30 comments on “How to temper an anti-GMO blogger: My story

  1. I very much enjoyed this post, and your mental fortitude in overcoming the biases our brains commit us towards. I quite understand the visceral response you refer to, I had it myself for quite some time. Looking forward to your continued information gleaned from Dr. Folta. 🙂

  2. Julie, I come here through Folta’s blog. I’ve been following him for awhile. You found the right person to “illuminate” your views of GMOs.

    It’s nice to see others doing what I did–questioning prevailing organic dogma.

    A few deciding points for me, for what their worth:

    My partner, and probably future spouse, owes his life to the fact that scientists have figured out how to insert a human gene into an E. coli bacteria and make readily available Humulin, an analogue to human insulin.

    The rescuing of Hawaii’s papaya crop by Dr. Gonsalves, who developed and GMO called Rainbow Papaya, is one of the great agriculture stories of our times. http://www.biofortified.org/2012/06/rainbow/

    I think it’s very cool that vaccines will soon be delivered through bananas!

    On labeling…I don’t care one way or another. I will not be supporting the measure in Maine, because it’s sponsored by MOFGA, a dishonest organization whom I have come to detest.

    My one problem with GMOs, speaking as a small market farmer: there aren’t nearly enough of them. I would love to have a potato that was engineered to resist early and late blights, and Colorado potato beetle. That way I could spend more time on the porch, playing banjo and drinking beer.


    • Thanks Mike. This has been quite a journey of one month. I suspect my views will continue to moderate as I learn more, but the horses are out of the gate and rounding the first turn. I’m well on my way! Good luck on your banjo playing and beer drinking!

    • I would want there to be a plant that can carry vitamin b12! (if ever possible) I’ve also heard it could be possible to make allergen-free nuts!

  3. This is so wonderful and gives me so much hope. Science has such a big PR problem right now, and direct communication like this, on a very human level, is the solution. The work of Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak at UC Davis also goes a long way toward integrating biotechnology and sustainable (even organic!) farming practices. We need everybody on board. This is the start! Thank you.

    • I just happen to be reading that book right now! Thanks for your thoughts. It was all Dr. Folta’s idea… to build a bridge between the two worlds.

  4. Julie I am not convinced. Yes, Folta is funny, but there is another side. Google Dr Michael Hason or Dr Michael Antoniou for another perspective/

    • Sam – it is your prerogative to not be convinced. I’m not trying to convince anyone as much as I am telling my story and want to present the benevolent side of GMOs, based on the preponderance of scientific evidence worldwide. I feel that with all the anti-GMO literature I have posted, it’s time to the turn the table, just to be fair if nothing else! My intention when I first started this blog was to present both sides but I got totally enraptured by the GMO naysayers and started posting downright propaganda. Of course there are other perspectives and there always will be. This is a personal decision I have made to follow mainstream science because those in biology, agriculture, horticulture, etc., ARE the experts, the ones who publish peer-reviewed reports that have real data that go into respected scientific journals. They know what they’re doing. They live this stuff on a daily basis.

  5. I see you have not seen the two year study done in France on GMO corn.


    As for science understanding what they are doing they have given use such great work as:

    And other wonderful things.

    Remember Hilter and how he used science.

    Not all science is bad but some of it certainly is and we need to remember that very fact,

    Science: Use with caution, believe with doubt.

  6. Science has also brought us, um, where do I start? Sulfa drugs, polio vaccine, organ transplants, prosthetic limbs, electricity, the internal combustion engine, the PC and all personal electronic devices, the internet, facebook, youtube, television, radio, the ability to record music in beautiful high fidelity, pianos that are perfectly in tune, rockets, stunning views of space with all its wonders, the ability to determine if planets outside our solar system could sustain life, high-speed rail, skyscrapers that can withstand an earthquake… Where do I stop?

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  9. I think you’re a candidate to actually go take a tour of Monsanto, if you have not already done so. You should face the science, and the scientists, head on. It’s a remarkably open company and the smart young people working there will surprise you. I’ve done the tour as an ag journalist, and regardless of how you feel you are struck by the pervasive sense of mission and purpose, and by the notion that you are always the dumbest person in the room. Great blog!

    • @Paul Well I do have a sister who lives in KC so maybe the next time I go see her we’ll take a day trip over to Monsanto’s HQs. That would qualify as the place I least thought I’d ever visit, without a picket sign, 9 months ago!

  10. Perhaps i can cheer Kevin Folta over his problems with the good Dr. Mercola through song.

    To the Tune of Officer Krupke (Westside Story)


    Dear Dr. Mercola,
    You gotta understand.
    Your potions are just cola
    Your quackery’s out of hand!
    Your patients are all junkies,
    for Holistics, should be banned.
    Holy, Moses ! You’re a scheister upon the land !


    Oh, Dr. Mercola, we’re very upset!
    You gives us magic tonics in place of what we should get.
    We ain’t no dummies, it’s really understood.
    Deep down, you know they’re no good !


    They’re no good ?


    They’re no good, they’re no good
    They are no damn good !
    They never do anywhere near what they should !
    They should put a halt, to your himalayan salt!
    Cause, deep down, you know it’s no good !

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  12. Julee, this was an amazing post. I really admire your courage and fortitude in challenging your beliefs, and even more importantly, changing them when the evidence contradicted what you thought you knew. it makes me very hopeful. it makes me feel like the people who are trying to communicate science are not fighting a losing battle.

    • @LE: Well, sometimes unfortunately it IS a losing battle because science in the form of manna from heaven wouldn’t change some minds. BUT there are folks who WILL listen, as I did, and those are the ones to focus on. I am telling my story over and over with hope that a firsthand “conversion” will get noticed by a few “fencers”. Thanks for your comment!

  13. This is so cool! I am happy for you. I worked in a lab for years and studied genetics but did not understand the antigmo hoopla but there was so MUCH of it I started attempting to research what people were so upset about. I hate to say it but they are upset because they are being fed tabloid style sensationalized journalism from people who are not interested in science at all. And most are too busy or don’t’ know anything about the subject to know that what they are shouting about is nuts. I hope that your blog helps quell such innocent people’s fears and..more than that, educates them so that they can address real concerns when they arise. Thank you!

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