with genetics and everything to do with our plutotropic transhuman corporate overlords.

        However, the GM-patent games that companies like Monsanto are playing with the third world are truly evil. ("You're starving to death? Here are some free seeds. Oh BTW now we 0wnz0r j00.")

        But most of the people who oppose GM oppose it for purely luddite fear-mongering reasons. It is not notably worse than the status quo, so it doesn't deserve to be singled out as it has been. The real problems are everywhere.

        • lars_larsen says:

          plutotropic transhuman corporate overlords

          That should be your band name.

        • aris1234 says:

          Normally this would be correct, but in the case of many GM crops the genes are transgenic. I would not have thought that a plant and a worm would have cross bred naturally - but this is what GM is forcing nature to do.

          • jwz says:

            Yeah, but so? Cows were not docile and sedentary either until we made them that way. Bananas were not seedless and incapable of reproducing except through cuttings. In their natural state, ears of corn were smaller than your fingernail. Nature didn't select for these traits, we did. And sometimes it has gone badly.

            But I just don't see GM food as being qualitatively different than what we've been doing for like eight thousand years.

            It's quanitatively different, but so is everything we do, since there are so damned many of us.

            • aris1234 says:

              IMHO it is messing with things we do not fully understand the consequences of. Do we really need GM? Do people want it? I'm not sure. I was heartened to see that Monsanto are ditching (for the moment) GM Wheat because of consumer backlash around the world.

              • jwz says:

                I think you're still missing my point. One of the things that counts as "messing with things we do not fully understand the consequences of" is called "farming." It has exactly the same consequences.

                • aris1234 says:

                  I suppose it is the same thing on two different levels.

                  Cross-breeding between the same species to achieve a desired result is less risky and something we have an excellent understanding of and has been done for thousands of years. Crossing different spieces to achieve the a desired result is the next level which we do not fully understand as well. We need to be a bit more cautious before letting companies like Monsanto put profits before ethics or the ecology.

                  ALL IMHO of course. You know the saying - 'opinions are like arseholes - everyone has one' :-)

                • pathogen says:

                  You know, you're really good at making compelling points.

              • baconmonkey says:

                science, by definition, requires "messing with things we don't understand". pretty well every time a new technological frontier is being explored, the frankenstein monster is invoked. granted, all advancements have drawbacks. 100 years ago, nobody had carpal tunnel syndrome.

                • wfaulk says:

                  Yeah, but, generally, the scientists have enough ethics to not foist their untested results on the mass populace.

                  Those nuclear experiments which may or may not cause a new big bang notwithstanding.

                  • cetan says:

                    You do realize that there is a non-zero probability that two cars colliding could cause another (as you incorrectly put it) "big bang," right?

                    Your fear of subatomic physics is without merit.

                  • wfaulk says:
                    1. One would assume that there was a marginally higher probability associated with whatever experiment they were conducting, since they felt the need to tell us that. Of course, maybe they were just trying to garner attention.
                    2. It was a joke, bub.
            • deeptape says:

              It's probably qualitatively different, too. Mixing functional genes from radically different sources is neat to do in a lab and managed in a controlled environment (spider silk in goat's milk), but releasing such a creation in a monoculture like that which exists due to modern farming methods is asking for trouble.

              Back to Montanto's 'terminator seeds', extra-hardy one-generation plants naturally cross-breeding their genes to normal stock could initiate a disaster of biblical proportions. It probably wouldn't take much variation in worldwide food production due to such an outbreak to really screw things up, economically hand-wavingly speaking.


              "Camila Montecinos, an agronomist with the Chilean organization, CET, has another concern, "We've talked to a number of crop geneticists who have studied the patent," she says. "They're telling us that it's likely that pollen from crops carrying the Terminator trait will infect the fields of farmers who either reject or can't afford the technology. Their crop won't be affected that season but when farmers reach into their bins to sow seed the following season they could discover - too late - that some of their seed is sterile. This could lead to very high yield losses. If the technology is transmitted through recessive genes, we could see several years of irregular harvests and a general - even dramatic - decline in food security for the poorest farm communities." "

              (meh, where's my torch and pitchfork...)

          • baconmonkey says:

            This concern leans a bit towards the assumption that all species are distinct and each is comprised of a finite number of genetic possibilities. in otherwords, it suggests that the genetic definition of "common housecat" is relatively fixed set of genes, with limited room for variation, that has remained unchanged since the beginning of time. This is very much so not the case.

      • lars_larsen says:

        You know what else isnt tested? EVERY OTHER FOOD ON EARTH.

      • baconmonkey says:

        it took decades to discover that certain processed foods may, in fact, be bad for people, and have the potential to shorten lifespans. For example, partially hydroginated oils and high fructose corn syrup. so with that in mind, how much, and what manner of testing is "enough"? or even certain natural things like certain herbal supplements, have now, after several years of use, been deemed unsafe, or unsafe in certain combnations. The assumption that "natural = safe, man-made = dangerous" is folly, and reactionary.

  2. aprilized says:

    curious...would the average mickey dee consumer really care if the ingredients used in their food was genetically modified?...Not to mention the fact that it's only the chicken feed that is...Someone who consumes
    this type of food on a regular basis surely must have a screw loose if they're bothered by GM chicken feed...

    • jkonrath says:

      I almost understand that people have a fear that McDonald's using a particular GM food would cause a trickle-down effect, like how people are afraid that if Wal Mart starts using RFID, it will drive down prices and make the technology so commonplace that everyone will use it.

      But what doesn't make sense about this is that McDonald's is so locked into their suppliers and proprietary formulas that if they did develop a GM food that was the biggest wonder of the world, it wouldn't get used outside of the Golden Arches because it would be a strict trade secret. I mean, this is a company that breeds chickens specifically to make the most optimal cuts of meat for their McNuggets; you won't see their food innovations at your local Safeway as a spin-off product from the same supplier.

      So if you don't eat at McDonald's, who cares.

  3. Does he have the first idea why he deserves it?

  4. jkonrath says:

    If you get arrested in a Ronald McDonald suit, you're going to be reeeeal popular down in lockup. Gives a whole new meaning to that "I'm lovin' it" campaign.

  5. naturalborn says:

    He forgot to also protest the horrible dangers of crops grown using FERTILIER made of MANURE produced by COWS which ate GENETICALLY MODIFIED CORN.

  6. baconmonkey says:

    That Ronald is trouble, I tell you.

    WTF is around his neck?

    is it the remains of a noose?

  7. guyver3 says:

    I liked this snapshot: