Home > Uncategorized > Northern Humboldt Label GMOs Campaign begins signature gathering February 25th

Northern Humboldt Label GMOs Campaign begins signature gathering February 25th

[From Kate Thurston]

This month, the California 2012 Campaign to Label Genetically Modified Organisms is officially swinging into action. A fleet of devoted volunteers will begin gathering the 800,000 signatures needed to get the initiative on the 2012 ballot soon after Valentine’s Day. You can join us!

To get involved

If you live in the Northern Humboldt area, come to CCAT on the HSU Campus in Arcata @ 5pm on Saturday the 25th of February. We invite all community members to join us in receiving petitions ready for gathering signatures. Meet other volunteers, receive signature gathering instructions and watch a short film about the importance of labeling GMO foods.

No matter where you are in California, if you are inspired to help make labeling GMOs a reality, please visit us online at labelgmos.org. This is a central place where you can contact your local group and get trained to gather signatures.

Why should you care about labeling GMOs?

GMO foods are the result of an entirely new technology that forces genes from one species into a plant or animal from another species. A more recent version of Genetic Engineering involves insertion of genes from the same species into host cells.

Though biotechnology companies tout their products as the answer to everything from malnutrition to global warming to famine, the reality is that the products they rush onto the market are an answer to none of these things. Primarily, they are engineered to withstand heavy doses of pesticides and herbicides manufactured by these same companies and sold as a bundled product: buy the seed, buy the herbicide. Repeat next year. No seed saving allowed.

Polls consistently show that more than 90 percent of the public wants labels on genetically engineered foods. Government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of DNA into host plants can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods, introduce new toxicants or new allergens, and even reduce the nutritional value of foods. The level of uncertainty surrounding the safety of genetically engineered foods has led the American Academy of Environmental Medicine to recommend that physicians prescribe a GMO-free diet to all their patients.

Foods grown from genetically modified seeds have been observed to cause toxic and allergic reactions in animals consuming them. Longer term feeding studies found infertility, stunted growth, and high infant mortality in lab animals. In a short term human feeding study, the GM protein in Roundup Ready Soy was found to insert itself into the DNA of the gut flora and remain there indefinitely. Digestion only goes smoothly when the proper bacterial balance is present in the gut. What are the long-term consequences of changing the DNA of our intestinal flora?

What use is labeling?

90% of consumers say they wouldn’t eat GMO food if given the choice. Currently, the only way to avoid GMOs is to buy exclusively organic products. Labeling would change this.

In the 150 countries around the world where labeling is required – including the European Union, Japan and China – GMO products are in less than 5% of the food in grocery stores. In the US, a conservative estimate is that GMOs contaminate 80% or more of the food eaten every day.

It is important to understand that only mandatory labeling will allow consumers to vote with our wallets. Consumer choice is the most powerful force in a capitalist system, if harnessed and focused towards a desired outcome. In Europe and other countries where GMOs are regulated, this consumer choice has dictated that less than 5% of the food for sale is GMO. We can do this here! Join us to make labeling GMOs a reality here in California!

  1. February 15, 2012 at 9:11 am

    Okay, now let’s hear the why ignorance is better for consumers.

  2. Anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 9:23 am

    ignorance is bliss?

  3. Emerald Hexagon
    February 15, 2012 at 9:41 am

    it will be cost prohibitive to label GMOs. it will push up the cost of basic foods and burden will be felt most by the underpriviliged…think of the children

  4. Percy
    February 15, 2012 at 9:50 am

    This comes under needless government regulations burdening corporations. People make choices when information is available. Best to keep them in the dark and maximize profits. Once it passes, claim it is a voluntary disclosure. If there is a problem down the road settle suits but deny any responsibility as part of the settlement. Next step use corporate freedom of speech to elect republicans and get rid of regulations. Problem solved.

  5. Anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 9:54 am

    soylent green is people!

  6. Plain Jane
    February 15, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Didn’t we have this discussion long ago and decide that people have a right to know what they’re eating? Is the knowing that every cell in your potato is infused with pesticide less important than that candy bar you shouldn’t be eating contains corn syrup? GMO stickers on products which are or contain GMO foods shouldn’t be that difficult or expensive – although it might cut into their profits if people do care about such things.

  7. High Finance
    February 15, 2012 at 10:17 am

    PC paranoia

  8. tra
    February 15, 2012 at 10:53 am

    “It will be cost prohibitive to label GMOs”

    Yeah, the cost of the additional ink to print the words “this product contains Genetically Modified Organisms” would be, what, .0000000001 cents per package?

  9. Anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 11:08 am

    This HAS to be George Bush`s fault !

  10. skippy
    February 15, 2012 at 11:52 am

    The GMO advocates, their lobbyists, and food manufacturers will fight tooth and nail against California’s labeling efforts. The industry knows that if foods are labeled “genetically engineered,” the public will shy away and won’t take them. The industry’s not stupid.

    Developments on the GMO horizon for interested readers are in the Sentinel article, ‘A Bumper Year for Genetically Modified Crops’.

    After looking at the information from both sides in writing the article, I’d gladly sign the petition to know what’s in the food we eat and giving consumers the option to either buy or pass.

  11. February 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    genetic modification is not a new technology.
    Has been around for a very long time.

    The controllers that control everything and always have, have been modifying our food for much longer than people think.

    Semi-awake liberals need to fully awaken – elite bloodline dynasties control the world through their corporations, banks, and tax free foundations.

    This is no longer ‘conspiracy theory’, this is mainstream knowledge. It is only the uninformed and the ignorant that don’t understand this.

    Wake up and figure out what has happened to us and our parents, and their parents. We have been controlled since the start of the last century.

    That is the simple truth of the world. Understand this, then look deeper- Monsanto is more evil than you may comprehend.

    People, understand that the groups that control Big Pharma are the same that control the military industrial complex. They are all the same that controls the corporate agenda media.

    If more Americans don’t figure out what is going on, the revolution against all this will be quelled and or postponed until the NEXT presidential election in 2016.

    I’m not asking you to believe any conspiracy theories about aliens.

    I am asking you to realize that the banking cartel and the families that run it have controlled us for a long time, and now is the time to fight back.

    Look at Europe and specifically Greece. Police unions in Greece are now arresting EU and IMF officials.

    This is the first and final revolution against the control system. Join, or face the consequences when their planned war starts.

    If you want to continue your life and not believe any of this truth, please live your life to the fullest. Life is short.

    Jah bless all of humanity!

  12. anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    So what do they have to gain that they need to put such controls in place?

  13. Just Watchin
    February 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Mr. Haynie (insert Green Acres reference here)
    Living in California, you’ll get a close up look at Greece sooner than you think. Then you can start the revolution!

  14. anonymous
    February 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Please explain. Is California in that bad of shape?

  15. Dave Kirby
    February 15, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    I don’t have a problem with labeling changes to identify GMOs. But does the fact that Bill Gates recently bought a half million shares of Monsanto with the belief that GMOs will save many lives in the third world make him “evil”?

  16. Ellin Beltz
    February 15, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    There’s nothing wrong with labeling GMO food, any more than there’s something wrong with putting food labels on food so people with allergies can watch out for peanuts, high fructose corn syrup, gluten or whatever else their body can’t handle.

    Companies for some reason fight very hard against common-sense labeling issues, such as ingredients. For chemicals it would be more helpful to have complete labeling for those horrible times when someone has a reaction, but so far, most chemicals are not required to be labeled.

    Food should always be labeled what is in it, unless it’s like bake-sales and stuff where you can just ask the person who made it.

    February 15, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Monsanto needs thugs to infiltrate grassroot efforts promoting education. Guess that’s why they bought Blackwater.

  18. February 15, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    “PC paranoia”? Are there ethnic slurs in your food, HiFi?
    And I suppose that David Hayne’s condescending, preachy horse shit was inevitable in thread about corporate-produced food.

  19. Cropduster
    February 15, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    Advances in food production. Advances in health care. Advances in sanitation. What’s next? Higher birth rates and higher life expectancy? Damn it all.

  20. February 15, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Once again Skippy steps up with common sense and clarity.

  21. Labtech
    February 15, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    You do know that corn is a genetically modified crop as is cassava, bananas, cowpeas, golden rice and cotton– to name just a few.

    Which ten million people were you planning on starving to death first?

  22. February 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    I haven’t tried cotton yet, Labtech, but you shouldn’t assume that everyone else ives on your banana/corn/cowpea/rice casserole.

  23. February 15, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Don’t ever buy another strawberry from any market. They are all genetically modified if they are in the market! And then go through the a whole list of organic eatables. Labtech is correct.

  24. Matt
    February 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    “You do know that corn is a genetically modified crop as is cassava, bananas, cowpeas, golden rice and cotton– to name just a few.

    Which ten million people were you planning on starving to death first?”

    Why would someone starve to death if the GMO product was labelled?

  25. Labtech
    February 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Joel M. only asks that you give up cotton clothing, corn, strawberries, golden rice, apples, wheat, sorgum, bananas, farmed fish and domesticated meat products.

    And save Richardson Grove.

  26. tra
    February 15, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    GMOs have only been around for a couple of decades, and only in widespread use for the past 10 years or so. Yet somehow we managed to raise crops for thousands of years without this technology.

    I haven’t noticed that a whole lot of Europeans and Japanese folks are starving all of the sudden, despite bans and labeling laws on GMOs.

    Amazing how quickly people have been brainwashed into thinking that this technology is vital to our survival. Pure nonsense.

  27. Labtech
    February 15, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    All of the foods I listed above have been genetically modified for at least three thousand years.

  28. tra
    February 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Well for thousands of years those crops have been “modified” through normal selective breeding practices, whereas now we have “genetic engineering” where genes from one species are blasted into the DNA of another species. Not even remotely the same thing, as even the lowliest lab tech surely knows.

  29. JJ
    February 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I’m curious who this labeling would be for. I believe that like most of the people here, I aware of most of the GMO products that I buy. I know which foods to stay away from, where the high fructose corn syrup, and GMO soy will be. I think its very, very hard to avoid ALL GMO and non-organic food, but very easy to eat MOSTLY GMO free and organic foods. And I get the sense from most of the comments here that most of us eat organic foods and avoid GMO to various extents based on our personal preferences and financial abilities. So, if we already know how to shop, who are the labels for? Is this to educate the ignorant masses? Are there better ways to get the word out? Will the labeling alone begin to change peoples purchasing choices?

  30. skippy
    February 16, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Perhaps this is a good reason why GMOs– genetically modified food– should be labeled so we know what is, and what isn’t.

    It’s my understanding GMOs have been around for the past 16 years, since 1995-6. There are about 25 crops that have been bioengineered, approved for commercial purposes, and grown on a larger scale. Bananas and cassavas and cowpeas aren’t there– yet. That’s likely to change. They’re working on a GMO banana in Uganda, results for cassavas in Nigeria look very promising, and GM cowpeas in Africa are gaining major ground in resisting pest borers that decimated the bean plants. These developments are exciting as solutions in response to Africa’s crop failures of these plants.

    Corn, soybeans, sugar beets, canola oil (from rapeseed) and to some degree, cotton, are still the biggies, though. Far more stuff has been tinkered with– but hasn’t gone anywhere for now. Future GMO crops likely to be commercialized on a wide scale basis by 2015 include rice, eggplant, potatoes, and wheat. They would love to develop a non-browning apple, too, but results have been mixed.

    Many foods have been ‘improved’ through selective breeding and cloning, however. The former has gone on for thousands of years. This shouldn’t be confused with GMOs that have had their DNA artificially altered with genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria in a laboratory.

    The easy and authoritative commercial GMO list is here, on the left bar. If you search around a bit elsewhere on the web you’ll find out more about cowpeas, cassavas, and bananas, as I did, which was fascinating. Thanks, Labtech (and Larry M.)

  31. G Gilbert Yule
    February 16, 2012 at 7:12 am

    I’ve no problem with labeling GMO foods for what they are. I like to make important decisions (like what I choose to eat) based on science and as much information as is practical. I would also like to be able to act on these choices I make. At this point I’m not in favor of banning GMO food products.

    I am also suspicious of unnamed studies that claim, “90 percent of the public wants labels on genetically engineered foods” and “90% of consumers say they wouldn’t eat GMO food if given the choice.” This “90%” figure is pretty outrageous and if true one could pretty safely say the “everyone” (except HiFi) wants to eliminate GMO foods. For me to believe that I’m going to need to know who did the studies, what were the institutions who made the studies and who were all these like-minded peoples the studies included.

  32. February 16, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Eric Schlossers’ petition-
    The FDA is on the brink of approving genetically engineered salmon for human consumption. This would be the first genetically engineered animal on supermarket shelves in the United States.

    Commissioner Hamburg, we urge the FDA to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. We have a right to know about the food we eat and what we feed our families, but under current FDA regulations, we don’t have that ability when it comes to genetically engineered foods.

    Polls show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling. Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare. Please listen to the American public and mandate labeling of genetically engineered foods.

  33. February 16, 2012 at 8:50 am

    I hope that the ignoramus Labtech doesn’t work in any lab that I’ll ever need.

  34. labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

    It’s difficult to imagine why Joel Mielke would ever “need” a lab when he can’t mange to understand elementary science.

  35. tra
    February 16, 2012 at 10:37 am

    Would that be the kind of “elementary science” that conflates, on the one hand, thousands of years of gradual selective breeding with, on the other hand, recently-developed genetic engineering techniques where genes from one species are spliced into the DNA of an entirely different species, creating an abrupt and radical change in the resulting strain?

  36. February 16, 2012 at 10:38 am

    “All of the foods I listed above have been genetically modified for at least three thousand years.”
    Labtech is either lying, or he’s an idiot, or both.

  37. anonywave
    February 16, 2012 at 11:01 am

    The fact that our food can be labeled to begin with enforces the notion that we humans, as an advanced society, depend on science and technology to survive. Oh, and blogs.

  38. tra
    February 16, 2012 at 11:47 am


    Labtech is either ignorant of the difference between (1) traditional heirloom strains that are the product of normal selective breeding practices that gradually “modify” the genetics of an organism over many, many generations, and hybrid crosses between these naturally bred organisms of the same species, and (2) today’s “GMO’s” that are the result of genetic engineering that involves blasting genes from one organism into another organism to produce a radical, immediate change — or else Labtech is cynically using the potential ambivalence of meaning in the phrase “genetically modified” in an attempt confuse low-information readers into thinking that today’s “Genetically Modified Organisms” (“GMOs”) are no different than normal heirloom strains and hybrids. I’m betting on the latter.

  39. February 16, 2012 at 11:54 am

    As I said, Labtech is either lying, or he’s an idiot, or both.
    I’m leaning toward the latter.

  40. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    Considering Labtech’s inability to imagine why someone lacking elementary science proficiency would need a lab, I would have to agree with Joel’s guess that it is both a liar and an idiot. Why someone lacking understanding of the difference between genetically modified food and selective breeding would weigh in on this subject remains a mystery.

  41. Labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I’m afraid the prize for stupidity and paranoia must go to Mr. Miele and his Luddite supporters here. In fact, all of the world’s wheat has been genetically modified in this generation. As a result, roughly one billion people who would have starved are now alive and well. GM wheat is far more resistant to insects so the crops survive on significantly less pesticide.

    As I said, it’s a non-issue, like “saving” Richardson Grove.

  42. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Source and link to that preposterous claim, Labtech?

  43. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    From a pro GMO site dated 2/12/2012

    “Right now, no genetically modified wheat is being grown anywhere in the world. Plans to introduce GM wheat in North America were abandoned in 2004. Nevertheless, scientists are still exploring ways of improving wheat using genetic engineering.

    In 2002, Monsanto, the world’s leading agro-biotech enterprise, submitted an application to the United States and Canada for the approval of an herbicide resistant, genetically modified wheat cultivar. Two years later, Monsanto withdrew its application.”


    So obviously the 1 billion people who didn’t starve don’t owe their lives to GM wheat.

  44. Lightnin
    February 16, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    ‘Superweed’ explosion threatens Monsanto heartlands

    “Superweeds” are plaguing high-tech Monsanto crops in southern US states, driving farmers to use more herbicides, return to conventional crops or even abandon their farms.

    By CLEA CAULCUTT (text)
    SUNDAY 19 APRIL 2009

    The gospel of high-tech genetically modified (GM) crops is not sounding quite so
    sweet in the land of the converted. A new pest, the evil pigweed, is hitting
    headlines and chomping its way across Sun Belt states, threatening to transform
    cotton and soybean plots into weed battlefields.

    In late 2004, “superweeds” that resisted Monsanto’s iconic “Roundup” herbicide,
    popped up in GM crops in the county of Macon, Georgia. Monsanto, the US
    multinational biotech corporation, is the world’s leading producer of Roundup, as
    well as genetically engineered seeds. Company figures show that nine out of 10
    US farmers produce Roundup Ready seeds for their soybean crops.
    Superweeds have since alarmingly appeared in other parts of Georgia, as well
    as South Carolina, North Carolina, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky and
    Missouri, according to media reports. Roundup contains the active ingredient
    glyphosate, which is the most used herbicide in the USA.

    How has this happened? Farmers over-relied on Monsanto’s revolutionary and controversial combination of a single “round up” herbicide and a high-tech seed with a built-in resistance to
    glyphosate, scientists say. Today, 100,000 acres in Georgia are severely infested with pigweed and 29 counties have now confirmed resistance to
    glyphosate, according to weed specialist Stanley Culpepper from the University of Georgia.

    “Farmers are taking this threat very seriously. It took us two years to make them
    understand how serious it was. But once they understood, they started taking a
    very aggressive approach to the weed,” Culpepper told FRANCE 24.

    “Just to illustrate how aggressive we are, last year we hand-weeded 45% of our
    severely infested fields,” said Culpepper, adding that the fight involved
    “spending a lot of money.”

    In 2007, 10,000 acres of land were abandoned in Macon country, the epicentre
    of the superweed explosion, North Carolina State University’s Alan York told
    local media.

  45. Lightnin
    February 16, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    Had Monsanto wanted to design a deadlier weed, they probably could not have
    done better. Resistant pigweed is the most feared superweed, alongside
    horseweed, ragweed and waterhemp.
    “Palmer pigweed is the one pest you don’t want, it is so dominating,” says
    Culpepper. Pigweed can produce 10,000 seeds at a time, is drought-resistant,
    and has very diverse genetics. It can grow to three metres high and easily
    smother young cotton plants.
    Today, farmers are struggling to find an effective herbicide they can safely use
    over cotton plants.
    Controversial solutions
    In an interview with FRANCE 24, Monsanto’s technical development manager,
    Rick Cole, said he believed superweeds were manageable. “The problem of
    weeds that have developed a resistance to Roundup crops is real and
    [Monsanto] doesn’t deny that, however the problem is manageable,” he said.
    Cole encourages farmers to alternate crops and use different makes of
    Indeed, according to Monsanto press releases, company sales representatives
    are encouraging farmers to mix glyphosate and older herbicides such as 2,4-D,
    a herbicide which was banned in Sweden, Denmark and Norway over its links to
    cancer, reproductive harm and mental impairment. 2,4-D is also well-known for
    being a component of Agent Orange, a toxic herbicide which was used in
    chemical warfare in Vietnam in the 1960s.

    Questioned on the environmental impact and toxicity of such mixtures,
    Monsanto’s public affairs director, Janice Person, said that “they didn’t
    recommend any mixtures that were not approved by the EPA,” she said,
    referring to the US federal Environmental Protection Agency.
    According to the UK-based Soil Association, which campaigns for and certifies
    organic food, Monsanto was well aware of the risk of superweeds as early as
    2001 and took out a patent on mixtures of glyphosate and herbicide targeting
    glyphosate-resistant weeds.
    “The patent will enable the company to profit from a problem that its products
    had created in the first place,” says a 2002 Soil Association report.
    Returning to conventional crops
    In the face of the weed explosion in cotton and soybean crops, some farmers
    are even considering moving back to non-GM seeds. “It’s good for us to go
    back, people have overdone the Roundup seeds,” Alan Rowland, a soybean
    seed producer based in Dudley, Missouri, told FRANCE 24. He used to sell 80%
    Monsanto “Roundup Ready” soybeans and now has gone back to traditional
    crops, in a market overwhelmingly dominated by Monsanto.

  46. monsanto
    February 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    don’t try to understand ’em
    just rope ’em throw ’em brand ’em

  47. Gregor Mendel
    February 16, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    I got it!!! We can genetically modify the pigweed so that its more tasty to consumers. Problem solved!!!

  48. Thorstein Veblen
    February 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    One reason why Monsanto might not want GMO labels;

    You go to the store to get some pinto beans. One bag of pinto beans says ‘these beans have been genetically modified’, while another bag says ‘not genetically modified’. Assuming that price is similar between the two, which bag do you choose?

  49. tra
    February 16, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    It’s not like nobody saw that coming.

    It’s just that the profits from the sales of Round-Up and Round-Up-Ready seeds were immense, immediate, and concentrated in Monsanto’s hands, whereas the (more or less predictable) negative consequences, while potentially devastating to farmers and the environment, were somewhere out in the future, and even then, the costs of dealing with these consequences are not Monsanto’s problem.

    The thing about the future, is that it keeps showing up at our door every morning. Well, time to wake up and smell the SuperPigweed.

  50. Plain Jane
  51. Lightnin
    February 16, 2012 at 3:19 pm

    “super weed can’t be killed”, destroys harvest combines.


  52. labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    The shrill, paranoid Luddites are trying to control the conversation.

    The responsible genetic modification of plants is neither new nor dangerous. Many characteristics, such as pest and disease resistance, have been routinely introduced into crop plants like wheat by traditional methods of sexual reproduction or cell culture procedures. Consequently, modern wheat is no longer able to exist in the wild because it cannot disperse its seed. Billions of humans depend on it. We can’t afford to let it turn into bug food.

  53. Matt
    February 16, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    “In fact, all of the world’s wheat has been genetically modified in this generation. As a result, roughly one billion people who would have starved are now alive and well. GM wheat is far more resistant to insects so the crops survive on significantly less pesticide.”

    Then there shouldn’t be any resistance to labeling it. What great marketing for their GMO technology.

    We’re talking *labeling* not *banning*.

  54. tra
    February 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

    Silly Labtech,

    Nobody’s trying to label OR ban food crops that have been bred for “pest and disease resistance….introduced into crop plants like wheat by traditional methods of sexual reproduction…”

    Breeding for pest and disease resistance through traditional selective breeding is great, and as far as I know, nobody’s objecting to that. But blasting genetic material taken from one species into the DNA of another species is what anti-GMO campaigners (and, as it turns out, the vast majority of consumers) object to. I certainly understand the desire to use this technological shortcut to produce quick, dramatic results, but in my view it simply has too many drawbacks.

    I have yet to hear a compelling argument as to why these foods should NOT be labeled — in other words why consumers should NOT be allowed to make an informed choice about whether to consume these foods (and support the system that profits from them) or not.

  55. Evie
    February 16, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Tra: “Heirloom” does not mean what you think it means.

  56. February 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Labtech is an alarmist clown of the sort who fears contraception because it could lead to extinction.

  57. Bunson Burner
    February 16, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    The guy in the costume shop lab coat might should check his facts. No genetically modified wheat is being grown anywhere.

  58. tra
    February 16, 2012 at 4:21 pm


    My apologies if I have misused the term “Heirloom.” My point is that there’s a difference between selectively breeding within the same species over a long period of time, and blasting genetic material taken from one species directly into the DNA of another species. Do you disagree?

  59. labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    GM technology is used widely in the production of foods (e.g. virtually all cheese in the UK and US is made with an enzyme that is the product of GM technology) and thousands of medicines (e.g. the production of human growth hormone by GM methods removed the major cause of CJD). GM crops are already growing on tens of millions of acres in North and South America and Asia. There are no proven examples of GM products adding risks. In contrast, there are a great many examples of the technology reducing risks.

    But go ahead and add danger labels to all our cheese, strawberries, golden rice, bananas, apples cotton clothing and farmed fish. And don’t forget the lawsuits when nobody takes you seriously. Spending millions of taxpayer dollars on an ill informed crusade to get between people and their food will show the world how serious you are.

  60. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    It’s putting a sticker between people and GM food. Why are you so terrified of people being allowed to make informed choices, Labtech? You’ve already proven yourself to be an idiot and a liar, now we have to add hysteric to the list.

  61. labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    You will need billions of stickers. It’s a project that suits you.

  62. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    Opposing truth in advertising seems to suit you Labtech.

  63. Dave Kirby
    February 16, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    Tra….”Blasting” is an unfortunate choice on your part. Inserting is more accurate.

  64. Gregor Mendel
    February 16, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    ‘Genetic Fracking’ is a more accurate term.

    But, this isn’t about the pros or cons of fracking, or, genetic modification. Its about labeling.

  65. Labtech
    February 16, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    Earth to Plain Jane: you’re living in a GM world. You can’t label or litigate or whine your way out of it.

    Like all paranoids you lash out at those who disagree with you–in this case, almost everyone.

    Most of the foods you are already eating have been genetically modified. So go ahead and slap a label on your forehead. It might even improve your looks.

  66. Plain Jane
    February 16, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Again Labtech, you don’t know wtf you’re talking about.

    If GM foods is defined as involving actual manipulations of DNA (rather than eggs and sperm), and the insertion of DNA from one organism into the DNA of another, then the number of GM foods approved for production in the United States is quite limited.

    The FDA provides a list of such foods in its inventory of completed consultations on bioengineered foods.

    The list includes GM corn, soybeans, cotton, cotton, alfalfa, canola, and sugarbeets, most of which are fed to animals or used as ingredients in processed foods.

    But what about supermarket fruits and vegetables? To answer this question requires a clear separation between approval of production and actual production.

    To date, the FDA has approved production of GM varieties of plums, cantaloupe, papaya, squash, radicchio, tomatoes, and potatoes. Note: sweet corn–the kind you eat off the cob–is not on the list.

    Even if approved, the GM varieties may not be in your supermarket. GM varieties, it turns out, are difficult to produce under field conditions.


  67. Matt
    February 16, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    “go ahead and add danger labels to all our cheese…”

    So you believe the GMOs are dangerous to eat?

  68. Matt
    February 16, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    “Spending millions of taxpayer dollars on an ill informed crusade to get between people and their food…”

    Why will taxpayers be paying for the labeling of a private company’s products?

  69. Just Watchin
    February 17, 2012 at 5:06 am

    Looks like Labtech has Plain Janes number!

  70. High Finance
    February 17, 2012 at 6:57 am

    This is so boring. It has been days since there was a red meat topic by Heraldo.

    How about one where RA’s corporation teamed with Romney to start a strip mining operation on some pretty mountain and pay for it with a tax scheme ?

    Or one about David Tyson and the Eureka city council starting a campaign to make council positions life time appointments ?

  71. February 17, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Labtech is apparently unaware of the fact that food products are already labeled.

  72. labtech
  73. February 17, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    Does foodeditorials.com “the yummy food guide,” sound like a scientific journal?

  74. Fact Checker
    February 17, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I read labtech’s links … not very scientific, just editorializing.

  75. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Proving?…that you either skipped the second link or simply can’t understand it.

  76. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Another possibility: you’re too lazy to read science. It would mean actually opening multiple links in article 2 and examining the peer-reviewed data.

  77. February 17, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    I did skip the second link.The first was bad enough.

  78. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Yes, that’s why you skipped the science.

  79. February 17, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    No, I skipped your link, since you obviously don’t know much about science.

  80. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    Labtech’s second link at 12:44 is to a news article. In the very last line of that article, it notes that even Professor Glover — who is herself a genetic engineer and is so bullish on the prospects for GMO foods and so dismissive of the risks — even she says that GMO foods should not be imposed, but that the decision should be left up to the public.

    Which seems pretty consistent with the idea of labeling. If this genetic engineering food is supposedly so great, and if it’s supposedly practically risk-free, as proponents claim, then why try to hide it from the public?

  81. Einstein
    February 17, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    There’s a science to labeling food?

  82. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    Mielke and his Luddite ilk can’t be bothered to read the scientific data that proves them completely wrong. Smug is the word today. As for tomorrow, let them eat “organic” vermin-infested cake.

    I rest my case.

  83. February 17, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    “organic vermin-infested cake”?

    Jesus, Labtech, you are indeed a backward-ass moron.

  84. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I’m still waiting for someone to at least try make some kind of cogent argument against labeling GMO foods so that consumers can decide for themselves what kind of food they want to consume, and what kind of agriculture they want to support. I’m starting to think it’s going to be a long wait.

  85. Labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    The argument, tra, is that most of the food in your pantry has already been genetically modified. Only the most ill-informed Luddites (above) will try to reinvent this wheel.

    For more on this–and to better understand what GM actually means– see the studies done in Scotland that I cited above.

  86. February 17, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Who’s trying to “reinvent the wheel,” you silly fuck? We’re asking for labels that identify GMOs.

  87. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    “The argument, tra, is that most of the food in your pantry has already been genetically modified.”

    That’s not cogent argument against labeling GMO foods. Try again.

    “…the studies done in Scotland that I cited above”

    By “studies done in Scotland” that you supposedly “cited above,” surely you can’t be referring to the newspaper article that you linked to at 12:44?

  88. Hans Christian Manderson
    February 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    You know you are dealing with an idiot when a GMO booster uses an anti GMO site to prove his argument. HA HA the below is from LabTech’s link gmwatch.org LABTECH are you so fucking stupid that you don’t know gmwatch is anti-GMO?

    “Millions served” – the GM sweet potato

    “Millions served,” ran the headline in the US magazine Forbes over an article that declared, “While the West debates the ethics of genetically modified food, Florence Wambugu is using it to feed her country.”[1]

    Florence Wambugu is the Monsanto-trained scientist who headed up a project to create a genetically engineered virus-resistant sweet potato for farmers in Kenya. It was a showcase project intended to position GM as the saviour of Africa, and Florence Wambugu travelled the world promoting it.

    “In Africa GM food could almost literally weed out poverty,” she told New Scientist.[2] In the journal Nature she wrote, “There is urgent need for the development and use of agricultural biotechnology in Africa to help to counter famine, environmental degradation and poverty. Africa must enthusiastically join the biotechnology revolution.”[3] Such a revolution, she told a Canadian newspaper, could pull “the African continent out of decades of economic and social despair”.[4] She was also invited to contribute to the New York Times, and to appear on CNN as well as several American TV shows.

    Her media popularity was understandable. The results of sub-Saharan Africa’s first GM crop were “astonishing”, according to the article in Forbes magazine.[5] Yields were “double that of the regular plant”, with “potatoes bigger and richer in colour”, indicating they’d retained more nutritional value. For hungry Africa, we were told, “Wambugu’s modified sweet potato offers tangible hope”.

    In a report published in January 2004, the Nuffield Council on Bio-ethics said the project “could prevent dramatic and frequent reductions in yield of one of the major food crops of many poor people in Africa.”[6]

    Contrast such claims with the actual results of the 3-year trials – quietly published at the end of January 2004. Under the headline “GM technology fails local potatoes”, Kenya’s Daily Nation reported, “Trials to develop a virus resistant sweet potato through biotechnology have failed. US biotechnology, imported three years ago, has failed to improve Kenya’s sweet potato.”[7]

    In fact, far from dramatically out-yielding the non-GM sweet potatoes, the exact opposite was the case: “The report indicates that during the trials non-transgenic crops used as a control yielded much more tuber compared to the transgenic”. The GM crop was also found to be susceptible to viral attack – the very thing it had been created to resist.

    New Scientist also reported the GM crop’s failure (“Monsanto’s showcase project in Africa fails”),[8] as did an article in the British daily paper, The Guardian. The success of the GM sweet potato had previously been reported in literally hundreds of articles, even generating headlines like Transgenic sweet potato could end Kenyan famine.[9]


  89. Labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Note too, tra, how the Luddites, having openly refused to read the science, are reduced to incoherent curses. These people are the Rick Santorums of the Left: meddlesome, heartless and willfully stupid. Their program for feeding the poor: make labels. But label just the foods on OUR list.

  90. Labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    “By “studies done in Scotland” that you supposedly “cited above,” surely you can’t be referring to the newspaper article that you linked to at 12:44?”

    No. Try again.

  91. February 17, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    We’ve already tried too hard, Labtech, and you haven’t tried enough.

  92. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    Well, I don’t see where you “cited” any “studies” at all. I see at 12:44 where you linked to an opinion piece on “streetdirectory.com” and you also linked to a web page at “gmwatch.org” which included a reprint of a news article from the Sunday Herald in 2006.

    Meawhile, neither you, nor anyone else, has explained why we shouldn’t label GMO foods so that consumers can make an informed choice.

  93. Hans Christian Manderson
    February 17, 2012 at 4:23 pm

    I believe in free speech Labtech but your absolute ignorance is polluting this discourse. Your “scientific studies in Scotland” if you yourself had bothered to read the article were about the Dolly the Sheep cloning distaster. You didn’t read it did you?

    Go have a couple of stiff drinks. You won’t get any smarter but you won’t feel the pain of the terminally stupid.

  94. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Forget it. Lots of reading & science etc.

    To your question on labels: Science, as opposed to Luddite hysteria, informs us that you will be labeling most–maybe all–of the food in your pantry.

    Option two: let the Luddites redefine GM food to suit their weird and exceedingly selfish agenda. Why lift a finger to help the starving masses if they can regulate YOUR diet?

  95. February 17, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Golly, these are powerful arguments from Labtech. I’m sure that he does “Lots of reading & science etc.”

  96. Not A Native
    February 17, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    I’m agostic about labeling because when I want to know my food isn’t gmo, I buy organic.

    But I think one argument against labeling is that it would require more paperwork and supply chains in the commodity food supply system if both gmo and non-gmo products must be supported. The ink on the label is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of costs.Those costs could be quite large, given the amount of commodity foods and products processed from commodity foods.

    So that why the opponents say that a labeling requirement is essentially a ban on gmo’s. Because in the present system, those who don’t want gmo’s pay all the costs associated with having their choice(i.e. buying organic). With labeling, new costs would iaccrue only for those who don’t care whether or not their food is gmo. So they feel those new costs are for something they don’t care about.

  97. February 17, 2012 at 4:55 pm

    People want to know. Label it.

  98. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 4:57 pm

    And a ban on GMO’s would amount to a ban on most food. Mind you, when the chips are down (now) the anti-GMO Luddites will cut themselves enough slack to eat well anyway. So what if they starve in Africa…

  99. February 17, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Jesus, Labtech, you are one poor, wretched, sad fuck. We’re talking about labels, not a ban.

  100. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    “…you will be labeling most–maybe all–of the food in your pantry. “

    Obviously what Monsanto and similar companies fear is that if foods containing GMO ingredients were labeled as such, people would bring less of those products into their pantries in the first place. I suspect they’re right about that.

  101. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    As Not a Native pointed out, “a labeling requirement is essentially a ban on gmo’s.”

    The issue isn’t labels, it’s who defines GMO: if scientists are permitted to do so the labels go on virtually everything, thus becoming a meaningless waste of time. If the Luddites to it, the labels are assigned according to the superstitious, mean-spirited agendas you see above.

    Ultimately, GMO is to the Left what contraception is to the Right.

    Meanwhile, the mindless name calling above should tell you something.

  102. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 6:31 pm

    For the irony-impaired (see above):

    Ultimately, GMO is to the Left what contraception is to the Right: a zealot wants the government involved in everyone’s life except his own.

  103. tort
    February 17, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    “luddite” is not name calling? GFYS

    You are the one who is spreading fear, spreading disinformation and telling the Big Lie. Who do you work for, Monsanto?

  104. labtech
    February 17, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    Yes, tort, like most people who disagree with you I work for Monsanto.

  105. tra
    February 17, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    The GMO profiteers are running scared, and their supporters are contradicting themselves left and right. On the one hand, we’re told that there’s no point to doing the labeling, because supposedly only a tiny minority of “luddites” even care about the issue, but on the other hand, we’re told that if the foods are labeled with the term “GMO” this will effectively be a “ban” on GMOs because so many people will avoid them. Sorry, you can’t have it both ways.

  106. Not A Native
    February 17, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Joel people who don’t care about gmos, don’t care to know.

    They may also not care about how and where the fertilizer put on their food came to be, whether the animal they eat came from artifical insemination, what diet it ate, or where it or its parents lived. Just sayin’ theres so many different things about your food that you don’t know and may not care to know.

    But certainly, if the legal/political process determines a particular piece of information about food must be labeled, then it should. I support rule of law.

  107. High Finance
    February 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

    I blame this GMO hysteria on too many bad Japanese movies.

  108. Gregor Mendel
    February 21, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Ha! Got me thinking about FMO’s – ‘Fukishima Modified Organisms’

  109. Fact Checker
    February 21, 2012 at 10:56 am

    High Finance said:
    February 21, 2012 at 9:32 am

    “I blame this GMO hysteria on too many bad Japanese movies.”

    More racism from High Colonic.

  110. High Finance
    February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    Are you really that stupid Factless or are you just pretending ?

  111. Fact Checker
    February 21, 2012 at 12:24 pm

    High Hater said:
    February 21, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    “Are you really that stupid Factless or are you just pretending ?”

    Great! High Colonic has moved off racism and back to name-calling. You are low-hanging, predictable fruit, my boy.

  112. High Finance
    February 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Maybe I was wrong. You are NOT pretending !


  113. Fact Checker
    February 23, 2012 at 11:00 am

    High Finance said:
    February 23, 2012 at 9:47 am

    “Maybe I was wrong. You are NOT pretending !”

    Truly, a valuable contribution to the dialogue. Thank you Mr. High Finance.

  114. Gregor Mendel
    March 10, 2012 at 11:13 pm

    Interesting article;


    Who’da thought GMO wheat would make you fat and sick.

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