HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Places » U.S. » California (Group) » just about the only bad r...

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:52 AM

just about the only bad result in yesterday's returns was passage of Prop 35....

Yes on 30, No on 32, and 37 went down in flames. Higher taxes on the rich to improve education funding, working people preserved their voices in Sacramento, and rationality prevailed over fear and ignorance of genetic engineering. Unless one is a sex worker, it's a good morning to be Californian!

I suppose sending DiFi back to the senate is a quasi dark spot, but the lesser evil and all that. I'm just stoked about 30, 32, and 37. My union worked HARD on the first two-- phone banking, precinct walking, and unending strategy meetings-- and common sense and decency prevailed. Until the next time the rat bastards try to take away our voices.

Solidarity!


on edit: Oops, just realized the Prop 34 failed. That's another bad one. Damn. I can't believe we still execute people in this state.

48 replies, 3786 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 48 replies Author Time Post
Reply just about the only bad result in yesterday's returns was passage of Prop 35.... (Original post)
mike_c Nov 2012 OP
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #1
mike_c Nov 2012 #4
SoapBox Nov 2012 #6
Gormy Cuss Nov 2012 #14
mike_c Nov 2012 #18
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #37
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #40
Gormy Cuss Nov 2012 #46
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #7
mike_c Nov 2012 #8
cui bono Nov 2012 #13
mike_c Nov 2012 #16
cui bono Nov 2012 #21
mike_c Nov 2012 #24
cui bono Nov 2012 #26
mike_c Nov 2012 #27
cui bono Nov 2012 #47
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #36
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #35
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #9
mike_c Nov 2012 #11
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #17
mike_c Nov 2012 #19
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #29
mike_c Nov 2012 #38
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #43
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #45
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #41
mike_c Nov 2012 #42
underseasurveyor Nov 2012 #44
pinto Nov 2012 #20
mike_c Nov 2012 #23
pinto Nov 2012 #25
Tumbulu Nov 2012 #30
JDPriestly Nov 2012 #31
AndyTiedye Nov 2012 #48
LoisB Nov 2012 #2
frylock Nov 2012 #3
mike_c Nov 2012 #5
cui bono Nov 2012 #15
petronius Nov 2012 #10
mike_c Nov 2012 #12
pinto Nov 2012 #22
Raine Nov 2012 #28
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #32
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #33
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #34
proverbialwisdom Nov 2012 #39

Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:55 AM

1. Why are you pleased about 37?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to JDPriestly (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:02 PM

4. because I'm a biologist...

...and have no fear of GMOs or genetic engineering, and just about every proponent of Prop 37 I've spoken with-- including some of my own students-- advances fear and ignorance about genetic engineering as justification for opposing GMOs generally. Prop 37 was an economic attack on a technique that holds great promise for the future.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:11 PM

6. Interesting...

thanks for your perspective mike_c.

I'm still just uncomfortable with it...and it's not like it would have banned the use of GMOs...I thought it just required labeling?

Am I wrong?

And, just asking (no attacking meant!) but what about all the other countries that have outright banned this stuff?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SoapBox (Reply #6)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:52 PM

14. Labeling leads to heightened awareness by consumers

and that may lead to consumer avoidance rendering the GMOs less profitable. That's why labeling is such a big deal to the likes of Monsanto, Dupont, and similar contributors to the No on 37 campaign.

As always, it's about money.




Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Gormy Cuss (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:38 PM

18. it isn't always about money....

I'm an academic scientist in a zoology department that has zero connections to Monsanto, big ag, etc. I've found the debate about Prop 37 and GMOs in general to be remarkably devoid of scientific reasoning and actual data-- rather, it has been dominated by fear-mongering, hysteria, and ignorance about what genetic engineering actually is and what GMOs can accomplish. Instead, the argument is about "frankenfoods." The debate about GMOs has become a poster child for unscientific reasoning and misunderstood fears.

I teach university biology courses, and it's a daily struggle in my profession to overcome sloppy, uncritical thinking and unsupported conclusions. THAT'S what it's about for me.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:07 PM

37. Looks dorky, but it's the best GMO whistleblower news aggregating site I've seen.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #18)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:43 PM

40. Here's a terrific overview of the issues for the nonscientist, you'll agree.

http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/ViewPage.aspx?pageId=119

This piece was originally published in the Virginia Environmental Law Journal, Volume 20, No.2, 2001 page 267-294.


Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #18)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 03:15 PM

46. I was referring to the donors, not you. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:34 PM

7. I supported Prop 37 because I wanted labeling of GMOs so the consumer can decide, just like

labelling trans fats. I have the right to know what I am putting in my body, especially if I have any sort of philosophical issues with such products.

Fear and ignorance has nothing to do with it. I am not personally afraid of GMOs. I do happen to believe that the environmental consequences down the road of using them are going to bite us in the a--.

That's why I want to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not my consumer dollars support Monsanto and the GMO/factory farming complex.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to kestrel91316 (Reply #7)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:46 PM

8. I doubt that the issue is going to go away...

...and frankly, I'm a bit shocked that Prop 37 failed, despite hoping that it would. Just about everyone that I've spoken with about it-- other than colleagues in my department-- was strongly in favor of passage. But you know the sorts of arguments I mean, finger wagging about "frankenfoods" and rants about Bt being a scourge rather than an organic farmer's dream insecticide.

I think we need to shift the discussion about GMOs to a more scientific basis rather than an emotional one. For example, the real problem with Bt transformed corn is that it hastens selection for resistance against Bt, not that it creates any health hazards for vertebrates or non-target invertebrates. And the real problems with GMOs-- to the extent that any really exist-- have to do with predatory corporate business practices. Demonizing genetic engineering doesn't address any of those problems-- it only makes a method for achieving desirable improvements of crops less economically viable.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:48 PM

13. I'm sure you've read more than myself on this, but are you sure?

I know I've read that studies have been made and that there have been dire consequences for living beings eating genetically modified foods.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cui bono (Reply #13)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:09 PM

16. it's my profession...

...so I'm as confident as I can be based upon the data I'm aware of.

There are no credible studies indicating otherwise. Most of the information you're referring to has come from the popular press, not from scientific literature OTHER than a very few, deeply flawed and subsequently discredited studies by researchers who sought to advance their personal agendas rather than do good science.

Seriously, there simply aren't any credible studies of the type you mentioned. There are folks who obfuscate that all day long, posting article after article that either document poorly conducted research, fear-mongering based on no research at all, or misdirection resulting from misunderstood or misapplied data. Some of them are very smart people, so they do a good job of blurring the facts to support their agendas.

I'm a biologist at a CalState campus-- every member of my department that I've discussed this with opposed Prop 37. Every single one-- not because we're all evil shills for Monsanto, but because we have zero respect for the hysteria that has taken the place of scientifically informed discussion about genetic engineering and GMOs.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:31 PM

21. But even if that is all true, what is the problem with knowing what has been done to your food?

(I still don't concede the point by the way. Will find where I've heard/read about these things and read more.)

Also, even if it's not "frankenfood", doing it is causing other problems with crops and resistance. So shouldn't we be able to know what products are made using these methods and then choose with our pocketbook whether or not we want to support them?

I honestly feel that your reason for not voting for it is more harmful because I think that you're voting down something that is beneficial to us all for a reason that... I don't know how to word it properly... I guess it's kind of like throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

And I want to know if the food is GMO or not dammit!!!



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cui bono (Reply #21)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:58 PM

24. just as an aside...

...there is nothing preventing producers who don't use GMOs from labeling their products to indicate that, and many organic producers already do. If your primary objective is simply to know whether food products contain GMOs I think you can pretty much assume that they do unless they tell you otherwise. If I recall correctly, something like 80 percent of the corn, soybeans, and wheat produced in the U.S. is genetically engineered, so it's a pretty safe bet that any product manufactured by an industrial food producer contains GMOs. You can shop in the organic section of supermarkets and read labels there to avoid GMOs.

I actually agree with you about labeling-- in a rational world we should have access to as much information as possible so we can make informed judgements about the products we buy and the food we consume. I want to know about fat content, sodium, sugar, etc so I can avoid foods that aren't nutritious, for example.

The problem with GMOs is that much of the debate seems informed more by unreasoned fear and misunderstanding of genetic engineering than by consideration of the actual merits of the GMOs in question. I worry that an uninformed consumer backlash against producers who grow or use GMOs will do far more long term harm than good, suppressing the development of better and better crops and food products.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #24)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:16 PM

26. They tried to outlaw that sort of labeling.

Thankfully it didn't work.

Yeah, I buy organic, or at least no pesticides, when I buy. Try to eat at restaurants that serve organic or close to it whenever possible, but that's difficult. Don't eat much processed/packaged foods, etc, etc, etc...

I have to say I still completely disagree with your reason for voting against this. Just doesn't compute and makes absolutely no sense to me. Because of the way something is said you vote against something you agree with? Something that is beneficial to the general public.

As to GMO benefits... what better and better crops and food products? The reason Monsanto is doing it is greed and control. All the effects are negative and for their own benefit. They are attempting to control ownership of all crops. They are putting local farmers into huge debt that they will never be able to pay off due to forcing proprietary seeds on them. Even those that refuse to go along are screwed because they can't control that the wind blows seeds onto their land and Monsanto goes after them for using their product. It's not only health concerns, it's very real economic concerns.

And what about the butterflies dying due to GMP corn crops?
http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2012/03/researchers-gm-crops-are-killing-monarch-butterflies-after-all

I'm sorry, but until it is proven to have no effects it should be stopped.



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cui bono (Reply #26)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 05:06 PM

27. just to be clear....

The research you cited does not suggest that GMOs are killing monarch butterflies. An earlier study that made precisely that claim turned out to be one of those pieces of agenda driven bad science that has since been thoroughly discredited.

The study that Mother Jones article references suggested that monarch butterfly mortality was increasing because of herbicide use that kills wild milkweeds, monarch larvae's preferred food plant. The GMO in that story-- corn and soybeans engineered to resist glyphosate-- has no direct impact on monarchs at all.

This gets back to my earlier point about the real problem being the business practices of big ag, NOT genetic engineering. This particular case-- Roundup ready crops-- particularly galls me because it's a cropping system designed to funnel additional profits into Monsanto's coffers, NOT necessarily to produce better or more nutritious food products. However it is worth noting that many producers have embraced it because it reduces their cost to market by raising yield and lowering cultivation expenditures. At the end of the day, I do support farmers at least having choices like this.

To be honest, I don't give a rat's buttocks about Monsanto's profits, and I wish Roundup ready crops would go away. However, there is no evidence that glyphosate resistance has any impact on food quality or safety, so as with most GMOs I don't understand why anyone would oppose them on that basis. And farmers do find them useful. It's also unclear whether the increased butterfly mortality really matters in the long run-- there are other FAR more severe threats to the long term viability of monarchs, e.g. overwintering habitat loss.

on edit: about your final comment-- it is not possible to prove that something has no effect, as you suggest, so what you're really calling for is a permanent ban on genetic engineering. That cat is out of the bag and I don't think its ever going to be stuffed back inside.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #27)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 04:51 PM

47. The monarch butterfly thing was thrown in as an additional problem.

I should have commented on it. There are side effects to the ecosystem that are already known, just think about all of those that aren't. Why should we go ahead with something when we know it could cause irreparable harm to our ecosystem?

Where is the info on how GMO makes our food safer and better? Organic food is very tasty and nutritious.

And as to it being known to be safe before implementing it... Drugs go through a lot of testing before they are allowed on the market. They have to be proven to work and to not have (too many) ill side effects, to be safe for consumption before they are approved. The same should (have) been done for GMO. So yes, something can be proven safe before it is let loose on an uninformed public.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:58 AM

36. Too much hedging.

Last edited Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:31 PM - Edit history (1)

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=do-seed-companies-control-gm-crop-research

SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?
Scientists must ask corporations for permission before publishing independent research on genetically modified crops. That restriction must end

By The Editors

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #8)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:51 AM

35. Arpad Pusztai - please google the name and read.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:18 PM

9. And what can you tell us about nutritional values and toxicity levels (comparatively)

of GMO's vs non-GMO's?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to underseasurveyor (Reply #9)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:35 PM

11. that there is no connection between them, per se....

Genetic engineering is a means for inserting information into the genome of one organism that is otherwise inaccessible to it. That's it. Period.

One can improve the qualities of a GMO, adding desirable characteristics like improved water use efficiency, enhanced taste, nutrition, or other consumer oriented qualities, and increased resistance to pathogens or pests. Medicines such as insulin, chemotherapy drugs, and vaccines are routinely produced by GMOs.

Conversely, one could insert genes to express poisons, make crops taste awful, and make them wither before yielding anything at all. Of course, it's hard to imagine why anyone would want to do that, but it's certainly possible.

There isn't any inherent link between GMOs and the good or bad purposes to which they're put. Genetic engineering is just another tool in the toolbox for altering the characteristics of plants and animals we use for food, fiber, medicine, etc. We've been doing that in one way or another for ten thousand years. We're getting better at it.

There is no credible data that any currently sold GMO has any adverse nutritional or ecological consequences, or at least none that I'm aware, EXCEPT early indications that Bt transformed corn might be hastening the development of insect resistance to Bt, which will have adverse impacts on organic farming that currently depends on Bt. The most often cited studies that appear to suggest vertebrate toxicity are deeply flawed, bad science and have been thoroughly discredited. Hysteria is not data, of course.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:32 PM

17. That's basic biology/evolution.

Natural selection or preferred traits picked out by humans and spliced with something else to bring about a desired effect, size, color texture, etc., yea we know all that stuff.

But what is known about Gmo's that are spliced with chemicals? It's a whole other ball of wax. Big Ag says that the levels of trace amounts of pesticides in GMO's are reduced to parts per million by the time the produce hits the markets and the effects on growing bodies and brains in children in and out of the womb would be negligible ('as far as they know').

However if you look at many of the anti-anxiety, depression meds there is no denying the profound effect they have on the workings of the brain. Now considering most of those medicines also work in parts per million in the body, do you really trust what the corporations are producing and are feeding us?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to underseasurveyor (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 02:55 PM

19. everything is a "chemical...."

All genes-- at least all the ones with expression products-- produce "chemicals," either proteins or nucleic acids typically. You and I are made of "chemicals," all of them the products of our genes in one way or another. Likewise, all GMOs are "spliced with chemicals" because genes themselves are chemicals, polymers of deoxyribonucleic acid, histamines, etc.

Your comments illustrate, at one level, why biologists are often frustrated by this sort of debate-- you reveal an unreasonable fear of the very stuff that comprises your own body.

There are some legitimate concerns about such things as Bt transformed crops. Expressing Bt-- which is a completely natural, organic insecticide isolated from naturally occurring soil bacteria and used by organic farmers-- in plant tissues increases their resistance to insect pests and thereby improves their yield, but it also has potential to hasten the development of resistance to Bt. But Bt has zero vertebrate toxicity-- it's not even dose dependent, you can eat it and digest it like any other protein, utterly without harm. You've done so for years, including on organic foods.

No food product GMOs that I know of produce any anti-anxiety or anti-depression compounds, so I think that's another unreasonable fear.

And when we get right down to it, your last sentence is the most important and telling in your response. The REAL problem isn't GMOs or genetic engineering-- it's the business practices of corporations like Monsanto and ConAgra. We need to have a science based discussion about GMOs rather than a fear and emotion based discussion precisely so that we can target the real problems-- the corporations who are not trustworthy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:26 AM

29. I've been calling you on this Bt toxin thing all week now mike-c

Last edited Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:01 PM - Edit history (1)

The bacteria produces a protoxin in the form of a crystal which has specificity based on the pH required to dissolve it into the protoxin (requires a high pH to dissolve) . This crystal lasts 24 hrs in sunlight and about as long in the soil. The engineered plants produce the actual toxin which nobody has done any toxicology work on which by studies you provided in another thread seems to last in the soil longer that 180 days doing god knows what to the soil microorganisms. Bacillus thuringiensis is actually a soil bacteria and we know that it's toxin has activity with insects, but we do not know it's activity on soil microorganisms. Which they most certainly have or why would over 2500 strains of them produce so many different toxins- and all in the soil?

This is not science- this is lunacy that is totally inconsistent with any morality. This is about business people deciding to try to run roughshod of the EPA, use all the Bt safety studies that had already been done with the fermented natural Bt to get their product exempted from tolerance testing entirely by the EPA back in the late 80's early 90's. This terrible and dangerous decision will be the end of this industry.

The industry had a chance to get through this by just allowing the labeling. Tey decided to do themselves in by fighting the proposition with such force and in doing so revealed to the entire public what we in the scientific plant breeding and environmental community have known all this time. They are bullies and they lie.....just like the republicans.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tumbulu (Reply #29)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:24 PM

38. I've been ignoring you all week because this is Luddite hysteria....

Last edited Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:45 PM - Edit history (1)

It's clear that nothing I can say will change your mind, so why engage in headbanging? I am familiar with how Bt works. There is no credible evidence of vertebrate toxicity. Period. There are no indications of non-target toxicity against soil invertebrates. Likewise there are currently no indications of broad scale allelopathy of the sort you suggest. Your argument is the precautionary principle taken to ludicrous extremes, essentially "ban everything" you fear and misunderstand.

I'd be right with you if widespread use of Bt engineered crops was sterilizing soil or something, but there is no indication anywhere that's happening-- and Bt crops are widely grown. You're demanding that science stop and spend years or decades exploring problems that don't seem to exist, on the off chance that they might possibly maybe exist, and saying that not doing so is "totally inconsistent with any morality." That's just hyperbole.

Show me data that indicates a problem and we'll talk. Real data, not imagined fears. If no one is collecting it, then collect some.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #38)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:18 PM

43. Sorry mike_c the EPA fouled this one

It is standard for the EPA to ask for and to review this precise type of data before a product is released. This was not done and it is not for me an independent plant breeder to do the research that the EPA should have required of it's applicant that misled them and the public on purpose over 25 years ago.

You keep making this claim that you know what activity these raw toxins have. Where is your data? Why is it in all these people's blood now? Who knows how it is metabolized? This is all data that a normally functioning EPA would have had the applicant provide if it was not being pushed by the industry to give them a regulatory free pass. The pass is over, they need to do this work now.

I worked on Bt toxins for a few years, isolating them, calculating their LD50's and their activity ranges. After that I was a production Microbiologist and ran the Quality Control of a Bt fermentation facility. I traveled to DC on numerous occasions and testified to the EPA on these very issues. This is my field and it is clearly not yours. So, I would accept information and move on from there and quite writing on this board that you somehow know how safe it is.

No one knows until it is properly tested. That is what science is about.

Testing, period. end of story.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tumbulu (Reply #43)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 09:42 PM

45. :-)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #19)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 01:35 PM

41. I think I'll trust the research and studies so far.

Curious though, what is your degree?
And BTW I didn't say that GMOs produce anti-anxiety or anti-depression compounds.

There is real science out there that at the very least raises red flags and screams caution about GMOs. There is natural radiation too but that doesn't mean I want to live near Fukashima or Chernobel. And not all chemicals are safe. Try telling that to the people that lived in Love Canal.

2011--Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.
Aris A, Leblanc S.
Source
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada
-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

2011--Corn allergies are on the rise, and while some genetically modified corn is engineered to withstand Monsanto's herbicide Roundup, other varieties are engineered to create their own internal pesticide (Bt toxin). The biotech industry claimed there were no health risks to worry about from these altered foods. In the case of Bt corn, the concern that your gut might turn into a pesticide factory was shrugged off with lame assurances that the Bt toxin wouldn't survive once ingested.

However, just last month, a study revealed that Bt toxin was detected in:

93 percent of maternal blood samples
80 percent of fetal blood samples
69 percent of non-pregnant women blood samples
Turns out you cannot replace actual safety studies with lip service after all. Another recent review of 19 animal studies on genetically modified organisms (GMO) revealed that nearly 10 percent of blood, urine, organ and other parameters tested were significantly influenced by GMOs, with the liver and kidneys faring the worst. Additionally, Jeffrey Smith, executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and author of two books on the topic, has previously documented more than 65 serious health risks from GM products of all kinds.

Among them:

Offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce
Male mice fed GM soy had damaged young sperm cells
The embryo offspring of GM soy-fed mice had altered DNA functioning
Several US farmers reported sterility or fertility problems among pigs and cows fed on GM corn varieties
-http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/06/14/why-are-there-so-many-food-allergies-now.aspx

2008--J Agric Food Chem. 2008 Dec 10;56(23):11533-9.
Intestinal and peripheral immune response to MON810 maize ingestion in weaning and old mice.
Finamore A, Roselli M, Britti S, Monastra G, Ambra R, Turrini A, Mengheri E.
Source
Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca per gli Alimenti e la Nutrizione, Roma, Italy.
Abstract
This study evaluated the gut and peripheral immune response to genetically modified (GM) maize in mice in vulnerable conditions. Weaning and old mice were fed a diet containing MON810 or its parental control maize or a pellet diet containing a GM-free maize for 30 and 90 days. The immunophenotype of intestinal intraepithelial, spleen, and blood lymphocytes of control maize fed mice was similar to that of pellet fed mice. As compared to control maize, MON810 maize induced alterations in the percentage of T and B cells and of CD4(+), CD8(+), gammadeltaT, and alphabetaT subpopulations of weaning and old mice fed for 30 or 90 days, respectively, at the gut and peripheral sites. An increase of serum IL-6, IL-13, IL-12p70, and MIP-1beta after MON810 feeding was also found. These results suggest the importance of the gut and peripheral immune response to GM crop ingestion as well as the age of the consumer in the GMO safety evaluation.
-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19007233

2007--Arch Environ Contam Toxicol. 2007 May;52(4):596-602. Epub 2007 Mar 13.
New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity.
Séralini GE, Cellier D, de Vendomois JS.
Source
Committee for Independent Information and Research on Genetic Engineering CRIIGEN, Paris, France. criigen@unicaen.fr
Abstract
Health risk assessment of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) cultivated for food or feed is under debate throughout the world, and very little data have been published on mid- or long-term toxicological studies with mammals. One of these studies performed under the responsibility of Monsanto Company with a transgenic corn MON863 has been subjected to questions from regulatory reviewers in Europe, where it was finally approved in 2005. This necessitated a new assessment of kidney pathological findings, and the results remained controversial. An Appeal Court action in Germany (Münster) allowed public access in June 2005 to all the crude data from this 90-day rat-feeding study. We independently re-analyzed these data. Appropriate statistics were added, such as a multivariate analysis of the growth curves, and for biochemical parameters comparisons between GMO-treated rats and the controls fed with an equivalent normal diet, and separately with six reference diets with different compositions. We observed that after the consumption of MON863, rats showed slight but dose-related significant variations in growth for both sexes, resulting in 3.3% decrease in weight for males and 3.7% increase for females. Chemistry measurements reveal signs of hepatorenal toxicity, marked also by differential sensitivities in males and females. Triglycerides increased by 24-40% in females (either at week 14, dose 11% or at week 5, dose 33%, respectively); urine phosphorus and sodium excretions diminished in males by 31-35% (week 14, dose 33%) for the most important results significantly linked to the treatment in comparison to seven diets tested. Longer experiments are essential in order to indicate the real nature and extent of the possible pathology; with the present data it cannot be concluded that GM corn MON863 is a safe product.
-http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17356802

2009--Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans.
Another often used definition originated from an environmental meeting in the United States in 1998 stating: "When an activity raises threats to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken, even if some cause and effect relationships are not fully established scientifically. In this context, the proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof (of the safety of the activity)."13
With the precautionary principle in mind, because GM foods have not been properly tested for human consumption, and because there is ample evidence of probable harm, the AAEM asks:

Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible and provide educational materials concerning GM foods and health risks.

Physicians to consider the possible role of GM foods in the disease processes of the patients they treat and to document any changes in patient health when changing from GM food to non-GM food.

Our members, the medical community, and the independent scientific community to gather case studies potentially related to GM food consumption and health effects, begin epidemiological research to investigate the role of GM foods on human health, and conduct safe methods of determining the effect of GM foods on human health.

For a moratorium on GM food, implementation of immediate long term independent safety testing, and labeling of GM foods, which is necessary for the health and safety of consumers.
-http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to underseasurveyor (Reply #41)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:03 PM

42. answer....

My PhD is in entomology (1995, University of Georgia) and I work as an insect ecologist for a California State University campus where I'm a professor of zoology. Most of my research interest is in old growth forest ecosystems and aquatic systems.

Full disclosure: I am not an agricultural entomologist, and I follow that literature to some extent mainly because I teach upper division university entomology classes. I'm not a toxicologist. Also, I'm not a molecular biologist, although I work closely with several, and have no personal, economic, or professional involvement in genetic engineering.

My personal opinion is that those papers you cited are pretty shaky, at best. It's clear that they're driven by an anti-GMO agenda.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #42)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 03:13 PM

44. Cool

Bugs are cool, creepy but very interesting none the less. I do really like spiders and mantids but you can keep the cockroaches lol.

My husband is a biologist of +/- 35 years, zoology and marine. His firm concentrates on the management and restoration of sea grasses in bays, harbors, and marine estuaries throughout coastal California, Baja, Alaska, with a few projects in the BVI's (sea grasses) and Fiji (coral reefs).

As for myself I do help my husband with his work, mostly field studies and data collection and entry. One of my other jobs is researching for an award winning documentary producer/film maker on various subjects, again mostly environmental, but her latest is on GMO's.

As for the papers I cited from just a quick google search, shaky or not in your opinion, I believe they do reveal enough to question the possible and potential negative effects of GMO's on health and the environment and rather than play russian roulette I'll avoid them as much as possible until more science and medical study is in.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #11)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:23 PM

20. What's your take for growth of Bt resistant insects? Are there other options for organic producers?

I agree, that's one clear drawback of GMO crops. Curious if there's any info on possible time lines / numbers. Much of the press I've read on the issue is pretty vague. Most agree that destructive insects susceptible to Bt, especially among corn crops, are widely eliminated. Yet there seems to be little info on the growth of resistant insect populations.

Maybe there's not a lot of public research on the issue.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to pinto (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:40 PM

23. there are emerging signs of resistance in a few species...

...although it's generally not seen as a widespread problem yet: http://www.cof.orst.edu/cof/teach/agbiotox/Readings%202008/TabashnikBtResistInsects-NatBiotech-2008.pdf

Mechanisms of resistance are still being explored, i.e.: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22606242

There are ways to significantly delay emergence of resistant populations, such as refuges and multi-pesticide use in IPM settings, but I'm still convinced that we'll eventually see this problem get worse. Of course, folks like Paul Stamets are looking for completely different avenues of biocontrol that might solve the problem for longer if they're novel enough to avoid insects' built-in mechanisms for developing resistance to environmental toxins. Whether that's actually possible remains to be seen.

I see the resistance issue as being completely separate from most of the discussion about GMOs, since most public debate is about food quality and the like. I think that's a very useful discussion, BTW, as long as it's informed by science rather than fear.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #23)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 04:13 PM

25. Thanks. The Nature Biotech piece was interesting, as is the refuge approach it mentions.

Whether it's doable or effective large scale apparently remains to be seen. But I like the concept, as far as I understand it.

Agree, food quality and safety are at the center of GMO discussions. Support an ongoing discussion.

(aside) I voted against Prop 37. I support food ingredient labeling, yet this proposition was poorly written, vague and as full of loopholes as Swiss cheese. Pun intended.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #23)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:35 AM

30. For historical purposes these big companies

fought tooth and nail to avoid the requirement for refugia. This was about all we could get them to agree with after lots of fighting, lots of testifying.

In the mid 80's they promised us that they would use a different toxin other than the one that came from strain used in the bacterial fermentations (HD1). They promised us this, but then the business people stepped in and the scientists were overridden. The business people had to make sure it was the same toxin that HD1 produced so that they could claim it was the same and thus avoid all this toxicology and soil biology work that a different toxin would require.

Always rotten, always bullies, what they just did here to us in CA was way to public and now their game is over.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #4)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 02:05 AM

31. That's interesting. Someone I know who is getting a PhD from a good university

in environmental and related studies voted for 37. She said she knows it is not perfect, but that the use of these GMOs with pesticides is increasing pesticide pollution of our water and oceans. I'm not sure I understand how it works but she was quite firm about this.

I eat very few products with GMO corn (very few products with corn or corn syrup) and have noticed that when I have eaten, say a corn tortilla, I have trouble sleeping because my skin itches. Are some people allergic to GMOs? Have you ever heard of that? Or might it just be coincidence with me?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #4)

Wed Nov 14, 2012, 07:13 PM

48. So You Think We Should be Kept Ignorant of What is In Our Food

Because we are "ignorant" of the wonderfulness of genetically modified foods,
that we should be kept ignorant of what foods contain them.

Condescending much?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 11:56 AM

2. 37 going "down in flames" is not a good thing. Personally, I WANT to know what is in my "food".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LoisB (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:00 PM

3. yeh, i don't understand why more people don't want to know

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to LoisB (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 12:03 PM

5. it made my morning....

Rationality prevailed over fear and ignorance. I REALLY didn't expect that outcome. I'm a bit shocked, actually, but really pleased.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:54 PM

15. I'm interested in your take on it but I have to say I really don't like this "ignorance and fear"

comment you keep making.

Some people simply feel they have the right to know what they put in their bodies. Why shouldn't we know that? And if it's not a problem, why are the big companies so afraid to tell us what they are doing to our food?

When someone uses that "ignorance and fear" against people who are really not ignorant people in general, I think it loses credibility for their argument, as well as causes me to begin to shut down to listening to what you have to say because you are basically insulting the people you are trying to persuade.

And from what I've read and heard about it I think that that take on it is unfounded.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:31 PM

10. I'm really bummed about Prop 34, but at least 3-strikes was reformed

It strikes me as odd that the vote to reform 3-strikes was so decisive, but the DP stays - seems like discordant results...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to petronius (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 01:47 PM

12. yeah, that's odd....

I don't get it either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to petronius (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 03:34 PM

22. I think one vote (3 strikes) was a simpler call than the other (DP), a more visceral call.

I agree, it's a discordant result.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Original post)

Wed Nov 7, 2012, 08:32 PM

28. Well I'm very very disappointed about 37 losing, that's awful. Still I imagine

that food that doesn't have that crap in it will say so on the label so in the end we will be informed anyway.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:19 AM

32. Best and saddest expert analysis I have encountered on GMOs ever - discovered several days ago.



http://www.biotech-info.net/exposed.html

"Genetically Altered Foods: We Are Being Exposed to One of the Largest Uncontrolled Experiments in History"

Martha Herbert
Chicago Tribune

September 3, 2000


BOSTON - Today the vast majority of foods in supermarkets contain genetically modified substances whose effects on our health are unknown. As a medical doctor, I can assure you that no one in the medical profession would attempt to perform experiments on human subjects without their consent. Such conduct is illegal and unethical. Yet manufacturers of genetically altered foods are exposing us to one of the largest uncontrolled experiments in modern history.

In less than five years these companies have flooded the marketplace with thousands of untested and unlabeled products containing foreign genetic material. These genetically modified foods pose several very real dangers because they have been engineered to create novel proteins that retard spoilage, produce their own pesticides against insects, or allow plants to tolerate larger and larger doses of weed killers. Despite claims that these food products are based on "sound science," in truth, neither manufacturers nor the government has studied the effects of these genetically altered organisms or their new proteins on people-especially babies, the elderly, and the sick. Can these products be toxic? Can they cause immune system problems? Can they damage an infant's developing nervous system? We need answers to these questions, and until then genetically altered ingredients should be removed from the food we eat.

As a pediatric neurologist, I especially worry about the safety of modified foods when it comes to children. We know that the human immune system, for example, is not fully developed in infants. Consequently, pediatricians have long been concerned about early introduction of new proteins into the immature gut and developing body of small children. Infants with colic are often switched to soy formula. Yet we have no information on how they might be affected by drinking genetically engineered soy, even though this product may be their sole or major source of nutrition for months. Because these foods are unlabeled, most parents feed their babies genetically altered formula whether they want to or not. Even proteins that are normally part of the human diet may, when introduced too early, lead to auto-immune and hypersensitivity or "allergic" reactions later.

Some studies suggest that the epidemic increase in asthma (it has doubled since 1980) may have links to early dietary exposures. The behavior problems of many children with autism and attention disorders get worse when they are exposed to certain foods. Yet as more unlabeled and untested genetically engineered foods enter the market, there is no one monitoring how the millions of people with immune system vulnerability are reacting to them and the novel proteins and fragments of viruses they can contain. In fact, without labeling, there is no possible way to track such health effects. This is not sound science, and it is not sound public health.

<>

More at link.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:23 AM

33. Related material here:“No studies to date have experimentally examined the causal relationship btwn"


http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/10/protecting-childrens-health-american-academy-of-pediatrics-misses-the-big-picture-in-their-flawed-organics-analysis/

Protecting Children’s Health: American Academy of Pediatrics Misses the Big Picture in Their Flawed ‘Organics’ Analysis

October 30th, 2012
COMMENTARY

By Charlotte Vallaeys


For the first time, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has weighed in on organic foods for children.  Its news release was widely covered in the national media.

While the AAP should be commended for acknowledging the potentially harmful effects of pesticide residues on conventional foods, their report—and associated press coverage—is seriously flawed in its basic approach to agrochemical contamination in our food supply and the associated threat to public health.

Even though the AAP acknowledges that many pesticides are neurotoxins, that studies have linked exposure to pesticides to neurological harm in children, and that a recent peer-reviewed study correlated higher pesticide residue levels in children with higher rates of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the AAP is cautious about reaching a conclusion regarding the harmful effects of pesticides.

Why such a reckless approach?  AAP explains, “No studies to date have experimentally examined the causal relationship between exposure to pesticides directly from conventionally grown foods and adverse neurodevelopmental health outcomes.”

With this statement, the AAP suggests that it considers existing knowledge about toxic pesticides to be inadequate and incomplete for the purposes of recommending organic foods for children, which have been shown in peer-reviewed published studies to radically reduce children’s pesticide exposure.

The pediatric group suggests, as agrochemical manufacturers have for decades, that the question of whether pesticides harm children will remain unanswered until results from experiments provide definite proof of harm.  With this expectation, the AAP joins the agribusiness and pesticide lobbyists in setting an impossible standard.  Let’s step back for a minute and imagine what such an experimental study would look like.

<>

Charlotte Vallaeys is Director of Farm and Food Policy at The Cornucopia Institute.  She holds a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and a Master of Science from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #32)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 11:33 AM

34. Recommended.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/14/magazine/why-californias-proposition-37-should-matter-to-anyone-who-cares-about-food.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

Vote for the Dinner Party

Is this the year that the food movement finally enters politics?

By MICHAEL POLLAN

Published October 10, 2012


<...>

Surely this explains why Monsanto and its allies have fought the labeling of genetically modified food so vigorously since 1992, when the industry managed to persuade the Food and Drug Administration — over the objection of its own scientists — that the new crops were “substantially equivalent” to the old and so did not need to be labeled, much less regulated. This represented a breathtaking exercise of both political power (the F.D.A. policy was co-written by a lawyer whose former firm worked for Monsanto) and product positioning: these new crops were revolutionary enough (a “new agricultural paradigm,” Monsanto said) to deserve patent protection and government support, yet at the same time the food made from them was no different than it ever was, so did not need to be labeled. It’s worth noting that ours was one of only a very few governments ever sold on this convenient reasoning: more than 60 other countries have seen fit to label genetically modified food, including those in the European Union, Japan, Russia and China.

<...>



Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to mike_c (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2012, 12:25 PM

39. Statement re: AAAS Board Statement Against Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods

PRESS RELEASE:

http://gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14400:council-for-responsible-genetics-in-fundamental-disagreement-with-aaas-board-

Statement re: AAAS Board Statement Against Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods
Council for Responsible Genetics, November 5 2012


http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/IW4C8PBTQ0.pdf

The Council for Responsible Genetics is in fundamental disagreement with the recent statement from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in which it offered assurances that genetically modified foods (GMOS) are safe and that therefore labeling of foods containing GM ingredients is unnecessary.  The AAAS leadership did not reach this decision, a response to Proposition 37 in California, by a vote of its membership.

We are deeply concerned that a scientific body such as the AAAS would take such an action without giving a complete review of the science behind its statement.

As scientists, they should know that citing a few studies in favor of their position can no longer be considered a compelling argument. Indeed, the AAAS Board did not conduct a thorough analysis of the literature, nor did they include studies that could cast doubt upon their conclusions.

The truth is we do not know conclusively what the long-term effects of growing and consuming GM crops will be. There have been very few systematic and independent animal studies testing the safety of GM crops.  Since 1992 the FDA policy considers the insertion of foreign genes into the plant genomes of crops as the equivalent of hybrid crops-crosses within the same species-and therefore exempt from the regulations on food additives.

Yet we know enough to have valid concerns. The plant genome is not like a Lego set; it is more like an ecosystem.  You simply cannot predict the safety of gene inserts unless you do the testing.

Most GM food studies have been generated by industry and it is the industry itself with sole access to so much of the data.  There is little funding of independent studies on the effects of GM foods, and those few scientists who have engaged in such studies and reported concerns are discounted.  Their concerns cannot be resolved without serious and independent scientific study.

We are particularly concerned that at a time when conflicts of interest have become a major concern in science that the AAAS Board would not openly divulge that some in the AAAS leadership appear to have longstanding ties to the biotech industry.    Since these ties have not been transparently disclosed, it is unclear whether there could also be ties to industrial concerns that might influence decision making of the AAAS leadership.    Surely any reader of their position is entitled to such facts in considering their position. We advocate for full disclosure of all such ties by AAAS leaders.

The fact that no deaths have been attributed to GM crops does not mean they are safe. We do not see deaths associated with bisphenol A (BPA) and yet there are hundreds of studies pointing to risks.  Risks that consumers have carefully considered when choosing whether or not to buy products containing BPA.

The Council for Responsible Genetics has supported GM food labeling for three decades. It is an integral part of our Genetic Bill of Rights.  We further support an active move toward a comprehensive and independent risk assessment for GM foods; not the untenable default state that GMOs are safe.  The public interest is not served when industry supported studies and government cooperation with industry are cited as proof of product safety.

Before we reach any conclusions with regard to GM foods, they must be studied.    That's a basic scientific principle that the AAAS Board appears to have circumvented with their statement.  In the meantime, consumers have the right to know which foods have GM ingredients before they choose what to feed themselves and their families.

A pdf of the statement can be accessed at the following url:
http://www.councilforresponsiblegenetics.org/pageDocuments/IW4C8PBTQ0.pdf

Since 1983, the Council for Responsible Genetics has represented the public interest and fostered public debate about the social, ethical and environmental implications of genetic technologies.  CRG is a leader in the movement to steer biotechnology toward the advancement of public health, environmental protection, equal justice, and respect for human rights.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread