Genetically modified foods: Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?

posted at 7:01 pm on September 15, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

On the state’s ballot in November, Californians will be voting on Proposition 37 — an initiative that would require all foods produced with or from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to carry mandatory warning labels. Oh, sure, it all sounds well and good and simple enough, except that such a measure would impose significant expenses on (often small) businesses; would cost the way-past-completely-broke Californian government up to over a million dollars to regulate the practice; and, oh yeah — is completely pointless because there is not a single documented case of “adverse health consequences” due to genetically engineered foods.

For a group of people who subscribe to the supposed “party of science,” progressives and environmentalists have waged a strange and steady campaign against the very idea of genetically modified foods. These “frankenfoods,” as they’re sometimes dubbed, are supposedly bad for us because they don’t occur by themselves in nature. But, here’s a news flash, greenies: Human beings have been ‘modifying’ foods with agricultural techniques for centuries. We didn’t just stumble upon corn as we know it today, and we make new apple hybrids all the time. Many medicines, I might also point out, are man-made, but we know that medicines can save lives. Tylenol doesn’t grow on trees, you know. From Forbes:

Except for wild berries and wild mushrooms, virtually all the fruits, vegetables and grains in our diet have been genetically improved by one technique or another – often as a result of seeds being irradiated or genes being moved from one species or genus to another in ways that do not occur in nature. But because genetic engineering is more precise and predictable, the technology is at least as safe as – and often safer than – the modification of food products in cruder, “conventional” ways. This superior technology is the target of Prop. 37.

The safety record of genetically engineered plants and foods derived from them is extraordinary. Even after the cultivation worldwide of more than 3 billion acres of genetically engineered crops (by more than 14 million farmers) and the consumption of more than 3 trillion servings of food by inhabitants of North America alone, there has not been a single ecosystem disrupted or a single confirmed adverse reaction.

The advantages are also remarkable. Every year, farmers planting genetically engineered varieties spray millions fewer gallons of chemical pesticides and substantially reduce topsoil erosion. In addition, many of these varieties are less susceptible to mold infection and have lower levels of fungal toxins, making them safer for consumers and livestock.

Not only would requiring these types of foods to carry mandatory labels impose costs on producers and raise prices for everybody, including consumers, they would imply to consumers that they need to be wary of undefined dangers, which in turn limits their choices unnecessarily. Maybe part of the idea is that consumers are supposed to spring for the organic foods as an alternative (which no state has any business doing anyways), except that recent studies have suggested organic food might not actually be all that it’s cracked up to be:

…Stanford University doctors dug through reams of research to find out — and concluded there’s little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics.

Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides, including for children — but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits, the researchers reported Monday.

Nor did the organic foods prove more nutritious.

Even the federal Food and Drug Administration, normally inclined towards being more meddlesome over less, has declined to require all foods in the U.S.A. to carry GMO labels. Imposing such a mandate in California would create a whole new level of regulation-and-litigation bureaucracy that no Californian food-business or individual consumer could avoid paying for. (For more resources, here’s a great piece from the Volokh Conspiracy on why this whole labeling idea is a possibly unconstitutional farce, and an op-ed from the LA Times on why California’s entire ballot-initiative procedure is a hot mess.)

The hubris of ignorant environmentalist groups never ceases to amaze. Have they ever paused to consider that genetically modified foods can, perhaps, save lives and help lift human beings out of poverty? Maybe? I know I’ve posted this video from Penn & Teller before, but it is great, and well worth the watch (warning: some brief foul language).


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Imaginary environmental crises are a diversion for why a state with that many people, natural resources, ports, tourism destinations, and great weather is in an economic tailspin.

Transpo on September 15, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Because they’re a bunch of panty twisting libs?

clnurnberg on September 15, 2012 at 7:06 PM

H. L. Mencken, who said: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Booo!

Wander on September 15, 2012 at 7:06 PM

People in Hawaii get all wee-wee’d up about GMO food as well. I have suffered so many lectures from (obviously) more enlightened people about how the GMOs are gonna ruin us. bah.

HawaiiLwyr on September 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM

I believe psychologists refer to this condition as “displacement”.

Count to 10 on September 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM

The hubris of ignorant environmentalist groups never ceases to amaze.

Ya can’t fix stupid!

GarandFan on September 15, 2012 at 7:14 PM

It is rumored that California is home to a lot of kooks.

Philly on September 15, 2012 at 7:18 PM

Doesn’t surprise. This state is full of wackjobs. Remember this is the same state that re-elected Gov Moonbeam, keeps re-electing Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Waxman, etc.

They are in a race between CA and NY to see which one can out-do each other in liberal madness. I think CA may win though…

RedbonePro on September 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM

We didn’t just stumble upon corn as we know it today

actually we did. no one has ever been able to establish where corn came from. there is a plant that seems to be a distant ancestor but no link can be found.

chasdal on September 15, 2012 at 7:21 PM

Well good thing these kooks in CA don’t preside over a state that is important to the food supply.

No wait, CA is #1 on agriculture.

forest on September 15, 2012 at 7:23 PM

because there is not a single documented case of “adverse health consequences” due to genetically engineered foods.

And I love carrots with nostrils.

Axe on September 15, 2012 at 7:26 PM

But,…But…..what about Monsanto!!
====================================

U.S. protesters set sights on GMOs, close Calif. facility

OXNARD, Calif./KANSAS CITY, Mo.
Sept 12 | Thu Sep 13,
2012 2:53am IST
****************

OXNARD, Calif./KANSAS CITY, Mo. Sept 12 (Reuters) – Opponents of genetically engineered foods on Wednesday blocked shipments and deliveries at Monsanto Co’s vegetable seed company in California that developed a new genetically modified sweet corn that will hit stores this fall.

The protesters, who want to remove all so-called genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from the food supply, say their action is a preview of about five dozen other events planned for countries around the world next week.(More…)
==============================================

http://in.reuters.com/article/2012/09/12/usa-gmo-protests-idINL1E8KC7BA20120912

canopfor on September 15, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?

There are two primary reasons. First is the narrow focus of bureaucrats to feather their egos with what they assume to be dedicated and intelligent analysis, often in fact often obtuse and delusional. Secondly there is the need by leftist in particular to control the lives of other people and to make others answerable to their whims. It covers up the failures of previously made poor decisions.

pat on September 15, 2012 at 7:29 PM

Short answer:

Because they’re all assholes.

1921 C DRUM on September 15, 2012 at 7:30 PM

So we are to believe that they are ignorant rather than malicious? Despite the decades of such scares being used to attack advancements and attempts at putting roadblocks in the way of increased food production? Maybe they mean to do exactly what they are doing?

sharrukin on September 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I would be OK if there were only 49 states.

hillsoftx on September 15, 2012 at 7:31 PM

I would like to know if some product/produce has been genetically modified…

catquilt on September 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

Let’s trade California for Japan. No smelly hippies.

faraway on September 15, 2012 at 7:35 PM

I want bacon that says Allah Akbar
/ please, no protests

faraway on September 15, 2012 at 7:36 PM

A label mark that simply says “GM” should be sufficient and not prohibitively expensive to producers.

Notifying consumers that this is a different kind of food is only common sense.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Actually, Monsanto *is* evil, and so is my company, Bayer Crop Science. I do not mind “modified” products if they bring more crop and are more resistant, but their well-lobbied heirloom seed ban smells of brimstone.

Archivarix on September 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

regulate the practice; and, oh yeah — is completely pointless because there is not a single documented case of “adverse health consequences” due to genetically engineered foods.

Seriously, Erika, don’t write of what you don’t know! “Seeds of Deception”, pick it up and read it. Read about how Monsanto has cornered the seed market, and pushed the independent farmers out. Read about how, thirty years ago there were no peanut allergies…today, peanuts are GMO and, quite literally the most heavily chemically treated crop in the nation, soybeans are second in that category.

For the first time EVER, I agree with California. Our bodies are not built to withstand food grown from Round Up ready seeds….that is called horizontal gene transfer…that wreaks havoc on our bodies…read about it and get back to me.

If you want to grow your own, go to Seed Savers Exchange…heirloom seeds/plants. You will NEVER go back to conventional seeds again. Flavor and nutrition as God intended.

Off my soapbox!

herm2416 on September 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

It’s called the Precautionary Principle.

The most insidious of all the progressive’s weapons.

turfmann on September 15, 2012 at 7:41 PM

Oh! One more thing…. :). Africa and Europe both ban GMO seeds/food.

herm2416 on September 15, 2012 at 7:43 PM

What if we had some Truth in Lending laws for the Federal govt?

Every time you get a paycheck, you get a $200,000 statement representing your family’s share of the national debt.

faraway on September 15, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Just don’t sell food in California.
Let the liberals die of starvation.

The Rock on September 15, 2012 at 7:47 PM

A label mark that simply says “GM” should be sufficient and not prohibitively expensive to producers.

Notifying consumers that this is a different kind of food is only common sense.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM

I don’t actually disagree with labeling, but what exactly do you mean by GM? Pigs and Wheat have been modified through breeding so I would assume that you mean modified via laboratory techniques?

sharrukin on September 15, 2012 at 7:48 PM

I want to know whether my food has been genetically engineered. So I only buy food that indicates it doesn’t contain GMOs. I don’t need the government to help me with this.

On the other hand, the Reagan-Bush regulators at USDA created rules back then that did not ALLOW foodstuffs to be labeled as GMO-free…because there was “no problem,” and consumers needed to be saved from making “scientifically unfounded” errors of judgement in choosing what they wanted to eat and the type of agriculture they wanted to support.

Hey, I stood with my kids in front of the laptop as we played Michelle Obama’s “Back to School with Dear Leader’s Healthy Lunches” video, and shouted right along with them, “Down with Obama! Down with whole wheat pizza!

Yet I still must ask those Hot Air readers who interpret organic, etc. as “lefty” totalitarianism: Do you experience cognative dissonance if you accept government suppression of free market speech by Federal Republicans in the ’80s, while rejecting government compelled labeling by California Democrats today?

Well? Hmmmm?

Franklin S on September 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Oh! One more thing…. :). Africa and Europe both ban GMO seeds/food.

herm2416 on September 15, 2012 at 7:43 PM

Some modifications to foods seem unwise, but I’m skipping the direct arguments since I have no control over this anyway and … I hate being called a Luddite.

But that Africa thing was nuts. A plane arrives in your nation filled with food, and your population is starving to death. Many of them need that food this very day, because for them, there will be no tomorrow. You appear on my television and tell me you can’t accept the food, because — it might hurt someone.

[placeholder for "exasperation" smiley]

Axe on September 15, 2012 at 7:51 PM

Why? Because then they can control the farmers. They will have to beg politicians for the right to grow crops and have to deal with regulators who analyze their seed. The farmers will have to go to fundraisers for the pols or hire lobbyists. They will have to hire lawyers to defend themselves from NGO enviro lawyers. They will have to flatter and bribe the inspectors.

It’s all about the Benjamins.

PattyJ on September 15, 2012 at 7:54 PM

Related:
September 4, 2012
Minnesota Public Radio

Organic food benefits questioned in study

“there isn’t much difference.”

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 7:57 PM

Of course the food should be labeled. We have a health crisis because of the modified foods we are eating. We need to eat what nature has given us. Fake fats and hormones in food are killing is. Chemicals are givings us cancer.

Before you jump in to criticize, come up with a better theory for Add, Alzheimer, caner, etc.

huckleberryfriend on September 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Genetically modified foods: Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?

Why are you harshing on the NGO eco-lawyer’s revenue stream? /

CPT. Charles on September 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Are you serious hot air? As much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree with California on this one. It gives the individual more information and allows them to make a choice in the market place.

MoreLiberty on September 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

I love me some individually wrapped inorganic cucumbers…
Right off of the assembly line…

Electrongod on September 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM

those Hot Air readers who interpret organic, etc. as “lefty” totalitarianism
Franklin S on September 15, 2012 at 7:49 PM

Take two granolas and call Dr.Wavy Gravy in the morning.

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 8:00 PM

Fake fats and hormones in food are killing is.
huckleberryfriend on September 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Eating twigs and tofu won’t spare anyone from their appointment with the Grim Reaper. As Mr. Mojo Risin’ observed, “No one here gets out alive”.

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 8:06 PM

California is spot on with this. I am as conservative as they come but increased yield is the only good thing about GMOs and they don’t nearly offset the negatives. Monsanto is evil as is dwarf wheat and thousands of other GMOs. I read briefly last week about a new repellant they have developed that causes the stomachs of the parasites eating the crops to explode. Guess what, rats models were tested and had adverse side effects when they eat the crops sprayed with the repellant.

I have severe Crohn’s disease and thru countless hours of research and taking part in discussions and anecdotal accounts has convinced be beyond doubt that taking GMOs out of your diet drastically reduces inflammation, disease and general health problems.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 8:08 PM

I agree with Herm.

I really don’t appreciate my fellow conservatives trashing those who question our food supply.

Today we have autoimmune diseases, allergies and ailments such as autism that are exponentially greater than they were 50 years ago. At the same time, our food supply and the chemicals we put on the foods have changed dramatically. Might there be a connection? It is still an open question and the science is very young. It is extremely unhelpful to turn every issue into a political argument where if we don’t tow somebody’s line we get labelled as a luddite, a pansy liberal or an extremist.

I myself have certain health issues that have been unresolved by modern medicine, that has inspired me to seek answers elsewhere. I have found some answers, some I am still seeking. In my research I discovered many things that lead me to believe that we should be demanding more answers about what we eat.

Personally, I choose to eat as much unprocessed, non-GMO food as possible. I want the government to be even-handed by not taking sides and allowing for as much information as possible to be avail. Then leave people to be free to make their own choices.

Galadriel on September 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM

whatcat, I actually met Wavy Gravy at a food conference in NYC in 1997. He had become more hefty than wavy. Apparently he had eaten that entire “breakfast in bed for 400,000″ all by himself. And yes, I was the only conservative Christian farmer from Ohio in the entire ballroom.

Franklin S on September 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

*^ I think the repellant I referred to above could just be a genetically modified seed itself (it was corn I believe), probably linked with the article posted earlier about protests at Monsanto. I’d protest with them over a GMO that would cause the stomachs of parasites to explode

levi on September 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Part of the reason we have more people with diseases that we didn’t have before is that more of them survived to procreate. For example, my cousin, born in 1960, nearly died several times from asthma. He survived and now uses medication…so do his children.

Some artificial foods are just artificial and probably no good, but I suspect that some modified food is just the equivalent of a new strain. There are many raspberry varietals, grapes, corn, etc.

I’d rather have GM than heavily sprayed with fungicides.

clnurnberg on September 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Are you serious hot air? As much as I hate to admit it, I have to agree with California on this one. It gives the individual more information and allows them to make a choice in the market place.

MoreLiberty on September 15, 2012 at 7:59 PM

“More information” translates into boycotts in California — “informational pickets” in front of grocery stores and such.

I remember when yellow corn disappeared from grocery shelves and was replaced by white corn because some genetically modified yellow corn escaped from a field. Corn suddenly became very expensive — but choice prevailed — right? No. Scare prevailed. I loved the rich, nutty taste of the yellow corn — the replacement (and supposedly non genetically modified) stuff tastes sweet — and that’s about it.

The guy who’s put this on the ballot, Joseph Mercola of Chicago (from which no good comes any more) is the owner of a bunch of bio-pharmaceutical and organic foods companies, and stands to make millions more if he can force California consumers to push out GM products in place of his. He also is behind campaign against childhood vaccination which has had such a disastrous effect in California that whooping cough cases are increasing state wide because parents have foregone vaccination.

Strangely, the FDA refuses to introduce rules requiring labeling — taking the position that if something weren’t perfectly good to eat, it wouldn’t allow it on grocery shelves in the first place.

This is all about driving GM foods out of the market, period — it’s not about any putative choice.

Personally, I will be voting “NO” but I doubt that’s what the rest of California will be doing.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2012 at 8:21 PM

Doesn’t surprise. This state is full of wackjobs. Remember this is the same state that re-elected Gov Moonbeam, keeps re-electing Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein, Waxman, etc.

They are in a race between CA and NY to see which one can out-do each other in liberal madness. I think CA may win though…

RedbonePro on September 15, 2012 at 7:19 PM

…have they mandated 12 ounce drinks yet?
Have they outlawed Saltpeter yet?..oh wait!

KOOLAID2 on September 15, 2012 at 8:22 PM

Monsanto is evil as is dwarf wheat and thousands of other GMOs.

LMFAO. I love this stuff!

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 8:23 PM

I would like to know if some product/produce has been genetically modified…

catquilt on September 15, 2012 at 7:33 PM

I just learned that you can tell the origins of bulk produce by the PLU code on the product. Hopefully, someday we’ll know the origins of all our foods.

Organic produce – 5 digit PLU number that begins with the 9.
Conventional produce – 4 digit PLU number that begins with the 4.
Genetically modified (GMO) produce – 5 digit PLU number that begins with 8.

For example, a conventional banana PLU is #4011, an organic banana is #94011, and genetically modified is #84011.

GrannySunni on September 15, 2012 at 8:24 PM

If only you all knew what was in the technology pipelines at big biotech. Your scientifically illiterate heads would collectively pop. It’s cool though, we will find ways to feed you so that you may be comfortable in your ignorance.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 8:25 PM

whatcat, I actually met Wavy Gravy at a food conference in NYC in 1997. He had become more hefty than wavy. Apparently he had eaten that entire “breakfast in bed for 400,000″ all by himself. And yes, I was the only conservative Christian farmer from Ohio in the entire ballroom.
Franklin S on September 15, 2012 at 8:14 PM

Yeah, I caught him in some documentary within the last 10 years and he was on the portly side, for sure. Quite a character,though, seems pleasant enough and helped to make Woodstock a classic film doc – along with the brown acid and the futile “no rain!” chants, etc.. Arlo Guthrie said his kids razz him a lot about his stoned “Like, I was rappin’ with the fuzz – can you dig it?” spiel.

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

A label mark that simply says “GM” should be sufficient and not prohibitively expensive to producers.

Notifying consumers that this is a different kind of food is only common sense.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Spend a little more time thinking that through. How about a tv dinner where the batter on the fried chicken might have GM flour this month, maybe not next month? What if cooking oil might have some GM contents depending where buyers get it? How do restaurants and fast-food outlets handle the requirements?

The simplicity that you see and that greenies push falls apart for anything but the most raw and unprepared ingredients. That’s part of the scam. The added cost is a feature for the greenies, not a flaw.

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Starvation is actually good for you in this new world where up is down and down is up.

Bmore on September 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Starvation is actually good for you in this new world where up is down and down is up.

Bmore on September 15, 2012 at 8:27 PM

Moochelle practices it every day….

….oh wait…

Electrongod on September 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

The main reason to want organic is that you are concerned about the effects of fertlizers, pesticides, or hormones of mainsteam farming. Well hello? One of the main benefits of GM crops is that it provides the capacity of mainstream farming while reducing fertilizers, pestices and hormones needing to be applied.

Resolute on September 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM

evi on September 15, 2012 at 8:08 PM

Galadriel on September 15, 2012 at 8:10 PM

You are ignorant of the enormous benefits to everyone from having access to pest-free food which carries markedly fewer harmful viruses and bacteria: one of the tremendous benefits of modern farming and genetic engineering.

There is an enormous amount of research backing this up: most of it widely published and easily available to you or anyone else who can read.

And produce would be safer yet if you and other ignorant dolts would pay attention to the science and stop opposing irradiation of produce: a measure which would virtually eliminate bacteria and virus-borne illness from produce.

But no, you would rather have other people die of starvation and preventable diseases because you are afraid of the modern world.

Nobody is preventing you from growing your own food any way you want.

PS – Pot is not a food.

landlines on September 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

LMFAO. I love this stuff!

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Keep laughing jack hole. Autoimmune diseases aren’t on the rise because we live longer. Crohn’s and many others present mostly in teens and 20′s and are increasingly seeing pediatric cases.. It’s the GMOs and that we no longer live symbiotically with organisms like helminths.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

It’s the GMOs

explain.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 8:46 PM

Genetically modified foods have their pros and their cons. One pro is that they create “super crops” that can withstand all sorts of pathogens and parasites. This can actually prevent famine in environments that may otherwise be unable to sustain crops. On the downside, with so many foods being genetically modified, most are now very high in salicylic acid. For the majority of people, that’s not a problem, but there has been a steady increase in salicylate sensitivities. Once someone develops a salicylate sensitivity, they are restricted from eating most fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, any foods containing preservatives (which means most foods found in supermarkets), and they also need to be careful what soaps, shampoos, makeup and toothpastes they use since it all contains salicylates. I can say from personal experience, it’s really a pain in the butt.

Smoothies on September 15, 2012 at 8:56 PM

profitsbeard on September 15, 2012 at 7:38 PM

Spend a little more time thinking that through. How about a tv dinner where the batter on the fried chicken might have GM flour this month, maybe not next month? What if cooking oil might have some GM contents depending where buyers get it? How do restaurants and fast-food outlets handle the requirements?

The simplicity that you see and that greenies push falls apart for anything but the most raw and unprepared ingredients. That’s part of the scam. The added cost is a feature for the greenies, not a flaw.

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 8:26 PM

When government and business tell me that I am better off not knowing something, that makes me more determined to know it.

GM foods are de facto treating us as guinea pigs “for our own good”.

At least lets the guinea pigs know it.

Most people would ignore any new label change anyway, but truth in packaging is basic consumer rationality.

Since business -and government- being made up of fallible, corruptible humans- cannot be “trusted” without “verification”, simply telling people the basic facts of which are GM foods/additives is the wisest course.

Should one of these miracle modifications end up fulfilling the good old Law of Unintended Consequences.

Like cyclamates, thalidomide, etc.

profitsbeard on September 15, 2012 at 8:59 PM

Autoimmune diseases aren’t on the rise because we live longer. Crohn’s and many others present mostly in teens and 20′s and are increasingly seeing pediatric cases..
levi on September 15, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Increases in medical condition could be due to any number of verifiable factors. As Liz noted above, “there is not a single documented case of “adverse health consequences” due to genetically engineered foods.”

Several verifiable factors come immediately to mind, e.g. : Some illnesses just weren’t defined and diagnosed until recently – for example 50 years ago ADHD was undefined even though people experienced the symptoms. Now that’s it’s been defined, it’s diagnosed exponentially.

Also, people with conditions that rendered them chronically ill died at a younger age due to there being little/no treatment options available. If they had not procreated, their condition didn’t make it into the gene pool. Now, there are treatments for conditions enabling them to live long enough to procreate and pass along their genetic makeup to a wider number.

Diet in general is indeed a factor, as is exercise. Sit on a couch all day eating Cheetos and Twinkies washed down with soda-pop while playing video games probably is not the wisest choice in child-rearing. But that has nothing to do with GMO, it’s just stupid eatin’.

Quite a bit is just plain genetics. A person’s great-grandfather may have had a (then) undefined condition and it pops up again a century later as something that is easily and commonly diagnosed nowadays. You’ll find plenty of people who never smoked in their life, yet died of lung cancer, e.g. “Andy Kaufman”. Just as you’ll find quite a few people in top physical condition who just dropped dead from natural causes.

So sometimes there is no bogeyman, it’s just a very difficult and sad part of the human condition that will never change.

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

Interestingly enough the future of yield increases in agriculture have more to do with satellite imaging, and loci-specific planting than any singular transgenic event.

Yield increases thru transgene events, stacked and singular are considered successes at ~3% efficacy, which is marginally significantly significant.

Yield increases thru precision planting are >20%.

That is why Big-Biotech™ bought THE precision planting company.

Believe me, this is a very good thing.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM

explain.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 8:46 PM

I already explained the main overarching reasons. I talk about this enough on other forums I don’t really want to debate it on HotAir. GMO’s alter your gut flora. The vast majority of your immune system functions based on your gut and gut flora. Our gut floras are completely out of balance due in large part to GMOs. Hence the logarithmic rise in autoimmune diseases and chronic illnesses.

Check out “An Epidemic of Absence: A new way of understanding allergies and autoimmune diseases.” published just last week. Mine hasn’t even gotten here yet but I’m betting it’s worth it if you want to know more about the subject.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Several verifiable factors come immediately to mind, e.g. : Some illnesses just weren’t defined and diagnosed until recently – for example 50 years ago ADHD was undefined even though people experienced the symptoms. Now that’s it’s been defined, it’s diagnosed exponentially.

Also, people with conditions that rendered them chronically ill died at a younger age due to there being little/no treatment options available. If they had not procreated, their condition didn’t make it into the gene pool. Now, there are treatments for conditions enabling them to live long enough to procreate and pass along their genetic makeup to a wider number.

whatcat on September 15, 2012 at 9:15 PM

These are diseases that were discovered and named in the early 1900s and they are increasingly exponentially even over just the past two decades. Autoimmune diseases, like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s are much more prevalent that even in the 80s or 90s. Look it up!

As I already said, most cases are diagnosed in the teens or early 20s so it doesn’t mean jack if the life expectancy was only 30 years in the 50′s, the disease are still more prevalent today and showing marked increase in pediatric cases.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 9:36 PM

Check out “An Epidemic of Absence: A new way of understanding allergies and autoimmune diseases.” published just last week.

No thanks.

He is a kook writer, surprise surprise…

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Maybe someone can recommend Food Inc. or point me to a Union of Concerned Scientists.

I am very susceptible to concern.

:-)

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 9:43 PM

No thanks.

He is a kook writer, surprise surprise…

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 9:39 PM

Well the author has already posted a rebuttal to the rebuttal that appeared in the New York Times, I can’t find the link now, but it’s a favorite on my work computer. I look and post if I find it.

A tip: I personally don’t always take as fact information that comes from the New York Times. Especially the opinion page. But with a name like tom daschle I’m not surprised you do.

Also check Joel Weinstock at University of Iowa, his work on helminths goes hand in hand with the ‘kook’ (according to the NYT op-ed page) that I mentioned earlier.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 9:51 PM

http://www.moisesvm.com/2012/09/09/response-to-autism-oped-smackdowns-and-faqs/

Here’s the link to his rebuttal to the rebuttals of his original New York Times piece.

Correlation may not prove causation, but the evidence is there for an open mind to see. Even starting with a 1990 datum point to rule out better diagnoses, longer lives, we are seeing a marked increases is illness and disease. Check out proliferation of McDonalds in South America and India. No colitis or Crohn’s there before, now it’s spreading like wildfire.

Just a note, if you respond I’m not running from a fight, I’ve gone to bed.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 9:56 PM

PS – Pot is not a food.

landlines on September 15, 2012 at 8:38 PM

I don’t get it. Is there a correlation between smoking pot and what I’ve espoused? If so I’m the exception, I’m 28 and have never toked or taken a drag on a cigarette so not sure what the hell you are getting at.

levi on September 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM

Just a note, if you respond I’m not running from a fight, I’ve gone to bed.

I don’t see any point to declaring victory in this topic. It is absolutely religious for the anti’s, and I’m not into conversion.

So sleep well.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:00 PM

What’s wrong with giving people information. If you want GMO well good for you, but people should have the choice

MoreLiberty on September 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

I want to know what I am buying. I want to know if it is made in China or if it is a lab modified food. Unless it is labeled there is no way to tell so I want the label. On 9 out of 10 issues I am as libertarian as they come but the large food companies are so intransigent on this issue that the government should step in. I am entitled to know basic information about the food I feed my children.

darcee on September 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

I think we should force food producers to print the pedigrees of all the plant products that are incorporated into every food. How many generations should we go back? 1? 5? 10? 100?

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:05 PM

Of course these idiots don’t realize that every time you cross breed, cross pollinate or graft to root stock…you’ve just genetically modified the plant.

TexasEngineer on September 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Of course these idiots don’t realize that every time you cross breed, cross pollinate or graft to root stock…you’ve just genetically modified the plant.

TexasEngineer on September 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM


Grafting is totally unholy!

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:12 PM

What’s wrong with giving people information. If you want GMO well good for you, but people should have the choice

MoreLiberty on September 15, 2012 at 10:01 PM

Because we are all going to have to pay for the added cost of satisfying your whims?

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 10:16 PM

Of course these idiots don’t realize that every time you cross breed, cross pollinate or graft to root stock…you’ve just genetically modified the plant.

TexasEngineer on September 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM

Actually, those are hybrids. What they’re talking about is splicing genes and creating transgenic organisms.

I’m not really sure on whether GMOs are bad or not, but it’s ridiculous that Monsanto has sued farmers who got another farmer’s Monsanto GMO seeds blown into their fields. In short, I’m not fond of some of their business practices.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

I’m not really sure on whether GMOs are bad or not, but it’s ridiculous that Monsanto has sued farmers who got another farmer’s Monsanto GMO seeds blown into their fields. In short, I’m not fond of some of their business practices.

Dr. ZhivBlago on September 15, 2012 at 10:18 PM

Protecting intellectual property thru enforcement of patent laws is preferable in some fields(so to speak), but not agriculture.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

I thought conservatives liked consumer choice. All the law is proposing is that consumer are able to make an informed decision whether they want to eat modified food or not. If people don’t want to eat modified food that produces it own pesticides than the market will naturally correct itself. If not, then there shouldn’t be a problem and life will go on as before.

Ric on September 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

modified food that produces it own pesticides

Transcribes and translates a gene that produces a protein from a naturally occurring soil microbe.

They tried banning Bt somewheres in California. They realized their mistake when it became apparent that they would have to incinerate the ground.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM

I thought conservatives liked consumer choice….

Ric on September 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

Not when that choice is mandated by an already out-of-control fascistic state government that is about to go bankrupt and come to the rest of us with their hands out.

Nice try though.

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 10:33 PM

I support Prop. 37.

If you want to make a dollar off something modified from the Creator’s genetics, you may, as long as you tell the buyer.

It has been said that Man was made in God’s image.

God made Man and Man is imperfect.

So I would like to have imperfect Man’s alteration of God’s genetics.

That is all. I won’t go on a jihad about it.

But Man is pretty darn fallible. I’d like to have an easily identifiable differentiation between natural foods and hgenetically modified ones, both in the fields and in the stores.

Then we can choose.

But I disagree with companies being allowed to sell me genetically modified food without a disclaimer, so that I can make this choice.

I usually like govefrnment to be “hands off,” but on this, I strongly oppose the unmarked, unnoted introduction into our food chain of genetically modified foods.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM

God made Man and Man is imperfect.

So I would like to have imperfect Man’s alteratio

FIFM

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:42 PM

jeez… the touch pad is going bad on this laptop. Started a few days ago *groan*

Try again:

God made Man and Man is imperfect.

So I would like to have imperfect Man’s alteration of God’s genetics be labeled as such.

FIFM (again)

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:43 PM

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:41 PM

Would you support a “this product may contain GMO” label? Kind of like the allergen labeling? It doesn’t really say anything but is cover from litigation.

Given the option, I would choose to consume gmo. At least I know my food had been tested for safety.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I would completely support these labeling requirements for all crops receiving any level of agricultural subsidies. Alternatively, eliminating the subsidies completely would go a long way to solve many challenges that make GMOs appealing (monoculture). Until then, I have no sympathy.

VerbumSap on September 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM

Would you support a “this product may contain GMO” label? Kind of like the allergen labeling? It doesn’t really say anything but is cover from litigation.

Given the option, I would choose to consume gmo. At least I know my food had been tested for safety.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM

I know there is an issue with mills, and cross-contamination of production lines.

I don’t like the “may” warning unless it specifically notes that it’s incidental contact only.

I do believe that “heirloom” strains of foods and genetically modified should be kept separate. A few more words on the label doesn’t cost much

But I certainly want to know if I;m eating Frankenfish in ANY form.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Alternatively, eliminating the subsidies completely would go a long way to solve many challenges that make GMOs appealing (monoculture). Until then, I have no sympathy.

VerbumSap on September 15, 2012 at 10:44 PM

You should read up on precision planting. Not the company specifically, but the practice. It makes tons of sense and yields huge gains. monoculture has been superseded by superior technology.

Every field is highly variable from row to row as far as water availability(high and low spots), disease pressures, nutrient availabilities, and pest pressures. A farmer can load his seeder with many types of seed and plant each row automatically according to datasets compiled from prior field seasons, and HD satelite imaging. It is such a simple concept, but is totally revolutionary with modern computing.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

But I certainly want to know if I;m eating Frankenfish in ANY form.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Are there gmo fish for food on the market?

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM

Yes, Monsanto *is* evil. Among other companies. If they find ANY of their genetic material in the agricultural products of a farmer who did not purchase Monsanto, Monsanto has the right to level the farmer’s field or charge a bucketload (sorry for the hyperbole) of money.

My kids are students in an agricultural/natural resources college. They are well-versed on this.

As for Stanford saying there is no difference in organic vs. non-organic crops? All they did was look at nutritional value. They did not assess the risk of pesticides or herbicides. The USDA Pesticide Data Program found the residue of 37 different pesticides (some of them VERY scary) on potatoes. That is just one product. Does anyone really think that is okay?

bigbeachbird on September 15, 2012 at 10:59 PM

Yes, Monsanto *is* evil. Among other companies. If they find ANY of their genetic material in the agricultural products of a farmer who did not purchase Monsanto, Monsanto has the right to level the farmer’s field or charge a bucketload (sorry for the hyperbole) of money.

So patent law doesn’t apply to the field of agriculture, or just to Monsanto specifically?

Didn’t Apple patent the ‘swipe’?

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 11:01 PM

But I certainly want to know if I’m eating Frankenfish in ANY form.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM

So you are okay with forcing me to pay extra taxes for the government organizations that will enforce the new rules, and more for the food that will be more expensive to produce, track and produce additional packaging for, -all because you ‘want to know’?

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/16/genetically-modified-salmon-fda-approval_n_877983.html

I honestly don’t know if Frankenfish is on the market yet. See above link.

In 2011 it almost got there, but the House blocked it.

But maybe 0bama signed an executive order? Who knows? With all the waivers nowadays, we don’t know what’s law and what’s not!!!

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 10:54 PM

Yeah, wow, improve mass plantings of corn and soybeans. Totally addresses my concerns. /

VerbumSap on September 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM

So you are okay with forcing me to pay extra taxes for the government organizations that will enforce the new rules, and more for the food that will be more expensive to produce, track and produce additional packaging for, -all because you ‘want to know’?

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Yes. The cost should not be significant. I am willing to pay a cent or two a pound for accurate food labeling. I think you should, too.

Genetic engineering is a new frontier. I, for one, do not wish to be an unpaid, unwarned test subject. That’s what rats are for.

Have you noticed that a lot of cheap store brands now refuse to say where they are made? “Distributed by XYZPDQ Corp, Peoria, Ill.”

Yep, it’s coming stright from China.

I have the right to know, as I am aware of lax Chinese standards, as I have learned through my experience at Harbor Freight Tools.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 11:18 PM

So you are okay with forcing me to pay extra taxes for the government organizations that will enforce the new rules, and more for the food that will be more expensive to produce, track and produce additional packaging for, -all because you ‘want to know’?

slickwillie2001 on September 15, 2012 at 11:14 PM

Shorter answer:

Yes I am.

I’m generally quite conservative. Not on this.

Not on the food that goes into my and my family’s bodies.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 11:20 PM

But I certainly want to know if I’m eating Frankenfish in ANY form.

cane_loader on September 15, 2012 at 10:51 PM

Look at the price tag. If it costs less, it’s a frankenfish.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Yeah, wow, improve mass plantings of corn and soybeans. Totally addresses my concerns. /

VerbumSap on September 15, 2012 at 11:15 PM

We could always cull 80% of the Earth’s human population and not worry about planting crops.

/

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Look at the price tag. If it costs less, it’s a frankenfish.

unclesmrgol on September 15, 2012 at 11:23 PM

Nope, it is likely Swai. Catfish sold under a name that American catfish producers lobbied for.

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Swai is much more tasty compared to Flavr Savr.

:-P

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 11:30 PM

tom daschle concerned on September 15, 2012 at 11:26 PM

Still wouldn’t end farm subsidies.

VerbumSap on September 15, 2012 at 11:33 PM

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