Ray Seidler, retired EPA scientist, the newest pro-labeling darling appearing in Oregon ballot measure 92 ads. I really don’t understand this guy. PhD in microbiology? Maybe apply what you learned a little? Maybe lose the emotion-laden activist rhetoric and talk about real science? Maybe ask commercial farmers how they really feel about Monsanto and other biotech company seeds?
Seidler appears in a fear-monger pro-labeling commercial (below) holding a ziploc bag of blue GMO corn seeds, then holds pretty non-GMO yellow corn seeds in the palm of his hand. He says he has concerns about GMO safety and asks if you’d like to know which kind of seeds you’re eating. Then he says the companies that produce these blue seeds also once put out agent orange and said it was safe (this agent orange deal is a whole other topic that is vastly misunderstood and used to ignite fear and distrust). So, we should have labeling. But he’s really saying let’s stamp out GMOs for good. It’s soooo obvious.
Let me be clear: I wouldn’t mind a labeling initiative if it just meant that people simply want to know more about the food they are eating. I believe in labels that educate people. Read this post. We could start with the fact that GMOs aren’t ingredients. Sugar, fat, sodium, xantham gum = ingredients. GMOs = breeding process. But the Right to Know is not that, and it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Seidler’s ad should convince anyone of that. The campaign wants to rid our planet of GMOs. Seidler and Hansen (see below) – the activists behind the ads – have made that abundantly clear in many of their other media appearances.
It is widely repeated on this blog that I am not a scientist. But watching Seidler’s commercial and another Seidler video below I am APPALLED at how this so-called scientist represents transgenic technology. He uses fear, emotion, scary sounding words and histrionics to get his anti-GMO points across. Ever watch a run-of-the-mill scientist talk about GMOs? They don’t use emotion because they don’t have to. Facts, supported by data, can stand up on their own. I’ve gotten to where I have zero tolerance for emotion in a scientific presentation. It doesn’t belong there. If a speaker starts getting preachy about any sort of facts, I will immediately dismiss the facts as suspect. There is simply no place for dogmatic persuasion in science. Just the data please.
Here is another video featuring Seidler. It’s called The Truth About GMOs. Chuckle chuckle. Notice how he uses emotion to make his points.
He does a good job of explaining that GMOs, recombinant, transgenic technology – are all the same. But he fails to mention that the technology is one breeding technique among many breeding techniques,
Read this post to learn exactly how the Bt mechanism works in crops. The reality is far from how Seidler presents it in his video, with his emphasis on the words toxic and toxins. Why doesn’t he also say that organic farmers use Bt toxin topically as well?
Read this post about how a cotton farmer feels about Bt cotton and purchasing Monsanto seeds. Read about the huge decrease in insecticides realized because of these seeds. Read this series about how a cross section of farmers feel about GMOs.
Oregonians are getting their ballots in the mail. Voting is going to happen in the coming weeks. Because Oregon is such a hotbed for woo I fear this measure will pass and then the worms from the can will begin crawling around. I mean, Oregon already owns the dubious distinction of having the highest percentage of un-vaccinated school-age kids.
I’m going to make a very bold statement that will offend a lot of my left-leaning brethren but here goes: Liberals entrenched in anti-vax and anti-GMO woo are reaching peak stupid right about now and have no right to criticize conservatives who doubt the reality of climate change. You’re all equally wrong!
I will add that Michael Hansen, the consumer union guy in the ad below, who claims to be unbiased is a full-on anti-GMO activist just as Seidler is.
I am voting no on measure 92.