Thanksgiving musings…But they do it in Europe…


One of the oddest talking points of the anti-GMO crowd is that 60+ countries have  laws banning GMOs or a labeling requirement. The question is just because other countries do something. that automatically makes it right?

Currently over 60+ countries have laws banning homosexuality. Should we follow their lead?

In Uganda there is a fight over allowing GM seeds. So far they are banned. But, that country’s Parliament just enacted a so-called “Kill the Gays law.”

The liberal/left mantra is to accept different cultures and their ways of life. Why do we want to change their culture? That’s Western hegemony. We want to impose our modern ways of life on these ancient cultures.  Yet you have stuff like this:

 

I agree 100% with that video. What I don’t get is the schizoid nature of the liberal/left. They want the U.S. to intervene if it is a cause they believe in, but when we do they bitch and moan about how we’re trying to make them like us. It’s one of those weird mindsets I never got.  You’re not supposed to mess with people’s cultures, but the liberal/left wants to interfere if there is it fits their worldview. If they were true to their worldview, they shouldn’t be bitching about how women and girls are treated in those cultures. You don’t want to interfere with their cultures, right?

I just want progressives to be consistent in their worldview and belief system. I would be thankful for that.

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The Food Dialogues: New York


First off, I’m steamed I didn’t know about this. It happened where I live. I would have loved to attended this conference.  It was a conference the Food Dialogues: New York .  The video below is the GMO panel and it is a very interesting discussion.  The info on the panelists is listed below the link. I thought about emedding it, but then I thought a link would be more useful so you can watch the other other panels.

What I liked about it was that it was a panel discussing the issue intelligently and they took questions from the audience.  There were some good questions and then… then…some anti-GMO doofus comes up to ask a question. He more came up to make a political statement.  He asked a question about Bt.  One of the panelists biotech guy, Bob Goldberg answered it and the stuttering dumbass repsonded, “You got the spin, man.”

And there is the bottom line with this issue.  Many people say if you explain the tech of transgenics, it will lessen the fear people have about the technology. But you have these nimrods who when it is explained to them, still don’t believe it. And there is a ton of them.

Biotechnology (GMOs) and Your Food

These are the participants, and this was taken directly from the site

  • Dr. Bob Goldberg, plant molecular biologist currently using genomics to identify all of the genes required to “make a seed”, UCLA view bio
    Dr. Bob GoldbergBob Goldberg is a plant molecular biologist who is currently using genomics to identify all of the genes required to “make a seed.” Professor Goldberg received a B.S. in Botany from Ohio University, a Ph.D. degree in Plant Genetics from the University of Arizona, and was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the UCLA Faculty in 1976 and is currently a Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology.Professor Goldberg served as Director of the Plant Genetics Program at the USDA and was the Founding Editor of The Plant Cell, the leading journal in the area of plant biology. Professor Goldberg is also a Co-Founder of Ceres. Inc., a Thousand-Oaks-based Energy Crop Company and was Director of The Seed Institute, an intercampus “institute without walls” within the University of California dedicated to unraveling the processes that control seed development. Professor Goldberg has received many awards recognizing his contributions to the field of plant molecular biology, including election to the US National Academy of Sciences. Bob Goldberg is highly committed to undergraduate education and has received many awards for his novel teaching approaches, including the UCLA Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award, the UCLA Gold Shield Prize for Excellence in Research and Undergraduate Education, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) University Professorship, and was listed as one of the ‘Top 15 Professors’ in UCLA’s history. Recently, Professor Goldberg’s class on Genetic Engineering was named as one of the top 10 “hottest classes” in America
  • Jerry Slocum, Mississippi soybean farmer View Bio
    Jerry Slocum, Mississippi soybean farmerJerry Slocum is currently president of North Mississippi Grain Company – a family-owned country grain elevator business. He also owns and operates a corn, soybean and wheat farming operation in Tate County, Mississippi.Currently, Jerry serves on USDA’s Secretary Tom Vilsack’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture. Prior to this, he served on the committee for both former USDA Secretary Dan Glickman and Secretary Ann Veneman.Jerry has been a member of the United States Soybean Federation Board of Directors since its inception in 2009 and is currently serving as president of the Federation. He also serves as Chairman of the Midsouth Soybean Board and Chairman of the Delta Council’s Soybean and Wheat Committee. Other associations Jerry has been a long-time member of include the Mississippi Soybean Association Board of Directors, Mississippi Soybean Promotion Board, Mississippi Feed and Grain Board of Directors and Mississippi Farm Bureau Federation.From 1991 through 2002 he served on the United Soybean Board. While on the board, Jerry held various leadership positions including Chairman of the Board, Chairman of the International Marketing Committee, Chairman of the Biotechnology Task Force and was a member of the Better Bean Initiative. Jerry has traveled internationally 13 times to present the American farmer’s position on biotech crops to foreign governments, regulators, importers, and farm organizations.

  • Dr. Julie Howard, Chief Scientist, Food Security, USAID View Bio

    Julie A. Howard: Chief Scientist, USAID Bureau for Food<br /><br /><br />
Security; Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Agricultural Research,<br /><br /><br />
Extension, and Education

    Dr. Julie A. Howard is the Chief Scientist in the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security, which leads the implementation of Feed the Future, the U.S. global hunger and food security initiative. She also serves as Senior Advisor to the USAID Administrator on Agricultural Research, Extension and Education. In this role, she oversees the implementation of the Feed the Future research strategy and leads related new programs to advance innovation in global food security efforts, working with both global and national partners.

    Dr. Howard previously served as Deputy Coordinator for Development for Feed the Future, where she led a core team in elevating interagency engagement in Feed the Future strategic planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation. Before joining USAID in 2011, Dr. Howard served as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Partnership to Cut Hunger and Poverty in Africa, an independent nonprofit coalition dedicated to increasing the level and effectiveness of U.S. assistance and private investment through research, dialogue and advocacy. She is also the co-author, with Emmy Simmons, of “Improving the Effectiveness of U.S. Assistance in Transforming the Food Security Outlook in Sub-Saharan Africa” in Jennifer Clapp and Marc Cohen, (eds.), The Global Food Crisis: Governance Challenges and Opportunities (2009).

    Dr. Howard served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic, and has written on agricultural technology development and transfer, the development of seed and fertilizer systems, and the role of farmer associations in agricultural development in Zambia, Mozambique, Ethiopia, and Somalia. She holds a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from Michigan State University, and master’s and undergraduate degrees from the University of California, Davis, and The George Washington University.

  • Gregory Jaffe, Director of Biotechnology, CSPI View Bio
    Gregory Jaffe, Director of Biotechnology, CSPIGregory Jaffe is the Director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for Science in the Public Interest (“CSPI”), a non-profit consumer organization located in the United States. Mr. Jaffe came to CSPI after a long and distinguished career in government service as a Trial Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environmental and Natural Resources Division and as Senior Counsel with the U.S. EPA, Air Enforcement Division. He is a recognized international expert on agricultural biotechnology and biosafety and has published numerous articles and reports on those topics. He was worked on biosafety regulatory issues in the United States and throughout the world, including the countries of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, Malawi, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Indonesia, and Nigeria. He was a member of the Secretary of Agriculture’s Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology and 21st Century Agriculture from 2003-2008 and was reappointed for a new term in 2011. He was also a member of FDA’s Veterinary Medicine Advisory Committee from 2004-2008. Gregory Jaffe earned his BA with High Honors from Wesleyan University in Biology and Government and then received a law degree from Harvard Law School.
  • Fred Kirschenmann, president of the board of directors, Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and distinguished fellow, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University View Bio
    Fred Kirschenmann, president of the board of directors,<br /><br /><br />
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and distinguished fellow,<br /><br /><br />
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University
    A longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, he shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also continues to manage his family’s 2,600-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota.He is a professor in the ISU Department of Religion and Philosophy and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago. He has held numerous appointments, including the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production operated by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and funded by Pew Charitable Trusts.In April 2010, the University Press of Kentucky published a book of Kirschenmann’s essays, Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher, that trace the evolution of his ecological and farming philosophy over the past 30 years.He converted his family’s farm in North Dakota to a certified organic operation in 1976. He developed a diverse crop rotation that has enabled him to farm productively without synthetic inputs (fertilizers or pesticides) while simultaneously improving the health of the soil.

    Kirschenmann’s farm has been featured in numerous publications including National GeographicBusiness WeekAudubon, the LA Times and Gourmet magazine. In 1995 it was profiled in an award-winning video, My Father’s Garden by Miranda Smith Productions, and is still widely used as a teaching tool. Kirschenmann also has been advisor for several documentaries including American Meat and Symphony of the Soil.

    Kirschenmann served as the Leopold Center’s second director from July 2000 to November 2005 and has been recognized widely for his work. He was one of the first 10 recipients of the James F. Beard Foundation Leadership awards in 2011 and will receive the 2012 Sustainable Agriculture Achievement Award from Practical Farmers of Iowa.

  • Cheryl Rogowski, New York organic farmer

Food Movement or fascist food freaks?


In the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, Mayor Bloomberg prevented organizations from donating food to homeless shelters because, according to WCBS’s  Marcia Kramer, “the city can’t assess their salt, fat and fiber content.”

When a super cyclone hit the Indian state of Orissa, liberal/left darling Vandana Shiva wrote a letter to OXFAM saying that she hoped, “your food aid will be GE-free.”

Anti-GMO activists like Michael Pollan want the supermarket shelves free of GM food, despite the lack of scientific evidence they cause harm. Pollan and others champion organic foods and they want to create a scenario where there is less choice, rather than more.

GM crops have the potential to help starving people in Third World countries, but I guess the well heeled and well-fed Pollan and others’ worldview view is more important than feeding people.   The idea that GM crops may help prevent starvation isn’t as important as their political worldview.

It’s not enough they have access to the food they desire and can afford it. They want to deny choices to others who may not have the same fetish about food that they do. And that’s what it is, a fetish. An affluent well-fed western elitist fetish.  And as much as they scream Monsanto!, Monsanto won’t be hurt by the banning of GM food. It will  be farmers.  Farmers are the ones who would be hurt by the labeling laws of banning of GMOs.

It was interesting to note that during the labeling campaign, their seemed to be a lack of  testimony from regular farmers who use GMOs.  We weren’t treated to any horror stories from them about how fascist Monsanto is. Where were all the non-organic, conventional farmers?  The farmers who were trotted out were organic ones; ones who stood to gain from the law.

And what about the backlash against those organic companies that opposed the law? Here’s a real conundrum. Advocates who praise the virtues of organic and want to have a purely organic food supply, hate Big Organic. Apparently organic food is good only if it remains this imaginary mom and pop hoeing a few rows fantasy.

And yet again, the reality disconnect that progressives accuse the right of rears it’s ugly head.  They want a return to a less technological time; a time when crops routinely failed and farming was more labor intensive.

Speaking of, and as a side note, what the hell is going on with these weirdos? Throughout history, great minds have labored to find new ways to make life easier and less back breaking. The new progressives have embraced a real regressive way of life.  They advocate a return to labor intensive farming and ancient, labor intensive ways of travel. Look at the bicycle fetish. Let’s all hop on our children’s toys and peddle furiously to get to work or wherever. God forbid we take public transportation which allows us time to relax and read a book or newspaper. Let’s huff and puff and show up at work all sweaty and tired. Sure, bicycling might get you there faster, but what kind of normal person wants to get to work faster. But I digress…

The so-called food movement is an elitist movement. It is a social authoritarian movement.  They want their worldview imposed on others. They don”t want choice. They want their world. They are the leftist Tea Party.

Anti-GMO crowd takes their “medicine show” national


From the ashes of the defeat of Prop 37, a new group has arisen, like an Organic Phoenix.  The group, calling itself the GMO Inside campaign is planning to take their show national.   The main players are Food Democracy Now!, Green America, Foodbabe, Nature’s Path and Nutiva and…wait for it… the ever popular Institute for Responsible Technology, run by our favorite dance teacher.

They plan to educate the public on the dangers of GMOs. Yup that’s right, the dangers.

Big Agriculture massively outspent us. While we lost the Prop 37 battle in California to label GMO foods, the fight continues! From coast to coast, we need to give everyone in the country the right to know what’s in their food and make them aware of the dangers of GMOs.

I thought it was just about labeling and a right to know? Go figure.

Their website is light on information save a sign-up form to receive updates.

Interestingly enough, just as one of the main Prop 37 websites, the information as to who owns the domain name is private. You can’t find out who owns the domain name. Right to know, indeed. Another curious aspect of the registration is that the domain was registered back in June of this year. It’s good to know the Prop supporters had a Plan B. I would be surprised if Mercola and Ronnie Cummins aren’t involved, lurking in the organic shadows.

Domain Name:GMOINSIDE.ORG
Created On:23-Jun-2012 17:55:41 UTC
Last Updated On:24-Oct-2012 18:57:19 UTC
Expiration Date:23-Jun-2013 17:55:41 UTC
Registrant Name:Registration Private
Registrant Organization:Domains By Proxy, LLC
Registrant Street1:DomainsByProxy.com

Prop. 37 aftermath: Sour organic grapes


Anti-GMO activists in California and elsewhere are wringing their hands after the defeat of their pet ballot initiative requiring labeling of GMO foods. The result as I write this is 53.1%-46.9%.

How are supporters taking this defeat? If internet comment boards are any indication, not too well.  The anti-GMO crowd is sounding like the Republicans after Obama’s win, blaming everyone but themselves. Without boring you with the gory details, many commenters are saying that people are stupid and idiots because they didn’t approve the measure. They are easily swayed by slick campaigns.  I guess they hadn’t noticed that Obama won in California. So did the anti-human trafficking measure.

Oh, and there are also some that are claiming vote fraud. Again, sound republican to anyone?

Michelle Simon over on HuffPost has her reasons, among them are:

Deploying unfounded scare tactics: This is rich.  Almost everything in that law was either a lie or a misreprsentation. As I wrote earlier, right out of the box they lied. Manipulating genes and inserting them into organisms is an imprecise process.

Lying in the California voter guide: Yes. They did. But again, see above. She also notes that they said, “biotech foods are safe.” A fact is not a lie because you don’t believe it. Climate change deniers anyone?

The opposition played dirty. Yes, they did, but so did the pro-campaign. Supporters claim they knew the anti-side would play dirty. If so, why didn’t they have a plan in place to counter it?

Supporters need to sit back and think what they did wrong. Many opposing the measure pointed out that it was a badly written law.  Supporters claimed it was a classic case of big money influencing an election. But was it?

There is not doubt the corporations threw wheelbarrows full of cash at the initiative. That is going to have an effect. But is that the main reason? For the past year and a half or so, supporters had free rein to get their message out. There was little or no opposition.  Then, one month ago, the big guns started spending their war chest. In that month support for the bill plummeted from about a 3-1 margin in favor to neck and neck around election time.

Now think about that. It only took one month to lose a 3-1 lead. You just can’t chalk that up to money alone. It was the first time people got to hear from the opposition, and hear from them they did. Ads blanketed the airwaves. Still, the bottom line was that it only took one month to undo a year and half’s worth of campaigning.  That should give any supporter pause.  In Connecticut, Republican Senate candidate, Linda McMahon spent millions more than her opponent and still lost, so throwing tons of money into an election isn’t a guarantee  you will win.

Given the conflicting information thrown at voters from both sides. my own theory is that voters, not really knowing about GMOs, simply opted not to take the chance their food bills would rise.  I also think voters, despite hearing the advocate side, haven’t seen the hazardous health effects supporters kept crowing about.

Supporters need to realize the initiative was badly flawed and created by an industry that wanted to gain market share. Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Union and one of the biggest supporters of the law admitted as much as I wrote back in August,  “The burning question for us all then becomes how – and how quickly – can we move healthy, organic products from a 4.2% market niche, to the dominant force in American food and farming? The first step is to change our labeling laws.”

As much as Monsanto and others had a financial take in this law, the creators of the law had a financial stake as well, but they hid it inside a “right-to-know”  theme. Now, the anti-GMO circus is going to take their show on the road. Good luck with that.