Science Triumphs in Oregon and Colorado: GMO Labeling Measures Fail

By Christie Wilcox | November 6, 2014 12:27 am

The midterm elections are over, and a number of significant changes lie ahead. Marijuana has taken several key steps towards legalization, more women than ever are in congress, and the Republican party has taken control of the senate—surely, it will be an interesting couple of years. But one thing hasn’t changed: GMO foods will not carry special labels, as the ballot measures in Colorado and Oregon followed suit with the failed propositions from California in 2012 and Washington in 2013.

GMO labeling initiatives in Oregon and Colorado fail to pass.

GMO labeling initiatives in Oregon and Colorado fail to pass.

Proposition 105 in Colorado failed splendidly, with close to 66% of the populace voting against the measure. Prop 92 in Oregon narrowly failed with less than 51% against. Many are up in arms about the failed measures on twitter, using hashtags like #monsatan and #nogmos. But No votes in both states are far from “losses” —they represent wins for science over the anti-GM initiative that is based solely in fear and propaganda.

There’s no shortage of GM crops on the market. According to the US Department of Agriculture,  97% of the sugar beets, 96% of the cotton, 94% of the soybeans, and 93% of the corn planted in the United States in 2014 were genetically engineered varieties. More than 3/4 of the papayas here in Hawaii are also GM. GE crops were planted on 169 million acres in 2013, about half of U.S. land used for crops.

Proponents of labeling say that consumers have a “right to know.” As I’ve said before, such language is misleading and dangerous, lumping all GE crops into one, vilified group. Not all GMOs are the same, and a generic GMO label won’t provide any informative details about the food inside. Adding Bt toxin to corn is different than adding Vitamin A to rice or virus-fighting proteins to papayas. And those are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to GE options — high-lysine corn, reduced-nicotine tobacco, high-oleic acid soybean oil, stearidonic acid-producing soybeans, improved fatty acid-profile soybeans, oil profile-altered canola, and alpha amylase corn are among the crops that have been approved by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. Overall, nearly 20 percent of the approvals for deregulation are what the USDA describes as “second-generation” GE crops — those which include “value-added output traits” like nutrient enhancement, rather than “first generation” GEs, which are those with “enhanced input traits such as herbicide tolerance, resistance to insects, and resistance to environmental stress (like drought).”

If labelling initiatives like Prop 92 and 105 were about knowledge and truth, they would seek unique labeling that traces the crops used in all foods instead of placing a target on technological innovation as a whole. Accurate labeling would include what strains of every crop are included in a food product—GE or otherwise—as different strains can vary on their nutritional content as well as agricultural practices even if they’re not genetically modified. But it’s not really information that pro-labeling initiatives want. Michael Eisen summed up “the right to know” perfectly:

This language reflects the belief of its backers that GMOs are intrinsically bad and deserve to be labeled – and avoided – en masse, no matter what modification they contain or towards what end they were produced. This is not a quest for knowledge – it is an attempt to reify ignorance.

Despite all the noise pushed by anti-GMO groups, the science is abundantly clear: GM crops are safe. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the US National Academy of Sciences, and every major scientific body in the world  agree on this. Even in countries where GM crops are often maligned, scientific bodies have stood behind these technologies. The Royal Society of Medicine stated unequivocally: “Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.” A combined statement from 14 Italian scientific societies is simple: “GMOs on the market today, having successfully passed all the tests and procedures necessary to authorization, are to be considered, on the basis of current knowledge, safe to use for human and animal consumption.” And according to a document prepared by the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Third World Academy of Sciences: “Foods can be produced through the use of GM technology that are more nutritious, stable in storage, and in principle health promoting – bringing benefits to consumers in both industrialized and developing nations.”  As the Skeptico blog pointed out, there are more than 600 studies (>125 of which were independently funded) that stand behind the safety record of GM crops. There’s no other way to say it: there is a scientific consensus that GM foods are safe.

As I explained last year: “continuing to act as if the science is mixed or unclear about the safety of genetic modification is not raising a legitimate concern. It’s not even uninformed; it’s denialist. It’s right up there with the claims of anti-vaxers and climate deniers: that is, simply, flat-out, 100%, dead wrong.”


Some pro-labelling proponents are quick to point out that 64 countries have labeling laws, thus GM foods clearly must be a problem. But do we really want to base our legislation on the opinions of others rather than the body of scientific evidence? Consider, for a moment, that many of said countries also have laws criminalizing homosexual behavior. In fact, there are more countries that have laws agains LGBTI individuals than have GMO labels, joined by, for that matter, 13 US states which have chosen to ignore the Supreme Court’s ruling on the topic. Should we simply go with the flow on that issue as well?

Countries where homosexuality is a criminal offense, provided by the International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association (IGLA). Click for full PDF.

Countries where homosexuality is a criminal offense, provided by the International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association (IGLA). Click for full PDF.

 

Even the environmental argument against GMOs has crumbled, leaving anti-GM movements grasping at straws. A 20 year study published in Nature found that some GM crops can actually improve biodiversity — just one of many studies refuting the ecological argument against GMOs. Furthermore, there are strong economic incentives to using GM crops. This week, a meta-analysis of more than 140 papers on the effects of GM crops found that adopting GM technology has reduced chemical pesticide use by 37%, increased crop yields by 22%, and increased farmer profits by 68%. The conclusive benefits of GMOs weren’t just for first-world farmers, either: yield and profit gains were higher in developing countries than in developed ones.

Impacts of GM crop adoption. Average percentage differences between GM and non-GM crops are shown. Results refer to all GM crops, including herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits. From Klümper & Qaim 2014.

Impacts of GM crop adoption: average percentage differences between GM and non-GM crops are shown. Results refer to all GM crops, including herbicide-tolerant and insect-resistant traits. From Klümper & Qaim 2014.

Since they can’t rely on evidence, anti-GMO campaigns rely on fear and propaganda, resorting to scare tactics to smear GMOs wholesale based on one type (RoundUp Ready crops) and one company (Monsanto). The Yes on 92 site blatantly appealed to fear, stating that “the same chemical corporations that made the herbicide Agent Orange and insecticide DDT… are now genetically engineering food to survive high doses of the pesticides they sell.” The Yes on 105 site boldly claimed that “GMOs have not been proven safe, and no long-term human health studies have been conducted,” (though this is demonstrably false and contradicted by countless scientific organizations) and tries to sway readers with titles like “the evil empire (no, seriously)“. They counted on an ignorant public, hoping to scare uninformed voters into a Yes. But like Prop 37 and Initiative 522 before them, they didn’t succeed.

Just look at this banner, complete with a skeletal apple. Tell me again how anti-GMO campaigns are not fear-based. From Wikipedia.

Just look at this anti-GM march, complete with hazmat suits and a skeletal apple. Please – tell me again how anti-GMO campaigns are not fear-based. Image from Wikipedia user Viriditas.

Here’s the thing: if you really want to avoid GMOs, that’s fine. You, as a consumer, have no reason to buy GM products if you really don’t want to. States don’t need to label GMOs to make it so you can avoid them — there are already labels that tells you if a foodstuff is GM-free: Certified Organic and Non-GMO Project Verified. So if you really want to boycott Monsanto, or cling to the unsubstantiated fear that GMOs are harmful, just listen to the labels that are already there. It’s that simple.

But don’t try to scare the rest of us into fearing foods that time and time again have proven their worth nutritionally, economically, and ecologically. You may have gotten a few signatures on a ballot initiative, but you can’t change the facts. The science stands behind GMOs, and thankfully, so do the people.

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  • Buddy199

    I believe that cameras steal your soul and should require warning labels for the sake of consumer awareness.

    • Jerry

      Really? People think this is a clever comment? How sad. Cameras are “labeled”, think what you like. The GMO label is NOT a warning label..it only says “may contain GMOs.” Again, people may think what they like about it. Carry out this line of “thought” and ANY label would have to be seen as ridiculous, which clearly is not the case.

      • Aveskde

        The backers of these labeling initiatives ultimately want GMO crops banned. Since an outright ban has been wildly unsuccessful, they devised a new strategy, which is to weaken agricultural companies and supporters of GMOs, so that they can eventually ban the technology. That is where the labels come in. Labeling GMOs is designed to create a stigma, fear of the product because of the marking. This was the same strategy used by the Dairy lobby decades ago when they lobbied to pass laws requiring margarine to be dyed magenta.

        Quit being disingenuous. It’s reminiscent of how creationists were pushing for “Academic Freedom” and “Teaching the Controversy.” Well guess what? There is no controversy, and GMOs are safe.

        • Brunskii

          You’re against the freedom to choose? If it’s all about fear, which it isn’t, then educate. I would like to know every detail of the product I am buying. You can go ahead and buy whatever you like. When we finally got to labelling food in the first place, that was a democratic outcome. The public want to know what they are buying. This so called win by GMO however, is entirely a regression, and you can be happy being regressive.
          I am not from the US, But simply because of this event, as I already stated, on principal I will not buy any product that is grown on US controlled soil.

          • Aveskde

            You’re against the freedom to choose?

            You forgot to have some eagles in the background cawing.

            This isn’t about freedom to choose. That’s a front. I already explained why, so stop being disingenuous. It insults people when you treat them as being stupid enough to believe obvious lies.

          • Aveskde

            This so called win by GMO however, is entirely a regression, and you can be happy being regressive.

            That’s actually funny, because you’re supporting people who want to take agriculture back to the day before it was industrialized and made food ubiquitous, yet you’re calling people who apply science to the industry regressive.

            Well if black is white, and white is black, then I’m a regressive and proud of it. I would hate to “progress” to the days of medieval farming.

          • Lisa Mair

            All of the nutritional science these days is actually pointing to “eat what your grandmother would recognize as food.” Our current food supply is filled with toxins and chemicals that are making us sick and fat. Don’t you see all the huge, lavish cancer hospitals out there? Come on WAKE UP!

          • Aveskde

            Cancer is a complex disease. It is exacerbated by environmental factors (we live in an industrialized society with lower air and water quality), but it can also be caused by the foods you eat. Ever grill a steak? Barbeque? Burn some toast? Then you ingested carcinogens. Lots of food we eat have carcinogens simply by nature of the source, for example orange juice contains carcinogens. Lots of processed, or cooked food has them.

            However, the organics industry has devised a marketing strategy to profit off this. They insist that the food you eat is being poisoned and promise to sell you untainted food at a premium.

          • Lisa Mair

            Well our food is being poisoned. They are right.

          • Aveskde

            No, it isn’t. Quit lying. It actually harms people when you spread lies. Just ask the people in Africa with vision problems because of betacarotene deficiency. You folks lied about Golden Rice and now they suffer for it.

        • Lisa Mair

          Don’t you think we should have the same right, currently enjoyed by 64 other countries, to know what’s in our food?

          • Aveskde

            Don’t you think we should have the same right, currently enjoyed by 64 other countries, to know what’s in our food?

            No. Because it isn’t about rights. It’s about destroying GMO technology. Quit being disingenuous.

            Also, as this article already pointed out, you’re committing a bandwagon fallacy. Dozens of nations criminalize being Gay, should we therefore make it illegal as well?

          • Lisa Mair

            Did you make these ridiculous arguments when they wanted to put trans fats on the label? WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHATS IN OUR FOOD. PERIOD.

          • Aveskde

            No, you do not have a right to stigmatize healthy food and support cronyism in government helping certain industries defeat others.

            Keep lying. That’s why you keep losing the votes. No one believes your anti-science lies.

            The best part of it all is that you’re bringing attention to how safe GMOs are for everyone, to more and more people. Each time you push for these ballots. More people learn about the issue and find that you folks are just a bunch of liars. The same type that claims vaccines cause autism, that climate change isn’t real, or that HIV doesn’t really exist.

          • eirik

            “PERIOD.”
            Yes, we know what you’re going through. But still … try not to shout?

          • Lisa Mair

            Sorry eirik… I just wanted to make sure that point was visible in the thread. It’s the bottom line. I am still shocked that Americans would vote not to have the right to know what’s in their food.

    • waraji

      Ridiculous analogy. Ridiculous stereotype.

  • RobertWager

    well said.

    • Nathan Williams

      Troll

      • jonathan gibbs

        Lab assistant troll….

  • mem_somerville

    Does anyone else get the image of the Monty Python Black Knight in their head, as each new paper comes out? A billion animals–no problems. Meta analysis shows benefits–even more to the small farmers….

    I sometimes imagine the leaders of team organic hopping around on one leg, as their torso flails around, and the shouting continues.

    • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

      “Just a flesh wound!” they say. Hilarious!

      But, strange though it may seem, it’s a strategy that actually works for organic activists. They never lose. No matter what science we produce, or what results we receive at the ballot box, they just carry on no matter what.

      How do they do this? Simple. They’re tax-subsidized.

      Take away the organic industry’s tax-funded meal ticket and anti-GMO activism dies an ignoble death. ‘Til then, they fight on, all new GMO crops remain on the back burner, and we lose.

      • http://annieorganie.com/ Anne Roshkind Temple

        You have GOT to be kidding me. Take away the government subsidies to the American Farmers via the Beef and Dairy lobbies and there will no more $1 Happy Meals. And the anti-GMO activism is here to stay, cause it is the right thing to do.

        • Jerry

          Popoff will say any insane thing that “pops” into his head. He is very well known for it. And no doubt well paid. Great name for a sock money though! “Popoff pops off!”

        • Aveskde

          Yeah, because fighting technology which will feed us, nourish us, and solve our energy problems is “righteous.”

          Do you folks even hear yourselves?

          Oh wait, you’re too busy doing drum circles to care.

          • waraji

            “…drum circles…” Your stereotyping is inaccurate and disturbing.

          • Aveskde

            I’d argue the opposite. I live in a city full or organic shops and markets, where the trendy hipster is catered to. These are the types who can afford to spend outrageous prices on food, and tend to have weird phobias against vaccines, fluoride and GMOs. You know what I say though? Go ahead and have your opinions. You can afford them.

            However the rest of us don’t care about that hippie stuff and just want affordable, healthy food and GMOs accomplish this. Stop attacking them.

        • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

          Sure, I’ll agree with getting rid of ALL farm subsidies, especially considering that most of them don’t even go to farmers, but instead subsidize Food Stamps.

          But the major difference between conventional and organic farm subsidies is that conventional subsidies go to farmers for production costs while organic subsidies go to organic activists for campaigning.

          So like I say, take away the organic industry’s tax subsidies.

          • waraji

            What do you think about oil industry subsidies and bank industry subsides?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            They’d be abhorrent… if they existed.
            Government shouldn’t subsidize anything.

      • Brunskii

        Hey what’s wrong with putting a label on it. If you want to buy something, you go ahead and buy it. What’s this crap about anti Freedom of information. Even on other foods we need more detail. I would like labels even on fresh produce.
        In any case this is all about corporations & the US wanting to own/ Control Global food production by owning the seed. That’s the ultimate goal. They want their seed inside of you.

        • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

          Start by labelling organic foods with a warning that organic crops are not tested to ensure they’re genuine or safe. Then we’ll talk.

          • waraji

            Disingenuous comparison. Start off with — How many % of people are actually truly genuinely concerned about any alleged issues of organic crop safety?

            Do you worry about genetic pollution from organic crops?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Wow. You just admitted that food safety is a popularity contest.

            Unless people are worried about organic food safety, regulators don’t need to bother doing anything about it, according to you.

            Wow. That’s all I can say. Just… wow.

          • Aveskde

            Are you aware that Organic food markets frequently house homeopathy, and other alternative medicine woo? It’s a very justified argument that these products have warning labels on them, since most of their claims are not backed by the FDA.

          • Lisa Mair

            We’ve been eating organic foods since the beginning of humanity Mischa. We evolved eating them. I’m totally unimpressed with the intelligence of the anti-labeling crew in this thread.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            So, you believe that a genetically engineered crop poses more of a health risk to consumers than the potential for consuming feces from improperly-composted manure in an organic crop?

          • Lisa Mair

            Yes.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            At least you’re honest. The facts don’t support your position, but you’re entitled to it just the same Lisa.

          • Lisa Mair

            Novel DNA sequences, coding for never seen before proteins, is reasonable cause for concern.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            But the very definition of new technology assumes something’s being done that was never done before.
            Right?

          • Lisa Mair

            Yes… which is why we need to be very careful with it, especially when it can cause widespread illnesses and contaminate the entire food supply.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Please show a single example of illness caused by GMOs.

        • eirik

          “They want their seed inside of you.”

          The corporations wants to have sex with me?! I’m shocked and disgusted! And intrigued. Where do I sign up?

    • First Officer

      On the actual science front, yes. But i fear the battle to make use of it is far from over and has metastasized and energized movements against fluoridation and vaccines. They are still hugely successful in Europe and Africa.

      • Nathan Williams

        The battle will never be over, so give up now

        • First Officer

          You can’t give up in a never ending battle. If you do, then the battle wasn’t never ending in the first place.

      • Aveskde

        You nailed it. Just like with evolution and climate change, the science is very clear and strong, but these types thrive on fear and ignorance and there is no sign of them going away.

        I tried to think of how one can foster a positive image in the public of GMO crops and it’s tough. People distrust science, they distrust chemicals, they distrust corporations. How can you show them that GMO crops are something to love, then?

        • JH

          Not at all like climate change. GMO safety has been proven in the lab and in the field.
          OTOH, many of the predictions of climate change aren’t bearing out: e.g., extreme weather, increasing rates of sea level rise (sea level rise is linear) and increasing rates of temp increase.

          • Brunskii

            (Antarctic ice increasing) is shallow freezing (thin layer) and is apart of climate change effect.

          • Aveskde

            Your scientific literacy on climate change is bad. We have seen a rise in droughts, for example, and the antarctic ice HAS melted away. You’re confusing types of ice. There is seasonal ice, and permafrost. The permafrost melts away, but seasonal ice grows and recedes with the seasons.

        • waraji

          It is not people distrusting science.
          It is people distrusting some scientist.

          • Aveskde

            Creationists make the same kind of argument, you know. You have to either trust the body of science, or accept that you have beliefs which don’t mesh with scientific thinking. Rejecting portions of it just leads to cognitive dissonance.

    • Nathan Williams

      You are such an ignorant troll, the million animal study was rubbish. Were are the human studies?

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        We’ve never done human studies on methods of crop breeding Nathan. Chemical and nuclear mutagenesis, both of which are allowed in organic production, were never tested on humans or animals.

        You’re making the classic mistake of assuming GMOs are ingredients, when genetic engineering is simply a process of crop breeding.

        • Lisa Mair

          Mischa Popoff, genetic engineering is NOT a simple process of crop breeding. That’s why they have another whole new name for it! In a laboratory, they insert genes of completely different species into the DNA of a plant. Think frog, virus, genes… Like mating a frog with a tomato. These things would never ever happen naturally. This is not simple, and we still don’t know the long term effects. Caution is certainly warranted.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Who said genetic engineering was simple? All new technologies are complex. They also would never happen naturally. That’s what makes them technological.
            Get it?

          • Lisa Mair

            You said it above; “…genetic engineering is simply a process of crop breeding.” I get it. I think you’re the one getting lost here, not even remembering what you said yourself.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Right… sorry about that Lisa.

            Genetic engineering is very complex, much like making a smart phone is complex.

            I was referring to the fact that the end-result of the science of genetic engineering is simply a way to breed crops, the same way the end-result of smart-phone technology is simply a way for you to communicate with others.

      • First Officer

        100 billion animal study. But what’s 5 orders of magnitude when you don’t have evidence on your side?

      • Sleuth 4 Health

        Why do the antis always have to resort to name-calling?

        • waraji

          “Antis”? Well let’s see, there are anti-GMO, anti-labeling, etc.

          Actually “anti’s” covers everybody. …and a few from every group take part in name-calling or condescension as mem_somerville did.

          • Lisa Mair

            Yeah the anti labeling people sure are an angry mob!

    • jonathan gibbs

      A billion animals laughable 49 day chicken lit review, that one?

  • LabelGMOs108

    It’s not over yet. They’re still counting votes until Friday!
    But it’s clear where Discover Mag. stands. They must be loving those checks from Monsanto.

    Bulletin from the Organic Consumers Association…

    Despite news reports that Oregon’s Measure 92 to label GMO foods was defeated on Tuesday, the official word from the YES on 92 campaign is: It’s not over.As of this morning, Measure 92 is trailing 49.66 percent to 50.3 percent, with votes still being counted in two favorable counties, Lane and Multnomah. The campaign says it will likely be Friday before all of those votes are counted and results are final.

    Whichever way it goes, Monsanto and Big Food outspent us in Oregon by more than 2 to 1, dumping a record-shattering $20 million into TV, radio and print ads, and direct mail, to run yet another campaign of twisted truths and outright lies.

    The Gene and Junk Food Giants also spent big in Colorado—more than $17 million—to defeat Colorado’s Proposition 105 this week, another citizens’ initiative to label GMOs.

    Conservative estimates put the total spent by the likes of Monsanto and Pepsi to defeat GMO labeling laws, so far, at about $105 million. That number doesn’t include the record millions spent lobbying lawmakers. Or the millions spent trying (unsuccessfully) to prevent Vermont from passing a GMO labeling law.

    What the pesticide and junk food companies won’t spend. Just to hide the genetically engineered, pesticide-laden “foods” they’re feeding you.

    GMO labeling wasn’t the only anti-GMO issue on the ballot this election. The anti-GMO movement won two key battles this week—clear signs that we are making headway.

    Voters in Maui County (Hawaii), passed a moratorium on the growing of GMO crops, despite an $8-million campaign waged by the biotech industry to try to stop them. Sources say a lawsuit by industry is inevitable, just as it was in Vermont.

    In Humboldt County, Calif., voters passed a law making it illegal “to propagate, cultivate, raise or grow any organism (or its offspring) whose DNA has been altered by genetic engineering.”

    The loss in Colorado is disappointing. But not debilitating.

    And whatever the final outcome in Oregon, this movement is very much alive. We are nothing if not patient and determined.

    We have the science, and you, on our side.

    And we are fired up.

    • First Officer

      Was that last line written by Marie Mason?

      • JoeFarmer

        LOL! She is apparently now going by “Marius Mason”.

        • corvo

          * He

    • Warren Lauzon

      Uhm.. no – you DON’T have science on your side.

      • Nathan Williams

        um yes we do, where are the human studies dude?

        • mörderwerk

          I’d like to see a long-term study of any one crop strain on human test subjects; GMO or not.

          • jonathan gibbs

            Can’t answer that one?

        • Warren Lauzon

          Been eating GMO’s for 20 years, not one single instance of any problems with humans in all that time has ever been reported.

          • Rob Bright

            Where’s the study for that? And how many trillions of cigarettes were smoked before big tobacco acknowledged any health issues?

          • hyperzombie

            Well science discovered that link between cancer and tobacco back in the 30s, this is the same science that says GMOs are as safe or safer than conventional crops. You my friend are using the same methods that big tobacco used.

          • Warren Lauzon

            You are conflating two totally different scenarios. For GMO’s it is the SCIENCE that says they are safe. For tobacco it was the tobacco company ADVERTISEMENTS that said they were safe, even while many actual scientists were saying they were not safe.

      • http://theartofchange.com/ Dr. K

        Actually, nobody has science on their side, dummy. Science, when used properly, allows humanity to separate fact from fantasy. Right now, biotech is conducting an open air experiment on the human food supply and diet, without labels, without controls, and without our consent. When we try to establish at least some consent with labeling ballot measures, they drown our voices with money, and then the thinking impaired (who ironically consider their lack of thought ‘science’ because the bought and paid for media agrees with them) rush to the ballot box and vote against their own interests. Clearly, Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer don’t want labeling. Why? Because with labeling comes accountability and the possibility of doing some science to determine cause and effect relationships.

        You pro-GMO idiots ( I apologize for speaking in a demeaning and dismissive way, but I’m frustrated that the dumbest least able to think for themselves people determine the outcome on so many of the big issues that the politicians simply ignore) can eat all the GMOs you want, I’m perfectly fine with you volunteering yourself and your loved ones as guinea pigs in a for-profit experiment that offers you NO BENEFITS if that makes sense to you (and based on this b.s. shilling article and some of the comments in this thread, biotech could count on plenty of people to line up for their experiments). But leave me out of this dumb experiment until people who actually care about finding the truth are put in charge of setting up the experiment with proper controls and consent.

        FYI: This issue isn’t going away. And the science is NOT SETTLED, and cannot be, until the experiment on our food supply is done with controls and consent. As more people become educated, we can hope that this genie will get put back in the bottle until it’s proven itself for real.

      • science is your new religion

        sure you do, science isn’t a battle, it’s a discussion. and while you believe kind of what the philip morris company was doing in the 50s. we’ll forgive you because of your non existent insight.

    • SocraticGadfly

      What if somebody brought GMO pot to Humboldt County?

      • Jerry

        To smoke or to plant? Well, if to plant, if found, they would be arrested and charged with a crime. GMOs are banned in Humboldt County.

    • Aveskde

      You lost. Get over it. Your “Teach the Controversy” measures lost. We’ll keep fighting you anti-science types until the end because what’s at stake is our prosperity and future. You anti-science types threaten to strangle our ability to develop clean and renewable energy, and nourishing food.

      • Rob Bright

        Funny how the anti-science type calls his opponents ‘anti-science.’ Crack open a text book, dude.

        • Aveskde

          You just wrote a long-winded version of “I know you are but what am I?”

  • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

    GMO crops reduce erosion and the need for pesticides while allowing the insects that destroy a farmer’s crop to be targeted, leaving butterfly and bee populations untouched. They allow for improved nutrition, thereby capping off the list of attributes organic activists have always claimed that only organic farming can provide.

    But instead of embracing this field of science as President Clinton suggested in 1997, organic activists instead set out to ban GMOs. They claim their demands to label GMOs are simply a matter of consumer choice. But don’t be fooled. According to a 2007 from The Organic Consumers Association, “Labeling GMO foods is the only way to drive GMO foods and crops from our food system.”

    As is plain to see, GMO labelling isn’t about consumer choice at all; it’s about ideology, an ideology that Colorado voters thankfully rejected soundly by nearly a 2-to-1 margin. Now let’s see if anti-GMO organic activists get the message and accept this science for the huge leap forward it is.

    • RainySoul

      IMHO the biggest problem with GMO foods is that they get a patent. Which means they are owned, and eventually you can’t even grow a fruit tree in your yard w/o paying some type of fee. They can and do engineer crops with no seeds. Seedless watermelons, grapes, bananas for example. Designed to grow for only a period of time (say 1-3 seasons). Then you have to pay monsanto once again to obtain items you can plant/grow.
      Our food, and right to grow food, should not be owned by a corporation.

      • mörderwerk

        If you have a problem with patented seed, then don’t buy patented seed or sign the contract. Monsanto is hardly the only corporation with seed patents; see the Plant Patent Act of 1930; farmers have been signing seed contracts to plant patented seed for a long time.

      • Michael Fest

        Patents don’t last forever, but they do last long enough to recoup investments and make a profit. Also, seed patents have been around much longer than GE products.

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        Most GMO crops are non-proprietary.

      • Aveskde

        They can and do engineer crops with no seeds. Seedless watermelons, grapes, bananas for example.

        Bananas evolved to be seedless over thousands of years. Seedless watermelons are the product of a special growing technique which introduces infertility, not genetic engineering. Seedless grapes came from selective breeding.

        If you have issues with patents, then support measures to eliminate or weaken IP law. These measures do not do that.

    • reader x

      Except that RoundUp Ready crops have a well demonstrated history of increasing RoundUp use, leading to an explosion in RoundUp resistant weeds across America’s farmland. This has led to the recent approve of 2,4-D and dicamba resistant crops, which USDA acknowledges will lead to increased use of those pesticides, and possible new weed resistance issues. Even in Bt resistant corn, where use of the Bt insecticide has temporary decreased, its use is going back up again as Bt resistant corn worms are emerging.

      As is plain to see, Mischa Popoff is an idealogue himself, selectively using information to attack his fictional ‘organic mafia.’

      • mörderwerk

        That is due to a misuse of the product; it’s when the instructions and requirements by the EPA are not followed that insects develop resistances. See http://www.bt.ucsd.edu/crop_refuge.html
        This is hardly a problem exclusive to genetically engineered crops. In organic farming we must take precautions to mitigate Bt resistance by cycling between pesticides and not solely relying on Bt for pest control. Crop rotation serves other purposes but also helps.
        As far as Roundup (glyphosate) use, this is also not a problem exclusive to GE crops. Yes, relying on a single herbicide has contributed to the problem of herbicide resistant weeds, but that is do to misusing the product. Herbicides used in any application need to be cycled, and glyphosate resistant weeds need to be controlled by mixing herbicides, not by applying more glyphostate (but we are still talking about a couple quarts per acre here).
        Refer to the chart below; I’d hardly call it an “explosion.”

        • reader x

          The product itself (herbicide resistant seed) leads to the misuse of the related product (herbicides). Its the lack of regulation over both the seed and the use of the associated pesticides that leads to the misuse you describe.

          Your chart is misleading as its the number of unique weeds developing resistance. So, if one weed developed resistance, it would only count as one ‘case’ even if was spreading exponentially in farm fields. The more accurate (and honest) representation of the issue would be to look at the growth of acres of farmland with herbicide resistant weeds over the past decade or so. It stands at over 60 million acres of American farmland at this point, and its become such a crisis that Texas earlier this year sought EPA waivers to use restricted use pesticides to control the plague of glyphosate resistant palmer Amaranth in their cotton fields

          • mörderwerk

            The point is that GE crops didn’t introduce herbicide resistant weeds; misuse of glyphosate has indeed contributed to both acres affected by and number of unique cases, however, the trend is linear and it’s an ongoing problem that has been combated throughout the history of agriculture.
            The fact is, pesticides themselves are the cause of pesticide resistance, be it conventional or organic. As resistances arise, so do new technologies and practices to mitigate them.

          • reader x

            No, GE crops aren’t the only cause of herbicide resistance in weeds. But rapid, widespread adoption of GE herbicide resistant crops are the cause of the rapid growth in acreage of herbicide resistant weeds over the past decade. You are splitting hairs in order to avoid addressing a very real problem that’s demonstrably gotten worse with GE herbicide resistant crops. These problematic traits are the vast majority of what’s been commercialized and deregulated.

          • mörderwerk

            Like I said, it’s been getting worse GE or not. There’s no denying they (RR) have contributed to to it, for glyphosate only.
            There are ways we deal with herbicide resistances, which I touched on above. For us, since there aren’t a variety of organic herbicide options, it simply means tilling the field. What do you think happens when weeds in a field become resistant to a single herbicide? Does farmland evaporate into outer space? Some herbicide resistances are naturally present in weeds; types of bindweed are glyphosate tolerant without ever having been previously exposed to it..
            A clearer picture of the state of herbicide resistances:
            (NOT a problem exclusive to GE crops)

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        As is plain to see, “reader” is scared to use his/her real name.
        There is a simple solution to Roundup resistant weeds. It’s called tillage.

        • Jerry

          Well, if “Popoff” is your real name, it is amazingly suited to your level of discourse! You will say anything, make-believe or not.

        • Lisa Mair

          Considering the surprising ignorance, irritability, and anger management issues among some of the anti-labeling group, I am not surprised someone would be scared to use his or her real name.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            So, you’re saying because we don’t agree with your position you have to hide who you are?

          • Lisa Mair

            No I’m saying that some of the anti-labeling camp appear to be aggressive and dangerous.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            You of course have evidence of this. Right Lisa?

          • Lisa Mair

            Yes as you read this thread, you will see the evidence.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            So, you have no evidence… as usual. Just innuendo.

            Meanwhile, organic activists are the ones making threats: http://web.archive.org/web/20140724153953/http:/www.monsantocollaborators.org

    • http://annieorganie.com/ Anne Roshkind Temple

      What colors are the skies in your world? Nothing of what you said is true. Roundup is no longer working, as we have super-weeds and super-bugs. In comes Dow Enlist Duo. The soil is becoming so depleted from the repeated spraying of said herbicide-pesticides that it can barely support life. The fact that you pro-GMOers are making fun of organics is laughable!

      • Aveskde

        We come from the world of facts. Now run along and spread your nonsense elsewhere. It would be funny if you weren’t contributing to malnutrition in Africa with your lies.

        • Rob Bright

          Wow, what an ignorant comment. Contributing to hunger?! Really? Monsanto and their biotech buddies care only for profits, not the poor, not the hungry, not the farmers, and CERTAINLY not the public.

          • Aveskde

            Caring for profits and creating a nutritious, safe product are not mutually exclusive. In this case, the interests coincide because creating nutritious food is in demand, and Monsanto is fulfilling that demand. Quit relying on caricatures and black and white thinking.

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        There’s no such thing as a “superweed” Anne. Just because a weed develop resistance to a certain herbicide, it does not follow that it has superpowers. All such weeds succumb just fine to other herbicides, or tillage.

        And who’s making fun of organics? I grew up on an organic grain farm in Saskatchewan, and worked for five years as a USDA-contract organic inspector.

        • hyperzombie

          And who’s making fun of organics?

          That was probably me….

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            I’ll say this…
            As long as the leaders of the organic industry pretend that being anti-GMO is one of their founding tenets, I’ll support your right to make fun of them all you want hyperzombie.

    • Aveskde

      Labeling GMOs is the new “Teach the Controversy” from the anti-science lobby.

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        Quite right. And it’s the front for banning GMOs.

    • Dayton

      “GMO crops reduce erosion”,guess you overlooked this article in the WP.http://www.producer.com/2014/10/riteways-one-till-scores-hat-trick/. So much for Zero till/No till!!!

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        I have no idea what this link is saying. Did you read the article?

        • Dayton

          FARGO, N.D. — Twenty years ago, farmers were flooded by waves of new no-till drills.

          Today, the picture has reversed as farmers are inundated by waves of new tillage implements.

          Many reasons are cited.

          The wet spell has persisted longer than anyone could have imagined, leaving farmers to cope with excess soil moisture.

          The abundant moisture has also created an enormous buildup of crop
          residue in many areas. Even in semi-arid regions, residue cover has
          caused seeding problems.

          Riteway Manufacturing says trash contributes to another factor that’s
          less obvious: the layer forms a seal that prevents moisture and oxygen
          from reaching the soil. It also strands the seed in the top fluffy stuff
          instead of reaching genuine soil.

          As well, chemicals have not proven to be as effective at controlling
          weeds, disease and insects as industry and farmers had thought they
          would in the 1990s.

          The result of all this is that engineers have turned their attentions to building better tillage equipment.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            So, the article basically says that min-till and zero-till are not the be-all and end-all. Fair enough. No technology is.

            What does this have to do with GMOs exactly?

        • Dayton

          What it’s saying is Notill is no longer working and everyone is gearing up for the new trend. The high speed wind/water eroding disc.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            But how does this discredit GMOs?

          • Dayton

            Glyphosate resistant GMO’s in this case Canola started the Notill revolution. Now of course they aren’t responsible,as always….

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Dayton, you have no idea what you’re talking about.

            Min-till and no-till started BEFORE the science of genetic engineering came to the farm. It started with the advent of the air seeder in the late 1970s.

            The no-till revolution certainly dovetailed with the advent of GMO crops in the late 1990s, but they are independent of one another.

          • Dayton

            I agree there was the first wave when farmers who tried in the late 70’s nearly went broke as continuous cropping was too costly. The second wave came after GMO’s and Glyphosate in around the late 80’s. Where were you?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            I grew up on a grain farm in Saskatchewan.

            Min-till began circa the 1970s with the development of the air seeder. I was probably 6 or 7 years old when I first saw one of these machines at a farm show. It’s as impressive as the space shuttle for a kid who was used to a 30-ft. discer seeder.

            The min-till approach was certainly helped by the introduction of glyphosate, and helped again by glyphosate-ready GMO crops. But it is a completely separate technology.

            In short, we have min-till (and zero-till) because of the air seeder. Not because of GMOs.

      • hyperzombie

        Did you even read the article? The disc is for farmers that have an over abundance of Organic material on their fields, it tills 1 to 6 inches deep only. This is just surface composting NOT actual tillage.

        • Dayton

          Me thinks your getting mixed up between a disc and a plow. Notice all the black fields lately? Either there are a lot of new Organic farmers (you believe hurt the environment) or everyone who grew GMO Canola are ripping it up and burying the diseased trash. As you drive all those 4 wheel drives are either hooked up to a dust bustin heavy harrow or a high speed disc. Great for the notill theorists like yourself.

          • hyperzombie

            Me thinks that you have no idea what you are talking about. If you have a mat of organic material on top of the soil, you need to break it up after a while, hence speed disc and harrows.

          • Dayton

            Sure. But you and I both know they are grinding some of it into the dirt. Then through the pulverization the chemically infested trash will either blow into the atmosphere or erode down our streams,rivers, lakes and oceans. But you’ve heard that before but will deny those facts.

  • SocraticGadfly

    On the serious side, I generally reject the anti-science worries about GMOs, while stating that some anti-monopolistic, or quasi-anti-monopolistic, concerns about Monsanto have some degree of legitimacy. And, I do find that the “triumphalism” in pieces like this doesn’t do a better job of distinguishing the two issues.

  • dallasthemaster

    You failed to mention that bugs have *exploded* from eating GMOs, (they’re actually designed to do that) and large tumors were formed in rats that were fed GMOs! Still think GMOs are safe? They have been linked to cancer! People have tried to create artificial sweeteners that are better for you than sugar! Look where that led! This is no different!! There is a reason Monsanto ranks with Comcast!

    • http://www.twipscience.org/ Ian Elliot

      1) Humans are not bugs. The Bt toxin you are talking about (which is approved in organic food by the way) only works in the alkaline stomach of an insect.

      2) The “rat study” by Seralini was absolute junk; a fishing expedition. It was retracted.

      • Caroline

        Got Gut Issues? IBS and other gut issues have skyrocketed in the past 10 years. EVERY child with autism has gut issues.
        Bt toxin kills our good gut bacteria.

      • Debbie Owen

        The Seralini study was not junk, it was retracted by the editor who is a former employee of Monsanto. The Seralini study was peer reviewed 3 times and it was republished, in fact 5 different journals wanted to republish it. The Seralini study was never a “fishing expedition”, in fact the study was done in the same type way with the same type rats that Monsanto used in there study, except that Monsanto did their study short term. Should the Monsanto study be retracted?

    • Michael Fest

      Bt does not cause a bug’s stomach to explode. If that were true a field of bt corn would sound like the Rice Krispies factory during a milk flood.

    • mem_somerville

      Do you know: dogs have died from eating chocolate!1! And some dogs get cancer11!! We should not eat chocolate!1!!

      • Caroline

        No dogs shouldn’t eat chocolate.

    • dallasthemaster

      Plus, even a DRUG CARTEL is against GMOs! And they would be spendin’ SOOO much money on PREVENTING labelin’ unless they had somethin’ wrong with you. And i will NEVER believe the lies that the rat study was bogus. It was the ONLY long tern study, too! also, responsible technologies gmo dangers has many links. There is no way in HELL I will EVER believe they are safe no matter WHAT these so called “studies” lead to unless they agree to label it. If there was nothin’ wrong with it, they would have NO PROBLEMS labelin’ it. For me, tryin’ to say GMOs are the same or better than non-gmos is about the same as sayin’ HFCS is safe. Or the same as sayin’ Splenda is safe. (especially because they refuse to label it)

    • Aveskde

      You mean the study which was retracted for using small numbers and a strain of rodent susceptible to cancer?

      But the small number and type of animals used in the study mean that “no definitive conclusions can be reached.” The known high incidence of tumors in the Sprague–Dawley strain of rat ”cannot be excluded as the cause of the higher mortality and incidence observed in the treated groups,” it added.

      Or, how about the flaws of the study itself, such as feeding herbicide to rodents directly?

      The study found that rats fed for two years with Monsanto’s glyphosate-resistant NK603 maize (corn) developed many more tumors and died earlier than controls. It also found that the rats developed tumors when glyphosate (Roundup), the herbicide used with GM maize, was added to their drinking water.

      You’re being lied to, and you’re too lazy to see it.

      • dallasthemaster

        http://www.sott.net/article/215172-Avoid-Genetically-Modified-Food-Doctors-and-Animals-Alike-Tell-Us
        GMOs have *no* extra tests from natural foods. They are tested just like any other crops. No GMO-specific tests are done. There have been no long-term studies on affect on humans by eatin’ GMOs. For every pro-GMO article, there are many opposin’ GMOs. Plus, I trust MILLIONS of years of evolution over splicin’ dna and hopin’ its safe. If they have not made a safe artificial sweetener TO THIS DAY, then what makes you believe they could safely MODIFY CROP DNA in 1996? http://www.naturalnews.com/030918_aspartame_gm_bacteria.html

        • Aveskde

          GMOs have *no* extra tests from natural foods. They are tested just like any other crops. No GMO-specific tests are done.

          Are you aware of what your statement means, exactly?

          It means that because GMO corn is not different from natural corn (or other types of crops, replaced in this argument), in the food components it produces, it is therefore not tested for safety because that would mean you are testing CORN for safety of human consumption.

          To repeat: Testing GMO corn or any other crop for specific safety means testing that crop it is DERIVED from, for safety. It means testing if sugar is safe to eat, or corn, or soybeans, etc.

          However, when it comes to the pesticides, herbicides, environmental concerns, and so on there are hundreds of tests which have been conducted and show them to be safe.

          an artificial sweetener made via GM Bacteria, Asparatame, (btw, made by
          Monsanto as well!) is one of the, if not the, most dangerous substance put in foods

          A few points.

          #1 Natural News is THE WORST, MOST UNRELIABLE source you could hope for. It’s like getting your science from Answers in Genesis. They are basically a portal for alternative medicine and the sugar/organic lobby. They have published long-debunked, and scientifically unfounded claims for years.

          #2 Sugar is a big industry. It is threatened by artificial sweeteners. Aspartame is a sweetener which is produced through naturally occurring amino acids combined in a bacteria’s metabolic pathway.

          #3 Organics is a big industry. It makes tens of billions of dollars a year. It is not an underdog like it portrays itself as.

          There have been no long-term studies on affect on humans by eatin’ GMOs.

          From Monsanto:

          Has anyone studied the long-term health effects of GM crops (GMOs)?
          Many studies are conducted to assess health effects of GM crops.
          Since farmers first began growing biotech crops in 1996, there has been no credible evidence of harm to humans or animals. In addition, the following two studies assessed the long-term safety of GMOs:
          In December 2010, the European Commission published a report summarizing the results of 50 research projects addressing the safety
          of GMOs for the environment as well as for animal and human health.
          These projects received funding of €200 million from the EU and are part of a 25-year long research effort on GMOs. In announcing the report, the Commission stated, “…there is, as of today, no scientific evidence associating GMOs with higher risks for the environment or for food and feed safety than conventional plants.”
          In 2012, a literature review of well-designed, long-term and multigenerational animal feeding studies comparing GM and non-GM potatoes, soy, rice, corn and triticale found that GM crops and their non-GM counterparts are nutritionally equivalent and can be safely used in food and feed.

          Plus, I trust MILLIONS of years of evolution over splicin’ dna and hopin’ its safe.

          This is simply a false claim on multiple counts.

          For starters, the crops we eat were evolved over thousands, and in many cases less than a hundred years. Especially fruit trees, like apples. Indeed, every decade new cultivars are created through evolution. All of them were evolved by humans.

          Secondly, the DNA isn’t spliced. it’s recombined. I don’t expect you to know the difference, since you’re a layman, but just for the sake of clarity most GE is just recombining traits between species. Splicing is a very informal, colloquial idea.

          Thirdly there is no “hoping it’s safe.” It is tested for safety for consumption and the environment.

          it still should be labeled, to tell artificial stuff apart from REAL, NATURAL stuff

          I find this especially ignorant, since there is no such thing as artificial food. This is all real food. It just shows how misled you are.

          • dallasthemaster

            It’s still not natural. It should still be labeled to tell it apart! The fact they spend MILLIONS or even BILLIONS to PREVENT labelin’ prooves there’s a reason. People don’t spend THAT much on labelin’ if its OK for you. -_-

          • Aveskde

            Of course it’s natural. It’s food grown in farms like anything else. Quit being ignorant and read a biology textbook. You should feel embarrassed at your ignorance on the subject.

          • dallasthemaster

            No. It ain’t natural. There ain’t no way in hell a crop that has dna ARTIFICIALLY put into it is natural!

          • Aveskde

            You really don’t understand how biology works. How do you shame someone as ignorant as you are into actually READING a biology textbook for the first time in their life?

          • Lisa Mair

            Dallas the master – don’t bother with Aveskde, he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about, and has a chip on his shoulder. A very annoying and dangerous combination.

  • Temperance Raziel

    Why are there so many anti-science people reading a pro-science magazine? If you don’t like the truth, go read Natural News or Alex Jones.

    • Nathan Williams

      I stand for science, too bad we don’t have any good science related to GMOs

      • Aveskde

        Sounds like what a creationist would say:

        “I support science. Too bad evolution isn’t scientific.”

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        Careful Nathan. There’s very little science related to the organic industry. In fact, organic crops aren’t even tested for authenticity or safety.

        • JH

          “There’s very little science related to the organic industry.”

          But there is one major study that shows that organic food has no nutritional or health benefit whatsoever. NPR did a nice piece on it a while back and of course all the organic people had a friggin’ conniption about it.

          Greens are the most unscientific political group in the modern landscape.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Roughly two-thirds of all organic food sold in America is imported from countries like China, and half of it tests positive for prohibited pesticides. So yeah, greens are completely UN-scientific.

    • jonathan gibbs

      Were you not aware that it’s the pro-side that is anti-science?

  • reader x

    Strange headline. Is favoring country of origin labeling a sign of being anti-science? No, and neither is supporting labeling of GMO food. For many, its a desire for simple truth in advertising, and not a question of science.

    Your shallow piece also seems to ignore that the ‘no’ campaign (in Oregon at least) didn’t focus on scientific arguments supporting GMOs, they actually focused on misleading voters that Measure 92 would exempt some foods that they basically implied should be labeled (like food at restaurants, what livestock were fed, and alcohol). They also used inflated cost claims to scare voters into thinking that it would cost too much. They said farmers would be sued, though they were exempt from lawsuits in the measure, and that costs to farmers would go into the millions, though only a handful of Oregon farmers grow GMO food crops that would have been subject to labeling requirements. It was a campaign of deception, not a victory for ‘science’ as you’ve deluded yourself into thinking. Theirs (yours) was a Pyrrhic victory at best.

    Also, your vote tallies are off – out of 1.5 million votes cast in Oregon, Measure 92 is currently only losing by fewer than 10,000, with many more yet to be counted. This was no slam dunk for the corporations opposed to labeling – they had to mislead and deceive, all while avoiding tough questions about the unfulfilled promises of GMOs or discussing the merits of labeling (or not) through a scientific lens.

    • Jeff Clothier

      So, science denial is a VIRTUE? I’m sorry, but that’s just insane. I ask a simple question of every “labeller” I discourse with – “What did you have for dinner?”

      Any answer they give only serves to illustrate that they really don’t have that much trouble selecting foods they want to eat. The “right to know” argument is a bogus tissue of lies, and easily pierced.

      • reader x

        Don’t project your biases onto others. If you lived in Oregon, you’d know that the ‘no’ campaign didn’t run a campaign focused the science of the issue – they instead tried to convince people the measure had too many loopholes and didn’t go far enough, and alternately that it would cost too much. These two arguments helped convince a narrow majority to vote ‘no.’ The defeat of Measure 92 wasn’t a victory for science, because the science wasn’t part of the debate.

        • Jeff Clothier

          The science is always part of the debate. Just because the Oregon No campaign chose not to use it as the particular talking point of the day does not make it any less so.

        • Sleuth 4 Health

          The “no” campaign didn’t use science in the ads because they knew that people either
          A: wouldn’t understand it, or
          B: would ignore it because their beliefs that GMOs are bad trump all reason

      • Guest

        Science is not science unless it is conclusive and universally accepted.
        There is nothing wrong with expecting detail about something you ingest. There is something wrong with actively denying it.
        Still, as long as it stays in the US, cause folks are sure dumb when they come from.

      • Brunskii

        Science is not science unless it is conclusive and universally accepted.
        There is nothing wrong with expecting detail about something you ingest. There is something wrong with actively denying it.
        Still, as long as it stays in the US, cause folks are sure dumb when they come from.

        • Aveskde

          Since when is anything in science universally accepted? There are still people out there who believe the earth is flat, and that the sun orbits it.

          The point is that GMOs have hundreds of studies supporting them as safe. That in itself means that a label is all about fear, not choice.

          • Lisa Mair

            100s of secret studies done by Monsanto. You trust that? I have a bridge to sell you.

          • Aveskde

            More than a thousand studies, and hundreds of them are independent. In addition to national organizations for science coming out in support of GMOs being safe.

            You’re on the losing side of this argument, are repeating points that are simply not true.

          • Lisa Mair

            Want to see what WHO really said?

            International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) co-sponsored
            by the World Health Organization (WHO), The World Bank, the Food and
            Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Environment Programme
            (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global
            Environment Facility (GEF), and the United Nations Educational and
            Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) involving 900
            participants and 110 countries from all regions of the world: “The
            safety of GMO foods and feed is controversial due to limited available
            data, particularly for long-term nutritional consumption and chronic
            exposure. Food safety is a major issue in the GMO debate. Potential
            concerns include alteration in nutritional quality of foods, toxicity,
            antibiotic resistance, and allergenicity from consuming GM foods. The
            concepts and techniques used for evaluating food and feed safety have
            been outlined (WHO, 2005b), but the approval process of GM crops is
            considered inadequate (Spök et al., 2004). Under current practice, data
            are provided by the companies owning the genetic materials, making
            independent verification difficult or impossible. Recently, the data for
            regulatory approval of a new Bt-maize variety (Mon863) was challenged.
            Significant effects have been found on a number of measured parameters
            and a call has been made for more research to establish their safety”
            “There is little consensus among the findings from the assessments of
            economic and environmental impacts of GMOs.” – Global Report http://www.unep.org/dewa/Assessments/Ecosystems/IAASTD/tabid/105853/Default.aspx/

          • Aveskde

            Ah, so you’re quoting from ten years ago. That’s not suspicious. It’s not like science makes major strides each year, much less in ten years, or anything.

    • Aveskde

      Truth in advertising? No, it’s about creating a wedge which ultimately leads to banning GMOs. Labeling is like the Creationists’ “Teach the Controversy.”

      If all you cared about was being informed, then you would read the science and statistics and either know that GMOs are safe, or where to buy your food to avoid them. You can already buy food labeled as organic. This is about stigmatizing use of GMOs, a proven reliable technology.

      • Mike Hurst

        GMO is a special technology, it should be labeled. Period. It’s in my personal constitution to not eat anything that has been genetically altered. I don’t care if YOU think it’s great. I don’t care if YOU believe it’s proven safe. It’s a process that’s been performed on something that’s possibly going down my throat, and eventually become part of my being.
        Call me ignorant. Call me illogical. But I don’t want it, and I have a right to know.
        I shouldn’t have to keep my eyes trained to shop “organic” or “Non-GMO verified”. I should be able to go to a store, any store in the US, pick up a can of corn, any brand, and know if it’s been genetically altered. Again…I don’t care if it’s been genetically altered to be sweeter, or cruncher, or prettier…I just don’t want it if it’s been genetically altered. I have a right to know, and the grower has an obligation to label that they’ve manipulated that plant or animal. Period.

        • David Brown

          Then buy foods labeled Organic or nonGMO. Problem solved.

          • Lisa Mair

            We care about the general public knowing what’s in their food as well. Not just for our own well-being.

        • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

          You hit the nail on the head sir. GMO-free food is labeled. Big Placebo is a multi-billion dollar industry absolutely dependent on fear and scientific illiteracy. So don’t be lazy, just look for your “Non-GMO verified” label. Otherwise will end up with a whole new generation of pseudo scientists….just when the climate change deniers are almost out the door…

        • Aveskde

          GMO is a special technology, it should be labeled. Period.

          Just like microprocessors? Nanotech? It’s new technology, which has established itself as safe and reliable. Hundreds of studies have been done which find it safe, or at least as safe as non-GMO food. Simply asserting that it is special is not cause for a label.

          Call me ignorant. Call me illogical. But I don’t want it, and I have a right to know.

          Fine then, you’re ignorant and illogical. That’s why we will continue to fight you. Ignorance plus the law leads to dark-age type environments.

          I shouldn’t have to keep my eyes trained to shop “organic” or “Non-GMO verified”.

          Funny because this could just be rephrased as:

          I shouldn’t have to keep my eyes trained to shop “contains GMO.”

          In any case, In refuse to pay for your irrational fears. Your phobias do not deserve a single penny from the public. If you want to be willfully ignorant, then you can spend your own dime on it. Likewise, I refuse to support someone who is too lazy to use the tools already out there.

          But most insultingly, this is all a front. You just want to ban it. That’s why I am especially irritated by your types. You pretend to care about a right to know when you simply want to ban new technology.

          • Mike Hurst

            Comparing microprocessors to food…that’s rich. I rest my case.

          • Aveskde

            If someone has nothing to add to the conversation, they do what you just did. They mock without substance.

          • Lisa Mair

            Wow I can’t believe the insults being hurled by anti-labeling enthusiasts. You all clearly have an ulterior motive. Perhaps being paid by Monsanto to crawl around the internet and spread more misinformation, and make people who care about the integrity of their food seem crazy. I don’t know how you go to sleep at night.

          • Aveskde

            Wow I can’t believe the insults being hurled

            Without actually labeling any…

            And then:

            Perhaps being paid by Monsanto to crawl around the internet and spread more misinformation

            That’s ironic, because you accuse me of something I didn’t do, to give yourself license to do the same thing to me.

            and make people who care about the integrity of their food seem crazy

            Maybe because that’s just a disingenuous coverstory. It’s really about banning GMOs, and using labeling as a beachhead.

            Maybe if you guys were being honest, you’d get more respect. We’d refute your arguments, of course, since they are scientifically unsound, but you’d at least have the respect for being honest.

          • Lisa Mair

            You’re the one who has resorted to calling people names and making assumptions about our intentions, without even knowing any of us. I’m simply stating the probability that you are being paid by Monsanto. If you consider that an insult…

          • Aveskde

            Here we go again. More lies and false accusations, and then acting indignant when called out on them.

            “Gee, I have no idea why you’d be upset at my lies sir.”

            You’re disingenuous as hell. No integrity.

          • Lisa Mair

            Actually I’m going to suggest that Monsanto fires you. You’re doing a very poor job making good arguments. You’re obviously all flustered, bringing in all kinds of irrelevant points, and insulting people when you have nothing new to add. You’re actually reinforcing their reputation of being bullies.

          • Aveskde

            Eh, why don’t you shoo already? You clearly have nothing useful to say since your principle strategy seems to be to accuse people of things they didn’t do.

  • Doug Brightwood

    Science wins, what a wonderful sight.

    • Rob Bright

      Except that science lost and the corporations won…

  • Temperance Raziel

    I love you Christie Wilcox and Discover Magazine! This is one of the best written articles on the subject I have read on the subject. Shared on Facebook!

  • Bonnie

    Yay for science!

    • Rob Bright

      But science lost! Only the biotech corporations won…

  • Jessica Chasko Denning

    As a science teacher, I grade this article F for Failure to disclose the truth about covert Frankfoods.

    These “pesticide mutated foods” are labeled with the approval of scientists in 64 other countries including all of Europe, Japan, China and Russia, countries which  tell the truth about these untested frankenfoods to their citizens.  I admire honesty.

    After labeling, prices did not go up in a single country…..Germany, England, France, Switzerland…you get the idea.

    ‘Discover’ nothing if the variables in this huge feeding experiment are not labeled. 

    Let the buyer beware of Monsanto’s latest chemical experiments, as it spends millions more to hide the truth about that next bite of food.  Companies spent $100 million just to block labeling. 

    These very same companies laugh all the way to the bank as they slap GMO labels on that same package of food which is shipped to other countries. 

    Science is not silence…the silence of  withholding crucial information for American consumers about  their foods.

    If it is so great why not label it?

    • mörderwerk

      If you have a Frankenstein complex, why would you choose to teach science? I really hope you are not subjecting our youth to your ridiculous ideas about “pesticide mutated food.”

      • Jerry

        Thank goodness for science teachers like this. Come on be realistic. If these GMO “foods” did not have major issues, they would be labeled by their companies and praised to the skies, not sneaked into the food system without our knowledge or consent. The biotechs brought all this grief on themselves by hiding what they were doing! Once people found out–there’s no end in sight. Get your next 100 million ready Monsanto and company because California is going up to bat again in 2016.

        • Aveskde

          More than 90% of all our major crops are genetically engineered, and have been for more than ten years. The world hasn’t ended. Our health is great. People like yourself are so ideologically blinded that you don’t see the facts laid bare before you. GMO crops are what will solve many of our energy problems. In case you were too lazy to research the article you commented on, it mentioned amylase corn, which is a crop designed to lend itself into ethanol production. What this means is that you are fighting our energy development.

          But it’s worse than that. You fight technologies which bring food security to developing nations, technologies which nourish. You’re so blinded by ideology that you cannot see how weak your reasoning is, that it basically mirrors creationism for bad science and duplicity.

          That is why we fight you. We fight your ignorance.

          • Brunskii

            The ignorance lies squarely with the gullible.

          • Lisa Mair

            Our health is NOT great. Every chronic disease and obesity are skyrocketing.

            Aveskde, you are the ignorant one. Buying into the lies Monsanto is feeding you. Or more likely, you work for them.

          • Aveskde

            Our health is NOT great.

            Really?

            We’re now immune to most of the viruses that plagued us 60 years ago. We have an abundance of food, such that famines no longer hit us. Our average life spans have steadily increased. Every decade our medical technology improves dramatically, curing or treating previously untreatable diseases.

            Every chronic disease and obesity are skyrocketing.

            The big diseases we suffer from now come from our prosperity:
            -Diabetes
            -Obesity
            -Heart disease
            -Cancer
            -Dementia

            Which is to say, our access to cheap food, industrialized environments and the lowered air and water quality, stress, and long lifespans.

            But please show your weakness of position by insisting in conspiracies.

          • Lisa Mair

            Yeah really – Americans are among the sickest in the world, despite our medical advances. This is off point, but since you brought it up, our medical advances don’t *cure* chronic disease, they simply allow us to live with them, and pretty miserably too.

            Do you even know what GMO foods generally get put into? Processed junk foods! We already had enough real food, GMOs are just making it cheaper to create more of the empty calorie junk that is contributing directly to our health problems.

            What is this about conspiracies? I never said that. There are bloggers paid by Monsanto who troll these pages, and I’m fairly certain you are one of them. See my excerpt below from Food and Water Watch.

          • Aveskde

            Yeah really – Americans are among the sickest in the world, despite our medical advances.

            Oh boy the arrogance. I bet you never traveled outside your country to a developing nation. Visit Africa some time, or South America. South Asia is another good region of nations with their own troubles.

            These people often face malnutrition, childhood diseases we would never dream of like Dengue fever, or Polio, Thanks to vitamin deficiencies, children grow up with chronic health problems.

            It really shows how privileged you folks are, that you can choose to buy overpriced food and make it your central issue not just for yourselves but for the poor in America, and even for the poorest in the world. That’s right, you privileged types have fought and killed innovations like Golden Rice, denying a great source of much-needed vitamins to people in developing nations who needed them most.

            Reminds me of how religious leaders in Africa killed foreign efforts to treat people with polio vaccine, by claiming the vaccines caused impotence.

            Do you even know what GMO foods generally get put into?

            Pretty much everything. We use mostly GMO crops, so they form the backbone of our processed, fresh, healthy and unhealthy foods. Of course, your types will lie and pretend that their existence in junk foods is what causes the foods to become unhealthy. Newsflash: junkfood was bad for you before GMOs existed twenty years ago.

            Fun fact: GMOs allow the creation of healthier foods, by removing unhealthy proteins, or reformulating the oils produced.

            What is this about conspiracies? I never said that. There are bloggers
            paid by Monsanto who troll these pages, and I’m fairly certain you are
            one of them.

            You forgot to play the twilight zone music during this speech. Oh look! Someone who’s educated in the science of genetic engineering who supports GMOs. He must be a paid shill! Because only the Real Americans wear tinfoil hats and believe in killer corn.

          • Lisa Mair

            I’m sorry you very clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, have no interest in learning what the real story is, and are getting a bit offensive. So I’m not going to waste my time replying to your messages anymore. Have a nice life.

          • Aveskde

            Whatever, lady. You got busted for spreading misinformation. Get over the phony offended damsel gig, it’s transparent.

    • ostracion

      “These “pesticide mutated foods” are labeled with the approval of scientists in 64 other countries…”

      And I grade your comment F for a complete lack of reading comprehension, as this point was directly addressed in the article.

      Also, “pesticide mutated foods”? Come now, as a self-described science teacher, surely you know that’s not how GM technology works, right?

      “Let the buyer beware of Monsanto’s latest chemical experiments, as it spends millions more to hide the truth about that next bite of food.”

      The truth? What truth? There’s secret truth? You know what they are hiding?! What is it?! The suspense is killing me faster than my scary, poisonous, GMO diet.

      • Lisa Mair

        Monsanto’s safety studies are in fact hidden from the public. Why would that be? Hmmmm.

    • Debbie Owen

      Great comment! Thank you.

    • Aveskde

      Wow I feel bad for your kids. Frankenfoods? I bet you believe that God created the banana in the garden of Eden too.

    • JH

      “As a science teacher, I grade this article F for Failure to disclose the truth”

      As a sasquatch, I grade your comment O for Oozing with fakeness, just like the guy claiming to be a “mommy” on Keith Kloor’s thread.

      So incompetent you can’t even create a believable fake persona on a blog comment.

    • Sleuth 4 Health

      Science teacher with this kind of bias, conspiracy mentality and ignorance of the facts? I’m glad my kid isn’t in your class.

    • Lisa Mair

      Bravo Jessica!

  • Nathan Williams

    This article is riddled with lies, the author is obviously misguided and clearly wrong. This is not science winning, it is corporations and all their dollars. We have zero studies in humans, we don’t know their long term effects. You are an ignorant woman.

    • mörderwerk

      Since when do we test on humans?

      • jonathan gibbs

        What?? Hmm? Got Science. Of course we test on humans.

        • mörderwerk

          Cite one long term study where humans had a controlled diet of one particular crop strain.
          You shouldn’t spout off catch phrases about science if you have no idea how it works.

      • Caroline

        NO studies on GMO toxicity is longer than 90 days. Show me one.

    • JH

      I see you’ve given us some references that support your position.

  • mario

    So just because they are safe we have to eat it and shut up? If we don’t like to consume it and want them labeled that should be our right as consumer, regardless if they are safe or not (assuming they are safe which I think not)

    • mörderwerk

      Don’t you already have the right to avoid products from companies that don’t disclose that information to you?

    • hyperzombie

      So just because they are safe we have to eat it and shut up?

      You dont have to eat it, buy Organic or certified Non GMO, or hell even grow your own food. you do have a choice, now shut up.

      • Brunskii

        Hey shortsighted. The long-term aim of GMO is to own all the seeds, and for Monsanto to have global food control through the seed. They will take over the non-GMO soil as well in time through attrition.

        • David Brown

          And chemtrails!

        • hyperzombie

          Hey shortsighted. The long-term aim of GMO is to own all the seeds, and for Monsanto to have global food control through the seed.

          That is just insane. With one acre of non gmo seed, you can produce seed for a 10,000 ac plot in just one year.

          • Lisa Mair

            False.

          • hyperzombie

            Nope, for example you can get 2 crops per year with corn, 600x 600 = 36000 acres of seed stock.

        • First Officer

          Huh… patents run out.

    • First Officer

      Moved.

  • jonathan gibbs

    Brainwashing with $$$ spend to buy advertising has always worked to sway votes. Not about Science or Truth at all.

    Now watch the demand for Organics and Non GMO food escalate faster than they already are. This is a No win…especially for GMO. You’ve lost the debate, in the real world.

  • Caroline

    Funny take on Nerdy Christie and this article. http://gmobullsheet.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/science-lo-mein/

    • Caroline

      Christy – if you’re thinking of having a healthy baby one day then stop eating GMOs. If you already have children then I hope you’re not feeding them GMOs if you want healthy grandchildren.

  • jc barnhart

    Give me a friggen label so I can make my own decision. if the company wants to explain how and why, and benefits, on the label that is up to them. But, at least we have the information to make our own decisions. This same crap was happening with Trans fats. The big business guys didn’t want them labeled. Fast food chains fought strongly against nutritional value disclosures as well. Did this really hurt them in the end?

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      There are labels. If you want to avoid GM ingredient, look for “verified non-GMO” or “certified organic”. That’s the really odd thing, labels already exist to help consumers choose.

      • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

        Quite right. We’re getting “labelled out” these days. Too much useless information.

        • Dayton

          What exactly does it cost to add 3 letters “GMO” to a package? Next you will say there’s a shortage of ink?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            It’s the onerous cost of traceability, and keeping GMO and non-GMO crops segregated from the farm, through the brokering, processing and transport phases that will cost millions.

          • Dayton

            You and I both know the #1 reason is the onerous cost of litigation when the fallout hits.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Fallout from what exactly? From a product containing GMOs and not being labelled?

            Who cares?

            No one’s going to fall ill or die from consuming GMOs. And that brings us back to the issue of why we should bother labelling them in the first place?

          • Dayton

            A world renown Scientist has reported Rats die from ingesting GMO corn. And you Mr. Nobody says otherwise? Where are all your private, independently, reviewed published experiments?

          • hyperzombie

            Yeah, but that same world renown Scientist Data suggests that drinking glyphosate makes males live longer… And the study was not private or independent..

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            If the Seralini study on rats consuming GMOs had any merit, why hasn’t it been reproduced?

          • Aveskde

            A world renown Scientist has reported Rats die from ingesting GMO corn.

            Note how you bring attention to the scientist, and not the research itself. That is to say you call him world-renowned, but don’t talk about the research being conclusive.

            That’s the hallmark of bad science. Essentially an appeal to authority.

            In fact, the scientist in question performed the study using a strain of rodent which is susceptible to cancer, and he used an insufficient quantity of specimens to draw conclusive results. Finally, he fed the rodents herbicide directly.

            Now, see how drawing attention to the research doesn’t support your position very well?

          • Dayton

            French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini says attempts to discredit him
            and his research into GMOs and pesticides are negated by the fact his
            work continues.

            Speaking to about 150 people in Regina Nov. 6, Seralini said he and
            fellow scientists have published new work on pesticide toxicity and are
            ready to publish more.

            “We have republished our study, which was retracted because of dishonesty of the system,” he said.

            “We have explained everything in books, in scientific papers, so I think they cannot do too much in front of reality, of truth.”

            Seralini’s paper claimed that rats developed tumours from eating
            genetically modified corn and drinking water contaminated with Roundup.

            Originally published by the Food and Chemical Toxicology Journal in
            2012, it was retracted late last year after critics claimed the sample
            size was too small, the wrong rats were used, and definitive conclusions
            could not be reached.

            Earlier this year, the journal Environmental Sciences Europe
            republished the study, claiming it wanted to enable rational discussion.

            Seralini maintains that long-term feeding trials to evaluate the
            safety of pesticides and GM food is critical to human health. Right now,
            the trials are conducted on animals.

            One person in the crowd expressed concern about the approval of a
            2,4-D and glyphosate tank mix and what effects that might have.

            Seralini said people must continue to push for transparency.

            “Please, do you imagine that we are in the 21st century in one of the
            most modern continents and no one has seen the blood analysis of these
            animals that have been used to authorize these products?” he said.

            “How is that possible? Concentrate on the blood analysis of the
            animals that were tested first in order to get the market release of any
            product and you will see the dishonesty.”

            He said those who criticize him have not done research to disprove what he has found.

            “Even if they criticize anybody, they cannot put anything in front of the experiment we have done,” he said.

          • Aveskde

            As I already noted, the researcher used a strain of rodents which has a high cancer rate, and he fed them the herbicide directly. These are two major red flags. They mean that the results are very questionable, since the rodents have high cancer rates already, and because people don’t ingest roundup in their food because it breaks down.

          • Dayton

            Are you saying Glyphosate vanishes from the earth like Houdini? I’m sorry but even Houdini did appear after the fact and so does Glyphosate and GMO DNA.

          • Aveskde

            Are you saying Glyphosate vanishes from the earth like Houdini?

            Are you trying to be funny? The herbicides, like almost anything else, break down in the environment. Molecules often break down when exposed to natural environmental conditions.

          • Your1Friend

            Is Glyphosate biodegradable?

          • Aveskde

            From the EPA itself:

            Environmental Fate
            Glyphosate adsorbs strongly to soil and is not expected to move vertically below the six inch soil layer; residues are expected to be immobile in soil. Glyphosate is readily degraded by soil microbes to AMPA, which is degraded to carbon dioxide. Glyphosate and AMPA are not likely to move to ground water due to the ir strong adsorptive characteristics. However, glyphosate does have the potential to contaminate surface waters due to its aquatic use patterns and through erosion, as it adsorbs to soil particles suspended in runoff. If glyphosate reached surface water, it would not be broken down readily by water or sunlight.
            Ecological Effects
            Glyphosate is no more than slightly toxic to birds and is practically non-toxic to fish, aquatic invertebrates and honeybees. Due to the presence of a toxic inert ingredient, some glyphosate end-use products must be labeled, “Toxic to fish,” if they may be applied directly to aquatic environments. Product labeling does not preclude off-target movement of glyphosate bydrift. EPA therefore is requiring three additional terrestrial plant studies to assess potential risks to nontarget plants.

          • Lisa Mair

            Right, bt toxin found in pregnant women and unborn babies. It doesn’t break down. Would you please stop spreading misinformation Aveskde?

          • Aveskde

            BT doesn’t affect people. It affects insect metabolism, not human metabolism. Learn the topic before commenting on it.

          • Your1Friend

            Thanks for calling a spade a spade, Dayton.

          • Your1Friend

            Thanks, Dayton. Keep up the good work.

            I love this: “Quite right. We’re getting “labelled out” these days. Too much useless information.” Move along, folks. Nothing to see here.

            If GMOs are so great, the GMO label should be a badge of honor!

        • Lisa Mair

          Do you really think pregnant women should take a chance eating GMO foods? They bt toxin and metabolites appear in their blood. See the published science:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            The amount of Bt in a GMO Bt crop is about 10,000 times less than the amount of Bt on an organic crop. So if Bt is your concern, don’t eat organic food.

          • Lisa Mair

            That is complete rubbish! Where do you get this stuff??? I am actually amazed at the audacity you and other anti-labelers have in spreading false information.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            It seems you’ve bought the marketing of the organic industry Lisa. Rest assured, Bt is far more dangerous to humans and the environment when used on organic farms than it is when used in GMO crops.

            Here. Have a look at my latest article on The Daily Caller: http://dailycaller.com/2014/11/14/id-rather-die-of-obesity-than-starvation/

            Enjoy.

          • Lisa Mair

            The biggest indication that your brains have been damaged by the viral contamination of GMOs was when you stated that organic farming is “a philosophy of farming that is best summed up by its
            unconditional rejection of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).” Organic farming is the type of farming that we evolved on, and has only acquired that term when “conventional” farmers started dumping carcinogenic chemicals on our food. Intelligent people prefer foods without cancer causing chemicals, without untested proteins. and without viral gene contamination (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.4161/gmcr.21406#.VGqkRMlNg5M).

          • Lisa Mair

            The second biggest indication that your brains are not working properly is that “you’d rather die of obesity than of starvation.” As if that is the only choice! I’m sure you’re aware that GMOs are not preventing starvation. Most of them go into junk foods, something we clearly don’t need more of. Starvation is not caused by not enough food, we produce more than enough food to feed the entire world. Starvation is caused by inefficient food distribution systems and our insatiable appetite for meat, which is a very inefficient, wasteful, and damaging form of food production. If more people ate organic vegetarian foods, we would not be suffering from the skyrocketing rates of chronic disease. So we don’t have to starve, or suffer. We need to stop buying into what Monsanto tells us… things like “Agent orange is safe! GMOs are safe!” And stop this dangerous and short sighted approach to food production.

          • Lisa Mair

            And calling legitimate concern about GMO contamination in our foods is not a “prostarvation agenda.” Please! If there were actually a prostarvation agenda, it would be the meat industry.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            There is no such thing as contamination of food – even organic food – by GMOs.

          • Lisa Mair

            Contamination of all processed foods by GMO ingredients, and contamination of non-GMO fields through pollination. Come on Mischa…

            I think I’m going to have to stop wasting my time replying to you. Your arguments and comments are so far off the mark, wrong, and irrelevant, it’s like trying to talk to a crazy person.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            People like you simply assume GMOs contaminate organic crops. But can you provide an example?

          • Lisa Mair

            You claim to have been an organic farmer. I would think you know how pollination works. But here is a list of links for you to ponder:

            http://www.non-gmoreport.com/nongeneticallymodifiedfoodorganic/gmocontaminationorganicfoods.php

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            I know of many organic farmers who have successfully sued neighbors for contaminating their land with synthetic pesticides. But I have never heard of a single organic farmer anywhere in the world who has sued for GMO pollen drift. Not one.

          • Lisa Mair

            Maybe the small organic farmers don’t have the funds to sue. I don’t know. But that link I shared two posts above provides many examples of GMOs contaminating organic fields, causing huge problems for the whole chain. And knowing what you know about pollination, don’t you agree it is a very good possibility that would happen?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Cross pollination only qualifies as contamination in a seed crop.

            The link you provided consists of imaginary cases of GMO contamination. If they were real cases, any number of high-priced lawyers would happily take the cases on contingency or pro bono. And none have.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Obesity is only a problem for people who don’t know what it means to go hungry. It’s like complaining to people in the Third World about how many people die in car accidents here in America. They just look at you like you’re crazy.

          • Lisa Mair

            Obesity is a real problem for Americans, right here, right now. Are you saying that isn’t true?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Obesity is a problem in America the same way car accidents are a problem.

          • Lisa Mair

            You are making the most irrelevant statements.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Nice try. But everyone knows obesity is the red-herring of health issues. Go to the Third World and try telling them how horrible it is that some Americans are dying because they’re overweight and they’ll punch you in the nose.

          • Lisa Mair

            And…?

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            And you should worry more about people who are starving to death than people who are overweight. Obesity is a non-issue.

          • Lisa Mair

            I do worry about them. But one form of suffering does not negate another form of suffering. GMOs are not going to alleviate world hunger. We need to address our food distribution systems and stop eating so much meat.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            I’m not the one calling for a food policy. But anyone who believes America needs a food policy should seriously consider a policy that tackles starvation before obesity.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            Organic farming used to mean a lot of things. I was an organic grain farmer, and then became a USDA organic inspector. But organic farming now boils down to simply being anti-GMO, and everything else is just window dressing.

          • Lisa Mair

            For someone who presents himself as a widely experienced person, you sure have limited, biased views.

          • http://www.isitorganic.ca/ Mischa Popoff

            I’m pro-organic. I happen to agree with President Clinton that being organic does not mean I also have to be anti-GMO.

        • Your1Friend

          Propaganda.

    • Aveskde

      “Teach the Controversy!” “Academic Freedom!”

      You’re just repeating the buzzwords of the anti-science crowd. GMOs are safe. If you’re so fearful, pay double and buy organic. They have labels.

      • Lisa Mair

        Like many others who care deeply about this issue, I can afford to buy organic foods to avoid GMOs. But not every can or even knows enough to. We care about the general population, the unborn babies absorbing bt toxin into their little developing bodies, the infants who are drinking GMO formula which is devastating their gut flora and predisposing them to allergies, and the adults who are eating lots of processed foods full of GMOs, and are going to end up diseased, with expensive medical bills. You have to see the bigger picture.

        • Aveskde

          Like many others who care deeply about this issue, I can afford to buy organic foods to avoid GMOs.

          Exactly. You’re a privileged hipster who can afford to be neurotic. Now you want to shift the burden for your neurosis onto the rest of us, who don’t care about GMOs, because YOU know better than us and must destroy GMOs for the good of us even though the science says that you’re dead wrong.

          We care about the general population

          No you don’t. You care about yourself. You care about dictating food choices to the rest of us because you think you know better, because you read a blog somewhere about frankenfood.

          the unborn babies absorbing bt toxin into their little developing bodies

          BT doesn’t affect humans. It affects insect biology. What’s more, IT IS USED BY ORGANIC FARMERS TO CONTROL INSECT POPULATIONS. LEARN THE ISSUE BEFORE COMMENTING.

          the infants who are drinking GMO formula which is devastating their gut
          flora and predisposing them to allergies, and the adults who are eating
          lots of processed foods full of GMOs, and are going to end up diseased

          GMOs are none of these things. There are literally hundreds of studies out there which find them safe. Yet you claim to know better than the science out there because you have a gut feeling. How arrogant.

          • Lisa Mair

            And now he resorts to insults… I really hope no one is being fooled by your false confidence. Anyone reading this who is confused about GMOs, please read this little blurb from Food and Water Watch:

            That GMO boosters are working so hard to distract the public from this meaningful conversation about GMOs is, unfortunately,
            par for the course. The biotech industry has long used its financial might and political power to distort the public discourse
            — and even the science — surrounding GMOs. There is now an extensive public record showing the ways in which biotech
            companies restrict independent research or attack scientists who publish unfavorable research — while also greatly rewarding and
            incentivizing favorable research with countless millions of dollars in research grants, endowments and consulting gigs.72
            The biotech industry also employs neutral-sounding front groups, like the Center for Consumer Freedom, to advance
            its economic and political agenda.73 To be sure, whether it’s a biotech giant like Monsanto, A MONSANTO ALIGNED BLOGGER (that’s you aveskde!), or a
            Monsanto-allied academic, all corners of the GMO-consensus campaign are using the same misleading talking points and
            quotes to suggest that there is a “consensus.”

          • Aveskde

            And now he resorts to insults… I really hope no one is being fooled by your false confidence.

            Ah, I get it now. The truth is insulting to you. Someone bringing attention to the fact that you’re wealthy enough to afford a 3$ tomato insults you. Well, too bad. I’m not going to pay to subsidize your food neurosis. If you’re afraid of corn, then you can pay for expensive food yourself.

            Oh, look, now you’re quoting some tinfoil-hat sources. Did that come from infowars? Did you know that there’s a war on for your mind?

            Sorry, but I care about the science, not fear-campaigns from anti-science types funded by the multi-billion dollar organics lobby. The science shows that GMOs are safe. It doesn’t support your claims.

          • Drexelle Skaphe

            Don’t even bother dude. You know how hard it is to defeat the Dunning-Kruger effect? I had a month long argument that went just like this about GM crops. They refuse to observe empirical evidence because it would make known to themselves that all of their conspiracy theorist tirades are just a bunch of pseudoscientific bs and that their supposedly superior quasi intellectualism fell prey to internet blogging charlatans.

          • Lisa Mair
          • Lisa Mair
          • Your1Friend

            Lisa, these are GMO industry shills. They are paid to lie for a living.

          • Lisa Mair

            I realize that My1Friend! :) I felt it was necessary to engage in the conversation anyway, for the benefit of those who are still confused by GMOs. Thank you for contributing to the conversation!

          • Your1Friend

            Thank you for your contributions, Lisa.

            All empires inevitably fall and so will this monolithic GMO house of cards which is built on sand, on short-term gratification — not science.

          • Aveskde

            The only one confused about GMOs is you.

          • Aveskde

            Lisa, these are GMO industry shills. They are paid to lie for a living.

            Yeah man, dehumanize the people who can prove you wrong and concoct a grand conspiracy about them. That doesn’t sound anything like what creationists do with evolution, the climate change deniers do with global warming, or nationalists do with Jews.

          • Your1Friend

            You are, of course, speaking of the GMO pseudo scientists and the GMO shills who support this failed “technology,” right?

          • Your1Friend

            You obviously don’t care about science. You obviously are a industry propagandist.

          • Aveskde

            Blah blah blah Jews own the Media blah blah blah.

            That’s what you sound like.

            It means you lost the argument.

          • Your1Friend

            Do actually believe this nonsense?

            Have you read each and every one of these studies in detail? (!)

          • Aveskde

            It isn’t nonsense. It is the scientific consensus after more than a decade of research into this very issue.

          • shenendoah-Michael Drew Prior

            The so-called “scientific consensus” that GMO’s are safe does not, and could not, exist (because GMO’s is not a unified class–i.e., some GMO’s are safe, and some are not).

          • Aveskde

            You’re obfuscating. While it is true, strictly speaking, that any new cultivar of a crop could pose unknown risks to consumers, we don’t test for that because these unknown risk factors are not intrinsic to the quality of being genetically engineered. In other words, it would be testing GMO crops for the very traits we ignore in non-GMO crops.

            Instead, the health and environmental effects of the products the GMO trait produces is tested, because this is specific to GE itself, and not simply what exists in any new cultivar.

          • shenendoah-Michael Drew Prior

            No, I am trying to cut to the truth of the matter, and get through yoiur absurd statement that “GMO’s are safe.” That is unwarranted phooey–impossible to show. But in your Gung-Ho GMO blindness, you think it is true. It just isn’t.

          • Aveskde

            absurd statement that “GMO’s are safe.”

            A statement backed by more than a thousand studies over the last decade. Hundreds of them performed by independent parties. The result being a consensus opinion that GMOs are safe for consumption.

            Imagine how agriculture would look if each new cultivar of apple required ten years and a thousand studies to prove its safety. We’d all think it absurd, because it’s just an apple. But GMOs are required to prove themselves with an insane amount of testing, because they are the new kids on the block.

            But at the end of the day, it’s all DNA.

      • Your1Friend

        Why are you so fearful of labeling if GMOs are such state-of-the-art science?

        Why are you so afraid of consumer information?

        • Aveskde

          “Why do you oppose academic freedom?! Teach the controversy! Evolution/Global Warming Hoaxers are afraid of people hearing BOTH sides of the issue!”

          This is the argument you are making.

          There is no scientific support for the idea that GMOs are harmful to people for the sake of them being GMOs. Therefore the label is meaningless outside of fearmongering.

          • Your1Friend

            You expect us to believe this corporate propaganda?

          • Aveskde

            I know you have no evidence or truth on your side, and that’s why you are backed into a wall calling everything propaganda.

          • Your1Friend

            I know you have no evidence or truth on your side, and that’s why you are backed into a wall denying your propaganda.

            Shill Denial Syndrome.

          • Aveskde

            Yeah, I’m totally a shill. The Lizardpeople pay men to promote GMOs for the Greys. If you fold a 5 dollar bill a certain way, it shows cornfields on fire, and Greys abducting people.

          • Your1Friend

            Of course, corporations never ever pay individuals to advocate on behalf of corporate interests! Why, not even in Washington! Never!

            You could be earning much money, A. Don’t let them use you!

          • Aveskde

            Is Monsanto sending you anti-Semitic lesbian meatloaf recipes through fillings in your teeth too?

            Be careful of that.

          • Your1Friend

            How could you possibly have known that?!?

            And I thought I was going mad!

          • Your1Friend

            What a copout.

            Why are you and the GMO industry so FEARFUL of a little label?

          • Aveskde

            “Why are you and the scientists so FEARFUL of students hearing the other side?”

        • Lisa Mair

          Don’t waste your time with Aveskde. He gets very angry, brings in a bunch of irrelevant comparisons, and is obviously not very educated. I stopped replying to him a while back.

          • Your1Friend

            Thanks again, Lisa.

            I am continually astonished at the low level of discourse in America anymore. I am continually astonished at the dramatic decline of American science as well.

            When I was younger, I used to occasionally read Discover and Scientific American and listen to NPR; today, they appear to be owned by the highest bidder.

          • Lisa Mair

            Agreed. I actually wrote to Discover that I was astonished that they even printed this article.

    • JH

      Nutritional values are relevant to the health impacts of the food. Whether the food is GMO or not isn’t.

    • David Brown

      There are labels. Buy Organic or nonGMO labeled foods if you have a fear of certain foods that isn’t based upon science.

      • Lisa Mair

        We already do that for our families, but we also care about others who don’t know what they are feeding their families.

      • UCantHandleTheTruth

        That’s entirely voluntary labeling and inconsistent. Wanting to know what is in your food does not necessarily mean you are afraid of whatever is labeled. I wanted to know how much iron is in my food, not because I was afraid of it but because I have a right to know. This is NO different.

      • Your1Friend

        Why do you fear labeling?

        GMOs are not science, they are a “technology” that is failing at every level.

  • John Green

    There are some important facts to get straight about the new PLOS1 meta-analysis.

    First, the study abstract uses the word “pesticides” when referring to insecticides specifically, making it seem like total agrichemical usage is down, when in fact it is later admitted in the study that herbicides (which are also pesticides) have increased.

    From the PLOS1 study itself: “Only IR [insect resistant] crops cause a consistent reduction in pesticide quantity. Such disparities are expected, because the two technologies are quite different. IR crops protect themselves against certain insect pests, so that spraying can be reduced. HT [herbicide tolerant] crops, on the other hand, are not protected against pests but against a broad-spectrum chemical herbicide (mostly glyphosate), use of which facilitates weed control… [HR tolerant crops] have contributed to increases in the use of broad-spectrum herbicides elsewhere [2], [11], [19]. The savings in pesticide costs for HT crops in spite of higher quantities can be explained by the fact that broad-spectrum herbicides are often much cheaper than the selective herbicides that were used before.”

    So there you have it. The study actually confirms pesticide usage has increased, but incorrectly uses the word pesticide when it should use insecticide only. And the cost savings have little to do with lower amounts. So the very paper the pro-GM demagogues are trumpeting contradicts them.

    There are also other issues. Their data hinges almost exclusively on the successes of Bt cotton in India. They also say in the paper that “yield gains of GM crops are 14 percentage points higher in developing countries than in developed countries.” – this puts operational yield gains within the margin of error in developed nations, flatlining any yield benefits in farm systems already using modern techniques. There’s also no real investigation into whether ag management changes mandated by IMF/World Bank loan terms had a more substantial impact on operational gains in developing nations than the GM traits. Instead, they (incorrectly) attribute all positive impacts to the GM traits.

    And the references section is filled with studies from the authors of the meta-analysis itself. How can they claim no bias when they are hinging their results on successfully quoting themselves?

    And then there is this: “One limitation is that not all of the original studies included in this meta-analysis reported sample sizes and measures of variance. This is not untypical for analyses in the social sciences.”

    Does this mean what I think it means? They are using studies with no sample sizes that can severely bias their results? e.g. A farmer who grew one acre of GM crops the year before and then grew 100 acres the next year would report that he had a higher yield increase percentage than a farmer who planted 100,000 acres the year before and 100,001 this year. If these are being weighed the same, then all of the claims are suspect.

    And after a cursory look at their stats, I want to accuse them of p-hacking! I’ll have to take a closer look into that, but for now there is enough damning about the paper and its presentation that I think anyone who cares about science should dismiss it as little more than a propaganda piece.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      Interesting. Thanks for taking the time to post that. I’ll keep your points in mind when I read the paper.

    • David Brown

      “Pesticides” include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc…

      And not only is glyphosate cheaper, but it is less toxic than the herbicides it replaced.

      • John Green

        “‘Pesticides’ include insecticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc…”

        That’s Exactly what I just said. The PLOS One study incorrectly uses the word pesticides when describing only insecticides, and separates out herbicides.

      • Lisa Mair

        Glyphosate is not safe. Do your research. Here is a link with published studies to get you started.

        http://gmofreeusa.org/gmos-are-top/gmo-science-studies/glyphosate-studies/

        • Drexelle Skaphe

          You used ‘gmofreeusa.org’ as a reference to tell someone to “do their research”? Hilarious. I would say that’s the most retarded thing I’ve heard all week but I actually visited gmofreeusa.org this past Tuesday.

  • Ted Miner

    Christie Wilcox is trying to pawn off cherry picked agenda driven GMO pesticide industry pseudo-science as real science just like all the gmo pesticide industry operative who are here to support her junk science argument.

    The FACT is that GMO pesticide industry pseudo-science will not accept any real science that doesn’t support the corrupt GMO pesticide industry agenda to continue the active conspiracy to keep poisonous pesticide laden GMOs hidden in the food we feed our children.

    Reading this deceptive piece and the GMO pesticide industry planted piece by Keith Kloor it is pretty easy to see that Discover has become just another outlet in the GMO pesticide industry echo chamber.

    There was a wonderful piece published today that perfectly describes this GMO pesticide industry propaganda. See:http://gmobullsheet.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/science-lo-mein/

  • SusanStop

    First, I strongly believe that GE food should be labeled regardless of the strain so that consumers can decide for themselves if they want to consume it. If the author or readers are truly interested from a scientific perspective, I hope the following will help.

    quote “..those which include “value-added output traits” like nutrient enhancement..”

    That is just one of the many AgriChemical cartel’s claims that has soundly been proven wrong.. including ‘Golden Rice’ which was a complete failure.

    “Organic foods are more nutritious, less residual pesticides and the toxic metal cadmium, according to review of 343 studies
    http://www.latimes.com/science/la-sci-organic-foods-20140715-story.html
    http://research.ncl.ac.uk/nefg/QOF/documents/14-06-12%20Final%20Crops%20Paper%20BJN5552.pdf

    Just to name a few of the claims that are proven incorrect;

    10 REASONS WHY we don’t need GM foods
    1. GM foods won’t solve the food crisis
    2. GM crops do not increase yield potential
    3. GM crops increase pesticide use
    4. There are better ways to feed the world
    5. Other farm technologies are more successful
    6. GM foods have not been shown to be safe to eat
    7. Stealth GMOs are in animal feed — without consumers’ consent
    8. GM crops are a long-term economic disaster for farmers
    9. GM and non-GM cannot co-exist, GM contamination of conventional and organic
    10. We can’t trust GM companies
    with references
    http://www.saynotogmos.org/10reasons_need.pdf

    This is one reason we don’t have valid long term independent studies..

    The Corruption of Science. This article should be required reading for every scientist, student, politician and well everyone else..
    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/The_Corruption_of_Science.php

    When you say “have been approved by the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.” I hope you realize that Monsanto and other AgriChemical corporations have thoroughly infiltrated our government agencies? I can provide many links on this but here is two examples;

    “WHY THE FDA’S POLICY ON GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS IS IRRESPONSIBLE AND ILLEGAL”
    http://www.biointegrity.org/WhyFDAPolicyIrresponsible.htm

    Abby Martin – Confessions of an FDA Agent
    http://youtu.be/R3SQ6OgDpRU

    “Five Ways the FDA Has Failed Consumers on Genetically Engineered Foods
    No health safety testing; Genetically engineered (GE) foods have never been safety tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), thanks to a 20-year-old policy that says it’s up to the biotech companies to determine the safety of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
    http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_27143.cfm

    30+ countries have looked into the safety issue and have banned GMOs and 64+ countries label them. The companies that put gmo food on our shelves have removed gmos from many other countries products.. along with other toxic things that have been banned in many countries like food dyes and yoga mat chemicals.

    Soon the AgriChemical cartel will control all food and that is their intent…
    “There are more GMOs in the pipeline right now like Pigs, salmon,plum, apple, banana, blueberry, carrot, cranberry, eggplant, grape, grapefruit, lettuce, onion, pea, pepper, persimmon, pineapple, plum, potato, squash, strawberry, sweet potato, tomato, and watermelon, wheat.
    http://www.non-gmoreport.com/articles/may06/gmo_pipeline.php

    I would like to comment more but I hear the author is deleting peoples comments…?

    • http://christiewilcox.com/ Christie Wilcox

      Susan: You are welcome to debate the issues with resources and information in the comments. As for ‘deleting comments’, comments that get deleted are those that link to patently abusive content which contains no scientific information, or are themselves abusive. Posting such commentary will earn you a slot on the blog’s blacklist permanently, which also deletes all other comments from a user.

  • http://theartofchange.com/ Dr. K

    Pro GMO much? So much for the credibility of Discover. Biotech is throwing money around like Gatsby and to media outlets I guess it looks like there’s gold in them thar’ hills.

    To say that the science is in on this issue is to repeat an industry talking point and nothing more.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      So what? Is this paper wrong?

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

      If you think so, why don’t you elaborate?

      • http://theartofchange.com/ Dr. K

        First of all, did you read the paper? (I did.)

        Wrong about what? Elaborate on what? Are you saving money by using fewer words or less thought?

        The paper you ask about is a meta analysis, and has nothing to do with human health, nor does it examine side effects of growing GMO crops (superweeds, loss of non GMO sales through contamination, etc.)

        It does make the case that GMOs are more profitable for farmers, and that pesticide use is less on the crops in the studies surveyed. But that’s a narrow window into what can be a substantially wider view. (So it provides support for biotech’s narrative to farmers, big surprise.) Also, authors of the paper point out that the meta analysis lacks homogeneity in its source material. The paper has A survey of picked studies does not constitute science. Science is an approach that is not concerned with finding proof, but with finding fact.

        So why don’t you elaborate? And here’s a ‘so what?’ back atcha.

        • http://theartofchange.com/ Dr. K

          I will add that there are a few problems with this paper, not least of which, the authors reference their own studies to bolster the survey, their ‘better for profits’ argument is built on a 3rd world result rather than modern farming, they misuse the word ‘pesticide’ in the survey, and sample sizes are uncontrolled.

          • Rob Bright

            Also, not the least of which, is that the lead “scientist” (if you can even use that word descriptively here) worked for Monsanto.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          No I haven’t read it yet. Just printed it off this afternoon. I was honestly asking what your criticisms were so I can keep them in mind when I do read it.

          • http://theartofchange.com/ Dr. K

            Then my apologies, sir. I’m a bit frustrated about the election, and how the nation is now apparently for sale to the highest bidder. Your ‘So what?’ set the tone for my initial response.

          • Canadian_Skeptic

            No apologize necessary. My response was poorly worded.

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      “the science is in” only in that a lot of science is in. Any scientist worth their salt will tell you everything is an open problem, and that incoming empirical evidence forms our developing opinion on matters…nothing more, nothing less. In this case, all empirical evidence is pointing in the same direction. Decades worth of research resulting in 2000+ peer-reviewed research publications. GMOs pose no unusual threat to us or our planet, and to the contrary can help us and our planet. And, will be quite the advantageous tool for accommodating a growing population and the impact of a growing population on our planet. You need not accept these results….and I am not saying you should. But, to reject that result requires a mounting body of evidence…and there simply isn’t one.

      Big Placebo makes billions annually from fear and scientific illiteracy, so rest assured, GMO-free food is already labeled. So why do the outcries remain. Religious dogma? Is this the faith-based science that brings us creationism, vaccination scares, and denial of climate change?

  • Jerry

    These “wins” for the big food and biotech companies had absolutely nothing to do with science and everything to do with money. As in the rest of the nation, big money almost always wins. America really needs to wake up to this. The system is broken and money rules over health and well-being everywhere. The for-profit “science” of the biotechs continues to roll, selling ever more chemicals, which is their only concern. We’ve gotten owned–by the corporations– and it is just going to get worse until every citizen pitches in and changes things.

  • Rob Bright

    “Science Sushi” is right! Smells fishier than ever! Too bad a publication claiming to represent science in fact represents the corporate/ tobacco/ pseudoscience it claims to fight. Sad…

    • hyperzombie

      tobacco/ pseudoscience

      Your side contains the Tobacco pseudoscience, jut you are too warped with corporate hate to see it.

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      @hyperzombie:disqus said it right. @robbright:disqus would be on the “Tobacco pseudoscience” side of this argument.

  • Jerry
  • Lisa Mair

    This is not science triumphing, it is just another example of very rich corporations spending millions of dollars to confuse lay people. Millions of people eating GMOs for 15 years does not prove safety. We are getting sicker and fatter, with food allergies, cancer, autism, all skyrocketing. GMO foods create new proteins, and we have no idea if they are safe. I do not believe the so called safety studies conducted by the biotech companies selling these things. Please. If you believe them, I have a bridge to sell you.

    • hyperzombie

      Well the cancer rate is going down and Obesity has peaked and is now trending down. I guess according to your logic GMO cure cancer and help with obesity.

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      Indeed, the vast majority of publicly funded research also supports GMOs posing no threat to human or planet health…and often to the contrary. Does that mean they are completely safe and awesome? No! But you need something other than your unscientific intuition to conclude they are unsafe.

      Increased detection of autism is what you mean, not increased incidence. The major “observed” per-capita increase was before GMOs, anyways. Cancer increases with an aging population, so increased cancer is a result of our longevity (that is to say we are healthier!). We are not “sicker and fatter”, the contrary is true. Food allergies do appear to be on the rise, and none of the accepted mechanism involve GMOs. That is not to say there is no link, but you simply can’t make things up that satisfy you biases. If I have a bias against bottled water, I can simply conclude that bottled water is what is resulting in obesity, cancer, and autism…I need to show a link.

  • Andrea Eigner

    Here is a link to a study showing the GMO corn effected kidney and liver function, heart problems and cancer in rats studied over 3 years, and a short excerpt. http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm “We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded. “

  • Andrea Eigner

    Here is a link to a study showing the GMO corn effected kidney and liver function, heart problems and caused cancer in rats studied over 3 years, and a short excerpt. http://www.ijbs.com/v05p0706.htm “We therefore conclude that our data strongly suggests that these GM maize varieties induce a state of hepatorenal toxicity. This can be due to the new pesticides (herbicide or insecticide) present specifically in each type of GM maize, although unintended metabolic effects due to the mutagenic properties of the GM transformation process cannot be excluded. “

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      You know what’s a bit funny about that paper. The authors declare no conflict of interest and yet all are affiliated with the anti-GMO CRIIGEN group. Given some of the other quite shabby results Seralini et al have produced, I view their work very skeptically. Regardless, I am curious and will read the paper. Thanks for posting it.

      • Bill Hall

        You know what’s funny about that comment, Canadian_Skeptic? You just got owned by a Dr.K a few comments above. You challenged someone smarter and better informed than you and he ate you for lunch. You published a link to a study you hadn’t even read–a shill rookie error. That would make others sit back and wonder if perhaps their GMOLOL or Skeptics of the Universe talking points might be full of crap, but not you. Nope, not you. Carry on. I’m enjoying watching you think you know what you’re talking about.

        • Canadian_Skeptic

          Why don’t you dispense with the attitude?The paper I linked in that comment was the one being referred to in this article and I wanted to know what Dr K’s criticisms were. I linked it so that it was clear which paper I was referring to. Since you’re so good at reading through other comments, you should have noticed where I acknowledged my wording was poor and thanked Dr K for his point of view. Carry on with the abrasive attitude and get used to being ignored. I hope you come around to a more mature form of conversation.

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      This study was retracted and discredited at large by the scientific community, no? Hopefully not another one of these charlatans that brought us the vaccination scare!

      I am not in favor of GMO labeling. But, I think it is an imperative that this study be reproduced by several independent labs, whose research is free from private funding. If it fact this was a reproducible result, I would rethink my position in a hurry.

      • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

        Here is an interesting link to the reaction of the republication of this article. Professors/researchers in Europe mostly, it appears.

        http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/06/24/scientists-react-to-republished-seralini-maize-rat-study/

      • Andrea Eigner

        Thank you so much for your level-headed comment. The main criticism of the study is that there weren’t enough rats used (17 control rats and 17 rats fed GMO corn with Roundup sprayed on it, as per usual), and that the breed of rat used in the study is prone to tumors. However, the study found that that rats fed the GMO corn with the Roundup developed many more tumors and died earlier than the control animals. The same breed of rat was used in the control group. I understand that this is only one study.

      • Andrea Eigner

        Thank you so much for your level-headed comment. The main criticism of the study is that there weren’t enough rats used (17 control rats and 17 rats fed GMO corn with Roundup sprayed on it, as per usual), and that the breed of rat used in the study is prone to tumors. However, the study found that that rats fed the GMO corn with the Roundup developed many more tumors and died earlier than the control animals. The same breed of rat was used in the control group. I understand that this is only one study but, it’s the only long term study. (2 years. I said 3. That wasn’t correct.) Monsanto’s studies are only for 90 days. When scientist’s are quoted as saying, “no other long term study has found an issue” that’s because there are no other long term studies. Still, I do understand that this is only one study. And I completely agree that it should be done again, and again, and again. Thank you.

  • al

    al SD farmer for 44 years
    AH!!! The infamous SERALINI study. The very same study that has been dismissed by the French scientific community for a multitude of reasons.

  • Clarence Wright

    I find the headline, “Science triumphs” extremely offensive.
    Most scientifically-minded people I know are in favor of proper labeling and identification of GMOs.
    The headline pits general consumers against “science”.
    Science, by nature, WANTS TO KNOW.
    MONSANTO ≠ SCIENCE
    Monsanto utilizes science. Science is not an enemy. Corporations such as Monsanto, which have only their own profits in mind and are not concerned for the health and safety of the planet are not “Science.” Just as religious extremists are not truly representative of a religion.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      Are the science minded folks you know aware that there are already pretty effective ways to identify foods that likely contain GM ingredients? I would think that anyone who is science minded is aware that >90% of corn, soy, canola, and sugar beet are GM. If a product contains any of these ingredients and isn’t labelled “non-GMO” or “certified organic”, then it likely contains GM ingredients. If you want to avoid GM foods, then look for products with these labels. I am not a fan of further bureaucracy when there isn’t a clear need (i.e. a health risk).

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      I don’t know about “scientifically minded”, but I can tell you you are incorrect about actual scientists. I am professor and researcher in genetics and oncology, and my peers and I discuss this regularly at social gatherings, parties, conferences, etc. We are all publicly funded. I have yet to meet a single scientist that supports GMO labeling. The reasons why are spelled out clearly in the article and blog responses, so I will not detail them here without request.

  • Wackyguy

    92 hasn’t failed yet. Votes are still being counted and it’s very close. There might be a recount.

  • Brunskii

    The All Important Operative word here, as stated in this article is… “on the basis of current knowledge”.
    After a generation or so, we’ll see how the facts change. I will certainly be sure not to buy anything grown on US controlled soil.

  • Brunskii

    The All Important Operative word here, as stated in this article is… “on the basis of current knowledge”.
    After a generation or so, we’ll see how the facts change. I will certainly be sure not to buy anything grown on US controlled soil.

    We, .. (Intelligent folk elsewhere), know the state of US health (oxymoron) after FDA and Corporate Business infiltration & manipulation.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      So what exactly would you propose?

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      More than a “generation” of studies have been done. 2000+ peer-reviewed publications and growing. The science is in my friend.

      So self-serving of you to include yourself among the “Intelligent folk”, considering essentially all publicly funded, independent health scientists across the globe conclude that you are incorrect.

  • Dayton

    Seriously, $$$ trumps. When you have to spend 4 to 1 to scare consumers into voting your way one has to be very suspicious. Seems there are a lot of future Organic consumers out there after these debates.

  • Sleuth 4 Health

    There ought to be a law written that if you’re going to gather signatures to legislate something, such as GMO labeling, you should have to show proof that you UNDERSTAND what the thing in question even is. The anti-GMO crowd hates something they don’t understand but THINK they do because of all the hype they’ve read on the internet. They think labeling is the answer. The truth is, everyone who is anti-GMO probably already knows what foods contain GMOs – and the ones who don’t know don’t care. The agenda behind the cloak of labeling is so obvious – that GMOs are bad and should be destroyed. The anti GMO crowd reminds me of an angry mob from the middle ages out to burn a heretic at the stake. Oregon thankfully dodged a mass-hysteria fear-monger bullet this time but the US needs a powerful science education project to happen before this issue can rest.

    The whole thing is sad because it is a resource drain on both sides.

  • Bill Hall

    By the way, the count is Oregon is closer and closer every time I check. 49.72 YES to 50.28 NO at present. I would not call this a triumph for science or even for industry overspending. With only 95% of votes counted, this thing might still flip. http://oregonvotes.gov/results/2014G/1029276478.html

    • hyperzombie

      Nope you lost… Suck it up.

      • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

        hehe… :)

        • bielzabub

          (evil laugh) Even if we don’t get the YES vote, the count still speaks for itself. Half of the voters in Oregon want GMO labeling, no matter what dark alley payoffs and calculated miscounts Monsanto and fiends have paid for.

  • Lisa Mair

    David, I think you are actually talking about biotech funded research. The independent research does indicate cause for concern. Anyway, it’s more than “unscientific intuition” – I’ve actually studied genetics in college and graduate school. DNA codes for proteins, and foreign proteins can be allergenic. Regarding autism, I think you might be confusing it with ADD? There are certainly more autistic kids than there ever were, not just “diagnosed”. As for cancer being only for the aged, well, I’m guessing you haven’t had the displeasure of visiting a children’s cancer hospital. They are huge and there are many of them, and they are filled with sick kids. I daresay your biases are showing.

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      I too studied genetics in college, in fact I am a professor/researcher in genetics and oncology. I work for Johns Hopkins, and can assure you assessment of cancer is corroborated by zero empirical evidence.

      No, I mean autism. I think your probably getting a lot of info from Jenny McCarthy’s books/website, and similar resources. These are not a substitute pursuing the scientific literature. Or at a bare minimum, looking at “trusted” scientific outlets that are more publicly “accessible”, such as this one or Scientific American.

      Yes, foreign molecules cause allergies. For you to suggest there is a link between GMOs and allergies is speculation not supported by scientific evidence. However, many factors are linked allergies (increased hygiene, exposure to drugs, food introduction, prevalence of known food allergens in food (peanuts, eggs, milk)). Just be honest and say “I have a strong inner conviction that there is a link”, or “my faith guides me to know there is a link”…who knows, you might be right. But your just guessing.

      No, the vast majority of independent research is at odds with your belief. There are 2000+ studies. They are easy to find. The conflict of interest (COI) at the end of each report will tell which to be wary of.

      I do have biases, indeed. They are based on the currently gathered body of empirical evidence.

    • hyperzombie

      actually talking about biotech funded research.

      Yep, and why would they sell something harmful?

      The independent research does indicate cause for concern

      Nope, Independent research show the same..Organic funded research shows harm.

      Do you really think that most people would pay more for food if it wasnt for the GMO/chem scare?

      • Lisa Mair

        hyperzombie – I think your brains have been eaten.

        Why would they sell something harmful? Well maybe because they want more billions of dollars and maybe even control of the world food supply. Do you know that Monsanto claimed that agent orange was safe through their own independent studies? Must we learn the hard way again?

        I’m not sure what you’re asking about paying more for food…?

        Regarding research, below are a few points with references. I also suggest you check out this site for more research about GMO non-safety:

        http://www.nongmoproject.org/learn-more/gmo-myths-and-truths/

        – Chemical companies claim Bt toxin easily breaks down in the human gut but a Canadian study found Bt toxin in 93 percent of maternal and 80
        percent of fetal blood samples, clearly indicating that Bt toxin passes from the gut into the bloodstream and even from placenta to the fetus. [8] [9]

        – GMOs have been linked to increased allergies, gut-related conditions, autism, auto-immune disease, infertility, birth defects, obesity, cancers, and other illnesses in independent scientific studies on lab animals. [10] [11] [12] [14]

        – Contrary to popular belief, the pesticides used on GMOs cannot be washed off as they are absorbed into the crops. For Bt crops, this is in addition to the insecticide already present within the crop itself.
        [17]

        – GMOs have led to massive increases in toxic agricultural chemical use in the USA since their introduction in the mid-1990s, winding up in
        most of our precious waterways and leading to significant environmental pollution and degradation. This is opposite of what the chemical/biotech
        industry promised. [19] [20]

        – GMOs and increased pesticide use are a major factor in the increasing death rates of honeybees, monarch butterflies, and bird populations. [22] [23] [24] [25]

        – GMOs do not increase yields and will not feed the world. Today, GMO crops are primarily grown for use in biofuels, animal feed, and clothing (GMO cotton). A small percentage of total GMO acreage is used in
        processed junk foods like Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Coca Cola’s soda. Sweet corn, Hawaiian Rainbow papaya, yellow crookneck squash and zucchini are the only whole food GMOs on the market. There is not a single study that proves that GMOs have helped to “feed the world.” This is a marketing/propaganda line used by agrichemical companies to sell more patented seeds and chemicals. These companies and their proponents know this but continue the false advertising. [26]

        References:

        8 Sean Coulter for Daily Mail Online. “ GM Food Toxins Found in the Blood of 93% on Unborn Babies.” Published May 20, 2011.

        9 Aris, A; Leblanc, S. (May 2011) “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.” Reprod Toxicol. 2011 May; 31(4):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

        10 Jeffrey Smith. “Genetically Engineered Foods May Cause Rising Food Allergies – Genetically Engineered Corn.” 2007 IRT Spilling the Beans Newsletter.

        11 Spiroux de Vendômois, J; Roullier, F; Cellier, D; Séralini, G. (2009) “A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health.” Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5(7):706-726. doi:10.7150/ijbs.5.706

        12 Velimirov, A; Binter, C; Zentek, J. (Nov. 2008) “Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice.”

        14 Louise Sarant for Egypt Independent. “Tests on rats suggest genetically modified foods pose health hazards.” Published December 8, 2012

        17 Greger, M. (2010) “Can Pesticides Be Rinsed Off?” August 26, 2010

        19 Tom Philpott for Mother Jones. “How GMOs Unleashed a Pesticide Gusher.” Published October 3, 2012.

        20 Benbrook, C. (2012) “Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S.- the first sixteen years.” Environmental Sciences Europe 2012, 24:24 doi:10.1186/2190-4715-24-24

        22 Brit Amos for Global Research. “Death of the Bees. Genetically Modified Crops and the Decline of Bee Colonies in North America.” Published August 9, 2011.

        23 Tom Philpott for Mother Jones. “Researchers: GM Crops Are Killing Monarch Butterflies, After All.” Published March 21, 2012

        24 Pleasants, J; Oberhauser, K. (2012) “Milkweed loss in agricultural fields because of herbicide use: effect on the monarch butterfly population.” Insect Conservation and Diversity Volume 6, Issue 2, pages 135–144, March 2013 DOI: 10.1111/j.1752-4598.2012.00196.x

        25 Tom Philpott for Mother Jones. “Not Just the Bees: Bayer’s Pesticide May Harm Birds, Too” Published March 27, 2013.

        26 Gurrian-Sherman, D. (April 2009) “Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops.” Union of Concerned Scientists. Published April 2009.

  • Barry

    If there is nothing wrong with GMO’s and science says its safe then why aren’t companies like Monsanto or Dow pushing for GMO labeling. Proclaiming to the world how great these GE crops are? If there is really nothing to fear then they why would they be spending millions of dollars against GMO labeling or initiatives that like the one just passed in Maui County. The logic here doesn’t make sense…why is Monsanto fighting against this…they should be taughting there so called “safe” food.

    • hyperzombie

      If there is nothing wrong with growing in Animal Feces and science says its safe then why aren’t Organic companies like Earthbound Farms or Whole Foods pushing for Feces Labels? Unlike GMO people die every year from poisons that are in animal feces.

      • bielzabub

        Sounds like a feces-phobia to me. Ever hear of composting?

        • hyperzombie

          Ever hear of E-Coli poisoning?

  • Mary M.

    “Despite all the noise pushed by anti-GMO groups, the science is abundantly clear: GM crops are safe. The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the US National Academy of Sciences, and every major scientific body in the world agree on this.” What is the industry doing wrong that this isn’t being conveyed to the general public? Appreciate this article, but am afraid that we are clueless in our efforts to significantly educate consumers and turn the tide at this point. Any ideas?

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      I fear there is no short-term solution. This is all faith. “I want to believe, despite the preponderance evidence, that my preconceived notion of the world is correct”. People still believe that the composition of our atmosphere cannot affect our climate and that humans and dinosaurs once co-existed.

      IMO, the best argument for increased science and math in grade school is NOT because that’s where the jobs are. It’s to prevent the schism between those that cling onto whatever parcel of faith their intuition guides them to, and those that do their best to avoid conspiracy theories and let empirical evidence guide their intuition.

      But childhood indoctrination will persist. A parent can always *try* to convince their child that the science they learn is part of some corporate agenda or the liberal agenda.

      Sound like I am going to far? Read these blogs and listen to the static. Wah wah :(

  • Andrea Eigner

    The main criticism of the Seralini study is that there weren’t enough rats used (17 control rats and 17 rats fed GMO corn with Roundup sprayed on it, as per usual), and that the breed of rat used in the study is prone to tumors. However, the study found that that rats fed the GMO corn with the Roundup developed many more tumors and died earlier than the control animals. The same breed of rat was used in the control group. I understand that this is only one study but, it’s the only long term study. (2 years. I said 3. That wasn’t correct.) Monsanto’s studies are only for 90 days. When scientist’s are quoted as saying, “no other long term study has found an issue” that’s because there are no other long term studies. Still, I do understand that this is only one study.

  • bielzabub

    Talk about a bunch of zombies, Go ahead and keep eating your GMO wonderfood. See how you feel from your fake foods in 20 years. If you even last that long. Man does not have the right to modify the food chain.
    There is a basic element in plant foods that we all need to really thrive, and GMO’s do not have it. And what that is is it’s direct evolution on this planet without the so called “help” of man. Good luck with your evil plan. Conventional plant breeding substantially outperforms genetic engineering. Period. (And biodynamic farming actually replenishes the soil, rather than depleting it. Enough with your lies.)

    • http://www.bme.jhu.edu/people/primary.php?id=1066 David Masica

      You mean the past 20 years that we’ve been eating GMOs, or the next 20?

      You should share this “basic element” with everyone. Sounds like you might be on to something huge!

      If conventional farming outperforms genetic engineering you have nothing to worry about…the genetic engineering will stop immediately. Period. Big agriculture certainly wants the best performance possible.

      If biodynamic farming can reduce irrigated water and prevent soil erosion with the same efficacy that engineered crops can, I am sure it will catch on.

  • UCantHandleTheTruth

    You mean the science funded by Monsanto, the same folks whose science offered completely safe Agent Orange? There are many scientists who have stated that they were hushed, threatened and discredited, etc. for coming out against Monsanto.

  • L Scherer

    Seriously? I find it interesting that it’s the same people who say “you shouldn’t care about warrantless government spying if you’re not doing anything wrong”, are on the opposite side here saying “corporations shouldn’t have to be transparent BECAUSE they’re doing nothing wrong.” The one consistency is a desire to keep the public ignorant about what is being done to them.

    The truth is that there is no need for anyone to “subidize the higher cost of food” required because there is no extra cost to adding “Contains GMO ingredients” to a label. The added costs comes when a corporatation seeks to continue hiding it from whatever consumers they can, and so CHOOSES to create separate labelling. Enforcement cost would fold right in to already existing food safety inspections and labelling. Label it consistently and let the consumer decide – just like trans fats, as JCB said.

    If you honestly think that eating corn injected with a spliced virus designed to alter DNA will have no ill effects on you, go for it. Of course the other problem is that as these “designer foods” take over all the farmland, Monsanto holds the patent on the crops and controls the world food supply. They already sue adjacent farmers who end up with cross-contaminated crops through no fault of their own. What do you think they’ll do when there’s no natural crops left? Wake up and smell the carcinogenic coffee.

  • Lisa Mair
  • Your1Friend

    Why is Discover Magazine so fearful of full disclosure?

  • amanda

    I just don’t get what the big deal is. I mean, people are smart. Just because something says that it has genetically engineered ingredients in it doesn’t mean people are going to run in the other direction. I know plenty of people who don’t care in the slightest if they eat something that has gmos in it. But I know other people who do care about it and wouldn’t eat them if given a choice. People are smart and they know what they want. But in order for people to make choices they have to have information. So, why not label gmos? Good for you or bad for you, what is the difference? It’s just information about the product your buying. It’s like knowing that one shirt you want to buy is made in china and another shirt you want to buy was made in india. The only difference is that you know where it comes from. Labeling gmos won’t stop them from being produced, if anything it might increase their production if all of the statements in this article are credible. If some people want to know if something is ge let them know. Because it could help out the people who want to support gmos too. That way, they know what they are buying and are able to make a knowledgeable decision about what they are purchasing and supporting. Knowledge is power. So buy or don’t buy. Just let people have the chance to make an informed choice.

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About Christie Wilcox

Dr. Christie Wilcox is a science writer and postdoctoral scholar at the University of Hawaii. She freelances for major media outlets including The New York Times and Popular Science. Her debut book, Venomous, releases August 2016 (Scientific American/FSG Books). To learn more about her life and work, check out her webpage or follow her on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook.

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