Facts and fear about genetically modified food in Hawaii


[T]he same people on the left who spread incorrect scare stories about GMOs are often the same people who jump to correct the climate change deniers and lecture them about good science.

Politely, do you have an actual list of people in mind who do this, or are you just bashing climate change activists?


I tend to think that GMOs aren’t necessarily bad or creepy. In general, I think there’s a lot of potential for developing stronger, more resilient crops which could feed more of the world.

There are still some situations when they get creepy though:


Though, incidentally, this issue about the health effects of GMOs was discussed by the Natural News, which, just like with:

Was dramatic and inaccurate, saying,


You may be misunderstanding me. I’m not a climate change denier. And while I don’t call myself a climate change activist, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who would, simply because I’m a journalist who regularly points out that, yes, climate change is really happening. I do, however, think it is very strange that plenty of people I know who can see the silliness in climate change denialism will happily turn around and engage in the same sort of flawed logic and anti-science rhetoric when they talk about GMOs.

TL;DR: I’m not bashing climate change activists, I’m bashing people who get so caught up in ideology that they can’t see when they’re doing the very things they criticize other people for doing.


GMOs are DANGEROUS not because of their genetics per se, but because of the sheer VOLUME of pesticides they can soak up. And they are SOAKED in them now during nearly their entire growth cycle.

Enjoy BOWEL CANCER from your “safe” GMO “food.”


I get really tired of saying this, but I’m opposed to GMOs for political and economic reasons. They are not a solution to food security issues, they are a solution for maximizing the power of large agribusiness at the expense of food security. I think the majority of people who support GMO labeling are as concerned about this as they are suspicious of the safety of GMO food. With any debate like this, of course, there are a lot of conveniently loud living straw men.

The reason I think resistance to GMO food, and particularly GMO labeling, really strikes a nerve with biologists is that many of them see this industry as a change to go from being obscure academics to making pots and pots of money and being famous for it, or at least for enough of them to do so that they can stop feeling insecure around “computer people”.


No, the people who are against GMO and ‘for’ the environment are consistently anti-science. How many of the anti GMO/climate change crowd are pushing for nuclear power? By blocking worldwide acceptance and improvement of nuclear power, more carbon gets pushed into he atmosphere.

They care more about misrepresenting science spreading their own irrational fear rather than compromise one bit to reduce CO2 emissions or figure out how to feed the starving.


This is almost exactly what global warming deniers says about meteorologists who talk about global warming.

It’s a shame when politics trumps science. When politics trump science, people do terrible things like destroying food that keeps poor kids from dying and going blind.


If you sign up as a GMO supporter, you get the whole package: Monsanto owns 90% of the market. Saving and planting a seed violates Monsanto’s intellectual property rights, so agriculture as practiced for thousands of years becomes a crime. The earth is saturated with RoundUp, forcing everyone to buy RoundUp-ready seeds (and when the pollen from crops cross-pollinates other fields, adjacent farmers must pay Monsanto or face lawsuits).

If you eat GMO food, even if the organism itself is harmless, it was probably grown in a toxic waste dump of a field.

But sure, go ahead, Maggie. Pretend that you’re the scientist and I’m the loon. But until GMO is carried out independent of the corporate culture that seeks a monopoly over all agriculture, denies the public information on what they are eating and tells us not to worry, I’m going to do my best to avoid their “food”.


Many universities across the globe carry out public funded research into GM food that will never be patented and are in turn destroyed by ‘activists’. In fact, if you bothered to read the article the GM papaya on Hawai was invented in an academic institution.

Monsanto’s patents last… 21 YEARS and then join the PUBLIC DOMAIN.


Glyphosate (RoundUp) resistant crops obviously encourage glyphosate use. I wouldn’t want to drink glyphosate, but it does seem to be a pretty well-known quantity with no horrible effects after years of use. Glyphosate-resistant crops don’t otherwise spefically encourage pesticide use. Bt-producing crops obviously produce their own insecticide, so they discourage use of other insecticides that are likely to be problematic. The various Bts are about as benign as pesticides come, although each version is so specific—generally a virtue—that other insecticides may end up being necessary. GMO papaya resists papaya ringspot virus which is spread by, among other things, aphids, so that GMO papaya plantings are likely to use less insecticide.

You simply cannot say anything about pesticide use and GMO crops that is generally true. The modifications that I most support are ones that are likely to reduce pesticide use overall.


While round-up ready crops are the most obvious face of GMO, conflating them is actively harmful. You can oppose, or support limits on, pesticide use whether crops gain resistance by GMO or breeding. But blanket opposition to GMO food also excludes things like golden rice - crops that have real potential to alleviate human suffering at large scale. But do you think the farmers in impoverished countries are going to carry out a detailed biochemical analysis? No. They have to decide whether to trust something that is genetically modified, and “You banned it, but you want us to use it?” is not a good situation to be in.


It’s interesting that any lunacy demonstrated by any anti-GMO person, no matter how ineffectual that person may be, is seen as a legitimate reason to be pro-GMO - but the well known and repeatedly demonstrated dishonesty of the mega-corporations pushing for GMOs are somehow not of any concern.

I can’t believe that anyone opposed to labeling GMOs honestly thinks they are safe. The shills may be kidding themselves, but they aren’t kidding me… if you really believed in it, you’d be proud to label it.


Mega corporations… like universities who publish information in the public domain free for all to use?

GM is a technology, not a business practice. You should learn about the difference.

Why do you hate the starving so much?


Except when that label has already been demonized. The opposite is done as well - slapping on a label for something seen as “good”, like “gluten free” on foods that never had gluten to begin with.


GM tech is like all technology, it can be good or bad. The problem with GMOs is not the tech, it is with the ownership of patents and the massive amounts of money and lobbying that means that any real testing of things like safety can’t be relied on to be done without interest or pressure from the companies that own the patents.

Don’t say GMOs are safe. They have the potential to be safe or unsafe. How can we know this when so much money is at stake? We can’t.

This is similar to what has happened in the pharmaceutical industry.


What’s the difference between a “shill” and a plant scientist who points out that there is no scientific evidence that GMOs are harmful?


We don’t force small farmers who use cow manure to fertilize their crops to label their products as “Grown in Feces,” even though we know for a fact that people occasionally get sick because of this ancient and useful practice. When science demonstrates that there is a reason to be concerned about GMO’s, it would make sense to label. Until then, it’s just silly.


GMOs may turn out to be as dangerous as the common plant gene splice which anyone can do at home with a sharp blade. It’s difficult to say at this point.

Food companies that refuse to tell you what’s in their food have, historically, been proven to be a persistent danger to humanity.

You can be FOR GMO labelling and Pro-GMOs. Science! Free Marketplace!


The Gluten Free label that suddenly appeared everywhere a couple of years ago is amazing. “Wow, this bag of peanuts doesn’t have wheat in it? Amazing!” Being gluten free doesn’t even mean anything unless you’re a Celiac.

I did see one crazy guy online who claimed that gluten is the cause of all of the body’s ills, but he was clearly a Snake Oil salesman and I don’t remember his name.


There you go! I voiced no objections to GMOs at all, but you’re more than ready to leap right on to belitting, mispresentation and demonization of your perceived opposition. Nice job illustrating the typical stance of GMO apologists.

@Mister44: That argument is the same as saying I should be allowed to ship foods from China without labeling them “made in China”, simply because the RNC has been trying to convince American voters that China is inherently evil. It’s not really a valid reason for a government supposedly “of, by and for the people” to deny informed choice.

If you believe in capitalism (I like a well-regulated capitalism myself) you should be in favor of mandated labeling for all goods; the market isn’t free or fair in the absence of an informed consumer. If you believe in science, you should be in favor of mandated labeling of foodstuffs, because science is crippled by information blockades.

And if you believe in GMOs, you should own that, and be proud to label it. I can’t really believe somebody who claims something is safe when they refuse to compete in a fair market with informed consumers. They probably really think it’s poison, or they wouldn’t want to use regulatory capture to avoid labeling laws.