Saturday, 19 December 2015

2015: The Year The Food Industry Gave In To Anti-GMO Fear Mongering

I've had several requests to write about GMOs on this blog, but so far I have not taken up the mantle.  It's a huge topic that is very poorly understood by the general public, and I've been loathe to tackle the subject.

Until now.

My editor at The Daily Beast asked me to write an "End of the Year" wrap-up-type article, and I asked (read: begged and pleaded) if I could write a satirical 2015 summary a la Dave Barry, the fabulously hilarious columnist who has done just such an article every year for as long as I've been reading the newspaper.  If you've never read any of them, click on that link.  Seriously, do it now.

Anyway, the answer I got from her was a resounding "no".  She was asking for a real article, one that was thought-provoking, interesting, and sciency with real actual science and stuff.

Damn.

So here is what I came up with.
Since it was published earlier today I've already gotten a few vitriolic tweets directed at me:

Tweets like these tend to make me very happy, because they offer no actual response to the content of the article, just worthless, childish name calling.  I would welcome some actual dialog about GMOs, because that might offer me a chance to educate some misinformed folks.  But just like antivaxxers and creationists, the anti-GMO crowd seems to have already made up their collective minds, despite the lack of evidence that GMOs are in any way unhealthful.

But they're genetically modified!  That's über-scary!  Frankenfood!  Frankenfish!  AAAH!!!

Nope, not scary.  Just an unfortunate name.  If they had been called "healthy fuzzyfoods" none of this uproar would have happened.  Ok, that's probably not entirely true, but I think you get the point.

I welcome (relevant) comments, concerns and research regarding GMOs below.  However, any and all so-called "articles" from Natural News, Mercola, Greenmedinfo, and their ilk will be deleted with extreme prejudice.

And don't worry - this won't replace my usual weekly post.  Coming this week - the interview with Mrs. Bastard.  Stay tuned.

132 comments:

  1. I'm one of the anti-GMO crowd. Why? Because over a period of time they form a resistance to antibiotics. A doctor should know that.

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    1. I'm not even sure what that statement makes. Do you mean that the GMO plants develop resistance or the people who eat them develop a resistance to antibiotics? Or that other bacteria develop resistance?

      Regardless, you made a claim, so I expect you to back it up with a scientific, peer-reviewed paper. Hypotheses and opinion pieces do not count.

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    2. I don't want antibiotics on my chicken doc. I don't want want tetracycline, penicillin, streptomycin, erythromycin, etc, etc. Those are some of the antibiotics used to make animals grow bigger. And yes anyone can develop a resistance to those antibiotics I mentioned.

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    3. Congratulations Anon, you just proved two things: 1) You didn't read my article, and 2) you haven't the slightest clue what GMOs are.

      Now go read the damned article, then come back here and apologise for being either clueless, willfully ignorant, or both.

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    4. It's true. Antibiotic resistant genes are used as a marker when creating the 'cassettes' used to imbue new traits into an organism. (A cassette is a bundle of genetic material.) Without these 'markers' scientists cannot determine which cells have received the desired traits. Out of roughly 1 million cells, typically only a few of them receive the desired genetic material. So... they flood the cells with antibioitics... and only the resistant cells survive... and then, the industry uses (clones) THOSE (antibiotic resistant) cells to ultimately create the GMO specimens. Note: The 'cassettes' also typically include the Cauliflower Mosaic virus, which is necessary to ensure that the desired genetic traits are actually EXPRESSED in a foreign environment where they otherwise would lay dormant. This, in my opinion, is where most problems (and potential problems) ensue, as this 24 hour expression of foreign traits produces stress on the plants... resulting (according to Shiva Ayyudarai) in increased Formaldehyde and decreased Glutathion.

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  2. William Saletan took a thorough look at GMO's at Slate earlier this year -- http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2015/07/are_gmos_safe_yes_the_case_against_them_is_full_of_fraud_lies_and_errors.html

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  3. I am a bit concerned about the GMO trend. not so much because I believe genetic modification is teh ebil. genetic modification has been going on since Mendel. so why am I concerned? because there is a lot of reactionary response - as those who do believe genetic modification is teh ebil. and the opposing camp who responds that genetic modification is the best thing since presliced bananas.

    my own opinion falls somewhere in the middle, with such odd random worries as "we've now had two crises occur because we essentially made banana growing a monoculture industry, and the monoculture was devastated by an ailment that would not have become an epidemic in a non-monoculture"
    and "is it really a good idea to create crops that can more efficiently deplete natural resources, and think there won't be an adverse effect in the long run?"
    and "why would I eat frankensalmon when I won't eat regular salmon. Unless they splice in pig genes and make it taste like bacon instead of salmon, and that seems like a waste of effort, because it is cheaper and easier to make bacon out of pigs."

    so, to me, genetics aren't a ticking time bomb waiting to go off and give us all celiac, nor are they the second coming of Cheezus. they are just a thing. a tool, if you will, that when used by a responsible individual who thinks things through, can do good things, the way a scalpel saves the life of a person who put off the doctor's visit until his appendix exploded; or when used by an unthinking idiot, it can do harm, the way using a window as a fulcrum for a crowbar breaks the window.

    to me, the biggest danger from the GMO label is that it has become a buzzword, and we don't know WHAT modifications were made and how it might affect the final product, because nobody who voices opinions is interested in actually looking past the headline and talking about the finer details.

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    1. Doc, IMHO, this statement from your article says it all...

      "Genetically modified foods offer nothing more than what mankind has been doing with selective breeding for thousands of years..."

      By the 19th Century, when Gregor Mendel did the pea plant experiments that are now considered the foundation of the modern science of genetics, farmers had already known for many centuries that crossbreeding certain animals and plants resulted in characteristics that were more desirable, in terms of food yields. So, the concept isn't really *new," though modern technology has enabled its more effective implementation. Everyone who's living on earth today in a "developed" country has not only been eating foods derived from "genetically modified" animals and plants, but possibly also landscaped their yard with "genetically modified" grass, shrubs, and flowering plants, and may even share their home with "genetically modified" pets.

      The only thing "new" here is the terminology.

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    2. well, technically, they are using an advanced form of genetic modification. and yes there can be substantial changes to the result - I don't think anyone wants to eat the corn that has been genetically modified to produce a product that is used to make plastic. but the point is that GMO is a HUGE field. saying all GMOs are alike is like saying all schoolwork is alike.

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    3. Agreed. Modern technology now makes it possible to isolate and recombine specific genetic materials in ways that wouldn't happen in nature...just like certain treatments in the field of medicine would not have been possible 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even 10 years ago. And, as we've seen more often in recent times, sometimes the new technology that was intended to be used to improve the quality of human life on earth can be either be deliberately misdirected in a way that actually causes harm, or ends up having some eventual unintended consequences that have that same result. This doesn't mean that we should all totally avoid *anything* that comes under the category of "medical treatment."

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  4. I'm not so much concerned about the GMOs themselves as the GMO company's business practices. Monsanto's practice of allowing their gm corn to cross pollinate to other non GMO corn and then suing said non GMO corn owner for owning a patented gene. Gmos themselves are very beneficial, especially for productivity and disease protection. The original seeds for most of the crops are in seed vaults anyway, so we aren't losing biodiversity, which is a large concern with the conservation crowd. If shady business practices are reason enough to boycott a product then I fully support any decision to not eat gmos but any other reason seems contrived to me.

    Dimerneckel

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  5. Those who choose to believe that GMOs are perfectly safe because the Biotech industry and the scientists on their payroll say so are free to eat all the GMO foods they want. But those of us who want to avoid GMOs have the right to do so and our gov't needs to require GMO labeling so we can readily identify GMO items. I eat organic whenever possible & try to avoid GMOs because I don't trust any multinational corporation to tell me the truth about the safety of their products. Back in the day, Big Tobacco assured the public that cigarettes were harmless too. Magazine ads used to brag that "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette!” Phillip Morris claimed that their Lucky Strike brand was "physician tested and approved" for use in treating patients with irritated throats! Granted, these were old-school, illustrated ads showing fictional doctors -- no real MD would have risked his license by posing for such an ad. But JAMA didn't stop running tobacco ads until the early 1950s. The Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking & Health announced in their 1964 report that smoking caused lung cancer & bronchitis. Those finding were based on more than 7000 previous articles and studies that had already been done on smoking! So the research was already out there, but the tobacco industry had successfully marginalized it up until then. I don't trust the FDA or the AMA for the same reasons that I don't trust Biotech companies or Big Ag; Huge, profit-driven entities will lie or hide the truth in order to make a buck. And our laws are designed to protect their interests rather than protecting the public.

    With all due respect, Doc Bastard, I have to disagree with your statement in the DB piece that "Genetically modified foods offer nothing more than what mankind has been doing with selective breeding for thousands of years." Back when I lived in Florida, I used to have a tiny back porch garden and I did a lot of reading about seeds, plants, organic farming, etc. And I learned that hybrid seeds are VERY different from GMOs.

    For the uninitiated, farmers have been cultivating new varieties of plants for thousands of years through selective breeding via cross-pollinating, a low-tech process (normally accomplished by bees and the wind) using 2 different, but related, plants. Cross-pollination involves transferring pollen from the male reproductive organ of 1 plant to the female reproductive organ of another plant. By repeating this process over several generations, farmers came up with new varieties of plants. They selectively cross-pollinated for plants that were healthier, more resistant to insects, better suited to the climate, etc. Then Mendel and Darwin came along and discovered a method of controlled cross-breeding that made it possible to create the desired traits in a single generation by producing F1 (filial 1) hybrid seeds. These F1 or 1st-generation hybrids are still cross-pollinated using 2 different, but related plants and the F1 hybrid seeds are just as natural as their predecessors.

    (cont'd below - the message says I'm at my character limit.)

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    1. so pass a law that allows only GMO free foods to be labeled as such.

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  6. But GMO seeds are created in a very different manner. They are made in a lab using gene-splicing, which can involve changing a single gene or several genes at once. Hi-tech genetic modification of plants bears little resemblance to what happens in nature. Rather than crossing 2 different but related varieties of plant, GMO seeds involve crossing entirely different biological kingdoms — like combining a bacteria with a plant, something Mother Nature would never do. GMO seeds lead to the creation of frankenfoods, which the good doctor mocks, but it's an apt term for them once you learn a bit about them.

    Bacillus thuringiensus (Bt) is a Gram-positive bacterium naturally present in soil and a few other places. It has been used as a natural insecticide by organic farmers for decades. When certain insects eat Bt, the toxins in the bacterium cause the bug's gut wall to break down, allowing toxic spores and normal gut bacteria to enter the insect's body. (And Doc, doesn't that process sound a lot like leaky gut syndrome?) The spores and gut bacteria proliferate and the insect dies within a few days. Farmers started to use Bt as a pesticide in the 1920s. The French began selling a commercialized Bt formulation as an insecticide in the 1930s, then the US started selling it commercially in the late 1950s. Bt was registered as a pesticide by the EPA in 1961.

    The good thing about Bt is that organic farmers are able to successfully use it because the action of the toxins is specific, not widespread. Different strains of Bt are specific to different receptors in the insect's gut wall. Each species of bug has receptors that only match certain toxin proteins, like a lock to a key. So the farmer knows which bugs will be killed by a specific Bt strain.

    Back in the 1990s, Monsanto (the company that created Agent Orange during the Vietnam era) crossed genetic material from a strain of Bt with corn in order to create a pest-resistant variety. Insects that eat the corn die because the plant has been genetically tweaked to produce Bt inside its cells as it grows. The resultant GMO, known as Bt Corn, is registered as a PESTICIDE with the EPA. (Don't believe me? Google "EPA Reg. #524-581 & 68467-7" then click on the 2nd listing, Current & Previously Registered Section 3. Scroll down under the "Pesticide Registration Numbers" column.)

    Let us pause and ponder that for a moment.

    America is the #1 corn producer on the planet. Folks buy cornflakes and popcorn and corn oil and a zillion different products that contain High Fructose Corn Syrup and eat all that stuff every day. Bt is in ALL the corn products you consume that are not organic. And when your typical commercial cattle rancher feeds Bt corn to his livestock, he is feeding those cows an actual pesticide, not just a bit of pesticide residue leftover from spraying the corn while it's growing. And you're eating that Bt corn in your beef or chicken pork if you're not buying organic meats.

    That's like ordering a hamburger and french fries with a side of Raid. It's only meant to kills bugs, right? Would you spray Raid on your food before eating it? On your kid's food? Of course not! So what sane, rational person can honestly believe that Bt corn is safe to eat? It make take decades before GMO corn starts having a negative impact on your health. There may not be a lab test to prove that the malfunctions in your body are caused by Bt consumption. But if Bt corn kills the bugs that eat it AND it's been genetically altered in order to splice it into corn genes, why would you think it won't kill you too eventually? How do you know that the same mechanism in Bt corn that causes it to destroy the insect's gut isn't going to do the same thing to your gut over time?

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    1. so if you eat monsanto's corn you are eating corn that produces a pesticide that farmers may freely spray their food crops with and still slap an "organically grown" label on it.

      got it.

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  7. (cont'd again, last bit)

    Bt corn is a registered pesticide, just like cigarette smoke is a known carcinogen. Why would you NOT choose to avoid eating it if you can?

    And don't even get me started on Glyphosate & roundup ready crops! Read up on them for yourself.

    So Doc, please don't ridicule those of us who choose to err on the side of caution when it comes to what we eat. IMO, the biggest reason not to believe that GMOs are safe is the fact that the industries behind them are lobbying so hard and spending so much to prevent GMO labeling of food items. Cigarettes weren't required to have a Surgeon General's warning label until 1966 -- but they were known to cause cancer years before that.

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    1. Where to begin with this series of fallacies and sheer misinformation (with all due respect)? How about at the beginning. Here goes.

      "our gov't needs to require GMO labeling so we can readily identify GMO items"
      Nearly everything you have ever eaten in your entire life has been genetically modified in some way. There you go, solved.

      "[some crap about cigarettes]"
      Arguing that cigarette advertising in the 1950s somehow means GMOs are dangerous is absurd. GMOs have been studied for decades, and there is no evidence of any dangers to humans, and 60-year old cigarette advertisements do not change that fact. You are pretending that safety studies have either not been done or have been withheld, and neither is remotely true.

      "I don't trust the FDA or the AMA for the same reasons that I don't trust Biotech companies or Big Ag"
      Then you obviously don't trust the World Health Organization, National Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Medicine, and the Academies of Science of France, Brazil, China, India, and Mexico, which have ALL unambiguously stated that GMOs are safe. Are they all involved in a massive global conspiracy? I fear you (and many others) believe they are.

      "[some ridiculousness about how genetic modification is different than conventional cross breeding etc]"
      You're right, they are different - the way food geneticists do it now is much faster, much safer, and much more directed than before. They don't have to wait for generations and generations to get the trait that they want, they get it directly. Then they test it for decades for safety. Hybrids and other "traditionally" created genetically-modified crops aren't required to undergo any safety testing whatsoever.

      "like combining a bacteria with a plant, something Mother Nature would never do."
      'Mother Nature' didn't create that computer or mobile phone you're using right now either. Scientists did that. If you're going to eschew technology, that's fine. Just go ahead and throw away your computer, light bulbs, medicines, glasses, car, and every other thing that scientists have created for the betterment of mankind. Sound stupid? That's how stupid your argument is.

      "How do you know that the same mechanism in Bt corn that causes it to destroy the insect's gut isn't going to do the same thing to your gut over time?"
      You obviously have no idea what Bt is or how it works. The Bt protein that is produced by the bacterium (or the GM crop) is eaten by an insect and cleaved into its active form in its gut, where it causes holes to form in the gut and kills it. The human gut will instantly inactivate this protein, and besides human cells do not have the receptor necessary for Bt to injure it, so it is completely harmless to humans. That is exactly how I know that it will not kill me.

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    2. "Monsanto (the company that created Agent Orange during the Vietnam era)..."
      Fear mongering, irrelevant, and purposefully inflammatory for the sole purpose of making Monsanto look bad.

      "That's like ordering a hamburger and french fries with a side of Raid."
      No, it is not like that in any way. This is EXACTLY the kind of fear mongering that I was talking about in the article, and it disgusts me. The active ingredients in Raid (flying pests) are Prallethrin and 1R-trans Phenothrin, which are both mildly-to-moderately toxic to humans. Bt is nontoxic to humans.

      "And Doc, doesn't that process sound a lot like leaky gut syndrome?"
      I would laugh if I thought for a millisecond that you were kidding. 'Leaky guy syndrome' is just as real (and just as scary) as Yeti, the Loch Ness Monster, chronic Lyme disease, and gluten sensitivity.

      "So Doc, please don't ridicule those of us who choose to err on the side of caution when it comes to what we eat."
      It isn't ridicule, and the only reason you see it that way is because of a persecution complex. If you still believe what you do about GMOs after reading the article and the further explanations in this comment, THEN you will deserve ridicule, because you would have to willfully ignore the evidence presented that GMOs are safe.

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    3. If GMOs are safe then label those food doc. If they aren't labeled how would we know if someone had gotten I'll from eating them?

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    4. Fine, then by your logic every food that is safe should be labelled "safe", right?

      We know that people haven't gotten ill BECAUSE they have been tested. There's no need to label a food as safe if it has been proven safe.

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    5. If the GMO food were not labeled then how do you know that?

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    6. Meh, even I would like GMO products identified on the internet (too much $ to label the products and you have all the anti-GMO people willing to compile lists for free).

      I went round about this with Rod Herman at gristdotcom for a bit but my reasons aren't as nefarious as you would think. Years ago there was the same freaking out about irradiated meat. Now that it is labelled, I actively seek it out for the times when I want to eat a medium-rare burger; it's a selling point to me. Now if only it was less expensive than the rest of the hamburger, I would be all set.

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    7. " If they aren't labeled how would we know if someone had gotten I'll from eating them?"

      how do we know if someone has gotten ill from eating lettuce contaminated with e-coli?

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    8. L -

      Doc, I think you are missing RC's point: Anything that is toxic to one animal must be toxic to all animals.

      That's why RC has forsworn some of the deadly poisons that kill dogs and birds when ingested...specifically avocados and chocolate. No guacamole for you, RC!

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    9. Anon - You are correct, of course. I missed that point entirely.

      It's a damned good thing that human physiology is different that insect physiology. Otherwise that ant spray I just used would have killed ME instantly too.

      Whew.

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    10. Anon - you are right!

      I think I'll go out and eat a few horse-chestnuts. The deer love them, so they must be great!

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  8. RC thank you for sharing your knowledge with us. Yes there is a huge difference between hybridized seeds (or anything) and genetically modified seeds (or anything). Anyone who thinks the processes are the same are painfully uneducated on the subject. Again thank you for your post.

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    1. Charlotte - RC shared a series of misinformation, which you have obviously swallowed hook, line, and sinker. See my response above.

      No one claimed that they are the same thing - GM and traditional techniques are two separate paths to the same goal. If you think otherwise, then YOU are the painfully uneducated (or helplessly brainwashed) one.

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  9. So, if any of the anti-GMO people are to be believed, then drought and disease resistant crops are evil. Got it.

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    1. Of course drought and disease resistant crops are evil. Those who believe in helping prevent people from starving to death are monsters, I tell you, complete and utter monsters!

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  10. What a joke. Doctor Bastard referred me to a peer-reviewed article that supposedly proved that GMO was okay without acknowledging that Monsanto-funded scientists co-wrote it. I hope that when Doctor Bastard does his 2015 income taxes, he remembers to declare his income from Monsanto.

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    1. The real joke is someone thinking that baselessly calling someone a shill is somehow adequate criticism of science.

      I wasn't aware that referencing peer-reviewed articles on Twitter required disclaimers about the original authors. I must have missed that in the Terms of Service.

      Now Louis, if you have some actual criticism of the actual science (and your socialist newspaper article doesn't count), feel free to post it. Otherwise you can crawl back under your little rock.

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    2. Doc, are you familiar with Monsanto's "Terminator Technology"? A process in genetic engineering that controls the plant's gene expression? If you reverse the process you'll come up with GMO food. However, the seeds can also commit suicide by self poisoning when an outside stimulus is applied. It's a technology that is similar to the ethno bomb.

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    3. so you're saying if monsanto determines the new plant is harmful, they can simply switch it off, instead of having it run rampant and destroy an ecosystem?

      how terribly evil of them.

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    4. I have limited evidence but I think Monsanto is 'Soylent Green.' Call me crazy but the whole world will soon become overpopulated and the consequences are dire. You'd be living in a very polluted world with no open space and limited food. Who wants that kind of life? The only solution is to control overpopulation and the best way of doing that is to control our food supply. I believe that if an outside stimulus is applied on the GMO food that we eat today our body will soon commit suicide by self poisoning itself. Just like the seed I mentioned above. It may not happen today. It may not happen tomorrow. I believe Monsanto has the capability when to use that outside stimulus on us. They decide the proper time.

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    5. I have never seen any conspiracy with "kill off our customer base" as a step in the process.

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    6. This is honestly some of the most insane conspiratorial crap I've seen in a long time. Mrs. Bastard says "Thank you for the laugh".

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  11. Genetic modification is a tool like any other. You can do great things with tools, but you can also miss-use them and cause problems. The question is always how the tool is used and by whom.

    You could easily enough use GM techniques to make Brussels sprouts containing digitalis or scorpion venom (in fact some people seem to think they do already) but that would be a stupid thing to do.

    Equally, however, you could use exactly the same methods to make a plant express natural pesticide compounds from edible herbs which may in-fact have positive health benefits in humans and will prevent the need for (so much) artificial insecticide.

    The first is a mad-crazy-lunatic plan that could wipe out the Western world by Christmas lunchtime. The second is a good way to reduce the amount of pesticide people consume and farmers are exposed to. The trick is knowing which GM technique is being used.

    I am in principle very much in favour of GM food. It is one of the few ways in which we stand any chance of feeding an ever-growing human population. However, I do have some sympathy for those who do not trust that this tool is being applied responsibly. This was not at all helped in the early days by large agrochemical companies using GM in ways that the naive would consider ill-thought out and the skeptical would see as cynical profit-mongering.

    Selling seeds that are immune to a herbicide so that you can sell more herbicide, while making the plants sterile so that you can stop farmers from keeping their own seed* is just too easy to portray as exploitation.

    The uses of GM technology these days do seem to be better regulated and better thought-out. However, there are plenty of examples of large corporations adopting unethical practices for profit, especially where the consumer does not understand all of the issues. GM methods are particularly susceptible to miss-use and so while I think GMOs should be encouraged rather than banned, I also think that they need to be very carefully regulated to avoid the potential benefits being subverted for pure profit.

    Ugi



    * I understand that the sterility was supposed to avoid contamination but even if that was the real reason it does not account for the fact that subsistence farmers did not understand that and could not afford to buy new seed every year.

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    1. The same argument applies to cloning technology. Use it, but wisely and ethically.

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    2. How do I know if a product is non-gmo if there is no label? I might be allergic to them.

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    3. Anon says "How do I know if a product is non-gmo if there is no label? I might be allergic to them."

      Good question - but you are more likely to be allergic to non-GMO foods since they are not tested for possible allergenic changes - but GMO foods are tested for possible allergenic changes before they are approved for release.

      This a fear that is not based on reason or assessment of the characteristics of GMO products - but only on fear.



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    4. Biosci - I suspect that comment was sarcastic. I hope.

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    5. Biosci, that's according to Monsanto's 90 day toxicology trial. Correct?

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    6. IMHO, the allergy argument is irrelevant here because an *individual's* sensitivity to a certain food doesn't mean that there's anything in the food that is "toxic" to the general population.

      If we hear on the news that a particular food product has been recalled, or a food service establishment has been closed for cleanup, because of contamination with salmonella, listeria, or e.coli, we take heed, because *most* average humans get ill when these bacteria are ingested.

      But the fact that a particular individual may be sensitive to shellfish, grains containing gluten, nuts, or whatever doesn't change the reality that millions of people all over the world *can* eat these foods every day with no ill effect. People with food allergies will always need to learn what works best for them, and avoid foods that trigger a bad reaction, regardless of whether or not GMOs are used in the production of those foods.

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    7. I have not heard this allergy argument and it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense.

      There are some people who will be allergic to nearly anything but we cannot ban all food. We therefore need to take the sensible line of labeling food which contains common allergens and those with unusual allergies just have to take extra care. It's a pain for them but it's the only practical solution.

      If you construct a GM organism then you put a piece of DNA from another organism into it. We don't yet have the understanding to design this from scratch - it's always ripped from somewhere else. That means that the DNA and corresponding protein will have the same allergenic effect in your GMO as it did in the "donor" organism. So, if the donor organism is not widely allergenic then it's unlikely that the GMO will be. Obviously, organisms are complex and you may get occasional weird interactions but with a little care in your choice of donor organism you should be able to avoid anything dramatic.

      Overall, the risk of allergy need be no higher than with existing foods. In fact it's probably lower because you would not choose an organism or gene that was widely allergenic. You can't ban foods because some people are allergic to them - we'd have no wheat to support half the population. And it's not possible to be allergic to "GM" in general. That's like being allergic to the children of people with wooden legs.

      It all sounds like people desperately scratching around to justify an irrational opinion to me.

      Ugi

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    8. I can see a few cases cropping up, say if a product had genes from a species the person was allergic to. or is someone bred a peanut that didn't trigger MOST peanut allergies, there might still be someone allergic to a different protein in it.
      the definition of an allergy is the immune system attacking things it shouldn't, so it is hard to predict. (some time back I rolled on a patient with idiosyncratic anaphalaxis, which means "deathly allergic to random things with no rhyme or reason.")

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  12. I do find it amusing that the same people that are against selectively bred plants (GMOs) but are fine buying designer dogs.

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    1. or paying a purebred price for a mongrel with a fancy name.

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    2. Or...using "assisted reproductive technology, in any of its various forms, to "grow" their own families when, for whatever reason, nature just isn't working well for them.

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  13. Doc Bastard: First of all, you don't know squat about my eating habits, so how can you claim that "Nearly everything you have ever eaten in your entire life has been genetically modified in some way." FYI, I was raised on a commune with home-grown organic foods from the cradle -- none of the stuff I grew up eating was GMO. I didn't start eating commercially-raised crap until we moved to the city when I was an adolescent. I got way from eating organic from my teens until I finished university, then I went back to eating healthy when I started thinking about having kids. That MD behind your name does NOT mean you can presume to know shit about my childhood eating habits. And wise-ass remarks like that contribute absolutely nothing to the conversation you supposedly wanted to have here about GMOs.

    You claimed my original post was full of "fallacies and sheer misinformation". If that's true, have the courtesy to BE SPECIFIC about what I posted that was incorrect. Otherwise, how can I rebut your claims? I was careful to pose questions when I was asking about things that were strictly my opinion vs. when I was stating facts. So what was I wrong about?

    FACT: Monsanto DID invent Agent Orange -- that's not "fear-mongering", that's the truth. You can try to discount facts that you don't like, but you don't get to label them "misinformation". Cheesy tactics like that are precisely what corporate shills do on boards where people are speaking out against GMOs. And if you referred Louis Proyect to a GMO study that was paid for by Monsanto, that's beyond disingenuous! Esp. when you refuse to let us post info from Natural News, Mercola, etc. to support our arguments. As a man of science, you should be better than that. And the fact that a company with a history of manufacturing a highly toxic defoliant used in warfare is now making food crops for human consumption IS legitimate cause for concern to any thinking person.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. and was your "organic food" that you ate all gunted/gathered from the wild, or was it things with names, like, say, arugula, or Blue Lake Bush beans?

      Natural "news" and Mercola are both without credibility. Mercola is nothing more than an advertisement for his supplements. - which, if your organic diet is so healthy, you should be able to do just fine without.

      Delete
  14. (cont'd)

    FACT: I asked you about leaky gut syndrome, which you ridiculed as not being real. Then why does PubMed list more than 150 different studies that mention leaky gut? (Here's a link to the search result: http://1.usa.gov/1RC2ktv). You claim to have such confidence in gov't agencies which state that GMOs are safe, yet when a gov't-funded research clearinghouse like the NCBI lists dozens & dozens of scientific studies that mention leaky gut, you try to pretend it's a nonexistant disease? Where I come from Doc, we call that talking out of both sides of your mouth.

    FACT: The processes I described for creating hybrid seeds vs. GMO seeds were factual & correct -- anyone can look that info up. I can provide you with links if you like. Show me what in my explanation of the 2 processes was wrong.

    For the record, I'm really not big on conspiracies because they're impossible to prove. But I also know that on the transnational level, shit doesn't just "happen". GMOs are as ubiquitous as they are today because of collusion between the corporations that make them and the governments of the countries that are now growing millions of acres of GMO crops in in the US, Brazil, Africa, China, etc. I referenced the history of cigarettes because it represents the same kind collusion. Our gov't -- inc. the National Academy of Sciences that you trust so much -- and the medical industry told the public for DECADES that cigarettes were harmless -- & THAT WAS A LIE. But years later, when the National Academy of Sciences jumps on the GMO bandwagon, you conveniently discount the fact that the same gov't organization went along with the claims that cigarettes were safe. The real question is, why are you so willing to swallow whatever the gov't feeds you as the truth?

    Again, if you think GMOs are safe, crunch all you want. But what strikes me as odd is why all you GMO proponents don't support mandatory labeling so the folks who want to avoid GMOs will be able to identify them easily? It's no skin off your nose if we don't eat GMOs. Labeling won't make foods more expensive, just as the health warning labels on smokes didn't jack up the price. So why insult those who disagree with you about GMOs? Why write a snarky article for TDB trying to bully dissenters into following your path when our eating habits aren't harming you in any way?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately your "FACT"s are not facts.

      Yes RC, every crop you've eaten has been genetically modified, even on that commune. The plants humans cultivate now bear almost no resemblance to those of just a few thousand dollars years ago. Ever eaten a seedless watermelon or seedless grape? Still don't believe me? Look up musa balbisiana.

      I listed your fallacies and misinformation point by point, then I refuted each. Go back, read, and learn.

      Bringing up Agent Orange is the very definition of fear mongering. To say is isn't only proves you don't know what the term means. Bayer sold heroin as a cough edifice for children. Does that mean their aspirin is evil? Of fucking course not.

      Your Pubmed search also proves you don't know what those numbers mean, because you don't understand the articles. Only a couple of them refer to the so-called "leaky gut syndrome", and they are all speculative at best. The rest refer to other entities.

      You claim not to be big into conspiracies, then you launch into one. Huge surprise.

      I've explained why labeling is unnecessary, but since you don't seem to have the brain power to comprehended, I'll explain using smaller words: things that are bad need to be labelled as dangerous. Everything else does not.

      And you really think writing a factual, researched, science-based article is "bullying"? Ha! HAHA! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

      Bottom line: feel free to eat whatever the fuck your want. But don't try to convince others that GMOs are dangerous just because you aren't smart enough to understand why they aren't.

      Delete
    2. I'll say it again - if you want GMO specific labeling, you are free to push for a requirement that only foods that have not had direct genetic modification can be labeled "GMO free" then you can choose to buy nothing without the label.
      problem solved without forcing anyone to do anything.

      Delete
  15. They believe that the 90 day period is sufficient to evaluate chronic toxicity.

    ReplyDelete
  16. And the winner for the Ms. Universe 2015 is ... Miss Information!

    ReplyDelete
  17. GMO foods are safe. Just read Monsanto's 90 day toxicology study.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. because only monsanto makes genetic modifications.

      Delete
    2. It's the biggest.

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    3. the biggest fire truck in our fleet is at our central station. that doesn't mean we only have apparatus at the central station.

      Delete
    4. Bad analogy.

      Delete
    5. I haven't made any here. You might be confusing the anons.

      Delete
  18. Hi Doc,

    I'm glad your article's main focus was about how genetic modifications are not a bad thing (in fact, it's awesome! Why? Because yellow corn on the cob is the bomb, and that colour's been selected over the years. First, we had purple corn, then selective breeding gave us Indian corn, till finally the autonomous transposase gene was removed (that's right, science happened), fully disabling the gene responsible for purple colour).

    I find it surprising that many still associate danger to anything to do with selective breeding or gene modification when it comes to food, yet they don't bat an eye when molecular biology techniques are used to advance medicine. Give it a few decades for CRISPR-Cas9 to develop and we'll be like GATTACA, but people will still freak out over GMO's if they refuse to believe articles such as this.

    However, I have 2 major concerns related to GMOs that do not involve consumption concerns.

    1) GMO prevalence has decreased genetic diversity, increasing the chance that a single pathogen would be able to wipe out our entire supply of a particular species we use for food. (that's why we have an ancient grain & seed library; it may be needed in the future to select for resistant traits and increase diversity). Take for example Canadian canola oil; the canola seed now has no species variation. The same happened when GMO corn wiped out native Mexican crops.

    2) GMO corporations, such as Monsanto, you must admit, are pretty sketchy. They are corrupt (which is a whole other story; I do not want to get into the whole false advertising of their Round-up Ready products being biodegradable, when they were only 2% so)

    However, the real source of their corruption can be explained by one word: patents. There is such a thing as gene patenting (for example, Myriad Genetics was shrouded in controversy when they prevented other labs from using BRCA1 in their research without due payment, as they own a patent for the gene). This is completely ridiculous, you cannot own a gene. You can surely patent a method for it's discovery, isolations, etc.. but whatever higher power you believe in (aka God/science) made that gene, and it's not your invention. For as many patents as Monsanto possesses regarding molecular methods, they have as many of these "oh look, this is a cool gene/plant/thing that has clearly existed for a while, it's ours now" patents. In India, poivron noire (sorry, I took this class on GMOs in French and can't English atm) and other spices are being patented when they've been cultivated by natives for centuries. And the patents for their own GMOs go a bit too far too. Ex: remember how corn diversity is reduced in Mexico? Monsanto has a sort of "GMO police" to collect payment from farmers who have bought their seeds (which btw, they cannot resow next season). These GMO plants have a tendency to be blown/spread into other farmers' crops, even if they have not bought seeds.One documentary shows how a farmer's selective breeding of his crop was overtaken by GMOs in under 10 years, and he had to pay for something he didn't want!

    Anyway, it just goes to show how complex the topic is.
    Cheers, Doc :)

    (note: all sciency statements taken from memory of my molecular bio and food classes, sorry.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In Oregon, there is a state law that if your crop genetically contaminates your neighbor's crop, you are liable for economic damages. the test case was an organic farmer whose wheat was contaminated with Roundup Ready wheat.

      Delete
    2. Interesting, did not know that, Ken. Glad to know that the problem (at least somewhere) is recognized.

      Delete
    3. It's funny that you mentioned CRISPR-Cas9. Two years ago I found out that the Pentagon ran an experimental program about this gene editing
      technique. I then went back to that site and EVERYTHING was gone! I thought it was a big joke. I then realized that what IF:

      1. The Pentagon was trying to create a Super Soldier? With CRISPR, you can pretty much edit all the genes in the human body.

      2. Are you OK with this technology?

      Delete
    4. Interesting story Anon, but I'm not one for conspiracy theories. I believe that, in the future, the technology will have great implications for medicine/gene replacement therapy. (Though Chris Evans is very nice to look at)

      I digress, I simply brought it up because I got to reference GATTACA (which is one of my favourite films, and, like in Captain America, the actors are nice to look at) and because I find it amusing that people seem to be unafraid of CRISPR technology when it is the same molecular techniques being used to create GMOs (which, as Doc's article pointed out, we don't have to fear), yet people freak out over it and not the former.

      Anyway, that was a little off topic.. I'd love to respond to any comment regarding GMOs and biodiversity or gene patents :)

      Delete
    5. Oh you wanna talk GMO? Sure. Let me ask you this. What's your opinion on Monsanto's 90 day toxicology food study? Do you agree with that study? Do you believe that the 90 day period is sufficient for detecting chronic toxicity? You may begin.

      Delete
    6. you wanna talk crispr, super soldiers and gattaca?

      at present, gene therapy is the current best bet for reducing the impact of muscular dystrophy.

      you wanna talk toxicity studies? look up the toxicity studies on canned tuna.

      Delete
    7. Umm.. I just wanted to start a discussion, no need to be snappy :p

      You have a point Anon, I don't believe that 90 is enough. But then again, there are many foods and drugs and such that have not been researched long term,simply because we've developed new techniques so recently. Many of my lecturers tell me yhat when they started in academia, they did not have access to techniques like transfection or Southern analyses,which today are regarded as simple. That being said,sure, GMOs need continual research to show that the do not have adverse long term effects. My point simply was that we needn't be afraid of the technology used to make them :)

      Delete
    8. Herbal supplements, vitamins, and the like aren't tested by the FDA at all. I guess that makes them more dangerous than GMOs?

      Delete
    9. The majority of GMO proponents on this page don't even know about Monsanto's 90 day GMO food toxicology study. I bet that i'f they knew they'd be singing a different tune. Just like when Doc forgot to mention them in his article. Forget about GMOs continual research for adverse long term effects. That's not going to happen. Monsanto will sue you if you try to experiment on their 'patented' goods.:-)

      Delete
    10. I didn't "forget" to mention anything. The long-term study was done by Dr. Gilles-Eric Séralini and published in a peer-reviewed journal (Food & Chemical Toxicology), and the anti-GMO crowd would have you believe that the rats fed GMO corn developed horrible tumours. Unfortunately for the authors Sprague Dawley rats are predisposed to developing tumours (70-80% develop cancer over their life span of 2 years). There was also no dose-response to eating GMOs vs not (rats that ate 33% GMO developed fewer tumours than rats that ate 11% GMOs). If GMO corn were truly dangerous, if you eat more, you should get cancer more, not less.

      That study was retracted in 2013 because the data were inconclusive and the conclusions reached by Séralini were not supported by the data). It was then republished in a different (open-access) journal in 2014.

      Funny, that.

      And another study looking at long-term affects of GMOs on health found no adverse health effects in both long-term studies and in multigenerational studies (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1871678412008801).

      Delete
    11. Doc, I read both long-term studies and multi generational studies by Snell et all. I'm sorry but this is not a 'meta-analysis' study. They concluded something that has no scientific basis. Nothing but 'opinions'!

      Delete
    12. You're right, Anon. We should totally support your baseless opinion rather than a review of 93 studies by Agnes Ricrich, the Chair of Evolutionary Genetics and Plant Breeding who also just happens to have a PhD in plant genetics.

      Right.

      Delete
    13. Doc, we're talking about Snell and Ricroch's study on the long term and multigenarational effect of GMO. There was no stastical analysis and NO statistical power calculation! How can one believe that study if they can't demonstrate effect or lack of effect? If you believe that study then you might as well believe my Soylent Green story.

      Delete
    14. Right, and when Snell and Ricroch review 12 long-term safety studies and 12 multi-generational studies and conclude that the 24 studies "do not suggest any health hazards and, in general, there were no statistically significant differences within parameters observed", we should just dismiss that because these actual PhD plant geneticists don't know what they're talking about, but you do?

      I don't read a manual about my car and claim to be an expert. If there is a problem, I take it to a mechanic, who IS an expert. I then trust his judgment (unless it is blatant wrong). Likewise, I do not claim to be an expert on plant genetics. Dr. Ricroch is. She and her colleagues have reviewed the long-term studies and have concluded there is no risk. Having read what I have (including both pro- and anti-GMO literature), I accept the experts' judgment.

      Clearly you think you know better. Perhaps you'd like to enlighten us with your qualifications.

      Delete
    15. I never said that I know better. I'm just not afraid to ask questions. That's what I am. If it doesn't compute my conscious thinking will challenge it.

      Delete
    16. Asking questions is worthless if you aren't prepared to accept the answers from an expert.

      Incidentally, Google sent your comment directly to spam. I had to untag it as spam to publish it. It may be something about your IP that Google doesn't like, but I'd suggest creating a profile so that doesn't happen. Cheers.

      Delete
    17. I participate in another forum where the expression for that is "you did it wrong because you didn't get the results I wanted."

      Delete
    18. FACT: There hasn't been a long term study performed on the long term adverse effects of GMO foods in the U.S.

      If you go to Monsanto's website, they will refer you to a couple of 'EUROPEAN' literature claiming that GMO foods are safe (Snell et all 'study' included).

      Delete
    19. I see. So please explain how European people's anatomy is different than American. We'll all wait with bated breath.

      Your "FACT"s remain as specious as ever. I can't wait for your next one.

      Delete
    20. Doc, show me the European manuscript's data on the safety of GMO foods and we'll see if the systematic review has been properly conducted.

      Delete
    21. The link has already been posted. The fact that you are willfully ignoring it is your problem.

      If you have a specific critique of it, make your point. But any further nonsense either A) pretending the studies aren't done or B) are somehow invalid simply because you don't like the results will be deleted.

      Delete
  19. I'm just saying that the reason why there hasn't been any studies done on the long term adverse effects of GMO foods in the U.S., is because Monsanto will not allow it. They own the patent on GMO. You can't touch or perform experiment/studies on them without their permission. Make sense?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The next comment you make will be an explanation of why European versus American matters, or else it will be your last.

      Delete
    2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    3. and Monsanto does NOT own the patent on genetic modification. they only own the patent on THEIR specific cultivars.

      Delete
    4. You've never of Roundup Ready Crops?

      Delete
    5. He meant to say Monsanto's patent on RRCs.

      Delete
    6. which just demonstrates he doesn't understand what he's blathering on about.

      Delete
    7. I can't believe people are so misinformed about the history of GM food in the U.S.

      1. Calgen Company aka Monsanto produced the first genetically engineered food to be granted a license for human consumption.

      2. That was in 1994 and they called it the 'Flavr Saver' -- the first genetically modified tomato approved for human consumption.

      3. I did a patent search and came up with Monsanto as the very first company that patented GM food.

      Delete
    8. Here's your 90 day study. The crops are safe. Eat them! - Monsanto

      Delete
    9. In case you missed it, Monsanto doesn't own the patent on genetic modification.

      Delete
    10. Irrelevant. The majority of the GM foods in the U.S. are produced by Monsanto.

      Delete
    11. and by "Irrelevant" you mean "It doesn't fit my narrative"

      Delete
  20. Since when does *any* type of product testing and research need to be "allowed" by a manufacturer? If someone wants to do research, they can recruit different groups of individuals to eat different types of food over time, then observe the results to see if there are any differences.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Scarab, that would be an unauthorized use of Monsanto's intellectual property (Roundup Ready Crops). The patent system is a form of intellectual property. They will sue you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. so you're saying Monsanto's patent restrictions prohibit feeding the product of their roundup ready crops to people?

      Delete
    2. That's not what I said. They want you to eat them but you can't perform studies or research on the safety of RRCs without their permission. You can't even clean their seeds. Google 'seed cleaner vs. Monsanto. I forget his name but Monsanto sued him for cleaning the seeds.

      Delete
    3. I don't know why my comments aren't sticking. Anywayz, they want you to eat them but you can't perform studies or research the safety of RRCs without their permission. No post-market studies. You can't even clean the seeds. Google seed cleaner vs. Monsanto. The little seed cleaner guy settled with multinational corporation Monsanto. Poor fellow.

      Delete
    4. by "cleaner" you mean a person who processes a crop for seed production rather than for food production.

      " Growers who purchase our patented seeds sign a Monsanto Technology/Stewardship Agreement — an agreement that specifically addresses the obligations of both the grower and Monsanto and governs the use of the harvested crop. The agreement specifically states that the grower will not save or sell the seeds from their harvest for further planting, breeding or cultivation."

      Delete
    5. A good lawyer would exploit the definition of "the use of the harvested crop." It's a very narrow definition but also keep in mind that a lawyer wrote it.

      Delete
    6. A good lawyer would exploit the definition of 'the use of the harvested crop' in any lawsuit. It's a very narrow definition but also keep in mind that a lawyer wrote it.

      Delete
    7. I wasn't suggesting any type of study that would involve a chemical analysis of the produce itself, the seeds, or any attempt at reverse engineering the product itself, that could be construed as patent infringement. I was referring to a study of the possible effects on end users (people, or livestock) who *ate* the product for a period of time, as compared to a control group who *didn't eat* these same products.

      Readers in the USA have probably seen the commercials for Bush's Baked Beans, and know that one of the company's promotional points is its "secret recipe." Suppose we wondered if anything in this secret recipe might be toxic if ingested in small amounts over time. (Yeah, I know that's ridiculous...just trying to illustrate how a study might be done). We could recruit a group of baked bean fans to eat Bush's Beans at least once a day, and recruit another group to eat Van Camp's Beans once a day also. After a period of time, we could test people in both groups to compare their overall health, and see if the Bush's Beans group showed any signs of health problems related to ingestion of toxic substances, as compared to the Van Camp's group.

      *Eating* Bush's Beans isn't interfering with the company's intellectual property rights. They *make* the product to be sold and eaten. A company's right to protect its intellectual property, whether it be a patented genetic modification process, or a "secret recipe," is meant to protect them against the devaluation of their product if someone were to figure out how to replicate the process, and then sell or give the information to competitors.

      Delete
    8. The study of the possible effects on end users. That's exactly what I've been saying all along Baracs! We need to perform a long term adverse effect study on GMOs so we can settle this issue once and for all. The first long term GMO food study in the U.S.! Finally! Yes! I have all the buckets for the seeds Bracs. Are you game? Only one problem Brass. Just one. Monsanto's user agreements forbids the use of the seeds for any independent research. What do we do?

      Delete
    9. Monsanto's user agreements forbids the use of the seeds for any independent research.-'

      Delete
    10. apparently you didn't see Scarab's post.

      Delete
    11. Apparently those who aren't interested in actual discussion dare not risk reading anything that might actually present a differing viewpoint.

      I never suggested that a study of the effects on humans of *eating* various types of *food products* needed to involve research related to the properties of the seeds themselves.

      Delete
  22. Here's what I found. In 2009, Dr. Seralini published a study that re-analyzed toxicity data for NK 603 (glyphosate resistant), MON 810, and MON 863 strains. He included the three rat feeding studies published by Monsanto scientists. Seralini's study concluded that the three crops caused liver, kidney, and heart damage in the rats.

    The European Food Safety Authority ( EFSA) reviewed his study and concluded that Seralini's claims were not supported by data in their paper and that many of the statistical criticism on the 2007 study were also applied on the 2009 paper.

    More than half of EFSA's GMO panel experts, the ones who dismissed Seralini's work, had links with biotech and pesticide industry resulting in conflict of interest.

    EFSA GMO panel members:

    Huw Jones' institute Rothamsted Research has a research agreement with Dow Agrosciences (Monsanto's partner).

    Ettori Capri - Pesticide Panels expert. Capri is also on the ILSI Environmental and Health Task Force. An organization funded by, biotech companies including Monsanto.

    Theo Brock - Pesticides Panel expert. Interprets toxicity data for companies including Monsanto. Also involved in research project funded by the European chemical industry lobby.

    Daniel Pickford - Received industry funding from Syngenta.

    I have more but I think I made the point.











    ReplyDelete
  23. Anon - You'll find that your comment wasn't published. That was Google sending your comment directly to spam, and me not moving it out of spam.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm gonna worship Monsanto.

    ReplyDelete
  25. My favorite thing about reading these comments is that I realized a mere teenager like me is smarter than all these GMO-fearing anti-vaccine adults. Thankfully I learned how to use my brain at a young age, while half these people are still trying to figure out how to use theirs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Judge not, that you may not be judged. - Matthew 7: 1-5

      Delete
  26. According to Doc's article on the Daily Beast, Alison Van Enennaam, an animal geneticist at the University of California Davis, claimed to have studied the health of 100 billion animals who consumed well over a trillion GMO meals over a 29-year period. "She and her team found no evidence of unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity."

    First of all, Dr. Alison Van Enennaam is not a toxicologist. She has a Ph.D in Genetics, M.S., Animal Science, and B.S., in Agricultural Science (just like Monsanto). I don't see a degree in toxicology or any related degree like biology, chemistry, or biochemistry. I don't know what kind of toxicological study she did but I don't believe any of them. However, she does have a degree in genetics and that would be a perfect degree to work for Monsanto as researcher. By the way, do you know who is funding the agricultural college of the University of California at Davis? It's Monsanto.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So, what is misleading about this particular study? I didn't see any *claim* that anyone had conducted toxicology tests on the animals who'd eaten the genetically-engineered crops...just that their overall health and productivity didn't appear to differ from those who'd been fed non-GE crops. If there were no adverse health affects observed in the animals surveyed for these particular studies, there would be no need to *do* a toxicological study.

      If the fact that Dr. Van Enennamm is based at UC Davis suggests some possible conflict of interest that supports The Great Monsanto Conspiracy theory, you're entitled to that opinion, but it doesn't necessarily invalidate the data that's been compiled since *before* GE grops were introduced through 2011.

      Delete
    2. If I'm understanding what anon is saying, a person with a masters degree in animal science is unqualified to assess the health of an animal.

      Delete
    3. She's nothing but a mouthpiece for Monsanto. UC Davis? Are you kidding me? Everybody in California knows about Monsanto and Davis area connections. If you people don't see that as a problem then prepare for Soylent Green.

      Delete
    4. Give me a fucking break, Anon. Yes, it is public knowledge that Monsanto offers research money to numerous institutions. If they were to keep their funding a secret, that's when I would be worried.

      You are alleging that any researcher employed by any institution that receives funds from any private company is automatically biased, and any research that comes from that institution is fraudulent. Allegations of fraud are a serious thing, so if you have any evidence that Dr. Van Eenennaam has engaged in fraud, you should forward it to her university.

      If your only evidence is "MONSANTO IS EVIL BECAUSE THEY GIVE MONEY TO UNIVERSITIES TO RESEARCH GMOS!", you can limit your conspiratorial bullshit to your anti-GMO echo chambers, because I absolutely will not tolerate libel here.

      Delete
    5. Yes, I think it's evil. Monsanto's agenda is to use corporate money to build partnerships with universities.

      They want to create a scientific monopoly with no sytem of checks and balances in developing genetically modified foods.

      To influence their daily decisions in favor of Monsanto.

      To obtain a status of 'too big to fail.'

      Delete
    6. So you have no evidence of any wrongdoing. Got it.

      Laughably, you don't even realise that by raising such a huge erroneous stink over GMOs, you are making it even more expensive to create GMOs and do business, making it even less likely any other biotech companies will ever pose a threat to Monsanto, and virtually guaranteeing their monopoly.

      Well done, genius.

      PS That will be your last "omg GMOs are bad because reasons" comment on this post.

      Delete
    7. Monsanto is teh ebil because they make GMOs. GMOs are teh ebil because Monsanto makes them. anybody who has ever gotten money through Monsanto's actions is a paid propagandist.

      Delete
    8. Ken, in fairness, we must add light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to the cohort of teh ebil too.

      For me, I believe my exposure to this potential menace to humankind started during school days, when I had to get those Texas Instruments graphics and financial calculators for course work. Later, my very first cell phone, back in the day, was a flip phone with the old 7-segment lighted numbers. I still have an old working alarm clock like that too. Now, I'm just surrounded by LED stuff at home and at work, and I can't even escape from it, since it's in the car dashboard displays and headlights too! Driving around at this time of the year makes it even worse, since, for the past several years, I've seen more and more residences and businesses using LED lights for their holiday displays.

      It didn't *have* to happen this way. Though LED lights were actually invented during the very early 1960s, they were too expensive to be used in much of anything besides high-end laboratory and testing equipment. It wasn't until 1968 that a major chemical company found a way to mass-produce LED items, which made them affordable for both the common applications we grew up with, and the newer ones we've seen over the last several years.

      That company was Monsanto. :)

      Delete
    9. Wow. The LED argument is the most stupid and pathetic argument in the defense of Monsanto. Try harder. Or just wait till' Monsanto finalizes its sale of Syngenta. You will be paying Monsanto's fair share in taxes. HA!

      Delete
    10. It's no stupider than your "Monsanto is evil because they made Agent Orange" bit, right?

      Right.

      Delete
    11. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete
    12. My example was *meant* to be stupid...so I guess it accomplished its purpose :)

      Delete
    13. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      Delete

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