Farm Press Blog

Time to take on anti-biotech crowd over GMO labeling

RSS
  • Time to put end to the mandatory GMO labeling charade. Put it on the California statewide ballot and duke it out with radicals using the truth. Everything we eat is genetically modified, and the public should be made aware of that fact.

(For Harry Cline's follow-up to this commentary, see: Anti-biotech crowd convinced GMO food is road to extinction)

The California anti-biotech/anti-genetically modified/anti-science crowd is at it again.

This time around they are calling themselves “advocates for truth in food labeling” and are gathering signatures to get another infamous California voter initiative on the 2012 California electoral ballot. If passed, it would mandate that GMO foods be labeled with some kind of warning.

Bring it on.

It is about time this GMO labeling issue be tackled head-on so the public can be told the truth. Truth is, everything we eat today has been genetically modified, using either conventional plant and animal breeding or biotech technology.

For example, a team of scientists at the University of California has identified no less than 14 so-called genetically modified feedstuffs that are fed to dairy cattle. These are just the biotech products. Of course conventionally genetically modified feedstuff is also fed to milk-producing dairy cows.

These include Roundup Ready corn, Bt grain and silage corn as well as distillers grain; Roundup Ready soybeans, Roundup Ready cottonseed, Bt cottonseed, Roundup Ready alfalfa, Roundup Ready canola, BST used to increase milk production, genetically-engineered Renet used in 90 percent of commercial cheese production, Roundup Ready sugar beets, glufosinate-resistant corn grain and silage, glufosinate-resistant cotton, glufosinate-resistant canola and imidazalione-tolerant corn.

Not all dairy cows are fed this complete list, but enough to dare say if you buy milk in California, it will have to be labeled GMO under the hopefully ill-fated initiative. I suspect organic milk has some of the same ingredients since the overwhelming majority of corn, cotton and soybeans are biotech crops. If not, it would most certainly be conventionally genetically modified.

Of course a lot of those feeds are also fed to poultry and beef cattle.

And we could go on and on, right into the heart of the organic/anti biotech movement - the notorious Organic Trade Association - where one of its board members is a vice president and general manager of Smuckers Natural Foods. Smuckers uses high fructose corn syrup and other GMO ingredients in various jams and jellies. There are other food producing companies represented on the OTA board that also sell biotech foods.

The absurdity of this anti-biotech movement becomes more apparent each day as people realize that the world needs increasingly more food to head off starvation by millions. The most logical way to meet this challenge is with scientific advancement, including biotechnology.

The cost of food continues to go up with the growing scarcity of products as the world competes for food. The public is growing more aware of this each day.

It is time agriculture and food processors take on this anti-biotech crowd straight out with the facts and put a stop to this mandatory GMO labeling nonsense. It is time consumers are told the truth and put this anti-biotech initiative in the same category as the ludicrous anti-circumcision ban initiative a bunch of amazingly arrogant whackos in San Francisco tried to get on a city election ballot. A superior court recently tossed the initiative off the ballot, even though enough signatures were collected to put it on a San Francisco city election ballot. Even the ACLU supported its removal from the ballot because it violated constitutional and religious freedoms.

The mandatory GMO labeling proposal is going nowhere in Washington. Maybe it is time to bury it in California. It would be expensive to defeat. However, the time is right to stop this nonsense where it all started, in California.

(For Harry Cline's follow-up to this commentary, see: Anti-biotech crowd convinced GMO food is road to extinction)

Discuss this Blog Entry 106

DonM (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

This article doesn't even make any sense... Right from the press release "sound byte" at the top. GMO != Selective Breeding NOR does GMO !=Hybridization . Even more faulty logic is the idea that since our livestock is all fed franken food, we should give up and accept it and shut up about it as it's just too much of a hassle or pain to expect an industry to be forthright about what is in the products they sell. Give me a break man. Even worse is that ever single one of those franken crops you mentioned is a GENETICALLY ENGINEERED GMO, unless there's a freaking plant somewhere in the world the they bred corn (rice, soybeans, cotton) with to make it produce it's own TOXIN

Harry Cline (not verified)
on Sep 21, 2011

Better find a hole to crawl into large hole if you want to escape the "toxin" found in GMO insect resistant plants.

The toxins found in GMO plants are strains of Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a spore forming bacterium that produces crystals protein which are toxic to many species of insects.

Bt can be found almost everywhere in the world. Surveys have indicated that Bt is distributed in soil worldwide. Bt has been found in all types of terrain, including beaches, desert, and tundra habitats.

If Bt were not present naturally in the environment, we would be over run with catepillars.

It is one of the most widely used, OMRI-approved insecticides used in organic farming.

The toxin is Bacillus flash animation) bacterium that produces crystals protein (cry proteins), which are toxic to many species of insects.

Bt can be found almost everywhere in the world. Surveys have indicated that Bt is distributed in the soil sparsely but frequently worldwide. Bt has been found in all types of terrain, including beaches, desert, and tundra habitats.

DonM (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

This article doesn't even make any sense... Right from the press release "sound byte" at the top. GMO != Selective Breeding NOR does GMO !=Hybridization . Even more faulty logic is the idea that since our livestock is all fed franken food, we should give up and accept it and shut up about it as it's just too much of a hassle or pain to expect an industry to be forthright about what is in the products they sell. Give me a break man. Even worse is that ever single one of those franken crops you mentioned is a GENETICALLY ENGINEERED GMO, unless there's a freaking plant somewhere in the world the they bred corn (rice, soybeans, cotton) with to make it produce it's own TOXIN

Joe Bentley (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

The data against the so called safety of GMO's is extensive. I suggest for anyone interested to go to "i-sis.org.uk" and see for themselves.

Begin Here:

From:
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
Director
Institute of Science in Society
29 Tytherton Road
London N19 4PZ
UK
www.i-sis.org.uk

5 September 2011

Dear Ventura Supervisor Steve Bennett,

I write in support of a worldwide ban on glyphosate and glyphosate-based
herbicides on behalf of the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS), a not-for-
profit organisation dedicated to reclaiming science for the public good.

As part of the work of ISIS, and also as a member on the roster of scientific
experts of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, I and my colleagues have been
monitoring and reviewing extensive scientific literature and empirical evidence
on the use of genetically modified (GM) crops and livestock since 1994, and
making the information available to policy-makers and the public worldwide via
our website: www.i-sis.org.uk, which is archived by the British Library as part
of the UK’s national documentary heritage, as well as our quarterly publication
provided free to key policy-makers, Science in Society (SiS), which is also
publicly distributed in the UK, US and Canada, and open to subscription both
online and in paper copies.

I highlight the health and environmental hazards of glyphosate, the world’s top-
selling herbicide, largely because it is used with glyphosate tolerant GM crops
now planted on 85 percent of the 148 million hectares given over to GM crops
globally. These hazards have been discovered and described in hundreds of
research papers published by scientists independent of the industry in the US
and in Europe.

Feeding trials have resulted in liver and kidney toxicities (including studies
submitted by biotech companies for market approval, when the raw data were re-
analysed by independent scientists) (see GM Feed Toxic, New Meta-Analysis
Confirms, SiS 52), still births, stunting, infertility (GM Soya Fed Rats:
Stunted, Dead, or Sterile, SiS 33) and birth defects ( Argentina's Roundup Human
Tragedy, SiS 48), recently confirmed in a thorough laboratory study (Lab Study
Establishes Glyphosate Link to Birth Defects, SiS 48), and corroborated by
observation of highly toxic effects on placental and embryonic cells (Death by
Multiple Poisoning, Glyphosate and Roundup, SiS 42).

It transpired that glyphosate was already found to cause birth defects in the
biotech industry’s studies carried out in the 1990s, which were submitted to the
EU for market approval (EU Regulators and Monsanto Exposed for Hiding Glyphosate
Toxicity, SiS 51).

In the field, extensive studies by US scientists have confirmed that glyphosate
and glyphosate-tolerant crops poisons and soil (Scientists Reveal Glyphosate
Poisons Crops and Soil, and Glyphosate Tolerant Crops Bring Diseases and Death,
SiS 47). More than 40 crop diseases are now linked to glyphosate use, including
Fusarium head blight, root rot, and sudden death syndrome. Glyphosate is a
strong, general chelator that immobilizes nutrients in the plant and in the
soil, rendering them unavailable. Moreover, glyphosate stimulates the growth of
pathological fungi and enhances the virulence of pathogens such as Fusarium
while killing beneficial micro-oganisms such as nitrogen fixing bacteria and
Pseudomonas, an important multifunctional bacterium in the rhizophere producing
numerous secondary metabolites that suppress harmful pathogens. The glyphosate
tolerant GM crops actually take up and concentrate the herbicide, and secrete it
through the roots, thereby poisoning the next crop to be planted in the soil.
This research has been documented in more than a hundred research papers
published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. That’s not all.

Read the rest of this letter here
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Glyphosate_letter_for_Ventura_county.php

Or find out more about glyphosate here
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/SS-glyphosate.php

Atina (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

The author is right that most foods in the market place contain GMO ingredients. That's why we need a label. We deserve the right to choose. The situation now, without labeling, makes consumers guinea pigs in an experiment not of their choosing. But he does not know the organic standards. GMO feed stock is not allowed in organic certification.

Cassandra (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

Okay, it's pretty much a given that all non-organic animal products (meat, eggs, dairy) is GMO fed and thus GMO contaminated. It's not a given with produce and processed foods, the sourcing of the ingredients of which are more controllable.

The bottom line is that I want to protect my health, and I strongly believe the purity of the food I put into my body is relevant. I want food labels to tell me which ingredients are truly natural and which have been genetically manipulated.

The research purportedly establishing the safety of these foods has been conducted by the same companies producing them, in many cases feeding only screened and selected summaries of their studies and findings to the FDA rather than revealing their raw data. Thus they filter what they show, and can hide whatever they like. Can you spell "conflict of interest"?

More Than Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

Disgustingly impressive. However, I would recommend, aside from doing some research, not being so blatant about manipulation on the next article. The way to misleading the masses lies on the path of subtlety. This legislation is all over Oregon and a vast number of other states, and for good reason. An undeniable fact, that researchers and spokesmen who speak out after researching GMOs are "let go" or fired for misconduct, creates more than enough grounds for labeling. We want to make educated decisions, not blind ones on modified food and additives science fails to have properly studied. We are not an ignorant public, despite all of the red tape that money makes.

Ron Angove (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

It appears to me that Mr, Harry Cline is either another Monsanto stooge or has no knowledge at all of what is going on in the food world, Anyone who has read up at all on the the toxins that are being sprayed on or added to our food would understand the publics concern over what we are eating. Maybe Mr. Cline needs to lose some of his arrogence and check his facts! Be that as it may, we have the RIGHT to know what is in our food and if it has been modified.

Johnny Appleseed (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

it really is about choice...it is required that food products list their ingredients so that people can make an informed decision about what they are putting in their body. If Monsanto is so proud of their efforts to improve agribusiness for the purpose of feeding the starving world, why wouldn't they want to have their label information on every single package that they produce, so that the public could rejoice at their achievements. More likely it is an effort to bear no responsibility if the genetically modified products end up being linked to future disease.

Joshua Donini (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

"The cost of food continues to go up with the growing scarcity of products as the world competes for food. The public is growing more aware of this each day."

Funny, I thought the scarcity of products was due to converting all the good agriculture land to the monocultures of soy and corn that have found their way into all of the "food" processed for market. And the increase in the cost of food was due to the increase in the price of petroleum required to produce it 'conventionally'. Let's not forget the support and concern these chemical companies have for the farmers who use their products... wait, suing them to the point they lose their farms is no concern at all.

You are right in saying the public is growing more aware of this each day..

Gadfly (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

Surely this article is satire. Can the author possibly be serious in implying that we all should just trust Monsanto?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

Absolutely, we have the right to know exactly what we are putting into our bodies! I wouild equate what they are doing to rape. They have monopolized our food supply so much that we are unwilling victims of products that steal our health and violate our bodies. Without labeling, we have no choice in whether we want to eat it or not. It is being forced upon us without our knowledge of what it is or what it may do to us. They are all about the money, nothing more. Unbelievable to hear them admit that they have adulterated just about all of our food supply without our consent or knowledge. This has got to be stopped before we are all in medical facilities, struggling to survive. Maybe they are in cahoots with the medical machines too that are hell bent on getting every person, child and even pets on medication. All for their profit.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 8, 2011

Labelling is a must. I want to know what I and my family eat. I want to know if they are gmo's. GMO's are unproven. No one knows the long-term effects of these products. Why are gmo's better than nature's food? Whoever controls the food supply, controls the world. I believe people are concerned about the long-term effects on their childrens' health.I hope to be in Washington, D.C. on October 6th.

ex biochemist (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

what is truly absurd are the egomaniacal biochemists, who believe themselves smart enough to play with genetic material from incompatible species contrary to evolutionary forces of eons, to please the vagaries of a "free" market. Of course with the likes of Monsanto the market is anything but "free".
Absolute lunatics who don't give a damn about the health of people they assert they are attempting to feed.
What studies can you cite demonstrating that transgenes do not transfer into the human enteric bacteria?

There is No altruism to be found in biotechnology. only regulatory schitzophrenia, outright absurd lies and hubris of absolute Wacko proportions.
The participants of the agricultural biotech industry are egomaniacal sociopaths of our age.

Nikki Baker (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

If you are so cock sure about the safety, validity and moral stature of GMO food and products, then why so affraid to label it?
Because you know that people aren't as stupid as you would like them to think they are. And you are desperate not to have GMO's labled because it's the kiss of death to Geneticly Modified toxic sludge. As proven in Europe and elsewhere.
Your artical is a pathetic attempt to use reverse psycological warfare/brainwashing on the public.
By the way- Those arogant, whackos in San Francisco might just decide to sue you for public deformation of character..Kind of like Monsanto does everytime they can catch someone speaking negatively about them. So if I were you, I'd watch the self righteous attitude in your obviously less then schooled attempt at journalism.. You wouldn't want to be tied up in a law suit now, would you?

STEVE (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

More lies and misinformation propaganda from the Monsanto camp. This reminds me of the lies and mud slinging you see in political campaigns between politicians, they distort and alter any facts they can to promote their self serving lies.
This shows what we are up against, pure corruption and lies, not to mention arrogance.
These kind of articles make my blood boil.
I really hope that enough people in California wake up and see the real truth and get this on the ballot and get it passed.
if this GE onslaught is not stopped, some day soon people will wonder what the hell happened.
I am disgusted with US agriculture corruption manifest through their policies and propaganda to force this insidious so called technology on the U.S. and any other country they can badger into GE seeds, chemicals and all that goes with it.
It's way past due that the consumer put the Bio tech companies in their place.
STEVE Wyoming

Victoria M. (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

I have a really simple message to the author of this article and to anyone who wishes to be a guinea pig. How about you keep eating and feeding your family with all the GMO, bio-tech crap you want, and let everyone else decide whether they want to poison themselves or not. Shouldn't it be our constitutional and human right (in free America) to make an educational choice and decision about what we want to eat? Guess what, in order to do that, we need labels so we can make that choice!

Victoria M. (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

I have a really simple message to the author of this article and to anyone who wish to be a guinea pig. How about you keep eating and feeding your family with all the GMO, bio-tech crap you want, and let everyone else decide whether they want to poison themselves or not. Shouldn't it be our constitutional and human right (in free America) to make an educational choice and decision about what we want to eat? Guess what, in order to do that, we need labels so we can make that choice!

Victoria M. (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

I have a really simple message to the author of this article and to anyone who wishes to be a guinea pig. Just keep eating and feeding your family with all the GMO, bio-tech crap you want, and let everyone else decide whether they want to poison themselves or not. Shouldn't it be our constitutional and human right (in free America) to make an educational choice and decision about what we want to eat? Guess what, in order to do that, we need labels so we can make that choice!

Joe (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

Well, let the biotech companies show us how to breed an onion with a monkey using conventional plant and animal breeding. If it can't be done that way, a reasonable person would suspect there may be risks to forcing the combination that have not been identified.

DDT was "safe" when it was sprayed on children decades ago while killing insects. Eight out of 10 doctors found certain cigarette brands to be smooth and relaxing and no one was worried about second hand smoke. So much for scientific certainty--cherry picked, incomplete, or rushed to market.

How many scientific certainties have we later found caused irreversible damage or loss of life? Even ignoring the mounting evidence of harm, that there are unknown risks should be the default position, not the other way around.

GreenFoodGal (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

Harry, DNWord and Kim are spot on. And the GMO labeling movement is gaining momentum, not losing it. The Right2Know March -A Mobilization for GMO Labeling - being held from Oct. 1-16, culminating DC, is the perfect opportunity to make our voices heard. http://www.right2knowmarch.org/

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

The people wanting the labeling of Genetically Modified foods are actually extremely interested in the science behind the GMO food. The fact is that there has not been any valid scientific evaluation of the consequences of these un-natural modifications to our food.

The myth of using GMO foods for the feeding of the overcrowded planet is in fact a myth. GMO foods use monoculture to an extreme, coupled with the poisoning of the soils with Roundup and other toxic compounds. The result is a depleted soil that yelds much, much less than organic soils.

Lastly, we are just asking to list the Genetically Modified ingredients in our food, so that people can make a decision. It's that simple. The only "anti" component of this initiative is "anti ignorance". People have the right to know what they put on their dishes for their family. If Generically Modified foods are wholesome and healthy, then the producers of such products have nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

on Sep 9, 2011

I have a really simple message to the author of this article and to anyone who wishes to be a guinea pig. How about you keep eating and feeding your family with all the GMO, bio-tech crap you want, and let everyone else decide whether they want to poison themselves or not. Shouldn't it be our human right (in free America) to make an educated decision and choice about what we want to eat? Guess what, in order to do that, we need labels so we can make that choice!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

The author makes the best possible set of arguments against his own thesis, by reminding us as though we are silly nimrods tht GMOs are already in everything we eat and it's just way unreasonable of us to think of disrupting the very business of food production with our selfish need to know. Thanks! Now let's get that initiative passed, California, so the rest of the states can learn from your playbook. The first step to getting Americans back on the road to good health is to get rid of this Frankenfood garbage which was rammed down our throats--literally--and now infects our whole food pyramid.

Votefortruthinlabeling (not verified)
on Sep 16, 2011

Clap, clap and standing ovation!! Hear it roar and hear it rumble!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

The people wanting the labeling of Genetically Modified foods are actually extremely interested in the science behind the GMO food. The fact is that there has not been any valid scientific evaluation of the consequences of these un-natural modifications to our food.

The myth of using GMO foods for the feeding of the overcrowded planet is in fact a myth. GMO foods use monoculture to an extreme, coupled with the poisoning of the soils with Roundup and other toxic compounds. The result is a depleted soil that yelds much, much less than organic soils.

Lastly, we are just asking to list the Genetically Modified ingredients in our food, so that people can make a decision. It's that simple. The only "anti" component of this initiative is "anti ignorance". People have the right to know what they put on their dishes for their family. If Generically Modified foods are wholesome and healthy, then the producers of such products have nothing to hide and nothing to fear.

Deb (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

Harry Cline appears to be competing with Forbes professional GMO cheerleader columnist Henry Miller for the Orwellian Doublespeaker Of The Year award.

Miller has stated that if you are pro-consumer-choice, you have to be against GMO labeling, on the grounds that if GMOs were labeled, then no one would buy them, and if no one buys them, the product will disappear, and that will mean... (drumroll please) less choice!

Cline's exercise in illogic appears to suggest that if consumers were aware of HOW MANY products would contain the GMO label, we'd be so overwhelmed that we'd wish nothing was labeled (i.e. we cannot handle the truth). So while his rallying cry is "time people knew the truth" the only way he can see that happening is if we deny the people their right to truth in labeling!

Fascinating. Stupid, but fascinating.

Harry Ballsack (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

Hey Harry,

We're talking about labeling ONLY BIOTECH GM CROPS !!!!

I think you should get YOUR facts straight.

In one of your other articles where you attack EWG saying "nobody has died from eating tomatoes" [ sprayed with pesticides ].... Like BIOTECH GMO's, those dangerous products lead to SLIGHT changes over time, and then cause cancers and other organ failures, and YES eventually lead to DEATH.

They also said the same things about radioactive products ( like radium ) when they 1st came out, basically saying that you could eat the stuff ( the radium clock dial painters literally did ), and of course, over time, suffered tremendously. Then 30-40 years later, they say "Oh no, you don't want to eat THAT stuff, don't you know, it dangerous". GMO's haven't killed anybody YET, but in short time they WILL. Every meal you eat will slowly expose the entire population to more until some start to hit the breaking point....give it another 10-15 years tops, THEN we'll really see the effects, and then how's Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, Syngenta, and the others gonna hide from the world ????

What will they do.....Can't have children ( infertility - Sterility ), Liver and Kidney damage, ALLERGIES and SEVERE allergic reactions differing with every product eaten, Immuine system damage, blood disorders......but hey, with all that good stuff in products today, maybe you're right, who would want to eat USDA ORGANIC foods ???? The smart ones who know better !!!!

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

I agree with Kim Kelley, I think that GMO technology is potentially dangerous and should be labeled.

HB
on Sep 9, 2011

Hey Harry,

We're talking about labeling ONLY BIOTECH GM CROPS !!!!

I think you should get YOUR facts straight.

In one of your other articles where you attack EWG saying "nobody has died from eating tomatoes" [ sprayed with pesticides ].... Like BIOTECH GMO's, those dangerous products lead to SLIGHT changes over time, and then cause cancers and other organ failures, and YES eventually lead to DEATH.

They also said the same things about radioactive products ( like radium ) when they 1st came out, basically saying that you could eat the stuff ( the radium clock dial painters literally did ), and of course, over time, suffered tremendously. Then 30-40 years later, they say "Oh no, you don't want to eat THAT stuff, don't you know, it's dangerous". GMO's haven't killed anybody YET, but in short time they WILL. Every meal you eat will slowly expose the entire population to more until some start to hit the breaking point....give it another 10-15 years tops, THEN we'll really see the effects, and then how's Monsanto, Cargill, DuPont, Syngenta, and the others gonna hide from the world ????

What will these BIOTECH GMO crops do to you.....Can't have children ( infertility - Sterility ), Liver and Kidney damage, ALLERGIES and SEVERE allergic reactions differing with every product eaten, Immuine system damage, and blood disorders, according to some of the independent and university studies to date. And let's also not forget the BIOTECH ( man made ) drugs like RBGH ( Bovine Growth Hormone ) injected into cows to increase their weight, and in the process leading to stronger ECOLI in their gut, and Infected Puss from the mastentitus infections that they get while their pumped full of that crap.....but hey, with all that good stuff in products today, maybe you're right, who would want to eat USDA ORGANIC foods ???? .........The smart ones who know better and don't believe Monsanto and the other multi-nationals BullS**t, that's who !!!! So, that's why ALL the people have a right to know what's REALLY in their food.

Don't forget, YOUR kids ( or grandkids ) will suffer the worst from this crap.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 9, 2011

Obviously this is ghost-written by someone who works for the biotech industry. Get your news somewhere else, only propaganda will be broadcasted here.

Dorothy Dent (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

OMG- the hippies want to label GMOs- does this really surprise and irk you? Why? That we want people to be given JUST THE CHOICE to buy produce from farming where the food grows in healthy, rich, living soils, (unlike in Round-Up laden, fumigated, herbicide ridden, commercial, terrorist-prone ammonia and nitrogen fertilizer fed, monocropped dead dirt!) without the use of ozone, bee, beneficial insect, and microorganism destroying chemicals, pesticides and actual inserted into DNA poisons and animal matter in our fruits, grains and vegetables?
Isn't it unethical to stealthily pollute the food supply of our growing children with this untested, ill-monitored, unlabeled faux produce? Genetic engineering is not similar at all to selective breeding- it is forcing genes across a previously impenetrable cell barrier. I'm vegetarian- you don't even care that I might want to know not to eat those tomatoes because they now have fish genes? Do you feed this subpar stuff to your family? Is it a monetary issue where you don't want people to know that any food but organic is compromised with residues, poisons and now internal unpronounceable agents that you so articulately and honestly listed?
The soil depleting and water fouling methods the commercial agricultural sector uses and exports to other countries are not sustainable, and those bad practices harm the earth and its inhabitants, hopefully not irreparably. Your low class polluted genetically engineered crops are polluting our finely tuned and cared for organic land and crops and then the scoundrel Monsanto company sues innocent farmers- for Monsanto's own polluting patented seed product the farmers never wanted to have trespass on their land!
In fact, super weeds, resistant bugs, new allergens and changing intestinal parasites have been shown to be produced by these little studied GMOs and who knows what will generate from the constantly increasing levels of toxins introduced into our soils and our digestive tracts thanks to your list of agriculture's chemically synthesized and transgenically infused "helpers".
Why do you not respect the "organic movement" that promotes authenticity and accountability in farming. Where inputs are generated locally by employing nitrogen fixing cover crops and manure, biologics and petroleum free products are used to stem pests and soil irregularities, not harming farmworkers nor the environment, and naturally occurring insects freely pollinate crops. Where produce outputs are free of contaminants, trash and the energy of transport, and the stewardship of rich land and clean water is continued from generation to generation. In stark contrast to commercial produce and animal production that creates horrible stenchy pools of toxic waste, trash, exposes farmworkers and poor transported pollinators to poisonous sprays and harsh conditions and puts the onus of disposal on the poor farmer not the government subsidized multinational corporate pig!
We organic nature lovers are an extremely kind and forgiving folk- we will teach others how to succeed in organic, transitional, pesticide free or even IPM farming and how to woo customers with fine and pure specimens! That is why our industry is growing at an awesome pace, up more than 300% in the last decade- you all wouldn't be trying to subvert an incredible capital generating engine like "Organics" in this recession would ya?
And we invite you to our SolFest on October 1st in Santa Barbara- right next to our Farmer's Market to test out our organic foods and let us share with you our concept of a bird, butterfly and bee-filled future in an organic shangri-la! I will ask you for your signature on our Label GMOs initiative- can I count on it or at least a good debate?

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

If those crazy pro-GMO people are so sure that there is nothing wrong with GMO or they have nothing to hide, why not truthfully display that fact on food label and let the people decide what they should be putting in their body.

It's about the right to know...

Gita (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

How is the fact that there are GM ingredients in virtually all processed food a reason not to let the public know? I was appalled to find out that I'd been unknowingly feeding my children GMO, starting with the GM corn syrup in their formula? Serious allergies and chronic conditions like asthma and obesity have doubled since GMO was widely introduced in the late 90's and we are not supposed to know??

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

All I know is that before GMO food I never had allergies except for the occasional dust flying up my nose. Now I have allergies in the spring and fall and the only thing different is that my food is no longer food. It is crap made in a lab.

Benjamin Clarke (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

Dear Mister Harry Cline,

You wrote: "It is time consumers are told the truth and put this anti-biotech initiative in the same category as the ludicrous anti-circumcision ban initiative a bunch of amazingly arrogant whackos in San Francisco tried to get on a city election ballot."

Shall I point out each fallacy of logic in your argument?

FIRST, you use the phrase "It is time consumers are told the truth". That is EXACTLY what we are asking for -- the TRUTH about what we are eating! For you to use THAT PHRASE as an argument against GMO labeling is a MOST OBVIOUS example of false and egregious Orwellian doublespeak. Are you proud of yourself for perpetuating a lie and presenting it as truth? Did you read "1984" in high school? Do you recognize that you are using your NAME, your WORDS, your HONOR, sir -- to present lies as truth?

I have no idea how your conscience can rest. How can you sleep at night?

SECOND, you create a 'false equivalency' by lumping in the most ridiculously leftwing whacko example you can find (the San Francisco circumcision initiative) with the very legitimate GMO labeling initiative, and declaring them equally contemptible. That's a straw man argument, Harry. And not a very skilled one.

I am sorry, Harry, but anyone with a shred of intelligence can see through your absurd position. Have you noticed there are exactly ZERO comments supporting your argument? We are tired of the BULLSH*T, Harry. Everybody either knows, or strongly suspects, that "food" which internally produces its own POISONOUS PESTICIDES is not something we want to be putting into our body temples.

It is a sorry shame you had to waste a second of your precious life composing such a shoddy and shady piece of editorial sewage. It is also a $hame that your livelihood depends on you having to attach your name to such bad science and bad intent.

This is not even up for argument, sir. You are on the wrong side of history. We The People WILL win this. Truth will prevail. Consumers want REAL food.

And Monsanto can go suck itself.

Steve (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

Anti-science means a person rejects science and the scientific method. In order to believe in Monsanto's genetic modifying process, a person has to believe in the backwards, barbaric anti-science theory of genetics that states each gene is coded for only one single unique protein. I'm sorry Harry, we live in the twenty first century where modern scientists believe that code scrambler's can create hundreds to thousands of different proteins from a single gene thus making Monsanto's GMO process unpredictable, and dangerous. Did you know most of Monsanto's GMO products contain a protein that is a known allergen that also causes auto-immune diseases? Probably not, and I would tell you to stay away from GMO's too, but your a person that needs to see in order to believe. . . Have fun with your auto-immune disease.

Good luck to you Harry, I hope you decide one day to take a Biology 101 class in order to understand how foolish this article you just wrote really is.

Gretchen S. (not verified)
on Sep 10, 2011

I for one want to know all about my food, as much as I can, so I can make my own choices. If my tomatoes are 'Round Up Ready' then mabe I will buy from the local farmers market , mabe I will go as far as making my own sauce from my local tomatoes or from my garden in order to avaoid GMO's. At least I want the information so I can make my own choice.

nathan brewer (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

People have the right to know if they are about to consume something that is Genetically Engineered. Who's fault is it that everything surrounding us is GMO and many people are just now learning of it? Maybe simply putting a copyright symbol on the product listing off the fact that the DNA contents of a certain food is Copyright protected and owned by whoever. In other words, this "food" is not naturally occurring and has been patented. hehe...

People have the Right. The right to know, and make choiced. GMO Labeling is the only way to go.

Harry, I know you have been fighting this battle for a long, long time. But seriously, It's all about the future and the people we care about.

Benjamin Clarke (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

Dear Mister Harry Cline,

You wrote: "It is time consumers are told the truth and put this anti-biotech initiative in the same category as the ludicrous anti-circumcision ban initiative a bunch of amazingly arrogant whackos in San Francisco tried to get on a city election ballot."

Shall I point out each fallacy of logic in your argument?

FIRST, you use the phrase "It is time consumers are told the truth". That is EXACTLY what we are asking for -- the TRUTH about what we are eating! For you to use THAT PHRASE as an argument against GMO labeling is a MOST OBVIOUS example of false and egregious Orwellian doublespeak. Are you proud of yourself for perpetuating a lie and presenting it as truth? Did you read "1984" in high school? Do you recognize that you are using your NAME, your WORDS, your HONOR, sir -- to present lies as truth?

I have no idea how your conscience can rest. How can you sleep at night?

SECOND, you create a 'false equivalency' by lumping in the most ridiculously leftwing whacko example you can find (the San Francisco circumcision initiative) with the very legitimate GMO labeling initiative, and declaring them equally contemptible. That's a straw man argument, Harry. And not a very skilled one.

I am sorry, Harry, but anyone with a shred of intelligence can see through your absurd position. Have you noticed there are exactly ZERO comments supporting your argument? We are tired of the BULLSH*T, Harry. Everybody either knows, or strongly suspects, that "food" which internally produces its own POISONOUS PESTICIDES is not something we want to be putting into our body temples.

It is a sorry shame you had to waste a second of your precious life composing such a shoddy and shady piece of editorial sewage. It is also a $hame that your livelihood depends on you having to attach your name to such bad science and bad intent.

This is not even up for argument, sir. You are on the wrong side of history. We The People WILL win this. Truth will prevail. Consumers want REAL food.

And Monsanto can go suck itself.

John Graham (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

The author Harry Cline is confusing conventional plant and animal breeding with biotech technology.

Kelly Bryan (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

There is nothing radical about labeling. We label partially hydrogenated, we label how many carbs, calories and trans fats are in food products.
Why not label foods that have been genetically altered? It is done in the rest of the industrialized world.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

This author sounds like he's been reading the GMO industry playbook.

Independent research has already shown us that GMO's cause premature aging, autoimmune disease, tumors, sterility, genetal malformati­ons, and cancer in rats fed these poisons. Whole herds of sheep and cattle have died eating BT cotton. GMO crops are made to resist increased levels of glyphospha­te (Roundup, a Monsanto creation), thus there is contaminat­ion from these chemicals as well. Seeding a corn gene with a bacterial protein would never happen in nature. GMO's are not natural, natural selection is natural. These toxic plants should be banned like they have already been in most of Europe.

He needs to do some serious non-PR reading. Here's a start:

Guide for the confused —
http://www­.organicco­nsumers.or­g/articles­/article_1­860.cfm

GMOs failing across America - Farmer to Farmer film reveals disastrous failure
http://www.naturalnews.com/z033264_farmers_GMOs.html

19 Studies Link GMOs to Organ Disruption —
http://www­.responsib­letechnolo­gy.org

GM Crops Decimating Monarch Butterflie­s Habitats
http://eat­drinkbette­r.com/2011­/07/26/gm-­crops-deci­mating-mon­arch-butte­rflies-hab­itats/

New plant disease linked to GM crops and pesticides­—
http://www­.abc.net.a­u/rural/co­ntent/2011­/s3245624.­htm

Monsanto's herbicide causing Sudden Death Syndrome in plants
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_22488.cfm

Monsanto tried to block Austrian government research linking GMOs & Infertility
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_15720.cfm

Deliberate misuse of the term "genetical­ly modified" designed to mislead people—
http://www­.naturalne­ws.com/031­105_geneti­cally_modi­fied_GMO.h­tml

Doctors Warn: Avoid Geneticall­y Modified Food —
http://www­.seedsofde­ception.co­m/utility/­showArticl­e/?objectI­D=2992

Donna (not verified)
on Sep 11, 2011

why are you SO AFRAID of labeling? Could it be because if people KNEW they were eating frankenfood they would WANT independent studies showing safety?

That must be it since we all know that frakenfoods will fail.

How do we know this? Because every CREDIBLE study has proven so. Sadly every CREDIBLE scientist involved with speaking out has either been threatened or fired.

In California we DEMAND to know what is in our food. Your days are numbered.

Cara L. Santa Cruz, Ca (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2011

Oh, reading this article just burns me up. Every time I eat ANTHING that is not organic, I get sick. When I eat organic food, no problem. Therefore, I can only eat organic, and the price of the food I have to pay is outrageous. This is your doing, Mr monsanto, who is putting SAFE FOOD out of the range of many people. Your so called biotech crap is what is killing us. Along with your buddy's synthetic drugs suppose to cure us, (now thats a joke, its only a bandaid and doesn't address the problem.) You people are not addressing the problem, only putting your greedy $$$ before people's lives.
You are the one who will find out that the people will win. It may not be today, but we will win. I am already reading that other emerging countries (ie africa) got your number and know you are poisoning them.
How dare you twist and turn the truth, how dare you state that its our problem to feed the other nations. GOD put plants and animals in his perfect way, and you seem to think you are better than GOD. MAY HE STRIKE YOU DEAD! We will never stop, until you stop or your stinking company goes belly up!

Cara L. Santa Cruz, Ca (not verified)
on Sep 12, 2011

I know, let's gene splice you, and put poison in your cells next time you have a surgery. And to all monsanto employees, how can you work for someone like this? Have you no honor? How can you farmers actually think that this is right? You so called down to earth CHRISTIAN PEOPLE!. We all know that the muckamucks doesn't give a crap about people, they eat only organic. Ever see them pop a box of corn chex? OR macaroni and cheese?
But to those who work for these robber barons, how can you do this to the people? Does working for them put you in the same category of compliance and wrong doing? You have a major part to stand up and say no more! We must go back to standards people!

KTown (not verified)
on Sep 13, 2011

I am not going to reitterate all of the above comments regarding the need for truth in labeling bc as a consumer it is my right to know what I consume.....period. The fact of the matter is we should be talking about the fact that America was a country of farmers. This "industry" has help create Technological Unemployment to a point unprecideted by any other industry. In no other industry has human labor be replaced by more machines to obtain higher copperate profits.

Anonymous (not verified)
on Sep 13, 2011

This article sounds like a rant, and the end where the author calls people names really gives away "the farm". The article is however a great example of how to lose credibility.

As far as the actual article's point however, there shouldn't be two sides here. There is only 1 side, and that is Humanity's side. Humanity needs something called Transparency. The best idea would be to list every single way all food is altered by man, and describe to the layman the possible effects of these alterations. Then let them decide if they wish to consume it or not. I realize this would require extensive labeling, but I don't think this is a problem that could not be remedied by going to the internet, logging on "Food Site", and clicking on the food itself.

Transparency and education. We are past the point of trying to manipulate or hide things as a society. We need to work together as a solid unit, and not against each other developing arbitrary "sides" where we waste both energy and resources fighting fellow Americans. I'm talking about the maturity of our species, it is time to grow up.

Anonymous3 (not verified)
on Sep 13, 2011

This article sounds like a rant, and the end where the author calls people names really gives away "the farm". The article is however a great example of how to lose credibility.

As far as the actual article's point however, there shouldn't be two sides here. There is only 1 side, and that is Humanity's side. Humanity needs something called Transparency. The best idea would be to list every single way all food is altered by man, and describe to the layman the possible effects of these alterations. Then let them decide if they wish to consume it or not. I realize this would require extensive labeling, but I don't think this is a problem that could not be remedied by going to the internet, logging on "Food Site", and clicking on the food itself.

Transparency and education. We are past the point of trying to manipulate or hide things as a society. We need to work together as a solid unit, and not against each other developing arbitrary "sides" where we waste both energy and resources fighting fellow Americans. I'm talking about the maturity of our species, it is time to grow up.

Not a tree hugger (not verified)
on Sep 13, 2011

Darwin would cringe here, and Mendel would turn over in his grave. Passing genetic modifications off as natural is just wrong. As a scientist and father of two, I am all in favor of labeling....we are what we eat, so why are people trying to hide what they are feeding us?

Post new comment
or to use your Western Farm Press ID
What's Farm Press Blog?

The Farm Press Daily Blog

Connect With Us

Blog Archive
Continuing Education Courses
New Course
California is becoming the first state in the nation to invoke regulations to reduce Volatile...
New Course
Ant control is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. It starts with...
This accredited CE course focuses on choosing the correct variety alfalfa based on a number of...

Sponsored Introduction Continue on to (or wait seconds) ×