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Lying scumbags and dipshits: Frustration has its limits

Lying scumbags and dipshits: Frustration has its limits

bullshit meter

Recently, in a Facebook post, I exasperatingly wrote:

I don’t know if I can do it anymore. I can’t stand going to comment sections and seeing the same bullshit time and time again. I think it’s time to leave it to the pros. I have nothing but contempt and derision for the Hirschbergs, Robinsons and GMOFreeUSAs. They are nothing more than lying scumbags and those who parrot their bullshit are hopeless dipshits. I find it impossible to respond civilly anymore.

Ever since I returned to writing this blog I found myself less and less enthused at yelling about the bullshit propagated by anti-GMO movement. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole with idiots.

Some of the level-headed folks on the FB thread suggested the goal be should changing the views of the honestly misinformed or informing the undecided. That’s all well and good, it’s still a chore. You shouldn’t have to keep dispelling the same lies over and over again.

I use the word lying purposely. By this time, everyone should know that all of that bullshit has been discredited, over and over again, yet they still promulgate it. There is no excuse anymore. None, zilch, nada. Anti-GMO activists and groups have become the FOXNews of the left.

Back in 2012 I wrote:

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.

I would now add GMO Watch’s Claire Robinson to that list.

It pisses me off that these anti-GMO miscreants are spreading fear about a safe and useful technology that can be a tool in fighting world hunger and help fight disease. And make no mistake about it, demonizing the technology in food will also transfer in the public mind to medicine.

The anti loudmouths should be called out as liars in public. I’m not talking about the dipshits on the comment boards, but the snakeheads and representatives of the anti-GMO groups.

I was altered to a recent BBC Panorama episode about GMOs and they interview former EU science advisor Anne Glover. (NGOs like Greenpeace called for her dismissal.) She was very blunt in her assessment that the anti GMO movement makes stuff up. NGOs like Greenpeace called for her dismissal. The relevant part starts at about 24:30.

I had to remove myself from a Facebook GMO group because they had these stringent rules about civility. I submit that when someone is spreading dangerous lies, despite the medical and scientific evidence and consensus; and gets treated credibly in the media, they should be treated as the menaces they are. I hold no grievances against them. I know some members from other GMO groups. Rules are rules, even if they insist upon a Neville Chamberlain approach.

It’s this pantywaist approach of being civil that has allowed these miscreants, bordering on criminals, to gain traction and get their propaganda out.

Not only are they lying scumbags and dipshits, they are public menaces. These well-fed fucks actively deny those who are poor and starving in developing countries the chance to try this technology. On a recent podcast appearance on Talk Nerdy to Me, hosted by Cara Santa Maria, my fave science communicator. Kevin Folta,  quoted Hank Campbell of Science 2.0 as saying, “these people hate corporations more than they love people.”  (I still contend I said that first, but that’s a minor quibble. I could just think I did. But it’s such a good quote, I probably didn’t)

So what is one to do? One thing one could do is create a group called something like March Against Myths About Modification which works to dispel the nonsense spewed by these scientifically illiterate reprobates. Wait! Someone did.

Three genuinely smart, witty and decent people created that group in response to the recent March Against Monsanto.

They are, as taken from their site

Karl Haro von Mogel is a research geneticist based in Madison, Wisconsin, active science communicator and public speaker. He spends much of his free time helping people understand the complicated science of GMOs.

Kavin Senapathy is a freelance writer, science communicator, and mother of two young children based in Madison, Wisconsin. She promotes the idea that critical thinking is key in raising well-rounded children, and that embracing biotechnology is imperative in this objective

David Sutherland is a Chicago-based artist by profession, vegan & animal rights activist in his free time. As part of his early activism he contributed efforts to anti-GMO activism. With a discovered interest in science and critical thinking he had a change of heart and mind. Now he has a mission and passion to undo those wrongs by demystifying the issues surrounding GMOs and biotech.

I hate these people, because they rock and haven’t given in to cynicism, like this old and tired guy. They still have the ability to interact civilly with the dipshits and the insane. Although, Kavin got to encounter first hand the frustration the insane creates and how civility doesn’t work when dealing with them.

She had the misfortune of meeting, face-to-face Zen Hunnicut. the person I was yelled about on that FB group.

She then asked how much Monsanto or industry paid us to be there. This is when I started losing my cool. I retorted angrily, “How much are YOU getting paid to be here? How much is the organic industry paying you to be here?” She retorted that organic is how “God intended it.” When I explained that organic is a modern construct, she became even more angry.

I explained that I didn’t mean the organic shill accusation, and that I was simply pointing out that the shill gambit is meaningless and irrelevant. She again asked in an accusing tone, “You haven’t answered my question, if even one study shows risk, then why would you subject your children to that?” Karl jumped in to discuss scientific methods but she swiftly silenced him, “I’m not talking to you, I’m talking to her. You don’t have children. You don’t know what it’s like. You haven’t had a child come from your body.”

You gotta read the whole thing. It’s classic.  Science Drama at March Against Myths about Modification, and My Showdown with Zen Honeycutt

I only know them digitally, but they’re younger, smarter and prettier than me (if that’s possible) and still have that fire in their bellies. And they’re fun. You should visit their site and if you’re so inclined, start your own local chapter.

So, what do you do when you’re tired and frustrated? I think I’ve come up with a new angle. Forgot the average dipshits.  Go after the lying scumbags who run these anti groups. Take down the Smiths, the Cummins and Robinsons. Show others in public forums how these assholes are full of shit. Forget the dipshits that use them as sources.

Go after the elected officials who have sponsored or added their names to labeling laws in various states; the ones who use the miscreants like Smith as credible sources. Shame them on blogs, letters to the editors and anywhere else. If they’re one of your local or state representatives,  even better.

Of course, don’t go longshoreman on them like I would.  Be civil, be nice and let them know they are on the wrong side of history. But rest assured, if you do get a response,  it will be some smarmy form letter thanking you for your concern and agreeing to disagree.

If you get a response like that one, then go longshoreman. All bets are off when they remain willfully ignorant.  All civil bets are off.

From 2013:

Last year, I wrote the Connecticut legislature’s GMO Labeling Task Force suggesting they have an actual scientist testify as a counterbalance to Smith’s nonsense. From my email:

I just read that Jeffrey Smith, of the Institute of Responsible Technology will be speaking before your GMO Labeling Task Force on August 8th. I would recommend you rescind this offer as Mr. Smith is a self-styled expert on GMOs. He has no experience in science or agriculture. For some reason he is considered an expert by the media and others.

If this is not possible, I suggest you at least have actual scientists testify on this issue to counterbalance his nonsense.

I received a polite reply from Elaine O’Brien who wrote

“my intention is to gather as much information as possible. I understand that this is not a simple subject and I do not believe we should be rushing to label before we understand the issue”.

What bullshit. They didn’t have any scientists testify and not only that, a member of the legislature even coached an activist on her testimony. I didn’t follow up, which I regret.

In a guest post on Keith Kloor’s blog I wrote about a GMO panel discussion at NYU:

Taking my leave, I went in search of Kathleen Furey of GMO Free NY. I asked her why, in their events around the state they gave credibility to Jeffrey Smith by screening Genetic Roulette. She asked why they shouldn’t screen it. I said because Smith is “fraud and charlatan; a yogic flying dance teacher with no scientific or agricultural credentials.” (That’s my how to win friends and influence people style.)

She asked, “Who doesn’t think he is credible?”

“The scientific community,” I replied.

“Well, I can show you scientists who do find him credible,” she said.

Me: “Like who? Seralini?”

Her: “Oh, so you don’t find him credible?”

Not surprisingly, the conversation degenerated from there. But once more I missed another opportunity when during our exchange, Furey, in defense of Smith’s non-scientific credentials, told me that she wasn’t a politician but she was able to write legislation. I was so focused on her defense of Smith that I missed a shocking revelation.

In August of 2013, I attended a so-called NY State Assembly public hearing convened by Manhattan Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, who sponsored a bill that would require all foods sold in NY that contain genetically modified ingredients to carry a label. Probably the one that Furey said she crafted.

While grilling three upstate farmers she really went bullygirl actually disagreeing with the farmers about their experiences with gmos. She read otherwise, she claimed, dismissing their actual experience. One of the farmers, Beth Chittenden of Dutch Hollow Farm seemed to get the bulk of her bullying.

She accused the farmers of making disparaging remarks about consumers when they suggested labeling might confuse them in thinking there was something wrong with the product. She said that the reason to be against labeling is because they (the farmers) might be afraid of what we might find out.  She also said what they were saying was… “reprehensible is too strong of a word…objectionable”

Jesus H. Christ in a chicken basket. What an asshole. These weren’t industry bigwigs, they were upstate family farmers trying to explain why they used gmos; their own experiences.

Right now I think I need to pay attention to my state and miscreants like Furey and Rosenthal, the latter I probably agree with on most issues

Oh and don’t get me started on the Right-to-Know bullshit. The Right-to-Know doesn’t mean squat if you don’t understand what you know. Yeah, I’m looking at you Gary Hirschberg, you duplicitous, greedy fuck.

Curiously enough, I don’t feel better after letting it out. We’re at almost 2,000 words and I could go another 2,000 easy

Update: As I was editing this post, this came across my digital transom. Kudos, Kavin.

Anti-GMO goes bananas

Anti-GMO goes bananas

The latest nonsense emanating from the Anti camp is this from our friends at GMOFreeUSA. The stupidity is astounding.

Wait. Aren’t these the same folks who have been screaming there have been no studies of GMOs and their effect on humans?

Anti-GMO: No testing of safety on humans!

GMO banana: Okay. Human testing.

Anti-GMO: OMG! Testing on humans!

Well, then. Let’s have a look-see at the text that accompanied this idiotic image

“GMO proponents claim that they can modify foods to be more nutritious. Just after their flagship GMO Golden Rice, which was supposed to provide enough vitamin A to save poor children in Asia, failed miserably in field trials…”

Bzzz. Sorry, thanks for playing but it didn’t fail. As a matter of fact it was successful. What is holding it up is the anti-GMO NGOS. This study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition begs to differ.

Now there has been some controversy surrounding this trial. Greenpeace raised holy Hell, saying the parents of the children involved didn’t give informed consent. The ethical  breach of the researchers and whether it is true or not is an argument for another time. If they crossed ethical lines, I can’t defend that, but the bottom line is the trial was successful.

“This orange GMO banana, which is being developed in Australia and grown in Uganda, has NOT been subjected to any animal testing for toxicity…”

I don’t know if that is true or not, but I doubt it. Normal procedure is to test on animals before moving on to human trials. “Human trial is a significant milestone for this project which started in 2005 and should see pro-vitamin A-enriched banana varieties being grown by Ugandan farmers around 2020,” Professor James Dale said in a statement to QUT.

Dr Helen Wallace, of GeneWatch, said: “There is evidence that too much beta-carotene can be cancerous so what happens when people who are not vitamin A deficient eat this crop?

Good question, if you’re not a dumbass doctor who should know better. Does Wallace actually believe the people who developed this GM banana didn’t take that into consideration?  Let’s look at the toxicity issue. There is slim to none

For the most part, too much Vitamin A can be harmful, if you eat 3 lbs of carrots a day. Your skin will turn orange.

Bananas weigh in like this: 25 micrograms of carotenoids in every gram of the GM banana. The average banana is 120 grams. 

Cancer? Yes and no. Megadoses of Vitamin in in supplements have shown to increase risk in smokers and those who have worked with asbestos. The levels in the GM banana are nowhere near that level.

Here is a 2011 study published in the African Journal of Biotechnology,  that addresses the Vitamin A issue in Uganda.

There are more effective solutions to these issues such as targeted supplements and diversification of crops.

More idiocy. Supplements are a well and good but again, according to the World Health Organization, it is only a temporary solution. “…supplementation capsules lasts only 4-6 months, they are only initial steps towards ensuring better overall nutrition and not long-term solutions” and“Food fortification (my emphasis) takes over where supplementation leaves off. “

Diversification of crops? What if they are in a region that isn’t good for growing crops that can provide suitable level of Vitamin A?  That statement shows a complete ignorance of agriculture.

These trials have no way of establishing whether these changes are beneficial rather than harmful in the long-term.”

Whether it’s beneficial in the long-term? I don’t even know how to respond to that. No one knows whether it will or it won’t, but in the meantime, real harm is happening to hundreds of thousands of children. Will it be harmful? No. That is such a stupid thing to say. It’s the mindset of well fed, liberal affluent, Westerner.

The point is, the people who developed this did it for all the right reasons and it wasn’t funded by Monsatan.

The $10 million project has been funded by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. This leads us to ask… will Bill & Melinda Gates be the first to sign up for human feeding trials? We think they should. What do you think?

Again, these dipshits are always complaining about no human tests and now that there will be they are whinging about testing on humans? Imbeciles. Is it some bizarro, experimental ingredient they are wanting to test? No, it’s Vitamin A.  They don’t want to test for danger, (my assumption) but to see if it works.

I wonder if these people eat any food that says, “Fortified with Vitamin XYZ?”

Oh, and the idea of experimental being a bad thing? How do these morons think we make progress? I really think these people are unhinged.

If there are more effective solutions, why aren’t these activist groups using their war chests to make those solutions happen; show how their more effective solutions can work?  They won’t because they know they won’t work. If they really cared, they would use their money to help people, rather than denigrate the work of people who are actually trying to solve problems and help people.

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