The race is heating up for Prop. 37, the gmo labeling law in California. It’s being touted as the consumer’s right to know what is in their food. The plain fact is that all the evidence they have to support their side is based on bad and flawed science and/or outright lies.
The liberal/left is always pointing to the anti-science mindset of the right. This campaign gives the anti-science right a run for their money.
It is a fact. The body of research is solid. Every reputable scientific organization agrees on the safety of gmos, or more technically correct, transgenic plants. They have been tested more than any other method.
Activists, on websites and in interviews always trot out the same discredited “facts” about the dangers of transgenic foods. They point to non-peer reviewed, flawed, discredited, self published studies. This movement is the FOX News of the Left. They keep repeating discredited studies as if they are true. Jeffrey Smith and Ronnie Cummins are masters of that tactic. They’re the Hannity and Limbaugh of the anti-gmo crowd.
What cracks me up about Cummins is that there doesn’t seem to a cause he hasn’t liked. According to his bio on HuffPost: Cummins has been active as a writer and activist since the 1960s, with extensive experience in human rights, anti-war, anti-nuclear, labor, consumer, environmental, and sustainable agriculture campaigns. It seems that he is an activist in search of a cause. Once a cause loses favor he’s on to the next one. “What are you rebelling against now, Johnny?” “What do you got?”
And Smith? I’ve written about him before.
They point to scientists who agree with them. There are maybe a half dozen or so. The same names keep popping up. Climate change deniers also have the stable of scientists that have evidence that climate change is bogus.
The biggest go-to guys for their anti-gmo information aren’t scientists at all. They’re hustlers and activists with no scientific credentials at all
Activists point to discredited short-term studies that show dangerous effects in animals. Yet, they can’t point to any known public health problems in humans since transgenic foods hit the market 16 years ago. When you point this out them, the first reaction is usually “How much is Monsanto paying you?” Then they talk out of the other side of their mouths and say, well, we don’t know the long-term effects because there haven’t been any studies. Another lie. When asked how long they think it will take, they respond, “generations.” So, short-term studies show hazards but it will take generations to see the effects? Imbeciles.
Another duplicitous argument is that they have nothing against big organic, but call for boycotts of organic companies that didn’t sign on to their campaign and label them as “betrayers.”
The biggest line of bullshit is the main argument of their campaign, the consumer’s right to know what is in their food. The label that is being touted is a simple, “May contain genetically modified ingredients.”
What exactly does that mean? It’s useless beyond creating fear in the consumer due to all the misinformation they’ve spread. On comment boards, when I ask people exactly what they think the ingredients are, they can’t tell me, but demand their right to know what’s in their food. Comment boards are filled with freaks who claim that they had health problems from eating gmo foods and since they since they stopped gmo, these health problems abated. The big problem is that the foods they claim they ate that are gmo aren’t. It’s another imbecile aspect of this issue.
My theory is that this whole campaign is a big con by the organic industry and medical quacks to ramp up market share. Right now organics have a 3% share of the market. They are hoping that if they can scare the public enough, they will abandon conventional and gmos and buy organic. I believe this is a cynical attempt to gain market share through laws that put their competitors at a disadvantage. GMOs are the perfect boogeyman. Currently, gmos are the domain of multi-nationals which no one, for good reason, trusts.
But in this case, I’m siding with the corporations even though I hate their business practices. It’s because the science is solid. Or as solid as science can be.
Nothing is 100% safe. Not even organic food.
As a final note of this rant: I believe that well meaning imbeciles are being used by these activists.