Sep 01 2016

Bt Brinjal – Destroying the Anti-GMO Narrative

Bt BringalIt is amazing how a rigid ideology can so dramatically alter one’s perception of reality and justify bad behavior. Consider the following summary of events:

One side of the GMO debate opposes the use of seeds that were created in the public interest and given freely to farmers, without any corporate ownership or profit motive. These plants dramatically reduce the use of pesticides and reduce loss due to pest damage.

The activists on this side don’t have any facts at all to back them up, so they willfully spread lies and misinformation, spread propaganda as if it were journalism, and make personal attacks against those on the other side. Yet, they still think they are the good guys.

The Anti-GMO Narrative

The anti-GMO narrative – and that is what it is, a story – has several consistent elements. According to this narrative GMOs are poisonous, bad for farmers, and solely promoted by companies out to make money by controlling the food source and exploiting farmers and the public. The problem with this cartoon is that it does not comport with reality.

Genetic modification is a technology, and it is used in a variety of ways by a variety of agents for a range of purposes. There is no inherent problem or risks from the technology itself, so those opposing it falsely claim that there is and also substitute other issues and pretend that they are inherent to the technology. These other issues are all misdirections, however.

For example, they argue that GMOs are bad because farmers cannot save and replant their own seeds. However, in developed countries at least, farmers have not been saving and replanting seeds for most crops for a century. Early in the 20th century hybrid plants became popular for their superior traits, and you cannot save and replant hybrid seeds because the traits do not breed through.

They argue that life should not be patented. However, many non-GMO plants and crops are also patented, in order to reward the research and development that went into creating the new variety. Patents are limited to 20 years, then the varieties are in the public domain. This is fairly standard practice in many industries and is not unique to GMOs.

Anti-GMO activists try desperately to tie GMOs with the use of pesticides (herbicides and insecticides). Of course, this is only one application of GM technology, and in no way is inherent to the technology itself. Further, Bt GMOs significantly reduce the use of insecticides and have been good for the environment. Herbicide tolerant GMOs have increased the use of specific herbicides, like glyphosate, but they reduced the use of other more toxic herbicides.

The net effect of Bt and herbicide tolerant GMOs is complex and depends on farming practices, but overall it has reduced pesticide use and toxicity – the opposite of what is claimed by anti-GMO activists.

That, however, is the anti-GMO narrative – that all GMOs are a health risk, increase pesticide use, and are used by corporations to exploit farmers. All of these claims are not true.

Bt Brinjal

There are some specific GMOs that obviously break the anti-GMO narrative. These crops have anti-GMO activists in a panic, because they expose their lies and might just soften the public on GMOs in the process. One such GMO is golden rice, which I have discussed previously.

The story of Bt brinjal in Bangladesh is perhaps and even more dramatic example, and is farther along in development. Bt brinjal (eggplant) varieties were developed by several universities. In 2014 Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) released four Bt brinjal varieties that had completed years of field trials showing that they were safe and viable.

Seeds were given to farmers who, by many accounts, are thrilled with the results. Brinjal is a staple in the region. Typically a farmer might expect 40% of their crop to be lost to pest damage. They have to spray heavy doses of insecticide 140-180 times throughout the growing season, as often as several times per week.

Farmers growing the Bt varieties report a dramatic reduction in pesticide use by over 80% and virtually no crop loss to pests. The plants are healthy and productive.

This is a disaster for the anti-GMO narrative. Monsanto is no where to be seen, nor are any big ag corporations. There are no patents, the plants reduce pesticide use, and the farmers are happy.

This reminds me of the general in Full Metal Jacket who says, “We’ve gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.” Anti-GMO activists are worried that a GMO might help poor farmers and be good for health and the environment. The horrors.

Their response has been a campaign of lies and misinformation. After reports of happy farmers in Bangladesh, some anti-GMO activists returned to the farmers, posing as journalists, and somehow managed to come away with a completely different story. This appears to be partly due to ignorance, and partly due to willful deception.

First, they spread anti-GMO propaganda to the farmers, trying to convince them that the Bt brinjal would cause paralysis or birth defects. This, of course, in addition to being wrong, taints any journalism they hoped to accomplish.

Further, this is another example of the fact that reality is complex and affords multiple opportunities for confusion. As Mark Lynas and others report, the fields with Bt brinjal also contained areas of traditional brinjal as a control, and those plants were affected by the root borer pests to which the Bt varieties are resistant. So, it is likely that the anti-GMO “reporters” saw the control plants and wrongly concluded that they were failed Bt plants.

Further, brinjal plants produce for a time and then die at the end of their life cycle. This is normal. Reporters also apparently saw dying plants and concluded that they were a failed crop, even when the farmer explained that those plants had already produced and were just at the end of their life.

Finally, Bt varieties are not immune to bad farming practices. Over watering can result in bacterial wilt, and some plots were affected by this, but this has nothing to do with the effectiveness of the Bt trait.

So – the anti-GMO activists posing as reporters did their best to poison the farmers against GMOs, and failing that they simply saw what they wanted to see, completely misinterpreting and misreporting the reality.

Fortunately, as the links above show, video-taped interviews with the actual farmers document the reality. The Bt brinjal varieties are performing well and the farmers are delighted.

As you can see here, this reality has not deterred those in the anti-GMO crowd from their preferred narrative one bit. They just attack the messenger and go back to railing against corporate greed and tampering with life.

Conclusion

Bt Brinjal seems to be an incredible success, improving yield and reducing pesticide use. This is good for both the health and the profits of poor farmers in the developing world.

Rigid anti-GMO ideology (and in some cases, ironically, corporate interests of the organic lobby) makes this an inconvenient reality. Once GM technology starts to show its true potential, anti-GMO propaganda is in trouble. The public will also learn that GMOs are not toxic.

In the end those who base their entire philosophy on defense of the environment, health, and the poor are doing their best to harm the environment and hurt poor farmers in the developing world. In the case of golden rice, they have also put themselves in opposition to the health of children in the developing world.  Their narrative has been pulled out from under them, so they simply manufacture lies that the crop is failing, but this is demonstrably not true.

I tend to watch such episodes like a driver watches an accident on the side of the road, with morbid fascination. How disconnected from logic and reality can people get? For how much longer can misguided environmentalists oppose the environment and the poor? Will reality ever break their fanatic adherence to their false narrative?

49 responses so far

49 Responses to “Bt Brinjal – Destroying the Anti-GMO Narrative”

  1. mumadaddon 01 Sep 2016 at 9:37 am

    Thanks, Steve, for all your writing on this topic. I would know absolutely nothing about it if you hadn’t taken it on.

  2. tmac57on 01 Sep 2016 at 9:49 am

    What really worries me about these kind of irrational and ideological attacks on GMO’s beyond the immediate effects of setting back progress in agriculture, is how their actions can damage legitimate concerns about the environment.
    Think for a moment how many times you’ve seen climate change scientists dismissed as part of a bunch of “greenies”. It’s an effective strawman tactic that tars the entire area of environmental issues as just a bunch of ‘know nothing’ extremists. They are ironically doing more damage to our world by setting back their own movement by trashing the credibility of environmentalism.

  3. DevoutCatalyston 01 Sep 2016 at 9:53 am

    mumadadd, I think you’d like the Talking Biotech podcast.

  4. mumadaddon 01 Sep 2016 at 9:56 am

    Sweet — I will check that out. Much obliged.

  5. kevinfoltaon 01 Sep 2016 at 9:56 am

    Thanks Steve for this important discussion. The Bt Brinjal is devastating to those that always claim this is dangerous technology farmers don’t want. I’d like to provide your readership with two resources to enhance their knowledge of this topic.

    First, please check out Hidde Boresma’s interactive slideshow on Al Jazeera. Hidde is a scientist turned science journalist, and his documentary “Well Fed” will preview this fall.

    http://interactive.aljazeera.com/aje/2016/gmo-eggplants-aubergines-bangladesh/#2208

    Second, I had the opportunity to interview Dr. Tony Shelton and Dr. Hidde Boersma about the Bt brinjal– its development, distribution and future.

    http://www.talkingbiotechpodcast.com/048-eggplants-brinjals-and-aubergines/

    Thank you for all you do. Kevin

  6. NotAMarsupialon 01 Sep 2016 at 11:04 am

    I love this account of the Bangladeshi farmer’s interaction with UNB:

    They said if insects don’t eat this, it must not be a good thing for humans to eat. With my practical mind to counter them, I asked them that people take medicines for worms, the worms die, why don’t people die? They were not able to answer my question.”

    So much for the anti-GMO narrative of the simple farmer needing to be coddled and protected from the GMOs being forced on them. This farmer is applying more critical thinking than those “protecting” him.

  7. BBBlueon 01 Sep 2016 at 11:12 am

    Bangladesh’s Agriculture Minister Matia Chowdhury is a real science hero. I can only imagine the political and social pressures she has had to endure to make this happen.

  8. mumadaddon 01 Sep 2016 at 11:15 am

    Thanks, Kevin — I hadn’t realised you out a podcast, and I will certainly check it out.

  9. BBBlueon 01 Sep 2016 at 3:34 pm

    How tragically ironic that so there is so much concern over the safety of Bt brinjal while there seems to be no apparent concern regarding clean water, food safety, and the most basic principles of personal protection in handling and applying pesticides.

  10. Damloweton 01 Sep 2016 at 3:52 pm

    @BBBlue

    Apathy for the old ways, and ‘concern’ for the new.

    In Australia that would equate to apathy for deaths from self inflicted obesity and concern with wifi/mobile phone radiation.

    Damien

  11. Willyon 01 Sep 2016 at 7:19 pm

    I want to curse the person who mentioned Kevin Folta’s podcast. I didn’t know he had one, I am now compelled to give it a whirl, and–between my regular podcasts and The Great Courses–I am running out of time! I can’t walk around 24/7 with my IPod and earbuds. LOL

  12. DevoutCatalyston 01 Sep 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Willy, I’ve listened to them all. Set aside your regular podcasts for a short while and you’ll get caught up with Kevin’s pretty quickly. You can do it, go get ’em tiger.

  13. Ivan Groznyon 02 Sep 2016 at 8:47 am

    12 comment about this and one thousand about whether Mike Pence understands evolution or not…

  14. RickKon 02 Sep 2016 at 9:06 am

    Wow. You get an interesting glimpse into the mind of an ardent anti-GMO advocate by looking at Mae-Wan Ho’s site: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/index.php

    GMOs are not a big enough topic – she also addresses the harmonizing of relativity and quantum physics.

  15. praktikon 02 Sep 2016 at 9:59 am

    RickK I’ve actually come across a lot of information here before, as Dr Eva is on twitter attacking Kevin Folta regularly and in a few interactions with her I’ve come to read through some of her materials on kidney disease connections to Roundup – its all the most tenuous of connections through isolated pieces of evidence that have no right being connected.

    She fills the blanks to basically paint Roundup, one of the least toxic herbicides we use and responsible for displacing many, far more toxic alternatives, as some harbinger of death.

    Of course this is the height of irresponsibility – the implementation of Roundup in the real world is a part of the story of overall reduction in net impact on the environment from insecticide and herbicide use.

    We keep moving from more toxic to less toxic, and more volume to less volume.

    THATS the story.

    Not one of a “chemical flood”.

    This friend of Dr. Eva you linked to is a piece of work though – saw the note on her illness? Hope she’s ok…

  16. mumadaddon 02 Sep 2016 at 10:07 am

    ISIS? Hah!

  17. Teaseron 02 Sep 2016 at 10:26 am

    Thanks Steve, great article!

    I did some due diligence after reading this post. Now I know all about USAID, Cornell University and ABSPII!

    ABSP II is headquartered at Cornell University, USA. The project has been fine-tuned to operate much like one of its corporate consortium partners. It goes into target countries and looks for promising GM crops for commercialisation. Then it puts a scientific team together, works out the relevant IPR and regulatory issues and, in the meantime, invests heavily in public relations (“communications”). But, unlike Monsanto and Syngenta, it’s not in these countries for the money, and this is its big advantage. ABSP II can position itself on the middle road, an organisation interested in making GM crops work for the poor, even as it builds up and finances networks of local scientists, policy-makers and spokespeople to ensure GM policies work for its US corporate consortium partners.

    https://www.grain.org/article/entries/21-usaid-making-the-world-hungry-for-gm-crops

    http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/48-million-usaid-grant-strengthen-biotechnology-partnership-improve-food-security-south-2109512.htm

  18. NotAMarsupialon 02 Sep 2016 at 10:30 am

    Ivan –
    There may be that many comments on the Mike Pence article, but lets not pretend that the comments are actually about Mike Pence understanding evolution. There are more about HardNose than anything else.

  19. praktikon 02 Sep 2016 at 11:35 am

    RickK – Here is the post Ena spun up about me after I engaged with her – all I really wanted was to get her to stop being so insulting:

    http://beachvetlbc.blogspot.ca/2016/05/dirty-dancing.html

    You will see some common content here with your link if you click around on the blog. Her post on kidney stones in animals has a very interesting comment back and forth with someone who dropped some actual knowledge on her and pressed for evidentiary grounds for the conclusions.

    http://beachvetlbc.blogspot.ca/2014/04/stubborn-stones.html

  20. BharatCharon 02 Sep 2016 at 11:53 am

    Good article. To add, Bt brinjal was developed by Mahyco Seeds in India. Under a public-private partnership administered by ABSPII, Mahyco shared the Bt brinjal line with public partners in India, Bangladesh and the Philippines for backcross breeding. Because of the moratorium placed on Bt brinjal in India in Feb 2010 (inspite of regulatory clearance) Indian farmers have unfortunately been unable to grow the crop and benefit from it.

  21. Teaseron 02 Sep 2016 at 12:13 pm

    Using these terms in a Google search “USAID Cornell University Monsanto”, I found more of that immoral anti-GMO, pro-organic cabal propaganda.

    … Finally, in presenting the Bt brinjal project as a public initiative, agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury failed to mention that the private seed company East West Seed Ltd, now renamed Lal Teer, is a partner in the project. According to an agreement between the company and Monsanto subsidiary Mahyco, Lal Teer (East West Seed) is a sub-licensee for some other Bt brinjal varieties. Environmental campaigners in Bangladesh have accused USAID’s ABSPII project of encouraging Mahyco to provide open-pollinated Bt brinjal seed varieties to BARI free from royalty and the hybrid varieties to Lal Teer against payment of royalties to pursue its ‘ultimate goal’ of the commercialisation of patented GM crops in Bangladesh. Lal Teer chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo admitted that Monsanto and Mahyco owned the GM technology in the Lal Teer Bt brinjals.”
    This, perhaps, explains why the media is so reluctant to discuss all the angles and disclose all the facts when it comes to the GMO debate. Because ultimately, those responsible for informing the public of GMOs are being well compensated by the corporations that are producing them – namely Monsanto. And it is no different, whether it is in India or in Bangladesh. As the GMWatch article states: “In conclusion, for its programme, ‘GM Food: Cultivating Fear’, BBC Panorama appears to have abandoned facts for propaganda.”

    http://jobanbd.com/the-gmo-debate-the-curse-of-monsanto/

  22. mumadaddon 02 Sep 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Teaser,

    I skimmed your first couple of links and read the extract you quoted from the last.

    Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that Monsanto owns the patent on Bt brinjal — what difference does that make to any of health or environmental claims made about this crop, or to its effectiveness in addressing poor yield and pest resistance?

  23. cosmicaugon 02 Sep 2016 at 1:28 pm

    RickKon writes:
    «Wow. You get an interesting glimpse into the mind of an ardent anti-GMO advocate by looking at Mae-Wan Ho’s site: http://www.i-sis.org.uk/index.php»

    Sorry to speak ill of the dead, but I think, sometimes, it’s very difficult to think that Mae-Wan Ho was someone who was acting on good faith.

    When she, a biological scientist, chose to republish the infamous Moms Across America “Stunning Corn Comparison” table (see http://goo.gl/jEc5xw ) as if it were legitimate (see http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Stunning_differences_of_GM_from_non_GM_corn.php ) it is very difficult to give her the benefit of the doubt. It is even more difficult to assume an honest error in judgment when she edited the original table to remove the rows of the table which more obviously jumped at one as nonsensical and something that does not belong in the type of analysis that this purported to be.

    Specifically, %Brix, %Organic matter, available energy(ERGS), sodium is skipped for some reason, pH, cation exchange capacity, then base saturation parameters for potassium, magnesium, hydrogen and sodium were omitted (these appear to be measurements related to cation exchange capacity that are used exclusively in soil testing), phosphate is retained but is edited to “phosphorus”, ammonium cations and nitrate anions are retained but as a sum that is listed as total nitrogen (WTF? —not that that value even makes sense for total nitrogen), carbon is skipped (easy to see why that would jump out as wrong when even the allegedly exemplary non-GMO corn only has 60 ppm of carbon), chloride is skipped, anaerobic and aerobic biology are both skipped (I actually don’t know what these are but they sure don’t seem like they belong on this sort of a test), chemical content is skipped (again, I don’t know what it is but…), chlorides content is skipped (I don’t know what this is or why it is different from the chloride entry three rows above) and, finally, pounds per bushel is also omitted. Also Iron is copied with an error that makes it lose a digit after the decimal point but it looks to me like a very likely transcription error.

    So it looks to me like she edited the table to make it seem more believable as a test of plant materials rather than as the misrepresented soil test that is it likely to be. In the background of all of this, knowledgeable people had jumped on that table the very moment it came out to point out that the numbers shown and the measures chosen did not make any sense whatsoever unless it was a soil test. Later, you can even see some of this discussion on the comments section on her page. And yet she was still pretending that those might have been something other than a soil test.

    Very bizarre, all around. It would be bizarre even if she was not a biological scientist.

  24. Teaseron 02 Sep 2016 at 3:01 pm

    Mumadadd,

    Your question regarding yields and other aspects of growing Bt brinjal are off the mark in respect to my comments and links.

    I wanted to stress test this sentence from Stevens post.

    This is a disaster for the anti-GMO narrative. Monsanto is no where to be seen, nor are any big ag corporations. There are no patents, the plants reduce pesticide use, and the farmers are happy.

    Monsanto is to be seen, although a few layers back. The articles I posted present a different story than what Steven has presented. Steven did not mention USAID, ABSP II, Cornell and Mahyco. Without their involvement bt brinjal in Bangaldesh would not even be a topic of discussion.

    Using my “USAID Cornell University Monsanto” Google search I found this article in the Guardian
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/05/gm-crop-bangladesh-bt-brinjal

    At the end of the article they added a correction where they confirmed that Monsanto owned the technology rights to bt brinjal.

    Who owns the crops?

    The Bt gene was developed by the Maharashtra Hybrid Seed Company, the Indian partner of the US seed giant Monsanto and later donated to the public sector partners in India, Bangladesh and Philippines. Bt brinjal was developed by the government-operated Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute with technical assistance from Cornell University in the US and funding from USAid. Monsanto still owns the technology but has granted a royalty-free, not-for-profit license to BARI to test, produce and distribute the plants other than by sale. Farmers will be encouraged to save seeds and use them in future.

    • This article was corrected on 9th June 2014. It originally stated that Monsanto had no ownership rights over the technology. That has now been corrected.

  25. mumadaddon 02 Sep 2016 at 3:08 pm

    “Your question regarding yields and other aspects of growing Bt brinjal are off the mark in respect to my comments and links.

    I wanted to stress test this sentence from Stevens post. ”

    Teaser — okay, fair enough.

  26. BBBlueon 02 Sep 2016 at 4:25 pm

    Don’t think there is any going back with respect to Monsanto’s rights, they essentially made a donation and will not be able to revoke such a gift. Smart move, good for all parties involved and GE tech in general. However, I am sure it is probably just a matter of time before someone claims that Monsanto’s motives are not honorable, that donating their Bt brinjal tech is just a greedy move to get their foot in the door and then when nobody is looking, plunder Bangladesh agriculture.

  27. BillyJoe7on 02 Sep 2016 at 5:39 pm

    Ivan,

    “12 comment about this and one thousand about whether Mike Pence understands evolution or not…”

    Thanks for your valuable contribution to this thread. 😉

    (And, of course, you are wrong like always – the other thread has only 618 comments and only a dozen or so about Mike Pence’s misunderstanding of evolution)

  28. hammyrexon 02 Sep 2016 at 7:19 pm

    “For you see, the emperor IS wearing clothes! Alas, I have found this sliver of cloth thread upon his foot”

    – Teaser

  29. BillyJoe7on 03 Sep 2016 at 3:27 am

    I do wonder how accurate the information is on native eggplant (brinjal/aubergine) farming.

    Reading links within links within the links supplied here, I’ve come across widely different figures for the native eggplant season duration, crop losses, and spraying frequency, ranging from 90 to 200 days for the season duration, 20% to 70% crop losses, and daily to twice weekly sprayings.

    I suppose it could depend on where in Bangladesh those reporting these figures went for their information, but it makes it difficult to work out how more efficient the Bt brinjal actually is.

  30. Ivan Groznyon 03 Sep 2016 at 9:54 am

    Billy Jo,
    Your efforts are in vain – I will not reciprocate by paying attention to anything you write. Our relationship will remain one-sided…

  31. BBBlueon 03 Sep 2016 at 11:16 am

    BillyJoe7- Time between transplanting and first harvest can be 65 to 90 days. Eggplant produces fruit like a tomato plant (indeterminate growth habit), so once harvest begins, the total harvest period can last for many weeks with fruit being picked 1-3 times each week. Some varieties in some locations may be cut back after the first harvest period to start the cycle all over again. 200 days from planting to final harvest sounds possible for some scenarios. The other information encompasses a reasonable range of possibilities for veg crop production, depends on location, time of year, variety, etc. There is often no such thing as a “typical” scenario.

    I would assume that Bt brinjal was first tried where fruit and shoot borer pressure was greatest, so one should not be surprised if there are locations and circumstance where the benefits of Bt brinjal are not as great.

  32. BillyJoe7on 04 Sep 2016 at 2:35 am

    BBBlue,

    Thanks for the feedback.
    But it would be helpful to know how much more productive, on average, Bt brinjal is compared to the native version.

    Ivan,

    I’m not quite sure but….how can respond to something to which you paid no attention???
    But suits me. I’m not really expecting a response from you. I’m happy, along with others on this blog, to simply correct your errors for the benefit of others. 😉

  33. praktikon 04 Sep 2016 at 12:10 pm

    It’s probably one of the biggest reductions in pesticide applications I’ve heard of.

    Start with folta’s recent podcast on the topic which interviews a guy who was in Bangladesh and they cover the early trials and actual examples of real farmers who have started using it.

    Search through Mark Lynas blog and the Cornell alliance for science for “eggplant” or “brinjal” and you’ll find more!

    Until this I think the Roundup Ready sugar beet was among the “best” I heard of, the evidence suggests the experience with brinjal will be even better, this was great article on the sugar beet:

    http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2016/05/as-consumers-shift-to-non-gmo-sugar-farmers-may-be-forced-to-abandon-environmental-and-social-gains/

  34. Steven Novellaon 05 Sep 2016 at 11:05 pm

    Teaser,

    My default assumption is that there is usually a complex corporate web of legal issues with such technology. You can probably follow any GM technology back and link it to a patent owned by one of the big companies. That is entirely besides the point.

    It makes sense that Monsanto owns the patent on the Bt gene. But they did not develop Bt Brinjal. Their only involvement, as far as I can tell, is that they essentially gave a free license for the use of their gene in developing Bt Brinjal, which itself is not patented and is being given freely to farmers who are also free to save their seeds.

    The same is true of golden rice. Any patented GMO technology that the golden rice uses was licensed for free to the consortium developing golden rice. But sure, you can trace a patent back to some big company. Again, besides the point.

    The story is, in fact, even worse for the anti-GMO narrative because the big companies are giving away the use of their technology for free to help the developing world. Of course, you can always spin anything good a company does as PR, and therefore it is sinister.

  35. BBBlueon 06 Sep 2016 at 5:53 pm

    It’s my understanding that Monsanto has a direct financial interest, albeit a minority stake, in Mahyco, at the time that Indian company used the patented gene to develop Bt brinjal. But still, in my opinion, that is also beside the point. No good deed in the world of GE seems to go unpunished. http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-indian-bt-brinjal-developed-by-mahyco-monsanto-1346159

  36. Ferbieon 06 Sep 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Here is Séralini’s infamous corn study: http://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5

    You can plainly see that GMO does indeed increase pathological abnormalities in rats.

  37. Steven Novellaon 06 Sep 2016 at 11:08 pm

    Uh, no: http://theness.com/neurologicablog/index.php/seralini-gmo-study-republished/

  38. Koarngon 07 Sep 2016 at 5:51 am

    Trying to intellectualize a dead technology will not work. Consumers will never want GMOs.

  39. Koarngon 07 Sep 2016 at 6:02 am

    GMO eggplant uses “less” pesticide, and “may” help farmers. How much “more” herbicide? What a bunch of propaganda. What this presentation should address is the exploitation of Bangladese farmers by corporate drones of a dead at the start technology.

  40. RickKon 07 Sep 2016 at 7:21 am

    Ferbie,

    I’m curious – can you be convinced by evidence? If I could give you, say, 50 studies, big studies of real world experience, many from independent reviewers that find no safety issues with GM livestock feed, would you find that more convincing than the one, flawed Seralini study?

  41. Kabboron 07 Sep 2016 at 7:54 am

    Yeah, people have to treat all published information like the Science or Fiction section in the SGU. It is a reasonable strategy to take the approach the rogues do: “I really want this to be true, so it probably isn’t”
    Then you get to be delighted if the study is validated by further evidence, or justified in your stance if it doesn’t pan out.

  42. Steven Novellaon 07 Sep 2016 at 11:04 am

    Koarng – You are just demonstrating what I discussed in the article, that some people will not be dissuaded from their ideological narrative by cold stark facts.

    Bt Brinjal does not use any more herbicide. The alteration has nothing to do with weed control or herbicide tolerance or anything else. All it does is reduce pest damage and reduce the need for pesticides. That’s it.

    And, no big corporation is making money. There is no exploitation. The farmers are happy.

    Ironically you are the one who is a victim of propaganda and are now spreading that propaganda. You are the victim of the organic lobby who want you to pay more for your food, and by misguided environmentalists who are scared of a safe technology.

  43. BBBlueon 07 Sep 2016 at 11:43 am

    Koarng – Credulous, misinformed consumers will never want GMOs.

  44. praktikon 07 Sep 2016 at 3:22 pm

    Wow, and in the face of all kinds of evidence to the contrary, like, Koarng is posting *directly underneath* information that disproves everything he is saying.

    The ability of individuals to prevent information from entering their interpretive matrix is quite astounding.

    AS an example of cultural anthropology Koarng, you are *fascinating*

  45. Lukas Xavieron 07 Sep 2016 at 6:01 pm

    …the exploitation of Bangladese farmers by corporate drones…

    Thank you for demonstrating that you didn’t read the article you’re commenting on.

  46. praktikon 07 Sep 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Still he’s not even right about “dead technology”

    As I type this I am gazing into the 60-inch glory of the finest plasma television Panasonic ever produced.

    Karng you clearly haven’t borne witness to an excellent plasma display, to denigrate “dead technology” with such disregard!

  47. RickKon 07 Sep 2016 at 6:57 pm

    To be fair, I think Koarng was saying GM is a dead technology, not that technology overall is dead. Alas, there were people who fought the development of telephones and automobiles and the internet. And I’m sure those people cried victory just like Koarng is doing.

    The very BEST he can hope for is to drive development of the technology to other countries, so American farmers who have any prayer of competing in a global market can some day buy all their seed from Chinese corporations instead of Monsanto.

    I’m sure future generations will look back just as favorably at Koarng’s ilk as they do at those other technology denialists.

  48. ttguyon 18 Sep 2016 at 5:31 am

    Mae-Wan Ho was a crackpot. She believed that living creatures were not subject to the laws of thermodynamics.

    “But as there need be no entropy generated in adiabatic processes – which occur frequently in living systems …”

    http://www.i-sis.org.uk/negentr.php

  49. ttguyon 18 Sep 2016 at 5:33 am

    What praktik is saying that even dead technology can be useful. – Plasma TVs are dead technology. But they are still useful.
    I faxed a document last week. 5 pages in 4 minutes. Amazing.

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.