Organic industry and other funders behind Séralini’s anti-GMO studies

Financial support for the release and publicity of the laboratory animal feeding study titled “Laboratory Rodent Diets Contain Toxic Levels of Environmental Contaminants: Implications for Regulatory Tests” by Gilles-Eric Séralini and his laboratory comes from a range of groups who appear to have clear conflicts of interest on the issue of GMOs and pesticide safety.

  • CRIIGEN (Committee of Research and Independent Information on Genetic Engineering) is an independent scientific research organization that was founded and presided over by Séralini known for its publicized opposition to GMOs.
  • JMG Foundation, which was formerly the Goldsmith Foundation, and is led by anti-GMO extreme ecology environmental UK activists Ben and Zac Goldsmith.
  • Foundations Charles Léopold Mayer for the Progress of Humankind, a pro-organic and anti-GMO foundation which provides financial support to such groups as Stop OGM, Combat Monsanto and L’info OGM. FCLM was also a funder of the now retracted Séralini rat study in 2012.
  • Lea Nature is an organic and natural products company that markets its products as GMO-free. Lea Nature food line Jardin Bio specifically claims: “At Jardin BiO, we defend sustainable organic food without GMOs or pesticides” and has lobbied to block the growing of GMO crops in France.
  • Nature Vivante is an “ecological living” trade association that promotes GMO-free organic living and among whose partner members is Lea Nature’s Jardin BiO.
  • Malongo is a company that markets fair trade, organic, non-GMO specialty food (coffee, chocolates, snacks) and whose corporate responsibility report prohibits use of GMOs and claims they are a toxic hazard to the earth.
  • Denis Guichard Foundation is a natural living foundation that promotes organic production and campaigns in opposition to GMOs.
  • Sustainable Food Alliance (SFA) is a non-profit organization run by Rodale Organic’s Chairman Emeritus Anthony Rodale whose stated mission is: “To educate the public about the positive health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming.” Board members include former UK Soil Association Director Patrick Holden , Owsley Brown, Claire Peeters, who are all also members of the UK-based Sustainable Food Trust (SFT), and Ed Baldrige. SFA appears to be a major, multi-year funder to CRIIGEN/Séralini for the purposes of herbicide and toxicity evaluation research.

For a detailed backgrounder on the latest Séralini study and the French professor’s career, read the GLP Biotech Gallery Profile.

Previous general funding

General funding also comes from several sources that include those tied directly to the United States, United Kingdom, and European organic industries exceeding five million euros.

  • French organic food giants Auchan and Carrefour have presented Séralini more than 3.2 million euros.
  • Fondation pour le progrés de l’homme (FPH – Foundation for the Progress of Humankind), a foundation with a reputation for generosity towards an assortment of anti-GMO activist groups, provided 1 million euros.
  • The Sustainable Food Trust (SFT) has arranged and coordinated publicity for the rat feeding study published in 2012 from Séralini’s lab. SFT is led by Patrick Holden, former executive director of the UK Soil Association. The group is known for vocal opposition to genetically modified crops.
  • A PR agency called Greenhouse PR managed the events, media releases, and social media campaign for the study’s release4 and helped SFT leverage Holden’s close relationship with the Prince of Wales to secure positive media coverage.
  • Through a U.S. non-governmental organization (NGO), Holden has also been able to send money to overseas groups without making these public. Approximately $2 million has gone to one NGO called Sustainable Food Alliance (SFA) for “herbicide” and “toxic evaluations between 2011 and 2013. Séralini’s group has acknowledged financial support from SFA. Holden, however, has denied that SFA has had any involvement with Séralini. Holden has also been linked in providing fundraising support for Séralini’s work.
  • One major source of funding identified comes from Anthony Rodale, who is one of the U.S. organic industry’s leading figures. Rodale is the grandson of American organic figure J.I. Rodale and president of the SFT’s arm in the U.S. He is also the chairman emeritus of Rodale’s Organic, and currently serves on the board of Rodale Inc., The Rainforest Alliance, and the Appeal Board of the Soil Association. He is also publisher of The New Farm
  • Former SFT staffer Henry Rowlands, who helped mastermind Séralini’s propaganda campaign and is now an organic marketing exporter and publisher, hosts and maintains interconnected anti-GMO websites that include GMO Séralini, GMO Judy Carman (an anti-GMO Australian scientist who has published controversial studies in marginal journals linking GMOs to potential health hazards in pigs), GMO Delete (now dormant), and GM Watch. In 2012, Rowlands also launched the pro-organic/anti-GMO news site Sustainable Pulse, which he claims is based in the UK, but registered in Bulgaria.
  • In 2007, Greenpeace also presented funding to Séralini for a study that involved a re-analysis of data from a 90-day rat feeding study that claimed health risks associated with MON863 GM maize.
  • Séralini is also linked to a company called Sevene Pharma, a company that sells homeopathic remedies, where he is a consultant.
Related article:  Organic industry pushes back after allegations of deceptive marketing

David Despain, M.Sc., is a science and health journalist based in Gilbert, Ariz. He is also director and managing editor of Bionomics and Genetic Literacy Project. Follow @daviddespain on Twitter.

 

216 thoughts on “Organic industry and other funders behind Séralini’s anti-GMO studies”

    • To some extent, yes. But it does not mean the data is bad, it just means it deserves a closer look for any bias. And the latest Seralini study shows bias all over the place.

        • Organics is not messing with the basic building blocks of life and sending out these damaged seeds to contaminate forever. Organics are not suing people if they are contaminated by these mutant seeds. Organics has not been buying up seed companies so they can sell more chemicals. The organic industry, unlike Monsanto, does not own 25% of commercially traded seeds and is not trying to change legislation around the world to make seed saving illegal. Need I go on?

          • You mean you think that organic farmers do not use crop varieties that have been genetically altered by humans, and which have not been purposely mutated to achieve new genes? Or are you talking about some other “building blocks of life” besides DNA? Perhaps fairy dust? It would be very strange for organic, that was started in the 1940’s and has yet to be used on even 1% of farmland, to buy up seed companies. What would they do with all that seed? GMO seed was first sold in the 1990’s and now occupies over 90% of the land devoted to crops where GMO varieties are permitted. Of course this requires a lot of seed. Farmers adopted this technology faster than anything that preceded it. Have you ever visited a farm?

            And the US Supreme Court debunked the myth that farmers with trace levels of GMOs were ever sued.

            “The court said that there was no evidence that Monsanto had brought a lawsuit or sought settlement against a farmer or seed company with inadvertent traces of its patented seeds or traits among a harvest or a seed supply.”

            http://works.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1235&context=drew_kershen&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fscholar.google.com%2Fscholar%3Fstart%3D10%26q%3Dthree%2Bcases%2Borganic%2Bfarmers%2B%2Bmonsanto%2Bsupreme%2Bcourt%2Bsuite%26hl%3Den%26as_sdt%3D0%2C23%26as_ylo%3D2009#search=%22three%20cases%20organic%20farmers%20monsanto%20supreme%20court%20suite%22

          • The international food standards body, CODEX, defines ‘modern biotechnology’ ie GM breeding as

            In vitro nucleic acid techniques, including recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and direct injection of nucleic acid into cells or organelles, or OR

            Fusion of cells beyond the taxonomic family, that overcome natural physiological reproductive or recombinant barriers and that are not techniques used in traditional breeding and selection.

            This is not the same as traditional seed breeding. To pretend this is so is duplicitous. Organic farming was not ‘started in the 1940’s’. See “Farmers of 40 Centuries” by FH King or “An Agricultural Testament” by Howard. Generations have been involved in working out systems to maintain and increase soil fertility. This was derailed by the discovery of guano as a fertilizer and then by the widespread use of the Haber Bosch process to produce nitrogen fertilizer. Also the use of pesticides increased after the 1st WW with detrimental effects on soil, water, plants, animals and us. See the excellent book “The War on Bugs” by Will Allen.

            The reason that the chemical companies bought the seed companies from the 1990s on is that it allowed them to sell GM seeds and put GM genes into existing germplasm. This allowed the increase in sales of their pesticides including the use of seed coatings such as neonicotinoids that are shown to be virtually useless as well as poisoning bees, and of course us too. There are 5 main GM crop – soy, corn, canola, sugarbeet and cotton. The seeds owned by Monsanto et al are far more extensive than this. Monsanto bought 26% of InterGrain, the ex-public wheat and barley breeding company of Western Australia. When the purchase was announced it was stated to be because Monsanto wanted the seed already created by the plant breeders. “A really important concept is that biotech traits by themselves are absolutely useless unless they can be put into the very best germplasm and that probably alone just illustrates what this deal’s all about.” The interview then stated that GM genes would be put in the best seeds and if farmers wanted to grow non-GM they would be left with the inferior germplasm. In other words distortion would happen to attempt to force farmers to use GM. This is the sort of behaviour that has entrapped farmers elsewhere. See the Doco “Farmer to Farmer” where a UK farmer visits the US and is warned by US farmers not to adopt GM seed.

            The biggest users of GM seed are in N and S America. In N America most farmers had no idea what GM was when it was introduced. It has caused superpests, superweeds, market rejection and harassment by corporations as detailed in my post above. There is increasing interest in non-GM seeds.

            In S America GM soy was used on vast monocultures that have driven small farmers off their land – sometimes using force, including murder, has caused hunger and hardship including illness and birthdefects due to the sprays used on the crops. The advent of GM has been likened to a near genocide and an Argentinian judge has recently allowed a class action to go ahead on the harm to people and the environment caused by GM crops. Watch Al Jazeera’s “Argentina’s Bad Seed” or “Poison on the Pampas” an Argentinian news report on the issue.

            The US court system is hardly impressive. Clarence Thomas worked for Monsanto and yet rules on cases involving them. He is just one of a huge array of people who revolve between Monsanto, government, the judiciary etc etc.

            Regarding my farm experience. My father trained as a market gardener and I witnessed the fruitfulness of a well-managed garden and the importance of compost. My grandmother grew up on a farm and I was fortunate enough to have her live with me until I was 8 and she was a very keen gardener. I have visited many farms in several countries. I have farmer friends and go and stay with them.

          • Lets hit your silly points one at a time starting from the top. How do you classify embryo rescue in your system of dividing up breeding techniques. It is not considered a GMO technique and has been used to develop varieties used by organic farmers.

            “Embryo rescue plays an important role in modern plant breeding, allowing the development of many interspecific and intergeneric food and ornamental plant crop hybrids.”

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

            How about the genes moved into sweet potato by a bacteria 8000 years ago? Do you shun sweet poatatoes?

            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150421084204.htm

            Sorry that the science is kinda inconvenient for you…

          • Listen to a crop breeder on the differences between GM and other types of breeding. http://www.madge.org.au/what-genetically-modified-gm-food

            The sweet potato is an example of horizontal gene transfer. We have been warning about this for years. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/horizontalGeneTransfer.php

            Just because horizontal gene transfer happens naturally does not mean it is safe. It may create harm. The fact that the sweet potato’s horizontal gene transfer happened 8000 years ago suggests that it is not harmful to us. Cells have protections against horizontal gene transfer that suggests that cells do not welcome this, although it can happen. GM’s use of viral promoters and the destructive nature of the engineering means that it is more likely to cause horizontal gene transfer. Interestingly GM promoters have for years claimed that HGT does not exist!! Now they agree it does but claim that is always fine and beneficial. How very unscientific.

          • You seem to have very little knowledge of biology. Please provide a single example of a gene moving from a crop plant to a microbe. The sweet potato example is from a microbe to a plant just like how a GM crop is created. I am not visiting activist web sites. If you cite a scientific paper, I will be interested.

          • No wonder you don’t know what is going on if you limit your reading. “The researchers at Bristol University showed that plant wounds, that could be created by insect bites, abrasion and other mechanical damage, are hotspots for gene trafficking due to the wound hormones produced by the plant. Under such circumstances, the soil bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens, which causes crown gall disease in plants, could enlarge its host range to infect fungi, and insert foreign genes into the fungi’s genome [2]. This has large implications on the safety of GMOs already widely released into the environment.

            A. tumefaciens is probably unique among natural plant pathogens in carrying out trans-Kingdom horizontal gene transfer during an infection, and it is this ability that has been widely exploited for creating GM crops, grown on an estimated 134 million hectares worldwide in 2009, and “jumped’ another 10 percent in 2010, according to industry-funded International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA) [6].

            Research commissioned by the UK Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) in the 1990s had already revealed that it is very difficult, if not impossible to get rid of the Agrobacterium vector used in creating the transgenic plant [7], and the bacterium is likely to remain dormant even after the transgenic plants are transplanted into the soil. Hence, it is expected to facilitate horizontal gene transfer, in the first instance, to wild-type Agrobacterium in the soil, and further afield.”

            http://www.i-sis.org.uk/new_route_for_GM_gene_escape.php

            The article is fully referenced so you can read the Bristol study mentioned.

          • Read this again and see if you can understand it: “Please provide a single example of a gene moving from a crop plant to a microbe.”

            Your example is the movement of genes from a bacteria to a plant. This happens every day and is the basis for transgenesis. The bacteria does not pick up plant genes.

            And if you think that an organization founded by anti-GMO activists, like ISIS, is a reputable source of information, no wonder you are so mixed up.

            “Ho is a co-founder and director of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), an interest group that campaigns against what it sees as unethical uses of biotechnology.[9] The group published about climate change, GMOs, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and water memory”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae-Wan_Ho

          • Ad hominem attacks again. Also a refusal to look at the issue of unexpected results of GM. These are what pro-GM ‘arguments’ consist of. I’m bored by the repetitious stupidity of them.

          • I posted the text from the Wikipedia page on the organization that you cited. The truth is sometimes unflattering and inconvenient for those selling snake oil.

          • Dr Mae Wan Ho is a distinguished scientist.

            “Mae-Wan Ho, Reader in Biology at the Open University, B.Sc. (First Class) 1964, and Ph. D. 1967, H K University; more than 30 years in research and 22 years teaching experience; nearly 200 publications covering human biochemical genetics, molecular genetics, evolution, developmental biology, and biophysics. Awards include, Chan Kai Ming Prize for Biological Sciences (HK) 1964: Fellow of the National Genetics Foundation (USA) 1971-1974; Vida Sana Award (Spain) 1998; Guest of Honour in Women of the Year Luncheon & Assembly (UK) 1998. From 1994, Scientific Advisor to the Third World Network and other public interest organizations on biotechnology and biosafety. Debated issues in the United Nations, the World Bank, the European Parliament, in the UK, USA and many other countries all over the world. Author of many papers and reports for the public and for policy-makers, frequent broadcaster and public lecturer. Recent publications relevant to genetic engineering:
            Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare? Mae-Wan Ho, Gateway Books, Bath, UK, 1998; (revised, 2nd. edition, 1998).
            Gene Ecology and Gene Technology of Infectious Diseases, Mae-Wan Ho et al, Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 10, 33-59, 1998.
            Genetic Engineering and Infectious Diseases, Mae-Wan Ho et al, Third World Network, Penang, 1998.
            Fatal Flaw in Food Safety Assessment: The FAO/WHO Joint Biotechnology & Food Safety Report, Mae-Wan Ho and Ricarda A. Steinbrecher, Third World Network, Penang, 1998.
            Fatal Flaw in Food Safety Assessment: The FAO/WHO Joint Biotechnology & Food Safety Report, Mae-Wan Ho and Ricarda A. Steinbrecher, Environmental and Nutritional Interactions (in press).”

            http://www.i-sis.org.uk/greenpeace.php

          • Sorry, but you put your faith in a snake oil salesperson. Your choice of course, but the curtain has been puled back.

          • She is a far better scientist than Pamela Ronald, a favourite GM pusher who has had her work retracted. “Scientifically, the two retractions mean that the molecule (Ax21), identified by Pamela Ronald’s group (in Lee et al 2009), is not after all what rice plants use to detect the pathogen rice blight (Xanthomonas oryzeae) and neither is it a ‘quorum sensing’ molecule, as described in Han et al 2011.”

            In fact, scientific doubts had been raised about Ronald-authored publications at least as far back as August 2012. In that month Ronald and co-authors responded in the scientific journal The Plant Cell to a critique from a German group. The German researchers had been unable to repeat Ronald’s discoveries in a third Ax21 paper (Danna et al 2011) and they suggested as a likely reason that her samples were contaminated (Mueller et al 2012).

            Furthermore, the German paper also asserted that, for a theoretical reason (3), her group’s claims were inherently unlikely.

            In conclusion, the German group wrote:

            “While inadvertent contamination is a possible explanation, we cannot finally explain the obvious discrepancies to the results in..…..Danna et al. (2011)”

            Pamela Ronald, however, did not concede any of the points raised by the German researchers and did not retract the Danna et al 2011 paper. Instead, she published a rebuttal (Danna et al 2012) (4).

            The subsequent retractions, beginning in January 2013 (of Lee et al 2009 and Han et al 2011), however, confirm that in fact very sizable scientific errors were being made in the Ronald laboratory. But more importantly for the ‘Kudos to Pam’ story, it was not Pamela Ronald who initiated public discussion of the credibility of her research.

            http://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/can-the-scientific-reputation-of-pamela-ronald-public-face-of-gmos-be-salvaged/

          • Are you a quarter bubble off of level? I did not ask about the “Man in the Moon” either. You brought up ISIS, so I posted information on its credibility. Do you think bringing up someone irrelevant to the discussion is going to distract folks from this fact?

          • Dr Pamela Ronald is not irrelevant to the discussion. She is a GM scientist that has created dubious work that has had to be retracted. This is important to know as GM proponents claim it is safe and predictable and these conclusions are based on science. Except the science is not there. Also see Seralini’s work showing the corporate studies used to approve 3 GM corns showed harm from rats after 90 days.

            Talking about distracting folk from facts, you might like to read the new report on the vast amounts of money the food industry is spending in spin to misinform the public. It refers to this site and Jon Entine.

            http://www.foe.org/projects/food-and-technology/good-food-healthy-planet/spinning-food

            What a shameful disgrace to be associated with this manipulation.

          • I am indeed a poor typist, and speller. That does not detract from the fact that Dr Mae Wan Ho founded an organization (ISIS) highlighted on Quackwatch, and that you choose to rely on her opinions to back up your babble. Please tell us all about “water memory”.

            “The group published about climate change, GMOs, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, and water memory.”

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mae-Wan_Ho

          • I am talking about GM food. You will have to discuss the other issues with someone else. As mentioned before ISIS articles are referenced so the science behind them is clear and available for discussion. This is unlike the un-peer-reviewed corporate studies used to approve GM foods.

          • Yes, we had a look at them and found that: “Monsanto was not able to identify and characterize one of its intended GM proteins in the
            GM canola planted in Victoria and New South Wales this year. Instead they supplied Food
            Standards with information about a protein that was not expected to be present in the
            crop.”
            “The protein they were looking for is expected to be comprised of both bacterial and flower
            structures that have never been consumed before in the human diet. It is essential to know
            exactly what the protein is so it can be tested for allergenicity, since most food allergic
            reactions are caused by proteins in the food.”

            http://www.madge.org.au/Docs/GM-canola-approved-on-false-grounds.pdf

            Here is our full report on the data submitted by Monsanto and on which FSANZ approved GM canola GT73.

            http://www.madge.org.au/Docs/Rev-GM-RR-Canola-Animal-Studies-for-Tony-Burke.pdf

            This shows that in house studies done by companies with an economic interest and reviewed by bodies that rubber stamp these studies while ignoring peer-reviewed science showing harm is inadequate in protecting the public.

            Here is our report on FSANZ :

            http://www.madge.org.au/sites/default/files/articlefiles/FED-UP-WITH-FSANZ-OCT2012.pdf

          • Bios mean nothing. She’s considered a joke and naturalist anti-science purveyor by 9o% of the science community. She’s sn embarrassment to science and medicine. Good muse for you it appears.

          • Mae Wan Ho puts references to her papers. There is increasing acknowledgment of how little we know and how much there is to understand. Who would have thought that epigenetics, a very new branch of science, would show that teenage boys in famine conditions (in Holland at the end of WW2) would have grandchildren more likely to get Type 2 diabetes? Genes were not changed but how they were expressed was altered by their experience of hunger.

            Also pesticides are now found to be toxic at tiny amounts: “only 0.1ppb (parts per billion) of Roundup was found to be sufficient to provoke pathologies [2].

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/new-study-finds-monsantos-roundup-herbicide-125-times-more-toxic-than-regulators-say/5390710

            There is a very eye-opening book on just how limited the traditional view of science is:

            https://books.google.com.au/books/about/Meeting_the_Universe_Halfway.html?id=4qYorOpfB6EC&hl=en

            Your promotion of GM crops that either are sprayed with Roundup or another weedkiller and/or produce insecticides within the GM plant is an example of reductionist, outdated thought patterns that in no way conform to recent scientific understandings. Messing with the genome in this way could be causing huge amounts of damage, for example the creating of novel proteins and rna interference as well as increasing the amount of pesticides in our food.

            We have recently learnt of the importance of our microbiome in our health and that we are only ‘10% human’ as microbial cells far outweigh human cells in our bodies. Therefore the whole assumption that GM is safe as it doesn’t affect mammalian cells is wrong.

            Testing of breast milk and urine shows that glyphosate (Roundup) is present in humans at worrying levels. In fact there is no known safe level of glyphosate. The issue that Roundup was approved using industry studies from a discredited laboratory that are not allowed to be viewed by the general public is not a triumph of science but an example of the sinister power of the chemical industry.

            There is no excuse for the GM industry. It is a genetic pollutant, increases the use of pesticides, is causing illness and birth defects especially near the GM soy fields in Latin America, is creating super pests and super weeds, is concentrating power in the hands of a few agribusiness companies, is a huge user of fossil fuel and therefore contributes to global warming and does not increase yield. It is a technology designed to profit the ruthlessly powerful.

          • So now you are again quoting the conspiracy theory and anti-vax site Global Research?!!! How do you expect to be taken seriously?

            Every bold new technology has brought the nutters out in their droves. I have heard all your talking points one hundred times before and they now bore me. I will continue using liberal amounts of glyphosate, one of the safest chemicals known to man, on my property thank you very much.

          • Here is the study reported on the Global Research article:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3955666/

            It was published in the BioMed Research International journal.

            You may use Roundup on your property but you are ignoring a huge amount of evidence of its dangers. Burying your head in the sand over the risks of the products you use is your choice.

            http://earthopensource.org/earth-open-source-reports/roundup-and-birth-defects-is-the-public-being-kept-in-the-dark/

          • Seralini has lots of studies published in peer-reviewed journals.

            http://www.gmoseralini.org/research-papers/

            If you want junk science try pro-GM Pamela Ronald who has had her major work retracted.

            ‘Professor Pamela Ronald is probably the scientist most widely known for publicly defending genetically engineered (GE or GMO) crops. Her media persona, familiar to readers of the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, the Economist,NPR, and many other global media outlets, is to take no prisoners.’…..

            In the last year Ronald’s laboratory at UC Davis has retracted two scientific papers (Lee et al. 2009 and Han et al 2011) and other researchers have raised questions about a third (Danna et al 2011). The two retracted papers form the core of her research programme into how rice plants detect specific bacterial pathogens (1).’

            http://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/can-the-scientific-reputation-of-pamela-ronald-public-face-of-gmos-be-salvaged/

          • Seralini is an anti-gm activist with a long track record for producing junk science. He is also the chief science adviser for a homeopathy company and he is involved in the Invitation to Life faith healing cult. Seralini has no mainstream credibility. You might as well site Willie Soon, Fred Singer or Patrick Michaels on climate change.

            I’ve never heard of Pamela Ronald.

          • This is defamatory. He is a scientist who has found things uncomfortable for the chemical and GM industry in the course of his work. You can see it here:

            http://www.gmoseralini.org/en/

            You claim never to have heard of Pamela Ronald? Interesting. She is a GM scientist married to an organic farmer. She has written a book called “Tomorrow’s Table” promoting GM that has been used by many pro-GM politicians. MADGE applied her criteria to Monsanto’s science for the Australia approval of GM canola GT73 to see if it counted as trustworthy according to her checklist. Her book was given to us by a pro-GM politician:

            http://madge.org.au/digest-no-107-22nd-may-2010#six

            6) Tomorrow’s table – GM promoters show why Monsanto’s data untrustworthy

            Pamela Ronald is a scientist who wrote a book with her organic farmer husband suggesting that organic and GM could co-exist “Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food” by Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak. A keen MADGE was recommended this book by Terry Redman the WA agriculture minister. She commented:

            “As the author is a highly qualified scientist involved in University research over many years, I expected to find in this chapter some scientific studies and outcomes. But no! It is a folksy-philosophical discussion about risk….the only sign of any numerical data and associated process is in the quantities of ingredients and the numbered steps in the four recipes she provides!”

            MADGE Madeleine Love also read it. “The book could be subtitled “Anne of Green Gables shares a GM recipe with Biopirates”. Its full of sunlight sparkling off the dew drops on GM corn on textured hillsides with gentle breezes, interspersed with recipes and arguments for why it’s silly that we think GM food might be worth a concern.”

            Since WA ag minister, Terry Redman, told our WA MADGE the book “contains guidance to help the public distinguish rumours from high quality science.” MADGE decided to rate the GM canola Monsanto material, that FSANZ used for their food approval, against the checklist in Chapter 6 of the book:

            Examine the primary source of information – Yes, we’ve got the Monsanto GM RR canola data and we’ve examined it.

            Ask if the work was published in a peer-reviewed journal. No, after approval the trout production study was written up for publication.

            Check if the journal has a good reputation. No, the Monsanto material wasn’t published.

            Determine if there is an independent confirmation by another published study. No, the GM RR canola is a patented product and there was no independent confirmation. FSANZ relied solely on material provided by Monsanto.

            Assess whether a potential conflict of interest exists. Yes, Monsanto is presenting its own work to advocate for the safety of its own product.

            Astoundingly the authors say:

            “If governmental regulators were to rely solely on data supplied by parties whose primary concern is not the public good but private interest, then the public would have reason to question the integrity of the research.”

            This is exactly why MADGE has been questioning the integrity of the research

            Assess the quality of institution or panel. No journal, no panel, no university – just Monsanto.

            Examine the reputation of the author. Here is a list of some of Monsanto’s achievements:

            2002 found guilty of conduct “so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society.” ; Monsanto had released tons of PCBs into the city of Anniston and covered up its actions for decades.

            2005 fined $1.5million for bribing an Indonesian official, in a bid to avoid environmental impact studies

            2007 fined by a French court for misleading the public about the safety of Roundup. The verdict was confirmed in 2009.

            Oct 2009 investigated by the US Department of Justice on Anti-trust issues related to possible monopolistic practices.

            9th February 2010 a former Managing Director of Monsanto India admitted that in his time Monsanto falsified scientific evidence for regulatory approval.

            Covalence Ethical Quote system once again ranked Monsanto last on their ethical listing of multinationals; Monsanto was 581st behind companies such as Haliburton, and Philip Morris

            So under the authors own criteria it seems that the scientific evidence in support of GM is not credible.

            Who are the authors? Our excellent WA MADGE has found out the following:

            Pamela Ronald “started at Cornell University obtaining and mapping the Mali rice disease-resistant gene. She then moved to the University of California, Davis where she cloned and patented it. Monsanto & Pioneer then negotiated gene licenses from the University (but ultimately didn’t commercialize it). .. Monsanto gave.. $20,000….toward the UC Davis biotech training program and they offer graduate internships. Agricultural research at UC Davis is funded by industry up to $10 million annually including (money) from biotech companies.

            And Pamela’s husband manages the UC Davis organic farm student project. I think their book is more an attempt to recoup some of the investment, further promote the biotech industry, and indulge the separate passions and careers of the husband and wife team.”

            Pamela Ronald has recently co-written an op-ed piece in the New York Times. The heart rending article states how the world, including farmers in poor countries, is being denied the miracle of GM by people concerned about the technology. Phil Bereano wrote a letter describing his experience at the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol negotiations. “In every one of these it has been the poor countries (especially of Africa) that have been most critical of GE technology and the attempts of multinational corporations and governments (such as that of the US) to pressure them into adopting it.”

          • You are a total kook. Mentally unstable it appears. Good to rely on reputable sources GMOSeralini. It’s the Encyclopedia Brittanica of anti-GMO conspiracy theorists!!

          • Rather than asserting I’m mentally unstable why not produce scientific evidence of the safety of the GM corn NK603 that Seralini did a 2 year study on? Is your hesitation the fact that Hammond did one for 90 days and the raw data showed the beginnings of harm to the rats but no further study was done? In fact regulators used the Hammond study in part to approve the consumption of GM corn NK603 in Europe and the Australia.

            http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm

          • Geez Jon, you seem to draw a lot of kooks. Seems I remember a few others besides my self commenting on GLP articles. Do you have a working theory? And what about that hyper zombie guy?

          • Lol. When given the opportunity, poor farmers have thrown away their traditional seeds and embraced GE technology, for example btcotton in India. Of course, the official figures uptake of btcotton in an underestimate because illegal “stealth” seeds are not included .

            Seralini is a joke. Outside activist circles he has no traction.

            I didn’t read what you wrote about Pamela Ronald as the behaviour of one person has no bearing on the efficacy and safety of gm technology.

          • Glad you have thrown Pamela under the bus rather than trying to defend her. Seralini has numerous peer reviewed publications which is the normal way to assess a scientist’s work.

            There have been over a quarter of a million farmer suicides in India. Suicides correlate with the adoption of GM bt cotton in rain fed areas.

            “An important new paper by respected researchers deconstructs the false hype around Bt insecticidal cotton in India. The study shows that:

            * Bt cotton, introduced in 2002 to control bollworm and other pests, is grown on more than 90% of the cotton area
            * By 2013 insecticide use was high – back to 2000 levels (before the introduction of Bt cotton)
            * Yields have plateaued nationally, and farmer suicides have increased in some areas
            * Pink bollworm causes damage in irrigated cotton, but not in rainfed cotton unless infested from irrigated fields. Therefore use of Bt cotton seed and insecticide in rainfed cotton is questionable
            * Bt cotton may be economic in irrigated cotton, whereas costs of Bt seed and insecticide increase the risk of farmer bankruptcy in low-yield rainfed cotton
            * Inability to use saved seed and inadequate agronomic information trap cotton farmers on biotechnology and insecticide treadmills
            * Annual suicide rates in rainfed areas are inversely related to farm size and yield, and directly related to increases in Bt cotton adoption (i.e., costs)
            * High-density short-season non-GM cottons could increase yields and reduce input costs in irrigated and rainfed cotton
            * Policy makers need to conduct a holistic analysis before new technologies are implemented in agricultural development.

            The lead researcher on the study, Andrew Paul Gutierrez, is a professor at UC Berkeley and an expert in agroecological systems as well as GM crops.”

            http://www.gmwatch.org/news/latest-news/16246-farmer-suicides-in-rainfed-areas-of-india-correlate-with-bt-cotton-adoption

          • What you linked to was an article by a UK statistician. Have a look at the summary of a report by a Standing Committee of the Indian Parliament:

            The Committee also visited Vidarbha to study the
            cultivation of Bt cotton. They learned that farmers
            cultivated Bt cotton on a large scale because initial
            production was high given that the crop was pest
            resistant. However, eventually small and marginal
            farmers suffered losses because of high input costs and
            yield loss due to the development of resistance in the targeted pests. Moreover, the cultivation of Bt cotton
            caused traditional local cotton varieties to be wiped
            out. These factors combined with indebtedness caused
            7,992 farmer suicides in the region between 2006 and
            2011.

            …..

            On a cost benefit analysis, it is evident that the industry receives more benefits than the farmers. Additionally, the decline in yield after the initial two/three years
            caused additional distress to the farmers. It was also found that Bt cotton is not a sustainable agriculture technology. Its cultivation requires massive quantities
            of water and other outputs.

            http://www.prsindia.org/parliamenttrack/report-summaries/cultivation-of-genetically-modified-food-crops-prospects-and-effects–2514/

            A newspaper report on the study asked:

            How was unanimity achieved on this sensitive subject among the 31 committee members representing different political parties and ideologies?

            We wanted to make an objective report. We invited those in favour of GM crops including Monsanto and those who were not. We visited five States including Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. We examined 18,000 documents 1,000 memoranda and 56 witnesses. The panel members met 100 farmers’ widows and heard from lakhs of farmers their plight in each State. The arguments of those against were stronger. That is why the entire committee is unanimous. There was not a single amendment or dissent.

            http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/genetically-modified-crops-no-panacea-for-food-security/article3800463.ece

            Are you saying that messing around with statistics is a better way of knowing what is going on than a research effort in India that actually visits farmers?

          • A partisan politician’s report doesn’t trump a non-partisan science report.

            In any event, the proof of the pudding is always in the eating, 95% of Indian cotton farmers continue to buy GM BT Cotton. This is an astounding vote of confidence in the GM product and at the end of the day, farmers are best suited to decide what to grow, not you, not me, not politicians, not activists and not biotech companies..

          • So you consider a Standing Committee of the Indian Parliament a ‘partisan politician’. Are you seriously claiming a statistician in a country several continents away should always know more about the subject than the local investigation? Interesting. The reason for the on-going purchase of GM seeds is that non-GM ones have been squeezed out.

            “Farmers’ suicides started in 1995 when globalization enabled seed MNCs like Monsanto to enter the Indian seed market and start establishing seed monopolies. The suicides have increased with the commercial sales of GMO Bt. cotton. Bt. cotton currently accounts for 95% of the cotton seeds commercially sold in India. Famers have adopted Bt. cotton not because it gave higher yields or gave them higher incomes, but because all alternatives have been destroyed.

            Destruction of Choice

            Farmers are not choosing Bt. cotton. They have no choice left. The systematic wiping out of non Bt. alternatives from the market and the aggressive marketing of Bt. cotton has created a monopoly. It is not profits, but deliberate destruction of alternatives that have pushed farmers into the Bt. cotton trap, and as a consequence, into the suicide trap. Farmers’ varieties are displaced through the very clever strategy termed as “seed replacement”. Public varieties have mysteriously stopped being released. And most Indian companies are locked into licensing arrangements with Monsanto, and can only sell Monsanto’s Bollgard Bt. cotton seeds.”

            http://www.navdanya.org/blog/?p=744

          • Navdanya is the product of Vandana Shiva, who is a lying hound. See here for example: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/25/seeds-of-doubt

            “Farmers are not choosing Bt. cotton. They have no choice left.”

            Really? Don’t be absurd. I suppose you think airline passengers only chose to fly in multi-nat corporations jets because these nasty corporations sabotaged Led Zeppelins and dugout canoes. You are engaging in patronising white middle class racism.

          • Referring to a Standing Committtee of the Indian Parliament report and an Indian scientist and agriculturalist makes me a patronising middle class racist? I find your logic intriguing. Meanwhile you link to an article from the New Yorker by Michael Specter. Vandana Shiva has responded to this article:

            ” Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality. ‘Seeds of Doubt’ contains many lies and inaccuracies that range from the mundane (we never met in a café but in the lobby of my hotel where I had just arrived from India to attend a High Level Round Table for the post 2015 SDGs of the UN) to grave fallacies that affect people’s lives. The piece has now become fodder for the social media supporting the Biotech Industry. Could it be that rather than serious journalism, the article was intended as a means to strengthen the biotechnology industry’s push to ‘engage consumers’?”

            http://vandanashiva.com/?p=105

            SInce you are using this misleading article to support your claims it appears Vandana Shiva was correct to say “The piece has now become fodder for the social media supporting the Biotech Industry.”

          • Every one is aware of Shiva’s response. Yawn. Old news. You might want to ask yourself why Shiva is ignored by 99.9% of farmers in her own country.

          • You yawn and shrug off everything. How indolent. Organic farming is growing in India due to economic and ecological reasons:

            “”There is tremendous growth in demand for organic food in the last few years. The number of organic farmers in the two talukas in my district has increased from 230 six years ago to more than 1,000 today,” Shinde said. According to HB Bablad, head of Research Institute of Organic Farming, the reasons for the increase in organic farming are economical as well as ecological.”

            http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2014-03-13/news/48189580_1_organic-farming-ecocert-organic-food

            Therefore it seems that Vandana Shiva’s attempts are not entirely ignored by fellow farmers.

          • Good digging in your part! We now know that Specter is formally part of the Global Monsanto GMO Conspiracy Cabal that includes 90% of mainstream scientists, every major liberal publication of note in the U.S., and more than 200 of the world’s top science groups. It’s quite an event when they hold their weekly conference call with the Monsanto exec to plot social media strategy.

          • Hi Jon,

            Thanks for your silly response. I’d love to know what you think about the “Spinning Food” report that shows you to be part of Monsanto’s PR tactics to promote GM food.

            http://www.foe.org/projects/food-and-technology/good-food-healthy-planet/spinning-food

            What dates are you in Australia? Who invited you to the National Press Club, was it due to your connections with Monsanto, CropLife or another pro-GM group?

            There is no consensus on the safety of GM food and you are misleading everyone by saying so. This is a referenced statement from scientists:

            “Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurateClaims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods [16,17], are
            false. For instance, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada issued a report that was highly critical of the regulatory system for GM foods and crops in that country.
            The report declared that it is ‘scientifically unjustifiable’ to presume that GM foods are safe without rigorous scientific testing and that the ‘default prediction’ for every
            GM food should be that the introduction of a new gene will cause ‘unanticipated changes’ in the expression of other genes, the pattern of proteins produced, and/or metabolic activities. Possible outcomes of these changes identified in the report included the presence of new or unexpected allergens [18].
            A report by the British Medical Association concluded that with regard to the long-term effects of GM foods on human health and the environment, ‘many unanswered questions remain’ and that ‘safety concerns cannot, as yet, be dismissed completely on the basis of
            Hilbeck et al. Environmental Sciences Europe (2015) 27:4 Page 2 of 6 information currently available’. The report called for more research, especially on potential impacts on human
            health and the environment [19].
            Moreover, the positions taken by other organizations have frequently been highly qualified, acknowledging data gaps and potential risks, as well as potential benefits,
            of GM technology. For example, a statement by the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health acknowledged ‘a small potential for adverse
            events … due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity, and toxicity’ and recommended that the current voluntary notification procedure practised in the US prior to market release of GM crops be made mandatory [20]. It should be noted that even a ‘small potential for adverse events’ may turn out to be significant, given the widespread
            exposure of human and animal populations to GM crops.
            A statement by the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) affirming the safety of GM crops and opposing labelling
            [21] cannot be assumed to represent the view of AAAS members as a whole and was challenged in an open letter by a group of 21 scientists, including many long-standing
            members of the AAAS [22]. This episode underlined the lack of consensus among scientists about GMO safety.
            http://www.enveurope.com/content/pdf/s12302-014-0034-1.pdf

          • Madge, you have been derelict in your research. Truth is the history of the :Spector conspiracy: goes much farther back than you have realized. Phil and Ronnie originated this as part of the plot to undermine society and the food supply. I have found a source for you which is far more reliable than serralini, global research and Isis combined Here it is and more power to you for your wonderfully accurate views.

          • I merely linked you the response by Vandana Shiva showing how the author has misrepresented facts and their interview. Entertain yourself with clips if you like but a right of response is fairly standard.

          • Right of response is just fine. However All I had to do after reading about her claims was google. “Indian farmer suicides” and plenty of logical papers appeared like magic. Even though I had dial up. I read a few and realized the shiva is analogous to al Sharpton.
            @ hyperzombie, I made this one up with you in mind. Figured you would enjoy an original wacky conspiracy theory. Especially set to music.

          • Even though I had dial up. I read a few and realized the shiva is analogous to al Sharpton.

            So true. One in the same.

            I would watch the vid but

          • Yup – it took me less than 5 minutes to come up with over a dozen different articles refuting all the claims of Vandana Shiva, so not hard to find – but even if you open the book you cannot force people to read.

          • Believe what you want. However ignoring both the Indian Parliament, Indian farmers and civil society groups suggests that you are impervious to evidence. Would you like to link to a couple of the studies or other evidence that convinced you GM bt cotton is just fine in India?

          • Vandana Shiva is a well known joke among anyone that has ever actually tried to verify any of her claims. But since she gets $40,000 per appearance, I guess that calms any guilt for all her lies.

          • You are wrong again. I know the organisers of her trip to Sydney this year and she certainly did not charge $40k for her appearance.

          • Tell you what, talk to a dozen faculty members from reputable universities who work on biotechnology, chosen at random, and ask them for their opinion on Pamela Ronald, Mae-wan Ho, and Gilles-Eric Seralini. Then get back to us with your report.

          • Tell you what, why don’t you reference some peer-reviewed studies on any GM crop showing it is safe. They could include longterm and multi-generational studies. Also epidemiological studies showing that none of the huge rises in gastrointestinal illnesses is linked to GM crops and their associated pesticides. I like to look at the science not opinions.

          • Please go to BioFortified and read Layla Katiraee’s article about proving safety, for starters. If you have credible, peer-reviewed studies from reputable journals with high impact factor that link GM crops & pesticides to GI illnesses, by all means, show them to us. Also any longterm and multigenerational studies on the safety of mutagenic and organic crops, that you could provide, would be helpful. And please do talk to credible academics about the three individuals I mentioned.

          • All I asked for was for you to provide peer-reviewed long-term and multi-generational studies showing even one of the GM crops in our food chain is safe. It is not about “talking to academics” or reading an article. GM is in our food unlabelled yet there is not even basic science to show it is safe. Do not lecture and patronise me when you have absolutely no evidence that what you promote is safe. It amazes me that people can be persuaded to support GM. You eat too. Either you really believe GM is safe and effective or you are cynically doing it for money. Either way I feel a deep sorrow for you.

          • Seralini has been published in peer reviewed journals. The one study that was retracted was done under false pretences and is a shameful example of GM industry bullying.

            http://www.independentsciencenews.org/?s=%2B+richard+goodman

            The Seralini paper has since been republished in a peer-reviewed journal. How is that crank science?

            Why are you supporting a dud technology that is based on out-dated science?

          • Note quite Madge. Got some facts wrong. First there is zero evidence that the paper was withdrawn under “false pretenses.” You made that up. Yes, it was reprinted…in what’s called a ‘pay for play’ journal, meaning that Seralini bought his way to get it published. The paper was NOT peer reviewed…explicitly. Here are the sordid details of the little Frenchman’s unscientific escapade: http://retractionwatch.com/2014/06/26/republished-seralini-gmo-rat-study-was-not-peer-reviewed-says-editor/ Madge, you have a penchant for getting basic facts. Not a good sign. Either you are ignorant of the facts–that means perhaps you are educable–or you are so ideologically obsessed that you are willfully deceitful. I suspect that later.

          • Oh Jon,

            It was retracted due to being ‘inconclusive’. This is NOT a valid reason for retraction. The Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE), of which the journal that retracted Seralini’s paper is a member states the only grounds for retraction are:

            Clear evidence that the findings are unreliable due to misconduct (eg data fabrication) or honest error

            Plagiarism or redundant publication

            Unethical research.

            Interestingly the retracting editor, Hayes, “…concedes that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed “no evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” and nothing “incorrect” about the data.”

            http://www.gmwatch.org/news/archive/2013/15184-journal-retraction-of-seralini-study-is-illicit-unscientific-and-unethical

            Here is an amusing article showing what other papers should be retracted if being inconclusive was a criteria for retraction. They include:

            #1: The first paper to show that genes were made of DNA

            #2: The first two papers describing the structure of DNA and how it might replicate

            #3: The first (actually not) paper to show that genes transfer from bacteria to plants

            #4: The paper that showed that prions from cattle can’t infect brains of other species

            http://biosafetycooperative.newsvine.com/_news/2013/12/24/22038524-lets-give-the-scientific-literature-a-good-clean-up

            Jon I haven’t yet seen your response to the FOE report “Spinning Food” about your group being a third party support for GM. Do you have any comments?

          • « First there is zero evidence
            that the paper was withdrawn under “false pretenses.” »

            Sory, Jon, she is right on this point.
            And my comment here replies also to her’s that follows (or precedes).

            Soon after the publication of the
            infamous paper, Seralini threatened to sue anyone who would claim his
            paper to be fraudulous.

            A. Wallace Hayes has attempted to
            fullfil his task as an editor without making waves and creating a
            legal nightmare. This is over and above a sort of infamy he would
            have inflicted on himself had he accepted the notion of fraud that
            transpires beyond any doubt from the paper.

            Fraud is not just a matter of
            falsifying data. It is also, for instance, about mounting an
            experiment for the very purpose of obtaining a desired result.
            Seralini knew damn well that with twenty 10-rats groups, he would
            not achieve many statistically established results but no doubt some results
            which by sheer luck would support his ideology and mandate (he
            had been financed by groups with a keen interest in anti-GMO
            activism and trade in non-GMO fed animal products).

            Hence the « inconclusive »
            of Mr. Hayes.

            Madge writes above (or below) :
            « interestingly the retracting editor, Hayes, “…concedes
            that an examination of Prof Séralini’s raw data showed “no
            evidence of fraud or intentional misrepresentation of the data” and
            nothing “incorrect” about the data.” »

            He doesn’t concede anything. There is
            indeed no evidence of fraud in the data and their representation. You should read this carefully, without venturing mor than the text says. “No evidence of fraud” does not mean there was no fraud. There just is no evidence, either way.

            There is « just » a fraud
            in the design of the experiment. And also in the declaration of
            absence of conflicting interests.

            Seralini – himself ! – has
            bragged about their strategy to hide the financial contributions of
            commercial entities with a keen interest in « not GM-fed »
            behind a brass plate.

            And in the « interpretation »
            of the results which is not backed by the results.

            And…

          • And any time someone shows me pictures with the intent to deceive me. It is fraud. that said the editor did tip toe thru the tulips a bit trying to avoid a lawsuit.

          • Seralini publishes junk science.

            And his lumpy rat “study” was republished in a pay-to-play journal without peer review.

            “Why are you supporting a dud technology that is based on out-dated science?”

            That is a stupid statement. But so is pretty much everything else you’ve barfed up on this thread. You’re an agricultural creationist.

          • Seralini’s work is published in peer-reviewed journals as is normal in science. His rat study was peer-reviewed and his findings should be followed up with more research, as is normal (or used to be) in science. Your continual insults to me and your support of GM without any evidence, scientific or otherwise, is disappointing.

          • I prefer to use conservative amounts of glyphosate. Sometimes even libertarian amounts when also spraying toxic coffee to kill sucking insects. I do not tank mix them.

          • Dr Mae Wan Ho is a distinguished scientist.
            bwhahahahaha, so funny.
            Oh you are serious…LOL

            Any so called scientist that promotes Homeopathic Meds is a total LOON.

          • I’m really impressed that in a discussion on science you use such persuasive arguments as “bwhahahahaha,” and “LOON”, capitals make everything so much more believable.

          • Yo, Madge, Ad hominem attacks are sometimes deserved and accurate. If you want to cite such nonsense get used to it.

          • What is disappointing is that the pro-GMmers have nothing but ad hominen attacks. You simply cannot produce the science to support your claims so you have to use insult instead.

          • Wrong and completely wrong. I have been reading and looking up the science on the matter for several years now. What you have posted in this site is nothing but pure bunk. These folks have posted more evidence than you or at least any reasonable person needs to see past the wacko, drivel sites that you have been getting misinformation from. Why do you think I have posted such sarcasm? Quite frankly my Spector conspiracy makes as much sense as the malarkey you have come up with. All of which these folks have seen before. Good grief lady open your eyes. The Indian farmer suicides started before the intro of g.e. crops. The Indian farmers repeatedly buy the seed because they are successful with it. Not because they want to make their kids orphans.

          • If you read Vandana Shiva’s work you would see she says the suicides started when the Indian seed market was opened up to multi-nationals in the 1990s. GM cotton was introduced in the 2000s so there was a delay but it is caused by seed being removed from the control of farmers and breeders and handed to global corporations. Insult me all you like, you just appear rude and ill-informed.

          • No seed was removed from control of farmers. The farmers could, had they chosen to do so, continued to use the old varieties. They chose the new g.e. seeds. AND e to do so. I believe their judgment is correct. It is you who are not listening.

          • You just don’t get it, do you?

            “The entry of Monsanto in the Indian seed sector was made possible with a 1988 Seed Policy imposed by the World Bank, requiring the Government of India to deregulate the seed sector. Five things changed with Monsanto’s entry: First, Indian companies were locked into joint-ventures and licensing arrangements, and concentration over the seed sector increased. Second, seed which had been the farmers’ common resource became the “intellectual property” of Monsanto, for which it started collecting royalties, thus raising the costs of seed. Third, open pollinated cotton seeds were displaced by hybrids, including GMO hybrids. A renewable resource became a non-renewable, patented commodity. Fourth, cotton which had earlier been grown as a mixture with food crops now had to be grown as a monoculture, with higher vulnerability to pests, disease, drought and crop failure. Fifth, Monsanto started to subvert India’s regulatory processes and, in fact, started to use public resources to push its non-renewable hybrids and GMOs through so-called public-private partnerships (PPP).”

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-seeds-of-suicide-how-monsanto-destroys-farming/5329947

          • madge, you need to quit reading the nonsense. Nobody took guns and forced Indian companies to quit selling seeds of unpatented varieties. Farmer’s seeds were not stolen. You have no evidence to prove any of that crap. Again the Indian farmers who voluntarily purchase seeds of hybrids and g.e. types are by doing so telling you that you are wrong and shiva is a liar.

          • You are deliberately misunderstanding the role of the World Bank and what has happened to seed in India. It is not my fault that you persist in imagining that all is fine and dandy and down to farmer choice. You appear to want to be ignorant of global institutions, trade, globalisation, neo-liberalism and all the things that make up the modern world. Up to you but don’t try and bring me to your level of ignorance.

            Here is more info on how the farmers in India have been dudded:

            “The bill is essentially about seed registration and certification, but in mandating that only registered seed will be sold, it is not only about what it regulates but about what it does not. By mandating what the market will offer, it determines what it excludes. So what is in the Bill for the small farmer? Once again the proponents of the Seed Bill come rushing with their answer: “Exemption for farmers to save, use, exchange, share or sell their seed without registration”. Indeed the law does state that:[17]

            “[nothing] shall restrict the right of the farmer to save, use, exchange, share or sell his farm seeds and planting material”

            However, it continues with:

            “except that he shall not sell such seed or planting material under a brand name or which does not conform to the minimum limit of germination, physical purity, genetic purity prescribed…”

            So there is the catch – farmers cannot sell their seeds if they do not meet the standards of registration. Nor can farmers use a brand name[18] and enter the seed trade.[19] For the seed industry this is music to their ears; with this small piece of legislation all competition from non-registered seeds is done away with. Although farmer-to-farmer seed exchange can continue despite the proposed law, the ambiguity in the exception clause, coupled with wide powers given to Seed Inspectors, makes farmers anxious about how their small local sales, for instance in the village fairs, would be regulated. Even though today farmers produce around 80% of India’s seed, selling their own seed is now being restricted. In reality, only formal breeders and big businesses can get their seeds registered.

            So why don’t farmers simply get their seeds registered? In this way, they could legally sell their home-grown varieties of seeds. However, under the proposed system it makes it impossible for farmers to register varieties. The process takes a long time, is extremely expensive for a farmer, and anyway farmers’ seeds would probably fail to pass the required standards. A farmers’ breeding criteria are very broad, incorporating ecological and social factors, rather than only yield; what is exchanged between farmers is determined by local needs and therefore farmersÂ’ varieties are best regulated by farmers themselves. As a result, there are some in India advocating for a community certification process by, and for, small-scale farmers.[20]

            Farmers can, therefore, sell harvested seed which is a registered variety. But the problem here is that if the registered seed is also PVP-protected then the farmer is again prohibited by the PVP legislation from selling branded seed in the market[21].

            As for farmers’ varieties of crops, the very crops that they have been growing, exchanging and selling for many generations, evidence from around the world shows that these will die out. By following the letter of the law, there will be little incentive to grow and use farmer varieties and farmers will have no choice but to buy and use registered seed from a private company. On the other hand, many farmers are likely to ignore the law on the sale of seeds and indeed stopping the sale of farmers’ seeds will be very difficult to enforce. Indeed, the very survival of farmers’ varieties may be very dependent on farmers simply ignoring this aspect of the law and continuing to sell and buy their own farmer varieties.”

            https://www.grain.org/es/article/entries/457-india-s-new-seed-bill

          • No, you are deliberately ignoring the fact that the Indian farmers want the new seeds. That is why they buy them. Bottom line you are deliberately trying to convolute a simple issue. There are plenty of non g.e. seeds available in India. The farmers are deliberately buying g.e. seed. They are way smarter than you. I trust their decisions.

          • Please substantiate your claims that:

            1) Indian farmers want GM seeds

            2) Plenty of non-GM seeds are available to Indian farmers

            I have shown repeatedly that the Indian seed market has been opened to rapacious global seed corporations to the detriment of farmers. There is masses of information showing this. Have a look at a couple of documentaries on the issue ie “Cotton for my shroud”

            or Bitter Seeds:

            http://teddybearfilms.com/2011/10/01/bitter-seeds-2/

            Please answer me why would farmers protest against GM seed if it worked? Please explain the massive and growing opposition to GM if it really provided the benefits claimed for it?

          • Are you a high school kid or just hard headed. you tube videos are not sources. Neither are propaganda films terms such as rapacious clearly give away your bias. Further the very fact that those companies are still doing business in India means that the farmers are buying the seeds. The alternatives would be going out of business or news stories about thugs rounding up[pun intended] farmers and taking their money at gunpoint and giving them seeds in return. Thus proof. positive that the farmers want the seeds and that you are immune to logic and reason.

          • I have provided you with a report from the Indian Parliament and evidence of how the Indian seed market changed in the 1990’s to the detriment of farmers. The videos are documentaries.

            Perhaps you would like to comment on how seed companies in the US are ripping off farmers due to their seed monopolies/cartels by pushing farmers to use neonicotinoid seed treatments that harm bees and increase pests. They do it by pre-coating the seed, linking the coating to insurance and by farmers having no alternative!! Perfect – the free (for big corporations and serfdom for the people) market at work.

            You probably won’t understand the next bit but it shows how pesticide use is going up and how the USDA is fudging pesticide usage by not counting neonicotinoid coatings.
            “As a recent article in Environmental Science and Technology shows, about 80 to 100 percent of our corn seed, and almost half of our soybean seed, is coated with insecticides. This article challenges the claim commonly made for years that Bt corn seed, which is genetically engineered to kill several types of pest insects, had dramatically reduced insecticide use. It turns out that agencies like the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), which record pesticide use, have not included seed treatments, so these pesticides were not accounted for before this article. The amount used is likely lower, because it takes less insecticide to coat seeds than to spray onto crops, but the area covered (number of acres) is now much greater.”

            These treatments also do more harm than good:
            “More recently, Margaret Douglas and other researchers at Pennsylvania State University noticed that slugs had become noticeably more destructive of soybeans. Through their experiments, the scientists found that neonic seed treatments were harmless to slugs, which accumulated the neonics in their slimy little bodies after feasting on soybean plants. Unfortunately, the beetles that eat the slugs and keep them under control, were not so lucky. The loss of these crop guardians—whatever you may think of their choice of cuisine—resulted in a 5 percent loss of soybean yield.

            All this comes on the heels of the European Academies Science Advisory Council’s conclusion that the use of neonics is likely having severe negative effects on pollinators and organisms that provide natural pest control—which is important for industrial farms, as well as organic, providing billions of dollars-worth of food. And because many birds depend on the insects killed by neonics as food, the use of coated seeds has also been associated with the decline of several bird species that are often found near farmland.”

            http://civileats.com/2015/04/29/how-seed-and-pesticide-companies-push-farmers-to-use-bee-killing-insecticides/

            You attack me and repeat nonsensical and unproven claims and yet seem totally unaware of farming practices and problems in their own country. I have come to expect nothing less (or more) than blinkered rote repetition of meaningless garble from the supporters of GM. You don’t disappoint in this regard.

          • I looked for the report this article was based on and it is not there. I also went to the website of the IFPRI that wrote the report and it was not there either. So I’m supposed to imagine that the Indian Parliament ordered an inquiry into farmer suicides because…. they are not occurring? Then when the inquiry found they were linked to GM bt cotton I’m supposed to ignore that finding due to a non-existent report? Hmmm

          • Define traditional. How many years must pass before something is traditional?

            Right. US farmers warned UK farmers. What, didn’t the all powerful Monsanto warned them to be quiet or be sued, or worse? Once again you expect us to believe millions of farmers are dumber than a sack of hammers.

          • Actually most of what you claim is not true, but links to refute them have been posted here many times, so no point in beating the horse anymore. But I would note than in fact the organics industry has been trying to change legislation around the world – in THEIR favor – follow the money.

          • Please provide evidence for your claims. GM is messing with the basic building blocks of life. It is what the technology does. The GM seeds do contaminate. See what is going on in Canada where GM canola’s have escaped and bred to create new sorts of GM canola and also crossed with related weeds that are resistant to multiple herbicides. Monsanto has sued, for example Percy Schmeiser and numerous other farmers. Monsanto owns 25% of the commercially traded seed worldwide. See Phil Howards seed infographic of the chemical companies buying up the seed companies since the 1990s. It is also on the public record that UPOV 1991 and other agreements, including those being negotiated in Africa at present, involve criminalising farmers saving seed. These are all uncontroversial claims backed by evidence. That you are unable to acknowledge their reality indicates your addiction to GM ideology. Why are you so attached to it?

          • Percy Schmeiser is not the only farmer to be sued by Monsanto. If you read Vanity Fair’s 2008 article “Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear” you would learn: ” As interviews and reams of court documents reveal, Monsanto relies on a shadowy army of private investigators and agents in the American heartland to strike fear into farm country. They fan out into fields and farm towns, where they secretly videotape and photograph farmers, store owners, and co-ops; infiltrate community meetings; and gather information from informants about farming activities. Farmers say that some Monsanto agents pretend to be surveyors. Others confront farmers on their land and try to pressure them to sign papers giving Monsanto access to their private records. Farmers call them the “seed police” and use words such as “Gestapo” and “Mafia” to describe their tactics.”

            This is extremely sinister. If criticising Percy Schmeiser is the only comeback to my list of Monsanto’s misbehaviour I think it shows that my points are accurate and indisputable.

          • And yet with that “army of fear” scouring the countryside for errant farmers, they have only managed to sue about 175 farmers – out of around 3,000,000 – in the past 20 years. Only 9 went to court.

          • Many settle out of court as they are intimidated. You are concentrating on a tiny bit of the huge amount of appalling behaviour by Monsanto et al. You are justifying this bad behaviour. Interesting.

          • The Vanity Fair article has some valid points, though much of it concentrates on Monsanto’s chemical history from 30-60 years ago. Not all of the more recent examples that the author gives are backed up by other sources – for example the Rinehart example http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/pages/gary-rinehart.aspx gives a much different view, and notes that the seed was in fact saved, just not by who they thought it was.
            The I-sis article and the video are basically one-sided garbage which present some pretty dubious “facts”. My problem with the video is that it is so one sided – it totally fails to present any opposing viewpoint, and many of the claims in it are dubious, and there is very little actual science in it.

          • Good question. I know that in my area anybody coming through trying to bully and intimidate would be held at gunpoint until the sheriff got there to arrest them for trespassing. Farmers are probably the least likely to be intimidated profession there is. Well perhaps aside from the military.

          • well, Vanity Fair is known for their thorough investigative journalism team, so it must be true. That article on Caitlyn Jenner, cutting edge reporting.

          • Mattawan High School Class of 1973 Winner, Most sarcastic……And still practicing. especially when in a bit of a mood. You might want to track down my comment on the “Spector conspiracy”

          • “Class of 1973”

            Man, you’re an old fogey! LOL

            “Spector conspiracy”

            Phil Spector?

          • Yup, Madge was arguing with folks about Michael[?] Spector’s article about the loonyness that is Shiva So, I made up some balderdash about a conspiracy and without forgetting Ronnie. Posted a video of the “Ronettes” singing “Be My Baby” I’m sure Mr. Entine will be thrilled with me.

          • Well, no, you’ve simply rehashed the same boring old talking points that have been debunked here hundreds of times before. As to legal intimidation, the only such behaviour I am aware of is the work of the organic industry and its thugs, for example the Marsh case in Western Australia.

          • Hello Captain Moonlight. Steve Marsh is not a thug. He is an organic farmer who had his farm polluted by GM by his neighbour. The WA government was told by farmers that contamination would occur. They were asked to put in place a system to provide compensation and rules to manage this. They declined saying that common law would allow any dispute to be settled. Therefore Steve Marsh could either just lose organic certification and be quiet, and let down his customers, or sue. He was brave enough to sue. I thank him for his courage.

          • Marsh is a coward who signed up to a pseudo-religious food cult to make big profits off gullible people then sought to bully his neighbour when the gravy train looked like ending. The wind has blown plant material from one farm to another since the day farming first started and the court rightfully chucked Marsh’s case out.

          • I have met Steve Marsh and his wife Sue. They are lovely people. You are defaming them. People want to buy organic to avoid GM and pesticides. That is their right. It is not a ‘pseudo-religious food cult’ it is a sensible decision. The WA government, having been warned that their allowance of GM would lead to contamination, as you so rightly point out, decided not to create reasonable compensation mechanisms but instead insisted common law would be the way to sort out disputes. It was known that this is an extremely expensive and uncertain way to sort out disputes. The appeal on the decision on the Marsh vs Baxter case is yet to be released.

          • Oh what naive nonsense. Most the pesticides consumed in the diet are produced by the plants themselves- http://www.pnas.org/content/87/19/7777.full.pdf

            Organic farms themselves use pesticides, some of which are so toxic that they are now banned in many countries, such as rotenone. This just goes to show how stupid the organic industries natural good artificial bad ideology is.

            There are no health problems associated with currently available GM crops. The crops that do produce health problems have been the result of conventional breeding, for example the high levels of solanine in the lenape potato; the Chinese gooseberry which was bred to become what we now call Kiwi fruit and to which some people are allergic; celery cultivars that express excessive amounts of psoralen etc … This is well documented and has been discussed here and in other forums hundreds of times.

            Presumably Mr Baxter could join some nutball cult that considers organic produce a contamination then sue Mr Marsh. This would be just as stupid as Marsh’s case, so thank goodness vexatious litigation like this has no merit in common law.

          • And that must be why farmers continue to buy their products, year after year.. If a company actually treated me like that, i wouldn’t care if their products were made by the Messiah himself. I’d tell them to go to hell and spend my money elsewhere. You really must think farmers are both stupid and spineless.

            By the way, the Judge in the Schmeiser case noted how the wind managed to blow in 98% of his illegally begotten GMO canola, and all in perfect rows too!

          • Right. 80 to 90% of corn and soy are gmo still means 10 to 20% non-gmo. 10 to 20% of the US corn and soy market is bigger than most countries total corn and soy market.

            The reason why such a large adoption is because they work so much better. Your argument of lack of alternatives sounds like disgruntled buggy enthusiasts with today’s modern transport systems.

          • So amusing! Thanks for showing you have no idea about economics. Check out monopolies, monopsonies and cartels.

          • Yup, looked up the judgements my self. also did the same for Bowman. Both tried to steal.

          • “GM is messing with the basic building blocks of life.”
            Hmmmm.
            You’re not okay with mutagenesis of organics, then?

          • So what I say is wrong but you can’t be bothered to provide evidence as to why it is. So now the ‘organics industry’ is some hugely powerful global conspiracy aimed at changing legislation. Your claim would be funny if it wasn’t so ridiculous. I have been to events where Monsanto has refused to answer my questions. I have seen the power of its lobbying and its attempts to shut down discussion of its products. Monsanto has a long history of harmful products that maim and kill. http://www.topsecretwriters.com/2015/06/the-town-that-monsanto-poisoned/

            Please show me evidence that the ‘organic industry’ is anything like this! I have been to meetings of one section of the organic industry and it is entirely different to the Monsanto industry. It is a collection of small businesses that are run off their feet. You can make up imaginary things if you like but I prefer to see what is really going on. Monsanto controls a lot of seed worldwide:

            https://msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

            It is trying to take over one of the other seed and chemical giants Syngenta:

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/24/us-monsanto-results-idUSKBN0P41I320150624

            How this can be a ‘market’ or anything other than cartel behaviour is a mystery to me.

          • Madge, you do realize that Monsanto is not even the world’s largest seed company, it is second, and if it took over Sygenta, it would sell off all of its overlapping seed division, reducing its worldwide footprint? And you do realize that seed patents only last 20 years? And you do realize that farmers can choose to buy their seeds from whatever company they want? And you do realize that they can save non-patented seeds, including heirlooms. Oh, you knew none of this? Now I understand why your posts don’t make any factual sense.

          • Hi Jon,

            I know all that. However being the second biggest seed company in a grotesquely small number of seed companies does not make it OK. The take over of the seed industry by the chemical companies worldwide happened since the 1990s. Here are the details:

            https://msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

            Seed never used to be patented. It used to be bred in land grant unis. It was originally distributed for free in the US. The development over the past 100 years of a profit driven seed industry has led to plant breeder rights and now patents. This means seed is another input for which the farmer buys retail and sells wholesale. It is disingenuous to ignore the change in the seed system that has massively empowered companies like Monsanto at the expense of farmers, eaters and the environment.

            http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/cfsmonsantovsfarmerreport11305.pdf

            Trade deals that benefit companies like Monsanto criminalise farmer saving of seed.

            https://www.grain.org/article/entries/5070-trade-deals-criminalise-farmers-seeds

          • Actually, there are more than 100 seed companies. Seeds have been patented since the 1930s–and thankfully so. The development of patented seeds has led to a 5x increase in ag output per acre over that period of time as the result of improved genetics. Almost all organic farmers in the west eagerly use patented seeds. Farmers are businessmen; they buy patented seeds because it increases their return, by lowering inputs (almost no insecticides with Bt for example) and increases yields. You clearly are not a farmer and have never even talked to one. Your views are out of step even with the most strident organic farmers.

          • Hi Jon There used to be thousands of seed companies until the takeover of the seed industry by the chemical industry started in the 1990s. The evidence is in this easy to understand infographic. There is also an animation to show it even more clearly and a diagram of the cross-linkages between the 6 major players, including Monsanto and Syngenta. Just scroll down to see them:

            https://msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustry.html

            Patents in the 1930s were on plants, not seed. Here is a history of the gradual enclose of seeds and plants by patents. It is not a pretty story as it is one of control of life and the reduction of the rights of farmers:

            http://cls.casa.colostate.edu/transgeniccrops/patent.html

            You claim “The development of patented seeds has led to a 5x increase in ag output per acre over that period of time as the result of improved genetics.” Please provide evidence for this.

            “Almost all organic farmers in the west eagerly use patented seeds.” Really? The farmer organisations that signed this open letter are opposed to patents on seeds:

            http://www.alt.no-patents-on-seeds.org/

            “Farmers are businessmen; they buy patented seeds because it increases their return, by lowering inputs (almost no insecticides with Bt for example) and increases yields.” You are confusing patented seed with GM, although they are largely interchangable. However US farmers are increasingly looking for non-GM seed due to their lower cost, improved performance and lower input requirements:

            http://naturalsociety.com/record-us-farmers-switching-non-gmo-crops-2015/

            Next you claim bt reduces insecticide use. Except that is not what evidence shows. http://earthopensource.org/gmomythsandtruths/sample-page/5-gm-crops-impacts-farm-environment/5-3-myth-gm-bt-crops-reduce-insecticide-use/

            Insects develop resistance and become “superpests’. Seeds are coated with neonicotinoids that are associated with killing bees and harming the natural environment. Corn did not need insecticide when grown in rotation with soy. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/05/corn-growers-turn-to-pesticides-after-genetically-modified-seeds-fail/#.VYypFe2qqko

          • When you quote activist sites, you lose all credibility, and that’s your sources. Earth Open Source, for example, is quack organization whose leaders are affiliated with the Maharishi cult. All of your points are actually erroneous (patents on plants are not seeds until GMOs–laughable!); it’s clear you are immune to evidence, and rely on ideological sites and not science. I will just provide an answer to one claim (the one you cite Earth Open Source–can’t stop laughing) to demonstrate The introduction of Bt crops, which naturally generates pesticides, has led to a dramatic reduction in insecticides…as much as 90% or more. For example, here is independent article in Nature (I know, it’s not the credibility of the cult site you follow….): http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v487/n7407/full/nature11153.html

            Here is article on our national very liberal public television network, PBS: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/next/nature/fewer-pesticides-farming-with-gmos/

            Here is an article in Grist, one of our most liberal environmental magazines: http://grist.org/food/in-the-insecticide-wars-gmos-have-so-far-been-a-force-for-good/

            According to the USDA’s Feb 2014 report, insecticide use in the US dropped TEN FOLD since the introduction of GMOs.

            Insecticide use in corn for example was about 20 million pounds in the early 1990s and had fallen to 1.8 M lbs by last year.

            Insecticide use in cotton declined from 43.5 M lbs in 2000 to 7.2 M lbs in 2010—a 6-fold decrease. The 2000–2010 time period coincides with the introduction of GM corn and cotton for insect management.

            Here is USDA’s 2013 report: http://www.ers.usda.gov/topics/farm-practices-management/chemical-inputs/pesticide-use-markets.aspx

            In other words, you have no friggin idea what you are talking about. You have no grasp of science. You know nothing about farming. You are just an activist, carrying more about ideology than people.

            BTW, I’ll be in Australia in September giving a speech on Australian national television–talking about people like you who rely on junk sites to promote ideology.

          • Australia? You’ll be in Captain Moonlight territory then ;) Thanks for all the good work you do Jon.

          • I spray zero insecticides on my Bt crops. I farm 30% GMO, and GMO production is better for the environment.

            Talk with farmers about what is happening on the farm, your sources are misleading you.

          • You understand, don’t you, that neonics are not used on most crops? And you know that the belief that neonics is endangering honey bees has been discredited?: That even the independent scientist behind the one European lab study that was central to the EU ban has said publicly that they likely overdosed the bees in their study and that their results are virtually meaningless? And that even an organic activist researcher, who published her report 2 months ago, said there is no evidence from field tests that neonics are at all harmful to honey bees? And that honeybee over winter populations are at record levels in the US, Canada and Europe, and that there is zero evidence of any threatened honeybees in Australia? Oh you didn’t know any of that? Of course not, Because you are an activist and ignorant of the science, the empirical research or knowledge of arming.

          • You understand, don’t you, that neonics are used on a large and growing amount of US farmland. “by 2011, at least a third of all soybean acres and at least 79 percent of all corn acres were planted with neonicotinoid-coated seed, constituting a significant expansion in insecticide use.

            http://news.psu.edu/story/351027/2015/04/02/research/rapid-increase-neonicotinoid-insecticides-driven-seed-treatments

            And you know that the research debunking the harmful effects of neonicotinoids has been done by the chemical industry and has been discredited?

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/26/uk-drew-wrong-conclusion-from-its-neonicotinoids-study-scientist-says

            You do realise that the chemical industry has a long history of manipulation so that it’s toxic products can be sold? That it undermines science and democracy in its relentless search for profit? That it is allowing the poisoning of generations of people and that children are most at risk? Watch this lovely film on what happened in the EU.

            http://corporateeurope.org/food-and-agriculture/2014/09/endocrination-new-film-exposing-lobby-battle-endocrine-disrupting

            The costs of illness due to these endocrine disrupting chemicals is estimated to be 150 billion euro in Europe alone:

            http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/06/health-costs-hormone-disrupting-chemicals-150bn-a-year-europe-says-study

            Oh, you didn’t know any of that? Perhaps because you are a long-term apologist for toxic chemicals and the companies that produce them. http://www.gmwatch.org/news/archive/2013/14800-manufactured-scientific-debate-third-party-experts-and-jon-entine

            Did you notice how I used your form of address in formatting this reply? It is rude and patronising and is unlikely to further discussion.

            Which Australian TV show will you be on in September? I will be most interested to know if there will be other guests too?

          • Madge, neonicotinoids are widely used in Australia and we haven’t had mass bee die offs. What does that tell you?

          • Here is an Australian beekeeper report on bee health and neonicotinoids. He explains that beekeepers rarely report problems but “Last October, I was helping Jack Alt of Deepwater, New South Wales shift a sizable load of bees, from a NEONIC seed treated canola plot at Premer NSW. We were shifting the bees back onto clover, closer to Jack’s home. Although the bees had been on a bumper crop of canola, Jack was disturbed that his load of 250 hives had suffered premature swarming, loss of queens, loss of bee numbers and dead outs. Jack then replaced queens, kept working the bees (as we all would), and kept the load on clover for the next few weeks. I observed the same hives later on a Silver Leaf [Iron Bark] flow. In my opinion they were half the bees they should have been, or less. This was Jack’s second Adverse Experience with his bees foraging canola over the last two years. I asked Jack “Do you think that this may be because of the seed treatment on canola?” Jack replied, “I don’t think we’ll be working canola anymore.”…….

            “Brad Johnston, of Gunnedah NSW, has been watching the GAUCHO seed treated canola crops even closer. He is right in amongst it. Brad spoke of similar conditions while working canola in the last few years, such as premature swarming, too many queenless hives, dead outs and his hives being persistently down in numbers. “The bees take ages to come back up.” When asked of his experiences with canola, Brad commented, “When we first started to work canola in the mid-nineties, we would get two or three boxes and boiling bees for the most of it, now we’re running from canola. I’m not a scientist, but the last couple of years we have stayed away from canola and we have had the best bees we’ve had for years.” I asked Brad, “How many Beekeepers in his area feel this way about canola now?” Brad answered, “All of them.”

            Then there are reports of a fish kill in a river in a GMO cotton growing district that appears to be linked to neonicotinoids.

            Finally the article reports from a US beekeeper:

            “We started seeing our problems while pollinating Canola. This is GMO Canola produced from Roundup-ready seeds. We stopped the Canola pollination 5 years ago. We also send the bees to California for the Almond season. We have a verifiable instance of direct application of Neonics and brood death. To give the Grower credit, he applied the product (a fungicide) at night. The next day, however, was a beautiful, warm day. Lots of bee action. All of the unsealed brood died and the colonies stayed broodless for several weeks. I am now seeing roughly 50% queenless in those colonies.

            Pre-Neonic, we used to easily run 5000 colonies. Roughly 10 years later, I am now looking at less than 2000 after the Almond season, and half of those do not look good at all.

            I have since found out that almost all Ag operations (potato, barley, alfalfa) here in Southern Colorado are using some form of Neonic application. My contention is that the Neonics are appearing in the surface water and there is literally nowhere for the bees to get away from it. I approached the local water testing firm to set up a small scale test. I was told “NO WAY”. The firm wanted no part of what they might find.”

            http://www.theabk.com.au/article/neonicotinoids-australia

            Having an agricultural system dependent on poisons is disastrous. This is why all the science shows we need agroecology not GM and industrial agriculture.

          • Who cares what one Australian beekeeper says? Look hard enough and you’ll find beekeepers with every possible belief under the sun.

            The science tells us honeybee numbers are stable in Australia even though neonics are used extensively.

          • So now you know all about Australian beekeepers by ignoring what they are saying. Very good! How does the ‘science’ work if it is not looking at the experience of bees and beekeepers? Or does it just appear by magic and conforms to what sellers of chemicals want it to say?

          • The opinion of one or two or even ten beekeepers does not overwhelm the science. Australian scientists are closely monitoring the local bee situation to see if we face bee die off like other places but to date this has not been happened.

            I have a small farm and I use pesticides quite liberally, yet I still have problems with honeybees occupying tree hollows that might otherwise be used by animals such as the endangered brush tailed phascogale.

            It might shock you to know this but many Australian revegetation experts are very fond of glyphosate. I personally love the stuff. The scientist Kevin Folta sometimes drinks a tablespoon of the active ingredient during science presentations to show the audience just how safe it is. http://kfolta.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/lets-drink-weed-killer.html

          • I find it hard to believe that Australian scientists are monitoring the situation. There is no money for science in Australia at present and the ‘monitoring’ of threats like the varroa mite is hives near ports being looked at by volunteers. In contrast we have a huge chemical industry with a vested interest in preventing proper investigation into pesticides and their effects. The review of pesticides that was supposed to take place this year was cancelled by our current Federal Government. It is another clear case of putting industry profits before people and our future.

            I know that the revegetation lot use glyphosate. They do so in part due to the misinformation about it supposed safety. It does not biodegrade:

            http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8308903.stm

            It accumulates in soil and is linked to plant pathologies and animal illnesses. There is a vast emerging body of evidence to show it is harmful:

            http://www.gmoevidence.com/

            You may love the stuff but I know two women who have suffered cancer, miscarriages and other illness from using Roundup, one in her job, the other was exposed via her father who used chemicals in his work. You may be blase about illness and death but I am not.

            Kevin Folta is different to his fellow GM promoter Patrick Moore who claimed Roundup is safe enough to drink and when offered it said “I’m not stupid”.

          • GMO Evidence is a compilation of evidence including peer reviewed studies. I thought you’d appreciate that.

          • Madge, come here me speak at the National Press Club in Canberra in September. I’ll take you out for a drink and we can discuss your concerns. Do you have the guts? Nah…

          • Your claim to know two women who ” have suffered cancer, miscarriages and other illness from using Roundup” is evidence that you are a dishonest person with psychiatric problems. Stop making stuff up.

            Patrick Moore was offered Roundup rather than pure glyphosate. The surfactants in Roundup would cause most people to throw up.

            You are clearly just another disturbed kook whose life is so devoid of joy and meaning that you seek solace by spreading lies and misinformation. You want to drag us all down to your level. Please get therapy. Life is beautiful and so is Monsanto.

          • Oh Captain,

            The brilliance of your evidence and your winning eloquence has convinced me of the error of my ways. Monsanto is wonderful… bringing death, disability and despair to so many for so long.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK7gAZS0lbY

            Congratulations for your spirited defence of them. I hope you are well paid for it.

          • Monsanto deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for services to humanity. And yes, they pay me very well- $50 an hour and a company car and company jet. They even built me a landing strip for the jet, god bless ’em.

          • You defend a company convicted of “”outrageous” behavior by releasing tons of polychlorinated biphenyl into the city of Anniston and covering up its actions for decades, handing 3,500 local residents a huge victory in a landmark environmental lawsuit. The jury in Gadsden, Ala., a town 20 miles from Anniston, yesterday held Monsanto and its corporate successors liable on all six counts it considered: negligence, wantonness, suppression of the truth, nuisance, trespass and outrage. Under Alabama law, the rare claim of outrage typically requires conduct “so outrageous in character and extreme in degree as to go beyond all possible bounds of decency so as to be regarded as atrocious and utterly intolerable in civilized society.”

            http://www.ethicalinvesting.com/monsanto/news/10074.htm

            This is but one of its crimes.

            It’s up to you if you support them but do not expect me to admire you for it.

          • Yawn. A company with a few thousand employees that operates for a few decades will obviously be guilty of some wrongdoing. Ancient history. Monsanto and other such companies help feed the world. You, on the other hand, are a turd.

          • You yawn over death and illness? Why should companies be guilty of wrongdoing? Monsanto could have behaved differently. Instead we are all contaminated with PCBs. Your moral compass appears to have cruel indifference as its north.

          • Don’t be a fool. A company should be judged on what it does contemporaneously, not on what happened decades ago when most of its current employees were in short pants. Your guilt by association ethics remind me of the anti-semitic trope about all Jews being forever guilty for the death of Christ. Your moral compass is fascist.

          • Why should a company not be accountable for its past as well as its present? If corporations were people then they would have been tried for their crimes. As it is they have literally got away with murder. Why have they not been dissolved and their assets used to compensate those affected? Insulting me doesn’t make your arguments more convincing.

          • I didn’t say companies shouldn’t be legally accountable for past crimes. At law they should be accountable, but is not ethical, logical or sensible to hold individuals in a company responsible for something that happened before they joined the company.

            How about we hold MADGE and you responsible for the lies you tell? You people are just like Dr Goebbels, spinning propaganda for the Big Org fascist blood and soil cult. You creeps want to take agriculture back to the Dark Ages and force hundreds of million of people to starve to death. You are pure evil.

          • I’m glad you think companies should be responsible for their past crimes. Where did I say individuals should be responsible for actions that happened before they joined the company? I do agree that company officials should be responsible for the actions they take. The company should be held responsible for its actions regardless of whether any people who made the decisions are still with the company or not. This is why in Australia the Catholic Church is being held responsible for the crimes committed against children in its care. The institution itself is being held responsible as are individuals, if they are still alive.

            Next you claim I tell lies and am a fascist and want to starve people to death. Does this show what a rational, calm, well-informed person you are? Perhaps not. If you want to know how to feed the world read the IAASTD report “Agriculture at a crossroads” done by 400 scientists from 80 countries. They recommend agroecology. This can double food production, in the areas that need it, while reducing rural poverty and cooling the climate. This is explained in a paper by UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter.

            http://www.srfood.org/en/report-agroecology-and-the-right-to-food

            I’m not sure how following science and showing how to feed people makes me a fascist. Can you explain? Thanks.

          • Monsanto “controls” about 15% of the seed worldwide. That is nowhere near a monopoly. One could make much more valid claims about Apple and Google in that respect. Much of what you keep linking is old history, from back when Monsanto actually was a chemical company. If you go back far enough you will find some pretty ugly stuff about most companies – such as BASF/AGFA/Bayer producing Zyklon-B for concentration camps.
            Monsanto is not perfect – but neither are corporations like Whole Foods – which does not justify anything, but I have to wonder why Monsanto alone is singled out as being the “most evil of evils”. The Monsanto name is often used as a justification for rejecting GMO’s, for no other reason than “Monsanto”.

          • Monsanto controls more than 80% of the corn and 90% of the soy planted in the US. Globally 4 firms, one of whom is Monsanto, control 40% of seed supply. This is not a market it is a cartel. http://www.gmeducation.org/latest-news/p207220-the-monsanto-monopoly.html

            You have just shown that corporations, including Monsanto, act unethically and are allowed to continue to do so even though if they were a person who had committed those crimes they would be in prison.

          • So, you’re saying 4 of the biggest companies don’t even control half the market?? You’re right… That’s some monopoly going on!

          • Monsanto doesn’t own 80-90% of any countries crops. In the U.S., they have a 35ish % share in corn and a slightly smaller share in soy beans.

          • So? Our company license traits from Monsanto but they don’t control our seed. We license traits from other companies too. If, next year, we decided we didn’t want to use Monsanto traits, we would still have access to the seed genetics and the seed.

            What your activist sites fail to mention is that crop seeds often have biotech traits from multiple companies. We have corn that has two traits licensed from Dow and two from Monsanto. So while 80% of the corn has Monsnato traits, much of those same seed shave other companies traits too.

            Regardless, they don’t control the seed.

          • I know what the seed company landscape looked like. I worked for a few of the names on that list. But so what?

          • Looks like the computer industry and the mobile phone industry and the grocery industry and the airline industry and almost all global industries. You appear to know nothing about global competitiveness. Everyone praises all these industries, but is upset about seeds. In fact, the food production and distribution system globally is one of THE most diverse industries in the world, far more than any of the above. You just peddle one anti-GMO scare paranoia anti-capitalist talking point after another.

          • Also, Monsanto is the 5th largest company in the Ag inputs sector. Dow, Syngenta, DuPont, Bayer… All larger.

          • You do not understand!! Markets can only work where there are a large number of participants. Having a handful of corporations controlling global food is not a ‘market’ it is a cartel which creates market distortion – ie people and farmers are ripped off.

          • Reduce the regulations to the level of other genetic changing techniques and you’ll see hundreds of companies pop up.

          • Right. Because of the expense of unnecessary regs only a few companies can afford to develop them. It’s unclear from the charts if they are licenced or outright owned. reduce the regs and mony o ft he independents will come back.

          • I’m not sure if you are deliberately misunderstanding my posts or are incapable of following the argument. Either way it is nice and sunny outside so I’m off to walk the dog. Enjoy your day.

          • I was just pointing another of the ways you can be mislead by choosing poor sources.

            Regardless… we compete with them just fine. There are a couple hundred seed companies in the U.S. alone so, I’m guessing others are competing with them too.

          • Monsanto etc have good market share because they give farmers what they want. As soon as a huge multinational corporation fails to deliver the goods, it goes bust or becomes insignificant. A good example is the Finnish multi-national company, Nokia, which once dominated the mobile phone market.

          • Oh how naive. This is not the way the ‘market’ works. The ‘market’ is a construct of the laws in which it sits. Governments have increasingly supported grotesque concentrations of power that in turn have to be reinforced by government denying public rights. Therefore the anti-trust investigation into Monsanto, which had the support of farmers, was dropped in 2012. http://www.stltoday.com/business/local/justice-department-ends-monsanto-antitrust-probe/article_667ceab6-e568-57c8-a110-3d99efc31c4c.html

            Was this due to corporate pressure and the fact that Monsanto donates millions to politicians?

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/monsanto-controls-both-the-white-house-and-the-us-congress/5336422

            The corporate mess that rules us is so loathe to reveal itself or to be governed by any reasonable rules of behaviour that it is creating the TPP, TTIP and TISM “Free Trade Agreements” (of which they are neither free, about trade or democratically agreed) to restrict any action people can take to protect themselves.

            Comparing food, and irreplaceable seeds, to mobile phones is ridiculous.

            Sheldon Wolin wrote a great book about what we are experiencing, “Inverted totalitarianism” where corporations have taken over the levels of power.

            http://press.princeton.edu/titles/9175.html

          • Lol. Global Research is a conspiracy theory site that runs anti-vax stories. Previously I’ve seen you cite the water memory and homeopathy site ISIS and Anthony Gucciardi’s bizarre anti-vaxer and quack medicine site, Natural Society. You really are a waste of pixels.

          • Well,The organic industry is funding the gmo labelling campaigns. Isn’t that trying to change legislation in their favor?

            And the organic industry is not a collection of small businesses. It’s the exact same companies that sell all of the rest of the food in your grocery.

            http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/

          • They don’t really need to avoid it. The current laws in the U.S. prohibit it from being mandated.

            “If GM food is so wonderful, why aren’t the companies proudly proclaiming they are using it?”

            Because the current group of gmo crops give producer benefits, not consumer benefits. It would be like a farmer advertising what type of tractor he uses to harvest your corn. Nobody cares.

          • So, the fact that food in the US is 50% less expensive than in Europe is not a consumer benefit? That’s the view of the affluent totally out of touch with the life of most people. Kind of elitist and reactionary.

          • I suppose that’s a benefit, but indirect. Production benefits do increase production and lower expenses but in a commodity market that doesn’t always translate to cheaper food.

            I suspect Europe’s food is more expensive due to labelling laws, traceability of foods back to farm and other assorted silliness. But I’m not an expert on that.

          • Not immediately. What happens is at first adoption is that the producers keep the increased profits but then as more adopt, competition increases and then the prices fall. Without the innovation, the price can never drop in the first place, all other things equal.

          • I have no doubt that production benefits result in a benefit to the consumer. But they’re not benefits that are marketable. For example… If I used a 24 row planter, I can easily show that it reduces my costs and allows me to farm more efficiently. But the company using my corn can’t really advertise that benefit. That’s what I mean by “they’re not consumer benefits”.

          • Or because of energy prices and other expenses not itemized to the food consumer. The benefit could be realized by delays in raising prices. Something the consumer would not notice.

          • If people want to avoid these foods, aren’t there an abundance of already labelled options for them to choose from?

            “Nobody cares” was referring to a farmer labelling the tractor his corn was harvested with. But as for why companies spend money to keep labelling as an option, why wouldn’t they? As long as crack pots are demonizing GM foods, why would a company want to take th chance of losing market share? I seem to recall a group of people in WWII that didn’t want to be forced to label themselves. Was that because they had something to hide? Or was it more likely because there was a nation of crackpots that had incorrect opinions about them?

            But what does it matter why they spend the money? How does that say anything about the safety of their products?

          • So amusing. 1 in 5 US people are food insecure yet you grow the most GM food in the world! You are also the centre of the Big Food industrial system that is massive in its waste – of land, chemicals, water, people, soil, climate etc. The planet throws away enough food to feed everyone. The only way we are going to ‘feed the world’ is agroecology creating healthy local food. This was shown by UN research.

            http://www.srfood.org/en/report-agroecology-and-the-right-to-food

          • Oh, so sorry we didn’t meet your timetable to solve all the problems by now! We went from 1 in 3 in 1960 to less than 1 in 7 in the world today but since we didn’t get it down to zero by midnight last Thursday, let’s rip it down and start again in 1850. Even you admit above that, at least, we do actually produce enough food with our tech.

          • Your figures make no sense and are unsubstantiated.This National Geographic article states that in 1968 there were 10 million hungry americans, about 5% of the population. Hunger was linked to unemployment. In 2012 49 million americans were food insecure, or 16% of the population. Now many of those who are hungry are working. It is poverty that is causing hunger in the US, not a lack of GM crops.

            http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/07/140716-hunger-america-food-poverty-nutrition-diet/

            There is more than enough food in the world to make everyone fat. The global industrial food system is not ‘feeding people’ it is feeding corporations. Much of the food it produces is not nutritious. A better model would be to measure nutrition per acre, as Navdanya does. http://www.navdanya.org/attachments/bija58_27-5-2011%5B1%5D.pdf

            They show how to feed people healthy organic food that restores the climate and the economy and this is the way of the future.

          • The research’s author was Olivier De Schutter who was the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food at that time. Why don’t you read what I link to?

          • I did, dopey. It is a report presented to the UN by a Special Rapporteur rather than an official UN report or a UN statement of policy. Hundreds of reports of all kinds are presented to the UN each year. You have tried to misrepresent the report to give it added gravitas.

            The UN Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) is not opposed to GM, nor are any of the major science academies anywhere in the developed world. This includes those European countries where green propaganda has made GM a political hot potato.

          • “Special Rapporteur, Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Independent Expert are titles given to individuals working on behalf of the United Nations (UN) within the scope of “Special Procedures” mechanisms, who bear a specific mandate from the United Nations Human Rights Council, either a country mandate or a thematic mandate. “Rapporteur” is a French-derived word for an investigator who reports to a deliberative body.”

            Insulting me does not improve your argument.

            The IAASTD report “Agriculture at a crossroads” was done for the UN and released in 2008 and found no place for GM.

            Your claim that august bodies support GM relies on cherry picking statements. No long-term, multi-generational, human health end point studies have been done on any GM food and therefore it is unscientific to say any of them are safe.

          • That’s one person’so opinion. That’s it. But since you endorse WHO you of course then embrace and endorse the group WHO determination that GM crops are safe and sustainable. Oh, you don’t? You only accept views that concur with your own??? Surprise.

          • I find this reply a bit incoherent. Are you saying that the IAASTD report “Agriculture at the Crossroads” is the work of one person? In fact it is the work of 400 scientists and development experts from 80 countries. Or are you saying that Olivier De Schutter’s work is his work alone? That might make more sense but he has referenced his work.

            Then you say “Since you endorse the WHO you of course then embrace and endorse the group WHO determination that GM crops are safe and sustainable.” I found the WHO saying this:

            8. Are GM foods safe?

            Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.

            http://www.who.int/foodsafety/areas_work/food-technology/faq-genetically-modified-food/en/

            Therefore to prove safety each and every GM crop would have to pass stringent safety tests. They have not done this. Most have only 90 day tests on rats that ignore evidence of harm. Rats live for 2+years and so 90 days is inadequate. Seralini got the raw data used to approve 3 GM corns in the EU. He reanalysed the data and showed that there were early signs of harm to the rats fed GM even after only 90 days:

            Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.
            http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm

          • It is also unscientific to say that conventionally bred cultivars are safe and as I’ve told you elsewhere, we have numerous examples of unsafe conventionally bred cultivars.

            On the other hand, we know that organic farming can be unsafe and that it has a track record for killing and maiming people, including 53 deaths and 3,950 illnesses during the 2011 organic sprout disaster in Germany.

            Peak science bodies in the UK, USA and elsewhere have released statements expressing their support for GM. Sorry, pal, but that’s how it is.

          • 3. Claims that scientific and governmental bodies endorse GMO safety are exaggerated or inaccurate

            Claims that there is a consensus among scientific and governmental bodies that GM foods are safe, or that they are no more risky than non-GM foods,[20] [21] are false.

            For instance, an expert panel of the Royal Society of Canada issued a report that was highly critical of the regulatory system for GM foods and crops in that country. The report declared that it is “scientifically unjustifiable” to presume that GM foods are safe without rigorous scientific testing and that the “default prediction” for every GM food should be that the introduction of a new gene will cause “unanticipated changes” in the expression of other genes, the pattern of proteins produced, and/or metabolic activities. Possible outcomes of these changes identified in the report included the presence of new or unexpected allergens.[22]

            A report by the British Medical Association concluded that with regard to the long-term effects of GM foods on human health and the environment, “many unanswered questions remain” and that “safety concerns cannot, as yet, be dismissed completely on the basis of information currently available”. The report called for more research, especially on potential impacts on human health and the environment.[23]

            Moreover, the positions taken by other organizations have frequently been highly qualified, acknowledging data gaps and potential risks, as well as potential benefits, of GM technology. For example, a statement by the American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health acknowledged “a small potential for adverse events … due mainly to horizontal gene transfer, allergenicity, and toxicity” and recommended that the current voluntary notification procedure practised in the US prior to market release of GM crops be made mandatory.[24] It should be noted that even a “small potential for adverse events” may turn out to be significant, given the widespread exposure of human and animal populations to GM crops.

            A statement by the board of directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) affirming the safety of GM crops and opposing labelling[25] cannot be assumed to represent the view of AAAS members as a whole and was challenged in an open letter by a group of 21 scientists, including many long-standing members of the AAAS.[26] This episode underlined the lack of consensus among scientists about GMO safety.

            http://www.ensser.org/increasing-public-information/no-scientific-consensus-on-gmo-safety/

          • Yes but how many of those scientists know anything about GM? Science has many disciplines. There are many genetic engineers that have questions about the safety of using GM in agriculture.

          • There are just as many climate scientists who question AGW but I also dismiss them because just like the “genetic engineers” you refer to, they are a small minority and many of them are oddballs with a history of being kooky. I don’t believe in martians, fairies or homeopathy either, btw.

          • If religions are so wonderful, why doesn’t everyone wear a symbol of their religion whenever they are out in public? Is that your logic?

          • No. My logic is that if a product is being sold the buyer has the right to know what they are buying. This is especially so in the case of food as it can have serious health consequences for the eater.

          • No, you are asking how it was made. You are not what traits the strains have, only how they got there. Like the sweet potato, that got its trait in question through the exact same method that we humans use for GM crops, you dont care about that or the trait. But if we took the sweet potato’s parent strain and used the same method to produce the same trait, all of a sudden you care.

            The GE method, by its very precision can only have a subset of risk that older methods of changing the genome have. In the end, you have a strain with the desired trait. The trait, and its underlying genetics, care not how they got their and do not behave any differently as to whether, humans, nature, or pixie dust got them there.

          • Are you seriously saying that the sweet potato 8000 years ago was genetically engineered by scientists in a lab creating a gene cassette? You also assume that just because hoizontal gene transfer happened ‘naturally’ 8000 years ago in a sweet potato that whatever scientists do in a lab to change genes is automatically safe. This is pixie dust reasoning.

            Who knows how the sweet potato has changed over the 8000 years to be what it is now? There is a thing called evolution that most GM supporters ignore. If they hadn’t farmers wouldn’t be dealing with GM produced superpests and superweeds.

          • I didn’t say it was automatically safe, just less risky than other techniques, which you seem to assume are automatically safe, which they are not. I’m seriously saying that if it were scientists that did exactly the same thing today to the sweet potato parent strain, you have a problem with it, simply because there would be thought behind it.

            Resistance develops regardless to the technique used to develop the pest control. Weeds in rice paddies evolved to evade hand weeding by mimicking rice plants, an organic approved weed control method. If it weren’t for this, we wouldn’t be dealing with Organic method produced superweeds today!

          • Where is your evidence for GM being less risky than other techniques? Please include in your discussion the issue of rnai being produced by GM techniques and show how this has been assessed. You will not be able to as it simply has not been done despite the dangers it could create.

            GM breeding is based on assuming it’s all fine rather than a scientific and exhaustive investigation of what it is actually doing:

            http://www.bioscienceresource.org/2013/05/continued-failure-of-assumption-based-risk-assessment-the-case-of-rnai-based-gm-crops/

            Your example of weeds in rice paddies is silly. SRI has increased rice production massively and without using either chemicals or GM. In fact it is the most successful way of growing rice and farmers are benefitting from growing this way:

            http://www.independentsciencenews.org/un-sustainable-farming/how-millions-of-farmers-are-advancing-agriculture-for-themselves/

  1. I’ll be interested in reading this paper, when it becomes available, but I’m not favorably predisposed to this theme. Yes, most commercial animal feeds will contain trace amounts of pesticides, but I expect them to be well within the tolerances. And Seralini and his group put out some of the most biased and misleading evaluations available – right up there with Monsanto press releases….

  2. Some people are going to say that many of the above don’t have a profit motive. That might be true but they all have an ideological motive and some of the worst things in history happened due to ideologies, rather than profit.

  3. Hi Jon Entine, Since this article is about funding would you like to respond to the “Spinning Food” report about how the food industry is using PR and front groups to distort discussion on food? It lists this site “Genetic Literacy Project” as a ‘third party ally”. A group paid to look like independent supporters. It says your site is an ‘echo-chamber of industry talking points…’. It says your site is housed at George Mason University. Funders include the Templeton Foundation and Searle Freedom Trust who are also fund conservative, free-market think tanks including the biggest promoter of climate change denial, The Heartland Institute.

    It also says your consulting firm provides PR for industries under stress from criticism and a current?/past client is Monsanto.

    “The organization where Entine is a fellow, the American Enterprise Institute, is also tied to the fossil fuel, agribusiness, and pharmaceutical industries and known for its attacks on climate
    change science, including offering cash to scientists to refute the findings of the Nobel-Prize winning international”

    Are you proud of your work?

    http://www.foe.org/projects/food-and-technology/good-food-healthy-planet/spinning-food

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