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    The Mercenary Intent Behind Proposition 37's GM Food Labeling
    By Hank Campbell | August 10th 2012 09:45 AM | 237 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0®.

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone ever had. Others may prefer Newton or Archimedes...

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    The US Food and Drug Administration says requiring special labels for foods that contain ingredients from genetically modified crops would be "inherently misleading" to consumers - that is exactly what proponents of GM food labeling are hoping for. People inherently side with the precautionary principle and there is no requirement that ballot initiatives be written clearly or well; the assumption is the public will figure it out.

    The American Medical Association agrees with the USDA and wrote two months ago, "There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods."

    And yet we are going to get it, and the cost, because spin doctors are calling it 'awareness'.

    California's Proposition 37, also known as the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, will hurt farmers but be a 'bumper crop' for litigation attorneys.  Food activists of the 'we must do something, even if it is wrong' ilk insist wholesome litigation attorneys would not do the thing litigation attorneys do. What it allows is for lawyers to sue everyone in the food chain, whether there is any harm to anyone or not.  Unconvinced, in your wholesome belief that this is about 'truth', that it would never happen?

    It happens now and has been happening since I was in college, because this is not the first bad law passed because people can be scared easily.

    Atty. James Wheaton is President of the Board of Directors and Legal Director of the  Environmental Law Foundation in Oakland and a big fan of Proposition 37 - and he should be, he helped create the language just like he did with Proposition 65 in the 1980s.  Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, has been very good to his company, he has made millions in legal fees and settlements suing businesses that do not 'comply' with its vague language. So have lots of other law firms. Over 16,000 lawsuits and $500 million have been paid out by companies despite the fact that the products covered under Prop. 65 have never actually done any harm to anyone - they would be banned outright if they caused actual harm. Instead, Prop. 65 require labels that read something like "WARNING: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm."

    What does it cover?  Lots of chemicals with scary sounding names I want nowhere near me, but am I at risk walking into my dry cleaner's? Virtually every business carries these Prop 65 warning signs and to be sued, all you have to do is have someone claim there is a higher level of one of them than the government recommends.  The burden of proof is on the business to prove it can't kill anyone - sound familiar?  That is the same language anti-science hippies use to instill doubt about GM foods; you can't prove GM foods will never harm anyone just like you can never prove an alien from Mars did not write this article by using mind control on me.

    Entire businesses have been built filing nuisance lawsuits and you can now worry that your dentist will give you cancer. It says so, on the Prop. 65 sign in every dentist's office in the state. 
    What does it not cover?  Toxic mold is quite harmful but that is not covered under Proposition 65. Also exempt?  The state and federal government. Only businesses can be sued, the government exempts itself from the law it created to protect consumers.  Exemptions are the important part and Prop. 37 has plenty of them - anyone with a sticker claiming their food is 'organic', for example, even though the organic food industry has no organic food spot testing, it labels and regulates itself because it is simply a process for marketing, and not inherently different than any other food.

    What has been the benefit to citizens after 26 years of Prop 65?  None, since virtually every business in California has some sort of Prop. 65 warning sign about some chemical known to be harmful to someone somewhere, people have to ignore them.  Does anyone bother to read about the chemicals in that fire log they throw in the fireplace, since many places in California ban burning actual wood?  No, but if they don't put on that label, they get sued.

    Like Prop 37 will be, Proposition 65 passed with overwhelming support because activists simply need to scare people to succeed.  Who would vote 'no' on language saying the public should "be informed about exposures to chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm." Of course people voted for that.  They just didn't know (well, 37% did but their motivations are unclear) that it would be nothing but a get-rich-quick scheme for lawyers and protect no one - just like Prop. 37 will be.


    The publisher did not want to use this image for the cover of my book.  A shame, really. They said it was too scary.  But that is what anti-science progressives want to do.

    The problem is much the same; vague language.  It also exempts the special interests who created it. Organic food, for example, is exempted in blanket fashion even though nothing about the organic process prohibits genetic modification, since that would be impossible to know or restrict.  An organic cow, for example, can eat GMO corn its entire life and still be certified organic.  GMO grass, if it is a grass-fed cow. They were also wise enough to exempt alcohol despite the fact that most alcohol is created using GM products, as are a thousand other foods - but the last thing you want to do is tell people their alcohol will get a warning label and be more expensive. That would have been a deal-killer and this is about getting something passed to create a competitive advantage, not accuracy.

    Since the USDA does not consider GM food anything special, the rest of the country will still be exempt from this silliness, so what is going to happen when California food shows up elsewhere and has a warning label?  People stop buying California food. The economy in California is already managed like some third-world country and anti-science policies are out to make it worse. 

    "The measure prohibits the use of terms such as ‘natural,’ ‘naturally made,’ ‘naturally grown,’ and ‘all natural’ in the labeling and advertising of GE foods. Given the way the measure is written, there is a possibility that these restrictions would be interpreted by the courts to apply to all processed foods regardless of whether they are genetically engineered.” Worse, writes the Legislative Analyst: "In addition, the  measure specifies that consumers could sue for violation of the measure’s provisions under the state Consumer Legal Remedies Act. In order to bring such action forward, the consumer would not be required to demonstrate any specific damage from the alleged violation."

    All that is required to file a lawsuit is...nothing.  Just like Prop 65, lawyers can file a lawsuit and then settle for a few thousand dollars. And over what actual risk?  None, the American Medical Association has no issue with GM foods, nor do groups like the American Council on Science and Health.  Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, President of ACSH, writes, “We hope voters in California will take note.” The World Health Organization and the National Academy of Sciences also can't find a reason to put warning labels in GM foods but lawyers can, and they have to love that this initiative is written so broadly as to impact thousands of products that have never harmed anyone.

    So the intent is not to provide truth, it is to skew the market. Who will be the only companies allowed to even claim they use 'natural' ingredients when this passes?  The organic food industry.  

    Why can an 'organic' apple be considered a 'natural' food but apple sauce that consists of nothing but regular apples can no longer be considered a 'natural' food?  Because Prop 37 has nothing at all to do with consumers and everything to do with creating a marketing advantage.

    Who's funding this campaign?  Crackpots and companies that stand to get rich. Mercola.com Health Resources LLC, for example, sells all manner of important 'natural' and homeopathic products?  Who is their notable partner site, listed along the bottom? National Vaccine
     Information Center
    , which is an anti-vaccine advocacy group. No surprise they have common cause - and $800,000 to spend promoting this.  Why so much money?  Because regular apples that are turned into apple sauce are not natural but his quackery still will be.

    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc. is also on-board for $290,000, along with a bunch of 'organic' groups. Standing against them are scientists and grocery stores, which are the ones that will be sued.

    Here's an easy table:

      Proposition 37 
     For it    Against it 
    Mercola.com, selling
    imported, unverified 
    'natural' cures and 
    homeopathy
            All of science          
    Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps 
    All-One-God-Faith Inc. 
      All of medicine

    Comments

    MikeCrow
    Yeah! This will be a big win for lawyers!
    Probably not so much for everyone who wants reasonably priced food.
    Never is a long time.
    Prop 37 is a yes-able vote! I don't want GMOs on my table and i want to know what I and my family are eating...WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW!

    Hank
    You already do know - just about any product with corn or sugar beets.  What you don't know are how many inorganic ingredients are in organic food.   If disclosure were important, you wouldn't want organic food exempted from accuracy in labels, right?

    Yet these groups specifically exempt organic food.  Why do you think that is?

    P.S. If you want to know how much of your food needs to be organic to be considered organic, and how many synthetic ingredients still don't keep it from being called organic, here you go. This stuff is more harmful to you than any GMO.
    The synthetic ingredients ARE GMO's and we wouldn't know if they were more harmful or not than GMO's Monsanto uses because Monsanto has never done proper testing of their GMO's.

    Hank
    No proper testing?  Monsanto GMs have a decade more testing than 100% of organic bananas.
    I'm not sure how you can defend Monsanto's "research" as you call it. Done any research on your own to find out the truth behind what you're preaching? Your information sounds like an opinion you formulated based on your own reasons, not based on actual proven facts. It's easy to defend your opinion too when you're only researching one side. The more I read and research Monsanto the more horrified I am with what they do and what they get away with. Here's some actual facts about Monsanto everybody should know before they defend them.
    http://bestmeal.info/monsanto/facts.shtml#2

    Monsanto has been guilty TWICE of false advertising and SCIENTIFIC FRAUD!!! Look it up anywhere you want and you can see more than info information on it.

    Also you speak of how much the "organic" businesses are paying to push this prop but you fail to mention to everybody else how much the other businesses like Monsanto are paying to keep the information hidden from us. http://buzz.naturalnews.com/000484-Proposition_37-GMO_labeling-GMO.html

    I don't think ANY company making food should be exempt from telling we the people exactly what they are trying to force us to eat. WE HAVE RIGHT TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES REGARDLESS OF HOW IT AFFECTS THEIR PROFIT MARGIN. If they don't have anything to hide then they shouldn't have a problem being honest and putting the ingredients on their food. The bottom line is are we going to let them keep us ignorantly buying what they tell us to or are they going to give us the option to make our own grown up informed decisions on what we want to spend our hard earned money on?

    ANYBODY quoting "naturalnews" needs their head examined. That website is PURE quackery. Nothing printed there is worthy of the slightest moment of your time. It's even listed on QUACKWATCH. People will believe anything. Propaganda is incredibly effective, especially when fools are reading it on the internet. /Sigh./

    I think many people miss the points and focus on something not so important. Whether or not that site is a quack, the point I think she was trying to make, regardless of where she chose to post a link, is that the organic side isn't the only ones paying large amounts of money to help their side win. If you harp on one side for doing the same thing your side is doing but don't acknowledge that your side is also guilty, then you're just a hypocrite.

    I've seen plenty of bullshit sites linked in defense of Monsanto. Doesn't mean their true, doesn't mean they are lies, but if the facts on the site have truth, that's all that should matter and the facts don't lie that these companies trying to hide GMO products from us are also contributing huge amounts of money to stop the vote from passing.

    Propaganda goes both ways my dear.

    I understand what you mean about posting things from bogus sites. You can't believe everything you read, especially on the internet. I just think that comment was a little uncalled for considering that there actually is some truth to what was trying to be pointed out.

    Monsanto, maker of Agent Orange, DDT, Aspertame and Saccharin; has told us these products are safe. That they were tested to be safe. Big Tobacco's lawyers are the same ones putting the spin on the safety of GM foods. How much more proof is needed to convince you that GMO's are not safe? Anyone with common sense could see this, but common sense isn't so common now, is it? The bottom line is that we want to know, and we will know. Prop 37 will pass. Everyday I tell strangers about Prop 37, and I'm not even from California. Support is growing. Everyone I tell, tells someone else, It's growing exponentially. After California labels, every state will have laws to mandate labeling. I think I'd sell my Monsatan stock soon if I owned any.

    Go ahead and provide us with some links to that testing please, and make sure it's independent peer-reviewed science. You could start with Arpad's studies which have been peer-reviewed and published in Lancet, but that wouldn't help your cause.

    Ya you won't find any all there testing are done in house or by there partners!

    Hank How much are you getting paid to support these assholes??? That should be the real question !

    Gerhard Adam
    Actually the "real" question should be about how "organic" foods managed to hijack this dialogue and gain themselves an exemption.  This notion that they are somehow more "pure" is playing directly on the ignorance of those that don't know anything about food production.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Yeah, I get paid nothing, Monsanto has never so much as bought even a dollar worth of ads here - yet the company selling homeopathy magic water has spent twice as much as the biotech companies and grocers combined.  And don't even get me started on the kook selling "organic soap" for $50 million a year and why he is behind this.

    Wait a minute, the company selling homeopathic water has spent over $50 million already? PLEASE back up that assertion with a link.

    Monsanto - $4,208,000.00
    E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO. - $1,273,600.00
    DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC - $1,184,800.00
    BAYER CROPSCIENCE - $554,400.00
    BASF PLANT SCIENCE - $519,200.00
    PEPSICO, INC - $1,126,079.94
    NESTLE USA, INC. - $607,928.61
    KELLOGG COMPANY - $516,952.06
    CONAGRA FOODS - $520,101.54
    COCA-COLA NORTH AMERICA - $603,191.45

    Gerhard, I don't get your point. Organic food cannot, by definition, be GE. I would think that if it were shown to be GE, then the supplier would have to worry about his organic certification, and he would take a bigger hit that way than another supplier would for having unlabeled gmo's. All the second supplier would need to do is label. Are you perhaps talking about some hidden gmo's that organic suppliers routinely get away with?

    True, not all organic is great. I would rather buy grass feed beef from a farmer I know who does use some pesticides around his fenceline, than some garbage organic processed "food". That's an issue, but it's not this issue. Is it?

    Gerhard Adam
    Organic food cannot, by definition, be GE.
    Sorry, but that's only true because they've defined themselves out of the consideration.  By definition, any hybrid is GE.  You're not really complaining about GE, but rather the method by which it is done and which particular genes are chosen.

    That's the whole point of natural and artificial selection; choosing which genes get propagated into the next generation.  When you select a plant [or animal] for particular traits, then you are "engineering" the outcome. 

    So, if we select plants to become bigger or produce larger fruits through hybridization, then why should that be considered any differently than placing the gene for those traits directly into the plant?  That's a fallacy.

    Now, if you wanted to argue about whether putting genes in that might never be selected for, can create downstream effects or unintended consequences, then you might have a point.  Similarly, we can argue about whether this produces selection pressures on non-target animals/plants, etc.

    There are all kinds of things that might produce legitimate questions and/or concerns.  However, the simple issue of whether something is genetically engineered simply isn't the item.  To complain about that method is hypocritical, since it is highly unlikely that you've eaten anything that was actually "natural" [i.e. unmodified by agriculture] in your entire life.  Neither the animals or plants used in farming can be considered "natural" in sense of the word.  There are no "natural" varieties of these organisms [which is why you don't see them growing along-side wildflowers in the forests].

    Again, the "organic" label is simply an arbitrary claim regarding pesticides and agricultural methods.  It is disingenuous to suggest that something like a chemical pesticide is arbitrarily bad while touting the use of "natural" pesticides".  Let's remember that Bubonic plague is also "natural", and that wasn't a particularly big hit in Europe.  So is Salmonella and Botulism.

    In any case, the Bt toxin is a completely "natural" pesticide since it is produced by a bacteria and has been highly regarded because of its specificity in controlling pests.  So, from a "natural" perspective, this is definitely the pesticide to be using.  So, unless the "organic" farmers have some miraculous method for keeping pests at bay, you can be assured that they are using something quite similar to protect their crops.

    The only real question about Bt toxin, is whether it matters to have the gene directly available in the plant, versus having it produced by the bacteria.
    Pyrethrin: This natural insecticide derived from the pyrethrum plant (Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium). Along with pyrethroid, its synthetic substitute, it is highly effective against a wide range of insects.
    http://www.motherearthnews.com/Organic-Gardening/1994-02-01/Guide-To-Organic-Pesticides.aspx#ixzz243NhyWhI
    How is this not a chemical?  How is this any different from Bt toxin?  Other than the fact that it is produced by a plant, would it be wrong if scientists used the gene from the pyrethrum plant to produce this same toxin in another plant?  What is the rationale for opposing such an effort?

    Those are the real questions, and it's precisely why I have to agree with Hank that, despite my own concerns regarding GMO foods, it is completely wrong for the "organic" producers to exempt themselves and pretend that somehow their processes are any more "pure" than anything else. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Like it or not, Prop 37 defines GE as being something very specific, and it is not the same as hybridization. Instead it refers to the method of forcing genes from one organism into the DNA of another organism in a lab. That is the definition I'm going with for now.

    Looks like this whole bigger debate about "GE" needs to define natural. Interesting points you raise about all of our food having been "modified" through agriculture and therefore not "natural". Surely you know that many of the modern hybrids are now viewed as being less healthful in ways and therefore less desirable. For instance, modern fruits are often very unlike their ancestors, with much more sugar. Then you've got some real healthful items like dandelion greens--I could grab a bunch out of my unsprayed front yard, and that would be very natural and very healthy. So it's kind of interesting that the less messed with, or closer to "natural" a food is, the better. Some people seek out heritage varieties of livestock and vegies for that reason. Looks to me like you see all of the food crops and livestock as being on a continuum, ranging from completely wild and uncultivated to what I'm calling GE. You would call the completely wild "natural" perhaps, and the other end with bt corn, "hybrids". I would call the wild end wild and I would put old-fashioned hybrids at the other end. I'd call the whole continuum "natural". I would not put bt corn on that continuum, though.

    You said:
    So, if we select plants to become bigger or produce larger fruits through hybridization, then why should that be considered any differently than placing the gene for those traits directly into the plant? That's a fallacy.

    Here's why it's different: First of all, we are crossing species and kingdom barriers. That can't happen outside of a laboratory, unless you're talking about viruses, I suppose. Some say man has been selecting for traits for millenia. Yes, but not across kingdoms or even species. So what's significant about that? Why should we care? Well there are some scientists saying the process itself is the problem, (and you can't be moving those genes across kingdom lines without the lab process, so the foreign genes and the process are in some sense inseparable.)

    We are not talking about breeding together two apples to get a better apple. You know very well that the debate is around putting a totally different organism's gene into that apple to get some characteristic. Can you honestly call that hybridizing?

    But let's say we are talking about GEing--in a lab, as distinct from your idea of hybridizing-- two apples to get a bigger, sweeter apple. Evenso, the process itself might introduce some unknown factor. And that is what some scientists have said. One molecular geneticist claims that the methods for forcing the new gene into the other DNA is not as predictable and precise as many scientists would have us believe. There is just a huge unpredictability factor, and you don't always know what you are getting--like maybe new toxicants and changed nutritional profile. So what is the industry going to do, test that new organism for its levels of every single compound imaginable? What about the fact that we are discovering new naturally ocurring compounds all the time? Am I "anti-science" if I question whether science really has enough of the answers to be messing with nature on this level? This same molecular geneticist referred to GE as a "mutagenic process". That doesn't belong on the same continuum as "natural". Sure, mutations happen in nature, and we benefit from some of them. But GE seems to be breeding in instability. That seems to be the antithesis of nature which seeks balance.

    As a non-ag person, it's my understanding that In all selective breeding there are trade offs--you get more sugar in that apple, but you give up something else. So what in the world is the trade-off when you introduce a biopesticide producing bacteria gene? How in the heck does nature compensate for that? Is anyone prepared to answer that question?

    The concerns with bt are as follows: As you pointed out, natural doesn't mean harmless. Secondly, if you were to buy conventional or even organic produce which had been sprayed with bt, you could at least wash it. But corn that produces bt in any cell--how can you even try to wash it off? The one and only human gmo feeding study showed that the bt protein survived into the gut of the subjects (which ag-biotech had said wasn't a possibilty), leading to the hypothesis that it could transfer into your intestinal flora, creating a little bt factory in your gut. Doesn't it bear further investigation?

    Sometimes people foolishly believe that organic means no chemicals, and lots of people jump on bandwagons with out any idea as to why they are there. A big part of the problem is that the word "chemical" gets used imprecisely. It's the lack of synthetic- or petro-chemicals which makes food qualify as "organic". I am not prepared at the moment to provide a terrific argument for why I or anyone else would choose to avoid petrochemicals, though I could probably do some research if I really had to. But you do know that's the main reason that many informed people are choosing organics. If that seems arbitrary to you, so be it, I guess.

    Gerhard Adam
    Then you've got some real healthful items like dandelion greens...
    Part of the problem here is when you use terms like "healthful", because, as you well know, that's an entirely different topic.  People consume all manner of foods that aren't "healthful" [i.e. consider Twinkies as an example], so I'm not clear on that particular standard.

    The problem with such a designation is that the unspoken element is that people are accusing the GMO foods of being dangerous, but unfortunately there really is no evidence of this.
    So what in the world is the trade-off when you introduce a biopesticide producing bacteria gene?
    That's a completely legitimate question, but it also has little or nothing to do with whether such foods are unhealthy or dangerous.
    Am I "anti-science" if I question whether science really has enough of the answers to be messing with nature on this level?
    Again, this is a legitimate concern and question, but it also doesn't translate into unhealthy or dangerous.
    This same molecular geneticist referred to GE as a "mutagenic process".
    Then he's a fool, because every molecular geneticist recognizes mutations do occur "naturally" [i.e. from cosmic rays, viruses, etc.].  Secondly, even genetic drift will account for variations, which is precisely why evolution occurs.  It's not like these plants or animals are static organisms that never change.
    The one and only human gmo feeding study showed that the bt protein survived into the gut of the subjects (which ag-biotech had said wasn't a possibilty), leading to the hypothesis that it could transfer into your intestinal flora, creating a little bt factory in your gut.
    Actually bt was studied more extensively where there was one study where humans actually ate it directly for 30 days.  Again, this doesn't make it dangerous, nor does it render it harmless.  We've seen plenty of cases where something appears to work well, only to have unintended consequences later, or to prove itself to be dangerous.  However, these concerns are no basis for simply declaring something dangerous or unhealthy without specific evidence.  You can certainly argue that the precautionary principle should take precedence here, but similarly one could ask for the evidentiary basis for creating such a requirement.

    Part of the problem here, is that whether it be at the genetic level or at the concept of what is "healthy" food, we have the huge problem of an incomplete understanding of the human microbiota.  This plays more than an incidental role in human health, so anyone declaring something to be healthy doesn't know what they're talking about except in the most trivial sense [i.e. potentially provides required nutrients].  There are plenty of people that cannot extract nutrients from "healthy" foods, and even many foods that are supposedly "healthy" which are completely unnatural.  For example, there is no good argument as to why drinking the milk from a cow should be considered healthy in humans.  There is nothing "natural" about that.  Cow's milk is intended to have little cows grow into big ones.  Not to grow human babies.
    But GE seems to be breeding in instability. That seems to be the antithesis of nature which seeks balance.
    Actually there is no such thing as "balance" in nature.  There are only various stages of static equilibrium that may be reached at various points in an environment's evolution.  Every time you take antibiotics, you're doing a "slash and burn" exercise on your microbiota.  Every time someone splashes around anti-bacterial soaps and lotions, they are destroying huge swaths of bacteria on our skin that will make a place for other competing organisms. 

    We routinely destroy dozens if not hundreds of beneficial species ranging from bacteria to insects in our quest to get rid of "creepy crawly" things and yet people rarely are disturbed by it.
    I am not prepared at the moment to provide a terrific argument for why I or anyone else would choose to avoid petrochemicals, though I could probably do some research if I really had to.
    I get that, and I support full disclosure in food labels, including organics.  I fully recognize people's right to choose for themselves, based on whatever they believe.  However, let's also recognize that it was organic foods that produced the salmonella outbreak from spinach.  So, "health" and safety seem to ring less truthfully when such producers want to exempt themselves from the same kind of labeling standard as proposed for GM foods.

    There are many legitimate questions to be asked, there are many legitimate means of raising the issues regarding future unintended consequences.  It is even more legitimate to ask whether GMO's will actually produce the benefits that are touted for farmers.  One of my concerns is that if they are supposed to be so much more economical, why doesn't it appear that anyone is going to safe money on their purchase?

    In reality, the individual claiming concern about GMO seeds blowing into their garden or farm, should be far more concerned about pesticides and herbicides blowing in to those fields, since any fields that close together would be virtually impossible to segregate on that basis. 

    Arguments about what is "natural" versus what isn't are fraught with difficulty.  We can breed mules which are decidedly not "natural", [i.e. the number of chromosomes don't even match], and yet we don't seem to mind.

    I agree, that questions regarding whether we're knowledgeable enough or even mature enough to handle such technologies is a legitimate question.  Whether we know enough about unintended consequences is a good question. 

    However, I am unimpressed by individuals that wish to go off on their own ill-informed rants which turn the entire debate into a three-ring circus.  When someone wants to simply argue about Monsanto, or how much money it spends, etc., then the debate becomes political.  Again, I have no quarrel with people that feel that way, but then let's not pretend that it's about safety.  It's about policy, economics, and a general distrust of corporations.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard, You were right on when you said:
    "Part of the problem here, is that whether it be at the genetic level or at the concept of what is "healthy" food, we have the huge problem of an incomplete understanding of the human microbiota. This plays more than an incidental role in human health,"

    So when does the precautionary principle come into play? We admit we know little about our native flora, though there seems to be be mounting evidence of its importance to our health. The one and only human gmo study is showing potential for bt dna to transfer into our intestinal bacteria. The study you cite is interesting. But if there is a difference between bacteria which is eaten in it's original form and bacteria genes which have been engineered into corn, then the study is less relevant. If it's true that there is something inherent in the process of GEing which creates unintended consequences, then I don't think it's far-fetched to say there is likely a difference in the way bt from these two different sources is processed by the body. Unlike your mule example, gmos can reproduce. And if bt dna survives the stomache intact (that's what the study showed, and it's what the industry said wouldn't happen), and transfers to your bacteria, then it's a recipe for gmo bt bacteria reproducing in your gut. Assuming that the microbiota is very important, then this potential is very problematic, and yes, points to danger. (There is a hypothesis that Autism is related to problems in the gut, which always gets back to the bacteria. There are people who have corrected their child's autism through diet and other measures which addressed the gut bacteria. Therefore the link between gmo's and autism is maybe not so far-out .)

    I get your point that the word "healthful" is perhaps not useful in the sense that there is more to a particular food's ability to have a net positive impact on an individual than the substances it contains. If an individual cannot utilize the substances contained in that food, then it is not "healthful". Much of that ability to utilize the nutrients comes back to the bacteria in your gut. That is true, and it adds clout to that point that we ought to be very concerned about bt thriving in our guts.

    But then you say:
    " so anyone declaring something to be healthy doesn't know what they're talking about except in the most trivial sense [i.e. potentially provides required nutrients]."

    Still, I think we know more than you imply about what constitutes healthy eating; it's not like it's a total crap shoot everytime we eat. Those of us who are paying attention have a better chance of getting close to "healthy" eating. And I hope your corollary is not that we cannot know when something is dangerous? Again, it's a problem of definitions: One or two twinkies, probably not a problem. As a lifestyle, big problem. Does that make twinkies dangerous? Dunnoh. But I do know that most people who aren't living under a rock are under no illusions about twinkies. We can agree they aren't healthful.

    There is a problem of expectations, and that comes down in part to available information. When you are selling something that people really expect to be nourishing food, let's say salmon, but it's GE and therefore has a different Omega 3,6,9 profile, people need to be let in on the secret. That alone justifies labeling, in my book. It would be a cop-out to claim that we don't know enough about the healthfulness of any salmon ever to declare that a GE salmon is somehow neither more nor less suspcious than the others. (Don't bring up mercury--I know, I know.) The fact that there are known changes to a GE salmon makes me suspicious that there are unknown changes, possibly dangerous ones, as well. And look, mercury and pollution issues aside, people have thrived on real, non-GE salmon for many years. I shouldn't have to have a credential and a peer reviewed study to question the safety of the GE salmon and opt to not feed it to my family.

    If it is legitimate to ask what is the trade-off when we GE some characteristic in a salmon, and the answer is unknown at this time, doesn't the precautionary principle ask us to stop and rule out the probability that the answer is unhealthy or dangerous food before we proceed? I don't think we've done that. I don't know if science can do that, and to say that we should proceed with GE foods anyhow is representative of a "world view", as the not very objective Hank likes to say. Then at least label it, and let me opt to not buy it. That question about "what trade-off" is very relevant if you consider the answer is a total wild card.

    So you probably take exception to the word "probability" in the preceeding paragraph, and your whole thing seems to hinge on whether there is a possibility or a probability of that salmon being dangerous, unhealthful, whatever. But here's the thing: unlike your mule, that GE salmon will reproduce. It's not a big stretch to imagine that it will escape from the farm. Then, in like 40-60 generations, or something, all the salmon will be contaminated with GE salmon genes. Since we have so little information, and we are messing in systems we can't understand, isn't that enough justification to back away from this technology? Is it unscientific to say that the unknowns altogether create a picture that would give pause to any normal thinking person, even without the scientific data you seem to require?

    At a certain point the scientific community begins to sound very arrogant and paternalistic. I know this is a science website, but sheesh, Hank is the one who posted about lawsuits (not a very scientific topic.) The free market will work very well if allowed to do so. If people want labeling and it leads them to make unsound, unscientific decisions at the supermarket, that is their perogative. Maybe I have religious reasons, in addtion to those cited above, for not buying GE salmon, you know?

    I appreciate your dialogue, Gerhard. You have an ability to clearly bring it back to the science without sarcasm, and your methods seem pretty sound. You and Hank may both have valids points about Big Organic, and that is an important dialogue that needs to happen. I don't think the argument is well made though that 37 is about Big Organic profitting from exemptions, nor do I think they had anything to do with the genesis or writing of 37.

    Gerhard Adam
    I happen to agree regarding the labeling, and also believe that the "free market" , such as it is, will play its role.  It's doesn't particularly matter whether consumers are rational or not, that is their prerogative. 

    However, let's cut to the chase.  We're facing these issues because we've made a Faustian bargain with the premise that human population growth should be unconstrained.  Therefore we are faced with ever more exotic solutions to support this premise.

    I agree that there are many issues that warrant concern, and that often we are rushing headlong into technologies that are more filled with hubris than data.  Then again, if we don't change our overall philosophy around how humans live, then we have little choice except to "give it a try".

    I've been pelted with arguments about how labeling is going to drive the price of foods up.  My feeling is that that's what is supposed to happen in economics if things aren't viable, and it isn't my problem to ensure that every idea is economical for businesses to pursue.
    And if bt dna survives the stomache intact (that's what the study showed, and it's what the industry said wouldn't happen), and transfers to your bacteria, then it's a recipe for gmo bt bacteria reproducing in your gut.
    True enough, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  In truth, we don't really know if very similar bacteria and their toxins aren't already present, since we can't even culture 99% of our microbiota.

    A recent study has shown that our own "system" manipulates our gut bacteria to produce "unhealthy" population distributions during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy because it helps during pregnancy, but would be dangerous in non-pregnant adults.  We truly know little to nothing about these dynamics, so almost any speculation might have some element of credibility.

    I keep hearing that the human population should stabilize around 9-10 billion but no one seems real clear on what "stabilize" means.  This is another case of where optimism rather than science seems to rule the day.  Of course, such an assumption occurs because we know that numbers much larger than that will be catastrophic, so instead of facing the problem, we simply assume that a solution will manifest itself.  We do the same thing with natural resources, economic wealth, etc. etc. etc.

    I realize some of these points aren't strictly on topic, but they all relate to produce the situation we're in and why we have to address these kinds of problems.  One difficulty I have is having GM advocates explain why I [me personally] need to accept such foods when I'm neither starving nor facing food shortages.  As I said ... I'm not inclined to concern myself with accepting products simply because they may be profitable to some particular producer.

    So, I tend to find myself straddling the middle ground, where I'm not enthralled with some of the choices, while I recognize why some may be necessary, and acknowledging that we don't have nearly all the information we need.  I don't accept the fear-mongering tactics of those that are all "doom and gloom", but neither do I believe that science looks like the Jetson's or even Star Trek.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    I don't think the argument is well made though that 37 is about Big Organic profitting from exemptions, nor do I think they had anything to do with the genesis or writing of 37.
    I agree with this, because I never viewed "organic" foods as being a competitor to GM foods.  People that embrace "organic" foods were never going to revert back to something else anyway, so it's a non-issue in that respect.

    The problem though does occur if someone has an irrational fear of GM foods, while they're also stuffing their cart full of Twinkies and Potato Chips.  Then we're just engaging in fear-mongering, and for someone to avoid nutritious food because of an irrational fear, we are promoting unhealthy habits rather than promoting a useful food safety dialogue.
    At a certain point the scientific community begins to sound very arrogant and paternalistic.
    Oh, I know that many scientists can simply be a pain in the ass, and often scientific journalists are no different.  However, as I said ... fear mongering with bad data doesn't help, any more than a scientist being patronizing.

    My main objection here is to keep scientists to performing science and away from public policy.  Regardless of what the science says, public policy is a domain that we are all entitled to an opinion in.  While we may disagree on many points, we shouldn't cloud the issue by turning it into an argument about "good" and "evil", or even "right" or "wrong". 

    Science may be right, but being right is not necessarily the basis for dictating public policy.  It's also a matter of how people choose to live, regardless of whether we all agree that it is the "best" way.



    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Food activists of the 'we must do something, even if it is wrong' ilk insist wholesome litigation attorneys would not do the thing litigation attorneys do.
    You mean that it is similar to what Republicans are doing in states to combat voter fraud, despite having no evidence that it has ever occurred?

    Sorry ... it has nothing to do with the topic, but I couldn't resist tweaking your nose about it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    I'm not a Republican so it isn't tweaking anything in me.  If showing ID were going to cause people to starve, I would be against it too.
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I do find it doubtful that anyone in California is going to starve because of this proposal, but instead it's really aimed more at those that talk about how money is being spent for no good purpose [i.e. the fiscally conservative]. 

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    I agree some of the claims are dubious - on Facebook again today I had someone making $40,000 a year say that in this state they sometimes had no money for food.  The place is expensive - other states have expensive cities, like NYC and Washington DC, but a hundred miles away it is normal. Not here, they hit the whole state with taxes and regulations.

    Government does not exist to help people, believing it does is as silly as believing businesses exist to help people. And this particular law will get 65% of the vote because of the marketing - but it will do no good and cost a lot.

    You're right in believing it would be easier to say nothing than to protest something idiotic and anti-science because it might help a business provide lower prices for people. I am Don Quixote that way.
    Although I agree with the author, it is slightly biased for my liking. I understand the citizens want for the "right to know" and I honestly wouldn't have a problem of this, however, this is not the issue at hand. The vague nature of this bill, as well as the vast amount of complete crock information about GMO's is absolutely disgusting.

    Listen I'm not big fan of Monsanto, but they are not as evil as everyone makes them out to be. Even now I realize in highschool I had science teachers telling me about the science, and then my english and law teachers spouting out about evil corporations... If only I knew as much about the science as I do now I would have a thing or two to say to those english and law teachers. It is not quite propaganda, and I hope they don't know that what theyre saying is considerably false.... at least then it can be due to lack of information...

    I honestly think the government needs a public seed bank of gmo. I do think the hybrid genes still needs to be maintained... it is better if these crops are not introduced into the wild or cross with out species.

    I am not a republican, and I consider myself leftist. I do not generalize myself though. I take each view on its merits. Gay rights Im fully for, green energy I am for, nuclear energy I am for, gmo's I am for. Senseless fear over ignorance I am against. I am an atheist. I am and never have been religious. I am for vaccines. I am for socialized medicine. Do any of my beliefs place me particularly right or left? NO.

    Hank
    I'm with you on that. I keep a running tally of 'you are a right wing neocon shill for big oil' and 'you are a liberal commie fag junkie' comments and 'right' is leading left 52 to 48 percent.

    My bias is on transparency.  If you are going to make a truth in food content bill, make it.  But this is not it.  It is instead a warning label for only one kind and, as even the California state government knows, it is simply lawsuit bait wrapped up in an intellectual placebo.

    When activists write referendums, it is always junk verbage designed to promote their world view while they insist what lawyers say will happen won't happen.  In this instance, lawyers are the ones saying it will be nothing but lawsuits too.
    Yep, you got it right. It is CA vs. FDA, EPA and USDA. I was in a hearing in 1987 on Prop 65 in Sacramento when the FDA Commissioner tried to persuade Tom Hayden that FDA and USDA were on top of the issues. Hayden smiled and said something to the effect that "Californians like to do their own thing."

    This is a full employment act for bounty hunter lawyers. Problem is, CA is 10% of the consumer marketplace and has a huge number of electoral votes so Administrations from Regan, Bush (not W) to Clinton pass on the need to establish one national marketplace. And, in fairness to the other side, they back down when the warning, such as Vitamin A in milk served to school children could cause birth defects, would have appeared in the school lunch program, certainly putting the feds in play.
    What a mess. The LA Times' editorial board, which endorsed Prop 65, is stuggling with the language -- vague, poorly written and all inclusive, despite the protests of innocence from the proponents.

    Jeff, USDA and FDA are not "on top of the issues" when it comes to gmo's, so it's not really a fair comparison. Unless you mean that USDA and FDA are working on behalf of the industry to get gmo's into the marketplace as quickly and easily as possible with as little oversight and testing as possible. Then yes, the FDA and USDA are on top of the issues.

    Sorry, you erred: An organic cow must eat organic feed to have an organic certification. Likewise, chickens need to have organic feed to be certified organic eggs or meat.

    Hank
    In a perfect world that is true but you are in the world of genes.  Plenty of organic feed has GMOs.

    If you are getting truly 'organic' food, and you know it to be true, and that entire chain has been certified, congratulations on being part of the wealthy 1% - because if you are not overpaying wildly, and not simply Whole Foods prices either but even more, you are lying to yourself.
    That is why you can buy products certified by the Non-GMO Project Verification which means stringent EU standards of no more than 0.9% contamination. It is the USDA's pathetic organic standards that are a problem, as they do not state a threshold for inadvertent contamination. You don't need to be part of the 1%, and you certainly don't need to overpay, but based on your rhetoric you've already made your mind up.

    Hank
    It's not rhetoric, it is economics.  Your method creates a ghetto class of starving people.  The 0.9% standard is as arbitrary as the American 5%. It should be 0%, since that is what the standard for GM foods will be - or it gets a label showing what those ingredients are.

    The 'made your mind up' is strictly about whether or not organic food gets a special exemption; if you truly support truth in labeling, this is not it, since it is arbitrary and discriminatory and does not help consumers understand their food at all.
    It is rhetoric, you haven't done much shopping if you think people are going to starve by growing their own food, buying locally or buying foods that have undergone the Non-GMO Project Verification. And there ARE products with 0% contamination, like everything Nature's Path sells for example. 100% independent, 100% organic, 100% non-GMO. You think their Corn Flakes are going to cause people to go broke? Hahahahahahaha, that's funny stuff.

    The American 5%? What are you talking about? The USDA organic certification doesn't set ANY threshold for inadvertent GMO contamination.

    Your are so wrong!

    I am a medical practitioner and a scientist (biochemistry, as a matter of fact) and I am all For Prop 37.
    I have owned my business since 1999, and have never heard or seen anything about Prop 65....therefore what you are engaging in is fear mongering.

    The only people who will be sued are ones who deserve it, for causing harm.

    Here is who you forgot to list in the Con isle: PepsiCo, Coca Cola, manufacturers of junk foods, and Biotechnology companies such as Monsanto, dupont, dow et al.
    You should really stick to writing on subjects you have a clue on.

    Hank
    The only people who will be sued are ones who deserve it, for causing harm.
    Yeah, you as a doctor - unless medical practitioner is code speak for homeopathy crank - believing lawyers only sue when someone is harmed is pretty funny.  And that fact that you never heard of Prop 65 says you are clueless about laws in California, much less the impact of what this new one will be.
    Here is who you forgot to list in the Con isle: PepsiCo, Coca Cola, manufacturers of junk foods, and Biotechnology companies such as Monsanto, dupont, dow et al.
    Sure, the many, many scientists at those companies have no issue with science.  Or are only people who write hysterical silliness legitimate sources to you? 
    You should really stick to writing on subjects you have a clue on.
    My name is right here in public, and my body of work.  Show us yours.  'Anonymous' rubbish doesn't cut it.
    I've been in practice for twenty two years.... of those ten were spent doing emergency work.
    I have a malpractice policy which I have never had to use.
    The last thing I worry about is malpractice or negligence, cause I am very good at my job ( the last 12 years have been i private clinical practice).

    I didn't chose to write your blog, and have no obligation to disclose anything personal. You published it and chose to put your picture on it. That's your choice, not mine.

    The side fighting Prop 37 is made up of: drum roll please:
    Council for Biotechnology Information ie Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, BASF etc
    Grocery Manufacturers Association
    PepsiCo loves cheap high fructose corn syrup which leads to huge healthcare bills by contributing to obesity and diabetes
    Coca-Cola... same here
    Kellogg Company and the rest of the junk food crew who take cheap commodities ( because we subsidize cash crops--corn and soy), process them and package them. They are the middle man in this game who profit by slinging unhealthy food while squeezing the producer aka farmer. Do some reading!

    The main reason I hate GMOs is overuse of toxic herbicides ahd Monsanto's shoddy "safety" studies.... which suggest chronic kidney disease, namely-chronic inflammatory changes and hepatobilliary disease (liver disease),
    Don't feed the crap to your kids!

    Hank,
    Funny you should mention Litigation Attorneys! Michael Taylor was top litigation attorney for Monsanto when President Bush appointed him as Head of Public Policy for the FDA. In 1992 he declared that genetically modified foods are 'substantially equivalent' to heritage seeds. Therefore they do not and have not been tested or labeled.
    Funny that you should mention bumper crops, because the corn/soy/canola/beet sugar producers use our $10 billion dollar Ag Bill tax money to grow and spray chemicals on their bumper crops, then they sell it back as junk food [omega 6 oils and sugars causing heart disease, cancer and diabetes].
    Funny you should mention litigation attorneys because MOnsanto's attorneys brought a lawsuit against the states of Conn and Vermont this year when their legislators dared pass laws requiring that genetically labeled foods be so labeled.
    Funny that you should mention litigation lawyers, because lobbyists right now have succeeded in getting a rider on the Ag Bill which says that genetically engineered crops can be approved in record short time, and planted even where local laws prohibit it. Litigation lawyers for the chemical companies have been 'making hay while the sun shines' and Prop 37 is the direct result of citizen frustration with the lack of progress in labeling foods, which 93% of folks polled have wanted.
    Not so funny - that the same chemical companies in big pharma now have a bumper crop of chemicals available to sell as drugs to the patients who are being created with the genetically modified crops- obesity, heart disease, autism, cancer rates all skyrocketing - since GMO foods were introduced.
    Organic crops do not have genetic modification. Shame on you - for saying that these untested unregulated GMOs have so contaminated all of the food on the planet, that everything is GMO, even organic crops. That is an indictment of the reckless openfield planting of the GMOs allowed by the USDA. That reason alone, is enough to give pause. GMOS have contaminated every crop on earth? Is that what you are saying? And they have never been tested?
    There is no way to predict the unknown effects of toxins produced by a single change in a DNA protein. We used to think that one gene coded for one protein, and that there were 100,000 genes. Remember how shocked we were to discover when the human genome was sequenced, that there are only 30,000 genes? That means that one change in a gene can produce multiple different proteins. The refolding that happens in the genetic engineering process might even cause something like mad cow disease. That is just an incorrectly folded portion of a gene. We do not have any idea what the genetic engineering will do to our foods. We do not test it. It is not labeled.
    One gene in a fruit fly can code for 35,000 different proteins. Talk about Pandora's box..... a looming legacy of disaster for our children.
    We know that mice given GMO soy didn't have grandchildren... but we did not test at all on humans. Have you noticed all of the problems lately with infertility? Did you notice that there are now more glyphosphates [Roundup] in cord blood of babies than is allowed in the drinking water standards of the US? Did you now that Roundup is a chelator and binds to essential minerals in our soil and may be producing an epidemic of mineral deficiency diseases?
    Why do you think that almost 50 other countries label?.... no big increase in lawsuits or food costs in any of those countries.
    If GMOs are so great, why not label it so you can advertise the advantages and everyone can buy it?
    There is nothing antiscience about Prop 37. I am a science teacher, master teacher, mentor teacher of 20 years experience. Labeling novel untested ingredients in foods is good science.
    In science we look for cause and effect. The lack of labeling makes it impossible to connect cause to effect.
    You remember how it took 100 years for the tobacco companies to admit that cigarettes cause lung and many other cancers? That it took 100 years for asbestos companies to admit that asbestos causes mesotheliomia? ... the cemetery is littered with the gravestones of unfortunate folks who believed folks like you.
    Of course damage does not have to be proved, to bring a lawsuit. Nobody says anything in Prop 37 about damage. We have a fundamental right to know what we are eating and feeding our families. The lawsuit is brought to establish truth in labeling. The experience in Europe and the rest of the world shows that companies have labeled their foods basically truthfully. Don't we all want to know what we are eating?
    Don't we now realize that the genetically modified food has never been tested on humans? Don't we now know that no genetically modified food in the US is labeled, but the same food going to Europe, China, Japan, Russian and 40% of the world is ALREADY labeled.
    Why do you think that we do not need to know what the rest of the world knows?
    There is a clear reason for the exemption of cow feed, alcohol, enzymes etc. In California, an initiative can cover only one thing at a time. A separate initiative has to be brought to the vote for cow feed, alcohol, enzymes, etc.
    This is because of the failure of the FDA and USDA and legislature to carry out their mandate to protect the food supply and the children and families of the United States.
    One million California voters signed this initiative because it is time for food processors and grocers to stop hiding behind all the deceptive packaging and labeling and admit what is in our food.
    $1.7 million is being spent already by these chemical processors and vendors - on litigation attorney, misleading advertising and possibly to support misleading newspaper articles. Ever wonder why Europe has good coverage of the subject and few Amercians even know that their foods are not labeled with genetic engineering ingredients?????

    Hank
    You left this same comment 8 times (obviously I deleted the rest), showing you are the perfect person to represent an anti-science view about warning labels on food you don't understand.

    Why wouldn't companies and grocery stores spend money against this?  They are the ones who are going to get sued for products that have never harmed anyone.
    Wow, Hank. Jessica made great points, and all you could do was attack her for accidentally hitting post too many times? Maybe her computer freaked, or she has a tremor. But her points are sound, and you can't refute them. Weak, weak, weak.

    Hank
    One million California voters signed this initiative because it is time for food processors and grocers to stop hiding behind all the deceptive packaging and labeling and admit what is in our food.
    I did address all of these points, in the article and in the comments.  But 'she' did not read any of that, she copied and pasted canned talking points and then did it over and over 7 more times. 

    If 'deceptive packaging and labeling' is what we want t get rid of, why exempt anyone?  I am all for truth in packaging, provided it applies to all food. Yet this legislation does not.  Why are you against truth in packaging for all food and want to focus on just GMOs?

    Lots of Californians signed petitions for gay marriage too, California has more support for gay marriage than any state in the country, yet when the referendum got written it was voted down - because while the intent was equality the writing was intentionally vague activism that would have allowed churches to be sued. This is the same problem; activists behind this have written something so poor it isn't about helping people, it is about being against science.
    I am glad to hear you are in favor of truth in labeling for all foods. I agree with you that the organic standards are not good enough, and there has already been some debate about true organic versus big organic. This is a problem and needs to be addressed. It should not be confused with the problem of unlabeled gmo's which is a seperate issue and also needs to be addressed. There are real problems with gmo's. Please consult the website of responsibletechnology.org for more information about the animal studies and what they have shown (as well as the one and only human health gmo feeding study and what it has shown.) I would really like to see all items in CA which originate from genetically engineered crops labeled. Do products from animals which have eaten genetically engineered feed have "genetically engineered ingredients"? That brings in another level of questions and confuses the issues and would have made the law harder to comply with, and so it was left out of this initiative for practical reasons--one of the "exemptions" you cite. Look, many people don't even have the slightest idea that they are eating GE foods in the first place. The awareness needs to be raised (Prop 37 is doing that). Those people, as well as the people who already are informed about gmo's, have a right to know what's in the food so that they can make their own choices. The companies benefitting from sale of GE food have a responsibility to accurately label. And there is no reason to think that they won't do so once they are required by law.

    On the other hand, most people these days seem to be plenty aware that we live in a society with too many lawsuits, and it seems that you are using a scare tactic in making 37 all about lawsuits. And trial lawyers, be they good or bad, really don't change the fact that we have a right to know what we are buying.

    So you've got an initiative here started by a concerned grandmother--she's studied the issues and would like the opportunity to make her own choices about what she feeds her family. But since she's not a scientist, you seem to think that means she is ignorant and shouldn't mess in the affairs of "experts" (scientists, doctors and politicians). Then you've got the initiative which was written by a lawyer because that's the way initiatives are, and so you seem to think that means it was written to benefit lawyers. You seem to have a problem with the initiative process itself. Here in CA some of us think we are pretty fortunate to have the initiative process because it gives us the opportunity to enter the debate. You must know about the revolving door between the Ag-biotech industry and the FDA--who's interest do you think FDA is looking out for? And you must know that state legislatures have tried to pass labeling laws and have failed because they were bullied by Monsanto. So where does that leave us in CA? With gratitude for an initiative process that may not be perfect, but is not as broken as the regulatory process which is supposed to oversee our food supply.

    According to James C. Cooper, J.D., Ph.D., Prop 37 will not result in the litigation abuses that 65 did for the following reasons: It applies to a "much narrower economic sector", it will provide businesses with "greater legal certainties" than 65, and it will "allow businesses more exceptions" than Prop 65. He goes on to say, "Label GMO provides an absolute defense for any party that relies on a sworn statement from its supplier that the food in question was not knowingly or intentionally genetically engineerd or comingled with genetically engineered food. This defense allows businesses an inexpensive means to defeat private suits early without having to pay plaintiffs' legal fees, which in turn will discourage private litigation." Since you are so big on deferring to the "experts", I suggest you listen to him.

    BTW, I am in CA, and I voted against gay marriage, and it was not for the reasons you cite. Also, BTW, I've noticed that you tend to use quote marks in an effort to deiscredit and cast doubt, but you are wrong about Jessica (and many other things.) She is a "she"; I know her personally.

    Hank
    BTW, I am in CA, and I voted against gay marriage, and it was not for the reasons you cite. 
    What other reasons can there be?  It was either a well-written law or a poorly written one. 

    As I noted in the article about Prop 65, 37% voted against it for some reason or another. I can't imagine they all recognized crappy law while 63% did not. So there were other reasons.
    Jessica, you are replying to fake comments generated by software to sway public opinion. I am sure that there are a few NWO shills mixed in as well.

    Hank
    What is an NWO? 
    Gerhard Adam
    I think it means New World Order ...
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    A social authoritarian, anti-science progressive accusing someone else of wanting to create a world government is really, really funny.
    No legislation is perfect, but labeling GMO foods is absolutely necessary and will bring great benefits to society on many levels. The approval process for GM foods is flawed at best, and more likely rotten to the core. Globally, there is good science clearly showing genetically modified foods, and the entire process of producing them result in significant risks to our health and the state of our environment. This is not a progressive hippie problem, it is a problem for all human beings. What has been claimed to be safe, it turns out can actually cause significant health issues over time. Perhaps this is why many advanced nations with health statuses much better than ours in the US have banned entirely the cultivation of GM foods. Do you actually think millions upon millions of gallons of glycophosphate and other inherently neurotoxic chemicals sprayed all over our food, leeching into our water supplies etc is safe? In addition, where do you think all the crazy increases in food allergies are coming from? If GM foods are so safe and wonderful as the producers and all who profit from them claim, they should have no problem with them being labeled. If GM foods are not fundamentally different, what is the patent for? How about some decent studies in the approval process not funded by the biotech industry, and regulatory agencies not staffed with Monsanto executives. Syngenta is facing criminal charges for falsifying data regarding cows eating their GM corn getting sick and dying from it. The whole rBGH deal was a scandal full of bad science and blatant lies. GM foods may have applications that could benefit society, but thus far much bad has come from it. We deserve to have clear disclosure about what we are eating, and quality science and approval processes proving safety prior to exposing hundreds of millions of people to unknown chemicals of unknown consequences. Personally, I will choose food that exists as God, nature, whatever you want to call it created it. I do not want food produced in a lab, made from crossing fish genes with flora genes, sprayed with derivatives of agent orange.

    Hank
    No legislation is perfect, but labeling GMO foods is absolutely necessary and will bring great benefits to society on many levels. The approval process for GM foods is flawed at best, and more likely rotten to the core. 
    This applies to any food - but organic much more than GMOs, since GM has been tested more rigorously and thoroughly than any product in history and organic food just requires a certification. 25% of organic food has been found to not be organic at all and the USDA and FDA don't do spot testing because it is just a process, like claiming to be kosher. 

    Your knowledge on this is clearly filtered through a world view but you lose a lot when you approach science in that a la carte way.
    Gerhard Adam
    I still don't get it.  If so many are in favor of GMO foods, then what's the problem in labeling foods as such?  Hell, to avoid the expense, many foods could be labeled as GMO and have the "law" indicate which foods shouldn't be labeled as such.  This would be a negligible expense.

    It seems though that the problem is that producers want to sell GMO foods, without actually telling anyone that that's what they are.  That's what this whole battle is about.

    So, the fear is that the public doesn't accept GMO foods so telling them would result in lost sales.  Yet, isn't that precisely what the "free market" is supposed to do?  Science doesn't get to dictate what products people like or dislike.

    Personally I think this is much ado about nothing, especially for the food producers.  If the benefits of GMO food are that significant that it results in significantly lower costs of production, then reducing the food prices in the stores will ensure that plenty of people overcome their "aversion" to GMO foods and purchase them. 

    Cheaper food prices will attract customers, and then over the long-run, people will simply tend to ignore the labels just as they do now.  Do you think people buy Twinkies because of what the label says?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Personally I think this is much ado about nothing, especially for the food producers. 
    Nowhere in this do I claim it is about lost sales.  Will things get more expensive?  Sure, California is incredibly expensive because of over-regulation and more of it has never caused prices to come down. It's (a) not fair to mandate something written by a competitor that excludes the group behind it and (b) it will lead to a bunch of lawsuits that do drive costs up.

    Would you be okay with legislation drafted by Monsanto that would let their products read 'genetically superior to other food'? That label is negligible in cost also.
    Gerhard Adam
    Would you be okay with legislation drafted by Monsanto that would let their products read 'genetically superior to other food'?
    To be honest, I'm not really one to get upset over it.  I'm so used to the idea of companies putting all kinds of nonsense and "half-truths" on their labels, that if Monsanto had that kind of label, I wouldn't really care.

    What would be more disconcerting is that our legislature would be manipulated by a large corporation.  In my view, that would be the issue in your example (1).   Label contents?  I hardly view food labels as being "peer-reviewed", so it really wouldn't matter.

    As I said ... for those people that it does make a big difference to, well, they aren't your customers anyway, so who cares what they say.  That's like vegans determining what labels get placed on beef.  Not really relevant, and it isn't going to change my eating habits one bit [just as warnings on cigarettes don't make people stop smoking].

    You keep mentioning lawsuits, but who's going to get sued over what?  If an individual buys GMO foods and complains that it has affected their health, then that has nothing to do with labels.  That's a normal part of litigation today.  They couldn't sue because it's GMO, because they bought it with the label, so they are a knowledgeable consumer.

    What lawsuits are you envisioning, because I don't see the basis for any solely from labels.

    (1)
    Unfortunately, corporations already don't have a problem in "ghost-writing" legislative bills, so in one respect it's a kind of poetic justice to see them doing it to each other.  However, this is simply a consequence of what corporations have been doing for years.  Citizens have to contend with legislation that is favorable and/or written by corporations that don't have to register as lobbyists and certainly don't have an obligation to represent the citizens affected by these same laws. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    It's (a) not fair to mandate something written by a competitor that excludes the group behind it ...
    Do you really believe that "organic" foods are a competitor to other foods? 

    Do you really believe that the average food shopper is suddenly going to go to Whole Foods (1) because of these labels? 

    If that was even remotely true, then we would have long-ago seen McDonald's closing their doors and Hostess would only be producing whole-grain breads.  As I said ...  they're fighting a "paper tiger" and making themselves look guilty for nothing.

    (1) Whole Foods already gets more free advertising and mention from the Food Network than anything that could be achieved by this legislation [and I recognize that they are not specifically behind this effort].
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Nowhere in this do I claim it is about lost sales.
    Perhaps not, but that's certainly the gist of most of the resistance.  After all, anything else would be irrational.
    The Grocery Manufacturers Association calls GE labels unnecessary and potentially confusing to consumers who might perceive the label as an indication of a risk.
    http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/07/california-gmo-labeling-law-named-prop-37-for-november-ballots/#.UCbYtKPhcsw
    I think we can be pretty confident that the issue of "risk" is associated with reduced sales.  If not, then why raise the issue?
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    After all, anything else would be irrational.

    Come on Gerhard, really?
    Labeling is either useless (based on your desire to have some sort of way to track GMO food usage in society), But to have any sort of value, wouldn't you agree that you'd really need to know what kind of GMO you're tracking? Wouldn't the effects of each strain potentially be different?
    And if it's not useless, it will cause a huge impact to the entire supply chain for food production, as you'd have to have either separate processing equipment, or you'd have to have extensive cleaning procedures when you switched from GMO to non-GMO strains. This will increase the cost of food.

    Now, if all people want is the text GMO printed on the label of food that just might have some GMO strains in it, sure go ahead, but don't tell me there's anything of value to doing it. That would be irrational.

    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but these are simply unacceptable excuses.  GMO foods are being touted as having very specific benefits, and it makes absolutely no sense to not have these processes in place.  If for no other reason than to assess the economic costs/benefits, I refuse to believe that any sensible business doesn't know how the economics is working.

    The data is there.  The data is there for Monsanto to license farmers.  The data is there for farmers to manage their resources, and the data is there for farmers to know how those various methods of production compare with each other.  If they don't have the data, then they're idiots and deserve to be out of business.

    So, NO ... I am not sympathetic, and they can bloody well make the data available to everyone else.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    But none of that tracks the percentage of what strains are in the french fry, or nacho chip you're eating.

    I find useless regulation increasing the cost of my food unacceptable. Worse still I find Californian regulations increasing the cost of my food (because of the size of their economy, these regulations will impact food production for other states) unacceptable.

    Regardless of whether a few more farmers can make a little more profit, and keep from going bankrupt.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    They already track it.  That's precisely why even dog food manufacturers have high-end and low-end foods, because they specifically have different plants producing different variety of foods because they track their ingredients.

    Sorry, but in today's age of automation and computers up the wazoo, I just don't buy the excuse that this is going to be more expensive because they have to have some guy with a clipboard checking off boxes of where stuff comes from.

    Also, you have absolutely no evidence of what these supposed cost increases are going to be, so that's just speculation.  However, regardless of whether it raises costs or not, this is something that people can deal with, and it's the entire basis on which the "free market" operates.  If these products are more expensive, then so be it.  If they are less expensive, then so be it.

    I find it hard to believe that GMO foods are supposed to produce all these cost savings and benefits, and yet when something as simple as labeling is proposed, suddenly the prices are going to go through the roof.  It's a rip-off and I don't buy it.
    But none of that tracks the percentage of what strains are in the french fry, or nacho chip you're eating.
    No one is asking for a count by molecule.  If you have two different supplies and you mix them so that they contain both GMO and non-GMO foods, then what is the basic ratio at which you mixed them?  50/50?  30/70?  Nothing more specific than that is required, so it's based on a standard that is simple and easy to express.

    While I might be wrong, I don't believe there's any stipulation in the law that requires a precise accounting for percentages.

    This is also why manufacturers are able to recall particular product batches in the event of a problem, because they do track how things are produced.  Perhaps not to the level of detail you're proposing, but as I said, I don't believe there's any such requirement for accuracy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    and yet when something as simple as labeling is proposed, suddenly the prices are going to go through the roof.

    As I've said numerous times, it isn't the labeling, it's managing a separate supply chains, one for GMO, and one for non-gmo. Something I do have some background in.

    Perhaps not to the level of detail you're proposing, but as I said, I don't believe there's any such requirement for accuracy.

    While this law may not have that requirement, having a printed label then will not give any quantitative tracking of gmo food usage for any sort of scientific study, one of the key points you keep saying is the reason you want labels.

    Again as I've also stated numerous times, a stupid label would be cheap, but it would have also have no value.
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    It sounds to me like they have idiots in their marketing department.  If it were me, I'd put the GMO label on it, right next to the one that reads "Free of Chemical Pesticides".  Then on the back on you could easily put a sentence indicating that some of their products are genetically modified to use "natural" pesticides rather than chemical.

    If GMO foods are beneficial, then they need to tout the benefits.  The industry's current position simply makes it look like they have something to hide.  They should highlight the science to emphasize their point.  The industry has never been shy about making up stuff when it suits their marketing needs regarding food [especially to make it sound scientific] so they should step up and do it now.  After all, any industry that can concoct terms like "Bifidus Regularis" [to sell yogurt of all things] and Retsyn shouldn't be so coy.

    Also, I don't see what "organic" foods has to do with this, since it doesn't matter whether products are labeled or not.  They aren't going to be bought by the "organic" crowd anyway, so they're not your customers.
    Mundus vult decipi
    So 28 day tests on usually one mammalian species is the most rigorous testing of any product in history? Wow, that's pretty sad and pathetic. Can you back up that statement with independent science please? I'll entertain all links.

    Labeling GM foods will most certainly bring awareness. Too many people consume GM foods without any knowledge they are doing so, and will likely decide otherwise given the information that is intentionally kept from the public. And how is one to approach a "science" that has been executed so poorly, with so much bias, leaving out so many important details? When you look at the science and testing behind the claims that GM foods are safe, the reality is the real safety test is being done now as we consume these things with no real idea of the consequences. To put that on people without any disclosure is beyond immoral. And how do you know that the chemicals is prop 65 have not done any actual harm? Just where do you think all the illness in this country comes from? We are constantly bombarded with toxins, from brominated fire retardants in mattresses, baby toys and even pajamas, to contaminants in our drinking water and formaldehyde emitting into the air from our homes and furniture. We should expect to be informed of these exposures so we can decide what is safe for our families with some kind of actual insight as to what we are being exposed to. You simply cannot in any grounded way claim GM foods are completely safe, because they have not been proven to be safe by global standards. To blindly listen to the corporations that produce GM foods and the scientists they employ would be foolish, and to not question their claims would be contrary to the very nature of good science by definition. Animal studies have shown GM foods can damage organs, alter hormone function, and impact various physiological and cognitive processes. Why would it not effect human beings as well? Whatever you think of GM foods, labeling them is essential and if you like GM foods you can check the labels to make sure your food has been genetically altered in a lab and sprayed with neurotoxins, and those of us that feel differently can look at the labels to make sure our food has not been. Either way, let people decide what they want for themselves, we don't need corporations, government, or journalists thinking for us. This will also enrich the scientific process by enabling some degree of tracking the effects of these products, whatever they may be.

    You are mistaken or intentionally misleading on several counts. Many doctors support 37. Many scientists support 37. There is much proof that genetically engineered foods are different from their natural counterparts, and that is the reason that many scientists and doctors know GE foods should be labeled. For instance, bt corn, which is now the majority of corn grown in this country, produces a pesticide in every cell and is registered with the EPA as a chemical. That is emhpatically not the same as natural corn. Please let's be honest here: if it were the same as other foods, why would the seeds be patented? In favor of Prop 37 are many businesses including farmers and store owners as well as parents and other consumers who all know that we have a right to choose for ourselves what we buy and eat. To claim that the scientists know best and to allow them to make my food choices for me is worse than condescending. As a mother, hypothetical applesauce made with GE apples is something I would avoid buying, if I had the information to do so (thank goodness GE apples are not on the market in the US at this time, and you would have been wise to clarify that point for your readers.) You need to define "normal" because to my way of thinking, "normal" food would be grown from seeds which had come to us through the natural process of sexual reproduction, which is how seeds have always come to us until the last two decades. "Normal" would not include, in my definition, seeds which have had their normal defences against DNA from other species broken down by scientists in a lab. According to Dr. Belinda Martineau, one of the genetecists who worked on the FlavR SavR tomato, the first GE food brought to market, when you force genes from one organism into another, you actually have no control where that gene will land in the receiving organism's DNA, which could create new allergens and toxicants. This is why she, a scientist, supports labeling in CA. Arpad Pustzai, world class scientist, found that the new compounds in the modified organisms he studied were not implicated in causing pre-cancerous stomache lesions in rats, but rather there was somthing about the process of genetic engineering itself that he determined to be the culprit. In short, there are unanswered questions with this new technology, and as a consumer and mother who is fairly well educated on the issues, I choose to avoid buying genetically engineered food. I should note that I am not a crackpot, but I am a mother with highly developed critical thinking skills, and I am wondering why you find it necessary to place quote marks around the words organic and natural as if they are somehow illegitimate. The word organic actually has a very clearly defined meaning, which you might have researched. The debate over the word natural is taking place right now, with people like me telling you that any food which had it's DNA modified in a lab so that it can either produce it's own pesticide or withstand and absorb large doses of Round-up, and now 2,4-D (one half the formulation of Agent Orange) is NOT natural. Any honest debate requires a definition of terms at the outset, not an attempt to twist and redefine terms. And name-calling makes me question whether this is an article in a science publication or if it's just propaganda.

    Hank
    Many doctors support 37. 
    The rest of your comment is just gibberish with no foundation so let's stick to this part.  The USDA, the FDA, the AMA and the National Academies are against it.  Lots of doctors also believe in psychics and UFOs - but those are not positions adopted by the medical establishment.  Almost every homeopathy company is run by a "Dr." - namely the two companies I mention in the article that have kicked in a million bucks. If you believe in magic water, this legislation is perfect for you.
    The USDA? You mean the organization whose Secretary was former "Biotech Governor of the Year" Tom Vilsack?
    The FDA? You mean the organization who in 2010 authenticated a letter from their scientific body to the POTUS saying that the heads of the organization routinely ignored their scientifically sound recommendations and advice in lieu of political or corporate favor?
    The AMA? You mean the organization who still recommends flu shots for 6 months old padding the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies despite the Cochrane Collaboration, the gold standard in evidence-based medicine research, concluding that there was zero evidence of effectiveness for those under two which prompted the BHSS in 2010 to remove the flu vaccine from the pediatric schedule in the UK until 5 years of age?

    What, you sure are making a case here.

    Medical & Health Professionals supporting Prop 37:

    Michael Baar, Ph.D. (Psychologist)
    Lorrie Bailey, RN, L.Ac
    Dr. Robert Berg, DDS
    Rachel Bittker, MD
    Dr. Debi Bradfield
    Kathleen Bundy, MS RD CLT Registered Dietician
    Dr. Michael Carlson, MD
    Carolyn C. Comilang, MD., F.A.A.P.
    Terry Glenn Curry, RN
    Dr. Edison de Mello, MD
    Melissa DeVera, RD
    Dr. Kristen Dolan
    Dr. Jay Doucet, FACS

    Public Health Organizations:

    Allergy Kids Foundation
    Autism One
    Breast Cancer Action
    Breast Cancer Fund
    California Citizens for Health Freedom
    Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance
    Citizens for Health
    CoMed
    Healthy Child
    Ohio Sunshine Health Freedom Coalition
    Prevention Institute
    Virginians for Health Freedom

    Medical Groups/Associations/Organizations:

    American Academy of Environmental Medicine
    American College for Advancement in Medicine
    American Holistic Medical Association
    American Medical Students Association
    American Public Health Association
    Butte County Health Care Coalition
    Canyon Springs Dental Group and Orthodontics
    Chicago Eye Institute
    Clinton Miller Health Freedom Advocates
    Foundations Therapy Service, Inc.
    Harbor Medical Group
    Health Care without Harm
    Health-Ward Group LLC
    Latino Care Medical Group
    Latino Diabetes Association
    National Health Federation
    National Health Freedom Action
    National Health Freedom Coalition
    Pacific Center For Integral Health
    Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine
    Physicians for Social Responsibility- Los Angeles
    Physicians for Social Responsibility- Sacramento
    Physicians for Social Responsibility- San Francisco Bay Area
    Porter Ranch Medical Center
    Redwood Wellness
    Bernhoft Center for Advanced Medicine
    Linda Mar Vet. Hospital
    National Alliance for Mentally Ill-CA (NAMI-CA)
    Santa Cruz Occupational Medical Center
    Dr. Thomas Fay
    Dr. Theresa FitzGerald, DC
    Richard Gardiner, MD
    Dr. Lee Griffith, MD
    Holly Guzman, L. Ac., OMD
    Michael Hurst, DC
    Ashley Koff, RD
    Dr. John La Puma, MD
    Dr. Lonna Larsh, MD
    Dr. Cynthia Li, MD
    Eileen MacKusick, MS, RD
    Alma Bella Maglaya, L.Ac., Dipt Ac, CCH
    Karen Martin, DVM
    Robert Martines, DC
    Bonnie Modugno, RD
    Brenda Mohr, CMT
    Sarah Murphy, ND
    Dr. Melinda Nevins, D.O.
    Teresa Ortiz, NP
    Jan Patenaude, RD, CLT
    Jennifer Payton, RN
    Bruce Pendleberry, OMD
    Christine Tara Peterson, MS
    Geri Quintero, L. Ac.
    Margaret Reamy, RD, Dignity Health
    Dr. John Roesler, MD
    Dr. Jeanette Ryan, D.C.
    Brian A. Seeley, MD
    Michael Slezak, ND
    Dr. Eric Sohanoff
    Dr. Peter Stern, MD
    Susan Stewart, RN
    Sue Stone MD, Holistic & Integrative Family Medicine
    Stephanie Taylor, MD PhD
    Dr. Sherry J. Tenpenny
    Dr. Miguel Vasquez, MD
    Dr. Dennis Kinnane, OMD, LAc, RPh
    Dr. Jonathan V. Wright, Medical Director of Tahoma Clinic in Washington
    Dr. Joseph Watson, DO
    Dr. Jonathan Lemler, DC of Oxnard

    I don't know if "special labels for foods that contain ingredients from genetically modified crops" are necessary.

    Why don't we let the market decide? Put the label on those foods, and see what happens. Perhaps there is an unknown and unmet need lurking somewhere. A bit like cell phones. Prior to the arrival of affordable cell phones studies were done to find out if there was a "need" for them. One such study estimated that in the place where I live about 1200 people in a population of 80.000 "needed" a cell phone. Well, we all know what the markets discovered about cell phones.

    Perhap I don't need to know if my food contains GMO's. Clever, serious people are trying to convince me. But, if you pardon me, I'll decide that for myself as a customer. Clever, serious people could make a good case that I didn't need that new Fender Telecaster. My old guitar was just fine. How true! But my old guitar is gone and there's a shiny new Tele in my bedroom now.

    Perhaps clever, serious people are worried that I'm going to make irrational decisions when I see that label "Contains GMO's". Stuff that doesn't contain GMO's isn't any beter. But so what? I could have bought a much cheaper Asian copy of my Tele, and I most certainly would't hear the difference. Still, I the Tele is mine and I'm quite glad I could make an informed and competely irrational decision.

    Hank
    Well, we all know what the markets discovered about cell phones.
    Cell phones are a terrific analogy.  A few people insist cell phones may cause cancer.  Should all cell phones have labels even though there is no evidence of any harm?  It is just truth in disclosure, after all.

    Would you then exempt some cell phone manufacturers from a warning label if they paid $800 for a sticker certifying that their radio wave emissions are 'different' than other cell phone companies?  Because that is what is happening with food.
    I would have no problems with a label on my cell phone declaring that it emits electromagnetic waves.
    I don't have a problem with labels declaring that food contains GMO's.

    It sounds like you want less labeling, less regulation, and that's the opposite of how I feel. We can't trust Monsanto's testing, or any for-profit entity. This is what we need the gov scientists to do-- rigorously test these products for safety. Do we really want everyone to eat enough corn with pesticide in it's genes, and then 5 years later discover everyone is now sick? All because it made better crops and more money for the seed company? same with medicines. I am not "against science". I want to know that scientists are looking out for our health. These gmo scientists want a paycheck like anyone else, and the companies may use any means necessary for a profit. Prove to us that it's perfectly safe, and maybe I'd buy gmo foods. The fda and usda have not thoroughly tested the long-term effects of consuming these gene-altered foods.

    Hank
    It sounds like you want less labeling, less regulation, and that's the opposite of how I feel. We can't trust Monsanto's testing, or any for-profit entity. This is what we need the gov scientists to do-- rigorously test these products for safety.
    The idea that scientists become unethical and ethical depending on whether or not they pop in and out of government is a dangerous one. It contends people are manipulated by their jobs, which is to say they are not ethical at all but completely mercenary.

    Government scientists have, every single one of them, determined that no GM food carries any risk at all and what do anti-scientist activists contend?  They contend USDA and FDA scientists are too influenced by lobbyists and government bosses - the same thing you say about private sector scientists.  Basically, by intimating a group of people you do not know are liars, you open up everyone to being liars if their researcher disagrees with a pet political or cultural view.
    Wait a minute, so "all of science" and "all of medicine" is against proposition 37? That's a pretty bold statement, let's take a closer look at that. Presumably we will have to exclude the following people as being scientists right?

    1) Árpád Pusztai - world expert on plant lectins who demonstrated that rats fed GMO potatoes had negative effects on their stomach lining and immune system that did not occur when the potatoes were sprayed normally with pesticides rather than having the pesticides as part of their DNA through transgenics.

    2) Michael Antoniou, PhD - reader in molecular genetics and head, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King’s College London School of Medicine, London, UK. He has 28 years’ experience in the use of genetic engineering technology investigating gene organisation and control, with over 40 peer reviewed publications of original work, and holds inventor status on a number of gene expression biotechnology patents. Dr Antoniou has a large network of collaborators in industry and academia who are making use of his discoveries in gene control mechanisms for the production of research, diagnostic and therapeutic products and safe and efficacious human somatic gene therapy for inherited and acquired genetic disorders. Michael is one of three authors of the recent report "GMO Myths and Truths" that documents a vast body of science that refutes the claims made by the biotech industry such as that GM crops:

    Are an extension of natural breeding and do not pose different risks from naturally bred crops
    Are safe to eat and can be more nutritious than naturally bred crops
    Are strictly regulated for safety
    Increase crop yields
    Reduce pesticide use
    Benefit farmers and make their lives easier
    Bring economic benefits
    Benefit the environment
    Can help solve problems caused by climate change
    Reduce energy use
    Will help feed the world.

    Their report indicates that in reality transgenic GM crops:

    Are laboratory-made, using technology that is totally different from natural breeding methods, and pose different risks from non-GM crops
    Can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts
    Are not adequately regulated to ensure safety
    Do not increase yield potential
    Do not reduce pesticide use but increase it
    Create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant “superweeds”, compromised soil quality, and increased disease susceptibility in crops
    Have mixed economic effects
    Harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems, and reduce biodiversity
    Do not offer effective solutions to climate change
    Are as energy-hungry as any other chemically-farmed crops
    Cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes – poverty, lack of access to food and, increasingly, lack of access to land to grow it on.

    The 123 page report which is full of scientific studies and journal references can be read here - http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GMO_Myths_and_Truths/GMO_Myths_and...

    3) Gilles-Eric Séralini, Robin Mesnage, Emilie Clair and Steeve Gress from the Laboratory of Biochemistry - IBFA, University of Caen, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen, Cedex, France, Joël S de Vendômois from CRIIGEN, Paris, France and Dominique Cellier from University of Rouen LITIS EA 4108, 76821 Mont-Saint-Aignan, France, who authored the review "Genetically modified crops safety assessments: present limits and possible improvements" in Environmental Sciences Europe 2011, 23:10 doi:10.1186/2190-4715-23-10

    http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10

    Purpose

    We reviewed 19 studies of mammals fed with commercialized genetically modified soybean and maize which represent, per trait and plant, more than 80% of all environmental genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cultivated on a large scale, after they were modified to tolerate or produce a pesticide. We have also obtained the raw data of 90-day-long rat tests following court actions or official requests. The data obtained include biochemical blood and urine parameters of mammals eating GMOs with numerous organ weights and histopathology findings.

    Conclusion

    We can conclude, from the regulatory tests performed today, that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed, this being done without more controls (if any) than the only 3-month-long toxicological tests and using only one mammalian species, especially since there is growing evidence of concern. This is why we propose to improve the protocol of the 90-day studies to 2-year studies with mature rats, using the Toxotest approach, which should be rendered obligatory, and including sexual hormones assessment too. The reproductive, developmental, and transgenerational studies should also be performed. The new SSC statistical method of analysis is proposed in addition. This should not be optional if the plant is designed to contain a pesticide (as it is the case for more than 99% of cultivated commercialized GMOs), whilst for others, depending on the inserted trait, a case-by-case approach in the method to study toxicity will be necessary.

    Perhaps you'd like to revise your "TABLE"?

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but the entire article was suspect and compromised as soon as I read this statement:

    "...that it is unacceptable to submit 500 million Europeans and several billions of consumers worldwide to the new pesticide GM-derived foods or feed..."

    My response to those scientists writing that paper would have been, then when I wanted their input on policy, I would beat it out of them.  How utterly unprofessional and unscientific of those authors.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Yes, you found two cranks that disagree.  Let's disregard all of biology over that.  I can find more cranks who contend AIDS has nothing to do with HIV and that the LHC will create a black hole that will suck us into another universe - is that any reason to stop science?  

    You'd be better off banning cars than GMOs, if risk for people is your actual concern.  40,000 people a year die from those just in the US and not a single person has ever gotten ill from GM food.
    Gerhard Adam
    Hank, you make me cringe every time I see that comment; "not a single person has ever gotten ill from GM food."

    We both know that that information isn't actually available in any form.  Moreover, I could make the same comment about Twinkies, but that wouldn't mean they were good for you.

    I know your point is about food safety, and there have certainly been no documented cases linking any illness or condition to a specific GMO product.  Whether it has ever occurred or not, is simply not known.  However, given the prevalence of GMO foods already, it is highly unlikely that anything serious occurred, so I agree with your general assessment of safety. 

    If you insist on continuing to use that phrase, I'm going to begin pestering you about what the definition is of "gotten ill".  :)
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Hank, you make me cringe every time I see that comment; "not a single person has ever gotten ill from GM food."

    We both know that that information isn't actually available in any form.
    But that's reality.  No approved drug is pulled off the market until it is shown to be harmful, the same goes for every other product.  These products were tested as well as can be tested and no harm has resulted - maintaining that no one can say they are not harmful because it might be harmful even though it has never been harmful is creating an artificial standard that no product in the history of the world has ever met, including water. It becomes sophistry to continue to make the point that 'no one can prove this isn't harming people, we just can't prove it'.

    It's totally dishonest to pretend that it isn't valid to note no harm has resulted and leads to these kooks being paralyzed over fear because they can't get honest answers; no illnesses or deaths have resulted, that is plain fact.  I can point to lots of illnesses and deaths directly related to organic food.
    Gerhard Adam
     I can point to lots of illnesses and deaths directly related to organic food.
    Yes, you can.  You can do so precisely because the food is labeled [or specifically sold] as being organic. 

    However, since we don't know which foods contain GMO components, then we can't know whether anyone may or may not have ever gotten ill.  Products are NOT pulled from the market because of testing.  They are pulled because the testing has been demonstrated to be inadequate to the real world situations that occurred.  As a result, we have all manner of products that were presumably tested and found safe, only to discover that they weren't.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Misdirection, the trait of the fool who has nothing to add. You were asked earlier to go ahead and provide some scientific independent studies to back up your assertion that a) no product in history has been tested like GMO's have or b) there is no evidence of harm.

    Rather than read the scientific literature you have dismissed it, it appears that you perhaps don't know what science is?

    Hank
    Contrary to your hubris, these studies have been well-documented on this site and in every biology journal. It's intellectually lazy for you to expect anyone to re-write every article for anonymous people on the Internet.  Do a basic search just on this site.  Really, it takes less time than it took you to show you are uninformed about biology.
    You said "all science" so you are clearly a liar as all the references in the GMO Myths and Truths report can also be found in scientific and biology journals by doing a PubMed search.

    Pusztai's study has been peer-reviewed and published in the Lancet, but perhaps Lancet, JAMA, BMJ, NEJM, etc., are all just run by crazy mad homeopaths, is that your next assertion?

    Ewen SW, Pusztai A. Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine. Lancet. Oct 16 1999; 354(9187): 1353-1354.

    Hmm, how did you whittle the ten scientists and researchers down to two? Is that you showcasing your talent for scientific deduction?

    Here we are again, name-calling and ad hominem attacks.

    As soon as a scientist disagrees they are "cranks".

    3.1.1. Feeding studies on laboratory and farm animals

    Feeding studies on laboratory and farm animals show that GM foods can be toxic or allergenic:
    ●●
    Rats fed GM tomatoes developed stomach lesions (sores or ulcers).2,3 This tomato, Calgene’s Flavr Savr, was the first commercialized GM food.
    ●●
    Mice fed GM peas (not subsequently commercialized) engineered with an insecticidal GMO Myths and Truths 38
    protein (alpha-amylase inhibitor) from beans showed a strong, sustained immune reaction against the GM protein. Mice developed antibodies against the GM protein and an allergic-type inflammation response (delayed hypersensitivity reaction). Also, the mice fed on GM peas developed an immune reaction to chicken egg white protein. The mice did not show immune or allergic-type inflammation reactions to either non-GM beans naturally containing the insecticide protein, to egg white protein fed with the natural protein from the beans, or to egg white protein fed on its own. The findings showed that the GM insecticidal protein acted as a sensitizer, making the mice susceptible to developing immune reactions and allergies to normally non-allergenic foods. This is called immunological cross-priming. The fact that beans naturally containing the insecticidal protein did not cause the effects seen with the peas that expressed the transgenic insecticidal protein indicated that the immune responses of the mice to the GM peas were caused by changes in the peas brought about by the genetic engineering process. In other words, the insecticidal protein was changed by the GM process so that it behaved differently in the GM peas compared with its natural form in the non-GM beans – and the altered protein from the GM peas stimulated a potent immune response in the mice.4
    ●●
    Mice fed GM soy showed disturbed liver, pancreas and testes function. The researchers found abnormally formed cell nuclei and nucleoli in liver cells, which indicates increased metabolism and potentially altered patterns of gene expression.5,6,7
    ●●
    Mice fed GM soy over their lifetime (24 months) showed more acute signs of ageing in the liver than the control group fed non-GM soy.8
    ●●
    Rabbits fed GM soy showed enzyme function disturbances in kidney and heart.9
    ●●
    Female rats fed GM soy showed changes in uterus and ovaries compared with controls fed organic non-GM soy or a non-soy diet. Certain ill effects were found with organic soy as well as GM soy, showing the need for further investigation into the effects of soy-based diets (GM and non-GM) on reproductive health.10
    ●●
    A review of 19 studies (including industry’s own studies submitted to regulators in support of applications to commercialise GM crops) on mammals fed with commercialised GM soy and maize that are already in our food and feed chain found consistent toxic effects on the liver and kidneys. Such effects may be markers of the onset of chronic disease, but long-term studies, in contrast to these reported short- and medium-term studies, would be required to assess this more thoroughly. Unfortunately, such long-term feeding trials on GMOs are not required by regulators anywhere in the world.11
    ●●
    Rats fed insecticide-producing MON863 Bt maize grew more slowly and showed higher levels of certain fats (triglycerides) in their blood than rats fed the control diet. They also suffered problems with liver and kidney function. The authors stated that it could not be concluded that MON863 maize is safe and that long-term studies were needed to investigate the consequences of these effects.12
    ●●
    Rats fed GM Bt maize over three generations suffered damage to liver and kidneys and alterations in blood biochemistry.13
    ●●
    A re-analysis of Monsanto’s own rat feeding trial data, submitted to obtain approval in Europe for three commercialised GM Bt maize varieties, MON863, MON810, and NK603, concluded that the maize varieties had toxic effects on liver and kidneys. The authors of the re-analysis stated that while the findings may have been due to the pesticides specific to each variety, genetic engineering could not be excluded as the cause.14 The data suggest that approval of these GM maize varieties should be withdrawn because they are not substantially equivalent to non-GM maize and are toxic.
    ●●
    Old and young mice fed GM Bt maize showed a marked disturbance in immune system cells and in biochemical activity.15
    ●●
    Rats fed GM MON810 Bt maize showed clear signs of toxicity, affecting the immune system, liver and kidneys.14,15
    ●●
    Female sheep fed Bt GM maize over three generations showed disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system, while their lambs showed cellular changes in the liver and pancreas.16
    ●●
    GM Bt maize DNA was found to survive processing and was detected in the digestive tract of sheep. This raises the possibility that the antibiotic resistance gene in the maize could move into gut bacteria, an example of horizontal gene transfer.17 In this case, horizontal gene transfer could produce antibiotic-resistant disease-causing bacteria (“superbugs”) in the gut.
    ●●
    Rats fed GM oilseed rape developed enlarged livers, often a sign of toxicity.18
    ●●
    Rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive growth of the lining of the gut similar to a pre-cancerous condition and toxic reactions in multiple organ systems.19,20
    ●●
    Mice fed a diet of GM Bt potatoes or non-GM potatoes spiked with natural Bt toxin protein isolated from bacteria showed abnormalities in the cells and structures of the small intestine, compared with a control group of mice fed non-GM potatoes. The abnormalities were more marked in the Bt toxin-fed group. This study shows not only that the GM Bt potatoes caused mild damage to the intestines but also that Bt toxin protein is not harmlessly broken down in digestion, as GM proponents claim, but survives in a functionally active form in the small intestine and can cause damage to that organ.21
    ●●
    Rats fed GM rice for 90 days had a higher water intake as compared with the control group fed the non-GM isogenic line of rice. The GM-fed rats showed differences in blood biochemistry, immune response, and gut bacteria. Organ weights of female rats fed GM rice were different from those fed non-GM rice. The authors claimed that none of the differences were “adverse”, but they did not define what they mean by “adverse”. Even if they had defined it, the only way to know if such changes are adverse is to extend the length of the study, which was not done. The authors conceded that the study “did not enable us to conclude on the safety of the GM food”.22
    ●●
    Rats fed GM Bt rice developed significant differences as compared with rats fed the non-GM isogenic line of rice. These included differences in the populations of gut bacteria – the GM-fed group had 23% higher levels of coliform bacteria. There were differences in organ weights between the two groups, namely in the adrenals, testis and uterus. The authors concluded that the findings were most likely due to “unintended changes introduced in the GM rice and not from toxicity of Bt toxin” in its natural, non-GM form.23
    ●●
    A study on rats fed GM Bt rice found a Bt-specific immune response in the non-GM-fed control group as well as the GM-fed groups. The researchers concluded that the immune response in the control animals was due to their inhaling particles of the powdered Bt toxin-containing feed consumed by the GM-fed group. The researchers recommended that for future tests involving Bt crops, GM-fed and control groups should be kept separate.24 This indicates that animals can be extremely sensitive to very small amounts of GM proteins, so even low levels of contamination of conventional crops with GMOs could be harmful to health.

    In these studies, a GM food was fed to one group of animals and its non-GM counterpart was fed to a control group. The studies found that the GM foods were more toxic or allergenic than their non-GM counterparts.

    1. Dona A, Arvanitoyannis IS. Health risks of genetically modified foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 49(2): 164–175.
    2. Hines FA. Memorandum to Linda Kahl on the Flavr Savr tomato (Pathology Review PR–152; FDA Number FMF–000526): Pathology Branch’s evaluation of rats with stomach lesions from three four-week oral (gavage) toxicity studies (IRDC Study Nos. 677–002, 677–004, and 677–005) and an Expert Panel’s report. US Department of Health & Human Services. 16 June 1993. http://www.biointegrity.org/FDAdocs/17/view1.html
    3. Pusztai A. Witness Brief – Flavr Savr tomato study in Final Report (IIT Research Institute, Chicago, IL 60616 USA) cited by Dr Arpad Pusztai before the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification: New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification; 2000.
    4. Prescott VE, Campbell PM, Moore A, et al. Transgenic expression of bean alpha-amylase inhibitor in peas results in altered structure and immunogenicity. J Agric Food Chem. 16 Nov 2005; 53(23): 9023–9030.
    5. Malatesta M, Biggiogera M, Manuali E, Rocchi MBL, Baldelli B, Gazzanelli G. Fine structural analyses of pancreatic acinar cell nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. European Journal of Histochemistry. Oct-Dec 2003; 47: 385–388.
    6. Malatesta M, Caporaloni C, Gavaudan S, et al. Ultrastructural morphometrical and immunocytochemical analyses of hepatocyte nuclei from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Cell Struct Funct. Aug 2002; 27(4): 173–180.
    7. Vecchio L, Cisterna B, Malatesta M, Martin TE, Biggiogera M. Ultrastructural analysis of testes from mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur J Histochem. Oct-Dec 2004; 48(4): 448-454.
    8. Malatesta M, et al. A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modified soybean: effects on liver ageing. Histochem Cell Biol. 2008; 130: 967–977.
    9. Tudisco R, Lombardi P, Bovera F, et al. Genetically modified soya bean in rabbit feeding: Detection of DNA fragments and evaluation of metabolic effects by enzymatic analysis. Animal Science. 2006; 82: 193–199.
    10. Brasil FB, Soares LL, Faria TS, Boaventura GT, Sampaio FJ, Ramos CF. The impact of dietary organic and transgenic soy on the reproductive system of female adult rat. Anat Rec (Hoboken). Apr 2009; 292(4): 587–594.
    11. Séralini GE, Mesnage R, Clair E, Gress S, de Vendômois JS, Cellier D. Genetically modified crops safety assessments: Present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe. 2011; 23(10).
    12. Séralini GE, Cellier D, Spiroux de Vendomois J. New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. May 2007; 52(4): 596–602.
    13. Kilic A, Akay MT. A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Food Chem Toxicol. Mar 2008; 46(3): 1164–1170.
    14. de Vendomois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A comparison of the effects of three GM corn varieties on mammalian health. Int J Biol Sci. 2009; 5(7): 706–726.
    15. Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, et al. Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric Food Chem. Dec 10 2008; 56: 11533–11539.
    16. Trabalza-Marinucci M, Brandi G, Rondini C, et al. A three-year longitudinal study on the effects of a diet containing genetically modified Bt176 maize on the health status and performance of sheep. Livestock Science. 2008; 113(2): 178–190.
    17. Duggan PS, Chambers PA, Heritage J, Michael Forbes J. Fate of genetically modified maize DNA in the oral cavity and rumen of sheep. Br J Nutr. Feb 2003; 89(2): 159–166.
    18. US Food and Drug Administration. Biotechnology consultation note to the file BNF No 00077. Office of Food Additive Safety, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. 4 September 2002. http://www.fda.gov/Food/Biotechnology/Submissions/ucm155759.htm
    19. Pusztai A, Bardocz S. GMO in animal nutrition: Potential benefits and risks. In: Mosenthin R, Zentek J, Zebrowska T, eds. Biology of Nutrition in Growing Animals. Vol 4: Elsevier Limited; 2006:513–540.
    20. Ewen SW, Pusztai A. Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine. Lancet. Oct 16 1999; 354(9187): 1353-1354.
    21. Fares NH, El-Sayed AK. Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes. Nat Toxins. 1998; 6(6): 219-233.
    22. Poulsen M, Kroghsbo S, Schroder M, et al. A 90-day safety study in Wistar rats fed genetically modified rice expressing snowdrop lectin Galanthus nivalis (GNA). Food Chem Toxicol. Mar 2007; 45(3): 350-363.
    23. Schrøder M, Poulsen M, Wilcks A, et al. A 90-day safety study of genetically modified rice expressing Cry1Ab protein (Bacillus thuringiensis toxin) in Wistar rats. Food Chem Toxicol. Mar 2007; 45(3): 339-349.
    24. Kroghsbo S, Madsen C, Poulsen M, et al. Immunotoxicological studies of genetically modified rice expressing PHA-E lectin or Bt toxin in Wistar rats. Toxicology. Mar 12 2008; 245(1-2): 24-34.

    “In a study involving 94 articles selected through objective criteria, it was found that the existence of either financial or professional conflict of interest was associated [with] study outcomes that cast genetically modified products in a favourable light.”
    – Diels J, et al. Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products. Food Policy. 2011; 36: 197–203

    Myth: GM animal feed poses no risks to animal or human health
    Truth: GM feed affects the health of animals and may affect the humans who eat their products
    Most GM crops go into animal feed. The GM industry and government regulators claim that meat, eggs, and dairy products from GM-fed animals do not need to carry a GM label because GM molecules – DNA and protein – are broken down in the animals’ digestive tracts and is not detectable in the final food product.
    But this assumption is false. Studies have found:
    ●●
    GM DNA present in animal feed has been detected in milk sold on the Italian market, though the authors of the study said it was unclear whether the source of the GM DNA was ingestion by the animal or external contamination.112
    ●●
    GM DNA in feed was taken up by the animal’s organs and detected in the meat and fish that people eat.113,114,115,116
    ●●
    GM feed was found to affect the health of animals that eat it. GM DNA from soy was detected in the blood, organs, and milk of goats. An enzyme, lactic dehydrogenase, was found at significantly raised levels in the heart, muscle, and kidneys of young goats fed GM soy.117 This enzyme leaks from damaged cells during immune reactions or injury, so high levels may indicate such problems.
    ●●
    Bt toxin protein was found circulating in the blood of pregnant women and the blood supply to their foetuses, as well as in the blood of non-pregnant women.65
    ●●
    MicroRNAs (molecules that affect gene expression) of plants have been found in the blood of mammals that have eaten them and were biologically active in those mammals, affecting gene expression and the functioning of important processes in the body. While this study was not carried out on GM plants, it showed that plants that are eaten, including GM plants, could exercise a direct physiological effect on human and animal consumers.118 The study suggested that the saying, “You are what you eat”, may have some scientific credibility.
    Given the growing evidence that a diet containing GM crops can damage the health of animals, there could be risks associated with the consumption of products derived from GM-fed animals. We conclude that the argument that meat and dairy products from GM-fed animals do not need to carry a GM label cannot be scientifically justified.

    112. Agodi A, Barchitta M, Grillo A, Sciacca S. Detection of genetically modified DNA sequences in milk from the Italian market. Int J Hyg Environ Health. Jan 2006; 209: 81–88.
    113. Mazza R, Soave M, Morlacchini M, Piva G, Marocco A. Assessing the transfer of genetically modified DNA from feed to animal tissues. Transgenic Res. Oct 2005; 14(5): 775–784.
    114. Sharma R, Damgaard D, Alexander TW, et al. Detection of transgenic and endogenous plant DNA in digesta and tissues of sheep and pigs fed Roundup Ready canola meal. J Agric Food Chem. 2006; 54(5): 1699–1709.
    115. Chainark P, Satoh S, Hirono I, Aoki T, Endo M. Availability of genetically modified feed ingredient: investigations of ingested foreign DNA in rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. Fisheries Science. 2008; 74: 380–390.
    116. Ran T, Mei L, Lei W, Aihua L, Ru H, Jie S. Detection of transgenic DNA in tilapias (Oreochromis niloticus, GIFT strain) fed genetically modified soybeans (Roundup Ready). Aquaculture Research. 2009; 40: 1350–1357.
    117. Tudisco R, Mastellone V, Cutrignelli MI, et al. Fate of transgenic DNA and evaluation of metabolic effects in goats fed genetically modified soybean and in their offsprings. Animal. 2010; 4: 1662–1671.
    118. Zhang L, Hou D, Chen X, et al. Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: Evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA. Cell Res. 20 Sep 2011.

    Gerhard Adam
    Rats fed GM tomatoes developed stomach lesions (sores or ulcers).2,3 This tomato, Calgene’s Flavr Savr, was the first commercialized GM food.
    However, what the footnoted memo actually says is that the Pathology Branch was unable to determine whether the necrosis was "incidental" as reported by the sponsor.  In short, there was nothing conclusion, other than noting that there was a discrepancy between the three experiments.  Whether this is something significant or not, was never stated, and it is improper to use innuendo to imply conclusions.
    http://www.biointegrity.org/FDAdocs/17/fhlkp.pdf
    Mundus vult decipi
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't monsanto gmo corn a gmo corn implanted with bt toxin in order to be resistent to monsanto's roundup ready? Isn't roundup ready a poison? And if traces of roundup can be found in the corn, isn't it a fact anyone eating gmo corn is in fact consuming poison? Please tell me again how gmo corn is not harmful? Or better yet would someone who defends gmo foods be willing to drink an ounce of roundup ready to prove their point? Because that is about the amount one will consume each year. I guess I'd just like to make the simple point... GMO corn seed was developed to resist poison by being poison and poison is dangerous to human cell growth. Not sure why I'm even wasting my time posting here, from what I've read, the obvious seems to be irrelevant.

    Gerhard Adam
    Whoa .... you're putting too many different things together and arriving at the wrong conclusion.

    Bt [Bacillus thuringiensis] is a bacteria that lives naturally in the soil.  It produces a toxin that causes death in SOME insect species.  Just like bacteria that humans are susceptible to will produce toxins that can result in disease.  In effect, this makes these insects sick and they die.

    The toxin itself is used as a natural pesticide because it doesn't have any harmful effects in humans or other animals, and even most other insects.  So, because of its specificity, it is a very useful pesticide to use.

    The issue, is that the gene that produces the toxin in the bacteria is "engineered" into the corn, so that instead of the bacteria being present, the ability to generate the toxin is part of the plant.  This renders the plant with a natural pesticide to fight against those insects that would harm it.

    This is NOT producing a poison that is poisonous to humans/mammals.  It is much more specific than most chemical pesticides, especially considering that chemical pesticides typically have a much greater effect on unintended species beyond the targets. 

    I don't know where you got the idea that "poisons" resist "poisons".  That doesn't make sense at any level and has nothing to do with the Bt toxin.  Roundup resistance is intended to make the corn resistant to the herbicide and has nothing to do with Bt toxin.  After all, it wouldn't make much sense to spray the herbicide on weeds and end up killing the corn.



     
    Mundus vult decipi
    The problem is that glyphosate is poisonous. The RoundUp ready crops have been failing massively, many farmers are having to use several times the amount of glyphosate that they originally stated they would and are doing several passes on their fields instead of one, while super weeds continue to run rampant. The overuse of glyphosate is of grave concern for a couple reasons, but outside of health reasons the biggest one is what the failure is resulting in: as a result of RoundUp ready crops failing Dow has applications in for 2,4-D resistant soy and corn, which is agent orange. They will contest that this, like other transgenic crops, is not inherently different than regular food and as a result should not be regulated.

    2,4-D was half the formula of Dow & Monsanto's Agent Orange, commissioned by the US Army to defoliate jungles and destroy food crops during the Vietnam War.

    Thanks to lobbyist-cum-regulator Michael Taylor -- he's used the revolving door to go back and forth between Monsanto and the Food & Drug Administration -- genetically engineered foods don't have to be safety tested or labeled, and the FDA conducts no premarket review or approval, as long as the biotech company concludes that the genetically engineered food is not "materially different" from normal food.

    Michael Taylor's FDA has rubber-stamped Dow's conclusion that their Agent Orange Corn is comparable to normal corn. Soon, we'll be eating unlabeled corn engineered with genes from a soil bacterium that isn't killed by 2,4-D herbicide -- something we've never eaten before, and that's never been safety tested.

    2,4-D is currently the 7th largest source of dioxin pollution in the US. Agent Orange Corn is projected to increase 2,4-D use 50 times over.

    This poison has been shown to get into drinking water, and has a tendency to drift up to 100 miles (http://westernfarmpress.com/cotton/sjv-phenoxy-drift-cotton-damage-wides...) on the breeze. It has been shown to cause non-Hodgkins lymphoma (http://www.beyondpesticides.org/infoservices/pesticidefactsheets/toxic/2...) and to act as an endocrine disruptor. It is carcinogenic, a neurotoxin, causes liver and kidney damage, and produces birth defects. Nor is there any research on how 2,4-D and glyphosate affect human and wildlife health in combination.

    Gerhard Adam
    That's all well and good, but it has nothing to do with the issue of the Bt toxin, nor GMO foods.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Given that we know glyphosate has toxic effects and that GMO foods are the cause of huge increases in roundup usage, resulting in more exposure to roundup than those who do not eat foods containing roundup ready crops, I'd say it has more than nothing to do with GMO foods.

    As for Bt toxin:

    3.6 Myth: GM Bt insecticidal crops only harm insects and are harmless to animals and people
    Truth: GM Bt insecticidal crops pose hazards to people and animals that eat them
    Many GM crops are engineered to produce Bt toxin, a type of insecticide. Bt toxin in its natural, non-GM form is derived from a common soil bacterium and is used as an insecticidal spray in chemically-based and organic farming.
    Regulators have approved GM Bt crops on the assumption that the GM Bt toxin is the same as the natural Bt toxin, which they say has a history of safe use. They conclude that GM crops engineered to contain Bt insecticidal protein must also be harmless.
    But this is false, for the following reasons:
    ●●
    Natural Bt toxin is not necessarily the same as the Bt toxin expressed by GM Bt plants. The Bt toxin protein in GM plants may be truncated or otherwise modified. For example, there is at least a 40% difference between the toxin in Bt176 maize (formerly commercialised in the EU, now withdrawn) and natural Bt toxin.11 Such changes can mean that they have very different effects on people or animals that eat them. Prions (the folded proteins found in BSE-infected cows), venoms, and hormones, are all proteins, but are far from harmless.83
    ●●
    The natural Bt toxin used in insecticidal sprays behaves differently in the environment from the Bt toxin produced in GM plants. Natural Bt breaks down rapidly in daylight and only becomes active (and toxic) in the gut of the insect that eats it. It does not persist in the environment and so is unlikely to find its way into animals or people that eat the crop. With GM Bt crops, however, the plant is engineered to express the Bt toxin protein in active form in every cell. In other words, the plant itself becomes a pesticide, and people and animals that eat the plant are eating a pesticide.
    ●●
    Even natural Bt toxin has been found to have negative health effects. In farm workers, exposure to Bt sprays was found to lead to allergic skin sensitisation and immune responses.84 And laboratory studies found that natural Bt toxin has ill effects on mammals, producing a potent immune response and enhancing the immune response to other substances.85,86,87
    ●●
    Safety tests for regulatory purposes are generally not carried out on the Bt toxin protein as expressed in the GM plant. The Bt toxin protein that is tested is usually derived from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria, as GM companies find it too difficult and expensive to extract enough Bt toxin from the GM crop itself. As we have seen, the GM process gives rise to unexpected changes in the desired protein, so it cannot be assumed that the Bt toxin protein derived from E. coli bacteria is the same as the protein derived from the GM plant that people and animals will eat. Indeed, the US Environmental Protection Agency, in its review of the commercialised Monsanto GM maize MON810, said it produces a “truncated” version of the protein – in other words, a protein that is not the same as the natural form.60 Such changes can make a protein more toxic or allergenic.

    3.6.1. Bt toxin does not only affect insect pests
    GM proponents claim that the Bt toxin engineered into GM Bt crops only affects the target pests and is harmless to mammals, including people or animals that eat the crops.88 Based on this assumption, regulators do not require human toxicity studies on GM Bt crops.
    But the assumption is incorrect. In a 2012 test-tube (in vitro) study, genetically engineered Bt toxins were found to be toxic to human cells. One type of Bt toxin killed human cells at the dose of 100 parts per million. The findings showed that GM Bt toxin does affect humans, contrary to claims from the GM lobby and regulators.83
    The GM lobby responded by saying that in vitro studies do not accurately reflect what happens in a living human or animal that eats GM Bt crops. But other independent studies have found that GM Bt crops have adverse effects when fed to laboratory animals. Findings include:
    ●●
    Toxic effects on the small intestine, liver, kidney, spleen, and pancreas12,14,16,21,40
    ●●
    Disturbances in the functioning of the digestive system16
    ●●
    Reduced weight gain12
    ●●
    Immune system disturbances.15
    Aside from laboratory animals and human cells, GM Bt crops have been found to have toxic effects on butterflies and other non-target insects,89,90,91 beneficial pest predators,92,93 bees,94 and aquatic95,96 and soil organisms97 (see section 4).
    It is premature to say that the toxic effects associated with GM Bt crops are due to the Bt toxin from the crops. The effects may be due to one or more of the following causes:
    ●●
    The Bt toxin as produced in the GM crop
    ●●
    New toxins produced in the Bt crop by the GM process, and/or
    ●●
    Residues of herbicides or chemical insecticides used on the Bt crop. Many Bt crops have added herbicide-tolerant traits,98 making it likely that herbicide residues will be found on them.
    3.6.2. Bt toxin protein may not be broken down harmlessly in the digestive tract
    GM proponents claim that the Bt toxin insecticidal protein in GM plants is broken down in the digestive tract and so cannot get into the blood or body tissues to cause toxic effects.
    But digestion is generally an incomplete process and studies show that Bt toxin protein is not always fully broken down:
    ●●
    A study on cows found that Bt toxins from GM maize MON810 were not completely broken down in the digestive tract.99
    ●●
    A study simulating human digestion found that the Bt toxin protein was highly resistant to being broken down in realistic stomach acidity conditions and still produced an immune response.100
    ●●
    A study conducted on pregnant and non-pregnant women in Canada found Bt toxin protein circulating in the blood of pregnant women and the blood supply to their foetuses, as well as in the blood of non-pregnant women.65 Questions have been raised about the validity of the detection method, but further investigation is needed before Bt crops can be claimed to be safe for humans.
    3.6.3. Conclusion
    Studies on GM Bt crops show that Bt toxin is not specific to a narrow range of insect pests but can affect a wide variety of non-target organisms. Taken together, the studies on GM Bt crops and natural Bt toxin raise the possibility that eating GM crops containing Bt toxin may cause toxic or allergic reactions and/or sensitise people to other food substances.

    11. Séralini GE, Mesnage R, Clair E, Gress S, de Vendômois JS, Cellier D. Genetically modified crops safety assessments: Present limits and possible improvements. Environmental Sciences Europe. 2011; 23(10).
    12. Séralini GE, Cellier D, Spiroux de Vendomois J. New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. May 2007; 52(4): 596–602.
    14. de Vendomois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A comparison of the effects of three GM corn varieties on mammalian health. Int J Biol Sci. 2009; 5(7): 706–726.
    15. Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, et al. Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice. J Agric Food Chem. Dec 10 2008; 56: 11533–11539.
    16. Trabalza-Marinucci M, Brandi G, Rondini C, et al. A three-year longitudinal study on the effects of a diet containing genetically modified Bt176 maize on the health status and performance of sheep. Livestock Science. 2008; 113(2): 178–190.
    21. Fares NH, El-Sayed AK. Fine structural changes in the ileum of mice fed on delta-endotoxin-treated potatoes and transgenic potatoes. Nat Toxins. 1998; 6(6): 219-233.
    40. International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI). Risk assessment of genotoxic carcinogens task force. 31 August 2011.
    60. Freese W, Schubert D. Safety testing and regulation of genetically engineered foods. Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev. 2004: 299-324.
    65. Aris A, Leblanc S. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in EasternTownships of Quebec, Canada. ReproductiveToxicology. 2011; 31(4).
    83. Mesnage R, Clair E, Gress S, Then C, Székács A, Séralini G-E. Cytotoxicity on human cells of Cry1Ab and Cry1Ac Bt insecticidal toxins alone or with a glyphosate-based herbicide. Journal of Applied Toxicology. 15 Feb 2012.
    84. Bernstein IL, Bernstein, J.A. , Miller, M., Tierzieva, S., Bernstein, D.I., Lummus, Z. Selgrade, M.K., Doerfler, D.L., and Seligy, V.L. Immune responses in farm workers after exposure to Bacillus thuringiensis pesticides. Environmental Health Perspectives. July 1999; 107(7): 575–582.
    85. Vázquez RI, Moreno-Fierros L, Neri-Bazan L, De La Riva GA, Lopez-Revilla R. Bacillus thuringiensis Cry1Ac protoxin is a potent systemic and mucosal adjuvant. Scand J Immunol. Jun 1999; 49(6): 578-584.
    86. Vázquez-Padrón RI, Moreno-Fierros L, Neri-Bazan L, de la Riva GA, Lopez-Revilla R. Intragastric and intraperitoneal administration of Cry1Ac protoxin from Bacillus thuringiensis induces systemic and mucosal antibody responses in mice. Life Sci. 1999; 64(21): 1897-1912.
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    Hank
    Natural Bt toxin is not necessarily the same as the Bt toxin expressed by GM Bt plants. 
    How so?  Basically, you are saying your organic banana from week to week is 'not necessarily the same' as another organic banana from week to week.  They are the exact same clone. Luckily, since this unethical law exempts anyone who paid for a sticker, your bananas and watermelons will be exempt from the warning label.

    The rest of this comment is a science version of what lawyers call 'pleading the alternative', the common example being the farmer on trial for stealing a cow whose lawyers simultaneously contends his client never took the cow, he gave the cow back and it was his cow in the first place.

    The other parallel to law your comment has is that court cases are not designed around truth, they are designed around creating an emotional effect that sways people - and I don't know why you bother.  As I have said, the public relations ability of scientists is non-existent and all you have to do is scientific head fakes like this and you will scare people into 70% approval of this law.  It's unethical, it is dishonest, but so are many tactics in law. Just stop pretending it is about truth.
    Gerhard Adam
    I have to seriously agree with Hank on this.  I was somewhat shocked by this kind of statement:
    Prions (the folded proteins found in BSE-infected cows), venoms, and hormones, are all proteins, but are far from harmless.
    Wow ... where did you get that?  Are you also encouraging statements like "Bubonic Plague is caused by a bacteria, and bacteria is in Yogurt, so we know how dangerous yogurt can be"?

    You've got a huge list of supposed evidence, but statements like this make me simply discount the whole lot, because I see nothing that provides actual evidence.  It is fear-mongering because it attempts to draw connections where none exist and turn them into problems.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Your post makes no sense whatsoever.

    Monsanto IS the bad guy here. That doesn't exclude anyone else's responsibilities in keeping our food fresh and free of GMO's. But Monsanto is a beast. They are powerful and they gain their power by getting dirty with farmers and people who try to oppose them/stop them. This is a red flag to me. I don't want to support their efforts to control what I'm eating. I don't want ANYONE having that power over me! But if one of their seeds blows into my garden they can take possession of MY seeds and MY crops and SUE ME! It's a strong arm tactic that I shouldn't have to fear because I want to grow my own food. I DON'T WANT GMO's. I should NOT be forced or manipulated into buying them OR growing them. ESPECIALLY without proof that they do no harm to humans. There are more people willing to do the work themselves (meaning grow their own food) than I think you're aware of and if labeling GMO's is one step closer to stopping Monsanto and their bullying, I am all about it.

    Gerhard Adam
    But if one of their seeds blows into my garden they can take possession of MY seeds and MY crops and SUE ME!
    Well, actually they can't, since there would be no way for them to know.  However, even if there were such a situation, they would have to demonstrate that there's a reasonable chance that you had acquired the seeds without a license.  There simply isn't going to be enough of that going on based on a "seed blowing into your garden".

    I'm not a fan of Monsanto, but I have to consider that if you're at risk of a seed blowing into your garden, I can only imagine what the clouds of pesticide/herbicide sprays must be doing at your house.


    Mundus vult decipi
    They usually don't run down public roads dousing them with pesticides/herbicides, while those seeds can and do fall off and contaminate land. There are PLENTY of stories of Monsanto spies being caught on other farmer's lands and/or harrassing them to let them take samples of crops. Monsanto's done this countless times, so actually...YES they can do it.

    In addition bees can cause cross-contamination of alfalfa, they fly...with wings...up in the air. They can fly for quite a distance too.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...stories of Monsanto spies being caught on other farmer's lands...
    Well, first, they had better be more than stories.  However, that's still irrelevant since this was an individual talking about a personal garden.
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's true, Monsanto et al aren't worried about small local gardens because they know the rural governments are taking care of that and ensuring that people get arrested or harrassed for growing gardens.

    USA - http://www.naturalnews.com/032960_Julie_Bass_home_gardening.html

    Heck even Canada's getting in on the action - http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/story/2012/07/18/drummondville-ve...

    Gerhard Adam
    Your news story was pretty comical.  Of course, it has nothing to do with harassing people in that sense [at least not about gardens].

    The fact of the matter is that she lives in a suburban area, where the homes are quite close together, and she elected to plant a vegetable garden in her front yard.  I suspect that many people that favor gardens wouldn't necessary approve of having it be in the front, but that's obviously just opinion.

    This isn't some sinister plot to prevent people from growing their own food, it's just another bureaucratic piece of nonsense where a city administration got into a political tift with a citizen that elected to do something unorthodox.  The truth is that it was her neighbors that complained, and I can't say I blame them.  If you watch the video clip, you'll see that her neighbors all have nicely kept lawns, while her front yard looks like crap.

    Now you may argue that people should have the right to do as they please ... well this is a suburban setting and you can't arbitrarily turn it into a farm, no matter how much you think you have the right to.  You can't suddenly decide to raise a cow or pigs or whatever ...
    Mundus vult decipi
    Farm, lol, yeah that's what it was.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, suppose they had decided to raise a cow?  Even in their back yard?  Buying a market steer, only requires that they have a 10 x 10 stall, and then they would need a place to store hay. 

    Would that be OK to you in a suburban setting?  After all, that's as much of a "farm" as you're snickering at.
    Mundus vult decipi
    A cow is not the same as a tomato, that's absurd.

    Walk beside a 10x10 tomato garden and a 10x10 stall with a cow in it blindfolded and with headphones on and tell me whether you can figure out which one is which.

    Obviously you would be blindfolded and wearing headphones, not the cow. :-)

    Gerhard Adam
    What are you suggesting?  Short of the cow stepping on you, what are you getting at?
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm pretty sure your sense of smell would alert you to whether you had a few vegetables growing next door or a cow. It is quite obvious what I'm getting at. I've lived on farms, I've tended gardens. There's quite a difference between the smell of manure and large mammals vs. soil and vegetables. It's really not a valid comparison in the slightest.

    Hank
    The only one of these that is a real site, CBS, talks about a Justice Department investigation of consolidation in the seed industry. It has nothing at all to do with farmers, it instead alleges that small seed companies are being out-competed by Monsanto because of its market share.

    Have you read any of the stuff you post?  It makes you look uninformed to claim this is evidence that GM foods should have special labels and a special class of lawsuit while organic food is exempt from any truth requirement.
    Ah so real news only comes from mainstream media sites that are huge monopolies owned by five major corporations that repeat news rather than report it. Gotcha.

    Bleat, bleat, bleat.

    Hank
    Bullying? Monsanto sells a product, they cannot force you to buy it nor have there been any jackboots with Monsanto stamped on the bottom kicking in doors and stealing food from fuzzy-wuzzy innocents.

    The people spending the money supporting this 'truth' are cranks selling magic water - the last thing they need is science getting in their way. That goes for Big Organic too.  The minute truth in labeling or an ingredients list goes into effect and they are not exempt, they are out of business.   That is why this was written to exempt organic food. I have yet to see a legitimate reason why these people would exempt themselves, other than they have something to hide.
    Bullying is happening. They are using patent laws to screw farmers out of their own seed/crops.

    Hank
    So we need to have legislation passed to put warning labels on GMOs and the ability for people to sue for damages even if no harm has been done - but exempt organic food from any truth in labels requirement - because someone, somewhere, claims they have GM seeds by accident and got sued?

    It makes no sense. What does one have to do with the other?  I mean, truth in labeling should apply to all food, not just organic, yet you seem to be saying an unfair law is okay if it hurts Monsanto.  That sort of proves the point by critics that this has nothing to do with food and everything to do with bigotry.
    It's not a claim it's one of Monsanto's patent laws which they have acted on. Listen, maybe that's not enough for you. That's fine. I'm not trying to convince you of anything. I mean if you were interested in learning about these "claims" you'd look it up yourself. There's plenty of info out there from many resources. I hope you do look it up... it's a pretty fascinating time. This will be in the history books as one of the US's biggest fails.

    Hank
    Why are you not asking for full disclosure of all foods, if that is the issue?  I still don't see what Monsanto has to do something.  If you hate Monsanto, cool with me, but stop pretending is about the food or the public and admit you hate Monsanto.  If it is about public safety or food, get the shyster lawyer behind the legislation to make it for all food and not exempt his clients.  

    Right?
    You think it makes more sense that people just decided to pick on Monsanto? Because..... ??? That's just silly. You think governments are throwing them out of their countries and banning use of their GMO's because they're bored?

    Prop 37 doesn't cover certified organic foods because certified organic foods are not directly treated with GMO's. Is that acceptable? No. Is that the issue on the table? No. While it would be nice to have labels across the board, we don't have that proposition in front of us right now. One step at a time. Will we in the future? Probably... because people do care about food. Nearly everyone I know has already changed their lives completely because they don't want GMO's! You seem to be the one misinformed.

    I mean come on... it's just foolish to think people are acting on this because they woke up one day and decided to hate Monsanto.

    Hank
    You are not answering the question. Why do you not support the full disclosure of information of all foods?  Asking me why anti-science people in other countries dislike Monsanto is silly - the majority used to favor slavery too so having a majority is not being right.  You like a law that exempts organic food and ignores food ingredient awareness but penalizes Monsanto, thus you hate Monsanto and I would like to know why. Telling me other people do also isn't meaningful.
    Where have I said I do not support full disclosure? Please quote me. Please quote where I said "anti-science people" dislike Monsanto? That's just absurd. Don't insert anything into my responses that aren't there. That's a tactic I don't care to play against. Who are you trying to convince here? If you're having a hard time keeping what I'm saying clear than I can only imagine what a struggle it has been for you to grasp the concept of this topic at all.

    Hank
    You're advocating a bad law that leads to hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits because it affirms a pet belief of yours instead of lobbying for a good law requiring disclosure about food.  Nothing complex there. 

    I have an easy time understanding what you are saying, no one in the science world can figure out why you are saying it.   You're claiming you are not prejudiced and instead simply hate science you do not understand.  It makes no sense.  It's okay to be anti-science, as I said all along, Prop 37 is going to sail through because scare tactics and fomenting fear work.

    If we don't label GM food, the terrorists win, right?
    That's a pretty extreme projection. Inaccurate... again.

    Science: systematic knowledge of the physical or material world gained through observation and experimentation.

    Show me where the "science world" has done this with GMO's.

    Hank
    Sorry to puncture your mysticism bubble - or whatever causes you to put "science world" in scare quotes, but you add to the crackpot image of organic food "believers" when you do that.  Are strawberries harmful?  If I put a gene in a piece of corn that makes it taste like strawberry and nothing else, how much testing do you think needs to be done?  

    The issue is you know nothing at all about biology but you believe in organic soap. Do you vaccinate your children?  
    Yes, lets lather our kids in soaps that contain formaldehyde,phhtalates, petroleum and parabens. Why not add some untested nano particles, maybe some aluminum to smear in our armpit, some fragrance and perhaps some antibiotics in our toothpaste. Consuming organic foods is not so much about the certification for many of us, it is more to do with fundamental principles that organic products are more likely to adhere to. There is nothing crackpot about organic food consumers. I am grateful there is an alternative to the highly processed, chemical laden products you seem to advocate consuming. I don't want science on my dinner table, I want food. I know plenty about biology and I believe in soap that does not contain chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system and contribute to cancer. Strawberries sprayed with carcinogenic methyl iodide are certainly toxic, unless you get organic options. I would never feed that crap to my kids, and most parents wouldn't if they had a clue about it. At least the stuff sprayed on organic produce, (often small, local organic farms use no spray at all and you can go to the farm and see for yourself) is less toxic and can be washed off; many of the pesticides and herbicides in GM foods are bred into the plant itself and cannot be removed by any means. Do you have some criticism for people who choose organic mattresses and pajamas for their kids as well, so they can avoid toxic flame retardants entering their children's bloodstream? You criticize people for believing in organic products, call them crackpots, and even anti science and anti vaccine. Consume whatever you want. Why don't you let others do the same.

    Hank
     I don't want science on my dinner table, I want food. 
    You're lying to yourself, including about organic food.  You seem to think there was no genetic modification before 10 years ago.  It's silly, almost to a point where I wonder if you even understand what science is or has been done.  I am not trying to be a jerk when I write that, I am worried that our schools are not teaching even a grasp of what science is.
    Consume whatever you want. Why don't you let others do the same.
    Fine by me. You're the one who wants to slap warning labels on food that has never harmed anyone - and can't.   If you truly care about knowing what you consume, you would advocate a law requiring truth in labeling for all foods, not just the kind you choose not to buy.
    I have no problem with labeling requirements for organic foods, I just want it to be disclosed when foods contain GM ingredients. I am also concerned that our schools are not really teaching quality science. Kids seem to know all about American idol, Hollywood drams and "the game" but little about science, politics, and important aspects of life that effect us all. Most food we personally choose to purchase and feed our kids is organic, but that is only a small part of a big picture. There are plenty of quality foods that are not certified organic, but grown responsibly. There are also foods that are certified organic shipped in from China, and who knows what is actually in them. It is our opinion that the healthiest options for our kids to eat are fresh, minimally processed, local when possible organically grown with minimal chemical contaminants. The truth is that we don't really know what GM foods will do to our health over a long period of time. And we do not know what glycophosphate and other chemicals, or combinations of chemicals, will do to us over time. Many of these agricultural chemicals are endocrine disruptors, known carcinogens, mutagens etc. We certainly do not know the implications of GM salmon, for example, or what will happen when they escape into the wild, and the same goes for the GM mosquitoes that are already being released and regulated as animal drugs. I believe in science, and the benefits it can bring to humanity. My wife and I apply science in our careers as registered nurses every day we work. We spend much time researching nutrition in general, including GM foods and the health effects of agricultural chemicals. We think its best to keep it simple, and eat food the way nature presents it, as this is what we evolved to metabolize, absorb nutrients from, remove waste from etc. Our bodies have not had a chance to learn what to do with the bombardment of chemicals we are all exposed to in our food and other sources, or the GM ingredients we are unknowingly consuming. If GM foods are truly harmless, we do not know it yet. Quality testing simply has not been done on a large enough sample over a long enough period of time. This is part of why GM foods should be labeled as such, so as consumers we can make informed decisions. Again, "organic" and "natural" do not always mean safe (especially natural). However, when food is truly grown organically, and it is fresh, from healthy soil, with minimal chemical contaminants, it i sour opinion it is the best food option available. There are advantages to getting produce at a local farmers market, knowing the farmer who grew it, being able to visit the farm. Not to mention, fresh, organic food tastes worlds better to us than GM foods. What in the world have they done to tomatoes anyways? They engineered them to last longer, but they taste like nothing. Most people I know, when they eat organic, local produce for the first time in a long time, are amazed with the taste, and say they forgot what good food tastes like. We do not know that GM foods are not harming us., If you are a scientist I do not see how you are not aware of this. There is no apparent acute issue with consuming GM foods with the exception of food allergies in my belief, but who knows what chronic problems will result. And glycophosphate IS toxic to human beings, and if you eat GM foods you eat this chemical. It has been proven to persist in the environment and in our bodies.

    Scare quotes? Hahaha.... this has GOT to be a joke!

    I quoted YOU. "Science world" were YOUR words. Don't worry, no "mysticism bubble" being punctured here because that's a figment of your imagination.

    I simply asked you to show me what science has had to offer people who don't want GMO's and you can't do it. So I don't even know what else there is for you to say that would matter at this point. We're not hippy activist radicals... we're families who work and pay taxes and want to know what we're using our hard earned money on. But hey... that's just something else you can twist around.

    Just for the record, if we all were hippy activist radicals... so? Doesn't change the truth.

    Wrong, this is a stepping stone to larger legislation, but the real goal is to get GE foods out of the food chain like they are in 95% of other countries which happens when you require labeling. This is the first step of a tipping point. Sure beer won't have labels (I only drink organic or imported beer so as to avoid transgenic crops) but it won't take long before they won't need any because GE foods will quickly disappear as major companies tell their suppliers to switch to non-GE crops.

    Perhaps you've forgotten the impact McDonalds had on Monsanto's New Leaf potato when they ordered all their suppliers to either switch to conventional potatoes or lose their contract with McDonalds? If anything starts affecting bottom lines, they will switch. It will not cost THEM much money at all, they make their products GE-free just about everywhere else anyway.

    Why have other countries outlawed GMO's?

    Hank
    Europeans overwhelmingly surveyed have said that even if there was total proof that GMOs are safe they would not buy them; it simply means Europeans are more anti-science than the USA.  Why emulate crackpots?  
    Not just scientists but in fact "Europeans" are now "crackpots".

    Why might Europeans be opposed to GMOS?

    Could it be that their science-based regulatory system has failed on other issues, e.g., Mad Cow disease?

    If this is why they are opposed to GMOs, wouldn't we conclude that they are simply being prudent?

    Hank
    They are anti-science, the EU Science Adviser laments the science culture.  I don't think we should emulate that.   But 50% of pesticides approved for organic foods fail regular pesticide safety tests.  Is that better for people?  Absolutely not.
    Also isn't it true that by having the ability to patent "organisms" (not naturally occurring) they have sued person's attempting to plant the seeds from the crops? I have heard of "bullying" farmers to buy their (Monsanto) seeds and threatening lawsuits for selling heirloom seeds or seeds without Roundup implanted?

    Gerhard Adam
    That's a bit tricky, since most companies can't rightly patent the organism, but rather the seeds.  The "organism"/plant is a bit too risky from a legal perspective, while the seeds can be more readily identified, controlled and protected.  The point here is the legalities, not the technology.
    I have heard of "bullying" farmers to buy their (Monsanto) seeds...
    Well, the problem is that if these are only anecdotal tales or stories then they are meaningless, but if they are true then someone isn't doing their job in journalism, nor are the farmers doing much to make it known. 

    Mundus vult decipi
    Sorry, but who does their job RIGHT in journalism when talking about mainstream media? They simply repeat what everyone else has said. But is it any wonder why?

    http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/communications/tv/mediacontrol.html

    They're repeaters, not reporters. Icke hits the nail on the head here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBUqrHTjwh8

    Gerhard Adam
    Fine, so show evidence from non-mainstream media.  I don't particularly care, but if it's a group with a vested interest, then I'm not interested in simply viewing more propaganda, regardless of where it originates from.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Lots of info on how they treat farmers :

    http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry4901.html?recid=470

    But hell we know they're bulling individual states (http://eatdrinkbetter.com/2012/05/11/gmo-legislation-monsanto-trumps-dem...) with lawsuits (see VT), and they're bullying countries like France too through the diplomats they control and we know that through Wikileaks - http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/politics/item/10049-wikileaks-more-...

    We already know the power they have in the current federal government - http://geke.us/Monsanto.001.jpg

    Obama has done more to feck small farms over than any other president. His commitment in 2007 to get GMO's labelled (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=zqaaB6NE1TI) turned into appointing Michael Taylor, former VP Monsanto Washington, to head of food safety at the FDA (he's since been promoted again by Obama), Islam Siddiqui former pesticide lobbyist to chief agricultural negotiator in the office of the U.S. trade representative, ex-Monsanto defender Elena Kagan to SCOTUS, ex-biotech governor of the year Tom Vilsack to USDA Secretary.

    How can anyone win against this monster? How did we stand by and let the planet's biggest chemical manufacturer of the last 100 years become the food supply's biggest owner?

    *Roundup implanted.

    I agree. Illinois Department of Agriculture secretly destroys beekeeper's bees and 15 years of research proving Monsanto's Roundup kills bees

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035920_beekeeper_Illinois_raid.html#ixzz23eIH...

    A group of Argentinian farmers says corporate biotechnology giant Monsanto, tobacco behemoth Philip Morris, and several other tobacco companies coerced the farmers into using dangerous amounts of Roundup (glyphosate) and other pesticide and herbicide products on their tobacco crops, which eventually resulted in a major spate of birth defects throughout the local community.

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035592_Big_Tobacco_Monsanto_birth_defects.htm...

    However, even if there were such a situation, they would have to demonstrate that there's a reasonable chance that you had acquired the seeds without a license. There simply isn't going to be enough of that going on based on a "seed blowing into your garden".

    and that company seed could easily have blown on to his soil from passing canola-laden trucks. "I never put those plants on my land," says Schmeiser. "The question is, where do Monsanto's rights end and mine begin?" - http://www.percyschmeiser.com/conflict.htm

    Your science is poor and limited, but I have to compliment your twisting of the facts. The GM industry is doing the misleading, how much did they pay you.

    Hank
    Sadly, they pay nothing.  Honesty has to be done for free.  However, big spender Nature’s Path sells $300 million a year worth of organic cereals and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc. , as I mentioned in your comment above, has revenues of $50 million per year - that is why they are behind a law that penalizes regular food and exempts organic. It has nothing to do with truth.
    And PepsiCo and Coca-Cola Corporation total over $100 billion. Your figures on Nature's Path are pretty underwhelming in this context.

    Hank
    Indeed, and you would think those mega giants - selling flavored water but not calling it medicine - would have thought of creating special laws to outlaw competitors in a hundred years.   But no, it looks like it took organic companies to come along and really show America how to cheat in business.
    That's funny I could have sworn they labelled it as "Vitamin water"

    In case you've forgotten, vitamins can act like a drug/medicine, but the latter can never act like a vitamin.

    Hank
    Vitamins are fine.  If you want to believe their overpriced supplements are helping you, yayyyy capitalism - yet you think it's bad when companies that don't make you personally feel warm and fuzzy do it. They also sell magic water - that is what homeopathy is.  If I had my way, that stuff would be outlawed and labeled ("these products have never been shown to have any benefit to anyone, other than you buying it has a psychological effect, like if we sold you a magic rock") yet you instead want to label the products that do help people.
    Over-priced supplements? I pay $19 for a year's supply of 4,000IU D3 drops from Carlsons. How is that overpriced? And are you saying now that the scientific evidence on D3 is bunk?

    Hank
    I am saying no one outside of the crackpot supplement community even knows what D3 is.  I had to Google it, just like I have to Google all of the miracle vegetable claims those charlatan companies produce every week to exploit the gullible.
    Obviously, there is a substantial difference between foods that are genetically modified and foods that are not. If there were not fundamental differences, there would be nothing for the biotech companies to patent. Splicing flounder genes into tomatoes, inserting bacteria into the genes of a plant, designing plants with "terminator genes" so they cannot produce seeds that will have the ability to grow, etc. In addition, the chemicals used on these crops such as glycophosphate, carbaryl, atrazine, all used by the millions of pounds annually are toxic to humans and the environment. Our soil, water and entire food chain is becoming contaminated. GM crops are spreading and contaminating non-GM farms and wild lands. The variety of seeds available in the world has decreased drastically, as has the variety of food crops. Monoculture dominates US farms, endless acres of corn, soy, cotton, wheat, grown year after year, with soil heavily contaminated with toxic chemicals, to the degree that the soil bacteria required for nutrient uptake cannot survive. Our food has largely become tasteless, but most are not even aware because they have not consumed anything else in years. The long-term effects of GM crops and associated neurotoxic chemicals is just coming to light. The safety studies on humans are non-existent or hugely flawed a have driven through our agricultural heartland, watching fields be sprayed by workers in full body suits with respirators on. I will not feed my kids anything that requires such protection. Why would I, when I often can eat vegetables and fruits grown as nature intended, not sprayed with chemicals that may harm our health, grown within 50 miles of where I live by a farmer whose hand I can shake. If you want to eat a tasteless tomato picked two months ago and shipped across the country or world sprayed with toxins go for it. Of course the corporations that profit from Americans blindly eating GM crops do not want them labeled. A Monsanto executive once said if we label GM foods we may as well put a skull and cross bones on it. We have the right to know what we are eating. If GM foods are so safe and wonderful, labeling them should not concern you. It will just allow us to make informed decisions. I know there are reasons much of the advanced world does not allow GM crops to be grown on their soil. I know truly organic food generally tastes better, is better for me and better for our planet. I don't want my food made in a lab. The organic certification process is far from perfect, but when it comes down to it, in my opinion it is much better, as organic food is not supposed to be genetically modified and it is not allowed to have many chemicals that I consider to be dangerous (as do many scientists). The best produce is that which I grow organically in our own garden, next to that I will take local, organic produce over industrial agriculture creations any day. We need GM foods to be labeled and regulated. The industry exists solely to make profit and does not have our best interests in mind. They take billions in tax subsidies and spend much of it lobbying politicians to increase their profits even more. It has not stopped at food either. GM salmon are being created, GM mosquitoes are being released in Florida regulated as an animal drug. The whole rBGH scandal is quite scary. Human genes have even been patented, as well as animal genes, and seeds and plant genes that are God's or natures creation, and do not belong to ANY corporation. I am not a scientist, just a registered nurse, a parent, and a concerned American citizen that cares what I eat, what my kids eat, about the health and well being of all human beings, and what kind of world we will leave our descendants. The vast majority of Americans want GM foods labeled. This nation is supposed to be of the people by the people for the people, and the people have spoken.

    Hank
    Our soil, water and entire food chain is becoming contaminated. GM crops are spreading and contaminating non-GM farms and wild lands.
    If this was true, why not just ban GM altogether?  There is no need for labeling something that is poisoning people, just outlaw it.  And yet they are not outlawed. Is this a vast right wing conspiracy of lobbyists dictating the science consensus?
    How do you define conspiracy? Regulatory officials on the payroll of the entities they are supposed to regulate? Politicians receiving millions for certain industries and voting in ways that increase the profits of those industries? Safety studies funded by the producers of the products being tested? Scientists at the FDA being fired when calling into question the safety of GM products? People like you seem to employ a tactic of accusing those that have views differing from yours of being conspiracy theorists. I am not into theories on this matter, I like to look at facts, at who receives what from who, at voting records, financial conflicts of interest, and quality science. My only interest is in the health of my family and fellow Americans and citizens of the world.

    How do you define conspiracy? Regulatory officials on the payroll of the entities they are supposed to regulate? Politicians receiving millions for certain industries and voting in ways that increase the profits of those industries? Safety studies funded by the producers of the products being tested? Scientists at the FDA being fired when calling into question the safety of GM products? People like you seem to employ a tactic of accusing those that have views differing from yours of being conspiracy theorists. I am not into theories on this matter, I like to look at facts, at who receives what from who, at voting records, financial conflicts of interest, and quality science. My only interest is in the health of my family and fellow Americans and citizens of the world.

    Many would like to ban gmo's. Can you imagine how impossible that would be? Many states have already failed to get labeling, just labeling, because the amounts of misinformation and money coming from the biotech industry and big food companies like Kellogg and PepsiCo are huge. When govt is apparently completely on the side of the industry, when most Americans don't even know about gmo's and would rather watch TV than get educated, how in the world could we even dream about banning gmo's? Prop 37 is an opportunity to raise awareness.

    By the way, many other poisons are not banned. Round-up, for one, is a poison. They used to have some ridiculous packaging that stated it was harmless or something. They were forced to remove that. Other poisons? How about tobacco (which I don't advocate banning, don't misunderstand.) How about alcohol? It makes you drunk because it poisons you. They're all labeled or restricted. Food with gmo's are different: people are unknowinngly feeding them to their children. When you read "sugar" in a list of ingredients, do you know what most people think? They think of sugar cane. Why wouldn't they? They don't know it's from a crop called sugar beets which is GE. It seems pretty clear that it is in the interest of the ag-biotech corporations and not the interest of the consumer that the consumer not know. If it's honestly labeled, and we don't want it, the market will adjust accordingly. But we get to decide, not the govt, not Monsanto.

    Instead of attacking 37, could you honestly defend the industry which opposes 37? Tell me, why are they spending millions to avoid labeling?

    Hank
    When govt is apparently completely on the side of the industry, when most Americans don't even know about gmo's and would rather watch TV than get educated, how in the world could we even dream about banning gmo's? Prop 37 is an opportunity to raise awareness.
    So all those liberal scientists in academia only care about propping up government against wholesome organic companies?  Please spare us the conspiracy.  If awareness were the issue, this law would not have been written to exclude organic foods from any truth in labeling - it is about making more money for rich corporations.  They just happen to be the rich corporations you buy a lot of stuff from.
    They are banned in Peru, they follow the peer-reviewed independent science though.

    In the US this infographic explains the huge difference - http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/monsan...

    Frank Parks
    I share your concerns about our foods. I disagree with the statement that 'the vast majority of Americans want GM foods labeled'. Instead, I contend that the vast majority of Americans don't have a clue about GMO. Besides being mostly clueless, they likely wouldn't care one way or the other unless it interrupted the weekly airing of 'dancing wit the orbitals'.

    Something that will affect the children of our future: I saw a projection that forecast a world population of 9 billions by 2050(ish). If true, that means almost one-third more mouths to feed than now. If we don't manage to grow enough 'natural' foods, we will need some help from science. Or else . . .

    Having a label on foods is a wise choice. Limiting the label to only GMO, or only from certain producers is foolish.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

    Polls do show most Americans do want GM foods labeled. Makes sense to me, although I do not know how this data was gathered. There is a growing body of evidence that shows GM foods do not produce greater yields. Personally I think more research needs to be done on the subject taking into consideration more factors over a longer period of time. Higher yields one season could be greatly offset other seasons when monoculture results in greater susceptibility to drought or disease or pests. Beyond this, we should value the quality of our food more. Quantity creates an illusion of security and breeds serious problems in the areas of health, economics and ecology if the quality is poor, and poor it has become. Currently we produce a serious surplus of certain crops, enough to feed the wprld if we all want to eat corn, wheat and soy. As a consequence, foreign markets are flooded with our cheap crops and the local farmers are put out of business and severe poverty is created where self-reliant people previously existed. Good examples of where this has happened are Jamaica and India. I agree that labels should not apply to only certain foods from certain producers. Population growth will be a problem, but I do not believe GM foods are the answer. I suppose time will tell, but I can say with confidence that biotech companies are not out to save the world and feed he hungry, through their actions they have shown to be out for profit, and they have achieved this goal at the expense of many around the world. When they go to a country, common people do not become wealthy and better fed, they become impoverished, displaced, and dependent on agricultural chemicals . Please, prove me wrong I would be happy to learn things are not as bad as they seem

    Hank
    Polls do show most Americans do want GM foods labeled.
    It's the way the question is framed.   If you introduce fear about what is in organic food - and there is more to fear from organic food than GMOs - they want that disclosure too. And yet the Prop 37 law, written by a lawyer who gets rich suing businesses over another law he wrote and funded by companies outside California, exempts organic food specifically from any truth in labeling.  Why?  Because this is not about truth, it is about creating an advantage economically.
    Frank Parks
    I agree with the framing issue.  I suspect that the farther a person lives (in the US) from the epicenter of the Prop 37 issue the less awareness there is of GMO.

    I asked some random folks about this after I posted my last comment.  It was a small sample of ordinary folks, so it cannot be used in any sort of study.  (Sorry, I couldn't find a group of Psychology undergrads to ask.)  The question was:  What do you know of GMO?

    One gentleman said "I thought they pulled those options from the market".  The others didn't recognize the acronym either and had to have it vocalized.  One young woman said "Oh, yeah.  They made a clone of a goat, right?" A middle aged man said he had heard that someone was going to make a real Jurassic Park with real dinos.  One farmer said that he wasn't worried about it all.  His cows did just fine on the corn.

    Ordinary folks, far from California-Oregon-Seattle, aren't concerned because they haven't been exposed to the issue.  I'm not so sure they would be concerned if they were exposed.  But, if you framed the question just right, then all bets are off.
    I have to disagree that there is more to fear from GM foods than organic. What is your logic in that statement? Organic crops may be allowed to contain certain chemicals, but they are certainly safer options than derivatives of agent orange. In addition, conventional and GM crops can be fertilized with human sewage sludge, and are on a huge scale. Organic crops cannot be fertilized with human sewage sludge, and its not the human waste itself that I would fear if I consumed these foods, but the many toxins excreted in human waste from pharmaceuticals, as well as the many chemicals flushed down the toilet by most households. Organic dairy for example cannot contain rBGH or other added growth hormones, which can most certainly threaten human health. Why is it that around the world, more so in nations that consume the standard Western diet, kids are reaching puberty at younger and younger ages. Its not evolution, I can tell you that much. And however the question is framed, the majority of American people want GM foods labeled. Have you actually done any research about the safety of GM vs organic foods? Have you read the MSDS for the chemicals allowed in each, or looked at the few independent safety studies that have been done, or the source of food borne illness that has occurred? Based on your statements, it doen not seen that you have.

    Hank
    I have to disagree that there is more to fear from GM foods than organic. What is your logic in that statement?
    No illnesses or deaths have resulted from GM foods but people are poisoned and die all of the time from 'organic' food.  The biggest mistake is people thinking they don't have to wash the stuff.  Like eating animal feces? Okay.  The chemical issue is obviously well known; just because a chemical is natural does not mean you should eat it and every large organic producer uses chemicals.

    Attributing GM foods to early puberty is crackpot talk.  You might as well blame aliens.
    I attribute early puberty to added growth hormones, also likely influenced by estrogen mimicking chemicals in food and food packaging. Like eating human feces? Its another thing that cannot be in organic food. People do not get sick and die from eating organic food "all the time" as you claim. Food borne illness is just as likely to come from non-organic food. You cannot accurately say that no deaths or illnesses have resulted from GM foods. How do you know that? You do not, you cannot. No, people do not keel over and die after eating a GM apple, but who knows what chronic illnesses are resulting from this grand experiment, and bottom line we have the right to know what we are eating. The reality is, kids are reaching puberty at much younger ages, food allergies and numerous diseases involving the immune system, as well as previously rare cancers are on the rise. The same company that makes rBGH GROWTH HORMONE makes the majority of GM foods. This growth hormone that i sin much of the dairy products consumed in this country does also not require labeling, because of the flawed regulatory system we are talking about. Do you understand the influence of hormones on the human body and its physiological processes? To think it has no effect is the crackpot talk. I never claimed that ":natural" means something is safe to eat; after all mercury and foxglove are natural. You did not answer my question anyways, what logic do you base your statements on? Why are you seemingly ok with eating human feces that can be used as fertilizer on non-organic food, yet you imply animal manure is somehow more dangerous. If you want to eat tasteless GM foods engineered in a lab sprayed with neurotoxins go for it, labeling them will make them that much easier to find. Are you aware that another major biotech corporation is currently under criminal prosecution for lying about the deadly effects of their GM corn on the livestock that eats it? So far these companies have demonstrated they cannot be trusted, so at the very least we should have full disclosure about what is in our food, then you can eat what you want, as can I

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but that's not actually true.  Even your own statement plays "fast and loose" with the actual information.  You claim that corporations are under "criminal prosecution" [which doesn't actually mean anything, although I expect you mean investigation], yet you've already reached your own conclusion about it.

    The "deadly effects" on livestock you're referring to, simply isn't true.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    LOL ... cute.  You're the one claiming it as fact, and having already been proven.  The truth is that nothing like that has been established.  Being investigated is NOT the same as being guilty. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    You are claiming it is not true when you did not even have knowledge criminal charges were filed. Farmers fed the stuff to their cows, and claimed illness and death resulted, with enough evidence for charges to be filed after reviewing lies told in civil hearings. But it does not matter what I say, you will argue with it. You even argue with links to peer reviewed studies, and if you disagree you just claim its irrelevant, as though you define what does and does not matter. Think what you want, I am done conversating with you it gets neither of us anywhere.

    Gerhard Adam
    You've already decided on the company's guilt.  Could they be?  Sure.  It's also relevant that the Bt 176 in question hasn't been produced for the past 5 years and isn't licensed for production use anywhere.

    So, the issue is whether the company covered up information that was relevant to the cows dying from Bt 176.  Of course, you're not mentioning any of that, and simply letting it seem like this is the same Bt toxin that is currently being discussed in the labeling debate.

    Yeah ... I get that you can "think what you want".

    http://www.gmo-compass.org/eng/gmo/db/51.docu.html
    Mundus vult decipi
    http://www.barnstablecounty.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/gasnier-toxic...

    You need to do some research, glycophosphate is endocrine disrupting among other things. More and more studies are showing the chemicals used in GM food production are harmful to ALL cells, including human cells. To say that Europeans are "anti-science" for banning GM foods is absurd. Personally, based on the statements you make it seems you have a thing or two to learn about science Hank. American health is among the worst in the world, obviously we have a hing or two to learn. Science always questions, seeks the truth, searches for knowledge. Good science does not take the word of industry funded studies as fact and stop seeking information. You have lost all credibility as far as I am concerned, and your articles serve as entertainment at best and are far from scientific.

    Gerhard Adam
    Whoa ... where do you think that conflating completely unrelated pieces of information makes for accuracy?

    Glycophosphate is Roundup and has NOTHING to do with GM foods.  You're simply arbitrarily connecting the use of this herbicide with GM foods, because some of the corn is considered to be Roundup resistant [which is precisely what you want or it would kill the plant].

    You immediately conclude that Roundup somehow has something to do with GM foods, and then claim that these "chemicals" are harmful to "ALL cells" [which is absurd on the face of it].

    Sorry, but your concerns are little more than innuendo and talking points that are not based on any science.  What I find so troubling, is that I'm not a fan of GMO foods, but ideas like you're expressing are worse than propaganda, because they are uninformed and compromise the ability to have legitimate objections and questions addressed.

    In other words, you're doing more harm to the side to claim to support than you would by being silent.  Your points have nothing to do with your objective, beyond demonstrating that you're completely wrong.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard: Round-up Ready soy. I think bt corn may also be round up resistant (would have to double check on that one.) Also, the FDA is set to approve 2,4-D resistant crops in Sept.

    How is this not about glyphosate? And now about 2,4-D? It's not exclusively about those herbicides, but it is about them.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, it appears you want to have your cake and eat it too.  So, GM foods are unhealthy because they produce bt toxin as a pesticide, and then GM foods are unhealthy because they are resistant to herbicides.

    Other than your simply not liking it, what's the basis for concern here?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Can't speak for everyone, but I am suspicious of GM foods for a variety of reasons, many of which folks have already gone into here.

    Bt corn, yeah, don't want my food making bt, it's true. I get that it's "natural"; we've gone over that.

    Food which absorbs round-up and 2,4-D: Don't want to eat pesticides, natural or otherwise.

    At least with conventional produce, you would have half a chance of washing it off.

    Lots of other problems with gm in lots of other ways. Just highlited some of my concerns to you in another post.

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_Toxic_to_Mouth_Cells.php

    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/tx800218n

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.11.010/abstract

    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/impacts_glyphosate.pdf

    Glycophospate has everything to do with GM foods. how much of it is sprayed on GM crops every year, that were engineered specifically to resist the herbicide? somewhere in the neighborhood of 90,000 tons in the US alone. While it is not used in all GM crops, it is certainly a common , even defining characteristic of the GM corn and soy that dominates US farming and food products today. This GM corn and soy is in pretty much all of the processed food that fills the supermarkets, not to mention our aquifers, lakes, rivers, and bloodstreams. Based on the science that I have read, it is one of the major reasons we choose to avoid GM foods and want them labeled., to avoid chemical residues. Not based on any science? Pretty interesting that you make such statements.

    Gerhard Adam
    Roundup is not specifically for GM crops, but then you already knew that didn't you?  This is classic misinformation.

    GM foods have NOTHING to do with chemical residues. 

    All your links have nothing to do with GM foods.  They are all articles that deal with the effects and toxicity of Roundup [glycophosphate].  This has NEVER been in dispute, nor is it part of the discussion.  It certainly has nothing to do with the labeling.

    The mere fact that you would even mention how much "of it is sprayed on GM crops every year", illustrates the depth of your misunderstanding.  It isn't just used on GM crops.

    Certainly "organic" farmers avoid it, but whether there were GM crops or not, there is no basis for assuming that Roundup wouldn't still be used.  So your point is completely irrelevant.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The majority of exposure to this chemical is connected to GM foods. It has everything to do with it. The effects of glycophosphate have been disputed, it was claimed to be entirely biodegradable and safe, and it isn't. Roundup ready crops are specifically designed for roundup resistance and therefore by far receive the most glycophosphate application of any food crop and have the most residue , but you already knew that didn't you. And it is just one example of many of something the industry claimed to be safe that isn't . The largest application of this chemical is GM food production. Are you aware of non-GM foods that contain glycophosphate residue to ant comparable degree of GM crops, because I am not. And I don't know who you are discussing this with, but for those I know the chemicals used as part of GM food production, that are unique to GM food production, are a major factor in the discussion and in the decision to avoid GM foods. If a crop is not genetically modified to resist it, the crop would die if sprayed. I am completely comfortable with my usderstanding of the issue.

    Gerhard Adam
    I don't particularly care how comfortable you claim to be.  Spraying herbicide has nothing to do with GM foods and their labeling.  The fact that you're trying to draw a correlation is irrelevant.

    Mundus vult decipi
    You seem to place excess importance on what YOU care about, and state your opinion as fact. To many people, what is sprayed on their food is very important, and pesticide residues on GM foods are distinguishable from those on non-GM foods in quality and quantity. I did not ask for your evaluation of my beliefs, and what you think about them doesn't mean anything to me and certainly will not change what I think. And I know I will not change what you believe, nor do I care to.

    Gerhard Adam
    You can care all you like about what is sprayed on your food, but that will never render it genetically modified.  Your confusion about the issues is the problem.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I did not say spraying food makes it genetically modified. Genetically modified foods are more likely to be sprayed with things I want to avoid because they have been shown to be toxic. "Roudup Ready' crops were genetically modified to resist roundup. Without this alteration they could not survive being sprayed. The majority of GM crops by volume have this feature, and therefore have high levels of glycophosphate. This is not found in non-GM food crops in any significant amount. This chemical has been found to have numerous effects on human health, and it is DIRECTLY associated with GM crops. I know what I am talking about Gerhard, I am not an idiot and I don't get my information from some crap source.

    Gerhard Adam
    OK ... then you should have no trouble posting a link that demonstrates the levels of glycophosphate contained in our food.  Since you're alleging that this is IN the food and not simply sprayed on, you need to provide evidence.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Why do I need to do your research for you? Not only is glycphosate in our food supply, it is in our aquafers, lakes, rivers, and in our bodies. Where do you think the millions of tons of it they have sprayed go? I already posted several articles from quality sources that this chemical can harm human health, I hope you read them. I am only interested in the truth. I seek out information on this topic because I care about it. I care what I eat, and what my kids eat, and what all people eat especially if it is claimed to be safe but is not. I am a healthcare professional, and what we eat is an important part of preventing disease. It has been shown that glyphosate

    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/impacts_glyphosate.pdf

    http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2008/11001/Quantification_of_Gly...

    http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/g...

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/64933216/Glyphosate-Link-to-Birth-Defects-Report

    http://gmwatch.org/component/content/article/13631

    http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/glyphosate.cfm

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december162011/agent-orange-sj.php

    Gerhard Adam
    EPA regulates glyphosate in drinking water to protect public health. Glyphosate may cause health problems if present in public or private water supplies in amounts greater than the drinking water standard set by EPA.
    So much for your ... "we're all going to die" hysteria about glycophosphate. 

    Go ahead.... now tell me how this is inadequate and how the government is colluding with industry to poison all of us.
    Why do I need to do your research for you?
    Are you playing at being stupid?  You made the claim, now back it up.  No one cares about how dangerous glycophosphate is.  That's already a known quantity.

    Your assertion is that is it pervasive in our food and water supply, so back it up!

    You think nothing of running your mouth will all kinds of propaganda, or irrelevant materials, and when I finally ask for something that confirm your allegations you become a smart ass.  If you aren't willing to participate beyond spreading your propaganda, then go away.  You;re useless.


    Mundus vult decipi
    I did back it up. There is ample information in the links that I posted to back it up, but apparently you either didn't bother to read it or you do not have the cognitive ability to process it. I never said "we are all going to die" from it, I said it has been shown that it can harm human health, and that it persists in our environment and food. You just cannot grasp the concept for some reason, and you resort to insults and say "go away" like a child, which perhaps you are I do not know. No one cares about how dangerous these chemicals are? Speak for yourself, you obviously have no clue what people care about and you have no right to speak for anyone else. I never said anything about government collusion, your statement just tells me you are judgmental and generalize people into convenient little categories that suit your needs when their views do not match yours. You asked for links to support my statement that this chemical is in our food, water etc and I posted several. If you don't want to read my posts, then don't read them I couldn't care less. Keep your insults to yourself, grow up.

    Gerhard Adam
    OK, so you're going to make me look through all your irrelevant links.

    http://www.pesticide.org/get-the-facts/pesticide-factsheets/factsheets/glyphosate
    This link is about glyphosate, which indicates that it is poisonous, but then we already knew that.  It says nothing about its prevalence in the environment.

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/64933216/Glyphosate-Link-to-Birth-Defects-Report
    Again, no mention of its pervasiveness in the environment.

    http://gmwatch.org/component/content/article/13631
    This is not peer-reviewed, but it alleges that there have been increases in glyphosate found in urine in humans and animals.  OK ... where's the evidence?  After all, this comes from a website dedicated to fighting against GM foods, so it's hardly without bias.

    http://www.salem-news.com/articles/december162011/agent-orange-sj.php
    Again, another website with an agenda.  Why they mention Agent Orange is indicative of the innuendo game they're playing.  The groundwater contamination they allege occurred in Spain.

    http://journals.lww.com/epidem/Fulltext/2008/11001/Quantification_of_Glyphosate_and.275.aspx#P11
    In this article, the point describes a methodology for detecting glyphosate in urine.  Again, not relevant to your claim about environmental pervasiveness.

    http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/impacts_glyphosate.pdf
    Another document, this time produced by Friends of the Earth.  This is your idea of peer-reviewed?

    http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/glyphosate.cfm
    This is the only article that deals directly with it, and it's primary purpose is to indicate that the EPA is monitoring for contamination, and that they have a safety standard that they enforce.

    So, in all your posts, you have a big fat zero.  In fact, you don't even have much regarding assertions regarding its pervasiveness.  You only have innuendo, and an obvious assertion that the EPA isn't doing its job.

    In fact, here's one of the latest from the USGS indicating the levels of glyphosate that they detected.
    A total of 154 water samples were collected during the 2002 study in nine Midwestern States.Glyphosate was detected in 36 percent of the samples, while its degradation product,aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) was detected in 69 percent of the samples. The highest measuredconcentration of glyphosate was 8.7 micrograms per liter, well below the MCL (700 micrograms perliter).
    http://toxics.usgs.gov/highlights/glyphosate02.html
    That's why I made the comments I did, because you clearly don't know how to find evidence, beyond posting links that already support your view.

    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    The highest measured concentration of glyphosate was 8.7 micrograms per liter,

    That's got to be down right high potency in the Homeopathy crowd, and isn't there a lot of overlap with the anti-gmo crowd?
    Never is a long time.
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm not sure.  I expect you'll probably have to ask their alien overlords.
    Mundus vult decipi
    MikeCrow
    I'll have to get mine to ring theirs up and check.
    Never is a long time.
    What a crock. Whatever source I post you will find some reason to dispute it. There is more than ample evidence that this chemical persists in our environment. What a big surprise. Where do you think it all goes. Do you truly believe it can be sprayed in the quantities that it is and not be pervasive, and contaminate not only the soil but water and of course our bodies? I do not care what you think to tell you the truth. In my opinion you are an arrogant jerk that sits around and tries to create tension and negativity on websites, that seems to think he knows everything about everything. Eat whatever you want, enjoy your neurotoxins, and keep believing what you are told by the "scientists" that are on the payroll of the companies that profit from these chemicals. They are counting on it.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, at least my comments worked, because you have demonstrated that you are simply another conspiracy freak that wouldn't believe anything any scientist says because you believe they all lack ethics and are bribed by the companies.

    So, your whole argument is dishonest because you were never about the evidence.
    Mundus vult decipi
    you have no idea what I believe in, and you are delusional. Your opinion about the evidence I believe in does nothing to the validity of the evidence. Your comments demonstrate that you do not have the ability to think critically, or consider anything that does not fit into the nice little box you choose to exist in. I believe in science, and am saddened by the ignorance that plagues it, and the people that seem to think they know everything about everything and forget that science is supposed to forever question collective knowledge, seeking truth so that as a society we can evolve past where you seem to be stuck. I said nothing about "all scientists", and I would not speak in such vague generalizations as I am fully aware that in every group of people there are those of quality and those of much less than that. And if you believe in science, perhaps you should consider the fact that financial conflicts of interest, corruption, etc taint studies and result in invalidity. It has been demonstrated time and time again. We need quality science behind things of this much importance that impact us all. You really think that the scientists in the majority of the advanced world are wrong, and industry funded studies should be taken as fact and not even questioned? Seems to me you stopped learning about science in high school at best. Pointing out factual conflicts if interest does not make one a conspiracy freak. I cannot imagine what it is like existing with such a closed, ignorant mind. It must be challenging. Debating with you is a complete waste of time, I am done. My three year old is more engaging than you. Keep thinking that you know everything, and you will never learn anything. Your comments didn't work, they produced nothing, they changed nothing, they proved nothing

    Gerhard Adam
    http://www.ewg.org/release/government-tests-find-roundup-widespread-water-air
    Again ... innuendo.  I posted the actual results previously.  BTW, the results were due to new methods for detecting low level quantities.  If the assertion is that it should be zero, then they need to grow up.  That won't happen and there's no basis for presuming that a non-zero value is automatically dangerous.

    http://www.consumersunion.org/food/organicsumm.htm
    Not relevant, since this deals with residues found on the fruits/vegetables themselves.

    http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/methodology/
    Again, a site with an agenda, but still nothing specific was indicated despite the availability of data as indicated above.  Simply more innuendo and including even more pesticides to promote more fear-mongering.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/ams.fetchTemplateData.do?template=TemplateG&topNav=&leftNav=ScienceandLaboratories&page=PDPDownloadData/Reports&description=Download+PDP+Data/Reports&acct=pestcddataprg
    Again ... not sure what you wanted to do with this, but the summary provides this piece of info:
    "Besides the above mentioned atrazine findings, none of the other detections in the finished water samples exceeded established EPA MCL  or HA levels..."
    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=stelprdc5098550
    In general, it seems that you're using a shotgun approach to simply tie all manner of topics together that you don't like.  So, believe what you like, but don't think for a minute that you have anything definitive here beyond innuendo and simply an anti-pesticide/herbicide agenda.

    What you don't seem to understand is that there are many things that we all believe and would like to be true, but when it comes to making such assertions we will require evidence.  I don't particularly like the direction much of our technology is going with respect to food production and biological manipulation, but I can't simply accept the word of people saying what I would like to hear because I believe it.  I can only go based on actual data.

    You can argue that these companies aren't to be trusted, and make all kinds of claims regarding the integrity of the scientists, but that's no different than challenging the integrity of those that work for organic manufacturers, or Friends of the Earth or PETA.  Everyone's got an agenda, and everyone has the potential to go "above and beyond" to make their particular point.

    However, we also have to consider that this isn't a conspiracy, so perhaps the data is what it is and that there is far too much exaggeration for everyone involved.  The truth of the matter is that life is incredibly resilient, and short of direct poisoning will accommodate and survive many things, so the threat of immediate danger is invariably exaggerated.  Despite all the concern about foods, there hasn't been a single demonstrable instance of people eating any particular diet uniformly living longer than those that don't or living healthier.  Everything is simply anecdotal, and is ultimately worthless.
    Mundus vult decipi
    about 75% of GM crops are herbicide resistant. and over half of them are roundup ready. I'd say this earns at least a direct association between GM crops and glycophosphate. Its interesting to me that a host of nations around the world with much better health than the US have banned GM crops all together, and its a struggle to even label them here.

    Hank
    You blame GMOs for obesity?  I would blame too many pizzas, but that is why I am not an organic corporation marketing expert.
    What exactly are you then? You claim that all of science and all of medicine is against the bill, as though you can speak for all of science and medicine. Ridiculous. Your agenda is painfully obvious, and fortunately the majority of people who comment seem to be aware of that, just as the majority of Americans want GM foods labeled. Plenty of scientists, doctors, and nurses support labeling GM foods. The American Nurses association supports labeling GM foods. Scientists here and abroad do as well, but you implied Europeans are crackpots for their beliefs.

    Hank
    The majority of Americans are being duped by clever marketing people.  No one disputes that organic companies do much better PR than Monsanto or anyone in science. The deception is that this is about truth in labeling but it is only about truth in labeling one kind of food.  As I said in another example, it's like claiming all products sold in stores have to disclose where they are made - if they were made in Mexico.  It would be illegal except the legislation specifically creations an exemption for that (along with exempting organic food from any truth in labeling).
    Yeah that's why organic has infiltrated all levels of government including SCOTUS and spends millions lobbying each year to make sure subsidies and their billion dollar revenues continue.

    Oh wait, that's not organic. More misdirection from Mr. Campbell.

    anything containing endocrine disruptors can contribute to obesity

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2605.2007.00858.x/full

    Hank, you seem to be very hung up on the integrity of organics. Why don't you take it up as a cause because you care, and try to change the system? I know a lady who did that--I actually know her. She is a grandmother who decided to start an initiative because she saw that the situation was wrong. And so she built a coalition, got volunteers to obtain nearly a million signatures, and now 37 is on the ballot. Along the way, she got the support and donations of many in CA, including, but not limited to Dr. Bronners. The initiative itself was drafted by a committee that included genetic engineers, farmers, grocers, and, yes, lawyers (just try to write an initiative without them.) But be warned that no matter what your initiative entails, people will accuse it of existing to benefit trial lawyers. Apparently, that accusation is just a normal part of the initiative process.

    So, when can we start signing your petition?

    Hank
    Hank, you seem to be very hung up on the integrity of organics. Why don't you take it up as a cause because you care, and try to change the system?
    I have no agenda against organic companies nor will I make money suing them; this separates me from the companies and most of the people supporting this ridiculous, ill-aimed law.  The bulk of Californians just see 'truth in disclosure' for food and don't know this has been written by lawyers and companies to exempt their products.

    All I care about is the science; and the science says organic food is a process, an intellectual placebo for people who want to feel better, just like people who buy low-flow toilets and a Prius and think it makes a difference.  There is science on one side and anti-science people on the other.  If you cared about food, you'd be starting that petition - you have the entire science community on your side.  
    "All I care about is the science"

    You have GOT to be joking.

    Hank
    Not at all.  You guys have adopted the anti-science mentality of the decade.  It's all moral relativism, except about evidence.   You accept global warming science but not biology. Why?  Nothing but a world view.
    You can't even ADD correctly. So yes, you have got to be kidding.

    You only care about the science? That's why you're saying things like those opposing GM labeling are just Monsanto haters? That's all about the science? Oh come on... This is just down right childish and fake. This is a joke.

    Hank
    Then why are you not also demanding that organic food be under this legislation?  It exempts organic food from any kind of truth in labeling. Why do you think that is?  And why do you support ghetto-izing poor people who can't afford organic?

    If GM foods are as bad as you all claim, you should be banning them, not labeling them.  But they can't be banned, because they do no harm to anyone.  That is why your position is anti-science.  
    Your position that GM foods do not harm anyone is what is ant-science. Science seeks the truth, it constantly demands proof, investigation, study, and further questioning. In no way has it been proven that GM foods do not harm anyone. Scientists around the world, governments around the world, people around the world see enough danger in GM foods to ban them all together in some places, and to study them further to see what dangers they do pose. GM foods can be banned; as you know, and as has already been said many places have banned them, including several US cities and counties. I suspect this will be a growing trend.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but your claim about science is disingenuous.  Banning GM foods is a political decision and you can't claim a scientific consensus when it occurs.

    In addition, your claim about rampant opposition, fails to consider what the actual opposing factions might say.  So, you just make a general claim under the guise that it all represents the same ideas and attitudes.  That is certainly NOT the case.

    As for "proving" that GM foods cause no harm, the question is reversed.  If you have an allegation that it is harmful, then it is incumbent on you to demonstrate that is the case [i.e. peer-reviewed studies, etc.].  It is impossible to prove that something isn't harmful, since any such determination is subject to future revision.  That's precisely what happens to pharmaceuticals.  Despite all the benefits of antibiotics, hindsight affords us a different view than their introduction.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It has already been shown that GM foods can cause harm to health. It is very irresponsible to claim,in the name of science, that they are 100% safe and have never harmed anyone. That is what the author of this article has done on several occasions. Whatever the reasons are behind our population's desire to label GM foods, the desire is there in the majority of the population based on polls done. You could obviously frame questions in various ways in various populations and get different answers. I already posted links to peer reviewed studies that have shown GM foods and their ingredients can damage health, but apparently you didn't bother to read them., You seem to just like looking at your own words. Labeling GM foods, and/or banning the, is more than a political decision. It is a decision made based on science, on morals, economics, and many other factors.

    There is not a single shred of evidence to support your argument that they do no harm to people, where are the long-term studies to show this?

    The only reason poor people can't afford organic is because companies like Monsanto have over-run every regulatory agency that regulates farming in the government as the two infographics following this post clearly illustrate which provides billions in tax payer subsidies to chemical companies and the biggest industrial farmers that support said companies. The farm bill is a complete and utter sham.

    1) http://www.occupymonsanto360.org/blogs/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/monsan...
    2) http://geke.us/Monsanto.001.jpg

    If you were to stop all the subsidies you'd find that organic is actually cheaper.

    The notion that someone doesn't support truth in labeling within organic foods just because they support Yes on 37 as a first step to ridding the food chain of companies like Monsanto who simply want to own the world's food supply and who are responsible for using more and more synthetic pesticides every year resulting in more damage to the mycorrhyzial funghi and less sustainability as well as decreases in crop yields, more superweeds and superbugs, more antibiotic resistant bacteria, etc., is completely ridiculous. It's smoke and mirrors, the MO of one Hank Campbell, pseudo-scientist extraordinaire.

    What a hypocrite you are, and what a thick skulled ignoramus on top of it.
    The science is biotechnology.... ie genetic engineering. It involves an understanding of biochemistry....
    What is Your Training in Biochemistry/ molecular biology, Hank?

    Cause unless you have had courses in chemistry, organic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology... you have No idea of the science you are spouting your inane ideas about..... all you are doing is blowing smoke, and gathering sheep to follow you blindly behind other 'scientists' opinions. The science of genetic engineering is way beyond your understanding.

    Tell me Hank.... what is a plasmid? What plasmid is used in genetically engineering Bt Corn.... which specific antibiotic resistance does it confer, Hank?

    Hank
    Let's get to the core issue; do your classes in biochemistry trump all of biology?  I think you are saying they do but since you are anonymous, I have no way to see why you are so much better qualified than they are.  So stop hiding behind the Internet and tell us why you understand genetic modification better than all of the biologists on planet Earth.

    When you are done showing us you have no idea what you are talking about, you can address the point of this article; that anti-science cranks (you) are being exploited by charlatans and lawyers who are trying to get richer.
    The subject matter is biochemistry..... which You are totally ignorant of, and yet call people who want to label GMOs anti-science. Suffice it to say that I know enough biochemistry to know that the plasmid which was used for insertion of DNA sequences that encode a modified Bacillus thuringiensis (subspecies kumamotoensis)
    Cry3Bb1 protein (which is selectively toxic to Coleopteran species such as corn rootworm larvae (Diabrotica
    sp.).in Monsanto's corn is NPTII. It is 264 amino acids long, and is derived from E.coli. NPTII confers neomycin resistance.
    Te point of this post is quite elementary: I understand the process of genetic engineering waaaaay better than you do, because if you did -- your answer would have contained the above Scientific information (rather than mine) .....which makes You= A NON-Scientist who has the gall to accuse people critical of GMOs ( and I happen to be one) of being anti-science. You yourself obviously are CLUELESS of the science while parroting whatever talking points you got from whatever unreliable biased source

    Sincerely,

    Some one who "gets" biochemistry and doesn't believe that the science shows it to be sufficiently safe to feed to kids.

    Hank
    And yet you believe in homeopathy and in not vaccinating children.  Yeah, you are a beacon of science knowledge, all right.
    Nice.....talk about mysticism. How t would you know what an anonymous poster believes with regard to homeopathy or vaccines? and what difference does it make?

    Your argument looks like this : Mary has a lamb. This means that Bob is a mechanic.

    Take a logic class , dude. And next time you decide to speak about a subject,.... know the subject matter. otherwise you look like an ass.

    Hank
    You have yet to refute anything in the article or in the comments.  You insist because you took an undergraduate biochemistry course you know more than every biologist in the world. It's baffling.

    Here is the easy solution; spend $400 on some Monsanto seed and do some research.  You're a world-class expert on plants, you should have it in a peer-reviewed journal in no time at all.
    You have no idea what my background is.... cause I didn't disclose it.
    The fact that you say "every biologist" in the world, simply confirms how wrong you are
    a. biologists have very little to do with biotechnology. the specific field of study producing GE crops is biotechnology and most scientists involved have degrees in molecular biology (of Plants) or biochemistry--not biology
    b. ignoring your poor terminology and assuming that Every biotechnologist in the world agrees that GE crops are a fantastically terrifically positive innovation.......( and even You, Hank, at some point have surely seen that when anyone says "Every", "always" or "never" --they are Usually wrong) says NOTHING ABOUT THEIR SAFETY. Biologists are not Doctors. Plant experts are Not doctors. Biotechnology experts have No medical degrees.
    No matter how many times Plant experts make claims that GE Plants are Safe....and no matter how many of them say it--they are making Medical Judgement calls they are Unqualified to make. To make Medical decision on safety, one has to have a medical degree....biotechnologists dont.
    Put your thinking cap on for a few minutes, cause the following wont be easy reading....and bear with me.

    As to your suggestion on purchasing seed, once again, you are showing your non-scientific pedigree.
    I don't need to buy Monsanto's seed. All I needed to do as a Scientist is to read Monsanto's literature to reach a scientific conclusion.
    This one demonstrates clearly that Monsanto has much to hide. I recommend highly that you read it, too. It costs $30 to buy it online. Buy it and read it--- Show me what kind of "scientist" you are.\
    I did.

    Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain
    from corn rootworm-protected corn

    B. Hammond a,*, J. Lemen a, R. Dudek a, D. Ward a, C. Jiang a, M. Nemeth a, J. Burns b
    a Monsanto Company, 800 North Lindbergh Blvd., St Louis, MO 63167, United States
    b Covance Laboratories, Inc., 9200 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182-1699, United States
    Received 1 June 2005; accepted 22 June 2005
    Abstract
    The results of a 90-day rat feeding study with YieldGard (YieldGard Rootworm Corn is a registered trademark of Monsanto
    Technology, LLC.) Rootworm corn (MON 863) grain that is protected against feeding damage caused by corn rootworm larvae are
    presented. Corn rootworm-protection was accomplished through the introduction of a cry3Bb1 coding sequence into the corn genome
    for in planta production of a modified Cry3Bb1 protein from Bacillus thuringiensis. .....
    rats fed diets containing MON 863 were compared to those of rats fed grain from conventional corn varieties.
    There were a total of 400 rats in the study divided into 10 groups of 20 rats/sex/group. Overall health, body weight gain, food consumption, clinical pathology parameters (hematology, blood chemistry, urinalysis), organ weights, gross and microscopic appearance of tissues were comparable between groups fed diets containing MON 863 and conventional corn varieties. This study complements extensive agronomic, compositional
    and farm animal feeding studies with MON 863 grain, confirming that it is as safe and nutritious as existing conventional corn varieties. ???????
     2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Keywords: Corn: genetically modified; Corn rootworm-protected; Rat feeding study
    1. Introduction
    Global regulatory authorities require that food
    derived from crops produced through biotechnology
    be as safe as food produced from conventionally
    bred crops. There must be ‘‘reasonable certainty that
    no harm will result from intended uses under the
    anticipated conditions of consumption’’
    Abbreviations: ANOVA, analysis of variance; APHIS, Animal and
    Plant Health Inspection Service; B.t., Bacillus thuringiensis; ELISA,
    enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay; EU, European Union; EPA,
    Environmental Protection Agency; FAO, Food and Agricultural
    Organization; fl, femtoliters; GLP, Good Laboratory Practices;
    NOEL, no-effect level; NPTII, neomycin phosphotransferase II;
    OECD, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development;
    PCR, polymerase chain reaction; PMI, Purina Mills International;
    ppb, part-per-billion; SD, standard deviation; USDA, United States
    Department of Agriculture; WHO, World Health Organization; US,
    United States; w/w, weight/weight.

    Once you are done reading that article of science, lets talk about allergies.
    Allergenicity testing of GE foods is unsound. The medical fact is that there are not any sensitive, specific and reliable tests for Food allergies, not matter how many ways biotechnologists argue otherwise.
    The food allergy tests--whether by comparing homology of amino acids between known allergens and novel proteins in GE foods, or by analyzing antibody levels or levels of cytokines in experimental animals (rats typically) do not translate to people, though even those studies show elevations of certain cytokines involved in allergies (namely IL4 and IL8 ). The only true test of food allergy involves eliminating the suspected allergen and then challenging the patient in real life....and monitoring symptoms, which can range from GI upset to whole body inflammatory, immune mediated disease (because our gut is the largest immune organ in our bodies).
    If the food is Not unlabeled...it becomes impossible. Food allergies lead to needless suffering, often for years. And many of these suffering people are little kids . So think about that.

    Gerhard Adam
    It costs $30 to buy it online.
    Hmm .. not if you write the author directly.  I thought about arguing against your points ... I even thought of questioning your assertions through the paper you quoted ... but in the end, I realized you're just another wanna-be ... that thinks their 15 minutes worth of investigation and "research" is sufficient to over-turn years of work and qualify them for the Nobel Prize.


    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    I'm guessing you didn't exactly get an "A" in this biochem course you took.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Is that the substance of your argument? Really?

    a. The study is statistically unbalanced: 80 Experimental animals and 320 controls
    Experimental design
    Groupa Animals/sex State corn
    grown
    Dietary level
    (% w/w)
    1. Control 20 Hawaii 11
    2. Control 20 Hawaii 33
    3. MON 863 20 Hawaii 11
    4. MON 863 20 Hawaii 33
    5. Reference A 20 Illinois 33
    6. Reference B 20 Illinois 33
    7. Reference C 20 Hawaiib 33
    8. Reference D 20 Hawaiib 33
    9. Reference E 20 Hawaiib 33
    10. Reference F 20 Illinois 33
    a Control and reference grain are from conventional varieties that
    are not biotechnology-derived.
    b Grown in the same geographical location, but different from the
    locality where MON 863 and its control were grown.

    b. the study lacks crucial data, which if it was shown would likely demonstrate deteriorating kidney function
    There were no statistically significant differences in
    urinalysis parameters between the male and female
    33% MON 863 group and the 33% control group (data
    not shown).

    c. the study doesn't have a sufficient number of data points to monitor trends
    d. and in spite of all this the study still shows: Kidney Focal chronic inflammation 7 11 7 6
    Focal tubular regeneration
    Liver Vacuolization

    Foci of chronic inflammation 17 17 19 18
    Bile duct, inflammation, chronic 6 10 5 6
    Bile duct hyperplasia 6 5 2 2

    Bile acids are an important test for monitoring normal liver function. Bile acid is metabolized in the liver and is present in increased concentrations with abnormal liver function. This assay can be used to measure bile acid concentrations in rat in a wide variety of applications including rat serum, liver, bile, feces, and intestine.
    This simple, cheap test was not performed.

    So,,,, what have you got besides this http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/ad-hominem.html ???

    Nada!

    Gerhard Adam
    It's real simple, smart-ass.  If you had anything of substance to say you'd already have published it.  The fact that you haven't says that you don't know anything.

    Your comments are lame and your knowledge of this subject is paltry. 

    You're nothing more than another nutcase that wants to argue that Monsanto and all the scientists want to kill people. 

    Let's also be clear.  I'm NOT arguing against you.  I really just think you're an idiot.  There's nothing ad hominem about it.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Let's also be clear. I'm NOT arguing against you. I really just think you're an idiot. There's nothing ad hominem about it.

    ROFLMAO!

    MikeCrow
    Just curious, did your biochem classes make you a human medical doctor?
    Because while you were telling Hank he wasn't a scientist, and didn't know biology, you stated that the Monsanto scientists weren't medical doctors, and therefore weren't qualified to render judgment on whether their GM crops were safe for humans, so that would imply that because you know they're not safe, you not only took some biochem classes, you're a medical doctor as well?
    Never is a long time.
    That would be a pretty logical conclusion ;-)

    yet, not entirely accurate

    Gerhard Adam
    I found this particular quote quite interesting:
    Dr. Wilson replies:

    When will we learn not to mess with Mother Nature? When we do she has shown us her teeth! We need to get back to eating real food, not manufactured fake food. !00 years ago there were hundreds of different breeds of chickens and cows. Today we have only a few. Mother Nature works her magic through genetic diversity but we are pushing things in the opposite direction by manipulating genes in an unnatural way.

    Stand up and be counted. Add your voice to the growing crowd of people who refuse to consume these Frankenfoods. They should be banned from the planet.
    http://carbsyndrome.com/mercola-reports-known-to-kill-cows-castrate-wildlife-induce-spontaneous-abortion-in-lab-rats-and-its-likely-in-your-water/
    Just when I thought there were limits to the stupid things people could say.  This individual is beyond stupid and one can only marvel at the sheer idiocy of people that would accept such a position. 

    The level of ignorance this engenders illustrates that these people truly have no clue as to just how difficult and dangerous live would be without their scientific advancements.  The majority of people reading this could barely survive in a third world nation, let alone at the behest of "Mother Nature".

    Even the statement about breeds of chickens and cows is sheer stupidity since they only exist because of animal husbandry which is simply a cruder way of manipulating genes. 

    I'm appalled that someone that is supposedly "educated" would actually make a statement like "Mother Nature works her magic" .... this guy is a disgrace and the embodiment of every crackpot that is selling their snake oil.  This guy is far more dangerous that Monsanto.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard, there is truth to what this person said. Our food system is beyond flawed. We are losing genetic diversity in our food supply. Turkeys cannot even reproduce without being artificially inseminated by humans. Genetic diversity of our food supply is an essential element the health of our ecosystem and ourselves. Monoculture is dangerous, and produces crap food. Somewhere in between the extreme views on this topic is where things need to be.

    Gerhard Adam
    This makes no sense.  At what point do you believe [or is there evidence] that there was greater genetic diversity in our food supply?  Genetic diversity plays a significant role in biology [in general] and with respect to natural selection.  To apply it to animal husbandry isn't based on anything scientific.  This claim about our food supply requiring genetic diversity flies in the face of everything that is known about horticulture and animal husbandry.

    Monoculture has nothing to do with any of this, and is a completely separate consideration.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It's true that you could have monoculture without gmos and you could have gmos without monoculture. But of course they tend to go together, and I think you know that, Gerhard. So have you ever heard of not putting all your eggs in one basket? Potato famine? That is the concern.

    I

    Gerhard Adam
    That ship has sailed.  If that's your concern, then burying it in a GMO debate is pointless.
    Mundus vult decipi
    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/07/food-ark/siebert-text
    http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/07/19/loss-of-genetic-diversit...
    If you really need evidence that our food supply has lost genetic diversity, there ya go. A simple search on your part will reveal ample evidence we are losing genetic diversity in livestock as well, and outline the risks involved. Saying that our food supply requiring genetic diversity does not fly in the face of everything that is known about horticulture and animal husbandry as you claim. Around the world, people are waking up to these facts, and as a result the way food is produced is undergoing fundamental shifts away from the post WWII chemical dependent monoculture methods. Maybe you do not see a problem with corn, wheat and soy, most of it GM and most of it the epidemy of monoculture, all grown with billions in tax subsidies and used to produce cheap, poor quality, void of nutritive value food products but many of us do and want it to change. With monoculture, susceptibility to disease and pests increases, as when a problem does arrive it wipes everything out because there is no genetic diversity. In addition, different foods have different benefits and nutrients, and it is best to eat a broad variety of things. You also claim that chemicals used in GM food production (that re not used in non-GM food production) have nothing to do with this, but you are wrong on both counts. Monoculture certainly exists outside of GM food production, but it is also very characteristic of GM crops. I wish you would bother to read the science about what we are talking about before you try and state your opinions about what is and isn't scientific or relevant.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh, I agree with those risks, but as I said previously.  That ship has sailed.

    The issue of genetic diversity is incumbent on the number of populations that can be sustained.  Since society decided to shift from a rural setting (90% people in agriculture) to 2-3% in agriculture, then such options have diminished.  Genetic diversity is as much a function of environment as anything else, so that problem isn't going to be fixed by some arbitrary choice.

    Similarly with monoculture, since farming is a purely economic pursuit (rather than as something individuals did to sustain themselves and their families) the same situation applies.  You will not get diversity by concentrating your efforts onto a few farms.

    Is it necessary?  No.  Is it desirable?  Yes, for longer term flexibility, then it would seem prudent.

    However, such a discussion needed to occur about 3-4 billion people ago.

    If you don't believe me, consider the numbers
    http://www.science20.com/gerhard_adam/return_land_not_these_numbers-53870
    Mundus vult decipi
    Back to the point - Voting or not voting for Prop. 37 - - -
    I WOULD like to know whether or not I am being sold GM food.
    BUT
    Prop. 37 is very poorly written, has too many exemptions, and will NOT do what it says it will do.
    I would NEVER consider voting for it in its present form.

    Hank
    That's my issue. It isn't written for transparency in food choice, it's written to make nuisance lawsuits an even bigger industry in California than they are.  I'd support a law that says all food must have complete disclosure regarding what is in it and on it - but that would have to include organic too.
    People forget that we have all we need to keep healthy without having to genetically poison what we eat. monsanto stops at nothing. To insert insecticide into the dna of a plant so that it will be immune to even more insectcide spraying while everything around it dies, is not my idea of anything I'd want to eat. Would you trust a corporation that has a long history of selling products that sicken and kill (DDT, agent orange, bpas, gmos) with your FOOD? Why did obama put monsanto people in charge of the usda and a department of "food safety"? (the likes of michael taylor and tim/tom vilsack). Patenting dna is what brought us to this. Supreme court judge clarence thomas was formerly a lawyer for monsanto, and surprise........he had a hand it giving monsanto clout by pushing dna patenting. Truly,a few may make $ gains in the shortrun, but this completely insane lack of respect for all the good food and plant medicinals that nature has already provided for us, is being ruined, poisoned, etc. And not enough people give a damn about it. Labeling is a step to make more aware of the dangers of gmos. Of course, those who've been paid off my monsanto will agree with them and make some poor defence on their behalf. But this genetic poisoning of our food hurts us ALL. The best solution is to ban anybody from patenting life and to stop playing God. No one has ever been able to truly improve what's already been able to keep us well already. Learn to work WITH what we've been given instead of trying to destroy/"improve" it.. "Let your food be your medicine, let your medicine be your food." AND THAT DOES NOT INCLUDE ANYTHING GENETICALLY ALTERED. LABEL AND BAN GMOS.

    Gerhard Adam
    To insert insecticide into the dna of a plant so that it will be immune to even more insectcide spraying while everything around it dies, is not my idea of anything I'd want to eat.
    ...or understand apparently.
    Learn to work WITH what we've been given instead of trying to destroy/"improve" it..
    I was going to say that this was one of the dumbest things that I read recently, but then I read the sentences that surrounded it.

    If you were honest you wouldn't propose the charade of a label.
    Mundus vult decipi
    There are numerous reasons I choose to buy and grow organic foods for my family. They are healthy, they do not contaminate the water supply , the soil or the air, rather enrich the environment. Your food is only as good as the soil and by choosing organic foods, I am restoring the balance needed to maintain a healthy environment. With organic farming, the soil retains the carbon that is otherwise released into the atmosphere causing what I like to call, climate chaos. We hopped aboard the chemical train wreck just as farmers were learning to farm independent of subsidies that the chem/ag companies perfunctorily introduced. The era of "de reg" was born with Mr. Potato"e"head , Dan Quayle and his boss and so gmo could easily slide from scrutiny. The revolving door between the USDA, Monsanto, the White House was established. The history of monsanto can be summed up in one sentence, "Poisoning the world for over 100 years." The truth and nothing but the whole truth , so help me God. There are too many ifs with gmo, I won't play this food game.

    Hank
    They are healthy, they do not contaminate the water supply , the soil or the air, rather enrich the environment. 
    While I appreciate the noble thinking, this is a myth. Unless you are growing this organic food yourself, in your yard, and not using any fertilizer or pesticides, there is no chance at all it is not 'contaminating' the water supply to a greater extent than traditional farming.

    You are also not enriching the soil or the air or the environment if you are using any additive at all. You are a cancer on Gaia, my friend, by changing anything at all.