A plea to Greenpeace

Dear Greenpeace,

You will no doubt have seen the letter signed by 100 Nobel laureates asking you to end your opposition to genetically modified organisms. I hope you realise what this means: a great number of the most prestigious and decorated scientists in the world are asking you to bring to a halt your decades-long war against biotechnology.

I know you will be seriously considering their words. However deeply entrenched anti-GMO attitudes may be in your organisation, you cannot lightly dismiss the considered opinion of such a distinguished group of scientists as are 107 winners of Nobel Prizes. You should add to these individual voices the opinions of the National Academy of Sciences, which recently issued a landmark report on GMOs, and of numerous other scientific and academic institutions around the world from the AAAS to the Royal Society to the African Academy of Sciences.

I’m sure most of you realise privately that this is a good opportunity for a rethink. Every day you continue to maintain a position that is in outright contradiction with the scientific community on GMOs, you align yourselves morally with climate change sceptics, anti-vaccination activists and others who deny the overwhelming scientific opinion on important issues. This obstinacy is doing great damage not only to your brand as an organisation that campaigns on behalf of humanity and the planet, but to your other campaigns which you need to position as science-based and evidence-led – on forests, on fishing, on biodiversity, on oceans and on climate. (I strongly support these other campaigns by the way.)

It’s okay to make mistakes. I have done so myself in fact! We have both engaged in vandalism against GMO crops and test sites in the past. You don’t have to make a public apology, as I did for my own activism a few years back. You don’t even have to draw media attention to your hopefully upcoming decision to drop the anti-GMO campaign. You can do it quietly, which is more or less what has already happened at Greenpeace UK. But drop it you must, or risk losing the moral and scientific integrity of everything else you stand for.

This does not mean that you must abandon all concerns about GMOs. There are very legitimate discussions to be had about who controls the technology, and in whose interests it is deployed in different countries and contexts. But, as with anything, the solution lies in ensuring it is deployed in the interests of poorer farmers, and of the enviroment – not of seeking a total indefinite ban on the basis of myths and misinformation that scientists find either baffling or outright laughable.

By the way, I think it is premature of the Nobel laureates to imply that Greenpeace might be guilty of a “crime against humanity” in its campaign of opposition to Golden Rice. As we know, Golden Rice is not yet ready for deployment, so we cannot yet be sure of how effective it would be in saving the lives and sight of the millions of children who are affected by vitamin A deficiency. But at the very least, Greenpeace must get out of the way of Golden Rice’s deployment when the time comes, or risk facing just such a judgement of history.

I still believe that Greenpeace does much good in the world. Indeed, facing combined global environmental crises as we do, we need effective Greenpeaces today more than we ever have before. We desperately need the voices and actions of dedicated, passionate, informed activists who will stand up to powerful interests both in government and business when they damage the environment and the futures of our children.

But Greenpeace cannot do this job if it rejects evidence, and stands against the scientific consensus in key areas of environmental concern. In the current era of post-truth politics, Greenpeace cannot afford to be a post-truth environmental campaign group. If we reject science we have nothing but emotion, prejudice and supposition. Greenpeace – I beg of you – must do better.

I’m writing this from the UK, where the progressive political community has been deeply traumatised by the disastrous referendum decision on Brexit. Now more than ever we need progressives to stick together, against the march of the far Right – whether Le Pen in France, Trump in the United States or Farage in Britain. We have so much in common – the defence of tolerance, humanitarian values, and a passionate belief in social and environmental justice.

One of our most important values of all is a defence of science. I know this is a value that Greenpeace shares, but it is one that is constantly undermined by your ongoing campaign against GMOs. Now, more than ever, I plead for a reconsideration, before more damage is done – not just to Greenpeace, but to the wider progressive community, and to the global environment.

Yours in solidarity,

Mark

100 Comments

  1. Robert Wilson

    Mark,

    I despair at the fact that this debate is still ongoing in the environmental movement.

    We are idiots to ignore what scientists say about climate change, but wise to ignore what they say on genetic engineering!

    And on it goes.

    But the more pressing question here is whether evidence alone will change enough minds here.

    Is the opposition to GM crops not as much about philosophy as science? Many see altering the DNA of living things as obviously immoral. This is a pre-Englightment worldview, much like those who think homosexuality is obviously immoral. It’s unthinking, unreflective, dogmatic.

    But it appears to be the real problem.

    So our real task seems to be as follows. To make people go from being uncomfortable with modifying the DNA of animals, to being uncomfortable with not modifying the DNA of animals.

    The first part of this is to create a historically informed debate, free from the ahistorical fantasies of the green movement. Agriculture equals genetic modification by definition. We can only feed 7 billion people because humans have spent thousands of years improving upon “nature”.

    And is that not the problem? Nature, natural. These words are fetishised. Yet a truly sustainable food system has to be un-natural, synthetic, man-made and engineered.

    Unshacking the green movement from their ahistorical fantasies about food is likely to take decades, if not generations.

    Reply
    1. Foster Boondoggle

      As others have pointed out, there’s also the issue of funding. A primary goal of organizations like GP is to persist. (This isn’t unreasonable or entirely self-serving – they can’t carry out their mission if they’re not around.) Decisions about what policies to promote are inevitably driven by considerations of how declarations and actions will be seen by potential donors. Given the widespread demonization of GE among “Greens”, noisy opposition to GE is very effective for bringing in funds. An about-face would lead to large numbers of resignations and loss of support. They’ve staked too much of their existence on this policy. They can’t get there from here.

    2. Sage

      The error in what you say is such:

      1. Climate change denialism is industry gaming of science and SciComm — it’s propaganda for the profit motive **against** the huge weight of evidence that climate change is real. The propagandists attempt to “cast doubt” in this case to delay action.

      2. Chemical and biotech risk denialism is industry gaming of science and SciComm — it’s propaganda for the profit motive trying to **construct** the perception that there is a huge weight of evidence that says that everything is risk-free with GMOs and associated agrochemicals — meanwhile also obscuring that it’s actually dozens of individual questions about specific risks, as well.

      So nice job trying to obfuscate the **actual** landscape of the situation.

    3. Eric Bjerregaard

      Industry gaming??? Do you have any proof for that? Just making up stuff for your leftist nonsense agenda?

    4. Sage

      Yes, i have proof of that. There’s a lot of evidence.

      For one thing, look up the recent article in The Intercept about Dow Chemical’s gaming of science about the pesticide chlorpyrifos. The esteemed scientist who is honest, Robert Sapolsky, reviewed Dow’s “science” and found many methodological errors and they all “happened” to be in the direction of the industry’s benefit.

      I’ve seen the same in the review articles and EPA memos regarding glyphosate, and that’s the tip of the iceberg that we can see. The rest is by the nature of things hidden.

      And there’s a huge SciComm push to harness “Skeptic” groups and create more of them, and to get stories into media strategically. It’s real. There’s enough evidence to see the tip of that iceberg, too.

    5. Eric Bjerregaard

      Nope, First one incident doesn’t convict an industry and that is if Sapolsky is both correct and honest. You should look up honest. Also, as has been shown by it’s safety record and your defeat in many forums and arguments. Your glyphosate allegations are crap.

  2. Eric Bjerregaard

    The regressive left is just as dangerous as the far right. If not more as they would destroy profits and thus lead to food riots and similar issues to what Venezuela is having now.

    Reply
  3. Clyde Davies

    Jeremy Corbyn would feel at home in Greenpeace.

    Reply
  4. Mary Mangan

    Oh, I didn’t think this was really aimed at Greenpeace. I thought this was like that piece about the FoodBabe: “The ‘Food Babe’ Blogger Is Full of Shit”. You can’t reach people like FoodBabe or Greenpeace. But you can point out the emperor’s new clothes.

    Maybe it can reach people who have been fooled by them. It can reach people who might otherwise donate money (or buy products). It can remove them from serious conversations.

    Arguing about this last night with a Greenpeace researcher, he cited Natural News as a source. I’m not kidding. Anyone who thinks that’s a valid source for anything is completely hopeless and unreachable. He also called us all Monsanto front groups. That level of conspiracy theory thinking short-circuits rational thought.

    I support the Nobelists’ efforts. But I’d say there’s about a 0% chance it affects Greenpeace.

    Reply
    1. Jason Brooke

      Oh wow, I saw that conversation on twitter but had no idea he was from greenpeace

  5. Hugh Sharman

    “…progressive political community has been deeply traumatised by the disastrous referendum decision on Brexit”

    “disastrous”?

    The EU is so deeply unreformable, with so many subsidy junketeers feeding at the EU trough, this is the best thing for the future of genuine cooperation between EU citizens to happen in years.

    And leading the trough feeders is Greenpeace, which has also become unreformable, I fear!

    Reply
  6. Hugo Penteado

    Dear Mark Lynas,

    As far as I know we cannot have a position on GMO crops, since the research about the consequences of the dissemination of such crops in Nature is very far from be sufficient. Another question is why such crops were disseminated without enough research? Corporations behind such crops are interested on Nature conservation and human health or huge profits concentrated in few hands?

    I would like to be more comfortable about GMO crops like you, but I am not.

    The main mistake of Greenpeace and other scientists is the acceptance of an economic model that ignores the ecological boundaries. Economic textbooks until today believe that there is no ecological boundaries for the economic system. GDP growth is the only goal and it is a disaster in a finite and tiny planet like Earth.

    GMO crops is a lot related to that illusion. So, we have to think more about the systemic consequences of GMO crops. And we have to put on the table the other side, that fully disagrees. The way you wrote, it seems it is scientifically unanimous, but it is not. Climate change is much more unanimous today.

    I will be looking forward to your answer, I hope my poor english is clear.

    Tks in advance,

    Best wishes,

    Hugo Penteado

    Reply
    1. John

      Please listen to yourself this “the science is not in yet” argument has been the calling card of the climate deniers for decades.

      The science is in on GMO’s. They’re safe. The evidence is out there published in academic journals and ahs been for years. The closest thing to a problem resulting from the biology GMO’s is the increased use of pesticides that certain monsanto developed GMO’s has resulted in. But the problem here wasn’t the genetic modification it’s the chemical pesticides.

      The big fight we should be having on GMO’s is to make them unpatentable or at least argue for short and narrow patents. The issues is making sure it is people not corporations who benefit from this technology.

    2. Eric Bjerregaard

      John, people own, work for, buy products from and sell to corporations.

    3. Mark Alsip

      Science does not work by unanimous vote. It works by consensus. Your failure to understand this explains your failure to understand why science demonstrates that GMOs are safe.

    4. Joe B.

      Disseminated without enough research. Isn’t that exactly the argument in climate change denial.

    5. Hugh Sharman

      Hugo!

      You write ……”Greenpeace and other scientists …”! Greenpeace scientific? What outrageous nonsense! Taxpayers funded activism has nothing to do with science!

    6. Ben Reese

      Mark Alsip.

      Consensus is anathema to true science. One scientist with a better, testable, and non-falsifiable hypothesis is worth more than a thousand others who happen to agree on an inferior theory. Plate Tectonics and the bacterial origin of ulcers are just two relatively recent examples wherein a lone researcher overturned the “consensus.”

      The scientific method doesn’t include a requirement for consensus. And if it’s consensus, it likely isn’t science.

    7. Hugh

      Ben, actually what you describe is more like consensus in action than it is anything else. Once someone with a credible contrary position exists the consensus is broken and the scientific community gravitates towards a new consensus.

      Science is simply is having a hypothesis and testing it. The issue with GMOs and indeed other science/technology that we are pursuing is that the hypothesis ‘all GMOs are 100% safe for use in the wild’ is simply an over-generalisation. Even ‘this specific GMO is safe for use in the wild’ is an untestable hypothesis. The conclusion that GMOs are safe because we have been selecting genes since agriculture began is not scientific or logical. The hypotheses that are being tested and the trials that are being conducted in relation to GMO safety are effectively being used to say that ‘GMOs are low risk’. The people who are saying that are not risk experts and mostly their stake is not in the health and well-being of the whole. The principle of risk here is that there is no sand-box. What is at stake is a one-time only unique eco-system – not a human playground (like financial system or a human body). The first mistake is the last mistake.

      Also it should be clear – evidence that something is dangerous (CO2, climate change etc.) is totally different from evidence that something is not dangerous (GMOs). If you haven’t grasp that you are not a scientist.

      In addition to saying ‘GMOs are low risk’ pro-GMOers seem to be arguing that it is ‘high gain’. Low risk, high gain is normally a convincing argument. It should be clear from above that ‘low chance of screw-up’ is not the same as ‘low risk’.

      High gain though is another fallacy. First off we already produce more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet and then some. We haven’t figured out how to distribute yet though. Secondly, who said that agriculture solved the problem of feeding starving masses? Its the other way round. Agriculture created the masses. The population has grown only because we can feed it.

      Understand that the green revolution and all the pre-GMO engineering has not otherwise been harmless – http://mtkass.blogspot.ie/2009/02/malthus-pyramid-schemes-starvation.html.

      I don’t know much about Greenpeace so I can’t comment. I don’t know much about 100 Nobel Laureates either but https://www.independentsciencenews.org/news/107-nobel-laureate-attack-on-greenpeace-traced-back-to-biotech-pr-operators/

      Lastly – Golden Rice is so far a failed project. Its not a good pro-GMO argument.

    8. Eric Bjerregaard

      Hugh, “all gmos are100% safe for the wild” That is a strawman argument. Your remark is the first time I have ever heard of that one. 100% safe is not an argument I have ever read regards to risk. The rest of your comment is just the usual anti-G.E stuff. Though phrased much better.

    9. Sage

      Hugo and Hugh make good sense.

  7. Shanthu Shantharam

    Mark: A small correction about the GR. It is ready for commercialization, if the regulatory authorities allow it. Most authorities are fearful of the barrage of attacks they will face from many Greenpeace promoted (read funded) anti-GMO outfits.

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      Shanthu Shantharam, That is great news. Do you know how they beat the yield problem? Have a link to read about this? Others are working on this issue. there are conventionally bred sweet potatoes that are high in beta carotene that the Gates folks are trying to distribute. Plus there is this. http://banana.aatf-africa.org/news/media/new-gm-banana-could-help-tackle-uganda%E2%80%99s-nutrition-challenges So, we are starting to fill more and more niches to hopefully get rid of this deficiency issue. And to the ones who do not understand economics, like Hugh Penteado, these crops don’t blow pollen around and no corporations to make necessary profits to allow for financial success. the farmers will get to do that on their own.

    2. Hugh

      Reference please?

  8. William Hughes-Games

    Let’s assume for the sake of the argument that GMO foods are the best thing since sliced bread. That technically speaking they are fantastic products and completely non harmeful. I still would not touch them with a ten foot pole.
    http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2009/02/malthus-pyramid-schemes-starvation.html

    Reply
    1. Joe B.

      So basically you don’t care what the actual facts are, you already know the answer. Trump would be proud.

    2. Hugh

      What are the facts then? Please state them if you know them. Tip: avoid generalisations and include references.

  9. Bluebell

    Greenpeace does much more good for the environment of this planet than any other..Full Stop.

    Reply
    1. Jean Piché

      Mark, thank you for this. The letter is perhaps a tad generous but I understand it is worth a shot just to see what the answer will be. Thanks again for your fantastic work.

  10. Eufemio Rasco

    You are barking at the wrong tree. Send your appeal to the financial supporters of Greenpeace, who are ultimately responsible for denying a safe and useful technology to small farmers of poor countries. Without money Greenpeace will collapse because their movement is hollow.

    Reply
  11. Thomas Calvin

    We are now rapidly entering the era of output traits, where biotechnology will be used to produce food products that are more nutritious and plentiful. The medical world is already much further down this path, but agriculture will eventually catch up. Biotechnology is being used to eliminate toxins and allergens, as part of the effort to double the food supply by 2050, without needing to till every square inch of the planet. Increasingly, the GMO deniers will have the blood of malnutrition and hunger on their hands! I can understand how some people can’t connect the dots on the social and environmental value of input traits, but the value of output traits will be easy to understand. GMO deniers will fade away as they become more aware and educated on the subject. Your letter to GP is a great step forward.

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard
    2. Sage

      We don’t need a technological “solution” to a social problem. Poverty causes poor nutrition. Capitalism & colonialism cause poverty. A tech “solution” that is overly complex for a social problem that is simple but entrenched due to self-interest is not sensible except to the industry who gains side benefits from that “solution” and this is the underlying reason for sensible people to be against or at least quite nonplussed by “Golden Rice”.

    3. Eric Bjerregaard

      Nothing wrong with inequality of results. That is the nature of people whose abilities are inequal. That is why folks like you need successful folks to counter act your lack of ability to reason.

  12. Dr. Lillian Wallace

    Dear Mark,

    Firstly, the problem around pesticides and the use of such by the GMO industry looms large. This is is not well addressed by many in this debate. (My background is in social science, so I am addressing this from a social perspective.) An example of this type of concern was raised by Jennifer J. Hsiao, a Ph.D. candidate in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program at Harvard University. She writes: “Pesticides are ubiquitous. Because they are used in agriculture and food production, pesticides are present at low levels in many of our diets. . . According to the NIH, the health effects of pesticides are still not well understood [1]. Potential effects include cancer and damage to the nervous, endocrine, and reproductive systems. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are often engineered to be more resistant to pesticides or produce pesticides themselves. How are GMOs changing the landscape of pesticide usage in our crop fields, and ultimately, the pesticide dosage in our dinners?”(http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu /flash/2015/gmos-and-pesticides). Again, as I previously claimed, this worry seems to get little attention from those writing on the topic of why GMOs are not harmful. New discoveries in the field of epigenetics (food/pesticide residue impact on offspring that cause modification of gene expression) is not addressed either.

    Secondly, your point is well made in the following paragraph: “There are very legitimate discussions to be had about who controls the technology, and in whose interests it is deployed in different countries and contexts. But, as with anything, the solution lies in ensuring it is deployed in the interests of poorer farmers, and of the environment – not of seeking a total indefinite ban on the basis of myths and misinformation that scientists find either baffling or outright laughable.” I concur with all that you say and think your points must be addressed sufficiently before negative attitudes against companies, for example, Monsanto will change. In this light as well, I believe until the issue of pesticides — in terms of environmental damage and human tissue damage — are addressed by the same 100 Nobel laureates scientists, little will change in the minds of those who oppose GMOs.

    Many I know that view GMO foods with angst are mostly worried about pesticides building up in the soil and in living tissue — for example those in the glyphosate family that seem to play a role in bees dying off. “Natural” pesticides (not carnivorous insects,) seem equally bad. Why are these concerns overlooked by scientists who spend so much time in promoting the science behind GMOs? Have I missed this part of their argument? I am hoping you might clue me in if I have.

    In closing, please let us not pretend that agri-business has been some sort of environmental boon to the planet. We humans are destroying the ecosystem we depend on, and agribusiness has played an oversized role in this destruction. So has overpopulation, fed by the scientific revolution, the industrial revolution, and an ever growing agribusiness that sprang from these revolutions. Instead of just arguing about GMOs safety, it should also be argued how GMOS might help save the our environment and ourselves. This case is not being well made yet. it seems that the weight of the argument being made is ‘how to feed’ an ever increasing amount of humans, all while not fully addressing the crushing reality that many scientific advances for ‘Homo sapiens’ have destroyed other plant and animal life forms in our biosphere.

    Sincerely,
    Dr. L .Wallace

    Reply
    1. Carol McSheehy

      Thumbs up to your comments!!!!

  13. Dr. Lillian Wallace

    Just picked up typos, sorry I struggle with visual perception disorder especially trying to write on a screen. Should read “our environment”.

    Reply
  14. Ashok Chowgule

    I am very disappointed with the tone of Mark Lynas letter. It seems that he is begging his ex organization, which has had no qualms in demonizing him when he left them on account of their stand on the GMO technology. In fact, Greenpeace continues to undertake its vandalism (in both physical and verbal terms) in all the poor countries.

    The most disappointing (a mild term) statement in the abject plea is: “As we know, Golden Rice is not yet ready for deployment, so we cannot yet be sure of how effective it would be in saving the lives and sight of the millions of children who are affected by vitamin A deficiency.” Does Lynas not know that the reason for the delay in deployment is due to the vandalism by Greenpeace? Even in their response to the letter by the Nobel Laurates is one of an aggressive defence with not even a hint of admission that they are wrong. Greenpeace says that there are ‘better’ alternatives to Golden Rice. But they are fuzzy (deliberately) on what they are, and there is no indication about what they have done to popularise them.

    Greenpeace is a violent bully. You just cannot be nice to them.

    Namaste.
    Ashok Chowgule

    Reply
    1. William Hughes-Games

      A big part of the vitamin A crisis is that while the green revolution of the 60’s increased productivity, it didn’t maintain the vitamin (and mineral) concentration of micro nutrients of the grain. People were getting enough to eat but not enough of the essential vitamins and minerals. A second part of the problem was that small farmers were lured (and pressured) to use these high production varieties with the promise of making more money. They tended to stop growing vegetables with their high vitamin content (including Vitamin A) in favor of a cash crop. The 60’s green revolution was far from a boon to poor people and the coming GM revolution is more of the same with some added detrimental effects.
      http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2009/02/malthus-pyramid-schemes-starvation.html

    2. Ashok Chowgule

      Mr Hughes-Games has set out the position of Greenpeace, and of many others like Vandana Shiva. The latter actually says that the Green Revolution created violence against women. The Green Revolution was to create a situation whereby people had at least something to eat. Without it, millions of people would have died of starvation. In his acceptance speech for the Noble Peace Prize, Dr Borlaug said that the Green Revolution provided a window for the agriculture scientists to deal with the next steps that are required for a complete diet. Like the Green Revolution, this too can be done with the application of technology.

      Rice is part of a diet. However for many poor people all over the world, they cannot afford to get other nutrients in an easy way, or in an affordable way. Those in the West can balance their nutrition intake by taking pills, something that is a product of technology. It seems to me that the attitude of some is equivalent to saying that if you do not have bread, why don’t you eat a cake. It so very, very sad that the rich are preventing the poor from getting the benefits of technology to improve their lives, in a manner that is not just practical but also affordable.

      Greenpeace’s response to the letter by the 107 Noble Laureates talks about the alternative ways of getting Vitamin A. There is very little information about what they have done to propagate it. There is, however, a lot of information available how Greenpeace has vandalised field trials where experiments for Golden Rice were being conducted. Greenpeace, and other like-minded NGOs, have mounted huge campaigns all over the world against Golden Rice. I believe one of them has inadvertently let out that if they accepted the GMO technology in this case, it will be like a Trojan Horse to introduce the technology in other cases as well. The objection to GMO technology is based fully on ideology.

      I belong to a business group, based in Goa, whose interests are in mining and shipping related business. We have no commercial interest in agriculture. My interest is that I get sufficient food with the right nutrition and at affordable prices for me, my family and the employees in the group.

      I will end with restating the last line of my earlier post, namely: “Greenpeace is a violent bully. You just cannot be nice to them.”

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule

    3. Eric Bjerregaard

      “The 60’s green revolution was far from a boon to poor people and the coming GM revolution is more of the same with some added detrimental effects.”
      Because they would have preferred to remain starving? Nonsense, Food is a boon to poor people. Plus I noticed that your citation contained no proof of lowering the vitamins and minerals.
      And no proof of some added detrimental effects. Typical regressive propaganda.

    4. Ashok Chowgule

      Further to my response to Mr William Hughes-Games. in a report at:
      http://www.pressreader.com/india/economic-times/20150609/281702613332147/TextView
      it is said: “The (Ministry of Home Affaris) sources said that the 13 activists -nine from UK, three from US and one Australian (Gray-Block) -were found to be training, motivating and organising Greenpeace India’s activists to create field-level protests near thermal plant and coal mine locations.”

      Do the donors to Greenpeace know that their funds are being used for rabble rousing and creating agitation? What exactly is the positive work that Greenpeace has done to improve the lives of the farmers? Instead, the evidence clearly shows that they have worked against the interests of the farmers, as well the poor people who are denied sufficient food. And in case of crops with Vitamin fortification (and Golden Rice is not the only one), a large number of these poor people are dying and some are becoming blind. If this is not crime against humanity, I do not know what is?

      Given what Greenpeace in India has done, can it be realistically assumed that they will NOT use similar tactics in other parts of the world. I have seen a banner of Greenpeace in India which says that GM foods will make people infertile. The banner is an appeal to a Chief Minister of a state in South India. The banner is in English without any translation in the local language. Given the tactics used in the past, I am convinced that the objective was a photo-op to be used to send to the donors to give an impression that Greenpeace in India is actually doing some work.

      Similarly, in Uganda the local unit of Action Aid had radio spots broadcasted saying that GM foods will cause infertility. I understand that the spots were on air for some eight months, before Action Aid, UK, the parent body distanced itself away from it. And Action Aid UK raises funds with visuals of poor children holding an empty food plate.

      I know that my words are strong (to use a mild term) and that I am aggressive on this forum. It is because of the serious harm that these NGOs are doing to the poor countries around the world. It is also due to the uncritical support that educated and well-fed people in the world are providing to these organisations. I would request the readers to understand my message.

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule

  15. Hugh Sharman

    @Ashok, right on!

    Reply
  16. Martin Fraguio

    Mark,
    Beautiful letter.
    It is a great call to rationality and common sense, I hope one day we are all fully dedicated to solving the serious problems of humanity and the environment.

    thanks for your great work,

    best

    Reply
  17. First Officer

    I am livid that Greenpeace and other groups put their ideology before the lives of so many and so many children. I can never trust what they state about anything again for who knows if they are reasoned statements or more products of their absolute ideology?

    Reply
  18. Ashok Chowgule

    Please see the following article:
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/06/30/greenpeace-more-dishonest-and-dangerous-than-the-mafia/#f82c6701f448

    In it the author says:
    QUOTE
    Greenpeace is the defendant in a RICO civil case brought by a Canadian lumber company, Resolute Forest Products. In its filing, Resolute documents that Greenpeace “has published staged photos and video falsely purporting to show Resolute logging in prohibited areas and others purporting to show forest areas impacted by Resolute harvesting when the areas depicted were actually impacted by fire or other natural causes.”
    UNQUOTE

    So, it would seem that Greenpeace takes its methods of making their case on the basis of falsehoods in areas other than GM foods. I often wonder why the big donors are not doing due diligence of how their money is being used.

    Namaste.
    Ashok Chowgule

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      Nice job Ashok, I saw that and didn’t realize it should be posted here.

  19. Ashok Chowgule

    In an article at:
    http://thewire.in/48074/nobel-laureates-slam-greenpeaces-opposition-to-golden-rice/
    the following sentence caught my eye: “(Greenpeace) questions the qualifications and expertise of the Nobel Laureates.”

    Now, let us apply the same principle and question the qualification and experience of Greenpeace. I would like to contend that, based on the information that I have posted above, their qualification and experience is thuggery.

    As I have said before, some of the words I use may be off-putting. I am sorry for this, but to express the true depth of my feeling, I have to use them. From whatever I have read so far, I do not see any sense of even mild intention on part of Greenpeace that they do need to take the views expressed by the Nobel Laureates on their own table for discussion. They are being as aggressive as they have been in the past.

    Namaste.
    Ashok Chowgule

    Reply
  20. Roberto A Peiretti

    Greenpeace ought to follow Mark Lynas plea or assume fully resposability for millions of Childrens going blid and people dying aroud the world for laking appropriate levels of A vitamin on their diets.

    Reply
  21. Shaulee Callister

    To me this is a huge problem we have right here and now on Earth, that being said there are pros and cons between it all. I mean look at the starving, malnutritioned, babies/children out in the world. Rather it be a different Country, State, City, Subdivision, next door neighbor, or your very own child’s classmate.. Science has come a long way, yet again so have farmers.
    Scientists wouldn’t have the knowledge they have today if the earliest of scientific research and writing development experience, quite sure failure as well, would have given up.. think if so all that we would be without today..
    Same goes with farmers it’s what most farmers have grew up around and watched, generation by generation learning and growing, hearing how they’re ancestors did things, so that they’re relatives can learn from hands on and come up with something different, different ways to make things taste better, to help grow faster so their able to feed not only themselves but other families as well. Rather it be ones Child headed off to College for “Engineering”, to create a type of machinery, beneficial to watering crops, a child from another family headed off to College for “Plantology”, on top of all the other types of “Ology” that one’s mind can take in. (look it up).
    So the point I am trying to get to here is maybe get 2 of the highest ranking persons in each of the groups along with 2 of your middle to lower class ranking people in each of the groups.. and figure a way to end hunger, end sickness, instead of being rivalries..
    Like what let’s say the scientists, with how far they have come in just medicine alone, along with everything else out there. Than you have farmers whom want to grow food for starving, malnutritioned persons, along with plantologists… I am sure to get out of all the bickering back and forth, hearing false and truthful things between media, papers, blogs and one another. It wouldn’t hurt to all get away like I said 2 leaders from each and every side and 2-3 middle to lower class, or heck even better 2 people from higher up, 2 from middle and 2 from lower. Yes you read it right. Six personnel from each of your companies, in a hotel, with all claims, documents, ect.. I am more than certain if you all work together you can make this all work out, and once you do you’ll be saying we should have done this sooner.. and hey who knows there maybe some other time or place you might just need to put all your minds to it again…
    ~Thanks for listening to all my ramble
    ~ p.s really think it through and read it 1-2-8x if you need to
    ~p.s.s. don’t be ashamed to be first one to call or message whomever you need to, to get things going keep bugging like say a car sells man…
    ¤¥THANKS AGAIN FOR LISTENING MS.S

    Reply
  22. Scott

    First and foremost the biggest flaw in both Greenpeace’s argument and Mark Lynas’s argument is in using the term “GMO” as an all encompassing general term. The genetic engineering technology is a tool. Like any tool it can be put to good use or bad use. Right now much harm comes from the use of GMOs in agriculture primarily due to the fact the vast majority of GMOs were specifically designed for use in very destructive models of production. In fact that is the true issue here. Current models of production while producing an excess of food, are destroying the environments that support them at a rate that makes their ultimate failure eminent within decades. Since those models will most certainly fail, GMOs are designed as a way to prop up and extend those failing agricultural systems so it takes longer before they fail.

    If a different approach were to be taken, to design GMOs for the newer regenerative organic systems, it would be vastly more beneficial. So both sides of the argument, pro-GMO and anti-GMO are actually in their passionate arguments obstructing the only true possible beneficial pathway forward.

    The solution is to change the production models to regenerative organic systems, then where in rare cases yields might suffer, use Genetic technology to prop up those new organic models of production. Any GMOs designed to prop up the current agrichemical based agriculture should be banned, and any GMOs that would improve organic agriculture should be promoted. Thus instead of a general term GMO, we need a qualitative term to differentiate the many possible uses for Genetic Engineering Technology so GMOs can be judged on a case by case basis.

    Both sides are wrong and we need to move past this dogmatic quibbling.

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      No, both sides are not wrong. Those who think organic can feed the world are wrong. Organic lags behind in yield a lot more than rarely. http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/26/world/organic-food-yield/ Plus conventional farmers are free to use any technique available from organic or regenerative as they have no ideological constraints to limit their options. G.. derived crops can be used in any type of production system. Because of the irrational commitment to the naturalistic fallacy, they can’t be labeled organic though. “very destructive models of production?” Like no till? I think you’ll need some valid citations for that claim. “regenerative organic systems?” I don’t think so. Just where will you get the inputs needed for Iowa and Texas? Kansas and Illinois? What will the shipping costs be? How much will food prices rise? Where will farmers get the additional workers needed for using those methods? How much will they cause food prices to rise? How will poor folks afford food. Your dogmatic comment is starting to look inhumane.

    2. Ashok Chowgule

      I agree with everything that Mr Bjerregaard has written. Please also see:

      http://forbesindia.com/article/real-issue/andhras-pesticidefree-farming-an-inconclusive-experiment/38018/1

      An important point made in this article is that those who do not rely on farming as a source of income are the ones that are most passionate about organic farming.

      Mr Scott’s main argument seems to be against what he calls the ‘destructive models of production’ will be prolonged by use of the GMO technology. I think he lives in a romantic world if he thinks that organic farming will feed the world. In fact, it was the inability of the methods to produce rice, wheat, etc., by the earlier methods that made Dr Norman Borlaug to do his research and usher in the Green Revolution. This revolution prevented millions of people in the poor countries from dying.

      Organic food is a consumer choice. The person is wiling to pay more for the food for his own emotional satisfaction. A poor person, even in developed countries, does not have the luxury to make this choice, particularly when the food that is not organic has been proved to be safe. In contrast please read this 2011 article:

      http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13746682

      on the adverse health effect in one case in Germany.

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule

    3. Scott

      There are fundamental differences in the approach of organic compared to agrichemical based agriculture. But they are both science based, and both are improvements over traditional pre-science agriculture. When you make statements like you have, you only are actually working against the much needed organic methodology changes needed in agriculture. A great example of this is the oft quoted yields decrease attributed to “organic” that both of you mentioned. Well those types of stats include low yielding traditional methods as “organic” and it pulls the average down dramatically. When you compare the best from both, like vs like, it is nearly a push, with organic models winning greater yields in some cases, and conventional agrichemical based yielding slightly more in others. Long term organic regenerative systems do have a distinct advantage due to the yearly increases in soil health and fertility, but short to medium term there is not really any significant difference overall when you consider all the various crops. Other factors being much more significant like cultivar, climate and rainfall etc… Both can easily supply all the food needed for current human populations in excess. The real issue is for how long and at what cost. That’s where the newer regenerative organic models of production have a distinct advantage.

      Keep in mind I am using the scientific definition of organic agriculture, not the any-woo-goes definition of organic that some try to infect the term. When the certification boards, much to my dismay, allowed things like traditional pre-science ag, biodynamic, and anti-GMO a pass, they are harming science based organic agriculture. There is a battle of words going on in society where the wooish fringes try to gain legitimacy by co-opting the terminology of legitimate science. Please don’t be fooled by this. This I believe is why the policies regarding agriculture are exactly backwards, with GE tech being used to prop up failing agrichemical based ag, instead of being used to improve organic ag. Currently it is banned in organic and used in conventional. Ridiculous. We are using that tool exactly backwards.

    4. Ashok Chowgule

      If science based organic method of farming is better than the GMO technology, then let it be left to the farmer to decide which is suitable for him. At the same time, the huge anti-GMO propaganda based on emotionalising and fear-mongering should be stopped, particularly by organisations like Greenpeace worldwide and like ActionAid in Uganda. In the atmosphere created by such anti-GMO propaganda, science has been rudely pushed from the discussion table. Sometimes I wonder if the anti-GMO activists know that they do not have science on their side, and that is why they resort to the fear-mongering tactics.

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule

    5. Eric Bjerregaard

      Citations needed for those claims. Especially for the definition of organic he is referring to.

    6. Scott

      Ashok,
      You said, “If science based organic method of farming is better than the GMO technology”. What? Have you even read a single thing I said? Apparently English is not your first language. GMO is not a methodology, it is a product created by GE technology. I have proposed removing the ban of GMOs in organic methods of production, and instead designing GMOs specifically for organic methods of production. By removing the GMO as an all inclusive term that includes all uses of GE tech, both good for the environment and destructive to the environment, a great disservice is being made. This needs to be corrected.

    7. Ashok Chowgule

      i come from a Third World country and English is not my mother tongue. So, I will prostrate myself in front of Mr Scott and seek his forgiveness.

      However, I am not able to comprehend just one thing. Perhaps it is my upbringing in a Third World country and serious lack of knowledge of a language spoke by the Queen of England makes me ask a simple question. Why we cannot let the farmer chose between the various technologies and let him/her decide what is best for him/her?

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule.

    8. Hugh Sharman

      I absolutely agree with you Ashok!

    9. Scott

      Ashok,
      You said, “Why we cannot let the farmer chose between the various technologies and let him/her decide what is best for him/her?” It is a good question. I wish it were so. Unfortunately organic farmers are not allowed that freedom by the certification boards. This puts us in a poor economic position. We won’t qualify as organic and get a better price for our food, and yet we also don’t qualify for the subsidies given to conventional ag either. So a farmer that does decide to do the right thing is at risk of losing his farm due to economic pressure. If we insist on this action and even mention the term “organic”, we can be jailed. Further, because this option has been made illegal, there is no reason for the developers of GE tech to design GMOs compatible with organic methodology, explaining why those GMOs are so rare. At this point, due to both those reasons, while it is a good idea to give the farmer that freedom, it doesn’t happen. Agriculture is at a deadlock that is destroying the planet’s biosphere little by little every year.

    10. Ashok Chowgule

      The issue that Mr Scott has to deal with is who is responsible for the situation that he talks about. The anti-GMO activists, lead primarily by Greenpeace, have been spreading fear in the minds of many policy makers that GMO is going to destroy agriculture and the environment, and will lead to food scarcity as a result. They are using scare-mongering tactics like creating images of Frankenstein, saying that GMO results in cancer, infertility, etc. And it is the success of these anti-science tactics has perhaps made use of the GE techniques unacceptable to those who say that they are hard-core organic.

      These tactics has hurt not only the farmers in the Third World but also the poor people in the Third World. Because farm incomes do not rise, moving people out of poverty is becoming difficult. Perhaps one may like to see the following TEDx talk:

      GMOs: Seeds of destruction? | Mahaletchumy Arujanan | TEDxUniversitiPutraMalaysia
      August 8, 2016
      http://learn.watch/gmos-seeds-of-destruction-mahaletchumy-arujanan-tedxuniversitiputramalaysia/
      19m

      Dr Arunjanan has put the issues relating to GMO technology quite nicely and precisely.

      Namaste.
      Ashok Chowgule

    11. Sage

      Scott makes very good sense. Eric is wrong.

  23. Eric Bjerregaard

    Thanks Ashok, I posted this talk in Linkedin Sustainable agriculture and horticulture. The response will be anger and rejection by many.

    Reply
    1. Sage

      Maybe anger and rejection are a sensible response.

    2. Eric Bjerregaard

      No sage, anger and rejection are irrational in this case as they are an immature reaction to facts. Kinda like your reaction to actual facts regarding agriculture and capitalism. Capitalism is what causes wealth. Not poverty. Without profit, we are all poverty stricken. Without profitable businesses to tax. Gov’t would have zippo money for their regressive socialist agendas. Hunger is due to many reasons. overpopulation, warlords, communism/socialism, dictators, weather, and logistical problems. To have technological improvements in food production assists in overcoming these other problems. It also means less land needed for food production. thus more land for wildlife. Try thinking.

    3. Sage

      Eric, just because you say you’re right and i’m wrong doesn’t make it so.

      “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”

      Inequality is endemic in capitalism generally, and has been growing worse. Capitalism is not what creates wealth or prosperity. It’s one form of governance that favors those with money already by giving them more influence over policy. Things ending in “ism” generally are in favor of the word that precedes the suffix. And it’s so in this case, too. Poverty is generally an accomplice of capitalism and provides a pool of workers with motivation (survival).

      “Try thinking,” he says. Try not being a condescending arrogant know-it-all.

    4. Eric Bjerregaard

      Nope, take some classes. Poverty abounds where there is little or no capitalism. It is very hard not to be condescending when confronted with the nonsense you come up with.

    5. Sage

      I find it very interesting — the consistency of the double commitment to the dogmatic support for the biotech and agrochemical industry and the dogmatic support for capitalism. The dedication to a limited ideology as being the whole epistemic universe is consistent, at least.

      “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

      And so it is.

    6. Eric Bjerregaard

      Dogmatic? Capitalism is the only system that has ever lifted folks out of the morass of hunter/gatherer. Nonsense. It is the profits of farmers that originally allowed others to become craftsmen, artists, and do-gooders. Biotech has an excellent safety record. Far in excess of most any other industry. Yet you dogmatically whine about this at most every opportunity you find. Try making some money and then actualy help others with it.

  24. Sage

    I read this and my strong gut feeling is that this is a piece of industry propaganda — meaning a lawyerly take on reality written with an agenda in mind — and i’ve seen this from Mark Lynas before. It’s his position in the world to be a “special pleader” for the agrochemical & biotech industry.

    So about the Nobel laureates — many also did *not* sign the letter. Wonder why? The letter was spearheaded by what’s his name…. Sir Richard Roberts … who is an executive of New England Biolabs, a company in Ipswich, Massachusetts north of Boston that focuses on biotech. I’ve worked there briefly on contract and met Dr Roberts and let me tell you …. he’s supermely smart in a really geeky way that probably misses the forest for the trees, and people get indoctrinated when steeped in one thing like he is… look at people who are heavy into Ayn Rand for instance. They think Rand has all the answers. Look at people who think the thorium reactor is the answer to the world’s power needs and no other changes will be needed. Sure, they’re Nobel laureates but i am 100% sure that Barbara McClintock would *not* have signed on if she were still alive. She had the ecological thinking that would see that Greenpeace’s position has merit and that blind faith in biotech will not result in all good and no harm.

    Anyway… just saying.

    Reply
  25. William Hughes-Games

    Even if genetic modification was the best thing since sliced bread, In so far as big businesses are using it to capture the seed industry of the world, I oppose it strongly. The 60’s revolution, which didn’t even have genetic modification techniques available, was far from an unmitigated success. How much worse could this coming revolution be with such techniques at hand.
    http://mtkass.blogspot.co.nz/2009/02/malthus-pyramid-schemes-starvation.html

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      Unmitigated success? Do you mean like our transportation system? In which folks die every day. Why do you wackos insist upon unrealistic perfection from agriculture and nit pick every flaw and potential flaw. Yet don’t apply the same goofy standards to other industries. I am quite sure the millions that didn’t starve are happy with that fact. Then out comes the anti big business bias. Yeah, there has been more consolidation than I would like. There is no monopoly or price fixing. There are still enough companies selling seeds that I can boycott the ones that claim to be nongmo. When they have no GE version of the species being sold. Yet still can get what I need.

    2. Ashok Chowgule

      Mr Hughes-Games says: “Even if genetic modification was the best thing since sliced bread.” He said exactly the same thing in June 2016. Seems like there is nothing new he can say.

      He also says that the Green Revolution of the 60s “was far from an unmitigated success”. When one has such a position as a starting point, it is very difficult to have a reasoned discussion. In any case, except for a very, very minuscule minority like Vandana Shiva, the rest of India are very grateful to people like Dr Norman Borlaug for preventing mass starvation.

      Ashok Chowgule
      Goa, India.

  26. Lillian Wallace

    It amazes me that this debate is even about the safety of GMOs — obviously science has proved them to be safe — and not about the pesticides designed to work with GMO crops. Why is the debate NOT about that? Honestly, it is so frustrating to read all the arguments about this while the ten ton elephant in the room is being ignored! PESTICIDES! Please comment on what you think glyphosate does to a women you uses tampons contaminated with this GMO pesticide! Dr. Lillian Wallace

    https://www.rt.com/usa/319524-tampons-cotton-glyphosate-monsanto/

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      The guy who did the alleged research used the IARC classification to scare folks. This foolishness was refuted almost immediately upon release. Any researcher that uses this is likely a propagandist looking for some thing to stir up trouble. PPB is a very small amount. Is it even significant? Was there false positives? Glyphosate is not a ten ton elephant.

    2. Lillian Wallace

      Eric Bjerregaard: Please cite your evidence. The ten ton elephant I was mentioning was about all pesticides. Even if glyphosate has not been studies well, and you may be right, you ignore my comment that the ten ton elephant in the room is about the use of all synthetic pesticide and herbicide use that not only work with GMO crops, but are also pushed onto farmers who are ignorant of agricultural science. Although this is not my field, my uncle was an emeritus professor of agricultural science at Berkeley University until he passed away. His concern over damage to the biosphere by the overuse of pesticides and herbicides was genuine. He also pointed out how credible researchers early on argued that DDT was safe for the environment. It is a well known fact that Rachel Carson’s research on DDT attracted outrage from the pesticide industry. Her credibility as a scientist was attacked, and she was derided as “hysterical,” despite her fact-based assertions and calm and scholarly demeanor. (Sound familiar?)

      There are two sides to this debate, and right now you sound like an apologist for the pesticide industry. I may be wrong of course, only you would know, but honestly counter arguments with cited evidence are de rigueur in any valid debate. And please don’t pretend that research being done on this topic is all fake news.

      Cressey D. Widely used herbicide linked to cancer. (24 March 2015). Scientific American.http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/widely-used-herbicide-linked-to-cancer/

      “The World Health Organization recently announced that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, so we still need to be cautious [11] (for more information, the EPA also has a list of other pesticides and their carcinogen status). Although studies have shown conflicting conclusions about the link between glyphosate and cancer in humans, glyphosate has been linked to cancer in rats and mice and experiments in human cells have shown that exposure to glyphosate can cause DNA damage [9].” http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/gmos-and-pesticides/

      https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/long-term-pesticide-exposure-may-increase-risk-diabetes

    3. Sage

      Not all GMO traits are safe. GMO peas were not safe and are not on the market due to allergenic lung damage caused in mice. It was lucky that someone found that late in the process.

      Yes, agrochemicals are also a piece of the puzzle. Glyphosate is the most notable among current crops on the market of course.

      “Safe” refers both to human health upon exposure as well as ecological effects being benign. It’s hard to make a general statement that all GMOs are “safe” when there are infinite possible traits. It’s like saying “photographs are safe for work” when in fact many photographs are but some are not. It’s a technology that has infinite permutations. Greenpeace is right to be wary of ecological harm possible.

    4. Eric Bjerregaard

      Well Sage, still tryong to twist the fact that some take a shortcut instead of typing “all currently approved GE crops are as safe as any” Pathetic.

    5. Sage

      No, Eric, i am not trying to twist anything.

      If that’s what you mean then say it. Sometimes it takes dialog to delineate what’s really meant. Such is the case here, except you could have left out the insults and scorn.

      But it’s notable that there have been and could be traits that are harmful. It’s also worth noting that if the industry creates a “blockbuster” product that is commercially successful, they would have some level of motivation to suppress any negative research or press about the product, using basic methods of social influence. That’s a concern when you’re relying on the industry itself to assure the safety of a GMO trait. There’s too fuzzy a line when it’s complex and there is inherent bias in the research.

    6. Eric Bjerregaard

      Inherent bias in the research. Consider this a scornful insult. A biased bit of research if allowed to stand could easily lead to large fines and big liability risk.

    7. Sage

      Eric, that’s not what history shows. There is a level of bias that can be implemented carefully without fines or much liability risk. There’s been gaming of science for most chemicals and for GMO traits as well. I’ve looked deeply into the science around glyphosate and found probable bias in many studies that claim glyphosate to be safe or of very low risk. I’m not saying it’s a killer chemical. By far that’s not the case. But there are some indications that chronic exposure is not without significant risk of harm. This, coupled with the inherent bias of the industry to find it safe, are cause for skepticism of the industry claims.

    8. Eric Bjerregaard

      Gaming? 43 years of safe use and you still say gaming. GE crops? 20 years of safety. If the auto industry produced a product that is as safe to use as GE crops. We would still be waiting for the first injuries or death. “deeply?” Yet have not come up with any evidence.

    9. Sage

      Even here you’re gaming. “43 years safe use”? It’s been used on crops in a significant way for 21 years, starting with Roundup Ready soy in 1996.

      Look at PCBs — 1930s to 1970s. For 43 years Monsanto lied about the risks of those chemicals.

      An appeal to the number of years doesn’t hold water in this light.

      The source is truly fascinating. The original internal Monsanto memos are damning pictures of evil.

      Source:
      http://www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/dirtysecrets/annistonindepth/toxicity.asp

    10. Eric Bjerregaard

      sage it is you that are gaming. You are trying to ignore the years since the mid 70s that applicators, including myself mixed and used the product since the mid 70s. That is dishonest. The 43 years stands. Then you try to conflate this with a separate issue concerning the decisions made by retired or dead executives at a company that no longer exists. You use the documents supplied by an anti-Monsanto group that even now uses information out of context to needlessly scare people. Is it today or yesterday that they came out with their latest “””dirty dozen””‘ ranking. Also, you ignore the role of gov’t that required PCBs in electrical equipment by codes. You are not even close to honest in your irrational vendetta.

    11. Sage

      Back and forth, back and forth, so tiring.

      Look, i am not stupid nor a i being dishonest. I *know* that glyphosate was developed in 1972 or 1973 by Monsanto with Ernest Jaworski being one of the main chemists working on the product as an herbicide.

      But… can you possibly fathom two thing in your mind at once?… the chemical was present in food in a significant way from the 1990s onward with the introduction of Roundup Ready crops.

      Everything else you say is lawyering too.

      Monsanto is the same Monsanto built on the same capital ($$$) made from PCBs sales, and with a continuity of management and culture, etc…. same company you slimeball shell gamer.

      The Chemical Industry Archives website is solid. Their info is solid. It is *you* who have a problem with an accurate history of the deceptive and ecocidal company being told — why would that be? Why, Eric?

      Why do you push such a Sisyphean agenda up a hill when it’s just rolling back and crushing you with facts every time?

    12. Eric Bjerregaard

      More garbage from a agenda driven hateful loser that favors primitive agriculture and thus higher prices and less nutrition available to poor folks. Pathetic. The applicators were exposed and no gharmful effects have been found. The earlier years are valid for keeping in the record. The product was used on farms long befor the RR crops were developed. The EWG is not reliable. They are as dishonest as you. The facts I have mentioned you have not been able to refute. The decision makers are gone. The company has been sold and re-launched. There are different people there. You have no clue or evidence that the culture there is in any way evil. “ecocidal?” citation needed. Quit trying to hurt people. It reveals your lack of basic decency. https://www.devex.com/news/the-sorghum-plant-that-could-tackle-blindness-89313#.WL6rMXyXJyk.twitter

    13. Sage

      Lies from a liar named Eric who hates me because he’s aligned with protecting a dirty industry whereas i expose the propaganda machine, which is the weakness of a propaganda machine.

      Don’t look at the man behind the curtain.

    14. Eric Bjerregaard

      All this and yet the basic facts you oppose can’t be refuted. A truly ignorant and inhumane individual. “dirty?” Only to the extent that farming involves soil.

    15. Sage

      Yep, you’re aligned with a dirty industry that values profits over truth and honesty and integrity, and its products are unfortunately pervasive and spread far and wide, like PCBs now cover the whole globe and bioaccumulate in wildlife and people… too bad the industry is thus, and not more self-limiting. If a bad carpenter builds a house and it falls and kills someone, that’s tragic but it’s one person. When Monsanto lies for profit, they end up poisoning the whole world and some rivers badly for ever and ever and ever…. and any people die as a result.

      The industry is a menace to the world — just like the fossil fuels industry with their climate change denialism propaganda has delayed and prevented action to slow climate change….

      Liars for profit are evil. The chemical industry seems to attract the worst, those with an archetypal need to destroy the world from some inner sickness.

    16. Eric Bjerregaard

      You have yet to show I have even made an error, much less lied. Yet your agenda is so emotionally crippling to your thinking[?] That you bring your vindictive agenda that you try to bring it into an argument regarding nutritionally enhanced crops. Crops not being developed by chemical companies. Crops being developed by Ugandans, Tanzanians and others. Pathetic

  27. Eric Bjerregaard

    Lillian Wallace. As to glyphosate. The WHO, EFSA, EPA, and many others disagree with the IARC classification. As to tampons/cotton. http://www.tjbeall.com/latest-news/tj-beall-refutes-alarmist-propaganda-being-spread-about-cotton as to pesticides in general. http://appliedmythology.blogspot.com/2012/09/pesticides-probably-less-scary-than-you.html and http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/pesticide/hgic2770.html and

    Reply
  28. Lillian Wallace

    Eric Bjerregaard: Still ignoring the ten ton elephant in the room?

    “The World Health Organization recently announced that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, so we still need to be cautious [11] (for more information, the EPA also has a list of other pesticides and their carcinogen status). Although studies have shown conflicting conclusions about the link between glyphosate and cancer in humans, glyphosate has been linked to cancer in rats and mice and experiments in human cells have shown that exposure to glyphosate can cause DNA damage [9].” http://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2015/gmos-and-pesticides/

    Reply
    1. Sage

      Glyphosate is indeed an adjunct of most GMOs on the market, those of the Roundup Ready trait.

      You will find that pro-industry people will downplay the IARC findings and attempt to discredit them. However, the IARC finding is pretty solid. Contrary to what they will say, they did not use the controversial Seralini study, but they cited it only to point out problems with it and to say they are not using it. They used only publicly available research, in principle for transparency. They did indeed find it to be a probable carcinogen for humans and very likely for animals based on the results of the publicly available literature.

    2. Eric Bjerregaard

      No Lillian, I posted evidence that you simply have not had time to thoroughly check into. Your little editorial that stoops so low as to differentiate between natural and synthetic pesticides as far as safety/risk is not evidence. There is no elephant. The pesticides we use are much lower in risk than what those baby boomers grew up with. There is no elephant in the room. The IARC classification has been repudiated. The fact that sage thinks it is valid means it isn’t. The guy lies on a regular basis. https://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2016/05/18/bias-hidden-agendas-and-conflicts-of-interest-make-un-agency-contender-for-worst-regulator-ever/#76cdfc6f32d2 and http://weedcontrolfreaks.com/2015/03/glyphosate-and-cancer-what-does-the-data-say/

    3. Sage

      I told you they’d say this.

    4. Eric Bjerregaard

      Gee, predicting that your opponents will tell the truth when you are wrong isn’t real prophetic. Also, not only are you and Lillian wrong. Pesticides are not the ten ton anything is an argument about nutritionally enhanced crops. Basic decency is. https://www.devex.com/news/the-sorghum-plant-that-could-tackle-blindness-89313#.WL6rMXyXJyk.twitter

  29. Lillian Wallace

    Eric Bjerregaard: If you are so correct in all you say then why is your industry using tactics from the Tobacco Industry when they argued tobacco was safe for human consumption? Your side has won by the way under President Trump. The EPA will be gutted, and the pesticide/herbicide industry is winning.

    (http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/02/24/24greenwire-pesticide-industry-ramps-up-lobbying-in-bid-to-42970.html?pagewanted=all)

    Yes, pesticides and herbicides remain a ten ton elephant in the room. The biggest problem you have, is every one knows it! Your ridiculous link above is rubbish as it has nothing to do with pesticides/herbicides. Your argument about basic decency is also suspect, as you refuse to address real concerns raised by many agricultural scientists in the field, and farmers themselves. Monsanto promised the South African government that the price of corn would drop with the use of GMO corn. South Africa invested heavily in GMO corn thinking prices for the poor would drop. Over the course of the last 15 years the price of corn has sky rocketed leaving millions either hungry or dead from starvation. These issues started way before a major drought exacerbated the problems faced by farmers. Where is you basic decency? My family that farms in South Africa has also seen surrounding farms that switched to GMO corn struggle with herbicide resistant weeds, and pesticide resistant insects. They are struggling with an ever expanding problem. (Global perspective of herbicide-resistant weeds Volume 70, Issue 9, September 2014 Pages 1306–1315) The poor farmers in South Africa who cannot afford Monsanto seeds — and the Glyphosate herbicides that works with their seeds — have been pushed to the brink of starvation. Where is your basic decency on talking responsibly about these problems? (Basic decency would explain birth control to slow population growth in places like India and Africa!)

    Like all apologists for the pesticide/herbicide industry you present a one sided argument. The links I gave from HARVARD UNIVERSITY on issues about GMO pesticides and herbicides RAISE VALID QUESTIONS. I am a social scientist, and I care about society, so don’t leap to your nonsense conclusions about basic decency! Many scientists who support GMO crops, do not agree with you argument that pesticides and herbicides are NOT A PROBLEM.

    /www.nytimes.com/2016/10/30/business/gmo-promise-falls-short.html?_r=0

    “CropLife America, the trade association that represents more than 90 of the world’s biggest agro-chemical manufacturers, spent nearly $2.5 million last year lobbying against bills that sought to increase oversight of chemical manufacturing and transfer, strengthen drinking water standards and fund research into the effects of pesticides on humans. The lobbying expenses are part of an ongoing lobbying blitz launched in 2010 by the pesticide industry to fight any efforts by the Obama administration to regulate pesticides. Since 2008, Croplife America has poured $11.2 million into lobbyists, and another $643,000 into a PAC that backs congressional candidates sympathetic to the chemicals industry. One class of pesticides that has international scientists and beekeepers increasingly worried are called neonicotinoids — a chemical cousin of nicotine. Neonicotinoids are genetically embedded into seeds before they are planted, and last much longer than traditional spray pesticides. Last week a group of beekeepers and environmental groups filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency over its approval of certain neonics, as they are known.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/29/pesticide-lobby-bees_n_2980870.html

    Reply
    1. Eric Bjerregaard

      “Your industry?” Nope, I am a small farmer who does landscape work. “Your side?” Nope, I wrote trump off as a complete jerk waaaay back when he tried to steal a lady’s house using eminent domain to expand a casino. “Tobacco? Nope, Those are the tactics used by you and your dishonest ilk. People like Benbrook and seralini getting funding from organic interests to attempt scientific deceit. The consensus then that tobacco was harmful was roughly as strong as the one now the biotechnology can be used safely. The links I posted in response to your previous post are about pesticides. There are many more, but retrieving them for you to fail to read and comprehend seems pointless. Pesticides and herbicides when used correctly and rotated are not a problem. They are tools to solve problems. Birth control isn’t relevant. The problems of farmers who can’t afford GE seeds or herbicides aren’t an issue if you are even close to correct. Why? because if you have even a drop of truth to your claims. The lack of access to the seeds and herbicides should help them. You aren’t a scientist in any field.

    2. Sage

      Eric, she said she is a social scientist. You seem to have missed that because you said “You’re not a scientist in any field.” I am also a social scientist. I study society. I study social dynamics.

      I find it very odd how you’re constantly online commenting everywhere and anywhere with a complete lockstep to the industry propaganda memes. It’s either an ungodly coincidence or it’s a sign that you’re pushing an agenda. It is quite apparent you are on a side and fighting a battle over public perception about the products of the agrochemical and biotech industries.

    3. Eric Bjerregaard

      No, I did not miss anything. I meant what I typed. I don’t think she is educated enough to be a social scientist. That is why I said any field. Her claims are baseless and poorly thought out. The industries are correct on the issue of biotechnology. Thus I have no choice but to agree. As I have pointed out the pressing issues are not the next generation of crops that are RR or add traits for the US. They are the new crops being developed for 3rd world countries and small holder farmers. Thus the basic truths of this technology must not be obscured by those who conflate, lie and carry old grudges.

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