I used to be a GMO supporter. I understand the science and I bought into the premise of increased crop yields and added nutritional value.
But what I have seen the GMO companies do is create terminator seeds and harass smaller farm producers.
I do not understand claiming the product is safe but not willing to label it.
You cannot flood a market and then deny liability.
Food is not tobacco. It is not optional.
it is not okay to kill consumers, even when it is more cost effective like car companies have found with their recall spin cycle.
In Canada, the Maple Leaf company detected listeria in their machinery and issued a recalled and notice and set up a compensation fund.
On a scale of 1 to 7, I was a category 3 and it took 5 years for a payout to occur when the company admitted liability at the start.
Our first facebook commentor is a galpal of mine in the FSM office:
Helen: GMOs are fine when it means hybridization for better strains overall. But when it means dependence upon a herbicide or even contains the herbicide, it’s murder on the ecosystem. And the trouble with hybrids overall is monopolies on varietals. In New Zealand, lobbying has now made it illegal to save heirloom seed. Monopolies are just greed strategies by huge corporations, but when they actively harm plant diversity and kill with broad-spectrum poisons all competing life forms, NO.
Nina: crop diversity is certainly a risk of loss. one new disease and we have food insecurity owing to lack of varieties — which also prevents and interferes with natural and selected evolution.
companies look out for stock holders,; not consumers – so we need to be wary of directed evolution
Our second commentor is a guy pal, Jerry – who 20 years ago worked for a short time for Montasano and is a Professional Expert: a Master’s degree in Biotechnology and Biochemistry; working on the team at Monsanto that developed the glyphosate tolerant crops in the early 90s. And no – roundup tolerant crops do not require any herbicide. They simply survive its application better than conventional crops
Jerry: A) “crop diversity is certainly a risk of loss.” – no – it is not. GMOs INCREASE biodiversity. That is what we are doing – making novel crops. ipso defacto.
B) false equivalencies – risks of bacterial outbreaks are not equal to those of GMOs (which never = hybridization). Nor are the risks of chemical contaminations.
C) naturalistic fallacies – “natural” selection / crops / organisms are not inherently better than artificial ones. Surgery isn’t natural – but it could save your life.
D) “increased crop yields and added nutritional value” are NOT premises – they are demonstrable facts of some GMO varieties
E) “terminator seeds” are not being sold by anyone. Except in the form of anti GMO rhetoric – some of the major proponents of which have made ridiculous claims such as the good old “they will spread throughout the environment until entire forests are sterile” BS spewed by Dr David Suzuki and Dr Vandana Shiva (a physicist – not a biologist). FYI – stelie organisms have exactly ZERO risk of spreading their sterility LMFAO. F)
The science is as clear as can be on the issue of GMOs – as they are on climate change and vaccines. There is a consensus of experts – GMOs are safe.
Nina: I think you are understanding the terms more technically and accurately than I am applying them.
As for monocrops. there would eventually be no other types or varieties grown and this is the core of the issue
Jerry: we have seeds from thousands of years ago. There will always be other choices
Nina: you also are thinking of the Norway seed vault. shouldn’t we have more vaults around the world? in the event of a mass solar flare and global power loss – distruption could mean a need for more back up piles, doncha think?
Jerry: And personally – I think there should be some labeling – if for no other reason – just so we can gather more proof of GMO safety. The real question should be what type of labelling? A discrete numeric system shouldn’t be objectionable to anyone. But the skulls and cross bones that anti GMO activists want – hell no
but we can never be too prepared – so sure – more seed vaults!!
GMOs are only increasing our choices – and there are tons of seed vaults — every farmer has some seed stored somewhere
Nina: I do not see GMO increasing the diversity, I see corporate farming reducing the diversity of crops
no one to be taken seriously is asking for drama queen graphics. proper food labeling with meaningful and understandable health information
not market speak or sciency gobblygook. I spend most of my time in grocery stores explaining to people how to read the labels as they are
then educate the public if it is so safe. funny how people are expected to react to food labels when they ignore cigarette warnings…. and those are poison.
is GMO labeling being done by the lobby who invented Tobacco denialism for Tobacco and Climate denialism for Big Oil/Coal Dinosaur Fuels?
my concern about GMOs is not the science, it is the corporate culture of that the same industry that sold us Thalidomide and other detrimental pregnancy preparations.
Jerry: As they are developing novel crops. Let me give you just one example of a GMO:
- the papaya would likely have gone extinct if we hadn’t inserted a viral resistance gene into its genome. Today – 90% of papaya are GMOs
- Golden rice is another great example. Just one more choice for farmers to grow. But this one is much more nutritious. Developed in a non-profit model so as to be aailable for third world farmers
- Then there is this little bacteria they inserted human insulin into. Thanks to that one GMO alone – millions of lives have been saved
Remember Acid Rain? It was a big concern once, but industry was regulated and the pollution controlled.
See also: an oldie but a goodie: