Loc: Waterloo, NY
Did you read the article?
"How the debate could be productively transcended
Rebecca and I had a pleasant conversation afterward, and when I noted that I would be willing to return and participate in discussions or a debate, she remarked that she preferred not to think in terms of debates because in that format, the participants are focused on defeating one another.
She said that she favored situations in which those coming from opposing viewpoints can engage in constructive dialogue not only to discern the grounds on which they disagree, but to explore and expand the common ground between them.
I think that's a promising approach, and if the Alliance for Science sincerely wishes to follow it, I am prepared to accept that within the context of such a specific endeavor, the GMO debate can be provisionally treated as 'over'.
USDA whistleblower claims censorship of pesticide research - 10/27/15
“Dr. Lundgren’s case underscores why legal protections for government scientists are sorely needed,” said Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), which is providing legal services to Lundgren in his whistleblower action. “Bureaucracies under political pressure from corporate stakeholders routinely shoot the messenger, even if they are wearing a lab coat.”
The hidden ingredient in engineered food by Dr. Thierry Vrain - Sept. 2015
If I were the vice president for promotion at Monsanto, I would do a number of things to keep this secret from going public. I would do all the standard things, of course, like hiring the best advertising brains in the business, emphasizing safety and singing the wonders of the genetic engineering technology. I would also keep your attention on the debate about the engineering technology, i.e. are GMOs good or bad for you? I would spare no trick of the trade to keep your attention away from the toxicity of the herbicide that is sprayed on your food. I would create a small army of graduate students (and scientists, of course – only the size of the bursary differs) and other mercenaries to engage with the anti-GMO “activists” and constantly remind you of the insanity of your fear. Most of the pro and anti-GMO rhetoric is just that: a lot of hot air and a lot of fear. Anything goes as long as it keeps your attention away from the secret ingredient. I would even have books published on the topic, some with all the available evidence of corporate malfeasance exposed in plain view, as long as the emphasis stayed away from the secret.
But I am not a vice president, although I was more than once in my science days, but that was another millennium. Aside from being a concerned consumer, I now find it necessary to alert you of this sordid story of corporate greed that causes so much illness. All I can do is speak and write publicly about this issue and hope you will do your part.
GE Soybeans Give Altered Milk and Stunted Offspring, Researchers Find - 10/26/15
Pregnant goats fed with genetically engineered (GE) soybeans have offspring who grow more slowly and are shorter, according to a new Italian study (Tudisco et al., 2015). Publishing in the journal of Small Ruminant Research, the researchers were testing the results of supplementing the feed of female goats with Roundup Ready GE soybeans. Roundup Ready soybeans are engineered to resist the herbicide Roundup and are sold by agribusiness giant Monsanto. They are some of the most widely grown soybeans in the world.
The reduced growth of the goat kids was attributed by the researchers to their observation that the milk of the GE-fed mothers was significantly less nutritious and contained less of the IgG antibodies important for early growth.
Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops - 1/21/15
Among the affected transgenic events are some of the most widely grown GMOs, including Roundup Ready soybeans (40-3-2) and MON810 maize. They include the controversial NK603 maize recently reported as causing tumors in rats (Seralini et al. 2012).
They include: * Kevin Folta, the self-declared independent scientist who turned out to have taken money from Monsanto for outreach and communication * The “Biofortified boys”, who write for the pro-GMO Biology Fortified website. They include Kevin Folta, Karl Haro von Mogel, and Steve Savage * The experts who answer the public’s questions on GMOs on the GMO Answers website – they include Folta and Savage * University of Illinois professor emeritus Bruce Chassy and David Tribe, who run the pro-agrochemical industry website, Academics Review * Jon Entine of the Genetic Literacy Project (the GLP dominates Wikipedia coverage of GMOs) * Nina Fedoroff, emeritus professor of biology at Penn State, professor of biosciences at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, and former chief science and technology adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton * Harvard professor Calestous Juma * Channapatna Prakash, a GMO advocate and dean at Tuskegee University * Peter Phillips, a policy professor at Canada's University of Saskatchewan * Mississippi State University’s Davis Shaw and Tony Shelton of Cornell.
Kelly states the difficult decision was not made lightly. She expanded; her ongoing health concerns have made stress intolerable. She wants to assure everyone she is not abandoning the community, but she needs to care for herself. She will still stay active in the natural health movement, including supporting the labeling of Genetically Modified Food.
Last year, at a San Diego biotech conference, Hillary coached her audience in messaging. "Genetically modified sounds Frankensteinish. Drought-resistant sounds like something you'd want. Be more careful so you don't raise that red flag immediately."
"The TPP would make it easier for countries like Vietnam to export contaminated fish and seafood into the U.S." writes Senator Sanders. "These trade agreements have ended up devastating working families and enriching large corporations." Who is more interested in protecting Americans?
Of course this was the agriculture committee — and I’d expect some pro-GMO sentiments from Democrats with big constituencies of farmers. But I was also expecting to see some senators from more liberal states channelling anti-GMO concerns as well. Instead, I heard strong pro-GMO statements, and no senator planted a flag on anti-GMO ground.
As the hearing went on, I started scanning through the members of the agriculture committee to see who might claim the anti-GMO position. Patrick Leahy from Vermont? New York’s Kirsten Gillibrand? But it never happened.
Amini said that in addition to Clear Labs’ genomic testing, the company is working on a way to assess the validity of organic claims through analyses like pesticide detection. It also conducts non-DNA tests for things like hormones, antibiotics, and other substances that may pose a concern to consumers.
“Our beef cow operation…we don’t see the turnaround that they’d see in dairy, but they’re a little more healthy,” he said. “The field health…the crops look better, we’ve got higher yields than before. Everybody switched to GMOs 20 years ago to get higher yields, but now, there’s a drop in yields. It’s about getting the soil health back.”
Prairie Hybrid representative Gilbert Hostetler maintains that “genetically-modified organism, or GMO, protein kills biology…the corn borer and worms,” but that it also has detrimental effects on the cattle that eat it, and in turn, the people who ingest the products from the cattle, be they dairy or beef.
Physicians Committee seeks to Ban Hot Dogs and Other Processed Meats from School Lunches; Federal Petition Filed with USDA
The petition, filed with USDA Sec. Tom Vilsack, is based in part on an Oct. 26 World Health Organization scientific report that finds processed meats such as hot dogs, pepperoni, bacon, sausage, and deli meats are “carcinogenic to humans.” WHO has now classified processed meats in the same category as asbestos, tobacco products, and other carcinogens.
Monsanto’s Worst Fear May Be Coming TrueThe specifics are worth considering. First, the spraying of 2,4-D and Dicamba on the newer herbicide-resistant crops will not eliminate the need for Roundup, whose use will not decline (see Figure).
That is because, unlike Roundup, neither 2,4-D nor Dicamba are broad-spectrum herbicides. They will have to be sprayed together with Roundup, or with each other (or all of them together) to kill all weeds. This vital fact has not been widely appreciated.
Confirmation comes from the companies themselves. Monsanto is stacking (i.e. combining) Dicamba resistance with Roundup resistance in its Xtend crops and Dow is stacking 2,4-D resistance with Roundup resistance in its Enlist range. (Notably, resistance to other herbicides, such as glufosinate, are being stacked in all these GMO crops too.)
The second issue is that the combined spraying of 2,4-D and Dicamba and Roundup, will only temporarily ease the weed resistance issues faced by farmers. In the medium and longer terms, they will compound the problems. That is because new herbicide-resistant weeds will surely evolve. In fact, Dicamba-resistant and 2,4-D-resistant weeds already exist. Their spread, and the evolution of new ones, can be guaranteed (Mortensen et al 2012). This will bring greater profits for herbicide manufacturers, but it will also bring greater PR problems for GMOs and the food industry. GMO soybeans and corn will likely soon have “extreme levels” of at least three different herbicides, all of them with dubious safety records (Schinasi and Leon 2014).
The first time round, Monsanto and Syngenta’s PR snow-jobs successfully obscured this, not just from the general public, but even within agronomy. But it is unlikely they will be able to do so a second time. 2,4-D and Dicamba-resistant GMOs are thus a PR disaster waiting to happen.