March against Monsanto: NYC version


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First off, if you’re going to have a protest about how we’re all being poisoned, you need to have it led by healthy, well-fed, good-looking people.

Second, you need music and what better music to have than the Occupy Wall Street All-No-Star Band with special guest, Zuccotti Park Sax Guy.

Saturday’s March against Monsanto was everything I expected it to be. The one thing I didn’t expect was how the protest stayed on point. In almost every protest I’ve participated in since the 1970s, there were always groups pimping their own causes(s) which took away from the actual issue of the protest. This one didn’t.

One of the reasons may be this isn’t really an issue that resonates with the wider progressive movement. Or maybe it was just a problem of outreach.

I missed the rally, but I did arrive in time to catch the march to Washington Square where there would be a teach-in where people could discuss the issue in groups. What that meant was let’s stand around looking serious and nod our heads knowingly in agreement. Washington Square was a sea of signs plastered with all the bad science and misinformation and surprisingly, I had very few Woody Allen-Marshall McLuhan moments.

My first encounter was with a guy who had a button that read, Stop Monsanto. Ask me why. I did and he wouldn’t tell me. Seriously. I said, “You have a button that says ask me, so I am.” He sheepishly smiled and responded, “That’s just what the button says.” Then he scurried away.

My next little chat was with a woman manning(?) a table. She was actually very nice and claimed to be a nurse. She echoed the talking points about weed resistance, mono cropping etc. I explained that weed resistance was an age-old problem and farmers have always had to stay one step ahead of the weeds. It wasn’t just a gmo problem. That’s where I got my first dog head tilt.

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I asked her if gmos were so dangerous, why were they so popular among farmers? “Well, they want to make a profit, right? Next!

Meandering around and listening in on the discussion groups it dawned on me, every discussion was one talking point after the other. It was like listening to the gmo rerun channel.

I came across a how to detoxify from gmos discussion. It was more a pitch for Isogenics than a real discussion. But even though the audio in this short video is bad at times due to the wind, what I want you to see is the guy at the beginning.  He is rambling on about the new proposed strain of gmo wheat that will eat your liver and kill your kids. He makes another appearance later.

I saw a trio holding signs, one of with the usual gamut of the dangers of gmos. Where did she get her information? “Have you ever heard of the Institute for Responsibility Technology?  I’m not sure if I actually physically cringed, but I had to explain to her the history of Jeffrey Smith.  Second dog head tilt of the day or maybe it was blank stare.

They were thinking of taking their protest show on the road and join some others in Times Square. I warned them that might not be such a good idea because the cops don’t “take kindly to protesters going off the Rez.”  They could wind up in the jail for the holiday weekend.

One guy said, “I’ll ask that cop over there. Here hold this.”  And he handed me his sign. Not wanting to seem like a party pooper, I took it. The result was this damning photo taken at my request.

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Finally, I came across Vegan Guy.  He had a nice little crowd.  As I walked up I heard him saying, “Don’t take my word for it. Look it up yourself. Look at the ingredients in vaccines…” I immediately spoke up and asked if he was anti-vax.  He stopped mid-sentence and looked at me, eyes wide and smiled a toothy, Vegan grin,

“I”m not taking about vaccines right now but that is a conversation we can have privately.”

“But are you anti-vax?”

He ignored it and continued talking as I said, “Oh, so you are,” getting a slight giggle from the crowd.

That’s when I noticed Liver Guy standing next to me. I had to talk to this guy. He said he was pro-vaccine which I said was a good thing. I asked him why he called gmos contamination. He told me that just because it’s created in a lab doesn’t mean it’s not contamination.

The conversation turned to pesticides and I asked why Bt was okay when sprayed by organic farmers and not okay when one of the genes was engineered in the plant. I explained Bt was weak and degraded quickly in the environment due to rain and sunshine which necessitates more spraying… Well, you can listen to part of it here.

Now, this was that guy from the earlier video who was talking about the gmo liver, kid killing wheat and he tells me that I should have brought my sources with me? The last line of that audio cracked me up. I told him yes, and his last words to me were, “I’m moving over there,”  and then skedaddled. The audio at that point is weak. I really wanted to post that.

I  didn’t get a chance to ask him if he had his sources with him about the child-killing gmo wheat, but he was gone in a flash. I should have led with that.

So, what did we learn? We learned that although many people had signs about tumerous rats etc, very few them knew who Seralini is and weren’t familiar with his study. Around the same number didn’t know who Jeffrey Smith is.

Among those who did know, there were many head tilts when I mentioned Seralini and Smith were frauds who refuse to publicly debate scientists who want to challenge them.

Probably the biggest eye-opener was that for the first time, the real agenda was out in the wide open. It’s not just about labeling. The end goal is to eliminate gmos. There were no Just Label It signs. It was all about ridding the world of the poison of gmos and sending Monsanto packing. It’s about the misguided notion that if you bring down Monsanto, you eliminate the technology of gmos.

It’s about time the activists running the shows in various states come clean. They’ve been allowed to dance around the issue for too long. Labeling is a red herring. If they feel gmos are so dangerous, then why stop at labeling?

The final takeaway was that, given my non-confrontational conversations, save Liver Guy, I’ve come to believe the fanatical, fire-breathing,  anti-gmo crackpots on the interwebs are just that, crazy keyboard jockeys who have no relation to  their real world counterparts. And that’s the depressing thing. (Although, I have a sneaking suspicion Liver Guy is one of those people and he escaped from the basement. Earlier in our conversation he said he wasn’t there to debate, but to “impart information. Not to discuss or debate, but impart” )

I want the anti-gmo crowd to be this one-dimensional cartoon. It would make it much easier to dismiss them.  Instead, they’re nice, friendly, smart, well-meaning dumbasses. Just the kind of people I could hang around with and well, pretty much do.

Oh, I almost forgot Illuminati Guy. I had no clue what the hell he was talking about, except the fact we were the only ones who are hearing this information. I’m not quite sure what that information is, but I am one of the lucky few outside the Illuminati that knows it.

After SCOTUS victory, Monsanto calls it quits


Hours after their victory in the Supreme Court, seed and chemical giant Monsanto filed for bankruptcy citing the enormous cost of “buying everybody off.”

At a hastily called press conference, Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant told assembled reporters the company never really thought through their “buying everybody off, scheme .”

“I mean, do you know how many people are in the Nation Academy of Sciences? Something like 2,000. So, a few million to a scientific body here and a few million to every independent scientist in the world there, and it begins to add up.” That’s not even including  having to pay those thousands of keyboard jockeys who defend us on internet comment boards. 

The final straws were the members of the Supreme Court. “Those bastards didn’t come cheap,” Grant sighed.

Anti-gmo activists were left slack jawed. “We just lost our boogeyman,” one activist lamented. “It’s not fair.”

Asked what was next for the bankrupt Monsanto, Grant explained that it was too early to tell, but excitedly suggested they were thinking of getting into the organic farming business.  “Man, do you know what a cash cow that racket is? I was in Whole Foods the other day and they get like 4 bucks for a freakin’ tomato. Sweet. We’ve gotta get in on that action.”

Hours after the announcement, Organic Consumer’s Association honcho Ronnie Cummins and alt-health freak Mike Adams had to be talked down off a Maharishi University rooftop after Jeffrey Smith pleaded with them saying, “Cmon guys. We can still make stuff up about gmos.”

In a related story, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she planned to retire from the Court and buy the Bronx.

The crazy neighbors discover the internet


confused Back in the 1960s when I was a kid in a small town in Pennsylvania,  there were always a few people known as the  crazy neighbor.  They weren’t dangerous, but everyone in the town knew them. They showed up at town meetings and in local stores ranting about some imaginary threat or conspiracy.

People would listen politely, let them speak their piece and as they would wander off, those in the vicinity would rolls their eyes and shake their heads.

Usually they would wander home to write bizarre letters to the editor. Some had mimeograph machines in their basements where they would churn out their screeds to be mailed to hundreds of similar folk.

Today, the modern-day version of the crazy neighbor doesn’t visit local stores or churn out mimeographed tracts. They use the internet.  Their new milieu is the comment boards. Back in the day you wouldn’t engage them because trying to have any sane discussion was impossible and you knew it.

One of the new versions is the anti-GMO crazy neighbor and for some peculiar reason, we give them the time of day, much to the detriment of our own sanity. By engaging them, we give them legitimacy, at least in their own minds. They show up whenever any article is written that might even hint that GMOs might not be the scourge they believe. It’s all one big conspiracy by Monsanto, who, by the way apparently controls the federal government and all their agencies.

While there exists a controversy in this country as to whether psychiatrists too easily dole out anti-psychotic drugs, reading the comments of the anti-GMO crowd makes you wonder whether they are over-prescribing or just prescribing them to the wrong people.  I’ve read a lot of crazy talk on this issue, but a recent flood of comments on the CNN blog Eatocracy seems to have brought out the even crazier neighbors.

The Blog is an occasional one by an Indiana family farmer named  Brian Scott. In addition to his CNN contributions he maintains his own blog, The Farmer’s Life. In his most recent CNN column, My family farm isn’t under “corporate control,” he tries to dispel the misconceptions surrounding farmers’ dealings with the Devil Monsanto.

In the piece he quite nicely explains what it’s like being a farmer who uses Monsanto GM seeds and in the process dispels the myths of the draconian rules Monsanto supposedly inflicts on farmers. He writes,

We get a lot of our seed from big corporations like the so-called “evil” Monsanto, Pioneer and others, meaning I have first-hand experience raising a crop under such an agreement. In hopes of clarifying the matter and fostering honest dialogue, I posted a copy of an actual technology agreement I signed, so others may see how we are able to operate our farm in the manner Dad, Grandpa and I choose.

Brian posted the agreement so people could see exactly what is required of farmers and he doesn’t see it as oppressive.  You would think people reading his explanation would see that what they think they know simply might not be correct.  But you would be wrong.

What followed was some of the looniest stuff I’ve ever read on the issue. A few choice examples follow. Please note, all comments are [sic].

Amy: You have GOT to be kidding me. What a bunch of BS multi-national corporation, new world order, mind control propaganda. Does Monsanto et al think this country is THAT dumb. Ha! Let’s write a story and have a fake farmer tell his story… pro Monsanto. GMO’s are AWFUL. Stay far away!!!!!!!!

Amy: This so-called farmer doesn’t exist. This story is a bunch of bull. Monsanto wrote it, paid big bucks for CNN to put it on their website in hopes that stupid people will go along with it. Not me. I smell a rat.

farmmyass: as big ag’s business is killing the honey bees who we ALL depend on for life. 

Easy E: Agreed. The man is self-deluded, and lacks integrity becauses he’s succeeded in lying to himself for so long he cannot acknowledge reality. It’s a classic case of Stockholm Syndrome as applied to agronomy.

federalreserve: Luther never tried to get a poisonous toad to have sex with a tomato, which is exactly what Monsanto the criminal did.

U.N. Owen: E. Coli is in my body’s environment but to imply that location was not important is absurd. B.T is in the soil putting it where bees fly above the ground is what concerns me. Every time some one writes that B.T. Is in the environment I get a little suspect that maybe that reply is in some play book but it could only be some thing being regurgitated maybe both but not neither.

And this loon was very special:

DLG: Whom are you actually kidding? Lol.. You as a farmer are poisoning the world!!! I live I. A small farm town… And I must say this farm community is the crookedest town!!!, the government CONTROLS you!! The control the price… Stop trying to be the poster boy for Monsanto. You have either drank to much of their kook-aid or gone on one of their fancy trips…Folks on the coasT Wake up!!! Your tax dollars are paying farmers to kill you with chemicals!!!! You are just a statistic in the eyes of Monsanto. TOTAL RUBBISH!

DLG: As an FYI lots of commercial flour is “blended” and enriched there causing it I becoming contaminated with a GMO source I.e. soy flour. Hybridization interesting conversation. You start modifying plants in an matter omething is bound to happen.

Now here’s the thing. For a while now we have been hearing the mantra of Monsanto shill or some variation. There seems to be a new entry into the field, drinking the Kool Aid. This a new one but it seems to be popping up all over the comment boards recently. I guess Monsanto has run out of money to buy shills, so now the tack is farmers like Brian are delusional.

So, where do the crazy neighbors get their information? Some of it comes from their addled minds, much like the small town forbearers. Other ideas come from the activists who are the ideological descendants of those who were cranking those mimeograph machines in their basements.

Today those basement dwellers have a much more sophisticated technology which allows them reach a wider audience thanks to the internet. They have fancy websites which allow them to project an aura of credibility. But, the bottom line is these guys are nothing more than anti-GMO Orly Taitzes. They are names you have read here before, freaks and frauds like Mike Adams and Dr. Mercola who peddle nonsense.

So, the question is, why do we engage these people? It’s an exercise in frustration, enough to drive you to drink before 5pm. You can’t win or even make a dent. Do we have some form of intellectual masochism?

We can’t help ourselves, but I do have a suggestion that might ease the frustration. Go after the sources of their so-called information.  Don’t engage,  per se, but simply put the real facts and evidence out there. It won’t change the mind of the crazy neighbor, but we forget there are people who read the comment sections who aren’t loopy. They are people who may or may not have strong opinions on the issue who are open to actual facts. When they read your responses, they will  see that the person/article you are commenting on is wrong and it will give your information more credibility.

This may be pie-in-the-sky thinking, but it’s all we got.

2012: The year crazy and stupid went mainstream


I’ve always been of the mind that stupid should hurt, so 2012 was a hard one for the Contrarian. It was the year that crazy and stupid went mainstream, or at least when I first noticed it did. It was the year a manufactured issue, the safety of GMOs, came to the popular progressive imagination. Progressives embraced every crackpot and their theories.  And none of them felt any pain due to their stupidity.

Now, the fact they were being stupid had nothing to do with a lack of intelligence, although there were some people who seemed downright unhinged. These were people with whom I was in agreement with on most issues. It was very distressing.

After spending countless hours on this blog and comment boards trying to correct the errors, and set straight all the bogus information that was being peddled by the anti-GMO crowd, I discovered an alarming trend. The more I countered the nonsense with scientific peer-reviewed facts and evidence, the harder the anti-GMO crowd dug in their heels.  It was like confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance and identity politics joined forces to create a gigantic mental disturbance field.

I didn’t understand it, then I came across a book called,  Experiments With People: Revelations from Social Psychology, by psychologists Robert P. Abelson, Aiden Gregg,and Kurt P. Frey. It was a study on doomsday cults. There was this Eureka moment:

“..continuing to proselytize on behalf of a doomsday cult whose prophecies have been disconfirmed, although it makes little logical sense, makes plenty of psychological sense if people have already spent months proselytizing on the cult’s behalf. Persevering allows them to avoid the embarrassment of how wrong they were in the first place.”

That’s it. The anti-GMO crowd are like a doomsday cult.  Hyberole? Probably, but both cults have their similarities. Both are so heavily invested in their belief, they have no choice but to carry on in spite of evidence to the contrary. The  anti-GMO crowd does share a sort of doomsday mentality in the sense they believe GMOs will kill us all.

Another mental tool the anti-GMO crowd embraces is a version of Godwin’s Law or Reductio ad Hitlerum or Aargumentum ad Hitlerum (Reduce/argument to Hitler.) Just replace Hitler with Monsanto and there it is.  This is a common response. If you explain to someone why they are wrong using facts and evidence, you will eventually be accused of being a shill for Monsanto.

No one knows this better than Kevin Folta, a plant scientist at the University of Florida. In Six Degrees of Monsanto, a recent post at his blog, Illumination, he chronicles an online discussion he had with an anti-GMO person.

Rather than look for real evidence to support his point, he scoured the web for the words “Monsanto” and “Folta”.

They search for any connection, real or imagined; direct or tenuous to Monsanto because they don’t have the facts on their side.

And here comes the real bummer. Whereas progressives used to have a healthy mistrust of government and corporations, (for good reason) that mistrust has now become one ginormous conspiracy fueled by the insanity of people like Jeffrey Smith, Dr. Mercola, Mike Adams and Ronnie Cummins.

In order to bolster their belief system, they have bought into the crazy talk and lies promoted by these four horsemen of the Aquackalypse. These clowns have managed to tap into the corporate mistrust of progressives  and use it to advance their own crackpot agendas.

Now, I’m not a scientist.  I’m just a progressive who has managed, over the decades to overcome my confirmation biases and notice red flags.  I’ve becomes a real skeptic when someone is pushing an agenda, even when it comes from my side and people are screaming doom and gloom.  It’s one of the reasons I came late to the climate change party.  I’ll admit that.  But what I did was check out the actual science and my thinking changed. (Actually I did believe it, but I was wary of how much humans contributed to it.)

When the GMO issue hit my radar about a year and a half ago another one of those red flags went up. It was all doom and gloom.  So, I did what I did with climate change. I did some research. What I found was that every single piece of evidence citing safety and health issues regarding GMOs weren’t true or had been discredited.

What was worse is that it was actually difficult to find independent science.  I had to wade through all the activist sites which turned out to be a real echo chamber. The same information and the same articles kept popping up. Then I started seeing the same bylines and sources for the information. Off I went to find out who those guys were.  That’s when I found the crackpots, fraud and charlatans.

I became embarrassed as a progressive. These were my peeps.  At first it was easy to chalk it up to a bunch of cranks and then I noticed that friends were parroting this misinformation. People I knew weren’t dumb. That’s when I realized the nonsense had hit the progressive mainstream. And even more horrific is when I would explain why they were wrong on some science point… they said it… Monsanto. It was coming from inside the house!

That started a whole new conversation about separating the technology from the corporations that use it. Look, I’m an old, out shape smoker. My lungs don’t have the capacity they used to.

Side Note: I actually had one of my best friends accuse me of defending BigAgra simply because I didn’t believe community gardens could feed the world and that in many ways organic is a scam. She refused my challenge of bringing over a conventional apple and and organic one and she had to pick which was which by taste.

As a way to end this up, since I don’t have a closing, I think this is the year when the progressive/liberal/left went off the rails regarding science. They went with their identity politics and gave credibility to the cranks. They not only gave credibility to the cranks, they joined forces with them.

End note: I would like to thank the  people who  helped this non-scientist guy along his way.  The first are Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak who took time out of their vacation to answer my questions when I was writing my first posts on the issue. They didn’t know me from Adam. The second is Anastasia Bodnar who allowed to me to use her succinct description of how transgenics work even though she probably thinks I’m a weirdo.  ( I am) Another is Monsanto shill, Kevin Folta. He has given me some positive reinforcement to make me think I’m not that way off base. And I want to thank the agricultural folks who I asked for assistance to understand things and who were more than happy to answer my questions.

Happy New Year.

Church of the Organic demand Dr. Oz’s head on a pike as an example to the others


An angry, manure smelling mob from the Church of the Organic, citronella torches ablaze and artisanal pitchforks held aloft, stormed the production studios of TV’s Dr Oz after it was revealed he wrote an article in the current issue of  Time Magazine saying  conventional foods, like frozen peas and carrots, were A-OK by him.

Frightened production employees cowered under desks as the horde rampaged through the studios in search of Oz. Witnesses said the throng overturned desks and chairs demanding the surrender of the heretical Oz.  Oz wasn’t on the premises and was said to be in hiding in a secure safe house provided by Birdseye.

Update:

I don’t have a subscription to Time, so I wasn’t able to access the actual article on their site, but I did manage did get what I think is his article from another site. In it he utters the heretical notion that foodies are “snobs”  and “you don’t need to eat like the 1% to eat healthily.” He says that regular food is as healthy as organic.  But his most egregious crime was basically saying,  organic food isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Organic church member and writer for Nation of Change and Natural Society, Anthony Gucciardi  takes the Oz to task.  He and others somehow manage to come to the conclusion that due to his advocacy of conventional food, that makes him a shill for GMO food even though Oz never once mentions GMOs in his article.  He also quotes the anti-vax and all around health lunatic, Mike “GMOs are the new Zyklon B” Adams as a source.

(Side note: I have my problems with Gucciardi which I will deal with in an upcoming post. I have never seen any so-called journalist write such consistently misleading and dishonest articles.)

The faithful weighed in on the comment board and savaged him, their former Pope of Nonsense.  Here are some examples of what they’re saying :

Sounds too much like he has downed the Kool-Aid and is now puking it back at his credulous audience. Does he have no reservations about GMO at ALL?

Dr. Oz needs to go hide behind the curtain. He’s drinking the kool-aid of Monsanto and their ilk…

He completely lost his credibility. I wonder how much Monsanto paid him for that? He is supposed to check the research before making blind claims like that. What a hypocrite! He sold his soul.

He has sold out. They probably threatened to take him off of the air.

Well, let me be the first one to welcome Dr. Oz to our family of Monsanto shills.

Support for California GMO labeling law in free fall


Recently, the big guys opposing Prop. 37  started pouring their millions into television ads in an effort to sway public opinion and defeat the measure.  Up until the ads started running, all polls led to an overwhelming win for the labeling law. Now the gap has tightened up. The latest polls say that support has declined in the last two weeks, from 66.9 %  to 48.3%.  Opposition has gone from 22.3% to 40.2%.

Since the campaign for labeling began over a year ago, the proponents were out there spreading their message pretty much without any major opposition from the corporate side.  They overwhelmingly had the public on their side. Just a few months ago the polls said this referendum would skate to victory. Then the money by the opposition started being spent.

It was a brilliant tactical move.  They waited until crunch time to shoot their wad and it has had an effect.  This is a classic example of tactical politics. While the “grassroots” liberal/left with their worldview were getting all the press, they failed to assess why they weren’t facing strong opposition. They were lulled into a false sense of security by the poll numbers.

How has the support campaign reacted to this nosedive in support? Have they countered with their own “facts?” Nope, they’ve attacked the messenger rather than the message. No side spokespeople are called out for any real, imagined or tenuous connection to industry.  Very rarely has the Yes side taken issue with the substance of what is being said.

The latest bogeyman in the fight is Henry Miller of the rightist Hoover Institution at Stanford University.  He is featured in one their ads. The No side tried to slip one by people by making it seem that Miller was a faculty member of Stanford and used university buildings as a backdrop. Supporters complained and Stanford listened issuing a statement that took issue with the hustle. The ad has since been revamped.

Not satisfied with the retraction and revamped ad, the Yes campaign has filed a complaint with the Feds claiming fraudulent advertising activities.  They are also upset at the fact that Miller is, according to the L.A. Times,  listed in the “state’s official voter guide…as a senior official with the FDA when in fact he does not work at FDA… The anti-proposition ballot argument signed by Miller, a medical doctor, identifies himself as “founding director of the Office of Biotechnology Food & Drug Administration.”

Well, it is true that he is not a senior official with the FDA, but he did in fact, work for the FDA for 15 years and he was the founder of the Office of Biotechnology Food & Drug Administration. I haven’t seen a hard copy of the Voter’s guide but the online version says that Miller is the Founding Director, Office of Biotechnology of the Food & Drug  Administration.  I don’t know if that has been changed since the complaints

Undoubtedly, the massive spending frenzy by the corporate side has had an effect,  but how much of an effect? For over a  year the Yes campaign had unfettered access to the public.  It seems the  minute the No campaign weighed in, that support ebbed. You can say it’s due to the cash influx, but perhaps it goes deeper than that.

As I wrote above, the Yes campaign seems to be concentrating on who the opposition is rather than what they are saying.  They expect the public to react with the same mindset as them. That’s a huge mistake. They spend too much time screaming dirty pool rather than responding substantively. Campaign manager Gary Ruskin told the L.A. Times the opposition was “running a campaign of lies, deceit and trickery.”

That one got me. If you look at the text of the law itself as I did in a  July post, California GMO labeling law: Bad science, crackpots and hucksters  you will see that it’s a mess of inaccuracy.

I don’t know how representative comment sections of media websites are of the supporter mindset, but you see this shoot the messenger mindset all over the place. If a media website publishes an article that dares take issue and contradict any of the claims of the Yes side, you will see tons of comments suggesting or accusing them of being on Monsanto’s payroll.  It is also true of commenters who dare contradict the posts of supporters. I can attest to that and so can anyone who has waded into those pits. We’re accused of being “Monsanto shills” and apparently we too are on the payroll.  You rarely get a cogent, reasoned response.

The initiative may still win despite the free fall and if it does win, then the real fun will begin. The law will be challenged in court and then in the end, lawyers will get rich.  Oh, and if the courts do throw out the law, you can except the response from the anti-GMO side to be, “The judges were bought off by Monsanto.”

Everybody Panic! Eating GM wheat will destroy your liver!


On comment boards across the vast interwebs, people swear they suffered from all kinds of physical ills until they gave up eating GMO foods, more often than not, it’s genetically modified wheat. There’s only one problem, there is no genetically modified wheat on the market.

Therein lies another problem with the anti-GMO crowd. They ascribe all kinds of disease and physical ills with the introduction of GMO foods.  It’s what is called a logical fallacy.

Activists rely on correlation=causation; the idea that because two things happen at roughly the same time there is a cause-and-effect relationship.

The activists claim since the introduction of GMO food, there has been a rise in asthma, allergies and all kinds of scary diseases. So, using their logic we can conclude that organic food may be causing these things. After all, the rise of the organic food movement pretty much parallels the rise of asthma, allergies etc.

It’s simplistic, non-critical thinking. It’s a cognitive bias that results in confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias is a “tendency to search for or interpret information in a way that confirms one’s preconceptions” and to dismiss any information that contradicts that preconception. We see this all over the place in regards to GMOS. The comment sections are rife with it.

Any information that doesn’t paint GMOs in a negative light is suspect, worse if it attempts to correct misconceptions about GMOs. Commenters will refuse to entertain the idea that they may be wrong. They will never accept contrary evidence. They respond with claims of bias and the ever popular meme, “How much is Monsanto paying you?” The confirmation bias on this issue is so deep it’s almost pathological. It’s like arguing with a creationist.

This is one of the reasons I have a problem with modern-day progressives. Somewhere along the line, the anti-technology, anti-progress mentality of the hippie got cross-pollinated with the progressive mentality of the political left and created a progressive imbecile hybrid. And I should note this happened conventionally and not through genetic engineering.

The problem is, for the most part, this hybrid isn’t stupid. They may be imbeciles, but they’re not stupid. In fact, I would venture to guess that most of them are well-educated.

What’s even more depressing is they’ve wittingly, or unwittingly aligned themselves with fringe nut jobs like conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and fellow traveler, alternative health freak Mike Adams.  Both of these crazies are on the anti-GMO bandwagon. Both think the Aurora shootings were a black psyop by Obama.

They believe wackos and dismiss actual experts on the issue since they have convinced themselves that worldwide, every biotech scientist, scientific organization and writer who doesn’t blast GMOs has been bought off. I knew Monsanto was rich, but to have the wherewithal to buy off thousands of scientists, their organizations, government agencies and journalists is quite a feat.

Yet, they don’t stop and think how absurd that is when they say it.

Progressives need to be even more skeptical of activists on their side than they do of corporations. It’s a given that corporations are weasly and only in it for the money.

Yes, Monsanto is bad, but you have to separate the tech from the corporation that uses it. Again, here’s bad logical thinking. Monsanto is bad. Monsanto uses biotech. Therefore, biotech is bad. I now that’s a logical fallacy but I can’t think of what it’s called at the moment. Any reader know?

Before jumping on a bandwagon, progressives should stop and think, “Who’s pushing this agenda? Why are they pushing this agenda? Most importantly, don’t accept anything simply because it fits your worldview. Ask, is it true? It’s okay to be wrong. It happens.