Faces behind the GMO labeling offensive

| | August 29, 2014

Organic activists claim 92 percent of consumers want genetically modified organisms (GMOs) labeled. It turns out the overwhelming majority of consumers support the status quo when you don’t ask a misleading question like, “Do want toxic pesticides genetically spliced into your food?”

But still, activists insist that proponents of modern, science-based farming surrender and “Give consumers what they want!” Biotechnology long ago gave consumers exactly what they wanted. After synthetic human insulin was genetically engineered to replace insulin from slaughtered pigs for people afflicted with diabetes, this field of science gave farmers the means to grow more food on less land with less fuel. And the overwhelming majority of farmers adopted GMO crops in every nation where they are not banned for political reasons.

But never mind the people who grow our food. Urban-based organic activists wanted GMOs banned! Realizing this was impossible at the time, a professional organic activist named Jeremy Rifkin founded The Pure Food Campaign to instead demand the labeling of genetically modified foods. But with scant support from organic farmers and consumers, he succeeded only in excluding GMOs from America’s National Organic Program.

Related article:  Genetic Literacy Project’s Top 6 Stories for the Week - May 15, 2017

With creative tax-sheltering, Rifkin’s movement morphed into The Organic Consumers Association, a group which today has even less to do with organic farmers than Rifkin’s group did. The director of the OCA, Ronnie Cummins, freely admits that labeling GMOs is not meant to provide consumers with free-market choice as so many claim, but rather to drive genetically engineered crops off the market, which was Rifkin’s goal as well.

Read full original articleRemind me again: Who wants GMO labeling?

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.

1,236 thoughts on “Faces behind the GMO labeling offensive”

      • Actually, debate is not especially my thing, right now. Sure, I’ll talk some online. But not much tonight. But you must know that many well-informed people have serious reservations about the use of GMO’s, currently?

        • Yes, of course I’m aware that many well-informed people have serious reservations about GMO’s; which is precisely why we should debate the issue.
          But not here. We should debate in print ,on radio, TV, or on Skype. If you’re interested, let me know.

          • It seems to me that debating here is in print, which is what I would like to do–here. I will start with a quote from your paper, “Remind Me Again, Who Wants GMO Labeling?”–“According to both science and the law, GMOs cannot contaminate an organic crop.” I’m talking common sense. If pollen from genetically modified plants gets into an organic crop, by wind, insects, or other means, and participates in reproduction, and the organic farmer saves seed, their next oganic crop has been contaminated by a GMO. I do not mean legally. I mean in reality–in fact. This is no small issue. Through this means, genes from some virus or any living thing could become abundant in our food supply, where they did not formerly exist. Some of those genes could well have hugely deleterious effects. Can you deny this possibility? How?

          • You’ve hit upon the single most important distinction when it comes to the question of GMO “contamination” of an organic crop. But, as you’ll see, it’s very difficult debating this within the limitations of a comments section.

            So, here we go:

            Only an organic SEED crop can be contaminated by GMOs. This is because under America’s standards, an organic farmer cannot knowingly plant a crop that contains GMOs.
            However, as with all seed production, it is the seed grower’s responsibility to keep his seed stock distinct and pure, not only from cross-pollination with a GMO crop, but from cross-pollination with ANY type of crop that could pollinate his seed crop and undermine its genetic integrity. Cross-pollination between broccoli and canola, both of which are in the brassica family, is a case in point.
            It is always the seed grower’s responsibility to keep his seed genetically pure; not his neighbor’s.
            Organic food crops meanwhile cannot be contaminated by GMOs. It is – under current law AND science – impossible because the food crop is not being saved for seed, and no known effect occurs when it is consumed by humans or animals.

          • First, you acknowledge that your statement that I quoted was not true (At least, implicitly you acknowledge this). Good. Second–it is the organic farmers responsibility to keep their seed pure–but by introducing unnatural genes into the pool of possible contaminants, genes which may have a quite substantial negative impact on consumers of the plant, the GMO farmer is doing real damage to the organic farmer–in an entirely unjust manner.

            Now, about organic food crops. What about when the seed of the plant is either the only harvested food part or is a component of the harvested food part? In those cases, that food may be contaminated, through pollination, by GMO’s. Is this not true?

            As for your statement, ” no known effect occurs when it is consumed by humans or animals”. that is wishful thinking, and untrue. Just in the few years since GMO’s have been around, numerous scientific studies have shown there to be many serious negative effects from growing GMO’s–effects in the lab, in animals, and in people. (This includes negative effects of the increased use of round-up and the increased ingestion of Bt, common results of the use of GMO’s.) See GMOevidence.com.

            Give it a few or several more years, and there will be many more studies demonstrating serious negative effects from GMO’s.

            Ever hear of the precautionary principle? It is well recognized in Europe. “When an activity raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically.”

            Many of us who have studied ecology, organic agriculture, chemistry, biology, the environmental movement, the history of science, pollution, the history of exploitation, etc. could clearly see the danger inherent in genetic engineering as soon as it was mentioned.

            That danger has been well established, now, to people who read the literature–but many people do not.

            Humankind will eventually learn–but how much irrevocable damage will have been done, before then?

          • There are no such thing as “unnatural genes” or “foreign genes.” Hate to break it to you but you carry genes from marigolds and dinosaurs and turkeys and birds and apes. They just express themselves differently from species to species. Genes are just genes. There is less “danger” in changing one or two targeted genes then in conventional breeding, which is untested or in mutagenesis, which has led to the creation of such things as organic ruby red grapefruits and the world’s best Italian wheat for pasta. (there are no real dangers in the above examples either, but comparatively there are more.) GMOevidence is a propaganda site, not a science site. The “precautionary principle”as you outlined it is not used by the science community, even in Europe, as it is ideology, not science. If it was used, we would ban all organic crops today, as they are inherently dangerous and their safety cannot be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt. You would not fly in planes or drive in cars…they would be banned because of their danger. You can post all you want but the scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs (and the fact that they are more sustainable than organic products) is more established among independent scientific organizations that the consensus on evolution, climate change or the safety of vaccines.

          • Great response Jon.
            Notice where Michael refers to these “unnatural” genes, and says they “may have a quite substantial negative impact on consumers of the plant.” Well when exactly? After another 30 years of study? Maybe 50? As of today, there is still no known negative impact from GMOs. Except of course if you count higher yields, which some organic activists do.

          • The idea that “as of today, there is still no known negative impact from GMOs” is nonsense. Do you read relevant articles? I will site 11–

            Health Risks of Genetically Modified Foods (Review article), — ARTEMIS DONA1 and IOANNIS S. ARVANITOYANNIS in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 49:164–175 (2009).

            A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health Joël Spiroux de Vendômois, François Roullier, […], and Gilles-Eric Séralini in International Journal of Biological Sciences. (2009)

            Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Occupational Exposure to Agricultural Pesticide Chemical Groups and Active Ingredients: a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis J. Schinasi and M. Leon in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. (2014)

            Detection of Glyphosate in Malformed Piglets– Monika Krüger1, Wieland Schrödl1, Ib Pedersen2 and Awad A Shehata in Environmental & Analytical Toxicology. (2014)

            Glyphosate induces human breast cancer cells growth via estrogen receptors Thongprakaisang S, Thiantanawat A, Rangkadilok N, Suriyo T, Satayavivad J. in Food and Chemical Toxicology (2013)

            GMO Myths and Truths: An evidence-based examination of GMO claims from Earthopensource.org (2014)

            Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize
            Gilles-Eric Seralini1*, Emilie Clair1, Robin Mesnage1, Steeve Gress1, Nicolas Defarge1, Manuela Malatesta2, Didier Hennequin3 and Joël Spiroux de Vendômois in Environmental Sciences Europe (2014)

          • Here are four more studies, making eleven–

            Answers to critics: Why there is a long term toxicity due to a Roundup- tolerant genetically modified maize and to a Roundup herbicide Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Nicolas Defarge, Steeve Gress, Didier Hennequin, Emilie Clair, Manuela Malatesta, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois in Food and Chemical Toxicology (2013)

            Adverse effects of field-realistic doses of glyphosate on honeybee appetitive behaviour have been observed Lucila H Herbert, Diego E Vazquez, Andres Arenas, Walter M Farina in The Journal of Experimental Biology (2014)

            Complete genes may pass from food to human blood. Spisák, S., Solymosi, N., Ittzés, P., Bodor, A., Kondor, D., Vattay, G., … Csabai, I in PloS one (2013)

            Ban GMOs Now–Health and Environmental Hazards by Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) (2013)

          • I am going to repeat a comment that is contained in a larger comment above–because it is extremelyy important. One of you absolutely must address these studies (the 11 studies I cite above), and show them all to be totally discountable, or at least substantially discountable, for some very good reason(s), or else it is quite clear that GMO’s need much more testing, and should be withdrawn from market pending favorable outcomes of such tests.

          • I am going to repeat a comment that is contained in a larger comment above–because it is extremely important. One of you absolutely must address these studies (the 11 studies I cite above), and show them all to be totally discountable, or at least substantially discountable, for some very good reason(s), or else it is quite clear that GMO’s need much more testing, and should be withdrawn from market pending favorable outcomes of such tests.

          • Not one of those studies is from a mainstream peer reviewed journal showing serious potential dangers to health. But let’s assume all 11 were. That would make them, without hundreds of other supporting studies, of little meaning. Science is not about individual studies. Science is about testing hypotheses and then replicating the data. The conclusions of not one of those (lousy) studies has been replicated–NOT ONE. Which means they are useless as of now. We have more than two thousand studies showing GMOs are harmless and 6 trillion or so meals without any evidence of human harm and about 50 trillion meals with animals with no evidence of any increased incidences of any harm. So…science wins. Come back to me when there are multiple studies by independent scientists reinforcing a health danger. As of now? None.

          • Eight of the ten publications are peer reviewed–with the exceptions of Earthopensource.org and Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), according to my info. Why do you say that they are not?
            Assuming that they are, you are far wide of truth in saying, “That would make them, without hundreds of other suporting studies, of little meaning.” This is preposterous. At the minimum, it suggests that more and better studies are urgently needed. And it makes the idea that scientific studies have to date found no problems with GMO’s utterly false.

            Most of those studies supposedly showing the safety of GMO’s were extremely short term, and very many of them were carried out by people who have monetary interest in having GMO’s approved and widely used.

            The point that there have been some 6 trillion GMO meals without any evidence of human harm innacurate. It is much more true to say that not much evidence of harm has been noticed. But that is natural–epidemiological studies have not been done.

            There are multiple studies by independent scientists showing a clear health danger. Scientifically.

            When will people open their minds, and see this?

          • Do you have to have studies to show you that there could well be a problem, doing this? Many of us, when we look as the idea of putting any gene from any living thing into our food plants, can see that doing that is likely to cause problems–and that therefor it only makes sense to be extremely cautious before doing such a thing. If you scientists think that you have to have ironclad evidence that harm is being caused before putting a stop to an activity, I think that you are being like little children, morally. You are behaving in a spiritually bankrupt way.

          • I have just read the document, “A decade of EU-funded GMO research, 2001-2010.” Now there we have some responsible study of this issue. It puts to SHAME the notion, promulgated by the American Justice System–though I’ll bet conceived by the GM industry–that GMO crops are “substantially equivalent” to conventional crops, and hence need no further testing. The study finds no evidence of harm caused by GMO’s, but it does this in a context where rigorous scientific studies of the impact of GMO’s on various aspects of the environment are ongoing, and the labelling of Genetically Modified Organisms IS required. Were America to adopt an approach much much closer to the European approach, it would be a massive step forward for this hyper-rich (but only partly–the ruling part), undemocratic, plutocratic, very bloody bully of a country. And that is what I would like. You see, I do not have a problem with GM technology, if it is properly implemented. I have a big problem with it being shoved down the consumer’s throat.

          • This peer-reviewed standard is utterly inadequate–ill-defined–inconsistantly used–based on phoney beliefs–abused–no fair determiner of truth.

          • “Not one of those studies is from a mainstream peer reviewed journal showing serious potential dangers to health.”–FALSE.

          • Meticulously conducted scientific studies, published in leading, peer reviewed journals, which clearly find that GMO’s have multiple very serious problems, can not be dismissed with a speculation. Your statement,”as of today, there is still no known negative impact from GMOs” has been clearly, scientifically demonstrated to be false. Since the entire rational for using GMO’s depends on there being no, or limited, “negative impact from GMOs,” but in fact they have been rigorously shown to have multiple, serious negative impacts, it clearly does not make sense to continue the unfortunate experiment that we have been conducting, which has turned most people on Earth, willing or not, into experimental subjects.

            It only makes sense to withdraw the use of GMO’s, pending considerable attempts to understand genes and possibly their manipulation, through multiple rounds of experiments and theorizing.

            I will reiterate, because many people have proven themselves to have extreme resistance to the humble idea that we must study GMO’s much more before we possibly use them on a large scale. And because many people have demonstrated that they will do anything, even seriously degrade the health of millions, yea billions of people, if by so doing they can corral huge amounts of money and power for themselves.

            Genetic Modification technology is a vastly radical technology. It introduces the large scale transfer of genes from one organism to another. (With the exception bacteria to another bacteria–this occurs naturally.) It makes changes in the bodies of living things that are arguably much deeper and more subtle than anything humankind has ever done.

            Is doing this, moving genes from one organism to another, safe? It only makes sense to do this thing if doing it is not going to have large or huge or astronomical negative effects.

            At this early stage in the scientific study of GMO’s, it has already been proven that they have serious negative impacts. It is irresponsible to the highest degree possible to continue using them, exposing literally many millions of people, maybe billions of people, to a range of deleterious effects that no person should wish on their worst enemy.

            The following negative impacts of GMO’s on human health are just some of those that have been found in rigorous scientific studies, among many others–inflammation, diarrhea, killing beneficial gut bacteria, alterations in the liver, chronic kidney deficiency, hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects, liver congestion, liver necrosis, toxicity to liver and kidneys, stomach erosion and necrosis, DNA damage, general toxicity to cells, sex hormones modified, non-hodgkins lymphoma(blood cancer), human breast cancer, miscarriage, spontaneous abortion, birth defects, endochrine disruption, autism, neurotoxicity, death. (This list includes health problems caused by the herbicide glyphosate, whose use has been massively increased by the use of crops Genetically Modified to be resistant to Round Up (glyphosate). About 4/5 of the Genetically Modified crops used are crops that have been Modified to resist Round-up (which is made by Monsanto–the largest creator and seller of Genetically Modified Organisms in the world).

          • Look, if because of your genetic engineering, my food crop is exposed to genes, maybe originally from some sea mollusk, that it wouldn’t normally or otherwise be exposed to, I am justified in calling them unnatural genes–they would not be in that environment, at that time, if not for your genetic engineering. I am not saying that the gene itself is inherently unnatural–I am saying that gene at that time and place, in that plant, is unnatural. If a gene is found in a plant due to human intervention, it is, by a common meaning of the word, an unnatural gene–used to describe something that does not happen or exist by itself without being controlled or changed by someone.

            You say, “There is less “danger” in changing one or two targeted genes (as in GMO’s) than in conventional breeding.” That certainly is unfounded speculation. Do you know of widely used conventional varieties that have been shown to have harmful qualities? I do not. However, the studies I list above show many serious health effects of GMO’s.

            You say, “GMOevidence” is a propaganda site, not a science site.” They cite many scientific articles that I found on the web in other places, sourced both from them and from others. You do not like their take on things, but they do share much good science.

            The “precautionary principle” is the law in Europe. It has been invoked by the U.N. General Assembly, and in international treaties. If the scientific community does not use it, even in influencing public policy and action, this is not because of their advanced understanding of reality and truth–it is because, as a community, they have large deficits in humility, carefulness, and in the extent to which they are in reality and intent supportive-of-life.

            You badly misunderstand the precautionary principle. The idea that, if we used the precautionary principle, “we would ban all organic crops today, as they are inherently dangerous and their safety cannot be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt” is insane. Humankind has relied on Organic Agriculture for over ten thousand years. “Their safety cannot be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt” is certainly not part of the precautionary principle.

            As for the so-called scientific consensus on the safety of GMO’s, when you mean the GMO’s that are used today, hogwash. The paper before me, “No Scientific Consensus on GMO Safety as of 30 October 2013”, was signed by 296 people, all PhD’s or MD’s with a few DVM’s and JD’s thrown in, most in relevant, very relevant, or extremely relevant fields. Then, there are the several studies I cite above, which show that however much there is a consensus that GMO’s are safe, it is mistaken.

            One of you absolutely must address these studies, and show them all to be substantially discountable for some good reason(s), or else it is quite clear that GMO’s need much more testing, and should be withdrawn from market pending favorable outcomes of these tests.

          • Hate to tell you about you have sea mollusk genes inside you already. DNA is DNA.

            Changing one or two genes is less dangerous than changing hundreds or thousands of genes through conventional breeding or mutagenesis. That’s not not speculation but scientific fact. (Neither is really dangerous though)

            GMOEvidence is a propaganda site. The fact that it might link to a science study does not make it a science site. Get back to me when you can link to the National Academy of Sciences or the American Academy for the Advancement of Science or the European Commission or the European Food Safety Authority or the World Health Organization—real science organizations–all of which have publicly concluded that GMOs are as safer OR SAFER (and more sustainable) than conventional/organic agriculture: https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/08/27/glp-infographic-international-science-organizations-on-crop-biotechnology-safety/

            You are wrong about the precautionary principle. First, it is a guide not a mandate of how or when to act. Specifically, according to the EU: “the precautionary principle may be invoked when a phenomenon, product or process may have a dangerous effect, identified by a scientific and objective evaluation, if this evaluation does not allow the risk to be determined with sufficient certainty.” There is no evidence that GMOs have a dangerous effect, which is why the European Food Safety Authority and the European Commission have endorsed the safety of GMO crops…so it’s irrelevant in this case anyway.

            The fact that 296 people–not one a distinguished mainstream geneticist–has said they contest the ‘consensus” on GMOs does not make it so, anymore than the fact that 30,000 scientists contest the consensus on global warming and tens of thousands of scientists do not believe in evolution.

            There are no mainstream studies in a peer reviewed independent (not pay for play/open source) journal that documents any human related dangers from GMOs.

          • You need to take some courses in genetics, biochemistry and plant breeding. Did you know that there are some 6000 genes that are NOT found in all corn lines. So, breeders have been adding (unknowingly until recently) and subtracting unknown genes since the beginning of corn breeding. Also, there are systems termed transposable elements that are actually synthesizing new genes in plants. (Would you call these natural or unnatural?) This is going on all the time. So, take some courses bud. It will do you good.

          • “Did you know that there are some 6000 genes that are NOT found in all corn lines”–uninterpretable statement. “Also, there are systems termed transposable elements that are actually synthesizing new genes in plants. (Would you call these natural or unnatural?)”–if that process happens in nature, without human input, it is natural. /////// I would say that the debate about the use, regulation, and testing of GMO’s very much needs the input of other fields and concerns–like ecology, agroecology, environmental science, chemical pollution, history, plutocracy, capitalism, propaganda, and ethics. Without a good understanding of ecology, when people strongly influence the natural world, like through the use of GM technology, they are bound to have large negative or extremely negative effects.

          • Did you also know that some plants naturally produce cyanide? That is the stuff that we used to use to kill people. So natural is not necessarily safe. You really need to get a grip on biology before you go around talking about things you don’t understand. I assume you grow organic produce.

          • Were those plants that contain cyanide ever sold as vegtables? Or grains? Many GMO’s tthat have been shown to have serious deleterious effects, by numerous scientific studies, are being sold to eat. Yuck!

            Ssre, I would like to know more biology. But you “biology experts” say some ridiculous stuff. Like ” If it (the precautionary principle) was used, we would ban all organic crops today, as they are inherently dangerous and their safety cannot be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt”. Looney tunes. Or, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs.” Give me a break. Or, “The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops.” Blahoney. See Seralini–studies, criticisms, defenses, criticisms of the critics, etc. This is far from clear–but Seralini’s studies, and many others, make the idea that science has not detected multiple health issues with GMO’s highly questionable, and likely false.

            I used to grow organic vegtables. Not now.

          • You raise a number of points. First, you asked if cyanide producing plants
            have ever been sold? Answer: everyday.

            Likely the most famous one is cassava. This is the starch source in many countries,
            including lots of African countries and Brazil. Cassava has to be soaked in water or boiled to rid the edible portion of the toxin. This goes on today. Potatoes produce cyanide as well. If you want to read up on this, there is a very large literature (for example: Ames BN, Profet M, Gold LS (1990) Dietary
            pesticides (99.99% all natural). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 87: 7777–7781. Morant
            AV, Jørgensen K, Jørgensen C, Paquette SM, Sánchez-Pérez R, Møller BL, Bak S
            (2008) b-Glucosidases as detonators of plant chemical defense. Phytochemistry
            69: 1795–1813. Seligman PJ, Mathias CGT, O’Malley MA, Beier RC, Fehrs LJ,
            Serrill WS, Halperin WE (1987) Phytophotodermatitis from celery among grocery store workers. Arch Dermatol 123: 1478–1482. Rymal KS, Chambliss OL, Bond MD,Smith DA (1984) Squash containing toxic cucurbitacin compounds occurring in
            California and Alabama. J Food Prot 47: 270–271. Rymal KS, Chambliss OL, Bond
            MD, Smith DA (1984) Squash containing toxic cucurbitacin compounds occurring in
            California and Alabama. J Food Prot 47: 270–271D’Mello JPF, Duffus CM, Duffus
            JH (1991) Toxic Substances in Crop Plants. Royal Society of Chemistry,
            Cambridge, UK

            I will come back to the middle points if you want to discuss them, but let me skip to
            the Seralini paper. As you know, the paper was published, retracted and then published again. The criticism of this paper is that the rats used were genetically selected to develop tumors, rats fed the non-GMO diet also developed tumors and the rate of tumor production between the test and the
            control groups was not statistically significant. Rather than debate the
            validity of these studies, assume Seralini et al were right. If so, farm animals in this country would have exhibited high rates of tumors, premature death, etc when GMO came on the market in 1996. Monsanto would have gone bankrupt from all the law suits, the USDA, EPA and FDA would have undergone extensive investigations and the rules for deregulation would have been
            massively rewritten. None of that happened!! GMO feeds for farm animals have been around for a long time and rates of tumors in farm animals haven’t
            changed!! . I can only conclude that the
            claims of Serelini et al are without merit.
            There is no credible study showing a health effect of GMOs but there are nearly 2000
            studies that went looking for a problem but did not find it.

          • OK so cassava people have learned how to deal with. We have not learned how to deal with GMO’s. No one has.

          • GMOs have been around since 1996. The main stream farmers not only have learned how to deal with them but also love them as evidenced by the fact that nearly 90% of all corn, soybeans and cotton in this country are GMOs. Society has figured out what to do with them and have no problem with them. It is only the organic cult that has issues and their only motivation is to increase their market share.

          • Baloney. How many people want GMO’s labelled? I think, the large majority. They have been repreatedly stymied by huge expenditures on pure propaganda–That is what advertising is. It has little connection to reality. But when you repeat any trap long enough, lots of people will buy it–a fact that rich corporations exploit endlessly. You know what? Many of us have learned not to buy that scit, no matter how often they repeat it. Who owns your mind? Your heart? Your soul?

          • The sad truth about our society is, lots of people have no idea that they eat as much GMO as they do. And that is related to why, when they want to, the big money interests can get away with, not just murder, but mass murder of innocent people–which, I hate to break it to you brilliant scientists and dedicated teachers, who know mountains about scientific details, in fact the USA is heavily involved in. Study that!

          • I guess you are questioning my statement that farmers want GMOs. People of the organic cult want to spread the misinformation that farmers are forced to buy these seeds. I come from a farm, I actively participate it its operation today (even though my day job is a professor of
            Plant Molecular Biology). I know the
            decision of which seed to buy is made entirely by my nephew. So, don’t believe me. Before you continue to spread misinformation, go ask a mainstream farmer if she/he is forced to buy seed from Monsanto. Also, tell me what you find out.

            We finally get to the “labeling issue”. I
            know we would get here. I think all the
            facts are on the table. This is an
            agenda pushed and paid for by the organic cult. This is not about a right to know but rather a way to increase market share. If the organic cult can get a label on foods, then it implies there is an intrinsic danger. That there is a (not so) hidden agenda is evident when one realizes that members of the organic cult would not buy conventional foods regardless of a label. Why should they care if conventional foods are labeled?

            The question of whether you want a GMO free label on your food is really not relevant. The real question is “are you willing to pay
            extra for your food to have it tested for the presence of transgenes?” I wish your group would poll on that one. My unscientific survey tells me that what people really want is inexpensive, safe, nutritious food. They don’t want to pay extra for a test that
            is not needed.

            The cost here is not for printing labels. The
            cost is for doing the tests. My lab monitors plants for transgenes and I can tell you from experience that it is an expensive, sometimes slow process. The costs to set up labs, hire personnel and supplies and be able to turn around samples in a very short time are huge. Also, no test can guarantee zero percent transgenes. I will explain this if you want me to.

            So, it is clear that the cost of our food would go up. I have heard estimates of hundreds of dollars per year for the average family. One really can’t calculate that until society determines the confidence limits they want on the tests and the low level of GMOs they will accept. I can run through all of this, but it is all about probabilities.

            Also, society would have to determine which transgenes to test for. Is it only the ones deregulated, it is the ones for which permits have been issued or is it all transgenes scientists have put into plants? This makes a huge difference.

            And what about for the grower? So do we really want to set up a government system that comes out, takes samples and tells us we cannot harvest or sell our produce until they run the tests and certifies that we have been tested? What about road side stands? What about home gardens? I know on our farm, we grow about an acre of sweetcorn and then let neighbors and friends come in and pick all they want. Some load up pick-up trucks and sell it on the road. That is fine with us. So, with mandatory testing, we will have to call the local agency and
            they will have to test it before we call the neighbors. What if it takes 10 days and by that time, the corn is too old. And to add insult to injury, we would have to pay for it.
            Rest assured, we would quit being such good neighbors. Do you really want to set up systems like that? Think about it.

          • First, your ideas about the labs, money, and time required to label GMO’s is wild. Labelling GMO’s could easily require ZERO testing–Just require farmers who have purchased G.M. seed to inform their buyers (of grown plants) of this–and require that information to be passed, all the way to the consumer. This would not be without cost–but it could be minor.—–Second, a label certainly does not imply harm. On processed food, every gram of protein, carbohydrate, fat, salt, and every additive is labeled!!! Third, many people are unaware how much GMO food they are eating. People have the right to choose for themselves! When and if you are really sure that GMO’s are safe to eat, and for the environment, then you can convince people of that, and people will buy them! But until then, you cannot convince people of that safety–because you yourself are not sure of it. Denying people the right to choose, for themselves, is a notion dreamed up by PLUTOCRATS, nothing else–people who do not believe in democracy, but who think that, “WE ARE RICH. WE KNOW BETTER. WE RULE. I want none of this–I think that the rich are, as a group, as selfish as sin. And it is rich people, manifestly, who are really the greedy ones.

          • Thanks for clarifying that for me. If our seed source says no GMO, then it is no GMO. No muss, no fuss, no test. OK, so why is the organic cult so uptight about inadvertent pollen contamination? Google “Starlink” and tell me we don’t need tests. Google “Inadvertent GM rice accidentally shipped to Europe” and tell me we don’t need tests. If labeling becomes the law of the land, there will be tests. I don’t think the organic cult really knows what they are getting into or asking for. Clearly they do not want government inspectors taking their produce and telling them they can’t sell it until it is GMO certified.

          • There are plenty of good reasons to be concerned about pollen contamination. Labeling and tests are two separate issues. It is GMO’s, themselves, that require tests, not just labeling of them.

          • You wrote, “Google “Inadvertent GM rice accidentally shipped to Europe” and tell me we don’t need tests.” I would think labeling, without testing, could hugely decrease this type of problem.

          • Labeling but no testing is like speed limits on our roads but no police to patrol them. Without enforcement, laws, labels and limits are meaningless

          • They are not. A good part of that information is easily shared–and doing so gives people basic information, to which they are totally entitled.

          • Your message is loud and clear Mike. You want the label on GE foods to scare people but you don’t want the organic food tested because you are afraid of what is going to be found. You really think you can pull that off?

          • I am not trying to scare people of. GE technology makes a fundamental change in peoples food. I know you say that it does not, but I have spelled out the difference several times, and apparently you just dismiss it. (You did make one substantial attempt to refute my argument, but I correctly pointed out that I had never aserted what you refuted.) Since then, I have had nothing more on this from you. So, since as I say GMO’s are radically different, and their safety remains in dispute (do you doubt that?), people have the natural right to eat whatever they choose, and avoid GMO’s, if they wish.
            We can test organic food–this bothers me zilch. That would likely show how often GMO’s contaminate organic crops, thus eliminating another argument that I find bonkers–that GMO’s do not contaminate other crops. How this can possibly be asserted, considering pollen flow, I do not understand.

          • You have a point of view (religion in my view) and facts do not seem to matter. Enjoy your organic food. (The latter point is all about legal limits of the levels of genetically engineered foods that are allowed in organic foods or shipped to Europe, etc.)

          • Common that is stuff! I am close to facts–as close as you!………………………………..
            I wish that more organic food was available!

          • Many of those 2000 studies are worth–not much. When talking about the health impacts of GMO’s on people, we are talking about 20? 50?80+ years, even multiple generations. And what are the long term effects of consuming massive amounts of Bt? What are the long term effects of consuming massive amounts of Roundup? I’ll bet they are not at all good–and many scientific studies support this concern. Go ahead-brush away All of these studies. I find it irresponsible in the extreme–and dangerous, arrogant, and ignorant.

          • Please be specific as to which reputable study from an independent group showing no adverse heath effects you have issue with. Also please describe a test you would accept if you don’t accept any that have been published. Also, do you think we need long term studies concerning the safety of such things as cell phones?

          • All of them that study 90 days (or less) through one year of exposure time. And all of them that were funded by that industry (Genetic Modification) or people who have financial interest in that industry. Tell me if you would, how many, or approximately how many, studies would that leave, in your count/estimation?

          • Mobile phones, I use. But only about 4 minutes a day. And I generally use a speaker phone, and hold the phone away from my head.

          • Check this out:

            Citation: Van
            Eenennaam, A. L., and A. E. Young. 2014. Prevalence and impacts of genetically
            engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations. J. Anim. Sci. 91(10): published
            ahead of print. http://www.journalofanimalscience.org/content/early/2014/08/27/jas.2014-8124.abstract

            and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations1

            1. A. L. Van Eenennaam2 and

            2. A. E. Young

            + Author Affiliations

            1. Department of Animal Science, University of
            California, Davis, CA 95616

            1. ↵2Corresponding author: [email protected]


            Globally, food-producing animals consume 70
            to 90% of genetically engineered (GE) crop biomass. This review briefly
            summarizes the scientific literature on performance and health of animals
            consuming feed containing GE ingredients and composition of products derived
            from them. It also discusses the field experience of feeding GE feed sources to
            commercial livestock populations and summarizes the suppliers of GE and non-GE
            animal feed in global trade. Numerous experimental studies have consistently
            revealed that the performance and health of GE-fed animals are comparable with
            those fed isogenic non-GE crop lines. United States animal agriculture produces
            over 9 billion food-producing animals annually, and more than 95% of these
            animals consume feed containing GE ingredients. Data on livestock productivity
            and health were collated from publicly available sources from 1983, before the
            introduction of GE crops in 1996, and subsequently through 2011, a period with
            high levels of predominately GE animal feed. These field data sets representing
            over 100 billion animals following the introduction of GE crops did not reveal
            unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity. No study
            has revealed any differences in the nutritional profile of animal products
            derived from GE-fed animals. Because DNA and protein are normal components of
            the diet that are digested, there are no detectable or reliably quantifiable
            traces of GE components in milk, meat, and eggs following consumption of GE
            feed. Globally, countries that are cultivating GE corn and soy are the major
            livestock feed exporters. Asynchronous regulatory approvals (i.e., cultivation
            approvals of GE varieties in exporting countries occurring before food and feed
            approvals in importing countries) have resulted in trade disruptions. This is
            likely to be increasingly problematic in the future as there are a large number
            of “second generation” GE crops with altered output traits for improved
            livestock feed in the development and regulatory pipeline. Additionally,
            advanced techniques to affect targeted genome modifications are emerging, and
            it is not clear whether these will be encompassed by the current GE process-based
            trigger for regulatory oversight. There is a pressing need for international
            harmonization of both regulatory frameworks for GE crops and governance of
            advanced breeding techniques to prevent widespread disruptions in international
            trade of livestock feedstuffs in the future.

          • This paper says nothing about the mutiple, serious effects of the massively increased use of Roundup that has been caused by the use of crop plants genetically modified to not be affected by Roundup. I have read that 80% of genetically modified plants so far have been modified to be resistant to Roundup. This is an extremely important issue, affecting not just the (direct or indirect) consumers of GMO’s, but affecting every person (and organism) on Earth.

          • Indeed, this issue is absolutely crucial to my critique of GMO’s. But it does not encompass all of the reasons that I think that today’s use of Genetic Engineering technology is a big problem.

          • You are correct. This is the most extensive survey ever done. It literally involves billions of animals. And they found no negative effects of GM crops. That is the point.

          • This study was only of Farm Animals–It did not cover detrimental effects on any other part of the biosphere.

          • This study was only of Farm Animals–It did not cover detrimental effects on any other part of the biosphere.

          • In Seralini’s most famous study, which was retracted, then reprinted, the most significant finding was not increased tumors– it was “very significant chronic kidney deficiencies,” and “the pituitary was the second most disabled organ.” In short, it was an extremely sophisticated study, much much better than the 90 day tests that are generally used to supposedly show safety.

          • So,we agree that GMOs don’t cause cancer!!

            Actually, if you read the paper and most of the hype around it, you will see that people
            claim the Seralini study does show that GMOs cause cancer in animals. I pointed out the very serious scientific criticisms
            and fatal flaws of this paper in a previous posting.
            But my original argument still stands. If there were adverse health effects of GMOs on farm animals, why haven’t people found these in the hundreds of millions of livestock that have been fed GMOs since 1996?

            Our family farm produces about
            13,000 hogs per year. Our farrowing rate
            has never been higher, our weaning rate has never been higher, our weight gain
            rate has never been higher and our dress-out has never been better. We have been raising hogs for at least 70 years, so we have done the “before – and – after GMOs experiment in a very large way. Again, The Seralini et al study is without merit.

          • There is huge support for the Seraline et.al. study from scientists as qualified as you. That being the case, it seems to me it is a huge mistake to discard it. What I ask for is more long-term, better studies–and an end to that phoney mantra–Scientific studies have never found a problem with GMO’s. That is false. ——–And tell me, what effect do you think that the many tons of Glcophosphate that have been released into the environment to grow the food that your hogs eat has had on the bees-the amphibians-the lightening bugs-the fish-the birds-the mammals? Do you realize how important this is? People do not only need food–we need a flourishing biotic community, in which to live. This is absolutely essential. But people are fouling their nest at a dizzy, increasing rate! If humanity does not stop this, and global warming, you can kiss any loved ones, you can kiss your University, you can kiss your hogs goodbye–because toxic pollution, like Glycophosphate, and lead, and mercury, and PCB’s, and DDT, and Depleted Uranium, and and and and and will send us to CHAOS quick. I suggest that we do what we can do so that we do not get sent into more complete chaos. Are you with me, in this?

          • I just sent to you a paper that covers livestock in this country before and after the introduction of GMOs It puts the Seralini paper in its proper position.

          • That paper says nothing about the mutiple, serious affects of the massively increased use of Roundup that has been caused by the use of crop plants genetically modified to not be affected by Roundup. I have read that 80% of genetically modified plants so far have been modified to be resistant to Roundup. This is an extremely important issue, affecting not just the (direct or indirect) consumers of GMO’s, but affecting every person (and organism) on Earth.

          • Other than the discredited review published in the ‘pay for play’ open source start-up journal Entropy by non expert scientists who did no original research but misrepresented other research, no research has shown glyphosate to be harmful. It’s toxic profile (LD 50) is less than salt. You can even read Seralini’s study: rats fed it actually improved! It’s not an endocrine disruptor, it’s not carcinogenic and it’s biodegradable. It’s actually used sparingly per acre. And thankfully it’s replaced more toxic chemicals. Yep, it’s an important issue–the environmental and health benefits of glyphosate are actually quite amazing, and widely recognized by the EPA, USDA and independent scientists around the world.

          • See–Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Published in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

          • That this study finds serious problrms with glycophosate, an herbicide whose use has vastly increased due to GMO’s. “B cell lymphoma was positively associated with… the organophosphorus herbicide glyphosate.”

          • Didn’t you read that paper I sent you of a survey of literally tens of billions of farm animals before after after the introduction of GMOs. There was no difference in the health of these animals. You are beating a dead horse!!

          • That study was only of Farm Animals–It did not cover detrimental effects on any other part of the biosphere.

          • Studies done by the G.E. industry–I bet they were objective. 90-day studies–I bet they were penetrating.

          • Studies done by the G.E. industry–I bet they were objective. 90-day studies–I bet they were penetrating.

          • Were those plants that contain cyanide ever sold as vegtables? Or grains? Many GMO’s that have been shown to have serious deleterious effects, by numerous scientific studies, are being sold to eat. Yuck!

            Ssre, I would like to know more biology. But you “biology experts” say some ridiculous stuff. Like “If it (the precautionary principle) was used, we would ban all organic crops today, as they are inherently dangerous and their safety cannot be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt”. Looney tunes. Or, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs.” Give me a break. Or, “The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops.” Blahoney. See Seralini–studies, criticisms, defenses, criticisms of the critics, etc. This is far from clear–but Seralini’s studies, and many others, make the idea that science has not detected multiple health issues with GMO’s highly questionable, and likely false.

            I used to grow organic vegtables. Not now.

          • Actually, the idea that science has not detected multiple health issues with GMO’s is not highly questionable–it is the purest, most uninformed garbage. Go ahead–dispute that.

          • So what tests have organic produce undergone to show that they are safe. Clearly some of them were not; people have died from eating organic produce.

          • The basis approach has certainly proven itself good. There can be mishaps with it, as anything.

          • The basic approach has certainly proven itself good. There can be mishaps with it, as anything.

          • I agree. Organic farming has been used for a long time. It is used in developing countries now and people are not doing well. Many are starving to death.

          • People are not doing poorly because they have been practising organic agriculture (which everyone who farmed did do, until less than 200 years ago.) Do you know that India was flourishing–before the British raped them? Do you realize the extent of the travesty, of the devastation, brought to Africa by the European countries? Do you have a clue how much our country has stolen from South America? Or the Phillipines? Or Indonesia? if you want to stop people from starving to death, this country could make a huge contribution by respecting people properly, and not selfishly drawing all the wealth to this country.

          • I never said “natural is better.” You are talking about things you do not understand, making at least 2 errors in doing so. We all have to learn.

          • One–go ahead taunt me for not understanding your statement, “Did you know that there are some 6000 genes that are NOT found in all corn lines” It is poor English. Two–Your statement, “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering.” Right.

          • I continue to find the statement “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering” perplexing, at least.

          • After studying the issue some more, I see that establishing the idea that, “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering,” is extremely important to the G.M. industry, because that idea supposedly being true was crucial to the establishment of the claim of “substantial equivalence,” a claim that made it possible IN THE U.S. to avoid the rigorous testing of each GMO for safety before it was released. In most of the developed world, each particular GMO has to be well tested for safety before it is released. Not in the U.S. Is this because of some virtue or valuable insight that the U.S. has? Not at all. It is because, in the U.S., we have a plutocracy, not a democracy. Defend it if you will.



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          • I am confused.

            This conversation was started by your
            statement that GMO pollen should be banned because if it pollinated organic
            plants, the value of organic foods went down. I asked why and you said because GMO is ‘unnatural’. So, if natural is not necessarily better, why is there a problem with inadvertent pollination by a GMO crop.

            Regardless, you raise a very interesting point: Should people be held legally responsible for their pollen? If so, if I suffered from an allergy from oak pollen, could I demand that my neighbor cut down his oak trees? Were I allergic to ragweed pollen, could I sue my local organic grower who has ragweed and his pollen makes me sick?

          • The value of organic crops will go down, if they are contaminated by GMO’s, because they now contain genetic material from God knows where, not from just that plant, whatever it is. Most people will not detect (or know about) the contamination, so the monetary value may not change, but because organic consumers do not want “foreign” genes in their food, genes that have unknown effects, the true value of the crop goes down. Not “because it is unnatural,” but because it contains “foreign” genes (that is, genes that would not be there, in that plant, were it not for GM techniques.) “Should people be held legally responsible for their pollen?” In the cases you cite, I’d say no. But if pollen from your GM crop contaminates my organic crop, causing real lose of value, I’d say yes. Because you, in your greed, have released a not completely tested, not fully understood technique into a vital food production system that has been functioning for thousands of years, causing potentially very serious problems, in spite of the fact that multiple scientific studies have shown that their may well be serious problems. This court finds the creator of the seed, Tomato Corporation, guilty of criminal irresponsibility–to be levied a fine of 75 billion dollars–and compensatory payments of 100 billion dollars.

          • So I take it that your economic loss is more important than my adverse health effect. That is what you told me.

          • There is no evidence that the GM crops on the market harm people. If there were, those crops would not be on the market. Again, I stand by my argument. Your hypothetical (philosophical ) but money-driven argument that GM crops are evil takes precedent over documented health effects (allergies) caused by conventional and organic plants. You expect people to believe that?

          • There is evidence that GMO crops on the market harm people. See “Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” I never said or implied that GM crops are evil. Money driven? Get real! Allergies? Ban all the crops! (Right.) I heartily, with zero hesitation, recommend that people seek the truth.

          • One–go ahead taunt me for not understanding your statement, “Did you know that there are some 6000 genes that are NOT found in all corn lines” It is poor English. Two–Your statement, “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering.” Right.

          • What do you not understand from the statement: Did you know that there are some 6000 genes that are NOT found in all corn lines”– These genes are in most, BUT NOT ALL corn lines. Hope you understand that.

          • The point I am making is not that cultivars differ (they do and that is why we call them different cultivars) it is that they differ by plus/minus genes. Hence, there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering. The only difference is that we did not know that conventional breeders were adding genes until only recently.

          • There is a fundamental difference. In conventional breeding, you only add genes that were already in other varieties of the same plant. Or, with hybridization, you only add genes that were in the donor plant. In genetic engineering, you could theoretically add any gene that exists on Earth–from plants, bacteria, or people. That is one HUGE difference. How could you fail to notice it?

          • Some facts about plant breeding and
            plant agriculture are relevant here.
            First, large plant breeding programs (which are usually located in the private sector) use germplasm collected all over the world in their breeding programs. The same plant species, if used in agriculture, can be used in very different ways, depending on
            location. For example, some people make
            silage from corn and feed it to cattle. Some use corn to produce ethanol, most is used to feed livestock whereas a small percentage is used to feed people. The point here is that humans are not always exposed to the same genes. In this country, they are exposed to the genes coming out in the new varieties every year.
            The other assumption you are making is
            that all of these genes were around from the beginning. In the case of corn, your assumption is that the genes that exhibit plus/minus polymorphism were all present in teosinite, the plant the American Indians genetically modified through selection to
            produce modern maize.

            As I noted in a previous posting,
            plants have the ability to produce new genes. A particularly clear example of that was published from my lab (I am a
            professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Florida
            since 1974) and can be found in the following paper: Lal, S. K, Giroux, M. J. Brendel, V. Vallejos, C. E. and Hannah, L. C. 2003. The Maize Genome Contains a Helitron Insertion. Plant Cell 15: 381-391. We estimate that there are at least 13,000
            new genes in corn produced by this system: Barbaglia, A., Klusman, M., Higgins,
            J. Shaw, JR. Hannah LC, Lal, SK. 2012 Alternative Splicing and Read-Through
            Transcription Dramatically Augment the Diversity of Expression of Genes
            Captured in Helitrons. Genetics, 190:965-975.

          • You did not at all dispute my assertion that
            there is a fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering. I do not assume that “humans are () always exposed to the same genes,” and I do not assume “that all of these genes were around from the beginning,” (In the case of corn–teosinite). I do say, and will again, that conventional breeding is vastly different than Genetic Engineering. Is it true, or not, that conventional breeding uses only different varieties of the same species (with the exception of hybridization, which uses, I believe, closely related species)? Genetic Engineering can use, theoretically, any gene on Earth–is this not right?

          • Yes, I did dispute your assertion. I gave you two compelling reasons why your assertion is wrong. Perhaps I was not straightforward enough in my comments.

          • The facts that “large plant breeding programs … use germplasm collected all over the world in there breeding programs,” and “plants have the ability to produce new genes” do not, by themselves, dispute my assertion. I will ask you again, is it not true that conventional breeding always uses genes that were present in different varieties of the same plant? Except hybridization, which I believe uses only similair organisms–not bacteria or viruses or something.

          • The point I was trying to make is if you use a germplasm source, say of maize, for silage and now you incorporate that germplasm into food corn, you have now exposed people to corn genes they were not exposed to before. This disputes your assertion. The fact that plants have the ability to synthesize brand new genes clearly disputes your assertion.

            BTW, commercial hybrids involve crossing two inbred of exactly the same species

          • This is an important point. I did not dispute that through conventional breeding, people are exposed to genes that they were not exposed to before. I did assert that only through GM technology are people exposed to genes in their food that, until very recently, were living in some particular micro or macro organism, not some variety of the same plant species. And that is one large difference.

          • After studying the issue some more, I see that establishing the idea that, “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering,” is extremely important to the G.M. industry, because that idea supposedly being true was crucial to the establishment of the claim of “substantial equivalence,” a claim that made it possible IN THE U.S. to avoid the rigorous testing of each GMO for safety before it was released. In most of the developed world, each particular GMO has to be well tested for safety before it is released. Not in the U.S. Is this because of some virtue or valuable insight that the U.S. has? Not at all. It is because, in the U.S., we have a plutocracy, not a democracy. Defend it if you will.

          • Not all genes inserted by man come from microbes. We put modified corn genes back into corn but that is considered “GMO”. The BT gene put into some plants for insect resistance is the very same gene that is in bacteria that organic growers spray on their plants. So the gene is there from the start. The gene in Round-UP crops does the same thing as a gene in all green plants do. Biology is universal. We share the same code. Gene transfer is natural.

          • So then, isn’t it true that in the yast majority of GMO’s, genes are added from other species-orders-even kingdoms. Very much unlike conventional plant breeding. Come on–admit it.

            As for your point about Bt–“So the gene is there from the start”–there is this vast, though maybe only microns, difference–only with GMO’s is that gene actually part of the crops DNA. There, it WILL AFFECT the growth and development of the plant. The trouble is, we do not know what affect that gene will have in that place.

            “The gene in Round-UP crops does the same thing as a gene in all green plants do.” Sounds doubtful. Sure–biology is universal. But it is also true that biology is specific.

          • Where do I begin? First divisions of living organisms along the lines you describe have absolutely no bearing on gene function. The EXACT SAME CHEMICAL reaction catalyzed by the EPSPS enzyme of RR occurs in plants and microbes.
            Effect plant growth? Do you have a clue how many yield trials these plants go through before they are submitted for deregulation? If there were adverse effects on plant growth, the companies would not go forward with them.
            “Sounds doubful” To whom? Perhaps to people who are pushing organic produce. Not to the scientists who understand the science. Do some reading man.

          • “The EXACT SAME CHEMICAL reaction catalyzed by the EPSPS enzyme of RR occurs in plants and microbes.” O.K.–but what makes you think you understand ALL of the effects that inserting a given gene into a given organism will have? I don’t see how you could. I do see how you might think that you do–forgive my saying so, but it is extremely common for prople to think that they understand things that they don’t really understand.

          • And the idea that it makes no dltterence where genes come, or how they got to where they are, from is just that–an idea. Speculative. Ideological. May be true. Maybe not.

          • Not one Gung-Ho GMOer has ever disputed this point of mine, which I have raised repeatedly. Why? Because you can’t.

          • I recognize that 300 PhD’s disagreeing does not really dispute the claim that “there is scientific consensus that genetically modified foods and crops are safe”. However, the shining eminence of many of those signers does lend strength to this dispute. (Check the article “No scientific consensus on GMO safety,” in Earthopensource.org, for an enumeration of these credentials.)

            But here is an important point–though the technology may be safe in general, that does not mean that any particular genetic modification is safe. The American doctrine of “substantial equivalence” is pipe dreams. The European, indeed the Worldwide (other than the U.S.) approach of studying each genetically modified organism before it is introduced into the world is required by the reality of our situation. Any stopping of doing the needed testing is a shortcircuiting of governments proper role–to protect and enhance the health, safety and well-being of all the people–not only, or mostly, of the rich people.

            Almost all other developed countries in the world require safety testing of all genetically engineered crops before they are put on the market–but not the United States.

            “As Vice President Dan Quayle explained in (a) 1992 press conference, the American biotechnology industry would reap huge profits “as long as we resist the spread of unnecessary regulations.” (from “Why You Can Thank Dan Quayle for 20 Years of Policy That Keeps Americans in the Dark About Their Food,” posted on alternet.org)

          • So the biotechnology industry is reaping huge profits–and the American people are eating, every day, tons of foods that are deeply altered at the molecular level, but not well tested for safety (at least before release). And since new GMO’s are likely to be released continually, the American people will be consuming tons of untested food every day from here to eternity–unless the crazy, worthless notion of “substantial equivalence” is withdrawn. I think you supporters of the current GMO’s and their (lack of) regulatory scheme are hugely lacking in soundness, and should be ashamed of your actions.

          • Just two comments above, you wrote,”Only an organic SEED crop can be contaminated by GMOs.” Now you say, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs.” It is difficult to see the sense here.

          • If an organic seed crop becomes contaminated with undesired DNA, it is the seed growers fault and no one else’s. This is why for the purposes of enforcement, labelling, banning and mapping, it must be clearly understood that there is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs. Never has been, and unless politicians do something really stupid, there never will be.

          • I am talking about the real world. For the purpose of understanding, and sharing, reality. When you wrote, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs,” you did not unclude the caveat, “for the purposes of enforcement, labelling, banning and mapping” Please look the word up. My dictionary, and most, say nothing about enforcement, labelling, banning or mapping. The word does not refer to only those areas, unlless you so specify–which now you have done.————————There are thousands of organic farmers in this country. GMO’s certainly have the potential to CONTAMINATE them with genes from only God and Monsanto know where, and probably in fact are doing that now. (And they also potentially can contaminate, in reality, every conventional farmer who is not already growing the same GMO’s but is growing the same cops. And in many cases, this is ocurring.) Trying to dodge the reality of the contamination of other farmers crop’s by GMO’s is just dishonest. You are trying to deny the messy aspects of this technology–which are multiple, serious, and long term.—-Some of the serious effects of this technology are detailed in the studies that I sight below. Those are, of course, only preliminary studies, caried out in the mere 18 years that GMO’s have been operationalized.

          • So you still stand by the statement, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs”? Astonising. You might as well sat that the moon is made of green cheese.

          • Tell you what Michael. If you’re so convinced GMOs contaminate organic crops, please show the evidence.

            Surely an organic farmer somewhere in these United States will have sued his neighbor for such an infraction if it has occurred.

            Go on now. We’re all waiting.

          • Most organic farmers are busy doing other things–like trying to earn an honest living. Pollen travels. This is totally understood. For you to deny that pollen travels from GMO to organic crops is ludicrous.

          • So obviously when the pollen from a GM crop travels to an organic field, and enters into reproduction, then the organic crop has been contaminated by the GMO’s. Because people who eat organic food, as a rule, want healthy food. GMO’s have repeatedly been shown to not be healthy. I cite 11 good scientific studies below in this argument that clearly indicate this–GMO’s cause a range of extremely serious deleterious effects.

          • If organic stakeholders agreed with you, then why didn’t they put what you just wrote into their standards for organic production when they had the chance during the Clinton Administration?

            Organic stakeholders wrote, edited and finalized their own standards. And they never saw fit to include any mention of GMOs contaminating organic crops.

            Where you aware of this Michael?

          • Maybe because if they had, they would have been crushed by the much larger, more powerful, and several times as vicious GMO interests. Just a speculation.

          • Quite to the contrary. Organic stakeholders quite literally got everything they wanted fro the Clinton Administration. And that’s how such rapid growth was experienced in the organic sector after decades of obscurity.

          • It is true that i do noy know how close you were to them personally. I doubt close. You cannot claim to know why others did what they did.

          • Let’s pose the question this way Michael: Why did it take organic stakeholders a decade to demand GMO labelling, banning and mapping?

            The organic industry has grown by leaps and bounds over the last ten years. Why pretend GMOs pose a threat all of a sudden?

          • Here is my prediction. I predict that the irresponsible way that people, Americans in particular, are deploying GM technology is going to prove to have some huge negative consequences. How large, we do not know.

          • Spotless? Did you see this–”
            Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis”? How about the numerous other studies that find problems with glocophosate?

          • Cancer is one illness. There’s endochrine disruption, neurological effects, reproductive effects, etc. And not just among people are these other effects important–among every part of the biosphere they are important.

          • And what does the evidence say about these other health disorders Michael? You still run-up against the fact that the farmers who use ag-chemicals and GMO crops are healthier than the public at large.

          • You’re the one attributing the consumption of GMO foods to the rise in various diseases. Meanwhile, the people who grow our food suffer far less from these diseases. Thus we must conclude that GMOs are NOT causing these diseases.

          • If GMOs caused any harm to health, it would show up more prominently in the farmers who handle GMOs. But it doesn’t. Therefore your “attribution” that there might be some unknown health effects caused by GMOs is unjustified.

          • Actually, that is not my life work. My life work is to put things together–the best that I can.

          • Fair enough Mike.

            A lot of good people like you have been drawn into the whole organic v. GMO debate. You’ve been led to believe that we can’t trust science, but you trust science every day, whether it’s your cell phone, the air bags in your car, or clean drinking water. You also trust professionals from all walks of life, like plumbers, lawyers and doctors. So why not trust farmers who have overwhelmingly embraced GMOs?

            Don’t you think it’s possible – just maybe – that farmers and scientists have it right that GMOs are safe and beneficial, and the activists are wrong?


          • And how many persistent, toxic pesticides do farmers embrace–poisoning the Earth, the biosphere, humankind, the generations. In many respects, farmers have acted, and act today, in very misguided ways………………
            I’ll bet that I have studied more science than threee-quarters of Americans………………
            I deeply appreciate the search for truth….. Science is a great thing! It has pressing limits!

          • Do you have any idea of how many tons of toxic-to-the-biosphere pesticides have been and are being spread over the earth by conventional agriculture?

          • Have you heard of persistent pesticides? Toxic pesticides? Biological integrity? The misuse of chemistry? Cancer? Extinction?

          • One of the persistent pesticides I see for sale at Home Depot is Plutonium. I hear it is also quite toxic. But personally for clearing weeds I prefer Cesium, just sprinkle a few pounds in the weed patch, and water it…
            And I know from reading Natural News that Roundup is at least as toxic as Plutonium.

          • Are you unable or unwilling to recognise that poorly thought out activities of humanity have cost us dearly? Where is your mind?

          • It is ridiculous to think that, because pesticides are “derived from nature,” their misuse has not presented a severe problem.

          • 1) False. There are other factors involved.
            2) (Statement)–False. Epidemiological studies, which is how we determine how it is that diseases have occured, and whether or not specified factors have or have not contributed to the occurence of diseases, have not been done regarding GMO’s. Or so I read.

          • What other factors Mike? Farmers handle GMOs and pesticides, and live around them all year long. They also consume the food they produce. So they’re far more “exposed” to any risks that may exist. And yet, farmers are MORE healthy than consumers.

          • Factors: plenty of exercise. Plenty of food. Plenty of work. Fresh air. Space. Family. Good Friends. Etc.

          • I strongly advise you to stop using light bulbs Michael. We still have no way of knowing they’re safe after just 100 years. And Good God man! Don’t even get me started on the microchip!!

          • Putting genes from any living or almost living thing into our food plants, where they will express themselves by HUGELY modifying the growth and development of those plants (in unknown ways), is a vastly more significant and consequential change than the mere presence of some low-power electronics in our environment. My God, man, you are changing the world in much bigger and deeper ways than the vast majority of human actions have ever done–and under the current vastly inadequate regulatory scheme in the U.S., you are doing that with no prior testing required! This is insanity!

          • But Michael… “changing the world in much bigger and deeper ways than the vast majority of human actions have ever done” is what science and technology is all about. Did you want us to continue changing the world the way we used to?

          • Before making deep, long-lasting, unpredictable changes, it behoves us to realize how much that we do not understand, to be extremely careful in our actions, and to seek democratic participation in guiding actions that will hugely affect everyone.

          • Sorry Michael, but the founders of the organic movement don’t agree with your overly-precautious approach.

            “If we waited for scientific proof of every impression before deciding to take any consequential action we might avoid a few mistakes, but we should also hardly ever decide to act at all. In practice, decisions about most things that really matter have to be taken on impressions, or on intuition, otherwise they would be far too late…. We have to live our lives in practice, and can very rarely wait for scientific verification of our hypotheses. If we did we should all soon be dead, for complete scientific verification is hardly ever possible. It is a regrettable fact that a demand for scientific proof is a weapon often used to delay the development of an idea.”
            (Source: Lord Walter Northbourne, Look to the Land, 1940, p. 31.)

          • That statement, I agree with. It does not contradict mine. In fact, in important respects, that statement explains the precautionaey principle.

          • It also warns about not waiting for scientific verification of our hypotheses before we act on our concerns. When our hypotheses is that there is a danger in some possible course we could take, that is the precautionary principle.

          • No Mike, you’ve got it backwards.

            When the organic industry was in its infancy, many people worried that it might prove to be a highly problematic, even dangerous approach to food production. Northbourne’s contention was that until someone actually confirmed that organic farming was problematic or dangerous, we should proceed with it.

          • Organic agriculture has been around for a long long time…………………………………………… It seems to me that the essence of the statement from Northbourne that you quoted could be summarized, “scientific proof can not always be waited for.” I agree.

          • Glad you agree Mike.

            We didn’t wait for scientific evidence that the light bulb was safe. People were so overwhelmed by its efficiency that they couldn’t wait to adopt it.

            But when it came to GMOs, a small group of activists decided to make a big deal out of the unknown for purely self-serving reasons. We should not let their challenge to this new technology go unchallenged.

          • I think Canada has it right–those plants should be extensively tested for safety, before release.

          • Plants developed through chemical and nuclear mutagenesis are subject to the same level of testing as plants developed through conventional breeding. And they’re all allowed in organic production.

            Meanwhile, GMOs are tested the most of all of those plants, and they’ve been rejected by organic activists.

          • No it sure doesn’t. That’s why President Clinton tried to get organic stakeholders to at least consider the possibility of allowing GMOs into organic production on a case-by-case basis.

          • More to the true point, perhaps the reason they did not mention GMO’s contaminating organic crops is that they are fearful that their crop might lose organic certification.

          • No. I was there Michael. Organic stakeholders did everything they could to try to claim GMOs were unsafe, but couldn’t come up with a single compelling example. So that was the end of that.

            These same stakeholders did manage to get threshold tolerance levels instituted in America’s organic standards for synthetic pesticides because they were able to prove harm. But here we are, 20 years later and no one has yet proven any harm from GMOs.

            And that, my friend, is why GMO labelling is a complete waste of time.

          • The science on the safety of various GMO’s is far from clear. The people have to make their own decision about this. Are you totally anti-democratic?

          • I am not saying science is or should be democratic. Society would better be democratic, than run by a few, for a few.

          • It is not like GMO’s are one thing–every particular one is different from every other one. Some, maybe even all used so far, will prove to be safe. But others will prove to cause big problems, of some kind or other. We can Never predict that a new GMO is going to be safe–it has to be tested–extensively. That is the real world. Imagining something different is wishful thinking on the part of the management and share-holders of Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, et al. Please grow up!

          • I’ll agree wholeheartedly with you Michael that the executives at Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, et al. need to grow up. But suppressing technology in the name of safety is counterproductive.

          • I have not suggested suppressing technology. I suggest that we stop using the phoney doctrine of “substantial equivalence,” that we require testing extensively each and every GMO before it is released, and that we let the people decide for themselves what they will eat–by labeling all GMO’s (like most of the world does now)–and putting an end to this tyrannical practise of letting some corporations and investors decide (in practise) what people eat.

          • When it comes to lighting a city street at night, wouldn’t you agree that gas light and electric light are “substantially equivalent”? One is just far cheaper than the other, and safer. Can you guess which?

          • I wouldn’t call them substantially equivalent. They are, in some respects, and are not, in others. Overall, they are not substantially equivalent. Electric is safer, and cheaper.

          • Some people think that they are so smart and informed, or rich, that they should choose for everybody. I think that is bloody self-righteous compost!

          • By the way, there are at least some cases documented in the literature of contamination of other crops by GMO’s.

          • Your second sentence is pure supposition, which I do not agree with. Most organic farmers are busy trying to earn an honest living.
            Pollination is well understood. Of course GMO’s can cross with organic crops. Corn is open Pollenated! Bees fly from plant to plant!

          • There are at least some cases documented in the literature of contamination of other crops by GMO’s.

          • See–Survey: Organic Farmers pay the price for GMO Contamination–FOOD & WATER WATCH.

            See–GM Contamination Register

            See-0-The Economic Impacts of GM Contamination Incidents on the Organic Sector–IFOAM

          • There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs. And that’s why there has never been a case where an organic farmer sued a neighbor for contaminating his organic crop with GMOs.

          • Sounds wild to me. If he did sue, and won, then I guess his crop would no longer be considered organic? They would like that.

          • Organic activists would LOVE it if an organic farmer would sue his neighbor for “contaminating” his crop with GMOs. Such a farmer would have all of his legal fees paid, and would get the best lawyer money could buy. But… it has never happened here in North America.

          • So you still stand by the statement, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs”? Astonising. You might as well have said that the moon is made of green cheese.

          • You should check out how people are able to produce hybrid corn seed in the middle of the Midwest where there is lots of corn pollen. Neighbors make personal agreements of when they will grow corn, soybeans, wheat, etc to minimize accidental cross pollination of the hybrid. Good natured, reasonable people (farmers) work things out. They don’t go around yelling about the crops their neighbors plant and try to get them banned. They understand that pollen flow is just biology (Nature). They live in harmony. Organic growers have a lot to learn from conventional farmers.

          • “Pollen” flow from bacteria to plants is not natural. Good natured, reasonable people do not put genes from any living thing into Your crop plants, where they have never been until some selfish corporation or individual had them inserted into their cropplants, thereby changing the growth and development of your crop in unknown ways–at least, they wouldn’t if they knew what they are doing. But because of the insane adoption of the doctrine of “substantial equivalence,” which will pass the smell test, but which is shortsighted, farmers do not understand what they are doing. What if, down the road a ways, some gene is introduced into some crop, because it has some good effects. It spreads, and becomes common. But, due to some biological process that people do not understand (of which there are very very many), maybe involving viruses, bacteria, people, and/or whatever, a toxin is produced. A serious toxin. We might have a huge catastrophe on our hands.—-Or what if the process of moving the genes itself has some affects that only express themselves over a long time? What if 2 companies, operating independently, make changes that somehow have synergistic effects? What if it turns out that, yes, certain GMO’s are devastating bees–as some studies have suggested? What if there are subtle neurological or hepatological or hormonal effects that we do not understand? What if mixing genes from different kingdoms is not healthy? What if the new, GM crops cause some kind of serious problems in the social systems? The problems of GMO’s are multiple. They should be developed–carefully. But it is pie-in-the-sky to think that they are going to solve our problems with poverty and hunger. To do that, we need to work together. And put a stop to our habits of blowing one another into little pieces, of over exploiting the environment, of poisoning the environment, of thinking only of our own selfish interest, and of denuding the Earth.

            We can do these. But to do them, much more is required of us.

          • First, pollen does not flow from bacteria to plants. Second, your statement that farmers do not know what they are doing symbolizes the view of many of you “city experts” who seem to think you know more about farming than the people who do it productively. Have you ever seen a modern farm except from 35,000 feet? Telling a farmer how to grow his food is like telling a brain surgeon how to operate on your head. Such a beautiful blend of ignorance and arrogance.

            Third, when was the last time you did not have enough to eat? And you are an expert of feeding people in developing countries. Have you ever been to a developing country?

          • “Pollen does not flow from bacteria to plants.” RiGHT! But genes do–but only when people, making GMO’s, cause them to. How then do you insist that GMO plant creation is just like conventional plant breeding? Genes going from bacteria, or snakes, or any living thing, straight into our food plants–that seems a huge difference, to many of us.…..So how many farmers do you think have a good or excellent understanding of genetics and molecular biology? Because that is what they are working with, when they grow GMO’s.…..So, because I am not a farmer, I can not debate, and criticize, GMO’s? I am a member of the human race, a global citizen, a U.S. citizen, a concerned citizen, a tax payer, a consumer, an eater, and a highly educated person. Tell me that I have no standing!………Ignorance. Sure, I have my ignorance. But I feel that I have done very well in this debate, with you and others. I have made numerous strong points, that were to the point, that no one ever answered–either they were left totally unanswered, or answered weakly. Your points, I have been working on answering–but there have been three of you raising many points to me, plus others–so I have not gotten to them all. You stand by your experience, education, understanding, and motivation. I will stand by mine.
            I do not mean to be arrogant. But I do intend to question many even widely held beliefs and ideas. Because I believe that is appropriate, helpful, and needed.

          • Where do I begin?

            First, goggle horizontal gene transmission. While not common, it occurs naturally. The “granddaddy” of them all was the uptake of an entire bacterium into a cell. This is the origin of the chloroplast, the “green thing” in plant cells. That was originally a bacterium!! So do not tell me it does not occur naturally. Look up Agrobacterium tumefaciens and tell me that genes passing from bacteria to plants is not natural.

            If you look back, you will see that I have answered every question you have had. You just haven’t liked the answer and ignored it.

            Everybody can practice their own religion. However when a person’s “religion” causes starvation and suffering, they must be called on it. Norman Borlaug said that if we switched to organic agriculture, 1/3 of the people on this earth would die. But I suppose you know more than the Father of the Green Revolution and winner of the Nobel peace prize.
            Unless you have some hard scientific data you want to bring to the table, I think we are done.

          • In an earlier (temporally) post in this discussion, I did mention (in different words) that bacteria are naturally involved in horizontal gene transfer. However, horizontal gene transfer does not happen in traditional plant breeding, while it does happen in GMO’s…….. I was not just asking you questions I was making points, which frequently contradicted your points. Many of these went unanswered…including quite serious contradictions. But you no doubt feel that many of your points went unanswered. A large part of the problem was, I was getting comments from three through about eight people (and I am also working elsewhere full time, though at first I was on vacation)…….Norman Borlaug had his view–it is very controversial (See–Norman Borlaug: Saint or Sinner? at Resilience.org) He was extremely biased against organic agriulture–no surprise.
            ………………Well Sir, I thank you much for your contributions to this discussion. You have made an extremely valuable contribution, and I thank you very much for your time, energy, and consideration. That you are, I am sure, very very busy makes your sharing of your understanding more valuable yet–a real pleasure. Thank You. ———Michael Prior

          • Good morning, If you feel I left some of your counter points unanswered, please let me know what they are. I thought I addressed all of them that had to do with GMO’s. I am not an expert in political sciences, so I did not think I had any professional insight into them.
            Norman Borlaug believed, as I do, that organic agriculture simply will not feed the world. (There is not enough animal manure for example). I am not sure that makes him controversial; perhaps in the organic circle but clearly not in main stream agriculture and the biological sciences. Curt Hannah

          • The value of organic produce goes down from GMO pollen flow simply because the organic growers associations say it goes down. This is simply a man-made distinction that is not based on science. Why on earth should anybody outside the organic movement have to pay attention to this?

          • First, natural is not necessarily better as I have shown below. But, I assume that mutagenic breeding is “natural” since it is not banned by organic growers (it does not occur in Nature). Also, plants coming from protoplast fusions (that make a huge number of novel genetic combinations and does not occur in Nature) is natural since it is not banned by organic growers. This makes no sense. Admit it. All of this anti-GMO BS is simply a ploy for the organic growers to increase market share. It is pure greed. And you don’t care about people in developing countries starving because the new gene technology cannot be used. I find this morally reprehensible.

          • “Not banned by organic growers” does not make something natural. “All of this anti-GMO BS is simply a ploy for the organic growers to increase market share.” Garbage. There are totally justified concerns. “Greed.” Ha! Will the truly greedy please stand up! As for developing countries–more later. I got to leave.

          • There are many more effective, cheaper, better ways to feed starving people in developing countries than by using GMO’s.

          • GMO’s, as currently deployed, are of no benefit for starving people.Developing organic agriculture is many times as promising.

          • The fact that we have starving people is not due to the insufficiency of the farming system–it is due to political problrms–exploitation, murder, tyranny–man’s inhumanity to man. That is where attention is needed.

          • I work in the area of helping feed people in developing countries. I have seen corn plants in Africa that are yellow instead of green, 1/2 the height they should be with an ear smaller than a hot dog. I have watched African children the ages of my grand-children and worry about what they will have to eat. If I could flip a switch and magically turn all the African politicians into Mother Theresa the problem i describe will still be there. It is biological, virus induced. I know of some GM approaches that potentially could help, but because of the misinformation people like you spew, there are huge barriers to this approach. You should google Mark Lynas. He was originally very anti-GMO. I believe he coined the term “frankenfoods.) He finally read the literature and realized he was all wrong. He now publicly apologies for standing in the way, leading to the unnecessary loss of life in Africa. I find the actions of the antis like you morally reprehensible. The irony in all of this is that the best hope these people in Africa presently have (absent new gene technology) is coming from non-GMO approaches by — you guessed it — Monsanto (as well as other US based seed companies.

          • Are you aware that Europe and America devastated Africa? And still are? That is the primary reason much of Africa is impoverished. The land needs proper cultivation–GMO’s are no panacea. That Monsanto does good work developing new varieties–cheers for them. That Monsanto does questionable work developing new varieties (and chemicals)–they got to be more conscious and conscientious.

          • I repeat, “Some of those genes could well have hugely deleterious effects. Can you deny this possibility? How?

    • I am responding to a subtitle of the original article “Remind me again: Who wants GMO labeling?”–i.e., “Science surrendering to superstition, pro-GMO activist argues.”

  1. I need GMO labeling. I have severe reactions to GMO’s. I am a health care consultant and it still took me 8 years to figure it out and another 8 years to manage it and its still is unbelievably difficult to get rid of GMO’s in my life. I need a label!!
    I am also not getting anywhere by reaching out to the FDA, USDA, WHO, and CDC to both report my reaction and to develop a mechanism for others to report such reactions.
    The claim that they don’t hurt anyone is unfounded. There is simply no mechanism to report it and it is not being studied. The research in which their negligent health claim is founded is based on “substantial equivalence”. That is not medical science, that is marketing and how products get through the FDA. I know I used to work with them.

      • The many millions of eaters of non-organic food that is not included in the Non-GMO labeling campaign deserve to know if the food they are buying includes new varieties that contain genes that are having in that plant unknown, untested, unpredictable, and possibly unhealthy effects.

          • It is crazy to tell people “grow your own organic food.” People have their lives, which of course vary hugely. I should think it is people’s choice what they do–within all kinds of limits. No one can “buy organic food everywhere.” It is not sold everywhere.

          • First of, if you are crazy and believe that conventional food is somehow dangerous, grow your own or use the label that exist now,,,, No biggie.

          • The point is, Genetic modification technology is extremely controversial–and not just because of scientific ignorance on the part of the public. Also because of extremely untrue statements that are repeated ad nauseum by the GE industry, and the (captured) U.S. Government–statements like, “There is no such thing as contamination of an organic crop by GMOs,” or “there is no fundamental difference between conventional breeding and genetic engineering,” or, “There is no evidence that the GM crops on the market harm people.”

            Since Genetic Engineering our food is extremely controversial, and many people do not want it, when it is done, this should be indicated on the label. So that people can exercise their right to control their own lives.

            Denying people this right is unjust, arrogant, and pigheaded.

          • It is not controversial to scientists, only to fear mongers and people that are basically ignorant of science.

          • So you think that scientists understand it all, do you? Well I don’t–and most people agree with me. People are not clear about what it is that scientists do not understand, but believe that there is something–and I agree.

          • Only non-scientists think they understand it all. None of them ever claimed that. But there is a point at which you move onto more important things and bigger problems – like things that are have more than 1 in 10 billion chance of being harmful. This whole anti-campaign reminds me very much of the anti-vaccine and anti-fluoride movements – lots of rhetoric and fear mongering, zero actual science.

          • I bet scientists understand their field of study a lot, lot better than the layperson does. Yet you think that we should be listening to the ignorant because their opinion counts just as much as the experts. There’s a name for this:


            Here’s a great article on it. And it’s not even from Monsanto so that should make you feel better.


          • OUR LIVES is no more the province of scientists than it is of anyone else. These are not just scientific questions at issue–It is public policy, community policy, money and power issues, form of government issues, and ethics, morality, and related issues.

          • I am not stopping anyone one from eating anything. What is stopping them from eating what they choose now?

          • Well, suck it up princess, if you want to buy only halal or kosher foods, they are not available everywhere either. We don’t see Jews and moslems dropping dead of starvation everywhere, so it can be done.
            If you want foods that cater to your religious nut baggery, you will have to work at it just like the other religious nut bars.

          • Partly organic agriculture is not more popular because people face the misinformation about it, and the mis-characterization and lousy assessment of it, that you and others put out! “A cult’–what a phoney smear. Say, would you please study some agricultural ecology? Earth ecology? Nature? The univese? Religion?

            And there is another important issue. Artificial fertilizers and pesticides are made from Fossil Fuels. You may not realize this, most people do not, yet (they will)–but we have to leave most of the fossil fuels in the ground! Putting carbon into the atmosphere is ruining the climate. Don’t believe it? Tell me about ignoring science!

            Leaving fossil fuels in the ground is going to be a daunting test of our moral fiber and intellectual insight–I am not sure we will pass this test. But practising organic agriculture, and only organic agriculture, would be a large step in the right direction–for many reasons.
            In other words, practise organic agriculture–that we might live, and know wholesome life.

        • contain genes that are having in that plant unknown, untested, unpredictable, and possibly unhealthy effects.

          Well that is not GMO food because they are tested and they know what genes have been changed, so you want a label for new crop varieties that are not GMO??

          • I did noy say that they do not know what genes have been changed, I said the added genes have “unknown, untested, unpredictable, and possibly unhealthy effects.” At least, testing is not required–“Under this paradigm (substantial equivalence), GMOs and non-GMOs are the same; therefore, no compulsory safety testing is required by the regulatory agencies.” from gmoinside.org><Unknown effects–TRUE. Unpredictable effects–TRUE. Possibly unhealthy effects–TRUE. That is GMO's.

          • no compulsory safety testing is required by the regulatory agencies

            well it is true that there is no compulsory testing required, if you want your crop approved you have to test it to the satisfaction of the regulatory agencies standards.

            Just like there is no compulsory testing required to drive, but if you want a driver’s license you have to pass the tests provided by the regulatory agency.

          • The regulatory agencies use the so called principle of substantial equivalence–which is TomFoolery.

          • It costs over 100 million dollars to test and go through the regulatory requirements to get a GMO approved for consumption. Only Monsanto and other large Ag cos have that kind of cash on hand to get approval. For only a few hundred Euros you can GMO your own plants (buy a kit on Ebay), but you could never afford to get approval for them.

          • The regulatory agencies use the so called principle of substantial equivalence–which is TomFoolery.

          • Definition: Substantial equivalence is a concept, first described in an OECD publication in 1993, which stresses than an assessment of a novel food, in particular one that is genetically modified, should demonstrate that the food is as safe as its traditional counterpart.

          • There is so much bad, wrong, and total misinformation on that site that it is pretty much a joke. Please provide a cite from an actual science site.

          • You know where the really pure propaganda is? Advertising. Tell me, how much money do Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Bayer, and Syngenta spend every year on spreading there lousy propaganda? How much money does corporate America spend defeating labeling initiatives?
            Tell me about propaganda. Big money has the rest of us totally, ridiculously outgunned.

          • In the current Hawaii campaign, the organics cartel donated 3x as much money as the evil chemical corporations.

          • The majority of ORGANIC farmers DO NOT support GMO labelling, banning or mapping. They know it’s none of their business what their neighbors choose to grow on their own side of the fence, and they don’t appreciate it when urban organic activists who’ve never worked a day on a farm try speaking on their behalf.

          • If “The majority of ORGANIC farmers DO NOT support GMO labelling”-that is because that would be bad for business. I do support it.

          • I believe that GMO’s, more specifically GEO’s, should be labeled. And to not do so is plutocracy–which we are so buried in, no one notices it.

          • MORE WEALTH–more freedom to abuse people, more ownership of media, more ability to surround people in propaganda, more ability to own and run schools the way you want, more reach to exploit the entire world, more syncophants, more control of the judiciary, more ownership of the communities mind, more automatons working for you, more politicians working for you, more thinktanks working for you, more ability to pass unjust laws, more ability to force your will on people, more sham democracy, more plutocracy, less justice, less health, less compassion, more force, more violence, more self-righteousness—I would choose more regulations, more laws, more democracy, more government, more equality, more fairness, and more bureaucracy any day at all.

          • Consider the U.S. Social Security System. Massive burocracy. A big step providing the poor with some–security. Equality.

          • Republicans dislike The Social Security Administration–because they are selfish as sin.

          • They have spent well over 100 million dollars total defeating labeling initiatives in just four states–California, Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

          • Once people know what will happen to the cost of their food they don’t want the label. And there is no scientific reason for the label.

          • Once many millions of dollars is spent propagandizing people to oppose labeling, they do.

          • The fact that it cost to label GMO food is not propaganda. How on earth do you think there will not be a cost involved if this becomes the law of the land? I just don’t understand how you can say these things.

      • I was caught in the middle of a food desert without a car for a week (the middle of Washington DC). I drank milk for a week because there was nothing else I could access that I knew was safe. Organic and Non-GMO are not readily available in rural areas either. I’m not sure that I would so readily throw around the mentally impaired projection. One more label would definitely help me. If you haven’t walked in my shoes who the heck are you to judge.

      • Do you know what the term means?

        “..Definition: Substantial equivalence is a concept, first described in an OECD publication in 1993, which stresses than an assessment of a novel food, in particular one that is genetically modified, should demonstrate that the food is as safe as its traditional counterpart.

  2. 93% of Americans support GMO labeling

    Its time for the biotechs and their millions to step aside and allow the
    American consumer to have the same RIGHTS as 64 other countries presently do today

    • That thing has been posted, re-posted, and cross posted dozens of times. Which does not make it any more meaningful. Only about 20% of those in favor even know what a GMO is, so it is kind of like asking “are you in favor of world peace”.

      • 1) If you did not keep people ignorant, by refusing to label, people would understand more.
        2) Mindless criticism of “that thing”, when you think about it.

          • GMO’s are a huge change, compared to the addition of HFCS, not just plain old corn syrup. They both should be labeled. One is.

          • Uhmm… No. HFCS is not “just plain old corn syrup” – but that just illustrates what I mean when I said that less than 1 in 15 know what it is. “..There is, however, some evidence that the body treats HFCS differently than glucose, another common form of sugar. When a person’s liver is deciding what to do with glucose, it has several options: use it for energy; convert the glucose into triglycerides or store the glucose as fat..” http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/edible-innovations/sugar2.htm
            The problem appears to be that the body treats HFCS differently – HFCS in excess seems to produce liver fat much more readily. HFCS is probably not as bad as some would have you believe, the real problem is how the body handles EXCESS sugar of all types.

          • No, I did not misunderstand it. You are implying that GMO’s are much more dangerous, even though millions of premature deaths and diabetes can easily be traced to sugar – most of which is HFCS in foods. Yet you ignore that very real threat, and go after something that has yet to have ONE single proven harmful effect.

          • “Uhmm… No. HFCS is not “just plain old corn syrup” – but that just illustrates what I mean when I said that less than 1 in 15 know what it is.” I certainly never said that HFCS is “just plain old corn syrup”. This is clearly a misinterpretation of my clear English.…..I never implied that GMO’s are much more dangerous. I said GMO’s are a much bigger change, and BOTH should be labelled..… Many studies have found harmful health effects of GMO’s. You choose to discount them, though some of them are much more rigorous than many of those studies supposedly showing safety.

          • Show me ONE scientific study that shows any harmful effects from GMO’s. You keep claiming they are out there, but nobody can seem to find them.

          • Seralini, et al.——-Arpad Pusztai———- Genetic engineering of crops as potential source of genetic hazard in the human diet Review Article——— A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health———The Goodman affair: Monsanto targets the heart of science.———The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods.———Detection of Glyphosate in Malformed Piglets.———Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and occupational exposure to agricultural pesticide chemical groups and active ingredients: a systematic review and meta-analysis.———Answers to critics: Why there is a long term toxicity due to a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize and to a Roundup herbicide———Exposing Monsanto: Herbicide linked to Birth Defects-The Vitamin A connection.———Mete-analysis connects glyphosate with non-Hedgkin lymphona———Don’t Look, Don’t Find: Health Hazards of Genetically Modified Food

          • There is a big dispute. It is not clear where truth lies. Bad science sites can be bad propaganda sites.

          • People will call anything a fraud. Does that mean that it is? Of course not. Those “bad science” sites are themselves on other lists of “propaganda sites.”

      • And it totally ignores the fact that there will be a price to pay for all the testing that will come with labeling. I want a new car, but I don’t want to pay for it!!

          • “Health concerns? Environmental health concerns? Stupid people–just ignore them! We know what is best, and we rule.”

          • Admit it Michael. you don’t want to see another GMO crop brought to market.

            No one’s calling anti-GMO activists like you stupid, but you must admit that you’re the one who actually believes a handful of greedy capitalists hijacked the scientific process for the last 30 years just so they could foist some useless crops onto gullible farmers around the world.

          • “Admit it Michael. you don’t want to see another GMO crop brought to market. Not ever.” This is false. I want people to act very carefully when making hugely consequential changes–like turning the genetic makeup of life over to extremely narrow-minded, extremely selfish corporations and individuals.—–

            Your second paragraph-False. It seems to me that the science is unresolved. There can be no such thing as “finding that GMO’s are safe.” The only thing that could ever possibly be done is to find that “this, particular, genetically modified organism is safe.” That is all that can reasonably be forseen. Each and every genetically modified organism is going to require extensive, long term study of its safety.——-
            And actually, studying this issue, I am becoming more concerned about the implications of giving this kind of power–to change living creatures, ecosystems, the entire biosphere–over to extremely selfish groups and individuals. And I am extremely concerned about letting said groups and individuals claim that power for themselves–which they are now doing. —–This, I believe, is a huge mistake, condemning us, should we survive, to a mountain of trouble and pain.

          • Yeah, imagine if the lowly peanut came out today, it would never be approved for cultivation. Same with Kiwi-fruit and wheat.

          • Not really. There comes a point where that “precautionary principle” becomes much more of a hindrance than a safety measure. If cell phones had to undergo the kind of testing for EMF brain damage that you want for GMO’s, we would still be using the telegraph.

          • If we waited for life long tested of every technological advance, we would still be waiting a few years for the microwave to be released. Never mind that the wavelength of microwaves makes it impossible for them to escape from the box.

          • Never mind that the wavelength of microwaves makes it impossible for them to escape from the box.

            That is just “Big Microwave” propaganda,you are a Big Microwave shill. Bought and paid for by the Microwave Popcorn Industry, that uses microwaves and food additives to control our minds forcing us to ignore Chemtrail spraying planes and lizard people that are running the country…….. I know all this is true because I read it on Facebook.

          • It’s pretty typical not only of the greens, but all anti-science groups. Even the anti-evolution crowd has their variation on it. But the anti-GMO crowd and anti-vaccine crowd are especially prone to ignoring any and all science, and invoking unverified anecdotes, fear mongering, and the usual “what if you’re wrong” clause (I first encountered that clause on anti-evolution sites).

          • What these activists always leave out is the massive risk to human health if we don’t adopt technologies like vaccination. I think it’s because they’re not very good at math.

          • That part is always left out. And another thing they always leave out is that 6,000 year old rule about “beware of unintended consequences”. They are so focused on one single issue that they totally ignore any and all other ramifications of what might happen (governments, of course, have been ignoring that rule since governments existed). Uganda is a good example of that.

          • Not using GMO’s is not a massive risk to human health. It is only a risk to the plan of some people and corporations to corral massive amounts of money, by forcing not fully tested crops down peoples throats.

          • Go back through the history of science Michael. You could’ve said the same thing about every innovation that has helped humankind. And if someone like you ever did say that at other times in our history, thank God no one listened to him.

          • if people adopt this technology of genetic engineering too rapidly, it could have catastrophic effects on the biophere. Adopting G.E. too quickly means making changes in things we hardly understand. Caution is essential! There are many, many things we could do to improve global society and agriculture that would help us much more!

          • The value of T depends on the particular technology. Another big step forward for the gung-ho GMO crowd would be to recognize the possibility of negative effects, at some point–a possibility that certainly exists.

          • Few if any approach the magnitude of the potential negative downsides of Genetic Engineering.

          • I’m not anti-science. I’m anti scientific arrogance, self-righteousness, and know-it-all attitude.

          • There is a big issue about which “scientific” studies can be accepted–and which criticisms can be accepted.

          • There is a big issue about which “scientific” studies can be accepted–and which criticisms can be accepted.

          • The green movement is not anti-science. It is against people behaving destructively, stupidly–sometimes while informed by half-baked science.

          • The “green movement” is a big umbrella. It includes a few that actually are green, and a lot that are total BS and a lot that are nothing more than fear mongering charlatans preying on fear and ignorance.

          • Our society benefits hugely from the greens! We need more of them, and fewer sleep walking automatons–who are much with us.

          • Define “green”. I would say that less than 25% of those that call themselves green actually are, and in some cases worse.

          • First, ” GMOs have never caused a single death or illness”–you no that is pure speculation. Epidemiological studies have not been done.
            Two, ever hear of PCB’s, DDT, Agent Orange, etc.? No wonder the chairman of Monsanto thinks he should have changed their name.

          • Earth to Mischa–we pay a pittance, to dictators and governments we played a crucial role in installing, so that most of the people in the Middle East benefit not at all.

          • However, if you mean fracking–UGH! Water toxification!……………………
            Malaria–I don’t know. Maybe we can talk the mosquitos into not biting people. ………….
            Pardon me.

          • It’s not like organic agriculture has every, specific answer.Organic agriculture tries to work with nature.

          • Do you realize the DDT is persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic? Do you know that DDT has massive deleterious environmental effects?

          • Whenever it is used. Have you ever studied any ecology? We don’t really have to destroy the ecosystem, so that we don’t get sick.

          • There’s a myth that DDT bioaccumulates in the whole environment. That’s illogical and unscientific, to say nothing of iompossible.
            DDT bioaccumulates only in certain organisms, just like natural substances do.
            Banning DDT was a death sentence for over 40 million people, mostly children under the age of five.
            Have a nice day.

          • What do you think happens when organic farmers use copper sulfate on their fields?
            There’s a dead-easy way to stop DDT from bioaccumulating in certain organisms. There is no way to stop copper sulfate from bioaccumulating.

          • “There’s a dead-easy way to stop DDT from bioaccumulating in certain organisms.”–Stop using it.

          • In my comment, “First, GMO’s…” I am referring to the study cited by M.Popoff, at greeneradeal.com/li…

          • Fossil fuel is more green than burning wood for warmth. Likewise, modern farming is more green than primitive farming.
            We’re already plenty green Mike, and getting greener everyday. What organic activists propose, if you dig into their philosophy, is to drastically reduce human population levels to match their vision of a “green” economy. But that’s backwards.

          • Fossil fuel use is disasterously impacting humanity–Look. See……… If we don’t cut it way back, we will have mega-chaos. But just for a few million years…………….So you think that we are going to pull the rabbit out of the hat, and be able to go on like this? Methinks ye be blind.

          • Are you aware of the fact that there are 20,000 man-hours of Work in a single barrel of oil?

            When farmers converted from horses to the internal-combustion engine, they immediately doubled the productive capacity of their land because half of all arable farmland used to be devoted to growing feed for horses, mainly hay and oats. They were also able to farm more land, and to do so far more efficiently.

          • Yes. And all of us are going to have to make huge changes and adjustments–because we can not use most of the remaining fossil fuel. If you won’t open your eyes and look into this, you can forget having a helpful effect on humanity–because you are helping to condemn us to disease, starvation, and war. Big time.

          • To avoid even more widespread disease, starvation, and war (These are already massive,) we are going to have to make huge changes and adjustments–like, for one, not using much fossil fuels. That alone is daunting.

          • The carbon that there use is putting (back) into the atmospere is ruining the climate–Don’t you see? Are you looking? Or are you accepting uninformed rubbish? Why?

          • Sure. But there is this other thing–the greenhouse effect–By which CO2 will break the climate. It happened before, scientists believe–long long ago’

          • It never happened. CO2 levels used to be many times higher than they are now.

            In fact, we’re approaching the point where if CO2 levels drop much further, plants will stop growing altogether.

            We’re not going to hit that point tomorrow or anything. But it’s a very real threat to all life on the planet Mike.

            The environmentalists have this one totally backwards.

          • Looney tunes. I’m sorry, M.Popoff, you are a good chap, but what have you been reading? Who have you been talking to? You know, it is our task to make good sense.

          • Have you heard of melting ice caps? Disappearing glaciers? Rising oceans? Increased storms? Hottest weather ever recorded? Common, man, don’t be captured by rich, selfish, blind people.

          • “long long ago”
            Someone has been watching too much Star Wars.

            It goes like this.

            A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….

            It is a period of civil war. Rebel
            spaceships, striking from a hidden
            base, have won their first victory
            against the evil Galactic Empire.

            During the battle, rebel spies managed
            to steal secret plans to the Empire’s
            ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an
            armored space station with enough
            power to destroy an entire planet.

            Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents,
            Princess Leia races home aboard her
            starship, custodian of the stolen plans
            that can save her people and restore
            freedom to the galaxy….

          • Try working on a farm Mike. You’ll develop an abiding appreciation for the internal combustion engine.

            If you were to work a standard 12 -hour day on a farm of your choice, it would take you 4-and-a-half years to do the work that a tractor can do in a single day.

            Still think we’re wasting fossil fuels?

          • I can’t find your comment. This forum is so huge. And no, you’re incorrect, this is a stupid forum. I can explain with no debate why it is so. We are spending all of our time arguing pointless things on forums that have no legal binding, when that time could be much better spent not bickering but solving this problem. There is no QUESTION that GMO is less healthy, worse for the environment, and puts the control of our crops in the hands of money hungry war profiteering corporations. THE ONLY QUESTION is how we all want to join hands and fight this matter. Any other question evades the question, don’t get lost in semantics. Get on the right side of the fight.

          • Well, I strongly disagree with this. After I spend hours on this site, don’t tell me it is stupid pointless bickering. I have learned alot! I’m much clearer about what GMO’s are and aren’t. If you want to join hands and work for good, I strongly suggest stop pissing on allies.

          • The precautionary principle is about taking reasonable precautions. Sure, precautions can be unreasonable–one can misapply the precautionary principle–but that does not mean that something is wrong with the precautionary principle. (look up the precautionary principle.)

          • But you must appreciate that banning GMOs is the stated goal of the anti-GMO organic movement. And no, it’s not the extreme fringe that believes this. It’s the mainstream of the organic movement.

          • I never suggested banning GMO’s. The organic movement has to deal with the Go, Go, GMO crowd, which is quickly making huge and possibly bad changes in our food system.

          • I’ll let you in on a little secret Mike. Pollen only has an effect on a crop that is replanted, not on a crop being grown for food.

            And in the case of seed production, it’s the seed producer who’s responsible for the purity of his crop, not his neighbor.

          • Go ahead deny responsibility for some gene from let’s say a bacteria getting into my crop and hurting it–if you did not irresponsibly and selfishly put that gene into your crop, no way it would be in mine. Go ahead deny responsibility! Your behavior, here, is piggish, and should be punished.

          • If you eat the seed, and it was formed partly from DNA that came from a foreign gene (foreign to that biome without GEO’s,) pollen drift could be consequential to you–even if you only eat organic.

          • The level of mixing makes it inconsequential. We’ve been keeping separate strains separate for centuries.

          • But this is an area where scientists should recognise the pressing limits of their understanding. G.E. introduces a new kind of change. We can not be sure how it will behave.

          • But one of these years, if this GMO thing gets rolling big time, some gene that has unforseen negative consequences will get around–and cause big problems.

          • blah blah blah

            the pseudo scientific debate continues over semantics. let me refocus you all again.

            DO NOT GMO.

            KEEP FOOD ORGANIC.

            KEEP IT IN THE DOMAIN OF EARTH, NOT CORPORATIONS. Let’s unify and fight for that.

            Not quote scientific publications to coat our egos. FIGHT FOR THE RIGHT>

          • how about this. forget organic. forget GMO. forget everything implanted in your head. get some dirt together and grow a real tomato plant. eat that tomato and all your answers will come to you. the propaganda will fade and you’ll hear your own heart beat.

          • Sorry, I’m a little bitchy on this forum. I’m sick of forums, I want to see results. I am feeling the pain and suffering of this new chemical-based society and I know it’s a bad thing and I just don’t see why debate is helping us stop it. I file actual lawsuits, engage in real protests. What good has been done on a forum has been my main question.

          • It’s hard to account for that synthesis in forums. Plus, we have a shortage of time and a real penetration issue on forums. Where’s the action steps? When do we actually effect change in the WAY THINGS ARE GOING.

          • General Electric and Westinghouse gave us electricity. Microsoft and Apple gave us the computer. Science is always bigger than the companies involved in bringing it to market.

          • I don’t know what your point is. Electricity and Computers have not benefited us because we were doing much better as a people before them. It’s absolute proof. But I’m not sure your point anyway.

          • Let the people choose what innovation they want in their food, and who will make it for what purpose.

          • You do know that EVERY corporation is motivated to make money, and the best way to do that is to make a good product that people want, right? You don’t get very many repeat customers by making a product that is poisonous.

          • Making money for their investors is the bottom line of corporations, by law! That is simply true!

          • PCB’s. DDT. Saccharine. Cyclamates. Aspertame. rBGH. rBST. Depleted uranium munitions. Pesticides. Nuclear weapons. Drones. Fighter jets. Leaded gasoline. Leaded paint–all made by businesses.

          • Congratulations on finally coming up with a positive defense of modern business Michael.

            As you know, these substances are all vital to sustaining our modern way of life. Yes, they can be dangerous if mishandled. But the same can be said for a much longer list of “natural” or “organic” substances.

            Glad to finally have you on our side!

          • Antibiotics. Chemotherapy drugs. Operating room equipment. Fire trucks. Ambulances. Automated External Defibrillators. Motocycle helmets. 97% efficient gas furnaces. Oven mitts – all made by businesses.

            I’ll bet I can come up with a much longer “good” list than you ever could a “bad” list.

          • I am certainly not saying business is always bad. It must not be allowed to ruin the ecosystems on which we all depend. It must be regulated. It must be pro-social, or its corporate license should be revoked. It has no right to take the commonwealth, for itself. It can work to increase the commonwealth, and be paid for doing so.

          • Government regulators and do-gooders also do some very destructive stuff. The Hanford site was a government lab, and the 18th amendment under the guise of being pro-social created some very destructive elements in our society that still exist. It would be wise to take anti-gmo philosophy to its logical conclusions before believing in its benefits. That conclusion being that it has nothing to do with a love of the environment, and everything to do with a hatred of mankind.

          • Are you totally unaware of any reasons to be non-Gung-Ho GMO? There are many good ones—-for examples, the American science fails to show the safety of GMO’s, because it has been limited by the G.E. industry–and hence is biased—-the science is not fully understood—-massively increasing the use of certain toxic chemicals, such as 2,4-D, due to G.E. plants, could have disastrous effects—-other extremely negative effects are very possible. How you can, at this point, responsibly pay no attention to these issues is beyond me. … There are many things that would help humankind much more than growing GMO crops.

          • All of these made/caused by businesses, pursuing there own profit.

            Most of this stuff was invented and made for governments and universities, i think you are blaming the wrong people.

            The massive poisoning of ground water brought to us by fracking.

            Name one…………Gasland does not count.

          • That is a bigger factor than any of the anti-GMO people would have you think. Right now they are all for banning all GMO’s, getting rid of Monsanto, and all the usual anti stuff.

            But when “things” start happening, like bananas and potatoes start to disappear from the grocery shelves due to new virus strains this whole issue will be revisited. Unfortunately it can take years of research to come up with new resistant strains – GMO or not.

          • Are you a breeder? If not, you should talk to one. I think you would find that just the opposite is the case. Breeders have been pulling out the useful genes for a long long time.

          • The potential of conventional breeding is not only untapped–it has brought tremendous developments.

          • GMO’s are not THE way to increase food supply. They may play a role, yes, but mostly we have to cultivate the Earth, and stop blowing one another up.

          • If it was really about “health” the first thing that you would be demanding is a “Grown in Animal Feces” label. E Coli and salmonella kill dozens per year and sicken 10s of thousands.. So stop lying to people in this tread and most likely yourself and admit that you just don’t like GMOs.

          • So now you are claiming that there is a fixed amount of wealth to go around, and if rich people have more, then poor people have less? It appears that your strong point is not economics either.

          • I never said that. What I am saying is, having an extremely small percentage of people who have an absolutely astronomical share of wealth, which we do, is closely related to the fact that a large part of the Earth’s population lives in poverty–in a causal way. Because much of that concentration of wealth is because of “glorified stealing.” For one example, the fossil fuels of the Earth are part or the collective inheritance of humankind. But because of our unjust economic system, a tiny percentage of people are made fabulously wealthy by the use of those fossil fuels, while billions of people get nothing (directly.)

          • I don’t think it is that simple. Just for example if you look at the lower 25% of the world, nearly all is due to bad government, no government, strife, dictatorships, and the like. There are a couple of good TED talks videos but don’t have links handy.

          • the collective inheritance of humankind did not spend the time, effort and resources to develop the technology to extract, process and market fossil fuels. People are wealthy because they create value. Your one-sided economic argument completely ignores any costs that went into the creating of that value.

          • Yea. So when a country, say Venezuela, decides as a society to collectively develop their resources, so that every member of the society can benefit, the rich will claim that “their” resources are being “stolen”–and, time and time and time and time again, the U.S. will violently overthrow the government in that country, claiming it is being taken over by evil communism–though in fact it may well be merely nationalistic. This reality is sick on the part of my government, inhuman, wasteful, and extremely short-sighted. … Lots of people who are wealthy, maybe most, are wealthy because they cruelly or brutally oppress others, and steal their wealth. …. Your one-sided economic argument ignores this fact–which the wealthy rarely, if ever see.

        • Europe incurred no additional costs with GMO labeling.

          The Cornell study that stated GMO labeling would increase cost in the U.S.was funded by

          guess who: Monsanto

          • If you are going to test, (as they do in Europe) then there is a cost, period, end of story. Also, testing requires segregation of produce and agricultural products. There is a cost to this, end of story.

            Also, produce will have to be stored while tests are going on. This will lead to a loss of quality and likely loss of produce.

            You really need to think this through.

        • And other polls show that most have not the slightest clue what a GMO is. “.Public Perceptions of GM Food Labeling‐‐2013. “What information would you like to see on food labels that is not already on there?” In response, most said that no additional information was needed on food labels. Only 7% of respondents raised GM food labeling on their own. A similar number (6%) said they wanted more information about where the food product was grown or processed…” http://humeco.rutgers.edu/documents_PDF/news/GMlabelingperceptions.pdf

          • The ignorance of the American people regarding GMO’s, which is large, has been largely increased by the unscrupulous practice of not labeling them. That same study found that 57% of Americans think that it is very important or extremely important to label GMO’s–and another 21.6% think it is somewhat important. Many other large studies, conducted by some of the most careful polling organizations, have found that, when asked, over 90% of Americans say that they want GMO’s to be labeled.

          • Yes, but when less than half of that 92% that wants labeling has even the slightest clue what GMO is, it comes across as more of a scare tactic than actual information for the consumer.

          • See http://www.choicesmagazine.org/2005-4/GMOs/2005-4-05.htm
            Over the past few years there have been several surveys that show that some 90% or so “want GMO labeling”. But during that same period there have also been surveys that show that anywhere from 1 in 20 to 1 in 6 have even a clue what GMO is. In one survey when asked to name the most common GMO product in supermarkets, nearly 38% picked tomatoes.
            There is so much anti-GMO bullshit out there that it is very difficult to get any actual scientific information, as the anti-GMO crowds creates such a high noise level filled with half-truths, outright lies, and fear tactics.

          • If they were labeled, or identified more in the corporate-owned media, people would not be so ignorant.

          • Nothing is labeled GMO. But GMO’s are significantly different–in the process that made them, and in the product. They contain genes from some unnormal source. I should think people have a right to decide for themselves whether that is a significant difference, to them. The science IS NOT CLEAR. People will tell you that it is–but it is not. You people who are so clear that GMO’s present no problem better work on making that clear–because it is not.

          • Mr. Lauzon, in fact a genetically modified tomato, the Flavr Savr tomato, was the first genetically engineered crop brought to market.

          • People would know more about GMO’s if the industry didn’t bend over backwards to keep information from being shared with them!

          • Yet HFCS and many other ingredients have been listed for years, and most people could not give you the slightest clue as to what they are. Quick, without looking it up, what is Sodium Phosphate and why is it in my soup?

          • Not only that, but I bet if you asked if people would like a label stating that their food was fertilized with raw feces or “this food may show signs of having been eaten by bugs”, most people would probably vote yes to that but the organic industry would start a HUGE backlash. Isn’t it our right to know though? How could hiding this information be good for consumer choice?!

          • Raw human feces–not used. Raw cow manure? It is at least aged, first. Eaten by bugs? That is nature. Organic consumers are more down-to-earth.

          • I never said human feces, you did. Raw cow manure,, responsible for e. Coli contamination in organic food, leading to organic recalls. That’s a fact, a hell of a lot more concrete than BS studies by anti-GMOS activists like Seralinii, Carmen and others who cook their results to get the results they’re looking for.

            “Natural” is a horrible fallacy to use, so much that you would think you guys would get the clue and stop trying it. “Natural” would be you living in a cave, foraging and hunting for food with your bare hands. It certainly wouldn’t be living in a nice house, driving your automobile to Whole Foods to buy neat prepackaged foods. Or even just farming. Organic consumers are no more down to earth than the kid buying an Xbox One from Walmart. Most organic consumers continue to believe that organic farming doesn’t use any pesticides or other chemicals. Or that the ones they do use are safer because they’re “natural”. Hilarious.

          • No one is keeping anyone from buying organic if they want. The antis would definitely love to see GMO food banned if they could make it pass, and since they can’t, they want to mandate labels on the food for non-scientific reasons to imply that it is dangerous. People can only make informed choices when the information that they are getting is truthful, not full of FUD and lies that the anti-GMO crowd continues to propagate. I’d make a deal with them: I’d say label the food if they can find an actual scientific reason to do so, and in return they have to stop spreading the lies about giving people cancer and other bullshit like that.

          • No there aren’t. And there are thousands of studies that have found GMOs to be perfectly safe and equivalent to their non-GMO isolines. Do you even know what that means?

          • Yes there are. All you could possibly say, accurately, is that there are no scientific studies –which you believe are good studies–that have found problems with specific GMO’s. And the fact is, there is huge disagreement about which studies are good. Those “thousands of studies” you mention–how many of them are from the biotech industry? Are they biased? How many of them were very short term–90 days?

          • You can look for yourself, that’s the entire point of the GENERA Database.



            “Those who follow the issue of genetically engineered crops have heard claims that there is little independent research on their safety for consumption or the environment. A new public database of research tells a different story. The resource is theGENetic Engineering Risk Atlas (GENERA), and it goes public on 25 August 2014. The results show that independent peer-reviewed research on GMOs is common, conducted worldwide, and makes up half of the total of all research on risks associated with genetic engineering.”

            If you want to dispute anything in particular with the GENERA database, be my guest.

            If you want to cite a credible study that you feel shows “problems” with GMOs, please do so. The “huge disagreement” on which studies are good or not usually comes from the anti-GMO crowd on one side not understanding how to conduct a proper study, why studies are done the way they are, and in turn why the few anti-GMO studies that are repeatedly touted are not credible or don’t support the conclusions they purport to. On the other side, you have actual scientists and experts in these fields dismissing these studies not just because of who the author is or who the funding comes from, but for specific, detailed reasons why the study is bad, pointing out specific flaws in methodology, statistical analysis methods, or just bad data.

            Where would you like to shift the goal post to now?

          • Beware of proaganda! The Genera website wants to convince you that they are unbiased, but this is untrue. Genera is created by Biology Fortified, Inc.–the creators of Frank N. Foode–a “friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism that was created to help make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable.” This is what we call corporate propaganda.

          • Don’t you think that, if the Go, Go, GMO side had legitimate arguements, they would rely on those, rather than adorable dolls designed to make people feel warm and fuzzy about GMO’s–and disguised propaganda?

          • >>Don’t you think that, if the Go, Go, GMO side had legitimate arguements

            They do, and they’re dismissed out of hand as being shills and propaganda. Usually by you and your uninformed layperson ilk. You can’t complain that the biotech industry doesn’t use legitimate arguments when you simply refuse to acknowledge them when presented to you.

          • Well, first, when people throw numerous insults at me, as you have, I am justified in ignoring them–but I have not……………………………… It seems to me that I am not the one ignoring the legitimate arguements of the other side. How many times am I going to read it–there is not one scientific study showing any harm caused by GMO’s? That, sir, is poppycock.

          • I do not refuse arguments when presented to me, or dismiss them out of hand. Actually, I will consider them.

          • That’s incredible, you went through every single one of the 402 studies currently listed in the Genera database and were able to find conclusive links to Monsanto et al. I’m just flabbergasted. Oh wait, you didn’t do anything at all like this, you just yelled “shill!” and consider that an argument.

            Of course, you didn’t do this, because 1) you don’t really care about the science since it’s inconvenient to your predetermined opinion, 2) you probably wouldn’t understand the science anyway.

            I’m so glad that they leave all of these discussions up for future readers to see this. Future antiGMO nutters, take note: You can’t just dismiss evidence when it doesn’t say what you want it to. Crying “shill!” is not an argument at all, and at best you’ll look like an idiot (example above); at worst, you look like a conspiracy theorist ensuring that no one will take your position seriously anymore.

            Bravo to you sir. I can’t argue with impeccable logic such as that. I’m done here.

          • “You can look for yourself, that’s the entire point of the GENERA Database”–Why should I even look at a database that claims to be unbiased, but actually is a creation of a group–Biology Fortified, Inc.–that at the same time is creating an imaginary character–Frank N. Foode–that is a “friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism that was created to help make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable.” In other words, the claim of Biology Fortified, Inc. to be unbiased is not worth the cyper space in which it is written–and therefore, the Genera Database is best, it seems to me, regarded as a propaganda tool. Funded by the same interests that produced the studies it covers.

            I assure you, I do care about what science indicates. And also, I am well aware that supposed “scientific fact” is deeply embedded in a web of politics, interpretation, money, power, fabrication, propaganda, ignorance, innuendo, insult, and unconscious blinders.——————-It is extremely important to evaluate information sources………………………
            If you want to think that your search for truth is that much more highly powered and genuine than mine–well, so be it.

          • Biology Fortified receives NO funding from any industry or company..all university and private funding..check their website. The GENERA database is a collection of peer reviewed articles. It has no bias one way or the other. It is what it is…journal articles. You could try to use it to make your anti-GMO arguments. To claim it has a bias is absurd.

          • Meet Frank N. Foode–your friendly, neighborhood, genetically modified organism. Brought to us by Biology Fortified, Inc.–along with the GENERA database. How absurd to think that they are related!

          • Private funding–in other words, blokes that have mountains of money have vast, ye total influence over that corporation Biology Fortified. Gee do extremely rich people have selfish, small-minded motivations, and bias, like other people do?

          • You care SOOOO much about the science that you aren’t even willing to look at it when presented to you.
            “Why should I even look at a database that claims to be unbiased…”
            So if you aren’t even willing to look at the studies themselves and you’re just going to call every single one of them “biased” just because they appear together in a categorical database, then please don’t say that you care about the science. You’re an ostrich who would rather stick your head in the sand than actually look into what people are putting right in front of you. There’s a reason that you don’t see a shitload of anti-GMO rebuttals to peer-reviewed articles: they don’t even look at them, and if they did they lack the credentials and knowledge to even understand them, much less rebut them. When you look at the small handful of studies that purport to have anti-GMO conclusions, it’s relatively easy to find detailed, specific rebuttals of them because holy crap, scientists actually read this stuff. Imagine that.

            The anti-GMO crowd has absolutely no one stopping them from compiling their own version of the GENERA database using their own selection of studies to support their bias and agenda. You’ll never see anything like this for one simple reason: it would be empty except for the same small list of failed, flawed studies they continue to attempt to trot out well beyond the death of the horse they’re beating.

            I don’t see how you can continue having these conversations when you’re so far out of your league. It’s really sad.

          • It is a bit hard to ignore monumental personal insults, and get to the important issues. It is too bad that people throw so much ignorant crap at others. It would be good if people maintained one little bit of interpersonal respect, even when engaging conentious subjects. I know that people often have high opinions of themselves, and low opinions of others, but this is ridiculous.

          • Holy shit the irony is THICK here, something like this coming from someone who regularly accuses other people and groups of being corrupt, shills, and “biased” based on absolutely no evidence but personal opinion. AND you didn’t respond to a single thing posted above. “Awwww, he’s being mean!” Cry me a fucking river. Where is the anti-GMO version of GENERA?
            I don’t have any respect for anonymous random people online that give bullshit arguments on the wrong side of the science based on woo and GMO-cancer magic based on single-study-syndrome put out by people with quite less than impecable credentials while ignoring an entire database of studies specifically about this topic ready for you to pick through and look for flaws. Just admit that you lack the credentials and capability to do so, that your mind is firmly made up and there’s no amount of evidence that will get you to change it. At least that would be honest.

          • I never called people shills–you brought that word up–I made a specific complaint. I do not believe I ever said that certain specific people are biased. To call the Genera website biased is not a personal insult, and I did give good support for that claim. I don’t believe I called anyone “corrupt.” ………… Sir, I have been responding to you and about ten other people as fast as I can, and I know that I have responded to numerous specific concerns. ……………………………………….. I will admit, I have been quite harsh in characterizing comments. That has seemed justified………And I made a few comments that were unkind–pardon me………………….. But I certainly have never laid anyone out like you lay me out. “you’re so far out of your league. It’s really sad.” If you have such killer arguement, compared to my lame stuff, go ahead! Put away the numerous, clear, substantive points I’ve made in this discussion. Let’s see it! I’ll bet you can’t!

          • I am justified in not spending my limited time in reading from websites that loudly proclaim there unbiased nature, when a brief exploration shows that they are created by a group that, in the same time frame that they were creating that website, was also creating a pure GMO propaganda device. Go ahead, criticize this! I use my head!………………You see, if thousands of studies find no problem, but forty find serious problems, I think that everyone of those forty deserves to be carefully considered–when the consequences are huge!…………….. And also, when study after study find that most people want GMO’s labeled, I think that it is the height of arrogance for some minority, though they be rich, to put a stop to that!

          • I did not call any of those studies biased. ————————-You make it difficult for me to respond to your comments, because they are imbedded in so many stupid, sense-less insults. Your comments seethe and flow over in self-righteous rage–they boil and break in personal ugliness. You display full scale “I got the truth” attitude–while I am mere scum. Frankly, it doesn’t seem worth it–to contest with your lordship.