Open Letter to Bill Nye from a Plant Scientist

By Keith Kloor | November 10, 2014 7:30 am

Below is an open letter from Kevin Folta, a plant scientist at the University of Florida, Gainsville. In recent years, Folta has taken a leading role as an educator on the subject of agricultural biotechnology. He often engages with GMO critics and foes. Folta is a professor in a public institution and his research is sponsored by federal and state agencies.   

Dear Bill Nye:

I’ve always appreciated your ability to communicate science to the public.  Your television shows taught us about our biological world and physical universe in an accessible, engaging manner.  In recent years you have become an outstanding ambassador for science. You have helped many people understand  that good science starts with a plausible hypothesis that is tested with careful design and statistical rigor, resulting in data that could be interpreted within the framework of the scholarly literature toward building or augmenting a scientific consensus.

You have applied this approach to teach the scientific evidence for evolution and anthropogenic climate change. You also have publicly and robustly rebutted the pseudoscientific positions underlying creationism and global warming denial.  In doing so, you have shown that evidence-based conclusions trump personal beliefs.

Last week you published a new book, Undeniable, again covering the harm of science denial with regard to evolution.  But then in the same text, and in later comments on Reddit, you expressed a belief-based criticism of agricultural biotechnology, or “GMO” technology.  No evidence, just “here’s what I think” coupled to arguments from ignorance, and positions that lay perpendicular to the scientific consensus.  Your logic and reasoning match the fallacies of climate and evolution deniers, the people you correctly criticize.

Over almost two decades agricultural biotechnology has shown to safely and effectively aid farmers, and offers future promise to deliver higher quality food, more sustainably.  Perhaps you were just speaking off the cuff from an uninformed opinion. We all can’t be experts in everything.

However, given your prominent status and huge media platform, you have a special responsibility to accurately communicate the science about this subject. GMO technology is backed by massive data and proof of concept, yet the topic is poorly understood and frequently misrepresented in the public discourse by anti-GMO activists. Agricultural biotechnology is not going away; the public would be well-served by a fact-based discussion, not one that is colored by emotion or ideology.

My hope is that you will consult with experts in the field and rescind your incorrect assertions.  But if you elect to stand by them, they should be challenged, and challenged publicly.

Earlier this year you debated Creationist Ken Hamm in a public forum, where you stood on the shoulders of hypothesis-driven science to illuminate the emptiness of an anti-evolution position. In a recent interview with Smithsonian you justified the value of public debate in the science of evolution as “to draw attention to these people and their pseudoscientific belief systems, so that the next generation is not susceptible to these myths….”  I hope you feel the same when your beliefs are similarly questioned.

As a public scientist immersed in the biotech literature for 30 years, I am disheartened by your statements (so are many of my colleagues) as they do not reflect the current state of our scientific understanding. Let’s use public debate to articulate the science of this issue.  I am happy to arrange a forum at a major university for a civil, evidence-based debate on the benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology. Consider this an invitation.  Three hours, same format as the Nye vs. Hamm debate.  Let’s talk about the science and make sure we get it straight.  Either I’m missing something you know, or you’re missing something I know, but it can’t work both ways.

Thank you for your consideration of this offer. I look forward to hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Kevin Folta Ph.D.

Professor, Horticultural Sciences and Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Florida

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  • odin2

    Good Article. Nye does the same thing with the CAGW hysteria. No empirical evidence- just hypothesis , opinions and scare tactics. Nye is a political operative for the left cloaked in “science”.

    • http://codemonkeybryan.com Bryan Elliott

      “No empirical evidence- just hypothesis”

      Um. What? No.

      There’s known and demonstrable physical mechanism (e.g., correllation between CO2 partial pressure and insulation), measurements of atmospheric concentrations demonstrating that the prerequisites of the mechanism are being met, measurements of oceanic and atmospheric heat loading, measurements demonstrating that solar activity is not sufficient to explain all of the heat loading.

      This isn’t a hypothesis. This is a well-demonstrated phenomena.

      • odin2

        Provide the empirical evidence then. Correlation is not proof of causation and the effect cannot precede the cause. Changes in CO2 lag temperature changes by as much as 800 years. Climate models are not data or empirical evidence. The models have been wrong almost all of the time anyway. Funny, when you can manipulate the data to get the results you want in a climate model, you would think that they would get better results.

        • Jai

          CO2 provided the extra boost to drive the Earth out of an ice age. The changes in Milankovich solar cycles alone is simply not strong enough to end an ice age. That is why CO2 followed along, because it is a feedback.

          The real manipulation comes from the satellite temperature data where the analysts have to compensate for aging detectors, decaying orbits and variable signals from water densities at different altitudes. These “adjustments” are the reason for the difference between the surface temperature data and even the differences between the two main series, UAH and RSS. These two series use the same satellites but have very different results. Because they are making adjustments to the data.

          • odin2

            LOL

            http://www.c3headlines.com

            Where is the empirical evidence? Drivel dressed up as pseudoscience is still drivel.

          • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

            Okay, climate skeptic, do not hijack this thread. Plenty of other places for you to go and talk all about the big climate fraud/hoax/conspiracy.

          • odin2

            You are right. I did not intend to hijack the thread -just point out the similarities in the left’s unscientific approach to both GMOs and CAGW. I will stop since I have proven my point. Sorry.

          • CB

            “I did not intend to hijack the thread”

            Yeah you did. You have a long history of it… and you already know we can see CO
 warming the planet from space… so why are you still demanding proof?

          • Tom Scharf

            Folta did throw climate skeptics under the bus in his letter. Guilt through association.

          • odin2

            Yes, he did and I think my comments are an appropriate response to the following remark:

            “You also have publicly and robustly rebutted the pseudoscientific positions underlying creationism and global warming denial.”

            However, Keith Kloor is apparently the moderator of this site and wants to confine the discussion to
            GMOs. I said I would respect his wishes and I will.

          • Vindaloo Bugaboo

            Measuring sea surface levels to a fraction of a millimeter, by a passing satellite 200+ miles overhead, traveling at a speed of 17,000 mph, seems like pseudo science to me too. If you constantly have to adjust the data to account for variables such as decaying orbit, incoming solar wind pressure, etc. how reliable is the data to begin with?

          • sean654654

            Well if it “seems” like that to you, forget science, I better go with you and your guess!

          • Vindaloo Bugaboo

            The “science” of computer modeling hasn’t worked out for actual temperature measurements. And since it hasn’t, obviously the data must be wrong, right? Let’s adjust. There, problem solved.

            Sea surface is not static – you have waves. You have wind drag. You have gravitational pull from the moon. You have doppler effects and an irregular ‘r’ for radial computation because the earth is not a perfect sphere. Add other sources of error as described previously, and then spit out a result that ocean levels have gone up a fraction of a millimeter, which means accuracy rounding to the hundredth of a millimeter?

            I am a scientist by education and profession, but forgive me for questioning the accuracy of the data churned out in pure support of a political topic such as CAGW.

          • Halfamonkey

            But the various surface temperature data sets are also based on the same set of sensor data, and differ only in how they are processed.

      • Tom Scharf

        The hypothesis is that this will result in “dangerous” levels of warming. This depends on climate sensitivity to carbon and impacts of warming. The science gets much more mushy here as it leaves observations and enters modeling.

        • Jai

          just because you didn’t take the time to study and don’t understand the science doesn’t mean that it is “mushy”. In almost every contributing factor, the use of multi-model means and consensus positions reduces the projections of impacts to the average, even though newer information indicates that impacts are much worse than projected.

          • Tom Scharf

            I think you are making assumptions on what I do and don’t know.

            Almost all impacts have a range of predictions, the fact that there is an average, minimum, and maximum is hardly surprising. A mean or average is just that, the statement that impacts are “reduced to the average” doesn’t make much sense. AGW activists often only quote worst case projections. For example it is common for 2100 sea level rise projections to be stated as “up to a meter”, which is the worst case projection for the highest emissions scenario. The median is actually 2 feet for RCP8.5, and 18 inches for medium emissions.

            AR5 in many cases walked back impact projections from AR4, hurricanes and extinctions as examples.

            Most impacts are not actually trending “worse than we thought”. Temperatures and sea level rise are lower than projections and most extreme events have no discernible trend to the worse.

          • Jai

            “up to a meter” Rignot et. al. 2014 changed that to a new minimum.

            If you assert that the IPCC is overestimating impacts, how do you then reconcile the fact that they have so far grossly underestimated arctic ice loss and do not include frozen carbon (permafrost), and carbon cycle feedbacks in their analyses? All of these factors are currently observed to have very strong positive forcing effects.

            “Most impacts are not actually trending “worse than we thought”. Temperatures and sea level rise are lower than projections and most extreme events have no discernible trend to the worse.”

            Tell that to the population of Sao Paulo, Northern India, The Colorado River Basin and California. . .

            http://www.circleofblue.org/waternews/2014/commentary/editorial-in-the-circle-fresh-focus/earths-major-aquifers-trouble/

    • Goldpenny’s Graffix

      Don’t use someone else’s argument as a platform to launch some ridiculous campaign against someone in support of CAGW because, you’re dumb.

  • RobertWager

    I hope it is at a venue near me. Front row seats would be nice.

    • Goldpenny’s Graffix

      The Internet doesn’t have seats. Unless your on Amazon. The you can buy them.

  • mem_somerville

    I would like to start by seeing the evidence Bill Nye has on the papaya allergies he’s claiming. I need to see what he considers “evidence”.

    • Loren Eaton

      I’m assuming he’s talking about GM papayas. Here’s the catch, if the GM plants produce a coat protein for resistance, that’s fairly easy to test. And remember, non-GM papaya probably have a much greater amount of the same coat protein because the plants will be under greater disease pressure.

    • Jeffn

      His paycheck is X+Y and he gets invited to Z+10 dinner parties if he plays dumb on GMOs. Evidence enough for some.

    • glamourshtz

      While Kevin has his nose in his plants, I’m guessing Bill Nye, a multi-disciplinarian thinker, is reading the new microbial science that is finding that our guts are very similar to plants. Current ag science ignores that we are much like plants and Round-up/Glysophates are killing all our good bacteria that we need to process our nutrients. I’m hopeful that smart people like Bill will get our government to take action quick. Read this study and weep.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3945755/

      • mem_somerville

        Pbbbffft.

        1. Stephanie Seneff is one of the biggest quacks out there right now. All her work belongs here: http://tylervigen.com/ And if you had any grasp of science, you would know this.

        2. That has absolutely nothing to do with papaya. You failed on all levels.

        Sorry.

        • Lars Olsen

          Stephanie Seneff? Heh, just saw that name dropped in a Norwegian news article’s comment section (same as here) recently as well. Woo is global.

      • Pamela Wright

        The agricultural expert ignores how our guts are like plants (which is a stretch about a mile wide) while the “multidisciplinarian” knows all about it? Do you read Nye’s mind? Do you have any basis at all for assuming such nonsense? You don’t know what Nye is knowledgeable about, and he readily admits he is not an expert in this area. Perhaps you just really, really, want him to be right?

        • Goldpenny’s Graffix

          Actually, if you’ve ever watched his show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, I think you can extrapolate what he is knowledgeable about. Chemical reactions. The man taught me how to build my first vinegar and baking soda Volcano! That may have been before your time tho.

      • pop_rocks

        Thank you, not enough people are in support of proceeding cautiously and examining effects of these new products scientifically. Either the parties involved are in a head long rush for profits, or they want to throw the baby out with the bath water, and ban outright the technology that may someday be our best chance for survival. Greed and/or knee-jerk reaction is no substitute for education, study, and clinical research, and trials.

        • Panoptes

          Amen to that, pop_rocks, Yours appears to be a voice of reason, not ideology. Realistically, I don’t think we’re putting the genie back in the bottle when it comes to GM biotechnology, but we are obligated to test, monitor and regulate.

          Not enough people make the distinction between the science and safety of GMOs and the economics/politics of GMOs in the Ag industry. Two very different issues.

          On another note, I read the Seneff paper cited by the OP. IMO, it set-up a good framework for directing further study but was unconvincing
          otherwise. It was not original research but a meta-review of what amounts to circumstantial evidence. No GMO glyphosate dose response studies or direct evidence of a GMO-disease connection. What I would like to see is a controlled study comparing disease prevalence between groups with a typical diet inclusive of GM foods with one substituting GM for non-GM.

          But that’s just me, I would be interested to hear what other level-headed people thought about the paper and what further research they would like to see.

          • NoToGMOs

            “What I would like to see is a controlled study comparing disease prevalence between groups with a typical diet inclusive of GM foods with one substituting GM for non-GM.”

            I would love to see such a study. In fact, such a study should have been done before each GMO was ever introduced into the food supply.

          • Richids Coulter

            Such a study is about to get underway in Russia, the Factor GMO study will look at 6000 rats over 3 years.

            “The science on these GMOs is not settled by a long shot,” said Bruce Blumberg, an endocrinology expert at the University of California, Irvine, who sits on the study review board. “Studies that were done by the manufacturers are the main ones showing
            safety, and those have an inherent conflict of interest.”

            “The claim that there is a consensus among
            scientists that GM food products are safe … is simply a PR campaign sponsored by the industry,” said Dave Schubert, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California.

        • Goldpenny’s Graffix

          If you threw the baby out with the bath water in some parts of the world sub zero temperatures word freeze the baby and water, encasing it in ice in seconds.. Which could possibly allow us to study the effects of transgenic foods and compare the results in 100 years of later humans to that of the babies genetic makeup. Bill Nye says so.

      • Kevin Folta

        There is one scientist that supports what you are saying, and she’s a computer scientist and her laboratory is Google. Nye did not endorse her work.

      • Larkin Curtis Hannah

        There are at least two major problems with your argument. First, very little glyphosate is actually sprayed on plants to kill weeds. Hence, the amount making it into the food we eat if any, is minuscule. The other problem with your argument is if there were adverse effects on gut bacteria leading to a reduction of nutrient uptake, we would have seen it in all of the feeding studies that have been done. Billions of farm animals have consumed Round-UP tolerant corn and soybeans for almost 20 years and no effect has been noted. Also, I am not aware of any documented study showing problems in humans who consume transgenic plants. If you can provide a documented study, published in a main stream peer-reviewed journal, refuting my statements, I would appreciate receiving them.

        Curt Hannah

        • Richids Coulter

          How much glyphosate was used in the US in 2003, 2008 and 2013? Of those “billions” of animals, how many were studied? If not billions, how can you claim no effects were noted?

          • SYH

            then provide a reputable peer reviewed work that claim glyphosate cause negative health effects in animals. that should be easy for you since you are so sure it certainly does so.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Lol! You used “reputable” and “peer reviewed” in the same sentence. You’re silly, I like you.

          • Richids Coulter

            Which post did I say that it does? The studies haven’t been done so I do not know. Thank you for illustrating the glaring difference between how you and I both approach the scientific method.

          • SYH

            you said “you have no documented evidence of which of those people consume meals
            made with transgenic crops and which don’t, no study has been done therefore the conclusion you’re touting is not wholly unscientific”

            so then show evidence that glyphosate or GMO causes negative health effects from a reputable peer reviewed work and settle it.

            As stated above, you can’t prove a negative. Show evidence that it does first. You’re making the claim.

            also, you are ignoring the meta studies mentioned above suggesting GMO has no
            effect on animals and humans and crabbing that there are no direct studies on humans.

          • JJ

            It’s tiresome to see the “you can’t prove a negative” logical fallacy trotted out repeatedly, but our professor did so earlier and you agreed with it.

            Please, dear people of science, logic and reason…

            That claim is patently false. You can absolutely prove a negative.

            Do more reading on this logical fallacy:
            http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Negative_proof

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            “…meta studies mentioned above suggesting GMO has no effect on animals and humans.”

            You do realise, of course, that Monsanto et al. will never allow any studies proving GMOs are allergenic, carcinogenic, toxic, etc., to be published in peer-reviewed journals?

          • JH

            Richids, buddy,

            WHAT ABOUT THE ORGANIC CARROTS?? ARE THEY SAFE OR NOT?

          • NoToGMOs

            Straw man alert!

          • gskibum

            If JH’s argument regarding organic carrots is a strawman logical fallacy, then you surely agree that attributing cancer and autism on genetically engineered crops, in spite of the utter lack of evidence is also a logical fallacy.

          • NoToGMOs

            No, it is not a logical fallacy, because there are good reasons to study the link between allergies/cancer/autism/infertility/Parkinson’s etc and GMOs with their associated herbicides/insecticides. The main one being that rates of these disorders have dramatically increased since the introduction of GE into our food supply. Unlike with organic carrots where no such correlation exists.

            Yes, correlation does not equal causation, but unless you conduct actual studies, you cannot rule it out.

          • Lielin

            It could never be because there are better ways to diagnose cancer/autism/infertility/Parkinson. For example, Denmark always tops the ranks on breast cancer, yet is not cause they have women with the most breast cancer in the world, but because they are much better at detecting it early, diagnosing and treating, than countries like Argentina and such, where mammographies are not something that can be easily achieved as they are very expensive and thus are denied to women who are “suspected of maybe probably having something”, rather they perform it on someone who already very likely has the problem.

        • Richids Coulter

          “Also, I am not aware of any documented study showing problems in humans who consume transgenic plants.”

          Are you aware of any study of humans who consume transgenic plants? You make it sound like there are no problems so I presume it has been studied then?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            My point is that millions of meals are consumed by humans three times a day in this country as well as others for the past 18 years. No problem has been found.

          • Richids Coulter

            No problems have been studied, your point is unscientific. What percentage of meals in 1996 were comprised of transgenic ingredients?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Show me a documented problem in humans. You cannot do it.

          • Richids Coulter

            Show me there are no problems. You cannot do it.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            You can not prove the negative. That is the nature of science. I am a professor of plant molecular and cellular biology at the University of Florida. What do you do for a living?

          • Richids Coulter

            So your answer is we do not know whether problems exist because long-term controlled feeding studies in humans have never been done, is that about right?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Yes, de facto they have been done. For 18 years by millions of people and farm animals. If you want to look at published literature, check out the recent paper in the Journal of Animal Science by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam’s

          • Richids Coulter

            So you’ll stoop to outright lying it appears Curt, shame on you. You know full well that you have no documented evidence of which of those people consume meals made with transgenic crops and which don’t, no study has been done therefore the conclusion you’re touting is not wholly unscientific.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Oh, good old name calling, the last resort of someone who does not know the facts. So, I take it you are from the organic cult.
            so reread my answers, the paper in Animal Science and come back with you have some facts to back up your claims.

          • Richids Coulter

            Not many people consider adjectives name calling, I’m merely making an observation that you are lying when you say studies have been done comparing health outcomes of humans consuming transgenic crops and those who don’t, a metareview of animals doesn’t support this statement either.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Do you realize that transgenic plants undergo millions of dollars worth of testing before they go on the market? They are tested for composition changes and the presence of new allergens, etc. Three national agencies (USDA, EPA, and FDA) require approval. So, if you have some new data or unique insight into this problem, please contact those agencies.
            This new gene technology clearly can help the growing world human population in the face of climate change. If you think that increasing the market share of your potentially fecal laden produce is worth letting starving people starve, then continue with your name calling and bigotry. You have no credibility.

          • Richids Coulter

            Letting people starve? Hmm, so if people are still starving 18 years into the life of transgenic crops while “millions” of people are eating them and “billions” of farm animals are eating them when exactly will we see people stop starving? You have no credibility yourself as you just resort to the rebutted talking points of transgenic crops.

            In each case conventional crops (and I’m talking about non-transgenic, not organic, as it’s clear from your last paragraph you’d love to engage in misdirection at this point) have either matched or exceeded transgenic crops in yields, amount of herbicides used, drough-resistance, etc.

            From the International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 1, 2014.

            Starting with maize, how has the commitment to GM crops benefitted the US agroecosystem? Maize is a dominating crop for the US Midwest and a significant crop for W. Europe. Between 1961 and 1985 the United States produced on average approximately 5,700 hg/ha more maize per year than did W. Europe. By the mid-1980s, there was a significant change in yield in our comparison countries (Figure 1). Between 1986 and 2010, W. Europe’s yield averaged 82,899 hg/ha, just slightly above United States yields of 82,841 hg/ha (Table 1). Comparing W. Europe with the United States for the entire period 1961-2010 (Figure 1), the average yields were not significantly different (ANOVA: F 1,98 = 0.53; P = 0.47). These results suggest that yield benefits (or limitations) over time are due to breeding and not GM, as reported by others (Gurian-Sherman 2009), because W. Europe has benefitted from the same, or marginally greater, yield increases without GM. Furthermore, the difference between the estimated yield potential and actual yield or `yield-gap’ appears to be uniformly smaller in W. Europe than in the US Midwest (Licker et al. 2010). Biotechnology choices in the form of breeding stock and/or management techniques used in Europe are as effective at maintaining yield as are germplasm/management combinations in the United States.

            The average yields of rapeseed for Canada have always been lower than W. Europe’s, by an average of 11,000 hg/ha between 1961 and 1985, and an even larger average difference of 17,300 hg/ha between 1986 and 2010, the period when Canada moved to GM and Europe did not.

            The short-term reduction in insecticide use reported in the period of Bt crop adoption appears to have been part of a trend enjoyed also in countries not adopting GM crops (Figure 3). Thus, reductions attributed to GM crops (Fedoroff 2012) are in question. In 2007 (the latest FAOSTAT figures available for the United States) US chemical insecticide use was down to 85% of 1995 levels by quantity of active ingredients, and herbicide use rose to 108% of 1995 levels. Meanwhile, similar if not more impressive reductions have been achieved in countries not adopting GM crops. By 2007, France had reduced both herbicide (to 94% of 1995 levels) and chemical insecticide (to 24% of 1995 levels) use, and by 2009 (the latest FAOSTAT figures available for France) herbicide use was down to 82%, and insecticide use was down to 12% of the 1995 levels. Similar trends were seen in Germany and Switzerland.

            The choice of GM-biotechnology packages in the US agroecosystem has been the stark contrast with W. European patterns of biotechnology use. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary (e.g. Derbyshire 2011), there is no evidence that GM biotechnology is superior to other biotechnologies (all `technological applications that use biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for a specific use’, IAASTD 2009) in its potential to supply calories (Heinemann 2009, IAASTD 2009, Jacobsen et al. 2013).

            GM crops are not a solution, in part because they are controlled by strict IP instruments. Despite the claims that GM might be needed to feed the world, we found no yield benefit when the United States was compared to W. Europe, other economically developed countries of the same latitude which do not grow GM crops. We found no benefit from the traits either.

            GM crops have maintained or increased US pesticide use relative to equally advanced competitors. The pattern and quantities unique to the use of GM-glyphosate-tolerant crops has been responsible for the selection of glyphosate-tolerant weeds, with estimates of resistant weeds on between 6 and 40 million hectares in the United States (Waltz 2010, Owen 2011, Benbrook 2012, Heap et al. 2013). The use of Bt crops is associated with the emergence of Bt resistance and by novel mechanisms in insect pests (Lu et al. 2010, Waltz 2010, Benbrook 2012, Zhang et al. 2012).

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Let me respond briefly to your comments.

            First, this is not an either or or game. Any technology that helps with feeding a growing population is fine with me and all main stream agriculturalist. I give scientific advice to a conventional sweet corn breeding program and it is straight breeding. Breeding works and nobody says it doesn’t. It is interesting that the largest part of Monsanto’s research budget goes to plant breeding and not plant biotechnology. The fact though that the vast majority of the corn, soybeans and cotton grown in this country says there is a benefit to their use. This cannot be denied.

            Concerning IP, it is interesting that the Plant Protection Act became law in 1930 and the Plant Variety Protection Act was signed in 1970. IP greatly predated biotechnology.

            Generation of BT resistant insects and Round-UP resistant weeds is due to Darwinian evolution and is not unique to transgenes. Plant breeders have always realized that any form of resistance they put out will eventually be overridden by resistant bugs and weeds through low levels of mutation an selection.

          • http://cendax.wordpress.com/ Norbrook

            I can also point out that Monsanto pays royalties for using a patented non-GMO strain of soybean it uses for its GMO soybeans.

          • sharon

            Amount of something produced does not equate with benefit to customer. Think of cigarettes. Amount of transgenic is economically beneficial to corporations.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Customers (in this case farmers) don’t buy things that do not benefit them. This also keeps prices lower for the people who buy the foods/feeds produced by the farmer.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Don’t forget the farmers the government actually pays to NOT GROW FOOD ON their land. Is this world messed up or what. Messed up because if I tried to grow an organization is garden larger than 10×10 feet in my backyard I can be fixed thousands of dollars by the city. (nys)

          • Richids Coulter

            Ask all those farmers how they feel now as they can’t wait to get the new 2,4-D-resistant crops given that the bill of goods they were sold by Monsanto et al 10 years ago is massively failing.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            It will be interesting to see how sales go. As a member of a family with a relatively large farming operation in Indiana, I know we will be very curious to see how it works. You indirectly refer to the Round Up resistant weeds that have developed. You should appreciate that this is not a problem with transgenes; it is Darwinian evolution. All plant breeders will tell you who breed for resistance to pathogens and weeds that it is just a matter of time before the pests overcomes the genetic resistance. It is just rare mutations and a powerful selection force. Please note that Round Up ready crops are still extremely popular. The vast majority of farmers still use them. They use additional herbicides to get the Round Up resistant ones.

          • Doc4u

            Ignore this Monsanto/DuPont/Dow Troll.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            And the facts leading to your labeling are what? What do you find incorrect in my post?

          • Doc4u

            No, it’s not fine or OK.

          • Ce Gzz

            Come to Bolivia, a simple talk with producers will let you know why they prefer GM soy. Besides you could learn a lot from them, as it sounds you never go to fields or work with growing crops.

          • NoToGMOs

            Open your eyes and look at long-term effects instead of short-term gains. See what GM has done to your neighbor, Argentina:

            http://www.globalresearch.ca/argentina-cancer-deaths-well-above-the-national-average-in-heavily-gmo-planted-areas/5402289

            Do you honestly want that for your country?

          • Lielin

            You are confusing the whole thing. In Argentina there is a WRONG use of pesticides. Not only field workers (in many places in Argentina) don’t have the proper equipment to protect themselves against the pesticides that they use, but they also use aerial pesticides in places where there are lakes and populations (small towns with schools and such) living close to the fields where pesticides are being used, also some field companies don’t really seem to care that they are contaminating the water.
            THAT has absolutely nothing to do with the proper use of pesticides in areas where there should be only fields and with companies that do care about the environment.
            It’s Argentina, I am from Argentina. It’s a corrupt place where money means more than people’s health. The same problem came up with electric generators and such things in the past and also when fuel companies settled next to small towns and thus polluted everything including people’s health.
            Public garbage companies sometimes don’t even give their workers the proper uniform to touch all the garbage, they have to buy and bring it on their own!.

            In other words, the bad use of equipment and areas have nothing to do. Gm has done nothing wrong, you are trying to stir up a thing that doesn’t really exist. There’s no problem with GM, there’s a problem on how things are HANDLED. DO you understand now?.

          • NoToGMOs

            And how do you propose to prevent the same thing from happening in Bolivia…the misuse of pesticides? Are you saying agricultural companies in Bolivia are not corrupt and that they always follow the regulations with regard to pesticide spraying?

            And you are wrong about the problem not being related to GMOs. If you read the link I posted, it says:

            “A huge increase in cancer incidence is being reported in Argentina linked directly to areas of heavy GMO crop engineering and high biotech herbicide use.

            The Ministry of Health in Córdoba, Argentina, reveals in a report that deaths from cancerous tumors are double the national average in areas where genetically engineered crops are grown and agro-chemicals are used.”

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “It’s a corrupt place where money means more than people’s health.”

            Argentina? Ohhhhh, for a minute there, I thought you were talking about another country considerably further north.

          • Ce Gzz

            9 years and counting, people gets sick here using conventional crops as they have to use more pesticides. Long term effects? the fear that some groups have? 20 years and the side effects are clear, the first world DON’T want US to develop and feed our people.

          • NoToGMOs

            There are so many other better and much more sustainable ways of feeding people than GE technology. Are you saying corn, soy, canola and sugarbeets (which are the main GE food crops) are the only things that can feed your country? Your country has a rich diversity of crops – way more than just these handful of GE crops – large scale adoption of GE technology will just ruin that wonderful biodiversity. Not to mention this technology is patented which means your people/farmers will end up beholden to these corporations. You have to realize these corporations only care about themselves and their profits. Once they’ve ruined your land and your peoples’ health, they will just move on to other lands. It might not happen in your generation, but your children and grandchildren will be the ones to clean up the mess created by your decisions. So think hard before falling for the illusions spread by the ‘first world’

          • Ce Gzz

            Well with quinoa being over priced (as you people in the North hemisphere created a silly demand), andean people barely eats this grain. Their choice is rice, pasta and potatoes. By the way we don’t use canola AT ALL. We don’t have GM sugar beets. Some GM corn is growing with out regulation as the poultry industry is demanding more of it and conventional corn doesn’t cover this demand. Ask anybody around here. People don’t eat vegetables or fruit. Regular diet is high on sugars, white flour, meat and carbs. Even if you don’t believe it, but gm soy producers are teaching smaller producers how they can use soy to obtain protein and even build their own family veggie garden, so they can eat healthier. So NO! producers know much more and have better lessons. If they can push to open markets so people can realize that more veggies and more fruit is better, I support them.

          • Ce Gzz

            And BTW, we are blessed that our regulation DOESN’T recognize patent over LIFE, so all the big companies CAN’T touch our producers. That’s why they love this technology, once they lay hands on it, they can produce their own seed and nobody can sue them for royalties or all your nightmares. YOU MUST REALIZE not all countries have your conditions, and some like us NEED technology to produce more in less space so we can keep our forests. It is organic quinoa production that is turning to be more harmful than gm soy. When will you stop patronizing us? Seriously! I find it amusing that a producer is more prepared than any science fearful person.

          • Richids Coulter

            Talk to them in 5 years, see how they feel.

          • Ce Gzz

            It is 9 years they are using it. They clearly understand more about biotechnology than most of skepticals.

          • temblor4

            Richids, you obviously have no idea of the reasons for starvation in Africa, just for one example.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            It’s called government corruption.

          • temblor4

            Sumo, that’s only one of a plethora of reasons and doesn’t even apply in many areas.

          • sharon

            Fecal laden produce can be washed, doesn’t Roundup go inside the cells or can it be washed off?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            So you are saying that none of the thousands of different kinds of molecules in fecal material cannot enter a cell?

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            The USDA, EPA, and FDA are deep in the pockets of Big Pharma and the agrochemical industry. They have been for decades — it’s pathetic.

            Full financial and conflict-of-interest disclosures should be mandatory for all scientific studies and published papers.

          • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Eric Lipps

            I see. “I’m not calling names, I’m just saying you’re a liar.”

          • Richids Coulter

            Would you have considered it to not be name calling if I said “you have intentionally presented false information here”? Dolt.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Actually the last resort is when they start nit picking your grammar. Punctuation and sentence syntax come under fire, that’s when you know you’ve won.

          • JH

            Wait, Richcids – your not addressing the issue of tuques and brain cancer.

            WHY AREN’T YOU PROTESTING THE DANGER OF POTENTIALLY CANCER CAUSING TUQUES?

            Explain to my why untested tuques are safe but heavily tested GMOs aren’t.

            YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN IT CAN YOU? WHY NOT?

          • sharon

            How have GMO’s been heavily tested, aside from pointing out that we all eat them and haven’t all turned purple and died? Seriously, just because we are exposed to GMO stuff doesn’t prove it is safe, it only proves it is profitable. When and where was the heavy testing done? And not in the market place either.

          • JH

            the lab? :) field tests? :) many many many?
            Try actually looking for them “Sharon”.

          • Lielin

            There are OVER 2000 studies done on GMO!.

            http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2013/10/08/with-2000-global-studies-confirming-safety-gm-foods-among-most-analyzed-subject-in-science/

            Organic food is an incredible big business (which keeps expanding and growing), it moves billions upon billions and the ciphers have more than doubled since the 90s because all the hype and fear mongering.
            In Europe, common big corporations like Coop and Xtra produce your typical food AND organic. So they profit from both industries. Do you think they are stupid and won’t take advantage that people want to consume organic because they are afraid of what they can’t understand?.
            Organic is the new fad, the big money, people pay even triple the amount of a common product just because it has the words “100% organic”. And let’s note something, organic doesn’t even mean “free from pesticides”.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “There are OVER 2000 studies done on GMO!”

            Done by whom? Full disclosure, please.

            “Organic is the new fad…”

            That’s funny; growing up I didn’t know any other way to grow fruits and veggies, or raise meat and eggs.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            The testing was done by the very corporations that produce GMOs. As I mentioned before, we need full disclosure in scientific studies.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Bid letters DO NOT help your argument. If you do, in fact, have one. I can’t really tell with all that caps lock.

          • Richids Coulter

            Again, what percentage of meals those millions of people were eating in 1996 would you say were comprised of transgenic crops? In 1996 what products in the supermarket would have been made with transgenic crops?

          • JH

            Prove to me that tuques don’t cause brain cancer. What? No studies? You can’t prove that tuques don’t cause brain cancer? Tuques could cause brain cancer and we just don’t know it because it hasn’t been studied! Ban the tuques!

            Prove to me that heirloom tomatoes don’t cause gout. What? No studies? You can’t prove it! Heirloom tomatoes could cause gout and we just don’t know it! Ban the tomatoes!

            Prove to me that organic carrots don’t cause bi-polar disorder. What? No studies? You can’t prove it! Organic carrots could be causing bipolar disorder world wide and we don’t know it because no studies have been done! Ban the organic carrots!

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            That’s actually a good point. But of course lack of evidence is never enough evidence to evidently evidence the fact that the proof is in the transgenic pudding. I personally, LOVE by polar carrots.

          • Richids Coulter

            Ah good old misdirection to the rescue again. Wonder how many of these banal posts we can find here and what it says about the 9 people that voted your post up.

          • NoToGMOs

            That is one of their best weapons: misdirection.

          • sharon

            Cancer, autism, and on and on. Cause not known. Therefor it can’t be the increase in use of Roundup, or cause and effect would be stunningly easy to find and prove. Would you drink water with an eyedropper of Roundup in it? Every day for 10 years?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Actually there is a very strong correlation between the rise in autism and the consumption of organic food. But correlation does not prove causation.

            Concerning your second point, the enzyme inhibited by the active ingredient in RoundUp, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate (EPSP) synthase is not even synthesized by humans. In other words, humans lack the target of this herbicide.

          • NoToGMOs

            But that enzyme is produced by bacteria in the human gut, is it not?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            In some bacteria. But I don’t know if it is inhibited by glyphosate. Remember where the gene came from that has been inserted in plants.

          • NoToGMOs

            What has the origin of the gene (Agrobacterium sp. strain CP4 with a glyphosate-insensitive form of the enzyme) got to do with glyphosate affecting gut bacteria?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            It is a bacterium and most bacteria share a common evolutionary origin. Do you have data showing that any gut bacterium as an 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase that is inhibited by glyposhate at the concentratins found in the stomach and this, in turn, has a negative effect on the organism harboring the bacterium? Or is this a straw man?

          • NoToGMOs

            There is lot of data that supports the fact that damaging or killing off our gut bacteria has a profound effect on our immune system (more than two thirds of which is in our gut) and other systems. You can easily find that information and if you are indeed a scientist in any field of science, you should know that.

            I don’t see how sharing a common evolutionary origin would prevent glyphosate from affecting “some” gut bacteria that possess the same enzyme that is inhibited by glyphosate in weeds.

            This is an aspect that has not been studied much, but that does not mean it is an invalid/irrelevant question. It just means more research has to be done to look into it.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            yes, gut bacteria are important. Are they adversely affected by glyphosphate? That is the point you raised initially.

          • NoToGMOs

            “Are they adversely affected by glyphosphate?”

            There is a high probability that they are since they contain the same enzyme that glyphosate inhibits in weeds. However, we don’t have enough studies that have looked into it. We need more research into this topic. In fact, these are questions that regulators should have required biotech companies to answer before approving RR crops.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Why do you say high probability? Do you know whether glyphosate even enters the stomach? This is a testable hypothesis.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            If so, we should ask the same kinds of questions when a new variety of carrots comes out that the organic people grow.

            You have no data. You have no idea of whether glyophosphate even makes it to the stomach. You have no idea of what the Ki for the bacterial EPSPS is or whether this inhibitor constant changes with the various bacteria. You have no idea if the inhibitor is competitive, non-competitive, uncompetitive or mixed with respect to any of the reactants. You have no idea whether inhibition is complete or partial. I could go on (I do enzyme kinetics for a living.)You know a few words but do not understand what you are talking about. You build these straw men and then expect scientists to take them seriously. You do all of this to try to increase the market share of your potentially fecal laden produce. You should be ashamed.

          • Carolus Linnaeus

            You seem pretty worried about “fecal laden produce” since you mention it more than once.

            For thousands of years (and even today!) “night soil” has been used as agricultural fertilizer. What exactly are you worried about? It seems to have worked out just fine for billions of people.

            For readers who don’t know “night soil” is human excrement.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            So, you are saying that it is OK for organic growers to grow their vegetables in sewer plants and the like? That explains people getting sick from organic produce.

          • Carolus Linnaeus

            Night soil. Billions of people have used it for fertilizer for thousands of years. Did they all get sick? The average rural Chinese farmer is in much better health than than the average American. Read The China Study.

          • Adam Knapp

            With a dramatically increased potential exposure to e-coli, you’re almost guaranteed to get sick eventually from such a practice.

          • NoToGMOs

            You seem to be talking to yourself but I’ll answer you anyway. You seem to be the one building straw men….bringing in unnecessary talk of enzyme inhibitors and kinetics just because that happens to be your field of study (believe me….it was not just a ‘few words’, the classes on enzymes, substrate concentration, inhibitors, kinetics, all those plots and graphs we drew, the Michaelis-Menten constant, the Lineweaver-Burk plot etc. etc…..are all etched in my memory…I actually liked that topic, go figure!).

            You still haven’t understood my point. MORE STUDIES need to be done to determine a whole bunch of things: how much glyphosate makes it to the gut and if it does, does it affect gut bacteria. If yes, how? What effect will this have on our health? All these questions need to be answered, the biotech industry cannot evade addressing these questions anymore. People are waking up.

            An interesting aside: I just came across this article about how they found evidence that our gut bacteria actually influence our mental well-being and how disorders like autism and depression can be linked to disruptions in our gut flora:

            http://www.nature.com/news/gut-brain-link-grabs-neuroscientists-1.16316

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            I still don’t understand why you keep bringing this up. Look at the livestock industry for example. Before 1996, all animals were on non-GMO feeds. Now, virtually all are on GMO feeds. Is there a new problem? No. So, if there is a problem, it is only with humans. So, step 1 is to measure the concentration of glyphosate in a group of people who eat conventional foods and from an otherwise identical group of people who eat organic. See if there is a difference. Also measure microbial populations. Measure the Ki of EPSPS in these bugs. Big Organic clearly has the money to have someone credible in academe to do these studies. I would be willing to serve as an adviser. Get people on both sides of this issue involved. Lets just see what we find. (You do realize that the EPSPS gene is off patent don’t you.)

          • Jan V.

            INcrease in cancer rates (per total population), HUGE increase in Autism, HUGE increase in abdominal illnesses (Crohn’s and the like) since mid 1990’s. So YES there is correlation. I despise GMO and Biotech’s supporting them all the while using HUMAN BEINGS as their guinea pigs. Sick!!!

            Livestock are significantly different than humans so using THEM as your “it’s all safe statement” is utter nonsense and incredibly unprofessional.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Yes, and those things correlate with increased consumption of organic foods as well. Correlation does not prove causation.
            Secondly, you missed the point. I gave you the experiment to do and volunteered to be part of it. Do you want to take me up on it and accomplish something or just waste your time and my time with name calling?

          • Jan V.

            Name calling???? Oh for pete’s sake, didn’t realize I was dealing with a juvenile. NOW these comments are making more sense!

            I’ll take my organic food over GMO food everyday. I’m super healthy, no tax burden to my Country. Can’t say the same for my family & friends eating all that GMO produced frankenstein food.

            I refuse to be a human experiment for Biotechs/GMO’s as long as I can.

            Best of luck being a human experiment!

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            So you don’t want to collaborate in an experiment then? You just want to bitch about something and then do nothing about it.

          • Jan V.

            Already did the experiment, ate GMO foods, felt like crap, so switched to organics (same meals, but 70%-ish less meat). Feel amazing and have for over 5 years now.

            Did Everything about it by Living the Experiment so your comments are utterly unfounded. Having been there, done that, I have earned the right to bitch about it – how about you?

            That’s enough Solid Evidence for me, but thanks for the offer!

          • Modus Erudio

            Jan V.,

            Your so called experiment is invalid. You say you switched from GMO to non-GMO and claim that caused the improvement, but then you openly admit you reduced your meat intake by 70%.

            In a scientific investigation, one must isolate the variable being examined. You changed two variables, and yet you only point your finger at one variable as the cause.

            By what logical and scientific means do you discount the alteration of your meat consumption as a possible cause of your subjectively evaluated improvement of health.

          • Jan V.

            Livestock is fed 100% GMO crap. Two go hand in hand.

          • Adam Knapp

            “Livestock is fed 100% GMO crap. Two go hand in hand.” That’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works! If you eat a tomato, do you suddenly assimilate tomato DNA and turn red? Are you a Borg?

          • skwirrl

            I’ll laugh when you have a stroke at 60 like my ex’s all organic grandma that ran 4 miles a day.

          • Jan V.

            Your have such kind words for people. Bitter person shining through your comments. That’ll kill ya quicker than GMO foods!

          • kurzweilfreak

            Unfortunately for you, the data on cancer rates through the years shows no significant uptick.

            http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/cancer-prevalent-usa-another-myth-debunked/#comment-26537

            Where are you getting your data from? Or did you just make it up because “everyone knows it!”?

            If you posit that huge increases in cancer (not true), autism or abdominal illness have anything to do with GMO foods, you should be able to hypothesize a mechanism for it. Since most GMO foods typically have at most only one or two added genes which produce one or two proteins, it’s easy enough to test for those. If you suggest that these new plants are producing something else beyond these one or two new proteins that could be the causative factor, you should be able to show what that is.

            Otherwise, all you have is a correlation that global warming is caused by the decline in the global pirate population.

          • skwirrl

            People live longer – more cancer. Higher diagnosis rates for Crohn’s and autism. Lunatic debunked.

          • chriswarrior

            since a lot of animals are corn/grain-_finished_ (ie, fed up on these materials just before death), how exactly do you propose a huge issue with cattle/pigs/etc would be exposed? most if not all the animals expressing issues would be slaughtered soon after, and go into – oh, huh – HUMANS.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            I am not sure I follow the thread of your argument. Perhaps you are saying that the life span of a farm animal is too short to glean definitive information. Neglected in your statement is the fact that animals used for breeding/reproductive purposes live much longer lives — and are monitored.

          • chriswarrior

            monitored… how? made to reproduce… how many times? the only cows that are being bred over and over again are dairy cows; if cattle go to two generations, that’s generous. most cows are culled around 4-5 years; how exactly do you propose that intestinal tract symptoms that may take a decade to slowly develop appear in cattle pre-slaughter?

            http://beefmagazine.com/poll/09042014

            _you_ brought feed animals into the discussion as an example of why there couldn’t possibly be damage occurring – or we’d have SEEN it in cows eating RoundUp-drenched crops. *how*, precisely, are ruminants even good corrolaries of humans? pigs would be a closer biological corrolary, but they are generally slaughtered even YOUNGER; it can take as little as a YEAR to raise a pig to slaughter weight. how the heck are symptoms of illness in the gut that take awhile to accumulate supposed to be seen in animals who generally don’t live til 2 years old?

            http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/livestock-forums/pigs/251609-whats-average-age-get-slaughter-weight.html

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Each animal is examined when it is butchered. If there are abnormal growths, etc, the butcher may reject the animal or at least dock the farmer. Secondly there are more farm animals than just dairy cattle. They all reproduce the same way.

          • chriswarrior

            oh yes, i’m certain every animal’s gut is thouroughly examined when they’ve gone through an assembly line slaughter process that doesn’t always even make sure they’re actualy DEAD before carving them up. *EYEROLL* even the more responsible butchers i know in Upstate NY don’t bother to examine offal after the animal is dispatched. i’m equally sure every animal is autopsied when it dies on a farm of “natural” causes. yes, that makes perfect sense. they’re never simply ground up and put back into the food supply, sometimes being reluctantly brought to the notice of the USDA for contributing to the potential spread of prion disease.

            what reality do you live in, again? that reality where every animal has some dignity after they die, and people care about their condition even if they’re not saleable? can we all go there?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Actually, our family farm sells 13,000 hogs per year. Each hog is evaluated for abnormal issues when butchered. If there is a problem, we take a discount. Yes, they are examined closely. What are your first hand experiences with animal agriculture?

          • chriswarrior

            the people i know in Upstate NY who butcher privately and (small-scale) commercially do NOT examine every animal. it would be a huge effort to remove, save, test, every intestinal tract for the sort of damage RoundUp could cause. and likely involve a laboratory besides. and those would be the ‘humane’/smaller-scale producers of which i DO have some personal experience. of the factory slaughter side, i have simply read much. perhaps you are in some middle ground where immense care is taken with each pig as it is killed; perhaps you are simply a stellar producer. allow me to doubt your story.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Actually we are not special. I think all the large hog packing houses operate this way. They do it for financial reasons. Please look into the protocols used in the swine industry. I believe it is all verifiable.

          • Jackie

            I admire the patience and level-headedness you exhibit while being verbally attacked in these discussions. Bravo. I can only hope to have co-workers like you in my future.

            Additionally, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all that you’ve written here and have learned a lot from you, so thanks!

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Thanks Jackie,

            I have to admit though that sometimes I do lose patience with some folks posting information on sites like this.
            Curt Hannah

          • Modus Erudio

            I need to encourage you as well. You represent the clear head of a scientist.

            The relative behavior of those you debate directly demonstrates their lack of remaining level-headed. All caps, excessive punctuation, name-calling/insults, et cetera are all signs of immaturity in debate.

            The irony of someone calling you a juvenile after you pointed out they reduced themselves to the act of name calling as a debate tool was priceless, especially since in her previous post she showed every other sign of poor argumentation.

            I would say keep up the good work here, but I don’t want you to get discouraged in your work, which I feel benefits us all, even those who “hate” your work. Sadly, I believe your words fall on deaf ears.

            If you can stay encouraged that there are others like Jackie and me who enjoy reading and learning from your posts, please keep up the good work, but as evidenced by two different individuals completely ignoring your offer to help run such an experiment as they demand proves they already decided what they believe and closed their minds to changing that belief.

            Thanks for holding the torch of knowledge for us here.

            Most Sincerely,
            Modus Erudio

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. These issues are too important to walk away from. This technology can help feed starving people and keep food prices as low as possible. It is good for the environment, farmers want it and all the recognized scientific societies around the world have endorsed it.
            Sadly, we are in the times of 10 second sound bites and people with financial agendas to kill this technology. And they have figured out the value of negative campaigning. They exploit the fact that the average person on the street knows very little about biology and agriculture.
            But rest assured people of my ilk will continue the fight.

          • Swami_Binkinanda

            Wow. There is a lot of preconception to unpack in a short stretch of text.
            There are insufficient personnel to inspect every carcass, let alone every thousandth carcass. Abnormal growths, etc. are simply graded out to other purposes, e.g. Bologna, Spam/Treet, formed chopped pressed lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages, hamburger, etc. Videos taken at slaughter facilities show staff beating and electrocuting the animals, loading them into the bolt room with fork lifts because they are too sick to walk, etc.
            Your second bit elides chickens, ducks, turkeys, farmed fish species, and their eggs. I wonder if this is the result of a process separation, where people in the ag lab are happily doing their thing with the notion that they are part of a utopian process of feeding the world, while in the field the reality of what and how their work products are used, processed, sold and consumed is unexamined, e.g. Werner von Braun in Tom Lehrer’s song?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Thank you for making my point. If there were adverse effects of GE feeds on farm animals, the dress out value of meat from animals would decline and more meat would go in the Bologna, Spam/Treet, formed chopped pressed lunch meats, hot dogs, sausages, hamburger, etc class and less into the high-value cuts. This reduction in value would be seen by the food/livestock industry. The point I have been trying to make (and thanks for helping) is that if GE feeds had adverse effects, it would have been noticed by the industry.

          • hyperzombie

            the only cows that are being bred over and over again are dairy cows;

            Where do beef cattle come from??? They are also bred over and over again.

          • Jane Mäger

            I’m not blanketly anti-GMO, but–having read A LOT on both sides of the argument–I have to say that the livestock argument–as presented–is something of a moot point. The livestock we consume seldom reach maturity. We raise animals that take 5-6 years to fully mature, and which would naturally live another 15-20 years–sans predation–and typically send them for slaughter at the age of 6 months to 2 years (depending on the meat desired). Said livestock have consumed GMO feeds for less than 2 years before they are dispatched. Breeders do consume the feed for a longer period; but, it’s important to note that most breeds reach the ability to reproduce far before they achieve full physical maturity (e.g. Pigs reach reproductive capability around just 3-4 months of age but do not reach full physical maturity until 5-6 years of age.) and are typically still not permitted to reach more than 30% (I’m being generous on that!) of their natural life span. It can certainly be said that we are not aware of any short-term issues related to GMO feeds; but, that does not constitute a long-term study that gauges the effects of long-term consumption.

            With regard to links between specific compounds such as glyphosate; they are just that. Links. A correlation has been found in one or more independent scientific studies. While correlation does not immediately equal causation, it also doesn’t warrant an immediate and blanket dismissal. Correlation means we need more research and peer review to chase down and address each variable and reach a peer reviewed and consensus-based determination. While I don’t doubt the ability of scientists working for companies that produce GMO seeds and/or pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers, I do strongly believe that it needs to be handled independently in the best interest of transparency.

            Lastly, we need to address ALL of the negative effects of large-scale agri-business; and, yes, that includes GMO. But it includes general conventional practices and large-scale organic practices too. While GMO has not yet been positively confirmed to cause any specific issues with human health; we do know that practices associated with crops and the subsequent products used on them has resulted in undesirable adaptations in “pest” organisms; the so-called “super-weeds” and “super-[bugs].” General conventional practices–whether GMO or non–have facilitated; an increase in dead zones in the oceans due to remnants in agricultural runoff; disproportionate levels of illnesses/health-conditions in agricultural communities; poor soil conditions due to heavily subsidized monocultures; and–where livestock are concerned–larger scale contamination and contribution to the evolution of drug resistant bacteria. Large-scale organic farms DO use “organic” pesticides etc. on their crops; and some of these could have effects that also need to be studied and mitigated. Some large-scale organic farms use flooding practices that can damage the topsoil, and there are likely other practices on large-scale organic farms that should be improved as well.

            As neither “side” will ever accept the possibility that independent scientific research might prove them wrong:

            Instead of arguing [knee-jerk] pro-GMO or anti-GMO, I believe it is more important to advocate for; ongoing and transparent research, and appropriate and unbiased responses to how agricultural business continues to be conducted based on that research; stronger agricultural regulations and better enforcement of those regulations (Hey, I’d love for self-policing to work; but, we all know it just doesn’t!); and firmer testing and labeling requirements across the board.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Dear Jane,

            Thank you for a very thoughtful and reasoned letter. I will attempt to respond to some of your points. I write this as a member of a family with a large farming operation in Indiana (we raise and sell about 13,000 hogs per year and farm around 1700 acres of corn and soybeans. I am also a professor of Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology at the University of Florida and my lab engineers and then places into plants genes that give yield stability under high temperature
            conditions. So, I see the GMO issue from
            two distinct vantage points.

            Your point is valid that most farm animals do not live a normal life span. Even breeding animals are sent to market when they become unproductive. I do point out however that the Serelini study used rats fed for a very short time and observed tumors. (One of the key problems with this study however, is that this line of rats normally produces 70% tumors in the control group. Most experts argue that the differences reported here are statistically insignificant and hence this was
            the reason the paper was retracted from its first printing.) More germane perhaps to this discussion was the hog study from Australia in collaboration with people from Iowa. Note in this study, the time span was 26 weeks ~ 6 months. Six months is approximately the time “fat” hogs are sold for market. Hence data from commercial hogs are relevant. Again, we see no effect in commercial production from feeding genetically engineered feeds.

            Correlations.
            – It is interesting to note that there is a very strong correlation between organic food consumption and autism. So, perhaps we should also look into organic foods as a possible cause of this disease. (It is interesting to note that some experts now believe the “increase” in autism is actually due to the newer ways the disease is diagnosed and not really an increase in the disease.

            Super weeds and bugs.

            Yes, there are now weeds and bugs resistant
            to the transgenes found in genetically engineered plants. Actually though this is not a problem of transgenes; this is simply Darwinian evolution. Resistance occurs regardless of whether the gene in the plant came from conventional breeding or biotechnology. Plant breeders have faced this problem from the beginning and everyone
            knows the microbe or weed will win. It
            is simply a numbers game. Mutation is
            rare but the resistant organism has a huge advantage for the sensitive
            ones. All resistance is transient, as is
            well known by plant scientists.

            Agriculture
            Agriculture of any type is simply not
            natural. It is a double edged sword. Yes, there are problems, but we have lots of
            people to feed. The vast majority of
            Americans would rather work at their jobs than work on a farm. Modern farming is the most efficient way to feed people and, with the growing human population and climate change, even more pressure will be placed on our agricultural system to feed the people.
            (By the way, soils have never been more productive, so I do not understand where this idea of poor soil quality is coming from.)

            I hope I have addressed some of your concerns,
            Curt Hannah

          • Jane Mäger

            I agree that the Serelini study is out as well. Too short, not enough variable control, potentially inappropriate breed selection/lack of diversity in subjects, and unfavorable peer review. If memory serves, the amount of glyphosate given the subjects was also in much higher concentration than the rats would actually be consuming (per their weight) as residue from feed or produce. But 6 months of feeding for hogs (who would otherwise live 15 to 20 years, barring injury or illness) is still a short-term study and cannot be indicative of any long-term effects. And, as someone pointed out below, every animal is not inspected upon slaughter. Indeed, not every facility is even inspected as regularly, or thoroughly, as it should be. I’m not trying to suggest that this means that GMO feeds are inherently harmful; just that none of the studies completed to date seem to qualify in discerning any potential long-term issues that may exist.

            I agree with further research into organic practices as well. Compounds used in organic farming are supposed to be organic and/or “natural,” and most (such as the chrysanthemum-based insecticide Pyrethrin) are biodegradable and will wash right off if they are still present prior to consumption. But other compounds used may contain high percentages of copper and other metals; which could potentially prove negative if they accrue in the body via residue or concentration within the food, become overly-concentrated in soil or water, etc. and may warrant further consideration. For conventional produce, some research has been done to see which items retain high levels of pesticide etc. (e.g. Apples and potatoes retain concerning levels of pesticides while bananas, citrus fruits, and onions are at the other end of the spectrum and retain little; if any at all.) I have not come across any studies regarding what may be retained when certain “organic” compounds are employed, or for what concentrations may be accruing/affecting soil and water. If you are aware of any, and don’t mind posting links, I’d certainly appreciate the read.

            Regarding evolution; it happens of course! But with regard to “Super” weeds, bugs, rats, roaches, bacterium, etc. we have forced that evolution–favoring resistance–with the choices we made in how to manage the undesirable populations. And, the problem–in most cases–is less about the actual fact that they evolved, so much as it is how we continue to manage them. If our answer to managing lifeforms that have become resistant to the poisons we’ve routinely employed is to employ stronger poisons and/or apply them in higher concentrations; there are multiple foreseeable problems with that strategy, including an increased potential for negative environmental and human health effects.

            Regarding soil; we know that our modern methods for for crop production have impacted topsoil with regard to carbon sequestration, demineralization, erosion, etc. and that this has wide ranging consequences from declines in crop yields to total desertification. USDA/ARS invests a lot into researching and employing methods to improve our soil. In general, our soil has started getting better due to careful management and the adoption of practices such as “no-till,” regular rotation, and growing cover crops; but, it still requires careful management and–in many cases–we still favor a short-term-high-yield-crop view over a long-term-sustainable-crop view.

            Pesticides/insecticides–whether conventional or “organic”–are usually neurotoxins, and do show up in our urine in varying concentrations. While I do believe that the compounds we use on our food crops and in our feeds require ongoing study as potential factors for health–mental and physical–conditions, I don’t believe that either organic or GMO crops can be single-handedly scapegoated as THE cause for Autism (And, as such, I did not invoke “Autism” in my original comments). They may, or may not be, factors; and, research needs to continue (on this and other potential health issues).

            Across the board, we need better, broader, research with solid peer review and total transparency–no matter what the end findings.

          • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Eric Lipps

            But are the gut bacteria which are affected by glyphosate actually helpful to human beings? Or are they unimportant or even potentially harmful, like the organisms responsible for ulcers?

          • NoToGMOs

            The bacteria that play a role in ulcers – helicobacter pylori – are usually located in the stomach.

            Gut bacteria on the other hand, along with other microbes like fungi and protozoa, make up our ‘gut flora’ or gut ‘microbiome’ and are located in our intestines, mainly the large intestine/colon. Apparently there are about 100 trillion microorganisms that live in the intestines of humans and perform a wide variety of complex functions so similar to that of an organ, that it is sometimes referred to as the ‘forgotten organ’. More info here:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gut_flora

            “the microorganisms perform a host of useful functions, such as fermenting unused energy substrates, training the immune system, preventing growth of harmful, pathogenic bacteria, regulating the development of the gut, producing vitamins for the host, such as biotin and vitamin K, and producing hormones to direct the host to store fats.”

            Here’s a new report about how the gut flora even affects the brain and influences our mental well-being:

            http://www.nature.com/news/gut-brain-link-grabs-neuroscientists-1.16316

            Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to the gut’s microbial residents, known as the microbiome.”

          • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com William Diehl

            If my wife does not eat Yogurt she develops an infection that usually requires hospitalization. That is a case of bacterial imbalance in her immune system, cause unknown.

          • NoToGMOs

            Exactly. Normally there is a proper balance of ‘good’ vs ‘bad’ microbes in our gut, but sometimes due to various things (including antibiotics and even perhaps glyphosate residues in food -we don’t know for sure unless proper studies are done), this balance is upset and allows the disease-causing bacteria like C. difficile (a horrible, horrible pathogen!)to take over. That is when probiotics like yogurt can be helpful, as in your wife’s case. The yogurt serves as a probiotic that replaces some of the ‘good’ bacterial strains she lost. These ‘good’ ones keep the pathogenic bacteria in check.

          • Mlema

            Interestingly, some parents and alternative med physicians were on to this 20+ years ago (I don’t necessarily support alt med, but they did get the gut-brain connection early on). Anecdotally, I remember one story of an autistic child who was given digestive enzymes as part of some medical evaluation or procedure (don’t remember). The parents noticed that his autism briefly went into remission afterwards. They wanted to try this again to explore a possible connection, but that sort of experimental care wasn’t available (probably still isn’t)

          • NoToGMOs

            Since you mention autism, here’s new evidence linking disruptions in gut flora to conditions like depression and autism:

            http://www.nature.com/news/gut-brain-link-grabs-neuroscientists-1.16316

          • temblor4

            Sorry, you mean there’s indirect indications, not yet confirmed by original researchers nor corroborated independently.

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            Yes, I would, because I trust the toxicity studies that indicate it’s not a problem. I’d rather have something pleasant or beneficial, of course, but glyphosate/RoundUp is a lot less toxic than the pesticides it replaced, and certainly way nicer than some of the stuff organic crops get sprayed with.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “…glyphosate/RoundUp is a lot less toxic than the pesticides it replaced,
            and certainly way nicer than some of the stuff organic crops get sprayed
            with.”

            “way nicer” — I’m still trying to get my mind around that one.

          • chriswarrior

            so am i. o.O

            Roundup is way nicer than… soap? than neem oil? than compost?

            someone drank the kool-aid.

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            Scary mindset, isn’t it? I believe that’s what’s called a “disconnect from nature”.

          • Biron_1

            I would not say that it’s “way nicer” — I just need hard evidence / repeatable science showing relative risk. Can the anti-GMO choir provide that?

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            “I just need hard evidence / repeatable science showing relative risk.”

            It’s a bit difficult isn’t it, when, according to Scientific American, “Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops”?

            Several years ago, a group of 24 corn insect scientists — whose spokesman is an entomologist at Cornell University — complained to the EPA that “as a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be
            legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the
            tech­nol­ogy.”

            Yes, we’re all waiting for that hard evidence and repeatable science — the one that doesn’t have Monsanto’s dirty fingerprints all over it.

          • Biron_1

            Agreed, Monsanto is a greedy company with restrictive covenants on its seeds. They have relented on research and all universities can test. And however greedy they are — that does not mean that GMO is harmful.

            I’ve yet to see any evidence of harm and this issue has been studied extensively by scientists from the EU and WHO. None have claim evidence of harm, and none have posited a mechanism that suggests harm.

            In fact, when it comes to dirty fingerprints, it’s Big Organic that sponsored the seedy (oh, sorry) Seralini affair. That’s the same Big Organic which has cleverly manipulated consumers into believing organic is healthier while sucking exorbitant prices for their pedestrian product. It’s the same Big Organic whose lobby owns the Vermont legislature and pressured them into passing the silly labeling law.

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            I don’t know about Big Organic, but I’ve got Small Organic in my backyard, and I’m delighted with the results. It actually tastes like real food.

          • Biron_1

            I’m glad you enjoy your backyard food. I eat whatever’s on sale at the market. — tastes real to me.

            Now show me scientific evidence of harm from GMO.

          • kurzweilfreak

            You’re being disingenuous because the conversation thread you’re replying to is discussing glyphosate, not GMO foods. No one needs to get any kind of permission to do any kind of tests on glyphosate.

            If you want non-Monsanto studies, the GENERA site has tons of independant as well as industry studies.
            http://genera.biofortified.org/wp/news

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            You’re right, it is a glyphosate thread, but bringing the “anti-GMO choir” into it makes it a GMO thread.

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            No, it’s a connect with facts.

          • chriswarrior

            see above. and be very careful if you accidentally swallow some pool water, too.

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            “Facts” can be manipulated.

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            Really? Appeal to conspiracy theory so soon? Are there particular criticisms you’d like to level at the National Pesticide Information Center / EPA data sheets on glyphosate vs. an “organic” approved pesticide? I’d say the presentation was pretty straight, equivalent between the two, and unemotive… as it should be.

            Or are you proposing that there’s a massive conspiracy whereby the EPA is for some reason trying to put all those Mom & Pop copper sulfate manufacturers out of business, and science is playing along because they’re all industry stooges? It really doesn’t work that way…

            There’s a common assumption that being “organic” is somehow more “natural”, healthier, better for the planet, and avoids nasty chemicals. It fails the last three, and the first is objectively meaningless. It is a phenomenally successful marketing term, based on a romantic view of a past that never was and playing to a powerful narrative about human hubris and the virtuous underdog. It’s a shame that it is so attached to ideology, because we should all find things to like about a hybrid agriculture with the “organic” enthusiasm for quality & biodiversity, meshed with the potential for biotech innovations to reduce pesticide use, improve soil stability, improve yields/nutritional value, and reduce carbon footprint.

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            Than CuSO4, to name one.

          • chriswarrior

            copper sulfate isn’t *always* used in organic production. there are other methods for controlling fungus. it isn’t always considered an ‘organic’ means of control. though it is, btw, listed as only “mildly toxic”, for all that.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper%28II%29_sulfate

            then again, people still seem to believe the trope that glyphosphate is “biodegradeable” *eyeroll*

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            Erm, you’re moving the goalposts. I didn’t say that it was always used, just that there are more toxic things than glyphosate used in organic agriculture. I think I provided the facts to back that up, no?

            And, sure, it’s only mildly toxic; glyphosate is *very* mildly toxic. I don’t think either is realistically a health risk, but with all the noise made about glyphosate it’s good to put it in context.

            On biodegradability, it’s not something I had looked up before, but the EPA technical factsheet on glyphosate (http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/pdfs/factsheets/soc/tech/glyphosa.pdf) says “Glyphosate readily and completely biodegrades in soil even under low temperature conditions. Its average half-life in soil is about 60 days. Biodegradation in foliage and litter is somewhat faster. In field studies, residues are often found the following year.” Given that it would be rather scandalous if the EPA was basing such important information on disproven science, do you have a link to the paper/data that proves otherwise?

          • Adam Knapp

            If you really think organic farms only use soap and neem oil, you haven’t been on too many organic farms. An operation that tried to get away with that kind of approach would fail miserably as everything died!

          • http://www.insectnation.org Andy Buckley

            Try the comparative toxicity rankings from the EPA and NPIC.

            Here’s glyphosate:
            http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphotech.html#toxbox

            and here’s copper sulfate, permitted for spraying on organic crops:
            http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/cuso4tech.html#toxbox

            See how glyphosate doesn’t have any mode rated higher than “low toxicity” and many sub-modes are “very low toxicity”, while CuSO4 is highly toxic for eye irritation and moderate to low toxicity for oral ingestion?

            “Way nicer” is a relative term, and I didn’t say glyphosate is “nice”, nor that it is way nicer than _everything_ used in organic agriculture — that would be ridiculous. But there are quite a few “natural” pesticides permitted in organic which are actually quite nasty stuff.

          • chriswarrior

            COPPER SULFATE BIODEGRADES. though i’m quite interested in the NPIC data as versus glyphosphate. sort of cynically wondering if the National Pest Control agency has anything riding on the idea that CuSO4 is more toxic than RoundUp, especially given the relative concentrations these things are being used in. they’re having to increase applications of RoundUp every year, to keep up with so called “superweed” resistance. when, exactly, does RoundUp get more toxic as a residue? especially since it’s been proven that it does NOT BIODEGRADE as they claim?

          • JH

            ” Would you drink water with an eyedropper of Roundup in it? Every day for 10 years?”

            Wait – you’re against roundup and your against GMOs that reduce the use of Roundup? So your proanti biotech? or are you antipro biotech, or are you proproGMO, or are you antiantiRoundup?

            You gotta help me out here “Sharon” – what are you forgainst?

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            (why do you keep putting her name in quotes? It’s “weird”) you don’t think that might not actually be her/his name do you?! Who lies on the Internet?! For shame!

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Well, sure. If I drank 20 gallons of water a day, I don’t suppose an ounce of weed killer would do me any harm. Might turn my pee bright green tho.

          • bwana

            And here I thought autism was caused by vaccinations :)! How stupid of me?

          • Ludwig Goppenhamer

            yes, consider Autism. The FEAR MONGER used to say Vaccinations caused Autism, and people jumped on THAT band wagon. That was disproved and the ‘scientist shamed ‘. It HAS been linked to a high fever during pregnancy.
            Now the Fear Monger want to blame GMOs, and again the people jump on that band wagon.
            When will the fear mongering end and real thinking and real science be used before running around saying ” the sky is falling”

          • Richids Coulter

            Sorry but nothing about vaccinations has been disproved, or has there been a controlled study comparing rates of ASDs between fully vaccinated and fully unvaccinated children that both myself and the CDC are unaware of?

          • Ludwig Goppenhamer

            ABSOLUTELY has been disproved. the very Dr. that released the original study admitted it was false, he lost his medical lic.. You need to do you RESEARCH. ONLY the UNINFORMED still subscribe to that false info spread by fear mongers. PLEASE don’t perpetuate that nonsense started by a selfish Dr. wanting to get famous and rich from the ‘research’ he did and falsified. Not vaccinating causes WAY MORE damage than vaccinating .
            Please don’t be one of those Fear Mongers spreading garbage news and Pseudoscience .
            Very rarely vaccinations cause a reaction ( not Autism) And the lack of vaccinations caused way more damages to children than not vaccinating .
            I personally know a guy who did not vacinate his child, his child now has POLIO. devastating and totally preventable.

          • Richids Coulter

            Really? Can you please provide a link to a single source to back up your claim that Wakefield “admitted it was false”? You clearly have no idea what the GMC panel’s findings were, they had nothing to do with the Lancet study, MMR or autism.

            Only an idiot would repeat something they read in a You Tube comment without ascertaining its validity, which is what you’ve done here. Next you’ll be telling us Wakefield has also been in prison.

            Totally preventable? So you’re saying polio vaccine is 100% effective? Talk about pseudoscience.

            Notice you didn’t provide a link to a study comparing rates of ASDs between fully vaccinated and fully unvaccinated children.

          • Jan V.

            All biotech and GMO’s have to do is PROVE their product is safe for long term consumption, rather than throwing it into the food supply and using HUMAN BEINGS as their guinea pigs. Disgraceful.

          • bwana

            But what would all the “fear mongers” do if real thinking and science gained ground!? Horrors, they’d be out of work!

          • temblor4

            Sorry, sharon, but correlation is not proof of anything. Any scientist knows that.

          • Adam Knapp

            Cancer and autism have been around for centuries… An eyedropper full of roundup is a lot of roundup, far more than you’d consume over a period of years. Why would someone do such a thing?

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Dr. Alison is so hot for a Dutch girl. And smart. Smart girls are such a turn on. I wonder if she plays chess.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “…they (long-term controlled feeding studies) have been done. For 18 years by millions of people and farm animals.”

            Those must be some very clever farm animals!

          • Richids Coulter

            So let me ask you given you have voluntarily disclosed where you work, if transgenic crops were banned globally next year what effect would it have on your livelihood? Would you say you have a conflict of interests when it comes to transgenic crops and your livelihood depends largely on their acceptance?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            I would be happy to answer your question, but first you answer my question.

          • Richids Coulter

            I have no desire to voluntarily divulge my employer, however I do not work within any field that would be affected negatively or positively by the inevitable demise of transgenic crops.

          • bwana

            In other words you have no knowledge whatsoever about the benefits or negatives of GMO’s!?

          • Richids Coulter

            So what you’re saying is independent scientists don’t exist?

          • bwana

            In your case, I would say that.

          • temblor4

            He won’t, Larkin, simply because he can’t. That’s why the fancy dodging.

            And not only can he not show any ACTUAL study showing harm, he can’t show the CORROBORATING studies that are the gold standard for proof in the hard sciences.

          • JH

            So let me ask you, Ricketts:
            If GMO activism were banned tomorrow, would you still have a job?

          • Richids Coulter

            I would, but if being a chucklehead were banned then I think you’d be collecting unemployment.

          • Ce Gzz

            Every year the use of GM crops increases, and more countries are building their capacity to work with them. Check some ISAAA information.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            You must be new to this whole Internet thing. Spouting your credentials on any forum is an opening for attack. Simply because, it’s the Internet, so you’re lieing. I mean, I believe you study biology… And stuff. But honestly you don’t need made up credentials if your only comment is one where you state a scientific fact. Let me prove it.

            “Science is the study of the observable universe.” Also I found a symboite and it bonded to me, now I am a crime fighting vigilante who calls himself Venom. I also eat brains.

            See how the first part of my statement was neither dependant or affected by weather or not the 2nd part of my statement was true?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Thank you for you comment. You touch on a very important point; people not being held accountable for things they say on the internet. My conclusion is that people involved in this GMO issue who come from a science base usually identify themselves and what they do. John Entine and my colleague Kevin Folta are two excellent examples.

            People who make outlandish comments and hide their identity remind me of members of the KKK. They push a bigot agenda but hide behind their masks. I have often wondered if those who today want to label foods trace their pedigrees back to people who insisted on labeling water fountains.

            I think we agree that foods, like people, should be judged on their intrinsic merit and not their genetic origin.

          • NoToGMOs

            Remind us again….what scientific credentials exactly does Jon Entine have?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Years of experience in the area dealing with scientific facts.

          • NoToGMOs

            Lol! So does Jefferey Smith….but you all love to attack him.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            There is a huge difference. One is constrained by scientific facts; the other makes up his own facts.

          • NoToGMOs

            That’s your opinion, not reality.

          • JJ

            Whoa, whoa, whoa. That is some serious emotionally and socially charged commentary there, and it alone makes me question your authenticity as a real scientist. That ad hominem attack is both unnecessary and absurd.

            People who want to label foods want to be aware of the true nature of the things they ingest.

            As a scientist, your problem with that is what, exactly?

            Science is fundamentally based on fact-finding. As a logical person, I find value in knowledge, and one of the most important and influential things I do for/to my body every day is eat. I want to have full information about the things I eat. I want to make my food choices based on facts.

            Disingenuously wondering if “those who today want to label foods trace their pedigrees back to people who insisted on labeling water fountains” is abhorrent on so many levels. An added bonus is your attempt to conflate the two types of labeling – one that gives consumers information on what they consume, and one that hatefully discriminates against a group of people.

            Nope nope nope.

            Your statements and the manner in which you make them are not congruous with your claimed identity nor your claimed profession.

            If you’re a scientist, make your arguments fact-based, not emotion-based. And certainly, absolutely, without fail, shun such infantile logical fallacies.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Clearly you don’t have a clue about scientists. We come in all flavors and we are not robots! Personally, I get pissed when I see people who put their financial interests above feeding starving people in developing countries. I get pissed when the modern, main stream American farmer is demonized by a group of elitist to want to peddle more of their potentially fecal laden produce.

            Please do not hide behind the “right to know” crap. Even your leaders, Jeffrey Smith et al readily admit that this is is not about the right to know but rather a ploy to imply an intrinsic danger to genetically engineered foods. They really want to put a “poison” sign on these foods.

            Also appreciate that the parallels behind labeling water fountains and labeling foods are striking. Both are based on the unknown, the fear of the unknown and hate groups who want to stir the pot for their financial gain.
            I hope my points are clear.

          • Richids Coulter

            Transgenic crops have been around for decades and have done nothing to alleviate famine or hunger worldwide, I get pissed when I see scientists who don’t have a clue that transgenic crops are outperformed (yields) by conventional crops in drought conditions yet still claim that we need transgenic crops to feed the world. It’s a selling point from 1990 that has long since been debunked.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            What is your profession? It is clearly not in main stream agriculture.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Two papers in the main stream refereed literature are relevant to your statement. They are pasted below: Wilhelm Klumper, Matin Qaim A Meta-Analysis of the Impacts of Genetically Modified

            Crops. PLOS one November 2014 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | e111629

            Alessandro Nicolia, Alberto Manzo2, Fabio Veronesi, and Daniele Rosellini An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research Critical Reviews in Biotechnology http://informahealthcare.com/bty

            ISSN: 0738-8551 (print), 1549-7801 (electronic)
            Crit Rev Biotechnol, Early Online: 1–12

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            You appear to have a rather unhealthy obsession with “fecal matter”.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            I loled at the water fountain label comment. Well I don’t condone verbal stroking on the Internet but, I couldn’t agree with you more.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            Are you serious? Pro-organic = racist? Are you quite sure you’re a scientist….?

          • NoToGMOs

            You are claiming the negative as being scientific fact (millions of meals consumed and no problems found). That means you have proved the negative. Show us how you did it.

            I am a professor of plant molecular and cellular biology at the University of Florida.”

            ^^ Appeal to Authority logical fallacy.

            Where did you obtain your medical degree that would give you the right to pontificate about medical/human health issues??

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            No. I am saying there is no evidence to support a claim of a negative effect.

          • NoToGMOs

            You are just playing word games. There are no studies and no evidence to back up your statement: “millions of meals consumed and no problems found”.

            If you don’t look for problems, you most likely won’t find any. That is a fact that people like you rely on.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            OK, show me your facts that there is a problem

          • NoToGMOs

            You first show me your facts that support your claim of ‘millions of meals consumed and no problems found’:

            Show us the epidemiological studies that looked at/followed/tracked human consumption of the millions of GMO meals (how much, which GMO, who were the controls etc….we would like to see all that data) since 1996. Show us the SCIENTIFIC DATA collected that supports your conclusion that no human health problems were found after 17 years of GMO consumption.

            No data = No verifiable conclusion = False statement.

            A scientist such as you should not find that too difficult to understand, right?

          • http://qpr.ca/blog alqpr

            “You can not prove the negative”? What childish BS! If you are a professor of anything your colleagues should be ashamed of you for that.

          • JJ

            Precisely. Thank you.

          • Doc4u

            I’m one of the “stupid Americans” who keeps you on the payroll as “Exhibit D”.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Their brains.

          • JJ

            Uh, you realize that your argument sounds like this:

            “We have no data on the subject so I assert all is well.”

            That’s… not how science works. If we have no data on the subject, we don’t make assertions.

            You may make a hypothesis, you may speculate, you may make assumptions. But you may not present those as incontrovertible facts.

            Just because no problem has been found does not mean there is no problem. We regularly discover a great many things that we previously believed impossible or nonexistent.

            You can’t use the *lack* of data as evidence to prove your hypothesis. Saying “Show me a documented problem in humans. You cannot do it” when there is an insufficient body of data is, frankly, somewhat juvenile. It is in essence “Nuh uh!/Uh huh!/Nuh uh!/Uh huh!”

            If, however, you actually do have data, please share.

            Full disclosure: I don’t actually have any opinion on the original topic. But I have a heck of an opinion on a self-professed professor in the sciences at the University of Florida using such infantile and illogical methods of argument.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “Show me a documented problem in humans.”

            Do you realise how lame this sounds? If nobody is looking, then nothing is documented. People will have to start dropping dead before anyone starts looking into and documenting anything.

            This reads like a Monty Python comedy sketch!

          • Adam Knapp

            In 1996? Most of them.

          • Scott Kaufman

            There are many problems if you look around at how people’s bodies have changed over the last 25 years! Personally I am now allergic to all grains with the possible exception of rice. Everyone I know has lost significant weight and felt healthier on a gluten free and milk free diet.

            Remember all the 4th and 5th grade girls during the 1970s that had women’s breasts? It was rare that 7th grade girls had developed, but now several girls in 4th grade are developing at my son’s school and they are not overweight at all. We could also question why so many women are now six feet tall when previous generations women were very rarely over 5’8″. What causes genetic changes that great in one generation.

            I also suspect the rapidly falling sperm counts in men is also due to toxins in our food and environment.

            I wish I could get funding to test these hypotheses, but what is one honest study going to do when billion dollar companies throw millions into proving GMO food safe? Look at all the PR dollars they are spending talking up GMO in once trustworthy publications.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            Perhaps because nobody is looking?

          • reginabee

            are you kidding me??? look around! how many people do you know that have gotten cancer, have an allergy to a common food or other related food illnesses? Get back to me when you do.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            And what does this have to do with GE technology? Please note that I could make a correlation argument for all being caused by increased consumption of organic foods.

          • JH

            Are you aware of any studies of humans who have consumed organic carrots?

            Why aren’t you protesting organic carrots?!! There are no studies proving they’re safe! They could be cancerous! They could cause mind-bending food paranoia!

            You can’t show me any safety studies of organic carrots because there AREN’T ANY!!
            BAN ORGANIC CARROTS!

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            I’ve eaten nothing but organic carrots for 7 years. My skin is orange and I can see through walls. But I don’t have cancer.

          • Lielin

            I have smoked cigarettes for 8 years. But I don’t have cancer. I quit years ago, but I definitely wouldn’t recommend anyone to smoke just because I, myself, didn’t got cancer. Also I wouldn’t recommend it because there is a large pool of evidence that smoking may pose high risk of cancer. Just like there is a large pool of evidence that GM is safe, so surely people shouldn’t have problems consuming GM.

          • Richids Coulter

            Ah, good old misdirection to the rescue.

        • temblor4

          Curt: AND corroborated by further studies. They always forget that little detail.

          I have yet to see any study cited to support their position that they can also find corroboration from other scientists.

        • Harold Vanner

          There is no evidence because no testing has been done. There has been no testing because Monsanto is buying the politicians. If you/they are so confident that GMOs cause no trouble, why not get some testing done and SEE if it affects the rate of autism or allergies. When THAT is done, I’ll buy GMO food.

        • Adam Brame

          I love how quickly Richids realized he was barking up the wrong tree.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Agreed

        • reginabee

          WRONG. Large amounts of glyphosate make it into our bodies because it is in MANY crops. No mention is made of the studies in which pollinators were adversely affected. Honeybees died within MINUTES of ingesting guttation drops from glyphosate- ready plants. GMO technology to grow our food SOUNDS cool, but it really isn’t. Much better are the organic technologies that are safe, tried , tested and true. We don’t need Monsanto to patent our food. Gm is banned in over 80 countries but not here in the good ol USA. Monsanto has the monopoly on the seed market and a very well oiled revolving door between them and the US government. They have nothing to fear EXCEPT that people are waking up to smell the genetically engineered corn muffins and they are NOT on board. Nice try to not even tell us what they are doing to our food and we are seeing unprecedented allergies to common foods and in animal studies , higher incidence of infertility and birth defects. No, we don’t NEED monsatno, but monsanto sure needs to cover what they are up to. And now that they are coming to the surface as so often scum does, they are shitting themselves that we have the knowledge to stop them from completely destroying our biodiversity and risk what it not theirs to begin with: LIFE. GM crops contaminate non gm crops and so they have no control over pollen drift. Organic farmers are provided no protection from this and they are often accused of “stealing” monsanto’s patented product. And they lose their organic certification to boot. No thanks, I will pass. But I can’t . I don’t even know where they begin or end since they hide in the shadows like cockroaches. The gig is up, people know and we don’t want these rotten seeds.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            OK. I will play.
            1.) How many commercial crops contain the engineered EPSPS gene? I can think of four. Which ones are you talking about? You say many, so your list must be longer than mine. List them and then we will check the literature to see who is correct. 2.) There is absolutely no relationship between transgenes and bee colony collapse. You say there is. What is your evidence? 3.) Patents on plants trace back to 1930 (Plant Protection Act signed by Hoover).This is long before transgenes. Hence you are wrong. 4.) Transgenes are not banned in 80 countries. They are labeled in lots of countries which is effectively a ban. Hence the push by you antis to label them here. 5.) I am in the seed industry and I can tell you Monsanto does not have a monopoly. If you want to argue, provide proof for your statement. Deal with these points and then we can move on to the other irrational statements you have made.
            By the way, next time, use your real name. You have no credibility hiding behind a fake name.

      • Interested

        I would like to say that Round-up/Glysophates are actually used by farmers in wheat harvesting because it kills the wheat and as a last ditch effort to reproduce, the wheat will give off more grains thus increasing yields for farmers and syncing the “ripening” so harvest can happen at the same time.

      • Lionswin

        Your calling Bill Nye a thinker, and supposing he’s on top of science? Obviously your not a scientist or thinker.

    • Artoo45

      I’m allergic to musk melons and . . . oh, wait. I’ve always been allergic to musk melons. Nevermind.

    • Pamela Wright

      Me too. I heard someone repeat that the other day and I posted a request for anyone to provide me details or a citation but no one did. I couldn’t find anything online. The best I got was a lot of articles on papaya allergies in general.

    • IanAndersonLOL

      He gave all the evidence he needed. He’s “heard”! What more do you need?

    • Sanjosemike

      My understanding is that papaya allergies are very common. I have such an allergy myself. Un-ripened papaya is high in latex, a common allergen. Papain is a well known alkaloid that can be used to break down and tenderize meat fibers. It is not unusual for people to have an allergy to papain, which is also contained in the fruit.
      Anyone who declares an allergy to papaya, especially a scientifically trained individual, should be aware of the above alkaloids. it is highly unlikely that papaya allergy is caused by GMO production…or lack of it. I don’t think either has a bearing on papaya allergies.
      Interestingly, many people who have a papaya allergy also have a similar reaction to pumpkin. I break out almost immediately after cutaneous exposure to pumpkin pulp.
      But this has nothing to do with its GMO or non-GMO status. Papaya is a significant allergen all of its own. Bill Nye should know this. It is irresponsible to use papaya allergy as a poster-evidence for or against GMO production of the fruit.
      sanjosemike

  • Ryan B

    About time someone started asking the question, why you are against biotechnology…and provide scientific reasoning behind it. So many so called food experts provide elementary information on eating right, then spin the anti GMO message into it. They never have any scientific facts, and try to make it look like they actually did some research by twisting information to suit their wacko cause. The only thing they are good at is fear mongering and selling their own untested products to American consumers. THANK YOU KEVIN FOR BRINGING REAL INFORMATION.

    • Goldpenny’s Graffix

      Don’t you know? Food grown with science is EVIL! Since most of you are idiots, that first sentence was, in fact, sarcasm.

      • odin2

        Ad hominem attacks show that your argument lacks substance and Impresses no one. Why not provide scientific evidence (empirical evidence) to support your position?

        • Goldpenny’s Graffix

          Smh, the fact that you really crawled out from under all those other sperm to enceminate an egg and have survived this long on earth without being able to read an entire sentence at a time is beyond me. Thank you for proving my point however that you’re to stupid to understand sarcasm even tho, I specifically told you that it was, in fact, sarcasm. Please tell me you’re just trolling and aren’t actually that dumb?

          • Verna Lang

            Please provide the citation for your contention that the genetics of odin2’s personality and intellect was solely contained in the sperm. I would be interested in reading that study. You should also be aware that insemination does not equal fertilization.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Finally! Someone who interstates sarcasm. It doesn’t come across well online in text does it? You did well tho, I loled.

          • odin2

            You: “Since most of you are idiots, that first sentence was, in fact, sarcasm.”

            You: ” … you really crawled out from under all those other sperm to enceminate an egg and have survived this long on earth without being able to read an entire sentence at a time is beyond me.”

            I rest my case- ad hominem attacks only prove your own ignorance. As a case in point: Insemination is spelled with an “i” and not and “e”.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Lol and he’s mad, about not understanding things he doesn’t understand. And apparently you enjoy correcting iPhones.

          • odin2

            Blaming your iPhone? Pathetic.

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Ah yes, the keyboard warriors final respite, if you can’t win an argument or in your case are to stupid to understand said argument/joke than by all means attack grammar, syntax and spelling. Oh trolls, my favorite if the Internet dregs.

          • Richids Coulter

            It’s clear you’re the stupid one given that the ad hominem attack was not in the first sentence. Do you understand what separates sentences?

          • JH

            What about those organic carrots Richids?

            PROVE TO ME THAT THE DON’T CAUSE CANCER

            YOU CAN’T DO IT CAN YOU?
            WHERE ARE THE STUDIES???? BAN ORGANIC CARROTS UNTIL THERE’S PROOF!!!

          • Goldpenny’s Graffix

            Hey hey, you’re busy loosing your own argument about gmo and transgenic food, don’t butt into my silly one. You know what separates sentences mr/Mrs.? Periods. And spaces. And sometimes on resumes, DOUBLE spaces. It’s tricky for the layman for sure, but I’m sure, one day, you’ll get it. SEMI COLON;

  • http://www.knigel.net/ Knigel Holmes

    Thank you very much for sharing this letter. I’m happy that other science communicators are stepping up, especially since it’s difficult challenging someone who has done a lot of other great work.

    Skepti-Forum has a thread going critically-evaluating Nye’s book and his recent claims. I invite you all to share any thoughts or references there and I hope some of the information there helps our audience understand the situation more clearly. http://discourse.skeptiforum.org/t/book-review-bill-nyes-gmo-claims-in-undeniable-evolution-and-the-science-of-creation/127

    Given how much information spreads around the Internet, it’s a disappointment that so much of that information is based
    on unsubstantiated claims and the practice of adding a source is too
    often neglected. What’s more disappointing is when a fellow science
    communicator, one with much more influence over the public, releases a
    book making scientific claims, but does not provide references or even a
    reference section. Those science communicators with the largest public
    sway should be setting an example of how we ought to make claims of
    scientific fact, not relying on their authority and popularity.

    • Vindaloo Bugaboo

      I would amend your statement to read “Given how much dis-information spreads around the Internet” because it is entirely too easy to take anything – and I mean anything – you find online as absolute truth. Without due diligence and investigation, on any topic and on both sides, it’s far too easy to just spew talking points rather than find truth and facts.

      • http://www.knigel.net/ Knigel Holmes

        Yes, I’ll amend my statement to be “information AND disinformation”. Both often spread without being properly referenced or sourced, creating more confusion.

  • Tom Scharf

    I think I see a pretty common theme here of people continuously arguing against a caricature of the other side, and assuming little to no nuanced levels of acceptance and rejection of said science. You are quickly placed in the believer or denier pigeon hole and the usual boilerplate arguments are then trotted out. Lazy arguments.

    One of the things Nye said is that GMO tech was unnecessary because we already have plenty of food, and the PP dictated it wasn’t worth the potential risk.

    I might disagree with this, but it isn’t an argument to simply be dismissed. We do have plenty of food and plenty of fat people. Take a look around at the local WalMart SuperCenter. The primary argument here would be whether GMO’s in fact represent a greater danger in the future than the “marginal” benefits they provide now. This is a future fear based argument and you won’t win this on fact based argument. AGW activists make a living out of this one.

    The real argument is always are the benefits worth the costs? Is cheaper electricity now worth the cost of potential future climate change? Is more and cheaper food now worth the cost of potential future biohazards?

    One can be lazy and focus on the nuts of these movements who proclaim human extinction or GMO corn causes cancer. And for whatever reason these arguments dominate the debate. The other side is crazy therefore I don’t have to debate the substantive issues at play (such as the global effectiveness of a proposed climate policy).

    Making food cheaper is a major benefit, even though this is rarely argued in the GMO debate. People outside environmental circles and the western world care very much about economics.

    • JH

      “One of the things Nye said is that GMO tech was unnecessary because we already have plenty of food”

      In the US, we have a free economy, where you can sell anything you want to sell as long as it’s safe. Since GMO are demonstrated safe, the “we” element of deciding what gets sold and what doesn’t isn’t even relevant. The only factor that’s relevant to GMO deployment is it’s safety.

      The increasing “we-ness” in the liberal approach to everything is no doubt playing a part in liberal’s continuing political collapse.

    • Kevin Folta

      Tom, I’ve visited many countries in the world that do not share your privilege. I live in a state where a key crop, citrus, is dying from a disease. Avocado and laurel trees are dying. Bananas may soon be a thing of the past.

      You can point a finger at fat people and say “they don’t need it”. My job is to solve problems with the best tools necessary, and I can identify clear cases of need.

      You may call this approach lazy, but quite to the opposite, I see this as an intellectual analysis of problems and appropriate solutions. When Nye makes comments that are based on his feelings, it deeply touches public sentiment and keeps good solutions from helping the areas I mentioned that could potentially benefit with little/no risk.

      • Tom Scharf

        You are kind of making my point here. You are pigeon holing my argument, which is really just a devil’s advocate position. Nye pointed the finger at fatties, not me, and in fact I said I disagree with it.

        Arguments (not GMO’s) are lazy when you do not take them at face value and refute them. This letter is mostly an accusation and a generic argument from authority that doesn’t address the non-necessity vs. risk argument at all. I think this argument can be refuted, but you didn’t do it. The non-necessity argument is a different one than the typical scare-mongering Franken fish that is trotted out, a new (and possibly more effective?) angle to the layman.

        The counterargument is showing how the only way to have solved problem X was by artificially manipulating DNA in plants for problem Y. It resulted in benefits Z.

        And then give people the warm and fuzzy that we aren’t going to let zombies out of the lab. The Russians produced some fantastic genetic alterations in the Cold War that demonstrate that the technology can be very dangerous. The argument that GMO’s could never be dangerous is in fact false. That danger is real in concept, but one must demonstrate that it is contained in reality. I’m satisfied it is safe, many are not.

        • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

          Tom,
          The letter, as best as I can tell, was not intended as a refutation, but an invitation to debate statements made by Nye recently on Reddit and in his new book.

          Sure, Folta is saying those statements are incorrect but he would like to debate with Nye what science says about GMOs, period.

          In addition to that, Folta says this at the end:

          “I am happy to arrange a forum at a major university for a civil, evidence-based debate on the benefits and risks of agricultural biotechnology.”

          Did you notice the part where it say “benefits and risks”?

          • Tom Scharf

            I don’t want to belabor the point. Not everything is an attack. When simple assertions made from limited knowledge are interpreted as a storming of the castle, it comes off as a bit defensive in nature. I don’t know what else Nye said, maybe he is nuts on this subject.

          • Kevin Folta

            Tom, I think you’re misinterpreting me a bit here too. As a scientist, I can tell you that nothing is without risk. Why I find Nye’s comments objectionable is because they have no grounding in the scientific literature, and those of us that know ag and ecology see them as barely plausible.

            I think that it is fair to call him on that. I see where you are coming from, I hope you see where I’m at too.

          • Tom Scharf

            The hopeful result is that instead of anti-GMO being elevated by Nye, that Nye is lowered by anti-GMO. Nothing wrong with calling him out since he is a public figure who has acquired trust.

          • john

            What about wind pollinating and travelling seeds? What about transgene cross pollination of a similar tree and flower. Why was the data taken from insects and animals only observational. There may always be risks, which is why we must be more diligent in the research.

          • Karen O’Donoghue

            Can anybody provide peer reviewed articles on the long term safety of GMOs? If so? then all arguments against them are moot. So, just show us the peer reviewed data and end the argument.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Please visit the Biofortified website. They have a list of about 2000 peer reviewed papers that address the safety of GE crops.

          • NoToGMOs

            If you actually take the time to go through the individual studies on the biofortified site, you will see that:

            -Many of them do in fact show negative effects/harm
            -Many are production studies that look at things like weight and production of eggs, meat, milk etc that are not really relevant to human health/safety.
            -All of the feeding studies are short term, for 90 days or less. There are no proper long-term studies that look for chronic effects
            -Many are conducted by the same company/industry that created and sells them or by researchers affiliated directly or indirectly with the industry: conflict of interest
            -Many use animals like fish, quails, broiler chickens etc. that are very different physiologically from humans.
            -Many do not follow internationally accepted standards for good carcinogenic and/or toxicological safety studies.
            -None are blinded to prevent bias

            If you weed out all the studies from that 2000 list of studies that have one or more of the qualities I listed above, you are left with………next to nothing.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            You should probably pass your findings on to EPA, USDA and FDA since they are the ones making safety decisions. I wish you luck.

          • NoToGMOs

            Typical ‘backed into a wall’ response that proves you have no science to back your claims of GMO human health safety. Thanks for playing.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Interesting response. I actually think the burden is now on you to go to the authorities with your new proof. Good luck

          • NoToGMOs

            Before I go to the authorities, may I ask….based on my points above, do you agree that those 2000 studies do not prove much in terms of GMO safety to human health?

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            I think you know my response here.

          • NoToGMOs

            Thank you. Just what I expected. Have a good day.

          • Lielin

            http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10977&page=8

            “[…] To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.[…]” And that was the 2004. Currently this year, should be even safer to say there still isn’t any evidence that it damages human health.

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “You should probably pass your findings on to EPA, USDA and FDA since
            they are the ones making safety decisions. I wish you luck.”

            You’ll need it!

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            “…a list of about 2000 peer reviewed papers that address the safety of GE crops.”

            GMO agribusiness won’t allow negative research results to be published in peer reviewed journals.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Actually, decisions concerning publication are made by editors of peer-reviewed journals. Submitted manuscripts are sent to the journal and then the editor sends the paper to people who have expertise in the specific field (almost all are in universities) who read the paper and make recommendations concerning publication to the editor. The editor makes the final decision.

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            And editors and experts (even university ones) can’t be coerced or bought? You’ve a grand view of humanity. Unfortunately, our history
            as a species is a long and sordid tale of greed, deception and violence – with a few bright spots popping up here and there.

            Caveat emptor – buyer beware!

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Put up or shut up. I have lived in the environment I have described for almost one-half a century. During that time, I have reviewed several hundred papers and have had reviewed and published close to 200 papers. This is the world I know. I have never seen anything like you describe.

            You sit there, hide behind a pseudo name like members of the KKK do with their hoods and vomit that crap. Either back up what you say with hard fact and give your true identity or quit trashing up the internet.

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            It is impossible to take anything you say seriously when you are given to such juvenile outbursts. You, sir, are a playground bully, nothing more.

          • Larkin Curtis Hannah

            Put up or shut up. You make all these claims but can’t back them up and then try to change the topic. Put your real identity out there and then we can have a meaningful exchange.

        • Randall

          When–according to society or you–should we wait to adopt GMO’s in agriculture. I’m experiencing tremendous benefit right now, and I only raise 30% GMO.

          Most of the arguments against GMO’s are actually strengths of GMO compared to conventional or organic ag–such as pesticide usage and resistance.

          When and how will we find out what works if we don’t try it on a larger scale after first testing it on a smaller scale?

    • First Officer

      “One of the things Nye said is that GMO tech was unnecessary because we already have plenty of food”

      I’m sorry, Bill Nye, but this is quite a fallacious position. That is tantamount to saying we should do little until the problem is upon us. Yes we have, technically, enough food in the world today (but many don’t have it), but one should not wait for the rain to then start before building his roof.

      • mem_somerville

        You know what else is unnecessary? Space exploration. Humans were never meant to go into space.

        And the aerospace industry–loaded with patents and products and government funding, known to kill people on a really regular basis.

        So as long as we’re gonna be consistent….

        • JH

          In fact NPR had several articles discussing whether space exploration should be allowed because it kills people.

          “Virgin Galactic Crash Raises Questions About Private Space Ventures”

          In “Despite Disasters, Explore We Must”, Marcelo Gleiser writes:

          ‘The crash of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo … has renewed discussions on the value of commercial space exploration’

          who might be “renewing” those discussions? NPR? :)

          This is just one reason why the GMO issue is so important – if the “controllers” get their way, eventually they’ll stop useful products from coming to market.

          • mem_somerville

            Even more broadly than than that–they’ve developed war planes, drones, missiles, and a whole lot more.

            They’ve also developed commercial airliners, ag drones, weather satellites, and other tech we use every day.

            Now, I’m not complaining and I’m not against aerospace. I think the science and tech are valuable. But I just don’t think it’s fair of Bill to diss food tech and give this a pass.

        • http://cendax.wordpress.com/ Norbrook

          You forgot cars! Oh, loads of patents, thousands of people killed annually right here in this country, tremendous ecological impacts …

          Why, we have perfectly good legs and feet to move us from point A to point B!

          • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

            “Why, we have perfectly good legs and feet to move us from point A to point B!”

            You could have fooled me! I think most people in the industrialised world have forgotten they have legs; they certainly don’t use them very much.

        • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

          “You know what else is unnecessary? Space exploration.”

          Well….exploring space isn’t going to solve our trashed earth problem.

    • Jeffn

      “We do have plenty of food and plenty of fat people.”

      We have plenty of food because people have been genetically modifying plants for thousands of years and got really good at it in the last couple of decades. The Precautionary Principle argument falls flat if you haven’t got any idea what the “potential risk” is and in fact have evidence that there isn’t one.
      This is where AGW advocates fail as well- the available evidence keeps pointing to limited (and getting smaller) risk.
      Limited to no risk changes the cost/benefit calculation and the one thing partisans on the left need is high potential risk in order to justify the “radical” high cost solutions they want. That insistence, IMO, drives confirmation bias on the left. You can’t demand all organic farming and all-renewable power grids unless you can convince people of a high risk, so they see only high risk. Does it happen on the other side as well? Sure, but we also know you can’t actually feed or power the world with all organic and all renewable, so we got reality going for us and that ain’t nothin

    • Pamela Wright

      Actually, that was the dumbest argument he has made to date. There are fat people *in America*. But the people saying we need GMOs to combat hunger are talking about places where it is much harder to farm and to support their growing populations, like India and all over the middle east and Africa as well as some South American countries. Moreover, if he believes in climate change as much as he says he does, he must surely realize we need to adapt our crops to a changing environment. We would be physically inable to support our population at current levels if sea levels continued to rise and temps continue to rise. He should concede at least this much. Furthermore, those people are fat, and we have plenty of healthy food *because* we use GMOs right now. The percentage of soy in the US which is GMO is over 90%, corn around 80%. We rely on these crops to use less water, less land, and to have less spoilage and waste. This is good for the environment, which Nye also is a huge supporter of. So really, his position is utterly inconsistent with his own values.

      • Richids Coulter

        You can rely on them, but the reality is that conventional crops have beat them to the punch almost every time…so why are they needed at all?

        • JH

          The question of need is irrelevant.
          The product is tested and proven safe, therefore it can be on the market for anyone who wants to buy it.

          • Maia

            How in the world do you choose to buy GM or not without uniform labeling of GM and non-GM food?

    • Raul Mac

      “We do have plenty of food and plenty of fat people.” Dude, there’s a world out there, well beyond your local Walmart and chili cookoffs venue.

    • Joshua

      I assure you, I won’t make a habit of agreeing with my buddy Tom here, but he’s right on this one.

      This whole “open letter” ploy is bogus to begin with. If you have something to say, say it. If you want to communicate something to someone, write them an actual letter.

      This is counterproductive labeling and grandstanding. And unfortunately, Keith is going right along with the whole fear-mongering about fear-mongering technique.

      • Tom Scharf

        Aaaagghhhhhh…..I must be in an alternate universe.
        Ha ha.

        • Joshua

          Hey, when you’re right you’re right, bro.

          As you point out….Kevin’s argument is weak in that it “argues against a caricature of the other side” instead of taking on nuanced arguments in good faith.

          Such an approach predominates in these discussion – on both sides of more or less any issue that becomes polarized, and as such, becomes a proxy for ideologically-related identifications struggles.

          But believe me, I did think I had wandered into the twilight zone when I read you make that point….

          So maybe there’s some kind of universe phase-shift or something going on?

          • Joshua

            Or it could be that the apocalypse is nigh?

    • http://www.sumofit.com SumoFit

      “One can be lazy and focus on the nuts of these movements who proclaim human extinction or GMO corn causes cancer.”

      Are there any non-industry studies that prove it doesn’t cause cancer?

  • john

    The new gmo potato mc Donalds supports reduces nitrogen in the potatoe. That has to be remedied in the soil or with sprays. What research was done on that potatoe before it was introduced into the market? Doesn’t seem like I can find any actual realtime research, just previous stats on acrylamide. I found that strange. What If these GMO s develop a disease that spreads to the ecosystem? Don’t you think more research should be done before you just start throwing millions of seeds into the ecosystem?

    • Ryan B

      You mean to tell me that you would be against a new potato that has a much reduced risk of causing cancer? The high temperature cooking of certain foods can change some of the amino acids into this compound acrylamide . You would have to be a nut ball not to want a healthier food. Plus, potatoes do not cross pollinate so there isn’t a case where that could be leaked into wild potatoes…if there is such a thing today. Potatoes are replicated by planting chunks of their tubers not by seeds. Plus there is a huge body of research done on products before they hit the market.

      • john

        What about the spread of disease to things other than the potatoes. You will find the concentration of cancer is at the deep frying of the potatoes which is already bad for you. Did you not see the report on the nitrogen depletion from this new potato? Could you show me the research on the effect on the of disease transfer in GMO food that was performed for a multiple of years, not one per variety. I have genetic altered grafted fruit trees that are failures. Was sold that they were a sure fire bet before they did multi year research. They might work well for a few years than cause an inadvertantly problem such as soil nutrient depletion, the disfigurement of later strains and possible ecosystem effects. Could you show me where the research was done on this potato and the actual data. Not just information about acrylamide but actual data from that exact potato strain being introduced into the actual agricultural environment? Why did the original design decide to not be pushed into the public after it was invented and grown for 2 years. The data for that project I can’t seem to find. Thanks for your help. If it passes, then I’m all for it, but I need to see the data.

        • Casey Miller

          I hate to break it to you. But this thing of yours is not working. This attempt at fear-mongering by requesting science that you know you can find, in a random article about Bill Nye,, as if the science does not exist?
          I don’t think I’m the only one seeing past this.
          You’re beyond disingenuous. Your two comments are not in alignment.
          “If it passes research, then I’m all for it, but I need to see the data.”
          “Thank you Bill Nye, for being a true skeptical scientist. I almost lost faith in you 2 weeks ago. @Bill Nye”

          • john

            No one has replied to my inquiries in the comments below other than the report sent to the fda. While it may be ,524 pages, in the disease effects upon the outer ecosystem and their ability to travel, they did not use alternative plants for controls and study neighboring organics and their impacts from the potato. Also I made other rebuttles and arguments in the comments below as well as in the replies in which I have not received and answer to from these molecular plant scientists.

          • Reece Ingram

            WOW! You must be correct in ALL your assumptions(!) These random people off the internet haven’t replied to you!

            I was going to be civil, but then I read some of your other comments…

            If you want the science, you have to be prepared to do the work. Scholar.google.com would be a good start, lets see if you know how to use it properly.

          • john

            I’m referring to the Simplot papers that were given to the fda. I posted this below as well.This is one part that worries me in the disease spreading section. I believe it is 3:7″ Although these
            results indicated a protective effect of Ppo, the mechanism for disease resistance remains unknown (Li
            and Steffens ”

    • JH

      “If these GMO s develop a disease that spreads to the ecosystem?”

      You mean to the potatoes growing out there in nature? Simplot, the developer of said potato, grows most of it’s potatoes on the Columbia Plateau and on the Snake River Plain. From my experience on the Columbia Plateau, I assure there are no wild potatoes there.

      • john

        I was referring to diseases that could spread to other plants in that part of my inquires. Not mass potato takeover. Also, are those the only places this potato will be grown?

        • john

          From the form submitted to the fda, ” Although these
          results indicated a protective effect of Ppo, the mechanism for disease resistance remains unknown (Li
          and Steffens ”

      • Guest

        .

  • Gene Bunker Crews

    I find this very interesting from a laymen person’s view. Maybe I should not comment, because I am not of the science community or basically not even a scientist. So if you find me offensive, let me just say, I apologize. I just grew up a farmers daughter and now live in the city. The same city Bill Nye came from, “The Science Guy”. Personally,
    I just remember him as the goofy guy on a Seattle late night comedy show (LATE like mid night!). People take him seriously? REALLY!? Who is his PR guy….its amazing what can be platformed these days. He’s a kid science guy…..I did not know he had Ph. D in science? Does he, excuse my naive assumptions, but how does a “Kid Science show” actor become able to write such material. It’s much like Al Gore with his Global warming and he is riding around in his personal jet. I find human beings complex and overwhelming. Bill Nye the Science Guy, use your platform of popularity with your continuing encouragement of having our young open their eyes to science. That there is such endless possibilities to save our live planet so our future generations will thrive and continue caring for our planet. There is no shame in working with out young. Be proud that you can reach them.
    I am just a pre-school teacher with the love of my little students, planet and science. I do not claim to be anything more than that. I worry about people such as Bill Nye………I would love to see these possible debate. I do not think it would ever happen, but good for you Professor!

    • jdcamerone

      He has a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he studied astronomy under Carl Sagan, he holds several engineering patents and he’s a guest lecturer in astronomy at Cornell. How much more does he need to do to be a”real scientist” in your eyes?

      • JH

        er…so what happened with the astronomy under Carl? Did he get a Good-to-see-you-go Masters?

      • JH

        Yeah, Wiki says Carl Sagan was “among his professors”. He didn’t “study under” Carl Sagan.

        He worked at Boeing and earned a few patents there. I know some other Boeing engineers. Having an engineering degree doesn’t exclude you from being a nut.

      • Mrs Thomas Anderson

        Nye just holds a bachelor of science degree. He is far from an expert in any field of science. Without a PhD in most science fields, one should not be taken seriously. Personally, I see him much as I see the morning weather girl compared to a knowledgeable meteorologist. He can act like he knows what he’s talking about if someone has told him what to say provided no critical, on the spot thinking is involved. He has popular name recognition from his many television appearances. Nothing more. He will appear a fool in a debate with an expert in any field. He should probably pass on this challenge.

        • NoToGMOs

          But you think it’s okay for Kevin Folta, who has a Ph.d in horticulture/plant sciences to wax eloquent about human health issues related to GMOs and their associated pesticides? Oh, the irony!

  • Ryan B

    I’m thinking the “Science Guy” is going to bow out of this offer, as he knows he would be way out of his league. At least he would be honest with himself.

  • Jai

    Prior to the German KiKK study, no reputable scientist would claim environmental hazard from nuclear power. https://www.nirs.org/radiation/radhealth/kikkcommentary0709ijoeh.pdf

    The simple fact is that the well documented potential for low-grade inflammation of the digestive tract by GMO products needs to be addressed through a comprehensive screening and decadal trial to rule out the potential for low-grade, low-incidence damages to the entire global population by GMOs. Anecdotal information (increased auto-immune disorder incidence) indicates that there may be significant risk.

    • http://beginingsinwriting.wordpress.com/ R.w. Foster

      Anecdotal evidence means bupkis to scientists.

      • Halfamonkey

        No conclusion can be drawn from anecdotal evidence, but it can for a legitimate starting point for an inquiry.

        • http://beginingsinwriting.wordpress.com/ R.w. Foster

          True, but it is rare that it does.

    • Mrs Thomas Anderson

      I have been ill with angioedema and urticaria for the past fifteen years that has increasingly affected my ability to work and live my life. I never had any health issues prior. I have begun to wonder if GMOs may be the underlying cause of my debilitating condition and have just started an organic foods diet to explore this theory. Anyone else have a similar problem and go organic and find relief? Just curious. I have nothing against GMOs. Just desperate to find a cause and cure.

  • Michael Ruxton

    Here’s what the National Farmers Union of Canada thinks of GM crops and livestock. The benefits don’t go to the farmers.

    http://www.nfu.ca/policy/national-farmers-union-policy-genetically-modified-gm-foods

    • G Foundas

      http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0111629

      “On average, GM technology adoption has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%.”

      Again…

      “increased farmer profits by 68%.”

      The NFU should maybe take a look at the actual numbers and reassess their statement.

      • JH

        (hands over ears) IcanthearyouIcanthearyouIcanthearyouIcanthearyou!

    • JBaileyz

      Michael, did you see the date on that policy statement? At the end of the PDF attached to that page, you’ll see … “—Passed at the 31st annual National Convention of the National Farmers Union, November 29th-December 2nd, 2000.” I’d like to see what they think now.

  • Goldpenny’s Graffix

    Hmm this author brings up valid and interesting points, however ; bull taught me why baking soda and vinegar react so f*ck him and his anti semantic nazi communist gmo loving garbage.

    • Ryan B

      Nice debate weirdo!

      • Goldpenny’s Graffix

        I don’t think you know what the word debate means.

        • Ryan B

          Yes, and what you are saying isn’t debating it is pure crap that makes no sense.

  • john

    In the GMO debate something could also be said for moderate gene strain mutation vs. bullish techniques. Such as the case in the Idaho potato. Could be safer if strains are allowed to mutate slowly rather than labratory chop jobs.

  • john

    I would really like to see the data on the new potato. I mean actual field data, not statistics about acrylamide.Thanks, I would appreciate it. Its just the scientist in me.

    • Verna Lang

      This is the document that Simplot submitted to the USDA as all their evidence supporting deregulation. http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/13_02201p.pdf

      • john

        Thank you, I actually found that read disturbing on my inquiries. the outward affect on other plants was smudged and reading this really bothered me!!! ” Although these
        results indicated a protective effect of Ppo, the mechanism for disease resistance remains unknown (Li
        and Steffens ” I’m almost more paranoid about gmo’s after reading that!!!

  • http://www.enviroequipment.com Enviro Equipment, Inc.

    I guess God didn’t make Bill Nye perfect. Oh, wait. I keep forgetting; God didn’t make Bill Nye.

  • Fuzzy

    It’s interesting, and a little pathetic, that a real scientist has time to spend on bs like this.

    • Kevin Folta

      Agreed. But it is maybe even a little more pathetic that there were not 5,000 scientist letters asking for a debate. We’re all too busy and don’t want the hassle. But his comments have consequences, and we are waking up to at least have a voice in the matter.

    • Casey Miller

      Kevin is an amazing science communicator, and I can’t thank him enough for spending his precious time as an active scientist and professor ,,, even chair of the department. That he would offer his time, let alone open ended to helping make a better public conversation about his field of work shows how dedicated he is to it and science as a whole.
      What I find even more pathetic, is people spending their own (obviously valuable) time to come and talk smack at random on some forum you obviously don’t really care about?
      I think someone is bored?

      • Fuzzy

        Until the 6th line or so, you almost seemed to have nailed it in your comment, but then the neurotic in you stepped up. At the end, cynical and elitist.

        I bet, you haven’t even read the damn book.

        So, I need a qualification to meet your requirements for a comment? And anything negative is a sign of boredom? Oh and I forgot, I’m the issue here, not my comments, right? *sigh*

        And btw, a bit OT, but u’ll get it: Do not underestimate “random”, your/our whole life/lives is/are based upon it.

        I promise, next time I’ll check, whether I’m bored or not, before allowing myself to post a comment.

        So, who’s next to gratify orally, to get a comment through, in this lab?

        • DRoell

          A lot of us here have actually read the book.

          Have you? You find nothing wrong with it?

    • DRoell

      How many books does sell Nye per average? The marketing on this one is pretty good.

      I mean, there’s a whole chapter in this book that will further entrench the fronts in biotechnology for anyone who’s near the fence. He even questions public biotech research funding.

      Depending on the reach of this book, there’s quite some gain for the scientific community. Either to mitigate losses, or maybe even the other way around.

  • john

    Thank you Bill Nye, for being a true skeptical scientist. I almost lost faith in you 2 weeks ago. @Bill Nye

  • Lynford Seibel

    Thank you Kevin for your efforts to bring to light the truth about a technology which has huge potential and already is benefiting people around the world, even the misinformed people who oppose it. Bill Nye is more of a entertainer than a scientist, and therefore, when faced with hard to explain topics such as GMO’s, he gives his audience what they want to hear rather than provide sound scientific information. I hope he has the integrity to debate this topic with an expert such as yourself or to realize his ignorance and tell his audience the truth.

  • http://beginingsinwriting.wordpress.com/ R.w. Foster

    I’m not sure this is a large enough forum to get his attention. Maybe someone could put this info forward to the mainstream media to do so. If he does see it, I hope he responds with an acceptance of said challenge. I’d love to see said debate.

    • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Keith Kloor

      I have asked people that know Nye to make him aware of this letter and challenge.

      • http://beginingsinwriting.wordpress.com/ R.w. Foster

        That would be awesome.

      • mem_somerville

        I have to say it would be really awful to have people who coached Nye on the Ham debate on the wrong side of Nye’s claims in this case. It will drag them down too.

        • DRoell

          I sure hope he doesn’t need coaching for this one.
          For one, he apparently “knows it all”, for two, what would a honest biologist have to tell him?
          “You’re… not exactly right” … ?

  • jdcamerone

    Kevin Folta is an articulate, brilliant spokesperson for the scientific method. I hope Bill Nye takes his advice and does some further investigating into his own faulty claims.

  • john

    Frankly I was fence sitting about my stance on gmo’s until I read the report Simplot gave to the fda. It may seem elaborate with 524 pages but in specific research studies of the potatoes effects on the Eco system I found it to be very watered down. As well as the labratory chop shop job done on the potato rather than a slow process of mutative strain production through more natural methods such as the Idaho potato. I think this rush into DNA snipping jobs is very pre mature.

    • Chris Preston

      In truth you were not fence sitting. Otherwise, if these were concerns you had developed from reading whatever it was you read (I haven’t been able to identify a regulatory document of 524 pages that is related to Innate potatoes), you would realise it is the USDA deregulation that dealt with environmental effects and you would have been able to articulate exactly what you thought the potential environmental damage a potato with Late Blight Resistance, Low Acrylamide Potential, Reduced Black Spot, and Lowered Reducing Sugars would produce.

      • john

        I am referring to the outer ecosystem, not the innate potato itself. In sections 9:3-9:6, no data was given for the effect on outside plants or the disease susceptibility of the potato to spread disease to an outside plant. It does not say how long they studied that, what measures were taken in the study of outside plants and disease passing possibilities . they make a general statement with absolutely nothing to show for research on that issue. I also find it strange how the parts are so short in those papers of Simplot to the fda.

        • john

          I also have many more questionable data that I would like to find answers for in the Simplot papers.

        • Chris Preston

          Well I have found the document I think you are referring to now. It was not that easy, because it is submitted to the USDA, not the FDA. I am struggling to take the concerns of someone seriously who cannot separate the functions of those two organisations.

          But to your points. The sections you mention have to do with weediness potential (potatoes are not notably weedy and there is no reason to suppose this potato would be any more weedy than any other potato), endangered species risk (there is no reason to suppose that this potato would represent any greater risk to endangered species than any other potato), diferences in agronomic practices (these are unlikely to be different than for current potatoes) and non-target effects (trials established there were no non-target effects among species that interacted with cultivated potatoes).

          Studies showed that there was no greater disease susceptibility of the Innate potatoes. This is all documented in Appendix 8.

          • john

            They are not giving reasons or data why that is not the case! What other plants did they study in relation to it, how long, what particular variables did they observe to make them reach this conclusion. As well as section 3:7, is just as bad. Another issue is transgene and gene travel through wind pollinators and cross pollination. seeds and pollen travel by birds and winds.as well as the crops effects on birds. Im more of the mind that these species need to be greenhouse kept and only create new varieties through standard cross pollination and grafting. Not viral gene into plant gene chop jobs.

          • Chris Preston

            There are no viral genes in this potato. So what exactly is your concern then?

            In fact, no new genes were inserted. This is a gene-silencing application.

            So it is clear that you don’t have any well-articulated concerns about this application, because you don’t understand the application.

          • First Officer

            Well, there’s you’re problem. Gene silencing threatens to take away our voices ! 😉

          • john

            OK it maybe gene darkening but I didn’t see this imperial evidence from the stolons in appendix 8. As well as how they don’t know the reason behind the disease resistance in section 3:7 I believe. This statement. ” Although these
            results indicated a protective effect of Ppo, the mechanism for disease resistance remains unknown (Li
            and Steffens “. Also the data on the animals and insects that interacted with the plant. Was not researched to a genetic level from the data I’m reading. They don’t supply what data they took from the insects and animals to reach that conclusion. Another problem is the pre 2012 sources. Also pollination travel. Lots of worries.

          • Chris Preston

            OK it maybe gene darkening but I didn’t see this imperial evidence from the stolons in appendix 8.

            Have you read Appendix 8? It consists of 4 Tables of data on percentage tubers affected or area of infection from late blight and 2 Tables of weight loss data cause by Erwinia.

            As well as how they don’t know the reason behind the disease resistance in section 3:7

            There is no mention of disease resistance in section 3.7. It is a concluding remark on method development.

            This statement. ” Although these results indicated a protective effect of Ppo, the mechanism for disease resistance remains unknown (Li and Steffens “.

            Means that some researchers have proposed that Ppo may have a role in plant defence against insects and disease, but nobody knows how it works if it does.

            Also the data on the animals and insects that interacted with the plant. Was not researched to a genetic level from the data I’m reading. They don’t supply what data they took from the insects and animals to reach that conclusion.

            It was observational data.

            “During the three seasons of field releases, the observations and measurements showed no differences in ecological interactions (namely plant-insect interactions, plant-disease interactions, and plant interactions with abiotic stressors) between the events and the control varieties (Appendix 6. Field Performance and Tuber Evaluations), supporting an absence of unintended effects.”

            Also pollination travel.

            Potatoes are grown as clones from tubers and there are no close relatives near potato production fields in North America.

          • john

            Red flag:Means that some researchers have proposed that Ppo may have a role in plant defence against insects and disease, but nobody knows how it works if it does.

            Red flag: It was observational data..

            Include the hundred other skepticisms I have and its out of control. I have personally been scammed by expensive GMO trees. They failed to produce as they promised. The pears were the size of dimes and the plums rotted before they could even start to ripen. Some gmo s might work but some dont and really screw people over. There are 10,000 farmers just like me. Then you add in a ecosystem side effects and it gets irrational.

          • Chris Preston

            There haven’t been any GMO pears released. So we now all know you are just full of inventions.

            Your skepticims really are out of control.

          • john

            Grafted pear tree for one. Which is technically genetically nodded. Also this figures you produced were from corrupted sources. They only supplied that data from a small section and did not make specific farmer tallies so they could take them for themselves. It was a big cover up job but I know people from India who can verify this. Also you did not rebuttles my two biggest red flags as well as interpreting the new 2013dec data . a few others, the rootworm of illinois. The fact that there are multiple cases of fallout in the crop 5-10 years down the road.

          • john

            The fact you take observational studies from a genetic darkening process is pretty volatile scientific research.

          • john

            I just made a comment about how the pear was grafted and a few other comments but those and a few others have been erased!!! I made multiple comments in the past 30 minutes and they keep being erased!!! To choose observational data on the effect on animals is not only scientifically irresponsible but dangerous.!!! I have already made multiple comments about this and other points but they have been continually erased. It has to do with human gene silencing. Would you allow humans to have gene silencing around the world with only 2 years of partial observational data when studying the effect on other animals and non silenced human genes? If so that’s not only irresponsible and haphazardly done but extremely dangerous. Everything is still so new. Wind travelling pollination gene and transcends. So many red flags its completely irrational to grow this stuff in anything other than a greenhouse for at least 2-3 more years.

          • JBaileyz

            When you refer to “gene chop jobs,” you’re stating a pretty clear bias from the start.

          • john

            I understand that but I need to see the data taken from the stolons of which plants they used next to the potato. I also need to see that plant data today. In comparison to the new Dec 2013 findings. It seems the research done on this potato was from 2009-2011? You don’t think that’s a little soon to introduce it into the ecosystem?

  • john

    What about genes and transgenes spreading from wind pollinators out into the ecosystem. Trees that spread a disease fighter turning one specie of tree into a resilient invader like bamboo? I’m also reading about altered food sources for birds that affect and travel species of food to areas where it might become super invasive.

    • Chris Preston

      What about them? Where is the evidence that this sort of thing is likely to happen? What about GM trees inviting little green men from Mars to build cubbyhouses in them?

      If you bothered to do some reading about invasibility, you would see that tolerance to a single disease is unlikely to create an invasive species from a previously non-invasive species.

      • john

        I already replied to this and it was erased. I am referring to outside specie transgene pollination. I don’t see the stolon data from the Simplot report in appendix 8. I also don’t think 2 seasons is a safe span of time to see the long term affects. Its irresponsible and extremely dangerous.

  • Jim O’Dell

    Kevin Folta, I think Bill Nye’s (and my) possible objections lie along the lines of just exactly WHO or WHAT ENTITY is paying for the research, or more dangerous still, the scientist on the payroll. In other words just exactly whose interests are being served and who will benefit by the GMO being developed.

    I personally wouldn’t care to see a still more shipable, rock hard, tasteless tomato developed to satisfy the interests of shippers, unless it also included the characteristics of being able to quickly turn soft, luscious, and tasty when I get it home. This is obviously the tip of the iceberg of my concerns. The problem with much of everything that is developed is always who is paying for it.

    Scientists are for sale just like anyone else, possess no special anticorruption skills, and your implied protestations that scientists are above corruption at least in terms of satisfying only one party’s desires is smug, self-righteous, self-serving and at least naive.

    • Ryan B

      I think is it disrespectful to the thousands of PHD’s out there that have dedicated their entire careers for you to say they have no more morals than the almighty dollar. You may think that way, but most professionals don’t, so don’t try to paint them with a critical broad brush!

      • JH

        “I think is it disrespectful to the thousands of PHD’s”

        I don’t.

        Do I rely on the moral integrity of the MBAs that run major corporations? No. I rely – well, sort of, at least a little – on the SEC.

        Nor do I rely on the integrity of people, PhDs or no, to produce safe food products. I rely on the independent reviews conducted by the FDA, and on my own understanding of the research.

        We don’t need to rely on anyone’s integrity. We have sufficient protections in place to make the question of integrity mostly irrelevant.

    • First Officer

      Nobody is born with special anti-corruption skills but most people, including scientists are not corrupt.

      But, while we’re on the subject of people for sale, it’s been my observation that it’s extreme ideology, not profit, that brings the real monsters out.

      • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

        Ideology, as in “religion”? Money IS a religion.

    • JBaileyz

      I used to suffer from Monsanto Derangement Syndrome; however, I’ve come to realize that it’s absurd to believe that even that large, powerful corporation would be able to own and control many thousands of scientists, farmers, other professionals, and media throughout the world. I woke up to this reality when I noticed that none of these folks were the ones protesting.

      • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

        “…none of these folks were the ones protesting.”

        Of course not. If they did, they would find themselves without jobs.

        • JBaileyz

          So you think that they control all of the scientists and farmers in the world? That’s a mighty big conspiracy theory you have there! (Did you know that no one forces farmers to buy Monsanto’s seed? They do, though, and that’s what makes Monsanto profitable.)

          • http://www.sumofit.com/ SumoFit

            “So you think that they control all of the scientists and farmers in the world?”

            Not ALL scientists agree that GMOs are safe (whether or not their voices are heard is another thing); and not ALL farmers buy them.

    • JH

      “developed to satisfy the interests of shippers”

      Why are people so upset that shippers, farmers, Monsanto or anyone else is going to make money on a food product? JHFC. What do you do for a lving, beg in the streets? If you don’t like the food they deliver, don’t buy it. Go to your farmer’s market.

      “WHO or WHAT ENTITY is paying for the research, or more dangerous still, the scientist on the payroll.”

      What does it matter? The research is reviewed by financially independent public officials. WTF more do you want?

    • Archibald Kalinin

      Taste. You don’t need a PHD to be able to taste the difference between a home grown tomato and a hot house tomato. Lost in these conventional vs. organic and GMO vs. non-GMO debates is taste. That is what most cultures around the world still get. Food is supposed to taste good. It is supposed to be enjoyable. There is a reverence in flavor diversity. Here in the US, we have created a food distribution system that is built upon providing our population with $0.99 value meals anytime, anywhere. At the expense of taste and nutrition. We have a convenience food culture with a very limited understanding of where food actually comes from and why processes matter when considering taste.

      • Jim O’Dell

        Thanks, Archibald Kalinin. My point is that scientists for hire have no reason to focus on the big picture. They are paid to achieve a predefined objective (in the case of GMO development) at the possible cost of all else. Research, or actually development in this case, tends to be focused on that objective. If there is a “small” price to be paid in terms of taste, texture, mouth feel, etc etc, that small penalty tends all to easily to be glibly pronounced insignificant compared to an achieved objective that meets the needs of the company that funded the development. This is not pure research, rather it is testing and development to reach specific desired qualities at the possible cost of other qualities.

  • JBaileyz

    Applause! I’d love to see this debate. In 3 hours we ALL could learn a ton!

  • john

    Sorry folks but I’m going to stick with Burbank’s techniques for crossing species. He was a true sage. He could tap into plants consciousness and spawned a needle cacti through this technique of speaking and meditating to the plants.

  • http://www.davesaunders.net/blog Dave Saunders

    IMO Kevin Folta Ph.D. is grand-standing and a creating a distraction from the POINT of Bill Nye’s book.

    • mem_somerville

      These claims are in THE BOOK. That is THE POINT.

      • http://www.davesaunders.net/blog Dave Saunders

        They’re not claims. He expressed skepticism which is fundamental to the scientific process. Did you not read the book? Do you even understand the point?

        • mem_somerville

          You mean, like this part, with the purely fictional and unsourced claim about GMO papaya allergy?

          http://t.co/qDDPUJuR0k

          Yeah, I read it. Now try to deny it’s in the book. It is, in fact, Undeniable. Go ahead. Deny it. Or, alternatively deliver…wait for it…evidence.

  • john

    I don’t mind you tinkering with genes and growing whatever oddity you like but I’m going to ask you label it and keep it in greenhouses until we are a little further down the gene silencing road. Its the compromise. I understand you need GMO s for poor people, but I’m seeing lots of reports that come back five years later after the crop was produced, from the develop of superpests like the rootworm infestation of northern states. The crushing affect of BT cotton around the globe and from that failed promise that their extremely expensive seed will perform and did not. Inadvertently caused 250,000 suicides. I mean there is a long list of these occurrences. From my standpoint I was sold 2 very expensive GMO trees and they failed. The pear tree never grew pears bigger than a quarter and the plum tree had immense rot in the plum. They were designed for my zone. They did make me a promise. It was at the beginning of GMO s but all of my research leads me to taking more and more precaution.

    • JBaileyz

      I’m calling bullshit, john. At least from my understanding, no GMO pears or plums have ever been approved for commercial sale here in the U.S., so I doubt your experience. Also, you appear to be parroting the myth that 250,000 farmers in India committed suicide because of GMOs. That lie’s been debunked many times.

      • john

        I’ve replied to you many times that the trees were grafted as well as other points but they are continually being erased!!!

        • Chris Preston

          Grafted trees are not GMOs.

          Your comments have not been deleted. They are present in all their ignorant glory below.

          Perhaps sir would like a tinfoil hat to go with his mouth froth?

          • john

            Grafting would equal putting two species together, the genes are not manipulated in anyway from such an act?

          • Chris Preston

            Generally, no. Taking a cutting from the scion would breed true and taking a cutting from the rootstock would breed true.

          • john

            Generally?
            How’s about all my other red flags? I’m not name calling bud or using bullying tactics in my debate just to remind you the reality of the situation.

          • john

            I’m not going to use name calling guy, I just want the truth and the data of the effects over a 5 year period. I want to see something a little more imperial data than observational analysis with no blood ,tissue or gene studies. They have clearly let large gaps of information fall through in the Simplot report to the fda.

    • JH

      “I don’t mind you tinkering with genes and growing whatever oddity you like but I’m going to ask you label it and keep it in greenhouses until we are a little further down the gene silencing road.”
      Ask all you want. Your opinion is irrelevant. Testing demonstrates the products are safe. Therefore they are available to the public. End of story.

      • john

        My opinion is quite relevant. There is no testing on humans, multiple people agree in this thread that it should be done after I talked them down from the irresponsible crazy science tree. The story is far from over. The more research I do the more holes I find in all these pro GMO stories and arguments. I will never give up protecting future farmers from buying into promised yields that don’t produce and bankrupt them. I will also never give up until proper human animal and plant tox studies are widely engaged. I will not sacrifice a few 1000$ for a failure 5 years down the road again. Not to mention to spread the truth about the peanut allergy and gluten allergy that is sweeping the world.I will not stop until the truth is brought to light about growth hormone injections and the rest of the failures of sloppy observational research of genetic modding. Thank you @Bill Nye …..

  • john

    In India, the promise of genetically engineered cotton was that it would yield 1,500 kilos per acre. In four states, the average yield was 200 kilos. Farmer incomes were projected to increase by 10,000 rupees an acre, but ran losses of 6,000 rupees per acre. The performance of these crops has been completly unreliable. The hybrid maize seeds that Monsanto sold to the peasants in the poorests states of India, like Bihar, left them with total crop failure and losses totaling 4 billion rupees. In the case of the failure of Bt cotton in Andhra Pradash, it was a billion rupees. A peasant switching to hybrid or genetically modified seed finds him or herself, in a year’s time, two to three thousand rupees in debt.

    • Chris Preston

      john, you are full of rubbish.

      Cotton yield in India increased from about 270 kg/ha prior to the introduction of Bt cotton to about 550 kg/ha now. http://www.cotcorp.gov.in/statistics.aspx

      Farmer incomes have also increased http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Failure%20of%20Bt%20Cotton.pdf

      • john

        I’ve replied to this multiple times but it keeps being erased. The states that were sourced were not all the states and the costs of the seed were hidden and miscalculated.

        • Chris Preston

          So it is all a conspiracy involving the entire Indian cotton industry?

          • john

            Indian govt corruption is really bad. What about the rootworm reaction of the northern states. There are many other GMO failures. As well as the seed prices. Pesticides and herbicides can be avoided with various agricultural practices and new yttrium soils are producing fantastic results. I don’t think genetic modification is are number one agricultural focus point. Perma culture is just as valuable but I don’t see multi billion dollar corporations doing anything with that because they can’t make almost theivery sized profits.

          • http://www.nukingpolitics.com Keln

            Once again, when presented with facts, the anti-GMO crowd cries “it’s a conspiracy!” and dismisses the data. That’s why there is no winning an argument with an anti-GMOer.

          • john

            The rootworm was not the only case. I’ve also provided facts and points that you choose to ignore on this page. Read my comment on gene silencing children and with only 2 years of research 4 years ago you would approve every child’s DNA to be gene silenced around the world?!?!?

          • john

            Whatabout how they don’t even know what causes the disease resistance in the Simplot papers presented to the fda. Section 3:8-3:9. Show me the facts that wind travelling pollination does not cause transgene travel cause I’m finding more information that it does , ethanol corn has a ton of red flags. I don’t see people rebuttling much, the rootworm rebuttle was the only one out of about 20 I’ve made on this page and GMO s took awhile to convince it was happening until they finally admitted it but this guy up top said the farmer knew all along and that is not true. It took hard work and a few years for the GMO company to come clean. I have presented facts. You choose to ignore them

          • Ryan B

            What are you referring to “rootworm reaction in northern states”, Is it that rootworm have extended diapause or that some populations have developed resistance to one Bt? The increased resistance is a predicted model even before the product is released. Plus, rootworm have an incredible ability to overcome control measures. In Ill they learned to lay eggs in soybeans fields instead of corn, they have extended diapause in the northern states, they over came beetle spraying in Ks & NE. This is a very adaptable pest that needs many different technologies and cultural practices to control. You obviously do not know Midwest agriculture well enough to understand that.

          • john

            Its not just that place, ethanol corn has a protein in it that was not natural to be in the environment. There are about 20 other points I’ve made but you seem to rebuttles one idea and then you think you won. What about how they only took observational data from animals and only studied the potato for 2 seasons before releasing into the public? If I silenced your kids genes and then only did 2 years of research 4 years ago would you approve gene silencing for every baby in the world?

          • john

            No, the GMO company did not tell that to farmers before it was released,. It took 5 years for them to finally admit it to farmers. You obviously haven’t talked to the farmers from Illinois about that situation…but are just happy to try and belittle me but is that really nessecary or are you doing it so you may trump up your small little rebuttles because there are 20 others I have on this page which you don’t seem to refute.

    • Ryan B

      john, I call B.S. on your statements. You’ll have to dig deeper into your wacko website sources to find information to twist to your view.

  • Marc Brown

    Cant wait…yoi been served Bill, do it. I wanna know why big ag spends so much to keep gmo’s from being labeled…if it so great why are they tuing to hide it…also o wanna see some real numbers for yeild and nutrition

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      Industry has done a pretty poor job of communicating with the public about GM technology, and academics haven’t been much better. In the vacuum of quality information, the discussion has been driven by activists who have ideological and/or financial interests in opposing GM technology. As a plant scientist myself, I cringe watching/reading much of the anti-GMO material out there, in much the same way any scientifically literate person does when seeing creationism espouse their beliefs. This has had the effect of creating a substantial prejudice amongst the general public towards GM technology. Private enterprise naturally tries to minimize risk. Given the prevalent prejudice against GM technology, industry is trying to minimize potential risk to their products due to the prejudice within the public by opposing labeling measures.

      Note, I am not condoning industry opposing to labeling. Just trying to give you a perspective from the ‘inside’.

      • JH

        There’s no vacuum of information. There’s a wave of idiocy.

  • Balasubramanian Ponnuswami

    We have a Bill Nye in India too. Dubbed the father of Indian Agriculture, he keeps saying that GMOs are good but need further testing. How long? He never tells us.

    • NoToGMOs

      It’s not about the length of testing, it’s about the quality and what exactly is being looked for. And if he is indeed the father of Indian Agriculture, you should probably listen to him.

  • Pamela Wright

    I hope he accepts and it take place near enough to me to attend. It’s about time real scientists debated this issue publicly and not with screaming anti-science organic activists, but with others with a sound science grounding.

    • http://www.nukingpolitics.com Keln

      Except Bill Nye isn’t a “real scientist”. He’s a science advocate/TV personality with an engineering degree.

  • Alexander Joyal

    Bullshit. Any talk of scientific consensus is misleading and misguided. Consensus is not a goal and should not be a goal. Also you cannot make broad claims as the general efficacy of agricultural biotechnology. As with all such discussions, we need to be specific and clear. Tripe like this only serves to fan the flames of a poorly conducted debate.

    • Reece Ingram

      Reaching Consensus is the whole point of Science and the scientific community. It is a natural product of performing the scientific method en mass, without it anyone could publish a paper claiming to prove anything and people could use the claims of a single paper to “prove” their opinions.

      • deegeejay

        Completely fallacious logic.

      • john

        Why won’t Monsanto agree to side research on their products?

        • hyperzombie

          THey do, look it up. How did Seralini did a study on GMOs, if it is not allowed?

          • john

            Why does Monsanto and Simplot not approve of outside sources to research their work?

          • hyperzombie

            Once again they do allow outside sources. Duh, or how come there are all the bad studies on GMOs.

          • john

            Doug Gurian-Sherman, a plant pathologist and senior scientist at the Center for Food Safety, told the New York Times:

            “We think this is a really premature approval of a technology that is not being adequately regulated.”
            The organization says that the RNA interference technique used for Innate is untested, and said that one of the substances suppressed by it actually plays an important role in the chemical make-up of the potato and its ability to fight pests. Will these potatoes lead to a further increase in the already 800 million pounds of pesticides sprayed on our food – pesticides which can’t be washed off?

      • Alexander Joyal

        Encouraging debate and exploration is the point of science. Consensus is the result of high quality science, not the goal of it.

  • Vm

    aww, bill nye proves that he’s human. like Einstein being dubious about quantum mecahnics

    still its not too late

  • jill

    I’ll take non-gmo thank you, and while you are at it, it is our right to demand transparency.

    • john

      Thank you!!!!!

    • JH

      But it’s not your right to get it.

      Honestly, I don’t know what you people are wigged out about. The food you eat is more tested than a friggin nuclear warhead. Think about all the thousands of factories around the country that produce the food that you eat, the pickers and machines that harvest it, the trucks that haul it, the packaging and storage and everything, and yet year after year after year, there are virtually no foodborne illnesses in the United States.

      And yet all you hear about are all these friggin’ crackpots screaming about how food companies are making us obese and poisoning us with GMOs that cause cancer that’s so mysterious no one can find any evidence for it. Bizarre.

      • john

        There are tons of food borne illness, especially in ranching and GMO growth hormone uses! Holy cow! How about the peanut allergy mutation, the new gluten allergy?!? How about cross pollination from wind? Birds carrying seeds. Insects adapting to modified foods then causing larger pest problems that have to be re engineered every 5 years?! Holy cow, it goes on and on!!!

        • JH

          The “new” gluten allergy? :) I suppose you think the peanut butter allergy is new too?

          Cross pollination and birds carrying seeds? ha ha ha ha! Geez! I hope they’re not growing GM apples down in Arizona! What if a cactus cross pollinated with an apple tree? OMG! Nature would be destroyed!

          But wait – if that’s just bound to happen, how come we don’t have saguaros already producing apples?
          Actually that would be awesome. You’re out hiking around in southern AZ, hungry and thirsty and there is a saguaro, loaded with yummy GM red delicious apples! Yum!

  • LS in NY

    I don’t think GMOs are dangerous, but I think not allowing people to save seed, suing farmers in adjacent area because crops cross pollinate, and all the rest is bad for us.

    • Miles Stockdale

      I am happy that you recognize that GMOs are not dangerous. I think that the two issues you bring up are common issues that people have and rightly so.

      However, if farmers want to save seeds they have plenty of options to choose from.

      There are some varieties in which you cannot save seeds. These include both GMOs and non-GMOs. A lot of farmers prefer these seeds because the return on investment for the company ensures that they constantly develop better seeds. Why should my father, for instance, not be allowed to choose seeds that can’t be saved? Those are the seeds he generally chooses because he feels the benefits outweigh the costs

      There has never been a case of a farmer being sued for accidental contamination. This is probably the most prevalent myth out there, and if it were true it would be a significant issue. However, there is no substance to it.

      • JBaileyz

        Most farmers don’t save seed anymore anyway. Too much work for too little return, with additional storage issues they need to consider. Plus, the seed they buy now is all hybrid, which doesn’t reproduce well over generations. According to many farmers, the extra they spend for GMO is worth it for the bigger yield, as well as all the $ they save on pesticides and other costs. If that weren’t true, GMO seed companies wouldn’t be so profitable. Nobody’s forcing farmers to buy them.

  • deegeejay

    Yikes – someone is going to debate the fake celeb scientist again. He better say no . . . his cred. is already insignificant to thinking people – he better preserve his paycheck from the low info. types.

  • Michael Larkin

    Well now, professor Folta: it seems you think that the correct positions to hold are:

    1. Global warming is a serious issue and that somehow sceptics deny that global warming has occurred since around 1860.

    Personally, I don’t deny, and never have, that global warming has
    occurred. I do however think that it’s mostly natural and not a serious
    issue. Most sceptics hold this position.

    2. Neo-Darwinism offers a correct explanation for macroevolution.

    Personally, I think it’s completely inadequate, and that macroevolution must have a more plausible scientific explanation, which hopefully will one day be forthcoming.

    I’m actually someone who leans towards the safety of GMOs. However, I think for myself even when people like you say what you’ve said to Bill Nye.

    One issue at a time: whether or not GMOs are safe has nothing to do with views about other topics. Bringing the latter into your message seems to be a rhetorical device, and it risks alienating people who haven’t made up their minds about GMOs, especially if they differ from you about those other topics.

    • john

      Thank you!

  • JH

    Is Bill Nye A Scientist?

    Sure doesn’t look like it. Looking at his bio in Wikipedia, it looks like his only formal education is in mechanical engineering. He worked at Boeing and as a consultant, apparently into the 1990s. It’s often said that he “studied under” Carl Sagan but as near as I can tell this isn’t exactly right. More like he took a class or two from the Great One. It’s claimed that he is a “guest lecturer” at Cornel – but he only lectures in Freshman level courses. Just about anyone with a science degree could teach those courses with a few days prep.

    His public science cred has been earned entirely in the media, where his role is hosting, not scientific expertise. Overall, while it seems like he’s doing reasonably well for himself, it’s hard to look at his career and call it a stunning success. It’s a patchwork of this and that. His only major success was Bill Nye the Science Guy.

    Looking at his career, I now understand why he debated Ken Hamm against the advice of many people: Bill Nye the Science Guy doesn’t exactly sell itself. He needs media exposure, and the creationist debate was a great way to get it.

  • john
    • hyperzombie

      Cool, a link to collective – evolution, now I can catch up on my Chemtrail/antiVax/Homeopathic Medicine info, Thanks.

      • john

        So you care to refute the scientific research in the papers or are you just going to be a prejudicial bigot?I’d love to see your data.

        • john

          Why is collide-a-scape continuously delete my comments?!?! It says my latest comment about GMOs being banned in 30 countries is waiting to be approved by them?!?!? Wake up people!!!

          • hyperzombie

            t says my latest comment about GMOs being banned in 30 countries is waiting to be approved by them?

            Maybe because GMos are only banned in about 5 countries.

          • john

            Yes, in the other countries they have not banned GMOs completly in the other 25, just selective strains of products. Also you do not find 5 countries banning GMOs completely a big red flag!?!?

          • hyperzombie

            Do you find banning Homosexuallity in 84 countries a big red flag? Some countries ban women from driving, and people from expressing religious views.
            The other countries that restrict GMO also grow them.

          • john

            Italy: The four regions Tuscany, Molise, Lazio and Marche and
            around 25 provinces, cities and communes banned GE crops,
            including Rome, Milan, Turin, Brescia and Genoa. These are all
            democratically-taken decisions in local or regional councils and
            in the case of Tuscany, the result has been ratified by the national
            government – the decision means that regional governments have
            been given the authority under Italian law to overturn decisions
            taken at EU level.

            Austria: Bans on three GE maize (Novartis, Monsanto and AgrEvo),
            the Federal Institute for Less-Favoured and Mountainous Areas is
            pressing for GM free legislation and published a study on GE-free
            zones, initiatives in the States of Vorarlberg and Salzburg to ban GE
            trials.

            France: ban of PGS and AgrEvo HR rapeseed

            Germany: Ban of Novartis Bt maize. The initiative “No GE on
            communal land” of BUND (Friends of the Earth Germany) launched
            activities in several German communities to discuss and vote on the
            GE-free resolutions. Application are launched in: Bad Vilbel,
            Blauenstein, Lahr, Konstanz, Hannover, Hamburg. Application are
            accepted in: M¸nchen, Reutlingen, Freidrichsdorf, Blomberg, Seligenstadt,
            Niddatal, Maintal, Riedstadt, Adendorf, Schwebheim, Pinneberg,
            Schwabach, Langenhagen, Wyhe, Burgdorf, Neetze, District Traunstein.
            Several protestant regional church organisations: banned GE crops from
            their land: Hannover, Hessen und Nassau, Sachsen, Protestantic Church
            of Westfalen, Protestantic Church in Berlin-Brandenburg, Church Province
            of Sachsen.

            Luxembourg: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

            Portugal: Ban of Novartis Bt maize.

            Greece: Ban of AgrEvo HR rapeseed, moratorium of GE crop trials.

            Spain: The Basque Government went for a five year blanket
            moratorium for GMOs. The Basque Government claims full powers
            for agricultural policy and thus that they can provisionally ban GMOs
            if they so wish. The three provinces of Castilla-La Mancha and Baleares
            banned GE food, AndalucÌa declared a five year moratorium on GE
            crop trials and GE food.

            UK: The Church of England has refused permission for GE crop trials
            on 60,000 hectares of its land, dozens of local authorities supply GE
            free school lunches, the House of Commons banned GE foods for its
            catering. The vote of the Welsh Assembly to keep Wales GE free was
            counteracted by the ministry of Agriculture approving a GE maize variety.
            The Island of Jersey banned GE crops.

            OTHERS

            Switzerland: Although a center of GE science and industry, only two
            trials with GE potatoes in 1991/92 have been performed until now.

            Norway: Banned the import of several GE crops and products which
            contain antibiotic resistance genes.

            Australia: The State of Tasmania banned GE rapeseed as weed,
            Western Australia has banned commercial GE planting. Australian
            States are given the right to declare themselves GE free. Some
            communities (e.g. Bondi/Sydney, West Wimmera Shire) declared
            themselves GE free.

            New Zealand: Some local bodies in Auckland and Wellington have
            declared themselves GM free. Trials with GE salmon have been blocked
            by the government.

            Thailand: Banned imports of 40 GE crops for commercial planting,
            but not for research purposes.

            Philippines: The community of Valencia called for a five-year
            moratoria on GE food and GE crop trials and commercialization.
            The Philippine president announced a moratorium on GE crop
            research.

            Saudi Arabia: Banned food that are made from GMOs and declared not
            to import GE wheat.

            Egypt: Declared not to import GE wheat.

            Algeria: Banned the import, distribution, commercialisation and
            utilization
            of GE plants except for research purposes.

            Brazil: Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil
            for the time being, the States of Rio Grande do Sul and Mato Grosso
            do Sul have declared their intentions to remain GM-free, 18 States
            called upon the Central government to block commercial GE crop
            planting.

            Paraguay: The Ministry of Agriculture plans to ban GE crops from
            commercial planting.

            When a large section of the country bans it or plans to ban it with current legislation then you can cite that country as having banned a or many GMOs. Please don’t bring other political topics and debates into the conversation even if its just for use as analogies. It hurts your rebuttles credibility. I only want the truth and safe and elaborate studies done bud. I’m not saying I’m anti GMO I’m saying that more research needs to be done in more extensive and data filled studies. That data also needs to be accessible to everyone…

          • hyperzombie

            Where do you get this crap info from?

            For example: Brazil: Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil

            LOL, Brazil is the second largest grower of GMOs.

            http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/18/brazil-biotech-idUSL2N0JX0SF20131218

          • john

            They also have banned strains of GMOs in Brazil, don’t spin the data please. Just because they use them doesn’t mean they don’t have banned strains.lol!

          • hyperzombie

            Your the one spinning, you said “Planting GE seeds is prohibited by federal law in Brazil” yet Brazil is the second largest grower of GMOs, and they grow more GMO soy than the USA. Brazil has unapproved GMOs just like here.

          • john

            Again, just because they grow them doesn’t mean they don’t have banned strains of GMOs or use unnaproved or illegal strains. Please show me the human research data of the innate potato in the Simplot papers. Also please show me a side independent study on them. Any reputable science research will have an outside, independent research firm verify their findings. I am suppossed to take everything this corporation tells me as fact with them not allowing an outside research source to verify their findings?!?!?

          • hyperzombie

            Please show me the human research data of the innate potato in the Simplot papers.

            Once again Human food tox studies are never done for any foods.

            Here is the petition paper for the Simplot potato from the USDA, they list all the research done by them and independent labs. Have fun its 200 pages long.
            http://www.aphis.usda.gov/brs/aphisdocs/14_09301p.pdf

          • john

            So you just went from saying studies have been done for hundreds of years to zero studies being done on human toxicities?!?!?!

          • Chris Preston

            There are not any human toxicity studies done on organic potatoes.

          • john

            Again, you think that its safe to gene silence a food and give it to the world without doing human tox studies?!?! Isnt that extremely irresponsible?!?! Only 2 seasons of studies and the effect on animals was only observational visual data that the Simplot papers don’t seem to state how they reached that conclusion. ,As well as not providing what vague data they have collected visually to come to that imperial conclusion!!!! Its irresponsible scientific research.

          • hyperzombie

            Again, you think that its safe to gene silence a food and give it to the world without doing human tox studies?!?!

            Hell yes! It has been done 1000s of times in the past with no ill effects. Did they test the non browning grape? Red Grapefruit? or any of the 1000s of other varieties that have had far more genetic change than this potato?

          • john

            You say they don’t test human tox reports and then you say its been done 1000s of times. I cwnt seem to get a straight answer.That is completely irresponsible research. It needs to be more deeply evaluated.

          • hyperzombie

            I am saying that traits have been released 1000s of times with 0 testing, with only a few minor problems. Why does it need to be more deeply evaluated? It is only a minor change in the genome and there is no mechanism of harm.

          • john

            So you say a few minor problems now. I guess you think we should research a zone 4 potato in zone 8 too? You guys rebuttles are looking worse every time you comment. Please refute all my other rebuttles down below. Really. You are an irresponsible scientist. Not to mention extremely dangerous.

          • hyperzombie

            So you say a few minor problems now.

            Yep, there has been a few varieties of conventionally bred crops that have caused issues, but generally they have been safe to eat. I can think of only 2 that have caused any problems and they were quickly taken out of the market.

            I guess you think we should research a zone 4 potato in zone 8 too?

            WTF, I never said anything like that.

            You are an irresponsible scientist.

            Well i am not a scientist, just a farmer.

            Not to mention extremely dangerous.

            Tell that to the girls, I hear they like the dangerous ones……..LOL

          • john

            So now you are admitting there have been a few varieties that have led to minor problems. Could you please state those?

          • hyperzombie

            The Lenape potato and a variety of celery that had very high levels of furanocoumarins that caused burns on farm workers hands. That is about it.

          • Chris Preston

            Well, I could ask whether you think it is safe to provide organic potatoes to people without having conducted human toxicity studies?

          • john

            I do think we should research the effects of an organic potato in comparison to GMO potato on humans., that is absolutely nessecary for imperial data. What kind of scientist are you?!?!?!

          • Chris Preston

            I am a real life biological scientist. But on the topic of safety testing, I will point you to this food recall http://foodpoisoningbulletin.com/2014/whole-foods-recalls-raw-almonds-for-hydrogen-cyanide/

            Do you think we should have insisted on human toxicity testing before allowing the sale of organic almonds?

          • john

            I have read that and have a copy of the full 532 pages, your copy is only 199 pages.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            You need to look up “argumentum ad populum fallacy”. You’ve been repeatedly committing it.

          • john

            Just because they grow other varieties that haven’t been tested on humans or animals does not mean they don’t have banned varieties. Also in the Simplot papers they only used observational data in observing effects on animals and do not provide that exact data. The effects may not be seen for 15 years especially considering a lot of agricultural mishaps aren’t discovered until 10 years later.Not studying the effect of the innate potato on humans before they feed it to humans is not only dangerous but completely irresponsible science. I have made that point in the comments below as well as many other points that you don’t seem to be rebuttling.

          • hyperzombie

            The effects may not be seen for 15 years especially considering a lot of agricultural mishaps aren’t discovered until 10 years later.

            Like what?

            Not studying the effect of the innate potato on humans before they feed it to humans is not only dangerous but completely irresponsible science.

            Every New variety of potato is tested on humans and we have been doing that for 100s of years.

          • john

            The effects of BT maize for just one. Please show me the data taken from humans in the Simplot papers given to the fda on the effects of innate potato on humans. Tell me why a gmo banana that is being designed for Africa is grown in Australia then being researched only on people that live in Iowa for 900$ a pop? Shouldn’t they be growing it in Africa and studying Africans? Also feel free to rebuttle all my other arguments in the comment and reply section below. You seem to only touch on a very few if not only one of my rebuttle topics.

          • hyperzombie

            Please show me the data taken from humans in the Simplot papers given to the fda on the effects of innate potato on humans

            Well, there is no studies on Humans because it is unethical and immoral. You cant lock a human up in a lab and feed him nothing but spuds, it would severely impact their health.

            Shouldn’t they be growing it in Africa and studying Africans?

            Well it is far easier to move a plant to the USA or australia, than a scientific community along with their greenhouses and labs. $900 dollars plus free bananas, Whoo, Hoo sign me up.

            studying Africans?

            Do you think africans would respond differently to food than people in Iowa?

          • john

            So you went from 100 of years of research to, no research because it is unethical? In 2 hours?!?! While they are researching the effects of bananas on humans in iowa? As well as its cheaper to move a lab to america rather than Africa? Isn’t it their responsibility to get the best possible data before given to Africa? Why is an independent research facility not studying it as well to conclude their results? Why are only a small group of Iowans being used instead of multi national groups from a multi billion dollar corporation? Yes I do people in Africa would respond differnetly to it, which is why they must be studied as well!!!! With multiple independent research scientists who have no ties with that corporation.

          • hyperzombie

            So you went from 100 of years of research to, no research because it is unethical? In 2 hours?!?!

            All new varieties of crops are not tested with the exception of GMOs.

            While they are researching the effects of bananas on humans in iowa?

            That is where one of the best Ag universities is, they are collaborating with African Universities and Australian Universities.

            Why is an independent research facility not studying it as well to conclude their results?

            It is being studied by Universities, why are they not independent?

            Why are only a small group of Iowans being used instead of multi national groups from a multi billion dollar corporation?

            Got to start somewhere, and what multi billion dollar corporation would volunteer their staff for an experiment on Bananas? DelMonte???

            Yes I do people in Africa would respond differnetly to it, which is why they must be studied as well!!!

            Racist.

            With multiple independent research scientists who have no ties with that corporation.

            What Corporation??? The banana is owned by a University in Australia.

          • john

            I noticed you deleted your comment about 100s of years of research. The zones are different for one.lol!! Do you know anything about farming zones? Lol! Do you know that people have different metabolism rates, immune deficiencies, etc. that are specific to their DNA. Yes people from around the world are not the exact same genetically. Who gave the university of Australia the money to do the research? Private investors? Are all of their investors public?! So please enlighten me how all crop zones are equal in research studies or that the Idaho potato will grow perfectly in the Sahara. There are more holes in this stuff themore I research it, which is the reason bill nye is so skeptical. The resarch is vague and irresponsible.

          • hyperzombie

            .noticed you deleted your comment about 100s of years of research.

            i never deleted any comments.

            Do you know anything about farming zones? Lol!

            Yep, ever hear of a Greenhouse?

            Do you know that people have different metabolism rates, immune deficiencies, etc. that are specific to their DNA.

            Yep, but what does that have to do with anything?

            Who gave the university of Australia the money to do the research?

            Nonprofits and governments.

            No investors that I am aware of, and considering that they are giving it away for free, it would make a horrible investment.

            or that the Idaho potato will grow perfectly in the Sahara.

            potatoes do grow in the desert, Saudi Arabia grows them, it is one of their major crops.

            http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9978e/v9978e0k.htm

            Egypt as well

            http://www.fao.org/docrep/v9978e/v9978e0e.htm

            There are more holes in this stuff themore I research it, which is the reason bill bye is so skeptical.

            Stop going to the Woo sites and you might get a more balanced education.

          • john

            Lol, what does differing metabolism rates, immune deficiencies,etc.. have to do with anything?!?!? LOLOLOL, what kind of scientist are you?!

          • hyperzombie

            Are you stating that Africans have vastly different metabolic rates and different immune systems than people in Iowa?
            And for the last time I am not a scientist. That is CanadianSceptic, pay attention.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            “Tell me why a gmo banana that is being designed for Africa is grown in Australia then being researched only on people that live in Iowa for 900$ a pop? Shouldn’t they be growing it in Africa and studying Africans?”
            >>Why do you think it matters where it’s grown or how eats it? Do you think a banana grown in Iowa is going to be dramatically different from the same banana grown in Africa, or that people in Iowa digest bananas in some bizarrely different way than people in Africa?

          • john

            Omg what kind of scientist are you?!?! The zones are completely different. You will not succeed in growing a zone 8 avocado in zone 6. It is not only completly relevant but absolutely nessecary! Why do you disapprove of a control outside ofniowa? There should be at least 10 different groups from aroundnthe globe being studied to achieve non corrupted data by a single corporation!!!

          • hyperzombie

            single corporation!!!

            What Corporation????

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            So now you’re comparing bananas to avocados??? Um….ok. Whatever.

            Yes, it’s likely that bananas won’t grow well in Iowa. Yields might be low. But so what? We’re not interested in yields. This is only for a trial. The biochemical nature of the bananas should be comparable (at least within the normal range seen for a banana grown in different regions). You’re acting like it’s going to be a wildly different plant with completely unreliable characteristics. It’s pure nonsense.

          • john

            You should read that out loud again, this time to an agricultural scientist. Please make clear its in a debate about the shoddy research of gmo’s.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            John, do you realize that people have been growing plants in non-native climates for hundreds of years? Maybe even more than a thousand? Google “orangery”. In the 17th and 18th century it was fashionable for the wealthy to have citrus trees growing at estates in northern Europe. Why do you think this is some sort of radical idea that is going to lead to all kinds of problems?

            PS, most of the scientists I know (and yes, a few of them are agricultural scientists) would not at all agree with you.

          • hyperzombie

            Iowa digest bananas in some bizarrely different way than people in Africa?

            Well, some parts of Africa are below the equator, so like the water in the toilet their digestive juices flow the opposite direction causing all kinds of problems.
            (I am trying to think like an Anti-GMO activist.)

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            Exactly! Just because other countries ban something, that is not in and of itself evidence or justification for anything.

          • john

            What was their reason for banning them? Now that you guys have finally admitted that other countries are doing so.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            Political most likely. John, why do you think another country’s ban on something counts for anything? Marijuana is illegal, but do you think there is a solid scientific basis for that? What about same-sex marriage? That’s banned in a number of countries. In fact, there are 5 countries where homosexuality is punishable by death and another 70 where homosexuals can be imprisoned. Do you think that means anything with regards to homosexuality?

            Do you see how utterly vacuous your argument is?

        • hyperzombie

          Well 4 of them are on Glyphosate that has nothing to do with GMO, one is a retracted study, 2 are not even studies, and the other 3 are crap including the “pig torture study”. Got anymore crap to share? How about some info on how Homeopathic medicine can cure Ebola and Aids?

          • john

            Current glyphosate-resistant crops include soy, maize (corn), canola, alfalfa, and cotton, with wheat still under development.

          • hyperzombie

            Do farmers use Glyphosate on non GMO crops?
            Why is Glyphosate the number one herbicide in countries that ban GMOs?

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          I’ll be happy to refute that blog.

          1) Yes, Bt toxin was found in maternal and fetal blood after consumption. The same is likely true for other proteins from plant material the mother consumed, yet I don’t hear anyone freaking out about those. Why? Because there is no concern for harm from the native plant proteins. Similarly, there is no reason to think that the Cry proteins (i.e. Bt toxin) pose a health risk to a pregnant mother or the fetus. Afterall, Bt bacteria is used as an insecticide in organic farming and traces remain on produce found on store shelves.

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16672488

          The fact is, this has been used safely for quite some time.

          2) Similar to #1 but even more dishonest. In fact this is so blatantly dishonest that simply reading the title of the actual research paper points out the blatant manipulation on the part of the blogger.

          “Complete Genes May Pass from Food to Human Blood”
          DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0069805

          The paper is actually about plant DNA in general. No where does the paper even talk about transgenes. The same is likely true for DNA from all of the food we eat. So basically if you want to avoid “foreign DNA” you’re going to starve to death. We’ve been eating foreign DNA since before we were human. No cause for hysteria, Chicken Little.

          3) This is not a scientific study. It’s a report from a well known anti-GMO activist. There is no original science presented and no peer-review. Presenting this as a “study” is straight up lying.

          4) A heavily criticized study that, of all things, actually seems to indicated that drinking RoundUp extends the life of male rats. Check it out. Fig 6 of the republished version. Still think this is a credible study? If so, then RoundUp appears to be the elixir of youth! The problems with this study are too many to list here.

          5) About glyphosate, not GMOs. Anyone who can’t tell the difference between a herbicide and a genetically modified organism is not someone you want to take science advice from.

          6) see #5

          7) see #5

          8) see #5 (I sense a pattern forming)

          9) Another highly questionable study. Two major issues I have with this paper are the fact that over 60% of the pigs were suffering from pneumonia during the study. This is a contaminating factor in the results and also raises serious concerns about the ability of the researchers to properly care for the animals in the study. Second, the evaluation of stomach inflammation was entirely visual. There was no confirmatory testing by say microscopy or other standard pathology methods. The authors merely assume that redness = inflammation. Assumptions are not a basis for conclusions in science. At best, this is sloppy science.

          10) Straight up nonsense. See:
          “An overview of the last 10 years of genetically engineered crop safety research” Critical Reviews in Biotechnology March 2014, Vol. 34, No. 1 , Pages 77-88 (doi:10.3109/07388551.2013.823595)

          There. Now how about you try addressing these criticisms.

          • john

            The same is likely true?

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            What are you talking about?

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          Oh and you might have noticed a key difference between my response and your original comment.

          I gave links to peer-reviewed articles. In contrast, you gave a link to an unreviewed anti-GMO blog. I would appreciate you putting in the same effort in the future if we are to continue a dialogue.

  • Richids Coulter

    Kevin if transgenic crops were banned globally next year would it have an effect on your livelihood and if so what would that effect be?

    • JH

      ” if transgenic crops were banned globally next year ”
      Don’t worry, they won’t be.

      • john

        You refused to answer the question like all the rest of these pro- zero regulation of GMO guys.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          John, I’ve answered your questions. You seem to be avoiding those answers. I think you’ve found yourself in a little deeper than you realized with some of us who actually have a background in plant science.

          • john

            You still didn’t actually answer his question to your life specifically. What is your job? What do you do? Specifically. If you had to buy only local organic food , how much would that ruin your life?

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            Who’s question? Not that it matters. I am a post-doctoral researcher. I work in plant sciences and specialize in plant molecular biology. That’s all the details I’m willing to divulge.

            I have no problem buying organic. In fact, when it’s affordable I often do. Pesticide residue is a concern for me and when possible I like to try to avoid it. Why do you think buying only organic would ruin my life???

        • JH

          OK, John, if GMO activism were banned, what would you be doing for a living? You’re obviously not too busy with other things the last few days. This blog seems to be your top priority. Whats with that? Getting in some OT?

          You want to know my angle jonny? I believe in technology and markets. I also believe in the system of checks and balances we have in place now: the FDA, the USDA, and many other Federal organizations that verify product safety. They’re not perfect, but they’re very good.

          You’re wrecking that because you reject all these procedures that have been established to protect you. In rejecting everything that’s already in place, you’re ruining not only our markets, our companies, and our technology, but your undermining the very things that make our society the greatest in the world – all for some freaked out paranoid belief that you got from god knows where.

          • john

            You still didn’t answer his question.

    • hyperzombie

      Only transgenic, not the cisgenic crops?

      • john

        You did not answer the question, like all the other questions I’ve asked you that you ignore and then spin data as a rebuttle. Its an avoidance tactic.

        • hyperzombie

          I wanted some clarity, why ban only some GMOs and not all of them.

          • john

            Answer his question first. Then I’ll answer yours.

          • hyperzombie

            Well if all transgenic crops are banned it will not affect Kevin F at all, he works at at the UFlorida and does not grow any transgenic crops commercially. He is a university Prof.

  • Nemo_of_Erehwon

    This has been an exhausting but extremely informative comments section.

    I want to thank the moderator(s) of the site for allowing john to post at such length, and I will also thank john for posting. Reading his posts, as repetitive, uninformed and misleading as they have been, has been a useful education in how the mind of an anti-GMO fanatic thinks.

    • JBaileyz

      Seriously. It gives me good practice in rebutting anti-GMOers I know in real life.

      • john

        You care to comment on the only observational data provided for the effects of the innate potato on animals in the Simplot report. I noticed you didn’t rebuttle any of arguments just make small meaningless comments.

        • JBaileyz

          john, your observations about that study have already been responded to by several posters here. You seem to have some kind of mental block about reading and/or understanding the debate about it. Nothing I say is going to help that, you’ll just keep repeating the same nonsense. You keep trying to throw the same dung up against the wall and hoping something will stick. It won’t.

          • john

            I don’t seeing you refute that judging the genetic effect on animals with only visual data for only 2 seasons is extremely dangerous and irresponsible scientific research. With zero human tox research at that. Poor science.

          • hyperzombie

            You are freakin crazy, show me one study comparing Organic foods to conventional using a long term human study?

          • john

            Show me one study. One on the effects of GMO innate potato vs. A regular organic potato on humans!!! You are freaking crazy, an unregulated scientist, who is irresponsible. If they are fine then they should have nothing to hide!!!!!

          • hyperzombie

            show me one study on Organic potatoes versus conventional?
            We don’t study health effects like that, and there is human feeding trial for any crop ever. It is unethical and dangerous.

          • john

            Stop saying that! They are doing it for the new GMO banana! They don’t just eat one specific food. They have an overall diet that’s organic but they eat that specific studied food for the research. With hundreds of people. It is unethical to not do this research before you sell the food!!! Wtf?!?!?!

          • hyperzombie

            Wow, you are so deluded.

            They are doing it for the new GMO banana!

            they are just testing whether the test subjects take up additional vitamin A, it is NOT a tox study.

            They have an overall diet that’s organic but they eat that specific studied food for the research

            scientists can’t even get 50% of people to do a diet study accurately…

            It is unethical to not do this research before you sell the food!!! Wtf?!?!?!

            It is only unethical to crazy people like you, far more genetic change is done with conventional breeding.

          • john

            That is subjective, genes in natural settings are not manipulated the way that silencers manipulate genes! That is completely false. You will say that they change around 1000 genes but the process that gene silencers do EXACTLY!, is not done in nature! Stop modding everything! You modded your position 5 times in the past 8 hours! First research has been done for 100s of years. Then its never been done because its unethical. Than it can’t be done because people can’t follow specific diets. Then GMOs have never failed and are perfect, then you say some have failed and the “collateral damage” was “minor”… Its really pretty ludicrous…

          • NoToGMOs

            Believe me, he is no scientist!

          • john

            You are insane! You don’t think they should study the effect of organic potato’s on humans vs. Potato’s covered in herbicides,pesticides and fertilizers?!?! They is nessecary research to provide the best health choice for people!!!!REALLY?!?! WTF?!?!

          • hyperzombie

            You don’t think they should study the effect of organic potato’s on humans vs. Potato’s covered in herbicides,pesticides and fertilizers?!?!

            No, I think they should, but not using a feeding study. There are other ways to determine the health effects of Organic versus conventional.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          John, I don’t see why a potato with reduced asparagine, glucose and fructose requires extensive safety trials. If this was achieved through conventional breeding, would you demand rigorous safety trials? I doubt it. It’s pretty funny how this potato is actually designed to be less hazardous to eat than an unmodified potato (after cooking at high temp at least), yet there is opposition to it.

          • john

            Extensive? There are zero human safety trials. This is not conventional! Even so if they have nothing to hide than they would see how much better it is for you for a better sales audience. They should have absolutely zero to hide in how it will affect pests considering they are removing more than half of the potato’s natural defense against pests. I see in 5 years, this potato is going to be dug up by small animals 10 times more than conventional potato’s.It needs longer research.

          • hyperzombie

            There is 0 human safety studies on any crop variety Organic of conventional.

          • john

            You have used avoidance tactics and bullying once again as well as refuse to comment on the questions I’ve asked you in the other comments. You are now using cheap techniques to make yourself feel better. It needs vastly more research just like bill bye said.

          • hyperzombie

            I have answered all of your questions, just because you don’t like the answers does not make me a bully. This is the most researched area of crop science ever.

          • john

            False.

          • hyperzombie

            Name one?

          • john
          • Chris Preston

            That is not a “human safety study”, but a review of compositional studies. Compositional studies of all GM foods are required before regulation.

          • hyperzombie

            Not a human study, Sorry you lose.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            John, there won’t be any human trials. Ever. Human trials are unethical. I don’t see any need for human safety trials anyway. The modifications don’t introduce anything that might pose a risk. Do we test every new hybrid variety like you’re suggesting? Hybrids involve far more changes.

            Removing half of the potatoes defenses??? Where are you getting this from? Show me a source or I’m going to completely ignore that comment.

            You have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • hyperzombie

            You have no idea what you’re talking about.

            You think??? Maybe his tinfoil shied defends him from rational thought?

          • john

            Are you making belittling jokes to boost your ego or because you are coming up with less rebuttles?

          • hyperzombie

            Nope, you cant do human trials on any food, it is bad for human health to eat only one type of food. That is why we use animals.

          • john

            Human trials are unethical?!?! Its not like they have to eat just potato’s! You need human trials before you put in 2.5 billion mouths! That is irresponsible!!! Outrageous!!!

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            John, you still haven’t provided a solid justification for why you think extensive studies are required for this potato. Extensive trials are not conducted for new food products or new plant breeds. Yes, GM plants are a bit different in that they have the potential to be hazardous BUT THAT DEPENDS ON THE GENETIC MODIFICATION! A potato engineered to produce a therapeutic drug would have a much greater associated risk, than one engineered to produce lower levels of two amino acids and two sugars.

          • john

            You are really saying that scientists don’t study the effect of plants on humans? How did they come to their conclusions about acrylamide if that’s not the case. They not only study plants effect on humans more now, but they should be doing it even more!!

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            My goodness John, I never said any such thing. Disagree? Show me the exact words I used, which made you think I said “scientists don’t study the effect of plants on humans”. Come on John, show me where I said that.

          • john

            Acrylamide is the potato’s naturally made pesticide. When you remove 75% of I the potato’s acrylamide you remove its pest fighter.

          • Wes

            The contents mentioned for removal would only become Acrylamide in the presence of cooking conditions (heat)

          • john

            I understand, I use the word acrylamide for the maillard formation which is of the amino acid and sugar contents of the potato so the acrylamide source. It is a very complex process which is still barely understood which is even more worrisome! That browning process can occur when potato’s fry in the sun or when covered by oily pesticides as well as when baked or fried. It also is because of soil conditions and excess nitrogen. The gene silencing process they use for Innate potato reduces nitrogen levels. The browning process is a self defense mechanism as well for the potato. So I understand why you want me to be more specific about the maillard process. Thank you!

          • Wes

            Why would you use the word Acrylamide to represent all Maillard browning reactions? Maillard reactions occur all the time, this results in many flavor compounds, volatile compounds, and make many nutrients unavailable for digestion. Terminal amino groups are everywhere in biology as are reducing sugars they react some on their own but are accelerated in the presence of extreme heat. This would reduce the amount of Asp in potatoes probably to around the same level of sweet potatoes. It will not outright prevent maillard reactions but it theoretically sounds like it would reduce the amount of acrylamide formed when they are baked or deep fried

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            That’s completely wrong John. Acrylamide is a byproduct that is produced when potatoes are cooked at high temperatures.

            John, you really need to step back and re-evaluate how well you actually understand this issue. You keep making very basic mistakes, yet refuse to acknowledge them. It’s very immature.

            http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/acrylamide

          • Chris Preston

            Acrylamide is the potato’s naturally made pesticide.

            No it isn’t. There is no acrylamide until the potatoes are baked or fried.

    • john

      I noticed you have not rebutted any of my arguments and just make under handed bullying comments. Well done, great argument you just made.

  • ramsey affifi

    Kevin Folta is often misleading about transgenic technology and he should know better. He is fond of pointing out that GMOs only contain 1-3 new genes whereas a plant bred through traditional sexual reproduction will have hundreds of genetic variants. The argument is intended to make GMO interventions look slight and specific compared with the huge messiness of traditional breeding. The argument is, however, misleading on precisely this account: in traditional breeding, the so-called ‘new genes’ are alleles, they are simply versions of the same genes the parent organism already had. And importantly, these alleles, while recombined in novel ways in the offspring, occur in the same location (called ‘loci’ in genetics). This is important because it means that the relationship BETWEEN the genes is preserved in sexual reproduction. The relationship between the genes is what defines most genetic functions, orchestrating alternative slicing, gene regulation, and pleiotropy, for instance (another way of putting it is: horizontal gene transfer is context independent only really in prokaryotes, which do not have spliceosomes or much non-coding DNA regulating gene expression). In eukaryotes (i.e. animals, plants, fungi, and protists) GMOs do not respect genomic integrity (the relationship between genes). A transgene is inserted into DNA and interferes with the genes it get located near, also influencing the way that those genes interact with one another. While the change seems ‘small’ (i.e. just 1-3 genes) the effects are nonlinear, which is why most GMO experiments in labs end up in failure (mutation, death, etc.) whereas most sexual breeding is successful. Folta doesn’t talk about that, even though these systemic perspectives of the genome have become commonplace in the past decade. He knows better considering he is an active researcher, so the question must be asked why he is so adamant on cheerleading this cause.

    Of course, I am not saying that Bill Nye is an expert on the issue. I heard him describe GMOs as the creation of “new species.” I had to wince….

    • Chris Preston

      In fact ramsay affifi, cross-breeding does introduce new genes that were not originally present when wide crosses are used. Strawberries are a good example where a cross between a North American species and a Chilean species that originally occurred in Europe. The resulting plant contained genes from both species, not just different alleles.

      Contrary to your assertion that most sexual breeding is successful, most of the original crosses made by plant breeders end up in failure. Wide crossing with embryo rescue is a common practice to introduce new traits (particularly disease resistance) into cultivars. Most crosses fail to produce a viable plant.

      • john

        Which would verify even further how much more GMO research needs to be done.

      • ramsey affifi

        thanks Chris for your reply.
        I should have clarified: it is very rare that entirely new genes are introduced to offspring through traditional breeding, though cases can be found. The point was to challenge Folta’s misleading assertion that traditional sexual hybridization ends up creating new plants with hundreds of new genes and to specify that these are allelic differences.

        I also should have been clearer as regards traditional sexual hybridization w/ respect to what I meant by “most sexual breeding is successful”. I did NOT mean that it was successful in producing a commercially viable plant. I meant simply that its physiology, metabolism, genetic expression, etc. is largely maintained so the resulting organism is only extremely rarely spontaneously aborts during embryogenesis or suffers debilitating deformities. The same cannot be said with GMOs, a large % of which become unviable biologically and not merely commercially.

        • Chris Preston

          Hi ramsey, it depends very much on how you want to classify plant breeding. Most plant breeders will use wide crosses as part of their breeding to introduce valuable traits like disease resistance. Once they have gone through the complex and difficult part of crossing, embryo rescue and creating the hybrid, then they need to back-cross into desirable parental material to create the cultivar for commercial use.

          The frequency of individuals that are “normal” increases as the back-crossing generations increase. What I am surprised about is your claim that a large % of GM plants are unviable biologically. That has not been the experience I have seen. Once the plant is through the tissue culture stage and ready to be used as a breeding parent, they grow normally.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      “why most GMO experiments in labs end up in failure (mutation, death, etc.”
      >>Really? I’d wager that most experiments end up with a lack of an obvious result. But these don’t make it into papers. The results that do get published are those that produce and effect, especially a dramatic effect.

      • john

        Those who choose to not invest in GMOs in the past years and prefer to alter agricultural practices, hydroponics, aquaponics, pruning and spacing techniques have increased overall yields by an average of 79% yet on average GMO farmers have only increased their yields by 17%.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          Source John? Unless you can show me where these numbers came from, I’m going to assume that you just made them up.

          • john

            That’s sourced by a survey in a link on this page. Imagine if we would have taken all that money that has gone into GMOs in the past 10 years. All of the lost money, time, space, etc. Compared to if we would have taken that money and put it into teaching better agricultural process, better hydro and aquaponics and naturally crossing species and permaculture. I bet we could have been feeding every starving human in the entire world by now. As well as pushed for a healthier expansive diet. Could have boosted the small business agricultural business and decreased in use of herbicides and pesticides. The list goes on and on….

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            What survey? I looked and didn’t see anything. Perhaps I missed it. It would help if you were more direct and specific.

            John, whether you personally think genetic engineering research is a waste of money doesn’t really matter. Many, many people think otherwise. Including myself. That’s the beauty of science. We can all pursue that which interests us.

            Hydro- and aquaponics are nice ideas, but the capital investment for such systems is quite high. The operation of these systems also demands significant degree of expertise, not to mention energy inputs. I question whether such systems could be implemented for farming in poorer regions of the world, especially those with unreliable utilities infrastructure. I think organic and low-input farming is great. It certainly has it’s place, but let’s not pretend it’s the only way of doing things. Besides, I don’t see why GM crops can’t be grown organically (in the sense of no synthetic insecticides, herbicides, or post-harvest treatments). Personally, I see that as the future; being able to grow crops with minimal chemical and energy inputs. Open your mind a bit.

  • brock2118

    Good luck with GMO. All the money is in bashing fossil fuels. And with Climate Change its an active platform to DO SOMETHING whereas with GMO you are merely maintaining the scientific consensus that NOTHING SHOULD BE DONE to restrict them.

    • JBaileyz

      Uh, GMO IS doing something. Wherever you stand on climate change belief/denial, we should all be able to agree that farming in a way that yields more and uses less natural resources will help us survive. In fact, I see anti-GMO as more dangerous than climate change denial. Sure, there’s climate change but I don’t believe anything can or will be done about it at this late stage. One federal agency in charge of response to it is now mainly working on species management, i.e., figuring out which species can be saved and for how long, and what the priority should be. Our lifestyles are no longer confined to a few miles’ radius from where we live. No one is going to stop driving, flying, or consuming.

      It’s here and the effects have already started. I am resigned to that. However, I WOULD like the human race to continue to be able to eat as long as possible until the end. That will take GMO technology to help us keep these species going through possibly rapid changes in climate, as conventional methods alone can’t do that. I’m completely baffled that so many of my liberal friends don’t get this.

      • john

        I would prefer not to talk about climate change in this thread but the statement that you don’t believe that anything is being done or can be done about climate change is incredibly more baffling.

  • john

    Doug Gurian-Sherman, a plant pathologist and senior scientist at the Center for Food Safety, told the New York Times:

    “We think this is a really premature approval of a technology that is not being adequately regulated.”
    The organization says that the RNA interference technique used for Innate is untested, and said that one of the substances suppressed by it actually plays an important role in the chemical make-up of the potato and its ability to fight pests. Will these potatoes lead to a further increase in the already 800 million pounds of pesticides sprayed on our food – pesticides which can’t be washed off? I’ll take the advice of food safety and not people who make money off of GMOs. Thanks!

  • JH

    It’s disturbing to see scientists trying to justify GM science with the claim that it’s somehow necessary to feed the world. That may be true, but it’s precarious argument, and it’s certainly not the strongest argument for GMO. It’s a value argument and one that’s based on guesses about the future, and it could easily be turned against you. I’ve already seen people arguing that commercial space flight isn’t “necessary” because it’s a “toy for the rich”.

    Whether your selling GMOs, commercial space flights, or pet rocks, the only justification that’s required is that they are safe. Since that’s been proven for GMOs beyond any reasonable doubt, I hope you’ll all stick with it.

  • john

    http://fieldquestions.com/2012/02/12/bt-cotton-remarkable-success-and-four-ugly-facts/ this is the real truth about BT cotton in india from a man on the ground there for 12 years. The ugly truth. I have confirmed this from multiple friends in India that BT cotton was not responsible for higher yields and that yields are now lower than on average in comparison than before they started using BT cotton. The number is now 291,000 Indian suicides in 10 years from agricultural bankruptcy.

    • NoToGMOs

      Excellent article, thank you for linking to it!

  • Chris

    I’m unsure why there’s such an opinion piece in a Discover Magazine blog. Did Discover lower their standards? I have to ask, why are you so pro-GMO? We clearly don’t need GMO crops to feed the US because there’s been an increasing amount of successful organic crops in recent years and the price of organic food has been steadily decreasing as the economies of scale increace. If you feel that industrialized farming requires new altered species of crops, maybe diverse organic crops which can provide a mix of output over a longer period of time per year while keeping the soil more healthy are a better option.
    Whether you say RoundUp is harmful or not, I’d prefer to avoid it if we don’t need it. And we clearly don’t need it if farming practices are changed, not to mention the increase of RoundUp resistant weeds which are showing up across the country.
    Are GMO crops feeding the rest of the world? If so, where are those results and why are the Monsanto seeds so expensive while profits are are high?
    Instead of acknowledging that more studies would be helpful and that people have a right to know what they’re eating, you’ve accused Bill Nye of fear mongering. This only makes me wonder what your actual agenda is. Perhaps a stake in GMO profits? If not, I don’t see you giving a sound neutral judgement.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      Why can’t a magazine have an opinion blog and still have high standards? Lots of reputable journals and newspapers have editorial sections.

      Understanding GMOs is not the same as being pro-GMOs. You can accept something without advocating in favour of it. For example, I accept that the NFL is a popular sports league that is very entertaining for many people, but I personally don’t much care for football. I am neither anti-NFL nor pro-NFL.

      Don’t need GMOs? Well that’s not really an argument. If we approached new technology but evaluating whether we need it or not while it’s still in it’s infancy I doubt we’d have the internet or personal computers.

      RoundUp is a herbicide, not a GMO. Debating the use of herbicides is a bit of a red herring when talking about GMOs. But I’ll grant you that discussing whether we should continue to use and how to best employ herbicide-tolerant traits is a valid question. But that pertains to a specific GM trait, not GMOs in general.

      Whether GMOs are going to feed the world or not isn’t a very good argument. Who cares if they feed the world or not? The question should be, do GMOs provide a useful tool for farmers?

      • Chris

        Point well taken…my issue with the opinion of the piece was that Bill Nye’s cautious stance was being argued against as if that could be incorrect, when it was only being stated that more tests and information should be obtained.

        RoundUp is a herbicide, but when we’re creating RoundUp resistant plants, it would imply that the intent is to use more RoundUp. I linked the two because the effects of RoundUp would need to be studied more. My personal opinion is to use as little or no herbicides as possible, not more.

        To compare transgenics to the internet is a bit of a stretch. We do have food crops without transgenics, whereas personal computers and the internet are entirely new technologies, not altered forms of nature. As of now, computers cannot pro-create and spread uncontrollably, whereas trangenic crops can, and that is what concerns me.

        My point of whether GMOs are feeding the world or not is to emphasize that there is no need to rush this technology into the world. There is no urgency if it’s not feeding starving populations. There is time to be cautious.

        Whether industrialized farming is good or bad for soil and land health, water usage, and wild life can all be debated, but I see no problem with the stance that more testing needs to be done and foods should be labeled.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          I agree that caution is a good thing. We should seek reliable evidence of safety when it comes to new technologies. But I fear Bill Nye, much as I respect him, is not looking at this issue from a purely scientific perspective. GMOs are not all the same, and thus the potential risk associated with each GMO varies based on the type of modification. Take the current ebola outbreak as an example of risk management. Air travellers from ebola stricken regions are being screened at airports, but not travellers from other regions. This is because the risk of someone carrying ebola varies depending on where they are coming from. All travellers are not from the same place, and similarly, not all GMOs are the same. Some carry more inherent risk than others, while others carry no more risk than a new plant variety.

          I share your opinion when it comes to herbicides. I would like to see a reduction in herbicide use. But herbicide resistance is just a single GM trait, albeit the most common one in commercial crops right now. I am not about to treat all GMOs the same based on a single trait.

          The uncontrolled spread of GM crops is an interesting issue. It is a valid concern and ironically the best prevention method was demonized so forcefully by opponents that it was never commercialized. I’m talking about so-called terminator seeds. Why people we so adamantly opposed to this still baffles me. The main concern I seemed to hear is that people were afraid the ‘terminator’ trait would spread in the wild, which is rather hilarious. How would a trait that prevents seed setting spread to any significant degree? It’s like worrying about passing on your sterility to your children.

          There is a bit of an urgency. We do need to develop new ways to increase agricultural production while reducing inputs (e.g. fuel, fertilizer, pesticides, etc). We also need to find ways to grow crops in less fertile soil. Genetic engineering is a valuable tool that can help address these issues. It won’t solve all our problems, but it certainly can help with some. There is a balance between caution and stagnation.

          What additional testing would make you comfortable?

  • Maciej Marosz

    I proved Michelon Morley test false ( simple test in home ) everyone can do this ( right now we have very bad situation – You have money – Your theory is cool ) Thank You for support “my experiment is cool I not have money ”

    http://maroszphysics.blogspot.com

  • harkin

    psssssst Kevin, 95% of the global temp models over the last 25 years were wildly wrong on the hot side. Please don’t lump creationists in with the reality-based climate community. It was the alarmists who turned out to be the “deniers”.

  • Maciej Marosz
  • Maciej Marosz

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-mF862RHQBNA/VE_qFhdTZTI/AAAAAAAACCY/V3Q8y_GDAGA/s1600/25.jpg
    x
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Bulb >>> Light ———> V

    Not exist C+V !!! ===> Only Bulb is moving around X (X center )

    X1 – far far point in space ( centrum )

    X1…………………………………………………R……………………………………………..solar.system

    Marosz Experiment

    X1…………………………………………………..R……………………………..camera…..1m….doth

    Camera is open 24 h and see line not doth !!!

    http://maroszphysics.blogspot.com/

  • Thomas Baldwin

    What Bill Nye doesn’t understand is that not using GMO doesn’t remove our dependence on glyphosate or stop the incentives for producing a massive amount of sugar. These things are all big agricultural practices or political incentives apart from GMO. Remove GMO and farms will still make substantially amounts of money on corn, soy, and sugar beets. Only they will do it was more pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, and water inputs.

    • First Officer

      Ironically, RR GMO’s, in some cases, might reduce our exposure to glyphosate. This is because, i would think, you cannot use glyphosate to burn down a RR crop. So, if you had an RR wheat, RR wouldn’t be used for burndown.

      Asking the farmers, would this be true?

  • Mark Stuber

    re: “In recent years you have become an outstanding ambassador for science.” No he’s not. Youtube him. He constantly insults the general public.

  • Irwin Tyler

    Since the Roundup (re: GMO plants) binding effect on minerals and the resulting negative effects on nutrition are scientifically proven and well known: 1) how could the FDA justify approving it, 2) how does congress justify inaction in reframing the FDA’s mission and approval standards based on this evidence, and 3) is there legal recourse against GMO producers who are causing illnesses (both direct and indirect)?

    • hyperzombie

      Roundup is a herbicide and has nothing to do with GMOs. It was approved for use back in the mid 70s over 20 years before GMOs. The FDA does not approve or disapprove any herbicides , that is the EPA. If you can prove any health effect caused by GMOs there is nothing stopping anyone from suing the producers of these products.

  • Jonah

    If Bill Nye accepts the challenge, he can base his entire argument around the maths/probability of Systemic Risk. I have still not seen one well-reasoned Pro-GMO response to statistician Nassim Taleb’s “The Precautionary Principle (with Application to the Genetic Modification of
    Organisms)”.

  • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Carolyn Pomeroy

    To me, the real danger of GMOs is that the organisms they target evolve around them, requiring ever new chemicals (not to mention new GMOs) to be added to the existing arsenal. In Hawaii, test fields of companies like Monstanto are heavily sprayed with chemicals that drift onto nearby homes, schools, and organic gardens. It seems to me duplicitous not to take this into consideration when talking about GMO crops.

  • Michael

    Dear Plant Scientist: America has never been fatter. In fact, morbid obese was coined in the U.S. before it was needed to describe people in any other part of the world. And, the only significant thing that changed from three decades prior to now is what we feed and the hormones we give the animals we consume. Cows are modified to get larger – what do you think happens to the organism that eats that cow? Farm raised chickens and fish raised to grow and mature faster – what do you think happens to the organisms that eat that animal? Wake up! The effects of GMO’s cannot be clearly traced the way that say one can trace climate change (though some still don’t believe that either), or evolution (and some don’t believe that). GMO’s will react differently in different people depending on genetic factors, and all sorts of other factors that would be impossible to track such as: when someone started eating GMO foods, how often they eat them, did their parents eat them etc, etc. So, to say that something cannot be clearly traced to an effect is to forget that not that long ago we couldn’t figure out why patients in the battlefield were dying after surgery at alarming rates – and then we discovered ‘germs’ and ‘bacteria’. Science is ever evolving, and our understanding of how that effects our lives, our health and our make-up evolves with it. So, ‘plant scientist’ I suggest your read some history books and you’ll Discover all sorts of things that science could not prove until we were able to do discover the proof – and as I said there are all sorts of things that can be seen to be proven and that most of us will accept as fact, but that said, some people that still believe that humans walked with dinosaurs. So, in closing I ask you ‘what exactly is proof’ If people can just go on believing whatever they choose to based on their personal beliefs and agendas.

    • JJ

      “Belief” and “hypothesis” are not synonyms.

    • Mary M.

      “The only thing that has change”…. Really? How about the hours we now spend in front of our computers and televisions watching Netflix and playing video games? How about the fact that schools have taken recess time out of the school day? Seriously… our country continues to consumer more calories while becoming more lethargic. Eating healthy and exercising more is what this country needs. Not unnecessary fear.

  • JJ

    This is an excellent letter and a good example of constructive, productive criticism/discussion. Bill Nye is a solid logical thinker and I’m confident that if he does have data to back him up, he’ll present them well. And if he doesn’t, he’ll gracefully learn and concede when faced with evidence – even if it contradicts his previous statements.

  • Doc4u

    GMO foodstuffs are killing off our children, and harm adults in the process. Those that defend GMO are about as crazy and crooked as those in East Anglia and elsewhere touting “man-made global warming”.

  • http://www.optimaexcel.co.uk Jonathon Harrington

    Kevin Folta describes the position taken by Bill Nye better than I ever could. Bill Nye either has to take the scientific evidence based view (supported by data) OR go down the ‘belief based’ route which almost everyone accepts is just daft! He CANNOT do both and retain he credibility which until now has had considerable weight. Please Bill Nye, which road are you choosing? I would love to know!

  • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Sunny Parmar

    In terms of “logic and reasoning,” Bill Nye already embarrassed himself on CNN when arguing against the existence of UFOs. So I’m not surprised here.

  • Aidan Benelle

    Bill Nye is certainly aware the vast amount of Science surrounding GMO’s is Industry produced Science with motivations to accent the positive while casting a blind eye to studies that do not have favorable outcomes.

    Nov 2014 Genetically engineered crops, glyphosate and the
    deterioration of health in the United States of America

    “A huge increase in the incidence and prevalence of chronic diseases has been reported in the United States (US) over the last 20 years. Similar increases have been seen globally. The herbicide Glyphosate was introduced in 1974 and its use is accelerating with the advent of herbicide-tolerant genetically engineered (GE) crops.

    Evidence is mounting that glyphosate interferes with many metabolic processes in plants and animals and glyphosate residues have been detected in both. Glyphosate disrupts the endocrine system and the balance of gut bacteria, it damages DNA and is a driver of mutations that lead to cancer.”

    See specific disease increase data at:

    http://www.organic-systems.org/journal/92/JOS_Volume-9_Number-2_Nov_2014-Swanson-et-al.pdf

    • JoeFarmer

      You need to get some new material.

      • Aidan Benelle

        Here’s a thought~
        Why not try commenting on the article rather than continually pestering the posters.

        • JoeFarmer

          LMAO! You take a 5 year old story that everyone knows is nonsense and think that has anything to do with Bill Nye or Kevin Folta?

          No one will ever accuse you of being smart.

          • Aidan Benelle

            OK prop Farmer here’s an article from this week::

            On Tuesday, a group with backing from institutions in Russia, the United States and Europe said it would undertake the longest, largest and most definitive study of GMOs to date to try to settle the debate once and for all.

            The $25 million study of 6,000 rats to be fed a GMO corn diet is designed as an independent examination of the health impacts of GMO corn and the herbicide used on it. The research is to be done in Russia and western Europe over two to three years. (factorgmo.com/en/)

            Can’r wait to see these ‘non industry” results

          • JoeFarmer

            Look at who’s behind it – the who’s who of stupid! Ronnie Cummins, Claire Robinson, etc. Yeah, that will be worth the wait!

          • NoToGMOs

            You know when trolls and non-scientists start to bad-mouth a study that has not even begun…..they are afraid.

          • JoeFarmer

            No fear at all!

            It’s not like you have the A-team on your side…

          • NoToGMOs

            We have the truth on our side and that’s all that matters.

          • JoeFarmer

            You are so blinded by your ideology it’s pathetic. Thanks for the laugh!

          • Aidan Benelle

            Your aggressive posting style is obviously the mark of a chemical industry troll.

            The science of GMO’s is far from settled as the next few years will reveal. Your industry failed to increase yields and decrease herbicide use.

            The only sector that benefits from GMO production is the financial bottom line of the biotechs. The farmers are left with superweeds and consumers with rising rate of inflammation and chronic illness as the studies above indicate.

          • JoeFarmer

            OK genius, why don’t you spam the entire internet with this quote just like you did with the “93% of Americans want GMOs labeled” bullshit?

            Doesn’t make it true, but it will give you something to do.

          • Aidan Benelle

            The GMO Deception: What You Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk

            http://www.amazon.com/The-GMO-Deception-Corporations-Environment/dp/1628736607

            Why don’t you try reading instead of smearing

          • JoeFarmer

            Only dunderheads like you are gullible enough to buy that garbage.

            “Except for an occasional new piece, or a pre-section wrapper, the material in this tome is mostly cut-and-paste from the GeneWatch archives. That’s right–it’s largely the same material that has been widely ignored for years.”

            http://www.biofortified.org/2014/11/the-gmo-deception-is-in-fact-deceptive/

          • NoToGMOs

            They should change the name of that site to ‘Biology falsified’. Much more appropriate.

          • JoeFarmer

            You and Brainless Benelle should hook up – you have lots in common like surreptitiously editing posts and raging cases of Dunning Kruger.

          • Aidan Benelle

            Keep trying Joe
            No one’s buying

            One look at your past history commentary
            says it all

          • JoeFarmer

            Yeah, my comment history proves I know what I’m typing about.

            I guess you had to hide yours since every post you make is wrong.

          • Aidan Benelle

            ‘Biology falsified’. love it!

          • Aidan Benelle

            And he quotes .biofortified as a source.

            What next the Genetic Literacy Project

          • JoeFarmer

            Why did you completely edit your post?

            You changed from a quote from some guy at UC to a bullshit screed about GMOs.

            That’s really dishonest, but to be expected by brain-dead activists like you.

            “The only sector that benefits from GMO’s production is the financial bottom line of the biotechs.”

            You have no clue how stupid that statement is. Farmers wouldn’t buy GM products if they didn’t work!

            Change your name to Brainless Benelle!

          • NoToGMOs

            Farmers wouldn’t buy GM products if they didn’t work!”

            Just because farmers may like a product, doesn’t make it automatically healthy or safe for consumers to eat. Besides, farmers are slowly finding out (the hard way) that GMOs are not the boon they were led to believe. Superweeds, superbugs are becoming a huge problem and in the case of Bt cotton, the yield is so low, some states in India have actually banned its sale:

            http://www.business-standard.com/article/economy-policy/karnataka-bans-sale-of-mahyco-s-cotton-seeds-114032801010_1.html

            http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-bans-Bt-cotton-seeds/articleshow/15420778.cms

          • JoeFarmer

            You have no business trying to tell farmers what does or doesn’t work.

          • NoToGMOs

            I’m not telling them. They will realize it on their own as those two states in India did.

          • Aidan Benelle

            Modern Farmer: The Post-GMO Economy

            http://modernfarmer.com/2013/12/post-gmo-economy/

            Greater yields and cost savings with conventional seeds.

          • JoeFarmer

            Only a complete dunderhead like you would take an anecdote and think it disproves the choices of hundreds of thousands of U.S. farmers.

            And why won’t you answer why you edited your post?

          • Aidan Benelle

            You really are a disillusion
            chemical company troll.

          • JoeFarmer

            Quit trying to deflect. Why did you completely and dishonestly edit your post?

          • NoToGMOs

            Well, if ideology = the truth, I’m guilty as charged.

          • JoeFarmer

            In your case it doesn’t.

          • Aidan Benelle

            So true

    • Chris Preston

      Ha ha, Nancy Swanson the Great Correlator publishing previously published correlations in a journal written for the organic industry.

      Her correlations are so obviously nonsense. I mean after all many of them are simply correlations between the number of individuals with a condition and GM crops. The number of people with a whole host of conditions has increased because the population has increased.

      There is a good correlation between autism diagnoses and organic food sales that Swanson does not mention. I wonder why? It is nonsense of course, but is is just like all her other correlations.

      • Aidan Benelle

        ” autism diagnoses and organic food sales”

        Consumers ran to organics because of their lack of faith in the FDA and USDA and the revolving door between them and the biotechs

        • Chris Preston

          Consumers “ran to” organic food because the organic industry worked out the best way to increase sales was to frighten people about their food.

          • Aidan Benelle

            laughable!

  • DodgeMiniVan

    With all the discussions about GM foods and or crops; has anyone given thought to all the various pesticides being used to kill every kind of bug imaginable? DDT was banned many years ago because it was found to cause the Bald Eagle eggs to become soft and not mature into a new bird. I would rather have a few bugs around.

  • Paige Morrison

    Dear Bill Nye: PLEASE PLEASE DO THIS DEBATE!!!

  • David Skurnick

    “Climate and evolution deniers”? An “evolution denier” is someone who denies the theory of evolution. But what’s a “climate denier”? Someone who denies that there’s a climate? No. Someone who denies that the climate is changing? No. Someone who claims that man’s activity has no impact on climate? No.
    In summary, “climate denier” or “climate change denier” is simply an undefined term of opprobrium.

  • http://dev.blogs.discovermagazine.com Jerry Alexander

    It seems other countries don’t agree with you, http://bullhorn.nationofchange.org/russia_bans_gmos

  • Porto

    As much as I think GM is great technology and will pave the road to great world changes, there are just two words that I have to criticize its current use in agriculture: VAST MONOCULTURES.
    Think big. That is all.

    • JBaileyz

      GMOs will actually help us keep our food variety. Some crops are threatened with extinction from pests or weather patterns. Here in the U.S., oranges and papayas come to mind. Scientists can now transfer genes which help them survive.

  • PigManFan

    Side note on climate: *The climate has never been safer.* Climate-related deaths worldwide have decreased by 98% during the fossil fuel era even though reporting them has improved and the population has increased. The decline has been consistent, as the rate has decreased every decade. More people are living, living longer, and living better than ever in history. No climate prediction model has predicted the climate.
    http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/13/9-graphs-that-prove-using-fossil-fuels-hasnt-harmed-the-planet/

  • David Satya Hartanto

    I’m not quite sure about Nye’s position regarding GMO food. But I guess I have to watch this debate. I hope that this debate turns into a staggering battle of reasoning, unlike the Nye vs Ham debate that turns out to be reasoning vs bullshit.

  • Remi

    The GMO debate is in the realm of philosophy/politics, not science. Science is only the application. Everyone has a valid opinion on the subject. In the same way that most of the public can’t understand the science of human cloning, but it isn’t an issue we would dismiss as something only scientists can comment on.

    I also take issue with the completely false assertions that GMOs are either safe or unsafe. Every GMO is new and unique, so calling them all safe or unsafe is asinine. It’d be like claiming “agriculture” in general is safe – it all depends on what you’re growing and how….If you can custom design organisms, you can obviously custom design them to be harmful if you wanted.

  • bestandingby

    Dr. Folta (above) and Dr. Hannah (below) are scientists who are trying to explain scientific evidence to a public who does not understand scientific experiments, how to do them, or what they mean.

    Read the expert words of Dr. Hannah. These guys understand and know what they’re talking about. Bill Nye and Bill Maher have been consistently wrong in inserting their personal beliefs into scientific matters.

  • libertyfreedompatriot

    Folta is a liar. He has repeatedly claimed to be an independent academic with no industry ties. Well, it turns out that he is funded by Monsanto to promote its agenda. What a surprise.

    http://www.nature.com/news/gm-crop-opponents-expand-probe-into-ties-between-scientists-and-industry-1.18146

    Seeing that Folta has now been proven to be a liar, one should be skeptical about his other claims. He gives science a bad name — the exact opposite of his point in this ridiculous article.

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Collide-a-Scape

Collide-a-Scape is an archived Discover blog. Keep up with Keith's current work at http://www.keithkloor.com/

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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