Let's talk about GMOs

Discussion in 'The Food Forum' started by Jersey Girl, Oct 3, 2015.

  1. Jersey Girl

    Jersey Girl Stand down Contributor

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    She's three months. I totally plan to make my own baby food. I'm getting a Cuisinart soon. I already have containers with which to freeze the food as well as a baby food cookbook.

    The whole thing about GMOs started when I got a coupon in the mail from a formula company tauting their new GMO-free formula. I was like WTH? I thought all baby formula was non-GMO. So I looked at the formula I was gonna start her on and corn syrup solids was the first ingredient. I was horrified. I guess I was just way too naive about assuming things for babies were okay.

    The whole thing has made me a lot more cognizant of ingredients. I even bought reading glasses so I can read the ingredients lists on foods. :p
     
  2. BigRedRage

    BigRedRage badass Contributor

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    We did similac, never considered reading ingredients
     
  3. schutd

    schutd Regular User

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    Not necessarily. We could stop eating so much meat, end deforestation, vastly improve water quality, and feed the world.

    In a utopian poly-cultural agriculture system, GMO's arent needed, at least not in the sense that they started as, pesticide resistant.

    I dont want to eat GMO's because I know they have been sprayed to the 9s with chemicals that we know are bad for you. The GMO portion of it concerns me much less.
     
  4. AZCrazy

    AZCrazy Registered

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    World hunger is the only solution we have to overpopulation. It's an offensive thought, but consider a world without disease and hunger. What would happen next? An inconceivable explosion in population, instantly.
     
  5. Jersey Girl

    Jersey Girl Stand down Contributor

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    Similac is the one that sent me the non-GMO coupon. Enfamil Gentle Ease was the one with corn syrup solids as the first ingredient, though even organic/natural formula seems to have that listed as its first ingredient in their sensitive/gentle formulas.
     
  6. Rivercard

    Rivercard Too much good stuff

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    There seems to be a lot of cooks in the kitchen......

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    http://www.alternet.org/food/monsan...t-solicited-academics-fight-their-pro-gmo-war

    Thousands of emails reveal how the biotech giant enlisted public university academics to prop up their massive PR machine.

    October 15, 2015

    The Monsanto public relations machine has done a stellar job in recent years of reducing the GMO debate to one that pits “pro-science advocates” against “anti-science climate-denier types” — with Monsanto portrayed as being squarely planted in the pro-science camp. But that well-oiled machine may be starting to sputter.

    Turns out that Monsanto executive solicited pro-GMO articles from university researchers, and passed the “research” off as independent science which the biotech giant then used to prop up its image and further its agenda. We know this, thanks to thousands of pages of emails obtained by U.S. Right to Know (USRTK) under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). And because a host of news outlets—including the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Bloomberg, the StarPhoenix and others — are now running with the story.

    For anyone who has paid attention, this latest scandal should come as no surprise. As Steven Druker writes in his book Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, "For more than 30 years, hundreds (if not thousands) of biotech advocates within scientific institutions, government bureaus, and corporate offices throughout the world have systematically compromised science and contorted the facts to foster the growth of genetic engineering, and get the foods it produces, onto our dinner plates.”

    The story behind the story

    USRTK, a nonprofit funded almost entirely by the Organic Consumers Association, launched an investigation into “the collusion between Big Food, its front groups, and university faculty and staff to deliver industry PR to the public.”

    As part of its ongoing investigation, the group filed FOIA requests to obtain the emails and documents from 43 public university faculty and staff. The requested documents included records from scientists, economists, law professors, extension specialists and communicators — all of whom, as the group points out, were conducting work in public institutions, all funded by taxpayers.

    On its website, the group says, "We believe the public deserves to know more about the flow of money and level of coordination between public university scientists and other academics, and the agrichemical and food companies whose interests they promote."

    And now we do. And we know exactly how the latest plan to deceive, involving a paid PR firm posing as an independent third party, was hatched. According to Mother Jones, in an August 2013 email to nine prominent academics, Monsanto's strategic engagement lead Eric Sachs broached a plan: that the group would pen "short policy briefs on important topics in the agricultural biotechnology arena," chosen "because of their influence on public policy, GM crop regulation, and consumer acceptance."

    Sachs assured the professors that the project would be handled discreetly. Two outside entities — an industry-funded group called the American Council on Science and Health and a PR outfit called CMA — would "manage the process of producing the policy briefs," "coordinate website posting and promotion," and "merchandize" the briefs by helping turn them into "op-eds, blog postings, speaking engagements, events, webinars, etc." This third-party management is "an important element," the Monsanto exec added, "because Monsanto wants the authors to communicate freely without involvement by Monsanto."

    In a September 5 article, New York Times reporter Eric Lipton credited USRTK with obtaining “thousands of pages” of emails, many of which the Times then requested on its own. After reviewing the documents, and describing some of the email exchanges between Monsanto’s PR firm and academics who were solicited to write articles, Lipton concluded that Monsanto’s strategy was effective:

    The efforts have helped produce important payoffs, including the approval by federal regulators of new genetically modified seeds after academic experts intervened with the United States Department of Agriculture on the industry’s behalf, the emails show. Lipton singled out, among others, Kevin Folta, chairman of the horticultural sciences department at the University of Florida. Monsanto recruited Folta, Lipton wrote, ”to help with ‘biotechnology outreach’ and to travel around the country to defend genetically modified foods.”

    Folta, who according to the Times became “part of an inner circle of industry consultants, lobbyists and executives who devised strategy on how to block state efforts to mandate G.M.O. labeling and, most recently, on how to get Congress to pass legislation that would pre-empt any state from taking such a step, received a $25,0000 grant from Monsanto to fund his travel and “outreach.” According to Bloomberg, the University of Florida donated the $25,000 to charity — after the Times story ran.

    Despite the grant, and the incriminating emails revealed by the Times, Folta has long denied any “formal connection” to Monsanto. (USRTK provides a list of Folta’s many denials).

    The Times also singled out Bruce M. Chassy, a professor emeritus at the University of Illinois, who in 2011 received a grant for an undisclosed amount to support “biotechnology outreach and education activities." Emails obtained by the Times reveal that Chassy and a Monsanto executive talked about efforts to persuade the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to “abandon its proposal to tighten the regulation of pesticides used on insect-resistant seeds."


    A Bloomberg report focused on how the Genetic Literacy Project, a clearly pro-GMO nonprofit that says its mission is “to disentangle science from ideology,” published articles by the scientists on its website, without disclosing that the articles had been solicited by Monsanto and its PR firm.

    Taking the local angle approach, a reporter for the Boston Globe focused on a Harvard professor caught up in the scandal. Reporter Laura Krantz wrote, "A Harvard Kennedy School professor wrote a widely disseminated policy paper last year in support of genetically modified organisms at the behest of seed giant Monsanto, without disclosing his connection, e-mails show."

    Professor Calestous Jumanot is author of an article titled “Global Risks of Rejecting Agricultural Biotechnology,” published on the Genetic Literacy website. According to the Globe, in an email to Jumanot, Monsanto’s Eric Sachs, head of regulatory policy and scientific affairs suggested a topic, a summary and a headline. Jumanot chose a different headline, but the gist of the article conformed to the PR firm’s agenda.

    As the Globe, the Times and others outlined, Jumanot was one of nine professors who received emails from Sachs. Jumanot told the Globe, which had also previously reported on Jumanot’s connection to Monsanto, that it was the publication’s responsibility, not his, to disclose the connection. In the end, neither did.
     
  7. HeavyB3

    HeavyB3 Unregistered User

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    Here's my problem with that. If GMO's are indeed safe, yet a significant number of people believe otherwise, forcing companies to label their products will harm their business. It's not fair to place warning labels on things that are safe.

    Myths of science are hard to shake once they get introduced into the population. Ask the anti-vaccination crowd about that, or the small "flat earther" group of morons. Hell, people still believe shaving causes your hair to grow back thicker.
     
  8. Linderbee

    Linderbee Let's GO, CARDINALS! Contributor

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    It's not a warning label. It's just a "Contains GMOs" just like "GMO-free".

    Contains: Dairy, Soy, Wheat, GMOs.
     
  9. HeavyB3

    HeavyB3 Unregistered User

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    Fair enough, but those labels are warnings for people allergic to Dairy, Soy or Wheat.
     
  10. Rivercard

    Rivercard Too much good stuff

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    A lot of folks think High Fructose Corn Syrup and many other ingredients are not "safe" and therefore avoid those product. That harms business. So do you have a problem with ingredient listings too?

    People should have a right to know what they are consuming. Screw these companies! They should adapt to consumer demand, not the other way around.
     
  11. HeavyB3

    HeavyB3 Unregistered User

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    Fair point as well. I really just wanted to play devils advocate haha
     
  12. Jersey Girl

    Jersey Girl Stand down Contributor

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    Really, this is what it all comes down to. Some people don't care about high fructose corn syrup and GMOs and chicken stock in vegetable soup. Others do. Put it out there and let the consumer decide.
     
  13. Chris_Sanders

    Chris_Sanders Super Moderator Contributor

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    We have been genetically modifying crops since Gregor Mendel started cross breeding crops.

    Things like the Boysenberry wouldn't exist without human intervention.

    This is the same as anti vaxxers to me.
     
  14. Rivercard

    Rivercard Too much good stuff

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    The Boysenberry is vastly overrated. Yuck.
     
  15. Mainstreet

    Mainstreet Registered User Contributor

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    Blackberries are the best. :)
     

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