I recently received a comment from a fellow blogger in response to my blog post, “Sustainability vs. Monsatan.” I was going to just delete it because it is unbelievably ROOD and condescending, but I’m feeling righteous this morning and have decided to rebut his unsolicited patronizing blurb of wrongness. Here is his comment, unedited by me or anybody else:
“Submitted on 2012/03/16 at 8:42 pm
Obviously a fear mongering blog post. GMO’s are feared because the average person does not understand them. The GMO’s that once were banned in many parts of the world are now being accepted since the science proved the fears were not real.
There have been long term tests of the effects of GMO’s and they are still going on. I’m not talking about one test, I’m talking about scientifically replicable tests. Testing that takes years to prove one way or the other. So far there is no difference in the effect of GMO’s versus non-GMO’s. The tests that seem to show an adverse effect from GMO’s, show about the same amount of damage as washing your hands with soap and do not have a control to show what a non-GMO does. The word is as stated above, potentially, so far, no difference.
GMO’s do much more than just making a plant resistant to a chemical. Some of the most exciting GMO’s are ones that make plants have better root systems so that they can survive in dryer conditions. There are also some GMO’s that are making plants so that they are more efficient, thus they use less fertilizer, or even survive insect infestations that previously would have killed them. There are so many GMO’s that you should not lump them all into one Monsatan pot. In fact, Monsanto is not the only company that is producing GMO’s, nor were they the first.
By all means keep eating heirloom varieties of plants. We need those varieties for protection from some as yet unknown problem, but please, it does not have to be organic or heirloom to be sustainable. Eat them for the taste or the novelty, not for some potential, but never proven problem.
Beware though, some of the organic practices are just as scary as non-organic ones. I’m thinking of things like organic peanuts that leaves them open to a natural toxin. There are many real natural things out there that WILL kill you or make you sick. There is nothing potential about it.
Sustainability means so many different things to so many different people that it is hard to peg down. Please do not confuse a love of the old ways of doing things with being sustainable.”
I learned your name because your email address is attached to the comment. So I Googled you. Your name is Michael W*****, and you farm 880 acres of corn and soybeans in W*****, MN with your dad. That’s cool. I farm 4 acres of about 40 different things in TX with my fiance. The major difference here (besides size and variety of veg) is that I’m in no way endorsed by any company, nor do I rely upon any corporation’s contracts, money, or largesse to maintain my little grow-op. I am willing to bet one million (hypothetical) dollars that you depend on Monsanto seed for your livelihood, thereby negating any opinion you have on the subject as highly prejudiced and worth a hill of crap (in my opinion). (Actually, that’s doing a disservice to a hill of crap, which I can use in my compost pile.) If I’m wrong about that, then I apologize.
However, I will rebut every daft, subjective idea you have espoused on my blog, and quite easily, because I know how to read, do research, back it up (as I did in the original piece), and contrary to your rude assertion, DO understand GMOs.
For purposes of this discussion, I’m going to stick with Monsanto GEs and Roundup (specifically glyphosate) Ready Seed, although I did mention Dow and BASF in my original piece (again, you misspoke).
First, allow me to address this little nugget of “wisdom”:
“There have been long term tests of the effects of GMO’s and they are still going on. I’m not talking about one test, I’m talking about scientifically replicable tests. Testing that takes years to prove one way or the other. So far there is no difference in the effect of GMO’s versus non-GMO’s. The tests that seem to show an adverse effect from GMO’s, show about the same amount of damage as washing your hands with soap and do not have a control to show what a non-GMO does. The word is as stated above, potentially, so far, no difference.”
I’ve taken the liberty of blending GMO research with research on glyphosate/Roundup and Roundup Ready seed, because that’s what my initial post was about.
- Review of Roundup Health Effects… This one’s a doozy. You might want to negate its merits, though. It appears to be from a team of independent international scientists and doctors (as are almost all of these studies).
- Study showing organ failure due to pesticides in GMOs.
- Here’s how interested Monsanto is in having the truth revealed about their products. (Hint: Not at all.)
- The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM): “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system.” Also interesting in that it showcases how loathe Monsanto is to share the results of ongoing studies.
- GMOs linked to organ disruption in 13 scientific studies.
- Here’s an awesome example of the “testing” you say goes on: A whole 90 days’-worth of animal testing.
- “Cell death in tests far below agricultural dilutions.”
- Here’s a piece detailing how Monsanto knew about birth defects from its own tests on glyphosate and failed to inform the public for over 20 years.
- Here’s a piece that details “Scientific research published in 2010 showed that Roundup and the chemical on which it is based, glyphosate, causes birth defects in frog and chicken embryos at dilutions much lower than those used in agricultural and garden spraying“.
- Glyphosate’s so pervasive, it’s showing up in the urine of city dwellers.
So basically, however well-meaning your comment may seem on its face (and I doubt that), you’re simply wrong. If you find studies that find Roundup Ready Seeds/Roundup/Glyphosate/GMOs are harmless, you’ll also find that they’re prepared by the GMO corporations themselves by their paid scientists, with no oversight, no non-funded peer review, no independent analysis. I’d just as soon trust a fox to guard my chickens.
Also, since my original piece was specifically about those topics, I did not address other genetically modified organisms or systems. Of course I know there are other GMO systems and manufacturers; anyone with a sixth grade education knows that. I also believe that there are certainly some cool innovations in the world of GM crops and animals, but that sure as hell doesn’t mean I’d advocate their willy-nilly dissemination across the globe before enough unbiased scientific research and evidence proves them absolutely safe for consumption or proximity to humans or other animals.
Peru, Hungary, France, Austria, Germany, Ireland, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, and Portugal all have complete or partial bans of GMOs. Do they just not understand GMOs because they’re “average” people who fear what they are too dumb to comprehend?
With regard to the remainder of your comment, it’s absurd that you’d imply that choosing sustainability is “old-fashioned.” There is not a way to be more forward-thinking than choosing a sustainable approach to farming and life in general. Or your assertion that, “There are many real natural things out there that WILL kill you or make you sick.” No shit, Sherlock. I guess I already knew that rattlesnakes are poisonous and that’s why we don’t pet them on the head. And yes, there ARE many ways to view sustainability. My entire blog is a testament to the way WE SPECIFICALLY have chosen. I’d no sooner go over to your blog and imply you’re simple-minded than I would back-talk my mama, and it’d be pretty cool if you didn’t drop in on random strangers’ blogs and tell them they’re feeble.
You seem like a very nice person. But please, believe what you want and keep it to yourself and off my blog. I’ll stay here in Texas and mind my own heirloom/organic operation, and only occasionally fret about GMO drift and the fact that Monsatan might sue me for copyright infringement.