Volatility

April 28, 2015

Anti-Politics and Anti-Science Go Hand in Hand

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From “Colombia Ministry of Health recommends immediate ban on Roundup spraying of coca crops
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“The recommendation was made just hours after the US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, William Brownfield, defended the use of glyphosate and gave assurances in an interview with the local radio station Caracol Radio that the herbicide does not cause cancer as indicated by the WHO.”
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I remember well the Bush years, and the earnest lamentations of liberal/Democrat types deploring the callousness of administration hacks who cared nothing for human and environmental health or for science.
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Funny how completely dead that line has gone since Obama came in.
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Of course we see examples like this every day, everywhere we look, since the corporate state is the corporate state, no matter which of the two tribes comprising the Corporate One-Party is nominally in power.
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We must always keep in mind this intersection of the twin nihilisms, “scientific” and “political”, among those who support corporate rule. In both cases we have an abdication (of any kind of science community; of participatory citizenship) and an aggressive propaganda and coercion campaign, against science, and against political participation, and on behalf of corporatized “science” and “representative” politics.
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Therefore the necessary minimums for a human freedom and vitality movement are, negatively, the abolition of corporate power, and affirmatively, the redemption of science and politics, restoring these to the people who can be their only true and legitimate grounding.

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April 24, 2015

GMO News Report April 24th, 2015

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*A new initiative is offering lab-certified glyphosate tests to the public. (Previous testing with the ELISA method was ignored by the EPA on a trumped up pretext, but the organizers want to pin the feds to the wall with the validated LS/MS/MS test.) We already know this poison which causes cancer, birth defects, liver and kidney disease, neurological disease, and many other maladies is rampant in our food, water, air, and soil, and we already know humanity must ban it. This testing program will allow anyone who wishes to further document the suffusion of this poison throughout our world. The tests will be available for drinking water, urine, and soon for breast milk. Check out their excellent information resource on the human health ravages of glyphosate.
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*Monsanto is being sued in Los Angeles County for false advertising of its Roundup herbicide. The suit focuses on one of the standard lies about glyphosate, that because it “only” targets the EPSPS enzyme pathway, which is found only in plants and not mammals, therefore glyphosate can’t be harmful to people, pets, or livestock.
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The suit focuses on the fact that EPSPS is found in the beneficial bacteria of our microbiome. These bacteria are critical for healthy digestive and other body systems. By disrupting these, glyphosate does affect mammalian health.
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We can add that glyphosate does adversely affect at least two mammalian pathways, the retinoic acid pathway and the CYP pathway. Glyphosate’s harmful action causes retinoic acid oversignaling which disrupts gene expression, leading to birth defects and cancer. Glyphosate also disrupts the CYP enzymes which are important for detoxifying foodborne and other environmental toxins. Therefore it suppresses our detoxification mechanism as well as the help we get from gut bacterial detoxification action, since these bacteria have the CYP pathway as well. This can lead to directly toxic effects, can trigger autoimmune disease and a wide range of conditions. “Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease”, in the words of scientist Stephanie Seneff. Finally, glyphosate’s chelation effect also concentrates hard metals in food, water, and our bodies, which causes kidney toxicity as documented in studies, and which scientists think is the cause of the epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKDu).
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*Environmental groups are condemning the new draft rules the European Commission has issued for the importation of GMO products for use in food and feed. (This is a separate rule from the previously disputed one on GM cultivation within the EU.) The draft directly breaks the prior promise of Commissioner Juncker to make the GM importation process more democratic. On the contrary, the new rule does not improve upon the ability of the European Council to block import approval by a majority vote (as things are now, it needs a supermajority; failing this, the decision passes to the undemocratic EC). Instead, the new rule will further limit the EU-approved grounds on which member countries can ban cultivation or import of GMOs. All this will be accompanied by an accelerated EFSA approval treadmill. The EC and the US government expect that once the flow of imports becomes a flood, it’ll be impossible for any part of Europe to resist or even monitor the Europe-wide spread of GM-based products. As things are, meat and dairy from animals fed on GM feed don’t have to be labeled, though many brands and retailers have committed to using non-GM feed. The new rules are meant to overwhelm all feed chains.
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*The Vermont attorney general’s office is drawing up rules for the state’s GMO labeling law, the first effective policy in the US, which will go into effect July 2016.
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*Neil Young is releasing an album this June including songs against Monsanto. Recently Young has been praising Vermont for its labeling law, condemning the Grocery Manufacturers Association (with such members as Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Kelloggs) for its SLAPP suit against Vermont’s democracy, and calling for a boycott of GMA member Starbucks.

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April 21, 2015

Glyphosate and Its Advocates Are Cancer

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Since the 1980s we’ve been gathering the evidence that glyphosate, AKA Roundup and other commercial formulations, causes cancer. From the start Monsanto and the US EPA were aware, based on toxic and pre-cancerous kidney effects which manifested in studies commissioned by Monsanto itself, that glyphosate was a likely cancer agent. EPA collaborated with Monsanto in keeping the study data secret, thus inaugurating for glyphosate the currently dominant paradigm of “science” as subject to corporate secrecy and information control.
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Since then laboratory researchers, epidemiologists, and health statisticians have gathered the evidence that glyphosate causes lymphoma and cancers of the brain, breast, prostate, and testicles. Even as the science has developed the links between these cancers and glyphosate, we’ve seen surges in their incidence, just as we’d expect during the period of the great surge of Roundup use as a result of the deployment of Roundup Ready GMOs. We reached a milestone with the official acknowledgement of the UN World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
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Contrary to the Monsanto lies which smeared the IARC as having conducted a cursory review, the IARC has been monitoring the science for many years. In April 2014, nearly a year prior to the 2015 declaration, the IARC published a study reviewing thirty years of scientific evidence linking many agricultural poisons including glyphosate and 2,4-D to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
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Today we have the latest study confirming that glyphosate causes cancer. This comes out of Argentina where the truth about glyphosate has long been manifest. Nowhere on earth has glyphosate wrought such health devastation among a populace of innocent bystanders as in the “soy republic” of Argentina and neighboring countries. Here entire landscapes have become sacrifice zones to industrial soy being grown for biodiesel and CAFO feed (NOT for food for people; see below on the “feed the world” Big Lie). Just part of the health carnage has been the doubling, quadrupling, and quintupling of cancer rates and cancer mortality in regions dominated by glyphosate-based soy agriculture.
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What’s significant about the World Health Organization’s finding that glyphosate is a probable cancer agent isn’t that it tells us anything new, but that it’s a major break in the system’s propaganda front. This is why Monsanto and its flacks have reacted so hysterically.
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(Although the WHO as a whole has been consistently pro-Monsanto, the IARC is out of step with the dominant corporate/reductionist ideological framework, instead emphasizing environmental factors in cancer causation.
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Emphasis is placed on elucidating the role of environmental and lifestyle risk factors and studying their interplay with genetic background in population-based studies and appropriate experimental models. This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.

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The proposition that cancer is preventable runs directly counter to the dominant “science” ideology which views cancer as arising from genetic determinism and the acceptable response to be massively expensive and interventionist cures supervised by Big Drug and other corporate sectors. This ideology is driven by the need of the poison-peddling corporations to obscure and deny the fact that profitable products like glyphosate are in fact major cancer drivers. The corporate flacks are abetted by scientism’s religious zealots who refuse to hear any evil spoken of their technological rabbits’ feet.)
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Since the WHO has historically been pro-GMO and pro-poison, the Poisoners have been able to react only awkwardly, absurdly calling for the WHO to “take back” what it said, or inventing such anti-science talking points as that the WHO’s finding applies only to extremely high concentrations. This is contradicted by the evidence the IARC cites, and in general isn’t supported by any rational or scientific proposition or evidence.
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Similarly, pro-poison government regulators have scrambled to limit the damage. We can take Health Canada’s quickly-cobbled-together position as a textbook exercise in the regulator scam. Health Canada says it’ll jigger the labels on Roundup and other glyphosate formulations in order to lessen the probability of poison drift beyond the spray zone and the exposure of farm workers. As I’ve previously described it:
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1. The corporate project is normative and must go on regardless of how worthless, expensive, and destructive it is. Under no circumstances shall the government do anything which would significantly hinder, let alone block, the corporate imperative. Nowhere is this more obviously true than in the case of GMOs, a completely failed, worthless, and destructive product which humanity never wanted, for which no natural market ever existed, which could never have endured even a modestly objective regulatory process, and which has always been 100% dependent on government regulator forbearance and support, corporate welfare, and monopoly muscle.
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In today’s case, Health Canada takes it for granted that overall sales of the #1 herbicide must not be hindered even though it’s a human carcinogen.
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2. Given the parameters of (1), the regulator may try to ameliorate the worst “abuses”, or may just pretend to do so, or may not even pretend. For years Western regulators haven’t cared even to pretend there should be any limit to glyphosate’s license to assault our health. But as we see here, the WHO’s breaking ranks has forced Health Canada into the position of running interference and issuing a sham limitation. Health Canada doesn’t want to thwart Monsanto’s domination or profit, but it feels under enough pressure that it’s introducing an anodyne “reform” which it won’t enforce. (This label change will have added bonus of putting another legal barrier between Monsanto and liability, since it’ll be easier to claim farmers violated the directions on the the label. As we’ve seen, the few exceptions to the united front of regulators and media blacking out any acknowledgement of the failures and harms of GMOs is in cases like the rise of superweeds and superbugs where the system can scapegoat the farmers.)
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3. The regulator then puts its imprimatur on the sham policy. It assures the public that the product is safe and that oversight is in the good hands of a vigilant government alert to the public interest, and so the people should go back to sleep, get on with their private lives, not worry our little heads about anything to do with public affairs including the safety of system agriculture and food.
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Here we see the political, or I should say the generally anti-political and elitist, manifestation of corporate ideology. In cases having to do with agriculture and food we see with special clarity how this anti-political ideology dovetails with the dominant “scientific” framework of recent decades, which can be summed up as “science is whatever the corporations decree it to be”. Through conventional corruption and systemic capture of universities, professional organizations, and government bodies, and of course through near-complete control of career paths, the corporations have procured a comprehensive level of discipline and coordination among the STEM fraternity in a short period of time. Today the vast majority of STEM types agree that science is whatever the corporate publicity divisions say it is, and they formulate their scientific and political opinions and proceed about their day-to-day work accordingly.
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That’s why the response among them to the WHO’s indiscipline has been such a combination of confusion, panic, furious rejection, and improvised lies. Monsanto having failed to get the WHO to immediately reverse itself, the Poisoners are starting to settle on the combination lie of “glyphosate is basically safe, and the WHO’s finding applies only to extreme circumstances, if that, but there’s no alternative to GMOs and these poisons since these are needed to feed the world”. Scientific American offers a typical example.
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We see how determined these fanatics are to continue to poison us. As their scrambling to defend Roundup proves, they have not even a shred of human decency and literally no thought process beyond the monomania of poison – the crop genomes, the plant tissues, the soil, the food, the water, the air, the ecology, the bodies of animals and people, all must be poisoned to the maximum extent possible. That’s why they react with such lies and hatred to the evidence and prescriptions of ecological science and the science and practice of agroecology. We have the corporations whose profits and power, whose literal existence, is completely dependent on the poison paradigm; we have the governments who also look to such corporate paradigms as guarantors of their own power and control; and we have the ideological and religious fanatics, the scientism cultists and general authoritarian followers who are psychologically invested in technophilia, the war of man vs. nature, the worship of power, and the ardent desire to construct a malign new religion out of all this filth, to replace the older religion where they can no longer find any kind of validation.
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All this would be contemptible enough if it existed only in these people’s minds. But right now they have the power, and they’re using it to force these poisons upon us and the environment. They’re literally giving us cancer, and will continue to do so until humanity stops them once and for all.
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I’ll be dealing more with the “feed the world” Big Lie. For now it’ll suffice to say that this is in fact a pure lie. The world already produces far more than enough food for everyone who is alive now or ever will be alive according to the highest UN projections of future population. Yet even though the world now produces enough food for 10 billion people, of the 7 billion alive today 1 billion suffer from hunger, while at least another 2 billion suffer from diet-related diseases. All of this is 100% the result of a malevolent distribution system, and nothing can ever change until this system is radically changed. Until then it won’t matter if there’s enough food for fifty billion people: hunger will only continue to spread. GMOs and poison-based agriculture represent the escalation of this malign, hunger-causing and malnutrition-causing system. These are not and cannot represent any alternative to it, as they’re physically based in industrial agriculture and politically and economically based in corporate profit-seeking. I’ll add that they’re also completely based in the corporate scientism ideology/religion, of which they’re not just a product but a religious ritual and icon.
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So in all these ways – agronomic, economic, political, scientific/religious – humanity and the Earth cannot coexist with the regime of poison-based agriculture or with the Poisoner movement which exalts it. These people, their ideas, their practices, are totalitarian and viciously destructive. They are cancer. We must put a stop to them once and for all.

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April 19, 2015

Pro-GMO Activism and Climate Change Denial

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We who are rational skeptics where it comes to agricultural poisons are used to the ideology/religion propagated by pro-GM activists in the mainstream media. Much of this is made up of brazen falsifications, such as regarding the relationship between GMOs and pesticide use (they increase it), or GMOs and productivity (GMOs are less productive than organic or non-GM conventional production).
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One of the most blatant lies, and perhaps the most self-condemnatory of the alleged integrity of the media, is the notion that GMO criticism can be linked, conceptually or in practice, to climate change denial. This talking point was only recently invented by the GMO propaganda machine and has quickly been propagated through the corporate media. National Geographic has been a high-profile propagator (although the magazine blares on its cover that GMO skepticism is equivalent to climate change denial, the piece actually only touches on GMOs in passing, as if embarrassed at its own absurdity; clearly it dragged in GMOs in only the most tendentious, false-analogy way), while the Guardian recently handed its pages over to an op-ed written by industry publicists so they could repeat this fraudulent comparison. Industry flacks also parrot the phrase at every likely (or, in the case of the more stupid ones, not-so-likely) opportunity.
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We can start with the fact that whether or not climate change deniers are also GMO critics and vice versa is not some kind of speculative hypothetical. Rather, it’s an empirical question of fact or fiction which can easily be checked with a few minutes of online research. And in fact anyone who takes those few minutes finds that professional climate change deniers also support GMOs, and that many GMO supporters are also climate change deniers, while there are no visible GMO critics who are also climate change deniers.
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On the contrary, GM critics and food sovereignty advocates are the most assertive and fact-based in condemning industrial agriculture as the #1 driver of climate change and calling for decentralized food production on an agroecological basis as the only real solution, for climate change and for many other problems. Meanwhile the pro-GMO activists want only to double down on all the pathologies of industrial agriculture including its GHG emissions and destruction of carbon sinks.
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Never once have I seen a GMO supporter criticize an actual climate change denier. On the contrary, many of the most respected pro-GM figures led by Marc von Montagu and Ingo Potrykus explicitly endorsed one of the most inveterate and scabrous of climate change deniers, Patrick Moore. Click the link to see the long list of establishment scientists and other pro-GM figures formally declaring their solidarity with professional climate change denier Moore. This is symbolic of the essential affinity of pro-GMO activism and climate change denial.
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Contrary to the media construction, the rational and practical demarcation line is not “science” vs. “anti-science”, but the willingness to parrot corporate-decreed “science” vs. skepticism toward such a biased framework with such a record of lies. Criticism of such propaganda then concurs with the real science which invariably contradicts the corporate party line. Technicians and publicists paid by ExxonMobil are the same as technicians and publicists paid by Monsanto, just as independent researchers and analysts studying climate change are similar to independent researchers and analysts studying the effects of GMOs. The corporate operatives and flacks of the one are often the same as those of the other, as we see in such cases as the US’s ALEC, Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, or the UK’s Scientific Alliance, just to name a few of the corporatist propaganda outfits where I immediately found both climate change denial and pro-GMO lies. Owen Paterson, Matt Ridley, Bjorn Lomborg, Henry Miller, Dennis Avery, Martin Livermore, are high profile corporate activists who shill for GMOs and deny climate change. The three flacks who penned the Guardian piece were allowed by the paper to fraudulently depict themselves as neutral academics while failing to list their paid positions with the GMO cartel. One of them, Phillip Sharp, is himself employed by the climate-denying Koch Brothers. Climate change deniers and pro-GMO activists are corporate funded, while GMO skeptics and critics face a hard scrabble for support.
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In all this we see a typical example of the mainstream media’s bad faith and lack of integrity. Since everything I’ve written here is elementary fact checking which would take a reporter or editor just a few minutes, we can be sure that National Geographic, the Guardian, and the rest of the corporate media know the facts on the connection between climate change denial and support for GMOs but intentionally suppress these facts in favor of depicting the issue as a hypothetical.
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In fact, such obfuscation and deception is the only recourse of the GMO cartel and its media enablers, since all the logic and all the facts are against them. It’s conceptually clear and historically proven that on all such issues the corporations will always lie while dissidents and critics always turn out to be right. As for the deniers, we know who they are. At the moment they’re most shrill where we have them pinned to the wall, as they’re increasingly desperate in denying glyphosate causes cancer. These are the same historically who have systematically lied about cigarette smoking, asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, DDT, and who today deny climate change. They’re also the same, and often with the exact same corporations they lied for in the past, who today lie in support of GMOs.
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The various lines of propaganda interweaving GMOs and the climate change struggle are among the typical canned lies of the GMO cartel. In the real world, industrial agriculture is the worst driver of climate change. It’s the most profligate emitter of GHGs and by far the worst destroyer of carbon sinks. GMOs comprise the escalation of all the evils of corporate industrial agriculture including those driving climate change. In the real world, agroecology on a food sovereignty basis offers the only solution for climate change, in terms of both mitigation and adaptation.
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But for the corporate system, GMOs and corporate agriculture comprise one of the final possible “growth” opportunities amid an otherwise bleak picture of global market saturation and failing profits, since the finance scams currently propping up all corporate “profit” can’t be sustained much longer. In fact the vision of a genetically engineered blank slate cherished by the biotech corporations can’t be sustained either; for many reasons GMOs are both agronomic and economic failures, which is why they’re completely dependent on government subsidies and oligopoly muscle.
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That’s why the cartel and the media have been so prolific in the quantity and superficial diversity of their lies on behalf of this corporate project, however low the quality of these lies has always been. The “GMO criticism = climate change denial” lie is one of the most pathetic and self-debunking yet. They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

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April 17, 2015

GMO News Report April 17th, 2015

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*Putting the AMA and similar Western professional organizations to shame, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA) representing 30,000 doctors and health care workers has issued a statement demanding a ban on glyphosate in light of the WHO’s acknowledgement that it causes cancer. They add that Argentine researchers and doctors have also proven glyphosate causes reproductive problems, birth defects, and neurological disease. They condemn the Argentine government for its complicity in this massive poisoning of the people.
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Argentina is often called the Soy Republic (though Soy Regime would be more accurate), as the complete domination of the national economy by the Roundup Ready soy system is far more advanced here than for GMOs in any other country. But through the same circumstance Argentina has also seen the most comprehensive gathering of evidence documenting the health devastation wrought by Roundup.
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*A federal court is now extending the same hooded-judge in camera secrecy provisions we’re already enduring in cases where the government fraudulently invokes “national security” to corporate invocations of secrecy and “security”. The judges in Monsanto’s SLAPP suit against the people of Maui have accepted corporate submissions as evidence but are making only heavily redacted versions accessible to the defense. This is of course standard procedure in the corporate tribunals convened under globalization pacts like NAFTA, a jurisdiction of direct corporate dictatorship which will be vastly expanded if the TTIP and/or TPP go into effect.
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But as we see, the US federal courts are avoiding the rush. This secrecy regime, which already encompasses the void left behind where the scientific and academic establishment has abdicated even the pretense of integrity and legitimacy, is now being extended even to the basics of courtroom procedure. The courts shall increasingly be nothing but corporate kangaroo courts. This is the only way Monsanto can sustain its lies.
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These must be our principles: 1. Where it’s kept secret, and where they refuse to test at all, we can assume the worst must be true. The corporations and government would certainly trumpet to the skies any bona fide evidence which was good for their position.
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2. We reject all their secretive “studies” out of hand since these are based on secret alleged data which may not even exist at all, and at any rate does not scientifically exist, since only public data can scientifically exist.
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*Brazilian bioregulator CTNBio went ahead as expected and approved commercial cultivation of GM eucalyptus trees. The Campaign to Stop GE Trees denounces the decision as an illegal violation of the Convention on Biodiversity (to which Brazil is a signatory) and the Precautionary Principle. GM eucalyptus, if it is in fact more profitable for industrial foresters as expected on account of its faster growth, will only accelerate Brazilian rainforest destruction escalate the resultant carbon emissions and destruction of biodiversity. Contrary to the lies of pro-GM activists, all previous “efficiency” gains in industrial forestry only led to greater acreage being destroyed and given over to monoculture plantations. Of course GM trees growing for over five years will also spread their contaminated pollen far more widely than GM annual crops, to related trees and to honey production. And we can still expect a revival of 2013’s attempt to use GM eucalyptus as the camel’s nose in the tent for the Terminator gene, which Monsanto must be ardent to deploy in such crops as Brazil’s Intacta soybean.
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*This month the European Commission is expected to release rules for a new regulatory protocol for EFSA approval of GMOs for importation in food and feed. Friends of the Earth is criticizing a leaked draft promising the new importation approval system will be the same kind of sham as the cultivation approval protocol. In both cases, member states are allegedly to have an improved way to opt out of any GMO approvals. But these opt out provisions will actually be more onerous than the status quo, and will explicitly disallow national bans based on criteria the EFSA assesses, namely health and environmental concerns. This means that the pro-GM EFSA shall be officially enshrined as the only legal arbiter of the science of GMO-related health and environmental issues, which also happen to be the only WTO-allowed criteria for enacting what it would otherwise ban as “barriers to trade”. Meanwhile, the criteria which the new EU opt-out protocol will allow, such as socioeconomic and cultural effects, are precisely those banned by the WTO. So the goal here is to effectively outlaw EU member state bans on GMO cultivation or importation through a bureaucratic Catch-22. The new plan makes some noises about “co-existence” and anti-contamination measures, but will have zero enforcement provisions. Nor does anyone seriously think it will be possible to police the intra-European borders vs. the free flow of imported GM products.
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And what do member states have to give in return for this treacherous form of “opt-out”? Nothing but the surrender of their prior power to block Europe-wide approvals in the European Council, and their acquiescence in a general “streamlining” of the EFSA approval system.
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So the EC’s goal is to open the floodgates to EFSA approvals Europe-wide, inundate the continent with imported GM products (and undermine labeling rules), and make it easy for rogue states who want to allow chaotic GMO cultivation to do so, thereby greatly increasing the rate of general European contamination by GMOs.
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Of course all of this is just the prelude to what the GMO cartel and the EC hope to accomplish if the TTIP is enacted.

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April 14, 2015

Would You Call This Science or a Cult?

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From here, good job by Rachel Parent.
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The first question I had for the Health Canada officials was if they did any of their own safety studies on GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms). Dr. Yan confirmed they did not, and went on to say, “We review the data that is given to us by the company. It’s up to them to demonstrate the safety.”

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The entire debate about whether GMO regulation has anything to do with science comes to an end right there. According to their own words, they accept the information given them by companies who are proven liars with regard to this exact kind of situation where billions in profits are at stake. So the regulatory process has zero grounding in science or rationality as such, but is based on the cult faith that a confirmed liar is now telling the truth.
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Perhaps the real question is whether, to the extent that these regulators aren’t straight-up corrupted liars, they’re expressing some kind of cult faith in corporate rule as such. And we can ask the same of people in general who want to believe the corporations directly, or at least believe them where the faith is mediated through the government regulators.
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The Health Canada cadre gives us another clue:
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I wanted to know if the studies given to Health Canada for safety assessments were peer-reviewed. No surprise, the answer was no. Dr. Yan advised that “Some of the data is actually proprietary data. They invest millions of dollars to develop their crop, so they’re not going to divulge it to anyone else to test the product.”

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As I’ve said, according to the self-image of Science itself there can be no such thing as secret science. By definition all data, to count as scientific, must be public so it can be assessed by the scientific fraternity. (According to democracy it must also be accessible and assessable by the people, and in addition various branches of the humanities would also claim a right to assess it.) Where practicing scientists are willing to recognize a secrecy regime we’re dealing with either a totally new paradigm of scientific practice which directly contradicts even the extant propaganda of science, or else with corruption and cowardice to such an extreme that we can only conclude that science as such has completely abdicated and been replaced by purely instrumental mercenary engineering.
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Either way, when a regulator can claim that not only are the people as well as scientists in general not to be allowed to see the evidence, but that he himself will perform his duties and give a judgement based on this secrecy, in camera like some hooded judge, and then expects the people to accept this judgement as authoritative and scientific, again we’re clearly dealing with a proclamation of cult faith and a demand that the people bow down and submit to such faith.
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(The TTIP and TPP intend to further enshrine such faith, by explicitly declaring, as a matter of public policy, that where it comes to corporate propaganda sheets derived from secret science or any other alleged secret evidence, “the tribunal shall assume to be true the claimant’s [i.e. the corporation’s] factual allegations in support of any claim in the notice of arbitration”. As we’ve seen, this is already in effect how government regulators act.)
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Indeed, as we see with the ongoing cults of the two corporate “political” parties here in the US, and things aren’t much different in Canada, there’s still a widespread appetite for such cultist “authority”. That’s why the Canadian regulators feel so confident about telling direct lies about the nature of the problem and the scope of their policy authority.
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After my meeting with the Health Minister in November, 2014, I was under the impression that labelling GMOs was up to the scientists at Health Canada, but unfortunately when I asked them about it, I was told that it’s not a health and safety issue; therefore it is not within their mandate.

So I asked, if it’s not up to Health Canada, and it’s not up to the Health Minister, then whose responsibility is it? Dr. Yan said “Non health and safety labelling is really under the jurisdiction of the CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection Agency).”….

This is the statement that [Health Minister] Ambrose made during an interview with Global News last year: “If we had the evidence that this was unhealthy, Health Canada would act and impose mandatory labels. That’s our job, to keep Canadians safe and healthy. But right now there is no scientific evidence that conclusively says that in any way genetically modified foods are unhealthy for Canadians.”

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In other words, in circular fashion they’ll refuse to seek and find the evidence on health and safety, then base the dogma “it’s not a health and safety issue” upon this refusal. “We found no evidence. Of course we never looked, which is the best way to find nothing!” We’re Through the Looking Glass indeed. And then, since there’s no evidence, which proves there’s no problem, there’s then no mandate to require labeling.
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Again, none of this can be explained or justified according to any recognizable scientific or rational standard. This is either a fundamentalist religion of faith in corporate rule, or else straight criminality. Or a combination.
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This is constantly being expressed in many propaganda and policy formulations which are self-evidently absurd to anyone outside the cult, such as:
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*A crop which produces its own insecticidal poison in every cell is “substantially equivalent” to one which does not.
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*A crop which through its intended use has its tissues suffused with herbicidal poison is substantially equivalent to one which hasn’t been suffused with poison.
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*None of these poisons are “food additives” which need to be studied, tested, and regulated as such.
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*A chemical which is lethally poisonous to one kind of organism is unlikely to be poisonous to other organisms. This is the bedrock proposition of the Poisoner ideology. To anyone who has even elementary reasoning capacities or simple common sense, this is self-evidently stupid and insane, and at the very least would need to be rigorously proven before policy based upon it could rationally be deployed. Yet as unproven dogma this is one of the bedrock principles of today’s scientific establishment, which can also be called corporate science. Most STEM credential-holders at least claim to believe this dogma and to agree that it has to be accepted on faith, to the point that they regard any demand for proof as some kind of lese majeste, an affront to their god-given legitimacy. (I’ll be writing more about how the proxxer mob scene is an applied example of this authoritarian cultism.)
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Once again we can see how we’re dealing with something straddling the line of a dogmatic authoritarian ideology and a veritably religious cult. In either case it has zero to do with science or reason, and indeed aggressively abrogates all the alleged principles of both.
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Unfortunately, the record of labeling initiatives in the US proves that so far there’s a significant number of people who ratify the secrecy regime, who evidently don’t want to know any information at all. This implicit ratification of “secret science” on the part of people who, unlike the revolving door regulators, can’t possibly benefit from it, and can only be hurt, seems to demand a religious/ideological analysis. Obviously many people still have faith in corporate rule, either directly in the corporations or indirectly through the government. One question is why anyone who’s not being paid to believe any of this would want to do so. Another question, the primary question of our time, is how to counteract this malign cult by demolishing its legitimacy and authority and destroying its faith.

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April 11, 2015

Yet Another Study Proves GMOs Are Not “Substantially Equivalent” Even Among Themselves, Let Alone To Non-GM Crops

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A new study compared two varieties of Monsanto’s MON810 insecticidal maize under optimal conditions and under two kinds of environmental stress: Cold and wet conditions, and hot and dry. According to the pro-GM activists, in the case of both varieties: 1. The transgene should be equally active. 2. It should express equal levels of the Bt toxin (Cry1AB, vs. corn borers and other lepidopteran larvae). 3. There should be a clear, constant ratio of transgene activity to Bt expression. 4. Environmental stresses should have no effect on 1-3. 5. If there is any effect, it should be the same in both varieties.
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The results were quite different:
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1. Under optimal conditions, transgenic action (gauged by the RT-PCR test) was similar, but the average Bt content (tested by ELISA) was higher in one variety than the other.
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2. Under cold/wet conditions, the Bt content increased in one variety but not the other.
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3. Hot/dry conditions, transgenic expression was significantly lower in one variety, but this did not affect Bt content.
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The researchers concluded that even though transgene expression was similar under “normal” conditions, Bt content is affected also by the genetics of the original maize variety, and will therefore vary chaotically from variety to variety (a given transgene will be bred into often dozens of varieties). Under stress conditions the Bt content is highly unpredictable. Inconsistent Bt expression will help the target insects develop resistance, another refutation of the scam “refuge” policy.
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Based on these results, the crop science group Testbiotech is calling for all authorizations of Bt GMOs to be suspended while a new safety review protocol is drawn up and put into effect, as this study demonstrates how chaotic the real-world transgenic behavior and Bt production of these GMOs is. Researcher Angelika Hilbeck noted that this study, along with several previous studies which also found chaotic variation in Bt expression, refute the entire paradigm of “safety assessment” as deployed by regulators, as this assumes consistent levels of the poison in the product. It also refutes advertising which promises a given level of “active ingredient” in the product. Buying the seeds of a poison plant is, after all, the same thing as buying a gallon of chemical pesticide.
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As is standard with regulators all over the world including in the US, the EU’s EFSA assessments do almost nothing to assess the real-world performance of GMOs. (Much like how only ivory tower glyphosate is subjected to only meager testing, while real-world Roundup is subjected to none, and the bogus testing of Roundup Ready GMOs doesn’t include spraying them with Roundup!) No one has the slightest idea what the real world effects of changing environmental conditions will be on GMO performance, and the subsequent effects on human and animal health, beneficial insects, and soil ecosystems.

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April 10, 2015

GMO News Report April 10th, 2015

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*Unlike comparable organizations in the West, Brazil’s National Cancer Institute (INCA) is capable of connecting simple dots. Even the WHO now acknowledges that glyphosate causes cancer. INCA reiterates this and the many other health afflictions caused by glyphosate and other poisons, and goes on to state the obvious, that it’s herbicide tolerant GMOs which are by far the main driver of this great surge of glyphosate use, and therefore of the cancer caused by it.
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As if in direct contradiction of the Cancer Institute, Brazil’s “regulator” CTNBio issued cultivation approvals for soybeans and corn engineered to be tolerant to another cancer-causing herbicide, 2,4-D, as well as water-guzzling, deforestation-driving GM eucalyptus, whose prolific pollen spread promises to quickly contaminate all related trees across the environment.
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*Chinese citizens are suing the government trying to force it to disclose the secret information it has on Roundup and the process by which it approved Roundup. We see how the Chinese government is at one with those of the US and EU in wanting to help Monsanto and other corporations keep the actual evidence about the effects of chemicals like Roundup secret from the people. The escalating democracy campaign to force disclosure of how much the corporations and governments really know about how deadly these agricultural poisons really are becomes all the more critical as we learn more and more about the health and environmental devastation being wrought by Roundup, including the gathering avalanche of knowledge about how it causes cancer.
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The fact is that by definition there cannot be secret scientific evidence. By definition evidence has to be publicized, so we can assume that the secrecy is in fact a cover-up. We must assume that whatever evidence does exist condemns glyphosate (and GMOs) as harmful to health and the environment, which is the reason why corporations and governments want to keep this evidence secret. Meanwhile the public assurances are nothing but propaganda and lies. No legitimate model of science or democracy can come to any other conclusion.
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*Food and Water Watch filed a pair of petitions with the FDA calling upon the agency to follow the law and regulate GMO salmon as the food containing a new additive it clearly is, rather than as an “animal drug”, the way the FDA has been preferring to do. The food additive review process is, in theory, more rigorous and more strongly applies the precautionary principle.
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*In a court filing forced out of it, Monsanto now admits it bankrolled the legal defense of the contract GMO “farmer” who trespassed upon and contaminated West Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh’s land, causing him to lose his certification and costing him his livelihood. It’s no surprise that Monsanto would see the outcome of this case as important for its future revenue and power, since one of the basic elements of government assistance it depends upon is the “co-existence” lie in general and in particular the de facto legal doctrine that where it comes to transgenic trespass and vandalism, the law is presumptively on the side of the aggressor, while it’s the legal and financial responsibility of the target to avoid being assaulted, or simply to submit to it and plant the herbicide tolerant GMOs himself. So among other things it’s a protection racket. In this case, the 2014 trial decision admitted that “co-existence” is impossible even as it reaffirmed the pro-polluter, pro-trespasser, pro-vandal, pro-aggressor doctrine. Since then the legal dispute has been over the trial judge’s order that March pay the Monsanto contractor’s legal fees. It was in that context that Marsh’s legal team was able to force Monsanto’s divulgence, since legal costs can be awarded only for a principal’s out of pocket expenses.
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*Most of the attention to the EU’s revamped “subsidiarity” policy for GMO approvals has focused on GMO cultivation. Now the Commission is about to release its new rules for approval of imported GMOs in food and feed. The main loophole in the EU’s GMO labeling policy is that meat and dairy from animals which were fed GMOs doesn’t have to be labeled, although many supermarket chains eschew GM feed for their own meat and dairy brands. Member states opposed to GM importations have generally been unable to prevent imported feed from entering their own supply chains, but have instead focused on blocking import approval in the first place. Although the details are unclear right now, both the Commission and civil society campaigners are expecting that the new rules, generally dedicated to “streamlining” regulation (i.e. making it more pro-corporate), will make it harder for member states to block EFSA import approval at the outset. There will be fig-leaf “opt out” provisions, but as a practical matter for a member state to opt out of allowing an imported processed product, which will easily cross the border in any number of ways, will be more difficult than opting out of allowing cultivation of a GMO.
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*In its desperation to claim some kind, any kind of support for the TPP and TTIP globalization assaults, the Obama administration released a set of quotes from the always reliable corporate environmentalist front groups the WWF and the Nature Conservancy, along with some other bogus NGOs, which expressed these groups’ “environmentalist” support for the pacts. Although the cowards are now trying to backpedal by claiming they have not technically endorsed these corporate anti-constitutions, the pieces and submissions are loaded with the sycophancy, lies, and neoliberal propaganda we’d expect from the the WWF and their treacherous like.

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April 9, 2015

Scientism and the Secret “Science” on Roundup

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Three Chinese citizens are suing the government trying to force it to disclose the secret information it has on Roundup and the process by which it approved Roundup. We see how the Chinese government is at one with those of the US and EU in wanting to help Monsanto and other corporations keep the actual evidence about the severely toxic and cancer-causing effects of chemicals like Roundup secret from the people. What’s more, these corporations and governments evidently hold to an entirely new concept and paradigm of “science” under which the alleged scientific evidence is to be kept secret from the people, and research materials themselves made available to researchers only under corporate supervision. Instead, government and media elites are to publicly release whatever information the corporations see fit to publicize, this is to be christened as “science”, and the people are supposed to believe it on faith. This is a significant departure from previous scientific practice and in direct contradiction of the self-image and propaganda of today’s capital-S “Science” (i.e. scientism). Yet evidently the mainstream of the STEM and academic establishment supports this new concept and practice of secret alleged science. Therefore, today’s scientific establishment is nothing more or less than an authoritarian cult.
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The fact is that by definition there cannot be secret scientific evidence. By definition evidence has to be publicized, so we can assume that the secrecy is in fact a cover-up. We must assume that whatever evidence does exist condemns glyphosate (and GMOs) as harmful to health and the environment, which is the reason why corporations and governments want to keep this evidence secret. Meanwhile the public assurances that agricultural poisons are safe, indeed that the system ever tested them for safety at all, are nothing but propaganda and lies, and “our” regulators and media are part of this conscious, willful campaign of deceit. No rational model of science or democracy can come to any other conclusion.

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April 8, 2015

Scientism’s Equivalent of “Alien Abductions”

Filed under: Corporatism, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russ @ 1:32 pm

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Or, NASA desperate to justify its continued funding.
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It’s not unlikely the universe is full of life. But there’s no reason to think humanity is going to “discover” it anytime soon, if ever. (The emotional dream of doing so is exactly that – a kind of religious faith. See the Zaitsev quote here for the “Good News”.) This “scientific” prediction, i.e. media stunt, is just the typical tabloidism of scientism PR and corporate welfare advocacy.
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My prediction is that eventually they will make some kind of observation which some of them will claim is proof of extraterrestrial life. (This has been attempted before, but they couldn’t make it stick.) Other scientists, probably a minority at first, will correctly refute this hoax but be temporarily shouted down by the establishment and the mainstream media. The same kind of thing is already happening everywhere in science and scholarship, as corporate-decreed “science” has become Science As Such, while real science has abdicated for the time being. Whatever way humanity will get it back won’t be from within the establishment.

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