Climate skeptic group CFact launched a pro-GMO propaganda attack doing the very thing they despised when addressing the climate change activists and their tactics.
- CFact equivocates health and nutrition value of claims with it’s inability degrade naturally, antithetical to prevailing nutritional science.
- CFact makes a claim that all research is conclusive in favor of GE foods and no peer reviewed studies exist that genetically modified foods have any record of harm contrary to large studies in Europe, and domestically at Purdue and MIT. (Journal of Organic Systems has a heavily researched publication showing overwhelming correlative links to over 22 chronic diseases.)
- Author Driessen misleads readers that over 100 Nobel Laureates have studied all research for decades and concluded GMO/GE’s are safe when, in fact, they only signed a letter encouraging the cessation of scientific debate with a Greenpeace assertion. Worse, Driessen ignores the 800 scientists in 23+ countries working directly in the GE disciplines who come to a different conclusion.
- CFact/Driessen make claim that GMO Golden Rice is dramatically beneficial when it’s own researchers conclude otherwise.
- CFact cites a heavily challenged Stanford study on organic food nutrition that made the wrong conclusions based on their own spelling error (and thus controverting their own conclusion.)
- CFact makes a claim that GE crops yield more than non-GMO crops which is completely discredited by the largest international research of the United Nations in both 2009 and 2015 as well as by European scientific societies.
- CFact claims GE crops are more environmentally beneficial in stark contrast to the experience of individual farmers, a preponderance of independent research and analysis as well as the observable increase of soaring GM use crops of additional chemicals in the United States.
CFACT still has not retracted, updated or corrected it’s story.
First it was the Heritage Foundation – and now it’s CFACT. What is it that makes organizations who formerly (rightfully) crusade for scientific honesty and discussion suddenly turn into pro-genetically altered food thugs, ridiculing scientists who objectively see some problems? The article in question is a lifetime study in anchoring, confirmation, recency, and bandwagon bias.
CFACT is a conservative, climate skeptic organization – that heretofore publishes primarily climate information and suddenly opens an attack on GMO skeptics in their daily newsletter saying:
American food is safe, abundant and affordable. But Green ideologues attack the wholesomeness and productivity of our foods with zero valid science to back them up. They are particularly vitriolic and off-base when it comes to strains produced through genetic engineering that are nutritionally identical to other food, but superior to produce and store.
CFACT senior policy advisor Paul Driessen posted details at CFACT.org:
All the major GE foods currently on the market have been exhaustively tested and found to be safe for people, animals and the environment. Moreover, to date, Americans alone have consumed more than four trillion servings of foods with at least one GE ingredient – without a single documented example of harm to a person or the environment.
Now on one level I get it. Some “green activists” have completely suspended all reason in their global warming crusades. Mike Adams (The Health Ranger) interviewed, Marc Moreno, the author of the Politically Incorrect Guide to Climate Change, highlighting the hilarious hypocrisy of the global warming movement who:
- Changed their movement from “global warming” to “climate change” when they realized the actual data wasn’t supporting their claim.
- Published ‘scientific’ papers claiming that the consequences of global warming covered EVERY possible outcome from more snow to less snow, more civil unrest to less civil unrest, more fertility to less fertility and even teenage suicide.
- Hypocritically changed their science, data or advisory boards to suit whatever conclusion they were shopping at the moment.
When a group who has demonstrates almost no intellectual honesty on one subject also champions another – it is natural to dismiss anything else they say. Attack ALL views of a group you think has no credibility and you don’t have to bother with the intricacies of their actual argument.
This is how the global warming hysteria gained a foothold. In this CFACT article, author Paul Driessen undertakes these exact Saul Alinsky propaganda techniques of isolating individual micro-points or scientists, and ridiculing them with claims of overwhelming support for his position because “100 Nobel Laureates” agree with him. 97% consensus anyone?
How does that help win friends or influence honest observers who want to get to the science rather than – again – just following the opinion of many who have either been paid, supported or funded by GMO grants or who haven’t actually studied the contrarian research claims?
When the Heritage Foundation made a similar claim in 2014 – namely that the GMO science was “settled” – it deserved an exhaustive ‘fact check’ that proved they indeed were not accurately representing all current known science. I haven’t seen them make the same mistake since.
Let’s do that with Mr. Driessen’s piece shall we?
Driessen CFACT claim 1 – GE foods last longer at grocery stores, have less bacteria and thus are healthier.
It is inconceivable that anyone with an understanding of science or nutrition would even make this claim. Taken to it’s logical conclusion – this synthetically ‘enhanced’ McDonald’s hamburger that didn’t decompose after 14 years must be the ultimate in wholesome nutrition. Which of course would mean that the ingredients causing it to not decompose (Ammonium chloride… an ingredient in fireworks, safety matches and contact explosives, ammonium sulfate …used widely as an artificial fertilizer and for flame retardant materials, and enormous inorganic forms of salt) must make a body good! Except it doesn’t. As the famous documentary Supersize Me showed, the food consumed by billions for decades in a single month caused the subject excessive weight gain, soaring cholesterol levels and the onset of gout.
Food Preservation does not equate to healthy, nutritional food. As one of the originating geneticists of the Flavr Savr tomato exposed, despite the rapid approval of the FDA, the long term consequences were not not known or tested. Furthermore, the monetary pressure corrupted the science process of the GE tomato research and the FDA itself was later found to ignore it’s own scientists warning for the sake of “food advancement.” It turns out that tomato that would last on the shelf inordinately long (and thereby resist bacteria breaking down the food) also created bleeding stomach ulcers and gastrointestinal lesions. Food that doesn’t doesn’t break down as God (or nature for you atheists) likely isn’t as bio-available to your body for reason.
Driessen CFACT claim 2 – All the major GE foods currently on the market have been exhaustively tested and found to be safe for people, animals and the environment. Moreover, to date, Americans alone have consumed more than four trillion servings of foods with at least one GE ingredient – without a single documented example of harm to a person or the environment.
As just described above in the McDonald’s PerpetualBurger case, just because billions have been served doesn’t mean there aren’t health problems. The statement that not a “single documented example of harm to a person or the environment” exists is an outright lie.
First – “exhaustively tested” is complete propaganda. The US Government refused not only to test or REVIEW any GE/GMO studies announcing only last year it would begin. Nearly EVERY agriculture university, society and GE advocacy group is directly – and significantly – funded by Monsanto or the GE industry. We saw what this did to climate science. The US government hasn’t even begun to test the long term effects, and we aren’t sure if we can trust it if we do as a significant proportion of FDA and Agriculture officials come directly from BigAg, Big Pharma and GE companies. How many “FDA approved” drugs have been pulled off of the market for killing people? (Hint: over 35) A JAMA study in 2000 concluded conservatively that over 100,000 Americans died each year from FDA approved drugs used correctly.
Internationally there is a myriad of independent research, much of which has caused over 19 of the European Union counties to ban – or regulate – GMO use. After two extensive long term studies, Russia banned GMOs altogether. This is especially significant since a country which imports 40% of it’s food would stand to gain economically from cheaper GMO products but allegedly (according to GE companies) wider adaptation within it’s borders reducing it’s dependence on foreign imports. Henry Kissinger famously said that those who control the food supply control the people. Could it be the specter of Monsanto and a very few GE companies that control 88% of US corn , 93% of the US soybean , 94% Cottonseed, 90% canola and 54% of sugar beet production is a larger danger than the economic benefit?
As a scientific researcher you are constantly reminded correlation is not causation. As a parent you quickly learn however that correlation – especially high and consistent in nature – is absolute cause for further investigation. If you are 45 years or older it’s likely you had no more than one or two persons throughout your years of secondary education that had any form of food allergy. In the US today, 1 in every 10 children has a food allergy, and the prevalence of childhood allergies has increased by more than 50% in the last 20 years – coincidentally mirroring the massive adoption of GMO food in our produce, additives and clothing. About 43% of US children (~14 million out of 32 million) have at least 1 of 20 different chronic health conditions. Even more worrisome is that the incidence rates of the following diseases and conditions have shown significant increases in the last 20 years, but with no clear explanations: cancer, asthma and allergies – including allergies requiring hospitalization – Type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, behavioral and learning disabilities, and autism spectrum disorder.
If, as Driessen says, “American food is safe, abundant and affordable,”
why is it that our children getting sicker?
In fact – one study in The Journal of Organic Systems links GE food to over 22 diseases. It gives very detailed correlative evidence of the link between genetically modified ingredients and diseases such as liver failure, urinary and bladder cancers, hypertension, thyroid disease, stroke, obesity, and more.
Purdue University researcher Stephanie Seneff, PhD, who has published over 170 scholarly peer-reviewed articles has projected, “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.” She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder.
What does Roundup do? It enters the vascular system of the plant and destroys it’s internal mechanisms to process and deliver nutrients to the plant. It is it any surprise that both Purdue and MIT have establish that the trillions of gut microbes and bacteria – key to our digestion, assimilation and delivery of nutrients – are destroyed when exposed to glysophate?
Regardless of FDA and GMO research corruption, this partially explains why some studies show no short term effect. It’s the herbicide you use WITH the GE plants that cause the real damage – not (at first) the plants themselves.
Monsanto claims that buying their “Roundup ready” seeds allows growers to use more effective amounts of Roundup (glysophate) chemicals as an herbicide. In reality the genetic alteration of the plant may not be as dangerous of a bad actor as the Monsanto chemical Roundup itself which – according to the USDA itself which released a study found there were detectable levels of pesticide residue in more than half of food tested by the agency. The USDA added, however, that due to “cost concerns,” it did not test for residues of glyphosate. Let’s repeat that: they never tested for the active ingredient in the most widely used herbicide in the world.
Glysophate has now been found in US drinking water, urine and in over 30% of the breast milk tested from mothers – including those attempting to reduce GE and non-organic foods. And the chemicals in Roundup are untested because they’re classified as “inert,” yet according to a 2014 study in BioMed Research International, these chemicals are capable of amplifying the toxic effects of Roundup hundreds of times over. Monsanto’s Roundup/glysophate – GMO combination is pervasive and NOT EVEN STUDIED according to our own USDA. How does CFACT get by claiming it’s ‘exhaustively’ tested?
The researchers of the GE/disease study also bring attention to the American Academy of Environmental Medicine’s position paper on genetically modified (GM) foods:
“[S]everal animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food consumption including infertility, immune dysregulation, accelerated aging, dysregulation of genes associated with cholesterol synthesis, insulin regulation, cell signaling, and protein formation, and changes in the liver, kidney, spleen and gastrointestinal system.”
As referenced in this article: The study clearly uses the caveat that that correlation is not proof of causation, they state that:
“The probabilities in the graphs and tables show that it is highly unlikely that the correlations are a coincidence. The strength of the correlations shows that there is a very strong probability that they are linked somehow. The number of graphs with similar data trends also indicates a strong probability that there is a link. Although correlation does not necessarily mean causation, when correlation coefficients of over 0.95 (with p-value significance levels less than 0.00001) are calculated for a list of diseases that can be directly linked to glyphosate, via its known biological effects, it would be imprudent not to consider causation as a plausible explanation.”
How about other GE (non-glysophate) biotechnologies?
Monsanto is working overtime to push CRISPR – a plan to “gene-edit” corn, soy, wheat, cotton and canola which are all major crops used in an extensive variety of foods. Of course, they will then have exclusive rights to the “edited” gene crops. In theory, deleting genes that may cause it to be less water tolerant or whatever, seems great.
However, an explosive study published last May in Nature Methods, in showed that CRISPR caused hundreds of unintended, “off-target” mutations in mice.
The mice had originally undergone CRISPR gene editing to correct a genetic defect. When researchers sequenced their genomes – their entire collection of genes – they found that two of the mice had sustained more than 1,500 mutations involving the nucleotide (a small block of DNA). (Note: Evolutionary science claims that nature generally creates 100:1 negative mutations to a single positive one.)
Monsanto has sold CRISPR technology as being so precise and predictable that the USDA has already given the “green light” to CRISPR-produced foods. BEFORE DOING A SINGLE INDEPENDENT STUDY. All based on computer models.
Yet, computer algorithms used by scientists to screen for possible unintended mutations completely failed to predict them. In addition, the mutations were “off-target,” meaning they didn’t occur in the genes that had been edited in the first place.
Carbon tax implications based on computer modeling at worse create economic and political burdens. GMO/GE computer models used to authorize even more changes in our food supply could literally take lives.
Crispr Therapeutics led gene-editing stocks lower after new studies published by Nature Medicine found that cells whose genomes are edited with the CRISPR-Cas9 technology have the potential to cause cancer, Stat News reports.
Editing cells’ genomes with CRISPR-Cas9 might increase the risk that the altered cells, intended to treat disease, will trigger cancer, two studies published on Monday warn — a potential game-changer for the companies developing CRISPR-based therapies.
Crispr fell as much as 14%; Editas Medicine and Intellia Therapeutics dropped as much as 9.5%; Sangamo Therapeutics slipped as much as 4.3%
The findings come as Crispr is preparing to start its first clinical study in people in Europe in the second half of the year; the FDA has paused the company’s plans to do a similar trial in the U.S.
Bottom line: Few long-term and in-depth studies have been carried out on GM foods and several studies that have been carried out have found toxic effects. Some of those that have purported safety, have highly questionable methodology or pro-GE political associations. However there are other factors (like the excuse to use pesticides liberally) that aren’t accounted for in many of these tests alone. Saying that there is no evidence of harm is either grossly negligent or worse.
Driessen CFACT claim 3 – Over 100 Nobel Laureates have concluded that GMO’s are safe.
Remember how the Cook global warming claimed a 97% consensus by selectively ignoring man made global warming research and then mis-categorizing research that had NOTHING to do with MMGW study to claim it was? Driessen does far worse. He cites a mere LETTER signed by 100 Nobel Laureates and claims “It is a professional, scientific conclusion based on thousands of risk assessment studies over several decades, as well as numerous real-world experiences.”
BUT IT IS NOT! It’s merely a letter signed by at least half who HAVE PERSONALLY DONE NO SPECIFIC RESEARCH on genetically modified foods let alone ALL the current genetic research! THEY DIDN’T EVEN CLAIM TO HAVE REVIEWED some – let alone “thousands of risk assessment studies over several decades.”
This is merely a letter – specifically to Greenpeace – to stop their objections over the Golden Rice campaign. We have no idea WHY these scientists would suddenly want rigorous debate to stop and to merely go along with governments who want to adopt something since that worked so well with global warming research and carbon tax issues worldwide. Sorry I can’t hide the sarcasm.
My point is, that for a purported seeker of scientific truth like CFACT to claim the science is settled while ignoring over Signed by 815 scientists from 29 different countries who have petitioned for ACCURATE science to be conducted on GE testing and who are largely attacked or ignored by media and governmental authorities is unconscionable.
Cornell University – often cited as the leading Agriculture University in the US couldn’t get a SINGLE PROFESSOR to defend GMO’s in an open forum debate. This is a college where the Monsanto stock holder Bill Gates funds one of their major schools. If the GMO/GE argument is clear – why do GMO proponents cancel debates much like what we’ve seen in the climate change ponzi scheme?
Why is CFACT and Driessen suddenly so eager to stamp out ANY scientific debate on the matter – something they ridiculed, despised and attacked the climate change activists for? Worse, why are they claiming that there is NO debate – or even covering a fraction of the concerns from a scientific standpoint?
Driessen CFACT claim 4 – GE Activists are stopping beneficial deployment of products like “Golden Rice” that would help reduce world hunger.
Again, Driessen’s ignorance or laziness to investigate the real issues here is embarrassing. This is a standard red herring used by Monsanto and it’s various PR efforts – some often intentionally hidden – to obscure the real issues. Washington University in St. Louis which is actually INVOLVED in the region and testing states:
In a recent article in the journal Agriculture & Human Values, Stone and co-author Dominic Glover, a rice researcher at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex, find little evidence that anti-GMO activists are to blame for Golden Rice’s unfulfilled promises.
“The rice simply has not been successful in test plots of the rice breeding institutes in the Philippines, where the leading research is being done,” Stone said. “It has not even been submitted for approval to the regulatory agency, the Philippine Bureau of Plant Industry (BPI).”
“A few months ago, the Philippine Supreme Court did issue a temporary suspension of GMO crop trials,” Stone said. “Depending on how long it lasts, the suspension could definitely impact GMO crop development. But it’s hard to blame the lack of success with Golden Rice on this recent action.”
More and more it seems that either Driessen is a victim of the GE industry attempts at subterfuge or there are compromised loyalties taking CFACT down a road of “no further scientific dissent” activism for a highly compromised industry.
Driessen CFACT claim 5 – “Organic” fruits and vegetables actually have lower yields and are no more nutritious than conventional or GE alternatives.
The scientific lunacy of taking a single study and making a broad, technology wide conclusion is absurd. Worse, a tidal wave of peer university research immediately called the Stanford study into question including Newcastle University’s agricultural scientist Dr. Kristen Brandt.
She feels that many of the nutrients in plants were overlooked, some were undervalued, and the overall nutritional density of a plant was not really considered based on their criteria. When she looked at their meta-data, she came to a different conclusion altogether.
She found it puzzling that the Stanford researchers chose to:
“include [nutrients] where the difference was smallest to begin with” while omitting others “that were just as well-described in the papers they included.”
The Stanford authors also said there was no difference in flavonol content, which was in direct contradiction to what Brandt found. At closer inspection, she realized they had simply misspelled (yes, authors from Stanford made a spelling mistake!) ‘flavanol’, masking the truth about organic produce and their nutrient density. The team had actually calculated the difference in total flavonols, a different nutrient, and reported the result with the swap of an “o” for an “a.”
Unlike the Stanford paper, Brandt’s analysis found that organic produce contained significantly more vitamin C and “secondary metabolites.”
Driessen LITERALLY cited a research paper to representative of an entire industry consensus that made an erroneous conclusion due to a spelling error. Seriously.
And it gets worse:
A 2010 study examining the fruit quality of three varieties of organic and conventional strawberries found some key differences.
First, organic strawberries tend to win blind taste tests – so much for the GMO supporters who say they can’t tell the difference between organic and non-organic foods.
These same fruits were also smaller, but denser, and brighter, primarily due to higher levels of phenolic compounds and other antioxidants, including Vitamin C. Why this would be dismissed is unnerving. The organic strawberries were also more resistant to fungus, and lasted longer on store shelves.
Didn’t Driessen begin his argument that his co-author arbitrarily decided that GM foods were better because they lasted longer and resisted bacteria?
The fact is that a single element of nutrition – like Vitamin D or K – is only a minor player in the entire make up of how our bodies assimilate and use foods. Phytochemicals, fiber and thousands of molecular components play an enormous role in dozens of biological interactions necessary to body. This is why egg whites are no longer vogue. It turns out the yolk is critical for all the nutrients in the yolk to be absorbed. And it’s why the ignorance of some, who think they remove or add a single gene without consequence, isn’t far different of those who claim that CO2 controls the globe’s temperature.
Monsanto recently released “Roundup 2” soybean seeds which were analyzed by independent researchers. The primary reason they were replaced was because the yields were so low. But the study of all the other domino effects of their changes shows why a number of these GMO vs non-GMO studies are at best anecdotal and at worst disingenuous.
Not only is 95% of the soybean crop of the United States currently yielding 7-11% less than it should, Roundup Ready soybeans can contain less than 40% of the Mn contained in isogenic lines (Gordon, 2007). Neither of these traits can reasonably be called insignificant.
Secondly, the original petition for Roundup Ready soybeans inadequately analysed the transgenic line prior to commercial approval. As was subsequently shown, the 40-3-2 insertion site of Roundup Ready had a complex and scrambled insertion site and a non-functional transcription termination sequence, which allowed aberrant transcripts to transcribe beyond the transgene and into scrambled DNA (Hernandez et al. 2003; Rang et al. 2005; Wilson et al. 2006). Additionally, the compositional and phenotypic analyses, which were supposed to demonstrate the identity of Roundup Ready to conventional soybeans, omitted important data points. Thus, the petition failed entirely to detect a deficiency in a major nutrient (Mn) as well as the assorted agronomic defects of Roundup Ready soybeans.
The paper goes on to describe the toxic effects of the subsequent genetic changes and the dangers it creates not just to the plant – but potentially to it’s produce.
The Natural Society article cites more reasons why the intricacies of nutrients go beyond not just the erroneous Stanford study – but most 1970’s agriculture perceptions. With links to other studies:
Many studies find little difference between the mineral content of organic and conventional stuff, but the biggest general determinant of mineral density in food appears to be geographical location. This is part of the reason that Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, etc. want to start planting GMOs in the Ukraine – they have especially mineral and nutrient-rich soil.
Numerous studies have even found that organic crops have higher levels of magnesium, iron, vitamin C, phosphorus, and lower levels of nitrates than conventional crops and produce. This isn’t even concerning GMOs, which is an even larger issue.
Driessen CFACT claim 6 – GE crops produce more and use less herbicides and pesticides.
Well that is an odd, all knowing declaration since the pro-Monsanto United Nations found in a study in 2009 and 2016 the opposite. As the NY Times reported recently in it’s article Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops:
An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the largely GMO growing countries of the United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields – food per acre – when measured against Western Europe, a region with comparable moderized agricultural producers like France and Germany that have banned GMOs. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops inthe United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.
It’s not that Driessen is a little wrong. It goes to the level of prevarication. In fact between non-GMO EU countries and predominantly GMO US crops:
- The EU caught up to US production with modern agriculture techniques BEFORE the wide adoption of GE/GMO adaptation in the US.
- Without any GMO’s, Europe has equaled US crop production in every major category from corn, soybeans and rapeseed (used for canola oil) while dramatically increasing production of sugar beets over the GMO predominated USA.
- Pesticide use has soared in the United States while dropping in Europe. Manufacturers like Monsanto sold GE adaptation as a way to reduce chemical pesticide use.
France – one of Europe’s biggest non-GMO producing countries – use of insecticides and fungicides has fallen by 65 percent and herbicide use has decreased by 36 percent while US has increased herbicide use by 21%. How is that more productive and environmentally beneficial?
Modern Farming magazine has covered this extensively. One excerpt:
“We get the same or better yields, and we save money up front,” crop consultant and farmer Aaron Bloom said of non-GMO seeds. Bloom has been experimenting with non-GMO seeds for five years and he has discovered that non-GMO is more profitable.
The re-converts to non-GMO seeds are not hippies but conservative Midwestern farmers who are making a business decision, Modern Farmer discovered. They are switching back to natural seed because it is more profitable — not because of any ideology.
“Five years ago the [GMO seeds] worked,” said farmer Christ Huegerich, who along with his father planted GMO seeds. “I didn’t have corn rootworm because of the Bt gene, and I used less pesticide. Now, the worms are adjusting, and the weeds are resistant. Mother Nature adapts.”
Farmers can get paid more for conventional corn than GMO corn. Plus, Huegerich discovered, convention corn can produce more per acre. Modern Farmer reported that two years ago, Huegerich planted 320 acres of conventional corn and 1,700 with GMO corn. The conventional fields “yielded 15 to 30 more bushels per acre than the GMO fields, with a profit margin of up to $100 more per acre.” Last year, he planted convention corn in 750 acres.
And these are farmers still being shoved the propaganda fed to them from their local Monsanto-funded cooperative absent real information of strong advances in microbial and ecosystem farming which show even greater results of being pesticide resistant and more productive.
According to Modern Farming it costs $80.85 more an acre to raise GMO corn – one acre of non-GMO corn was $680.95 while growing an acre of GMO corn was $761.80. And GMO seeds can cost up to $150 a bag more than regular seeds. This isn’t progress.
And the variety of strains of corn, soy and other produce has been devastated by the GMO experiment. At one time over 57 varieties of corn existed in North America – each with different attributes of hardiness, flavor and adaptability – now predominantly down to less than 5 in broad use.
Worse, because of the infestation of GMO product – small farms can literally be bankrupted overnight if Monsanto finds even a single ear of corn in their field without a license. These GMO seeds are NOT inert and spread wildly – giving a deep pocketed private company the power to steal land from family farmers. There are literally hundreds of stories on the internet of this occurring. Below is just one.
Driessen CFACT claim 7 – GE crops are more environmentally beneficial.
Even going back 10 years, there is a large body of research showing very detrimental environmental impacts. Here is just one from 2008 before yields leveled:
- Phytotoxins were already impacting nearby insect populations.
- Unforeseen transgenic mutations were occurring to non-GMO fields and within existing species
- Chemical impact of pesticides had already had negative implications to surrounding water sources (important as US has since dramatically had to increase it’s use of toxic pesticides)
Here is the very sad irony: while some plants were temporarily protected from the herbicidal benefits of the GE plant – the impact on the surrounding insects actually increased the plant’s potential vulnerability as ecosystems were disrupted.
A University of Virginia environmental impact report concludes similarly that as the weeds adapt – there are worsening solutions even beyond adding more chemicals. In the peer reviewed Environmental Sciences Europe, there is evidence of “superweeds” evolving increasing a huge demand on GE using farmers of 25% or more of purchases of new herbicides – sold (of course) by the very purveyors of their GE seeds.
In the Virginia study, the authors conclusion (summarized) states:
Using a measure called the environmental impact quotient (EIQ), the authors concluded that the adoption of genetically modified soybeans correlated with a massive adverse impact on the environment caused by increased herbicide use.
No Virginia. There is no GMO Santa Clause.
Even the plant itself has internal corruptions that create problems for the plant (and those that might consume it’s produce). In one study of GMO/non-GMO corn:
A peer-reviewed study (Mesnage et al, 2016) led by Dr. Michael Antoniou at King’s College London describes the effects of the process of genetic engineering on the composition of a genetically modified (GMO) Roundup-tolerant corn variety, NK603. In-depth analysis of types of proteins (“proteomics”) and small biochemical molecules (“metabolomics”) revealed major compositional differences between NK603 and its non-GMO parent. The results show not only disturbances in energy utilization and oxidative stress (damage to cells and tissues by reactive oxygen), but worryingly large increases in certain substances, called polyamines, that perform essential functions in living cells.
I think we’ve concluded that the claim “all the research shows GE food safe,” is false.
How can CFACT – who disparages the lack of rigorous discussion on climate change issues suddenly turn into an anti-science, climate alarmist-like propaganda trafficker demanding that “all the studies” show consensus and for all debate to cease? The hypocrisy – especially of a supposedly SCIENTIFICALLY grounded conservative group is abhorrent.
To say “All the major GE foods currently on the market have been exhaustively tested and found to be safe for people” – as an OUTRIGHT LIE oddly similar to the global warming claims made over the past decade. To say there is no science justifying caution with genetic modification is akin to ignoring ALL satellite data in the global warming discussion and relying on earth measurement data not only influenced by asphalt placement but manipulated databases revised by politically motivated activists.
In fact the tone and substance of this entire article uses the same devices:
- Ignore any contrary data to your conclusions.
- Demean and ridicule any alternative science or source that disagrees with your assessment.
- Do not mention any substantial research that challenges your theory.
- Use the “all the important intellects agree” argument to completely ignore the very large group of scientists and industry practitioners who have different conclusions.
- Make wild, all encompassing conclusions based on single studies – without mentioning any of the peer reviewed responses.
It’s interesting that, just like the climate skeptics, the government and media is using all the same tactics against GMO skeptics. The FDA recently hacked private GMail accounts of their own scientists and ignored warnings of researchers.
MULTIPLE former genetic researchers and developers who have come out strongly against GE foods are immediately fired from their universities and censored from previously eager scientific journals. Dr. Thierry Vrain, a former GMO biotechnologist was enthusiastically pro-GE and suddenly wondered why non-North American journals were devoid of ANY counter arguments while European universities had thousands of peer reviewed studies to the contrary. When he began to question the government HE WAS FIRED and found their own science to have been manipulated.
Science Journal Editors have been threatened and the groups that have the money threaten and cajole rather than openly debate as Monsanto did a 14 year Reuters reporter for merely bringing up GMO/GE QUESTIONS and documented counterarguments. US universities are censoring ALL research and discussion of GE concerns.
This is not the sign of people willing to let their science speak for themselves.
This reeks of similar tactics used by the climate activists.
It would helpful to CFACT’s credibility to AT LEAST publish a balanced report of the counter scientific views – rather than allow this single highly suspect, pro-GE article to stand on it’s own.
DISCLOSURE: This author has some experience in biotechnology. As founder of a firm that used a natural process (not laboratory genetic modification) that had numerous benefits to bacteria upon which it was used, he firmly believes that there is likely SOME genetic modification that is beneficial. However the author is not willing to simultaneously be the cause of something that could have long term negative impact. Nutritional and Genetic Science is not like the law where you are innocent until proven guilty. On the contrary the implications to society that increasingly pay for the health of it’s citizens and environmental missteps is too costly to approach without extreme caution.