Friday Roundup: GMOs, automation, manufacturing jobs, charter public school lawsuit, political process, care for the mentally ill

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

The American Interest: For India, GMOs Are a Matter of Life and Death

Safety is obviously paramount whenever decisions are made regarding food supplies, and that shouldn’t be any different with GM crops. Each seed ought to be thoroughly evaluated by researchers to make sure it’s safe for human consumption, but here’s the thing: they have been. And let’s be very clear, the scientific community has agreed on the fact that GMOs generally are perfectly safe, and that the seeds governments like India’s are considering specifically are safe.

Yet around the world, these wonder-crops that could grow more food on less land and in more extreme conditions, instead of being embraced, are on the contrary often demonized by a public fearful of “frankenfoods.”

Geek Wire: Neither Trump nor Clinton is addressing the biggest challenge to jobs: automation
It may turn out that whole new classes of jobs will arise to replace the occupations that robots and AI agents will fill. “Every time technology disrupts a job, a new set of jobs is created,” Seattle-area entrepreneur Naveen Jain observed.
 Shopfloor: ADP: Manufacturing Employment Rose for the First Time in Six Months
ADP said that manufacturing employment rose for the first time in six months in July, which was an encouraging development. Manufacturers added 4,000 workers on net in July. With that said, hiring in the sector has been challenged so far this year, with employment down by 33,000 workers through the first seven months of 2016. …Recent data have suggested some improvements in activity for U.S. manufacturers, and hopefully, this will translate into increased hiring moving forward for the sector.
Stateline: Amid Shortage of Psychiatric Beds, Mentally Ill Face Long Waits for Treatment

The crisis is drawing particular scrutiny in Washington state, where two court rulings — one in the state Supreme Court in 2014 and the other in federal court last year — determined that it is illegal for the state to warehouse mentally ill patients and prisoners in emergency rooms, jails and regular hospitals.

The state reacted swiftly, increasing the number of psychiatric beds and boosting spending on community mental health services.

But the courts are impatient with the pace of state action.

FiveThirtyEight: The Political Process Isn’t Rigged – It Has Much Bigger Problems

Sure, many politicians on both the right and left fan the flames of partisan hysteria and feed off their base’s fire — and they tend to get disproportionate attention. But in my experience, most candidates and officeholders don’t see the world as red versus blue: They genuinely run for office to solve problems, not to please special-interest groups or for self-glorification. Unfortunately, they increasingly find themselves trapped in a voter-driven vicious cycle that shows no sign of abating.

Seattle Times: Coalition files new challenge to Washington’s charter-school law

A new challenge to the constitutionality of the state’s charter-school law was filed in King County Superior Court on Wednesday by a coalition of parents, educators, school administrators and civic groups.

The complaint alleges that the new law, passed earlier this year, violates the state constitution by sending public funding to charters, which are public schools run by private organizations.