Aug 07 2014

Antibiotic Resistant Markers in GM Crops

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79 Responses to “Antibiotic Resistant Markers in GM Crops”

  1. Steve.Eon 07 Aug 2014 at 8:38 am

    Regarding “Fish genes in our tomatoes”. I wonder how a strict Vegan would have to deal with that. Perhaps they have the best argument against GMOs.

  2. slipknottinon 07 Aug 2014 at 8:45 am

    “It is also easy to fearmonger about “fish genes in our tomatoes,” for example. However, fish and tomatoes share about 60% of their genes, and people eat fish, which I understand contain 100% fish genes.”

    That cracked me up. Well played sir.

  3. MaryMon 07 Aug 2014 at 9:06 am

    Yeah, every bit of it is a Gish of debunked claims. The Bt in blood thing–here’s the smackdown on that: http://www.biofortified.org/2012/10/bt-in-blood/

    And there are probably 10 more, all the same thing–mischaracterized stuff, with actual handwaving as he makes his hands pretend to be correlation graphs. It’s pretty funny.

    What’s not so funny: the Vermont legislators admitted to working with him on the GMO labeling law. One of them called his piece of crap books her “bible”. You can’t make this up: http://theprogressivecontrarian.com/2014/04/26/vermont-inducted-scientifically-illiterate-hall-shame/

  4. BillyJoe7on 07 Aug 2014 at 9:44 am

    I clicked on the Jeffrey Smith video but was immedately distracted by the list of videos on the side bar. I chose instead to listen to Mother Natures’s Son instead (followed by Honey Pie, Girl, Michelle, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps). Did I miss anything?

  5. mumadaddon 07 Aug 2014 at 9:46 am

    BJ7,

    Is that the Albanian Whiskey talking? :)

  6. BillyJoe7on 07 Aug 2014 at 10:21 am

    :)

  7. scpecoraroIIIon 07 Aug 2014 at 10:53 am

    I was listening to an anti-gmo podcast a while back and they brought up transfer of genes in the gut, specifically anti-biotic resistance. I forgot to ever do my due diligence and look into it. Thanks to Jeffrey smith, I now have a better understanding of their bull-shit.

  8. MaryMon 07 Aug 2014 at 10:59 am

    Oh, I should have added–there’s a terrific explainer from a while ago, but the concepts are all still valid: http://www.biofortified.org/2010/03/gmos-antibiotics/

    The new gene editing technologies might be really great to snip out this sort of stuff too–there’s a lot of excitement around that. There’s also a lot of folks trying to fearmonger on that, of course.

  9. BBBlueon 07 Aug 2014 at 12:10 pm

    What’s not so funny: the Vermont legislators admitted to working with him on the GMO labeling law.

    Indeed. One of the most disconcerting things about this issue is the fact that so many policy makers and legislators act without a complete understanding of the subject. They often tend to look at issues in terms of voting blocks, so if they want to count “environmentalist” advocacy groups and voters among their supporters, they will swallow all of the issues dear to those groups whole, even those they don’t understand, rather than call BS where BS exists.

  10. jsterritton 07 Aug 2014 at 12:44 pm

    Smith is the vom Saal of GMO fear mongering. Vom Saal is a (junk) scientist who has staked his reputation on so-called “endocrine disruptors” having pernicious health effects along almost homeopathic lines of reasoning (the lower the dose, the stronger the poison). You could call vom Saal “the BPA crank” and Smith “the GMO crank” using about the same tone. But at least vom Saal has a lab at a university and is staking his professional standing as a scientist and is for ideological reasons cashiering his authority and an actual reputation. Smith has only a reputation as a loudmouth. He has no scientific credentials. While I expect that both vom Saal and Smith have fallen in love with their respective snowballing cults of personality, the comparison ends when you recognize that for Smith, there is no downside, nothing to lose. Smith doesn’t do research, he crafts propaganda along the usual lines — cherry-picking, conspiracy, special pleading, and fear. He literally has no constraints: he doesn’t have to show his work, submit it for refereeing (let alone peer-review), or even debate his points directly with actual experts (I hate this new fad of politicians and public figures and now Smith releasing their apologies or PR bombs without even the courtesy — or chance to ask questions — that a press conference would provide).

    Smith is clearly an ideologue in love with himself and the attention he commands. People reference his books as being their “Bibles.” Won’t Smith’s pseudoscience, lack of credentials, clear agenda, and almost cult-like following eventually brand him as a crank and ideologue? Where does he get this mantle of being an expert from? When will the job description “consumer advocate” become a red flag if not a dirty word?

    The big questions that must be answered: why do people clamor to accept information on GMO from Smith and other non-experts? Why do well-fed people react emotionally to the topic? Are the actual experts failing to present a compelling case for the science? Can science ever go toe-to-toe with emotion?

    Maybe we need more scientists like Tyson. Tyson is an ambassador for all of science, an expert in astrophysics, and an ardent booster for good science. He takes the time to explain science to non-scientists. Smith is a propagandist. He uses sciencey-sounding things to dazzle and misdirect non-scientists.

  11. chadwickjoneson 07 Aug 2014 at 2:06 pm

    So GM crops are causing C. Diff now?

    Not really…

    :P

  12. Bronze Dogon 07 Aug 2014 at 2:49 pm

    It is also easy to fearmonger about “fish genes in our tomatoes,” for example. However, fish and tomatoes share about 60% of their genes, and people eat fish, which I understand contain 100% fish genes.

    That’s one thing I find really irritating. It implies a fallacy of division. There’s no “fishness” to the genes in question. There’s nothing about a gene by itself that suggests where it “belongs.” The gene’s origin is irrelevant, so it’s both a literal and figurative genetic fallacy.

    It’s also Platonism mixed with irrational notions of genetic purity. I see no “purity” to defend. Even before genetic insertion, these plants were already the product of millennia of artifice and are radically different from their counterparts in the wild. They only exist in the context of human agriculture and are not viable in the wild.

  13. Knigelon 07 Aug 2014 at 3:59 pm

    For anyone looking for more information on Jeffrey Smith and the Institute for Responsible Technology, skeptiforum.org has been collecting information which you can find on our Wiki section here: http://wiki.skeptiforum.org/wiki/Scientific_Literature_on_GMOs#Jeffrey_Smith_.28Institute_for_Responsible_Technology.29

    Thank you very much Steven, I’ve added your article. I’ve already had to deal with this video so many times, it’s so much more convenient with your new article. I appreciate your help!

  14. kevinfoltaon 07 Aug 2014 at 7:18 pm

    Beautifully done as usual. One other thought on horizontal transfer– there is no selection for the antibiotics, so the new trait would not likely be retained in a population. In the massive meta analyses of gut flora you just don’t see antibiotic resistance genes and plant genes.

    And Smith will NEVER debate a scientist live (ask me how I know). His house of cards only stays in tact only if the true believers buy the books and videos. Getting his yogic flying ass handed to him in a public debate would be the end of his charade.

  15. kevinfoltaon 07 Aug 2014 at 7:20 pm

    … and the antibiotic resistance genes used come from bacteria already.

  16. jsterritton 07 Aug 2014 at 7:43 pm

    Hey @kevinfolta:

    How do you know Smith will never debate a scientist live?

  17. vmon 07 Aug 2014 at 9:13 pm

    lets assume that antibiotic resistance genes used as marker really cause problems. Should we abandon GMO? no. why?

    * other markers such as flourescence and being able to live in culture media that is lacking in a certain nutrient or only has a certain uncommon nutrient exist
    * AFAIK new methods of GM like CRISPR dont really need markers

  18. BaSon 08 Aug 2014 at 12:38 am

    “Which I understand contain 100% fish genes”

    I laughed out loud. Delicious dry humor.

  19. Sylakon 08 Aug 2014 at 12:41 am

    If Genes were so dangerous to eat… why are we still all alive? we freaking eat billions of them every second, and I’m still not a banana! Those claims are so ill-informed that in the end, you know he is intellectually dishonest, and It is more like a religious belief, “we are disturbing mother earth” and what not.

    Yogic Flying really? what a Bogus university, and this guy is taken seriously By one state? gosh…
    well some state do listen to creationist, so long for skepticism in politics and since a lot of Eco group also talk about real science based concern ( Like global waming, air pollution, Risk of shake gases and fossil fuel), It make them look legit about everything. and Make us real science-based ecologist look like crap. Ecology is all about science not emotion or belief.

    A friend a mine sent me this propaganda Video, it is a parody of starwars the “good” rebel fighting for justice are of course the Organic farmers… it is a French site, but the video is in english. Of course it is made by the organic trade association, As if they have no money in that game.
    http://www.donotlink.com/b2ia

  20. David Haddadon 08 Aug 2014 at 1:43 am

    @jsterritt If you Google Kevin Folta’s name, you’ll have the answer to your question.

  21. NightHikeron 08 Aug 2014 at 9:40 am

    “What’s not so funny: the Vermont legislators admitted to working with him on the GMO labeling law. One of them called his piece of crap books her “bible”.”

    I actually think that considering the amount of fabrications and distortions contained in his books “Bible” would be a pretty accurate description.

  22. ducktoeson 08 Aug 2014 at 10:33 am

    Fish don’t even have legs!

  23. kevinfoltaon 08 Aug 2014 at 6:00 pm

    @jsterritt Smith never has taken a stage with a scientist. Last year he was going to debate a journalist a the CATO institute. Smith decided he wanted a scientist on his side, so he chose GE “Lumpy Rat No Control” Seralini.

    The journalist, Jon Entine, said if Smith gets Seralini, he should get a scientist, so he chose me. The platform was set and advertised. Smith and Seralini then withdrew from the debate.

    Since we’ve tried again. I offered to go to Seeds of Justice last year in Seattle at my expense. At first they were excited to have me aboard, but then changed their mind. Smith and Shiva were giving presentations and they didn’t want science in the room or conference.

    Recently a film group making a documentary on GM asked if I’d debate Smith in California, and I’m good to go. They have tried to put something together, but no luck. That’s all I know.

    I’d love to meet the guy and crack a few cold ones with him. I’d love to know what makes him tick. Does he really believe the stuff he believes and sells, or does he just know the truth but make a living off of the credulous? I somehow think it has to be the latter.

  24. Bill Openthalton 08 Aug 2014 at 6:23 pm

    kevinfolta –

    I’d love to know what makes him tick. Does he really believe the stuff he believes and sells, or does he just know the truth but make a living off of the credulous? I somehow think it has to be the latter.

    I have engaged with quite a few ideologically motivated people (having evolved from a rather fervent catholic to an even more fervent marxist in my misspent youth), and none was (or admitted to being) the kind of cynic that would abuse the credulous. Just like me, they really believed in the ideas underlying their ideology, exempted these from critical thought, and coloured their perception of the world to conform to the ideology. Intelligence has nothing to do with it — the subconscious transforms the observations and the memories, and it becomes a question of Garbage In, Garbage Out.

    I have met a guy who did abuse the credulous, but in the criminal sphere (bilking gullible people). He felt that if one was stupid one deserved to be defrauded, and he expressed neither remorse nor sympathy for his victims. It’s a totally different mindset.

    My money would be on Mr Smith being a believer.

  25. jsterritton 08 Aug 2014 at 7:31 pm

    @kevinfolta

    In other words, Smith writes books, makes movies, and uses other scientists’ remarks as a springboard for his own grandstanding (in this case, Dr Tyson’s brief, candid, off-the-cuff remarks), but withers into shyness at the idea of plain debate with experts. Goes to show how insular these cults of personality need to be to flourish and how incurious true believers are. It would have been a great debate — great for learning and sunshine and all those good things — probably not so great for Smith. I hope it happens — keep up the good work!

  26. bart71on 10 Aug 2014 at 11:22 am

    I am curious about a statement he makes in the first few minutes of his video. Its one thing to exacerbate concept but another thing to misreport facts. He states that during the development of monsanto BT corn MON810 there was a gene that was “turned on” causing the production of an allergen “gamazine” not sure if thats spelt correct. We can debate concepts all day but what about this “Fact” he presents? Is this true or did you miss it. I would think that by calling him out on this one it would really destroy any credibility he has at all. Same with his statements about the protein change (addition of a sugar molecule)that happened when putting a gene from beans into peas (later in the video) that was suppose to happen in Australia. Do you know if these things actually occurred or is he making them up?

  27. BBBlueon 10 Aug 2014 at 1:36 pm

    My money would be on Mr Smith being a believer.

    Combine a belief in miracles or mysticism with a poor science education and a narcissistic personality, and you get something that acts a lot like Mr. Smith. Coincidence?

  28. Mlemaon 11 Aug 2014 at 4:06 am

    FDA: “First, there are no known mechanisms for the direct transfer of plant genomic DNA to microorganisms.” 1998

    Even more contentious than plant dna in the blood is microRNA regulation in the cell.
    This research has garnered a lot of attention and is being hotly debated by scientists in medicine and biotech:
    Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA
    http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/full/cr2011158a.html

    I remember years ago hearing about alternative medicine’s “leaky gut syndrome” caused by inflammation and contributing to various autoimmune conditions, as well as fatigue syndrome, autism, etc. (nothing to do with GMOs – just a theory that proteins were allowed into the blood which triggered allergies, etc. – instigated by a diet high in refined sugars)
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2898551/
    But maybe some gmos use a 2-prong attack on humans: causing inflammation in the gut (as has been demonstrated in animals) and then sneaking their genes into our bloodstreams! But why would they want to bite the hand that created them? To turn us into seed pods???????? ;)

    I would agree that the biggest threat of anti-biotic resistant bacteria comes from other sources – the main one being farmed meat and fish – where antibiotics are used prophylactically to deal with nasty growing environments.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-real-threat-posed-by-discovery-of-antibiotic–resistent-bacteria-found-in-squid/2014/06/16/6dba5d98-f561-11e3-a08c-5779506f3051_story.html

  29. Mlemaon 11 Aug 2014 at 4:09 am

    Dr. Novella, please be aware that Academics Review is not a science site. Chassy is an advocate with financial ties to the biotech industry. Their links are a who’s who of industry funded advocacy organizations. Again, I know this is irrelevant to the science, but that site has actively worked to discredit legitimate scientists and journalists. You risk being labeled as biased on GMOs.

  30. BBBlueon 11 Aug 2014 at 12:22 pm

    …but that site has actively worked to discredit legitimate scientists and journalists.

    Examples? Just curious. Sometimes, one man’s discrediting is another man’s correcting the record.

  31. Mlemaon 11 Aug 2014 at 2:47 pm

    bart71,
    I think this is what Smith is talking about with regard to MON810 and the g-zein allergen (gamma zein)
    http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf802059w
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18393457

    43 proteins were either up- or down-regulated in transgenic seeds with respect to their controls – one of them a 50 kda g-zein – an allergen

    This goes to supporting increased pre-commercialization evaluation, like proteonomic studies. Unfortunately those aren’t required – and even if they were, we’re still learning what all the information we get really means. It just would just help to assure that we’d be more likely to catch known allergens.

    And here’s what he’s talking about with the peas:
    http://www.naturpedia.info/alimentazione/Prescott.pdf

    the secondary metabolism of plants is extremely complicated, manufacturing many thousands of different compounds.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_secondary_metabolism
    something as seemingly simple as glycosylation can change the a protein’s morphology enough to affect it’s biofunctionality

  32. Mlemaon 12 Aug 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Dr. Novella, in continuance of our “deep dive”, I’d like to reply to your comments on mutagenicity and safety regulations.

    Dr. Novella: “It is true that gene insertion can cause regional mutagenesis, usually upregulating or downregulating protein production. This is partly why the process is so tedious and time consuming. Many insertions are made, and only the healthy cells are used. After multiple selections, the plant with the new gene is back crossed multiple times to the parent to establish a stable and healthy line with the new gene.”

    Mutations aren’t limited to the region of insertion, but can be found at relatively great distances from the site. Back-breeding can mitigate effects, as you’ve said. And as some scientists have suggested, sequencing up to 50Kbp on each side of the insertion site to ensure a match to the parent may help. But more importantly, since the transgene is the mutation we want to keep – it’s the concomitant changes linked to the transgene or vector that can’t be bred out. And even if that were possible, what we’re left with in the ideal transgenic cell with no changes other than the transgene is: a cell that continually expresses a protein not evaluated as it’s manufactured by the plant cell, but, instead, as it’s manufactured in a bacterium (where, for example, glycosylation doesn’t happen as it does in the cell) and the possibility of new metabolic reactions from the transgene product’s effect on metabolic pathways.
    http://www.naturpedia.info/alimentazione/Prescott.pdf
    http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/service/skript239.pdf

  33. Mlemaon 12 Aug 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Dr. Novella: “FDA requires …that any new proteins are tested, but also the new food has to be tested for equivalence, including nutritional and potential for allergens and toxicity. This would account for any mutagenic changes.”

    We have to ask: what sort of safety assessments are appropriate in light of the above differences from conventional breeding? Currently, “substantial equivalence” is enough to garner a GRAS approval. The FDA has a voluntary consultation process through which the developer submits a summary of its safety and nutritional assessment, promising that the new protein is safe and the rest of the plant doesn’t substantially differ from the parent plant.

    Scientists say that the proteins tested aren’t necessarily equivalent to those manufactured in the new plant because they aren’t tested as expressed in the transgenic plant, but instead are tested as they’re manufactured by microbes. A plant’s secondary metabolism is many hundreds of times more complex than that of a bacterium. And the means by which equivalency of nutrients is tested don’t reveal the presence of unknown toxins or unfamiliar allergens. The protein that the gene manufactures through bacteria is compared to known allergens, and we look for toxins typical to the parent plant (like glycoalkaloids in potatoes).

    “The concept of substantial equivalence has never been properly defined; the degree of difference between a natural food and its GM alternative before its ‘substance’ ceases to be acceptably ‘equivalent’ is not defined anywhere, nor has an exact definition been agreed by legislators. It is exactly this vagueness that makes the concept useful to industry but unacceptable to the consumer…..scientists are not yet able reliably to predict the biochemical or toxicological effects of a GM food from a knowledge of its chemical composition…Substantial equivalence is a pseudoscientific concept because it is a commercial and political judgment masquerading as if it were scientific. It is, moreover, inherently antiscientific because it was created primarily to provide an excuse for not requiring biochemical or toxicological tests. It therefore serves to discourage and inhibit potentially informative scientific research.” – E. Millstone, E. Brunner and S. Mayer

    There are a number of examples of pleiotropic changes in GM crops which only became evident through investigation done post-commercialization. And the potential risk becomes greater as we “stack” traits (like pesticide resistance) or attempt to engineer nutritional changes. Developers don’t typically do feeding studies, and the results of their safety evaluations aren’t made available for scrutiny by independent scientists. It’s happened that when raw data is made available, it’s been interpreted differently by scientists as warranting feeding studies. And in general, feeding studies have been scarce and without consistent controls or parameters. Even so, there appear to be indicators of some consistent problems, regardless of which GMO is being looked at.
    http://www.biosafety.ru/ftp/domingo.pdf
    http://www.unionccs.net/images/library/file/Agricultura_y_alimentacion/Health_Risks_GMOs.pdf

  34. jsterritton 12 Aug 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Mlema…

    Kindly stop re-posting the same drivel from the same two papers. Since I got the source wrong the first time, I’ll take this opportunity to correct myself. The following is from the Dona paper (not the Domingo paper):

    “The results of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects such as hepatic, pancreatic, renal, or reproductive effects and may alter the hematological, biochemical, and immunologic parameters. However, many years of research with animals and clinical trials are required for this assessment.”

    Again, I have placed this sweeping statement in bold, because of how colossally stupid it is. The final sentence of this dazzling claim directly contradicts the first. Which is it: do most studies indicate GMO toxicity? Or are many years of animal and clinical research required for this assessment?

    A footnote isn’t a fact. When I and others challenge you to support your claims, we don’t mean go find a biased and worthless rag of a report that does nothing but cherry-pick studies, pool lousy data (including Seralini’s!) and still comes up with absolutely no conclusions on toxicity, allergenicity, or risk of any kind. Dona only reports on possible mechanisms of possible action that have been proposed by others and asks ominous, scary questions while providing NO conclusions (because the data support NO conclusions). I must admit it is tailor made for you.

    The Domingo paper is not even a report about studies, but a report questioning other reports indicating GMO safety. It concludes with the question: “where is the scientific evidence showing that GM plants/food are toxicologically safe, as assumed by the biotechnology companies involved in commercial foods?” What kind of scientific report concludes with a question? Regardless, Domingo himself followed up with a paper in 2011 that found a lot more answers, but that must have escaped your attention somehow. An even more robust review of the total literature published in 2014 is more conclusive in their findings: “The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops.” (Nicolia, et al 2014)

  35. grabulaon 12 Aug 2014 at 10:36 pm

    @mlema

    more special pleading….

    “And the means by which equivalency of nutrients is tested don’t reveal the presence of unknown toxins or unfamiliar allergens.”

    Are you seriously implying that after testing for these through examining the DNA, then the plant itself to see if any subsequent unplanned changes have occurred and finally through feed testing that somehow, these plants are hiding their toxins until they get out in the open!? You really need to make a serious attempt to understand the testing process that goes on with these plants. You anti-GMO guys want to make it sound like the company kicks a few genes into an organism, sniffs it a little, tells the FDA it’s all ok then kicks it out the door. Everytime you comment on this your ignorance shows.

    Less than 30 seconds of googling and you find:

    http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm352067.htm

    “Food and food ingredients derived from GE plants must adhere to the same safety requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act that apply to food and food ingredients derived from traditionally bred plants.”

    A list of GE plants vetted by the FDA alone(notice your evil monsanto has volunteered for this process):

    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/?set=Biocon

    “Scientists say that the proteins tested aren’t necessarily equivalent to those manufactured in the new plant because they aren’t tested as expressed in the transgenic plant, but instead are tested as they’re manufactured by microbes. ”

    What scientists where? A few GMO blog posts ago I linked to a site that went through the required steps for testing GE crops. This includes testing on full grown plants at several levels for unforeseen occurrences or gene expression. That link was to a US government organization responsible for the regulation of GMO.

    Ultimately mlema, you and yours have a profound misunderstanding of how much science gets biology and chemistry. That ignorance leads to the sort of ridiculous claims being made about hidden toxins and unforeseen consequences out of proportion to the reality.

  36. Mlemaon 13 Aug 2014 at 1:35 am

    jsterritt,
    The statement you bolded (Dona) was from the abstract. I agree that the paper may have some problems, but I included the link as a discussion of some of the problems for safety assessment that I attempted to explain in what I wrote. I don’t see the same contradiction that you do in the two sentences you quote (bold). I think in the context of the abstract, it makes sense. The authors are noting that feeding trials, even though diverse and often problematic, show some common toxic effects. In order to assess this apparent toxicity, some number of years may be required. Another point of this paper is: the only way to determine whether or not eating a particular GMO is going to be problematic is through feeding trials. Right now assessment typically is limited to checking whether the new proteins (apart from their expression in the plant), are similar to known allergens, and checking for changes in the levels of known toxins based on the parent plant. This is explained in the Nicolia et al paper you mentioned, which is here:
    http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Nicolia-20131.pdf
    The reasons such an assessment is inadequate I have explained in my earlier comments.

    Regarding the Domingo 2011 study, for some reason the full paper didn’t appear for me when I searched. (I think you’re right about my lack of googling skills). I don’t like to give just abstract if I can help it. But, now here is the full paper (thanks for inspiring me to search again)
    http://stopogm.net/sites/stopogm.net/files/webfm/plataforma/domingo2review.pdf
    We haven’t been eating GMOs for years, as people often suggest. We’ve been eating only oils or sugars derived from GMOs, or meat grown with gmo corn, soy and alfalfa.. Therefore, the types of toxins or allergens that might affect the human population, especially over time, are typically removed. Right now there’s an experiment of sorts happening in Bangledesh. In Bangledesh people will be eating gmos wholly, as a diet staple. Every GMO is unique and presents unique possibilities for gene disregulation, altered metabolic pathways, proteonomic changes. Many scientists caution that incorporating bt brinjal in the human diet without thorough analysis, including extended and repeated feeding trials, is unwise.

    The Nicolia et al paper is a literature review which looks at what topics have been covered, based on frequency in order to make summary statements about what research has been done and what kind of issues seem relevant. It doesn’t address what kind of feeding trials have been done. who’s done them, and what they’re saying. I don’t see that the Domingo paper and the Nicolia paper are comparable. I feel that Domingo has consistently been the definitive reference when surveying feeding trials.
    And here is a survey that the industry likes. (when I look at the individual studies, I’m not sure why, but anyway…)
    http://www.foodpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/Snell_2012.pdf

    So, I think as far as feeding trials go, we can look at these studies all together, or even look at the papers these studies referenced, to get an idea where we’re at with safety assessments. Humans aren’t currently being exposed to whole GMO consumption, and the most widely used transgenic crops pose more of an environmental problem than a food safety problem, imo. There are transgenics which have very low risk of the kinds of problems highlighted in these papers. But as traits are stacked, or nutritional profiles are altered, safety assessments become more critical in preventing unwanted consequences.

  37. Mlemaon 13 Aug 2014 at 1:48 am

    “Food and food ingredients derived from GE plants must adhere to the same safety requirements under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic (FD&C) Act that apply to food and food ingredients derived from traditionally bred plants.”

    Transgenic plants pose unique risks due to the mutagenic nature of the technology, and the variability of the secondary metabolism of plants. If we test the new protein on it’s own, test the new plant for basic nutrients and anti-nutrients, and known toxins and allergens – we’re not learning about the ultimate fate of the new genome and metabolism of the transgenic plant. So far, we’ve been lucky – just a few slips or minor ongoing problems. But ‘maybe we’ll continue to be lucky’ isn’t a good safety policy. we need to try to continue to build genetic databases on as many plants as possible for comparative analysis, and employ various -omics (like proteomics and metabolomics) to improve our safety assessments. And as of now the only way to ensure safety is repeated, extended feeding trials.

    Safety testing and regulation are the foundation of safely employing GMOs in agriculture. There are many more issues to be considered.

  38. Mlemaon 13 Aug 2014 at 1:52 am

    grabula – it’s always interesting to look at the lists of approved GMOs
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/fdcc/?set=Biocon
    everyone needs a reminder of what we’re talking about here, which is lots of insect resistant and herbicide tolerant commodity crops.

  39. grabulaon 13 Aug 2014 at 2:54 am

    @mlema

    “just a few slips or minor ongoing problems. But ‘maybe we’ll continue to be lucky’ isn’t a good safety policy. we need to try to continue to build genetic databases on as many plants as possible for comparative analysis, and employ various -omics (like proteomics and metabolomics) to improve our safety assessments. And as of now the only way to ensure safety is repeated, extended feeding trials

    Safety testing and regulation are the foundation of safely employing GMOs in agriculture. There are many more issues to be considered.”

    This is all reasonable, and nothing I think anyone here would argue with. Are you coming around to a more rational view mlema or in the famous (but paraphrased) words of Admiral Ackbar “Is it a Trap?!”

    “everyone needs a reminder of what we’re talking about here, which is lots of insect resistant and herbicide tolerant commodity crops.”

    and?

  40. jsterritton 13 Aug 2014 at 11:41 am

    Mlema…

    Once again, you are telling us how to read things. It doesn’t matter how much I squint my eyes, the claim “the results of most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause some common toxic effects” is fatally flawed all on its own, because it is not true. It wasn’t true then and it isn’t true now.

    You have been mining this paper (Dona and Arvanitoyannis) verbatim in your recent posts. It is worthless, because it is biased and fear-mongering and reaches NO conclusions whatsoever. It relies indiscriminately on data from studies as infamous as Pusztai’s and Seralini’s. Dona and Arvanitoyannis look at every study, no matter how flawed or discredited, that has ever produced a hint of risk. The authors really try to shovel enough sh!t into a pile to support conclusions of risk and still they cannot!

    You complain tirelessly about industry influence, then proclaim you’ve struck gold with this biased crap?!

    I feel qualified when I say I “get” your “narrative.” You started big. Now, you’ve moved the goalposts into the realm of the infinitesimally small. You are mining (and rewriting) even the few cherry-picked studies and reports you give in support of your arguments. The “possibilities” and “what-ifs” you now would have us all worrying so much over exist only in that last decimal place of certainty that science can never guarantee.

  41. Mlemaon 15 Aug 2014 at 1:50 am

    “You have been mining this paper (Dona and Arvanitoyannis) verbatim in your recent posts. It is worthless, because it is biased and fear-mongering and reaches NO conclusions whatsoever. It relies indiscriminately on data from studies as infamous as Pusztai’s and Seralini’s. Dona and Arvanitoyannis look at every study, no matter how flawed or discredited, that has ever produced a hint of risk. The authors really try to shovel enough sh!t into a pile to support conclusions of risk and still they cannot!
    You complain tirelessly about industry influence, then proclaim you’ve struck gold with this biased crap?!”

    I assure you, I’m very tired of attempting to encourage skepticism regarding industry influence. Whatever. If you want to toss out the Dona and Arvanitoyannis research, be my guest. If you want to look through a hundred references for “Pusztai” or “Seralini” to try to somehow make what I’m saying less credible – that’s actually a reflection on you. I bet you can’t give me one reason why you think the Seralini paper referenced is no good other than it’s Seralini’s. And smearing Pusztai is just shameful.

    So, here’s a Monsanto paper. It has Pusztai in the references. Does that mean it’s crap?
    “Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn (MON863)”
    http://www.sourcewatch.org/images/8/87/Hammond_Study_NK603.pdf

    And coincidentally, it was the Seralini paper referenced in the Dona study that re-evaluated the above Monsanto MON863 feeding study:
    “New Analysis of a Rat Feeding Study with a Genetically Modified Maize Reveals Signs of Hepatorenal Toxicity”
    http://www.gmoseralini.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/seralini.new_.an_.2007.pdf

    And coincidentally, it was Pusztai who was commissioned by the German government to take a critical look at the very same feeding study. It took a court injunction to allow the info to be made public and for Pusztai to speak in spite of a confidentiality agreement he had to sign just to see Monsanto’s research.
    “Evaluation of and Final Report on the summary report of the “13-Week Dietary Subchronic Comparison Study with MON 863 in Rats Preceded by a 1-Week Baseline Food Consumption Determination with PMI Certified Diet #5002″
    https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/view/23797979/13-week-dietary-subchronic-comparison-study-with-mon-863-in-ra

    what are your comments on this research and how do you think it reflects on the industry’s influence on the science?

    “I feel qualified when I say I “get” your “narrative.” You started big. Now, you’ve moved the goalposts into the realm of the infinitesimally small. You are mining (and rewriting) even the few cherry-picked studies and reports you give in support of your arguments. The “possibilities” and “what-ifs” you now would have us all worrying so much over exist only in that last decimal place of certainty that science can never guarantee.”

    It may seem like I’m moving the goal posts, or getting more infinitesimally small – but that’s the nature of this issue. You make a complaint, I try to answer by giving you more explanation. The closer you look, or the wider you focus – one contentious topic flows into the next. I’m willing to continue in any and all directions. But at this point I have to ask you: what are you saying on this topic? you’ve accused me of putting words in your mouth or telling you how to read things. So, tell me: what are you saying besides: “you are wrong you are wrong you are wrong.” All I’ve attempted to do so far is point out that it’s not scientific to make sweeping generalizations about GMOs like: “There are hundreds of studies showing GMOs are safe” or “They are heavily tested and the FDA assures their safety” These statements form one tiny part of the mythology of GMO. I do feel there’s a place for GMOs – but not as they are now in agriculture in the US. Not with their current direction of development, ownership through IP for-profit, and lax safety and environmental regulations. There are volumes of information to be uncovered. Food safety is where a supposed “deep dive” started. I think I’ll give you the last word unless it seems like you want to explore some of this topic more closely.

  42. Mlemaon 15 Aug 2014 at 1:52 am

    Dr. Novella –

    “It is true that gene insertion can cause regional mutagenesis, usually upregulating or downregulating protein production. This is partly why the process is so tedious and time consuming. Many insertions are made, and only the healthy cells are used. After multiple selections, the plant with the new gene is back crossed multiple times to the parent to establish a stable and healthy line with the new gene….FDA requires …that any new proteins are tested, but also the new food has to be tested for equivalence, including nutritional and potential for allergens and toxicity. This would account for any mutagenic changes.”

    The industry says the potential toxicity of the gene products and their metabolites are assessed. But unless the plant is assessed for these gene products and their metabolites, the safety of the plant cannot be claimed. Metabolites can be and have been altered by the insertion of transgenes – if you test the gene product as produced in E.coli recombinant – and not the transgenic proteins isolated from the GM plant – the safety assessment is invalid. The evolutionary level of an organism affects the post-translational processing of proteins – so recombinant proteins produced by the plant and the bacteria are structurally and functionally different. The protein must be isolated from the plant in order to establish it’s stability.
    The industry says: the same transgene produces the same protein whether in a GM plant or E.coli. But DNA is only decoding for the amino acid sequence and not necessarily for the conformation, function, and biological activity of the protein. There’s ample evidence that post-commericalization GMOs exhibit unexpected gene disregulation and unwanted pleiotropic changes.
    The industry says: “we’ve been eating GMOs for decades” But we’re still not eating GMOs as GMOs. We feed them to grow meat or extract oils, sugars for processed foods.
    Beyond this, animal feeding studies should follow strict protocols and have consistency from one to the next, and should be carried out with the transgene protein purified from the transgenic plant.

    You have said we have hundreds of studies that show GMOs are safe. I say we don’t. And I say it’s not scientific to make a blanket statement like “GMOs are safe”.

    “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” – Philip Angell, a former Monsanto director of corporate communications

    “Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.” – US Food and Drug Administration

    Dr. N – am I waiting for a reply from you or did you decide you don’t want to look at this issue any more closely than your above comment?

  43. grabulaon 15 Aug 2014 at 6:30 am

    @mlema

    “All I’ve attempted to do so far is point out that it’s not scientific to make sweeping generalizations about GMOs like: “There are hundreds of studies showing GMOs are safe” or “They are heavily tested and the FDA assures their safety””

    Those wouldn’t be sweeping generalizations. A sweeping generalization would be all GMO’s are safe because we know one is. See the difference? If there are hundreds of studies showing GMO safety, and we point that out, that’s just pointing out a fact. No matter how many times you say it doesn’t make it anymore true.

  44. jsterritton 15 Aug 2014 at 11:38 am

    Mlema…

    Stop being a dick. I didn’t ‘look through a hundred references for “Pusztai” or “Seralini.”’ I read the paper you referenced. It is worthless crap. I am not being dismissive of it for ideological reasons. Nor will I nitpick (cherry-pick) criticisms to get upset about and change the subject. I am not you. So let me be clear: The Dona and Arvanitoyannis paper is worthless because it reaches NO conclusions. It is crap, because of its clear bias, agenda, and editorializing. The fear-mongering alone should tell you to be suspicious. The complete lack of ANY conclusions makes it nothing more than an anti-GMO JAQfest. By using it in support of your claims you are only answering questions with questions.

    You’ll have to do better. You can’t just produce a single piece of bad science like this, quote it for days as if it were fact, and then stick to your guns when the flaws in your thinking — and in your “research” — are pointed out. Don’t forget, you are the one on the “wrong” side of science. You need to bring good evidence to bear in support of your claims (that’s all they are: claims). This is not good evidence. Just ominous “what-ifs” that echo your own fears.

    You keep acting as if I need to convince you that GMOs are safe. You have it backwards.

  45. jsterritton 15 Aug 2014 at 11:42 am

    Please stop posting your comments in multiple places. It is confusing and rude.

  46. Mlemaon 15 Aug 2014 at 4:02 pm

    oh! sorry dude! I posted the last comment under this and the immediately previous post by Dr. Novella because there was some indication that he and I were going to be talking about the safety issues of GMOs. I was trying to make my comment visible on both pages because I wasn’t sure at this point where the discussion might happen. I’m really sorry if it was confusing, because that’s exactly what I was trying to avoid!
    Forgive me.

  47. Mlemaon 15 Aug 2014 at 4:03 pm

    “Stop being a dick. I didn’t ‘look through a hundred references for “Pusztai” or “Seralini.”’ I read the paper you referenced. It is worthless crap. I am not being dismissive of it for ideological reasons. Nor will I nitpick (cherry-pick) criticisms to get upset about and change the subject. I am not you. So let me be clear: The Dona and Arvanitoyannis paper is worthless because it reaches NO conclusions. It is crap, because of its clear bias, agenda, and editorializing. The fear-mongering alone should tell you to be suspicious. The complete lack of ANY conclusions makes it nothing more than an anti-GMO JAQfest. By using it in support of your claims you are only answering questions with questions.”

    Look man, I told you after you first complained about it why I referred to the Dona paper. And I just told you to throw it out if you want to. I had to defend Pusztai, because I think it’s important to stand up for scientists who are trying to navigate this contentious situation with integrity and aplomb. So, I talked about the events surrounding the approval of MON863.
    You’ll have to explain why you consider scientific criticism to be “fear mongering”.

    “You’ll have to do better. You can’t just produce a single piece of bad science like this, quote it for days as if it were fact…”

    You’re exaggerating. And you’ve ignored the 2 meta-reviews of feeding trials I linked for you. Why?

    “Don’t forget, you are the one on the “wrong” side of science. You need to bring good evidence to bear in support of your claims (that’s all they are: claims). This is not good evidence. Just ominous “what-ifs” that echo your own fears….You keep acting as if I need to convince you that GMOs are safe. You have it backwards.”

    My claim: we don’t have evidence to support the statement: “there are hundreds of studies showing: GMOs are safe”. If my claim is: ‘we don’t have the evidence’, and your claim is: ‘we do’ — then aren’t YOU the one that has to provide evidence? Or maybe that’s NOT what you’re claiming. Again, I really don’t know what you’re claiming. I’ve asked you to make a statement, but you just stick with “you’re wrong you’re wrong you’re wrong”.

    Here’s how it works: when a company creates a new product so unique that it’s allowed to patent and control the seeds produced by it – and that uniqueness involves genetic modification using particular methods known to change plants in sometimes harmful ways – and includes the addition of traits like bacterial toxins which people haven’t eaten in great quantities as part of their staple diet – then the FDA and the EPA, in conjunction with the manufacturer, must provide proof of safety. So: we need some assurance that any GMO we’re going to be eating as part of our regular diet has been thoroughly tested for safety.

    I’ve shown that, currently, our system doesn’t provide that assurance. And that assurance has become even more important now that we’re stacking pesticide resistance traits like roundup ready, with resistance to 2,4D and dicamba. Of course, if we talk about those newer varieties, we have to concern ourselves with the FDA and USDA as well. The fact that the people of Bangledesh will be eating bt eggplant without thorough toxicity evaluation is outrageous. This is GMO right now: the patented genes for resistance to ever-increasingly toxin pesticides, or inclusion of Cry toxins, and the engineering of those traits into every possible plant that can generate profit. Any potential benefit transgenic technology could provide is being overwhelmed by the applications we’ve decided to favor.

    The industry is pushing very hard right now to “win the hearts and minds” of the public – because it seeks to move into patenting plants that people DO eat whole (instead of as extracts) by messing with nutritional profiles. This is more risky, and unnecessary except for patent capture of more food crops. I’m asking for skepticism in evaluating our current GMO development, ownership, regulation and ownership. This starts by examining the mythology which has developed around GMOs – both for and against.

  48. jsterritton 15 Aug 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Mlema…

    You’ve come full circle. You reject the evidence, then claim it doesn’t exist. Now you’re demanding the same evidence all over again, just so you can reject it. And so it goes…

  49. Mlemaon 15 Aug 2014 at 5:10 pm

    ?????

  50. Ekkoon 15 Aug 2014 at 7:02 pm

    Mlema,
    You keep saying things like “ever-increasingly toxin pesticides, or inclusion of Cry toxins” but you are oblivious/impervious to the fact that these are not toxic to humans. Toxins used in GM crops have very specific modes of action where they work on specific pests, and nothing else. To us, they are just another protein or salt to be digested like any other.

  51. Bronze Dogon 15 Aug 2014 at 10:32 pm

    Not only does the dose make the poison, “poison” is relative. My brother showed me a scene from one of his shows where a guy’s dog tried to poison him with the deadly (to dogs) neurotoxin, thiobromine. It didn’t work, since humans are immune.

  52. Mlemaon 17 Aug 2014 at 3:07 am

    Ekko: “You keep saying things like “ever-increasingly toxin pesticides, or inclusion of Cry toxins””

    I don’t think I’ve repeatedly said anything about pesticides. I think I’ve mentioned them once or twice, but I did say: “one contentious topic flows into the next.”
    Can you explain what you’re referring to when you say “these are not toxic to humans” or “they are just another protein or salt to be digested like any other”?

    Here was the sentence I wrote: “This is GMO right now: the patented genes for resistance to ever-increasingly toxin pesticides, or inclusion of Cry toxins, and the engineering of those traits into every possible plant that can generate profit.”

    I tend to write run-on sentences, so let me break it down:

    Right now, when we talk about GMOs we’re basically talking about:
    1. plants designed to be resistant to ever-increasingly toxic pesticides
    2. plants designed to express one or more Cry toxins
    3. generating profits by inserting patented genes for these traits into as many commodity crops as possible

  53. grabulaon 18 Aug 2014 at 10:32 pm

    @Ekko

    “Toxins used in GM crops have very specific modes of action where they work on specific pests, and nothing else. To us, they are just another protein or salt to be digested like any other.”

    Mlemas crowd has to make the assumption that we understand next to nothing about biology. Once you make that assumption you can then safely assume that tweaking genes = poisons. Remember, if it’s not natural, it’s not good for you!

  54. Mlemaon 18 Aug 2014 at 11:08 pm

    grabula – please stop lying about me, Show some evidence that backs up what you’re saying about me or restrict your comments to what you know and leave me out of it. If you think you’re actually describing what I’m saying, then you don’t understand what I’m saying.

    Either way, it’s wrong to make stuff up about me or what I’m saying.

    Thank you.

  55. grabulaon 18 Aug 2014 at 11:29 pm

    @mlema

    take your medicine buddy. You keep telling us we don’t know how these genetic changes will effect us down the road, it’s unsafe etc. You’re whole unsafe, not tested enough argument relies on an absurd misunderstanding of how much we understand about biology. It’s like the Food babe who doesn’t understand that just because a chemical is scary sounding, doesn’t mean it’s bad for anyone. Quite a few chemicals drift through our bodies with no effect what so ever. Many more our bodies can handle in small doses with no ill effects. Yet your argument completely hinges on some unknown effect you claim might happen down the road and your constantly moving goalposts on safety and testing support my claim.

  56. jsterritton 19 Aug 2014 at 1:05 am

    Mlema…

    You’ve been going on for quite some time about “mutagenesis,” “toxins,” and “potential toxicity” in ever more esoteric and fanciful climbs. In support, you’ve provided some reports that mention potential and possible risks, all of which have been considered by expert scientists for the purposes of assessing safety (and none of which support any conclusions of risk, I might add). This is your statement:

    “The industry says the potential toxicity of the gene products and their metabolites are assessed. But unless the plant is assessed for these gene products and their metabolites, the safety of the plant cannot be claimed. Metabolites can be and have been altered by the insertion of transgenes – if you test the gene product as produced in E.coli recombinant – and not the transgenic proteins isolated from the GM plant – the safety assessment is invalid.”

    You have peremptorily declared that safety assessment is invalid. Full stop. That’s it. Unless nothing short of “the ultimate fate of the new genome” can be assured, all scientific understanding of health, chemistry, biology, toxicity, risk, etc is thrown out the window. This is a weary “evidence of absence” gambit. You are asking science to prove a negative and somehow meet your impossible (and ever-changing) demands vis-a-vis GMO safety.

    I am speaking from experience — with you — when I say that you do not “get” the role of science in the non-controversy surrounding GMOs. While you like to clutter up the place with cherry-picked studies and reports that you feel support your “narrative,” you reject scientific consensus. I don’t understand how you can place so much value on some science or your science, while rejecting an avalanche of science that has real, hard-earned authority. There is no other, better way to get at the truth of GMO safety than with science. Single studies are exciting and sometimes right — but more than 50% of the time they are wrong. Most analogies don’t bear close scrutiny, but science is something like a pearl: only after layer upon layer of like findings does a grain of sand turn into something of value. The authority that you reject (in this case, the scientific conclusions of the world’s experts) is not cherry-picked, is not hollow, is not cobbled together from convenient findings. It is in fact a pearl of wisdom. Reject all you want, but arguments from scientific consensus stand on merit, not ideology or combativeness or whatever it is that motivates you to incessantly demand new, ever-unattainable, different evidence.

    Why am I harping on scientific consensus? Because we’re right back where we started a million years ago. After almost a month of sanity-defying patience and debate with commenters here, you’ve come full circle. Your disingenuousness and little-ol’-me routine are belied every time you reject science and take logic and reason hostage and make demands:

    “So: we need some assurance that any GMO we’re going to be eating as part of our regular diet has been thoroughly tested for safety.”

    ***

    Organizations that support the scientific consensus on GMOs:

    This is a partial list of well-respected organizations that have commented on genetically modified crops including a link to where they made the statement:

    American Association for the Advancement of Science: ”The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe.” (http://tinyurl.com/kkf277d)

    American Medical Association: ”There is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods. Bioengineered foods have been consumed for close to 20 years, and during that time, no overt consequences on human health have been reported and/or substantiated in the peer-reviewed literature.” (http://bit.ly/166OUdM)

    The United States National Academy of Sciences: “Environmental effects at the farm level have occurred as a result of the adoption of GE crops and the agricultural practices that accompany their cultivation. The introduction of GE crops has reduced pesticide use or the toxicity of pesticides used on fields where soybean, corn, and cotton are grown.” (http://tinyurl.com/l75nmc2)

    World Health Organization: ”No effects on human health have been shown as a result of the consumption of GM foods by the general population in the countries where they have been approved.” (http://bit.ly/18yzzVI)

    The United States National Academy of Sciences: “To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.” (http://tinyurl.com/m8muumm)

    American Phytopathological Society: ”The American Phytopathological Society (APS), which represents approximately 5,000 scientists who work with plant pathogens, the diseases they cause, and ways of controlling them, supports biotechnology as a means for improving plant health, food safety, and sustainable growth in plant productivity.” (http://bit.ly/14Ft4RL)

    American Society for Cell Biology: ”Far from presenting a threat to the public health, GM crops in many cases improve it. The ASCB vigorously supports research and development in the area of genetically engineered organisms, including the development of genetically modified (GM) crop plants.” (http://bit.ly/163sWdL)

    American Society for Microbiology: ”The ASM is not aware of any acceptable evidence that food produced with biotechnology and subject to FDA oversight constitutes high risk or is unsafe. We are sufficiently convinced to assure the public that plant varieties and products created with biotechnology have the potential of improved nutrition, better taste and longer shelf-life.” (http://bit.ly/13Cl2ak)

    American Society of Plant Biologists: ”The risks of unintended consequences of this type of gene transfer are comparable to the random mixing of genes that occurs during classical breeding… The ASPB believes strongly that, with continued responsible regulation and oversight, GE will bring many significant health and environmental benefits to the world and its people.” (http://bit.ly/13bLJiR)

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration: “FDA is confident that the bioengineered foods on the United States market today are as safe as their conventional counterparts.” (http://tinyurl.com/qzkpacd)

    Health Canada: “Health Canada is not aware of any published scientific evidence demonstrating that novel foods are any less safe than traditional foods.” (http://tinyurl.com/pou7ma6)

    Society of Toxicology: ”Scientific analysis indicates that the process of GM food production is unlikely to lead to hazards of a different nature than those already familiar to toxicologists. The level of safety of current GM foods to consumers appears to be equivalent to that of traditional foods.” (http://bit.ly/13bOaSt)

    International Seed Federation: ”The development of GM crops has benefited farmers, consumers and the environment… Today, data shows that GM crops and foods are as safe as their conventional counterparts: millions of hectares worldwide have been cultivated with GM crops and billions of people have eaten GM foods without any documented harmful effect on human health or the environment.” (http://bit.ly/138rZLW)

    Council for Agricultural Science and Technology: ”Over the last decade, 8.5 million farmers have grown transgenic varieties of crops on more than 1 billion acres of farmland in 17 countries. These crops have been consumed by humans and animals in most countries. Transgenic crops on the market today are as safe to eat as their conventional counterparts, and likely more so given the greater regulatory scrutiny to which they are exposed.” (http://tinyurl.com/o72hu84)

    Society for In Vitro Biology: ”The SIVB supports the current science-based approach for the evaluation and regulation of genetically engineered crops. The SIVB supports the need for easy public access to available information on the safety of genetically modified crop products. In addition, the SIVB feels that foods from genetically modified crops, which are determined to be substantially equivalent to those made from crops, do not require mandatory labeling.” (http://bit.ly/18yFDxo)

    The Royal Society of Medicine: ”Foods derived from GM crops have been consumed by hundreds of millions of people across the world for more than 15 years, with no reported ill effects (or legal cases related to human health), despite many of the consumers coming from that most litigious of countries, the USA.” (http://1.usa.gov/12huL7Z)

    American Dietetic Association: ”It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that agricultural and food biotechnology techniques can enhance the quality, safety, nutritional value, and variety of food available for human consumption and increase the efficiency of food production, food processing, food distribution, and environmental and waste management.” (http://1.usa.gov/12hvWnE)

    Federation of Animal Science Societies: ”Meat, milk and eggs from livestock and poultry consuming biotech feeds are safe for human consumption.” (http://bit.ly/133F79K)

    Consensus document on GMOs Safety (14 Italian scientific societies): ”GMOs on the market today, having successfully passed all the tests and procedures necessary to authorization, are to be considered, on the basis of current knowledge, safe to use for human and animal consumption.” (http://bit.ly/166WHYZ) Google translate (http://tinyurl.com/noawpkm)

    “Transgenic Plants and World Agriculture” – Prepared by the Royal Society of London, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Indian National Science Academy, the Mexican Academy of Sciences, and the Third World Academy of Sciences: “Foods can be produced through the use of GM technology that are more nutritious, stable in storage, and in principle health promoting – bringing benefits to consumers in both industrialized and developing nations.” (http://bit.ly/17Cliq5)

    French Academy of Science: ”All criticisms against GMOs can be largely rejected on strictly scientific criteria.” (http://bit.ly/15Hm3wO) Google translate (http://tinyurl.com/nwoztm8)

    International Society of African Scientists: ”Africa and the Caribbean cannot afford to be left further behind in acquiring the uses and benefits of this new agricultural revolution.” (http://bit.ly/14Fp1oK)

    Union of German Academies of Sciences and Humanities: ”Food derived from GM plants approved in the EU and the US poses no risks greater than those from the corresponding conventional food. On the contrary, in some cases food from GM plants appears to be superior with respect to health.” (http://bit.ly/17ClMMF)

    International Council for Science: ”Currently available genetically modified crops – and foods derived from them – have been judged safe to eat, and the methods used to test them have been deemed appropriate.” (http://tinyurl.com/na7ojbu)

    Thanks to Richard Green for compiling this list.

  57. grabulaon 19 Aug 2014 at 9:43 pm

    @Mlema, Jsterritt

    ““The industry says the potential toxicity of the gene products and their metabolites are assessed. But unless the plant is assessed for these gene products and their metabolites, the safety of the plant cannot be claimed. Metabolites can be and have been altered by the insertion of transgenes – if you test the gene product as produced in E.coli recombinant – and not the transgenic proteins isolated from the GM plant – the safety assessment is invalid.””

    This is also a strawman and a misunderstanding of the testing process, whether from ignorance or on purpose I can’t say. I’ve provided links a couple of times to methods of testing that work all the way down to testing the actual end product. Mlema implies here that for some reason the testing stops once the specific gene from the provider is tested, which is patently false. GMO product crops are tested for side effects of the gene insertion, any unexpected changes that may occur – including metabolites (because scientists believe it or not generally understand what they’re about).

    and THAT is exactly why you’re reliance on a horrible comprehension of what science understands is exactly where your argument goes wrong Mlema. Your dogma is getting in the way of you seeing anything approaching the truth.

  58. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 12:15 pm

    “..a misunderstanding of the testing process…”

    “I’ve provided links a couple of times to methods of testing that work all the way down to testing the actual end product. ”

    Well, of course the “end product” is tested, but this is limited in the way I’ve described repeatedly in earlier posts. But perhaps I owe you an apology. I’ve read your links and didn’t see this information you say was there. If you want to link me to something you believe shows how testing addresses the issues I’ve raised in the comments on this page, I will look at it. ”

    “GMO product crops are tested for side effects of the gene insertion, any unexpected changes that may occur – including metabolites”

    I guess I missed where the voluntary FDA consultation requires profiling metabolites of the transgenic plant as part of deregulation. I think it will be difficult for you to show that such testing occurs, but, as I said, perhaps I owe you an apology. I look forward to your reply.

  59. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 12:45 pm

    jsterritt, I’m willing to go through these documents with you. Let’s start with this:
    You say there’s a scientific consensus on GMOs. That usually involves a statement. So, in your words, what is the scientific consensus on GMOs? Are you just saying that it’s “GMOs are safe”? (that’s ok if you want to make it that simple, but let’s start with some kind of agreement on what the consensus is you’re saying exists)

    Then, let’s go through these documents and examine what they say – not just pulled-out quotes.
    Here’s what I see: you, grabula, Dr. Novella, Richard Green (whoever he is, Bruce Chassy) and industry proponents saying “GMOs are safe – there’s a consensus” But when you look at what’s being said, it’s usually pretty non-committal, or even meaningless, like “we have no evidence that etc” I’ve shown you the extent of feeding trials. What are you basing YOUR claims of safety on? And if you’re just basing them on a consensus you believe exists – then let’s see what this consensus actually is. Let’s see what they’re saying. Is it faithfully represented by the quotes that have been pulled out? is it representative of its members? and what is the status of the organization with regards to industry influence? (we wouldn’t take Exxon and BP’s consensus on global warming)

    Perhaps it’s not impossible for us to agree on something.

    I’d like to introduce you to a consensus I see. That is: the need for Public Investment in Agroecological Research.
    http://www.ucsusa.org/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/scientist-statement-agroecology-7-2-2014.pdf
    This, in light of 30 years of a shift of funding from public to private enterprise. And from the references on that statement, the Report to the President on agricultural preparedness and the Agricultural Research Enterprise
    http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/microsites/ostp/pcast_agriculture_20121207.pdf

    So that we can see this contentious issue of GMOs as part of the bigger picture: one influenced by changing economics, and set in the context of a challenging future. I’d also suggest a perusal of the IAASTD report on global agriculture, science and technology.

    I think if we get out from under the politics and ideology, there’s a place where those of us who support scientific approaches to problem-solving can agree on things. I hope so.

  60. jsterritton 20 Aug 2014 at 2:19 pm

    Mlema…

    “And if you’re just basing them on a consensus you believe exists – then let’s see what this consensus actually is.”

    No need for “belief” — that’s the beauty of science. It doesn’t care whether you believe in it or not. I strongly suggest you do in fact “see what this consensus actually is.” It isn’t a secret. But I know you won’t.

    “Let’s see what they’re saying. Is it faithfully represented by the quotes that have been pulled out? is it representative of its members?”

    This is absurd. You don’t like the statements, so you attempt to impugn their credibility by hook or by crook. You won’t be satisfied until you have affidavits from all members of all the organizations. But you wouldn’t trust the affidavits any more than you trust the public statements of these organizations, so what you really need is a time machine so you can personally witness the drafting of each statement and act as notary for the signatories. So your argument here comes down to: a time machine, is that so much to ask? Either that or every employee of each of these organizations comes to your house and swears a blood oath in support of the statement of their organization and is somehow personally vetted by you (that’s a lot of straw men). So you don’t necessarily demand the impossible (time machine), only a highly improbable and absurd red herring.

    You’re fooling nobody. You are rejecting the statements of all these organizations because they are inconvenient to your argument. Period. Why would theses august bodies of scientists — dozens of them — all misrepresent themselves?! You appear to be calling them all liars.

    “And what is the status of the organization with regards to industry influence? (we wouldn’t take Exxon and BP’s consensus on global warming)”

    And now you are calling them all shills. You are quite literally calling the AAAS and the NAS and the WHO and the AMA — pretty much all of the world’s top scientists on food and environmental safety — shills. Or merely evil — you know, like Exxon and BP who ruin the environment. Nice grand conspiracy. Nice way to try to poison the well. But I don’t think it’ll work: these are scientific bodies of experts, not for-profit companies. Do you even see the difference? If you don’t understand what scientific consensus means, then I suggest you start with a dictionary. If you don’t understand what science is — and I am beginning to suspect you don’t — then maybe you should start with something more remedial.

    Thank you for at least showing your true colors. By coming full circle you have shown yourself to be entirely anti-GMO across the board and for purely ideological reasons. No more trifling “green our GMOs” games for you. You have made it 100% clear that there isn’t enough reason, logic, and unassailable science in the world to ever change your mind about GMO safety. You are a true believer who has no problem muddying the waters of scientific and reasoned debate with pretense and make-believe and playing at science-y sounding games. Stop pretending to be somebody you’re not. End the charade. You’re just a sh!tty little decoy working for Big Fallacy. Let your freak flag fly.

  61. grabulaon 20 Aug 2014 at 5:31 pm

    @mlema

    “Well, of course the “end product” is tested, but this is limited in the way I’ve described repeatedly in earlier posts. But perhaps I owe you an apology. I’ve read your links and didn’t see this information you say was there. If you want to link me to something you believe shows how testing addresses the issues I’ve raised in the comments on this page, I will look at it. ””

    Not just the end product Mlema, It goes through multiple tests before finally reaching the ‘feed’ test phase – genes are checked, byproducts are looked for and finally the end result is fed to animals in order to check for anything prior testing may have missed when it comes to introducing it into the environment it’s meant for. This isn’t the voluntary FDA test, this is required for all GMO’s before they can be approved. The FDA effectively double checks this with their own standards to certify the product – and you keep missing the fact that most GMO’s are voluntarily offered to the FDA for testing something that works against your ‘Big Evil’ claims.

    Finally, your statements here show you haven’t bothered to read my links. Because of this, what makes you think I want to play your lazy game of ‘point me to the specific sentences’?

  62. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 10:25 pm

    “It goes through multiple tests before finally reaching the ‘feed’ test phase – genes are checked, byproducts are looked for and finally the end result is fed to animals in order to check for anything prior testing may have missed when it comes to introducing it into the environment it’s meant for. This isn’t the voluntary FDA test, this is required for all GMO’s before they can be approved. The FDA effectively double checks this with their own standards to certify the product – and you keep missing the fact that most GMO’s are voluntarily offered to the FDA for testing”

    This is inaccurate. The FDA doesn’t do any testing or environmental assessment. It never sees the GMO, but offers consultation to the manufacturer to assist in assuring safety. Then it sends a letter saying (for example):
    http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/Biotechnology/Submissions/ucm390437.htm
    “Based on the safety and nutritional assessment Dow has conducted, it is our understanding that Dow has concluded that food and feed derived from DAS-81419-2 soybean are not materially different in composition, safety, and other relevant parameters from soybean-derived food and feed currently on the market, and that genetically engineered DAS-81419-2 soybean does not raise issues that would require premarket review or approval by FDA…However, as you are aware, it is Dow’s continuing responsibility to ensure that foods marketed by the firm are safe, wholesome, and in compliance with all applicable legal and regulatory requirements.”

    I’ve explained what sort of testing is done (by the manufacturer) and how that testing has allowed some unwanted differences from “substantially equivalent” to slip by. And I’m sure that “genes are checked” It would be dumb to spend all that time and money inserting a gene without making sure it’s in there before you attempt to commercialize it. the company makes sure that the gene they’ve patented is in the plant, and that the plant is expressing the protein. But what exactly are you saying about checking genes as that would affect safety? Frankly, at the point where the transgenic plant’s complete, the genes themselves are less important than what’s happening in the rest of the plant. Byproducts? Here’s what’s done (for the umpteenth time): the plant is checked for toxins or allergens that would be expected to possibly be a problem in the parent plant (like glycoalkaloids in potatoes). In a transgenic plant, this is inadequate, since mutagenic or pleitropic changes can affect protein, protein structure or metabolic changes – and these can be and have been problematic. Basic equivalence of certain nutrients and composition are evaluated – although the information gained from these evaluations don’t guarantee nutritional equivalence. you’ve got to understand what these tests are capable of before you can say they assure equivalence and safety. All this becomes more important as manufactures seek to enter into modifying nutritional profiles, which are infinitely more complicated.
    Safety of Genetically Engineered Foods, Approaches to Assessing Unintended Health Effects
    http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309092094
    I had picked out some things for you to read in this publication, but I think I’ll just recommend that you read what you’re interested in.

  63. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 10:34 pm

    jsterritt
    “This is absurd. You don’t like the statements, so you attempt to impugn their credibility by hook or by crook. You won’t be satisfied until you have affidavits from all members of all the organizations. But you wouldn’t trust the affidavits any more than you trust the public statements of these organizations, so what you really need is a time machine so you can personally witness the drafting of each statement and act as notary for the signatories. So your argument here comes down to: a time machine, is that so much to ask? Either that or every employee of each of these organizations comes to your house and swears a blood oath in support of the statement of their organization and is somehow personally vetted by you (that’s a lot of straw men). So you don’t necessarily demand the impossible (time machine), only a highly improbable and absurd red herring.”

    Hmm, I think I’d trust affidavits :) But seriously, it’s not that I don’t trust the public statements of these organizations, it’s that your links don’t necessarily tell me what the consensus is (or tell me anything at all in some cases, or even go anywhere at all in others). And they certainly don’t tell me what you think the consensus is that they’re supporting. That’s why I asked you for a simple statement like the one I’ve made telling you that I don’t believe that the statement “GMOs are safe” is scientific, and telling you why I say that (not going to type that all over again).

    “You’re fooling nobody. You are rejecting the statements of all these organizations because they are inconvenient to your argument. Period. Why would theses august bodies of scientists — dozens of them — all misrepresent themselves?! You appear to be calling them all liars….And now you are calling them all shills. You are quite literally calling the AAAS and the NAS and the WHO and the AMA — pretty much all of the world’s top scientists on food and environmental safety — shills. Or merely evil — you know, like Exxon and BP who ruin the environment. Nice grand conspiracy. Nice way to try to poison the well. But I don’t think it’ll work: these are scientific bodies of experts, not for-profit companies. Do you even see the difference? If you don’t understand what scientific consensus means, then I suggest you start with a dictionary. If you don’t understand what science is — and I am beginning to suspect you don’t — then maybe you should start with something more remedial.”

    You shouldn’t interpret my allusion to Exxon/BP contributing to the consensus on global warming as implying “evil”. I was just warning you that if you choose one of these documents for us to investigate and it’s from an organization that’s supported by industry funds (which I do see at least one of off the bat, and another one that’s questionable) I’m going to call you on it. That’s all. Fair warning. And you are way off base with the rest of your accusations. You’re exaggerating. I’m not rejecting anyone’s “statement” – I’m asking you to give me yours: what do you think the consensus is and how these organizations represent that consensus? It’s easy to just copy a list of quotes that someone’s compiled to support this “consensus”. But it’s not the skeptical to approach the science in this way imo.

    “Thank you for at least showing your true colors. By coming full circle you have shown yourself to be entirely anti-GMO across the board and for purely ideological reasons. No more trifling “green our GMOs” games for you. You have made it 100% clear that there isn’t enough reason, logic, and unassailable science in the world to ever change your mind about GMO safety. You are a true believer who has no problem muddying the waters of scientific and reasoned debate with pretense and make-believe and playing at science-y sounding games. Stop pretending to be somebody you’re not. End the charade. You’re just a sh!tty little decoy working for Big Fallacy. Let your freak flag fly.”

    You have such a way with words. I’m sure if you decide to actually engage on this topic it will be lots of fun. But in the meantime, I’ve linked grabula to the NAS publication on assessing unintended health effects. I recommend it as a starting point in exploring the topic of safety and regulation.

  64. grabulaon 20 Aug 2014 at 10:45 pm

    Alright Mlema, you’ve got me, I’m a schill for ‘Big Science’. I’m not going to sweat this discussion any longer. You’re intractable in your bias and it’s unfortunate but there are probably half a dozen blogs with discussions involving you showing an inability to budge. Unfortunately you and yours are doing damage to the global community with your unscientific emotional response to a great and promising technology. Hopefully as the science continues to grow your irrational way of thinking will move farther out to the fringe and we don’t have to worry about that ‘body count’ continuing to build. But at least you won’t have to worry about what might happen, right buddy?

  65. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 11:30 pm

    “Alright Mlema, you’ve got me, I’m a schill for ‘Big Science’. ”

    c’mon man – I don’t think that. I know you’re not a shill for anyone.

    “Hopefully as the science continues to grow your irrational way of thinking will move farther out to the fringe and we don’t have to worry about that ‘body count’ continuing to build. But at least you won’t have to worry about what might happen, right buddy?”

    Well, I wasn’t exaggerating about people using the disgusting “body count” ploy – Kevin Folta used it in the GMO myths discussion. And it sounds like you believe it.

    What I’m trying to convey, if you’ll take the time to read some of the publications l’ve linked to like those above given to jsterritt, and the ISTAAD link on the immediately previous page, you’ll hopefully understand that the myth of GMOs saving the world is part of the industry’s rhetoric. It’s not realistic, and with the current state of corporate ownership of this technology and the profit motive that drives it – it’s not helpful. GMOs will likely play a role in improving and adapting global agriculture to assist us in future agricultural challenges. I completely support that with appropriate safety and environmental regulations. But not if we don’t start advancing public development. (again, see earlier links given to jsterritt)

    I’d like to see more scientists employed and well paid in the public sector, and I don’t like the influence of corporations in academia.

    “But at least you won’t have to worry about what might happen, right buddy?”

    I have a feeling I’m way more worried about what will happen than you are.

  66. Mlemaon 20 Aug 2014 at 11:31 pm

    I’ve enjoyed my discussions here, but since Dr. Novella has declined to examine safety and regulation of GMOs, I will decline further participation.

    Thanks Dr. Novella.

  67. grabulaon 21 Aug 2014 at 12:25 am

    @mlema

    “Well, I wasn’t exaggerating about people using the disgusting “body count” ploy – Kevin Folta used it in the GMO myths discussion. And it sounds like you believe it. ”

    Every time a country that needs hardier, more nutritional crops turns away GMO’s based on irrational fear, lives are profoundly affected. Do you deny this?

    “I have a feeling I’m way more worried about what will happen than you are.”

    There’s no doubt about this mlema. My concern is not irrational, yours is. I know there are risks, however my measure of those risks is not overblown based on a shoddy understanding of biology and a gut reaction to business. I understand there’s a middle ground and right now, the industry is walking that middle ground as best it can. That’s all anyone can reasonably asked based solely on speculative fear.

  68. jsterritton 21 Aug 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Hmmm…

    “Since Dr. Novella has declined to examine safety and regulation of GMOs, I will decline further participation.”

    If three (count ‘em!) blog posts about GMOs in under a month — plus dozens of thoughtful and pointed comments from the good doctor — is what you call “declining,” I can’t imagine the Proustian feat it would take to rate “eagerly participating” in your wacko dictionary.

    Feels good to be stuffed and mounted on your bizarro trophy wall, Mlema.

    Hugs.

  69. Mlemaon 21 Aug 2014 at 10:16 pm

    All fear is irrational. But unfounded, unexamined faith is pathological.

  70. grabulaon 21 Aug 2014 at 10:30 pm

    @mlema

    “All fear is irrational. But unfounded, unexamined faith is pathological.”

    This is wrong in almost every sense. First, fear is not irrational – it’s rational to be afraid of the falling from a great height, or being killed in combat. It’s rational and reasonable. It moves into the arena of irrational when it’s not supported by any sort of rational evidence, or you have to reach so far into a speculative future it’s only purpose is to serve to stop progress. The fear of what’s out there can’t stop us from forging ahead as long as we do it responsibly. You’re problem here is that you will not admit that’s exactly what we’re doing because of your bias, based on irrational fear.

    ‘unfounded, unexamined faith is pathological’ – I should say this is correct but aimed in the wrong direction. This very specifically describes the beliefs you yourself ascribe too. You’ve continually failed to provide reasonable evidence from reasonable sources to support a reasonable view – you’re stance is completely unreasonable in every aspect. Like Fullerton, if you can’t 100% accurately model the results, you can’t (in your mind) declare GMO safe – it’s ridiculous and unreasonable and reveals your true motives.

  71. grabulaon 21 Aug 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Just to make something clear (not that facts get in the way of your narrative mlema), I was initially undecided about how I felt in regards to GMO. I understood the reasonable initial fear that something might go horribly wrong from someone such as myself who’s not a biology major. Once I was ready to form my own opinion on it I started looking for credible sources on the subject. This past winter I even wrote a paper on the subject and spent time examining both sides of the argument. Eventually I was led to understand that while there are risks, those risks are not large enough to reasonably stop us from exploring and using the technology to help provide for a better world (In every way – you want to be pesticide free on one hand but given the current best possible answer you deny it on the other).

    The same for my opinions on global warming

    The same for my opinions on gun control, or racism, or politics. I work very hard to move past any biases I have to try to understand a subject if it interests me enough to look into it. It’s why I frequent blogs and forums such as this. In this case Dr. Novella works hard to take an unbiased stance on the subjects he posts on unless science has informed his opinion.

    Digging for quotes and articles on pro-natural/organic websites isn’t in anyway skeptical or scientific. If several individuals are telling you the same things over and over again mlema, you have to at some point ask yourself if there’s any truth behind what you’re being told.

  72. Mlemaon 21 Aug 2014 at 11:43 pm

    grabula, i appreciate your honesty.

    Would you make a comment on this article and how it reflects on GM technology:
    http://www.irinnews.org/report/82760/philippines-could-flood-resistant-rice-be-the-way-forward

  73. grabulaon 22 Aug 2014 at 12:15 am

    I think it reflects the hope of what GM tech can provide. They have an issue with rice rotting under flooded or prolonged wet conditions, scientists have managed to make some rice variants who are resistant to these issues. It means the Philippines might have an answer to an issue they have with some of their crops. Doing a deeper google search on it seems to show some real hope based around these crops. Your article is from 2009, doing a search on more recent data I found this:

    http://www.nature.com/srep/2013/131122/srep03315/full/srep03315.html

    It’s apparently showing significant ( 45% ) increase in yields over the last couple of years and seems to be a success.

    In your article the only the only ‘concern’ expressed is one of safety to humans. This is where that misunderstanding of our knowledge of biology get’s people in trouble. Feed tests can show us reasonably whether the crop is safe to consume.

  74. Mlemaon 22 Aug 2014 at 1:30 am

    Neither your article or mine is about GMO rice.

  75. grabulaon 22 Aug 2014 at 1:45 am

    I hate to break this to you mlema but you’re showing your ignorance here by limiting your definition of what GM tech is. This is why you always fail in these discussions. On top of that you try a misdirected prank but the same complaint leveled in that article you posted is your complain echoed…back to the drawing board for you I guess.

  76. Mlemaon 22 Aug 2014 at 2:00 am

    Marker-assisted selection isn’t GMO and it’s not regulated like GMO – and it has nothing to do with anything we’ve been talking about here in any way. It’s not transgenic. It’s considered equivalent to conventional breeding, but does make use of “modern genetic techniques”. That article was written in such a way as to confuse people who don’t know the difference. And that is in order to spread the myth that GMOs are the answer to every question like yours:

    “Every time a country that needs hardier, more nutritional crops turns away GMO’s based on irrational fear, lives are profoundly affected. Do you deny this?”

    Where is your example of a hardier, more nutritious GMO crop that was turned away due to irrational fear?

  77. grabulaon 22 Aug 2014 at 2:18 am

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/2019052.stm

    http://cip.cornell.edu/DPubS?service=UI&version=1.0&verb=Display&handle=dns.gfs/1200428165

    If it makes you feel better, something from a source you’d probably consider credible:

    http://naturalsociety.com/former-pro-gmo-china-refuses-8-shipments-us-gmo-corn/

    All considered wins by the anti-GMO crowd. all based on unscientific views on the ‘scariness’ of GMO’s, probably something to be proud of right?

  78. Mlemaon 22 Aug 2014 at 3:11 am

    What do your articles have to do with “a country that needs hardier, more nutritional crops”?

    I thought you were implying that countries have banned their farmers from buying GMO seed that would have made their crops “hardier and more nutritional”?

    You’ve linked to news about events that revolve around international trade and politics. And you should understand more about what went on in 2002 in Africa before linking to a news article to try to mop up a misstep you’ve made in your thinking about GMOs.

  79. Mlemaon 22 Aug 2014 at 3:19 am

    and what’s with the crack about Natural Society? I’ve never read Natural Society or linked to it, so why are you using it as a link to support your own argument, and then trying to slam me for your poor choice of substantiation (of something that has nothing to do with what you originally said)?

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