Volatility

April 17, 2015

GMO News Report April 17th, 2015

>

*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.
.
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.
.
*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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
*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.
.
*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.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.

<

April 14, 2015

Would You Call This Science or a Cult?

>

From here, good job by Rachel Parent.
.

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.”

.
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.
.
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.
.
The Health Canada cadre gives us another clue:
.

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.”

.
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.
.
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.
.
(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.)
.
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.
.

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.”

.
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.
.
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.
.
This is constantly being expressed in many propaganda and policy formulations which are self-evidently absurd to anyone outside the cult, such as:
.
*A crop which produces its own insecticidal poison in every cell is “substantially equivalent” to one which does not.
.
*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.
.
*None of these poisons are “food additives” which need to be studied, tested, and regulated as such.
.
*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.)
.
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.
.
.
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.

>

April 11, 2015

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

<

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.
.
The results were quite different:
.
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.
.
2. Under cold/wet conditions, the Bt content increased in one variety but not the other.
.
3. Hot/dry conditions, transgenic expression was significantly lower in one variety, but this did not affect Bt content.
.
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.
.
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.
.
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.

>

April 10, 2015

GMO News Report April 10th, 2015

>

*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.
.
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.
.
*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.
.
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.
.
*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.
.
*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.
.
*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.
.
*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.

<

April 9, 2015

Scientism and the Secret “Science” on Roundup

>

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.
.
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.

>

April 8, 2015

Scientism’s Equivalent of “Alien Abductions”

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

<

Or, NASA desperate to justify its continued funding.
.
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.
.
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.

>

April 3, 2015

GMO News Report April 3rd, 2015

<

*The EPA is unlikely to change its pro-poison course of action on account of the WHO’s recent admission of what everyone has long known, that Roundup/glyphosate causes cancer. But it is being forced to change its official policy by a far more implacable foe, the 32 species of Roundup resistant superweeds triumphally marching across the American heartland. According to Reuters the EPA will be formally requiring farmers to adhere to a stewardship program when they purchase Roundup. This theoretical stewardship will be similar to that the EPA is already imposing on the new Agent Orange corn and soy types being released in 2015.
.
This EPA stewardship requirement is likely to be a scam of the same character as the agency’s “refuge” requirements for Bt-expressing crops. The refuges are set at too small a percentage and aren’t enforced, and are therefore widely flouted, even at those inadequate acreages. But the idea of the refuges lets the EPA pretend to have a policy in place to prevent the development of Bt-resistant superbugs, and when these superbugs inevitably evolve, it gives Monsanto and the government a convenient way to scapegoat the farmers for not honoring a policy which was never intended to be honored. Similarly, Monsanto and the corporate media scapegoat farmers for using “too much Roundup”, which is an absurd lie. Farmers have never used a drop more of Roundup than the amount urged upon them by Monsanto and the USDA.
.
This ability to scapegoat farmers is one of the reasons superweeds and superbugs are allowed to be acknowledged in the media discourse instead of being directly lied about the way pesticide use (GMOs really increase it) or yields (GMOs yield less than non-GM) are.
.
*Field trials are set to begin in Maharashtra state in India, where in 2014 the government broke earlier promises and issued No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for the open-air trials. Monsanto, its Indian partner Mahyco, BASF, and others plan to test types of GM corn, cotton, chickpeas, and rice.
.
*Remember the Friedman Unit? Charles Margulis of the Centre for Environmental Health has put together a timeline documenting the similar golden rice unit. He rightly calls it an example of vaporware. I’ve long been calling golden rice a myth and boondoggle and a hoax.
.
*Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) has filed a petition with the USDA calling upon it to end its harassment of staff researchers who perform science which may or does lead to results contrary to corporate interests and lies. The PEER brief cites the effects of glyphosate and neonicotinoids as areas where honest research is especially subject to persecution. The USDA denies the charge and claims its existing complaint and review procedure is adequate, though the numbers it gives are self-refuting. According to Reuters, “An agency spokesman confirmed that from May 2013 through April 2014 eight complaints were filed. Five of those were deemed worthy of investigation and one was deemed to have merit, the agency spokesman said.”
.
Given how hostile the USDA environment is for whistleblowers, and how thankless their task, this is one of those contexts where my default is to assume that someone who files a complaint is telling the truth. So the fact that only one complaint “was deemed to have merit” is strong evidence for PEER’s point, that the USDA’s existing system is a sham. Meanwhile the fact that only eight complaints were filed in the first place is eloquent testimony to a climate of fear and self-censorship, and of the overall self-conformity.
.
*As the EU’s new “subsidiarity” policy on GMO approvals and opt-out bans goes into effect, pro-GMO activists continue with their bureaucratic shenanigans. That’s the basic purpose of the policy – to provide a propaganda fig leaf while EFSA approvals are “streamlined” and a legalistic catch-22 is set up against any long-term abolition policy. Meanwhile IFOAM has again denounced “co-existence” as a scam and called for EU member state bans on GM cultivation as the only rational policy. This is of course the truth. Note the huge difference from the US, where even county-level bans are widely considered to be “radical” even among GMO critics. Yes, we American abolitionists have a tough row to hoe.
.
*A Monsanto cadre speaking to an audience mostly of agricultural students confessed that Monsanto maintains “an entire department” dedicated to lies and smearing the science which continually piles up against Monsanto’s products. Author Stephanie Hampton of the Benton County Community Rights Coalition calls it Monsanto’s “Discredit Bureau”.
.
This incident again confirms that Monsanto continues its pattern of systematically lying about the many severe harms caused by its products. One of the most extreme examples of today’s depravity is the way so many people refuse to believe that corporations like Monsanto or Dow will always lie about the safety of their products, whenever they consider this necessary to hang onto “even one dollar of profit”, as a secret internal memo cried out in the course of Monsanto’s decades-long suppression of data about the hideously toxic effects of PCBs on human beings. Monsanto and its supporters today continue this infinitely vile crime against humanity.

>

April 1, 2015

“Science Issues” Are Political

Filed under: Climate Crisis, GMO Corporate State, Mainstream Media, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: , — Russ @ 9:07 am

>

There’s been much hand-wringing about the benighted heathens discovered by the recent Pew survey which found often large discrepancies between the views of the general public and of “scientists”* where it comes to what it pleases Pew to call “science-related topics” like climate change and GMOs. Blast that confounded democracy thing!
.
The fraud here is the claim that in formulating their publicly stated opinions, “scientists” have a motivation and mindset different from that of the general public. In fact, scientists think about political issues in exactly the same way everyone else thinks about them – politically. The fraud is to depict controversies like climate change or genetic engineering as “scientific” issues when they’re in fact predominantly political and economic issues. The notion that these are primarily “scientific” issues is an authoritarian fallacy meant to discourage democratic participation and give corporate propaganda a free hand. It’s an ideological attempt to deny that the people have intellectual standing to dispute corporate decrees, wherever these can be dressed up as “scientific”. Therefore, the discrepancies in the views of scientists vs. those of the general public** reflect the fact that scientists are more likely to politically support their corporate paymasters. Therefore they espouse the party line of corporate decreed “science”. (There’s also the fraternity solidarity element of STEM types agreeing that any significant corporate technological project is part of their version of Cosa Nostra, “Our Thing”. Thus they furiously try to enforce cadre discipline on the infrequent occasions a member of the fraternity deviates from the party line. But that’ll be a subject for future posts.)
.
As I’ve been writing, the demarcation line on these issues, contrary to the lies of the corporate media, is never “science” vs. “anti-science”. It wouldn’t be, since these aren’t scientific controversies. The line is the willingness to fall into line with corporate-decreed “science” vs. a refusal to do so. With many such “scientific” political controversies the corporate/anti-corporate line is clear. Climate change is an outlier because here there’s powerful corporate sectors on both sides, and the influence of Wall Street and the biotech sector evidently outweighs that of Big Oil, though the media remains studiously polite to the latter as well.
.
.
*Evidently each AAAS scientist was asked all the questions. Now my question is, how is it possible for one person to have scientific expertise across such a wide range of subjects – climatology, energy, toxicology, human medicine, agronomy, botany, biology, ecology, oceanography, space travel? My, these must be the most extraordinary polymath geniuses in all of history.
.
Unless, of course, Pew and the AAAS are simply perpetrating the standard fraud of allowing each narrow specialist to impersonate an expert in all the other fields, and then calling each a “scientist” where it comes to those fields. The truth is that each member of the AAAS cadre is an alleged “scientist” only where it comes to his own specialty, but a member of the general public where it comes to the other subject fields. That’s according to their own credentialist ideology. The fact that our scientists are willing, knowing participants in this fraud says it all about their honesty and integrity.
.
**What on earth is a “general public”, and how is it conceptually valid to separate one alleged element and compare it to the mushy aggregate? How does Pew assure us that this general public really constitutes a well-blended mix, the way their figures claim, as opposed to a large number of distinct elements? In other words, how do we know there’s such a thing as a general public from which an element called “scientists” can be qualitatively distinguished? This notion that scientists comprise some truly unique group, as opposed to being just another political/religious group which has far more in common with other political/religious groups than differences, is in fact a highly dubious and contested proposition in itself. But this purely ideological proposition is of course essential for scientism’s attempt to maintain social authority.

<

March 27, 2015

GMO News Report March 27th, 2015

<

*Polish farmers continue their protests and vigils, now centered on the “Green City”, a small Occupation-style camp they have set up across the street from the prime minister’s palace. Here, groups of farmers camp in shifts, their presence an ongoing Bonus Army-style protest against the agricultural globalization which is systematically liquidating farmers everywhere, from the US and Europe to Africa and India.
.
*Farmers are similarly protesting in India. Thousands convened a Kisan Maha Panchayat (farmer meeting) sit-in where they demanded pro-farmer reforms and the rolling back of pernicious globalization pacts. Meanwhile conflicts over GMOs continue within the Modi government’s political coalition in India. The nationalist Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) has again objected to the new wave of field trials in Maharashtra state, and the central government’s political support for these. The Modi government is ideologically neoliberal and wants to drag India into further servitude to the US government and its corporations, while its coalition allies the SJM and RSS seem to be more like our paleoconservatives here in the US. Although some of them (the Indians, not the US version so far as I’ve seen) have pointed out the evidence against GMO safety, their main concern is globalization’s anti-nationalist economic and political effects.
.
*Food sovereignty campaigners protested at the corporate conference convened in London by USAID and the Gates Foundation. They condemned the Western plan to recolonize Africa along corporate industrial agriculture lines. The corporate assault seeks to destroy the existing system of millions of community farmers producing food for their families and communities and replace it with industrial plantations growing industrial GMOs for Asian factory farms and Western ethanol. This is meant to force into being a vast new market for Western proprietary seeds as well as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides produced by Western corporations. It’s also meant to force the African people as a whole to stop producing their own food and instead buy imported food controlled by, yes, Western corporations. These millions of people currently living in farming-based communities are to be driven off their land and into shantytowns. In the end they’re supposed to become ill and eventually die off from disease and starvation. That’s the Monsanto/Gates/US administration plan. More about the London conference here.
.
*First reports are that for the second time in two tries, the Bangladesh experiment with Bt brinjal (eggplant) is an agronomic failure and economic disaster for many of the participating farmers. The initial reports are that many plants died prematurely, others that had seemed to be growing well suddenly died of disease or of unknown causes, while plants which produced fruit often yielded poorly. Just as in 2014, there are some reports of plants which failed to resist the target pest, the fruit-and-shoot borer. The director of the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) shrugged off most of the disaster, quipping “we never said the plants wouldn’t be vulnerable to disease”. BARI has been running the breeding program and the limited commercial experiments. The initial technical development was done by Monsanto-Mahyco, and most funding came from the US public via USAID. So this worthless project, which gravely threatens the genetic basis of the world’s center for brinjal biodiversity, and which can benefit no one but Monsanto, is being paid for by American taxpayers.
.
*Some good news for Australian organic farmer Steve Marsh in his legal battles with a neighboring contract farmer, Michael Baxter, whose GMO canola contaminated Marsh’s farm and cost him his organic certification. Marsh is currently appealing the pro-Monsanto trial decision, where the judge essentially ruled that GMO contamination is inevitable and normative, and that if organic farming can’t move its face from where Monsanto wants to swing its fist, then it deserves to be hit. The decision included an order that Marsh pay the polluter’s legal bills. But the appeals court has ruled that Baxter must disclose to the court how much legal assistance he got from trade groups and from any corporation such as Monsanto itself. This is significant since Australian law says that awards of legal expenses can cover only what a litigant spent out of his own pocket. Australian industry groups adopted Baxter as a poster child from the beginning of the original lawsuit, but never publicly disclosed how much money they or Monsanto were paying for his legal defense.
.
*The Mexican people continue to rack up victories in court as Acción Colectiva del Maíz announces four court victories in February rejecting Monsanto’s appeals of court decisions upholding Mexico’s moratorium on commercial release of GM maize and the injunction against the government’s abrogating this moratorium. The moratorium is based on defending Mexico’s place as a center of origin and diversity of maize and teosinte germplasm, a critically important place which is under assault from contamination by genetically monocultural GMO maize.
.
*Monsanto has announced another farcical settlement of claims by seven groups of Midwestern and Southern US wheat farmers arising from the 2013 Oregon incident where a farmer discovered feral Roundup Ready wheat in his field, sparking a collapse in wheat exports as Asian markets rejected potentially contaminated shipments. According to the company, the settlement is in the form of $350,000 in donations to various agricultural schools. In other words, Monsanto gets to have its standard financial controls over university agriculture departments double as lawsuit settlements. Pretty sweet. This is even better than last November’s settlement with Oregon wheat farmers. There, although most of the money went to pro-GM wheat trade groups, a modest amount went to the farmers themselves. Here it sounds like no farmer is getting a penny. All the money basically goes back to Monsanto itself, in the form of value from lobbying and corruption. This kind of thing is becoming more common with corporate “settlements”.
.
*More buffoonery from Patrick Moore. This time he was claiming in a taped interview that glyphosate was safe enough to drink and that “I’d be happy to” drink some if it were offered. When the interviewer, a documentary filmmaker exposing the health and socioeconomic ravages of the industrial soy system in Argentina, produced a glass, Moore flip-flopped, refused to drink it, and stomped out. We must stress that in spite of his generally stupid and undignified demeanor, Moore is one of the most prominent professional climate change deniers and is celebrated by the most respectable figures of the pro-GMO establishment. In particular, “World Food Prize” winner Marc von Montagu and “golden rice” lead developer Ingo Potrykus recently led an effort to endorse Moore’s “contributions to science” on behalf of the GMO establishment, thus rendering official the ideological unity of pro-GMO activism and climate change denial. No GMO supporter objected to the Moore anointment.
.
*In 2013 the Maine legislature passed a GMO labeling law which, like Connecticut’s, requires that several other states pass similar laws before it becomes effective. This is called a “trigger”. This immediately proved a problem since Maine’s trigger specified that adjoining New Hampshire would have to be one of the states enacting a similar policy, but a legislative attempt there soon afterward failed. Now a new proposed bill in Maine would upgrade the 2013 law by removing the trigger. If this bill passes Maine would join Vermont as the second state to pass a true labeling law without the self-negating trigger. Obviously a law with a trigger is, at best, a study in ambivalence. Most likely it indicates a government which wants to pretend to be doing something without actually having to do it.

>

March 24, 2015

Rounding Up Roundup

<

The notion that glyphosate is “safer” than other herbicides is a mainstay even among lukewarm critics of GMOs, and of course the US government has long propagated this slogan, although in order for it to do so the EPA had to change its 1985 finding of “possibly carcincogenic to humans” to “evidence of non-carcinogenicity in humans” in 1991. As with all EPA findings since the beginning of the GMO era, this change had zero to do with scientific evidence, but was a purely political decision to accommodate Monsanto. Now lying like this will be a bit more difficult, as the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has upgraded its assessment: Glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
.
Actually they’ve known glyphosate is carcinogenic since the 1980s, and as I said even the Reagan EPA felt constrained to call it a “possible human carcinogen”. The EPA then downgraded that to “not a carcinogen”, straight up because Monsanto demanded it. Today we see Monsanto’s hysterical reaction to the previously reliable WHO breaking ranks like this. We’ll see if the WHO sticks by its guns or moves to marginalize its own scientific finding. Of course Monsanto’s already succeeding in getting the corporate media to “report” on “the controversy” rather than on the fact. But at least the fact that the WHO is now admitting this brings Roundup’s cancer-causing nature into the media’s realm of controversy, whereas the cartel, the US government, and the NYT have long collaborated in making glyphosate’s toxicity an un-fact. (Maybe the American Cancer Society will now have to acknowledge the very existence of this cancer agent.) Even many GMO critics have parroted the Monsanto line that glyphosate is “less toxic” than other herbicides. Hopefully this will at least put an end to that self-defeating stupidity.
.
Let’s get this point straight: Glyphosate as well as 2,4-D and dicamba are highly toxic. The Big Lie is that glyphosate is not highly toxic, period. That’s what the liars always mean when they call it “less toxic”. So it’s idiotic to even ask “which is worse.” The point is that they’re both well beyond the level of “too toxic to be used at all.”
.
As always we must stress that glyphosate is never used in pure form, but is always deployed in commercial forms like Roundup which contain several other toxic ingredients. These real world commercial formulations are far more toxic than ivory tower glyphosate. That’s why it’s a standard scam among regulators to assess only the non-commercial “pure” glyphosate, because they know it’s less toxic. Yet, as the IARC has finally acknowledged, even pure glyphosate is severely toxic and causes cancer.
.
Here’s more on Roundup. The latest in the line of studies out of Argentina exposing the health and environmental destruction wrought by Roundup finds a much higher level (44% higher) of genetic damage among children consistently exposed to Roundup and other herbicides. This group also had a high incidence of chronic respiratory, skin, and eye symptoms, while no children from the unexposed group reported any such persistent symptoms.
.
I’ve often pointed out how antibiotic abuse on factory farms and in genetic engineering (the widespread use of antibiotic resistance markers in GMO development) is effectively a campaign to eradicate antibiotics as a medically effective treatment, and how this corporate campaign is setting up humanity for lethal pandemics as well as driving the ongoing chronic rise in deaths from illness caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria. (I’ve also pointed out the fraudulence and stupidity of those who attack small groups of dissidents for allegedly endangering public health even as the ydo nothing to abolish subtherapeutic antibiotic use.) Now we can add a third industrial driver of antibiotic resistance. New science documents that bacteria exposed to such commercial herbicides as glyphosate, 2,4-D, and dicamba are prone to then have changed responses to application of antibiotics, usually showing resistance. So the wholesale slathering of the agricultural landscape and surrounding environs with Roundup, and starting this year GMOs engineered to be tolerant of 2,4-D or dicamba, is perhaps accelerating the evolution of antibiotic resistant strains and subsequent end game for antibiotics as a whole.
.
More fun with glyphosate and Roundup: A new study gives further proof that Roundup, as well as glyphosate even in its pure form is acutely toxic to human cells and is an endocrine disruptor through causing the death of cells which produce progesterone. The study tested in vitro exposure to human cells at concentration levels allowed in Australian drinking water. It found that Roundup is more deadly to human cells than pure glyphosate (thus again proving that the real world formulation is more toxic than the “pure” chemical which is the sole purview of regulators), but that both kill cells and cause endocrine disruption through cell death. The study didn’t probe whether these poisons are endocrine disruptors in other ways, but there’s strong evidence for this as well.
.
Among the less heralded US government handouts to Monsanto is the longstanding Roundup fumigation program in Colombia, whose proximate goal is to wipe out coca cultivation. This gives a good insight into the real character of the Drug War and any pretensions it has to being about “public health”. On the contrary, it has nothing to do with human health and everything to do with power and corporate welfare. In a case like this the farcical character of the “health” aspect is especially on display, as the spraying program, a veritable chemical warfare campaign (compare the Agent Orange chemical weapons campaign during the Vietnam War), is well documented as causing severe health effects. The Colombian government has supported US paramilitary campaigns within its country because the US pays it off and because they have a shared enemy in legitimate popular movements among the peasantry. But with this WHO report, even some within the Colombian government are starting to wonder if this wholesale program of poisoning the people’s bodies and destroying their crops isn’t, just maybe, politically and ultimately militarily doing more harm than good.
.
The fact is there’s no such thing as a demarcation between purely “civilian” poison spraying and chemical warfare. It’s all on a militaristic spectrum, thus the popularity of violent names for agricultural poisons. Monsanto seems to prefer the Wild West theme. Similarly, the agrochemical corporations and the US government effectively see themselves as waging war upon humanity in general and in particular upon small farmers, subsistence farmers, organic farmers, farmers producing food for communities, all farmers and communities not sufficiently coordinated according to the corporate imperative. The goal is to clear the land for mechanized industrial plantations under corporate control. The goal is to force the people off the land and into slums. The campaign is the same as the post-medieval, pre-modern enclosure campaigns of Europe. The only difference is that in the earlier campaign part of the goal was to forcibly generate an urban proletariat, while today the shantytowns are meant to serve as terminal concentration camps for the permanently liquidated and immiserated. I defy anyone to tell me poison-based agriculture isn’t chemical warfare, against people on a more profound level than against bugs and weeds. Roundup has long been the number one weapon of globalization war. It generated the most perfect agro-state yet, Argentina’s “Soy Republic”.
.
That Roundup and glyphosate, along with 2,4-D and dicamba, are also severely toxic and destructive to human and ecosystem health renders the chemical warfare concept physically as well as economically true. There are many things preventing us from living in peace and prosperity. Among the most vicious assaults upon us are agricultural poisons like Roundup and GMOs. We must abolish them completely if humanity is to have a future, physically or in any other meaningful sense.
.
Today even the usually pro-GMO World Health Organization itself is saying: Roundup is cancer. This is a physical fact, and it’s a political and spiritual fact. We must do what’s necessary.

>

Older Posts »

The Silver is the New Black Theme. Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 249 other followers