Why are GMO's bad?

by cappytan 42 Replies latest jw friends

  • DJS

    I included the url for the Forbes article in the other OP, and it is a certainty that the brain dead theorists and the hysterical housewives did not read it. This post is for the lurkers and anyone else who has any doubts about both GMOs and the danger of the conspiracy theorist hive. The primary points made in that article are:

    "Writing in the Journal of Animal Science, in the most comprehensive study of GMOs and food ever conducted, University of California-Davis Department of Animal Science geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam and research assistant Amy E. Young reviewed 29 years of livestock productivity and health data from both before and after the introduction of genetically engineered animal feed. The field data represented more than 100 billion animals covering a period before 1996 when animal feed was 100% non-GMO, and after its introduction when it jumped to 90% and more. The documentation included the records of animals examined pre and post mortem, as ill cattle cannot be approved for meat.

    What did they find? That GM feed is safe and nutritionally equivalent to non-GMO feed. There was no indication of any unusual trends in the health of animals since 1996 when GMO crops were first harvested. Considering the size of the dataset, it can reasonably be said that the debate over the impact of GE feed on animal health is closed: there is zero extraordinary impact. The Van Eenennaam study corresponds to other reviews of animal feeding data, many of them independent and some multi-generational. Studies have been conducted with a variety of food-producing animals including sheep, goats, pigs, chickens, quail, cattle, water buffalo, rabbits and fish fed different GE crop varieties. The results have consistently revealed that the performance and health of GE-fed animals were comparable with those fed near isogenic non-GE lines and commercial varieties."

    I tried to find the Journal of Animal Science article online, but it seemed that I would have to create a username and pay for it. But I found Dr. Eenennaam's email during the search. I had an email conversation with her yesterday regarding her research and findings with GMOs. This is what she said:

    "Dear XXXXX,

    The science consensus around GM safety can be seen at the following sites

    It is not that I “believe” that GMOs, at least those introduced to the marketplace and included in my research, are as safe as non-genetically modified food - it is what the data say. And that is why the scientific societies support the consensus of data.

    Hope that helps - sometimes it is not about the science and no amount of data can convince people.


    Alison Van Eenennaam, PhD"

    In addition to the international science organizations, there are scientists at several other US universities, as I have stated before, that have conducted and are conducting extensive independent research on GMOs. They have ALL arrived at the same findings and conclusions as Dr. Eenennaam: that GMOs are as safe and nutritious as non-GMOs, based on the products released to commercial markets to date. I will contact the U of GA next. It won't make any difference to the conspiracy theorist nut jobs, but I will keep it on file for the next time the theorist rats leave their infested holes to spread their dreaded infection. And after that I will contact the U of FL and speak with them.

    The AAEM is a nut job conspiracy theorist "organization" that is also anti-vaccination. The AAEM has ZERO credibility in the scientific community.
  • StarTrekAngel

    So may be we can start by making a differentiation here. GMO as an applied field of science may be a good thing. May be it can produce safe food but such does not automatically means that the industry is using the technology ethically. It seems to me that they are not so interested on feeding the world as they are interested in their own pockets.

    Sorry to insist but a week ago, saying that car makers cheated on their emissions testing could have sounded like an environmentalist conspiracy theory. See the technology to make an environmentally friendly diesel engine is there, but there is a trade off. A trade off (low power) that if admitted openly, would cause the consumer to reconsider. The technology was applied during the emissions testing but not during normal production. What re assure us that the same isn't happening with GMO? This is where the problem relies. Allowing a corporation to toy with nature like this just because is safe could be a ticking time bomb. There should be more check and balances, at the very least, to ensure that a few greedy corporations are not going to dictate what we put in our mouths.

    An example of that, I remember, was cited during the swine flu outbreak. Apparently the WHO has the power to remove patent rights on vaccines when a pandemic is declared, so that enough vaccine can be made available.

  • DJS

    Star Trek,

    Corporations are by nature egoist, which means they act based on selfish desires. This isn't a bad thing. Governments are utilitarian, acting on the principle of the common good for all. Corporations today do the right thing for a variety of reasons, such as acting on their corporate ethics, avoiding lawsuits or damaging image or brand and complying with governmental regulations.

    None of us should ever think that corporations will do the right thing on their own. That is naive and ridiculous thinking. Of course corporations try to game the system; VW is a perfect example. Of course GMOs should be heavily regulated with a systematic approval process. And they are. I don't trust Monsanto, VW or any other for profit corporation any farther than I can throw them. That is not what this discussion is about.

    If any of you had asked me 10, or even 5, years ago about GMOs, my response would have been much different. I did not think, until recently, that there was sufficient independent confirmation about GMOs. That is no longer the case. The disinformation regarding GMOs, just as with vaccines and the moon landing, is enormous. It should be criminal. It feeds the conspiracy theorists and the hysterical reactionaries, as if they needed anything. They stopped at "Feelings," and any thinking or knowledge they acquire is designed to confirm their bias.

    I kept an open mind about GMOs for many years, refusing to take any stand. I am an empiricist. The data is in; it is irrefutable. But that doesn't mean that GMOs shouldn't continue to receive great scrutiny and be put through a rigorous approval process. They should.

  • LisaRose

    I am not afraid of GMOs, but I am afraid of Monsanto. They are the bully on the playground and use their considerable resources to monopolize the market. Farmers have been sued because their neighbor's Monsanto seed blew across the fence into their farm and took root along side their non Monsanto seed. They went after a guy who ran a seed shaking business, because some farmers were using them to retrieve their Monsanto seed and replant, which is against the law. He had no way of knowing if they had Monsanto seed or not, it put him out him out of business. These are not ethical people, they have put farmers out of business and ruined lives with their insatiable desire to monopolize the market.

    This is from Wikipedia

    ] Monsanto's application of this model to agriculture, along with a growing movement to create a global, uniform system of plant breeders' rights in the 1980s, came into direct conflict with customary practices of farmers to save, reuse, share and develop plant varieties.[11] Its seed patenting model has also been criticized asbiopiracy and a threat to biodiversity.[12][13][14] Monsanto's role in agricultural changes, biotechnology products, lobbying of government agencies, and history as a chemical company have made the company controversial.

    Monsanto is using this model around the world. In Argentina they encouraged large investors to grow Monsanto soy, displacing 50% of the small farmers who grew another crops. In India, many cotton farmers committed suicide because they went into debt to Monsanto and their Monsanto seeds did not produce the yields they were promised which bankrupted them. Monsanto refused the government's order to give them a small compensation.

    While I am comfortable eating GMOs for safety reasons, I avoid them because of the unethical behavior of Monsanto. So I want to know if my food is made with GMO ingredients, but of course they have successfully prevented that. If GMOs are safe, why do they not want to disclose? Sure, some people won't eat them out of fear, but isn't it their right to do so, even if their fears are unfounded? And what of my right to discourage unethical behavior by knowing who made the seed by food grew from?

  • cappytan

    The fact of the matter was that anti-GMO folks use non-scientific scare tactics about health as their primary means of activism. And then, when confronted with empirical data that GMO's are just as safe as non-GMOs, they turn to the anti-corporation argument.

    ...sometimes it is not about the science and no amount of data can convince people.

    That statement right there is very telling, and why I keep referring to the anti-GMO crowd as a cult.

    My sister watched one documentary on Netflix and decided to become anti-GMO. I asked her if she watched anything telling the other side of the story. She goes, "This told both sides! It was a documentary!"

    Of course, she's a JW cult member, so she's prone to being deceived, but still, that's why most vocal opponents of GMO's are anti-GMO. Because they read a couple sensational articles on Salon.com about them, or they watched one documentary on Netflix and then made up their minds based off of biased information.

  • GodZoo

    Ok so I maybe a bit out of date.. but I am open minded and willing to learn and adopt new ideas and valid research.

    I still though think we should have choice so my 1st 3 points hold and are still valid.

  • DJS


    That has been one of the issues. However, Monsanto is doing what every trade or industry has done for thousands of years. The cult around the Masons and other groups came into existence because these trade, craft and guild groups took sometimes extraordinary means to protect their trade secrets. This data ensured their success, it differentiated them from competitors, it put food on their tables and gave them a better life. Whether it was how to make the perfect mortar, build the perfect arch or tan and cure the perfect leather, these groups protected this information in a cult-like manner.

    What Monsanto is doing is what all egoist corporations do. Thankfully, Monsanto's efforts to control these markets as they wish is failing and will fail. Monsanto spent hundreds of millions of dollars to get the first GMO to market; to expect them to give up the technology freely, without a fight, and not protect it is naive. They are modern day Masons.

  • SecretSlaveClass


    Your first reply on this page (pg. 4) is one of the best I've read on this forum. Great evidence, well compiled and pragmatic as can be. Loved it!

  • talesin

    I agree with what you said in an earlier comment DJS, in that a rational, scientific approach is the way to go.

    Just like with any manipulation of the natural order of things (for lack of a better term), It only makes sense that we won't know for a few decades, or perhaps, generations. Truth be told, it is corporations who fund research . That's the part that leaves me feeling a bit queasy about GMOs. I also don't like the fact that my government refuses to have them labelled as such. I want the right to choose - my body only gets the best of fuel! (true)

    The issue of seed monopoly is real. There are a lot of newspaper articles online (not facebook or blogs or what I call 'biased rags', but real news) that we can read, about farmers and court cases with the "M" corp. Farmers are not happy. Local farmers are not happy about GMO crops, either - now, that's from the horse's mouth.

    My mind is open to listening to other people's ideas, and yeah, I defend their right to speculate. Like Johnny said "Whatever gets ya through the night, is all right, with me." The thing is, I'm not really into conspiracies. I just want more facts, and less obfuscation from governments and corporations.

    Having lived through Bill Gates' story (ie, was teaching PCs at a community college in '85, and had to change business models several times when first WANG went under, then Gates screwed those of us who had the awesome very first MACs !, then the anti-trust charges brought against him by the government in early days when he pushed DOS-based systems out through monopolistic (is that a word? tired here!) business practices - yeah, I worked in computers), I was and am leary of his involvement with anything, especially under the guise of 'helping the poor'. The food crisis and why it exists is a whole 'other' topic.

    Are GMOs "bad"? I do not know. Should we be cautious, and use common sense about the ecosystem and our bodies? Hell to the yeah!

    I think that only time will tell. And yeah, we should only believe facts. I'm queasy about the whole thing, because of Gates, and because when it comes to health, and money, we've been lied to before (tobacco is the best example).

    Heck, a researcher at the local NRC (National Research Council), Dr. Stan Kutcher (MD) was one of the researchers that was implicated in the largest (2012) health care fraud of all time, GlaxoSmithKline $3B and Paxil. Crazy, to see a local political candidate, and Medical Doctor involved. It really hits home.

    It's important, like you say, to check sites that end in .edu, or places like the Mayo Clinic about health care, etc.

    Always sound advice!

  • DJS


    Bio-diversity is certainly a concern; however, there were biodiversity concerns long before GMOs. A few decades ago agricultural geneticists were very concerned that we were losing diversity with potatoes and bananas. McDonalds was blamed for the potatoes - you know, the large, perfect Russet potatoes that make perfect french fries. Apparently due to McDonalds vertical market design and contractual arrangements with farmers, along with consumer demand, this one potato soon became the dominant potation in exclusion of many other varieties. In part due to push back and in part due to market opportunities, the potato issue was resolved by the capitalistic supply and demand marketplace. I'm not sure where the banana issue is right now, but it was based on the perfect banana we all love, as it had become not just the top banana but damn nearly the only banana. Someone can google it and find out.

    The pushback we see amongst consumers (the anti-GMO nut jobs are doing us a favor) is leading to diversity on its own, as savvy capitalists and those who believe in diversity and sustainability are seizing the opportunities. That is a good thing.

    To put this into perspective, there currently are only 8 GMO crops commercially available (field and sweet corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets, papaya, squash and alfalfa). There are 2 more genetically modified crops (apples and potatoes) that have been approved, but aren’t in grocery stores yet.

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