Not all science created equal: The genetically engineered crops story

There is tremendous controversy about genetically modified (GM) crops and derived food. Even the definition of what is a GM crop can differ depending upon with whom you talk. From a strictly scientific perspective all food has been manipulated at the genetic level by human activity; therefore all foods are genetically modified.

A more scientifically precise term for what goes by the popular term GMOs is genetically engineered (GE). This definition involves the use of recombinant DNA technology in the crop breeding process.

For thousands of year’s entire plant genomes have been mixed to create new varieties of food crops. Starting in the twentieth century we began using ionizing radiation and chemicals to randomly change the DNA of food crops, a process known as mutagenesis. In all of these “traditional” breeding methods there is little knowledge of what changes have occurred to the DNA of our food crops. However, it is known that the extent of the DNA changes from traditional breeding are far greater than the precise, directed changes that are the result of genetic engineering. GE breeding technology is a refinement of the random uncontrolled DNA modification breeding procedures of the past.

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of commercialized genetically engineered (GE) crops and derived food. In 1987 the U.S. National Academy of Sciences stated there were no new risks from plants that were created using recombinant DNA technology. Twenty-seven years later, a mountain of research continues to confirm this statement.

Twenty-first century society searches the web for quick access information. It’s quick but not always accurate. The Internet is full of false information about GE food. Consumers and health care professionals face persistent bombardment with claims regarding GE crops and derived foods safety. Most people do not have the training or knowledge to distinguish misleading statements from the science in this emotionally charged debate. This document is designed to assist the reader to differentiate between the real science and the prolific non-credible science.

Myth 1: GE crops and food are not tested

All GE crops are extensively tested before they are permitted to be sold commercially. Three Federal agencies regulate all GE crops. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulates products that are known or suspected to be plant pests or become plant pests. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates plants that produce pesticides and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the safety of food derived from GE crops. Even though the present federal regulations declare FDA evaluations to be voluntary, every commercialized GE crops has undergone FDA evaluation. The legal and reputation consequences for not undergoing a careful FDA evaluation and then facing court challenges are so catastrophic that the system is considered de facto legal.

Although most of the testing is done by the companies that wish to market any given GE crop, the type of testing, the number of tests, the number of and type of animals used, the number and type of controls, the composition of test diets, the duration of tests, etc are all determined by international agreed Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards . The OECD has issued Consensus Documents that describe composition, nutrients, anti-nutrients and other compounds of biological relevance for each crop.

Every GE crop is compared to its isogenic (same genetic background except for transgene insertion) non-GE crop for compositional comparisons. Comparisons may include proximates (protein, fat, ash, carbohydrates, and moisture), fiber, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, anti-nutrients, endogenous allergens, and secondary metabolites.

Along with compositional comparisons, GE crops undergo toxicology, molecular, allergenic and nutritional comparisons. Exactly how these tests must be performed is detailed in the European Food Safety Authority 2011 document- Guidance for risk assessment of food and feed from genetically modified plants.

Sometimes animal feeding trials are carried out to enhance the safety determination.

Many subchronic feeding studies in rodents have been conducted over the past 15 years on food and feed derived from GM plants developed so far…Results indicate that animals fed with feed derived from GM plants do not differ with respect to uptake of nutrients, health and performance, hatchability, milk yield, milk quality, etc., compared to animals fed with conventional comparable feed…Those studies which were well designed and followed internationally accepted protocols did not reveal indications of adverse effects.

If further testing is needed, that may include long term and multigenerational feeding studies. A review that looked at 12 long-term studies (of more than 90 days, up to 2 years in duration) and 12 multigenerational studies (from two to five generations) concluded GM plants are nutritionally equivalent to their non-GM counterparts and can be safely used in food and feed.

Food allergies are of special concern as consequences can be severe. An allergic reaction can develop against any type of food. Interestingly, GE crops are the only new food crops that are examined for potential allergenic properties. More than 2700 food products have been created through mutagenesis, creating thousands of unknown mutations and potential allergens, and not one has been tested. All GE proteins are compared to the data bank of known allergenic proteins. Developers do not use organisms that cause food allergies as source of genes. More importantly, there is no a priori reason to believe that GE crops are any more likely to contain allergens than crops bred by any other plant breeding method. GE proteins are also tested for digestibility.

Although the validity of these testing procedures have been challenged, there has never been an allergenic reaction documented to any commercial food derived from GE crops. Until newer validated tests for potential allergenic proteins are developed the present system of weight of evidence testing for potential allergenic in all GE crops will continue to be an important part of the evaluation process for all GE crops.

The Royal Society of Canada 2000 report on Food biotechnology stated:

“Notwithstanding the limits of current technology, a GM food which has undergone a thorough, scientifically valid evaluation process for allergenicity, with negative results, should be considered at low risk to provoke or induce allergic responses and could possibly be even safer than a non-GM novel or exotic food which has not been subjected to the same scrutiny”

The conclusion of this type of testing is clearly stated in the European Commission document –A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research 2001-2010, and the WHO-Twenty Questions on GMO’s;

The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology, and in particular GMOs, are not per se more risky than e.g. conventional plant breeding technologies.

The GM products that are currently on the international market have all passed risk assessments conducted by national authorities. These different assessments in general follow the same basic principles, including an assessment of environmental and human health risk. These assessments are thorough; they have not indicated any risk to human health.

Myth 2: GE Crops threaten the environment

If the world is to grow more food on the same amount of land, we must do it in a more sustainable manner. In this regard, the testing of GE crops for environmental considerations is just as extensive as that for food safety.2

In 2001 a report in Nature examined four different GE crops planted over 12 different locations. The GE crops were planted and then left alone for 10 years. Not one of the GE crops survived. This is because all domesticated crops are designed to make food for humans, rarely if ever, do they out-compete wild plants.

The 2000 Royal Society of Canada report looked at pollen spread from GE crops and concluded:

Most engineered genes are likely to be ecologically neutral and some may carry fitness penalties to their carriers. In these cases the genes are likely to be lost from the population quite rapidly through genetic drift and/or natural selection.

GE crops have significant environmental benefits. Insect resistant GE crops have allowed farmers to reduce the amount of broad-spectrum insecticide use by hundreds of millions of pounds. Herbicide tolerant GE crops have helped farmers reduce top soil erosion and ground water contamination by switching to zero tillage and choosing herbicides with a lower environmental impact.

Related article:  Pesticides Part III: Comparing pesticide use in agroecological and conventional agriculture

Plowing soil has several negative environmental effects. Loose soil is subject to wind and water erosion. Decades of data demonstrate reduced or zero tillage farming used in collaboration with GE crops haves benefited the environment. The use of newer, low impact herbicides that do not persist, but rather break down into non-toxic compounds has also helps reduce the environmental impact of farming with GE crops.

The 2010 National Academy of Science report-Impact of GE Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States stated:

In general, the committee finds that genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops in conventional agriculture.

Myth 3: GE Crops do not Increase yields

A review of global yield data showed 154/168 studies of GE crops neutral or increased yields. Most striking was 101/107 studies in the developing world with neutral or increased yields. This explains why the developing world farmers are adopting GE crops faster than the developed world; they now grow over 50% of all GE crops on the planet.

Myth 4: GE Crops threaten organic agriculture

Organic certification is based on prescribed production methods, not on the quality of the end product. There is no threshold for GE content that would trigger decertification. Therefore trace amounts of GE do not threaten organic certification in North America. No organic farmer has ever lost certification for trace amounts of GE in their crop. Further, no non-GE farmer in the US has ever been sued for trace amounts of GE ending up in their field. Organic and biotech crops have co-existed and both forms of agriculture have prospered over the past 18 years.

There is little doubt why the present controversies around GE crops and derived food are so prevalent with some of the public. There has been an explosion of publications that allege negative results for GE crops and derived foods. Because the average person, including politicians, is not trained in the science they are often fooled into believing the results of these publications. The vast majority of these non-credible science publications report on inappropriately conducted experiments or research. As a group they suffer from an assortment of inadequacies. Improper or lack of controls, too few test animals, improper design, inaccurate or incomplete quotes/citations, inappropriate statistics, data not supporting conclusions are all too common in non-credible reports. World food safety and world health authorities are not fooled. All of these GE-critical papers have been examined by experts and dismissed as non-credible.

The following table lists a few examples or the non-credible publications and expert opinions that explain why these publications were dismissed.

Global food safety, health and science expert response to key GE-critical publications:

Pusztai,1999        potatoes                 Royal Society

Chapela, 2001      maize                     EJB Disavowed

Ermakova, 2005    soy                         Ask-force

Zenek , 2008          maize                     Austrian retraction, 2008

Seralini, 2007         maize                     EFSA

Dona, 2009             review                    CRFSN

Vendomois, 2009     maize                    EFSA

Seralini, 2012          maize/glyphosate   Health Canada paper retracted

In a similar vein, GMO critics have lately taken to publishing large (non-peer reviewed) tomes with hundreds of citations. Jeffrey Smith, founder of his one-man “Institute for Responsible Technology,” has no background in science or science journalism; he received a marketing degree from the cult Maharishi University. Smith has several such self-publications. Genetic Roulette is widely cited on the web as a credible source. But Academics Review demonstrates why it is not credible. Recently, another large publication claimed proof of dangers from GE crops and derived food. GMO Myths and Truth (Fagan is also associated with Maharshi University) is very similar to Genetic Roulette (often citing the same references). Many of the same Academics Review criticisms apply this publication as well.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science released this statement in 2012 about the safety of GE foods:

The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion: consuming foods containing ingredients derived from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques.

A 2013 Italian review looked at 1783 studies and concluded the safety of GE crops and derived food. The European High Court of Justice recently struck down the ban on growing GE crops. Their reason was lack of evidence of harm to humans or the environment.

The European National Academies of Science 2013 report stated:

There is no validated evidence that GM crops have greater adverse impact on health and the environment than any other technology used in plant breeding… There is compelling evidence that GM crops can contribute to sustainable development goals with benefits to farmers, consumers, the environment and the economy.

Health Canada statement encapsulated the global scientific opinion:

The overwhelming body of scientific evidence continues to support the safety of genetically modified food and feed products in general…However, whenever new information concerning the safety of an authorized product arises, this new data is carefully reviewed.

Food has become an important topic in society; policy makers are being pressured by the anti-GMO lobby to create public policy that restricts or bans GE crops and derived food outright. Often these restrictive policies directly benefit the lobby organizations. It is very important that policy makers understand the GE crop technology and how it integrates into global food production systems.

It is estimated that 70 percent of the food in stores contains ingredients derived from GE crops. Learning the facts about GE technology from reputable sources will add an important element to the base of knowledge used to direct public policy. Organizations like the FDA, USDA, AMA, AAAS, NAS, WHO, EFSA, Health Canada are a good source for accurate information on GE crops and derived food.

The most asked question about food derived from GE crops has to be: Is it safe? After 20 years of commercial production of GE crops and after three trillion meals containing ingredients derived from these crops, there is not a single documented case of harm.

All foods carry some risk to some people but foods derived from GE crops have an impeccable history of safety. Although the Internet is full of claims to the contrary, global food safety authorities, health authorities, National Academies of Science and esteemed scientific bodies all support the continued safe use of GE technology.

The 2013 European National Academies of Science Advisory Council wrote:

There is abundant and accumulating evidence from extensive worldwide experience for benefit, and lack of evidence for environmental or human health risk associated with GM crop technology… It is vital that sustainable agricultural production and food security harnesses the potential of biotechnology in all its facets.

Robert Wager is a member of the Biology department at Vancouver Island University. He writes on genetically engineered crops and food. Follow him on Twitter @RobertWager1

267 thoughts on “Not all science created equal: The genetically engineered crops story”

  1. universally the people I talk to who support GMO bans have no idea what genes are. I also find that the more one knows, the more likely one is to be supportive of selective genetic manipulation. But those opposed to that believe that anyone with credentials (mine include MD and PhD) has been ‘brainwashed’ by the colleges and schools that trained them. Odd, how one may mistrust my advice when they are well, but when they truly get sick, whom do they seek? a Western-trained MD.

    • I advocate for developing retroviruses to re-engineer adults and establishing cyborg technology. I wonder what is wrong with me.

      I want my indefinite lifespan and memory chip

      • I am sure that you realize that genetically identical individuals do not share awareness or life experiences. Even if we were able to implant memories as in “Total Recall” the emergent property of “living one’s life” would not result in the experience of immortality on the part of the gene donor. I will be happy to pass on when this 1956 model human body degenerates into insalvageability.

    • I seek a good naturopath. I’m in my 70s, have seen many MDs and many NDs. Only one MD’s teachings were valuable for life. He was an orthomolecular MD, AKA an integrative MD, AKA a holistic MD. They are few and far in-between for they have to re-educate themselves from the myopathy of pharma-funded “medical school”.

    • When scientific method is utilized to FULLY explore the ramifications of what’s being done, and that technology is intelligently applied by science and NOT by some board of directors who are not concerned with the ramifications of their actions, it can be good.
      But impregnating grain with a toxic substance to make it immune to said substance…someone really thought this was a good idea? And don’t EVEN get me started on the ‘ownership’ of GE/GMOs and how the megacorps are using it to destroy the seedbanks of family owned farms.

  2. An excellent article Rob!
    It’s such a relief to finally hear someone like you say there is no such thing as contamination of organic crops by GMOs. It’s amazing how long the organic industry has gotten away with perpetuating that myth.

    • Ever hear of organic Canola being grown parallel to Conventional? Doesn’t and will never happen because of the incredibly high risk of contamination. And you were an Organic inspector? Not surprised your not doing it anymore. Now your friend “Rob” is trying to tell everyone GMO alfalfa and Wheat can co-mingle. Guess they expect Birds, Deer and Bees to stop entering GMO contaminated fields. Only in a testube is there 100% truth to those statements. Who’s giving false information now?

      • Sorry Dayton. You’re wrong. GMO canola poses no risk whatsoever to organic canola.

        But tell you what. If I’m wrong, please show everyone here where in the standards for organic production you see otherwise.

        Organic farmers are certainly not allowed to use GMOs themselves. But their crops are not de-certified merely for coming into contact in some way with GMOs.

        It really pays to know what you’re talking about.

          • Bang on Bongstar420!

            Only an organic SEED crop can become contaminated by GMO pollen. And in that case, it’s the organic seed grower’s responsibility to keep his crop segregated. If he fails, it’s his fault and no one else’s.

            At least we know Bongstar420 is listening! Right Dayton?

          • any non gmo seed crop can be contaminated with gmo, it’s not that hard to understand for most people!!

          • Great question Dayton! Glad you asked.

            I left the organic movement when I realized it was all just a bureaucratic scam designed to propel a political agenda, a political agenda focused solely on banning the 30-year old field of science known as genetic engineering.

          • So political paranoia! Hate to break it to you but since the beginning of time to the past 30 years we have been able to save out own seed and rely on instincts to feed the world. However the last 30 years you and your buddies seem to want to change all that. Thankfully the masses you keep talking about make judgment with their own hard earned dollars, and can’t be brainwashed like the farmers who use your licensed products..

          • So, everything has been wonderful because of relying on “instincts” Insignificant numbers of crop failure. Very little malnutrition. Talk about paranoia. “save seeds” Calm down there. You can still save seeds. And guess what? The “masses” have been voting with their dollars for g.e. crops ever since they were introduced. That’s why the “brainwashed” farmers keep buying the seeds.

          • wow more lies, they do not save seeds they have to rebuy them, you don’t know what you are talking about

          • I raise your “political paranoia” and accuse you of technological paranoia.

            Please name another area of the economy where you believe going forward is bad Dayton.

          • You need to check your facts. The Plant Protection Act allowing companies to protect their germplasm became legal in 1930. The Plant Variety Protection Act was established in 1970. Biotech crops came on the market in 1996. So legal protection of germplasm was the law of the land long before biotechnology. To legally protect germplasm of course companies had to obtain a utility patent or a PVP on their plant material first. Some plant materials were not protected by either mechanism and hence could be replanted. Knowledge is power.

          • Sorry, 1930 years we were virtually chemical free. With no bottom feeders intercepting the farmers profit until now. And it’s only getting worse.

          • Actually, in 1930 farmer’s used tons of chemicals like copper sulfate…one of the most popular…which is a dangerous human carcinogen. Far more worker deaths. Productivity about 1/10th of what we have today. What a golden age.

          • Quite right Jon. Copper sulfate should be banned form all agriculture as far as I’m concerned. It’s routinely used in organic farming, which stands as an example of where organic farming is WORSE than conventional farming.

          • 1930 years we were virtually chemical free.

            Arsenic and Mercury compounds were also used a insecticides. Coal tar, lime and salts were also used.

          • Sure, chemicals are bad… at high-enough dosages.

            Organic pesticides, for instance, like pyrethrins and rotenone, can have devastating effects on the environment and the people applying them when not used properly.

          • Wow. We were virtually chemical free in 1930. I must pass that one on to my colleagues in organic and biochemistry. There must be a Nobel in there somewhere.

          • No. I was actually thinking of glucose, fructose, sucrose, starch, protein, fat, etc. They are all chemicals.

          • Feel sorry for most chemically dependent farmers who are being enabled by the big boys. Monsanto, Dupont etc. Got you guys figured out. As for me been off the stuff for over 25 years. Having fun? You bet ya! And you?

          • The 1930’s were hardly chemical free – it was in fact much worse. There are places online where you can look up old farmers guides, and some mention things like spraying used motor oil for weed control.

          • That was when we didn’t know better. Some take longer to educate than others. Well, you can eat glyphosate with your cereal and toast. I prefer mine to be chem free, the way nature intended it thank you.

          • So did you acquire any professional help after you left Organics or are you still carrying the baggage with you? I’m trying to help you here you should seek help Mischa.

          • The idiot is clearly you Iphlue. The story you’re referring to is not about an organic crop being contaminated.

            Did you read the story?

            More to the point, did you read this article here before commenting?

          • you obviously didn’t read the story here, GMO WHEAT CONTAMINATES OREGON WHEAT FARMERS CROP what exactly don’t you understand about that, a gmo crop contaminated a non-gmo crop so every pro gmo poster on here who says cross contamination isn’t real are a bunch of idiots

          • There was no reason 1-GMO-seed-in-10,000 should’ve derailed any shipments. It was a shameful position for our European buyers to take, but worse was the fact that our officials caved-in to their irrational demands.

          • Zero-tolerance for GMOs is a baseless, political rule.

            Tell me, what does it achieve? Does it prevent people from falling ill? How many lives does it save?

            Europe already accepts feed shipments from America that are 100% GMO.

          • Again, pray tell how did the GMO seed enter the system causing great loss and reputation to farmers?

          • Your not answering the question. Why? What are you hiding? The fact the genie does escape from the bottle from time to time?

          • Flax prices dropped by over a dollar a bushel. Markets were lost, new tests had to be administered at producers expense. Not damage? But how did the GMO get into the system Popoff? Answer that!

          • That wasn’t the first time an experimental crop got into the food chain. And it won’t be the last. What was different in the flax case was that anti-GMO organic activists raised a fuss about it, and actually went as far as to reject loads of flax that contained just one GMO seed in 10,000. Talk about overkill.

          • Is it out of the food chain now? No, and those GMO advocates propose segregation is key. How ludacris to assume that could possibly happen.

          • Perhaps you should call the Flax council of Canada and tell them your lies. Seems they know Triffod is and will be an ongoing issue.

          • Your so full of crap Popoff your ass is sucking air. You pretend to be anti pesticide and pro organic. Meanwhile you advocate glyphosate ,(probably carcinogenic) sucking GMO’s.

          • So you aren’t a proponent of glyphosate resistent Canola, Soybean and Corn. Just apples and rice. Didn’t know…….

          • But what, praytell, does that have to do with the crops being GMO?

            The issue was that the crops were not registered for use. They were experimental.

      • I just don’t get it. There is no scientific reason to not grow transgenic plants, yet the organic people want to block the conventional farmer from growing them. Can someone explain this to me? Talk about a money grab!!

        • Excuse me if I grow Organic Canola and my neighbor grows GMO Canola which cross polinates with mine who will benefit? Monsanto because they have patented the gene that has crossed onto my land. They can’t possibly keep it seperate. If you want to know how much the market desires GMO’s ask anyone who grew Flax contaminated with GMO Triffod. That little experience cost farmers millions but nobody was to blame? Especially not the developers who let it slip out of the test tube. Just like the GMO Wheat in Oregon and unregistered Corn heading to China. Seems no one is accountable but the poor farmer..

          • Monsanto does not sue for inadvertent pollen flow. You cannot not document one case of that happening. All cases have been situations where farmers knowingly saved and replanted this technology. Those of the organic movement don’t grow transgenics simply as a marketing ploy. There is no science behind your position. Now you want to turn around and block productive farmers from using the new technology. I find your position morally reprehensible.

          • Who’s suing whom? So your saying I shouldn’t grow Canola or other grains that potentially carry a GMO gene. I haven’t ever grow GMO Canola but you will find it in my fields. How did it get there? I’ve asked Monsanto if they would comb through 1500 acres of dirt and kindly remove their seed. They declined. How do I market grain in the future if all seeds eventually carry GMO’s? My market doesn’t accept it. We are all entitled to earn a living. Your position is remarkably immoral and even more reprehensible. How do you sleep at night?

          • How do I market grain in the future if all seeds eventually carry GMO’s?

            Well, if all future seeds carry the GMO trait, just market your crop the way everyone else does..

          • I don’t grow any GMOs, so no fees for me. If you are truly an Organic farmer, you must be paying your Organic fees yearly.

          • Yep and agr invest wants me to match them too. $5.465.00. That was for 1400 organic acres last year. it never stops!

          • @HZ — Agreed, but engaging with LL only gives “him” more attention than he deserves. Checking his Disqus comments, it’s not clear that he is capable of presenting a cogent idea; instead, he seems to resort to short phrases (grunts), with occasional re-posts of material found on the Internet. The temptation to engage is great, but in some cases, I wonder if ignoring someone may be the best approach—especially on an unmoderated thread. (Yes, I confess that this is totally ad hominem, but sometimes, that’s the only appropriate response).

            Getting back to your point, Steve Savage did a good analysis of the dependence on GM crops of our European friends. What a great example of having your cake and eating it.

          • Get a grip fellow. Let me make the following points: (1) In contrast to your statement, I would encourage you to grow transgenic plants. (2) Monsanto does not sue for inadvertent pollen flow and organic standards allow for some transgene contamination. (3) the only way all seeds would contain the gene is if you apply a selective screen, like a herbicide spray, on your crop. Allele frequency does not increase randomly. (4) I sleep very well because my work is aimed at increasing food production. (6) I take it from your statement that conventional farmers also have a right to make a living and can do it as long as what they do is lawful.

            A closing thought. If I were allergic to ragweed pollen and visited by local l U- pick organic grower who had ragweed, could I sue him? I am entitled to good health!!!

          • I too sleep well knowing there is not one stitch of contamination risk by my farm contributing to the food system. You must live in a dreamworld were not one droplet from a sprayer or drift never overlaps and doubles it’s potency. To answer your final question,only if it’s GMO ragweed.

          • Probably not, because the ragweed occurs naturally, and the allergic nature of its pollen, wasn’t the result of human engineering.

          • Again, provide definitive evidence for your point or quit wasting my time. Also use your real name if you want any credibility.

          • If you burned the GMO crops it would make the Air 100% GMO. you know cause now it is contaminated.

          • The plaintiffs in the case — dozens of independent and small time crop growers — filed a lawsuit in March 2011 in hopes of having a federal court protect them against any future claims courtesy of Monsanto. The St. Louis-based biotech company has pursued more than 800 patent infringement cases at a cost of around $10 million a year, often bankrupting farmers because their fields are found to contain traces of genetically-modified or –engineered seeds and crops patented by Monsanto. Those plants, “Roundup Ready” crops, are made to withstand exposure to the Roundup weed killer made and marketed by Monsanto. The Southern District of New York previously ruled that it could not force Monsanto to guarantee it won’t file future claims against farmers found to have trace amounts of GMO seeds in their fields, and this week a federal appeals panel upheld that decision.


          • The case filed in March 2011 you mention failed because the plaintiffs could not provide any proof that Monsanto sued someone who was not purposefully saving seed.

            Provide me with specific cases where Monsanto sued someone who was NOT guilty of purposefully saving seed to benefit from the patented technology. I have followed many of these cases carefully and in detail. I am not aware of anyone who was sued for accidental contamination.

          • Lazy, lazy, lazy: There is not one documented case in which a farmer has been sued for having “trace” amounts of GMO seeds…not ONE. Every case so far has proved to be a clear case in which a farmer illegally and knowingly violated copyright–a right upheld unanimously by the US Supreme Court (republicans and democrats) and upheld by the World Court. In other words, Monsanto has pursued only criminals..and won in every case.

        • Corn is the new “Cancer”. You heard it here first. The obesity epidemic can and will soon be directed right back to the GMO Corn era. Best they burn it all in your cars because it’s not worth anything else. Oh, but how do you feed the starving people was the argument? They need to grow from 200 to 350 lbs or they won’t survive.

          • Dayton, I have been to Africa dealing with a corn epidemic that is causing even more starving people. Starving people do not weigh 200 lbs.

          • Thanks for caring.

            The disease is called maize lethal necrosis. Originally called corn lethal necrosis, it was first found in Kansas by a plant pathologist by the name of Dr. Charles Niblett, then at Kansas State University. Presently i know it is in Kenya, Uganda and the Congo. Likely it has spread even further.

            The disease is caused by simultaneous infection with two viruses. While each can cause some disease, they interact synergistically to basically significantly weaken or kill the plant. While there is some resistance to one virus in diverse conventional (non-GMO) maize germplasm (lines from Monsanto are an important source), no such resistance has been found for the other virus. RNAi technology could greatly alleviate this problem but all the misinformation and propaganda put out by the anti GMO groups are significantly slowing progress. You should google Mark Lynas. Originally one of the leaders of the anti-GMO groups in Europe, he has gotten into the primary literature and now he is a big supporter of this technology. He has publicly apologized for his past actions and for his role in the unnecessary deaths in Africa caused by his actions.

            I hope this answers your questions (Did you parents actually give you that name?)

          • Interesting, thanks for the info.

            From what I read about it, corn lethal necrosis was discovered by Charles Niblett in Kansas in the 70s. And then it suddenly turned up in Kenya in 2011 and has since spread to a few other African countries. Call me a conspiracy theorist, but I wouldn’t put it past the likes of Monsanto and the other big Ag-bio companies to have actually introduced these viruses into Africa, just so they can ‘come to their rescue with biotechnology’, thereby creating a huge new market for themselves, made up of an entire continent!

            From another article:

            “Niblett was part of the research group that first discovered this disease in Kansas during the 1970s, but he noted that it was ultimately controlled through the implementation of agricultural techniques such as crop rotation.”

            Tell me…why can’t this (crop rotation and other techniques tried and found to work in Kansas) be tried in Africa before rushing headlong into a new technology that will inevitably lead to African farmers becoming economically dependent on multi-national corporations whose only aim is to increase their bottom line (in the disguise of philanthropy)?

            Yes, I know all about Mark Lynas. You should google Dr. Thiery Vrain. Unlike the non-scientist, Mark Lynas, Dr. Vrain is a former genetic engineer and soil biologist for Agriculture Canada. He had been a proponent of GMOs during his career at Agriculture Canada, but since leaving there ,he has looked more deeply and critically at the available science literature on the topic and come to the realization that there are many unanswered questions about this technology, especially with regard to the two most commonly used traits -Bt and herbicide resistance) and he has since changed his stance on the matter. I am more inclined to believe someone with a scientific background in the actual subject matter rather than a journalist who just happened to change his mind based on ‘his reading of the primary literature’, lol!!

            Did you parents actually give you that name?”

            Nope, I thought of it all by myself! Aren’t I clever??

          • i take it you have never been to Kenya or are familiar with the weather and agricultural practice differences distinguishing the two areas. One huge difference are the cold killing winters in Kansas.

            I assume you think the use of a pseudo name gives you immunity from lawsuits and you can say anything you want to say about Monsanto. But you have not a shred of evidence for your statement above. You hide behind your pseudo name like members of the KKK hide under their hoods.

            Man up!!

          • Lol! No, I haven’t been to Kenya specifically, but I have spent a significant portion of my childhood in Zambia and South Africa, so I’m quite familiar with the weather and agricultural practices in parts of Africa, at least the practices before the advent of GMOs. So I know and understand the importance and significance of maize to the people there and how it would irreversibly devastate them if something were to go wrong with the untested experimental products that Biotech is using on them and their lands.

            I never accused Monsanto et al of anything, I just said I wouldn’t put it past them to do such a thing. Quite different. And if I remember correctly, there is something called the 1st amendment in this country.

          • Sorry but I really can’t take seriously someone who hides behind a fake name and says outlandish things. Does Big Organic block you from revealing your true identity? If you want to discuss the science here in a serious way, respond with your real name.

          • So you can do what? Attack my background? Qualifications? Pour on the ad hominems? I’m sorry you have to use the lack of knowing someone’s real name as an excuse to get out of discussing science and real-world issues. Good day to you.

          • Oh the victim card!! I see you have received training.

            No, you have to be held accountable. Perhaps that will get rid of th BS

          • But you haven’t responded to his comments regarding Dr. Thiery Vrain? I must investigate further, to get Dr. Vrain’s perspective on GMOs.

      • Dayton, I’m happy to disillusion you about your “contamination” fears. Apparently you are not aware that splicing of genes from one species to another has been going on since the beginning of life, approximately 2 billion years ago. Viruses transfer genes from one organism to another as they enter cells and begin their replicative processes. Some viruses are themselves mutagenic, i.e. cause gene changes in their hosts (people, animals, plants). Bacteria also carry DNA from one organism to another as they spread from one host to another. Scientifically speaking, the processes of gene transfer from one species to another, and even between plants and animals, is taking place every minute of every day, and none of those processes are in the least bit controlled by humans. Transgenics is happening in your canola field, even right now, under the snow cover. Just because you may be an “organic” grower doesn’t mean that your canola is not subject to inter-species gene transfer, all by natural means. You just don’t know enough about it to realize that your fears about “contamination” are groundless. You should study up on these natural gene transfer mechanisms now, during the winter, so that you might begin to observe them in your soil system, and in the crop that you plant next spring.

    • Technically, if GMOs were to accidently cross-pollinate with a field of non-GMOs and start growing amongst, then by the definition of contamination (to make unclean or impure by contact or mixture) contamination of organic crops by GMOs is feasible. Not saying it happens (I think it does happen), just making a point.

          • Really? Not on this farm. I can safely eat my seed if I choose. In fact I have several conventional farm wives who call for organic wheat and flax.

          • If you’re producing seed Dayton, then it’s YOUR responsibility to ensure the purity of that seed. Not your neighbor’s.

            This applies whether or not you’re organic. Seed production – even saving seed – is covered by a set of rules that pre-date organic standards by at least a century.

            My advice is to grow trees and bushes in your buffer zones to cut down on pollen drift. Simple.

          • Perhaps you can help me build a bubble over my land. Deer, Birds, Bees, Hunters, winds don’t seem to care about a few trees or hedges. But keep dreaming about your perfect world .

          • You missed it. Let me explain.

            Organic activists like you want to pretend that 0.01% cross pollination is the end of the world for organic certification. Meanwhile, almost HALF of all certified-organic food sold in America tests positive for prohibited pesticides.

            As I say, holier-than-thou.

          • Mischa, I am not a farmer, but a consumer. I do know enough about seed saving to conclude you are the dishonest person in this conversation.

            You start the conversation by calling contamination by gmo a “myth”, and yet conclude by agreeing – while at the same time ridiculing – a farmer who simply states contamination cannot be completely eliminated.

          • GMO contamination is a myth. How else do you explain the fact that not a single organic farmer anywhere in the world – even one who saves seed – has never had a crop de-certified due to this alleged contamination?

            Facts are facts.

          • Honey? I just met you.

            But okay…

            Anywho… if you’re about to try making a marketing argument, save your breath. The law is the law. And in this case, we’re talking about law that was written, edited and finalized by organic industry stakeholders.

            Either they failed to write good law, or they wrote good law and just don’t like it. Either way, you’re welcome to try rewriting the law, but ’til then, the law is, as I say, the law.


          • Again, you are either dishonest or confused.

            You claim gmo crops do not contaminate, then you admit they do, but don’t result in decertification, so it doesn’t count.

            This has absolutely nothing to do with the law, and I have no idea why you are prattling on about certification.

          • If GMOs are capable of contaminating an organic crop, please show a single example anywhere in the world where an organic farmer sued his neighbor for this contamination.

          • It qualifies as contamination to any one who is particular about that gene being in their crop–for example, maybe it produces a toxin.

          • Are you as concerned about contamination from a GMO that deletes a toxin (or inhibits a toxin producing organism) as you are about one that might produce a toxin? If so, then have you considered the perverseness of your position?

          • Farmers have not, however, had to deal with genes from biologically distant organisms appearing in their crops.

          • Exactly! What a statement: “confusing food production with seed production”. I know what’s being implied, but it sounds like a statement from big-agri and a disconnect from the natural cycles of nature. There is something special about growing your own food and saving your own seeds from a portion of those food plants.

      • You made 2 points Larry. (1) you claim that it’s a “lie” to claim that GMOs are safe. Your claim stands in contrast to the declarative statements of every major independent science organization in the world, from the National Academy of Sciences to the World Health Organization to the European Food Safety Commission. Recently, 88% of American Academy for the Advancement of Science members, all scientists, went on record saying GM foods are safe–higher than the percentage of those who belief in the reality of global warming. As for increased yields, every study done to date–every single one–shows that GM crops increase yields. A meta-study released last year estimated an average yield increase of 22%, which is the lowest I’ve seen, as many crops show an increase of 50% or more, mostly because of insecticide protection. Here is that link: Best to stick to facts and not propaganda…your way is the lazy way.

  3. Excellent article! Thank you. This article is going into my bookmarks file!

    An environmental harm that GE crops are often accused of–that they involve monocropping which is bad for the environment–wasn’t mentioned here, but I have effectively defused that in debates by saying, “Well, ALL monocropping is equally bad for the environment, no matter whether from GE or normal food crops.”

    • I highly recommend the National Academy of Sciences 2010 report-Impact of GE crops on Farm Sustainability in the US (free to download) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council 2013 report-Planting the Future (also available on-line)


  4. Ah yes and the farmers being sued by Monsanto for patent infringement are just making it all up, and the increased need for more pesticides has no negative impact on the surrounding area? There is a revolving door with Monsanto and our leaders who fast-tracked GMO seeds without the necessary due process. I see no evidence that Monsanto cares for anything but their bottom line and ultimate goal of controlling the world’s food supply.

          • @Warren — You’re asking for evidence, not rhetoric—perhaps this is asking too much?

          • A little late, but you asked for it: 2 is better than 1:

            Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene
            on Commercial GMO Crops. How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?

            Roundup damages sperm. An acute exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide alters aromatase levels in testis and sperm nuclear quality. Estelle Cassault-Meyer, Steeve Gress, Gilles-Éric Séralini, Isabelle Galeraud-Denis, Environmental Toxicology and Pharmacology. Volume 38, Issue 1, July 2014, pp. 131–140

          • Note on the first link: “..The authors of the research have given the following statement…

            Dr Nancy Podevin and Professor Patrick du Jardin:

            “It has been known for some years that a DNA sequence used to turn genes on and off (a gene switch) in some GM plants also forms the tail end of a virus gene in the Cauliflower mosaic virus. This naturally occurring plant virus is ubiquitous in plants and derived foods, both GM and non-GM, and does not pose safety concerns to human and animal health.”

            “In the light of recent advances in the understanding of how this gene behaves when it occurs within a virus, we did a comprehensive risk assessment of the part of the Cauliflower mosaic virus used as a gene switch. We were looking at how the presence of part of this viral gene may affect the physiology of the GM plants. We studied the variants of the gene switch that are introduced in GM plants and the conditions under which this gene segment could be turned on to produce a viral protein fragment, in detail. No risks to human health were identified when this gene was present in GM plants.”

          • Thanks; good info. I heard about this before, but it’s still more an opinion (when you look back at the facts).

            One thing puts you (actually me) at ease, and 10 others arise! Like (just thinking; no need to comment) :

            Half of the Studies Find Cause For Concern … The Other Half Are
            Studies By the GMO Food Industry itself. Tufts University’s
            Director of the Research and Policy Program at the Global Development and Environment
            Institute (Timothy Wise): There is no … consensus on the safety of GM food. A peer-reviewed study of the research, from peer-reviewed journals, found that
            about half of the animal-feeding studies conducted in recent years found cause
            for concern. The other half didn’t, and as the researchers noted, “most of
            these studies have been conducted by biotechnology companies responsible of
            commercializing these GM plants.”


            Or the chelating capacity of glyphosate, literally blocking availability of trace minerals, giving much support to the MIT – Stephanie Seneff – publications. My PhD and post-doc research was in organo-phosphorus.

            If the GMO industry weren’t so bullying, and hysterically, neurotically, determined not to let me know which foods this crap is in – – –

            – – – and the same “You have no right to know” regarding the atrocious blunders regarding climate change countermeasures

            PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW! Global Warming – the science, EXTREME urgency to take countermeasures, and associated blunders – are very basic and easily explained.

            GOD BLESS!

          • Glyphosate has a similar chelating activity to citric acid, which many of us consume at thousands of times the levels of the minute traces of glyphosate in our diet. Are you proposing banning orange juice—just in case?

            In addition, some rudimentary high-school chemistry and arithmetic would allow you to calculate that our consumption of divalent metal ions such as calcium, zinc and iron are vastly greater than the traces of glyphosate. (From my experience, this would be a middle-school chemistry test question, rather than an undergraduate one). So where does your claim of “blocking” availability come from? Do you just blindly parrot what you read from Seneff?

            Ironically—and perhaps you haven’t noticed the labels on nutritional “supplements” or garden fertilizers—chelation of metals is commonly used to INCREASE their bioavailability.

            I normally would not resort to sarcasm (and this is totally ad hominem), but in your case, since you claim to be a former chemistry professor, I think that it may be time for you to go back to school and study some of the fundamentals.

          • See, here you go again: you just have an urge – genetically built-into your genes? – to be obnoxious.

            The paper by MIT senior scientist Stephanie Seneff, predicting ever increasing rates of Autism, suggested Mn-chelation by glyhosate as a possible explanation.
            Knowing that a) there IS a definite GREAT increase in the incidence of Autism, together with
            b) A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has
            been reported in the United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar
            increase have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was
            introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of
            herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops. Evidence is
            mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in
            plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both.
            Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut
            bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to
            cancer – – –
            suggests that this (and your quoted reasons/explanations) needs to be re-evaluated.

            You often get on a high horse, spouting advice. Remember (maybe you don’t know this) but I am a (reserve) member with an equine police unit, and I know how to ride; ha, ha!

            What is wrong with your “science” is that you keep quoting old conclusions, and when new data suggest that something may be wrong with the (previously drawn) conclusions, you quote the old crap, and on the basis of that refuse – – as indicated by new research – – to advance forward.

            Peter: The earth is round!
            Oh, No!
            You still believe it is flat?????

          • Hans, I gave you two simple challenges: 1) Compare the chelating activity of dietary citric acid with the traces of glyphosate that we are exposed to. 2) Compare the levels of glyphosate with our typical intake of minerals such as Ca Fe Zn Mg etc. Why are you unwilling to do the simple arithmetic that debunks the notion that glyphosate causes health problems by virtue of its chelating activity?! And no, merely citing Seneff doesn’t cut it, since she is also unwilling (or unable) to do the required simple arithmetic.

            I already laid this out in simple terms in my previous comment. What’s not clear?

            Now, if you come up with a different answer, please share, and I’ll gladly engage in a scientific discussion. I might even eat my words if I have missed something critical. Since you are a self-declared former chemistry professor, what shocks me is your unwillingness to talk actual science. Recommendation: leave the rhetoric to others, and just focus on data and logic.

          • Hello Peter:
            We two – obviously – look at facts quite differently.

            YOU: – – re. possibility of glyphosate chelating trace minerals (and thus removing them from availability, and thus – as concluded by Stephanie Seneff unavailability of Mn causing autism) – – look for anything that had previously suggested that it could be used to deny this possibility; like your chelating example with citric acid. So, YOU deny this possibility, and DISCUSSION OVER.

            BUT THAT”S NOT HOW REAL SCIENCE WORKS: when lots of new data agree, we re-evaluate and, most likely, come to a new conclusion/explanation of facts.

            ME: Knowing that a) there IS a definite GREAT increase in the incidence of Autism, together with b) A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases (have been reported in the United States over the last 20 years. c) Similar increase have been seen globally – – – AND ALL RIGHT ALONG WITH THE INCREASED USE OF GLYPHOSATE (and consumption of GMO foods) AROUND THE WORLD.
            d) Now add to this the (confirming) fact that glyphosate is STRONGLY connected to kidney problems ( chelating minerals – – actually the reason for S-American countries banning GMOs).
            e) US life span among 30 nations dead last; in agreement with increase in diseases.

            f) GREAT DIFFERENCES exist between chelates of, for example, glyphosate and citric acid, expressed as “Stability Constants” – – expressed as log: .
            Mn with citric acid 3.2
            Mn with glyphosate 5.7 and (12.4)
            Hell of a difference between citric acid and glyphosate!!!!

            SO, ME: bottom-line: S. Seneff has good points; agree with increases in diseases and US life spans.. Hans keeps an eye on her.

            Same with the ever increasing, reported, risks associated with GMOs, and glyphosate specifically. Simply trying hard to find an excuse for any/all newly evolving risks DOESN’T MAKE SENSE – – most likely the wrong approach. Probability alone says this would be the wrong approach.

            – – – and all in agreement with . ENJOY!

          • Dear “Doctor” — I’ve looked at your rambling, incoherent website, complete with pics of Seralini rats. Your Institute of anti-aging is most …. bizarre. Yes, you certainly look at facts “differently,” as you state. Please enlighten us what kind of “doctor” you are. You certainly are confused about correlation and causation, and I am curious about your science background. Or medical background. Or whatever you are a “doctor” of. The autism stuff, the Seralini rats …. you are waaaaaay out in left field compared to the consensus of the rest of the scientific community that studies biotechnology.

            Your strange website actually tells everything we need to know:

            Curious what you’re selling, and who funds you. Please enlighten us.

          • For my science background just click on my picture!
            Your response is soooooooooooo typical of the GMO BS-sers; hiding behind anonymity, touting pseudo-science, making pro-GMO claims that are – mostly – plain hot air, and unsupported by real science. And if papers by our top universities/researchers present GMO-industry-disagreeing facts/risks, you just deny it! And if those researchers keep publishing GMO-exposing risks, initiate harassment campaigns against them: .

            I bet you find nothing wrong with the 90-day GMO SD rat “studies”, that should (more reality-based) be called “90-DAY-PULL-THE-WOOL-OVER-PEOPLE’s-EYES GMO-BS-RAT-FARCES.”
            Why don’t they do 3-day studies? BS just more obvious! Would guarantee “No difference between rats fed glyphosate (or GMO-foods) and control groups.”
            Hallelujah! WOW! then these GMO food aberrations must be safe(?).

            So, when prof. Seralini, one of the most respected scientists, did studies going past the 90 days, and showed the effects of feeding SD rats with GMO-corn (-view pictures at -) this rotten GMO industry tried everything to malign him. Find real facts about the Seralini research team, and new study results (like glyphosate damages hearts) at

            “BUT – oh, OH – we have to feed the masses, and GMO-agriculture can do it!”
            El Toro Poo Poo again: changing back from the unsustainable present agriculture land mismanagement to a more holistic land management is the way to go! It will not only put lots of CO2 back into the ground, but will also increase crop yields:

            What else – – truly uplifting – – can I tell you?

            With Russia, Greece, Latvia, Scotland – – a total of 26 nations – – banning GMOs – – France and Germany also just joined in – –

            And Tufts University concluding “GMO studies: Half of the Studies Find
            Cause For Concern … The Other Half Are Studies By the GMO Food Industry itself,”
            Monsanto and Others Caught Paying Internet
            ‘Trolls’ to Attack Activists and to parrot GMO pseudoscience – – a news item even the NY TIMES couldn’t resist – –
            ONE WONDERS WHO THE TROLLS IN DISCUSSION GROUPS – – like this one here – – ARE???
            Anybody see tale-telling signs?
            ENJOY! – – – and GOD BLESS!

          • You didn’t complete the two assignments, Hans. Shame.

            You didn’t calculate the HUGE excess of citrate over traces of dietary glyphosate. This would also overcome the differences between stability constants that you mention—but I wanted to keep the problem as simple as possible, since you seemed to be struggling earlier on.

            You also didn’t compare the LEVELS of all the major dietary metals with the level glyphosate: these metals are in HUGE excess. Even with an infinite stability constant you can’t overcome the simple arithmetic of one metal ion binding to one chelation site.

            If you are truly concerned about chelation, might I suggest consuming one glass of OJ and one cup of milk every day?

          • Would take time, and would make no sense. We’d have to calculate stability constants – – which I always found a PITA to do; like .

            I am not saying that you are incorrect in rejecting the idea of chelates (as related to, for example, the incease in autism) , but – under these circumstances:
            a) Established sharp increase in Autism,
            b) great increases in 22 major diseases,
            c) Doing Pub-med for importance of trace minerals with Autism (confirm),
            d) Right along with the increase in 22 major diseases the increase in ghyphosate use,
            e) Glyphosate risks surfacing; definitely NOT safe (as I see it).
            Jawohl, Peterchen, Du hast mich zum denken angeregt! – – You got me thinking; never hurts.

          • I ask you yet again, “doctor” — do you know the difference between correlation and causation? You mention increases in diseases and then with a giant leap of incredulity somehow link that to the rise in use of GE. As a scientist, you should know better. Shame.

            How about linking all those diseases to something equally as nonsensical, like, say, the rise in cellphone use? Correlation there, right? (are you tracking here? do you have any idea what I’m talking about?) But would you jump to causation and infer (wrongly)that “Heyyyyy, autism’s going up. So is cellphone use. Wow — I’ll betcha cellphone use causes autism! Or, wait, maybe ….. maybe increased autism rates cause people to use cellphones more? Or something. Um, no, wait …..”

            Please review basic science. Please.

          • God, I love it when tell-tale signs show that I hit a nerve – – – when some people, instead of being factual, just have to be obnoxious!
            Gives me a chance to (urge as former professor of chemistry) EDUCATE:

            Anyway: The conclusion you are referring to is not mine; actually drawn by an international team from German and US universities:
            Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the deterioration of health in the United States of America .
            Nancy L. Swanson, , Andre Leu, Jon Abrahamson, and Bradley Wallet
            Abacus Enterprises, Lummi Island, WA, USA , International Federation of Organic Agricultural M govemments, Bonn, Germany, Abacus Enterprises, Lummi Island, WA, USA, Crustal Imaging Facility, Conoco Phillips School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, USA

            Abstract: A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has been reported in the United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar increase have been seen globally. The herbicide glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops. Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer.

            Add to this the paper by MIT researchers:
            Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases III: Manganese, neurological diseases, and associated pathologies; Neuropathologies such as autism, Alzheimer’s disease (AD), depression, anxiety syndrome, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and prion diseases. PMCID: PMC4392553 .

            And, with more support from previously published data:
            a) Established sharp increase in Autism,
            b) great increases in 22 major diseases,
            c) Doing Pub-med for importance of trace minerals with Autism (confirm),
            d) Right along with the increase in 22 major diseases the increase in ghyphosate use,
            e) Glyphosate risks surfacing; definitely NOT safe (as I see it):

            MY RESPONSE/CONCLUSION IS: MAKES A LOT OF SENSE, SO LET’S SEE WHAT WILL BE CONFIRMED, OR EXPLAINED DIFFERENTLY – – – and in the meantime stay away from the glyphosate-poisoned Frankenfoods!

            Any problems with that, wiseguy?
            Exhale! Let the hot air out before somebody punctures the hot air balloon!

          • Wirklich blöd, Hansi.

            If you don’t understand simple stoichiometry then no-wonder you can be fooled by the four infamous S’s: Seralini, Seneff, Samsel and Swanson.

            I am starting to think that you are being deliberately provocative by saying things that you know are untrue. If so, you got me!

          • The GMO lobbiest out in full force to tell how great they are while they consume organic!
            The irony.
            Btw you keep comparing lab modification compared to thousands of years of natural.
            No comparison.
            Eat away at that BT toxin corn,I’m sure it won’t damage the intestine tract!

          • Well, agsci, just for you, here are two more that got 10,000+ hits:

            Washington infected with the
            Special Interest Virus, President Trump the only effective Antiviral Agent!

            blunders guaranteeing steep declines US health – sustained by Washington’s
            infection with the special interest virus.

          • Good grief, Hansie. What these have to do with GE foods I have no idea. (And neither do you). And, um, do you somehow seriously think that 10k hits, or however many “hits” on Google University webpages constitutes peer review?
            Yeah, I think you should vote for Trump, though. You two are a perfect pair. I’m mailing Trump a foil hat that matches yours.
            I repeat — what do these totally irrelevant articles have to do with GE?

          • Just trying to educate you – – because your knowledge in respect to ANY health-related field is soooooo embarrassingly low; almost non-existent!
            Or are you still sniffing your favorite GMO cancer causing herbicide glyphosate?
            Did you ever view the pictures of GMO corn (glyphosate)-fed lab animals on our site?

          • Hi Hans, I don’t have the Seralini reference, but you must have read it. What concentration/dose of glyphosate was used, and how was it administered?

          • Hello Peter:
            Buried in my files; don’t remember the used amounts; what I do recall is that the concentrations at which effects were seen were BELOW established safety levels.

            But, then, I don’t think this is really telling because calculating back to human levels isn’t exactly a science. Recall the (from animal studies) calculated antioxidant levels (suggesting that above calculated levels could give better results)?
            Well, a good friend of mine is a famous olympic trainer. Working with the athletes (giving them larger amounts of vitamin E, others) it quickly became obvious that “more” and “more” is definitely not “better.” IT ACTUALLY SLOWED DOWN THE ATHLETES. Why? Our interpretation: we have free radical reactions in the energy pathways, and the antioxidants messed them up(??).

            But what really worries me is the strong – – MIT papers – – chelating ( – we used to call it complexing) capacity of glyphosate, literally binding/removing trace minerals/metals (Manganese, copper, zinc, more) from bioavailability – – – inducing deficiency.

            PS: good to hear from you.

          • Here you go:

            There were no doses of Roundup, but rather percentages of the GM corn in the rats’ diet (0, 11, 22, and 33%). The Roundup was applied to a corn field (Roundup WeatherMAX) at 3 liters per hectare. How much water was used in the applied mixture is not stated (this is highly relevant because it affects coverage and dosing in the field). Nor do the authors provide the time interval between Roundup application and harvesting of the ears to be used in the diet (days? weeks? months? Were the ears present when it was applied?). Nor do they mention how the feed was stored for usage during the two years of the study. Just a few of the important details that the authors didn’t bother to mention, and those aren’t even the serious problems. Whoever peer reviewed this and gave it a pass did a poor job. But I will quit before I get too grumpy.

          • Hi Pogo333, I was referring to Hans’s claim that glyphosate damages sperm (Cassault-Meyer et al.)

            The abstract mentioned 0.5% herbicide—which is like drinking it out of the bottle—but I was hoping to get more detail.

            (And yes, the “republished” Seralini paper is an abomination—guaranteed to make one grumpy).

          • 0.5% like drinking out of the bottle??? Actually 0.5% is found in water after agricultural spraying! – – – and (in the study) given for 8 days only!

            Do you remember the pesticide executive who wanted to show (DDT?) safety by consuming some?


          • Here is the experimental detail from the correct paper:
            “Thirty sexually mature 60-days-old Sprague-Dawley (SD) male rats (Janvier, Le Genest Saint Isle, France) were fed and housed under standard conditions (photoperiod of a 12 h dark/light cycle and controlled room temperature) in the CURBE department (University Center of Biological Experimental Resources, Caen, France). All the procedures were performed in accordance to the French Government Regulations (Veterinary Health and Animal Protection, Ministry of Agriculture). Each group was randomized and animals had access to plain water and standard diet. Fifteen male SD rats were subjected to an acute exposure of GBH at a 0.5% dose, similar to those found in water after agricultural practices. GBH was diluted in a deionized water suspension and administered in drinking water for a short period (8 days from postnatal day (PND) 60–68) (GBH+). The water’s consumption was followed every 2 days for one week before the experiment and during the protocol period. The fifteen untreated rats used as controls (GBH−) were fed and housed in the same conditions but with deionized water without added Roundup. Five GBH+ rats and five GBH− rats were systematically euthanized at three different periods after the end of treatment: immediately after the treatment (d68), after one cycle of spermiogenesis (19 days after treatment, d87 in our experiment) and after one cycle of spermatogenesis (54 days after treatment, d122 in our experiment).”

            Again, shoddy description: 0.5% of formulated material or active ingredient? The formulation they used was quite strong at 450 grams per liter (ie, a ca. 40% formulation), comparable to Roundup Ultra in the US (41% formulation). When applied, growers I know may use 0.9 to 2.0 liters in about 40 to 50 liters of water per acre, for about 24 grams or 0.8 ounces of active material per acre. For total formulation, this amounts to about 2%. How likely is it that water recovered from the field after “agricultural practices” would still happen to have 1/4 of the same amount of herbicide as what is coming out of the spray nozzle? Not at all or even close. Little of it remains on the plants or binds in soil? Such an assertion is absurd. Seralini and company provide no detail or justification for their numbers. No reference cited stating concentrations from field water. We are simply to believe what we are told with no evidence. Just amazing.

          • Thanks, pogo. (I had hoped that Hans would be willing to support his alarming claims).

            So Seralini administered Roundup in the rats’ water at a concentration of about 2000 ppm glyphosate, which is close to the 5000 ppm I occasionally use to kill weeds in my yard.

            Perhaps the simplest conclusion is: if you’re a rat, don’t drink herbicide straight out of the bottle.

            I suspect that there are few things that humans are exposed to that would not be toxic at 10- or 100,000-fold higher levels than we normally encounter. Yes, toxicology is often about extreme exposures, but the challenge is then to extrapolate to biological significance in the real world. What troubles me is the poor quality of editorial and “peer” review.

          • Peter, I do wonder, however, where they came up with the 0.5% value. Coupe et al. 2012 (“Fate and transport of glyphosate and aminomethylphosphonic acid in surface waters of agricultural basins”, Pest Management Science 68(1):16-30; conducted careful water surveys in Mississippi, Iowa, Indiana, and Rouffach, France. They took into consideration the agricultural use patterns in the areas. The maximum levels of glyphosate ranged from 73 ppm in Mississippi up to 430 in Indiana (France was at 86). Nowhere near the 5000 ppm that Seralini et al toss out as the standard amount in water “after agricultural practices”. And Coupe et al were studying runoff and streams, not drinking water. I have been unable to find any reference on glyphosate in water that comes closer than 10-fold less than what Seralini et al state as some mysterious standard with no support, and the vast majority of reports are much lower. Which is probably why they failed to cite any references. There aren’t any. Another example of shoddy science, and weak peer review.

            I can’t help but wonder how many of the Seralini defenders have actually read and examined his work. I’m not a physiologist, but I know enough about toxicology, agricultural systems, and experimental design to know that his work is of poor quality.

    • Farmers sued by Monsanto were actually harvesting, saving and replanting transgenic seed knowingly to take advantage of the technolgy.. Cite one example where this is not the case.

  5. Hmm, no adverse effects? What about all the nut allergies that kids have? Where did they come from ? Soaring autism rates? Celiac disease? Diabetes epidemic? Soaring cancer rates? The unbelievable number of obese North Americans? I think it has everything to do with our food supply and the unfortunate part is that our governments are not interested in protecting us. Just in the money.

    • –there are no nut GMOs..all allergies caused by organic or conventional nuts
      –there are nut GMOs in the pipeline that eliminate the protein that causes the allergy, but anti-GMO activists oppose them
      –celiac disease linked to wheat, but no GMO wheat is approved or being grown or consumed anywhere in the world
      –cancer rates are down over the past 15 years, particularly stomach cancer
      –diabetes not linked to the process of GMOs
      –autism not linked to the process of GMos
      Going forward, please rely on science.

        • That incident is a clear case of someone intentionally planting a stolen GE wheat cultivar. There is no other explanation that fits the known data. Care to guess who might benefit from non-deregulated GE wheat showing up in a field 8 years after the last test planting occurred?

          • I would say the same thing about the novel strain of Escherichia coli O104:H4 bacteria caused a serious outbreak of foodborne illness focused in northern Germany in May through June 2011. Odd that such a strain which was found on organic produce [bean sprouts in Germany and two cucumbers from Spain] would be found on organic produce farms- Odd that when analyzed by scientists at Germany’s Robert Koch Institute who decoded the genetic makeup of the O104 strain, they found it to be resistant to all the following classes and combinations of antibiotics: • penicillins • tetracycline • nalidixic acid • trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazol • cephalosporins • amoxicillin / clavulanic acid • piperacillin-sulbactam • piperacillin-tazobactam

            Odd, that’s not the kind of thing we find in Nature, but rather traditional created in a Lab, isn’t it ? So how really did that lab experiment just happen to find it’s way onto radically different geographical locations from one another ?

            You see folks, it’s not the proof of wrong doing that makes it so, but the mere suspicion of impropriety is all that is needed for winning an argument. right Robert ?

          • Except we find multi-resistant Enterobacteriaceae in “Nature” all the time, especially in hospital environments and waste from cattle farms. O104 is not a strain typically used in a lab, the mild non-infective K12 is. Enterobateriaceae are stupidly promiscuous and easily exchange genetic material through horizontal transfer, acquiring resistance genes and virulence genes from each other. And finally, your claim that a multiresistant E. coli strain could only be created in a lab denies the very real, global and serious problem of multiresistance to antibiotics.

            So the above is not only not proof of wrong doing, it doesn’t even make sense,

          • Yeah, I’ve always considered Hospitals and Industrial Cattle Feedlots to a major part of Nature too Dave, Good one.

          • Yeah, care to explain what’s not “natural” about the processes under which these bacteria acquire resistance and virulence mechanisms?
            The fact that we find them more often in environments under strong selective pressure for antibiotic resistance does not undermine the fact that they naturally possess these mechanisms and even more so that they do not need to be intentionally created in a lab , which was your initial point.
            By the way, half of the antibiotics you cited involve the same resistance mechanism.

          • I take it things are slow today at the Genetic Illiteracy Club, huh Pete ?

            Your buddy Wager made an accusation above here based on the mere appearance of impropriety that people from the anti-gmo kamp are probably responsible for the contamination of GMO Wheat into conventional wheat fields. It should not be a tough Google for you to find what the Koch Institute findings were.

            BTW Pete, explain to everyone here how mycorrhizal fungi are a poor choice for drought resistance in crops as opposed to science fiction gmo varieties ? Explain to us how biomimetics is a curse word in the gmo industry ?

          • Can you give me another hypothesis that fits the known information about the GE wheat?

            As for the 0104, it was traced back to Eqypt seeds. Human excrement is used as fertilizer in some Egypt agriculture and that would definitely explain the multiple drug resistance found in the bacteria.

            Sorry I did not see you question til now as I don’t come to this article/link very often anymore.

          • No that was probably a case of false positive tests.

            Seems all the “positive test results” were at or below the detectable limits.

          • This comment is waaay later than the original comments, but I feel I have something to add. When I was studying for my Ph.D. at a major Midwestern University, I collaborated with a USDA-ARS laboratory and had access to most of the seed and materials storage on site. In this storage, there were thousands of bags of previously studied seed hybrids and varieties that were under lock and key, but were at the same time would’ve been very easy to raid and remove seed that I may have found interesting. That is, I was easily able to enter seed storage 24 hours per day. the wheat seed in question was required per EPA regulations to be kept under lock and key, but there are no guidelines for access to the storage facility. I suspect that a graduate student, or worker in Oregon simply entered one of these seed storage facilities and took some of the stored seed. it would have been easy to steal without anybody ever knowing any seed were gone.

      • go ahead then and drink a glass of glyphosate if you think it is so safe, gmo crops are killing the soil due to the high amounts of poison being sprayed on crops and the spraying has only increased over the years, soon the soil will produce nothing as it will be dead. Farmers do not need monsanto or their poisons!!!

          • ah more like your no farmer, farmers care about the land and the food they grow, real farmers don’t kill their soil and spray their food with poison only monsanto shills do that

          • The more you post, the more ignorant you make yourself look. Congratulations, I guess…

          • But Monsanto has the right to deny you of using your own seeds,instead they force you to use their GMO seeds.
            I see,you like to be run by a corporation.
            Yeah you’re right, lazylarry has no right to tell farmers the truth.

        • And who make you the king of farmers, to decide what farmers “need”? Incredibly arrogant. Talk to a farmer. Learn something. Your accusations are absurd, but your ignorance is even worse.

    • Wow, your list is prretty long. But let’s see; We can throw in more junk if you like.
      Uh, how about car accidents? Your elbow joint pain? Your dog’s cancer? Your kid’s sorethroat? Your MIL’s bad temper? Bad weather? Might as well throw those in too.
      But then again, you are an anti-gub’mint ranter who doesn’t trust oversight. You must be very happy with your not-regulated mutagenic organic food.

      There’s not even correlation, much less causation.
      Good grief; go talk to a high school science teacher.

    • “I think it has everything to do with our food supply”
      Yes, and ignorant people can think lots of things.
      Thinking something doesn’t make it true.

  6. These are the FACTS which were disclosed in a lawsuit by the Alliance of Biointegrity against the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

    The FDA’s records reveal it declared GE foods to be safe
    in the face of broad disagreement from its own experts — all the while
    claiming an overwhelming scientific consensus supported its stance. Besides contradicting the FDA’s claim that its policy is science-based, this evidence shows the agency violated the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act in allowing genetically engineered foods to be marketed without first being proven safe, on the premise that they are generally recognized as safe by experts. FDA Scientists Protested the Attempt to Equate Bioengineering with Conventional Breeding

    The White House directive to foster biotechnology advocates the premise thatGE foods are essentially the same as others. However, the agency’s attempts tobend its policy to conform to this premise met with strong resistance from its own scientists. Numerous agency experts protested that the proposed policy was ignoring the recognized potential for bioengineering to produce unexpected
    and unpredictable toxins, carcinogens and allergens — hazards not ordinarilyinvolved with conventional breeding.

    For instance, Dr. Louis Pribyl of the FDA Microbiology Group wrote,
    “There is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and genetic engineering …” He added that some aspects of gene splicing “…may be more hazardous.” (4) Dr. E.J. Matthews of the FDA’s Toxicology Group warned that GE plants could contain unexpected toxins that could “…be uniquely different chemicals that areusually expressed in unrelated plants.” (2) Citing the potential for such
    unintended dangers, the Director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) called for GE products to be demonstrated safe prior to marketing. He stated: “… CVM believes that animal feeds derived from genetically modifiedplants present unique animal and food safety concerns.” (10) He explained that residues of unexpected substances could make meat and milk products harmful to humans.

    The numerous in-house critiques are summed up by Dr. Linda Kahl, who protested the agency was “… trying to fit a square peg into a round hole . . . [by] trying to force an ultimate conclusion that there is no difference between foods modified by genetic engineering and foods modified by traditional breeding practices.” She declared: “The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks.” (1)

    Moreover, Dr. James Maryanski, FDA’s Biotechnology Coordinator, acknowledged in a letter to a Canadian official that there is no consensus about the safety of genetically engineered foods in the scientific community at large (8); and FDA scientists advised they should undergo special testing.

  7. ha lots of lies on here, yes monsanto does sue farmers:
    Monsanto Canada Inc v Schmeiser [2004] 1 S.C.R. 902, 2004 SCC 34 is a leading Supreme Court of Canada case on patent rights for biotechnology, between a Canadian canola farmer, Percy Schmeiser, and the agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto.

  8. Where is the justice? Since 1997, Monsanto
    has filed 145 lawsuits, or on average about 9 lawsuits every year for
    16 straight years, against farmers who have “improperly reused their
    patented seeds.”

    The biotech giant hasn’t lost a single case, either. Not one. This
    includes when farmers tried to sue Monsanto over cross-pollination of
    their organic crops with GMO seed. For example, a federal court dismissed one of those cases, saying that it couldn’t protect Monsanto against unfair lawsuits should they side in the farmers’ favor.
    monsatan does so sue farmers:

    What about unfair business practices? What about 92% of people saying they want their food labeled if it contains genetically modified ingredients? What about the right of farmers to grow food from seed that hasn’t been altered to turn it into a DNA freak show?

    The lawsuit representing over 300,000 farmers who wanted the right to grow organic food was also dismissed on the grounds that the plaintiffs had been sued by Monsanto!
    The judge said the farmers’ reasons for suing the biotech giant were
    ‘unsubstantiated.’ When Monsanto released a statement to the press, they
    said the plaintiffs had:

    “overstate[d] the magnitude of [Monsanto’s] patent
    enforcement,” noting that Monsanto’s average of roughly 13 lawsuits per
    year “is hardly significant when compared to the number of farms in the
    United States, approximately 2 million.” – See more at:

    • It was 30,000 plaintiffs not 300,000. Maybe you should read the court documents Larry


    • Yup they did and now the entire world of toxicology is waiting to see their citation list as their conclusion is completely opposite to the global scientific opinion on glyphosate toxicology.

        • I don’t think your
          assessment is correct.

          They cited because
          it is part of the literature, but in the end they did not use it to
          support their determination.

          To lazylarry:

          IARC classifies
          HAZARDS, not RISKS.

          From the Note to
          the Reader:

          « The
          term ‘carcinogenic risk’ in the IARC Monographs series is taken
          to mean that an agent is capable of causing cancer. The Monographs
          evaluate cancer hazards, despite the historical presence of the word
          ‘risks’ in the title. »

          Higher voltage electricity is a hazard.
          Measure are taken to ensure that there are, under normal conditions,
          no risk.

          Glyphosate, IARC said in a questionable
          determination, is a HAZARD. If you read the paperwork, you will find
          that it is NOT a RISK, except for applicators in relation to
          non-Hodgkin lymphomas. If it were truly a risk, authorities would
          have taken measures to either minimize or even eliminate the risk.

        • I don’t think your
          assessment is correct.

          They cited because
          it is part of the literature, but in the end they did not use it to
          support their determination.

          To lazylarry:

          IARC classifies
          HAZARDS, not RISKS.

          From the Note to
          the Reader:

          « The
          term ‘carcinogenic risk’ in the IARC Monographs series is taken
          to mean that an agent is capable of causing cancer. The Monographs
          evaluate cancer hazards, despite the historical presence of the word
          ‘risks’ in the title. »

          Higher voltage electricity is a hazard.
          Measure are taken to ensure that there are, under normal conditions,
          no risk.

          Glyphosate, IARC said in a questionable
          determination, is a HAZARD. If you read the paperwork, you will find
          that it is NOT a RISK, except for applicators in relation to
          non-Hodgkin lymphomas. If it were truly a risk, authorities would
          have taken measures to either minimize or even eliminate the risk.

    • Oh, Youtube. Now THERE’s a creditable source.

      Larry, is there a reason your name is Lazy Larry?

      If your were in my science class, not only would you flunk, you would be thrown out with everyone else in the class laughing at you and your simplistic and lazy factoids.

      • He doesn’t have a farm, Mischa – that would be too much hard work. Farmers do research based on science, to make their seed choices in the fall. This guy couldn’t get a turnip to grow. Maybe that’s why he’s mad, and spews stuff better found on Food Boob sites, or Flying Fake Smith, or Dr. Oz. It’s not even bad science; it’s merely spit-flying ranting.
        But I’ll betcha he eats genetically modified cheese on his organic burritos from Chipotle! hahaha

  9. Glyphosate use has skyrocketed, because of GMO engineered crops . not gone down ,they lied ,and said it breaks down in the environment, now detected in rainwater, and in humans .We now blanket millions of acres with this herbicide ,which kills most plants and diversity ,now bees and monarchs don’t even have plants to eat .

      • Who else Monsanto. Detection, they said breaks down, that means no detection. A lie. Yes it’s a poison, at some level it will be, I don’t want any level in my body , a experiment for Monsanto. They the government just raised the ” acceptable level in humans” as what is safe, the point they don’t know what is, why don’t you drink it and let us know, if they had to raise this level another lie, it breaks down.

  10. As an engineer I’d have to question how GMO researchers can model and safely predict the potential side-effects of introducing synthetic genetic variants that cannot occur in nature into complex existing eco-systems. How can controlled laboratory testing provide fail-safe assurance that unanticipated irreversible consequences will not emerge after these variants are released into unconstrained environments? Crops modified to produce their own pesticides would seem inherently risky, as their long-term effects on the evolution of both their targets and their own genome would be difficult to accurately extrapolate over multiple generations. We’ve already gone down this path with the inadvertant breeding of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, how can we be assured that GMO development will not present similar hazards?

    • Fail-safe? What in life is fail-safe? What researchers and internationally agreed testing protocols do is give a good likelihood that food derived from GE crops are as safe or safer than food from other breeding methods.

      As for environmental considerations there have been over 28,000 field tests on GE crops looking at many different aspects of environmental concerns. So far none unique to GE crops have been found in any commercialized variety.

      What tests not already done would you like to see added to the evaluation of GE crops and why? It does not represent a toxin to any animal beyond the target pests. Sort of like chocolate. Great for humans no so good for dogs (analogy to target pest).

      The Bt proteins that represent a toxin to the target pest have been around in the environment for a lot longer than humans. Hardly something new.

      Now may I ask you about your basic premise. It is well documented that GE crop breeding procedures are be far the least disruptive to the genome of plants of any breeding technique. Therefore GE crop breeding should be considered the safest breeding method in the history of crop breeding. if you disagree can you please explain why. Cheers

  11. Doesn’t the FDA have a Monsanto lobbyist (and previous VP with the company, Michael Taylor) advising it on this issue? Didn’t the EPA rely on 27 industry-funded studies and only 5 independent ones (3 of which found harm) in order to come to their conclusions about glyphosphate (the pesticide many GMOs are engineered to tolerate)?

    What a joke. The science MAY be sound, but the optics are terrible. When the majority of independent (of the GMO industry) scientists conclude, based on similarly independent, long-term studies, that GMOs and their associated chemicals are safe, THEN I will open my mind to the idea. But for now, I see a whole lot of industry meddling to force something unnecessary down people’s throats. Also, the safety of GMOs is not even that relevant if the chemicals that are their raison d’etre are harmful.

  12. Doesn’t the FDA have a Monsanto lobbyist (and previous VP with the
    company, Michael Taylor) advising it on this issue? Didn’t the EPA rely
    on 27 industry-funded studies and only 5 independent ones (3 of which
    found harm) in order to come to their conclusions about glyphosphate
    (the pesticide many GMOs are engineered to tolerate)?

    The science MAY be sound, but the optics are terrible. When the
    majority of independent (of the GMO industry) scientists conclude, based on similarly independent, long-term studies, that GMOs and their
    associated chemicals are safe, THEN I will open my mind to the idea. But for now, I see a whole lot of industry meddling to force something
    unnecessary down people’s throats. Also, the safety of GMOs is not even that relevant if the chemicals that are their raison d’etre are harmful.

  13. Does this author think that our bodies are in need of a higher level of glyphosate, or what? I don’t want any in mine, But I am for freedom and he can get all he desires at the garden center, I shouldn’t have to eat it because he wants more, should I?

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