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Glyphosate used with GMO crops under attack for disrupting microbiome: Science or a gut feeling?

Despite professional science and health organizations such as the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science agreeing that current approved GMOs do not present any safety issues, recent ballot measures have invigorated concerns. One of the objections raised by anti-GMO campaigners is a proposition that foods from crops grown from genetically modified seeds in which farmers also used the herbicide glyphosate might disrupt intestinal microbiota, the community of numerous friendly bacteria that live in our gut, consisting of trillions of single celled organisms.

Such claims, often presented with alarmist headlines, have become a staple of anti-GMO websites, often citing one-off studies. “Roundup Herbicide Linked To Overgrowth of Deadly Bacteria,” claimed one typical article, this posted on a natural products and supplement selling website, GreenMedInfo.

Over the years, modern medicine has become increasingly aware of the importance of gut microbes to the point that probiotics supplements have been shown, in good scientific studies, to improve treatment of various medical conditions, while also reducing side effects of needed medications, such as antibiotics. Additionally, modern medical practice now uses a procedure called fecal transplantation for individuals whose gut biota have been disrupted by a deadly bacterial species, and the treatment has saved lives.

As awareness of the gut microbiota issue spreads through the general public, it’s been hypothesized to be a factor in the genesis of a range of health conditions, and consequently anti-GMO groups have targeted this as well. Their concern revolves around the herbicide glyphosate which is used in the growing of certain GMO crops. They make the case that while the agent is not toxic to crops engineered to be herbicide resistant, it can impact other types of life, including bacteria. Although many articles cite individual studies and the data are presented out of context, some of the articles  cite multiple sources supporting the idea that under certain conditions the glyphosate can affect bacteria and even animals, negatively.

But the problem is that their concern rests on the levels of glyphosate in the food, and they disagree with the US Environmental Protection Agency regarding what the permitted levels should be. Glyphosate is considered by the mainstream science community to be comparatively harmless at typical levels of exposure. Its toxicity level, known as LD 50, is less than that of salt and of many natural herbicides commonly used in organic agriculture. It is not carcinogenic, does not bioaccumulate and is biodegradable in the environment. Glyphosate, sold in hardware stores as RoundUp, has been used safely for more than 30 years.

The EPA website points out that the permitted levels are based on a broad international scientific consensus involving a wide range of animal studies. While this should mean that there’s no reason for any serious concern, the EPA also notes that it monitors ongoing studies and that the study of the chemical should continue. A European Union commissioned group just re-reviewed glyphosate’s safety profile earlier this year and concluded that it poses even less potential harm than previously thought, and recommended significantly relaxing tolerance levels.

Related article:  Food Evolution interview: Could 'pro science' documentary inspire a pro-GMO food movement?

In other words, it’s a reasonable issue to investigate, if for no other reason than to address public concerns. Furthermore, while health effects resulting from major disruption of intestinal bacterial species would show up in animal safety studies, smaller changes might only produce subtle health effects, or health effects appearing only years later. Based on this possibility, microbiologists have conducted some very good research.

One German study published last year in a reputable microbiology journal tested a range of intestinal bacteria strains, some that are pathogenic (disease causing) and others that help to maintain good health by competing against the pathogenic bacteria. The pathogenic strains included several that most people have heard of in the context of disease, such as Salmonella and Clostridium. One species of Clostridium causes botulism and another causes a life threatening condition the survival from which has been improving mostly because of the fecal transplant procedure that we discussed earlier. The study looked at the effects of glyphosate on these pathogenic bacteria and also on several important friendly bacterial strains. It turns out that the Clostridium and Salmonella are fairly resistant to glyphosate, while several friendly strands are moderately to highly susceptible to glyphosate, meaning that they might be killed off.

This type of study provides a scientific basis for concern that should keep the issue on the table. However, there’s an important caveat. Along with other studies on the effects of glyphosate on intestinal microbiota, this recent German study was in vitro. In other words, bacterial strains were tested in laboratory culture, and their susceptibility to glyphosate assessed individually, which is not how the intestinal microbiology environment works. In other words, the possibility of intestinal microbiota effects is theoretically possible, but the issue now requires future studies to be conducted in vivo–in the real life intestinal environment of animals similar to humans–and looking at the effects of glyphosate in terms of quantity of the agent. Many times, issues that show up in in vitro studies do not translate into concerns in living beings.

So what’s the take home message? Concern about subtle effects of GMO products on gut microorganisms is appropriate to pursue, which is why microbiology investigators are studying the issue. But like every other health issue, results from in vitro studies, do not constitute a reason for a sea change. What they do provide is a basis for expanded study.

David Warmflash is an astrobiologist, physician, and science writer. Follow @CosmicEvolution to read what he’s saying on Twitter.

101 thoughts on “Glyphosate used with GMO crops under attack for disrupting microbiome: Science or a gut feeling?”

  1. When glyphosate was introduced in the GE production process we knew very little about our micro-biome. As we now know post Human Genome Project, our stomach is full of microbes that are very similar to plants/soil. (Imagine that?! We are what we eat?!!?) Our microbiota is responsible for many bodily functions. Most studies I have read on animals and soil show that glyphosate increase growth of microbial activity. None look at whether this is good or bad bacteria or what is the optimal balance. Furthermore, there are no long-term studies and very few short-term studies on the gut/balance health on animals. All of these unknowns are just another reason why GE/Round-up Ready crops are not safe.

    • So what is the concentration of glyphosate in the stomach of a typical person and is it less in a person who eats organic food? In that regard, what is the concentration of copper sulfate in the stomach of people who eat organic food and what is the effect of copper sulfate on the microbes in the stomach? Might this pesticide cause an adverse shift in the bacterial populations in the human stomach? Might organic foods be harmful to people?

      • I know you’re trying to be clever, but for those readers who are interested in the science, the role of copper in human health is pretty well understood. It’s an essential nutrient – there’s actually more concern about dietary deficiencies than excesses. http://1.usa.gov/1lFVfrF

        In other words, based on the currently available data, people should be eating more organic food in the hopes of benefiting from any potential copper residues! :-)

        Yay science!

          • Rob, do not be attempting to limit my garlic consumption…Please. Also my soil is copper deficient. Therefore I use it sparingly and probably need to run a micro-minerals test this year.

          • Evidence please? Copper sulfate is not a systemic pesticide – it remains on the surface of the plant, where it is readily washed off.

            Partly as a result of that fact, copper accumulation in the soil can be a concern, particularly if copper-sensitive livestock like sheep are grazed in those areas.

            This is why organic standards explicitly state that soil copper levels must be monitored where copper-based pesticides are in use, in order to avoid excess accumulation.

    • Not safe…???

      I fail to see the point as to why they are “not safe”…

      I understand your argument that we simply don’t know enough about the technology we’re utilising – I mean, biological technology is just that (yay biotech) – but if we’re going with that understanding then you realise that we shouldn’t have progressed beyond the “discovery” of Fire, right?

      Because we simply never knew enough about it – I mean – look at how destructive Fire can be…we should never have used it before the invention of the Light Bulb…and even then, look at what THAT has lead us to – Energy Crisis!!! OMG – Science is just pure evil and should never progress!!!

      “Bitch, Please…”

      We need to be serious here – GMO crops have no evidence of negative effects and until an anti-GMO activist, who actually studied Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering to a PhD level (or at the very least a freaking Masters Degree), proves some form of negative effect from GMO crops and products (because seriously – food is not the only GMO out there…technically that would be GMP’s, GMC’s or GMF’s), we should NOT halt the progress of Science and we should do everything in our power to ADVANCE the technology, to better understand it and apply it to a more effective and greater purpose – like getting me a chicken sandwich cause it’s late and I’m hungry now…

      Larkin raises a good question and several recent studies have indicated that this shitty movement of “organic” (worst fucking abused term EVER) food stuffs does in fact do more harm to most people than good – specifically the whole gluten-free movement where it’s been found that Gluten has an adverse effect on the body of people who neglect it but are in fact not gluten-intolerant (thus possibly requiring gluten for various processes)…

      Seriously – when the evidence suggests that there are definite negative effects of GMO’s – THEN perhaps we’ll give a more serious note to the propaganda of anti-GMO nonsense…

        • No, the gap if it exists merely points out a possibility that an area needs more research, You gave no evidence of safety or lack of. Thus exposing your bias by jumping to a conclusion not supported by evidence.

          • The evidence is in the research that shows that glyphosate inhibits bacterial growth at very low levels, and does this differentially according to species, and therefore it’s a small leap of reason to think that it *may* have a similar effect in the human gut. Evidence from plant endophytic bacteria communities and soil communities shows a differential favoring of some microbes over others by glyphosate. Stands to reason.

          • So, because you provide citation free speculation. We should ignore years of safe use and abandon glyphosate. Thus causing farmers to use more toxic herbicides or soil destroying mechanical weed control. Thus leading to higher food prices? I prefer the current risks.

          • No, that is not what i’m saying. I can provide citations of evidence of various kinds, beginning with Jaworski (1972) who showed that glyphosate can inhibit bacteria at levels below 10 uM. I can provide references to show that glyphosate changes the endophytic bacterial population of plants. I can provide references to show that it is present in the mammalian gut and that AMPA is produced, indicating that it is likely that some microbes in the gut metabolize it, implying that other microbes may be inhibited. And lastly, i’m not saying that we should abandon it. I’m saying that we should study this possible mode of action upon humans in long-term exposure. I prefer to know the facts, and then choose what to do from there.

          • People could grow their own food (not everyone, just a significant amount more) and then there wouldn’t be so much pressure on farmers, FDA, companies, vendors, transporters, and more, to force a decision for millions of people. Sure, there will be new challenges to face, but we’re adapters. Really good adapters. And we have awesome technology and wisdom that can allow us to live differently if we can make big changes in the everyday lifestyle to trade a market relying on predictable inefficiency for a market that is fundamentally super-cooperative. Maybe that is where my ideas go haywire, but, I’m attempting to be as exhaustive as possible when observing different real world interactions, just as I hope anyone else would.

          • And we have awesome technology and wisdom that can allow us to live differently if we can make big changes in the everyday lifestyle to trade a market relying on predictable inefficiency for a market that is fundamentally super-cooperative.

            I don’t follow. Can you explain what you mean? What does that have to do with me growing some spinach and some fruit trees, as I do?

          • What it means is that you are already on the right track, in my opinion! By growing your own food, you take some of weight on society to ensure that you receive nourishment. To explain this idea, please, enjoy this thought experiment with me:

            We are in a small society of individuals in an Amish community. The most skilled medicine creator, a middle-aged gentleman, in the community needs to teach a female child educator an advanced technique of medicine preparation while he travels to get more of a specific herb. While the man is away, not only are his duties not able to be completed, but he takes a certain amount of the community’s aggregate resources in order to make the journey. The woman now must spend community time creating medicine where she would have otherwise been creating food, clothing, or knowledge other than medicine. For a short time, there will be a deficit to overcome: the skill of the man saved time for the community to make and administer medicine, which the woman is attempting to account for, and the community has lost efficiency of a child educator, displacing more education costs, such as information integrity and communication, onto the community. This is not a problem to bring down the viability of their economy; it is a recognition of all the forces, costs, and flows associated with human ecology. If the ecology is strong, they will manage the deficit effectively until the immediate issue of the absent medicine creator is absolved. The individual families, if they are well-educated and well-equipped, can successfully manage the new cost while simultaneously reallocating resources to continue providing whatever resource they provide best without significantly jeopardizing the sustainability of the community. This might look like basic health education, intermediate chemistry education, and food production skills and resources that distribute the cost of scarcity and maximize the decentralization of goods. Short term flexibility for long term consistency.

            Most of the developed world is not an Amish community, but the basic dynamics are the same. The endeavors of the individual members are all intertwined. Better health means less ambulances and emergency services. Diversified automotive options means less chance of community fallout from the failure of providers. Not that these aren’t necessary, useful, and beautiful enterprises, but the whole community pays for these. The bill can be reduced with education about health and personal responsibility. I’m just saying, maybe we could avoid the “dust bowls” in other markets.

            Does that make some sense or is that all a bunch of gibberish?

          • William, you sound like a decent and earnest individual. I really appreciate that. I can’t say I totally understand what you are trying to convey but I do wish you and your Amish community the best of luck.

          • William’s story perplexed me, as well. But I am not Amish so the principal doesn’t apply to me anyway…probably…I suppose. The gist of it, best I can figure, is if an Amishman allows himself to be distracted the magic stops working for his women. It is a fact Amish women are kept subservient, and I don’t care to know what goes on behind the scenes, but William’s conjecture might be as accurate as anyone’s. The Amish do seem to pride themselves on having large families, and all.

            G’day Cap’n! :>)

          • While I encourage folks to grow moire of their own food. Your comments about inefficiency are way off base. How could we have less than 10% of the population growing the food if we were inefficient? Also there is no force being used on consumers other than by the gov’t. when they collect taxes.

          • I never said that the techniques or work of the awesome people that work to make food for the world are inefficient, I said the market relied on predictable inefficiency. For instance, in terms of long-term sustainability, a diversification of techniques to harvest work are necessary; creatures that form exceptionally unique relationships (i.e. a particular fly can only pollinate this one species of flower) are, in my opinion, more likely to be vulnerable to changes in the ecosystem: they are less able to adapt. One market that this is evident is the transportation market. There is very little monopoly on this because the other markets might come to a screeching halt without some of the new technologies we have today. If the human ecology made all harvesting transportation work a monopolized (in terms of the service being owned) market, everything from taking oneself to work, getting lunch from a restaurant, walking about the house, and taking a weekend trip to the city, would all have to go through some centralized group that controlled the flow of transportation (the tools of transportation are definitely limited: we set up the landscape for cars and road/bound machines). However, the economy we have requires the individual to become the transportation harvester, for the most part, which places a high degree of autonomy of this market in the hands of the individual. The food market is described like the former system. For the significant portion of food harvesting, the individual must rely on a limited diversity of suppliers of that service, especially if they want wholesome, healthy, non-GMO, non-synthetic chemical fertilized/fed food. Not that these sources aren’t massive and plentiful, just that the consumer has very limited input in the production of the food, and therefore very limited autonomy. This is what I meant by force on the consumer: their choices are highly limited (and yes, choice is everywhere, but nothing, at least not yet, can be done instantaneously, so choice is limited.) While industrialization is a very useful adaptation, I personally believe that giving people the tools to be industrial in their own lives, such as efficient construction methods, indoor grow rooms, emotional health training, basic engineering education, and a space that fosters inspired creation, provides the potential for a higher degree of autonomy for the individual, allowing for a greater effect on policy over these markets. Essentially, instead of utilizing a secondary system to impose ideas and beliefs about the dynamics of the market, let the market make its own decisions based on its constituents (a “free” market) in a highly efficient and super-cooperative manner.

          • For where we are in time and space, is it more appropriate to have 1 massive piston or 12 smaller pistons working together?
            And that’s a loaded question: there may be other options, or the question itself may make no sense, but, I believe, we gotta take a jump somewhere.

          • How about 5 or 6 “pistons”, as we now have. 12 pistons are only 6 or 7 more moving parts to wear out and get out of order. Packard may have proven that reality, remember the Packard V12?

          • Precisely! We are making the same point! And what if it is actually necessary to have a turbine engine with hundreds of tiny pistons working together? I’m just saying that just because the car works fine doesn’t mean that it can’t be, or shouldn’t be, upgraded or changed, or all-together abandoned.

          • William, the “market [is making] its own decisions based on its constituents” and the configuration of our supply chains express that prevailing market wisdom. You are bemoaning the harsh reality that the market does not conform to your personal preferences and you hint that external force should be brought to bear on the market to make it conform. Why do you overlook the obvious — if you and your fellow cultists insist on a particular free market outcome you must simply create the corresponding demand signals — what happened to the optimistic rubric “vote with your dollar”?

            Also, why did it require the torturing or more than 600 words for you to state your preference for autocracy?

          • Jah praise.
            I don’t understand how an argument for maximizing the autonomy of the individual can be an argument for an external force or autocracy.
            And “we” are voting with “our” dollar in the characteristically optimistic fashion, but “we” are also not being naive about the dynamics of behavior and are using the many other ways to vote, one of those is by providing “our” opinion on public forums and recording the consequences of “our” personal experiences. That is what I meant when I said, “Essentially, instead of utilizing a secondary system to impose ideas
            and beliefs about the dynamics of the market, let the market make its
            own decisions based on its constituents (a “free” market) in a highly
            efficient and super-cooperative manner.”

            In my opinion, it is too idealistic, and negligent, to propose that “voting with my dollar” is the only way, or is the righteous way, of affecting the dynamics of the market. That does not mean an overlord to determine the quo is a better option, or an option that I propose to be useful. And if you mean work potential in a metaphor of a dollar, I totally agree with you, but that’s what I’m trying to say: the current market makes it difficult to affect policy with forms of work other than what has been accepted as a voting ticket– the dollar– which makes individuals that are normal consumers to organic farmers protecting the genetic integrity of their crops have little say compared to corporate interests.

          • You overestimate the control corporate interests have over organic farmers…or over us conventional farmers for that matter. Urban (or certainly non-farm) consumers, I think, are the fundamental market makers, voting with their dollars. They have voted so far to keep organic food production to less than 5% of the market, and with the most righteous reasoning of all — their own.

          • Exactly! Those consumers are the farthest from the actual living out of policy. They don’t hold the crops. They don’t use the chemicals. They are not intimately aware of the methods required to implement practice. But, you and I are. We pull out the jug of Round-Up or Erase, mix the solution, administer the substance, view the results. Our livelihood, and our legacy, are intimately connected to this substance. Sure, the weeds in the streets may die. I still have a job tomorrow. What about 120 years from now? What can’t be seen today that will be blatantly obvious from hindsight? I’m not trying to be a fear-monger, if that’s how I come across. I am trying to emphasize the necessity for an awareness of long-term consequences that have not, and simply can not have, been observed with empirical testing. Should we stop using GMOs or synthetic herbicides? In my opinion, since we have other options, we should try them more exhaustively.

          • This argues for voluntary labeling for “certified organic”, “non-GMO”, whatever vanity label you think is important. Regulate and strictly enforce those labels so consumers can have confidence, then “educate” consumers to the features and benefits of your label (without scare mongering and without bashing, slandering or demarketing other producers). When you have convinced the majority of consumers their food is worth 2 , 3, 5, 10 times the current price (when that food is sufficiently abundant to be purchased at all) you will find the market working more to your specifications. That, quite simply, is what you argue for, or should.

            As for our agricultural and food system legacy 120 years from now, what makes you so certain ours will be any worse than that we have inherited from our forebears of 1896? I think we have come a long way in environmental protection and public health standing on the shoulders of those earlier technocrats. I do not share your irrational fear of “chemicals” or GMOs. I’ve seen chemical interventions evolve to remarkable precision and safe management and I harbor the same expectation for genetic engineering. The weight of empirical evidence shores up my position.

          • I’m not advocating for expensive non-GMO things. I actually want to reduce food to a free resource, ideally, like oxygen (which is now a commodity in heavily polluted areas in China). If anything, I’d like to educate consumers about thinking logically.

            As for empirical evidence, that’s what I meant about politics. For instance, the only multi-generational study for GMO foods has produced results that present evidence that there are definitely changes in biology over generations of mice eating GMO foods. The article makes no speculation whether this change is beneficial, dangerous, or insignificant, and it does say that this change is not due to any malignant effects of GMO treatment. This article is no part of any scandal and is published by a reputable journal. You may read the abstract here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21033555

            The article provides evidence for more research, which is all I am saying. Here is another article about natural farming techniques that you may appreciate: http://craftsmanship.net/drought-fighters/
            “Kaiser manages all of this without plowing an inch of his ground,
            without doing any weeding, and without using any sprays—either chemical
            or organic. And while most farmers, even on model organic farms,
            constantly tinker with various fertilizer cocktails, Kaiser concentrates
            on just one: a pile of rotten food and plants, commonly known as
            compost, and lots of it. Kaiser then adds this compost to a rare blend
            of farming practices, both old and new, all aimed at returning dirt to
            the richest, most fertile seedbed possible. ‘It’s unique,’ Mitchell told
            me after his visit. ‘I’ve never seen anything approaching that kind of
            thing.’ ”

            As well as this one: http://www.in.undp.org/content/india/en/home/ourwork/environmentandenergy/successstories/feeding-the-future–organic-farming-along-the-maharashtra-coastl.html

            “The farming technology used by Naik and other farmers also has important
            implications for addressing climate change. Methane gas emitted from
            the rice fields has declined by up to 60 percent, compared to
            conventional paddy farms. In addition, less dependence on pesticides has
            reduced the danger of harmful inorganic inputs ending up in the coastal
            waters of Sindhudurg, thereby protecting the biodiversity rich coastal
            waters.”

            And then these two discussions are good as well:

            https://at.govt.nz/media/1215870/item-102-weed-management-board-paper.pdf

            http://gardening.stackexchange.com/questions/22/how-long-before-poisons-like-round-up-become-inert

            Thank you, again, for your dedication to our discussion. It has truly been a journey for me. Jah praise, FWAD.

          • Well, finally William we get a comment of substance from you. It is so starkly different from your ordinary persona one wonders if you didn’t have your handler author, or at least heavily edit it for you…but it is refreshing to see you cut to the chase, all the same. Too bad you’ve been drinking the koolaid, though.

            You certainly have taken a big dump here with such a wide range of topics and links. Each deserves attention in its own right but we will have to settle for a cursory glossing over under the circumstances here. I will do my best to touch at least one or two of the critical issues in each instance…

            The Polish multigenerational mouse study is interesting. It certainly needs to be replicated and it is greatly surprising several laboratories have not done so already. Likewise, it seems odd that a finding so earthshaking didn’t find its way into a more mainstream journal that the Polish Veterinary Journal. Oh well, may be a simple coincidence of several crucial oversights, such things can occur, I suppose.

            A critical thing to consider, however, is some concurrent research in Poland evaluating Fusarium toxins in various varietals of triticale, an example shown here:

            https://www.researchgate.net/publication/255685736_High_Fusarium_toxins_accumulation_in_grain_of_winter_triticale_lines_inoculated_with_Fusarium_culmorum

            Your mouse study authors chose to feed exclusively triticale, two different varietals, in fact. Fusarium toxin is familiar to us here in the US, as it causes a variety of disorders including immune system effects. Obviously in evaluating the results of your mouse study one encounters difficulty distinguishing whether the effects result from the GE trait, from differing Fusarium toxin levels, or from some other uncontrolled difference. That is why studies are replicated before textbooks are rewritten into a Chicken Little screed.

            Your story of Mr. Kaiser’s wonderful garden plot is truly inspiring…if you are a gardener and a J.I. Rodale groupie. Wading through all the gush and high praise in paragraph after paragraph, one must arrive at a stunning conclusion — Mr. Kaiser’s garden is not sustainable! No, it relies for fully 2/3 of its compost needs from the surrounding community. That’s a lot of nutrients to import into a tiny garden plot! And all that compost generates a lot of nasty methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gasses, many times more damaging than CO2 itself.

            And William, you have claimed to be in the business of paving highways so you, of all people, ought to know what a yard of material looks like, how many yards are conveyed on diesel trucks of various configuration, the fuel economy of those trucks (abt 6 mpg), the number of yards of material to accomplish just a 2 inch overlay along a section of highway. Perhaps you could do the math for us to scale up Mr. Kaiser’s garden plot to even an 80 acre farm, then truck in the compost to cover that land surface with compost per Mr. Kaiser’s example?

            Finally, you wrap up with a point-counterpoint exhibit, one a factual and straightforward advisory for application of glyphosphate to maintain highway rights-of-way and the other a dubious activist website lacking substance but demurely hemming and hawing around suspicions and distrust of facts in favor of fanciful phobias. ‘Nuff said.

            Do we have a breakthrough anywhere here William? It does seem you are ready to engage in discussion without all the pseudointellectual smoke and mirrors. That is something anyway, eh?

          • How many are paid Monsanto trolls here? I heard here are thousands of you guys. Do me a favor, buy a mouse and keep feeding it diluted Roundup for a week, then at night put a UV lamp on top of it for 30 minutes. Let it have its normal routine and exercise. See if there are signs of pain after a week or so. Tumour experiments in mice was first done by an 18 year old girl, she used cigarettes and microwave, and was able to produce it in three days. After mice try a chicken, moving to larger animals. Come on trolls, use your inquisitive minds. We know Bayer owns Monsanto, the same. Bayer that amassed chemical weapons during WW2.

      • “The precautionary principle or precautionary approach to risk management states that if an action or policy has a suspected risk of causing harm to the public or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus that the action or policy is not harmful, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those taking an action.”

        The principle is used by policy makers to justify discretionary decisions in situations where there is the possibility of harm from making a certain decision (e.g. taking a particular course of action) when extensive scientific knowledge on the matter is lacking.” Wikpedia

        “On 2 February 2000, the European Commission issued a Communication on the precautionary principle,[8] in which it adopted a procedure for the application of this concept, but without giving a detailed definition of it. Paragraph 2 of article 191 of the Lisbon Treaty states that

        “Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.”[18]

        After the adoption of the European Commission’s Communication on the precautionary principle, the principle has come to inform much EU policy, including areas beyond environmental policy. As of 2006 it had been integrated into EU laws “in matters such as general product safety, the use of additives for use in animal nutrition, the incineration of waste, and the regulation of genetically modified organism.”

        26 nations in Europe have banned GMOs, as well as Russia, China, and other nations based on this principle. In the US, profits trump public safety.

        You ignore at your peril the conclusions of the scientists in 40 nations and the WHO who looked at the negative evidence and decided to apply the precautionary principle. Monsanto insists the “unfriendly” studies are flawed, but they have a clear conflict of interest, which the scientific committees in the WHO and 40 nations do not. If you believe Monsanto, you are a useful idiot and guinea pig for food which, as a matter of fact, contains glypohosate residues. The EPA and USDA (in which Monsanto has key positions) have ruled these residues are safe but they did not do this on scientific evidence (indeed they ignored the evidence WHO and the 40 nations looked at). Before the EPA declared that glypohosate is safe, it had declared it is carcinogenic, the conclusion that WHO has arrived at.

        “Here’s a summarized chronology of events:

        1985: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was aware of the herbicide’s ability to cause cancer 30 years ago, even categorizing it as a ‘Class C Carcinogen.” Class C carcinogens have “suggestive evidence of carcinogenic potential.”

        1991: The EPA already had evidence of multiple studies showing glyphosate is a possible carcinogen, but still reversed its decision suggesting that suddenly, six years later, there wasn’t enough evidence. It approved the herbicide for widespread use, classifying it as “Group E: evidence of NON-carcinogenicity for humans.”

        Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/epa-classified-roundup-as-carcinogen-30-years-ago.html#ixzz3bCts3vDo

        If there is the possibility that glyphosate is carcinogenic, it should be banned on the basis of the precautionary principle.

          • You appear to be ignorant of the ethics of technology. One of the most profound thinkers on this subject was Einstein.

            “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity.”

            “Our entire much-praised technological progress, and civilization generally, could be compared to an axe in the hand of a pathological criminal.”

            The precautionary principle is an attempt to tame the psychopath for the sake of our common welfare. Corporations like Monsanto have the ethics of the psychopath. This theme is explored in The US Corporation as Psychopath. One Good Reason to Overturn the 2010 Citizens United Ruling. By Dr. Gary G. Kohls.

            When corporations like Monsanto use their wealth to influence research by funding studies, universities, and giving millions to politicians, as well as taking key positions in the EPA and the USDA, they do so to protect and expand their profits. This is the mentality of the psychopath, and therefore, we need ethical restrains to this dangerous inclination to put profits above public safety.

            With the UN Conference on the Environment and Development, in 1992, the principle received international recognition and today and ” it has spread rapidly in multilateral agreements, international laws and domestic laws and policies dealing with: climate change, biodiversity, endangered species, fisheries management, wildlife, trade, food safety, pollution controls, chemicals regulation, exposure to toxins, and other environmental and public health issues.”

            To ignore or dismiss or the precautionary principle is both shortsighted and dangerous.

            It is to fall into the moral abyss Einstein was talking about, when our technology gets ahead of our ethical understanding. This is especially dangerous when those pushing the technology ahead of our knowledge of its consequences have a primary motive of seeking profits.

            The nations and the WHO, who have taken the evidence of harm seriously, have the primary motive of assessing risk and avoiding harm. Above all, do no harm.

            And now we learn that the rationale for GMO food production is not even valid, as European nations are producing food with higher yields than the GMO crops.

            The Union of Concerned Scientists has published a report where it examines crop yields of GM and non-GM food production.

            Here is a quick summary of what they found:

            1. Genetic engineering has not increased crop yields

            2,Transgenic herbicide-tolerant soybeans and corn have not increased operational yields, whether on a per-acre or national basis, compared to conventional methods

            3. Bt corn provides an operational
            yield advantage of 7–12 percent compared to typical conventional practices, including insecticide use, when European corn borer infestations are high. Bt corn offers little or no advantage wheninfestations of European corn borer are low to moderate, even when compared to conventional corn not treated with insecticides.

            4. Most yield gains are attributable to non-genetic engineering approaches.

            5. Experimental high-yield genetically engineered crops have not succeeded.

            They conclude that “To summarize, the only transgenic food/
            feed crops that have been showing significantly
            improved yield are varieties of Bt corn, and they
            have contributed gains in operational yield that
            were considerably less over their 13 years than
            other means of increasing yield.”

            I will add my own observations: the GM corn and soy grown are almost all used as livestock feed, in an industry that is harmful to human health, the environment, and contributes more greenhouse gases (methane) than auto emissions. It is part of a system of chemical mono-culture which destroys the ecosystem without actually making significant gains in yield. In addition, the glyphosate used in over 70% of GM crops was once found to be a carcinogen by the EPA (which then changed its mind) and most recently has been found “convincingly” to produce cancer in mammals and be a “likely carcinogen for humans.”

            For any prudent person whose primary concern is human and environmental health, this is enough to evoke the precautionary principle, tho those whose careers are based on promoting GM food have other motives.
            .

      • You’re fire analogy is a horrible analogy. There’s plenty of evidence linking to harmful effects of GMOs. You choose not to see that side, which is your free will. I suffered from bacterial infections, and since I’ve gone GMO free in the past two years, not only has my health bounced back but people say I look younger today than I did a few years ago. ANYTIME, and I mean ANYTIME I digest GMO foods, I get sick every time. No bullshitting. I can even tell when an organic cropped has been overly sprayed with a pesticide / herbicide. My point being, yeah, there is evidence linking to harmful effects of GMOs.

        • Sorry to hear about your affliction. Perhaps engaging in some double-blind diagnostic tests may help you.
          Can you please cite your sources about harmful effects of GMOs?

        • Really. Exactly what foods did you cut out?
          Do you eat cheese? Any problems?
          Oh, and btw – your anecdotal stories prove nothing. Anecdotes are not data.
          Curious: What specific pesticides herbicides on organic make you sick? How do you assess whether they, too, have been “overly sprayed”?

          • Yes they are. They are called cade studies. Every data is anecdotal data, just some anecdotes are heavier than others due to the current observational consensus of the time.

          • Umm, not so sure a datum is simply the heaviest anecdote. But I am quite certain some bullshit is heavier than the rest, weighed down with liberal layers of unqualified pomp and hubris. Too bad cerebral flatulence only diminishes respect for scientific standards instead of elevating, as one might expect of so much hot gas puffing up so small a cartoon balloon.

          • I didn’t say a datum is the heaviest anecdote. Just that data, the records of what is, are truncations/affinities of what is. Not that there is anything wrong with that, just an acknowledgment that the information is incomplete/different from the actuality. There’s nothing wrong with that, either.

        • Yes. “Proven unsafe” after decades of use, half of that time with big-agra’s “scientists” running interference, so their billions in profits are protected, and millions of lives are ruined. Taking a page out of big-pharma’s and big-tobacco’s playbook. Well played. We lose.

      • We didn’t discover fire. We witnessed it multiple times before we discovered the technology to create fire. We were well aware of the danger of fire before we harnessed its will for ourselves.

        Science, like everything else, is political. A fact is just a real thick stack of opinions.

        • True science is, by definition, not political. Nor is it democratic – merely because a majority prefers one particular idea, science does not then generate the preferred experimental outcome (unless you are Mssr. Seralini, and then you are no true scientist). True science is not a stack of opinions, but a theory settled upon by replicating controlled observations in a controlled environment.

          Nope, when true science is politicized it is fouled and bastardized into the vacuous opinionated sludge lately recognized as “agroecology” or “ecopsychology” or “food studies” or other farcical mental masturbatory clusters seething and crawling behind the cover of wishful and misleading names.

          • I personally feel that you’re describing Logic and are labeling it “true science”. I could be wrong, but like you said, once the abstract is matched to the actuality a consensus is agreed amongst the observers that the mechanisms of a phenomenon are what they are according to the abstract. I don’t disagree with the necessity for statements that are closed loop (deductions), but I don’t believe you need to test a closed loop. This is why thought experiments are very useful. Ceterus peribus might be acheived in the mind (or the computer), but, to me, definitely not in the actuality, despite a high degree of control. The mind and the computer can verify a statement it made up (such as, all other things being equal to other instances), but to observe “all other things being equal” in the actuality would require verification of all the things that could possibly influence the result, which, to me, sounds like a task only for an omniscient being. Now, the question is this: can a collection of sentient beings be considered significantly similar to an omniscient being? One could say that they are one and the same, but then the problem is not “is this actuality” but is “what is actuality now”, which makes everything a decider of what is. This is where the political element comes in. Not so much that “protons” or “bacteria” have debates and run for office, but that they, along with the lesser particulars that make them whole as well as the whole that the greater particular is a part of, all influence each other to create what is. Biology runs into this issue all the time with “in vivo” and “in vitro”. Not that there are no predictable outcomes, just there are no guaranteed outcomes, which means there are only opinions (open loops), not a closed loop. If we get to the scale of guarenteed outcomes, we have reached omniscience, and by then “science” and “logic” and “testing” and “deciding” won’t be issues for a being that can observe all things and communicate all things uniformly.

          • It seems you (finally, thank the omnipotent being!) encountered, as a sentient being, saddled with mortal limitations, as sentient beings will too often be, a critical depletion in the vital force of your cerebral flatulence, which unfortunate shortcoming manifested as an affliction preventing you from attaining, by consequence of an abrupt falling off enroute to your ultimate philosophical destination by means of your prior screed, which destination I suspect, and correct me if I am wrong, was somewhere within a click or two on the chart within striking distance at an epicenter of support for indefinitely delaying any meaningful action, that being technological advancement, or the threat of same, in observance of that most esteemed of all stations in political advocacy for the good of one’s own affrighted group, or cohort and deftly wielded as a political bludgeon by intrepid crusaders for the virtues of doing nothing, the lauded precautionary principle, all of your cogitative detours and musing side trips to overlook with overacted admiration the meaning of meaning notwithstanding, if you don’t mind my pointing that out as but one opinion of one sentient being, myself, among any number of other contemporary and collegial sentient beings who would heft our own more or less weighty opinions, such as they may be, onto the same tall stack to be categorized by general consensus in the affirmative of the validity and value of experimental outcomes, short of a ruling handed down from the omnipotent one, naturally, as sufficient to stimulate us to ignore your obtuse rant in favor of action this day, that is to put into play unbiased and tested observations in true science, flawed and marginally uncertain as those inevitably must be, and to breath life, metaphorically speaking, into a corresponding realm of applied science girded to meet and emerge victorious (some 94.89% of the time) in battle with the daunting unknowns of probability and improbability, mighty opponents so overwhelming to contemplate, so terrifying in their possible manifestations as to thwart even any deliberation of resistance among lesser sentient beings, beings whose gaseous opinions lie piled safely in a short stack, carefully shaded from the glare of the sun’s rays, jealously guarded by trembling wide eyed reluctant combatants cowering behind strutting mercenary overlords.

            That is to say, down here in the real world we deal with risk. We respect the true science, we craft it into applied science and we manage that application. That’s what we do while the terrified eggheads of the world cry and moan piteously, as they stand with their finger up their ass paralyzed with ignorance and fear. But we feed them anyway. it’s what we do.

          • Man, FWAD, I didn’t think you could beat this guy at meaningless babbling incoherent gobbledegook, but you sure have! Hah!

          • Damn, it was touch and go there for a minute or two, but everything came out alright.

            Man, I need a beer. I think I’ve earned it.

          • Indeed you have earned it. Indeed you have. You have outdone a babbling woomaster, and that is no small accomplishment.
            You don’t have to take on Fewd Boob, though. You have already earned your stripes.

          • You assumed incorrectly.
            “… which destination I suspect…”
            I had by no means any intention of delaying any action, whatsoever. Nothing I wrote states that.
            I didn’t disagree with you that “one opinion of one sentient being, myself, among any number of other contemporary and collegial sentient beings who would heft our own more or less weighty opinions, such as they may be, onto the same tall stack to be categorized by general consensus in the affirmative of the validity and value of experimental outcomes, short of a ruling handed down from the omnipotent one, naturally, as sufficient to stimulate us” was incorrect, to be disrespected, meaningless, or any other sort other emotionally unpleasant symbol. I suggested that the proof you and I both provided is exactly what you and I both described: a really thick stack of opinions “short of a ruling handed down from the omnipotent one”. I do not mean to suggest that this conclusion therefore means there is a ruling handed down from the omnipotent one that is other than the “true science”, or that the “true science” is handed down from the omnipotent one. Just that there are other options, and I do not mean that this conclusion makes these other options more favorable or worthy for decision making. It could, but that’s not what I am suggesting with this proof.

            I honestly didn’t mean to offend you, and, please, forgive me if I misread anything to suggest an empassioned response. I just wanted to see if anyone had anything else to say, or another definition for science, other than what you and I both said.

          • Well now, William, I think it may have been your mincing apprehension around the prospect of “all things being equal” that touched all this off.

            You see, all things are never equal because, as you point out some details are unknowable but more important, in biology and agriculture all things are responding, adapting, evolving, changing. Science maps the terrain, anticipates the the stimulus-reaction scenario. Those of us who apply the science, who manage farms take it from there. We anticipate the risk and deal with it. Sort of like driving a car or riding a bicycle only with millions in capital at risk and employees with their families dependent upon the outcome. Yep, managing a farm is a lot like riding a bike. Some managers tool along on a bicycle built for two, some are BMX racers. It all works out if you respect the risks and manage accordingly.

            Science is not a stack of opinions and all things are not equal. If you operate as if they are you will have your ass handed to you before you can turn around. Knowing that all things are not equal, but carrying around a well informed mental model of where the inequalities lie and how they interact and how they might be managed, well, that’s a big part of what motivates us to lace up our work boots each morning and greet the new day out here on the farm.

            At any rate, all of your piercing erudition over the meaning of meaning and the uncertainty of certainty and so on and so forth ad nauseam, all of that plus $7.99 will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

            In future kindly cut to the chase and say what the hell you mean to say. We all lead busy lives, after all. We really don’t have time or inclination to tease apart word jumbles. And you may have noticed there are a few trolls lurking around here who feature very limited intellectual capacity and your deep thoughts may cause their heads to explode. And, of course, there are others around here who would think that inhumane and would protest. And off to the races we would go again, all things being equal of course.

          • ” Ceterus peribus might be acheived in the mind (or the computer), but, to me, definitely not in the actuality, despite a high degree of control. The mind and the computer can verify a statement it made up (such as, all other things being equal to other instances)…”

            I stated that I believe ceterus peribus not an actuality in my second post. I will not say that Ceterus peribus is therefore not an actuality just because that’s what I believe right now. I hope you will agree, this is a (to use your language) “truly scientific” approach: I observe the data, I formulate the options, I weigh the risks, I make a decision, I make more observation to formulate more options, and on and on. I base this on this explanation you provided in your third post: “Science maps the terrain, anticipates the the stimulus-reaction scenario. Those of us who apply the science, who manage farms take it from there. We anticipate the risk and deal with it.”

            I, too, am trying to be as conscious as possible for the sake of all things that matter to me. I began reading this post because I am interested in how I should treat the pavement for the roads for the area I work for: whether or not there was a better alternative, if there was any need for an alternative, and if there was even enough research to make an opinion about an alternative. I work very closely with the ecology of the community in order to ensure sustainability, which means recognizing all potential risks from the products I use to the median age of the people that will have to carry on my work after myself. I don’t drink coffee.

            “In future kindly cut to the chase and say what the hell you mean to say. We all lead busy lives, after all. We really don’t have time or inclination to tease apart word jumbles.”

            If you would have taken a few moments to reread my statement, you would have saved us precious time and other resources. However, because of our dedication to cooperative process, we have raised this conversation up to a certain magnification relative to other conversations, which is good for information pooling, and for that, I sincerely thank you for helping me to explicate and elucidate these arguments in a way more people might understand the philosphy of science. It is difficult to not come across as sarcastic with the way I speak; I just hope you trust me that I am being honest. Just because my language is different does not make it inferior, or less worthy of your time. If it does, I will gladly accept a challenge for a proof, but otherwise, just give it a chance.

          • Well William, I rather doubt you can get those roads paved with Ceterus peribus but a 2 inch overlay of bear shit and a topping of oil and stone might do the trick. That’s what we’ve often used around here because it’s affordable, it’s effective and it doesn’t require a lot of deep discussion. The guys on the town road crew are more doers than thinkers, you see.

            Best of luck to you getting those roads surfaced.

        • “A fact is just a thick stack of opinions….” That is a horrifying thing for an educated person to say. I sure hope you are joking when you say that, William. People have been burned at the stake and thrown in prison for science, as seen through narrow and self-sering political lenses. Making science “political,” like climate-change deniers do, is not only irrational, but highly dangerous. Please say you don’t really believe that.

          • I do seriously belive that. Many people have been burned at the stake for many opinions. Climate change activists are just as political as climate change deniers. Each have information that, to them, make the actuality what it is. I’m not trying to disenfranchise predictability, just that predictably is what predictability is: a statistics game. And science, in that it is a tool for decision making, can never claim objectivity as a reason for a successful lobby.

    • Nothing is safe.
      Getting out of bed is not safe. You might fall down, or slip in the shower or go outside and get run over. Staying in bed is not safe either, you’ll starve, and/or live in piles of your own bodily discharges.
      Your source misled you when it suggested we did not know about our microbiota before the human genome project. I have books mentioning it back in 1985.
      Water is known to be unsafe.
      It kills 60 thousand people worldwide per year just by drowning. Its LD50 rate is six litres taken at one time. This known unsafeness does not warrant banning water.
      Your argument against GE crops is not that there’s any demonstrated danger, but that it hasn’t been proven to be safe. Over a trillion GE meals have been eaten with no ill effects. The same cannot be said about ‘natural’ foods, as those who have suffered from lactose intolerance, peanut allergies, ergot, salmonella and all the host of similar ills can attest.
      Rationality is a matter of keeping things in proportion. A claim that something has not been proven to be safe is NOT the same as that it has been proven to be unsafe. And even if it is not safe – and nothing is safe – if it is safer than natural foods, that should be good enough for every rational person.

    • hey can you please link me to articles showing that it increases microbial activity in soil? im doing a paper for college and haven’t found anything about that yet…

  2. What has not been mentioned and what I am concerned with, is that Monsanto recommends that Roundup (glyphosate) be applied within a week of harvesting for grain crops . This means that farmers following this protocol harvest grain crops with higher residue levels than many people realize. So depending on what one does and eats, a person can have varying levels of the pesticide in the body. And perhaps we would see an effect on the gut microbiota if the study was done.
    We’re still in the early stages of understanding the gut microbiota.
    Monsanto brochure for preharvest application -http://roundup.ca/_uploads/documents/MON-Preharvest%20Staging%20Guide.pdf

    • Sima, when you say that “Monsanto recommends…” does that recommendation appear on their Roundup label? If not, then it would be illegal for anyone to apply it that way, or for anyone at Monsanto to recommend it to be used in that way. I am not aware of any Roundup label which states that it should be applied to grain crops within a week of harvesting. I could be mistaken, so please advise with factual information.

      In any case, even if such label does exist, the key issue is that residues from such use must fit within the tolerance (maximum legal residue limit) as established by the U.S. EPA. The published tolerances for glyphosate in all food and feed commodities in the U.S. are here:

      http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=99a2d6b50c56858d601be26ec36f1bbf&node=se40.24.180_1384&rgn=div8

      As you read through these tolerances, you will observe that the maximum legal levels of glyphosate permitted in all of these crops and livestock feeds are extremely low, much lower than any toxicological effects in mammalian systems that have been documented in scientific research studies. For a much more detailed analysis of glyphosate and its lack of effects upon human safety or the integrity of the environment you should read the U.S. EPA reregistration eligibility decision (RED) document, which is indexed here:

      epa.gov/pesticides/reregistration/status_page_g.htm

      • As I said before, Monsanto advises Roundup to be used within a week of harvesting. http://roundup.ca/_uploads/documents/MON-Preharvest%20Staging%20Guide.pdf
        Over and over throughout the years, what was once thought to be “safe” later turns out to be not safe. Effects of glyphosate on the human microbiome is still unknown at levels now considered “acceptable”. These levels may turn out to not be acceptable or desirable at all. The research needs to be done. As you may or may not know, current advances in genetic testing are allowing us to learn much about our gut microbiota that was not possible even a decade ago.
        Also, glyphosate appears in formulations with other ingredients in Roundup – and preliminary research suggests they interact to make it more toxic.

        We now eat more foods than ever before with glyphosate residues. What all these combined products eaten daily with glyphosate residues is currently unknown.
        Again: the research needs to be done.

        • Thanks for the Roundup info on PHIs (preharvest intervals) for several crop types in Canada, particularly wheat. As for the “other ingredients in Roundup”, those would be the surfactants that it requires for the glyphosate to penetrate into actively growing plant tissues in order to kill the weeds that are green and growing among the crop. The surfactants are what are called inert ingredients, meaning that they have no pesticidal properties. Without the surfactants being present in the formulation, the glyphosate would just sit on the surface of the weeds and be useless. It’s the same as with most pesticide formulations—the majority of the product is usually not the pesticidal active ingredient, it’s the inert ingredients that are necessary to make the active ingredient work. Without the surfactants being present in the formulation, the applicators would need to add them to the spray mixture in order for the glyphosate to be effective. That approach was tried many years ago, but was not very efficient. Today’s formulations of Roundup are better, and result in lower usage of glyphosate than would otherwise be possible without the surfactants.

          As you know, glyphosate is not absorbed into any plant tissues that are not green and actively growing, so by the time wheat heads get to the hard dough stage they are no longer permeable to glyphosate, even with the surfactants in the formulation. Since the objective is to kill the weeds, which are still green and actively growing, the immediate preharvest application would kill them, whereas it would have no effect on the wheat. Three to 5 days after the Roundup application there would be extremely low residues of glyphosate in the harvested grain because the glyphosate was never absorbed at that late stage of head maturation. Notice that the use of Roundup prior to that 3 to 5 day preharvest timing is not recommended because it could have a negative effect on yield. That’s because most of the crop types covered by these recommendations are not Roundup-Ready, i.e. they are not transgenics (GMOs) that carry the glyphosate tolerance trait.

  3. Focus, guys. In America, there’s no such thing as “the precautionary principle”. Here, chemical pesticides are innocent until proven guilty. Heck, we could use bleach if it passed some cursory studies, and then the supporters would all yell “not safe? prove it!”. In vain would you point them to the Chemical Industry Archives to show them what deeds worthy of science fiction the industry has done. Ouchies.

    • Bzzzt! Wrong about “bleach”. One cannot apply bleach (sodium hypochlorite) for pesticidal purposes unless it is labeled for such purpose. If any particular “bleach” product is so labeled, its label must be reviewed and approved by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency before it can be marketed as a pesticide. The process that the EPA uses for review and approval of each and every label is not “cursory” in any stretch of the word. It is quite rigorous, and requires conducting and submitting for review several types of studies, all conducted in compliance with Good Laboratory Practice (GLP). You should study up on the actual situation before posting erroneous statements such as you have done.

  4. Indeed, further study is needed about the effects of continuous low-level glyphosate exposure among humans, and the effects on the gut biome microbial community. It is important to note that some of the studies in vitro use the full formulations of RoundUp products, which is not fully relevant to what happens in the human gut. However, it’s also important to note that the effects on single-strain cultures in vitro in terms of IC50 is not fully relevant to the effects of glyphosate on the human gut biome, either, because the visible inhibitory effect of a chemical on a single-strain culture may occur at an exposure that is higher than would otherwise have an effect on the balance of species within a diverse microbial community as occurs in a gut microbiome. Therefore, the science has really not been done. We are clearly not using the precautionary principle. Why has the relevant science not been done by now?

  5. Yes, I’d say there is need for further study, up to 75% of our immune system is in our gut. The good bacteria is essential for our health. They need to label GMOs and while they’re at it they can label the other pesticides, herbicides and fungicides they spray on and in our food. I’d like to know what I’m eating.

  6. #GMO #Monsanto

    There is obvious conditional bias in biotechs research.
    http://www.endsciencecensorship.org/en/page/retraction-double-standards#.VnQrUlAo5Ag
    http://www.enveurope.com/content/25/1/33
    Going by Monsantos standards all of Monsanto’s studies are invalid.
    http://www.endsciencecensorship.org/en/page/retraction-double-standards

    GMO are regualed as a pesticide by the FDA.
    http://www.epa.gov/pesticides

    Studies showing the dangers of GMOs get ignored.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623811000566
    The effects of the toxins are lethal.
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.2712/abstract
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf802059w

    Studies showing the dangers of any of Monsanto’s products are ignored.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23756170
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

    GMO producers try to pass off privately funded studies as independent studies.
    http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/insight/pro-gmo-database-monsanto-most-common-funder-gmo-research
    Why are the GMO producers working so hard to keep everything a secret?
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research/

    There has been proven conflicts of interest in the research on the safety of GMOs.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0306919210001302
    GMO increase herbicide and pesticide use.

    http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/24/abstract

    http://static.ewg.org/agmag/pdfs/pesticide_use_on_genetically_engineered_crops.pdf

    GMOs raise production cost.
    http://modernfarmer.com/2013/12/post-gmo-economy/
    One of biotechs biggest advocates have had many studies retracted and some involved GMO research
    http://retractionwatch.com/?s=pamela+ronald&submit=Search
    The positive hype surrounding GMOs is based on studies that have been retracted
    http://www.gmwatch.org/news/archive/2013/15198-gmo-hype-based-on-retracted-science
    There was a hidden viral gene found in GMOs
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Hazardous_Virus_Gene_Discovered_in_GM_Crops.php

    They are not sure what the affects on humans or plants will be.
    http://www.independentsciencenews.org/#article/1421

    They know there is the risk of horizontal gene transfer. So what if the genes transfer to those consuming the GMO food. Now thei bodies will become their own enemy producing the same toxins.
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0069805

    I believe it is one of the contributing factors behind autoimmune disease.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18801324
    They are trying to fix a problem that don’t exist. There has always been food that sits and rots. The real problem is food wastage.
    https://www.nrdc.org/food/files/wasted-food-ip.pdf
    http://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/
    http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2014/02/27/283071610/u-s-lets-141-trillion-calories-of-food-go-to-waste-each-year
    Because GMOs are causing higher usage of pesticides it is creating super bugs.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23396248
    The inteased pesticide using is destroying our gut bacteria.
    http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00284-014-0732-3
    If i could find human trials on GMOs i would post the links. I have not been able to find any.
    Well i finally found some.
    The toxins glyphosate and Bt-toxin have been found in the placenta of pregnant women and their blood syream.
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623811000566?via%3Dihub
    Studies have shown GMOs activate the immune system which can result in a number of diseases. Like cancer, autoimmune,allergies etc.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17356802
    Planning on having children GMOs can cause some pretty serious physical training.
    http://www.mindfully.org/GE/2004/Transgenes-Human-Gut1feb04.htm
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22200534
    http://www.gmoevidence.com/dr-el-shamei-gm-maize-cause-death-of-spermatogonial-cells/
    There are many independent and goverment studies showing the dangers of GMOs.
    http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10
    http://www.enveurope.com/content/26/1/14
    http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/81/8106.pdf
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jat.1319/abstract#.Vg_1cAS2tX4.facebook
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7854587
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/04/27/19-studies-link-gmo-foods-to-organ-disruption.aspx?x_cid=01042013HPost
    http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/glyphosate/glyphosate.html

    • Bravo Lee! Yours is one of the most completely anal retentive examples of confirmation bias I have seen in a good long time.

      http://skepdic.com/confirmbias.html

      You have achieved a truly admirable job of cherrypicking here, even if you did have to wrap up with a cite to Mercola to get the paper work finished (too bad about that, Lee).

      Do what you need to get done here, knock yourself out Lee…and oh, the flapper valve sticks a little so please be sure to jiggle the handle when you’re finished.

  7. It is possible that GMO such as gyphosphate resistance is simply harmless. But it is disingenuous in the extreme to state that they are harmless when in fact they have not been adequately studied. This is a very, very new science. Never before have genomes been altered in our food supply. Never in the millions of years that humans, together with their microbiomes, co-evolved. Is it just….you know…just possible that altering the genetic makeup of our diet could screw something up in a major, as yet unrecognized way? Absolutely. I am sure that the babies born after thalidomide was declared “safe” would understand this concept very well. So would the vets who were exposed to agent orange. I am NOT opposed to GMO. I AM OPPOSED to the massive experiment being conducted on all of our children without our knowledge or consent. After feeding millions of growing children GMOs, will something bad happen? Let’s find out! That is criminal. I am a scientist, too, and I understand how the IRB works. This would never pass as an experiment at a medical center. Let’s see, “feed kids untested substance without telling them and see what happens!” That is a grant that would NEVER be approved. I am sick to death of semi-science-literate folks arrogantly blowing off the legitimate concerns of people. Sick.

  8. “Concerns are approprite to pursue” 30 yers after theeir introduction!? A good example how short-sighted (or misleading) it was to declare them safe, and how far the consequences surface. Yet the confidence seems unshakeable.

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