(This article was originally published Aug. 5, 2014, by The American Spectator and is reposted here with permission.)

When all else fails, revolutionaries, being revolutionaries, turn to violence. A new “Monsanto Collaborators” website created by millionaire organic activist Mike “the Health Ranger” Adams charges that hundreds of thousands of deaths have been caused by GMO crops, and that people who support genetically modified organisms, like myself, Fox News’s John Stossel and the former ABC Newsman Jon Entine, are guilty of mass genocide, and hence deserving of a punishment that befits our crime.

“Every 30 minutes, a farmer commits suicide due to GMO crop failures,” Adams claims, blissfully unaware, apparently, that stories of mass suicide by farmers in India, perpetuated by another millionaire organic activist, Vandana Shiva, have been thoroughly debunked.

The suicide rate among Indian farmers began to increase years before GMO crops were introduced, and the rate of farmer suicides has remained constant since GMOs were introduced, even as adoption of GMO crops across the Indian subcontinent has steadily increased. Pesticide usage has decreased 40 percent, while yields and profits have increased.

Adams had called for precisely such a list, asking “How do you even decide on a punishment that can fit the scale and magnitude of such a collection of crimes?” He stresses that he in no way condones “vigilante violence against anyone,” but in the same breath says, “I believe every condemned criminal deserves a fair trial and a punishment that fits the crime. Do not misinterpret this article as any sort of call for violence, as I wholly disavow any such actions. I am a person who demands due process under the law for all those accused of crimes.” (Emphasis added.)

Hardly reassuring, now is it?

Adams needs to brush up on his common law. If I and my fellow pro-GMOers are “condemned criminals,” why do we need “a fair trial”? (Hint: we don’t, at least not if we’re “condemned,” which means we’ve already had a trial, fair or otherwise.) Are we, in fact, “condemned”? Or just “accused”? Adams’s hollow words amount to little more than the classic political apology: “I’m sorry if you were offended by what I said.”

Meanwhile, I have never had anything to do with Monsanto. It’s the science behind GMOs that drives my work, not the profit margins of any corporation. A lot of good people work for GMO companies like Monsanto. But the executives have grown somewhat complacent, frankly, intent it seems only on making money off the GMOs they’ve already got on the market. By failing to stand up to anti-GMO organic activists such as Adams and Shiva over the past decade, these executives have ensured that we’re stuck with the same handful of GMO crops that were available 11 years ago when I hung up my organic inspector’s hat. Can you say “stagnation”?

Organic agriculture began in response to the use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer after ammonium nitrate was first pulled — in literally infinite quantities — from the Earth’s atmosphere in 1917. The brilliant German Jew, Fritz Haber, had finally cracked the code that had eluded humankind for centuries. Early proponents of organic farming claimed this disconnected us from Mother Earth, and so it was that opposition to synthetic nitrogen became the basis for organic farming.

In the 1960s, Rachel Carson’s bestseller Silent Spring pushed the organic movement to also reject synthetic pesticides. Then when genetic engineering finally came of age in the early 1990s, organic activists wasted no time in opposing it as well, without even waiting to see how this technology might alleviate issues caused by the use of ammonium nitrate and synthetic pesticides. Again, talk about stagnation.

See the pattern? The organic movement has consistently rejected technology. To their credit, early organic scientists knew they had to innovate the alternative to synthetic ammonium nitrate: natural composting. And they did. The scientific, test-based, peer-reviewed works of luminaries Sir Albert Howard and Lady Eve Balfour are still used to this day by honest organic farmers.

But rejecting pesticides was a bit more problematic. Natural pesticides and other strategies were adopted, but this was when the organic movement became essentially negative. Then, when GMO crops were rejected, the once-proud organic movement finally came to define itself exclusively in terms of what it was not rather than in terms of any provably positive values it might possess.

And so it is that organic activists now find themselves pretending that GMOs kill farmers, while ignoring the benefits GMOs have provided to India, which has gone from Third-World status to an agricultural export nation in less than a generation, thanks to the adoption of every single innovative technology that Adams and Shiva summarily reject.

Lighting our homes likewise went through many stages of innovation. From open fire pits to the torch, the candle, the lantern, and finally the gas light, technologies in succession have undergone centuries of fine-tuning before being replaced.

Then along came the light bulb. Not only was it a quantum leap forward in terms of efficiency, convenience, and safety, but after every other technology had hit its “glass ceiling,” the light bulb also offered us a way forward: in fact, the only way forward.

The light bulb, just like the science of genetic engineering, represents not merely an innovation that we can fine-tune and perfect. It is well and truly the only innovation worth innovating further.

Sure, someone could come up with a new version of the coal-oil lamp. But it will never touch the efficiency of even the most primitive electric light bulb. Likewise, we’ll continue to see improvements in traditional forms of plant breeding and organic farming techniques. But only the science of genetic engineering offers the means to viably advance food production beyond our wildest expectations.

How wild exactly?

It used to take six hours for the average worker to earn enough to buy a candle that would burn for one hour. Today you can buy an hour’s worth of electric lighting in a half second.

Which do you prefer?

Farmers, both in India and right here in America, have overwhelmingly made their up minds and have adopted GMO crops. Shouldn’t we take a cue from them and ignore activists who don’t run their own farms? If a farmer lies about the efficacy of a new form of technology, he goes broke. If Adams and Shiva lie about new forms of agricultural technology, they rake in $40,000 per engagement on the lecture circuit.

Whom are you going to believe?

  • Mitch Blumenthal

    I’m surprised that Food Safety News, a respectable reporting group, would stoop so low as to reprint an article from such a disconnected individual as Popoff. The organic movement has no respect for this individual who has basically changed his opinions to preach his agenda of organics. I now better appreciate the importance of noting the authors chosen for your postings. For shame!

  • What a load of hysterical hyperbole. Seriously, so desperate for that fine libertarian touch that you’re now trawling the right wing media? Well, if so, there have got to be better pieces than this.

    I love the part comparing GMOs to the light bulb. Innovation is grand, isn’t it?

    Except that the old style light bulb was an amazingly wasteful invention, which is why we’re now moving towards alternatives. How much energy is wasted to heat for incandescent light bulbs? If I remember correctly, it’s 98%.

    No, not a particularly adept analogy. Or perhaps it is, but not as the author intended. After all, the support for the old style light bulb could be considered equivalent to the support for the “technology” behind GMO, and as we’re beginning to discover, GMO is not the agricultural miracle companies like Monsanto would have us believe.

    There are better light bulbs now. And there are better agricultural techniques. As for increased exports from India because of the “green revolution”, well, just because someone is getting rich, doesn’t mean the prosperity trickles down. Exports also increased under colonialism in the past, and the people doing the work weren’t the ones that benefited during those times, either.

    But to return to my overall disappointment in this piece. That I would read a piece in FSN that trashes someone so respected as Vedana Shiva, and then turns around and trashes Rachel Carson’s most important work undermines the integrity of the entire publication.

    Yes, this is an opinion piece, but evidently you sought it out. And though the writer isn’t writing for FSN, you do have a choice of which piece is published. You could have easily said No, this piece is not good. It’s silly, poorly written, badly argued, and so without merit that it taints the entire publication.

    • That’s funny Shelley. You say the old style light bulb was an amazingly wasteful invention, but it was many orders of magnitude more efficient than the technologies it replaced. Likewise, the science of genetic engineering will someday be replaced by an even more efficient way of breeding crops, and feed many times more people than we currently do.

      • sandy

        Your whole concept is skewed. Feeding more people is not a solution. The burden of humanity will cause the food supply to collapse eventually causing great suffering. If you are ever in a grocery store, look around and think about where all that food comes from and then find the manager how long before the shelves empty if the trucks stop rolling. At my local Safeway it is 3 days. Our food supply is fragile and more local organic production and a lowering population is the only solution.

        • The most fragile food systems are those that rely predominantly on local food production. By extending the supply chain of the modern grocery store to the four-corners of the world, your store managers guarantee the shelves will always be full.
          What makes you think the trucks will stop rolling?

        • grifty

          So….I don’t understand what the distribution system behind foods has to do with GMOs. Organic or not, the situation would be the same. Also where the food is grown has nothing to do with GMOs either. Food is grow in Mexico and imported to the USA because LABOR is cheaper in Mexico.

          • Quite right grifty. And a whopping three-quarters of all organic food is imported!

        • Nidia Fierro

          I agree with Sandy. And how are they feeding the whole world? If anything Monsanto HAS done a great deal of feeding the poor with their junk. To me it seems more like a hidden agenda that Monsanto almost seems to have more specific targets, like the poor and several minorities. I mean, they have committed several crimes before that targeted specific groups of people, such as during the Vietnam war (Agent Orange) and sending seeds to Haiti after the hurricane struck, partnering with huge corporations like Wal-Mart, and testing chemicals on water that was being consumed by poor African-Americans, and much, much more. Since when did they become charitable and start caring for the world?

          • As with all pesticides, synthetic and natural, Agent Orange can be very dangerous when not used properly, as was the case with American servicemen in Vietnam who were not warned about the dangers of mishandling Agent Orange.

            But trotting out Agent Orange as evidence that Monsanto – or indeed any chemical company – has committed a crime is just lazy Nidia. Millions of farmers wouldn’t use Monsanto’s products if they weren’t safe and effective.

          • Bugsy

            17 chemical companies were mandated by the US Government to produce defoliating agents. Agents Brown, Red, Purple…etc were manufactured by all of these companies. Agent Orange happened to be quite successful.

            The two active ingredients in the Agent Orange herbicide combination were equal amounts of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4,5-T), which contained traces of 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). The dioxin TCDD was an unwanted byproduct of herbicide production.

            It was the unwanted byproduct that led to all the health issues. On it’s own, 2,4-D is one of the most studied and safest herbicides on the planet. Just saying.

      • But we don’t feed the people.

        Most of the GMO crops in the US are used for biofuel, animal feed, or high fructose corn syrup.

        We eat the meat that’s fed by the corn, but we eat far too much of it–exceeding what is necessary and tripping over the line to eating obscene amounts. People are hungry because the first world directs most food production directly to our mouths.

        As for other uses of the GMO corn, HFCS is used to make candy and garbage, aiding and abetting our obesity.

        Elsewhere, people are still hungry where most GE crops are grown. Much of the food is on land owned by foreign corporations and exported, probably to countries like the US.

        You all blather on about what a miracle GMO is, but the problems the GE crops are supposed to solve, aren’t solved. And this is where we should be focusing our attention–not on the safety of the GE crops, but the failure to follow through on their promise.

        Because ultimately no technique is “food safe” if it promises much and delivers little, but we increase our dependency on it to provide our food because we’re just plain ignorant of the reality of GMO.

        • oldcowvet

          And the animals go where?

        • You’re certainly entitled to your opinion on how bad our diets are here in America, but you’re changing the subject Shelley.

          You said the “light bulb was an amazingly wasteful invention.” But it was of course a huge leap forward from the gas light, coal oil lamp and candle. And, just like the light bulb, the science of genetic engineering is also a huge leap forward from traditional crop-breeding methods like Chemical and nuclear mutagenesis.

    • chicagorefugee

      “[B]etter light bulbs” – like the ones that cost 40 times more and require a hazmat team if they break? The bulbs that give some people spectrum headaches? You do realize that in some applications the heat generated by incandescents is a feature, not a bug, right?

      The trouble with effin’ progs is that they want to make everybody else’s choices for them because of their self-presumed intellectual superiority.

      Piss off, elitist. Maybe you should let people pick their own damned light bulbs.

      • Yes, I had a play oven when I was younger that used a light bulb to bake a tiny litty cake.

        What a marvel.

        Perhaps we should run some studies as to whether too much consumption of GE crops makes people irrationally irritable, and cranky.

        • I grew up in Canada where it’s a lot colder most of the year than down here in the States. I think what Mr. Chicagorefugee is referring to is the fact that the heat given off by an incandescent bulb is welcome when it’s cold outside. Then, when it warms up and and you’re not heating your house, the days are longer and you don’t use your light bulbs.

          In the Northern United States and all of Canada, incandescent bulbs are fine, and switching to fluorescents makes no sense.

          • I would think that in Canada in the winter, if you’re relying on your light bulbs, you’re in trouble. And let’s not discount the opposite effect of light bulbs in Arizona in the summer.

            The point is, heat was an unintended use of the energy–the bulbs were intended to provide light. They were inefficient. Better than the previous implementations of house light? Yes, but they had their own problems, leading to new solutions.

            And we need to look more closely at GMO, to evaluate objectively its overall effect, and determine if there are better options, and whether it does live up to the hype. Rather than just go, “GMO is it! It’s the only solution! And if you don’t agree, you’re a potential killer issuing death threats!”

            (That latter is where I really had to roll my eyes for FSN including this piece. I mean…seriously? An incredibly cringe worthy title, though it is generating comments, if that was the goal.)

          • First Officer

            His point is that the waste heat from the bulbs is that much less heat the house furnace needed to put out to keep the house warm, so the overall energy efficiency of a Canadian abode is not as sensitive to differences in lighting efficiencies. And, of course, the opposite is true in Arizona. But, these would be much more so with candles, that the bulbs replaced.

            As far as those death threats are concerned, there’s no getting around it. That’s just about what Mike Adams through his website did.

          • First Officer

            You’re right about the waste heat but you are replacing whatever heating you are doing with straight electrical resistance heat. That’s about the most expensive heating around on a per watt basis. So, it still makes sense to switch.

    • First Officer

      From various sources, a typical candle outputs anywhere from 40 to almost 80 watts of energy and about 13 lumens, or about 0.22 lumens per watt. A 60W incandescent bulb outputs about 14.3 lumens per watt. This makes that bulb about 65 times more efficient than a candle. This compares to the 4.5 times efficiency gain going from incandescent to fluorescent tech. An incandescent bulb converts about 10% (not 2% of its energy to visible light)

      And then there is the enormous leap in safety from going from a hot, sometimes open, flame, to a fairly cooler bulb, easybake ovens notwithstanding.

      So the analogy of going from candles to bulbs really does hold.

      By the way, that’s Vandana Shiva, not Vedana. You know, the person that condones arson to burn GE research labs and, now, Mike Adams’ hit list.

  • Kathymm

    Whom am I to believe?

    I DO believe Vandana Shiva

    Mad Angel on FB

    • You’re entitled to believe whomever you wish Kathymm. But I hope you will disavow and roundly condemn the death threats of organic activists like Shiva and Adams.

  • MN Born

    I’m really bothered by the naive approach of this author near the end of his article. Monsanto and its kind have shaped the industry by using questionable tactics both domestically and abroad – this is not simply the evolution if farming by choice as he suggests. GMO crops are not the lightbulb of farming, they are the Jurassic Park – we got busy wondering what we could do and forgot to ask whether we should.

  • Steve Levine

    How can an article using the term “anti-GMO nuts” be taken seriously? Might as well say “anti-DDT nuts.” GMOs and glyphosate will hopefully be going the way of DDT (*”harmless to humans and warm-blooded animals” ha!), and soon.

    • hyperzombie

      GMOs and glyphosate will hopefully be going the way of DDT

      Do you know what would happen if Glyphosate and GMOs were banned tomorrow? Farmers would substitute GMOs for conventional herbicide tolerant crops and spray 8x more insecticides, like Organophosphates, carbamates,and Pyrethroids. So instead of tiny amount of Glyphosate on your GMO crop, you will get even more Atrazine and Organophosphates on your conventional crop,,,Mmmm Mmmm Good.

      • Quite right hyperzombie! GMOs have allowed for drastic reductions in pesticide use.
        And, if we brought back DDT, hundreds-of-thousands of kids in the Third World wouldn’t die every year from preventable diseases like malaria and dengue fever.

        • Nidia Fierro

          How have pesticides been reduced? By injecting pesticide-proof dna it only allows for more use of pesticide without killing the crops. Of course, we get to eat delicious foods like corn which have been showered in pesticides, or bite into yummy apples, which have at least 30 kinds of pesticides, which have been then absorbed all throughout the food for us to eat…. YUMMMY PESTICIDES

      • farmber

        For sure we’re heading to more virulent chemical control without any GMO banning whatsoever. Thanks to USDA’s and EPA’s concerted pro-biotech rubber stamp Agribiz will soon be going to another GMO version compatible with 2,4-D — a highly toxic ingredient in Agent Orange — as we’re heading to the Last of Roundup due to superweed resistance because of gross industrial overuse….

        Meanwhile farmers remain stuck on the GMO/pesticide treadmill with no way home…

      • Nidia Fierro

        Yeah… OR they could use natural pesticides like garlic and peppers… ashes… etc.

        • hyperzombie

          So you advocate for more of mother nature to be plowed under to grow ineffective pesticides? You do know that there are lots of insects out there that love dining on garlic and peppers, what are you going to spray on them?

          Maybe some other Organic Pesticide?

          Neem oil, but it may cause spontaneous abortions in pregnant women, and is far more deadly to bees than Garlic or Bt crops.

          How about Rotenone, but it is deadly to fish and bees, and is a neurotoxin.

          Horticulture Oils. Far more deadly to bees and is deadly to all insects, even the beneficial ones.

          Any other Great Ideas?

          • The whole “natural pesticides” idea is purely psychological. No one would insist on taking aspirin procured from boiled willow bark, the original source for acetylsalicylic acid. Everyone – even the most devoted organic activist – is perfectly fine taking synthetic aspirin. So why do these people insist on “natural” pesticides that don’t work?

          • hyperzombie

            Can you imagine the environmental damage that would be caused by growing ten of thousands of extra acres of Garlic, just to be ground up and sprayed on crops. Freaking Crazy.

      • Nidia Fierro

        Remember, humanity has been on Earth for a LOOOONNNGGG time without the use of GMOs. I don’t get this mentality that we can never ever go back. GMOs were introduced in the 90’s for crying out loud… plus why need 8X more pesticides? Apples are already modified and they still have around 30 types of pesticides each. Plus there are natural pesticides like garlic or peppers, ashes, etc…

        • hyperzombie

          humanity has been on Earth for a LOOOONNNGGG time without the use of GMOs.

          Yep, and we have been here for a long time without aircraft, antibiotics, computers, corn, wheat, Agriculture, highrises, rifles, hotair balloons, fishnet stocking, breast implants, cancer treatments, MRIs, math, science, dishes, haircare products, and millions of other things that we use in daily life. Why would we want to go backwards?

          plus why need 8X more pesticides?

          Without GMOs farmers will go back to spraying Organophosphates to control insect pests, is is the other safest and cost effective way to control insects, that would devastate crops.

          Apples are already modified and they still have around 30 types of pesticides each.

          There are no GMO apples, if there was there would be less pesticide used, or they would have another beneficial trait.

          Plus there are natural pesticides like garlic or peppers, ashes, etc…

          Garlic and peppers are very ineffective insecticides, or farmers would use them. Think about it, farmers are not stupid. If a farmer could just spray garlic juice to kill the insects, don’t you think he would? Ashes contain all kinds of noxious chemicals, you don’t want it sprayed on your foods.

          • Jared Mason

            Pretty sure that farmers are getting by fine without GMOS. The yields are actually better due to lack of pesticide resistant weeds and bugs and the market is growing.

          • We were all getting along just fine without smart phones Jared. What’s wrong with improving the way farmers produce food?

            Why do you think we need a problem first before we advance agricultural technology? A farmer is no different than any professional. He/she wants to get better at what he/she does.

            With that said, GMOs do actually solve many agricultural problems, just like the light bulb did.

          • Jared Mason

            If GMOs are so “environmentally and people friendly” why not push for more testing before expanding their role. They’ve been around for what 18 years, and no one really knows their side effects (outside a few 3rd party tests). FDA got them pushed by stating they required no further testing because friends at Monsanto told them GMOs were safe. Thats like relying on the tobacco industry saying cigerettes are safe. Keep in mind Monsanto also patents this technology. What happens when 100% of worlds crops are controlled by one multi-conglomerant corp?

            Also, i personnally dont mind if any farmer wants to make a profit (have family in the business). Do it ethically. I hardly believe that us “anti-GMO nuts” are few and far between. Hold a poll and see what % of the populace support/ doesn’t support their widespread use. 83% think products should at least be labeled for GMOs (Huffington Post). Problem is, there is quick and severe opposition in every corner of the govt and business sector. Since corporations are now considered people, they can now dump endless $$ into smear campaigns shifting the public vote. See Oregon Bill I-522. They know that their profits would drastically be reduced if such legislation were passed.

            As it stands i cannot and will not trust these giant biotech corporations that put money in govt official pockets at every level and treat Americans and others like sheep.

          • GMOs have been around for more than 18 years and there are no side effects except for tax-funded propaganda against them.
            This is a field of science, not a corporation Jared.

          • Jared Mason

            Right, but you could also argue that theres funded propaganda for them is there not. Where do those funds come from Mischa? If i rely on the GMO science to increase my bottom line (net profits) then i am going to do everything in my power to discredit any opposition. If science is fair then it should not be monitored by a multi-conglomerate corporation. As long as these corporations continue to force scientists to retract their studies there is no trust.

          • So, for starters Jared, you’re surprised that GMO companies promote their products?

            You also appear to buy in to the fantasy that biotech corporations have “bought off” federal regulators, but fail to consider the fact that if there were any side-effects to consuming GMOs, there would have been a litany of lawsuits by now.

            This is America Jared, home to literally thousands of contingency-based lawyers who would just love to take a biotech corporation to court. And they have yet to take any biotech corporation to court for side effects or health consequences. Why do you think that is?

          • Jared Mason

            Because biotechs would be able to spend there way out of any lawsuits. And then to make sure that the career of the offending lawyers is ruined they would then commence a brutal defamation campaign of their own. It’s the science of fear. Also, why do u think countries like Mexico and China no longer allow the import of GMO corn? Because their just jealous? No, theres just not been enough unbiased research that’s why. I don’t even know why it’s such a big deal. Just label everything and get over it. I restate that more than 80% of the population support labeling.

          • That’s funny Jared. If biotech corporations could simply “spend there way out of any lawsuits,” then perhaps you can explain why Dow Corning was never able to “spend there way” out of false lawsuits that charged that their silicone breast implants caused breast cancer. The claims were all disproven, but Dow Corning still went bankrupt.

          • Jared Mason

            Where did u get that information? Pretty sure they’ve been sued 100s of times. GMO corn is banned from being planted in Mexico and they successfully overturned a gargantuan Monsanto soy bean operation.. China bans it’s import. And we’re nuts here for asking for labeling laws? The most developed country in the world cannot get simple legislation to inform us of what we need to know.

          • Not a single GMO farmer has ever been successfully sued anywhere in the world Jared, for allegedly contaminating an organic or otherwise non-GMO crop. Not one.

            And here in America (which is what I was talking about in my comment) not a single lawsuit has ever even been launched against a GMO farmer by an organic or otherwise non-GMO farmer who claimed his crop had been contaminated by GMOs.

            Them’s the facts.

          • Regarding GMOs, you say: “They’ve been around for what 18 years, and no one really knows their side effects”. True. Broccoli is also a human invention: why should we be allowed to eat it without “further tests”? We already know that brassicas produce their own natural pesticide. What “further tests” would satisfy you that suspect broccoli should be allowed back on the market? Technically, it’s very hard to do a safety/toxicity study without deciding what to look for. We have no evidence of a safety problem for GMOs, or a TESTABLE rationale for choosing a particular endpoint for a toxicology study, but we could make a case for testing broccoli.

            You say that “there are only a few 3rd party tests” of GMOs. Really? Check out Nicolia’s review of 1783 papers on 10 years’ worth of research about GMO safety (http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/07388551.2013.823595). Not all of these are research studies, but there is a wealth of information. Is it possible that you are just unaware of the available information? Or could it be that you are unsatisfiable—demanding just one more test until a problem is found? No-one has proven that cellphones are safe, and they have only been around for a few years. Do you think that they also should be taken off the market until we know their side effects? For that matter, is there ANYTHING in the modern world that is proven safe?

            Jared, could it be that your real issue is your unwillingness to trust others? If you’re highly skeptical, then you are in good company. Personally, I’m very skeptical of what people say, but then I do my homework to decide whether their claims stand up.

          • mrknowitall

            It seems to me that when over a trillion meals have been eaten with GE foods that that would constitute a fairly comprehensive test …… no?

          • Jared Mason

            Not sure I like your idea of testing GE foods on the public. That’s kind of what heppened without anyone knowing it. Besides we are the sickest and most obese generation in history. Coincidence this all started with the GMO revolution? I think not.

          • hyperzombie

            The yields are actually better due to lack of pesticide resistant weeds and bugs and the market is growing.

            You have no idea what you are commenting about. Farmers buy GMOs not for yield gains. thy buy them so they don’t have to spray as many chemicals on the crop and it is easier to control weeds. The market for conventional crops is not growing in North America, it is less than 10% and shrinking.

        • Frank

          Humanity also did not increase to it’s current size in all that time. We exponentially rose to a population of nearly 7 billion from one that was no more than around a around 500 million in less than 2 centuries.

          Try feeding that with conventional farming methods. Oh wait, that’s why we had mass starvation for a while.

          Want to try wild type apples? Be my guest, they are about as juicy as leather and much smaller than current ones.

          (Btw, local farmers, trader joes, they still use/sell GMOs whether they’d like to admit it or not).

  • PeterStiff

    Can we please stick with FOOD SAFETY NEWS based on science, not opinion. I want to know what I can do protect our food supply, know what outbreaks are happening, and simply stay attune to the facts. FSN does not need to be a forum for debating GMO’s with a fool like this.

    • grifty

      Actually there is a relevance to food safety and GMOs: pesticide use (thus potential exposure).

      The problem is that the science is there and is willfully ignored.

  • lifeinorange

    ….Can we get along. Can’t we, we just get get along ?

  • K.D.

    Your article is not accurate, here is a article from The Indian (India) Republic :


    It is also known GMO crops are attracting different weeds and insects they were not programmed to kill, farmers are using 2-3x’s pesticides to rid of unwanted pests which increases the chemical toxins in the dirt…just one toxic soup, no thanks, let Mondanto people eat Mondanto products, I’ll stick with clean(er) food.

    • hyperzombie

      That may be the stupidest thing I have read all day. Why would a farmer pay extra for seed then have to use more chemicals that are even more expensive than the seed? Just plain stupid.

      • It would appear K.D. has no faith in farmers to make their own decisions. If GMO crops were really a failure, and required MORE pesticides per-acre and per-bushel, why would farmers continue to use them?

        • grifty

          KD has no idea how much pesticides cost. Pesticides are EXPENSIVE.

          • Yes, and farmers freely choose to incur the expense of using pesticides because it saves them much more money in avoiding lost yield.

  • Tyler Hurson

    I saw you commenting on the original NN article, Popoff.

    Old news, but still relevant. The saddest part is that most NN readers stood behind the guy.

    • Indeed they did. It would appear that Mike Adams’ Natural News has a cult following… literally.

      • First Officer

        The rise of Adams, “Hydra” ?

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Here’s an idea, stop feeding corn/grains to ruminants and GMO’s won’t be an issue.

    • Michael Wojahn

      People assume that since grains are fed to ruminates for the finishing phase, the last few weeks, they are fed grain all of the time. That could not be further from the truth. A beef cow spends most of its life eating only grasses and legumes. Even in the finish phase of ruminant production grains and legumes make up a major part of the diet.
      Oh, and last time I checked, corn was a grass.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        There is no assumption here. There are many “stocker” operations that feed a grain supplement daily from the time of weening until the feedlot “pod” arrives to haul them away. Again no assumption, I raise beef cattle, among others, on my farm and have been solicited by grain producers to supplement regular grass forages with one of their grain mixtures to increase gain and get them to selling weight faster. It is not just part of the finishing phase that only lasts a few weeks. Also, a feedlot “finishing” program can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months and up to 90 percent of their diet is corn, depending on age/weight when they arrive. At that point, most of the gain is fat, not tissue (meat). If cattle only ate corn for a few weeks, there wouldn’t be nearly as many failing, subsidized corn farmers as there are.
        FYI, corn is a grass, botanically speaking, because it is of the Poaceae family. The kernel, however, is a seed and therefore a grain. It has to be processed in order to get a small measure of digestion by a ruminate. Cattle don’t digest any grass seeds that aren’t processed. If you’ve ever seen a bird scratching at a cowpie, its because they’re eating the seeds and fly larvae.
        It appears you are the only one assuming anything.

        • LouWho

          I would imagine that if corn were only fed for a few weeks more farmers would in fact fail because demand would decrease. I like your use of processed as a dirty word, considering when it comes to corn the most it’s “processed” is by grinding it up – maybe adding some fat and other micro-nutrients – but it’s still corn.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            If you read what I wrote above and see “processed” as a dirty word, that’s on you. The point still stands that cattle cannot digest grains without help. The animal is biologically constructed to most efficiently digest grasses. There are those that ague that converting cornfields to efficiently managed, intensively grazed grass farms, using breeds that provide the best gain on grasses in the climate they are in, would not negatively affect supply, demand, or price.
            Corn was not fed to cattle until the 1950’s, not because it is a creates a better product, but because at the time it was cheaper and required less land. Technological advancements in mobile farm infrastructure, along with selective breeding, has allowed grass finished beef to catch up. I receive a premium price for a grass finished product because it is a healthier than corn fed supermarket beef.

          • Cattle eat a diet consisting mostly of grass. They are grain finished. It’s a diet that was developed over thousands of years.
            If you prefer grass-finished beef, go ahead and buy it. But it’s a bit arrogant to try to tell farmers how to raise their animals.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Until the 1950’s it was not unheard of to “finish” beef with a grain SUPPLEMENT, but most farmers had never eaten corn fed beef. Now, cattle in many feedlots are fed diets of 70-90 percent corn over a period of several months. 70-90 percent is not a supplement. They have to be injected with antibiotics to keep their digestive systems in balance. That wasn’t happening before the 1950’s. So, to suggest that what is going on today is the result of thousands of years of development is untrue. Grain production was very cost prohibitive and inefficient before that time. Many would argue that subsidies suggest that it still is.
            Arrogance is not suggesting that we follow nature’s plan, but rather encouraging one to try and out smart it. How many times has USDA supported science been debunked? If you support following the same line of thinking that told farmers to start feeding processing waste (dead cows) to cattle, which lead to Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (or Mad Cow), that’s your right.
            If you want to have a discussion on who’s telling who to do what, you need to do a little research into the trading back and forth of personnel between companies like Monsanto and the USDA. Judges are expected to recuse themselves if there is a conflict of interest. A former Monsanto CEO or attorney in a position to set Ag policy is no different than a judge trying a case they were once involved in. The pro-GMO policy that results is constantly crammed down my throat as a 100 percent grass based beef operation. One specific way that is done is through subsidies for annual crops only. Why aren’t there subsidies for grass based operations seeking to improve their pastures? I’ll tell you, it’s because that doesn’t fit the designed market in which different ideas and innovation are not permitted. Someone that supports a subsidized product doesn’t have a leg to stand on when suggesting that someone selling a non-subsidized product is telling other people what to do.

          • Rusty Shackleford

            Ha ha ha… It’s arrogant for me to tell farmers how to raise their animals? Why, because I’m so influential? Does your support of GMOs somehow not tell farmers what they should or shouldn’t do. The US govt. gives truckloads of money to farmers each year that do what the USDA tells them to do.

            BTW, the feedlot operations today are not the result of thousands of years of development. They have only been around since the 1950’s or so. Also, “finishing”, as most Americans before the 1950’s understood it, is not 3-6 months of a diet that requires antibiotics to keep the cow alive (70-90% corn).

            What I want is for the government to get out of the way and stop picking winners and losers based on the science supported by big Ag, who somehow keep getting their executives and lawyers appointed to regulatory positions. It’s a lot easier to get what you want when the people that regulate your industry are once and future employees.

            Personally I disagree with those that want to outlaw everything Monsanto, and companies like them, do or stand for. I want equal standing in the marketplace through the removal of subsidies that prop up their industry. But I understand, people like me are trying to force everyone else into our narrow view…

    • First Officer

      2 things will happen and neither will be the demise of GMO’s.

      1) Much more land will be pressed into grasslands than be saved from growing the equivalent amount of corn. Grass is much less caloric dense.

      2) Meat prices will skyrocket, making for a lot of unhappy people. Only the wealthy could then afford meat on more than special occasions.

      And, GMO corn will still be used as it still provides the most efficient strains with which to grow it.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Both of those points are debatable.

        1) Anthropologist estimate that there as many as 60 million buffalo (not including other herbivores that are now no longer roaming the land) in North America when there was much less grassland than there is today with 95 million cattle. Most grazing operations are mismanaged in that they use a continuous grazing system that is incredibly inefficient. There are intensive grazing operations today that mimic the mob grazing that took place across the plains by buffalo and other herbivores that survived on grasses. There are farms (such as Polyface Farms in VA) that have shown to be up to 5 times more efficient than the average farm in that part of the country because of intensive grazing.

        2) Prices today are artificially depressed because of subsidies that offset the cost of production. If the meat market were truly free and open, the cost of feeding corn/grains to cattle would be much higher. Another part of prices are the regulations that current grass based operations must deal with in order to gain access that feedlots have. If regulations in the industry were not designed to fit one business model prices would come down.

  • rain

    Monsanto Lies Like The whole US Government.

  • sun dae

    people cant handle the whole truth of a thing so they pick and choose what fits to stay comfortable. everything has its drawbacks. faulty choices generally come from faulty information. however, the main problem is misinformation due to greed and yes this includes all the hot topics such as big pharma, big agra, agenda 21, wall street and you name it. they all give biased information because they are protecting their assets because they are driven by greed.

  • Name

    As I read the back and forth comments on this issue, I have to admit I thought it was a bit silly. After all the arguements that the science is skewed to favour this side or that side is nothing new. Business will always extract the most positive view for thier purposes. Note – advocate groups and governments are businesses too. However true science will always weed out the poor processes or reveal the other parts of the study through peer review and third party testing.
    But in order to ensure I could get a better understanding of this article, I thought it was prudent to read the NN article mentioned above. Although the author of the NN article did say that the end results (both pro and con) are not know at this time (based on my knowledge of the subject matter I would have to agree), and the list could be used to select people for a Noble prize should GMO’s prove to be wonderous, it certainly cannot be considered a rational article.
    I understand that some people believe GMO’s are this great evil created with malice by corporate greed (past practices from other industries certainly does allow for this feeling). I also agree that the way certain GMO producers are conducting their business is unethical and hypocritical. However even if I believed all the negative claims against GMO’s and their producers, this still would not justify the comments, associations, and inciteful rhetoric contained in the NN article.
    I also agree that the author of this article should not have resorted to name calling either, but after reading the NN article I certainly understand why he felt the need to create the article.
    In the NN article there was a lot of comparing to the Nazi regime of the 30 and 40’s, which any reasonable person would dismiss. there was only one actual comparison to the Nazi party in the NN article, but it was not pointed out. The Nazi party kept lists of its enemies in order to round up quickly when the time was right.
    This type of thinking and inciteful rhetoric is far more dangerous than any GMO, chemical or nuclear device because it leads people to use all these bad things against each other. And that is madness.

  • Bugsy

    Thanks for keeping it up Mischa. It is incredible to see how entrenched some people are with scientifically unsupported, fear-mongering, and corporate-demonizing opinions. They are in the company of believers in Sasquatch/Yeti, Ogopogo/Nessie, chemtrails, ghosts, psychics, ufo’s and gods.. I have your back…cheers…

  • MarkDonners

    GMO is a poison. Eating genetically modified corn (GM corn) and consuming trace levels of Monsanto’s Roundup chemical fertilizer caused rats to develop horrifying tumors, widespread organ damage, and premature death. rats exposed to even the smallest amounts, “developed mammary tumors and severe liver and kidney damage as early as four months in males, and seven months for females.” The animals on the GM diet suffered mammary tumors, as well as severe liver and kidney damage. Everywhere GMO is being grown, food allergies, disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others have been skyrocketing in the human populations.

    There has been a drastic decline of crop-pollinating insects all over the world, and what this means for the future of the world’s food supply. Wild pollinators like bumblebees, butterflies, and beetles are basically disappearing. GMO industrial agricultural practices are causing this insect genocide. Pollinating insects in general, which include a wide range of insects and other animals, are simply vanishing from their normal habitats and foraging areas. That lower diversity and lower abundance of wild insects means less fruits and destruction of the diversity of plants and their fruits worldwide

    GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

    GMOs increase herbicide use. Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―surviving deadly weed killers. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide. Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

    GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

    By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

    GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.

    Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

    The toxins associated with GMO should never be tolerated. NEONICOTINOID PESTICIDE neurotoxins are absolutely the main factor causing the collapse of bee and pollinator populations along with other lethal chemicals, glysophate, etc. When these poisons are banned as they were in Europe the bee populations start to recover. GMO neonicotinoids, roundup etc. MUST BE BANNED OUTRIGHT and all the farmers along with USDA, Biotech and chemical companies told to cease and desist from what they are doing.

    An even scarier prospect: the “BT” version of GMO soybeans and corn, (basically pesticides engineered directly into the plant )

    The “BT toxin” gene is put into the DNA of the corn in order for it to manufacture its own toxins that kill pests. The BT gene originated from a soil bacteria that also infiltrates the microflora (friendly digestive bacteria) in your gut. The Bt gene converts the microflora in your intestine into toxin-manufacturing machines.

    So, to be clear, eating GMO corn products can cause your gut (which is primarily responsible for keeping you healthy) to turn into a breeding ground for tiny little pesticide factories inside your body, actively creating toxins which are designed to kill living things. These toxins are found in the blood and are readily transferred across the placenta to developing babies in the womb.