Meta-Study On Genetically Modified Food: Virtually All Independent Scientists Are Concerned

Half of the Studies Find Cause For Concern … The Other Half Are Studies By the GMO Food Industry Itself

 Do We Have a Right to Know If Our Food Has Been Genetically Modified?Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Tufts University’s Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment Institute (Timothy Wise) points out:

There is no … consensus on the safety of GM food. A peer-reviewed study of the research, from peer-reviewed journals, found that about half of the animal-feeding studies conducted in recent years found cause for concern. The other half didn’t, and as the researchers noted, “most of these studies have been conducted by biotechnology companies responsible of commercializing these GM plants.”

***

The only consensus that GM food is safe is among industry-funded researchers.

By way of background, genetically engineered foods have been linked to obesity, cancer, liver failure, infertility and all sorts of other diseases (brief, must-watch videos here and here).

And genetically-engineered meat isn’t even tested for human safety.

And a leading risk expert says that genetically modified foods could wipe out the global ecosystem.

But government agencies like the FDA go to great lengths to cover up the potential health damage from genetically modified foods, and to keep the consumer in the dark about what they’re really eating.  (Indeed, the largest German newspaper – Süddeutsche Zeitung – alleges that the U.S. government helped Monsanto ATTACK THE COMPUTERS of activists opposed to genetically modified food.)

Indeed – as Tufts’ Timothy Wise notes – huge sums of money are being poured into shutting down all honest scientific debate about the risks from GMOs:

Biotechnology companies and their powerful advocates, like the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, are succeeding in a well-planned campaign to get GM safety declared “settled science.”

***

An indicator was a quiet announcement in the press last summer that the Gates Foundation had awarded a US$5.6 million grant to Cornell University to “depolarize” the debate over GM foods. That’s their word. The grant founded a new institute, the Cornell Alliance for Science.

“Our goal is to depolarize the GMO debate and engage with potential partners who may share common values around poverty reduction and sustainable agriculture, but may not be well informed about the potential biotechnology has for solving major agricultural challenges,” said project leader Sarah Evanega, senior associate director of International Programs in Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS).

Got it? The Gates Foundation is paying biotech scientists and advocates at Cornell to help them convince the ignorant and brainwashed public, who “may not be well informed,” that they are ignorant and brainwashed.

“Improving agricultural biotechnology communications is a challenge that must be met if innovations developed in public sector institutions like Cornell are ever to reach farmers in their fields,” added Kathryn J. Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of CALS.

It’s kind of like depolarizing an armed conflict by giving one side more weapons.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
This entry was posted in Business / Economics, Energy / Environment, Politics / World News, Science / Technology. Bookmark the permalink.
  • kimyo

    and yet kurzweil and degrasse-tyson are strongly pro-gmo. makes one question their position on global warming and vaccines, n’est-ce pas?
    Neil deGrasse Tyson escalates defense of GMO products after YouTube video goes viral

    “I’m amazed how much rejection genetically modified foods are receiving from the public. It smacks of the fear factor that exists at every new emergent science, where people don’t fully understand it or don’t fully know or embrace its consequences, and so therefore reject it,” Tyson told a French interviewer originally.

    “We are creating and modifying the biology of the world to serve our needs,”added the “Cosmos” host.“I don’t have a problem with that, because we’ve been doing that for tens of thousands of years. So chill out.”

    that’s not science. that’s public relations.

    • Southernfink

      If there is nothing to fear from GMO? – why the reluctance to properly identify them by labeling them correctly, let the consumer decide.

      Chances are more than great, that the consumer will decide to simply leave the product with the GMO identifying labels permanently on the shelf.

      • David Turboe Pierce

        That is what is happening.

        They are losing and desperate….

        • Southernfink

          Indeed they are, thanks to articles like these the public is becoming better informed.

          The public knows exactly what they want and they want GMO identifying labels – and not the kind that can only be read with a magnifying class.

          The other method is taste, the lack of it when it comes to GMO – put them to the test and they’ll lose in that aspect as well.

      • Bill Nada

        Because it’s purposeless fear mongering.

        • Southernfink

          The fear associated with GMO identifying labels that will see their products being rejected by an informed public.

          The corporate fear of seeing their profit margin plummet, that’s all.

          • Bill Nada

            You assume people seeing the label are making informed decisions. In reality what we see by and large is people screaming about the evils of GMO’s b/c some rube like Food Babe told them Monsanto is evil.

          • Southernfink

            Back to the start — if there’s nothing to fear — why the objection to GMO identifying labels?

            Let the market decide…

          • Bill Nada

            If this was based on science sure. But unfortunately the market is poisoned with ignorance attached to the labeling movement.

          • DocT

            Yeap seeds in a lab without sufficient evidence is for sure safe says Bill Nada! So consume first and test later. Smart planet we have here huh?

          • Bill Nada

            Nice strawman.

          • jazzfeed

            As befit’s your name, it’s very apparent you’ve read nothing substantive about this issue. You are perhaps reading the surface. Why don’t you inform YOURSELF by looking carefully, for example, at the SOURCES that Vani Hari has used to investigate, discover and rephrase some of the terrible underbelly of truths in the American food system into understandable English?

            Do you need to be a mechanic to drive your car? Similarly, I don’t need to be a molecular biologist, a biochemist or a farmer to know the difference between what to trust to eat and what to suspect and not eat. Neither does Vani Hari (the Food Babe).

            Where does the EPIDEMIC rates of diabetes, arthritis, cancer, dementia and obesity come from? Couldn’t possibly be related to the mass consumption of mutated plant DNA? No, no – all those diseased people are different bodies than the ones eating the “trillions of meals” of mutated plants, right?

          • Bill Nada

            Nice false analogy. Typical for food boobs. No, not do I need a scientist to eat my food for me either. Keep up doing nothing but ad hom though

          • Bill Nada

            Wow…what an extraordinarily idiotic reply. No, I don’t need a mechanic to drive my car. I am also not asking anyone with an expertise in chem, food science, etc. to chew my food for me. If you are going to pretend be somewhat science literate please familiarize yourself with basic logic, like fallacious appeal such as false analogies.

            Ms. Hari is a crank who using nothing more than fear mongering and her illiteracy to dupe the gullible and illiterate such as yourself. If you weren’t you wouldn’t be trotting out correlation and treating it as causation.

  • Southernfink

    GMO foods are all about creating more profits, never mind the health effects eating a sterile food will have on the human reproductive cycle.

    • Ben Magno

      Mah mummy ate seedless grapes. That’s why I never gut borned.

    • odinbearded

      There are no sterile seeds on the market.

      • Southernfink

        I’ve experimented with the seeds found in GM crops, they have proven rather unsuitable for replanting, something grows but it’s not quite fertile, very few flowers if any it’s simply a waste of time – as opposed to the seeds harvested from heirloom varieties that I use with great success.

        The contrast in taste between the two is quite significant – much like the difference of kissing a non smoker and a smoker.

        I’ll choose and recommend organically grown heirloom vegetable’s over GM foods anytime.

        • Gina

          Yup. Nature is too complex & all parts of it are interdependent. When one part is changed, there will be a chain reaction, as we can witness abundantly.

          • Southernfink

            Interdependent is exactly right, after all you are what you eat, last year I planted some organic grain that proven rather tasty.

          • hyperzombie

            There is no such thing as Organic grain seed, Organic is a production method.

          • Organic is also GMO free.

          • hyperzombie

            Once again Organic is a production method, that choose to be Non GMO. has nothing to do with seed really.

          • Well, it’s both. The product and the process has to be GMO free in order to be organic. (Some GMO can find its way into organic food unless it’s 100% organic:
            http://gmo-awareness.com/2011/05/05/is-organic-always-gmo-free/)

          • hyperzombie

            Well, it’s both.

            Well, no. It is a production method that bans GMOs, so yes Organic foods are likely to be GMO free. But, GMO crops could be grown Organically if anyone wanted to.
            This is the problem with this debate, people are confusing a production method with a crop breeding method.

          • Southernfink

            I was referring to organically grown heirloom grain.

          • hyperzombie

            I was referring to organically grown heirloom grain.

            LOL, normal folks call it grass seed.

          • Southernfink

            BS

          • Nature is too complex & all parts of it are interdependent. When one part is changed, there will be a chain reaction…
            The documentary Food Inc. goes into precisely that point.

          • hyperzombie

            Food inc is more of a Mockumentary than a Documentary. Spinal tap was way better.

          • In the interest of full disclosure, do you have any conflicts of interest to agribusiness that you would like to declare?

          • hyperzombie

            Well I am a farmer, but I grow no GMOs. So no conflict, how about you? Do you work in an industry that promotes or does anything Organic?

          • how about you? Do you work in an industry that promotes or does anything Organic?
            No conflicts whatsoever other than preferring small, individual farmers versus big corporate agribusiness.

          • hyperzombie

            preferring small, individual farmers versus big corporate agribusiness.

            I think that this is one problem with farms that most people don’t understand.
            First off, over 90% of farms are owned by farmers or families. And big vrs small farms all depend on where the farm is.
            For example 10000 acres in Montana will have less cash flow than a 100 acre farm in california depending on the crop. I have over 1000 acres but make far less money than some farmers with 20 acres.

          • Gina

            & when we interfere too much with nature, it lashes out indiscriminately. There always will be nature, but the question is whether it’s inhabitable for humans. Btw rats can adapt themselves very easily to there environment.

          • hyperzombie

            when we interfere too much with nature

            We are also nature, humans didn’t come from another planet.

        • Jim

          Stop lying you have not experimented with seeds found in GM crops. The only GM vegetables on the market are squash.

          • hyperzombie

            Umm. sorry Jim but there are 0 GMOs for any gardener to experiment with. They are not available to any gardeners.

          • I think we have a right to know what’s in our food and decide for ourselves.

          • hyperzombie

            You have no idea what is in your food. Do organic farmers label the pesticides that they use, are all the natural occurring carcinogens in foods labeled?

          • The list of acceptable pesticides for organic foods is limited. See: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4DMG/VegFruit/organic.htm

          • hyperzombie

            Well that is a horrible source for info.
            The very first pesticide that they list is BANNED in most of the world. Nicotine sulfide is highly dangerous and can kill you with dermal exposure. The third pesticide is also banned in North America, unless you are using it to kill fish.
            Please go to the USDA they have an extensive list of permitted pesticides.

          • Southernfink

            I do not use any pesticides, that’s the whole idea behind organics.

          • Natural pesticides are permitted. But I hear ya…

          • Southernfink

            That’s an assumption, never having met me, you simply have no idea what i’m growing.

          • Jim

            No its not an assumption you are strait up lying. Its a fact because your claim can not have happened. The only vegetable that even has a GMO variety is squash yet you made a claim that you have worked with several of them. And as hyperzombie said unless you are a commercial grower or an academic researcher you could not even get the seeds in the first place.

          • Southernfink

            GMO foods can be found in almost any packaged foods

            Here is a List of Vegetables That Are Genetically Modified

            Here are some more examples of GM foods

            Considering the Pro GMO shills claims that there is nothing to be alarmed about – they sure contradict themselves by objecting to attach GMO identifying labels on frankin foods.

          • kimyo

            you must not have read jurassic park. or watched the big lebowski.

            life finds a way/You want a toe? I can get you a toe, believe me. There are ways, Dude.

            you seem pretty damn certain that you’ve got complete control of every single gmo seed. this, in spite of GMO Wheat Found In Oregon Field. How Did It Get There?

          • JoeFarmer

            …And some sweet corn.

            But you are absolutely correct, GM seeds are not available to the public.

  • Big Bear

    Corporate usury finance is based on fraud from the ground up — and propagates fraud in all forms in all directions — like a virus or a genetic defect. It penetrates everywhere and corrupts everywhere and tells lies everywhere because it is based on lies — the lies of greed and paper-finance flimflam. It has no connection with anything real. It turns everything real into dollars — paper dollars — blips on computer chips — abstract digits circling in empty nothingness. It needs to be cut off at the root before it destroys Mother Earth and her creatures.

    • TessaC

      The sleazebags behind all the monopolies will keep destroying our FREE market and our ability to critique or scrutinize the evidence….it’s happening everywhere, all the time.
      Just LOOK. For example, look at the autism statistics. 20 years ago, 1 in 10,000 children were autistic. Now it’s 1 in 70 children. Believe me..people ARE asking why and they don’t accept ‘spoon-fed’ explanations from Federal Agencies anymore…. It should be said, the Corporate US Congress and the Corporate Federal Government.

      • Big Bear

        There hasn’t been a “free market” in America for anything except labor since before 1900. The “free market” is 100% snowjob. Economists started calling the American economy “monopoly finance capitalism” over 100 years ago. But somebody forgot to tell the public and somebody else figured out that “free markets” makes a good slogan. Overseas, “free markets” (the “Open Door Policy”) means that multinational corporations get to plunder at will — “freely.” Same thing in America. “Free” pillage, based on fraud and brute force and lies and lies and lies and hired liars and hired liars and hired liars.

  • Voice of Reason

    Check out the latest edition of National Geographic. The theme is “The War on Science”. If you question the safety of GMO, you are lumped in with those who question whether the US really ever landed on the moon. The lead paragraph groups you with Gen. Jack D. Ripper in Kurbick’s “Dr. Strangelove” and all those who view fluoridation as a communist plot. (“You are either for us or against us, dude. DO NOT QUESTION!)

    • Delius

      Sorry if you don’t like being lumped in with moon-landing-deniers. I suggest you pick a subject with less overwhelming data on one side to “question”.
      You’re not being a skeptic if you ignore the answers to your questions just because you don’t like them.

      • David Turboe Pierce

        Did you read the article?

        Guess not…

  • Ddant

    Whenever the anti-science blob states “peer-reviewed”, it actually means “we make shit up”.

    • If you question Frankenscience….then you question ALL POWERFUL SUPER SCIENCE ! ! !

      • David Turboe Pierce

        Science has been wrong for eons. Flat earth. The list is endless.

        And still is wrong a lot of the time.

        For 20 years “take a baby aspirin” to prevent heart attacks.

        Now that has been proven wrong.

        Cholesterol causes heart disease.

        Nope. Wrong.

        Some science huh?

        • BioSciNerd

          Science has been wrong for eons. Flat earth.

          That’s incorrect and a common myth. “Science” never claimed the Earth was flat. Knowledge of the spherical shape of the Earth dates back over 2000 years. The concept of a flat Earth was born of a lack of understand. It was not based on any scientific inquiry.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flat_Earth

          And still is wrong a lot of the time.

          Sure, science isn’t perfect. But unless you have a better way of producing new knowledge and determining truth, it’s the best we’ve got.

          Furthermore, science is self-correcting. Old ideas are revised as new evidence and ideas come along.

          You’re argument is one big strawman fallacy.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            No your argument is a straw man. Do you even understand the term?

            So, let them use them. Label them. Then in 20 years if there is harm there is proof?

            Ah, maybe that is why the no labeling….

  • Delius

    This is cherry-picking at its worst. The science is overwhelmingly on the side of GMO safety. You’re not being “skeptical” of something just because you ask questions; you have to listen to the answers as well.

    http://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

    • David Turboe Pierce

      Even if you were correct humans get the right to choice. So, kind of a moot point.

      But specifically who funded those studies in your link?

      • Dominick Dickerson

        People have a choice. Voluntary labeling schemes already in place allow for consumers who choose to avoid genetically engineered food to do so. USDA organic and NonGMO project certification already exist and provide consumers the choice.

        • David Turboe Pierce

          Then why should GMO not be on the label?

          They have only been around less than 17 years in the direct food supply.

          17 years is a blink in the eye. We have no idea what happens in say 20 years?

          Put them on the label and let people choose.

          What is the big deal if they are not trying to hide anything?

          Use some critical thinking instead of the parroting of the makers of the GMO’s…

          • Dominick Dickerson

            “Then why should GMO not be on the label?…Put them on the label and let people choose”

            Because whether or not from is genetically engineered doesn’t tell you anything substantive about a product, it is describing the plant breeding method used to generate the seed. It doesn’t tell you about the conditions it was grown under, nor does a blanket label tell you anything about the nutritional content.

            And your ignoring that there are already 2 labeling systems already In use that by their definition exclude products derived from genetic engineering.
            You have a choice, if you want to avoid products derived from GE crops, then you can purchase USDA organic of NonGMO project certified. A mandatory label tells consumers nothing that these voluntary labels dont already provide.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            No, it is up to the Food Industry to inform us. If they want to use GMO then by all means let them.

            But consumers need to be informed by Law.

            You know, this is where your ilk lose this debate. It defies common sense and logic to not label them.

            It is a illogical argument that you use.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            You contend you don’t have a choice, I demonstrate that you do have a choice. How is that an illogical argument?

            Why should we label agricultural products on the basis of which method of plant breeding was used to develop them? That’s the illogical argument my friend. Why is genetic engineering singled out for labeling, but mutagenesis any other modern method of plant breeding for that matter isn’t ?

          • David Turboe Pierce

            No. I guess it is over your head.

            Now you are throwing up a Red Herring.

            GMO in no way equates to breeding traits over generations.

            Sorry, I do not have time to argue with someone who does not even understand the science.

            You are artificially altering the genes and DNA structures of food. No one knows what the long term impact on health or nutrition that creates?

            Well, the market is speaking. And the GMO companies are losing market share.

            The people are deciding.

            You lose.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Radiation breeding and mutagenesis rely on the use of chemicals and radiation to induce spontaneous changes in plant genomes. How is that not “artificially altering the genes” ?

            Why is is it necessary to label genetic engineering but not other equally “artificial” methods of plant propagation?

            It isn’t.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            Those measures were beaten because the GMO companies spent $10 of millions to defeat them.

            Why would they spend that much money? Give me a rational reason?

            The changing of plants and animals through breeding hardly equates to the looney ” use of chemicals and radiation” you posted; what are you even talking about?

            Are you saying that a dog breed – like German Shepherds or Scotties – are GMO? Are bred via “use of chemicals and radiation”?

            LOL…..

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I’m saying that crops like ruby red grape fruit and calrose rice were developed by artificially altering their genes through the use of radiation and mutagenic chemicals. Why is that so hard for you to understand?

            Mutagenesis is a method of plant breeding. Look it up.

            There are many ways plant breeders can create novel varieties of plants besides artificial selection. Why do none of those require labeling but genetic engineering does? You still haven’t answered that question.

            And technically the products of all breeding efforts are “genetically modified”. Transgenic engineering is only one way in which organisms can be modified which is why I hardly use the term GMO, because its an imprecise term.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            I am using GMO in the same as the argument is about.

            Trying to muddy the waters?

            Why your passion to potentially harm people?

            And not play it safe?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            No if anything I’m asking for more precise use of language .

            There is no reliable evidence to suggest genetic engineering poses any harm to human health.

            And what does it matter I thought your argument was a right to know, for people to be informed.

            This is why there is opposition to labeling because its apparent that calls for labels on genetically engineered crops are simply the long away around to undermining the evidence that they cause no harm to health and politically/ideologically imposed restrictions on the technology.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            The market will ending up winning.

            Smart people are avoiding GMO’s.

            Who cares about stupid people…

          • Dominick Dickerson

            The market will end up winning but I doubt it will be in a way you’ll find favorable.

            Fearful and ignorant people are avoiding crops derived from genetic engineering. The weight of evidence will win out in the end and it will be shown that your fears were unfounded. Remember its okay to change your mind if evidence suggests you were holding false beliefs. Infact that really is the only responsible thing to do.

          • David Turboe Pierce

            I think the fearful and ignorant people are the ones who blindly accept what big business and big business funded government tell them.

            And of course the ignorant fools who work for dishonest companies….

          • Dominick Dickerson

            It’s all corporate conspiracy!!!!1!1!!!1

            Nice to see you’ve abandoned evidence based approaches to knowing.

            And you should be less subtle with your shill accusations, it really helps drive home your point if you assert people who disagree with you are paid to do so, especially if you do it with your caps lock on.

          • jazzfeed

            Wrong – ignorant people are blithly, ignorantly, haplessly, unwittingly eating mutated plant ingredients that most every product on the shelves that is NOT marked Organic contain. They have no choice because they don’t know there is any meaningful one. All the jars and boxes look the same.The mutation industry COUNTS on the ignorance of the masses to continue sending them a stream of revenue.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            And you’re still willfully ignoring the fact that despite your protestations, consumers already have a choice if they want to avoid products derived from genetic engineering by purchasing goods that are certified USDA organic or NonGMO project. Our current system of voluntary łabelling is more than adequate for consumers who desire such products due to their philosophical aversion to genetic engineering.

          • Two Americas

            Biotech promoters are trying to have it both ways. Either the justification for private ownership of a crop variety – that it is substantially different – is true, or the argument used as the criteria for safety testing – that it is not substantially different – is true. Both cannot be true.

            Biotech and traditional breeding are not equivalent.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Plant varieties need not be “substantially” different, only that they be distinct from other forms. A subtle difference to you I’m sure.

            Define “traditional breeding” and then go read the wiki page on plant breeding and tell me which ones you feel fall under the designation of “traditional” and then tell me why processes like mutagenesis are not subject to the same kind of scrutiny that you want to demand of genetic engineering.

            http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_breeding

          • Two Americas

            I am well familiar with the history of plant breeding, thanks.

            …the same kind of scrutiny that you want to demand of genetic engineering.

            I did not say anything about “scrutiny” of the crops.

            Perhaps you are trying to ask me what the difference us between genetic engineering and traditional plant breeding. It is simply this: the potential for mischief and corruption is far, far greater with genetic engineering. I am saying that the promotion of IPR and privately owned crop varieties is inconsistent and incompatible with the mission of the Land Grant college system and with the integrity of the government agencies.

            Is there a difference between a rock falling off a hillside and hitting you in the head as opposed to someone throwing a rock at your head? In each case, would it simply be a matter for “science” to handle? We could call in some physicists to say that there is no difference between the impact to your head of a thrown rock as compared to a falling rock, and that anyone saying otherwise is “anti-science.” We would be ignoring any human agency in that case. What if the people throwing the rocks were the ones claiming that we should ignore human agency? What if the rock throwers were getting paid for throwing rocks?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            So you want labels so you know which goods are the result of crops developed by biotech companies so that you can avoid them. Is that correct?

            What about things like the rainbow papaya, that were developed and deployed largely through the efforts of Cornell and university of hawaii? Is such a product still carry the taint of “corporate influence” that you would deem a label to be necessary?

            Would such labeling also include cheese? At last reckoning around 90% of cheese in America is made using chymosin that is derived from genetically engineered molds. Yet every labeling proposition that I’ve seen specifically exempts cheese from labeling, why is that. Surely if your concern is with the improper creeping influence of biotech companies taking over agriculture, then surely the same holds for cheese does it not?

          • Two Americas

            I think I answered some of these questions in another post.

            I am not talking about “the taint of corporate influence.” Good grief. “Taint?” The biotech industry is making an aggressive effort to gain total control over the food system, fighting hard to influence government and the colleges. The biotech industry is “tainting” the Land Grant college system the way that hurricane Katrina “tainted” the city of New Orleans.

            Chymosin is an interesting case, isn’t it? The enzyme itself is not genetically modified, of course, the mold or bacteria that efficiently produces it is. Chymosin produced that way is indistinguishable from chymosin produced the traditional way. The “host” organism dies in the fermentation process, so a novel life form is not being introduced into the environment. But would we want that novel life form, say a new strain of E. coli, one of the organisms used to produce chymosin, released into the environment? Can we trust private interests to protect the public interest when it conflicts with profits? Should there be any limit to the number or types of novel life forms released into the environment? Are there now any serious limits? Are we seriously going to deny the possibility of profits conflicting with the public interest?

            The chymosin example illustrates the fact that there is much promise in genetic engineering, and that it could be used in beneficial and safe ways. It does not show, however, as many biotech promoters are in fact saying, that therefore all concerns about the biotech industry are illegitimate and irrational.

            People ask us if we are using any “synthetic chemicals” here. Well, we are using (E,E) 8,10-dodecadien-1-ol , dodecan-1-ol, and tetradecan-1-ol extensively. This is the sex pheromone that female coddling moths use to attract mates. (The coddling moth is a serious pest in tree fruit culture – the cause of the proverbial “apple in the worm”). The pheromone has been isolated and now synthesized. Using pheromone-impregnated release devices in the trees we can make it difficult for the moths to find each other and mate, hence no eggs and larvae in the fruit.

            Is that “natural?” The answer is yes…and no. I have been asked this many times. It is extremely safe and pretty darned clever. The synthesized chemical is identical to the chemical produced by the moth. But under no circumstances would I ever tell the general public that they have nothing to worry about, that their fears are irrational, that the “science is settled,” or try to claim that we know all there is to know about this, as the biotech industry promoters are constantly saying to critics. Almost never do I find members of the public unwilling to learn, blinded by ideology or beliefs, or incapable of a rudimentary understanding of the science behind various practices.

            My point? This is phenomenally complex subject with far reaching implications. Strong pubic oversight is required, without interference from commercial interests. Robust public funding is needed. The independence and integrity of the Land Grant college system must be preserved.

            For those of us fighting for those things, I say that the distrust from general public, however ill-informed or misguided – “natural” versus “frankenfoods,” the anti-GMO folks, organic adherents, alternative health people – is an asset and not a barrier or a distraction. I want people to care about their food, and I want us to care about them.

            Contraposed against this stand for preservation and expansion of the public agriculture infrastructure is the juggernaut of the biotech industry, steamrolling over all opposition, mocking and ridiculing public fears, steering research, barraging the public with propaganda, corrupting pubic officials and systems, and influencing elections and legislation. There is a mad scramble for riches going on, and the “gold fever” has infected people in every corner of the public agriculture infrastructure. That privatization movement is inconsistent and incompatible with the mission of the Land Grant college system, with the reliability and integrity of the public agencies, and ultimately with public health and well being.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I will say that while I may disagree on some finer points, this is perhaps one of the most eloquent and articulate responses I’ve seen and I commend you for elevating the discussion.

            I agree with your assertions regarding strong funding to public science and in the need to reevaluate the relationship between corporations and our land grant universities.

            I agree that there needs to be oversight. If in my defense against detractors and deniers of genetic engineering as a science has been misinterpreted as a willingness to give corporations carte blanche I apologize. That is not my intent.

            But I can not agree that advocating for a label on products that are derived from genetically engineered crops is the way to address these very real concerns. And if more people approached this issue with the nuance that you’ve demonstrated I feel the discussion would end up being far less contentious as a whole. But moderated and well reasoned approaches such as yours get drowned out by those who apoplectically shout “frankenfoods!” and cling onto fallacious appeals to nature. My issue is with that segment. They do you no favors in this fight.

          • Two Americas

            Thank you for your consideration and for your thought provoking comments.

          • BioSciNerd

            I’m afraid illogic is on your side, David. The labelling argument is not based in science or evidence. It’s based entirely on philosophy and ideology. These are not grounds to pass mandatory labelling laws.

            Ask yourself, would be it be acceptable for Jewish or Muslim people to demand non-Kosher or non-Halal foods all be labelled? Because that is exactly the same argument you’re making.

          • nick quinlan

            Now that’s funny, wow. You cheerleaders are a sorry lot of fools

          • BioSciNerd

            Nick, do you know what “cheerleader” means?

            Cheerleader: an enthusiastic and vocal supporter.

            With that in mind, can you please point out exactly where I “enthusiastically and vocally supported” GMOs?

          • Brenda Forbes

            Jewish people don’t have to demand that non-kosher foods be labeled, because kosher foods are labeled with a U inside a circle. So no U symbol = non-kosher. Take a look in your pantry, most foods are already kosher and are labeled.

          • nick quinlan

            Deflection from the pertinent question is lame and obvious

          • Two Americas

            Because whether or not from is genetically engineered doesn’t tell you anything substantive about a product, it is describing the plant breeding method used to generate the seed.

            It most certainly does tell people something about the product. It tells people that it is privately owned, developed for the benefit of the biotech industry. That is something “substantive.” That is something that is of legitimate public interest and concern.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            That’s not the purpose of mandatory labeling in the United States. Labeling should not be used as a form a corporate warfare for those with an ax to grind against biotech firms. If consumers have concerns with genetically engineered crops or supporting the companies that make them then they are free to purchase USDA organic or NonGMO project certified, which by their definition exclude genetically engineered crops.

          • Two Americas

            The biotech industry advocates are now trying to portray themselves as victims – “those with an ax to grind against biotech firms.” It is control over the public infrastructure by private industry I am objecting to. The same argument can be made against the privatization of water. You may not agree with such arguments, but they are legitimate arguments and you should stop trying to misrepresent them.

            Are you opposed to COOL labeling, then? The purpose for that is to inform consumers, yet it has nothing to do directly with the food or the crops .

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I personally don’t see the point of country of origin labeling.

            How are seed companies with limited lifetime patents of 20-25 years in anyway “taking control over public infrastructure”? No one is forcing farmers to buy genetically engineered seed. Your allegations of “corporate take over” by seed companies is in my estimation much exaggerated.

          • Two Americas

            I personally don’t see the point of country of origin labeling.

            Very good. That was honest.

            No one is forcing farmers…

            Did I say anyone was forcing us to buy seed?

            Your allegations of “corporate take over” by seed companies is in my estimation much exaggerated.

            Very good. You agree then that it is happening, we merely disagree about the degree to which it is happening. I did not say “seed companies” by the way, I said the biotech industry.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Your allegory about the red delicious seems to indicate that such practices are not infact confined to genetic engineering. So why in this instance would a label be appropriate, when you’ve already demonstrated quite effectively that this scenario can occur with any patented agricultural product?

            You will not see me arguing that the future is with corporations. Infact my ideal scenario would be that our land grant colleges and other public science institutions take up the banner and begin using genetic engineering as another tool to provide improved crops. Unfortunately a combination of misinformed public and Byzantine regulation all but insure that only the titans of industry can utilize this tool.

            But it still doesn’t change the fact that even in instances where plant varieties are protected by patent it is not an indefinite copyright. Its 20 years for most crops, I don’t see how ensuring that plant breeders have fair recompense for their efforts is tantamount to corporate take over.

          • Two Americas

            Your allegory about the red delicious seems to indicate that such practices are not in fact confined to genetic engineering.

            Exactly right. Correct.

            It is private ownership over food crop varieties that is motivating the biotech industry. The researchers in the Land Grant colleges should be accountable to the public, not to the shareholders of the biotech companies, no matter how indirect or disguised that connection may be. The very fact that the institutions are tap dancing around now trying to disguise it tells us that it most certainly is an issue that needs to be explored. Read the various screeds the colleges are putting up, written by their legal teams, trying to rationalize and justify IPR with their mission. Ouch. They are painful to read, for anyone who knows about and cares about the Land Grant college system.

            So why in this instance would a label be appropriate, when you’ve already demonstrated quite effectively that this scenario can occur with any patented agricultural product?

            There is no grand principle at stake in this labeling debate as far as I can see. Others are touting this idea of “consumer choice,” which labeling would facilitate, but I reject the whole idea of consumer choice determining food policy. I oppose the two tier approach to food distribution inherent in the organic choice model, too. If the food is better or safer, it should be available to all. I also think the drive to require labeling GMOs is a poor strategy for the opponents. That is because I think the value of labeling is questionable, at least as practiced and as people conceive of it now.

            Labeling is no ultimately a cure all or a very powerful solution to anything. However, that is where the battle lines are now drawn between two camps: the privatization promoters and the defenders of public regulation to protect the public from the privateers.

            My thinking about this comes from my experience with food label compliance work and also from working at one time fielding thousands of calls from the public on ag practices, food safety and nutrition issues. I am not necessarily an expert on all of those topics, but I had to consult with and rely on experts to do the job effectively and honestly, so I am not just blowing smoke.

            In fact my ideal scenario would be that our land grant colleges and other public science institutions take up the banner and begin using genetic engineering as another tool to provide improved crops.

            Absolutely. If that were the case, 99% of the public distrust, which is well-founded now, could be intelligently addressed, and most of the quacks would be out of business.

            Unfortunately a combination of misinformed public and Byzantine regulation all but insure that only the titans of industry can utilize this tool.

            First came the titans trying to control all aspects of food production and distribution, then came the misinformed public. Billions of dollars are at stake in this massive assault on the public agriculture infrastructure by private interests, and at the same time they are lobbying politically to weaken the infrastructure and to influence legislation.

            It is not government regulation that is preventing the Land Grant colleges from preserving their integrity and being true to their mission. It is massive pressure from big money interests.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            That is a far more reasonable stance then I think I’ve ever seen concerning this issue, but ultimately it is only tangental to the issue of genetic engineering in my view.

            Criticisms of the practices of biotech companies are reasonable to me. But that should not be used to criticize the science and practice of genetic engineering as a whole.

          • jazzfeed

            You “don’t see” … do you see the TPP on the horizon, the ultimate corporate takeover? Another description of it is codified fascism. It’s here now; TPP will expand and seal it and us into oblivion.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Are you really that bored that you’re necroing old posts?

            Are you really that bored?

          • Andrew Taibi

            Biologists don’t spend all their nights/weekends in a lab because we want to poison people/ harm the human race. This public view that scientists are bad guys leads to nonsense like this article, the rise non-science based medicine, and self-proclaimed “experts” making boatloads of money by creating doubt (think:Food Babe). GMOs are safe and beneficial both nutritionally, economically, and environmentally. Here is a link to one peer-reviewed Meta-Analysis (and no the authors don’t work for ‘Big Agro’).
            http://www.plosone.org/article/Related/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0111629
            Results Summary:
            ” On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. Yield gains and pesticide reductions are larger for insect-resistant crops than for herbicide-tolerant crops. Yield and profit gains are higher in developing countries than in developed countries”

          • kimyo

            it is not binary. it’s not the ‘hard-working scientists’ vs. the ‘easily hood-winked public’.

            there’s a third group, with much larger influence than either the scientists or the public. they get to decide which data and studies get published, and most importantly, which infomation is deleted.

            a case in point: Merck’s Deleted Data

            A top editor of The New England Journal of Medicine says that he was stunned to find out that data linking Vioxx to cardiovascular risk was deleted from a major study his journal published five years ago – and that it appears that Merck researchers may have deleted that data.

            “I was somewhere between surprised and stunned,” Dr. Gregory Curfman, executive editor of The Journal, says. “They allowed us to publish an article that was just incomplete and inaccurate in some respects and was misleading and may have contributed to the detriment to the public health.”*

            Just days after Merck recalled Vioxx from the market, editors at The Journal discovered a diskette containing earlier versions of a manuscript for a crucial
            Vioxx clinical trial called VIGOR that they had published in November 2000. The early versions of the manuscript contained a blank table entitled “CV events” – which is standard jargon for cardiovascular events. Time stamps in the software indicated that the table was deleted two days before the manuscript was submitted to The New England Journal on May 18, 2000.

            relying on petro-chemical based fertilizers, monoculture and killing every living thing in the soil with roundup may indeed feed 7 billion today. however, as we’ve done in finance, we’ve pulled tomorrow’s production forward. the land we leave our children won’t be able to support 2 billion, much less 10.

            * 60,000 deaths admitted. $5 billion in damages paid. (a fraction of the total profits, a price of doing business you might say)

          • Just Ice

            Taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay their damages either, but we do.

          • Two Americas

            That is not responsive in any way to what I wrote. It reads as a cut and paste marketing pitch.

            I didn’t that “biologists spend all their nights/weekends in a lab because we want to poison people/ harm the human race.” I didn’t say “that scientists are bad guys.”

            But interestingly, for some reason you feel compelled to respond as though I had said those things and defend yourself from charges that were not made.

          • Andrew Taibi

            I was compelled to respond to your post in that way because your post implied that genetic modification of crops is done exclusively for the benefit of the biotech industry and that the development of these products was not done with public interest in mind. You don’t have to explicitly say “biologists are bad guys.” Since you imply that this work is done only for the benefit of the industry rather than the public.

            Plus my response was meant to add something meaningful to the thread not just respond to your individual views. Views which seem to be overwhelmingly biased to disfavor any genetically altered crop. Thanks.

          • Two Americas

            Those in the technocrat and controller class, an analog to the house slaves during the slavery era, are unable to discriminate between their own interests and those of their masters.

            No one says. or implies, or suggests, that “biologists are bad guys.” At issue is the controlling influence the biotech industry is gaining over the research community and the pubic institutions.

            When you claim people are saying “that genetic modification of crops is done exclusively for the benefit of the biotech industry and that the development of these products was not done with public interest in mind” you are blurring the issue and introducing confusion.

            The sole motivating factor for the biotech industry firms is maximum return on investment for shareholders. Can there possibility be any dispute about that? Occasionally that may also coincidentally benefit the public, of course. The only reason that the biotech industry co-opts intuitions and researchers into doing their work is to advance their agenda. Can there be any dispute about that? Occasionally that may also coincidentally benefit the institutions, the researchers and the public. No one in the research community, aside from a few managerial types who are consummate liars, disputes either of those points. Most try, or hope, to maintain their integrity in the face of this reality. Most are honest people, but the honest people have no power in the institutions and have no choice but to get with the program. Those striving to climb the ladder spout the “company line.”

            Can you not see that the very fact that there are reasonable grounds to questions whether or not “biologists are bad guys,” that you are hearing that and feel compelled to defend yourself, perfectly illustrates that the integrity of the research community is at risk, and that this places the public at risk?

          • Andrew Taibi

            I don’t have time to write an essay in response to you, as I am busy writing a proposal. I will only say the following point:
            My being compelled to respond does not reflect the integrity of the research community is in fact at risk. It is the perception of research communities’ integrity which is at risk. Mostly due to (for profit) misinformation and misperception of the scientific process [i.e. manufactured doubt].

          • Two Americas

            Merely repeating that assertion does not make it any more true.

            Most of those reading the discussion here will lack direct experience on this issue. I have extensive direct experience, however. I can say without any fear of contradiction that anyone denying that there is a serious and growing ethical problem at the Land Grant colleges associated with this issue is engaging in wishful thinking or is willfully lying.

          • Bill Nada

            There are no slaves or masters. Write some studies demonstrating the actual evidence against bio tech and submit it to any reputable journal on the planet. Your reliance on fallacious arguments, and demonstration of how little you know about the scientific community is nothing more than a reiteration of how this nonsense appeals to the idiot class.

          • Two Americas

            Heavy.

          • implicaverse .

            There certainly is a financial incentive in the biotech industry to promote GMOs. Is there a financial incentive in the biotech industry to promote normal everyday seeds? So for a biologist, where is the employment opportunity going to be?

          • jazzfeed

            The “bias” is real and substantively rooted. Mutated food plant foods are a plague on the planet and the whole rapacious, poisonous enterprise is a crime against humanity and will be convicted as such soon. It’s 2015 shill–what I just said is widespread knowledge and documented from here to the moon. Get a life.

          • Just Ice

            Andrew is either a shill or not very bright.

          • jazzfeed

            That is a common shill tactic: create a red herring out of nothing, associate you with the red herring and then attack the red herring.

          • Two Americas

            Indeed.

            It looks like red herrings in the graphic at the top of the page.

          • Bill Nada

            And a common rube tactic is invoking the names of fallacies b/c they saw someone far more intelligent than they using it, and throwing it around with no regard for what it actually means.

          • Bill Nada

            And who do you think develops bio tech? Oh right scientists.

          • Two Americas

            Sure.

          • implicaverse .

            Biologists spend all their nights/weekends in a lab because they want to buy houses and cars, and their corporate employers aren’t about to let them do that if they downvote the GMO products that the corporations are hoping to make big money on.

          • Just Ice

            No proof of safety, biotech funded studies, either directly or indirectly funded don’t count.

          • AJ

            Transgenic gene modification like Bt corn for instance which can never occur in nature is not considered a plant breeding method.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Transgenic modification is not a breeding method?

            Someone better get the chairs of every plant breeding program at every major university on the phone as well as the American society for plant biologists. They’ve all been duped!

            But seriously genetic engineering is a tool used in plant breeding. Plant breeding isn’t just making tens of thousands of crosses between similar plants anymore. Its a high tech scientific endeavor that utilizes a range of biotechnical processes and methods.

          • kimyo

            you’re arguing semantics. people don’t care if it’s called breeding or transgenic modification. the vast majority (in poll after poll) don’t want to eat bt corn or soy. the vast majority want labeling.

            they don’t want to ingest roundup, regardless of if you call it an herbicide or a pesticide. is this a democracy? or is monsanto in charge of the fda?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I don’t think having to explain that genetic engineering is a tool used in plant breeding is semantics.

            80% of respondants also want DNA labeled, that doesn’t make it reasonable or scientifically sound.

            If people don’t want to consume genetically engineered crops or the foods derived from them there are voluntary labeling schemes that will satisfy their philosophical objections. Both USDA organic and NonGMO project certified exclude genetic engineering. You have a choice, exercise it.

          • kimyo

            perhaps the readers here will find your answer to this question illuminating: is norman borlaug to be lauded for his efforts? or is he the one human, in the entire history of mankind, who has caused more suffering than adolf hitler, genghis khan, george w. bush combined?

            (borlaug led the effort to develop semi-dwarf hybridized wheat)

            is his nobel prize any more or less valid than obama’s?

          • Two Americas

            “Choice” is inappropriate as a driver of public health and safety policy.

            All opposition to the biotech industry agenda is not so easily dismissed as “personal choice” or “personal belief,” which is what I assume you mean when you say “philosophical objections.” The word “philosophy” means “the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality,and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline.” Therefore, “philosophical objections” are not equivalent to personal taste.

            Beyond that, I think that the calls for labeling and the demands for the freedom to make personal choices springs from the breakdown in trust that the public has for the professionals and the institutions. In other words, people are, in effect, saying that given that we are on our own, given that those in positions of power and authority cannot be trusted, we want more information.

          • Two Americas

            Transgenic modification is not a “breeding method.”

            Breeding is the the production of new forms by selection, crossing, and hybridizing.

            Transgenic modification may have similar goals as breeding does, but it is not “breeding.”

            What is wrong with “just making tens of thousands of crosses between similar plants?” Here is one problem with it: it is a barrier to the privatization of crop varieties, which transgenic modification, on the other hand, facilitates. That is not the only possible utility of transgenic modification, of course, but is the one that is driving the industry, affecting public policy and academic research, and it is the reason that we are having any debates about it in the first place.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I would disagree. While the specific act of generating a novel trait through introduction of a gene could be argued to not constitute “a breeding method” the resulting crosses needed to disseminate that trait into the numerous varieties that would utilize it would most certainly be considered plant breeding. Genetic engineering, like mutagenesis, wide crossing, or any number of non fertilization methods like protoplast fusion or somaclonal variation are used to generate novel changes in plants.

            It is not classical plant breeding as practiced by Mendel but it most definitely is still plant breeding, it just a different way of inducing a desired genetic trait.

          • Two Americas

            That is not what you originally posited, nor is it an answer to what I wrote.

            “GMO is really, really different, that is why we need IPR protection.”

            “GMO is substantially the same, that is why there is no cause for fears.”

            Both cannot be true.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            As we already determined IPR protections are not something unique to genetically engineered crops. For a plant variety to be subject to a patent is doesn’t not need to be “really, really different”, it need only be distinct in some way. In the case of GE crops this distinction is the presence and expression of a non endogenous gene sequence.

            It doesn’t necessarily follow that the presence of a single gene sequence will result in the crop being substantially different from its isogenic counterpart. Infact studies utilizing a technique called metabolic fingerprinting have shown that if we’re using the expression of metabolites as our basis for determining substantial equivalence (which atleast to me seems like the best way to measure such a thing) that transgenic modification does not make such crops substantially different. I’ll point to three such studies, one in cabbage, one in wheat and one in potatoes.

            http://link.springer.com/article/10.3839/jksabc.2009.034
            “Genetically modified (GM) Chinese cabbage containing the bar gene was compared to 24 non-GM Chinese cabbage varieties to evaluate unwanted changes in GM crops using HPLC-DAD-based metabolic fingerprinting to characterize polar metabolites containing flavonoids. No new compounds distinguishing GM crops from non-GM crops were observed using this technique.

          • Two Americas

            As you know, the inadvisability of IPR being applied to food crop varieties is the core of my argument. Yes, I know that non-GMO crops have been privatized, and I know that there are precedents. I was involved years ago in the debate about this with apple varieties, and warned that we were setting a dangerous precedent. The “Honeycrisp” apple variety developed at the University of Minnesota was the “superstar,” bringing in millions of dollars to the university. It was so successful that the program became dependent on the income, and I maintain that this has resulted in a perversion of the program there, a program that was internationally acclaimed and highly successful for over 100 years. So many cold weather varieties were developed there, and the result was dozens of varieties that did very well in the Minnesota climate (and market) and were little known elsewhere – Wealthy, Keepsake, Fireside, Oriole, Mantet, Beacon, State Fair, Sweet Sixteen, Haralson, etc.

            Today researchers and breeders are busy trying to come up with “winners.” That has always been true to an extent, but “winners”is defined differently now. At one time it a “winner” meant “a variety that best served the growers in the state and best supported public need.” Today it means “a variety that can be privatized and will make the most money the fastest fir the people involved.” The biotech industry is greasing the skids for that transformation, as it serves their interests.

            Now, the program and the researchers are focused on “cashing in.” We have researchers touting new varieties to the public without revealing that they will personally become very wealthy should it be successful. We have universities deeply involved in commercial marketing. How can any of this possibly be compatible with the mission of the institution or the best interests of the general public?

            I would not argue that the presence and expression of a non endogenous gene sequence is in and of itself necessarily dangerous, of course. Nor would I argue that a transgenic line of plants necessarily falls outside of the range of differences found in isogenic lines as measured by metabolic fingerprinting. (Thanks for referring me to those interesting studies.)

            If “distinct in some way” is going to become the criteria for IPR protection, then any and all life forms are subject to private control. This will inevitably lead to private control over all food crop varieties, and corruption of the public ag programs and the government agencies.. I oppose that, just so we are clear.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Well I guess that’s the problem as those guidelines were enacted in 1970 by plant variety protection act.

            Since the intersection of private industry and land grant colleges seems to be your ken, what measure do you think could be implemented to stymie the take over of our land grant institutions? Is there some way that plant breeders rights can be protected simultaneous to these goals. Or is a total abandonment and restructuring of the entire concept of plant breeders rights in order?

            This aspect of the debate is rarely brought up in such detail as you have done, so I find this very interesting and would love to know your perspective.

          • Two Americas

            Is there some way that plant breeders rights can be protected simultaneous to these goals.

            I don’t think there is such a thing as “plant breeder’s rights” that should be considered.

            Or is a total abandonment and restructuring of the entire concept of plant breeders rights in order?

            It is the 12,000 year old concept that has been abandoned, as private industry restructures the entire concept of agriculture, in my view. The concept of all methods, discoveries, and cultivars being made available to all is what did work and what will work. No one loses in that scenario, other than those who would try to control and profiteer at the expense (ultimately, inevitably) of the public good. Those who try to control and profiteer from plant varieties and cultivars are absolutely reliant upon a robust pre-existing public investment. That same pattern has been repeated in many areas. Once we have built a system – education, the penal system, public forests, public parks, water systems, agricultural and medical research are on the firing line now – there will be people who want to move in and privatize the public wealth for their own benefit. That represents a parasitical relationship, and one that kills the host. It is a “fire sale” that is going on, and once the things of value are gone they will be difficult to restore.

            This aspect of the debate is rarely brought up in such detail as you have done, so I find this very interesting and would love to know your perspective.

            Thank you. I didn’t think it was possible to have an intelligent discussion about this, judging by what I was reading online. I much appreciate your patience and consideration.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Thanks, its easy to get caught up in the passion that this subject entails. Sometimes people lose sight of the fact that discussion and disagreement shouldn’t be hostile, myself included.

            Personally the greatest value that genetic engineering may hold is in addressing devasting plant diseases. The rainbow papaya is probably the best example, but I also know there is promising research being conducted to combat bacterial wilt in bananas in Uganda. I think this is the area that our land grant colleges should focus their efforts on in the realm of genetic engineering.

          • Two Americas

            The natural plant world is in greater danger than the cultivated crops, and in my mind the wholesale collapse of ecosystems will render the debate about farming methods irrelevant. The natural world cannot be commoditized and commercialized, and if there is no research happening that is not tied to commercial interests, which is becoming a distinct possibility, then we may come up with brilliant “cures” yet find ourselves with a dead “patient.” All that we know and have in agriculture came from the natural world. As one of my elderly farming neighbors says: “I don’t grow the food. God grows the food. I am just the caretaker.” There is some wisdom in that.

            When people talk about “franken foods” and “going natural” it is easy to see that as silly and dismiss it. But think about that. What is the “Frankenstein” story about? Is it “anti-science?” No. It is an allegory about the misuse of science, science that it removed from any restraint by public concerns and needs, science placed in the service of something other than the public good. The “mad scientist” creates a “monster” – mostly because he can, and to advance himself – that then terrorizes the town. And “natural?” Well, the natural world is collapsing, and sooner or later we in agriculture will need to face up to that.

            If people want to talk about “franken foods” and “going natural,” so be it. I am going to be on their side. Yes, let’s look at the social and political implications of technology. Yes, let’s pay attention to what our civilization is doing to the natural world.

          • kimyo

            if addressing plant diseases is your goal, then mono-cropping is obviously the worst of all possible ‘solutions’.

            (wording this so that even monsanto scientists can understand it) how to totally screw things up in 3 easy steps:
            1) develop roundup-ready strains of corn which kill off 80% of rootworms
            2) the remaining 20% of rootworms now have no competition, and unlimited food. they thrive.
            3) develop a new strain of roundup ready crops, adding in a second pesticide which kills 80% of rootworms…….

            diversity is the answer, not mono-crops.

          • PunditusMaximus

            It tells me I am more likely to have a sensitivity to the product, since I have multiple idiosyncratic food sensitivities. So I can happily avoid it while allowing the average American to enjoy their Cheetos-based diet.

          • Just Ice

            It’s done in other countries, can be done here.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Your fallacy is : Argumentum ad populum.

          • Just Ice

            Not at all. We’re eating an illegal product.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Is this the part where you start spam quoting Druker or Smith? *yawn*

          • Just Ice

            No need. Shouldn’t you be out shopping for back to school?

          • jazzfeed

            Would you care to respond to Steven Druker’s Challenge To Monsanto? You would struggle and fail; I would be yawning while you flounder. It’s as serious a challenge as could be and you’re not up to it; neither is Robb Fraley of Monsanto who ignored it like a slacker. But give it a go anyway DD: http://www.biointegrity.org I’d love to see you try. Just respond here when you’ve met and think you’ve refuted Steven Druker’s Challenge To Monsanto. Waiting for you …

          • jazzfeed

            In other words, what consumers want means nothing to you. People who want labeling want it not BECAUSE other countries have done it, they want it in ADDITION to other countries. It’s done in other countries because that’s what they want and demand, based on real science, not industry-sponsored junk science. I demand it even if NO other countries want it.

          • jazzfeed

            “Because whether or not a food is genetically engineered doesn’t tell you anything substantive about a product” … utter BS! You’re assuming that the reader should believe what you say is true merely because you said it! This is the mark of a shill.

            Substantive: having a firm basis in reality and therefore important, meaningful, or considerable, e.g., there is no substantive evidence for the efficacy of these drugs.

            It tells me plenty that’s substantive. It tells me the DNA is mutated and it’s known the mutation is imprecise. Eating it could mean anything, now or down the road, through time (bio-accumulation) or interactivity with normal biochemistry and/or drugs in a body.

            It tells me the plant was marinated in glyphosate, a known infertility-causing carcinogen and mineral chelator, among other SUBSTANTIVE characteristics.

            If you been promoted to this from brainwashing 5th graders your employers have made a mistake.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            “It tells me plenty that’s substantive. It tells me the DNA is mutated and it’s known the mutation is imprecise.”

            All novel crop varieties rely on a change in the genome from the parent population. The alterations in the genome resulting from genetic engineering are probably the only a turtle known and categorized.

            “Eating it could mean anything, now or down the road, through time (bio-accumulation) or interactivity with normal biochemistry and/or drugs in a body.”

            That’s… Not correct. And even if it were that same risk could occur as a result of any plant breeding method.

            “tells me the plant was marinated in glyphosate, a known infertility-causing carcinogen and mineral chelator, among other SUBSTANTIVE characteristics.”

            That’s not necessarily true, there are an assortment of traits that have been or could be inserted using genetic engineering. Even glyphosate tolerance is only one of several herbicide tolerance traits that have been engineered into crops. What’s more glyphosate is used on other crops that aren’t genetically engineered as a desiccant. How exactly does a label denoting a breeding method help in that situation?

            Your whole screed simply indicates you know nothing about the subject which you presume to talk about. Perhaps you could benefit from learning a few things about genetics and plant breeding.

          • BioSciNerd

            GMOs aren’t labelled for the same reason that non-Kosher food isn’t labelled. The choice to avoid foods containing GM ingredients is a philosophical one. We don’t require mandatory labelling for philosophical positions. If you want to avoid GM ingredients, look for Non-GMO Project verified or certified organic products.

          • Two Americas

            I have had foods certified Kosher.You apparently do not know what that is, or are pretending to not know or you would not be trying to make this analogy. It is pretty disrespectful, actually.

          • BioSciNerd

            I’m sorry you found my comment disrespectful. I didn’t intend to cause offense. I was looking for an analogy to a food label that is not health related and also diverse among food categories.

          • Two Americas

            Understood. I was ignorant about the subject and probably disrespectful, inadvertently, before I learned about it. I was asked if our produce was Kosher. I didn’t know. I learned. I went through the process. The point is that as professionals in the field I think we are obliged to serve the public – as they are, and not as we might like them to be – and that means taking their concerns seriously. As producers we are in relationship with the public. We have a responsibility for maintaining that relationship. In turn, people are in relationship with their food. We are the servants, they are the masters. Granted that people have gone off the deep end with alternatives and misinformation. That is not the cause of the problem, it is an effect. “Here, eat this, it is safe, the scientists say so, and anyone claiming otherwise is irrational and not to be taken seriously” just won’t get it.

          • Just Ice

            It is a big deal to them, when they have a whole department to discredit real scientists. North America, join the rest of the world, vote your corporate owned politicians out and take your countries back.

      • Just Ice

        Genetic Literacy has zero credibility, not a good source. Amusing.

        • jazzfeed

          Exactly. Genetic Literacy is a mega-compilation of corporitic disinformation. If you know anything about the mutation industry and you simultaneously need an emetic, go there for your gag. No longer amusing however – rather a hideous display of blatant mendacity.

          • Bill Nada

            Great…if such is the case people can demonstrate that. Academics have to do the hard work of doing research. While armchair scholars can sit around declaring “disinfo” and doing nothing more than a rudimentary google search. Must be convenient to pretend bare assertion refute actual research.

      • Shaftoe Qwghlm

        Exactly! You have to have priorities! I don’t care that I might get E.Coli, or Noravirus (depending on store participation) from eating my Chipotle burrito! A little uncontrollable vomiting and diarrhea is a small price to pay for knowing I’m not getting the glutens from any GMO’s! Follow the money…..

    • KEITH LIBERTY

      Then why does EUROPE “ban” GMO crops?

    • Andrew

      The longest feed study by the industry was about 90 days. Is that your science? There is no scientific consensus when it comes to the safety of GMO’s.

    • smolgarf

      … and then delius points us to a biotech industry funded website to prove his/her point…

  • Ben Magno

    A four year old study “suddenly” causing concern, implying they had new studies about GM potatoes and tomatoes – which aren’t even available. Good research.

    BTW, you can still get Seralini on PubMed, it doesn’t make it peer-reviewed.

    • hyperzombie

      Seralini on PubMed, it doesn’t make it peer-reviewed.

      wasn’t the rat study “Peer Rejected”?

      • TessaC

        ‘Peer’ rejected …that’s like a club who decides its own membership. Corporate Foundation money is usually involved in established ‘Peer’ funding. How does that make you feel?

  • odinbearded
    • kimyo

      a great quote from that report which alone is enough to shut magno/dickerson/hyperzombie up:

      Meeting the challenge to ‘prove that GM crops are safe!’ is not so easy. It looks like a scientific issue, but it isn’t. Science can certify the existence of danger, but not its absence.

      any claim that ‘science’ has ‘proven’ that gmo’s are ‘safe’ is completely bogus on its face.

      • Dominick Dickerson

        I have never affirmed anything regarding safety of GE crops. I have always asserted the scientifically defensible position that is reflected in the policy statements of every major scientific institution. Crops derived from genetic engineering pose no greater threat than those derived from other method of plant breeding.

        Safety of anything can never been proven. All science can do is to examine for evidence of harm. And as it stands there is no evidence that genetic engineering as a tool for developing novel plant varieties causes harm to either human health or the environment in ways that are unique from any other type of plant breeding.

        • kimyo

          you have a gift for logical fallacy. let’s see:
          1) appeal to authority: ‘every major scientific institution’
          2) argument from silence/shifting burden of proof: ‘there is no evidence that genetic engineering causes harm’ (see seralini elsewhere on this page)
          3) confirmation bias/circular reasoning: ‘Crops derived from genetic engineering pose no greater threat than those derived from other method of plant breeding’

          i was tempted to award you points for ‘kettle logic’, but then i started to worry that all this attention would go to your head.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            1)It’s only fallacious to appeal to authorities when their expertise is inappropriate or when the claim in question falls beyond the scope of the specialty.

            2) its not argument from silence, its a reflection of the body of knowledge. It’s not shifting the burden of proof, it’s maintaining that those making the claim of harm be required to step out from behind the precautionary principle and engage In the literature. As far as Seralini, if your cowering behind him and his “evidence” despite the numerous objections to his so called “studies”, you need to step out into the rest of the literature.

            3) it’s not confirmation bias/circular reasoning. Its a reflection of the different methods of plant breeding in regards to their safety/efficacy. Can you tell me how genetic engineering is more harmful than mutagenesis, or embryo rescue, or outcrossing or really any other plant propagation method? I suspect not.

          • kimyo

            let’s see now. no scientist can ever devise a study which proves that gmo’s are safe, yes?

            however, a ‘major scientific institution’ is somehow capable of determining that, yes, actually, gmo’s are safe.

            how is that not a bunch of old white men in ornate robes and funny hats telling us that the invisible man in the sky doesn’t like it when we use condoms? it most certainly is NOT SCIENCE.

            did you wait outside ‘every major scientific institution’, watching to see if the smoke from the chimney was white or black?

            appeal to authority? guilty as charged.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            You seem to have to pretty grievous misunderstandings. I’m going to quote something bioscinerd posted up thread I. Regards to your misunderstanding on how “safety” is assessed.

            “When the full spectrum of evidence is considered, there is a clear weight of evidence demonstrating that there is no inherent risk associated with genetic engineering.

            Demanding “proof” that GMOs pose no risk is a bit of a misunderstanding of how science works. Asking for “proof of no risk” is effectively asking for someone to prove a negative, which is effectively impossible. The best that we can ever do is to look at something under a variety of conditions and look for evidence in harm. In the absence of any harm, we conclude the opposite, i.e. that the subject in question is safe under the conditions tested.”

            As to your continued assertion that I’m fallacious appealing to authority I recommend the following. This is an infographic that compiles the position statements of most of major scientific organizations. For the sake of ease I’m linking this rather than each individually so try to focus that before you inevitably invalidate because it was compiled by the genetic literacy project.

            http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/GLP-Science-and-GMOs.pdf

          • kimyo

            This is an infographic that compiles the position statements of most of major scientific organizations

            how is that not an appeal to authority? how does a scientific organization earn the label ‘major’? does it have to do with how ornate their ceremonial robes are? is it the size of their mortarboards? is it the number of diplomas on the wall behind the white guys with serious beards?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Not all appeals to authority are fallacious see my comment above.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Regarding your “appeals to authority”

            This fallacy is committed when the person in question is not a legitimate authority on the subject. More formally, if person A is not qualified to make reliable claims in subject S, then the argument will be fallacious.
            This sort of reasoning is fallacious when the person in question is not an expert. In such cases the reasoning is flawed because the fact that an unqualified person makes a claim does not provide any justification for the claim. The claim could be true, but the fact that an unqualified person made the claim does not provide any rational reason to accept the claim as true.
            When a person falls prey to this fallacy, they are accepting a claim as true without there being adequate evidence to do so. More specifically, the person is accepting the claim because they erroneously believe that the person making the claim is a legitimate expert and hence that the claim is reasonable to accept. Since people have a tendency to believe authorities (and there are, in fact, good reasons to accept some claims made by authorities) this fallacy is a fairly common one.
            Since this sort of reasoning is fallacious only when the person is not a legitimate authority in a particular context, it is necessary to provide some acceptable standards of assessment. The following standards are widely accepted:

          • kimyo

            no scientist can deliver proof of safety.

            yet, you continue to maintain that your hallowed ‘major scientific institutions’ are capable of doing so.

            cause they’re ‘experts’. and anyone who happens to point out that they are wearing no clothes is ‘unqualified’.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            No what I claim is that scientists can examine and experiment to find proof of harm. That’s as close to determining “safety” as anyone can get. And as it stands there is no evidence that genetic engineering as a process for developing new plant varieties is harmful. That’s it. You should stop propping up the strawman of “proving safety”.

  • oldmangristle

    Forget the science for a moment. Do you want those people having control over your food? That’s the question, because that’s what they want. Do you love Monsanto? Do you trust them? Why?

    • hyperzombie

      Do you want those people having control over your food?

      The don’t control the food, they just sell seeds.

      • truth

        And yet GMO groups like Monsanto are monopolizing seed distribution. How is that not controlling something?

        http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2008/05/monsanto200805

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-seeds-of-suicide-how-monsanto-destroys-farming/5329947

        Almost your entire posting history is related to GMO’s. You aren’t fooling anyone Mr. “Ex” Hockey Player… FARMER. GMO Farmer I presume? I mean really, is there any satisfaction that you obtain from posting on every and any GMO-related article you can find?

        http://www.thedailysheeple.com/self-proclaimed-monsanto-employee-trolling-alt-media-gmo-articles-claiming-organic-food-kills-people_062014

        “People have the right to know what they are eating. Period.

        People have the right to know how their food was made, so they can make a choice as to whether or not they agree with that process before they consume said food. Period.

        They have this right no matter what food it is or who says it’s good for them or not. Period.”

        • Dominick Dickerson

          You have a choice. Buy USDA organic or NonGMO project certified products. Both label systems by their definition exclude products derived from genetic engineering. Stop saying you don’t have a choice

          • kimyo

            this is the groundwork for a ‘blame the victim’ approach. glyphosphate in your breast milk? you should have eaten organic.

            couldn’t possibly be cause it’s being sprayed on lawns, farms, golf courses from coast to coast.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            I thought we were talking about genetic engineering?

            I was responding to the assertion that people need labeling so they have a choice. I simply was pointing out that there already is a choice. No victim blaming here, but nice attempt to mischaracterize my statement.

            And besides there is no reliable evidence regarding the “extreme toxicity” of glyphosate that you’re alluding to. And even there were, it has little bearing on the safety of genetic engineering as a plant breeding tool.

          • kimyo

            they don’t call the soy/corn ’roundup ready™’ for no good reason. these plants have been engineered to be resistant to glyphosphate.

            the two go hand in hand.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Glyphosate resistence is but a single trait that can be introduced via genetic engineering, it does not reflect the totality of the science and criticisms of an incidental practice relating to one of many traits does not constitute a fault or flaw with the science as a whole.

          • kimyo

            You have a choice. Buy USDA organic…..

            not true!: Who Knew? Organic Foods Contain a Dose of GMOs

            To be labeled as “USDA organic,” 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown and the remaining 5% may be non-organic agricultural ingredients or synthetic substances that have been approved for use in organics by the USDA

          • Dominick Dickerson

            For processed foods maybe, that’s where the NonGMO project labeling comes into play if its really that big a concern for consumers

            But how are you going to get produce that’s 5% not organic? Its all or nothing.

          • kimyo

            again, not true: GMOs in USDA Organic Food

            “(a) The producer must use organically grown seeds, annual seedlings, and planting stock: Except, That,
            “(1) Nonorganically produced, untreated seeds and planting stock may be used to produce an organic crop when an equivalent organically produced variety is not commercially available

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Oh boy farmwars! nothing like an Alex jones inspired conspiracy website to bolster the credibility of your arguments.

            http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/05/17/organic-101-can-gmos-be-used-in-organic-products/

            Info from the USDA or info from farmwars.

          • kimyo

            no surer way to discredit yourself and your ‘argument’ than by attacking the source rather than the information.

            is it true? can non-organic seeds be ‘used to produce an organic crop when an equivalent is not ‘commercially available’?’

            your views are so quaint. it’s kinda cute. it’s like you think the fda/epa/usda are there to protect people instead of corporations.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Well one problem is there are really no such thing as organic seeds. Organic doesn’t describe a substantive compositional difference between crops, it’s an agricultural management system used in their production.

            So an “organic seed” would be seed from crops managed organically. Nothing special or magic about the seeds.

            That clause is referencing using varieties of seed that may not be used in organic cultivation yet.

            So say Farmer Bob is an organic farmer right and farmer Bob wants to grow tomatoes. Now say farmer bob wants to grow a certain variety of tomato, let’s call it Big Girl tomato. But farmer bob can’t find seeds for Big Girl that are sourced from previously grown organic Big Girl, cAuse farmer bob is a trend setter or something and there’s a market for the big juicy red ripe Big Girl tomatoes that his customers wants. What the second part of that clause means is that farmer bob can use seeds from conventionally grown Big Girl and grow them organically and the crop is still organic.

            Non-organic does not equal genetically engineered.

            The prohibition against genetic engineered crops that I linked to, from the USDA, you know the people who run the Organic certification process and set the rules, deals with your concern.

            You should really get better sources

          • kimyo

            so, we agree on these 2 issues, yes?
            1) packaged foods marked ‘usda organic’ may contain up to 5% gmo crops
            2) vegetables marked ‘usda organic’ may have been grown from non-organic seeds, in soil formerly used to grow or located in close proximity to gmo crops.

            yes or no, please.

            i believe this fully puts to rest your contention that anyone seeking to avoid gmo’s need only buy usda organic.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            1)No
            2) I suppose so, but what does being grown near or in the same soil as genetically engineered crops have to do with it. Are you trying to make an argument for gene introgression or soil contamination? That won’t happen and can’t happen. Cause that’s not how it works.

            Besides this discussion of hypotheticals ignores that the only genetically engineered produce on the market are a small amount of sweet corn, rainbow papaya, and summer squash. So your allusion to genetic introgression is really mute since were literally talking about 2 crops in comparatively small proportions. I think sweet corn is like 10% and squash is even less.

            And there’s no “gmo-ness” that can be transferred to other crops grown in the same soil. That just….doesn’t make sense.

            You have a fundamental misunderstanding of this issue. It would be funny, if it didn’t reflect so poorly on the quality of your primary education.

          • kimyo

            it’s straw man central here on washington’s blog this evening. again, a show of the ‘strength’ of your ‘argument’.

            i said:

            the remaining 5% may be non-organic agricultural ingredients or synthetic substances that have been approved for use in organics by the USDA

            you said:

            For processed foods maybe

            which is it? i’m not sure if your specialty is equivocation or prevarication, but, simply put, can food marked ‘usda organic’ contain up to 5% gmo ingredients?

            yes or no. it’s a simple question.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            And I said no.
            your conflating non organic with genetically engineered.

            USDA ORGANIC prohibits the use of genetically modified crops. But don’t take my word for use the link I sent you.

            “The use of genetic engineering, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs), is prohibited in organic products. This means an organic farmer can’t plant GMO seeds, an organic cow can’t eat GMO alfalfa or corn, and an organic soup producer can’t use any GMO ingredients. To meet the USDA organic regulations, farmers and processors must show they aren’t using GMOs and that they are protecting their products from contact with prohibited substances, such as GMOs, from farm to table.”

          • Dominick Dickerson

            And that’s not a strawman. The operative word was “maybe” as in I’m not sure. So I did what any person would do and looked to high quality relevant sources like this
            http://blogs.usda.gov/2013/05/17/organic-101-can-gmos-be-used-in-organic-products/

            And found the definitive answer.

            No, genetically modified ingredients may not be used as per the USDA

          • kimyo

            dd 9 minutes ago:

            No, genetically modified ingredients may not be used as per the USDA

            dd an hour ago:

            Edit: for the sake of transparency I will admit that upon looking at what the USDA actually says not even chemically identical substances derived from genetic engineered crops can be used.

            For example, consider a container of O organic Tomato Basil soup, a product of Canada, purchased at Sprout’s. The ingredient list includes organic tomatoes, organic tomato pulp, citric acid, calcium chloride, organic tomato paste, citric acid, organic cream, a long list of other organic ingredients and finally citric acid. Why you might ask is there so much citric acid listed and is it organic? Evidently not or it would have been listed as “organic citric acid.”

            The fact is that citric acid does not even come from citric fruit like oranges or lemons. You might have envisioned workers pouring vats of freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice into the product. No, my good friend, citric acid is a product derived from GMO corn! Cheap corn permeates every facet of the American diet …even organics! Its derivatives including citric acid are used as preservatives, taste enhancers and a whole variety of other things.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            If you were honest you would have included my edit, that indicated upon looking at the USDA that those examples would infact be prohibited. But your not really interested in honesty are you.

            The citric acid is derived from a microorganism that may use GE corn as a feed stock. That doesn’t make the citric acid genetically engineered since it’s produced by a bacteria in a bioreactor and then purified and isolated from the bacteria. It contains no transgenic material.

            Citric acid is not a “gmo” ingredient for the same reason why all the labeling initiatives don’t consider chymosin to be a “gmo” because even though it’s produced using an organism that was genetically modified, the chemical composition is identical to forms not produced by a GE bacteria.

            But even that is unsatisfactory to me because as I said before things like corn oil or sugar also don’t contain transgenic DNA but they are considered a genetically engineered ingredient and are targeted by labeling initiatives. Which more speaks to inconsistencies of the label initiatives then anything else.

          • kimyo

            But even that is unsatisfactory to me because as I said before things
            like corn oil or sugar also don’t contain transgenic DNA but they are
            considered a genetically engineered ingredient and are targeted by
            labeling initiatives. Which more speaks to inconsistencies of the label
            initiatives then anything else.

            english, motherfucker. do you speak it?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            The fuck are you babbling about?

        • Jim

          What nonsense. Monsanto’s seed company is DeKalb and its not the largest seed company in the US or the world that would be Dow Pioneer. Pioneer has lost marketshare since the introduction of GM products but not to DeKalb but to independent seed companies. Oh wait I know you are about to pull the its because they don’t sell GMO seeds card but you would be wrong they license traits all the time as does every other seed company.

          So what about that monopoly again? Oh and gen 1 round up ready traits are now off patent too so anyone can make seeds with those.

      • Two Americas

        Private ownership of crop varieties is “control.” Research programs being steered in the direction of creating private crop varieties is “control.” Not all privatized crop varieties involve seeds.

        Excerpt from an editorial at Scientific American a few years back –

        Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?

        Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. That restriction must end

        Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.

        To purchase genetically modified seeds, a customer must sign an agreement that limits what can be done with them. (If you have installed software recently, you will recognize the concept of the end-user agreement.) Agreements are considered necessary to protect a company’s intellectual property, and they justifiably preclude the replication of the genetic enhancements that make the seeds unique. But agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta go further. For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects.

        Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal. In a number of cases, experiments that had the implicit go-ahead from the seed company were later blocked from publication because the results were not flattering. “It is important to understand that it is not always simply a matter of blanket denial of all research requests, which is bad enough,” wrote Elson J. Shields, an entomologist at Cornell University, in a letter to an official at the Environmental Protection Agency (the body tasked with regulating the environmental consequences of genetically modified crops), “but selective denials and permissions based on industry perceptions of how ‘friendly’ or ‘hostile’ a particular scientist may be toward [seed-enhancement] technology.”

        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research/?page=1

        Comments in repsonse to the article:

        I am a law professor at American University in Cairo and doing research on censorship of environmental information. One of the sources that I found said that a survey of Cornell Ag faculty members quoted 40% of them as afraid to even comment honestly on GMO crops because their careers would be damaged. And, in fact, there are many verifiable horror stories in the academic world where researchers who published, or found results to the contrary of the funding sources in their department were virtually destroyed. There’s a famous example that occurred at Berkeley when one of my students was working in the lab there. The current situation re credibility of scientific information of all kinds is tragic. The privatization of public university funding is a disaster for public well being. And the supposedly respected scientific journals have compromised themselves past any belief in their published results.

        We must have the ability to do independent research on food crops; there is so much at stake for it to be purely in the control of industry. Proprietary information notwithstanding, the information on our food supply must be unbiased, and I doubt that an entity with big financial stakes will want to publish any unfavorable data.

  • TessaC

    We eat organic…We aren’t taking chances. Corporations RULE US Congress, so verifying studies isn’t happening. It’s a great loss for the scientific community. No trust.
    I am also quite skeptical of the Academic community..another ‘corporate delivery system’. Sigh.
    Then there’s the corporate media…nothing but a ‘corporate delivery system’. So, I don’t give them much thought. I research data, docs…every day. I can truly support my position.

    • hyperzombie

      We eat organic…We aren’t taking chances.

      They are owned by the same people, and you are making them even richer by buying Organic… Paying 2x more for the same food….

      • TessaC

        BALONEY.

        • hyperzombie

          Ummmm, Ok. You are making the FANTASTICALLY wealthy. Earthbound farms just sold for over 600 million (owners 2 took home over 60 million) Annies just sold for a billion… A freaking BILLION.

          • TessaC

            Annies sold? Wow. Well, look…You can decide to eat whatever you like, but wouldn’t it be nice to know what you’re eating, first?
            Organic does cost more..govt regulation is the cause of that. This is WAR, my friend. These people want to monopolize and push the little guys out of business. I’ve watched small farms go under for the last 30 years because of it. The Federal Govt and US Congress did NOTHING to help these farms..in fact they did quite the opposite. They destroyed small farms and ranches across the country, then the corporate media demonized farmers..called them Militias. I don’t want to get off topic here..but most Americands live in a mind-controlled box and haven’t a clue who designed their own reality structures.

          • hyperzombie

            govt regulation is the cause of that.

            Nope, the regulations were created b them for them.

          • hyperzombie

            How do you feel about making Organic food suppliers multi- millionaires/Billionaires? It must feel good?

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Organic costs more because organic production systems produce less per acre than conventional agriculture systems.

            I’m also not entirely convinced that there isn’t a premium on organic products simply because they know consumers will pay it. There are no substantive nutritional differences between organic and conventionally produced crops. And organic agriculture still utilizes pesticides. But most people who consume organics believe they are both pesticide free and are nutritionally better than conventional crops, despite evidence to the contrary.

          • nick quinlan

            You are dishonest all the way

  • truth

    To the GMO lovers and paid shills, you can have your GMOs. I don’t really care.

    You won’t ever stop me from purchasing and eating organic foods/dairy from local farmers and organic growers that have said NEIN to Monsanto and other predatory GMO pushing corporations.

    Stick that up your pipe and smoke it.

    • Bernie Mooney

      No one is stopping you from buying organic. There’s the difference. The anti-movement wants to take away choice from farmers who choose GM seeds.

      As for local farmers, many of them grow conventional and GM crops on their family farms. They choose to purchase those seeds.

      btw: the paid shill thing is getting old and only shows you have no legitimate argument. And speaking of paid shills, what did they say about that Russian dissident that was just killed? Putin supporters claimed he was a paid shill for Ukraine.

      • kimyo

        classic #3 (wtf does putin have to do with gmo’s?)

        if you doubt the existence of paid shills, you clearly haven’t read this: UK Launches Massive Propaganda Campaign

        These Facebook warriors will be using similar atypical tactics, through
        non-violent means, to fight their adversary. This will mainly be
        achieved through “reflexive control,” an old Soviet tactic of spreading
        specifically curated information in order to get your opponent to react
        in the exact way you want them to. It’s a pretty tricky trick, and the
        British army will be doing just that with 1,500-person (or more) troop using Twitter and Facebook as a means to spread disinformation

        • Bernie Mooney

          The anti-campaign is always bringing up how Russia is banning GMOs and my reference was they were trying to discredit Nemtsov by claiming he was on the payroll of the Ukraine, the same as what the say about people who speak in favor of GMOs.;that they are on the payroll of Monsanto et al.

          There may or may not be paid shills but to claim anyone who disagrees with you is a paid shill is lame and says more about your belief than those who you call shills.

          As far as “curated information goes.” In this case, those are facts and an understanding of the technology, not some irrational fear of something they don’t understand.

    • BioSciNerd

      No one is stopping you. Settle down.

  • ForGMOEducation

    So exactly how are all independent scientists “concerned”? The vast majority of independent scientists that I know are in no way concerned. Also, GMOs haven’t been linked to any of the diseases mentioned in this article.

    • David Turboe Pierce

      They have only been in the direct food supply for what 17 years?

      Who knows what the long term harm could be?

      What is the longest study done? A few years?

      • Dominick Dickerson

        Arguments from ignorance aren’t very compelling.

        “We just don’t know” ignores the mountains of evidence that do not suggest any harm from genetic engineering.

        • David Turboe Pierce

          That is a very ignorant statement in itself.

      • BioSciNerd

        David, genetic engineering has been employed as a research tool for even longer and far more broadly than commercial agricultural GM crops have been around. When the full spectrum of evidence is considered, there is a clear weight of evidence demonstrating that there is no inherent risk associated with genetic engineering.

        Demanding “proof” that GMOs pose no risk is a bit of a misunderstanding of how science works. Asking for “proof of no risk” is effectively asking for someone to prove a negative, which is effectively impossible. The best that we can ever do is to look at something under a variety of conditions and look for evidence in harm. In the absence of any harm, we conclude the opposite, i.e. that the subject in question is safe under the conditions tested.

        • David Turboe Pierce

          So how do they prove a positive outcome with GMO’s with so little research?

          What is the longest study?

          How many generations did they test?

          How would they measure harm in such a very short time?

          Do you realize how many prescription drugs are recalled after they are approved?

          You have no idea of science.

          • BioSciNerd

            So how do they prove a positive outcome with GMO’s with so little research?

            Demonstrating a positive effect is far easier than demonstrating a negative result. To demonstrate that a GM crop is resistant to a virus/disease, has higher yields or resistant to a herbicide is very straightforward. Simply grow a GM crop alongside a non-GM crop and observe.

            And there is quite a bit of research if you take the time to look for it. Use Google Scholar, not plain Google, to find it.

            What is the longest study? How many generations did they test?

            I assume you are talking about GM feeding trials, correct? There have been studies up to two years long as well as multi-generational studies.

            Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691511006399

            Do you realize how many prescription drugs are recalled after they are approved

            Red herring. Where’s talking about very different things here. Agricultural GMOs are not being designed to treat cancer or blood pressure, for example.

            You have no idea of science.

            I have a PhD in plant biology. I am currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher. I have published peer-reviewed work. Don’t pretend to lecture me.

          • Cheyenne

            almost all of those are 90 day trials, except the multi-generational

            ones (but they only look at each generation for 90 days… why?) and the 2 year cow study that focused on milk, blood, and stool analysis. would blood milk and stool analysis detect the biological anomalies that showed up in the 90 day/multigenerational studies? they mention kidney and liver abnormalities (detected through biochemical analysis of organ samples) and changes in organ shape. other studies have found kidney and liver abnormalities, as well as abnormalities in other organs. are we to believe these are “biologically insignificant” changes, as GMO proponents have argued, even though they’ve only been documented in the short term (since pretty much all GMO health trials so far have been short term) That’s not even getting into the fact that most GMO health trials don’t even look for this stuff, and that the majority of GM strains in the food supply haven’t undergone independent testing.

          • BioSciNerd

            I continue to read studies about GMO safety trials. But from the ones I have read, I don’t see reliable evidence of any risks. Now, the absence of evidence isn’t the evidence of absence. I think we need to continue to monitor our food, and I think each new GMO needs to be evaluated individually.

            However, of the few studies I have read that claim to have found evidence of harm, none offer even a hypothesis for the mechanism involved. Furthermore, there are concerning problems with the methodology in these studies.

            To say that there are no long-term studies is simply not true. There are long-term studies. There are multi-generation studies.

            Here’s a recent review paper that looked at over 1700 studies related to GM plants.
            An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research
            http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07388551.2013.823595

        • Two Americas

          Demanding “proof” that GMOs pose no risk is a bit of a misunderstanding of how science works.

          However it is not a misunderstanding about how public policy works.

          The biotech industry seeks to remake agriculture in its own image, and there are massive profits at stake. This undermines the public agriculture infrastructure. It represents an inappropriate and dangerous intrusion by industry into the government agencies and the research community.

          • BioSciNerd

            How we approach agricultural policy is a separate issue from the question of GMO safety, which an entirely scientific question. You and I likely agree on a lot when it comes to policy.

          • Two Americas

            I say this is a public policy issue.

      • ForGMOEducation

        Are you arguing for life time testing or the precautionary principle? There are many reasons that these are not appropriate for application to GMOs. I would happy to tell you about them if you like.

  • Southernfink

    These comment boards are usually nice quite and pretty relaxed — It’s amazing how soon the GM trolls popup when ever these issues are raised

  • 3Point_Pete1

    There is no consensus on GM food safety.

    Reviews of extant animal feeding studies find an almost perfect demarcation between those done by the corporations themselves, which have claimed to find no toxic effects, and those done independently, which have all found toxicity and other health dangers. By now there’s been roughly an equal number of such studies in both groups. That’s especially impressive when we consider the massive imbalance in available funding and access to research materials. (Since the corporations try to deny independent researchers access to proprietary material, which means all GMO material.) It’s an indictment of the system’s lack of desire to know the truth, and a tribute to the truth-seeking will of a relative handful of scientists fighting against the current.

    Not only is there thus no consensus even if we consider only the findings of peer-reviewed studies by credentialed personnel. There’s also no consensus on the legitimacy of industry studies. All industry tests have been rigged in at least one way – their length was far shorter than the normal lifespan of the animal. Ninety days is a standard length. This is meant to ensure that chronic health dangers are unlikely to manifest during the duration of the test. Most studies also didn’t compare the effects of eating the GMO to the effects of a non-GM diet based on the non-GM equivalent of the GM variety.

    Most of these industry “tests” were the most minimal kinds of feeding tests, meant to ensure that an animal fed GMOs would quickly put on weight and not immediately drop dead. These never tested for other kinds of toxicity or for chronic health effects. Picture if we organized a test which would feed human subjects nothing but large amounts of cake, pastries, ice cream, candy, etc. for 60 days (and with no exercise), with our only real goal being to test whether the subjects would gain weight and not drop dead. Then afterward we trumpet the test as having proven that such a diet is healthy over the long run. That’s what’s been going on with these corporate feeding trials. Scientists reject these as having any validity as real safety tests.

    Even many of these tests nevertheless found disturbing evidence of biological changes and toxicity. Such evidence was routinely dismissed as “insignificant”, or suppressed completely.

    The rare industry tests which weren’t rigged have all found evidence of toxic effects. (That is, rigged as far as the lack of equivalent diets. Again, all of them were rigged with intentionally insufficient durations.)

    Meanwhile, under the pressure generated by the 2012 Seralini study, the pro-GMO European Food Safety Agency and the French government have called for more long-term studies on the health effects of GMOs. This is the first time any agency has taken up independent scientists on their constant call for more study. But the fact that this pro-cartel bureaucracy has conceded that more study is needed is in itself more self-evident proof that there’s no consensus.

  • 3Point_Pete1

    Putting aside the fact that there was NEVER any natural demand for GMOs and that they are forced onto the market via the command economy, reviews have also found a structural divide among technicians opining about the environmental safety of GMOs similar to that where it comes to their danger to health. Technicians who are working for the cartel, and especially those who are trained in the narrow specialty of molecular biology, are most likely to “find” that GMOs are environmentally safe. Independent scientists, especially those trained in more holistic disciplines like ecology, are most likely to document evidence of environmental hazards.

    The published data on Bt crops finds proof of resistance among target species (the evolution of superbugs), proof of the surge of secondary (non-target) pests into niches temporarily opened up where the Bt insecticide has worked against the primary target, and strong evidence of harm to non-target and beneficial species.

    Herbicide-tolerant GMOs indisputably have caused a massive escalation of herbicide use everywhere they’ve been deployed, and like clockwork have caused the evolution of herbicide-resistant superweeds. There is indeed consensus against GMOs on these facts. Even Monsanto, after trying to deny it, concedes that superweeds are an inevitable part of the GMO regime.

    Herbicide tolerance is proven to be a completely failed technology. We know for a fact that this kind of GMO does nothing but require ever greater application of ever more toxic poisons to ever more ineffectively combat ever more broadly resistant weeds. Even if one believed there was any doubt about the health effects of GM food in itself, there’s no way any rational person arguing in good faith could justify or defend the notion that humanity should continue with the herbicide-tolerant GMO project.

    Then there’s the mounting evidence of the devastating health effects of glyphosate. We can add that the meager testing which governments have performed has been done only with glyphosate itself, never with the real-world commercial formulations like Roundup. Yet there’s strong evidence from independent studies that the adjuvants, surfactants, and other additives in these formulations render them far more toxic.

  • nick quinlan

    http://www.independentsciencenews.org/science-media/the-goodman-affair-monsanto-targets-the-heart-of-science/

    There is no scientific consensus on the safety of genetically modified foods and crops, according to a statement released today by an international group of more than 90 scientists, academics and physicians.

    The statement comes in response to recent claims from the GM industry and some scientists, journalists, and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that GM foods and crops were generally found safe for human and animal health and the environment. The statement calls these claims “misleading”, adding, “This claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist.

    “Such claims may place human and environmental health at undue risk and create an atmosphere of complacency,” states Dr. Angelika Hilbeck, chairperson of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER) and one of the signatories. “The ENSSER statement draws attention to the diversity of opinion over GMOs in the scientific community and the often contradictory or inconclusive findings of studies on GMO safety. These include toxic effects on laboratory animals fed GM foods, increased pesticide use from GM crop cultivation, and the unexpected impacts of Bt insecticidal crops on beneficial and non-target organisms,” Dr Hilbeck continues.

    In spite of this nuanced and complex picture, a group of like-minded people makes sweeping claims that GM crops and foods are safe. In reality, many unanswered questions remain and in some cases there is serious cause for concern.

    Prof C. Vyvyan Howard, a medically qualified toxicopathologist based at the University of Ulster and a signatory to the statement, said: “A substantial number of studies suggest that GM crops and foods can be toxic or allergenic. It is often claimed that millions of Americans eat GM foods with no ill effects. But as the US has no GMO labeling and no epidemiological studies have been carried out, there is no way of knowing whether the rising rates of chronic diseases seen in that country have anything to do with GM food consumption or not. Therefore this claim has no scientific basis.”

    The signatories to the statement call for compliance to the precautionary approach to GM crops and foods internationally agreed upon in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety and UN’s Codex Alimentarius.

    Commenting on the statement, one of the signatories, Prof Ernst-Ulrich von Weizsäcker, Co-Chair of the International Resource Panel (UNEP) and Co-President of The Club of Rome, said: “The future of food and agriculture is one of the great challenges of humankind of the 21st century. The claim of scientific consensus on GMO safety is misleading and misrepresents diverse and inconclusive scientific evidence. The full range of scientific research needs to be taken into account, in open, transparent and honest debates which involve the broader society, when decisions of global concern are being made. This is a responsibility of scientists and science.”

    Another signatory to the statement, Prof Brian Wynne, associate director and co-principal investigator from 2002-2012 of the UK ESRC Centre for the Economic and Social Aspects of Genomics, Cesagen, Lancaster University, said: “It is misleading and irresponsible for anyone to claim that there is a consensus on these important issues. Many salient questions remain open, while more are being discovered and reported by independent scientists in the international scientific literature. Indeed answering of some key public interest questions based on such research have been left neglected for years by the huge imbalance in research funding, against thorough biosafety research and in favour of the commercial-scientific promotion of the technology.”

    http://earthopensource.org/earth-open-source-reports/gmo-myths-and-truths-2nd-edition/

    • Guest

      Nice copy and paste. Too much work to write something yourself?

      • nick quinlan

        Thank you!
        My memory isn’t that good

  • nick quinlan

    “No scientific consensus on GMO safety” statement published in peer-reviewed journal

    A statement signed by over 300 scientists and legal experts to the effect that there is “No consensus” on the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops and foods has been published in a peer-reviewed open access journal, Environmental Sciences Europe.[1] It now belongs to the body of open peer-reviewed scientific literature and stands as a citable publication.

    Dr Angelika Hilbeck, one of the authors of the published statement and chair of ENSSER, said, “As well as receiving the endorsement of the peer reviewers at the journal, the statement has also been peer-reviewed and transparently endorsed by more than 300 scientists and experts from relevant fields of inquiry, including molecular biologists and biotechnologists.”[2]

    The statement was first published in late 2013 in response to claims from the GM industry and some scientists and commentators that there is a “scientific consensus” that GM foods and crops are safe for human and animal health and the environment. The statement calls these claims “misleading”, adding, “The claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist

    • BioSciNerd

      Nick, did you look at the people who signed that letter? I wonder what a lawyer and a physicist have to say about GMOs that is at all relevant. Yes, there are biologists, but the figure of 300 is without a doubt an inflation.

      Also, the review paper prominently cites widely criticized research without question.

      This review paper (and by the way, have you actually read it or just the blog stories about it?) doesn’t present anything new. It simply attempts to reaffirm existing claims by people with anti-GMO views, many of which have been discredited.

      • nick quinlan

        Rampant Unrelenting Industry Bias

        Industry-funded research that favors the funders is not new. Bias has been identified across several industries. In pharmaceuticals, for example, positive results are four times more likely if the drug’s manufacturer funds the study.[22] When companies pay for the economic analyses of their own cancer drugs, the results are eight times more likely to be favorable.[23] Compared to drug research, the potential for industry manipulation in GM crop studies is considerably higher. Unlike pharmaceutical testing, GM research has no standardized procedures dictated by regulators. GM studies are not usually published in peer-reviewed journals and are typically kept secret by companies and governments. There is little money available for rigorous independent research, so company evidence usually goes unchallenged and unverified. Most importantly, whereas drugs can show serious side-effects and still be approved, GM food cannot. There is no tolerance for adverse reactions; feeding trials must show no problems.

        Thus, when industry studies show problems (in spite of their efforts to avoid them), serious adverse reactions and even deaths among GM-fed animals are ignored or dismissed as “not biologically significant” or due to “natural variations.”

        Numerous reports including peer-reviewed articles and part 3 of the book Genetic Roulette are replete with examples of rigged research. But making these public does not seem to curtail its practice. Consider the wormy corn of the British Food Journal. Not only has the editor refused to retract the paper, he has not even agreed to reconsider its Award for Excellence. A blatant propaganda exercise still stands validated as exemplary science.

        In the critical arena of food safety research, where the health of society is caught in the balance, it is entirely unacceptable that the biotech industry is without accountability, standards, or peer-review. At our expense, they’ve got bad science down to a science.

        This article is based on Part 3 of the book, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, by Jeffrey M. Smith.

        • BioSciNerd

          Jeffery Smith is not a credible source of information pertaining to GMOs. I don’t have time to elaborate right now, but if all you’re going to do is copy and paste large blocks of text from anti-GMO websites, I am not going to continue this dialogue.

          • nick quinlan

            To all of you pro GMO, pro Monsanto misinformation experts, anyone with anti GMO, Monsanto information, is not a credible source.
            To you guys, the only credible sources of information are from pro industry sites.
            As far as copying text from articles, what am I supposed to do instead, memorize the articles?
            Get real. You just don’t like the information, so you dismiss it because I copied it and pasted it.

          • BioSciNerd

            Nick, what makes you think I’m “pro-GMO”? The fact that I point out fallacies and misinformation that those with anti-GMO views try to spread? That doesn’t make me “pro-GMO”. It means I’m a skeptic.

            And no, I don’t expect you to memorize anything. I expect you to understand what you’re reading. Copy and paste excerpts where it is convenient, it saves a lot of time. But don’t make your entire comment a copy and paste. That’s makes me think that you haven’t actually put any thought into your comment.

          • nick quinlan

            If you were truly a skeptic, as you claim, you would be skeptical of the safety of GMO’s.
            If you were a skeptic, you would have a precautionary view towards GMO’s, not be defending them, and dismissing any studies against them.
            So, I do not believe what you say at all.
            I will continue to copy and paste information pertinent to the topic of discussion. If you don’t like that, do not read nor comment on anything I post, it’s as simple as that.

          • ForGMOEducation

            The definition of a skeptic is one who is not easily persuaded either way. Just because someone doesn’t believe the opinions of one person, Jeffrey Smith in this case, doesn’t mean they are not a skeptic. In fact, the idea that someone would believe the opinions of only one person is actually not very skeptical by definition.

          • nick quinlan

            Who said anything about believing the opinion of only one person, besides you?

          • ForGMOEducation

            You do know that the majority of the posts you just made above are directly taken from Jeffrey Smith right?

          • nick quinlan

            No matter how you twist and bend your logic, it’s not a true statement at all.
            A post further up this thread, contained study from Dr. Angelika Hilbert.
            If you are trying to contend that I only believe the opinions of ONE person, that is an absurd thing to state.

          • ForGMOEducation

            I’m just making sure you are looking at a diversity of opinions. No harm there, and definitely no reason to become offended.

          • ForGMOEducation

            Plus, you should probably be looking at evidence instead of opinions.

          • nick quinlan

            Evidence is where scientific opinions come from.
            Try again.

          • ForGMOEducation

            Unfortunately, that isn’t true for most people. Most people only look for evidence that supports their existing opinions and ignore all else.

          • BioSciNerd

            Well put!

          • BioSciNerd

            I am skeptical of the safety of GMOs. I used to be very concerned. But after studying for six years and actually working with GMOs, I was convinced that they’re a useful tool in our toolbox. Like any tool, genetic engineering can be abused. But I do think that there are legitimate uses for genetic engineering.

            I am not dismissing studies “against them”. I am simply critiquing scientific studies. There is a very big difference. It also happens that many of the popular “anti-GMO” studies are of rather questionable quality. That’s my objective opinion. It doesn’t matter one bit to me if we use GE in agriculture or not. I don’t work with agricultural crops.

            You don’t have to believe. I don’t want you to. I want you to look objectively at the evidence.

        • BioSciNerd

          Nick, are you open to the possibility that Jeffrey Smith is wrong?

          • nick quinlan

            Jeffrey M. Smith Biography

            The leading consumer advocate promoting healthier non-GMO choices, Jeffrey Smith’s meticulous research documents how biotech companies continue to mislead legislators and safety officials to put the health of society at risk and the environment in peril. His work expertly summarizes why the safety assessments conducted by the FDA and regulators worldwide teeter on a foundation of outdated science and false assumptions, and why genetically engineered foods must urgently become our nation’s top food safety priority.

            Mr. Smith’s feature-length documentary Genetic Roulette — The Gamble of Our Lives was awarded the 2012 Movie of the Year (Solari Report) and the Transformational Film of the Year (AwareGuide). Described as a “life-changer” and seen by millions world-wide, the film links genetically engineered food to toxic and allergic reactions, infertility, digestive disorders, and numerous problems that have been on the rise in the US population since genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were introduced.

            His books include: Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies about the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating, which is the world’s bestseller on GMOs; and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, which is the authoritative work on GMO health dangers.

            An admired keynote speaker , Mr. Smith has lectured in nearly 40 countries, counseled leaders from every continent, and has been quoted by hundreds of media outlets including: The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC World Service, The Independent, Daily Telegraph, New Scientist, The Times (London), Associated Press, Reuters News Service, LA Times, and Time Magazine. Also a popular guest, he appears on influential radio shows and television programs, such as the BBC, NPR, Fox News, Democracy Now, and the Dr. Oz Show.

            He is the founding executive director of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), a leading source of GMO health risk information for consumers, policy makers, and healthcare professionals. IRT’s educational programs are driving the tipping point of consumer rejection against GMOs, which is already starting to push genetically engineered ingredients out of the market in the US.

            Sure, anyone can be wrong, but I don’t believe he is.
            His credentials are far more extensive than yours.

          • BioSciNerd

            Actually, I disagree. Unlike Mr. Smith, I actually have experience with GMOs. But I’m glad you are open to the idea that he might be wrong. It shows an open mindedness. I’ll get back to you when I have more time.

          • hyperzombie

            First of all. Organic or conventional foods are not healthier. They are the same. An organic twinkie is just as bad for you as a regular one.

        • BioSciNerd

          Nick, I agree that industry funded research should be viewed with skepticism. But not all research into GMOs is done by industry. For example:

          Long term feeding of Bt-corn–a ten-generation study with quails
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16429830

          This study (which unfortunately isn’t open access) was conducted by animal nutirion and organic farming researchers in Germany. There are other examples like this, you just need to look.

          There is little money available for rigorous independent research
          Who do you think should pay for such research? Do you think the public should be paying for safety studies on commercial products? That is effectively a huge financial windfall for companies. The reason many publicly funded researchers don’t do feeding trials of GMOs is because there is little or no novelty in such research. Precise grant funding is allocated towards innovative research in pursuit of new knowledge. Routine feeding studies (which have been done!) are not that.

          when industry studies show problems (in spite of their efforts to avoid them), serious adverse reactions and even deaths among GM-fed animals are ignored or dismissed as “not biologically significant” or due to “natural variations.”

          This is where Mr. Smith’s ignorance really shines. “Not biologically significant” and “within natural variation” are valid statements. Living organisms show variation. The range of such variations can be described using statistics. The word “significant” cares extra meaning in science and refers to statistical strength. If something is described as “significant” it means the result has been statistically confirmed to fall outside of natural variations and visa versa. For a person to attempt to dismiss conclusions that state the results are “not biologically significant” or due to “natural variations” indicates that the person lacks an understanding of science, or worse is being dishonest. In Mr. Smith’s case, I think it’s a bit of both.

          Jeffery Smith is a propagandist. He has a financial conflict of interest as his entire career is built on the a priori conclusion that GMOs are dangerous. He is like a priest in that losing his faith will cost him his livelihood.

  • Southernfink

    Poland – Hundreds of Farmers Block Roads in Protest of Monsanto’s GMO Crops: Poland’s Largest Farmer Uprising

    http://www.globalresearch.ca/hundreds-of-farmers-block-roads-in-protest-of-monsantos-gmo-crops-polands-largest-farmer-uprising/5433844

  • jujubean

    I understand that if a farmer plants no gmo seed, and is next to a farm that uses gmo seed and as nature takes it course: birds flying with seed, winds, rain etc. some of the gmo crops will maturally become part of the nongmo seed/plants grown. The problem then is Monsanto coming to the non GMO farmer and suing him or her for using their seeds, when in fact they did not but nature had its normal way. Monsanto sues or demands payment for the seeds which the farmer did not buy. Then the farmer cannot afford the swift and ruthless legal counsel that MOnsanto can buy ,and further legal scare tactics, and threats ensue to the point of the farmer having to literally sell their land or face financial ruin. THIS IS WRONG. Do you people who support GMO’s not see and understand the injustice and greed of Monsanto. Then MOnsanto will end up gobbling up all worthy land to farm and OWN THE FOOD SOURCES – what don’t you understand as why people do not trust Monsanto?

    • ForGMOEducation

      The vast majority of farmers (including organic farmers) purchase new seeds every year, so there isn’t a very good chance that GMOs will “become part of the non-GMO seeds.”

    • hyperzombie

      and as nature takes it course

      Nature doesn’t take its so called “course” in Agriculture. I dont know of any studies on the matter but close to 0% of corn farmers save seed, maybe 1% of soy farmers save seed, sometimes. Also remember it goes both ways, the GMO crop under your scenario would be less and less GMO over the years. Maybe the GMO farmer should sue the non for contaminating his crops with NON GMO pollen and seed.
      This never happens in the real world, the only farmers that are concerned about contamination are seed farmers and they have been dealing with this issue for 1000s of years. THey have protocols to ensure that jalapeno peppers are jalapenos, GMO corn is GMO corn, and conventional corn is conventional.

      Really this is just an issue that is brought up by folks that don’t understand how agriculture works.

    • BioSciNerd

      Do you people who support GMO’s not see and understand the injustice and greed of Monsanto.

      I can only speak for myself, but I understand the difference between policy and biology. GMOs are biology. Policy dictates how Monsanto conducts business. Don’t like Monsanto’s business practices? Fine. But attacking biology won’t help.

  • kimyo

    there are many parallels in the debates re: gmo’s, vaccines, climate change.

    and there is a unique strength to the skeptic’s arguments.

    we’re not saying our evidence or our scientists are better than yours. we’re saying that you don’t have sufficient evidence to support your claims.

    in terms of climate, before one produces models which deliver reliable output, one must have thousands of measurements taken over thousands of years. you don’t have that.

    in terms of vaccines, double-blind studies are required to assert claims of safety or efficacy. you don’t have that.

    in terms of gmo’s, you’d have to have fed them to multiple generations, again in a double-blind study, before you could even begin to say ‘it looks like they’re not too harmful’, much less, ‘they’re totally fucking safe dude’. you don’t have that.

    if this was science, the talking would stop and the scientists would go back out into the field to gather the measurements. if it is pr, then we get an army of bots talking amongst themselves.

    • BioSciNerd

      Whoa. Climate change denial, anti-vaxxer and anti-GMO views all wrapped up in one person. That’s some sort of ignorance hat-trick.

      • kimyo

        How a jab plunged my life into madness

        And it is not just a question of a few individuals sounding the alarm bells. In 2005, Dr Thomas Monath, a world expert on yellow fever, who sits on various World Health Organisation committees, confirmed publicly that the vaccine in question can cause “really severe and significant, serious adverse events”.

        claims of safety can never be backed with science. claims of limited harm, perhaps. get out from under the rock and get yourself informed.

        ignorance is trusting monsanto to provide safe food. or johnson and johnson to provide safe pharmaceuticals.

        J.&J. to Pay $2.2 Billion in Risperdal Settlement

        Johnson & Johnson has agreed to pay more than $2.2 billion in criminal and civil fines to settle accusations that it improperly promoted the antipsychotic drug Risperdal to older adults, children and people with developmental disabilities

        $2.2 billion? how many improper prescriptions did they push onto unwilling patients?

  • 305

    Who is the author of this!

  • Mariam Al-ani

    Why the big fuss about GMO crops? Are they indeed terrible as
    some people say?

    Are GMO crops good or bad? The question actually does not
    make sense. The direct genetic modification is a technology not a product. It is
    one basic technology for creating new plant varieties. Another similar basic
    technology is hybridization or cross breeding. Actually GMO is safer and more
    precise than the conventional breeding using mutagenesis, for example. GMOs
    technologies use couple of genes, whereas conventional breeding is a trial and
    error approach of genetic mutations.

    We all understand that it’s the end product that’s important
    not the technology with which it was created. Using genetic modifications lets us for
    example copy and paste specific genes. Those genes may make the plant better or
    worst depending on what gene we are implementing in the new plant.

    One of the most common GMO crops is Bt corn, which stand for
    Bacillus thuringiensis. It makes the corn naturally resistant to caterpillars
    without requiring a pesticide. To make the Bt corn, we copied one gene from a
    naturally occurring soil bacterium and pasted it in to a traditional corn. That gene makes the corn produce a protein
    that causes caterpillars to stop eating the corn. The end result is corn that
    is nutritionally unchanged and without pesticide, so the corn is cleaner too. Furthermore, it is false to assume that
    industry is the wheel controllers for all researches that support GMOs. The GMO
    benefits are not only for big companies, as it was assumed. Farmers around the
    world also benefits from GMOs, especially in developing countries. Some
    examples of the benefits of GMO to farmers are: 1. GMOs seeds require less fuel
    input, 2. the pest resistant cottons and maize needs less insecticide, 3. GMO’s
    allow farmers to preserve seeds, and reduce seed lost.

    Before concluding that GMO is bad, consider the GMO variety
    and the gene implemented. Being developed with direct genetic manipulation doesn’t
    make a plant good or bad.

  • vulfhild

    Let Prof. Bergmann of Stanford explain: “When I talk to people who are anti-GMO, I try to figure out their reasoning. If they’re concerned about safety or putting foreign genes in food, I ask them when they first tried quinoa or acai berries. Usually, they say not until adulthood. I then ask why they were willing to take the incredible risk of consuming something with upwards of 20,000 genes they had never before been exposed to. I follow it up with a little light history of how we’ve manipulated plants for thousands of years.” http://www.hhmi.org/bulletin/winter-2015/how-can-scientists-help-ease-societys-fear-gmo

    • implicaverse .

      Dear Prof. Bergmann,

      There are plenty of natural plants that have toxic genes that can kill, cripple, and even cause brain damage. Fortunately for us consumers of quinoa and acai berries, we’ve had millions of people in previous generations who were willing to serve as guinea pigs on our behalf. Those who were guinea pigs in eating certain types of mushroom were not so fortunate as those who decided to try the quinoa.

      What kind of testing was done before GMOs in question were released to the general population? Was it tested for generations, like quinoa and acai? Or was it dumped in cattle feed, and when the cows were still alive after three months, did you say, “Yup! It’s okay!”

      Genes are infinitely more complex in molecular structure than are pharmaceutical drugs, yet the FDA requires years of testing before drugs are released. So why do GMOs get this magic pass from regulatory drug testing? Is it because science genies told you that genetics is an inherently safe science that can never ever harm us, or are you simply following the money?

  • 98Bravo

    I wish that the illiberals would be objective and base decisions on facts rather than consensus. For years they have been telling us “the science is settled” and “there is a consensus in the scientific community” that Global Warming is real and caused by humans and we all need to sacrifice. I don’t support flawed research done by “interested” parties regarding GMO’s and I don’t believe the crap pushed by other “interested” parties concerning Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change whatever the heck they are calling it now.

  • The surreal McCoy

    The world does not need the genetic manipulation of species, sentient or non-sentient, by one of its many species; and I can’t really see any other motive of doing so other than very short term ideas of personal gain. That said, (and I am saying this without any cynicism at all): Not only can’t mankind grow ad infinitum, it will also, as a whole species, not last forever. In the end, humans, too, need to die of something, don’t they?

    • hyperzombie

      “The planet does not need the genetic manipulation of species,”

      It is called evolution dumbass. None of us would be here if it wasn’t for genetic manipulation.

      • The surreal McCoy

        Regardless of the validity of your statement, by adding an insult to whatever it is you believe you need to say, your argument loses significance.

        • hyperzombie

          Evolution is not a belief, it is the way nature works.

  • TEst

    Test