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Pro-GMO marchers shocked at unfocused anger of March Against Monsanto protesters

I’ve had some time to reflect on the March Against Monsanto two weekends ago. I almost feel sorry for the protesters I had come to counter-protest in downtown Chicago. They were an odd collection of characters: aging hippies, ragtag Millennials wearing gas masks and granola-ish mommies with children dressed in bee costumes (honeybees are the new spotted owl).

Transport them back to any given decade – 60s anti-war demonstrations, 80s nuclear war protests or 2000s Occupy Wall Street – you’ll find a strong resemblance, like a counterculture family reunion. Irony was lost on the picketers carrying signs about poisoned food or mothers claiming to protect their children while standing next to guys wearing profanity-laced T-shirts and screaming epithets at us.

We crossed paths when I joined a small but valiant group of folks trying to balance out the anti-GMO marchers during third annual March Against Monsanto. I learned about the counter-protest, called the March Against Myths or MAMyths, on Twitter from chief organizer Kavin Senapathy, a mom like me fed up with the bs from the GM fear-peddlers. My teenage daughter accompanied me – under duress, of course – and she was alternatively horrified by her mother and the protesters. Fortunately she could mostly pretend to ignore it all by texting her similarly-horrified friends on her iPhone.

Monsanto and the genetically modified seeds they develop are this decade’s rallying point for hippie ideologues, their latest example of corporate malfeasance that’s destroying our health and our planet. Big banks, oil companies and Halliburton can breathe a sigh of relief as biotech companies are now the target of activists.

GMOs are the result of extensive scientific research and testing, and have been part of America’s agricultural system for two decades. Nearly 90 percent of all corn and soybeans in the U.S. are genetically modified, most designed to be pest-resistant. Numerous studies and most scientific organizations around the world support the safety of genetically engineered crops. U.S. farmers use GM seeds to boost yield on less land using fewer resources.

But why let facts get in the way of a good protest?

In reality, the few protesters we talked to didn’t know very much about GMOs at all. When confronted with facts or pushed for answers themselves, they questioned our motives (corporate “shills”) or walked away. One protester, desperate to back up his wholesale indictment of the American food system, insisted he ate worms and grubs out of his suburban yard. He claimed he never ate at restaurants and his wife did all their grocery shopping at Whole Foods, one of the few corporations accepted by the current counterculture, even though it has about the same annual sales as Monsanto.

This was a big dude, impossible to maintain his husky stature on bugs alone. You had the sneaking suspicion he would stop at McDonalds on his way home for a Big Mac and Diet Coke.

They screamed at us across Dearborn Street outside of Federal Plaza in the Chicago’s Loop. “How much is Monsanto paying you?” was the frequent retort. They held crude signs – in both design and text – with juvenile messages such as “OMG, GMO, WTF” and “Muck Fonsanto.” Some people honked their horns in support of the Monsanto marchers.

Related article:  Tiny genetic differences spin out new species in literal butterfly effect

I admired the earnest efforts of my protesters-in-arms: scientists, farmers, writers and moms like me who believed they might have a chance to inform the misinformed and reason with the unreasonable. I also suspected my side didn’t have a lot of political experience, otherwise they would’ve known the intransigence of the opposition wasn’t rooted in science or logic but a hatred toward American capitalism.

I’ve worked in politics on and off for nearly 30 years; I know the futility of debating people who lack facts or refuse an honest exchange of ideas. Their positions are embedded in a fierce political ideology so emotion – rather than evidence – often rules the day (I see this on both sides of the political aisle).

It wasn’t really a March Against Monsanto or even GMOs as much as it was a protest against most things American, expect for the right to protest. (Ironically enough, the city’s Memorial Day parade was taking place just to the east of us).

Yet GMO foes are suffering from a major case of cognitive dissonance. They are rejecting crop biotechnology out of hand even though the evidence suggests it is helping to achieve one of their stated goals: sustainanability. The National Research Council reported in 2010 that “genetic-engineering technology has produced substantial net environmental and economic benefits to U.S. farmers compared with non-GE crops.” Other benefits include low tillage, less farmland needed for higher yields and “improvements in water quality resulting from the complementary nature of herbicide-resistance technology.”

Another analysis that reviewed nearly 150 studies of GM crops over ten years concluded that “GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37 percent, increased crop yields by 22 percent, and increased farmer profits by 68 percent.”

The “Feed the World” mantra of the counterculture only has a chance with genetically engineered crops. Seeds are being designed to resist drought, high salinity and flooding conditions. Other crops are fortified with needed nutrients that are lacking in the diets of hundreds of millions of children in poor countries, causing blindness, disease and even death.

The counter-protest was fun and a very small step in refuting the misinformation spread by biotech foes. But like most political issues, minds will be changed in the vast middle. It’s my hope we can take this campaign to those folks moving forward.

Julie Kelly is the owner of Now You’re Cooking in Orland Park, Illinois. She is a cooking instructor and food writer, but her biggest job is being a mom. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @Julie_kelly2.


400 thoughts on “Pro-GMO marchers shocked at unfocused anger of March Against Monsanto protesters”

    • Hard to say, since one side tends to inflate numbers, other side to deflate. But in Toronto last years claim was “about 3,000”, while this year it was estimated at 1200. While MAM claims that the protest was in hundreds of cities, quite a few reports show that in many cities the turnout could be measured in dozens.

        • I don’t think it ever had that much real support in the first place. Although us Monsanto and Big Ag shills tend to run across a lot on the internet, that is because we are looking for it. But if you look at the actual video views on YouTube, and other metrics that track actual interest such as Google Trends, GMO concern by the average person is way down in the mud and noise level.

        • I also marched with MAMyths in Chicago. The numbers were very low considering the venue. About 200. Saturday pedestrian traffic at Dearborn and Jackson isn’t exactly overwhelming either. (Not like you would find on State Street or the Magnificent Mile.)

  1. I looked at some of the videos posted on YouTube, and was generally underwhelmed. Despite the widespread claims of some about “massive support”, I see a lot of the videos have view counts in the low hundreds, with very few over 1000 (compare that with Psy’s Gagnam Style music video, with 2.4 billion).

  2. I want to be clear about my article: I do not claim all anti-GMO people are on one side of the political spectrum. In fact, I know plenty of Republicans who are wary of GMOs for a number of reasons, mostly due to misinformation. My point in this piece is that the protestors largely represent a certain political ideology, one that generally opposes our capitalist economic system and detest corporations. If the protest was against GMOs, it would’ve been called March Against GMOs, not against Monsanto.

    • not all people who want GMO labeling come from a political ideology.
      you went to one protest and now you think you understand a complete group of people from border to border?

      you seem to have very clear stereotypes of the people that you seem to have seen at your protest, but that doesn’t mean everyone fits your definitions.

      fighting ignorance is a good thing but lets not start perpetuating that ignorance by making mass generalizations of your fellow’s really hard to be respectful of a view that chooses to label people rather than food.

      • Again, this wasn’t a generalization of pro-GMO or pro-labeling people. The point was that this was a largely political protest (I was there, you weren’t) by people of a certain ideology. If this protest was really about GMOs, why isn’t it called March Against GMOs? Why only target Monsanto? There is an anti-corporate, anti-capitalist view of this particular political ideology that is undeniable. As I said, few people actually knew anything about GMOs and couldn’t really make a logical argument against the technology. To believe this protest was really about genuine, informed concerns about GMOs is ignorant.

        • It’s not about the technology or science. It’s not about feeding the world. It’s against corporations who increasingly undermine our legal system, do not want to be part of our regulated market system, corrupt politicians and ballot votes, restrict academic freedom, and pay their taxes–if at all– rather overseas. Label GMO products and we have a leveled field again to have a reasonable dialog. If not, deal with ever more nut-nicks, crazies, saboteurs, protests, disproportional sales of organic labeled products, dropping stock value, and never ending local legal quarrels.

          • I disagree. Labelling GMO’s doesn’t impart any reasonable information to make an informed choice. It is literally a fear tactic used by anti-biotech people.

            Lets start with something that has some basis in fact? How about we label all foods that were grown in fecal matter? There is solid evidence showing that there is a higher instance of food poisoning from plants fertilized that way.

    • I looked at a few videos, and just going from the signs and chants, it was very much like Occupy – a lot of unfocused against “the establishment”. Shades of the 60’s, but with a lot less validity.

    • Julie, i respect your observations, and i think you’re generally right about there being an ideological aspect to the “March against Monsanto” activists in general. And, i don’t that it’s necessarily wrong, either. I largely agree with a lot of the critique as i would generalize it to the group as a whole. I personally was not at a march on that day, but i’m very critical of Monsanto as a specific company, for their history on PCBs (and yes, i know that through some shell games they’ve sold that division but that’s not so material to me), and i am also very critical of glyphosate, which i do not trust to be safe for human consumption and about which i think more research must be done, on the potential effect on the human gut microbiome.

      So, i wish to acknowledge your observations on the sociology of the “movement” in general, but also to say that it’s fully possible to be critical of some aspects of genetic modification and related technologies, on a fully rational basis, and not due to misinformation but rather from enough information.

      • Hi – Thanks for your comments. Yes, I respect an opposing viewpoint based in fact but also someone’s emotional argument against GMOs (like moms who’ve written me, certain that GMOs have caused health problems in their children. As a mom, I don’t argue with those women bc its so painful to have your child suffer in any way that emotion often wins over facts). And I respect your very rational position that you feel you need more information. Believe it or not, I am relatively new to this battle and while I’ve done a lot of research on both sides, I am trying to keep an open mind .
        Thanks again!

    • Well, Monsanto controls over 90% of US food supply.. I think the issue is with GMOs AND overly processed foods.

      As I said on another article, the main issues are:

      There are too many inconsistencies and lots of guesswork when it comes to GMOs AND processed food. America is a corportocracy and is recklessly endangering its people.

      The concept is GMO’s isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and should be studied in a small and properly CONTROLLED environment until sufficient long-term research has been done.. Also Monsanto isn’t using this technology to create higher quality food, its only thinking of low end food.

      Lastly, everyone who understands business knows that Monopolies aren’t good.. especially one that controls our food supply. So everyone is aware- Monsanto controls 93% of our food supply. This ALONE is a huge red flag

      • 90% ?? 93% ???
        Where did you pluck those numbers? Pretty woo woo. Document, please.

        Would you apply your “small and properly controlled environment …” standard to the thousands of foods, including organic, produced through mutagenesis?

        • Monsanto licenses its genetically modified traits to other seed companies, so 80% of US corn and more than 90% of soybeans planted each year are attributable to Monsanto

          …. you are aware that almost all of our food has corn or soy related products correct? maybe it is ALMOST 90% but that is still very clearly a monopoly

          • It is not a monopoly. Several companies license traits. It is easy to find varieties with non-Monsanto traits.

        • There should be controls because of the risk involved. The
          long-term impact of the wide-scale use of GMOs is uncertain since they weren’t
          released until 1995 (wide-scale).Furthermore, there is absolutely no defense for lack of adequate safety frameworks in the US. GMOS need to be CLEARLY labeled incase certain ones proven to cause allergies. Certain GMOs have already been linked to allergies in studies.

          • “Certain GMOs have already been linked to allergies in studies.”

            Let’s see a citation for that, professor!

            “Furthermore, there is absolutely no defense for lack of adequate safety frameworks in the US.”

            More blather, no citations.

    • It might be that Monsanto was targeted not because of its GMOs, but because of the way it does business. That’s not an attack on big business per se, but on one company’s questionable ethics. I’m not anti big business, but I’ve read enough about their practices to be anti-Monsanto myself. As companies can be “persons” under US law, I think it’s fair to classify this “person” as a sociopath.

    • Please post a study that proves gmos and roundup are safe. I cant find a single one. I dont fit your ridiculous stereotype mold either. My children are raised, Im a woman of a certain age, you should be mindful of that in your next article and leave out the tone of pontificating, talking down to young parents. Put the study/studies where your mouth is, and let the studies speak for themselves. Because all I read was your dubious opinion

  3. Kudos, Julie, for your courage and commitment. And thank your daughter, too! Even tho she was horrified, she was there, standing up for science. That means something.
    Great reporting on this pathetic event! Thank you for going.

  4. Oh ! Echoed from South Africa :

    « A sangoma and a finely manicured suburban matriarch. A dreadlocked student and a baby on her dad’s arm. A little girl with a flower tiara and a teenager with the “Jou Ma Se GMO” poster. It’s been a long time since South African’s were so united in political protest. And
    all across our Continent Africans joined the worldwide march against
    one single company. »

    And the Ouagadougou demonstration was organized from France…

  5. I would have enjoyed this article without the fat shaming.
    I am pro-GMO but calling people portly and insinuating people are fat because all they do is shove Big Macs in their face is juvenile at best. Otherwise bravo.

  6. Both sides’ decisions are based on choice. That’s all. In my opinion, a lot of “science” today isn’t science. It’s assumptions and desires wrapped in manipulated numbers and data to make what you want come true. You can say the same for both sides. Fine. But in the end, everyone’s making a choice about what to support. Plain and simple. I support GMO labeling and not eating GMOs.

    • That is part of the problem – people are unable to separate the real science from all the noise. But when it comes to manipulating numbers, the anti-GMO and anti-Climate Change crowd are probably the two worst, followed closely by the anti-Vax crowd. If their cause is so just, then why do they have to lie so much?

      • You have to accept that many people have replaced God with science and have pledged their faith in it and scientists…no questions asked. And how can that be denied? You don’t have the data…you don’t run the experiments…so you either place your faith in them, or you don’t. And if you don’t, you’re a whack job…so people say. Many people assume that scientists of today are above reproach, as well as large corporations. People even actually believe large corporations when they say that they actually have concern and love for people and that’s why they do what they do. And if you don’t believe the scientists, or corporations, that are above reproach, you’re in denial….because there’s no room for skepticism…because everyone’s so honest in this world….right?

        • Actually, the very heart of science is not to “believe” in it because science is not a belief. It’s a “method of inquiry”…it’s about interrogating the real world and coming up with data and letting the data drive decision making and policy–the very opposite of belief.

          • That’s exactly right, Jon! The problem is that’s not often how science is performed these days. Instead, today, we start with a goal and we bend and manipulate data until it looks good enough to support what we want it to. Unfortunately, that is not science, but that is what is done today. And if we say it’s done on “one side” of the fence (pick the side you don’t like), I’ll say it happens on the other, as well, because it does.

          • I guess I don’t see that done so much when studies are published in major, high impact factor journals. Most of the studies finding alleged problems with GMOs (Seralini, Seneff, etc.) are in ”pay for play’ journals with almost no impact factor and minimum/none peer review at best which lends itself to manipulating data. Studies done with GLP standards, even industry ones, are pretty insulted from that kind of manipulation.

          • I had just mentioned above to My Pet Ocelot that the fact that companies like Monsanto not freely allowing independent scientists to openly study and research
            their technology for safety reasons and openly publish those findings
            without the findings having to go through Monsanto’s own filtration
            mechanism first is highly suspect to me. In my opinion, this completely dashes any trust in any stated scientific results in favor of GMOs. A real scientific method should be repeatable and data driven, interrogative and real world, as you mentioned. If the data in support of GMOs was truly scientifically derived, then anyone repeating the scientific testing procedures used would come up with the exact same results. Therefore, I don’t see why such companies *wouldn’t* want scientists to run the same tests. That would put *everything* to rest once and for all and we could all move past this. But they don’t. They don’t want others to test their technology and publish their findings…and that is more than enough for me to be truly skeptical.

          • Again why do you believe this myth when decades of published research show it is not true?

        • I understand your viewpoint, and as a scientist, agree that there is a ‘faith’ in the process. However, scientists are skeptical of each other. I have learned to take ‘big findings’ with an initial grain of salt until they can be replicated. If I can replicate another scientists findings then that indicates truth. The problem with many of these studies reporting ill-effects of GMOs is that they cannot be replicated by other labs. In the world of science we never tout a single study as canon, unless its main findings are replicated by others. In the anti-GMO world single studies suggesting harm become sacred articles of truth, when in fact they are typically poorly controlled studies that are highly inconclusive.

          • Thanks for your post. What do you think about companies like Monsanto, not freely allowing independent scientists to openly study and research their technology for safety reasons and openly publish those findings without the findings having to go through Monsanto’s own filtration mechanism first? I think it’s wrong. With such a process, nothing negative about the technology can ever be published. People are rightly skeptical when they read about a process limitation like this because it smells as fishy as it really is. And everyone gets it…no one, not even corporations, want to be spoken badly of, but it’s not right to try and hide from the public if you’re going to develop something for the public and profit from the public.

          • Do you have evidence of Monsanto suppressing studies? I’m not entirely sure what case you might be referring too. This isn’t actually possible as far as I know. I could easily go to a seed store, buy some Monsanto seed, grow it, feed it to animals, and study the safety. There is no way Monsanto can prevent that. The company certainly has an interest in debating the findings by people like Seralini, but (again, as an independent scientist with no financial interest in GMOs) I can say that that study was in fact crap, it was just poorly done and inconclusive. Anyone is free to try and replicate that study, using more careful methods, if they want to. On the other hand, there have been thousands of studies of farm feed and the effects on animals -agricultural scientists and farmers want to know! None of them have found ill effects of GMO feed on farm animals.

          • Thanks. I think at the end of the day, it all boils down to consumer demand. You can have the best invention in one way, or another, but if people don’t want it, it dies off (or it should). Forget science, forget technology, forget shaming people, hating people, or anything like that. Our economy is based on consumer demand, so on a different fishy note, I am highly skeptical of political movements to try and prevent GMO labeling in states. Let consumer demand play out like it should. The whole topic’s gotten to smelling all too fishy for me.

          • How do you reconcile your belief that Monsanto stifled research with the decades of research done on GE crops and food?

    • Hackety, I can understand your point if one were to get their ‘science’ from the popular press or politicians or other groups with agendas. Those sources often don’t understand or intentionally misrepresent bits of data or interpretations that suit their needs. But after 25 years of doing science, I still believe it is the only rational approach to moving forward. I don’t want to misrepresent your opinion, but if more people were to move away from Google U. and study primary sources or reputable reviews, their opinions of science might change. The problem is that much of that material is complex and esoteric and requires a substantial investment in study that would require more time (months, years) than most people could spend.

    • Why does this “doubt science” arguing mainly, if not always, comes from the anti-GMO side? If science doesn’t support it, just discount it, easy enough.
      Science is the attempt to gather and analyze data objectively. If the outcome doesn’t suit you the best tactics are the “both sides” and “it’s like religion” arguments. False and empty, but effective. Anti-GMO discovered that narratives are very effective. FUD works every time. Not “this is why and how it works” but “why would you trust this?”
      Why would I trust organic? There is big money in it. You remember how much of the argument centers around “don’t trust big companies”? By that logic I should not trust organic. Yet the signs of goalposts moving, as big chain stores are moving on the marketing-led bandwagon and big money is flowing into it. Whole Foods is this close to being bigger than Monsanto. And then what? Well, I know what. Just like “weapons of mass destruction in Iraq” the anti-GMO movement will ignore it and pretend it never was an argument.
      The anti-GMO movement is one of staggering disingenuity, propaganda and lobbying. It cultivated an unjustified aura of being the good guys. This year with counter protests we could see how it fell apart. A kid was shouted at by a 63yo woman. They surrounded and shouted at counter-protesters. Zen Honeycutt made up a story how she was ambushed.
      First, anti-GMO protesters, you need to become honest. Science-minded people, as opposed to activists, aren’t the kind to take to the streets, By the time they do something really bad has gone on for much too long.

  7. Wait you lost when you compared these prorestors to the ones that protest war, nuclear power, and wallstreet… Those are things we should protest. Maybe you should take closer look at yourself instead of judging others, i think you are confused.

    • As she said – unfocused. This – just like the Occupy silliness, was not aimed at anything – it was aimed at everything. They are mad at something, but they are not sure what, except that it all concerns “the man” or “the establishment” or “the 1%”.

      • True, I 100% support the ideals of the Occupy movement, however, it entirely lacked leadership and was deeply bereft of intelligent people. For example, why occupy Wall street? The big banks sometimes got away with stuff because it wasn’t illegal. The only place that should have been occupied was Washington D.C., that is the only place where meaningful change could take place. The bankers watching the protest must have just laughed… all the way to the bank.

  8. Have you not read the research on roundup? Do you like eating foods that are “designed” to withstand being repeatedly saturated with toxic chemicals? Good then.. Go eat them quietly and die in a corner in peace. We will continue to fight against this catastrophe… As futile as it is. You have no right to degrade those who care about nature and good health.

  9. I can attest to the vitriolic hatred which contaminates these anti-GMO protests. Certainly it’s not ALL of the protestors, but any silver lining of reason within these crowds is thoroughly undone by untempered hatred spewed by the loudest members. I have no ill will towards any of these protestors, but my attempts to engage in calm discussion with them is always inevitably hijacked by loud idiots who quickly resort to ad hominem attacks against me and finally wish death upon me, typically in the form of cancer. I would never wish death upon someone who disagrees with my political or scientific views! If these protestors are interested in making ANY progress it would do them well to root out loud violent idiots. This goes for any protest, really. Gone are the days of MLK Jr and calm dignity.

  10. I would suspect it may have had to do with the comments on the March against Monsanto individual Facebook pages. They are open and anyone can comment. Personally, I saw many posts that were offensive made by ignorant people. I think that if March against Myths would like to organise around the world, pick a date, advertise the event, contact local media etc. they should feel free to do so and not just hijack an organised event. However, that is just my opinion.

  11. How about all the other chemicals(not mutant agriculture), that Monsanto creates that is retarding the honey bees??????? Research people, wake up, these bees cannot even facilitate themselves as they have forever. there are traces of chemicals found in carcasses of dead bees. Yay Monsanto!! The only company who is boarded by politicians and has an invincibility Claus! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!! Stop taking the bait.

    • I repeat – you are at ground zero for factual unbiased peer reviewed science articles now. Deny reality and truth at your own peril. Scroll up and select the home page.
      What part of genetically illiterate don’t you understand?

      • Thank you for disqualifying yourself and conceding defeat so readily. It is obvious you are ready to believe anything you can find on the web that supports your hatred indulgence. Some kitchen manager caving to the anti-science employees is not any sort of endorsement of scientific facts in any way, shape or form.

        • I’m afraid or superstitious of no foods but I do avoid beef and prefer high fiber foods as a sensible diet. I prefer fair trade goods or local stuff over corporate brands. I shy away from organics because if their higher and more toxic pesticide content.

      • Oh my! This post is very disturbing. I so appreciate the information on the GLP site. Educated, dedicated people doing their homework and sharing science based findings! But you, are you serious in your claim that “every single professional team feeds their employees organic”? You, my friend, have been feeding on a steady diet of myths for too long now….

        • Not a scientist. Just a mom that raised two kids eating foods that came from GMO crop production methods. All our beef for the past twenty years was fed GMO grain. My kids are college educated, gainfully employed, and in healthy relationships. Our unique genetic dispositions, together with the choices we make on what we put into our mouths and how much exercise we get, is really all that matters. Your fear of GMOs is unfounded and unnecessary.

          • You know what is creepy?… People who spread fear because they have nothing better to do. Goodbye and good luck with your issues.

          • Alyssa is old enough to not be suckered into bad science. She chooses to believe what she believes. She’s gonna lead a life of chicken-little fear, unfortunately. That IS creepy.
            Thanks for your comments, Mary.

          • Yeah, just because that’s supposedly the case for you means that it’ll be the case for everyone…. subjective, biased, and irrelevant argument.

            Do your kids have allergies? Does anyone in your family have heart disease?

            If so you MIGHT (notice how I didn’t say definitely) be wrong. There is new research indicating that processed and GMO foods could be the main contributing factor to the alarming increase of allergies since 1995 (when GMOs were released wide-scale) and heart disease….

            I’m 23 years old. It’s sad that my generation is the first generation in a while predicted to not outlive our parents. FOOD SUPPLY AND DISTRIBUTION MUST BE BETTER MANAGED IN THE UNITED STATES

          • Hi Alyssa- Not trying to present an argument. Just sharing the reality I live here in Kansas. My farm neighbors ARE healthy. My son and daughter are a little older than you. They simply grew up with the occasional cold. Though my son did have pneumonia when he was two (before gmo technology). I donated my kidney to my Chicago niece three years ago and passed every health test imaginable when my urban siblings couldn’t get past the first questions. This is after eating GMO fed cattle for twenty years and looking out at GMO corn and soybean fields from almost every window in my house. I feel sorry for your generation because you have been made to fear so many things that are in fact not threats. GMOs – not one recorded case of causing illness. If there was, we wouldn’t be growing them! Have you ever been to a grain farm? You are welcome to visit mine and see for yourself. Take care.

          • I actually have grandparents that live in Kansas, beautiful state. I also live near many farms as well since I live in PA, and used to live near farms in IL as well. That is awesome how you donated your kidney to your niece and have maintained good health. My family too (parents, sister, grandparents) have maintained good health for the most part, although my sister has horrible allergies.

            As I said in a previous post, I’m not against the researching of and properly controlled release of processed foods and GMOs, but I feel it is a mistake to release something irreversible wide-scale before before long-term effects have been extensively researched.

            Also- certain recent facts and trends have increased my hesitation. These include: the alarming increase of allergy rates after 1995, heart disease rates, America’s rank in life expectancy compared to other countries, the fact that over 90% of American food supply is controlled by a monopoly, conflicts of interest and relationship between: congress, the FDA, certain corporations such as Monsanto, the amount of money Monsanto spends on lobbying and trying to avoid labeling GMO products, the fact that many studies that “prove the safety” of GMOs are funded by Monsanto, the fact that Monsanto has “accidentally” contaminated organic products numerous times, the “Sunset” policy that was passed by congress, the fact that many other countries restrict or ban certain additives/GMOs that America doesn’t.

            I think it is important for Americans to be aware when the balance of power between the people and government/corporations has been upset and the fact that there are many “loopholes” the government/certain corps use to avoid checks and balances that were put in place to protect the people.

          • Things I forgot to add that are increasing my hesitation are: diabetes rates in America, the amount of money the Big Pharma makes off of allergy medications, heart disease medications, and diabetes medications, and also the prevalence of people that are both fat and malnourished.

          • Yep… Let’s talk about the honey bees…. No one wants to see the honey bees disappear. No one! Colony Collapse Disorder has been around for more than a century. There are mites and viruses and deaths attributed to stress in the transporting of bee hives. Unfortunately, there is no conclusive cause to the decline of honeybees.

          • Yes, I know it has been around longer than the wide scale release of GMOs- however overly processed foods have been around longer and are a major concern as well. It seems as though lack of bio-diversity is a major factor, although it is true there is no conclusive cause

          • Speculate??? That’s really what you base your information on? Other peoples’ “speculation”??
            Wow, you ARE a sucker.

          • Yup. And a friend just talked to a beekeeper in France, who has seen his colonies decline. This is a country where neonics are banned. So much for THAT red herring.

          • Diet and personal health regimens, as well as family genetics, factor into those medical conditions, as well. We all have to take responsibility for what we decide to put into our mouths. Are you going to choose a Big Mac and supersize your fries or have a baked skinless chicken breast with steamed vegetables…. My brother in law ate whatever he wanted until the doctor told him he was borderline diebetic. He went on a diet of fresh and sensible foods, dropped 100 pounds and has never felt better….

          • Ha! ha! And a few posts ago you said you knew the difference between correlation and causation!! Here you go again somehow making shady connections between allergies, heart disease, diabetes, and gmos. And conspiracy blather about “Big Pharma.”

          • To argue against controls is to argue against science.

            READ BELOW.

            “We currently stand at an agricultural crossroads. The first generation of ‘Roundup Ready’ GE crops increased herbicide use by 527 million pounds between 1996 and 2011, triggering an epidemic of glyphosate-resistant ‘superweeds’ which now infest over 61 million acres across 36 states. 2,4-D crops are among the ‘next-generation’ of GE crops engineered to withstand applications of older, more toxic herbicides. While they are often touted as a solution to herbicide-resistant weeds, even the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) recognizes in its draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) that deregulating 2,4-D crops will spur the further evolution of 2,4-D resistant weeds and cause a three to seven fold increase in 2,4-D use,” write Members of Congress.

            Exposure to 2,4-D has been linked to multiple adverse health effects including non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, decreased sperm count, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease. Further, exposure has also been shown to negatively impact the hormonal, reproductive, neurological and immune systems. In addition, EPA has reported that 2,4-D is the seventh largest source of dioxins in the United States. Dioxins are extremely toxic chemicals, and their bioaccumulation in the food chain may potentially lead to dangerous levels of exposure.

            The 50 signers of the letter are:

            Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), Robert A. Brady (D-PA-01), Matt Cartwright (D-PA-17), Judy Chu (D-CA-27), David Cicilline (D-RI-01), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY-09), Gerald Connolly (D-VA-11), John Conyers Jr. (D-MI-13), Peter DeFazio (D-OR-04), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Keith Ellison (D-MN-05), Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA-18), Sam Farr (D-CA-20), Alan Grayson (D-FL-09), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), Mike Honda (D-CA-17), Jared Huffman,(D-CA-02), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-09), Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH-02), James Langevin (D-RI-02), Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19), Alan Lowenthal (D-CA-47), Nita Lowey (D-NY-17), Stephen Lynch (D-MA-08), Betty McCollum (D-MN-04), James McGovern (D-MA-02), Michael Michaud (D-ME-02), Gwen Moore (D-WI-04), James Moran (D-VA-08), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10), Grace Napolitano (D-CA-32), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC-01), Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-NJ-09), Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01), Mark Pocan (D-WI-02), Jared Polis (D-CO-02), Mike Quigley (D-IL-05), Charles Rangel, (D-MY-13), Bobby Rush (D-IL-01), Tim Ryan (D-OH-13), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09), Adam Schiff (D-CA-28), Louise Slaughter (D-NY-25), Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH-01), Jackie Speier (D-CA-14), Dina Titus (D-NV-01), Paul Tonko (D-NY-20), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL-23), Maxine Waters (D-CA-43).

          • Alyssa – You are very articulate and knowledgable for your age. But if you want to go back to 1995, you have to take into account the continual increase in fast food consumption during that period (high calorie, high fat, increasingly huge portions). Additionally, you need to think about cell phone and computer usage, hours spent online instead of outside exercising. These factors have all added to poor health conditions. We have always had the option to eat healthy foods… Steamed vegetables…broiled meats. If you snack on foods that actually provide nutrients and vitamins to your diet, you are doing well. It doesn’t matter if you eat GMO foods, nonGMO foods, organic foods… What matters is whether you decide to eat healthy foods or not.

          • Yes, I also agree with part of what you’re saying. People need to exercise/maintain a good diet and eat fast food sparingly if they want to be healthy.

            However, based on my research so far GMOs AND processed foods(at least what they are doing) is reducing biodiversity which is NECESSARY for life. They are not only releasing them, they are releasing at a WIDE-SCALE even though numerous trends indicate they should tread with caution at the very least. Also, they are not focusing on food quality, they are mass producing low quality foods

            Furthermore, they are taking away our ability to choose by not labeling (I’m not talking about a warning label- I’m talking about GMOs being labeled in the ingredient list) and contaminating all other food sources.

            Insurance underwriters I have talked to have hinted/warned about food processing and the benefits of organic foods

            *It is crucial to protect organic foods from any form of contamination so people have the right to choose and so that ACCURATE TESTING CAN BE DONE.

            Ask yourself: Why is Monsanto insistent upon contaminating every source of food? I thought the CEO said there was “room for all of us on the shelves”. People who allow this to continue are recklessly endangering us all

          • Alyssa, lots of mistaken ideas in your post. There is no necessary negative correlation between GMOs and biodiversity. Studies have shown the opposite. By increasing yields on existing farmland, GM crops help preserve natural habitats and our world’s biodiversity. Organic farming is less efficient and requires reduction of virgin forests to convert to farmland, one key reason why GM technology is so critical in the developing world. Bt crops also reduce insecticide use by 90%, which protects helpful insect biodiversity. So maybe you should collect some data before posting a myth. There is no issue of choice. There are 27,000 foods with the non-GMO label and of course the entire organic market. Plenty of choice. Cross pollination is a fact of nature, preceding GMO crops. Monsanto doesn’t even sell a majority of seeds worldwide (Dupont Pioneer sells more) so your monomaniacal focus on that one company, whose sales are about equivalent to that of Whole Foods, seems obsessive and misplaced.

          • Oh and regarding Bt crops: insecticide use declined due to the effectiveness of Bt toxin in controlling pest insects. *However, as time went on glyphosate use increased some 13-fold to control weeds and other non-genetically engineered synthetic chemicals were introduced to control insects as the Bt toxin became ineffective.*

          • Alyssas, where in the H are you doing your “research” ??
            And read up on why labeling is a sham for fearmongering. You wouldn’t want your organic food labeled “Produced by mutagenesis,” would you?

          • Regardless of whether labeling is a sham for “fear mongering” that is not the point.

            Nobody can deny that people HAVE THE RIGHT TO CHOOSE. It is about the balance of power

          • Nope. You do not have the “right” to force misleading and erroneous labels on any food producer. Sorry.

          • I’m all for continued research and study! I hope we can find answers and cures for all of the dreadful ailments and diseases out there. But please reconsider blaming something on speculation.

            Do you honestly believe that Monsanto is the only one conducting research? Universities across the world, independent medical associations, european scientists, etc., have and will continue to provide studies on GMOs. To date not one has proven GMOs to be anything but safe and nutritious. See for a list of unbiased independent studies.

            Life expectancy in the US has gone up. The older we live the closer we come to dying of something….

          • Alyssa, puh-leeze talk to your kids’ high school science teacher. Just because X diseases are “going up” in prevalence does not give credence to the statement that “therefore Y caused it”
            Please learn about scientific accuracy, correlation, and causation.

            And I see that you, too, have bought into the myth that over 90% of our food is “controlled by a monopoly.” Utterly bogus. Prove it.

          • lol first of all I don’t have kids yet, and secondly you completely missed my point.

            I’m aware that correlation doesn’t equal causation, however my point is that it is stupid to ignore large scale “unexplained” trends (especially dramatic changes that happened at similar time to the release of GMOs such as allergies) WHEN THERE IS ALSO NO EVIDENCE THAT GMOS AREN’T THE CAUSE

            it is stupid to ignore obvious conflicts of interest and the denial of rights we should have.

            Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people who only watches/reads US media…….

          • “….. there is no evidence that GMOs aren’t the cause.”

            Geez. Go talk to a science teacher. That’s not a scientific OR statistical standard of evidence.

          • GMOs are safe. Exhaustively researched.
            “These field data sets, representing over 100
            billion animals following the introduction of GE crops, did not reveal unfavorable or perturbed trends in livestock health and productivity. No study has revealed any
            differences in the nutritional profile of animal products derived from GE-fed animals. Because DNA and protein are normal components of the diet that are digested, there are no detectable or reliably quantifiable traces of GE components in milk, meat, and eggs following consumption
            of GE feed.”


            Prevalence and impacts of genetically engineered feedstuffs on livestock populations
            A. L. Van Eenennaam and A. E. Young
            Journal of Animal Science 2014 92: 10: 4255-4278

          • Thanks for the link.

            I’m concerned specifically regarding the LONG-TERM safety of GMOs and lack of bio-diversity that has occurred.

          • All placental animals (you) are GMOs. All cultivated sweet potatoes have been GMOs for over 5000 years.

          • let’s not make this about semantics lol that doesn’t prove anything regarding GMOs from biotech firms.

          • This is not about semantics. What this means is that unstudied and untested transgenic organisms naturally occur. What are your concerns with GMOs from biotech firms?

          • To start with, quoting you, Alyssa:
            “it is stupid to ignore large scale “unexplained” trends (especially dramatic changes that happened at similar time to the release of GMOs such as allergies) WHEN THERE IS ALSO NO EVIDENCE THAT GMOS AREN’T THE CAUSE
            it is stupid to ignore obvious conflicts of interest and the denial of rights we should have.”

            “diabetes rates in America, the amount of money the Big Pharma makes off of allergy medications, heart disease medications, and diabetes medications, and also the prevalence of people that are both fat and malnourished.”

            “lets not forget the collapse of the honey bee colony”

            “overly processed foods have been around longer and are a major concern as well. It seems as though lack of bio-diversity is a major factor”

            “There is new research indicating that processed and GMO foods could be the main contributing factor to the alarming increase of allergies since 1995 (when GMOs were released wide-scale) and heart disease….”

            “the alarming increase of allergy rates after 1995, heart disease rates”

          • Mary, I wish that your comments that GMOs are safe were true. There are plenty of peer reviewed scientific studies done which have shown GMOs are harmful to the digestive system and internal organs. 99% of them have been done by countries other than the US. Anyone who does the studies is then attacked and their work is attempted to be discredited. It is a tactic of Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta PR. It is unfortunate that the US is one of the few countries which believes the PR. Thankfully, the other countries have listened to their scientists.
            The studies are out there. Read them. They are solid. As for my own “opinion” and my own “evidence”: I break out and get diarrhea when I eat non organic bread, but not when I eat organic. It took me years to isolate the trigger of the cystic acne on my face and back. Perhaps that is not of consequence to you, but it sure is to me. It is hard to get a good job when your face is covered with sores. I’m sure in your research you’ve noted that wheat is sprayed with round up while it grows and again while it dries.

          • Wheat is a nonGMO grain. It is not sprayed with round up. What you just stated was inaccurate. The “drying down” procedure is not a widespread practice…it is rarely done. You don’t cite any specific studies. I can direct you to which lists close to a thousand, if not more, credible peer reviewed and independent studies on GMOs safety. I’m truly sorry that you have health problems and I’m glad you have found ways to improve your conditions. Any time you eat healthier, you’re bound to feel better. Family genetics play a big part in each of our health stories. The grain and fruit produced using GMO technology has been tested…retested..and then tested some more. There is no difference in the nutritional value or in “safety” between these products than those grown by any other method.

      • There are plenty of peer reviewed scientific studies done which have shown GMOs are harmful to the digestive system and internal organs. 99% of them have been done by countries other than the US. Anyone who does the studies is then attacked and their work is attempted to be discredited. It is a tactic of Monsanto, Bayer, and Syngenta PR. It is unfortunate that the US is one of the few countries which believes the PR. Thankfully, the other countries have listened to their scientists.
        The studies are out there. Read them. They are solid. As for my own “opinion” and my own “evidence”: I break out and get diarrhea when I eat non organic bread, but not when I eat organic. It took me years to isolate the trigger of the cystic acne on my face and back. Perhaps that is not of consequence to you, but it sure is to me. It is hard to get a good job when your face is covered with sores. I’m sure in your research you’ve noted that wheat is sprayed with round up while it grows and again while it dries.

        • No there are no such legitimate studies. Here is the result of one fraud who tried:

          Sorry to hear about your unknown food allergy. You have not yet found the actual cause.

          Here is an article on wheat treated with glyphosate – when and how much is regulated.

        • And just what do you think is in non-organic bread that is not in the stuff you eat, that causes your sores?

          Sorry about your diarrhea. But whatever caused it, it ain’t non-organic bread.

          Anecdotes about your sores and pooop are not data.

          Oh, and there is no gmo wheat on the market. So there is no reason farmers would spray their own crop with roundup; it would kill their wheat crop, duhhhh.

          Facts matter, Margaret.

        • Margaret, Could you site ONE study in a first line peer review journal showing potential human health hazards that’s been replicated. There are ZERO. On the other hand, there are more than 2000 studies showing that GM foods or as safer or safer than conventional or organic foods… because they are tested. Moreover, more than 9 trillion meals containing GMOs have been served to animals and ZERO signs of health issues. The issue of GMO safety for approved crops is over. There are other issues such as the shape of future food and agricultural system but safety is not one of them.

          • I don’t think you understand what ‘consensus’ means. It means that based on current empirical evidence the overwhelming majority of mainstream scientists have reached a consensus conclusion. The consensus conclusion on GMO safety is HIGHER than that on climate change, evolution and vaccine safety. These are not “assumptions”‘ these are grounded in empirical evidence, not biases. New evidence can change a consensus, but not speculation. Science is evidence based. Sorry.

  12. I am retired. I post with my real name and I live in Zephyrhills, Florida. I post 1000 comments per month on 3 topics – renewable power, living minimum wages and GMO truths. It beats crossword puzzles and senior bingo. I don’t have a basement.

  13. granola moms, honey bees the new spotted owl. Its one broad generalization after another strung together with none-too-creative cliches. Neither science nor good writing IMO. Literacy. Hah!

    • Again, I’ve read your previous comments (just like other people who’ve commented on my article). Your posts are filled with political, prejudicial opinions about people and issues. You would only agree with my “clichés” and generalizations if they fit yours. More hypocrisy.

  14. How about those who use Google Scholar, read primary and secondary research reports, and think for themselves, carefully? I’ve spent the last three months reading hundreds of papers on glyphosate, and this has resulted in the realization that there has not been any adequate study on the hypothesis of reasonable likelihood that the chemical disrupts the population of the human gut microbiome. I’ve been “in the weeds” with the science for the last three months and found this to be the case. I’ve also worked in science (not for 25 years like you but for a few years) and found that it’s largely honorable but there is also gaming of data and narratives, for funding and for other reasons. Some people want to tell good story and may bend results to fit a story.

    • Indeed, i try reading the report of the German BfR to the European Food Safety Authority, which is so often cited by pro-glyphosate people as such a definitive study, and i find that a whole lot of the study names and authors are blacked out, so that we citizens cannot follow the links. It’s strange.

    • Sage, your approach sounds good. Seems like you don’t have a problem with GMOs per se, just an herbicide. Up front, I’m a plant geneticist not a toxicologist, so my knowledge in this area is limited. Curious why you are particularly concerned with glyphosate and not other herbicides blocking amino-acid-synthesis pathways like imadizoles or sulfonylureas? Perhaps you could provide links to the references that give you pause? Do you have evidence suggesting that the amount of glyphosate the average person consumes would have any effect on microbial communities? Have you calculated an average ingestion?

      From a technical standpoint, the high-throughput sequencing technology required for species characterization of something like the gut biome has only recently been developed and become cheap enough (for plant scientists anyways) to routinely use. From my direct experience it is technically challenging. I would imagine that many of the foods, medicines, supplements that we routinely ingest might have an effect on relative populations in our gut. I know traveling in other countries routinely changes mine. So I imagine there is high person-to-person variability. Could you suggest an experimental design and rationale? How would you address the ethical considerations? The rationale is the reason why a funding source would give you money to do the research….not just good enough to say ‘because I want to know’….one has to provide sufficient evidence that your hypothesis might be correct otherwise one’s proposal falls in the 90% unfunded category. Perhaps you should take a whack at writing a proposal…it is a great exercise in focusing one’s thoughts.

  15. It would take a book to flesh out, but i do see influence of vested interests in science. I see that when there is a large vested interest, there is a systematic and yet hard-to-detect bias in the science all around the topic. This is very hard to actually pinpoint, or to describe, for it is a complex process and it’s not designed to be seen. I do see it, and i relate to your use of “smells fishy” for it is more of a smell test, unless you’re able to devote months and write a serious piece of investigative journalism in the sociology of power/knowledge around a topic & industry.

    I’ve specifically been looking at the science around glyphosate, and the gist of what i’ve found is that there is a lot of indication that there is an effect of glyphosate on the gut microbiome of humans, and yet there has been (apparently) no actual study to test for this.

    As this is a fairly likely hypothesis, and should have easily been foreseen by any responsible party intending to put this chemical in food, it seems (smells like) railroading and gaming that it hasn’t been tested and yet there are voluminous reports and claims that “thousands of studies show that it’s safe”.

    It seems (smells like) an attempt to declare safety by drowning criticism in a sea of studies.

    I’m asking anyone to show me one single study that tests whether glyphosate has an effect on mammalian gut microbiomes after 90 days of feeding regular dietary levels. Nobody has been able to do so yet.

    There’s a single study on sheep rumen from 2005 using 4 sheep with 28-day feeding periods, and it didn’t even assay for microbial species. That study itself calls for microbial assays in its final paragraph — and this is what the EFSA report relied upon.

    So, i hear and resonate with your gut-level skepticism of the process of science. Science is a human endeavor and it makes sense that it would be gamed if possible by interested parties.

    • That is a interesting citation. If more than one study agrees, thus ruling out the many opinions that neonic is the culprit, I will reconsider my above assertion. In any case there is no proof that glyphosate is the culprit, despite rabid activists foaming at the mouth while insisting it is.

    • David, I looked into this extensively. You are correct that Monsanto doesn’t *produce* Neonicontinoids, however, they do purchase them from other manufacturers and add them to certain products.

      However, I’m not upset about that at all. I’ve done extensive reading on the topic and I still believe that they are good product and solution when used correctly.

      • I would be curious to know what they are used in. I believe seed treatments was the only use. I still find it ironic that Monsanto was blamed for bee deaths when they do not even produce the supposed culprit.

    • Some beekeepers in my area laugh at the idea that activists are targeting neonics; they believe that some of the other beekeepers who are losing hives aren’t providing very good overall bee stewardship.

  16. Kelly, where’d you get the sales figures for Monsanto and Whole Foods? According to Monsanto’s report, their net sales were $15.85B in 2014, while Whole Food’s report notes down $0.242B for the same year. I agree with most of the points made, but I’m not sure how you got that figure.

  17. ‘repeatedly saturated?’ Have you ever set foot on a farm? If you had, you’d know that farmers have a goal of using as little herbicide as possible because of the cost.

    ‘You have no right to degrade those who care about nature and good health.’ First, what you care about is irrelevant. Second, I have every right to call you out when you spew erroneous information.

    • Now that’s really not a line of reasoning that makes much sense. Let’s talk about actual amounts applied, instead of a line of reasoning about glyphosate being expensive. It’s not actually so expensive, and farmers are always running calculations to maximize returns, and if $5 more glyphosate per acre will result in $15 more profit per acre, then they’d go with it, all other things being equal. So the “herbicide is expensive” argument holds no water with me.

      • OK…let’s do that. First, people of your ilk can stop using qualitative terms such as doused and saturated that are designed to elicit an emotional response. I’ll see if I can find that calculation of the volume of Roundup that is actually used per acre. I doubt that information will make too many people break out the pitchforks.

        ‘and if $5 more glyphosate per acre will result in $15 more profit per acre, then they’d go with it,’ And if $2 less of glyphosate gives the same yield, they’ll go with that.

        • Ok. I ask you first to stop using a phrase like “people of your ilk” — don’t group me with others, and use my own words.

          As for “doused” and “saturated”, i agree that those words give the wrong image, but also note that glyphosate is a very potent chemical in the competitive inhibitor class, and therefore very low doses are potent. The quantity of liquid is not the important thing. The number and potency of molecules is the important thing.

          On the other hand, the word “residue” for amounts in food also misrepresents, because it gives the image of surface residue, whereas glyphosate is systemic and in the tissue of the plant including the fruit/seed/leaf/tuber/rhizome — the crop product.

          So let’s use words accurately. Let’s be humans, not lawyers.

          As for your final comment, sure, but that seems irrelevant to me. What i’m saying is that the argument that farmers will not use much because of cost is an empty useless argument, so let’s get the actual data. How much is applied to Roundup Ready soybeans, for instance, what rates, how many sprayings, at what intervals before and after seeding? Real data, not rhetoric.

  18. I am unsure you understand the meaning of hypocrisy. Your column is full of trite binary cliches barely suitable for an AP language class in High School.

  19. Good grief, Deanne. Get over your barbie doll self and talk to an actual farmer. Your “repeatedly saturated with toxic chemicals” is pretty ludicrous, when I know what kinds of cosmetic you apply to your face every day.

    We feed you. We are not going to go away and “die.” Go eat organic. (stay away from cheese, girlie; 90% of cheese is genetically engineered, and all of the pro-labeling zealouts have conveniently excluded requiring labeling cheese to disclose that little inconvenient fact)

    Go lear something about farming before you start spewing Food Babe idiocy about “nature” and “good health.”

    • I have a degree from Stockbridge school of agriculture and work at a farmers cooperative. I’m in charge of the nursery there and speak with farmers each and every day. Eat that with your cheese that was made with roundup ready grain fed cattle. Dumb ass

  20. Exactly, Warren. And they’re so virulent that they actually want to mandate labeling their lies, by adding another lie that it’s their “simple right to know.”

  21. God? Faith?
    Ask your god to feed you, if you feel that your faith will provide.
    Many people equate science with the devil. People used to be burned at the stakes for their scientific beliefs. Your post smacks of that.
    There’s good science, and there’s whacko pseudo science. Your job is to educate yourself on scientific principles and learn who to trust: Kevin Folta or Dr. Oz? Mark Lynas or the Food Boob?

    • So wait. You’re attacking that which you don’t believe in, or understand (God? Faith?), yet you’re telling everyone *not* to do that same thing (just believe the science because it’s solid, honest, and undeniably thorough), right?

  22. Ah, Peter! You are exactly the person in the raving protest crowd that Julie describes in her excellent article. Full of opinions, having to resort to bottom-of-the-barrel “troll” accusations, bereft of any rational understanding, totally lacking scientific curiosity.

    Julie’s points exactly personified.

    • Thank you very much for your post! It’s funny to me that the very people who accuse me of being political, judgmental and irrational conduct themselves in the same manner. I’ve seen this in politics for decades so it’s not new to me, yet how they miss their own hypocrisy always amuses me. Thanks again!

      • It’s called cognitive dissonance, Julie, and it really IS funny!

        But then again, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds,” right? HAHA!

  23. You know what, I just skimmed through your posts and you seem like a very reasonable person. Perhaps we could talk sometime about the particular studies that concern you and whether the data from these studies is actually conclusive how well designed they were etc… I would be happy to get you the original papers if you are stuck behind a paywall and can’t access them yourself.

  24. Wait wait, you are confusing two things here. That is a study contracted out by the EPA, yes independent scientists. But this is not an example of Monsanto suppressing a study by public scientists that said “hey, let’s test glyphosates toxicity!” Anybody could do that, and Monsanto could do nothing to stop them.

    Second of all that study is available online.
    The peer reviewed committee clearly concludes it belongs in Group E “evidence of non-carcinogenicity for humans” in that paper. I’m sure they suppressed its release for a stupid reason, but it is just another example of a study indicating the good safety profile of glyphosate.

  25. Because the methodology has to be reported, and misreporting it can be a career-ending move, especially in these days of PubPeer scrutiny where papers (particularly in biological sciences) get very detailed post-publication scrutiny including spotting repeated image processing artefacts or “statistical fluctuations” on faked data. This has led to many paper retractions and high-profile sackings, so it’s not something you can do without risking severe penalties and censure.

    But more simply, if you’re not actually faking the numbers that you report, it’s quite obvious whether your samples sizes etc. were sufficient to have statistical power. For example, based on what was written, the infamous Seralini rat paper demonstrably did not have the statistical power to prove what it claimed to — as well as animal welfare concerns. Similarly, Seneff’s various papers — based on what is written in them — document an appalling abuse of statistics that would never get through the most rudimentary peer review at a reputable journal (as I’m sure she’s aware). By comparison, papers published in respected journals are guaranteed to have had some reasonable level of peer scrutiny — not infallible, but typically effective provided the paper is not just a talented fake. And that always-rare path of faking results is riskier now than it’s ever been, due to PubPeer and an increasing emphasis on reproducing major results e.g.

  26. Julie: Monsanto said Agent Orange was safe and it was not. My 65 year old husband was a Vietnam vet and died in 2013 from the effects of Agent Orange. Monsanto said Sacchharin was safe and it was not. My husband had tumors removed form his ankle at a young age, bladder cancer at age 49, followed by tumors in his breast, and testicle. There is NO cancer in his family gene pool. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that food that is genetically modified to resist herbicides, then sprayed with massive doses of them (to the point where they are becoming resistant and stronger herbicides have to be made) are not good for us. If you want to eat GMO food, go ahead. But if GMOS are so safe, then why is Monsanto spending millions to lobby Washington just so that GMO foods don’t have to be labeled? If they are so safe, then they should be marketing as such everywhere. My concern, from the research I’ve seen, is the effect they have on the digestive system, particularly in babies and young children. I don’t want to feed my six week granddaughter GMO modified formula or any other GMO food, period, and I should have a right to know if the foods I am eating contain GMOS. And how Monsanto is targeting farmers who do not want to play in their sandbox is appalling.

    Oh, and I am not a hippy. I’m a professional businesswoman who just recently started researching this and I am scared to death for the future of our children and grandchildren. You should be too.

    • “Monsanto said Agent Orange was safe…”

      Got a citation for that? Why would one of a number of companies producing a product at the direction of the Department of Defense offer any warranty of safety?

      “Monsanto said Sacchharin was safe and it was not.”

      Saccaharin has been extensively studied by the FDA and has not been found to be unsafe.

      The rest of your post is similar nonsense. Not going to waste my time on it.

      • My post is not nonsense, do the research. I’m simply saying that GMO foods should be labeled so that we can make our OWN decisions. There IS a video that I just watched yesterday (actually it was an excerpt from a national news station from several years ago) showing a chemical company rep (I think it was Monsanto but might have been Dow chemical) stating that Agent Orange is not harmful. I will find it and I will post it as soon as I find it. Believe me, I would like to believe that GMOS are safe in our foods, and are NOT harmful, but common sense, and the research I have seen so far tells me otherwise. In any event, I just want GMO foods labeled so that I can decide for myself. Why is that too much to ask? Have a good day.

        • Your post is nonsense. Monsanto protested when they heard the way in which their defoliant was going to be used by our military.

          As Hyperzombie says, you have two ways to avoid GMOs if you arbitrarily decided to. In addition, our USDA is starting a new certification standard for verifying that products labeled ‘GMO free’ actually are.

  27. I find all the deleted comments to be unfair. Maybe you didn’t intend to have thinkers from both sides of the fence when you took it upon yourself to claim to know that scientifically there is “nothing wrong” with GMO food…. I guess it really doesn’t matter, we all eat that good round-up together as one. We are all headed to the same destination whether we like it or not.

  28. I posted this originally on another group, but since it was on a link to this article, and this article really inspired my thinking on this, I just wanted to share a little bit here (even if it is copy pasta)

    There seems to be an element of elitism and superiority emerging from the attitude of the pro side. Tbh – personally I find it detracts from the important message you are trying to get across.

    What exactly does it help when you are constantly belittling your opponents? Insinuating (or outright declaring) that they are stupid, pitiful, unreasonable, and in general worth less as people or beings. And please – don’t pretend that many of you aren’t guilty of this, because you clearly are.

    You need to understand the world that many of these people are growing up in. If you reflect in your actions and words that a person is worth less because they receive different information than you – you are truly without a significant level of intelligence yourself.

    And yes, it is nothing more than that they are receiving different information. Yes, this information may be scientifically incorrect, or have some kind of political strawman attached in some way or another. They are not a drooling collective of half-retarded cavemen. They are people. Understanding that, and taking the time to humanize those who disagree with you will take your cause much further.

    It makes me really sad for the world when I see this kind of thing happening, because it’s pure elitism. A few folks who think they are progressive and intelligent because they know how to read and comprehend a research paper.

    Fact is, that not everybody can. And that does not make them less of a person. You jerks.


  29. Indeed, i’ve found the majority of people on both “sides” to be engaged in very bad dialog practices. Most comment being the strawman argument, which really gets me, and simple ad hominem (name calling). There’s also too much argument from authority from the go-go-GMO “side”. There’s too many unfounded claims from both sides. In general, there is a very bad dialogue environment. The few people who truly engage in good dialog are pearls in the mud.

  30. There are cases of multiple spraying per growing season, are there not? Do you have sources on the actual practices of farmers on Roundup Ready crops to show that 98% of applications are single sprayings, or perhaps it’s that 80% of the time there’s are two sprayings. I just do not know the answer. Do you? And with sources? And without names like “nimrods like you” and the like?

      • That’s a polemic article and anecdotal. Sure, it’s a datapoint, but doesn’t score high in reliability or relevance to me. Also, like i have said before, i’m not so concerned about the semantics of the words “douse” or “drown” but rather simply about rates of application in actual practice. A potent chemical does not need to “douse” a field to affect it. I’m looking for actual, verified measurements of application rates on fields, as well as residue levels in food products. I’ve got a few datapoints on this, but could use more, as we all could.

        • There is no more valid info on actual use than that provided by farmers. You got your verification when he described actual measured quantities he uses per acre. There is nothing more.
          Any residues on foods are much safer than what we had as recently as 20 years ago. That’s the whole point of glyphosate – lower toxicity and smaller amounts. It is far from the final word in crop science which is still in its infancy compared to what we will be doing 100 years from now.

  31. The comments are illuminating…I think you nailed it when you noted how Wall St. et al are likely laughing all the way to the bank while we’re all distracted with the GMO issue. Meanwhile the economy, climate change, never ending war, and a critical need for clean energy and the infrastructure to support it gets ignored by the political energy out there.

    I load into the farmer’s mkt. 3 times a week. I put my old ‘former soc. sci. educator’ hat in the closet and pull on my nursery hat and grit my teeth waiting for it….”What kind of pesticides do you feed your plants?” “Are these grown with GMO free seed?” Etc…The level of ignorance out there is astonishing. The educator in me wants to turn all that interest and energy in a factual direction. But, it’s difficult to make a living at this and try to gently educate the customers.

    Folks, if you pay more for plants at mkt. grown from ‘gmo free seed’ you are being taken for a ride. Under fed. law you cannot buy gmo seeds. If you are a large farm growing cotton, soy, corn you can buy them. But, the home gardener, the truck farms, etc. cannot. There are no gmo carrot, kale, broccoli, zucchini, etc. seed for sale.

    Labeling? Seriously, the organic industry (and I love my compost and travel with my own granola) is completely unregulated. That ‘certified organic’ USDA sticker means nothing to me when I read ‘may contain materials from China, Russia, and Serbia.’ Yeah, great organic regs there…keep moving. We make more people seriously ill with poor manure spreading practices. Believe me, I wash all produce from the grocers…especially the organic stuff.

    Organic is pesticide-free is just more manure-based nonsense. You can kill off flat after flat of rosemary with rosemary/thyme oil-based pesticides. There are plenty of certified organic pesticides ok’d for use in farming and they’re less effective and can mess up the environment more effectively than their synthetic cousins (have to apply them more frequently). Please put away your detergent/vinegar and be kind to the soil and the shrews.

    Chemical-free? BS…so, that organic tomato is an illusion? Gad, we need to upgrade the level of science education in this country. Intelligent people are going over the cliff on these food and diet issues. And you’re completely distracted from critical issues that are really screwing up the world!! I need more coffee….got to load the truck for market.

  32. I generally like the articles published on this website, but this one is really questionable. You should never judge an entire group of people solely based on their physical appearance or their opinion on topics like GMOs, topics which are very hard to understand if you don’t have any background knowledge on this field already. The protestors are prohably feared, but this is not their fault. Most people wouldn’t understand or simply wouldn’t care about deeply scientific facts on genetic modification, so when they do their research regarding GMOs on the internet, they’ll likely end up watching “Seeds of Death” on Youtube. There are some resources explaining the whole thing in an easy and understandable manner already, but those are still fairly unknown at this point. Plus, for people not native to the English language, there is even less information availiable. If I look for information about GMOs in German for example, I’ll find several anti-GMO websites, one or two Youtube “documentaries” and the German version of the “March against Monsanto” website. All of these obviously follow the goal of making me feared of GMOs, so as I’m lacking any other sources of information, the opinion presented in said resources will likely become mine as well. Instead of blaming the protestors for being uninformed, you should blame the people behind the protests for making them uninformed. The “March against Myths” people are doing it right trying to refute the widespread ignorance regarding GMOs, it’s very sad this hasn’t swapped over to countries outside of the US yet.
    Aditionally, being against corporations like Monsanto doesn’t automatically include being against GMOs as well. I’m opposed to Monsanto as much as I’m pro-GMO, but the MAM people seem to confuse this. From my experience, political ideologies are not really related to one’s opinion on GMOs, in fact I know lots of anti-capitalists (including myself) being vehemently pro-GMO. Maybe there are local differences here, but as already stated earlier this seems to be rather a question of proper information than political orientation.
    Last but not least, kudos to the Genetic Literacy Project for providing great (and as far as I can tell scientifically correct) information about GMOs. ;)

    • Hi – I don’t think it’s wrong to call out the ignorance and political agenda of a group of largely misinformed people. So I can’t judge and fault the protestors you admit are probably uninformed about GMOs? Which is worse, calling them ignorant stooges or calling me judgmental? If you don’t live in the U.S., you may not be aware how the anti-capitalist faction of the far-left is fueling public animosity toward GMOs based on a political agenda. That is a far more dangerous threat than my calling the protestors “hippies.”

  33. They don’t seem to be very anti-capitalist to me. If you look at the content of their websites and Facebook pages, you won’t spot any criticism of capitalism itself at all. In an obviously capitalist society like the US, they simply couldn’t allow themselves to be anti-capitalist without risking to lose the majority of their followers. Maybe they have some anti-corporationist tendencies (which I doubt as well as they seem to endorse the organic industry), but they’re certainly not anti-capitalist.

  34. You are a joker if you think that glyphosate has anything to do with that. Medical care has improved yes. Cancer is skyrocketing. Don’t talk to me anymore you are useless.

  35. sorry your experience with those who marched in opposition to you was so distasteful… i am curious as to what you think of the latest research that links glyphosate residues (in 80% of our food source) with the damaging of the human gut micro-biome?

  36. monsanto is targeted because they are the lead producers of glyphosate (main ingredient in Roundup – herbicide). GMO’s are targeted because the majority of them are Roundup Ready. if you feed your kids food tainted with glyphosate on a regular basis, it will affect their health indirectly by damaging their gut micro-biome. over time. feed them potatoes that are not organic and you are giving larger doses of glyphosate… the soil is prepped with glyphosate, then the plant gets hit with a fungicide, then right before they harvest the potatoes another round of glyphosate is used to desiccate the above ground plant to make harvesting easier. beets go thru the same thing. kinda scary.

    • Much better to buy organic from China grown in human feces and sprayed with god knows what. 75% of organic food is imported from mostly China and Mexico with questionable food safety records. Why isn’t organic tested for pesticides?

    • Glyphosate is off-patent. Lots of companies sell it.

      Talk to a farmer, if you’re “scared” of how farming is done. Your description is incredibly inaccurate.

      • irrelevant to the topic if glyphosate is off-patent… it still damages the human gut micro-biome and monsanto is main producer of glyphosate.

      • perhaps this graph is discussing toxicity as a direct poison to the body? or is it discussing toxicity to the gut micro-biome? and where did this graph come from?

        • Toxicty is toxicity.

          It is a very typical graph showing the actual number relating to real human toxicity of a substance. In this case it is for various herb/pesticides commonly used in agriculture. Anything that would be harmful to human would also be harmful to the magical pseudo-science gut biome that has become a pop-culture phrase for non scientists to throw around.

          An LD50 is a standard measurement of acute toxicity that is stated in milligrams (mg) of pesticide per kilogram (kg) of body weight. An LD50 represents the individual dose required to kill 50 percent of a population of test animals (e.g., rats, fish, mice, cockroaches). Because LD50 values are standard measurements, it is possible to compare relative toxicities among pesticides. The lower the LD50 dose, the more toxic the pesticide.

  37. I get it: if iy doesn’t give you the results you want it is suspect. Let’s ignore the lobbying of the multi-billion dollar organic industry. Recently with Wal Mart etc jumping on the organic band I read all these comments along the lines of how great it is that all that money flows into it. Suddenly being a big profit company is not a problem. Every time I enter the playing field with the organics they moved the goalpost yet again.

  38. “Big banks, oil companies and Halliburton can breathe a sigh of relief as biotech companies are now the target of activists.”

    ^yes THIS!

    as a self-identified “radical left-wing activist” — although I’m wondering if I shouldn’t qualify that with a “formerly” given the nearly-pandemic infection of this anti-GMO meme into our ranks — I think that the quote above represents one of the most significant gripes that found me compelled to “protest my fellow protestors” on this issue.

    Thank you for this great article, Julie!

  39. Just because the woman in the story is holding a sign claiming she feeds her kids GM food does not mean it’s true. All that means is that she paints signs like a five year old and doesn’t know shit about the damage Monsanto is doing the earth with their GMO seeds or what the march against Monsanto is really all about. Anyone who can bastardize and call down the whistle blowers is no better than a sociopath. I truly hope she is stupid enough to feed her kid GMO’s. I can’t wait to see her face when she gets that wake up call and realizes she’s been duped and now her kid is paying the price for her actions. I hope you have some really good insurance. Cancer treatments are expensive. GMO’s are no better than manufactured food. In fact they one in the same and neither is good for you. Both cause chronic illness and mental problems.

    FYI lady; I am not a hippie or any of those messed up names you labelled the protesters with. I’d say I look as normal as you but you look like those GMO’s are taking effect on your health. How much did Monsanto pay you to write this load of bull shit?

    • Terresa, let me get this straight; the woman in the sign claiming she feeds her kids GM food … that may not be true, you say. Meaning, um, she really doesn’t feed her kids GM food, but is holding up that sign because, um, she’s Russian or something, and someone told her to hold that sign, and she doesn’t read English, and the person who handed her the sign told her it said “MonSatan” or something. Is that what you mean?

      Or, she is paid to hold up that sign even tho she doesn’t feed her kids GE food.

      Or, let’s see … she holds up that sign even tho she doesn’t feed her kids GE food, becauses … um …. maybe she likes attention and press.

      (HUH? WTF?)

      With that illogical reason, I could easily retort, “And just because the protesters were there protesting GE food doesn’t mean they don’t love GE foods, and eat them all the time.”

      I mean, do you even listen to yourself??

    • Don’t blame Julie for the sign. I painted that sign :) And I’ll admit, I’m an awful sign maker. Fortunately I compensate for that in other areas in my life….

      • Wait; what?? You serve YOUR kids genetically engineered food, TOO?

        There’s more than ONE of you who feeds their kids gmos?

        Ah, there’s hope in the world!

        • Maybe the GMOs are stunting her sign-making abilities. Better tell Gary Hirshberg to add that to his phony list of GMO-caused aliments. “Wonder why your child is falling behind in art class…it’s GMOs! Look at this chart…”

          • Bwaaa haaa haaa … I knew it! I knew there was a reason I’m such a lousy sign painter and failed all of my kindergarten finger-painting classes!

    • Again, people like you continue to prove my point. You utterly fail to make a cogent, fact-based argument against GMOs and reserve your wrath for Monsanto. You push all the usual buttons – cancer, paid shill, mental illness, etc. – but your juvenile diatribe only serves to unwittingly buttress my original point. So thanks for your ad hominem, baseless and overall pathetic post. More evidence that I’m right about the political agenda behind the “anti-GMO” protestors.


      • You can hold up all of the signs you want Julie. You can spew all of the hate mongering propaganda you need to make your point and discredit the whistle blowers. It won’t change the fact that NOT ONE of you GMO whores is backing up your words, your facts, or your rhetoric with concrete PROOF that GMO’s are what you say they are. EAT THE FUCKING THINGS IF YOU WANT TO WIN US OVER. Put your GMO’s where your mouth is and PROVE you actually eat the damned things instead of just beeking off and bastardizing the rest of us who chose to do our own thinking. You blow a lot of hot air and you work really hard to tear down those of us with our own minds and the right to chose. But all I see is a liar and chicken shit. Just because you say you feed your child GMO’s doesn’t mean you actually do. Rather than making your child pay for your arrogance, greed and whatever why not put your own neck on that chopping block and eat that shit yourself? What are you so afraid of? You can spew all of the big words you want lady. At the end of the day the truth will come out and you will be held accountable for the damage you’re doing to your child’s health all in the name of money. What a spineless coward you must be to think nothing of putting your own child’s neck on the chopping block for a cause you’re going to regret in more ways than you realize.
        FYI: Practical beats academic EVERY TIME for a reason. Because living it gives you information and FACTS you will never find in a text book. We don’t need a big fancy vocabulary to see what’s right in front of our face. You’re about to find that out the hard way.

  40. Your quote, “U.S. farmers use GM seeds to boost yield on less land using fewer resources.”
    Just curious, is that why so many farmers in India have committed suicide after going into debt after using GM seeds and not getting half the payback?
    Your “facts” as you call them need more than just Monsanto funded articles and scientists to prove it. Oh wait this is a page owned by Monsanto, a dying bully that is using it’s last breath to fight. . . Give it up because you’ve already lost!
    If you’re not part of the solution then you are part of the problem. And if you are going to use your voice to lie, please stuff a pillow over it so that no one else can hear you!

    • What does the statement about U.S. farmers’ yields have to do with the (bogus) claim about Indian farmer suicides?

      In my area, GE sugarbeet farmers have a 40% higher yield. With less environmental impact on their farms (less fossil fuels, less compacting and tilling of the soil, less toxic pesticides).

      You seem to not be able to wrap your brain around that. That is why you have to resort to the lowest argument; that “Monsanto” funds articles on this page.

      One thing you say IS correct, though: If you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. Drop the rhetoric and start becoming part of the solution.

  41. You really can’t see where they’re coming from? No shit they would target Monsanto- it controls over 90% of our food supply! It is clear that more checks and balances are needed.

    As I said before, I’m not against the research and testing of GMOs in a properly controlled environment that isn’t contaminating organic counterparts… even the people who know the “most” about GMOs are ignorant to assume they know beyond a reasonable doubt how they will impact the ecosystem in the long term. There have been numerous trends that imply that GMOs aren’t as safe as you’re assuming.

    It is CRUCIAL to look at the big picture as well

      • ..Monsanto licenses its genetically modified traits to other seed companies, so 80% of US corn and more than 90% of soybeans planted each year are attributable to Monsanto

        …. you are aware that almost all of our food has corn or soy related products correct? maybe it is ALMOST 90% but that is still very clearly a monopoly

  42. Well, Thankfully I am an ANTI-GMO person, who not only is educated via science, but educates people to eat healthy and grow their own food. Keep Their own Seed Banks. I teach them how to stop using toxic products that are only warping and mutating their genetics. I’m sorry but anyone who is PRO-GMO is either being paid, ignorant to the dangers of toxins, or quite frankly, just another boulder to get around in my path of health.

    If you are curious why I feel our world is getting worse, why not read my story. If I didn’t have mercury fillings that gave me Heavy Metal Poisoning, I wouldn’t have contracted a body candida infection. At this time I was eating GMO foods with no knowledge of it. This all lead to my body’s pH sliding dangerously over to the acidic scale. Calcium and minerals were no longer able to be absorbed by my cells, and my detoxification system was starting to teeter. Then throw in the Mold and Mycotoxins that were in the building I was working in. (Incredible infested) I became, as doctors were even saying to me, the walking dead.

    Not only did I change my diet completely, went alkaline, and eat all food that is local, non GMO and certified organic, but I no longer take any synthetic drugs. Levaquin almost killed me. “Anti-Biotics”, steroids, and vaccines are criminally make to only keep a person more sick. Instead of the medical community wishing to solve the real physical issues, they just treat the symptoms and never the cause. The money making system keeps the lid shut tight on full recovery in any person. No more. I teach and educate, how any human can not only reserve the genetic damage done to their bodies, (Epigenetics) but I also show them that “dis-ease” is just that. Your body is off balance.

    Chemicals and toxins in our every day life, will and most certainly harm the world to the degree we might not be able to save it. Sadly, were are almost there.

    Like I sad,

    Read my story. Then tell me yet again any of you how GMO is beneficial. There is no sense in that.

    Thank you

    Miss Divinely Toxic

    • Well, your presumptions about “pro-GMO” people either being paid, a boulder in your way, or ignorant — all those presumptions are ust that. Presumptions.

      And erroneous.

      I am not paid. I am not ignorant about biotechnology / genetic engineering. And I certainly am not a “boulder in your way.” (If you want to eat organic, I am not stopping you.)

      Uh, mold and mycotoxins? Look up european corn borer damage to corn, particularly organic corn that has not been sufficiently treated to repel the corn borer damage. You’re backwards on that one.

    • Miss Toxic, okay —– just what “GMO foods” specifically were you eating? How do you know they were genetically engineered? What do you eat now? What is your standard for safety for the stuff you eat now? You do know, don’t you, that organic food is NOT field tested for e.coli and/or unapproved pesticides?

      Curious if you think that all of your illnesses and problems are somehow “proof” that genetically engineered foods are harmful. If not, what sources are you reading to come to that conclusion? (your anecdotes on your personal miseries do not represent scientific data)

      Just curious about what you deem “safe” to eat, and the standards you use to determine that. And please don’t quote Dr. Oz or Food Babe or Dr. Mercola or Jeffrey Smith or any other quack hack out to make a quick buck out of fearmongering.

    • but educates people to eat healthy and grow their own food.

      Good for you, everyone should know the basics.

      I teach them how to stop using toxic products that are only warping and mutating their genetics.

      What like coconut oils, soaps, and millions of other products?

      I’m sorry but anyone who is PRO-GMO is either being paid, ignorant to the dangers of toxins, or quite frankly, just another boulder to get around in my path of health.

      Well you started of well, now you just sound like a nutcase. GMO is just a plant breeding method, it is not a way to grow crops.

      At this time I was eating GMO foods with no knowledge of it

      GMOs are the same PH as any other food, and how did you even know, you consume very little GMOs.

      Then throw in the Mold and Mycotoxins that were in the building I was working in.

      Ummm, Mycotoxins and molds are way higher in Organic crops. just for your Info.

      Not only did I change my diet completely, went alkaline

      what did you start drinking drain cleaner???

      non GMO and certified organic,

      So eating more mycotoxins cured your mycotoxin problem… Sweet. Someone needs to do a study on this.

      but I no longer take any synthetic drugs

      Sweet, I am glad that eating more mycotoxins solved your problem. But you do know that it is one of the most carcinogenic chemicals known to man, right up there with Dioxin.

    • lol…. and the “SOURCES” I read for ANYTHING republican is from who? the worst misinformation channel ever invented. so what, there’s many studies. you love to ridicule me for my one source (which was out of thousands).

      take your ego somewhere else. there’s a reason you spend your entire day here just waiting to catch someone “off guard”. well officer, well done!

      im done with ya.

  43. another reason they march against monsanto in particular is that this company is the main (possibly the only in USA) producer of white phosphorus. phos is needed for Roundup and for the military. this is also the reason monsanto has our government in it’s back pocket.

    per monsanto’s website:
    “At Monsanto, we’ve made a commitment to provide farmers with the tools they need to produce more crops while conserving more resources like land and fuel. A part of this is Roundup® brand agricultural herbicides. And currently, an ingredient of Roundup brand herbicides starts with phosphorous from Soda Springs.”

    main producer of white phosphorus:

  44. gmo companies on kauai are killing people legally. they’re producing the world’s gmo seed stock on 30k acres of important agricultural lands. that’s half of the acres needed to feed the island instead of poisoning it. The food you’re championing is an endocrine disruptor. So maybe consider a heaping of humbleness in your gmo apple pie.

    Doctors can not learn what pesticides are being sprayed when children at a local school for example, end up in the hospital. Pesticides were volatilizing on the hot ground and flying across the river and into the school. The restricted use pesticides being sprayed by the international companies are illegal in their own countries.

    We passed ordinances on three island as each island has it’s own unique situation with pesticides. So now the companies you are supporting are suing we taxpayers for the right to spray next to schools, homes, hospitals etc.

    Go ahead and sensationalize what you’re doing at your family’s expense. Go ahead and present gmo chemical companies in whatever light you wish. I’d rather people get it wrong than to be apathetic. Good luck.

    Thanks to Monsanto stereotyping biotechnologies is now popular. Parents are too busy(stupid) to help their kids differentiate between biotechnologies. People are getting sick in places you don’t live.

    • No GMO food has been linked to endocrine disruption. Soy is a mild endocrine mediator, but that applies to organic varieties as well, and is natural. The largest user of restricted pesticides on the islands are the island governments, including golf courses, not the seed companies. The use of those pesticides is heavily regulated and are safe. Perhaps you should do some basic research on these issues.

  45. Julie Kelly…..I agree that the name of the protest should probably be March against GMO’s. But Monsanto IS the biggest player..Have you seen the lab rats with tumors after dining on GMO food after 3 months. Have you heard about the suicides of farmers suicides in India due to bumper cotton crops…but still owing Monsanto for their seeds and pesticides and banks for them not delivering. I took a test on GMO knowledge and scored 100. BUT We have another battle to fight first. Unfortunately, nothing is organic anymore. The Military Industrial Complex is spraying Aluminum, Barium and Strontium into the atmosphere around the globe. They are trying to kill us off. Monsanto has developed Aluminum resistant seeds…hmmm. Let’s work together and fight. Go to this reliable site for more info

  46. There is probably nothing wrong or harmful in eating GMO products. What is harmful about them is firstly the effect the crops have on the eco-system, depriving birds and reptiles of their insect diets, and this having a knock-on effect up the food chain – eventually reaching humans.
    Secondly, the fiscal model employed by companies like Monsanto drives people who have been sucked into it to despair and suicide – think about that whilst you are tucking in to your anodyne, tasteless meals.
    No – perhaps you won’t.

  47. The majority of GMOs come from the Roundup Ready line. Monsanto designs GMOs to allow it to sell more herbicide. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was recently declared to be a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization. That’s a fact-

    Now, I’m anticipating that you’ll respond with, “well the FDA considers it safe.” However, the FDA allows the company to do it’s own studies for safety and efficacy and a former Monsanto employee, Michael Taylor, is the Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Vet. Medicine at the FDA. Talk about letting the fox guard the hens!
    I am against Monsanto and GMOs and I’m not a hippy. I know the facts and have concluded that I want to limit my exposure to Glyphosate and the best way to do that is to avoid GMOs. I want labels, but would prefer that GMOs and Glyphosate be banned. Did you notice that I said limit my exposure to Glyphosate? That’s because Monsanto has so polluted the planet with this crap, just like they did with PCBs, that it’s everywhere from food to ground water to drinking water to rainwater and it has even been found in breast milk and urine. So, it’s impossible to completely eliminate exposure to it.

    Now let’s talk about some geneticliteracyproject (GLP) facts. One of the main GLP sources of funds is the Searle Freedom Trust.-
    Daniel D. Searle created the Searle Freedom Trust. Daniel headed the family pharmaceutical company, G.D. Searle & Co. until 1985 when it was sold to…………… any guesses? That’s right, it was sold to Monsanto. So Julie and all of the other concerned GMO loving Moms are being indirectly paid by Monsanto! Surprise, surprise!

    My post will mysteriously disappear in 3…2…1!

  48. The main part that irks me is fear mongering and ignorance. Those who don’t bother to do their research on a topic, but still fight against it. Some don’t even know what gmo stands for!

  49. GMO Dangers: Facts You Need to Know

    By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was
    busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for
    Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my
    PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign
    organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

    I wasn’t, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM
    plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of
    concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in
    the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason
    was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten.
    So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

    Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought
    differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me
    that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific
    knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over
    twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola
    and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.

    Depending on which country you live in, GMOs may be unlabeled and
    therefore unknowingly abundant in your diet. Processed foods are likely
    to contain ingredients from GMO crops, such as corn and soy. Most crops,
    however are still non-GMO, including rice, wheat, barley, oats,
    tomatoes, grapes, beans, etc. For meat eaters the mode of GMO
    consumption is different. There are no GMO animals used in farming
    (although GM salmon has been pending FDA approval since 1993); however,
    animal feed, especially in factory farms, is likely to be mostly GMO
    corn and GMO soybeans. In this case, the labeling issue and potential
    impacts are complicated even further.

    I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops
    still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. In broad
    outline, the reasons I believe so are quite simple. As a biologist I
    have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological
    organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms, and as a scientist I
    have become much more humble about the capacity of science to do more
    than scratch the surface in its understanding of the deep complexity and
    diversity of the natural world. To paraphrase a cliché, I more and more
    appreciate that as scientists we understand less and less.

    The Flawed Processes of GMO Risk Assessment

    Some of my concerns with GMOs, however, are “just” practical. I have
    read numerous GMO risk assessment applications. These are the documents
    that governments rely on to ‘prove’ their safety. Though these documents
    are quite long and quite complex, their length is misleading in that
    they primarily ask trivial questions. Furthermore, the experiments
    described within them are often very inadequate and sloppily executed.
    Scientific controls are often missing, procedures and reagents are badly
    described, and the results are often ambiguous or uninterpretable.

    In consequence, the government regulators who examine the data are
    effectively reliant on the word of the applicants that the research
    supports whatever the applicant claims. There are other elementary
    scientific flaws too; for example, applications routinely ignore or
    dismiss obvious red flags such as experiments yielding unexpected

    The Dangers of GMOs

    Aside from grave doubts about the quality and integrity of risk
    assessments, I also have specific science-based concerns over GMOs.
    These concerns are mostly particular to specific transgenes and traits.

    Many GMO plants are engineered to contain their own insecticides.
    These GMOs, which include maize, cotton and soybeans, are called Bt
    plants. Bt plants get their name because they incorporate a transgene
    that makes a protein-based toxin (sometimes called the Cry toxin) from
    the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis. Many Bt crops are “stacked,”
    meaning they contain a multiplicity of these Cry toxins. Their makers
    believe each of these Bt toxins is insect-specific and safe. However,
    there are multiple reasons to doubt both safety and specificity. One
    concern is that Bacillus thuringiensis is all but indistinguishable from
    the well known anthrax bacterium (Bacillus anthracis). Another reason
    is that Bt insecticides share structural similarities with ricin. Ricin
    is a famously dangerous plant toxin, a tiny amount of which was used to
    assassinate the Bulgarian writer and defector Georgi Markov in 1978[1].
    A third reason for concern is that the mode of action of Bt proteins is
    not understood (Vachon et al 2012); yet, it is axiomatic in science,
    that effective risk assessment requires a clear understanding of the
    mechanism of action of any GMO transgene so that appropriate experiments
    can be devised to affirm or refute safety. All this is doubly troubling
    because some Cry proteins are toxic towards isolated human cells
    (Mizuki et al., 1999).

    A second concern follows from GMOs being often resistant to
    herbicides. This resistance is an invitation to farmers to spray large
    quantities of herbicides, and many do. As research recently showed,
    commercial soybeans sold today routinely contain quantities of the
    herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) that its maker, Monsanto, once described
    as “extreme” (Bøhn et al 2014).

    Glyphosate has been in the news recently because the World Health
    Organisation no longer considers it a relatively harmless chemical, but
    there are other herbicides applied to GMOs which are easily of equal
    concern. The herbicide Glufosinate (phosphinothricin, made by Bayer)
    kills plants because it inhibits the plant enzyme glutamine synthetase.
    This ubiquitous enzyme is found also in fungi, bacteria and animals.
    Consequently, Glufosinate is toxic to most organisms. Glufosinate, for
    good measure, is also a neurotoxin of mammals that doesn’t easily break
    down in the environment (Lantz et al. 2014). Glufosinate is thus a
    “herbicide” in name only. Even in normal agricultural its use is

    In GMO plants the situation is worse. Glufosinate is sprayed on the
    crop but degradation is blocked by the transgene, which chemically
    modifies it slightly. This makes the plant resistant to the herbicide,
    but when you eat Bayers’ Glufosinate-resistant GMO maize or canola, even
    weeks or months later, glufosinate, though slightly modified, is
    probably still there (Droge et al., 1992). Nevertheless, the
    implications of all this additional exposure of people were ignored in
    GMO risk assessments of Glufosinate tolerant GMO crops.

    A yet further reason to be concerned about GMOs is that most of them
    contain a viral sequence called the cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV)
    promoter (or they contain the similar figwort mosaic virus (FMV)
    promoter). Two years ago, the GMO safety agency of the European Union
    (EFSA) discovered that both the CaMV promoter and the FMV promoter had
    wrongly been assumed by them (for almost 20 years) not to encode any
    proteins. In fact, the two promoters encode a large part of a small
    multifunctional viral protein that misdirects all normal gene expression
    and that also turns off a key plant defence against pathogens. EFSA
    tried to bury their discovery. Unfortunately for them, we spotted their
    findings in an obscure scientific journal[2].
    This revelation forced EFSA and other regulators to explain why they
    had overlooked the probability that consumers were eating an untested
    viral protein.

    This list of significant scientific concerns about GMOs is by no
    means exhaustive. For example, there are novel GMOs coming on the
    market, such as those using double stranded RNAs(dsRNAs), that have the
    potential for even greater risks (Latham and Wilson 2015).

    The True Purpose of GMOs

    Science is not the only grounds on which GMOs should be judged. The
    commercial purpose of GMOs is not to feed the world or improve farming.
    Rather, they exist to gain intellectual property (i.e. patent rights)
    over seeds and plant breeding and to drive agriculture in directions
    that benefit agribusiness. This drive is occurring at the expense of
    farmers, consumers and the natural world. US Farmers, for example, have
    seen seed costs nearly quadruple and seed choices greatly narrow since
    the introduction of GMOs[3]. The fight over them is thus not of narrow importance. Their use affects us all.

    Nevertheless, specific scientific concerns are crucial to the debate.
    I left science in large part because it seemed impossible to do
    research while also providing the unvarnished public scepticism that I
    believed the public, as ultimate funder and risk-taker of that science,
    was entitled to.

    Criticism of science and technology remains very difficult. Even
    though many academics benefit from tenure and a large salary, the
    sceptical process in much of science is largely lacking. This is why
    risk assessment of GMOs has been short-circuited and public concerns
    about them are growing. Until the damaged scientific ethos is rectified,
    the public is correct to doubt that GMOs should ever have been let out
    of any lab.


    Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson (2013) Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops

    Ken Roseboro, Sound Consumer, (2013)

    Bøhn, T, Cuhra, M, Traavik, T, Sanden, M, Fagan, J and Primicerio, R
    (2014) Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate
    accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans. Food Chemistry 153: 207-215.

    Droge W, Broer I, and Puhler A. (1992) Transgenic plants
    containing the phosphinothricin-N-acetyltransferase gene metabolize the
    herbicide L-phosphinothricin (glufosinate) differently from
    untransformed plants. Planta 187: 142-151.

    Lantz S et al., (2014) Glufosinate binds N -methyl- D -aspartate
    receptors and increases neuronal network activity in vitro.
    Neurotoxicology 45: 38-47.

    Latham JR and Wilson AK (2015) Off -­ target Effects of Plant
    Transgenic RNAi: Three Mechanisms Lead to Distinct Toxicological and
    Environmental Hazards

    Mizuki, E, Et Al., (1999) Unique activity associated with
    non-insecticidal Bacillus thuringiensis parasporal inclusions: in vitro
    cell- killing action on human cancer cells. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86:

    Vachon V, Laprade R, Schwartz JL (2012) Current models of the mode
    of action of Bacillus thuringiensis insecticidal crystal proteins: a
    critical review. Journal of Invertebrate Pathology 111: 1–12.

    Jonathan R. Latham, PhD is Co-Founder and Executive Director of the
    Bioscience Resource Project, which is the publisher of Independent
    Science News ( He has published scientific papers in disciplines as diverse as plant ecology, virology, genetics, and RNA biology.

    Tagged in: Environment • Healthy Eating

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    • Nothing has been proven completely safe. 0 countries ban all GMOs, just think about it for a second. Why would the EU have GMO label laws if they had no GMOs? Hmmm..

  50. Monsanto is an extremely powerful corporation. The “revolving door” between Monsanto and our government- Monsanto Lobbyists working in high positions of power in our government and politicians taking high paying lobbying positions for Monsanto when they leave their positions of power within our government- is disturbing to say the least.

    • Monsanto is no larger than WholePaycheck, and certainly is no more “powerful”.

      Your opinion of the “revolving door” is extremely biased, so why should I or anyone else believe you? Monsanto seems to have its own biased opinion and it doesn’t seem to be kept a big sinister secret — they actually discuss it here…


      Now, I don’t care much about what Monsanto thinks and I certainly don’t give a rat’s ass what you believe Renae. But I’m more inclined to agree with the Monsanto blurb when they point out how trained experienced talent is in demand across the food industry and regulatory sectors. I find it reassuring industry and government are hiring qualified people instead of some dumbass off the street who believes in absurd conspiracy theories. There are only so many trained experienced people to go around, but there appears to be an endless supply of dumbasses, Renae.

        • If we could harness stupidity we would have an infinite source of power. It would rotate in random directions at arbitrary speeds so it wouldn’t be worth a crap, but there would be plenty of it.

          • Hypocrisy would be another excellent power source, there is a whole crap pile of that with these folks as well.

          • Yeah, that energy source is sorta terrifying to contemplate. Like Iranian nuclear power on meth. Too hot to handle. I think we should expose hypocrisy in its raw state but not let anybody be screwing around enriching it. We really should keep some awesome lines of Stuxnet code ready at hand to shut it down, same way we keep fire extinguishers on boats.

      • “Dumbasses” are in endless supply? You don’t say, Farmer with a Dell. And “there is only so many trained experienced people to go around”; oh, is that so? That’s a mighty fine high horse on which you think you set a top. What makes you think anyone cares what you think? Where did I say it was a “big sinister secret”? You didn’t read my comment, correctly, mister ” trained experienced people “. Why don’t you get off your dell and read a book and while your at it learn some manners before you respond to one of my comments, again, farmer with a dell.

  51. You say that you think that gmo’s are safe enough that you feed them to your children. Do you think that you should have a choice in the matter? Monsanto seems to be making it so that we don’t have a choice. Do you feel that is right?

    • You have always had a choice — organic foods are supposed to be GMO-free.

      How does Monsanto accomplish this feat of magic you speak of, namely “making it so that we don’t have a choice”? What is the mechanism through which Monsanto achieves this? Monsanto cannot eliminate any grocery shopper’s choice of anything. To think so is foolish.

      GE foods are thoroughly tested and monitored to be safe, wholesome and nutritious so, of course, we have no hesitation including GE foods in our children’s meals. Organic foods, on the other hand, are never tested and have been proven unsafe — sickened thousands and killed 50 in a single outbreak of food poisoning from organic sprouts in Germany several years ago. My family does not risk eating dangerous organic foods and we would NEVER recommend anyone ever feed organic foods to children. It is children and the elderly who are most seriously affected in food poisonings. Feeding dangerous dirty organic food to children is reckless and irresponsible.

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