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AAAS: Don't Label GM Foods

The American Association for the Advancement of Science says labeling genetically modified food products would be misleading.

By | October 30, 2012

Wikimedia, Simmremmai

Slapping labels on genetically modified (GM) foods is a bad idea, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The science advocacy organization's executive board approved a statement on October 20th saying that requiring such labels, as a ballot measure in California seeks to do, could "mislead and falsely alarm consumers."

"Consuming foods containing ingredients from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques," the AAAS executive board wrote. "The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the US National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion."

In California, large food industry corporations have devoted more than $40 million to defeating Proposition 37, which would mandate such labeling in the state. Independent organic food companies have donated smaller amounts to the effort to get Prop 37, on which California voters will vote on November 6th, passed.

Update (November 5): As election day nears, a group of scientists has taken issue with the AAAS's position on Proposition 37. Twenty one researchers, some of whom are AAAS members, expressed their support for the ballot measure, which would mandate labelling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, and voiced their disagreement with the AAAS's stance. "[The AAAS's] position tramples the rights of consumers to make informed choices," the researchers wrote in a recent Environmental Health News story. Read the the complete statement and see the list of scientist-signatories over at Environmental Health News.

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Avatar of: Ed M.

Ed M.

Posts: 44

October 30, 2012

The "Ignorance is bliss" lobby.

Avatar of: Nodrog

Nodrog

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

Regardless of the debate over health risks, there are other reasons to support GMO labeling. Most importantly, many people are aware of Monsanto et al's growing percentage of patent-protected food crops and the issues associated with that. For me, the desire to avoid promoting patent-based restrictions on basic food crop agriculture is reason enough to avoid GMOs and to want them labeled as such.

Avatar of: 40%

40%

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

On October 18, the Supreme Court of India banned all GM crop growing for 10 years -  an Indian farmer is committing suicide every 30 minutes because of GM crop failures and resulting financial ruin.  With stuff like this going on,  I don't want anything to do with GM seed crop products, so I want them labeled !!

Avatar of: Edu

Edu

Posts: 3

October 30, 2012

I see the AAAS Executive Board has also been seduced by Monsanto and the industry lobby.  Why they did not conduct a survey to know the opinion of ALL the AAAS members?  

  The largest error was done by the Supreme Court when they allowed to patent life (seeds and otherwise). 

 Money can buy scientists, judges and government officials but not the truth. 

 

Avatar of: BobD

BobD

Posts: 19

October 30, 2012

From a strictly medical perspective of risk to the consumer, the AAAs position is perfectly sensible.  There are clearly other issues on the table, however, and it would have been helpful for the AAAS, which is a socially savvy organization, to acknowledge them as well.

Avatar of: Andedade

Andedade

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

Everyone has the right to know what they eat. People should have choices to select what they like to eat and which one they don't like. For example some vegetables labelled as organic. Even they are more expensive than no organic but some one like to pay more to eat organic. GM food may cheaper than regular foods. But some don't like them. Why you guys don't want to give people the right to select? What means misleading? You guys 100% know the GM foods are safe for health? You guys like to make money. That is Ok. But don't misleading others to close eyes to eat your products! Please respect others' right to make their own choices!

 

 

Avatar of: Morg

Morg

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

Basically: We'd rather have you uninformed than misinformed.  And we know best; trust us.  Eat this; it's good for you.

AAAS might be factually right about the levels of risk regarding health, but this is the sort of action that earns science in policymaking mistrust.  AAAS is not taking a scientific position; it is taking marketing position.

And, as other have pointed out, there are ecological, patent law, economic, and other reasons a consumer might want to consider -- aside from simply having a right to control what one puts in their body, for whatever reason, whether those reasons are rational, religious, political, personal taste, or silly -- that's an individual's right.

Avatar of: UpComing

UpComing

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

"Consuming foods containing ingredients from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques".

I do not see this as solidly demonstrated.  Quite the reverse, I see it as sweeping-under-the-rug and hand-waving as distraction.  At the low level of understanding we have about nutrition, endocrine systems, and epigenetic environmental interactions, it takes a lot of hubris to claim that none of the emerging health issues in this generation and the next 3 generations would have nothing to do with the food we eat and how it is grown.

As others pointed out, aside from not knowing that there are no risks from consupmtion, there are other profoundly dangerous issues of unforseen ecological damage, corporate control of seed stock, and ownership of biology.

In all this is a reckless, money based position eschewing any real science done in the service of humanity.

Avatar of: Hugh-F-61

Hugh-F-61

Posts: 32

October 30, 2012

The reason for promoting labelling is to then argue that GM foods are labelled because they are dangerous. At least a billion people only exist because of new breeds of crop produced conventionally during the 1950s "Green revolution". Those crops were all less safe than GM. The GM opposition was started by anti-capitalists and a notable UK left wing journalist to attack American industry. He is on record as saying that there is no evidence that GM foods have ever hurt anyone, or  ever will in100 years, but he has shown those multinationals they cannot run roughshod.....

Most anti GM claims are lies. Of course, American golf courses have released a weed grass resistant to roundup. It helps them to keep greens weed free, but is a real nusiance when it gets onto farmers fields, but its release was deliberate (and stupid).

Let's look at some silly claims:

  1. The genetically modified gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops may be toxic or allergenic.

    Yes it might, be, so be careful of ORGANIC food because it is sprayed on organic crops as a biological control. That is Green agriculture to you. In fact they spray on whole bacteria producing bt toxin. For the organic food movement to complain about bt is very hypocritical.
  2. The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value.

    Again yes, but all the crops - maize, wheat, rice - currently used commercially contain mutations that occurrred when they were first domesticated in the stone age. Others were produced by radiation or chemicals to produce the improved variaties needed for the green revolution in the 1950s (see above). Mutations are OK to eat, and you were born with a few score new ones unique to you. Not that I want anyone to eat you, of course.
  3. Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops

    Bad example, One reason glyphosate (Roundup) is so safe is that bacteria in the soil immediately break it down into phosphate fertiliser.

Greens kill browns. If the Green Movement had allowed the non commercial GM crops, for example golden rice, containing vitamin A, to be grown in the developing world then some million children among the poorest subsistance farmers in Africa and India might not have gone blind through vitamin A deficiency. About half of these blind kids then die of starvation. I know that indian cotton farmers are having problems, but farmers in the UK were killing themselves in the 1930 depression. There is no way for small farmers to compete with giant mechanised farms producing cotton or anything else, especially when customers want the cheapest possible products. Fair trade or farmer cooperatives would help them to be more competitive in our global economy.

Avatar of: dogctor

dogctor

Posts: 1

October 30, 2012

A reason to label GMO is a shameful lack of medically rigorous comprehensive blinded controlled feeding trials. The safety assurance studies on rodents for 90 days omit crucial information and are scientifically bankrupt.  Theoretical basic sciences can never replace feeding trials in practice. What the position of the AAAS actually demonstrates is a very shallow understanding of health risks, indeed.

Avatar of: DcotorJack

DcotorJack

Posts: 5

October 30, 2012

Dear Hugh-F-61....

I am responding to your statements by directly quoting you and systematically debunking your assertions. I look forward to hearing back from you.

"The reason for promoting labelling is to then argue that GM foods are labelled because they are dangerous."

No, Hugh, that is not the reason, though it could be a reason. In short, the reason is label them so that we can know what is in our food so that we can make the choice to consume products that have not been adequately tested, nor had their increasingly complex an dproblematic and yes, toxic, pesticide cocktail applications adequately tested. We want them labeled for lots more reasons too I cannot get into because of time, but you can google it and read for yourself why we want labels.

"Most anti GM claims are lies. "

No, sir, the biotech companies are the ones lying, and so deeply so. As a most recent example: have any YES on 37 tv ads been pulled because of fallacious advertising? Did DDT, agent Orange, dioxins, PCBs, aspartame--all produced by Mosnanto---prove to be safe? No. Did they injure millions of people. Yes.

Get a clue, sir, you are in the dark.

"I know that indian cotton farmers are having problems,"

Uh, yeah, like hundereds of thosuands committing suicde. Please, dont; minimize this goliath atrocity with eupehmisms like "having problems."

"There is no way for small farmers to compete with giant mechanised farms producing cotton or anything else, especially when customers want the cheapest possible products. Fair trade or farmer cooperatives would help them to be more competitive in our global economy."

Sir, I am done responding to your nonsensical comments, made worse by your "silly claims" label. If you want fair trade, get biotech out our gevernment and out of our backyards and out of our local commerce.

Vote YES on 37 and salute the end of your ignorance.

Here is my rebuttal to your claim of "silly claims." I think it will be clear who is the one making the silly claim, after all. Cheers....

 

 

  1. "The genetically modified gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops may be toxic or allergenic.

    Yes it might, be, so be careful of ORGANIC food because it is sprayed on organic crops as a biological control. That is Green agriculture to you. In fact they spray on whole bacteria producing bt toxin. For the organic food movement to complain about bt is very hypocritical."

    Did you know, Hugh, that the Bt-toxin produced by GMO Bt plants is a surrogate protein for the naturlly ocurring one produces in the soil by the bacterium b. thurengensis? did you know that as it is produced in Bt-corn that it is thousands of time stronger than the naturally occurring one used in organic agriculture? Did you know that it is endogenously produced by every cell in the corn plant and cannto be washed off as in organic farming methods. 

    So now, let's look at who is making silly claims, shall we?
  2. "The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value.

    Again yes, but all the crops - maize, wheat, rice - currently used commercially contain mutations that occurrred when they were first domesticated in the stone age. Others were produced by radiation or chemicals to produce the improved variaties needed for the green revolution in the 1950s (see above). Mutations are OK to eat, and you were born with a few score new ones unique to you. Not that I want anyone to eat you, of course."

    Sir, the method for intriducing cross-species genetic modification—i..e, bacteria to flora—has never been seen before in nature. We are dealign with a whole new order of genetic engineering unlike any of previous decades or eons. Couple that with the engineering goal of being able to douse food crops with multiple rounds of herbicide and an increasingly unknown and toxic soup (a la the toxic treadmill of adaptation by superbugs and superweeds requiring now the introduction of 2,4-D), and we have a big problem. you tell on yl part of the story, and at that, you are inaccurate.
  3. "Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops

    Bad example, One reason glyphosate (Roundup) is so safe is that bacteria in the soil immediately break it down into phosphate fertiliser."

    Nonsense. Let's see the science for that done by independent study. I read a while back that RoundUp persists in the soil for many months, if not longer. Here is a pdf put out by the NPIC, not that I trust them, but even they say it can persist up to 6 months. Other studies find that it is highly toxic and much more so than we can imagine. Here is ome reading amterial for you:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4574.cfm

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.pdf

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/15/dr-don-huber-interview-part-2.aspx

 

Avatar of: DcotorJack

DcotorJack

Posts: 5

Replied to a comment from Hugh-F-61 made on October 30, 2012

October 30, 2012

 

Dear Hugh-F-61....


I am responding to your statements by directly quoting you and systematically debunking your assertions. I look forward to hearing back from you.


"The reason for promoting labelling is to then argue that GM foods are labelled because they are dangerous."

No, Hugh, that is not the reason, though it could be a reason. In short, the reason is label them so that we can know what is in our food so that we can make the choice to consume products that have not been adequately tested, nor had their increasingly complex an dproblematic and yes, toxic, pesticide cocktail applications adequately tested. We want them labeled for lots more reasons too I cannot get into because of time, but you can google it and read for yourself why we want labels.


"Most anti GM claims are lies. "


No, sir, the biotech companies are the ones lying, and so deeply so. As a most recent example: have any YES on 37 tv ads been pulled because of fallacious advertising? Did DDT, agent Orange, dioxins, PCBs, aspartame--all produced by Mosnanto---prove to be safe? No. Did they injure millions of people. Yes.


Get a clue, sir, you are in the dark.


"I know that indian cotton farmers are having problems,"


Uh, yeah, like hundereds of thosuands committing suicde. Please, dont; minimize this goliath atrocity with eupehmisms like "having problems."


"There is no way for small farmers to compete with giant mechanised farms producing cotton or anything else, especially when customers want the cheapest possible products. Fair trade or farmer cooperatives would help them to be more competitive in our global economy."


Sir, I am done responding to your nonsensical comments, made worse by your "silly claims" label. If you want fair trade, get biotech out our gevernment and out of our backyards and out of our local commerce.


Vote YES on 37 and salute the end of your ignorance.


Here is my rebuttal to your claim of "silly claims." I think it will be clear who is the one making the silly claim, after all. Cheers....

 

 

  1. "The genetically modified gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops may be toxic or allergenic.


    Yes it might, be, so be careful of ORGANIC food because it is sprayed on organic crops as a biological control. That is Green agriculture to you. In fact they spray on whole bacteria producing bt toxin. For the organic food movement to complain about bt is very hypocritical."


    Did you know, Hugh, that the Bt-toxin produced by GMO Bt plants is a surrogate protein for the naturlly ocurring one produces in the soil by the bacterium b. thurengensis? did you know that as it is produced in Bt-corn that it is thousands of time stronger than the naturally occurring one used in organic agriculture? Did you know that it is endogenously produced by every cell in the corn plant and cannto be washed off as in organic farming methods. 


    So now, let's look at who is making silly claims, shall we?

  2. "The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value.


    Again yes, but all the crops - maize, wheat, rice - currently used commercially contain mutations that occurrred when they were first domesticated in the stone age. Others were produced by radiation or chemicals to produce the improved variaties needed for the green revolution in the 1950s (see above). Mutations are OK to eat, and you were born with a few score new ones unique to you. Not that I want anyone to eat you, of course."


    Sir, the method for intriducing cross-species genetic modification—i..e, bacteria to flora—has never been seen before in nature. We are dealign with a whole new order of genetic engineering unlike any of previous decades or eons. Couple that with the engineering goal of being able to douse food crops with multiple rounds of herbicide and an increasingly unknown and toxic soup (a la the toxic treadmill of adaptation by superbugs and superweeds requiring now the introduction of 2,4-D), and we have a big problem. you tell on yl part of the story, and at that, you are inaccurate.

  3. "Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops


    Bad example, One reason glyphosate (Roundup) is so safe is that bacteria in the soil immediately break it down into phosphate fertiliser."


    Nonsense. Let's see the science for that done by independent study. I read a while back that RoundUp persists in the soil for many months, if not longer. Here is a pdf put out by the NPIC, not that I trust them, but even they say it can persist up to 6 months. Other studies find that it is highly toxic and much more so than we can imagine. Here is ome reading amterial for you:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4574.cfm

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.pdf


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/15/dr-don-huber-interview-part-2.aspx

 

 

Avatar of: DcotorJack

DcotorJack

Posts: 5

Replied to a comment from Hugh-F-61 made on October 30, 2012

October 30, 2012

Hugh, since you have posted your comments twice, I guess I'll have to debunk you twice. So, here you go....happy learning.



Dear Hugh-F-61....


I am responding to your statements by directly quoting you and systematically debunking your assertions. I look forward to hearing back from you.


"The reason for promoting labelling is to then argue that GM foods are labelled because they are dangerous."

No, Hugh, that is not the reason, though it could be a reason. In short, the reason is label them so that we can know what is in our food so that we can make the choice to consume products that have not been adequately tested, nor had their increasingly complex an dproblematic and yes, toxic, pesticide cocktail applications adequately tested. We want them labeled for lots more reasons too I cannot get into because of time, but you can google it and read for yourself why we want labels.


"Most anti GM claims are lies. "


No, sir, the biotech companies are the ones lying, and so deeply so. As a most recent example: have any YES on 37 tv ads been pulled because of fallacious advertising? Did DDT, agent Orange, dioxins, PCBs, aspartame--all produced by Mosnanto---prove to be safe? No. Did they injure millions of people. Yes.


Get a clue, sir, you are in the dark.


"I know that indian cotton farmers are having problems,"


Uh, yeah, like hundereds of thosuands committing suicde. Please, dont; minimize this goliath atrocity with eupehmisms like "having problems."


"There is no way for small farmers to compete with giant mechanised farms producing cotton or anything else, especially when customers want the cheapest possible products. Fair trade or farmer cooperatives would help them to be more competitive in our global economy."


Sir, I am done responding to your nonsensical comments, made worse by your "silly claims" label. If you want fair trade, get biotech out our gevernment and out of our backyards and out of our local commerce.


Vote YES on 37 and salute the end of your ignorance.


Here is my rebuttal to your claim of "silly claims." I think it will be clear who is the one making the silly claim, after all. Cheers....

 

 

  1. "The genetically modified gene product – for example, the Bt toxin in GM insecticidal crops may be toxic or allergenic.


    Yes it might, be, so be careful of ORGANIC food because it is sprayed on organic crops as a biological control. That is Green agriculture to you. In fact they spray on whole bacteria producing bt toxin. For the organic food movement to complain about bt is very hypocritical."


    Did you know, Hugh, that the Bt-toxin produced by GMO Bt plants is a surrogate protein for the naturlly ocurring one produces in the soil by the bacterium b. thurengensis? did you know that as it is produced in Bt-corn that it is thousands of time stronger than the naturally occurring one used in organic agriculture? Did you know that it is endogenously produced by every cell in the corn plant and cannto be washed off as in organic farming methods. 


    So now, let's look at who is making silly claims, shall we?

  2. "The GM transformation process may produce mutagenic effects, gene regulatory effects, or effects at other levels of biological structure and function that result in new toxins or allergens and/or disturbed nutritional value.


    Again yes, but all the crops - maize, wheat, rice - currently used commercially contain mutations that occurrred when they were first domesticated in the stone age. Others were produced by radiation or chemicals to produce the improved variaties needed for the green revolution in the 1950s (see above). Mutations are OK to eat, and you were born with a few score new ones unique to you. Not that I want anyone to eat you, of course."


    Sir, the method for intriducing cross-species genetic modification—i..e, bacteria to flora—has never been seen before in nature. We are dealign with a whole new order of genetic engineering unlike any of previous decades or eons. Couple that with the engineering goal of being able to douse food crops with multiple rounds of herbicide and an increasingly unknown and toxic soup (a la the toxic treadmill of adaptation by superbugs and superweeds requiring now the introduction of 2,4-D), and we have a big problem. you tell on yl part of the story, and at that, you are inaccurate.

  3. "Changes in farming practices linked to the use of a genetically modified organism may result in toxic residues – for example, higher levels of crop contamination with the herbicide Roundup are an inevitable result of using GM Roundup Ready® crops


    Bad example, One reason glyphosate (Roundup) is so safe is that bacteria in the soil immediately break it down into phosphate fertiliser."


    Nonsense. Let's see the science for that done by independent study. I read a while back that RoundUp persists in the soil for many months, if not longer. Here is a pdf put out by the NPIC, not that I trust them, but even they say it can persist up to 6 months. Other studies find that it is highly toxic and much more so than we can imagine. Here is ome reading amterial for you:

http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4574.cfm

http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.pdf


http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/01/15/dr-don-huber-interview-part-2.aspx

 

 

Avatar of: DcotorJack

DcotorJack

Posts: 5

October 30, 2012

In response to the main article's claims:

"requiring such labels, as a ballot measure in California seeks to do, could "mislead and falsely alarm consumers."

In order for this to be true, we would have to assume that people cannot think for themselves. I hope that people can think for themselves and have some self-esteem to recognize this statement as not only inaccurate but condescending.

Is it misleading and alarming for existing food labels to indicate how much sugar, how many calories, how much protein, how much vitamin A, how much carbohydrate is in a product? Why is this not considred misleading and faslely alarming to consumers?

What's more, these are simply measures of naturally occurring components of food (fat, carbs, protein, vitamins, etc). In asking for labeling we are asking to be informed not about natural, generally benign, endogenous proponents of food (which already are deemed important enough to put on labels), but untested geentically engineered stuff and their attendant herbicde residues! F

""Consuming foods containing ingredients from GM crops is no riskier than consuming the same foods containing ingredients from crop plants modified by conventional plant improvement techniques,"

The testing has not been done, nor has the increased pesticide residues and increasingly toxic cocktail of current and future generations of herbicides and pesticides been tested for safety. This is a typical brainwashing, false-security statement by government agencies banking on the hoped for ignorance and poor common sense of the average person. Commons sense alone tells us that we should at the very least be very concerned about foods such as the Bt group of GMOs that produce their own insecticide inside the plant (endogenously).

Avatar of: DcotorJack

DcotorJack

Posts: 5

Replied to a comment from Edu made on October 30, 2012

October 30, 2012

Edu, precisely! thanks for the comment...

Avatar of: Truthmonger

Truthmonger

Posts: 3

October 31, 2012

Dear Hugh-F-61

GMO foods need to be labeled so people like you that think GMOs are good can eat their fill and suffer the same fate as the lab rats.

Monsanto scientists don't eat GMO; they insist that their company cafeteria is free of GMOs.

GMO corn, by cross pollinating Mexico's hundreds of varieties, has destroyed Mexico's native crops.

BT GMO corn has insecticide inside every kernel and pollen grain; it is killing the bees.

GMO organisms have many unintentional mutations along with the desired mutation due to the gene gun (shotgun) methods. These mutations include indigestible, never seen in nature, proteins.

 

Avatar of: 1rityls

1rityls

Posts: 2

November 1, 2012

DoctorJack said: "Sir, the method for intriducing cross-species genetic modification—i..e, bacteria to flora—has never been seen before in nature. We are dealign with a whole new order of genetic engineering unlike any of previous decades or eons."

Wrong for two reasons. One, genetic transfer being two very different organisms does happen in nature -- through horizontal gene transfer -- and it's actually a part of how organisms can gain "new" genetic material to work with and get selected upon.

Secondly, one of the methods used to genetically modify plants is through a bacteria called Agrobacterium tumefaciens. As the name suggests, it infects plants, and then introduces its own genetic material into the plant -- this is how it behaves in nature. So genetic engineering with agrobacterium is based on utilizing what already exists in nature. We basically just switched out what genes get transferred into the plant with something else that we want. This is something that all plant biologists know.

Also, that whole deal with Indian farmers committing suicide because of GMO's has been debunked by multiple sources. I know that one of these papers was published in the journal PNAS.

Essentially, you are saying that every major world health and science organization has been successfully bribed by the seed industry. Good luck with that conspiracy theory.

Avatar of: 1rityls

1rityls

Posts: 2

November 1, 2012

Truthmonger said "GMO organisms have many unintentional mutations along with the desired mutation due to the gene gun (shotgun) methods. These mutations include indigestible, never seen in nature, proteins."

The mutations that can come out of using the gene gun method are the same type of mutations that arise spontaneously and in nature. Rearrangements, translocations, etc., all occur in nature. How do you think our genome got to tens of thousands of different genes -- by point mutations alone? 

"Monsanto scientists don't eat GMO; they insist that their company cafeteria is free of GMOs."

Total BS.

Avatar of: AlanB

AlanB

Posts: 16

Replied to a comment from Morg made on October 30, 2012

November 21, 2012

Quite right!

 

Avatar of: AlanB

AlanB

Posts: 16

November 21, 2012

Why was the title of this article so predictably against labelling of GM foods? There is nothing about this that has got ANYTHING whatsover to do with 'Science'. This is matter of consumer choice, and they can be as rational or not as they like in what they are concerned by and wish to be informed about prior to a consentual decision.  Simply because a scientist invented something, doesn't mean that its right or scientific to support it as if it is 'science' against ignorance. Being a 'scientist' doesn't oblige anybody to adopt a position on something like this that would violate consumer rights or choice. If you product is better, it should be so labelled to say what it is and you then allow the benefits to feed through to increase sales. If we have to label where food is from, we should just as rightly demand to know how it was made where the people decide there is reason or concern related to that.   This is why we have to list additives even when we have no known toxicity. 

Avatar of: AlanB

AlanB

Posts: 16

November 21, 2012

-and if we didn't, and an ingredient turned out later to be toxic, no one would know what foods contained it, it would be impossible to enforce recalls, or allow at-risk consumers to avoid it, and we would have to wait years or decades for regulatory bodies to ban it - which they may never do due to the efforts of industry lobbyists and funded, biased research giving misleading data on that substance.  That consumers knew about trans fats and avoided foods containing them has resulted in changes in product formulation that are undoubtably for the good, but this had nothing to do with regulatory bodies. The same applies to food colourings and other ingredients that influence hyperactivity in children, those that are sensitive can be given food missing the suspect ingredients and benefit their health, but you wouldn't automatically know which yellow or green colouring was used to make your food. From this many parents operating on their intuition raised the issue because they could spot patterns with certain ingredients or foods, and then scientists, who had been unaware due to a paucity of or badly designed research, of these effects apply for grants to study it, and eventually produce real data, which shows there ARE ingredients that can increase hyperactivity symptoms.  Sometimes, toxic effects have been identified and published but long forgotton, not everything is on pubmed. Researchers acting on these hunches that trawel the archives and find other researchers who have examined the subject, and together republish this key data, and inform more research, eventually getting more grants and creating more data of relevance to the real world. This whole process is vital, yet how much harder would it be if you didn't know what foods contained Sodium Benzoate for example? The same applies to the mono and di-glyceride emulsifiers, which should be metabolised like many other fats, like trans fats, no one could anticipate how they may be harmful, but actually they are. Inflammatory markers following the consumption of these (newly widespread) mono and diglycerides are indentified in the blood to be abnormal.  So, history is full of examples where 'no one' (by which I mean very unimaginative Scientists) could have presumed any harmful aspect to ingredients or substances in our environment, because there was no known mechanism at the time, we must never ever think we are at a point where there are no unknowns, or that prior industry driven testing and regulatory hurdles are infallible ways to assess something, especially in the food supply or that actually gets into the body.  Many toxic effects only show up with epidemiology, and that is also very hard to do without ways to estimate individual intakes - so you must always label something newly introduced. Always!   Having no known reason why something is dangerous cannot remove all subsequent need for vigilance, and you can't build a consumer society with new technology on a one-way street of trust.  It would corrupt the whole system.  Another example of that is microwave emissions from mobiles and WAN's, again, it 'cant be harmful' because it has no known way of being harmful, that being based on 'heating' effects only, not action on complex chemical pathways and enzymes even though these should be also uninfluenced by the microwave (yet they are.)  We should have the exposure clearly listed on every product, at least to encourage more efficient, lower emission devices. That is something the consumer would help drive and they would again be right to do so. Its their perogative, and they have a knack of being right. Its not scientific to go against them, nor to support only those scientists who do. It brings Science into disrepute.

Avatar of: AlanB

AlanB

Posts: 16

November 21, 2012

Not labelling GM food, even when there is 'no reason' (currently known) why it should matter, is quite a remarkable thing to propose on a scientific level - it would be exactly the same as not telling doctors or patients what the drug was that was being prescribed, how then would the reporting system used to flag up unexpected side-effects operate?

Avatar of: lena

lena

Posts: 1

October 23, 2013

"The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the US National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization that has examined the evidence has come to the same conclusion."

Mega Corruption scandale at the WHO

http://rense.com/general88/megawho.htm

 

"JAMA" (Journal of The American Medical Association) 
Vol. 300 No. 9, September 3, 2008 
"Industry-Sponsored Clinical Research - A Broken System" 

"Over the past 2 decades, the pharmaceutical industry has gained unprecedented control over the evaluation of its own products. Drug companies now finance most clinical research on prescription drugs, and there is mounting evidence that they often skew the research they sponsor to make their drugs look better and safer. Two recent articles underscore the problem: one showed that many publications concerning Merck's rofecoxib that were attributed primarily or solely to academic investigators were actually written by Merck employees or medical publishing companies hired by Merck; the other showed that the company manipulated the data analysis in 2 clinical trials to minimize the increased mortality associated with rofecoxib.2 Bias in the way industry-sponsored research is conducted and reported is not unusual and by no means limited to Merck. ..." 

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/ext... 

 

 

Additional Details ... a medical coding system administered by the AMA that every health-care professional and hospital must use if they wish to get paid for the services they provide. This monopoly generates income of $70 million to $100 million annually for the AMA. That makes the AMA less an association looking out for doctors and more a special-interest group beholden to Congress and the White House. ..." 

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424...

3 years ago

"PBS Frontline" - 2003 
"Dangerous Prescription" 
"More than a dozen dangerous drugs have been pulled off the market since 1997. Why were they approved in the first place? An investigation of America's drug safety system." 

"I think it was pretty well understood," say former FDA scientist Michael Elashoff, "that if you were advocating turning a drug down -- particularly if it was from a large pharmaceutical company -- that that wouldn't be good for your career." 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/...  

 

 

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