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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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To: Kaslin

It is not a left wing idea to want teal food that does not have fake DNA to replicate it with less nutrients in the offspring and a patent on seeds that blow on your land!


21 posted on 09/23/2013 6:14:14 AM PDT by RaceBannon (Lk 16:31 And he said unto him If they hear not Moses and the prophets neither will theybe persuaded)
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To: RaceBannon

I agree. I’m no fan of Monsanto or GMO food.


22 posted on 09/23/2013 6:16:15 AM PDT by gattaca ("Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal." Thomas Jefferson)
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To: freebilly
Genetic R&D has essentially produced the food we eat today. That genes are manipulated via genetic selection vs. chemical/biological processes is of little concern to me.

Ever seen “Indian” corn. It bears little resemblance to the corn we eat today. Same for potatoes, grain, & livestock. They are all healthier, more productive products than they were 200 years ago, primarily because of genetics.

Everything you eat, use, & own is made by a private company. Many products are dangerous to your health if used improperly or excessively. Our houses are full of them. So, what is the big deal with genetic manipulation when there is no proof of any inherent dangers?

If I have any concern, it is with the so-called gov’t watchdogs who are too busy measuring cow flatulence or accepting “campaign contributions” to properly police our food industry.

I'm not nearly so concerned about the morality of private companies that have EVERYTHING to lose from developing a harmful, failed product vs. gov’t employees who can't even be fired for committing felonies. Nowadays, gov't involvement is more often the catalyst for corruption, mismanagement & failure, not the deterrent.

This sounds awfully like the anti-fracking nonsense.

23 posted on 09/23/2013 6:20:05 AM PDT by Mister Da (The mark of a wise man is not what he knows, but what he knows he doesn't know!)
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To: Kaslin

Obesity is due to cable and video games. Turn those off and go do something else.

Create your own adventure rather watching someone else have fun.


24 posted on 09/23/2013 6:26:57 AM PDT by buffaloguy
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

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

...and the why?

Monsanto must be held responsible.

For what?

NO GMO’s

I don’t think I would have an issue if that NO GMO’s included yourself and left open for others to make up their own minds.


25 posted on 09/23/2013 6:30:39 AM PDT by wita
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To: Kaslin
"The honeybees are dying — and we don’t really know why. That’s the conclusion of a massive Department of Agriculture (USDA) report that came out late last week on colony-collapse disorder (CCD), the catchall term for the large-scale deaths of honeybee groups throughout the U.S."

Read more: http://science.time.com/2013/05/07/beepocalypse-redux-honey-bees-are-still-dying-and-we-still-dont-know-why/#ixzz2firnU3Jz

26 posted on 09/23/2013 6:35:01 AM PDT by jpsb (Believe nothing until it has been officially denied)
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To: Mister Da
I'm not nearly so concerned about the morality of private companies that have EVERYTHING to lose from developing a harmful, failed product vs. gov’t employees who can't even be fired for committing felonies.

That's exactly what Monsanto was hoping you'd say.

We're so busy swatting mosquitoes, we don't see the grizzly bear heading toward us.

/myopia
27 posted on 09/23/2013 6:39:12 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Mister Da
There is a big difference between creating hybrids and GMOs. These big companies are about power, not crop improvement. Why else would they engineer something like the terminator gene? There is also little benefit in the long term use of GMO seeds.
28 posted on 09/23/2013 6:40:42 AM PDT by antidisestablishment (Mahound delenda est)
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To: xzins

In this case it’s still the leftists that support crony capitalism. It always is.


29 posted on 09/23/2013 6:47:26 AM PDT by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Mister Da

A voice of reason instead of the usual hysteria borne of ignorance. bttt


30 posted on 09/23/2013 6:53:40 AM PDT by Matchett-PI (It's a single step from relativism to barbarism, low information to Democrat, ignorance to tenure)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland
Many Greenpeace and Friends of Earth have infiltrated Free Republic over the years. They pose as conservatives, but in fact, are far left....when Bush was President, they claimed that Bush supported GMO’s, their real agenda is anti-capitalism and hatred of Monsanto. You just have to look at the people who support anti-GMO’s like Barbara Boxer, Pelosi, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Friends of Earth, etc, to realize how the far left has brain washed this issue.
31 posted on 09/23/2013 6:54:15 AM PDT by Aussiebabe
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To: Kaslin

The left is astro-turf... These kids are being paid by some fat cat leftist who benefits financially.


32 posted on 09/23/2013 6:56:51 AM PDT by GOPJ ( Politicians who fear the people seek to disarm them. - - Bill St. Clair)
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Back when I was a low-info person on this subject I would have swallowed an article like this hook, line and sinker. Invest the time and get yourself informed so you won’t be played for a sucker. There’s lots of info out there, get it while you can. Having the knee-jerk reaction to support Monsanto because it’s mostly people who lean left that are sounding the alarm is ignorant. Monsanto is absolutely sinister.


33 posted on 09/23/2013 7:00:42 AM PDT by Hayride
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To: Kaslin

One of my tasks today is getting my heirloom seeds harvested. I want to be able to feed my family year after year.


34 posted on 09/23/2013 7:02:01 AM PDT by goodwithagun (My gun has killed fewer people than Ted Kennedy's car.)
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To: maine yankee

Stalin would have loved Monsanto, it would have given him control he never had with the Collective Farms.


35 posted on 09/23/2013 7:05:00 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: maine yankee

Exactly. The dirty little secret of GMO is that many strains are altered ONLY so they can be patented. No real change in production or growth patterns.

Control is the key.


36 posted on 09/23/2013 7:10:13 AM PDT by mad_as_he$$
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To: Hayride
MSM avoids coverage

Fox News wins law suit to misinform public 2009

37 posted on 09/23/2013 7:19:56 AM PDT by opentalk
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To: Kaslin
Just because this issue is important to the Left doesn't mean that Conservatives should be baited into automatically taking the other side.

Monsanto is a corrupt, bullying firm that has bought off dozens of elected representatives in order to help force small family farms out of business. They want the land and don't want the competition. They regularly sue these farms for "illegally using Monsanto crops".

GMO pollen blows from Monsanto crops and pollinates the family farm's crops. Monsanto does genetic testing to prove that their product has been incorporated into the family farm's crops and wins, driving many farms into bankruptcy. Their ability to do is supported by laws passed by corrupt officials.

It is becoming very difficult to avoid their GMO food as labels do not required GMO information. I prefers God's genetic structure in my food and should have the choice regarding what I eat.

Conservatives support people who want to grow their own food and drink raw milk. We have all read about the FDA SWAT attacks on these people and their families. The FedGov is in bed with Monsanto big time. It's time to knock down their house of cards.

38 posted on 09/23/2013 7:45:50 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: Hayride

Their record speaks for itself. Everything I need to know about Monsanto I have learned from their history and business practices.

Just to give you an idea of how ridiculous Monsanto is, they think they own your corn if their pollen spreads to your corn. How exactly do you contain pollen? Newsflash! YOU CANT and they know this!

They knew about the dangers of PCB’s and they covered it up. They have a history of lies and refusing to take ownership of their mistakes. PCB’s, Dioxin, frankenfood, the list goes on.


39 posted on 09/23/2013 7:47:05 AM PDT by drunknsage
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To: Mister Da

You admit your ignorance when you seemingly can’t tell the difference between hybridization and gene splicing. Hybrids are created everyday in nature. Gene spliced mutants are not. Knee-jerk nay-saying is not a cogent argument. Neither is ignorance.


40 posted on 09/23/2013 7:58:06 AM PDT by Dr. Thorne ("How long, O Lord, holy and true?" - Rev. 6:10)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland

“Monsanto must be held responsible.”

Then file a lawsuit. Oh, but then you’d have to actually be able to demonstrate that they did you harm. Good luck with that.


41 posted on 09/23/2013 8:18:25 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Mister Da

The problem is not the development of GMO’s. the problem is with the application, just as the problem with antibiotics is with their over prescription and misuse. There’s plenty of evidence that natural selection breeds superbugs and superpests....


42 posted on 09/23/2013 8:25:59 AM PDT by freebilly (Creepy and the Ass Crackers....)
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To: alice_in_bubbaland
Ditto. The telling point is the vehement resistance to any attempts to require GMO labeling on food. They know that the public doesn't want GMO food and will avoid buying products if GMO content were required to be clearly labeled as such.

Few people object to buying pasteurized milk, and yet pasteurized milk is clearly labeled as such. If GMO was such a benign and forward-looking technology they would be proud to label GMO food.

This is a classic example of crony capitalism, which is the opposite of the free market.

43 posted on 09/23/2013 8:27:07 AM PDT by AustinBill (consequence is what makes our choices real)
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To: maine yankee

Farmers haven’t planted open pollinated corn for generations.


44 posted on 09/23/2013 8:31:29 AM PDT by Mr. Lucky
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To: Mister Da

“This sounds awfully like the anti-fracking nonsense.”

Bingo. When the left gets this upset about something, you can be sure there is another agenda below the surface that they don’t want to talk about. With fracking, they really want to stop us from finding new sources of fuel, because they don’t want a strong, energy independent America.

With the anti-GMO hysteria, the left is trying to minimize our food production, to both weaken us, and to reduce the world food supply as a backdoor to population control.


45 posted on 09/23/2013 8:31:29 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: Boogieman
Then file a lawsuit. Oh, but then you’d have to actually be able to demonstrate that they did you harm.

Why do we need the FDA then? No need to watch over the nation's food supply, right? We can all just wait until we're harmed, and then file lawsuits!

/dumb
46 posted on 09/23/2013 8:31:39 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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To: Kaslin

It’s not just leftists who hate Monsanto. Monsanto is deep in government pockets and is on its way to controlling food sources. Control the means of food production and you control the people. Get your heirloom seeds while you still can.


47 posted on 09/23/2013 8:39:17 AM PDT by informavoracious (We're being "punished" with Stanley Ann's baby. Obamacare: shovel-ready healthcare.)
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To: dfwgator

Stalin would have loved Monsanto,


Less than you might think. Monsanto generates wealth by creating technology for higher yielding crops, therefore feeding more people and making money at the same time. Stalin.............not so much.


48 posted on 09/23/2013 8:41:52 AM PDT by cornfedcowboy
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To: Hayride

“Monsanto is absolutely sinister.”

Geez, you even sound like a leftist now.


49 posted on 09/23/2013 8:42:05 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: cornfedcowboy
Monsanto generates wealth by creating technology for higher yielding crops, therefore feeding more people and making money at the same time.

Is that why food prices keep falling?

/s
50 posted on 09/23/2013 8:50:26 AM PDT by LearsFool ("Thou shouldst not have been old, till thou hadst been wise.")
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