The anti-GMO gang that couldn’t label straight

Throughout the Prop 37 campaign we heard the refrain from the GMO labeling crowd, “Just label it.” They wanted to know what Big Ag was hiding. It was, after all, just a simple label, May Contain Genetically Modified Ingredients. 

After a long battle the initiative went down to defeat. But supporters vowed to carry on in their quest. And they made good on their threat. From all accounts, around 30 states are considering labeling foods made with GMOs. This didn’t  escape the notice of Big Ag.  They needed a plan.

So, the 20 Big Ag and food families called for a sitdown in Washington, D.C with the FDA and two representatives from the opposing anti-GMO families. They decided it wasn’t worth it to go to the financial mattresses and keep fighting this war.

It made perfect sense. They knew this would be a never ending battle costing millions. They needed to hammer out an arrangement with the opposing families.

You would think the anti-GMO soldiers would have welcomed this meeting. You would have thought wrong.

The minute notice of the meeting was leaked by “Crazy Ron” Cummins, head of the OCA family, he cried conspiracy as did the others. He smelled a rat. Michelle Simon, consigliere of the anti-GMO families was equally suspicious. In a column on the site  Nation of Change, Simon wrote, “any effort to label GE foods at the federal level could bring the current grassroots movement to a grinding halt by preventing any stronger local laws from ever being enacted.”

We have been told non-stop for over two years that it was just a simple idea of a label; the right-to-know that food products were made with GMOs. Then in the middle of that, it morphed into how GMOs cause  every malady known to mankind. Still, they kept saying it was simply, the right-to-know. Now the anti-GMO families are making noise about stronger local laws?

The anti-GMO families have been holding meetings across the country where a yogic flying dance teacher with no scientific credentials whatsoever gives his expert opinion on the dangers of GMOs. If he isn’t available, they screen his quackumentary*, Genetic Roulette. 

So, what is it? They can’t keep their motives straight. Do they want a simple label or do they want GMOs banned? Its obvious it’s the latter, but they still can’t keep chanting the it’s just a label mantra.

The anti-GMO crowd has to get real. They have to stick to one message and not be so weasly in their intentions. The bottom line is they want GMO foods banned because they think they are poison.  They should come clean that they are organic advocates that hate any kind of modern progress in regards to farming. They have to come clean that what they perceive as the dangers of GMOs have never been proven, despite the bogus science they believe.

As much as I hate corporations, they were smart to call this confab, where a strict code of omerta was observed, even by the opposing family representatives. I think the reaction to this meeting(s) show(s) the true motives of the anti-GMO crowd.

*Oh, man. I thought I invented that word, but a friend sent me some links where it was used, usually by crazy conspiracy theorists.

13 thoughts on “The anti-GMO gang that couldn’t label straight”

  1. Ha! I blew the headline. I should have written “The anti-gmo labeling gang that couldn’t shoot straight. ” That was the headline that came to mind when I was on the subway.

  2. Here’s a consistent message – GMO agriculture is a dangerous addiction foisted on the economy by the likes of Monsanto, Dow, BASF, etc; and labelling can provide the information that a free market is supposed to provide to help consumers make rational choices. Here’s more evidence:

    http://www.earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/gmo-myths-and-truths

    and

    http://www.earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/GM-Soy-Sustainable/gm_full_eng_v15.pdf

    These are rational arguments with a great deal of “scientific studies” to back them up; rather than the phobic fantasies you dismiss. If you cannot agree with these arguments, at least you can understand them, instead of constantly repeating like some kind of Rain Man that “the anti-scientific left thinks that GMO foods are poison..” Actually, I think the jury is still out on the safety of the actual food. But that the agricultural system is seeing, at best, almost no benefit from GM crops while Big AG is taking us to the cleaners is a perfectly rational judgment.

    1. Do you have any links to actual science or studies done by non-anti-gmo activists?

      It has become a phobia. GMO foods have “different” calories that can’t be worked off by exercising? That’s just the latest.

      As to labeling: How informational is a label that says, “May Contain GMOs?” If there are no known health effects, and there haven’t been any for 16 years, how is avoiding gmos foods a rational choice?

      Nobody is foisting anything on anybody. Farmers are free to buy any seeds they want, but they seem to be choosing the Gm ones more often than not.

      Despite the outcry from the anti-GMO crowd about the dangers of GMO foods, Monsanto’s profit for the second fiscal quarter of 2012 was $4.75 billion, up from $4.13 billion at the same time last year. Roughly half of that was sales of their GMO corn, a constant target of the AGM crowd. Sales of Bt corn rose 35%. International sales also contributed to the increase. Overseas, one of the other evil giants, Syngenta posted a 47% increase in sales. Much of the sales increase is in Central and South America. Eastern Europe also figures into the mix
      It appears farmers aren’t hearing the activists. AGMs may feel good about their campaign, but those who actually buy the seeds seem to be turning a deaf ear. So, in essence, the AGM war against GMOs and Monsanto, et al is also a war against farmers, or should I say, non-organic farmers. If these big companies are screwing over farmers left and right, why are they seeing record increases in sales and profits?

      1. Yes, here is a link to an “independent” study showing that transgenic canola plants are loose in the wild:
        http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=genetically-modified-crop

        Here are links to a couple of “independent” reports that GE-induced herbicide-resistant weeds are proliferating and causing increased costs to farmers:

        http://deltafarmpress.com/management/resistant-weeds-changing-way-we-farm
        http://deltafarmpress.com/herbicide-resistance

        Lots more where those came from, and it’s only likely to get worse. As much as you “hate corporations”, it amazes me that you are not more suspicious of their self-interested gamble on long-term environmental safety, in the pursuit of profit..
        And I’m surprised why an otherwise intelligent individual can’t seem to understand that a person might want to know whether he is consuming GMO products, so that he can decline to support an agricultural system that is obviously not “healthy”. I notice that you are fond of ridiculing organic farming. But I would remind you that if organic farming was the norm, we wouldn’t have hundreds of dead zones in the world’s oceans. And we likely wouldn’t have rampant soil impoverishment:

        http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/758899.stm

        The addiction analogy, while admittedly anecdotal, explains to me why the profitability of the BigAgs, and the fact that farmers are “free to buy any seeds they want”, do not speak to the “safety” of GE at all. After all, Philip Morris was very profitable last year!

  3. Jay says:

    “But I would remind you that if organic farming was the norm, we wouldn’t have hundreds of dead zones in the world’s oceans. And we likely wouldn’t have rampant soil impoverishment:”

    That’s nonsense. The issue is over-population. If “organic” farming was the norm (which it is not and never will be) it’s likely that you’d have famine and starvation. If “organic” were the norm, you’d have homeopathy for livestock.

    1. Mikeb,
      I stand by my contention that if organic farming was the norm, we wouldn’t have dead zones in the oceans. That’s just true, since it is pretty much entirely the excess of artificial fertilizers that are the ultimate cause of the dead zones. Similar logic for soil impoverishment…
      I agree that human over-population is perhaps the single greatest problem facing the planet. But I would also argue that it is the feedback loop between “industrial agriculture” and increasing population that has trapped us into a situation where “organic farming” may not be sufficient to feed the hordes. This, in my view, is not a healthy or sustainable situation. A much smaller human population, practicing “organic farming”, would be a healthy and sustainable situation. Gotta dream….Maybe some day…..
      Moreover, to get to the real root of the progressive contrarian’s mission in life: it is more of a progressive sentiment that the world is over-populated; while it is more of a conservative, Republican, sentiment that our economy is in danger of not having enough people! Am I wrong?

      1. “I stand by my contention that if organic farming was the norm, we wouldn’t have dead zones in the oceans.”

        It’s not a contention, it’s a speculation, and it’s useless one at that, as it’s about a situation that has not happened and probably never will happen.

        It is, in fact, a belief. An ideology.

  4. @Mikeb – Well, I think it IS a contention, as in “a point contended for or affirmed in controversy.” And only a speculation in a narrow sense, for the following reason. My operational definition of “organic farming” is farming that uses “traditional” methods that predated the Industrial Revolution and the advent of manufactured, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Without quibbling about the definition, I think we could agree that “organic farming” was the original type of agriculture, and has been practiced for thousands of years. So yes, it has happened!
    And during all those thousands of years, there were effectively no dead zones in the oceans! Then gradually, with the advent of industrial agriculture, the dead zones appeared and worsened in proportion to the adoption of synthetic chemical agricultural inputs. Now for the clincher:
    (courtesy of Wikipedia,) “Dead zones are reversible. The Black Sea dead zone, previously the largest in the world, largely disappeared between 1991 and 2001 after fertilizers became too costly to use following the collapse of the Soviet Union…..Fishing has again become a major economic activity in the region.”
    Believe the science, dude. ‘
    Don’t know why you would argue a loser here…Technology always involves trade-offs; it is no guarantee of “improvement”.
    And again: it is more of a progressive sentiment that the world is over-populated; while it is more of a conservative, Republican, sentiment that our economy is in danger of not having enough people! Am I wrong about that?

    1. Jay: “And during all those thousands of years, there were effectively no dead zones in the oceans!”

      The reason there were no dead zones back then has nothing to do with “organic farming.” The reason there were no dead zones is that there were not 7 billion people. Back then, people numbered in the millions, not the billions. This is called “The Tragic Story of Human Success” (see William Catton). If you had had 7 billion people plowing the land with horses and oxen, grazing those animals on land and cutting all the hay, and collecting and spreading all the manure, attempting to produce now with the primitive techniques they had then–well, you wouldn’t have had such a thing. There would be die-off from lack of food and environmental devastation from all the land being used to raise beasts of burden. The earth would be a dead zone, which is in fact not too far from what it is now, given that we have 7 billion rapacious apes on the planet trying to produce food and cellphones and TV shows.

      “My operational definition of “organic farming” is farming that uses “traditional” methods that predated the Industrial Revolution and the advent of manufactured, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, etc. Without quibbling about the definition, I think we could agree that “organic farming” was the original type of agriculture, and has been practiced for thousands of years.”

      Jay, I worked at a certified organic farm for four years, so I know exactly what an organic farm is and it bears no resemblance to what you say. Organic farming is a hyper-modern activity that involves tractors, trucks, roto-tillers, chainsaws, electricity, water pumps, heated greenhouses, irrigation systems, electric fences, not a single one of which “has been used for thousands of years.”

      Organic IS synthetic. There would be no organic farming without diesel fuel, gasoline, kerosene, and plastic–miles and miles of plastic. The greenhouses were all covered in plastic that had to be thrown out and replaced every couple of years. The irrigation system was all plastic piping. The pots, buckets, trays, bags were all plastic. I drove a piece of equipment that even laid miles of plastic sheeting over beds as mulch. The “organic” plants were literally swaddled in plastic. How is this “traditional”?

      At the organic farm, I had to be trained as a pesticides applicator. I sprayed pesticides out of a plastic backpack sprayer. The pesticide was imported from Kenya, so presumably it relies on aircraft to get it to the United States. The reason is that the chrysanthemum flower used to produce this pesticide grows in Kenya, and I’m sure they have a modern factory and all kinds of fancy synthetic materials with which to extract, purify and formulate the “organically certified” pyrethrum insecticide.

      I investigated getting organic certification for my own farm and was appalled at what I found when I began reading the manuals. It is simply a spin on the “Naturalistic Fallacy.” It is a garden of woo, where animals are not allowed to be treated therapeutically with modern antibiotics but they can be treated with untested herbs and homeopathic “remedies.” You can spray toxic, bio-accumulating copper sulfate because it’s “natural,” but you can’t spray benign captan fungicide because it’s “synthetic.”

      Agrarian romanticism is a dangerous myth.

      1. @Mikeb – Thank you for your thoughtful and illuminating response. And thank you for introducing me to William Catton. I had never heard of him, but now he is already one of my favorite ecologists! (I am 110% in agreement that the world is dangerously overpopulated..) And judging by his writings and by his choice of supporting sources (Garrett Hardin, Barry Commoner, Lester Brown, etc) I have to believe that he would be a strong supporter of “organic farming” as a way to mitigate the resource exhaustion and ecological disruption that business-as-usual is visiting on us.
        I am preparing a longer response to your most recent comment; but I feel that we are getting pretty far afield of the topic of “The Anti-GMO gang that couldn’t label straight.” Accordingly, I propose taking this discussion off-line. My e-mail address is jay.clemons@att.net. If you send me an e-mail, I can respond without cluttering up the Progressive Contrarian’s blog-site.
        Parting shot: “Agrarian romanticism is a dangerous myth.” No more than the dangerous myth that “genetic engineering’ will save us…

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