7 comments on “European Farmers Voice ‘Deep Concern’ About GM Policies

  1. I would like to know whether the author has a personal stake here, whether she is receiving any kind of personal benefit from posting this nonsense, or whether she is simply clinging to an ideology that has no basis in science or common sense. Let’s be clear here. The rights of human beings to know what’s in their food, how it is being grown and how it will affect their health trumps the desire of “farmers” to utilize technological innovations which are designed for the sole purpose of increasing the profits of large multinational corporations who spend millions of dollars on lobbying so that we won’t know what we’re putting into our bodies. I say “farmers” because it seems to me that the sorts of agricultural associations mentioned here are probably not small, local, family farms. It is therefore disingenuous to state that “European Farmers Voice ‘Deep Concern’ About GM Policies”. That’s not quite true, is it? There is in fact no scientific consensus that GMOs are safe. It is also not the case that GM seeds have increased yields – and when I say yields I am referring to the sorts of crops that human beings rely on for nutrition and biodiversity. Not cash crops like corn or soy beans. You can quote as many sources as you wish, but that doesn’t cloud the fact that you do not present an original or analytical argument of your own that is compelling, balanced or factual. Also, no one reading your blog should have to go hunting to qualify the quotes and stats here; if you want to have any credibility whatsoever, at least provide direct links.

    • My personal stake is to present rational and evidence based information about GMOs. This is in direct contrast to the fear-mongering, non-evidence based activist, psuedo-scientific literature that has needlessly infected the internet, created a conspiracy theory where none exists, and scared fine citizens out of their wits with memes like lumpy rats and inflamed pig stomachs. I used to believe as you, until I rolled up my sleeves and dug deeper than GMWatch, Jeffrey Smith, the Health Ranger, Mercola, Food Babe and other similar bloggers. When I did that, I learned better and realized that I had been duped by propaganda. I discovered that there absolutely IS vast scientific agreement that GM crops pose no greater danger than conventionally grown crops do. I didn’t want to believe it at first but the facts were there and to ignore them would have proved my unwillingness to consider the preponderance of data. No one paid me to change my mind. I just didn’t want to be wrong. I learned that science claiming harm to humans from GMOs is fringe, is not repeated, does not draw a crowd of other excited scientists as good research tends to do, appears in “pay to post” journals that will accept anyone’s paper who can write a check, is peer reviewed by those outside of the field of molecular biology and plant genetics, is often conducted poorly and not in agreement with standard scientific practice and worst of all, is rejected by mainstream science WORLDWIDE. People like Seralini, Shiva and Carman are not taken seriously in university biology departments. There are a few exceptions, but they are lone wolfs and operate from the vantage point of belief, not evidence. Some people just don’t want to like GMOs so they create reasons not to.

      You also say above that I can ‘quote as many sources as I wish’ but then go on to say ‘no one should have to go hunting to qualify the quotes and stats’… well, not quite understanding what you mean, all I can do is present more sources and links. Here are three for starters:



    • L. Blume, would you please define what is a small farm (in acreage or crop output) and what you mean by a family farm?

    • L. Blume, another question:

      If Dr. Sauk had developed his polio vaccine for the sole purpose of lining his pockets, would you then not take it? I’m sure seed companiies do develop seeds with the bottom line in mind, like all businesses, large and small, but they have chosen to make their livings by helping to produce food.

      Now, about that right to know… You certainly do have the right to put in your own body what you see fit. However, that doesn’t mean you have the right to force others to provide what you see fit. Nor, unless there is a material reason, do you have a right to compel others to tell you whatever detail of production you think you should know. This is also the case with Kosher foods. Devout Jews feel they can only eat kosher food. However, there are no laws forcing the disclosure of non-kosher ingreedients. There is only the volunteer labeling of what is kosher.

      And that’s the rub. The studies are in, nearly 2000 of them, the point to no health concerns just from the fact that a food is GM. So there exists no material reason that a provider has to keep track of and disclose whenever there are GM derived ingredients. However, all is not lost. You are still able to avoid GMO’s if you want to by buying Organic or volunteered noGMO labeling on foods. But there will be no avoiding large scale agriculture, whatever the stripe. Large scale is what it takes to provide enough food for billions of meals, 2 or 3 times a day.

  2. I will answer all responses to my previous comment here. I’m not going to quantify what a “small farm” is. Suffice it to say that family-run farms that serve local communities are overwhelmingly – and this is the case globally – not in favour of GM seeds. I’m not here to split hairs. The issue is actually quite clear.

    If we talk about the science, this is the basis of the problem: Biotech corporations essentially inject seeds with bacteria in order to justify their claim that they have created a unique organism, and therefore have a right to patent said organisms. It is a fact that scientists and researchers who are INDEPENDENT from the agribusiness and biotech industries have never established to any convincing degree that GMOs are safe. If the industries in question were confident that this were the case, they have yet to explain why they’re spending so much money trying to prevent people from simply knowing whether the food they ingest contains GMOs. The right to food is a fundamental human right. It’s not only suspicious that private interests are by virtue of their wealth preventing citizens from knowing what they’re eating; it’s a violation of democratic principles.

    More troubling yet are the socioeconomic implications of genetic engineering politics. When it comes to GMOs, the profit motive is particularly relevant because the biotech and agribiz giants have created seed monopolies in several parts of the world, such that not only are they suing farmers on whose properties these GM seeds get blown; they are also aggressively attempting to squash the creation of local seed banks. This is for one reason and one reason only: corporations want to preserve their “right” to collect on royalties for GM seeds. These seeds are designed to become infertile after only one use, all because the corporations want to force farmers to buy their seeds year after year. They are also required to sign contracts with respect to the leasing of expensive equipment and the like, and they have very little say in how they conduct their business going forward. There is no way anyone can justify that kind of extortion. Look at the hundreds of thousands of farmers in India who have committed suicide because of this scheme and it will become apparent why India is attempting to kick Monsanto and Cargill (among other corporations) out of their country.

    The seeds and produce on which we depend for our subsistence and nutrition should never be subjected to a single-minded aggressive profit motive that will stop at nothing to overrule environmental and social concerns. It is corruption of the highest degree.

    Also, a rebuttal regarding the scant use of links… You can’t link to your own blog for further edification of the quality of your sources. As for the Genetic Literacy Project, you’ll be interested to know that Jon Entrine is an industry shill. See: http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/02/atrazine-syngengta-tyrone-hayes-jon-entine

    And finally, Dr. Vandana Shiva explains here why we should be concerned about GMOs (she is not financially supported by the biotech or agribiz industries): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4cdFXKDAaQw

  3. Court cases are a matter of public record. Monsanto has NOT sued anyone because of “blown” seeds infecting non-GMO crops. That is pure myth. They have sued for license and patent infringements. http://www.monsanto.com/newsviews/Pages/saved-seed-farmer-lawsuits.aspx

    Entine is not a shill. Does he have dealings with biotech companies? Yes. That does not make him a shill. This is his life, his expertise, what he does. I have been accused of being a shill many times as well and it is simply laughable. Other scientists I know have been accused because they once did a research project or collected contest monies or some such thing – from a biotech company. That does not make them a shill. This is one of the biggest misconceptions out there… that anyone who speaks in favor of GMOs is paid by biotech to do so. IT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE and is insulting to science and scientists who study plant genetics and spend their career researching and developing transgenic technologies. This is their area of expertise so OF COURSE they will have dealings with the biotech industry. Science and industry go hand in hand. That doesn’t mean they are paid for their opinions. Their opinions are based solely on evidence.

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