If there's one thing Americans should be keenly aware of at this point it is that we are a consumer based economy.
No amout of manipulation and expense is spared by corporate giants to keep our spending, headed to their bottom line.
Perhaps the only product to exceed the manipulation and control of Big Tobacco is Monsanto who has reigned over nearly two decades of virtual censorship on the subject of genetically engineered foods.
For many years there was not a word at all beyond earnings reports that noted them as agricultural companies but growing public awareness and widespread epidemics of superweeds and superpests have made the state of America's farming a source of discussion.
The typical PR standard has been to trot out the Biotech Brigade team and their associated front groups on the OpEd pages three times a year to repeat claims that gmo are tested and shown to be safe and repeat accusations of critics of gmo as Luddites who want the poor to starve.
Still makes me laugh to hear the term Luddite used as if that means anything except officially sanctioned by the old dudes in the board room!
Not since the hype surrounding Golden Rice failed to deliver a real benefit has TIME stooped to doing blatant PR and lying for Monsanto.
But in the face of California's Prop37 gmo Labeling Law on the ballot and mega millions by Monsanto & others failure to turn public tide it seems the big boys are throwing their weight behind a toxic pal. They omit all the news of gmo failures and disaster as well and sell the hope that some day our savior will come holding a spray nozzle for energy waste to transform agricultural productivity and benefit us!
That’s what agribusiness is hoping to achieve with new genetically modified (GM) crop strains that are designed to endure arid conditions. Industry leader Monsanto is working on a hybrid line of corn called DroughtGard, developed with the German firm BASF, that is designed to enhance crop yield in dry soils. It is the first U.S. Department of Agriculture–approved GM crop to focus on drought tolerance and features a bacterial gene that enables it to better retain water.
Hundreds of farmers in the western end of the Corn Belt–an area that runs to dry even in normal years–are field-testing DroughtGard, and Monsanto says early results indicate that the GM crop might improve yields by 4% to 8% over conventional crops in some arid conditions. “This year magnifies how important it is to have drought tolerance,” says Robert Fraley, Monsanto’s chief technology officer. http://science.time.com/2012/09/10/can-gmo-crops-bust-the-drought/#ixzz272qpDC00
Walsh starts with the premise that an industry which has developed nothing but crops tolerant to its own patent protected, toxic ag chemicals for two decades, will suddenly open the door on an answer to climate change and produce drought tolerant crops that are beneficial and safe.
The very suggestion of solutions from the source of the problems cause by heavy anual crops with irrigation and chemical dependencies can be skipped to get to the real crux of the problem and big lie that matters most in the discussion, are gmo foods even safe to eat?
Who cares how much will grow where if it is not fit for consumption, right? Well there have been lots of PR folks making safety claims in the past, but this is the first time anyone linked to a study claiming proof of safety was in a specific location.
Bryan Walsh...While most studies have shown genetically modified crops to be safe (PDF), many consumers still aren’t convinced.
Most studies? Wow, this was a first since I have been hounding Monsanto PR folks for seven years to see some evidence of human health and safety testing. To date no one can manage to find such a thing to show me so I was excited. I ask until they block me on Twitter or vanish with scornful slurs about my lack of scientific understanding but here we have TIME science editor claim there's ample evidence to dig into.
TIME upped the ante and tried to add credibility by offering a link to study data that the author claims provides evidence that gmo crops have repeatedly been shown as safe. Not surprisingly, no where in the European Study document is there anything that faintly resembles an endorsement of gmo safety unless one 90 days trial of a dozen hamsters failing to show tumors is all we need to trust a gmo potato is good to go.
I read the whole pdf and it says nothng like what TIME "Senior Editor" Bryan Walsh claims it does. Perhaps we would all be better served if he stayed in Hong Kong writing about sex toys. But MSM loves to promote those who reprint at face value so slim odds on getting a real investigative reporter on the story though an inquiring mind could help!
This is not from an American source and you might wonder why, especially when the bulk of the world's gmo is consumed here in America and the EU who published this allows gmo as a limited suplement to livestock feed. That question isn't asked or answered, just lies about safety.
The report is called a decade of EU funded gmo research and published by the biotech group of the European Commission; it is by the biotech industry for promoting industry policy; it is not an independent source.
The human health section begins on page 130 and spends a good deal of time and detail examining the process for regulation, not in looking at studies for scientific results. They reference a handful of 90 day rat studies alluding to the fact that those limited investigations serve as the basis for other policies but it is not an examination of the science or safety as much as a slick way to show how this house of cards has been constructed by cross referencing industry supplied data and study to claim this or that has already been shown so lets move along.
There are studies of methodology & references to horizontal gene transfer work done in 2000 but this is 2012 and we are Americans eating this stuff. Why can't TIME Magazine link to a single US Human Health and Safety study to support the claim they boldly make to the readers, it has been shown gmo is safe and if they can't do that why do we have someone claiming to be a science editor making the claim to readers?
Hell by page 183 this industry friendly pdf was on to benefits of gmo biofuels, that's roughly 50 pages examining methodology with a few cherry picked, 90 day studies. What has been found by independent researchers is that problems generally manifest beyond 90 days!
Of course it is helpful to end the study before problems appear so the claim, we see no harm can make toxic products appear safe enough.
On page 218 the report gets into the difference between the US Standard that declares gmo a substantial equivalent if nutrient measures are the same as conventional foods and give gmo varieties a waiver from testing and automatically granted GRAS status.
You can look at the FDA notification for Monsanto Roundup Ready soy and see its a rubber stamp based on what Monsanto believes. Claims about testing for human health and safety are bold faced lies and I have a collection of Tweeters who block me for asking to see such a study when it conflicts with their PR campaign of selling imaginary benefits!!
There's a very interesting section that talks about outreach through the use of pop culture with a BioPop themed campaign to make gmo seem cutting edge science and uber cool if you jump to page 254 but not safety study.
That's not to say no studies exist but industry is busy slamming those as flawed, just as they did when claims of risk for PCB's and Agent Orange and saccharine were legal. Dying for profits has never changed as Monsanto strategy, only the products have.