Join Date: 12-12-05
Location: Bimini, Bahamas
No GMO Labeling Laws in the USA!
It's a useless label. "WARNING: CONTAINS GMOs" is just as useless as "WARNING: TECHNOLOGICALLY-DEPRIVED FOOD (organic)", "WARNING: GROWN WITH RADIATION (grown with the sun)", "WARNING: CHOKING HAZARD (all food in existence)", "WARNING: GROWN WITH FECAL MATER (grown using manure)", "WARNING: CONTAINS DHMO, WHICH IS USED IN MANY TOXIC CHEMICALS (all foods containing water)", or "WARNING: POSSIBLE CANCER RISK (almost all foods in existence)".
Okay, maybe I went a little overboard with my comparisons, but my point still stands. Labeling GMOs makes no sense, will noticeable increase food prices (regulation isn't free, and at this large of a scale it will be absurdly expensive), and will scare farmers away from using GMOs solely because of ignorant consumers trying to avoid GMOs.
Want to avoid GMOs? Buy Organic. Asking for labeling on GMOs is as idiotic as asking for labeling on all foods not exclusively handled by virgins.
2: Monsanto's GMOs are UnHealthy
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients.
Funny, I can't find that on their site anywhere. They do seem to be pro-labeling, but I don't see this claim.
They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility.
No linked studies? No linked statement? They're probably using Seralini's studies anyways.
Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us
Ah, wait a second, I have a [three] citation(s)! Too bad it's the opposite conclusion...
We conclude that, although fragments of DNA large enough to contain an antibiotic-resistance gene may survive in the environment, the barriers to transfer, incorporation, and transmission are so substantial that any contribution to antibiotic resistance made by GM plants must be overwhelmed by the contribution made by antibiotic prescription in clinical practice.
The Working Party finds that there are no objective scientific grounds to believe that bacterial AR genes will migrate from GM plants to bacteria to create new clinical problems. [...] Hence, use of these bacterial resistance genes in GM plant development cannot be seen as a serious or credible threat to human or animal health or to the environment.
The amount of transgene that survived passage through the small bowel varied among individuals, with a maximum of 3.7% recovered at the stoma of one individual. The transgene did not survive passage through the intact gastrointestinal tract of human subjects fed GM soya. Three of seven ileostomists showed evidence of low-frequency gene transfer from GM soya to the microflora of the small bowel before their involvement in these experiments. As this low level of epsps in the intestinal microflora did not increase after consumption of the meal containing GM soya, we conclude that gene transfer did not occur during the feeding experiment.
Hmm.. Moving on...
and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.
This one is actually true. However, all it did was demonstrate that low levels of Cry1Ab were found inside pregnant women and their fetuses. It did not have any proof whatsoever of any negative effect caused by the Cry1Ab's presence.
Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.
I love it when I get to use this image.
The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.
Lack of Adequate FDA / USDA Safety Testing
In May 1992, Vice President Dan Quayle announced the FDA's anti consumer right-to-know policy which stated that GMO foods need NOT be labeled nor safety-tested.
...yes, because there's no proven danger to them, and they are practically identical to non-GM crops in safety and nutrition.
Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as Arpad Pusztai
and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research revealing severe damage to animals (monkeys, lab rats) fed GMO foods including: sterilization, miscarriages, cancer, NEW allergies, seizures, and DEATH!!!
Seriously though, Seralini is a terrible scientist. He's even funded by anti-biotech companies and groups. His studies are a joke. Here's just a few links criticizing his latest study.
3: Monsanto Puts Small Farmers out of Business
100s of American farmers have been sued.
[proof that they didn't deserve the lawsuits also needed]
Century-old seed stocks were destroyed.
100,000s of Indian farmers commit suicide by drinking monsanto's RoundUp herbicide after massive GMO crop failures bankrupted them.
Jf_Queeny covered this.
Monsanto uses the courts aggressively. It has sued hundreds of American farmers for patent infringement in connection with its GE seed.
[proof that they weren't justified with whatever lawsuits actually happened needed]
[[splitting comment into two parts]]
[–]firemylasers 26 points 10 hours ago
In a high profile case in Canada, which Monsanto won at the Supreme Court level,
Monsanto sued an independent farmer, Percy Schmeiser, for patent infringement for growing GMO genetically modified Roundup resistant canola in 1998. Percy Schmeiser is a Canadian farmer whose canola fields were contaminated with Monsanto's Round-Up Ready Canola by pollen from a nearby GMO farm. Monsanto successfully argued in a lawsuit that Schmeiser violated their patent rights, and forced Schmeiser to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages.
Mr. Schmeiser maintained that this was accidental. He testified that in the previous year, 1997, he had suspected contamination by genetically modified Roundup resistant canola along the roadside in one of his fields and hence had sprayed along the field edge with Roundup, whereupon he found that about 60% of the canola survived. The farm hand performing the harvest saved only seed from this contaminated roadside swathe for replanting in the next year, 1998, and presumably this seed was genetically modified Roundup resistant seed.
The court found that Mr. Schmeiser and his farming company (damages were assessed only against the company as Mr. Schmeiser was found to be acting in his capacity as director), "knew or ought to have known" the nature of the seed which was planted in 1998, and that by planting, growing and harvesting it, there was infringement of Monsanto's patent on canola cells genetically modified for Roundup resistance. This finding was upheld at the appellate court level.
Pure fucking lies.
Hey Schmeiser, how on earth did cross-pollination produce "a crop of 95–98% pure Roundup Ready plants"?
Schmeiser is a lying scumbag. His own field hand testified against him in court. He intentionally isolated and replanted RR plants by killing off his own crops. 60%? Accidental? Yeah right.
Monsanto Lawsuits Against Farmers In the United States
This type of biotech bullying is happening all over North America. The non-profit Center for Food Safety listed 112 lawsuits by Monsanto against farmers for claims of seed patent violations. The Center for Food Safety's analyst stated that many innocent farmers settle with Monsanto because they cannot afford a time consuming lawsuit. Monsanto is frequently described by farmers as "Gestapo" and "Mafia" both because of these lawsuits and because of the questionable means they use to collect evidence of patent infringement.
[proof of farmers being innocent needed]
Indian Farmer Suicides After GMO BT Cotton Crop Failures
Jf_Queeny already covered this.
4: Monsanto Products Pollute the Developing World
Some truth, but mostly bullshit. Yes, they are guilty of contamination (to a certain point).
GMO crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms.
Not really... The only harm I've ever seen proven was to a few non-target field insects, and that was only from certain types of Bt crops.
They reduce bio-diversity,
They technically increase it. Monoculture is the bogeyman you're looking for here.
pollute water resources,
If you want to argue the point, yes, they technically pollute water. As does a million other things. What the author here failed to note was that they have not been proven to actually have a harmful impact at the concentrations they are usually detected at, and they tend to break down fairly quickly anyways once in water.
and are unsustainable.
Lolwut. Reduced herbicide use, typically less toxic herbicides, increased yield (since less crop is lost, not as a direct effect of genetic modification (yet)), better for the environment.. What's not to like?
For example, GMO crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US.
Habitat, sure, but the same can be said of any crop... Derp.
Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses.
[Seralini studies are no longer accepted as proof of anything]
GMO canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.
And what the author fails to mention is that the plants found "growing wild"? They were three feet away from fields. Big fucking surprise, plants are capable of growing three feet away from the fields they were planted in. I even have photographic proof of this somewhere, assuming this guy is talking about the same study I read about.
there are 500,000 Agent Orange Babies... One Half Million! NOT Including Veterans!
Seven different chemical companies manufactured Agent Orange, all under contract from the US government. Why exactly is it all Monsanto's fault? They aren't the ones who loaded it onto planes and sprayed it over Vietnam.
Public Officials Formerly EMPLOYED by Monsanto
Only three out of those five were actually involved with Monsanto beyond consulting work.
7: Consumers Reject Bovine Growth Hormone rBGH in Milk
The Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association, and National Institute of Health have independently stated that dairy products and meat from BST-treated cows are safe for human consumption.
The FDA stated that food products made from rBST treated cows are safe for human consumption, and no statistically significant difference exists between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows. The FDA found BGH to be biologically inactive when consumed by humans and found no biological distinction between rBST and BST. In 1990, an independent panel convened by the National Institute of Health supported the FDA opinion that milk and meat from cows supplemented with rBST is safe for human consumption.
8: GMO Crops Do Not Increase Yields
10: Monsanto's GMO Foods Cause NEW Food Allergies
Allergenic reactions to proteins expressed in GM crops has been one of the prominent concerns among biotechnology critics and a concern of regulatory agencies. Soybeans like many plants have intrinsic allergens that present problems for sensitive people. Current GM crops, including soybean, have not been shown to add any additional allergenic risk beyond the intrinsic risks already present. Biotechnology can be used to characterize and eliminate allergens naturally present in crops. Biotechnology has been used to remove a major allergen in soybean demonstrating that genetic modification can be used to reduce allergenicity of food and feed. This provides a model for further use of GM approaches to eliminate allergens.
I won't even bother commenting in depth on the other glaring problems with this page. Like their complete lack of citations/sources/studies/proof, their usage of images from the notorious conspiracy theorist artist Dee, and their rather idiotic choices for "further reading" at the bottom of the page.
I hope this helps you OP.
[–]Scuderia 9 points 10 hours ago
As much as I enjoy reading your responses to these asinine post, I do feel it is unfortunately falling on deaf ears.
[–]firemylasers 11 points 10 hours ago
Eh. It was fun to write up. And OP asked for criticism of the article.
[–]NightHawk521 2 points 36 minutes ago
Ya I tried this before in a different thread that was actual mentioning the who India BT thing, mind you I didn't write it nearly as thoroughly or well thought out as you. Hopefully at least some people read this and educate themselves a little. Well done :)
[–]JF_Queeny 5 points 3 hours ago
I've seen the Roundup embryo study. They injected something like 2 ml of glyphosate into chickens.
They also did it to tissue cultures and marveled at the changes. The awesome thing is with all of these, if you swapped out orange juice, the results would be far, far worse.
It was beyond bad.
[–]m_Pony 7 points 2 hours ago
Buddy, your dedication is impressive. I'm no fan of some of Monsanto's practices, but I do believe that baseless attacks against them (or anybody) are fruitless endeavours. If people want to attack Monsanto for doing something bad, they should find the things that are actually provably bad.
[–]Priest_Fingers 2 points 1 hour ago
Hell yes dude. I currently work for the environmental agency for a major agricultural state, and I can't thank you enough for having a clear view into the value of GM foods. Alarmism and the ignorance being spread by these people is a disservice to humanity and those who are starving around the world.
[–]oconnellc 1 point 21 minutes ago
I've recently read that the US cultivates something like 70 percent of the 'harvestable' farmland... is the presence of starving people on the planet something of an artificial construct?
[–]MindStalker 2 points 1 hour ago
I wish there were more like you around Reddit. The amount of FUD on reddit has grown to uncontrollable proportions lately. I've come to the stark conclusion that any story you see reported more than 3 or 4 times is probably mostly false.
[–]oconnellc 1 point 26 minutes ago
This was an impressive amount of work. One question I have is that you frequently remark that a gmo hasn't been found to have negative effects. I'm comparing this to the effort that pharma companies have to put into research proving that a drug has no negative effects. The statement that no negative effects are known doesn't really ease my concerns. Are there similar efforts by the manufacturers of the gmo's to prove that there are no negative effects? And if so, why don't you use language that indicates this. Thanks in advance for your reply.
[–]firemylasers 1 point 9 minutes ago
There are three major groups who study biotech (and, by extension, biotech safety). There's the companies (Monsanto, Dow, etc), the governments, and the independent studies.
So far, all three groups have published studies concluding there is no safety concerns with GM food.
There ARE scientists who have published studies that claim to prove GM food is harmful, but they are all (so far) flawed and many of them have seen extremely heavy criticism from scientists. In addition, a very large portion of these poorly-done studies are directly funded by groups with a very obvious interest in seeing the results they did (Greenpeace, Organic food companies, and anti-GMO advocacy groups are the three worst offenders).
While simple industry affiliation alone (no matter which industry it is) doesn't make a study bad, industry affiliation coupled with a consistent record of poorly-done studies is a solid reason to be wary of new anti-GMO studies. Biotech-funded studies should also be reviewed with caution, but it's the anti-biotech groups that have the record of bad studies.
Anyways, if you want a list of reputable studies done on GMOs, here's one: http://www.biofortified.org/genera/studies-for-genera/ (600)
Or the completely independent ones from that list: http://www.biofortified.org/genera/s...ndent-funding/ (~120)
[–]TreephantBOA -1 points 29 minutes ago
Anything that is altered genetically should be labeled regardless if your information. People should know what's happening with their food as much as possible. This, of course, isn't the sole responsibility of the producer of the food. The govt should be involved in educating people on par with the information that you've given us and explain it in terms so they understand this information. An informed decision is important. But no opportunity to even have a choice on the matter is abhorrent. Label it. It's not much of a cost to add "GM product". if they can't label it people should believe there is something to hide. I'm sure the list of ingredients on a can of chili costs a little too. But i like that list of ingredients. I want to know what's in my food. It's that simple.
[–]firemylasers 2 points 23 minutes ago
Anything that is altered genetically should be labeled regardless if your information.
"Anything not handled by virgins should be labeled regardless if your information"
People should know what's happening with their food as much as possible.
"People should know who's handling their food as much as possible"
Label it. It's not much of a cost to add "GM product"
Okay, serious response this time. Have you ever considered how complex the US food system is? You'd need to test and track every single crop grown to certify it as GMO or non GMO. The cost would be absurd. Making the taxpayers pay for it is even more absurd.
if they can't label it people should believe there is something to hide.
Oh, so if my food isn't labeled as non-exclusively handled by virgins, the food company has something to hide?
I'm sure the list of ingredients on a can of chili costs a little too. But i like that list of ingredients. I want to know what's in my food. It's that simple.
That one has an actual use, and doesn't require genetic testing of every single piece of food grown.
[–]TreephantBOA 0 points 18 minutes ago
If you're into being dismissive by using "virgins" as a model you really aren't going to get far with me. i want my food to be labeled with altercations of the original just as I want food to have a list of ingredients. I am well aware of how complex it is to have things labeled. There's a damn good reason for that. And testing should be required just as it proved that people were eating horsemeat. The testing is already being done. The only thing that really comes up here is that the company fears the stigma of being labeled a GM food product. That's all it is.
[–]JF_Queeny 3 points 7 minutes ago
Perhaps you should ask the companies directly to label it instead of petitioning the government. You know, like Kosher.
[–]firemylasers 1 point 7 minutes ago
I used virgins as the example to illustrate the absurdity of your request. Did you not read the first section of my first comment in this thread? I think it shows quite clearly why GMO labeling is unneeded.
[–]LarrySDonald 2 points 10 minutes ago
There's a bit of a fine line here. I do think it's good to know what you're buying, but there are generally limits on how much anyone knows. In an ideal world, yeah, perhaps it's be feasible to insist you can have a full copy of the genome. But usually, it's simplified somewhat. I don't know which exact sub-variant of tomato I'm buying. I do get to know that it's a tomato (not and apple or rutabaga), where it grew, who was the final handler before selling it and that it followed (at least ostensibly) the current regulations for "Shit One Must Do If Selling Tomatoes". But I don't get the exact everything. I don't know which strain, what fertilizers, what ground composition, the exact specs on nutrient content, etc. And I also don't know if this particular breed was generated by long-term selective breeding or by creatively editing the DNA directly.
It might be nice to know, but it's probably one of the less important factors in what they are actually calling "a tomato". It'd be nice to have more depth (at some point) but this isn't the first order of business if you really want to know more about the food itself.
[–]TreephantBOA 1 point 24 seconds ago
I agree with most of what you just wrote. I think that's why a writer like Michael Pollen is so relevant now. People SHOULD ask more about their food and be more in touch with it. This may come off as common sense to many but if you take a long hard look at this country we are raising consumers, not people. I have three kids and they live with their Mom. I know that they usually take their lunch but occasionally eat food at school. I don't know what's in that food. They should. An informed decision is critical to change unhealthy eating habits. If it means labeling food in more detail I very much support it. But at the same time i would get rid of our old model of a cafeteria altogether and make "lunch" a course. A required course for every school year. Food is a major player in our life. As far as an 'ideal" world. Well, that's something we all disagree with on some levels and it certainly should be aspired to and not dismissed as an impossibility.
There. No virus threat.
White hand of Saruman.