Science Is Laughing At Us

Ok readers.  It is time to come clean about something that is deeply troubling to me.  I have read.  I have learned.  I have talked to a real scientist.  I have even tried to get past the abstract and decipher scientific jargon in a report (epic fail).  I have pondered. I have soul searched.  I have changed.

Here it is:  science is laughing at us.

I put the statement in bold and used it as a title for this post because I want it to be seen and known.  Science sees us as a joke.  The “us” I am referring to are the folks behind the anti-GMO movement.  The movement is gaining momentum in the US right now and I have been solidly in the camp of banner waving followers but my views are starting to moderate because of what I am learning.

Let me be clear about one thing.  By science, I do not mean the biotech industry or any industry.  I do not mean Monsanto, DuPont, Dow or any of those huge corporations.  I mean pure science for the purpose of science.  The kind that is studied and practiced at  institutions of higher learning where people get doctorates and do cutting edge research.  Of course, industry may apply the research but what I’m getting at is that the science I’m talking about does not have a monetary agenda.  It is not biased.  If it were biased, it could not be science.

There is a great divide going on, between science and – let’s call it non-science.  Oh sure, there has always been contention in this arena but today, this contention affects whole populations and the livelihood of individuals.  It affects food, land and water.  It affects politics, policies and very important decisions.  Scientists are laughing at us – but they’re also crying because movements like this wield a lot of power and well meaning folks can, unbeknownst, do more harm than good.

Now I’ll get specific and to the point of this post.   Scientific evidence, the real kind, the kind that is peer-reviewed and published in respectable journals does NOT show harm from eating genetically modified food.  Let me repeat:  SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE DOES NOT SHOW HARM FROM EATING GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD. Science tells us that the benefits outweigh the risks.

I can’t put it any simpler than that.  I am not saying that there are not problems with the technology.  There are many, as with any technology, and no one says it is perfect in its present state but the bottom line is, the genetic engineering of crops and eating food from those crops is not, in and of itself, unsafe, and we can push against it all we want but I promise you this – it is not going anywhere.  Try to stop progress!

With this post, I begin a new series on Sleuth4Health.  It will look at a whole other side of genetic engineering.  I will back up the strong claims I made in the paragraphs above.  I will provide evidence, real evidence, and will post conversations with a scientist, one who works directly with transgenics, is not a Monsanto employee and who cares about the earth and the future of mankind.  I will post other information gleaned from various media and whatever else I can find.  I will expose the problems with transgenics as well, but they will be based on evidence – not just someones’s ideas.  I will learn right along with you all.

Does all this mean that I’m going to rush to the store and buy boxes of processed, GMO laden food?  Certainly not!  I will still eat organic, whole foods as often as possible.  It is my choice to do that.  And no doubt, my visceral response to GMOs will take a lot longer to change than my intellectual one.  But I’m growing, learning and changing and that is always a good thing.

Why am I doing this?  Have I gone over to the dark side?  Well, I’m doing this because I have to if I want to look at myself in the mirror.  I want to be a beacon of truth.  I can not, in good conscience, continue to spread propaganda.

The tipping point for my “conversion” came from the recent corn report that went viral worldwide.   The report was said to be independently conducted by a major food company at the request of a grower.  (Read more here at Originally circulated by the organization Moms Across America, the report claimed shocking differences between the nutritional value of conventional and GM corn and even claimed that GM corn was toxic.  I remember first seeing the report and, truth be known, questioned its validity, but in my eagerness to be a good soldier for the movement, I immediately published it on my blog.

Well guess what?   I got spanked by a scientist and you know, I deserved it.  The report is bogus, and apparently, this would be apparent to any undergrad who passed Chemistry 101.  I will post more about why this report is bogus in the near future but for now you can revisit my post:   (Nutrients in GMO Corn vs. non-GMO Corn), which I updated with correct information at a later date.

Bottom line:  This is not a movement that I can take pride in belonging to anymore.  I want to base my opinions on facts, not fallacies.  I named my blog Sleuth4Health.  Here is one definition for sleuth:  to carry out a search or investigation in the manner of a detective.  Well, that is what I am doing, will continue to do, and I don’t know where it will lead but I must follow the evidence, as any good inspector would do.

On the other hand, I’m still in full support of labeling – mandatory labeling, voluntary labeling, any kind of labeling (beyond what is currently available, which isn’t much).  What I’d really like is real education for the masses on this topic so we may all know what is true and what is not and make the appropriate choices for ourselves and for our families.

And meanwhile,  I am still very much committed to writing about and exposing real  toxins – whether in our food, environment, or elsewhere.  I will continue to post relevant information on that front.

I just don’t want to bark up the wrong tree.



144 responses to “Science Is Laughing At Us”

  1. I look forward to learning right along with you. If GM foods turn out to be 100% safe, I will be thrilled and relieved.
    But…I’ll stop bashing Monsanto the day they withdraw their pawns and their money from our politics! 😉 Even if they have the greatest product on earth, their lobbying and political maneuvers still stink to high heaven.

    • My dear fellow misbehaved beer drinker.. I don’t want to defend Monsanto in any way. They don’t want or need my help and I am not a fan of that company or their business practices. I only want to defend the truth about genetic engineering and food. Evidence tells the truth. GM is not 100% safe but there are so many real toxins coming at us that are far, far worse and no one is marching across America about them. What I keep hearing in science is that the benefits outweigh the risks. I will be covering some of the ways that transgenics can benefit crops, help people, REDUCE pesticides and inputs – and some of it is pretty exciting! Most important: I just can’t post the lies and misrepresentations that the anti-GMO movement is circulating. What I write about has to have integrity!

      Thanks for your comment. I do value it and appreciate you sticking with me! ~Julie

      • I think my initial beef with gmo’s started through my hatred of Monsanto. Somewhere along the way, I seem to have combined the science and the agra-giants into one “cause” and blurred it all together. “If Monsanto approves of it, it must be bad because Monsanto is evil.” It’s an easy trap to fall into in the heat of a noble cause, isn’t it?

        Ahh well…if we ever stop learning, we may as well stop living. I really, really am curious and will take a step back from “the movement” side of things and try to understand more about the science of it. Er well, I will after this weekend at any rate…tis probably best to not approach this with the mindset that no matter the question, beer is the answer! 😉

    • Amen MisBehaved Woman! I am all for Agriculture, I have a degree in it, but these huge companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, DuPont etc are just in it for the money and they are TERRIBLE to their employees (and the environment). HOWEVER, they have created some super cool things, and that is pretty awesome.

      • May I ask how these companies are terrible to their employees? I have worked as a scientist for several agricultural product companies, as have my husband and numerous friends from graduate school. These companies pay well and offer excellent benefits. The work can be interesting and challenging. The only downside in my opinion is the constant mergers and acquisitions, which inevitably lead to layoffs. But even then, the severance packages are usually extremely generous.

    • So why is Monsanto evil? They provide jobs for millions and products that consumers want. Does that make them evil? Are they any less of a political threat than most other large companies? I think if you do the digging that you should you will find that many of the claims some make about them are untrue. Embrace the science, not the hype.

      • How about suing farmers because the neighboring farm planted Monsanto patented seed that pollinated the first farmers crop. When the farmer saved his seed to plant the next year, he was unknowingly planting seeds that had Monsanto’s patented genes. There are many cases of this. That in my book is evil.

  2. Julee, Science is not laughing at you any more now – now it is smiling. To question assumptions and dig into the data and change one’s mind is a magnificent achievement. I co-run an independent group blog on GE, plants, ag and biology at which has a lot of good posts on the topic. We can also help answer questions that you have, and you can start discussions in the forum.
    Good luck continuing your sleuthing journey!

    • Karl – I will definitely visit your blog and I’m sure it has much to teach me. Thanks for telling me that science is smiling at me. I like that. This was difficult for me, but I know it was the right thing to do.

  3. Julie, I gobbled up this post. I’m at the same place as you, having come around from 14 years of GMO hating. In my case, I probably have been sighted shouting something about butterflies and even farmer suicides in India at protests stemming back to WTO Seattle. I guess this comment is just to say “yay!” But there’s a lot to do. I’ll be lurking and sharing to fb. I hope there’s an audience as eager as I am. Twitter: @adamantra

  4. Just thought I should point out. There are Scientists who have tried to speak out about the potential dangers of GMO’s, but they have been shut up. And also, the Monsanto protection bill that Obama passed protects GM seeds even if they do present to be harmful. They do not have to inform us, they can keep on planting. So even if they are not harmful right now,
    in the future if they do become harmful at some point, we will not know! I applaud you for doing research and studying both sides of the coin.

    • @nonGMOjournal, I’d love to know the names of the scientists that have data and are suppressed by Big Ag. Please send those forward. I’ll gladly bring this to the widest attention. Alternatively, I’ll go to publish their data and put my name on it, then when they try to stop me I won’t. It will be a huge story.

      Put me in contact with the wronged parties here. It would be a massive scientific story, the science community would be furious. No company ever has the right to bully researchers into filtering data and conclusions. I’d love to be the one to fix that if it was happening.

      Just for the record, I made the same challenge to a person about a “silenced” global warming study and a “suppressed” vaccine harm study. I didn’t get any specifics or data. But let’s try for GMOs.

      There is no “Monsanto Protection Act”. There was a rider that made the USDA determine if there was a evidence-based reason to stop using a GM crop. It protects farmers and consumers against activist claims and/or activist judges. That’s a good thing. We want scientists making decisions, not activists or judges with no scientific background.

      See if you can get me specifics on those “shut up”. I’d love to explore that.

    • @nonGMOJournal. I know it seems like I’ve gone over to the dark side. I really haven’t. In some ways, I feel like I have actually seen the light. I still don’t trust Monsanto, with or without a protection act. I guess you can say I’m no longer a fan of big business in America in general (used to be though). What I’m trying to do here is follow evidence that 100s if not 1000s of experts know about, study, deal with every day. There is a benevolent side to GMOs and that is where my blog is heading, at least for now. I hope you’ll stick with me. This doesn’t mean I’m filling my frig with GMO foods. I’m not. I’m filling my frig with organic veggies and whole foods as much as possible. I’m just after the truth, the facts. I am a sleuth, first and foremost.

      • I will still follow you! I am interested in what you find out. I avoid GMO’s in our home because that is what I feel is best for our family. I know it is not for everyone, and that is fine. We have our reasons, my sons health at the top of the list.

  5. Julie, this is a great post and you deserve several medals for showing willingness to change your views when resented with new evidence- this is a rare and beautiful thing. Personally I cant see why Monsanto should be mistrusted or vilified any more than say Apple of Microsoft; but the question I would have is, why does the anti-GMO lobby need to use a constant stream of lies and misinformation to achieve their aims and rely on scare-mongering about health and safety if they have real, genuine and verifiable reasons for opposing Monsanto or the “GMO industry” ?

    • I think the answer to your question is this: the anti-GMO movement is long on rhetoric and short on information. What do you do when you want to get people’s attention? SENSATIONALIZE! As for mistrusting Monsanto, I still do. They have put forth some nasty chemicals into our world. Sitting down to play with my ipad is not going to kill me, at least I don’t think so. It’s too big of a stretch for me, right now, to defend a chemical turned ag company that rakes in billions. That’s just not going to happen! For the record, I don’t trust big pharma, big oil, big ANYTHING anymore. I think corporate greed has become a very big problem in our country. I think profits rule the day. I ponder this topic of big business a lot 🙂 Thanks for your comment.

  6. @nonGMOJournal. Exactly! We have choice in America and that is a beautiful thing. I would love to know if getting off GMOs has improved the health of your son. The thing is about the most heavily GMO laden foods… they’re all just bad for us anyway… highly processed, full of additives and fillers and just plain junk. No one should be eating that food! In my opinion, that is where our corporate world has gone terribly wrong.

  7. Julie,

    Welcome aboard! I say that as a long time vegan activist who was also rabidly against GMO. I think more than laughing, scientists are weeping. The scientists I’ve personally connected with are real people who genuinely care about making a positive change for this world. They see the great potential of the technology and the arduous work it will take to bring that finally to fruition. When their work is denigrated and mischaracterized I find it hard to think that would be humorous. I get what you’re saying though, the antiGMO movement is a joke and people like us are the punchline. No longer for me and I’m glad no longer for you. No longer for many others and more to come!

    • Yes weeping. I agree. I did include something to that effect in my post: “Scientists are laughing at us – but they’re also crying because movements like this wield a lot of power and well meaning folks can, unbeknownst, do more harm than good.” You are SO right about the denigration and mischaracterization going on with transgenics. As I’ve learned, it is sad and could very well be holding the planet back.

  8. “that is where our corporate world has gone terribly wrong.”- so maybe nothing to do with GMOs at all then?
    ” Sitting down to play with my ipad is not going to kill me, at least I don’t think so. ” So you trust what the corporate giants say about their products then? Remember, there have been health scares about microwaves and mobile phones( and perhaps there is indeed reason to be cautious about such things eg with young children if they hold a phone too close to their heads for long periods)-
    but your post suggests that Monsanto’s GMOs are not going to kill you either! So why focus on them and not the much bigger (=more greedy?) computer giants?
    ” They have put forth some nasty chemicals into our world.” isnt that just more sensationalizing? Monsanto didnt make Agent Orange (if that is what you are referring to), they just made one product that was utilized in its manufacture. Many big steel companies also made weapons parts of course. So what? What is the real reason behind the demonization of Monsanto?
    The question remains: if a movement has to sensationalize to gain attention, what are the real reasons for the campaign? It is very hard to find anything at all from anti-GMO sites that is actually true.
    Many on the anti-GMO side dont trust “Big Science”; personally I dont trust “Big Organic” or “Big Green” (FoE, Greenpeace) who seem increasingly to have greedy vested interests at heart.
    Seems to me, the bigger, more successful companies- Apple, Monsanto- have become so because they produce something that is useful and that works. If there was a real health scare about their products they would not last long at all.

    • Also talking about DDT and PCBs. Pretty ‘sensational’ chemicals. Skepteco, you’re talking to me as if I’m still an anti-GMO person. I believe I’ve made it clear that I have abandoned that path. Big companies and their motivations bother me right now because, ok, here’s one example: big food is producing a lot of products that are making people fat and sick. Sugar laden juices and drinks contributing to the rise in type II diabetes. Why? For the good of people? Convenience stores are serving buckets of pepsi to just one person. Is this for the good of people? I could never, would never, in good conscience, turn out a product that I knew was not good for people. Just couldn’t do it.

    • The ‘scares’ about mobile phones are just that – scare stories. There is NO reality in them, *despite* what the WHO have said in their truly idiotic report. Radio waves don’t cause cancer. And it’s radio waves that are things coming out of your mobile phone. Only ionising radiation can cause cancer, i.e. radiation with enough energy to cause ionisation of atoms in the body – that’s the mechanism that causes mutations. The ultraviolet light in sunlight is weakly ionising, so it can give you skin cancer if you have enough of it. The energy in mobile phone radio waves is waaaaaay lower than that.

      Short version: don’t worry about mobile phone radio waves, it’s sunbeds and sunburn you should worry about.

  9. No, I was just responding to what you said and exploring the issue of who we trust and why; DDT and PCBs have also been demonized in pretty much the same ways that GMOs are now. Yes, DDT was being over-used in ag perhaps, but also played an important role at the time: we need effective pesticides. But because it was demonized it became hard to get even for benign malaria control, leading to much worse problems for those countries – the US remember had used DDT to control malaria as well (other methods were also important of course) bringing vast benefits in public health. That’s why I dont trust Big Green- they are more than happy to demonize and sensationalize regardless of how much harm they do. Things are rarely black and white- all technologies have a downside but the benefits often outweigh them, such is the path of progress.

    • And that is exactly where my blog is heading: progress. I think we can agree on that. I’m not going to publicly bash any companies. I’m going to talk about the benevolent side of GMOs. Absolutely HUGE step for someone like me.

  10. @KevinFolta I will look for those names for you and sources. Another thought, why do other countries such as Europe and Canada ban the use GMO’s in their foods?

    • Several countries have labeling laws and more still have banned GM foods. The number is often distorted, and I’ve never actually read the same figure twice. The reason for the different and ever escalating tally is probably because anti GMO activists will count labeling as a ban or count legislative districts or cities. Most of these countries have powerful consumer lobbies. Indeed, misinformation about GMO food is so pervasive that simply polling an ignorant electorate would yield some form of anti-GMO legislation. Really, there’s no place for banning GM foods unless you’re trying to cater to dogma and fear.

      • @Julie. Nice name! Anyway, that was nonGMOjournal who said that. I know that Canada is pretty much like US when it comes to GMOs.

  11. People in science care a lot about food – and their families. I am in science media, not science, but I grew up on a farm and, as I have often said, if I had my way nothing my family eats would be grown, killed, cleaned or processed by any hands but mine. But I live in the real world so I let that go.

    That said, I have far more confidence in GMOs, where researchers precise modifications that can’t be expressed in humans, are done than I do in nature, where random cosmic rays can mutate anything – and they are shown to have substantial equivalence. And the list of synthetic ingredients in organic food, not to mention the chemicals (natural or not) is, to me, far scarier than a scientific alternative. One benefit I have over people who are just concerned citizens is I know a lot of scientists and, corporate or government-funded, they are like anyone else – for the most part they care about people and the planet and they went into science to help society. When you have a consensus the ‘Myth of the Oppressed Underdog’, that damaging knowledge might be blocked by a Monsanto or a Dow, gets a lot less likely.

    Instead, the fringe people are unethical types manipulating the public like Seralini or the computer scientist and ‘independent consultant’ who recently declared that glyphosate causes everything and paid for an article to be published saying so…but showed no data at all.

    Good luck with the new adventure. Denial and promoting fear and doubt is easy but biology itself is hard. And easy roads are not always the best ones.

    I had Monsanto thank me one time for defending them and I told them to shove it – my point being I am not on Team Monsanto, I am on Team Science. Welcome to that team!

  12. Julee, thanks for this post. This is exactly what science is about. Being able to turn on a dime based on what the evidence is telling us.

    • You’ve missed the point there. Scientists tend not to make strong statements *until* they have evidence. It’s uninformed people that are happy to draw the wrong conclusions from limited or non-existent evidence. Scientists don’t ‘turn on a dime’ – they ‘reserve judgement’.

  13. Julee, I applaud your willingness to challenge your beliefs and assumptions! Maybe you’ll get to meet some of us scientists in the corporate world as well and that will lead you to challenge even more beliefs and the caricatures so often portrayed in the media. Looking forward to following you!

  14. Thank you, Julee. As a progressive and non-scientist who blogs about this issue, I’m glad to see you have kept an open mind. The one thing I learned from the get go if you ask a scientist they will answer you. It’s a tough thing to have your worldview challenged, but what its all about is getting the facts and evidence, even if the facts and evidence contradict what you believe.

    Keep asking questions. You’ll keep getting them answered.

    • Bernie, yes, a scientist will answer. No need to sensationalize. Just the facts, please. Funny how the more real data there is, the less need there is for propaganda.

  15. I must say, that this is truly a refreshing post in the blogworld today. I wish that more people, especially the leaders in our own State of Hawaii would wake up to what you have learned. Our own community leaders here continue to tout the propaganda to attempt to shut down the GM industry here and it is sad that they must bow down to the rhetoric that lacks any scientific basis. I shake my head when I see this happening. I am happy that someone has the courage to really look at it all and understand it. Aloha for your courage!

  16. I’m anxious to see your follow up posts. I’m a farmer who makes use of biotechnology on my farm. I applaud your effort to find out more about these issues. My social media exploits have taught me that it takes quite a lot of mental effort for someone like yourself to get past the one liners and internet memes with “scary” pictures and actually put the time in to listen to the scientists behind this technology and the farmers who put it to use in the field. Keep it up!

  17. Ok, I’ll admit. I have been laughing. And I’ve seen farmers laughing too. In fact, on Kevin’s post on that corn table–I was saying that the fictitious claims are probably easier to swat away. What I said there was:

    …they are so gullible and it’s so easy to debunk that they are never going to get taken seriously by anyone who spends even more than a second looking into the claims.


    Thanks for taking another look.

    But part of me is still glad that the anti-GMO folks align with Alex Jones, David Icke, and a whole network of crackpots. I think that will definitely marginalize them when thoughtful people begin to investigate the facts.

    • Science should be glad that I am a prideful woman. I don’t like to look like a fool! And that’s what I increasingly saw myself as the more I learned. When I first started on this journey, I wanted to present a balanced approach but I went far afield of that and I do apologize to science. I am trying to make up for that now 🙂

  18. Great article. I agree, there hasn’t been any evidence GMO is bad for you. It’s practically in everything we eat and we’ve been eating it for years.

  19. I remember that Moms across America report. It actually stated corn’s (both GM and non-GM) carbon content was just a few PPM. Low carbon corn, LOL ! Did she have Jimmy Carter help her with that one? (The reference is showing my age!)

  20. I still have a hard time believing what “science” has to say about GM food when it comes from universities. Big Ag throws a lot of money at these schools and wants them to study certain things and not study certain things. Those that resist or publish or try to publish data that is not favorable to Big Ag are swiftly “taken care of”. So sources that we tend to deem as credible are really not when there further digging. I actually trust information from other countries more than the United States because of the power these giant companies have over education and politics.

    • Newtoveggies: I am putting a link here to a website called The reason I’m putting this here is because if you go to the site you will see that it is NON PROFIT. They ask for donations exactly the way Organic Consumers Association, or Jeffrey Smith ask for donations. They are posting good science because they love it and live it. It is an EXCELLENT site by the way, with many contributors.

    • What on earth is ‘Big Ag’? Is it like ‘Big Pharma’? Whilst there are occasional conspiracies, you shouldn’t think the world is full of them. There are NO swivel-eyed lizards secretly in charge of everything, planning to kill us all with dodgy GM corn or fake medicines. To think like that is just insane.

      ‘Power… over education’? Seriously? You actually think that?

  21. @newtoveggies – I used to think that too but I now know that it just isn’t true. Any one of the scientists who published comments here could and likely will tell you that. You know it’s sad really, that the work they do is so ill-perceived. Did they spend 4 years of undergrad and then at least 4 more years of grad (probably more), and all the hard work and resources it takes to complete that level of education… just to be shills for Big Ag? It doesn’t even make sense and it is insulting to them to say that. And that’s just one of the many reasons they laugh (and also cry) at the anti-GMO movement. Another thing: university scientists have to go after funding. It’s not just handed to them.

    I hope you’ll at least consider what I’ve said here. Thanks for your comment.

  22. Thank you for your opinion. Someone doesn’t have the right to make changes to seeds or produce GMO products and force me to use/purchase. It’s your opinion vs mine. You want GMO, I don’t and I have rights.

    • @KTravis I’m not trying to tell anyone what to eat or choose, just telling my story. There has been a profound shift in my way of thinking. I’m interested to know all the good GMOs can achieve. IMHO, we don’t hear enough about that. AND I’m not going to post third-rate reports and just plain lies about the technology anymore. I can do better than that. I am a sleuth, a detective, an investigator. For the record, I eat organic, whole foods as much as possible. The only processed foods I eat are organic tortilla chips and hummus and occasionally bread, if you call that a processed food.

  23. My way of living is farming. I will be very upset if it is actually proven the GM food crops are not safe. BUT that said, Monsanto’s recent push for legislation does not inspire confidence in the farming community or consumers. If it is safe then why do they need this legislation?

  24. There are many recent reports that link the fall of the honey bee to GMO crops. It is also clear that GMO crops are planted because they survive pesticides better
    . Issues with the actual GMO crops may be hard to establish BUT the effects on the bee (thanks to their high tolerance for lots of pesticides) and the bees long term survivability AND the effects pesticides are having in humans have BOTH been strongly studied and both with unfavorable results. So, if GMO crops encourage the use of pesticides is that not an indirect problem caused by our reliability on GMO crops? Should we not be concerned about the bees and pesticides that GMO crops rely on?

    I’d sincerely like to hear if you have any consideration on these topics as I feel they should both directly be presented as part of the GMO topic?

    • @curiousmom – It is my understanding that the strongest link to honeybee decline points right at the neonics, or neonicotinoids, which are NOT sprayed on Bt corn fields. Neonics are not GMOs in any, way, shape or form.

  25. My only concern with the science is when we can’t get enough of it….when we don’t have a full environment impact study, or when the problem we look at could be a long-term problem and the science has only looked at the short term. I’m glad I read the post. I’m glad that this is also evidence against the funnel of extremism, as you have moved toward a “more moderate” approach. If we want to even apply those labels…. Thank you for seeking Truth. I can do better too, so I will join you.

    • @JDunn. You are EXACTLY the type of person who might be reached by my words. The funnel of extremism, as you put it, does more harm than good in any cause or endeavor. Credibility is nullified.
      No one says GMOs are a panacea, just a tool, like any other. Let’s look at what they CAN do. That’s the truth I’m trying to get to. Thanks for reading!

    • You have to be careful. Sometimes there is a hidden agenda when people keep pressing for additional impact studies, as it generates fear, uncertainty and doubt which thereby creates delay or cancellation of programmes. Often the matter is already totally settled and well-known factually, just not well known by the local voters who could be swayed by propaganda toward either side of a question.

      A good example is the call for inquiries into new nuclear power plants. It has been demonstrated *endlessly* that nuclear power is not only cheaper, it is also safer both in the short and long term compared to any other energy source. But plenty of people are happy to carry on repeating decades-old scare stories as a way of pressing a fake ‘green’ agenda. It’s a false opposite.

  26. I shall hold my comments for a later date. I have recently begun new research on this subject as well as related subjects. As a retired newspaper publisher, I have always been proud of the fact that I source incessantly, as I have on this subject matter. To that end I founded a movement in my home state of Ohio to have mandatory labeling of GMO foods placed on a statewide ballot. I must commend you on your tenacity and integrity to learn the absolute truth. I am confident that the proliferation of pesticides and products such as Aspartame are far more detrimental to our health than GMOs. I will reserve further comment to a later date. Good luck with your research.

    • @Kenneth After my series on the “Benevolent Side of GMOs” ends, I’m going to go after the REAL culprits (flame retardants are on the list) and expose (try) the myths and fallacies. I’m a sleuth first and foremost! Thanks for commenting.

  27. i will also be watching for more of your research while not completely understanding the science, i do not approve big companies trying to force people to grow, eat, or wear anything they are uncomfortable with. i labeling and my right to choice. please keep us posted.

  28. Julee, I am so happy to read your blog and also to read so many of the comments here. You have taken an excellent scientific approach in wanting to analyze all of the dependable data – this is truly professional of you to do so. I work in Animal Science, not in Agronomy, so I’ve never been able to defend GMO’s intelligiently. But, I have been through the peer reiview process and I know how thorough it is. I knew that GMOs had solid science behind them, and PhD’s that I respect have zero concerns about GMOs, so I knew they were safe. I have been very concerned about the overall distrust of science – anyone that knows the true scientific process and the peer review process finds this distrust to be truly perplexing and disturbing. As part of the larger agricultural community I want to stress that our main goal is to produce food that is nutritious, affordable, and safe. We expect the world population to double again by 2050, and technology will have to be part of that food solution. GMO’s allow us to produce more grain with less herbicides, less pesticides, less fuel, and allows for better soil conservation. I think you were spot on when you said “the anti-GMO movement is long on rhetoric and short on information”. Thank you!

  29. Congrats on reviewing your own position in this way. It takes real
    strength of character to do that, and it can be painful. I have only
    one minor point of disagreement. Science is not necessarily pure or
    disinterested. It can be, but science is done by humans, and can be
    corrupted, eg by ‘generous’ support from business interests, which
    can be withdrawn of the results are not what is wanted.
    My own view is that we should take the findings of science very seriously,
    unless there is strong evidence of external interest. Apart from that,

    • @Martin.. from what I’ve learned, university geneticists and plant biologists are not handed research dollars. They have to scramble for research money like any other scientist or researcher in any field. If money informs the outcome of a study, it’s not science.

      • ‘If money informs the outcome of a study, it’s not science.’

        This statement is completely wrong. To judge if something is science or not, what you need to ask is:
        – Is the question well-posed?
        – Are the methods accurately described so that you can judge that the study was done correctly and without bias?
        – Are the results completely presented, in such a way that you can at least appreciate the logical argument leading to the conclusion, and preferably you have access to the data so you can replicate the conclusions?
        – Were the results presented to the community at large, and been reviewed by at least a couple of experts in the field who can impartially judge the paper on behalf of non-experts, so that those non-experts can obtain some confidence from the experts’ view?
        – How does the study fit in with previous and current work? Does it agree, and if it doesn’t, is the disagreement explained?

        These requirements lead to what are called ‘research papers’, which try to achieve this judgement. Not always perfect, but better than nothing!

        You have to read the research papers to understand the topic!

  30. I am so glad to see someone actually use scientific data rather than emotional and unsubstantiated claims. We need more people to be rational and scientific about the decisions they make and posts they publish. Thank you!

  31. Congratulations on your new path of scientific integrity!

    I disagree about the need to label GMO’s. First of all, the point at which the labeling should begin is difficult. For example, if you pick up a box of something that contains sugar and that sugar came from GMO sugar beets, should the box then be labeled as “This product contains ingredients that came from one or more GMO’s”? Ok, so which ingredients, and does it matter? When it’s only sugar, a refined compound extract, there’s no DNA present, it is chemically the same as any other sucrose out there. Does this label then need to go on baked goods from a bakery? To carry this out to the fullest degree would be a maddening task to burden businesses with. Furthermore, your body’s digestive system does not “see” DNA, it sees chemicals and macronutrients, so the only concern is if the GMO would produce a chemical that would be harmful, like cyanide.

    Next, this is not so much as an information label as it is a warning label that is demanded. There’s a difference. Information labels contain nutrition and ingredients list for example. Warning labels, like on cigarettes contain information but with an explicit warning message, like: Use of this product can cause cancer. If there is no need for such a warning, then the producers of the product should have no obligation to label it so, especially when those who oppose the product for ignorant reasons spread propaganda that the product is poison when it is clearly not. This would be creating an artificial segmentation in the market place – unfair competitive practices. This is especially aggravated when there is little control over the word “organic”. I’ve seen products with labels such as “40% organic” or “Contains organic ingredients”. This simple “organic” label seems to give those products free license to jack up their prices some 20-100% or more over their competition. If a company can make higher margins by selling organic, then their business depends upon the perceived value difference by the consumer. If that perception is gone, then everyone will buy the cheaper non-organic apples instead. So it behooves the organic food industry immensely to stigmatize non-organic GMO foods as much as possible.

    I’m all for labels too if they educate and inform that public of what they need to know, but information that confuses and misinforms people in order to convince them to spend more than what they need to is market manipulation, not simply information. Saying it’s “it’s just information” would be disingenuous, and the anti-GMO movement knows that to be true but of course they’ll never admit it.

  32. GM foods may not be harmful…I don’t think there’s enough evidence to prove either way. What I do know is that the reasons companies are modifying life forms is for pure profit, and not concerned about the health or well-being of the people. Roundup IS dangerous and toxic, and most genetic engineering is to tolerate it being sprayed directly on our food, soaking into the soil, year after year. GM corn has made cheap feed for big ag to manage factory farms and provide us with ‘cheap meat’ that I would not feed to my worst enemy. I also must argue about the safety of eating a life form that has been modified to produce a toxin. How in the world can that be safe, to eat, day after day? I don’t see it. I am a scientific person-hold a degree in Chemistry, and I just don’t see anything good for the people in GM food.

    • The assertion that GM crops are made only for pure profit just isn’t true. Take the case of the Hawaiian papaya which was engineered to protect against the papaya ringspot virus. Without this change, the Hawaiian papaya market would have been completely devastated. Unless you view that as a profit motive, then you can keep your assertion. Even the organic papayas from Hawaii now use the GMO papayas as a “herd immunity” tactic by having the GMO papayas encircle them.

      Then there’s the case of Golden Rice, a new strain of rice to be more nutrient dense to save children from going blind in the 3rd world. It’s still not approved, but I’d eat some of it without hesitation if I had the chance.

      The majority of corn, yellow dent corn grown as a chemical feedstock and animal feed is not meant for human consumption. It is processed into chemicals which go into a lot of processed foods – probably a lot of things most people shouldn’t be eating anyways. But there is still no risk of eating BT corn.

  33. […] If you’re on the fence about GMOs, I urge you to please read this Q & A closely.  There are certain points in it that are so strong, even if merely from a logical perspective, they simply can’t be dismissed.  For those of you who remain steadfast against GMOs, there might be something in here that will spur a moment’s pause.   As for me, when I first read it, I knew at some level that I would have to change.  It took some time, but boy did I! (Read Science Is Laughing At Us) […]

  34. sadly, science is not laughing. it is wringing its hands trying to shout through throngs of do-gooders and a plethora of “opinion” all muddied by the waters of marketing and political lobbyists.

    • By “laughing” I mean that they see the anti-GMO movement as a joke, not to be taken seriously in terms of evidence against GMOs. All the other stuff that goes on is another matter!

  35. @KevinFolta @JuleeK here is a recent article published by a former Scientist talking about the dangers of GMO’s. He wants it to “go viral” and get the word out there.
    Quote taken from the article worth thinking about: “One argument I hear repeatedly is that nobody has been sick or died after a meal (or a trillion meals since 1996) of GM food. Nobody gets ill from smoking a pack of cigarette either. But it sure adds up, and we did not know that in the 1950s before we started our wave of epidemics of cancer. Except this time it is not about a bit of smoke, it’s the whole food system that is of concern. The corporate interest must be subordinated to the public interest, and the policy of substantial equivalence must be scrapped as it is clearly untrue.”

  36. @nonGMOjournal: I’m hoping a scientist reading this will address your comment. I didn’t see any specific studies cited so its hard to know what the data really said, who did it, etc.

  37. Thank you for your courage to research this subject and acknowledge your changes of opinion. It is easy to fear GMOs for many reasons but it has been clear to me almost forever that these were not the BAD things that will kill our collective human race … certainly not before global starvation, water deprivation, and diseases. I live with a hard science advocate who has studied pesticide use in neuro-degenerative diseases and cancer for 20 years (an Epidemiologist). As much as she hates the big corporations she has always seen GMOs as one of the only viable solutions to some of the problems facing global public health in the near and distant future.
    Now if you could turn your attention to the fear many people have in regard to vaccinations, that would also be a good thing, since many educated people are now allowing their mistrust of authority to disbelieve that vaccinations are good for society and actually blame vaccinations for a variety of BAD things. And they withhold vaccinating their children, putting the whole population at risk of these diseases.

  38. @lapuppet. Thanks for your comments. One of my concerns about GMOs and vaccinations is that we are barking up the wrong tree and not looking at what really IS dangerous and going to kill us or make us sick. It’s so easy to jump on the anti-GMO or no-vaccination bandwagon and there is plenty of propaganda out there to get us fired up and pounding our fists. It’s like convicting the wrong criminal while the one who really did it goes unnoticed. I am on a mission to find the REAL health culprits. I will also consider looking further into the vaccination debacle. One debacle at a time!

  39. It is a sign of remarkable sophistication when one can question one’s own beliefs critically. And to change your mind on a subject which you have devoted time to when you realized the evidence didn’t support you is very difficult (this cannot be understated).


    • @Andy. Thank you. I am in a new place. My thinking has changed and I find myself questioning other long held beliefs. It is a very fundamental, core kind of conversion.

  40. Dr Arpad Pusztai is another scientist that was fired and gagged…a while back….an interesting tale.

    No the real Scientists are not laughing at us Julee. And the plant bio tech ones that are…ah LOL myself along with millions of other people & many countries. They are promoting a negative meaning to the career “Scientist” to the world. (not to unusual really…..bad ones are in every career)

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