Anti-GMO ‘Big Lie’: Is labeling really about our “Right to Know”?

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If one believes the backers of mandatory labeling initiatives, it’s simple common sense: consumers have a “right to know” what’s in our food.

That is the beguiling message promulgated by a myriad of activists linked to such organizations as Right to Know GMO, Label GMOs and Just Label It. It’s powerful and superficially persuasive.

“To be clear the Just Label campaign is not an anti-GMO effort,” Gary Hirshberg, founder of organic food maker Stonyfield Organic, and director of Just Label It, has said repeatedly.

After all, what but a conspiracy of the federal government and global corporations could be against providing helpful information to consumers about what they eat?

Call it the Big Lie of many high profile pro-labeling advocates who use the fig leaf of the “right to know” meme to cover their true intentions: to undermine public confidence in crop biotechnology. In less guarded moments, Hirshberg makes it clear that the labeling movement has nothing at all to do with science, information and discourse—it is exclusively an anti-GMO effort.

“Genetically modified organisms are one of the most dangerous and radical changes to our food supply,” he has said.

Hirshberg has become a millionaire many times over selling pricey organic foods promoted with labeled marketing claims like “No Yucky Stuff,” which falsely suggests that more affordable conventional products are somehow unsafe and inferior. “Because GMOs are not labeled in the U.S., they might be causing acute or chronic effects,” Hirshberg has also written.

The National Academies of Science of almost every country, World Health Organization, American Medical Association and nearly every other medical and food oversight organization in the world along with a host of scientific and scholarly societies have all concluded that GM crops are as safe as any other and pose no special risks to humans or the environment. According to a poll of scientists with the American Academy for the Advancement of Science, more scientists embrace the safety of GM crops than accept that climate change is partly human-induced (87%). Now that’s a consensus. There is not one proven or suspected case of so much as a sniffle from GMO consumption, let alone “acute or chronic” effects. Gary Hirshberg’s comments befit a scare-mongering demagogue–with the organic industry that he has come to represent as the main beneficiary.

Let’s be clear. Many of the leaders of the ‘right to know’ movement are not being honers; the public record of their comments indicates they are out to dissimulate, demonize and destroy. These pro labeling organizations play the ‘right to know card’ as a subterfuge to scare people about the safety of the food system and to divert attention from the sustainability benefits of genetically modified crops and modern agriculture. Are there tradeoffs in adopting crop biotechnology or large-scale agriculture? Of course, and there is room for healthy dialogue. But make no mistake here: Rational discussion and transparency are not on the mainstream pro-label groups agenda.

Internationally respected and independent Scientific American, in an editorial, demolished the oft-repeated canard that the labeling issue is about transparency and empowering the consumer. “Many people argue for GMO labels in the name of increased consumer choice,” the editors wrote in “Labels for GMOs Are a Bad Idea”. “On the contrary, such labels have limited people’s options. … Ultimately, we are deciding whether we will continue to develop an immensely beneficial technology or shun it based on unfounded fears.”

In this infographic, the GLP presents the actual words of the world’s most prominent pro-labeling activists—those who claim on NPR and the Nightly News that this issue is simply about a ‘right to know’ when their real agenda is just the opposite. Here are their comments made when their guard is down—when they speak among ‘friends’—people who the evidence suggests are dedicated to undermining public support for the science of genetic engineering and limiting consumer choice and right to know.GLP-GMO-label

Download pdf here

  • There is nothing simple about their propaganda campaign…They use fear and deception to instill distrust in the public to further their agenda. They have made agriculture a new religion and GMO’s their devil.

    • Snazzy Architecture

      As a farmer It’s surprising you would go for GMO’s. Economically speaking that is.

      • Aaaarrrggh

        Maybe the farmer knows more about farming than you do.

        • jazzfeed

          He knows all about his farm, his animals, his soil, his plants, his chemicals, his cultivation methods. Farmers4Choice’s world. “Farming” is a much bigger world.

        • ThatGuy

          We do, and what few I’ve met who don’t laugh at organic labels as total nonsense, are the ones growing their food in backyards and producing next to nothing for a sustainable crop.

      • RobertWager

        From the 2010 National Academy of Sciences report “Impact of GE Crops on Farm Sustainability in the United States”

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

        Generally,
        GE crops have had
        fewer adverse effects on the environment
        than non-GE crops produced conventionally.

        The
        adoption of HT crops
        complements conservation tillage practices,
        which reduce
        the adverse effects of tillage on soil
        and water quality.

        Insecticide use has decreased with
        the adoption of
        insect-resistant (Bt)crops.”

        • StillFree2Think

          With the kind of investing made to monopolize the farming industry we could have taken better care of U.S. Agriculture and improved it as it was while integrating GMO’s into the World market for hunger.

      • Iowa/Maui Girl

        You’re kidding, right? There is a reason that (as of 2012), 88% of corn and 84% of soy grown in the US was genetically modified. (US Dept. of Ag) A good farmer knows that the use of GE seeds will slightly increase the seed purchase price, but greatly decrease their tilling and spray costs. Tilling uses fuel and time, and negatively impacts the soil. A GMO crop also uses less spray than a conventionally farmed crop. Farmers are not forced into using GE seeds, they have done the research and math and know that this will decrease their production cost and increase their yield.

        • StillFree2Think

          No YOU’RE Kidding Right?! With Monopolized Outsourced Crops It Wastes Our Farmland and encourages A.) an Unhealthy trend Both economically And Nutritionally. It is no fad that other nations reject the ‘Hardier’ strains for Very Good Reasons. Hardier Bugs?? NOT A GOOD IDEA- Except for GMO Investor profits. and B.) Why Did We Re Farm nearly All Of Our U.S. Food Supply Verses Taking The Safer , Healthier All Around Route of a Longer Testing Period?????

          • agscienceliterate

            Multiple question marks do not emphasize your points, dearie. You know nothing about farming, or pest resistance, or profits. Two tiny factoids for your very tiny brain: Monsanto has about the same annual revenues as Whole Foods. Get all paranoid now. Secondly, GE foods are the most highly regulated and tested foods on the planet, and humans and livestock have been safely eating them for 20 years with no issues. (Been to Chipotle food poisoning factory lately, dearie? The proud anti-GE guys?)

            If you want to expand your paranoia, look up organic foods produced through mutagenesis. Randomly scrambling thousands of genes. Zero oversight, testing, or monitoring.

            And the $60 billion organic industry absolutely loves people like you.

          • Victor Wiedemann

            When some one as child can’t answer with knowledge nothing left but name calling to belittle the person with knowledge.

            see this book that you claim does not exist with not scientific information.

            Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You’re Eating – Paperback

            – September 1, 2003
            by:
            Jeffrey M. Smith (Author)

            Without knowing it, Americans eat genetically
            modified (GM) food everyday. While the food and chemical industries
            claim that GMO food is safe, a considerable amount of evidence shows
            otherwise. In Seeds of Deception, Jeffrey Smith, a former
            executive with the leading independent laboratory testing for GM
            presence in foods, documents these serious health dangers and explains
            how corporate influence and government collusion have been used to cover
            them up.

            The stories Smith presents read like a mystery novel.
            Scientists are offered bribes or threatened; evidence is stolen; data
            withheld or distorted. Government scientists who complain are stripped
            of responsibilities or fired. The FDA even withheld information from
            congress after a GM food supplement killed nearly a hundred people and
            permanently disabled thousands. While Smith was employed by the
            laboratory he was not allowed to speak on the health dangers or the
            cover-up. No longer bound by this agreement, Smith now reveals what he
            knows in this groundbreaking exposé.

            Today, food companies sell
            GM foods that have not undergone safety studies. FDA scientists opposed
            this, but White House and industry pressure prevailed and the agency’s
            final policy–co-authored by a former Monsanto attorney–denied the
            risks. The scientists’ concerns were made public only after a lawsuit
            forced the agency to turn over internal documents.

            Dan Glickman,
            former Secretary of Agriculture, describes the government’s pro-biotech
            mindset: “You felt like you were almost an alien, disloyal, by trying
            to present an open-minded view. . . . So I pretty much spouted the
            rhetoric. . . . It was written into my speeches.”

            In Seeds of Deception
            Smith offers easy-to-understand descriptions of genetic engineering and
            explains why it can result in serious health problems. This
            well-documented, pivotal work will show you how to protect yourself and
            your family.

          • agscienceliterate

            Victor, she is 16 years old. Her parents own a billion-dollar “natural supplements” industry that directly benefit from encouraging their cute little daughter to shill for them. Don’t you get that? If I owned a GE seed company, for instance, and if I were to my 16-year old kid out to make a name by fearmongering every other product except my own, you’d be the first to scream and rant. You don’t get the irony or hypocrisy, though.

            Also, the fact that you refer to Seeds of Deception by ole yogic flyer and ballroom dance instructor Jeffie Smith is a huge joke. His book is right out of the organic activist guidelines for fearmongering and totally misrepresenting the science. He knows squat about GE, and makes huge bucks demonizing it. You don’t understand that either.

            Read “Fear Babe” by Kavin Senapathy if you want to really understand GE, and understand the motives and woo of self-serving activists like Jeffrey Smith, Vandana Shiva, Food Babe, Dr. Oz, Michael Pollan, and others well-known as anti-science woomasters. I don’t think you will read Senapathy’s book, though, as it does not provide the confirmation bias of your rigid and stuck mind.

            You have two bibles. One is Jeffie Smith, the other is a bible that you misinterpret and twist to suit your own agenda. Stick with those. Leave those of us who prefer to rely on credible data from scientists and farmers to our own sources.

            Eat organic. Eat non-GMO certified. Avoid science. Avoid GE. Pretend you have credible reasons for doing so.

            I don’t have time or interest in your dribble anymore.

          • Victor Wiedemann

            YOU DON NOT EVEN BELIEVE GOD WHEN HE SPEAKS.

            Then you make up shit about anything anyone or any real science about how bad GMO’s are. You are one sick puppy. You act like you know it all and you don’t Those books I gave are all highly rated. This is my last comment as it is nor worth talking to someone who just makes up shit as they go.

          • agscienceliterate

            Jeffrey Smith “highly rated” ? Um, not. He is a total quack, and all Ag scientists know that.

            And I do not adhere to your god, as my own spiritual practices are quite different. And I certainly do not appreciate your hammering me with your own religion. You should listen to yours, though, and I won’t even berate you in capital letters for not adhering to mine, how about that?

            Again, read Kavin Senapathy’s “Fear Babe.” Of course you won’t, but I’m gonna leave you with that recommendation anyway.

          • archerb

            Your post is self disproving. First, it claims “Americans eat genetically modified (GM) food everyday” and then claims that they’re somehow dangerous. If both these claims are true, wouldn’t we all be sick or dead?
            There! Your entire post was proven to be a lie in the first few sentences, and even though you know that you’re being lied to, you will continue to repeat the lies. Why do you spared lies that you know are untrue?

  • Snazzy Architecture

    It isn’t true that there isn’t science backing up the dangers of GMO’s. Search for scholarly/pier reviewed articles and you can see there are many. More the the point is the biodiversity issue. This may not present the typical health problems associated with GMO’s but a significant biodiversity issue. This is just a glance at the implications. There are serious socio economic issues with the manner in which marketing these products is concerned.

    Any sincere and as unbiased as possible endeavour will show both positive and negative benefits. It isn’t simply one way or the other as both sides of the debate on GMO’s would have you think.

    • Loren Eaton

      ‘More the the point is the biodiversity issue.’ And that would be what, exactly? Which field has more biodiversity? The Bt cotton field or the sprayed cotton field?

      ‘It isn’t true that there isn’t science backing up the dangers of GMO’s.’ There is also very little quality backing up those studies (Pusztai, Seralini, Carman). On the whole, they’re so poorly done that one can’t distinguish REAL effects from those present due to poor design and execution.

      • go go gergie

        The field with the most biodiversity would be the organic cotton field, full of weeds and lower yields thus requiring the use of more land.

        • Loren Eaton

          Point taken!!! Does that mean Norman Borlaug was correct when he said that organic can’t feed the world??

  • Yes Maam
    • First Officer

      Moms Across America. The low carbon corn people.

      • Yes Maam

        Moms Across America: “Empowered Moms, Healthy Kids.” That includes your kids.

        • Cairenn Day

          How many of y’all refuse vaccinations, also?

          I bet that the kids growing up on farms are a lot more healthy than yours.

  • Yes Maam

    Feeding the world is not their agenda. They have “sold” a product to farmers that makes them slaves to the corporations and threatens the entire food industry and future of America. See what a Homeland Security rep says about the real reason for GMOs.http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/our_sick_children_are_collateral_damage_in_war_for_power

    • Yes Maam,
      If you think that any farmers are “slaves to corporations” you clearly don’t know any farmers.

      • Yes Maam

        I know farmers who have gotten out of that cycle, have greater yield, more diversity, healthier soil, produce and less pests and weeds. I know farmers who were sick and could not procreate when they were using chemicals and after they stopped using GMOs they got better and could bear children. I know farmers who I would be proud to call my father. And they speak the truth.

        • Randall H.

          It takes skill to use the proper chemical and fertilizer.

          I have had, (and I require handlers in our operation to take,) cholinesterase tests. This tell us if the applicator is being careful with the handling of organophosphates.

          I would respectfully (and carefully if I may without insulting you) suggest that the farmers you know are not qualified to handle chemicals, and they would be better off not being involved with them. They certainly made the correct decision for them.

          All of my associations are with cautious and precise farmers, so of course, I don’t know anyone with the problem of the farmers you know.

          I suggest that you are quite limited in your knowledge of modern farming practices. I’d be happy to discuss modern farming practices with you in a respectful manner.

          • Benjamin Edge

            Or the chemicals her farmer friends were using included THC, which I believe has negative effects on fertility.

    • Randall H.

      I’m a farmer. I don’t feel that way at all.

      I know hundreds of other farmers. I’ve never heard them think that way.

      I saw the Moms Across America corn comparison, and was quite amused. There is zero validity in that “study.”

      • Yes Maam

        How is it not valid? How do you know? Have you done testing on your corn?
        You don’t know farmers who feel that they have to buy more and more chemicals to spray on their GMO crops because they are resistant to weeds or pests? Stuck in a cycle of more and stronger chemicals? Unable to get off the treadmill of buying seeds every year from the same few seed companies which also make the chemicals? That is a cycle of corporate profit. Farmers used to be able to keep their own seeds an replant, they used to have diverse crops and the soil would supply the nutrients for the crops, not chemicals. And they used to supply jobs to hardworking people to rid the fields of pests and harvest the crops. Farms should make jobs, not take them away with more chemcals.

        • Randall H.

          Yes, I have tested my corn. In detail. For all different nutrition, and also for lignin, and the digestibility of the lignin.

          I raise non-GMO corn, also. I have some fields that wouldn’t benefit much from it, so I don’t pay the extra fee to have it.

          I have used GMO products to “clean up” a field, then I went back to conventional–so my experience is exactly opposite of what you are saying happens. EXACTLY opposite.

          Furthermore, I have tested my crops at certified food labs for chemical residue, not because I was required to, but because I wanted to know.

          http://www.columbiafoodlab.com/

          I have walked fields with a shovel with a crew weeding the field–the last time was in the ’70’s.

          Suggesting that hand-weeding is a productive method of providing jobs is just silly.

          GMO’s provide MORE rotation, not less. They HELP the resistance problem, not add to it.

          Many of the anti-GMO myths are simply upside down and backwards…..they couldn’t be more wrong unless they were purposely trying to lie. Just like getting 0% on a 100 question True/False test.

        • Randall H.

          As to the seeds thing, we quit saving seeds 30+ years ago.

          Other farmers with excellent seed conditions do a better job of raising disease-free and excellent seeds–which raise a vigorous and healthy crop.

          That has ZERO todo with GMO. I buy ALL of my seeds, and we have here for over 30 years.

          Incidentally, I also raise some crops organically–not certified–but with compost and zero commercial fertilizers or pesticides. Why? It is the best practice for the conditions I have. Why do I use GMO’s on 30% of my crops? Same reason.

          You are spreading myths.

        • Judy Nonarchi

          The farmers I work with use less and less. Tiny amounts of Roundup, vs. the past practice of spraying Atrazine (much more toxic). I don’t know who has brainwashed you to think they use “more and more” — uh, pesticides cost money. They use as little as they can. If you knew any farmers you would know this.

        • Benjamin Edge

          The reason farmers use chemicals to control pests and machinery to harvest the crops is because they can’t afford the labor costs, if they can find anyone to do the work, without being called slavedrivers. That plus herbicides save on fuel costs and tend to reduce soil erosion when combined with minimum till practices.

        • marie72

          They now have to pay for there seeds and buy so much more chemicals.

          • Farmer Sue

            Um, of course farmers pay for their seeds. (it’s not “there seeds,” but just sayin) They pay a lot for GE seeds. They use very little “chemicals.” Farmers don’t save seeds anymore on a commercial basis. Some backyard gardeners may, however. Please educate yourself accurately about modern farming practices. Talk to a farmer. Call your local farm bureau.

        • Farmer Sue

          Maam, farmers don’t “have” to buy anything. Believe it or not, they choose to buy GE seeds, at a premium. Many farmers rotate their crops and aren’t on any “treadmill.” They choose their seeds in the fall. They do not use “more and stronger chemicals.” They use way less, and way less-toxic, chemicals.

          Farmers haven’t been using their own seeds for decades. Seeds have been patented since 1930.

          Talk to a real farmer, dearie. Your ignorance about modern farming is really embarrassing.

    • Alokin

      Quoting anything from MAA is cause for ignoring your comments.

      • gmoeater

        Right! Moms across america don’t represent moms across anything. And YesM seems to believe farmers are stupid and under some kind of “control” by corporations who they willingly buy seeds from. Corporate consiracy theories abound in addition to quotes from anti-science orgs and debunked websites.

  • Its really about the “right to be frightened” into spending money on unregulated supplements and pricy organic. This is already a multi-billion$ industry, but that isn’t enough for these actors

  • Kim Furtado

    Can the people commenting against GMOs please comment whether or not they’re farmers, and if so, farmers of what crops specifically? Organic vs. non and state they’re from. I find that passionate people can have a respectable opinion, but opinions are not facts and using another organizations articles to argue with a practitioner of what you disdain can often give light to a more helpful discussion that is fact based.

    • Hannah

      I am from Michigan. I am not a farmer but have been an agricultural advisor for many years. Most people (99%) know nothing about farming in the practical sense. If I could gather all these anti GMO non-farmers together and take them to a half dozen farms, to a food processor, a shipper and a retailer it would straighten them out. The next day I would take them to a University laboratory where they test the efficacy of fungicides, insecticides, or herbicides, ask these fine researchers how these studies are funded and dare them to accuse these scientists of bias based upon the funding source. Obviously I am only dreaming.

    • ThatGuy

      Grew up around two dairy farms run by my uncles, aunts and grandma, who had several acres of corn and alp-alpha as well. They all reject “organic” food in general as a joke, and will go out of their way to tell strangers in a supermarket not to buy food with that label. “Organic milk” was something they were especially unfond of, and treated as both more expensive and more dangerous for consumption.

      So.. the family business says no to GMOs, but I’m not a farmer myself. Take that how you will.

  • dada scape

    You supporters of gmo foods know that the day they get labeled is the day your paycheck ends. No thinking person will choose a gmo product when they can choose natural instead. The fear comes from you and you know it. You can’t walk your talk. You say they’re safe, but you won’t agree to label them. That’s cowardly.

    • Judy Nonarchi

      I absolutely DO choose gmo! I don’t want corn borer fungus in my corn. I support local farmers.
      “Natural”? Like what? poop-fertilized organic? wow.

    • Cairenn Day

      Why doesn’t organic come with a label, that states “Caution, grown with animal manure, may be contaminated with bacteria or viruses. Please wash and peel all root vegetable throughly and wash all other well.

      Many organic crops are grown with the use of pesticides/herbicides. None are tested for the residue of those.

      Organic food has not been shown to encourage health, nor is it more environmentally friendly”

      Now that would be TRUTH in labeling.

      • gmoeater

        And, Cairenn, labeling to show that many organic foods “…were produced through chemical baths and/or irradiation, known as mutagenesis, which affects potentially thousands of genes with no safety oversight.”

    • Good4U

      I WANT GMO crops & animals. I agree with the others who have pointed out their benefits and lack of risks. Dada, in response to your point, the fear comes from YOU, and YOU KNOW IT. It’s you who can’t walk the walk of being truthful. You don’t have to eat GMO foods yourself if you don’t want to. Go be a self-sufficient farmer, raise all your own food, and stay where you belong: on some commune away from society. At least have the decency to not stand in the way of GMO technology development which would benefit the other 7 billion people on this planet, many of whom are starving & malnourished.

    • agscienceliterate

      Well, I guess you are wrong, dada. Obviously thinking farmers and consumers choose GE foods every day. I do. And what the heck is “natural,” anyway? Be specific about what you mean. Certainly organic food that is contaminated with “natural” e.coli from improper composting would be okay with you? How about “natural” foods produced through chemical baths and irradiation (mutagenesis)? That okay with you?

      Labels are a sham, an excuse for more fearmongering based on squat, and you know it.

      • gmoeater

        I stole your line, ag! (labeling is a sham, and they know it) Great minds, lol. Actually, I read yours first and used it, because it is true.

        I think if every one of these “just label it” people were asked, If they were labeled, would they eat them? Or would that just be an excuse for step 2, which is their fear and loathing?

    • Bruce Boelter

      Actually, we EAT them because we KNOW they are safe.

    • gmoeater

      Dadascape, I am waiting for my shill paycheck. Do you have it? Please send it. I’m tired of posting my brilliant mots of wisdom for nothing. I don’t even post for food.

      I do walk my talk — I eat GE foods all the time. Labeling is a sham, and you know it.

  • Schratboy

    What’s 20 years of substantial equivalence if we can’t continue to hide it in the food?

    • gmoeater

      What’s “hidden” ? It’s pretty clear and easily available to find out what is GE and what is not. You can educate yourself about what is GE and what isn’t, what’s organic and what isn’t, and you can avoid GE easily. You don’t need to have everything handed to you on a silver platter, do you? Look it up.

  • Padraig

    Jon Entine, after reading many of your articles it’s become quite clear that you are a profoundly ignorant man – particularly about science – and your risk assessment analysis is callous to non-existent.

    Here’s a hint that your own genetic “literacy” isn’t up to scratch: all your articles and websites are filled with ad hominem attacks coupled with some scientific articles that support your view, you give no real scientific commentary or contributions at all… “anyone who disagrees with me believes in creationism or is against vaccines” is not a scientific debate.

    • gmoeater

      Jon has shown the lack of Emperor’s clothes with their own quotes, Padrag. The fact that you are unhappy that he pulled back the curtain (transparency, dude …. just the transparency you allege to support) on this sham campaign by exposing these guys through their own words about labeling is what you are spewing about. You can’t deny that’s what these pro-labeling guys were saying, though, so you attack Jon. And then you have the audacity to claim “ad hominem” — hahaha! Perfect irony!

      • Anonymous1

        Hi gmoeater. I’m getting really confused with these disqus accounts – no I’m not trying to do anything funny with alt accounts or anything! I am the person you replied to.

        As you can read in my post I said “after reading many of your articles”, I wasn’t really talking about this specific article. I’m not really interested in these supposed “gotchas”. If what he’s saying is correct and there’s a contradiction there in the no-labelling campaign, then sure he has every right to point it out. But what I’m talking about is his general “campaign”. I did not have a better place to put the general comment so I just put it here. I never claimed to have debunked the point of this article at all.

        His campaign is an idealogical one and not a scientific or “educational” one. It is based on the philosophy that technology is a good thing for humanity and it will bring/has brought great benefits in the long term. Not everyone agrees with that, especially with things that will irreversibly change everything. What his campaign for GMOs is about is more about what’s going to happen with corporations and how things are going to end up. It may well be that GMOs don’t inherently cause an increase in cancer, that changes little to nothing for me. Releasing any form of created DNA and advocating those technologies is a terrible scenario that will end with anyone at all being able to build and release DNA like lego blocks. Where will the regulators be then?!

        So it’s a set of values that he’s arguing for, NOT scientific discussion or scientific issues or anything like that. It’s a judgement call. It’s his belief system that the corporations and regulators are all going to be trustable with everything and no accidents are going to happen and that having anyone from the local yobs to terrorists with the ability to release DNA like lego blocks won’t have bad consequences. I can’t somehow prove this belief to be “wrong” per se, but I strongly believe it’s ridiculous and irrational.

        • gmoeater

          Yeah, a campaign for science is just so ….. boring.

        • Bruce Boelter

          In your OPINION. Not scientific!

        • gmoeater

          Anon., your points are unclear, and a bit paranoid, if you apply them just to GE. You say: “Releasing any form of created DNA and advocating those technologies is a terrible scenario that will end with anyone at all being able to build and release DNA like lego blocks. Where will the regulators be then?!”

          Do you also apply your points to mutagenesis? With thousands of genes affected, and zero oversight? Look it up. Mutagenesis is a breeding process, exactly like GE, but much, much less precise. Affecting thousands of foods, including organic, that you yourself eat. Now you should be scared.

          This “releasing DNA” argument is really bizarre. Everytime I flush, I “release” DNA. I don’t equate that with terrorism. (ok, some might, but not rational people.)

          • Boulder7777

            I’m waiting, like you, for this guy’s answer to your question about mutation breeding. Not gonna hold my breath for it, tho.

          • Anonymous1

            Mutagenesis is not the same. Mutagenesis affects only a few superficial markers, it doesn’t give the ability to change everything instantly. If mutagenesis is worked out to create such an effect (I’m not an expert on the subject, I haven’t researched all the ins and outs), then yes it should be treated the same way. Artificial selection is also a bad development, but absolutely negligible compared to GMOing. It only scratches the surface of the organism. Such as artificial selection of dogs creates big dogs, small dogs, furry dogs, long-eared dogs, but they’re all the same species. Your analogy is like saying if you can dig a hole in the ground, why is it not a good idea to create holes that are the size of a substantial part of the earth. After all we’ve been digging holes for thousands of years. “I dug a hole yesterday, and this is just a bigger hole”, and thinking that is some sort of argument. It’s a silly argument attempt, sometimes it seems to be the only argument pro-GMO people have and it’s a ridiculous one.

            This entire conflation of education and GMOs is a farcical product of massive PR companies. At my university it’s like there are the ecologists on one hand who are skeptical and fearful of GMOs while on the other hand the vast majority of people working with them are financially conflicted and motivated on an absurd level. When a person’s mortgage is on the line they will do a lot of things, particularly if the risk seems vague.

            The long and short of it is that the most informed, educated and the people who understand science are against GMOs. I agree that this paragraph is ad hominem, it’s supposed to counteract the lies told on sites such as this with the actual truth.

            GMOs are an extremely dangerous ‘tool’, extremely dangerous. We’re basically told to trust the regulations will work and trust the people involved and everything will turn out okay. The fact that you don’t even comprehend this shows your head is full of lies.

  • marie72

    They have labeling in the UK and it did not scare there public away.I saw it on a M&M package.

    • Marie, first the kind of labeling they have in the UK is not the kind demanded by pro-labeling activists in the US. Here, anti-GMO activists want it on the front of the package and opposed putting it in the ingredients. Second, labeling in Europe has led to food companies not bringing out tens of thousands of food items, dramatically reducing ‘choice’ for consumers. So you might get an M&M package but not much else. Reducing choice is the clear goal of anti-GMO mandatory label supporters.

    • Farmer Sue

      Interesting how 99% of Marie’s Disqus comments are about TV shows she’s watched. Not the best way to learn something meaningful about ag biotechnology, Marie.

      https://disqus.com/by/marie72/

      • Dimegirl

        I noticed labeling on a candy package what does that have to do with biotechnology.It is labeled there and the people there are not hypersensitive about buying it.

        • Farmer Sue

          Marie — it has everything with biotechnology, if ostensibly the candy manufacturers are trying to tell consumers something about the ingredients in the candy that might be produced through genetic modification (biotech). (If it’s sugar, tho, it’s exactly the same after processing, so it doesn’t matter whether the sugar came from GE sugarbeets or non-GE sugarbeets.) If it doesn’t add any nutritional or safety info,adding “gmo” to a label is totally unnecessary. And labeling something as “gmo” tells the consumer exactly ….. nothing.

          Activists in the US want to have a label, not for their alleged “transparency” claims, but solely to demonize GE crops and food.

          • Dimegirl

            The longer that the states wait to start labeling the more demonize the label will become.People don’t seem to care as much there as do the do here.

          • Boulder7777

            It’s the voters, darling. Not the “states.” And the last two elections showed voters turning down labeling. If you are happy with the European labeling, that’s great. But the U.S. is not Europe. And you know, I presume, that Europe continues to buy tons and tons of GE feed for their livestock. Which you presumably eat. Which is unlabeled. Don’t try to force your values here. We can vote on our own procedures just fine, thank you.

            Question: Specifically, what information do you personally as a consumer get when you see “gmo” or “GE” on your european food? Does it affect your purchase? Do you have any idea what it means? Is your response a gut response re purchasing, or based on any science? Would love to know.

          • Dimegirl

            The small label at the bottom if the bag(not in the ingredient list) said exactly this “May contain Genetically Modified Organisms.”

            Genetically Engineered is what the label should have stated on the bag.That would have been the correct scientific statement as you know.
            I did hear on the news
            about the GM livestock feed in Europe.
            In my humble opinion the(US) State that implements labeling
            first will have just as
            many people buy that product as before.It will identify how your food was grown.
            Just making a comment-Have a fun day…

  • gmoeater

    Every single proponent of the “label it!!” movement I talked to (and, as I was involved in a campaign, I talked to a lot of them), said they were virulently against GE foods and would never buy them. Their seemingly innocent quest for supposed “transparency” is, itself, as transparent as the mud they wallow in.

  • Goody FANFan

    I survived Oregon’s Measure 92 and I can tell you, the so called “right to know” folks do not care about anyone’s right to know. Their approach is actually an appeal to aggrieved victimhood, casting consumers as victims of…well who, exactly? Once Measure 92 qualified for the ballot, much of the right to know rhetoric fell away and we were subjected to mailers showing lab technicians–sinister scientists?–injecting tomatoes with unknown liquids and day-glo blue “GMO” corn kernels. I received hundreds of emails from the “Yes” campaign, many of them spouting off about “evil chemical companies” and “Frankenfish”
    Note that none of these things has to do with rights of any kind.

  • Stuart M.

    …are not being “honers”? Puleez, get a proofreader. And why do many of the comments here say “2 years ago” or “1 year ago”?

  • Stuart M.

    I’m curious what you guys think. Whenever I engage in debate with some cretin who wants labeling of GMOs, I say this, “And I bet you think forcing the Jews to wear the Star of David in Nazi Germany was a good idea too… because the Master Race had a right to know…”

  • Chad White

    If labeling efforts did not exclude other breeding methods such as Mutation Breeding……. If labeling efforts included all other breeding methods that posed as much or more risk then transgenic crops; Would the organic industry continue to finance labeling efforts?

    Prediction: GMO opponents won’t answer this question.

    • agscienceliterate

      If labeling DID include reference to mutation breeding as well as GE technology, it would still be pretty useless unless the label indicated either the purpose of that breeding method, or its impact on safety or allergens. Otherwise, who cares? Oh. I forgot. The virulent anti-gmo activists.

    • Boulder7777

      Chad, you will notice their activist response is still dead-air silent. They can’t, and won’t, answer your question. Big org will continue to fight what stuff they don’t sell. It’s all about them doing whatever they want to increase their market share. Since they sell foods produced by mutation breeding, it is in their $$$$ interest to remain silent. Thus, the only technology they will attack is GE, which they are not allowed to grow. And the comments by the opponents above, in the article, underscore your point.

  • Now I see the leftists’ Alinsky tactic. There is a point for some foods, but most leftists really don’t care about that, just something to control all debate.

    I buy very few “organic, or other specials,” as that label is not credible. Red meat is one that tastes better, surely due to the lack of hormones/antibiotics/sewage.

    H/t Rhonda: There is a reason that (2012), 88% of corn and 84% of soy grown in the US was genetically modified. (US Dept Ag) A good farmer knows that the use of GE seeds will slightly increase the seed purchase price, but greatly decrease their tilling and spray costs. Tilling uses fuel and time, and negatively impacts the soil. A GMO crop also uses less spray than a conventionally farmed crop. Farmers are not forced into using GE seeds, they have done the research and math and know that this will decrease their production cost and increase their yield.

    • Farmer Sue

      There are numerous seed companies, for GE and conventional (and, BTW, Monsanto sells GE, conventional, and organic seeds). Farmers plan carefully year by year and make their purchasing decisions in the fall. Thank you for pointing out GE seeds are bought by farmers for increased yields and reduced pesticide, fuel, and labor costs, and dramatically reduce or eliminate tilling of the soil.

      I urge, again, all uninformed “activist urban yuppies” to educate themselves about modern farming. Visit your local farm bureau. Ask questions. Learn about GE crops. Talk to a farmer. It’s always so much better when you put credible stuff into your brain before you open your mouth.

    • rationalGMOs

      I don’t understand why you think this is a leftist tactic, at least insofar that I lean left and I’m heavily supportive of scientific advances in food and agriculture, including GMOs. I know many of my peers (at my liberal college) are actually against the “Right To Know” movement as nonsensical, pseudo-science fear mongering.

  • watcher104

    The reality behind the anti-gmo and climate memes isn’t consumer protection but rather a faction of neo luddites and primativists what seem to want to take the world back a couple centuries

  • Lisahaehnle

    Hi, there is an interesting discrepancy between the US and Germany: The german greens and their allies from the NGO want a label on meat or milk from animals fed with GM soy, but not on cheese made with Chymosin coming from GM fungi or bacteria or babyfood where Vitamin C. made from GM microbes is added as preservative or antioxidant.They simply don´t want that the public realizes that even organic products depend on GM. Earlier this year it was found that 4 out of 9 tested fabrics made from “organic cotton” in fact were B.t.-cotton. And they don´t like to be reminded that the worst food poisoning in Europa in the past 50 years with 53 people died originated from organic sprouts, which were contaminated with a human type of EHEC. Therefore for me and my family, we treat the label “organic” on food as warning signal.

    • Farmer Sue

      Good point, Lisa. That is absolutely true. And when this info you point out above was made clear to voters, they turned down several labeling initiatives that had the same flaws. Voters also listened to farmers about how impossible it would be to get to the 100% separation requirements the initiatives would have required.

  • johnwerneken

    Well, people have no rights at all. Except that which they accept from the general community/their nation. In the USA, there are quite a few, but a right to know is not on the list.

    Fear ignorance and a lack on the part of alleged leaders of even a minuscule amount of testicular fortitude are none of them reasons to just pass a stupid law to shut up a bunch of stupid people.

  • G0ldkloud

    I don’t understand these nuts. This food contains completely harmless GMOs that have been repeatedly shown to have zero health risks? We need to know about that! But Starbucks and other companies that put dyes in their food that are known carcinogens? Eh, who cares? It’s not like it’s important.

    These people are the most misguided morons on the planet.

    • Glyphoste–not harmless. Roundup–more harmful.
      2,4-D–not harmless.
      Massive Bt–harmlessness not clear.
      Monoculture–not harmless.
      Corporate agriculture–not harmless.

      • Jason

        Nothing is harmless. Including the water and sunlight that gives all life. However, risk of harm is something that can be measured and found to be incredibly low for things like 2,4-D and Glyphosate.

        • The old and tired, “everything is harmful” arguement. Look, if you want to chow down grams of glyphosate, that is your right. But you are not right to subject humanity to this massive experiment with their lives, when in fact what your science knows about the ecological and other biological effects of glyphosate, or 2,4-D, or Dicamba, or whatever you GMOers spring on us next, is hugely limited. You claim you know what you are doing–ridiculous!

          • Jason

            I find it funny that someone that thinks you could ever eat enough food to get to 1 gram is telling me that I don’t know what I’m doing.

            While knowledge is always limited, we know enough to asses the risk of human exposure. So, while you may say the “everything is harmful” argument is tired, you clearly don’t understand what that means. No one is subjecting anyone to any experiment. The market even caters to those who share your fears with options that allow you to avoid crops grown with these pesticides.

          • “No one is subjecting anyone to any experiment.” Yes, you are. You pour poisons into everyone’s environment–with unknown effects. It is widely not noticed, but you chemists are criminals. You should be responsible people, and look extensively before you douse us all in your money-making creations.

          • Jason

            “Yes, you are. You pour poisons into everyone’s environment–with unknown effects.”

            Unknown by you is not the same as unknown by everyone.

          • Michael McCarthy

            speaking from experience, it is endless hippy whirl-a-gig naturalistic fallacy with this one.

          • StillFree2Think
          • Michael McCarthy

            I’ll be glad to, so long as you are willing to chug some copper sulfate.
            As to your link, did you actually read the associated paper or are you willing to trust the incorrect analysis provided by the ecologist?

          • agscienceliterate

            You are daft. That would not be using the product as directed. Anymore than if you sprinkled organically-approved pesticide Bt on your morning cereal or rolled it up with your daily joint.

          • Peter Olins

            Did you read the actual paper?

            The herbicides made the bacteria either more resistant or MORE SENSITIVE to antibiotics, so why didn’t the authors tout this as an opportunity to overcome clinical antibiotic resistance?

            The effect was phenotypic, not a permanent genetic change—meaning that it was temporary and would not be expected to be seen under clinical conditions unless a patient was also CONSUMING high levels of these herbicides!

            In short, I didn’t find that the authors made a compelling case that this phenomenon was relevant to real-world concerns about antibiotic resistance in humans.

            (I suspect that this was a more detailed response than you were expecting. Feel free to discuss further, but please Stop Capitalizing Words if you want to be taken seriously.)

          • Michael McCarthy

            Thanks Peter for going in-depth on that. I took the lazy way out since I doubted he cared.
            (although not a totally unsurprising find, since clavanulic acid is combined with amoxicillin to similar effect)

          • True–but not having tested numerous of the relevant aspects, “unknown by everyone” is also true.

          • Jason

            I suspect there’d be considerable disagreement over what you’d call “relevant aspects”.

          • Start with, “the chemical effects on all of the organisms that will be physically contacted.”

          • Jason

            Like i said.. considerable disagreement.

          • Yea–because you think you are free to do what you like, regardless of the effects on others. Selfish critter.

          • Jason

            I think it’s the effects that define what relevant. So actually… Just the opposite of what you said.

          • StillFree2Think

            Sychopant Please

          • Jason

            Uumm…. ok?

          • StillFree2Think
          • Jason

            And?

          • StillFree2Think

            Is ‘Life’& or Survival universally ‘relevant’ enough for you? http://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/meet-24-d-a-pesticide-even-conventional-vegetable-farmers-fear/

          • Jason

            I tell ya what. Why don’t you go put together a coherent, relevant argument and get back with me? M’kay?

          • StillFree2Think
          • agscienceliterate

            Mother Jones is hardly an unbiased peer-reviewed journal. Try again.

          • StillFree2Think

            Yes It IS. Newly developed chemicals used on our environment IS As risky as it gets with the Only irreplaceable thing we have- LIFE. So your ‘I know you are but what am I’ response is just pitiful.

          • Jason

            I’m not sure you read that…or at least understood that…correctly.

          • You are subjecting everyone on Earth to your poorly thought-out experiments. Because you are deeply and catastrophically disrespectful of people.

          • Jason

            lol.. ok… Yah. That’s probably it.

          • And have no idea that this is true.

          • StillFree2Think

            No THAT IS IT! Creating a Monopoly & Profits Are What this Rush To Take Over U.S. Agriculture Was About From The Start. As well the absolutely risky ”science” of altering the bulk of our Produce- all at once is undeniably careless and dangerous. – It Is a hugely misguided assumption that the American peoples ‘non expert’ opinions didn’t/ don’t matter. Disease and digestive system ailments are on the rise. None of you can assure us that it is unrelated. What? – No Grandchildren, an anti- social disorder, Nibiru fatalism, or just old fashioned greed? You are not overlords. Then their is a total lack of regard or vision. We may not be ‘genetic scientists’ But We are rightly not impressed or trusting of the lowered standards coincidentally set [purchased with corporate billions] to decrease or eliminate test periods; buy scientist papers for approvals, Medical opinions and on it goes- SO WHO IS THE REAL GROUP OF FANATICS? You defending the ‘cLAIMs’ funded by the greedy influence of billionaire wealth ?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Well now, StillFree2Stinkuptheplace, all of your histrionics and hyperbole aside, you have no workable alternative means of feeding earth’s humanity.

            You are wasting your time and making yourself appear delusional by linking to so many fear mongering webpages. The sky is not falling. So, take your meds, calm down and lay out for us what your perfect little world looks like…and we will assist you in arriving at a mature perspective of reality. Sound like a plan?

          • Jason

            SO WHO IS THE REAL GROUP OF FANATICS?

            I think it’s pretty safe to say you’re one of them.

          • agscienceliterate

            Your spelling and grammar are atrocious. Your corporate loathing is just mildly amusing.
            Dear, you should definitely stick to organic and nonGMO certified. Much too complicated at this point for you to attempt to learn science. (And English, grammar, spelling, and critical thinking)

          • hyperzombie

            What monopoly? Who is taking over the US Ag industry? John Deere?

            risky ”science” of altering the bulk of our Produce- all at once is undeniably careless and dangerous

            The vast majority of all produce is modified every year, and it has been this way for decades. It is called plant breeding. look it up.

            It Is a hugely misguided assumption that the American peoples ‘non expert’ opinions didn’t/ don’t matter.

            Less than 2% of the American population has anything to do with Agriculture. The vast majority of people don’t know squat about Agriculture, so their opinions matter about as much as their opinion about elementary particle physics.

            just old fashioned greed?

            Wouldn’t the organic farmers be the greedy ones? They are selling you the same thing for 2x more money.(Psst, they also buy seed from Monsanto)

            decrease or eliminate test periods

            The only new crops that are tested are GMOs, the rest are not tested.

          • StillFree2Think

            HEY YOU MISSED THIS ONE> 2,4-D possess the chemical compound that made up half of the formula for Agent Orange>>> Already proven in the 1970’s to be a virulent cancer causing pesticide. Oh YAH We Can Rely On Your Knowledge… WTH? http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/10/superweeds-revive-old-highly-toxic-herbicide

          • Jason

            Ugh… I’ve barley corresponded with you at all and your idiocy is already unbearable.

            You really need to choose your sources more wisely.

          • agscienceliterate

            OK, I am going to take this excellent example of illogical extension to the students in my critical thinking class.
            “Because X happened, therefore you cannot rely on your knowledge.”
            Great one!

            —-
            Meanwhile, Stillfree, there is good news for you. You really don’t have to rely on your knowledge. You have just ably proved that point.

      • dz

        I find this interesting. Massive Bt spraying is done by organic agriculture and affects pollinators such as bees. Bt modified crops do not affect pollinators, only pests that feed on the plant itself. It is amazing that someone would try to argue that spraying Bt pesticide is better than Bt GMO crops.

        • Bt GMO crops produce a large amount of Bt, ingested by any animal eating the crop. What effects is this having? You scientific fakers claim that you know there are no bad effects. That is a totally unjustified by science wishful thinking.

          • Farmer Sue

            Absolutely wrong. Only corn borers are affected by Bt corn. Not livestock eating that corn.

            What is wrong with your mind, that with your know-it-all arrogance you simply refuse to pick up the phone and call your local farm bureau for correct information? Arrogance, hubris, and ignorance all wrapped up in one mouthy package. Not even interesting. You insult all farmers and ranchers with your ignorance, while totally embarrassing yourself.

            I repeat again, talk to a farmer.

          • Well, since your sure the science is in and knows everthing, be sure of yourself, and abusive. For my part, I do not think that you, or anyone else, understands the entire impact of massive amounts of Bt being ubiquitous.

          • rationalGMOs

            http://ucbiotech.org/answer.php?question=31

            I’d highly recommend you’d check out this study on Bt. Vertebrates (including mammals, like us) are MUCH DIFFERENT in development compared to invertebrates. Tests have been done on humans to see if an allergic reaction occurred; it did not. Tests have been done, I don’t know how so many people are confused about the differences between vertebrates and insects.

            “The potential for mammalian toxicity of the truncated protein was assessed by administering purified, truncated Cry1Ab protein from E. coli to groups of ten male and female CD-1 mice at ≤4000 mg/kg body weight (12). These doses represented a 200–1000-fold over the exposure level predicted on the basis of human consumption of MON810 grain. Mice were observed up to 9 days after dosing; no treatment-related effects on body weight, food consumption, survival, or gross pathology upon necropsy were observed for mice administered Cry1Ab truncated protein.”

          • Study much ecology, would you? To be a responsible farmer today, this is totally required. The amount of toxic chemicals being released into our environment and put on our food by farmers is ugly, deleterious, and hazardous. GMO cultivation is and will make this problem much worse.

        • Farmer Sue

          That is correct. And any insects in the moth species spectrum will also die from organic sprays, even if they are just next to the corn innocently, and are not eating the corn.

          With Bt corn, only the insect that actually eats the corn is affected. Much better for insect environment as GE farmers using Bt corn do not end up killing beneficial non-target insect species. Bt corn focuses the poison only on the insects that eat it. I cannot see how organic spraying is better for the environment, and for beneficial insects.

          Shenendoah will not talk to a farmer, so he chooses to remain ignorant. That is his perogative. In the farming industry, however, we choose to be educated, for the sake of our crops, the environment, and food availability.

      • StillFree2Think

        To Bee’s??

      • archerb

        Bt is organic approved, has been used for decades and even RECOMMENDED by every organic nursery in the country. And unless you are a caterpillar, Bt is harmless. The fact that you call it “not clear” proves that you have no credibility.

        • Caterpillars are part of the ecosystem…by spreading massive amounts of Bt (in plants) you are affecting the ecosystem in unknown ways. For Bt, this may prove to be not so bad. But considering that modern chemical agriculture is effecting the ecosystems, and our health, in unknown ways with many chemicals, modern agriculture is acting wildly, uncarefully, and ignorantly. I wish you folks cared enough about life to respect it and cultivate it–not poison it with poisons you don’t understand.

          • agscienceliterate

            Bt corn controls the corn borer, not “caterpillars,” unless organic farmers spray Bt on the corn (organically approved by USDA) and kill non-target insect species. That’s why Bt corn is much better for the environment. Only the corn borer that eats the corn dies.
            Otherwise, fungus left by the corn borer leaves mycotoxins which are neurotoxins to humans.
            Humans are not affected by Bt because Bt only affects insect guts. (Unless you are an insect, Shenandoah, you don’t need to worry.)

          • The principal I was discussing is much bigger than Bt–but unknown to many, clearly.

    • Do not poison the biosphere–that is not too hard a concept for you.

      • G0ldkloud

        I’m sorry the what

  • People argueing against labelling of G.E.O.’s (Genetically Engineered Organisms), or G.M.O.’s, really need to confront something–that when they have a choice, many people prefer foods that are not Genetically Engineered. That has been shown widely. That is to say, though you claim that science has shown that G.E. crops are no problem, many people disagree with your assessment. These people have the right to be informed about substantial changes in their food supply. The only way the companies have avoided having to label GMO’s in America, so far, is by spending big big bucks–much of which has been blood money. I’ve got to hand it to them–the Go Go GMOers have the much larger share of blood money.

    • Jason

      The problem with your entire argument is the word “substantial”. Show that these change s are in any way, substantial and you’d probably be right. But because they are not substantial, at least as the law defines it for food labelling, the individuals freedom of speech protects them from the government compelling them to say anything…. Including what preprocessing were used to develope the plants that were used to grow the corn in your corn chips.

      Blood money? Really? In my opinion, this is another reason the anti-gmo campaign has no traction. Alarmist fear mongering is too easy to spot and people don’t buy it.

      • These changes are very substantial. This is a political question, not a scientific one. You may think it is a difference that makes no difference, but millions disagree. The powers that be may currently interpret it that way, but that is subject to change. The powers that be don’t want to be careful–they want to rule, and make big bucks.

        • Jason

          ” This is a political question, not a scientific one.”

          No… it isn’t.

          “You may think it is a difference that makes no difference, but millions disagree.”

          That’s why this should be a scientific question. Opinions are like ass holes. Everyone has one & they all stink.

          • You are deluded.

          • Jason

            If you say so.

          • If you think that the laws that people make is not a political issue, but is a scientific one, it is clear that you are deluded.

          • Jason

            No.. I think science determines what is substantial and what “makes a difference”. Beyond that, it’s just somebody’s opinion… and I think we already covered my thoughts on opinions.

          • I’m sorry, but it seems to me that you have a terribly overblown estimation of science, and skewed estimation of people.

          • Jason

            Maybe, but the law agrees with me on this one, so I guess I win.

          • The fact is, any question that can be answered scientifically is only a part of the relevant consideration in determining the regulation of GMO’s.

          • Jason

            You’re right… it is only a part. it just happens to be a very big part.

          • There are other crucial issues in public policy–like openess, honesty, transparency, who benefits?, respecting rights (such as the right to be informed), expanding democracy.

          • Jason

            You whiffed this one. There is no right to be informed, unless you can show that the information is necessary. And that’s where science comes in. If you can’t show that information is necessary, then there is no right to be informed of anything. There is only a right to free speech which includes protection from government compelled speech.

          • Boulder7777

            Which is why I think several of these labeling things in states that have passed them will be thrown out; protection from compelled speech. These activists don’t get it.

        • Boulder7777

          I guess they don’t agree. You wish they would, but they don’t. You can’t get over that voters disapproved the two last labeling measures, can you? That must be frustrating. It’s fun to blame that on corporations.

          And labeling is a political question, not a scientific one??? Did you really say that? Pretty dumb reason to force a label, if only for a political reason with no scientific bearing, don’t you think? You’d like it that way, but you’re on a losing quest.

          • I read that on the GMO labeling measures in California and Washington State, the pro-labeling forces spent almost 19 million dollars. But the anti-labeling forces spent almost 79 million dollars.

            Money has spoken.

            Not just science, but facts are important. Those wanting labelling have many many facts on their side–GMO’s have not been fully tested, by far. Many GMO’s increase the use of very toxic chemicals. Every GMO is unique, requiring it’s own testing. GMO’s absolutely require state regulation.That which is good for a seed salesman is not necessarily that which is good for society.

            Just because short-sighted selfishness is going to continue to be the main motivation behing many decisions that are made, in no reason to not struggle for more wise decisions.

          • Boulder7777

            So you really think people are so stupid that the money really bought them off, and bought their vote. Wow. You really do think voters are stupid. The organic industry could well have put more of its $40 Billion industry money into the campaigns, and they didn’t. Or are you saying that if they had, the votes would have been different? You are politically very naive.

            Your facts are way off base, everything you have said in your post above, is false, but you keep repeating them, in the hopes that saying these mistruths over and over will somehow convince anyone. You’re not here to learn anything. You’re here to just throw out conspiracy and shill argumens, and tired old debunked non-facts about GE. Sad.

          • I will try to ignore your insults, though they are numerous. –Right, I’m politically very naive–in just 2 states, California and Washington, anti-labeling forces spent about 79 million dollars defeating popular labeling initiatives. Last I checked, 79 million dollars was big bucks. But to think politics is influenced by big money! I mean, how naive could I get?

    • Boulder7777

      Baloney. People who really care about GE foods can do the research themselves. They’re not entitled to meaningless labels on food. It’s easy to look up what foods are genetically engineered and avoid them by eating organic and non-gmo certified. Big bucks from the organic industry, which benefits directly from fearmongering and hype about biotech, fund every one of these labeling movements. Voters have seen right through this and have voted down labeling initiatives. Take responsibility for yourself and what you eat, and don’t ask people to hand you readily-available information on a plate. Do your own work. You don’t have the right to foist your paranoia and science-loathing on others.

      • Oh yea, “big bucks from the organic industry.” The money spent by big business in opposition to GMO labeling has dwarfed the money spent by the organic industry. Sure, people can spend hours of their time, trying to keep up with the technological changes selfish interests make in our food supply. But the fact is, the GMO industry is deathly afraid of informing the bulk of consumers about the GMO food that is being sold them, because many people would reject it–meaning the GMO industry would not reap as quick a profit from their investment in creating GMO foods. It is the GMO industry that has worked vigorously to keep people in the dark–and in so doing, they have been saying to the American people, “We know what is best for you. Eat it.” Selfish corporations. Deeply, deeply, selfish–one could say genetically selfish.

        • Boulder7777

          You aren’t pro-labeling, or you would willingly be the first in line to call for labeling of crops that are produced through mutation breeding. Like the activists listed in the article, you are only anti-GE. And that’s why you want labels. Inform yourself and quit playing baby “I have to have it on my label because I am too stupid to look it up myself.” Plus, you are just anti-corporation. So boring.

          And voters don’t agree with you.

          • I suggest you stop being know-it-all. I do think mutation breeding should be labelled. Face it–you’ll are afraid of labels, lest informed people avoid your products, which is richly deserved.

          • Good4U

            I want all organic food to be labeled as such. That way I can avoid it. Full of rot, insects, human feces. If you want non-GMO food, it’s already labeled non-GMO. Problem solved. so you can quit running around with your arms waving in the air.

          • Period.

          • Whatever you want!

          • Boulder7777

            Thank you.
            Glad to hear you would support mutation breeding labeling. I expect you to be loudly advocating at the front of the line, to amend the very next poorly-written labeling initiative, to include mutation breeding.
            As I said before, look up what you want to know about foods and quit playing whiney baby, expecting government to force labeling on foods for no good reason other than you don’t want to have to look it up for yourself.
            Again, voters don’t agree with you.

          • There are many things to do.
            I try to ignore all senseless insults.
            Money talks.

          • Boulder7777

            Common sense talks louder. And so does science.

          • The fact is, the constant din of your 95% owned and controlled media, cleverly delivered by attractive people and embedded in seemingly sensible “reporting”, has vast influence over the public mind–and you use it to subvert thought shamelessly.

        • Boulder7777

          Voters did not agree with you. You can blame it on the “GMO industry” all you want, but the facts are there. Voters did not support the last 2 state labeling initiatives. You have lots of opinions, and you have a right to them. But facts are the facts. Blame the voters rather than the eeeeevillle corporations you fear so much. Your comments don’t reflect reality; they reflect your wishful thinking.

        • Boulder7777

          Look it up. Gary Hirshberg of Stoneybrook organic says the organic industry is “…valued at $40 billion and growing.” Big bucks, you bet. Big Org pays for lots and lots of lies. And you eat not only their food, but you swallow their lies. While your grocery money lines their pockets. Your choice.

          • Pretty weak response. That “$40 billion” is spread among many many thousands of farmers, middlemen, and stores–most of whom are hard-working and far from wealthy. Monsanto Corporation alone is worth some 20 billion dollars–the GMO industry is worth more than 300 billion dollars.
            It is the lies coming from the GMO industry that are monumental. “No GMO ever hurt a flea”–(see Showa Denko tryptophan incident–1500 people permanently disabled, 37 people killed); “the people don’t want labelling of GMO’s”–(fact-many polls show that most people do want GMO’s labelled, by far); “GMO’s are safe–that is the scientific consensus”–fact>(GMO’s are a mixed bag, and absolutely require careful testing, evaluation, and regulation.)
            So tell me about the big-money, lieing organic industry. And then look at the truth–I’m sure that you could do that, if you wanted.

    • Peter Olins

      “These people have the right to be informed about substantial changes in their food supply.”

      I totally agree, but the key word is “substantial”.
      If my milk is contaminated with poisonous melamine—knowingly added by the producer—then I have the right to be told. The onus is on the producer. If my milk is actually made from soy, the FDA requires that it be labeled in order to avoid confusion.

      However, unless the composition is different, I have no right to know whether it was produced in California or Vermont.

      In other words, while you have a right to ASK, you don’t have a right to KNOW, and you certainly don’t have a right to force someone else to provide you with information, unless there are “substantial changes” in the food.

      • agscienceliterate

        There is no innate, constitutional, legal, or ethical “right” to mandate useless information on a food label. It is entirely a made-up concept, this “right” business. I thought the 2nd amendment covered this pretty clearly. The lawsuits against mandatory food labeling not based on scientifically-assessed health or safety info are based on such labels as being unconstitutionally compelled speech.

        The Senate Ag Committee members expressed this viewpoint eloquently in yesterday’s Congressional hearings on food labeling. Gary Hirshberg’s testimony in favor of labeling was real backpedaling for him — he tried to assert that he supports “value neutral” labeling (he has shown many times through his words that he doesn’t), that he believes it would be a “nightmare” to have state-by-state labeling regulations (although he said in the same 10 minutes that states should be able to do exactly that), and that all stakeholders, including farmers, need to weigh in on labeling. When asked if he thought GE foods were safe, he waited a long pause, and finally said “I’m not in the position to discuss their safety,” although he has had no problems demonizing them in the past. The Ag Committee gave him no special pass on their questions. It was embarrassing for him.

        Note to the activists: Your fearmongering does not compel me to act irrationally on your behalf.

      • The composition is different–in EVERY cell.
        In fact, it is nowhere clearly established what exactly people have the right to know. It is decided, case by case, politically. The political process has thus far mainly taken the position that GMO’s need not be labelled (in America, as opposed to Europe), largely because vast amounts of blood money has been spent supporting that viewpoint.
        Why is the industry so against labelling? Because people, if they could conveniently do so, would avoid GMO’s. Why? Because people are stupid? No, because people are careful.

        • Peter Olins

          “The composition is different–in EVERY cell.”

          Evidence, please.

          • Every cell contains the entire DNA of the organism (except sex cells). Change the DNA, you’ve changed every cell.

          • If I must–the entire DNA of the organism is in every cell (sans sex cells). That is theory, not so far as I know disproven.

        • Loren Eaton

          “The composition is different–in EVERY cell.” You really have no idea what you’re talking about, do you? Genes are expressed differently in different cells regardless of whether the plant is GMO or not. Do you have a point?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Do you have a point?”
            he’s a naturalistic fallacy drone, so no.

          • Brilliant. Every cell contains the entire DNA of the organism (except sex cells). Change the DNA, you’ve changed every cell. What do you disagree with?

        • Good4U

          We avoid foods that are labeled with “No GMO” labeling. We avoid food stores which tout that their products contain no GMOs. We do those avoidance things even if it’s not convenient. We avoid those sorts of marketeering claims because our family are very careful about what we eat. We are people. Your statements are false.

          • The industry is afraid that if people were informed which foods were GMO, MORE people would avoid them.

          • More people would avoid GMO food, if it were labelled. That is why some are strongly against labeling it. Because they are selfish.

    • Boulder7777

      They have the right, and presumably the ability, to look all this stuff up for themselves. What part of growing up and taking personal responsibility do you not understand? You want a nanny state to do all this for you? Put on your big boy pants and look up GE foods yourself. And avoid them. Simple.

      • Just label it–you are covering up the truth, deceitful, “priviledged” people whose main interest is in making themselves rich.

        • Boulder7777

          I can’t keep info about which foods are GE, very plentiful lists on the internet, from anyone who wants to look it up. It’s very easy to do. Grow up. Put on your big boy pants. Do your own research and eat what you want. Quit whining for a nanny state to take care of you.

        • Good4U

          I have to laugh when you take a “just label it” attitude. Are you recommending a GMO warning sign on a food in which a gene that codes for a naturally occurring toxin has been removed? Are you recommending that the food bear a GMO warning label so that the consumer would be deterred from eating it, and instead pick up the “organic” labeled food which does contain the toxin? Under your labeling scheme would the “organic” food be required to state on the label that the toxin is present, whereas the genetically modified food would not bear that sort of warning, or might even say that it is less toxic than the “organic” one? Which side of the argument are you on? Are you in favor of improving human health and integrity of the environment, or are you against those things. You can’t be both.

          • I am against selfish small minded people doing whatever they want to our food, so that they personally can make a profit–while leaving the bulk of people ignorant about what is being done. That is very anti-social stuff, pursued by the selfish and small-minded “rulers”.

        • Boulder7777

          You have no compelling scientific reason for your “just label it” mantra, except for your own admission that you think people would then avoid it. That, not labeling, is your real agenda. Deceitful? Look in the mirror.

          You whine “not everyone has time to keep informed about everything.” Grow up. Anyone who does want to know which foods are GE and which foods are organic, etc., can look that up easily.

          You want a nanny state. Control your own fork, unless you are saying you need your government to do it for you.

      • Not everyone has time to keep informed about everything. No wait, no one does. Be responsible–stop forcing your creations down people’s throats.

        • Boulder7777

          What, someone is “forcing” you to eat what you don’t want to eat? Put on your big boy pants and control your own fork.

  • rally2xs

    I think that most things are just big scarecrows of mostly the left to effect a political end. Among these: Anthropogenic Global Warming, GMO foods, Aspertame, Chemtrails, 9/11 Truthers, etc. etc. If its a “scientific study” that something I’ve been consuming for 68 years with no ill effects is somehow dangerous, I call bullshit. The GMO stuff is nothing new, either, we’ve been doing it by “breeding” plants for centuries, we’re just exchanging DNA matter in the lab instead of in the field. Pardon me for failing to run around with hands in the air and hair on fire. In the immortal words of The Fonz, “Sit on it.”

    • StillFree2Think

      And the Instant acceleration of pesticide strength is something you won’t be able to ‘sit on’ when the bee’s are gone You will be busy looking for food that needs pollination.

      • archerb

        Bt doesn’t harm bees. Bt is actually organic when grown by bacteria in a vat. What is killing the bees are all the pesticides we spray on crops that can’t produce their own Bt. If you cared about bees, you would be all for Bt crops.

  • Oliver Brown

    This all seems to revert back to the Pro Vs Anti GMO squabble and does not actually address whether, in principle, there is a right to know. If a majority feel they do have a right to know, in a democracy, and wish to have that established in labelling legislation, then the pro-GMO side might just have to deal with that. Like a great many, I am not anti-GMO but I want labelling – and not just in relation to GMOs, but additives, country of origin and more.

    • Peter Olins

      Your idealism is commendable, but I think you are confusing the wishes of the population with our system of legislation. These only overlap occasionally. In any case, the “will of the masses” will often be a reflection of their ignorance, which is why we have regulatory agencies with professionals skilled in the technicalities. Would you really favor a referendum on the acceptable levels of each of the hundreds of different contaminants in foods?

      I would greatly favor an increase in testing of all food quality and safety, but I suspect there are few people that would be interested in increased taxes to cover enforcement, and increased prices to cover implementation.

      • Oliver Brown

        Fair call, in part. Where democracy is not the will of the masses, it is at least a process whereby we should be able to make our governments accountable. I’m not talking referenda on the nitty gritty. We know governments are lobbied on both sides, certain industry bodies with more money and certain (almost faith-based) movements with more of whatever emotive campaign seems to get the most hits. Strip all that, and the partisan arguments, away and ask the question “does a majority wish to have a simple regulation around food labelling constitute a reasonable right to know, without consequent risk of harm, represent an issue which accountable elected officials should address?”. I say yes, I suspect you wouldn’t. Fair enough, that’s where informed democracy ought to come in. “Will of the masses” a reflection of ignorance in a case where people are a seeking a right to be informed what they are eating? I think not. If they decide not to eat it, that is up to them, regardless of the reason. I don’t buy orange tomatoes for any reason better than that they don’t seem right – my choice. The grower would think me a dick, but they can’t hide it from me, and they are growing for (mostly) free market. There are some kooky anti-GMO people out there, and some dreadful pseudoscience (on both sides of the argument though), I get that. but ignorance applies in varying degrees to absolutely everyone in this matter.

  • Pimar Solet

    Angel Lawin,

    Critics claim that this Zika virus outbreak currently gripping the Americas could have been caused by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in 2012.

    Teacher Erano M. Evangelista once said that in the Bible, God had long ago discouraged man about the genetic modification or alterations of plants and animals because of the great danger it will bring to us human beings and to our environment as well.

    As written in Deuteronomy 22:9

    “Do not plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard; if you do, not only the crops you plant but also the fruit of the vineyard will be DEFILED.”

    Deuteronomy 22:9 NIV (Caps mine)

    And in Leviticus 19:19

    “‘Keep my decrees.

    “‘DO NOT MATE different kinds of animals.

    “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed…”

    Leviticus 19:19 NIV

    The truth is this: Humanity’s acceptance of the real false prophets’ deception cause today’s sufferings from God’s curse of plagues, diseases, and disasters!

    To show us that the plagues (presently happening) are God’s way of calling us to account for disobeying His commandment, let us read the following passage in:

    “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone

    adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book.”

    Revelation 22:18 NIV

    “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book”- In the Book of Revelation (which was not written by an apostle of Jesus but by a prophet whose name was also John) God is giving us a warning concerning the prophecies which were written by His prophets.

    This means that if anybody adds their own meaning or interpretation to what is written in the Book of Revelation and preaches it to others, they have also added their own meaning to all the prophecies written by the former prophets. They have instantly distorted and contaminated the whole message of God in the scriptures. Thus, the preachers led their listeners to disobey God. Consequently, they made them suffer under God’s curse which is already happening now.

    With these plagues like Zika and Ebola (which is not recorded in God’s laws) that is now currently killing a great number of people, it cannot be denied that we have listened to the people who added to God’s word in the Bible.

    The people who added their own interpretations to God’s word which made humanity suffer God’s curse are the preachers and scholars of the world’s two major religions, i.e., Christianity and Islam specifically their founders – Jesus and Muhammad.

    This includes the Jewish religious teachers because they added their own meanings to the laws that God gave Moses and did not carefully heed God’s commandment in Deuteronomy 18:18-19 to listen only to His prophet like Moses.

    Revelations of the last prophet of God, Maestro Teacher Evangelista of http://www.thename.ph or http://www.thenameonline.info and http://thenameonline.info/then…/revelations/humanity-en.html

  • StillFree2Think

    What about the More Potent Pesticides and Their Direct Cause To Bee’s dying in massively disturbing numbers??? And YES We DO Have The Right To Know Exactly What We Ingest.

    • agscienceliterate

      Not connected. Stay up with the news.

      You do not have the “right” to force a meaningless process label on my food, based on your own ignorance, paranoia, conspiracy theories, and activist agenda. You can eat tens of thousands of clearly labeled organic and non-GMO certified foods. Big ole green letters right there on the package. Oh, and a federal labeling law is now in effect. I know you don’t like it, because it doesn’t adhere to the demonizing, inconsistent, and unscientific wording you wanted to fulfill your activist agenda, but there it is.

      You indeed are “free to think,” as your moniker delusionally implies. Unfortunately, it appears that no one can help you do that. With clearly labeled organic and non-GMO certified, the good news is that there is absolutely no thinking required.

    • hyperzombie

      What more potent pesticides? Can you name them?

      Direct Cause To Bee’s dying in massively disturbing numbers

      CCD (colony collapse disorder) has no verified cause, but they do know that it is not caused by pesticides. They think it is a new novel virus spread by the Varroa mite.

      And YES We DO Have The Right To Know Exactly What We Ingest.

      No you dont, and you have never had this right.

    • agscienceliterate

      Labeling is now the law. Catch up.