Saturday, March 1, 2014

On GM Foods and field trials

Press release: AAP condemns illegal field trials for GM crops :: http://www.aamaadmiparty.org/AAP-condemns-illegal-field-trials-for-GM-crops

My comment:

Conducting field trials of GM foods is like giving 10,000 HIV+ infected people an experimental cure, then setting them loose among the general population and paying them to go have intercourse with everyone they can without any protection. Because this will prove that the experimental cure, as claimed by the producing company, has worked.

In the event that the cure does not work :: "OH, no no no, see, we are perfectly sure it will work, 1001% sure! Which is why we didn't even bother to do any CLOSED, quarantined trials. Which is why there is no evidence from our official studies that suggests that GM is harmful.. because we haven't bothered CONDUCTING any (well, we shut down the ones we were conducting and prevented the results from being publicized), and we won't accept the results of any of those biased independent organisations who did! "

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Further comment, on if this is just rhetoric or realL

Evidence is about as sketchy and controversial as AAP's current "haalat" in Indian media. Here's one article: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/sep/28/study-gm-maize-cancer

And here's a site which is part of worldwide grassroots movements to stop GM, it has a collecton of articles: http://www.foodrevolution.org/blog/category/genetically-engineered-foods/

But through all the arguments and counter-arguments, some salient points stand out :

1. Pepsi, Coke, Nestle etc made enormous donations via front organizations to fund for advertising, lobbying to prevent GM labelling on food products in the US.

2. Several countries and states around the world have banned one or all GM Food or crops from being grown on their soil.

3. The only long-term studies conducted ended up with the animals getting severe cancer and dying early. All the "safe" result studies were just 90-day trials. However strong the objections that the findings were flawed, Monsanto or US-FDA have till date not tried ANY long term study. And with the only results on animals showing horrible cancers, no one is daring to try a human long term study (logical.. same rules followed in all drugs trials).

4. Abroad and in India, there is no grassroots activist organisation with any degree of reputation on the ground who are batting for GM/Monsanto. Every last one of them, without even knowing each other, is saying the exact same things against GM/Monsanto.

5. Monsanto has a proven track record of producing and aggressively pushing the most toxic pesticides like DDT which they got govts to subsidize! and which later got banned practically across the world. For all those years they were defending and pushing their products the same way they are defending their products today.

6. A huge source of income for Monsanto across North and South America is from legally suing family-run farms into whose fields GM crops' pollen have flown in (initially from neighboring FIELD TRIALS), pollinated and grown into GM crops. (officially, the offspring only needs to have certain gene portions in it to be identified as "belonging" to Monsanto.) Because they hold a patent on the gene, therefore anyone whose field grows a GM plant without paying them royalty, gets sued. WTO rules either have or will make this doable in India also. This has bankrupted thousands of small farmers across the Americas.

This is quite weird and shows how much wisdom decreases when court judges only follow the rules of the book and don't bother to look up. Because logically, I'd sue Monsanto for INFECTING my field with their GM strains! Would a person having AIDS be entitled to sue you if you got AIDS from them?

It's a bit unfair to call all the grassroots activists biased and unscientific.. they're the ones with their feet on the soil and they're not going to make any multi-billions if their words are believed. The experts are very far away from the ground, and there is a very clear profit motive for those whose careers depend on Monsanto etc. As for how come the activists all saying the same things : Imagine that tomorrow a big company claims that their scientific research proves that the sun is black in colour. If all the people say "No it's not", then would you call the people unscientific and biased?

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