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Sun Oct 30, 2016, 04:38 PM

 

New York Times: Broken Promises of GMO Crops

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/10/30/business/gmo-crops-pesticides.html



Always amazing when you see what we all should already know finally covered in the New York Times: GMOs do not increase crop yield, let alone present a solution to problems of nutrition or world hunger, as Russell and Hakim report.

Nothwithstanding unproven claims about the health effects of the GMO food itself, GMOs have had two main impacts:

(1) Pesticide and herbicide resistant crops mean that farmers use more pesticides and herbicides, so that higher concentrations of these poisons end up in the environment and in our bodies.

(2) Corporations claim patent and ownership on seeds harvested by farmers to the nth generation, effectively acting as feudal lords demanding annual tribute from peasants. Thus the evil is not in the product itself, but in the radically new business model it enables, which overturns 10,000 years of social and agricultural practice. Farmers do not own the seeds they grow.

This profit-making combination is why the world's biggest chemicals producer, Bayer, is attempting to merge with the world's biggest producer of GMO seeds, Monsanto. The neoliberal trade treaties TPP and TTIP, if they go into effect, would allow such companies a new and near-absolute power to overturn potential governmental regulations of their products and markets. It would mean more GMO production, more patenting of organisms and claims on the incomes of farmers globally, and more poisons in the environment.

The great lie of the GMO-producing corporations has been that GMOs produce higher yields and thus possible solutions to hunger. They have coupled this with lies about enhanced nutritional value, such as the "golden rice" with extra Vitamin A (betacarotenes, actually) they always advertise but have chosen not to introduce, probably because it does not work. And if "golden rice" is supposed to be a humanitarian move, why would they not give away the technology, as Norman Borlaug did during the Green Revolution?

Meanwhile the world produces much more food than all of its people need to eat. Hunger is a problem of poverty, inequality, markets and distribution, as well as regional ecological disasters. The pro-GMO ideology makes things worse by distracting from the real problems, by implying there is global scarcity that can be addressed by a capitalist, technocratic quick-fix. Stop worrying about poverty - GMOs will feed everyone! (One factor that always interests me is the incredible way the U.S. puts nearly half of its corn into gas tanks, at a net energy gain of near-zero.)

Meanwhile the industrial farming mentality that promotes GMOs has also encouraged the spread of monoculture farming, with attendant impact on what quality of food ends up at the supermarket at what prices.

By the way, my prediction is that you will see the Times publish some kind of outraged corporate damage control attacking this as "unscientific."

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply New York Times: Broken Promises of GMO Crops (Original post)
JackRiddler Oct 2016 OP
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #1
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #15
yellowcanine Oct 2016 #16
JackRiddler Nov 2016 #19
yellowcanine Nov 2016 #23
JackRiddler Nov 2016 #26
progressoid Nov 2016 #18
kristopher Nov 2016 #22
CentralMass Oct 2016 #2
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #10
kristopher Nov 2016 #24
JackRiddler Nov 2016 #25
Wilms Oct 2016 #3
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #6
upaloopa Oct 2016 #4
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #7
nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #5
druidity33 Oct 2016 #8
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #9
Archae Oct 2016 #11
nationalize the fed Oct 2016 #12
PufPuf23 Oct 2016 #13
JackRiddler Oct 2016 #14
kristopher Oct 2016 #17
Doremus Nov 2016 #21
bhikkhu Nov 2016 #27
JackRiddler Nov 2016 #28
JackRiddler Nov 2016 #29

Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 04:38 PM

1. (Usual suspects, place your attacks in this spot.)

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 11:22 AM

15. Interesting when what usually happens doesn't happen.

 

I wonder why? (Not really: This is something the PR department prefers to just go away.) Those of you who get what I mean, give this a vigorous kick! And spread it around. It needs to become more common knowledge.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #15)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 02:02 PM

16. Maybe it is partly because your OP is a dupe.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10028260527

Someone else beat you by about 6 hours.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 08:51 AM

19. Irrelevant distraction.

 

I actually searched three boards in and that was not visible. Also, I wrote a comment. This is General Discussion. No one's making you post. Thanks.

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #19)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 11:41 AM

23. Just pointing out why the "usual suspects" might not be showing up.

No need to take it personally.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 12:14 AM

26. I don't. Thanks.

 

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Response to progressoid (Reply #18)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 11:20 AM

22. Thank you for doing more than name calling.

Those are pieces well worth reading and providing them was a meaningful contribution to the discussion.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 04:49 PM

2. Why does the NYT hate science ;-)

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Response to CentralMass (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 07:16 PM

10. I'm sure some pseudo-scientific psychology theses will solve that.

 

Hating Science makes them more comfortable! All opinion that deviates from corporatist orthodoxy is due to a defect in their brains! Hooray!

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Response to JackRiddler (Reply #10)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 11:45 AM

24. Would you like to know what is the most probable reason for the schism?

It's been labeled "Trust in institutional authority".

The degree to which this trust breaks down isn't specific to any one sector like agriculture, education, politics or energy; but is instead a generalized value structure that's a product of personalized lifelong experiences across all the social institutions (including the family).

See what supporters think about "The Precautionary Principle".

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Response to kristopher (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 12:13 AM

25. Thanks for an interesting read.

 

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 04:52 PM

3. Crosspost this in the Skeptics Forum.

 

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Response to Wilms (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 06:36 PM

6. Please do. It's a story worth kicking.

 

You never see them appearing when they don't think they can win, however. Combo of NYT plus real ag scientists putting the kibosh on their myths is something they'd rather ignore. Monsanto will be dispatching a PR apparatchik to the Op-Ed page soon, I am certain, after that they'll have the talking points.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 05:19 PM

4. My guess is some GMO supporters rail against big pharma which is also science

Nazis used science to kill people.

We don't have to burn incense to the alter of science.

Some science does good for mankind some doesn't.

DDT came from science.

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Response to upaloopa (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 06:41 PM

7. Wait for the DDT endorsements, they're often not far behind.

 

Pro-GMO and pro-pharma propaganda tend to be a package deal for that particular species of self-designated skeptics, many of whom have also wedded themselves to the "New Atheists" of Dawkins and Harris and libertarian if not alt-right ideology generally.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 05:31 PM

5. "I Used to Work as a Scientist with GMOs...

—Now I'm Having Serious Second Thoughts About The Risks

I believe that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks.

By Jonathan Latham, PhD

By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. Some of my older colleagues shared their skepticism with me that commercial interests were running far ahead of scientific knowledge. I listened carefully and I didn’t disagree. Today, over twenty years later, GMO crops, especially soybeans, corn, papaya, canola and cotton, are commercially grown in numerous parts of the world.

Depending on which country you live in, GMOs may be unlabeled and therefore unknowingly abundant in your diet. Processed foods (e.g. chips, breakfast cereals, sodas) are likely to contain ingredients from GMO crops, because they are often made from corn or soy. Most agricultural crops, however, are still non-GMO, including rice, wheat, barley, oats, tomatoes, grapes and beans....snip
Full: http://www.alternet.org/food/i-used-work-scientist-gmos-now-im-having-serious-second-thoughts-about-risks



Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government, and Systematically Deceived the Public

"GMO's- the biggest scientific fraud of our time"


https://www.amazon.com/Altered-Genes-Twisted-Truth-Systematically/dp/0985616903

From Altered Genes, Twisted Truth Amazon page

“A fascinating book: highly informative, eminently readable, and most enjoyable. It’s a real page-turner and an eye-opener.”--Richard C. Jennings, Ph.D., Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK



“This incisive and insightful book is truly outstanding. Not only is it well-reasoned and scientifically solid, it's a pleasure to read--and a must-read. Through its masterful marshalling of facts, it dispels the cloud of disinformation that has misled people into believing that GE foods have been adequately tested and don't entail abnormal risk.” --David Schubert, Ph.D. molecular biologist and Head of Cellular Neurobiology, Salk Institute for Biological Studies



“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is lucid, illuminating, and alarming. As a former New York City prosecutor, I was shocked to discover how the FDA illegally exempted GE foods from the rigorous testing mandated by federal statute. And as the mother of three young kids, I was outraged to learn how America’s children are being callously exposed to experimental foods that were deemed abnormally risky by the FDA’s own experts.”--Tara-Cook Littman, J.D.



“Steven Druker has written a great book that could well be a milestone in the endeavor to establish a scientifically sound policy on genetically engineered foods. The evidence is comprehensive, clear, and compelling; and its credibility is irrefutable. No one has documented other cases of irresponsible behavior by government regulators and the scientific establishment nearly as well as Druker documents this one. His book should be widely read and thoroughly heeded.”--John Ikerd, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Missouri – Columbia



“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will stand as a landmark. It should be required reading in every university biology course.”--Joseph Cummins, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus of Genetics, Western University, London, Ontario



“Steven Druker's meticulously documented, well-crafted, and spellbinding narrative should serve as a clarion call to all of us. In particular, his chapter detailing the deadly epidemic of 1989-90 that was linked with a genetically engineered food supplement is especially significant. I and my Mayo Clinic colleagues were active participants in the attempt to identify the cause of this epidemic. Druker provides a comprehensive analysis of all the evidence and also presents new findings from our work. Overall his discussion of this tragic event, as well as its ominous implications, is the most comprehensive, evenlybalanced and accurate account that I have read.”--Stephen Naylor, PhD CEO and Chairman of MaiHealth Inc., Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, & Pharmacology Mayo Clinic (1991-2001)



“Steven Druker has done a beautiful job of weaving a compelling scientific argument into an engaging narrative that often reads like a detective story, and he makes his points dramatically and clearly. The examination of genetic engineering from the standpoint of software engineering is especially insightful, exposing how the former is more like a ‘hackathon’ than a careful, systematic methodology for revising complex information systems. I will recommend this book to my friends.”--Thomas J. McCabe, developer of the cyclomatic complexity software metric, a key analytic tool in computer programming employed throughout the world



“Based on over 30 years of teaching computer science at universities and on extensive experience as a programmer in private industry, I can state that Steven Druker has done an excellent job of demonstrating the recklessness of the current practices of genetic engineering in comparison to the established practices of software engineering. His book presents a striking contrast between the two fields, showing how software engineers progressively developed greater awareness of the inherent risks of altering complex information systems – and accordingly developed more rigorous procedures for managing them – while genetic technicians have largely failed to do either, despite the fact that the information systems they alter are far more complex, and far less comprehended, than any human-made system.”--Ralph Bunker, PhD



“Steven Druker has written one of the few books I have encountered, in my many years of public interest work, with the capacity to drive major change in a major issue. What Ralph Nader’s Unsafe at Any Speed was to the auto industry and what Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was to synthetic pesticides, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth will be to genetically engineered food. It is profoundly penetrating, illuminating, and compelling, and it could stimulate a monumental and beneficial shift in our system of food production.”--Joan Levin, JD, MPH



“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is a remarkable work that may well change the public conversation on one of the most important issues of our day. If the numerous revelations it contains become widely known, the arguments being used to defend genetically engineered foods will be untenable.”--Frederick Kirschenmann, Phd Distinguished Fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa State University, Author of Cultivating an Ecological Conscience



“Druker's brilliant exposé catches the promoters of GE food red-handed: falsifying data, corrupting regulators, lying to Congress. He thoroughly demonstrates how distortions and deceptions have been piled one on top of another, year after year, producing a global industry that teeters on a foundation of fraud and denial. This book is sure to send shock waves around the world."--Jeffrey M. Smith, international bestselling author of Seeds of Deception & Genetic Roulette



“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is very readable, thorough, logical and thought-provoking. Steven Druker exposes shenanigans employed to promote genetic engineering that will surprise even those who have followed the ag-biotech industry closely for years. I strongly recommend his book.”--Belinda Martineau, Ph.D., a co-developer of the first genetically engineered whole food and author of First Fruit: The Creation of the Flavr Savr™ Tomato and the Birth of Biotech Foods



“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth reveals how the inception of molecular biotechnology ignited a battle between those committed to scientific accuracy and the public interest and those who saw genetic engineering’s commercial potential. Steven Druker’s meticulously researched book pieces together the deeply disturbing and tremendously important history of the intertwined science and politics of GMOs. Understanding this ongoing struggle is a key to understanding science in the modern world.”--Allison Wilson, PhD molecular geneticist, Science Director, The Bioscience Resource Project

So much for the BS about all scientists being in favor of this patented lab food.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 07:07 PM

8. I Rec this thread and your post too! Good links! K&R,nt.

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Response to druidity33 (Reply #8)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 07:11 PM

9. Thank you.

 

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 09:14 PM

11. Every time GMO's are discussed, this asshole Steven Druker is brought in.

Steven Druker is not a scientist.

He's a "teacher" at the Maharishi Yogi "college," the spectacularly *UN*accredited "college" that teaches their "students" how to meditate and how to fly while in the "Lotus position."

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Response to Archae (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 09:56 PM

12. Well he has a lot of endorsements

from people that know a lot more about this tech than most posters on an internet forum.

Shouldn't you tell them all?

Take this person for example.

“Altered Genes, Twisted Truth is very readable, thorough, logical and thought-provoking. Steven Druker exposes shenanigans employed to promote genetic engineering that will surprise even those who have followed the ag-biotech industry closely for years. I strongly recommend his book.”--Belinda Martineau, Ph.D., a co-developer of the first genetically engineered whole food and author of First Fruit: The Creation of the Flavr Savr™ Tomato and the Birth of Biotech Foods


I'm guessing she knows more about GMO's than you, but I could be wrong. Credentials?

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Response to Archae (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 10:07 PM

13. Nat Goldhaber was one of the founders of and a graduate of Maharishi University

Goldhaber is not an intellectual light weight.

from wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nat_Goldhaber

"A. Nathaniel ("Nat" Goldhaber is an American venture capitalist, computer entrepreneur and politician. Goldhaber helped found Maharishi University of Management and was special assistant to lieutenant governor William Scranton III and founder and chief executive of TOPS, a computer networking company. He served as president of the venture capital firm Cole Gilburne Goldhaber & Ariyoshi Management and was the founding CEO of an Internet marketing company that became a public stock offering in 1999. He was the 2000 U.S. Vice President candidate for the Natural Law Party[1] and serves as the managing director of the investment firm Claremont Creek Ventures.[2]"

TOPS was the software/hardware product that allowed pcs and macs and unix to communicate.

"From 1979 to 1982, Goldhaber worked in Pennsylvania politics as special assistant to the lieutenant governor William Scranton III and later as the interim director of the state's energy agency.[1] Goldhaber left government to build a career in high technology and founded his first company, Centram Systems Inc., which developed networking for personal computers.[1] Goldhaber was founder and chief executive of TOPS, a computer networking company which Goldhaber sold to Sun Microsystems in 1987 for $20 million. Goldhaber then served as Vice President of Sun Microsystems.[3] Centram Systems product, called TOPS ("Transcendental Operating System", allowed transparent file sharing among Macs, PCs, and Unix machines, using the AppleTalk protocol.[1]"

Read the links at wiki to see more current endeavors and more bio.

Smart people are associated with MU.

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Response to Archae (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 30, 2016, 10:15 PM

14. Avoiding the OP, are we?

 

I guessed that would be the move.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Mon Oct 31, 2016, 08:13 PM

17. Kick And Recommend.

I know exactly what you mean.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Tue Nov 1, 2016, 09:24 AM

21. K&R

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 12:24 AM

27. Water has the biggest impact on yield, fertilizer the second

You would have to separate those two out in any study before coming to conclusions about GMO yield claims.

But that's not to say I'm in favor of the excessive use of glycophosphate. I'd be fine with it being banned. But being fine with a glycophosphate ban says nothing about my position on GMO technology; I think it is a very valid and important tool, and fully in keeping with our thousands of years of effort developing better food crops.

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Response to bhikkhu (Reply #27)

Wed Nov 2, 2016, 05:42 PM

28. The issue for me is not the GMO, it is the business model.

 

Under capitalism and in practice, GMO is developed with the purpose of claiming patent on life-forms so as to facilitate the extraction of revenues to for-profit corporations. GMO opens up a further revenue stream through the increased use and thus sale of more chemical inputs. So you have this perfect convergence of Bayer and Monsanto. These are shareholder corporations with the fiduciary morality that puts the venture's business growth above all other human interests. It's no wonder that pesticide/herbicide ready GMOs are deployed, while "golden rice" (assuming it even works) remains a PR move.

So please let's discuss the political economy first, that helps us understand the technological choices that are made, and why: it's for a business model. Pure "science" may be involved in the research, but capitalism determines what gets developed & deployed.

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Response to JackRiddler (Original post)

Thu Nov 3, 2016, 06:11 PM

29. And bump!

 

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