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 Post subject: 745 WHY SAY NO TO GMOS WHEN GOVERNMENT SAYS YES?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 7:37 am 
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Approximately 80 percent of our processed foods now contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). If the foods contain soy, or were fed with soy, then 91 percent contain GMOs.

Our government, under its doctrine of “Substantial Equivalence,” claims that crops modified with genes from another species are safe because they are substantially similar to the original species, and thus may be regulated as conventional crops. This is very convenient to industry, as it allows GMO crops to be grown, processed, and consumed with no studies made as to their efficacy.

In very simple terms, GMOs are safe because government says they are safe.

For some reason, or reasons, many do not believe the government’s substantial equivalence assurance. One of the reasons may be that the person who developed the doctrine was Monsanto Corporation’s Michael Taylor, who is now the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s “Food Safety Czar.”

Another reason for the skepticism might be that many of GMO crops are failing their designed purpose: Crops modified to survive glyphosate herbicides are now fostering the development of glyphosate-resistant super weeds; and crops modified with biological pesticides are fostering the development of resistant super pests.

Consumers wonder: If GMO crops will not do what they were designed to do, what will they do? And so we pause to ask…

Why say
Quote:
No!
to GMOs when government says
Quote:
Yes!
Food Chain Radio #745)


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 Post subject: Re: 745 WHY SAY NO TO GMOS WHEN GOVERNMENT SAYS YES?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:18 pm 
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This from Tony in Missouri...

In reality everyone alive in 1st world countries (who are not growing your own organic food) is a defacto GMO themselves - you are what you eat and I am certain (unscientifically) that the stuff in the veggies, grains, & meats is coursing through our veins - changing us a wee bit at a time - including our offspring - we are forcefully evolving and adapting to this bulky, tasteless, herbicide, insecticide, growth hormone, antibiotic laced diet - we are organisms being genetically modified - I feel better just talking about it - I've been modified!


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 Post subject: Re: 745 WHY SAY NO TO GMOS WHEN GOVERNMENT SAYS YES?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:31 pm 
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This from Kelly in Illinois...

I am a supporter of American agriculture, across its vast geographical, production method, and ideological varieties. I have worked on multiple farms, and am deeply attached to many wonderful food producing families, both organic and progressive. My family used to raise grassfed beef (some was corn-finished, but most of it was pastured) and spent my 4-H and FFA years raising natural rabbit meat.

I do have a few concerns to share.

Because of GMO's, farmers can use fewer inputs like fertilizers and pesticides, actually moving the production methods closer to a natural means. Many GMO's are able to make use of land space that would otherwise be lost for food production (specifically drought-tolerant alternatives). I have trouble understanding the logic in protesting technology that can save human sight, like Golden rice.

I am an advocate of choice. I am a supporter of variety in the food system. I personally believe that there is no one, single, fix-all way to fill all the food needs and wants of this country and the world. I do, however, feel that our population growth and resource demands are such that GMO's are a vital part of that system. I do believe that we should have more variety of product, and should shift a little bit away from the massive corn push. I believe that organic and natural raising methods introduce a valuable, necessary, and wholesome alternative to the conventional foods most of us choose to pursue.

I appreciate your viewpoint. I hear your concerns and understand them. At the same time, I beg of you to be open-minded to the other side of the issue. Too often, we in agriculture are willing to shut off our listening mechanisms and resort to blindly spewing the propaganda that matches our agenda. As a communicator, farmer's daughter, and advocate for agriculture and food choice, I strive to open those channels of dialogue.

Best wishes on your work, and I hope you take some of what I've said to heart.


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 Post subject: Re: 745 WHY SAY NO TO GMOS WHEN GOVERNMENT SAYS YES?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:35 pm 
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This from Mischa Popoff...

I’m wondering if you’d like to interview someone with a dissenting opinion on the supposed negative relationship between humankind and genetic engineering? I agree with your views on corporations like Monsanto; they constantly overstep the bounds in my opinion. But I couldn’t disagree more on the premise that GMOs are inherently bad for the planet or the human race. And, interestingly, President Bill Clinton agrees with me.

I draw your attention to pp. 477 – 479 of my book where I discuss the only anti-GMO study ever carried out… way back in 1999. I’ve included the excerpt below. Believe me when I say that being anti-GMO is just a diversionary tactic; a way for organic activists to avoid discussing the real issue surrounding certified-organic food, namely that it is not purer and more nutritious as claimed, not yet anyway.

Let me know if you’re interested.

And what about the rumors that genetically-modified foods cause disease? Well, like many of the organic industry’s claims, it turns out they’re just rumors. Wasn’t there something about liver cancer in lab rats? I hear some asking. It turns out the “study” (and I use the term loosely) was deeply flawed.

A very lonely anti-GMO study

The infamous study the organic industry clings to in its battle against genetic engineering is Stanley Ewen and Arpad Pustzai’s “Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine,” which was published in The Lancet way back in 1999.[1] The Lancet’s editorial team was divided on the merits of the study and, after requesting three rewrites, finally compromised by running dissenting comments in the same issue by Harry Kuiper of the National Institute for Quality Control in Agriculture Products at Wagengin University in the Netherlands.
Kuiper points out that Ewen and Pustzai’s rats ate a poor diet of pure potatoes which contained only 6 percent protein, far less than the 15 percent which is the standard for lab rats. He also points out there was no control group, a group of rats which should have eaten a good rat diet for comparison. Yeah… just a tiny oversight on Ewen and Pustzai’s part; they must’ve missed that bit when they took first-year biology. As to Ewen and Pustzai’s anti-GMO conclusions, Kuiper’s opinion is that “no consistent patterns of changes were observed.”
Meanwhile, Stephen Taylor, a toxicologist at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln who has studied allergic reactions to GMOs and who should’ve made a great ally for Ewen and Pustzai, noted that

it’s hard to decipher exactly what the experimenters did. That’s unforgivable. The first thing you learn in graduate school is that you write up your research results in such a way that another person could repeat your experiment.

Most damning is the fact that even with all the billions of dollars floating around in the organic industry, Ewen and Pustzai’s simple, inexpensive experiment has never been repeated. Is this the best the organic industry can come up with? Yup.
Organic activists have been trying for years to convince the media to do its part to help convince the public to be scared of GMOs, but to no avail. Science simply won’t sustain the thesis that someday we’re going to see deleterious effects from consuming genetically-modified foods, so why the hell should the media pick up the slack?
Putting science aside for the moment, ask yourself this: Just how many farmers in North America would still use genetically-modified feed for their livestock if it actually caused, as anti-GMO activists claim, heavier livers, false pregnancies, sterility, abnormal blood-cell and liver-cell formation, and mysterious death? It defies logic. They’d go broke! And, to add to the puzzle, GMO-feed is routinely allowed into Europe! Wouldn’t European farmers be speaking out, maybe launching a lawsuit or two, if the health of their livestock was in any way affected? You bet they would. But they’re not because GM feed is perfectly safe.
So, instead, the activists keep extending the time frame for their thesis, staying ahead of the actual science which is now over twenty years old. Should we worry that scientists of the future might, sooner or later, find some harmful effect to GMOs? For an answer, many activists turn to the words of the man who coined the term “organic,” Lord Walter Northbourne, who warned that “it will be left to future generations to pay for our mistakes, but they may not have the wherewithal.” [2] Ah yes… some pithy organic wisdom to sink our teeth into. But, when asked when we might expect scientific proof that organic food is better to grow and better to eat, Northbourne’s response was, revealingly, that

…if we waited for scientific proof of every impression before deciding to take any consequential action we might avoid a few mistakes, but we should also hardly ever decide to act at all.

Oh oh. Something tells me the activists aren’t going to like where this is going. Northbourne continues…

In practice, decisions about most things that really matter have to be taken on impressions, or on intuition, otherwise they would be far too late…. We have to live our lives in practice, and can very rarely wait for scientific verification of our hypotheses. If we did we should all soon be dead, for complete scientific verification is hardly ever possible. It is a regrettable fact that a demand for scientific proof is a weapon often used to delay the development of an idea.[3]

If such reasoning is good enough for the organic movement, surely it’s good enough for the science of genetic engineering. Case closed.
In this “green” industry called “certified organic” which has failed to provide customers with any guarantee, much less even made any effort to reduce the toxicity, extend the sustainability, or increase the safety or nutrition of food, being 100 percent anti-GMO simply becomes a natural, default marketing position. It’s purely strategic, nothing but a smoke screen, a diversionary tactic to distract the consumer while, one by one, individual family organic farms fall victim to bureaucratization and cheap, untested “organic” imports.


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 Post subject: Re: 745 WHY SAY NO TO GMOS WHEN GOVERNMENT SAYS YES?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:56 am 
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This from Mila...

And don't forget to mention that GMO stands for God Move Over--(Tongue in Cheek). Oh and please mention "the rat gene" in lettuce. Their reasoning is that rats produce 8 times the vitamin C that humans do and didn't get scurvy on ancient ships. But there is no reason good enough to put "the rat gene" in our food supply. It is usually the point that gets everyone's attention. I think there is still the list on the FDA sight of what is in what. Chicken Gene in Potatoes and Flounder Gene in Strawberries should really make vegetarians happy.


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