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July 19, 2014

The Abdication of Science: The Example of GMO Feeding Trials

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The double standard among “science” studies becomes more insane all the time. Food and Chemical Toxicology, the same journal which unsuccessfully tried to censor and suppress the 2012 Seralini study, has dropped even the slightest pretense to being “scientific” as it continues to publish the most patently bogus corporate “studies”. The latest is a Dupont trial of GM canola which compares it to a “commercial diet”. This is a typical scam of corporate feeding trials. The only valid scientific procedure is to compare a GM variety with the original conventional variety into which the transgene was inserted, only without the transgene. This is called the near-isogenic variety. But corporate trials almost invariably compare the GMO to an undifferentiated “commerical diet” composed of GMOs and feed which had been sprayed with various poisons. The goal is to prevent the trial from detecting any danger from the studied GMO by rendering the “control” diet as toxically similar to it as possible. This trial also engaged in the standard frauds: It was the typical 90 days in length (two years is the scientific standard, an absolute requirement for a real safety study) and compared the study group to irrelevant “historical control groups” which wouldn’t be part of any scientifically designed study. To top it off the authors, employees of Dupont, brazenly lie in declaring they have no conflict of interest.
 
Also tediously familiar, the trial used the same Sprague-Dawley breed of rats which the Seralini study did, and a comparable number of rats. The two main canned lies against the Seralini study are that this type and sample size were somehow illegitimate. But as per proper scientific procedure Seralini merely replicated the way every corporate trial uses this same type and number of rats. He merely extended his study’s length from the intentionally fraudulent 90 days to the scientifically valid 2 years, and measured legitimate health parameters. These measures are generally omitted or suppressed by the corporate trials, which measure only for industry parameters like quickly reaching slaughter weight.
 
It’s also characteristic of such studies that false negatives are a much greater risk than false positives. The fabricated media furore which slandered the Seralini study was in effect accusing it of attaining a false positive. But the number of rats used in ALL the studies which have ever been done, including every corporate trial without exception, is far more likely to generate false negatives. That’s why Seralini’s result was far more significant than those of the trials which allegedly found different results.
 
That’s also why the sample size of 10-12 rats was set as the industry standard, because it was more likely to generate false negatives than a larger sample size. If we could repeat the Seralini/Monsanto study design (as it ought to be called, as Seralini merely improved upon M’s own design) with larger sample sizes, we’d get a reinforcement and expansion of Seralini’s results. All the bogus procedures of 90 day study lengths, feeding the alleged “control” group a “commercial diet”, the gratuitous introduction of “historical control” and “reference” groups, are all meant to obfuscate the result and ensure this false negative. And yet in spite of all that, Monsanto’s own trials often found evidence of organ toxicity.
 
You’ll often see pro-GMO liars citing one or more compendiums of studies which allegedly give GMOs a clean bill of health. But in truth these are nothing but lists of such fraudulent corporate trials, all of which include most or all of the shoddy and fraudulent procedures I just listed. Ironically, in spite of all the attempts to suppress adverse data, many of these trials nevertheless found evidence that GMOs are toxic to human and animal health. The 2012 Seralini study was nothing but a time-extended replication of what was originally a Monsanto feeding trial, with the bogus corporate procedures fixed. The scientific imperative, including the need to serve the public well-being, caused Seralini to conceive and conduct his study. He’s a rare example of a true scientist, the extreme opposite of the mercenary hacks who work for the corporations and the hacks who carry the corporate water as propagandists.  
 
We can see that there’s no longer any such thing as establishment science. On the contrary what’s called “science” today is just a bazaar of ever more brazen lies told by ever more shameless frauds and charlatans. Those who to this day join in the slandering of the Seralini study are anti-science obscurantists, the most vicious enemies science has ever known. Since they attack science in the context of helping totalitarian and homicidal corporations poison our food, water, and soil while seeking total domination through domination of the entire food chain, these scienticians aren’t just frauds and charlatans, but criminal propagandists according to Nuremburg standards.

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July 18, 2014

GMO News Summary July 18th 2014

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*A new analysis of 343 studies comparing crops grown organically to crops grown conventionally finds that the organic foods are greatly superior nutritionally. In particular they have much higher levels of cancer-fighting antioxidants.
 
This great difference in nutritional profile is probably on account of the differing ways the crops are grown. Crops grown with massive applications of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides are in effect coddled and have to do little work for themselves. So they put their energy into producing higher levels of sugars and starches. Their way of life makes them fat and bloated, and therefore they’re greatly inferior as food.
 
Organic crops, by contrast, have to make an honest living. They have to work to extract real nutrition from real soil and to defend themselves against pests and disease. Of course the knowledge and skills of organic farmers helps them. The result is that organically grown plants produce higher levels of phenols and polyphenols, including the antioxidants so important for preventing heart disease, stroke, and cancer in humans.
 
Of course these organic crops are also not laden with agricultural poisons the way conventional crops are. Organic crops are only 1/4 as likely as conventional to have any pesticide residues at all, and these residue levels are on the average 10-100 times lower. Presumably these very low residues are the result of the general contamination of the environment, for example from the pesticide drift which the USDA wants to make a vastly worse problem.
 
Conventional crops also contained twice the levels of the toxic heavy metal cadmium. 
 
This study, carried out by a team from Newcastle University, analyzed many more studies using many more parameters than that of the tendentious 2012 Stanford paper which whitewashed the poison problem and claimed that the nutritional superiority of organic crops had little meaning for health. This bogus study was the signal for a slew of high-profile corporate media pieces, in Time, the NYT, and elsewhere smearing the idea of organic food. We’ll see what the response is to this new, vastly superior study.
 
*New science establishes how neonicotinoid insecticides, already heavily implicated in the decimation of honeybee populations and other environmental and soil destruction, are decimating birds as well.
 
Industrial seeds, generally GMOs designed to generate crops suffused with insecticidal and herbicidal poisons, are also coated with many other poisons including neonics, which are increasingly necessary to make up for the failure of endemic Bt insecticide. Neonics also suffuse every cell of the crop. The ways this harms human and animal health are unknown and have never been tested.
 
Neonics, like all the rest of these poisons, are necessary elements of poison-based industrial agriculture, which is based upon agronomically unsound and destructive corn-on-corn and other deranged monoculture planting schedules. This is necessary to prop up agriculture as a commodity sector.
 
Meanwhile an agricultural system based on producing food through rational crop rotation and decentralized agroecology practices would be far more productive and healthy and require none of these destructive and expensive poisons and other extraneous inputs.
 
*Another example of the accelerating failure of GMOs in the field, this one from Brazil where resistant caterpillars are badly damaging Bt corn. The piece includes the usual admonition about how non-GM refuges within Bt plantings are supposed to work. But the fact is that even if such refuge policy were enforced (in Brazil it’s not even mandatory, just recommended; in the US it’s officially mandatory but indifferently enforced and widely flouted), the 5-10% refuge generally suggested is far too small to have any effect even in principle. Refuges would need to be 50% or more to conceivably work for long.
 
But the fact is that refuge policy was never intended to work, and was never anything but propaganda meant to reassure skeptical farmers and citizens that regulators had a rational plan. In fact the only rational plan which has ever existed was how to systematically lie on behalf of this worthless, anti-innovative, luddite product, GMOs. The Bt refuge scam is just one example, but look to literally anything else ever said on behalf of GMOs and you’ll see a similar scam. For example my concluding item.
 
*A similar example from Pakistan, where Bt cotton, including Monsanto’s brand-name Bollgard II and Roundup Ready Flex stacked varieties, is increasingly useless against resistant bollworms. Farmers are having to spray expensive pesticides in addition to paying for the expensive seed. This is the kind of financial destruction of small cotton farmers which has produced a massive suicide wave in India.
 
Bt levels are always chaotic and unpredictable even in the highest quality GM seed. (There’s one measure of what a low-quality product GMOs really are.) But the seed distributed in countries like Pakistan seems especially low quality, often producing little or no Bt toxin at all. This apparently includes not just various knockoffs but the Monsanto name brand.
 
We must always keep in mind that just as in other corporate sectors, with seeds as well the big corporations which control them seldom did any actual innovation or production work, but contract out all the work. The corporation only provides the brand name, does the lobbying, controls the patents, reaps all the profit, and exercises control of the entire process. The one thing it doesn’t do is any actual constructive work. So when we ponder GM seeds, especially in the global South, we should always keep in mind that these are often of much lower quality than even the crappy ones sold in the US. This is just one of the many ways GMOs are a scam and a hoax. Also relevant especially to places like India and Pakistan is how any GMO depends upon large-scale artificial irrigation (in itself a huge conveyance of corporate welfare for the Big Ag corporations) to have any chance of performing the way the advertising brochure claims. But most small farmers in these countries lack access to such irrigation. That too affects, for example, Bt cotton’s actual expression of the pesticide.

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July 16, 2014

GMO Labeling, Propaganda and Action

Filed under: Globalization, GMO Hoaxes, Mainstream Media — Tags: — Russ @ 5:37 am

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To put it in terms of the “spheres” media analysis, GMO labeling has become part of the “legitimate controversy”. That’s because the people forced it there, and because elites regard it as manageable. Monsanto would prefer that it remain within the “sphere of deviance”, opinions and advocacy which aren’t even allowed to be discussed or mentioned at all except in the most dismissive, derogatory terms. But the likes of Walmart, Coca-Cola, and other retailers and manufacturers decided back in 2013 to try to manage labeling rather than keep fighting a scorched earth campaign.
 
Thus the labeling idea is a feature of the corporate media, as a legitimately controversial issue. It’s generally depicted in a condescending way as unscientific and as bad policy. The criticism is always implicitly elitist, often explicitly so in saying that the American people are too stupid to understand product labels. These are the same media who generally flatter these same American people as electoral voters and as savvy consumers. How is it that someone who’s qualified to elect a president or to decide that poison-laced industrial food is safe to purchase is somehow not qualified to assess a simple label? It would be one of the mysteries of neoliberalism if we didn’t know the answer, that the system pretends to be democratic in direct proportion to how profitable it expects this semblance of democracy to be, and to how much the people force it to do so. The system generally fears that GMO labeling will harm a critical commodification gambit. (Which is all GMOs really are. As a practical matter they’re nothing but crappy products which perform far worse than all competitors. For media purposes they’re supposed to exist only in hoax form. For consumerist purposes they’re supposed to be invisible; thus the resistance to simple labels.) But it also thinks the idea of labeling, and some sort of sham policy which would try to maintain the idea while forcibly suppressing the substance, can be managed propagandistically. They hope to use a sham, preemptive “voluntary” FDA policy in order to hijack the concept, repair the FDA’s shattered credibility, and forestall more assertive ideas and actions. Thus the goal, from the system’s point of view, is to use the labeling controversy to neutralize GMO activism, and perhaps to help normalize GMOs themselves.
 
Thus the labeling idea is discussed but subtly denigrated in the media. Only the unwashed rubes want it, but what can you do with such a horde? You shouldn’t want it, but perhaps if it’s properly administered by the FDA it can be an acceptable compromise between the wisdom of our betters and the childishness of democracy. In that case you should definitely be satisfied, and only an incorrigible malcontent or someone with the dreaded “agenda” would continue to criticize GMOs.
 
That’s the way the corporate media, many of the system NGOs, the food manufacturing and retail sectors, want to “manufacture consent” as Chomsky would put it. So the goal is to kettle political thought and activism within the concept of preemptive FDA-administered GMO labeling as the only legitimate regulation and advocacy of it as the only legitimate kind of advocacy.
 
Meanwhile even this sham policy would eventually be banned under globalization regimes like the impending TTIP. One of the GMO cartel’s avowed goals for this is to eradicate Europe’s labeling policies. They’ll want to do the same for even the most threadbare FDA policy in the US. So we already know that even if the GMA bill or one of the similar sham bills were passed as a temporary propaganda retrenchment, the cartel will never stop fighting until no labels exist at all. It’s bad faith for anyone to pretend otherwise.
 
GMO labeling is a good step but not sufficient. It’s good only as a step toward the necessary abolition goal. In addition to all the inherent reasons humanity must abolish GMOs, there’s also the fact that the GMO regime is totalitarian and will never be willing to “coexist” with any restraint upon its dominion whatsoever. So it’s also a matter of them or us. I propose that we get rid of them.

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July 15, 2014

Monsanto’s Labeling Preemption Bill is Touted in Congress

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Monsanto’s propaganda show in Congress continues, as a House committee held a farcical hearing where “experts” who are actually paid cadres of the GMO cartel regurgitated the same bald-faced lies as always. (As is typical of GMO hacks, these alleged experts aren’t even credentialed in the subjects they’re pontificating about.)
 
The same old lies include the notion of corporate rule being needed to “feed the world” (it’s a proven fact that corporate agriculture cannot “feed the world” and does not want to), the nutritional content of GMOs (even Monsanto admits GMOs will always be nutritionally inferior), and the escalated pesticide use they require. (It’s been proven everywhere on earth where GMOs have been deployed that they increase pesticide use, which stands to reason since the companies which sell these seeds also sell the poisons that go along with them. How stupid would someone have to be to have any question about whether  under the GMO regime pesticide use is intended to go up or down?). The hacks also regurgitated direct lies about GMOs having been safety tested in the EU and elsewhere. The fact, as everyone involved knows, is that no government ever required and no corporation ever performed a single legitimate safety study upon ANY GMO.
 
The hearing was merely an echo chamber where Monsanto-bought politicians brought in “expert” hacks to regurgitate the same old lies which the politicians could then rebound back at them and into the press.
 
The hearing was about the FDA preemption bill written by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (for all practical purposes a Monsanto adjunct) which would ban state-level GMO labeling and establish a bogus “voluntary” labeling system as the law of the land. For good measure this bill would allow GMOs to be labeled “100% natural”. This is in response to labeling initiatives which would ban such consumer fraud.
 
We see how the Congress is filled with criminal elements. This gangsterism, as can be seen from the sponsors of this farce, is bipartisan.
 
The occasion also provides an example of how official lies propagate through the mainstream media. I’ve written previously on how Monsanto-fabricated and canned lies moved from industry groups to front groups to the “liberal” media to the front page of the NYT. This notorious NYT hack piece, which seeks to regurgitate every Monsanto lie, suppress all the evidence, and slander every critic, has since been taken up by the mainstream media in general as the “official” corporate media statement on GMOs. As we can see with the Huffington Post piece linked above, the NYT propaganda is now assumed by the rest of the MSM to be normative.
 
In fact, the HuffPo’s dogmatic reference merely reveals the writer to be a cog in the hack machine himself, in spite of his otherwise pseudo-rebellious tone. To accept the NYT as normative is to be part of the same propaganda complex which would label GMOs “100% natural” and, eventually, let them be incorporated into the organic certification. The goal here is to firmly set labeling as the limit of acceptable proposals and slander any further reformist or abolitionist ideas. It’s to be considered acceptable to say “right to know”, but not to say “GMOs are unsafe”. Once this standard is set, then the right to know can also be discarded.
 
The NYT propaganda conveyance and many similar scribblings are examples of corporate media Streicherism. According to the standards of the Nuremburg tribunal, to tell “journalistic” lies in furtherance of crimes against humanity is criminally culpable. 
 
The GMO labeling movement must view stopping this preemption bill and stomping to pieces the “idea” that underlies it as a main priority.

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July 10, 2014

The People of Malawi Oppose Monsanto’s Cotton Scam

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In Malawi a coalition of farmer, public health, religious, and citizen organizations is opposing the pending commercialization of Monsanto’s Bollgard II Bt cotton. The historical record on Bt cotton is conclusive – except where supported with massive, expensive artificial irrigation, synthetic fertilizer, and after the first few years increased pesticides, Bt cotton is economically unviable and destroys the farmers who try to grow it, driving them off their land, into shantytowns, or as in India to mass suicide. In Africa this record has been classically borne out in the experience of South Africa. Here Bt cotton was briefly toasted in the Western media, even as its record on the ground quickly proved a complete disaster. Within a few years the product almost ceased to be grown. South Africa provides perhaps the best example of Bt cotton as more of a media hoax than anything else. Only government bailouts and other subsidies have kept it in the field in the US, Australia, and India.
 
Meanwhile Africa, lacking these corporate welfare resources, has held aloof from Monsanto since the disastrous South African experience. But now, under the Western taxpayer-funded mechanisms of the neoliberal “New Alliance”, the corporate welfare juggernaut is coming to Africa, trying temporarily to force a huge “market” for GMOs into being. While Africa will be unable to sustain any such regime, for a brief period it can be plundered enough to prop up the profit and “growth” figures of Western corporations and economies, which is the one and only economic reason the West embarked upon the GMO project in the first place.

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June 27, 2014

GMO News Summary June 27, 2014

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*The 2012 Seralini study, the best scientific work done on a GMO to date and one of the best scientific studies of recent years, has been republished by Environmental Sciences Europe. The new publication includes expanded material, a reply to the media smear campaign against the study, and a commentary on how the original publication was censored by an anti-scientific cabal presided over by a Monsanto commissar.
 
This makes two duly constituted peer review processes the study has passed, while its retraction by Food and Chemical Toxicology was the result of a secret conclave among the editors and could muster only the most bogus rationale. Scientists around the world welcome this vindication.
 
*More proof from Argentina that glyphosate causes cancer. A new report from the health ministry of the Cordoba province documents high rates of tumors and cancer deaths in the agricultural depratments of the province. These areas are dominated by poison-based industrial soy production, with massive applications of glyphosate.
 
The government is doing its usual thing of emphasizing the broadest numbers it can in order to submerge the significant figures for the plantation zones. As Damien Verzenassi, medical doctor and one of the organizers of field studies in villages among the plantations, says, “They keep demanding studies on something that is already proven and do not take urgent measures to protect the population. There is ample evidence that the agricultural model has health consequences, we are talking about a production model that is a huge public health problem”. 
 
*It’s not just in Western countries that surveillance bureaucracies see domestic spying and subversion on behalf of international corporations to be their primary task. In a report recently leaked to the press, India’s Intelligence Bureau (IB) attacks domestic anti-GMO critics and activists for being enemies of the commodification economy, and therefore of India. The nature of the allegation itself proves the opposite. Since globalization seeks the global dictatorship of a handful of multinational corporations, almost all of them based in the US and Europe, nothing could be more alien to India and the well-being of the Indian people than this corporate domination. Conversely, nothing is more treasonous than the actions of those who want to hand over domestic economies and polities to these corporations.
 
That’s just as much true in the US as it is in India. Corporations have no home and are the enemies of all of humanity.

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June 17, 2014

The Health Dangers of GMOs

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I think that when the ultimate destruction is tallied, the worst poison vectors of poison-based agriculture will be the herbicides and pesticides, including GMOs as poison plants. That GMOs endemically express Bt toxins and are endemically suffused with vicious herbicides will turn out to have been their worst effects. So in the future, as I write about the health effects of the poisons of poison-based agriculture, I’ll be focusing more on these than on the dangers of genetic engineering as such. It’s interesting, though, that corporations and governments live in terror of what safety testing would reveal about genetic engineering as such. Perhaps they know something we haven’t learned yet.
 
At any rate, in this case as always the truth is on our side. There’s never any need to exaggerate it. To give one example where some might be prone to exaggerate, there’s no need to say “All GMOs as such are definitely hazardous to human health.” 
 
What we know:
 
1. The Showa Denko and X-SCID incidents provide proof of principle that the results of genetic engineering can be lethal to humans.
 
2. When we consider GMOs as such, we find there’s a strong theoretical basis for their being dangerous to human health, and considerable experimental and epidemiological evidence that this is so.
 
3. At the very least, no GMO should ever have been commercialized without long-term rigorous safety testing. There’s sufficient evidence today for a recall of existing commercialized products and a moratorium on new approvals until they’ve all been sufficiently tested.
 
That’s the position supported by the science, and that’s what critics say.
 
Contrast the hacks, who have zero evidence on their side. They have nothing but lies and dogma.
 
They originally dodged the precautionary principle and justified commercializing GMOs without safety testing based on the fraudulent ideological, anti-scientific dogma of “substantial equivalence”. The US FDA led the way in promulgating this criminal lie. (The EFSA equivalent is called “comparative safety assessment”, a term invented by the ILSI industry group to replace the embarrassing “substantial equivalence”.) This dogma never had a rigorous definition (it was an intentionally vague bureaucratic notion) but was always known to be a lie by any definition.
 
Today the main lie regarding GMO food safety is the ever-inflating number of meals allegedly safely eaten. This started out a few years ago at a relatively modest figure in the billions, but quickly hyperinflated to “three trillion”, the figure always regurgitated today.
 
This lie tries to shout down the growing evidence of surges in many allergies and diseases correlated with the commercialization of GMOs and their subsequent ubiquity in the food supply of the West and other places.
 
The “three trillion” Big Lie is often accompanied by a corollary direct factual lie, implicit or explicit, that governments have performed epidemiological studies and determined that the food supply is safe. But the fact is that no government has ever performed any such study. Nor has anyone else. Nor could such a study easily be designed, since governments have suppressed information about GMOs in the diet by not requiring labeling.
 
And then it’s common to see, for example in the pages of “Scientific American”, the direct lie that government regulators like the FDA performed safety tests in the first place, prior to commercialization. To repeat, no government has EVER performed or required a single such test.
 
That should tell us all we need to know about the cartel and government attitude toward truth where it comes to the health hazards of GMOs. They believe that GMOs are hazardous to human health, and they believe that rigorous safety testing would prove this. Therefore, they made sure never to require or perform the testing.
 
They hope claims of naivete and innocent ignorance will save them at the New Nuremburg. But their ignorance is not innocent. It is willful and systematic, and is based on their belief that they’re lethally poisoning humanity. Morally this is every bit as culpable as the most consciously premeditated mass murder policy.
 
As for the self-styled “reasonable”, “moderate” commentators we see everywhere, those who are total ignoramuses where it comes to the subject but who believe in the non-existent “scientific consensus” because the New York Times told them to, they’re the same type who in the past have known that tobacco was safe, asbestos was safe, as were PCBs, DDT, dioxin, thalidomide, and many others. Their record of wrong-headed conformity is so perfect that it’s practically a guarantee GMOs are at least as toxic as these.

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June 9, 2014

Even the Corporate Media Can’t Defend Bt Brinjal

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A Guardian piece on the failed Bt brinjal (eggplant) farming trial in Bangladesh contains lots of corporate media turpitude such as asserting in the reportorial voice such corporate lies as that Bt toxins are safe for humans and animals. There’s zero scientific evidence for this, and significant evidence against it. It prominently copies and pastes direct propaganda from paid flacks.
 
Nevertheless it contains some good information on how slipshod the procedures were, and in particular a typical example of how “stewardship” procedures which allegedly can prevent GM contamination are nothing but a PR scam. In this case the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) openly admits it made no attempt to monitor and enforce the paper guidelines. BARI is a typical public-private entity, funded by the taxpayers (mostly US taxpayers through USAID), performing research on behalf of Monsanto, with the subsequent profits to go to Monsanto and other corporations.
 
The farmers also flouted labeling requirements.
 
As for the performance of the crop, this piece gives a more positive review of its initial performance against the target fruit-and-shoot borer than earlier reports. Since the piece is basically pro-GMO we can’t take its information as more reliable than the earlier reports it mentions but dismisses. Meanwhile, it gives more detail than before about how the GMO varieties were more susceptible to bacterial wilt and water stress than regionally adapted traditional brinjal varieties.
 
Of course even if these Bt brinjal varieties actually did initially work against the target pest, it will quickly develop resistance and the crop will cease to work. That’s been the case with every Bt crop variety thus far, and it will always be the case, even when we’re at the point of stacking literally dozens of poisons in every crop cell destined to be our food.
 
The piece is pro-GMO and sees fit to brand critics as “activists” in the subheading and the text, thus regurgitating another cartel canned lie. But those who develop and grow these poison plants are by any objective measure at least as aggressively active as any activist you’ll find in any other context. But there’s a perfect example of corporate media ideology and bias. Corporate and government activism is normative and not considered to be activism at all. Only dissenting action is to receive that allegedly disreputable term. That’s a core part of the Status Quo Lie, that institutionalized insanity is no longer insanity, institutionalized crime no longer crime, while any criticism or dissent, no matter how objectively moderate and rational, is by definition “extremism” and irrational. As Hegel wrote in his crusty conservative old age, “the real is the rational”. Or, might makes right. That’s the one and only principle of the corporate state and its media flunkeys.

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June 5, 2014

Pro-GMO Scum Want A Reporter’s Scalp for Acting Like A Reporter

Filed under: Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 10:22 am

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I’ve noted that Reuters’ Carey Gillam stands out as a rare example of a corporate media reporter who actually does for the most part function as something close to a real journalist. Her reporting on GMOs and related issues is generally even-handed in the textbook sense and contains a minimum of corporatist ideological assumptions.
 
This must be why she’s now the target of a concerted attack by several leading GMO hacks. These scum are making her reporting the specific target of a barrage of lies and idiotic rhetoric, all as part of the backdrop for their demand that she be fired.
 
It’s really amazing how there’s no one in the media who’s more consistently shrill, hysterical, and moronically venomous than these cadres whose leading claim is that they represent “science”. There’s simply no one around who presents themselves in a less scientific, more irrational way than these hacks.
 
They consistently demonstrate that they have no ideas and no arguments, and that this deficiency fills them with fear and hatred of truth. They know they have nothing but lies, noise, corporate welfare, and brute force to prop up their own worthless existences and the worthless existence of the shitty product they tout. As Marion Nestle is quoted in the piece I linked, they’re “scared to death” that someday they might actually have to face their opponents and victims in a fair fight. They know that’ll be the end for them.
 
The other source of this anti-scientific, irrational venom is their technocratic ideology, whose only real content beyond childish techno-hype about stupid toys that will never work is a disdain for human beings. This disdain immediately surges to a spewing, frothing-at-the-mouth rage wherever the people actually dare to question the fraudulent “authority” of these gutter bullies.
 
That’s why there was never a rational debate about genetic engineering or similar technology. The practitioners and touts always combined this deep-seated lack of confidence regarding the value and even the practicability of the technology they religiously worship with, by way of overcompensation, a rabid intolerance of even the mildest criticism. Thus from the beginning of genetic engineering’s public profile in the 1970s the engineers resorted to insults and superciliousness, and soon lies, instead of rationally trying to defend their endeavor.
 
If you’re ever in any doubt about the evidence, just consider the two most characteristic behaviors on the part of GMO proponents.
 
1. They never give reasons or listen to anyone and answer objections, but do nothing but spew shrill invective and hyperbole. They rage against critics or against anyone like Gillam who is even modestly even-handed. There’s no one anywhere in “political” discourse whose expression is a more purely toxic mix of lies, shrieks, threats, and attempts to hurt other people, like this call for a reporter’s firing because she writes in a textbook journalistic way.
 
2. Governments and corporations have always refused to require or conduct valid scientific safety studies. This in itself by now comprises proof that they fear the worst about GMOs and related poisons. They’re scared to death indeed. That they also viciously attack the independent science which is done on these poisons is further confirmation of their imperative to suppress any real knowledge of them. Same for their fanatical resistance to even something so moderate and common-sense as labeling.
 
I still can’t get over how the GMO hacks claim to be so proud of their product in theory, yet in practice are obviously really so embarrassed by it and ashamed of it that they don’t want people to know when it’s there. Imagine if what you considered your great affirmative endeavor were so slimy that you had to skulk around in disguise like a pervert in a raincoat slinking into a porn theater.
 
That’s why GMO advocacy attracts such a low quality of proponent. It’s an intrinsically loathsome product, so only loathsome people would ever associate themselves with it. This latest incident is typical.
 
This also is further proof that nothing short of abolition will work. Do you really think humanity can “coexist” with such hateful, rabid totalitarian fanatics?

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June 4, 2014

The Seralini Study is a Good Study and is Good Enough for Action

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Gilles-Eric Seralini and his CRIIGEN team are withdrawing from participation in a French government study which was allegedly supposed to follow up the findings of the team’s 2012 study of Monsanto’s GM maize variety NK603 and its affiliated poison, Roundup. I’ve written before about how the 2012 Seralini study forced the French government and the EU to announce that they would conduct the very first government safety tests of a GMO ever. If these tests were scientifically conceived and were conducted by independent scientists, they’d be the first such government-ordered tests ever.
 
Now the French regulator ANSES has announced a bogus “subchronic” toxicity test design, little better than the discredited 90-day test it was allegedly going to improve upon. Seralini has set the standard, that any valid study must be a full-length two year study. Anything less is self-evidently bogus. ANSES also invited Monsanto to participate in the study design. Seralini judged that for he and his team, who carried out their vastly superior study in 2012, to participate in this retrograde step would be to endorse it. It would be a betrayal of their own work. Seralini has set the standard – nothing less than a two year study by independent scientists is acceptable. No one who cares about the health effects of glyphosate and GMOs, or about science itself, can ever again accept less.
 
That’s one down and one to go. As for the EU’s projected 2-year carcinogenicity study, no details have been made public yet, but it’s already rumored that a cartel-affiliated group will get the contract. So much for scientific independence, and that will be the end of that as far as a study which has any legitimacy.
 
Seralini’s team also recently published a new paper in FCT (FCT is said to have been forced to publish this rebuttal by its parent company Elsevier, which is evidently embarrassed by the scandal) detailing the anti-scientific double standards involved in the decision of Food and Chemical Toxicology to retract their 2012 study for being “inconclusive”, which was an unprecedented rationale and one that is inadmissible according to Committee on Publishing Ethics (COPE) guidelines. FCT is a member of the COPE. Seralini’s study, a full length two-year toxicology study, the only one which has ever been performed, was suppressed, declared an unstudy which doesn’t need to be cited in subsequent literature, and slandered in the corporate media. At the same time, fraudulent pro-GMO “studies” published in FCT by Monsanto prior to 2012 (Seralini’s study was an avowed replication of Monsanto’s studies, as per proper scientific procedure) and subsequent to FCT’s suppression of the Seralini study remain on the books in good stead. This is in spite of the fact that these were all studies of intentionally inadequate duration (90 days; “subchronic” studies in the parlance), using fraudulent tricks like “historical reference groups” to try to drown out any signal of toxicity, designed not as toxicological studies but simply to test industry-important parameters like weight gain, and which in spite of all these hurdles still found evidence of toxicity.
 
The Seralini study sought to replicate Monsanto’s own study, and did so changing only the duration (2 years vs. 90 days) and what it was measuring (toxicity vs. weight gain and feed conversion). Otherwise it kept things the same, including using the exact same rat variety and the same sample sizes, albeit improving the methodology. This refutes the two most common canned lies about the Seralini study. The only other tack the enemy’s had has been to fraudulently attack this excellent toxicity study as a “bad” cancer study. This is meant to misdirect attention from the fact that it was a toxicity study and thus to suppress the data on the toxic effects.
 
The 2012 study was the culmination of many years of work. The initially pro-GMO Seralini first participated on a scientific review board where he questioned the flimsy basis of EFSA’s approval of MON863 maize. In 2007 he published a review of the shoddy procedures and evidence of health risk revealed by Monsanto’s own trials of MON863. In 2009 the CRIIGEN team published a review of how Monsanto’s own trials of MON863, MON810, and NK603 found evidence of liver and kidney toxicity. That same year Seralini refuted the validity of 90-day subchronic tests and called for a full two-year study. In 2011 the team published another review, this time of 19 studies including industry tests which consistently found evidence of liver and kidney toxicity. That’s the history which led up to the 2012 publication. 
 
This is how science is supposed to work, and Seralini’s study is a fine example of good scientific study by any measure, as well as the best to date on a GMO. It’s the one and only full toxicity study. That the EU and French governments felt forced to announce their own studies is a testament to the legitimacy of this one.
 
What was the system response to science at its best? The 2012 study was subject first to a preemptive UK media counterattack, and then to a relentless smear campaign in the UK and Europe. (The US corporate media largely ignored it.) All this was based on prefabricated lies. The lies were fabricated by Monsanto publicists, propagated by corporate fronts like the UK Science Media Centre and by the EFSA, whose honor was directly at stake since the study results condemned EFSA’s rubberstamping of Monsanto’s own bogus “safety tests”. The lies were eventually taken up and became dogma at mainstream media like the NYT. Seldom if ever has a piece of scientific work been so persecuted and smeared in the Western media machine. Finally the study was suppressed and censored.
 
That FCT suppressed it under intense pressure from Monsanto and the US and UK governments, and at the dictates of a Monsanto cadre who had a new editorial position at FCT created especially for him, is obviously nothing more or less than ideologically motivated censorship. Vastly inferior “studies” which find for GMOs and Roundup, on the other hand, are waved through. The whole affair has been an extreme example of the increasingly typical corruption and corporatization of “peer review”, which renders the whole concept of the people’s reliance upon the findings of establishment scientific procedure more and more dubious.
 
The whole scandal has provided a case study in scientistic authoritarianism. No honest, rational person could or would dispute the basic legitimacy of the Seralini study. Although like any other study it would benefit from repetition and further tweaking, the objections to its legitimacy as such are pathetically transparent and spurious. But corporatist ideologues, including regulators and corporate media personnel, are not rational or honest. To varying extents these ideologues irrationally believe that what corporations want to do should be considered automatically the normative baseline. Anyone who dissents, disputes, or presents evidence contrary to corporate assertions should be considered abnormal, even as a kind of aggressor, and should be held to a higher standard of proof.
 
In the Seralini era, GMO propaganda has begun openly to assert that independent science should be held to a higher standard of proof than corporate claims, however unevidenced. This anti-scientific dogma started out as a corollary to the Big Lie about a nonexistent “scientific consensus” in favor of GMOs. But as it’s become impossible to maintain this self-evidently absurd lie, the hacks have become more brazen about proclaiming a double standard for evidence. Thus they can try to revive their demolished “consensus” claim by segregating evidence-based science into a kind of ghetto and dismissing it as not the real science, while maintaining their conformist, nihilist consensus of anti-evidence, pro-dogma scienticians as the body of “sound science”, to use one of their favorite propaganda terms, recycled from old pro-cigarette campaigns.
 
(That the term “sound science” has evolved from its invention by Big Tobacco lobbyists to become today the official language of the US Trade Representative and other US government bodies where it comes to GMOs, fracking, and similar corporate assaults is a perfect symbol of the extreme communion between the US government and the most vicious, predatory assaults of corporations. It’s also proof of the elemental hostility and cynicism toward science and reason on the part of the government and corporate media. Similarly, the evolution of the Republican Frank Luntz code word “patchwork” to become a recent favorite of Democrats and the “liberal media” is a good crystallization of the identity of liberals and conservatives today. Examples like these epitomize how today the only meaningful distinction and divide is corporatism against humanity, and how this has redefined every other distinction and issue.)
 
Now Seralini and his CRIIGEN team have withdrawn from the French study. This incident rebuts a common theme among GMO skeptics and dissenters that we need more study. Perhaps these people are even dismayed at Seralini’s withdrawal, as progressives are prone to regard the “seat at the table” as more important than any actual result, and in this case may regard any study, however bogus and retrograde and likely to be rigged to produce a pro-Monsanto result, as better than nothing.
 
What’s bizarre about this is that we already have such a good study as the Seralini study, and we see how the system reacted to it. The evidence record is that no study which finds results adverse to the GMO cartel propaganda will ever be acceptable to the establishment, and that we shouldn’t be focusing on being acceptable to the establishment and its media. Indeed, the call for more study often sounds like an attempt to prop up faith in Good Government, and the faith that the people can somehow get regulators to act like the good government textbook depiction of regulators in the public interest.
 
It’s good that people want to reform GMO approval systems to make them more rigorous. But we must put GMOs in their socioeconomic and political context. When we do, and we realize how critical the GMO project is to the corporate system, we can see how unlikely it is that such “petitioning” type reformism can ever work.
 
If we’re to reform anything, we’ll do it only through massive bottom-up pressure which forces elites to change in order to save their own skin. In that case, the right focus for activist appeals isn’t to the system itself, but directly to the people.
 
Similarly, when we truly comprehend the socioeconomic and political evils of the GMO regime, its existential threat to agricultural biodiversity, and the way agricultural poison use threatens a cataclysm which shall destroy human and animal health, environmental health, and the soil itself, we can see that nothing short of the total abolition of GMOs and poison-based agriculture shall suffice. For this purpose as well, we must speak directly to the people.
 
But although we’ll welcome and use all new evidence as it continues to pile up, we don’t need to wait for more of any particular kind of evidence. On every front, we have far more than all the evidence we need. That includes the evidence of the health hazards of glyphosate (abundantly proven) and GMOs as such.
 
The Seralini study is among the best of these compilations of evidence, and along with the rest of the health evidence is enough to move forward with action. According to The Peter Principle one of the symptoms of having no idea what to do, or just not wanting to take any action, is to keep calling for more data even though you already have far more than enough. Let’s not exemplify such a mournful example by implicitly echoing the system’s lies about the alleged inadequacy of the evidence we have.
 
We the people don’t lack evidence, so far we simply lack action.

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