Greenpeace destroys GM wheat trial in Australia

Greenpeace's own photo of their criminal activity in destroying the wheat trial in ACT, Australia

Greenpeace recently enlisted Vandana Shiva to protest on their behalf about GM wheat trials underway in Australia. Vandana Shiva endorses criminal arson as direct action against scientific laboratories she disproves (explicit video interview).

Now Greenpeace — by their own self-acknowledged vandalism — are following Vandana Shiva (Sydney Peace [sic] Prize recipient)  into the cesspool of criminality.

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Greenpeace destroys GM wheat
Jessica Nairn, ABC Radio 666 Canberra
Updated July 14, 2011 11:08:36

Greenpeace protesters have broken into a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra to destroy a crop of genetically modified wheat.

In the early hours of this morning a group of Greenpeace protesters scaled the fence of the CSIRO experimental station at Ginninderra in the capital’s north.

Greenpeace says activists were wearing Hazmat protective clothing and were equipped with weed string trimmers.

They say the entire crop of genetically modified wheat has been destroyed.

About half a hectare of GM wheat is being grown on the site, as part of Australia’s first outdoor trials.

No genetically modified wheat strain had ever been approved for cropping in Australia before.
Last month the CSIRO received permission to conduct Australia’s first trial in which humans will eat GM wheat.

The wheat’s genes have been modified to lower the glycemic index and increase fibre to create a product which will improve bowel health and increase nutritional value.

Animal feeding trials of up to three months have been conducted, with human trials at least six months away.

Greenpeace says it has taken action because of concerns over health, cross-contamination and the secrecy surrounding the experiments.

Campaigner Laura Kelly says the Federal Government needs to put an end to testing GM wheat in Australia.

She says parts of the United States and many countries throughout Europe have already rejected the crop, and Australia should do the same.

“No one is looking after the health of Australians. Julia Gillard isn’t standing up to foreign GM countries to protect our daily bread so Greenpeace has to,” she said.

ACT Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury used to work for Greenpeace and says he is not surprised the group has taken such action.

“It’s always very controversial these sorts of actions, but you have to stand up for what you believe in sometimes,” he said.

“Greenpeace has clearly formed a view that the best way to both draw attention to this issue and to potentially protect the human food chain in Australia is to take this action.”

Mr Rattenbury says Greenpeace has a track record of breaking the law to highlight problems.
“I’ve certainly been involved in action in the past where Greenpeace has broken the law and that has been necessary to highlight what we’ve considered at the time to be a greater issue than perhaps a simple trespass,” he said.

ACT police have confirmed they are investigating but have not released any further information.

GM crop destroyed
BY STAFF REPORTERS (Canberra Times)
14 Jul, 2011 09:08 AM

…ABC radio reported that the four protesters scaled the fence at the secure facility in Ginninderra wearing full-body Hazmat protective clothing.

Greenpeace have confirmed at least two women scaled the fence, including one mother, Heather McCabe*, who is concerned about her family’s health.

“This GM wheat should never have left the lab,” said Ms McCabe.

“I’m sick of being treated like a dumb Mum* who doesn’t understand the science. As far as I’m concerned, my family’s health is too important. GM wheat is not safe, and if the Government can’t protect the safety of my family, then I will.”

Canberra Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury [Pundit note:former Greenpeacer staffer] this morning condoned the action on ABC Radio, citing Greenpeace’s long-held opposition to GM crops, and saying that sometimes the end justified the means.

The site was being used to grow some of the first outdoor GM wheat crops in Australia, and trials were due to begin on human consumption of the modified wheat.

“We had no choice but to take action to bring an end to this experiment,” said Greenpeace Food campaigner Laura Kelly in a release this morning.

“This is about the protection of our health, the protection of our environment and the protection of our daily bread.

“It is time Julia Gillard stood up to global biotech companies and protected Australia’s daily bread. With public health and our largest food export under threat, this is too big an issue for the Prime Minister to continue to ignore.”

Police are investigating the incident.

David Tribe is an applied geneticist, teaching graduate/undergrad courses in food science, food safety, biotechnology and microbiology at the University of Melbourne.

Posted in Syndicated Tagged with: ,
91 comments on “Greenpeace destroys GM wheat trial in Australia
  1. Chris kelly says:

    They have uploded photos of their criminal activity on flickr

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/greenpeaceaustraliapacific/sets/72157627188488062/show/

  2. David Tribe says:

    No mention either of their much earlier sabotage of Golden Rice by postal interception

  3. David Tribe says:

    And here are other Greenpeace criminal actions:

    Greenpeace condone so-called”direct-action” of trashing paddocks for what they claim is the “wider-good”
    http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2009/01/greenpeace-condone-so-called-of.html

    Crop vandalism needs a second “day in court”

    Lord Melchitt is another Greenpeace activist
    http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2008/08/crop-vandalism-needs-second-day-in.html

    Vandalism of crops by Greenpeace in Germany.

    http://gmopundit.blogspot.com/2006/08/vandalism-of-crops-by-greenpeace-in.html

  4. JD says:

    Hazmat suits? Really?

  5. Logical says:

    Ten years gaol for this vandal would curb her stupidity. Luddites run Greenpeace is seems.

  6. David Tribe says:

    Oddly, Linkedin reports a Heather McCabe, same name as the protestor, as
    “Office Manager” at Greenpeace (=Greenapace). So the stunt seems to involve GP employees. Greenpeace need to be questioned about this. Newspapers need to make this clear too, to meet the standards of transparency demanded by Greenpeace

  7. MaryM says:

    My god–what’s going on down there? Weren’t there just problems for climate scientists too?

    And why am I not surprised to have not seen the same outrage from my “environmentalist” friends at this assault on science?? They were pretty appalled at the verbal threats to those climate scientists I recall.

  8. Steve Savage says:

    I hope they prosecute these people to the fullest extent of the law. This is the type of environmental organization that views humanity as “the problem” as opposed to the solution for environmental issues. That wheat program will probably continue, but what it is about is being able to feed people around the world, poor people in particular. GreenPeace it seems, would welcome population control by starvation.

    By the way, those string trimmers did more environmental harm than the wheat ever would

  9. Mikeb says:

    Well, that’s the last straw (as it were).

    I’m totally lay observer in this area, but it’s now clear to me that the leftist Greenpeace fanatics are no better than the climate change denier-pranksters and abortion clinic bombers on the right.

    Imagine: about two years ago I was a self-styled “organic” gardener who would have secretly praised GP for this “direct action” (“self-styled” in that I was not certified).

    Now I’m an actual farmer with about an acre of mixed crops that I work with three others. I recently got a license to apply pesticides, and I’ve been reading avidly about genetic engineering to try to get a grasp of this issue.

    Biofortified has helped me change my mind on this issue.

    When will the biotech people start taking “direct actions” of their own? You need some theater, folks. It wins people’s hearts, which is sometimes necessary to win their minds.

    • Jonathan says:

      No need for direct action from the researchers. Greenpeace are doing just fine at crapping on their own doorstep.

      • Mikeb says:

        You’re right: “researchers” shouldn’t do theater. It’s totally unprofessional.

        But consider that you might be underestimating the effect of such actions by GP.

        They have crapped on YOUR doorstep, not their own.

        They have garnered some stimulating press coverage.

        They have fear on their side, which is also stimulating.

        The public respond rather to such stimulants than to thoughtful research.

        Style trumps substance so frequently it’s a cliche.

        (I’m a former English major.)

        • Jonathan says:

          “They have crapped on YOUR doorstep, not their own.”

          Not my doorstep, but that aside, I don’t agree with you. Greenpeace do themselves no favours by acting like fundamentalist criminals and I genuinely get the impression the man in the street is getting fed up with them.

          Jonathan

  10. LorenE says:

    Just curious. In the US, the commission of a felony by a group of people who conspire across state lines to do so, is covered by RICO (I believe). Do the Aussies have anything similar??

  11. isaacschumann says:

    I read on the Conversation that the activists are not being charged…?!?? How is this not illegal? I live right down the road from Purdue Universities agronomy field sites, if I were to go weed whack(the american term for ‘whippersnippering’) them, for whatever reason, I’m pretty sure I would be arrested. What is the difference?

  12. OrchidGrowinMan says:

    Another Environmentalist FOR Science here…

    Fellow travelers, whatever their good intentions as far as environmental issues, if they are soaked in woo, hold ignorant or even anti-true beliefs, are no friends of mine, the poor, or of humanity and the environment. They are the enemy, more than those who DON’T have an awareness of real environmental problems. The merely ignorant and unmotivated can often be reached by education. Those who are motivated, but cling to their ignorance, not so much.

    If there were not so many evidences, I could believe this was a “false flag” attack intended to discredit any concern for environmental protection. I hope these fools are caught and punished as the criminals they are, and that their children are afforded the education to learn to denounce the positions of their parents.

    A few years ago, a university research facility I had a connexion with was burned by such activists, along with parts of the attached herbarium and botanical library. I sincerely tried to infiltrate the group to try to bring them low, but (fortunately? [for them, or for me?]) I was beat to it by law enforcement. ‘Just a thought (and another reason to maintain anonymity).

    Is there no “corrupt organization” law that can be applied to indict the local branch of this multinational? If not, can the ICC or ICJ be involved?

  13. Eric Baumholder says:

    This should be classed as an international incident and be handled accordingly.

    Greenpeace, funded by the government of the Netherlands, and operated from its headquarters in Amsterdam, has no excuse for meddling in Australian affairs. Greenpeace Australia must be declared persona non grata, accompanied by a strong complaint to the Dutch embassy. Its charitable status must be revoked as well.

    Committing crimes to induce political change is the definition of terrorism, which means that the Netherlands should distance itself from Greenpeace as well. If that doesn’t happen, the Dutch ambassador to Australia should be sent packing.

    Greenpeace has inflicted misery, poverty and hunger (and, sometimes, death) on untold millions around the globe. It’s time for humanity to stand up against this ‘green’ tyrant.

  14. Steve Savage says:

    I agree that professionals don’t do theater, but speaking logically is obviously not working. What about this as a response:

    We use the internet to organize peaceful protest marches to every office of GreenPeace (and other vandalizing organizations) all around the world on the same day. The participants would include farmers (ideally on tractors), scientists (academic, government, private, people-positive environmental groups, advocates for the poor, and faith-based groups). We could carry signs with pictures of the types of families that are dependent on highly traded crops like wheat that say things like, “Starved for Science”, or “You Can’t Eat Precaution.”

    There could also be marches in public places in the countries that are highly dependent on wheat imports. The idea would be to have them timed at once to draw maximum attention to the human cost of the delays in some biotech approvals and research that GreenPeace in particular, has been so successful at achieving. In cities where there is not a Greenpeace office, the march could go to any major donors or allies.

  15. Eric Baumholder says:

    Steve,

    Excellent idea.

    This could easily be done with enough money. The biotech corporations should ideally contribute to the event, but they are afraid to be “linked with” friendly elements.

  16. Chris Kelly says:

    The latest stage of their fear campaign can be found on youtube.

  17. GregH says:

    Their status as a tax exempt organization should be removed and many arrests should be made as high up as possible. Why are these guys tax exempt again? They’re not even attempting to deny it, so why should an organization like that get any sort of recognition at all?

    And if I was worried about something escaping, I wouldn’t break into it’s cage. Actions speak louder than words. Greenpeace doesn’t give a hoot about transgene escape. Not when there are publicity stunts to pull. And if future trials are hidden they’ll allege it’s a plot and proof that something nefarious is going on, not a problem they themselves caused.

    And I like how they spread fear over the health effects too. Even if we make the false assumption that GMO are too much of an environmental risk (which is what Greenpeace is supposedly all about), why lie about the health effects too? Well, I guess if you’re pretending GMOs are bad in every single imaginable aspect instead of showing some nuance it’s easier to demonize GMOs and keep those donations flowing.

    Can’t wait to hear the impending condemnation come from all those other anti-GMO groups who constantly claim they ‘aren’t anti-science but just want more research done.’

  18. Eric Baumholder says:

    Someone sure is taking a lot of time deciding whether to charge the activists with committing a crime. It’s not like the prosecution would be difficult. The criminal activity, and the defendants, are utterly obvious.

    In Britain and Europe, activists charged with crimes against field trials are either let go, or given token fines, because the legal systems accept the ‘defense of the environment’ excuse.

    I’ve never seen that ‘defense’ used in Australia, but then again, I don’t recall seeing anti-GMO activists prosecuted there, either.

  19. Jonathan says:

    As they are so keen on the Freedom of Information (FOI) request and brag about their “Transparency and Accountability” on their website I’ve just submitted my own FOI request to Greenpeace as follows:

    “Under a freedom of information request I would like you to provide any internal documents, advance preparation reports or background studies written by Greenpeace (or its subsidiaries) or received from Greenpeace members/activists in relation to the planning and excecution of the direct action on GM wheat at the CSIRO site in Ginninderra, Australia on the 13th/14th July 2011.”

    I’ll keep posted here with any responses. Remember they justified their violent action against CSIRO after an FOI request was refused.

    As an aside, having worked with FOI requests myself in the past you can’t just refuse. Either the information has to be provided or the information you are requesting isn’t covered by the FOI laws. Therefore their argument that the FOI was refused is also questionable.

    Does anyone know if FOI requests apply to charities or is it just government organisations?

    Jonathan

    • David Tribe says:

      Ask for financial details including all funds directly and indirectly sourced from EU governments and all funds paid the Astroturf organisations.

    • Eric Baumholder says:

      @Jonathan

      “Does anyone know if FOI requests apply to charities or is it just government organisations?”

      As far as I know, FOI is only for government organizations. But consider: Greenpeace is on the payroll of the government of the Netherlands. One might argue that Greenpeace is therefore an agency of the Dutch government.

      But then you’d have to show that Australian FOI statutes apply to the Dutch government, which I doubt you could do.

      So it would be better to bump this up into the diplomatic level and simultaneously pursue criminal charges.

      Also, damage to the field trial is estimated at roughly $300,000. CSIRO should be able to sue Greenpeace in the civil courts. Greenpeace would have the opportunity to claim diplomatic immunity as a representative of the Netherlands, which could introduce a very interesting wrinkle.

    • Jonathan says:

      Below the response from Greenpeace following my FOI request for information from them. Also my counter response….

      From Greenpeace:
      “Dear Johnathan

      Thanks for your email.

      I am attaching a few policy briefings on this matter, which were used in the development of our recently released reports – also attached.

      With reference to your question about Greenpeace’s legitimacy in taking this action, a WA resident recently asked the WA Health Minister how she could find out whether her food contained GM given that we have inadequate labeling laws, and that those laws are poorly enforced. The Minister told her that the best way to find out was by reading Greenpeace’s True Food Guide. The government is not doing its job. And the failure of the CSIRO to respond to our FOI requests prevents the public from being able to do its job in holding the government to account.

      Supporter Relationships
      Greenpeace Australia Pacific
      M: GPO Box 2622, Sydney, NSW 2001
      P: 1800 815 151
      W: http://www.greenpeace.org.au

      My response:
      “If someone ignores an FOI request there are legal procedures that can be taken to address that. Violent destructive acts can never be condoned. You are increasingly showing a lack of critical scientific thinking and understanding, instead turning towards conspiracy theory and scaremongering to direct your policies. Ludditism and narrow minded dogma are killing the once great hope for our environment and I’m afraid I won’t be supporting you in the future. The issue of labelling should be openly discussed but as a technology labelling as simply GM tells us nothing about safety of food on a case by case basis. There is nothing inherently harmful about genetic modification per se. You are simply hiding behind ignorance from real threats to food safety and security. I fear you as an organisation have got this badly wrong.

      Best wishes.

      Jonathan

      PS you refused my request for information in your response. Thankfully I’ve more sense than to use that as an excuse for violent retort.”

      • Jonathan says:

        I will post the text of the two policy documents they sent with that e-mail in the forum if anyone wants to read them.

        There’s the usual bad science layered with insisting on unrealistic (in practice) levels of testing that they know will never be able to be complied with.

        There are also some new accusations about the OGTR risk assessment prior to granting the trial permit. They say, “The genomic locations of the introduced DNA has not been characterised, and the number of copies of the transgenes present in each line is currently unknown”. I’m not in a position to know whether that is true or not but it would be strange if that were correct. Can anyone else comment?

        Jonathan

  20. Eric Baumholder says:

    “Greenpeace prevails again”
    http://www.school-survival.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=30234&view=unread

    “Greenpeace protesters have broken into a CSIRO experimental farm in Canberra to destroy a crop of genetically modified wheat.”

    “Yeah, [expletive] progress and science, let’s solve world hunger with activism and good will”

    The comments do not support the opinions of the blog owner, and in many cases are the exact opposite. Greenpeace has shot itself in the foot this time.

  21. Andrew Apel says:

    Friends and others, the below was recently unearthed, and shows that this incident in Australia has deep roots in history.

    European Parliament Committee on Social Affairs, Draft Opinion for the Committee on Energy, Research and Technology on Matters Relating to Biotechnology

    Drafted by Benedikt Haerlin

    May 14, 1986

    The document discloses a program to impose trade sanctions on African nations which permit field trials or commercial releases of GM crops, and to finance efforts to encourage European rejection of agricultural biotechnology; drafted by the man who, as a member of Greenpeace, later threatened the destruction of field trials of Golden Rice.

    http://www.gmobelus.com/section/featured

  22. Brahminator says:

    Civil disobedience is criminal; that’s the point! The goal is to force government to either play the part of oppressor, or cease enforcing its laws. Therefore, the most effective way to combat civil disobedience is to prosecute in the least oppressive manner possible.

  23. Ariela HvM says:

    Man, Greenpeace just gets more scandalous by the minute! I like how they have photos of their criminal activity for all the world to see – like, look at my exploits everybody!! They are all about the PR, aren’t they? What with the Hazmat suits and everything. They seem to care more about shocking publicity stunts than with the actual science they seem to be “combating.”
    So I guess this means that when an organization or individual truly believes they are righteous and acts of civil disobedience are acceptable – than all Hell can break loose.
    When you actually harm other human beings for the sake of the “environment,” with no just cause, just complete fear and ignorance, then civil disobedience is not cool.

  24. Eric Baumholder says:

    Crimes committed for the purpose of influencing public policy is terrorism, full stop. Destroying research is on a par with burning books, full stop.

    • Steve Savage says:

      Eric,
      The best response to terrorism is to deny them the asymmetric satisfaction or being terrorized. We would have been best off to respond to 911 with courage instead of fear-driven wars and civil rights suspensions. Biotech researchers should courageously keep on working even in the face of this sort of nonsense.

      If I had the production skills I would like to make a You Tube video of activists in hazmat suits destroying a field or greenhouse of experimental tomatoes because they found out that they were filled with toxins! There would be lots of smashing tomatoes and some tomato fights among the protestors. It would be to a sound track which would be like a Wierd Al song with some appropriate parody words.

      Then the scientist would come out and calmly explain that the toxin they were worried about was a natural plant defense molecule that has always been in tomatoes, and the experiment was about increasing a cancer fighting component or a flavor or seed locule change that would get more kids to eat tomatoes. It would close with the activists standing there looking sheepish. In the last scene, one of them takes a bite of the tomato that was in her hand ready to throw.

  25. Chris Kelly says:

    Two leading and high profile Australian chefs have come out in support of Greenpeace. They are both signatories to some strange thing called the Greenpeace Chef’s Charter.

    The story can be found here along with a poll asking “Should Australia continue tests of genetically modified crops?”

    Up to this point 51% of over 4000 participants support continuing research.

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/genetically-modified-wheat-has-no-place-on-the-menu-20110718-1hlhq.html

    • Steve Savage says:

      Chris,
      I wonder why Chefs think they should have any special “standing” in this debate. They are no more likely to understand genetics or biology than any average person. They have no direct stake in the raising of food unless they have a small garden for herbs etc. They certainly don’t have anything to do with wheat production or the feeding of even relatively poor people. Comments were closed on that article and a poll at a site like that is far from precise

      • Ewan R says:

        To beat Eric to the punch – in a debate where a yoga instructor is given top billing one can hardly be suspicious about the qualifications of a chef – only one side of this debate requires any sort of qualification to be taken seriously, for the other side it’s enough to be able to keep a straight face infront of a room full of people.

    • Eric Baumholder says:

      Chefs have ‘standing’ in ‘the debate’ the same way that organic people have standing.

      It’s a way of saying ‘our stuff is better’. It’s advertising. Misleading, but advertising.

    • Note that they are part of Greenpeace’s list of anti-GE chefs. I suspect that this is part of their concerted media campaign.

  26. GregH says:

    Oh this is interesting. YouTube had a video of Heather McCabe giving talking about why the trial had to be destroyed. Nice blame the victim spin I might add. Surprisingly (for a Youtube video) most of the comments were negative, with the top one saying something to the effect of ‘I hope you get arrested’ and many more expressing disapproval, with most of the little like/dislike bar being toward the dislike. Well, now it’s gone. Removed by user. I wish I would have saved it (I don’t really know how to though). I guess we can all speculate on just why Greenpeace would want to cover that little bit up. Maybe they are afraid of some negative backlash over their eco-terrorist leanings? Maybe a legal thing? I can just imagine some Greenpeace lawyer in full facepalm muttering ‘You did not just upload that video.’ Either way, it is pretty rich that they’re accusing the CSIRO of cover-ups then hiding stuff themselves. Stay classy Greenpeace.

    If you google ‘Australia’s GM Wheat Scandal‏’ for now it still pops up in Google, but if you go to the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlLh8cdawxY you get nothing.

  27. Chris Kelly says:

    The Australian Federal Police have raided and shut down the greenpeace headquarters in Sydney.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-07-21/greenpeace-offices-raided/2804820/?site=sydney

    • This is good news, and you can tell who amongst the anti-GE folks out there are the more reasonable – the one’s not going ‘booo!’ about the Feds in Australia investigating an obvious, admitted crime. It is my hope that CSIRO recoups their losses, but admittedly, such a thing will take time.

      • Eric Baumholder says:

        With estimated losses of A$300,000, there’s no way Australia can recoup that from the local chapter of Greenpeace. Australia will need to file a civil suit against the international headquarters of Greenpeace, in Amsterdam.

        There are a number of sound doctrines embedded in customary international law which would make Greenpeace Amsterdam subject to Australia’s jurisdiction. All Australia needs to do is get CSIRO and its equivalent of the Department of Foreign Affairs to agree on a way forward.

        Greenpeace has piles of ready cash available to reimburse for Australia’s losses.

        This scenario is realistic, as the narrative surrounding this event includes the notion of a foreign NGO intruding into Australia’s public policies — which ties into views about terrorism, i.e., criminal conduct intended to influence public policy.

        Not too long ago, this was an impossible scenario, with virtually everyone running scared of Greenpeace. Australia has discovered that Greenpeace is an intrusion on its soil by a foreign element, and it’s time for Greenpeace to be held accountable.

    • David Tribe says:

      More media comment on Greenpeace here:

      Who’d a thunk it? Climate change deniers and Greenpeace thrown into a difficult alliance. Not on climate change, of course. But on general principles.

      As one of the world’s best-known, perhaps its highest profile eco-protest group, Greenpeace frequently and rightly implores anyone interested in the climate change debate to pay heed to the science. The unintentionally hilarious Lord Monckton might think the science is a load of old tosh, but… this is really where I need a macro key so I can just stab it once, angrily, and bring up a screed of text about the well-established scientific consensus on climate change science; a consensus that’s quietly accepted, at least for the sake of form, by that champion of denial, Tony Abbott.
      But I’m not going to bother. What would be the point?
      Because increasingly the science doesn’t matter. About anything. If the science doesn’t suit your argument, ignore it. Or cherry pick the parts that do suit your case. Choose a couple of lines out of one paper, when thousands have been published, that might throw some doubt into the minds of anybody with less than a passing acquaintance with your chosen subject. Or cite “research” which isn’t research, because it wasn’t peer-reviewed, and the funding for the so-called study came from vested interests. Or appeal to respected “opinion” when that opinion isn’t respected at all, and can cite only more “opinion” to verify its arguments.

      Read more:

      http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/cherry-picking-from-the-tree-of-knowledge-20110720-1homu.html

      • OrchidGrowinMan says:

        David,

        I like the article, but there’s something in it that’s even more important and gratifying: crackpot-busting:

        An independent review of perceived bias at the BBC has reported back that not only does no such bias exist, but that the British state broadcaster has erred by giving too much airtime to crackpots whose views ignore established scientific convention. For an in-depth report you can go here.

        But long story short, the review found that those who do not respect the scientific method and established scientific consensus do not deserve to have their role in scientific debates elevated beyond reason.

  28. Chris Kelly says:

    Dr Paul Johnston the principal scientist at Greenpeace Research Laboratories at the University of Exeter responds to criticism of greenpeace’s destruction of the wheat trial.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/science-underpins-greenpeaces-work-20110722-1hsau.html

    • Steve Savage says:

      Well, I read the thing from Johnston and he does not say one single thing that would qualify as “science.” He says, we do science, but he never makes one scientific argument for why the wheat was any sort of problem. They had asked for all sorts of details about the experiment, but didn’t indicate that he had ever attempted to contact the CSIRO researchers. That is what actual scientists do. They don’t use FOIA or the Australian counterpoint without first communicating scientist to scientist. Of course comments were closed on his article after one. Hm, that does not sound very open does it? I’ve written to Greenpeace scientists many times asking for an explanation of specific things they have alleged without any scientific explanation. I have never gotten any response. I guess transparency is only supposed to go one way?

  29. Ole says:

    This is good news! Go Greenpeace, you have lots of supporters!

  30. Syl says:

    Let me start with the question; do we need genetically modified organisms? Whatever deity or source was intelligent enough to create life as we know it was also intelligent enough to create a perfect organic balance without the need of ignorant humans messing about with was perfect to begin with. We have destroyed so much already and we keep on destroying more of it. We need food that provides energy and nutrition. We are depleting the soil with large scale farming and not honoring the land by letting it ‘rest’ for a season before planting more crops. We do not mix crops anymore the create a perfect balance that prevents dis-ease in the first place. We do not tend to the crops like we should, no love and care is given and in stead we just bombard them with pesticides.
    I am not a financial supporter of Greenpeace but seeing that they are one of the few companies that protect mine and our future by protecting our natural food sources I just might start supporting now. We have to prevent left brain people that have lost all feeling with nature to determine the course of this planet.

    Consider also the inability of corn and other GMO foods to provide good health conditions because the manufacturers of corn and wheat products are doing nothing to heed health concerns about these two most significant contributors to the world food supply. Gardens are not going to be able to receive adequate protection against airborn contact with GMO contaminants, and naming the culprits can only lead to growth of compliance with the Monsanto agenda. Consider them the biggest consumer destroyer on the globe. They destroy and dominate all food coming out of the human domain. Are you able to accept this with quiet minds? Will you do anything to answer this attack on your health and everyone else’s health as well?

    The last thing we need is for companies to experiment with wheat, one of our staple crops. Scientists, research how GMO foods affect our health. Research how to bring balance back to this planet. Research how you can Feel nature again in stead of trying to understand it..

  31. David Tribe says:

    Syl,
    Since your statements are opinions rather than science, let’s explore the consistency of your opinions.

    1. Nature is perfectly designed. Humans are part of “nature” therefore what they do is also perfect. This implies GMOs are perfect too.

    2. The world is in natural balance. If this is so, why were there ice ages, mass-extinctions, and indeed, evolutionary changes over time.

    3. Feeling nature. How do we decide which feelings are better, if we don’t understand them first? I feel we should explore human ingenuity and natural resources to solve problems [with conservation and human health]. That is a feeling. Why cannot I be allowed to harness this feeling?

  32. Syl says:

    Dear David, science would be to investigate the health concerns linked to existing GM crops and to find out if food that is genetically modified not perhaps leads to genetic imbalances in our bodies, where it induces dis-eases like cancer. Now that would be science that is currently needed, but that is just my opinion.

    Humans by default are perfect, the only difference is that they are conscious co-creators unlike other organisms. We can create things with the highest intention and we can create things with the lowest intention. If everything that humans create is perfect than you have failed to look at the state of the world lately.

    Evolutionary changes are subtle and happen as a result of bio-photon emission between organisms, they do not unbalance or disrupt. Ice ages and mass extinctions have been linked to human consciousness, but for that you would have to re-look at the history of the world as we ‘know’ it. I would be glad to supply you with the reasons behind what caused these events.

    In any case, evolution is a natural process which is exactly what GMO crops are destroying. Natural organic crops with self perpetuating seeds might soon be gone. For me, if a bug doesn’t want to eat the crop, there is something wrong with it. Nature has all the answers already, let’s look there first.

    Feeling is of the heart, understanding is of the brain. Someone who truly works from the heart will understand.

    Human ingenuity has caused soil depletion, pollution and enormous health problems. We do not need more ingenuity to try and get us out of the mess that we have created for ourselves, we need to look inside for answers to solve these problems and we need to re-connect with nature in stead of trying to re-invent it.

    Humanity is not asking for GM crops, they are forced upon us as an answer for unbalances that have been force-created in the world. We do not realize that these imbalances will only grow bigger with genetic interference.

    • Steve Savage says:

      Syl,
      “Humanity” does not ask for any of the specific advances over the last 10,000 years that have increased food security and improved human health and longevity. All they ask for is food.

      “If a bug doesn’t want to eat the crop, there is something wrong with it” – actually most wild plants spend a significant part of their energy making chemicals to discourage bugs from eating them. Nature is much more of a battle ground than some sort of harmonious paradise that you imagine

      Your concern that “natural organic crops with self perpetuating seeds” will be gone is misguided. Most crops will never be GMO for practical or economic reasons, and plants only exchange genes with extremely closely related plants. This is not at all what your are imagining

    • Ewan R says:

      Evolutionary changes are subtle and happen as a result of bio-photon emission between organisms, they do not unbalance or disrupt. Ice ages and mass extinctions have been linked to human consciousness, but for that you would have to re-look at the history of the world as we ‘know’ it. I would be glad to supply you with the reasons behind what caused these events.

      Weapons.
      Grade.
      Crazy.

      Move along.

  33. Syl says:

    Steve, there is more than enough food to feed the world, just respect nature and share. No research has been done in regards to the long term effect of GM crops on human health. If they would do this, they would more than likely find out that it doesn’t improve human health.

    Nature’s battle ground is an harmonious paradise as long as it is in balance. And indeed nature provides the answers discourage bugs from eating crops. Large scale single crop farming has been detrimental in this regard, we should go back to mixed crop farming.

    My concern in regards to organic crops being replaced is not misguided. One look at Canola in Canada will tell you why. The intention of GMO is not to improve our health (as they don’t even know the effects), it is to increase profits.

    We don’t even fully understand the workings of the human body, but here we are feeding ourselves with GMO crops and processed foods. And we wonder why we have all these chronic illnesses. If we would just listen to our inner selves we would find the answers…

  34. David Tribe says:

    “Steve, there is more than enough food to feed the world, just respect nature and share.”

    —But Syl, we have to face the challenge of 2 billion extra people, and greater wealth among developing countries which dictates about 50 to 100% more production. I doubt that business as usual will sove this problem

    “No research has been done in regards to the long term effect of GM crops on human health.”

    —Not so.
    And what do you make of this:

    Cancer rates are going down
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jan/05/cancer-death-rates-decline-us

    “Nature’s battle ground is an harmonious paradise as long as it is in balance.”

    —Yeah, you must be kidding. Parasites, disease viruses and pathogenic bacteria and fungi are part of this natural paradise. It’s a pretty snaky Garden of Eden if you ask me.

    “The intention of GMO is not to improve our health (as they don’t even know the effects), it is to increase profits.”

    —What about vitamin A biofortified rice, Golden bananas, high-fibre rice, Omega 3 fortified Soy? The direct intention of these is new healthy food options for consumers.

    “We don’t even fully understand the workings of the human body, but here we are feeding ourselves with GMO crops and processed foods.”

    —What is the evidence you, (yourself Syl) understand the topic. Why should we take any notice of you if you don’t provide solid evidence, reference citations, sources?

    “If we would just listen to our inner selves we would find the answers…”.

    —My own inner-self tells me your opinions are harmful, and I truly *feel* that you know little about biology and health. Should I listen to my own inner-self and trust my feelings on this? What’s your advice on this feelings and inner-self approach?

  35. Syl says:

    Dear Steve,
    We are not going to better feed the world through GM crops. Poverty is at the root of the problem of hunger. The world has a surplus of food, but still people go hungry. They go hungry because they cannot afford to buy it. They cannot afford to buy it because the sources of wealth and the means of production have been captured and in some cases monopolized by landowners and corporations. The purpose of the biotech industry is to capture and monopolize the sources of wealth and the means of production. Must we now tell these poor people that buying expensive GM seeds (together with a wonderful RoundUp mixture that is destroying the balance in nature, poisons the soil, affects our water and induces herbicide resistance) is going to suddenly help feed humanity?

    You scorn me because I do not provide solid evidence. In my previous reply I have asked for evidence of the fact that GM crops do not affect human health. You than come up with an article in the Guardian about cancer death rates that are declining. Now, something tells me you do not know anything about cancer and it certainly does not provide any evidence in regards to GM crops and health issues.

    First of all this article is not related to GM crops at all so why are you putting if forward as evidence?

    Secondly, this article is about death rates and not about cancer incidents, which have only declined marginally.

    Thirdly, they contribute the decline in number of cancer death to better screening; “Advances in cancer screening and treatment have prevented more than a million total deaths from cancer since the early 1990s, according to the report.”

    Fourthly, if we do take into consideration that there is a marginal decrease in cancer incidents, what could be its cause? Could it perhaps be linked to the increase of production of organic foods?

    Wikipedia states: United States: Organic food is the fastest growing sector of the American food marketplace. Organic food sales have grown by 17 to 20 percent a year for the past few years while sales of conventional food have grown at only about 2 to 3 percent a year. In 2003 organic products were available in nearly 20,000 natural food stores and 73% of conventional grocery stores. Organic products accounted for 3.7% of total food and beverage sales, and 11.4% of all fruit and vegetable sales in the year 2009. Two thirds of organic milk and cream and half of organic cheese and yogurt are sold through conventional supermarkets.

    Also, fungi, bacteria and parasites are all needed in a natural eco-system as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t think the ‘Garden of Eden’ as you put it, could do without them for too long.

    About vitamin A biofortified rice: For one thing, we’ve learned that golden rice will not grow in the kinds of soil that it must to be of value to the world’s hungry. To grow properly, it requires heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides — expensive inputs unaffordable to the very people the variety is supposed to help. And we’ve also learned that golden rice requires large amounts of water—water that might not be available in precisely those areas where vitamin A deficiency is a problem, and where farmers cannot afford expensive irrigation projects. And one more thing—it turns out that golden rice doesn’t work, even in theory. Malnourished people are not able to absorb vitamin A in this form. And even if they could, they’d have to eat an awful lot of the stuff. In order to satisfy his minimum requirement for the vitamin, an eleven-year-old boy would have to eat 27 bowls of golden rice a day.

    And Steve, yes, in a way I am evidence. For starters I cured myself of cancer by changing my lifestyle and by eating only natural organic fruits and vegetables. Although not scientific evidence for you, it is enough evidence for me, but that’s the way I feel it.

    And of course your inner feelings are different. I do not know if you are actually in contact with your higher self or not, or if you are spiritually in contact with nature or only scientifically. But I think that my opinion about the benefits of natural and organic foods are a little less harmful than your unproven opinions of the health ‘benefits’ of GM foods. My advice to you would be, to look at the state of nature and to see if our advancements have truly brought us what we were looking for.

    • Jonathan says:

      A few points from Syl’s last post….

      1) The Organic food sector has increased in recent years, but a 20% increase in 1% is still only 1.2%. The big increases you talk about don’t really bite into the ammount of organic food as a proportion of the National diet much.

      2) Organic crops can be and are sprayed with a wide range of chemicals such as copper, derris, rotenone, soft soap, natural pyrethrins etc etc etc. many of these are far more toxic to humans than modern pesticides. They are also sprayed more often and in higher quantities for the simple reason that they are less effective. Organic advocates that think they are avoiding nasty chemicals by eating organic are sadly deluded.

      3) You seem to get your data on Golden Rice consumption and adsorption in the diet from Greenpeace. They refuse to accept that the VitA content in Golden Rice is now much much higher than in the initial attempts and will easily deliver the required amounts. For some reason, despite being aware of the improved lines, Greenpeace prefer to stick to the 27 bowls/9kg nonsense. I wonder why?

      4) Most people would want to take the biological opinions of someone who thinks evolutionary changes are a result of “bio-photon emission between organisms” with a pinch of salt.

      5) you asked for evidence that GM food doesn’t affect human health. The fact that a trillion meals or more have been eaten containing GM material with no evidence of an affect should be good enough. Other than that unfortunately anti-GM activists rip up any GM field trials that are intended for human testing (see story above). Without those the best we can rely on is animal feeding experiments, which have successfully advised us on human consumer safety of novel foods and chemicals for decades. You might want to read one or two of the following GM feeding studies by wholly independent research laboratories for further details….

      Ash J, Novak C, Scheideler SE (2003) The fate of genetically modified protein from Roundup Ready Soybeans in laying hens. Journal of Applied Poultry Research 12:242-245

      Aulrich K, Bohme H, Daenicke R, Halle I, Flachowsky G (2001) Genetically modified feeds in animal nutrition 1st communication: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn in poultry, pig and ruminant nutrition. Archives of Animal Nutrition-Archiv fur Tierernahrung 54:183-195

      Barriere Y, Verite R, Brunschwig P, Surault F, Emile JC (2001) Feeding value of corn silage estimated with sheep and dairy cows is not altered by genetic incorporation of Bt176 resistance to Ostrinia nubilalis. Journal of Dairy Science 84:1863-1871

      Batista R, Martins I, Jeno P, Ricardo CP, Oliveira MM. (2007) A proteomic study to identify soya allergens–the human response to transgenic versus non-transgenic soya samples. Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2007;144(1):29-38.

      Batista, R., Nunes, B., Carmo, M., Cardoso, C. et al., Lack of detectable allergenicity of transgenic maize and soya samples.(2005) J. Allergy Clin. Immunol. 2005, 116, 403–410.

      Bohme H, Aulrich K, Daenicke R, Flachowsky G (2001) Genetically modified feeds in animal nutrition 2nd communication: Glufosinate tolerant sugar beets (roots and silage) and maize grains for ruminants and pigs. Archives of Animal Nutrition-Archiv fur Tierernahrung 54:197-207

      Bondzio, A., Stumpff, F., Schoen, J., Martens, H., Einspanier, R., (2008) Impact of Bacillus thuringiensis Toxin Cry1Ab on rumen epithelial cells (REC) – a new in vitro model for safety assessment of recombinant food compounds, Food and Chemical Toxicology 46: 1976-1984

      Brake DG, Thaler R, Evenson DP (2004) Evaluation of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) corn on mouse testicular development by dual parameter flow cytometry. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 52:2097-2102.

      Brake, D.G., Evenson, D.P., 2004. A generational study of glyphosate tolerant soybeans on mouse fetal, postnatal, pubertal and adult testicular development. Food Chem. Toxicol. 42, 29–36.

      Chambers, P.A., Duggan, P.S., Heritage, J., Forbes, J.M. (2000). The fate of antibiotic resistance marker genes in transgenic plant feed material fed to chickens. J. Antimicrob. Chemother. 49, 161–164.

      Chen ZL, Gu H, Li Y, Su Y, Wu P, Jiang Z, Ming X, Tian J, Pan N, Qu LJ. (2003) Safety assessment for genetically modified sweet pepper and tomato. Toxicology. 2003 Jun 30;188(2-3):297-307.

      Chowdhury EH, Mikami O, Murata H, Sultana P, Shimada N, Yoshioka M, Guruge KS, Yamamoto S, Miyazaki S, Yamanaka N, Nakajima Y (2004) Fate of maize intrinsic and recombinant genes in calves fed genetically modified maize Bt11. Journal of Food Protection 67:365-370

      Chowdhury EH, Shimada N, Murata H, Mikami O, Sultana P, Miyazaki S, Yoshioka M, Yamanaka N, Hirai N, Nakajima Y.(2003). Detection of Cry1Ab protein in gastrointestinal contents but not visceral organs of genetically modified Bt11-fed calves. Vet Hum Toxicol. 2003 Mar;45(2):72-5.

      Chowdhury, E.H., Kuribara, H., Hino, A., Sultana, P., Mikami, O., Shimada, N., Guruge, K.S., Saito, M.,Nakayima, Y. (2003). Detection of corn intrinsic and DNA fragments and Cry1Ab protein in the gastrointestinal contents of pigs fed genetically modified corn Bt11. J. Anim. Sci. 81, 2546–2551.

      Chrenkova M, Sommer A, Ceresnakova Z, Nitrayova S, Prostredna M (2002) Nutritional evaluation of genetically modified maize corn performed on rats. Archives of Animal Nutrition-Archiv fur Tierernahrung 56:229-235

      Domon, Eiji, Hidenori Takagi, Sakiko Hirose, Koichi Sugita, Saori Kasahara, Hiroyasu Ebinuma, Fumio Takaiwa (2009) 26-Week Oral Safety Study in Macaques for Transgenic Rice Containing Major Human T-Cell Epitope Peptides from Japanese Cedar Pollen Allergens, Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2009 57 (12), 5633-5638

      Einspanier R, Lutz B, Rief S, Berezina O, Zverlov V, Schwarz W, Mayer J (2004) Tracing residual recombinant feed molecules during digestion and rumen bacterial diversity in cattle fed transgene maize. European Food Research and Technology 218:269-273

      El Sanhoty R, El-Rahman AA, Bogl KW (2004). Quality and safety evaluation of genetically modified potatoes spunta with Cry V gene: compositional analysis, determination of some toxins, antinutrients compounds and feeding study in rats. Nahrung. 48:13-8.

      Flachowsky G, Chesson A, Aulrich K (2005) Animal nutrition with feeds from genetically modified plants. ARCHIVES OF ANIMAL NUTRITION 59: 1-40
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      Glencross B, Curnow J, Hawkins W, Kissil GWM, Peterson D (2003) Evaluation of the feed value of a transgenic strain of the narrow-leaf lupin (Lupinus angustifolius) in the diet of the marine fish, Pagrus auratus. Aquaculture Nutrition 9:197-206

      Hashimoto W, Momma K, Yoon HJ, Ozawa S, Ohkawa Y, Ishige T, Kito M, Utsumi S, Murata K (1999) Safety assessment of transgenic potatoes with soybean glycinin by feeding studies in rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 63:1942-6.

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      Hohlweg, U., and Doerfler, W., 2001. On the fate of plant and other foreign genes upon the uptake in food or after intramuscular injection in mice. Mol. Genet. Genomics 265, 225–233.

      Jaszczak K, Kruszewski M, Baranowski A, Parada R, Bartlomiejczyk T, Zimny J, Rosochacki S. (2008) Micronucleus test and comet assay on mice fed over five generations a diet containing genetically modified triticale. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences year: 2008, vol: 17, number: 1, pages: 100-109

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      Kılıc A, Akay M T (2008) A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation Food and Chemical Toxicology 46 (2008) 1164–1170

      Kosieradzka I, Sawosz E, Pastuszewska B, Szwacka M, Malepszy S, Bielecki W, Czuminska K (2001) The effect of feeding diets with genetically modified cucumbers on the growth and health status of rats. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 10:7-12

      Kosieradzka I, Sawosz E, Skomial J, Szopa J (2005) Transgenic potato tubers with overexpression of 14-3-3 protein in growing rat diets. 1. Selected hormone activities and liver function status. Journal of Animal and Feed Sciences 14:545-548

      Kuehn CS, Linn JG, Johnson DG, Jung HG, Endres MI.(1999) Effect of feeding silages from corn hybrids selected for leafiness or grain to lactating dairy cattle. J Dairy Sci. 1999 Dec;82(12):2746-55.

      Lutz B, Wiedemann S, Einspanier R, Mayer J, Albrecht C (2005) Degradation of Cry1Ab protein from genetically modified maize in the bovine gastrointestinal tract. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53:1453-1456

      Malatesta M, Boraldi F, Annovi G, Baldelli B, Battistelli S, Biggiogera M, Quaglino D.(2008) A long-term study on female mice fed on a genetically modified soybean: effects on liver ageing. Histochem Cell Biol. 130: 967-977

      Malatesta, M., Tiberi, C., Baldelli, B., Battistelli, S., Manuali, E., Biggiogera, M., 2005. Reversibility of hepatocyte nuclear modifications in mice fed on genetically modified soybean. Eur. J. Histochem. 49, 237–242.

      Mandal AB, Elangovan AV, Shrivastav AK, Johri AK, Kaur S, Johri TS. Comparison of broiler chicken performance when fed diets containing meals of Bollgard II hybrid cotton containing Cry-X gene (Cry1Ac and Cry2ab gene), parental line or commercial cotton. Br Poult Sci. 2004 Oct;45(5):657-63.

      Mazza R, Soave M, Morlacchini M, Piva G, Marocco A (2005) Assessing the transfer of genetically modified DNA from feed to animal tissues. Transgenic Res. 2005 Oct;14(5):775-84.

      Momma K, Hashimoto W, Yoon HJ, Ozawa S, Fukuda Y, Kawai S, Takaiwa F, Utsumi S, Murata K (2000) Safety assessment of rice genetically modified with soybean glycinin by feeding studies on rats. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem. 64:1881-6.

      Palombo JD, DeMichele SJ, Liu JW, Bistrian BR, Huang YS. (2000) Comparison of growth and fatty acid metabolism in rats fed diets containing equal levels of gamma-linolenic acid from high gamma-linolenic acid canola oil or borage oil. Lipids. 35:975-81

      Peng D, Chen S, Ruan L, Li L, Yu Z, Sun M. (2007) Safety assessment of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis with VIP insecticidal protein gene by feeding studies. Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Jul;45(7):1179-85.

      Phipps RH, Deaville ER, Maddison BC (2003) Detection of transgenic and endogenous plant DNA in rumen fluid, duodenal digesta, milk, blood, and feces of lactating dairy cows. Journal of Dairy Science 86:4070-4078

      Phipps RH, Humphries DJ (2002) Detection of transgenic DNA in milk from cows receiving herbicide tolerant (CP4EPSPS) soyabean meal. Livestock Production Science 74:269-273

      Phipps RH, Jones AK, Tingey AP, Abeyasekera S (2005) Effect of corn silage from an herbicide-tolerant genetically modified variety on milk production and absence of transgenic DNA in milk. J Dairy Sci. (2005) Aug;88(8):2870-8.

      Poulsen, M., Kroghsbo, S., Schrøder, M., Wilcks, A., Jacobsen, H., Miller, A., Frenzel, T., Danier, J., Rychlik, M., Shu, Q., Emami, K., Sudhakar, D., Gatehouse, A., Engel, K.-H., Knudsen, I., 2007b. A 90- day safety study in Wistar rats fed genetically modified rice expressing snowdrop lectin Galanthus nivalis (GNA). Food Chem. Toxicol. 45, 350–363.

      Poulsen, M., Schrøder, M., Wilcks, A., Kroghsbo, S., Lindecrona, R.H., Miller, A., Frenzel, T., Danier, J., Rychlik, M., Shu, Q., Emami, K., Taylor, M., Gatehouse, A., Engel, K.-H., Knudsen, I., 2007. Safety testing of GM-rice expressing PHA-E lectin using a new animal test design. Food Chem. Toxicol. 45, 364–377.

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      Rossi F, Morlacchini M, Fusconi G, Pietri A, Mazza R, Piva G (2005) Effect of Bt corn on broiler growth performance and fate of feed-derived DNA in the digestive tract. Poultry Science 84:1022-1030

      Sagstad A, Sanden M, Haugland Ø, Hansen AC, Olsvik PA, Hemre GI.(2007) Evaluation of stress- and immune-response biomarkers in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., fed different levels of genetically modified maize (Bt maize), compared with its near-isogenic parental line and a commercial suprex maize. J Fish Dis. 2007 Apr;30(4):201-12.

      Sakamoto, Y; Tada, Y; Fukumori, N; Tayama, K; Ando, H; Takahashi, H; Kubo, Y; Nagasawa, A; Yano, N; Yuzawa, K; Ogata, A; Kamimura, H (2007) A 52-week feeding study of genetically modified soybeans in F344 rats Journal of the Food Hygeine Society of Japan, 48 (3): 41-50

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      Jonathan

  36. David Tribe says:

    Syl:

    @SYL Dear Steve,
    We are not going to better feed the world through GM crops. Poverty is at the root of the problem of hunger. The world has a surplus of food, but still people go hungry. They go hungry because they cannot afford to buy it. They cannot afford to buy it because the sources of wealth and the means of production have been captured and in some cases monopolized by landowners and corporations.

    — That’s your view. But rural poor benefit with better incomes from more productive farming, and urban poor also benefit from lower priced food that is made possible by more productive farming. This you leave out.

    @SYL The purpose of the biotech industry is to capture and monopolize the sources of wealth and the means of production.
    — I disagree. It is to be profitable by offering seeds that offer NET benefits to farmers

    @SYL Must we now tell these poor people …
    — We don’t need to tell them things, they need to discover whether using commercial seeds improved their own farm profitability. If otherwise they don’t need to use the seeds.It is buyer choice in action.

    @SYL You scorn me because I do not provide solid evidence. In my previous reply I have asked for evidence of the fact that GM crops do not affect human health. You than come up with an article in the Guardian about cancer death rates that are declining. Now, something tells me you do not know anything about cancer and it certainly does not provide any evidence in regards to GM crops and health issues.

    @SYL First of all this article is not related to GM crops at all so why are you putting if forward as evidence?
    — I didn’t say it provides evidence. I asked for your comments on the trend.

    @SYL Also, fungi, bacteria and parasites are all needed in a natural eco-system as far as I’m concerned. And I don’t think the ‘Garden of Eden’ as you put it, could do without them for too long.

    — on this we agree. But they also cause many diseases and you claim is that nature is in perfect balance. It’s clearly not perfect.

    @SYL About vitamin A biofortified rice: …In order to satisfy his minimum requirement for the vitamin, an eleven-year-old boy would have to eat 27 bowls of golden rice a day.

    — This is totally wrong. Golden rice II provides enough vitamin in one bowl to do good. You are spreading Greenpeace misinformation without realising it.

    See
    Golden Rice is an effective source of vitamin A
    Guangwen Tang, Jian Qin, Gregory G Dolnikowski, Robert M Russell, and Michael A Grusak
    Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1–8.
    First published ahead of print April 15, 2009 as doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2008.27119.

    DIRECT QUOTE FROM DISCUSSION
    Golden Rice is a bioengineered crop with yellow-colored endosperm that contains b-carotene provitamin A). To produce Golden Rice, 2 enzymes are introduced into the endosperm[phytoene synthase (psy) and phytoene desaturase (crtl)] via an endosperm-specific glutelin (Gtl) promoter (15), to establish a
    b-carotene biosynthetic pathway in the rice grains. This is the first study on the vitamin A value of Golden Rice in humans, and our analysis showed a very efficient bioconversion of b-carotene to vitamin A (Table 3). Using a conversion factor in which 3.8 microg Golden Rice b-carotene provides 1 microg retinol, along with the level of Golden Rice b-carotene being 20–30 microg/g uncooked rice, we project that 100 g uncooked rice provides 500–800 microg retinol. This represents 80–100% of the estimated average requirement (EAR) for men and women and 55–70% of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA, derived from the EAR) for men and women, as set by the US National Academy of Science (24). In the United States, the EAR and RDA for vitamin A were set based on the amount needed to provide 4 mo of vitamin A storage in the body. For children, additional study of Golden Rice b-carotene conversion to retinol is needed.
    However, we speculate that 50 g uncooked Golden Rice, which is a reasonable serving size for children aged 4–8 y in rice eating regions, who eat ’130–200 g rice/d (25), would be able to provide 90% of vitamin A EAR (275 microg retinol/d) or 60% of the RDA (400 microg retinol/d) (24)…

    …The food matrix plays an important role in determining the bioavailability of vitamin A from provitamin A carotenoids in a particular food. Rice has a simple and easily digestible food matrix, which allows for a high bioavailability and bioconversion of b-carotene to vitamin A. Similarly, spirulina, with its simple food matrix, has also shown a highly efficient conversion factor for b-carotene to vitamin A of 4.5 to 1 by weight in humans (27). To combat vitamin A deficiency, consumption of locally available vegetables, fruit, and other plant foods, such as algae products, should be encouraged. Each of these plant foods can contribute to vitamin A nutrition, although the conversion of the provitamin A carotenoids within them may not be equivalent.
    Conversion factors for provitamin A carotenoids from various plants have been reported as 12 to 1 for fruit (14, 28), 13 to 1 for sweet potato (15), 15 to 1 for carrots (16), and 10 to 1 (15), 21 to 1 (16), 26 to 1 (14), 27 to 1 (13), and 28 to 1 (28) for green leafy vegetables. Thus comparatively speaking, Golden Rice has a very favorable conversion ratio.

    END OF QUOTE

    @SYL My advice to you would be, to look at the state of nature and to see if our advancements have truly brought us what we were looking for.

    — We yes, I look very hard at this issue, and (as you can see from the quote above) have found many facts that you are unaware of. Note that Greenpeace do not acknowledge their misinformation on this topic which has fooled you it seems.

  37. David Tribe says:

    While we are discussion Greenpeace misinformation, here is another example just in:

    http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-01-scientists-refute-greenpeace-genetically-corn.html

    An article in the forthcoming issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management (JIPM) refutes claims by Greenpeace Germany that the western bean cutworm (WBC), Striacosta albicosta (Smith), is “a new plant pest” that was “caused by genetically engineered corn.” The Greenpeace Germany report, which was written by author Richard Then of Testbiotech, offers a “surprisingly simplistic conclusion” regarding the spread of western bean cutworm over the last decade, according to the JIPM authors.

  38. Syl says:

    Genetic modification/engineering is a potentially dangerous technology
    One of the main problems with genetic engineering is that the process of inserting genes into the DNA of a food plant is random; scientists have no idea where the genes go. This can disrupt the functioning of other genes and create novel proteins that have never been in the food supply and could create toxins and allergens in foods.

    Genetic modification is a radical technology
    Supporters of genetic modification say that the technology is simply an extension of traditional plant breeding. The reality is that genetic engineering is radically different. Traditional plant breeders work with plants of the same or related species to create new plant varieties. Genetic engineers break down nature’s genetic barriers by allowing transfers of genes from bacteria, viruses, and even animals—with unforeseen consequences.

    Genetic modification is based on an obsolete scientific theory
    Genetic modification is based on a theory called the Central Dogma, which asserts that one gene will express one protein. However, scientists working with the United States National Human Genome Research Institute discovered that this wasn’t true, that genes operate in a complex network in ways that are not fully understood. This finding undermines the entire basis for genetic engineering.

    What genetically modified crops are currently grown?
    The majority of corn, soybeans, cotton, canola, sugar beets grown in the United States are GM. Fifty percent of papaya grown in Hawaii is GM. Small amounts of yellow “crook neck” and zucchini squash are also GM.

    As many as 15% of cows in the US are injected with a genetically modified bovine growth hormone called rBGH (rBST). rBGH is banned in many countries due to negative health impacts on cows.

    Rats born to mothers fed GM soy (bottom) were smaller and had higher mortality than control group rats.

    Below are several documented findings showing health dangers from GM foods.

    Tryptophan tragedy
    A genetically engineered form of an L-tryptophan food supplement was responsible for the deaths of thirty-seven people and disabling of several thousand more in 1989.

    GM potatoes harm rats
    In the late 1990s, Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D., a molecular biologist, conducted a study on genetically modified potatoes for the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland. Pusztai conducted feeding experiments on rats and found that the potatoes damaged the animals’ gut, other organs, and immune systems.

    GM corn causes liver and kidney damage in rats
    A study conducted by French scientists and published in Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology found symptoms of poisoning and liver and kidney damage in rats fed a GM corn.

    GM soy increased mortality in rats, reduced fertility in hamsters
    A 2006 study conducted by Irina Ermikova of the Russian National Academy of Sciences found that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. In another Russian study scientists found that hamsters fed GM soy had lost their ability to reproduce by the third generation. The hamster pups also suffered slower growth and high mortality

    GM corn harms aquatic insects
    A 2007 published study by Indiana University environmental science professor found that GM corn produced increased mortality and reduced growth in caddisflies, aquatic insects that are a food resource for higher organisms like fish and amphibians.

    GM corn threatens native corn in Mexico
    In a 2001 paper published in Nature magazine, University of California at Berkeley researchers Ignacio Chapela and David Quist described how genes from GM corn contaminated native corn varieties in Oaxaca, Mexico. The finding was particularly disturbing because contamination was found thousands of miles from plantings of GM corn and because it threatened the center of biological diversity for corn

    GM soy creating “superweeds”
    The widespread use of glyphosate herbicide used with herbicide tolerant GM corn, soybeans, canola, and cotton has led to the creation of herbicide resistant weeds infesting millions of acres of farmland throughout the United States.

    GM crops increase pesticide use
    Genetically modified crops increased the use of herbicides by 383 million pounds in the United States from 1996 to 2008, according to a report by the Organic Center.

  39. Syl says:

    Unintended harm to other organisms Last year a laboratory study was published in Nature21 showing that pollen from B.t. corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars consume milkweed plants, not corn, but the fear is that if pollen from B.t. corn is blown by the wind onto milkweed plants in neighboring fields, the caterpillars could eat the pollen and perish. Although the Nature study was not conducted under natural field conditions, the results seemed to support this viewpoint. Unfortunately, B.t. toxins kill many species of insect larvae indiscriminately; it is not possible to design a B.t. toxin that would only kill crop-damaging pests and remain harmless to all other insects. This study is being reexamined by the USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other non-government research groups, and preliminary data from new studies suggests that the original study may have been flawed22, 23. This topic is the subject of acrimonious debate, and both sides of the argument are defending their data vigorously. Currently, there is no agreement about the results of these studies, and the potential risk of harm to non-target organisms will need to be evaluated further.

    Reduced effectiveness of pesticides Just as some populations of mosquitoes developed resistance to the now-banned pesticide DDT, many people are concerned that insects will become resistant to B.t. or other crops that have been genetically-modified to produce their own pesticides.

    Gene transfer to non-target species Another concern is that crop plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed, resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes from the crops into the weeds. These “superweeds” would then be herbicide tolerant as well. Other introduced genes may cross over into non-modified crops planted next to GM crops. The possibility of interbreeding is shown by the defense of farmers against lawsuits filed by Monsanto. The company has filed patent infringement lawsuits against farmers who may have harvested GM crops. Monsanto claims that the farmers obtained Monsanto-licensed GM seeds from an unknown source and did not pay royalties to Monsanto. The farmers claim that their unmodified crops were cross-pollinated from someone else’s GM crops planted a field or two away. More investigation is needed to resolve this issue.

    There are several possible solutions to the three problems mentioned above. Genes are exchanged between plants via pollen. Two ways to ensure that non-target species will not receive introduced genes from GM plants are to create GM plants that are male sterile (do not produce pollen) or to modify the GM plant so that the pollen does not contain the introduced gene24, 25, 26. Cross-pollination would not occur, and if harmless insects such as monarch caterpillars were to eat pollen from GM plants, the caterpillars would survive.

    Another possible solution is to create buffer zones around fields of GM crops27, 28, 29. For example, non-GM corn would be planted to surround a field of B.t. GM corn, and the non-GM corn would not be harvested. Beneficial or harmless insects would have a refuge in the non-GM corn, and insect pests could be allowed to destroy the non-GM corn and would not develop resistance to B.t. pesticides. Gene transfer to weeds and other crops would not occur because the wind-blown pollen would not travel beyond the buffer zone. Estimates of the necessary width of buffer zones range from 6 meters to 30 meters or more30. This planting method may not be feasible if too much acreage is required for the buffer zones.

    Human health risks

    Allergenicity Many children in the US and Europe have developed life-threatening allergies to peanuts and other foods. There is a possibility that introducing a gene into a plant may create a new allergen or cause an allergic reaction in susceptible individuals. A proposal to incorporate a gene from Brazil nuts into soybeans was abandoned because of the fear of causing unexpected allergic reactions31. Extensive testing of GM foods may be required to avoid the possibility of harm to consumers with food allergies. Labeling of GM foods and food products will acquire new importance, which I shall discuss later.

    Unknown effects on human health There is a growing concern that introducing foreign genes into food plants may have an unexpected and negative impact on human health. A recent article published in Lancet examined the effects of GM potatoes on the digestive tract in rats32, 33. This study claimed that there were appreciable differences in the intestines of rats fed GM potatoes and rats fed unmodified potatoes. Yet critics say that this paper, like the monarch butterfly data, is flawed and does not hold up to scientific scrutiny34. Moreover, the gene introduced into the potatoes was a snowdrop flower lectin, a substance known to be toxic to mammals. The scientists who created this variety of potato chose to use the lectin gene simply to test the methodology, and these potatoes were never intended for human or animal consumption.

    On the whole, with the exception of possible allergenicity, scientists believe that GM foods do not present a risk to human health.

    Economic concerns

    Bringing a GM food to market is a lengthy and costly process, and of course agri-biotech companies wish to ensure a profitable return on their investment. Many new plant genetic engineering technologies and GM plants have been patented, and patent infringement is a big concern of agribusiness. Yet consumer advocates are worried that patenting these new plant varieties will raise the price of seeds so high that small farmers and third world countries will not be able to afford seeds for GM crops, thus widening the gap between the wealthy and the poor. It is hoped that in a humanitarian gesture, more companies and non-profits will follow the lead of the Rockefeller Foundation and offer their products at reduced cost to impoverished nations.

    Patent enforcement may also be difficult, as the contention of the farmers that they involuntarily grew Monsanto-engineered strains when their crops were cross-pollinated shows. One way to combat possible patent infringement is to introduce a “suicide gene” into GM plants. These plants would be viable for only one growing season and would produce sterile seeds that do not germinate. Farmers would need to buy a fresh supply of seeds each year. However, this would be financially disastrous for farmers in third world countries who cannot afford to buy seed each year and traditionally set aside a portion of their harvest to plant in the next growing season. In an open letter to the public, Monsanto has pledged to abandon all research using this suicide gene technology35.

    • David Tribe says:

      This is comment by Syl contains large amounts of text cut and pasted from a petition on the net (link below). The references are missing.
      This is typical of the shoddy lack of scholarship in anti-GM nonsence. The science is wrong too, but that’s a longer story.

      Why don’t you say where you reproduce other peoples stuff, and give real evidence Syl?

      http://www.change.org/petitions/say-no-to-genetically-modified-foods-2

      QUOTE from this link:
      Unintended harm to other organisms Last year a laboratory study was published in Nature21 showing that pollen from B.t. corn caused high mortality rates in monarch butterfly caterpillars. Monarch caterpillars consume milkweed plants, not corn, but the fear is that if pollen from B.t. corn is blown by the wind onto milkweed plants in neighboring fields, the caterpillars could eat the pollen and perish. Although the Nature study was not conducted under natural field conditions, the results seemed to support this viewpoint. Unfortunately, B.t. toxins kill many species of insect larvae indiscriminately; it is not possible to design a B.t. toxin that would only kill crop-damaging pests and remain harmless to all other insects. This study is being reexamined by the USDA, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other non-government research groups, and preliminary data from new studies suggests that the original study may have been flawed22, 23. This topic is the subject of acrimonious debate, and both sides of the argument are defending their data vigorously. Currently, there is no agreement about the results of these studies, and the potential risk of harm to non-target organisms will need to be evaluated further.

      Reduced effectiveness of pesticides Just as some populations of mosquitoes developed resistance to the now-banned pesticide DDT, many people are concerned that insects will become resistant to B.t. or other crops that have been genetically-modified to produce their own pesticides.

      Gene transfer to non-target species Another concern is that crop plants engineered for herbicide tolerance and weeds will cross-breed, resulting in the transfer of the herbicide resistance genes from the crops into the weeds. These “superweeds” would then be herbicide tolerant as well. Other introduced genes may cross over into non-modified crops planted next to GM crops. The possibility of interbreeding is shown by the defense of farmers against lawsuits filed by Monsanto. The company has filed patent infringement lawsuits against farmers who may have harvested GM crops. Monsanto claims that the farmers obtained Monsanto-licensed GM seeds from an unknown source and did not pay royalties to Monsanto. The farmers claim that their unmodified crops were cross-pollinated from someone else’s GM crops planted a field or two away. More investigation is needed to resolve this issue.

    • Syl, Please see our comment policy, which indicates that cutting and pasting large amounts of text is not allowed, for several reasons. For one thing, as David mentions above, you are not indicating what is your own writing and what is written by someone else (also known as plagiarism), and it defeats the purpose of the discussion – comments are meant to be someone’s own words. Feel free to refer to the writings of others with links, and quote them too, but don’t just cut and paste their whole article into the comments.
      It also seems that you are bringing the discussion of the wheat article to other issues. If you would like to discuss general issues, you can register for the blog at the top right, and start your own discussion in the Forum.

  40. Syl says:

    World Health Organization (WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system);

    Gene transfer. Gene transfer from GM foods to cells of the body or to bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract would cause concern if the transferred genetic material adversely affects human health. This would be particularly relevant if antibiotic resistance genes, used in creating GMOs, were to be transferred. Although the probability of transfer is low, the use of technology without antibiotic resistance genes has been encouraged by a recent FAO/WHO expert panel.

    Outcrossing. The movement of genes from GM plants into conventional crops or related species in the wild (referred to as “outcrossing”), as well as the mixing of crops derived from conventional seeds with those grown using GM crops, may have an indirect effect on food safety and food security. This risk is real, as was shown when traces of a maize type which was only approved for feed use appeared in maize products for human consumption in the United States of America. Several countries have adopted strategies to reduce mixing, including a clear separation of the fields within which GM crops and conventional crops are grown.

    Feasibility and methods for post-marketing monitoring of GM food products, for the continued surveillance of the safety of GM food products, are under discussion.

    Environmental risk assessments cover both the GMO concerned and the potential receiving environment. The assessment process includes evaluation of the characteristics of the GMO and its effect and stability in the environment, combined with ecological characteristics of the environment in which the introduction will take place. The assessment also includes unintended effects which could result from the insertion of the new gene.

    Issues of concern include: the capability of the GMO to escape and potentially introduce the engineered genes into wild populations; the persistence of the gene after the GMO has been harvested; the susceptibility of non-target organisms (e.g. insects which are not pests) to the gene product; the stability of the gene; the reduction in the spectrum of other plants including loss of biodiversity; and increased use of chemicals in agriculture. The environmental safety aspects of GM crops vary considerably according to local conditions.

    Current investigations focus on: the potentially detrimental effect on beneficial insects or a faster induction of resistant insects; the potential generation of new plant pathogens; the potential detrimental consequences for plant biodiversity and wildlife, and a decreased use of the important practice of crop rotation in certain local situations; and the movement of herbicide resistance genes to other plants.

    Are GM foods safe?

    Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.

  41. Syl says:

    Quote
    The Independent

    Exposed: the great GM crops myth
    Major new study shows that modified soya produces 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent

    Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

    The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields……

    ….Last week the biggest study of its kind ever conducted – the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development – concluded that GM was not the answer to world hunger.

    Professor Bob Watson, the director of the study and chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when asked if GM could solve world hunger, said: “The simple answer is no.”

    Full article:
    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/green-living/exposed-the-great-gm-crops-myth-812179.html

  42. Syl says:

    Hi Karl, I don’t know what the other issues in the discussion could be as it is impossible to discuss GM wheat without discussing GM crops in general. The proposed introduction of GM wheat should be based upon the success or lack thereof of other GM crops and the health implications linked to them. Just like one can not look at GE as just moving a gene from one organism to another. You have to look at our eco-system holistically and realise the butterfly effect GE has in regards to the disruption of the balance in nature. It is all good and well fiddling with genes in a lab but when it comes to applying it in nature and for human consumption there should be a very high sense of responsibility. What if all the major scientists that oppose GMO are actually right? We can not just turn back the clock and say ‘oh well, better luck next time’. Irreparable damage would have been done. We could have created a monster as a result of herbicide resistance, unknown biological effects in the human body etc. As long as many trials and tests indicate that GM crops are not safe it would not be responsible to start introducing new ones. I’m writing a book on alternative healing therapies which touches on the subject of GM foods. I’m astonished about the fact that geneticists talk so lightly about the possible effects of genetic engineering. As if they all fully understand nature in all its facets and without considering the many consequences. I’m not trying to be degrading, I’m just a normal human being that should be entitled to its opinion as even though I have not studied GE for 20 years it certainly affects my life and my environment. This environment and this planet do not solely belong to a handful of scientists or bio technology companies. And although the efforts of many scientists in this field are maybe well meant and with the highest of intentions, they might also not be able to predict the outcome of GE. The damage might be a lot bigger than the perceived cure…

    They might find many reports that are in favour of GE, I can find hundreds that are against. This is to big a topic to not discuss from every angle and every detail. We unfortunately do not live on an island, unless we consider this planet to be one. But than we need to make sure we find another one to move to in case we find out that we have gone just a little bit to far with modifying nature….

    In Love and Health, Syl

    • Syl,

      It sounds like your comments aren’t related to this post. I really think you should start a discussion in the forum instead. You want to discuss general implications, rather than something specific to this post.

      With regard to a few in support, and hundreds against, I welcome you to dig up references and put them in the forum. We already have a list of hundreds of peer reviewed scientific studies here.

      With regard to your statements about consequences and the importance of not just leaving it up to a few scientists to make decisions, or consider possible effects – you are right. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a place where scientists and non-scientists of various stripes could discuss and has out these issues in a civil and productive manner? If you know of a better place than this site, let me know because I would like to hear about it. Until then, use the forum to start a focused discussion.

  43. Jonathan says:

    Syl. You are right that there are hundreds of reports that point out negative effects of GM and similarly hundreds that show no problem. What the intelligent reader has to do is critically assess those reports and decide where the balance of evidence lies.

    Part of the reason so many of the anti-GM arguments outlined in your posts above are ignored by the decision-makers is not because of any big conspiracy but rather that when critically assessed they amount to little more than scare-mongering founded on a preconceived ideology. Unfortunately you’ve listed too many to know where to start explaining that. Maybe you could pick a couple of topics from the concerns in your posts above and we could try and give our opinions as to why we think they are not as big a concern as they initially appear.

    Just a though.

    Jonathan

    PS As an aside I think a bit of time developing your skills in critical assessment of evidence may prove helpful in writing your book on alternative healing therapies. That subject area is minefield of letting ideologies cloud critical thinking

  44. Mark says:

    Read the Jeffrey Smith books: Seeds of Deception and “Genetic Roulette: Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods” for overwhelming evidence that GMOs are dangerous poisons. “Roundup-ready” crops have herbicide-resistant genes inserted into them to survive spraying with otherwise deadly doses of Roundup herbicide. GM corn is engineered to produce BT toxin insecticide which continues producing insecticide in your intestines. Small animals in labs die after eating them. GMO crop fields are devoid of birds and pollinators like bees and butterflies, and end up destroying other plant and crop varieties.

    • This is precisely why Jeffrey Smith is not a good introduction to GE crops.

      There is no evidence, overwhelming or otherwise, that indicates that GE crops could be described as dangerous poisons (to humans).
      Bt toxin IS NOT produced in your intestines as a result of eating Bt corn. Small animals in labs have no greater chance of dying while eating GE foods than they do their non-GE counterparts. GE crop fields are not devoid of pollinators, butterflies, or birds, and crop varieties are not destroyed by GE crops. The only thing that was true was the sentence about herbicide tolerance – with the caveat that the roundup is deadly to the plants that do not have resistance to it.

    • the bug guy says:

      Even if Bt toxins were produced in the human gut, it wouldn’t do anything because they require an alkaline pH to be activated and the human stomach as a very acidic pH. In small mammals, the LD50 of the various Bt toxins are in the > 15,000 mg/kg range.

      Bt products are good for pollinators (part of why they are popular with organic growers) because they are fairly specific to a narrow range of target insects (ie, larval lepidoptera).

    • Steve Savage says:

      Mark,
      I would add that an extensive review of long-term feeding studies confirms the safety of GM crops. There were done with many different species and all in independent labs. The review was by European scientists with no connection to the companies involved.

      http://appliedmythology.blogspot.com/2011/12/24-long-term-feeding-studies-reviewed.html

  45. It should also be mentioned that GM crops reduce the amount of insecticides farmers need to spray on crops.

    Ironically, there’s also plenty of evidence that organic pesticides hit beneficial insects harder than many conventional pesticides.

    I haven’t read Smith’s work…but I’ve read enough scientific literature to know the claims above are unequivocally false.

  46. Richo says:

    If you think the csiro will control this new GMO wheat think again, Monsanto will buy the patent and this is what will happen. This shit has to stop, we are just creating more problems, and like we need another problem to deal with. Watch this documentary to see what can happen.

  47. David Tribe says:

    Thanks for the link. Percy Schmeisser eh. Look forward to looking through the video. Hope its more honest than he is in court evidence. The music track is greAT

  48. Dex says:

    Consider a program that grows, tests and grades rice against an idealized DNA sequence – the one that matches the GMO in question. Living organisms are always changing slightly. If only the seeds that closest match the idealized sequence are replanted each generation, eventually the product will match what could have been made originally by GMO, and yet it is not a GMO product.

    My only point is that we could get there the fast way, or the slow way. The slow way might be safer as we see problems coming up with use. But then again, it might get in the way of corporate PROFITS. Oh noes.

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