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GLP Podcast: Monsanto owns farmers? Evolution of pet parenting; Soylent abandons GMO advocacy

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station description Exploring the biotech revolution.
Science Facts & Fallacies
Duration: 29:36
Does Monsanto control the seeds Mexico's farmers can grow? No, but anti-GMO groups do. An increasing number of Americans don't have children and instead treat their pets like kids. Is there an evolutionary explanation for this phenomenon? Meal-replacement company Soylent once vocally celebrated its
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Does Monsanto control the seeds Mexico's farmers can grow? No, but anti-GMO groups do. An increasing number of Americans don't have children and instead treat their pets like kids. Is there an evolutionary explanation for this phenomenon? Meal-replacement company Soylent once vocally celebrated its use of genetically engineered soy in its products. But the company has suddenly gone silent about GMOs in its marketing, fueling speculation that the drink maker has permanently pulled away from its "pro-science" messaging.



Join geneticist Kevin Folta and GLP contributor Cameron English on episode 146 of Science Facts and Fallacies as they break down these latest news stories:

* Viewpoint: Monsanto doesn’t control Mexican farmers’ seed choices — activist groups do



 Anti-GMO groups often assert that seed companies, Monsanto being the most notorious, dictate the kinds of products farmers can use. As it turns out, the activists themselves often exercise this power over the people who grow our food. In Mexico, for instance, the government has banned biotech crops, under the influence of public officials affiliated with anti-GMO advocacy groups. The growers themselves are actually quite happy to utilize biotechnology to reduce their pesticide use and increase their crop yields.



* Is there an evolutionary explanation for recent surge in child-free pet parenting?

Starting a family appears to be going out of fashion as more people begin treating their dogs and cats like their children. Some research suggests that humans evolved a capacity to care for children who aren't their own as a means of establishing basic communities. Now, some evolutionary psychologists suspect this altruistic trait, known as alloparenting, explains why many people consider their animals to be their "fur babies." Is this a reasonable hypothesis?











Follow the latest news and policy debates on agricultural biotech and biomedicine? Subscribe to our newsletter.













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