Skip to comments.Genetically modified foods: Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?
Posted on 09/15/2012 6:08:28 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
On the state's ballot in November, Californians will be voting on Proposition 37 --- an initiative that would require all foods produced with or from genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to carry mandatory warning labels. Oh, sure, it all sounds well and good and simple enough, except that such a measure would impose significant expenses on (often small) businesses; would cost the way-past-completely-broke Californian government up to over a million dollars to regulate the practice; and, oh yeah --- is completely pointless because there is not a single documented case of "adverse health consequences" due to genetically engineered foods.
For a group of people who subscribe to the supposed “party of science,” progressives and environmentalists have waged a strange and steady campaign against the very idea of genetically modified foods. These “frankenfoods,” as they’re sometimes dubbed, are supposedly bad for us because they don’t occur by themselves in nature. But, here’s a news flash, greenies: Human beings have been ‘modifying’ foods with agricultural techniques for centuries. We didn’t just stumble upon corn as we know it today, and we make new apple hybrids all the time. Many medicines, I might also point out, are man-made, but we know that medicines can save lives. Tylenol doesn’t grow on trees, you know. From Forbes:
Except for wild berries and wild mushrooms, virtually all the fruits, vegetables and grains in our diet have been genetically improved by one technique or another often as a result of seeds being irradiated or genes being moved from one species or genus to another in ways that do not occur in nature. But because genetic engineering is more precise and predictable, the technology is at least as safe as and often safer than the modification of food products in cruder, conventional ways. This superior technology is the target of Prop. 37.
The safety record of genetically engineered plants and foods derived from them is extraordinary. Even after the cultivation worldwide of more than 3 billion acres of genetically engineered crops (by more than 14 million farmers) and the consumption of more than 3 trillion servings of food by inhabitants of North America alone, there has not been a single ecosystem disrupted or a single confirmed adverse reaction.
The advantages are also remarkable. Every year, farmers planting genetically engineered varieties spray millions fewer gallons of chemical pesticides and substantially reduce topsoil erosion. In addition, many of these varieties are less susceptible to mold infection and have lower levels of fungal toxins, making them safer for consumers and livestock.
Not only would requiring these types of foods to carry mandatory labels impose costs on producers and raise prices for everybody, including consumers, they would imply to consumers that they need to be wary of undefined dangers, which in turn limits their choices unnecessarily. Maybe part of the idea is that consumers are supposed to spring for the organic foods as an alternative (which no state has any business doing anyways), except that recent studies have suggested organic food might not actually be all that it’s cracked up to be:
…Stanford University doctors dug through reams of research to find out and concluded there’s little evidence that going organic is much healthier, citing only a few differences involving pesticides and antibiotics.
Eating organic fruits and vegetables can lower exposure to pesticides, including for children but the amount measured from conventionally grown produce was within safety limits, the researchers reported Monday.
Nor did the organic foods prove more nutritious.
Even the federal Food and Drug Administration, normally inclined towards being more meddlesome over less, has declined to require all foods in the U.S.A. to carry GMO labels. Imposing such a mandate in California would create a whole new level of regulation-and-litigation bureaucracy that no Californian food-business or individual consumer could avoid paying for. (For more resources, here’s a great piece from the Volokh Conspiracy on why this whole labeling idea is a possibly unconstitutional farce, and an op-ed from the LA Times on why California’s entire ballot-initiative procedure is a hot mess.)
The hubris of ignorant environmentalist groups never ceases to amaze. Have they ever paused to consider that genetically modified foods can, perhaps, save lives and help lift human beings out of poverty? Maybe? I know I’ve posted this video from Penn & Teller before, but it is great, and well worth the watch (warning: some brief foul language).
Aren’t we all products of a genetic modification experiment performed by our parents?
“Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?”
Because they are liberals.
There will be a time when we will wish there was any kind of food, genetically modified or not.
I wish and hope it won’t be so. But I am not optimistic.
I’m not sure creating herbicide ready crops is the smart thing to do. AFAIK this stuff is forbidden in Europe. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but let the markerplace decide. Label GMOs and country of origin.
There is no such thing as a food that hasn’t got some genetic engineering in it.
Once a gentically engineered food product is grown the bees and the wind spread it to everything.
I’m not sure creating herbicide ready crops is the smart thing to do. AFAIK this stuff is forbidden in Europe. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but let the markerplace decide. Label GMOs and country of origin.
Genetically modified foods: Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?
because they are marxists/fascists in charge. They want to control every industry, what you wear and what you eat.
they are probably devastated because the fool mayer in NY upstaged them with the soft drink issue.
they have to come up with something even more irrelevant than him.
we are in a war to see who can hold the title of who can suppress the rights of free citizens the best. kind of obvious to me.
and please, don’t drink a soda bigger than 16oz. that would make you a criminal.
They are soliciting signatures for a similar ballot measure in Washington State.
From the article: “But, here?s a news flash, greenies: Human beings have been ?modifying? foods with agricultural techniques for centuries.”
Here I thought adding animal genes was a relatively new development. We label nutritional information why not add to that list if the product contains GMOs? It doesn’t have to be a warning label.
The only problem I have with some of the Gm stuff is that it doesn’t allow farmers to keep “seed” for the following season, and you have to go back to the manufacturer each year.
That could bite us on the butt bigtime.
Because, they are hippies, they are the most miserable beings on the planet, and, they are in the white house! Cartman was right!
The writer is disingenuous. There is a big difference between traditional crop manipulation, such as selective breeding, and the modification of plant & animal genes.
The proposed legislation would not prohibit GMO food; it would give consumers a choice. Most people are zombies who will still choose to feed their children a diet of genetically modified, pesticide-laden Twinkies, and they will never read the label.
Californians are so stupid I think we should stop worrying about their health. Let them eat whatever they want. Who would want a population like that to have an average lifespan of 95 years.
American livestock producers have tried mightily, and in vain, for country of origin labels on meat since at least the early 70's. It was costly battle, but so far we've lost.
I predict it won't happen soon.
Yes. the COOL requirement is a non-starter.
Why does California insist on finding a problem where nobody else does?
Perhaps because there is money they are not yet in control of.
I would posit, if they had control of this industry, new studies would emerge that extolled the virtues of GMO’s.
Why? Because they can!
Full employment act for lawyers. If a food isn’t labled GM and a molecule of a GM food is found in it....See ya in court, pal unless you write a check to the lawyer.
This sort of withholding of relevant information is more in line with the old USSR or Mao's China. Let each consumer decide for him or her self. It's called freedom.
Health issues attached to GMO food is as real as telegony issue. In short, a medieval idiocy insulting sane person’s intelligence.
Genetically modified is not same as chemically modified. It is still a set of fat, proteins and hydracarbones.
To be fair all non-asexual organisms which are a majority of plants and animals on this planet are involved in gene modification all time. Copulation as is an act of genetical modification.
Practically all the food we eat has been modified by artificial selection over the millenia. Very little of what we eat is “exactly” the same as occurs in non-human influenced nature. As long as genetically-modified foods are safe to eat, I don’t see the problem.
As a proud Conservative... you want to eat this shit? Be my guest.
I prefer my food without inbred bugs/bacteria/ viruses.
But good on ya!
Ignorance is a disease too... then there is that “stick your head in the Sand” syndrome.
False. There were some tests over a decade ago that ran into allergy problems involved with genes taken from nuts that were put into foods you wouldn't associate with peanut allergies. And with labeling outlawed, it's nearly impossible to trace the source of any new problems. That's why the FDA outlawed labeling GE foods. Follow the $$$.
Check your Pantry for cooking oil.
What is it ?
Only in the deluded mind of a corporate zealot does giving people the information to make an informed decision amount to a bad thing. Fighting for transparency is good whether it’s in the government or in a business.
The “minor differences” in organic food that the article glosses over include reduced exposure to antibiotic-resistent strains of bacteria that develop as a result of agribusiness’s practice of pumping animals full of antibiotics just so they can survive in their squalid conditions.
Ever seen how pigs are raised in gestation crates? How about battery-raised hens? Look it up on YouTube. It’s disgusting enough to buy free range meat even if you don’t think there’s any nutritional benefit to it. God intends for man to be good stewards over all creation, including animals. What these companies are doing is sick.
Similarly, even if you don’t agree that there’s any inherent health detriment to GMO food, there are reasons enough to avoid supporting its makers because how some of them behave. Read up on Monsanto, about how they’ve sued small-time farmers because Monsanto grains have accidentally been introduced into their fields. Read about how farmers have to keep going back to Monsanto over and over again for seed since the plants are designed to “self-destruct.” But I’m sure NONE OF THAT would raise prices, now would it?
As someone who’s devoted a career towards scientific inquiry (please see engineeringthinking.wordpress.com/), I see several flaws in the argument for ignoring the potential hazards of GMO foods:
1. The sources cited all have a horse in the race.
2. The “not more nutritious” claims for organic ignored the potentially deleterious effects of pesticides and hormones that may be present in non-organic foods. Excessive hormone intake, for example, has been linked to breast and prostate cancers.
3. GMO foods have been banned in several other countries. This is not absolute proof that GMO is bad, but it implies that perhaps caution is in order.
I agree that a lot of environmentalists do not apply scientific thinking to their causes. However, I have always found that is is more productive to consider issues on a case-by-case basis, rather than lumping everything into a single good/bad category. I.e., all environmentalists are likely not all wrong all of the time.
For what it’s worth, based on following nutritional issues for decades, I recommend eating as much organic food as possible, and avoiding GMO foods.
Not interested in any more crap from you.
I am not a hippie, none of my ancestors were hippies.
I will not eat chemicals or genetically modified science experiments.
It’s pretty stupid to eat things that I have no idea what I’m eating, and trust that “it’s fine”, and big corporations making the junk, though they’re really trying to make easy money, won’t put things into the food that cause all sorts of health problems for me.
The government laughs at the thought of food making people sick - it simply causes more medical expenses, which boosts the revenue of the medical industry, which results in more tax revenue. The medical industry absolutely loves the idea of the food we eat making us sick, since it’s more revenue for them to “treat the problems”. And much of the food “big” business types care about lowering their own costs and increasing sales. So we get: fake color, fake tastes, market-research drive texture and mouth-feel (yes, it’s a science), long shelf-life, foods that are easy to handle in food processing machinery, price increases implemented by decreasing unit weight, reliance on petroleum-based ingredients instead of food based ingredients... I could go on for pages.
It is in NO way a “conservative principle” to “stand up for” agribusiness.
It is most certainly a conservative principle to stand up for farmers who are willing to produce real, natural, healthy, fresh, quality foods. After all - not only is that all we need - those types of foods are known by all chefs to be the absolute best tasting, and, coincidentally, the healthiest. Many knowledgable chefs and “foodies” know the “inside secret” that in fresh, real food, properly prepared - more taste invariably points to a food that is healthier.
There are enormous fallacies that the food industry has pushed into the public mindset over the last century and a half. Take pasteurization. There actually are good microbes that are in unpasteurized milk products. The only time there are “bad” microbes is when (here we go again) the producer is lazy and cheap and does not observe cleanliness in their operation. Pasteurization kills all the good microbes - which, in our bodies, are an essential part of staying healthy. In the past few years, I developed some nasty health issues related to inflammation, which were 100% completely fixed by simply consuming a small amount of organic yogurt twice a day.
Heavy metals in higher-than-acceptable amounts have worked their way into the American diet; these also are causing enormous amounts of health problems. One of my family members is a PhD in the medical field and pointed me at the heavy metals issue.
Quite simply, we could cut our need for healthcare by simply not eating things that poison us.
I live in NJ, and the state is littered with messes left by big corporations that simply close up and completely disappear and leave contaminents in the ground.
Meanwhile, the State DEP harasses tiny manufacturing companies out of business. And they (and most every town) harass individual people who want to do a little shade-tree mechanic work or something similar in their own yard. It’s statism and it’s disgusting and it tramples the Constitution. If I pollute my neighbor’s yard - common law allows them to sue me to make things right. Everyone has a common law right to “quiet enjoyment” of their home. Other than that, Americans originally had retained some of their God-given right to live as they please. Our establishment-party “compromises” are steadily usurping our rights (as we on FR pretty much all agree).
I want to live in a country that is 100% clean, natural and un-poisoned, as opposed to eating poison my whole life then embarking on a multi-million dollar medical effort to live with all the ensuing ailments for the last few decades of my life. It most certainly IS possible. However, lazy and unimaginative corporate boneheads will frequently take the easy way out and leave a disaster for someone else to deal with in the future. They leave their morals at the door when they arrive at work; it’s “anything goes” to keep my precious job and kiss up and try for a promotion.
Thanks for asking.
Check your bathroom for air freshener.
What is it?
I was discussing this with my husband last week. There is probably going to be a shortage of seed corn this year because of the drought. I told him to see if he could get some of this year’s seed for next year.
You grow everything you eat?
Because I have to buy wheat from folks I don't know...
“I will not eat chemicals or genetically modified science experiments.
Its pretty stupid to eat things that I have no idea what Im eating, and trust that its fine, and big corporations making the junk, though theyre really trying to make easy money, wont put things into the food that cause all sorts of health problems for me.”
Thank goodness then that you never eat red kidney beans, potatoes, celery.........or anything that has pesticides in it.
Everything we eat has been genitally modified over eons of time. This just an attempt at more government control
A recent article on the science of GMO food safety (Debate on GMOs health risks after statistical findings in regulatory tests.) provides good reason for caution and further research. The authors determine that:
In the present case, we wish to underline that the commercial GMOs in question contain pesticide residues, some of which have been demonstrated as human cellular endocrine disruptors at levels around 1000 times below their presence in some GM feed. Such Roundup residues are present in more than 80% of edible cultivated GMOs. This does not exclude other possible effects.
As a conclusion, we call for the promotion of transparent, independent and reproducible health studies for new commercial products, the dissemination of which implies consequences on a large scale. Lifetime studies for laboratory animals consuming GMOs must be performed, by contrast to what is done today, like the two-year long tests on rats for some pesticides or some drugs. Such tests could be associated to transgenerational, reproductive or endocrine research studies. And moreover, shortcomings in experimental designs may raise major questions on other chemical authorizations.
It's difficult for me to put my finger on ANYTHING around here that isn't made up of chemicals.
H6C2O is forefront right now.
Natural, of course, made from the explosion of a supernova 5.5 or 6 billion years ago. Combined by me to make a refreshing and cool carbonated beverage.
Silage corn for the dairies.
True, and that is where a lot of of so-called conservatives go about as far from conservatism as is possible to go. They are so obsessed with the idea that government should not regulate business that they are unable to recognize situations where businesses actually do take away the freedoms of the individual, just as government does all too often.
This is so damned simple: label food products that contain GMO ingredients and let the consumers decide what they want to purchase.
The irony is, all these folks who oppose labeling GMO foods are supporting the same sort of behavior we see from Michelle Obama and Mayor Bloomberg. They all want to decide what people should and should not eat. They just use different approaches in their efforts to take choices away from consumers.
I told him to see if he could get some of this years seed for next year.
I you do that you can expect a 75% - 80% germination rate. So up the planting rate 25%.
It is going to be a little harsh for those requiring corn for livestock. Not so much in the US, as compared to overseas, but bad enough.
I really don’t know much about corn, this is the first time we have grown it, we just planted it as an experiment after wheat hay to see if we could double crop it.
why don’t you try FoodInc.org
Then you can try “under the Eight Ball” by Andalusian films
Then you can read med Scape advising “physicians” all over the states to look for Babesiosis
Then maybe you can have a relevant post again.
I guess it is actually dent corn but it is specially bred for silage. We’ve always just called it field corn.
Tellin it like it is, love you, acapesket. And AMEN to that! I remember when they made Hood stop labeling their milk “hormone and anti-biotic free” because it put other milk producers at a disadvantage. Boo Hoo, I still buy Hood only, and whole milk too, as I always have, no osteoperosis for me!!
Or do you want to force someone, at gunpoint, to label stuff?
As I said, prayers up.
You guys keep on being you. Those of us enjoying the bounty of your fields appreciate the harvest, even if we don't say it often enough.