If GMOs are safe, why aren’t they labeled? Straight answer to a valid question

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Opponents of GMOs have refocused their initial efforts from claiming that GM foods are unsafe to now advocating that everyone has a “right to know” what is in their food. This strategic shift is not new.

Proponents of the “Right to Know GMO” labeling movement contend that their aim is not to distort the issue by suggesting that non-GMO foods are healthier or nutritionally superior to the modified foods. Thus, the GMO “right to know” movement is now inline with the scientific consensus that GMOs are safe.

Rather, they advocate that labeling is beneficial because consumers have a basic right to know whether or not their food contains ingredients that are genetically modified. In tactically reframing the debate, the GMO-labeling proponents have asked a reasonable question: if GMOs are safe, then why are many scientist and science publications and even liberal newspapers in the United States opposed to GMO labeling?

The “right to know” centers on the valid argument that the GMO labels would empower consumers and allow them to make a choice. This seemingly appeals to our senses and our personal rights in a democratic society. After all, if GMOs are nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO or organic foods, what are the opponents to GMO labeling afraid of and why aren’t they more transparent?

Many scientists and the food industry contend that a GMO label would potentially confuse customers and mislead them into believing that crops grown from genetically engineered seeds are “second-class” foods that should be avoided. The Food and Drug Administration has a labeling law in place for changes that matter, such as what it considers “material” changes to nutrition, whether positive or negative (e.g. trans fats are labeled because they are linked to cardiovascular disease; Similarly, products with peanuts and aspartame also demand labeling because of the potential adverse health affects if consumed by individuals with nut-allergies or phenylketonuria, a genetically inherited disease.).It specifically addressed the labeling of GM foods in a 1992 policy statement, still in effect today:

…foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and their byproducts, derived from plant varieties developed by the new methods of genetic modification are regulated within the existing framework of the act, FDA’s implementing regulations, and current practice, utilizing an approach identical in principle to that applied to foods developed by traditional plant breeding. The regulatory status of a food, irrespective of the method by which it is developed, is dependent upon objective characteristics of the food and the intended use of the food (or its components). The method by which food is produced or developed may in some cases help to understand the safety or nutritional characteristics of the finished food. However, the key factors in reviewing safety concerns should be the characteristics of the food product, rather than the fact that the new methods are used.

In sum, the FDA has indicated that the labeling of GMO foods is unwarranted because it does not pose a risk to consumers, regardless of one’s genetic background. The absence of GMO labeling on food products does not pose as a health risk, thus does not necessitate their labeling and could in fact mislead consumers.

If the FDA changes its policy and mandates the labeling of GMO products, it could open the legal flood-gate to superfluous labels that do not impact the safety and nutritional quality of foods, many of which could be misinterpreted by consumers, especially under a barrage of scare related advertising by special interest groups that could benefit if a product is seen as less nutritious or harmful.

For example, some consumers might want to know if their broccoli was harvested by workers making a livable wage or under the age of fourteen. Others might demand labels that indicate if their food was produced on a farm that used crop rotation or energy unsustainably. Others, purportedly concerned about global warming, might believe they have a right to know how many miles a food was transported to their grocery store. Such frivolous labels might empower consumers to make a more informed decision about what they purchase, but similar to GMO labels, the labels would do nothing to further protect the health of individuals.

With the FDA labeling door open and with no safety or health standard as a check and balance, a case could be made that each demand would under law need to be honored, setting off chaos in the food market. Labeling of GMO foods would ultimately lead consumers to the erroneous conclusion that these foods are unsafe or nutritionally inadequate. That’s the contention of many scientists and editorial boards at major publications who have examined the question. It is time to move beyond the GMO labeling debate and focus on more important aspects that relate to our health, access to quality food and sustainable agriculture.

Doug Van Hoewyk is an Associate Professor in the Biology Department at Coastal Carolina University, and is currently a Fulbright Scholar at Ankara University in Turkey.  You can follow him @dougvh on Twitter.

  • WeGotta

    Typical BS arguments full of unsubstantiated claims and distorted half-truths.

    “Opponents of GMOs have refocused their initial efforts from claiming that GM foods are unsafe to now advocating that everyone has a “right to know” what is in their food.”
    Distortion: Lot’s of people are against GMO for lots of reasons.
    You think the only arguments against GMO have to do with safety? What an incomplete assessment of the situation.

    “Thus, the GMO “right to know” movement is now inline with the scientific consensus that GMOs are safe.”
    Completely false. What kind of fuzzy logic is this. Is this how you conduct your research?

    “Many scientists and the food industry contend that a GMO label would potentially confuse customers and mislead them into believing that crops grown from genetically engineered seeds are “second-class” foods that should be avoided.”
    Who gives a crap what scientists say about labeling? Does your biology degree mean you are now a public policy expert?
    Who gives a crap what the food industry says about it? Obviously they are in it for profit. Of course they would say that.

    Is this how you see science Doug? More information is a bad thing? Now I don’t trust any of your research. You may have not looked at all the data out of fear it may by too confusing for you.

    “In sum, the FDA has indicated that the labeling of GMO foods is unwarranted because it does not pose a risk to consumers, regardless of one’s genetic background.”
    The same FDA that is stocked with industry lobbyists? The same FDA that is failing to act in the face of an epidemic of diet-related diseases?

    The only sane thing would be to label things in the affirmative with no claims and no advertisements on the packaging. This would preclude all future fights and give people what they want.

    Stick to biology. Your opinion about food safety, public policy, GMO opposition, and what it is you think I want to know or not know means nothing to me. Passing some college courses in biology in no way makes you an expert in any of these things.

    This type of nonsense reasoning from people like you helps explain why some people feel they can’t “trust” scientists.

    • David Coyle

      What are your qualifications? Interesting that you use a dharma wheel as your avatar. When I saw it, I presumed less of a vitriolic rant and something more mindful.

      • WeGotta

        My qualifications for what?

        • Stuart M.

          Information is always a good thing, eh? I guess you would jump to defend the Nazis who forced the Jews to wear a Star of David armband, because, hey, the “master race” has a right to know…

          Again, please first ask your wife to explain this analogy to you before responding.

          • WeGotta

            “I guess you would jump to defend the Nazis who forced the Jews to wear a Star of David armband, because, hey, the “master race” has a right to know…”
            Not at all. That sort of mentality shows a significant LACK of information. Because if you really did have a firm grasp on reality and enough information, you would see that we are all the same and what we do to each other we do to ourselves.

          • Boulder7777

            That analogy, about the forced wearing of stars, makes me shudder. It’s a good one. Only those who really feel they are superior would even come up with a phrase like “right to know.” It’s deviousness cloaked in artificial transparency, but the crowd knows the emperor has no clothes.

        • David Coyle

          You’re suggesting that someone with a pH.D has passed some college courses, and is not an expert. Considering GMOs are directly up the sphincter in the field of biology, and you consider a biologist to be unqualified to express his opinion on biology, what the h-e-double hockey-stick are your qualifications besides being an online-educated conspiracy theorist?

          • WeGotta

            Again, my qualifications for what?
            Commenting on the internet?
            My own personal food preferences?
            What I want to see on a food label?
            The application of GM technology?
            The opinions of anti-GMO people?
            Reading comprehension?
            Critiquing of articles?

            I’m not suggesting that someone with an advanced degree is not an expert. I’m questioning the extent of such expertise.
            The author is not just expressing opinion. He is making assertions about things that are outside of his field of expertise. Not only that, he is doing it very “unscientifically” which makes me doubt his expertise.
            Many people get their degrees online by the way.

          • David Coyle

            I was curious about your qualifications entitling you to rebut Dr. Van Hoewyk, but I’m pretty certain I know the answer.

          • WeGotta

            He presumed to know what the entire anti-GMO sentiment is about.
            -He doesn’t. He can’t.

            He claims the anti-GMO people now accept it’s safe.
            -Just plain stupid.

            He claims that a label with information on it would lead to confusion.
            -Just stupid and actually completely scientifically false.

            He insinuates that biologists should be dictating what’s on food packaging.
            -That’s stupid.

            He finishes with an appeal to authority.
            -fallacy

            Where in my comment did I “rebut” this guy’s expertise in the field of biology?

          • David Coyle
          • WeGotta

            I assume that you agree that I need no special qualifications and that my reasoning is sound since we are changing the subject now.

            Your link is a cartoon with this:
            “If GMO’s are so safe, then why are you afraid of labeling them?”
            “If GMO’s are so safe, then why do they need a warning label?”

            I think better questions would be:
            What is on food packaging currently?
            For what reasons are those things on food packaging?
            Who decides what is placed on food packaging?

          • David Coyle

            I changed the subject because this conversation is a waste of time. You’re making incorrect assumptions about his conclusions; the way you convolute his words distort the meaning of what he’s saying. I respect your opinion, and I’m grateful you express it, but I disagree. Sorry, but I gotta leave this thread- peace.

      • Boulder7777

        Fake Buddhism is rampant. Anyone can use a dharma wheel, and never have had a mindful moment in their lives. Look at Facebook — so many totally erroneous sappy quotes attributed to the Dalai Lama and to Buddha, that there are actual sites now to clarifty those fake quotes. Maybe his dharma wheel is really a bunch of monkeys. Monkey mind.

        • WeGotta

          Hey Boulder,

          You here to just snipe or do you have something to add?

  • lambboy

    excellent and well reasoned

  • agscienceliterate

    Great article. Activists do not have any right to compel unnecessary and useless speech (labeling) onto private businesses. The Senate Ag committee in Congress focused on that message two days ago. Gary Hirshberg, representing organic interests, stepped all over himself in agreeing that it would be a “nightmare” to have state-by-state labeling, two minutes after he said that states have a “right” to compel labeling. The committee members didn’t buy his attempts to package labeling as a “right” to label without nutritional reasons to do so, and several other members on the panel, including a farmer and a nutritionist, agreed.

    It takes all of 2 minutes for anyone who wants to avoid GE foods to look up a list of GE foods, and then to choose to buy alternatives. Labeling with the words “genetically engineered soy” or “genetically engineered corn” tells the consumer absolutely nothing about the food that affects safety, nutrition, or allergies.

    Activist paranoia and desire for fearmongering labels do not give them the right to impose their unscientific agenda on the rest of consumers.

    Kudos to the Senate Ag committee.

    • WeGotta

      “Activist paranoia and desire for fearmongering labels do not give them the right to impose their unscientific agenda on the rest of consumers.”
      How can you call labels “unscientific”? Isn’t that a big part of science; to label things?
      If you ask a scientist to label something, would they tell you exactly what it is or would they tell you stuff about what it isn’t?
      Are the chemicals in your lab labeled? Does it scare you to read them?

      “Labeling with the words “genetically engineered soy” or “genetically engineered corn” tells the consumer absolutely nothing about the food that affects safety, nutrition, or allergies.”

      How can a label “not tell you anything” if it would clearly tell you if it contained GMO?
      When you look at a package of food, are all things on that package there because they are related to safety, nutrition or allergies? Are those the only reasons to put something on a package?
      Says who? Who are the people that get to say what is on a food package?

      • Stuart M.

        These nitpicks are so childish, they really don’t deserve an answer. Yes, there can be unscientific labels that give irrelevant information. Labels pandering to prejudice and bias are by definition unscientific. Chemicals in the lab are labeled because these are ingredients, however, notice that the chemical labels don’t say HOW the chemicals were produced. What part of “tells you absolutely nothing about the food that affects safety, nutrition or allergies” don’t you understand? Do you have difficulties with the English language? Marketers have always been free to put just about anything short of a lie on the packaging of THEIR OWN product, and many do put “non-GMO” on it and no one is preventing them from doing so. What we are objecting to is forcing companies to show on their products irrelevant information dreamed up by the marketing departments OF THEIR COMPETITORS.

        Before answering me, please have your wife read my comments and explain them to you.

        • WeGotta

          “Chemicals in the lab are labeled because these are ingredients”
          What about “Grade” (ACS or HPLC), “purified”, “hydrate/powder/granular”, “coss-linked”? Those are not ingredients and they are on scientific labels.

          Objective labels that clearly state details about the product within are inherently NOT pandering, prejudiced or biased. They just are.

          “Marketers have always been free to put just about anything short of a lie on the packaging of THEIR OWN product”
          That’s one of the things I don’t like. They should not be allowed to put such things on the packages WHEN we have such an epidemic of diet-related disease in this country.

          “What we are objecting to is forcing companies to show on their products irrelevant information dreamed up by the marketing departments OF THEIR COMPETITORS.”

          I am 100% for forcing companies to stop putting BS on their labels so that people can make informed decisions about what they eat.

          I would think a scientist would be interested in precise, objective language on a label so important as the one on our food.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “I would think a scientist would be interested in precise, objective language on a label”
            A label that says GMO is none of those things. The only thing that GMO says to a consumer is that there was a lab mediated genetic insertion. What is the event? What does that event do? When the transgenic oranges come to market, what would a GMO label tell you? The expression of the spinach gene is only in the vascular tissue and has nothing to do with the fruit, other than the trees will require A LOT less insecticide spraying.

          • WeGotta

            Telling me whether or not there was a lab mediated genetic insertion is exactly what I would want to know.

          • Michael McCarthy

            But it doesn’t tell you anything, as explained with the example of oranges. Or are you against reducing insecticide use and making oranges cheaper?

          • WeGotta

            It does tell me something. How can you say it doesn’t tell me anything?
            Clearly lab mediated genetic insertion is a thing, distinct and separate from it’s alternative right?

          • Michael McCarthy

            It doesn’t provide you any useful information, is that better? You have claimed before that your issue isn’t GM labeling, but here you seem to be contradicting yourself. As I pointed out, an orange grown on a GM tree is identical to an orange on a non-GM tree as the gene is only expressed in the vascular tissue, the fruit is unaffected. So what, exactly, is that GM label on an orange going to tell you that is of use to you as a consumer if you want to avoid it and why would you not want it? Please be specific in your answer.
            “Clearly lab mediated genetic insertion is a thing, distinct and separate from it’s alternative right?”
            There is more than 1 alternative and none of those are labeled either.

          • WeGotta

            A GM label will tell me:
            -if I buy this, I support those who have a completely different world view than me. One that, in my opinion, is extremely destructive.

            A world view including, but not limited to:
            Life is to be manipulated for profit.
            The best way to accomplish something is by force.
            Consolidation into larger and larger systems is best.
            More control by corporations is better.
            Humans are intelligent beings that know everything there is to know about DNA and the complicated web of life.

            Humans are the pinnacle of the natural world, and we deserve to kill and destroy at random for our needs.
            There are no alternatives to GM.
            Humans have shown enough wisdom and compassion to handle such powerful technology.
            The food we currently mostly eat is perfectly fine.
            Business as usual is what we need.
            The free market is the best scaffold for our food systems.
            Consolidated crops of weaker plants in larger and larger farms requiring expensive infrastructure is the way to go.
            Cheap fossil fuel is forever.

          • Michael McCarthy

            You are an idiot. Thank you for illustrating you know ZERO about GM other than your anti-corporate BS. Who do you think is producing the GM orange and what is their profit motive for doing so?

          • WeGotta

            Okay, thanks!
            I think if anyone is producing a GM orange it’s going to be a huge multinational corporation and that their motive will be money, return on investment, stock dividends, bonuses and increasing market share.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “I think if anyone is producing a GM orange it’s going to be a huge multinational corporation”
            WRONG. Your whole post is wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong. Did I mention wrong? And you never did answer my question, why are you against cheaper oranges and vastly reduced insecticide use in orange groves?

          • WeGotta

            Oranges grown in huge monoculture groves are going to be sick oranges that need a lot of help.
            I don’t want to eat weak, sick plants.
            I don’t even really eat oranges. I have a wild citrus tree in the neighborhood that makes great fruit and the owner does nothing to it. I am not sure, but I think most oranges are actually used for juice. Orange juice is a sugary junk food.

            The correct question is why are you for growing weak plants that need so much help and labor?

          • Michael McCarthy

            “Oranges grown in huge monoculture groves are going to be sick oranges that need a lot of help.I don’t want to eat weak, sick plants.”
            WRONG.

            “I have a wild citrus tree in the neighborhood that makes great fruit and the owner does nothing to it.”
            No such thing. Citrus are an entirely man-made construct from original stock in China that are practically not edible. And in FL, there is not one single citrus you can plant that won’t succumb to citrus greening.

            “I am not sure, but I think most oranges are actually used for juice.”
            so?

            “Orange juice is a sugary junk food.”
            WRONG.

            “The correct question is why are you for growing weak plants that need so much help and labor?”
            avoiding the pertinent questions, eh. And following it up with a question about which you are WRONG.

          • WeGotta

            “And in FL, there is not one single citrus you can plant that won’t succumb to citrus greening.”
            So why grow oranges in Florida?

            I’m not avoiding the question. I’d rather not have that particular variety of oranges that is grown that particular way which is a way most suited for mass production, thus practically guaranteeing it will continuously need human help.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “So why grow oranges in Florida?”

            So, in your opinion, FL citrus growers should not stay in business because of an imported disease? How very kind of you to determine that people do not have a right to make money. Personally, I like being able to go to the farmers market and get citrus that is grown here, harvested at the peak of ripeness and not cold stored.

            “need human help”
            ALL ORANGES NEED HUMAN HELP. All citrus for that matter. And carrots. And corn. And beets. And cabbage. And kale. Should I go on, know it all?

          • WeGotta

            You are right. Many of common edible plants need help.
            But I’m for help in the form of intelligent system design, thought, good ole manual labor and love. I’m against help in the form of poisons, bank loans, tax subsidies, exploitation of foreign manual laborers, lobbyists, and GM. But that’s just me.
            Many many more edible plants do not our help at all. They just grow. We should focus on growing things as efficiently as possible with as little work as possible, don’t you think?

            Sure I care about people losing their livelihoods. But if people really did care about each others financial security there are many things we could do to help each other. Let’s help each other!

            Do you rail so much against the mega corporations when they lay off thousands of workers?
            Do you speak out against the TPP? NAFTA? CAFTA? These have directly resulted in many many Americans losing good paying jobs.

            Personally, I like being able to walk out my door and pick food right from my yard. Talk about fresh!

          • hyperzombie

            “We should focus on growing things as efficiently as possible with as little work as possible, don’t you think?”

            That is modern farming.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “We should focus on growing things as efficiently as possible with as little work as possible, don’t you think?”
            So you do support GM crops, since this is what they do.

            “Many many more edible plants do not our help at all.”
            Which would those be?

            “Sure I care about people losing their livelihoods.”
            No you don’t. You have made that plainly obvious in your comments about oranges.

            “Do you rail so much against the mega corporations when they lay off thousands of workers?”

            Oh, only mega-corporations do this? Please tell that to the 30% of our workers we had to let go in 2009. Or all of the employees that lost their job when my brother had to close his company due to changes in government regulations. 100 people on the street, just like that.

          • WeGotta

            I think we should all get more involved in those things such as what happened to your brother. We are all affected.
            The systems we currently have in place are failing. They need to be replaced. The government is corrupted so I doubt they will help much.

            I don’t know all the wild edible plants yet. I plan to learn in the near future though. Maybe a month or two in some sort of internship. That’s what I was thinking.

            GM sounds like a lot of work requiring a lot of infrastructure and build upon the premise that we can engineer ourselves out of problems that were created by poor system design.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “GM sounds like a lot of work requiring a lot of infrastructure and build upon the premise that we can engineer ourselves out of problems that were created by poor system design.”
            Nope. It is easy peasy. It is all of the pushback by consumers and ensuing excessive government oversight that makes it difficult. And much easier than attempting to selectively breed. If it was financially feasible to GM Dwarf Gourami to be resistant to iridovirus, I would be much happier. Outcrossing did not work.

            “I think we should all get more involved in those things such as what happened to your brother.”

            Didn’t really make much of a difference to him, just all of his employees. Thank the affordable home loans legislation pushed through by Obama for the spate of foreclosures which caused new legislation to be pushed on mortgage services which made my brother close. (he could have remained in business but did not want the risk of personal financial liability if another crash happened)

          • WeGotta

            I plan to get more involved in the housing thing (among other things). I think that is important. If people could get debt off their back we might have more time to enjoy life instead of being stuck in jobs we don’t like in order to pay off CORRUPT usurious bank interest (from money they were given for free). Why should the builder of a house get $100,000 but the banks get twice that much? What did they do besides be a middle man?

            You say genetic modification is easy? Fine, what do I know?
            I say work smarter with simple available tools readily found all around us.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Are you kidding? You think people should be loaned money for free for 30 years?

            “I say work smarter with simple available tools readily found all around us.”

            And when that doesn’t work? (see oranges, see American Chestnut, see American Elm, see White Ash)

          • WeGotta

            No. I think it should be simple interest (not amortized). I also think maybe the taxpayers should be the ones loaning the money. What better investment for a country than to invest in the stability that comes with home ownership and personal land ownership for it’s own citizens?
            Why should banks get the profits? Why not the American people?

          • Michael McCarthy

            You can get a simple interest home loan. It requires 30% down and 15 year payoff. I can say I am wholly against taxes being used for home loans.

          • WeGotta

            I can understand that. I am not so sold on that idea either. I just know the current situation is terrible.
            Ya, I’ve heard of those but not a lot of people can save up 30% (no excuse for them).

            I was thinking about starting a home building company where I would build small, efficient, very low maintenance, simple homes and finance them myself. There seems to be a market for that now.
            And/or a mortgage payoff club that leverages the power of large group of people to systematically pay off people’s loans.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “I was thinking about starting a home building company where I would build small, efficient, very low maintenance, simple homes and finance them myself.”
            There are plenty of companies that do this in FL, we call them trailers colloquially. I think you will find that lot size restrictions, land purchase and building codes make this less feasible than what you envision other than the pre-fab market.

          • WeGotta

            Yes, I have run into that.
            Good thing I am persistent and don’t mind fighting stupid zoning laws and building codes.
            Actually, most city officials are quite reasonable and appreciate people caring and getting involved. I’ve already been offered positions with several cities.
            But not yet.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Building codes are important. Some zoning laws are ridiculous at first look, but when looking at them from an infrastructure perspective, they make sense.

          • WeGotta

            Very true. Others are stupid and outdated.
            The infrastructure is what is really interesting to me.

            People don’t seem to realize how expensive it is to keep up the infrastructure for storm drainage.
            We are paying a lot of money for a system that treats water like a nuisance and tries to get rid of it as fast as possible.

          • Michael McCarthy

            “We are paying a lot of money for a system that treats water like a nuisance and tries to get rid of it as fast as possible.”
            In FL, it is a nuisance but goes into a system for reclamation for use in irrigation, rather than pump water from aquifers. And I guarantee we pay more for that system than most other places in the country and are glad to do it. Otherwise, I’d be in a swamp 4 months a year.

          • hyperzombie

            Mostly because having 1000s of flooded homes is more of a nuisance than paying for storm drainage. In most places storm drainage is far less money than water and sewer, they are the big ticket items.

          • WeGotta

            True. But that doesn’t exclude better solutions either.

          • Stuart M.

            I’m glad to see you have moved on to a topic you may know something about. Of course, you are totally opposed to profit-making and will provide all this housing at zero profit to yourself, right? You want to set a good example for Monsanto and maybe Whole Foods that is making whopping profits at the expense of the organic consumer.

          • WeGotta

            People can think and do whatever they want. That’s okay with me but I’m free to have an opinion about things that involve me.

            Profit doesn’t mean just money. You should try helping people sometimes. That’s the only way you’d ever believe me.

            So yes, I would do something for zero (financial) profit but I would surely profit all the same.

          • WeGotta

            “I can say I am wholly against taxes being used for home loans.”
            On second though, it kind of is already funded by our taxes now.

            When the company wins, it keeps most of the money. When the company loses, we bail them out.

          • hyperzombie

            Wasn’t that part of the problem a few years back, the government securing home loans that no one could pay back?

          • Michael McCarthy

            Well, yes, but they were approving home loans that would not have been approved prior. A person making $1000/month should not be approved for a $100K loan with 0 down.

          • hyperzombie

            No matter how much you make you should never be approved for a home loan without at least something down 10% at the lowest.

          • Michael McCarthy

            If you have enough money, you can get a massive loan with 0 down and less than 1% interest, just so you have a tax write-off. Just ask Mark Zuckerburg.
            10% used to be the standard (except for military personnel and agriculture). In the 80’s, it was 20% and before that 30%.
            It is the fine print on the loan that no one reads that says the bank can call the loan at any time, at which point you must be able to pay off the loan or lose the property that should really worry people.

          • hyperzombie

            Do you really want politicians in charge of millions of mortgages?

          • WeGotta

            Good point.

          • Jim Gordon

            Off topic. Nobody cares about your anarchist attitude towards banking.

          • Jim Gordon

            Then do that. And buy organic. Just stop spraying ignorant anti-science hate language all over the internet.

          • WeGotta

            Sorry Jim,
            You don’t get to decide what science is and what it isn’t.
            Being against a certain application of science is not “anti-science” any more than it is “anti-water” because I don’t want someone pouring water on my sandwich.

          • Jim Gordon

            Of course I don’t decide. That is why we have the peer review process. Everything not reviewed is suspect including the absurd attempts at argument you spew here with wild arbitrary abandon.

          • WeGotta

            “Everything not reviewed is suspect”
            Like your understanding of reality? That is sort of a paradox don’t you think?

            I don’t like to shrimp yet there are no peer reviewed articles that confirm this obvious fact.

            I think of all the “known” things in the universe, those that are peer-reviewed would make up only a small percentage.

          • Jim Gordon

            Super lame to equate personal favorite taste profiles with science. Well, on a par with the caliber of your other posts. Idiocracy cult forces.

          • Jim Gordon

            Then don’t buy them, nimrod. Nobody is forcing you to and all oranges have labels or box markings.

          • Benjamin Edge

            Troll much?

          • Benjamin Edge

            Troll much?

          • Jim Gordon

            Then buy organic and non-GMO labeled foods and stop bitching fer crissake.

          • Benjamin Edge

            That is not the purpose of a mandated label. If you want to pay extra for someone to provide you that information voluntarily, that is your right. The rest of us prefer to buy safe food at a reasonable price and don’t worry about whether the political party of the person picking the fruit affects its “goodness.”

        • Goody FANFan

          Right on, Stuart. So-called “right to know” is a duplicitous phrase that casts consumers as vicitims. Fundamentally, it’s used to sell more organic products.
          Unfortunately for anti-GMO activists, most consumers in the states where it’s been tested on the ballot have decided to reject victimhood. “Right to Know” got the pro-labeling campaign enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in Oregon, but the moment it qualified, the anti-GMO campaign left their right to know rhetoric behind and went full “Frankenfood” on us.

      • Roy Williams

        The “right to know what is in our food” claim is completely bogus, and simply shows how uninformed people are about some very fundamental facts about biology.

        Fact: Bt GMO plants contain a one gene for each type of Bt toxin produced.

        Fact: there are about 20,000 genes in corn.

        Fact: In a single meal, you may consume over 100,000 different proteins.

        Fact: Detailed analysis of complete sets of genes from several thousand individual people has found that each of us contains thousands of mutations than make each one of us a distinctly different individual from every other person on earth.
        If the rate of mutation in other species is equivalent to that in humans (and in plants it might be more), the count of different proteins you eat in a day might be a lot more than 100,000.
        Fact: all protein that you eat is destroyed before it is absorbed into your blood stream. That’s right – all protein is broken down. That is true of any protein, no matter what it’s source. That includes Bt toxin (which is a protein), and the proteins that make Bt toxin.
        Fact: all DNA (genes) that you eat is broken into small pieces by your digestive system before it is absorbed by the cells that line your intestine. By the time you absorb those bits of DNA, they are just a chemical soup that is the same regardless of what DNA you have consumed.
        Fact: all DNA is composed of the same chemicals . DNA from bacteria, from plants, and from animals is all the same. The DNA from one species is indistinguishable from that of another species.
        Fact: specific genes are inserted into a plant because we know exactly what that gene does. A gene will produce the same protein in a bacterium as it will in a plant or in an animal.
        Fact: genetic engineering is probably the most widely used biological research tool in use today, in research labs world wide. Many, many thousands of research scientists create new genetically modified research organisms every day. There is nothing experimental or unknown about the processes used.
        Thus, no matter what special genes are inserted into the plant you eat, those genes produce proteins that are completely broken down and destroyed by your digestive system when you eat them. Those proteins cannot hurt you – they are just a very few of the hundreds of thousands of different proteins you eat over the course of a few meals. To your digestive system those proteins are no different than any other protein.
        And one more thing – there is overwhelming evidence that some of the genes in corn (and in humans) came from viruses or bacteria. Those genes are just part of the plant, or part of you. One or two more genes really don’t change the plant into some toxic monster, as I just explained. Your cells, or the cells of a corn plant, do not process genes differently depending on where they came from. All genes are copied in exactly the same way to make proteins.
        So, the request to know what is in your food is not a request that can be addressed for any food. Do you really want a label that lists 100,000 proteins, probably a few hundred thousand more carbohydrates, fatty acids, and RNA molecules? Absolutely no one can make sense of that much data. Clearly, no one really wants a food label to say what is in their food at the level of individual chemicals. And, since there is no difference, from the perspective of your digestive system, between a protein produced by a gene that is inserted into the plant by genetic engineering and a protein produced by a gene that is not inserted by genetic engineering, labeling a food because it contains that protein serves no purpose. That is just not the level of information that anyone thinks about when buying or eating food. Not even people who work with genetic engineering every day think about food at that level.
        From all that, it seems clear that the “we have a right to know what is in our feed” is just a smoke screen set up by the powerful for-profit companies that stand to make millions and millions of dollars in inflated prices for food if they succeed in convincing grocery shoppers that any food not labeled “organic” is bad. I am not against organic farming, but the deceptive fear-mongering tactics being used by big companies (not farmers) to sell organic products is fundamentally false advertising. It is just as false and morally wrong as it would be for Ford to try to sell cars by saying that every other car made was unsafe. Yet the same thing is going on in the food market.
        It is time to stop the non-sense. The “we have a right to know what is in our food” is out of control commercialism at its worst ever – an attempt by wealthy companies and individuals to become even more wealthy by getting their false claims enshrined in the law of the land, so they can continue fleece the public, all in the guise of food safety.

        • WeGotta

          Your comment is very difficult to read.

          I think you’re missing the main point. Wanting to know about the food you are eating is perfectly logical. We are what we eat it.
          It make perfect sense scientifically that we should want to know what is in our food.
          There is no honest argument you can make against someone wanting to know about the food they put into their bodies. Not one.

          Argument only comes when there is a “special interest”. In this case the interest is the billions of dollars potentially at stake one way or another. That’s really the only reason this is “contentious”.

          What you are saying is that all the food is really just these tiny things so it doesn’t matter. This is nonsense.
          Pasteurized dog shit is really just the same tiny things as what’s in an apple right? But I think people would choose to avoid the shit and I’m sure they would want to know if the food contained as it’s main ingredient “poodle excrement”.

          This theory also doesn’t hold up because the type of food you are eating definitely has an effect on your body despite the fact that they may all be similar if you were to break them up into these small bits.

          As far as the advertising thing, I think we are in total agreement. There should be no advertisements or claims on the packaging.
          The voluntary non-GMO label has made a lot of money for various people by slapping that label on foods that never were GMO and would never be GMO. So either way there will be greedy people doing stupid things.

          Better to just be precise and accurate.

          • Roy Williams

            Yes, we agree about the non-GMO labels. Those labels are playing off the “anything that is not organic is bad” campaign, and is deceptive.

            Let me put my issue this way: the difference between a non-GMO apple and a GMO “Arctic Apple” is a modification of four genes. Putting a “GMO” label on the apple does not per se tell us any information about the gene modification. That label does not tell us that the apple is an “Arctic Apple”, it does not tell us what genes were modified, nor does it tell us the differences between the original proteins and the modified proteins. The “GMO” label says nothing useful. It simply says “you don’t know what was done to create this plant variety”, which is exactly how much you know about any other plant product.
            The reality is that when we buy food, we never know what is in it or on it. Never. If we did, there would never be food allergies or food poisoning.
            Your statement “better to just be precise and accurate” can never be accomplished, at least not with any technology that we have or are likely to have. You absolutely do not know what chemicals are in a given sample of product. If I tell you that a given apple is a “Honeycrisp”, you know that it is sweeter than a “Granny Smith”. You have some information about a taste characteristic, but that does not tell you what is “in” the apple. In fact, I suspect strongly that the genetic content, and therefore the chemical content of most varieties of apple have never been genetically analyzed. If you have a genetically modified apple, and you are told it was genetically modified, then you know that some genes were modified, but which genes, and what is then new functionality provided by those genes? The label does not tell you, and if it did tell you, I’m pretty sure you would not understand what it said.
            So, when you say you have a right to know what is in your food, in fact you never know very much.
            The “We deserve to know what is in our food” claim sounds absolutely reasonable on first reading, which is what the big commercial interest that are fighting GMOs want – they want everyone to be saying something that sounds like God, country, and apple pie that no one would dare dispute. But in reality it is an empty claim that just serves up mystery. However, millions of people like yourself, who were apparently denied a decent education in high school, have fallen for the fear mongering and have taken up the slogan with obviously no understanding of what is really being asked.
            Your illustration about dog poo and apples is not relevant to the argument, and the fact that you brought it up indicates that there is still a huge lack of knowledge involved in the fight over GMOs.

          • WeGotta

            “Your statement “better to just be precise and accurate” can never be accomplished” There is some truth to this.
            However. You still miss the point.

            You keep saying that the there is no difference between a non-GMO something and a GMO something. There is a difference. One is GMO and the other is not.

            Some people don’t want to eat GMO and they would like to know if the food was made via this process.
            What the smartest most knowledgeable geneticist has to say about this matters very little.
            The science behind it matters very little.

            To say the process involved in creating something doesn’t matter is not scientifically valid. Lab experiments are very detailed and you must follow the same processes or you may end up with invalid results.

          • Jason

            Some people don’t want to eat GMO and they would like to know if the food was made via this process.

            People are free to want things, but it does not mean that others are compelled to provide it to them. If a segment of the market demands food labeled for gmo ingredients and another segment doesn’t care about labels, but would prefer cheaper food, why shouldn’t a food producer have the choice which of those markets to cater to?

          • WeGotta

            Well now someone is finally making a more rational argument.
            What “irks” me about this whole situation is when someone who claims some high ground due to education or superior knowledge makes ridiculous arguments that are actually lacking in any thought and definitely lacking in any scientific validity or rigor.
            No, a label that says GMO does not tell you “nothing”.

            But I digress.
            Of course there will be some who are happy and some who are not, no matter what. I don’t know THE answer to the situation you present but my opinion is this.
            Market forces (however “powerful” or “helpful” they may or may not be) should not apply to all aspects of our lives. Economics is a tool. No tool is good for all things. There is credible evidence that market forces are failing us in many ways.
            I can’t think of a better example of what might be exempted (or at least protected) from market forces than our food since it touches on many very important things that have huge effects “downstream”. Not the least of which would be our health, our land, our air, our water, our national security, and our taxes.
            We should decide that everyone should have access to enough healthy food.
            What is enough? What is healthy? We could find this out if we were to collect very detailed records about public health as it relates to our diets. This would naturally involve precise and complete information about the food we eat.
            I believe that if we were all eating a proper nutritious diet it would save many lives, many dollars and would probably decrease (if not eliminate) many societal ills.

            Unfortunately, our current system creates sickness and confusion. Of course it does. If you spent any time thinking about how things are actually done you wouldn’t be the least bit surprised.

            And no, I’m not talking about banning anything. I’m just talking about keeping strict records that are made available to anyone so that they can make a complete and informed decision about something so basic and personal as the food they eat.

          • J. Randall Stewart

            You’ve asked this a dozen times with no answer.

          • agscienceliterate

            And they do exactly that now, which is precisely why food manufacturers oppose mandatory GE labeling that has nothing to do with safety or ingredients. Jason got that spot on. I bet you a venti pumpkin spice latte that the activists can’t, or won’t, respond to Jason cogently on your his good free market question. Thanks for asking that anyway, Jason!

          • WeGotta

            I thought my answer was clear.
            I don’t think our food system should be based on the “free market”. Our food system should be organized to first and foremost provide enough healthy food for all people in this country.

            What’s more important; our health or money?

            Even if you think money is more important, I guarantee that a population that is adequately fed and healthy will be much less expensive to govern.

          • WeGotta

            And “free markets” are in quotes because none of our markets are actually free. They are rigged.

          • WeGotta

            In fact, money shouldn’t even be the number two consideration when designing a food system.

            What’s more important; our environment or money?

          • hyperzombie

            “Our food system should be organized to first and foremost provide enough healthy food for all people in this country.”

            The food system provides healthy foods for everyone in North America and for millions of others around the world.

          • WeGotta

            By what metrics?

          • hyperzombie

            By every single metric that you could possibly use to measure food production.. I do know that North America does lag in banana and brazil nut production though.

          • WeGotta

            How do you explain the fact that most people in the US are sick and die from diet related diseases?
            How do you explain the fact that most people file for bankruptcy because of medical bills?

            And please don’t bring up the personal choice thing. Let’s keep things scientific shall we? No personal judgements of people.

            Let’s evaluate the US food system as just that. A system of food production which results in certain health effects within the population who are part of such a system.

          • hyperzombie

            “How do you explain the fact that most people in the US are sick and die from diet related diseases?”

            Getting really old is a diet related disease? Something is going to kill ya, you are not getting out of this alive.

            “How do you explain the fact that most people file for bankruptcy because of medical bills?”

            Crappy insurance and or no insurance.

            “A system of food production which results in certain health effects within the population who are part of such a system.”

            What having too much inexpensive food is a health issue now?

          • WeGotta

            But I guess I’ll get from you what I always get…….crickets.

          • WeGotta

            If you are going to use the free market as a reason, then you’d have to explain why this one thing (providing a label on food which gives information requested) should be left to the market when the following examples are protected from market forces.

            Oil cartels: Protected from market pressures.
            Sugar industry: Protected.
            Defense contractors: Protected
            Banks: protected
            Pharmaceutical industry: Protected
            Hollywood: Protected
            Silicone valley: Protected

            So again, you’d have to explain why this partial list of industries gets to be protected from free market forces but average citizens can’t catch a break in regards to the food they eat.

          • Jason

            Why is it necessary to explain any of that? I’m not really sure most of those are even true. I most of your list is subject to the market.

          • WeGotta

            Because it’s intrinsic in your argument that the market is a “good” thing.
            If it is a good thing, then why isn’t everything truly “free”?
            If some things need to be protected, then why not our food and our health?

          • Jason

            Because some things aren’t subject to market forces doesn’t mean that I agree with that. Personally, I’d subject many more things to the free market. But I’m not the one making that decision.

          • WeGotta

            Agreed.
            But I still think food is too important to place money as the prime goal for a system of food production.

          • hyperzombie

            And what should the primary goal be? You could grow crap piles of kale and broccoli, but if no one is going to buy it or eat it, what is the point?

          • WeGotta

            Now that’s a great question!
            I don’t claim to have an answer. My opinion is that we should design food production systems based upon everyone getting enough healthy food produced in ways that impact the environment the least (even better if they improve the environment). It should not be dependent on wall street manipulation and it should be as “secure” as possible.
            I also think it should be decentralized so that every community can do things that make the most sense for their location.

            Of course we will need good science to help us discover what is enough and what is healthy. But that means more jobs right?
            Of course this may mean some drastic changes but I think it would be exciting and many people would get behind some positive changes.
            Of course this may mean people in certain sectors and industries may lose their jobs. But people already are losing jobs for much less “ambitious and noble” reasons. But hopefully it would also create a bunch more jobs.

            Most people seem to think this means bad tasting food. I think it’s because we’ve been eating processed stuff and a very limited range of foods for so long that they don’t realize the huge bonanza of deliciousness awaiting them.

          • hyperzombie

            “I don’t claim to have an answer. My opinion is that we should design food production systems based upon everyone getting enough healthy food produced in ways that impact the environment the least (even better if they improve the environment)”

            Ummm, you are describing the system that we have now. Everyone has access to healthy foods.

            “It should not be dependent on wall street manipulation and it should be as “secure” as possible.”

            Umm, once again this is the system that we have now. Futures markets are tough to manipulate.

            “I also think it should be decentralized so that every community can do things that make the most sense for their location.”

            Once again, Modern farming.

            “Of course we will need good science to help us discover what is enough and what is healthy. But that means more jobs right?”

            Why would it mean more jobs, and I am all for more science.

            “ourse this may mean some drastic changes but I think it would be exciting and many people would get behind some positive changes.”

            What changes? You are advocating for the system that we already have.

            ” people seem to think this means bad tasting food. I think it’s because we’ve been eating processed stuff and a very limited range of foods for so long that they don’t realize the huge bonanza of deliciousness awaiting them.”

            Changing the farming system will not change the food processing industry or peoples tastes.

          • WeGotta

            You also say “cheaper” food.
            The fact that GMO is cheaper is actually because we aren’t using the free market to set prices for such commodities. There are unaccounted for monies. Just try and get through the farm bills coming out of Washington.
            So again, why are average people always on the short end of the stick?

          • Jason

            Well. I’m not sure how to respond to this. I agree the farm bill is confusing, but I don’t feel like I’m coming out on the short end of anything and I’m a pretty average person. I think commodities are totally subject to the market… Granted, countries subsidize certain things, but the market price is totally dependent on global supply & demand.

          • WeGotta

            Ya, I know what you mean. It’s very confusing to me also.
            That’s kind of my point though. Why is it so convoluted? Why would a nation create a system of food production so convoluted and confusing?

            I felt like you once, that things were really great. It’s not that I don’t feel that way now because to expect reality to be different is insanity.
            I love my life and feel mostly joy. I know I am very lucky.
            I am also curious about things. I love to learn. Along this path I discovered that most things I used to take for granted were just smoke. Authority and “experts” were just regular people and a lot of what we do is just plain stupid.

            So why is it that our food is subject to global supply and demand, profits and wall street bankers and their cheating hypertrading?
            Wouldn’t it be wise to ensure that first and foremost our food systems were designed for optimum health?
            Isn’t the investigation of what is optimum health, and what foods would deliver optimum health a mostly scientific endeavor?
            Isn’t science about collecting as much information as possible in order to get a full picture of things?

          • Roy Williams

            No one is going to produce your food as a charitable act. No profit, no farms, no food. Quit whining about complexity and spend some time learning about how the system works and why it is the way it is. If you are really concerned, get a job in agribusiness, or maybe invest about $1,000,000 and start up a “real” commercially viable farm. Then you will understand the system. There are good reasons (and bad reasons) for the way things are as they are.
            We cannot have “food systems designed for optimal health” because there is very little understanding of what constitutes an “optimal” diet, except that whatever that “optimal diet” is, it is different for different people.
            And, at this point in time, worrying about an “optimal diet” is an inappropriate focus for public health policy. We all agree that obesity is the most pressing world health problem that we have. Obesity is caused by consuming too many calories. The USDA/FDA are making the obesity problem much worse by trying to get people to focus on WHICH foods to eat, rather than on HOW MUCH food to eat. At least there is finally a scientific consensus that exercise is not a useful strategy for fighting obesity. But neither is counting how many “servings” of various food groups you eat, if the total calories is more than you need. The USDA/FDA further aggravate the obesity problem by recommending a 2,000 calorie or 2,400 calorie diet. Very few people need that many calories…most people will gain weight on a 2,000 calorie diet.
            As you can tell, I pretty much believe any statement supported by scientific research that contains appropriate controls, appropriate experiments, and has been verified by additional work at other labs. Unfortunately, our knowledge of human nutritional requirements is quite limited, for the simple reason that we cannot do controlled experiments on people. This has led to a series of contradicting official recommendations on what to eat.
            We need to quit all the “eat this, not that” stuff because there is generally no evidence that eating or not eating any specific food will lead to any particular outcome for most people (blood sugar problems in diabetes excepted).
            The average American eats 2,800 calories per day. If you can find a way to get that average down to 1,600, you will be a public health policy hero.

          • hyperzombie

            “If you can find a way to get that average down to 1,600, you will be a public health policy hero.”

            Well you could always start a full blown depression, not very many fatties in 1932.

          • Roy Williams

            True – there is a very dramatic difference in the appearance of the people in photographs of crowds then, or really any time pre WWII, compared to now.

          • WeGotta

            I agree with a lot of what you say. The whole thing is a complete mess. A disaster. An embarrassment for our country. It costs us lives and money, all of us. Even if you are healthy you pay for it.
            “Obesity is caused by consuming too many calories.” I think this is no longer accepted. We all know that some eat a lot and gain no weight and vice versa. There’s exciting research about the little bugs in our guts which seems to suggest that it’s not about calorie in-calorie out.

            Most people I meet want to be healthy and eat better but they are confused and/or “too busy”. Like you said, who can they turn to for “good” information? Doctors get very little training in nutrition.

            I would completely support paying scientists to do unbiased research into all of this as long as it was unbiased and publicly funded with ABSOLUTELY ZERO pollution from the food manufacturers or other special interests who would stand to gain or lose.

            I definitely agree with what you say about commercial farming. It seem super hard and frustrating in many ways. I like hanging out with farmers (at least the type I hang out with). They are really fun and down to earth.
            I’m trying to figure out how I can help such people more. Truly a noble job.

          • Roy Williams

            Perhaps some non-clarification about obesity and calories: basic physics (thermodynamics) dictates that ultimately, you cannot expend stored energy that you do not take in. All energy that you consume in food must either be excreted without being absorbed, or you must absorb it. Once absorbed, it is stored until it is needed.
            The business about the gut microbiota is not well understood. We are rapidly learning that bacteria in the gut may be the “trigger” for a variety of autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis. Bacteria in the gut may modify how well you absorb energy from food. We have many carefully controlled studies (thousands) on dairy cow nutrition that show that to feed a cow to be maximally efficient, we have to include components in the diet that feed the bacteria in her rumen so that those bacteria can efficiently digest the other components of her diet. We will never have that level of precise information on humans, but I bring it up to illustrate that yes, the microbiome does make a difference in digestion. But the “bugs” cannot circumvent physics. If you do not put the calories in your mouth, you will not absorb (and store) the energy.
            One of the serious challenges to making guidelines on calorie intake is that there are wide variations in individual metabolism and activity levels as well as the big unknown of how the microbiome in our gut makes energy absorption more or less efficient.
            My blanket claim of 1,600 calories is probably good for a substantial fraction of Americans who do not spend many hours a day doing really strenuous labor or exercise, but there will be exceptions.

          • Roy Williams

            On the one hand you declare that “science doesn’t matter”, but by claiming that “There is a difference” you are clearly adopting some information that is known only because “science” provided you with that information. In your non-science perspective, what do you know about GMO makes you believe that you should not eat genetically modified plants?

        • hyperzombie

          Roy, so what you are saying is that no matter how much chicken I eat I will never get wings??? Wow, way to stomp on my dreams….

          • Roy Williams

            Nice. I like your sense of humor.

          • hyperzombie

            So no curly tail if I ea tons of bacon?

          • Michael McCarthy

            If?

        • agscienceliterate

          And, ultimately, a person already has full options to exercise his fantasy “right,” by looking it up himself. It’s such a “Duh.” So easy to do, it’s laughable. Anyone can look up what is GE in a few minutes. The label request is a pretense, a smoke screen as you say, and a transparent one at that. I think the activists are gonna have to find a whole new slogan.

      • The most used genetic modification is to make the plants resistant to poisons like Glyphosate. Since the US is trying to increase the allowed residue of such poisons in Europe by a factor of 1000 to allow the GM food to be sold here, it looks to me that GM food may not be very harmful because of the genetic modification in itself, but GM foods are probable so full of poisons used that this is a very good reason to label it.

        • Peter Olins

          I think that the main source of traces of dietary glyphosate in Europe is probably wheat (which is not GM, for now). Pesticide use in Europe is huge, and while there is overlap, I think it’a bad idea to conflate GM technology with pesticides.

          If your primary concern is trace pesticide residues, perhaps what you really want is a label that documents the levels of the hundreds of pesticides in current use?

          • Now that is a constructive suggestion, if it can be done, prove residue level inn all foods sold. It is true Pesticide is used in Europe, I live in Norway, and we have a quite low level here, but receive aggressive lobbying from the US to allow very much more, which the population here is shocked about. The result is that we stop buying any food that origins from the US, and it looks like it will make it hard for the EU to increase trade with the US since we feel bullied by your chemical companies supported by bought influence from corrupt politicians.

          • hyperzombie

            “I live in Norway,”

            There is almost no farming at all in Norway.

            “bullied by your chemical companies supported by bought influence from corrupt politicians.”
            WTF??? The largest chemical companies in the world are in the EU, Bayer and BASF.

          • Peter Olins

            I was talking about the relatively common use of glyphosate pre-harvest in Europe, not the US, especially in countries with a wetter climate. This relates not only to wheat, but also to oats, barley and rye.

            Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that these levels are reason for concern. I’m not an expert of allowable tolerances of pesticide levels in food in different countries, but I’m sure others can chime in here.

            As I tried to point out before, pesticide safety is a completely separate issue from GM crop technology.

        • gmoeater

          Actually, RR corn is widely sold in Europe for livestock feed.

          • Yes, when the public learned about that just recently, there was a major outcry, and a project here in Norway to test GMO soy for fish farming was published here, with an immediate demand for labeling of fish which is fed on such things. They decided the marked did not want that, and since the marked awareness is increasing fast, nobody in their right mind would try to marked food containing US GMO products. We do not want to inherit your health problems.

    • Roy Williams

      I am real happy to hear that Hirshberg was not allowed to carry the day, and that the Senators appear to understand what is really going on here.

      • agscienceliterate

        Yes, you might listen to the hearing — after the 3 agency folks, he was I think the 2nd person to speak. Full of himself but also faking his previously held positions in order to appear reasonable, but his real agenda came through. Especially when one member of the committee asked the 5 panelists if they thought GE foods were safe. All answered yes, and Hirshberg paused a long time before wimping out with a non-answer. He was really caught. Definitely worth watching!

        • Roy Williams

          OK, sold! I hate watching videos, but I will watch this one. Thanks

    • Whip It

      I would say a for profit company has no right to tell me what I should or shouldn’t eat, especially when the company making the products is pushing their profit driven agenda. Here are some reasons, first some people prefer hamburgers and others hot dogs. The food we eat is our choice, its a personal decision not somebody else’s. Second, since so many studies are suggesting they are dangerous, how can we accurately track the long term safety of GMOs and their chemicals if they are hidden in our food and other products. Third it is illegal to advertise something as healthy and beneficial when it is actually quite unhealthy and degenerative to the soil. Fourth, since Glyphosate residue is found on GMOs wheat and cotton in their usable forms and more studies are putting it’s safety in doubt, I’m pretty sure most people would like to know if its in the products they purchase.

      • hyperzombie

        Who is telling you what to eat? Certainly not Monsanto they don’t even sell food.
        There are no credible studies suggesting that GMOs are dangerous or even show a method of harm.
        Modern farming is better for the soil than Organic or conventional farming.
        There is no GMO wheat, and who is eating cotton?
        Maybe you should learn a bit more about this topic, so you don’t look like a m0r0n on the internet.

        • Whip It

          If the food is not labelled, how can the consumer decide. You say no credible studies show GMOs are harmful, what about Dr Jonathan Latham’s recent article. Remember, he is an original GMO researcher who says he is shocked and appalled that GMOs where ever included in our food due to his knowledge on how dangerous they are. You have a right to your opinion but I’m gonna side with the original GMO researcher. So you are suggesting that dumping all that Glyphosate, 2.8 Billion pounds over the past 2 decades in just the US, is much safer than organics. Lets think about that for a moment. Remember that Glyphosate was originally used as an antibiotic. This chemical sterilizes the soil, therefore Glyphosate is degenerative to the soil. Hope you’re smart enough to realize plants need microbes to be healthy. I know there is no GMO wheat, I hope you knew that most non organic farmers spray their wheat with Glyphosate occasionally to kill it so it can be harvested. Sounds real smart to spray it right before harvest, doesn’t it. I guessed you missed the news, high levels of Glyphosate was discovered in most non organic tampons and other feminin products. Where these items are placed would cause quite a bit to be taken up by the body. Hope this helps set you straight.

          • Michael McCarthy

            There are so many things wrong with your post, it is quite sad.
            “Glyphosate was originally used as an antibiotic”
            No, it wasn’t.

            “This chemical sterilizes the soil,”
            No, it doesn’t.

            “Hope you’re smart enough to realize plants need microbes to be healthy”
            Fancy that. Farmers are having record yields, there goes your sterile soil theory.

            “I hope you knew that most non organic farmers spray their wheat with Glyphosate occasionally to kill it so it can be harvested.”
            Nope, this is not common practice in the US. Far more common in northern Europe.

            “what about Dr Jonathan Latham’s recent article.”
            You mean the one where he flat out lies and misrepresents the CM35 promoter? That article? Also, he is a shill for the organic industry, you know that right?

            “If the food is not labelled, how can the consumer decide”:

            Since none of you brain dead fools seem to be able to figure this out, you look for the big labels that say ORGANIC or NON-GMO PROJECT. I know it is tough, but see if you can’t figure out which ones you want to buy, given those options are everywhere.

          • Farmer Sue

            Good response, Michael. I wonder if he thinks farmers wouldn’t have noticed if their soil was sterile …. does he think farmers are stupid and wouldn’t notice? Or ranchers wouldn’t notice if their cattle were dying, or sick, from eating GE feed? He won’t pick up the phone and call a farmer, though.

            It’s disgusting when remaining ignorant is a conscious choice. And an insult to hardworking farmers and ranchers everywhere.

          • Michael McCarthy

            Sadly, they all think they know better than farmers. People who have probably never had a hand in dirt in their entire life. Have no idea that farmers are spending quite a bit of money every year on soil samples.
            And I agree, there isn’t any excuse for ignorance, in my book. But when people get their information only from their echo chamber, they are a disgrace.

          • hyperzombie

            “If the food is not labelled, how can the consumer decide.”

            Breeding technologies are not labeled.

            “what about Dr Jonathan Latham’s”

            What a professional anti GMO activists that makes his living bashing GMOs, hardly surprising. And he doesn’t have any evidence that GMOs are harmful in anyway.

            “food due to his knowledge on how dangerous they are.”

            Nope, he just says that they could be dangerous. All kinds of things could be dangerous

            “.So you are suggesting that dumping all that Glyphosate, 2.8 Billion pounds over the past 2 decades in just the US, is much safer than organics.”

            Yes I am, far safer than dumping Billions of pounds of Organic pesticides, Billions of pounds of plastic mulch, and billions of tons of manure.

            “Lets think about that for a moment.”

            Yes try thinking about it,,, like what did they dump on fields before glyphosate?

            “Remember that Glyphosate was originally used as an antibiotic.”

            Nope, it has always been a herbicide.

            “This chemical sterilizes the soil, therefore Glyphosate is degenerative to the soil.”

            Well why hasnt China and the EU crops been failing? China and the EU use far more glyphosate than the US and Canada.

            “I hope you knew that most non organic farmers spray their wheat with Glyphosate occasionally to kill it so it can be harvested.”

            Nope, In North America it is rarely used (less than 10% of wheat farmers), but in the EU it is very popular in the northern half where it is used by almost 40% of wheat and and 60% of barley farmers. It is extremely popular in Scotland where they have damp fall weather and perennial weed issues.

            “I guessed you missed the news, high levels of Glyphosate was discovered in most non organic tampons and other feminin products.”

            Yes i did miss it and it is most likely BS.

          • gmoeater

            Whip, here’s how you decide.
            1) Decide what you will eat.
            2) Eat that.

          • Peter Olins

            @Whip It — Where did you get the strange ideas that glyphosate was originally used as an antibiotic, or that it sterilizes the soil? (I’m not being sarcastic, just curious about where the general public gets its information.)

            Yes, one study found MINUTE traces of glyphosate in raw cotton (13 parts per billion!) No big surprise. This is much less than you might already be exposed to in your food.

            Why on earth would you be concerned about this, versus the thousands of substances the body is exposed to every day?

            (BTW I don’t generally think about tampons much, but I think they would be a poor way to introduce a substance into the body.)

          • Whip It

            Wow, a civilized response to my post, thanks Peter. Got the whole antibiotic idea due to patent us7771736. Its the patent given to Monsanto for Glyphosate use as an antibiotic. On to tampoons. My concern with
            Glyphosate in feminine products is that where these items are placed would cause quite a bit to be taken up by the body. It may sound odd that this mode of chemical delivery is very effective. Think about suppositories, a chemical does not have to be eaten to be absorbed by the body. Also, if Glyphosate is carcinogenic and significant amounts are on these products, this would not be an ideal scenario. I truly believe more studies are required. Don’t you?

          • Peter Olins

            This is a recent patent about the potential antimicrobial activity of glyphosate in the presence of oxalic acid. One exciting example is the malarial parasite, Plasmodium. Unfortunately, the inventors do not demonstrate that this actually works, or whether toxic oxalic acid would be required. I am not aware that this has ever been reduced to a practical application.

            Glyphosate was used as a herbicide decades before this patent issued.

            Coming back to tampons, while I have no personal experience, these are typically used to eliminate rather than introduce substances into the body. In any case, the levels of glyphosate observed (13 parts per BILLION) were minute, and probably insignificant relative to the traces already in our diet.

          • Whip It

            So, about the need for further studies on Glyphosate and GMOs, especially Bt strains, how do you feel about that? Remember parents are only awarded to products proven to be effective. There are no peer reviewed studies on Glyphosate and GMOs that prove their safety. Suggesting that no further studies are required would qualify you as an extremist as much as those who say all GMOs and there chemicals are the death of the earth. I believe somewhere in between we can survive.

          • Benjamin Edge

            There is no requirement that a product work for a patent to be issued, only that it describes a product that is unique and different. You can buy patented “As Seen on TV” products all the time that don’t work at all or that don’t work as claimed.

            You are barking up the wrong tree if you are expecting anything to be proved safe. Science doesn’t work that way. We can only show that something is safe compared to something else, within limits of probability. Where are the studies showing organic food is safe? Even the anti-GMO Environmental Working Group’s Scott Faber has reluctantly admitted that current GM crops are probably safe.

            The EPA, Germany’s BfR, and the WHO have determined that glyphosate is safe as used and is not carcinogenic. The IARC used very limited data to declare glyphosate is a probable hazard to cause cancer, and that was by discounting several very large studies that found no cancer link. By hazard, they only mean at some unspecified high level, only encountered by manufacturing workers and farm applicators, glyphosate might cause an increase in cancer. The WHO as a whole, later said that at the amounts most people are likely to be exposed to in food, there is no evidence of cancer risk.

            As for acute toxicity, glyphosate is as safe as table salt and has lower toxicity than vinegar.

          • L’er

            Key word probably as in we really have no idea. DDT was thought to be good, found not along with others. That probably statement is why people want concrete evidence. Not just a simple known outcome study that draws statistical correlations like pharma approvals. You can make a stat tell you anything provided the right boundaries.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            RIght. Charles Benbrook consistently demonstrates stats can “show” anything provided the wrong boundaries. Of course his work never has to stand FDA review like a pharma approval. So, your point?

          • Peter Olins

            OK smarty-pants. The maximum amount of glyphosate that could be absorbed from a tampon is definitely less than the amount present in a typical diet. For example, eating four slices of bread would correspond to using roughly 100 tampons. Happy?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            A morbid sense of curiosity causes me to wonder what sort of creeping crud L’er was needing to
            kill by putting DDT and “others” on tampons, but conscience and an
            abundance of caution tells me just don’t go there. L’er, the concerned party,
            says it was found to be not good, anyway, so better to let sleeping
            dogs lie. Just leave it alone. Walk away. But, yikes.

          • Running Water

            What is your point? That the levels are low. Define low, the industry has no idea what low is regarding glyphosate. Another neat point is ingredients marked as grass do not have to be listed on the box. This leaves out a whole gambit of could be bad chemicals. There is no need for Round-up type products. These plants generally would take care of themselves. Now they are changed to take pesticides and herbicides. What happens when we consume it. The studies are not looking good. There needs to be more. We are the test animals. I personally think there is no safe level of this stuff. This causes inflammation, this causes chemical imbalances in our bodies leading to health issues. There was a recent study in Europe with over 400 scientists who concluded GMO’s do not increase yield.

          • Keith Reding

            Tampons are highly processed from cotton linters (the short fibers remaining on the seed after ginning). Tampons are essentially pure cellulose. Nothing to worry about. http://ec.europa.eu/food/fs/sc/ssc/out216_en.pdf

          • Farmer Sue

            “If the food is not labelled, how can the consumer decide” ? Um, look it up, maybe?

            And safer than organic? You may want to do a wee bit more research on that one. Organic recalls happen all the time. GE foods over 20 years? Zero.

            But do keep setting us straight. My first chuckle of the day.

          • equaltemp

            I have to interject here. You suggest that consumers simply look up foods that are void of labels. When a consumer buys potatoes, for example, they are assuming, and logically so, that a potato is simply a potato. So what exactly are consumers expected to look up, with no knowledge of how, or even if, those particular potatoes were modified?

          • agscienceliterate

            And I am gonna interject right back atcha. When a consumer buys an organic Ruby red grapefruit, for example, they are assuming, and logically , that a grapefruit is simply a grapefruit. Wait – NOT! Actually, that Ruby red has had thousands of genes scrambled through mutagenesis. No labels. No testing. No oversight.
            Do you have the same concern to know how those grapefruits were modified? Didn’t think so. Oh, you did? Good. Get going on a campaign to get all foods genetically modified through mutagenesis to have labels. Then you can start on foods with only one gene modified, that has intense oversight and testing.
            Farmer Sue is right. If you want to avoid GE, look up which foods are GE. Don’t do eat those. Look at labels for which foods are organic or non-GMO certified. Eat those.
            Any more questions, class?

        • I find very many highly credible studies that proves Glyphosate VERY dangerous. As for GMO food the method in itself may not be dangerous for all cases where it is used, but it provenly may be extremely dangerous also, so how can we know what`s good or bad about the genetical modification done to our food? Ask the industry? They fore sure ONLY thinks about the profit, and would do anything to increase that, so we have to ask someone who has done her science without industry funds. The problem is, there are almost no unbiased science institutions left in the US, even your government is bought by the industry, so you Americans are all screaming in sync: “We want to control world food production and monopolize it!!” And everybody else hate it.

          So, we demand labeling, for many reasons, I as a customer does not want to support this kind of business with my purchases, and I do not regard it for proven to be safe at all.

          • Peter Olins

            You say that you rely on highly credible evidence that glyphosate and GMOs are highly dangerous. I don’t mean to sound personal, but unless you show us your evidence and your reasoning, how can we know that this is credible, rather than an admission of credulity?

          • You can ask Monsanto, every time we see them using it, they are covered in Hazmats and gasmasks. And follow the lawsuits building up all over the US on the producer hiding the fact that is causes cancer. If you think it is safe, we must dimiss everything from your side. We, the people of Europe, decide for our self if we want poisonous farming, and we do certainly not, and your industry financed studies do nothing to convince us. It is a pity the US government makes such hard efforts to control world seed, it fires back. Soon all countries will ban GMOs because you misused the technology for gready profit, and not helping neither people nor farmers. Using Gm technology to introduce poisonous farming was a big mistake. Your allowed residue level is 1000 times higher than ours.

          • Peter Olins

            I’m curious if you have ever seen a REAL farmer wearing a hazmat suit and gasmask. My guess is that you saw this picture on the Internet, and assumed that it was true. If so, I encourage you to be more skeptical. Anyone can put almost anything on the Internet.

            I also encourage you to distinguish between the validity of a technology and any anti-US sentiment that you have.

          • Rickinreallife

            No, farmers do not wear hazmat suits and gas masks when applying glyphosate. That is theatre. Do homeowners wear hazmat suits when applying Roundup in their yard? He’ll no. One of the advantages of glyphosate is its low volitility, i.e. low propensity to vaporize.

          • I live on a small farm, all organic, in a farmland area. We in Norway has always been very fond of the US, some 5 million people there have Norwegian ancestors, and a lot of our culture is shared. You encourage me to be more skeptical, and I think I am. I am a supporter of what new technology can bring us, I built the internet in the valleys around the farm.
            It is the sum of the actions of the major seed and chemical companies the worries me greatly. making farmers around the world dependent on patented seed that requires ever increasing amounts of chemicals which have a lot of side effects only institutions paid be the industry can verify unharmful.

            Then hitting them with legal action if the farmers try to revert to clean seeds or ecologically safe methods.

            By eating somewhat less meat, the world could easily be feed by safe farming methods, and even Norway can be self supported on food. We have some of the biggest fish exports in the world.

          • Peter Olins

            So, have you actually seen a farmer in a hazmat suit and gasmask? If so, what was being sprayed?

            If you want to discuss legal action relating to GMOs, please give a specific example.

            If you have some opinions about the worldwide collapse of ocean fish populations, and how GM technology can help to sustainably harvest fish, I would be very interested.

          • Farmer Sue

            Farmers are 100% free to choose what seeds they use. What do you mean, “dependent” on patented seeds? We’re not dependent on any seed seller. And seeds have been patented since 1930 (sigh).

            And responsible farmers are NOT being “hit” with lawsuits unless they violate agreements with seed companies.

            We believe that using GE seeds is more ecological in many ways.
            Your meat arguments have nothing to do with your points.

            And we do not use hazmat suits when we farm – what a laugh you gave my whole family! haha!

            You seem to know very little about U.S. farming. Please educate yourself.

          • AgrSci1

            I have seen bee-keepers wearing protective suits. Does that means that bees are hazardous?

          • hyperzombie

            “I find very many highly credible studies that proves Glyphosate VERY dangerous.”

            No you haven’t, because there are exactly 0 claiming this.

            Once again there are 0 studies proving gmos are harmful in any way.

            “”We want to control world food production and monopolize it!!””

            No one has a monopoly, Monsanto is not even the largest seed company in the USA.

          • Yes , I read every day about Glyphosate is a poison to kill unwanted life in the fields.

            It is right that no one has monopoly now, but we hate the business methods your chemical companies use to gain monopoly, but happily, they are strongly resisted as information spreads.

            The best one can say about GMOs are that hopefully they are not as bad current indications suggests, otherwise the US population will suffer even larger health problems than you have right now.

          • hyperzombie

            “Yes , I read every day about Glyphosate is a poison to kill unwanted life in the fields.”

            Glyphosate kills plants and that is it, there are dozens of other herbicides that do the same thing, you need to learn a bit more about farming.

            “but we hate the business methods your chemical companies use to gain monopoly,”

            What??? The EU has the biggest chemical companies in the world and some of the biggests seed producers as well. Look up Clearfield crops, non GMO but a BASF product.

            “US population will suffer even larger health problems than you have right now.”

            What?? Denmark and France have the highest cancer rate in the world…

          • L’er

            There are 0 studies to say they are safe long term.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            There are zero studies indicating organic food is safe long term. In fact, it is proven unsafe and even deadly during just the past decade.. How would you place safety studies and our experience with GE and organic foods in logical context?

          • hyperzombie

            There are 0 studies stating that anything is safe long term. Science doesn’t work that way.

            There are plenty of studies demonstrating that GMOs are as safe or safer than conventional bred crops though.

          • Running Water

            There are no studies that say GMO’s are safer than organics, 0. If you have one please cite it. I would be interested in reading it. However if you watch a documentary called The Truth about Cancer you will learn all sorts of neat information backed by plenty of studies, doctors, patients, etc. About how chemo doesn’t actually kill the stem cells that cause cancer. Chemo if its, again if it works, can shrink tumors and make cancer appear to be gone. In this documentary you will a chapter about GMO’s. To me this is interesting stuff with plenty of studies and doctors with real knowledge explaining the possibly and real dangers of GMO’s. Again GMO’s as recently defined are not and have not been occurring in nature. Taking an animals/bacteria’s genes and placing them in a plant is new technology with unknown outcomes, short term and long term.

          • Benjamin Edge

            Ask your organic food producer if they care about profit.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Or better still, at the farmers market insist your favorite organic producer give you half off or not charge you anything at all for the wonderfully precious earth saving righteousness they are providing. Surely they would not defile the sacred moment of exchange by accepting pay for saintly acts.

        • L’er

          Corn is a food, they sell seeds. Modern farming is better. Modern farming burns the soil in which corn is grown. This leads to requiring chemicals to reinstate the soil. Check out Polyface Farms.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            “Modern” farming does not “burn” the soil. That notion is simply absurd.

            I have checked out Polyfarce Farm. Its operator earns his living giving tours, speaking for a fee, writing and selling books, one of which would have been more aptly titled ‘Everything I Do Is Highly Overrated’.

          • L’er

            The farm sells to Chipolte. I am not stating organics are far superior to anything else. I do know crop rotation is key to soil health. Growing the same crop in the same location repeatedly, taking the harvest and not returning anything will not work. This depletes the soil of vital nutrients and spawns disease/bugs. Organic farms have proven they can grow at similar rates as those who pump their fields with missing nutrients. I grow all organically and do just fine without any use of pesticides or fertilizers. I compost and have chickens. My point is there is no proof we need this. We already grow enough (now) to supply the world with food. It is a matter of distribution. At the growth rate of humans we will out pace and require more than what is available to grow & raise food to sustain this rate. GMO’s in my opinion are nothing more than patents on which is not patent-able. Sure patent the gene. But as soon as it crosses the field and pollinates other plants and the offspring of that is another mutation, or change then this is not the owned by the patent. I do not believe a company can patent an offspring of its created gene. Heavy fertilizing burns the soil, that was my point. The runoff in the rivers is clear enough to me we need to watch it. However many people think we are invincible and must take what we can while we are here. The earth will be here longer than the humans who think they rule it. Why not care for it the best we can. I call it modern because these chemicals are relatively new compared to how long people have been farming. We have no idea the impact and DDT was proven to be a bad choice. What new chemical is next or can we just try other more sustainable ways?

          • agscienceliterate

            Seeds have been patented since 1930. So?

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Organic farming is not sustainable. Uses diesel fuel, plastic, brings in organic matter from off farm for compost and mulch, relies upon unpaid interns and low wage stoop labor, produces veblen goods reliant upon premium pricing in a boutique niche market (like Chipotle). Not sustainable.

            In conventional farming we have known and used crop rotation for several hundred years. We continue to use it today. As with anything, there may be exceptions but these are few and temporary. If you believe modern farmers do not manage our soils intelligently then you simply are an idiot, there is no polite way to inform you of this.

            Backyard and hobby farming is nice but it is not an option for everyone. Could 100 million Americans feed their families by subsistence farming? How many acres of farmland would be required to accomplish? How could the transition be made? It is impractical.

            Pesticides and fertilizers, used responsibly, have a place in producing America’s food.

            Seeds and resulting plants have been protected by certification and patent since long before genetic engineering was dreamed of. Today hundreds, perhaps thousands of plant varietals are protected by patent, PVP or seed certification. Only a very few of these are genetically modified. Anyone can protect a new varietal — you can or I can.

            https://www.ams.usda.gov/services/plant-variety-protection

            http://www.clemson.edu/public/regulatory/plant_industry/fertilizer_seed/seed_certification.html

            It is nice for you that you have an interest in dabbling in alternative agriculture. It is not so nice for me when you slander my farm, my farm family and me with your malicious lies. If you could only pursue your dreams and your hobby farming without poisoning the well for the rest of us we would respect you. You and your altie cult have made your intentions clear to us. This author articulately speaks the sentiments of myself and many, many of us modern professional farmers on this point:

            http://appliedmythology.blogspot.com/2015/03/hate-speech-for-profit-organic.html

            http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensavage/2016/03/19/why-i-dont-buy-organic-and-why-you-might-want-to-either/#3c0277801c2e

          • Viva La Evolucion

            I was buying some things for next spring, and was thinking about getting this Roundup Ready seed and doing that experiment that we discussed in regards to whether or not Roundup Ready corn growth is affected by being sprayed with Roundup at recommended dose. It seems pretty expensive. Do you know where I could buy cheaper? http://www.ruralking.com/federal-hybrids-110-day-roundup-ready-seed-corn.html

          • hyperzombie

            That is very inexpensive RR corn seed. Average seed cost is about 90 dollars per acre, and you could plant 3 acres your RuralKing seed.

            Ask a local farmer for a small cup or just a few seeds, it will cost nothing but a bit of time and some gas.

          • Viva La Evolucion

            Thanks, that’s a good idea.

          • Running Water

            O you take it so personal, bahahaha! You go ahead and call me poisoning and malicious. GMOs and the bs they bring are not what the people need. If you believe they are you are suckered by the industry just like you think I am an idiot. We can agree to disagree. I have not been sick for over 4 years with my diet switching from processed fast foods to real raw food. I do eat meat still, just the better stuff in my opinion. If I need to add in my opinion to all my posts for people like you to quit being hypocritical I can do that fo you. When i see rows of corn every year in the same spot for my entire life what am i to think? I speak of GMO farmers.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Whatever makes your boat float. Somebody’s got to keep makin’ Gary Hirshberg richer and it may as well be you…’cause it sure as hell won’t be me.

          • Caleb

            I love that there’s another person willing to say his mind while being extremely outspoken.

          • hyperzombie

            Growing the same crop in the same location repeatedly, taking the harvest and not returning anything will not work

            Really? You do know that vineyards across Europe have been growing grapes on the same land for over 1000 years. Do you know what they grow year after year in “Rice Paddies”?

            Organic farms have proven they can grow at similar rates as those who pump their fields with missing nutrients.

            Funny, Organic farmers pump their fields with nutrients as well, they just cant control it as well as conventional farmers.

            Organic yield is similar like one dollar is similar to 70 cents. Organic yield is 25% less on average.

            My point is there is no proof we need this.

            well there is no proof that we need computers, airplanes or even the wheel.

            At the growth rate of humans we will out pace and require more than what is available to grow & raise food to sustain this rate.

            100% false, the birthrate is dropping like a stone and Ag production is growing faster than ever. Agricultural production has been outstripping population growth for over 40 years now.

          • Running Water

            You are the man! Vineyards supplement. I didn’t say you cannot grow in the same spot ever. Crop rotation is beneficial to the soil. I get grape vines are best nor replanted every year, duh and thanks. Since there is no proof we need anything why do you care what I have to say. As there is no proof of anything you just agreed there is no proof GMOs are any good. There is no proof that your 25% less comment is real. There is not proof of all your rebuttal’s. And at that we can agree to disagree and move on and stop wasting time. You are on one side and I the other. I have no been sick in over 4 years since changing my diet. I have gotten others on this same band wagon only to see similar results. If you can explain this please do. I would say less chemicals my body is trying to clean allows more time for my immune system to work properly. But you may tell me my body is always clearing toxins, yes that is true but out of context.

          • hyperzombie

            Vineyards supplement.

            And, what is your point.

            Crop rotation is beneficial to the soil.

            It all depends on what you are growing, Blanket statements like “Crop rotation is beneficial to the soil” are rarely true all the time. The best evidence says that rotation is beneficial most of the time with most crops.

            Since there is no proof we need anything why do you care what I have to say.

            Just pointing out that there is a huge difference between Need and Want,

            There is no proof that your 25% less comment is real.

            Sure there is, ever been to a grocery store? Why are organic far more money?
            Here is a study
            http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/01448765.1997.10749916

            There is not proof of all your rebuttal’s

            Oh, but there is. Everything that I state can be backed up with science.

            agreed there is no proof GMOs are any good

            I never said any such thing. GMOs increase farmers profits, lower the carbon footprint of farming and help to protect the soils.

          • Running Water

            Crop rotation is good, there is no argument if done correctly. I am not stating incorrectly rotate crops. Certain types need to follow certain types, rest periods need to occur, cover crops as well, etc etc. There is a technique not just rotating for fun. I will agree to disagree on your last statement about GMO’s as round up run off is good for nothing.

          • hyperzombie

            There is no such thing as Roundup runoff.

          • Running Water

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKMLG7qy-rs.
            The spray hits the soil, drips off the plants and runs off into the earth and eventually the rivers. This happens with anything applied good or bad.

          • hyperzombie

            Nope, Round ups active ingredient is Glyphosate and once it hits the ground it binds tightly to the soils. i does not leach or run off.

            That is another reason you should support GMOs, they use far safer and more environmentally benign herbicides.

          • Running Water

            Agree to disagree. From the peer reviewed studies I have read this is not the case.

          • hyperzombie

            Nope, and there are no peer reviewed studies that claims that glyphosate runs off.

          • Running Water

            http://www.gmofreepa.org/compelling-peer-reviewed-studies/#.V6OiFvkrJhE

            A list of peer review studies about many different items pertaining to that nasty stuff. I will try to tract down the one regarding run off.

          • hyperzombie

            Not a very good list if you are trying to illustrate that glyphosate is nasty.

            First study, says that the is a small effect on antibiotics if you drink massive amount of glyphosate out of the jug. Hardly relevant in the real world.

            2nd on is IARC classifying glyphosate as a possible carcinogen, the same class as orange oil and clove oil…bit less carcinogenic than sunlight and shift work and bacon.

            3rd study says that glyphosate is way less toxic than Organic Soap, well that is not nasty at all is it?

          • Peter Olins

            I was fascinated by the range of people on the board of GMOfreePA:

            a caterer, chef, hospice nurse, raw food merchant, photographer, organic food merchant, historian.

            Strangely, they decided not to include a single scientist or professional with relevant experience. Next time I get a case of food poisoning, I’ll make sure to consult a local historian.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            A new phenomenon is sweeping the country, gaining the attention of both consumers and manufacturers alike. Increasingly disenchanted with the cold metallic world of modern technology, people are looking closely at more natural alternatives. Collectively called Alternative Engineering (“Alt Eng”), a host of new and old methods are gaining scientific and journalistic respectability.

            Alec Waterstone is one such self-styled alternative engineer. He has no degree or formal training in engineering, which, he explains, is an advantage: “My thinking is not limited by mathematics, logic, or any stodgy old mechanistic paradigm. I do not have to pay homage to the likes of Newton or other Western male pedagogues. My complete lack of training frees me to consider unique and innovative solutions to engineering problems, unfettered by the annoying constraints of “reality.”
            Energy-Based Bridges

            Alec’s latest project is a design for a 1200-foot non-suspension bridge. He claims the bridge will be able to span this distance without pylons or overhead suspension, and will be supported only by the ancient art of Feng Shui. “This wisdom, which is thousands of years old, is the art of channeling energy through design and form. This energy can be used to support a 1200-foot bridge, or even larger structures.” City planners are intrigued by these designs, because such bridges will cost less than half as much as conventionally designed bridges.
            Alec is also quick to point out that ancient Chinese documents reveal absolutely no accounts of collapsing suspension bridges. His technique’s safety record is, he argues, unparalleled. “How else would it have survived all these years if it didn’t work?

            Anthony Trellis, a professor of engineering at State-of-the Art University, claims that Alec’s designs run contrary to basic principles of physics and materials science. An exasperated Trellis commented, “A bridge based upon Waterstone’s designs simply could not stand. It would be unsafe in the extreme.”

            But Alec is not perturbed by such criticism. “Of course professor Trellis does not like my designs, because they challenge his precious status quo and turn his world upside-down. But the protectionism of the old guard is starting to crumble, like one of their obsolete buildings,” he retorted at a recent symposium for progressive thinkers who agreed that those who fail to jump on the bandwagon will be left behind. His talk to a standing-room-only crowd also accused the American Society of Civil Engineers, the steel industry, and other “vested interests” of trying to suppress his views.

            — parody by Stephen Novella, MD

          • Running Water

            That study basically said the conventional crops are provided potentially more added ferts which are offsetting the yields. It states other growth factors could play a role which means this is not an apples to apples study. To be fair more studying in fair conditions would need to take place.

          • hyperzombie

            To be fair more studying in fair conditions would need to take place.

            Lots of studies have been done and some by the Organic industry, and they all say that organic yields far less. 10-60% less depending on the crop.

            The problem with organic is that you cant balance the crops nutritional needs with natural fertilizers, this leads to poor yield and excess run off.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Why do you take it upon yourself to “recruit others” onto the woo wagon? Are you running some sort of cult? Is that why you think you are entitled to prey upon the intellectually vulnerable?

            You would do well to understand HZ’s “rebuttals” are 100% science-based and backed by credible documented sources…he is, indeed, “the man”. You, Rum-N-Water, on the other hand have uttered not one single verifiable truth — you’ve brought a foam kiddie sword to a bazooka fight, sister. You have never lurched so close to the verge of being summarily schooled and make no mistake.

          • Running Water

            No processed food businesses pray upon the intellectually vulnerable. Companies call Ensure good for you when it contains non required additives such as red #5. You have not provided any credible substance either, brother. Please start your schooling as I am open to credible information. The Truth About Cancer cites numerous peer reviewed studies. Plenty of doctors who have treated patients with real raw foods, essential oils, targeted juicing, etc. The chemicals in the food in my opinion and the opinion of some doctors point to a really bad health concern. It is the synthetic, probably some organic (not discussed in the documentary) chemicals in our food causing immune system failures that lead to cancer. If your body spends all this time fighting toxins it has less time repairing and correcting cancerous growth. Everyone has cancerous like cells, the cancer stem cells, and are constantly in check by our body. Our body eliminates these cells all the time, multiple times a year, month, week, etc. If you body is busy eliminating unknown toxins it can spend less time fixing other areas.

          • Farmer with a Dell

            Enthusiasm for the detox craze is the very hallmark of the True Believer wackjob. Please be sure to wear your tinfoil hat with the chinstrap snugged up tight at all times…and stick to your echo chamber websites where your boundless loyalty to woo is best appreciated.

          • Running Water

            Like I have stated before agree to disagree. Time to move on. Thanks for playing. Glad you like to be so mean about others beliefs and attacking. I was never attacking. There are natural cancer treatments that have real people who have been cured with methods other than chemo, so what. Why does that bother you? Why is this so hard for you. You can keep doing, eating whatever you want. As will I.

          • Peter Olins

            “…essential oils…”?

            I think you forgot the role of crystals and Tibetan chanting in healing cancer.

            Dietary “toxins” often up-regulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes. It’s possible that the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables are actually a consequence of the response of the body to “natural” pesticides in plants. My advice, “eat your pesticides or you won’t get any dessert”.

          • Running Water

            I will pass on your advice and logic and stick to my real raw foods, natural pesticides if you want to call them that. I am not sure how an oil which is contained in the plant itself is anything like a crystal or chanting. It is the actual plants oils nothing more. The stuff I get is minimally processed as well. I do not understand why natural is in parenthesis. If the plant has this ability then yeah that is natural. It for sure is not synthetic. The health benefits of eating fruit and veggies are a consequence of eating fruits and veggies.

          • Peter Olins

            Rather than making a wild claim, why not just present the evidence? Show me one example of “numerous peer reviewed studies” where essential oils or “targeted juicing” (whatever that is) have been shown to successfully treat cancer.

          • Running Water

            Go look it up. Watch The Truth About Cancer doc that has multiple doctors and real life examples of this happening. If you are interested enough you will find it out as well. Otherwise good luck with all the processed garbage foods and chemo.

          • Running Water

            Have you heard of the Gerson Therapy. This has reversed cancer in patients who were told they had less than a few weeks to live. This is another alternative cancer treatment that has proven to work. Sure not in all cases but the success rate is much higher than that of chemo with less chances of it returning. As chemo does not kill the stem cell that causes cancer it only reduces the tumor and hopefully one can rebuild their immune system to eradicate the rest. Cancer is not caught or acquired, we all have it and deal with it everyday. It is a matter of our body expelling the abnormal growth of cells. The document I listed below has doctors who explain this vary thing as I am not a doctor. Many modern doctors have minimal to none nutritional training. Nutrition is how our body operates. How can one help the body if they have minimal training in nutrition? I find this hard to understand.

          • kfunk937

            Prayer wheels. That’s where it’s at.

          • Peter Olins

            “…targeted juicing…”

            I love it! Heaven forbid that anyone risks haphazard juicing for curing cancer: who knows what the consequences might be.

          • agscienceliterate

            So happy you have “no been sick.” But the fact that you have “no been sick” since changing your diet is hardly compelling as scienctific evidence .

          • Running Water

            Watch the Truth About Cancer it is plenty of cited peer reviewed studies linking GMO’s, pesticides, herbicides to health issues. Correlation is not causation but these doctors have treated cancer patients, not using cancer causing Chemo tactics which do not kill the stem cell that creates the cancer.

          • Benjamin Edge

            And exploiting free or reduced labor from young idealistic workers.

          • hyperzombie

            Yes they sell corn seed which is not a food.

            “Check out Polyface Farms.”

            Is that the farm that sells Chipolte beef and pork that come free with e coli and listeria?

      • Goody FANFan

        First, you have a right to purchase whatever food you want, provided you can pay for it. The only people telling you what to eat are the organic foods industry and their associates.
        Second, there are precious few studies indicating GE foods are dangerous. The well-know ones are known for being disreputable and pathetic imitations of science.
        Third, it is not “illegal to advertise something as healthy and beneficial when it is actually quite unhealthy and degernative to the soil.”
        Fourth, there is no commercially-available GMO wheat, so no worries there. And very, very few people actually eat cotton, so, again, no worries.
        Fifth, glyphosate is used in conventional farming, so even if you believe it’s a problem, a “Produced with Genetic Engineering” label won’t allow you to avoid it. Similarly, there are GMO products coming on line the GE qualities of which are completely unrelated to pesticides.
        Finally, if food manufacturers and grocery stores don’t make a profit, you’ll be eating shoes.

      • Dave Bailey

        “Second, since so many studies are suggesting they are dangerous…” Citation needed.

      • Farmer Sue

        Whip, someone is actually telling you what you should or shouldn’t eat? My, my. Maybe you should finish your prison term, and when you get the shackles off, you will then be free to wander down the supermarket ailes and buy anything you want. It’s called Freedom of choice. Most of us do that every day in the supermarkets. And then, no one will force you to buy anything, once you get your shackles and blindfold taken off. Oh — I just realized; you aren’t in prison — those shackles and blindfolds that “force” you to purchase some kind of food or other are ones you put on yourself. Why do you do that? What’s stopping you from buying exactly what you want, now? Are you a hostage somewhere? Being blackmailed?

        Do you really not have the tools already to decide, as a consumer, for yourself? My, my. I thought it was pretty clear, if you take even less time looking up that info than it took you to write your pst, which crops are GE and which are not, and which are organic and which are the alleged “non-gmo certified” (including, haha, “non-gmo popcorn” and “non-gmo salt” and “non-gmo water” — ROFLMAO)

        And please do let us know more about GMO wheat. There is none on planet Earth, but I would love to know more about it from where you come from. I’d like to order some …

        I highly suggest you take a few hours and talk to a farmer, dearie. I would love to have a one-on-one with you, mana – a mana, about glyphosate sterilizing my soil. This should be interesting. I’ll bring out a reporter from our local farm newz magazine to film you saying that. Bring it on.

      • mr.nuggets

        .you are correct .. not only is glyphosate residue found on sprayed with foods ..but it has also been found deep in groundwater sources

      • Benjamin Edge

        What proposed label tells you anything about what chemicals were used in the production of that food? Or is that the next step? If you believe the “studies” claiming GMOs are risky, then you must also believe that homeopathy works and that vaccines are dangerous.

    • Informing peons–just useless! Well, at least you aren’t making it illegal to teach them to read–the way that the big-money interests in the South did before the Civil War.

  • There are extremely important factors involved, other than the nutritional quality of the food. Such as, is a new technology being used, whose use may have negative implications for humanity? Such as, for example, unregulated GMO’s increasing the use of certain very toxic chemicals? Or, are unregulated GMO’s actually being made deliberately harmful in some way, because short-sighted seed-company executives want to hurt some group (this is certainly not impossible; it is not even unlikely).
    The GMO creators are keeping people in the dark, because that suits there personal interests.
    GMOs are not being labeled not because of some principle–they are not being labeled because big, selfish money has thus far won the politics.

    • hyperzombie

      ” Such as, for example, unregulated GMO’s increasing the use of certain very toxic chemicals?”

      How about unregulated Non GMOs that do the same thing.. And GMOs are regulated.

      “Or, are unregulated GMO’s actually being made deliberately harmful in some way, because short-sighted seed-company executives want to hurt some group (this is certainly not impossible; it is not even unlikely).”

      They could do the same thing with Non GMOs.

      “GMO’s are not being labeled not because of some principle–they are not being labeled because big, selfish money has thus far won the politics.”

      GMOs are not being labeled because it is stupid to label a plant breeding technology.

      • David Coyle

        I would like a label informing me of any food product made in a facility which employs anyone by the name of Adolph. Can’t trust Adolphs. And Richards. There’s a slippery slope from Richard to Dick, and I don’t want any dicks touching my food.

      • Toxics in agriculture is a huge problem with modern agriculture.

        GMOs are regulated only because they failed in their effort to be unregulated.

        GMOs could do real harm, much more easily and likely.

        It is not stupid to inform people about what they eat.

    • David Coyle

      There’s no apostrophe in GMOs.

    • Goody FANFan

      Anti-GMO activists have actually provided grocery manufacturers with the business case for not labeling. Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety and Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association–both prominent anti-GMO activist organizations–had stated in very plain terms that they plan to use labels as a weapon against grocery manufacturers. Cummins is well-known for his “skull-and-crossbones” rhetoric when referring to GMO labels and Kimbrell has described a “one, two” strategy of forcing manufacturers to label and then organizing people not to purchase labeled products.
      Under those circumstances, would you label? Doubtful.

      • I remember, it was a person from the GMO industry who famously compared labeling GMOs to putting a skull and crossbones on them–many years ago. Because, for all their propaganda effort, they have not convinced people that GMO’s are good food.

        The GMO industry is deceitful, rich, and supremely selfish, and they and other hyper-rich people have governmental power at their service.

  • First Officer

    Indeed, US Federal courts have already ruled that mere consumer curiosity is not enough of a substantial reason for the state to compel speech. The Vt law is set to go into effect in July 2016, but it is still under challenge in the US federal circuit courts. It will very likely fall to the wayside as did Vt’s former law requiring the labeling of milk from cows treated with rBST, even though it did not effect the milk itself.

    • You don’t think rBST affects the milk–stunning scientific insight. Stunning for its abscence of truth..

      • First Officer

        It doesn’t. It’s why the Vermont law was struck down. Vermont could not prove a material difference between the milks that made any practical difference.

        • Yea–you think your science is so good that what it does not see, does not exist. That interpretation, though common, even by the FDA, is very short-sighted, and also arrogant. But hay, big money interests control the government, and get to make the calls. And they profit from rBST–so, science says it is no problem, according to the FDA. Baloney. Your “scientific knowledge” isn’t knowledge at all–it’s just politics, which you people who fail to have deep insight into science claim is scientific knowledge. It’s voodoo science.

          • Jason

            Soooo…. Because the evidence didn’t confirm your preconceptions, it’s voodoo science?

            That sounds legit.

          • No, it’s bad science because it is woefully incomplete, not even assessing numerous important aspects of the impacts of rBST, and dismissing other impacts as not making a “practical difference”–because of the political bias of the evaluators.

          • Jason

            Uh-huh… Sure.

          • You can deny and avoid your responsibility to be a good steward of the land till the cow’s come home.

          • Jason

            So you’ve gone from a FDA conspiracy theory to some crap about stewarding the land?? Interesting jump.

          • Yea, I totally believe that you think the idea that we should be stewards of the land is crap.

          • Jason

            So you can glean all that because I recognized your clumsy attempt to change the subject? Impressive.

          • I glean that from this entire argument. Your lack of respect of nature broadcasts itself. Fill in this gap!

          • Jason

            Yah… That’s probably it.

          • Do you have anything fruitful to add?

          • Jason

            Why should I be the only one adding anything fruitful? Let me know when you start and I’ll jump right in with ya.

          • OK, maybe you could explain to me in what way modern, conventional agriculture is even remotely justified in the course it has taken, that of spraying massive amounts of highly toxic chemicals on huge areas of land, and on most of the food we eat, considering that few if any of those chemicals have been rigorously tested for: effects on the endochrine systems, effects on the reproductive systems, and effects on the nervous systems of all animals touched by those chemicals, effects on all the species of animals and plants touched, effects on all the ecosystems touched, effects of the combinations of chemicals that are likely to actually occur, the long-term aspects of all of the above effects, and any other important health effects.
            Considering that those aspects of the effects of using those ag-chemicals have not been studied, conventional agriculture is acting hugely irresponsibly, creating and releasing into the environment many highly toxic chemicals–creating an unknown amount of havoc in the biosphere.
            When will the large majority of agriculturalists, that is farmers, practice responsible, wholesome agriculture?

          • Jason

            Please…don’t bother with your ridiculous little tirade. This is nothing but an uneducated rant full of activist nonsense. I don’t have the time, nor the patience.

          • Sure, sound off. But you can’t factually dispute what I said, because it is true. You folks claim scientific justification–that is such a clear falsehood, I understand your throwing nonsense at me.

          • Jason

            Yup… That must be it. Enjoy your delusion.

          • Yea, blow off the argument. Brilliant!

          • Jason

            Here’s an idea…. Summarize your thoughts and post once. I think you’ll like it.

          • I raised a real arguement. Pretend it’s not even there! Congratulations!

          • What fine reasoning! Bankrupt.

          • .

          • Jason

            Awwww…. Look at you trying to be clever. So cute.

          • You don’t have the knowledge, understanding, insight, facts, data, studies, or substantial argument to dispute what I just wrote, so it will slightly salvage your position if you pretend you just can’t bother with me–but only to people who are blind to arguement.
            ….. My point stands undisputed–conventional agriculture is extremely irresponsible and negative. And GMOs have contributed to this poor, weak farming practice.

          • Jason

            My position is simple. You’re an ideologue with no interest in discussing reality. So I got no time for you. Enjoy your day.

            Also…. Do you always make it a practice to respond to every post many times?

          • A narrow mind won’t help.

          • Peter Olins

            Sounds like you “…have deep insight into science…”, which is greater than the FDA or participants in this thread.

            Care to share?

          • It is a bit distressing, all these people claiming scientific justification for what they do, when no such thing truly exists.
            FDA is not, primarily, a scientific organization. It is primarily a political organization. Doubt this? Who is the head of FDA, and why? Do they influence the organization much?
            The examples that come to my mind are not actually from the FDA. They are from the EPA–a similair organization. I shudder to remember the proclamations they made under the Reagan and Bush administrations. Totally scientific.
            So when the FDA decides it’s alright to use rBST, that is not a scientific decision. It does have scientific input–but it is clearly a political decision.
            And the scientific input is decidedly weak.
            I’m going to stop talking about rBST, and talk about agricultural pesticides instead.
            More is not known about those chemicals than is known–by far. I mean, about important things. Like, the long term effects. The effects of mixtures of the different chemicals that are likely to actually occur. The reproductive effects. All the endochrine effects. All the nervous system effects. All the effects on the ecosystem.
            Instead of the scientific study that would be required to understand these things, we get short term studies of individual chemicals only that fail to even look at numerous important aspects of health.
            And based on this weak science, people claim scientific justification for spreading mega-tons of these chemicals, for the first time.
            It is scientific insanity.

  • Labeling GMO and segregating produce will ensure compliance and bring stewardship in pesticide herbicide usage. Food industry may be pushed to opt for voluntary labeling with emerging reports on misuse of pesticides and herbicides on BT and HT GMO traits.

    • Jason

      What reports of misuse are you referring to?

  • BigBroKnows

    Why don’t the GMO-Free food industry label their products as such. We can then assume that if no GMO-Free label exists, the food we are purchasing probably has GMO products in the ingredients.

    If GMO-Free foods are safer and healthier and a market can be created,
    people would be willing to pay a premium for the superior product… right? :o|

    • agscienceliterate

      First of all, there is absolutelyno evidence that GE free foods are safer or healthier. Non-GMO certified is merely a marketing tool for the uninformed. Nonetheless, that is their right to want this useless label on their food, if consumers don’t mind being bilked and hoodwinked. Food companies that want that label pay quite a bit to get that non-GMO certified designation, furthermore, which is passed on to you, surprise surprise. And if you think that foods that don’t have that label on it must therefore be considered to have GE, then you are in essence saying that foods for which there is no GE equivalent, like salt and water, should still be labeled non-GMO certified or else people will erroneously think salt and water are genetically engineered, which of course they are not. Does that make any sense? Of course not, but this is a marketing issue, not a nutrition information issue. As it is, there actually is salt and water that is labeled non-GMO, which is pretty silly. And there actually is salt and water that is labeled non-GMO, which is pretty silly bags of pre-popped popcorn are often labeled non-GMO, which is pretty ridiculous when you realize that there is no GE variant of popcorn to compare with. Pure marketing hype that you feel good paying extra for.

      • BigBroKnows

        I know, I know. That’s why they should pay the freight for their own labels… ;o)

        • agscienceliterate

          They pay a lot for the non-GMO marketing certification, and the GMO-free labels. And then they pass those costs on to those folks who think they are getting safer, “better” food because of the labeling. Such a deal, eh?

  • Sean Gill

    I’ve been trying to figure out why it’s legal to label something as non-GMO when it’s never been a GMO. Same with labeling chicken as hormone free. It’s never been legal to use hormones in chicken. Or the gluten free nonsense labels on things that never had gluten. Why not label things as glass-free or “contains no troll meat” as well?

  • Caleb

    @disqus_3OmxWMHVJL:disqus If GMO’s are safe, why should they not be labeled? You claim that, “Activists do not have any right to compel unnecessary and useless speech (labeling) onto private businesses.”

  • Caleb

    @Doug Van Hoewyk said “Labeling is beneficial because consumers have a basic right to know whether or not their food contains ingredients that are genetically modified.”