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Labeling GMO

California will vote in November on whether to require explicit labeling of genetically modified foods.  We’ll look at what that would mean for the state and the country.

Jim Andrew kneels in a grain hauler full of soybeans on his farm, near Jefferson, Iowa. Soybean growers are hoping the government will approve a new genetically modified soybean they say will produce oil that is lower in saturated fat, allowing people to eat healthier, including fried foods they may have given up as they tried to reduce fat in their diet. (AP)

Jim Andrew kneels in a grain hauler full of soybeans on his farm, near Jefferson, Iowa. Soybean growers are hoping the government will approve a new genetically modified soybean they say will produce oil that is lower in saturated fat, allowing people to eat healthier, including fried foods they may have given up as they tried to reduce fat in their diet. (AP)

For more than a decade, most cereals, snack foods, salad dressings we eat in the USA have contained genetically-engineered ingredients.  Corn or soy beans whose DNA has been tweaked in the lab.  Genetically-modified organisms – GMO.  More are on the way.

Supporters call them safe and necessary.  Opponents call them Frankenfood.  On November 6th, a vote in California will decide if Californians get to know what they’re eating.  It would require labeling of all genetically-engineered material in food.  If it happens there, it may go national.  There’s a fight.

This hour, On Point:  labeling GMO.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Marc Lifsher, reporter at the Los Angeles Times.

Doug Gurian-Sherman, senior scientist with the Food and Environment Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes, director of the Center for Economics and Management of Agrobiotechnology at the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture.

Kent Bradford, Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center at University of California, Davis.

From Tom’s Reading List

L.A. Times “Agricultural biotechnology companies have been pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into developing plants that can withstand the effects of a prolonged dry spell. Monsanto Co., based in St. Louis, has received regulatory approval for DroughtGard, a corn variety that contains the first genetically modified trait for drought resistance.”

Huffington Post “More than 40 other nations, including the entire European Union, already require disclosure. ButMonsanto and its allies are dedicated to keeping consumers in the dark and are pouring tens of millions of dollars into a disinformation campaign intended to defeat Prop 37.”

Christian Science Monitor “Another multimillion-dollar fight over a ballot initiative – with big implications for the country – is brewing here in California. The initiative, which is on the ballot this November, has a mouthful of a name: the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.””

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  • Shag_Wevera

    We’ve been tinkering with the genetics of our foods since we started farming, haven’t we?  Cross breeding for size and color and hardiiness against temperature and drought?  I remember good ole Gregor Mendel and his pea plants from high school biology.

    I’ll listen with a fairly open mind.  Maybe I should be terrified of the tinkering we are currently engaging in.

    • Steve__T

       Yes because when you do cross breading in the field it is natural way different in a lab.

  • J__o__h__n

    I’m skeptical of GM food considering the food industry has brought us such things as trans fats and pink slime.  The fact that they are trying to prevent the food from being labeled so the consumer won’t be able to choose makes me think there is something wrong with it. 

    • Steve__T

       There is theirs a lot wrong, read madnomads post and take a look at the film it may change the way you shop for food it has for me.

  • Gregg Smith

    They’ve really got it down pat with strawberries. First they made them big, now they’re big and sweet. Nice work.

    • J__o__h__n

      The small ones taste better.  I always make sure to get them when they are in season at the farmers market.

  • hackerkat

    Everyone, especially those with children, should watch this movie before deciding:
     http://geneticroulettemovie.com/

    No one is asking to ban the products. We only want to know what we are buying and eating. Shouldn’t that be our right? If the products are not harmful, why is agribusiness so determined to prevent us from knowing when we are consuming them?

  • Mouse_2012

    I guess if the choice is straving or eating GMO foods I choose GMO.

    Most of Americans also take some type of pills affecting health(Physical or mental) aka modifying our bodies.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      But they’re taking those pills knowingly; someone isn’t grinding them up into a little pocket of meat the way one can trick a dog into taking its meds.

      • Mouse_2012

        point taken

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          No problem. Now let me make you a hamburger.

    • Steve__T
      • Mouse_2012

        Thanks for the link,

        I think people still will eat it until the cost of healty foods are reduced not unheathy increased.

    • beccadog

       Good for you. And, I hope all of your colleagues who want to eat GMO’s and will get GMO medication live a deserved life.  You are what you eat.

      Thus far, we’ve rarely experienced indigestion or GIRD.  Perhaps, because we only eat non-processed organically grown crops, and organic meats from livestock who eat what God created –rather than what Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences (chemical), Bayer, Syngenta or other biotechnology-pesticide industries have created in a lab to sell more of their herbicides.

      When I can no longer buy organically raised livestock, I’ll eat vegan, just as President Clinton and others have done.  Already, I’ve found that eating vegan helps reduce pain from injuries, such as a fractured spine, or injured organs.

  • Mouse_2012

  • Mouse_2012

  • http://twitter.com/TweeterSmart b smart

    should information not be free in a free market?  don’t we have the right to now what’s in the food we eat? seems simple

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_C26XCINC2GQV7P4OLIXPCFSBQA Issues That Matter

    Monsanto supports genetic food labeling… in Britain: http://tinyurl.com/8ry2rh7

  • madnomad554

    One of the best documentaries if not the best, is Food Inc. If you have Netflix you can watch it there.

    In Aug 2010, National Geographic put out a special edition larger format magazine entitled, “The State of the Planet”. One of its stats indicated that 17% of all garbage created in the US, is edible food scraps. Also, in 1970, adults were consuming just over 2100 calories per day. In 2010 that had increased to just under 2700 per day, about 600 more calories per day. If you do the math, that comes to 218,400 more calories per year than in 1970. People, that is 15 weeks more food per year or 3.5 years more food in a decade at today’s daily caloric intake compared to 1970.

    We don’t need GMO food, in fact we don’t need more food grown period. This country is already eating too much and throwing and away too much of it as is.

    Eat less, clean your plate and grow a garden…much of the problem solved.     

  • ttajtt

    Ya, designer drugs are becoming our poisonous position.  toxicologic foods ANEW.  NON-poision edible foods becoming poisonous. O’ Honey.   CDC must have a founding way to save the top 9/10ths% from the other 99.9 1/10th. Tax payers pay and give tax free open pit mining, deforesting, they have the right to a privitecy yet they take our rights.  How does two wrongs become correct?    

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    How horrible – forcing corporations to label the products you’re putting into your body and allowing you to make informed choices. Unthinkable!

    I hope it passes.

    Given the number of multilanguage labels that are produced to lower costs for other products, there must be some economic advantage giving us our own information deficient labels.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    That is an interesting argument – should our right to vote be restricted to what is “necessary”?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Isn’t there a law in Texas about this? I seem to remember one of that crowd (Monsanto/Cargill/etc) has claimed that having “GMO” on a food label is scary to consumers, thereby making it “defamatory”.

  • J__o__h__n

    Monsanto and DuPont.  Of course we can trust them. 

    • Steve__T

       I hope your being sarcastic

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        I would bet a bottle of Wolaver’s gluten-free beer that John is full-on deadpan here.

        • Steve__T

           lol

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            I, personally, live for gluten, but I have some friends who swear by Wolaver’s. And for taste, consider that it’s made by Otter Creek Brewing.

          • J__o__h__n

            I haven’t had it.  I usually drink Smuttynose IPA.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Do our guests trust the Cal Biz roundtable and Pepperdine when it comes to polling? I instinctively do not, but I’m three time zones away.

  • lorettasig

    Please talk about the dramatic increase in food allergies, the timing of which coincides with the appearance of GMO food.  Incidentally, the rise in obesity also coincides the rise in GMO food.  Also, ask about Monsanto’s seed bank…

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    Tom…

    It seems to me that…

    Alcohol Exemptions exist because Alcohol is regulated by the FEDS through the ATF.

    Similarly Imports are regulated by the FEDS.

    So exemptions are to granted in order to not be in conflict with the Federal Regulations that could cause the law to be appealed and overturned in Federal Courts.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NG4UZC44SCTIJ3RGLUVMO645ZM Rudolf

    All foods are GMO. Mankind for its history has selected food plants for the desireable characteristics. The results has been a hit-and-miss selection of the desired genome. The present effort just makes it science-based effort. What’s the difference?

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Selecting seeds/ creating hybrids for desired traits seems to be different than crossing the DNA of a fish with a plant.  Personally I have never seen a salmon swimming up river to cornfield to mate.

      Are there unintended consequences with gene splicing to both the corn and the salmon?

      • Steve__T

         Short answer Yes

  • http://twitter.com/Brian_Castner Brian Castner

    What even counts as a GMO? There is no such thing as wild corn – its all genetically modified. We’ve been “genetically modifiying” vegetables through breeding strains for thousands of years! What’s the standard?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      “Monsanto suing farmers for using patented seeds to grow the next year” seems like a good start.

    • John Patterson

      Brian, I was going to make a similar argument until I saw yours.  Take it a little farther.  What about the cow that eats the GMO (or hybrid) corn?  Will her milk and her meat have to labeled as “Contains GMO”?
      John Patterson (can’t figure out how post my name above)

  • Lisa Anamasi

    We hear it all the time, “You are what you eat.”  What a shock it would be to see how much of our food is GMO.  I want to know what my food is made of and so I read labels regularly, when shopping at the grocery store.  I look for organic when choosing vegetables and buy through CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) when available.  If it is more expensive, well – I consider that an investment in my health as preventative medicine.  

    Thank god California is making headway on this!  They did the same with organic certification.  I just hope that whatever regulations come down the pipeline in the future don’t get watered down the way that USDA organic certification is a similar, but not as good, version of California organic certification standards from the 1990′s.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1641588837 Marta Duffer

    I absolutely support this proposition even though I live in KY. I started buying organic produce about 2 years ago. Both my husband and I can taste the difference, organic food has much better flavor. Moreover, I no longer have to take antacid tablets all the time. Organic food is a bit more expensive, but keep in mind that inorganic would be much more expensive if government would stop subsidizing it.

  • ttajtt

    If NASA developed it in space.  The cure must be made in space too.  switch my, ours, their gene on-off.   stem cell research will end when copy, cloned, GMO for the Anti-christ.

  • http://twitter.com/twosidesormore twosidesormore

    Tom, come on..the last caller is totally off base: she “debunked” tons of toxicology research with…a”wonderful movie”? there is simply not a shred of proof suggesting that a GMO crop does anything bad to your body or that of your kids….GMO crops are the way of the future for many reasons. ask any academic plant molecular biologist….

    • Steve__T

       yea just like tobaco

  • Phillip Hanberry

    Im tired of hearing corporations are going to pass the cost on to the consumer.  Why do we accept this as a viable argument?  This argument is thrown in the publics face every time regulations are dropped on the doorstep of big corporations.  They are willing to spend 30 million in order to fight this proposition, but are unwilling to swallow the cost of new labeling?  We should be able to trust the corporation to eat the cost and do what is right. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      The actuality of the cost and the incessant whining about the cost (think the friendly confines of CNBC) don’t have to be anything alike for these corps to keep waging the PR war.

      Never underestimate a bidness group’s ability to retroactively fight a PR war after the battle is lost.

  • J__o__h__n

    Ugh, just got this email:

    Hello NPR Community Members,We’re happy to announce that today we are implementing a new commenting system on NPR.org. After careful consideration, we chose to work with Disqus, and we believe that this will offer an enhanced user experience for both reading and making comments on our stories. You can read about the process behind our decision-making on our Inside NPR.org blog.

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      Well…  Disqus is better than the non-threaded software they are using now.  It’s not perfect but it is an improvement.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Me too.

      I don’t use Disqus in this space. There’s a reason for that.

      • nj_v2

        How do you not use it when it’s the platform used here?

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          Let me rephrase: I have not created a Disqus account, but gone with another service that it is linked to. (Click on the green exclamation point.)

          I only use this one laptop and am left perpetually signed in, so I don’t have the cross-platform flexibility to comment from everywhere (well, I would if I wrote down my password). But I get to edit my own posts, which allows me to clarify thoughts.

          • nj_v2

            Okay, thanks for the explanation. I’ll have to look into those kinds of alternatives.

    • nj_v2

      Using Disqcrud today is especially glitchy and slow, with occasional error window popping up. Some enhancement.

      And i don’t like how Disqus collates a user’s history across forums all over the Web. Too Big Brother-ish for me.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/LZOMFLMMEXLAUZAVLSNZG6D434 Lynn

    I’d like to point you to a book titled “The Seed Underground: a Growing Revolution to Save Food”, by Janisse Ray, a well-known ecological writer.  95% of heritage cabbage is gone, 96% of corn, 94% of peas, 81% of corn.  Is our health, our heritage, our bio diversity going with it?

    • beccadog

       Yes! Unless we can get mandatory labeling and take action to take back our government together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/carla.measercostamagna Carla Measer-Costamagna

    It is well known that there is and has been a revolving door amongst the FDA officials and former and/or current Monsanto employees and directors. NO matter what the FDA considers “safe” we cannot trust what they say. 

  • ThisIsNotBritannica

    wondering if the experts consider Bush Snr’s Substantial Equivalence determination a scientific or political classification.

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    What about the Placebo / Nocebo effect?

    ie…  You tell people that the food is GM and possibly harmful then suddenly people start feeling sick.

    • beccadog

       No wonder Monsanto’s home base is in Missouri with people like you living there.

      • Call_Me_Missouri

        Two things…

        1.  I am asking a legitimate question based on a Radio Boston program from just last week where they discussed the Nocebo effect from notifying patients of drug side-effects.  They found that if you don’t tell people about the side-effects, they experience fewer side-effects.  So I asked if there is a similar effect with people fearing GMOs.  It is a reasonable question to ask.  You can listen to the program here…

        http://radioboston.wbur.org/2012/09/12/nocebo-effect

        2.  I am not FROM Missouri, but you can Call Me Missouri because I’m the SHOW ME Person, you dope!

  • Katya d’Angelo

    From what I understand the studies with regard to whether organic or “conventional” or gmo has any affect on our bodies are rather short studies…We don’t REALLY know the long term effects, but with the rise in cancer, obesity, and other diseases we can only assume that is because of our environment – which includes food and hence gmo. In addition, alot of gmo’s (not all) are created specifically to withstand heavy duty pesticides (yes some are created so you don’t have to use as many) and therefore, it might not simply be the genetic code of a gmo, but the ramifications of what that means once it’s planted and as it’s grown. Yes. I want to know what’s in my food…then i can choose.

    • beccadog

       Based on the Federal Register, I would say that regardless of what the peddlers of the toxic seeds and toxic pest controls claim, one out to 9 new GMO crops are herbicide tolerant so they can be sprayed with massive amounts of up to 3 different herbicides (all of which have been linked to non-Hodgkin’s lyphoma in people and animals, including marine wildlife) and the plants will not die.

      The soils become devoid of all life and cannot sustain living things like A.I.D.S.  The livestock become sterile and farmers cannot maintain a herd or flock, thus more and more livestock are cloned!  More and more people who eat the contaminated livestock are living with Prilosec, which left Europe and move to the USA as increasing more crops became genetically modified in this country.

      If you want to eat everything you’ve already eaten, prepare to be sick most of your life.  On the other hand, if you want to take personal responsibility and care for your own health, this starts with the right to know whether or not your food contains GMO’s.  GMO are genetically modified from different kingdoms, whereas plants may be engineered to have different traits by marrying different plants together.  Different kingdoms are different than marrying an orange with a grapefruit, for example.  It’s more like forcing the building blocks of life of a bacterium like salmonella into the DNA of a seed for food.  And that is not something that nature or God will do.  But, it is something that evil and greedy corporations that make poisons to kill life will and have done to sell more pesticides, or to control the world through our food.

      If there is any freedom left in the USA, we should have the same rights as 50 other countries, including Russia and China, who have mandatory labeling and the right to know.  We, also, need this to take personal responsibility to care for our families health and well being.

  • Government_Banking_Serf

    How about the McGovern report back in the early 70′s and the ensuing High Carb Diet, Disease, and Health Care Crisis we now have?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=719638118 Glenn Russell

     As industry wants to argue that GMO has no health effects, the true argument here is what is wrong with consumers knowing a bit more about the products they are consuming?  What is wrong with a regulation that informs the consumer a bit more about what they are buying so they can make a more informed decision?

    But industry knows, that the labeling will limited their smoke and mirrors PR and advertising of their products.  They know that more educated consumers will think twice about buying their product and that is not good profits for “GIGANTO” food companies.  But good for people.  More informed consumers are worse consumers to industry.

  • nj_v2
  • tanae

    If BT corn is so safe, why have I seen hardly ANY wooley worms or grasshoppers for years now in rural central Illinois?

    • Call_Me_Missouri

      Come to Maryland…  I have enough grasshoppers and crickets to last me a life time and they keep me up all night.  Do you need some tree frogs and toads?  We got them up the ying/yang too.

      • tanae

        Don’t mean to be rude, but I think Illinois is quite a bit larger than Maryland.  I think we grow quite a bit more corn than they do in Maryland.  Isn’t there a lot of govt related acreage there taken up with govt. buildings and govt. employee housing?

        • Call_Me_Missouri

          Oh Please…  You absolutely do mean to be rude.

          Anyway 1/2 of Maryland is overwhelmingly rural and primarily grows Corn and Chickens.  Clearly you know nothing about Maryland and shouldn’t be commenting on it.

  • nj_v2

    More bogus arguments from the industry hack about reduced use of pesticides. 

    http://www.csmonitor.com/Environment/2009/1221/More-herbicide-use-reported-on-genetically-modified-crops

    [[ A report released by the Organic Center found that the amount of herbicides used on genetically engineered crops has increased in the past 10 years, not decreased as might be expected. Since many genetically engineered crops were modified so that farmers could spray Roundup, or Glyphosate, to kill the weeds in their fields but not the crops themselves, the expectation was that less herbicide would be required. But the new report found that this is not what happened. ]]

    And long-term use of the same herbicide creates resistance in the target insects so that they become useless.

    The panel really should have someone there to challenge this disinformation!

  • tanae

    If BT corn is so safe, why do I see virtually NO wooley worms or grasshoppers here in Central Illinois for years now?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    Kent Bradford is another miracle of genetic engineering. How else
    to explain his ability to breathlessly exude talking points rather than actually converse?

    • nj_v2

      Your post gives me solace that there’s some intelligent life in the Universe.

  • nj_v2

    Tom A., signing off: “We’re informed now.” 

    Really?!

    On the basis of this show??

    Really??!

    • spiral007

       this is the second show within 10 days that i have heard on NPR (one DR Show) that appears to have been a sell off to established interests.  Wonder what is going on in NPR land????

  • 21tk

    Check out the BBC website for this article on Superweeds farmers are facing from GMO crops.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19594335

    They now have to try weedkillers derived from agent orange.

    Bring on the flavor!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651468436 Morgen LaCroix

    The idea that GMO crops have environmental benefits are an outright lie. Bt corn is causing resistant corn borers. Round up ready soy encourages farmers to spray more Roundup and has created super weeds that are resistant to it. Now farmers still growing these crops are turning to even stronger pesticides to fight the new resistant weeds.
    Not to mention that these “feedstock” corn crops which we are told we shouldn’t worry about because they aren’t for human consumption are contaminating fields around them making it nearly impossible to grow GMO free corn if you have any neighbors nearby who grow GMO.
    Farmers do not support GMO’s, they are having it forced down their throats by the large agribussiness companies. If the only seed available for you to plant is GMO you either grow it or lose the farm, literally.

  • http://twitter.com/MattGonzalez17 Matthew Gonzalez

    I can never get more then a busy signal when calling in, but here is my comment that hopefully makes it…

    Doug is trying to squash Prop 37 on the political marketing that GMO foods is bad.. This has nothing to do with labeling the product itself! the label will not say “This contains GMO stay away!” it is the marketing that will hurt the industry. It is our right to at least know it is in there. Let us decide this is bad for us or not..

    Doug is way off into the weeds with thinking is a poison label that everyone will stay away from..

  • Marvin_P

    1. If the public has an interest in knowing what’s in their food, then it seems obvious that we have a right to know. How can the “free market” operate otherwise?

    2. It is not relevant that the FDA is of the opinion that GMO will not directly harm the people who eat it. There are other impacts that GMO has on our environment that concern some people. 

    3. The cost of changing labels is not really the root of the labelling issue, as companies routinely fine-tune their labeling of processed foods for marketing purposes, and so merely adding something to a label is not going to cost much. More of a problem, possibly, is that many manufacturers just don’t have a clue whether their products are genetically modified or not, and setting up a tracking mechanism would in fact increase costs, as has just been pointed out on the air. So the manufacturers would have to label everything doubtful with the label “may contain GMO”. Either way they incur costs and/or lose revenue. 

    4. BUT. This all may prove to be an unnecessary argument, because labeling GMO products specifically may no longer be really necessary in practical terms. While a few years ago we just didn’t know, today we can be pretty sure that if a product is not  labeled GMO-free, then it very likely has some GMO stuff in it. Today, products that are entirely GMO free are clearly labeled because this brings a substantial marketing benefit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/guneralp Bulent Guneralp

    Don’t believe Monsanto’s words and ads. Simply look at its history and actions filled with deception and harm for profit with zero care for human life and dignity. Everything is clear. Here are the facts. They speak for themselves. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_profilepage&v=Lni6OAJz3sk

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Szq2GFYktG8&feature=plcp

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9Ep4uxbhsvI

    http://www.geneticroulettemovie.com

    http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    The only reason not to label food is to keep the public ignorant about what they are buying and eating.  It is a real tell that opposition to this comes from Republicans.  Where is their support of the free market?  Their support of the freedom of choice?  Their support of letting the market place and free competition determine success and failure?  Buried under their much higher priority of support for the wishes of big businesses? 

  • ttajtt

    this dividing confuse categories chaos adds to common sense in fining what is right for I – You – She – He – Them – They – We – society.  thats way there is a separation between two, to serve only one.       NO More.

  • Astute_Grower

    How this is even an argument baffles me. First, all the information used by the federal government to evaluate these foods and technologies is supplied by the companies whose products are being tested. No conflict there? Second, the methodology used in these tests is NOT provided, in other words, there is no way to know if the informaiton provided by the corporations is valid in any scientific way. Third, it’s voluntary. why? Fourth, there is a revolving door at the USDA where former industry exec’s populate the policy groups at the USDA for a couple of years then return to Monsanto, Cargill, etc. when their tenure (more like undercover food subversion if you ask me) is over.

    Tom, I am disappointed that you did not mention these things to your UC Davis, GMO food industry apologist. There is no value to these companies to tell the public the truth about these so-called foods. It might impact the bottom line and god knows we can’t have a company do poorly if they are in fact selling us poison.

    I know more than a couple of plant biologists (PhD’s) and they are adamant that GMO is the great satan of our food supply. If we, in our arrogance, believe we can reduce our food supply to a few crops that only one or 4 huge corporations own the rights to and any drift from their contaminated pollen results in a law suit AGAINST the victim. We are pursuing the folly of many now extinct civilizations.

    • Steve__T

       Amen to that brother

    • douginct

       And another Amen to that.

    • VinceD2

      EXACTLY! Monsanto is as evil as they get, they deserve the corporate equivalent of a death sentence.

      • Kedward Telby

         Corporations are people now right… how bout their senior leadership gets a fair *criminal* trial

  • http://www.facebook.com/guneralp Bulent Guneralp

    Adding to my previous comment:
    GM Crops and Roundup Cause Tumors, Organ Damage and Early Death!

    If the scientific and political world reacts appropriately to this shocking research, GMOs will be re-examined and then removed.Please share this groundbreaking and epic study widely.

    CRIIGEN Study Links GM Maize and Roundup to Premature Death and Cancer
    http://sustainablepulse.com/2012/09/19/criigen-study-links-gm-maize-roundup-premature-death-cancer/In a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology”, researchers led by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini from CRIIGEN have found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup tolerant GM maize or given water containing Roundup, at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the US, developed cancers faster and died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet. They suffered breast cancer and severe liver and kidney damage. All Guinea Pigs! Severe toxic effects of a GMO and of the major herbicide of the world http://www.criigen.org/SiteEn/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=366&Itemid=130

  • jupiterboy

    I’m concerned about the homogenization of seed sources in the event of naturally occurring disease. More than my own safety, I should be able to vote with my money against the depletion of diversity in the seed crop. No corporation is watching out for the food supply in this regard. They are taking a combative legal stance against farmers who do not use GMO seed in an attempt to eliminate non-GMO seed, and farmers’ ability to grown and use their own seed.

  • douginct

    Tom, I am a big, big fan of your show.   Today was the first time I’ve ever listened with a sense of profound disatisfaction.  The GMO discussion got hijacked by Kent Bradford.  He took up a lot of airtime, many times kept you from managing the discussion, and worst of all, told some very bold untruths.  He was a disingenuous guest.  I would have preferred a spokesman from Monsanto who said: GMO crops are a big, big part of our future growth projections, and we will fight like hell to protect our stock price.  But for Mr. Bradford to talk as if it is accepted that the technology is safe and well-tested was a flat out lie.  He was not worthy of the guests you usually have.  It has nothing to do with my disagreeing with his general position, but he was not an honest arbitor of the facts.

    I was also disappointed you did not have a well-spoken advocate for prop 37 on the show, or someone from the European Union to explain while GMO crops were rejected in Europe. 

    We all have bad days, but this topic was too important for the show to not have done a better job explaining the anti-GMO position.

    Please do another show on the topic close to the election, and have some more vocal labeling advocates on the show.  This topic and our children deserve nothing less. 

    All being said, I still have much respect and thankfulness for your show.

    Doug

    • gyurika

       How eloquently put. Thank you. And looking forward for that follow up show…

    • beccadog

       For a change, the other side has been able to get their issues aired. Since Monsanto funded NPR Marketplace in their time of need, only propaganda was aired by NPR, or zero information.

      Today’s information has both sides of the issue.  We have the right to know what we purchase so we can protect the health of ourselves, and our families.  Fifty other countries have that right, why should be kept ignorant.

      BTW, have organisms from other kingdom’s been forced into plants since the world began, or since 1992 when the frame work was laid at the EPA, FDA, and USDA to protect the biotechnology-pesticide corporations from public oversight?

      Livestock constantly fed with GMO corn, cannot reproduce. GMO soy fed livestock die earlier.  Soil has become void of life when constantly sprayed with Roundup.  The studies done on livestock and agricultural fields have repeatedly been ignored by the FDA and the USDA.  The concerns of FDA’s own scientists have been ignored.  The FDA is corrupt and broken because it protects corporations and poisons rather than protecting public health and the environment.

      Safety is not being tested or published.

  • George Weber

    FYI-
    UC Davis gets an ENORMOUS amount of funding from Monsanto.

    I know – did my undergrad work there – biology in the “College of Agricultural and Environmental Science.”

    I’m not anti-GMO across the board, nor am I insinuating that professor Bradford is a corporate shill, or dis-reputing a world class university.

    BUT, disclosure is important… O.P. did not address this link, likely was not made aware of it, and given the volume of funding that department gets from a repeatedly unscrupulous multinational corp, it bares mentioning…

    Requiring disclosure of ingredients is never a bad idea. Let the consumer decide if they think there is a risk, not a manufacturer.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001007331253 Mary Louis

    This company and the US goverment’s complicity in allowing the takeover of our food is a National and International disgrace. Today it has been reported in France that a study has linked Monsanto’s GMO corn to cancer in lab rats.
    Simply do a google search of Monsanto and France and you’ll pull up the articles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001007331253 Mary Louis

    @ Bulent  Thanks I did not see your post before I posted mine.

    • http://www.facebook.com/guneralp Bulent Guneralp

      You are very welcome, Mary. Thank you, too.

  • StaceyBen

    Drank the kool-aid on this show. The pro-GMO propagandists had literally about 3 times as much air time as the guy from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Then again, it’s not rocket science. When my daughter was little she was very allergic to dairy. We bought a can of tuna and she had a terrible reaction. May not be true now, but then, a company did no have to disclose an ingredient if it made up less than 2% of the food product. Literally, what we did not know hurt our daughter. Full disclosure means we have a right to know everything that is in a product we buy.

  • VinceD2

    Get a copy of “The World According to Monsanto”, then ask yourselves how much concern this corporation has for anything but money.

    Also, how can it be possible that a company can even argue that “We The People” don’t have the right to know what we are eating.

  • gyurika

    There is strong indication of harm – NEVER Mentioned.
    I have a condition labelled Morgellons. This is carefully guarded by the CDC – not to find out what this is. Therefore there are independent researchers trying their best.
    The genetic modification is done by a bacterium called Agrobacterium. This has the ability to take part of the DNA chain of the host cell they are in. Then laterin an other cell thay would infuse this into that cell’s DNA. Once they use the AB to do such a transfer it is supposedly bleached – killed off. Critics have been claiming that is is not true that all of them can be and are killed, – because the ones inside a cell survive.
    So then when one its GM food the agrobacteria consumed will then put plant DNA chains into the person’s DNA. Turning a person part plant. So for example plant living flies and such may lay eggs in such individuals.
    One researcher did DNA testing on 18 Morgellons sufferer. All 18 had Agrobacterium DNA fragments, control people did not.
    This condition is supposedly has spread already population-wide like it can be seen on a video where the reporter freaks out…
    More stories where this came from – but this should be some small (organic) feed for thought.
    George

  • ArcBender

    My prediction is that labeling wins and companies start labeling their products but to the shock of proponents of labeling it won’t matter at all except on the very fringes.  Most products will contain GMO products and Americans, after a brief flirtation with non-GMO buying, will drift back to GMO products because those products are so ubiquitous, will offer a wider variety of products, and because the cost will be lower.  I think the buyers of non-GMO will be a subset of the organic movement – those willing to pay more in either time or money because they think it is more healthy or better or whatever reason.  Of course their choices will be less then those that choose to buy GMO products.  Will be interesting to see result of this long-term. 

    • VinceD2

      I think the consumers will run GMO’s right out of the market. Almost every gallon of milk has the statement that it’s hormone free, after consumers demanded hormone free milk.  The same will happen here. Monsanto known this which is why they are investing millions to protect their revenue stream.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pattibond1 Patti Bond

    A new study, out today, by the Food and Chemical Toxicology, is the first published long term study on animals. This was a 2 year study on rats which revealed serious health damage to the animals: serious damage to liver, kidney, and other illness. To see study visit:
    journal homepage: http://research.sustainablefoodtrust.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/Final-Paper.pdf

    I want food labeled so I can make an informed decision!
    The opposition is trying to confuse people = Prop 37 is simple and straight forward and common sense. Label GMO foods!

    • Gluge

      That study is horribly done.  They don’t establish a control group and they pick a type of rat that is very prone to growing tumors in it’s normal life.  It was so badly done they were asked to retract the study if they didn’t have more data.

  • eoonline

    It strikes me that the economic argument against California’s Prop 37, the requirement to label GMO food, is a little circular. The opponents launch into how much it would cost to remove GMO from our food: Aren’t they effectively conceding, then, that if people knew there was GMO ingredients in their food that they wouldn’t want to buy it and would therefore prefer non-GMO food? And if that’s the case, isn’t that a pretty strong argument for requiring labeling of GMO food?

  • rockhauler

    one aspect that’s not discussed is loose produce. last year i purchased a winter squash from a local branch of a national chain that has a policy of not selling gmo foods under its label. the seeds went into the compost pile, and in the spring they brought forth beautiful plants recognizable by the leaf pattern as belonging to that squash. lots of flowers, lots of bees, no fruit. i can only surmise that the seeds were terminators, because none of the organic squash and cucumber seeds planted nearby (within 30 feet) fruited. this is very serious for the small home gardener. if one googles terminator seeds, one learns a lot about monsanto and the genetic modification that can interfere over a 2-year cycle. seed-savers and composters beware. 

  • edloveryomtvraps

    Sadly, as expected, the conspiracy nuts were out in force on this show, the “mom” from San Diego in particular.

    The labeling effort is just part of a FUD campaign.  (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt)

  • Sy2502

    I am going to be very angry if I end up paying ridiculous amounts for grocery only because some people let themselves be emotionally manipulated by the fear mongerers. I understand some people aren’t very educated, but when they push their ignorance on everybody else, that’s when I get mad. 

    • douginct

      Sy 2502 -Don’t let yourself be so easily manipulated.  You’re falling for the lamest of canards – the threat of high prices.  But that aside, if price is your major concern (rather than risk of environmental contamination, human health, etc), make sure you calculate the full cost of GMO’s, and who really gains by their sale.  To call those who understand the risks and data (or are even smart and cautious enough to be worried enough to ask for labeling), ‘fearmongers’ is just obnoxious, because it shows you, Sy, have not done your research, and are falling for the sales pitch of those who stand on the profitable side of the GMO product pitch.   Get off your high horse and do some homework.

      • Sy2502

        No, the scare mongerers are the ones easily manipulated. As we well know, fear is the best manipulation tool of all. You heard the idiotic ad that likened GM to smoking, for the love of pete, how stupid can that be? 

        Also enough with this patronizing attitude all conspiracy theory pushers seem to have, of behaving like they are the only ones who have “actually looked into it”. I am sure thinking you are the sole holder of the truth boosts your self esteem, but reading some fear spreading web site doesn’t constitute “doing research”. Some of us are actually scientifically literate.

        • douginct

          If the yawning gaps in studies on GMOs doesn’t bother you, and you don’t care to follow the money, then please, label me a fearmonger.  I am always curious as to what motivates people to be blindly trusting.    GMOs are being released into the environmental gene pool with effectively no meaningful research (though unforseen outcomes could never actually be ‘researched’ in a lab).  This is being done for profit, and by virtue of controlling the food industry, more profit.   It isn’t being done for love of mankind, and it isn’t being done with any kind of caution.  During my time working in the pharmaceutical industry, I observed years of drug research on a much, much, much more detailed scale than has ever been done in the GMO field  (for some reason the FDA took more interest in penis pills than bio-tech food…ironic), and we are all aware of the massive blunders that have happened with ‘well vetted’ drugs once they hit the public at large.   And that’s peanuts compared to GMO’s reach.  But there I go fearmongering again.

          • Sy2502

            Who’s blindly trusting? You, from the sound of it. Again convinced you are the only holder of the truth and everybody else is unwashed masses? Pathetic.

          • douginct

            Who am I blindly trusting?  You post doesn’t make sense.

          • Sy2502

            You are free to believe what you want. Just don’t expect me to pay for it. End of discussion.

          • douginct

            That’s all you got?  You sounded like you knew something that us fear-mongering, emotionally manipulated people didn’t.

  • LoganEcholls

    “we’ve been using this technology for 15 years on livestock without health effects…”

    I think what he means is, “we’ve been experimenting on the american meat supply for 15 years, and so far none of the hamburgers, chicken wings, or ham-hocks have complained.” 

  • LoganEcholls
  • http://hammernews.com/ hammermann

    Lousy journalism on this one. In the first 5 minutes you should have had the rap against GMO from some expert biologists so we know what the issues were, but that pro-GMO corporate seed professor dominated discussion, and WE NEVER GOT IT. I was a chemist and first thought anti-GMO people were regressive Druids opposed to the future. I now think Monsanto and the big seed cos are major weasels in the process of  creating multiple ecological catastrophes. The food itself isn’t particularly dangerous to humans… yet,….  but

    1. Sterile seeds that can’t reproduce are deeply evil, forcing farmers to come back like addicts to the source, and will lead to major starvation in 2nd and 3rd world when the AGW Great Famines hit. Cross polination by stronger hardier GMO crops could wipe out natural varieties.

    2. The Round-Up tolerant corn, canola, soy means imbecile farmers are not using 50-100% more- no they’re using 5 x more!, poisoning the whole web of life from birds to bugs.

    3. Some foods now INCORPORATE pesticide (BT insecticidal proteins) in their genetic structure, so it gets into any creature exposed to it or eating it, and roots, soil, feed. While it reduces real pesticide use, it has been linked to Colony Collapse of honeybees, something that could have devastating effects for all crops and plants that rely on bee fertilization. Massive frog and butterfly deaths may also be linked to GMO.

    4. Identifying GM food is useless unless it is specific, inc. pesticide resistant, or BT; and virtually impossible now- 80-97% of 3-4 crops are GM and some of them are used in everything.

    5. The cat if out of the bag in GMO and there’s no going back. While they may grow more crops per given land- the AGW heat-caused crop failure disasters will overwhelm any improvement, and seriously should there be 10 billion people on the planet?- at some point like with every over-breeding species, there will be a massive die off, aided by opportunistic superbugs, like the Bird Flu (deadliest known virus ever). Humans are highly destructive parasites that destroy every ecosystem- we use 42% of the land surface now- at 50% they surmise we will cause wholesale mass extinctions (which we already are, worse then the dinosaurs meteor).

    6. So all this concern is probably just whistling past the graveyard.  Don’t worry, be happy.

  • Dustin Mulvaney

    I thought this was a poorly covered show. No scientist to balance the claims made by the biotech professors. 

    If Dr. Bradford is such a fan of roundup and roundup ready seeds, why does he express no concern over the number of weeds that are now resistant to it because it is being over used? I’ve spoken with numerous ag extensionists in California who mentioned this concern. Now farmers have to turn to the more toxic 2D4. Isn’t the job of land grant scientists to help farmers? Or is it now ag input suppliers? Same with Bt, did he miss the recent Plos One research article about insects evolving resistance in the field? Or the numerous insect ecologists who have predicted this would happen for years because no one is complying with the high-dose refuge management approach? (monsanto’s contract that accompanies their seed puts this management burden on the farmer) What about the studies that have shown decreased chemical use from Bt is offset by chemicals used on secondary pests? 

    Dear Doug Gurian-Sherman, why didn’t you mention the new study out of France showing cancer in rats? Isn’t it your job to follow this kind of news and make it public? Make the point that no epidemiology is even possible without labeling. 

    OnPoint staff: please be more clear about people’s vested interest. Dr. Bradford’s center is a partnership with the biotechnology industry. Your title makes him appear to a neutral scientist. There is no such thing. I don’t think he said anything inaccurate per se, and I’d agree with some of his points. But he was very selective about which data to present, which stories to tell. 

    Prop 37 is not about food safety, its about the control of agriculture and the food supply. How safe do you feel about 90% of the seed supply being controlled by 5 companies? Just be hopeful they don’t invest in mortgage backed securities, or Bernie Madoff. 

    Please contact me for your next GMO show. You need someone with a more balanced assessment of the peer reviewed science and a grasp of the political economy. 

    PS, Alcohol is probably exempt because there are no proteins, which are the allergenic/toxicity concern. 

  • douginct

    http://geneticroulettemovie.com/

    This movie helps clarify what GMO is, and why it poses such a threat.  Well worth the time.  I saw it on a free download period, but it may cost a few bucks now, which will be the best healthcare dollars you could spend.

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