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However, laboratory analysis suffer from the problem that the analysis is based on very few product samples. Estefania 15 November at 9: See also Guidance for Industry: FFS change the bloody record. Many software packages such as word processor and contact manager programs produce standardized mailing labels from a data set that comply with postal standards. I see a world of confusion erupting here.
Let the biologists and the chemists fight it out in the marketplace! But we can only do this once open-ness and transparency is established, and where the benefits and risks of different technologies can be assessed and discussed in an evidence-based and scientific way. To get to that point will require a game-changing plan, one which gets biotechnology out of the shadows and into the limelight where it belongs.
If we truly believe that this technology has so much potential, we should be shouting about it from the rooftops. Labels, therefore, can be our friend. Perhaps the labelling debate, therefore, presents not risk, but opportunity. Never was that more apposite than in the case of GMOs.
Today everyone I speak to, whether scientists, food industry, farmers or whatever, are scared of the fears of others. That, after all, is what not just free markets, but surely also democracy demands. I would take it one step further. Label ALL breeding methods. Do I have the right to know who composted the manure and whether or not it was done properly?
Can I see a test result that assures me that the organic corn chips are free of mycotoxins? If not, why not? These, by the way, are established safety issues. The process is somewhat expensive, however. That organic is bad for us? That if we were scientifically literate we would understand what organic contains and be scared? Got no real argument then. And if mycotoxins are something to be worried about, perhaps you should be scared of organic. Thanks, but no thanks. I like my food free from quasi-religious dogma.
But I still think that fear-based policy is not something that should be encouraged and supported. That said, if there will be labels, then I want everything touched by biotechnology to have them. Marker-assisted breeding, grafting, hybrids, embryo rescue—all of them. Lab-generated Bt organic sprays. If a label was based on the scientific facts in all cases, it would at least be consistent if still largely ignored and useless to most people.
And then I will laugh my ass off at the ensuing marketing campaign that convinces people what the environmental benefits of biotech are. There was a genetically-modified Jeep ad that I thought was hilarious. It will only be the beginning. Whatever my preferences — I have right to know what I am eating. I agree with you that labeling should take place so why are Monsanto spending millions of Dollars on trying to prevent GMO labeling?
If as you, and Monsanto, claim there is nothing to be worried about with this technology why are they so concerned about labeling? If they are so confident about their technology and the resultant crops surely they would be lauding it and not trying to hide it. Nut job activists have used this imbalance in the legal system to delay and inflate costs at nuclear electricity generator construction sites for more than a generation.
Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, ] in the appropriations measure that is derided as the Monsanto Protection Act. The issue is what is the process is if a court revokes a deregulated status for a GMO crop variety due to a procedural defect found in the NEPA review. In no case where groups have legally challenged a deregulation, have groups proven or even alleged a known threat to public health and safety or environmental harm.
They have only raised theoretical issues and allege that NEPA review was incomplete by not fully addressing them. Nothing prevents anyone from continuing to challenge USDA deregulatory decisions or the courts from ruling in their favor.
And in no case to date has a court decision to revoke a deregulated status and remand the application back to USDA for further consideration been decided on an alleged or known threat to public or environmental safety. The regulatory relevance of a court decision revoking a deregulated status is the crop reverts back to regulated status, meaning that its planting and disposition is once again subject to USDA regulation.
The question that the provision answers is what happens to farmers and crops already planted and in the commercial chain during the period the crop was deregulated and while further review is pending. Anti-GMO groups want the courts in every case to enjoin its planting and harvesting, and to even order destruction of crops in the field. Part of the reason for this is to intentionally create an uncertainty for producers and impose actual economic hardships on producers to scare producers away.
What the biotech rider says is to expressly authorize USDA, where appropriate, to impose restrictions on the planting and use of a crop, i. USDA already arguably has and has exercised this authority.
Furthermore, this reregulation remedy, rather than automatic injunction and court ordered destruction is precisely what the Supreme Court itself ordered in in Monsanto Co. Also, the biotech rider does not, and cannot, impair the Courts authority to order injunction and even destruction of crops already planted in the event that revocation of deregulated status is based upon a finding of actual or imminent harm.
Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: It is interesting that when you go to websites that decry the horrors of the provision, the language itself is not made available or linked to.
When you go to websites that explain how this provision has been misrepresented, they usually incorporate the text or provide a link to it. In this case, the pro-gmo site is quite transparent, but the anti-gmo sites are not. But, even if you are correct that the so-called Monsanto protection act grants tort liability to Monsanto, how is it that a series of tort claims have been filed against Monsanto following the discovery of regulated wheat variety in an Oregon wheat field.
This occured 2 months after the biotech rider had been signed into law. Followign the discovery, some nations temporarily suspended imports of American wheat. A series of suits have been filed against Monsanto by farmers claiming damages due to the disrupted markets.
Surely, the attorneys advising these farmers would have informed them that the Monsanto Protection Act bars lawsuits against Monsanto, right? Apart from the right to know what we eat, we also have the right to know if an American multinational is discharging novel organisms into the biosphere without concern for future effects on something which is vital to sustaining life on the planet, including human life.
We ignore that small fact at our peril. That the US government is in the pockets of big business is a given, as is the bullying attitude of mega corp inc. I remain unpersuaded of the case for labelling, however I agree that if you go down that route it is better making it broad. This may speed up public acceptance in the end. If someone finds out that they have been drinking Budweiser every weekend for over a decade that contains GM ingredients they will probably worry a lot less about GM crops.
It sounds more like things environmentalists are concerned about. Insecticides, land use, carbon in soils etc. The cost of food and whether it might harm matter more. Using GE technology to make food more nutritious is probably far more productive, simply from a PR point of view, than attempts to improve soil carbon.
After all, people gladly eat chicken meat from chickens grown in truly horrifying conditions. Yeah, I used enviro ads as an example, but there are actually 3 main things I hear about that people must have the right to know because of:. But if you want this, the presence or absence of the specific trait has to be noted.
However, GMOs are not required for either herbicides or monocultures. They are very incensed about this and want to use the label to avoid this somehow. No matter how many times I explain that this is also not unique to GMOs, that myth persists. Will this end the shouting?
The goalposts will only move. I understand the appeal of wanting the shouting to stop. And people smoke cigarettes for decades until lung cancer gets them. GMOs have been in our food supply for less than 20 years, who knows the long term consequences. If you want to take that risk with your health, more power to you, but I do not. We have so many examples of products being released for public consumption and only recalled after it is too late; Thalidomide, DDT, Vioxx, Celebrex.
I have seen enough short-term animal studies to give me pause. I am actually a little disappointed with this post. I think a fair scheme for labeling GMOs could be devised, but to be fair it would have to include all breeding methods.
Arbitrarily picking out GMOs for labeling—even a fairly benign labeling scheme—just sees like the wrong path to head down. I think it is more likely to embolden the anti-GMO crowd than neutralize them. If consumer awareness is really our goal then I think we should remember that it is just as misleading to treat irrelevant information as important as it is to treat relevant information as unimportant.
When irrelevant information is treated as important it does not add to consumer choice, because consumers are making an uninformed or misinformed choice. They think certain consequences are there when they purchase a product that actually are not, and believe that other consequences are not there when they actually are. How is a right to know a right to mislead? Are you employed by Monsanto or just gullible? And already Roundup-resistant weeds are already appearing as those critical of this American capitalist experiment with the planet forecast decades ago.
We have to label whether someone named Bob drove a tractor on the farm. What is Big Bob hiding? I think the stand up comic forum is elsewhere though. How do you feel about blasting plants with nuclear rays and altering their genes randomly? Should we not label that also? Your Bob example demonstrates the absurdity. A more realistic example would be compulsory labelling of the geographical origin of all ingredients: A significant minority of consumers would be interested in this information, but compelling food companies to provide this would add extra bureaucratic costs that would also have to be paid by the majority.
But probably not whether any Bobs were involved! Think of this analogy. As a software developer I have a choice of tools with which to develop an application. For the consumer of an application the software language has no impact at all on how they use it. What a spurious lack of reasoning!
Comparing programming to producing food? There IS no comparison, and only a programmer could possibly think his work so important. Programs control pixels on a screen, GM is about not just the food we eat to sustain life, but also the ecology that produces the food. I suggest you try harder to look more deeply into the issue, and stop making spurious comparisons with something which is by comparison trivial. Timothy, you hit this whole exercise by this Mark right on the mark; Just imagine a train going down the tracks; there is no way you are going to stop it.
And with a little bit of Corruption here and there like within the FDA top management! The lawsuits against small farmers whose fields end up with small amounts of cross pollinated crops due to GMO production nearby, then being forced to pay for patent infringement.
That is not the appropriate activity of a group of people dedicated to feeding the world. That is why no one is buying the PR. Kristi, I believed this as well after I watched Food Inc. At the time, I was staunchly against them, until I started discovering that most of what is said within these communities is simply not true. Monsanto, however evil they may or may not be, has never sued a farmer due to having Monsanto product unintentionally growing on their land.
They have, however, been preemptively sued due to a fear of just such an event occurring, which was thrown out by the court system. Not that it matters, because Monsanto has already made legally binding assurances that it will sue a farmer for those reasons. Interesting article but for me it comes down to something much simpler. Is it not clear enough for you?
As a nearly lifelong vegetarian, I have little sympathy for the inconvenience of reading labels. Thank you for this well reasoned article. I enjoyed reading it and I look forward to being able th share this with my students!! I think the labels should come with a link to independent, non-privately-funded website that collates all the information about GMOs.
For one, Chris MacDonald can: The right to know is different than a preference to know. This is an interesting, very clear and strong argument. The FDA does not require process-based labeling,and they have concluded based on the science available and the consultation data submitted by developers that GM food products are as safe as non-GM products. So, having a federal mandate to label GM food products seems like it would mean a reversal of FDA policy for some 20 years of proclaiming correctly that there is no scientific justification for such.
This would be quite a change for FDA, and would they do this voluntarily? How would this come about — congressional action or executive order that admits we are going to throw out the science in favor of the right to know? It is an intriguing proposal, but seems like a steep climb to achieve. No man or institution is infallible, if we continue to allow persons or companies in charge to keep information to themselves and away from us then we are as equally to blame for our failing health and system.
Looks from here that the FDA is in the pockets of not just Monsanto, but every other agrobusiness. The growers on the other hand seem like really nice, friendly, intelligent, educated, sharing, kind people, faced with American Rentathugs with guns. Although the masters make the rules For the wise men and the fools I got nothing, Ma, to live up to. Do you want farmers to have complete freedom, or do you want a reasonable amount of safety to our food?
As long as we desire a level of quality to the products we can be sold, we will have regulating bodies to determine said level and enforce that level being met. The government raid organic farms because they are not operating within normal food safety and health regulations. For instance, how many trans fats — a far greater health risk if you ask me — have been added? How much buckwheat, pine nuts, lupin flour, all potential allergens?
Ultimately the only way this is going to be resolved is through regulation. Regulation balances the need for progress with that of safety. People can still get to work at a reasonable time without putting pedestrians at undue risk. But exactly how would you word the label on refined derivatives like oils and sugars or meat, which you already admitted do not contain vestiges of the plant DNA.
I see a world of confusion erupting here. The single most aggressive, bullying, dishonest company in the history of capitalism. Monsanto caused the suspicion in people because they bahaved, and continue to behave, in a fascistic manner, so they were taken on at their own game, and lost. America is a hopeless case as far as GMOs are concerned, long ago they should have been resisted, but now they cover the country and are in everything.
Europe on the other hand was so much less subservient and has resisted and will continue to resist an unnecessary interference with the genetics of life. If America wants to sell food to Europe, it will have to be labeled. It takes years for a once-chemical farm to revert to organic [as they all were until the fifties in the UK] as it takes that long for the soil to recover from the dead state it is in, lose the poisons and re-aquire micro-organisms and organic matter.
The quick chemical-technological fix [how American is that! It cares nothing for the future and is all about profits.
You are an inflammatory ignoramous. In fact, exactly the same argument you trot out every time a new aspect of this topic is discussed. FFS change the bloody record.
We the enlightened ones? What a lovely circuitous self-serving argument! But Monsanto has somewhat screwed it for the rest with their insatiable drive to conquer all and any opposition, if necessary by sueing, bullying, lying or other dirty tricks. As a result people are suspicious of the technology, rather than just that particular mega capitalist enterprise.
And still, after decades, there is no data that shows GM as anything but a means of creating plants capable of withstanding highly toxic sprays, leading to increased sales of these sprays and profits for the company.
That GM is about extending chemical-cosh farming which is destroying the ecosystem to such an extent that pollinators are in sharp decline. Someone should tell chemists the vital role pollinators play in our food chain. Yet this has all come about becauseof the attitude and behaviour of the GM companies, no one asked them to be secretive, or to lie about what their product did.
Yet we are to be blamed by you for this along with all else that you object to. I plead guilty to being anti-capitalist; the evidence is all there to see, capitalism is destroying the planet. It has one impulse, to increase profits, and we have seen across a wide range of industries that capitalists care nothing for people, animals or planet nor of the damage they do.
Anything less is fascistic control and must be implacably opposed. Mark, thank you for your comments about GMO labeling. As a farmer an someone who is trying to keep transparency of what we do on our farm an important part of my job, I find you point of view very interesting. You have given me a lot to think about and a new perspective on what seems like a constant argument.
So thank you and I look forward to hearing more! From what I know about this issue is that in many European nations labeling is already required.
There is no reason not to do it. The genetic change allows increase use of chemical use. This should not be the approach and pissed off a lot of environmentalist.
Any new technology should be primed and well introduced The industry went for teh quick buck and got the technology a based name. I do not have any empathy for the industry for the fact they have to fight an up hill battle after labeling is required. I think it will help focus the industry to correctly apply, sell and spread their techniques and message.
Life forms as in entire species should not be patentable! No plants are modified to resist insecticides. Corn and cotton are modified to resist certain order of insects and as a result reduce chemical inputs.
I have heard some argue that the reduction in insecticides due to Bt crops is less than the increase of Roundup being used on crops, but they fail to take into account the amount of all the other herbicides used or to consider the lower toxicity of glyphosate.
Please point me to one long term independent human study proving that GMOs are safe for human consumption. I have yet to see one. Sorry, not buying it. And when it comes to GMO crops feeding the world, what an epic fail. Superweeds and superbugs are showing the fallacy of Roundup resistant crops and Bt-crops.
How long will that last? Both of these article are over 2 years old and from pro-business sources. There is no shortage of food in the world, it is a distribution and affordability issue. Show me a long-term human study that shows organic is safe. Din, are you referring to e coli contamination? The Standford meta study found the following:. When the authors removed one study that looked only at lettuce, the meta-analysis showed that organic produce had a 5 percent greater risk for contamination.
I am not a farmer nor a scientist even though I administratively support basic research scientists. All of us are paying the price for all of the cheap, fast, chemical, over processed, junk we are consuming. Therefore, as a consumer and concerned citizen, I must ask questions and in seeking answers need open, transparent, truthful information. That is all I ask so I can decide what is best for me and my family.
Blasting plants with nuclear rays is OK — precisely altering a couple of genes not? Label this and then we can talk: The labeling of GM is simply Big Business vs. Mind you, organic is way larger than biotech. I have said before, if the GMO is actually made for that reason, sure. I am in favor of that technology. I am an organic producer, but I never agreed with the idea of providing food without using the very important tool kit of modern technology.
However, the reality is that most GMOs are not designed for that reason. They are made for supporting the concentrated animal feeding operation CAFO business model which is destroying the planets ecosystems. The other part is categorically false. We already can produce much more food and actually improve the environment by eliminating once and for all the entire CAFO business model and returning the animals to the land where they belong using the most modern scientific management practices.
This not only produces more food per acre, it even restores more acres to productivity for a compounding effect. That land is slowly deteriorating. Organic is better described as biomimicry.
Organic agriculture looks at the natural biosystem and uses that template to make a model optimizing both food production and carbon sequestration far beyond what unguided Nature can do. So while grazing is good.
Better than a CAFO. The organic biomimicry model of adaptive multi paddock grazing is better, both for the environment and food production.
Multi-paddock grazing had higher soil carbon, water- and nutrient-holding capacities. Success was due to managing grazing adaptively for desired results. Grazing management impacts on vegetation, soil biota and soil chemical, physical and hydrological properties in tall grass prairie W. I know many people who say they are opposed to GMOs. Some go out of their way to avoid GMOs in their own diets. They buy and eat foods that with minimal investigation would almost certainly be found to contain ingredients derived from GMOs.
They do this because of plausible deniability. If all GMO derived ingredients were labelled as such, most people who support this form of labelling would accept this and move on.
They already accept this on some level but they are afforded the fear that industry is keeping secrets from them. Yes, most people accept GMOs. The people have decided to buy GMOs. And they want a label. Transparency is a completely reasonable expectation and there need not be anything anti-scientific or otherwise misleading in providing that. What rock did all of you people come out from under?
Have any one of you taken a look at any of the studies done? Do you really think it is a good idea to ingest Bt corn which has its DNA injected with a pesticide that eats holes in insects stomachs? What the hell do you think this pesticide might do to your stomach? Not to mention the destruction of the American farmer as we used to know them.
The fact that they can no longer save their own seeds for the following season and must go to the big ag companies for seeds to each time should tell you something about what is at play here. And now these so called wonder crops are requiring greater and greater amounts of pesticide due to the insects becoming immune to the pesticide imbedded in the crops themselves..
It is an environmental nightmare. Not to mention the sky rocking allergies, cancer rates etc.. I guess I am just a crazy organic nut.. And yes you are exactly right when you surmise that our real agenda is the out right banning of GMOs in America. Of course it is.. Americans are waking up to the sick corruption of these Big Ag companies and will soon follow in the foot steps of our more intelligent over seas neighbors and force an out right ban.
I hope we are not all too sick or dead by then. Din Morfar, She might have gotten the Bacillus thuringiensis part from a propaganda site. Maybe even most of her post. But the basic major points are spot on as I detailed in depth 2 posts higher. Growing grains to support the CAFO system is about as destructive a practice there is.
I agree completely with Mark. So, YES, label foods that contain genetically modified ingredients but label them to clearly communicate the benefits to consumers: The dominant seed technologies [BT pesticide and Round Up resistance] decrease production costs, but do not increase yields.
This cost benefit is restricted, however, to the highly mechanized and low labour agriculture of the global north. I would not be confident that consumers will simply accept foods labeled as containing GMO, because the political economics of GE are already close to the tipping point. The form and prominence of labeling will also have an effect. But I agree that it is possible the fallout will be to defuse the issue.
Mark is certainly correct that trying to fend off labeling at the ballot box is a losing political strategy. On the other hand, a Supreme Court ruling that such a law is unconstitutional would be hard to overturn. The obvious grounds for such a ruling is that it in effect establishes a religion. As a food industry employee writing personally, not on behalf of my employer or anyone else , I find myself in agreement with Mark.
This Luddite fear of modern, life saving technology is tragic, but sad reality. And not just that, but the misuse and abuse of science to advance a political cause is nothing short of criminal. Labeling should not be necessary since it is very easy to find out what commodities are genetically modified, or not. It must include disclosure everywhere it exists, including restaurants, beverages, drugs, etc. After all, half of all food dollars spent in the U.
In addition, to the previous point, there is pretty well established body of law in the U. Industry is opposing state by state initiatives because they cannot work. A federal solution is the only solution. And when the labels appear and people see the price differences as they can now between most non-GM and GM foods, I suspect buying habits will not change. The pro-label forces will have to find a new business model to pick the pickets of their gullible contributors and invent new snake oil to peddle.
But if industry were to concede this — mandating labeling based on a process, not on materiality — what will be the next demand? What about listing whether plants were manipulated by humans in some other way grafting?
Proximity to power lines? It was signed byan international group of more than 90 scientists, academics and physicians and is now open for further signatories.
The first sentence on the wiki article would have enlightened you:. The claim that it does exist is misleading and misrepresents the currently available scientific evidence and the broad diversity of opinion among scientists on this issue. Moreover, the claim encourages a climate of complacency that could lead to a lack of regulatory and scientific rigour and appropriate caution, potentially endangering the health of humans, animals, and the environment.
We endorse the need for further independent scientific inquiry and informed public discussion on GM product safety and urge GM proponents to do the same. I tried to google the first name on that list and came up with… that list.
It seems like another fake list of fake nonexistent people. Too bad you people resort to lies, pseaudoscience, threats and other underhand tactics instead of just conceding you lost the argument. A list of names is not scientific anything. The body of literature is. You can ignore the science as much as you like and have an opinion as much as you like. The facts, however, does not change according to those opinions no matter how strongly held. The article at http: No, both lists are PDFs.
The PDF currently available at sustainablepulse. And this has been accidentally revealed by sustainablepulse. A list of names does not constitute scientific consensus. Only the body of scientific literature. I couldnt agree more. What about those of us who like knowing our dairy cows are on pasture at least days of the year according to federal law. An act of US Congress it was.
Twelve years in the making and still being tinkered with, for better of for worse. Am I making a bigger deal than necessary about a comment? Im curious about how you reconcile these viewpoints. Mark, as always I find your insights incredibly valuable. What an interesting position! If someone had actually made this point, I might have voted yes on I But I never considered labeling to actually help achieve those ends.
Too bad the initiative got so brutally crushed. Not only does the process differ, but the result does too. Truly natural crops nourish pests and humans ; BT crops grains kill pests because they generate their own insecticide in the plant. As resistant pests emerge, farmers have to spray on additional pesticides anyway. Other GMO crops contain fungicidal toxins. So such crops nowadays get saturated with herbicides to kill weeds en masse, rather than hire workers to pull out weeds individually.
If so, developers can add such distinguishing information to the label. Or with pyrethrins, sulfur, copper, rotenone? Genetic literacy the lack thereof and scientific ignorance lie at the heart of this discussion. Look up the Genetic Literacy Project, which is an independent group of scientists who address biotech.
The genetic modifications typical in biotech involve the insertion of a few genes. Natural selection tends to eliminate genes that are harmful to an organism but works the opposite way for those that are harmful to its predators. In fact, plants and animals have naturally evolved many poisons, both to kill or deter predators and for other reasons. Note that we are the predators when we eat plants and other animals.
Over thousands of years of trial and death, humans have learned which foods are most of the most acutely toxic, i. These still are not subject to any kind of regulation or testing requirements. In fact, we know that natural foods contain such compounds.
In addition, nature continues to modify genes randomly, and without any safety testing, all the time. In contrast, biotechnology products are extensively tested for any sign of an unintended harmful change. Biotech products generally contain the same natural toxins as the natural varieties they are derived from, so they are not really much safer, if at all.
But they are also not any more risky. They are subjected to testing, at least. Well, thank you for that. However I found this report up to date and much closer to how I see the problems. Typical compilation of anecdotes, innuendo, pseudoscience and nonsense posted on a snake-oil site and written by a professional charlatan. I suppose there is some new reason to believe that random mutations are appreciably more likely to be harmful if an unintended byproduct of biotechnology than if caused by other natural human processes, including the billions of completely random mutations that gave rise to all natural genomes in the first place.
There is however massive money being thrown at showing gmos are safe and most of it is lobbying and coercion. It took a long time to disprove them. Yet we still have to live with the long lasting effects of these poisons that were in use decades ago. Everything is based on lies, pseudoscience and damned lies.
What the anti-gmo cult hailed as a triumph recently, the fraudulent Carman pig study, was indeed funded by a seed company like Monsanto. Hypocrites all the way.
It surprises me no end the number of people who mistrust the vast majority of scientists on this subject. Reminds me of the global-warming deniers who absolutely refuse to look at the scientific evidence. People remember thalidomide, tobacco, DDT, and so on. Also there are more and more scientists who are anti-gmo.
I know some really smart EEs, but none who would dare self publish papers so completely outside their field, in questionable journals.
The remaining signators are mostly retired, with at most maybe 10 who are currently working in a related field. More and more scientists against GMO? You make it sound like thats true. Im not sure which college campuses you have been around beyond Europe, but thats simply not the mainstream view. You can read exactly what has been said by a dozen commentors mostly anti-GMO ironically, that the university-govt-industrial complex is behind the development of almost all of these crops.
So Im confused, is one system growing and getting too big, e. I ask that one only reads some of the literature coming out of India and Brazil; Thailand and the Phillipines. The methodology for breeding is here to stay. We have to learn how to use it properly and to our advantage where we can. It can do too much good in this world to stop the exploration. You did not address what I wrote in my first reply to you, instead posting a link to a Jeffrey Smith screed posted on a snake oil site.
So, I will not take the time to dissect said screed, although I recognize many of the claims and know that they have been thoroughly debunked as you could easily ascertain with the use of google and the willingness to read and think. So, rather than spend my time to do this for you, I simply offer my considered and informed judgement of the link you posted.
Call it name-calling if you will, but it is my honest assessment. What I suspect is the root of this baffling contradiction is the inability to divorce the anti-Monsanto rhetoric from the concept and application of GMO foods.
However, making this distinction is complicated and nuanced, and hard to put on a sign or bumper sticker. Thus the blanket opposition to anything and everything GMO. As a Washington State teacher and resident, I voted against the measure, and encouraged people to vote no because the labeling is a waste of time and resources that could be spent actually helping the people of my state.
Actually, the case against Monsanto is wildly overstated. I get that they are guilty of some abusive business practices but how much more so than other big corps?
Why are they the most hated, more than Exxon or LockMart? The sources of the anti-biotech movement are rooted in the cult of nature, hostility to science, food purity fetishism, health paranoia, aging, identity politics and the business interests of the organic foods and alternative medicines industry. For the Left, the local food co-op or petty-capitalist simulacrum thereof is one of the few surviving venues for community building and activist communication.
These are, I think, the major factors that account for the remarkable strength and energy of this particular movement, despite its relative lack of intellectual or moral foundations. The case against Monsanto is wildly understated. How much more so than other companies? That is a difficult thing to quantify.
Why are they the most hated? So much environmental damages that they are responsible for the extinction of entire species.
Nothing new for humans you might counter. Why more than Exxon? We make the choice to use oil every time we gas up. We even have the choice to be conservationists, and buy fuel efficient cars, homes well insulated etc.. It is all known and above board. And when Exxon does have an accidental fuel spill, it really is an accident. Maybe they could do more to prevent accidents, but no one claims they dump millions of barrels of oil on purpose.
And when a spill does happen they are right on it with the clean up. They also to this day sell chemical products that are known, in fact even designed, to cause environmental harm. They justify it by saying they do less harm than the previous chemicals they used to market. The markets, the equipment, the support industries, all are built around an industrial farming model that is purposely killing entire ecosystems. We have to eat you say?
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