GMO Worry Warts: This is Your Brain on Ignorance and Ideology

By Keith Kloor | April 7, 2013 8:08 am

The biotech discourse is infected with a bugaboo spread by both fringe types and mainstream influentials. It is the belief that GMO foods are deadly or potentially harmful. Two illustrative examples of this mindset recently appeared on the same day.

On April 4, crazy-ass Mike Adams at his Natural News site explained how GMOs were murdering humanity:

GMOs have been proven to cause wildly increased growth of cancer tumors. They also cause infertility and organ failure. GMOs may also help explain why infertility is skyrocketing in humans and why younger children are increasingly being diagnosed with cancer.

None of that is true, of course. But here’s the best part:

Given the deadly results of consuming GMOs, every “scientist” who pushes GMOs is an indirect murderer. When you see a “scientist” arguing in favor of GMOs, think to yourself, “That’s a homicidal maniac” because widespread death is the ultimate result of their irresponsible, dangerous actions.

It doesn’t get much nuttier than that, but if anyone can top himself it would be Adams. Now, normally I wouldn’t give a moment’s time to such a loon. If you’re familiar with Adams you know he is a mutant cross between Alex Jones and Joe Mercola. Whoever listens to these guys is likely beyond reach, so I don’t see the point in bothering with them.

But the notion that GMOs are unsafe–which Adams exaggerates to outlandish proportions–is widely shared by people who advocate for GMO labeling, such as the popular New York Times food writer Mark Bittman. Like Michael Pollan, Bittman strives to sound reasonable. On the same day that Adams was warning us about GMO-pushing scientists, here’s Bittman making his case against genetically modified crops:

It’s smart to prudently explore the possible benefits and uses of genetically engineered materials in agriculture, and to deploy them if and when they’re proven to be a) safe (otherwise, no) and b) beneficial to society at large (otherwise, why bother?). I don’t believe that any G.E. materials have so far been proven to be either of these things, and therefore we should proceed cautiously.

He does not cite any evidence to back up this belief. If he wanted to, he could turn to science for some guidance. For as University of California plant geneticist Pamela Ronald has written in Scientific American (my emphasis):

There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat. After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of 2 billion acres planted, no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops (Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Committee on Environmental Impacts Associated with Commercialization of Transgenic Plants, National Research Council and Division on Earth and Life Studies 2002). Both the U.S. National Research Council and the Joint Research Centre (the European Union’s scientific and technical research laboratory and an integral part of the European Commission) have concluded that there is a comprehensive body of knowledge that adequately addresses the food safety issue of genetically engineered crops (Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health and National Research Council 2004; European Commission Joint Research Centre 2008).

Bittman’s entire piece is disingenuous artistry. He starts off by saying:

Genetic engineering in agriculture has disappointed many people who once had hopes for it.

Really? Who are these people? I think if Bittman bothered to talk to someone like Ronald, he’d learn that it is scientists who are disappointed that that the demonization of biotech by activists has been so successful. Their toxic rhetoric and campaigning has poisoned the well, which Bittman continues to drink from.

And that disappoints many people who perhaps had high hopes that he would elevate the GMO dialogue. Instead, he continues to muddy it. What a shame.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: biotechnology, GMOs, select
MORE ABOUT: biotechnology, GMOs
  • http://twitter.com/FreerandFitter Free and Fit

    Successful how? What is the growth of bio-tech over the past 25 years? By all means, bio tech should be legal, it simply should not be extra-legal… as is the case. The relationship between the feds and bio companies is inherently bad for the consumer. And I think that is the point most intelligent detractors make. If you want to eat that stuff, by all means do so… But I dare you to stop eating it for a few months, eat truly rational food, and then tell me its just the same stuff.

    • JonFrum

      Intelligent? That last sentence reminds me of Chomsky’s famous “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.’ The words go together grammatically, but the semantic content is senseless. When you don’t know you’re writing nonsense, you can make no claim on intelligence. HInt: ‘rational’ does not modify ‘food.’

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

        dam grammar nazi’s missing the point

  • Psyclic

    Those “14 years” do not contain any any long-term, large-cohort examinations of long-term subsidiary effects – eg, roundup-ready crops require increasing doses of roundup and additional chemicals; the potential links between GMs and Colony Collapse Disorder; the patenting and monopolization of seed and food production.
    My understanding of research into GM is that to accomplish this you need to get authorization from the GM-producer – that does not tally with good Science at all.

    • FosterBoondoggle

      You left out autism, obesity, morgellon’s disease, electromagnetic sensitivity and the watching of internet porn by Indian farmers.

    • http://twitter.com/r343l Rachael Ludwick

      GM crops are not linked to Colony Collapse Disorder. There’s no mechanism and there are other obvious and far more compelling possible causes: pesticides (both agricultural and those used in colonies directly), viruses, parasites, stress and more. Bees are not affected by the Cry proteins in use (the toxins in Bt crops) which would be the only plausible mechanism. There have been numerous studies (link is to a meta-analysis) on this.

      But I still wonder why people are concerned about no “long-term” studies on effects of GM crops. No food item (and many drugs) in the history of mankind have been examined in long-term studies before going on the market. Scientists and regulators make judgments, using previous knowledge, to decide what studies need to be done for reasonable assurance of safety. What does this food do? Does it show problems when fed to animals? How is it different from previous foods? If it’s different, how would that difference act in the human body? And so on.

      Take Bt corn which produce proteins called “Cry proteins” that are toxic to some insects. When Bt toxins (there’s many of them, harmful to different insects, produced by a variety of soil bacteria) were discovered, they did studies where people literally ate spoonfuls of the toxins without harm. Some teachers still apparently do this in their classes when discussing the safety of Bt control methods. Moreover, being soil bacteria, people have probably been eating them for millenia, as washing doesn’t remove everything (and people have not always washed their roots well). They’ve been used safely on crops for decades. Making corn produce Bt toxins was thus not believed to be risky. Nonetheless, they’ve done studies on them and found no harm in mammals. If you can’t find any sign of a problem in other mammals and there’s no convincing other evidence, there’s no point in studying it in humans specifically. Even worse, is that most of the GM products on the market — e.g. corn syrup, cooked corn meal, etc. — are chemically identical to the non-GM versions. You literally can’t detect Cry proteins in cooked corn chips made from Bt corn. Corn syrup is various sugars, all identical regardless of the type of corn used to make it. Bt sweet corn does of course mean eating actual, intact Cry proteins, but all existing evidence says it’s harmless to us.

      The point by writing all this isn’t to say “GM crops are safe”, but to explain the general mindset that risk analysis is done under. You can’t prove anything 100% safe. It’s always possible we’ll learn something new. But there’s just no convincing evidence that existing GM crops are any more harmful to human health than their non-GM equivalents.

      • Psyclic

        Rachel – I appreciate your extensive response to mine, however, the specific issues I raised still have been left dangling:

        1. Bees may not die from Cry-proteins, but neither does ingesting mescaline cause death – abberrations to neural functioning are not clearly demonstrated – especially if they are not being looked for.

        2. The subsidiary effect of roundup ready seeds is that, due to insect and weed developing increasing tolerance to roundup, increasing concentrations of the poison are required thus obviating the supposed benefits of this GM.

        3. Genetic Modification, in itself, leads to patenting of modified foodstuffs which leads to monopolization. When accidental (wind, insect) fertilization of native populations leads to spreading of GM ‘patented’ crops, farmers become targets for ‘patent infrigement’ and ‘theft’ suits.

        NO, I do not think that eating a tomato with a salmon gene will turn me into a mutant with icthyosis, but jumping on the “scientific bandwagon” harping about “no proven problems” can prove to be an exceedingly narrow vision.
        As for the out-of-left-field comments by both opponents and proponents – these produce nothing of value, and are not even useful as compost.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

          Psyclic, neural issues have been well studied in bees. Their flying behaviors and ‘dances’ are excellent indicators of dystrophy. In feeding experiments bees to exhibit neural issues at concentrations of Bt approximately 10000x wild levels. I can give the citation if interested. The study used no control lectin, so the generic form of the protein may also cause such effects. There was no follow up report.

          Glyphosate resistance is an increasing problem, but new surfactants and other solutions will decrease its use. That’s how it works. We solve a problem, find another, then solve that one. Evolution of science.

          Lots of plants are patented that are not GM. Tons. In fact, 99.99% of plant patents are for non-GMOs. Court records show clearly that farmers stealing patented GM technology were growing huge acreage (like Schmeiser’s 1100 acres) or selling tons of seeds, OR using roundup to isolate the good GM seeds that they could then grow up and sell. Those are the basis of the lawsuits.

          I’m always glad to answer questions kevinfolta@gmail.com . You have nothing to fear except opposing a harmless technology that may help people that need it. In light of the current evidence, I don’t know that that is something my conscious could handle.

      • Psyclic

        Additionally – the meta-reference you linked to was authored by two Monsanto employees.
        Numerous implications for needing to go beyond the simple presentation to prove no tie-in between GMcrops and CCB/CCD is given in 2 of the 3 referee comments to this survey.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

        gmo’s ARE linked to pesticides, since they have to modify the seeds or the pesticides would kill them, they have seeds that wont die when you spray them with poison, i guess thats good for the people eating it too, how can someone so foolish think these poisons dont affect people.. come on wake up!

        • Farmer Guy

          how can someone be so foolish that they believe these foods affect people without a single piece of evidence?

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

        just because you dont have evidence doesnt mean there isnt any

  • http://twitter.com/mem_somerville mem_somerville

    The larger problem with the unsupported claims is that it doesn’t serve them well in the end either. They don’t seem to understand that–it makes it very easy for regulators and anyone else who spends more than a minute looking at actual evidence to dismiss the claims and the fearmongering. See this recently in the case of the “natural” food claim lawsuit.

    I don’t often agree with what I hear from Michael Pollan–because usually what we hear is aimed at his “organic” fans. He’s very cagey, though. When he’s in front of a tech group like The Long Now, or with scientists, his tune changes. There was even a bit of that in front of his classroom of students recently. Here’s part of what he said on the safety claims (go here for the full video: http://bitly.com/PollanSeralini :

    “…there’s this French scientist who sounds a lot more like a political activist than a scientist…I don’t think you win this campaign on the scientific merits….The media tends to give much more credence to
    mainstream science. To the AAAS….Or the National Research Council. Both of whom have said GM food is fine. Put them up against a fringy French scientist–you’re not gonna win…”

    He seemed disappointed that the media gives credence to mainstream science–but at least he admits it (sometimes).

    I’m starting to learn to love the bomb….I mean nutbags. They make it really easy to laugh and roll your eyes. It’s nearly impossible to parody them. And they’ll screw up the campaigns, so maybe we should just learn to co-exist with them. Heh.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003586298460 Mike Bendzela

      I took over teaching a class from another professor who had scheduled Pollan’s “In Defense of Food” as one of the reading materials. It is an anti-science screed, and I was surprised at how much I detested that book. I ended up debunking rather than teaching the book.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

      the nutbags are the ones who blindly follow satanic cult rulers and put poisons in their bodies when they know its not real food because they have been brainwashed to believe the cover ups not what they already know in their brain.. its like the batman movie where u mix the chemicals and use this shampoo with that toothpaste and make a bomb.. theres no way to test every combination of every chemical product people use just like the chemicals they put in our food and spray on our food and mix with our food.. and most of it they will keep top secret confidential and people will defend the government’s right to keep information from the people that consume these products when it relates to their health and safety..

      • http://twitter.com/mem_somerville mem_somerville

        Case. In. Point.

        Please keep that up. This is exactly what makes it easy to dismiss–satanic cults, science fiction movies, and other associated nuttery.

  • jh

    Nutcase:
    “Given the deadly results of consuming GMOs, every “scientist” who pushes GMOs is an indirect murderer”

    Keith:
    “It doesn’t get much nuttier than that”

    Nutcase:
    “In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.”

    Keith: ?

    • Tom Scharf

      he he. Warning: KK hates it when your draw the obvious parallels here, unless he brings it up. While I agree that every case should be fought on its own particular merits. it’s hard to not to snicker when Keith takes umbrage at the disinformation he hears at GMO “science” meetings. Welcome to the world of climate skeptics.

      At least with GMO’s you can fight over the current facts on the ground, where with climate it seems to be a more fruitless exercise in fighting over possible future outcomes polluted with huge uncertainty, which is much more prone to tribalism.

      Losing sleep over loonies is not productive to a stress free life. As far as I can tell the anti-GMO forces are a self-limiting group. There is no need to fight these people, their logic will self destruct before it reaches critical mass.

      • jh

        No snickering here. Sometimes it’s not until one shines the right light on something that the reality of it becomes evident. I’m just putting light on the topic from an angle that minimizes the shadows.

  • http://theprogessivecontrarian.wordpress.com/ Bernie Mooney

    It actually does get crazier. Adams also wrote that GMOs are the new Zyklon B.“If Hitler had GMO technology, he would have fed GM corn to the Jews and not even bothered with the trouble of constructing gas chambers. He could have disguised it as a “government assistance” program, offering free food to all those of Jewish ancestry. Oh yes, and free vaccines, too. The combination of vaccine chemicals and GMO toxins would have accomplished much the same thing as Zyklon B, but instead of being perceived as an evil monster, Hitler could have been heralded as the hero of the Jewish people for giving them “free food and medicine!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

      crazy and true..also flouride water right? maybe spray some chemtrails..

    • dogctor

      As a Jew, I consider Adams pronouncements on dangers of GMOs about as credible as the opinion of the Board on Agriculture and Natural Resources, Committee on Environmental Impacts Associated with Commercialization of Transgenic Plants or Pamela Ronald’s opinion on their safety.

      The consensus on their safety, unsurprisingly, is among agriculture experts and plant scientists, who have much to gain from deployment of GMOs while lacking all medical, nutritional training, skills and public health credentials.

      The AMA expressed an opinion recommending mandatory pre-market safety testing. The Association of Physicians in Internal Medicine supports federal labeling. I haven’t seen endorsements from independent nutritional associations and nursing groups.

      There is no consensus in the veterinary community on safety of these foods in pets, millions of whom ingest GMOs daily, as the subject has not been discussed, just as I suspect, it has not been discussed in the human medical profession.

      Farmers and plant scientists make up a tiny fraction of scientists, When they are licensed to diagnose, treat, perform surgery and prescribe drugs for nutritionally related disease, their opinion might matter. Until that day their opinion on this matter is close to being irrelevant….never mind representing a scientific consensus.

      • Farmer Guy

        “The AMA expressed an opinion recommending mandatory pre-market safety testing”

        Youre a liar or a moron. They said that ALL food should be tested more than it is. You do realize that conventional breeding is MORE likely to create unintended toxic proteins than GMO, dont you? They even specifically stated that GMO have shown to be as safe as conventional. Do you need me to link their position for you?

        • dogctor

          You do realize that conventional breeding is MORE likely to create unintended toxic proteins than GMO, dont you? Predictable and very well described in the literature, though, unlike the UNPREDICTABLE effects of mutagenesis, random biolistics or Agrobacterium transformation of distantly related species. NRC page 64.

          • Farmer Guy

            Link to a transgenic organism ever having an unpremeditated genetic trait?

          • dogctor

            Huh?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madeline-Cox/100002395018240 madness

            Actually, do you recall a report of gm grass producing cyanide and killing a bunch of cattle?And that it was actually a hybrid grass? Doesn’t sound so predictable to me.

          • dogctor

            I heard something about it, but haven’t seen any scientific reports on the subject, so I can not really comment.

          • http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewtagg Matt Tagg
      • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

        Ah yes, I’m going to ignore the words of Pamela Ronald to listen to a veterinary student who passed some biochem classes. I’m pretty sure she has access to the same google searches you are getting your info from, plus, you know, years and years of experience and expertise.

        I’m not going to get into this with you. All I’m gonna say is, if you run into Pamela Ronald on campus, do yourself a favor and put your head down.

        – Fellow Aggie

        • dogctor

          No. You should consider her medical qualifications, though, Don’t believe me, and don’t believe her—read the science and make up your own mind. If you don’t have enough of a scientific background to evaluate the science, than your opinion on the subject by definition will be logically flawed ( appeal to authority and appeal to fear is not science) and will not be scientifically substantive or robust,dear fellow Aggie.

          If you see Pamela Ronald, please do pass on my regards. I respect the hell out of her work – cisgenic marker assisted selection, and am puzzled by her advocacy of safety of clearly inferior and imprecise transgenic biotechnology techniques used by Monsanto et al to randomly insert EPSPS and cry proteins.

          • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

            When Pamela Ronald says something is safe she’s not expressing her opinion; she’s citing what people who have looked into it have found. She may not have medical expertise, but she’s had ample
            opportunity to hear from those who do whether GMOs have been harmful to
            people, and so far, she hasn’t. Nobody has.
            There is no way for every person who wants to have a functioning understanding of something to go and read up all the literature about it to make up their own opinion. You and I happen to have the scientific background the the means to do so, but most people don’t have the means or the ability to make sense of it. People shouldn’t have to reinvent the wheel every time they want to make a judgment on something. They need someone to give them the information in a way that they can understand. So who can they trust: Pamela Ronald, or Mike Adams? Just read Natural News and then read Mendel in the Kitchen. Who can people trust–Jeffrey Smith, or Nina Federoff? You don’t have to take anybody’s word for at face value, but whose words more consistently lead to the facts?
            30 years of consumption and fewer problems than organic spinach and bean sprouts. Enough of the hysteria already.

          • dogctor

            There is no way for every person who wants to have a functioning understanding of something to go and read up all the literature about it to make up their own opinion.
            There obviously is a way for me to have done that…Right?

            Look up above you, dear. As I said, I don’t blindly take anyone’s opinion on matters of biochemistry and medical science. I go to the relevant science to make up my own mind, which is called independent scientific inquiry. You on the other hand are asking to do what? Make up a scientific decision based on a logical fallacies listed above. No thanks. I am Jewish… been there done that and I do not follow like a dumb sheep. I also emphatically disapprove of the use of emotionally laden words like hysteria.
            From my vantage point, you are the hysterical one. See your doc and ask for a script for some Xanax, dear.

          • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

            It is not medical doctors who determine the safety of food. You are simply repeating yourself and refusing to listen. I am not asking people to create opinions based on any logical fallacy or hear-say. I’m asking people to be more prudent about where they get their information from. Nina Federoff is trustworthy whether she worked for Sigma-Aldrich or for the devil himself. You know why? Because her statements are backed up by facts.
            I see no evidence of having been hysterical, so I pity your poor vantage point. Now take all your useless and condescending links and http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/go_fuck_yourself

          • dogctor

            It is not medical doctors who determine the safety of food. IT SHOULD BE as they are advising their patients what to eat.

            If you find Nina Federoff trustworthy, that’s great. Congratulations!

            If I worked for Dow or Monsanto, I’d find her more than trustworthy. I would practically be in love with her, too.

          • Farmer Guy

            You show that your thought processes are firmly entrenched in ideology with every emotional post, dogctor.

            Id love for you to come to my farm so i could show and explain to you the ecological revolution that has happened since GM crops were introduced into my area.

          • dogctor

            Define my ideology :)

            I would like to visit your farm as long as you are willing to hear the other side of the story.

            I do not believe I’ve been all that emotional.

            This is what emotional looks like

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dnj1zshmTE0

    • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

      Mike Adams recently posted a story he has written as a part of his dystopian future series in which a woman smuggles genetically modified seeds designed to destroy crops by the evil monopolizing company SanMonto (yeah) inside her prosthetic breasts to an area where the seeds are deployed. The seeds destroy the SanMonto crops, and people form a revolution. At the end of the story the people associated with SanMonto are lined up in front of citizen firing squads and “shot dead.”

      This isn’t funny. Mike Adams is violently crazy.

      • dogctor
        • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

          I’m aware of how to avoid fallacies, thank you. The subject I was replying to wasn’t Mike Adams’ claims about GMOs, it was his opinions and treatment of people who conduct or support food biotechnology (ie, his Nazi comparison).

          • dogctor

            Your statements contradict your claims, and your post has nothing scientifically substantive in it.

  • diana_SD

    I am beginning to side with the label freaks. We should allow GMO products–and any products using chemical pest control–to be purchased only by those able to evaluate the science behind them. The resultant starvation that would decimate the human population might give a chance for the other species on the planet–that is, if the nutcases didn’t exterminate them all in their final throes while eating only “natural” food.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

      lmao, you think you’re feeding people? arent you just the humanitarian.. you dont even realize farmers growing gmo’s in india committing suicide? your comment is idiotic and full of hate, might as well just tell all the christians, jews, and blacks that they’re not as good as you are cuz you’re white.. some people arent even worth talking to

      • diana_SD

        I think you missed my point. If people stop eating GMOs, many will have no food. What, in your opinion, is the difference between any crop bred to have better productivity, whether the slow way, i.e., cross breeding, which modifies the genetics by chance and you keep the modifications you like, or doing it knowing ahead of time which genes you are modifying? If you stopped eating everything humans modified the genes of, you’d leave out most crops we eat. Period. Starvation would ensue. Personally, I think humans take over everything to make more and more of themselves, crowding out all the other species. So maybe the anti-GMO people preventing us from feeding the masses will solve many problems.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

          there was nothing wrong with nature to begin with, no need to alter it. you are being brainwashed with propoganda, that’s all, people are getting nothing from this only corporations and rich people win we all lose even michelle obama eats from an organic garden but her husband makes monsanto poison flow in our grocery stores

          • diana_SD

            You did not answer my question about what you see is the difference with the normal crops that are not called GMO, yet have been genetically modified over hundreds of years of cross-breeding. Corn, wheat, bananas, strawberries, tomatoes, and many other crops have been turned into what they are today by cross-breeding, in which the farmers modified the genetics by chance and kept the modifications they wanted. How is that different from intentionally modifying the plant so that you get more fruit, more durable plants, etc.? Do you eat rice, oats, potatoes, bananas, corn, or wheat? If so these are not natural. They have been modified for centuries. If you do eat them, how is this type of modification acceptable?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

            exactly even selective breeding thats only for making it easier to grow or keep weeds or bugs out it doesnt make it more healthy food by any means maybe 90 percent less healthy than the original and in grains that have been changed so much our bodies have not modified in all of those years so how do you think we are supposed to take any benifit from these modified foods? all i ask for is a choice what to eat the one that was native to this country or a label showing where its from and if its a native plant or something man genetically altered or poisoned what was used to poison should not be top secret information be proud to label what you’re so proud to defend in a internet chat

          • diana_SD

            So to be clear, you never eat white or brown rice (presuming you are from North America) and only eat wild rice, because the others are not native and have been modified by cross-breeding. You don’t eat anything with wheat in it, because that is not native to the U.S.. Etc. Is that correct? You don’t eat bananas or apples, since those are all modified (apples aren’t grown from seed, and bananas in nature never looked like the ones in our markets) How about tomatoes, which originated in South America? I just want to make sure I understand your definitions of what are acceptable foods. By the way, you state that I am “so proud to defend in internet chat,” however, I don’t recall defending anything. I simply know what it takes to feed 7 billion humans, and foods that have never been modified aren’t going to handle that overpopulation. I also wonder where your “90 percent less healthy” statistic comes from?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

            I also wonder where your “90 percent less healthy” statistic comes from? you gotta do your own research, nobody’s going to tell you everything, i never said i dont eat gmo’s because it’s impossible, even if i tried to spend 5 times the money on all non gmo they lie theres no way to know for sure whats in our food unless it’s labeled, and yes i definately prefer original native food brown rice instead of bleach, buffalo instead of ammonia beef unbleached food, by far i would take that any day it tastes much better and better for you if you wanna know how much more healthy corn was before they modified it bottom line is it’s my right to my own privacy of what i eat or why i want to eat it, not the government not yours, so unless you work for monsatan what is the arguement, i would never want to ban you from putting any type of poison in your body if you want to, why would you want people unknowingly ingesting and giving to their children something that is mislabeled as corn or soy when it may be equivilant it by no means is the same plant and should be labeled as what it truely is not what some rich guy wants to call it to make people buy it.. its someone else’s decision if we want to allow things like aspertame to be put in children’s milk, but i want the right to know if it’s in my milk and that’s an unalienable right the criminals have taken from the people of the USA. wake up

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

            i would like the right to know if i’m buying corn or corn mixed with pig and human dna to make it grow faster in the snow or whatever..

          • diana_SD

            If you say “90 percent less healthy” then you refuse to say where you got that number, it sounds like you are pulling it out of the air, and you undermine the strength of your own argument. It just sounds made up. Saying “do your own research” sounds arrogant. I have done my own research and have found nothing to show that GMOs are unhealthy other than scared people and bad science. So I’d love to hear where your statisitic comes from so I can read the article myself. I am offering to be open minded. You are making it sound like you are manufacturing statistics. If you locate where you found it, please let me know.

          • Matt N Jen Stewart

            Lol! You are a total nut! HAHA!

          • diana_SD

            We’ll have to agree to disagree about who is being brainwashed. I’ll use my ability to read science based evidence and evaluate it for technique, for who is doing the funding, and for supporting research from multiple sources. I will gladly accept that over fear-based conjecture any day. At least I’ll have the better odds of a good result. And if nature has all the best answers, then I guess smallpox is okay with you, since that is from nature, too. And you’d better not rely on any research-based medicines at all, since they didn’t get pulled straight up out of the ground.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

          the point is if you want to eat gmo you should go to the store buy food that says GMO not corn.. if people saw that they would not buy it thats why millions is poured into feeding lies to people big agriculture would lose small farmers would win because they would reject monsatan poison

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

          anyone that is FOR GMO’s should be for labeling them if you believe in something why hide it from the public? whats with the secrets about what we eat? dont you care what you put into your body or you will eat anything the government says is ok like aspertame? the government is not on our side its on corporate lobbyist side..why would they care about you more than money?

        • dogctor

          There is no evidence that hunger would ensue of GMO corn and soy would disappear tomorrow. The livestock industrial complex will miss the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, though. Poor poor livestock producers ( cue the tiny violin). The difference between cross breeding and RR corn, for example, is that cross breeding didn’t manage to insert two EPSPS cassettes with fragments of superfluous DNA randomly ( CP4 EPSPS Cassette 1 contains the CP4 EPSPS gene under the control of the rice actin 1 promoter (McElroy et al. 1990) and the CTP2 chloroplast transit peptide leader sequence from Arabidopsis thaliana (Klee and Rogers 1987). The purpose of this latter sequence is to direct CP4 EPSPS protein to the chloroplast, which is the site of aromatic amino acid synthesis. The CP4 EPSPS gene sequence was modified slightly, but retains greater than 99.4% homology to the native Agrobacterium gene. The NOS 3’ nontranslated region of the nopaline synthase gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA was used to provide the polyadenylation signal.
          CP4 EPSPS Cassette 2 contains the CP4 EPSPS gene under the control of the enhanced cauliflower mosaic virus (CaMV) 35S promoter (Kay et al. 1985). The Zmhsp70 intron from the corn hsp70 heat shock protein was included to stabilize the level of transcription (Rochester et al. 1986) and the CTP2 chloroplast transit peptide leader sequence was used to direct the CP4 EPSPS protein to the chloroplast. The NOS 3’ nontranslated region of the nopaline synthase gene from Agrobacterium tumefaciens T-DNA was used to provide the polyadenylation signal.)

          Please do not worry your pretty little head, Diana. You aren’t feeding the masses. You are feeding corporate bank accounts in the Grand Caymans. The masses would rejoice if you quit.

  • http://twitter.com/Micha_579 Micha

    This article is typical pro-biotech activist speech, not science. As such, it undermines scientific thinking rather than promote it. Pamela Ronald “There is broad scientific consensus that genetically engineered crops currently on the market are safe to eat”. Science isn’t a democracy, and “scientific consensus” is meaningless to real science. It’s a political term – whenever you hear it, grab for your wallet because someone’s trying to sell you something.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

      Micha, a ‘scientific consensus’ is a conclusion based on evidence.

      Certainly activist consensus-es say that the earth is not warming, stem cells are evil, the world will end if homosexuals marry, angels follow us around, a UFO crashed at Roswell, the earth is 6000 years old, and Jesus rode a dinosaur.

      Oh, I almost forgot, and transgenic (GMO) plants are bad.

      I’ll take the evidence-based scientific consensus over the belief-based consensus anytime.

      • http://twitter.com/Micha_579 Micha

        No, “scientific consensus” is a pseudo-scientific term used by scientists who lack real, conclusive scientific evidence for their claims. It is a political tactic used to silence dissent, to give the impression that the issue is settled and that no further debate is warranted. The rightful place for “consensus” is in politics, not science. All science needs is one guy who happens to be right. Consensus means nothing to a good, honest scientist.

        • http://pdiff.weebly.com/ Pdiff

          Uh, no, it’s an agreement based on a collection of evidence. Don’t redefine terms to meet your goals. The term may have other meanings in other fields, but in the scientific realm it means the preponderance of evidence is such that a majority of scientists in the area of concern agree on its interpretation. There is no silencing of dissent. Dissent and critique are, in fact, central to the process and to be expected, not shunned. Your “one guy” is insufficient to overturn a consensus or the collection of evidence behind it. For dissent to stand, it must pass the muster of theory, repeatability, and accepted scientific protocol. I suggest you study the history and nature of the scientific method further.

          • jh

            I disagree with the both of you.

            “Scientific consensus” doesn’t reflect the body of evidence. It expresses the opinion of scientists, and the opinion of scientists aren’t useful for anything.

            Nonetheless, it happens in the case of GM foods that the scientific consensus and the body of evidence give the same result: GM foods are safe.

            Nor should we be surprised that GM foods are safe when we understand how GE works. The “Frankenfood” meme is about as far from reality as Frankenstein himself (itself?). GM food is only a small step from historic breeding practices. There’s not that much that can go wrong. GMOs aren’t built from scratch. They’re regular organisms with a few genes inserted – genes that have been carefully selected based on a piles of data suggesting that the genes are similar enough to function without interruption to other processes in the organism.

            Ask yourself this: why would any company – or any scientist or manager with a pile of options or stock in that company – risk a product with even a small likelihood of negative health results? The financial risks are extraordinary.

          • http://pdiff.weebly.com/ Pdiff

            So one can never form an opinion based on evidence? Granted, that term too can have difference meaning dependent on the use. That is probably why I never used the word “opinion”, but rather said “agree on its interpretation”. Still, your broad stroke of dismissal is troubling. Why, for example, are you even reading this? Why comment? Is your “opinion” better than anyone else? What an odd thing to say :-/

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

            unless you were there watching the tests on this “food” being performed you really dont know what lies you’re being told by monsanto, who is the only ones who are allowed to test their biotechnology..

          • Farmer Guy

            Except for the hundreds of independent studies done outside of monsanto, right?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

            this isnt scientific its political and hungry people dont benefit from it, rich corporations do.

          • Farmer Guy

            please go tell hundreds of milllions of people in SE Asia that they dont benefit from our grain exports. What a ridiculous statement.

      • dogctor

        I’ll take an evidence based opinion over the belief based consensus from plant scientists, as well, Kevin.

        Where is the medical evidence, Kevin?

        I’d love to see some retrospective and, even moreso, prospective studies on effects of GMOs and prevalence rates of chronic disease.

        Can you please post a link to empirical evidence, Kevin, in a form of a prospective study or a meta-analysis measuring effects of GMOs on renal and hepato-biliary disease?

  • Buddy199

    You’re really out to steam their beans, aren’t you. Ha!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark.casebier.1 Mark Casebier

    The insidiousness of GMO technologies is the manner in which the Global Corporate entities are sneaking it into the food chain without public input. Monsanto’s codifying a legal immunity into American Law, secretly into a continuing resolution budget, protecting themselves suits in Federal Courts. The GMO Corporate behemoths have pushed their financial weight around stifling scientific research that might expose negative results. This behavior, reminiscent of the Tobacco Industry, does not instill trust in an industry that puts profits above human health. Like the Tobacco Industry, the GMO Industry acts like it has something to hide. These are the people that brought us dioxin tainted Agent Orange. If it Quacks, etc.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

      Sneaking? Without public input! ?? WTF? It takes 5-10 years, a huge public comment period and massive funding $5Million to get a GMO crop to market.

      THOUSANDS of products that could help farmers, feed people, lessen environmental input, increase nutrition SIT ROTTING on lab shelves of public institutions and small private companies. They are there because of the fear, mistrust and anger over a good technology that has shown no evidence of harm.

      The only people that commercialize this stuff are the BIG MON and others like them. High restrictions inspired by fear mongers ensure their continued success from lack of competition. The love people like you…

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

        could feed the world, could kill the world.. whats the difference right?

        • Farmer Guy

          the difference is that you are a hopelessly clueless moron.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

    Keith, did you see the “Spectacular Corn Comparison” where they present number comparing GM to conventional corn? Many are freaking out. Unfortunately, the numbers are from soil, not from corn. They still hold their ground… http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2013/04/fake-anti-gmo-data-stokes-alarm.html

  • Susan Mayer

    If, as you say, which I am not disputing, GMO’s are safe, why then the problem with labeling ? Do you suggest the consumer has no right to know what is in a product he purchases , eats,is taken into his or his child’s body as medicine, etc.?

    • Farmer Guy

      Do you suggest that non-functionally retarded adult cannot simply purchase food labelled “USDA Organic” or NON-GMO project” or “GMO-FREE”? What type of condition do you idiots have where you are unable to perform this elementary task?

      • ramsey affifi

        Farmer Guy, the problem is that the burden of expenses for such certification should be on those who are conducting the experiment, not those who favor precaution. All of those labels place additional costs on folks who want to continue doing things in time-tested ways, which is unfair.

        • Farmer Guy

          Oh, was it a “problem” for you when we set up an entire new bureaucracy inside the USDA to offer subsidized certifications? If youre an organic grower and cannoit afford the paltry amount to certify your farm as organic, ITS TIME TO FIND A NEW LINE OF WORK.

          The rest of the non-hysterical, pro-science USofA will continue to operate as a rational society and rely on subjective science to answer queries of food safety instead of a yoga instructor from Iowa.

          • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com Stuart Grist

            Why is your chemical industry scared of labelling, Farmer? You are like travelling salesmen jamming your foot in the door and wasting time with your spiel. We have every right to Just Say No to your genetic muck, and hey – I don’t need permission from “science”. What you call science is irrelevant because I just don’t want to find it on my plate, period. What is it about the word “no” that you rational, “non-hysterical” elite never quite understand?

        • shawn

          This argument just doesn’t hold. Consider, a similar argument, proved false, was made against the Organics label campaign. Why? Because it’s in testing to achieve a non-GMO labeling standard that costs money; companies that process GMO’s have absolutely no need for these tests. The logic is quite straightforward, so, why not label? I’m all for it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=678162576 Ce Gzz

      as simple as if it contains corn or soy derived products it is most likely gmo…so why buy it? there are worst ingredients in processed food and despite it has a label…people still poisons themselves.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.giardino Tommy Giardino

    Your full of shit Keith.

    Monsanto and big biotiech companies like them pay the US gov, FDA and Research Council to host supported studies that favor GMOs. Yet, Monsanto has never allowed and continues to shut out proposed independent studies. Hmm, something to hide other than their falsely created results?

    Let’s make this clear; when you eat GMO foods, you are eating a product that has been sprayed with harsh chemical residues that kill insects and animals right away if they eat the plant. Yet, we continue to eat these foods and say, “I have diabetes, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal problems…” All of which soared in the 90s and later decade to the rise of GMO.

    It’s my right to know what I’m eating, and I’m not going to trust revolving doors through the government to handle my food anymore. Many other countries have forbid GMOs, why hasnt the US? Why is the US population one of the most unhealthiest? Hmm, well morons like yourself don’t consider what you are putting in your mouths more than a few times a day. But you’d rather go to your pharmacist and get a cocktail of artificial hormones, antibiotics and the like to take care of your problems.

    It’s people like you that lack knowledge and spread stupidity to the masses. You’re a naysayer, and you’ll soon find out when one of your family members or yourself becomes ill, that without your health — you have nothing. You literally have nothing. And until you know what that feels like, and why its happening at a young, bright age, you won’t care to see the other side.

    The biggest crime of American’s seems to be insisting upon convenience. But people are starting to wake up, and see outside of these rose colored lenses.

    • Farmer Guy

      “Let’s make this clear; when you eat GMO foods, you are eating a product that has been sprayed with harsh chemical residues that kill insects and animals right away if they eat the plant.”

      LOL. And how would this differ from conventional, organic, or any other produce you have eaten in your life?

      Im going to stop there because you are obviously hopelessly clueless and the exact type of person that reads the garbage the author is condemning.

      • dogctor

        Farmer Guy. Given the safety assurance studies on Monsanto’s RR and Bt corn, are suggestive of hepato-biliary and renal disease, can you point me to research demonstrating that GMOs have not contributed to soaring rates of Renal disease?

        ESRD Prevalence and Prevalent Rate
        At the end of 2009, more than 871,000 people were being treated for ESRD.
        Between 1980 and 2009, the prevalent rate for ESRD increased nearly 600 percent, from 290 to 1,738 cases per million.
        http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/kustats/#1

        NAFLD?
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23084707

        • Farmer Guy

          Please do point out how the safety assurance study shows renal problems.

          Sorry, but I have to rely on more practical explanations, such as a baby boomers reaching the age of renal issues, poor diets, and sedentary lifestyles until I see FACTUAL, REAL information showing that GM may cause harm. To date, this evidence does not exist.

          Im glad you get to wrap up all of our health problems into one nice little package with a scary name. Your predisposition to fantasy and conspiracy may have something to do with why you had to settle with vet school instead of medical school, no?

          • dogctor

            Please do point out how the safety assurance study

            shows renal problems.

            1) absence of a urinalysis in all safety assurance studies, without which renal disease can not be tracked at all.

            2) inflammatory renal tubular changes reported, which are not the expected “normal” changes in rat kidneys

            3) experimental design perfect to exaggerate false negatives

            4) absence of all metabolic trends

            5) missing rats

            ———————————-

            Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain
            from corn rootworm-protected corn
            B. Hammond a,*, J. Lemen a, R. Dudek a, D. Ward a, C. Jiang a, M. Nemeth a, J. Burns b
            a Monsanto Company, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St Louis, MO 63167, United States

            Abstract
            The results of a 90-day rat feeding study with YieldGard
            Corn rootworm-protection was accomplished through the introduction of a cry3Bb1 coding sequence into the corn genome for in planta production of a modified Cry3Bb1 protein from Bacillus thuringiensis. Grain from MON 863 and its near isogeniccontrol were separately formulated into rodent diets at levels of 11% and 33% (w/w) by Purina Mills, Inc. Additionally, six groups of rats were fed diets containing grain from different conventional (non-biotechnology-derived) reference varieties. The responses of rats fed diets containing MON 863 were compared to those of rats fed grain from conventional corn varieties. All diets were nutritionally balanced and conformed to Purina Mills, Inc. specifications for Certified LabDiet 5002.
            There were a total of 400 rats in thestudy divided into 10 groups of 20 rats/sex/group. Overall health, body weight gain, food consumption, clinical pathology parameters(hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis), organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were comparable
            between groups fed diets containing MON 863 and conventional corn varieties.
            —————————————————————————————————–

            Table 5
            Serum chemistry mean values ± SD in female rats following 90 days of exposure to MON 863 grain in the diet
            BUN (mg/dl) 10 13.2 ± 2.3 14.6 ± 1.8 15.5 ± 2.5 14.4 ± 1.9 58 15.0 ± 3.48
            CREA (mg/dl) 10 0.56 ± 0.05 0.61 ± 0.06 0.63 ± 0.07 0.60 ± 0.07 58 0.60 ± 0.12

            &

            Table 7

            Kidney Focal chronic inflammation 7 11 7 6
            Focal tubular regeneration 8 14 2 3
            Tubular mineralization 0 0 9 2*

            &

            (3.2.3. Urine chemistry (data not shown).
            http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/clinical_pathology_and_procedures/diagnostic_procedures_for_the_private_practice_laboratory/urinalysis.html

            Medicine 101:
            Kidney disease is Silent until it is very Advanced.
            The earliest signs are polydypsea and polyuria which leads to production of dilute urine ( low specific gravity) +/- other changes: presence of protein, glucose ( Fanconi’s), blood or casts.

            http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/urinary_system/noninfectious_diseases_of_the_urinary_system%C2%A0in_small_animals/renal_dysfunction_in_small_animals.html

            It takes destruction of greater than 60-75% of the kidney cells (nephrons) before there are ANY clinical signs, and before blood tests can detect it
            BUN/creatinine are not elevated until approximately ¾ of the kidney tissue is not viable and it is too late

            Question
            1-Are you able to determine that the 20 female rats( out of 40), similar to the males, for whom BUN and creatinine are reported are not suffering from Stage I/II renal disease?

            Table 1
            Experimental design
            Groupa Animals/sex State corn
            grown
            Dietary level
            (% w/w)
            1. Control 20 Hawaii 11
            2. Control 20 Hawaii 33
            3. MON 863 20 Hawaii 11
            4. MON 863 20 Hawaii 33
            5. Reference A 20 Illinois 33
            6. Reference B 20 Illinois 33
            7. Reference C 20 Hawaiib 33
            8. Reference D 20 Hawaiib 33
            9. Reference E 20 Hawaiib 33
            10. Reference F 20 Illinois 33
            a Control and reference grain are from conventional varieties that
            are not biotechnology-derived.
            b Grown in the same geographical location, but different from the
            locality where MON 863 and its control were grown.

            Question:
            2Are you happy with an experimental design in which 80 animals are experimental and 320 are reference/control…which raises statistical risks of false negative findings?
            —————————————

            Table 3
            Hematology mean values ± SD in female rats following 90 days of exposure to MON 863 grain in the diet
            Parameter N 11% Control 33% Control 11% MON 863 33% MON 863 N Reference population
            mean ± 2SD
            WBC (103/ll) 9–10 6.78 ± 1.71 5.64 ± 1.52 8.20 ± 1.59 6.78 ± 2.20 58 6.43 ± 3.56
            PT (s) 8–10 14.9 ± 0.42 15.3 ± 0.29 15.4 ± 0.20* 15.0 ± 0.45 56 14.7 ± 0.80
            APTT (s) 8–10 17.0 ± 1.91 15.8 ± 1.57 17.2 ± 1.22 16.5 ± 1.10a 56 20.0 ± 4.80
            Statistically significant differences *P < 0.05.
            a Statistically significant difference from reference population mean only, P < 0.01.

            Questions:

            3 Are these statistics, in which standard deviations are reported for a range of rats (8-10, 9-10), rather than a specific number of rats reliable?
            4 Are you satisfied with scientific integrity of this paper, reporting findings for 58/120 reference rats ( and a similar fraction of experimental rats, but in NO case for all the rats)?
            5Does it bother you at all that laboratory findings are missing for more than half the rats?
            6Does it bother you that there is no baseline nor any way to evaluate metabolic trends?
            ————————

            Rinse and repeat!

            FACTUAL, REAL information showing that GM may cause harm. absolutely. Can you please find it in a form of a prospective study on effects of GMOs on the human population.

            I’ve heard it stated that it is unethical to experiment on people, but it is completely ethical to feed people this stuff, experiment on them without their consent–without any empirical clinical science.

            Makes sense on which planet?

            Your predisposition to fantasy and conspiracy may have something to do with why you had to settle with vet school instead of medical school, no?

            you obviously know as much about vets as you know about MDs. Vet schools are much harder to get accepted into than medical schools, by virtue of the fact that there are 80,000 vets and 800,000 MDs– only those who really want to be vets go through the pain of going $250,000 into debt to earn $60K on graduation. Many seeing it as a higher “calling”–stupid, dumb us.

          • Farmer Guy

            Oh, I thought you were going to present a study that showed renal issues from GMO ingestion. It seems that you have a problem with amount of information given in this study and the experimental design (unless you can prove that the inflammatory renal tube changes are significantly different from the norm, but I doubt that).

            Here are 24 feeding studies that i hope will suffice: http://people.forestry.oregonstate.edu/steve-strauss/sites/people.forestry.oregonstate.edu.steve-strauss/files/Lit%20Rev%20-%20Safety%20Effects%20GM%20Foods%20-%20FoodChemTox%202012.pdf

            “it is completely ethical to feed people this stuff, experiment on them without their consent–without any empirical clinical science.
            Makes sense on which planet?”

            Earth (where we use animal models to circumvent the ethical and litigious issues that arise with performing feeding trials on human beings).
            ” Many seeing it as a higher “calling”–stupid, dumb us.”

            And thank you for your service. Ill be sure to call you when i need my cat spayed or my dog dewormed. I wont be calling you to answer questions dealing with molecular biology, advanced genetics, or food toxicology- I do hope you understand why.

          • dogctor

            I did. The Hammond studies show just that and are corroborated by other researchers ( . Funny that they are cited in your review as proof of safety, along with Malatesta’s work demonstrating alteration of splicing structures, up regulation and down regulation of proteins ( via proteomics) and alteration of zymogens in the pancreas.

            Soybean Glyphosate-tolerant soybean (CP4 EPSPS) Malatesta et
            al. (2002a).

            Ultrastructural
            morphetrical and immunocytochemical analyses of hepatocytes nuclei

            2 groups (n = 12 female mice); in total 24 individuals.

            Irregularly shaped nuclei, higher number of nuclear pores,
            numerous small fibrillar centres and abundant dense fibrillarcomponent,
            nucleoplasmic and nuclear splicing factor more abundant in GM

            fed mice Higher metabolic rateand molecular trafficking.
            InfluenceGM soybean intake on hepatocyte nuclear features in young and adult
            mices (mechanisms unknown)

            Soybean Glyphosate-tolerant soybean (CP4 EPSPS)

            Malatesta et al.

            Mice 240 days (30) Histocytochemistry pancreatic acinar
            cells2 groups (n = 12 femalemice); in total 24

            individuals.No differences in bodyweight and no

            macroscopic changesin the pancreas. No structural
            modifications but quantitative changes in some cellular constituents. A diet
            containing significant amounts of GM food seems to influence the zymogen
            synthesis and processing in pancreatic acinar cells (reasons remain unknown)

            Soybean Glyphosate-tolerant soybean (CP4 EPSPS) Malatesta et
            al. (2003).

            Mice 240 days (30) Ultrastructural morphetrical and
            immunocytochemical analyses of pancreatic

            acinar cells nuclei 2 groups (n = 12 female mice); in total
            24 individuals.

            Decrease of the shape index and the fibrillar centres density
            and increase of the pore density, the

            perichromatin granule density, the percentage of fiibrillar
            centres in GM-fed mice. Lower

            labellings for the nucleoplasmic splicing factors A diet
            containing significant amounts of GM food seems to influence the pancreatic
            metabolism

            Soybean Glyphosate-tolerant soybean (CP4 EPSPS)

            Vecchio et al. (2004).

            Mice 240 days (30) Enzyme chemistry of serum, liver, and
            pancreas 2 groups (n = 12 femalemice); in total 24 individuals. Enlarged
            vesicles of thesmooth endoplasmic reticulum, Decrease in the number of nuclear
            pores. Reduced labelling during the 2–8 month interval. Increase in
            perichromatin granules

            in Sertoli cells and in spermatocytes of GMfed mice A
            transient transcriptionnal decrease during the 2–

            8 months intervall. Most of the effectsreversible. Causes of
            the alteration notestablished, especially

            because glyphosate residues might influence transcriptionnal process

            Soybean Glyphosate-tolerant soybean (CP4 EPSPS)

            Malatesta et al. (2008). Mice 2 years (104)
            Histocytochemistry of hepatocytes 2 groups (n = 10 femalemice); in total 20
            individuals. Different expression of proteins related to hepatocyte metabolism,
            stress response, calcium signalling and mitochondria in Gmfed mice. Indications
            of reduced metabolic rate in GM-fed mice GM soybean can influence some liver
            features during ageing

            Moreover, preliminary EM analyses of hepatocytes and pancreatic
            acinar cells revealed smaller, irregularly shaped cell nuclei containing
            increased amounts of heterochromatin and perichromatin

            granules (ribonucleoprotein structural components involved in
            transport and/or storage of already spliced premRNA) in T lambs (Fig. 3).

            http://www.biosafety.ru/ftp/Three-yearlongitudinalstudyBt176.pdf

            Maize Bt Kilic and Akay, 2008.

            Wistar albino rats Duration not precise at least 3.5 months
            (14 weeks)

            Some ” minor” histological changes in liver and kidney.

            Granular degeneration level in 10% of examined sections was maximum (level 4) in Group III

            Liver Focal infiltration Group III : 7/14 8/16

            Congestion: 10/14 7/16

            Granular degeneration
            9/14 13/16

            Nuclear border change 10/14 13/16

            Kidney Enlargement in parietal layer of Bowman’s capsule 6/14 5/11

            Tubular degeneration
            13/14 9/11

            http://www.somloquesembrem.org/img_editor/file/Kilic%26Akay08BtMaizeFeedingStudy.pdf

            Fate of transgenic DNA and evaluation of metabolic effects in

            goats fed genetically modified soybean and in their offsprings

            R. Tudisco et al.

            On the contrary, in blood and milk of treated goats,
            fragments both of the 35S promoter and the CP4 EPSPS gene were detected. These
            fragments were also found in treated kids with a significant detection of the
            35S promoter in liver, kidney and blood, and of the CP4 EPSPS gene fragment in
            liver, kidney, heart and muscle. A significant increase in lactic dehydrogenase,
            mainly concerning the lactic

            dehydrogenase-1 isoenzyme was found in heart, skeletal muscle
            and kidney of treated kids, thus suggesting a change in the local production of
            the enzyme. Finally, no significant differences were detected concerning kid
            body and organ weight.

            http://www.news.unina.it/pdf/8857.pdf

            The effect of multigenerational diet containing genetically
            modified triticale on immune system in mice.

            M Krzyżowska, M Wincenciak, A Winnicka, A Baranowski, K Jaszczak, J Zimny, M Niemiałtowski

            The safety assessment of
            genetically modified (GM) food and feed is performed to identify the possible
            effects upon animal and human health, also the long-term, multigenerational
            influence upon functioning of different organs and systems, such as the immune
            system. In this study C57BL/6J mice were fed for five consecutive generations
            with pellets containing 20% of conventional triticale grain (control) vs.
            pellets containing 20% of the transgenic triticale grain resistant to BASTA
            herbicide (experimental). The F5 experimental animals showed enlarged inguinal
            and axillary lymph nodes, but not spleens, and increased WBC counts in blood
            (but within the norm for Mus musculus). Immunophenotyped cell suspensions
            derived from spleens, inguinal and axillaris lymph nodes and PBMCs from blood
            showed the significant decrease in the percentage of T cells in spleen and
            lymph nodes and the B cells in lymph nodes and blood of the F5 experimental
            mice in comparison to the control F5 mice. Immunoblotting analysis of IL-2,
            IL-4, IL-10, IL-12, IL- 6, IFN-gamma levels in serum showed significantly
            increased IL-2 levels and decreased IL-6 levels in the F5-experimental mice
            sera. No significant changes in the levels of IgE in sera in both mice groups
            were observed. The obtained results indicate that multigenerational use of
            feeds for rodents containing the GM-triticale leads to expansion of the B cell
            compartment in the secondary lymphoid organs, but it is not caused by malignant
            processes or the allergic response.

            Source: PubMed

          • dogctor

            I got good enough grades getting a degree in biochemistry to get accepted to UC Davis veterinary school, dear.

          • Farmer Guy

            As you probably well know, all of Malatesta’s studies are flawed due to him not using an isogenic soy variety. Instead, he used a wild soy variety which is well known for containing estrogen compounds which explains the few changes that he noted.

            “the experimental designs of the studies and their evaluation can be criticised. In particular the studies do not provide detailed account of the origin and characteristics of the control soybeans used, or whether the soybeans were processed or not. The levels of soybean bioactive constituents in the two diets were not stated. In addition, it is noted that in these studies particular biological phenomena were examined but not those parameters which are normally regarded as indicative for specific organ toxicity. Also the statistical evaluation of the data has been criticised. Therefore, the toxicological relevance of the findings, if any, is not clear.”
            http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/1908.pdf

            From the Kilic and Akay study:
            “No statistically significant differences were found in relative organ weights of rats
            within groups but there were some minimal histopathological changes in liver and kidney”
            ^Please tell us how they are wrong and you are right.

            No one else finds a problem with the gene fragments that Tudisco et al found. Why is that?
            “The purpose of the study carried out by Chowdhury et al. (2003) was to determine if recombinant cry1Ab gene could be detected in the gastrointestinal contents of pigs fed GM maize. Fragments of the gene were detected in stomach, duodenal, ileal, caecal and rectal contents, but no evidence was provided for the transfer of the gene to the intestinal flora. The goal of the work of Mazza et al. (2005) was to assess the persistence of feed-derived cry1Ab fragments in the tissues (blood, spleen, liver, kidney, muscle) of piglets. Only a small fragment was detected, not the intact gene or its minimal functional unit. The intestinal microbiota was not analysed. Tudisco et al. (2010) analysed the presence of transgene fragments in blood and milk of goats fed GM soybean. The intestinal microbiota was not investigated.”
            http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/efsajournal/doc/3021.pdf

          • dogctor

            Thank you Farmer Guy for your thorough response. I

            appreciate it. I am not going to be able to address all your questions, as I have patients to see., but I will address a couple and try to come back (after reading your cited material)…..to avoid making a fool of myself :)

            As you probably well know, all of Malatesta’s studies are flawed due to him not using an isogenic soy variety. Instead, he used a wild soy variety which is well known for containing estrogen compounds which explains the few changes that he noted. As you correctly note Malatesta’s studies are flawed for not using isogenic lines.

            (Thank you Kevin!)

            However, if you look at the review you cited, there are multiple references used to show safety that suffer from the same exact scientific flaws.

            he used a wild soy variety which is well known for containing estrogen compounds which explains the few changes that he noted.

            I believe it is a she ( Manuella). Please post references to how estrogen alters molecular trafficking and nuclear pores in hepatocytes, and a mechanism by which estrogen alters pancreatic metabolism.

            Here are my Cliffs Notes of the 2002 paper.

            Dr. Malatesta raised a control group of pregnant mice on a standard rat chow containing 14% soybeans and the experimental GMO group on the same standard rat chow with the exception of the soybeans being Roundup Ready, glyphosate tolerant and probably sprayed with glyphosate soybeans. 24 progeny of these litters were likewise fed respective diets (12 in control group and 12 GMO fed) and hepatocytes from the right liver lobes were analyzed after 1, 2, 5, or 8months of this diet post weaning.

            Conventional and electron microscopy (Figures 2, 3) revealed differences in neat photographic images. He observed that the nuclei of mice fed GMOs for 2, 5, 8 months were irregular (Figure 2: to my eyes the nucleus margin looks “indented”) and the nucleoli appeared “less compact” Irregular nuclear membranes represent an increase in metabolic rate. Increased nuclear -cytoplasmic interface might increase molecular trafficking between the nucleus and cytoplasm.
            Nuclear perimeter was calculated using simple geometry of a circle area and circumference. (AREA=pi x R squared; CIRCUMFERENCE=2 r x pi) to derive an Index of Irregularity.
            A software program was used to measure areas of cellular structures-nuclei, cytoplasm and nucleoli including fibrillar centers (FC) dense fibrillar component (DFC) & granular components (GC) -representing the structural components involved in RNA transcription and processing. Nuclear pore (indicators of molecular trafficking) density per nuclear membrane was counted.
            See Table I: measurements of FC area, GC percentage were found to be Lower and DFC and pore density Higher in GMO-fed mice compared to controls. Literature suggests that an increase in metabolic rate is associated with increases of small FCs and increases in DFC area.
            He performed immunocytochemistry by “staining” snRNP (snurps), spliceosome assembly factor SC-35, and fibrillarin (imaging DFC) with gold-conjugated monoclonal antibodies. In order to quantitate splicing the density of gold stain was then measured in 15 random EM images and expressed as number of gold grains per square micrometer. See Table II Quantitative immune-labeling revealed stronger labeling in GM-fed mice livers indicative of increased splicing factors
            He measured liver enzymes: AST, ALT, LDH and GGT—the tests we routinely perform on our patients, which interestingly were found to be within normal limits. Since he did not observe changes in the cytoplasm, he concluded that GM food influences nuclear features of hepatocytes but did not speculate on the mechanism. Since Round Up Ready soy is treated with glyphosate with adjuvants, I don’t know why or how (s) he would be expected to know which component is causing nuclear modification.

            http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2012/06/why-labeling-act-will-succeed-then-fail.html

            Debunk away :-)

            Much appreciated.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Madeline-Cox/100002395018240 madness

      You know it’s crazy cause you can put charts side by side of rates of gmo consumption over time with those of the prevalence of various diseases over time and they match up near perfectly!

      Unfortunately, you can do the same thing with organic food sales over time. :-(

      • dogctor

        Unfortunately there is not a study in the literature analyzing what patients who go on to develop NAFLD or renal failure have been consuming. It wouldn’t be all that hard to test the hypothesis in a large retrospective study.
        I am going to wager $100 that organic food consumption among those patient groups (with renal disease and NAFLD) is minimal, while consumption of GMOs ( corn, HFCS, soy, canola oil and other unhealthy oils) predominates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

    its every human’s right to know what they put in their mouth , what the hell is wrong with labeling, every food has a label, but they dont put what’s really in it .. a can of corn says corn, its mislabeled its not real corn and missing the nutritional value of real food, wake up !

    • http://www.facebook.com/dale.poniewaz Dale Poniewaz

      You’re right. Thats the problem, corporations are run by liars as is the government. These people have no morals and couldn’t care less about anything but money. They’ve paid everyone off, including the media…..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003028341708 Gina Winter

    simple question. if GMO are so safe… why the massive amounts of money , lawsuits and threats to keep labeling of such not an option?

    • http://www.facebook.com/shiva.kasravi Shiva Kasravi

      Gina, I get your main point, but I’d like to sort out a few things about your comment to make it more accurate:

      You say there have been threats and lawsuits to make the labeling of GMOs “not an option.”

      First of all I’d like to know which threats and lawsuits you speak of.

      Second, labeling GMO’s is very much an option; any manufacturer is welcome to label their food as “made with GMO” or “non-GMO” as they choose. You don’t see the “made with GMO” label (at least I never have) but there are plenty of “non-GMO” labels and advertisements around (some examples I’ve personally seen: Costco edamame, Chipotle corn, Naked smoothies). Whole Foods also recently announced that in a couple of years they will start voluntarily labeling their food.

      Of course industries are going to spend money against mandatory GMO labeling because they believe they will lose money if they label, despite the safety of GMOs, because of public distrust. But there is no bad safety record to hide.

      Now I have a simple question for you: Why should we make GM labels mandatory, but not label irradiation, chemically induced mutation, pesticide use, herbicide use, fertilizer use and many of the other chemicals and technologies used in both organic and conventional agriculture? After all, all of these things produce genetic responses in plants and no long-term safety studies have been conducted on the foods produced this way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

    holly crap u guys must be some super brilliant scientists smarter than God to think you can mix chemicals food poison everythings gonna be just fine.. seems God was right when he said we would screw things up so bad the world would be destroyed if not for Him saving us.. i cant even pretend im as smart as some of you geniuses but theres something called a variable that some people arent seeing.. when u mix this with that what happens? and then take some of this with that these foods arent natural at all. even science proves they arent as healthy as natural food. even if we were so generously feeding the world for free which we’re not.. what are we feeding them?? this crap is banned in the rest of the world.. wake up americans!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

    maybe if gmos are so good make one that is more healthy than the original..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

    Roundup is more toxic than declared proves new Séralini study

    CRIIGEN press release, 21 February 2013

    In a new research paper published in the highly ranked scientific journal Toxicology, Robin Mesnage, Benoît Bernay and Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini, from the University of Caen, France, have proven (from a study of nine Roundup-like herbicides) that the most toxic compound is not glyphosate, which is the substance the most assessed by regulatory authorities, but a compound that is not always listed on the label, called POE-15.

    • Farmer Guy

      Please keep believing everything your blogs tell you, sweety.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003159249550 J.r. Stacy

    i would like the right to know if i’m buying corn or corn mixed with pig and human dna to make it grow faster in the snow or whatever..

    • mfp2waoe4

      Do you also want the right to know the color of the building it was packaged in? Because that’s just as relevant. The multibillion-dollar organic food industry has you weak-minded suckers eating out of its hand.

  • Seeds of death

    The quote “no adverse health or environmental effects have resulted from commercialization of genetically engineered crops” from Ronald discredits her whole statement because this is wrong or a flat out lie, this whole article is now discredited. This is one big fat piece of propaganda. Also the Seralini study is valid until an independent group replicates it and and publishes differing results in a research journal. Science cannot be discredited by a bunch of indoctrinated employed people spouting off B.S criticisms because they don’t like the results, after all the people who make these things and approve them have a lot to lose if indeed they are unsafe. If they are unsafe they are removed from the food supply not labeled, however they are materially different so they should at least be labeled.

  • SPMediaGroup

    Their “truth” as opposed to peer reviewed science. The science trumps any rhetoric the ‘other side’ claims as GMOs being safe.

    Again, science and research, non-biased, speak for itself.

    http://naturalrevolution.org/gmo-resources/scientific-research/

  • Keith Kloor

    Oh boy, I had to step away from the blog for a few days and I see it’s infested with all manner of crazy from ant-GMO types. Yikes!

  • ramsey affifi

    Thanks for your article,

    I do want to make one point: by casting your pro-biotech argument such that anyone who is concerned about the effects of the technology are under the spell of wackos like Adams is not really doing justice to legitimate environmental and ethical concerns. There are many geneticists, trained at top universities, who are concerned about GMOs. It is not a question of new age Luddhites on one side and cool, rational scientists on the other. It is a question, rather, of those who understand the complexity of the genetic code, with its networks and pleiotropy, and those who think that we don’t need to fully understand it to manipulate it. Even modern technologies that can more accurately test for genetic activity changes that result from DNA insertions (such as OMIC studies), are generally refused by biotech cheerleaders. Why is this? Just as technologies begin to promise a more meaningful sense of “substantial equivalence”, the cheerleaders what to pull the rug from under the technology? What do they fear to find? It is the same anti-science approach as Harper in Canada, who wants to continue claiming that there are no studies showing that tar sands are affecting rivers by shutting down science on those very river systems. If you control the definition of “substantial equivalence” such that it is kept as superficial as possible, then you win the game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dale.poniewaz Dale Poniewaz

    Problem is a person can’t trust any of this garbage coming from major corporations or our government or anyone writing a column like this one
    . Whos been paid off, whos not paid off etc. Do research, grow as much of your own food as possible….

  • http://www.facebook.com/strengent Freedom Through Love

    This nothing but propaganda. As i scroll down i notice that most intelligent American know what is really going on

  • http://twitter.com/sleuth4health Sleuth 4 Health

    Late to this piece but what to put in my two cents worth. I used to read Mercola and Mike Adams, used to admire them both in fact, but now I have done the proverbial one-eighty and am a pro-science “observer” with no agenda other than to speak the truth. So, when you say that anyone who reads these guys is beyond help, I have to say nope!

  • Chris Weaver

    I just looked at my left shoulder and saw my GMO SCAR!!!!
    OMG I AM A GMO! SAVE YOURSELVES IF YOU HAVE NOT THIS SCAR! (EVERYONE UNDER 32)

  • http://www.purplecloudzlifestyle.com/ Mz. 420

    A corn plant told me, “For those who wish to understand genetically modified organism.

    Remember to:
    1. Take the politics out of genetically modified organism.
    2. Take the time to understand the “actual science” behind genetically modified organism from A to Z.
    3. Form your opinion.
    4. Cite your opinion with reputable and academic sources.”

    I told the corn plant, “Science is amazing.” then I ate it.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is a wide-ranging blog forum that explores issues at the nexus of science, culture and society.

About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.

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