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    The Anti-GMO Campaign’s Dangerous War On Science
    By Michael Eisen | June 15th 2012 04:26 PM | 53 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Michael

    Prof. Michael Eisen is an evolutionary biologist at U.C. Berkeley and an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His research focuses...

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    This November, Californians will vote on an initiative that would require any food containing ingredients derived from genetically modified crops to be labeled as such.

    Backers of the “California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” are pitching it as a matter of providing information to consumers, who, they argue, “have a right to know what’s in the food we buy and eat and feed our children, just as we have the right to know how many calories are in our food, or whether food comes from other countries like Mexico or China.”

    I have no concerns about the safety of GMOs. But I support the right of people to make choices about what they eat, and think we should provide them with the information they need to do so.

    I understand where some of the nervousness about GMOs comes from. I worry about the uncontrolled chemical experiments our species is doing on our bodies, and am a big consumer of organic foods. I am also skeptical when industries assert that their products are safe, because so often these claims have turned out to be false.

    But I also appreciate the challenges of feeding our growing population, and believe in the power of biotechnology to not just make agriculture more efficient, but to make it better for people and the planet. And as a molecular biologist very familiar with the technology of genetic modification and the research into its safety, I do not find it in the least bit frightening.

    What I do find frightening, however, is the way backers of this initiative have turned a campaign for consumer choice into a crusade against GMOs. They don’t want the “genetically engineered” label to merely provide information. They want it to be a warning – the equivalent for GM food of the cancer warning on cigarette boxes.

    The problem is there is no justification for a warning. There is no compelling evidence of any harm arising from eating GMOs, and a diverse and convincing body of research demonstrating that GMOs are safe. But rather than reckon with this reality, anti-GMO campaigners have joined their climate-change denying brethren, and launched an agressive war on science.

    Opponents of GMOs  are so sure that GMOs are dangerous that any study suggesting they are safe must have been funded by Monsanto, and any scientist pointing out the holes in their arguments must be an industry shill. In the anti-GMO universe, it often seems that the best evidence that something must be true is the existence of multiple experiments showing it is false.

    The language of the initiative itself contains clear misstatements of scientific consensus. For example, one of the “Findings and Declarations” states:

    Government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of DNA into plants, a technique unique to genetic engineering, can cause a variety of significant problems with plant foods. Such genetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns.

    While I’m sure they have a reference that justifies their making this assertion, the reality is that the US and EU government scientists have repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that GMOs are safe. For the backers of the initiative to claim otherwise as a finding of fact is an outright lie, and an outlandish attack on science.

    If this initiative passes it will reify the war on science, and deal another body blow to the idea, already reeling from the climate change debate, that public policy should be based on good data and solid reasoning. It MUST be stopped.

    The question of course is how. I am so infuriated with rhetoric from backers of the labeling campaign that I’m tempted to just sit here ridiculing the egregious misinformation, bad science, pseudoscience and non-science that they traffic in. This would make me less angry. But it wouldn’t be productive.

    I suspect the most zealous opponents of GMOs are not open to being convinced. But, polls show, the bulk of the electorate doesn’t know a lot about this issue and probably come into the debate inclined both the support labeling and have vague fears about GMOs. So I am going to suppress my fury and be constructive and address these fears with the only tool at my disposal – science.

    Following her article in the NYT on the labeling debate, Amy Harmon posted a series of “GMO FAQs” on Twitter, distilled from the ~500 comments posted following her story. These seem to capture a good chunk of the fears people have about genetic modification and GMO foods. And so, over the next several days, I am going to answer each of those questions, as well as a few of my own. Check back here (I’ll add the answers below as I get to them), or follow me on Twitter. And please participate in the discussion, and feel free to pose any more questions!

    Question 1) Isn’t transferring genes from one species to another unnatural and intrinsically dangerous?

    Question 2) Maybe GMOs aren’t automatically bad, but isn’t it obvious that it’s dangerous to consume crops that produce their own pesticides and can tolerate high doses of herbicides?

    Question 3) Why should I believe GM food is safe? Why should I trust the big companies that develop these crops? Didn’t it take years to realize PCBs, DDT, ‘good’ cholesterol, etc. were bad for us?

    Question 4) What about studies that show GM foods cause allergies, destroy organs and make mice sterile? 

    Question 5) Why won’t GM crops will escape and contaminate non-GMO crops (and maybe the planet)

    Question 6) GM crops initially reduced spraying. But now we have resistant weeds&insects. Aren’t we on a ‘pesticide treadmill’? 

    Question 7) Don’t GMOs destroy biodiversity?

    Question 8) Don’t GMOs undermine local agriculture in the developing world?

    Question 9) Aren’t Monsanto’s business practices enough to want to boycott GMOs?

    About me

    I am a molecular biologist with a background in infectious diseases, cancer genomics, developmental biology, classical genetics, evolution and ecology. I am not a plant biologist, but I understand the underlying technology and relevant areas of biology. I would put myself firmly in the “pro GMO” camp, but I have absolutely nothing material to gain from this position. My lab is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. I am not currently, have never been in the past, and do not plan in the future, to receive any personal or laboratory support from any company that makes or otherwise has a vested interest in GMOs. My vested interest here is science, and what I write here, I write to defend it.

    Originally published on MichaelEisen.org June 1st, 2012.
    Front page image credit: Shutterstock

    Comments

    Great article - I have been wondering these very things.

    Private industry has continued to lead in providing food for the people to eat. I fear that the unintended consequences of this "labeling" will at some point result in severe food shortages. Or the government mandating that we have to eat organic. Or who knows what.

    What I do know? 6 billion people live on this planet and food is abundantly available to the vast majority of the world. I worry that governmental involvement will increase inefficiency and at some point, cause a major food shortage.

    Why is labeling a threat to GMO's? You are against allowing people to obtain accurate information and make decisions about what they eat. Don't we live in the land of the free. It's the producers job to educate consumers why GMOs are safe. Several days ago WHO announced that long-term exposure to diesel exhaust is a cancer danger similar to asbestos. Is the science they used to make this claim accurate? Can you assure the consumer that all the data submitted by the corporations to government regulators is accurate? Can studies performed over relatively short-term periods justify long-term exposure to GMO? Currently, the experiment is being performed on the public without our consent.

    He clearly states in his 6th paragraph why he takes issue with the current initiative. To summarize for you: They are not seeking to merely put an info label on the products, they want the info label placed on GMO foods to essentially be a warning label akin to those on cigarette labels...without any evidence that GMO are harmful. A label stating "Genetically Modified" is fine and similar to how organic foods might be labelled. A label that says: "WARNING: Genetically modified" is an entirely different thing.

    Could you please cite the studys in your "diverse body of evidence", on which you are basing your position that GMOs are safe for long-term human consumption? because as far as I'm aware most studies demonstrating the safety of GMO's are industry funded and therefor inadequate because of the inherent conflict of interest, could you please show me any independent studies which support your position? based on your article you seem like a reasonable person and I would to see the evidence that you have seen which has persuaded you to adopt your position.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    The problem is there is no justification for a warning. There is no compelling evidence of any harm arising from eating GMOs, and a diverse and convincing body of research demonstrating that GMOs are safe. But rather than reckon with this reality, anti-GMO campaigners have joined their climate-change denying brethren, and launched an agressive war on science.
    Opponents of GMOs  are so sure that GMOs are dangerous that any study suggesting they are safe must have been funded by Monsanto, and any scientist pointing out the holes in their arguments must be an industry shill. In the anti-GMO universe, it often seems that the best evidence that something must be true is the existence of multiple experiments showing it is false.

    How about any studies showing that GMOs are dangerous that were funded by Monsanto and then kept from the public eye? Do they count? The data for these studies had to be obtained through court actions that were lost by Monsanto (see below). Why don't you check out the comments and links on this other blog here at Science20 falsely claiming many of the things that you are claiming here? Do we pro-science, non-American hippies have to fight you pro GMO bloggers in duplicate? I guess we do. Here are just a few of my relevant comments and some links from the other blog :-

    Some hippie cows that got more than a stomach ache: see http://www.qwmagazine.com/2012/06/14/brazilian-farmers-win-2-billion-jud...

    Bunch of anti-science hippies working at Monsanto! see http://crisisboom.com/2011/08/22/gm-foods-not-served-in-monsanto-cafeteria/


    French Ag Minister to ban Syngenta’s bee-killing pesticide

    Study says insecticide used with GM corn highly toxic to bees

    Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt Cotton in India

    GM Ban Long Overdue Dozens Ill&Five Deaths in the Philippines

    A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health  at http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm The paper's Abstract says :-

    We present for the first time a comparative analysis of blood and organ system data from trials with rats fed three main commercialized genetically modified (GM) maize (NK 603, MON 810, MON 863), which are present in food and feed in the world. NK 603 has been modified to be tolerant to the broad spectrum herbicide Roundup and thus contains residues of this formulationMON 810 and MON 863 are engineered to synthesize two different Bt toxins used as insecticides. Approximately 60 different biochemical parameters were classified per organ and measured in serum and urine after 5 and 14 weeks of feeding. GM maize-fed rats were compared first to their respective isogenic or parental non-GM equivalent control groups. This was followed by comparison to six reference groups, which had consumed various other non-GM maize varieties. We applied nonparametric methods, including multiple pairwise comparisons with a False Discovery Rate approach. Principal Component Analysis allowed the investigation of scattering of different factors (sex, weeks of feeding, diet, dose and group). 
    Our analysis clearly reveals for the 3 GMOs new side effects linked with GM maize consumption, which were sex- and often dose-dependent. Effects were mostly associated with the kidney and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, although different between the 3 GMOs. Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system. We conclude that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn. In addition, unintended direct or indirect metabolic consequences of the genetic modification cannot be excluded.
    Keywords: GMO, toxicity, GM corn, rat, NK 603, MON 810, MON 863

    The most alarming evidence that I read in the discussion section was :-

    Last but not least, the most marked and most numerous effects are on organs involved in detoxification like the kidney and liver, usually reached after a diet-linked toxicity.
    For instance in the NK 603 study statistically significant strong urine ionic disturbances and kidney markers imply renal leakage. This includes creatinine (increased urinary clearance), together with its diminution in the blood, and the decrease in urea nitrogen. Blood creatinine reduction has in some cases been found to be associated with muscle problems. It is therefore perhaps of note that the heart, as a very representative muscle organ was affected in the GM feeding groups. The possibility of renal porosity as evidenced by these data may be due to the presence of residues of Roundup herbicide, that are present in GM crop varieties such as the NK 603 maizeinvestigated here. We have previously demonstrated that glyphosate-based herbicides such as Roundup are highly toxic at very low concentrations to human embryonic kidney cells [36], inducing a decrease in viability, noticeably via inhibition of mitochondrial succinate dehydrogenase.
    The deficiency in kidney function we highlight to be present in male rats is different between animals fed NK 603 and MON 863. The latter is characterized by an increase in plasma creatinine levels and retention of ions, which were associated with a chronic interstitial nephropathy, as originally admitted in the Monsanto MON 863 report and by Hammond and coll. [18]. However, this disturbance in kidney function was dismissed in their conclusions because the strain of rat used in the feeding studies is apparently sensitive to this type of pathology, especially during aging, which was not the case here. However, this reasoning was admitted by various regulatory authorities (EFSA, CGB in France). These arguments again appear flawed as the rats were still relatively young, 5 months by the end of the experimental period and therefore below the age when they might be expected to spontaneously develop kidney diseases.

    Can you believe that the Monsanto scientists were trying to dismiss the evidence of deficiencies in the rats' kidney functions and even the increases in plasma creatinine levels and ion retention associated with chronic interstitial nephropathy in these young male rats fed the GMO corn because this strain of rat that they had chosen to test, is apparently susceptible to this type of pathology when they are very old! Oh well, look on the bright side, it looks as though these GMO crops might be going to fix the global human population explosion problem by killing us all off at a much younger age again, especially males. 

    I have always religiously washed my fruit and vegetables to remove all traces of insecticide but the insecticides in these GMO foods cannot be washed away, they are in every mouthful of the GMO foods that we consume. GMO labelling is now my only means of protecting my family from these proven toxic GMO and  Bt insecticides however even that can't prevent unplanned cross-pollination and horizontal gene transfer to unidentified crops and organisms, even organic ones, can it?

    I replied to Gerhard Adam's following comment :-

    I also have a problem with the point that there may be a dozen papers that find nothing wrong, but suddenly one paper that claims a toxic link is considered "proof".
    Actually if you read the references at the end of the paper there are many more studies of animal consumption of Bt insecticides via GMO studies referenced here Gerhard. Did any of them find nothing wrong? I don't know, I will have to check. 

    The data in this one paper however was obtained specifically from Monsanto's own multiple scientific studies, not just one study, prior to them releasing the GMO corn for human and animal consumption, these regulatory tests were performed confidentially by Monsanto prior to commercialization of their GM crops, pesticides, drugs and chemicals. 

    The authors of this paper investigated all of the available data that allowed comparisons of these studies of GMO consumptions on health effects. 'This allowed the most appropriate statistical analyses to be performed in order to avoid possible false positive as well as false negative results'. The physiological criteria used to either accept or reject any GM significant effect as relevant was made very clear as the authors discussed sex-related, temporal, linear and non-linear dose effects which are often involved in the establishment of chronic and endocrine diseases.:-
    The raw data have been obtained by European governments and made publically available for scrutiny and counter-evaluation. These studies constitute a model to investigate possible subchronic toxicological effects of these GM cereals in mammals and humans. These are the longest in vivo tests performed with mammals consuming these GMOs
    Can you believe that feeding rats GMO corn for a mere 90 days is the longest in vivo tests performed on mammals consuming GMOs in the world and yet apparently 80% of American corn is now genetically modified and Americans and their animals have been consuming it, unlabelled for years? 

    How do we know that recent increases in the 'taupathies' like Alzheimer's, MND and ALS, Parkinson's disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, even autism, are not also related to this GMO consumption? Has there been an increase in unexplained kidney, liver, brain and heart disorders in American people, as implied could be possible from these rat studies? If so who would know?

    These rats were fed GMO corn for a mere 90 days and clearly developed toxicity symptoms and effects on their kidneys and livers, although the dietary detoxifying affected organs were different between the 3 GMOs. 'Other effects were also noticed in the heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system'. The study clearly concluded that these data highlight signs of hepatorenal toxicity, possibly due to the new pesticides specific to each GM corn.
    The animals were male or female young adult rats fed during 5 or 14 weeks with the GM maize NK 603 (11 or 33% in the diet) and compared with controls fed with a ''substantially equivalent'' isogenic maize line. The parameters were measured for 10 rats, except for the organ weights (20 rats), obtained only at the end of the experiment.
    Apparently Monsanto's raw biochemical data, necessary to allow a statistical re-evaluation, should have been made publicly available according to European Union Directive CE/2001/18 but unfortunately this was not the case, the data for this analysis had to be obtained either through court actions (lost by Monsanto)to obtain the MON 863 feeding study material (June 2005), or by courtesy of governments or Greenpeace lawyers. In the paper the authors thank the people that Hank would probably describe as 'the anti-science Europeans' at the Swedish Board of Agriculture, May 30, 2006 for making public the NK 603 data upon request from Greenpeace Denmark and lawyers from Greenpeace Germany, November 8, 2006 for MON 810 material. 

    Can you afford to fund a GMO animal study? I know that I can't, so who should be doing this? It seems that Monsanto were complying with Government regulations by doing these same tests that showed adverse health effects in rats and yet Monsanto's GMOs were still made publicly available as fit for human and animal consumption, so what hope is there for pro-science hippies like me who are anti GMO foods being released into my environment like this, regardless of this statistically significant evidence of adverse health effects actually having been found in the mammals tested?

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Thanks for the information "round-up"  :) 
     
    It is abundantly clear that we cannot trust *anyone*, regardless of the science.
     
    I won't do the Gish Gallop, but to address two things - there is no commercially available produce that is GM, so you are not eating them.

    Many of the studies you have cited have been withdrawn and/or debunked. The Indian cotton debacle was not due to GM but from natural occurring chemicals in cottonseed that is left too long in the field.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I won't do the Gish Gallop, but to address two things - there is no commercially available produce that is GM, so you are not eating them. 
    Really? What makes you say that?
    Many of the studies you have cited have been withdrawn and/or debunked. The Indian cotton debacle was not due to GM but from natural occurring chemicals in cottonseed that is left too long in the field.

    Even more interesting, do you have any links to evidence supporting your claims please?
     
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Analysis and conclusions of the Australian Food Standards:
    http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/Review_of_Report_by_Seralini_e...

    More opinion from ag scientists
    http://jetlib.com/news/2010/01/15/gm-corn-organ-failure-lots-of-sensatio...

    Out of curiosity, what foods do YOU believe are GM?

    GMO's and BIO-CONTROL 'PRODUCTS'

    EVERYONE should watch the presentation, "Cross-infective microbes: from plants to humans" given by Professor Anne K. Vidaver during the three day 2006 Enhancing Regulatory Communication workshop which was held in Washington DC. sponsored by the University of California-Riverside, the USDA and the EPA.

    The moderators and/or presenters at this workshop included several universities, and representatives from the CDC, the NIH, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the EPA and 2 of it's divisions; BPPD (Biopesticides and Pollution Prevention Division), and the OPPT (Office of Pesticide Programs), as well as 6 divisions of the USDA; APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspections Service), ARS (Agricultural Research Service), BRS (Biotechnology Regulatory Service), PPQ (Plant Protection and Quarantine), CSREES (Cooperative State Research Education Service) and IR-4 (Project Interregional Research Project #4). The list of these moderators and presenters, as well as the title of their presentations, can be found at http://biopesticide.ucr.edu/video/video.html

    Therefore, what is stated below… WAS KNOWN TO ALL THAT ATTENDED THE AFOREMENTIONED WORKSHOP. Did it put a stop to the use of GMO's on our food crops even when they KNEW these caused human illnesses? NO

    As you will see, and read the transcription below (part of Vidaver's presentation), what we are PUTTING on the food crops; bacteria and fungus in the field 'cause human illnesses'. This my friends in known as ORGANIC because these microorganisms are "naturally found. This is called bio-control products; although the products DO NOT list the 'inert ingredients', the ONLY ingredient that has to be listed on the product label is the "active ingredient", which is not 100% of the product.

    Some of the microbes used in bio-control products; and listed as the "active ingredient" can be as little as 0.07%. Now I ask you, don't we have the RIGHT to know what the other 99.93% is? Especially when the patents for these products use the terms, "mutations"; "mutations thereof", "chemicals", "combined with other….."

    Video of Professor Vidaver's presentation can be found at http://biopesticide.ucr.edu/video/assets/MOV00F_Vidaver.wmv
    applicable excerpts below:

    ~BEGINNING~
    So, you might want to know why do we have this topic for this workshop. Well, because there are some organisms that are used as microbial pesticides or prospective microbial pesticides, and in my experience, plant pathologist don’t know about some of these microbes and the medical community conversely does not. And it’s unfortunate that with all the people ... regulatory agencies, we’re missing a few internationally; hopefully learn from what I plan to say, mainly the Food and Drug Administration nationally needs help.

    There are fewer bacteria that are cross-infective than fungi and I’ll talk about those.

    Now, Agrobacterium radiobacter is one of [inaudible] reported [inaudible] of being a pathogen as far as I known, and that is problematic. Nevertheless, it is the poster child for bio-control in bacteriology and plant pathology.

    And the organism K84 has been around for years now, and is also a poster child for the transgenic part of biotech microbial release of a biocontrol agent. Again, for beneficial control of crown gall disease, principally on fruits of various crops. It’s been extremely beneficial, and this has been the instances for many people to work in biocontrol. However, it apparently causes opportunist diseases in people, and a variety of diseases all the way from blood stream to heart problems and urinary tract infections and so on.

    Now, the majority of the diseases that I’m going to talk about in humans are rare; but, there will be a few that are not so rare; and I’ll try to point those out when we come to those. And obviously, for anybody in the regulatory arena, this causes at least a plausible thought, but I’ll indicate what some of the challenges are with this.

    Bacillus megaterium; a minor pathogen of a variety of plants, going from wheat to trees, but has a biocontrol agent to control a number of fungi. So while the biocontrol agent may itself be a single organism in general, the idea is to have a wide host range for a number of fungi. And this has been linked with oral muscosal inflammation.

    Now when we come to Burkholderia cepacia there’s going to be some more presentation about Burkholderia cepacia; probably more than I have here.

    It’s a minor pathogen on plants, but it can also cause disease in mushrooms and it has also been used in phyto remediation and has occasionally been found as an endophyte.

    Well, this is a disease partially known for creating a problem in lung tissue and particularly in patients with Cystic Fibrosis; however, there’re other diseases that it can be involved with.

    At one time there was a biocontrol agent, actually it was going to be applied for soil-borne fungi I believe, maybe we’ll hear more about that later. It had to be taken off the market because of objections through the American Medical Association. This is one of the two cases that I know of where you actually do have evidence, as apposed to conjecture that genes for plants, that cause disease, and genes that can cause disease in humans are on the same strain. That is not true for all strains of Burkholderia cepacia, but it is true for at least a few that have been so characterized. Very unusual and very challenging, of course if you’re ready to talk about a biocontrol agent.

    Enterobacter cloacae; It can cause diseases on trees and in onions and in ginger; but can also, at least in the literature, be known as a biocontrol agent. I don’t believe that any have been turned over to the EPA, or anyone else yet, for actual potential commercialization; and for those of you not familiar with bacteria; this is in the same family as e-coli, some of the notorious e-coli.

    It caused generalized infections; respiratory tract infections and gas gangrene.

    Pantoea agglomerans; Is known by a number of different names, and in the literature; the plant pathology literature, there are a number of strains that have been proposed for biological control, usually by competitive exclusion and they work very well under some conditions, but have not yet been commercialized and may not for a number of reasons But it is also a pathogen of Wisteria and onions and some trees and a wide variety of plants; not the same strains of course.

    You’ve already heard about the possibility of acquired infections; this is one of the organisms that has been reported of possible acquired infections and can also be reported in arthritis.

    More and more bacteria by the way are being reported to be the cause of some chronic diseases.

    Pseudomonas aeruginosa; a very minor pathogen in plant pathology; but can cause onion rot and has been used experimentally in that model plant Arabidopsis.

    It is a very nasty organism if it get’s into a burn ward because it is extremely difficult to control. It usually has intrinsic antibiotic resistance to a number of antibiotics; and can cause generalized bacteremia as well. This is also one of the few cases in which a single strain has been found that does have genes that can cause a disease in plants and in humans; and so there have been a few cases where strains have been isolated from humans and then tested in plants and they have been found to be pathogenic. The [reverse?] of course cannot been done directly but can be done through human surrogates such as mice; [we believe?] that would be appropriate and in many cases then a plant can kill mice, so that is a concern.

    Aspergillus flavus; This is one that is also not only a pathogen of corn, but moldy peanuts and boll rot on cotton and is very extensive. There is a strain for control of A. fluvus and cotton, and I believe it works essentially as a competitive exclusion, and nevertheless it has been reported to have generalized infection in people and can be a problem in heart disease as well.
    ~END~

    War on science? What a goofy metaphor - hyperbolic is what that is.

    Let's assume that GM food is good for us. Most of it is grown for animal food anyway - then we eat the animals.

    It is the total system of farming with Chemicals that will certainly kill us and destroy the fertile topsoil of America.
    It takes massive amounts of petroleum based fertilizer to grow GM Corn - then comes the Herbicides doused on the plants and the soil - each application adds Salt to the soil and kills the micro-biology in the soil.

    This alone is enough to stop the madness of BigAg, Chemical Farming with GM technology.

    It is a blatant lie that we cannot feed the world without GM Chemical farming!

    I could go on - but someone got to the author for him to write such a specious screed for GM food production.

    Could you employ any more hyperbole?

    ...anti-GMO campaigners have joined their climate-change denying brethren???
    Sorry, but the the anti-GMOers and the Chicken Littles who believe so desperately in Mankind as the Evil Killer of Gaia come from YOUR side of the aisle.

    A curiously destructive mashup, wot?

    Hank
    Mike Eisen has no side of the aisle except science.  You are correct, in that where climate change deniers are primarily on the right, anti-biology people are primarily on the left.  Ditto for anti-vaccine people and ghost believers, astrology believers and psychics.

    But what is the point of bringing that up and talking about 'his' side of the aisle?  The guy bucked the system and created PLoS, the ultimate outsider rebellion.  He is calling out anti-science people regardless of their political affiliation, which is exactly what most people claim scientists should do.
    Interesting rebuttal. So all scientists who disagree with Human-Caused Global Warming - cum - Climate Change are anti-science... And those who call the author on this nonsense are the problem? The beauty of psuedo scientists is that they are always so busy calling names that they never understand why the shoe finally drops.

    While we're identifying sides, I suggest that you do your homework. The PETA, anti-nuke, anti-energy, anti-food irradiation, anti-GMO, Human Caused Global Warming, windmill worshipping crew hangs together... google it.

    If the author hadn't conflated GMO with his cracker-barrel theories on global warming, he may have found he has more allies than he knows.

    Unfortunately, he just couldn't help himself.

    ha, this is awesome, now anybody who disagrees with the views being promoted buy a few powerful agencies and institutions is anti-science? even when there are legitimate reasons to be skeptical about these issues, such as 30,000 scientists challenging the theory of anthropogenic climate change, and one of the studies most cited by the supporters of ACC being found to actually disprove the theory? regardless what your views are, harboring skepticism because of rational information is not anti-science. In fact it is the very definition of science, and simply resorting name calling does not diminish that fact, it just makes the author look like he never managed to psychologically leave the kinder garden playground.

    Gerhard Adam
    I just came across this news article, with an interesting statement in it, raising more [or different] concerns regarding GMO food safety.

    And together these microbes carry many genes.

    These genes have just as much ability to influence our health and disease-risk as our own, says Dr Huttenhower.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18422288
    While that doesn't automatically make GMO foods dangerous, it does suggest that our previous assumptions that DNA and genetic materials being incapable of affecting human health are wrong.

    Quite telling in this is the point that the genetics of the organism were more significant than the actual "species".  The point being that different organisms may be present in different humans but they carried the same basic genes and perhaps fulfilled the same functions. 

    Scientists actually found a diversity of microbes across different human beings and unique communities of microbes living at different body sites.

    But what surprised some is that at specific parts of the body, many of the microbes shared similar jobs.

    "I might have a different organism on my tongue than you do on your tongue but collectively they bring the same genes to the party - so they are able to perform some of the same functions, for example, breaking down sugars," Dr Birren says.


    Again, if this is about science, I don't think anyone is arguing about the genetics involved in GMO foods, nor their effectiveness against pests.  The questions are all scientific, and are interested in resolving the questionable areas that seem to be perpetually hedged against definitive claims.

    I know it's often been stated in posts that GMO foods haven't even caused a "stomach-ache", but that would be hard to believe in any context, since the probabilities of sampling any given food, its preparedness, and the diversity of 7 billion people argues that someone will be affected.  This is compounded by the fact that the GMO food may have been used in animal feed which would have a different effect than direct consumption. In short, it isn't true (1).

    So, basically, while I'm not suggesting that the foods are harmful to the majority of people, I believe that most will probably be safe [or at least as safe as most foods we consume].  I also don't think the science is closed on this, and until it is, one can't claim that questions and concerns are anti-science.

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    (1) If anyone wants to claim it is true, consider that if you have a stomach-ache, you'd have to be able to demonstrate that whatever you've eaten had no GMO element to it.  If you can't do that, then you can't make the claim.  This is a clear case of where you couldn't even concoct an anecdote.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Well a lot of good information has been prevented but as all too often happens people resort to name calling rather then facts or distort the facts to support their opinion. Now I am not a scientist but have a fundamental understanding of how science is supposed to work. I have worked as a fraud investigator within a corporate structure. I do have some skill in looking at the numbers and the patterns as well as relationships between facts. There are numerous resources available for those desiring get into the nuts and bolts and a lot of good information has already been provided.

    A few additional notes though, is that since the 90's, many worldwide scientists have raised concerns about the current and previous state of biotechnology. Much of this concern resides around the lack of long term studies, the combination of inter-species genes (animal with plants), the methods used for gene insertion which are not consistent and lead to random insertions within the gene strain rather then precise, without any understanding of the effects and other major concerns. In 1999-2000 more then 800 world scientist across multiple disciplines raised their concerns regarding the rapid release of GM seed and food into the world population which can be viewed at this URL: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/list.php

    Let me say that the anti-gmo movement is NOT anti-science as the author puts forth (more name calling) but rather is very pro science and for the greater part asks not for a discontinuation of genetic research, but rather a discontinuation of the rapid release of inadequately tested GE/GM products for the sole purpose of quick profits. The fact is we may need genetic science to undo much of the damage already done. It is not the science itself that is questioned but the inadequate studies, the manipulation of facts and studies to get positive results (not real science), the hiding or minimization of potential risks that have been revealed in industry research, (i.e Syngenta charged with covering information of damage to livestock re: GM feed for animals) http://foodfreedomgroup.com/2012/06/13/syngenta-charged-for-covering-up-...) and the attacks waged by biotech industry (not to be confused with biotech science) against any scientists who come up with contrary results. In fact it is not the anti-gmo movement that is anti-science but the biotech industry itself which has waged war against full and complete research and disclosure. The push to bring products to market (most of which have related chemical products), attempts to dominate and control the world food supply and actual efforts to threaten, intimidate and falsely discredit any and all opponents, including scientists, who have raised concerns about industry practices. Now lets be clear that while the biotech industry employes scientists, many of whom are well intentioned, their primary agenda has not been the advancement of science but the advancement of products that can be patented, owned and controlled and to "own" the food chain and all forms of life associated with it. Even to efforts to attempt to "patent" some portions of the human genome which are merely discoveries, not creations.

    We should not confuse biotech science and research with biotech industry. The first can and often does consist of valid science. But the biotech industry is concerned not with science but with profits and ever increasing new products that allow for domination of the world food supplies. Biotech industry has opposed real science on many fronts when it interferes with that agenda and is in fact the primary proponent of "Pseudo science" accepting only results that support their profit and control agenda and rejecting automatically any science that would limit or delay that agenda. They have worked directly and indirectly to prohibit third part independent evaluation and study, waged war against any scientist that raises concerns or proposes more comprehensive research and in fact have been found to coverup, minimize or destroy on multiple occasions their own research that would raise questions.

    Biotech science is about science. Biotech industry is about profit and monopolization. The later manipulates the former to their benefit.

    Early on the FDA, USDA and EPA today, depending on specific departments (they are all heavily compartmentalized) exist to serve industry introducing new products and not to serve the greater interests or safety of the people. However there are individuals and groups within these organizations that do exist to serve the interests and safety of the people but there are frequent conflicts. Biotech Industry has one of the large lobbies in Washington and applies significant pressure to get their products approved with minimal government interference. They are also very proficient at "controlling the information" that the government receives. The Biotech Industry in the US has also publicly often and vigorously denounced the "precautionary principle" of science attempting to associate it with US and European radicals and liberals. However the "precautionary principle" is a core fundamental of all good science that calls for not introducing any item/product to the public without thorough and complete research, including long-term research, to ensure its safety and efficacy.

    Let us also be clear that while the FDA, EPA and USDA have "approved" the use or production of many products, that approval is not of itself a certificate of scientific safety. In fact, research shows that such approvals are often more politically and profit motivated then science motivated. Such is the case with GM/GE foods and products which have been approved by non-scientific management and political appointees often going contrary to the recommendations of government scientists (many of whom have left government service due to the constant ignoring of their concerns). Approval by these organizations does not constitute scientific validity or safety, though it is often stated that it does. In fact the FDA depends almost solely now days on the research and science provided by the biotech corporations which we are now seeing are frequently manipulated and/or distorted to support their request for approval. The biotech industry fights against and seeks to obstruct any third party independent research. In fact most of the independent studies that have recently raised concerns have had to be based upon the industries own studies with information gained through multiple sources including court subpoenas and legal actions. The industries do every thing they can to prevent any complete and independent ground up studies which raises the question in the minds of many people of "what are they hiding". Each month new information is now coming out showing what they are and have been hiding, that there are significant concerns around the safety of these products.

    There are many other national and global peripheral issues and concerns surrounding the GM seed and food issues as well but they are best left to another forum.

    Last of all we should not confuse GMO/GM/GE with the time honored practice of hybridization that that has been used for thousands of years by farmers to improve crops, yields, and localize crops to specific climates. One, the GM process is completely artificial, and often crosses species lines in a way that would not occur within nature and is contrary to the laws of nature and the other uses natural cross breeding within the laws of nature. The first requires much more rigorous scientific research and study then is currently provided.

    Summary:

    GM (genetically modified), GMO (genetically modified organism), GE (Genetically engineered.

    Anti-gmo movement is not anti-science, it is anti incomplete science that is manipulated by the biotech industry whose primary concern is profit and control through ownership and patents. The Anti-GMO movement is not against progress, but it wants full safety and transparency in that progress before profit. In light of of both prior and current studies, there remain substantial concerns regarding the safety and efficacy and their remains consistent and aggressive action by industry to prevent any independent third party study and review.

    There are many other concerns also but just from the complete scientific viewpoint alone, the primary concern is insignificant and often manipulated industry research.

    I will leave this with a statement from Dr. David Suzuki, a retired and often industry vilified genetic scientist.

    "Any politician or scientist who tells you these products are safe is either very stupid or lying. The hazards of these foods are uncertain. In view of our enormous ignorance, the premature application of biotechnology is downright dangerous."
    David Suzuki, CC, OBC, Ph.D LLD, Geneticist

    CORRECTION:

    In my comment the sentence: "There are many other concerns also but just from the complete scientific viewpoint alone, the primary concern is insignificant and often manipulated industry research." should read "There are many other concerns also but just from the complete scientific viewpoint alone, the primary concern is insufficient and often manipulated industry research."

    Hank
    So your belief is that "industry" scientists are unethical but academic scientists are okay?
    Not what I said at all. The industry itself in general, has demonstrated a propensity to unethical or misleading behavior which is especially prevalent in the top 4 or 5 multi-national producers. To what extent any of the scientists themselves act inappropriately is difficult to determine and would have to be reviewed on a case by case basis. But based on fraud experience and observation in other industries, the driving factor is more often then not either decisions or actions taken by management, not the scientists or workers, that are responsible for the overall actions for the corporation.

    Multi-national corporations are highly complex organizations with many layers of compartmentalization and decision making. The scientists, or the majority of them likely will be doing what they believe to be is right. However those around or above them may not. Also constraints may be placed upon them that limit their ability to conduct thorough research or to pursue alternate lines of research that may be of concern.

    This is not a scientist versus scientist argument but an industry as a whole versus complete science and full disclosure, driven by the desire for ever increasing profits without a consideration for consequence. Often the industry scientists can be manipulated in the same way the as any other employee, by restricting duties, providing them false information, limiting access to needed information, defining strict limits on specific research and threatening their livelihood if they ask too many or the wrong questions, or by assuring them (falsely) that someone else is looking into their concerns.

    And never underestimate the degree to which the need for a paycheck can drive some individuals to overlook, justify or ignore factors that they otherwise would find inappropriate or unethical. It is never black or white but many shades of grey.

    Hank
    And never underestimate the degree to which the need for a paycheck can drive some individuals to overlook, justify or ignore factors that they otherwise would find inappropriate or unethical. It is never black or white but many shades of grey.
    That's essentially meaningless and the philosophical bent Mike is talking about in a 'war on science'; it's just another postmodernist world view, one opinion among many by flawed people who are motivated by lots of other things besides science.  Basically, you don't want to come out and claim you are anti-science so you couch it in fluffy language. There is no science that ever got done by flawless people so contending this one thing is somehow the work of evil corporate puppeteers and scientists are helpless pawns that are slaves to a paycheck is silly.  Everyone works for someone - are you polluting the world and killing people just because some boss somewhere says you should?  Well, sure you are.   It's only about faceless corporate management with no children who don't care about the world at all and you only care about money - just like scientists.
    haha!!!! so funny, are you seriously trying to argue being employed by industry doesn't cause you to be biased towards industry?!! where is the evidence of this? you claim other peole are anti-science yet you are the ones making unsubstantiated claims based on no facts. if you compare the likelihood of studies to find results that are favorable to industry between independent scientists and industry funded scientists you see a clear bias when studys are funded by industry.

    Hank
    I'm saying it makes no difference.  Or does someone getting a grant from the Bush administration make them biased toward Republican issues?  If you think researchers are joining a company because they already have a bias, you have no clue about human behavior or scientists. If you think industry scientists are unethical yet academic scientists are not, you are out there.
    MORE VALIDATION OF "HUMAN HEALTH HAZARDS" FROM "NATURAL" - MICROORGANISMS
    USED FOR BIO-CONTROL PRODUCTS ON OUR FOOD CROPS

    Everyone needs to WAKE-up! Here is yet ANOTHER example of what the USDA has allowed to be used on your food crops as well as used against 'pests'. Let me reiterate, this is considered "natural" because it was "naturally found".

    The stinky with fungus, Muscodor Albus was DISCOVERED (and named) by Gary Strobel was found in the bark of a cinnamon tree in Honduras in the year 1997. This can be found on the bottom of page 69N and the top of page 70N, in "Biocontrol News and Information 28(4), 67N–83N pestscience.com

    QUOTE
    Muscodor albus, a new genus and species of endophytic fungus first isolated and described from the non-native cinnamon tree (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) in Honduras by Gary Strobel and his team at Montana State University (USA), could provide a fresh approach and tool for biological control with applications in areas from agriculture to human IPM Systems health. Its discovery in 1997 – and the subsequent discovery of related taxa also provides a salutary reminder of the untapped resources lying undiscovered in the world’s fast disappearing tropical rain forests.
    END OF QUOTE
    LINK: http://www.cabi.org/bni/Uploads/File/BNI/News2804.pdf

    As is stated in the BULLETIN OF THE PUGET SOUND MYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY; Number 419, February 2006; [page 4, 2nd column]

    QUOTE
    Other times, Dr. Marrone relies on professional microbe hunters, mainly academics who prowl wilderness areas. In Honduras, Gary Strobel, a Montana State University researcher, found a fungus called Muscodor albus nestled in the bark of a mutant cinnamon tree. When dropped into water, it releases a mixture of gases that asphyxiate insects. Dr. Strobel licensed the microbe for around $100,000, plus royalties, to AgraQuest. The company hopes to turn it into a replacement for methyl bromide, a chemical pesticide that is being phased out by the Environmental Protection Agency because of its alleged hazard to the ozone layer.
    END OF QUOTE
    LINK: http://www.psms.org/sporeprints/sp419.pdf

    What has been RECENTLY found on the USDA-ARS Research Project 2010 Annual Report summary should be QUITE ALARMING:

    “ Agraquest discovered that volatiles produced by the fungus pose a significant human health hazard.

    *Agraquest is no longer making or handling Muscodor formulation, is no longer pursuing EPA registration,

    *discouraging the scientific community from working with this organism because of the toxicity of the active ingredient.”
    LINK: http://afrsweb.usda.gov/research/projects/projects.htm?ACCN_NO=413096&fy...

    MUSCODOR ALBUS NOW DEEMED AS A "SIGNIFICANT HUMAN HEALTH HAZARD… FIVE (5) YEARS 'AFTER' BEING ON THE MARKET AS "BIO-CONTROL" PRODUCTS.

    FOUR (4) "KNOWN" UNITED STATES BIO-CONTROL PRODUCTS WHICH LIST MUSCODOR ALBUS AS THE "ACTIVE INGREDIENT" SINCE 2005

    *Andante
    Approval Date: Sep 22, 2005
    Cancellation Date: Oct 4, 2010

    Uses: Fungicide , Nematicide , Fumigant
     
    Pests: Fusarium wilt , Wilt (phytophthora) , Wilt , Aphanomyces root rot , Root rot (fusarium) , Root rot (phytophthora) , Root rot (pythium) , Root rot (rhizoctonia) , Damping-off (aphanomyces) , Damping-off (fusarium) , Damping-off (phytophthora) , Damping-off (pythium) , Damping-off (rhizoctonia) , Soilborne diseases (fusarium) , Soilborne diseases (phytophthora) , Soilborne diseases (pythium) , Soilborne diseases (rhizoctonia) , Pratylenchus pratensis , Meloidogyne spp. nematode
     
    Crops and Locations: Berry plantings (soil fumigation) , Caneberries (soil fumigation) , Blackberries (soil fumigation) , Loganberries (soil fumigation) , Raspberries (soil fumigation) , Blueberries (soil fumigation) , Cranberries (soil fumigation) , Currants (soil fumigation) , Gooseberries (soil fumigation) , Grapes (soil fumigation) , Huckleberries (soil fumigation) , Strawberries (transplant bed) , Strawberries (soil fumigation) , Citrus (soil fumigation) , Grapefruit (soil fumigation) , Lemons (soil fumigation) , Oranges (soil fumigation) , Tangelos (soil fumigation) , Tangerines (soil fumigation) , Nut trees (soil fumigation) , Almonds (soil fumigation) , Cashews (soil fumigation) , Filberts (soil fumigation) , Hickory nuts (soil fumigation) , Pecans (soil fumigation) , Walnuts (soil fumigation) , Pistachio nuts (soil fumigation) , Brazil nut (soil fumigation) , Apples (soil fumigation) , Pears (soil fumigation) , Quinces (soil fumigation) , Stone fruits (soil fumigation) , Apricots (soil fumigation) , Cherries (soil fumigation) , Nectarines (soil fumigation) , Peaches (soil fumigation) , Plums (soil fumigation) , Prunes (soil fumigation) , Mangos (soil fumigation) , Papayas (soil fumigation) , Pineapple (soil fumigation) , Ginger (soil fumigation) , Cucurbits (soil fumigation) , Melons (soil fumigation) , Cantaloupes (soil fumigation) , Muskmelons (soil fumigation) , Watermelon (soil fumigation) , Cucumbers (soil fumigation) , Squash (soil fumigation) , Eggplant (soil fumigation) , Peppers (soil fumigation) , Tomatoes (soil fumigation) , Leafy vegetables (soil fumigation) , Cole crops (soil fumigation) , Broccoli (soil fumigation) , Brussels sprouts (soil fumigation) , Cabbage (soil fumigation) , Cauliflower (soil fumigation) , Collards (soil fumigation) , Kale (soil fumigation) , Kohlrabi (soil fumigation) , Lettuce (soil fumigation) , Mustard (greens) (soil fumigation) , Spinach (soil fumigation) , Root crop vegetables (soil fumigation) , Carrots (soil fumigation) , Garlic (soil fumigation) , Onions (soil fumigation) , Potatoes (soil fumigation) , Radishes (soil fumigation) , Sweet potatoes (soil fumigation) , Beans (dry) (soil fumigation) , Beans (lima) (soil fumigation) , Beans (snap) (soil fumigation) , Garbanzo peas (chick peas) (soil fumigation) , Lentils (soil fumigation) , Okra (soil fumigation) , Ginseng (plant bed) , Avocados (soil fumigation) , Beans (soil fumigation) , Beets (soil fumigation) , Celery (soil fumigation) , Horseradish (soil fumigation) , Peas (soil fumigation) , Turnips (soil fumigation) , Soybeans (soil fumigation) , Vegetable crops (transplant beds) (soil fumigation) , Vegetable seed beds (soil fumigation) , Legumes (soil fumigation) , Fruit trees (soil fumigation) , Vine fruits (soil fumigation) , Conifers (forest) (seed bed) , Forest nurseries (soil fumigation) , Ornamental flowering plants (soil fumigation) , Ornamental plants (soil fumigation) , Ornamental woody shrubs (soil fumigation) , Ornamental trees (soil fumigation)
    LINK: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=06959200017&DIST_...

    *Arabesque
    Approval Date: Oct 4, 2005
    Cancellation Date: Oct 4, 2010

    Uses: Fungicide/fungistat

    Pests: Pseudomonas spp. , Anthracnose (colletotricum) , Anthracnose of tomato (colletotrichum phomoides) , Botrytis blight , Guignardia blight , Common blight (xanthomonas) , Early blight (alternaria) , Halo blight (pseudomonas) , Bacterial blight (pseudomonas) , Bacterial blight (xanthomonas) , Septoria glume blotch (s. nodorum) , Bacterial canker (corynebacterium) , Scab of cucumber (cladosporium cucumberinum) , Scab (fusarium blight) , Scab (streptomyces) , Black leg (erwinia) , Botrytis rot , Brown rot , Black rot of cabbage (xanthomonas campestris) , Crown rot (rhizoctonia) , Mucor fruit rot (mucor spp.) , Root rot , Root rot (rhizoctonia) , Soft rot (erwinia) , Tuber rot , Root & crown rot complex (fusarium et al) , Postharvest diseases , Seedborne diseases (fusarium) , Botrytis spp. , Cladosporium spp. , Erwinia , Penicillium spp. , Phytophthora spp , Bunt , Covered smut (ustilago hordei) , Covered smut (ustilago kolleri) , Dwarf bunt of wheat & perrenial grasses (tilletia , Loose smut (ustilago nuda) , Loose smut of wheat/barley (ustilago tritici) , Common bunt (tilletia foetida) , False loose smut (ustilago avenae/u. nigra) , Loose smut of oat (ustilago avenae) , Karnal bunt , Bacterial spot of tomatoes , Brown spot , Net blotch (pyrenophora) , Stripe (helminthosporium) , Bacterial spot (xanthomonas) , Bacterial leaf spot (xanthomonas) , Alternaria , Fusarium , Helminthosporium , Penicillium , Phoma , Phomopsis , Rhizopus , Sclerotinia , Stemphylium
     
    Crops and Locations: Berry plantings (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Caneberries (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Blackberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Loganberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Raspberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Blueberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cranberries (postharvest application to non-storedcommodity) , Currants (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Elderberry (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Gooseberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Grapes (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Huckleberries (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Strawberries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Citrus (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Grapefruit (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Lemons (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Oranges (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Tangelos (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Tangerines (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Pummelo (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Apples (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Crabapples (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Pears (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Quinces (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Stone fruits (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Apricots (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cherries (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Nectarines (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Peaches (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Plums (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Prunes (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Mangos (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Papayas (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Pineapple (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Kiwi (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cloves (soil treatment) , Ginger (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Juniper berry (foliar treatment) , Mace (foliar treatment) , Nutmeg (foliar treatment) , Cucurbits (seed treatment) , Melons (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Melons (seed treatment) , Cantaloupes (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cantaloupes (seed treatment) , Muskmelons (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Muskmelons (seed treatment) , Watermelon (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Watermelon (seed treatment) , Cucumbers (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cucumbers (seed treatment) , Squash (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Squash (seed treatment) , Fruiting vegetables (seed treatment) , Eggplant (seed treatment) , Tomatoes (seed treatment) , Tomatillo (seed treatment) , Ground cherry (seed treatment) , Greens (brassica spp) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Leafy vegetables (seed treatment) , Broccoli (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Broccoli (seed treatment) , Brussels sprouts (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Brussels sprouts (seed treatment) , Cabbage (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cabbage (seed treatment) , Cauliflower (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cauliflower (seed treatment) , Collards (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Collards (seed treatment) , Kale (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Kale (seed treatment) , Kohlrabi (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Kohlrabi (seed treatment) , Lettuce (seed treatment) , Mustard (greens) (postharvest application to a non-stored commodity) , Mustard (greens) (seed treatment) , Parsley (seed treatment) , Spinach (seed treatment) , Root crop vegetables (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Carrots (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Carrots (seed treatment) , Garlic (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Garlic (seed treatment) , Onions (bulb) (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Onions (bulb) (seed treatment) , Potatoes (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Potatoes (seed treatment) , Radishes (seed treatment) , Shallots (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Sweet potatoes (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Sweet potatoes (seed treatment) , Yams (seed treatment) , Beans (dry) (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (shelled) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (dry) (seed treatment) , Beans (lima) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Lima beans (seed treatment) , Beans (green) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (snap) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (snap) (seed treatment) , Beans (green) (seed treatment) , Garbanzo peas (chick peas) (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Garbanzo peas (chick peas) (seed treatment) , Lentiles (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Lentils (seed treatment) , Okra (seed treatment) , Sainfoin (soil treatment) , Beets (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Cereal crops (seed treatment) , Barley (seed treatment) , Oats (seed treatment) , Rice (seed treatment) , Rye (seed treatment) , Wheat (seed treatment) , Triticale (seed treatment) , Ginseng (seed treatment) , Safflower (dil crop) (soil treatment , Avocados (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (post harvest application to non-stored commodity) , Beans (seed treatment) , Beets (seed treatment) , Celery (seed treatment) , Corn (seed treatment) , Horseradish (seed treatment) , Peas (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Peas (seed treatment) , Peppers (seed treatment) , Sorghum (seed treatment) , Turnips (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Soybeans (postharvest application to non-stored commodity) , Soybeans (seed treatment) , Legumes (seed treatment) , Millet (seed treatment) , Chinquapin (soil treatment) , Ornamental flowering plants (seed treatment) , Ornamental flowering plants (cuttings) (stored) , Ornamental bulb, corm & rhizome plants (all or unspecified) , African violets (cuttings) , African violets (containerized) , Bugleflower (containerized) , Anthurium (cuttings) , Anthurium (containerized) , Baby's-breath (cuttings) , Baby's-breath (containerized) , Balsam apple (soil treatment) , Calla lily (cut flowers) , Calla lily (containerized) , Carnation (cut flowers) , Carnation (containerized) , Chrysanthemum (cut flowers) , Chrysanthemum (containerized) , Metallic plant (containerized) , Gladiolus (cut plant material) , Gladiolus (containerized) , Iris (cut flowers) , Iris (containerized) , Lilies (cuttings) , Lilies (containerized) , Orchids (cut flowers) , Orchids (containerized) , Pansies (cuttings) , Pansies (containerized) , Poinsettia (cuttings) , Poinsettia (containerized) , Gerbera (cuttings) , Gerbera (containerized) , Tulips (cut flowers) , Tulips (containerized) , Zinnia (cut flowers) , Zinnia (containerized) , Statice (cut flowers) , Statice (containerized) , Alstroemeria (cut flowers) , Ornamental plants (potted) , Coromandel (containerized) , Wedelia (containerized) , Bougainvillea (soil treatment) , Bougainvillea (containerized) , Japanese camellia (containerized) , Mexican heather (foliar treatment) , Roses (cuttings) , Roses (containerized) , Grape holly- mahonia (containerized) , Chinese wisteria (soil treatment) , Chinese wisteria (containerized) , Sumac (greenhouse-foliar treatment) , Sumac (nursery) , Kudzu (soil treatment) , Murraya (containerized) , Saskatoon serviceberry (soil treatment) , Ochna (containerized) , Weeping banyan (containerized) , Leatherleaf fern (containerized)
    LINK: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=06959200015&DIST_...

    * Glissade
    Approval Date: Oct 4, 2005
    Cancellation Date: Oct 4, 2010

    Use: Fungicide , Nematicide , Fumigant

    Pests: Fusarium wilt , Wilt (phytophthora) , Wilt , Aphanomyces root rot , Root rot (fusarium) , Root rot (phytophthora) , Root rot (pythium) , Root rot (rhizoctonia) , Damping-off (fusarium) , Damping-off (phytophthora) , Damping-off (pythium) , Damping-off (rhizoctonia) , Damping-off (verticillium) , Soilborne diseases (fusarium) , Soilborne diseases (phytophthora) , Soilborne diseases (pythium) , Soilborne diseases (rhizoctonia) , Soilborne diseases (verticillium) , Pratylenchus pratensis , Meloidogyne spp. nematode
     
    Crops and Locations: Berry plantings (soil fumigation) , Caneberries (soil fumigation) , Blackberries (soil fumigation) , Loganberries (soil fumigation) , Raspberries (soil fumigation) , Blueberries (soil fumigation) , Cranberries (soil fumigation) , Currants (soil fumigation) , Gooseberries (soil fumigation) , Grapes (soil treatment) , Huckleberries (soil fumigation) , Strawberries (soil fumigation) , Citrus (soil fumigation) , Grapefruit (soil fumigation) , Lemons (soil fumigation) , Oranges (soil fumigation) , Tangelos (soil fumigation) , Tangerines (soil fumigation) , Nut trees (soil fumigation) , Almonds (soil fumigation) , Brazil nut (soil fumigation) , Cashews (soil fumigation) , Chestnuts (soil fumigation) , Filberts (soil fumigation) , Hickory nuts (soil fumigation) , Pecans (soil fumigation) , Walnuts (soil fumigation) , Pistachio nuts (soil fumigation) , Apples (soil fumigation) , Pears (soil fumigation) , Quinces (soil fumigation) , Stone fruits (soil fumigation) , Apricots (soil fumigation) , Cherries (soil fumigation) , Nectarines (soil fumigation) , Peaches (soil fumigation) , Plums (soil fumigation) , Prunes (soil fumigation) , Mangos (soil fumigation) , Papayas (soil fumigation) , Pineapple (soil fumigation) , Herbs (soil treatment) , Ginger (soil fumigation) , Cucurbits (soil fumigation) , Melons (soil fumigation) , Cantaloupes (soil fumigation) , Muskmelons (soil fumigation) , Watermelon (soil fumigation) , Cucumbers (soil fumigation) , Squash (soil fumigation) , Eggplant (soil fumigation) , Peppers (soil fumigation) , Tomatoes (soil fumigation) , Cole crops (soil fumigation) , Broccoli (soil fumigation) , Brussels sprouts (soil fumigation) , Cabbage (soil fumigation) , Cauliflower (soil fumigation) , Collards (soil fumigation) , Kale (soil fumigation) , Kohlrabi (soil fumigation) , Mustard (greens) (soil fumigation) , Root crop vegetables (soil fumigation) , Carrots (soil fumigation) , Garlic (soil fumigation) , Onions (soil fumigation) , Potatoes (soil fumigation) , Radishes (soil fumigation) , Sweet potatoes (soil fumigation) , Beans (dry) (soil fumigation) , Beans (lima) (soil fumigation) , Beans (snap) (soil fumigation) , Garbanzo peas (chick peas) (soil fumigation) , Lentils (soil fumigation) , Okra (soil fumigation) , Ginseng (soil treatment) , Avocados (soil fumigation) , Beans (soil fumigation) , Beets (soil fumigation) , Horseradish (soil fumigation) , Peas (soil fumigation) , Turnips (soil fumigation) , Soybeans (soil fumigation) , Legumes (soil fumigation) , Fruit trees (soil fumigation) , Conifers (forest) (soil fumigation) , Forest nurseries (soil fumigation) , Ornamental flowering plants (annual) (soil treatment) , Ornamental flowering plants (perennial) (soil treatment) , Ornamental flowering plants (soil fumigation) , Ornamental flowering plants (annual) (spot soil fumigation) , Ornamental plants (soil fumigation) , Ornamental woody shrubs (soil fumigation) , Ornamental trees (soil fumigation)
    LINK: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=06959200018&DIST_...

    ONE (1) MUSCODOR ALBUS MANUFACTURING AND FORMULATION "USES":

    * Qst 20799 technical
    Approval Date: Oct 4, 2005
    Cancellation Date: Oct 4, 2010

    Uses: Fungicide , Microbial pesticide

    Pests: No pest

    Crops and Locations: Manufacturing use only no site , Formulating use only no site

    LINK: http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Product.jsp?REG_NR=06959200014&DIST_...

    Nice article. However, I have one complaint. That backstab against "climate deniers" is really out of place. If you look at the issue, there are a number of good arguments that CO2 increase is not going to be destructive, and certainly not apocalyptic. Now, I will admit there are lunatics on both sides of the aisle on Climate Change, and you probably referred to thise sophomoric claims that "Global Warming Violates Thermodynamics", "the Illuminati are in charge of the UN", and other such nonsense. Of course, you also have the "We are turning into Venus" and "our children will not know what snow is" mess from the warmist camp. This is the wrong thread to delve deeply this matter, but I feel that that statement it is out of place in such a well reasoned and detailed article. Could you please either remove it or specify that you refer to the wilder claims?

    The title of this article says a lot about its political bias. Suggesting that GMO Labeling Advocates are "Anti-Science" is 100% political tactic aimed to ridicule those who are Anti-Irresponsible-Technology. Science is "learning about how stuff works"; Applied Science (Technology) is another story, and the history of applied science is littered with victims. Applying the journalistic axiom "follow the money" to U.C. Berkeley (i.e. UCB connections to biotech industry) may prove useful - I'll leave that to investigative journalists, a vanishing breed.

    Hank
    The title of this article says a lot about its political bias. 
    Yes, those biologists from U.C. Berkeley are well-known for being right-wing corporate shills. It is more likely people just get a label if the science disagrees with the world view of the commenter. 
    I am the founder of Los Angeles Costume Swap and I am PROOF that GMO foods do indeed do harm to people. Since the 1990s after I needed a surgery I have been a severe asthmatic. Not a single medicine has ever been able to control my asthma – and I have tried EVERYTHING. Then a year ago I was told I was going to need anther surgery to remove my gallbladder. That was when enough was enough. I detoxed and started eating non GMO foods and a lot of gluten free foods that specifically do not have any traces of GMO substances. My asthma is improving, I still have my gallbladder and I haven’t had a single instance of gallbladder trouble since I’ve stopped eating mostly GMO foods. I literally have a new life. I WANT TO KNOW because I want to live without pain and fear of wondering when the next attack could happen. Someday I want to leave my home without my inhaler (on purpose) and know I’m going to be fine. I WANT GMO labels and I’m promoting through Los Angeles Costume Swap the genuine dangers of GMO foods!
    Hank
    So you got asthma from GMO foods before there were even any GMO foods in use?  I guess the science is settled by your anecdote then.
    No, you didn't read the comment correctly. I said "I detoxed and started eating non GMO foods and a lot of gluten free foods that specifically do not have any traces of GMO substances." "My asthma is improving" My asthma got worse after surgery I had in the 90s. I never claimed that GMOs caused it. I claimed that because I stopped eating mostly GMO food that it is improving. "I still have my gallbladder and I haven’t had a single instance of gallbladder trouble since I’ve stopped eating mostly GMO foods. " I still have my gallbladder and this IS because I stopped eating mostly GMO food. When I eat too much junk food ( I classify anything with GMO foods junk food) I start feeling pain from my gallbladder.
    Hank
    No, you didn't read the comment correctly. 
    Given your explanation I did read your comment correctly the first time.  You could just as easily blame astrology or ghosts but you simply chose to issue forth this nonsense instead:
    I am the founder of Los Angeles Costume Swap and I am PROOF that GMO foods do indeed do harm to people.
    Not sure what your costume shop has to do with this, maybe you are just promoting yourself, but nothing you wrote is linked in any way to GMOs.  You have a sugar beet derivative somewhere in your diet that caused your problems and you 'eliminated' it and feel better?  You gave up corn and it cured you?  What exact GMOs do you think you gave up that make you feel better?

    Your belief is not proof.
    Excellent article but I fear it is peeing in the wind exercise. But I have one comment that I believe can strengthen the over-all case.

    Eisen writes
    The relatively low rate of such “horizontal gene transfer” in multicellular organisms like plants and animals
    follows the long description of domestication of plants and the gradual selection of usefull mutations over the millenia. What should have been pointed out is that many of those domesticated plants have experienced many introgression events and certainly more than their wild relatives from which the plants were derived.

    Plant introgression is a mechanism by which genes flow from one plant species to another, i.e. it is a form of horizontal gene transfer. If this was observed in animals it would be called admixture. These different terms are used because the mechanism relies on sexual reproduction just like vertical gene transfer does, but it does not change the fact that the net result is a horizontal gene transfer event.

    The reason I believe this aspect of the story should be publicized because it is not uncommon to see critics of GMOs making the argument that moving genes between different species is totally unnatural and that we might accidentally produce an explosive mixture of genes that had never been seen before. Not an argument. Horizontal gene transfer is as natural as spontaneous mutations.
    Gerhard Adam
    The reason I believe this aspect of the story should be publicized because it is not uncommon to see critics of GMOs making the argument that moving genes between different species is totally unnatural and that we might accidentally produce an explosive mixture of genes that had never been seen before. Not an argument. Horizontal gene transfer is as natural as spontaneous mutations.
    Sorry, but you just blew your own argument.  Nature has demonstrated repeatedly it's ability to create an "explosive mixture of genes" that are quite harmful to anyone consuming them.  The simple fact is that any known combination of genes [naturally or otherwise] could just as readily turn a food toxic as not, so you haven't provided any assurance simply because it's "natural".

    However, even under your stated assumptions, it says nothing about the overall effect on other non-target species [either good or bad].  So, while the concern that GMO's are somehow toxic [to humans] doesn't carry much weight, the same cannot be said for other animals and/or plants.  This is especially true if it leads to resistance in the targeted species.

    In general, I find the argument a bit disingenuous, because we know that GMO's are NOT "natural" which is precisely why they are being used.  Therefore to argue that they are the same is incorrect.  If they were, then we could've long ago produced them through hybridization.  Instead, we are engaging in much more radical manipulations, because we know that "nature" would not have ever produced such combinations.  This doesn't render them dangerous or bad, but let's keep the "spin" down when it comes to the science.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Sorry Gerhard but I think you missed what I meant by "explosive mixture", it is perhaps a jargonish term, as in Cambrian explosion. This is the scenario where a totally new organism is created that out-competes all competitors creating a global ecological crises. This would a new organism that would be highly selected. I am arguing that natural horizontal gene transfer is sufficiently common that those super creatures have already been selected.

    You bring up possible scenarios that are much less apocalyptic. I can't say they are impossible but they do not look likely. To be sure, we do have the capacity to engineer strains that could cause some serious complications.

    Sugar beet derivative ? Right Post one study that is not sponsored by the Government or any GMO business that proves GMOs is safe.
    Hank
    Prove I am not writing this while sitting next to Adolf Hitler in a secret Antarctic fortress.  You can't disprove a negative.  That is Logic 101. You are now contending the Obama administration and all of science is part of some vast conspiracy while you, of course, are completely ethical and wonderful.

    You basically have proved his point about an uninformed, anti-science mentality.
    Tony Fleming
    We will not know definitively, based on theory, either way until we have the science to go BEYOND the current atomic level chemical paradigm.  At the present time current science uses numerical quantum methods to analyze molecular structures, and can be associated with the list of side effects known to pharmaceuticals as read on the labels or literature available with every pill box. I suggest the same is true with GM being a chemical structure. GM is only as good as the theoretical techniques it uses and therefore from the evidence based on past experience there will be side effects, unintended effects not calculated within the quantum method used by the firms involved to calculate the chemical structure.
    It is all very well to give the defendant the presumption of innocence where individuals are concerned, but where past history is taken into account (side effects known to pharmacology in almost all pills sold on the market), shouldn't we  err on the side of caution and put the onus on the defendant proving their innocence BEFORE we subject society and the globe to the risk of side effects?

    Mobile technology must list an estimate of effect known as the specific absorption rate (SAR); in GM we don't have such a measure because of the theoretical lack of knowledge at the atomic structure level. But we could have a listing of side effects when more research is forthcoming. Also we must remember the scientific method is based on both observation AND theory, including GM technology.


    I think the least precautionary stance at present is to have a label indicating GM has been used or is involved in a particular product.  
    Tony Fleming Biophotonics Research Institute tfleming@unifiedphysics.com
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    'Oh Lordy, pick two bales of GMO cotton' doesn't quite have the same ring to it does it? At least nowadays though, in America the GMO cotton is picked by machines, unlike in this old Youtube video, otherwise these cotton pickers hands and clothes would have been coated in Bt bacterial insecticide and they would have been inhaling the Bt bacterial insecticide all day long. Now its only the people who live nearby to where the GM crops that are permeated with Bt bacterial insecticide are grown and the animals that eat the Bt cotton contaminated leaves after the cotton has been harvested, that seem to have anything to really worry about. Oh and the people who still have to pick cotton by hand in places like India and of course those who eat the contaminated sheep that have occasionally become ill :-
    At least 1 820 sheep were reported dead after grazing on post-harvest Bt cotton crops; the symptoms and post-mortem findings strongly suggest they died from severe toxicity. This was uncovered in a preliminary investigation conducted by civil society organisations in just four villages in the Warangal district of Andhra Pradesh in India. The actual problem is likely to be much greater.
    This latest report confirms the findings of an earlier fact-finding investigation, also conducted by civil society organisations, on illnesses in cotton farm workers and handlers caused by Bt cotton in another cotton-growing state, Madhya Pradesh, in India
    The sheep deaths began within a week of continuous grazing on the Bt cotton crop residues. Mr. J. Parmesh, one of the shepherds got diarrhoea after consuming the affected sheep's meat.
    The shepherds said that the sheep became “dull/depressed” after 2-3 days of grazing, started coughing with nasal discharge and developed red lesions in the mouth, became bloated and suffered blackish diarrhoea, and sometimes passed red urine. Death occurred within 5-7 days of grazing. Sheep from young lambs to adults of 1.5-2 years were affected.
    The shepherds took their sheep to the government veterinary hospital in Warangal for post-mortem, some shepherds also performed their own post-mortem, as is often the practice of shepherds across Andhra Pradesh. They found black patches in the intestine and enlarged bile duct and black patches on the liver. The shepherds said that the Assistant Director of Animal Health Centre in Warangal told them these deaths appeared to be due to grazing on Bt cotton fields, as she has earlier seen such cases. She prescribed some medicines for the sick sheep, but very few sheep responded, and most died.
    Of the 2 601 sheep that belonged to 42 shepherds, 651 sheep died, giving an average mortality rate of 25 percent.

    As a pro-science hippy I am asking you Dr Michael Eisen, and any pro GMO scientists reading this, where is the scientific data and evidence from the scientific tests that have been conducted on GMO Bt cotton eating farm animals, that clearly show that eating GMO Bt cotton is safe for these animals and that the deaths of these thousands of sheep that have died in India were not caused by eating GMO Bt cotton leaves? Why isn't this scientific data publicly available, especially for these shepherds who are asking for more information and research data? Don't tell me that you guys are anti-science scientists, because surely that doesn't make sense?

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Not only is there scientific evidence of the dangers of eating GMO food, it is documented. The latest report:

    http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and...

    http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/312-16/11949-focus-biotech-...

    BIOTECH LEADER COVERED UP ANIMAL DEATHS FROM GM CORN

    By Anthony Gucciardi, Natural Society
    16 June 12

    In a riveting victory against genetically modified creations, a major biotech company known as Syngenta has been criminally charged for denying knowledge that its GM Bt corn actually kills livestock. What's more is not only did the company deny this fact, but they did so in a civil court case that ended back in 2007. The charges were finally issued after a long legal struggle against the mega corp initiated by a German farmer named Gottfried Gloeckner whose dairy cattle died after eating the Bt toxin and coming down with a ‘mysterious' illness.

    Grown on his own farm from 1997 to 2002, the cows on the farm were all being fed exclusively on Syngenta's Bt 176 corn by the year 2000. It was around this time that the mysterious illnesses began to emerge among the cattle population. Syngenta paid Gloeckner 40,000 euros in an effort to silence the farmer, however a civil lawsuit was brought upon the company. Amazingly, 2 cows ate genetically modified maize (now banned in Poland over serious concerns) and died. During the civil lawsuit, however, Syngenta refused to admit that its GM corn was responsible. In fact, they went as far as to claim having no knowledge whatsoever of harm.

    The case was dismissed and Gloeckner, the farmer who launched the suit, was left thousands of euros in debt. And that's not all; Gloeckner continued to lose many cows as a result of Syngenta's modified Bt corn. After halting the use of GM feed in 2002, Gloeckner attempted a full investigation with the Robert Koch Institute and Syngenta involved. The data of this investigation is still unavailable to the public, and only examined one cow. In 2009, however, the Gloeckner teamed up with a German action group known as Bündnis Aktion Gen-Klage and to ultimately bring Syngenta to the criminal court.

    Using the testimony of another farmer whose cows died after eating Syngenta product, Gloeckner and the team have charged the biotech giant for the death of over 65 cows, withholding knowledge of the death-link, and holding the corporation liable for not registering the cattle deaths. The team is even charging Hans-Theo Jahmann, the German head of Syngenta , personally over the withholding of knowledge.

    The charges bring to light just how far large biotechnology companies will go to conceal evidence linking their genetically modified products to serious harm. Monsanto, for example, has even threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont if they attempt to label its genetically modified ingredients. Why are they so afraid of the consumer knowing what they are putting in their mouths?

    Gerhard Adam
    This story has been making the round lately and I am opposed to using such stories because of the fact that they are presuming guilt based on unsubstantiated allegations.

    The case here has not be adjudicated.  Part of the allegation stems from the fact that Syngenta apparently compensated the farmer without admitting guilt, so this is now being used as a lever to indicate that they had prior knowledge.  Whether this is true or not has not been demonstrated, and the article presumes guilt without any actual evidence.

    In short, this entire story is simply filled with innuendo.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    OK Gerhard, I agree with you, so where is the scientific data from scientific experiments done by scientists on the long term effects of eating GMO corn upon cows? This link above was to one of the 'scientific' experiments conducted by Syngenta on cows eating GMO corn that went wrong, for whatever reason, surely there must also be links that can be provided to long term scientific experiments on cows eating GMO corn that had no adverse health effects? However, if its true that the longest study done on mammals eating GMO corm was done on rats for 90 days, as claimed in this paper then these scientific experiments and data do not exist, in which case we all should be asking WHY NOT? Are scientists being anti-science about GMO and if so WHY?
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    I agree and think it's an excellent opportunity for science to step forward and show the evidence and research that has been accumulated over the past decades.  Of course, if that data isn't readily available, then it makes most of the safety claims look like marketing hype.

    As I said in another post.  These papers shouldn't be hidden behind pay-walls.  In fact, since the accusation is often made that scientists working for corporations may be biased, then I would like to see scientists come forward and REQUIRE publication of papers in open forums.  If a scientist doesn't wish to do that, then they're simply managing their own careers over the knowledge they have to offer in a public debate.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    I also agree that it's an excellent opportunity for science and hopefully at least Dr Michael Eisen to step forward and show the evidence and research that has been accumulated over the past decades and that if that data isn't readily available, then it makes most of these safety claims just look like marketing hype. 

    So where is Dr Michael Eisen now, why isn't he responding to all these counter claims, questions and requests for more information? It wasn't that long ago Gerhard that you were lecturing me about blogger's responsibilities when writing a blog, so surely Dr Eisen should be replying, especially after making the following claims in this article :-
    I understand where some of the nervousness about GMOs comes from. I worry about the uncontrolled chemical experiments our species is doing on our bodies, and am a big consumer of organic foods. I am also skeptical when industries assert that their products are safe, because so often these claims have turned out to be false.
    But I also appreciate the challenges of feeding our growing population, and believe in the power of biotechnology to not just make agriculture more efficient, but to make it better for people and the planet. And as a molecular biologist very familiar with the technology of genetic modification and the research into its safety, I do not find it in the least bit frightening.
    What I do find frightening, however, is the way backers of this initiative have turned a campaign for consumer choice into a crusade against GMOs. They don’t want the “genetically engineered” label to merely provide information. They want it to be a warning – the equivalent for GM food of the cancer warning on cigarette boxes.
    The problem is there is no justification for a warning. There is no compelling evidence of any harm arising from eating GMOs, and a diverse and convincing body of research demonstrating that GMOs are safe.
    Dr Eisen, where is this body of scientific research and evidence please? Especially for cows eating GMO corn and sheep eating GMO Bt Cotton? A couple of links will suffice.

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Gerhard Adam
    I had posted this response to the original allegation earlier and while I'm not inclined to pursue wild allegations regarding guilt, I'm concerned with some of the responses given in this article.
    Syngenta obviously didn’t feel like telling the farmer that he was committing a logical fallacy by thinking that because his cows died after eating Bt 176 corn, that Bt 176 corn must have killed them.  Thousands and thousands of cows eat this corn with no ill effects.  This should come as no surprise since it was extensively tested in animals before it was approved by EU regulators.
    http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-content/genetic-roulette/section-1/1-9-bt-corn-is-safe-2/
    Unfortunately this is all a fallacious argument.  The question is NOT how many thousands of cows have been fed this corn, but rather whether these specific cows died from it.  Without any actual autopsy data, this is meaningless conjecture. 

    It seems that it would be extremely important to show what the results were instead of merely guessing at possibilities.  I can appreciate the fact that perhaps autopsies weren't done, or they were botched, but it seems that even such information should be forthcoming so that an assessment of what actually occurred can be made.

    If the farmer or the veterinarians were irresponsible in collecting data, then that should be presented.  On the other hand, if data was provided and it simply isn't being published then that should be presented as well.  I truly don't understand why something this controversial results in everyone getting tongue-tied about explanations.  It's a simple enough matter to clear up if the data exists. 
    In addition, statements like this are simply marketing.
    It is important to note also that no adverse effect has ever been demonstrated to have resulted from changes in DNA sequence in GM crops.
    Of course adverse effects have occurred.  That's what the purpose of the changes in DNA sequence are for.  The question is whether those adverse effects can extend or have extended beyond the target species.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    One thing that is troublesome in this whole Syngenta story is how poorly everything was handled.  This doesn't exactly inspire confidence.  I'm quite certain that Syngenta isn't totally naive, so I'm sure they must be aware of some of the controversy surrounding GMO foods.

    That's why it makes no sense, that Syngenta would compensate the farmer for some of his losses, and not take action to secure any future carcasses for autopsy evaluation.  I'm also not clear on why there wasn't more of an effort made to more stringently evaluate and measure what may have happened to the cows.  Instead, it seems like cows were dying and nobody seems to have done anything to collect data to make a determination.

    ... and please ... I don't want to hear anyone argue about how expensive such a process would be for Syngenta.  They stand to make billions on this, so this is simply the cost of doing business.  You can readily bet that they will spend 10x that amount on PR and advertising, so taking some prudent action was hardly prohibitive.

    Unfortunately, whether it's simply bad PR or naive business, it results in the company simply appearing to be arrogant.  Like they don't need to provide answers.  Simply throw some money at the problem and it will go away.  Attitudes like that don't bode well in controversies.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Did everyone miss what Professor Vidaver said in the post of 6/16/12?

    Emphasis on E-COLI!

    "Enterobacter cloacae; It can cause diseases on trees and in onions and in ginger; but can also, at least in the literature, be known as a biocontrol agent. I don’t believe that any have been turned over to the EPA, or anyone else yet, for actual potential commercialization; and for those of you not familiar with bacteria; this is in the same family as e-coli, some of the notorious e-coli."

    < I have no concerns about the safety of GMOs.>

    Speaking as a 'Grandfather' with 'Life-Experience', My Question is this:

    IS Genetic MAN-ipulation more complicated than atomic manipulation?

    Because if Genetic Modification of life : IS :…then the Negative Externalities will be worse than Fukushima.

    “In 1979, depleted uranium (DU) particles escaped from the National Lead Industries factory near Albany, N.Y., which was manufacturing DU weapons for the U.S military. The particles traveled 26 miles and were discovered in a laboratory filter by Dr. Leonard Dietz, a nuclear physicist. This discovery led to a shut down of the factory in 1980, for releasing more than 0.85 pounds of DU dust into the atmosphere every month, and involved a cleanup of contaminated properties costing over 100 million dollars.”
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=2374

    Strange that anything was done; the Official Position of the Department of Defense, is that “Depleted Uranium is SAFE”, like lint from a clothes-dryer, no?

    http://www.defense.gov : Search Engine : “Depleted Uranium” : FIRST LINK

    “The Agency for Toxic Substances and Diseases Registry says there has been no documented case of any cancer of any type related to exposure to uranium or depleted uranium. Looking at those individuals whom we know were most highly exposed to depleted uranium in the Gulf War are some 90 individuals who are being in the medical follow-up program. They have shown no adverse effect from their exposure to depleted uranium. And, again, the multiple other organizations reviewing this data are consistent with our understanding of depleted uranium. It is a superior weapon, superior armor. It is a munition that we will continue to use, if the need is there to attack armor.”

    Dr. Michael Kilpatrick, Directorate, Health Support, U.S. Department of Defense U.S. Department of Defense’s Own WEBSITE, “Briefing on Depleted Uranium”, March 14, 2003.
    http://www.defense.gov/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=2058

    <“the reality is that the US and EU government scientists have repeatedly and consistently demonstrated that GMOs are safe. For the backers of the initiative to claim otherwise as a finding of fact is an outright lie, and an outlandish attack on science.”>

    Yet in other news : in a letter the UN : a few excerpts read :

    "H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki
    President of the Sixty-fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
    United Nations
    New York, NY 10017

    October 12th 2009

    Your Excellency,

    RE DEFORMED BABIES IN FALLUJAH

    Young women in Fallujah in Iraq are terrified of having children because of the increasing number of babies born grotesquely deformed, with no heads, two heads, a single eye in their foreheads, scaly bodies or missing limbs. In addition, young children in Fallujah are now experiencing hideous cancers and leukaemias. These deformities are now well documented, for example in television documentaries on SKY UK on September 1 2009, and on SKY UK June 2008. Our direct contact with doctors in Fallujah report that:

    In September 2009, Fallujah General Hospital, Iraq, had 170 new born babies, 24% of whom were dead within the first seven days, a staggering 75% of the dead babies were classified as deformed.

    This can be compared with data from the month of August in 2002 where there were 530 new born babies of whom six were dead within the first seven days and only one birth defect was reported.

    Doctors in Fallujah have specifically pointed out that not only are they witnessing unprecedented numbers of birth defects but what is more alarming is: "a significant number of babies that do survive begin to develop severe disabilities at a later stage.”

    ...The use of certain weapons has tremendous repercussions. Iraq will become a country, if it has not already done so, where it is advisable not to have children. Other countries will watch what has happened in Iraq, and imitate the Coalition Allies' total disregard of the United Nations Charter, The Geneva, and Hague Conventions, and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Some countries, such as Afghanistan, will also come to experience the very long term damage to the environment, measured in billions of years, and the devastating effect of depleted uranium and white phosphorous munitions....

    Yours faithfully,

    Dr Nawal Majeed Al-Sammarai (Iraq Minister of Women's Affairs 2006 -2009)
    Dr. David Halpin FRCS (Orthopaedic and Trauma Surgeon)
    Malak Hamdan M. Eng in Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering.
    Dr Chris Burns-Cox MD FRCP
    Dr. Haithem Alshaibani (Environmental Sciences)
    Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (Author and Journalist)
    Nicholas Wood MA, RIBA, FRGS

    http://thewe.cc/weplanet/news/depleted_uranium_iraq_afghanistan_balkans....
    http://uruknet.info/index.php?p=m58926&hd=&size=1&l=e

    Michael, friend, and lover, the : ‘Stamp of Creation’ : that is now “embossed in every heartbeat” is : “DO-NO-HARM”, The Precautionary Principle too!

    Now the harm from DU weapons may not exist, The Rand Corporation and Sandia National Laboratories’ says there’s nothing to worry about:

    “A 1999 literature review conducted by the Rand Corporation stated: No evidence is documented in the literature of cancer or any other negative health effect related to the radiation received from exposure to depleted or natural uranium, whether inhaled or ingested, even at very high doses,"[111] and a RAND report authored by the U.S. Defense department undersecretary charged with evaluating DU hazards considered the debate to be more political than scientific.[112]” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depleted_uranium#Studies_indicating_negligi...

    [Just as a reminder, during the Vietnam War, The RAND Corporation's Memorandum 5446-ISA/ARPA states: "the fact that the VC (Viet Cong) obtain most of their food from the neutral rural population dictates the destruction of civilian crops ... if they (the VC) are to be hampered by the crop destruction program, it will be necessary to destroy large portions of the rural economy – probably 50% or more".[46] Overall, more than 20% of South Vietnam's forests were sprayed (with 80,000,000 liters of Agent Orange) at least once over a nine year period.[5]] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agent_Orange

    “To assist those who have been affected by Agent Orange/dioxin, the Vietnamese have established "peace villages", which each host between 50 and 100 victims, giving them medical and psychological help.”
    “The Vietnamese government provides small monthly stipends to more than 200,000 Vietnamese believed affected by the herbicides”

    “Vuong Mo of the Vietnam News Agency described one of centers:[79]”
    "May is 13, but she knows nothing, is unable to talk fluently, nor walk with ease due to for her bandy legs. Her father is dead and she has four elder brothers, all mentally retarded ... The students are all disabled, retarded and of different ages. Teaching them is a hard job. They are of the 3rd grade but many of them find it hard to do the reading. Only a few of them can. Their pronunciation is distorted due to their twisted lips and their memory is quite short. They easily forget what they've learned ... In the Village, it is quite hard to tell the kids' exact ages. Some in their twenties have a physical statures as small as the 7- or 8-years-old. They find it difficult to feed themselves, much less have mental ability or physical capacity for work. No one can hold back the tears when seeing the heads turning round unconsciously, the bandy arms managing to push the spoon of food into the mouths with awful difficulty ... Yet they still keep smiling, singing in their great innocence, at the presence of some visitors, craving for something beautiful."

    “A 2005 study by Sandia National Laboratories’ Al Marshall used mathematical models to analyze potential health effects associated with accidental exposure to depleted uranium during the 1991 Gulf War. Marshall’s study concluded that the reports of cancer risks from DU exposure are not supported by his analysis nor by veteran medical statistics.”

    Yet, hideous birth-deformities continue to be observed in Iraq (http://breakfornews.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=60562)

    http://www.weareaustin.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_2393.shtml

    Msyterious Mass Cattle Deaths May Be Caused By Random Grass Mutation

    A mysterious mass death of a herd of cattle has prompted a federal investigation in Central Texas.

    Preliminary test results are blaming the deaths on the grass the cows were eating when they got sick.

    The cows dropped dead several weeks ago on a ranch in Elgin, just east of Austin.

    Jerry Abel opens the gate on his 80-acre ranch in Elgin, walking on a field of grass he's been using for cattle grazing and hay for 15 years.

    "This is it, a lot of leaf, it's good, grass, tested high for protein - it should have been perfect," said Abel.

    The grass is a genetically modified form of Bermuda known as Tifton 85 which has been growing here for 15 years, feeding Abel's 18 head of Corriente cattle. Corriente are used for team roping because of their small size and horns.

    "When we opened that gate to that fresh grass, they were all very anxious to get to that," said Abel.

    Three weeks ago, the cattle had just been turned out to enjoy the fresh grass, when something went terribly wrong.

    "When our trainer first heard the bellowing, he thought our pregnant heifer may be having a calf or something," said Abel. "But when he got down here, virtually all of the steers and heifers were on the ground. Some were already dead, and the others were already in convulsions."

    Within hours, 15 of the 18 cattle were dead.

    "That was very traumatic to see, because there was nothing you could do, obviously, they were dying," said Abel.

    Dr. Gary Warner, an Elgin veterinarian who specializes in cattle, conducted the 15 necropsy. Preliminary tests revealed the Tifton 85 grass, which has been here for years, had suddenly started producing cyanide gas, poisoning the cattle.

    "Coming off the drought that we had the last two years, we're concerned it was a combination of events that led us to this," said Warner. "The problem is, we don't know, and there needs to be some caution exercised until we know more about the situation."

    Until scientists can determine why this tried and true grass suddenly began producing cyanide, Abel is keep his livestock far away.

    "The grasshoppers are enjoying it now," said Abel.

    What is even more worrisome - other farmers have tested their Tifton 85 grass, and several in Bastrop County have found their fields are also toxic with cyanide, although no other cattle have died.

    Scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture are dissecting the grass to determine if there might have been some strange, unexpected mutation.

    i guess nothing to worry about :

    Prussic Acid Poisoning of livestock is a well known phenomenon that has been killing herbivores in times of drought since there were grasses and herbivores.

    http://pubstorage.sdstate.edu/AgBio_Publications/articles/ExEx4016.pdf

    Tifton 85 bermuda grass is in no way a GMO.

    Tifton 85 is an F1 hybrid (like a mule is a cross between a horse and a donkey) between PI 290884 and Tifton 68. It is a sterile pentaploid, therefore hybrid seed must be used to plant each new stand. The grass is a perenial though and can grow in perpetuity in the absence of hard freezes. Tifton 68 is a F1 hybrid between PI 255450 and PI 293606. All three accessions in this hybridization scheme are of African origin.

    http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/search.pl?accid=PI+290884

    http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/acc/search.pl?accid=PI+255450

    information above on "Prussic Acid Poisoning of livestock" courtesy of : Jason Bonnette · He Works at The University of Texas at Austin

    GMOs should be safety tested before they hit the market says AMA
    By Monica Eng
    Tribune reporter
    4:12 p.m. CDT, June 19, 2012
    The American Medical Association called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods as part of a revised policy voted on at the AMA's meeting in Chicago Tuesday.
    Currently biotech companies are simply encouraged to engage in a voluntary safety consultation with the Food and Drug Administration before releasing a product onto the market.
    Some activists concerned about foods made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, had hoped the association would have gone so far as to support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. But some still view the policy change as a major breakthrough.
    “We applaud the AMA for taking the lead to help ensure a safe and adequate food supply,” said Anne Dietrich of the Truth In Labeling Campaign, which advocates labeling of genetically engineered foods. When Monsanto Co., the world’s largest biotech seed company, testified Sunday at the AMA committee hearing on the policy, its representative did not raise any objections to the mandatory safety assessment provision.
    On Tuesday, however, Monsanto spokesman Tom Helscher would not say whether or not the company supports mandatory pre-market testing, only that the current voluntary consultation process “is working,” he wrote to the Tribune. “All of Monsanto’s biotech products, and to our knowledge all those of other companies, go through the FDA consultation process, which provides a stringent safety assessment of biotech crops before they are placed on the market.”
    The AMA’s Dr. Patrice Harris said the testing provision was aimed at addressing public interests and ensuring public health.
    “Recognizing the public’s interest in the safety of bioengineered foods, the new policy also supports mandatory FDA pre-market systemic safety assessments of these foods as a preventive measure to ensure the health of the public,” Harris said in a statement. “We also urge the FDA to remain alert to new data on the health consequences of bioengineered foods.”
    Tuesday afternoon FDA officials would not say whether the department supported mandatory testing. “New foods have an obligation under the Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act to ensure that the foods they offer consumers are safe and in compliance with applicable legal requirements,” the agency said. “In meeting their legal obligation, firms do conduct premarket safety testing.”
    The agency was referring to testing manufacturers commission for their own use. Critics, however, argue that independent testing overseen by regulatory authorities often produces different results than testing paid for by the manufacturer.
    After the policy was announced Tuesday, Consumers Union senior scientist Michael Hansen released a statement saying: “We wholeheartedly commend AMA for coming out in support of mandatory pre-market safety assessment of (genetically engineered) foods, but are disappointed that AMA did not also support mandatory labeling. ... Studies in the scientific literature have suggested that genetic engineering could introduce new food allergens, increase the levels of known allergens, raise or lower nutrient levels and have adverse effects on the animals that eat such foods.”
Just Label It, the national campaign for the labeling of genetically engineered foods (www.justlabelit.org), issued a statement saying “just the fact that the AMA  even considered this measure is a significant win for the vast majority (91%) of Americans (see the Mellman Poll findings) who believe they have the right to know about the foods they eat and feed their families -- a fundamental right already enjoyed by citizens in more than 50 countries worldwide, including all of Europe, Japan, Russia and China.”
    The policy change happens as nearly 1 million petitioners await an FDA response on labeling genetically engineered foods and  just five months before Californians vote on a ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling in the state.
    The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents hundreds of the nation’s biggest food companies, released a statement Wednesday that focused not on the recent changes to the AMA resolution but rather on what hadn’t changed:  the AMA’s continued stance that labeling genetically engineered foods is unnecessary because it considers them not to be materially different from other kinds of food.  
    “We commend the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates for its vote in support of the continued use of genetically engineered ingredients in the food supply,” the statement said.
    The association did not respond immediately to queries about whether it supports mandatory pre-market testing provision.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/features/food/stew/chi-gmos-should-be-safe...