(More of these to come.) I often say that we need to be personal exemplars and ambassadors on behalf of freedom, democracy, and physically sound agriculture and food systems. Therefore those of us who choose to do so must also testify against corporate agriculture and food systems, and in particular against GMOs. A friend asked me which sources are good to cite and refer people to. My blogroll now lists the best sources I’m aware of, and I look forward to adding more as I learn of them.
Just keep in mind that most people who ask for sources don’t really want them, but are just hoping to catch you without a clear answer. You can usually tell by their demeanor. In a case like that I say, “I doubt you really want sources, but for anyone who does, here it is…”
(I also stipulate ahead of time such principles as that seed patenting is illegitimate. Thus I anticipate such nonsense as “so you think all the courts are corrupt?” This was in response to my citation the CFS report on Monsanto’s domination of the seed sector and legal persecution of farmers. I replied, “Of course they are, if they can enshrine seed patenting in the first place.” It’s good to stay ahead of the liars and trolls and never look like you’re the one trying to answer THEM. It should always be, “As I already said…..so your canned lies have long since been thoroughly disproven.” Of course, if one doesn’t start out placing opposition to GMOs within a comprehensive anti-corporate context, one loses much of the rationale for one’s opposition, reducing it to squabbling over the health effects of this additive but not that additive.)
Then we need to demand what their “sources” are and be ready to laugh and shoot it down when they give anything from the corporate media, front group NGOs, etc.
Outfits like the Center for Food Safety, Food and Water Watch, and the Environmental Working Group are irreproachable as sources, since no honest person could ever claim these are “extremists” or “scary radicals”. On the contrary, their recommendations are as sedately bourgeois-reformist as they come. Indeed, EWG is partnered with Just Label It. So anyone who would reject those as trustworthy reporters on a subject like this is indicating simply that he would never accept discouraging words about GMOs or other poisons from anyone, and that his demand for “sources” is fraudulent.
Meanwhile, GMWatch, Earth Open Source, ENSSER, and the others I have on my blogroll are excellent, scientific, journalistic sources. Anyone who’s going to scoff at these as “activist” is probably going to scoff at anything. Indeed, saying that someone like Gilles-Eric Seralini is “an activist, not a scientist” is one of the standard canned lies.
The fact is that Seralini is typical of the GM critics among scientists in that he started out being basically pro-GMO, but had increasing doubts as he became more familiar with the evidence of toxicity the industry’s own tests were compiling and how the regulatory process simply waved it off. He and his colleagues repeatedly called for the EFSA to require real safety testing, and after this was ignored for years he sought to carry out a real study himself. This was the study published in 2012. Like with others, to the extent he’s become a strong critic of the GM establishment, it was in response to how it demonized him and other real scientists who were simply doing their jobs.
That’s for the canned lie that someone like Seralini is an “activist”. Meanwhile, I’d demand to know how those who would regurgitate this lie can figure that a Monsanto spokesman, Monsanto-funded technician, or NYT writer, are not “activists”. Not that there’s any equivalence there. Unlike them, Seralini has never gone around saying what he was paid to say, unless it was earlier in his career when he still believed in this stuff.
In truth, the activist-not-scientist label fits the pro-GM technicians and flacks to a tee. They’re the ones who regard the Monsanto imperative as religious truth; who seem to feel a sense of mission about the technology as such with zero regard for whether it actually works, what harms it does, and whether it does anyone any good or not; who are willing to tell any lie necessary and recklessly disregard truth wherever necessary (thus the full canned attack on the Seralini study was being launched even before it was published; self-evidently, the attack came from those who couldn’t have even read the study and didn’t really care what it said, what evidence it could offer, but were only going to attack and lie no matter what; and this has since gone for almost all detractors, who have never gone beyond the original canned lies) ; and who automatically, knee-jerk fashion, shout down anyone who even questions the Monsanto imperative, let alone produces evidence against it.
In the same way that the hacks are desperate to claim fraudulently the imprimatur of “science”, they’re also desperate to deny that all this is in the service of Monsanto (or in another form of the lie, that Monsanto is any kind of big deal in itself). So if anyone ever tries to pull this trick, make sure to nail it to them: Monsanto’s whole history of pure destructiveness and tyrannical aggression, even getting a court in Mississippi to rule that its behavior “outrages the conscience” (a technical legal finding which, as you might imagine, courts don’t find against corporations every day); its proclaimed intent to achieve (with its fellow cartel members) oligopoly control of the seed sector; its aggressive behavior toward this goal and in using this power; the fact of its increasing control over academic research and media propaganda.
Putting all that together, it becomes self-evident that:
1. Support for GMOs = support for Monsanto.
2. Monsanto is a highly aggressive corporation which has consistently proven that it has a sociopathic attitude toward poisoning workers, communities, and the environment, and that it regards monopoly position as both a goal to be aggressively sought and power to be aggressively used, all for zero purpose than its own profit and power. In other words, it is veritably a totalitarian organization. It can be regarded only with horror and loathing by anyone who cares about freedom, democracy, science, or simple human decency.
(If anyone were to say that this description isn’t unique to Monsanto, but applies to plenty of other corporations, this doesn’t diminish the power of the analysis, but merely proves further that corporations in general are psychopaths which need to be abolished.)