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Scientific denialism (also known as pseudoskepticism) is the culture of denying an established scientific theory, law or fact despite overwhelming evidence, and usually for motives of convenience. Sometimes those motives are to create political gain for their supporters.

Two of the most annoying denier viewpoints are the darlings of the right wing: evolution denialism and global warming denialism. The former is more commonly known as creationism and is mostly an American phenomenon, though it is known in other countries. In the USA, creationism is a fundamental part of the Republican Party strategy across the country. The latter is sometimes mistakenly called global warming skepticism, because "skeptic" was stolen by the pseudoskeptics, but plainly is a right-wing belief across the world, often intersecting closely with the evolution deniers. In fact, much of the anti-evolution legislation pushed by Republican legislatures in the United States has an anti-global warming component.

Global warming and evolution is supported by a massive mountain of scientific evidence, and has been established by a definitive scientific consensus. Both are theories that are "well-substantiated explanations of some aspect of the natural world, based on a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment." As I have stated before, rhetoric and debate are not going to refute these theories. We demand scientific data, produced in world class laboratories that have been published in top tier, high quality, high impact factor journals, and that has been subjected to tough analysis and criticism from peers.

Both global warming and evolution are well-substantiated explanations of the natural world. There is no debate, unless someone has a political or socio-economic bias.

Although denial of anthropogenic global warming and evolution tend to be the domain of the right wing, the left-wing have their own particular brands of science denialism–GMO's. Last year, I deconstructed and debunked a very poorly written article, published in Food and Chemical Toxicology by French researchers Gilles-Eric Séralini and Dr Joël Spiroux de Vendomois, which essentially invented data about a certain strain of GMO corn caused cancer in rats.

If I were the only progressive who thought the data and conclusions in this article were useless, then maybe I should be writing about something else. But I wasn't. Lots of pro-science (and from what I could tell, progressive) writers thought that the article was bogus:


As a sort of counter groundswell started to build against the anti-science nature of the GMO refusers, an article in Slate Magazine stated that the anti-GMO political left are using the same debate methods and tactics that have been adopted by the climate change denialists–they ignore the scientific consensus, cherry-pick data that supports their pre-determined positions, and use popular polls, instead of scientific evidence, to support their beliefs.

The same individuals and groups who are outraged by whatever the climate deniers do politically, seem to ignore those same anti-science principles when it applies to their hatred of GMO products. It's like Mother Jones, the left wing magazine who will jump on any global warming denialist, has switched places with the Wall Street Journal when it comes to GMO foods.

But the concerns about the scientific honesty of their work is further exposed in the article:

Another big red flag: Séralini and his co-authors manipulated some members of the media to prevent outside scrutiny of their study. (The strategy appears to have worked like a charm in Europe.) Some reporters allowed themselves to be stenographers by signing nondisclosure agreements stipulating they not solicit independent expert opinion before the paper was released. That has riled up  science journalists such as Carl Zimmer, who wrote on his Discover magazine blog: "This is a rancid, corrupt way to report about science. It speaks badly for the scientists involved, but we journalists have to grant that it speaks badly to our profession, too. ... If someone hands you confidentiality agreements to sign, so that you will have no choice but to produce a one-sided article, WALK AWAY. Otherwise, you are being played."
Could you imagine if a global warming denialist published an article and established the same conditions on a journalist? Every single journalist, except those at Fox News and the Wall Street Journal, would walk away laughing, beating their chests about scientific integrity. Why not in this case? Is it because this "science" supports their values, their point-of-view, and their well-constructed environmental politics?

The scientific criticism of Séralini's article was so widespread and so harsh that the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, eventually retracted it in 2013. And as you might surmise, the GMO refusers created all kinds of strawman arguments (and veiled conspiracies) about why the journal retracted it. One GMO refuser group called the decision to withdraw the article  “illicit, unscientific, and unethical.” Actually Séralini's work was "illicit, unscientific and unethical," and the journal did the right thing in retracting it.

As I have said dozens of times in dozens of my articles, what makes science so special, and what makes anti-science so repugnant, is that science allows itself to be open to the bright lights of criticism. That's what we all are doing now. We are blasting this study into bits because it is so poorly done. It is what we do to the other denialists, whether they are anti-vaccinationists, global warming denialists, or creationists. We take apart the bad studies that they provide, if they ever do. Just to be clear, we also criticize studies that support our own understanding too. That's how science develops a consensus, through fine-tuning, but also through honesty, not through accepting very bad research.

The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences is an international non-profit organization that has as its stated goals to promote cooperation among scientists, to defend scientific freedom, to encourage scientific responsibility, and to support scientific education and science outreach for the betterment of all humanity. It is the world’s largest and most prestigious general scientific society, and is the publisher of the well-known scientific journal ScienceIt occasionally makes statements on the scientific consensus about various issues.

With regards to GMO's, the AAAS has stated the clear scientific consensus on genetically modified foods (pdf):

The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe … The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.
The important issue is that these "GMO denialists" lack any credible scientific evidence that GMO foods pose any type of short-term or long-term health risk. There is a lack of biological plausibility to correlate consumption of genetically modified foods and any medical condition. And if this study by Seralini is their pivotal study, then they have failed miserably. In addition, there are numerous, and onerous, regulations regarding GMO foods that probably keep us safe just in case there is some unintended consequence of our activities, because science is not absolute, and a mistake could be made. But GMO has incredible benefits to the world, feeding us in a world with limited resources.

But the problem still is that the left wing accepts the anti-GMO point-of-view without the level of critical analysis that they do with the global warming deniers. The amount of data that supports climate change is overwhelming, and those that deny it must truly be blind. There are scientifically based climate change websites that discuss the tiniest parts of the story. Here's one that just details the level of Arctic sea ice (and if it doesn't scare the hell out of you about what's happening to our planet, you are truly a denialist). I can find the same type of detail for evolution.

Sadly, there just isn't the same level of science for the GMO refusers. There's not that depth of science from the GMO refusers that gives us clinical trials, plausible mechanisms, and meta-reviews, all published in peer reviewed journals of high impact.

Slate concludes the article with a discussion about the intellectual failures of the left-wing GMO refusers:

The anti-GM bias also reveals a glaring intellectual inconsistency of the eco-concerned media. When it comes to climate science, for example, Grist and Mother Jones are quick to call out the denialism of pundits and politicians. But when it comes to the science of genetic engineering, writers at these same outlets are quick to seize on pseudoscientific claims, based on the flimsiest of evidence, of cancer-causing, endocrine-disrupting, ecosystem-killing GMOs.
In a recent commentary for Nature, Yale University's Dan Kahan complained about the "polluted science communication environment" that has deeply polarized the climate debate between political camps. He wrote, “people acquire their scientific knowledge by consulting others who share their values and whom they therefore trust and understand.” This means that left-wingers in the media and prominent scholars and food advocates who truly care about the planet are information brokers. So they have a choice to make: On the GMO issue, they can be scrupulous in their analysis of facts and risks, or they can continue to pollute the science communication environment.

Remove "GMO" from Dr. Kahan's commentary, and we could be talking about any pseudoscience, whether it's creationism, vaccine denialism, global warming, or even HIV/AIDS denialism. Orac compares the misuse of science and scare tactics by GMO opponents to the behavior of the anti-vaccine movement, that is, instead of using real science to find a conclusion, they ignore science, ignore evidence, and jump on any pseudoscience, even if it's very poorly done science. to support what they currently believe or what they want to believe about GMO's.

And this goes back to one of my points that aggravates the left-wing members of the political discussion–they have converted the scientific consensus about GMO's into a political debate rather a real scientific one, such as what has happened with climate change. GMO's are safe, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of that statement. The left wing has created a political and social debate about GMO's, an expensive and scientifically ignorant debate, no different that the same same one the Republicans have started with anthropogenic global warming.

Take politics out of science, it will make science so much better.

Full article here.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    Skepticism is evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence to reach a conclusion. It is not gathering evidence to support a closed minded conclusion.

    by SkepticalRaptor on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:12:34 PM PDT

  •  I think you're overstating the case ... (37+ / 0-)

    for sensational effect.

    Certainly, shoddy science is deplorable no matter what cause it's employed on behalf of. But debunking some bad science used to attack a certain GMO is not even close to the same as establishing that everything being done to create GMO's is safe. The truth is, we have no idea what the long-term impact of this technology will be, and because of it's power and irreversibility, it's merely prudent to be cautious IMO.

    But there is nothing even remotely like an anti-GMO consensus on the 'left'. Much less is there anything remotely comparable to the collusion of political leaders, big money and media operating on behalf of climate change denial.

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:28:09 PM PDT

    •  After nearly two decades... (0+ / 0-)

      of eating GMO corn, I can attest to its safety.

      I'm as healthy as a horse.

      You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

      by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:54:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And it was uncommonly cold this past winter (10+ / 0-)

        So that settles both issues.

        "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

        by Demi Moaned on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:58:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (0+ / 0-)

          that cold weather can be linked to global warming...

          http://www.salon.com/...

          You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

          by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:10:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And your good health is undoubtedly (6+ / 0-)

            ... overwhelmingly attributable to the GMO food you ate. I imagine you would have died 20 years ago without its salubrious effects.

            "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

            by Demi Moaned on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:58:14 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  can you point to someone killed by GMO food? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LakeSuperior, djtyg

              Just one will do.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:39:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  This is really sad. (10+ / 0-)

                This is probably an utterly pointless comment, but this entire argument is representative of the kind of groupthink that dominates how we handle everything in the United States.

                Asking if you can attribute any one death to GMO's is a ridiculous question. I have heard our entire diet in the US called a rolling disaster by people who have done a lot of research on the subject. They talk about a coming epidemic of diabetes, a massive rise in heart idisease and so on. And yet... they actually couldn't come up with one death with can directly be attributed to bad nutrition.

                Asking the question remind me very much of idiiot global warming deniers who again and again ask, "but you can't state that this storm was directly caused by climate change can you?" Both are stupid questions.

                There have been a lot of bad studies and bad science based attempts at discrediting GMO's, but that doesn't demonstrate their health. I have the same problem with GMO's that I do with fracking. I know that people have been blocked again and again from conducting open studies of GMO's because Monsanto covered themselves with copyright. In the case of fracking, Dick Cheney blocked scientific analysis of what he was doing the same way.

                When Monsanto modified the genetics of soy and other crops so that the crops would be resistant to massive doses of pesticide, I don't believe the crops became unhealthy. But there is a seperate question. Insecticides classicly gather in crops grown with their use. Just because the crops are immune, that doesn't mean that the Roundoup used in greater quantity on the crops is safe for the people who eat it later.

                Again and again, Monsanto has used political influence and badly written law to prevent the sort of testing that should have been done, and I'm getting sick of that.

                Anything that I am going to eat, I should be able to test. I don't like it when megacorporations hide behind patents to avoid testing. Based on studies that I've looked at myself, and many known incidents of Monsanto intervening politically, I remain skeptical of GMOs.

                Part of the issue is that our entire food system is so unnatural. We lurch from one health crisis to another, and every time anyone tries to assert a little sanity, even liberals will frequently say that its too expensive to check.

                Many years ago, I was optimistic about science being used to help solve the problem of feeding the world's poor, and originally that is how I looked at GMO's. My suspicions have grown over the years, not because I wanted to be suspicious, but because I was given too much reason.

                Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

                by martianexpatriate on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:43:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  so that would be No, (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LakeSuperior, samddobermann

                  you can't point to anyone who has been killed by GMOs.

                  Indeed, you can't point to ANY noticeable harmful effect from GMOs, anywhere, over the entire 20 years it has already been consumed by hundreds of millions of people.

                  Again and again, Monsanto has used political influence and badly written law to prevent the sort of testing that should have been done, and I'm getting sick of that.
                  That is entirely true, and I am entirely against it.  In a democracy, Monsanto has NO right to control either information about its product, or how its product is used.

                  But that is utterly irrelevant to my question.  If, as the fringers insist, GMOs are such deadly poison that they will destroy the biosphere oh noez, then SHOW US. If people are dropping dead from eating GMOs, not even big might Monsanto could hide all those bodies--just as the big bad cigarette companies, with all their arm-waving and all their "studies" simply could not hide the fact that people who smoked, were dying of cancer.

                  So show us all this harm and damage that you think GMOs are doing.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:51:47 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm speaking for myself, (4+ / 0-)

                    I have no idea what everyone elses problem is.

                    And once again... though it seems pointless... your question is absurd.

                    Incidentally, bad food never kills anyone by itself, but it contributes to many deaths. Probably 90% of all deaths by heart disease, or more, could have been prevented if only the patient had eaten better earlier in life.

                    My biggest problem with GMOs is that once released, the seed spreads from farm to farm in the wind, so even farmers who didn't want it in their crops end up growing it. When a problem surfaces, it can contaminate the rest of the food supply, and generally does very quickly. In other words, if we go the usual route of waiting ten yaers to see who develops problems, sue the hell out of everyone and then try to return to where we were, we literally can't.

                    In the past, Monsanto has sued farmers for growing crops with their seed, even though the farmer never wanted to grow GMO in the first place. The seed blew into their crop, and in time came to dominate it. Since they didn't buy any Monsanto seed, they were then sued. The first case happened in Canada.

                    I already told you my main health concern now. Their biggest cash crop is seed genetically altered to be resistant to insecticide... Roundup. They demonstrated that by itself the crop is fine... but we do have evidence that when they then treat the hell out of the crop with Roundoup, the person who eats the GMO is getting trace elements of the insecticde, which slowly poisons there health.

                    It won't kill you today or tomorrow, but you may die younger. And as the amount of GMO food we eat increases, more and more of the insecticides they treat their crops with find their way into us. The small amount we eat today becomes a very big amount in ten years.

                    And when we finallly find evidence of it increasing the incidence of cancer and other horrors, it has come to dominate our food supply, and it's impossible to get rid of.

                    As usual though, you are asking me to prove a fatality. It's the thing that people who don't understand the science usually say.

                    We should be more careful about our food supply.

                    Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

                    by martianexpatriate on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:11:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  alas, it is clear that you do not understand any (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      LakeSuperior

                      of this . . .

                      In other words, if we go the usual route of waiting ten yaers to see who develops problems
                      GMOs have already been in use for 20 years now. There have been no observed health problems attributable to them. None.
                      Their biggest cash crop is seed genetically altered to be resistant to insecticide... Roundup. They demonstrated that by itself the crop is fine... but we do have evidence that when they then treat the hell out of the crop with Roundoup, the person who eats the GMO is getting trace elements of the insecticde, which slowly poisons there health.
                      You seem to be conflating two entirely different things. The "insecticide" is Bt, a naturally-occuring chemical found in soil bacteria that works by attacking a specific protein in insect stomachs, a protein that is not found in humans. Bt has no effect on human physiology, for precisely the same reason you cannot catch a virus from a frog and the frog cannot catch a virus from you.

                      As for the effects of Roundup, Roundup is sprayed on non-GMO crops too (and was for years before GMOs even appeared). Banning GMOs will not end the use of Roundup or its effects, since Roundup is also used on non-GMO crops.

                      .And when we finallly find evidence of it increasing the incidence of cancer and other horrors
                      It's already been 20 years and we see nothing of the sort. That is mostly because there is no physiological mechanism for ingested genes to cause cancer, or anything else. You ate billions of genes today for lunch--and none of them did anything at all to you.
                      As usual though, you are asking me to prove a fatality. It's the thing that people who don't understand the science usually say.
                      Um, people who understand science understand that causes have effects.  If there is no effect, then there's nothing being caused. If GMOs kill people, there'd be dead people who were killed by GMO.  There aren't. There's nothing being caused.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:47:37 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I understand it fine. You don't. (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Joieau, JamieG from Md, Meteor Blades

                        The fact that Roundup has been used for a long time is irrelevant. Lots of things have been in use for a long time. Refined sugar has been used for a long time. Diabetes didn't become the concern it has until recently, because of the enormous increase in its consumption.

                        They didn't genetically modify crops specifically for Roundup for no reason.

                        Saying that something is "naturally occurring" is a strange statement. I can find a great many things which are "naturally occurring" and even occur naturally in your own body... but if I increase the amount by what seems to be a small amount, I could kill you with them.

                        Um, people who understand science understand that causes have effects.  If there is no effect, then there's nothing being caused. If GMOs kill people, there'd be dead people who were killed by GMO.  There aren't. There's nothing being caused.
                        I will be equally condescending in my response.

                        If you understood science, you would understand that things are never so black and white as you suggest. Every few years, we watch prescription drugs which have been in general use for ten years or more become the source of lawsuits, as we suddenly connect a cluster of deaths to them. They underwent far more testing than GMOs, because GMOs are "merely" food.

                        The casualties that you would see from GMO's will not have "I died from a GMO" stamped on their forehead. its more likely that they would die from cancer, or die from some other ailment which GMOs contributed to, in mass. Everything we eat for years contributes to our health. Your arrogant statement of "There are no bodies. I'd see them!" is not the staement of a scientist.

                        Incidentally, there is no doubt at all that things like Roundup cause cancer in those who are exposed to too much of them.

                        I understand science just fine. Your response indicates that you do not.

                        Your utter lack of respect is evident in your response, so I won't bother with this conversation further.

                        Ignorance more frequently begets confidence then knowledge. Charles Darwin

                        by martianexpatriate on Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:05:50 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  no, you do not understand any of this (0+ / 0-)

                          (shrug)

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:47:15 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  You aren't making sense. (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          serendipityisabitch

                          You are making too many assertions based on beliefs:

                          Incidentally, there is no doubt at all that things like Roundup cause cancer in those who are exposed to too much of them.
                          Evidence? Are you talking about direct contact with a pesticide? is there evidence that that one causes Cancer? I haven't seen any and you can't cite any.

                          The death rates from cancer AND heart disease have been going down the last 20 years. See the CDC Reports.

                          Sugar has nothing to do with GMOs but our overuse of sugar is due to the heavy adverting and  competition for dollars by commercial entities. Our lack of physical activity is also a big part of that.

                          Not GMOs.

                          I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

                          by samddobermann on Tue May 20, 2014 at 03:01:57 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

            •  Your argument is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              samddobermann

              He states that 20 years of eating GMOs did not harm him.
              He is not saying they kept him healthy.
              Same here, I don't care if something is GMOS or not, I eat regardless. I care about fat content, calories, cholesterol etc.

              The legitimate issue on GMOs is the supposed overuse of pesticides with roundup ready corn etc. , but roundup ready corn is as good as any organic or other GMO corn.

              •  alas, that's not the real issue either (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                charlatan, samddobermann
                The legitimate issue on GMOs is the supposed overuse of pesticides with roundup ready corn etc. ,
                since Roundup was being sprayed on crops for 20 years before GMOs ever even appeared--and is still sprayed on non-GMO crops today. Banning GMOs won't stop that--banning Roundup will.

                The real issue with GMOs is the way Monsanto uses them to establish a vertical monopoly that places an entire sector of the economy under its feudal control; how Monsanto abuses its power to control both the information released about its product and the way in which it can or cannot be used; and the way Monsanto patents natural products for its own private profit.

                I find all those things intolerable.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:28:50 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  That isn't what he said. He didn't say he was (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              serendipityisabitch

              healthy because, but that he was healthy despite — eating GMO food.

              You are using denialist logic of twisting someone's words into something absurd.

              I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

              by samddobermann on Tue May 20, 2014 at 02:44:29 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  only in half of the US (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samddobermann

          the western half and most of the rest of the world had an unusually hot winter.

    •  Bad or Limited Science (6+ / 0-)

      Despite scientific research that indicates no benefit from eating organic foods, millions sod people make a choice to do so.

      GMO foods are no different - many people make a choice to avoid such products.

      None of us are denying the science, we are simply making a choice to avoid such products with a belief that the science might be wrong.

      If thinking used by evolution and/or climate change deniers are the same as those of us who prefer not to eat GMO products, then we would eliminate use of green house gases.  This is not the case.

      Those who prefer not to eat GMO foods are erring on the side of caution, while climate change deniers are erring on the side of polluting more.

      Plainly and simply, removing GMO products will not harm society, climate deniers cannot say the same thing.

      But the good news - GMO products have allowed billions of people the world over to lift themselves from hunger.  Norman Boulaug was a genius,  to a villain.  Even those of us who try not to eat GMO products understand this.

      I cannot agree with the anology being made by the Diarist.

      •  Boulaug was a genius, NOT a villain. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Loge

        sorry for the typo

      •  I got no gripe with labeling. but (0+ / 0-)

        sadly, this part:

        None of us are denying the science
        is simply not true. As a glance at the comments her ecan confirm.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:24:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are making a leap of faith (5+ / 0-)

          The science may or may not be complete.

          On this matter, you are in denial.

          People are making a choice to not eat GMO foods.

          Removing GMO foods will not lead to destruction of the planet.

          The same cannot be said of climate change deniers.

          Climate change deniers are willing to allow human extinction, those who do not want to eat GMO products are not guilty of the same.

          The analogy remains inaccurate.

          •  the science has 20 years of data from (0+ / 0-)

            hundreds of millions of people, who have been eating GMOs with no observed effects.

            How many more years do you require? 50? 100? 500? 1,000?

            Removing GMO foods will not lead to destruction of the planet.
            Neither will removing deodorant.  So what?

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:36:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Let's agree, Oncologists know science. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JamieG from Md

              If the science were so clear, why do Oncologists recommend that their patients receiving chemo therapy eat organic food?

              After all, the science says there is no benefit from eating organic.

              Oncologists make the suggestion because it doesn't harm the patient….while the science surrounding the lack of benefits from organic may not be conclusive.  Climate change deniers are the opposite, their mistake does harm the patient.

              GMO foods are seemingly in a similar category - despite the science, it does not hurt to avoid eating GMO foods.  Just like the anecdote about Oncologists recommending organic foods, the increased diagnosis of people with Celiac disease or gluten allergies appears to coincide with GMO produce, a lack of scientific data notwithstanding.

              While humans have been eating grains for thousands of years, the increase of cancers and digestive ailments appear to coincide with GMO products in the food chain.  You can chose to believe otherwise, but many people are not willing to roll the dice.

              The science does not need to be conclusive for people to want foods free of pesticides or that have been engineered.  Apparently, you want the opposite - you want to force GMO foods because you believe the science to be agnostic.  Like the climate denier - you want to err on the side of harming the patient.

              By the way, when deodorant was in aerosol cans, it was harming the environment.  

              Lastly, there was plenty of science that showed neither cigarette smoking  nor second-hand smoke were harmful.  Were the naysayers wrong?

              So I'll say it one last time, climate change deniers are allowing the planet to be destroyed, people who want foods free of GMO are merely fighting for themselves and not harming anyone.

              The analogy remains invalid.

              •  let's agree--if there are no dead bodies killed by (0+ / 0-)

                GMOs, then there is absolutely no evidence that GMOs kill anybody.

                Do you agree to that?  Or do you think GMOs can kill people without producing any dead bodies that were killed by GMOs . . . . ?

                 Apparently, you want the opposite - you want to force GMO foods because you believe the science to be agnostic.
                Um, no---I'm anti-GMO. Have been since I was working for Greenpeace back in the 90's.

                But I'm also anti-using-stupid-arguments. And most of the "scientific arguments" coming from the Ct fringe here is scientific nonsense. GMOs do not cause cancer. GMOs are not killing butterflies. Making arguments like that which are wrong, factually incorrect, false, demonstrably untrue, just makes us ALL look like simple-minded dolts and hands Monsanto another club to beat us over the head with. So don't do it. It doesn't help us.

                There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Monsanto's use of GMOs. We don't need to make stupid shit up.

                So I'll say it one last time, climate change deniers are allowing the planet to be destroyed, people who want foods free of GMO are merely fighting for themselves and not harming anyone. The analogy remains invalid.
                Alas, that is the diarist's analogy, not mine.  I didn't use it, don't care about it, and don't particularly agree with it. So you'll have to take up that argument with him.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:55:16 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  A product need not kill (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dallasdunlap, Joieau, JamieG from Md

                  to be harmful.

                  You're claim is utterly absurd.

                  Many people, including you, chose to not eat something for a host of reasons.  It does not take science.

                  For instance, some people cannot eat simple things, like bell peppers, because they experience indigestion.  It does not take science to stop eating bell peppers if a person gets indigestion.  Simple food allergies are enough for people to avoid certain foods.  Further, the congestion many people get from consuming cow milk may not kill them, but it is enough to avoid consuming dairy.  Lastly, peanuts do kill people.  By your logic, they should be removed from the marketplace.

                  But non-organic foods that contain pesticides and/or GMO produce may be harming people.  Some of us, you included, do not want to be the guinea pig that gets cancer or some other disease because of present day science that is not conclusive - just like a generation of people who avoided cigarettes and/or second-hand smoke because they did not believe the science.

                  I am fascinated at your pretzel logic that has you chose to avoid GMO produce, while at the same time berating others for ignoring the science that indicates GMO foods are harmless.

                  •  then show me the harm (0+ / 0-)

                    Point to it.

                    And show me how GMOs cause that harm, whatever the  heck harm you think it is.

                    Until you do that, you are just waving your arms.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:03:29 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Rubbish (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Joieau, JamieG from Md

                      I can point to the harm of peanuts and the 200 people who die or the 200,000 emergency room visits that annually occur.  By your logic, peanuts should be removed from the marketplace.

                      Just because harm comes from a product does not mean it is inherently unsafe and should be removed from the marketplace.  GMO produce is no different.

                      People do not need science to tell them whether or not consuming something is or is not good for them.  We make nutritional choices for a host of reasons.

                      Moreover, people choosing to not eat GMO produce, or who simply want to know if produce is GMO, are not creating a groundswell to eliminate GMO produce from the marketplace.

                      Matter of fact, in a cost/benefit analysis of GMO produce, I would even argue that far more people have been nourished, that might not have otherwise, because of GMO produce.  But given my own, and seemingly your preference as well, I chose to avoid GMO produce.

                      There will always be 'tinfoil hat wearers' waving their arms about something.  This is not the same as wanting to know if produce is GMO for fear that it may be discovered to be harmful.

                      But if you like, please, go ahead and drink your water, tainted with harmless fracking chemicals from your PCB laden plastic bottle after showering your underarms with aerosol dispensed deodorant (or paraben laced deodorant) and smoking your harmless e-cigarette.  If you prefer something to water, how about a brominated vegetable oil sport drink or car paint removing can of soda pop.

                      Rational or otherwise, we do not need science to tell us what is good or bad for our bodies.  There is nothing irrational about making a choice to eliminate certain foods or products from entering our bodies.  Are vegetarians and vegans crazy to you - meat and dairy are safe, right?

                      For the record, orange juice also removes car paint and I enjoy a daily dose of soda pop and a cigar.  I also eat organic and/or grass-fed when possible…and have discovered I prefer Burger King fries to McDonald's washed down with a milkshake (from a local creamery with grass-fed cows).

                      Nutritional choices do not need to be based on science.  If that were the case, even a smart person like you or I would always chose to eat cantaloup instead of pastrami.

                      •  and yet again, I get more arm-waving and (0+ / 0-)

                        rhetorical rancor.

                        What I do NOT get, though, ever, is a simple point to the actual harm that is presumed to come from GMOs.

                        I suspect that's mostly because there ain't any.  (shrug)

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:12:01 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  And yet, you too avoid GMO food (0+ / 0-)
                          •  a better response would have been to (0+ / 0-)

                            1. show me all the harm that you think GMOs are causing to humans

                            and

                            2. explain the mechanism through which the GMO gene does . .  well . .  whatever the heck it is you think it is doing.

                            But you won't.  You can't.  There isn't any.  (shrug)

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:34:01 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Whatever. (0+ / 0-)

                            When it was mentioned that honey bees were dying, there were naysayers.  Then, more and more evidence was gathered to show that, in fact, honey bees were dying.  Now, Harvard scientists believe they have discovered the cause…..pesticides that are 'safe'.  Is the evidence conclusive - no.

                            Similarly, as more and more young girls started to menstruate at earlier and earlier ages, scientists did a bit of research and believe they have discovered multiple reasons why - hormones in the foods we eat and water we drink, fatty diets filled with preservatives, and even peer pressure.  Those hormones and preservatives are, otherwise, perfectly 'safe'.

                            There are also indications that some of the hormones from humans are being added to the water supply and effecting fish sexuality.

                            Only after a 'problem' or change was discovered did science determine the cause of these problems and changes.  And not all problems and changes are easily detectable.  The increase diagnosis of digestive orders such as Celiac disease may or may not have anything to do with foods we eat.  But plenty of people have benefitted from following a diet free of gluten and processed foods and sugars.  These people do not need science to feel better, just a change in dietary habits unsupported by scientific research.

                            Sometimes, science and research are done to show cause and effect after the fact.  And sometimes, science shows an unintended consequence from things that are, otherwise, determined to be perfectly safe.  And sometimes, science is simply not delicate enough to show a statistical relevance until a later date.  For instance, new DNA techniques have been able to prove innocence from decades old criminal convictions.

                            Many people, myself included, would rather err on the side of caution and not consume GMO produce and/or foods lathered in 'perfectly safe' pesticides.

                            Ya'see, both my mother and aunt died from breast cancer shortly after receiving 'perfectly safe' hormone replacement therapy.  Only after their deaths did the science suggest that such therapies may actually promote certain forms of cancer.

                            So, in my humble opinion, there are many 'perfectly safe' chemicals that turn out to be harmful.  Those of us who prefer non-GMO produce are trying to mitigate the possibility that 'perfectly safe' GMO produce does not turn out to be less safe than present science can determine.

                            So in conclusion, I do not need to know for sure if something is not safe before deciding to not put it into my body.  GMO produce falls into that category.

                            In other words, I do not need science to tell me whether or not GMO produce is safe or is not safe, I am making a choice - just like eating cantaloup instead of pastrami.  Pastrami is safe, so too is cantaloup.  It may be a healthier choice to eat cantaloup, but if I were diabetic, maybe not.  GMO produce is just the same - maybe it is perfectly fine, maybe not.  The science need not be perfectly clear.  Moreover, since I am not a scientist, I cannot nor will not debate real evidence.

                •  You're lying about the not killing butterflies. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  JamieG from Md

                  The monarch butterflies are being killed because the milkweed, which is their main food source, is being destroyed by widespread application of herbicides, in large part because of the practice of drenching GMO crops (and the surrounding area) with herbicide.
                     Moreover, caterpillars are killed by the GMO BT toxin and the drift of pollen brings BT infected pollen onto the plants
                  on which the butterfly larva feed.

                  •  alas, you are mistaken (0+ / 0-)
                    Moreover, caterpillars are killed by the GMO BT toxin and the drift of pollen brings BT infected pollen onto the plants
                    on which the butterfly larva feed.
                    This is simply not so. Actual measurements in the field show that the pollen is not present in high enough doses to kill the caterpillars:
                    The studies in this project showed that monarch caterpillars have to be exposed to pollen levels greater than 1,000 grains/cm2 to show toxic effects.

                    Caterpillars were found to be present on milkweed during the one to two weeks that pollen is shed by corn, but corn pollen levels on milkweed leaves were found to average only about 170 pollen grains/cm2 in corn fields.

                    http://www.ars.usda.gov/...

                    You are correct though that spraying of Roundup and other herbicides is killing the milkweed plants that Monarch butterflies depend on.  And of course Roundup and other herbicides are sprayed on non-GMO fields as well, where they also kill milkweed plants.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:01:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
                If the science were so clear, why do Oncologists recommend that their patients receiving chemo therapy eat organic food?
                No reputable organization of oncologists make this claim, and claims about GMOs and cancer are not supported by the American Cancer Society and established medical and public health organizations.
                After all, the science says there is no benefit from eating organic.
                Nothing about his claim is any kind of mainstream statement of scientific or medical facts or evidence.
                While humans have been eating grains for thousands of years, the increase of cancers and digestive ailments appear to coincide with GMO products in the food chain.
                Logical fallacy known as "Post hoc ergo propter hoc"
                The science does not need to be conclusive for people to want foods free of pesticides or that have been engineered.
                Chemical toxicity and risk evaluation of substance regulated under FIFRA is a well developed public health science, and GMO health effects claims are mostly junk science.
                Lastly, there was plenty of science that showed neither cigarette smoking  nor second-hand smoke were harmful.
                After the first and subsequent Surgeon General's reports on smoking and second hand smoke none of these conclusions were considered acceptable, mainstream scientific and medical declarations.
                So I'll say it one last time, climate change deniers are allowing the planet to be destroyed, people who want foods free of GMO are merely fighting for themselves and not harming anyone.
                This is an absolutely false equivalence and comparison.

                 

                •  Of course, (0+ / 0-)

                  no 'reputable' organization of oncologists make a scientific claim without science.

                  But then you've missed the point that I made.

                  Oncologists suggest that chemo patients eat organic, even in the absence of scientific evidence…..BECAUSE EATING ORGANIC WILL NOT HARM THE PATIENT.

                  Moreover, my claim was predicated as being ANECDOTAL.

                  There need not be any mainstream scientific evidence supporting the claim that organic is better or worse for people.  And yet, millions of people chose to not eat pesticides.  Similarly, millions of people take dietary supplements that also appears to have no scientific evidence of being beneficial.  And yet, plenty of doctors suggest people take a daily dose of a multivitamin.

                  Your use of the term allowable chemical toxicity is laughable to many people.  The recent incident in Elk River, West Virginia is a perfect case in point.  The science said the polluted water was safe to drink, the smell told a far different story.  Were you  willing to drink that water even though the science said it was safe - with an allowable level of chemical toxicity?

                  No, my so-called false equivalence was directly on point to the Diarists claim that GMO-deniers are the same as climate-science deniers.  Climate change deniers are willing to kill the planet, GMO-deniers are trying to save themselves.

                  Any false equivalence was that of the Diarist.

                  •  Actually, the medical advice (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    JamieG from Md

                    for cancer patients to eat organic is more likely because organically grown fruits and vegetables contain more antioxidants than conventionally grown. Antioxidants are good for people being exposed to large doses of radiation and toxic chemical brews. Which are the current treatments for cancer. And antioxidants are better absorbed through diet than in supplements.

                    There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                    by Joieau on Tue May 20, 2014 at 08:30:04 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Not all foods are rich in antioxidants (0+ / 0-)

                      Therefore, eating organic foods not rich in antioxidants would be a waste.

                      And while both of us believe organics are more nutritious, the science is not convincing.

                      •  Eating organic foods (0+ / 0-)

                        isn't going to hurt you, either. If I were a physician concerned for my patients, I would advise the healthiest diet possible, pay particular attention to antioxidants as well as their uptake, and definitely stay away from as many chemical pollutants as possible. Now that RoundUp resistance has spread to weeds, conventional farmers are using tons more of it, and supplementing with some really horriffic alternatives like 2,4D. Organics are going to be free of such chemicals, as well as free of absorbed nasties from artificial fertilizers.

                        Still, I think the science is convincing. Also here and here and here and here and here...

                        There are no doubt oncologists who don't make recommendations to their patients about things like diet, supplements and other lifestyle habits. God knows there's always going to be new cancer patients when the old ones die. But some doctors are practical idiots. Back in 1981 the AMA issued a policy statement declaring that "there is no evidence that diet impacts health." Everybody's mother knows better than that. Hell, they used to claim cigarette smoking was good for you too.

                        I'd eat organic regardless of what my oncologist said, but then, I eat (and grow) organic and have for decades. I'm in my 60s, and so far have not had to deal with any oncologists or their torturous 'treatments'. Hope I never do, and if it's organics that helps that happen it'll be just fine with me.

                        There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

                        by Joieau on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:27:15 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

          •  Science is never "complete" and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            serendipityisabitch

            saying that is evidence you don't understand what science is all about.

            I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

            by samddobermann on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:17:49 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  But it has harmed society. (0+ / 0-)

        Opposition from groups in first world countries has blocked the insertion of a gene which will make Beta carotene, the vitamin A precursor in rice. This would prevent blindness in hundreds of thousands of children in SE Asia.

        I am not sure why who and how is has been blocked but it has. And that is causing harm.

        I'm asking you to believe. Not in my ability to bring about real change in Washington ... *I'm asking you to believe in yours.* Barack Obama

        by samddobermann on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:11:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  one anti-GMO argument involves (5+ / 0-)

    the obvious business interest in favor of GMOs. Some large companies are making large amounts of money off GMOs.  This situation is in contrast to the climate change issue, a problem likely to drive some large businesses out of business.  The science becomes secondary to profit motives.  In the GMO case, the profit and science outcomes both appear to be positive.

    •  which is, ironically, precisely the same argument (3+ / 0-)
      Some large companies are making large amounts of money off GMOs.
      . . . made by the anti-vaxx nutters.

      But then, as our resident loonie fringe demonstrates, a significant portion of the anti-GMO fringe ARE anti-vaxxers, as well.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:04:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, except that vaccines are barely profitable (0+ / 0-)

        whilst GMOs are quite profitable. That does make some difference in how reasonable the argument is.

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:34:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose it does, if one is inclined to accept CT (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LakeSuperior

          suppositions on the basis of zero evidence whatsoever that it actually exists.

          :)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:15:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Seriuosly? It's CT to think profit motivates peopl (3+ / 0-)

            Wow.

            "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

            by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:02:11 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no. it is CT to think Monsanto is the head of a (0+ / 0-)

              vast conspiracy to distort science, in the face of zero evidence whatsoever. Ya know, mind of like the anti-vax kookjobs think Big Pharma is doing the same thing.

              After all, the company that makes Tiddley-Winks is motivated by profit too, and it's not involved in any conspiracies.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:13:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Did I say anything of the sort? (0+ / 0-)

                Read my comment here if you have any interest in what my perspective really is.

                But if your only interest is in ranting at some fantasy opponent to make yourself feel superior, then knock yourself out.

                "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

                by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:19:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  did you read the thread you're in? (0+ / 0-)

                  But I'm glad to hear that you think the whole "Monsanto global conspiracy" thing is nutty.  I hope you'll speak up, as I do, when our fellow anti-GMOers start to wear their tinfoil hat too tightly and start going off their nut about the corporate plots.

                  I don't follow Reagan's Eleventh commandment.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:32:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yes I did. (0+ / 0-)

                    But I was replying to your comment, which attempted to equate the argument that companies make huge profits off of GMOs with the anti-vaxxer argument that companies make huge profits off of vaccines.

                    And as I pointed out there's a real difference: people who think companies make huge profits off of vaccines are wrong. They don't. By contrast, companies really do make huge profits off of GMOs.

                    Now that's not proof of any conspiracy. But your comparison was invalid in that respect. And that profit motive combined with the effective veto which the GMO companies hold over any independent research does raise questions about how valid any scientific consensus about health and environmental effects of GMOs is.

                    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

                    by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:47:08 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I did not "attempt to equate" anything (0+ / 0-)

                      I simply pointed out that both of them DO make the very same argument.

                      And they do.

                      And as I pointed out there's a real difference: people who think companies make huge profits off of vaccines are wrong. They don't. By contrast, companies really do make huge profits off of GMOs.
                      Alas, as someone once said, a difference is a difference only if it makes a difference. Wrong or not, the anti-vaxxers DO make that very same argument. And of course the anti-GMOers are wrong about plenty of things too, just as the anti-vaxxers are.
                      Now that's not proof of any conspiracy.
                      Indeed, it is not. It's not even EVIDENCE of any conspiracy.

                      Except in the minds of those who follow the GOP philosophy, that things must be so if we ideologically WANT them to be so. I don't follow that philosophy.

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:55:56 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Of course there's profit in it too (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      serendipityisabitch

                      for the organic companies, if they maintain a public fear of GMOs and pesticides:

                      http://www.foodpolitic.com/...

                      So it's probably best just to ignore the marketing and rhetoric, and look to the scientific studies that exist, which generally claim no nutritional benefit to organic food, though a slightly lower exposure to pesticides, on average.

                •  ps--you're not an opponent, fantasy or otherwise (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LakeSuperior, charlatan

                  I'm anti-GMO, for a whole lot of economic, social and political reasons.

                  I just happen to think that making "science" arguments that are a load of horse shit and betray a basic lack of science literacy, doesn't help pour side any.  So our side should stop doing it.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:34:33 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  You have heard of the history (0+ / 0-)

                of science funded by the tobacco companies, and science funded by pharmaceutical companies to skew the results in favor of their products, I hope.

                It isn't an unreasonable position to suggest that GMO crops should be vetted and caution exercised when the bulk of the studies are funded by the corporations that stand to profit from favorable results as to their safety.

                I do know this.  Gastrointestinal and autoimmune disorders are on the rise.  I confess I have a vested interest in this subject as I suffer from both disorders.  

                All my life I have consumed food products that were processed by large corporations.  Autoimmune disorders were practically unheard of among my parents' generation.  Unfortunately they have risen sharply among my generation and subsequent generations.  Who is funding the studies that show processed food and food that is grown using high amounts of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and genetic modification is safe?  The corporations whose existence depends on that regimen of producing the food we eat.  

                Advances in agricultural technology—including, but not limited to, the genetic modification of food crops—have made fields more productive than ever. Farmers grow more crops and feed more people using less land. They are able to use fewer pesticides and to reduce the amount of tilling that leads to erosion. And within the next two years, agritech com­panies plan to introduce advanced crops that are designed to survive heat waves and droughts, resilient characteristics that will become increasingly important in a world marked by a changing climate.

                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. [...]

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

                Much of that research has been misrepresented.  From a report by "genetic engineers Dr John Fagan and Dr Michael Antoniou and researcher Claire Robinson ..." on the reported safety of GMO crops:
                A review that is claimed by pro-GMO lobbyists to show that 1,700 studies show GM foods are as safe in fact shows nothing of the sort. Instead many of the 1,700 studies cited show evidence of risk. The review also excludes or glosses over important scientific controversies over GMO safety issues. (p. 102)

                A review purportedly showing that GM foods are safe on the basis of long-term animal studies in fact shows evidence of risk and uses unscientific double standards to reach a conclusion that is not justified by the data. (p. 161)

                A laboratory study in human cells shows that very low levels of glyphosate (the main chemical ingredient of Roundup herbicide, which most GM crops are engineered to tolerate) mimicked the hormone estrogen and stimulated the growth of breast cancer cells. The level of glyphosate that had this effect was below the level allowed in drinking water in Europe and far below the level allowed in the USA. It was also below the level found in GM glyphosate-tolerant soy, which is imported into Europe for animal feed and human food. If confirmed in animal studies, this finding would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate. (p. 221)

                A rat feeding study led by Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, which found toxic effects from a GM maize and tiny amounts of the Roundup herbicide it is grown with, was retracted by a journal editor for unscientific reasons. Yet the study is far stronger and more detailed than many industry studies that are accepted as proof of safety for GMOs. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had to reject the study in order to protect its own previous opinions on this and other GMOs, for reasons explained in the report. The findings of this study, if confirmed, would overturn regulatory assumptions of safe levels of glyphosate and Roundup. (pp. 94, 147)

                Claims that an EU-funded research project shows GMOs are safe are not evidence-based, since the project did not even test the safety of any commercialized GMOs. Some animal testing data gathered by the project actually reveal health risks from the GMOs tested. (p. 166)
                Claims that Europe is becoming a “museum” of farming because of its reluctance to embrace GM crops are shown to be nonsensical by research showing that Europe’s mostly non-GM agriculture out-yields the USA’s mostly GM agriculture with less pesticide use. Instead, it is the GM-adopting USA that is falling behind Europe in terms of productivity and sustainability. (pp. 232–233)

                Risks from an important new type of GMO that is designed to silence genes are not being properly assessed by regulators. (p. 78)

                Contrary to claims by GMO proponents, the real reason GM golden rice isn’t available has nothing to do with anti-GMO activists and everything to do with basic research and development problems. (p. 197)

                Conventional breeding continues to outstrip GM in delivering crops that yield well, resist disease, are nutritious, and tolerate drought and other types of extreme weather. (pp. 284, 318–321)

                Crop genetics are only part of the solution to our food and agriculture challenges. The other part is agroecological farming methods that build soil and focus on growing a diversity of naturally healthy and resilient crops. (p. 303)
                - See more at: http://earthopensource.org/...

                I don't know what particular variables have led to increased levels of illness associated with the diets we eat, but to categorically accept that GMO modified foods may not be one of those factors is analogous to an ostrich sticking its head in the sand, or, more apt, smokers belivieng that cigarette companies research was accurate and demonstrated that continuing to consume tobacco products was safe.

                For studies that show the way Big Ag produces processed food are linked to autoimmune diseases I provide you the following links:

                High use of salt in processed foods:
                http://www.trueactivist.com/...

                Pesticide use linked to autoimmune diseases:
                http://nihrecord.nih.gov/...

                Herbicides (Roundup) linked to autoimmune/gastrointestinal disorder - celiac disease:
                http://sustainablepulse.com/...

                Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and
                sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies
                in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be
                explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America.
                GMO foods linked to gastrointestinal disorders:
                http://responsibletechnology.org/...
                In soy, corn, cotton (oil), canola (oil), sugar from sugar beets, zucchini, yellow squash, Hawaiian papaya, and alfalfa,  “Bt-toxin, glyphosate, and other components of GMOs, are linked to five conditions that may either initiate or exacerbate gluten-related disorders,” according to Smith.

                It’s the BT-toxin in genetically modified foods which kills insects by “puncturing holes in their cells.” The toxin is present in ‘every kernel’ of Bt-corn and survives human digestion, with a 2012 study confirming that it punctures holes in human cells as well.

                The GMO-related damage was linked to five different areas: Intestinal permeability, imbalanced gut bacteria, immune activation and allergic response, impaired digestion, and damage to the intestinal wall.

                These studies and reports are just the tip of the iceberg.  They are not produced by a bunch of conspiracy theorists but scientists concerned about the real effects of the way we "manufacture" and process the food we eat.  They challenge the so-called consensus that GMO products and other chemicals and ingredients used in the production of our food supply are safe for human consumption.  At the very least, more research is needed to verify that the rising rates of diabetes and autoimmune dosirders is not caused in any way by the current means of producing our food which rely on geneticaly modified crops, heavy use of pesticides and herbicides and the high quantities of food additives (among them the heavy use of anbtibiotics), as well as the use of salt and fructose/corn syrup.  Until we know the extent of thier impact on human health, it behooves us to employ caution rather than continue to risk the health of billions of peoiple worldwide.

                "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

                by Steven D on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:55:28 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  thanks for that big long post of arm-waving (0+ / 0-)

                  If all the people are dying of GMOs that you say there are, then show us. Point to someone that died from GMOs, and show us how the GMOs killed them.

                  Until then, you're just waving your arms.  (shrug)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:36:30 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  ps--anyone who cites the Seralini "study" (0+ / 0-)

                  without pointing out that the study itself was withdrawn because its own data didn't match its conclusions---the animals who were NOT fed any GMO got tumors too--is either a dishonest liar, or uninformed.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:38:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  It's not a conspiracy (0+ / 0-)

                It's big business.  Now what do you suppose can possibly be bad about a single company or small group of companies controlling the food supply through patents?  

              •  Two Words... (0+ / 0-)

                Love Canal

                "Cause 5 in every 4 just don't amount to nothin' more, so watch the rats go 'cross the floor, and make up songs ' bout bein' poor." F Zappa

                by GearRatio on Tue May 20, 2014 at 03:11:59 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Love Canal had evidence. Your CT does not. (0+ / 0-)

                  Shoiw mme actual evidence that Monsanto is engaged in a vast conspiracy to do something something (ya know, like the global-warming deniers claim about Greenpeace and Al Gore), and I'll be happy to accept it.

                  Until then, you are just playing the Gopper game of assuming something is true because you ideologically WANT it to be true.

                  I don't play that game.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:00:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Finally. Thank you. (7+ / 0-)

    I have been really irritated with the anti GMO rhetoric. It borders on hysteria and is rampant with conspiracy theories. Monsanto, et al might not be great corporate citizens but that's a different issue than the safety of GMO food.

    GMO food has awesome potential for good in the world by increasing production and quality of food.

    Dkos and liberals in general should not be promoting anti science views and corporate conspiracy theories.

  •  There are VERY legitimate objections (29+ / 0-)

    Pollen spread is one which is already causing problems for organic farmers as it affects their crops and could endanger their organic certification.

    The other danger is the cross-pollonization with non-GMO weeds or weeds becoming resistant to the herbicide that the GMO product is designed to resist. The supreme example here is Roundup where resistance is already being found. In January 2013:

    The area of U.S. cropland infested with glyphosate-resistant weeds has expanded to 61.2 million acres in 2012, according to a survey conducted by Stratus Agri-Marketing.

    Nearly half (49%) of all U.S. farmers interviewed reported that glyphosate-resistant weeds were present on their farm in 2012, up from 34% of farmers in 2011. The survey also indicates that the rate at which glyphosate-resistant weeds are spreading is gaining momentum, increasing 25% in 2011 and 51% in 2012.

    Farmers of course were assured this would never happen if they signed on to Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" regime. So what we are going to see is the same sort of Red Queen rampage we have with antibiotics - gross overuse of one followed by resistance followed by yet another highly toxic chemical being developed so that another generation of GMOs have to be produced with resistance to the new poison.
    GMO's are safe, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of that statement.
    Which is not to say there is no risk, only your assertion that the evidence does not currently show it.

    So far the overwhelming use for GMOs has been to benefit agribusiness in being able to produce tasteless pap that lasts for weeks on supermarket shelves and looks pretty.

    "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

    by Lib Dem FoP on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:36:37 PM PDT

    •  Thank you, I was just asking if this site has ever (0+ / 0-)

      had good environmental coverage, or if it's always been twisted to suit private agendas?

    •  But glyphosate resistance would be expected to (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, jrooth, guyeda

      increase anyway - resistance always develops to antibiotics and pesticides. Is there any reason to think that resistance is developing faster than in the absence of the Monsanto seeds?



      Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

      by Wee Mama on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:53:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Very much so (9+ / 0-)

        Both the quantities and timing of the application of Roundup are affected. Monsanto sold it on the idea that you waited until the crop had germinated and when the young plants started to appear, you zapped the field with enough of their poison to eliminate any other plants that had grown in the meantime. Unfortunately for them, they also sold it on the basis of the farmer having to use less herbicides to control weeds so some weeds "made it through" and later generations develop more and more resistance. This is conveniently not mentioned in a page on resistance on Monsanto's site:

        Monsanto and university weed scientists have also identified specific common factors that are often present in areas where glyphosate resistance has developed. These factors are:

        Limited or no Crop rotation
        Limited or no tillage practices
        A high dependency on glyphosate alone or a limited use of other herbicides, and
        Reduced rates of glyphosate

        It does not take very much knowledge about US agriculture to know that one of the problems with agribusiness is its reliance on single crops in huge fields.

        Later on the same page they admit:

        When a herbicide is applied over and over again, some of these biotypes survive, mature and produce seed. If a farmer relies on only one herbicide with the same mechanism of action, again, the percentage of the resistant biotypes in the population is likely to increase. This is referred to as herbicide selection pressure
        But reliance on one herbicide to which Monsanto's GM products are designed to resist is exactly what they sold their "Roundup Ready" regime on. You will realize that that section of Monsanto's site is essentially blaming farmers for following the regime that they were recommended.

        "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

        by Lib Dem FoP on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:29:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  the same resistance happens in non-GMO fields, (0+ / 0-)

          also.  The weed resistance comes from its exposure to Roundup, not from the GMO gene. That's why Roundup-resistant weeds were already starting to appear before Roundup-Ready crops ever even went to market.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:14:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  False (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeteZerria

            Read what Monsanto themselves say about resistance:

            When a herbicide is applied over and over again, some of these biotypes survive, mature and produce seed.
            The use of "Roundup Ready" crops means only one herbicide is likely to be used so the use of GM crops resistant to Roundup makes the difference. It's not the GMO per se but the use of a particular herbicide it mandates which means the process of natural selection for weeds to gain resistance to it that is accelerated.  

            Note Monsanto do not, as far as I know, produce a set of GM crop plants resistant to another herbicide so that it can be rotated. For goodness sake, the lotions and shampoos for head lice are regularly changed (at least in the UK where this is done centrally) but still resistance has built up to lindane.

            "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

            by Lib Dem FoP on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:00:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  maybe YOU better read it . . . . (0+ / 0-)
              When a herbicide is applied over and over again, some of these biotypes survive, mature and produce seed.
              The SAME DAMN THING happens when Roundup is sprayed on non-GMO plants.  The VERY SAME DAMN THING.

              Indeed, that is why Roundup-resistant weeds ALREADY EXISTED before Roundup-Ready crops ever even appeared.

              And indeed, you yourself just said the same thing here:

              It's not the GMO per se but the use of a particular herbicide it mandates which means the process of natural selection for weeds to gain resistance to it that is accelerated.  
              THAT is precisely absolutely correct.  It is NOT the use of the GMO that produces the resistance--it is the use of the herbicide. That's why spraying the same herbicide on non-GMO crops produces the same resistance.  Utterly absolutely the same resistance. The presence or absence of the GMO is utterly irrelevant.

              Geez, the level of science illiteracy here staggers me.  "Reality-based community", my ass . . . .

              (sigh)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:19:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Surely the ignorant point (0+ / 0-)

                Is to not recognize that a plant which is designed to be resistant to one particular herbicide would not be happy to be sprayed by another herbicide.

                Spraying the same herbicide on non-GM crops (the O by the way is redundant) indeed would tend to produce resistance if it were the only herbicide used.. With non-GM plants you have the opportunity to use other herbicides which would eliminate the plants which have developed resistance to Roundup. Good lord, they could even revert to weeding or the use of biological agents to control the weeds (AKA insects that like the weeds but not the crop).

                Also the point of Roundup is to be able to selectively kill non-GM plants, AKA weeds, while the main crop is growing. This alters the scheduling of the spraying which also changes the growing stage at which the weeds are sprayed. That exposure is different from areas where non-GM crops are grown.

                I am also scientifically literate enough to know about genes and that they have indeed been around for eons and that evolution is dependent on mixing of them. However, it is extremely unlikely that a soya plant, a cauliflower mosaic virus (CMV), a petunia, and a bacterium (Agrobacterium sp.) would all "get together " at one time other than in Monsanto's laboratories. An even more unlikely coupling would be a jellyfish and a potato.

                "Come to Sochi, visit the gay clubs and play with the bears" - NOT a Russian advertising slogan.

                by Lib Dem FoP on Tue May 20, 2014 at 03:19:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  despite all your arm-waving, you neglect the (0+ / 0-)

                  simple crushing indisputable fact that weeds were ALREADY BECOMING resistant to roundup BEFORE Roundup-Ready crops ever even appeared. And they got that resistance through plain old ordinary common run-of-the-mill evolution--the same way EVERYTHING acquires resistance to pesticides sooner or later.

                  Period.  End of debate.

                  (shrug)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:02:19 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Not to mention 'round-up ready' crops just (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, jan4insight, PeteZerria

      encourages the use of massive amounts of round-up. And where does it end up? In the water of course.

      •  um . . . (6+ / 0-)

        Ropundup was being used for 20 years before GMO crops ever appeared.  And it's still used today on non-GMO crops.

        You can go to any Home Depot and buy it yourself, and spray it on anything you want to.

        If GMOs are banned tomorrow, Roundup will continue happily without them.

        Blamingf GMOs for the effects of Roundup because we spray Roundup on them, is like blaming grass lawns for the effects of fertilizer runoff because we spray fertilizer on grass lawns.  It's silly.

        If Roundup is the problem, then I'm all in favor of banning Roundup. The GMO is irrelevant.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:25:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't have a good handle on this . (6+ / 0-)

          http://www.npr.org/...

          Dr. Gerard Barry
          , a native of Ireland, spent more than 20 years in St. Louis working for Monsanto, the company that pioneered genetically engineered crops.

          He's listed as first inventor on some of Monsanto's most valuable . He found the gene that made crops immune to the weedkiller Roundup. That gene is now in soybeans, corn and cotton grown on hundreds of millions of acres.

          The GMO was done so that they can use more roundup .

          http://www.npr.org/...

          One thing, though, is perfectly clear. The rise of glyphosate-tolerant GMOs did persuade farmers to use much more of that particular chemical. Some argue that a new generation of GMOs that are tolerant to other weedkillers will drive further increases in herbicide use.

          Without the glyphosate-tolerant GMOs the roundup use would have to be reduced .

          "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

          by indycam on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:46:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  oh, I have a pretty good handle on it (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ban nock

            Ask Monsanto if they'd make more profit by doubling the use of Roundup on non-GMO crops.

            PS--the figures I recall seeing show about a 15% increase in Roundup usage on GMO fields vs non.

            Not exactly world-shattering.

            If GMOs were banned tomorrow, Monsanto could make just as much money as now just by raising the price of Roundup 15%--for all the people who spray it on non-GMO crops.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:59:15 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Opps (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Just Bob, PeteZerria
              Ask Monsanto if they'd make more profit by doubling the use of Roundup on non-GMO crops.
              You have just shown by this question that you don't have a good handle on it . Do you see the problem with your question ? Were you hoping that no one else would see it ?
              PS--the figures I recall seeing show about a 15% increase in Roundup usage on GMO fields vs non.
              "ps" is archaic in the computer age .
              Did you even glance at the info at the links ?

              http://media.npr.org/...

              "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

              by indycam on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:11:41 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  ooops--- (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Sparhawk
                Did you even glance at the info at the links ?
                I sure did, and it is irrelevant to my point. Let me repeat:
                PS--the figures I recall seeing show about a 15% increase in Roundup usage on GMO fields vs non.
                Your graph is for TOTAL usage, not usage per field.

                See the difference?

                PS--that 15% figure came from one of your fellow fringers. Me, my gut tells me that farmers would be idiots if they used something that INCREASED their costs by requiring them to use MORE pesticides. But I'll accept the figures I was given until I see better ones from somebody.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:20:40 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  ... (22+ / 0-)

    http://guardianlv.com/...

    Dangerous Levels of Roundup Found in GMO Foods Across U.S.
    In a recent report released by Norwegian scientists and researchers studying genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and other genetically engineered produce in the Unite States, GMO foods across the U.S. have been found to contain absurdly dangerous high, levels of Roundup, a product used to kill weeds and ward off various harmful insects.

    "please love deeply...openly and genuinely." A. M. H.

    by indycam on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:39:56 PM PDT

  •  So far the primary (19+ / 0-)

    leap forward that GMO is doing in food crops is making them resistant to round up so they can drench the fields in poison. It is not anti science to not want to eat food that is drowned in petrochemical poison.

  •  The problem is that whatever the (0+ / 0-)

    science ends up proving out, we on the left have taken a position on the GMO issue. If we allow ourselves to succumb to self-doubt and intra-party squabbling, the right will have a huge victory. The reason a minority of people on the right have such power over the rest of us is that they stake out a position and stick to it (and stick together). Maybe we're right about GMO's, maybe we're wrong. But IMO there is a bigger issue at stake. We can't allow ourselves to look like fools.

  •  I agree with some of this but also disagree (24+ / 0-)

    Certainly bad science should be exposed. And anyone who continues to cite bad research after having been shown the problems with it deserves being grouped with global warming deniers, creationists and anti-vaxers.

    But the sheer volume of research in the fields of climate science and evolution is orders of magnitude greater than what exists on GMO food safety. There are some good reasons for that and also some bad ones. Unlike evolution and global warming, which are matters of basic science about ongoing physical or biological processes, GMO products are a moving target. New modifications are being developed all the time and it's not clear that prior research about the safety of other products has any relevance to the safety of some novel genetic modification. That makes blanket statements abou safety an iffy proposition.

    On the bad side, proprietary intrest in these producs raise significant barriers to independent research into their safety. As Scientific American pointed out:

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

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

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

    There are of course good business reasons for GMO producers to protect their intellectual property, but this state of affairs is afar cry from the research environment in the other fields you discuss, and it doesn't take irrational or anti-science motivations to be genuinely skeptical.

    "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

    by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:47:34 PM PDT

  •  The ability to self replicate is a rather bright (7+ / 0-)

    line separating GMOs from other environmental threats. There is nothing anti-scientific about concern over the possibility of losing control of a self-replicating organism that cannot be recalled if found harmful or have its future production halted by human agency.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:52:58 PM PDT

    •  well, to be fair, the genes in GMO crops have (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djtyg, serendipityisabitch

      already existed, replicating away happily, for millions of years. None of them are new--they have simply been taken out of one organism and put into another. (Something that virii have also been doing, btw, for billions of years---about one-third of your own DNA was moved there from another organism by a virus).

      If we are going to fight Monsanto (and we should) then at least let's be scientifically correct about it, and not make stupid shit up.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:13:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It is genes not so much by themselves but in (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tamar, wu ming, freesia, claude, PeteZerria

        their very particular combinations that determine an organism's traits and capabilities. Even if for the sake of argument one grants that the vast majority of GMOs are harmless or beneficial, only one harmful self-replicating organism could produce disastrous, widespread consequences. There is a multitude of examples of human's who for gain or by accident introducing organisms into new ecological systems where they then wreak havoc.

        Our understanding of genetics has yet to match the leverage and power their employment affords and the profit motive is notoriously short sighted.

        The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

        by Wolf10 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:30:04 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The problem with this argument is that it (0+ / 0-)

          applies just as well to non-GMO crops. Random recombination has taken place for as long as there have been plants around. Most die off, some survive and proliferate without much problem, some produce harmful side effects. At least the GMOs are tested - there's no way to test, or even identify, most naturally occurring changes.

          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

          by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:49:25 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Random recombination is not a profit driven (0+ / 0-)

            enterprise brought to us by the likes of Monsanto. Nuclear reactions occur in nature as well but there is a time and a place for everything.

            The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

            by Wolf10 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:06:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I thought your point was about food safety. (0+ / 0-)

              If it kills you, but it's "natural", it doesn't count? Come again?

              At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

              by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:16:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Food safety so far has not been indicated as a (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PSWaterspirit

                problem but if that changes, the fact that it is a self-replicating genetic trait makes correcting the problem more difficult than if it were not. Indeed, Malthusian concerns aside, increasing the vitamin A content of rice appears to be an unalloyed boon.

                The main concerns, and I believe there is evidence that they might well be warranted, are environmental and economic having to do for example with the undesirable transgenic transfer of traits and the monopolistic and litigious practices of Monsanto respectively.

                My main concern is the unforeseen and unintended consequences of a product we have no way of recalling or controlling for the simple reason that it possesses the ability to reproduce itself on a large scale.

                The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

                by Wolf10 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:52:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  strychnine is "natural" (0+ / 0-)

                So is arsenic.

                Computers, on the other hand, are not.

                ;)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:56:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You are having altogether too much fun. ;) n/t (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Lenny Flank

                  At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                  by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:52:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  if I didn't laugh--I'd cry /nt (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    serendipityisabitch

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:57:40 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  You may want to step back a pace and reassess, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      kamarvt

                      because I think the quality of responses here is actually a solid step up from the norm, despite your shrugs.

                      At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                      by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 11:07:12 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  meh, I see the same ole crapola (0+ / 0-)

                        Literally the same ole arguments as always.

                        In the end, reality always wins.

                        by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:16:54 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Then maybe both you and I both need to come up (0+ / 0-)

                          with different arguments. Could be we're in a rut, too. ;)

                          Btw, good morning. And happy Tuesday.

                          At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                          by serendipityisabitch on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:59:30 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  alas, science is boring that way . . . (0+ / 0-)

                            It always gives the same answers.  Sort of like math.  ;)

                            And good morning to you too.  :)  Alas, not such a good morning for me--I've had intermittent on-again off-again GI problems for many months now, and today they seem to be "on-again".  :(

                            Being sick, sucks.

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:05:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Yeah, but we're people. We can come up with (0+ / 0-)

                            new and different wierdnesses to confuse and confound our friends with. ;)

                            Sending a couple of crumbs of good luck and stuff over the intertubes, with a hope that things ease off soon.

                            At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

                            by serendipityisabitch on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:15:23 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  it's probably a good thing that I'm honorable .... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            serendipityisabitch

                            I've seen and fought enough pseudoscience over the decades (I started fighting creation "science" way back in 1982) and know well enough how it works that if I were evil I could write lots of stuff giving some VERY convincing-sounding arguments on all sorts of things, enough to fool the gullible and the scientifically-illiterate, and make myself a shitload of money.

                            But alas, I'm just too damn honest to do that.  ;)

                            In the end, reality always wins.

                            by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:28:18 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  the genes used in GMOs are not regulatory genes (0+ / 0-)

          nor are they pleiotropic.

          They have no effect on the other genes.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:00:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Is the claim untrue that cross pollination has (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            claude, PeteZerria

            allowed the transference of traits between plant species and that undesired resistance to herbicides is one such trait?

            The contemporary human ability to alter a species genes is hardly comparable to what has existed before either in nature or by means of selective breeding.

            The global reach of corporations allows them to affect both human health and the environment on an unprecedented scale and not always in good ways. Do we really want to cede such power to privately owned, under-regulated profit-driven entities?

            We can't even get even control the non-biological toxic agents we create, much worse be the loss of control over potentially harmful self-replicating entities. You have addressed various secondary issues but have not addressed the primary issue: control.

            The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

            by Wolf10 on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:51:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, the claim is not untrue (0+ / 0-)

              although it is utterly irrelevant to anything I just said . . . .

              But to switch gears to your new topic:

              Yes, the pollen from Monsanto's GMO plants contains the GMO gene, and it can indeed fertilize with compatible weeds and transfer that resistance to the weed. This is because Monsanto, for some reason known only to them, placed the GMO gene in the nuclear DNA instead of the extra-nuclear. Unless there was some technical reason for that, it was rather dumb on their part. One can only hope they correct that in their next crops.

              BUT

              First of all, cross-fertilization is ONLY possible with other species that have a genetic compatability with the GMO species--and that is a pretty small number. Most plants can't interbreed, period.

              Second, all of those weeds will obtain resistance anyway, even if they never get the gene from the GMO. Resistance is inevitable in any herbicide--it is evolution in action and not even big mighty Monsanto can stop evolution from happening. It may take a little longer, but it inevitably will happen anyway. Indeed, many weeds had ALREADY begun showing immunity before the GMO plants ever even appeared, because Roundup was sprayed on non-GMO plants for decades before GMOs appeared.

              And third, cross-fertilization and gene transfer is a rather rare method for any plant to obtain any trait. It is far outnumbered by the ordinary process of mutation and selection.

              We can't even get even control the non-biological toxic agents we create, much worse be the loss of control over potentially harmful self-replicating entities. You have addressed various secondary issues but have not addressed the primary issue: control.
              Well, first of all, the toxins do not self-replicate.

              As for control I don't know what you are referring to.  Perhaps you are unaware that Roundup-resistant genes already exist in the wild and have for decades now. And Bt toxin is a natural product of soil bacteria that is found in virtually any soil sample from anywhere in the world. You seem to think Bt is"new"--it is not. It's already been here for millions of years--and indeed was already being sprayed on crops since 1920, long before GMOs ever even existed.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:10:26 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Blatant propaganda (22+ / 1-)

    complete with straw-men and everything. There are a LOT of reasons to object to GMO crops, even if they don't directly cause health issues, something which is far from certain at this point, I might add. Those health effects may yet show up at some future time, but even if they don't, there are the issues of dumping massive amounts of pesticides/herbicides (aka POISONS) into the environment, patented seeds, farmers not allowed to collect seeds from their own crops, cross-pollination into non-GMO crops... and then the agribusiness companies are suing the neighboring organic farmers for patent infringement after the GMO pollen blows into the organic fields! There are more than enough reasons to be against GMO crops, even if there are no health problems. Hell, even if GMO corn was GOOD for you, I'd still be against it, at least the way it's being used now.

    As a side note, what the hell is up with the blatant propaganda pieces appearing here lately? We've always had trolls and shills, but lately, it seems like a non-stop supply of corporate puff pieces like this one and the NRA one that appeared a couple days ago. Maybe that means the site is finally big enough to attract the attention of the corporate types?

    •  Corporate Skepticism is Gaining Representation (5+ / 0-)

      in government as rightwing corporatist Democrats are declining in representation.

      Time for daddy to put his foot down.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:05:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  HR'd for unsupported accusation of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      djtyg, serendipityisabitch

      corporate shilling. That sort of horse shit just shuts down discussion from people who disagree with us, and it should not be tolerated here by any one on any side of any issue.

      Demonstrate to us that the writer of this diary is paid by Monsanto or anyone else, and I'll withdraw my HR. In the meantime, you had best read Kos's FP post from a while ago about what will happen to people who make unsupported accusations of shilling.

      PS--before you start peeing at me too, I am anti-GMO.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:16:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Any DKos diary dealing with GMOs is immediately (0+ / 0-)

      taken over by a handful of GMO supporters who effectively prevent discussion of real issues surrounding their use; the validity of "scientific" studies; possible long term effects on humans and on the environment; economic damage done to organic growers and so on.

      The barrage of repetitive commentary makes discussion of the real issues (the right of consumers to know what is in the food they buy, and the right of farmers to grow the food consumers want) impossible. And that seems to be the goal.

  •  I think what you may be missing is a strident (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg, ballerina X

    anti-corporatist viewpoint that is driving both acceptance of global warming and GMO "skepticism"

    You say that these people are willing to accept the science of one and reject that of the other - I don't think the science is a factor in either one for this particular faction. It is enough that large corporations are fighting for continued production of carbon fuels and for research on and use of GMO variants.

    The science, as you have pointed out, is fairly solidly positive, though not as solid as the models for climate change. You won't change these particular minds by arguing science though - first you'll have to break through the notion that corporate overlords are out to get us. Best of luck.

    At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

    by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 04:58:19 PM PDT

    •  True. (2+ / 0-)

      I hate Monsanto's business practices.

      I'm fine with eating GMO, though.

      You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

      by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:02:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I quite agree (3+ / 0-)

      In the case of GMO, vaccines and nuclear, what I see is a certain fringe of people allowing their anti-corporate ideologies to run away with their brains, and enticing them to believe a lot of things that are simply scientific nonsense, as well as a lot of tinfoil-hat CT kookery.

      And as someone who is both anti-GMO and anti-nuke, it embarrasses me to have anti-science fringers on the same side as me. It doesn't help us--it only makes it more difficult to fight the GMO and nuke companies.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:10:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wait, what (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, claude

      you mean my corporate overlords aren't out to get me? It is a nice rhetorical device to separate loathing of Monsanto and loathing of GMOs, and I'll grant that a lot of the problems (and my personal objections) do relate to the corporate aspect. But since GMO organisms are, and likely will remain for the foreseeable future, solely a creation of giant agribusiness, aren't the two objections kind of the same? Sure, theoretically, if some small entrepreneur came up with GMO corn and didn't use Monsanto's loathsome business practices, I would have to take a closer look at the science to decide if I favor it or not. But for now, GMO and Monsanto are one and the same. So while it may not be scientifically precise to say that I am against GMOs when really I mean that I am against Monsanto et al, the two are functionally the same, are they not?

      •  Actually, I think they're not, but I'm afraid your (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rachael7

        ability to distinguish between them even on a theoretical level takes you out of the group of people I was describing. ;)

        I have no objection to someone who is against GMOs because they are against Monsanto. At least it's a direct argument.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:12:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Against Monsanto for sure, (3+ / 0-)

          that's a big part for me. And I am also very concerned about the myriad environmental issues... heavier chemical use, mono-cropping, on and on and on. Pesticides are killing honeybees after all, and while its not this particular pesticide linked to that problem, massive use of poisons has a way of coming back to bite us on the ass one way or another.

          I suppose another worthwhile distinction would be objection to different sorts of genetic modification, right. I mean theoretically, I might be open to eating GMO food that was  modified to be more productive or more nutritious... stick an orange gene in the wheat to put vitamin C in my bread and I'll read the science on that, probably even eat it. But as far as I understand, by far the largest use of GMO today is for chemical resistance, ie Roundup-Ready, and as long as that is the face of GMO organisms, I think there's already more than enough evidence of serious risk to stand firmly against them.

          •  the environmental objections are my 1st (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rachael7

            concern, which includes our food and water (that is the food and water that sustains all life because we are just another organism); when I mention water I'm specifically talking about Bt corn (between corn & soy, what's that about 95% of GMO?) and where the Bt ends up, even as theoretical safe levels in addition to the increasing pesticides

            •  non-GMO crops don't use water . . . . ? (0+ / 0-)
              when I mention water I'm specifically talking about Bt corn
              You need to explain this one to me . . . .  what's different about the water in GMO and non-GMO fields?
              where the Bt ends up
              You do understand that Bt is the natural product of a soil bacteria that is quite literally present virtually everywhere on Earth, right . . . . . . ?

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:37:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Bt is pollinated by Bt corn (0+ / 0-)

                and I understand at unpredictabe and sometimes varying rates, if it ends up in a neighboring field, it ends up in the ditch, stream, river and lake

                do you know what the proportion of GMO crops are GMO corn and soy? (used in large part to feed feedlot beef who are sickened by the whole mess anyway)

                •  whaaaaaa??????? (0+ / 0-)
                  Bt is pollinated by Bt corn
                  I have no idea at all what you are trying to say . . . . None of this has a blooming thing to do with either of my statements.

                  What I think you are trying to say is that the pollen from GMO plants, which contains the Bt gene, is spread by the wind and ends up in rivers, lakes and streams.

                  To which I can only say, So what? Those rivers, lakes and streams ALREADY CONTAIN Bt from natural soil bacteria. They have for millions of years before humans even appeared on the planet.

                  You DO understand that Bt is a natural product of bacteria in the soil, and is found virtually everywhere in plain old ordinary dirt.  Right?

                  That's where Monsanto got the gene in the first place. They didn't make the gene themselves.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:00:38 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Bacillus thuringiensis (0+ / 0-)

                if it didn't kill in quantity then why would they use it?

                http://en.wikipedia.org/...

                •  (sigh) (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LakeSuperior

                  The lack of science literacy here is staggering . . . . .

                  Here's why they use it, from the very link you cited:

                  Cry toxins have specific activities against insect species of the orders Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies), Diptera (flies and mosquitoes), Coleoptera (beetles), Hymenoptera (wasps, bees, ants and sawflies) and nematodes. Thus, B. thuringiensis serves as an important reservoir of Cry toxins for production of biological insecticides and insect-resistant genetically modified crops. When insects ingest toxin crystals, the alkaline pH of their digestive tract denatures the insoluble crystals, making them soluble and thus amenable to being cut with proteases found in the insect gut, which liberate the cry toxin from the crystal.[8] The Cry toxin is then inserted into the insect gut cell membrane, paralyzing the digestive tract and forming a pore.[11] The insect stops eating and starves to death; live Bt bacteria may also colonize the insect which can contribute to death.[8][11][12] Research published in 2006 has suggested the midgut bacteria of susceptible larvae are required for B. thuringiensis insecticidal activity.[13] . . . They are now used as specific insecticides under trade names such as DiPel and Thuricide. Because of their specificity, these pesticides are regarded as environmentally friendly, with little or no effect on humans, wildlife, pollinators, and most other beneficial insects and are used in Organic farming
                  Since you apparently don't know very much about biology or science, let me translate the big words for you:  Bt works by attacking a particular protein that is ONLY FOUND IN INSECTS.

                  Bt does NOTHING to reptiles, birds, mammals or humans, because we do not have the protein that Bt attacks.

                  Please please please for the love of all the gods and goddesses, if you do not understand a topic, then don't blither ignorantly about it.  All you do is make ALL anti-Monsanto activists look like uneducated simpletons who flunked fourth grade biology.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:05:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What it does is kill insect indiscriminately (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    i saw an old tree today

                    including those that are beneficial like pollinators. Birds and reptiles eat insects as part of their diet. No insects no birds and reptiles.

                    It is known as the food chain.

                    It is the heart that makes a man rich. He is rich according to what he is not what he has -Henry Ward Beecher

                    by PSWaterspirit on Tue May 20, 2014 at 01:06:24 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  no it does not (0+ / 0-)

                      It only kills insects that eat the plant.  It is not a contact poison, and it does nothing at all whatsoever to anything that does not eat the plant.

                      You seem to be referring to the claim that GMO Bt pollen coats other plants and kills caterpillars that eat it. That claim is simply not true. The FDA has gone out and actually measured the amount of pollen found on the other plants, and it's not a high enough dosage to kill anything:

                      The studies in this project showed that monarch caterpillars have to be exposed to pollen levels greater than 1,000 grains/cm2 to show toxic effects.

                      Caterpillars were found to be present on milkweed during the one to two weeks that pollen is shed by corn, but corn pollen levels on milkweed leaves were found to average only about 170 pollen grains/cm2 in corn fields.

                      http://www.ars.usda.gov/...

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:57:16 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  Thanks, (0+ / 0-)

                      This guy hurts this site, I usually avoid him like the plague, but I'm tired of him shutting down every discussion on GMO with his self sanctified opinion

        •  I have no objection to this either . . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          serendipityisabitch
          I have no objection to someone who is against GMOs because they are against Monsanto. At least it's a direct argument.
          After all, every one of MY objections to GMOs is social, economic and political--not scientific.

          My gripe comes when people claim their ideological objections to GMOs (because they don't like Monsanto) are actually SCIENCE. They're not.  (shrug) Especially when that claimed "science" is simply wrong.  Incorrect. Untrue. Baloney. Bullshit. Based on a lack of understanding of basic biology.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:24:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But that's a very narrow look at the science (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeteZerria, claude

            Ok, I get it, there is no science that says GMO corn will make you sick. I think there is a risk of that, but I'm willing to set that aside for the moment to further the discussion, so I'll stipulate for the moment that science says that eating GMO food is safe. Fine. But that's hardly the only thing science has to say about GMOs, right? Science certainly addresses increased pesticide resistance as a result of the increased pesticide use enabled by the GMOs. You're not saying there isn't science that establishes that, are you? Because there certainly is and I will go look up citations if I have to. Fine, the GMO corn didn't cause the pesticide resistance, the pesticide did, but that's just sophistry, since the GMO corn/soy/wheat is what allows for the massive pesticide use that increases the pesticide resistance. Is that not a perfectly valid and scientifically justified reason to be against Roundup-Ready crops? Still enjoying that tasty donut, by the way :-)

            •  but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              LakeSuperior
              Science certainly addresses increased pesticide resistance as a result of the increased pesticide use enabled by the GMOs. You're not saying there isn't science that establishes that, are you? Because there certainly is and I will go look up citations if I have to. Fine, the GMO corn didn't cause the pesticide resistance, the pesticide did, but that's just sophistry, since the GMO corn/soy/wheat is what allows for the massive pesticide use that increases the pesticide resistance.
              Right here:
              the GMO corn didn't cause the pesticide resistance, the pesticide did
              That's correct. The pesticide resistance happens whether the GMO is there or not. It is irrelevant.
              that's just sophistry, since the GMO corn/soy/wheat is what allows for the massive pesticide use that increases the pesticide resistance
              (sigh)  Um, no. . .  first of all, blaming GMOs for the effects of pesticides because we spray the pesticides on GMOs, is like blaming grass lawns for the effects of fertilizwer runoff because we spray the fertilizer on grass lawns.  It's dumb. Secondly, the very same pesticides are sprayed on non-GMO crops too and have been for decades before GMOs ever even appeared.  So banning GMOs tomorrow does NOTHING--the same pesticides will continue to be used on the same crop species, and produce the same resistance in the same weeds.

              You are shooting at the wrong target.

              Is that not a perfectly valid and scientifically justified reason to be against Roundup-Ready crops?
              No.  It's a perfectly valid and scientifically justified reason to be against ROUNDUP---but blaming the plant we spray the Roundup on for the effects of Roundup, is just as silly as blaming grass for the effects of fertilizer runoff.

              Again, you are shooting at the wrong target.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:12:21 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Not the same as fertilizer on lawn (0+ / 0-)

                Only partially correct:

                That's correct. The pesticide resistance happens whether the GMO is there or not. It is irrelevant.
                The quantity of pesticide use matters in issues of resistance, just like overuse of antibiotics has increased antibiotic resistance. Roundup-Ready crops allow for significantly increased application of Roundup with documented increases in resistance.

                For what it's worth, I am against Roundup more generally as well - it's just not a good idea to be deliberately pouring poison around. But it is not wrong to assign blame to the crop that demands or allows for increased chemical usage. Even in your example, if someone made GMO grass that had some great quality, but required 50% more fertilizer, it would be appropriate to blame that particular grass for the increased fertilizer runoff. Why do you insist on ignoring the obvious causal link?

                •  um, resistance in weeds has also appeared (0+ / 0-)

                  when sprayed on non-GMO crops.

                  The presence or absence of the GMO gene is irrelevant. The weeds get resistant whether the crops are GMO or not.

                  required 50% more fertilizer,
                  An interesting figure, even if it's one you pulled straight out of your ass. I find it odd that folks keep telling me that "GMOs cause more pesticide to be used". I find that hard to accept at face value, since I see no reason why a farmer would agree to use a product that INCREASES his costss by requiring MORE pesticide per acre. But alas, I also found, getting those folks to SHOW ME THE FIGURES is like pulling teeth--they apparently just want to ASSUME that using GMO requires more pesticide per acre than non-GMO, without actually showing it. (And if they do try to give figures, it's figures for TOTAL use of GMO vs non-GMO, which is irrelevant to how much PER ACRE is actually being used).

                  Only one person has ever actually cited actual figures, and they turned out to be an average 15% increase in a GMO acer vs a non-GMO. Heck, sprayed chemicals show almost that much variation from spot to spot just from the vagaries of wind and weather. And no one has demonstrated that 15% more Roundup has any increased effect on anything, much less produces resistant weeds at any significantly faster rate.

                  What I suspect is that people ASSUME that GMOs require more pesticides becuase they ideologically WANT that to be true--and when pressed to give actual figures supporting this conclusion, they do what you just did---they make them up.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:10:52 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  The ironic part... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        serendipityisabitch

        ...is that because of all the roadblocks and screaming people carry out about GMOs, the only people able to afford developing them are the companies like Monsanto. They can afford to have experimental crops destroyed by protestors, or spend years getting something approved, or deal with protests trying to boycott them.

        It's actually in Monsanto's interest that things don't become any easier for anyone who isn't Monsanto to do the research and develop the product.

    •  Not really true. It seems there's American science (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, PeteZerria

      and then there's European science.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      and the difference in European regulation.

      I would likely get a donut if I suggested the influence of Monsanto might have something to do with that.

      Just to keep our pro science folks busy:
      http://earthopensource.org/...

      I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

      by Just Bob on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:20:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  actually it is true . . . there's no difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DiesIrae

        between American and European science--they can't point to any actual observed harmful effects either.

        But their GMO-fringers are a lot more politically powerful than ours are.

        Kinda like our anti-vax fringe is a lot more powerful than theirs is.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:39:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Does residual glyphosate stimulate the growth of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PeteZerria, claude

          breast cancer cells? Does glyphosate exhibit estrogenic effects? Do chemicals that mimic estrogen disrupt many biological processes?

          Just asking...

          I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

          by Just Bob on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:48:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  perhaps (0+ / 0-)

            But none of that has anything to do with the GMO gene. The effects of Roundup are exactly precisely one-thousand percent the same, whether it's sprayed ona  GMO or non-GMO plant. The presence or absence of the GMO gene is utterly irrelevant. And indeed if we outlawed GMOs tomorrow, forever, the glyphosate will continue being sprayed on non-GMO plants and produce precisely exactly the same effects as it does now.  Nothing changes.

            If your gripe is with glyphosate and its effects, then BAN THE GLYPHOSATE. End of problem.

            Blaming the GMO plant for the effects of Roundup because we spray Roundup on it, is like blaming your lawn for the effects of fertilizer runoff because we spray fertilizer on it.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:15:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  It will take time... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch

    to change minds on this issue, for sure.

    Unfortunately we on the left are just as susceptible to cognitive bias. It's a part of human nature.

    I used to be anti-GMO until people like yourself showed the science on this issue. Eventually people will come around.

    You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

    by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:00:09 PM PDT

    •  The science that says that they will (5+ / 0-)

      never produce a GMO that is toxic to any extent, such as allergic reactions to any individual? Such predictions aren't science. We aren't talking about "natural laws" like gravity or friction where prediction is routine over certain conditions, but with people with no real understanding of what they're doing fiddling with ones food with no understanding of things like allergies and celiac disease.

      Epigenetics is still a new science, and still not well understood, but already has contradicted some of the early platitudes about gene splicing. Similarly, medical science still doesn't understand certain allergies nor certain auto-immune disorders what can be triggered or have severe flare ups triggered by foods.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:38:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Allergic reactions? (0+ / 0-)

        I'm not sure if you know this or not, but allergies existed long before GMO crops.

        I'm not going to stop eating food just because another person might be allergic to it.

        We've had GMO corn in this country for nearly 20 years now. I have yet to see anyone die from it. I've been eating it since 1996 and I'm healthy.

        You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

        by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:47:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Twenty years is nothing. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enhydra lutris, PeteZerria

          People smoke for longer than that with no ill effects.

          •  interesting (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sparhawk
             Twenty years is nothing.
            How many years without ill effect do you think we should have before anything can be considered "safe". 50 years? 100 years? 500 years?

            PS--Some people assert that cellphones cause brain cancer, and that cellphones are not "safe" because they have not been tested for their "longterm effects".

            Do you agree with them?  Why or why not? Think very carefully before you answer that.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:03:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Nope (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            OrganicChemist, BvueDem

            You said:

            People smoke for longer than that with no ill effects
            .

            Every cigarette smoked does harm.   All cigarette smoke contains several carcinogenic compounds.   Cigarette smoke also contains Polonium-210.   Second hand cigarette smoke will attract and increase lung exposure to radon daughters.

            Every cigarette will increase the carboxy-hemoglobin concentration in the bloodstream.

            Every cigarette will cause some lung and circulatory system damage.

        •  Uh, the little problem with that is that we (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          protectspice, PeteZerria

          cannot know what ailments and syndromes have been exacerbated by ingestion of GMOs because we cannot identify them. That's half the reason why the GMO industry doesn't want to have to label them.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:38:06 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, to be fair, the only GMO genes in use (0+ / 0-)

            have very specific protein products---Bt genes produce Bt, and Roundup-Ready genes produce plant proteins that are resistant to the effects of glyphosate. So if there are allergies appearing from GMOs, we'd absolutely know it had to be one of those two proteins doing it. And we see no such effect.

            Assuming that future GMO genes will also be non-pleiotropic, the same will hold for them. They only make one protein, and we can test what that protein does.

            (Though, to also be fair, if our goal is to have zero percent allergic reactions, ever, then that is an impossible task, since ANY protein is capable of acting as an allergen---heck, dozens of people die in the US every year from allergies to plain ole ordinary peanuts, and there does not seem to be any move to label peanuts as "unsafe".)

            And I think your point here is invalid . . .

            cannot know what ailments and syndromes have been exacerbated by ingestion of GMOs because we cannot identify them. That's half the reason why the GMO industry doesn't want to have to label them.
            . . . because even though we don't know which specific individual food items have GMO ingredients and which do not, we DO know that (1) much, perhaps most, of the soy and corn crop in the US is GMO, (2) these GMO crops have been in use for twenty-odd years now, therefore (3) virtually everyone in the US has consumed at least SOME amount of GMO ingredients--most of them in significant amounts as a sizable percentage of their total food intake--but (4) there is no discernible effect from any of these significant amounts of GMO ingredients on the hundreds of millions of people who have eaten them over the years.

            If the GMO ingredients really were having a noticeable deleterious effect, we'd be able to see that effect (even if we did not know which specific individual food product caused it or didn't) because most of us have indeed been consuming GMOs, whether we know it or not (or like it or not) for years now.

            The fact that there is NO such discernible effect (and not even the big Monsanto conspiracy could hide it if people really were dropping dead from eating GMOs), indicates that the GMOs simply have no such effect. Unless of course we want to put on our tinfoil hats and assert that Monsanto is conspiring with the medical community to hide and cover up all the tens of thousands of deaths and illnesses that must have been caused by now if GMOs really had such an effect.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:32:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Actually, a lot of autoimmune diseases have (0+ / 0-)

              been seriously on the rise, so we cannot say anything about discernable effects or not, because, again, we don't know. GMO manufacturers wish to prevent labelling, among other reasons: 1) so nobody can track such things and b) to prevent those who eat based on whitelists from being able to discover when previously reliable foods have been swapped out for unknown foods.

              Peanuts are labelled, BTW,  "contains peanuts" and other warnings "processed in machines also used to process peanuts", etc. abound. You often scoff that you think folks ignore labels, so perhaps you really have no idea what information is on them, but they contain that kind of information so that people can better decide what they can safely eat.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:09:53 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, to connect those dots, we'd need to (0+ / 0-)

                demonstrate at least a plausible mechanism for how Bt or the Roundup-Ready gene causes any autoimmune disease in humans. None has been demonstrated. Indeed, other than Dr Huber and his magic microbe that nobody but he can see, I can't even think offhand any that have been proposed. (And of course it's worth noting that Bt has been around in our environment for millions of years--and was sprayed on our food for almost 100 years--all without any apparent effect.)

                And we'd have to get in line for that testing anyway, since the presumed increase in autoimmune diseases (assuming it's a real increase to begin with and not just an artifact of technology) has already been blamed on everything else under the sun that people don't like (it seems as if every woo-woo medical quack out there has their own private reason for what "causes" autoimmune diseases--mostly for ideological reasons).

                GMO manufacturers wish to prevent labelling
                As noted, I got no gripe with labelng, and I don't give a flying fuck what the GMO companies want or don't want.  :)

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:41:56 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  BTW, I'm not at all so sure that the genes in (0+ / 0-)

              question make only one protein under all conditions, and I'm sure that Monsanto hasn't bothered to find out either. Likewise that we know how those proteins affect all individuals is also unknown, and not currently testable in this country.

              That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

              by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:12:57 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  well if there is another protein product (0+ / 0-)

                it's not been seen or proposed or demonstrated to have any effect on anything anywhere at any time, or even to exist at all.

                Until it is, Billy's Ockham's razor slashes it.  

                Likewise that we know how those proteins affect all individuals is also unknown, and not currently testable in this country.
                Not quite--it has been tested, for 20 years, on millions of people, who have been eating it that entire time.

                No noticeable effect has yet been attributed to it, nor any evidence at all of its existence.  Until it is, Billy once again swings his razor.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:47:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Once again, no data because data withheld (0+ / 0-)

                  cannot trigger Occam's Razor.

                  That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                  by enhydra lutris on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:17:21 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  some data Monsanto can hide (0+ / 0-)

                    Some it can't.

                    If GMOs were causing harm to people, any medical doctor anywhere would be able to find a proposed effect of the GMOs, search for a mechanism by which the gene does whatever it does, and publish it openly, and Monsanto could do no more than rage and sputter impotently. If there were actually another existing protein product of the Bt or RR gene, anyone who looked for it would be able to see it, describe it and tell everyone and his brother about it, and Monsanto could do absolutely nothing to stop them. If Bt pollen were actually killing butterfly larvae, anyone at any nearby field would be able to look at the leaves and count the pollen grains and measure the dosage and publish the numbers, and Monsanto would be utterly completely powerless to do a damn thing about it.

                    We don't see any such things.

                    Billy Ockham speaks once again.

                    In the end, reality always wins.

                    by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:38:11 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  False Equivalence of Left and Right on Yet Another (15+ / 0-)

    issue. You put yourself in really bad company with this approach.

    GMO rejection is in a completely different league from climate change / evolution denial, and pretty far removed from even vaccine rejection.

    Keeping the argument narrowly on the left, the vaccine rejecters have no data other than anecdotes and association.

    GMO objectors however have at least scores of millions of people who get sick from intolerance to genetic variations from ordinary cross breeding, with conditions such as gluten intolerance. So we go into the argument with a database of people who everyone knows require labeling of pre-existing foods so they can avoid consumption leading to demonstrable injury.

    Even with vaccine rejecters, they're generally (to my recollection) not claiming the vaccines don't work at all, which is the corresponding claim on the rightwing with climate and evolution. Nobody is claiming that GMO's don't exist or are being created only naturally in the wild; not many I've heard are claiming that vaccines don't even work. The big issues I've found with science resistance on the left is product safety, adequacy of testing, and of course consumer labeling.

    As for corporate conspiracies, the biggest conspiracies we actually face are corporate based. Yes climate change denial is one, by far the biggest in terms of historic threats to humanity.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:02:09 PM PDT

    •  Gluten intolerance... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, ballerina X

      has been discredited by the very scientist that released the study saying it existed.

      http://www.businessinsider.com/...

      You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

      by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:05:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's interesting. Celiac disease still (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        djtyg, Tamar, Just Bob

        does require attention to gluten levels, though, so I suppose I'm happy that there are enough people in this category to drive treatment costs down for those who must limit their gluten intake.

        At least half the future I've been expecting hasn't gotten here yet. Sigh.... (Yes, there's gender bias in my name; no, I wasn't thinking about it when I signed up. My apologies.)

        by serendipityisabitch on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:25:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm a skeptic on gluten sensitivity, but after (6+ / 0-)

        checking on the findings of the scientist you mention, I have to  say "I don't think it means what you think it means."
        My bet, as a researcher (though my field is social science) is that researchers might find that a small percentage of people who think they are gluten sensitive really are, but that the majority are either allergic to something else (as is suggested in the Business Insider article to which you linked) or are just into the newest trendy allergy.
        In fact, the larger study by the scientist you mentions suggests just that:

        Just over 1 in 4 respondents self-reporting as NCGS fulfill criteria for its diagnosis.
        http://ncp.sagepub.com/...
        So that conclusion suggests that there is, indeed, NCGS but that it's a much smaller percentage of the population than thinks they have it.

        However, the fact that it's over-reported doesn't mean that  "gluten intolerance has been discredited." It's sort of like the old saying about paranoids -- just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that somebody isn't out to get you!

        While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

        by Tamar on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:14:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am reminded of the guy who posted a comment (0+ / 0-)

          here in one of the previous GMO diaries complaining that Bt in the wheat he ate caused him all SORTS of stomach troubles and intestinal troubles and blah blah blah yadda yadda yadda.

          There is, of course, NO Bt wheat plant currently in commercial use. Never has been.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:29:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  except I was pointing out to djtyg that it's not (0+ / 0-)

            true that gluten sensitivity has been discredited by the very scientist who first said it existed. What's true is that the claims of many of the people who report having non-Celiac gluten sensitivity are inaccurate. However, that still leaves a smaller group of people who may indeed have gluten sensitivity.
            As for the person you're talking about, I know nothing about Bt in wheat, so I really can't comment on that.

            While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

            by Tamar on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:13:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  oh, I have no problem with people reporting (0+ / 0-)

              gluten allergy or sensitivity. After all, ANY protein is a potential allergen.

              I'm simply pointing out, as an aside, that lots of people fool themselves into believing what they WANT to believe ("Bt in the wheat is making me sick!!"), even if that belief is literally impossible to be true (there IS no Bt in wheat).

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:14:22 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I agree with your overall point. I've watched (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                serendipityisabitch

                "allergies" come and go. The same is true of lactose intolerance. There are plenty of people (probably far more than have a problem with gluten) who have a problem with dairy (from cows) products. But I've seen a few studies that suggest it's nowhere near as many people who think they're allergic. And even for those who have an allergy, many have a form that would allow them to easily tolerate as much as a cup of milk a day. Some of the studies show that this mistaken belief is causing them to not have enough calcium in their diet.
                I am very sympathetic to real allergies. But I wish those people with no real symptoms who just decide that they have whatever is the trendy allergy of the day would stop selling it like an ideology.

                While Democrats work to get more people to vote, Republicans work to ensure those votes won't count.

                by Tamar on Tue May 20, 2014 at 09:20:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  as a matter of scientific fact, the genes in GMO (0+ / 0-)

      crops don't have any effect on gluten, or on any other wheat, corn or soybean protein.

      All the GMO does is make Bt, or change one plant protein to make it resistant to glyphosate.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:21:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your title is profoundly slanderous and (12+ / 0-)

    ignorant. There is no science denialism involved nor any psuedo skepticism. When you learn that science is a method, and what that method is and how it works, feel free to shoot off your mouth, but your title and first paragraph indicate that you don't have the faintest idea what the hell you are talking about.

    Please produce your magik crystal ball that predicts the future with perfect accuracy. This statement is simply lies, as has been explained many times:

    GMO's are safe, and the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of that statement. The left wing has created a political and social debate about GMO's, an expensive and scientifically ignorant debate,

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:14:05 PM PDT

    •  I am sure... (0+ / 0-)

      that the hundreds of scientific studies that declared GMOs to be safe for consumption know how to science.

      If you're going to complain about not using science, you should be mature enough to respond with nothing more than personal attacks. The scientific community is not a fan of ad-hominem.

      You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

      by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:20:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  *something more (0+ / 0-)

        You can't simultaneously fire teachers and cruise missiles!-Jon Stewart

        by djtyg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:20:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, bullshit. the diarist started off with (3+ / 0-)

        personal attacks and lies.

        Now, as to science, the fact is that science cannot possibly assure that Monsanto or Sygenta or somesuch will never make a "foodstuff" that is harmful to somebody. Science doesn't work that way, (but marketing does). You cannot make that kind of prediction about the future based on any known science.

        The truth of the matter is that the most that the honest scientists have ever reached consensus on is variations on the idea that eating GMOs (currently) is:
         

        no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.
        That happens to be light years away from "safe" as those who have grafted tomatoes onto tobacco and nightshade are ample evidence.

        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

        by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:35:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  but it is also light-centuries away from (0+ / 0-)
          The truth of the matter is that the most that the honest scientists have ever reached consensus on is variations on the idea that eating GMOs (currently) is:
          no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.
          That happens to be light years away from "safe" as those who have grafted tomatoes onto tobacco and nightshade are ample evidence.
          . . . "unsafe".

          The scientific fact remains that there have been no observed health effects attributable to the consumption of GMO foods.

          Oddly enough, there have also been no observed health effects attributable to cellphones, either.  Does that "prove" cellphones are "safe"?  Nope, it sure doesn't. But does it show they are UNSAFE?  Nope, it sure doesn't.

          So why do we insist that 20 years of no effect from cellphones is no problem, while 20 years of no effect from GMOs is "potentially dangerous?" Because we have an ideological objection to one of those things, and not to the other. Scientifically, there is absolutely no difference between the safety of GMOs and the safety of cellphones. Neither one has any measurable effect.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 08:38:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Cellphones aren't remotely like GMOs. They (0+ / 0-)

            are very standardized in many respects, while there is no possible standardization of GMOs. There is a world of difference.

             BTW, Syngenta withdrew a product from the market after being sued over cattle deaths. It now faces criminal charges for lying in court during that suit, covering up an internal study they quickly terminated when test animals died. They then published a fake study a few years later.The 20 years of no toxicity is really only 20 years of secrecy.

            People have bad and even severe reactions fo foods to which they have no previous history of allergy quite frequently. Often it is known that this is not due to a bacterial or similar problem because they get tested. These people have no way of knowing why or what was involved. Nobody else does either under the current system. IF Monsanto et. al. have nothing to hide or fear, then why the steadfast opposition to labelling.

            That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

            by enhydra lutris on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:27:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  but the arguments made by both anti's are (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              charlatan

              exactly the same--"we don't KNOWWWWWW what the longtterm effects are . . . "

              People have bad and even severe reactions fo foods to which they have no previous history of allergy quite frequently. Often it is known that this is not due to a bacterial or similar problem because they get tested. These people have no way of knowing why or what was involved. Nobody else does either under the current system.
              Alas, if we don't know, then we don't know.  "We don't know" doesn't mean "therefore we have to seriously consider every crackpot idea that someone or another comes up with".

              If GMOs are the cause of any of this, then let's see the evidence establishing that.  Until then, the evidence that flying saucers or elves causes all those ailments is just the same as the evidence that GMOs do---none.

              And once more, Sir Willy rules.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:10:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once again, no testing and secrecy, hence (0+ / 0-)

                who knows.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:19:42 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  but it has been tested (0+ / 0-)

                  Millions of people have been eating it for two decades now.

                  And there have been no demonstrated effects.

                  Sir Billy says there is no need to invoke an unestablished cause for an effect that has not been shown to actually exist.

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 07:39:58 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Nope. (0+ / 0-)

                    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                    by enhydra lutris on Tue May 20, 2014 at 08:29:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  cool----------> (0+ / 0-)

                      Then where can I see these effects? Show them to us. Show us all the sick people that are attributable to the effects of GMO.

                      :)

                      In the end, reality always wins.

                      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 08:46:20 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  You need to know that those GMO talking (0+ / 0-)

                        point sites, lists, articles and handouts are intentinally deceptive. Check your data. GMO Soybean products actually being consumed an any quantity are things like oil (no proteins, very little of the plant), lecithin (highly refined single chemical extract), etc.

                        Most importantly, the issue is trying to declare NGOs good (or bad), blondes silly (or not), surgeries safe (or not), cars safe/efficient/st6ylish, etc.  NGOs are not fungible, not remotely so, and hence no blanket statements can be made, especially about the future, about those not yet invented or marketed.

                        Also, at least one negative trial has escaped the sekrecy vault, oops.

                        That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                        by enhydra lutris on Tue May 20, 2014 at 09:24:17 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  granted all of that (0+ / 0-)

                          Nevertheless, the fact remains that nobody has ever demonstrated any effect whatsoever on anyone anywhere for any of the GMOs eaten by millions of people over the past 20 years.

                          Until someone DOES show that, there's simply nothing to "explain", and no need for any "explanation".

                          In the end, reality always wins.

                          by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 10:33:37 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

  •  Genetic modification is "believed" to be magic. (5+ / 0-)

    However, I was there for some of the Green Revolution. As a kid farmhand, working for an excellent farmer, we saw Washington State Univ. researchers seed, monitor, and harvest test fields of a soft white winter wheat that came to be named "Gaines." Triticum aestivum [scroll down to alphabet "G" to read the cultivar data]. As a much older graduate student in a widely different "field," I learned about Orville A. Vogel who developed this wheat. Then came the Green Revolution and a Nobel Prize for Norman Borlaug who clearly attributed his success to Vogel. [Scrolling further leads to alphabet "N" for the cultivar data on NuGaines].

    Vogel and Borlaug accomplished amazing genetic changes in the fundamental nature of wheat. [Other researchers developed rice strains that also changed the world.] The products developed from these organisms are common, widely consumed, and ignored by the anti-GMO folks who, consequentially, know absolutely nothing about the Green Revolution or the wheat or the rice. It's not magic. The process is difficult, hard work that takes a long time.

    People enjoy their cake, their saltine crackers, their lovely noodles, etc., and have no clue as to the source.

    There's a quick overview here.

    We're all just working for Pharaoh.

    by whl on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:16:55 PM PDT

  •  I think the problem (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    djtyg, OrganicChemist

    is that we conflate the technological and corporate problems with the science.

  •  While I know many who reflexively reject GMO, (14+ / 0-)

    most, of all political persuasions, would like to see clear labeling of GMO foods required. The choice to ingest, or not, those products would then be left to the consumer, as it should be, whatever his or her reasons.

    Non-kosher food doesn't give you cancer, but millions don't want to eat it, Their reasons  aren't scientific, but they are deeply felt.

    Even if GMOs are given a clean bill of health by the AAAS, etc. some simply don't want to eat them. They should have the opportunity to eschew if they wish. Without labeling, they don't.

    I live under the bridge to the 21st Century.

    by Crashing Vor on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:39:02 PM PDT

    •  I have no gripe with labelling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Crashing Vor

      Though, just like the much-vaunted calorie labels, I doubt anyone will actually read them anyway. (shrug)

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let the consumer choose (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PeteZerria
        I have no gripe with labelling.

        Though, just like the much-vaunted calorie labels, I doubt anyone will actually read them anyway. (shrug)

        Doubt all you like, but this is a baseless claim.

        Many of us read labels and try to make informed food choices.  The fact that in most places the GMO labeling simply doesn't exist is denying the consumers' right to do so in this regard.  Why is the food industry fighting so hard against honest labeling of their products?  It seems fairly obvious they don't honor that much vaunted free market system that allows allows products to flourish or vanish based on informed decisions made by consumers.

        As Crashing Vor said,

        Even if GMOs are given a clean bill of health by the AAAS, etc. some simply don't want to eat them. They should have the opportunity to eschew if they wish. Without labeling, they don't.
        Consumers shouldn't have to justify their reasons for their grocery choices.  If someone eschews grape jelly because they feel grapes are inherently evil (devil berries!), that's their choice.  Crazy choice?  Maybe, but the choice is theirs, nonetheless.
      •  Well talk to the people in the GMO industry (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        i saw an old tree today, Loge

        because they're virulently opposed to labelling.

        "Turns out I'm really good at killing people." - President Obama

        by jrooth on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:14:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  with all respect . . . . (0+ / 0-)

          they don't listen to me.  Why should they--I've been fighting them since I worked for Greenpeace twenty-five years ago. I  fucking hate their guts and would love nothing more than to see Monsanto execs swinging from lamp-posts.

          (shrug)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:41:08 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I'd like to be a "GMO refuser"... (7+ / 0-)

    but I can't. For some reason, I can't find any labeling on the food I buy that would allow me to refuse GMOs. And I don't have the land that it would require to produce all the calories required to sustain my life. Even if I did, I don't think I could refuse access to pollen from GMOs.

    Well, I'm sure it's all for the best. I must be too foolish and reactionary to be allowed to make my own decisions.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Mon May 19, 2014 at 05:39:53 PM PDT

    •  Yes you do (0+ / 0-)

      It's called "organic". As I type this, I'm eating a box of food prepared using organic pasta - not because I'm an anti-GMO nut, but because I happen to like the taste of the product and it doesn't come in non-organic form.

      I'm sorry that there's no label for your particular pet paranoia. There aren't any labels for anyone else's paranoia either, at least not any that are mandated by a government. Government exists to protect people, not provide them with the choice to be anti-scientific dolts.

      TX-17 (Bill Flores-R), TX Sen-14 (Kirk Watson-D), TX HD-50 (Celia Israel-D). Senate ratings map (as of 3/10/14)

      by Le Champignon on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:03:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You would have called Rachel Carson a kook too. (8+ / 0-)

    I don't really think about the health affects, if there are any, of GMOs.

    My main concern is that it's an environmental mess.

  •  What utter baloney. (10+ / 0-)

    To say that genetically modified organisms have been proven safe is the logical equivalent of saying that all quadrupeds have been proven safe on the evidence of your housecat.

    The point of genetic modification is to create new characteristics in the organism.  Would it be possible to deliberately create new characteristics that are toxic to humans?  Of course!  Would it be possible to accidentally do that? Of course!

    The non-GMO straw man at the heart of this nonsense is the claim that GMO opponents are all demanding banning of any GMO products.  Actually, GMO activists would be happy to have them labelled.  That would allow the free market to pass judgment on them.

    •  you misunderstand what GMO is (0+ / 0-)
      The point of genetic modification is to create new characteristics in the organism.  Would it be possible to deliberately create new characteristics that are toxic to humans?  Of course!  Would it be possible to accidentally do that? Of course!
      No GMO plants currently in use or currently being considered for use have ANY "new characteristics". ALL of them have simply taken an already-existing gene, that has already been around for millions of years, out of one organism and moved it into another organism. There is nothing "new". It's the same gene that has already been around since before humans even existed.

      Bt toxin, for instance, is not "new". It is produced by ordinary soil bacteria and is found in every gram of soil virtually anywhere on earth, and has been for millions of years. Indeed, Bt itself has been sprayed on crops since 1920. It works by attacking a protein found in insects that eat it--a protein that is not found in vertebrates.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:11:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You misunderstand English. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        protectspice, PeteZerria

        Putting a gene from one species into another DOES create characteristics new to the recipient. That's the whole point, duh.

        •  and you misunderstand biology (0+ / 0-)

          A gene is a gene is a gene is a gene is a gene.

          They do the same thing whatever body they're in.

          Bt in the soil is absolutely identical in every way with Bt in a corn plant. And the gene is identical too.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:42:58 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That's incorrect. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PeteZerria, Loge

            A gene that makes a plant unattractive to particular insects has a different effect in the ecosystem when it is installed in a massive corn crop, than when it is present in a stable ecosystem elsewhere.

            A gene that makes a plant retain water longer, has different results depending on the other characteristics of the plant.  In a cactus it has one set of results, in a tomato a substantially different set of results.

            Again, that is the whole damn point.

            Goodbye.

        •  ps--ANY mutation is, by definition, (0+ / 0-)

          a characteristic new to the recipient.

          And every individual human has an average of three or four new mutations.

          Duh.

          The lack of science literacy here makes my head hurt . . . . .

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:45:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  actually, I may be incorrect about this part: (0+ / 0-)
        No GMO plants currently in use or currently being considered for use have ANY "new characteristics". ALL of them have simply taken an already-existing gene, that has already been around for millions of years, out of one organism and moved it into another organism.
        This is certainly true of the Bt gene, which comes from a quite ordinary soil bacteria that has been around since before humans evolved.

        But I don't recall offhand if the Roundup-Ready gene was taken from an already-resistant weed, or if Monsanto did independently modify the existing gene that makes the protein which Roundup attacks, to remove that protein's susceptibility to glyphosate.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:55:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The left does this on many things as does the (0+ / 0-)

    right. By making anything a political issue you immediately enlist the aid and support of anyone who is ultra partisan. In the end it leaves you no wiggle room if you are wrong and it often destroys any room for a meeting of the minds, one can't compromise with the devil.

    When I read or hear rhetoric being used to make a scientific argument my alarm bells ring loudly.

    “Conservation… is a positive exercise of skill and insight, not merely a negative exercise of abstinence and caution…” Aldo Leopold

    by ban nock on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:09:35 PM PDT

    •  wait till the ideologues discover that their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ban nock, OrganicChemist

      neighborhood pet store probably has genetically-modified fish (with a gene from a jellyfish inserted into its DNA to make it glow).

      I suppose Monsanto conspires with the pet stores, too . . . .

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:33:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I have some of those... (0+ / 0-)

        They sure are purty!!! Glowing zebra danios.

        •  me, I think they are ugly as hell :) (0+ / 0-)

          But then, I've never liked any "artificial" color morph of any animal--I've kept well over 100 different species of herp in my years (including venomous), and I've never liked any of the various "morphs" that have been bred for things like corn snakes, retic pythons, boas, etc. I've always though Mother Nature does quite a good enough job of making attractive animals.  ;)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 04:51:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  So why doesn't Monsanto want labeling laws? (8+ / 0-)

    Why don't they want transparency?

    Why are they like Big Oil, hiding the chemicals used in fracking?

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon May 19, 2014 at 06:53:19 PM PDT

    •  the same reason companies didn't want ingredients (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, duhban, Pale Jenova

      labeling.  And then didn't want calorie labeling. McDonald's fought like a son of a bitch to avoid having to put calorie labels on its menus.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:27:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not teach alternatives to evolution in public (0+ / 0-)

      Schools? What are these evolutionists scared about?

      Everyone is free to label their for as GMO free or organic, or whatever. No company should be forced to label their food as GMO since GMOs are not harmful for human consumption.
      It would only unfairly prejudice those manufacturers.

      I have been eating GMOs since early age and will happily continue to do so until old age.
      Genes are just computer code. Who cares how it's manipulated. Fearing this is as dumb as someone fearing Windows XP because they maybe used some lines of code from Adobe to fix issues or improve something.
      It's f.....g code, it's all it is.

    •  In most cases I would have no problem... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      serendipityisabitch, duhban

      with labeling. I read labels all the time and am happy that I can see fat content, calories and sugar content in the foods I consider for purchase. In general, I would have no problem with GMO labeling. However, because this has become so political and issue oriented, I'm quite afraid it would transcend just those wishing to avoid GMO products for themselves or their families. Because there is such a hatred of Monsanto and the science itself, I would truly be afraid that we would soon see picketing, boycotts and other economic and political pressures placed on stores and restaurants that offered any GMO products. We would see purity campaigns that would demand retailers certify that they did not sell or condone the sale of any GMO item. Those that choose to not go along would receive the usual pariah labeling and be faced with economic and perhaps physical consequences. That I cannot support and for that reason, I think I would be against labeling at this time.

      •  I think you raise a quite valid point (5+ / 0-)
        Because there is such a hatred of Monsanto and the science itself, I would truly be afraid that we would soon see picketing, boycotts and other economic and political pressures placed on stores and restaurants that offered any GMO products.
        We can already see that pack mentality here at DKos, in which anyone who even points out that a particular anti-GMO argument is factually incorrect, gets immediately branded as part of the "Monsanto corporate conspiracy blah blah blah". The whole emotional/tribal "us vs them" dynamic is thick and heavy here--just as it is with the Goppers and global warming.

        But then I suspect that will happen anyway, whether GMOs are labelled or not.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:31:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Perhaps you're arguing the wrong point. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wayoutinthestix, claude

    Perhaps it isn't the genes in the GMO foods we should worry about. Perhaps it's the residual glyphosate or the concept of corporate ownership of life.

    I really would be bummed out if I got breast cancer.

    Just a thought.

    I'm a Vietnam Era vet. I'm also an Erma Bombeck Era vet. When cussing me out and calling me names please indicate which vet you would like to respond to your world changing thoughts.

    by Just Bob on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:29:26 PM PDT

    •  I absolutely agree with you (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      claude, adocarbog, charlatan, Sura 109
      Perhaps it's the residual glyphosate
      Although if that is the problem, then banning GMOs won't help, since glyphosate is sprayed on non-GMOs too.
      or the concept of corporate ownership of life.
      My gripe with GMOs is social, economic and political. Monsanto uses GMOs to bludgeon competition and to establish a vertical monopoly that dominates the entire food industry and locks the entire agrarian economy into a feudal relationship to it. And NOBODY should have any right at all to patent a natural product for private profit.

      BUT

      Most of the "scientific arguments" I hear from our fringers here are, quite simply, nonsense that wouldn't fool a first-year genetics student. All it does is make us ALL look like uneducated simpletons who don't know what we're talking about, and hands Monsanto another weapon to club us over the head with. Too many of us have let our anti-corporate ideologies run away with our brains.

      There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Monsanto and the way it uses GMOs. We don't need to make stupid shit up.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 07:47:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  While I agree that anti-GMO hysteria (0+ / 0-)

    is misplaced and not based on a rational understanding of the science, I do think the left's original sin that is putting the planet in danger is the hysterical anti-nuke stance that goes back decades.

    'Putting the planet in danger' is not hyperbole.  Coal-fired plants are spewing carbon and other nasty stuff into the atmosphere and directly causing climate change.  Coal mining and associated industry is destroying the environment wherever it occurs.  The dangers of coal vs. nuclear are orders of magnitude apart. Again, all of this stems from a misunderstanding of basic science and inability to properly assess risk, which has led to bad public policy (I am aware that nuclear power vs. coal-fired power generation is not a binary choice; however, in the real world, it's the coal-fired plants that got built, and cleaner alternatives have languished).

    190 milliseconds....

    by Kingsmeg on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:02:43 PM PDT

    •  well, that is a discussion for another diary (0+ / 0-)

      But as someone who has been anti-nuke since the 1970's, I can only point out that I wish the left had been strong enough to stop nukes.  Alas, we were not. It was simple economics that killed nukes, not us. Even today, nukes simply cannot compete economically. When Duke Energy recently cancelled its two new planned nukes in Florida, it wasn't because the hippie tree-huggers were chaining themselves to the fences, or because a team of a thousand lawyers was suing the shit out of them, or because we passed a blizzard of new laws and restrictions on the nuclear industry, or even because there were angry letters ot the editor--->there were none of those things.  Duke killed the plants for a reason that was crashingly simple---their cost had tripled in just ten years, and they hadn't even stuck a shovel into the ground yet.

      So if you want to bitch at the people who killed nukes (and are still killing them today), then you need to have a chat with the electric companies.  They're the ones not buying them.  (shrug)

      PS--nuclear plants have NO lower carbon footprint than renewables do.  They simply are not the magic bullet against global warming that you seem to think they are.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:23:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      It's your denial of a simple rights to know choice is YOUR wash.
        I'm 63. 44 years ago I started eating yogurt. "Oh, that's not healthy, that's European food."
       I.e. Business in a WORLD economy.

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Mon May 19, 2014 at 09:44:16 PM PDT

  •  Wonderful diary (0+ / 0-)

    Too bad it's not on the rec list.
    Deserves it for sure.

  •  "Better living through chemistry" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pigpaste

    is a corporate slogan that lies on the dust heap of advertising history along with "Ready Kilowatt".

    The truth is that our entire agriculture belongs to corporate control with an eye only to profits. Monsanto et al don't want to "feed the world"; they want to sell lots of chemicals.

    The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report Wake Up Before It's Too Late warns against our reliance on the agrochemical industry to the detriment of our soil, water and human communities in the face of climate change.

    The Trade and Environment Report recommends a rapid and significant shift away from “conventional, monoculture-based… industrial production” of food that depends heavily on external inputs such as fertilizer, agro-chemicals and concentrate feed. It says the goal should instead be “mosaics of sustainable regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers and foster rural development.”
    We are once again ignoring the soil itself, which does not prosper with chemicals, and which is the only thing that has ever mattered in agriculture. My parents lived through the Dust Bowl days and remember.

    Local communities are seeing this and reacting by using local ordinances to ban the cultivation of GMOs which contaminate not just organic crops but conventional crops. The global market for GMOs is rapidly shrinking as other nations refuse to buy it. Oregon found that out during our GMO wheat contamination.

    Comparing the wealth of science underpinning Evolution with Monsanto science "proving" their products are safe is non-scientific. Positing that GMOs have done no harm because we have been unknowingly eating it for years is drastically non-scientific. Despite the blockade against competing science, there are studies that raise doubts about its safety and--more to the point--the advisability of pursuing this corporate agrochemical system.

    Painting those who oppose the Biotech profit-mongers as akin to climate deniers is their number one corporate strategy.

    I never thought I would see the day where corporations could force the American people to consume their products against their own will. Unless you think that is not true, look at all the money behind opposition to labeling bills. It is nothing less than flagrant violation of our human rights by corporationswhich enjoy their special rights.

    We have it within our power to make the world over again ~ Thomas Paine

    by occupystephanie on Mon May 19, 2014 at 10:01:23 PM PDT

  •  Another diary typical of industry hogwash. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not accusing the diarist of being a shill, but the diarist's argument is scientistic, rather than scientific, insisting as it does that scientific analysis is the only criterion worthy of attention in this debate, when in fact it's a debate that also concerns other values, values whose airing is not in the interest of corporations. The insistence on the exclusion of other values is a common industry ploy.

    •  indeed the actual debate is not about "science" (0+ / 0-)

      because none of the arguments are actually scientific.  They all boil down, in one way or another, to "I hate Monsanto".  (And I got no problem with that--I hate Monsanto too.)

      But when it comes to certain specific claims---"GMOs cause cancer!! GMOs kill caterpillars!!!") science IS the only way to answer those questions. And the science is clear----GMOs do neither of those things.

      My objections to GMOs and Monsanto are all political, economic and social. My objections here are to those "scientific arguments" presented by the fringe element of the anti-GMOers which are, quite simply, wrong. Incorrect. Untrue. False. Demonstrably so.

      When we make arguments that are wrong, then we fall into the Gopper game of assuming things are true simply because we ideologically WANT them to be true. It's a game we should not play. And presenting arguments that are simply wrong, does not help us in any way. It simply makes us look like uneducated dolts who flunked fourth grade science, and hands Monsanto a big fat club to beat us ALL over the head with. So we shouldn't do it.

      There are plenty of good reasons to oppose Monsanto and its use of GMOs.  We don't need to make stupid shit up.

       

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:26:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are problems with the diarist's thesis: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, RiveroftheWest

    1.) The most glaring difficulty is that GMO is a set of technologies, not a single item. So, even if current genetic modifications are entirely benign, it doesn't follow that future modifications will be.
    2.) Although the current modifications may be safe to eat, they do have repercussions in the environment. There are two major mods out there right now. One makes the crops "Roundup ready," IOW tolerant to a certain brand of herbicide. So, the GMO crops can be drenched with weed killer, to the detriment of all other plants in the application area, including the neighbor's crops.
       The monarch butterfly, already facing challenges to its migratory patterns, are facing starvation and possible extinction because of the destruction of the milkweeds that they need for survival. Milkweeds are a collateral casualty of herbicide application.
       Finally, of course, some weed species are developing resistance to the herbicide.
       The other modification is the insertion of a gene from the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis (BT) into the food crop so that it will produce a toxin that kills insects. While this has not been shown to be directly harmful to humans, it is harmful to beneficial pollinators. Worse, some crop pests are already developing BT resistance.
       Which is bad news, because organic farmers have been using topical application of the bacillus thuringiensis as a natural pesticide. The widespread use of BT crops may make organic farming unfeasible.
    3.) There is the problem of genetic drift. Pollen from GMO crops drifts into neighboring fields and contaminates crops - again wrecking the organic farm.  This has helped destroy native maize varieties in Mexico. In the US, the victim farm bears the cost of this contamination. The USDA is trying to force organic farms to buy insurance against contamination of their crops by their GMO neighbors.
       Okay, so people have the choice not to buy GMO food, right? No. That's exactly what the corporations want to avoid. They do not want to be compelled to label GMO products. So the industry is waging a fierce campaign to block any labeling legislation.
       Their current meme - that being opposed to genetically modified food is science denial - is ludicrous on its face.
    There are good reasons to want labeling of genetically modified organisms, the most salient being the right to know what's in your food.
       The association of opposition to GMO with climate science denial, creationism, or anti-vax is scurrilous propaganda by a monopoly industry.

    •  thank you for getting this part correct: (0+ / 0-)
        The monarch butterfly, already facing challenges to its migratory patterns, are facing starvation and possible extinction because of the destruction of the milkweeds that they need for survival. Milkweeds are a collateral casualty of herbicide application.
      Too many of the fringers in the anti-GMO movement parrot the incorrect argument that "the butterflies are dying because they eat GMO pollen!!!" That argument is simply not true.  False.  Incorrect. Wrong. It is indeed the herbicides that are killing the milkweeds, as collateral damage.

      And of course it should also be noted that the very same herbicide is also sprayed on non-GMO crops, where it produces the very same environmental effects--including killing the very same milkweed plants.

       The other modification is the insertion of a gene from the bacteria bacillus thuringiensis (BT) into the food crop so that it will produce a toxin that kills insects. While this has not been shown to be directly harmful to humans, it is harmful to beneficial pollinators. Worse, some crop pests are already developing BT resistance.
      Two things should be noted here. Bt only kills insects that eat the plant. It does not kill insects that don't eat the plant--it is not a contact poison. Bt therefore kills FEWER beneficial insects than ordinary chemical pesticides do, since chemical pesticides kill ANY insect that touches the toxin, whether it eats the plant or not.

      As for Bt resistance, that problem was already occurring before GMOs were even invented--Bt has been sprayed on crops for almost 100 years now, since 1920, and resistant insects were already appearing. The development of resistance is a process that alas happens with any pesticide, whether GMO is involved or not--it is pure and simple evolution, and it cannot be stopped.  Ever.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 05:55:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ps--you may want to keep pointing this out: (0+ / 0-)
      While this has not been shown to be directly harmful to humans
      to the fringers in the anti-GMO movement. They seem instead to argue that GMOs will kill us all oh noez, despite no evidence whatever that it has been harmful to anyone anywhere at any time in any way. The fringers seem to simply assume it is true because they ideologically WANT it to be true. And that leads straight to Gopperland.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:21:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  One can be anti this particular GMO (0+ / 0-)

    and anti Monsanto controlling the food supply without being anti-GMO in toto.

    Bello ne credite, Americani; quidquid id est, timeo Republicanos et securitatem ferentes.

    by Sura 109 on Tue May 20, 2014 at 06:44:10 AM PDT

  •  I am frightened of the GMO business model (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    serendipityisabitch

    I am not afraid of GM food itself, which the science says is safe and of a more predictable nature than food derived from selective breeding. You only have to look at dog breeds to see what kinds of freakish abominations are already possible via traditional methods.

    Too much GMO criticism comes from the same thoughtless bioconservativism that drives anti-vaxxers and homeopaths.

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