Death of British journalist after eating organic peanuts highlights absurdity of GMO safety scare

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One of the central contentions of anti-GMO activists is that foods that contain ingredients made from genetically engineered ingredients are harmful or pose unacceptable risks. There is no evidence of harm, however. No health problem, not even a fever, has been linked to the consumption of GMOs. And every major independent international oversight organization, including those in Africa, has publicly concluded after reviewing more than one thousand independent studies that foods made with GM ingredients are as safe or safer–they are extensively tested for allergenicity and other issues–than other conventional foods, including organic foods.

The track record of the safety of organic foods is problematic, however. Tens of thousands of people get sick every year from consuming bacteria-laced organic products, a result of the production method which relies on the use of manure. Deaths from contamination are not uncommon.

This problem has reemerged in Uganda. Rebecca Vassie, a British photojournalist who had worked for three years in the country died after suffering a severe allergic reaction to the eating of organic groundnuts–African peanuts. Various forms of organic groundnut is eaten widely across Uganda.It’s a sad turn of events but not without some tragic irony. Her death comes just as anti-GMO campaigners are aggressively trying to make the case that approved GMOs pose unusual toxic and allergenic threats. Currently only GM foods go through rigorous testing to prevent exactly the kind of lethal issue that killed Vassie.

Are consumers being hoodwinked by anti biotech activist?

This untimely death also raises the question:  What would happen if scientists could genetically modify a groundnut to reduce or eliminate its allergenic properties? Scientists are addressing that very issue in regards to peanuts and other nuts know to cause allergies in high numbers. Is it possible to make food safe for most individuals? Almost all foods present allergic threats to some small subsection of the population. Yet, issues of food allergenicity that have been swept under the propaganda carpet to make it appear that conventional and organic foods are all safe. This terrible death underscores the naivete represented in that perception.

Consumers assume that conventional food is safe, that organic foods are even safer and that GM foods are not safe—despite the fact that only GM foods are vigorously tested. It is staggering to comprehend the zeal exercised by precautionary proponents in demanding that GM foods and only GM foods should be tested while ignoring the corollary need for testing or labeling of conventional and organic foods with known issues of allergenicity or toxicity. The legal and consumer issue should be whether a food is safe or not safe rather than whether it is or is not GM. By focusing so much on GMOs, advocacy groups manipulate consumers to think that everything non GM is safe and anything with GMs is not.

No single food is safe for every individual. The only way one can know food is not safe to them beyond known facts is actually by consuming it. Our forefathers went through such experiences to select foods that we now enjoy and call conventional. Some died in the process of selecting what was safe from the general pool of potential food options. The intended safety bar raised for GM foods should be thought through and made realistic–and should conform with how conventional foods are evaluated, no more no less. We need a c common goal of making making food safe for all consumers, regardless of whether it is GM or not, organic or not.

When you visit most homes, you will find some members of the same household that do not eat a particular food. These are mostly protein rich foods like meet, fish, eggs, milk. The reactions of such individual to such foods are normally discovered when they are still young. The challenge comes when eating processed foods, which may have unknown food ingredients that one is allergic to. For example, cassava has a high cyanide content, yet it is not banned, while GM crops with little or no allergenic or toxic impact are restricted. Should Uganda ban groundnuts because of one incident? The answer is coexistence–making sure that everyone is informed about which foods, including nuts, might cause allergies, regardless of the growing method, conventional vs. organic.

Critical lessons

  • Very few food problems are related to GMOs
  • Shifting the focus from the overall safety and narrowing it down to GMO is irresponsible
  • Not every conventional crop is safe for food and not all GMOs require spraying
  • Singling out GMOs will result in consumers paying less attention to other food issues
  • Tight testing procedures that GMOs are subjected to make them safer that conventional and organic products
  • Food that is safe to one person may not be safe to another

Rest in peace Vassie!

Isaac Ongu is an Agriculturist and Consultant on Agricultural information dissemination and an advocate on science based intervention in solving Agricultural challenges in developing countries. Follow Isaac on twitter @onguisaac.

  • Rob Wallbridge

    A couple of important points here:
    1) Organic production methods do not “demand the use of manure.” In actual fact, organic standards demand that manure, when used, is applied using practices to minimize the risk of contamination – protocols which the conventional sector (which also uses manure) have adopted as best management practices.
    2) There is absolutely zero evidence to suggest that organic foods are any more “bacteria-laced” than conventional food.
    It’s unfortunate that writers arguing against anti-GMO fearmongering feel compelled to go on anti-organic tirades using exactly the same type of inflammatory language and unscientific assumptions that they decry in their opponents.

    • Allen

      I guess you just have to fight fire, with fire. So many lies on both sides. I guess the best thing is to do your own research and take everything with a grain of salt.

      • Robbyn

        The problem with people doing there own research is that most of those people don’t understand Biotechnology or Genetic Engineering…

        Hence all the anti-everything people…most people are anti-biotech because of a lack of understanding and a mass distortion by social mass media…not through actual, critically assessed science…

    • Mel B

      Say what?

      In 2011, 53 people died and almost 4,000 became sick after eating faeces contaminated organic sprouts in Germany.
      Organic has an appalling safety track record.

      • Brian Sandle

        I don’t see anything about organic. The O104:H4 E.coli strain is said to be related to human feces, not animal.

        For a long time I had wondered whether E.coli or others in gut contents could make use of remnants of GE technology in food. Especially with selection pressure of residual growth stimulating antibiotics from eating of some meats. In which case organic should be safer.

        As I had said it may only take one horizontal gene transfer event then the infection could pass on between people.

        “It became apparent rather quickly that O104:H4 stood apart from the pack because of a unique assemblage of genes, said David Rasko, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and lead author on the study mapping the genome of O104:H4 As it turned out, E. coli O104:H4 evolved from a type of E. coli known to be harmless enteroaggregative E. coli and had acquired the genes to produce Shiga toxin from more virulent strains known as enterohemorrhagic E. coli”

        http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/09/e-coli-o104h4-the-next-strain-to-watch/#.VQvyyuErIoE

        Responding to claims that Egyptian fenugreek seeds were the cause of the E. coli outbreak, Egyptian Minister of Agriculture Ayman Abu-Hadid told the
        Egyptian press the problem had nothing to do with Egypt and instead asserted, “Israel is waging a commercial war against Egyptian exports.”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Germany_E._coli_O104:H4_outbreak

    • There you go again Rob. You know full-well that organic crops are not tested to ensure that fecal matter from improperly-composted manure is kept out of the organic food chain.

      Likewise, there is no organic field testing to ensure prohibited pesticides are not being used, and this results in a whopping 43% of all organic food testing positive for prohibited pesticides in the US, 46% in Canada.

    • HenryC

      You are right in that if the standards are followed there is no real danger. The same is true with non organic of course and organic costs more.

    • Good4U

      You have never responded to my suggestion (January 8 this year), which is that the “organic” proponents should take a more deliberative position regarding crop and animal biotechnology. My proposal is that maybe if the “organic” segment of the food production community could stop their railing against GMOs for just a moment, they might find the time to inform themselves of the fundamental improvements that genetic engineering could bring to their table. By bringing disease and insect resistant transgenics to the organic niche, the organic growers might find that they would no longer need to apply copper sulfate, rotenone, pyrethrins, Bt, or any of the other “approved” pesticides. Maybe the regulations for organic certification should be rewritten to actually INCLUDE genetic modification as an approved technique for the mitigation of pests, thereby facilitating less pesticide usage, not only in organic but in conventional agriculture as well (keep in mind that disease and insect pressure tends to flow from more heavily infested organic fields to neighboring conventional fields, not the other way around). Maybe improving public knowledge of science and agricultural technology, including proper deployment of GMOs, could lead to better food safety by preventing contamination with toxins from invading microorganisms. Perhaps “organic GMOs” could actually increase the nutritive complement of certain types of foods, which would really be something that WHole Foods and the like could really use as a positive marketing tool, in contrast with their distinctly negative tone that they are using today. Perhaps “organic GMOs” could actually eliminate the allergenic potential of certain types of foods, thereby providing some authentic comfort to concerned customers.

      I look at the anti-GMO side of this debate much as a sort of medieval mental exercise in paranoia, where the flat earthers drew maps of the lands they inhabited but left edges delineating where “there they be dragons”. Obviously as discoveries (science) improved, a new world opened, and the dragon regions shrank in size. Today we rarely see dragons any more… In like manner, if the “organic” faction might actually find a way to embrace scientific principles instead of fostering fear, they might discover a whole new world of ready customers out there.

      • Rob Wallbridge

        I’m sorry if I missed responding to you specifically. I’ve addressed this topic in a number of posts and comments. I don’t disagree with you, but the hurdles are certainly large. I’d recommend reading “Tomorrow’s Table” by P. Ronald and R. Adamchuk to anyone interested in the topic.

  • agscienceliterate

    Rob, the data do not support your assertions. There are many cases of e.coli contamination from organic foods every year, caused by improper composting of manure.
    Read articles from this source, on food contamination issues, before you make blanket statements as you have done.
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/10/costco-recalls-organic-ground-beef-in-canada-for-e-coli-contamination/#.VQnEdue9KSM

    • Rob Wallbridge

      For someone who claims to be “agscienceliterate” you demonstrate a shocking lack of scientific literacy. Anecdotes do not constitute evidence to support the statements you are making. Please provide evidence to support your claims:
      1) Cases where E. coli contamination have been directly attributed to improperly composted manure (and not contamination at other points in the food chain).
      2) That cases of food contamination in organic products occur at a higher incidence rate than in the same non-organic products.
      If you can do this, you’ll be the first of many who have tried and failed.

      • agscienceliterate
      • Andrew

        Scientific certainty that has lasted for hundreds of years were later proved to be false. Science is not just about the data, it is also about the interpretation of the data, and that is were the problem often arises.

        The issue about genetically modified food (GMO) is not just about the so called science, but it is also one of trust. Tobacco is well known to cause cancer but it is still legal to sell it. If the regulators are willing to allow the sale of a harmful substance that has known health risks, why should we trust their pronouncements about the health effects of GMO foods?

        Even if GMO is harmful, it may be impossible to tell scientifically as the effects may take time to manifest. And besides, how can we tell if the harm was cause by a GMO food or by some other means? So my point is that we often make claims about what the science tells us when in fact the science is often incapable of telling us anything. Science does not always tell us the answer but we often claim that it does – and that is really an abuse of science. The jury is still out on GMO foods.

        I am an Electrical Engineer who has a good scientific literacy and I do not consume GMO foods because of the perceived risks. I cannot say that GMO foods are harmful as others claim, but I know that our present scientific knowledge when it comes to medicine and biology is quite limited (and in some areas primitive). We do not understand the complex relationships between many of the molecules and cells we encounter in nature even in light of a lot of the advancements in genetic engineering. We all have to act a little more humble when voicing our opinions.

      • agscienceliterate

        Rob, thank you, but I am certainly not the first.
        http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb1044367.pdf

        • Farmer with a Dell

          Only a few trustworthy studies out there but some meaningful results that should be of interest to organic enthusiasts…

          E. coli O157:H7 is found to persist with common substandard composting regimes, as in this study

          https://www.woodsend.org/pdf-files/Mukherjee-2004.pdf

          Continuing with the compost issue — fecal pathogens (salmonella in this study) are present with alarming frequency

          http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/abs/10.1089/153531404772914437

          Fungal infestations and resulting mycotoxins are a background problem for conventional and organic production, especially with organic, it seems

          http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02652030210123878

          Just a quick grab of a few representative studies. Definitely worth considering.

          • agscienceliterate

            And then there’s Chipotle.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Ah yes, E coli tomatoes for the empiricist philosophers lurking out there! No science needed.

  • Brian Sandle

    It is quite easy to kill someone say by making a smoothy and not washing out the kiwifruit properly, or banana, or using a spoon from the peanut source, not knowing how important it is. Genetic scientists are always talking about modifying foods but what have they done in 20 and more years? Potatoes can be selected naturally for less solanine. But when you tamper around with whole genes you don’t know what else you are doing quite possibly.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20930376

    You may be mixed up between bacterial contamination of organic food and the ability of plants to absorb substances from organic soil to use as their pest fighters. Then the question is whether that increases allergenic potential. Probably not as much as the effect of Bt cotton on workers and cattle that eat it. Organic soil in general will be safer source of plant immunity than poor soil and applied or GMO toxins.

    http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/British-photojournalist-dies-in-Uganda-after-eating-food/-/688334/2648706/-/ddecne/-/index.html

    • Jackson

      Potatoes can be selected naturally for less solanine. But when you tamper around with whole genes you don’t know what else you are doing quite possibly.

      Can you elaborate on this? I assert that you know more about what you are changing when you insert a transgene than when you do selective breeding for a trait.

      Organic soil in general will be safer source of plant immunity than poor soil and applied or GMO toxins.

      What immunities do you think organic soil confers to plants?

      • Brian Sandle

        You might sell potato without solanine and its inflammatory problems, and help some people but deprive many of a protective factor who were not having the inflammatory problem.

        I think there a number of benefits of soil that will be lost by glyphosate &c that are enumerated in the references of this article:
        http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33703/title/Fighting-Microbes-with-Microbes/

        • Jackson

          Your reply was completely non-responsive to my comment.

          • Brian Sandle

            I had said quite a bit in reply to MDBritt which I see you now replied to and I said more on.

            The way much GE has been done is very haphazard. There is the method of shooting in genes on tiny spheres. Then you have a big selection process. And if you have used agrobacterium you don’t know where the gene will go in the genome, or the promoter and you have to do selection also. Willl the plant still relate properly to the photoperiod &c.

            Conventional breeding is faster for complex matter like drought tolerance. As was said then GE things are cross bred in. But little of use, except traceable genes for claiming on patents.

            Farmers cannot afford lawyers and go GMO to appease the companies and the genes spread to the next farm and so on with result of rapid uptake of GMOs across whole countries in secret contracts.

          • Mel B

            ” … with result of rapid uptake of GMOs across whole countries in secret contracts.”

            Ok, so you are a conspiracy theorist.

          • Brian Sandle

            Monsanto contracts are secret. It is very hard to get material from them to even do animal feeding experiments on.

            They are a company with responsibilites to shareholders. If their genes are found on a farm they own the crop there. If the farmer wants to challenge them to get their material off his or her farm, or avoid paying a technology fee he or she has to go through an expensive legal process. He or she might lose their farm. Monsanto may agree not to pursue if they agree to plant Monsanto crops. That is my hypothesis, if you call it conspiracy.

          • Mel B

            “If their genes are found on a farm they own the crop there. ”

            OK, show us the legal precedent for this extraordinary claim.

            In truth, of course, your claim is almost the exact opposite of what has been happening. See for example Marsh v Baxter in Australia and the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association v Monsanto in the USA.

          • Brian Sandle

            Marsh v Baxter the organic farmers lost the case.

            In teh USA case:

            “The decision rendered by the three-judge panel at the Court of Appeals
            in September 2013 legally bound Monsanto to their courtroom assurances−
            that Monsanto would not “take legal action against growers whose crops
            might inadvertently contain traces of Monsanto biotech genes (because,
            for example, some transgenic seed or pollen blew onto the grower’s
            land).” The Justices felt their estoppel order protected the farmers and
            mooted our case.”

            Why did Monsanto proclaim they would not take that action?

            And the spread of GMO acres happened before 2013.

          • Mel B

            “Why did Monsanto proclaim they would not take that action?”

            Because they had never taken such action nor did they have any such intention in the future. Simple really. Are you now prepared to apologise for your false accusation?

          • Brian Sandle

            So why was the Court holding them to that?

          • Mel B

            Your original claim was “”If their genes are found on a farm they [Monsanto] own the crop there. ”

            Please provide proof and stop asking questions that you could easily answer yourself if you read the court transcripts.

          • Brian Sandle

            From the USA case Judge: “Additionally, inadvertent growth of crops with patented
            traits may potentially subject a farmer to liability for patent
            infringement. While defendants investigate hundreds of possible
            patent infringers each year, between 1997 and April 2010 they
            filed just 144 lawsuits to enforce their patent rights against farmers” That is some 10 per year,

            I am wondering what happened to those 144 crops, and what fear that put into other farmers so that they gave in.

          • Mel B

            The point is your claim is nothing but a bare-faced lie. Monsanto has only sued farmers who have deliberately breached patents.

            On the other hand, organic growers like Marsh in Western Australia and and organic organisations like the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association have vexatiously used the courts to harass farmers who want to plant GM crops. Thankfully the courts have kicked these cases out.

          • Brian Sandle

            Mel B

            wrote:7 hours ago

            “The point is your claim is nothing but a bare-faced lie. Monsanto has only sued farmers who have deliberately breached patents.”

            Their promise is only for trace amounts.

            About 700 farmers have settled instead of going to Court is a report I saw.

            So many burdens are on the farmer now. Any corn soy or canola seed they buy they have to test before planting or they risk having genes which Monsanto owns on their land.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Yep. That’s pretty much the case.

            Why would farmers be buying seed of unknown provenance anyways. Are they buying from a discount bin at an odds and ends store?

          • Brian Sandle

            If they are poor, which is quite likely with increasing climatic variation.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            In the United States? Unlikely

            Monsanto isn’t going after small farmers for adventitious presence of their traits. They never have. This was established in OSGATA v Monsanto.

            Monsanto only goes after people intentionally violating is patents, as is within its rights to do. Percy Schmeiser and Vernon Bowman are two of the more notorious “victims” who sought to subvert Monsanto’s patents and they weren’t destitute subsistence farmers.

          • Brian Sandle

            I don’t know why Schmeiser would want to bring Monsanto genes on to his land and undo years of breeding work.

            If it is intentional violation it is going to be a lot more than the 1% trace amount cap which Monsanto agrees not to pursue.

            The OSGATA Monsanto case Judge said Monsanto had sued 144 farmers but checks up on hundreds and I believe 700 have settled with some sort of confidential agreement. I believe that is enough that many farmers will decide not to try non-GMOs.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Except it’s not, planting of genetically engineered crops is increasing substantially.

            Schmeiser intentionally introduced herbicide resistant canola onto his land. He originally found a patch that was resistant to glyphosate sprayed it and then saved the seed from the plants that survived. He the. Replanted them. This is beyond dispute, because 98% of his crop was found to be glyphosate tolerant and he admitted what he did in court.

            They settled because they were smart enough to realize they had no case, only the extremely stupid and obstinate would not settle out. Monsanto has never lost a case it brought to court. Not once. You know why? Because it only seeks legal recourse where its appropriate.

          • Brian Sandle

            Percent acres can’t increase much Get your facts straight. It’s been over 90% in many areas for a long time.

            Schmeiser has been saving seed and breeding

            canola for a long time. What strong way would you suggest he could have brought this intrusion to head to fight?

            He’s a breeder. He’s found some canola on his land that he does not want. Then he is not allowed to research what to do.

            To remove their GE canola from his land Monsanto wanted an agreement that he would not take the matter any further, meaning he could not talk about it.

          • Jackson

            He’s a breeder. He’s found some canola on his land that he does not want. Then he is not allowed to research what to do.

            He didn’t want it on his land? Then why did he save the seed, and replant a thousand God damn acres of it?

          • hyperzombie

            Yep, and sprayed it all with glyphosate/roundup.

          • Brian Sandle

            reference please hyperzombie.

          • hyperzombie

            See below.

          • Brian Sandle

            Please refer me to the Court document

          • Jackson

            You know what case it is, just use the googles, I’m not going to google it for you.

          • Brian Sandle

            His whole canola area was only 1030 acres. The Judge said he had to pay the technology fee for the whole farm because there might be Monsanto’s canola on it all, though I think some 2% on one and 8% on another block and some with none at all, and quite a bit in a ditch which he sprayed because he did not want any plants in it. You better get your comments straight.

          • Jackson

            “All claims relating to Roundup Ready canola in Schmeiser’s 1997 canola crop were dropped prior to trial and the court only considered the canola in Schmeiser’s 1998 fields. Regarding his 1998 crop, Schmeiser did not put forward any defence of accidental contamination. The evidence showed that the level of Roundup Ready canola in Mr. Schmeiser’s 1998 fields was 95-98% (See paragraph 53 of the trial ruling[4])”

            Federal court of Canada. Monsanto Canada Inc. v. Schmeiser Date: 20010329 Docket: T-1593-98 Retrieved 26-Mar-2006.

            http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/38991/index.do

          • Brian Sandle

            “The evidence showed that the level of Roundup Ready canola in Mr. Schmeiser’s 1998 fields was 95-98%” See my reply to you above a few minutes ago.

          • Brian Sandle

            “He didn’t want it on his land? Then why did he save the seed, and replant a thousand God damn acres of it?”

            Because he normally saved seed for his next crop. He did not use Roundup on it, so was not making use of the patent.

            His only use of Roundup had been in an area near a road of a few acres to try to determine what was happening.

            At that point how should he have known not to use that seed it he were not going to employ the function of the patent? That seems a fundamental point and may be a reason why eventually he was not ordered to pay Monsanto’s court costs.

            Besides it is not clear whether the 95-98% figure is from the roadside where the Monsanto Police collected the samples without permission. That contradicts with another statement that the levels were of such a wide range that it would not be worth doing an average, which seems pretty funny for a Court to accept.

          • wtf

            the point is not how many cases have Monsanto successfully sued for presence of their GM DNA, the point is are they able to? By allowing GM crops that outcross (eg canola) the farmer if he retains Open pollinated canola seed will inevitably end up with levels of patented genes. It should not be the farmers problem, the regulators should have seen that natural processes of pollination are not controllable by the farmer. His choice has been removed by the presence of patented technology, it is forced upon him.

          • Mel B

            Yet another bare-faced lie. Farmers are not “testing seeds” they buy for GM because they fear Monsanto litigation. How making claims backed by evidence? What motivates your dishonesty?

          • Brian Sandle

            I wrote: “So
            many burdens are on the farmer now. Any corn soy or canola seed they
            buy they have to test before planting or they risk having genes which
            Monsanto owns on their land.”

            Dominick Dickerson wrote 10 hours ago

            “Yep. That’s pretty much the case.”

            Mel B wrote 28 minutes ago:

            “Yet another bare-faced lie. Farmers are not “testing seeds” they buy for GM because they fear Monsanto litigation.”

            If the Monsanto genes were not around they would not have to. Before GE they could just go to the grain elevator and buy some there and plant it. Now they have to test it or buy tested stuff.

          • Mel B

            Stop lying. Farmers are doing no such thing.

          • Brian Sandle

            Are you saying farmers have to be no more careful now than before GE?

          • Mel B

            Instead of posting gibberish how about providing evidence.

          • Brian Sandle

            Evidence of what? The planting of seed from a grain elevator?

          • JoeFarmer

            Tell me what you know about buying soybeans from an elevator, sport.

            Can you walk in, tell them you want soybeans for seed and expect them to sell to you?

            What do state seed purity and labeling laws have to do with this situation?

          • Brian Sandle

            That’s my point. Things have changed. Old farming practices and merits have become illegal for commercial reasons.

            What Schmeiser was able to do in the past as part of his 50 year old program then became redefined as patent infringement.

            He worked with low pesticides so had a more productive soil and selected seeds suitable for his climate.

            That has all been lost and his farm is now in the GMO monoculture.

            Universities used to develop good seeds and they were distributed to farmers. Now it is done for benefit to the shareholders whose intersts are furthered by having a very limited gene bank, and the ousting of competition from the old diverse farms. When that is all gone the GE prices will skyrocket. Be prepared. The profits will not go to the farmers.

          • JoeFarmer

            It’s fairly rare to see someone as vocal yet uninformed and flat-out wrong as you.

          • Mel B

            Brian, you’re an unintelligent troll. Stop wasting our time with your crap.

          • JoeFarmer

            “Before GE they could just go to the grain elevator and buy some there and plant it”

            That statement right there is proof that you have zero idea what you’re talking about.

          • JoeFarmer

            “Monsanto contracts are secret.”

            Complete nonsense. Any company selling traited or patented seed has their technology use agreement readily available.

          • Brian Sandle

            “”Monsanto contracts are secret.”

            Complete nonsense. Any company selling traited or patented seed has their technology use agreement readily available.”

            Don’t change the subject.

            It is about those 700 settlements. I imagine things like the farmer agreeing to no longer claim intrusion.

          • JoeFarmer

            You imagine all kinds of stuff. That’s your problem.

          • Brian Sandle

            A large dose of paranoia is advisable in today’s commercial world.

          • bezotch

            I imagine that someone with the moniker JoeFarmer is a farmer like me. Brian Sandle where do you get your information? Why would you argue with people who have bought GMO seed and signed TUAs (technology use agreements)?

            The idea that these contracts are secret is rubbish. So to is your claim that Monsanto owns the crop.
            The only restriction, which the farmer agrees to upon purchase of the seed, is on using the crop for seed in following years. The farmer agrees not to use the crop in subsequent years without paying a royalty to Monsanto and agrees not to sell it others for seed. Monsanto’s reasoning is that they spent millions developing the trait and they don’t want a farmer to just by a couple acres worth to grow his own seed, or for one farmer to buy seed and use it to undercut Monsanto and supply all his neighbors next year. Monsanto is not the only company that uses TUAs,some do, some don’t (the GMO technology is advancing so fast that after 2 or 3 years the breed is obsolete, rendering TUAs superfluous).

            Criticism of how Monsanto’s marketing methods and their penchant for litigation is legitimate. Nonsensical conspiracy theories based on misinformation is not.

          • Brian Sandle

            bezotch

            Brian Sandle

            2 hours ago

            “I imagine that someone with the moniker JoeFarmer is a farmer like
            me. Brian Sandle where do you get your information? Why would you
            argue with people who have bought GMO seed and signed TUAs (technology
            use agreements)?The idea that these contracts are secret is rubbish.”

            You can’t argue with what I have been saying so you make up a straw man.

          • Brian Sandle

            “The only restriction, which the farmer agrees to upon purchase of the seed, is on using the crop for seed in following years.” So nothing about not sueing Monsanto now?

          • Jackson

            Then you have a big selection process.

            I don’t know the difference between a “big” selection process and just a regular old selection process. But sure, there is a selection process, the exact opposite of haphazard: selection.

            or the promoter and you have to do selection also

            Again, basic genetics that you just get plain wrong. It would be bizarre for someone to transform a plant with a gene with no promoter, then select for plants that randomly express that gene.

            Willl the plant still relate properly to the photoperiod &c.

            Why do you think the diurnal cycle would be more likely to be disrupted than anything else? It’s weird that you just kinda put that in there.

    • MDBritt

      Brian – you have this *exactly* backward. When scientists insert a specific gene into a plant, they can see precisely what the effects will be. That is the whole POINT of genetic enhancement. However, when an “organic” plant is bred through the use of chemical mutagens or radiation – THEN you don’t know what else you have done.

      • Brian Sandle

        Radiative damage is something that has always been around. Often cells do not survive and the organism’s response is to excise bits. Organisms also swap genes horizontally and things have come to balance over millions of generations. Epigenetics works on a shorter time scale. It is a natural process. It also provides selective adaptation another factor to work with.

        Genetic engineering outwits the security barriers the organism has to guard this age old set of programs.

        Computer programming could be some sort of analogy. A virus writer is able to make your computer do what they want it to by making a small change. It might be just to display advertisements on your screen, which may seem harmless enough although intrusive. But it may be taking system resources and trying to install the program on other computers.

        Computer virus writers have to know more than genetic engineers, because they are likely to stop the target computer from functioning altogether. They put in much more than a simple single gene that GE puts in.

        GE has been changing a bit. But most of the organisms around were not plug in a gene and have your result. A long process of selection has been required to eliminate all the nuisance results, wrong things the expression promoters cause &c. It takes many times longer to develop a strain through GE and “conventional breeding” is going ahead faster than GE. Monsanto said last year they are spending twice as much on conventional as GE. What GE is useful for to them is to put in markers for patent purposes. The drip by drip rate, gene by gene is not keeping up with pest resistance, or tolerance to the new herbicides needed as a result of the rapid development of resistance of weeds due to the constant selection pressure of glyphosate for example. And the drip by drip rate is no use for many environmental adaptive features that are evolved by plants as packages of genes. Plug in a gene without knowing the whole source code and you must run astray sooner or later.

        Proper organic farmers will not be doing radiative or chemical mutagenesis. They will be trying to stop the huge loss of genetic diversity within species. Too frequently we have been throwing out the stuff which is nothing about relating to unsustainable phosphatic fertiliser and high irrigation.

        It took a long time for genetic engineers to acknowledge that what they called “junk dna” or the remnants of failed attempts at survival is actually not “junk” at all. And that sort of thing is still happening.

        • Jackson

          Often cells do not survive and the organism’s response is to excise bits

          But even more often they do survive and keep chugging along.

          Organisms also swap genes horizontally and things have come to balance over millions of generations

          Come to balance? I guess evolution has stopped then, better inform the worlds scientists.

          What GE is useful for to them is to put in markers for patent purposes.

          You don’t need GE to patent things. Plants have been patented long before GMOs were a thing.

          Proper organic farmers will not be doing radiative or chemical mutagenesis.

          That’s because organic farmers aren’t breeding plants at all, because organic isn’t a breeding method.

          It took a long time for genetic engineers to acknowledge that what they called “junk dna” or the remnants of failed attempts at survival is actually not “junk” at all.

          They still haven’t acknowledged it! There really is a tremendous amount of junk DNA in plants, and in you.

          I’m starting to think you really don’t know much about biology or genetics, so having you lecture people on it is a bit insulting.

          • Brian Sandle

            To Jackson
            Brian: Often cells do not survive and the organism’s response is to excise bits
            Jackson:But even more often they do survive and keep chugging along.
            Reply: Bits of the cells can get excised, and the cell repaired if the repair mechanism is functioning. I don’t think GE engineers are right up with the genes of repair and their promoters.

            Brian: Organisms also swap genes horizontally and things have come to balance over millions of generations

            Jackson: Come to balance? I guess evolution has stopped then, better inform the worlds scientists.
            Reply: The mechanism of adaptation had become fairly stable. It is very complex, see also the article on signalling through soil organisms by tomato plants. GE people are not allowing for such.

            Brian: What GE is useful for to them is to put in markers for patent purposes.
            Jackson: You don’t need GE to patent things. Plants have been patented long before GMOs were a thing.
            Reply: Patent is no use if you cannot cheaply demonstrate ownership which is what an inserted gene allows.

            Brian: Proper organic farmers will not be doing radiative or chemical mutagenesis.
            Jackson: That’s because organic farmers aren’t breeding plants at all, because organic isn’t a breeding method.
            Reply: So I am saying the same thing as you in reply to a comment.

            Brian: It took a long time for genetic engineers to acknowledge that what they called “junk dna” or the remnants of failed attempts at survival is actually not “junk” at all.
            Jackson: They still haven’t acknowledged it! There really is a tremendous amount of junk DNA in plants, and in you.
            Reply: ” However, many types of noncoding [so-called junk] DNA sequences do have important biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation of protein-coding sequences, origins of DNA replication, centromeres, telomeres, scaffold attachment regions (SARs), genes for functional RNAs, and many others. Other noncoding sequences have likely, but as-yet undetermined, functions. (This is inferred from high levels of sequence similarity seen in different species.)”
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Noncoding_DNA

            Jackson: I’m starting to think you really don’t know much about biology or genetics, so having you lecture people on it is a bit insulting

            Reply: I suppose you will get some uncritical types to jump onto your attack bandwaggon.

          • Jackson

            I don’t think GE engineers are right up with the genes of repair and their promoters.

            I can’t even tell what this means. You are either confused about biology or confused about English.

            The mechanism of adaptation had become fairly stable. It is very complex, see also the article on signalling through soil organisms by tomato plants. GE people are not allowing for such.

            Adaptation isn’t a mechanism, it’s a result. What does it mean for “GE people to allow for such”?

            Patent is no use if you cannot cheaply demonstrate ownership which is what an inserted gene allows.

            It’s actually cheaper to find a marker for a conventionally bred plant than it is to develop and bring to market a transgenic. The method identifying the plant is just as cheap then, PCR.

            However, many types of noncoding [so-called junk] DNA sequences do have important biological functions, including the transcriptional and translational regulation of protein-coding sequences, origins of DNA replication, centromeres, telomeres, scaffold attachment regions (SARs), genes for functional RNAs, and many others

            Yes, you named lots of kinds of functional DNA. There is also a lot of non-functional DNA that really is non-functional.

          • Brian Sandle

            “Yes, you named lots of kinds of functional DNA. There is also a lot of non-functional DNA that really is non-functional”

            There is debate over how much and in the mean time the precautionary principle should apply.

            The Wiki did not even suggest transposable elements.

            https://air.unimi.it/retrieve/handle/2434/233039/309288/manuscript.pdf

            Transposable elements may be how an invasive species with initial low genetic diversity increases its diversity under stress.

            http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/mec.13089/abstract

          • Brian Sandle

            “Adaptation isn’t a mechanism, it’s a result. What does it mean for “GE people to allow for such”?”

            A possible mechanism is how a weed can develop diversity under stress as in my just previous post.

            GE fiddle fuddles with the bank of tranposable elements at risk.

          • Jackson

            A possible mechanism is how a weed can develop diversity under stress as in my just previous post.

            GE fiddle fuddles with the bank of tranposable elements at risk.

            I think there is a language barrier. I’m sure your English is a thousand times better than my ability in whatever your first language is, but what you have written is gibberish.

          • Brian Sandle

            A risk is about the probability or severity of coming up against a hazard.

            Losing stress adaptability of a plant is a hazard.

          • Jackson

            At this point i think you might just be a chat bot.

          • Dominick Dickerson

            Have you ever seen the new age bullshit generator that’s like Lorem ipsum? I think there also one that will generate deepak chopra thoughts. This guys responses sound like somebody tweaked the word bank to be about genetic engineering.

          • Brian Sandle

            From the sometime irrelevant responses I have been getting I suspect some responders are falling back on some sort of a bot in their brains when they cannot answer.

          • Brian Sandle

            Some transgenic plants are claiming to cope with drought stress, but only moderate. And I am not sure if it is conventional breeding that brought about the tolerance which is then crossed with a GMO to make it easier to identify for patent purposes.

            But many Indian farmers lost their livelihoods when a drought came and the transgenic crops they had been persuaded to use did not do so well.

            It is to be expected since energy is required to produce the transgenic protein.

            Furthermore I guess the new research on tranposable elements and adaptation to stress demonstrates more care ought to be taken with the “junk dna.”

          • Brian Sandle

            “It’s actually cheaper to find a marker for a conventionally bred plant
            than it is to develop and bring to market a transgenic. The method
            identifying the plant is just as cheap then, PCR”

            That is only the verification. Monsanto agents do not buy all crops so they are not going to be able to catch farmers unless they go and test farms, and it must make it easier to take visits to farms to see what survives after herbicide use.

        • Benjamin Edge

          The previous poster was referring to mutation breeding more than individual mutations. But if a mutation occurs in an organic variety tomorrow that produces a toxin, how does nature have time to adapt, especially if that trait gets spread to hundreds or thousands of other plants by pollination? If it happens to occur in a seed producer’s field, the trait could be spread to hundreds or thousands of farms the next season. Yet there is no mechanism of testing those varieties for the presence of toxins until someone gets sick or dies. GE crops at least get tested before they are released.

          Your comment about the drip-drip of GE breeding versus “faster” conventional breeding is totally incorrect. You said yourself that Monsanto spends twice as much on conventional as GE. But the speed of breeding is not that different, except that you can put a gene into a GE line immediately and then start testing it, whereas with a conventional variety, you make a cross and hope to find the combination of genes you are interested in by growing out as many offspring as you can afford to. That is not always possible.

          But the main fallacy of your argument is that it is not either/or with GE and conventional. The reason Monsanto spends as much as it does on conventional breeding is that it then can cross the lines with GE traits into the best conventional lines. The two breeding methods (and others) WORK TOGETHER!

          • hyperzombie

            The two breeding methods (and others) WORK TOGETHER!

            Yes, because GMO just inserts traits, conventional breeding makes new varieties. Both can be patented. Like the Awesome new mini sweet peppers that Monsanto created…

            http://www.seminis.com/global/au/newsevents/Pages/LatestNews.aspx

          • Brian Sandle

            The mini peppers would be easy to identify by their size. Very clever. They can still track them and claim on patents and call them non-GMO are they?

          • hyperzombie

            Well the mini sweet peppers are non GMO, but patented. Do you now understand? Conventional breeding makes mini sweet peppers , but they could easily GMO them to be resistant to herbicide, but there is no point to do that because they are mostly grown in greenhouses. GMO inserts traits, conventional breeding makes new and cool varieties.
            PS you have to try these mini peppers, they are so good.

          • Brian Sandle

            Patent is no good unless you can cheaply demonstrate ownership. In this case the unique small size allows that.

            With many GMO crops it is antibiotic resistance (including glyphosate as an antibiotic which Monsanto patented that as in 2011)

          • hyperzombie

            Glyphosate has been off patent for over a decade now, no one has a patent on it.

          • Brian Sandle
          • hyperzombie

            Ummm, no didnt you read the document. Glyphosate is patented as a Apicomplexa treatment. They are not bacteria, but sort of related.

            Apicomplexans cause a wide variety of human and agricultural diseases. Toxoplasma is an opportunistic infection of immunocompromised individuals, such as people who are undergoing chemotherapy or have HIV/AIDS. Infection with Toxoplasma can cause blindness or life-threatening meningitis in these patients. In addition, when pregnant women acquire Toxoplasma, the parasites can cause birth defects or miscarriage of the fetus. Infection of agricultural animals (particularly sheep) with Toxoplasma causes miscarriage. The apicomplexan Cryptosporidium is also an opportunistic infection of immunocompromised people and is a common cause of waterborne diarrhea. Cryptosporidium-induced diarrhea is also a widespread problem in the cattle industry. Some apicomplexans, such as Eimeria, Babesia and Theileria, only infect agricultural animals, but these parasites have profound indirect effects on human welfare, particularly in developing countries. Lastly, the apicomplexan Plasmodium is the agent of malaria, one of the most devastating human infectious diseases.

          • Brian Sandle

            “The term “antibiotic” originally described only those formulations derived from living organisms but is now also applied to synthetic antimicrobials, such as the sulphonamides, or fluoroquinolones.
            The term also used to be restricted to antibacterials (and is often
            used as a synonym for them by medical professionals and in medical
            literature), but its context has broadened to include all
            antimicrobials”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antimicrobial

          • hyperzombie

            So let me get this straight, you oppose glyphosate being used as a medicine to relieve malaria and other bloodborne parasitic pathogens, because you believe this will lead to bacterial resistance? Do I have it right? How would or could this happen?

            Anyway according to the medical literature Glyphosate doesn’t work that well, but 2-4-D does. talk about ironic 2-4-D curing malaria.

          • Brian Sandle

            No you seem to be trying to side-track when you cannot comment.

            This is about identifying and or confirming a patented crop. One way is to insert genes to make the plant tolerate glyphosate or other antibiotics.

            (As an aside glyphosate may spoil subsurface signalling of plants about pests because it may kill micro-organisms which form part of the signalling.)

            (Such an insertion requires energy from the plant to form the resistance. So a compromise may have to be made.)

          • hyperzombie

            No you seem to be trying to side-track when you cannot comment.

            I replied to all your comments. Honestly.

            One way is to insert genes to make the plant tolerate glyphosate or other antibiotics.

            what like 2-4-D that can’t even kill grasses, Or the triazines that all corn is resistant to? How about clearfield crops that are resistant to Beyond? You have no idea what you are talking about.

          • Brian Sandle

            Traits may be stacked. It is then
            simple logic what you do when inspecting a field or in a grow out test. Not so simple without the resistance factors.

          • hyperzombie

            Ummm, I now that I am not good at writing, but you make no sense.

          • Mel B

            It is worth checking Brian’s Disqus comments. He is definitely an odd sod who pretends to have an understanding of science but in fact posts gibberish.

          • Brian Sandle

            “gibberish” meaning out of line with corporate “science” band waggon.

          • Brian Sandle

            The “grow out” test was referred to in the Court document.

          • hyperzombie

            Ummm, sorry but my gibberish to english dictionary can not translate this.

          • Brian Sandle

            Do you understand “grow out”? Do you understand “stacked”?

          • Brian Sandle

            “I replied to all your comments. Honestly.”

            Rather trying to make out that I am saying stuff I am not and attack your straw man.

          • hyperzombie

            And once again glyphosate is NOt an antibiotic.

          • Brian Sandle

            Then it must be an example of Wiki being wrong, which happens quite a bit.

          • Mel B

            Oh for God’s sake, the size of the pepper has nothing to do with “tracking them to enforce the patent.” Where did you get that bizarre idea?

    • Ever hear of the Lenape potato? That is what you get from “traditional” breeding. In other words “when you tamper around with whole genes you don’t know what else you are doing quite possibly.”

      • Brian Sandle

        Yes you do have to know what you are doing with any food.

        It’s like driving a car. Some drivers and cars would be suitable for higher speed limits. But we have to keep them down for the below average drivers.

        Same with foods. People have differing amounts of ability to read directions, or even to label plants properly.

        Lenape were made for chipping where you cook them at 185 degrees celsius which reduces the solanine.

        But some people used them for boiling at 100 degrees celsius and got double their normal solanine dose and ill. So they were removed from the market.

        I don’t know if any bio scientists are reading this but I am interested at the moment in the acetylcholinesterase activity of solanine. Acetylcholine is the key in the lock of neuro activity. The esterase turns off the key again as wanted. It has been suggested that fluoride in drinking water inhibits the esterase therefore prolonging salivation and protecting teeth. However for some people it may increase ADHD.

        It can help to know more about foods, such as solanine levels are greater in white potatoes than red, greater in new potatoes or excessively sprouted ones, and in ones exposed to light. Potatoes will green in the light but the green is not the solanine it is only an indicator that solanine is also likely to be present.

        Many people do not even know how to cook these days. It is sad that useful plants may be removed from the market as a consequence. Various sorts of dried beans perhaps. In Australia and New Zealand apricot kernels I think are about to be made illegal to sell because some people ate too many unprepared ones and were short of the rhodanese to detoxify the cyanide produced from the amygdalin by stomach acid.

        And nor do GE people know what they are doing.

        It is not just a gene going in with one effect. It is also a promoter and they do not know what else it will do to the organism or when it gets into animals or people which eat the plant.

        http://www.academicjournals.org/journal/AJB/article-full-text/BE5331948800

        • And nor do GE people know what they are doing.

          I’m certain the hundreds of thousands of hours they spend studying and working with them says otherwise.

          As for the rest of your comment, it is so full of wrong, I don’t know where to begin correcting.

          • Brian Sandle

            R.w. Foster wrote:

            “And nor do GE people know what they are doing.

            I’m certain the hundreds of thousands of hours they spend studying and working with them says otherwise.”

            They haven’t even released Golden Rice 2.

            GR1 had very little carotene.

            An American “scientist” smuggled some GR2 in to China to test on children without the parents’ knowledge. The record they made was so dishonest. They gave one dose not the weeks or more they said. Why only one? Later they were found out and their paper was retracted and they were sacked.

            Unfortunately they are using foul means to get the product out, like JoeFarmer said if I were there I would be beatdown.

            Even if 1 million hours that is only 100 generations for an annual plant and maybe not even 1 generation for a tree.

            A boy racer can lower a suspension and hot up a motor of a car, but as we saw here recently such cars were no good after an earthquake made the roads bumpy. Same with GMOs and climate.

            “As for the rest of your comment, it is so full of wrong, I don’t know where to begin correcting.”

            That is the usual blushing comment when you cannot answer. Since the mediterranean diet is low on potatoes, hence low on solanine, which is an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, will that show up as any difference in people who adhere to that diet? What are the ADHD figures for them?

            I can’t think what else you are trying to challenge in my post.

          • GR1 had very little carotene.

            An American “scientist” smuggled some GR2 in to China to test on children without the parents’ knowledge. The record they made was so dishonest. They gave one dose not the weeks or more they said. Why only one? Later they were found out and their paper was retracted and they were sacked.

            Citations, please.

          • Brian Sandle
          • Brian Sandle

            I posted the ref earlier but cannot see it now. Maybe the system blocks a post which is only an href. http://www.nature.com/news/china-sacks-officials-over-golden-rice-controversy-1.11998

          • Let me get this straight: You’re condemning products based on the behaviors of a couple Chinese scientists?

            If so, shouldn’t you also be condemning all electronics, clothing, toys, etc? I mean, those are all manufactured in Chinese sweatshops.

          • Brian Sandle

            China does have a bit more income disparity than USA. Top 20% to bottom 20%. China~ 12, USA ~8 (Wiki), but not sure if acess to social services is allowed for. And as opposed to Chile at about 16. I don’t think your argument is very good.

            Also a researcher at Tufts University was banned from doing human research for two years, so it is not just those 3 in China sacked.

            It has rather discredited GMO research.

          • ” I don’t think your argument is very good.”

            That’s because you missed the point. Utterly and completely. smhl

  • Benjamin Edge

    Peanut allergies really have nothing to do with method of production. Genetic engineering has potential for producing peanut varieties that are non-allergenic, but none have been commercialized at this point. The question is, would non-allergenic peanuts be met with the same resistance that every other GM crop has faced?

    Fungicides that are not allowed in organic production can help prevent the growth of fungi that cause aflatoxin production, which can be a serious problem with peanuts.

    • Willie Ajeno

      The problem then is caused by handling and processing of harvest, not on the harvest itself!

      • Good4U

        Not true at all. Most aflatoxin contamination originates in the field, i.e. during the growing season when Aspergillus flavus invades the growing tips of the pods (underground). The fungus remains in the pods and further infests the seeds during storage. Genetic modification of the crop could prevent the infestation of pods by A. flavus in the field, thus providing extended protection during storage.

        Let’s not get the two issues confused. The allergenic properties of peanuts are related to the constitutive proteins in the peanuts themselves, i.e. AraH1 and its analogs. This has nothing at all to do with the toxicity of aflatoxin, which is a series of chemical toxins produced by the Aspergillus fungus. Both have the potential to be mitigated (reduced) by genetic modification of the peanut crop plants, but they would involve different genetic changes.

        • Brian Sandle

          Genetically modified corn can be worse for aflatoxin and needs careful managing. Besides what is in the following there is the question of the seed coat damage, stress cracks during harvest, too, since the aflatoxin b1 organism can live in the cracks. http://agrilife.org/ccag/files/2012/03/2012poster-breweretal-corn.pdf

          • JoeFarmer

            You link doesn’t say what you think it does. But since you haven’t gotten one thing right yet, that’s not a surprise.

            It is well known that corn borers and ear worms increase the likelihood of corn being infected by aflatoxin.

          • Good4U

            Also, Bt corn tends to be less infested by Fusarium graminearum than corn not treated with insecticides, thus Bt corn has lower levels of trichothecene mycotoxins than its non-GMO counterparts. There are many types of natural toxins that could be mitigated (reduced) by means of biotech modification of crops, if only the anti-GMO ravings might subside while their propagators obtain some education.

          • Brian Sandle

            GMOs have had a really good go. Much government funding then the patents sold to private enterprise who are only interested in profits to shareholders. Sadly conventional breeding has had a big fight but is winning out, but where could it have been if the money wasn’t being skimmed off such as for mercenaries like Blackwater/Xeservices/Academi, which Monsanto also use, putting explosive mines in the farms in Ukraine which China had leased to grow non-GMO instead of importing from USA.
            http://desultoryheroics.com/2015/01/20/what-theyre-not-telling-you-about-monsantos-role-in-ukraine/

          • JoeFarmer

            I hate to be brutally honest, but you are a complete fukkwit. I wouldn’t trust you to scrub my tires at the car wash. I sure as Hell wouldn’t let you dry the exterior.

          • Brian Sandle

            I suppose there is a place in the world for entities not too good at communicating much except fear.

          • Mel B

            Brian, why do you tell so many lies?

          • Brian Sandle

            Please stop just being adrenal as you were in that post. Communicate and we can discuss. I suppose you are going to reply in the same fashion.

          • Mel B

            There is no point discussing anything with you since you are evasive; post obvious lies; post drivel that makes no sense; and you pretend to understand the particulars of areas of science that are way beyond your. Do you have mental health issues that may be impacting on your behavior?

          • Brian Sandle

            And you are so repetitive without giving any examples. Because you fear you will lose the argument, I suspect. You feel safer just slinging abuse but you do not look safer except to some on your bandwaggon who are also knocking at the knees.

          • Esmae

            As if you’d know honesty.

          • Brian Sandle

            I got that farmers need to be careful with Bt (and stacked) corn; not to stress it or aflatoxin can be a problem.

            “Low stress reduces aflatoxin risk, either water stress relief by good rainfall and irrigation or
            during a low insect pressure event (insecticide use impractical for field corn)”

          • JoeFarmer

            For one, the vast majority of the midwest corn belt doesn’t irrigate. So you can take that off your list of expert recommendations to those of us that actually grow corn for a living.

            We had a huge aflatoxin outbreak in 1988 here. And it wasn’t just IA, it was 8 other states, too. Over a billion $ in crop damage. So thanks anyway, but we pay pretty good attention to what’s going on and we don’t need your help.

            Maybe you have some actual useful information for people that want to do something like bikini waxing or want to know what’s the best chain for a fixie bike?

          • Brian Sandle

            Reduce harvester damage by keeping the chute well-filled. It’s not only in the field that aflatoxin occurs. You don’t want the harvester to be putting cracks in thin-skinned grain and letting mycotoxins get a habitat.

          • JoeFarmer

            And the day you can tell me how to set sieves, concave, rotor speed and header speed in a combine I’ll actually think you have a flippin’ clue. But you don’t.

            WTF? What “chute” are you talking about?

          • Brian Sandle
          • JoeFarmer

            Are you serious? If you actually existed, you’d get a beatdown if you showed up around here.

            Why do we keep a 1-foot square frame in the cab of the combine?

          • Brian Sandle

            I see as a measure to help combine movement adjustment.

            We got into this discussion because a woman died and someone claimed it was becuase she was eating organic food which was said may have more aflatoxins, &c. At this point we are discussing harvesting techniques which may be a confounding factor which need to be controlled for.

            It won’t be just farmers reading this for however long this website lasts.

          • JoeFarmer

            And they will experience your dim-wittedness for however long someone chooses not to put you out of your internet misery.

          • Brian Sandle

            I do look dim-witted trying to get a commercial operation to share secrets, but many people are very good at reading by what is not said. You people answer when you feel you are doing OK, so we know when you are blushing.

          • Brian Sandle

            beatdown

            A severe beating delivered with the hands and feet; a pummeling so bad, the recipient needs to use his health insurance; see open a can of whup ass

            “I beatdown some fruity lookin dude for makin eyes at me!”

            http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=beat+down

          • hyperzombie

            LOL, you city folk are so funny….. Going to tell me how to set up my haybine next? How long should I leave my swaths?

          • Brian Sandle

            Do you have the sort of corn which (1) expresses Bt in the silks and kernels and (2) which is GE but doesn’t express Bt in teh silks and kernels and (3) non-GE? What is the difference (a) in stress cracks (b) whether those cracks become a habitat for a mycotoxin producer?

            There you have a table with 6 spaces to fill in. A test for you to see whether you wish to share knowledge.

            I suppose if any of those are bred with thinner skin as supposed nutritional advantage that will have an effect, too, and a compromise may be needed.

          • hyperzombie

            Brian, this is why you should leave farming to the farmers. I dont want to be a dick, but really any farmer is laughing right now. A haybine is just a hay crimper, nothing to do with corn or GMOs. Why on earth do you comment on something that you know nothing about?

          • Brian Sandle

            You talked of haybine, off present topic, so I tried to see if you do have knowledge on present topic.

          • hyperzombie

            Come on Brian, you have no idea what you are talking about… Admit it… Come one be a man.,

          • Brian Sandle

            Another nothing comment trying to cover a blush. What do you know about aflatoxin related to drought affecting exports before and after GMO wide scale use? Stress cracks.

            Or maybe you can talk about milk being rejected for aflatoxin and the effect it has on your hay sales, and how you work your haybine since you introduced that topic.

          • hyperzombie

            i dont even grow any GMOs dumbass. I grow forage crops, like really can you be even more retarded…

          • Brian Sandle

            Well you may not know if you have GMO alfalfa.

            Someone was trying to blame aflatoxin on organics. Don’t need GMOs for that comparison. So you can answer.

          • hyperzombie

            So funny,,, are you drunk…

          • Brian Sandle

            Actually it’s not funny. China has been rejecting alfalfa at 0.01% GMO and exporters are finding it difficult to achieve that.

            By your comment I see you are trying to cover up that you have a secret contract with Monsanto who are not going to prosecute even though they found their alfalfa genes on your farm. Ha ha. Well after this they will be coming to have a look anyway.

          • hyperzombie

            Well you may not know if you have GMO alfalfa.

            Well actually I do know that I have 0% GMO alfalfa.

            I get my seed from these guys, not some secret monsanto agent.

            http://www.brettyoung.ca/images/file/2012%20F%20and%20T%20Product%20Guide.pdf

          • Brian Sandle

            Is that Canada? Not released GMO alfalfa there yet. So you will be ahead of USA for exports to China much to the USA farmers’ annoyance.

          • hyperzombie

            There is GMO alfalfa here, we are not barbarians. I just didn’t buy any. China will most likely approve gmo alfalfa next year anyway, so no problem.

          • Brian Sandle

            Where there is a chance of something growing China prefer their own patents.

          • hyperzombie

            Nope not really, they approve lots of out of country GMOs. see here:

            http://www.isaaa.org/gmapprovaldatabase/approvedeventsin/default.asp?CountryID=CN&Country=China

          • Brian Sandle

            That is about importing commodities for food and feed. It is not about growing stuff, of which there is a huge risk with alfalfa’s small seeds, perennial nature, bee pollination. China will be looking at reports like the Commissioner for the Environment in Ontario who doesn’t think the Federal work has been all – encompassing in Canada.

          • Jackson

            Wouldn’t that be the best possible scenario for farmers outside of China? You get all the benefits of being able to grow and sell GMO alfalfa to a huge market, but Chinese farmers are restricted on how they grow.

          • hyperzombie

            Aflatoxins are higher on Organic crops, it is just a simple fact.

          • Brian Sandle

            There may be a compromise. Organic crops may be a tiny bit higher in aflatoxins a non-stress season, but still exportable. But in a stress season they may be a lot lower and come to the export barrier after GMO crops.

          • hyperzombie

            really.. Do you want me to send you a shovel so you can dig your hole a bit deeper…

          • Gene Hall

            Ah, Brian – don’t look now, but you are losing this argument. GMOs are now controversial only in the same way that there was once controversy over whether the earth was flat.

          • Brian Sandle

            Gene in some USA states big money marketing has worked the way it can. Now they are spending up big to try to overturn a court’s labelling ruling in Vermont. Funny thing is the GMO industry is shooting itself in the foot as its fight is bringing the issue to a much wider public.

          • AgMan20

            Not seeing that at all. Vermont was a legislative initiative that survived one limited court challenge so far. It’s very likely the courts will overturn it. Courts have a way of requiring evidence. There’s not much of it on your side. The thing is the press gets it now and is writing about the issue fairly. When that happens it can only be written about one way. It will take awhile but that will decide it. In every referendum where the issue was fully vetted….label initiatives lost. Even in California

          • AgMan20

            AgMan and Gene are the same-don’t know why it changed. In Hawaii the courts overturned the woefully misguided ban of one county

          • Brian Sandle

            I wonder what would have happened if reasonable limits were on referendum spending by parties trying to sway the vote.

            Some people are still talking like you about climate change, though some big names are getting out of fossil fuels. The effects of not just glyphosate but Roundup cannot be hidden for ever.

          • Esmae

            And it’s well known by farmers that
            crop rotation is the best way to farm.

          • JoeFarmer

            Does this mean you want to have a discussion about agronomy?

    • Esmae

      Removal of the skin cuts the problem right down.
      the truth is it’s storage and age of the peanuts that helps to contribute to aflatoxin production.

  • Mel B

    “No health problem, not even a fever, has been linked to the consumption of GMOs.”

    Didn’t an early gm celery Variety cause photosensitivity during testing?

    • First Officer

      If it was during testing then nobody consumed it and nobody got sick. That strain would have been shelved or altered at that point.

    • Good4U

      You should look more deeply into the natural biochemistry of celery, as well as many other species in the plant family Apiaceae, as well as the Rutaceae. You would be interested to know that their photosensitivity properties are due to their content of psoralens (furocoumarins). These are natural chemicals produced by the plant, which when consumed by humans produce photosensitive reactions in skin tissues. They do this by intercalating with human DNA, thus produce genetic changes, i.e. mutations in skin cells, which are irreversible. These changes lead to skin cancer. This is a well published area of medical science. The main thing is that it’s not GMOs that cause photosensitivity, It’s the psoralens that are typically present in the celery plant. They are present at higher concentrations in celery that has been infected with fungal diseases. That’s the main reason why plant diseases should be prevented in the field, before infections take place. “Organic” celery which is not treated with fungicides to prevent disease could contain much higher levels of psoralens than celery that has been protected from disease by the judicious use of fungicides. Genetic modification of the crop to prevent disease could be highly beneficial in reducing psoralen content.

      • Mel B

        Thanks Good4U. I am aware that conventionally bred and pest damaged celery can have elevated levels of psoralen and that this is the cause of photosensitivity. Nonetheless, I’m after confirmation of the claim I sometimes here that a GM celery had elevated levels of psoralens and was withdrawn before or soon after release on to the market. This is a minor point but I like to make sure all my facts are absolutely correct when I am arguing with the anti-GM crowd.

        • Good4U

          It could be true that GM experimentation on celery could have produced intrinsically high levels of psoralen, or or other furocoumarins in general. It is also true that no GM celery has ever been deployed into agriculture, or even been proposed for approval by the regulatory agencies. As a related point, there are many cell lines of celery which have been produced by conventional breeding and selection, and some have higher levels of furocoumarins than others. The Apiaceae family of plants produce many types of toxins, any one or several of which can kill humans. Celery with high levels of known toxins, including psoralens, are rejected, and are never deployed.

  • Stuart M.

    Second paragraph, “remerged” should be “reemerged”. “Various forms of organic groundnut is eaten widely across Uganda.” should say “Various forms are…” “Scientists are addressing that very issue in regards to peanuts and other nuts know to cause allergies in high numbers.” should be “known”. antibiotech , non-GM. I hate to be the grammar gestapo but I think many of the articles at GLP aren’t proofread well enough.

  • JMac

    Boy oh boy! I just love what “science” has become. Someone died from a reaction to organic peanuts so we shouldn’t be concerned about the safety of GMO foods. Where is the connection?

    My God. You have got to be kidding. Ok, this must be a joke.

    90% of GMO crops are designed to survive being sprayed with a poison that would otherwise kill them. A poison called Roundup. This chemical concoction, consisting of Glyphosate, Oxalic Acid, and Siloxanes is absorbed into the internal structure of the plant where it disrupts the shikimate pathway. This is the plants defense mechanism. Once disrupted the plant essentially gets AIDS. Pathogens that would normally be harmless to the plant kill it.

    Glyphosate is a highly synergistic chemical. It holds hands very tightly with the Siloxanes and Oxalic Acid, quite literally forming a new molecule. This new larger molecule is a super effective shikimate penetrating, shikimate disrupting killing machine. It kills anything with a shikimate pathway. Including bacteria.

    Human beings have more bacterial DNA in their bodies than their own. Each human being is dependent upon trillions of bacterial cells within our body that maintain our health and keep us alive.

    The new and unique molecule that is created in the formulation of Roundup Weathermax Two is drawn up into plants such as corn, canola, and soy, which have been designed to survive the poisoning. While weeds nearby which haven’t been designed to survive the poisoning are killed. These plants are then processed into the food that we eat.

    So enough of the guy who had a reaction to peanuts and died. This has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

    Could someone please present a long term low level exposure study for this new and unique molecule that has been introduced into our food supply. I am simply asking for the long term studies that demonstrate that this new and unique shikimate disrupting, microbe killing molecule is safe for us to eat.

    Where is the study? What the hell is going on here? Where is the study?

    This is supposed to be science. If it was there would be a study of the specific molecule and it would be modeled to mimic as closely as possible the typical exposure people who eat GMO food receive. That would be a long term, low level exposure study of the new molecule but THAT STUDY DOES NOT EXIST! This is a joke and the truth will win out eventually.

    You people are idiots.

    You would think a scientist would want that study done and repeated and repeated again to confirm the safety of a new molecule that is being sprayed by the hundreds of millions of pounds on the global food supply.

    You’d think. You sicken me. I actually get ill just coming this close to anyone who would support this nonsense. I need to go puke now and take a shower.

    • Jackson

      This is the plants defense mechanism. Once disrupted the plant essentially gets AIDS. Pathogens that would normally be harmless to the plant kill it.

      Lol.

      Glyphosate is a highly synergistic chemical. It holds hands very tightly with the Siloxanes and Oxalic Acid, quite literally forming a new molecule.

      Lol.

      I am slowly starting to be convinced that Monsanto is paying people like JMac here to post the stupidest things they can think of in order to discredit the anti-GMO position.

      • Brian Sandle

        Not so stupid or Monsanto would publish safety tests about Roundup rather than glyphosate.

        • JoeFarmer

          What do you think is in the EPA registration files, genius?

        • Jackson

          It’s not surprising that you stand behind scientific illiteracy. It doesn’t matter to you if what people say is true or not, as long as it lines up with your ideology.

      • crush davis

        Actually, there is legit recent research out of Purdue that glyphosate-resistant giant ragweed roots are LESS susceptible to colonization by soil microbes known to exacerbate plant demise (Schafer et al. 2014, Weed Science Vol. 62). The authors made NO implications beyond what they observed in that series of experiments though. THAT’s “responsible science.” They don’t need to speculate. Clowns like “JMac” will do all the speculatin’ for them. THAT’s the irresponsibility we all know and love from the antis. Of course, since the authors obviously, deliberately excluded Don Huber from the project, and he couldn’t brag about it on the lucrative lecture circuit, the antis probably didn’t even know about it…

    • hyperzombie

      Did your tin foil hat fall off, like come on. Oxalic Acid, and Siloxanes are not even in Roundup, but are found in spinach and potato chips, hardly deadly.
      Gives plants AIDS, hilarious..What farmer has time to wait for years for the weeds immune system to fail and die…. You folks are so funny… Any other comical gems to share? Tell us about the chemtrails and the lizard folks…

  • FreedomIsFalling

    This is such a shill article, tis is a shill website to promote GMO’s Thats all this website is for. I wouldnt be surprised if mosonto owns this site

  • JMac

    It has become apparent that this is very likely a portal to hell. As this is very likely the case I have taken the measure of purchasing a PA system in order to speak at a safe distance.

    Until now I have actually walked up to the portal opening and I have spoken directly into it. Naively I believed it was just a seemingly bottomless, very dark cave filled with a bunch of bought-off psychopaths.

    Now I am able to stand some distance from the opening while placing the speaker from my PA system just at the threshold. Ok, so I’m going to do a mic check now. “Test one two. Test one two. Hello. Hello.”

    Ok, it sounds good. Now I can continue. Thank you whatever you are for your patience. This is much better. From this distance it appears as if the darkness is no longer washing over me. That sickening, disgusting experience of near contact seems to be significantly diminished.

    It is still somewhat gross but now at least it is tolerable.

    • Jackson

      *slowly backs away*

      *gently closes the padded door*

      • JoeFarmer

        Kinda seems like the charge nurse left the keyboard in the looney bin unlocked again…

        • Mel B

          Note how all the people who turn up here with mental health issues are anti-GM

  • JMac

    The primary ingredient in Roundup WeatherMax Two is a highly synergistic chemical called Glyphosate. What this means is that when it combines with the surfactants in the WeatherMax formula a completely new molecule is produced. This molecule is a bacterial cell killing machine. This killing machine is sprayed directly onto GMO crops such as soy, corn, and canola which were modified so that they can survive being poisoned. They are then be processed into food that you eat! I know, sounds good doesn’t it? Yes, that’s right. You’re food is directly sprayed with poison.

    Roundup functions by being absorbed into the cellular structure of the plant and disrupting its defense mechanism, the plants version of an immune system. A residue of this new bacteria killing a molecule is left within the plants cellular structure. When you eat food that is produced using these plants that have absorbed this new bacteria killing molecule, it is deposited inside your body where it will attack and kill bacterial cells within you that that you are dependent to remain healthy.

    Keep in mind that glyphosate is so synergistic that the molecule that is produced is completely new and this molecule has never been studied for long-term low-dose human exposure effects. There has not been one single study to find out whether or not ingesting this new bacteria killing molecule is dangerous. This has never been done.

    If you feel like you want to eat food laced with this toxin then go right ahead. Personally I do not and I stopped eating all foods laced with this poison and actually cured myself of psoriasis, eczema, hypertension, and hyperthyroid. This is completely anecdotal but the fact remains that this new molecule created in the mixture of Roundup WeatherMax Two has never been studied for long-term exposure. NEVER.

    This entire poison formulation that is being sprayed directly onto our food and absorbed into our food has never been studied for safety. If anyone says that it has they are lying plain and simple. They will lie again and again and again trying to convince you that it’s perfectly safe to eat food laced with this poison but are you going to trust someone else with your health?

    Would you trust someone telling you it’s perfectly safe to eat food laced with poison? Because we know it’s poison. It is designed to kill weeds. Its function is to kill. It does that by disrupting the shikimate pathway which is the plants defense mechanism against disease. It basically gives the plant AIDS and it dies from pathogens that would normally be harmless to the plant. Again, unless that plant is GMO corn, soy, or canola that has been engineered to survive the poisoning.

    And let’s be clear about something. The shikimate pathway is present within your body numbering in the trillions of bacteria within you that you are dependent on for your survival. The friendly bacteria in your body outnumber your own DNA 10 to 1. You need them to survive and they are targeted and slowly killed by Roundup. I know, sounds good right?

    Are you willing to eat food that slowly but surely attacks and kills the bacterial cells in your body that you are dependent on for your immune system, for extracting minerals and enzymes from the food you eat? Over time, if you eat this poison, those bacteria will be destroyed and so to will your immune system and your healthy balance of necessary enzymes and minerals. Then you will be susceptible to a whole plethora of devastating diseases.

    Or you can disregard all of this and trust someone who says, “GO AHEAD, EAT THE POISONED FOOD. IT’S PERFECTLY SAFE.”

    It’s up to you. As for me, someone telling me it’s perfectly safe to eat poison laced food is a message I am definitely going to ignore. Why would I knowingly eat poison? It doesn’t make any sense. Does it make sense to you?

    • JoeFarmer

      Where did you copy this crap from, Natural News?

    • hyperzombie

      It’s up to you. As for me, someone telling me it’s perfectly safe to eat poison laced food is a message I am definitely going to ignore.

      You eat poisons in foods all the time. 99.9% of all pesticides that you consume are in the plants already.

      Here is a partial list

      okra – sterculic acid (anti-metabolite)

      celery – psoralins (light-stimulated carcinogens)

      peanuts – aflatoxin (hepatic carconigen)

      lima beans – cyanogenic glycosides

      crucifers – goitrin (turns off your thyroid)

      carrots – carotatoxin (neurotxin)

      mushrooms – hydrazines (carcinogen; holy Alar, Batman!)

      tomatoes – tomatine (neurotoxin), quercetin glycosides (carcinogens)

      broccoli – benzpyrene (carcinogin), goitrin (shuts down thyroid)

      potatoes – solanine (toxin; causes spina bifida), chaconine (neutrotoxin) isoflavones (estrogens), arsenic

      soy – genistin, daidzin, coumesterol (estrogens)

      cabbage – thiocyanates (shuts down thyroid)

      spinach – phytanic acid (chelates iron and zinc – no absorption)

      wheat germ – phytoestrogens

      alfalfa sprouts – canavanine (arginine mimic; highly toxic to growing mammals)

      nutmeg – myristicin (hallucinogen, spasmodic)

      mustard – allyl isothiocyanate (war gas)

      cassava – linamarin (cyanogenic glycoside)

      broad bean – vicine (hemolytic)

      chick pea – beta-N-oxalylamino-L-alanine (lathyrogenic factor)

      fiddlehead – ptaquiloside (leukopenia, thrombocytopenia, hemolysis; bladder and intestinal carcinogen)

      comfrey – pyrrolizidine alkaloids (hepatotoxin)

      cabbage – thiocyanates (shuts down thyroid)

  • JMac

    Looking back at Sodom = Pillar of salt

    Reading replies from God only knows what = Too scared to take the chance.

    Better safe than sorry. Evil definitely detected.

  • JMac

    Tongue and cheek of course. Or is it? Hmmmm…..

  • crush davis

    Anybody who criticizes transgenic crops is a shill for the multibillion-dollar oganic industry.

  • JMac

    How many bags of voodoo cursed flaming dog poop, erh…. uhm…. oh… I mean replies from the evil things, do I have to remove with a shovel from my porch and bury? Erh… uhm… oh… I mean delete as quickly as possible and then delete from my trash folder immediately as to minimize the infiltration of that retched nasty evil into my space.

  • NeuronMD

    And the Theology “Debate” shall continue until everyone dies from hunger.

    Humans are so amusing in their incessant and rabid quest to see problems where there aren’t almost any.

    • wtf

      As a farmer I can tell u that I cannot afford to be paid less for my produce than I currently get. Growing more will only put me out of business. There is enough food already in the world, its the money (ie financial systems) that will solve this problem, not GM.

      • Jackson

        People in poor areas of the world would benefit from being able to get more intake of iron and vitamin A while still continuing to grow their staple crops. GM sounds like a great solution to many instances of malnutrition around the world.

        • wtf

          I don’t disagree that technology can enhance food attributes, however we have had technology for some time now and still there are plenty of hungry people around (and increasing in the developed world). I would like a new combine or a new truck, but I cant buy them if I don’t have the money. The same principle applies.

          • Jackson

            Huh? They are already growing rice or bananas or cassava. They don’t need any extra money to grow biofortified versions.

          • wtf

            who is growing the rice or bananas?, many corporates are taking over the farms in LDCs. There are plenty of combines and trucks in machinery yards near me, that does not mean I have the money to access them. just read an online farmers forum about how they cant afford to replant canola in Canada because of the cost of seed. Yes they may forfeit the seed costs to get GM into these LDC markets, however it would be naïve to think this would continue when u look at the fact these are profit driven companies, not charities.

          • Jackson

            I was talking about non-profit organizations. There exist non-profits that develop GMO staple crops that are resistant to virus, or are biofortified with beta carotene and iron. These crop lines are given away for free to farmers in developing countries.

            I’m actually not aware of any of the large for-profit companies working on crops common to the poorer parts of the world, like banana or cassava.

          • wtf

            If u expect me to believe that NGOs who have known ties to banking cartels, oil cartels, eugenics etc are doing this for the good of humanity then I believe there is no point in talking to u. Vit A will be the least of these peoples problems if epicytes sterility corn is used upon them. At the end of the day, privately owned banks who own the US Fed Reserve have had many years to use the world reserve currency in a positive way and have failed to do so, all we have seen is a perpetual war to control world oil sales in US dollars at the cost of millions of lives, (eg when Saddam tried to sell in euros, where are those WMD by the way?). The basic fact remains, profit is the way these technologies are delivered and to think otherwise is unrealistic.
            we have drifted off the initial topic, growing more will not alleviate starvation, it is the financial systems (ie worlds reserve currency) that determines these peoples outcome in relation to health and a balanced diet is more than beta carotene fortification, its the financial means to afford to eat correctly.

          • Jackson

            If u expect me to believe that NGOs who have known ties to banking cartels, oil cartels, eugenics etc are doing this for the good of humanity then I believe there is no point in talking to u

            Well, that escalated quickly. I work on developing virus resistant and biofortified versions of staple crops in developing countries in order to help alleviate starvation and malnutrition. We give these away for free. I’m not working for a banking cartel, I’m not working for an oil cartel, and I don’t practice eugenics.

            At the end of the day, privately owned banks who own the US Fed Reserve have had many years to use the world reserve currency in a positive way and have failed to do so, all we have seen is a perpetual war to control world oil sales in US dollars at the cost of millions of lives, (eg when Saddam tried to sell in euros, where are those WMD by the way?). The basic fact remains, profit is the way these technologies are delivered and to think otherwise is unrealistic.

            Erm, ok? People who are malnourished getting the vitamins and minerals they need for better health is a good thing. Should I stop trying to do that because of some nefarious banking conspiracies? We give away all of our work for free, how is that profit driven?

            we have drifted off the initial topic, growing more will not alleviate starvation, it is the financial systems (ie worlds reserve currency) that determines these peoples outcome in relation to health and a balanced diet is more than beta carotene fortification, its the financial means to afford to eat correctly.

            People grow and eat cassava as around 90% of their caloric intake in many parts of Africa. Cassava does not have enough beta carotene to prevent blindness and infection in many children. You are telling me that giving them cassava to grow that has higher levels of beta carotene won’t solve any of their nutrient deficiencies? For the life of me, I don’t understand your position.

          • wtf

            so who is funding your work, we were discussing rice and Vit A, not your work? I did not refer to cassava as having beta carotene, I said there is more to this issue than beta carotene alone, a balanced diet is what is needed and targeting one nutrient is not enough. That does not need GM, it needs money. If u are unfamiliar with the US banking system then u will call it a conspiracy, know anyone in the US banking system?

          • Jackson

            so who is funding your work,

            We get most of our funding from the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation, with additional funding from NSF.

            I said there is more to this issue than beta carotene alone, a balanced diet is what is needed and targeting one nutrient is not enough

            Beta carotene deficiency is a real and large problem. Iron deficiency is a real and large problem. Crop loss due to viral infections is a real and large problem. GMOs can do a great job of reducing these very real and large problems. Throwing up your hands and declaring that we should stop trying to implement other solutions and just “fix the banking system”, or saying “we just need money” does not reduce these very real and large problems. Demonizing GMOs actively works against helping to solve these very real and large problems.

          • wtf

            well u might want to look further into the foundations history than just your paycheck, there is plenty of information online. U have agreed with me, its not just beta carotene, its a balanced diet like I said. I did not really state a position on GM apart from there are other answers, I see it 2 ways, good and bad. I just know the people with the money could have fixed this problem a long time ago and have not. They are the same ones selling themselves as the saviour now.

          • Good4U

            Get some education, wtf. Get off your fat duff and go live in Uganda. Let us know how much the people there appreciate your philosophy of life. Build your own hut, and scratch out a living from your own plot of ground out back, just like your neighbors. Once you get into the starving mode, and you haven’t had a square meal for a month, or a year, get back with us about your opinions of “the people with the money” who feed your neighbors in the next hut. I’m quite sure you won’t be eating from their table. Your ideology will be enough to sustain you.

          • Benjamin Edge

            Yes, that’s one reason why providing third world farmers improved genetics in their seed allows them to GROW their OWN food, with maybe enough left over to sell and buy some of the other things they need.

            It would be funny if it wasn’t so condescending, that the anti-GMO and anti-pesticide people in first world countries tell everyone to grow their own food if they want to be absolutely sure of how it was grown, yet they would deny third world farmers the tools to grow their own food. Let them continue to barely subsist. Wouldn’t want them to get uppity. They are more noble in their poverty.

  • JMac

    Headline: The Guardian: Roundup weedkiller ‘probably’ causes cancer, says WHO study

    “Please ignore the fact that billions of pounds of this chemical is sprayed directly onto crops that are converted into food. Why? Because a British journalist ate organic peanuts, had a reaction and died. We went from from a hundred million pounds of Glyphosate use in the United States in 2000 to over a billion pounds in 2014 but none of that matters scientifically speaking because of the British journalist that died after eating peanuts. These two things are directly related. Please, eat the poison. Ignore the anti GMO wackos. Eat the poison. ”

    Sincerely,

    The Biostitutes.

  • JMac

    DesMoines Register: Glyphosate is deemed probable carcinogen by UN.

    “Nothing to see here. Keep it moving. Move along please. Go ahead, eat the poison.”

    Sincerely,

    The Biostitutes

  • JMac

    A billion pounds of a carcinogenic chemical on your food.

    Best Wishes!

    The Biostitutes.

  • Brian Sandle

    “Currently only GM foods go through rigorous testing to prevent exactly the kind of lethal issue that killed Vassie.” you wrote.

    However early 1990s:
    “All four youngsters who died from soy anaphylaxis with asthma were
    severely allergic to peanuts but had no previously known allergy to soy.”
    “If two cases occurring less than a year before our study started are
    included, we are aware of two deaths caused by peanuts and four deaths
    caused by soy.”

    “http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1034/j.1398-9995.1999.00924.x/full

    The study was before GMO soy was released. Now you are claiming GMO science has made it safer. However:

    “On the other hand, science cannot yet predict whether a protein has an increased chance of inducing IgE, i.e., whether a protein has the potential to sensitize.”

    That is from January this year so I have to comment that your claim is bunkum.
    http://www.hesiglobal.org/files/Food%20allergy%20definitions,%20prevalence,%20diagnosis%20and%20therapy.pdf

    And it is not just an introduced gene that may be a trouble, it could be the overexpression of existing genes by the introduced promoter. Also changes over the years.

    “The Indian regulatory authorities such as the Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) and top Indian research universities have exhibited incapacity to rigorously investigate the problems experienced and observed by farmers and shepherds,
    and instead consistently argue that because all safety tests in the “pre-
    commercialisation”, stage provided beyond doubt proof of safety of the technology, the GM toxin, simply could not be the cause of morbidity and mortality”

    “Livestock owners had no option but to graze their animals on harvested cotton fields, which began to dominate the landscape. They continued to do so for nearly 12 years, prior to the
    entry of Bt cotton. Not once did farmers or shepherds experience morbidity or mortality in their animals due to the effects of their animals grazing on cotton fields.
    Bt cotton was commercially released in Andhra Pradesh in March 2002, after the Government of India granted permission to Mahyco-
    Monsanto, to market its Bt cotton variety in South India.
    In the Kharif season of 2002 the company released two Bt cotton hy-
    brids MECH Bt 12, and MECH Bt-162. It was sown in approximately 9500 acres in Andhra Pradesh, which stands third in cotton cultivation in the country, with an area of 8,87,000 ha under cotton. In Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh, approximately 1200 farmers planted Bt cotton over 1500 acres in Kharif 2002-03.
    The first reports of morbidity / mortality in animals after grazing on Bt Cotton, occurred in January 2005, which coincided with the third year (2004-05) of Bt cotton in Warangal district.”

    http://www.ensser.org/fileadmin/files/4.2-Ramdas-paper.pdf

  • JMac

    Priceless.

    • wtf

      yes I think somebody should explain to him and this website the difference between acute and chronic toxicity, as evidenced by their article on caffeine being more toxic than glyphosate. A basic knowledge of health could distinguish between the 2 and brings to question what medical expertise does anyone at genetic literacy have, very worrying indeed.

  • JMac

    The primary function of GMO is to increase chemical sales. Well guess what? It’s working! Roundup usage in the United States in the year 2000: 100 million pounds. By 2014: One billion pounds!!! We used ten times as much Roundup in 2014 as we did in 2000. Why? That’s easy. It’s because we have spent the last decade switching out our conventional corn, canola, and soy with over 90% roundup ready (able to be sprayed with poison and survive) corn, canola, and soy. GMO does one thing very well. It sells a whole lot of the toxic herbicide Roundup. A billion pounds in the US alone last year! Sales are booming! Hooray for us! We win! Hey, what’s our prize? Don’t ask. You don’t want to know. Hint: You might want to buy some life insurance.

    • JoeFarmer

      Wow, you’re a genius!

      Yep, those Bt crops like corn and cotton sure up the insecticide sales! Too bad Monsanto doesn’t manufacture any insecticides. Maybe there’s another reason why they developed the Bt traits…

      And RoundUp? Monsanto’s patent on glyphosate expired back in 2000. So while they do still manufacture and market glyphosate, so do a whole lot of other companies. The Chinese are the world’s largest glyphosate manufacturer.

      The Dunning-Kruger is strong with you, JMac!

  • Rain Bojangles

    She was allergic to nuts, you idiots. It had nothing to do with them being “organic”. You should be ashamed of using her death to promote your agenda of a genetically modified world. Disgusting excuse for journalism on a disgusting excuse for a news source.

  • Esmae

    So you blame the death of the photographer who allegedly died from eating whole organic peanuts on the fact that they’re organic and not her allergy to groundnuts/groundnuts. This story is nothing more the propaganda for gmo. It’s a known fact that Monsanto and his singing cronies want to exploit Africa’s food so whom are you kidding, not me.

  • Phlemming

    Thousands of tests on GMOs? I don’t think so, provide credible citations.

    • https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/ It’s actually well more than 3000, with about 1000+ by independent scientists and much of the rest funded by industry–required by government–but executed independently.

      • Phlemming

        One at random says “Scientists do not have full knowledge of the risks and benefits of any insect management strategies. Bt plants were deployed with the expectation that the risks would be lower than current or alternative technologies and that the benefits would be greater.” Centrally doesn’t support the hypothesis that they are unqualified judged as “safe”.

        The text of the cited article is replete with weasel words and includes funny logic 1) ” “The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any
        significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops,” the scientists concluded.” 2) “All GM crops are tested against a database of all known allergens before
        commercialization and any crop found containing new allergens is not
        approved or marketed.”. The second is rank nonsense of course. How are new allergens determined? How big are the human test populations? Hmmmmm, Human testing? Industry funded studies are always suspect.

        • Loren Eaton

          “The second is rank nonsense of course. How are new allergens determined?”
          You are (of course) wrong. Look up Allergenonline out of the University of Nebraska. I believe that ‘new’ allergens are those genes/proteins that have a sequence similarity to known allergens (at a high enough percentage) and are therefore disqualified from use as transgenes. So much for the idea that “none of this is tested”, huh?

          • Phlemming

            As if extensive testing of isomers is conducted. How different must an isomer be to not be excluded. How about allergic reactions to new molecular configurations? GMOs are tested but tokenistically. Exhaustive testing is not performed. How much human testing is being performed?

          • Good4U

            Phlem, you need to study up. We’re not talking about isomers here. Allergens have nothing to do with isomers. Besides, there aren’t any allergens in GMOs. In the original testing phase of any transgenic plants are found to carry allergenic principles, they are discarded, i.e. not tested further or deployed for planting crops. An allergenicity study (it’s called a sensitization study) is required by the regulatory agencies of the world before any GMO food or feed crop can be deployed for planting.

  • cold340t

    So all the studies that show tumors and reproductive cysts etc. in rats after the 60 or 90 day “rigorous test” period, are bogus? Tests done by scientists with NO $ affiliation to Monsanto et al. The test from which most of the EU countries relied upon before getting waivers on GMO Imports and home production.
    Is this site affiliated with Monsanto et al? Tone and tenor of author says ,yes. Well? Literate question from a literate reader/commenter.

    • agscienceliterate

      If you are referring to the Seralini rat studies, then yes, this study – debunked by mainstream scientists and then reprinted anyway later, in a “pay to be published” journal, was thoroughly discredited. Lots of good info on the poor methodology and non-reproducibility of that study. Are you referring to that study? You said “all the studies,” inferring there are more than one. What are you referring to?
      Is GLP site affiliated with Monsanto? I am just a reader, but the manager of this site has repeatedly said that GLP is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) with no funding from Monsanto. Let me ask you a question: Why fears of just Monsanto? Why not also Pioneer, Syngenta, and other seed companies that also sell GE seeds (along with conventional and organic seeds)?

      • cold340t

        Monsanto et al. Means the rest of the GMO producers. I have read the “debunk” of the study. Both sides of it, along with related studies. Most debunkers seem to be related to GMO producers, along with their results.

      • cold340t

        The Seralini rat study just WON his case. Why would that be?

  • Volksbefreier

    Meanwhile highly resistant “superbacteria” continues to become more and more powerful due to use of antibiotics……

    Which are used on non – Organic food.

    One journalist dies from eating an Organic nut. Monsanto’s PR propaganda broadcasting station, the Genetic Literacy Project, spins it around and exploits the Journalist’s death to support widespread use of GMOs.

    Ethics? No need. A journalist has died? Great opportunity, let’s use it to our advantage.

    • Good4U

      Once again, true to form, you have missed the point of this article entirely. Sorry state of affairs you always find yourself in, embarrassed as hell, don’t know how to get out of the hole you dug yourself into. Turn around, you’ve messed your pants again. Oh dear.

  • Ariel Nonofbusines

    Sorry I wasted 3 minutes of my life reading the ramblings of an uninformed mis-information idiot (who clearly has no experience or knowledge regarding how non-GMO products are farmed – as indicated by his stupid and wrong manure use claims). That this crap was allowed to be published here suggests it being paid for by companies such as Monsanto. It places question on the credibility of anything else on this site. Suggest going elsewhere until they get some real scientists who can edit.
    If you need to be convinced that GMO’s are bad.. Here you go. http://www.nationofchange.org/first-long-term-study-released-pigs-cattle-who-eat-gmo-soy-and-corn-offers-frightening-results-13723