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Leftist Hysteria Over Monsanto
Townhall.com ^ | September 23, 2013 | Rachel Alexander

Posted on 09/23/2013 5:34:19 AM PDT by Kaslin

The left is in a frenzy over the American agricultural biotechnology corporation Monsanto and other agribusinesses that tinker with crop genetics. Is there any truth to their scare stories asserting that we’re being poisoned with “Frankenfood,” breeding new strains of superbugs and superpests?

Genetically modified crops, known as GMOs (genetically modified organisms), have been used by American farmers since the mid-1990s in order to increase crop yields and reduce the use of pesticides. The FDA has approved their use. Today, 70-80 percent of grocery products in the U.S. include genetically engineered ingredients. In contrast, only 5 percent of the food sold in Europe contains GMOs, due to governmental restrictions.

According to opponents of GMOs, “The concern is that genetic modification alters the proteins in foods in ways that researchers do not yet fully understand. Substances that have never existed before in nature are entering our food supply untested.” In addition to ingesting modified food, people are eating livestock that has been fed GMOs. Food sensitivities, allergies and other health problems have been increasing in recent years, and opponents claim it is due to GMOs. Where the science gets murky is whether this correlation is true.

Efforts are being made by the left to pass laws requiring the labeling of GMOs. In Washington state, Initiative 522 would require fruits, vegetables and grain-based products to be labeled, but exempts meat and dairy products from animals fed genetically engineered grains. Monsanto has contributed $4.6 million to defeat I-522, and opponents are outspending proponents by more than three to one. A similar initiative lost in California last year, where opponents including agribusiness and major food manufacturers outspent proponents almost five to one. Initiatives have passed in Connecticut and Maine, and legislation is pending in 20 states.

I-522 opponents cite estimates by the state’s Office of Financial Management computing that the average family’s food bill would rise $490 a year if it passes. The liberal Seattle Times editorialized against the initiative, pointing out that consumers already have the option of buying organic foods, and many companies already choose to self-label. Dan Newhouse, a former director of the Washington Department of Agriculture, says the bill is poorly written, containing confusing and absurd requirements.

The website junkscience.com says labeling genetically modified food would put a stigma on it. “The very act of labeling suggests to consumers there’s something potentially risky about X – if you don’t believe it try giving away bottles of water labeled ‘Contains DiHydrogen Monoxide’ and see what reactions you get.”

There is some scientific approval of GMOs. The American Medical Association has come out against labeling GMOs, declaring, “There is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.” UCLA professor Bob Goldberg, a molecular biologist and a member of the National Academy of Science, asserts, “Bioengineered crops are the safest crops in the world. We’ve been testing them for 40 years. They’re like the Model T Ford. There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe.” One prominent environmentalist activist, Mark Lynas, recently switched his position on GMOs, coming out in support of them.

The problem with GMOs is there hasn’t been scientific testing done on human subjects - and both sides of the debate are using this to their advantage. Rats given massive doses of GMOs had adverse reactions. Female rats lost their babies at a high rate, gave birth to fewer and smaller babies, and the testicles of male rats changed color. A study of buffaloes in India that were fed GMOs produced similar results. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine warned, “Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation.”

The problem with studies like these is the dosages of food given the animals is forced and unrealistic. There have been reports of humans becoming sick who live in close proximity to GMO-producing farms. Yet these stories are anecdotal evidence and not rigorous scientific studies.

The most controversial aspect of GMOs involves the modification of crops beyond just hybrids. The latest modification added an actual pesticide component to food. A built-in pesticide was added within the cellular structure of corn, a gene copied from the insect-killing bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt. It eliminates the need to spray the corn with pesticides. This prompted concerns about humans ingesting food containing a built-in pesticide.

One study found that this pesticide-enhanced corn is causing problems for some crops in Illinois. Michael Gray, a professor of crop sciences at the University of Illinois, observed that rootworms are growing more resistant to the genetically modified corn - despite the fact that the corn was modified to resist the rootworms. Previously, farmers rotated corn crops with soybean crops, since rootworms would not infest the soybeans. Since the modified corn was introduced, rootworms are now being found in the soybean fields too, destroying both kinds of crops. Some farmers are reluctant to reject the modified corn, however, because generally it helps reduce pesticide use.

There is a lawsuit in place currently against Monsanto by the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA), a group of 73 American organic and conventional family farmers, public advocacy groups and seed businesses. They are accusing Monsanto’s genetically-engineered seed of contaminating neighboring non-GMO farms via wind-borne pollen and insects.

Monsanto spends millions lobbying Congress and the Department of Agriculture. A Monsanto attorney, Michael Taylor, has spent the last few decades revolving between Monsanto and government jobs with the FDA and the USDA, where he directed much of those agencies’ policies on GMOs. To the casual observer, this would appear to be a clear conflict of interest. This is typical of the Obama administration, known for its revolving door between the big banks and Obama’s cabinet.

Republicans better not be in the pockets of big agricultural business. While onerous regulations are not the answer to murky science, sweeping everything under the rug isn’t either. Many of those speaking out in defense of GMOs come directly from the GMO industry, lowering their credibility. Unfortunately, most Republicans have little interest in investigating GMOs, since the hysterical left is leading the opposition to them, straining credibility.


Americans are getting sicker than people in other high-income countries. Until there are rigorous scientific studies performed on human subjects, both sides should tread carefully in this area. Since “you are what you eat,” consumers who believe that GMOs present a threat to their health should put their money where their mouth is and buy food from businesses like Whole Foods which label food or provide organic food. And don’t force everyone else to.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: billgates; bullytactics; choice; corruptusda; eugenics; fdamonsanto; gmo; healthrisk; hfcs; infertility; monsanto; noaccounability; poison; roundup
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1 posted on 09/23/2013 5:34:19 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Maybe this is the reason for why so many or overweight or obese?


2 posted on 09/23/2013 5:36:30 AM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (I’m not a Republican, I'm a Conservative! Pubbies haven't been conservative since before T.R.)
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To: Kaslin

If biotech was a an enhanced flowerchild of Berkley, they Left would be ramming it down our throat.


3 posted on 09/23/2013 5:38:02 AM PDT by Gen.Blather
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To: Jack Hydrazine

“Maybe this is the reason for why so many or overweight or obese?”

No. People are only overweight because they eat more calories than they need/expend.


4 posted on 09/23/2013 5:39:25 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Just wanted to say I hope you great NSA folks are enjoying my posts here.)
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To: Kaslin

No fan of Monsanto, but the far left wackos are over the top as usual. Monsanto and giant agri-businesses are too powerful, influence our government in negative ways and produce inferior products. As usual, it is DC beltway lifers that enable their growth and advancement. The wackos are still still wackos, regardless.


5 posted on 09/23/2013 5:39:31 AM PDT by ilgipper (Obama is proving that very bad ideas can be wrapped up in pretty words)
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To: Kaslin

Sorry, this is one so called “leftist” cause that I am 100 percent behind.

This is a human problem not a leftist one.

Monsanto must be held responsible.

NO GMO’s!


6 posted on 09/23/2013 5:44:27 AM PDT by alice_in_bubbaland (When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes mandatory ... Thomas Jefferson)
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To: Kaslin

GMO’s are like antibiotics— the pests they are engineered to resist will, in turn, build their own resistance to the genetic modification. Eventually, we will build superpests for tomatoes, corn, soy, wheat, just as we’ve built superbugs with the indiscriminate use of antibiotics.

I’m with the left on this one. I’ve done enough farming to know that insects will, over time, develop resistance to pesticides. It’s just a matter of time before they develop a resistance to GMO’s....


7 posted on 09/23/2013 5:45:27 AM PDT by freebilly (Creepy and the Ass Crackers....)
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To: Kaslin

So the left is mad at vegetables that have seeds that can’t reproduce and then support gay marriage???


8 posted on 09/23/2013 5:47:04 AM PDT by barmag25
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To: Kaslin
Republicans better not be in the pockets of big agricultural business.

OK, stop. Anybody got a quick cure for convulsive laughter? :)

9 posted on 09/23/2013 5:50:02 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

Monsanto is a crony corporatist organization living off of corporate welfare and political deals.

When they cut their government ties, then I’ll weigh what they say as if they are an honest broker.


10 posted on 09/23/2013 5:55:09 AM PDT by xzins ( Retired Army Chaplain and Proud of It! Those who truly support our troops pray for victory!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

No, kids are overweight because they don’t play and adults are overweight because they don’t physically work like they used to.


11 posted on 09/23/2013 5:58:42 AM PDT by wolfman23601
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To: ilgipper

Yeah, they’re still leftist wackos, but I give them credit when they’re right—such as with Monsanto.


12 posted on 09/23/2013 5:58:56 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Kaslin

My greatest concern about GMO’s is the patenting of food.

Most big farm operations are now forced to buy patented GMO seed from a handfull of providers.

Farmers can loger save their own seed from one year to the next; But are forced to buy new seed each year.

They are also forced into agreements concerning use of pesticides which are becoming less and less effective.

This issue is not about GMO’s per se. It’s about CONTROL !

“Control the oil, you control the country. Control the food, you control the people.” - Henry Kissenger


13 posted on 09/23/2013 5:59:55 AM PDT by maine yankee (I got my Governor at 'Marden's')
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To: HereInTheHeartland

There are all sorts of ways in which the human body is more complex than simple calories-in-to-fat-gained machines.


14 posted on 09/23/2013 6:00:05 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: 9YearLurker

People eat too much and exercise too little. Many people don’t have a clue how many calories they ingest.
Look at serving sizes in restaurants; even just the average size of a plate in a home.

I know many people (myself included); who have gotten a handle on what they are eating and seen weight come off.
Nothing fancy.


15 posted on 09/23/2013 6:02:54 AM PDT by HereInTheHeartland (Just wanted to say I hope you great NSA folks are enjoying my posts here.)
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To: Kaslin
Misgivings About How a Weed Killer Affects the Soil [round up]
16 posted on 09/23/2013 6:03:14 AM PDT by opentalk
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To: opentalk

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/business/misgivings-about-how-a-weed-killer-affects-the-soil.html?ref=geneticallymodifiedfood&;
Link nyt


17 posted on 09/23/2013 6:04:22 AM PDT by opentalk
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To: xzins

My congresscritter, Rosa DeLauro, aka Mrs Stanley Greenberg, never admitted her connection to Monsanto through her husband when she was pushing a farm safety bill a few years back.

I just try to grow as much of my own food as possible. Not necessarily cheaper, but definitely tastier.


18 posted on 09/23/2013 6:08:36 AM PDT by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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Monsanto ponies up and Big Ag pulls ahead in GMO labeling horse race
19 posted on 09/23/2013 6:09:13 AM PDT by opentalk
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To: HereInTheHeartland

Good for you, but many people also eat far more calories than required without getting fat. On the other hand, chronic dieters may get to a point where they eat very little without losing weight.

Metabolism differs by individuals and by their actions. There are differences by the proportions of fat, protein and carbs eaten. They’re even finding that viruses can affect weight.

And hormones—yikes! Estrogen, for example, encourages weight gain, and we know that various pollutants in our environment and food supply can both mimic and lead to high estrogen levels.


20 posted on 09/23/2013 6:09:20 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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