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A major study out of Kansas has now dispelled the myth (lie? charade?  PR scam?  boondoggle?)  that Monsanto has been using for years to promote its GMO crops - that GM crops produce greater yields.  It then slathers that manure ... no, manure is too real and valuable to work as an analogy ... that synthetic crap, with an even more synthetic concern for the world's poor and starving.  And thus evil disguised as goodness, worms its way in where it should never have gotten.

But, can you hear the trumpets sounding as the long-overdue calvary arrives with a message?  

At a moment in which Monsanto and the other biotech madmen are poised to use the food crisis to insert GMO crops into areas they have been resisted, or crops such as wheat which has been fought against, The University of Kansas has provided a definitive study slaying the central claim of GMO crops - that their yield is greater so they are the answer to world hunger.

Sunday, 20 April 2008
By Geoffrey Lean

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.
The study - carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt - has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.

Professor Barney Gordon, of the university’s department of agronomy, said he started the research - reported in the journal Better Crops - because many farmers who had changed over to the GM crop had “noticed that yields are not as high as expected even under optimal conditions”. He added: “People were asking the question ‘how come I don’t get as high a yield as I used to?’”

He grew a Monsanto GM soybean and an almost identical conventional variety in the same field. The modified crop produced only 70 bushels of grain per acre, compared with 77 bushels from the non-GM one.

The timing could not be more important.  Engdahl writes:

A deadly fungus, known as Ug99, which kills wheat, has likely spread
to Pakistan from Africa according to reports. If true, that threatens
the vital Asian Bread Basket including the Punjab region. The spread
of the deadly virus, stem rust, against which an effective fungicide
does not exist, comes as world grain stocks reach the lowest in four
decades and government subsidized bio-ethanol production, especially
in the USA, Brazil and EU are taking land out of food production at
alarming rates. The deadly fungus is being used by Monsanto and the US
Government to spread patented GMO seeds.

by F. William Engdahl  March 31, 2008

Thanks to those who have said science will solve everything and who pushed aside farmers and nature itself,, things have gone from bad to worse as our backup system, bio-diversity, was undermined:

"In the 1950s, the last major outbreak destroyed 40% of the spring
wheat crop in North America. At that time governments started a major
effort to breed resistant wheat plants, led by Norman Borlaug of the
Rockefeller Foundation. That was the misnamed Green Revolution. The
result today is far fewer varieties of wheat that might resist such a
new fungus outbreak."  Engdahl

Monsanto and the biotech "industry" became the second "Green" revolution, not only altering seeds with the "stated" purpose (pul-lease) of helping create more food for the poor.  Using genetic engineering and the great extension of intellectual property laws (both thanks to Clarence Thomas, previous Monsanto employee, who not only ruled that GMOs were no different from normal organisms and but in favor of intellectual property laws allowing for "ownership" of biology itself), Monsanto has taken seeds out of the hands of the poor and claimed exclusive ownership (even as India's starving farmers are killing themselves when Monsanto's Bt-cotton failed, still not allowing them to collect seeds off their own property to try again) , wiped out biodiversity everywhere it has gone through displacement and also through buying up seeds companies.

Ah, Monsanto, the great help-mate of the poor.  Could we find more ways to destroy Iraq and make money on doing so?  For those who haven't yet considered that "farming" or "organic" are about as up against the wall political as one can get, look what Bremer's order no. 81 has done while no one was looking:

"As part of sweeping "economic restructuring" implemented by the Bush Administration in Iraq, Iraqi farmers will no longer be permitted to save their seeds. Instead, they will be forced to buy seeds from US corporations -- which can include seeds the Iraqis themselves developed over hundreds of years. That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples. In a short time, Iraq will be living under the new American credo: Pay Monsanto, or starve.

... "The US has been imposing patents on life around the world through trade deals. In this case, they invaded the country first, then imposed their patents. This is both immoral and unacceptable", said Shalini Bhutani, one of the report's authors.

The new law in question [2] heralds the entry into Iraqi law of patents on life forms - this first one affecting plants and seeds. This law fits in neatly into the US vision of Iraqi agriculture in the future - that of an industrial agricultural system dependent on large corporations providing inputs and seeds.

In 2002, FAO estimated that 97 percent of Iraqi farmers used saved seed from their own stocks from last year's harvest or purchased from local markets. When the new law - on plant variety protection (PVP) - is put into effect, seed saving will be illegal and the market will only offer proprietary "PVP-protected" planting material "invented" by transnational agribusiness corporations. The new law totally ignores all the contributions Iraqi farmers have made to development of important crops like wheat, barley, date and pulses. Its consequences are the loss of farmers' freedoms and a grave threat to food sovereignty in Iraq. In this way, the US has declared a new war against the Iraqi farmer.

And where Monsanto did not have the US military forcing draconian agricultural "rape" laws on a population, the food crisis (brought on by the "Green" revolutions destruction of plant diversity, becomes the argument for an emergency introduction of GMO wheat by Monsanto.  Engdahl, again:

"One of the consequences of the spread of Ug99 is a campaign by
Monsanto Corporation and other major producers of genetically
manipulated plant seeds to promote wholesale introduction of GMO wheat
varieties said to be resistant to the Ug99 fungus. Biologists at
Monsanto and at the various GMO laboratories around the world are
working to patent such strains.

Norman Borlaug, the former Rockefeller Foundation head of the Green
Revolution is active in funding the research to develop a fungus
resistant variety against Ug99 working with his former center in
Mexico, the CIMMYT and ICARDA in Kenya, where the pathogen is now
endemic. So far, about 90% of the 12,000 lines tested are susceptible
to Ug99. That includes all the major wheat cultivars of the Middle
East and west Asia. At least 80% of the 200 varieties sent from the
United States can't cope with infection. The situation is even more
dire for Egypt, Iran, and other countries in immediate peril.

Even if a new resistant variety was ready to be released today it
would take two or three years' seed increase in order to have just
enough wheat seed for 20 percent of the acres planted to wheat in the

Work is also being done by the USDA's Agricultural Research Service
(ARS), the same agency which co-developed Monsanto's Terminator seed
technology. In my book, Seeds of Destruction I document the insidious
role of Borlaug and the Rockefeller Foundation in promoting the
misnamed Green Revolution as well as patents on food seeds to
ultimately control food supplies as a potential political lever. The
spreading alarm over the Ug99 fungus is being used by Monsanto and
other GMO agribusiness companies to demand that the current ban on GMO
wheat be lifted to allow spread of GMO patented wheat seeds on the
argument they are Ug99 stem rust resistant."

So, it is with great hoopla that the world needs to welcome studies proving that GMO crops fail in comparison to normal crops.   Lean quietly describes what has to be one of the most important studies for mankind in a very critical effort to stop and then reverse the loss of normal crops, the loss of biodiversity, the loss of democratic control to corporate power that uses GMOs to control world food supplies.

"The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.

The Nebraska study suggested that two factors are at work. First, it takes time to modify a plant and, while this is being done, better conventional ones are being developed. This is acknowledged even by the fervently pro-GM US Department of Agriculture, which has admitted that the time lag could lead to a “decrease” in yields.

But the fact that GM crops did worse than their near-identical non-GM counterparts suggest that a second factor is also at work, and that the very process of modification depresses productivity. The new Kansas study both confirms this and suggests how it is happening.

A similar situation seems to have happened with GM cotton in the US, where the total US crop declined even as GM technology took over. (See graphic above.)

Monsanto said yesterday that it was surprised by the extent of the decline found by the Kansas study, but not by the fact that the yields had dropped. It said that the soya had not been engineered to increase yields, and that it was now developing one that would.

Critics doubt whether the company will achieve this, saying that it requires more complex modification. And Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute in Washington - and who was one of the first to predict the current food crisis - said that the physiology of plants was now reaching the limits of the productivity that could be achieved.

A former champion crop grower himself, he drew the comparison with human runners. Since Roger Bannister ran the first four-minute mile more than 50 years ago, the best time has improved only modestly . “Despite all the advances in training, no one contemplates a three-minute mile.”

Last week the biggest study of its kind ever conducted - the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development - concluded that GM was not the answer to world hunger.

Professor Bob Watson, the director of the study and chief scientist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, when asked if GM could solve world hunger, said: “The simple answer is no.”

And lest we forget this night of the primary, Burson-Masteller, which represents Monsanto, is running Clinton's campaign (Penn, its CEO is in the shadows now) and she wants a centralized department of food "safety" (makes me feel unsafe just hearing about it), and were she elected, she would be likely to follow in Bill's footsteps and put Monsanto over everything to do with food.  

You can go to a new blog - - for a way that you can combat the PR campaign that Monsanto will use to try to drown out these new studies with continuing GMO promotion.

Originally posted to Scaredhuman on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:44 PM PDT.

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  •  Tip jar for Barney Gordon and midwest studies. (327+ / 0-)
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    •  Yay! A NON-ELECTION DIARY! (20+ / 0-)

      Not only that, an informative one on a vital topic given the food and commodities markets these days.

      Thanks for getting this out. Too bad the media won't give the April 20th study conclusions any attention at all.

      Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

      by The Lighthouse Keeper on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:08:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  It's good that you've discussed this (3+ / 0-)

          because we are just geing started on a corrosive, potentially devastating inflation stage in the economy. At the same time, asset deflation is taking place for the asset most people actually have (namely, their home).

          As a homeowner myself, I'm presently deeply concerned that a) our home may now have depreciated to the point that our 20% down payment is at risk; b) our payments are not going down, but our expenses are spiralling upwards. The Producer Price Index was 7% last quarter!

          Of course, our government doesn't want us to know that. The CPI was a nice safe 2%. Whatever. The CPI is the inflation rate after they take the inflation out.

          I think we are in the early stages of an inflationary feedback loop that may wind up with dire consequences for many, many people across the world. I am DEEPLY concerned.

          Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

          by The Lighthouse Keeper on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:54:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you have any land or even inside, start (0+ / 0-)

            a garden.  Grow some of your own food.  Control that much.  And if you can find ways to get off the electrical and gas grid, even in part, do that.  Same about water.  In all ways that you can get off the corporate grid and their control of prices and basic resources, do that.  Finding those ways usually entails working with others who have the same needs you do, so you build community that way - in sharing seeds, skills, ideas.  

            Someone recently said to me "we need a good recession."  He meant that a recession can bring people back to basic things that we were actually missing in our lives in terms of each other.  I think that is an okay thing to wish if there is enough safety but for people living on the edge, it isn't.  Still, I took his point about getting back to real things with each other and as a community.

            Most of all, don't be afraid.  Don't let their numbers or any numbers get you.  Look at your family and your friends and be glad.  And together, plant a garden.

            •  I have redwood trees surrounding my house (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              side pocket

              and very little sunny garden space. However, in June we'll be doing something about it by limbing the trees and taking a few trees down that are too close to our house. I hate to do it, but it's essential to retain the structural integrity of the house. After that I'll be terracing the backyard for gardening.

              We are also buying a wood stove and ditching our propane stove. The wood stove will have a carbon filter. Where I live, getting cords of firewood is not a big deal (yet).

              Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

              by The Lighthouse Keeper on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:58:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  That all sounds great. What are you hoping to (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                The Lighthouse Keeper

                plant?  If you have wind, you can create your own wind mill and generate your own electricity.  I saw one in Dwell that looked easy to do, using a helix shape (not the usual windmill formation), covered in a thin plastic, and rotating vertically around a post, each time passing a magnet.  

                I think we all need to get off the corporate grid as much as we possibly can, creating community as we grow our own food, learn skills again, come up with clever ways to create electricity and fuel, collect our own water from rain, bring back local farmers, local businesses,  ....  

                •  We're in a canyon too. Not much wind. (0+ / 0-)

                  Mostly herbs. Otherwise, hopefully tomatoes and peppers once the terraces are in place and it gets adequate sun.

                  Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

                  by The Lighthouse Keeper on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 03:06:09 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It sounds nice what you are doing. (0+ / 0-)

                    Beans and peas can climb if it is too little space you are working around.  

                    Redwoods and a canyon sounds beautiful.

                    •  Our house backs onto a hillside (0+ / 0-)

                      and I'm planning on a series of 24" or 30" retaining walls to build the terraces. I'm very good at that sort of thing, and can build retaining walls that look like the side of a battleship. I tend to over-engineer them because I want them to last and I see lots of shoddy work in this area. The yard is still quite wild; I've seen deer out there before. While the slope is (maybe?) 35 degrees or so, a LOT is gonna happen out there starting in June. I'm really looking forward to reclaiming some of our land space, regardless. Most of it has never been used by any of the previous owners.

                      Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

                      by The Lighthouse Keeper on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 03:15:30 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  How great to have that skill. I can do smaller (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        The Lighthouse Keeper

                        things but not construction.  And I can understand why you'd want to make it very secure.  It does sound like a great adventure to create a world there.  

                        Have you though to plant berries bushes?  Or grape vines that can climb to get sun?  Or beans or peas that climb?  Things can climb up the retaining walls if you put hooks and strings ..  

                        ... And now, I am dreaming of possibilities in your wild back yard, in a canyon, with redwoods around.  You just make it sound really beautiful.

                        I am planting way more than I have room to grow but I love watching the seedlings come up and figure that I can give extra plants to neighbors and maybe encourage the whole neighborhood to start growing food ...

                        Thanks for sharing what you are doing.

                        •  In gardening, my skill does not match (0+ / 0-)

                          my enthusiasm.

                          My guess now is that the land reclamation work is substantial enough that planting anything this year will be unlikely. I hope to get enough done that I'll be able to have quite a bit of diversity next year. There are also a few pretty large dead bay laurels that I need to chop up with a chainsaw (I LOVE power tools), which will probably form the bulk of our next winters' heating. That's probably a couple days' work.

                          When that's done, I'll have a much better look at how much can actually be accomplished this summer. I'm also hoping (and expecting) to build at least one decent deck on the slope overlooking the house. It's all gonna be a lot of lumber, and fortunately there's a great sawmill a few miles away that sells incredible quality lumber for about 50% below Home Depot's prices for the same stuff.

                          The soil is terrible, too. It's like 60% small stones and the rest dirt. It's a real bitch to dig in, so I have people to do that for me ;). I think it's going to be infrastructure this year, and planting the next.

                          Shake my left hand, man, it's closer to my heart. - Jimi Hendrix to Robert Fripp

                          by The Lighthouse Keeper on Fri Apr 25, 2008 at 09:53:46 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Still sounds good and that the planning is (0+ / 0-)

                            a pleasure to you.  

                            You could put out pots of things this year and next year, plant things in the ground, so you can see things coming up even while you are building nice structures for later.  

                            Wish I had your skills with power tools and planning.  

      •  Good to have a break. Unfortunately it's a crock (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        417els, OHdog

        with as much intelligence as intelligent design.

        All GMO's are not created equal.

        Some were created by nature despite the shortcuts.

        Best,  Terry

    •  Good work. And Rec'd up high, too! n/t (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Joy Busey, KenBee, pearlegates, la urracca

      The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppose. - Frederick Douglass

      by Meteor Blades on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:32:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  is there a source for this? (5+ / 0-)

      That is because in recent years, transnational corporations have patented and now own many seed varieties originated or developed by indigenous peoples.

      patent applications  like the ones from RiceTec got put through the wringer years ago and ended up being limited to the strains the companies developed themselves, I thought.

      •  You are right (5+ / 0-)

        PTO rejected many of their patents.
        A company can not patent an indigenous variety of plant.  It would not be novel and the patent would be invalid.

        If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. James Madison

        by ScienceMom on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:59:27 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Would you look over the google (0+ / 0-)

          stuff I just posted in response to HiBob and see which is the case?  My understanding is they are succeeding in getting hold of things.  They tried to even patent turmeric and the Indian government spent a fortune to prove the corporations hadn't invented it but India is having to do that about everything.  I read somewhere that 90% of the their gene pool was already patented in the US.  No matter how far that is off (or not), the idea that one country is patenting biologic material in another, is attempting to "own" it, is frightening in itself.  

          And clearly, in Iraq, with people in a war, poor, overwhelmed and none of their legal system up to fending off US "orders" to set up a new system there, they have no chance.  

          Monsanto goes after people who are least able to resist, such as indigenous people.  And for years it has been farmers who have been hit while liberals have not been aware of what was happening because farming has never seemed a big political issue (who knows anything about the farm bill?) and it is happening one little farm at a time.  And liberals have missed some of this nightmare because it has been in rural areas, happening to conservatives.

          The Ride for Farmers was about trying to bring us together around all this.

        •  no. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Corporations are trying to take and patent indigenous people's seeds. And failing. This is because indigenous people are not the passive victims everyone imagines them to be, and they are usually capable of making a coherent legal argument. Or hiring a lawyer.

          I am not supporting the practice but this whole "poor, powerless, indigenous people" myth only disempowers them further.

          The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

          by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:37:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  especially if the indigenous people (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            are the second largest nation on earth, and have extensive experience with making certain their citizens  don't overpay for European and American IP, specifically negotiating away patent protection on drugs by keeping the threat of compulsory licensing as a stick. Central and South American countries have learned from their example as well.

            Monsanto is about as asinine as it gets, but they don't win every time.

            •  I had heard that Indigenous people in Central and (0+ / 0-)

              South America were trying to hang onto their rights.  How successful are they?  And what about elsewhere?

              •  hanging onto plant rights (0+ / 0-)

                I saw an informational piece on the PBS News Hour, or possibly Nightly Business Report.  India was being robbed blind by Big Pharma stealing their native healing plants and "patenting" them.  India is fighting back, and if I remember correctly they've taken at least some of the patents back.  what an insane system.

          •  If you are right, that would be great. (0+ / 0-)

            But there is no question of bio-piracy going on and losses happening everywhere.  Are you saying that indigenous people are losing nothing?  In India, they are being shoved off their land.  

    •  Dang (4+ / 0-)

      I wish I could recommend this to the Nth degree.

      I HATE those MF'ing Monstanto A-holes.

      Karen in Austin, Organic because that's what NATURE is.

      Thence comes our true nobility by grace, It was not willed us with our rank and place. - Chaucer

      by Wife of Bath on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:55:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  good job human! (0+ / 0-)

      i knew you would make it big. sniff. make me proud.

      After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

      by cactusflinthead on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:27:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's not the science, it's how it (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is used.  There are plenty of scientists out to use GM (and traditional methods together) for the greater good.  For example, there is a movement in research to hybridize annuals (that produce lots of food) with perennials (that better stabilize soil and are more biologically healthy) in order to make another step in productivity while requiring less fertilizer.

      A phrase like "biotech madmen" makes you sound as ignorant as an anti-choice fundie on the warpath.

      •  I take your point but have some thoughts (0+ / 0-)

        on what you said.  

        First, hybridization is fundamentally different from genetic engineering.  Hybridization brings together two plants of the same species and through sex, lets the DNA of one parent mix with the DNA of another, creating a new offspring in which the genes sort themselves naturally.  

        Genetic engineering is the forcible insertion of genes into DNA, often across species.  It appears that the method itself maybe as dangerous as the never-before-in-biologic-history mixing of species.  

        Listen to a lecture at by Jeffrey Smith on genetic engineering for more information.

        I believe we need to undermine the credibility of the "scientists" who are part of this "biotech" industry, which is working to seize control through patenting, of food itself, and which appears comfortable with people being abjectly dependent on them or starving to death as the two alternatives.  That group of madmen should be distinguished from the scientists legitimately attempting to come up with valuable and non-proprietary plants to improve life for everyone.

        I have been involved enough with genetic engineering to feel that Monsanto is playing ... the devil, and that there is something fundamentally wrong with messing with nature like that - enough to have a new sympathy for fundamentalists who believe in a deep way that no one should alter nature or play god and out of that, are anti-choice.  

        I see a great difference between that position which limits others' lives on a one to one basis, versus the fight against the world-wide horror of genetic engineering.  I see the position as ideal and absolutist, versus a shared position we might find around the need to save the whole planet from monsters playing god with all our lives and in a way that spreads.  But I understand and I don't condescend.  I see the beliefs as authentic and heartfelt and as an effort to keep the world whole and defend life, even as I believe people need to decide for themselves.

        But I don't see that absolutist position as very different from vegetarians who believe no animal life should be taken.  

        I don't think we can solve the massive problems we must unless the right and left come together and respect each others' beliefs and feelings and tread gingerly around those as we try to address the issues destroying us all.

        •  GE is hybridization... (0+ / 0-)

          it's just that we are far more precise about what we are cross-fertilizing than a long clump of pollen.

          I'm willing to take a lot of the above as reasonable until we get to this point:

          there is something fundamentally wrong with messing with nature like that

          Nope, it's just another level of manipulation.  Like burning fossil fuels.  Like splitting the atom.  Like investigating cognition.  Like developing artificial intelligence.

          I do agree that human values should guide what we do with the knowledge we gather.  But to strike off any field as simply "unnatural" is just to indulge in ignorance and Luddism.

          The most Earth-shaking, natural-warping practice we have ever engaged in is called agriculture.  Human-controlled biomass is now the dominant form of life on this planet.

          Now that we're here, the question is how do we use it to improve everyone's lives, rather than enable a small cabal to use its power for domination.

          •  Definitely with you on the cabal and power bit. (0+ / 0-)

            Just believe that the people doing genetic engineering are really ignorant of how things work.  Your analogy to splitting the atom is too apt.  We should have learned that some things we do have such profound and destructive consequences that they aren't all just "fine."  

            People on this site are awfully fond of the word "Luddite."  And yet it is used against those who for authentic and science supported bases, question where manipulating things has taken us and are working to restore ecosystems being ravaged or to protect air and water or to use sustainable agriculture to heal what industrial agriculture has done.  To question science that has given us a world on the verge of collapse biologically in many spheres is not backward, even if the solutions being proposed or the warnings being given are about reconnecting to a "whole" that is simpler and unpolluted.

            Simpler is not stupider, but can be, Fukuoka shows, more intelligent, more capable of perceiving the complexity of the whole, than aggressive, big-show "science" that is actually ignorant of consequences, ignorant of interdependencies, ignorant of intricacy, or the self-functioning capacity of many systems and instead, undermines them.

            Thanks for writing.

  •  there is so much there - good work (13+ / 0-)

    I am still in time out so I can't tip ya.

    Thanks for this.

    Do you think George Stephanopoulos loves America as much as you?

    by MadAsHellMaddie on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:47:44 PM PDT

    •  What did you do to get "time out"? They (0+ / 0-)

      do that here?  Oh, goodness.  I hope you're finished with it soon.  Thanks for the good word, though.  Go to and make good trouble there.  

    •  Thanks to the great diaries by Kossacks about (12+ / 0-)

      GM food, bovine growth hormones and others, I've decided to buy organic milk for the family and start my 2-yr-old on organic soy milk.

      I'm not doing as much as I should, but we're starting our own backyard garden and are trying to buy more organic fruits and vegetables.

      So keep it up, Kossacks, you're info is making a difference!

      •  Good for you, trying to keep bad crap (3+ / 0-)

        out of the little one!

        We are going to beat the absorbent undergarments off of Mr. 895th in his class of 899.

        by emmasnacker on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:30:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Great that you are making those changes. (3+ / 0-)

        The weird thing is how much those changes will be meaningful in other ways in your life, and will bring you closer to what matters about many things.

        If you have a way to get raw milk (organic raw milk) in your area, you might look into that as well.  It is filled with pro-biotics.  It is also "off the corporate grid" so the sale supports dairy farmers very directly, as well as you putting you into a community with them.  

        What are you planning to grow in your garden?  I have one, too, in the front yard.

        One of the wonderful consequences of growing your own food is the connection you make to others through it and how much you learn and keep learning.  By buying through groceries, we have become "de-skilled" from all the knowledge people once had in taking care of themselves.  We have lost the joy and the safety, too, of sharing with neighbors and being helped by them.  Food gardening and farming, really build community.  

        What a lucky child that you are starting a garden.  

        Keep me informed about how it all goes, would you?

      •  Talk to your doc. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        about the soy for your little one, you might want to try hemp or almond. Not that I really know of anything in regards to the youngins' but I do know that soy is a problem for many women of a certain age and sometimes it's better to err on the side of caution.

        •  My son has had scratching problems off and on (0+ / 0-)

          His pediatrician told me that he probably had food allergies, but he wasn't going to do a skin test (he's old school and just told me to stop feeding him certain food and then reintroduce it to figure out what was causing the problems). I had suspected lactose intolerance since I am as well. And on the lactose-free soy milk, he's not scratching as much and his skin is improving.

          But I do give the kids gummy vitamins and he eats Gerber oatmeal with fruit. So while I could certainly use more nutritional info, I think I'm doing alright.

          I will contact my pediatrician about soy milk for toddlers, just to be on the safe side though, thanks for the comment!

        •  I heard that all soy, even organic, has some (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Picot verde

          problem about metals.  Look into it.  I also read it can leach something out of the body.

  •  Thanks for this (27+ / 0-)

    Monsanto is one of the most devious and corrupt corporations to ever create misery on earth.

    "Freedom is what you do with what's been done to you." - Jean-Paul Sartre

    by Presumptuous Insect on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:48:15 PM PDT

  •  Agreed, this is important. (5+ / 0-)

    Business is business, but facts are facts.

    "I cherished my hate like a badge of moral superiority." - Mark Rudd

    by Bob Love on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:48:37 PM PDT

  •  Hope it makes it to the rec list! (7+ / 0-)

    I recently watched The Future of Food online (Netflix)...scary.

  •  Time to break the back of the patent (26+ / 0-)

    giants.  Make the patent period much shorter, and quit handing out patents right and left on things that never should have been given patents.

    Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

    by drbloodaxe on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:52:12 PM PDT

    •  And for gawds' sake ... (7+ / 0-)

      IGNORE the stupid things.  Civil disobedience can consist of simply Not Obeying laws that violate every precept of justice and common sense.  Patenting Life does just that.  The entire purpose of patents in their origin was to assure the propagation of new ideas by reducing the inventor's motivation for secrecy.  And life propagates itself.

      Steal, steal, STEAL what has no business being held as corporate property.  Or, since most of us don't want their crummy GMO seed anyway, FIND the alternatives and get to work growing them out for seed production.  Strains of crops and breeds of animals have been the commonwealth of humanity since 4,000 BCE.  Be DAMNED to anyone who makes "laws" saying otherwise.  Be DAMNED to those who would impoverish all humanity, whether physically or in the spiritual enjoyment of song and story, for the sake of their own selfish profits.  

      Such laws can only exist where people are willing to render them the semblance of legitimacy.  They aren't legitimate, and we know it.  So don't go along.  Do you think that farmers in Iraq, with bullets and bombs flying all around them, are actually going to pay any attention to Viceroy Bremen's laws?  Get real.  Do the Afghans stop planting opium poppies just because Americans have a fetish against them? Puh-lease.  So buck up, and show as much independence as an illiterate dirt farmer on the other side of the world.  Just because Monsanto says so, doesn't make it true.  We know better than that.

      I have a little bottle of cloning gel, that goes all around town with me ...

      •  Yes. A Seed Satyagrah. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        northsylvania, melo

        Yes, like Gandhi did with the Salt Satyagrah.

        Tribal Women Burn Genetically Engineered Seeds in India
        GM WATCH daily March 24, 2005
        The New Seed Bill in the offing, they said, runs counter to the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers' Right Act (PVPFA), 2001... [Farmers'] rights are now being taken away through the Seed Bill. This clearly demonstrates that the government is being run by the multinational seed companies. Orissa Nari Samaj (ONS), the tribal women's organisation with a membership of close to 200,000 demanded the scrapping of the proposed Seed Bill, and wanted to government to recognise the rights of the people in respect of indigenous seeds.
        Bhubaneshwar (Orissa), Mar 23:
        Demanding Orissa be declared an Organic State, more than 3000 tribal women today made a bonfire of hybrid and genetically modified seeds of cotton and other crops -- calling it the launch of a seed satyagrah --- here today. Walking through the streets of the city, the tribal women shouted slogans damning the GM seeds and the high-yielding crops that had pushed them into a cycle of poverty, indebtedness and hunger.

        The tribals announced that they have already declared 200 villages in the tribal belt of the State as "organic vilages" and are presently cultivating indigenous seeds in more than 17,000 acreas in Orissa.

        A delegation of the tribal women and some representatives of NGOs later met the Chief Minister, Mr Naveen Patnaik, who assured them that their demands would be looked into sympathetically. He also promised to convey the anger and feelings of the tribals to New Delhi.

        The charter of demands that the tribal presented emphasised that "due to the rampant use of chemical inputs in agriculture and mechanization of agriculture, the unemployment problem has become acute, which in turn may precipitate extremism and violence in our beautiful peace-loving state of Orissa". The demand for organic foods, forest produces and herbal products is increasing at the rate of at least 20 per cent annually in the world market. So, there is a great scope for earning foreign exchange by promoting organic farming in the state and exporting the produces, even if one thinks materialistically; though food should not be produced primarily for commercial purposes as per the cannons of the Vedic culture of India, the charter said.

        Organic farming is labour intensive; therefore, to a great extent, it can solve the problem of unemployment, which is one of the most serious problems of today's society. Or else Orissa will go the Andhra Pradesh way, where due to unemployment, arising out of 'modernisation' and mechanization of agriculture as well as destruction of local natural resources; the angry and rudderless youths and farmers voted the Chandrababu Naidu government out of power. They warned the chief minister that a similar process has already been initiated in the State as a result of which the political impact will be severe.

        On the other hand, the biodiversity and forest rich state of Orissa can earn lots of revenue by value addition and re-estimation of the cost of forest produces and herbal medicines.

        The New Seed Bill in the offing, they said, runs counter to the Plant Varieties Protection and Farmers' Right Act (PVPFA), 2001. The Government had given the right to farmers to sell and exchange their seeds through the PVPFA. But those rights are now being taken away through the Seed Bill. This clearly demonstrates that the government is being run by the multinational seed companies. Orissa Nari Samaj (ONS), the tribal women organisation with a membership of close to 200,000 demanded the scrapping of the proposed Seed Bill, and wanted to government to recognise the rights of the people in respect of indigenous seeds.

        As the hybrid seeds lose their vigour after one crop, the farmers have to buy the seeds every year from the seed companies. Further, neither the farmers can keep the hybrid seeds or produce it, nor the farmers can exert any control over the prices of hybrid seeds and hence they have to completely depend on the companies for these seeds. The Genetically Modified (GM) seeds are more dangerous, since there is every chance of cross-pollination of GM seeds induced crops with similar indigenous seeds based locally grown crops. As a result the local varieties may in the process get genetically modified and become like terminator plants. There is therefore every possibility that the GM seeds will completely render infertile the local crops/seeds and therefore the food security of the state will be put into danger.

        Highlighting the fact that an individual has to consume 9 kg of GM rice to get the required amount of Vitamin A (as required by Golden Rice) for the body where as it is possible to get the same amount of the Vitamin from one carrot only, grown organically, they demanded to ban these pro-commercial and harmful hybrid and GM seeds in Orissa.

        They also demanded establishment of an Organic Bank, which will promote and give financial and technical incentives to the organic farmers and support the farmers during the transition period of converting their lands from chemical stage to organic stage. The government should provide the necessary support for marketing of the organic produces which includes the opening up of shopping complexes and retail outlets for exclusively for sale of organic produces in all the district headquarters and cities and further to provide rent free shops for the tribal farmers, through any of the supporting organizations.

        Earlier, the tribal women exhibited over 1000 indigenous seeds and over 550 varieties of paddy at an exhibition held at Siddharth Vilage, some 20 kms from here. The conference was jointly organised by the Orissa Nari Samaj, Team for Human Resource Education and Action for Development (THREAD) and the Women¹s Institute for Development Education Network -- Orissa.


        A few day ago, though, activists in Orissa put out this petition:


        Protest against introduction of Bt Cotton into Orissa

        To:  Hon'ble Agriculture Minister, Orissa, India.
        To The Hon’ble Agriculture Minister,
        Orissa State,
        Orissa – INDIA.

        Dear Sir,

        We the conscious Citizen and right thinking public strictly condemn the statement of Agriculture Director, Orissa, seeking the introduction of Bt Cotton into the State. We also wish to emphatically state that we oppose the entry of any kind of GM crop. We have now understood that GM crops will only increase the problems in agriculture and the plight of the farmers of our State.

        As per available statistics 57% of the farmers of Orissa are marginal, while 28% are small farmers. What this essentially means is that 85% of the farmers are directly dependant on agriculture for their food and livelihood. Statistics also reveal with each passing year more and more agricultural and forest land are being converted into land for industrialisation, mining, roads, bridges etc in the name of development. This has had a direct effect on food production which is showing a decreasing trend. Land under food production like millets is reducing by the day while more land is being devoted to cash crops like spices, fruits, flowers, and cotton. Under these circumstances the introduction of Bt Cotton is fraught with grave danger.

        In the year 2002, 29,000 ha was under cotton cultivation which increased to 59,000 ha by 2005, i.e. an increase of 30,000 ha within just three years! In the year 2005-06 more than 20,000 ha each in Kalahandi and Bolangir and more than 15,000 ha in Rayagada district has been brought under cotton cultivation. There is no incentive to increase land under cultivation for food crops. Thus, under adverse circumstances, the farmers have nothing to fall back upon leading to increased frustration and indebtedness.

        We do not understand how the Government can contemplate giving more emphasis on cotton cultivation by bringing in Bt Cotton which has heaped untold misery on farmers in our neighbouring States.

        We have received the information that agricultural institution (OUAT) of our state have, under the stewardship of various seed companies, conducted field trials of Bt Cotton in the fields of 26 farmers in the districts of Kalahandi, Bolangir & Rayagada since 2002. There is evidence of illegal sale of Bt Cotton seeds in Orissa by M/s Nuziveedu Seeds Ltd. Bt Cotton thus cultivated does not reflect in Government statistics. There is therefore no information about where such cultivation has been done, the farmers involved and the impact of such cultivation on the farmer, concerned village and the environment.

        However we know from the experiences of farmers who have cultivated Bt Cotton in Andhra Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana that such production of Bt Cotton;

        1. Led to various health problems in farmers and farm workers like rashes, itching, swellings, redness & watering of eyes etc.
        1. Increased use of pesticides due to resurgence of secondary pests.
        1. Have been subject to damage due to pest attacks.
        1. Rising indebtedness among farmers leading to instances of farmer suicides.
        1. In Andhra Pradesh, cattle & sheep grazing in Bt Cotton fields have died in large numbers. The Govt of Andhra Pradesh has recognised this and advised farmers to keep livestock away from Bt Cotton fields.
        1. In Punjab, the milk yield from cattle has come down after they have been fed Bt Cotton fodder and cotton oil cakes. This phenomenon is now being studied by scientists.

        We think the above examples are sufficient to oppose Bt Cotton.

        We are aware that Bt Cotton is only the beginning. The Government and the scientists are ready to follow up with GM Rice and Bt Brinjal. However concerned scientists have already issued warnings that the effects of such technology on the health of humans and ecosystems may be unpredictable and dangerous. This will also lead to loss of our hold on traditional seeds and make us fully dependant on seed companies. Needless to say such a situation will have a direct bearing on our socio economic condition and also our tradition besides posing a threat to the food security and sovereignty of the Nation.

        We are at a loss to understand how such steps can be taken when the State Biotechnology Coordination Committee (SBCC) is yet to be functional. Similarly except for Gajapati and Sundargarh districts the District Level Committee (DLC) is yet to be constituted. Thus there is no accredited body or assigned persons, who will supervise, investigate, accord penalties and suggest remedial measures when things go wrong.

        In a communication from the Chief Ministers Office (no 1687/09.08.06) it has been informed that "Bt Cotton cultivation in the State will be discouraged". Moreover our Agriculture Minister Sri Surendra Nath Nayak has stated in the floor of the 2006 Assembly Session that, "No permission will be granted to GM crops in Orissa".

        Thus we demand that the required changes be made to the agricultural policy of the State such that;

        1. Sustainable and eco friendly agricultural methods should be promoted in the State to increase the yield of nutritious and safe food,
        1. Orissa must be kept free from the scourge of GM and declared a "GM free State".


        The Undersigned

        The Protest against introduction of Bt Cotton into Orissa Petition to Hon'ble Agriculture Minister, Orissa, India. was created by and written by Debjeet Sarangi (  This petition is hosted here at as a public service.

        You are right.  People need to reject the patents.  In India, I believe Vandana Shiva has gotten a million farmers to vow to become part of the Seed Satyagrah.  

        I would be great to see American farmers doing so as well.  Together.  But Monsanto chills by suing people into bankruptcy so it is not so simple.   Perhaps if thousands responded to any lawsuit against one, by all doing it, that might help.  

        But easy for us to say since we are not the farmers and are not even working to support them yet.  That is what my diaries about - getting us all together in this.  imagine a farmer being sued and thousands of lefties showing up to protest on behalf of one conservative, religious, gun-toting, farmer.  

        To me, that would be beautiful picture of our seeing past differences to what matters to us all and showing up for each other.

        •  That's kinda what happened (0+ / 0-)

          with Percy Schmeisser.  And if we could get communications rigged up so that everyone in the Destroy Monsanto camp could be notified EVERY time they start one of these insane suits, that could be a beginning.  We could mob the courtrooms, EVERY TIME they do this; maybe get friendly lawyers to file FOTC briefs, and generally pull all their actions into the open instead of hidden behind the veils of corporate PR.

          It's not enough on its own, but it could certainly be a beginning.  And judges and hearing commissioners ARE swayed by sheer numbers.  I was involved in a group that fought back a high-voltage power line in SW Virginia, that I would say won for two reasons: 1) they mobilized several hundred people to mob the hearing for three solid days, including grandmothers, schoolchildren, and family farmers who had been in the area for 300 years; and 2)they distributed bumper stickers which frankly implied (words: WHATEVER IT TAKES; symbol: universal code for NOT over high voltage tower, IN CAMO PATTERN) that there would be a shooting war if the towers were approved, and the locals are, of course, all heavily armed Appalachians.

          Show of strength plus threat of force often works wonders.

    •  Absolutely. Maybe this will be one of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      northsylvania, drbloodaxe

      the issues we can bring right and left together around and if so, it will be powerful.  

      Go to to see if you can find ways to help, focusing on the patent issue, if that is the part you respond most strongly to.

  •  I wish earth day hadn't hit on PA day (21+ / 0-)

    this is an important story. I've had this and a bit on oil prices ready to run today, but the FP has been (understandably) busy. Glad to see it getting attention here.

  •  This is as important (15+ / 0-)

    as today's primary. Many more lives are at stake.

    If we cannot find good things to say about our candidate then we need to reevaluate our support of that candidate.

    by motbob on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:58:39 PM PDT

  •  Ah... manufacturing scarcity (9+ / 0-)

    Monsanto is teh evil.
    I said it back in 98, and I hold that dear to my heart today.

    Make sure everyone's vote counts: Verified Voting

    by sacrelicious on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:58:50 PM PDT

    •  Since they can control food, and will be shortly (5+ / 0-)

      controlling fuel by through bio-fuels since they "own" corn and soy in this country, they will be able to declare scarcity in either whenever they want and run prices up based on that.

      Around the world, they can run up prices and create starvation and crises, including against any governments unable to help.

      It's one heck of an organization.  How do they justify what they are doing to the world, to themselves?

  •  Important dairy (11+ / 0-)

    thanks for the post.

    The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same." Carlos Castaneda

    by FireCrow on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 04:58:51 PM PDT

  •  This is so-o-o evil (7+ / 0-)

    If the public ever gets a clue about what's going on we'll have the kind of revolution we need.

    •  Then I suggest (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Urizen, Chaoslillith, la urracca, BYw

      that you work on designing an interference generator that will black out cable and satellite TV reception.  If The Public were unable to watch TV for, say, two weeks or so, they might Get A Clue and recover from their zombie state.

      •  Fortunately, the big shots don't control (8+ / 0-)

        the whole stream of information anymore.  Compared to even four years ago, the ability of even this place to get things out to the world is extrordinary.  If they did still have their chokehold on what we know Hillary would've been the nominee months ago.

        Yay us!  We can and we will.

        •  The big telecommunications companies (3+ / 0-)

          want to limit blogging and are working on that now.  Look into it and see what you can do to help.  You are right that this form of communication is critical to real people and real democracy so we need to pay close attention to make sure they don't control the internet.  Look at what happened in Burma.

          •  Fortunately, we have common cause (0+ / 0-)

            with a lot of the right on this.  I emailed my senator (John MacCain) yesterday about the commerce committee hearings on net neutrality.  Since it was him I pointed out that most small businesses need net neutrality (I didn't think telling him we need it for Kos would help much) to survive.

            •  The problem is that there are two rights: (0+ / 0-)

              the corporate one which McCain is part of which sells out the small right.  The corporate one talks small business and gets the small guys to vote against environmental regulations (the corporations benefit from that), but the corporations also create food scares and are fine for USDA regulations (which are geared for industrial agricultural standards and don't hurt corporations), to come down on the small guy and wipe them out.

              We confuse the two right, not seeing the small guys on the right who literally can't handle the kinds of regulations they get stuck with and are confused and vote against all regulations to try to escape.  Same with the taxes they vote against which end up giving breaks to the "large" right, not them.  They get used.  

              But some - the Ron Paul ones - are wising up.  They don't much like McCain who they know is corporate and will talk small business but vote for what corporations want.

              So, be careful about the internet.  

    •  We need to help them get that clue. You (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      can go to and see what they suggest doing to help and/or to to see another kind of suggestion.  Both are critical for making Monsanto a household word, linked to all they are doing to affect everyone's lives.  Right now, they are behind the scenes and we can't get public support until that changes.

  •  please repost or send a link to Darksyde (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Prison4Bushco, Jim P, la urracca

    to get on the subject.  Very informative and scary.  Thank you.

    •  You're welcome. Would you mind posting (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      this with your own introduction, to Darksyde, if you can?  I am very poor at posting and can't even figure how to use OpEd News though I am signed on.  Any help you can give in posting this and any other diaries to other sites, would be great.

  •  Scaredhuman, you are doing a GREAT job on (13+ / 0-)

    these issues...
    I agree with posters above...this is a bad day for people to take notice.
    If this does not make the rec list, update and post again....please.
    And...thanks again.

    •  Thanks so much. I'll try to remember to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, la urracca

      do that in a couple of days.  Buried in my last diary - starting off about Clinton - is a position paper with a series of solutions to corporate agriculture.  I may need to repost that one, too, because it got lost yesterday.  Thanks for your encouragement for me to repost.

      • need to redo your diary about (0+ / 0-)

        the Clintons and Monsanto..
        do it as strong & detailed as this one, with lots of links...and a catchy headline.

        People NEED to understand about this!!!

        •  Thank you for your suggestion. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          la urracca

          Did you read the original letter to Clinton?  Is it what you mean or you are picturing more?

          And it turns out there is another strong study about the problems with the crops:

          Thank you for trying to help.

          •  Write a diary, with links, about all you can find (0+ / 0-)

            about the Clintons and Monsanto...there are things out there, but I feel that perhaps this should be done by you ...because you are all over this issue.

            There seems to be quite of information linking them! and I just feel as though people should know about it.
            You can link to the letter again, and anything else  that you find.

            You are doing a great job...this is just a suggestion...
            I am appreciating very much what you ARE doing.

            •  I can do that but I am really poor at knowing (0+ / 0-)

              how to get it out far enough.  I am upset that I wasn't able to break through even in Pennsylvania, a dairy state, facing two possible bans on milk - one on labeling the bad milk and then one against the good milk (raw milk) - with Clinton having such a history and Monsanto running her campaign.  

              I need help getting this material out to newspaper editors and to radio shows in North Carolina and Indiana.  Women at a minimum MUST find out about the milk and it is a terrible irony that they are voting for Clinton who helped introduce that hormone and has been part of keep the silence about the dangers and obviously doesn't care about their health, as she runs with the help of the worst corporation on earth.  

              Suggestions?  This story has to get out and I am obviously not great at getting it out far or fast enough or have enough of me to reach enough places.  

  •  Hey, no cutting off at the claim (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, ibonewits, la urracca

    Let's make sure we get the damn roots.

    Prosperity ripened the principle of decay; the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest... Gibbon

    by Dinclusin on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:04:41 PM PDT

  •  It's not nice to muck with Mother nature! n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, la urracca, JeffW

    First, oversight; second, investigations; third, impeachments; fourth, war crimes trials!

    by ibonewits on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:07:39 PM PDT

    •  Not very safe, either. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Picot verde

      SHE has a way of getting back at you the minute you stop to squat.

    •  We've been doing it for a while (0+ / 0-)

      The thing is that people have been mucking around with Mother Nature pretty much throughout history.  All the various breeds of dogs are the result of extensive breeding and selection to obtain certain characteristics.  It's the same deal with livestock, plants, etc.  

      Leaving aside transgenic variants, if genes from the same species are spliced in or amplified, it's basically the same thing farmers do when they cross breed and propagate certain offspring.

      •  No, it is fundamentally different from (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melo, ibonewits, maxzj05

        what we have been doing for thousands of years.

        Their business is to do the impossible and practically overnight - change the laws of nature and do them one better for profit. So far they haven't independent because genetic engineering doesn't work like natural breeding. It may or may not be a lot of things, but it isn't sex, says Smith. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist involved in human gene therapy, explains that genetic modification "technically and conceptually bears no resemblance to natural breeding." The reproduction process works by both parents contributing thousands of genes to the offspring. They, in turn, get sorted naturally, and plant breeders have successfully worked this way for thousands of years.

        Genetic manipulation is different and so far fraught with danger. It works by forcibly inserting a single gene from a species' DNA into another unnaturally. Smith puts it this way: "A pig can mate with a pig and a tomato can mate with a tomato. But this is no way that a pig can mate with a tomato and vice versa." The process transfers genes across natural barriers that "separated species over millions of years of evolution" and managed to work. The biotech industry now wants us to believe it can do nature one better, and that genetic engineering is just an extension or superior alternative to natural breeding. It's unproved, indefensible pseudoscience mumbo jumbo, and that's the problem.

        Biologist David Schubert explains that industry claims are "not only scientifically incorrect but exceptionally make the GE process sound similar to conventional plant breeding." It a smoke screen to hide the fact that what happens in laboratories can't duplicate nature, at least not up to now. Genetic engineering involves combining genes that never before existed together, the process defies natural breeding proved safe over thousands of years, and there's no way to assure the result won't be a deadly unrecallable Andromeda Strain, no longer the world of science fiction.

        In terms of what comes from this fundamental difference, we have had no protection from it and are only just beginning to accumulate some evidence of consequences.

        The 1996 Biosafety Protocol was drafted to prevent this problem, and it should be in place to do it. Public safety, however, was ambushed by Washington, the FDA and the agribusiness lobby. It sabotaged talks and insisted biosafety measures be subordinate to WTO trade rules that apply regardless of other considerations, including public health and safety. The path is thus cleared for the unrestricted spread of GMO seeds and foods worldwide unless a way is found to stop it.

        Independent Animal Studies Showing GMO Harm

        Rats fed genetically engineered Calgene Flavr-Savr tomatoes (developed to look fresh for weeks) for 28 days got bleeding stomachs (stomach lesions) and seven died and were replaced in the study.

        Rats fed Monsanto 863 Bt corn for 90 days developed multiple reactions typically found in response to allergies, infections, toxins, diseases like cancer, anemia and blood pressure problems. Their blood cells, livers and kidneys showed significant changes indicative of disease.

        Mice fed either GM potatoes engineered to produce Bt- toxin or natural potatoes containing the toxin had intestinal damage. Both varieties created abnormal and excessive cell growth in the lower intestine. The equivalent human damage might cause incontinence or flu-like symptoms and could be pre-cancerous. The study disproved the contention that digestion destroys Bt-toxin and is not biologically active in mammals.

        Workers in India handling Bt cotton while picking, loading, weighing and separating the fiber from seeds developed allergies. They began with "mild to severe itching," then redness and swelling, followed by skin eruptions. These symptoms affected their skin, eyes (got red and swollen with excessive tearing) and upper respiratory tract causing nasal discharge and sneezing. In some cases, hospitalization was required. At one cotton gin factory, workers take antihistamines daily.

        Sheep grazing on Bt cotton developed "unusual systems" before dying "mysteriously." Reports from four Indian villages revealed 25% of them died within a week. Post mortems indicated a toxic reaction. The study raises questions about cottonseed oil safety and human health for people who eat meat from animals fed GM cotton. It's crucial to understand that what animals eat, so do people.

        Nearly all 100 Filipinos living adjacent to a Bt corn field became ill. Their symptoms appeared when the crop was producing airborne pollen and was apparently inhaled. Doing it produced headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies plus respiratory, intestinal and skin reactions. Blood tests conducted on 39 victims showed an antibody response to Bt-toxin suggesting it was the cause. Four other villages experienced the same problems that also resulted in several animal deaths.

        Iowa farmers reported a conception rate drop of from 80% to 20% among sows (female pigs) fed GM corn. Most animals also had false pregnancies, some delivered bags of water and others stopped menstruating. Male pigs were also affected as well as cows and bulls. They became sterile and all were fed GM corn.

        German farmer Gottfried Glockner grew GM corn and fed it to his cows. Twelve subsequently died from the Bt 176 variety, and other cows had to be destroyed due to a "mysterious" illness. The corn plots were field trials for Ag biotech giant Syngenta that later took the product off the market with no admission of fault.

        Mice fed Monsanto Roundup Ready soybeans developed significant liver cell changes indicating a dramatic general metabolism increase. Symptoms included irregularly shaped nuclei and nucleoli, and an increased number of nuclear pores and other changes. It's thought this resulted from exposure to a toxin, and most symptoms disappeared when Roundup Ready was removed from the diet.

        Mice fed Roundup Ready had pancreas problems, heavier livers and unexplained testicular cell changes. The Monsanto product also produced cell metabolism changes in rabbit organs, and most offspring of rats on this diet died within three weeks.

        The death rate for chickens fed GM Liberty Link corn for 42 days doubled. They also experienced less weight gain, and their food intake was erratic.

        In the mid-1990s, Australian scientists discovered that GM peas generated an allergic-type inflammatory response in mice in contrast to the natural protein that had no adverse effect. Commercialization of the product was cancelled because of fear humans might have the same reaction.

        When given a choice, animals avoid GM foods. This was learned by observing a flock of geese that annually visit an Illinois pond and feed on soybeans from an adjacent farm. After half the acreage had GM crops, the geese ate only from the non-GMO side. Another observation showed 40 deer ate organic soybeans from one field but shunned the GMO kind across the road. The same thing happened with GM corn.

        Inserting foreign or transgenes is called insertional mutagenesis or insertion mutation. When done, it usually disrupts DNA at the insertion site and affects gene functioning overall by scrambling, deleting or relocating the genetic code near the insertion site.

        The process of creating a GM plant requires scientists first to isolate and grow plant cells in the laboratory using a tissue culture process. The problem is when it's done it can create hundreds or thousands of DNA mutations throughout the genome. Changing a single base pair may be harmful. However, widespread genome changes compound the potential problem manyfold.

        Promoters are used in GM crops as switches to turn on the foreign gene. When done, the process may accidently switch on other natural plant genes permanently. The result may be to overproduce an allergen, toxin, carcinogen, antinutrient, enzymes that stimulate or inhibit hormone production, RNA that silences genes, or changes that affect fetal development. They may also produce regulators that block other genes and/or switch on a dormant virus that may cause great harm. In addition, evidence suggests the promoter may create genetic instability and mutations that can result in the breakup and recombination of the gene sequence.

        Plants naturally produce thousands of chemicals to enhance health and protect against disease. However, changing plant protein may alter these chemicals, increase plant toxins and/or reduce its phytonutrients. For example, GM soybeans produce less cancer-fighting isoflavones. Overall, studies show genetic modification produces unintended changes in nutrients, toxins, allergens and small molecule metabolism products.

        To create a GM soybean with a more complete protein balance, Pioneer Hi-Bred inserted a Brazil nut gene. By doing it, an allergenic protein was introduced affecting people allergic to Brazil nuts. When tests confirmed this, the project was cancelled. GM proteins in other crops like corn and papaya may also be allergenic. The same problem exists for other crops like Bt corn, and evidence shows allergies skyrocketed after GM crops were introduced.

        Another study of Monsanto's high-lysine corn showed it contained toxins and other potentially harmful substances that may retard growth. If consumed in large amounts, it may also adversely affect human health. In addition, when this product is cooked, it may produce toxins associated with Alzheimer's, diabetes, allergies, kidney disease, cancer and aging symptoms.

        Disease-resistant crops like zucchini, squash and Hawaiian papaya may promote human viruses and other diseases, and eating these products may suppress the body's natural defense against viral infections.

        Protein structural aspects in GM crops may be altered in unforeseen ways. They may be misfolded or have added molecules. During insertion, transgenes may become truncated, rearranged or interspersed with other DNA pieces with unknown harmful effects. Transgenes may also be unstable and spontaneously rearrange over time, again with unpredictable consequences. In addition, they may create more than one protein from a process called alternative splicing. Environmental factors, weather, natural and man-made substances and genetic disposition of a plant further complicate things and pose risks. They're introduced as well because genetic engineering disrupts complex DNA relationships.

        Contrary to industry claims, studies show transgenes aren't destroyed digestively in humans or animals. Foreign DNA can wander, survive in the gastro-intestinal tract, and be transported by blood to internal organs. This raises the risk that transgenes may transfer to gut bacteria, proliferate over time, and get into cells DNA, possibly causing chronic diseases. A single human feeding study confirmed that genes, in fact, transferred from GM soy into the DNA gut bacteria of three of seven test subjects.

        Antibiotic Resister Marker (ARM) genes are attached to transgenes prior to insertion and allow cells to survive antibiotic applications. If ARM genes transfer to pathogenic gut or mouth bacteria, they potentially can cause antibiotic-resistant super-diseases. The proliferation of GM crops increases the possibility. The CaMV promoter in nearly all GMOs can also transfer and may switch on random genes or viruses that produce toxins, allergens or carcinogens as well as create genetic instability.

        GM crops interact with their environment and are part of a complex ecosystem that includes our food. These crops may increase environmental and other toxins that may accumulate throughout the food chain. Crops genetically engineered to be glufosinate (herbicide)resistant may produce intestinal herbicide with known toxic effects. If transference to gut bacteria occurs, greater problems may result.

        Repeated use of seeds like Monsanto's Roundup Ready soybeans results in vicious new super-weeds that need far greater amounts of stronger herbicides to combat. Their toxic residues remain in crops that humans and animals then eat. Even small amounts of these toxins may be endocrine disruptors that can affect human reproduction adversely. Evidence exists that GM crops accumulate toxins or concentrate them in milk or animals fed GM feed. Disease-resistant crops may also produce new plant viruses that affect humans.

        All type GM foods, not just crops, carry these risks. Milk, for example, from cows injected with Monsanto's bovine growth hormone (rbGH), has much higher levels of the hormone IGF-1 that risks breast, prostate, colon, lung and other cancers. The milk also has lower nutritional value. GM food additives also pose health risks, and their use has proliferated in processed foods.

        Potential harm to adults is magnified for children. Another concern is that pregnant mothers eating GM foods may endanger their offspring by harming normal fetal development and altering gene expression that's then passed to future generations. Children are also more endangered than adults, especially those drinking substantial amounts of rbGH-treated milk.

    •  Muck with Fother Nature? nt (0+ / 0-)

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

      by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:44:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is good, thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    wait a couple days and re-post? I think that many more will notice it then.

    [-5.50, -8.05] and in good company. FreeRice level: 50 (good guesser)

    by sillia on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:10:42 PM PDT

  •  Well, I was waiting to see how (10+ / 0-)

    our government would react to the current grain shortage and massive price hike.  I knew they would find a way to not only ignore the poor and the hungry, but to actually fuck them over more.  They will use this crisis to push Monsantos agenda through in places that are so overwhelmed with the crises they won't even know its happening until its too late.  

    And for what?  So some really rich people can be richer.  Instead of $3000 shower curtains, they can now purchase $5000 shower curtains.

    Fuck them.

    "YOPP!" --Horton Hears a Who

    by Reepicheep on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:13:00 PM PDT

    •  Think of it (5+ / 0-)

      in a CT way. There is a concerted effort being put forth by the PNACs of the world to essentially kill off the people who are standing in the way of Amerika's world dominance. As the Third World begins to use more and more of their own resources, there are less available for the elites to make money on and control people with (forgive my grammar). Te answer is to starve them to death. That way you don't have to go in with weapons. The elites ren't just part of the problem. They are creating the problem.

      "Oh, intercourse the penguin!" Graham Chapman

      by crose on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:41:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, hard to figure. They live by some other (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      417els, KenBee

      way of thinking, that's for sure.  I keep being reminded of a book by Alice Miller on the Holocaust, as she tried to explain how the Nazis could have done what they did and people accepted it, as well.  She attributed it to the extreme harshness of Prussian child-rearing method which created emotional dissociation from all they did and an externalization of negative feelings about themselves onto others.  Self = all good.  Others = all bad.  

      But maybe money works by some other psychological principle.

  •  Clarence Thomas should be forced to step down (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, phonegery, JeffW, BYw, SciVo

    This whole way of thinking is insanely evil, there is just no other way to describe it.

    We are the ones we have been waiting stop corporatocracy in it's tracks and reclaim our democracy.

    We hold these truths to be self evident .

    •  Impeachment. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KenBee, BYw

      If you can catch him at actually letting his private interests corrupt his hearing of a case (i.e., not recusing himself when he has personal interests at stake), it IS quite legal to raise impeachment proceedings.  However, it would require vast political muscle to impeach a SC justice.

      OTOH, given  his behavior with Anita Hill, Thomas is unlikely to have become a model of decorum overnight.  It's quite possible that even as we write he is commiting some kind of sexual peccadilo, and he has almost certainly received non-cash or work-arounded payoffs.  So look hard enough, and you might very well catch him with his fingers in the cookie jar.

    •  Yes, about us being the ones we've been (0+ / 0-)

      waiting for.  We have only to begin doing things, whatever we each can.  It will add to a lot.  Go to to see a way to become part of a PR firm to deal with Monsanto.

    •  Alan Shore v. Supreme Court Justices (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Alan let them have it with both barrels on Boston Legal tonight.   Not just fictional justices but actual sitting justices for actual infractions committed.   Justice Pubic Hair got off easy, though.   You can watch the episode online, though the site appears to be slashdotted right now, probably because word of mouth is spreading like wildfire.

      -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

      by whitis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:45:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Post a diary about this again in a day (3+ / 0-)

    or two, please. It matters so much.

  •  Monsteranto (8+ / 0-)

    As you get familiar with the history of this company, you have to think these people are deliberately--nay! delight in--doing evil things to humanity.

    Seriously, not hyperbole. These people are just downright ugly.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:18:49 PM PDT

    •  Some are worried about their connection (0+ / 0-)

      to the Rockefeller Foundation which has supported eugenics and population control for a long time.  Both Monsanto and the Rockefeller Foundation are involved with Bill Gates in that seed bank under Greenland.  

  •  Hillary Clinton should be in the tags (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    world dancer

    ...on a good day I bowl a 19

    by mahakali overdrive on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:19:30 PM PDT

    •  Done. In honor of her (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Rural . Americans . for . Hillary"

      I guess the rural Pa Americans didn't get the word. So "they" say. We'll see.

      We are going to beat the absorbent undergarments off of Mr. 895th in his class of 899.

      by emmasnacker on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:51:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  we still have time (0+ / 0-)

        To get this out to Indiana.

        I know they've been effected.

        Unsure which other upcoming states?

        I might just write to farms there with the info.

        ...on a good day I bowl a 19

        by mahakali overdrive on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:37:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That is a great idea. North Carolina (0+ / 0-)

          is next.  I think we all need to calling editors in that state with the information about Clinton and the milk and Monsanto.  And writing short letters to the editor.  But it has to be RIGHT NOW because they need time to check it out before they publish their own stories or letters.

          Here is some material to make that connection and to why Monsanto is bad:


          OBAMA:  His campaign is run by David Plouffe whose has worked for the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) and for Richard Gephardt.  He is part of AKP Message & Media, political consultants.

          (In December of 2007, Obama's campaign took on Moses Mercado, whose role may be to help win Hispanic voters.  Previously, Mercado worked with Howard Dean at the DNC, for Richard Gephardt for six years, and before that for a Texas congressman.  He has one year of experience with Ogilvy, a PR firm, for Monsanto, BBC, BP, Coca-Cola ...)

          MCCAIN:  His campaign is run by his senior advisor, DC Lobbyist Charlie Black.  Charlie Black's firm, BKSH, is a subsidiary of Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest PR firms in the world and a major PR firm for Monsanto, Blackwater, Exxon ....

          CLINTON:  Her campaign was run by her long term advisor, Mark Penn, who is the CEO of Burson-Marsteller - Burson-Marsteller, one of the largest PR firms in the world and a major PR firm for Monsanto, Blackwater, Exxon ...  Mr. Penn is now working from the background in advising which Geoff Garin, also a biotech person, is nominal spokesman.

          Clinton and McCain's campaigns are BOTH run (whether openly or now more subtly) by men working for Burson-Marsteller, which does major work for Monsanto.

          BURSON-MARSTELLER:  Burson-Marsteller (B-M), one of the largest PR agencies in the world, is one of the most reviled by those concerned with the environment (and other issues) for doing such things as helping its industry clients escape environmental legislation, or "sprucing up the image of some of the most repressive governments on Earth.  B-M brings to bear state of the art techniques in manipulating the mass media, legislators and public opinion."  

          Of particular interest for this campaign, given Clinton's history in the White when rBGH was introduced, and that rBGh is still a very hot issue in states today, is that "FDA scientist, Dr Richard Burroughs concluded from analysing test data that Monsanto was manipulating the figures. In 1989 he was sacked after complaining to Congress that his superiors were suppressing his accusations.  ... To deal with the expected controversy Monsanto assembled an army of PR companies to aid them of which [BURSON-MARSTELLER] was one."  It was caught infiltrating an anti-rBGH group and posing to a writer as a journalist for ABC, attempting to get access to his material.

          [B-M] famously advised the [bio-tech] industry to stay off the “communications killing fields” that are the “public issues of environmental and human health risk”, i.e. to avoid participating in any public debate on these issues. The strategy recommended leaving it to regulatory bodies and other third parties to deal with these issues, and to communicate through symbols and stories, not logic. A positive image of biotechnology may be created through highlighting new products and potential beneficiaries, and developing a very close relationship with the media; “EuropaBio must turn itself into the journalist's best and most reliable continuing source of biotechnology/bioindustries inspiration and information - the first-stop help desk where they get no industry propaganda but practical, editor-pleasing, deadline-beating, connect to interesting stories and personalities - even adversarial - relevant to their readerships.”

          "Monsanto have used several prominent public relations companies in an all out media assault to achieve public acceptance of their GM products. These companies include the infamous Burson Marsteller ... Monsanto was accused of being arrogant and spreading misinformation. After a barrage of complaints an enquiry by the Advertising Standards Agency found that Monsanto adverts had been wrong and misleading on 6 of the 13 counts filed against them."

          Monsanto continues to push rBGH and GE-crops, despite scientific studies indicating major disease risks, despite objections in this country and worldwide, and it is still working to ban labeling of milk (including in Pennsylvania) and of all GE-foods and food from cloned animals, and even internationally through preventing labeling of GE-exports.

          Look carefully at EVERY candidate and hold them all accountable for their Monsanto connections.

          The history of the beginning of rBGH in dairy cows - which began during the Clinton administration,  which Hillary Clinton claims as part of "35 years of experience."


          1.  Monsanto people were put in charge of food, ...  
          1.  FDA okayed Monsanto's rBGH (bovine growth hormone), first GE-product ever approved.
          1.  Despite bovine illness/death, FDA didn't recall or warn.
          1.  Despite scientific studies linking rBGH use to breast cancer, labeling was prevented.
          1.  When dairymen labeled their milk "rBGH-free," USDA  actually threatened them with confiscation of their dairy products from groceries.  
          1.  With organic milk as the last way around unknown danger, FDA sought new "organic" standards - to include genetic engineering of plants/animals [good for Monsanto], food irradiation , sewage sludge fertilizer [good for Tyson].

          USDA backed down after a public response 20 times greater than to anything before.

          AMERICAN FOOD:

          Oils:  Indian sheep died eating from Bt cotton fields.  Our children eat Bt cottonseed oil in peanut butter, cookies.  
          Grains:  49% of corn acreage planted in Bt corn in 2007.  
          French study indicates it causes kidney and liver toxicity.  
          Monsanto controls US's two main crops, soy (90% GMO, 90% of traits "belong" to Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100% Monsanto "owned" traits). say GE-corn may cause diabetes.
          Meat:  Steroids bulk athletes, Monsanto steroids fatten animals, our fattening children eat steroid-laced meats.  FDA allowed "known TSE-positive (Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy - Mad Cow Disease) material to be used in pet food, pig, chicken and fish feed."  Monsanto's GE-hormone increases risk sick cows are entering US food chain.
          Poultry:  USDA weakened waste/contamination standards.  Waste from transnational poultry industry is now implicated as the source of bird flu.  
          The poultry industry is using the crisis to push out small farmers.  
          Milk:  Scientific studies indicate Monsanto's rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to seven-fold, increases colon, prostate cancers risks.  Canada, 29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products.  Bill's USFDA put no restrictions, warning labels, or any labels.  
          Sweeteners:  FDA granted blanket approved to Aspartame despite serious health concerns  while working to keep Stevia, a natural sweetener, out of the US, despite over 900 studies indicating no health concerns.


          Terminator genes:  Plants become sterile after one season, requiring farmers to repurchase, and pose an apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature.  GE breakouts have contaminated maize  and weeds, already.
          NAIS:  Monsanto, meat-packers, and USDA pushing a National Animal Identification System, a corporate database tracking all small farmers' livestock.  
          Consumer Protection:  FDA and USDA employees, Ohio consumer advocate, connected to Monsanto.  
          How many more consumer groups are being undermined?
          Spying on farmers:  Monsanto Pinkerton agents to go onto their property to check the farmer hasn't collected GE seeds - Monsanto's patented "intellectual property." Monsanto uses other means as well, to check up on farmers.
          Education:  Monsanto is moving to control the land grant colleges and what is taught there?  id=3462&name=Donald-Danforth-Plant-Science-Center
          Media:  Monsanto funds a public television series about agriculture threatening media from airing news about its products.
          Suing farmers:  Monsanto sues farmers for accidental cross-pollination and wind spread  Monsanto has a href="0 million budget and 75 person staff to prosecute farmers.
          Court influence:  Monsanto, through the Genome Project of the Department of Energy, has brought a delegation of Indian judges to the US to be "educated" (not "influenced," the director says) about genetic engineering Transgenics: US team meets CJI. Gargi Parsai, The Hindu. 5 January, 2001. New Delhiand approached numerous other countries as well.


          taking all control over GE planting, from farmers, communities to give to a single state committee.
          blocking labeling of milk and other GE foods  despite knowledge of problems.
          undermining saving of normal seeds bureaucratically overwhelming and a privacy invasion.  

          through the Farm Bill, holding a break in USDA crop insurance hostage to farmers' buying Monsanto GE seeds.  

          Monsanto is one of the largest agri-businesses in the world.  

          Industrial Agriculture has given us:

          Cattle living in filth, 12,000-year-old seed loss,
          poultry industry implicated in bird flu,
          Mad Cow disease,
          bee colony collapse (there is none for organic beekeepers)
          poisoned soil,
          depleted water, S

          lawsuits against farmers,
          loss of family farms throughout the world, ...  
          farmers committing suicide (in India, on average one every 32 minutes).  

          And global warming.

          Bees and farmers, dead.  Look at that again.  Bees and farmers, the heart of farming, dead.  Our canaries in the mine of industrial agriculture.

          Monsanto uses child labor in India.  

          Blacks, our poorest group, have to eat Monsanto's steroid/hormone/antibiotic-filled GE food.  
          Latinos' central food is corn; its GE version is toxic to the kidney and liver, and has contaminated normal corn in Mexico.  
          National Black Farmers Association (once 1,000,000 strong, now down to 18,000 farmers because of USDA discriminatory policies, is boycotting all Monsanto products.  
          Babies and children are drinking rBGH milk.
          Women fearing breast cancer don't know the association and doctors have not begun warning.
          Children are eating Bt-corn in processed food, soft drinks, and candy.  
          Diabetes among men, women, and children is increasing dramatically.
          Farmers are desperate, some selling herds, many selling farms to escape corporate driven USDA/FDA policies.

          1.  Monsanto's genetically engineered rBGH milk is associated with a 7 times increased risk of breast cancer.  


          1.  Monsanto's genetically engineered Bt-corn and high-fructose corn syrup is now implicated in diabetes.  


          1.  Monsanto is behind banning labeling of GE-food which makes millions of people part of a human experiment they cannot escape.

          1.  Monsanto and the FDA are eliminating vitamin companies - that will be the end of the alternative health movement.    


          1.  Monsanto is a major player in Industrial Agriculture, one of the largest contributors to global warming, pollution, and GMO pollution.


          1.  Monsanto's hormones, antibiotics, steroids and factory confinement create a living hell for "industrialized" animals.


          1.  Monsanto and the USDA are pushing NAIS - what appears to be a silent take-over of all US farmland.

          •  Ok, I need the html for this! (0+ / 0-)

            Wow... wow... that's an incredible list. Do you have an html copy for reposting this?

            Let the discussions begin.

            Indiana and NC MUST have some sort of union for farmers and the like. Out here in agricultural CA, they detest the GMO stuff. That's the crowd I'd work with this information. It's like CAFTA/NAFTA and the American-Made unions.

            ...on a good day I bowl a 19

            by mahakali overdrive on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 05:26:06 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  btw, be sure to read that last link. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Just in case anybody ever asks what was so bad about her hubby's doins.

      We are going to beat the absorbent undergarments off of Mr. 895th in his class of 899.

      by emmasnacker on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:54:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Plant heirlooms- preserve what's left (16+ / 0-)

    We need victory gardens full of heirloom varietals. These genetically modified genepool polluters have make a heckuva mess of our biodiversity thus far. We need to shut em down through regulation and we need to propogate heirloom biodiversity. Fucking arrogant blowhards releasing dangerous frankenfoods into the wild. They will go down in history as malevolent, cancerous, rat turds...

  •  Monsanto, maker of Agent Orange related chemicals (13+ / 0-)

    and with Dow Chemical et al. the poisoner of Vietnam, its people, its farms and forests with children being born with birth defects even today, poisoner also of US soldiers who sprayed Agent Orange on Vietnam and who themselves suffered high cancer rates and their children born with the same kind of birth defects that affected Vietnamese children only the Vietnamese children got it much worse because it is in the soil and air and water.

    Vietnam is trying to negotiate for damages for its people but the US courts and the State Department have turned their backs on Vietnam and its people. Canadian researchers have been helping the Vietnamese prove direct connections between the cancers and birth defects, the destruction of the mangrove forests and kill off of fish populations and the chemical dumping the US did to Vietnam 40 years ago. This is massive injustice.

  •  WTF ? Global wheat crisis opportunity (0+ / 0-)

    Check out the ad on the righthand side bar here ;

    this is exactly the kind of manufactured bull market futures based evil that exacerbates the problem , and why is it on this website ????????

  •  incredibly important diary, thank you (14+ / 0-)

    my own country (Australia) is teetering on the brink of  wholesale allowance of GM crops. At the moment we only have GM cotton, and 2 of the biggest eastern states (Victoria and New South Wales) have recently lifted their moratorium on GM, and GM canola is about to be planted in small quantities.

    Thankfully my own state, relatively protected by Bass Strait, still has a moratorium in place, as does Western Australia - but both are under extreme pressure, my state is reviewing its ban at the moment.

    the sell job has been so good on GM. It's infiltrated even previously independent research bodies here like the CSIRO. The increasing intensification of drought that Australia is experiencing as climate change takes hold is greatly increasing the talk of making GM drought-resistant crops that need less water etc. And farmers think they see a solution and many of them want it. Luckily many of them don't and are fighting a tough rear-guard action.

    the best hope that GM will be kept out of my state is that we are perfectly placed to export to Europe,  having the reverse climate cycle, and they simply won't accept any food that could be contaminated by GM, so we have an enormous competitive advantage if we simply stay GM free.

    Here's hoping this article gets as much coverage as possible.

    <sits and prays for common sense>

    "This just can't get more disturbing!" - Willow

    by myriad on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:24:29 PM PDT

  •  thank you for all of your constant Monstano watch (3+ / 0-)

    I feel like we should have hit Hillary on her connections to Monsanto more, but of course you can only go so far without the media caring. Everyone needs to know what is at stake here though.

  •  Monsanto, rBST and astroturf (18+ / 0-)

    Monsanto has been very busy sending its astroturf groups out to promote the use of rBST - recombinant bovine somatatrophin - in milk production. In state after state they are trying to make it impossible to inform the public that milk is not produced using rBST.

    There has been a lot on this issue in Daily Kos diaries, and I've written some here and on unbossed. They are a very devious and persistent company. And on many fronts.

    And the inventor of astroturf. Nuf said.

  •  Genetic diversity an important consideration (12+ / 0-)

    with commodity availability already under pressure.

    This will become even more important with global warming.  As climates change, we want biodiversity in food crops so that strains tolerant to higher temperatures or possibly to altered precipitation patterns can be favored.

    Excellent diary!

    We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

    by CA Libertarian on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:27:46 PM PDT

  •  Wrong University (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, murrayewv, RazzBari, kurt

    Barney Gordon is at Kansas State University, not the University of Kansas. I think The Independent got some of the facts its story wrong.

    •  Gordon's article (8+ / 0-)

      In my opinion, The Independent story is warping what Gordon published. Here is his article in Better Crops: Manganese Nutrition of Glyphosate-Resistant and Conventional Soybeans.

      This study was conducted to determine if glyphosate-resistant (GR) soybeans respond differently to Mn fertilizer than conventional soybean varieties in an irrigated high-yield environment, and if so to develop fertilization strategies that will prevent or correct deficiencies. Yield of the GR variety was less than the conventional variety without Mn fertilizer. However, Mn application (banded at planting) to the GR variety closed the yield gap. The conventional soybean variety was not responsive to Mn fertilization. Conversely, yield was reduced at the highest rate of Mn. A second phase of the study showed that a combination of Mn applied as starter and foliar application provided maximum yield response.

      They lift his quotes directly from the article:

      Glyphosate-resistant soybean variety planting dwarfs that of conventional varieties in the U.S. by a factor of about 9 to 1. Nevertheless, GR soybean yield may still lag behind that of conventional soybeans, as many farmers have
      noticed that yields are not as high as expected, even under optimal conditions. In Kansas, average yield seldom exceeds 60 to 65 bu/A even when soybeans are grown with adequate rainfall and/or supplemental irrigation water...

      This research provides evidence that the GR soybean
      variety used in this study did not accumulate Mn in the same manner as the conventional variety, and did respond to application of Mn in this high-yield environment.

      I wonder if The Independent actually talked to the researcher who wrote the article or just spun this to fit an editorial agenda? Gordon's article is about GM crops compared to conventional crops when fertilizer is applied.

      As much as I'd like to see this as the death knell for GM crops, I think stretching research undermines the credibility of the argument.

      •  Interesting ... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SarahLee, Magnifico, kurt

        but it does underline the way that banking everything on a single seedline can have unexpected consequences, not to mention the requirement for yet another soil additive (at additional cost, natch) in order to compensate for the GM crop's deficient metabolism.

        Diversity, diversity, diversity is the mother of genetic survival. Dependence on mass culture of single varieties of ANY crop is just asking for total crop failure the year that something comes along that hits its particular genetic screwball.

      •  manganese (0+ / 0-)

        And tomorrow's headlines may list vCJD (human mad cow) hot spots in the areas sprayed with Manganese - or where those crops are shipped.
        Manganese displaces a copper atom in the Prion responsible for mad cow, causing it to change shape.  OP pesticides have a similar effect.

        Weston A Price foundation has some articles on Mad Cow and related diseases by Mark Purdey.   The first article and the first half of the second article look very interesting but half way through the second article when he starts talking about electromagnetic energy flow, he goes completely off the deep end.   But up until then, his argument seems valid.

        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

        by whitis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:06:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Which part is the stretch? (0+ / 0-)
        •  I see now. But that makes manganese (0+ / 0-)

          yet another input to try to compensate for deficiencies in the GMO plants.  How much more expensive does it have to get to reach the yield of cheap normal plants before it becomes obviously absurd?  Fertilizer (Monsanto's), and pesticide (Monsanto's) and water (Monsanto is privatizing it) and now manganese?  Why not add the food itself while we are at it?

    •  Beat me to it... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, Magnifico, TurkeyCreek

      I read the diary and thought 'Gee! I didn't know KU had an agronomy dept! Sounds more like K-State...'


  •  Excellent Vanity Fair Article (14+ / 0-)

    I just finished reading an excellent piece in Vanity Fair which describes the despicable tactics that Monsanto employs against small farmers.  (Their customers.) They're ruthless bastards that are putting us all at risk with their products.

    A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward. - FDR

    by djmiklethun on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:29:52 PM PDT

    •  Shareholders vs Sharecroppers (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, djmiklethun

      It's an shareholder's ownership society after all.

      And anybody trying to change that is a commie terrorist, and must be sued to death, sooner or later, or made to injest a lovely cocktail of rBHT with a dash of dioxin and sprinkle of Agent Orange until they confess "The 'Free Market' is God".

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:43:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

        •  Yep it's the companies enabled to 'freely market' (0+ / 0-)

          their crap to us, and being free to avoid being held to whatever standards regular citizens may feel important, along with having their continued 'free speech' paid-for access to Congress, etc.  

          So, we have the best free market that money can buy, a lot of it on taxpayer credit, and if you don't like the resulting oligarchy, leave, or shut up and buy something, quick, before the whole thing collapses and this will have to be blamed as being 100% the consumer's fault.  

          If we fail to spend enough (on Chinese made stuff imported by US corporations), and we dare to allow our big sacred cow corporations to fail to meet shareholder expectations of profit, the terrorists will win.  Although the CEOs will inflate their golden and platinum parachutes and manage to make it through to again be capitalist patriots yet another day.  And if consumers do keep spending, per expectation, well, sorry about your factory and office jobs going overseas...couldn't be helped in this globally competitive economy.  Suck it up, and take out a bridge loan.

          When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

          by antirove on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 10:03:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it is. Wonder how long it will take before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it and the new French movie, The World According to Monsanto, and articles elsewhere and websites, will begin to wake the American public as to what Monsanto - which they've never heard of- is.

  •  Make genetic organisms non-patentable (5+ / 0-)

    I think that the root of this situation is that genetic organisms are patentable.  And that is the incentive to create GMOs -- to lock up the market.  If you ask me, just make genetic organisms non-patentable.

  •  solving (5+ / 0-)

    You can only solve world hunger by solving world over population. problem.

    •  That is what people fear this is meant (0+ / 0-)

      to do - by wiping out the poor.  

      This fear is especially strong given that the Rockefeller Foundation is associated with aspects of all of this, it having been involved in the background with Terminator seeds and with its history of eugenics.

      I am not able tonight but maybe you can look up myths about world hunger and overpopulation is one of them.  Let me know if you can't find a reference and I'll try to find it.

      Thanks for writing.

  •  My one sadness here is the crop (4+ / 0-)

    Unless it's fermented, soy is simply not good for people to eat. (OK, dump on me. But that's what I believe.)

    But anything that puts a ding in Monsanto's bottom line and ticker price? that's cause for celebration.

    Thank you for sharing good news tonight!

    And Bless the big, beautiful pile of horse manure that just emerged from the winter snows in my back yard. It's a perfect match for heirloom and organic seeds from Johnny's Selected Seeds and Fedco. (BTW, heard a rumor that Fedco's seed sales are up 8X over last year. That's huge!)

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

    by zic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:37:19 PM PDT

    •  Soy is actually very bad for you. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since 1950 the American diet has increased it's consumption of soy 5000%.

      Soy has many wonderful nutrients.  One of them, omega 6 fatty acid, is selected in the human brain in the absence of omega 3 fatty acid, changing the physical composition of the brain.  Because we have increased our soy consumption at such an enormous rate, and have not increased omega 3's our brains are changing.

      The difference between the right word, and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and lightning bugs. M.Twain

      by patarico adamasso on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:31:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that switch from Omege 3s to omega 6's (4+ / 0-)

        may also be behind the increase in inflamatory illnesses and increases in the use of otc drugs such as ibuprofen.

        And it's not just soy, but the switch from whole grain to refined grains, and from butter to vegetable-based magarines. Omega 3's don't last, the get rancid quickly. Omega 6s have long shelf life, so are the choice of industries making food for convenience stores and the middle isles of the grocery store.

        As important, a diet high in unfermented soy -- boca burgers etc -- means so much calcium that it leads to caldifications in joints, kidney stones, etc. Particularly bad for men.

        "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." George Orwell

        by zic on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:00:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I thought food containers are best improvement (0+ / 0-)

    because of spoilage and loss in storage and handling.

    Thanks for this diary.

    Crop diversity!!!

    Best Diary of the Year?

    by LNK on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:41:15 PM PDT

  •  Clinton and Monsanto? THIS is the moment (3+ / 0-)

    to contact her campaign and get her commitments in writing!

    Best Diary of the Year?

    by LNK on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:42:55 PM PDT

  •  good deal (2+ / 0-)

    I didn't think you had a chance to make the rec list tonight !

    nice work

  •  I hope everyone will rec this up (2+ / 0-)

    so it doesn't get lost in the primary madness.

    Good job and much appreciated.

  •  Excellent diary tipped and recommened. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler
  •  Hey, don't diss ALL "biotech" (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G35Guy, kurt, TurkeyCreek, Soberish

    Monsanto itself may be evil, but not all biotech  is.  There have been times in agricultural history when hybrid plants actually saved total destruction of a crop.

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 05:57:32 PM PDT

  •  Monsanto is evil incorporated... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jcrit, truong son traveler

    Read about the farmer Percy Schmeiser and how Monsanto tried to destroy him when some of its GMO genes drifted onto Percy's fields.  Monsanto had the gall to sue Percy and demand royalties for their escaped and destructive genes, but Percy fought back and won.  This makes me think that everyone should find a decent reason to sue Monsanto and go for it.

    •  he didn't win. (3+ / 0-)

      The Canadian supreme court decided for Monsanto on the legal grounds and principle.  And Schmeisser had to pay his lawyers, which wasn't cheap.  But the court also decided to levy a total penalty of ONE DOLLAR for his sins, thereby signalling to Monsanto that while they might be technically right, nobody seriously thought that Schmeisser's runaway genes harmed them.

      The problem is the precedent.  Technically, they DID grant Monsanto the right to claim all runaway DNA as its own.

  •  Good news. But I take exception to one (7+ / 0-)


    Thanks to those who have said science will solve everything

    The issue is not science, but greed.  Science is the study of what is.  Science and nature are not in conflict.  The issue is greed and the desire of an industry to try to control the food supply, irrespective of the scientific evidence showing that yields are lower using the GM method.

    Thank you for this diary.  I am so pleased to read this.  I want to have easy access to natural food again.  Studies like this will help that effort!

    "In the unlikely story that is America, there's never been anything false about hope." Barack Obama for President

    by Chi on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:00:52 PM PDT

    •  and I would add (4+ / 0-)

      .. I am an ex-scientist and in my time as a scientist, I never met a single scientist who said that. this is a great diary but that's a straw man.

      The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

      by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:28:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  prove your assertions sir (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Monstanto is making money for shareholders, when absurd companies such as destroyed them.  Monsanto is providing a service in a competitive field.

      What scares me the most is how such a post can get so many reccos based on "faith" not based on science or reality.  There are many that bash religious faith, but have their own religions and their own faiths.

      again, spin aside, prove your assertions Monsanto is evil, or at least support them with primary sources.  We are talking about serious subjects here, although few are taking them seriously.  I have no dog in this fight, but I prefer to ask tough questions than to just go along to get along.

      •  The assertion (0+ / 0-)

        A major study out of Kansas has now dispelled the myth (lie? charade?  PR scam?  boondoggle?)  that Monsanto has been using for years to promote its GMO crops - that GM crops produce greater yields.  

        The study result

        Yield of the GR variety was less than the conventional variety without Mn fertilizer. However, Mn application (banded at planting) to the GR variety closed the yield gap.

        No superiority - no usefulness - patent(s) void under 35 USC 101?

        •  so let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Scientific Liberal

          one scientist said GM grain in a certain microclimate, with certain fertilizers, did not improve yields.  And from that, you say the company named Monsanto is evil?  Do you or the diarist even know what Monsanto does?

          The company offers disease resistand seeds, it sells soybeans with zero trans fats, it offers cotton seeds that need less chemical insecticides.  This is a company that has been in business for over one hundred years.  Again I am only defending them in the sense I would like real info as to why this company is "evil".  Sorry, just quoting one scientists opinion of a certain seed is not enough for me.

  •  Tipped & Rec'd (3+ / 0-)

    even though it's on the rec list already. It's important to keep it there!

    This subject is too important to slough off. Monsanto is one of the most evil, desperate, greedy corps around, and screws the farmer every chance they get. I understand that some years ago, a farmer who did NOT plant GMO crops got sued because GMO crops, spread by pollen distribution, ended up in his field.

    Want to be a living kidney donor? I need one from someone with a bloodtype of B or O. Drop a note at

    by Kitsap River on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:05:59 PM PDT

  •  The Best News-This Is at the Top of the Rec List (4+ / 0-)

    Sometimes I feel that we of the real food persuasion are just a very few voices crying in the wilderness.  But it appears we are a multitude!  I honestly feel I recover from the fact that one lousy chicken got loose today and thoroughly dug up one of the snap pea beds just as the seedlings were putting out their first leaves.  Nature is relentless.<sigh>

  •  Thanks for another xlnt diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    btw, I believe the word you wanted was cavalry.

  •  Not to nitpick, but, (3+ / 0-)

    and if anyone picked this up before me, I apologize.

    But, can you hear the trumpets sounding as the long-overdue calvary arrives with a message?

    "Calvary" was the name of the hilltop where allegedly Jesus was crucified. AKA "Golgatha".

    "Cavalry" is a mounted troop of horse soldiers.

    OK, I'm nitpicking.  I'm just a stickler for spelling, even though I make my own share of typos.

    Just wanted to point this out to you for future reference.

    Otherwise, your diary is right on topic.  Monsanto, bite me!

    If we're not willing to boldly refute the lies, the lies will stand as truth.

    by cn4st4datrees on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:10:51 PM PDT

  •  Limits to growth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, kurt, TurkeyCreek

      There really was a green revolution and it depended on selecting plant varieties that responded well to fertilizer and irrigation. India and China were able to feed themselves for another generation and population doubled.  
      There really is a genetic revolution and it has given plants coding to produce proteins that resist herbicides and caterpillars. Plant breeders want patent protection so that they can be rewarded for their work, just like writers and songwriters want their works protected. Copyrights last 50 years. A patent only lasts for 17 years and it takes 6 to 10 years of that patent to get a product through government regulation and into the market. The patent on Roundup Resistance will soon expire and generic versions probably won't be far behind. Companies will only spend money on research if they think they will get a return on their investment. Customers buy the product because it benefits them to do so. Society benefits because the research is done and becomes part of the public domain.  
      The end of cheap oil will limit growth since high yields depend on nitrogen fertilizer and nitrogen in particular requires a lot of energy to produce. Blame who you want but you might need to get ready for a world with a lot fewer people.

    •  You make some valid points, and the issue is a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      complex one.  But much of what Montsanto has done and is doing really is warped, crooked and enormously immoral -- Iraq is a dreadful example. They were willing accomplices in subjecting the IRaqis to draconian regulation that will destroy their economic independence and Iraq's food independence, putting them under US corporate control -- all in the name of the neo-con worship of the unregulated free market.  Free for Montstanto. Not for the farmers.

      Yes, there really was a green revolution and it was of great importance; genetic research is valuable; and work should be rewarded. Maybe we have to rework some of the patent assumptions to reflect the time it takes to introduce to market,for instance.  But we should not be giving Montsanto or anyone else the level of ownership they are trying to claim, which violates the centuries of commonlaw ownership of those who developed and preserved the pre-existing varieties, and gives an insane level of feudal power to agricultural corporations.

  •  I am not a fan of monsanto (5+ / 0-)

    but some aspects of this article disturb me. You are tarring all scientists who work with GMOs with the same brush, when the vast majority don't work with Monsanto.

    GM is a tool. How can you be for or against a tool? It's like asking if you are for or against hammers. If the hammer is used to hit people on the head, I am against it. If it's used to build schools and hospitals, I am for it.

    What I am absolutely against is saying "this company here uses hammers in an inappropriate and unethical way; therefore, anyone who uses hammer in future, for any purpose,is unethical".

    Some GMOs have been used to shaft people, steal IP rights, and develop a stupidly oil-based, unsustainable agricultural technology. No disagreement there. But most scientists don't work for Monsanto. The problem is the attitude of a few companies and the use to which SOME of the technology has been used.

    Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

    The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

    by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:19:44 PM PDT

    •  I 100% trust the earth to sustain life. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I 100% distrust Monsanto.

      •  what's your point? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I don't really trust Monsanto either. I am less confident than you about the ability of the earth to sustain life, especially with nine billion hungry mouths to feed.

        If there is a global food crisis, it has very little to do with Monsanto and a great deal to do with fat westerners buying SUVs which never leave the road (except to mount the kerb at the supermarket), filling them up with biodiesel, and imagining themselves to be "green".

        The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

        by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:35:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that GM shoudl not be condemned out of (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          hand, but it's not just a problem with "some corporations," either. It's a systemic problem, having a lot to do with the influence of large corporations over governments.  The degree to which the US Agri. Dept., and the US government in Iraq, have acted as servants of Montsanto is only one example, tho a chilling one.

          THe stupidly oil-based, unsustainable agricultural technology that you mentioned has been a great winner for a number of corporations in the short run; and by and large they only think in the short run. The fact that many supposedly democratic governments, including ours, have served corporate profit at the expense of their own people and the world's agricultural sustainability is a key issue here.

          As long as this particular "hammer" is in the hands of poorly regulated, obsessively greed-driven, inappropriately powerful corporations, it is natural for people to regard this tool as dangerous and to be opposed.

        •  You think some scientist sitting in a lab playing (0+ / 0-)

          around in his narrow, narrow little (specialty) field who frankensteins a pesticide into a seed is smarter than nature which has done the experiment for a million years or more?

          That's my point.

          •  Smarter than "nature"? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Scientific Liberal

            Nature does not care about you. Do you think the plant made that seed for you? Nope. That plant has one agenda. It's not to feed the world. It's not to develop sustainable agriculture. It's not even to increase corporate profits. It's to have sex, reproduce, and die.
            All the scientists I have met do care about you. And they take their jobs seriously.. they ain't "playing". At least some of the hysteria about GM is coming from fat honkies who know where their next meal is coming from. Very few of them bother to do any reading outside of their own echo chamber.

            The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

            by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:56:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well I think you're nuts if you think (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Mike Czech

              scientists care about helping people. Maybe some start off that way but I'm guessing most are just worry the paycheck will stop if they find that something they are doing could do harm but to stop it but would cost the corporation money so they keep on doing it.

              As I said, I'm putting my trust in nature

            •  nature doesn't need quotes (0+ / 0-)

              are you absolutely sure that you're right?

              the only hysteria about GM is bundled in it's marketing.

              you're right about plants having one agenda.  and it has nothing to do with ROUNDUP.

          •  You sound like a Republican (2+ / 0-)

            with your attacks on damn elitist scientists who, you know, actually have a clue about what they are talking about.

            •  There is a problem with treating "science" (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              with total fealty.  It has led us wrong before and often - promoting bottle feeding over breast feeding as healthier, cleaner, comes to mind.  

              I will give you one example of someone who was once a scientist until he became something less or more:  Masanobu Fukuoka.

              Trained as a microbiologist in his native Japan, he began his career as a soil scientist specializing in plant pathology. At age 25, he began to doubt the wisdom of modern agricultural science. He eventually quit his job as a research scientist, and returned to his family's farm on the island of Shikoku in Southern Japan to grow organic mikans. From that point on he devoted his life to developing a unique small scale organic farming system that does not require weeding, pesticide or fertilizer applications, or tilling.

              Fukuoka practices a system of farming he refers to as "natural farming." Although some of his practices are specific to Japan, the governing philosophy of his method has successfully been applied around the world. In India, natural farming is often referred to as "Rishi Kheti."

              The essence of Fukuoka's method is to reproduce natural conditions as closely as possible. There is no plowing, as the seed germinates quite happily on the surface if the right conditions are provided. There is also considerable emphasis on maintaining diversity. A ground cover of white clover grows under the grain plants to provide nitrogen. Weeds (and Daikons) are also considered part of the ecosystem, periodically cut and allowed to lie on the surface so the nutrients they contain are returned to the soil. Ducks are let into the grain plot, and specific insectivorous carp into the rice paddy at certain times of the year to eat slugs and other pests.

              The ground is always covered. As well as the clover and weeds, there is the straw from the previous crop, which is used as mulch, and each grain crop is sown before the previous one is harvested. This is done by broadcasting the seed among the standing crop. Also he re-introduced the ancient technique of seed balls (土団子,土だんご,Tsuchi Dango {Earth Dumpling}). The seed for next season's crop is mixed with clay, compost, and sometimes manure, and formed into small balls. The result is a denser crop of smaller but highly productive and stronger plants.

              Fukuoka's method and philosophy is about small scale farming, yet he claims "With this kind of farming, which uses no machines, no prepared fertilizer and no chemicals, it is possible to attain a harvest equal to or greater than that of the average Japanese farm." (The one-straw revolution page 3).

              "When a decision is made to cope with the symptoms of a problem, it is generally assumed that the corrective measures will solve the problem itself. They seldom do. Engineers cannot seem to get this through their heads. These countermeasures are all based on too narrow a definition of what is wrong. Human measures and countermeasures proceed from limited scientific truth and judgment. A true solution can never come about in this way."

              I do not know the answers to this but certainly science has been badly corrupted and nature and its limits have been poorly attended to.  

              •  nature leads us wrong sometimes too (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Not everything that is "natural" is necessarily better. There is no real "balance" in nature or natural processes. Large genetic changes that pop up are often eliminated due to lacking support structures, but not always (including many that would resemble the changes to GMOs such as gene duplication or transposons).

                Where do we draw the line between what scientific advance can contribute to our well-being (artificial drugs? decaf coffee?)? Are the acknowledged limitations of science reason to stop trying to help the human condition altogether? Should we stop medical research because it's unnatural too, and many of the materials we use in treatment are "artificial"? If the Japanese farmer changes his farming methods to something less "natural" (say the carp start reducing his yields, so he keeps them out), which is a scientific process essentially, is that ok? Or should he adhere only to his approximation of nature?

                The people that treat science with "total fealty" are non-scientists with an agenda. But those who decry all science based on a few disastrous examples are ignoring when it's been very successful.

                •  You are right and I would say we (0+ / 0-)

                  could begin by not letting what is created be proprietary.  It would eliminate the insane incentive to own and thus control everything, and would leave us choosing things because they work.  

                  How many farmers would continue to use genetically engineered seeds if they were trapped into the current patent system?  

                  And second, we could stop corporations from making contributions to science departments to government to ... so the information we got was credible.  

                  You raise worthwhile points though I would not call what is happening right now with Monsanto and genetic engineering "a few disastrous examples" since it has displace normal human agriculture across the planet and is threatening bio-diversity itself.  On that basis, you have to give people some room to be a bit energetic in criticizing "biotech" and the madmen using it to control all food in the world.

          •  That sound familiar (0+ / 0-)

            Exactly like the GOP argument against stem cell research.

            We can all get behind slamming corporate abuse.  But the moment we look at an area of science and go "this is evil, no more research on this", we become exactly like the Republicans.

            Alas, to wear the mantle of Galileo it is not enough that you be persecuted by an unkind establishment, you must also be right. - Robert Park

            by Soberish on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:54:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Chemical companies have been allowed to dump (0+ / 0-)

              their chemicals into our environment without any controls. There hasn't been one chemical banned in the US for 17 years!

              Amphibians and fish and marine mammals are living in a toxic brew. They're immune systems are failing and their dna is being changed.

              I am really against the chemical industry.

              •  Yes. And why, if we have a clean water act and (0+ / 0-)

                a clean air act (however inadequate still), we don't push now for a clean land act to limit the use of pesticides altogether?

                That is something those of you in environmental groups might push your organizations to do, but do it IN CONJUNCTION WITH farming groups, which are the ones being poisoned and trapped in using those poisons.  It's time to get together on all this and stop fragmenting issues and ourselves.

                Thanks for writing.

            •  Check out work by Marc Lappe who (0+ / 0-)

              did a serious job of distinguishing, even ethically, between genetic engineering and the use of something like stem cell research.  It is critical to understand those differences.  

              I would say, though, that we must be as careful when we use the term "Republicans" because there are many thoughtful and concerned people on the right who have been right to fear what our government has been doing in terms of science (Terminator genes, being one example, and in Wisconsin now, there is a bill that would allow for the warehousing of DNA from all newborns).  

              So, we need to find allies and we need to be specific about what is wrong with genetic engineering and what it is and what is not.  

              Thanks for you comment.

  •  Thanks for a great Earth Day post (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, KenBee, AmericanRiverCanyon

    Monsanto represents one of the faces of Evil to me.  It's a relief to see this data made public.

  •  monsanto terminator seed (4+ / 0-)

    technology and the machiavellian political maneuevers of Bill Clinton and the huge investment house in Arkansas, Jackson Stephens find interesting intersections with Hillary in another of FW Engdahl's excellent investigative stories -
    Excellent diary

    In the beginning was the word - AUM - from which the gods eventually named AMERICA - a land of promise made possible by honesty.

    by ebiker on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:26:14 PM PDT

  •  But Professor Malthus is knocking (0+ / 0-)

    on the door.  What the earth needs is a pandemic, a meteor collision, or some other natural catastrophe that could reduce human population by 20-40%. Even if we could attain a world-wide one-woman/one child birth rate, world population would continue to grow for another 20-40 years.  World-wide (actually Asian and African) starvation will have to do as a population control.

    •  Is it better if it is someone else? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SarahLee, edbb

        Collapse might not happen the way you would prefer. Most Africans and Asians are a lot closer to the earth than Americans are. Take away oil, which could easily happen just because people start throwing around some nukes in the Middle East and the American way of life would fall fastest and hardest.
        Would you even know where to start if tonight the electricity went off and it never came back.

      •  By no means (0+ / 0-)

        did I mean to apply a preference.  Really I guess I would say nations with burgeoning populations which import all or most of their food would seem to be first in line to starve.  While nations like ours would suspend food exports to save to feed our own bloated selves (and make ethanol for our SUVs).      

  •  Scaredhuman-Can you provide a link (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, rcbowman, OHdog

    to the article by Prof. Barney Gordon that you cited?  I couldn't find "Better Crops" when I ran a google search.  Are you sure it is a respectable, peer-reviewed scientific journal?  Have you actually read the article?  Inquiring minds want to know.

    •  Here's the publication (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Uncle Bug, kurt, TurkeyCreek

      I have found other articles by Dr. Gordon but have not found the one cited.

      Better Crops

        I am curious about the weed control used in the conventional varieties. Agronomic comparisons usually need to be done in a "weed free environment". Comparing  a Roundup Ready variety to a conventional variety in a conventional herbicide trial is different from comparing the the varieties in the system they were each selected for.

      •  Thanks o76 (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv, rcbowman, OHdog

        I found the article in XCI (91) 2007, No. 4.  The study shows that by adding manganese to the soil and applying a foliar treatment, the glyphosate-resistant soybean variety that was tested will produce as high a yield as the conventional variety.  This is hardly a "definitive study" that "slays" the central claim of GMO crops.  Unfortunately, non-scientists often distort scientific studies that they don't understand (or even bother to read), to try to prove their point. They've already made up their minds, so don't bother them with the facts.

  •  I would give this 10 thousand rec's if I could (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, 417els, KenBee

    ... as a person who cannot eat one of the traditional grains and must rely, as millions of others do world wide, on the other grain, seed and legume species of the world, the last thing I want to see is Monsanto inserting the genes of one grain species into another grain species and potentially ruining food safety for ALL OF US HUMAN BEINGS. And this is one of their pet projects.

    I understand the consequences when one's digestive system does not have the enzymes to process a certain tiny part of the protein sequence. I don't want these Corporations playing God with the world's food supply.

    It's not knee jerk fear of anything scientific, on the contrary, I took the biology courses in school and I remember some of it. It's never been about creating diversity, which you must have to survive enviromental challenges, a simple rule of science and evolution biology.... It's about creating fewer plants that can be patented and seed stocks that must be purchased every year.

  •  As a farmer, allow me to retort (10+ / 0-)

    I can tell you with 100% certainty that our corn yields would be anywhere from 20-35% less if it weren't for Roundup Ready corn.   Why?   Simple.   It's all about weed control.   Weeds are the biggest yield killer, and controlling weeds with conventional corn and chemicals does not even come close to the total weed control we get with roundup ready corn.   This is the simple fact.   Talk to any farmer and they will tell you the exact same thing.    Soybeans?   Same thing.   You cannot get anywhere near the same yields with conventional beans as compared to roundup ready beans.   GM corn and beans cost a hell of a lot of money, but they are worth it and no one farms without them because the yields speak for themselves and we are in the business of making money.  Trust me, if we could plant cheaper, conventional seeds and get better yields, we would.

    Don't believe the crap on this diary.   Or believe it and continue to live in ignorance.

    •  But the bees.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Rachel Griffiths, Soberish

      Very bad for the bees.

      I agree the diary is way overdone. This is one study of one crop. It says nothing about the range of other GMO crops.

      On the other hand, people do a lot of things because they assume it will be to their advantage. They're not always right about that. It's often hard to see long-term issues when you're focused on a current problem. Crop rotation and other advances came about only after people realized what they were doing was actually destructive to their long-term interest.

      Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

      by FischFry on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:29:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  more crap..... (4+ / 0-)

        bees aren't affected by the crops- turns out the bee problem was due to bee diseases like foul brood and mites.   Link from today's issue of The Independent

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:51:11 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually a few years ago a German scientist (0+ / 0-)

          found cross contamination in Bee Guts.

          It was 99 or 2000 or so.

          I think it was Bt contamination.

          I  don't know what's causing bee problems, but cross kingdom contamination is a scary thought, very scary.

          Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

          by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:01:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  that is a load of crap too..... (4+ / 0-)

            seriously Bees aren't eating pollen from GMOs and being affected by Bt.  It is a specific receptor that activates it in insect guts and that receptor is different in bees than in butterflies or beetles or mosquitos.  Each of those insects requires quite a different version of Bt as well.

            If the bees eat Bt pollen they are unharmed.  If crosskingdom contamination of DNA between species happened, wouldn't humans have plant genes in them from all the plants they consume?  Why assume that the one modified gene among seriously, billions of sequences of DNA will somehow have an affect on bees or humans or anything?

            Bt is widely used in organic gardening because it DOESN'T affect bees.

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:10:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Perhaps I'll try to dig up the link... (0+ / 0-)

              been a long time.

              It actually was not the pollen, or the plant matter, it was the genetic expression of the bacteria that was cross contaminating the bees.

              I would imagine that spraying a pesticide is entirely different than a genetic expression of it.

              Could have been crap, but it came from a science journal. It was not an industry or an anti-industry source which is about all you can find these days...

              I wish I could dig up the source.

              Why assume that the one modified gene among seriously, billions of sequences of DNA will somehow have an affect on bees or humans or anything?

              Why not?

              There are billions of chemicals and cocktails of chemicals, why assume some of them cause cancer?

              Shit like this happens man, all the time.

              Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

              by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:32:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Because.... (4+ / 0-)

                scientists work with testable ideas not the assumption that random bad things that are not reproducible happen.  We assume some chemicals cause cancer because they interact with chemicals in cells to derail their regulatory system.  We don't assume everything causes cancer and then ignore the data that says it doesn't.  

                You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:45:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Exactly. Look at the whole thimerosal hoo-ha. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  The whole reason thimerosal, a mercury compound used as a preservative, was gradually pulled from vaccines worldwide starting in the early '90s (Denmark was among the first to do so in 1992), was because it was originally thought that it must behave in the same fashion as the mercury compounds found in shellfish and industrial contamination.  However, several studies over the past two decades have shown that it does not:  It leaves the body very quickly, generally in less than a week, which doesn't give the trace amount of mercury any time to do any harm.

                  Because of this, the WHO now is calling for the use of thimerosal vaccines again, particularly in places where refrigeration isn't easy to come by.

                  •  or silicone breast implants..... (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    huge settlements based on very unsound science.  Not that I think breast augmentation is anything but iffy under most circumstances, but that is not the same as unsafe and worthy of litigation.  

                    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

                    by murrayewv on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:57:54 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

        •  You don't read very well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rachel Griffiths

          Not that one article in the Independent ought to be proof of anything, but nothing in that article links foulbrood or the Varroa mite to CCD. The farmers' group is arguing that the gov't needs to put more money into research to try and save the bees. That's it. There are a number of studies and articles that draw a definite link between CCD and damage to bee's nervous system caused by pesticides bred into the crops. There's also an Israeli parasite that is suspected to play a role, but even if true doesn't mean that the crops haven't played a role.

          Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

          by FischFry on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:05:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This has been out for over a year..... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Phoenix Woman

            in the US and the whole GMO was debunked thoroughly then.  Now the Colony collapse is affecting Britain and they aren't even discussing GMOs and Bt.  If you follow the British press, you will know they would definitely blame GMOs if they had a hint of a relationship.

            Here is one report from the end of 2006 with discussion of many causes and no relationship to Bt and GMOs.
            More recently it is being linked to many bacterial infections and an Australian virus.  Also hauling those bees around to pollinate things is very stressful for them and they get the chance to spread their diseases more quickly.

            You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

            by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:25:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Debunked by whom? Monsanto? (0+ / 0-)

              You note a 2006 study. I read a very compelling, lengthy investigation of CCD in the Washington City Paper by an intrepid reporter. That was in the paper last summer. And, it made much of the French experience. They've banned the pesticide suspected, as  a result of their own brush with something like our CCD, back in the early 1990s... As well as the miraculous coincidence that Monsanto has spent a fortune trying to squelch any such questions, and the interesting fact that Monsanto has the patent for the ready solution: self-pollinating or self-reproducing crops. So, they market the pesticide suspected for destroying the bee colonies, attack any dissenting opinions, and stand to profit immensely if the bees do not recover. Very curious, no?  

              Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

              by FischFry on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:37:58 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  That same article (0+ / 0-)

              The one I mentioned in my other reply to your comment -- the article in the City Paper -- also discusses the impact of the stresses of transporting the bees, as well as their diet -- they are fed nothing but Oreo creme while they are in transport, and then they get to their new location, where they have nothing but acres of one crop to feed off (be it melons, or what have you). That's playing a role in killing them, but based on the French experience, there is also reason to suspect the pesticide. The article presents some pretty compelling, anecdotal evidence of how bees are affected by various insults to their nervous system -- including environmental ones.

              Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you:

              by FischFry on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:42:30 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Hey, don't want to eat all the high yeild crap (0+ / 0-)

      you are growing.

  •  Shimmer Is A Floor Wax AND a Dessert Topping (6+ / 0-)

    A deadly fungus, known as Ug99, which kills wheat, has likely spread to Pakistan from Africa according to reports. If true, that threatens the vital Asian Bread Basket including the Punjab region. The spread of the deadly virus, stem rust, against which an effective fungicide does not exist, comes as world grain stocks reach the lowest in four decades and government subsidized bio-ethanol production, especially

    It's tough to take something seriously when it's this sloppy.

    •  especially since there aren't GMO wheat..... (4+ / 0-)

      especially not fungus resistant GMO wheat.  I often read these diaries and am overcome by the reactionary anger against science and industrial farming.  Industrial farming makes all our modern lives possible, and somehow we are supposed to take care of all the issues at hand with some heirloom varieties of tomatoes and raw milk.  

      You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

      by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:53:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't know about this specific issue (3+ / 0-)

    but let us not talk too much about mother nature = good and science = bad.  Look at the massive food shortages around the world today.  In the poorest farming regions, they have the lowest yields, and they are the most organic and natural.

    Western Science has produced massive increases in food yeilds in this country and others.  This is why we are a net exporter of food, yet we have a small percentile of farmers compared to even half a decade ago.  We have less land under crops, but we have a bounty of food and grain.

    We can thank scientists and even companies such as Monsanto, Mosaic, Potash, John Deere, and hundreds of others.  These companies are thriving like the .coms in 1999!  The reason for this is that they have happy customers.

    Again, I don't know enough about the issue to debate genetically modified foods.  I do know that almost all seeds have been either modified, or are products of natural selection in order to find the most disease resistant and bountiful crops.

    I know some go after any agricultural science like a fundy goes after earth science.  I am not interested in that fight.  What I do know is we need more and more food at a lower price, and you will not get too many in a huff against the companies that help us with this problem.

    clarification, I am not defending the companies, I am defending reality.  We rich (by comparison) love to choose organic produce, and fair trade, most people on earth just want to have a hot meal at the end of the day.

  •  I agree with the sentiment... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murrayewv, Sanuk, kurt, OHdog

    ..but the more I read this, the more straw-men and false arguments I see.

    So, it is with great hoopla that the world needs to welcome studies proving that GMO crops fail in comparison to normal crops.

    This study does nothing of the sort. It compares ONE variety produced by ONE (unethical, stupid) company of ONE species under ONE set of conditions. GM, and many other non-GM techniques,  has been used by universities, labs, and companies all over the world to create lots of new varieties of crops.

    As an aside, maybe the Iraqis should get together with the Iranians, the Mayans and the Papua New Guineans and patent the concept of agriculture, irrigation and seed-saving. After all, they invented them!

    The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

    by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:53:03 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for keeping this very important (0+ / 0-)

    issue alive and helping to make others aware of it. Rec'd, of course.

    "Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control people..." Henry Kissinger

    by truong son traveler on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 06:59:53 PM PDT

  •  franken-rice (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Tanya, Picot verde

    Here is an interesting
    interesting article on Golden Rice, the poster child of GMOs.

    And one of the sidebar articles details how one GMO organism, developed for cellulosic ethanol, could have caused vast soil destruction.

    In the 70's,
    for a brand of margarine had the tag line:

    It's not nice to fool mother nature.

    In the commercials, mother nature exacts her revenge for being fooled by the butter substitute.   In the real world, her revenge was far worse: millions of people have been killed by this and similar products.

    10% lower yield is hardly surprising and probably the least of the problems.

    Years ago a Japanese supplement manufactuer genetically modified the microbe used to make tryptophan to quadruple the yield.   The result was that 37 people were killed and over 1500 permanently disabled.   The FDA, headed by a revolving door Monsanto exec, responded by banning all tryptophan supplements and green lighting GMO foods.   The fact that tryptophan competeted with the lucrative SSRI drugs coming to market at the same time was also a documented consideration.

    -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

    by whitis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:02:41 PM PDT

    •  GMOs to produce cellulosic ethanol.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murrayewv, OHdog

      sounds like an awesome idea to me.

      From the article you quote:

      In 1992 the Environmental Protection Agency was only a few weeks away from ending life on the planet as we know it.

      Come on. Seriously. I can't begin to say how overblown that statement is.

      From your post:

      In the real world, her revenge was far worse: millions of people have been killed by this and similar products.

      Again, what? Are you serious?

      I am sick of people blaming scientists for problems that are societal and political in nature.

      The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

      by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:22:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  someone from a site now not longer available.... (0+ / 0-)

        looked at UN data and said green revolution crops led to lower intelligence and attributes it to micronutrient losses.  This is all overblown.

        You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad. Aldous Huxley

        by murrayewv on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:58:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  overblown? (0+ / 0-)

        Maybe the statement was a little overblown; you notice that my phrasing was a bit more moderate.

        But you are talking about a microbe that grows in soil.   After wiping out the fields it was dumped on, you think it would have stayed there?
        It would probably spread to adjacent fields and be transmitted further by animals, birds, etc.

        As for the margarine, trans fats have killed millions.   Heart disease killed about 10% of the population before trans fats.   When it started to skyrocket, the crisis was blamed on saturated fats (based on a study that actually used trans fats, not saturated ones) and the public was pushed into increased use of trans fats which made the problem worse.   Now 40% die from heart disease, not to mention cancer and other degenerative diseases linked to trans fats and/or the absence of foods they displace  30% of the US population is about 100 million deaths, so even if trans fats are only responsible for a small percentage of that we are still talking "millions".   It isn't just a statistical correlation; mechanisms by which trans fats kill are known.

        Blaming scientists?   I am a big fan of science, done competently and used responsibly.
        But 15% of scientists in one survey admitted to fudging results due to financial interests, and that number is probably much higher in fields where there is politics involved.  Others have ghostwritten (put their names on) "scientific studies" that were actually written by corporations.   Scientists may be among the least corrupt professions, which is scary when you consider how much corruption there is in science.   And when the science isn't corrupt, others will pick and choose studies, misrepresent their results, etc.

        The application of science and technology to food has a very poor track record.   Even good intentions have a tendancy to go astray, and there is no shortage of greed unaware of the consequences or outright bad intentions.  Food is more plentiful, cheaper (though a good chunk of the savings goes into the pockets of the rich), and more of us have time to work on other things but it doesn't do a good job of sustaining human life in the long run.

        Consider the research on aspartame:

        This was eloquently borne out in 1996, when Ralph G. Walton, MD, professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at Northeastern Ohio University’s College of Medicine, conducted an analysis of all the medical studies—164 of them at the time—dealing with human safety as it relates to the use of aspartame. The studies were separated into two categories: 74 of the studies were sponsored by the aspartame industry and 90 of them were non-industry-sponsored studies. Dr. Walton found that of the 74 studies sponsored by the aspartame industry, 100 percent of them claimed there were no health problems associated with aspartame use. Of the 90 studies that had no connections to industry, all but seven of them identified one or more problems with aspartame use. Interestingly, of the seven studies that did not find problems, the FDA had conducted six. Critics suggest that since a number of FDA officials eventually went to work for the aspartame industry, these six studies should be considered industry-sponsored research as well.

        -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

        by whitis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 10:32:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Complete agreement.. (0+ / 0-)

          ..with some aspects of what you said. The issue of industry-funded results, ghostwriting, financial pressure on scientists.... all a huge problem. No argument from me there.
          Trans-fats.. well, maybe you have a point there,and it wasn't clear you are talking about that. I still think people get way too hung up on The Latest Deadly Thing That You Are Eating and don't pay enough attention to overall diets and overall energy use vs. energy input.
          Consume more energy than you expend, you are going to get fat and have health problems, trans fat or no trans fat.
          As for those microbes.. the study you quote used sterile soil. That basically makes the results worthless. Plants don't really grow all that well in sterile soil.. they need fungi as an auxilary root system, and bacteria to make nutrients available.
          If this "killer" bacteria was released and started dumping alcohol in the soil, the likely result is that
          1)other bacteria would metabolise (eat) the alcohol
          2)other bacteria would out-compete the killer bug and it would disappear.
          If that study showed that the bug could survive in actual soil, I would take it more seriously.

          Overall what you said actually agrees with some of my posts... the problem is the corrupting influence of money in science. If your crop-improvement program is publically funded, you are under less pressure to cover up bad results, and if you get good results, the public owns the IP. But that takes, er, taxes, which people aren't willing to cough up.

          The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

          by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:12:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  we do agree on a lot (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Yeah, I want to know what the bug would have done in non-sterile soil.    However, I suspect normal soil contains a very large amount of cellulose which is broken down very slowly (timescale a year?) by other microbes.   Now add our magic bug that presumably breaks that cellulose down very rapidly (timescale: a week?) and it would be very hard for other microbes, with probably more than an order of magnitude disadvantage, to out-compete.    Are there significant amounts of bacteria that can metabolize alchohol in soil?    Alcohol kills most bacteria - chemical warfare against other bacteria is its purpose.   There are methyltropic bacteria but apparently not ethyltropic bacteria.

            Yeah, I know what you mean about "The Latest Deadly Thing That You Are Eating" or The Latest Thing That Will Cure Everything From Rigour Mortis To High Credit Card Balances.

            Fat gurus Edo Erasmus (Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill) and Mary G. Enig (Know Your Fats: The Complete Primer for  Understanding the Nutrition of Fats, Oils, and Cholesterol ) both agree that trans fats are very bad and he goes into considerable detail in his book.   Both disagree with the saturated fat witch-hunt, she promotes saturated fats.  

            Yes, there is a lot more wrong with diet these days than just trans fats.

            The simplistic calories in/calories out formula doesn't really account for obesity.   Back in the 1950s (before food got really out of wack), a study was conducted where subjects ate 5 times their recommended caloric intake and gained a huge amount of weight but they were surprised that weight gain was not permanent; similarly for weight loss.  Instead, they determined that the body had a genetic weight target and would fight tooth and nail to keep within about +/- 20 lbs of that target and your caloric intake change has to be extreme to override that.   Something, presumably in the diets today, however, seems to move the target.   A 400lb person tries to diet and the body measurably shifts into famine mode.   Enig's theory seems to be, more or less, that NATURAL saturated fats (complete with an abundance of fat soluable vitamins and sufficient EFAs (particularly Omega-3)) from animal products, coconuts, or similar in their natural state can satiate the body and keep it out of famine mode, but adulterated animal products may not and refined carbohydrates and other vegetable oils are   converted to body fat without satiating the body in the long term.   Erasmus focuses more on Omega-3s.   Thus it isn't the supersize meal, it is what is (and isn't) in the supersize meal: adulterated beef, refined carbohydrates, and trans fats.   Trans fats displace omega-3s; they are similar enough to be taken up where omega-3s are needed but not similar enough to perform the required functions.   Even the edicts for sunscreen and sun avoidance (which prevents vitamin-D synthesis and actually increases total cancer deaths), may come into play.   The fabled Mediterranean Diet we were supposed to emulate didn't really exist.

            Wild game is about 5% omega-3 as a percentage of fat which would be in the right ball park for 2% of total calories; domesticated meats have about a tenth of that.   And we don't eat the whole animal either (light and dark meat, organ meats, intestines, bones, etc.).   Dairy and eggs suffer from similar problems.  Carbohydrates are mostly refined.   Fruit is far sweeter than what our primate ancestors ate.   Potassium rich (bitter tasting) greens are avoided in favor of iceberg or at least the moderate greens.   And so on.

            There is even some evidence that in the 10,000 years or so since we developed agriculture (as opposed to foraging) and domesticated animals (as opposed to wild game), the quality of the human diet has deteriorated to the point that brain/gut and body/gut ratios and absolute brain sizes have declined 8%.
            Thus the history of humans screwing up our diet may go back far further than the train wreck of the last 60-200 years.   The entire history of artificial selection, monocultures, etc. may be suspect.

            -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

            by whitis on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:13:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  yeah..I was going to try the paleolithic diet.. (0+ / 0-)

              then i realised how much I like cheese.
              For those microbes, if a bug is pumping out heaps of alcohol, energy is required to make it (it's quite an energy-packed molecule, hence it can be used as fuel) which the bug has to sacrifice from somewhere else. So, a competitive disadvantage.

              The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

              by The little blogger that could on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:23:11 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  paleolithic diet (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Before trying the paleolithic diet, go to
       and read what they have to say there.   One which I read is:

                The Weston A Price Foundation and Beyond Vegetarianism talk a lot about traditional diets.   If we eat the standard american diet, we certainly aren't eating anything like what our ancestors ate 200 years ago.    If we eat the touted mediteranean diet, we aren't actually eating what the healthier mediteranean people were eating (they consumed far more animal products).   If we eat a vegan diet, we are eating a diet that human beings have not eaten in the 2.5 million years since our species first evolved.     If we eat a paleolithic diet, it may have been tainted by ideology and we are ignoring some very important changes in evolution over the last million years and the  equivalent foods aren't actually equivalent.  And if we think we are eating the diet that our ancestors ate 200 years ago, we still aren't eating the food they were eating because the foods in the supermarket have almost all been modified extensively.   Grain fed animal products, grain fed pasteurized and homoginized dairy, eggs from grain fed chickens, domesticated animals vs. wild game, refined grains, etc.

                In order to begin to approximate ancestral diets, the animal products, meat, milk, and eggs need to at least be from pasture raised animals.

                -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

                by whitis on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:57:34 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  forgot to mention (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          That in 1985, a few years after it was approved (and 11 years before the meta study above), Monsanto bought JD Searle, the makers of aspartame, and sold Nutrasweet to another company in 2000 for $440 million (after the patent expired).   The Searle executive who got Aspartame approved, over objections from FDA scientists:  Donald Rumsfeld.

          -6.25, -6.36 Worst. President. Dictator. Ever.

          by whitis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:27:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Monsanto is the scourge of the planet (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde, Fiona West
  •  GM increases yields... of profits!!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, 417els, JeffW

    These patented organisms (anti-life to patent life!) means farmers cannot stock seeds, that they must keep buying from them, and if they go back, have just one ear of GM corn and they can be subject to great fines.  It's all a scam, and a real danger to us all.  They are using this approach elsewhere, like Iraq (see diary), to destroy small farmers right now and gobble up all the agri-land.

    Horrid, horrible and just wrong.

    You don't negotiate with fascists, you defeat them in the name of democracy. --Ambr. Joe Wilson

    by FightTheFuture on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 07:17:35 PM PDT

  •  Great post on for Earth Day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Picot verde

    especially since it's been increasingly corporatized.

    I hope Monsanto goes bankrupt and the rest of us can fill the demand with heirloom seeds!

  •  I take umbrage with your use of "worms" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Worms are a GREAT benefit to gardening / farming, and should never be used as a verb for Monsatan's evil actions.

    But this study is great in that it proves what we have known all along.  Whatever humanitarian BS that gets tossed around to say how noble and worthy GM's aims are is just a sales pitch.  

  •  When I read this the other day (0+ / 0-)

    I did my full on happy dance! The then e-mailed to everyone I know! Dancin' Dancin' whoohoo happy dance!! Monsanto is goin' down! Those motherfuckers!

  •  they should rot in hell (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for the damage they've already done.  This is perhaps one of the most evil corporations on the face of the planet.
    Remember when the starving people of Zimbabwe sent shipments of this away? No one would take the stuff in Europe so they tried to dump it on others.  Zimbabweans were smart enough to protect their seeds...but I'm not sure what's happened since as this crap cross contaminates.  Monsanto is just plain evil.

  •  A interesting documentry about Monsanto's evil (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, Kwaidan

    check this out. fascinating.

    •  Thank you (0+ / 0-)

      I'll watch it, though I'm sure it will be every bit as depressing as The Future of Food.  And Who Killed the Electric Car.  And Darwin's Nightmare...

      But evil is the only adjective that can singularly describe Monsanto.

      Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -H.L. Mencken

      by Kwaidan on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:52:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You sound genuinely delightied. (3+ / 0-)

    "Promising technology fails, to date, to live up to expectations"? THIS merits a Hallelujah?

    •  don't believe every sales pitch you hear (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fiona West

      "promising technology" is in the eye of the beholder.  Monsanto created this technology to establish itself as the gatekeeper for one of the Earth's main subsistence crops.  if you honestly believed they wanted to feed the world's poor and buy the world a Coke you have been hoodwinked.

      •  I have no question as to Monsanto's (0+ / 0-)

        Nor have I any love for big agribusiness; hotwever, I continue to hope that genetic technology will  be able to play a constructive role in increasing crop yields. I certainly don't delight when this fails to be true-- even if it proves inconvenient for an organization as easy to dislike as Monsanto.

        •  Why not be pleased the normal crops outperform (0+ / 0-)

          a 3 times more expensive, very oil-dependent, very polluting (in terms of needed pesticides), very water-depleting, totally proprietary GE-crop?

          Even if GE-crops were safe, which they are proving not to be, even if they performed as well as normal crops, they are fuel-sucking, control-grabbing, water-draining, bio-diversity-erasing monsters.  

          Who pulls for a "technology" (the quotes are because the people involved know very little what they are doing) that is by every single measure of "fit" to costs, inputs, freedom, resources, biodegradability, transportation, etc. a whopping disaster, and then on top of all that, traps poor people into being mere tenant farmers, unable to save for the future, leaving corporations owning the seeds?  

          I appreciate your comments.  They make me realize that there is NO aspect of GE-crops that make sense.  That's rather stunning.

          •  I don't think your logic is sound. (0+ / 0-)

            It's clear that this data suggests that the technology is not living up to its potential. If it genuinely has no promise, I think this is one area the market (yeah, yeah, I know) will actually be able to sort out-- if I'm a farmer, I'm not going to invest in a higher cost, lower yield crop.

            The trapping of people in a tenant farmer role and creating a proprietary role for it, well, that's a very serious issue, and one linked to our grotesquely corrupt system of IP law; however, that's not a reason to hope that the scientific pursuit itself is a failure.

            As a fundamental issue, there is no reason they need to be more oil dependent, water depleting or pesticide intensive. Indeed, the entire promise of the technology is to alleviate these problems. I see no reason to believe that genetic technology isn't ultimately capable of enhancing the slow and largely random mutation-driven processes of animal husbandry and crop selection that have made sustainable human agriculture possible for thousands of years.

            You ask "why not be pleased that normal crops outperform?"-- but the answer should be obvious. It is my hope that this technology will ultimately lead to crops that require less water, less energy, less fertilizer and pesticide-- with a higher yield, a greater nutrient value and a wider growing range.

            Maybe it isn't living up to that potential. Maybe it never will-- but that would be a tragedy, not a cause for celebration.

            •  I hear what you are saying and see your (0+ / 0-)

              sincere interest in crops that can offer a great deal to humanity.  

              The crops we have been replacing around the world were selected over hundreds of years do just what you are hoping for, moving always in that direction (collecting seeds from the plants which best survived a drought, which grew in poor soil, which fended off insects, etc.  Well-adapted to their particular niche.  

              The "Green" revolution wiped out much of that caring and brilliantly adapted accumulation of potential.  We are faced with getting back now, to where we were, only with less genetic material to do it with.

              I sympathize with your hope but I am enough concerned with the loss of the basic material we had, and with protecting what is still there, that it is hard for me to trust the "scientists" who took us down that dark road before, and always with those large promises, and still not admitting the disasters they have caused (as with the new wheat fungus threat and now with so many varieties of wheat no longer existent to offer the possibility of finding a resistant strain).

              So, when you hear me celebrate, it is the triumph of the normal, the power of the real, over technology that has proven itself so corrupt politically and economically and scientifically, that is separate from it being dangerous because the knowledge is not there but they are proceeding nonetheless.  

              Have you heard Jeffrey Smith's speech on genetic engineering on  

              I value your desires and am just so fed up at this point with the narrow understanding that science has brought to any of this, with such a lack of appreciation of the wisdom of the people who have brought us, through careful selection, such an astounding array of food.

              Our hearts, though, are in the same place.  I am just out of trust and in love with what nature does on its own.

              Thanks for writing and with being patient and respectful in speaking with me, even if not thinking the same way.

  •  Monsanto execs: (0+ / 0-)

    Good for holding gallows ropes straight with their necks.

    Not much else.

    John McCain: A Bush by any other name still stinks the same.

    by slippytoad on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:11:55 PM PDT

  •  awesome diary! btw Hillary hearts these bastards (0+ / 0-)

    can't remember the name of the documentary, but google it and then rent it!!  These are some shameful bastards.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be draped in the flag and carrying the cross."- Sinclair Lewis

    by IamtheReason on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:13:55 PM PDT

  •  Monsanto is.. (5+ / 0-)

    ...the face of evil to me
    ... the scourge of the planet
    ...evil and needs to be destroyed
    .... one of the most devious and corrupt corporations to ever create misery on earth

    ...all quotes taken from the comments thread.

    Come on. Get some perspective.
    This article quotes a paper that I don't think the author has not actually read,because it hasn't been published yet. The paper concludes that GM soy has lower yields in conditions where no weeds are present, but the whole point of roundup-ready soy is to increase yields where weeds are present.

    The writer of the Independent article can't tell the difference between a virus and a fungus.

    It vilifies the Green revolution, which actually helped feed millions. If there is a problem, it's because those millions of people then had kids (AS IS THEIR RIGHT), and now the carrying capacity of the planet has been overshot.

    The article is OK, but has some errors. But the comments and reactions to it are hyperbole. Get a grip and stop with the eco-ludditism. This from a Green voter and an ex-scientist.

    The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

    by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:20:40 PM PDT

    •  I can see the lack of rigor in the assessment of (0+ / 0-)

      this article, and I don't know what to think, but Monsanto is a horrible, horrible company.

      One of the worst and possibly the most dangerous in the world.

      Terminator seeds. Bt. Cross contamination. rBGH & BST...

      They are the worst of the worst.

      There is good reason to hate this company.

      I'd love to see them go down.

      They have done no favors for anyone poor.

      Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

      by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:34:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  wait a sec on Bt (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        murrayewv, Sanuk

        that is a widely accepted part of organic programs. the arguments that it is evil inside the plant and ok outside holds no water. Bt is ok to spray but not ok to incorporate into the plant? splain why.

        After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

        by cactusflinthead on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:38:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes but it's built into the plant which I find to (0+ / 0-)

          be a bit disconcerting, as I believe it is a serious toxin, and also the ubiquity of it is a problem. It's seriously damaged the ability to work for organics as a natural pesticide.

          My understanding is that Bt in organics is not a 'wide spectrum' treatment, to borrow from medicine. It's a localized treatment.

          So, like with antibiotics (thanks again Monsanto) the weak nasty bugs are killed off leaving only the resistant ones.

          That's why Bt was in there.

          Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

          by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:06:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bt inside or outside (0+ / 0-)

            works on lepdidoptera/caterpillars only.
            no it does not make for a more resistant population inside the plant anymore than it does outside. the study that said it affected monarch butterflies was flawed in several respects IMO. this is one of the inconsistencies of the anti-GM argument. Again, I will say I have ZERO love for Monsanto, but if we are to attack them, and I say do so, then we must have evidence on our side. Bt is widely used on the outside of corn and cotton around the world, all that the GM crop does is to incorporate it into the plant itself. Pollen drift onto milkweed for monarchs is over-rated at best.

            After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

            by cactusflinthead on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:21:45 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's the scope... (0+ / 0-)

              Isn't bt applied locally in the organic model vs the wide spectrum in the genetic model?

              Sharing and Caring are for Commies! They should be illegal.

              by k9disc on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:35:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  When you spray a cornfield (0+ / 0-)

                the entire field gets sprayed. There are times that hotspots can be identified, but it is SOP to spray the entire field with whatever product you are using. Bt is also a problem in corn specifically because it has to contact the ear inside the shuck to be effective. Because Bt has been incorporated into the plant that isn't necessary with Bt corn. Again, the non-target species, like other lepidopterans are not feeding on the corn and are unaffected. Ladybug/coleopeterans and spiders/arachnids are unnaffected by Bt in any form. The use of the organophosphate class of chemicals are applied in the same manner as spraying Bt but DO affect non-target species.

                After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

                by cactusflinthead on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:45:08 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  well, I don't like monsanto either (4+ / 0-)

        but they are not the face of evil on this earth. If people want better crops to be publically owned, they need to suck it up and pay for the research through, gasp, TAXES.

        Why would you expect a company to do favors for the poor? Businesses operate in a social and legal environment that WE decide upon.

        Terminator seeds never went into production, it is just not fair to vilify anyone for something they were GOING to do rather than what they DID.
        As for "Cross-contamination".. the only reason the word "contamination" is used in that context is because people have been convinced that GM is bad. Where you see "contamination" I see "mixing" or "interbreeding". It's eco-luddite framing.

        Monsanto is bad, no argument. There is a major risk that GM will be used as the scapegoat for the world's food crisis. The real problems are more complex, but include

        1. Fat westerners filling their SUV's up with biodiesel
        1. Speculation on the commodity market due to the credit crunch
        1. Stupid subsidies for corn farmers to produce corn ethanol in a unsustainable manner... a policy supported by ALL 3 of the presidential candidates.

        The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

        by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:51:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "better" crops are the ones we already had (0+ / 0-)

          and farmers have always been very good at finding the next better strain and hybrid, without any gasping OR taxes.

          "terminator seeds" are a moot point when Monsanto's legal team found a way to make it ILLEGAL to harvest and replant seeds from plants grown from seed bought from Mansanto.  there is no effective difference from a plant which doesn't produce seed and a plant which you can't legally harvest the seed.

          I agree with your three numbered points, but there is no honest way to put GM products in a nice happy frame.  No matter how many marketing dollars went into making them seem like a benefit to society, the heavy handed approach that their creators had to take to get them this far is the telltale sign that they aren't welcome by the global farming community.

          •  with respect.. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Sanuk, Soberish

            you are conflating a tool and a product. I don't like monsanto, I don't like their product, I don't like the way they marketed/pressganged their product, I don't like their ethics. None of these dislikes has any bearing on my opinion of GM as a tool for research and agriculture.
            See my analogy of a hammer above.. it's like you are living in a crappy, leaky, cold house which was sold to you using high pressure unethical tactics... and instead of blaming the builders or the real estate agents, you put the blame on the hammer that built the house.
            GM is a tool like any other. And I can't help noticing that the only posting in this thread from an actual farmer supports roundup-ready soy! maybe you should listen more to the people on the ground.

            The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

            by The little blogger that could on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 12:40:27 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  it spurs discussion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      yes, there might be some leaps, but even among the scientific community the jury is still out as to whether or not Gm crops reduce the use of herbicides or increase it. I am not going to shill my own diary, but there is no consensus, not even remotely as to the long term effects of GM or Monsanto.
      Generally speaking, I detest big corporate Ag. I have my bias, but I am willing to listen.

      After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

      by cactusflinthead on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:36:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that's the bottom line for me... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No one knows what the long-term effects of GM food are.  And the fact that the way you modify food genetically is via virus should give pause for thought.

        But aside from that, the whole way Monsanto claims that any crops accidentally cross-pollinated with their GM crops belong to them is evil.

        Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -H.L. Mencken

        by Kwaidan on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:59:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I was a plant virologist (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Sanuk, antboy, cactusflinthead

          Every plant that you eat, GMO or non-GMO, is riddled with viruses and/or retrotransposons. Most of them have no effect.

          I agree with the second sentence.

          No-one knows what the long-term effects of cellphones, an oil-based economy, antibiotics in chickens, republicans, sellotape, wax-paper, styrofoam, corn syrup, ozone depletion, depleted uranium..etc,etc,etc.

          The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

          by The little blogger that could on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:14:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  hell yes! made the rec list! (0+ / 0-)

    about damn time! unless I am mistaken we still have to eat food. More power to the farmer!
    you apartment dwellers and those of the city better freaking realize where your food comes from and who grows it and all the other nasty details.

    Monsanto is pure evil. Blackwater has nothing on them.

    After taking several readings, I'm surprised to find my mind is still fairly sound. Willie Nelson

    by cactusflinthead on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:24:51 PM PDT

  •  Yes Monsanto and GMO foods are a problem but (6+ / 0-)

    The deadly fungus is being used by Monsanto and the US Government to spread patented GMO seeds

    has ZERO substance and no references to back it up. Keep this issue real and leave your usual paranoid fantasies behind because this is the Achilles tendon of this anti-GMO argument. What is your name on CLG?

    Obama: Pro-Defense. McCain: Pro-War

    by OHdog on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:36:46 PM PDT

    •  Aww, Come On (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      leave your usual paranoid fantasies behind

      How would like to be talked to that way if you were a paranoiac? :-)

      Why can't we all pad around in our birthday suits and graze off the land like the Good Lord intended?

      Who needs science and progress?

      We all be back-to-nature freaks here.

      Thanks to all those willing to inject a bit of sanity now and then.

      Best,  Terry

      •  You underestimate the force of "back to nature." (0+ / 0-)

        FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     April 21, 2008
                                                       Rodale Institute Begins Mission to Fight Global Warming – with Farms
        New CEO Tim LaSalle Calls Organic Farming "The Brightest Hope for Our Planet"

        KUTZTOWN, PA – Timothy J. LaSalle took over as CEO of the Rodale Institute with a mission: to tell the world that a practical solution to global warming already exists.  And farmers are standing on it.

        Rodale Institute has proved that organic practices, sometimes referred to as regenerative farming, can remove about 7,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year and sequester it in an acre of farmland. Thus if all 434 million acres of American cropland was converted to organic practices, it would be the equivalent of eliminating 217 million cars – nearly 88 percent of all cars in the country today and more than a third of all the automobiles in the world.

        "The way that we farm may be the single biggest – and most undervalued – way that we can mitigate global warming," said LaSalle, a native Californian and a former agriculture professor at Cal Poly. He added that he came to Rodale Institute, headquartered on a working organic farm in Pennsylvania, because he believes Rodale's 60-plus years of leadership in organics can offer solutions to many of the most serious issues of the day – from nutrition and famine prevention to global warming.

        The idea is simple: Soil is a natural carbon storehouse and farming techniques that depend upon petroleum-based practices disrupt this natural process. The ecological impact of these conventional agricultural practices is made worse by greenhouse emissions from fertilizer production and nutrient losses. The result is that U.S. agriculture, using petroleum-based methods, contributes nearly 10 percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions.

        Nearly 30 years of research in Rodale Institute's Farming Systems Trial, the nation's oldest side-by-side scientific study of organic and conventional practices, has proved that organic practices, which do not use synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, can be the single biggest way to mitigate global warming.

        Paul Hepperly, Ph.D., research director at Rodale Institute and Fulbright Scholar states, "We've shown that organic practices can do better than anyone thought at sequestering carbon, and could counteract up to 40 percent of global greenhouse gas output."  Hepperly, who is helping other nations implement organic farming systems, explains that using soil-building crops and compost to support cash crops helps to build soil carbon levels while keeping productivity in line with conventional systems.

        "The world is taking climate change seriously," says LaSalle. "The U.S. presidential candidates are being questioned about their environmental platforms. Major corporations are trying to be green in practice and products. Timing is everything and 21st Century regenerative farming is the brightest hope for our planet to reverse the effects of global warming, and to protect and improve the health of farmers, global citizens and future generations."

        Rodale Institute has recently launched a new website,, where everyone who wants to make a difference can learn how to take practical steps to fight global warming right now by the way they shop, eat, garden and support our nation's farmers.

        Back to nature, in a setting in which non-nature is "owned" by corporations, and leading to the collapse of ecosystems everywhere, is not just a a powerful political statement a powerful and sane alternative.  

        You can participate in your birthday suit of not, most will come in clothes and act pretty much as always.

    •  The "being used" is not a paranoid fantasy (0+ / 0-)

      but a mere logical comment.  

      Just as global warming is "being used by" environmentalists to push for whatever they think will make a difference.  

      Except in this case, the thing being pushed is itself dangerous, has been vehemently resisted by farmers and environmentalists around the world, and is PROPRIETARY.  

      The fungus provides the "opening."

  •  The Future of Food (0+ / 0-)

    If you haven't seen the documentary The Future of Food, do so immediately.  It's not so much a documentary as a horror movie.  But before I saw it, I had no idea who or what Monsanto was and I also really had no idea just what evil was.  Monsanto is genuinely eeeeeeee-ville.

    Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. -H.L. Mencken

    by Kwaidan on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 08:48:12 PM PDT

  •  Impossible to defend Monsanto (0+ / 0-)

    They're up there with ADM and Exxon Mobile. I would point out that plant cloning has certainly helped the weed growers, though!

    “People were asking the question ‘how come I don’t get as high a yield as I used to?'"

    Well people, ask no more! Who needs Monsanto?

    This ain't no party. This ain't no disco. This ain't no foolin' around!

    by Snud on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 09:03:51 PM PDT

  •  This is a childish diary, replete with error. (6+ / 0-)

    What you have essentially argued is that because one type of GM crop from one company has underperformed, then ALL GM crops from all sources must be underperforming and must be rejected.

    It's a "welfare queen" argument. If some Republican came along and said that one welfare recipient in one constituency was cheating, and so welfare has "failed" or "should be ended," everyone here would recognize the fraud.

    Bash Monsato all you like; they're a notoriously shady group. But when you go wild with the claims like this, one has to wonder whether Monsato is not rejoicing at the way you're making their critics look like imbeciles.

    •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

      Monsanto may be the devil incarnate. In fact, I suspect they are. But uninformed triumphalism like this diary is not going to win the debate.

      What is valued is practiced. What is not valued is not practiced. -- Plato

      by RobLewis on Tue Apr 22, 2008 at 11:18:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  *Informing* is exactly what this diary does (0+ / 0-)

        At the very least it shows that GE companies are conducting their product testing on end consumers. They have to, because the effects on the environment and on long-term human health cannot be simulated in the lab. There is enough evidence of possible harm now that this must be suspended but, with big money at stake, only mass protest will bring that about. It may come across as hysterical, but it's the facts.

        The crux to GE is that there's no way to opt out of the grand experiment because it affects such a large part of our food and eco systems. And to Plato I reply: if people are forced to practice something, then the free choice implied in your proverb doesn't exist.

        •  not really. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          People go after GE because it's an easy target, you can whip up support just by using the word "frankenstein", and scientists have an elite, lab coat, ivory tower, know-it-all image that makes the process easy. It's the lazy way out. GE is one part of an entire agricultural/food system and the entire system needs work.. but that would be too hard. The truth is that if you took every GE product off the shelves tomorrow, massive public health issues would still exist because the problem is monoculture,  overprocessing, overpackaging, high-calorie low-nutrient food. These are not GE issues.. these are agricultural, financial, political, social issues.
          Advertising junk food to kids. Cheap low quality food, expensive high-quality food. Lack of access to fresh fruit and veges. Food miles. Loss of biodiversity caused by monocultural deserts. None of these issues would be solved by a GE ban, but hey, it'd certainly put those elite scientists in their place.

          I am not aware of a single publication showing a human health problem caused by genetic engineering of food. Maybe I am wrong.

          The definition of an idiot is someone who's always absolutely sure that they are right.

          by The little blogger that could on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 02:34:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yes, really. GE is the cornerstone of monoculture (0+ / 0-)

            Given the patent system and the cost of invention, GE is the keystone in monoculture.  

            Without GE it would be possible for the industrial agriculture to plant more than one variety of, say, soybean.  With GE, we get only RoundUP Ready soybeans.  And, not only that, because the soybeans are resistant to poisons in Roundup, farmers can use more Roundup and we all get to eat more roundup -- tasty, no?

            Additionally, GE leads directly to industrial agriculture because it makes it harder for small farmers to survive.  This is because Monsanto's "terminator" seeds are mules -- they produce infertile plants.  So, no seed banking is possible once a farmer buys their seeds.  But, then again, even if the seeds were not mules, they are owned by the farmers, but are intellectual property rented to the farmers for one crop/planting.  It is currently therefore illegal to grow second generation crops from seeds collected from GE crops.

            •  Luddhite Science (0+ / 0-)

              With GE, we get only RoundUP Ready soybeans.  And, not only that, because the soybeans are resistant to poisons in Roundup, farmers can use more Roundup and we all get to eat more roundup -- tasty, no?


              Monsanto and Roundup is not the future but the past.

              Genetic engineering can produce stronger, more bountiful and varied crops with less use of fertilizer, herbicides, pesticides, and irrigation on marginal land to feed a hungry world.

              Like the fundamentalists frightened by Darwin, some folks would rather turn their backs on science and the future.

              The deaths of millions by starvation and even the entire planet is not their concern.

              The future will not be delayed no matter what one wishes.  It can be good or bad but the truth will prevail in the end.

              Best,  Terry

              •  You win the prize for pompous ass today. (0+ / 0-)


                "Like the fundamentalists frightened by Darwin, some folks would rather turn their backs on science and the future."

                Actually, I think we're afraid of science gone wrong.  Let me see....can I think of a few examples....

                Oh yeah, nuclear weapons.  That would be one.  How about automobiles!  That's another.

                Those are two things that could really ruin the planet and the future for humanity.

                Science and technology aren't being used to create a future.  They are being used to create profits at the expense of our future.

              •  Sorry to disabuse you of those beliefs, but (0+ / 0-)

                genetic engineering of crops has NOT decreased pesticides but multiplied them by 6-10 times.

                You have bought Monsanto's PR, lock, stock and barrel.

                Monsanto currently holds 647, the most plant biotech patents, using a Technology Agreement to enforce them.

                "Farmers are being sued for having GMOs on their property that they did not buy, do not want, will not use and cannot sell," says Tom Wiley, a North Dakota farmer.   The Technology Agreement "opens farmers' books and fields to virtually limitless scrutiny and incursion."  One man said, “They say they don’t trespass—that’s bull."

                The Omaha World-Herald in 2004 reported Monsanto would investigate 500 farmers that year, “as it does every year.”  The number of farmers already investigated is running nto the thousands.

                One man said “When they [investigators] came up here, they were bragging to other farmers about all of the farmers they had put out of business.”

                When sued, farmers usually have one lawyer. "Monsanto hires a number of law firms for almost every suit it files."


                Monsanto employee told one farmer, “We own you- we own anybody that buys our Roundup Ready products.”
                Farmers found in violation of the agreement face huge liability.  Bankruptcy is common, farmers losing land in their family for generations. Yet a goodly portion of the "signed" agreements with Monsanto have been forged by the seed agents - possibly as much as 40%."

                Monsanto sued Homan McFarling for 120 times the actual amount of claimed damages, or $780,000
                “A lot of farmers just settle. I can’t afford it—I ain’t got no money,” said Mr. McFarling.

                But some Texas farmers have joined with others to sue Monsanto for crop failures.  BB Krenek, a Wharton, Texas cotton consultant, says "We feel like Monsanto's been lying to us all along."

        reuters news service

                So, why not go back to real seeds?

                A Texas cotton farmer says: “Just about the only cottonseed you can get these days is [genetically engineered]. Same thing with the corn varieties. There’s not too many seeds available that are not genetically altered in some way.”

                But aren't GE-seeds more profitable?  

                American Farm Bureau estimates farmers have lost $300 million per year because Europe won't take our GE-corn.  Because Europe established labeling/traceability requirements (they care what they eat over there), US State Department officials said the U.S. could lose up to $4 billion annually in agricultural exports.


                But at least GE-crops use less pesticides, isn't that right?

                "Farmers are now using from six to 10 times more chemicals because what has happened is that we've developed a new super-weed from genetic engineering."  8 billion poinds of pesticides a year - 20 for each American.  

                Former Texas agriculture commissioner Jim Hightower said "Monsanto is not going to stop until we stop it," remembering a 19th-century woman's words - "raise less corn and more hell."

                Nelson, a farmer being sued, had asked Attorney General John Ashcroft to help his family.  Ashcroft's reply?  "It´s not our policy to get involved in private litigation matters."  Yet Ashcroft asked the Supreme Court for protection of plant patents.  Nelson said when the main US law enforcement officer acted to "uphold plant patents to protect corporations, yet refused to help farmers - felt like a cold slap in the face."

                "It makes a person wonder if all government is up for sale to the highest bidder."  

                Hightower said "arrogance goes by the name of Monsanto.  Monsanto is a bully.  Monsanto is a thug.  For fun and profit, it has long been tampering with the world's food supply.  ...It's been a leader over the last 40-50 years in dousing our earth, our sky, our water, ourselves ... the entire ecosystem with so many pesticides that every single one of you in this room, everyone in the world, every critter on earth is contaminated with these pesticides, in deed, with dozens of these pesticides.  ... Pesticides ... are killing the farmers and literally killing farming.  The run off of these pesticides from the fields are getting into the water.  More than 100 pesticides are now in the ground water in 40 different states."  

                Never mind the 8 billion dollars a year to buy pesticides or that 1000+ farmers going out of business each year.

                Hightower said the American public, Europe and Japan don't want pesticides.  "If ignorance ever goes to $40 a barrel, I want drilling rights on their (ag establishment) heads, I'll tell you that!"

                Monsanto is "tampering with the very DNA of our food," blocking labeling of GE-organisms and getting away with it because Monsanto and FDA employees go back and forth between each other.  Hightower says the issue is not a few farmers, or any crops or even tampering with the food supply.

                "The issue is the most fundamental issue of democracy.  It asks this question, the same question that democracy seeking people have always had to ask:  Who the hell is going to be in charge?  A handful of corporate greed-heads, or we, the people?' That's what it comes down to," said Hightower.


                The Luddites you refer to know the science and that Industrial agriculture is taking us off a biologic cliff.  They are not relying on false science that is paid for by corporations.  Independent scientists are the ones doing the studies showing danger from genetic engineering and have been and risk being fired for reporting that information.  It is industry scientists or those in universities with grants from Monsanto et al, who say everything is fine.

                Here is the corporation whose line you are espousing while accusing people  of being Luddites - the other line Monsanto uses.

                Look at what Monsanto did to Anniston, Alabama for decades, hiding 1000s of documents showing PCBs cause cancers while denying it did, to get a sense of their concern for science or people.

                Industrial Agriculture has given us:

                Cattle living in filth, 12,000-year-old seed loss, poultry industry implicated in bird flu, Mad Cow disease, bee colony collapse (there is none for organic beekeepers) poisoned soil, depleted water, Superweeds (, lawsuits against farmers, loss of family farms throughout the world, ...  farmers committing suicide (in India, on average one every 32 minutes).  

                Bees and farmers, dead.  Bees and farmers, the heart of farming.

                Monsanto - the company you suggest is so concerned for the poor - uses child labor in India.

                1.  Monsanto's genetically engineered rBGH milk is associated with a 7 times increased risk of breast cancer.  


                1.  Monsanto's genetically engineered Bt-corn and high-fructose corn syrup is now implicated in diabetes.  


                1.  Monsanto is behind banning labeling of GE-food which makes millions of people part of a human experiment they cannot escape.


                1.  Monsanto and the FDA are eliminating vitamin companies - that will be the end of the alternative health movement.    


                1.  Monsanto is a major player in Industrial Agriculture, one of the largest contributors to global warming, pollution, and GMO pollution.


                1.  Monsanto's hormones, antibiotics, steroids and factory confinement create a living hell for "industrialized" animals.


                1.  Monsanto and the USDA are pushing NAIS - what appears to be a silent take-over of all US farmland.


            •  Interesting point about GE-crops being (0+ / 0-)

              the cornerstone of monoculture.  

              Remove the proprietary aspect and the power of the nightmare collapses.

          •  Completely agreed (0+ / 0-)

            on all the issues you list. GE is one of many food industry issues, and if it's the one that'll bring attention to the entire mess, then fine. You provide the old false argument: let's not fix one particular problem because there are many.

            GE is about to become so ubiquitous that it'll reinforce other problems such as loss of biodiversity and low-quality, de-natured food. I'm not suggesting that scientists are elitist and not trying to create something good. But I don't consider screwing with natural food "good," no matter who does it. This article raises plenty of doubts (Feb. 08):

            You don't seem to disagree on the point about all of us being part of the experiment, whether we want to or not.

          •  But you are right that much else is going on. (0+ / 0-)

            You are describing "Industrial" agriculture and that is what has to be overturned.

        •  Thank you. I agree. And the non-labeling (0+ / 0-)

          of GE-crops and food locks us all in that experiment, something else that Monsanto is actively doing.

      •  A bit of triumphalism is a world going to hell (0+ / 0-)

        partly through what Monsanto is doing to farmers internationally, is a relief every now and then and maybe I can be forgiven for pleasure at a study questioning the fundamental argument Monsanto uses to push its controlled seeds.

        I don't expect one diary or book or anything else to win "the debate."

        I don't think, actually, that there is much to when biodiversity is being wiped out and most food is under the control of a very few corporations.  Neither is a good idea.

        How to stop that is another question and the study was useful for countering the fallacious argument that farmers have known for some time, that the crops produce greater yields.

    •  Thanks for your concern (0+ / 0-)

      The article quotation explicitly points to a systematic inferiority in GM yields in general.  The diarist also does a good job of exposing the current round of "Shock Therapy" being applied to the world to enslave their crops to corporate overlords. Exploiting rust to force GM grain on populations shows that Monsanto has mastered Disaster Capitalism.  This was a useful contribution regardless of the validity of the quoted reseacher's claims about the general character of GM yields.

    •  Key: anti-seed-saving part. True? False? (0+ / 0-)

      If it's true, that's really shocking.

      How can we forbid the farmers whose ancestors probably helped invent agriculture from saving their own seeds?

      If the case here is overstated (e.g., farmers can save seeds for personal use, just not sell them, or, this is an unenforceable law), then it would be great if someone could explain why that part is wrong or overstated.

    •  The problem was in the "technology" itself (0+ / 0-)

      so genetic alteration itself is at issue - at a time when it claims to be providing higher yields and using that as a "feed the starving" answer (while making all seeds proprietary so the poor will not have).

      If you would like to see information on more crops, try this one:

      And watch

      or read: features/2008/05/monsanto200805

      It is not only in the crops themselves but in how they are "owned."

      Thanks for your comments.

  •  Fuck Monsanto. (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not dating Edwards anymore, but I still call out his name when I vote.

    by sagra on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 05:45:22 AM PDT

  •  GM Crops have a place (0+ / 0-)

    And before you flame me read the whole thing.

    Genetically modified crops have always had a place in agriculture... and it is not a new idea.  Farmers have been genetically modifying food crops for centuries... you have probably eaten some in the recent past... like Tangelos, Loganberries, Peppermint, and Wheat.  All of these are cross species hybrids created through multiple generations to select favorable traits of one plant and remove unfavorable traits of another.  Yes, even the numerous humble wheat species that we have harvested and consumed since before the Pyramids were built, are hybrids of an unknown number of wild grasses and grains.

    Monsanto's marketing twist on an old practice is nothing more than a Microsoft style attempt at market monopolization.  And it should be fought as such.  Genetic modification is not the problem, aggressive agribusiness is.

    don't respond to the lies... put two bits in your Obama jar and spite them with his fund raising!

    by Libesatva on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 06:35:56 AM PDT

    •  GM crops that DO NOT produce seed ARE a (0+ / 0-)

      problem....and Monsanto is a BIG problem on many, many fronts.

    •  No, genetic manipulation is NOT the same (0+ / 0-)

      thing as hybridization which HAS been going on for centuries and harmlessly.

      Their business is to do the impossible and practically overnight - change the laws of nature and do them one better for profit. So far they haven't independent because genetic engineering doesn't work like natural breeding. It may or may not be a lot of things, but it isn't sex, says Smith. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist involved in human gene therapy, explains that genetic modification "technically and conceptually bears no resemblance to natural breeding." The reproduction process works by both parents contributing thousands of genes to the offspring. They, in turn, get sorted naturally, and plant breeders have successfully worked this way for thousands of years.

      Genetic manipulation is different and so far fraught with danger. It works by forcibly inserting a single gene from a species' DNA into another unnaturally. Smith puts it this way: "A pig can mate with a pig and a tomato can mate with a tomato. But this is no way that a pig can mate with a tomato and vice versa." The process transfers genes across natural barriers that "separated species over millions of years of evolution" and managed to work. The biotech industry now wants us to believe it can do nature one better, and that genetic engineering is just an extension or superior alternative to natural breeding. It's unproved, indefensible pseudoscience mumbo jumbo, and that's the problem.

      Biologist David Schubert explains that industry claims are "not only scientifically incorrect but exceptionally make the GE process sound similar to conventional plant breeding." It a smoke screen to hide the fact that what happens in laboratories can't duplicate nature, at least not up to now. Genetic engineering involves combining genes that never before existed together, the process defies natural breeding proved safe over thousands of years, and there's no way to assure the result won't be a deadly unrecallable Andromeda Strain, no longer the world of science fiction.

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