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GMO Labeling Comes To America

GMO labeling comes to America. It’s the law in Vermont. On the ballot in Oregon. Do we need it?

Edge Fuentes, left, stands with his wife Katie Spring, right, and their 9-month-old son Waylon in their planting room surrounded by seedlings for vegetables and flowers at their Good Heart Farmstead, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Worcester, Vt. Spring and Fuentes back the GMO labeling law that was recently signed by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin.

Edge Fuentes, left, stands with his wife Katie Spring, right, and their 9-month-old son Waylon in their planting room surrounded by seedlings for vegetables and flowers at their Good Heart Farmstead, Thursday, April 24, 2014, in Worcester, Vt. Spring and Fuentes back the GMO labeling law that was recently signed by Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin. (AP)

More than 60 countries around the world, and nearly all of Europe, require the labeling of genetically modified foods – GMOs.  The United States does not.  This spring, Vermont voted to require foods with GMO ingredients to be labeled.  First state to do it.  It’s a big deal.  Crack the fierce industry resistance in one state, and it could spread all over.  Oregon voters just submitted petitions to put GMO labeling to a popular vote in November.  Monsanto and big food distributors hate it.   Say we need the science and the GMO food.  This hour On Point:  the GMO labeling fight in America.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Drake Bennett, staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek. (@drakepbennett)

Kevin Folta, professor of horticultural science and chairman of the horticultural science department at the University of Florida. (@kevinfolta)

Falko Schilling, lawyer and consumer protection advocate for the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. (@JustFalko)

From Tom’s Reading List

Bloomberg Businessweek: Inside Monsanto, America’s Third-Most-Hated Company – “The company’s name has become shorthand for corporate villainy, like Standard Oil a century ago or the private military contractor Blackwater. A rumor persists that Blackwater, whose own reputation problems have led it to change its name multiple times, has merged with Monsanto. At the New York march, one young man held a sign that read, ‘Why buy Blackwater if your goal is to feed the world?’”

Reuters: Oregon proponents of GMO labeling say expect ballot measure to qualify – “Advocates of mandatory labeling of genetically engineered crops in Oregon said they had collected more than enough signatures to qualify a measure for the November ballot, and planned to submit them on Wednesday to state officials. The statewide ballot measure, if it passes, would require labeling of products containing genetically modified ingredients intended to make them resistant to disease and insects, beginning in January 2016.”

USA Today: Two farmers, two views of GMOs – “There was a celebration on the Statehouse steps in May when Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a bill into law that made Vermont the first state to require labeling of genetically modified foods. There was music, people were smiling, and Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim handed out free ice cream to the crowd of about 300 people. Ben & Jerry’s is in the process of going completely GMO-free.”

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  • mem_somerville

    Glad to see you’ve got a public scientist in the discussion. For those folks in MA who have seen chatter about our labeling bill, please see this piece I wrote to our legislators:

    Dear Legislator, About that GMO Labeling bill….

    It’s as bad as the other clones you’ll hear about. It’s terrible policy.

    • First Officer

      And unconstitutional. Massachusetts, of all states, should know better than to join witch hunts.

  • andrewgarrett

    GM labeling laws are comparable to efforts to teach creationism in the classroom. Just as there is absolutely no scientific debate about evolution there is absolutely no scientific debate about GM crops. Anti-science zealots use pseudo science, internet rumors, and the opinion of “expert” non scientists to further their agenda. The anti-GM “progressives” can also be compared to climate change deniers.

    Meanwhile, the seas rise and the population heads towards 10 billion. The “progressives” insist, wrongly, that GM crops haven’t increased yields therefore we should stop trying to develop drought-tolerant wheat and salt-tolerant rice. Even if it were correct that GM crops haven’t helped us yet, halting research would be like halting the development of green energy, since at this point we cannot power the planet on renewables.

    The “progressive” effort to demonize GM crops through boycotts and de facto bans will hurt the poor the most. Rich world “progressives” can safely sneer at science, but not everyone has that luxury.

  • First Officer

    It is of no coincidence that Vermont’s GMO law was sponsored by an organic farmer. Can you guess who will stand to gain the most from such a law?

    Meanwhile Vermont will spend millions to defend (and lose) it while storm damaged bridge and roadway repairs are waiting and ever more Vermonters are forced on food stamps. Anti-gmoer’s are claiming they are doing it for the children, all the while collecting donations of which not one cent will actually feed a child.

    • jefe68

      So your take on this is that organic farmers are at fault and that states do not have the right to tell Monsanto that they want the right to control how agricultural products are sold in their state.

      Where to start with this backward way of thinking.
      I take it by your comment that you tend ot be for Monsanto controlling how farmers grow and what they grow.

      That in and of itself should be a huge red flag. One huge corporation controlling so much of our food chain.

      • First Officer

        And almost all of the citrus is grown in just two states. So what !. You rail that i dare challenge Vermont’s bid to label GMO’s and in the almost same breath you’re telling California to quit growing so much broccoli.

        Where’s your evidence that anyone other than government laws are telling what farmers can and cannot grow? Just how does sourcing just seeds control the food supply? If said sourcing were an actual threat, governments would suspend patents. And all out of patent seeds are always available for planting and saving but farmers by and large find it better to just purchase their seeds.

    • TFRX

      More information is better.

      I really wish I had more to add, but I can’t make it any simpler than that:

      Free marketplace stuff only works when everyone has the information to make decisions.

      Otherwise you’re just asking folks to play three-card monte.

    • mem_somerville

      Wouldn’t it have been nice if they included a farmer who understands the issues too? Jennie Schmidt has talked at length about her farm where she has grown organic, non-GMO, and GMO, and how labeling would affect her at the farm level: The Costs of GMO Labeling.

      • nj_v2

        So, to summarize the argument in one of the cited links (http://thefoodiefarmer.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-costs-of-gmo-labeling.html),
        because of the demands of an unsustainable, industrialized agriculture/food system wherein GMO labeling will result in increased costs, we’re all supposed to submit to the results of a technology, the long-term consequences are unknown to us.

        • mem_somerville

          Heh. Interpreted just like a climate denier:
          When Beliefs and Facts Collide:

          Mr. Kahan’s study suggests that more people know what scientists think
          about high-profile scientific controversies than polls suggest; they just aren’t willing to endorse the consensus when it contradicts their political or religious views.

          • nj_v2

            What the hell does that have to do with what i posted?

        • First Officer

          Just why is it unsustainable? It’s not finite oil as we can make fertilizers and even fuels using other methods (more expensive but still a bargain compared to not using them). So, what is it?

          • jefe68

            Mono culture agriculture is unsustainable because it ruins the soil. That’s as old as the hills. Fertilizers and herbicides can ruin ground water and rivers and streams. It’s good for the short term but eventually the soil is destroyed.

          • First Officer

            You say monoculture ruins the soil ((Many farmers rotate GM corn with GM beans, etc). Yet, with all this ruined soil, yields have never been higher. They could ruin waterway but we’re managing not to nonetheless. Not saying do not or will not occur, but our waterways are in better shape now than 50 years ago.

      • First Officer

        Yes it would have. It would have shown how this GMO’s gonna mix with everything and ruin all Organic farmers is plain nonsense.

        It amazes me how so many people who never have done labeling in their lives claim it costs next to nothing! I happen to do a fair amount of labeling design and databasing at my job, constructing front ends for production lines for data capturing and label printing and it’s anything but free or little cost. (The actual label is the least of the problem, as you well know)

    • MOFYC

      Actually, the real beneficiary of honest, comprehensive labeling is the consumer who wishes to make informed decisions.

      • mem_somerville

        None of the label proposals I’ve seen offer any actionable information for decisions–only vague misinformation like “May contain…” or “Processed with…”. Those don’t tell you if it’s a trait that reduces insecticides, or allows farmers to use the soil-conserving no-till, or any real detail.

        • NoToGMOs

          Currently and for the past 18 years, more than 99% of all approved, cultivated food GMOs have just one of TWO traits: glyphosate resistance and Bt-toxin production.

          So if my food has the label “made with genetic engineering” or something similar, it would let me know that it is most likely made from crops that have either one of these two inserted traits. Traits that I, as a consumer can choose to avoid, if I wish.

          Such a label therefore, would definitely provide ‘actionable information’…..just not actionable information you and the industry would like.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      ??

  • Roger Wiegand

    I hope you will address the extremely narrow definition of “genetically engineered” used in these bills– one sculpted to serve the very narrow commercial interests of the multi-billion dollar organics industry through the fear and misrepresentation they employ to obtain premium pricing

    In a nutshell, the definitions as written do not require labeling for genetic engineering done blindly, exactly opposite from what would seem to make sense. — if I take a plant and mutagenize it with a chemical mutagen or by irradiation, make an unknown number of unknown changes to its genes in unknown locations, do not test any of the changes or the resulting product in any way, so I am completely unaware of any untoward outcomes, the product is deemed “natural” not required to be labeled in any way. In contrast, if I make a specific change in a known location, test the resulting gene and plant product exhaustively for human, animal, and environmental safety and submit all of those findings to a public regulatory process, the product must then be labeled. This makes no sense.

    • Jasoturner

      A good comment, but it strikes me you are calling out a structural flaw – that some modified foods are able to escape labeling requirements with the proposed reporting architecture – rather than a flaw in logic itself (“makes no sense”.) Certainly the reporting requirements can evolve to address the issues you identify, and I see no compelling reason why consumers should be deprived of information about the food they must purchase.

      • James

        In the meanwhile businesses will suffer because of poorly written GMO legislation.

        • J__o__h__n

          Why don’t the businesses work to help craft legislation that will accurately label the food instead of refusing to cooperate and then complaining about the result?

          • James

            Why says they didn’t? Isn’t that why lobbyists exist?

          • J__o__h__n

            It doesn’t appear to be the focus of their efforts.

        • Jasoturner

          Please elaborate on how these industries will “suffer”, and how their suffering should trump my access to information, imperfect though such information might be.

          • James

            Simple, people who are adverse to GMOs won’t buy their product, some of them will buy the mutagenize product, which is just another type of GMO.
            So these GMO products which are required to be labeled are loosing at least some of their market share to GMOs that aren’t required to be labeled.
            Even though in the example giving by Roger Wiegand, the non labeled GMO might be less safe then the labeled.

          • Jasoturner

            I’m afraid I don’t find this responsive on a few levels.

            First of all, losing some market share to people who do not want to wittingly purchase your product hardly constitutes suffering.

            Secondly, your first paragraph would seem to imply that it is better for uninformed customers to purchase something they would prefer not to because it helps the bottom line of a company. I think I would say that they should have the right to not purchase that which they don’t want.

            The second and third paragraphs constitute a bit of hand waving. Because a consumer might unwittingly buy a different GMO product that is unlabelled, labeling itself is unworkable or undesirable. In fact, labeling can be extended to such products as a practical matter. This does not trump an American’s right to information.

            So, suffering does not seem to be demonstrated, nor is there a cogent argument as to why consumers should be deprived of information, even if such information is not immediately perfect or all-inclusive.

          • Roger Wiegand

            The point is that almost no grain, fruit or vegetable crops in current use anywhere in the world are not extensively genetically modified by humans. Choosing a small subset for special labeling creates a false distinction that some in the organic industry are promoting and exploiting for their own economic gain. Whenever large (or small) companies distort the truth to sell their products I find it problematic. I have no problem with labeling that is accurate and true– whether it marks something as GMO-free, kosher, or dolphin friendly. If we are going to label genetically modified products, let’s label all of them. Admittedly this will result in a label on virtually everything, but even that might help increase people’s understanding of how the world works.

        • JS

          Yes, Monsanto is really suffering, poor bastards.

      • Roger Wiegand

        There’s no reason to think that consumers don’t currently have a choice–there is no prohibition against labeling food, and much food is readily available and clearly marked for those that choose to use or avoid a given technology. Given the prevalence of genetic modification (virtually all fruits, vegetables, and grains consumed by humans) it is safe to assume that unless something is specifically labeled as a wild species that it is the product of human genetic manipulation. And, of course, even wild species accumulate mutations and change over time, just in a fashion not directed or selected by humans.

    • First Officer

      That’s the problem with these Naturalistic based rules and laws. They work best if one does not think about them.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    I’m am tired of corporations lobbying for lax standards to the point where thy can call something ‘x’ that is 99% ‘y’. I am also weary of the disingenuous politicians who rail against regulations that were put in place to prevent greedy, amoral, unethical bastards from screwing us all over selling us snake oil, non-remedies and dangerous products. When those who blindly chant at their rallies end up injured or loosing a loved one, who do they have but themselves to blame? Isn’t it odd that the party that proclaims itself the law and order party is all for laws except for those that impact their big contributors. The systematc corruption of our system by the right wing think tanks, institutes and clubs is painfully ironic. Welcome to the Brave New World of 1984.

    • videmus

      “Soulless corporations” like Glaxo and Merck are behind the HPV vaccinations. At the same time, those HPV vaccines are derived through DNA recombination techniques not unlike those which create GMO produce.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HPV_vaccine#Mechanism_of_action
      If you are scared of GMO foods in your stomach, should you not be doubly scared of GMO yeast carrying spliced viral proteins being injected into your bloodstream?

      I make this comparison not to scare you or any other listener from taking greatly beneficial vaccines, but to make a point. In my experience, the liberal-minded listeners to Onpoint and NPR are, in majority, in favor of HPV vaccination. Perhaps you are one of them. I’d like you to reflect on the matter of consistency. Is your opinion of HPV vaccines different from your opinion of GMO crops? Are HPV vaccines dubious because they have the backing of “greedy” corporations and are the results of “untested” genetic modification? If HPV vaccines were forced to have labels on them that indicate they are genetically modified, or doctors are forced to tell patients that the vaccine is genetically modified, would that information help patients make wise choices or would it cause them to reject a good thing, based not on scientific evidence, but on fear born of ignorance?

      • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

        Regulations are not for those who behave ethically. Soulless corporations have no conscience, only agents who to often are solely motivated by money at any cost. Many have died or lost there life savings at the hands of corporations: West Fertilizer, WR Grace, BP, GM, Ford, Enron, union Carbide… Many have occurred over many years (F150 gas tanks) and it all boils down to odds of cutting corners. Profit versus ‘acceptable’ risk and liability.

        My concern is based upon one decade after another of biological and chemical disasters that men and corporations have visited upon us. Thank you very much but I will not lbe swayed by corporate based studies nor marketing materials. When one realizes that you cannot imagine what you can’t imagine, one becomes more concerned when the answer to ‘What could possibly go wrong?’ Is a rapid and resounding response: ‘Nothing!!!’ That’s when the hairs on the back of my neck stand up because, all too many times, ‘they’ have been proved very, very wrong.

  • J__o__h__n

    I support labeling. Let the consumer decide. GM can advertise or lower prices to compete. I’m skeptical of the food industry which brings us great products like trans fats, high fructose corn syrup, and pink slime. Compared to Europe, our food had so much crap in it.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Hawaii said NO to GMO and Monsanto just last year!

  • Dab200

    Truth in labeling re everything – place/state/country of origin also!

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Great comment. I really want to know where my food comes from – especially if it’s Chinese.

    • videmus

      How about labeling for proximity to radio sources or power lines which leak EM radiation?
      How about labeling for a farm’s latitude and altitude due to different exposure to cosmic rays?
      How about labeling for proximity to strong electromagnetism in the transportation and packaging process?

  • Jeff

    So I really hate onions, I know they aren’t really harmful to me but I just hate them…I want the government to label every single product that has onions in it very clearly so I don’t accidentally eat onions. Sounds reasonable right?

    • nj_v2

      What are you babbling about? Basic ingredients are listed on every prepared-food item.

      • Jeff

        Not clearly on the front of the label in neon green stickers like I want government to provide. Are you suggesting that it would be perfectly fine to put GMO in the list of ingredients next to the GMO product and leave it at that? Or are you demanding neon green GMO stickers on the front of the product?

        • J__o__h__n

          I’m fine with it being identified on the back as long as it is conspicuous and not buried in the ingredients list.

          • Jeff

            Cool, just like onions then? Oh wait, nevermind double standard liberal time!

          • jefe68

            You need to grow up.

        • jefe68

          Straw man argument.

          • Jeff

            Cool, do your own research about which products have GMO then instead of demanding the government do it for you.

          • jefe68

            Sorry, when it comes to food the government has a place. Right now we have a crisis in food inspection as the FDA does not have enough inspectors.
            Over 100,000 people a year get sick from bad food. Recalls are increasing not decreasing.

            Your anti-government stance is absurd in this context.

          • Jeff

            Yet not one large study has confirmed GMOs as a health risk, why should the government get involved in your own individual food choices that has zero to do with safety. This is yet another anti-science stance of the left.

          • jefe68

            It’s funny how a guy who has posted a lot of stuff about peoples rights and stats rights is against the idea of a label for GMO’s. Kind of selective your ideas abut rights, are we now. Then there’s the science thing. Funny how you’re all against the idea of science when it comes to climate change and not this. Selective once again.

            As I said, I don’t have any irrational fear of GMO’s. Labeling is good as it informs the consumer.

            By your argument there would be no labels about trans fats or peanuts.

          • Jeff

            At least with transfats and peanuts you have a health/safety issue, you couldn’t even refute my point about GMOs being 100% safe. Climate change or global warming has zero realistic global solutions and we are due for an ice age so who cares about CO2 anyway…science is not surveys it’s hard, cold facts and the 1930s were warmer in the US than any decade after (as per RAW data, look at NOAA’s own numbers). This is one issue that makes the left look anti-science and demanding GMO labels from the government is akin to me asking that every product that has onions on it should have a neon green sticker on the front so my personal preference can be accommodated.

            How do you feel about vaccines? That’s another case where the fringe left has jumped off the deep end.

      • Jasoturner

        Hmm, I see goalposts being moved…

      • videmus

        Why don’t you want the onion labels?? Are you an onion industry shill?

    • TFRX

      You gotta food allergy?

      If not, shaddup about it.

      Sincerely, someone who carries an EpiPen.

      PS Anytime you want to talk about “well informed consumers” in lieu of draconian govt regulation and banning stuff…

      • Jeff

        Yes, I do have a severe allergy and I carry an EpiPen, I’ve experienced anaphylactic shock…how about you?

        • TFRX

          Whaddya think? I carry it because it’s a fashion accessory, like a bucket hat?

          How self-defeating do you need to make your incredibly minor cavil about “neon green labelling” when you’re someone who has to wonder, say, if something that’s “chocolate and almond” also has walnuts or hazelnuts in it?

          PS Any time you want to talk about “well informed consumers having all the information” in lieu of draconian govt regulation….

          • jefe68

            This chaps argument is a good example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

        • jefe68

          I’m perplexed then why you would not want clear labeling on food products about what’s in them. I so no problem with GMO labeling. I’m not against the idea of GMO, I’m against the idea of one corporation having so much control over food production.

    • Jasoturner

      I can’t think of a food label that exists today that would not identify onions as an ingredient if they were, in fact, one of the ingredients. So unless there is some obvious counter example that eludes me, I think your condition has substantially been met. For example, this Sara Lee quiche label is quite clear…

      http://www.saraleefoodservice.com/Products/Bakery/ProductDetailPrint.aspx?ProductID=282

      • Jeff

        So you want GMO info on the back in the list of ingredients? Or do you want a neon sticker in the front of the package?

        • JS

          On the back would be fine, a bright green neon label if thats what the people want and vote for.

    • jefe68

      So don’t eat them.
      Having a peanut allergy, is a real issue and some people can die from it.

      Try using some critical thinking.

    • First Officer

      I demand to know how many lefties processed my food. Numbers and ages !

      • NoToGMOs

        Strawman and red herring!

  • Jasoturner

    Transparency is better than opacity. The producers of genetically modified organisms are surely capable of providing concise information on their products without undue effort, and at negligible effect to the bottom line. Perhaps the concern is that labeling will shock many consumers who are presently unaware of how prevalent such products already are in our diet.

    I am as yet undecided on the “benign” nature of GM foods, While the science seems to pass the common sense test, we are also a species that has yet to figure out what to eat for optimal health (the fat versus carbohydrate battle is nearly theological in it’s passion.) If we can’t get such simple issues figured out, having 100% confidence that an inserted gene or two is harmless seems rather presumptuous. That said, I am not particularly concerned about consuming GM foods, though I retain my right to change my position based on future evidence.

    I suppose one question to consider is commercial. If our food supply becomes an entangled and inseparable stream of GMO and non-GMO foodstuffs, do we risk losing our opportunity to export to other countries that do not share our embrace of genetic manipulation? One would think so. Though excluding GM food may become an unaffordable and/or unrealistic luxury in the future anyway.

  • MOFYC

    If my bottled water can have a label bragging about how it’s gluten free, then I see no major burden with an ingredients label stating GMO corn or GMO whatever. If GMOs are actually better, as some claim, then labeling will help food sellers better market.

    I always prefer informed consent to government bans. People need adequate information to give informed consent.

  • Joseph_Wisconsin

    So corporations are people and have First Amendment rights to unlimited spending on political campaigns (free speech?) and can also now have religious beliefs? Yet let real people request that they be informed of what’s in their food and they don’t have that right?

    Just what is the argument against food labeling? I personally think that there is hysteria over GMOs, but if people wish to know if food contains GMOs so that they can avoid those foods why not? Because it will impact profits of companies like Monsanto?

    Let’s assume that almost all the fear over GMOs is false information. People are still free to believe what they want and make choices based on that. If spreading false information is to be forbidden how is it that FOX News continues to broadcast under government license?

    • JS

      Apparently corporations also have the first amendment right to NOT tell us whats in our food.

  • mem_somerville

    So, Tom, I just heard the teaser talking about how many countries label. Can you ask the labeler folks if there is any evidence from any of these countries that there are allergies or any other health situations as a result of GMOs? They’d know, right, if that’s what the label is about.

    Japan is very tech-savvy, and yet the biggest per-capita importer of GMOs. They wouldn’t have missed any cases. But ask–I keep asking and nobody can show me a single case of a health consequence.

    • hennorama

      mem_somerville — your comment history indicates that you are focused on this single issue, implying that you have an agenda.

      Care to explain your focus?

      • mem_somerville

        Um, that’s the topic here. So I’m trying to focus. I know that’s hard to understand in online discussions, but I try if you will.

        You’ll also see me discussing bad science on vaccines, battling creationist nutbags, speaking out for stem cell research, combatting bad info on women’s reproductive health, and more. I am firmly for quality science for public policy, so I speak out on that.

        • hennorama

          mem_somerville — thank you for your unresponsive, condescending response.

        • jefe68

          So you don’t have a problem with one multi-national corporation, Monsanto, being the main producer here?

          I’m not sure using stem cell research and vaccines as part of this argument.

          • mem_somerville

            I would very much like to see all the great projects from public scientists and non-profits get out. And I’m really eager for open source GMOs.

          • J__o__h__n

            Monsanto won’t let farmers reuse seeds. What are the odds any of this will be open source?

          • mem_somerville

            Their first GMO soybean comes off patent next year J__o__h__n. And that farmer Bowman loved those soybeans–he’ll be able to use them now. Do you support the off-patent ones and open source public projects?

          • jefe68

            Zero. That’s why they go after farmers who use their own seeds.

          • First Officer

            Apple won’t let my make iphones ! What’s up with that?

            Farmers can reuse all the non and out of patented seeds they please. They just choose not to.

            By the way, want to help me make wired princess phones copies? I’m sure people will drop their patented cellular smartphones for them !

          • jefe68
          • First Officer

            Wow, a whole 3 cases, first two are bald faced attempts to select for and copy patented work. All three cases involve seeds still under patents. If they wanted to save seeds, all they had to do was use non or out of patented stock.

          • videmus

            The issue at hand is GMO labeling, not business practice labeling.

            Criticizing Monsanto’s business practice is one thing, but it is not a valid argument in favor of GMO labeling.

          • jefe68

            There is no such thing as open source GMO’s. Monsanto is the main actor in this area. Somehow I doubt they would agree with the idea of open source GMO’s.

          • First Officer

            I believe GMO papaya is one.

          • jefe68

            Name a thousand more and we have open source. The point being the large players in this arena are not going to give this away. If they were, why are they trying to patten every plant they turn into a GMO?

          • First Officer

            As soon as the patents run out, they become open source. The first few are due to expire in a year or too. Why should they give it away? It takes tremendous effort and knowledge to bring them about.

          • videmus

            There are many biotech companies. Those which focus on agricultural biotechnology and have bioengineered products, aside from Monsanto, are:
            DuPont
            Dow
            BASF
            Bayer
            Syngenta

          • jefe68

            Monsanto is the largest and they have the lions share of this market. Having said that, all those others are large multi national corporations as well.
            This kind of mono-agriculture is unsustainable and that’s a larger point in my opinion.

    • James

      GMOs are the global warming of the left.

    • Jasoturner

      I see the point, but this is a bit of a straw man. GMOs may not have resulted in measurable health consequences. Yet. But this does not mean that such consequences are not possible in the future, with more exotic GM products, or through persistent exposure over extended periods of time with current products, or through interactive effects that have not yet been studied or even considered.

      Could I not similarly argue that chemicals are harmless because I have never gotten ill from taking aspirin or eating salt or magnesium? Yet that first dose of arsenic is going to lead to a serious reappraisal…

      • mem_somerville

        Actually, there’s a lot of evidence of harm from all natural arsenic, isn’t there? That would actually be a useful label as it is in so many products. “Arsenic, Organic Foods, and Brown Rice Syrup”.

        It’s really unfortunate this Monsantomania and fog of fear on GMOs has clouded discussions of actual health threats like arsenic and antibiotics.

        • JS

          Simple question: If GMO’s are no problem, why not label them?

          • mem_somerville

            Because of the misinformation that the label proposals convey–I have a long link to an explanation of the misinformation in my first comment.

          • JS

            So, propose a label that doesn’t have misinformation, instead of no labeling, such as:

            Contains GMO

            There, done.

          • mem_somerville

            I’m sorry you have such a superficial understanding of this issue JS. Glad to find that you have the opportunity to hear quality information from Kevin Folta here and the sources I’ve linked.

          • JS

            So, instead of engaging in debate, you chose to be condescending, how nice.

          • mem_somerville

            I’d be delighted if you read what I linked, because it contains my ideas about how to label. It should be done like Kosher. http://www.biofortified.org/2014/06/dear-legislator-about-that-gmo-labeling-bill/

            Feel free to discuss it with me over there after you’ve educated yourself.

          • JS

            So, you favor listing iit n the ingredients such as “Genetically modified soybeans”? Great. And just like with stuff with peanuts, also include “Contains GMO”.

            Simple solution, and I didn’t even need to be condescending.

          • mem_somerville

            Oh, I see. You have a reading comprehension problem. No, I said I support a Kosher-style system.

          • JS

            “This tofu label specifies the identity of specific ingredients. Although it is a non-GMO product, this ingredient-specific approach would be more useful than current proposed GMO labeling laws. Credit: MEM”

          • mem_somerville

            The voluntary label there–that’s fine if producers want to do that. But I don’t support the mandatory GMO label that you dishonestly ascribed to me.

            You missed this part:

            Personally, I believe a system like Kosher is the best way to manage this philosophical issue.

          • JS

            Ok, you prefer the kosher system, I prefer the system you said was “more useful than current proposed GMO labeling laws.”

            You prefer voluntary, I see no problem with people voting for mandatory labeling.

            Wow, all that and no condescension or false claims of dishonesty. You should try it sometime, people might be more receptive to your arguments.

          • mem_somerville

            The current system is more useful than the bills I’ve seen, yes. Also less costly. I’m sorry you can’t see that.

          • JS

            Actually, I think the current system hurts GMO producers. Their extreme resistance to labeling makes it seem like there is something to hide from the consumer about GMS foods.

            If foods were simply labeled in the manner you say “would be more useful than current proposed GMO labeling laws”, the consumer can make the choice.

            I think the vast majority of consumers will still buy GMO foods anyway.

            Why so condescending? Is that just on-line antagonism, or are you actually like this in person?

          • mem_somerville

            Your tedious tone trolling aside, you continue to defy evidence. I have shown you why philosophical labels for this are the way to go, the current label proposals are not providing the information people need to make choices, and that this terrible policy will also cost people money. It will also cost farmers money.

            Why so resistant to facts? Is this just online obstinance, or are you a denier in person too?

          • JS

            I am not sure you understand the term trolling.

            You keep mentioning “current label proposals” when, for the last four posts, I have ascribed to your notion that an ingredient-specific approach would be more useful than current proposed GMO labeling laws (Credit: MEM).

            I have not resisted facts, merely your opinion.

          • mem_somerville

            I’m quite certain there are many things you don’t understand, but I really don’t have time to list them all. But tone trolling” I would have expected you to understand.

            And you continue to fail to understand that the current voluntary label does actually provide more information for you than any of the label bills. That’s merely a fact, and not my preferred strategy. You disingenuously keep pretending that it is, though.

            I don’t know why you keep resisting that. You are like a superweed that way–completely resistant to the fact.

          • JS

            I agree that the “current voluntary label does actually provide more information for you than any of the label bills.” and I have stated as much for about the last 3 or 4 posts. Not sure how you missed that. And i never implied that it was your preferred strategy, I just noted, many times, that you said it was preferred over current bills.

            I never supported a particular bill In fact, after reading your link provided, I suggested using the voluntary standard that you mentioned. And, if people demand it be mandatory, so be it.

          • nj_v2

            ^ Default mode of so many of the cognoscenti: smug condescention

          • mem_somerville

            Tone trolling–when you’ve got nothin’ else.

          • nj_v2

            Fro someone purporting to be a scientist with some expertise in the field, it’s hard to imagine adopting a more obnoxious tone.

          • First Officer
          • JS

            So, because some people are against GMO, then NO ONE should have the information that their food contains GMO?

          • First Officer

            All they have to do is simply ask the producers or go to their sites. If they want GMO-free, they can buy organic or GMO-free labeled, just like the way kosher food is labeled. I have a right to know whether a food is kosher or not but that doesn’t translate to a compulsory requirement for all producers to satisfy my religious wants or curiosity or to continuously broadcast the fact just so it’s there when i happen to come by. They just can’t lie about it.

            There are no health, safety or even environmental issues that are unique to GMO’s. That only leaves the wish for avoidance. That is fine. But that is not what the leaders (not just some people) of the anti-gmo movement is vying for. They want it banned, as evidenced by the meme. That alone puts an undue burden on the GMO producers for compelled speech when the state has no substantial interest. They have a right to know, but not the right to compel speech to get that knowledge nor the right to have the government facilitate their worldview of no-GMO’s through what amounts to a scarlet letter.

            Your statement, implies not even a wish for avoidance by some. Well that just leaves simple curiosity. That is even further below the bar for compelling speech.

            So, As Mem_Somerville has already stated, the Kosher labeling route is the constitutional way to go. And, we already have it. Organic and Non-GMO verified.

          • IMHere2C

            Those statements make clear their agenda, and I as a wanna-be-informed consumer don’t agree with the tactics nor their desired outcome.

        • nj_v2

          ^ Note the deft deflection of the discussion from GMO to something else.

          • mem_somerville

            Try to follow, love–Jasoturner brought up the arsenic.

      • nj_v2

        The “measurable health consequences” meme is really just a strawman.

        Despite the claims of proponents, there’s plenty of evidence of health/physiological issues. Examples:

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18989835
        Health risks of genetically modified foods.

        Excerpts from http://responsibletechnology.org/docs/145.pdf:

        [[ The very first crop submitted to the FDA’s voluntary consultation process, the FlavrSavr tomato, showed evidence of toxins. Out of 20 female rats fed the GM tomato, 7 developed stomach lesions.20 The director of FDA’s Office of Special Research Skills wrote that the tomatoes did not demonstrate a “reasonable certainty of no harm,”21 which is their normal standard of safety. The Additives Evaluation Branch agreed that “unresolved questions still remain.”22 The political appointees, however, did not require that the tomato be withdrawn.1 …]]

        [[…Mice fed potatoes engineered to produce the Bt-toxin developed abnormal and damaged cells, as well as proliferative cell growth in the lower part of their small intestines (ileum).24 Rats fed potatoes engineered to produce a different type of insecticide (GNA lectin from the snowdrop plant) also showed proliferative cell growth in both the stomach and intestinal walls (see photos).25 Although the guts of rats fed GM peas were not examined for cell growth, the intestines were mysteriously heavier; possibly as a result of such growth.26 Cell proliferation can be a precursor to cancer and is of special concern. ]]

        GMO advocates dance around the demonstrated issues by claiming there’s still no demonstrable connection between population-level health issues and their beloved genetically engineered foods. Not surprising since there hasn’t yet been a single epidemiological study on GMO foods.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Reminiscent of the earlier corporate apologist arguments that attempted to discredit criticism of tobacco products, asbestos, DDT.

      This argument put the onus on the experimentees (those of us eating these modified foods) to make an irrefutable connection between particular cases of health consequences and GMO technologies, rather than to have the proponents and profiteers to demonstrate that there is unambiguously no negative effect.

      Exactly what the tobacco companies did for years.

      • mem_somerville

        So you are saying you don’t have even a single incident from a country that labels? Yeah, that’s what I thought. I keep asking, and nobody has one.

        • NoToGMOs

          What would you define as an ‘incident’ and how would you scientifically go about looking for or confirming such an ‘incident’?

    • First Officer

      The claim is 64 countries labeling. That means 132 countries do not.

  • nj_v2

    The disingenuousness of the GMO industrial complex is nowhere more evident than in their stance on labeling.

    They claim that genetically engineered products are “safe,” will help feed the world, engender the use of fewer pesticides, etc., so one would think that they’d welcome labeling as a way to announce and point consumers to these wonderful products that will save the world.

    What are they afraid of?

    • James

      scientific ignorance and foodie fads

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Please educate us! What long term tests can you cite?

        • James

          I’m not a scientist, Kevin Folta. Is. He’s onpoint right now. You should listen to him.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            How do you know that I am ignorant?

            You should not insult people you do not know.

          • James

            Never meant to insult you, just suggesting that he would answer your question better then I could.

    • videmus

      How do you feel about vaccines which are genetically engineered? Look at the HPV vaccines where genes from the virus are spliced in with yeast cells. Are they also suspicious to you because of the “pharmaceutical industrial complex”?

      Those who might fight against a hypothetical push for “transparent labeling” of HPV vaccination, would you also cast them as being fearful?

      This entire GMO labeling ordeal reminds me of the push by bible-thumpers to get “Evolution is a theory” labels onto textbooks. While ostensibly true, they do nothing to inform, and the underlying intent is to instill doubt in something which has great scientific backing. GMO labeling has therefor become the creationism of the political left.

      • nj_v2

        What are the “side effects” of GE vaccines similar to increased herbicide use, narrowing of the genetic diversity of food crops, unknown consequences of the release of novel genetic material into wild populations, destruction of wildlife habitat (as for Monarch butterfly) from massively increased use of non-selective glyphosate herbicide…?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I’d settle for real-time marking on food products that indicate the temperature range it experienced from factory to shopping cart. Plus the total percentage of bug bits, rat brains, cow feces, et al — in my VEGGIE burgers.

    It’s supposed to be the 21st century. Somewhere.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The default situation should be that something be fully tested for long term safety *before* it is used.

    Genetically modified organisms are only for greater profits of companies like Monsanto. It is not about the safety of the people eating the foods.

    • disqus_76C0PFpw8x

      That is how the technology is used in the US, but theoretically, GM products could be very beneficial. For example, creating plants that can withstand drought conditions, or for improving the nutritional value. It is unfortunate that this technology has been used to hurt our environment by way of the use of things like Round Up, rather than using the technology for good. GM as a technology is not all that different or more dangerous than ancient breeding practices. Demonizing GM is throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        Factory farming is extractive, and it is very harmful on many levels. Climate change is one big thing that factory farming contributes to, and local pollution, dead zones in the ocean, overuse of aquifer water, erosion – etc. ALL are big problems of factory farming.

        GMO is just one more problem with factory farming.

        • disqus_76C0PFpw8x

          Yes, in the way that it is currently used. But this is not the fault of the GMO technology, just how it is currently being used in the US. Why not crack down on bad farming practices rather than GMO technology?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            GMO are used to *guarantee* that farmers use herbicides and pesticides. Small scale farming is the best way to avoid using lots of those.

            So, GMO’s are a symptom of factory farming, and we should stop doing both.

          • disqus_76C0PFpw8x

            You are confusing GMO technology with a certain GMO product. GMO technology is simply a way to breed organisms. It has nothing to do whatsover with factory farming. GMO technology could be used on small farms worldwide in places where people struggle to grow nutritional food, or where people starve when there are droughts. Just because one company in the US (or a few companies in the US) has used GMO technology for bad doesn’t mean the technology itself is bad.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            I am not confused. Factory farming is at the root of a lot of BIG problems.

            GMO is part of the factory farming problem.

        • jefe68

          Not to mention that large scale factory farming based largely on monoculture is unsustainable.

          http://www.ucsusa.org/food_and_agriculture/our-failing-food-system/industrial-agriculture/

  • Yar

    There is a difference in farming and mining. Much of what passes for farming today is really mining. Sustainable is just another word we can’t properly define!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Labeling I’d like to see: 31 people handled this food product from factory farm to food store. Five of them speak English. None of them care about what you’re eating.*

    * Not even the foreigners who own the whole process.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Monsanto: The LBJ of the food industry.*

    * Bullying Works. And PAYS!

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    We’ve patented the feces between our ears. Surely it’s unique.
    –Monsanto Spokesman

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Only the money making is instant.
    –Monsanto Spokesman

  • Yar

    Mixing roundup with 2 4 D will increase pesticide run off dramatically! This is the new idea in GMO. No this is not what Mendal did. Spliceing genes into plants is far different than selecting traits naturally occurring.

    • TFRX

      But Yar, you have and your drinking water have the freedom to live someplace besides downstream from the nitrate runoff.

      Isn’t that enough for you?

  • SuziVt

    I’m so proud to be from Vermont, a state willing to take on Monsanto, the company that makes poisons AND seeds for food! The corporation that pretends to think that we, as ordinary humans, are too ignorant to know what to do with the information that our food has GMOs. When, in reality, they’re afraid that they will lose money, and money is ALL that Monsanto cares anything about! Vermont hasn’t outlawed GMO infested ‘food’, they’ve simply insisted that it be listed in the label. Monsanto doesn’t want us to know. This law suit may be a good thing, bring it out in the open how insidious & corrupt Monsanto is.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      One of the many good things about Vermont.

  • PBandJ

    This on-air discussion is incredibly biased. Tom seems really be struggling to maintain objectivity. Why isn’t the scientist speaking first? As would be true in any discussion of climate change.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    Why is it that liberals are so much in favor of honest labelling when it comes to food, but they are willing to label the murderous act of abortion as “health care”?

    • JS

      If we are going to honestly label, abortion cannot be called “murder” for no human being is killed.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Pointing out hypocrisy is staying on point. By the way, I have no problem with labeling GMO foods as long as it is done correctly.

        • JS

          You cannot point out hypocrisy where no hyprocrisy exists, and it’s not “on point”.

        • J__o__h__n

          I suppose men should be able to eat GM food without a label but for women shouldn’t there be a waiting period, parental consent if under 18 and the fetus’s right to opt out of eating GM products?

        • acerplatanoides

          ‘correctly’.

          Please elaborate, details?

    • TFRX

      Hahahahahahaha.

      Wait, you aren’t doing this to just get laughed at?

    • J__o__h__n

      We favor personal choice in both circumstances. If you don’t want GM food, you should have the choice to not eat it. If you don’t want an abortion, don’t have one. If someone else wants to eat GM food or have an abortion, it isn’t my decision.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Actually, no one should have the option to murder someone just because they are an inconvenience.

        • JS

          Abortion is not murder, and a fetus is not a “someone”

        • acerplatanoides

          So, when exactly -is- murder acceptable?

          • J__o__h__n

            Apparently if one is standing his ground.

    • jefe68

      Try to focus.

    • hennorama

      Fiscally_Responsible — why do you think the issue of “honest labelling when it comes to food” is limited to one small segment of the political spectrum?

    • acerplatanoides

      This POV of yours has a lot more to do with your own arbitrary labeling behavior than anyone else’s choices.

      Be the change you want to see in the world.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      Hey F_R Wow! I’d never thought I’d see “honest labeling”, “food” and “abortion” used in the same sentence.

    • nj_v2

      Drones!! IRS!! Benghazi!!

      There, i rounded out your post for you.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Competing bills in Congress have nothing to do with Obama’s FDA “vision”. Or his legacy.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Vermont: where the Obama presidential library + Monsanto wing — will not be constructed.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Nuclear power will be so safe and energy efficient, we won’t even meter it.
    –The US nuclear power industry, circa 1950s

  • TFRX

    What I guess about what Monsanto’s CEO thinks: There are enough congresscritters from Ruritania that a nationwide labelling “regime” will be pretty damn opaque, watered-down, and/or toothless.

    Then, a la the bovine growth hormone tiff or the “ag nag” laws, we’ll get the court cases where Monsanto a totally unaffiliated bunch of “freedumb farmers” will sue about the undue burden.

  • m turn

    Agricultural advancement saved millions of lives during the green revolution and as we destroy our arable land, more work will be necessary to keep up with population increases. That said, there is much to be lamented about Monsanto and Gmo crops in regards to biodiversity and the viability of small scale farmers, as seen in the agricultural struggles in Mexico after nafta.

    But as a beekeeper, I see something even more sinister. Our country’s bees are dying and Monsanto and the big agro lobby have done everything they can to obfuscate investigation into the issue. They truly are the tobacco companies of the agricultural world. The fact is not that Monsanto is killing the bees. We don’t know what’s doing it. But as long as self-interested actors can so insidiously shape the political and scientific narrative of inquiries of this nature – we will never be able to prevent calamities like this, only deal with the fallout.

    Matt, Norwell

    • videmus

      The current preponderance of evidence points to neonicotinoids as the culprit for colony collapse disorder.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neonicotinoid

      Neonicotinoids are synthetic chemicals which are similar to nicotine found in tobacco. They have no connection to genetically engineered crops, and the only similarity they share is in their synthetic nature.

      Monsanto probably deserves criticism for many things as large corporations have a tendency to throw their weight around, but when it comes to blaming Monsanto or GMO crops from any other bioengineering company for the death of bees, there is no link.

      Bees dying is therefor not a valid argument against GMO.

    • nj_v2

      The Green Revolution was fine until the limits of finite resources on which it was based arrived, and the damage it causes to the soil manifested.

      An unsustainable technology solution is no solution.

  • PBandJ

    People have a choice by purchasing certified organic food and voluntarily Non-GMO labeled food. Can the scientists please respond to these comments, rather than the journalist and the advocate?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Isn’t labeling speech? Don’t GOPers like speech.* Doesn’t the GOPer Supreme Court L-O-V-E speech?

    * Money = Speech.
    –SCOTUS finding

  • Guest

    Wow, that latest caller from Austin really demonstrates how uneducated the general public is about this issue and how non-scientific the are.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It’s Texas. Where swine sit in the legislature. Hoober Doober

  • Luke

    Wow, the latest caller from Austin really demonstrates how uneducated the general public is about this issue and how non-scientific and illogical their observations are.

  • TFRX

    “If I grow tomatos in my backyard…” says the caller at 35 mins.

    No more calls, please, we have a loser.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    If your GM crop gets into my body, and then into my DNA.. do I belong to Monsanto? Didn’t we abolish slavery some years back?

    • Yar

      Not in agriculture.

      • Luke

        Do you become a vegetable slave if you get contaminated by GMO DNA?

    • RobertWager

      Wow do these posts demonstrate how little the average person understands about basic food biology. People eat DNA in evey mouthful of food. That DNA is broken down into nucleotides and then reassembled to make your DNA.
      Food derived from GE crops is the same as all other food from other breeding methods.

  • PBandJ

    And…. the scientist gets 3 minutes, half of which are him having to preemptively defend against being an industry shill.

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      He’s lucky. If he was on MSNBC or FOX he’d be shouted down. HD

    • Steve_the_Repoman

      Can science be swayed by grants, gifts and how research is funded? Objectivity can and often is compromised.

      Look at how research is funded at any number of Universities, including UW at Madison and the University of Florida.

      • nj_v2

        Offered for consideration:

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

        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…

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919210001302

        Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products

        Since the first commercial cultivation of genetically modified crops in 1994, the rapidly expanding market of genetically modified seeds has given rise to a multibillion dollar industry. This fast growth, fueled by high expectations towards this new commercial technology and shareholder trust in the involved industry, has provided strong incentives for further research and development of new genetically modified plant varieties. Considering, however, the high financial stakes involved, concerns are raised over the influence that conflicts of interest may place upon articles published in peer-reviewed journals that report on health risks or nutritional value of genetically modified food products. In a study involving 94 articles selected through objective criteria, it was found that the existence of either financial or professional conflict of interest was associated to study outcomes that cast genetically modified products in a favorable light (p = 0.005). While financial conflict of interest alone did not correlate with research results (p = 0.631), a strong association was found between author affiliation to industry (professional conflict of interest) and study outcome (p < 0.001). We discuss these results by comparing them to similar studies on conflicts of interest in other areas, such as biomedical sciences, and hypothesize on dynamics that may help explain such connections.

  • Yar

    Maybe they should have their patent label on the product. These are patented ‘food’. If it is patented it does not occur naturally.

  • SuziVt

    Speak directly to not allowing the public to simply KNOW when there are GMOs in the food that they purchase at the store. Your pro-Monsanto guest wants to steer away from the right-to-know-GMO issue! After that first very important step, then it can be debated whether or not they are harmful.

    • RobertWager

      There is no information about any breeding method on food labels. If such information was really a right to know then why not ask for “made with ionizing radiation mtagenesis” labels on all food. Oh yeah the organic food labby (the same one pushing GE food labels) does not think that is a right to know issue.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    There’s nothing to “seed” here. Move along.
    –Monsanto Spokesman

  • James

    “Are you going with the science or your gut instinct?”
    Could you imagine if Mr. Ashbrook asked that question on a show about Global Warming?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    THIS LABEL CONTAINS NO IMPORTANT INFORMATION.
    –GOPer Nation

  • TFRX

    “We have a tremendous amount of misinformation and misunderstanding” indeed.

  • mother_ness

    GMO technology, by using the biological (natural) insecticide Bt in their products, threatens (by way of resistance development) to compromise the ability of *organic* farmers to use Bt. Besides not being fair, it’s scary to think we would lose a naturally-occuring defense such as Bt forever, all in the name of big $.

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

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    There is no evidence of evidence. Because we didn’t look for any.
    –Monsanto Spokesman

    • RobertWager

      There are thousands of research projects hat have looked at different aspects of the safety of GE crops and derived food. They overwhemingly say GE crops are as safe or safer than food from other breeding methods.

      • acerplatanoides

        Then why did monsanto send the snake-oil salesman and not the scientists?

        Because scientists are honest, and the findings you describe would sound a lot more scary out of the mouth of the actual researcher… because it’s safe-ish… probably. So far… that’s what the findings are.

        The conclusions do not show that it’s a good idea for human health, or the environment from which we derive our health, or that we SHOULD.

        The only people saying we SHOULD have very little in common with people shopping at the average grocery story.

  • johnhaskell

    What the scientist fails to appreciate is that, ultimately, it is up to the consumer to rely on that science when making a decision. We know smoking is bad for humans. What are annual cig sales in this country?

    • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

      It’s up to the consumer to design his own ignition switch re: automobiles. HD

  • acerplatanoides

    I want to have informed consent.

    Vegetarians do not want to accidentally eat genes from animals in transgenic plants.

    Comparing transgenic organisms to guided mendelian inheretance is mendacious.

    Most who would take advantage of you are mendacious and deny informed consent.

    My opinion is that this spokesperson is insulting, and I thank you for giving him free reign to lose this debate on air.

    • videmus

      accidentally eat genes from animals in transgenic plants.

      “Animal genes” is as nonsensical a phrase as “computer molecules”

      • acerplatanoides

        so you agree with other points?

  • malkneil

    The scientist seems suspiciously defensive of the GMO products. Maybe he’s right and there’s nothing to fear, but haven’t there been cases in the past where we’ve found years later these engineered foods have had health impacts?

    • RobertWager

      Can I ask you by what mechanism are foods derived from GE crops supposed to cause harm?

      • malkneil

        I didn’t say I knew. I was attempting to allude to past cases where perhaps the impacts of a new food product are glossed over but are later found to have health implications. Can we simply close the book on GMOs and say they’re fine? Not trying to be righteous. Just wondering if a multi-billion dollar company will always put the welfare of people ahead of perpetuating its brand.

  • hennorama

    One can understand the resistance to GMO labelling, based on the cost and ongoing monitoring of sources for food processors, as well as the possible backlash against GMO products at the farm level.

    However, information is neutral. If consumers want to know what’s in the food they consume, what’s the objection?

    In an obliquely related note, more than a year after the massive ammonium nitrate explosion at West Fertilizer Company storage and distribution facility in the town of West,Texas,

    … the Texas Attorney General has blocked the release of chemical inventory lists to the public. Now, after days of criticism, the attorney general says the information can be made public simply by asking each individual business.

    But is it just that easy?

    Three weeks ago, after fire engulfed a fertilizer storage facility in Athens, News 8 asked for a chemical inventory list for that particular building. It’s called a Tier II report. It’s mandated by federal law and available to the public upon request via the State Department of Health Services, until a few weeks ago.

    That’s when Attorney General Greg Abbott blocked the list. He cited a state law prohibiting the release of chemical inventories for Homeland Security reasons. When News 8 first tried to question Abbott about his ruling two weeks ago, he wouldn’t respond.

    Tuesday in Austin, Abbott set the record straight and assured the media that Tier II chemical inventories are still accessible by the public.

    “You, as a community member of this state, can go to any chemical facility in the entire state of Texas and say, ‘Identify for me all chemical you have on your facility,’” he said. “And you are entitled to get that information.”

    And while state officials can’t release Tier II lists, Abbott says the public can still go knock on chemical company doors and ask.

    “Every single facility along the way, whether they are storing any kind of chemical whatsoever,” he said.

    Unfortunately, when reporters from this news station attempted to get the information from two chemical facilities, “WFAA left empty handed.”

    Source:
    http://www.wfaa.com/home/Texas-AG-tells-citizens-to-get-chemical-lists-from-businesses-not-the-state-265620211.html

    • videmus

      The “information is neutral” argument is among those made by creationists who want to label science textbooks. They want labels which say that evolution is a theory, which is technically true. However, that ostensibly neutral factoid, when presented to impressionable minds, can have the effect of sowing undue doubt and which ill-serves those who wish to make a truly intelligent choice.

      • hennorama

        videmus — thank you for your response.

        You point is well-taken.

        However, few decisions are made solely on a technical, factual basis. What you might characterize as “undue doubt” might be viewed as “reasonable skepticism” by others.

        Thanks again for your response.

  • Jesse

    Has anyone raised the environmental implications of many GMOs? That alone is enough reason to look for the GMO-free label.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I approve of mono culture re: single malt scotch.

  • frank

    Monsanto and corporations believe in free markets. Fine, label the product and let the market decide, i.e. the the consumer decide.

    • acerplatanoides

      If it’s good for the goose, it’s good for the gander. They make the wine, now they drink the cup.

  • tigrismus

    If the problem as Monsanto sees it is that consumers are too poorly educated to make good decisions on GMO products and therefore shouldn’t be informed via labels, why not spend the money in educating people instead of in fighting labeling laws?

    • Jasoturner

      Ah, my striped friend, you see what I see. Arguments of irreducible complexity are, seemingly without exception, launched in efforts to shroud, not illuminate, the issue at hand.

      We all know that the eye is such a complex organ that it could never come to be without the divine hand of god creating it, do we not? So too, the complexity of GMOs is surely too intricate for the non-expert to ever hope to fathom. Fortunately we seem to have god-like experts in whom we can place our faith, and who shall not burden us with the details of their craft…

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Are GMO crops making Americans.. stupid-er? Or merely stupid.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    THIS FOOD PRODUCT CONTAINS NOTHING BELONGING TO MONSANTO.
    –State of Vermont Dept. of Agriculture

  • Tequila_Mckngbrd

    There’s nothing wrong with GMO’s, and people shouldn’t be allowed to label GMO’s. What are we, commies? Get your liberal agenda’s head out of your ass.

    • Guest

      “agendas” – plural – has no apostrophe. See: English. HD

      • Tequila_Mckngbrd

        Always the elitist. Go back to England, redcoat.

        • malkneil

          Not to mention polluting half of the discussion board with one-liners that don’t add anything to the conversation.

          • Tequila_Mckngbrd

            Exactly.

      • StilllHere

        It modifies head. See: English

    • JS

      “the people shouldn’t be allowed” – sounds like communist rhetoric to me.

      • Tequila_Mckngbrd

        I know, get the government out of our food.

        • JS

          Sure, I trust those nice corporations!

          • Tequila_Mckngbrd

            Me, too!

  • Yar

    What would happen Stevia type of genetics was spliced into corn or some other vegetable?

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Because ignorance TRUMPs* knowledge.
    –Monsanto Spokesman

    * TRUMP is a registered trademark of TRUMP International. Void where prohibited by good sense.

  • maxdaddy

    I think the weight of science re GMO’s is in their favor. But I’m wary of the argument that “the science should rule.” If people have concerns about GMO’s and can get enough legislative support for labeling, why not, I say? We shouldn’t let science mandarins rule us.

    • RobertWager

      how about a $400-800 increse in food bills for absolutely no added health or safety benefit.

      • kenroseboro

        $400 to $800? This is a scare tactic. I can cite several studies showing the cost increase would be negligible. If companies wanted to switch to non-GMO ingredients there could be some cost increase. But Ben & Jerry’s is switching to non-GMO ingredients and they aren’t increasing their prices and I don’t think General Mills did with its non-GMO Cheerios or Post with Non-GMO Project verified Grape Nuts.

        • Grant Ingle

          RobertWager is a relentless pro-GMO troll and ideologue who never lets facts get in his way. Don’t bother responding to him directly…it just encourages him. By the way, if you want to see a searing critique of the biotech-funded study he cites on GMO labeling costs, check out the following: http://consumersunion.org/research/industry-funded-gmo-labeling-study-relies-on-faulty-assumptions-for-cost-estimates/

        • Kevin Folta

          Ken, let’s not talk studies and numbers. Let’s go to common sense.

          You want to create a new bureaucracy to lable, monitor, test, enforce, and litigate issues around food labeling. You want farmers to have to build a redundant infrastructure to separate GM from non-GM products.

          Who is going to pay for it?

          Heck, there are not even labels yet and Vermont has to start a website to raise money to fight litigation. It already is costing the taxpayer a ton.

          Plus, farmers use GM seeds because they help save them money. Ask any farmer.

      • maxdaddy

        I don’t know where your figures come from so cannot dispute them. But knowledge is a benefit. And I cannot think of any political or philosophical reason for preventing consumers from having this knowledge. What’s your political or philosophical reason for preventing it?

  • mem_somerville

    Oh, now we have Zuckerman. He admitted he was in bed with the crank Jeffrey Smith on this issue: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/2014/04/26/vermont-inducted-scientifically-illiterate-hall-shame/

    • Kevin Folta

      Zuckerman was way off base. I WISH I could have responded to him.

      He goes with that old, “Well since there are no labels how do we know if it is harmful….” bit. If there was lead in your unlabeled municipal water, you’d know about it.

  • Ellen Story

    Thank you for this great coverage of GMO labeling.

    This is going on right here in Massachusetts, where your show is produced. I am the lead sponsor in the state legislature of a bill to label GMO food products and seed products.

    • Bonnie Combs

      Thank you Ellen for your support!

    • mem_somerville

      Yes, it’s a clone of the other bad legislation out there. Can you tell me if you’ve been in contact with Jeffrey Smith on this issue?

  • Mieko A Ozeki

    Let the consumer decide. For some of us, it is a decision on the method of farming. Just as people can make a decision between organic and conventional farming, people should have the ability to make a decision on whether they want food grown from GMO seeds or non-GMO seeds. We want a choice!

    • RobertWager

      You already have a choice. There are thouands of products labelled organic or non-GMO on store shelves. Stop claiming otherwise

      • Mieko A Ozeki

        So should we assume anyone who hasn’t labeled their product has no GMOs? If everyone else has to distinguish their product as non-GMO, what happens to the company who doesn’t label their non-GMO product? This is a consumer rights issue. It’s about labeling and not a ban.

        • RobertWager

          With 70% of food with comodity crop ingredients containing ingredients derived from GE crops. If someone wants to market non-GMO then it is their responsibility to pay for such testing to confirm such marketing claims. Making everyone pay for the marketing desires of some is not reasonable.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    It’s past time for the fourth American revolution.*

    * Includes US civil war and Texas war for independence.

  • Scott B

    People ignore that just about every food has been genetically modified. Corn is a grass that was modified centuries ago, not a vegetable. I don’t thing you’ll find a Monsanto logo on an Central and South American pyramids.
    People heat that some pigs genes have been spliced into some plant and they think that those genes are going to cross over into their DNA. But if you said that a pig gene could make your corn taste like hot buttered bacon-flavored corn people would be lining up at the stores.
    I have a squirm-factor when it comes to the fact that I’m eating a built-in pesticide. My food gets washed before I eat it so that it reduces pesticide (and other chemical) residues off, but how do I get it out of the food when it’s built to grow with it in the food?
    Yet, at the same time, I know that GMOs are going to be the things that can get gluten out of wheat for people with Celiac disease, and peanuts that are free of nitrates that can lend to cancer, and the protein that so many are allegoric to.
    This is much the same issue people have when they hear about irradiated foods. They freak on the word “radiation”, and ignore that the amount of radiation they get just walking around outdoors in one day is many times greater, and more dangerous, than the amount goes into the food, the food that would last longer on the shelf, and almost entirely eliminate things like e-coli and other bacterial poisoning.

    • donny_t

      Gluten intolerance has surfaced in recent years due to gmo’s, there are safer methods for eating peanuts, and i don’t agree you should poison the many to save the few.

      There’s a reason nature does what it does. Fruits contain sugars yet it is counterbalanced with antioxidents. When we extract sugars from plants and refine it into white powder, that’s when we get a problem. Likewise, us splicing with genes to make a better profit will be the death of our species.

      • Scott B

        This “rampant” Gluten “intolerance” is more of a dietary fad vs an actual rise in better diagnosing Celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that no one is sure how and why it occurs, and is deadly to those afflicted with it Just ask Jon Stewart about his son, and actress Jennifer Esposito. There’s nothing wrong with cutting out gluten if that’s what you want to do, but it’s got zero to do with GMOs influencing gluten levels. This is the same junk science that has seemingly smart people thinking that vaccines is causing autism and other maladies, no matter that it’s been proven otherwise.

        The only current treatment for nut allergies is a very gradual (as in parts per million) introduction of the proteins into the persons diet.

        I never said that people should be poisoned. If you read, I said that I have an “ick factor” of my own in that I don’t go spraying RoundUp, Sevindust, or fertilizers onto my foods before eating them, and I wash my foods to clean what residues of that stuff than can be washed off. How do I do that to herbicides and pesticides are being built into foods.

        Sugars aren’t bad. Our bodies need sugar. That’s what our bodies use for energy to function. Protein does just get utilized on its own. And sugars aren’t “balanced” by anti-oxidents. They are two separate things.

    • acerplatanoides

      facepalm x10

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    I will eat anyone’s seed corn. After I receive your gratuity, of course.*
    –Senator Foghorn Leghorn

    * Of course.

  • Art Toegemann

    Of course labeling became a discussion on the agriculture, nutrition, carcinogens, et al., and rightly so.
    GMO and inorganic fertilizers and pesticides are not justified, are not better methods of food production and are the political syndrome of lobbyists to Congressmen to industrialists to lobbyists.

    • Jeff Leonard

      Art, I don’t believe you have actually done the calculations, particularly about Nitrogen, when you rule out synthetic fertilizers. I encourage you to read this article by Vaclav Smil http://chem.chem.rochester.edu/~plhgrp/N2cycle.pdf who works with real numbers. I imagine you will ignore my suggestion, but if you read this (and some of his more extensive dissertations elsewhere) you may rethink that statement. Smil is on Bill Gates books to read list because of his thoughtful studies and insight.

  • donny_t

    We
    have an industry rife with corruption suppressing the truth. Case in
    point: Seralini. He carried out the same experiments Monsanto conducted
    to get their gmo’s approved, except he continued it over a longer
    period. The result: the rats developed giant tumors. Then it was all
    retracted from the Journal of Food and Toxicology even after it was
    found that there were no errors with Seralini’s experiments. We are
    victims of strong arm / thug tactics by corrupt companies

  • Tequila_Mckngbrd

    Get the government out of our food. If I want Coca-cola with cocaine in it, that’s my choice. Don’t force companies to label their ingredients or how they made the coke.

    • Scott B

      That’s about the most ignorant thing I’ve ever read. There’s a reason we have the FDA, because our food used to be filled with things like: formaldehyde, lead salts, carcinogenic dyes, not to mention e-coli, salmonella & botulism toxins, as well as urine feces, and body parts from ill-fated production workers and rodents. So, go ahead and fill up on unregulated food. One less deliberately ignorant person sucking up perfectly good oxygen for those of us that don’t start sentences with: “Get the government out of my…” and “I’m not a scientist but…”

      • Tequila_Mckngbrd

        Just the irrational response from a left-winger I was looking for. Thanks!

        • jefe68

          Just the irrational response from a right-winger I was looking for. Thanks!

          See how silly your are?

    • jefe68

      Please stop. Try to use some common sense.

      • Tequila_Mckngbrd

        This is common sense. Yours is nonsense.

        • jefe68

          So you think that it is common sense to have cocaine in Coke….

          Yeah, that’s common sense alright.

          And no labels, that sounds like common sense too…

          Yawn, another libertarian misanthrope.

          • Tequila_Mckngbrd

            That’s mighty big words coming from a small man.

          • jefe68

            Try growing up a little and use what remains of that gray matter in between your ears.

          • Tequila_Mckngbrd

            I already outgrew the little if you’re talking about a comparison. And gray is spelled grey. Thank you very much.

          • jefe68

            No, it’s about the level of your inanity and immaturity, not much else.

            The “a” was a typo. You don’t seem very bright. If you were, you would be able to make your libertarian arguments without sounding like a berk.

          • Tequila_Mckngbrd

            The little man is mad, lol.

  • Yar

    Cuts insecticide use! If bugs won’t eat it why should we? I tell my customers that a few ear worms in the corn proves it is good for you.

    • RobertWager

      Sure just like the fungal toxins the worms bring to the food. Wow such ignorance(not an insult, just a lack f knowledge)

      • Yar

        You prefer man made toxins to naturally occurring ones? You can tell by sight and smell what is good or bad with natural food, not necessarily so with GMO stuff!

        • RobertWager

          Yet 17 years of commerical GE crops, decades of research from around the world and not a single documented case of harm from consuming food derived from GE crops. How much more information will be needed to convince you GE crops and derived food are safe?

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      That claim that GMO reduce insecticide use is disingenuous. GMO’s are used to *guarantee* insecticide and herbicide use. Superweeds are created by the use of these – and farmers are then forced to use even more chemicals.

      Factory farming requires the use of chemicals – so if the goal is to reduce / eliminate insecticides and herbacides, then we gotta’ go back to small scale farming. Monocultures are an anathema in nature, Whereas small farms use diversity and natural means to do things the right way – the way nature does it.

      • Jeff Leonard

        And yet a 2014 USDA report says “Insecticide
        use on corn farms declined from 0.21 pound per planted acre in 1995 to 0.02 pound in 2010.” That is a 90% reduction in pesticide application coincident with the adoption of Bt corn. The report is here http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err162.aspx#.U7xAYfldUpU

      • videmus

        http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/2011/07/18/mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/

        No large scale farming can avoid chemical pesticides. Even organic farmers use chemicals. The only difference is in whether those chemicals are naturally occurring or synthetically derived. You may find, to your surprise, that synthetic pesticides have a narrower targeting band that kills fewer non-harmful insects, and are quicker to biodegrade, as they were originally designed to do.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          When artificial chemicals are used, they kill off the natural decomposition processes in the soil – and this is what makes them unsustainable.

          It is also what causes poisoning and eventually climate change through nitrous oxide.

          Factory farming is terrible, in every way.

    • videmus

      Bt pesticide is popular among organic farmers. It is a protein derived from naturally occurring bacteria. They spray it on their tomatoes. Bt has no effect on humans, but is deadly against certain worms.
      http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/how-to-use-bt-pesticide-zw0z1304zkin.aspx
      Now we have genetically engineered crops which produce their own Bt proteins. They similarly have no effect on humans, and are deadly against worms. As an added bonus, farmers no longer have to physically spray for worms, cutting cost for consumers, while also reducing farm runoff.

      Perhaps you and many others here were unaware of this, that only makes educating ourselves even more important. Ignorance cannot be the basis for decision making.

  • La

    It may not be only about individual customer’s health. Remember when tuna was labeled as to whether the finishing of tuna killed dolphins or not? As a consumer, I wanted the labeling because I didn’t want to eat if it killed dolphins. It was my choice as a consumer to make that determination. And it had nothing to do with my individual health.

    GMO monocultures have other side effects that may not be measurable in individual health: the overuse of fertilizer that ends up in waterways, the reduction of nutrients on the land that result from monoculture and the erosion that it brings. Perhaps that is what I don’t want. The excess production of corn is why we have high-fructose corn syrup in so many package foods. We do know this is behind the obesity epidemic because fructose gets processed differently than sucrose by the body and affects pancreas function.

    So perhaps I don’t want to buy GMO as a consumer because I don’t want to put money in an industry that is behind causes of the obesity epidemic in this country. As a consumer, it is my choice to make that determination.

    • mem_somerville

      If you have philosophical issues, that’s fine. But that means it’s like Kosher–and that kind of labeling would be the way to go. The community that has philosophical issues sets the rules, monitors that, and handles the problems with it. It doesn’t burden folks who don’t share that philosophy.

    • videmus

      This is an argument based on the premise that monoculture is exclusive to GMO. It is a false premise. Monoculture is the result of farming practice, not of technology, and the history of crop calamities exacerbated by monoculture which predate GM technology by hundreds of years is evidence of this. Productive strains quickly gain popularity among profit-maximizing farmers, and no matter how the strain is derived, GM or traditional breeding, there is great economic incentive which favors the top few performing strains.

      To prevent monoculture, we need different strains that are similarly high yield and economically attractive. This is were genetic engineering actually can be an enabler rather than an impediment. Getting new strains out via traditional breeding takes years if not decades, while genetic engineering can accomplish this in a matter months. Technology shortens both our response time and preparation time when dealing with these calamities.

  • Bonnie Combs

    For anyone in the Rhode Island area, I am hosting two FREE screenings of the documentary OPEN SESAME – THE STORY OF SEEDS and a FREE seed saving workshop with Seed Savers Exchange — all taking place this month! The filmmaker will be at the July 30 screening! Click here for more info:
    http://us1.campaign-archive2.com/?u=4474a76b0fe1edee871ccdcee&id=84d410158e&e=0b14cbb4c1

  • FearlessMo

    Your guest very kindly chose not to mention the Seralini long-term study (which replicated Monsanto’s research, but extended it to two years rather than Monsanto’s eight months),has been republished in Europe, that found swine fed a diet of genetically engineered corn developed massive tumors, kidney and liver damage. And, the reason there has been no U.S. research is because (I believe) Monsanto seeds are patent protected.

    • mem_somerville

      Heh. That’s wrong in so many ways. But if anyone cares to look at the statistics of this exhumed paper (which was not re-reviewed, just republished), here’s a good look at the data: http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2014/07/seralini-rat-study-revisited/

    • Drakar2007

      Hey guys, if my paper has been debunked as being nearly fraudulent, all I’ve gotta do is buy my way into another journal and that automatically makes it un-debunked! Who knew?

    • videmus

      The Seralini experiment was soundly debunked and later retracted. He used mice bred for cancer research which were predisposed to developing tumors. Moreover, he kept the mice alive for more than the expected lifetime for developing cancer in that breed, virtually guaranteeing that tumors would appear.

    • Kevin Folta

      It blows me away that people believe that paper. Anyone that holds that up as an argument and sound science has no understanding of experimental design or statistics.

      Plus, why did they leave the control rat out of figure 3? Oh, that’s right- it got tumors too (table 2). If they show that, it is not so scary. Selective omission of controls shows the authors’ true intent.

      • FearlessMo

        I suggest that you reread Seralini’s research. It replicates Monsanto’s research, just extends it to two years.
        There is no getting around the results, which is why it is now being republished. The breed of rat he used is a disingenuous argument.

  • Vardette

    Labeling GMOs are not just about science – it is about our rights. I do not want to eat food that is saturated with deadly toxic herbicides due to evermore resistant weeds and also questionable scientific evidence, that has indicated in independent studies, that GMO’s can cause liver damage. Just as the cigarette companies are allowed to withhold information about hundreds of known carcinogenic chemicals that they know cause cancer, we have a RIGHT to know if the food that we feed ourselves and our children have in them!!!!! Just as some foods are labeled Kosher for those who prefer Kosher foods, we too have a right to decide if we want GMO or non- GMO foods!!!!!! So Vermonters, donate for the battle and other states will join. The question is why don’t they want to label?

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/21069-usda-moves-to-approve-agent-orange-gmo-seeds

    • mem_somerville

      But it doesn’t label herbicides–that’s exactly the point about how bad this type of label is. If there’s non-GMO sunflower oil in something, it will use herbicides. But that’s not on this label. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/03/12/148312077/how-a-sunflower-gene-crossed-the-line-from-weed-to-crop

      • FearlessMo

        Look at gut related diseases that have developed in the past twenty years, the same period of time genetically engineered crops have been farmed, and ask why their cause has not been identified. Perhaps it is because GMO seed is still patent protected and no independent research can be done on them, yet. In addition, as the Representative from Vt. noted, without labeling it’s impossible to tie an illness to the food one eat.
        I think that if the cost effects of pesticides on the environment and our bodies were know, it would be staggering and would possibly change commercial farming and how we eat.

        • mem_somerville

          Do you support the GMOs that reduce the need for pesticides? Like the papaya, and the black bean in Brazil, and the Bt cotton, etc?

          • FearlessMo

            I think current research is showing the opposite, that more and more pesticides will be required as native weeds adapt.

          • mem_somerville

            Can you please tell me what weeds the papaya has created? I haven’t seen that evidence at all.

          • First Officer

            Not to mention Bt Cotton.

          • FearlessMo

            Don’t know of any weeds the papaya has created.

          • FearlessMo

            I’m under the impression that the need for pesticides eventually increases rather than decreases. And doesn’t stop increasing until no nutrients are left in the soil. Then that growing area is abandoned in favor of new land cleared in the valuable rain-forest.

    • Vardette

      True pesticides are not good for people too and it would be good if it was labeled. But foods are labeled organic. Genetically modified foods are much more than just using pesticides. The have a gene inside them that is an herbicide in and of itself and the effects of putting a poison in the DNA of a plant has been shown to have deeper consequences then just simply spraying food. How our bodies react to a foreign genetic substance is questionable and studies in Canada, for example, in rats have resulted in premature deaths of off spring and liver damage. Monsanto has also fought against any independent testing- Why is that? If it’s s safe they should welcome it. When there’s billions to be made big companies to not put human health first.

    • Jeff

      Wouldn’t the non-GMO foods need more herbicides?

      • Vardette

        As reported weeds are becoming more resistant to the herbicides in the genes and this is why Monsanto and other companies want to used cancer causing chemicals like Agent Orange of soy and beet crops. And yes I do believe that any pesticide if used too much will create weed resistance but GMO are not just pesticides, they incorporate a foreign gene that has never been introduced into our genetic system and the impacts of this have demonstrated dangerous consequences. The EU has rejected GMO’s and so have most of the Cantons in Costa Rica. Also farmers to not want to become beholden to companies and be forced to pay them to grown crops and also GMO seeds limit diversity. They do not expand it as reported on ON POINT. India also has rejected GMO spices.

        • videmus

          Resistance is not a new phenomenon — it is the result of natural selection. Even before genetic modification and the use of synthetic herbicides, weeds were developing resistance — to traditional organic pesticides, and to environmental factors that harm them before that.

          For example, copper sulfate is a popular organic herbicide. We now have copper sulfate resistant algae. But that’s totally okay, because technology allows us unlimited creative potential. There has never been a time when humanity has permanently conquered nature and able to thereafter rest on our laurels, nor do I believe there ever will be such a moment, but with technology we can be sure to always keep one step ahead and have the capacity to react quickly and prepare soundly. This is why genetic engineering, far from a bad thing, will be a monumental human success.

      • nj_v2

        Ever curious, Jeff ponders, “Wouldn’t the non-GMO foods need more herbicides?”

        http://www.salon.com/2013/06/27/study_monsanto_gmo_food_claims_probably_false_partner/

        …“Western Europe has gone for a different kind of innovation strategy,” he continues. “Because Europe has had to innovate without using genetic engineering,” due to its laws that do not allow GE crops, “it does so in a way that rewards the plants. They’re getting greater yield and using less pesticide to do it. But the way the US is innovating, it’s penalizing all plants whether they are genetically engineered or not.”Yep, that’s right. In addition to increasing crop yields faster, European nations have also reduced pesticides more than we have.

        “The US and US industry have been crowing about the reduction in chemical insecticide use with the introduction of Bt crops [GE crops that produce their own pesticide],” says Heinemann. “And at face value, that’s true. They’ve gone to about 85 percent of the levels that they used in the pre-GE era. But what they don’t tell you is that France went down to 12 percent of its previous levels. France is the fourth biggest exporter of corn in the world, one of the biggest exporters of wheat, and it’s only 11 percent of the size of the U.S.

        “So here is a major agroecosystem growing the same things as the US, corn and wheat, and it’s reduced chemical insecticide use to 12% of 1995 levels. This is what a modern agroecosystem can do. What the US has done is invented a way to use comparatively more insecticide.” Comparatively more than what? “More than it should be!” exclaims Heinemann. “It should be down to 12% too!”

        (excerpt)

        • Jeff

          Neat, so lets check IDs when people vote just like the Europeans do!

  • nj_v2

    An earlier comment noted that wheat has no been genetically engineered.

    Not exactly.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/31/us-wheat-control-idUSBRE94U06H20130531

    U.S. discovery of rogue GMO wheat raises concerns over controls

    BY CAREY GILLAM AND JULIE INGWERSEN

    Fri May 31, 2013 1:27am EDT

    (Reuters) – For global consumers now on high alert over a rogue strain of genetically modified wheat found in Oregon, the question is simple: How could this happen? For a cadre of critics of biotech crops, the question is different: How could it not?

    The questions arose after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that it was investigating the mysterious appearance of experimental, unapproved genetically engineered wheat plants on a farm in Oregon. The wheat was developed years ago by Monsanto Co to tolerate its Roundup herbicide, but the world’s largest seed company scrapped the project and ended all field trials in 2004.

    The incident joins a score of episodes in which biotech crops have eluded efforts to segregate them from conventional varieties. But it marks the first time that a test strain of wheat, which has no genetically modified varieties on the market, has escaped the protocols set up by U.S. regulators to control it.…

    (snipped)

    • Mackinz

      It is not that wheat has not had GE varieties tested but, as the quotes article states, that there is none available on the market. This particular version was scrapped because glyphosate is commonly used on wheat to kill and dry the plant for harvesting.

  • hennorama

    What if the rental contract period is 30 days, but the occupancy is a day, week, etc.?

  • TyroneJ

    I have no problem with food being labeled to indicate it’s been genetically manipulated in some way. As someone who has spent a large part of my Scientific career working on Plant Physiology, I find this GMO labeling law a bit misguided, but not for any of the reasons I’ve heard stated.

    Genetic manipulation of plants goes back an enormous length of time – so much so, that some plants such as corn (Zea mays) were so thoroughly manipulated by Native Americans that only through DNA sequencing were we able to figure out what wild plant it was manipulated from. So to my mind the GMO labeling issue is incomplete due to its arbitrariness differentiating between recombinant DNA manipulation requiring the label but older DNA manipulation techniques such as selective breeding & induced mutation (or exploiting natural mutations) exempt despite the older DNA manipulation techniques determining the overwhelming characteristics of our foods.

    This misguided arbitrary differentiation is similar to the one we have for carcinogens in food. The carcinogen requirements in food only require testing of artificial food additives for mutagenic & carcinogenic properties but allow vastly worse natural carcinogens (like caffeine) to be in food in enormous quantities causing vastly larger numbers of birth defects and cancers in the population than the artifical additives do.

    • NrthOfTheBorder

      …not to mention antibiotics.

    • FearlessMo

      You do know there is a difference between selecting for same-specie genes through sexual fertilization and introducing genetic material from some outside source into a plant through gene-splicing?

      • Drakar2007

        Do you know there is a difference between selective breeding which only utilizes random mutations (and unknown danger possibilities), and direct gene manipulation which introduces only specific desired traits and is much more thoroughly tested?

        • FearlessMo

          Mutation breeding is too large a field to comment on, and one i’m not familiar with. Thanks for introducing it for further research.

      • trevorkidd

        You do realize that your idea of plant propagation is a fantasy and has been for at least 100 years (and the reality is that most of major staple crops such as wheat and corn are crosses between different species that occurred thousands of years ago).

        • FearlessMo

          Reference your source.

          • trevorkidd

            You could start with Kingsbury’s book “Hybrid: The History and Science of Plant Breeding” 2009 published by the University of Chicago Press or “Mendel in the Kitchen” by Fedoroff. Or you could read any non-crazy book or other source that deals with the history of agriculture or plant breeding.

          • FearlessMo

            Thank you. I would be tempted to do so if it were plant breeding that was adversely affected animals and insects.

    • nj_v2

      The distinction between traditional breeding and modern genetic engineering is hardy arbitrary.

      Current genetic manipulation provides for exchanging genetic material between completely different species, something which has previously simply not been possible. We have no idea what the long-term consequences of this will be.

      Also, i’d love to seen any quantitative evidence whatsoever of the claim that “natural carcinogens” in food cause “vastly larger numbers of of birth defects and cancers in the population than the artifical additives do.”

      • Jeff Leonard

        Your distinction between traditional breeding and modern genetic engineering lays primarily in your lack of education. For example, of the 40 plus genes that confer resistance to leaf rust in wheat, about 30 of them have been introduced from other species, few if any from the genus Triticum. Back in 1956 Sears used radiation to to move one of the genes from an Aegilops species to wheat. One would be hard pressed to find any wheat cultivar without a number of these alien (term used by breeders) genes. The same is true for potato, tomato or probably any other major crop.

        • NoToGMOs

          Yes, but when has traditional breeding ever allowed us to move genes from a bacterium or a fish or a goat or even a human, to a plant??

    • http://batman-news.com Guthrie53

      That is the same argument with marijuana. It’s been reported that other plant strains have been grafted or cross pollinated to produce more plentiful and bountiful yields (I’m not a botanist, so I’ll acquiesce to the experts on how that process works). The point is that we know it happens.

      That only means that it’s time to do more research, not less.

  • Vardette

    Response-
    True pesticides are not good for people too and it would be good if it was labeled. But foods are labeled organic. Genetically modified foods are much more than just using pesticides. The have a gene inside them that is an herbicide in and of itself and the effects of putting a poison in the DNA of a plant has been shown to have deeper consequences then just simply spraying food. How our bodies react to a foreign genetic substance is questionable and studies in Canada, for example, in rats have resulted in premature deaths of off spring and liver damage. Monsanto has also fought against any independent testing- Why is that? If it’s safe they should welcome it. When there’s billions to be made big companies to not put human health first.

    • Drakar2007

      “studies in Canada, for example, in rats have resulted in premature deaths of off spring and liver damage”

      Source?

      “Monsanto has also fought against any independent testing-”

      Source?

    • Jeff Leonard

      Do you realize how idiotic your statement “They have a gene inside them that is an herbicide in and of itself” is?Please take a science class rather than read crap sites on the internet.

      • Vardette

        Excuse me they have a gene in them that protect the plant from the herbicide. But that pretty much assures you that you have Round – Up ready in your food and a lot of it and I have just read that Round up was not originally created for crops and is a chelated chemical that blocks nutrients from the crops and minerals. I don’t like the idea of ingesting Round- Up and if it’s OK why is Monsanto so against independent testing?

        • Kevin Folta

          Anyone can do independent testing under an Academic Research License. You also can buy the seeds, or you can have plants made at U Nebraska, U Missouri or UC Davis. It is easy to get GM seeds for research. Anyone can do it, as long as you can play by USDA-APHIS regulations on growing and handling them.

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    I don’t understand the furor over GMO when 80% of the antibiotics used in the US are to boost farm-animal yields. When this is a Clear and Present Danger why the disconnect? Can anyone enlighten me?

    • Drakar2007

      We missed the part where you presented evidence of the “Clear and Present Danger” – maybe you could share that with us first?

    • tbphkm33

      Yes, it is a bit like demonstrating in front of city hall to demand cleaner water… while directly inhaling pollution from tons of buses, trucks and cars are driving by all day.

  • Grant Ingle

    An ok show, Tom, but it would have been improved dramatically if you could break out of the common pattern of matching smug pro-GMO scientists with consumer advocates…it’s not a balanced discussion nor good discourse. Surely you could also add in one of the many scientists like Michael Hansen who support GMO labeling and can talk authoritatively about the dangers and downsides of GMO crops and their related agricultural practices that are far from sustainable.

    • Kevin Folta

      Smug? Come on Grant! I would love to have a good time and chat about the topic, but it was all caller driven and responses to questions. That’s cool with me, but not the best way to discuss the topic. It would have been nice to get to explain my point of view, especially because the senator came on at the end and just spouted complete nonsense.

      Hansen? I like Michael and did a debate with him last yeat at Hofstra. Unfortunately he goes flying off topic and has no respect for others’ time. That was pretty clear in my last appearance with him. He also is skillful with his words to create problems and suspicion where none exist. He’s a great Gish Galluper that likes to pontificate more than converse. That’s because it is easy to poke holes in every argument.

      • NoToGMOs

        The Senator was the only one in the discussion who actually gave non-evasive, relevant, concise and clear facts on this issue. I wish he had been a guest of the show rather than just a caller.

        • Kevin Folta

          The senator is an idiot. I am blown away that a lawmaker looks past facts and evidence to push a feel-good law that will just cost tons of money and is scientifically unnecessary. Sorry to be so harsh, but he is clueless.

          And history will show his points as wrong and his activism a embarrassing failure. I feel very bad for him.

  • Vardette

    a foreign gene that has never been introduced into our genetic system and the impacts of this have demonstrated dangerous consequences. The EU has rejected GMO’s and so have most of the Cantons in Costa Rica. Also farmers to not want to become beholden to companies and be forced to pay them to grown crops and also GMO seeds limit diversity. They do not expand it as reported on ON POINT. India also has rejected GMO spices.

    http://www.beyondpesticides.or

    http://organicconnectmag.com/g

  • Robert Borneman

    Very disappointing show. In the opening 20 minutes, not ONE mention of the primary **scientific** concern surrounding Monsanto’s GMO crop line of Round-Up Resistant products: environmental degradation brought about by increased herbicide use. Instead what was presented was the litany of unscientific “fears” of consumers about their health if they ate the products, a simple “fear” that monsanto is “too big”, and the “fear”which parallels the anti-vaccination wackos (i.e. based on emotional response without scientific basis). The guest was disingenuous as well, dodging the essence of questions. When asked about the “terminator” seeds, he did NOT say they did not create any (which they did), or plant any (which they did). He merely said they were not selling and distributing it, thus dodging the core issue in that particular question.

    I want GMO labeling for the same reason I want to know the provenance of items I purchase: I do not want to contribute to further environmental degradation of the planet due to increased agricultural chemical usage. It’s not about getting tumors or having children with Seliac’s (all unproven) but if this was supposed to be about the Science of GMO’s, you utterly missed the main point. Utterly bungled opportunity.

    • videmus

      Then shouldn’t you want pesticide-usage labels instead of GMO labels?

      • gdale805

        Why “instead of”? Why not both?

        • videmus

          Because Robert’s issue, as outlined in the post, seems to be with pesticides, not with GMOs.

          • Robert Borneman

            Videmus – You raise a good point: not all GMO modifications are for the same purposes. Optimally I’d like specifics on the kind of GMO alterations made on the labels.

          • trevorkidd

            And the plants that have been modified through non-GM means that resist things like RoundUp?

          • Robert Borneman

            Trevor – I am not sure what you are referring to. What plants are you talking about that have been modified to resist Round-Up but have not been modified via GM techniques? Please post your sources on this. I am unfamiliar with food crops that have been made to be Round-Up resistant through non-GM means. There *are* “weeds” that have, over time, developed resistance to Round-Up. Is that what you are referring to? Their presence leads to even MORE herbicide use and development, sadly.

          • trevorkidd

            I am referring to the abundant non-GE crops that are herbicide resistant. This is nothing new and the first herbicide resistant crops were commercialized a decade before GE crops hit the market.

            Clearfield rice seed is a nontransgenic, nongenetically modified crop technology for rice production developed with traditional plant-breeding techniques. It is tolerant to Newpath® herbicide, Clearpath™herbicide and Beyond® herbicide.

            Also clearfield wheat, sunflowers, lentils, corn and canola. But clearfield is hardly the only variety.

            http://agproducts.basf.us/products/clearfield-rice.html

            http://link.springer.com/article/10.1023%2FA%3A1002966309224#page-2

            http://www.fao.org/docrep/006/y5031e/y5031e0i.htm

            http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-83986-3_25#page-1

      • Robert Borneman

        Videmus – In the same way I’d like to have “sweat shop labor was made to produce this product” or “prison labor was made to produce this product” labels, I’d want to know which GMO food products I’m buying are driving the increased use of herbicides (and pesticides). The sweat-shop and prison labor issues are filtered somewhat by country of origin labels. They help me make a more informed choice, not perfect, but more informed. Currently there are NO labels on GMOs to assist me in deciding which foodstuffs to purchase. If I had the information, I could make my own consumer choice. Why on earth would anyone (except for a corporation trying to fool consumers) oppose such a notion of providing better consumer information?

        • CellBioNerd

          Isn’t that what USDA Organic labeling is for? And bonus – organic foods are GMO-free.

          • Robert Borneman

            While I prefer organic and try to purchase accordingly, at times I do not have the option to opt for organic. GMO labeling would help me make an informed consumer choice. Just as I compare calories and nutrients for my own personal health, so I also like to see the sources of (and practices used to create) my food for my nation’s and planet’s health.

          • trevorkidd

            But you wouldn’t actually like to see the practices used to create your food or you would be demanding that labels contain any plant propagation technique, and not just GMO. Things like radiation and chemical mutagenesis, soma-clonal mutation and so on. Unlike GMO the others result in changes that are completely unknown and untested.

          • Robert Borneman

            Oh – I do not limit my call for transparency and disclosure limited to GMO food. There are some propagation techniques I’d very much like to have labelled. As I said before, however, much of those I would find most odious are done in other countries and I’m happy to pay more for food which is environmentally sustainable than which is soaked in vats of DDT, for example. So, no, I’m not just limiting my call to GMO labels, but they are a good and identifiable start!

          • trevorkidd

            Attempts to have mandatory labeling for GMOs, but no other technique are nothing more then an attempt to destroy the use of the technique. Doing so would only make other less reliable techniques such as radiation, chemical mutagenesis and somaclonal mutation more common (as they are in Europe, as they were before GE in North America, and as they are returning in North America as well due to regulations on GE crops).

          • nj_v2

            Until corporate Big Ag changes the rules.

        • videmus

          I believe you are conflating GMO with the moral transgression of forced labor. Unless we can establish that the process of genetic modification itself is a similar moral transgression, the analogy fails.

          We might be able to establish that the business practices of those involved in the GM field transgresses on morality, or that the use of pesticides without fully accounting for externalities transgresses on morality. However, neither of those exist solely within the realm of GM crops, nor do those transgressions reflect on the morality of GM technology — they only reflect on whichever business practices that are found to be immoral and whichever actions that result in negative externalities.

          • Robert Borneman

            No, I’m not confusing GMO with the moral transgression of forced labor. I am EXPLICITLY comparing the excessive use of herbicides and pesticides with the moral transgression of forced labor. You seem to think I’m categorically anti-GMO, which means you have entirely missed my point from the beginning.

        • trevorkidd

          And the BT GM plants that have reduced insecticide use dramatically. How does this labeling bill tell you anything about them? It also tells you nothing about which plants have been modified through non-GM means to be resistant to herbicides.

          • Robert Borneman

            Trevor – this is a false claim (that insecticide or herbicide use has been reduced by the introduction of GMOs). Please provide documentation. The very development of Round-Up Resistant crops (as explained in the program – did you actually listen to it?) was in order to sell MORE Round-Up!

          • trevorkidd

            I said that BT GE crops have reduced insecticide use. This is well known and not controversial.

            I said nothing about herbicide resistant crops reducing herbicide use (only that labeling crops as GMO does not tell you that the product is resistant to herbicides as there are GMO plants that are not resistant to herbicides, and non-GMO plants that are resistant to herbicides – and if GMO crops were removed from the market, they would be replaced very quickly with non-GMO crops that are herbicide resistant).

            The following link is good introductory article on BT GE varieties and how they have led to a dramatic decrease in insecticides as well as an increase in beneficial insects. The whole series is good.

            http://grist.org/food/in-the-insecticide-wars-gmos-have-so-far-been-a-force-for-good/

          • Robert Borneman

            Ah! Thank you for the clarification and the link. I shall peruse. My main goal, obviously, is to create a sustainable system of food production – not one which kills off bees and monarchs, emphasizes monoculture, and eliminates biogenetic diversity.

          • trevorkidd

            Such a process has been recommended by Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture. I support it. I don’t support this labeling bill as, like the earlier attempts in other states, it is not meant to inform, but instead to invoke fear about one technique of many. Singling out one method is an attempt at attaching a scarlet letter to the food, and an attempt by the organic industry to gain market share (something they have said repeatedly – the best way to increase their market is to get prominently displayed mandatory labeling for gmo food).

    • Kevin Folta

      Terminator seeds were never developed. They were obtained from the purchase of IP from Delta Pine and Land and were never deployed.

      The only scientific concerns around Roundup (well, glyphosate) is that weed resistance is a major issue in some places. There are new remedies in the pipeline. That’s the ever-continuing battle with nature to make food.

      • nj_v2

        [[ The only scientific concerns around Roundup (well, glyphosate) is that weed resistance is a major issue in some places. There are new remedies in the pipeline. That's the ever-continuing battle with nature to make food.]]

        SInce when is ecology no longer part of “science”?

        When all one has is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

        http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/25/science/la-sci-sn-monarch-butterfly-roundup-20140224

        Limits sought on weed killer glyphosate to help monarch butterflies

        February 25, 2014|By Louis Sahagun

        With monarch butterfly populations rapidly dwindling, a conservation organization on Monday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement tougher rules for the weed killer glyphosate — first marketed under the brand name Roundup — to save America’s most beloved insect from further decline.

        In a petition, the Natural Resources Defense Council argued that current uses of glyphosate are wiping out milkweed, the only plant upon which monarch caterpillars feed. The loss of milkweed is having a devastating effect on the life cycles of the large, fragile orange-and-black butterflies, which migrate through the United States, Canada and Mexico.…

        … Since federal glyphosate rules were last updated a decade ago, its use has spiked tenfold to 182 million pounds a year, largely due to the introduction and popularity of corn and soybeans genetically modified to resist the herbicide, the petition says.“The tenfold increase in the amount of glyphosate being used corresponds with huge losses of milkweed and the staggering decline of the monarch,” Sylvia Fallon, an NRDC senior scientist, said in an interview. “We are seeking new safeguards desperately needed to allow enough milkweed to grow.”

        California’s monarch population has fallen an estimated 80% over the last 15 years due to urbanization, drought, weed abatement programs and pesticides, according to the nonprofit Xerces Society, a Portland, Ore.-based organization dedicated to conservation of invertebrates.…

        (excerpts)

        • Robert Borneman

          Thanks for the link, nj! You are spot on: those who are only concerned about “bottom-line” economic policies dismiss all else as an “externality” that some hypothetical future science will remedy. The consequent damages of the use of these herbicides are utterly unaccounted for in their immoral calculus.

        • IMHere2C

          Seems to be a relatively important point. And I take note that the folks here who are pro-GMO have not responded.

  • tbphkm33

    I like to see a simple comprehensive scale label on foods, one number in a star or something else that pops out. Based upon how healthy an item is and its carbon footprint. Similar to the Energy Star labels.

    Local organic produce, produced within 100 miles, would get a 10. Highly processed foods, say frozen dinners, produced 5,000 miles away would be on the other end of the scale at a 1.

    This would provide incentive for food producers to produce/manufacturer foods that are healthier and closer to the consumer.

    It is insane out there now, read the labels on many of the national brands of frozen vegetables. Grown in the USA, shipped to China to be cleaned, chopped, bagged and frozen. Then shipped back to your grocery store in the USA. That bag of vegetables has seen more of the world than you have – and it happens to all sorts of foods.

    A scale rating on all food products would be clearer to consumers as to how healthy their foods are and as to the ecological footprint of the product.

    - Beef gets a lower number, takes a lot of resources to produce beef and cows contribute a lot of methane.
    - Chicken is a bit better.
    - Fast food outlets are rated on an aggregate of everything they serve. Chose to buy cheap beef from South America and ship it 5,000 miles north, get a lower number.
    - Soda and candy bars, all containing high fructose sugar, which is a highly processed substance, gets a lower number.

    This would be a simple way to let the consumer market start dictating what the food supply looks like. Not large corporations looking only at their bottom line and figuring out how to produce foods for less cost, at the expense of the consumer and the environment.

    It would also empower existing/new local farmers, small food businesses, thus spur employment within the United States. What, American grown vegetables can’t be chopped over here? I think we are all ready to pay an extra penny or two a bag to stop the stupidity of shipping US produce 15,000 extra miles just for chopping.

  • Tequila_Mckngbrd

    These scientists creating GMO’s are the opposite of scientists that claim Climate Change is real. Therefore we know their science is right.

  • Ana

    I’m troubled by the fact that there was little or no discussion about the actual scientific evidence establishing the benefits of GMO crops. For example, it was stated many times that yields are improved (and hence the argument that GMOs are somehow necessary to feed a growing population), when in fact this has not been established, and in fact that yields may be lower for GMO crops (see http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/02/do-gmo-crops-have-lower-yields). Moreover GMO crops purporting to help with nutritional deficiencies such as “golden rice” have been huge failures (see http://www.i-sis.org.uk/rice.php).

    At the same time there are so many reasons to label GMO foods and give consumers a choice:

    -there have not been any long-term human feeding studies demonstrating the safety of GMO foods. The purported absence of evidence showing that they are harmful is not comforting given that since the introduction of GMOs into our food supply there have been increases in the rates of autism, food allergies, permeable gut disorders, etc. (see e.g. http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/health-risks/articles-about-risks-by-jeffrey-smith/Genetically-Engineered-Foods-May-Cause-Rising-Food-Allergies-Genetically-Engineered-Soybeans-May-2007)

    -herbicide resistant GMOs encourage the use of herbicides, which have dangers of their own both to human health and to the environment (see http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/weed-whacking-herbicide-p/)

    -we are just learning about the importance of our gut microbiomes on our health, and there is a good possibility that Bt GMOs in particular have a negative impact on our gut microbiomes (http://responsibletechnology.org/glutenintroduction)

    -while it may be that GMOs are not directly linked to declines in honey bee populations (rather neonicotinoids are), there is evidence showing that GMOs are linked to declines in other pollinator populations most notably Monarch butterflies (http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/monarch-butterfly-decline-linked-to-spread-of-gm-crops-1.2665131)

    Because I believe our health and our planet are safest when we grow crops and eat foods that have stood the test of time and that have minimal chemical inputs, I have chosen to avoid GMO foods to the extent I can. I buy all organic meat and dairy products, and buy most of my food at Trader Joes which does not use GMO ingredients (see http://www.traderjoes.com/about/customer-updates-responses.asp?i=4).

    • Sy2502

      Can you please stop making sense and being rational? GMO discussions are supposed to be about superstition and fear and “corn with fish genes in them”, and logical fallacies galore.

      • Mackinz

        Making sense and being rational? Lack of logical fallacies?

        I-SIS is known for its list of 800 scientists opposed to “GMOs”. Link: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

        It has such famous scientists on it as:

        1 Dr. Dennis Smith poopy den s Afghanistan

        118 Dr. M. Murphy Pediatrician NAMBLA Canada

        39 Tim Osborn Web Development Australia

        85 John A Brown watchdog on growing power of corporacy in our world and the world s governments lack of will stop it Education Canada

        146 Dr. Ye Hua over 20 000 pieces hand painted oil painting and picture frames in stock for sale at lowest prices http www art98 com China

        244 Prof. Julissa Martin Ph.D student i do not know what your talking abou t idk Hong Kong

        298 Prof. Thomas Tharayil Ph.D tiuiruiuiuiuiruriy India

        717 Panatey I Like Your Site Company inc USA

        758 Panatey Nice To See Your Site Is Being Updated Company inc USA

        797 Colleen Sheppard Wholistic Energy Therapist USA

        754 Najeeba Naja Ph.D THE QURAN IS TRUE MANKIND ARE U DEAF DUMB BIND WERE U OR WERE U NOT A DROP OF SPERN ISNT THE ONE WHO GIV E LIFE able to GIVE LIFE TO THE dead THE HUMAN RACE I ISLAM IS TRUE USA

        (disclaimer: Some of these may have been removed from or moved on said list, but a few are still there including the NAMBLA pediatrician)

        It is run by Mae Wan-Ho, who apparently rejects modern evolutionary synthesis and natural selection, and accepts a more Lamarckian view of evolution. Not to mention that I-SIS apparently supports pseudoscience nonsense like homeopathy and “cell phones kill brain cells” (I don’t feel that either require sourcing).

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Mae-Wan_Ho

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

        The “Institute for Responsible Technology”, the other source for Ana’s argument is a one-man circ… I mean institute run by a yoga instructor. Need I say more?

        http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Institute_for_Responsible_Technology

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeffrey_M._Smith

        http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-organizations/institute-for-responsible-technology-ifrt/

        Meanwhile, “GMOs” have the widespread support of very large actual scientific groups.

        http://www.skeptiforum.org/richard-green-on-the-scientific-consensus-and-gmos/

        While you may not see “fish in tomato” red herrings, I still see an argument from ignorance and argument from false authority.

  • liminalx

    Plain and simply, if GMO is benign, why the resistance to labeling?

    • Sy2502

      GMOs are a variety of plant. You don’t see the variety of tomatoes listed in the ingredients of tomato sauce, do you? Why? Ooooohhhhooohh they must be hiding something… oooohhhhooo!!!!

      • Beth

        The real problem is not the variety of the plant. It is the fact that they are modifying the crop so that they can withstand very harsh chemicals in order to kill weeds, weeds that keep evolving and becoming stronger. When the weeds do become stronger, they modify the crop again so that the crop can withstand even stronger chemicals. So you see, the chemicals just keep getting more harsh. This is the wrong road to go down…we are only poisoning ourselves and the environment.

        • Sy2502

          So what’s the problem with harsh chemicals exactly?

          • Beth

            Ever heard of Agent Orange? That is what they are wanting to put on these crops next. Very dangerous stuff with serious consequences, not something we should be messing with.

          • Sy2502

            Please provide evidence of your claim.

          • Beth
          • Mackinz

            2, 4 D is not Agent Orange, in the same way that Sodium is not Table Salt. Agent Orange requires 2, 4 D and another (banned) herbicide, 2, 4, 5 T.

            Why is it banned? Because 2, 4, 5 T is what made Agent Orange toxic.

            You would understand that you were wrong if you googled this without relying solely on biased sources.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2,4,5-T

          • Beth

            Wow, I can’t believe you actually used Wikipedia as a rebuttal lol. U.S News a biased source…whatever you want to tell yourself to make yourself feel right. The chemicals used must get stronger and stronger because of weed evolution, that is not a sustainable practice.

          • Mackinz

            Wikipeda is a good springboard source, actually. A lot of good information now, after they changed up their standards.

            But hey, if you want a good source…

            http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/intheworkplace/agent-orange-and-cancer

            The background information is fantastic there.

          • Beth

            Found this by doing a quick search…doesn’t sound too good to me. Why doesn’t it? What is known about this chemical are the nasty long-term and high exposure side effects. There are many very important unknowns which pertain to cancer and pregnancy. We will definitely be exposed to this on a “long-term” bases. And how long do you supposed it will take before i am highly exposed to it with all of the crop fields around, it will be in the water, ground, air, the food, etc.? I live in Iowa and there are corn fields all around here. I would not use this chemical at all but there is a big difference between spraying some on a weed in a yard vs. spraying entire corn fields where residential areas and schools are all around! I at least have the right to know if I am eating it! http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/chemfs/fs/24d.htm

          • Mackinz

            So don’t get exposed to it.

            Farmers wear protective gear when spraying for a reason (inhalation of pretty much any liquid is bad for humans).

            A better source:

            http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/24Dgen.html

          • Sy2502

            “major component of Agent Orange” is not the same as Agent Orange. Oxygen is a major component of Agent Orange, do you have a problem with it?
            Besides, is it actually absorbed by the plant? In what quantities? Does it end up in the edible part of the plant? In what quantity? Even good old Paracelsus teaches “Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy.”

          • Beth

            I will say the same thing to you as i did to Machinz about 2, 4 D (which is the component of Agent Orange that they will be using)… Found this by doing a quick search…doesn’t sound too good to me. Why doesn’t it? What is known about this chemical are the nasty long-term and high exposure side effects. There are many very important unknowns which pertain to cancer and pregnancy. We will definitely be exposed to this on a “long-term” bases. And how long do you supposed it will take before i am “highly exposed” to it with all of the crop fields around, it will be in the water, ground, air, the food, etc.? I live in Iowa and there are corn fields all around here. I would not use this chemical at all but there is a big difference between spraying some on a weed in a yard vs. spraying entire corn fields where residential areas and schools are all around! I at least have the right to know if I am eating it! http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/chemfs/fs/24d.htm

          • Sy2502

            I can’t help but notice you didn’t answer my questions. Chlorine is a horribly toxic element that can kill people. I also put it in my food daily in the form of sodium chloride, also known as “table salt”. Things are a bit more complex than “X is bad therefore…”

          • Beth

            You’re exactly right, things are more complicated than X is bad or you therefore, so you should know better than to compare one to another. They are two totally different things. I am speaking in terms of a specific chemical, i am not just speaking in general terms.

          • Kevin Folta

            Beth, 2,4-D is a synthetic auxin, a kind of plant hormone that makes the plant’s cells divide and the plant cells elongate. It is not turned over by plant cells rapidly, so the plant basically grows to death. That’s why it is a good defoliant, and why it was used as part of Agent Orange.

            It is an herbicide used for 70 years in agriculture. The government made it a weapon. You have no reason to fear it.

        • nj_v2

          You’ll never win any arguments with such unsophisticated and sloppy language.

          “Harsh” referring to chemicals is pretty much meaningless.

          Weeds don’t become “stronger,” they develop resistance.

          Your invocation of Agent Orange is irrelevant. It has nothing to do with the current discussion.

          Overall, i’m kind of on your side (i think), but sloppy arguments like this don’t advance the discussion.

        • Kevin Folta

          Actually, the herbicides are pretty benign. http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/07/glyphosate-math.html

          Weed resistance is a huge issue and getting worse. That’s not a gmo issue, it is a farming issue. Luckily there are new technologies to address the problem.

          • NoToGMOs

            Actually it is a gmo issue because the large scale adoption of glyphosate-resistant and Bt toxin-producing GMO plants have increased the selection pressure on weeds and they develop resistance much, much faster than they would have if they hadn’t been exposed to so much glyphosate and Bt toxin.

          • Kevin Folta

            Absolutely you are right on when you suggest it is a problem. There’s nobody arguing that glyphosate resistant weeds and the need to scout for resistant pests is not a limitation to this technology.

            But resistance is always a problem, no matter what you are growing, GM or not.

            … not quite true about resistance coming faster… but that’s a topic for another day.

          • nj_v2

            Wherein “new technologies” = more herbicides.

      • Kate

        Yeah but anyone can grow a tomato and sell it and not get their butt sued. Totally different

        • Kevin Folta

          Unless it is a patented variety. Just about all vegetatively propagated plants and many seeds are protected by patents these days.

          It takes 20 years, millions of dollars and massive orchards to breed a new apple variety. Why should a breeder have to give that new variety away? Plant patents ensure breeders’ rights and help them make the next generation of food.

        • Sy2502

          Sure it’s different, but is the difference pertinent to the issue? No, not really. Unless of course you are so incensed about these companies protecting their intellectual property that you are willing to spread false accusations on GMOs making people sick, being bad and evil, etc, just for kicks, which would be truly infantile.

    • videmus

      Simple answer: It disrupts current big business, which is why there is a huge corporate push back.

      However, this is one of those rare instances where big business and science understanding are aligned. It would be fallacious for us to be against something just because others we don’t like are of the same opinion.

      • Kate

        As a consumer the pushback on labeling from “big grocery” is actually what raised the red flag for me and because of that I now shop the non GMO verified labels.

        • videmus

          Raising a red flag which then motivates you to look deeper is one thing, deciding that something is bad just because of a suspicion is very much anther. That’s the definition of a knee jerk reaction.

          Think about this: “big grocery” and other traditionally brick&mortar retailers are at the forefront of the legislative push for taxing internet commerce. Does that raise a red flag for you and motivate you to take up an anti-taxation stance?

          • Kate

            I am a simple person. If there are probiotics in food they tell you. If it’s Grass Fed, Free Range or non Growth Hormone they let ya know. Anything corporations lobby with big bucks to keep off of my label I don’t want to eat. Just sayin.

          • trevorkidd

            All through voluntary labeling. There is a massive difference between it (which includes organic) and mandatory labeling. With the latter you can expect your food prices to go up significantly.

          • Kate

            Actually that statement above just further cements my anti “big grocery” stance. I call my stance : “Anti Greedy Corporate Bullies Who Do Not Respect the Wishes of the Very Consumers Who Make Them Rich”. It’s a little wordy. I’ll just go with Pro-Vermont for now.

  • Sy2502

    No, we don’t need it, and GMO labeling is just pandering to people’s irrational fears and superstitions.

    • J__o__h__n

      The Supreme Court just ruled that we should pander to people’s and corporation’s irrational fears and superstitions.

      • Sy2502

        What ruling are you referring to?

        • Mackinz

          Probably the Hobby Lobby ruling, and HL’s claim that some forms of birth control cause abortions and HL didn’t want to pay for them… even though they were factually wrong…

          But it is not a valid point, as far as I can tell.

          • Sy2502

            The Court ruling was “pandering” to the 1st Amendment as far as I can tell. So a completely different case not pertinent to the issue at hand.

  • mem_somerville

    Oh, dear, you have false information on the farmers in India too? I’m shocked, of course. Try some quality information: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2014/01/07/selling-suicide-seeds-narrative/

  • hennorama

    REEDTHEFARMER — FYI, the use of all caps is considered to be “shouting.” Many/most readers will ignore such comments.

  • Saighead

    I have to admit, even as a suspicious lefty, this one doesn’t get my dander up. The science just isn’t there. And, we’ve been genetically modifying organisms for, what, 8,000 years? Have you seen the ancestral plants to maize & wheat? It’s astonishing where we’ve brought them to. My only quibble is when Monsanto et. al. want to patent their discoveries and exclude farmers from doing what they’ve done for millenia-saving seeds, for Pete’s sake. Corporate power is the evil. Not the science. It’s also a little peculiar to have them splicing in genes from different orders and families of biota, but when you consider how much of our genetic profile we share w/ even the lowest forms of life, it seems less odd.

    Still and all, if we’ve learned nothing in the past century about the environment, we should know by now to beware unintended consequences and unforseen complexity, and proceed with utmost caution. Like that’s gonna happen.

    • Mackinz

      “My only quibble is when Monsanto et. al. want to patent their discoveries and exclude farmers from doing what they’ve done for millenia-saving seeds, for Pete’s sake.”

      Seed patenting has been around since the 20s, and farmers have been using patented seed ever since because the patented seed was of higher quality than the seed that they used to save. Nowadays, seed saving is rare as patented hybrid seed is better/exhibits more desirable traits. Most farmers switched for a reason, and it was well before Monsanto ever came into the picture.

      Argument from tradition isn’t an argument for the effectiveness of anything.

  • Beth

    For me, if the crop cannot withstand what we are putting on it, without being genetically modified, then I do NOT want to consume it or put my dollars towards it. We deserve to know if it’s GMO.

    • firefox

      Yes! We do have the right to know. And so do the sanctimonious nay-sayers in this conversation who get their jollies with their condescending comments and contempt. Dont waste your time replying to them. I see these proMonsanto shills scurry like little vermin around various websites attempting to distract or rile those who have valid concerns and deserve to know whats in the food they eat and feed their children. Monsanto’s tampering of our food’s DNA mixing in bacterial DNA is only so it can sell more RoundUp. The claims of better yields, less herbicide use, and feeding the hungry sure sound good,but each claim has been disproved. GMOs and its marketing has all the appearances of being the next tobacco. GMOs have not been sufficiently tested and deserve all the scrutiny and control that the “concerned peoples” of the world are bringing to bear. The answers to our world’s problems are NOT more harmful chemicals, DNA tampered foods, corporate greed, or governments so corrupted by money that they lost site of the fact that they are there to serve “the people” and not be bribed by and controlled by corporate agendas. Labelling GMOs needs to happen and a long term publicly disclosed study of GMOs needs to be implimented with all benefits and dangers being disclosed

      • Beth

        Nicely put! It is so sad that greed and powerful corporations are put first, over the safety of the people. We just have to stand strong. If Monsanto really believes in the safety of these GMOs than why are they so afraid of labeling and pushing so hard against it?

        • firefox

          …and that is the million dollar question! So much of their argument is that antiGMO’ers have only ‘unreasonable, unsubstantial fears’ and, mandating the labeling of GMO foods will only confuse the consumer and just feed those fears. I say “what B.S.!!” – if you, Monsanto, want to re-design every food plant’s DNA, feed the world, and control all its seed, then you should be happy for the free advertising and maybe start practicing full disclosure of your studies and the results to alleviate any public fears that are arising primarily out of your magnanimous claims, your plans for world domination of the food supply, your secrecy and incessant lobbying against consumer rights and state laws, and your seeming dark and questionable past. And then we’ll decide if we want to support you and your DNA tampered foods that contractually require showers of RoundUp.

  • DJJS

    In the future, a discussion of gene modification might be aided by contacting someone from The Nature Institute which has been working assiduously for years on the unintended consequences (and they’re not scant) of genetic manipulation (http://natureinstitute.org/txt/ch/nontarget.php).

  • WoBuYaoTweet

    One caller asked about monocultures. The response was (paraphrased) “Scientists have added genetic components from all sorts of other plants to make these crops very robust and genetically diverse.”

    That’s great & all, but uhhh, there’s still only ONE variety of plant being cultivated (or very few)! That’s still, by definition, a monoculture. Add whatever DNA you like from other plants to create a 5lb, super-strong, drought resistant, glow-in-the-dark tomato – once planted it’s still just ONE strain of DNA that’s vulnerable to nature’s laws. Those are bad odds.

    This response assumes, with a high probability of being 100% wrong, that human scientists creating GMOs are capable of accurately predicting & preventing ALL natural threats (pests, diseases, etc) for generations to come. Eventually the laws of nature will catch up. That’s how evolution works.

    If ~90% of the corn/soy/canola/etc in the U.S. already comprises a tiny handful of proprietary GMO varieties, then we are in serious trouble if it gets wiped out by 1 single unforeseen problem. “Oh, but then we sell you NEW proprietary chemicals to kill off whatever threats emerge!” This is precisely why people don’t trust or like you…

    I’m all for feeding the world – I’m not ok with unknowingly handing total control of the food supply (as we’ve pretty much already done) to a few massive companies who are doing their best to control all supply in favor of proprietary/patented GMO varieties. This is comic book super-villain level insanity that displays the worst hubris of mankind. There’s no excuse for companies to refuse labeling or to be so opaque and secretive, and people are right to demand more transparency and a choice in the market.

    • First Officer

      You oughta google some seed company sites and be amazed at the different strains available.

    • Kevin Folta

      I think you misunderstood what I’m talking about– there is really great genetic diversity within corn these days. It is not a “monoculture” like cavendish bananas or russet potatoes that all come from the same clone and are genetically identical.

      Nowadays molecular breeding allows addition of new genes from distant relatives without all the other baggage. New varieties are being developed that greatly enhance crop genetic diversity.

  • gdale805

    I recommend the documentary, Bitter Seeds, to get an idea of the consequences Monsanto’s promotion of gmos can have. It shows how farmers in India were lured into using Monsanto seeds that turned out to be inappropriate for their growing conditions; and how many lost their entire livelihood. The suicide rate among Indian farmers is very high. Monsanto is NOT out primarilly to “help farmers”; it is out to make money first and foremost.

    • StilllHere

      Repeat sales are a great way to make money.

      • Robert Borneman

        Short term profits are better than long-term engagements! Make a fast buck, pull out and invest elsewhere!

        • StilllHere

          Customers aren’t that easy to come by, especially if you’ve got a bad reputation. No business that wants to be around longer than a week would go after just the short-term buck. Monsanto’s been around for decades because it has hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers.

          • Robert Borneman

            Then they should have NO problem with full disclosure of their product! Good for Monsanto! :) P.S. I used to LOVE their “Journey into Inner Space ride at Disneyland. They won my heart as a child.)

  • Mackinz

    If tomatoes grown near Chernobyl were scientifically shown to not be of any concern a wide array of studies, I wouldn’t care, at all, if it was made into pasta sauce.

    Apparently, the same thoughts do not come to people in regards to “GMOs”.

  • Vardette

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/24811-el-salvadoran-farmers-successfully-oppose-the-use-of-monsanto-seeds

    Salvadoran Farmers Successfully Oppose the Use of Monsanto Seeds

    “There are now viable alternatives to the way seeds are produced in El Salvador, and the traditional reliance on a singular source of seed, or seed from just a handful of conventional agribusinesses, is no longer necessary,” Weller said. “Domestic producers have proven their ability to cultivate a quality product to government standards, offered at a significantly lower price than what the government had historically paid for conventional seed supplied, by-in-large, by a singular Monsanto affiliate.”

  • Vardette

    Organic farmer have found safer ways to grow food.

    http://www.truth-out.org/news/

    Salvadoran Farmers Successfully Oppose the Use of Monsanto Seeds

    “There are now viable alternatives to the way seeds are produced in El Salvador, and the traditional reliance on a singular source of seed, or seed from just a handful of conventional agribusinesses, is no longer necessary,” Weller said. “Domestic producers have proven their ability to cultivate a quality product to government standards, offered at a significantly lower price than what the government had historically paid for conventional seed supplied, by-in-large, by a singular Monsanto affiliate.”

    • First Officer

      I.e. someone did a google search, looked at the catalogs and put in a few orders. But don’t tell anyone ! It’s such a secret to buy from other suppliers !

  • Vardette

    They have a gene in them that protect the plant from the herbicide. But that pretty much assures you that you have Round – Up ready in your food and a lot of it and I have just read that Round up was not originally created for crops and is a chelated chemical that blocks nutrients from the crops and minerals. I don’t like the idea of ingesting Round- Up and if it’s OK why is Monsanto so against independent testing?

    • Kevin Folta

      Vardette, You’re right, it was always a good herbicide. No need to worry about the “in your food” issue. The gene added is called EPSPS, it is a metabolic step in aromatic amino acid synthesis. The plant’s native EPSPS gene is inhibited by glyphosate (roundup’s active ingredient). The bacterial version is not. So when the bacterial gene is added it does the same job, but does it in the presence of the inhibitor. Pretty cool.

      It’s like switching out your stock oil filter for a Napa Gold good one. Same job, just better at it! email if you have questions.

  • nj_v2

    Genetically engineered foods:

    • Are not any more nutritious or flavorful than non-GMO counterparts. Ask proponents to list examples (other than their precious “Golden Rice”) that refute this.

    • Do not yield more per acre, on the whole, than non-GMO crops.

    • Actually use more herbicides than conventional crops.

    • Tend to breed weed resistance because the same herbicide is used on an ongoing basis.

    • Concentrate power and control of the food system, and the crop plants we rely on, into the hands of ever fewer corporate interests.

    In short, genetic engineering solves none of the problems of conventional, industrialized agriculture, while exacerbating others, and creating entirely new ones, the long-term consequences of which we won’t know about for decades.

    Their main advantage is to profit corporate, agricultural interests.

    • Kevin Folta

      Hi, I’m the scientist from the panel today and I can easily address your points.

      1. nutritious? Flavorful? GM and conventional are indiscernible. I can give you specific references to this. No question. They are the same genetics with a transgene.

      2. Yield? As a farmer. These are trialed extensively at 30 locations all over the USA before being sold. Farmers try them a season or two on limited acreage. If it does not yield, it is not adopted. Even if they yield the same with lower inputs in fuel, insecticide, labor- that’s good.

      3. Well yes, the same or slightly more weight of herbicide is used. But if you have to talk about weight, that means you’re missing the most important part- it is an herbicide with minimal environmental impact and almost no animal toxicity. Again, that’s a good thing.

      4. Weed resistance is a legitimate problem and in some places is quite severe. No question. New solutions are on the horizon.

      5. Concentration of power? Hmmm. There are at least six big companies selling this technology and many small ones want to participate. If you want more competition, lower the regulation- let the little guys play!

      I disagree with your closing statement. Right now it does help increase profits for a few companies, but as other countries roll along with the technology you’ll see good solutions that help people that need it. Uganda is generating a GMO banana. That’s not Monsanto, that’s a country that needs it. Let’s not paint the technology with a broad brush…. it can do very good things.

      • nj_v2

        1. nutritious? Flavorful? GM and conventional are indiscernible. I can give you specific references to this. No question. They are the same genetics with a transgene.

        Yet proponents continue to claim nutritional benefits.

        3. Well yes, the same or slightly more weight of herbicide is used. But if you have to talk about weight, that means you’re missing the most important part- it is an herbicide with minimal environmental impact and almost no animal toxicity. Again, that’s a good thing.

        It’s a “good thing” except that 1) it is not entirely without human health or environmental consequence since so much more is being used than previously, and 2) being overused as it is, it is not sustainable, as weed resistance is inevitable

        4. Weed resistance is a legitimate problem and in some places is quite severe. No question. New solutions are on the horizon.

        “New solutions” as in ever increasing used of novel pesticides, which will also eventually become obsolete and which will have unanticipated consequences.

        Technology chasing its own tail, under the arrogant presumption that we can out engineer Nature.

        5. Concentration of power? Hmmm. There are at least six big companies selling this technology and many small ones want to participate. If you want more competition, lower the regulation- let the little guys play!

        Wow, a basic human need is nothing more than a market opportunity. Never looked at it that way. Sure, let’s deregulate. What could go wrong there? (hint: Wall Street 2008)

        • Kevin Folta

          I don’t think proponents claim nutritional benefits, except in cases (all unreleased) where plants have been engineered to produce more folate, B12, vitamin A, vitamin C or accumulate iron. Those are done. We just don’t need them in the industrialized world, so there’s no interest in deploying them. Shameful.

          New herbicides are not novel. Actually 70 years of ag use with 2,4-D. That will team with glyphosate in Enlist formulations.

          We can out engineer Nature. You have vaccinations and are typing on a computer that nature didn’t provide.

          I really think your last point is offensive. There are a lot of us out there working for the public good. We want solutions to help the environment and the needy. But do-gooders will block it at any cost. Too bad.

      • nj_v2

        [[ Hi, I'm the scientist from the panel today and I can easily address your points.

        1. nutritious? Flavorful? GM and conventional are indiscernible. I can give you specific references to this. No question. They are the same genetics with a transgene. ]]

        And yet, proponents (you know, the actual “scientists” whose consensus on GMOs you continually refer to) make claims on taste:

        http://www.isaaa.org/kc/Publications/htm/articles/Position/asm.htm

        ” …the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) is sufficiently convinced to assure the public that plant varieties and products created with biotechnology have the potential of improved nutrition, better taste and longer shelf-life.”

        And, heck, why not throw in “reduced pesticide use,” too, for good measure:

        “This eventually should result in a more nutritious product at less cost to the consumer as well as to reduced pesticide use and greater environmental protection.”

        Should, could, might some day…

        It’s becoming increasingly clear to me that the “consensus” is merely a circling of the wagons by the professional organizations that have a stake in profiting from the proliferation of the technology.

  • Eliza_Bee

    People keep dismissing concerns about GMO foods with the assertion that “the science isn’t there”. However, the digging I’ve done suggests that the situation is more like “there is some science there about GMOs, but it’s not conclusive”.

    For more information on this see http://grist.org/food/the-genetically-modified-food-debate-where-do-we-begin/. This article quotes a 2013 issue of Nature (a highly-regarded scholarly journal) as follows:

    “People are positively swimming in information about GM technologies. Much of it is wrong — on both sides of the debate. But a lot of this incorrect information is sophisticated, backed by legitimate-sounding research and written with certitude. (With GM crops, a good
    gauge of a statement’s fallacy is the conviction with which it is delivered.)”

    At the very least, we should label foods so that people have the ability to choose.

  • Peg

    Saying there are no adverse health affects recorded is false–no one has brought up the fact that BT toxin genes laterally transfer to the bacterial cells in our gut microbiome, which has been linked to numerous diseases. Further, this is a cumulative effect and takes years to manifest. GMOs have only been on the market for 2 decades, so the timing makes sense for recent emergence in food allergies, sensitivities, gut inflammatory diseases etc

    • Kevin Folta

      Peg, it’s me, the guy from the panel. There is no such link, absolutely not, ever shown from bt lateral transfer. Those are extrapolations from data in a petri dish that have no bearing on human biology. As I stated, there are no adverse health affects linked to these products, and although people mention allergies, gut infammation, etc, 10 years ago these were being blamed on fluoride and vaccinations. GM crops are just the next popular punching bag.

      While I’m a scientist, I’m also raising a 15 year old and am very careful with my diet. These products do not scare me in the least.

      • NoToGMOs

        “There is no such link, absolutely not, ever shown from bt lateral transfer. Those are extrapolations from data in a petri dish that have no bearing on human biology.”

        You seem very sure. Has any further study or studies based on this data from the petri-dish been conducted to conclusively rule out such a link? If so, please provide the link to said study or studies.

        • Kevin Folta

          There is no link- we know what happens to the bt protein in the body- it is digested like any other protein. Those are old studies done in several ways. Heck, they use it on organic crops. It is a safe protein.

  • BlueNH

    There are a few studies that show possible health dangers from eating GMOs. Isn’t it strange that the industry cries loudly “but those are faulty studies!!!!” whenever researchers find issues with GMOs.

    The Seralini study used the same rats as Monsanto’s study, and the Seralini study was 2 years long, vs Monsanto’s only 90 days. Seralini’s results should be worrisome to anyone who eats GMO food. Take a look at the Seralini study and their response to critics. http://www.gmoseralini.org/ten-things-you-need-to-know-about-the-seralini-study/

    See if you want to feed your babies GMO foods (and by the way, most baby formulas contain GMO soy and corn). What are we doing to our kids? Why aren’t parents demanding more independent long term studies? Why are people so quick to believe Monsanto (the company that brought you Agent Orange, DDT, Dioxin and PCBs) is in the healthy food business?

  • nj_v2

    One of the guests made an unchallenged reference to “increased yields” of GMO crops.

    Not necessarily:

    Do GMO Crops Increase Yields? New Report Says Maybe Not

    “The USDA researchers did not find a “definitive” yield increase during the first 15 years of commercial GMO crops production. A line for the genetically modified crops report said, “In fact, the yields of herbicide-tolerant or insect-resistant seeds may be occasionally lower than the yields of conventional varieties.” Several of the researchers discovered “no significant differences” between the net yield returns between farmers using conventional seeds and those using the GMO variety.…”

    And,

    “…“Herbicide use on GMO corn increased from around 1.5 pounds per planted acre in 2001 to more than 2.0 pounds per planted acre in 2010. Herbicide use on non-GMO corn has remained relatively level during that same time frame.”

    thus refuting another oft-made claim that GMO production reduces herbicide use.

    On the whole, the program today has failed to establish even a rudimentary level of factual information about the technology. Allowing unsupported, erroneous claims to go unchallenged isn’t good journalism.

    • First Officer

      http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/YieldTrends.html

      Notice increased rate of yield increase ( y = 2.0281 bushels/year/acre) and decreased variance in yield ( R^2 = 0.6807) after the introduction of GMO’s.

    • Kevin Folta

      Hi, it’s me, the guy from the panel. Farmers trial this stuff pretty heavily before they use it. If it does not make comparable yields or better, they don’t use it. It is all about weight for a farmer.

      Keep in mind that equal yield with less fuel, labor or pesticide is still a major win for the environment.

      That UCS report uses a lot of nuance to make a point about yields. Talk to any farmer that uses traited seeds. They will tell you if yields are better or not! There are 275,000 of them in the USA, so you can find one pretty easily.

      • nj_v2

        Hey, it’s me, the guy whose post you responded to!

        Well, dang, call me skeptical, but it looks like you’re diminishing/dismissing some of the results of the study (USDA, not UCS) because they don’t conform to the GMOs-are-really-great meme you seem to be promoting in your endearing, gosh-golly style there.

        So, i guess i’ll go drive around and find some farmers and talk to them, and maybe if i talk to enough of them, i’ll have a study. Is that how that works? Might even get rid of some of that pesky nuance, eh?

        • Kevin Folta

          I get the USDA report and there’s a lot there. Ultimately it says that the yields increase and that it is achieved with fewer inputs.

          Gosh-golly? Someone else on this page called me smug. Can’t win. At least I’m a scientist that understands this stuff, has been studying it for 30 years and takes the time to discuss the literature.

          Give a guy a break.

    • Jeff Leonard

      You are decidedly misrepresenting the USDA report by cherry picking statements. As regards yields, from the summary “The adoption of Bt crops increases yields by mitigating yield losses from insects. However, empirical evidence regarding the effect of HT (herbicide tolerant) crops on yields is mixed. Generally, stacked seeds (seeds with more than one GE trait) tend to have higher yields than conventional seeds or than seeds with only one GE trait.” The full report can be found here http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/err-economic-research-report/err162.aspx#.U7ycXvldUpU

      I urge people to read it; the report lists the good and the bad.

      Nobody (except yourself apparently) would claim that GMO crops use less herbicide. One could truthfully say that they require less toxic herbicides (detailed in the report). But there has been a marked decrease in the amount of pesticide required. As the report notes, “Farmers generally use less insecticide when they plant Bt corn and Bt cotton. Corn insecticide use by both GE seed adopters and nonadopters has decreased—only 9 percent of all U.S. corn farmers used insecticides in 2010. Insecticide use on corn farms declined from 0.21 pound per planted acre in 1995 to 0.02 pound in 2010.” That is a 90% reduction in pesticide use over the adoption period of Bt corn.

      • NoToGMOs

        “Farmers generally use less insecticide when they plant Bt corn and Bt cotton.”

        Yes, because the insecticide is being produced by every cell of the plant instead!! Great for the farmer, but not so much for the end consumer.

        • Kevin Folta

          NoToGMO– it is a protein that acts only on certain lepidopteran pests, mostly earworms. It has no effects on non-target insects and certainly does not affect other animals. That’s been very well documented.

      • nj_v2

        Yet, Bt resistance necessarily increases over time, since the plants continuously produce the toxin. An unsustainable system requiring (surprise!) the eventual use of more and different pesticides.

        And, with conventional crops, European countries have reduced pesticide use more than that achieved with GMOs.

        http://www.salon.com/2013/06/27/study_monsanto_gmo_food_claims_probably_false_partner/

        [[ Yep, that’s right. In addition to increasing crop yields faster, European nations have also reduced pesticides more than we have.

        “The US and US industry have been crowing about the reduction in chemical insecticide use with the introduction of Bt crops [GE crops that produce their own pesticide],” says Heinemann. “And at face value, that’s true. They’ve gone to about 85 percent of the levels that they used in the pre-GE era. But what they don’t tell you is that France went down to 12 percent of its previous levels. France is the fourth biggest exporter of corn in the world, one of the biggest exporters of wheat, and it’s only 11 percent of the size of the U.S.

        “So here is a major agroecosystem growing the same things as the US, corn and wheat, and it’s reduced chemical insecticide use to 12% of 1995 levels. This is what a modern agroecosystem can do. What the US has done is invented a way to use comparatively more insecticide.” Comparatively more than what? “More than it should be!” exclaims Heinemann. “It should be down to 12% too!” ]]

      • nj_v2

        Mr Leonard proffers:

        [[ Nobody (except yourself apparently) would claim that GMO crops use less herbicide. ]]

        Cue Really?! with Seth and Amy…

        http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/agricultural-herbicides.aspx

        “Roundup agricultural herbicides and other products are used to sustainably and effectively control weeds on the farm. Their use on Roundup Ready crops has allowed farmers to conserve fuel, reduce tillage and decrease the overall use of herbicides.”

        I made that last part nice and eye catching so you couldn’t miss it.

  • Guest
    • hennorama

      (Un)InformedAmerican/X Y & Z/Jay/U.S.S.A/”Guest” — drone alone, dronebot.

      • Guest

        Keep running from the truth, Bird-Brain, it suits you well.

    • First Officer

      And this has to do with the article how?

  • J Alan Waters

    As a physician and medical researcher, I have zero issues with consuming GMO foods or giving them to my kids. With that being said, I can’t support any argument against transparency. Scientific studies are difficult for the lay public to interpret, but that doesn’t excuse companies from allowing consumers to know what’s in their food. Glabeling requirements should be much more strigent as a whole in food. GMO labeling will not affect my purchasing choices at all.

    • First Officer

      Normally i’d be with you. But it is unconstitutional to compel speech when there is no substantial state interest to do so. I.e. I have the right to know if the food is Kosher but that doesn’t translate to compelling all food producerst to label yay or nay as such. But the right to know is not the real thrust but the desire to ban and boycott is. Hence this is a dishonest effort, as evidenced by below.

      http://b-i.forbesimg.com/jonentine/files/2013/10/GLP-GMO-label1.png

      • Kate

        Montasanto has a patent on their seeds and they have the right to sue over unauthorized use of the ” product”. Nutritional values aside this differentiation between GMO corn & “regular” corn to me as a consumer, warrants the right to request labeling.

        • Kevin Folta

          Kate, I”m the scientist on the panel. I’d be glad to direct you to actual peer-reviewed studies that show quantitative differences in corn, gm vs. conventional. They are equivalent in all cases.

          You might be thinking of the Stunning Corn Comparison, which was a website. Last year I saw this- they are made up numbers that are not even close to anything biological. Worse yet, they used a soil test as a template. Sloppy fraud.

          When I asked them to work with me to repeat the test (and I was going to pay for it) they were all for it– until it got real. Then then backed out.

          http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2013/05/putting-my-money-where-your-mouth-is.html

          Let me know if you’d like more resources (kevinfolta at gmail)

          • Kate

            Thank you for the information. I was just using corn as an example. I am actually a consumer who eats all sorts of crap and had McDonalds for dinner. I read the label on my cigarette package and then I smoke. What I am interested in knowing is the reluctance to labeling? I am not a health nut but but do feel the public has not as a whole discredited the science behind GMO production, but is instead asking to KNOW how the foods we are consuming have been produced. Yet when that question is asked it is replied to with “scientific ” studies discrediting concerns and millions of dollars to bury labeling legislation. .if GMOs are sound science they ought to be proud to label.

          • Kevin Folta

            Because it creates confusion. My favorite example- I can give you sucrose (sugar) from a GMO sugar beet, sucrose from an organic sugar beet, or sucrose from a conventional sugar beet. You could not tell the difference. They are the same.

            GM opponents want the label so that they can scare people away from good food. That’s unfair to farmers.

            It also stigmatizes good technology that could be used to help problems around the world. I work for farmers, the environment and the developing world… I want every tool available to help them.

          • Diana Mitchell

            Dr. Folta, thank you for your contribution to the panel and this online discussion.

          • Kevin Folta

            Thanks Diana. I just want everyone to understand the science. Once we have that we can make good decisions about labels, bans, whatever. Until then it is too easy to let the activists and profiteering authors dictate the conversation.

    • John Cedar

      Just assume that all foods have GMO in them unless there is a label that says otherwise. That way the granola anti-science crowd can have the “transparency” they claim to want and they can pay for the labels to boot.

      • FearlessMo

        Not all “foods”, just manufactured and boxed preparations containing soy, corn, alfalfa, on the ingredients label.

    • First Officer

      As a physician and medical researcher, do you know that the anti-gmo movement even has all GMO derived medical materials in their sights? I wonder how many diabetics will die from being scared off their insulin?

      http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/06/when-liars-cross-line-gmo-insulin.html

      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-jumeK1ni2ZY/U7CkRz6zpLI/AAAAAAAAFd0/rfB4DS_8Txk/s1600/doublediabetes.jpg

      • Kate

        We would probably need to enlist the help of Jenny McCarthy to scare people off of insulin. ; )

      • FearlessMo

        MDs are not interested in how foods effect a patient and few are informed on nutrition. Their understanding lies in the minutia of cellular activity, a very limited picture. The intelligence and independent research on GMOs must be introduced to them. You have reviewed no independent research on GMOs.
        http://www.cornucopia.org/2014/06/seralini-study-toxic-effects-gmos-glyphosate-republished/

        • Kevin Folta

          Actually the independent research is pretty solid, and the industry stuff is good too.

          Then you post a link to that rat study. Do you really feel that the statistical methods used are sufficient to support their conclusions? Please explain. Tell me about confidence intervals in such a population.

          • FearlessMo

            The rat research is an independent longterm study revealing reactions which were not found in the industry’s short term stuff. Too bad because the two years is where the true gut reaction to the GM diet exists.

    • Jeff Leonard

      Dr. Walters, the labeling adds no information about the content. As mentioned many times, sucrose is sucrose, corn oil is corn oil, regardless of source. Because genetic engineering is a process, not a substance, one learns nothing from reading the proposed labels. Is there a novel protein in the food? The label won’t tell you. Was the crop engineered to be herbicide resistant, drought tolerant, resistant to a virus, insect resistant, enhanced for micronutrients? The label won’t tell you. You might as well ask for a label that says some portion of the contents of this package was planted with a John Deere tractor. All the people claiming they just want to know are amazingly silent about wanting to know what other herbicides were used, what pesticides were used, what the actual varieties are, what fertilizers were used. Why don’t they want to know those particulars? While I believe listing all those would be a logistical nightmare, at least there is logic to it.

      • Kate

        If the issue is so “it’s no different than… ” why can they sue over use of their. “Very specifically engineered ” seeds? Montasanto wants their cake & to eat it too. They sue over use of their patents but refuse to disclose these highly protected patented products on product labels for consumption.

        • First Officer

          Hybrid seeds are patented too. We don’t, for instance, normally differentiate what kind of apples (braeburn, rome, etc) went into an apple pie but simply label, “apples”, in the ingredients. Likewise whether the cornstarch is from strain X, Y or GMO Z.

          • FearlessMo

            Hybrids are classically bred. Species or genera are closely related. No gene splicing is involved.
            If the cornstarch used is not organic, it is very possibly genetically engineered.

          • Kevin Folta

            Actually hybrids are incredibly hazardous compared to GM. Recent work by Schnable’s group showed that two inbreds differed by almost 500 genes, many of unknown function! There are massive differences in transposons and other mobile elements that lead to untraceable changes in genomes.

            GM adds one gene. Or two, perhaps three. All are well understood. Much more safe and predictable compared to traditional breeding.

          • FearlessMo

            The research disagrees.The GMO impacts on the human body are not understood at all.
            A quick review found this site which may help you to understand the complexities.

            http://www.anh-usa.org/genetically-engineered-food-alters-our-digestive-systems/

          • First Officer

            IN hybriding, the species may be closely related but that, by no means, means no novel genes that never existed before in those species. Quite the opposite. Novel useful traits are constantly looked for in hybriding. These novel genes are created randomly through background radiation and other means. The only difference between that and GE is GE doesn’t introduce novel genes randomly, nor randomly placed.

      • FearlessMo

        Genetic engineering is a process that produces a very different product that will act differently upon the animal that consumes it than the non-genetically engineered product will.
        Read the independent research.

        • Kevin Folta

          Can you provide a source for your claim? It is absolutely false. There are two products produced by GM crops- a bacterial variant of EPSPS protein and the Bt protein. They are the same as the native proteins in all regards.

          • FearlessMo

            For get it. You are being schooled by wordy scientists who have no idea how to represent a viable argument.

    • NoToGMOs

      “As a physician and medical researcher, I have zero issues with consuming GMO foods or giving them to my kids.”

      Your statement implies that you have come to the conclusion that GMOs are completely safe to human health. May I ask, on what basis you came to that conclusion, especially since there have been zero human epidemiological studies and or any independent, relevant long-term scientific testing of each GMO crop and trait?

  • IMHere2C

    Just listened to Greg Bennet’s opening remarks, and he makes statements as if they are facts. It seemed that he was quoting Monsanto’s PR team. He may fool some people, but it was hype, and hype does fool people. Much of what he said about GMOs is unproven. No long-term testing has ever been done on GMOs. It’s one of the reason that many countries have either banned GMO’s or halted importation until more research has been done.

  • First Officer

    Anti-gmoer’s keep bantering about the fact that about 64 countries have labeling and/or restrictions on GMO’s. That means there are 132 countries, more than doublle, that do not. In comparison, there are 81 countries with laws against homosexuality, some even with death penalties.

    http://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/

    • jefe68

      What? Talk about a disconnect.

  • firefox

    The FDA did not do any testing of GMOs and approved GMOs on the basis of GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe). When you consider our history of introducing products for use and consumption: tobacco, DDT, PCBs, many pharmaceuticals, and food additives, etc, etc, were all first “recognized as safe” and widely marketed before their danger was discovered. Europe and the 60+ countries that have either banned or required mandatory labelling of GMOs use the “Precautionary Principle” requiring absolute proof of safety or labelling before it is allowed to be marketed. Keep educating yourself. Also consider why Monsanto would be spending hundreds of millions fighting fighting the wishes of consumers who want GMO foods labelled and suing the states that put those laws in place. WHY? Especially when they adamantly claim that GMOs were absolutely safe. It appears to be an absurd and (and even treasonous) action. Why fight the people you want to buy your product?

  • IMHere2C

    Tom Ashbrook. I’m really disappointed in the guests that you have who are ‘pro’ science/GMOs, and the guest who is a consumer protection person and not someone who is well-spoken and versed in the science/agriculture/health science anti-GMO point of view.
    I’ve heard numerous statements tonight from the pro-GMO side. It is UNTRUE that Monsanto has not sued farmers for GMO seeds have ended up on organic farmer’s property. I heard one speak – his name is Percy Schmeiser from Canada.
    Shame on you Tom for this unbalanced reporting.

    • Kevin Folta

      IMHEre, I was the scientist on that panel today, and I’m glad to answer your question. I don’t speak for Monsanto, but I do know the Schmeiser case. Schmeiser planted (and court records show) 1100 ACRES of roundup ready canola, then used roundup to select for the GM crop. it was clearly shown, in three levels of courts, that he was breaking the contract he signed. It is a really simple case.

      The Big M has sued 45 farmers over 17 years for cases like this. I looked for years to find a small farmer sued for a handful of seeds blown onto the property, etc. Never found one. I’d still be glad to find one, but I’m reasonably certain that those stories are part of the myth.

      I’m always glad to answer your questions. Thanks.

      • larm007

        You must be looking at a different Schmeiser case.

        • hyperzombie

          No he is not. Percy was a Seed farmer that tried to sell “Percys Round-Up Ready Canola” , and then wondered why he got sued. It would be like finding a Ipod in your yard, making millions of copys and selling it as a larmpod, do you think Apple would just let you get away with it?

        • Kevin Folta

          This one. >1000 acres, 95-98% roundup ready trait. It is the same case, it just doesn’t match the fable of the little guy that was innocently crushed by Big Ag. Sorry.

          http://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/2147/index.do

          • First Officer

            The irony is that Percy S. now leases land to tenant farmers that are growing RR canola !

          • larm007

            Thanks. That was eye-opening. Makes me cross-eyed wondering where one can really find truth.

          • Novagene

            Anytime you see the Schmeiser fable repeated, you’ll have an understanding about how important adherence to facts are from the sources repeating it.

      • jefe68

        I’ve read that Monsanto has sued about 410 farmers and 56 small businesses in more than 27 states to date. Where are you getting the 45 number from?

        http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/feb/12/monsanto-sues-farmers-seed-patents

      • IMHere2C

        Appreciate the reply, esp. info on Canadian court case of Schmeiser. Your statements on the case are correct, and I stand corrected. The Wiki site explains the case so even a non-lawyer can understand it.

        • Kevin Folta

          Thanks for checking into it. There’s so much bad information swirling around this topic. Take care.

    • NoToGMOs

      Totally agree with you. It was an unbalanced discussion. There are plenty of eminent scientists who are pro-labeling and/or anti-GMO, but none were invited to the show.

      • Kevin Folta

        Hi NoToGMOs– make a few suggestions. Maybe he’ll have them on sometime. Who are these “eminent scientists”? Thanks.

    • Kate

      I logged on to this panel initially because I felt the show was very unbalanced. I typically leave NPR feeling informed and today I felt aggravated! Thanks for the post!

  • IMHere2C

    The Senator from VT was the only person of authority who discussed the reason for the labeling law. I could have missed it, but the pro-gmo folks did not lay out the reasons Monnsanto is against the law.

    • Kevin Folta

      I don’t speak for Monsanto, but I am the scientist that was on the discussion. Simply, there is no scientific reason for it. You can’t tell conventional sucrose, from organic sucrose, or gm sucrose. They are all sucrose. That’s one example.

      Most of all I don’t like that we’ll be funding a new bureaucracy to monitor, label, litigate and enforce new unnecessary laws. There’s nothing to fear here, so why fear it?

      We need to educate before we regulate. Before there are new laws we need to give everyone the facts about this technology. Once people understand it, they don’t fear it. They need to listen to scientists, not TV doctors and profiting authors.

      • StilllHere

        Great points, and thanks for participating.

      • BlueNH

        So consumers should put their faith in the corporation that brought us Agent Orange and PCBs to provide nutritious food for our families? No thank you.

        Nothing to fear? Then let the consumer decide. Label it.

        • hyperzombie

          So consumers should put their faith in the corporation that brought us Agent Orange and PCBs to provide nutritious food for our families?

          it was actually the German (PCBs) and American Government ((AO) that invented both chemicals, yet you somehow trust them?

          • IMHere2C

            No I don’t. And Monsanto did produce AO for the US gov’t, and wiki states that it also produced PCB’s.
            They are pretty much in bed with one another it appears.

          • hyperzombie

            What I was trying to say is Monsanto did not invent either product, Governments did.

      • Minky

        Maybe. But in this country we regulate all the time before giving the facts. Fracking comes to mind. Still people need to have the choice to buy the foods they want, not what is force fed to them by some behemoth food corporation.

      • Kate

        Well one way to decrease the fear would be to openly label.

        • Kevin Folta

          Do you think so? Anti-GMers are relatively honest when they say that a label is a proxy for a skull and crossbones. They tell us flat out, that once it is labeled, they can scare people with false information and stop people from buying it.

          That just hurts farmers.

          • Kate

            Mcdonalds, trans fats, carbs, red meat, alcohol, tobacco, high fructose corn syrup, food dyes. In the last decade all of these aspects of food have gone through public scrutiny and are still surviving. I get that it’s good for farmers and may even be necessary to sustain food in the future, but the rights of the consumer should not be trampled on . Put it on the back. Add two asterisks at the end. Not many people bother with the labels. But respect the consumers who would like the right to decide for themselves if this is a science they are comfortable with, people deserve a right to choose.

          • Kevin Folta

            Kate, there is room for an honest label, but the anti-GMO folks are just not honest. If we could simply write on the ingredient list “soybean oil from transgenic plants” that would be just fine. That’s precise. That’s accurate!

            I think there’s room for that. However, the anti-GM folks wouldn’t go for it. It is not about a right to know- it is about harming big ag companies and the farmers that grow their seeds.

          • Kate

            For some, sure. What does it matter they shop at Whole Foods already anyway. (Respectfully, I am aiming for higher food standards for myself). But for the sake of transparency why should GMO cultivated crops be above public scrutiny when that same public is ingesting them and feeding them to their children ? Not the best for business ? I need a better argument than that before I’ll swallow it. ; ) ( ha!)

          • David Brown

            But GM crops are highly scrutinized. The regulatory process is far more rigorous than for conventionally bred crops (which sometimes do have accidental allergens or toxin).

          • Kate

            So….this should make it easier to label. The problem is transparency. Consumers are feeling like they are eating “secret ingredients” corporations are paying big bucks to not have to disclose. All I have heard on this forum are arguments for GMO production without discussing the refusal to label. Also all of you can stamp your feet and shake your sticks but the public has a right to choose to eat or not eat GMOs. The lack of labeling is because consumers may stop purchasing foods containing GMOs. Regardless go how unfounded the reasons for not wanting to eat GMOs may be it is not right to not allow this choice. I believe in antibiotics. What is happening is no different than if I had a friend who was against antibiotics and their child was ill. So I dose his juice with antibiotics in the name of science and give it to the kid.

          • FearlessMo

            I’m an anti-Gm person and “soybean oil from transgenic plants” would be fine. It would be wordy but fine. “GE soy” would be less wordy and just as precise.

          • IMHere2C

            And how is it that You know what the so-called anti-GMO people would or would not go for?

            I pretty much known which grocery items are GMO or non these days. I’m
            not a scientist – not even close. Just a consumer who wants to be able
            to read a label that lists the items that are GE without having to
            read the small print of every ingredient on a product.

            Your label suggestion would be OK with me or the one from FearlessMo.

          • FearlessMo

            Nothing about GMO farming is sustainable. Genetically engineered crops cannot survive with out pesticides.

          • FearlessMo

            Well, let us find out if the ability to chose leads to false information or opens the issue to favorable information. I’ve never known the public to stop buying something it likes.

          • IMHere2C

            ‘They’ tell ‘us’? Who’s the ‘us’ mentioned? What’s it to you personally if there’s a label? Most ppl in this country don’t give one iota of thought to what they eat – just look at their diets. Mostly it’s just unhealthy – forget Org. or GMO. If the food manufacturers want honest, truthful information to be the standard, they ought to be open & not hiding behind pro-industry laws created by their lobbyists. Or spending millions to prevent ppl from knowing what their eating.
            People make up the market place, and they can decide what to eat, not some international conglomerate that doesn’t have the slightest care about ppl. Corporations only care about profit. Both sides of the coin. So let the consumer decide, and label food that is GE.

      • jefe68

        Well on the one hand I agree with you that there is way to much unfounded fear. However…

        However, I’m not very comfortable with one corporation having that much control over the seed stock for our food.

        Monsanto is a disaster for farmers in poorer nations such as India and Africa. Come to think of it they are awful to deal with for smaller farmers in the US.

      • Kate

        It seems to me the “bureaucracy” is in place and has drawn the line regarding what the general public has a right to request. How is labeling regulating? There had been a REQUEST from consumers for more information and it is being denied on the grounds of “science”

        • Kevin Folta

          Kate, it actually is a case where the general public just has to dig deeper into the real science. I’m always glad to help with that. Lots of us are.

          A label is useless information if the consumer does not even know what a GM plant is or how it works. That’s a big deal. Once people understand it, they don’t fear it.

          • Kate

            I don’t fear much. But I do fear a science that has spent millions impacting legislation to their advantage. If fair judgement is what is sought, play fair.

          • Kevin Folta

            I get that. The science did not force legislation- companies and activists do that. The science is the science- it is a collection of evidence.

            That’s what I’m in it for. We need to understand the science.

          • FearlessMo

            Science is dependent on interpretation. There can be many interpretations of one event. Science will reflect one’s bias, politics, who is paying the bills, ethics or lack there-of, or what a simple, honest and talented researcher sees.

          • David Brown

            True, Science is dependent upon interpretation. But when there is a strong scientific consensus that GM crops are no riskier than any conventionally bred crop (European commission, AAAS, AMA, WHO, etc…) , I think we can assume individual bias isn’t an issue.

          • FearlessMo

            How can you claim strong scientific consensus when the science doesn’t exist?

        • First Officer

          Kate, Kevin means it. I’ve personally asked him a question or two about a study or two and he’s come through. I don’t know how he finds the time but he does.

      • larm007

        Bt toxin has been found in human blood. Lab animals were sterile by the fourth generation. These were studies on GM diets. Institute for Responsible Technology has lots of information since the FDA just took Monsanto’s word that GMO’s are safe. Monsanto also told us that Agent Orange and PCB’s were safe. The only thing credible about Monsanto is that they will do or say anything to make tons of money. Really, why do you think they are so against labeling?

        • Kevin Folta

          Larm, actually it never was. The Aris and Leblanc paper was looking at noise in the assay, if you take the time to rebuild their standard curve. What they report was below the kit’s range of detection.

          The “fourth generation” study was never published. BS from Russia.

          Institute for Responsible Technology is a front organization for author, speaker and documentary guy Jeffrey Smith, who makes a living off of selling fear.

          The FDA demands years of expensive tests on any deregulation.

          Monsanto didn’t make agent orange, let alone say it was safe! It was a chemical weapon deployed by the US government because it was NOT safe!

          Wow, so much bad information out there.

          • First Officer

            We should make a deal with Jeffrey Smith. When he forgoes airlines and yogic flies on his own power to the next speaking engagement, then we’ll take him seriously.

        • First Officer

          “..sterile by 4th generation” Yet many generations and billions of pigs and cows have been eating the stuff and still reproducing.

          • FearlessMo

            Are you sure? Look at recent research.

      • NoToGMOs

        “We need to educate before we regulate. Before there are new laws we need to give everyone the facts about this technology.”

        I know you don’t speak for Monsanto, but it’s kind of hard to educate oneself on Monsanto’s GMOs when one has to take them to court to make them release the data from their safety studies on their own GMOs(!!). Studies that formed the basis of regulatory approval of these GMOs by government agencies like the FDA and USDA.

        This kind of ‘controlled’ release of ‘facts’ about GMOs to educate the public makes one wonder what exactly they are hiding…..

        • Kevin Folta

          I understand that point and the lack of transparency is rather off-putting for sure. I see why they don’t release it though.

          There are people out there that make a living massacring data sets to get the results they want out of them. Companies have to meet a statistical treatment going in– but others getting the data after the fact can massage it any way they want. Seralini’s group once did just that.

          If the FDA sets a rigorous bar and the company meets it, that’s okay, as the FDA has to regulate these products stringently (and they never had historically amicable relationships with the companies).

          Maybe there is a way to get the approval process a little more transparent. Maybe make it easier and cheaper so public scientists and small companies could participate! We’ll show our data!

          • Eliza_Bee

            The scientists I know would look askance at someone who argues that data should be withheld because it might be massaged. If someone massages your data, you ought to be able to rebut their argument.

          • Jon

            But that is the problem that Dr. Folta referred to… education about the scientific process. Massaging the data would be done without peer review and in the public sphere by people that do not know what massaging the data really means (and already do not trust the science involved). The ‘real’ scientists would then have the onus to publish the correct analysis (again) in a respected peer reviewed journal to refute the massaged data claims. But again, the public at large does not have the access or training to truly understand the difference between the correctly analysis by vetted scientists.

          • Kevin Folta

            Absolutely. If the science was real and the data were good, this would be in the best of journals- Science, Nature, PNAS, NEJM. If I was a reviewer and the data were solid I’d recommend it in a heartbeat.

            The problem is that the data were junk when they first came out. They fooled the credulous, and when science stood up, the authors moved it to a completely junk journal with no standing and then celebrated.

            That’s really sad. You’ll never see an independent group replicate these data. That’s the true measurement of good breakthrough science.

          • FearlessMo

            You are being disingenuous Mr. Folta. Seralini massaged nothing. His research replicated that of Monsanto, just extended it for two years instead of Monsanto’s limited 90 days. By doing so he got a more accurate picture of the impact on rats’ digestive systems a diet of GMO corn had.

            Due to lack of funding, neither the USDA nor FDA has tested GMOs for safety, preferring to accept Monsanto’s short-term findings.

          • nj_v2

            Excellent description/summary of the Seralini study and a deconstruction of the attempt to discredit it here, beginning on page 147:

            http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf

          • David Brown

            Earthopensource is a PR front for Group ID, a multinational food testing corporation with a strong financial stake in labeling. keep that in mind as you read anything from that website.

            http://bluemarbleconsulting.net/recent-projects/ (Marketing firm contracted to create earth open source.)

          • nj_v2

            No citation for your claims.

            Nothing on the “marketing firm’s” Web site.

            Apparently, control and influence of the biotech corporations on the entire testing and regulatory processes are of no concern for you.

          • FearlessMo

            Thank you for the link. An excellent reference source. Here’s another somewhat new link on “Junk” DNA providing further evidence of disease risks when tampering with DNA and as a result their gene switches. The importance of the switches: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/science/far-from-junk-dna-dark-matter-proves-crucial-to-health.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120906&_r=0

          • FearlessMo

            Thank you. You are right.

            Here’s another link with provocative information. We know so little: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/06/science/far-from-junk-dna-dark-matter-proves-crucial-to-health.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120906&_r=0

          • Kevin Folta

            Fearless, his re-interpretation is a separate data set, highly massaged for sure.

            Let’s talk about your point, to Seralini et al, 2012. The Monsanto study asked the question, “Are any of these rats different at 90 days?” The rat choice was appropriate, and the data said NO. It is possible to take a small number and ask if there is something different, where there are no differences in the data.

            Seralini takes a kind of rat that is known to develop tumors after 2 years, and shows they get tumors after two years. The CONTROLS got tumors too (check table 2- they didn’t bother to show the controls in Figure 3, oops).

            So it is not the same experiment as Monsanto’s. Monsanto’s experiment used an appropriate model for the time course of the experiment and enough individuals to demonstrate no differences.

            That’s the big difference. You wont’ find a scientist to defend Seralini’s statistics, and if you do, let’s all get together in a Google hangout and talk stats. It is a horrible study that should not be discussed as credible.

          • NoToGMOs

            “Monsanto’s experiment used an appropriate model for the time course of the experiment and enough individuals to demonstrate no differences.”

            Could you please apply all that ‘science knowledge’ of yours and address the scientifically valid points and critiques raised by Dr. Valikov regarding Monsanto’s (Hammond et al) study on the same NK603 GMO corn:

            http://beachvethospital.blogspot.com/2014/01/dear-food-and-chemical-toxicology.html

            And please don’t bother with ad hominems on her as you and your ilk have tended to do in the past….just address the scientific content that she wrote.

            Thanks in advance.

          • Kevin Folta

            So let me get this straight, you want me to do this for you without ad hominems, by making the request for my time by starting with an ad hominem? Be nice. (and I’m using your use of “ad hominem”. It means to discredit data because the person delivering them **like folks do to me al over this thread**, not that we just are critical of the person).

            That said, Ena and I are friends and I am always happy to discuss science with her. We communicate by email now and then and I’m always happy to print PDFs that she can’t get behind paywalls. I have no problem with her at all. She does really get hung up on Hammond et al 2004, which answers a completely separate question to Seralini’s 2012 paper.

            I took a look at the website. Firstly, I had no problem getting the PDF of the paper, so I’m not finding support for her claim that “Monsanto is so proud of its science it goes out of its way to censor it.”

            Need I go on?

            I guess I’m happy to continue to go through her whole assessment if you wish, but will it change your mind when I show the breakdown in statistics and reasoning?

            If you believe her assessment is accurate and the Hammond paper is insufficient, then you agree that the Seralni paper should have been, and now should be, retracted?

            See the point? The Seralini work has massive deficiencies that anyone with a year of college stats can find, plus tremendous design errors and missing controls (I love the missing control in FIgure 3, when the data are in table 2, showing controls get tumors too).

            Please advise. I’m glad to invest the time, but it won’t happen until tonight late and I’ll do it only if it can change your thinking. If you’ve made up your mind, no sense in wasting the time.

      • Eliza_Bee

        We regulate labeling of organic foods. It’s common to see meat and milk with labelling that indicates no hormones or antibiotics were used. So regulating the labellng of GM foods shouldn’t be such a big deal, considering there’s only one agricultural input to keep track of (the seed).

        • Kevin Folta

          Easy to say if you don’t understand the intricate supply chain farmers work within. They label as organic because they see value added (I know farmers that get 5x $$ for organic produce grown a few yards from conventional produce). It would be impossible for farmers to keep it all straight, unless all they grew was non-gm and handled in a separate elevator system, etc.

          • Eliza_Bee

            Why it would be impossible for farmers to keep it all straight when they’re already doing so for organic products? Furthermore, I’ll bet farmers already have to keep it straight for Monsanto’s monitoring purposes.

          • David Brown

            They are doing it for organic products because there is a large enough premium to justify keeping everything separate.

          • Eliza_Bee

            I wonder whether anyone has actually analized the costs. The vast majority of soybean and corn in the US is GM. The characteristic to be tracked is just a single factor. My guess is that economy of scale plus simplicity would result in a pretty low added cost.

          • David Brown
          • Eliza_Bee

            For the benefit of anyone still reading here, I looked over these reports, and the most definitive statement I found was in the WA report:

            “Reliable
            public and private cost estimates for mandatory GE label- ing are not currently
            available [4]. However, several studies have estimated potential costs, which
            range from a negligible increase to as much as 10% of the total food cost [5,
            6]”

          • Kevin Folta

            Exactly right. The truck is going that way already. 20% of sales are organic, they get a higher price, so put 20% of that truck in organic produce.

      • FearlessMo

        You do sound like a Monsanto rep. and you are being way too simplistic in your inference that all sucrose is the same:

        http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/not_all_apples_are_created_equal/

        Further, food manufacturers are already labeling their GMO products for European consumers, and it’s been established that there would be no cost increases for GMO labeling here.

    • Kate

      I have no idea WHY Montasanto is against the law. I can only speculate that , if labeled, people would be a little freaked out at just how many products consumed daily contain GMOs. Cereal & juice
      , bread, oils, popcorn. The masses would freak.

      • Kevin Folta

        actually not popcorn. It is pretty amazing how little people understand about this technology, yet they claim to know more about it than the scientists that communicate the literature that says there is no good evidence of harm.

        • Kate

          The speculation on GMO products could end. With labeling. I never would have included popcorn if properly labeled.

          • David Brown

            THere are GMO free and certified organic labels right now. If you want to eat GM free food, that you have that choice.

          • Kate

            The comment I made wasn’t about food choice for consumption sake but in response to the comment regarding speculation and GMO foods. Because now the only foods I am guaranteed are non GMO are
            Marked and verified Inon GMO must speculate that other foods, if not marked non GMO are GMO. I suggested to end the “ignorant speculation” foods could be labeled GMO and then people would know.

      • hyperzombie

        people would be a little freaked out

        I bet people would be more freaked out by a Grown in animal Feces label on their favorite Organic veggies. Label shouldn’t freak anyone out, they should just provide useful info.

        • Kate

          I think labeling GMO is useful info as some people do not want to eat GMO foods. I was saying people would be freaked out NOT by the label itself but by recognizing the extent to which GMOs have been integrated into main stream food supply. Which in and of itself could be considered useful info. I think the “food grown in animal feces” tag is better suited for factory farmed eggs & meat., which should probably freak us all out anyway.

          • hyperzombie

            I think labeling GMO is useful info as some people do not want to eat GMO foods.

            Why, what is the problem with GMOs? Sorry. lets strart over.
            I have heard people complain about GMOs for years, and these are most of the major issues.
            Transgenic

            More herbicide
            BT toxin in crops
            Corporate control
            harm farmers

            But a GMO label will not tell you if any of these issues are true or not. It is a misleading label.

            For instance, if I was against extra herbicide on my foods and avoided GMOs, i would be exposing myself to even more, and more harmful herbicides.

            Or if I was against Corporate control and avoided GMOs, I may be avoiding university developed crops and buying crops from even larger corps.

            That is why I think a GMO label is stupid.

          • Kate

            Honestly I have no issue with GMOs aside from the fact that they patent a product they are legally able to sue over yet somehow are also able to refuse to disclose the specifically patented trademarked I can sue you for looking at this product on a label by stating it is no different than any other product. It’s cheating . You can’t slip products in and then defend not talking about them because the public is too dumb to understand and therefore refuse to accept scientific progress so they might boycott your product in this thread mentioned corporations like UniLever using GMOs in their products but throwing money to fight legislation that would require disclosure is nothing more than sleeping with someone you wouldn’t acknowledge at breakfast. Either face public scrutiny and pass or face public scrutiny and fail and try again later but don’t secretly feed people items produced in a manner that allows for reasonable scrutiny to dodge the potential public scrutiny and then after dodging the scrutiny holler about how the public you have refused to face head on are too ignorant to understand you . That’s my issue with the lack of transparency and the resistance after transparency from decent numbers has been requested .

          • hyperzombie

            Most Organic farmers use Patented seeds as well, Farmers want the best genome,irregardless of patents,
            There are far more patents non non gmos than Gmos

          • hyperzombie

            City people?????? know nothing about farming .yet they know how to do it better, Unreal

        • nj_v2

          ^ Strawman argument

          Animal manures are used in both organic and conventional growing.

          The difference is that organic protocol carefully regulates how manure is used.

          • hyperzombie

            Animal manures are used in both organic and conventional growing.

            True , but it is used far more in Organic farming.

            The difference is that organic protocol carefully regulates how manure is used.

            Tell that to the 36 people in Europe that got E Coli poisoning or the 6 in California that got E Coli from organic spinach, OOps you can’t because they are DEAD.
            Just go to foodsafe.gov and look at the food recalls, the only one for E Coli or Samonella right now is…….You guessed it. Organic.

          • nj_v2

            More strawmanning and cherry picking.

            Federal food inspection protocol applies to all foods, conventional and organic.

            Many more contamination incidents occur in conventional foods, despite your cherry picking.

            Contamination has nothing to do with organic protocol, which strictly controls the use of animal manures.

  • HonestDebate1

    First the strawberries got bigger but they had no flavor. Still, how do you not like a big strawberry? Then they got juicy. Now I get big fat juicy strawberries bursting with flavor that are hearty enough to make it cross-country to my corner grocer in their succulent prime just for me. What’s not to like?

    • Minky

      Yes, what is not to like. I have had these so called big, juicy strawberries. The last ones I got at Walmart never changed for a week. Looked exactly the same. Creepy. They had a weird exterior that felt like plastic. No taste. Now the local strawberries are in where I live. Fabulous! Sweet, juicy, real strawberries. Not those weird huge mutants.

      • HonestDebate1

        But sometimes those weird huge mutants find the flavor gene and shazaam! I’ve seen it happen… even from Walmart.

        • Minky

          Then you have never had a real strawberry. Each and every July strawberry here is delicious. I have never had such a berry from Walmart. Ever.

    • jefe68

      I prefer the local ones that are in season this time of year.
      Smaller, and the taste puts those Cali berries to shame.

      The same with tomatoes. I never by them in the store anymore. I grow them in the summer and when they are done, I make a few jars of sauce to hold me over the winter an that’s that.

    • nj_v2

      “What’s not to like?”

      I’ll take Mindless Trolling for $600, Alex.

      http://flastrawberry.com/news/genetically-modified-organisms-explained/

      [[ According to Dr. Vance Whitaker, Assistant Professor of Strawberry Breeding and Genetics at the University of Florida, “There are no genetically modified strawberries on the market – not just in the U.S., but in the world.”

      “All strawberry varieties grown commercially in the U.S. were bred through traditional hybridization and selection,” says Dr. Whitaker. ]]

      • Kevin Folta

        Yup. My buddy Vance. He has new varieties in line that are amazing.

        • jefe68

          Now if you guys can only crack the tomato…

      • HonestDebate1

        Yea, that too. Yum yum.

    • larm007

      Strawberries aren’t GM.

    • Kevin Folta

      There are no GMO strawberries. What you see came from conventional breeding. Strawberries are fragile fruits naturally. 50 years of breeding for yield, size and disease resistance neglected flavors.

      Going forward that’s changing. My lab has identified genes associated with better flavors and we’re breeding those back into elite lines. You’ll see better flavors soon.

      • HonestDebate1

        You mean they’re going to get even better?

        • Kevin Folta

          We just nailed the gene that contributes a peachy note to berries and we’re making progress on many more. Now if we can just get them all in the same background… luckily breeders get to do that.

  • Leonard Huber

    The show was great today! I only get to listen once in a while, and I’m always amazed by Tom’s ability to summarize each phone call in a few choice colorful words. This wasn’t mentioned when I was listening as a reason for the Vermont law, but it’s a big one–people don’t trust Monsanto or its spokesmen. For example, the pro-GMO people insisted that there was no such thing as GMO wheat and made it laughable that anyone would have concerns about GMO wheat. Yet here’s an article from the New York Daily News about accidental contamination from Monsanto’s experimental GMO wheat: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/monsanto-sued-farmer-gmo-wheat-article-1.1363332
    The pro-GMO spokes people were being disingenuous at best in denying the existence of GMO wheat. And that’s why we don’t trust Monsanto or anything they say.

    • Ray E.

      Maybe you should trust the folks tasked by the people, or does your conspiracy theory include the USDA?

      >>As of today, USDA has neither found nor been informed of anything that would indicate that this incident amounts to more than a single isolated incident in a single field on a single farm. All information collected so far shows no indication of the presence of GE wheat in commerce.<<

      http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2013/06/0127.xml

      • Leonard Huber

        The point is not that there’s a GMO wheat concern. It’s that the experts virtually ridiculed the caller, saying there’s no such thing as GMO wheat, when they knew full well that there was GMO wheat in the lab and it had been accidentally released on (at least) one occasion. That’s why people don’t trust them.

    • David Brown

      Ummmm there is no commercial GMO wheat. Monsanto experimented a decade ago but nothing came of it.

  • Kevin Folta

    These products are approved by the FDA, EPA and USDA. Each one of these bodies examines the claims made and the molecular mechanisms behind each trait. They then decide a slate of experiments that have to be conducted at company expense to satisfy regulators. They are tested exhaustively for food safety and environmental impacts, along with invasive potential, etc.

    There is no rubber stamp. The process takes 5-20 years and costs tens of millions of dollars.

  • Kevin Folta

    Guthrie, that’s an interesting point. Here’s the difference.

    Pharmaceuticals are produced because they have a clear role or target in the body. They are designed on purpose because they affect human physiology or biochemistry. That’s why there are side effects and that’s why there are so many precautions.

    On the other hand, the Bt protein (used as an insecticide) is harmless to humans- it is even used on organic crops. The Roundup Ready trait is a bacterial version of the EPSPS enzyme, the same one the plant has, just a little different in that it is not inhibited by the herbicide.

    It is easy to test both proteins for human interaction, and neither has shown any evidence of effects. Easy!

  • Trilln451

    Looks like Monsanto is able to claim they don’t sue farmers with contaminated crops by having the Public Patent Foundation do it for them:

    http://www.rodalenews.com/research-feed/organic-vs-monsanto-organic-farmers-lose-right-protect-crops

    • First Officer

      Oh, is this the latest spin on the court case thrown out by the Supreme Court? The, “I’m gonna sue you to stop you suing me even though you didn’t”, suit .

      • Kevin Folta

        I was going to sue them too so that they don’t sue me. In case they ever wanted to sue me.

        Imagine if we did this with every company… !

  • Trilln451

    My own concern about genetically-modified crops is unintended consequences. For instance, it’s considered good practice to give antibiotics to all animals that are raised for food – but now we have antibiotic-resistant bacteria. DDT was considered to be an excellent way to kill mosquitoes, till we found out it accumulated as it went up the food chain.

    • First Officer

      It’s still an excellent way to kill mosquitoes,and bedbugs too. The problem was we sprayed everything in site to kill crop pests which led to chronic exposure to birds.

  • jefe68

    shhhh…. be bery bery quiet, I’m hunting wabbits…
    heheheh…

  • NoToGMOs

    I wish Onpoint had got a pro-labeling scientist on the show who could have explained the scientific and health concerns associated with herbicide resistant and insecticide-producing GMOs that make up more than 99% of all currently cultivated GMO crops today.

    • Kevin Folta

      Like who? Maybe suggest them here. I’d be thrilled to be on the program again with any of them. Would any of them go on a show with a scientist that knows the scholarly literature inside and out?

      • Beth

        I’d like to nominate Ricardo Salvador :)

        • Kevin Folta

          Good one!

          • FearlessMo

            The Union of Concerned Scientists is anti-GMO. Yet I’m sure you would never accuse them of “trying to push their fears onto their peers,” as you do ordinary folk who happen to be anti-GMO.

          • Kevin Folta

            Fearless, they are changing, I think. Their position was anti-GMO, which was clearly against the scientific consensus. Their climate positions were quite consistent with the scientific consensus. It was a strange situation.

            I think they are absolutely moving to more of neutral position as they realize that they were wrong. They focus on the few limitations of the technology and that’s fine, we all know it is not perfect.

            Doug Gullian-Sherman quit recently (or is no longer with them…). Maybe it has something to do with their stance.

          • Ray E.

            UCS seems to have trouble talking plainly, from my reading of this article:

            http://www.biofortified.org/2013/09/the-union-of-concerned-scientists-and-scientific-consensus/

          • FearlessMo

            The fact that “You think” a thing does not make it so.
            As one of their supporters I will watch closely for any change in mission. I doubt there will be one.

          • hyperzombie

            The UCS profits from fear, they will never abandon their anti GMO campaign. After Fukushima they were prostituting themselves and I lost all respect for them. Yeah, even the tiniest amount of radiation can cause cancer, yeah right.

          • Kevin Folta

            It would be really great if you had a scientists actively engaged in publishing and research. Hansen and UCS scientists are from NGOs- their paychecks come from defending bad science.

            The challenge will be to find an actual research scientist. Good luck with that.

          • FearlessMo

            Many links to excellent research have been provided here. Please take the time to read them. I’m sure most are NGOs. It’s Government, and it’s appetite for funds, that’s attached itself to bad science.

        • Kevin Folta

          And keep in mind that not one of the suggestions offered so far is a practicing research scientist. Not one. They make a living with NGOs or just out on the circuit selling books and giving talks.

          Anyone actively in science research?

          • NoToGMOs

            Seralini, Carmen or Seneff?

          • Kevin Folta

            Okay, first Seneff is not an active research scientist. She is a computer scientist that has claimed (I will post soon) to have a laboratory that confirms the link between glyphosate and autism.

            Oh, Google is not a “laboratory” and citing crazy websites is not “research”.

            Seralini- I reached out to him and legitimately wanted him to participate in the Hoffstra debate last year. I really, really, really wanted him and Jeff Smith to show. I was excited to debate them.

            First Seralini cancelled and then Smith. Worse, Seralini didn’t just send his regrets, we said I was not worth debating because “I was not a toxicologist”.

            I really wanted to have a public appearance with him. I wanted him to lock horns with science- he declined, and was one of the most unpleasant personalities I had to deal with.

            A few weeks later he released his anti-GMO movie and book. Cha-chng!!! Did you buy a copy? Do you think he’s a “shill” for Big Anti?

            Carmen? (I think it is “Cardman”) I guess if publishing in a marginal online journal counts then she might be the only one left standing to debate on this issue.

            Sure, I’d love to discuss science with her, especially her work. If you can arrange that I’d be FOREVER grateful. Can we do it on Google Hangouts or some other visible place?

            I have a lot of questions about experimental design and “binning” data.

            You can tell her that up front. With that, she will not be interested in a debate.

            That’s the point, these folks publish in irrelevant journals that impress only a few non-scientific minds who’s viewpoints are confirmed by, well, crap.

            I’m good to go. Seralini or Carmen? Glad to discuss. An-Nee-time. Let’s do it in a big, clear place with plenty of visibility.

            Just let me know. Kevin

          • NoToGMOs

            Umm, you are missing the point, again!

            The point of bringing these scientists on to the show is NOT to debate you so that you can show off your amazing skills as a PR spin master, but rather to explain to the lay public about the science behind GMOs and their safety (or lack of) to human/animal health, which in turn determines whether they should be labeled or not.

            You need to stop moving goalposts. First you said you wanted scientists who publish research papers. When I gave you that, you said they need to be currently publishing. When I give you that, you say one is a computer scientist and doesn’t count, you don’t like a paper published by the second one and that the journal the third scientist published in is not up to your standards.
            Really??

      • FearlessMo

        Michael Hansen, Ph.D.
        Senior Scientist, Consumers Union

        • Kevin Folta

          Michael is a nice guy in person, but he’s a classic Gish Galluper that is not very good in a discussion in such forums. He goes flying off into rants that are not relevant to the question asked and really exploits time. Check out my debate with him at Hofstra. He’s a smart guy with an agenda, so he carefully chooses words to build the perception he wants, even if they aren’t exactly true.

          • Ray E.

            Here’s an article with a link to the debate for those who want to see the results of a Folta/Hansen discussion.

            http://www.biofortified.org/2013/12/science-versus-fear-mongering-at-hofstra-gmo-debate/

          • M. Elaine

            Link to debate on youtube: http://youtu.be/qEzfyhJYr0s

          • FearlessMo

            At the Hearing on GMO Labeling in Hartford, Ct., Michael used truthful information against GMOs that convinced the legislators and he had references and research to back up his arguments. Monsanto’s representative had no references or research to back up Monsanto’s claim.
            The Hofstra debate was a hash job by pro-GMO shills, including yourself, with no verifiable arguments to present. Michael was probably a breath of fresh air to those with some knowledge of the research.

          • Kevin Folta

            Sure. Anyone that does two seconds of research will reject your characterization of me as a “pro GMO shill”. I’m not “pro GMO”. I’m a scientist. I’m pro-science. Period.

            Hansen makes a living with his rhetoric. I don’t. Never made a penny talking about this topic. I do it because I want technology to be available to those that need it, especially those in the developing world and the environment, as well as the farmers here.

            Period.

          • FearlessMo

            Technology is fine when it doesn’t negatively impact a live thing.

            I think because of the minute detail involved in research, many Scientist find it difficult to stand back and look at the big picture of what has happened since ge-crops were introduced into the food system.

            Here is a link you should read: “GMO Myths and Truths,” by John Fagan PhD, a molecular Biologist who actually returned $600,000 in grant money to protest the rampant experimentation with gene engineering. Also by Michael Antoniou PhD, reader in motecular genetics and head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group, Kings College and research dir. at EOS, and lastly Claire Robinson, MPhil: GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf

            I also recommend you read this research on the causes of complex diseases “by tiny changes in hundreds of gene switches,” that result from gene manipulations:
            far-from-junk-dna-dark-matter-proves-crucial-to-health.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20120906&_r=0
            These scientists’ interests are similar those of Michael Hansen.

    • Beth

      Thank you!

    • donny_t

      if they got someone like Mike Adams, he would blow them out of the water.

    • nj_v2

      These folks, maybe:

      John Fagan, PhD Michael Antoniou, PhD Claire Robinson, MPhil

      (http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf)

      • David Brown

        Those folks don’t debate scientists. They make their marketing pitch directly to the anti-GMO crowd where pseudo science isn’t going to be challenged.

        Look Beyond the Scientific Veneer of a GMO Report

        In actuality, it’s an extended Gish Gallop that twists science in the most cynical fashion to advance an ideological agenda. If the writers of this report were smarter–if they weren’t so blinded by their own biases–they would have tried to give it an even greater sheen of credibility by not stacking the deck the way they did.

        http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2012/06/20/look-beyond-the-scientific-veneer-of-a-gmo-report/#.U71R__mIBEE

        • NoToGMOs

          ^^^Projection: one of the many tools in the Spin and PR toolbox used by the pro-GMO industry employees/supporters.

          Those folks don’t debate scientists.

          If you didn’t notice, those folks are scientists…..

          • David Brown

            John Fagan left science about 30 years ago and no preaches Vedic Engineering approaches to agriculture. He is also the founder of a multinational food testing corporation that stands to make a lot of money with labeling. Michael Antoniou has moved from science to activism. Claire Robinson is not a scientist.

            More importantly, they aren’t making their argument to scientists. The report was not in any way peer reviewed. They use their industry funded website to bypass the scientific community and pursue an activist agenda. Just because someone has scientific credentials doesn’t mean they are practicing science.

          • Kevin Folta

            None of them have active research programs and none are publishing peer-reviewed science (except for the occasional crackpot review).

            Here’s my record: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kIh3BRwAAAAJ&hl=en

            I’ll put my last 10 years against any of theirs!

        • nj_v2

          You keep posting that as if there’s something of substance there.

      • NoToGMOs

        Yep, and add these folks to the list too:

        Dr Doug Gurian-Sherman of the UCS

        Prof. Don Huber of Perdue Univ.

        Dr. Thierry Vrain, former genetic engineer and soil biologist with Agriculture Canada

        Dr. Melinda Martineau, developer of the world’s first GE whole food: the Flavr Savr tomato

        Dr. David Suzuki, Geneticist

        and many, many more especially from this list of scientists who signed this open letter to all governments regarding their concerns about GMOs:

        http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

        • Kevin Folta

          What’s really funny about this list– NOT ONE of the people you mention is actually doing publishable peer-reviewed research. Not one. Can you find one?

          These are all well-paid activists and NGO participants.

          Gurian-Sherman is not too anti GM these days. Huber has his secret organism that he talks about and how it kills livestock, plants and people- yet the CDC and Purdue deny any knowledge of it. I also offered to sequence the DNA from it in November, but now he says it has no DNA, when on Genetic Roulette he says they are sequnencing the DNA…

          Vrain? To his credit he has debated scientists and is embarrassed every time.

          Suzuki? He sits around and collects checks and makes comments. He’d never debate a scientist on this issue.

          Many more? Is there one that is actively publishing in peer-reviewed science, or are they all just profiting from promoting fear?

          • NoToGMOs

            What’s really funny is the fact that you are either completely missing the point or throwing out a red herring. Currently doing publishable research is NOT a criteria to come on a public talk show and explain the science behind the safety (or lack of safety) of GMOs, as you very cleverly seem to imply.

            All that the public needs is for a scientist to come on the show, who has relevant(note that word!) education, background and experience related to GMOs and their safety to human and animal health which, in turn is directly related to GMO labeling.

            The people I mentioned have published papers previously (much more relevant to the topic at hand than what you have published) and their experience and credentials are way more relevant to this topic than yours. Are you seriously calling yourself more of an expert in genetic engineering than Belinda Martineau who actually developed the world’s first GE whole food?!

            How in the world are all those papers about strawberries that you publish, actually relevant to GMO corn, soybeans, canola, alfalfa, sugar beets etc. that are the currently grown GMO crops?? What research have you done on these crops?

            How is your research relevant to the issue of GMOs affecting human or animal health? You are a plant scientist, not a medical doctor or one with any expertise in any field related to human/animal health like toxicology or animal biochemistry.

            As for trying to paint all these reputable scientists as ‘anti-GMO activists’, have you considered what you, yourself are? You are nothing but a pro-GMO activist (yes, two can play that game).

            Yes, there are many more scientists in that list, if you bothered to look. I could also mention Seralini (we might need a translator for him, lol), Judy Carmen, Ignatio Chapela, even Arpad Pusztai, all of whom are extremely well-qualified scientists with years of relevant experience who not only could explain the science of GMOs, but (we may need a separate hour for this!) also how they and their research were hounded and attacked by the Biotech industry and the politicians and regulatory bodies in their pockets….all because they dared reveal anything negative about GMOs!

          • Neil

            Suzuki has engaged scientists on this issue and when he does he backs from his anti-GM stance. In a Q&A on Australian TV last year he was faced with questions from his scientific peers/superiors and he had to admit that the GM strains they were working on sounded like a good use of the technology (starts at 37:54 below)

            http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3841115.htm

            Of course, those comments don’t get widely publicized.

  • Scott B

    There are too many that “forget” that there’s a reason big business has shown again and again that it can’t be trusted to regulate itself. Just look at the banking debacle that took down the economies of the world because they said that regulation was harming them and the public, and that they knew best how to govern themselves and protect the public, and that what happened could never happen. Yet it did.

    In the early part of the 20th century, the CEO of Sears & Roebuck got to wondering what was in the various health concoctions they were selling in the catalog, and set up testing labs, and found that much of what was being sold as vitamins, tonics, cosmetics, et al, was, indeed, snake-oil at best and at worst, outright poison.
    Look at the recent incidents coming out of China, and to our shores in quite a few cases, with everything from lead and heavy metals to known carcinogens being used in toys; and chemicals like melamine being used in baby formula because it made it test as having a higher protein level.

    This is what those of you would have, still and again, if not for the “meddling” of the government and the FDA, etc.

  • Scott B

    No, I am not confusing them. It’s two sides of the same coin. One happens to be done in the field, and takes longer, but it’s still deliberately, if not slowly, modifying a plant to do what we want it to.
    There are lots of plants that have their own built in resistance to pests and other plights, and man’s taken advantage of that for centuries. But man’s now growing plants with resistance to specific herbicides and pesticides that was done in the lab, and that’s the ick-factor for me. It’s like, “Here, have a big bite of bug-killer”.

  • SBreyak

    For the first time since this show began, I was really disappointed in Tom Ashbrook’s handling of the conversation. Usually it’s only when guest hosts appear that one feels that the moderator attacking a side or putting on a soft show. Especially on political issues, Tom is usually balanced and willing to give the point to those he disagrees with if they have sound reasoning, find the kernel of truth in layman opinions, and simply be the voice of reason or at least allow his panel to do so. Today though, quackery and science were treated as equally valid. And even though caller Sen. Zuckerman was given plenty of time to pitch the strength of this bill with many assumptions, very little was said about how much he himself will benefit from it’s passage as an organic farmer.

    The deeper question is though, why is this necessary? The GMO-free label is valuable to those selling organic products (and will certainly continue to be) and those that find this issue important to them will look for that label. This seems to be less about people trying protect their families and more about trying to push their fears onto their peers.

    • FearlessMo

      But maybe GMo labeling will be helpful to someone who discovered through elimination of known GE ingredients from his diet that his intestinal problems went away.

      • Kevin Folta

        If that was true he should go prove it clinically. The scientist that demonstrates that 70% of food causes illness will get a Nobel Prize. There are many people that make this claim, but there is absolutely no evidence that it is true. There is no way the Bt protein or the bacterial EPSPS enzyme cause such situations. That’s been well studied.

        • Bonnie Wright

          That has been well studied … by people who stand to benefit from studies that support biotech. Amongst those are Dr. Kevin Folta, who researches “functional genomics of small fruit crops, Plant transformation, Photomorphogenesis and flowering, Genetic basis of flavors … and who wrote this comment. Certainly knowledgeable. Definitely not non-biased.

          There is NO evidence that GE foods are safe. It’s the unknown unknowns we need more information about, and which is withheld from non-biased scientists and the public.

          • Ray E.

            Calling a public scientist, funded by public dollars a shill for Biotech shows a total lack of critical thinking.

            The way the system works, Dr. Folta would stand to gain far more professionally were he to discover something unsafe about it.

            For anyone to accept what you have written, you’d have to believe all these worldwide organizations are lying to you, along with the USDA, FDA, and EPA.

            Seems a bit farfetched, to me.

            http://sleuth4health.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/is-gm-food-safe-experts-around-the-globe-answer/

          • Kevin Folta

            … and my department has several of the best organic and sustainable scientists on the planet. I support their programs, their students, and fund their objectives. They get more money from organic ag sources than I get from Monsanto ($0.00).

            So is all of the beautiful organic work from my department garbage? I don’t think so. Curious what you think. It is industry funded in many cases. Should we close down those programs?

          • David Brown

            Bonnie Wright, do you mean to say that anyone who studies biotechnology is inherently biased? So we need to get our science on biotechnology from sociologists?

          • Kevin Folta

            Bonnie, it really unfortunate that you would impeach the credibility of a public scientist that has a long record of uncontested findings– especially in areas that support traditional breeding. That’s what I do.

            The only reason that you sense “unknowns” is because you don’t understand them. This technology has been shown to be no more risky than conventional breeding, even safer. That is not a question.

            I’m always glad to connect and answer any of your questions. This technology is good and can be very helpful. Just reach out if you have any questions!!

          • trevorkidd

            Bonnie, while new information is always helpful, what we really need is for people to stop ignoring all the research, evidence, and information that is out there right now which doesn’t support the position their ideology influenced them to hold.

            The following link shows a chart of the evidence based positions of major scientific organizations on both climate change and gmos.

            http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/07/08/climate-change-vs-gmos-comparing-the-independent-global-scientific-consensus/

        • Susan

          My now deceased dog had a severe allergic reaction from Bti sold as granules or donuts to keep mosquitoes from breeding, and that was not genetically engineered to be in food unlike the Bt in corn and cotton seeds. If animals can have severe reactions just by lying on the ground, imagine what our bodies can have eating a plant where every cell of it carries the new dna. Genetically engineered crops and the herbicides they use are systemic in the environment, in the plants, and in our bodies.

          And there are myriad peer reviewed scientific studies showing the health damage caused by these significant different genetically engineered crops around the world.
          http://www.gmoevidence.com/

          • Kevin Folta

            Susan, sorry about your dog. That’s awful. Unfortunately I don’t find any evidence that Bt works on mosquitoes. What was in that pesticide? Bt has never been used to target mosquitoes.

            Bt has been used safely on organic crops for decades. There is absolutely no evdence that it is harmful to mammals.

            The webiste you provide is a really sad one. Cherry picked data, support of the Seralni report– they are trying, and succeeding to fool you. I’m really glad to talk to you about any of the materials on that site. I know them all. Just send an email or give me a call.

            Once you understand the science, and how they are manipulating you with emotion, you’ll be really upset with them and reject their nonsense. I’m here and glad to discuss. kevin

        • FearlessMo

          These are lay women and men who cannot get answers from their doctors for digestive problems. They realize doctors are not familiar with these new digestive problems, and considering the current adulterations of America’s food, conclude that cause may be the food they eat. Many times it is. Their testimony is where truth lies Mr. Folta,
          not with Industry claims.

    • Kevin Folta

      I was glad to participate and appreciated everyone’s straightforward answers. The Senator was a disappointment. He has no idea about the science. He claimed that there is evidence of harm- there is not. He claims labels won’t increase costs- not sure who will test, enforce, litigate, etc for free. He made other claims that were not consistent with science.

      This whole bill will be looked back on as an embarrassment that defied science and reason.

      Will Vermont cheese be labeled GMO? I’m sure they use chymosin from a recombinant source. Or is Vermont cheese exempt…

      • IMHere2C

        Attempting to discrediting someone because he ‘has no idea about the science’ or because you claim there is no evidence of harm (of GMOs) are a slippery set of statements. Scientists and their opinions, studies, and conclusions are not infallible yours included. No doubt you have been able to debunk ‘scientific’ claims that there may be harm to GMOs. But then you’re in the business of being pro-biotech. Well there are scientists and researchers who have other claims. Here’s one ….so debunk away:
        http://www.greenmedinfo.com/blog/lethality-roundup-weedkiller-may-extend-beyond-plants-humans-study-shows

        • trevorkidd

          Seneff’s paper is complete gibberish.

          I would actually be a little annoyed if Folta spent valuable time trying to decipher the nonsense.

          He made a twitter comment or two

          Except it’s “not a study,” as plant geneticist Kevin Folta noted on Twitter, and “no data was presented.”

          here:

          http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2013/04/26/when-media-uncritically-cover-pseudoscience/#.U72C1fldUwo

          Another one her “studies” was taken apart here:

          http://scienceblogs.com/insolence/2012/11/20/dumpster-diving-in-the-vaers-database-again/

          • IMHere2C

            OK – debunked !

        • Kevin Folta

          I’m not in the “business of being pro-biotech”. I promote as much organic as I do biotech in a state that has almost no biotech acreage.

          I do not have an opinion. I have a synthesis based on evidence. I’m glad to discuss that, and glad to learn how I am wrong. Evidence please?

          The senator as a joke. He’s an organic farmer that stands to profit from labeling and the fear landslide that will follow. I have no financial gain in this discussion.

          This is about education. I’m very happy to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of this technology. Just ask.

          • IMHere2C

            Thanks for pointing out the Senator’s other business connections.
            I will ask but it’s quite a process of sifting through both sides of the questions. I’m learning.

  • Jonnie

    So funny the stupid wymon shrieking hysterically about genetically modified wheat causing all sorts of health problem, celiac disease, etc.; and the moderator’s and guests’ response: There is no genetically modified wheat in the US food supply.

    Anti-business and anti-science idiots…drop dead why don’t you!

  • StilllHere

    It was a good move by On Point to have a scientist on for once. It’s tiresome hearing a journalist repeat the same thing over and over after only two weeks of acquiring familiarity with a subject.

    • IMHere2C

      Yes, the Bloomberg guy was a parrot for Monsanto. Another scientist from the other side would have balanced the program.

      • David Brown

        Unfortunately, there aren’t many practicing scientists on the other side. Sort of like the climate change debate: very hot politically, but an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community.

        • Kevin Folta

          You cannot find a practicing scientist, that is publishing research, that will oppose GMO. I was amazed at the wonderful feedback I received today from at least 100 colleagues across the nation that love NPR but hate the mindless capitulation to the anti-GM angle.

          You can find a few trained scientists working for UCS or other NGOs that argue against GMO. Their careers depend on it.

  • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

    Labeling is really a no brainer. There is too much generalization that goes unchallenged when discussing GMOs. http://ecoevolution.org/ecoblog/gmos-cant-be-safe

    • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

      To elaborate a bit more, Genetic modification is a technique, not a product, so there can be no blanket statements about the safety or lack thereof of the products. Additionally, past performance and use does not indicate future safety of DIFFERENT genetically modified products, (recombined or reformulated as well.) Saying things like “GMO products have been on the market for 18 years so they are safe” is nonsensical; it’s the equivalent of saying “We’ve owned a Chevy for years, every Chevy is safe.” One model, one year may have worked out, but they are constantly tweaking the features, form and technology, so your 1974 Nova has about as much in common with a 2014 Fusion as a Primate has with a human.

      ” A single specific technique may be safe -inserting a gene into rice to have it produce beta carotene for example, but another, like inserting genes in a plant to cause it to produce pharmaceuticals, may not. Contrary to the Safety argument, there are countless recombinations possible and they are not limited to just food production, so it is simply not possible to make a blanket statement about the “safety” of creating Genetically Modified Organisms. To ask if Genetically Modified Organisms are safe is the same as asking if chemistry is safe; the answer is… it all depends on what you are doing.”

      • NoToGMOs

        Totally agree with you. I would even go a step further and say each transformation event needs to be separately tested with regards to human and animal safety.

        • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

          When you reframe the issue using the chemical industry as the model of business, you start to see the inherent problems with lowering the bar of scrutiny on Genetic Modification and the products created.

          There ARE safeguards in place, though I would like to see a more in-depth discussion of how those safeguards work where the rubber hits the road. if the regulation of the chemical industry is any indication, we should be very concerned about how this technology will be introduced into the environment.

  • stephenreal

    Black listing American products is stupid.

  • stephenreal

    Oranically grown is good. GMO’s are bad. Now that is blackilisting at it’s simplest form.

  • Ray E.

    An interesting article that may allay many of the concerns about the technology:

    >>As I’ve learned more, and gained what I think is a pretty firm handle on the issue, it’s become harder to see the other side’s viewpoint. As you work through the objections to GMOs, there is just so little there. If it’s not outright misinformation, it’s a critique of industrial or large scale farming, agribusiness or agriculture itself that is being projected onto GMOs.<<

    http://www.skeptiforum.org/marc-brazeaus-500-words-when-the-food-movement-does-not-move/

  • stephenreal

    Mutagenesis crops zap by radiation has been going on for decades. From 1930–2007 more than 2540 mutagenic plant varietals have been released[1] that have been derived either as direct mutants (70%) or from their progeny (30%).[2] Crop plants account for 75% of released mutagenic species with the remaining 25% ornamentals or decorative plants.

  • stephenreal

    75% of all organic varieties planted today have been zapped by radiation since 1930. People are incredibly stupid.

    • nj_v2

      What’s an “organic variety”?

      • stephenreal

        Anything labeled so-called “organically grown” has been shot with radiation with the likely hold of 75% to 99%. Radiation breeding has been going on for almost a hundred years now.

        • nj_v2

          Citation?

          • David Brown
          • trevorkidd

            From the article: “Any GMO on the market today is safer than anything that hasn’t gone through that safety regulatory step.” McHughen, National Academy of Sciences.

            Very true.

          • David Brown

            But I, too, would like to see the reference for the specific number of varietals. The numbers seem quite reasonable since this has been a standard (if inefficient) tool from the 1950s to today.

          • hyperzombie

            I dont want to get stuck in moderation, just Google FAO mutagenic database for your answer.

            Ps almost all the cool new cherry tomatoes are MUTANTS, but so tasty.

          • Kevin Folta

            Stephen, I don’t feel very confident in those numbers. It depends on the crop. Certainly some have been through mutation breeding, but not many.

            Does it matter? Plants grown in organic cultivation show thousands of gene expression change, most never seen in nature, and certainly never tested for long-term effects.

            Should we care? Nah. Not really. Anything trying to farm with less impact is good for me. Including GMO.

  • stephenreal

    Radiation breeding was discovered in the 1920s when Lewis Stadler of the University of Missouri used X-rays on barley seeds. The resulting plants were white, yellow, pale yellow and some had white stripes.[5] During the period 1930–2004 Gamma rays were employed to develop 64% of the radiation-induced mutant varieties, followed by X-rays (22%)

  • stephenreal

    Over 2,500 crops have been created by using mutagenesis radiation seed process, including a premium barley used in Scotch whisky and disease-resistant cocoa in Guinean chocolate.

  • stephenreal

    How’s that working out for the dumb dumbs in Vermont?

  • stephenreal

    You can’t get away from it. Science is here to stay Luddites.

  • nj_v2

    http://www.salon.com/2013/06/27/study_monsanto_gmo_food_claims_probably_false_partner/

    THURSDAY, JUN 27, 2013 08:25 AM EDT

    Study: Monsanto GMO food claims probably false

    New research reveals that plant breeding, not genetic engineering, is responsible for yield increases in US crops

    JILL RICHARDSON, ALTERNET

    Oops. The World Food Prize committee’s got a bit of egg on its face—genetically engineered egg. They just awarded the World Food Prize to three scientists, including one from Syngenta and one from Monsanto, who invented genetic engineering because, they say, the technology increases crop yields and decreases pesticide use. (Perhaps not coincidentally, Monsanto and Syngenta are major sponsors of the World Food Prize, along with a third biotech giant, Dupont Pioneer.)

    Monsanto makes the same case on its website, saying, “Since the advent of biotechnology, there have been a number of claims from anti-biotechnology activists that genetically modified (GM) crops don’t increase yields. Some have claimed that GM crops actually have lower yields than non-GM crops… GM crops generally have higher yields due to both breeding and biotechnology.”

    But that’s not actually the case. A new peer-reviewed study published in the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability examined those claims and found that conventional plant breeding, not genetic engineering, is responsible for yield increases in major U.S. crops. Additionally, GM crops, also known as genetically engineered (GE) crops, can’t even take credit for reductions in pesticide use. The study’s lead author, Jack Heinemann, is not an anti-biotechnology activist, as Monsanto might want you to believe. “I’m a genetic engineer. But there is a different between being a genetic engineer and selling a product that is genetically engineered,” he states.…

  • stephenreal

    Like Jack Heinemann agrees that most plants have already gone thru mutagenesis radiation seed process. it’s a no brainer.

  • stephenreal

    Gene “silencing” means what the name implies: Shutting down the activity of a gene so that it stops making its gene product. Of course, gene silencing is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon. Like other forms of gene regulation, silencing happens on a continuum from zero to complete silencing, depending on the level and activity of the silencing agent. In this case, the silencing agent that is being turned into the bogeyman du jour is RNA

  • stephenreal

    So what’s the problem? Heinemann and Carman are apparently worried that the siRNA that will be used to silence two genes in wheat called SEI and SEII. Heinemann apparently did an analysis based on the sequence of the SEI and SEII genes, comparing them against the human genome and looking for matches.

  • stephenreal

    Of course, the problem with Dr. Heinemann’s highly speculative analysis is that he didn’t know the actual siRNA sequences that were going to be used. Without that information his analysis was pretty pointless. At the very best, it was highly speculative. At the worst, it was ideologically and politically motivated.

  • stephenreal

    Hysteria of the like generated by the likes of Jack Heinemann and Judy Carman and parroted by useful idiots like Heidi Stevenson generate heat, but no light. Nor does the latest round of attempts to generate hysterical fear mongering based on Carman’s latest study. Both Heinemann’s speculations and Carman’s most recent bit of data mining are of a piece. They are not designed to provide a dispassionate analysis of the true potential risks and benefits of GMOs. They are designed to be propaganda to produce fear, uncertainty, and doubt about GMOs, just like Andrew Wakefield’s studies about the MMR vaccine, just like Mark and David Geier’s studies of thimerosal in vaccines, just like the studies of any variety of antivaccine cranks.

  • stephenreal

    I love how compares the intellectually reeetarded as “vaccine cranks”.

  • stephenreal

    Now that’s funny stuff Vermont. Vaccine cranks!

  • stephenreal

    Let’s not ask the people of Vermont for investment choices. Maybe to shake a stick, bogey man style, or something they can handle up there.

  • nj_v2

    Best evidence-based critique i’ve seen of GMO technology as it is used in food-crop production:

    http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and_Truths_1.3b.pdf

    GMO Myths and Truths

    An evidence-based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops and foods

    John Fagan, PhD Michael Antoniou, PhD Claire Robinson, MPhil

    2nd edition, Version 1.0

    From the Introduction:

    We began work on GMO Myths and Truths in 2010, prompted by frequent claims that the case against genetically modifying our food supply had no science behind it. As we had followed the scientific debate and evidence on genetically modified (GM) crops and foods since the early 1990s, we knew that this was untrue.

    Another driving factor was the inflated claims that were being made for GM crops. The public was being told that they would make agriculture more sustainable, provide higher yields to feed the world’s growing population, reduce pesticide use, help meet the challenges of climate change, provide more nutritious foods, and make farming easier and more profitable.

    We knew that these claims were at best questionable and at worst false. GM had not provided a single crop that had sustainably delivered these benefits. On the contrary, a considerable and growing body of scientific evidence pointed not only to potential hazards but also to actual harm from GMOs (genetically modified organisms) to animal and human health and the environment. But this evidence was not reaching the public, campaigners, policy-makers, or even the majority of scientists.

    We decided to produce a document explaining the evidence in simple language. Initially we planned a short 10-page document. But it grew – and grew. We finally published the first edition of GMO Myths and Truths as a free download on the Earth Open Source website in June 2012, with more than 120 pages and over 600 references, 280 of them to peer- reviewed papers.

    Unexpectedly for such a dry, technical publication, GMO Myths and Truths appeared to hit a nerve. Its publication coincided with a big push for GMO labelling in the United States and campaigners in many states made good use of it. Requests for press interviews flooded in from North America. Well-wishers mailed thousands of copies to the US for those campaigning for GMO food labelling to use and send to their Congressmen and women. Within weeks, GMO Myths and Truths had been translated into Mandarin and published on a Chinese blog. Spanish speakers translated parts for dissemination in South America. In India, where citizens and farmers were smarting from a series of scandals and disasters involving GM Bt cotton, a publishing company asked for our permission to print a few thousand copies under their imprint. They sold them as cheaply as they could manage, given that their target readership was poor villagers and farmers. We were invited to speak in countries all over the world by citizen, government, and industry organizations.…

    • David Brown

      Look Beyond the Scientific Veneer of a GMO Report

      “In actuality, it’s an extended Gish Gallop that twists science in the most cynical fashion to advance an ideological agenda. If the writers of this report were smarter–if they weren’t so blinded by their own biases–they would have tried to give it an even greater sheen of credibility by not stacking the deck the way they did.”

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2012/06/20/look-beyond-the-scientific-veneer-of-a-gmo-report/#.U71R__mIBEE

    • Kevin Folta

      nj_v2, that report is reasonably insane. It is NOT peer reviewed, which means it can be any claims.

      And it really is just awful. Last year we set out to correct each claim made. Unfortunately it takes a page or two of evidence to refute a sentence of nonsense. We were taking a lot of time to make something that the True Believers of the anti-GMO religion wouldn’t care about anyway.

      If you have a point or two that really concern you I’d be happy to talk to you about them. I can direct you to the actual literature, we can discuss it together, and you’ll see how bad those authors are simply fooling readers. Thanks.

  • stephenreal

    I prefer the raw data over political opinion myself. If it don’t mention the really challenging thoughts like “DNA strands”? I find the stuff outrageously stupid.

  • Ray E.

    Should anyone want to learn more about the technology, or discuss in detail any of the concerns posters have expressed in this comments section, I welcome you to join a highly moderated FB group on 2500+ where the subject can be discussed safely. Here is a list of topics that have been covered:

    http://wiki.skeptiforum.org/wiki/GMO_Skepti-Forum_Threads

    And the FB Group is:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/GMOSF/

    • nj_v2

      Thanks for posting that resource! [edit: Oops, i see it's Facebook based. I refuse to get a Facebook account because of the policies and behavior of the company. Oh well…]

      • Ray E.

        The forum is growing out of its FB roots into a generalized internet presence, but at the moment, that is where most of the resource resides. Here is the overall group site where we hope to eventually provide and share a presence across multiple outlets.

        It’s a totally volunteer effort to date, so no promises as to when more happens.

        http://www.skeptiforum.org/

  • stephenreal

    It’s very clear to me that American Agra-businesses are being blacklisted out of political expediency from their business competitors and just a plain old fashion, fear based, campaign.

  • stephenreal

    Nobody cares if everything on the planet Earth we eat has been zapped by radiation already? Clever people do not realize what they been eating since birth. Not the type of people you’d seek investment advice from quite frankly.

  • stephenreal

    I love that: Vaccine cranks!

  • stephenreal

    Dumb dumbs away!

  • David Brown

    Sources for these claims?

  • David Brown

    Actually Bt is a certified organic pesticide.

    • Eliza_Bee

      What are the differences between how Bt is used in organic farming vs. Bt crops? Organic farmers generally use Bt intermitantly and as needed. They spray it on the surface of the plants, where it is washed off with rain and does not persist. With GM foods, the Bt is inside the plant cells throughout the entire cycle.

      This doesn’t seem like a difference that should be glossed over. With the GM Bt crops, there is much higher chance of insects developing resistance to Bt, and therefore, of us losing a pesticide that is relatively benign. (This situation is analogous to way misuse and overuse of anti-biotics has resulted in antibiotic-resistant bacteria. To kill the resistent bacteria, you need more exotic antibiotics, which often have more powerful side effects.)

  • David Brown

    Just about everything you eat, including certified organic, has been massively altered through modern breeding (including mutagenics) over the past 60 years.

  • Susan

    There is no peer reviewed science on the safety of genetically engineered food anywhere in the world, and certainly not in the Monsanto controlled USA. Most genetically engineered seeds are herbicide resistant, meaning Monsanto or the other biotech-pesticide companies, can spray Glyphosate (Roundup) any time and in whatever quantity the companies want it and the altered crop won’t die. A study out of Norway, found a significant amount of Roundup IN genetically engineered seeds, while conventional seeds had less and none was found in organic seeds.

    The reason there is no peer reviewed safety testing in the USA is because Monsanto won’t allow scientists (other than those on their payroll) test the seeds or do the studies. Plus, the FDA/USDA has been unable to produce any studies showing the safety of genetically engineered seeds.

    What bothers me, is that where testing on genetically engineered plants has been done around the world, all animal life, including humans; plant and microorganisms in the soil; groundwater, surface waters, and even precipitation (rainwater) have been severely affected by large amounts of Glyphosate (the labeled ingredient in Roundup), especially here in the USA where so many genetically engineered crops are grown.

    I would venture to say that everyone, every pet and domestic animal, most livestock, have genetically modified organisms and intensive amounts of glyphosate, glufosinate, 2,4-D and dicamba (both dioxin contaminated), and other dangerous herbicides in their bodies because the herbicides are in the drinking water. And, Roundup WAS first patented as a mineral chelator, “it immobilizes nutrients in the soil, so they are not available for all those health functions that we depend on” for healthy functioning of our bodies –the nutrients in the plants eaten by animals including people are absent, and without those nutrients, we are basically eating gravel! This is the reason vitamins C and E in supplements, no longer work –because they come from herbicide resistant GE crops!

    Roundup is also patented as a very effective antibiotic for a large number of organisms, especially for our intestinal microorganisms, our gut bacteria. According to retired professor Don Huber, “The problem is that they’re potent antibiotics for the good guys both in the soil as well as in our intestines or the intestines of our animals.As a consequence of that, when you take out Lactobacillus, Bifido bacterium, Enterococcus faecalis, and those organisms…Those are what keep us healthy either by providing accessibility to the minerals in our food or producing many of the vitamins needed for life….”But they’re also the natural biological controls to keep Clostridium, Salmonella, and E.coli from developing in our system.”

    The FDA and USDA will never be able to control the antibiotic resistant bacteria in livestock and in our waterways with herbicide resistant plants, and animal feed in my opinion.

    I’m concerned for the healthy of our loved ones. It may be that our children and grandchildren will not live as as healthy or as long as we have due to this experimental, unproven (for safety) technology called genetic engineering that is NOT regulated and uses more herbicides with each new plant. This solely benefits the bottom line of the biotechnology-pesticide manufacturers!

    • trevorkidd

      There are hundreds of Independent peer reviewed studies into the safety of GE crops. The European Food Safety Authority alone has financed over 100 of them.

      The first herbicide resistant crops were non-GE, and in fact were first commercialized in 1984 (a decade before the first GE varieties). If your issue is actually herbicide resistant crops then GE labeling is not the solution.

      It is hardly the case that Monsanto will not allow scientists to research their seeds. In fact they have a blanket agreement with all American universities.

      http://grist.org/food/genetically-modified-seed-research-whats-locked-and-what-isnt/

      I am not going to go through the rest of my post, but what concerns me is when someone claims to be concerned about the health of their loved ones, but not so concerned to actually educate themself on the issue they are complaining about. You know very little about this issue, and most of what you do know is wrong.

    • David Brown

      Actually, Monsanto and most big biotech companies have blanket research agreements with US universities.

      http://grist.org/food/genetically-modified-seed-research-whats-locked-and-what-isnt/

      And GM crops are highly tested and regulated before the FDA will allow them on the market.
      http://grist.org/food/the-gm-safety-dance-whats-rule-and-whats-real/

      Don Huber has yet to publish a single paper or dataset on his mystery organism or share his mystery organism so other researchers can study it.

      You appear to have been captured by anti-GMO hysteria with no basis in science or truth.

    • David Brown

      A decade of EU-funded GMO research
      European Commission (2010)

      “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies. (p. 16)”

      http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/pdf/a_decade_of_eu-funded_gmo_research.pdf

    • David Brown

      European Academies Science Advisory Council

      Planting the future: opportunities and challenges for using cropgenetic improvement technologies for sustainable agriculture | 27.06.13
      EASAC policy report 21, June 2013

      “The specific physiological changes to plant function introduced by genetic modification are easier to characterise and assess than the less specific changes produced in other ways. When used appropriately and properly integrated within well-managed agronomic systems, GM crops can be economically, environmentally and socially beneficial. There is no validated evidence that GM has greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding. EU GM legislation was formulated when there was not yet sufficient data to substantiate these conclusions, but now there is. Given the experience gained, the legislation, data requirements and level of scrutiny need to be revisited and recalibrated.”

      http://www.easac.eu/home/reports-and-statements/detail-view/article/planting-the.html

    • Kevin Folta

      Sure there is.

      From the EU… 10 years of research. ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/fp7/kbbe/docs/a-decade-of-eu-funded-gmo-research_en.pdf

      Analysis of 1783 reports from an Italian group:
      http://www.the-american-interest.com/blog/2013/10/03/meta-study-exonerates-gmos/

      That’s a start…. let me know if I can provide more references for you.

    • First Officer

      Now Monsanto controls the USA. Sounds eerily like another, older claim. That one began with, “The protocols of the elders…”

      Is that the same Dr. Mercola that claims his Himalayan Salt contains all 84 elements in the human body? A claim, if true, would contain at least 3 radioactive elements.

  • trevorkidd

    Great scenario. Completely untrue, but great none-the-less. Most of the farmers I know who either do or have planted GM crops have switched to non-GM (and often back again) without any issues.

  • Betty Scott

    I listen to your station all the time, and I did listen to this broadcast. As some of your other listeners pointed out, you should be ashamed. Seems your particpants certianly leaned toward companies like Monsanto, and the broadcast seemed contrived to convince those consumers becoming exposed to the movement toward GMO labling to ignore the real facts. There are several studies that show GMOs are harmfull and the outrage is growing (http://www.theboycottlist.org/). Another REAL threat is the pesticides being used on this crop, and the fact that it is not sustainable, and is destroying our planet, poisioning us all! ARE YOU, NPR, also bought by Monsanto and their cohorts? MONEY SPEAKS THROUGH NPR!

    • trevorkidd

      Damn you NPR for allowing scientists onto your show to talk about scientific issues! We the ignorant people demand to only hear from other crackpots who believe the same nonsense, conspiracy theories, and lies about harm, as our conspiracy sites have told us to believe.

      • Kate

        I typically think NOR presents a well rounded discussion but felt this was an unbalanced show. There was one GMO pro scientist and a PR dude who works at Montasanto. They could have done a little better. Last I checked “science” is a pretty big field.

    • Kevin Folta

      GM crops use much less insecticide and an herbicide with low environmental impact. Pretty remarkable. http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/07/glyphosate-math.html

    • First Officer

      How is it not sustainable?

      “bought by Monsanto” – SAS, Shill Accusation Syndrome !

  • Bonnie Wright

    Dr. Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida, claims there is no connection to Monsanto. Really??? Google: “university of florida monsanto” and read some of the articles that come up!

    While I can’t find a direct tie between Monsanto and Dr. Folta, there are certainly MANY ways that Monsanto affects those directly around him, and thus, at least indirectly, Monsanto does impact him.

    Monsanto’s name is attached to a professorship at the University of Florida; the university requires a $600,000 donation to endow a professorship. http://documents.foodandwaterwatch.org/doc/PublicResearchPrivateGain.pdf

    The Monsanto Corporation established the Vasil-Monsanto professorship in honor of Indra K. Vasil, who retired in 1999 after 32 years at the University of Florida. http://www.uff.ufl.edu/FacultyEndowments/ProfessorshipInfo.asp?ProfessorshipFund=007489

    Dr. Vasil wrote numerous books, and frequently referenced Monsanto and Monsanto employees in his works. http://books.google.com/books?id=TG-NRIV540kC&pg=PR12&lpg=PR12&dq=vasil+monsanto&source=bl&ots=mlEhkXNDEi&sig=VbImbgAVLW41jw5B0fQ-MUX6Y28&hl=en&sa=X&ei=3le9U9ONCsOUyASbwYLIAw&ved=0CH8Q6AEwDjgK#v=onepage&q=monsanto&f=false

    When Dr. Vasil retired, he donated his book collection to The University of Florida’s Horticultural Sciences Department, which is known as the Vimla and Indra Vasil Library and Reading Room. http://www.sivb.org/InVitroReport/43-1/dedication.htm. Dr. Folta is the head of the Horticultural Sciences Department that received that generous gift from Dr. Vasil.

    The recipient of the Vasil-Monsanto professorship is Dr. A. Mark Settles. http://news.ifas.ufl.edu/2001/12/mark-settles-appointed-to-ufs-new-vasil-monsanto-professorship/ Dr. Settles is the chair of the Plant Molecular & Cellular Biology Graduate Program at the University of Florida. http://pmcb.ifas.ufl.edu/faculty/index.shtml. Dr. Folta is also a member of that program.

    Less directly, but certainly supporting Dr. Folta’s employer’s ties to Monsanto: Students from University of Florida Awarded Grants from Monsanto: http://www.entsoc.org/press-releases/esa-names-2013-monsanto-student-grant-winners

    If the biotech industry were to collapse, what would happen to the scientists in that industry, such as Dr. Folta? Dr. Folta’s research interests are: Photoperiod, Photomorphogenesis, Fragaria, Strawberry, Phytochrome, Cryptochrome, Phototropin, Genomics, Transformation, and Transgenic. To not support the big biotech industry would be a suicide to his career.

    After his appointment as chair of his department “Folta said he will continue to juggle his research, administrative duties and his unofficial career as a public spokesman for biotechnology, because they’re all critical.” http://newsle.com/article/0/120066630/

    With all of Dr. Folta’s frequent postings and speaking engagements in his “unofficial career” … we wonder how he has time to do what he is paid to do by his employers, University of Florida … who happens to have such close connections to Monsanto …

    • hyperzombie

      Monsanto gives Grants and Scholarships to university student, Oh the Horror!! We Must stop this!!!

      You people are nuts, giving away money to Universities and to students is a good thing and it doesn’t buy any influence.

    • Kevin Folta

      I don’t have any sponsorship from monsanto. Never did.

      Yes, a company did sponsor a professor position back before I started here. That’s a good thing.

      Rather than discuss evidence and facts, you try to tear down the scientist. Right out of the anti-climate change tea party play book. Well done.

      As long as I’ve been active in public education and outreach in GMO science I’ve had to deal with the Six Degrees of Monsanto. Everyone wants to make connections.

      http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2012/12/six-degrees-of-monsanto.html

      http://www.science20.com/kevin_folta/thoughts_shill_monsanto-92265

      As I stated, even if they funded all of my research, I would never take a position that was contrary to the data. Period.

      • stephenreal

        “I take no more responsibility for who plays my plays than General Motors can take for who rides in their Chevrolets.” Asked about his brief flirtation with Communism, he said, “I have had to go to hell to meet the devil,” after which one wag quipped that he must have gone there as a tourist.

        In 1957, Miller was found guilty of contempt of Congress, denied a passport and sentenced to a $500 fine or 30 days in jail. But the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his conviction, ruling that Walter had misled him.

      • stephenreal

        Blacklisting Dr. Kevin Folta, Professor and Chairman, Horticultural Sciences Department, University of Florida?
        “No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.”
        Edward R. Murrow

      • NoToGMOs

        “I don’t have any sponsorship from monsanto. Never did.”

        Yes, we know you don’t have any direct sponsorship or links to Monsanto. The question (now answered by Bonnie’s post) is whether you and the institution you work for has any indirect links to Monsanto or the Biotech industry that may influence your stance on this issue.

        It is just as much a lie to conceal or withhold information as it is to lie outright.

        • Jon

          If you feel that the paltry sum Monsanto has given to the University for scholarships or any directly funded testing in other labs in the same department as Dr. Folta, you have no idea how major research Universities work.

          My previous institution and one lab received concurrent funding from DARPA, NSF, state conservation non-profits, trade commodity groups, etc. Each of these funding sources could be seen to be at-odds with each other. But the entire point of academic research labs that are established with a long track-record of solid science, is to be truly independent and continue to receive funding for scientific endeavors in ways that are supportive of great science.

          Honestly, go make an appointment for a lab tour at your local University or go to an open house. Every faculty member puts publications and current projects up around their doors and offices. It’s very open, and they love to share what they are doing and why. It’s not scary!!!

          • Kevin Folta

            Or come see how many of us fight for every dime to keep educating students and doing research… and why many labs are going out of business because there is more competition for less money. It is sad how people treat THEIR public scientists.

            I could make 3x my salary working for a company like monsanto. I want to teach and do pubic work. Period.

        • Kevin Folta

          That’s just insane. None of us make decisions or are influenced by money coming to our institutions.They gave money for a professorship back in 1999, three years before I was even here!

          Nice try to connect non-existent dots.

          • NoToGMOs

            “None of us make decisions or are influenced by money coming to our institutions.”

            That’s what they all say…….including the politicians in DC ;)

    • Novagene

      Bonnie Wright said,

      While I can’t find a direct tie between Monsanto and Dr. Folta

      It won’t stop you from conjuring up something anyway.

      Poorest longwinded ad hominem argument I’ve seen.

      Don’t listen to anything Kevin Bacon has to say either, because it won’t take long to find out that he’s connected with Monsanto.

      Unsurprising, as it’s the same sort of conspiracy weaving that implicates genetic engineering as harmful.

  • marygrav

    I would suggest that part of the reason that the T-Party/GOP is against immigration, meaning not wanting Mexicans in the United States, has to do with chemical companies like Monsanto.

    Mexican farm workers have traditionally walked the fields and pulled weeds. Monsanto Round-Up helped replace them and therefore factory farms make an additional profit.
    Now Round-Up is outliving its usefulness and the weeds know this while the T-Party/GOP Congress ignore this. In other words, they choose racism over having a reliable food supply for Americans.

    There is an interesting story on NPR about a new weed that Round-up cannot erradicate that is taking over the midwest soy bean and corn fields. This weed only repects the human hand because of its opposing thumb.

    Our Congress would rather see US continue to recieve GMO corn and Soy with its built-in weed killer. Ask youself, “If its killing the weeds, what is it doing to US?”
    I am not against science. I am just in favor of people over politics.

    Somehow the Angel of History, who always flys backwards will tie this all together with the non-Immigration Bill.

    • trevorkidd

      I once asked myself that very question (If it’s killing the weeds, what is it doing to us?) – instead of just going with a knee-jerk gut reaction, I learned biology, chemistry and now understand how herbicides and insecticides work.

    • hyperzombie

      First of all immigrants have never hand weeded fields of corn and soy in at least the last 150 years. Before modern herbicides tillage was used to control weeds, which is very bad for the soil and causes erosion. Third weeds have developed the ability to resist the opposable thumb as well.

  • Broadnax

    We should not let the anti-science crowd shut down useful products that help us grow more food in a more environmentally sound manner.

    And why do all those protesters always have to chant “Hey hey, ho ho?”

    • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

      It is not an anti-science position. It is a position that recognizes the state/potential of the science + the chemical industry business model of developing a wide swath of products and releasing those products into the environment with little to no oversight, as has been the standard for decades.

      The difference between a chemical being released into the environment and a genetically modified organism is that the chemical (while being toxic, mutagenic, etc) will dissipate over time or can be remediated. GMO’s have the potential to spread and self perpetuate, creating an ongoing problem that is difficult, expensive, or impossible to correct.

      It is unscientific to focus only on the championed applications and not look at how the industry will/has used the technology.

      • hyperzombie

        t is not an anti-science position. It is a position that recognizes the state/potential of the science + the chemical industry business model of developing a wide swath of products and releasing those products into the environment with little to no oversight, as has been the standard for decades.
        Nope, 100% anti science. Good science is just good science. The independent science and the Corp science agree. Plus there is no mechanism of harm.

        GMO’s have the potential to spread and self perpetuate, creating an ongoing problem that is difficult, expensive, or impossible to correct.

        Nope, if nature needed these traits she would have them. Plus these crops rely on Humans to reproduce, nature doesnt need humans

      • Kevin Folta

        Ian, it actually is a very strong anti-science position. Sadly. I invite you to contact me and I’ll send pictures of the binder folder of oversight required to even trial a potential GM crop. It is unbelievable.

        The stuff that is released goes through EPA, FDA, and USDA APHIS.

        Contrary to your opinion the process is strict, rigorous and prohibitive. That’s why only the Monsanto’s of the world can participate in it. Guys like me sure aren’t getting rich off of the technology, but we do see a place for it and how it can help farmers, the needy and the environment. Let’s use it in good ways to solve important problems. Thanks.

        • Kate

          Medicine is an advanced science (relatively speaking) and people are given upfront information and are left to their own persons to determine how much “science” they would like to accept. The problem with GMOs is that a group behind closed doors has determined this to be the best course of action and are refusing the request for upfront information from the public so that people can retain the right to choose what they are putting into their bodies. Disclosure and discussion typically go hand in hand.

          • Kevin Folta

            Kate, I think the companies that generate these products realize that the world was not informed enough to understand these products. They are fixing that now.

            None of this has been behind closed doors at all. It is all in the published literature. It is all there, most off patent, and easy to study and discuss.

            My invite stands- We can discuss the science any time you’d like. It is pretty cool stuff. Let me know.

          • Kate

            Kevin I will email you. Thank you.

          • Kevin Folta

            kevinfolta at gmail. Glad to help in any way.

          • NoToGMOs

            “They are fixing that now.”

            What they are doing is pretending to fix it while actually just disseminating carefully crafted ‘scientific’ information that makes sure their products (GMOs) are shown in a good light. That is not educating consumers, it is just PR, SPIN and PROPAGANDA.

          • Kevin Folta

            No, see that’s what anti-GMO and bad science does. There are many new ideas on how to deal with the herbicide issue, from improved surfactants, to time-of-day applications to new combinations with old standbys… that’s all science. You can call it PR, but it is undeniable science.

            When one has no science, that’s propaganda. Ever see Genetic Roulette?

        • Broadnax

          Science is on the side of GMOs in general. The other side is based on fear and superstion. Lots of things “might” happen. If we take no action because of what might happen we can do nothing.

          The most dangerous type of food is organic. Whenever you get food poisioning outbreaks, it is usually traced to organic. If you fear, this is the place to be afraid.

          • IMHere2C

            “The most dangerous type of food is organic. Whenever you get food poisioning outbreaks, it is usually traced to organic”
            Whoa, those are 2 incredible statements. Got any factual information to back them up?

          • Broadnax

            You can Google yourself. When you get a widespread problem like e-coli, it is almost always organic foods. Check back on the reports. They are traced to organic grown products.

            Try the search terms “e-coli outbreaks organic produce” to start and then work from there. Most of the outbreaks are smaller and don’t make the major news.

            Recall that in the old days all food was organic and lots of people got sick from it. It is not that organic itself is worse for you, but it tends to have more … what is the word … sht involved in fertilizers.

          • IMHere2C

            What I seen thus far on this Disqus site is the person making the claim/statement provides the backup to same when requested. Otherwise people could say anything without proof and simply send people searching ad infinitum trying to find the facts that the originator claimed to be true. Of course, I can find some cases of problems with organic produce, but you said,

            “When you get a widespread problem like e-coli, it is almost always organic foods. Check back on the reports. They are traced to organic grown products.”

            What reports? Please back up the claims, revise the claims or retract the claims.

        • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

          First, as a regular follower of these discussions in the media, I want to say that this is where the meat of the discussion should be, rather than the superficial treatment the topic usually gets.

          I would also say that the peanut gallery (of which I consider myself a more informed member of) is replete with anti-science on both sides. “No GMO’s. Europe? AMERICUH!!!!” The issue isn’t in the science, it’s how science is being applied in business, that impact on society and the environment, and the question of how we should form public policy in response.

          The binders of rules you mention are a prudent measure to ensure that public good is the measure of acceptable application of the science. Again, the issue is not how the science is conducted, but how it is implemented. The patten of biotech firms and corporations like Monsanto has been to resist new regulation and to try and weaken oversight of existing law. Corporations like Monsanto have an interest in taking the research conducted altruistically by public researches and private scientists and applying it in a way that solidifies their business model, meeting THEIR needs. Policy makers like those in Vermont and government agencies are charged with maintaining the public interest while the corporations pursue their self-interest. It is known that both the USDA and the FDA have allegations of industry capture being raised, and that their oversight is questionable. At the very least it should be understood that these bodies have been weakened over the years and had their ability to investigate reduced, though how this plays out on individual products needs to be taken into account.

          I posted I later in the comments, but here again is my take on the proper framing of the safety of genetically modified products. I’ll send you a message, feel free to point out any glaring issues you see via email or here if you choose. http://ecoevolution.org/ecoblog/gmos-cant-be-safe

          • NoToGMOs

            Excellent points in your blog, Ian. You have managed to capture the gist of the GMO issue very concisely and to the point. Thanks!

  • hyperzombie

    Farmer brown uses the company provided herbicide and he has a field of corn with no weeds.

    Corn cant self reproduce, so after the GMO harvest he can plant whatever he wants.

    How does he get rid of the GMO plants?
    Harvest them and plant new non GMO crop in the spring, no problem
    His is now stuck. from a business stand point this is great, once you get a customer on board they basically can’t leave, it’s like selling cigarettes.

    Nope, it is easy to switch back and forth without a problem

    • Nancy Ryer

      Tell that to the farmers in India who have become slaves to Monsanto. Google indian farmer gmo suicide. Plus, glyphosate kills healthy nutrients in the soil when sprayed on Monsanto’s round up ready plants. Where do you guys get ur info? Comic books? Everyone knows Monsanto hires trolls to help spread their propaganda on feeds and blogs. Conspiracy my ass!!!

      • hyperzombie

        Tell that to the farmers in India who have become slaves to Monsanto.

        That is crazy, no one is a slave to Monsanto, Farmers just like the seed, because they get more cotton and have to spray less insecticide.

        Google indian farmer gmo suicide.

        Google the MYTH of indian farmer gmo suicide, to get the truth. Even the original author of this myth has recanted.

        Plus, glyphosate kills healthy nutrients in the soil when sprayed on Monsanto’s round up ready plants.

        No it doesnt, look into how it works and you will realize that you have been duped.

        Where do you guys get ur info?

        From reputable scientific sites and published papers, not from flying yogic instructors and ballroom dancers.

        Everyone knows Monsanto hires trolls to help spread their propaganda on feeds and blogs.

        Why would they, I would most likely pay them, because I want to get the truth out.

  • trevorkidd

    Yes, the GMOs in food are so powerful that they caused the rates of autism, allergies etc to increase as much in locations like Europe where they are almost nonexistent, as in locations like the US and Canada where they prevalent.

    There is lots of objective research done and it has all showed that GMOs are as safe as non-GMO food.

    Nothing can ever be shown to be 100% harmless. That is not how science works. Non-GMO is not 100% harmless. All kinds of allergies are found in non-GMO foods. If they same foods were GMO they would not be allowed near the market.

    • Kate

      Hey 2 of my 3 had soy & corn issues. Just saying. I’m just a mom though. You know one of those “domestic” scientists that study the results of feeding biological offspring different types of ingredients daily and seeing the results. I’m sure you lab scientist are much more saavy.

      • Kevin Folta

        Soy and corn allergens are well known. We know precisely what proteins they are, and can easily identify them. The allergies come from these proteins.

        The engineered proteins- the enzyme EPSPS and the Bt protein – do not cause allergies. Period. That is a simple thing to test, it has been done, and it is not a question.

        Ironically, gm technology could be used to turn off the allergy-producing proteins in food products. That has been done for some crops, just not commercialized because of consumer fear and not much of a market (no $$ in it for companies).

        http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11248-010-9435-0

        How sad is that?

        • NoToGMOs

          Allergies can arise to any protein. There is no point simply testing just for known proteins. The process of genetic engineering can lead to the production of novel proteins that we know nothing about and that has the potential to be allergenic. Is anyone looking for these proteins before releasing a GE plant into the environment and into people’s food? We do have the tools for this… the ‘-omics’ techniques including proteomics. Why aren’t they being used to look for novel proteins?

      • trevorkidd

        I understand. You think that science should not be informed by science, but instead by random anecdotes. Thankfully, the whole field is based upon removing such bias, and that is why it has been so successful.

  • Brent BT

    When you say, “can’t be killed” you are not thinking clearly. If the farmer opts not to plant Roundup Ready, he is opting not to use Roundup. So, he tills his field and plants something else. And, in all likelihood uses other chemistries to control whatever he doesn’t want to grow (duh).

  • trevorkidd

    “The fact that food has to be labelled organic which equates to natural, while GMO foods do not require labeling at all is crazy.”

    What is crazy is that people who think they are informed on this issue, believe that it is a fact that food has to be labelled organic. Organic labeling is completely voluntary. Many companies choose to use the label because they understand that much of the public is so completely misinformed that they believe organics do not use pesticides etc. Others are so misinformed that they believe organic food equates to natural, when the farming is just as unnatural as all other types of farming.

    The rest of your rant is misinformed as I have come to expect from the anti-gmo activists.

  • trevorkidd

    You are as anti-science as the climate change deniers, creationists and ant-vaxers. I would ask you to do more research, but I understand that any research you do will be at conspiracy sites.

  • Novagene

    Don’t want to buy genetically modified food products?
    • USDA Organic
    • Non-GMO Project Verified
    • Fair Trade
    That’s three labels that eschew GE. Three market choices. Although a food producer doesn’t need those programs to label their products non-GE or GE. So no need for laws.

    Oh wait, I forgot, labeling is just a step to organize boycotts, pressure producers, and legislate bans in the name of pseudo-science.

    LOL, I’m listening now, and the first caller was complaining about the horrible GMO wheat. The GMO wheat that she’s never eaten because it’s not on the market. It would be funnier if people were not attempting to pass laws based on their fear and ignorance.

  • hyperzombie

    Hmmm – remember the years of scientific studies about how tobacco isn’t tied to cancer or lung disease?

    Nope because there are not any credible studies of the sort. You can find studies on cancer/smoking going back to the 1910s.

    Did you drop out of school in grade 4? Do you not know what a liver is and what it does? Do you not know the difference between a chemical and an element?

  • stephenreal

    Why as an American Agra-technology business would one want to blacklist one’s self with fear based labeling system that is not based on science?

  • stephenreal

    Do not use their patented technology for purposes of one’s own profit without paying the firm that did all the research. I read the court case dude. Not one US Supreme Court judge agrees with you by the way.

  • stephenreal

    Over 2,500 crops have been created by using mutagenesis radiation seed process, including a premium barley used in Scotch whisky and disease-resistant cocoa in Guinean chocolate.

    Radiation breeding was discovered in the 1920s when Lewis Stadler of the University of Missouri used X-rays on barley seeds. The resulting plants were white, yellow, pale yellow and some had white stripes.[5] During the period 1930–2004 Gamma rays were employed to develop 64% of the radiation-induced mutant varieties, followed by X-rays (22%)

  • stephenreal

    Mutation breeding, after booming in the 1950s with the dawn of the Nuclear Age, is still used by seed developers from BASF SE to Dupont Co. to create crops for markets that reject genetic engineering.

    Regulators don’t demand proof that new varieties are harmless. The U.S. National Academies of Science warned in 1989 and again in 2004 that regulating genetically modified crops while giving a pass to products of mutation breeding isn’t scientifically justified.

  • stephenreal

    Monsanto’s Roundup Ready soybean, a blockbuster product in the U.S. and Brazil, can’t be grown in the European Union, where national governments have cited concerns about risks to health and the environment.

    In contrast, BASF SE to Dupont Co. uses mutagenesis process that deletes and rearranges hundreds or thousands of genes randomly. It uses a man-made process that mimics with a greater intensity what the sun’s radiation has done to plants and animals for millennia, spawning mutations that sometimes are beneficial or hazardous to the organism.

  • stephenreal

    Monsanto and Dow, who compete with companies that produce plants using mutagenesis, think the lack of regulation isn’t “fair.”

  • stephenreal

    BASF, the world’s biggest chemical company, is having success with its line of Clearfield crops. The German company made the crops tolerant of its Clearfield herbicide through chemical mutagenesis. It alters the crops’ DNA by dousing seeds with chemicals such as ethyl methanesulfonate and sodium azide, according to company filings in Canada, the only nation that regulates such crops.

    • Kevin Folta

      And nobody cares and nobody wants a label. More invasive technology, super less predictable. It works great from what I hear.

  • stephenreal

    Clearly this is a push against US based Agra-technology firms. Homey don’t play that game

  • stephenreal

    Fear based legislation is for suckers.

  • stephenreal

    And a sucker is born every minute.

  • stephenreal

    Correlation does not imply causation

    • Kate

      No but it does raise reasonable doubt which supports labeling efforts.

    • nj_v2

      Exactly what tobacco companies said for decades.

  • stephenreal

    Why would any Agra-technology firm would want to blacklist themselves with a fear based labeling system that is totally devoid of employing the scientific method in the process?

    • stephenreal

      Correlation does not imply causation.

  • First Officer

    Corn is an annual plant. Problem solved.

    • hyperzombie

      Could you be more succinct, I hate it when you go on and on and on.

      • First Officer

        I just can’t help myself at times.

  • hyperzombie

    Bt resistance already being reported in some cotton GMO

    Bt resistance has been reported all the way back to the 1950s, that is why Bt fell out of use back in the old days.

    They have new new stacked trait Bt crops now that should deal with the resistance issue for the foreseeable future.

    However, with Bt resistance already being reported in some cotton GMOs, applied pesticide on a “roundup ready” type of plants will probably increase.

    RR is not very popular with most cotton farmers, there are lots of other herbicides that work far better for cotton like Aim.

  • Ellen Dibble

    We may not always know what is optimal for ourselves, our nation, and our world when it comes to picking this corn syrup or that, but having the information is square one. We are beginning to buy clothes with an eye to who made them, and in what sort of facility, with what sort of rights. With stocks we buy, we want to know if the company is responsible or trying to skirt rules to benefit the stockholders at the expense of the employees and/or consumers. The internet is exploding with parties at every angle of production and consumption making the case for this or that. The caller who said he worked for Monsanto and did not think consumers had any reason to know more than the nutritional information — I was wondering what century he was living in.

    • Zebulun Rehrig

      Then where do you draw the line in what to label? Should we include what pesticides where applied during crop production? How about the fertilizer rates?

      As a consumer, I hear in the news about bacteria contamination on produce due to organic farming practices using cow manure and waste. Maybe we should impose a mandatory label of, “Warning! Produce may contain E. Coli bacteria!”

      But let’s not stop there. We should add a label telling the consumer the name and age of the chicken prior to being killed. How about a label informing the consumer that the produce was made under fair labor laws?

  • hyperzombie

    You asked,Why use GMOs in the
    first place?

    Less insecticide use
    Less soil erosion
    More profit for farmers
    Higher ethanol/corn conversion rate
    Less land needed for crops (more for nature)
    Better feed for animals (higher energy density)
    Less damage to beneficial insects
    Less crop loss to diseases, insects and droughts
    Lower food prices
    More diversity of crop varieties
    Less atrazine and other herbicides on your corn and in the environment.
    Less crop dusting

    Future GMOs

    More nutrition (in the test phase now)
    Less harmful natural chemicals in foods
    Even more Yield per acre
    Medicine grown in foods
    Fish protein in crops (no need to rape the oceans to feed farmed fish)
    Even less pesticides (leaving almost all insects unharmed)
    Less molds and fungi on crops
    Self fertilizing crops (testing this now)
    Glow in the dark trees (yep, It is coming)
    And thousands of other applications to make our world a better place for man and Nature.

  • hyperzombie

    companies are naive to entertain the notion that they can control nature.

    What??? Companies have been controlling nature for 100s of years, and agriculture is not Natural. That is why we invented it over 13000 years ago, because nature sucks at providing food for Humans.

    se resistant weeds need to be sprayed with…guess what? More herbicides/ pesticides

    Nope, they just need to be sprayed by different herbicides or tilled, no biggy.

  • VeganGMO

    Imposed labeling for a personal preference is not a direction we should be going in. By all means people should be informed about their food but this is not the way to do it.
    http://www.vegangmo.com/?p=1369

    • Kate

      Seriously? I think personal preference is an entirely reasonable ground for labeling.

      • VeganGMO

        Whose personal preference?

        • Kate

          Well since the industry is driven by a collective group of individuals, any information that may be pertinent in an individual or group of individuals being able to freely accept or reject a product based on labeling that provides information which then persuades an individual’s interest in buying such as how many calories it contains or if it is Kosher, does it have carbs or corn syrup? Does it contain an allergin (can be an allergin highly specific to one person not necessarily a mass allergin ..people read labels to determine if an item is vegetarian or vegan ( not always religious but can be based out of personal ethics) I see no reason why identifying a food as GMO is any different when there are currently unanswered questions and differences in opinion on consuming GMO foods.

          • VeganGMO

            Thank you! That’s exactly my point. There is already a precedent and that is voluntary labeling. For nonGMO it’s the Non-GMO Project.
            http://www.biofortified.org/2013/08/what-is-kosher/

          • Zebulun Rehrig

            You might add that the “USDA Certified Organic” is also an option for anyone looking to avoid GMO. In other words, there are already labels in place for an individual to accept or reject a product based on his or her’s belief on GM products.

  • Kevin Folta

    Hi Kevin. That’s a really sad comparison that doesn’t really work well. Independent scientists clearly identified negative effects of smoking a long time before it ever even was an issue. The problems are agendas, where smoking, anti-GMOing, are so important to a political cause that they persuade others to ignore data.

    I’m really proud to be a public scientists that can help distill the information here. I’m really glad to answer your questions. Contact me anytime and we’ll chat about science. That’s how we solve this problem.

  • Kevin Folta

    Neonics have some cursory potential to be problematic, but CCD is happening in Australia where they don’t use neonics. Plus, neonics are on every corn seed, GMO or not. It goes into the soil to stop rootworms.

    There’s a mountain of interest in this topic. Check Varroa Mite with Google. That’s a central issue.

  • hyperzombie

    All you anti GMO / sustainable farming types, Please explain to us how we can farm better,

    • jefe68

      One way is to stop using mono culture farming.
      I’m not against GMO’s, just not very sure it’s a good idea that a few large corporations and in this case one, Monsanto, to in control of so much of our crops and seeds.

      By the way, the tone you’re using sucks.

      • First Officer

        Just when is all this depletion going to happen and yields crash? We’ve been, “monocropping”, for decades already and yields keep climbing.

        • hyperzombie

          Decades…. Some fields in England have been growing wheat exclusively since 1860 with no drop in yield.

    • trevorkidd

      1) The best way is to farm is in the least efficient way possible so we can get significantly less yield off each acre of land.

      2) Also despite being a fan of technology in every other area of life, technology related to farming is a big no-no.

      3) Instead my food should be grown like it is the dark ages, and support long debunked nonsense like vitalism. Hence organic farming is the way to go.

      4) I don’t know what the word chemical means, but I do know for sure that no chemicals should be in my food or used to grow it. But there had better not be a worm in any of my apples or I am going to freak out.

  • donny_t

    Tom never has anyone informative for the science against GMO’s. This horticultural guy is clueless. He claims to speak from science, but there’s an unseen strongarm / thug tactic of suppression from people like Monsanto of science that clearly show the dangers of GMO’s.

    • trevorkidd

      You mean he didn’t have someone on to confirm your bias. The horror. Folta does speak for science. The same scientific consensus that is found with climate change.

      http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/07/08/climate-change-vs-gmos-comparing-the-independent-global-scientific-consensus/

      • NoToGMOs

        The Genetic Literacy Project site has nothing to do with honest, transparent science. It is a pro-GMO propaganda site run by an agribusiness apologist called Jon Entine. More about him here:

        http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/02/atrazine-syngengta-tyrone-hayes-jon-entine

        http://www.spinwatch.org/index.php/issues/science/item/164-smelling-a-corporate-rat

        • trevorkidd

          So which one of the major scientific organization statements about GMO safety do you believe is not true?

          The one by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, National Academy of Science, World Health Organization, European Commission, The Royal Society, or the Joint Statement from several National Science Academies?

          The article was not by Jon Entine. None of the statements were by Jon Entine (Not that I care what two idiots like Philpott and Matthews think about Entine on this issue as they are so completely biased and devoid of basic science understanding that they have gone to extremes to defend the indefensible Seralini study and have made themselves irrelevant to any thinking person on this issue).

          So how about you actually answer the post instead of making the most absurd ad hominem logical fallacy I have read in a long time.

          • NoToGMOs

            “Not that I care what two idiots like Philpott and Matthews think about Entine on this issue as they are so completely biased and devoid of basic science understanding….”

            And that is not a ad hominem logical fallacy?! You are funny!

          • trevorkidd

            So still nothing on the actual claims that were made concerning major scientific organizations forming a consensus about GMO safety? I am not surprised.

          • Kevin Folta

            It’s not an ad hominem. Can I help you with that? You throw it around a lot, so let’s straighten that out.

            Ad hominem is criticizing a point not based on its merits, but based on the character of the person making the argument.

            If you want to see how that works look at this thread, and how nobody criticizes my evidence with evidence, they simply say that I’m some dupe of monsanto. That’s an ad hominem.

            Saying Entine, Philpot or Matthews are biased is not an ad hominem. Saying that their argument is wrong because of their bias is.

        • First Officer

          Jon Entine is an agrbusiness apologist in the same vein as Isaac Asimov was a physics apologist.

      • FearlessMo

        Folta knows nothing of gene splicing or the genetic changes associated with genetic code repositioning in mammals.

        • trevorkidd

          Thanks. What other things do you know Folta knows nothing about? I would ask him, but you seem to know him better than he knows himself.

        • Kevin Folta

          Tell me about your record. I put “FearlessMo” into PubMed and found zero papers. That’s because internet sock puppets don’t publish much, they just criticize those of us that do. We let the air out of their kooky balloon.

          My Ph.D. is in molecular biology and I’ve trained a long time in how to interpret scholarly literature. I’m an editor for three journals and have reviewed for over 100.

          I’ll tell you what, we can compare CVs anytime. Where can we post them? Maybe readers here can compare my credentials and yours. I’m up for that.

          • FearlessMo

            I do not have the credentials you value. However, I question whether the molecular biology of plants would prepare you to comment on the safety of genetically engineered crops and their accompanying pesticides on animals.

      • donny_t

        Bias is subjective because I could say the same about Kevin Folta. He made his career in biotechnology so hmmm, you’d think he’d want to perpetuate his livelihood?

        • trevorkidd

          What Folta said is in agreement with the scientific consensus of all of the major scientific organizations and societies that are listed in the link above.

          So yes Folta is biased in favor of science, reason, rationality, and evidence that is repeatable under carefully controlled experiments. You are upset that the show didn’t include one of the small number of scientists who are biased in the opposite direction.

          • donny_t

            Yes, a good talk has both views, not just one.

          • trevorkidd

            A responsible discussion about science when there is a scientific consensus should not not give equal time crackpot ideas. To do so would misinform people, as has happened to you.

        • FrenchKissed

          So you would have people believe a former dance instructor with no science background instead? Jeffrey Smith has made so much off his anti-GMO books and documentaries he was able to quit his day job as an instructor of flying yoga.

    • Kevin Folta

      Reeeeeealy donny? Thug tactic? What did I say that is inconsistent with the peer-reviewed literature and the major scientific bodies on this issue?

      Since you claim I’m clueless, maybe you can help me understand science. What is your one best piece of evidence, just one, that “clearly” shows the “dangers of GMOs”? What convinced you?

      Tell me how the experiments and data from one good paper show those clear dangers. Let’s do it here on this thread. thanks.

      Just if you’re interested, here’s my “clueless” publications list: http://scholar.google.com/citations?user=kIh3BRwAAAAJ&hl=en

      • FearlessMo

        Your research involves the effects of certain light on plant development. It has nothing to do with gene splicing or genetic control elements.

        • Kevin Folta

          Really! You’re showing your attention to detail and the depth that you actually read scientific work. Try again.

          • FearlessMo

            That’s your best shot? Try providing evidence of the safety of genetically engineered crops on animals and insects. You simply cannot do it because such evidence does not exist.

          • Kevin Folta
          • nj_v2

            And yet,

            “Nevertheless, the ECEAG experts note the lack of studies on the potential effects of long-term exposure to various glyphosate-based formulations and the limited number of studies that have addressed the long-term effects of consuming GMOs.”

            (http://www.anses.fr/Documents/BIOT2012sa0227EN.pdf)

          • nj_v2

            Posted this twice now, and the silence from proponents is conspicuous.

          • FrenchKissed

            Funny how you chose to quote the ANSES paper as you did, and left out the part directly before it which read:

            “However, upon examination, the ECEAG experts consider that the authors‟ conclusions are not sufficiently supported by the data presented in the paper. Furthermore, the analysis provided by the ECEAG does not confirm the hypotheses on the mechanisms of action that the authors formulated to explain their results.

            As a result, the ECEAG experts conclude that the results of the study as they have been published do not challenge the conclusions from previous risk assessments of NK603 maize and the use of ROUNDUP herbicide. This study cannot therefore be regarded as conclusive as to the potential health risk of food products derived from NK603 GM maize or of ROUNDUP”

            In the following paragraph that you quoted, ANSES says “limited” not non existent number of long term feeding studies involving bio-engineered plants. In fact, they gave detail of two other long term studies on GM soybeans (Malatesta et al.2008; Sakamoto et al. 2008) that did not reach the same conclusion as Seralini et al 2012.

            It may be true that there is a lack of research on the risk of long-term exposure to different glyphosate based formulations. That doesn’t change the fact that Seralini’s research did not produce the data to support the conclusions he reported.

            Several anti-GMO activist researchers supported by the multi-billion dollar organics industry have devoted great time and effort into proving the harm of bio-engineered food, and yet to date, they have come up with bupkis. It isn’t for lack of trying that they have failed to find harm in transgenic crops.

          • nj_v2

            I like the way you switch back to the industry meme there at the end (no harm from transgenic crops).

            This ignores all the secondary/attendant issues with the technology (perpetuating large-scale, unsustainable industrialized agriculture dependent on finite resource inputs; decreasing of genetic diversity of the crop base; increasing corporate control of the food system; etc,)

            I read the entire ANSES paper, others can, too. And when they do, they’ll see that the researchers aren’t the bumbling, foolish hacks that so many critics portray them as. The study was inconclusive. The entire issue needs further study (implying that the issues at hand are not settled).

            There has been no epidemiological study of the effects of GMO foods of the associated pesticides.

          • FearlessMo

            This is a blogger. Give me a name.

          • Kevin Folta

            Fearless, they did take note, and I was thanked for participation.

            If you actually took the time to read what was presented, the blog lists abstracts from published examples of long-term safety evaluations in a variety of different models.

            You said, “You simply cannot do it because such evidence does not exist.”

            I showed you to a compilation of abstracts from just a sprinkling of published papers that shows it clearly does. It is the tip of the iceberg. Enjoy.

          • NoToGMOs

            “the blog lists abstracts from published examples of long-term safety evaluations in a variety of different models.”

            You mean the Snell review? Almost every one of those studies reviewed had issues with it and/or were not really relevant to human health. I can’t find them now, but Dr. Ena has posted in various discussion forums exactly what was wrong with each of the studies from the Snell review.

            I will post a link to her posts if I find them, or dogctor, if you are are around, please do post…..you explain it so much better than anyone else :)

          • FearlessMo

            You realize that research papers based on Monsanto’s research, developed with grants from Monsanto or funded by Monsanto investors cannot be considered independent.

          • NoToGMOs

            Can you cite ONE, yes, just ONE paper of yours that has anything to do with the safety of any specific GMO to human or animal health?

            Or even a paper that is directly related to the genetic engineering of any variety of GM corn, soybean, cotton, canola, alfalfa, papaya, squash or sugar beets that are currently approved for cultivation? What have you contributed to the development of any of these GM crops?

          • Kevin Folta

            I’ve contributed zero to their development. It is not what I do. Maybe you can tell me about your record in this area…? It is easy for a sock puppet hiding behind a username to criticize the credibility of others.

            I have a Ph.D. in molecular biology and have studied the rDNA/GM literature for 30 years. I’m trained in interpreting scientific data, and regularly review papers for the best journals in many areas, including cancer, forestry and nutrition. The scholarly world certainly respects my credentials.

            That said, I have been making and analyzing transgenic plants since the late 1990′s. Now we test for effects of genes, not to commercialize products, but to understand genes that contribute to important traits. We use transgenics to inform conventional breeding.

            That, that said, we’ve analyzed thousands of transgenic fruits with incredible metabolic depth. I always kind of hoped we’d find something weird or potentially dangerous- that would be good to know and would be a great paper.

            Unfortunately, nothing exciting. Just genes influencing the things they control.

            Now tell me about your scientific record, and what gives you the authority to judge my credentials? Thank you.

          • NoToGMOs

            Oooh, touchy now, aren’t we? I’m sure it must be hard to take a taste of your own medicine.

            My qualifications are irrelevant. I’m not the one who is claiming in every other post that he is the next best thing since sliced bread (as scientists go). I’m not the one maligning and putting down every eminent and credentialed scientist with vastly more relevant experience to talk about and explain the issues surrounding this topic to the public.

            It’s okay…I”m sure you are doing good (and important) research. I just don’t find it relevant enough to the topic at hand. Perhaps the same reason Seralini said he wouldn’t debate someone not a toxicologist (I wouldn’t have put it that bluntly, but… to each his own….).

          • First Officer

            Why are Folta’s credentials relevant and not yours?

          • NoToGMOs

            Because I’m not the one claiming to be a hot shot scientist, better than every other scientist whose name was brought up to educate people on this topic. Heck, I never even claimed to be a scientist. I just suggested the names of some very well qualified and experienced scientists who could possibly come on this show and talk to people about the other side of this issue….the side that Dr. Folta apparently doesn’t want the public to know about.

          • First Officer

            Dr. Folta has revealed his credentials and work. But, what scientists are you talking about? Seralini? Huber? Pusztai?

          • Kevin Folta

            There are not two sides among scientists. It is false equivalence. If you go to the national meetings and read the posters, hear the talks, there are no scientists there telling us “GM bad”.

            And I never said I was a “hot shot scientist”. I do my job, 18 hours a day, and adore the opportunity to share science with people that don’t understand it. It is my pleasure to interpret the scientific literature for them. That’s all.

          • NoToGMOs

            “There are not two sides among scientists.”

            Yes, in an ideal world, what you say would be true. Unfortunately, we live in a world where corporate interests determine how much and what kind of ‘scientific facts’ are presented to the public and also how they are presented.

            The lay public would most probably find the intricacies and technicalities of scientific papers beyond their comprehension. They depend on scientists to explain the science to them in ways they can understand. Unfortunately, it has come to a point where science and scientists have been hijacked by corporate interests and PR and Corporate spin takes precedence over telling the scientific truth.

            The science on GMO safety is inconclusive. There are a lot more questions than answers. You know that, I know that. However, scientists fall into two groups when it comes to explaining this: those that claim GMOs are absolutely safe and those that advice caution…saying that there is not enough evidence *yet* of their safety. Who should the public believe??

            Also, a good scientist would take into account, not just the absolute scientific facts, but also other factors involved in the issue…..how GMOs and their associated pesticides affect the environment and wildlife, do GMOs actually contribute to sustainable agriculture, the wishes of people who do not wish to have anything to do with GMOs for whatever reason (scientific or not), potential for contamination of organic and other kinds of agriculture by GMOs, loss of diversity and increase of monocropping, corporations patenting seeds and our food supply being put in the hands of a few large companies, corruption of governments (and even judiciary!) by ‘revolving doors’ between government agencies and industry etc. etc. …….these are all additional issues that a good scientist would take into account before forming an opinion on GMOs.

            We need to see the big picture.

          • Kevin Folta

            I know I’ll never change you thinking. Scientists are all on the take and puppets of corporations, except of course, for the handful of the marginally obscure ones who you agree with.

            That’s fine. but please answer a few questions and I’ll leave the last word to you.

            1. Even though I have never received any compensation from Monsanto or any other of the Big 6, you say that nothing I say can believed because someone else at my university once got money from them.

            In the department,where I”m the chair, we were the first to implement an Organic and Sustainable track in our major. We have three faculty that are among the world’s leading scientists in organic production.

            HERE is the question: Is our organic curriculum also tainted and do you believe the research from these faculty?

            2. I’ve never received any compensation from any of the Big 6, yet you say I’m untrusworthy.

            Seralini absolutely was funded by Greenpeace (it says in at least one paper’s acknowledgements). He works for an institute with a mission to critique biotech.

            Do you find his work credible?

            Thanks. Take the last word.

      • donny_t

        My point is you won’t find much in scholarly articles because a lot of it has been suppressed. Case in point: Seralini

        Another case: Emerkova as can been read here:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jeffrey-smith/genetically-modified-soy_b_544575.html

        Gene transfer of GM genes here:
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1364539/

        Some more studies:
        http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/08/10-scientific-studies-proving-gmos-can-be-harmful-to-human-health/

        You said we’ve only been experimenting with public consumption of GMO’s for 15 years or so and we all know gene expression is multi-generational so to claim they’re safe is far fetched. We either wait and see and say, “oops, sorry we didn’t know that was going to happen.” or no to GMO. I’ll take the latter.

        • FrenchKissed

          For nearly 20 years now, farmers in the US have been feeding their livestock GM corn and soybeans. Don’t you think they would notice if it was causing sterility and neonatal mortality in their animals?

          Prior to Ermakova’s study there had been several similar studies done, none of which reached the same conclusion. You can read a Q&A between Irina Ermakova and several experts in the field here http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v25/n9/full/nbt0907-981.html worth noting is that even her control groups had an exceptionally high rate of pup mortality, and no cause of death was established, or even investigated, for any of the animals.

          Seralini’s work has been critiqued and discussed ad nauseum, but in case you’re unfamiliar with the study’s faults, here are some of the opinions from the committees formed by several EU member states to look into the matter

          From Germany’s BFR

          http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/349/feeding-study-in-rats-with-genetically-modified-nk603-maize-and-with-a-glyphosate-containing-formulation-roundup-published-bei-seralini-et-al-2012.pdf

          From the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES)

          http://www.anses.fr/Documents/BIOT2012sa0227EN.pdf

          From the French High Council for Biotechnology:

          http://www.hautconseildesbiotechnologies.fr/IMG/pdf/HCB_scientific_opinion_Seralini_121019.pdf

          • nj_v2

            Note that the ANSES evaluation doesn’t trash the Seralini study in the way that most GMO-propoonent critics do.

            Note also that they say there are practically no long-term studies of the effects of exposure to GMO/glyhosate-tolerant foods. Yet, proponents constantly refer to the “existing science” that indicates there are no safety issues with this technology.

            Of course there aren’t, because it hasn’t really been studied yet.

            From the ANSES evaluation (pages 24, 25):

            Séralini et al. (2012) conducted an ambitious study, employing considerable research resources, that was published in an internationally recognised food toxicology journal. This study is commendable for having addressed novel issues. However, upon examination, the ECEAG experts consider that the authors‟ conclusions are not sufficiently supported by the data presented in the paper. Furthermore, the analysis provided by the ECEAG does not confirm the hypotheses on the mechanisms of action that the authors formulated to explain their results.

            As a result, the ECEAG experts conclude that the results of the study as they have been published do not challenge the conclusions from previous risk assessments of NK603 maize and the use of ROUNDUP herbicide. This study cannot therefore be regarded as conclusive as to the potential health risk of food products derived from NK603 GM maize or of ROUNDUP.

            Nevertheless, the ECEAG experts note the lack of studies on the potential effects of long-term exposure to various glyphosate-based formulations and the limited number of studies that have addressed the long-term effects of consuming GMOs.

            Regarding the issue concerning revisions of GMO and plant protection product assessment principles , the ECEAG considers that it is too early to issue recommendations, which cannot in any case be based on a single study.

            Regarding GMOs, the ECEAG experts note that there has been a gradual improvement in safety assessment criteria and standards; in particular, the strengthening of the substantial equivalence approach by implementing subchronic toxicity feeding studies on animals. However, whether current assessment methods can detect potential long-term effects and the plausibility of these effects are subjects of controversy in the scientific community. Given that there are so few studies documenting these effects, it is difficult to overcome this controversy.The ECEAG deems that these issues should be debated, especially in regard to the growing and foreseeable complexity (GM stacked events) of genetically-modified plants. The ECEAG experts therefore feel that it is necessary to deliberate further on whether the scientific principles for evaluating safety should be revised and this deliberation should be based on all the studies that have been conducted on a national level, particularly by ANSES, but also on an international level39.…

            (emphasis added)

          • donny_t

            Actually, in Jeffrey Smith’s report, there have been livestock having infertility problems after being fed GM feed.

            Ermakova’s experiments were unfinished because quote “Samples were stolen from her lab, papers were burnt on her desk, and she
            said that her boss, under pressure from his boss, told her to stop
            doing any more GMO research”

            Seralini’s work has been vindicated even when like other studies it did not make any conclusions. Yet why did it have to be redacted? See the kind of precedent that’s being set when scientists challenge the paradigm?

          • FrenchKissed

            Jeffrey Smith is just a hack kook who makes his living off of perpetuating fears about genetically engineered foods. He is not a rancher and he knows not of which he speaks.

            A rancher would notice if his livestock was becoming infertile and if neonatal calves (or piglets) had a high mortality rate. They would take heed if these things were happening, as their livelihood would be at stake. Each calf would be a $500+ loss in profit. Each cow incapable of breeding would cost a farmer about $3,000 in lost profit.

            The Seralini study wasn’t redacted, it was retracted. The problem was not that the results were inconclusive, but that they were deliberately presented in a way that suggested they were conclusive. It was as if he was writing an English essay, selectively presenting the data that supported his thesis while ignoring the rest.

          • donny_t

            Read some of his reports. He has pictures and stories from all over the world where livestock are for example giving birth to “sacks of fluid” after starting a gmo diet.

            And no, the editor for FCT, Dr. A. Wallace Hayes, claimed that the retraction of a study conducted by a team headed by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini was due to some
            “inconclusive” findings.

            Seralini’s study was retracted after a former Monsanto scientist Richard E. Goodman was appointed as “assistant editor for biotechnology” at FCT, in the wake of the “Seralini affair”

            http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/15193-conflicts-of-interest-at-food-and-chemical-toxicology-and-elsevier

  • Rob Bairos

    Actually the resistance is due to overuse of Roundup in some areas. It can be mitigated by crop rotation and other conventional techniques. It’s not related to biotech, but a continuous battle since agriculture was first invented.

    If ‘Nature will always find a way’ explain domestication of animals and agriculture.
    These are relatively new (and intrusive) techniques in the grand scheme of things.

  • Kevin Folta

    No confusion. There is no GMO commercialized wheat. Period. Never was. It was only being developed and tested because the process is so long- if there was a market for it, it would be ready.
    The caller shows how people fear something they know nothing about. The fear peddlers have done such a great job frightening them that they don’t even try to understand the science. That’s why I try to help.

  • NoToGMOs

    I have met my share of such neanderthals on these forums, lol! One particular one comes to mind but I won’t mention his name. :)

  • Kevin Folta

    We’re only idiots if we trash good technology because someone thinks it is harmful. And no, nobody needs Monsanto to decide anything. These are facts. GM soy contains the same allergens as regular soy. They are soy allergens. I can show you them on on an electrophoresis gel. They are well understood and characterized.

    So yes, it is coincidence. It happens all the time.

  • hyperzombie

    I have tried for years on and off to confirm this Myth, I have found no studies, as in 0, stating that smoking was safe, or even didn’t have major Health implications. Most of the major Health authorities in the 30s stated smoking was bad for your health and was linked to cancer. If you have any evidence to the contrary, I would love to see it. :)

  • Novagene

    Wheat is definitely modified.

    Agreed. However, the caller, calling on the topic of GMOs, was convinced that wheat created with the modern techniques of genetic engineering that we classify as a GMO was the cause of all sorts of ailments. There is no commercial GMO wheat (ignorance) and there is no good evidence that GMOs promote disease (fear).

    What hasn’t been [modified]?

    This is a point most anti-GMO advocates ignore assuming that all of our food crops have existed as we currently know them. Its why labeling a breeding technique is unwarranted.

    Anti-GMO advocates assert that there is a unique risk, known or unknown, in consuming GE foods. That’s a science question. And no, there isn’t “science on both sides,” as On Point guest Falko Schilling insists. There’s science and there’s pseudo-science, and this false balance is being canonized in labeling legislation. It is not the role of government to “teach the controversy.”

    The labeling information you cite concerns manufacturing processes. There’s no law requiring what types of oranges (the breed or genetics) are in orange juice. (For what its worth, commercial “not from concentrate” orange juice is pasteurized, stored for months, and requires added flavor packs that are not legally required to be disclosed through labeling.) A jar of applesauce does not need to say what variety of apples were used. Organic Rio Star Grapefruits do not disclose that the variety was created through radiation mutagenesis. (Why don’t they advertise this if they are so proud? What are they hiding?)

    Consumer protection is already in place for GE food. It’s as safe, if not safer — since there’s a screening process — than every other “modified” food that never had a regulatory process. If people want to avid GMOs, not for health concerns (protection), but for ideological reasons, that’s not the place of government, but a role of voluntary labels like Kosher or Free Range. So, consumers have choice, USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, and Fair Trade.

  • Novagene

    If that’s so, then GE labeling legislation should stop posing as scientific statements.

    Vermont’s H.112, and every variation of GMO labeling bill before it, directly challenges the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s scientific authority and makes statements like:

    Genetically engineered foods potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture, and the environment, as evidenced by the following:

    So stop claiming that this has nothing to do with science when legislators like Senator Zuckerman who helped lead the bill, and called On Point to defend it with more pseudo-science, are couching their arguments as credible science or proposing that there is some sort of divide in the scientific consensus of GE safety. There isn’t.

    This is “teach the controversy” legislation.

    • nj_v2

      ^ Interesting the way these novel handles appear out of nowhere when certain topics with corporate/industry interests come up. Gun control, corporate control over the food system…

      • Novagene

        I’ll admit that I do like the association my Disqus handle has with genetic engineering, but it’s an Internet handle I’ve had in mind for a while that actually has little to do with topic.

        It’s an anagram.

  • trevorkidd

    So, no backtracking on your statement organic products must be labeled? I figured. People who spread nonsense rarely admit they were wrong when it is pointed out.

    So in “doing my homework” which conspiracy sites should I visit? naturalnews? the foodbabe? Or can I just tell if the information is “on the take” based on whether it agrees or disagrees with the nonsense you spout? I didn’t know that “doing your homework” is supposed to make someone less informed then they were before they started. At least I learned something from you.

  • trevorkidd

    ” so far the scientists are slightly concerned it may cause health risks but not enough data has been done so for now the fda says its safe.”

    An amazingly inaccurate and anti-scientific statement for someone you claims to be “for science.”

    There is an extreme minority of scientists (the same kind of extreme minority who exist in all scientific fields and areas) who claim there may be health risks, there is no real data to support their opinions. If there was any legitimate claims of harm then the food would either be pulled or labelled.

    You claim to be a science student, maybe you should read what the major scientific organizations have to say on this issue, as well as the labeling issue.

  • Jon

    This is a very active research field, and has merit. The research I am familiar with locally (Hawaii), is trying to tease out why Hawaii is having CCD in the non-agriculture ecosystems more than in ag areas over the past 7 years. We do not have vast lands of intensive agriculture, yet see high honey bee mortality (mites, viruses, beetles, caterpillars are pests of bees). It seems that Hawaii has just gotten enough of the pests in the past 10 years to start showing CCD, yet Neonics are not as prevalent, glyphosate is not eliminating vast tracks of weeds, and we have constant growing seasons, so there are always ‘weeds’ flowering for bee food sources… Nothing is simple, which why there are great scientists working out cause and effect relationships.

  • nj_v2

    http://laudyms.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/sri-lanka-partially-bans-glyphosate-for-deadly-kidney-disease-epidemic/

    Sri Lanka Partially Bans Glyphosate for Deadly Kidney Disease Epidemic

    Sri Lanka is set to partially ban glyphosate-based herbicide use following a new peer-reviewed study linking it to a fatal chronic kidney disease epidemic badly affecting the country [1]. Kidney problems have been further documented in other global regions, prompting an earlier complete ban by El Salvador late last year [2]. A complete ban was initially proposed, but due to plantation sector representatives claiming a shortage of agricultural workers that would not sufficiently manage weeds without glyphosate, the government has now limited the ban to disease endemic areas [3]. Even Brazil, one of the largest growers of glyphosate-tolerant genetically modified (GM) crops has now filed a law suit by Federal Prosecutors to ban glyphosate along with 8 other dangerous pesticides [4]. It is becoming increasingly difficult for government regulators and glyphosate producers to justify the use of this herbicide when other nations are banning the chemical outright in order to protect their citizens.

    (excerpt)

    • Kevin Folta

      There was no peer-reviewed study linking glyphosate to CKDu. A complete lie. Plenty of websites make that link, as they need to build fear and vilify science.

      You need to actually read the papers. Jayatilake et al., 2013 mention glyphosate once as a potential hypothesis–there are no data to support that as a “link”. However, that is enough to make anti-GM people scream bloody murder.

      Nanayakkara et al., 2014 checked many factors. They could not find evidence of heavy metals in the urine, and found the strongest common thread among those with the disease was a genetic predisposition of changes that map to a sodium transporter. That makes some sense, as Senevirathna et al 2012 looked at other risk factors and suggests hypertension and malnutrtion are contributors.

      If you actually read the science, rather than the propaganda, you’ll find that you are being fooled by people twisting real science for their agenda.

      • NoToGMOs

        “That makes some sense, as Senevirathna et al 2012 looked at other risk factors and suggests hypertension and malnutrtion are contributors.”

        Hypertension and malnutrition occurs in many parts of the world, not just the specific regions of South America and South Asia that CKDu is prevalent in (which coincidentally happen to be areas of very high glyphosate usage).

      • nj_v2

        How deeply should we genuflect to “peer review”?

        http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/07/10/scholarly-journal-retracts-60-articles-smashes-peer-review-ring/

        Scholarly journal retracts 60 articles, smashes ‘peer review ring’

        Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

        Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.…

        The reason for the mass retraction is mind-blowing: A “peer review and citation ring” was apparently rigging the review process to get articles published.

        You’ve heard of prostitution rings, gambling rings and extortion rings. Now there’s a “peer review ring.”

        • FrenchKissed

          That’s like saying that our laws and their enforcement may not protect you from physical harm or loss of property; therefore, there’s no point in having laws.

          The peer review process may be far from perfect, but still it’s the best thing we’ve got.

          And when I say “we” I mean society. I am not trying to pass myself off as a scientist or academic researcher. This is simply a topic of great interest to me– and, no, I don’t work for Monsanto either.

      • nj_v2

        And there’s this about the “science.”

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

        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.… ]]

        (excerpts)

        • FrenchKissed

          You are mistaken.

          http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/public-research-agreements.aspx

          “In June 2009, corn entomologists from public universities and the U.S. government met with representatives of the country’s seed companies – including Monsanto – in Ames, Iowa. The topic of the meeting, coordinated by the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), was academic research; specifically, how to strike a balance between the seed companies’ desire for well-designed scientific studies and the public scientists’ desire to conduct hassle-free research on transgenic seed. The ensuing discussion led to the development of a set of principles that we hope will bring a better understanding of the companies’ commitment to and support of wide-ranging research with GM crops.

          The issue of academic research first gained major media attention in February 2009. A comment was posted in the Federal Register from a group of 26 scientists who participate in NCR-46, a group of public sector researchers who study insect-protected GM crops. The comment was sent to the EPA Scientific Advisory Panel (SAP) concerning their review of insect resistance management strategies. The scientists stated that technology/Stewardship Agreements are a barrier to independent research.”

          “Monsanto was, at the time, surprised by these 26 scientists’ complaint. Our surprise was based on our own experience working with academic researchers, as those experiences have been overwhelmingly positive over the years. Monsanto has agreements with universities that enable thousands of researchers to conduct research programs with our commercial products. These researchers have conducted well-designed, well-controlled studies and published their results in peer-reviewed scientific journals. On occasion, these researchers have come to conclusions with which we did not agree. Their conclusions have been published and we continue to work with and supply seed for their research.

          Why does Monsanto continue to work with researchers with whose conclusions we do not agree? We do it because research conducted by third parties at all stages of a product’s life cycle provides important information for the developers, regulators, farmers, consumers and the public at large. Studies that raise new questions or validate prior findings are reviewed and assessed to determine what additional research and development may be needed and help inform decisions on future products.”

          “Years ago, each time a scientist or group of scientists from a university wanted to study Monsanto’s products, both parties would sign a contract specific to that study. The sheer number of such studies for which we provided our seed made that model of contract signing cumbersome for both parties.

          As a result, Monsanto introduced the blanket agreement, which allows
          university scientists to work with Monsanto’s commercial seed products
          without contacting the company or signing a separate contract. This
          blanket agreement – the Academic Research License (ARL) – enables
          academic researchers to do research with commercialized products with as
          few constraints as possible. ARLs are in place with all major agriculturally-focused US universities – about 100 in total.

          The February 2009 comment, and the June 2009 meeting, helped us realize that we can do more to communicate to university researchers the freedom they have to conduct wide-ranging research programs with commercialized Monsanto GM crops. We’ve already begun an extensive outreach effort to share that message with the universities holding an ARL.

          The principles developed by the seed industry include:

          PRINCIPLES and OBJECTIVES:

          º To enable the public sector research community to independently conduct research studies on commercially available seed products in laboratory, greenhouse, and field settings for the purpose of understanding the technology, education, extension and the safe and effective use of these products.

          This research may include:

          ··· agronomic and yield comparisons;

          ··· testing for compositional profile such as oil content;

          ··· studies related to end-use such as animal feeding;

          ··· comparative efficacy studies;

          ··· studies on interactions of the trait with pest biology and pest management practices including interactions related to resistance management;

          ··· studies on interactions of introduced traits with the environment

          This statement does not address:

          ··· breeding with plants produced from the seed;

          ··· reverse engineering or characterizing the genetic composition of patent-protected traits in seed;

          ··· development of methods for detecting the presence or absence of patent-protected traits in seed;

          ··· use of non-commercial methods to detect the presence or absence of patent-protected traits in seed;

          ··· research on modifications or improvements to the patent-protected traits

          º To assure that the public sector research community is free to design robust, scientifically sound experimental protocols and methodologies, and to derive independent conclusions.

          º To encourage and assure that the public sector research community is free to publish findings in peer reviewed scientific or research journals, with reasonable notice to companies.

          º To assure compliance with applicable laws and regulations, respect for intellectual property, and the use of comprehensive stewardship programs that promote the responsible and safe management of commercially approved and available seed products.

          º To facilitate access among private sector and public institutions to commercial, licensed technologies for the research and testing purposes stated above.

          º To assure a regular and ongoing dialogue between the seed industry and the public sector researchers and institutions. ”

          As for researchers at institutions that don’t have an ARL or an agricultural department, the agreement does not forbid them from doing studies using their patented products, it merely requires their permission. This is to ensure the research adheres to protocol and does not misinterpret the findings and report conclusions not supported by the data.

          • nj_v2

            Ha ha!

            Yes, we should trust Monsanto’s propaganda statements and proclamations, because, you know, like the history of other chemical companies and large corporations clearly shows, their record indicates they’re totally honest, forthcoming, and trustworthy.

            http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/20/business/20crop.html?_r=1&amp;

            Crop Scientists Say Biotechnology Seed Companies Are Thwarting Research

            Biotechnology companies are keeping university scientists from fully researching the effectiveness and environmental impact of the industry’s genetically modified crops, according to an unusual complaint issued by a group of those scientists.

            “No truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions,” the scientists wrote in astatement submitted to theEnvironmental Protection Agency. The E.P.A. is seeking public comments for scientific meetings it will hold next week on biotech crops.

            The statement will probably give support to critics of biotech crops, like environmental groups, who have long complained that the crops have not been studied thoroughly enough and could have unintended health and environmental consequences.

            The researchers, 26 corn-insect specialists, withheld their names because they feared being cut off from research by the companies. But several of them agreed in interviews to have their names used.

            The problem, the scientists say, is that farmers and other buyers of genetically engineered seeds have to sign an agreement meant to ensure that growers honor company patent rights and environmental regulations. But the agreements also prohibit growing the crops for research purposes.…

            (snipped)

  • nj_v2

    U.S. goes to war (figuratively) with Europe over GMO, because, you know, that’s the best way to get them to see how good and wonderful the technology really is.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/jan/03/wikileaks-us-eu-gm-crops

    WikiLeaks: US targets EU over GM crops
    John Vidal, environment editor
    The Guardian, Monday 3 January 2011 08.44 EST

    US embassy cable recommends drawing up list of countries for ‘retaliation’ over opposition to genetic modification

    The US embassy in Paris advised Washington to start a military-style trade war against any Euroxpean Union country which opposed genetically modified (GM) crops, newly released WikiLeaks cables show.

    In response to moves by France to ban a Monsanto GM corn variety in late 2007, the ambassador, Craig Stapleton, a friend and business partner of former US president George Bush, asked Washington topenalise the EU and particularly countries which did not support the use of GM crops.

    “Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits.

    “The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices,” said Stapleton, who with Bush co-owned the Dallas/Fort Worth-based Texas Rangers baseball team in the 1990s.

    In other newly released cables, US diplomats around the world are found to have pushed GM crops as a strategic government and commercial imperative.…

    (snipped)

    • Wroots

      It is time we kicked the US out of Britain and Europe. They do us nothing but harm.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard
  • nj_v2

    [[ Not true. Syngenta has had Bt producing sweet corn on the market for years. ]]

    Bt producing and RoundUp Ready, two different things.

    [[ As when Bts are used in organic production, these bacterial proteins GREATLY reduce the need for chemical spraying for this crop. ]]

    Wrong again.

    Non-GMO use of Bt is only when needed, and usually rotated with other insecticides.

    With GMO Bt, the plant produces the toxins continuously, with an attendant, much greater, even inevitable development of resistance the local insect populations, eventually necessitating the use of insecticides that the proponents of GMO technology say the use of GMO obviates.

    • Kevin Folta

      True, but even Bt corn uses some broad-spectrum insecticide to decrease chances of resistance. That, plus planting non-bt refugia work pretty well.

      There are confirmed cases of resistance for sure, but that will happen with any technology when one mechanism is all that is used.

      Plants make many insecticidal compounds. The next round of products will key off of these native proteins.

      • nj_v2

        [[ That, plus planting non-bt refugia work pretty well. ]]

        Yeah, all this stuff works pretty well, until it doesn’t.

        http://blog.brainiyak.com/?p=1889

        “As expected, insect resistance to Bacillus thuringiensis genetically modified crops has emerged — the bad news is that some insects have adapted with two forms of dominant, rather than recessive, genes…

        The idea was that these refuges of “natural” crops would permit un-mutated insects to maintain high numbers.

        These populations, in turn, would mate with Bt-resistant mutants, producing offspring that would mostly have only 1 copy of the Bt-resistance gene. If that gene were recessive, the offspring of the Bt-resistant insect would die, when they ate the genetically modified crops (figuratively) next door.

        This strategy worked well on Arizona’s pink bollworm.

        However, this refuge-based, insect-management hypothesis depends on the Bt-resistance genes coming only in recessive form. Meaning that it takes two copies of the gene in an insect to confer full or partial resistance to Bt toxins.”

        You guys are arrogant—or, giving the benefit of the doubt, confident—enough to think there’s always an answer to every negative consequence of technology.

        There’s always the next, bestest thing, just around the corner, waiting to be developed or discovered to bail us out.

        All this technological tail chasing ignores the real problems: Here, industrialized agriculture trying to feed a number of people beyond the carrying capacity of the planet.

        Food is but one of the limiting factors. Major fisheries are in collapse, so we turn to fish farming, with all its problems.

        Water problems—shortages, pollution, etc.—proliferate, so we now look to expensive desalination and other expensive, exotic solutions.

        Our entire infrastructure is dependent on previously plentiful, relatively cheap fossil fuels whose supplies are now dwindling, and whose costs will, at some point, inexorably begin to escalate.

        Piecemeal, phony (unsustainable, problematic, in some measure ineffective) mostly technological solutions to these problems at best buy us some time, and at worse create the illusion that they are really solving problems while diverting resources from real solutions.

        We’re screwed unless and until we get to the heart of where our problems come from.

        “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”

        —Henry David Thoreau

        • Kevin Folta

          Absolutely. There’s no question that resistance develops to everything eventually. The trick is using it correctly in the first place.

          Right now refugia, scouting, and periodic use of traditional pesticides allow Bt to remain effective.

        • Jason

          Regardless of whether Bt becomes ineffective or not. It is VERY difficult to argue that soil and crop applied insecticides are a safer and more desirable solution.

          So, that having been said, why on earth wouldn’t you use them until such point that they are no longer useful? Obviously best practices should be observed to prevent resistance for as long as possible. But until such time that it becomes unmanageable, Bt is the best option going.

        • FrenchKissed

          Actually, Bt resistance (in the form of shortened receptor cells in the mid-gut epithelial tissue) is a recessive trait, and can be kept in check through the use of refuge plantings.

          http://evolution.berkeley.edu/evolibrary/article/agriculture_04

      • First Officer

        Not to mention that Bt resistance had been observed before any GM Bt crop use.

        • nj_v2

          Irrelevant

  • NoToGMOs

    Ummm, no. Learn to pay attention to detail. The caption says GMO sweet corn by Monsanto became the first whole food to have BOTH traits: insecticide (Bt toxin) production AND herbicide (Roundup) resistance.

    • First Officer

      But, by harvest time, glyphosate has already broken down and what little remains is far less toxic than organic’s favorite, rotenone, and Altrazine.

      Bt is simply not toxic to us, like chocolate.

      • nj_v2

        ^ Disinfo alert!

        http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613019201

        Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans

        [[ This article describes the nutrient and elemental composition, including residues of herbicides and pesticides, of 31 soybean batches from Iowa, USA. The soy samples were grouped into three different categories: (i) genetically modified, glyphosate-tolerant soy (GM-soy); (ii) unmodified soy cultivated using a conventional “chemical” cultivation regime; and (iii) unmodified soy cultivated using an organic cultivation regime. Organic soybeans showed the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose, significantly more total protein, zinc and less fibre than both conventional and GM-soy. Organic soybeans also contained less total saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy. GM-soy contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA (mean 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg, respectively). Conventional and organic soybean batches contained none of these agrochemicals. Using 35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterise each soy sample, we were able to discriminate GM, conventional and organic soybeans without exception, demonstrating “substantial non-equivalence” in compositional characteristics for ‘ready-to-market’ soybeans.]]

        (emphasis added)

        • First Officer

          Disinformation alert all right. That study seems to have failed to take into account any soil and weather conditions. A proper study would have tightly controlled soil nutrients, water, light and input applications. That study only shows soybean nutrition varies around Iowa. And those glyphosate levels? Like I said, way below toxicity thresholds.

        • First Officer

          All that study proved was soybeans from different farms may have different nutritional levels. There were no control of variables such as available nutrients in the soils, weather conditions and farmer applied inputs. The soybeans in question can’t manufacture things like zinc out of thin air if it’s not found in the soil used. Additionally, the levels of glyphosate found are still far below toxicity levels. Even this non-scientist can see this study is a hack.

      • nj_v2

        http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/25/roundup-health-study-idUSL2N0DC22F20130425

        Heavy use of herbicide Roundup linked to health dangers-U.S. study

        April 25 (Reuters) – Heavy use of the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup, could be linked to a range of health problems and diseases, including Parkinson’s, infertility and cancers, according to a new study.

        The peer-reviewed report, published last week in the scientific journal Entropy, said evidence indicates that residues of “glyphosate,” the chief ingredient in Roundup weed killer, which is sprayed over millions of acres of crops, has been found in food.

        Those residues enhance the damaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease, according to the report, authored by Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Anthony Samsel, a retired science consultant from Arthur D. Little, Inc. Samsel is a former private environmental government contractor as well as a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists.…

        (snipped)

        • Kevin Folta

          According to the computer scientists Seneff. Why not ask any of the nation’s thousands of research scientists? She never does talk about how glyphosate would actually get into the body at biologically meaningful levels:

          http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/07/glyphosate-math.html

          • First Officer

            There was no link in that Reuters article to any study. So, i wonder, if it’s that, “study” of Seneff’s that has no, “studying”, in it. (I.e. no data of it’s own) and if its that one with that, “exogenous semiotic entropy”, term.

          • Kevin Folta

            That’s right. To Seneff, research is searching anti-GMO websites. I have video of her from Hawaii when she claims to have connected glyphosate to autism through research in her lab. Those papers are just junk reviews, not even primary research! But hey, nobody in her target audience knows the difference.

      • Wroots

        Wrong. Check this out to find out what happens to GMO corn in your stomach. http://www.nextworldtv.com/videos/gmo-food-politics/how-to-find-out-if-its-a-gmo.html

        Lay off the chocolate. Lindane is a persticide sprayed on cacoa trees and chocolate contains traces. Lindane is banned in the EU.

        And stop shopping at Walmart. It’s bad for mental and physical health.

        • trevorkidd

          Oh goodie! A video where Jeffrey Smith explains stuff. People who know basic science don’t fall for Smith’s lies. There is a reason why anti-gmo activists have to rely on people like Smith, who has no scientific training, and believes he can fly. That reason is because people who know even basic science wouldn’t be able to say things that stupid without starting to laugh.

          • Wroots

            I guess it takes people like him to translate into “commoner” langauge the findings of research on the subject. At that level it looks a bit “flaky” but it is not necessarily lies. Expect the big lies to come from Monsanto. Try the 10 research studies here: http://www.collective-evolution.com/2014/04/08/10-scientific-studies-proving-gmos-can-be-harmful-to-human-health/

          • Kevin Folta

            Hi Wroots. Smith is not a scientist. He’s pretty much wrong about everything- remember, he makes a living by scaring people.

            Your last post is one I see all the time as “evidence”. It is a really awful collection of papers that have some serious problems.

            For instance, the first one has been completely debunked. Aris and Leblanc claim to find Bt protein in “Maternal and Fetal Blood”. If you read the methods and look at what they are claiming to detect, they are measuring levels BELOW the level of detection! Oops!

            They basically are measuring noise in the assay and reporting it as signal. Don’t just believe me, reproduce the standard curve from their numbers.

            #2. is being over-interpreted. It says it finds plant DNA in the blood. You eat a lot of plant DNA. Even the genes used in GM are on your food- even if it is organic. Bt is an organic insecticide and the epsps enzyme for glyphosate resistance is in many bacteria and plants.

            #3 was not a research report. It is a report assembled by Jeffrey Smith. There is no relationship between GM and gluten disorders. Wheat is not GM either.

            #4. Seralini study. Retracted. Republished in junk journal w/o review or revision. Still awful.

            #5. A non-conclusive report about cells in a dish, with no evidence from animal models. A good starting point, but hardly evidence of any danger.

            #6. A non-peer reviewed Earth Open Source document that cherry-picks claims from a paper with some serious flaws, like a mis-cited work used to justify the study and figures that don’t internally match.

            #7. An overstep of any data ever published. These are crackpot ideas of a computer scientist activist that misinterprets scientific literature.

            #8. Really? The authors do not describe what statistical methods are used in each test, and the error bars are massive. Again, to the informed statistically savvy reader it looks like the authors are reading noise in the assay.

            #9 If you bin the data in another way, you get the opposite result. It all depends where the authors decide to draw the line for signficant effects, and other minor differences (uterus weight) can be explained by physiology.

            #10. Depends. Each product has its own exhaustive testing, so there is no universal test method.

          • hyperzombie

            Great post Kevin, +10 from me.

          • trevorkidd

            Kevin Folta explained things well. Those studies are crap. As for Smith, in order to translate a complex topic into “commoner” language you have to actually be able to understand the topic in the first place. Smith does not understand it at all. All he spreads is misinformation. It is like having a language translated into English by someone who doesn’t understand a word of other language. That kind of thing is funny in movies and TV shows, but in the real world all Smith does is make people more misinformed and believe his lies are true.

          • First Officer

            Ya beat me to it !

          • hyperzombie

            Yeah, I will stop shopping at walmart when Jeffrey Smith flies over on his yoga mat and stops me.

          • nj_v2

            The all-purose deflection for GMO/corporate apologists: “Jeffrey Smith!”

        • First Officer

          I will neither stop eating chocolate nor stop shopping at Walmart when i see fit. You’re somewhat right about the quality of raw produce at Walmart, which made the Bt sweet corn’s good quality even more amazing !

        • Jason

          I tend to trust scientific studies on what Bt corn does in my stomach rather than self promoting kooks. But thanks is anyway.

    • First Officer

      By the way, since the GMO sweet corn is sold at Walmart, i had several ears and it was very good. Thanks for asking :)

      • Wroots

        You shop at Walmart!?!? No wonder you thought the GMO sweet corn was good! I don’t trust anyone’s opinion once I know they shop in that awful store.

  • http://www.ecoevolution.org/ Ian G

    It is in its infancy, but it is getting better by leaps and bounds…. which is part of the problem. As it gets easier to create new genetic “products,” the pressure increases to allow more and more access to the technology. I don’t think many would argue that this should go without supervision.

    Because of this, it is also important to consider even scientists doing important work create things that pose a significant biological threat to us when manufacturing organisms. https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=scientists%20create%20super%20virus

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/26/health/wisconsin-scientist-says-h5n1-flu-strain-he-created-is-less-dangerous.html?_r=0

  • nj_v2

    http://www.foeeurope.org/weed-killer-glyphosate-found-human-urine-across-Europe-130613

    Weed killer found in human urine across Europe

    People in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of the weed killer glyphosate in their urine, show the results of tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe and released today [1].

    The findings raise concerns about increasing levels of exposure to glyphosate-based weed killers, commonly used by farmers, public authorities and gardeners across Europe. The use of glyphosate is predicted to rise further if more genetically modified (GM) crops are grown in Europe [2].

    Despite its widespread use, there is currently little monitoring of glyphosate in food, water or the wider environment. This is the first time monitoring has been carried out across Europe for the presence of the weed killer in human bodies.…

    (snipped)

    • First Officer

      Which, if you absorb any at all, its where you should find glyphosate. Glyphosate is readily filtered and disposed from the body via the kidneys, as expected. The data shows the equipment used was at the limits of its resolution and detection.

      Glyphosate remains one of the least toxic herbicides available.

      • nj_v2

        So people should simply have to live with added body burdens of herbicides (the long-term effects of which are unknown) that they are exposed to by corporations using technologies whose main benefit is corporate profit.

        Got it.

        • Jason

          It’s not a question of herbicide or no herbicide. If glyphosate goes away, it will simply be replaced with other, likely more toxic, products.

          Until anyone can propose a better solution for maintaining the level of production that farmers need, I’m afraid chemical weed control is a fact of life. Granted that, we need to work for the system with the least possible environmental impact. In my opinion, given the other options, I think the roundup system is the best we’ve had. It’s unfortunate that it worked so well that it was overused and now were faced with the weeds that require other products.

          • nj_v2

            Only the most narrow conception of something “working well” could be applied to the RoundUp Ready system.

            It only “works well” until weed resistance—which is completely predictable—kicks in and renders the system useless.

            In this way, GMO technology is no different than the previous history of corporate/industrial/chemical agriculture which relies on mostly unsustainable resources.

            I don’t know how much longer we can stumble from one novel technology to another—each with some slight advantage, and a raft of unintended negative consequences—but which still doesn’t address root problems.

            The profile and reputation of glyphosate’s relatively favorable health and environmental effects is only valid, i think, when the extent of its use and exposure potential is somewhat limited.

            With the advent of its use (and i’d say overuse) in GMO cropping systems, it is now being used in quantities that are orders of magnitude more than it had been previously.

            Given the sheer volume of the stuff and, in some areas, its ubiquity in the environment, and given he lack of studies on long-term, chronic exposure, it’s fair to say we really have little idea what the long-term health and environmental consequences will be.

            Reading through this summary

            http://www.scribd.com/doc/93161694/InTech-Forty-Years-With-Glyphosate

            of the product’s history and use, and of studies of how it interacts with biology and the environment, a rational person cannot simply dismiss the potential for its harm.

          • Jason

            Sure, weed resistance lowers the effectiveness of the system. As you mentioned, that’s the case for every herbicide that’s ever been used. In most Midwestern fields, however, it’s still the primary option. Its basically gone from “incredibly effective” to “still pretty damn effective”…. meaning it’s still better than many options. The 20 year run that Glyphosate has had before any meaningful resistance has developed is great by herbicide standards.

            I disagree about the safety being dependent on the volume of use. Obviously there are safe & unsafe levels for everything. Every gallon of glyphosate applied would need to be replaced with another product if herbicide tolerant crops were to go away. So there is not a lessening of herbicides in the system. I think you have to compare the safety to what it would most likely be replaced with. This is an overly simplistic description of the state of things, but I think gets the point across.
            Again… I don’t think I’m dismissive of the potential for harm. I’m saying that I think that the potential for harm is very low, particularly when compared to likely alternatives.

        • First Officer

          Such a burden. Ppb’s for something with an LD50 nearly twice that of salt. What are the long term effects (or short term effects) of Copper Sulfate and rotenone ? At least glyphosate was studied. Where are all the OCA studies for their golden organic materials list?

          • nj_v2

            Monsanto, the industry, and their “science” has for years claimed that glyphosate broke down quickly in the environment, and did not accumulate.

            How is it then, that it’s showing up in people?

          • First Officer

            Again, ppb’s and at limits of instrument detection. They caught some before breaking down and being eliminated, which is why it was in the urine, on it’s way out. In steady state, rate of gly going in =’s rate going out and breaking down.

          • nj_v2

            No, no. You’re just flailing your arms.

            G was supposed to break down in the environment. There was no potential for human exposure. This was one of the rationales the industry has used to justify its use.

            Now it’s showing up in people, something that shouldn’t/couldn’t happen.

          • First Officer

            It does break down and people can still be exposed to it if they handle it, like in their own gardens.

          • nj_v2

            It was found in people who lived in cities. Not much gardening there, eh? Fail.

            Everything would seem to point to residues on food, but, of course, there haven’t yet been any comprehensive epidemiological studies done. We’re just told everything is “safe.”

      • Kevin Folta

        … at or below the limit of detection. Still no idea how people would get it in them, when HR crops are used for animal feed in Europe.

  • IMHere2C

    And speaking of Glyphosate again, can the pro-gmo side discuss that chemical in relation to Monarch butterflies?

    LA Times ….http://articles.latimes.com/2014/feb/25/science/la-sci-sn-monarch-butterfly-roundup-20140224

    Limits sought on weed killer glyphosate to help monarch butterflies
    02/25/14| By Louis Sahagun

    “With monarch butterfly populations rapidly dwindling, a conservation organization on Monday asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to implement tougher rules for the weed killer glyphosate — first marketed under the brand name Roundup — to save America’s most beloved insect from further decline.

    In a petition, the Natural Resources Defense Council argued that current uses of glyphosate are wiping out milkweed,the only plant upon which monarch caterpillars feed. The loss of milkweed is having a devastating effect on the life cycles of the large,fragile orange-and-black butterflies, which migrate through the United States, Canada and Mexico………”

    …snipped…

    • Jason

      What would you like to discuss about it? I, personally find this difficult to believe for a couple reasons. First, farmers have controlled milkweed in fields with herbicides long before glyphosate was the primary product. I don’t understand how, now, it’s being attributed to GMO crops and glyphosate when it’s been controlled by so many other products for so many more years. If glyphosate and GMO products go away, farmers will switch to older chemistry and continue to control those weeds just as they have done for decades.

      A 2012 study by Iowa State U attributed directly looked at glyphosate in agricultural fields in relation to milkweed populations but didn’t find any statistical correlation. What they did theorize was that the milkweed population is far more likely linked to the decline in fallow land as higher crop prices have brought more marginal lands out of protection programs and into production.

      I can say for certain the roadsides and medians between interstates in Indiana and Illinois are full of milkweed… At least until the state comes to mow.

      • IMHere2C

        Thanks for the response Jason. I was hoping that someone on the pro-gmo side could speak in relation to the article that I had found. I think that I found the Iowa State Univ. study that you mentioned but did not cite as a reference; so I can only presume that this is it:

        http://www.mlmp.org/Results/Findings/Pleasants_and_Oberhauser_2012_milkweed_loss_in_ag_fields.pdf

        I didn’t read the whole report and don’t have the time today, but in the abstract by the authors of the Iowa State U. study, they state,

        “…There has been a large decline in milkweed in agricultural fields in the Midwest over the last decade. This loss is coincident with the increased use of glyphosate herbicide in conjunction with increased planting of genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant corn (maize) and soybeans (soya)….”

        “… We investigate whether the decline in the size of the overwintering population can be attributed to a decline in monarch production owing to a loss of milkweeds in agricultural fields in the Midwest….”

        “We estimate that there has been a 58% decline in milkweeds on the Midwest landscape and an 81% decline in monarch production in the Midwest from 1999 to 2010. Monarch production in the Midwest each year was positively correlated with the size of the subsequent overwintering population in Mexico. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that a loss of agricultural milkweeds is a major contributor to the decline in the monarch population…..”

        Those statements appear to contradict the ones that you made as to “no
        statistical correlation”. It may be shown later in the actual study so possibly you can give me the place in the study so I can read it.

        • Jason

          I certainly recommend reading the study. I did, but it was at least a year ago and certainly possible my memory is not accurate.

          I seem to recall that the questions wasn’t whether there was a decline in agricultural milkweed populations or whether this had an impact on monarchs, but whether glyphosate adoption was directly linked to the butterfly populations.

          My recollection is that they suggested that agricultural milkweed populations in IA would not explain the decline in monarch populations if their other habitats remained stable. The most important being CRP acres which they found had also decreased significantly in that time frame.

          If I have mischaracterized their conclusions, I apologize. But i still find it difficult to believe that a simple herbicide switch could explain as large of a population shift as their assumptions show. It’s true that glyphosate is more effective on milkweed than many other herbicides, but prior to GMO crops, the standard practice was to,use a combination of products to get good control. It definitely was not to just let the milkweed go.

          • IMHere2C

            Jason. Your reply is very difficult to accept as a valid response to my previous posting or to the Iowa State study. I quoted 3 points that the authors gave in their abstract. And what was you response to those quotes? Not one word. I asked if you would show me in the study the sections that pertained to your belief. Nothing.

            If you choose not to even read the abstract, please do not attempt to disprove the study based on your thoughts which, as you state, “certainly possible my memory is not accurate” or …..”My recollection is..” or .”….If I have mischaracterized their conclusions,” or …”as their assumptions show…”.

            It seems to me that you’re making the assumptions here, Jason. The authors looked at all the information and drew conclusions and showed how they got there. What did you show? Nothing. You can choose not-to-believe the study or you can make up whatever you want because, as you say, “i still find it difficult to believe…”

            I posted this article twice now in anticipation that someone from the pro-GMO side would respond with some factual information relative to this current Iowa State Univ. study.

            Again, the the authors stated in the abstract:
            “…There has been a large decline in milkweed in agricultural fields in the Midwest over the last decade. This loss is coincident with the increased use of glyphosate herbicide in conjunction with increased planting of genetically modified (GM) glyphosate-tolerant corn (maize) and soybeans (soya)….”

            “… We investigate whether the decline in the size of the overwintering
            population can be attributed to a decline
            in monarch production owing to a loss of milkweeds in agricultural fields in the Midwest….”

            “We estimate that there has been a 58%
            decline in milkweeds on the Midwest landscape and an 81% decline in
            monarch production in the Midwest from 1999 to 2010. Monarch production
            in the Midwest each year was positively correlated with the size of the
            subsequent overwintering population in Mexico. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that a loss of
            agricultural milkweeds is a major contributor to the decline in the
            monarch population…..”

            Once again, what say the pro – glyphosate folks to this study? Really I M Here 2 C.

          • Jason

            Take a deal breath and relax. You’re fishing for comments from the “pro-glyphosate” crowd. I’m not sure what you mean by that, but every herbicide we’ve ever used has a set of benefits and risks. Glyphosate certainly has many benefits compare to alternatives, but we may also find that it has risks not previously identified. If those prove to be too large, then I’d certainly not argue against an EPA reassessment.

            I didn’t have time to reread the study earlier, just as you stated that you did not. I said earlier… There was no question that there had been a decline in milkweed populations nor that the decline had impacted monarch populations. What this study stopped short of was claiming that the adoption of glyphosate was the primary cause. They even state in one of your quotes that “This loss is coincident with the increased use of glyphosate”. Coincidence is not causation. Do herbicides have a negative impact on weeds? Most certainly.

            But glyphosate has been widely used since the late 90s when roundup ready corn & soy became the norm. This study states, in their introduction that monarch tagging programs have shown “The number of monarchs tagged shows a decline from 2004 to 2010 (Brower et al., 2011a).” But they never address why declines aren’t showing up until 2004, when glyphosate had been in widespread use in cotton, corn & soy fields for 7-8 years already. Monarch populations posted on MonarchWatch.org show that after a large drop in 2004, populations were stable until massive drop in 2009-2010. Again, roundup had been in heavy use for nearly a decade & a half by then. So it couldn’t be solely responsible for these dramatic declines.

            Another study from Penn State measure the impact of 3 common herbicides on plant species diversity. Both glyphosate and milkweed were considered in the study which stated:
            “Five congeneric pairs of rare and common species were treated with 3 commonly used herbicide modes of action in bioassay experiments, and few significant differences were found in the tolerances of rare species relative to common species. These preliminary results suggest that other factors beyond herbicide exposure may be more important in shaping the distribution and abundance of plant species diversity across an agricultural landscape.”

            Regarding the IAS study’s comments on CRP acreage. In the discussion, they state: “Table 1 indicates that the habitat of greatest importance is CRP land. However, the amount of CRP land is also declining; in 2010, the number of CRP hectares for the Midwestern states had declined by 0.5 million from its high in 2007 of 3.8 million hectares (USDA, Conservation Programs, 2010). ”

            MonarchWatch.org seems to back this up stating:
            In 1996 the total acreage for corn and soy was 143.5 million acres while in 2013 was 174.4 million acres – an increase of 29.5 million acres. Note that while the acreage increased by 9.5 million acres from 1996 to 2006, the acreage increased by 20 million over the last 7 years. This increase is largely due to the ethanol mandate. Early in 2007 congress passed the Clean Energy Act of 2007, frequently referred to as the ethanol mandate. It was apparent to many growers in the spring of 2007 that this act was going to increase the demand for and price of corn. Corn planting has been increasing ever since with the result that farmers have removed hedgerows and narrowed field margins. In much of the corn-belt, farming is from road to road with little habitat for any form of wildlife remaining. Grasslands – including some of the last remaining native prairies, rangelands, wetlands, and 11.2 million acres of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land – have been plowed under to produce more corn and soybeans. Most of these acres formerly contained milkweeds, monarchs, pollinators and other forms of wildlife.

            So… The point I was trying to make is that we can’t sit back & state that GMO crops are to blame. Even if time ends up showing the increased adoption of glyphosate is a major factor, that’s merely a knock on glyphosate rather than on GMO crops. Having re-read the IA State study, they do seem to be pointing a finger squarely at glyphosate adoption. Obviously, my memory was not accurate in that aspect. But yet they also state that all of their milkweed data is from that state “There has not been a long-term study of milkweed density in agricultural habitats outside of Iowa so the similarity between Iowa and the Midwest in this aspect can only be assumed.” Again, while they make assumptions here, Iowa is this single largest state for corn AND soybean acres. So to make assumptions about the impact that agricultural acres outside the state of Iowa seems like a bad assumption. The percentage of non-agricultural monarch habitat in other states is larger compared to agricultural.

          • IMHere2C

            “Take a deep breath and relax”? Please do not patronize me.
            “You’re fishing for comments…” No, I was asking for information. Why must you make my request into something negative?

            You mention a Penn State study about herbicides. Will you provide a link? Is that the same study or different from the IAS study that you also mention? Please provide a link.

            I do note your opening comment in the very first post and will look for some clarification.

            Thanks.

          • Jason

            I’m not intending to be patronizing, but your comments came across as though you were very agitated and trying to pick a fight with the “pro-Glyphosate” crowd…. Intended or not. I was trying to convey that I am not pro-glyphosate, but I am pro-farming and right now, my opinion is that glyphosate is a better option than many if not most of the other choices that farmers have, particularly from an environmental standpoint. But, that’s not to say that if the risks are shown to be greater than originally thought, that I’d be against switching to something else. You have to weigh the pros & cons of the options available.

            The Penn state study looked at herbicide impact on weed species diversity theorizing that if herbicides are to blame for the decrease in plant diversity in areas surrounding agricultural fields, then the plant species that have become rare must be more susceptible to herbicides than plants that are still commonly found. They weren’t specifically looking at milkweed decline, although it was one of the weed species tested. But, their data seems to suggest that herbicides were not the primary drivers for weed diversity.
            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/etc.2491/full

          • IMHere2C

            This is really getting harder to keep track of. That said, your opening statement regarding the LA Times article (which hasn’t even been mentioned) was,:

            “A 2012 study by Iowa State U attributed directly looked at glyphosate in
            agricultural fields in relation to milkweed populations but didn’t find any statistical correlation.

            “What they did theorize was that the milkweed population is far more likely
            linked to the decline in fallow land as higher crop prices have brought more
            marginal lands out of protection programs and into production.”

            In your 3rd comment, in part, about the above statement you noted,
            “Having re-read the IA State study, they do seem to be pointing a finger
            squarely at glyphosate adoption”

            And can point to the place in the study where you said, “What they did theorize…” because I can’t locate it.

            In your 2nd comment, you state,:
            “What this study stopped short of was claiming that the adoption of
            glyphosate was the primary cause.”

            Back up to your above response after re-reading the study. And also in the
            Discussion ending paragraph of the study, the authors say,:

            ” We have not yet seen the full impact that the use of glyphosate herbicides and the consequent reduction in milkweed resources will have on the
            monarch population. At present, some milk-weeds still remain in agricultural fields. Given the established dominance of glyphosate-tolerant crop plants and widespread use of glyphosate herbicide, the virtual disappearanceof milk-weeds from agricultural fields is inevitable.”

            Yea, that’s not establishing a primary cause, but it’s issuing a serious warning
            based on glyphosate use, if one cares about milkweed & butterflies.

            A part of the 3rd comment, you quote from the Discussion “Table 1 indicates that the habitat of greatest importance is CRP land.” That statement takes on a different sense of priority when the preceding one is noted,: “Given the disappearance of milkweeds in agricultural fields, milkweeds present in other habitats become more important for monarch populations.”…. I believe that’s an important part of the NRDC petition.

            The EPA is scheduled to complete
            a new review of glyphosate rules in 2015. But “given the rapid decline in
            monarch numbers, the EPA should take immediate steps to review and restrict
            glyphosate’s uses,” the petition says.

            “The petition asks the EPA to consider preventing the use of glyphosate and other weed killers along highways
            and utility rights of way where milkweed could grow freely without interfering
            with maintenance or emergency crews.” Isn’t that what you suggested?

            It also asks that farmers be required to establish herbicide-free safety zones in or around their fields, and urges the EPA to ensure that any new safeguards on glyphosate don’t lead simply to more use of other weed killers that would be equally bad for monarchs and may pose health risks. I believe that you mentioned this fact early on in your comments.

            Again in the 3rd comment you said, “we can’t sit back & state that GMO crops are to blame. Even if time ends up showing the increased adoption of glyphosate is a major factor, that’s merely a knock on glyphosate rather than on GMO crops.” I don’t know about that statement Jason. It seems that GMO crops & glyphosate are standard for some crops. I can’t tell from the study, but it ‘appears’ that the GMO use of glyphosate go hand-in-hand. But if it’s “merely a knock on glyphosate”, shouldn’t that be looked at? Is there so much of it being used as a stand- alone product to be problematic as mentioned in the IAS study? In the LA Times article
            it says, “Since federal glyphosate rules
            were last updated a decade ago, its use has spiked tenfold to 182 million
            pounds a year, largely due to the introduction and popularity of corn and
            soybeans genetically modified to resist the herbicide, the petition says.”

            A part of the 3rd comment, you quote from the Discussion, “Table 1 indicates that the habitat of greatest importance is CRP land.” That statement takes on a different import when the preceding one is noted,: “Given the disappearance of milkweeds in agricultural fields, milkweeds present in other habitats become more important for monarch populations.” And that is, I believe, an important part of the NRDC petition.

            Is there enough evidence present to ask for modification in the use of this chemical (no matter as a single-use or in combination with GE crops)? That’s what the petition asks. And it seemed in a few statements that you made, you might agree:

            In your 4th comment you say, “But, that’s not to say that if the risks are shown to be greater than originally thought, that I’d be against switching to something else”. Also “Glyphosate certainly has
            many benefits compare to alternatives, but we may also find that it has risks
            not previously identified. If those prove to be too large, then I’d certainly
            not argue against an EPA reassessment.”

            In your 3rd comment you state,” In my opinion, overuse of glyphosate likely
            is having an impact. But the IA state study agrees with me in that by better
            managing our other milkweed habitats, any losses due to lower in field populations could be avoided. There’s no reason to jump to the conclusion that we need to stop using herbicides.” The article says that the petition asks the EPA to consider preventing the use of glyphosate and other weed killers along highways and utility rights of way where milkweed could grow freely without interfering with maintenance or emergency crews.

            “It also asks that farmers be required to establish herbicide-free safety zones in or around their fields, and urges the EPA to ensure that any new safeguards on glyphosate don’t lead simply to more use of other weed killers that would be equally bad for monarchs and may pose health risks.”

            Are those requests too much to ask now that it’s shown that milkweeds are in serious decline and monarchs are as well? You may know better than I Jason, but I’m on the side of at least not continuing on the path to extinction.

            I can’t comment on the Penn State study as I don’t have free access to it. Not that I’d even want to read another study.

            Thanks for taking the time to point out from a farming prospective your knowledge and beliefs.

          • Jason

            This post was huge… So I skipped to the bottom. I agree with many points in that petition. It would be good to set up areas where milkweeds could grow more freely. I don’t think those requests are much to ask at all. In fact, some states do that already. I just got home from a 5hr drive across the States of Indiana & Illinois. Our interstate roadsides are full of milkweed.

            The only points I disagree with are with those who make the jump to say that all GMOs are bad because they kill butterflies. That’s a big leap and we’d need a lot more evidence before I’d buy I to that.

          • Zebulun Rehrig

            I just wanted to add my thoughts about the troubles with correlation. As Jason points out, “Coincidence is not causation”. It’s easy to draw conclusions from two trends but that doesn’t make it true. Here’s a fun example where someone found a correlation with an increase of autism and organic produce consumption: http://boingboing.net/2013/01/01/correlation-between-autism-dia.html.

          • IMHere2C

            Thanks for sharing – that was good. I only quoted that abstract because Jason brought it up. He said the IAS study “looked
            at glyphosate in agricultural fields in relation to milkweed populations but
            didn’t find any statistical correlation”. So that wasn’t quite accurate.

          • nj_v2

            The pro-GMOers like to pick out the most problematic and least valid criticisms of the technology and use those examples to color the entire body of criticism that questions the usefulness and sustainability of GMO agriculture and the “settledness” of the science that claims no ill effects.

            As one can note by reading back through the body of the comments here, criticisms which contain some measure of error get pounced on, and the ones which don’t get ignored or defected.

  • donny_t

    Here are 19 studies indicating liver and kidney problems with GMO’s.
    http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10

    • First Officer

      1) Authors of known anti-gmo agendas and shady publishing practices

      2) Study about the whole bacterium, made up of thousands of chemicals and proteins. Who knows what caused where in that study.

      3) The Judy Carmen pig study. Actually shows GMO protects from most stomach inflammation (statistically insignificantly so) http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tamar-haspel/gm-feed-pigs-stomach-inflammation_b_3430408.html

      4) Cancer not even mentioned ! GMO decreasing US yields? News to farmers, yet again ! http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/YieldTrends.html

      • nj_v2

        4) Nothing in that citation makes any specific reference to GNO, though it is true that it appears corn is about the only crop that has had consistent yield increases as the result of genetic engineering.

        Yields of GMO cotton in India, for example, have collapsed:

        http://www.business-standard.com/article/markets/bt-cotton-losing-steam-productivity-at-5-yr-low-113020601016_1.html

        Bt cotton losing steam, productivity at 5-yr low

        • Jason

          Granted, the article doesn’t specifically mention GMO corn. But trust me… Having sold corn seed in Indiana for 20 years now…all of our corn is GMO.

          As for that article about Bt cotton in india… The article specifically says “The average Bt cotton yield declines are possibly due to the expansion of the crop to non-optimal areas of cultivation.
          In addition, yield losses due to other factors, including sucking pests, have also made an impact in the past few years.”

          In other words, they appear to be attributing it to anything but an issue with the product.

          The USDA reports that US cotton yields have been steadily climbing through 2013. The same goes for soybeans and for corn. So, the notion that corn is the only crop that has had consistent yield increases is not true. Granted, you can not specifically point to which factor is directly responsible for the yield increases, the fact that such a large percentage of the crop is GMO and the fact that yields continue to rise leads one to believe that the GMO factor is not negatively impacting performance.

        • First Officer

          4) Notice the increase in the y value after the introduction of biotech in the 1990′s. Farmers aren’t stupid. They would not have flocked to GMO’s so rapidly, if at all, if they didn’t see their yields go up and/or costs and time go down, significantly so, to make up for seed prices and management techniques (buffer zones, etc) they had to agree to.

          Bt losing steam? Doesn’t seem to be.

          http://www.indexmundi.com/agriculture/?country=in&commodity=cotton&graph=yield

          Though to early to tell, not only has yields increased by variation of yield (delta % of yield) seems to have decreased as well. And, yes pushing growing into sub par areas would decrease overall yield values, which would be even less without GMO’s. This is why Gm free France, and only France, out yields the USA in corn yield. They have near ideal corn growing conditions over much more of their country than the US does. If they would adopt GM tech, they would leave everyone in the dust.

        • hyperzombie

          Thats from back in 2006, India recorded a record cotton crop last year and they expect another record this year.

          From the USDA

          http://gain.fas.usda.gov/Recent%20GAIN%20Publications/Cotton%20and%20Products%20Annual_New%20Delhi_India_3-31-2014.pdf

      • donny_t

        Anyone can pick apart anything from experiments if they scrutinized it enough. The same has been done for pro gmo experiments. If gmo’s are so completely safe, why isn’t there a consensus among experts? Most experts agree dark matter exists even though they’ve never seen it. What we have here are many experts on both sides who are for and against gmo’s.

        • trevorkidd

          There is a consensus, as shown by the position of the major scientific organizations and societies. You just choose to ignore that the consensus exists (a scientific consensus does not require that every scientist agree, as there will always be a few holdout crackpots no how strong the consensus is).

          • Kevin Folta

            There is consensus, and it is a massive consensus. Just read the positions of any of the national organizations. You can pretend it is not there, but it is.

          • donny_t

            if the consensus is so massive, why has the rest of the world banned gmo’s?
            http://www.organicconsumers.org/gefood/countrieswithbans.cfm

          • Jason

            If the rest of the world has banned GMOs, could you explain how it’s possible that worldwide production of GMO crops has risen every year since they’ve existed?

          • donny_t

            There are many reasons for the rise in gmo production among developing nations, many of them bad. That doesn’t detract from the fact that there’s a large body of science that says gmo’s are unsafe. If you’re just going to dismiss all that, then you have a classic case of cognitive dissonance.

          • Jason

            The claim you made said nothing about any science. You claimed the rest of the world banned GMOs which is clearly untrue. And nations like China, Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Australia, India, Egypt, and many others… These are hardly considered developing nations.

            As for being in denial… Every major scientific organization on this planet has come forward with the opinion that these foods pose no greater risks than conventional… And you’re saying I’m in denial?

            Check the mirror lately?

          • donny_t

            Actually, Argentina is slowly catching on:
            http://www.naturalnews.com/043546_monsanto_gmo_seed_plant_argentina.html

            As will others once they realize they don’t need gmo’s.

            And I’m not in denial that there is a body of evidence that suggests gmo’s are safe. But I’m also not in denial that there’s another body of evidence that suggests it is not. Therefore I’m choosing not to eat gmo’s. This is the reason why this forums has over 1000 comments, why organic is booming, and why Monsanto is the third most hated company in America,

          • Jason

            The Natural news is about as far from a reliable source of info as is possible. There sole purpose is to sensationalize the mundane buy twisting facts and outright deception in order to hawk any manner of natural cures for cancer or whatever other nonsense is being sold on their page. You can point to what ever little anecdotes you like, but the fact is that their GMO adoption has looked like most other countries that have used them…their use increases year over year.

            Organic is booming? Are you sure? According to the USDA, organic crop acres in the US are still less than 1%….. 0.62% if memory serves me. But if it grows to much higher than that… So what? If that what people want to spend their money on, let them. It says not one thing about the safety of any of the other alternatives.

            As for Monsanto, the public opinion of their company is really of no relevance to whether the products are safe or not.

            Are you able to produce this “body of evidence”. How does it compare to the vast body of evidence showing no more risks? There are literally thousands of studies showing the products are not inherently any more risky. What are there on the other side… 2 discredited “studies”? It’s no comparison.

          • donny_t

            So you’re saying you don’t believe the courts in Argentina ruled 2 to 1 in favor of halting Monsanto seed plant due to protests? lol I wasn’t using the naturalnews link for an editorial.

            A company doesn’t become the third most hated in America for no reason.

            For evidence, start here:
            http://www.gmoevidence.com/

          • Jason

            I’m not stating that at all. I’m stating that it says nothing about the adoption or use of GMO seeds in that country. All it says is that they decided not build a seed plant at that location.

            Regarding your “evidence”… If all you have are links to clearly anti-GMO websites, save your time. Peer reviewed studies published in respected journals are what you need to produce. Otherwise you’re just citing opinion.

          • donny_t

            It may be true that Argentina has adopted gmo plants, but the point is they’re slowly learning the grave mistake they made.

            “respectable peer reviewed” is a subjective term.

            Case in point: the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology is a nice “respectable” company, right?
            However, in early 2013 the former Monsanto scientist Richard E. Goodman was appointed as “assistant editor for biotechnology” at FCT, in the wake of the “Seralini affair”.
            http://gmwatch.org/index.php/news/archive/2013/15193-conflicts-of-interest-at-food-and-chemical-toxicology-and-elsevier

          • Jason

            In answer to your question, yes…FCT is a respected journal, as are many others. Everybody used to work for somebody, but unless you have evidence of any wrongdoing, then merely insinuating conspiracies does nothing for your case.

          • donny_t

            Now you’re just making excuses … again … cognitive dissonance

          • Jason

            What exactly would I be making excuses for? This is not a “subjective term”. Journals are rated in their impact factors as a measure of how they are perceived among the community that would be accessing them.

            Who is it that’s making excuses? I ask for evidence. You give articles on anti-GMO website. When I ask for studies with peer review from respected journals, your excuse is that it’s subjective. What you really mean is that there the journals you might have don’t really carry any weight. Bummer.

          • donny_t

            You’re making excuses for the fact that a lot of those “respectable” journals are under pressure from the people that fund them. That’s what the real controversy about the Seralini case is all about.

          • Jason

            Pot…. Meet kettle.

            I believe if you’ll review my comment, I’ve no such excuse for anything. What I said was that you don’t have any evidence that anyone ant any journal is pressured to do anything. You conspiracy theories are only evidence in your mind.

            Nice dodge, though. When you have any studies, feel free to get back with me. Until then, don’t bother.

          • donny_t

            Someone publishes a study, the one company with the greatest conflict of interest appoints someone to the editorial board of the journal, and the study gets retracted. Oh yeah, nobody pressured anyone there. Ockham’s razor and cognitive dissonance brah … like i said, you’re deluding yourself.

          • Jason

            Evidence? I thought not.

          • donny_t

            A 5 year old could infer that.

          • Jason

            A 5 yr old could also infer that the world is flat by looking out the window. But that’s why we seek evidence. So, when you’re done with your excuses, send me yours.

          • donny_t

            inference : the act or process of deriving logical conclusions from premises known or assumed to be true.

          • Jason

            Assume: suppose to be the case, without proof.

          • donny_t
          • Jason

            Hmmmmm… You’re not very good at this, are you? One article is speculating that the pressure to publish studies may lead to bad results. I’m struggling to see how that works as evidence of the misconduct you claimed. The other is an author making the exact same speculations you are and provided no more evidence than you did. Nice try, though.

          • donny_t

            The point is: “respectable” journals are falsified all the time under PRESSURE from outside sources. So, no wonder someone who questions the accepted paradigm can’t get anything published in the journals you deem worthy, because they’re all called quacks because they don’t want to lose their funding. Nevertheless, the science against the safety of GMO’s is still there from plenty of studies and plenty of experts.

          • Jason

            Or at the very least that’s a convenient theory that allows you to rationalize disbelief in the evidence.

          • donny_t

            Again, I never said I don’t disbelieve the evidence for GMO safety. I also don’t disbelieve the evidence against it. It’s called playing it safe; not being reckless.

          • Jason

            Well, if all evidence is no good due to journal corruption then what is there to rely on? It seems that the only choices left are to never introduce anything new. Or, introduce everything new and wait to see if anyone dies.

          • donny_t

            Or third option: use the tried and true method. Before Monsanto there were plenty of natural farming methods without the use of gmo seeds and glyphosate. There’s a reason why nature is the way it is, it’s tried and true over thousands of years. We mess around with that because we’re driven by profits, and we’re playing with fire. I’m not going to wait to see if anyone dies, which is why I’m saying no to gmo, and I think everyone who agrees should be able to say no also with gmo labeling.

          • Jason

            What? Natural farming methods? Are you serious?

            Before GMOs, farmers tilled fields more often to control weeds. It’s commonly known that tillage removes soil organic matter. That’s bad. Then, after tillage they would apply, directly into the soil, a product like Force 3G soil insecticide to control damage from rootworms. Force is a class of insecticide called pyrethroids. Exposure, by expecting mothers, to pyrethroids has recently been linked to autism. Then, farmers would apply atrazine or another pre-emergent herbicide to limit weed seedling growth and help get the crop off to a good start. If that herbicide were applied incorrectly, the crop could be damaged too. After the crop was up, but before it was very tall, the farmer would come back into the field and spray over the top with another herbicide to control weeds that had grown after the pre-emergent had worn off. Once again, the potential for crop injury is present with herbicide applications. In addition, they would very often come back with another application of insecticides, pytrethroids or neonictonoids, sprayed over the top of the crop to control European corn borers.

            How natural does that sound to you? In fact, how natural are corn or soybeans to begin with? They don’t exist in nature. They’re entirely man made plants.

            All of the insecticide applications were replaced by genetic modification. A process that has been shown to be FAR safer than insecticide exposure. The herbicides have been replaced by one that is many times less toxic. On top of that, farmers are making less trips across their fields, using less diesel and doing less tillage.

            All of those things are far closer to “natural” than what they were doing prior.

          • donny_t

            I’m not going to go into the intricacies of farming, but my point is: farmers have been doing fine without gene splicing for centuries.

          • Jason

            THAT’S the problem. Too many people seem to think they have all of the answers about how farming SHOULD work without knowing anything about how farming DOES work.
            The reality is that it’s not up to you to decide if farmers have been doing fine for centuries. It’s up to the farmers to decide. And, very clearly, they have voted that they prefer the genetic modifications to the old methods by the mere fact that they have switched to those products so completely. You’d be hard pressed to find a farmer that prefers handling jugs of insecticide over bags of seed.

          • donny_t

            I am a consumer so I like all other consumers think we have a say in how farming SHOULD work, especially when it comes to our health. We’ve seen increased steroid, hormone, and antibiotic use in livestock, increased pesticide/herbicide use in large scale farms, poisoning the environment, creating resistant weeds and bacteria … all for bigger profits. Look what it’s done to the health of America.

          • Jason

            Well.. what HAS it done? We’re living longer. Cancer rates are in decline. Can you show what impact to our general health any of your claims has had? You can’t make an assumption and pass it off as fact.
            We’re all consumers. And consumer’s vote with their dollars. Buy organic if you don’t like the way conventional agriculture is ran. But making broad stroked accusations and claims when you have no knowledge of modern agriculture only serve to have other dismiss your claims as uninformed. Just another “city nut” that doesn’t know how things work.
            From one consumer to another, my opinion of how things SHOULD work is just that… my opinion. It’s clearly different from yours and that’s why neither of them really matter. But for what it’s worth, my opinion is that if you are REALLY concerned about what pesticides farmers are putting into the environment then you shouldn’t be railing against a technology that has changed that for the better. Get rid of the notion that farming is or ever was “natural”. There’s nothing natural about putting 35,000 seeds of one single pant species into an acre of ground and repeating that over thousands of acres.

          • donny_t

            We’re 34th in infant mortality and cancer rates are on the decline because a lot less people smoke than they did in the 40′s and 50′s. We’re living longer thanks to better healthcare, yet we’re one of the sickest. Also, anything that I claim you’ll just say is an assumption because it’s not in one of your so called “respectable” journals.

            Not sure what you’re getting at, but GMO’s don’t actually reduce pesticide use. Because the gmo is resistant to round up, farmers will drench it and everything else in the stuff. Creating super weeds and now even the insects are becoming resistant, which requires more stronger pesticides. Monstanto is now using 2,4-D a key ingredient of agent orange. But hey, if the farmers think that’s best who are we to argue, right?

          • Jason

            Yes, a lot less people smoke. That certainly helps with cancer rates and probably the primary factor for some specific types of cancer. But nearly ALL forms of cancer have been declining in the US for over 2 decades. That’s not me just making some random claim like “we’re one of the sickest”. Those are actual CDC data points. What data can you point to that shows we’re one of the sickest? Our infant mortality may be 34th but has been decreasing over the last 2 decades as well.. Clearly an indicator of improving health. Is it possible the world is not as big a doom & gloom scenario as you think it is?
            As for “what I’m getting at”… the USDA’s recent publication on Genetically Engineered Crops showed that, per acre, Herbicide tolerant crops are using slightly less herbicide (and until recently, much less) and that Bt crops are using significantly less insecticide per acre than are conventional crops. But hey go on to say that they biggest environmental impact was a large overall lessening of toxicity released into the environment due to the adoption of glyphosate having replaced more toxic herbicides.
            Catch phrases like “superweeds” or “superbugs” have no significance what so ever. Pests have developed resistance to every single control measure man has ever used…including basic crop rotation. Does that mean we should stop rotating crops? No… it’s just a scary word that people like to use to get fear on their side. It mean nothing.
            And by the way… it’s Dow working on 2-4D resistant crops.. not Monsanto. And universities recommend that the best way to prevent “superweeds” is to use multiple modes of herbicide action. So, now companies are producing products that will allow them to do just that and that, too, is a bad thing. Damned if you do… damned if you don’t, I guess.

          • donny_t

            Not really, because organic farmers do it all the time.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_farming#History

            All the poison is simply for convenience and profit. I have no problem with convenience and profit but when it starts damaging people and the environment and especially when there are safer alternatives, then my problem is justified.

          • Jason

            First, it’s a big misconception that organic farmers don’t use pesticides. Check the USDA pesticide survey program to find out pesticide residues on organic crops. They are allowed to use pesticides that are approved for organic production. Pyrethrum, Rotenone, copper, etc… There’s no evidence they’re any safer than other products, but people pay more for them anyway.

            And it’s not “for profit or convenience” as you so simply put it. First of all organic production produces far less per acre. If everyone were to go that route, we would either not have enough food or land… Or both. That is the very reason why production costs on organic crops average higher than conventional.

            Show that these other methods are damaging people or the environment substantially more than any other method and you may have a case. Until then, you just have an opinion. But you know what they say about opinions…. They’re like ass holes… Everyone has one and they all stink.

          • donny_t

            They may use pesticides, but at least they’re not synthetic and cause deformities in children. This has been reported after the use of agent orange in Vietnam, which Monsanto produced, and is now being reported in Argentina which is why there are mass protests there.

            Organic may produce less per acre, but many of them use sustainable farming methods which don’t rob the soil of nutrients. Glysophate is known to bind with minerals in the soil thereby making plants less nutritionally dense. It’s more expensive because many of the farmers actually care about the health of their consumers so they’re willing to put more labor into production and handling.

            Google is your friend. Simply do a search on the health effects of glysophate. But I’m pretty sure you’re not going to believe that either.

          • Jason

            Google can be your friend if you know how to sift through the mounds of B.S. to find the legit science. Anyone can post anything saying whatever they want. It doesn’t make it true. That’s why I recommend google scholar…. Not google.

            You’re buying into SO MANY total myths about conventional farming that it’s hard to know where to start… For example… Glyphosate binding minerals. I’ve heard people make claims that glyphosate is a mineral chelator and therefor is bad for soil. When 90% don’t know what mineral chelation is AND clearly don’t know that chelation is not only NOT harmful… It’s essential! Plants use chelated forms of minerals… Not the elemental forms. For example…. I routinely apply chelated iron to my oak trees to help keep them healthy. It’s just another example of something the general public does not understand and therefore sounds scary but isn’t. If glyphosate were binding all of the nutrients in the soil, the simple fact is that crop yields would not be climbing year after year after year. Period.

            And I’m here to tell you… Organic pesticides can be just as harmful as some synthetic. That’s total nonsense. Look up effects of rotenone or look at the back of a can of Raid (pyrethrum) and see the warnings. It’s just not as simple as “natural = good & synthetic = bad”. Arsenic is as natural as anything… But I don’t want it on my food. So is e. Coli… But, no thank you. One of the biggest issues with organic farming methods is that many of the products they use aren’t required to go through any testing to confirm safety. So who the hell knows what try can do? I’ll take they stuff that at least has studies to back up the known effects. EVERYTHING has a risk and a reward… I’d prefer to know the risks.

            It’s easy to sit back and say “everyone should switch to organic” when you can afford to feed yourself easily. Many can not and struggle to get the food they need as it is. Forcing everyone to buy food that is 3-4X the cost just because it’s your “belief” that it’s better simply isn’t right. Many not so well off as you would probably opt to have enough food to feed their family rather than not enough, but making some green-nut a little happier. And organic farming, by definition, IS NOT sustainable. It requires too much land to feed the number of people on this planet. You’d have to clear MUCH more land for production which would be very bad for the environment.

          • donny_t

            lol then do a google scholar search on the health effects of glysophate. same results.

            Glyphosate binds to minerals in soil thereby robbing the plant and soil of minerals. This is the reason why almost all the food today is absent of sulfur. Look up some research done by Stephanie Seneff. Oh and if you’re going to dismiss her as a quack, she is senior research scientist at MIT and has a degree in biophysics. She has the same if not more credentials as Kevin Folta and she is against gmo’s.

            Pyrethrum is dried flower. Certainly not causing birth defects.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrethrum

            One of the main reasons why conventional farming produces cheap food is government subsidies, not because it’s cost effective. You ban the poison, farms will find safer alternatives. It’s that easy.

          • Jason

            I tell ya what.. you believe what you want to believe. It’s not necessary that you provide any evidence for your own beliefs. It is necessary, however, for you to provide evidence if you’re wanting to change the way everyone else is doing things.

            This crap about foods being absent of sulfur is nonsense. Plants have never been major sources of sulfur and your body needs only small amounts of it anyway. Most sulfur comes from protein in your diets…from animals. This is exactly what I mean about preaching things you know nothing about.

            Clearly you’ve shown that you’ll buy into any scare story thrown out there. I mean… why bother looking into it yourself… right? It’s been pretty common knowledge for many years now that soils have less sulfur in them as a result of cleaning up factory smoke stacks. Reduction of the sulfur dioxide released into the air reduced the amount of sulfur brought back down in the form of acid rain.

            And as for pyrethrums… no kidding they’re made from flowers… chrysanthemums. That’s why they’re approved for organic production. Does that mean they’re not harmful? Hardly… from the National Pesticide Information Center:

            • In the same study, some females fed high doses (3000mg/kg) of pyrethrum developed ovarian and benign liver tumors and males exposed to high doses (3000 mg/kg) developed benign parathyroid tumors and benign skin lesions.

            • Rats fed very high doses (5000 mg/kg) of pyrethrins for three weeks before their first mating produced low birth weight pups (5).

            • Initially, the Health Effects Division
            Carcinogenicity Peer Review
            Committee (CPRC) at the US EPA recently reviewed the carcinogenicity data of pyrethrins in animals and decided that they showed carcinogenicity.

            In addition to that, the toxicity of these products is many times higher than the glyphosate you’re so worried about. I’ve read the stories about this product. I’ve read the studies. I know that every product has risks. The question is whether they’re better or worse than viable alternatives. Most agree glyphosate is better.

            You’re also full of *** about subsidies. Organic crops are eligible for the same
            subsidies that conventional farmers are. But subsidies only kick in below a certain grain price. Subsidies have little impact on the price of the crop. That’s simple supply & demand. Due to lower production level, farmers only can produce up to a supply level that allows then to charge much more for the crop. Otherwise they wouldn’t be able to make enough money growing it. That’s why organic production is less than 1% of the acres in the US. The demand for it isn’t high enough to warrant any more acres at the price growers need to charge. Take a damn economics class for cryin’ out loud.

            I’m done here.

          • donny_t

            Plants have never been a major source of sulfur because you’ve never seen plants with sulfur because they’re all deficient. Sulfur plays an important role in many bodily functions and most Americans are deficient because the food they’re eating is deficient.

            LOL, in that same study they say, “pyrethrins are one of the least poisonous insecticides to mammals.” Not sure where you’re going with that.
            http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/pyrethrins.pdf

            No, conventional farming still gets a lot more subsidies than organic. Yes, gmo’s and everything that comes with them, damage to human health, environment, and wildlife, increased poisonous chemicals that cause chronic disease, etc. are a direction we need to steer away from if we genuinely want to improve life on the planet. I’ve given plenty of evidence from plenty of experts from around the world who agree. The vast majority of America agree also. That’s why Monsanto is the third most hated company in America and that’s why people are pushing for gmo labeling.

          • Jason

            Yes… Pyrethrums are very non toxic BY INSECTICIDE standard. But look up the LD50. You’ll find its ower (meaning less is needed to kill) than glyphosate. Conveniently, that’s not a concern.

            You know for a fact that if there were any studies showing GMO carcinogenicy you’d cry all day about it. But something natural? Well, it’s ok to dismiss that. Interesting how your selective concern works.

            Of course conventional gets mor subsidies… They have 99.6% of the acres. But that doesn’t mean organically don’t get the same subsidies.

            I think if you’ll look back at our lengthy thread you’ll find all the “evidence” you gave were a couple articles that said nothing of any importance.

          • donny_t

            800 scientists from 82 countries would agree with me.
            http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

            Bottom line: people have a right to know what they’re eating even if it’s only potentially toxic.

          • Jason

            800, huh… I guess that leaves tens of thousands that don’t agree. I’ll side with the numbers.

            You certainly have the right to purchase products labeled to,your satisfaction and avoid those that are not. You have zero right to force people to,label their products the way YOU think they should be labeled UNLESS you can show evidence of a health or safety concern.

            Good luck with that.

          • donny_t

            It is a safety concern; hence the 800 scientists. Hence the labeling.

          • Jason

            You don’t need their opinion. You need the evidence. That’s the law in this country. The FDA mandates labels when there has been SHOWN to be a health or safety risk. No risks any greater than conventional alternatives have been shown. The opinions of some scientist on corporate monopolies and patenting life forms really is of no importance to this issue.

          • donny_t

            Their opinion is based on evidence, the same as yours. Many more knowledgeable than you too, I’m sure. The FDA aren’t always the most informed also, but I suppose we’ll see the precedent this labeling law will create.

          • Jason

            No.. you’re missing the point. They are expressing opinions about things being good or bad… i.e. corporate monopolies, horizontal gene transfer, genetic diversity, organisms having never existed in nature, etc.. Whether they feel those are good or bad is of no importance to anyone making laws about health or safety. They need hard evidence of safety issues. They have NONE of those. Hell… look sat the actual studies they provide. There are very few, so it should be easy. They’re 15 years old and many are completely outdated. For example… there is a study showing impacts of yield drag on soybeans. This yield drag hasn’t existed for well over a decade and was a moot point when it did exist. What ones are relevant aren’t making any claims of any sort of harm being caused.
            You’re also making the assumption that their opinions carry as much weight as others. Again… read down through the list of signees… You have “PHD Student”, “Concerned Citizen”, Astrophysicist”, “Civil Engineer”, “strategic planner”, “Organic Farm Manager”… I’d hardly call those qualified scientific opinions.

          • donny_t

            Not sure where you’re looking at though it was a 14 years old, the vast majority were biologists, physicians, epidemiologists, and geneticists.

            However just so there’s no doubt, here are some studies:

            ISIs: Small double-stranded RNA (dsRNAs) that aim to interfere with specific gene expression are increasingly used to create GM crops; unfortunately they have many off-target effects and can also interfere with gene expression in all animals exposed to the crops
            http://www.i-sis.org.uk/New_GM_nightmares_with_RNA.php

            Journal Entropy: glyphosate residues, found in most commonly consumed foods in the Western diet courtesy of sugar, corn, soy and wheat, “enhance thedamaging effects of other food-borne chemical residues and toxins in the environment to disrupt normal body functions and induce disease.”
            http://www.mdpi.com/1099-4300/15/4/1416

            Journal of Cell Research: Chinese researchers have found small pieces of rice ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood and organs of humans who eat rice. The Nanjing University-based team showed that this genetic material will bind to receptors in human liver cells and influence the uptake of cholesterol from the blood
            http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/full/cr2011158a.html

            As reported in the Atlantic: The type of RNA in question is called microRNA (abbreviated to miRNA)due to its small size. MiRNAs have been studied extensively since theirdiscovery ten years ago, and have been implicated as players in severalhuman diseases including cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. They usually function by turning down or shutting down certain genes. The
            Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.
            http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-very-real-danger-of-genetically-modified-foods/251051/

            Meta analysis linking cancer to pesticide use:
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24762670

            Cairo University: Scientists recorded the alteration of different organs, shrinkage of kidneys, change in the liver and spleen, appearance of malignant parts in the tissues, (and) kidney failure and hemorrhages in the intestine
            http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/tests-rats-suggest-genetically-modified-foods-pose-health-hazards

            Turkish study from Hacettepe University the Rats fed GM insecticide-producing maize over three generations suffered damage to liver and kidneys and showed alterations in blood biochemistry

            Hundreds of sheep die from acute toxicity after grazing on post harvest BT cotton
            http://www.gmfreecymru.org/pivotal_papers/mortality.htm

            Nebraska University study subjects who were allergic to Brazil nuts had allergic reactions to soya beans modified with a Brazil nut gene.
            http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199603143341103#t=abstract

            Scientists from the University of Sherbrooke, Canada, have detected the insecticidal protein, Cry1Ab, circulating in the blood of pregnant as well as non-pregnant women. They have also detected the toxin in fetal blood, implying it could pass on to the next generation.
            http://www.gmfreeze.org/site_media/uploads/publications/GM_blood_study_summary_FINAL.pdf

            Dr Agapito-Tenfen: Bt MON810 GM Maize Not Substanially Equivalent to Non-GM Maize by 32 differently expressed proteins.
            http://www.proteomesci.com/content/11/1/46

            Study has found DNA damage and elevated cell death of blood cells in soybean workers exposed to fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides in Brazil
            http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S138357181300003X

            This study explores the toxicity of Bt proteins in mammals. The study shows that the Bt toxins Cry1Aa, Cry1Ab, Cry1Ac or Cry2A have toxic effects in the blood of mice.
            http://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

            In 2002, two years after the first big harvests of RR soy in the country, residents and doctors in soy producing areas began reporting serious health effects from glyphosate spraying, including high rates of birth defects as well as infertility, stillbirths, miscarriages, and cancers.
            http://environmentalideas.blogspot.com/2010/11/gm-genetic-mutilation.html

            This Division of Molecular Bioscience of the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Australia found that mice were allergic to the GM Pea in their 2005 study
            http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf050594v

            In this Egyptian study, histopathological examination was carried out on the rats fed the GM maize, and the results were compared with rats fed non-GM maize. The study found clear signs of organ pathology in the GM-fed group, especially in the liver, kidney, and small intestine. An examination of the testes revealed necrosis (death) and desquamation (shedding) of the spermatogonial cells that are the foundation of sperm cells and thus male fertility – and all this after only 91 days of feeding
            http://www.academia.edu/3405345/Histopathological_Changes_in_Some_Organs_of_Male_Rats_Fed_on_Genetically_Modified_Corn_Ajeeb_YG_

            GM Maize Toxic to Rats
            http://www.academia.edu/3138607/Morphological_and_Biochemical_Changes_in_Male_Rats_Fed_on_Genetically_Modified_Corn_Ajeeb_YG_

            Need more?

          • Jason

            Keep practicing. Your first is not a study. Your second is an attempt at a knock on glyphosate, not transgenic crops. Glyphosate is used on non-GMO crops as well.
            The third is discussing having found plant (rice) RNAs in blood of mammals. Ok… So? Is there any mention of this having anything anything to do with GMO crops? And is this any different with regular crops?
            The fourth is a knock on pesticide use. All forms of farming use pesticides.
            The fifth is not a study and makes no links to any studies. Obviously bogus.
            The sixth is not a study. It’s a poorly done list of anecdotal stories published in a format to look like a story.
            The seventh is a test on a product that was never commercialized, because of allergenic tests. Good thing we have those tests and that our current group of GMO crops have passed them all.

            I stopped at seven.. You’re not getting it. The safety argument is a dead one. The consensus is in.

          • donny_t

            You can’t separate glyphosate from the gmo debate because gmo’s were created as its commodity. It’s clear environmental, toxins such as those found in food, cause low level inflammation which causes cancer and other chronic disease, so shouldn’t we be moving away from such practices? gmo’s will only increase pesticide use.

            Well it’s clear, no matter how much evidence you’re given, you’re just going to dismiss it, because obviously evidence doesn’t matter to you. So keep eating your gmo’s and good luck making babies.

          • Jason

            See… that’s why you’ve yet to provide ANY evidence that GMO crops are harmful. You don’t even know how to separate effects of a herbicide from effects of a plant. How could you possibly frame up a successful debate? Clearly they are different things and clearly each would have different impacts. You absolutely can and do have one with out the other.
            You post links to articles that try to pass themselves off as legitimate science while all the while claiming that legitimate science can’t be trusted due to journal corruption. You rely on a couple of studies who’s only claim of any harm is just to state that “more research should be done…” Yet you ignore the results of this additional research that have found nothing of any concern.
            I’ll say it again. PROVE your health issue to the FDA and you’ll have a labeling law. Until then, you may as well just keep your OPINIONS to yourself because that’s all they are.

          • donny_t

            Why did we make gmo’s? To be resistant to round up. Hence the two go hand in hand.

            Legitimate science can be trusted if it’s legitimate. For example: you can pretty much discount all safety studies conducted by Monsanto for its own product.

            I’ve given more than enough studies, expert scientists, and research to prove that gmo’s and glyphosate is toxic and unnatural to living organisms, which you clearly dismiss. Anyone concerned about their health should hear and make their own choice. Hence Vermont’s labeling law and hence Monsanto’s reputation of third most hated in America.

            http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/07/22/333725880/some-food-producers-are-quietly-dumping-gmo-ingredients

          • Jason

            GMOs were NOT created to be roundup ready. Roundup ready GMOs were. Bt GMOs were not. Flavor GMOs were not. Nutritional GMOs were not. Growth GMOs were not. Viral resistant GMOs were not. Added starch GMOs were not. GMO bacteria were not. Your knowledge on the topic is so limited it’s like arguing with a 5 yr old.

            You’ve given no studies what so ever that show risks of these GMO crops are any greater than other crops. You’ve given studies that have shown some products cause allergies. Well so do some conventional products. You’ve given some studies that show that DNA fragments can entered blood streams. It happens on conventional foods as well. You’ve given some studies that show herbicides in large doses can cause health issues (no duh). You’ve given some studies that show that in the late 90s roundup ready soybeans had an intrinsic yield drag (common knowledge). You’ve given nothing that expressly shows they’re any more risky than conventional crops and THAT’S precisely what you need to show.

            There’s a reason why such a large majority of the scientific community agree on this issue.
            http://realclearscience.com/blog/2013/10/massive-review-reveals-consensus-on-gmo-safety.html

            This one is particularly good and appropriate… Enjoy.
            http://www.skeptiforum.org/richard-green-on-the-scientific-consensus-and-gmos/

          • donny_t

            Corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, canola, and alfalfa are all round up ready. Guess what the top crops are in usa? corn and soy. Guess what the highest used pesticide is? glyphosate.

            You clearly don’t understand the studies I’ve given and their implications.

            I’m beginning to not like your tone so good luck eating your gmo’s and good luck avoiding cancer and good luck making babies.

          • Jason

            You’re right. Those are the largest crops in the country. All that says is that they’re the most beneficial to producers. That says nothing about any need that they be intertwined going forward. There are already other herbicide tolerant products on the market and more coming in the next couple years. So, while roundup ready may be the most popular now it does not mean that GMO = Roundup Ready nor does it mean that any knock on glyphosate is also a knock on GMOs. Glyphosate was pretty damn popular WAY before GMO crops existed and it will likely continue to be if they go away. It’s the most popular herbicide in the country and don’t forget… Most crops (about 75% of the acres) in the country are still not roundup ready. Trying to claim that one equals the other is disingenuous and makes it way to easy to poke holes in your arguments. If your complaint is with glyphosate, then why no concern for labeling what herbicides were sprayed? Why no attempts to ban glyphosate? Why no marches against herbicide use? Obviously that’s not the issue. So trying to claim that it is is just an insult to my intelligence.

            Sorry if my tone doesn’t please you, but your insistence on things that clearly are not true is starting to upset me as well. Good luck with your little Luddite crusade.

          • Guest
          • Jason

            Thank you for the article on back crossing. I’m not sure how it’s relevant, but thanks anyway.

          • nj_v2

            I’ll help donny out here:

            http://www.scribd.com/doc/134899632/Scientific-Papers-Compiled-March-2013-Coalition-for-a-Gm-Free-India

            http://ridgeshinn.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GMO-adverse-impacts-1300-studies-1-1.pdf

            Have at it. Couple of thousand studies.

            Seems like one has a few options.

            One can dismiss them all because they’re compiled by people who question or outright oppose genetically engineered agriculture, at least as it’s now being implemented.

            One can pick off a study here and there and raise some issue about it to question the result, and thus imply the others are similarly tainted.

            Or, one could read, or at least scan through the entire list and admit the truth: The industry and associated scientific organizations have failed to admit the potential problems with the technology; the potential health, safety, and environmental effects are woefully understudied; and, in many cases, proponents have misrepresented the potential for harm.

          • Jason

            Do you have a summary or meta-analysis? No one os going to read 1300 studies. However, having read the abstracts for the first 7 or 8, I found nothing particularly damaging. A couple of the studies aren’t even about GMO crops. What I read was either known or of no particular concern. If that’s the best case you can put together I don’t think you’re presenting anything that would indicate they’re any more risky than conventional crops.

          • FearlessMo

            because people like Bill Gates, who have invested hugely in genetic engineering of crops, believing Monsanto’s claim that they will feed the world, push GMOs throughout the world.

          • Kevin Folta

            Rest of the world? Kenya, Saudi Arabia and Peru? There are few places where the technology is banned. Most countries import it just fine.

          • donny_t

            Take a look at that list, that is a lot of countries. Other countries only import because they import from the U.S. and that’s all we’re producing is GMO and that’s where they get it the cheapest. Even in those countries where they’re approved, they’re slowly realizing their grave mistakes.

            http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/beware-of-ill-effects-of-genetically-modified-organisms-farmers-told/article6046137.ece

            http://www.naturalnews.com/043546_monsanto_gmo_seed_plant_argentina.html

          • Kevin Folta

            Donny, you just used Natural News as a reference. We’ll just have to agree to agree that you have no idea what you are talking about.

            This is where I get off of this thread. it is impossible to discuss science with those that don’t accept science.

          • donny_t

            Science is investigating everything, not dismissing it on first glance. The Naturalnews link was simply to a story about how protestors stopped construction of a Monsanto seed plant because they know of it’s dangers. Same thing happening In India. Once people use GMO, they find out it is not what they were promised. All over the world this is happening… Kevin, you cannot dismiss all this evidence or you’re either naive or deluding yourself.

          • First Officer

            About 132 countries have no restrictions or labeling requirements on GMO’s.

          • donny_t

            Yet, much of the rest of the world has banned gmo’s.

          • trevorkidd

            For the same reasons people like you want to:

            1) political and philosophical worldview that is attracted to fear-mongering, conspiracy theories and pseudoscience.

            2) A lack of understanding of basic science, relevant science, and the scientific method.

            3) Poor critical thinking skills.

            4) Applying the precautionary principle in a poor, knee-jerk, inconsistent fashion.

          • donny_t

            and you’re in denial

          • Jason

            No they have not. That’s simply not true. Several countries have banned cultivation of GMOs but yet import them my the thousands or millions of metric tons. VERY few have banned outright and the overwhelming majority use them without issue.

      • Kevin Folta

        That #2 paper is the worst. The fact that Donny finds it compelling is a testament to his scientific depth. Here’s a complete dissection:

        http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/02/gmos-and-leukemia-debunkulated.html

        it is basically a case that true believers will accept anything, even if it is trash.

    • FearlessMo

      Donny-t, perhaps you can help me. When I attempt to include a link, I Edit, copy and print, but the link comes through not highlighted in blue so it can’t be opened. I have an apple and use Safari. Can you give directions on how you include links?

      • donny_t

        Not sure, I just copy and paste the URL.

        • FearlessMo

          Yes, that’s what I’ve been doing. Thanks anyway.

  • wbsurfver

    One of the guests on the show claimed that no one has been sued because GMO cross pollinated their crops, I believe that to be a lie as I have heard of such cases.

    I don’t see exactly why it would be so complicated if different stated required labeling. What’s so complicated about a label ?

    I believe it is propaganda that GMO helps feed the world. Western industries put local farmers out of business and people go hungry because they have no money to buy food. Food goes to waste and rots before it reaches most of the worlds poor.

    The scientist on the show says he is insulted that people don’t trust industry scientists. His remark is an insult to my intelligence. Many university programs are in cahoots with industry one way or another.

    NPR made GMO’s sound plausibly respectable which was a white wassh job.

    • Jason

      Actually, no… No farmers have been sued because of pollen drifting I to their fields. That’s a very popular internet myth.

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