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Unlike what you see in movies and on TV, it takes at least five minutes of inhaling an item soaked in chloroform to render a person unconscious. Source

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In the early 1990's a biotech cmopany in Europe was prepared to mass-market a bacteria intended to decompose plant litter in soil. Independent researchers, however, determined that it would, instead, kill all terrestrial based plant life. Source

Monsanto's current position on GMOs is that it is up to others to prove that they are unsafe, not Monsanto to prove that they are safe.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Monsanto's current position on GMOs is that it is up to others to prove that they are unsafe, not Monsanto to prove that they are safe.

That scares the crap out of me

Sings to the Tune of "Lydia The Tattooed Lady"

Thalidomide, Thalidomide,
have you had Thalidomide,
Thalidomide for deformed babies

Edited by almostbob

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Chinese hackers now have information on 18 million US government employees. This information contains details relating to drug abuse, gambling problems, debts, marital troubles, criminal activity, sexual preferences and sexual fetishes. Sourse

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Monsanto's current position on GMOs is that it is up to others to prove that they are unsafe, not Monsanto to prove that they are safe.

This is why I dislike GMO as a term, because there are many many different kinds of GMO with very different risks. Moving genes from one crop to another crop (which is what Monsanto mainly does) is obviously much safer than creating a bacteria that produces a relatively toxic substance (ethanol). Though I would point out that the genetically altered Klebsiella planticola (the 'bacterium that would destroy all plants') would have been perfectly safe if they did not plan to use some of the non-ethanol by-products as fertilizer (grow it in a bioreactor like a still and it would have been perfectly fine). Importantly even if it was accidentally released it would have slowly been out competed by the parent strain (a bacteria that lives on plant exudates isn't going to survive long if it kills the plants it lives on). Note that the experiements claiming it's danger did not thoroughly examine the competion between the parent and modified strains in the soil.

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For simplicity, when I say "Monsanto" I am referring to all GMO companies.

Monsanto claims that humans have been practicing genetic modification on plants and animals for millennia, and what they are doing is no different. This claim is correct if by "genetically modify" you mean do cross/selective breeding. However, there is no way you can cross breed a fish with a tomato by traditional techniques. Monsanto has tried to conflate the two.

Drug companies that develop new drugs are expected to prove, firstly that the drugs are safe with mimimal side effects, and secondly that they are effective. We should not accept a process where new drugs are marketed and sold with the understanding that it is up to others to prove their safety. We've seen that even with such a system, dangerous drugs still make it to market (even when the drug companies knowingly hide the hazards). Also, repeated defunding of the FDA makes independent testing difficult. We should expect the same protection for GMO foods.

When the Monsanto resorts to fear mongering (massive increases in grocery costs due to restrictive new labeling laws), doubt (their "completely unbiased" studies show no danger) and out-and-out lying (illegally using government logos on advertising) instead of rationally defending their position with facts it makes it hard to believe anything that they say about the safety of their products.

When Monsanto says "GMO products are safe" they have a vested interest in the acceptance of that statement. When an independent labs say "our studies cast doubt on your studies" they do not stand to gain financially from that position. In many cases, Monsanto refuses to release either their study protocols or their raw data.

Lastly, Monsanto has aggressively prosecuted GMO-free farmers whose crops have been contaminated by GMO pollen from neighbouring farms, or by seeds from pooled equipment. If you grow GM wheat you are legally prohibited from saving seeds from one year's harvest to plant the next year. Oregon has recently banned GMO crops to protect farmers who want to avoid lawsuits.

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In approximately 1 to 2 billion years, the Sun will have expanded enough to engulf the Earth.

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Monsanto claims that humans have been practicing genetic modification on plants and animals for millennia, and what they are doing is no different. This claim is correct if by "genetically modify" you mean do cross/selective breeding. However, there is no way you can cross breed a fish with a tomato by traditional techniques. Monsanto has tried to conflate the two.

Have you seen the double-muscle cows? that's a completely natural mutation + selective breeding. Most grains crops are dwarfs (1/3 the size or less of their wild ancestors) again completely natural mutation. Most crops & farm animals barely resemble their wild ancestors again all through crosses & selective breeding. GMO only slightly extends our ability to genetically modify our food crops but most importantly it allows us to choose what we do to the food crops rather than relying on random chance (Selective breeding in sheep has accidentally made them rather poor mothers, and has accidentally lead to crops susceptible to lots of diseases, and attempts to selectively breed cows that produce twins accidently led to much higher rate of pegnancy complications).

Drug companies that develop new drugs are expected to prove, firstly that the drugs are safe with mimimal side effects, and secondly that they are effective.

True, but new combination treatments (Drug A + Drug B) require minimal or no safety testing (since each drug has independently passed safety testing). So why would putting a gene from food crop A (which we already eat & know is safe) into food crop B (which we already eat & know is safe) require extensive safety testing?

When an independent labs say "our studies cast doubt on your studies" they do not stand to gain financially from that position.

The vast majority of independent labs confirm that GMOs are safe. A similar proportion of independent scientists agree that GMOs are safe to eat as agree that evolution is true.

Lastly, Monsanto has aggressively prosecuted GMO-free farmers whose crops have been contaminated by GMO pollen from neighbouring farms, or by seeds from pooled equipment.

Monsanto and big corporations in general act like psychopaths. But that doesn't make GMOs dangerous.

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GMO only slightly extends our ability to genetically modify our food crops

So you consider inserting a fish gene into a tomato as "slightly extending"?

True, but new combination treatments (Drug A + Drug B) require minimal or no safety testing (since each drug has independently passed safety testing). So why would putting a gene from food crop A (which we already eat & know is safe) into food crop B (which we already eat & know is safe) require extensive safety testing?

For one thing, many drugs that can be safely taken in isolation can be deadly when taken together. Even common household cleansers like bleach and ammonia which can be safely used independently produce toxic fumes when combined.

The vast majority of independent labs confirm that GMOs are safe.

Can you provide a source for this claim?

A major paper by Prof Gilles-Eric Seralini and colleagues was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in September 2012. It found severe liver and kidney damage and hormonal disturbances in rats fed the GM maize and low levels of Roundup that are below those permitted in drinking water in the EU. It was retracted in November 2013 by the editor-in-chief after pressure from pro-GMO scientists. It was republished by Environmental Sciences Europe with extra material addressing criticisms of the original publication. The republished version contains the raw data, something that the GMO industry has refused to do for their in-house studies. The study has passed (at this point) three rounds of rigorous peer review.

The study examined the health effects on rats of eating Roundup ready GM maize. Among the findings:

  • "Biochemical analyses confirmed very significant chronic kidney deficiencies, for all treatments and both sexes; 76% of the altered parameters were kidney-related.
  • "In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5 to 5.5 times higher. Marked and severe nephropathies were also generally 1.3 to 2.3 times greater.
  • "In females, all treatment groups showed a two- to threefold increase in mortality, and deaths were earlier.
  • "This difference was also evident in three male groups fed with GM maize.
  • "All results were hormone- and sex-dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable.
  • "Females developed large mammary tumors more frequently and before controls;
  • "the pituitary was the second most disabled organ;
  • "the sex hormonal balance was modified by consumption of GM maize and Roundup treatments.
  • "Males presented up to four times more large palpable tumors starting 600 days earlier than in the control group, in which only one tumor was noted.
  • "These results may be explained by not only the non-linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup but also by the overexpression of the EPSPS transgene or other mutational effects in the GM maize and their metabolic consequences.
  • "Our findings imply that long-term (2 year) feeding trials need to be conducted to thoroughly evaluate the safety of GM foods and pesticides in their full commercial formulations."

I'm not saying that we should ban all GM crops on the basis of one study. What I am saying is that we should proceed cautiously and not follow Monsanto's position which is "we will market this until you can prove that it isn't safe". We shouldn't accept that position for the drug companies and we shouldn't accept it for the GM industry. perhaps they should change their motto to "we skip the safety testing and pass the savings on to you".

A similar proportion of independent scientists agree that GMOs are safe to eat as agree that evolution is true.

Can you provide a source for that statement? Are these independent scientists who have reviewed the raw data? Oh. That's right. The GMO industry has refused to release that data.

Monsanto and big corporations in general act like psychopaths. But that doesn't make GMOs dangerous.

That's the first thing you've said that I agree with, however, if a psychopath says "eat this; it's perfectly safe and will make me rich", I have to question his sincerity. Remember that the CEO who is telling you that can afford to eat pesticide free produce grown in greenhouses while you have to settle for pesticide-riddled veggies from your corner store.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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According to the TV show "60 Minutes" the US government issues Social Security checks to 6.5 million citizens that are over 112 years old.

Chances are that there are only about ten people in the entire world that are older than 112 years.

Edited by vegaseat

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Firstly lets get some things straight: safety of the pesticide RoundUp is a completely separate scientific question from the safety of genetically modified organisms. RoundUp (glyphosate) is regulated separately and has had to passed safety studies (including long-term feeding studies) and has been in use on food crops since the 1970s long before GMOs. Spraying RoundUp on corn or soybeans is not fundamentally different from spraying it on something else, all that matters is the quantity/concentration of the pesticide left on the crop when it is harvested/consumed. RoundUp has toxic effects when fed to lab animals at concentrations 100-1000x higher than what is found in the human food chain but I have yet to see a study with sufficiently low doses (farmers the day of application of RoundUp only have on average 3ppb of the pesticide in thier urine, they only reach 10ppb if they don't wear gloves) that found a significant effect.
Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1241861/

Some sources in support of the scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs:

"Indeed, the science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe. "
Source: Statement by the board of directors of AAAS
http://www.aaas.org/sites/default/files/AAAS_GM_statement.pdf

88% of AAAS scientists believe eating GMOs is safe.
Source: Pew Centre survey of scientists & the public
http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/29/public-and-scientists-views-on-science-and-society/

Sheep fed Bt Cotton have no significant physiological/histological differences.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21170255

Bulls fed Bt corn have no significant differences.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11865766

Transgenic corn has less cellular differences than conventionally bred corn:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17177803

"it was concluded that the Bt corn diet had no measurable or observable effect on fetal, postnatal, pubertal, or adult testicular development" (mice RoundUp Ready soybeans)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17177803

"The multivariate analysis and ANOVA were used to determine the differences and the significance of differences respectively, and eventually we concluded that these differences did not have a biological significance" (Bt rice fed to rats)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21594293

" It was found that these two GM products showed no genotoxicity either in vitro or in vivo by the micronucleus test, sperm aberration test and Ames test. Animal feeding studies showed no significant differences in growth, body weight gain, food consumption, hematology, blood biochemical indices, organ weights and histopathology between rats or mice of either sex fed with either GM sweet pepper or tomato diets compared with those with non-GM diets."
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12767699

"Tace amounts of Cry1Ab protein were detected in the GI contents but not in the liver, spleen, kidney, muscle or mesenteric lymph nodes. No lesions were observed pathologically. " (Calves fed corn which transgenetically expresses Cry1Ab protein)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12678290

"Feeding of diets containing genetically-modified corn did not significantly influence health and performance of quails nor did it affect DNA-transfer and quality of meat and eggs of quails compared with the isogenic counterpart." (10 generation study on feeding GMO corn to quails)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16429830

Although perhaps the best evidence is that pretty much all farm animals in the USA eat some GMOs in their feed (be it alfalfa, soybeans, or corn) and no body has noticed an increase in any kind of illness or decrease in health amongst those millions of animals.

Also that is not to say we should not require testing of GMOs, GMOs should be treated similar to chemicals:
if the gene product is already eaten by people in different crops it should be assumed safe and have minimal testing required,
if the gene product is from a foreign source but already present in the agricultural environment (eg. soil bacterium) it should be tested thoroughly as any pesticide would be before the first crop bearing it goes on sale but adding it to subsequent crops should be treated as routine,
if the gene product is from a completely different environment or produces a substance known to have relatively toxic effects it should face the same testing as a new pesticide in addition to thorough environmental safety testing.

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A 2014 study links glyphosate to 22 different diseases. The current hypothesis is that because glyphosate interferes with the body's ability to detoxify itself, exposure to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them.

Monsanto modifies crops to be ever more resistant to Roundup in order to combat weeds that are evolving to be more resistant to Roundup. The result is that each year, increasing amounts of Roundup (and therefore glyphosates) are being released into the environment.

Although perhaps the best evidence is that pretty much all farm animals in the USA eat some GMOs in their feed (be it alfalfa, soybeans, or corn) and no body has noticed an increase in any kind of illness or decrease in health amongst those millions of animals.

Keep in mind that it is in the best interest of industry to not report health problems with their animals. If you had several thousand head of cattle and one tested positive for BSE, your entire herd would be worthless. Several states (US) now have laws in place making it illegal for whistle-blowers to reveal problems of this nature.

if the gene product is already eaten by people in different crops it should be assumed safe and have minimal testing required,

I'm not sure I understand. Are you taking the position that "you can't prove anyone has had problems because of eating GM products so we'll just keep on selling it?" That takes the onus off of industry to do any testing.

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Keep in mind that it is in the best interest of industry to not report health problems with their animals. If you had several thousand head of cattle and one tested positive for BSE, your entire herd would be worthless. Several states (US) now have laws in place making it illegal for whistle-blowers to reveal problems of this nature.

Not really, because sick cattle aren't profitable anyway because the marings are so tight, decrease gorwth rate by a couple percent and profits turn into losses. That's why there are as many studies looking just at the growth & nutritional value of GMO feed as there are looking at various disease traits (I didn't include them in the list cause they're not as relevant to human health safety).

A 2014 study links glyphosate to 22 different diseases.

HAHAHAHAHAHA that is one of the shittiest studies I've ever seen! How the hell did it get published in a journal? I'm guessing "Journal of Organic Systems" is one of those 'predatory journals' who will publish any old crap so long as you pay the $2000 open-access fee.

Problems:
(1) Correlation is not the same as causation
(2) No attempts to correct for these confounding factors:
i) Aging population
ii) obesity levels & exercize, smoking and other life style factors
iii) poverty/economic inequality
iv) Improved diagnositics & health care availability
v) CDC monitoring/reporting policies

Basically that whole report can be boiled down to "hey there are more reported diseases, and there is more glyphosate being used therefore they are causality related". I would bet $100 that equally good correlations could be found for internet usage, cellphone ownership, purchases of viagra, and box-office reciepts for superhero movies.

Figure 8 shows just how crazy they are because the incident rate follows a straight line from before GMOs were ever created to the present day, there is no change is the slope of this increase coinciding with the introduction of GMOs and indeed there is a temporary slow down coinciding with the introduction of glyphosate. -> they convienently don't have a "pre-1990 trend" line on that graph, what a conincidence ?!

Plus the author affliations show the "researchers" for that paper work
for the organic food industry or for a PR company but hilariously they declare "no conflicts of interest". The last author (who surprisingly is not the corresponding author as is generally the case in academia) manages some computers which are used to analyze data on earthquakes (oh and I think he might work as a consultant to oil companies).

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The current hypothesis is that because glyphosate interferes with the body's ability to detoxify itself, exposure to the numerous chemicals in food and the environment, such as endocrine disrupting chemicals and carcinogens, could be causing levels of damage that would not occur if the body were able to detoxify them.

1) The body does not "detoxify" things. The body can excreet things (pee them out) or it can metabolize things (chemically alter them which may increase or decrease their toxicity -> eg. methanol toxicity is caused by the body metabolizing it into formic acid)
2) The synthetic chemicals in food and the environment are so low they can't cause damage anyway.
3) glyphosate exposure through the food chain is extremely low, most of your exposure to glyphosate will be through asthetic usage in urban landscaping etc.. not from your cheese burger.
4) Glyphosate can be less toxic than the other chemicals included in the pesticide mix that make it easier to apply.
5) And I cannot say this enough glyphosate has very low toxicity:
"Researchers gave beagle dogs capsules containing 0, 20,100, or 500 mg/kg/day of glyphosate for one year. No effects were observed." -> indeed glyphosate is so lacking when it comes to toxicity less thatn 1:10 suicide attempts using glyphosate succeeded.

Source: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphotech.html

Edited by Agilemind

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The body does not "detoxify" things.

detoxify: v - remove toxic substances or qualities from.

If your body was not able to to detoxify itself you would die from the eventual buildup of toxic substances. Among the many functions of the liver are:

  • Conversion of harmful ammonia to urea (urea is one of the end products of protein metabolism that is excreted in the urine)

  • Clearing the blood of drugs and other harmful substances

That is the very definition of detoxify.

The synthetic chemicals in food and the environment are so low they can't cause damage anyway.

Pesticides aside, fracking alone uses 600 different chemicals in the fracking fluid, including known carcinogens and toxins such as lead, benzene, uranium, radium, methanol, mercury, hydrochloric acid, ethylene glycol and formaldehyde. These all go into the environment, often directly into the drinking water. Can you explain to me how tap water that can be set on fire has contaminents that are "so low they can't cause damage anyway"?

In 2011, the New York Times reported that it obtained thousands of internal documents from the EPA, state regulators and fracking companies, which reveal that "the wastewater, which is sometimes hauled to sewage plants not designed to treat it and then discharged into rivers that supply drinking water, contains radioactivity at levels higher than previously known, and far higher than the level that federal regulators say is safe for these treatment plants to handle."

A chronic kidney disease epidemic has hit Central America, India and Sri Lanka. The disease occurs in poor peasant farmers who do hard physical work. In each instance, the farmers have been exposed to herbicides and to heavy metals. It is now the second leading cause of death among men in El Salvador. The incidence of this disease has a strong correlation with the introduction and increased use of glyphosate based pesticides. Studies are ongoing to either confirm or refute the link.

The World Health Organization has labeled glyphosate as probably carcinogenic.

Edited by Reverend Jim

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Hmm, hydrochloric acid in drinking water? Source?
Too much HCl would ruin the water pipes.
Normally drinking water is kept a little basic(+/- pH 8) and not acidic to prevent that.
And if you can set drinking water on fire, I would call it waste water.

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If your body was not able to to detoxify itself you would die from the eventual buildup of toxic substances.

No you wouldn't because the kidneys excrete pretty much everything foreign in the blood. Also "clearing" is not the same as detoxifying, detoxifying is making something toxic not be toxic anymore which rarely happens in the body 99% of toxic stuff is just excreted as is without any 'detoxifying'.

Can you explain to me how tap water that can be set on fire has contaminents that are "so low they can't cause damage anyway"

Yup that's easy, water that can be set of fire contains leaked methane which is far harder to contain than fracking fluid since it is a gas rather than a liquid. Drinking methane is not harmful (just as drinking Co2 is not harmful -> otherwise everyone who drinks soda would be dead) it just might give you flatulence or make you burp.

Also the number of people affected by methane leaking into their drinking water is a relatively small proportion of the US population so would have neglible effects on bulk disease rates.

Finally, acute toxicity exposure to pesticides in third world countries has no bearing on USA food safety, because the dose makes the poison. Obviously pesticides of all kinds (organic ones like rotenone and pyrethrin included) are toxic at high doses that is why there are legal limits on the amount of residue allowed to be present in produce intended for human or livestock consumption.

PPS pyrethrin which is used extensively as a pesticide on organic produce is also a carcinogen.

Edited by Agilemind

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