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View Diary: Bill to Mandate GMO Research for Africa/S. Asia Passes Unanimously (51 comments)

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  •  I do not deal in absolutes (0+ / 0-)

    and that makes me open to any and all debates.

    I do not claim total knowledge of all issues, but, common sense (which you certainly do not lack) helps me make unbiased and informed decisions.

    The fact is there have been NO clincial studies on the long term effects GM foods have on human beings, but the facts are out on studies of lab rats and here is some.

    GM Soy and Allergies Soy allergies jumped 50% in the U.K. just after GM soy was introduced.2 If GM soy was the cause, it may be due to several things. The GM protein that makes Roundup Ready Soy resistant to the herbicide does not have a history of safe use in humans and may be an allergen. In fact, sections of its amino acid sequence are identical to known allergens.3 A portion of the transgene from ingested GM soybeans, along with the promoter that switches it on, transfers into human gut bacteria during ingestion.4 The fact that the transformed bacteria survives applications of Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, suggests that the transgene continues to produce the Roundup Ready protein. If true, then long after people stop eating GM soy they may be constantly exposed to its potentially allergenic protein, which is being created within their gut. (This protein may be made more allergenic due to misfolding, attached molecular chains, or rearrangement of unstable transgenes, but there is insufficient data to support or rule out these possibilities who's headline reads: Climate Change is not a spectator sport

        When people argue against scrutinizing GM foods, they are unknowingly parroting the same lines used by CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS.

        I can only encourage you to do some research for yourself, and to draw your own conclusions.

    •  I went looking for that soy allergy data (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      karenc, Elise

      if you have a peer-reviewed source I'd love to see it.  I couldn't find it. All I could find was a company that made its money giving allergy tests...hmmm....  

      Optimum Health Resource Laboratories (formerly York Nutritional Laboratories)...

      Smells like someone making money from your fears to me....

      How come Marian Nestle says this about GM foods:

      As I argued in my book, Safe Food, in 2003, the big problem with genetically modified foods is not whether the foods are safe to eat.

      And here's what Obama's newly appointed and celebrated Kathleen Merrigan has to say:

      Would I feed my young children genetically modified (GM) food? Yes. I'm sure that I already have.

      Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

      by mem from somerville on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 12:15:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  the problem with peer reviewed sources (0+ / 0-)

        is that nine out of ten times the people reviewing the info are paid consultants of the Big Ag industry.

        I think there is a lot to fear from both sides of the argument. That is why the facts are needed. Unfortunately, the facts are often skewed, but, that is where research comes in.

        It is also revealing to take a look at how the three executive agencies that are primarily responsible for GMOs operate. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, oversees GMO foods. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deals with GMO pesticides. The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), an agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), administers GMO plant testing in the field. All three operate only under their own legislation and none of their efforts are coordinated. The USDA relies on the Plant Pest Act, which narrowly defines plant pests and does not include all the processes or organisms currently used in genetic engineering. Permits for field tests are obtained from APHIS through a simple notification process, after which they are deregulated. There are only bare standards for biological containment of the field test and no provisions for evaluating certain ecological risks. APHIS can require an environmental assessment if the applicant indicates one might be required. A study of over 8,000 field test results submitted to the USDA showed that not one resulted in an environmental assessment.

        The FDA uses the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to review GMOs. The substantial equivalence doctrine fits nicely with FDA logic. It goes like this: any "novel" substances in food must be tested and perhaps labeled. However, if something can be "generally regarded as safe" (GRAS), as most conventional foods are, then they are exempt. Since GMOs are "substantially equivalent" to conventional food, they are considered GRAS and thus they do not require testing or labels. The EPA makes some effort to deal with the environmental impacts of GMOs. It regulates GMO pesticides (primarily the Bt crops) under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act. The EPA operates under the assumption that Bt is safe, even though GMO Bt has been shown to have detrimental impacts on soil micro-organisms and beneficial insect populations. The EPA recommendations and permit requirements, such as its Insect Resistance Management Plans for farmers, which are supposed to slow down the development of resistance to Bt, are not adequate to the task.

        Here is an example of how this regulatory patchwork plays out in the field: In April 2003, the EPA announced that a company growing experimental GMO corn in Hawaii had finally satisfied the agency’s regulatory requirements. The company, Pioneer Hi-Bred, had been fined for permit violations in 2002 and was ordered to test and report its findings to the EPA to ensure that their experimental corn did not contaminate nearby fields. When the company failed to report on its testing, in direct violation of its agreement with EPA, it was fined again. Later, after acquiring and reviewing the test findings, the EPA said it was satisfied that the company was in compliance. But did that mean there was no contamination? No, there was. But it involved fields that were regulated by the USDA, so the EPA was not concerned about that. For their part, the USDA had no comment, saying it was investigating. Meanwhile, the company has asked neighboring farmers on the island not to plant any of the crops that Pioneer is using in its experiments, as a way of avoiding cross-contamination.  

        By Claire Hope Cummings, M.A., J.D

        I wish I could provide links for peer reviewed studies that support my arguement, but, unfortunately, I do not have the resources that Big Ag/Bio Ag/Chem Ag has to fund such studies.

        Which again makes me ask, why was it so important to Chem Ag to lobby Michelle Obama about her organic garden?

        If it is good enough for the First Family, why not the rest of us?

        •  Ah, more made up stuff (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          karenc, Elise, docstymie

          is that nine out of ten times the people reviewing the info are paid consultants of the Big Ag industry.

          Got data on that?  

          The question in this bill is should we: "include research on biotechnological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology."

          I say it is something we should do because it can help farmers produce local foods for their neighbors with lower needs for pesticides and higher yields.

          That has nothing to do with Michelle's garden. In fact, many people think the best way to go is to use GM crops with organic practices.  That seems like a great idea to me.

          Could Frankenfoods be good for the environment?

          Given the potential of these products to reduce the environmental impact of farming, it's ironic that traditional advocates for sustainable agriculture have led a successful campaign to blacklist GMOs irrespective of their applications. At the very least, they might treat them as legitimate ethical and scientific matters deserving of a fair public hearing. Such a hearing, I would venture, would not only please farmers who were truly concerned about sustainability, but it would provide the rest of us—those of us who do not grow food for the world but only think about it—a more accurate source of scientific information than the back of a miso jar.

          Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

          by mem from somerville on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 12:45:34 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  organic crops no pesticide (0+ / 0-)

            seems like it is good enough for The Obama's

            please explain why it is not good enough for the rest of us.

            Yeild is not the problem, neither is pests.

            Poverty and hunger resulting form Multi-national corporate imperialism seem like the obvious answers to me.

            Oh, and then there is this

            In a study released in October 2006 by Russian scientists, pregnant and lactating rats fed GM-soy had over 50% of their babies die by 3 weeks old! The surviving offspring were 1/2 the size of the same-age rat babies from moms who ate normal soy.


            I wish I had more conclusive evidence to hand you on the fly, but, as previously stated, I am still trying to raise the MILLIONS of dollars to fund my own peer reviewed study.

            Meanwhile, there has been precious little independent research on GMOs and health. As Nancy Scola showed in a Gristmill post early this year, public funding for agriculture research has largely dried up, and Monsanto and other big agribusiness firms have filled the void, funneling fat grants to willing researchers.

            But independent study of GMOs hasn't ended completely. The government of Austria recently released the results of a long-term study showing that mice fed GM corn had lower birth rates and fewer offspring than their control-group peers.

            From the Daily Mail:


            The Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials with laboratory mice over a course of 20 weeks. One of the studies was a so-called reproductive assessment by continuous breeding (RACB) trial, in which the same parent generation gave birth to several litters of baby mice. The parents were fed either with a diet containing 33 percent of GM maize, a hybrid of Monsanto's MON 810 and another variety, and a normal feed mix. The team found changes that were 'statistically significant' in the third and fourth litters produced by the mice given a GM diet. There were fewer offspring, while the young mice were smaller. Prof Zentek said there was a direct link between the changes seen and the GM diet.

   - environmental news and commentary

            •  That Austrian data was dreadful. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              karenc, Elise, MinistryOfTruth

              I read that report--the whole thing.  It wasn't peer reviewed and several of the data points and conclusions completely contradict what activists are saying that it did.  

              Did you read it?  One day someone posted a diary on it here and we shredded it.  But the person was so embarrassed that they deleted the diary so I would hate to reconstruct the whole thing...maybe I can find the comment thread.

              The junk science or misuse of data that comes out of this field and used by activists is nothing short of climate deniers making up shit.  

              You are absolutely free to not use pesticide.  I don't know why you keep saying that.

              Darwinic pilgrims claim the image fills them with an overwhelming feeling of logic. --The Onion

              by mem from somerville on Wed Apr 01, 2009 at 01:58:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  big favor! (0+ / 0-)

                I am NOT a scientist, just a citizen with an intense sense of curiosity and a lot of free time (unemployed)

                Please point me to unbiased factual evidence of long term safety exams of GMO's done on human beings.

                I would really appreciate it.

                Thanks for the educating and stimulating dialogue.


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