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    Prop. 37 Backer: GMOs Cause Autism
    By Hank Campbell | August 19th 2012 12:32 PM | 80 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Hank

    I'm the founder of Science 2.0® and co-author of "Science Left Behind".

    A wise man once said Darwin had the greatest idea anyone...

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    Science 'consensus' is a dirty word to the environmental community - some of the time.  

    When it comes to global warming, the science consensus is accurate but when it comes to food, biologists are in the control of Big Business and government lobbyists and the science consensus is out to kill us.

    What's the difference, scientifically?  None, the consensus and the evidence are far stronger regarding genetic modifications but activists and the organic corporations selling to them have a whole lot of financial interest in feel-good fallacies; that is why California's Proposition 37, the "California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act" initiative, is being funded by giant organic corporations and was proposed by a lawyer who got rich suing businesses under Proposition 65, and specifically exempts organic food from any 'truth in labeling' requirements. It will hurt a competitor of organic companies yet do nothing to harm their own huge revenue streams. 

    Activists wants to talk about how some businesses are lined up against this, and the reasons food businesses are against it are obvious.  No, not because they hate you or your children - but because everyone in the entire food chain can be sued and it won't make anyone's food any better. What gets much less press are the profiteering companies behind it.  Here is an updated table of donors from Ballotpedia.  

    Mercola Health Resources $800,000
    Organic Consumers Fund $535,030
     Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, All-One-God-Faith Inc. $290,000
    Nature's Path Foods $246,826
    Wehah Farm (Lundberg Family Farms) $200,000

    Mercola, the company selling homeopathy magic, has bought more public relations time for this referendum than the biotechnology consortium and grocery manufacturers have spent combined. Even Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc. (which debunks the notion among the right wing that anti-science hippies are all atheists; they are simply Wiccans instead) has spent as much as the giant seed companies.

    Defying the tired notion that Republicans are more anti-science because Democratic "elites" (yes, Democratic elites really do refer to themselves that way) do not endorse anti-science positions, the California Democratic Party has come out against GMOs and against the science consensus of the AMA, the National Academies of Science, the FDA, the USDA and the UN - no surprise, when 52 out of 55 members of Congress who signed off on a letter demanding that the FDA label genetically engineered foods are Democrats - and one of the remaining three, Sen. Bernie Sanders is instead an Independent Democrat-Socialist, so even more Democrat than Democrats. Democrats are the anti-science party of this new decade.

    Ron Bailey, writing at Reason, has tackled the Prop. 37 issue as well, and he also notes how even the genesis of this movement is suspect - the brainchild of rich trial lawyer James Wheaton, who has made millions suing businesses under the pointless Prop. 65 law he engineered using this same scare activism.  You want to know if some chemical anywhere in any business can cause cancer, right?  Except there is no proof of harm required and companies have been routinely sued for not having a sign about a chemical that isn't shown to cause harm and they didn't know they had. Hundreds of millions of dollars in lawsuits that protected no one and Wheaton has made millions filing the lawsuits.

    Bailey's piece is a treasure trove of dirty laundry about the corporate funding of this legislation.  Nature’s Path, for example, is a $300,000,000 a year juggernaut in 'organic' cereals. Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc., has revenues of $50,000,000 annually in peddling, you guessed it by their name, organic soap(!). If you have looked around and wondered where the 1% outside Wall Street are, they are in the organic industry. People supporting it can spend $50 million on organic soap, which is as pointless an 'organic' product as pineapples. No wonder they don't care about the actual poor people who have been helped by this science. They can afford not to care.

    Wheaton waves his hands and denies being the author of Prop 37. He says he is only listed as the official proponent because financial backers - from outside California - needed a registered California voter as their figurehead.  So it's just coincidence they found the millionaire lawyer from Prop. 65 to be the public face of this.   Wheaton also made sure to have this legislation written so as to be enforced under the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, which doesn't even require plaintiffs to show that they suffered any harm in order to shake down businesses - he adopted that strategy because he knows it allows them to dodge plaintiff restrictions in California's Unfair Competition Law, which would ordinarily prevent a business that has done nothing wrong, like GMOs, from being penalized with damages in order to grant market share to  the organic and homeopathy companies on his side.  The lawyer behind this knows how to pit confused, conflicting California laws against each other and get rich doing it; that should make the people claiming this is solely about 'the right to know' feel good.

    Mercola, the top donor above, sells homeopathy and suspect supplements - bad enough - but also financed the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT), which claims that eating foods made from GM crops causes autism. What a surprise that a community that is anti-GMO invokes autism, since they are also anti-vaccine and think those cause autism also. Someone should write a book about the anti-science mentality that has overrun the left.  Oh wait, I did.

    The California Democratic Party being anti-science is no surprise, nor is agreement by Senator Barbara Boxer, because they are social authoritarian progressives - what is a surprise is that both support the consensus when it comes to climate change.  

    Why do they believe climatologists are legitimate and biologists are not?  That's a real mystery of science.

    Comments

    http://www.cfr.org/genetically-modified-organisms/regulation-gmos-europe...

    In 1984 the White House convened a closed door working group to address the issue of regulating genetically engineered foods. Some ten years later, the FDA simplified the approval process such that genetically engineered foods would not require comprehensive scientific review, nor would they be labeled. In 1997, the USDA simplified notification procedures for importing, field testing, and transporting genetically engineered plant species across state lines and opened a petition process for exemption of notification.

    In May 1999, the journal Nature reported researchers at Cornell found a variety of genetically engineered corn would kill Monarch butterfly larvae, as well as the targeted pests it was designed to and sparked popular concern over the inadequate regulation of genetically engineering. A January 1999 poll by Time magazine found that "81% of those surveyed supported the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods." By the end of that year, "it is estimated that approximately 60 percent of grocery-store food in the United States was grown from genetically modified seeds." The article also states that in 1999, "only 33 percent of Americans were aware that genetically modified foods were being sold in supermarkets..." so it would seem a large portion of the 81% thought they were answering prospectively.

    Federal legislation toward labeling genetically engineered or modified foods has been advanced for at least the past 10 years, without success. During the Clinton administration, strangely, efforts focused on assisting food producers to label non-genetically engineered or non-genetically modified foods.

    Typically, in a constitutional republic, people prefer to be consulted with respect to major changes to society, especially when it involves decisions they believe to be well within their own purview. Clearly, the general public prefers genetically engineered or modified foods be labeled so they may avoid them, if they so choose.

    Why not let them?

    Pax et bonum

    As you note, 37 doesn't require plaintiffs to show that they were harmed, which is an important difference from 65. 65 covers over 800 chemicals, over 500 of which do not have clearly defined safe harbor levels. You can see how that would lend itself to lawsuits. Contrast with that 37 which would not require that the plaintiff show harm, but fraud. It is not about causality, but about content because it is about truthful labeling. There is no bounty fee as in 65, the definitions are very clear, and the burden of proof is on the plaintiff. Furthermore, if the food is found to have unlabeled GE ingredients, the defendant has 30 days to rectify the situation. Where is the incentive to sue for money? The only real motivation for suing is to force truth in labeling, which is the whole intent of 37.

    Hank
     Contrast with that 37 which would not require that the plaintiff show harm, but fraud.
    My problem with Prop 37 in that regard, the anti-science mentality aside, is that it exempts a giant chunk of fraudulent companies - because they wrote the law and exempted themselves.  If you care about fraud, demand organic companies disclose what is really in organic products and how much.  A real truth in labeling law I would support - this is instead written by a lawyer who wants to get even richer and is doing it for companies selling magic potions and, as I noted, they will even claim GM food cause autism.

    One guy on another thread claimed it gave girls early puberty. Anti-science hippies are crackpots.
    I've seen it repeatedly stated here and elsewhere that there is a general consensus in science that genetically engineered foods are safe. However, the CFR report I referenced in my earlier comment indicates in 2000 the National Academy of Sciences concurred with the regulatory approach of the federal government, but also raised concerns over the question of long term exposure, recommending further study.

    Independently, I find in a separate National Academy of Sciences report from 2004, titled "Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods, Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects" from the Committee on Identifying and Assessing Unintended Effects of Genetically Engineered Foods on Human Health, raising similar concerns, not only on long term exposure, but on:

    "unintended changes in the levels of nutrients, toxins, toxicants, allergens, or other compounds...in order to assess potential short- and long-term human health consequences..."

    This seems far from a consensus that genetically engineered foods should be deemed by those respecting science as being as safe as non-genetically engineered foods, but instead seems to concede the real potential that certain unintended risks may accompany the benefits of employing this biotechnology.

    Here is the report: http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10977&page=R1

    Pax et bonum

    Hank
    Companies are finally fighting back against the homeopathy crowd.  The new data from the Secretary of State shows the 'No on 37' crowd is getting some money, including $4 million from Monsanto last week, who likely does not want to be sued for billions - especially since no harm needs to be proved to win in court.
    Why aren't there more thorough studies on GMO foods? Why does the industry police itself? 90% of Americans want their GMO foods labelled and politicians keep going against that. Why are GMO foods practically banned or restricted in Europe?

    While this insanity is going on I am very much aware of the FACT that I am allergic to GMO corn.

    These issues are not addressed at all. This article smells to be like disinformation and I wonder the true motives of the author.

    That there are side-effects to every drug does not entail that we should avoid all medications. GMOs have enormous potential for societal benefit. However, it only makes sense to have the experts in the field police the same field as we don't want electricians writing our plumbing codes, and we should be hesitant whenever electricians raise plumbing issues.
    That said, the authors writing style effectively limits chances of spreading knowledge and effective debating issues regarding GMOs or climate-change due to his numerous ad-hominid attacks on democrats, liberals, hippies, Wiccans, etc. He comes off as a corporate shrew rather than a biologist actually concerned with societal health, by his overgeneralizing every group of people that he's not a part of.

    "Even Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc. has spent as much as the giant seed companies."

    MONSANTO COMPANY - $4,208,000.00
    /$290,000 = 14.5 times more than Dr. Bronner's

    E.I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS & CO. - $1,273,600.00
    /$290,000 = 4.4 times more than Dr. Bronner's

    DOW AGROSCIENCES LLC - $1,184,800.00
    /$290,000 = 4.1 times more than Dr. Bronner's

    BAYER CROPSCIENCE - $554,400.00
    /$290,000 = 1.9 times more than Dr. Bronner's

    BASF PLANT SCIENCE - $519,200.00
    /$290,000 = 1.8 times more than Dr. Bronner's

    SYNGENTA CORPORATION - $260,000.00
    Dr. Bronner's spent 1.1 times more than Syngenta.

    WOW, we finally found one that backs up the science guy's assertion. Bronner has spent more than 1/6 seed companies, but on averaging out the six ($8m/6) is outspent by over 4.5 times as much.

    How does this clown get away masquerading as a scientist when he is lying so blatantly within his articles?

    Hank
    I put that in a comment already.  Those figures were updated after the piece was written and Ballotpedia had not updated it yet.
    How does this clown get away masquerading as a scientist when he is lying so blatantly within his articles?
     Sort of a silly argument. Obviously more donors are added on both sides every day but it would be wrong to go through and edit articles to try and look like they were written 5 minutes ago.  In 1968 articles they didn't have the date for the Moon landing either (did science do that?  Do you give your kids vaccines?)

    What are you worried about?  Money makes no difference since '98% of people' or whatever the claim is support warning labels on GMOs. Prop 37 is going to pass.  Grocery stores and food companies stand to lose a billion dollars in lawsuits the way this is written - even though they have done nothing wrong - so at least they have finally stopped being clueless and are taking this seriously. As I have said many times, Big Organic has much better marketing and much better lawyers than science companies.
    The Cal-Access site was update on the 14th, this article was posted on the 19th.
    You updated it in a comment as opposed to noting it within the article, not exactly a long article and one which could have been easily updated before publishing. It's not like you're publishing JAMA here.

    Pretty pathetic excuse.

    Hank
    The article was written on the 15th and scheduled to publish on the 19th.  Nothing surprising there, unless you think every article is written on the fly. The Bowen site was not updated on the 15th, nor was Ballotpedia.  You need to dial down the conspiratorial shrieking and hysteria.  

    If I write a new article, I will use the latest figures just like I did in this one (which are different than the last one I wrote a week before that), though I don't much care what science companies are against the legislation.  It seems obvious farmers, grocery stores and seed companies are going to be against something that allows them to be sued for doing nothing wrong.  But the anti-science groups financing a marketing advantage for themselves is the story.
    Seems like you're lying again, as you can find MANY sites citing the Bowen site on the 15th as the source for Monsanto's contribution and the other $1m+ donations.

    "Contributions and independent expenditures of $1,000 or more are disclosed within 24 hours of the time they are made or received."

    Aug 15th - http://www.carighttoknow.org/monsanto_gives_4_2_million_to_kill_californ...

    Hank
    Your emotional hyperbole is another example of you being a crackpot.  Not everyone is lying if they didn't read your crank site while writing an article.  The nonpartisan sites I read did not have them as donors.  When I saw the new numbers I posted them in a comment.  I am not sure how it is lying, since I am the guy who noted the new donations.  But you are clearly off your rocker so I guess it is expected that this comment makes as little sense as your million other comments all shrieking about something or other.
    And I guess somewhere in that little 10cc brain of yours you're hoping that no-one is noticing that days later you have still yet to post the peer-reviewed independent published science showing that long-term consumption of GE foods is safe.

    Are genetically engineered foods promoting autism? Follow the science yourself - http://responsibletechnology.org/autism

    Agitated, antisocial animals

    When Dr. Huber visited an ongoing research project utilizing rats, he said those animals fed non-GMO feed were “as passive as can be. You can take them out. You can put them on your lap. Treat them almost like a pet cat.” Not so with the rats eating genetically engineered food: “You can hardly catch the rats that have received the GMO feed for a month and a half to two months,” he said. “They go off by themselves. They’re irritated. Crawl up the cage. . . . [They] don’t get along with each other.”

    Farmers are reporting the same thing with pigs raised on GMO corn. According to Dr. Huber, a farmer told him that “his pigs just seem to be always irritated. They can’t get along with the other pigs.” Veterinarian Don Skow described similar odd behavior in the pigs of his client. “They would get cannibalistic. They would consume each other—ear biting and tail biting.” And when put in nurseries after weaning, he says, some “would get a condition like Alzheimer’s. They would lose the ability to know where the feed was. A lot of them would die.” Although many of these odd behaviors had been dismissed as normal stress responses for confined animals, when farmers switched to non-GMO feed and the problems went away, the real cause became obvious.

    Similar antisocial patterns that Huber described were observed by a Dutch college student more than a decade ago when comparing mice fed GMO or non-GMO soy and corn. He wrote, “The mice fed on GM food seemed less active while in their cages. The differences in activity between the two cages grew as the experiment progressed.” The differences were most striking when he moved the mice to weigh them: “The mice from the GM cage were noticeably more distressed by the occurrence than the other mice. Many were running round and round the basket, scrabbling desperately in the sawdust, and even frantically jumping up the sides, something I’d never seen before. They were clearly more nervous. . . . For me this was the most disconcerting evidence that GM food is not quite normal.”[2]

    Dr. Irina Ermakova, PhD, a senior researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences, reported to the European Congress of Psychiatry in March 2006 that male rats fed GM soy exhibited anxiety and aggression, while those fed non-GMO soy did not [3]. Ermakova reported the same behavior in GM soy-fed female rats and their offspring in her study published in Ecosinform. The animals “attacked and bit each other and the worker."[4]

    (Far more shocking, however, was that more than 50% of the offspring from the GMO-fed group died within three weeks when compared with a 10% death rate among the group fed natural soy. The GM group also had high rates of infertility and had smaller members.

    Autism and gastrointestinal problems

    A disproportionate number of autistic children have digestive ailments, suggesting that it plays a significant role in the disease [5]. A Harvard study in 2010, for example, stated that “Gastrointestinal disorders and associated symptoms are commonly reported.”[6] An earlier Harvard and Mass General Hospital study [7] found that most autistic children whom they examined had some type of GI symptom, food allergy, or absorption problem. A 2006 study found that “A history of GI symptoms was elicited in 70% of children with ASD compared with 28% of children with typical development.”[8]

    The relationship between digestive health and autism is controversial. What is undeniable, however, is that numerous healthcare practitioners report greater success when they address the gastrointestinal disorder as part of their autism treatment protocol. For some, gastrointestinal intervention is their primary intervention.

    [2]Hogendoorn H. Genetically Modified Corn (Zea mays) and Soya (Glycine soja) or Their Natural Varieties - Do Mice Have a Preference? http://www.talk2000.nl/mice/talk-Extended.htm
    [3] Ermakova IV. Diet with the Soya Modified by Gene EPSPS CP4 Leads to Anxiety and Aggression in Rats. 14th European Congress of Psychiatry. Nice, France, March 4-8, 2006. http://www.talk2000.nl/mice/talk-Extended.htm
    [4] Ermakova IV. Genetically modified soy leads to the decrease of weight and high mortality of rat pups of the first generation. Preliminary studies. Ecosinform. 2006;1:4–9.
    [5] http://www.autismbiomed.com/gut-diet.html
    [6] Buie T et al. Evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders in individuals with ASDs: a consensus report. Pediatrics. 2010 Jan;125 Suppl 1:S1-18.
    [7] Buie T, Winter H, Kushak R. Preliminary findings in gastrointestinal investigation of autistic patients. 2002. Summary: Harvard University and Mass General Hospital
    [8] Valicenti-McDermott M, McVicar K, Rapin I, Wershil BK, Cohen H, Shinnar S. Frequency of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorders and association with family history of autoimmune disease. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2006 Apr;27(2 Suppl):S128-36.

    Hank
    So GM foods cause autism, that is what you are claiming.  You don't need to copy and paste a whole bunch of tenuous circumstantial links (kids with autism have GI issues ergo GM foods cause autism) just come right out and say GM foods cause autism.

    Do you vaccinate your children?  If you have none, would you vaccinate your children if you had them now?
    Regarding vaccines and the autism link, I defer to every vaccine's product monograph that states a rare side effect can be encephalitis and encephalopathy. It would be illogical to suggest that swelling of the brain can be a cause of autism as long as it's not swelling as the result of a vaccine. Would you agree?

    I include vaccines along with over-sprayed (pesticides/insecticides/herbicides/fungicides) foods, household cleaning products, medications taken during pregnancy, industrial pollution, etc., as part of the make-up of the 55%+ of autism cases that are attributed to environmental toxicants. I think anyone that suggests that genetics or vaccines are the sole cause of autism sound as uneducated as each other, so I logically conclude that about anyone saying GE foods are the sole cause of autism which neither I nor Jeffrey Smith nor Dr. Don Huber claim.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, finally we get to see your anti-science bias.  So, you're basically arguing that everything that man does, which isn't natural produces these dire consequences.

    Unfortunately, I also realize that you don't actually have a clue as to what it means to live a "natural" life and that the real dangers of the world are being ignored because you have the benefit of a society that has exploited science successfully.  I suspect that neither you nor your children risked dangerous diseases and death, because they were vaccinated [or at least a sufficient number of others were].

    I find such arguments disingenuous.  If it were within my power I would willingly grant you your wish to live without science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Actually with the exception of vaccines these are the environmental toxicants that the leading vaccine apologists like Paul Offit cite on PBS specials after re-evaluating the ratio of environmental:genetic influences after the CATS study reached its conclusion.

    Neither I nor my children risk dangerous diseases or death because we don't live in the 15th century with sewage running down the middle of our cobblestone roads, without water treatment, without sewage handling, with surgeons that understand they need to wash their hands, where we understand how to handle and store food, etc.

    But is there a vaccine that will protect my family from the risk of death when I get on the I-5 every day?

    The Danger of Excessive Vaccination During Brain Development
    The Case for a Link to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

    http://www.heartmdinstitute.com/health-concerns/immune-system/danger-exc...

    Gerhard Adam
    Neither I nor my children risk dangerous diseases or death because we don't live in the 15th century...
    You just keep believing that. 

    In any case, it doesn't matter.  You've already illustrated your complete lack of scientific understanding, despite failing to recognize that the reason you don't live in 15th century conditions is because of science.
    But is there a vaccine that will protect my family from the risk of death when I get on the I-5 every day?
    I'm not sure what your point is here.  Are you arguing that you don't understand the causal link between vaccines and disease?  Are you arguing that driving is a disease?  Or are you simply advancing a silly argument because you are demonstrating that you can conflate any points, like selecting from a Chinese menu.

    Mundus vult decipi
    By your logic, Scarecrow2, I'm suggesting that escalators cause autism. I'm not sure you thought that one through, but then again you can't even get the aspect ratio of your avatar right.

    Gerhard Adam
    Your argument is : my avatar?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Your argument is: because I think vaccinations get a hundred-fold more credit than they deserve and that the majority of them are unnecessary in developed countries that I should live in a world devoid of science?

    Perhaps now you better understand my satirical avatar comment.

    Gerhard Adam
    Your argument makes no sense.  Vaccines originated in "developed countries" precisely because there was a need.  Certainly one can argue that there are some recent products that perhaps aren't necessary, but the entire premise ranging from polio to diptheria to measles is hardly an artifact of the 15th century.

    BTW ... that's a nice side-step on the issues.  First you declare vaccines dangerous, but then side-step the issue by claiming merely that they are unnecessary in "developed countries".  Clearly these are two entirely different arguments, but it is quite common for people to conflate these kinds of issues to advance an agenda.

    To deny their benefit is to form a specious argument.  These vaccines weren't developed because no one suffered from these diseases.  So ... yes, your worldview is one of conveniently forgetting the basis for this and consequently is devoid of science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Ah so because something is unnecessary it can no longer be dangerous? That's a peculiar parallel to draw.

    One only need read any product monograph to understand they are dangerous.

    MMR - http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf
    Tripedia - http://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/ApprovedPro...
    Pentacel - http://www.novaccine.com/pdffiles/pentacel_E_package_insert.pdf

    You get the picture.

    In most cases of infectious disease in developed countries the introduction of vaccines had little to no role to play in reducing deaths. In the case of measles for example the mortality rate had decreased by over 99% in the 100 years before vaccination began (1863~1963). In the case of Diptheria the decade between 1900~2000 during which the mortality rate from Diptheria most decreased was between 1900~1910, the vaccine was introduced in 1913. Changes came about through better sanitation, length of time away from war conditions, and a better understanding of treatment as well as a better understanding of the role nutrition plays. Your analogy that one is chastizing science as a whole because they don't agree with the intense schedule that's been more than tripled in the last 20 years without a single long-term vax vs. unvax study is pretty ridiculous and unfounded.

    I'll submit my children to the full schedule after the following, borrowed from Paul King:

    Freeze the current vaccination schedule and a 20-year retrospective study should be conducted involving the comparisons of all aspects of the health of: a) a cohort of ten thousand, initially healthy, full-term babies born to fully vaccinated mothers and then fully vaccinated to b) a comparable matched cohort of ten thousand, initially healthy, full-term babies born to never-vaccinated mothers and then never-vaccinated by parental choice, where the initial cohorts of children were born no earlier than June 1, 2012.

    In that study, there should be provision for an in-depth annual review of the overall health of each member of each cohort of children with:

    a. A full reporting of all findings issuing no later than 12 months after each annual review is completed for at least the first 5 years of the 20-year study and
    b. The release of the certified identify-blinded datasets for all the children to qualified independent researchers for verification of the report’s published findings.

    Then, there should be similar biennial reporting for the next 10 years and a final report issuing 21 years after the start of the study.

    If, after the report issues for the fifth year or sooner, it is clear that the never vaccinated, especially those that have and survive the highly infectious endemic childhood diseases for which there is a vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, pertussis, polio and rotavirus) are significantly healthier overall than their fully vaccinated counterparts, then the vaccination programs should be revised to:

    1. Immediately remove those vaccines that are CDC-recommended for non-contagious disease (e.g., hepatitis B);
    2. Stop the use of any in-use ineffective early childhood vaccines (e.g., the influenza vaccines); and
    3. Phase out (over a period of 5 years) the vaccines for the milder contagious childhood diseases (e.g., chickenpox, mumps, hepatitis A and rotavirus) adding full dietary-supplement support to the treatment protocol that is appropriate for each of the diseases for which the vaccine is withdrawn [e.g., vitamin D-3, lysine and vitamin C for chickenpox], and the study continued to its conclusion.

    If, contrary to the results reported in independent comparative reviews of groups of vaccinated children to groups of mostly unvaccinated and/or never-vaccinated children, (for example: a) Kemp T, Pearce N, Fitzharris P, Crane J, Fergusson D, St George I, Wickens K, Beasley R. Is infant immunization a risk factor for childhood asthma or allergy? Epidemiol, 1997 Nov; 8(6): 678-680; b) http://www.ias.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/IAS1992study.pdf for the results of a 1992 survey that were published in 2005 that is titled, “Unvaccinated Children are healthier”; and c) http://childhealthsafety.wordpress.com/2011/08/26/new-survey-shows-unvac... in August of 2011, last visited 12 Jan 2012.) at 5 years of age, the health of both groups of initially healthy, full-term children are truly about the same in all aspects, including the incidence of autistic disorder, ADHD, allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal, and other autoimmune diseases, then, the data would indicate that the early childhood vaccination programs do not have an adverse effect on our children’s health.

    If, at 5 years of age, the fully vaccinated cohort were to have the same independently verified survival rates and were independently verified to be truly healthier than the never-vaccinated cohort, then, the value and short-term safety of the current initial childhood vaccination programs would finally have been verified.

    Finally, whatever the obstacles to the suggested “fully vaccinated versus never vaccinated” 20-year study, this reviewer suggests that every year excuses are made for not undertaking such studies (or equivalent studies) is another year that more of the public will opt out of the current CDC vaccination program at some point as well as another year where the Establishment’s inaction in this regard will increasingly under-mine the public’s “faith in”, and “support of”, the Establishment’s vaccination and other healthcare programs.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'll submit my children to the full schedule after the following ...
    Oh ... of course.  Fortunately for you, your children won't be denied treatment if they get one of these diseases, so your "position" is conveniently one that has few consequences.  Apparently you think it's perfectly OK to expose others to such conditions, for which you will also deny any liability.

     ... and before you go off about how vaccines are supposed to protect these people, bear in mind that many young children or others may be unable to be vaccinated because of other conditions, so you're simply determining that you can play "fast and loose" with their liabilities.

    Without wishing something negative to happen to your children, there is one thing that I wish would happen to people with your views.  That should you or any of your children contract such a disease, I hope they quarantine your household so that you experience the true joy of such a "natural" existence and appreciate the nostalgia of having a quarantine sign on your house.

    In any case, you're making Hank's case for him.  When he mentions the anti-GMO crowd, you've demonstrated the correctness of his view that you're all part of the same thing, including anti-vaccines.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Oh ... of course. Fortunately for you, your children won't be denied treatment if they get one of these diseases
    They also count on herd immunity.  If vaccines are dangerous, as they contend, they can protect their own kids while getting full benefit and letting us low-class plebians risk ours. It's the ultimate elitism.  The Organic 1% can not only afford better food than everyone else, they can afford to ignore science with no peril.

    The answer to why we just don't ban vaccines and GMOs, since they are proven dangerous to these people, is always the same; liberal biologists in both academia and the Obama administration are controlled by Big Business. 
    You mean like the way they quarantine households in the UK when they have chicken pox? Oh no, that's right, they don't recommend the vaccine for healthy kids because they want them to have the chance of catching it naturally, you know they way everyone else did prior to 1995? When I had chicken pox and measles and mumps I don't remember having to put a sign up in our door. Such fear mongering.

    Tell you what, if you agree that all children who get a live vaccine will wear a sign advising others they're shedding, I'll agree to put a quarantine sign on my house when my kids get one of the benign infectious diseases like measles, mumps or chicken pox. You think it's okay to sacrifice my children's health for the "greater good" - I do not.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, at least there's no mystery regarding your agenda.  I'm glad you think that measles, mumps, and chicken pox are simply benign.

    It's simply a miracle that you would be awarded with such insight. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    They are benign, of course if you'd like to lump in third world mortality statistics or ignore mortality rates in developed countries in lieu of morbidity you'll probably scare a few more people that they're not benign.

    Here's a website that has a rather odd message:

    1) http://bornangels.com/vaccines.html
    Keep vaccinations up to date is very important for the health of your baby. They protect your baby against dangerous 14 childhood diseases. Measles can lead to brain damage and even death.

    2) http://bornangels.com/measles-a-benign-disease-of-childhood.html
    Measles is a disease that is considered benign. When baby has measles, there is no need to worry. Let him take a bath with lukewarm water, he will feel better afterwards. Measles lasts only ten days.

    Are they benign in children eating GMoDonalds every day, over-medicated and under-exercised, eating mostly irradiated, dead foods with little nutritional content? Unlikely.

    How hard is it to find information on government regulatory agencies on how to deal with infectious diseases when you do get them, given that no vaccine is 100% effective? Peculiar no? Here's measles - http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

    Just about every article I read from the CDC says "vaccine this" "vaccine that", and finally I found one article on how to diagnose it, but NOTHING on what to do to if you catch it.

    Gerhard Adam
    Are they benign in children eating GMoDonalds every day...
    ... and now we enter Phase II of the rationalization by arguing that any problems children do have is because of irresponsible parents that don't care enough to feed their children whatever "healthy" fad diet is around today.

    It must be truly wonderful to be perfect.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    Don't be so mean, you will give one of them celiac disease, since stress seems to cause gluten intolerance.
    Gerhard Adam
    What iodicy!!!
    When baby has measles, there is no need to worry. Let him take a bath with lukewarm water, he will feel better afterwards. Measles lasts only ten days.
    Yes, and if baby doesn't feel better, remember it's only a 1 or 2 in a thousand chances that he/she will die.  Then there's nothing more to worry about.
    About one out of 1,000 gets encephalitis

    Measles can also make a pregnant woman have a miscarriage or give birth prematurely.

    For every 1,000 children who get measles, one or two will die.
    http://www.cdc.gov/measles/

    Worldwide, there are estimated to be 20 million cases and 164,000 deaths each year.

    Measles is very rare in countries and regions of the world that are able to keep vaccination coverage high.

    Oh, I forgot ... you don't believe in vaccines.  Hmmm ... I wonder how you explain all those other deaths.  Must just be bad luck, eh?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Im allergic to the mmr vaccine so i won't vaccinate my child for that, the vaccine almost killed me as a child. that being said there are certain conditions for which i will vaccinate my children, and certain conditions which i will not (generally non lethal childhood ailments), The links to vaccines and autism are scant at best and may be circumstantial as diagnoses of autism and the administration of vaccines usually coincide. Also, Autism is a much more subjective diagnoses than most people realize, usually based on behavioral test and process of elimination, so children who present with symptoms like autism, spontaneously after a vaccine may have had an allergic reaction leading to impaired neurological function or it may be coincidence.

    I don't think he's trying to say that autism is caused by GM foods, i certainly don't believe so, and i treat my fair share of autistic kids in my practice. I think what he is trying to say is that GMO foods have been linked with behavioral disease and gastrointestinal problems in mammals (mainly mice and pigs). There is a link between gastrointestinal problems and Autism, but this could also mean that Autism exacerbates gastrointestinal sensitivities, in which case children with autism should avoid GMO's i don't believe either argument but i think you're wrong to assume that he believes GMO foods are causative.

    I am against GMO and Bio tech in food for ecological and humanitarian reasons not because they present a clear danger to my health. I don't buy food sprayed with toxins anyway, organic for me, i also don't mean organic processed foods which are certainly contaminated with non organic ingredients, overly processed and devoid of nutrition. An organic pop tart or one of those soy filled abominations called a garden burger is not the same thing as organic carrots.

    Hank
    Right, we need herd immunity in order to protect you (and kids too young to get vaccines) so the anti-vaccination movement is dangerous for that reason. Anti-science people are putting you at risk.
    I am against GMO and Bio tech in food for ecological and humanitarian reasons not because they present a clear danger to my health. I don't buy food sprayed with toxins anyway, organic for me, i also don't mean organic processed foods which are certainly contaminated with non organic ingredients, overly processed and devoid of nutrition. 
    Of course you buy food sprayed with toxins. Unless you grew it yourself, or your family did, it has toxins.  If you bought it, it has toxins.  Synthetic toxins are not worse for you than organic toxins, they are just organic and organic is just a process, it is no different foodwise.

    Avoiding processed foods may be a good idea though it tends to be the volume people eat and not the processed food, that is the issue.
    Institute for Responisible Technology is an activist organization led by non-scientist (but transcental meditationist and yogic flyer) Jeffery Smith. They are anything but responsible in thier reporting.

    Dr. Huber is a fringe scientist crackpot that makes claimes that he can't and doesn't back up. I think it was last year that he made a big discovery regarding proof of GMO that we should all wait on the edge of our seasts to hear about. Here we are still waiting...

    Ermakova has been essentially totally discredited.

    You need better citations if you're going to convince scientists.

    The vast majority of feeding studies agree on the safety of GMO foods. Citing one or two dated references that express concern does not invalidate the majority. Citing highly criticized feeding studies that fail to survive scientific scrutiny does not invalidate the majority. Sure there have been minority reports of potential GMO harm. There have also been publications expressing concern with their findings and methods.

    Now there's a perfect example of a post with a complete lack of science.

    Mike, please go ahead and post the independent peer-reviewed studies that agree on the safety of GMO foods, excluding studies done between 28~90 days.

    As for "one or two dated references" I think you will find at least a hundred more here - http://www.science20.com/science_20/prop_37_backer_gmos_cause_autism-931...

    I know the game. You move the ball by demanding they be indepandant, knowing full well that the US and Europe and basically everybody else require the company trying to bring the product to market do the research. So most of the studies are not indepandant. You write them off because it's "bought science." I point out that greenpeace sponsored some of the more famous anti-GMO feeding studies and they have an anti-GMO bias. Further an independant panel of scientists in France totally discounted the conclusions of their studies.

    So then we're left with long term studies that are indepandant, and you'll cite several. Then I cite this review that points out the recurring problems plagueing these studies.
    http://www.ask-force.org/web/Longterm/Chelsea-Assessment-Health-Longterm...

    Then I'll ask why all the minority report studies are printed in marginal journals, and why they don't do much to sway the opinions around the world. You'll point out Europe. I'll point out that that is political and that EFSA has found no harm in any of the varieties they have reviewed.

    At this point we're left with you believing your preconceptions and sticking to your guns no matter what "corporate sponsored science" says. But that's attacking the messenger instead of the message. If the best argument against the vast body of peer reviewed study on a given is "who paid for it" then I'd say the message has held up well.

    But you won't buy any of it. I guess the recent whooping cough outbreak is created by a pharmaceutical company to sell vaccine too.

    Gerhard Adam
    I agree with you regarding your assessment of this notion of "independence".  In my view unless someone is prepared to level a charge of fraud or something criminal, then simply trying to employ innuendo to discredit a report is simple propaganda.

    In fact, judging by some of the "scientific" papers that have been retracted by "scientists" that have shown themselves to be less than ethical or conscientious, there is no reason to believe that such an independent standard is even possible.

    However, I think we have to begin from the position that data is data until it is demonstrated to be otherwise tainted.  Merely distrusting an organization or a corporation is no basis for concluding that everything that people do is criminal or deceptive.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Frank Parks
    Well, you're right about innuendo and propaganda.   However, those are the things that get the headlines and inflame the reactionaries.  Once the seed has been planted, and the flames fanned, the corrective process is in jeopardy.

    Distrust, and disbelief, provide a reason to make a determined investigation of the facts.  Vague 'gut feelings' either lead to distrust (and spur investigation) or cause otherwise rational folks to go off half-cocked.
    I would agree that if a study is funded by Greenpeace it should have the same asterisk as a study funded by Monsanto.

    As for bought science, when you consider that Merck's ghostwritten science resulted in over 40,000 people dying from Vioxx you can understand a little better why independent studies are needed.

    I believe in products being proved safe before they enter the market, I don't think the FDA saying it's "basically the same" when the Head of Food Safety was Monsanto's ex-VP (Washington) is acceptable. Are you saying you do?

    The recent whooping cough outbreak is not created by anyone, I agree with the CDC when they say it's cyclical and outbreaks occur every 3~5 years. I believe the vaccine has little effect on transmission which is why earlier this year Australia decided to stop pushing cocooning because it doesn't hold up to much scientific scrutiny. I believe we will continue to see outbreaks as the pharmaceutical companies continue to ignore scientists that have been warning about the B.parapertussis mutation for years, and that due to how quickly the effectiveness wears off that many children following the current schedule are not protected. Perhaps we need boosters from the womb to the tomb every 2 months?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.cidd.psu.edu/research/synopses/acellular-vaccine-enhancement-...

    Acellular pertussis vaccination enhances B. parapertussis colonization

    An acellular whooping cough vaccine actually enhances the colonization of Bordetella parapertussis in mice; pointing towards a rise in B. parapertussis incidence resulting from acellular vaccination, which may have contributed to the observed increase in whooping cough over the last decade.

    Published: 2010 Author(s): Long GH, Karanikas AT, Harvill ET, Read AF, & Hudson PJ
    Title: Acellular pertussis vaccination facilitates Bordetella parapertussis infection in a rodent model of bordetellosis
    Journal: Proceedings of the Royal Society Biological Sciences doi: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0010

    Despite widespread vaccination, whooping cough incidence is on the rise worldwide, making it the only vaccine-preventable disease associated with increasing deaths in the United States. Although this disease is most often attributed to Bordetella pertussis infection, it is also caused by the closely related pathogen, B. parapertussis. However, B. pertussis has remained the center of attention, whereas B. parapertussis has been greatly overlooked in the development of whooping cough vaccines.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/743026

    Effectiveness of DTaP Wanes Substantially Over Time

    May 19, 2011 (Baltimore, Maryland) - The protective power of the diphtheria, tetanus, acellular pertussis vaccination (DTaP) wanes with time, according to a study presented here at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 14th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research.

    "The most surprising finding is that the vaccine wanes as much as it does over time," lead author Roger Baxter, MD, told Medscape Medical News. He is codirector of Kaiser Permanente's Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, California, where he helps track and monitor the safety of vaccines for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia.

    Each year that elapses after vaccination is associated with a 36% increased risk of acquiring pertussis, he said.

    "If you look over time, this means that whatever your DTaP vaccine was worth to begin with, at 3 years it's 32% and at 5 years it's 16% of your initial effectiveness," Dr. Baxter told meeting attendees.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/outbreaks.html

    Pertussis is an endemic (common) disease in the United States, with periodic epidemics every 3 to 5 years.

    http://www.news8000.com/news/Number-of-whooping-cough-cases-on-the-rise-...

    LA CROSSE, Wis.- There's a big jump in the number of whooping cough cases in the La Crosse area and health officials are expecting more as it spreads.

    There are 12 confirmed cases so far this year. To put that in perspective, in 2009 there were only 2 cases throughout the entire year.

    Health officials say the cases of whooping cough this time around are somewhat unusual.

    "Unfortunately the cases that we've had have been immunized and so we're not really sure how it's being spread so well and so fast, but we are investigating that right now," says La Crosse Co. Public Health Nurse Traci Lien.

    http://articles.centralkynews.com/2011-01-21/amnews/27043123_1_whooping-...

    HUSTONVILLE - Whooping cough has reached outbreak status in Lincoln County, nearly all of the cases popping up at Hustonville Elementary School.

    There have been 25 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, reported in the county, with 23 of them coming from the school.

    Since all students are required to be vaccinated against the disease before they can attend school and even a single case is considered uncommon, health and school officials are baffled by the outbreak at the school.

    "It's not typical," said Eva Stone, nursing supervisor for the Lincoln and Boyle school systems. "I've been in public health 15 years and I don't think we've ever had more than one case at a time."

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/cidrap/content/other/news/jul1912pertussis.html

    Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said most of Washington's children are vaccinated, and health officials said ****vaccine refusal doesn't appear to be playing a key role in the growing pertussis burden.****

    Gerhard Adam
    Washington Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said most of Washington's children are vaccinated, and health officials said ****vaccine refusal doesn't appear to be playing a key role in the growing pertussis burden.****
    Wow ... I'm impressed.  Now ... THAT is spin.

    From the same link:
    However, low adult vaccination levels are only one factor in the sharp rise in pertussis activity.

    Though the pertussis vaccine is imperfect, it is still important for reducing the impact of the disease, because vaccinated kids have a milder, shorter, and less severe disease course, Schuchat said.

    ...health officials have found an unusual illness spike in 13- and 14-year-olds in Washington state's epidemic that suggests waning vaccine immunity may be a contributing factor, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said today.

    LOL ... even the snippet you quoted does not mean what you claim it does.
    Selecky said most of Washington's children are vaccinated, and health officials said vaccine refusal doesn't appear to be playing a key role in the growing pertussis burden.
    In effect the statement simply indicates that BECAUSE most of Washington's children are vaccinated, then vaccine refusal doesn't appear to be playing a key role. 

    Wow ... talk about selective interpretation of the data.
    Mundus vult decipi
    As Reuters reports: (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/03/us-whoopingcough-idUSBRE832...)

    In early 2010, a spike in cases appeared at Kaiser Permanente in San Rafael, and it was soon determined to be an outbreak of whooping cough -- the largest seen in California in more than 50 years. Witt had expected to see the illnesses center around unvaccinated kids, knowing they are more vulnerable to the disease. "We started dissecting the data. What was very surprising was the majority of cases were in fully vaccinated children. That's what started catching our attention."

    This same article also admits that these vaccines have never been tested for long-term effectiveness:

    "GSK has never studied the duration of the vaccine's protection after the shot given to four- to six-year-olds, the spokesperson said. Dr. Joel Ward at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute said it's still important for parents to get their kids immunized, even though it doesn't provide lasting protection from whooping cough."

    Huh? So let me get this straight:

    • Whooping cough infections are MORE common among children already vaccinated against whooping cough than unvaccinated children.

    • The whooping cough vaccines have NEVER been tested for long-term efficacy.

    • Doctors openly admit the vaccine "doesn't provide lasting protection" against the disease.

    • But doctors and government authorities mindlessly push the vaccine anyway?!

    That's essentially like saying, "We know these vaccines don't really work, but everybody should get vaccinated anyway."

    Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/035466_whooping_cough_vaccines_outbreaks.html...

    @Mike I'm afraid it is simply untrue to claim, "The vast majority of feeding studies agree on the safety of GMO foods". Numerous studies show that GM foods cause ill effects on lab animals and many of them are collected in this report (section 3): http://www.earthopensource.org/index.php/executive-summary
    @Hank Campbell As someone who is claiming to support scientific method, I find it surprising that you misrepresent Jeffrey Smith's argument on GMOs and autism so egregiously. Smith doesn't claim GMOs cause autism but asks a question, based around interviews with doctors, who are also asking questions. Asking questions, putting forward a hypothesis and testing it, is good scientific method, and it's what these doctors are doing. Are you asking them to abandon scientific method and take the safety of GMOs on religious faith?
    http://responsibletechnology.org/autism

    Gerhard Adam
    Unfortunately, despite your claim about science putting forth a hypothesis and then testing it, that's not what the autism crowd, the anti-vaccine crowd, or the anti-GMO foods crowd is doing.  They are claiming results and they are claiming specific knowledge about these events and their causes.

    So, if they were truly agnostic about it until the data was here, they wouldn't be ranting so loudly and claiming that everyone is out to kill them and their children.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Your post accuses so many people (classed as a kind of amorphous group) of so many crimes, it's impossible to address your accusations. Would you care to specify which crime you are accusing which person of? We've already seen that Smith didn't accuse GMOs of causing autism, so it seems to be not the "anti-GM foods crowd". as you call them, that is "claiming results and claims specific knowledge about... causes".

    More generally, outside the narrow topic of autism, there is, in the case of GMOs, a bunch of peer reviewed data suggesting that GMOs are NOT safe and that they DO cause ill effects in lab animals and livestock. So no presumption is needed from the anti-GM crowd--their demand for labelling and mistrust of GMOs is just a normal response to data that is out there in the peer reviewed literature.

    Gerhard Adam
    Your links are certainly not to peer-reviewed reports, so I don't know what you're basing your claims on.  As for Jeffrey Smith and autism ... well that's in league with the "when did you stop beating your wife" types of inquiries.

    If there is a hypothesis there, then spell it out and see if it's already been tested.  If not, its simply more propagandizing.

    More to the point, what is the supposed "pathway" to autism for GMO foods?  How does this explain autism over the past few decades?  It's rubbish ... you know it ... I know it... and the video clip is just more rubbish.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I never said that feeding studies suggesting harm don't exist. I said they are in the minority and are of very poor quality and have been highly criticized and are not swaying scientific or regulatory opinions.

    Just because you can get published doesn't mean you've proven anything. I've seen plenty of the studies and have looked into their claims pretty closely. The common thread is that they don't follow international standards, they don't use appropriate controls (in the case of GMO they don't use isogenic lines), they don't make appropriate conclusions and they don't use appropriate statistics to support their conclusions. Further they suggest "differences" between GMO and conventional. Any of those alleged differences could only really trigger further study to see if those differences really create a hazard or cause harm. They also never take the next logical scientific step and hypothesize about a specific mechanism causing harm, and they certainly don't test any mechanistic hypothesis.

    So yes, the studies are out there. No, they don't represent the majority opinion. And no, they are not convincing very many actual scientists.

    Jeffery Smith is an activist. Just know that about him. Activists are generally infamous for saying and doing whatever it takes to get what they want. That is not science. Suggesting a link by "asking the question" about GMO and autism is not science. It is activism. Science would be looking at actual medical data, not looking at anecdote with no substance from interviewing handpicked doctors - rather than listening to what the majorityof doctors would say.

    Science would be one of those doctors looking at actual statistics, deterimining if there is a correllation (real one, not a media hyped one) and then designing stuidies and experiments to prove or disprove the correllation and try to show causality. You should ask yourself why this is not happenign and why instead a guy with no science or medical background is doing internet videos about it.

    ..."since they are also anti-vaccine and think those cause autism also."

    And I suppose all of Europe and the rest of the world that's ahead of the curve on the issue is also wrong and North America is right, as usual...
    Why don't you look up the recent events in MMR vaccines (go specifically to google Italy) and see if they all still think vaccines are all just fine?
    Just because there is no proof that there has been harm (because the research is almost nule), doesn't mean there's enough proof that it's safe. Now that is science 101.

    Gerhard Adam
    No ... you see the problem is that you can choose to be as stupid as you like, but the medical profession and scientists will still look out for you when you screw up.  So, when your child gets whooping cough, the medical staff will help, instead of letting you figure out a "natural" solution.

    Similarly when it comes to all the other diseases, that you probably don't even know exist, let alone know how to cope with, so you get the benefit of running your mouth without ever having to face any of the consequences.

    That's not science 101 ... that human stupidity 101.  Humans always complain about things that work, because despite having no solution for doing it better, they just simply insist that someone is out to get them.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Right...Italy is "the rest of the world."

    If they actually release what "medical information" they based it on, then maybe a reasonable argument could be made. Until then I thnk it's safe to say this is a legal decision not based on medical or scientific information.

    Messrs. Campbell and Adams,

    As a non-scientist and a resident of the Golden State (and a regular reader of this blog), I thank you for introducing a modicum of rationality into the discussion of various public policy issues. Prop 37 has to be defeated if only to prevent the inane proliferation of disclaimers on every box, bag, can, bottle, and cartoon of food, all to the effect of" "This food product may contain a GMO."

    Keep on blogging!

    This discussion is completely beside the point. The question is not if GMO's are dangerous or not.
    If I buy something, there's a sticker somewhere "Made in XYZ". Are t-shirts made in XYZ dangerous? No, they arent. The label is there to make it possible for me to make an informed (but nevertheless usually irrational) decision when I buy something. I don't care where the thing is made? Fine, I don't have to read the label. I want something Made in America (or Germany, or Italy, or China, or ...)? The label is there to help me. I am the customer, I am the Market, I have a right to know.
    I hate it when people tell me I'm too stupid to make decisions as a customer.
    "Oh, you don't have to know if that Fender guitar is made in America. You see, scientific research shows that you can't hear the difference with a guitar made in Indonesia."
    "Oh, you don't have to know if that beer is really made in Belgium. Most people don't taste the difference anyhow."
    (By the way: I also hate slippery slope arguments. Arguments that go "Yes, well, do you want us to slap a label on everything because a crackpot demands it?" The slope is always slippery in both directions. "Yes, well, should I accept that customers don't need information because some clever honcho says that customers don't need it?")
    There are many limits to my attitude. If I'm ill and my doctor gives me some pills, I swallow them. I'm not going ot argue with her or him. I pay my taxes, even if I'm not a customer of the services paid with my taxes.
    But food? I have the right to know if it contains GMO's or not. Let me make a decision. I'm a customer, I'm the Market. Let the Markets decide.

    Hank
    But food? I have the right to know if it contains GMO's or not. Let me make a decision. I'm a customer, I'm the Market. Let the Markets decide.
    You are not the market if you instead rely on lobbyists for one part of the market to put labels on another.   If you want truth in labeling for all food, I am fine with that - but you are basically saying you only want your t-shirts from Mexico to have a label.  Maybe you hate Mexicans, I have no idea.

    I know a lot of organic proponents hate Monsanto for no reason, and that is why they only care if one type of food is labeled - not all foods, including organic.

    The law does not work that way, we should not have special stickers put only on t-shirts from Mexico or Israel or anywhere else while others are exempt, yet Prop 37 does.  It exempts an entire class of foods based on nothing except their process, not their content.  And alcohol, because the smart lawyer knows nothing legislating alcohol is getting passed.
    " Maybe you hate Mexicans, I have no idea."

    Come on, are you serious? You ran out of arguments and you had to accuse me of racism? That's even weaker than a slippery slope argument. My new Fender Telecaster is MIM (Made in Mexico) and it's damn good. And why mention Israel?

    I'm not "basically saying you only want your t-shirts from Mexico to have a label." I'm fine with the fact that every t-shirt has a label. I'm wearing a t-shirt "Made in Indonesia" right now.

    I do not "only care if one type of food is labeled - not all foods, including organic."

    Labels should be truthful. What's the point of a label that food contains GMO's if it doesn't? If food is "organic", the term should be well-defined and the label should be true. And yes, as a customer I want food to be labelled as "organic" if it is,

    Hank
    I didn't accuse you of racism, I said only labeling GM foods under 'truth in contents' is like saying a product origin label is important - but only for t-shirts made in Mexico.  I then used Israel to try and mix it up in the second analogy.

    If you are contending, unlike most of the anonymous commenters, that all food should have honesty and transparency about their contents, I hope you live in California and vote against a flawed referendum that does nothing of the kind.  But the backers of this law are not saying they want transparency and honesty at all; the lawyer wants to make money suing people and wrote a way to do it.  The funders want to cripple a competitor.  Nothing more.  Anyone saying this is about 'truth' is selling you something.
    Thanks for clarifying that you didn't accuse me of racism. You came very close, in my opinion.

    Unfortunately, I don't live in California.

    Do you agree that customers have a right to "honesty and transparancy" about the content of food? Or do you think that they are too stupid to understand what honesty and transparancy are in this case, and that a GMO-label (organic label etc;) would confuse their limited cognitive capabilities and stimulate their always present irrationality?

    Hank
    Do you agree that customers have a right to "honesty and transparancy" about the content of food? Or do you think that they are too stupid to understand what honesty and transparancy are in this case, and that a GMO-label (organic label etc;) would confuse their limited cognitive capabilities and stimulate their always present irrationality?
    Science 2.0 is founded on the principle that people are much smarter than they are given credit for; give them the truth and they will understand it.   So I am all for transparency and honesty - but not prejudice against one food that has done nothing wrong in order to create an artificial subsidy for another type.

    As I have said too many times to count, I care more about food than 99% of the audience of this site, regardless of what they claim.  If I had my way, nothing my family eats would have been grown, cut, killed, cleaned and cooked by anyone but me.   But I have more confidence in the honesty and transparency of GM foods than in the organic industry.  GM corporations can't lie, people will go to jail, and plenty of organic farmers do it all of the time but nothing can happen to them because it is simply a subjective process, no law covers what it takes to get a sticker; 25% of organic food is just regular food and 100% of organic food in American stores has synthetic ingredients.

    The backers of this legislation know that if an actual truth in labeling law were passed, most organic companies would be out of business. So they have exempted their own and written this to be outside the normal law that protects companies that have done nothing wrong from nuisance lawsuits.
    What a turgid and poorly written article on Prop 37...the hubris and arrogant dismissal of the Mercola work diminishes your other propositions which in themselves seem hazy and rushed and hyperbolic...sit with your busy mind, observe it in it's dismissals... and see if you can get beneath that strong ego voice of the mind to your heart...is there a possibility in your heartspace that GMOs, which are heavily sprayed, could be full of spray themselves ?. And that if you consume them you will store those sprays in your fat cells while the body tries to neutralise the effect of all that toxin in your body.?.and eventually the overload in your body could lead to overload of toxins in your blood stream and thence penetrate the brain and cause abnormal functions like autistic response....can you follow such a simple explanation from your heart instead of all the rush and busy noise and verbosity that come through in your article from your head space?...
    and the staunch and vaunted preenings and defences of the " scientific I know it all' egoic tone of your writing???

    Gerhard Adam
    LOL .... good one.  I always appreciate a sense of humor.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hank
    The guy is a quack.  He says medicine is 62,000 times more likely to kill you but homeopathy cures autism.  I thought I was being rather nice in my description of him, given the dangerous nonsense that comes out of his own site.

    That Krill Oil for pets, though. I gotta get my dog some of that.


    GMO's are generally less sprayed. Thust are not likely to be "full of spray." Regardless corn grows in husks and soybeans are in pods. This really decreases the amount of "spray" on the actual end product. My heartspace doesn't have room for silliness like this unfortunately.

    But if you want to argue a pesticide link, then non-gmo conventional crops would be a much better target as they are more heavily treated with higher impact chemicals.

    That's 100% incorrect. GMO crops started off that way, but now require far more usage of pesticides than conventional crops, which is why Brazil and USA are the two countries with the highest usage of synthetic pesticides.

    According to the 2010 Agricultural Chemical Use Report released in June by the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 57 million pounds of glyphosate were applied during the year on corn fields. Ten years prior, in 2000, this number was only 4.4 million pounds, and in 2005, it was still less than half of current numbers at 23 million pounds.

    GM proponents claim glyphosate reduces the need for farmers to use older, more toxic herbicides such as atrazine. Also not true. In 2000, 54 million pounds of atrazine were applied across surveyed states, by 2005 57.4 million pounds were used, and in 2010, the total dipped slightly to 51 million pounds.

    Thank you Hank Campbell! Another great article and a great example of “regulatory capture”. I’ve got your book, “Science Left Behind” preordered.

    Hank
    I appreciate it!  You and my mother I know are on the hook.  The publisher wrote me today and said they got the first ones off the press and they look pretty good so I guess Amazon and B&N will ship out the preorders soon. Not sure how that works, Amazon has their own deal so the ship date is a guideline rather than a rule.
    Sorry, you lost me when you started listing donors and only included the pro-labeling side, which is ridiculous given the sums involved. I've read items in the mainstream media (e.g. Sacramento Bee) that have focused on the involvement of Mercola and Dr. Bronner, so you can't claim you're just providing information about something that's been hidden. Here's a look at donations on both sides from SFGate's Politics Blog:

    On the pro-labeling side, pushed by California Right to Know, the top three supporters are: Mercola.com Health Resources LLC: $800,000, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps All-One-God-Faith Inc.: $290,000, and Nature’s Path Foods U.S.A. Inc. Fine Natural Food Products: $250,709.

    On the anti-labeling side, under the Stop the Costly Food Labeling Initiative, the top three are: Monsanto Company: $4,208,000, E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.: $4,025,200, and PepsiCo, Inc.: $1,716,300.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/nov05election/2012/08/17/monsanto-vs-dr-bronners-...

    Hank
    Lots and lots of people are complaining about how Big Evil Business doesn't want to be discriminated against and get sued for doing nothing wrong - but covering the homeopathic, anti-science cranks who started this 'movement' isn't as popular. 

    So one side is lobbying to eliminate a competitor in order to get rich and one side is not; you are siding with the lawyers and charlatans exploiting scare tactics.  That is your decision.
    How did you infer I'm siding with anyone? Just think the difference in the amounts is striking and it's odd for that not to be noted anytime there is a discussion of spending on ballot propositions.

    Hank
    Well, no, on a percentage of revenue basis Mercola and the magic soap guy are spending far more - and the rich lawyer is obviously happy with poll numbers showing their PR campaign is working.

    Every company in the food chain is able to be sued, even if they have done no harm.  That would be worth more than $4 million if it were me - but to the homeopathy guy $800K is a great investment. The problem is that organic foods would have to have a GM label too - that is why organic food is exempted from this supposed truth in labeling idea.
    The amount of ad hominem on this website is incredible.

    The "rich lawyer"? Come on.

    If wealth is what makes politics and law problematic you can forget about the whole system: Lawyers, on average, are "rich". So are doctors, scientists, politicians, business executives, etc.

    If only barbs like that could be avoided, by everyone, in all places.

    Hank
    So the fact that Monsanto makes money is relevant but that the lawyer behind this has made his career in nuisance lawsuits from legislation he wrote to allow nuisance lawsuits is ad hominem

    It's not ad hominem if it's accurate.  These guys sell magic water and lawsuits and that is what this 'truth' is about.  Not food.
    This article is factually inaccurate.

    The Institute for Responsible Technology does not suggest that GMOs cause autism.

    Follow the link: the IRT examines possible connections between GMOs and autism. Their claims are exploratory in character and, among other things, they point to scientific research - published in the Lancet - which suggests GMOs affect the organs of lab animals.

    Hank
    “It appears there is a direct correlation between GMOs and autism.”
    You're trying to be clever the same way they are, lovingly quoting people who say just that and trying to have an out using 'I am just reporting what we are told' - and yet never once report that their claims are made up nonsense.

    The autism claim bothers me more than the fact that they sell you gullible people magic soap. It sets out to demonize a product in order to scare a lot of people.
    Hank, you have heard of Vandana Shiva? She has a strong science background considering that she is a quantum physicist with something scientific to say about GMOs and the food system. Have a listen: http://youtu.be/q3d9k23UyQQ

    Hank
    Never heard of her but her bio says eco feminist and philosopher, which really does not add much to a science discussion.  Not that it would matter. If you say tens of thousands of PhD biologists are wrong about biology, why would you believe a bachelor's degree in physics is right?

    Oh, she is right because she agrees with your preconceived world view and so her science credibility trumps everyone else. I get it.


    "Hank, you have heard of Vandana Shiva? She has a strong science background considering that she is a quantum physicist with something scientific to say about GMOs and the food system. Have a listen:" WTF does quantum physics have to do with biology?

    If I was a geologist I wouldn't call myself an expert on pediatrics. I would understand the method likely far better than the scientifically illiterate crowd, but that is a low bar to hit.

    This whole debate just goes to show I am neither left or right in the political spectrum. I think I will have define myself as "up" in that I am neither left or right any more, I go where the science takes me. The rights deny climate change, evolution, and cosmology, but use vaccines and gmo crops which work on evolution principles... while the left denies vaccines, gmo crops, but supports climate change and tax payer health care?

    Both sides are riddled with science denialism, and that has always worked out fucking wonderfully. You want to make America the leader in innovation, put someone in the white house who knows what RNA reverse transcriptase and quantum tunnelling effects actually mean. Maybe then things will start to work.

    Hank
    " WTF does quantum physics have to do with biology?
    It's worse than that.  Her PhD was in something called the philosophy of quantum mechanics - not the physics. 

    Otherwise, your comment pretty much matches my thoughts.  We can't get anywhere as long as one political party (even one populated by 80% of scientists) deny reality and pretend they are smarter for voting Democrat because Republicans don't buy global warming - and a few more than Democrats don't buy evolution. The left side has a whole lot more crazy, anti-science positions.

    So it's safer, but rare, to actually be independent.
    Also, Hank, I was the same commenter as above, you should have included then info for the no side contributions. My side is now drastically winning in contributions, but unfortunately that seems more bad press. I really hope the bill does not pass.

    I don't have a beef with labelling per say, just this bill in particular and this whole idea of grouping all gmo products under the banner of gmo... It is not only a great misinformation, but a great injustice to the amazing science that is used.

    Also, In the worlds of kodos, we are neither left or right but up! and twirling! always twirling. :) I tend to be left leaning on most matters such has rights (gay, lesbian, animal [not PETA though...]) and with regards to healthcare. I am an avid supporter of nuclear energy, and I have my fingers crossed I can see fusion in my lifetime.

    Hank
    I appreciate nuance, I think the left-right debate is silly.  I am somewhat fiscally conservative but liberal to the point of libertarian on social issues.  This is why I talk about anti-science progressive and not liberals - just like Rep and  conservative and libertarian on the right, Democrat and liberal and progressive on the left are not interchangeable.  Progressives are dangerous but liberals are not - without liberals, there is no science.
    With regards to money expenditure, I do not have a knowledgeable point of view on the topic. I like certain systems operating in Europe (not greece lol) such as Norway. I believe Canada should follow this method whereby they have oil resources and should keep a fund and only use the interest from said fund.

    In Canada I see plenty of ways we could save money. I am a strong advocate for scientific funding. I am not a big fan of the Feed in Tarriffs programs offered in ontario as charging eight times what it is worth for the same amount of energy for 20 years, when after 20 years the power coming out of the system is far less than what it was.

    With regards to health care big fan of spending. I think it increase productivity, increases overall happiness, extends life expectancy, and decreases sick days.