January 1, 2016

GMO News Summary January 1st 2016


Here’s to making this the year we start rolling back Roundup and strangle the 2,4-D and dicamba GMOs in their cradle. And let the good tidings of agroecology finally begin to pollinate and transform civilization.
*Edinburgh, Scotland, is the latest municipality planning to phase out use of Roundup in public parks.
*Hershey’s move to drop GM sugar from its Kisses and other popular products is causing a crisis for the sugar beet industry, which within just a few years almost completely adopted Roundup Ready beets. This decision of beet farmers to become Monsanto flunkeys is now backfiring as, just as we critics predicted, they’re starting to lose big customers who are hearing the voice of the people on Roundup and GMOs. Hershey is switching to cane sugar, which (so far) is not genetically modified on a commercial basis (though it’s often subjected to burndown Roundup treatments, so the switch isn’t a complete liberation from Roundup). Beet contractors who want to switch back to non-GM are finding it very difficult to find decent non-GM varieties. Again as predicted, the wholesale surrender to the Roundup-Ready product went in tandem with breeders abandoning work on non-GM varieties, and with the seed industry ceasing the production of non-GM seeds.
This is the main lesson of this incident. It’s proving what we’ve always said, that the GMO cartel seeks to capture entire seed markets and agricultural endeavors, and drive non-patented, non-GM varieties out of existence. When Monsanto captures the breeding establishment, puts extreme monopsony pressure on seed growers, while the US government offers special subsidies for GM growers, the only possible result is the extirpation of non-GM seeds and the general, increasingly dangerous narrowing of agricultural germplasm. This one of several main reasons corporate industrial agriculture is not only unsustainable but is cruising for catastrophic failures. It also disproves one of the standard canned lies, that “GMOs increase farmer choice”. It was always self-evident to reason and common sense that GMOs would do the exact opposite. The historical evidence record has since been unequivocal, and today with GM sugar beets we have one of the best examples yet.
Typically of the irrationality and lack of adaptability of pro-GMO activists, the CEOs of several sugar beet operations are blaming the situation on “anti-GM groups” rather than on their own stupidity and lack of foresight. The fact is that their product is low-quality crap and is poisonous, and the people know it and are demanding something better. In a modest way Hershey is trying partially to break free of Monsanto’s dominion. If only more farmers would start getting some sense about this. But for the moment the sugar beet contractors are blaming everyone but themselves.
*A new website, GMO Science, says it will investigate the facts about the agronomic, environmental, and health effects of GMOs. According to the site’s Statement of Principles:

As experts in science, medicine, and agronomy, we have come together to evaluate the data on the pros and cons of genetically modified organisms (GMO) through an expert review process. We do this within the greater context of the relationships between GMOs and the global ecological and food systems.

In the spirit of integrity in our fields of study, we continue to refine and challenge the validity of our own views, as well as the ever-evolving conventional wisdom surrounding the impacts of GMO technology in the food, health and agricultural sectors.

The advisory board looks good, including such scientists with a record of integrity as David Schubert, Ramon Seidler, Jonathan Latham, and Belinda Martineau. The site makes the point that although many kinds of diets have been extensively compared by scientific experimentation, no research has even been performed comparing a GMO-based diet with a comparable non-GM diet.
This science could be done only if GMOs in the diet could be tracked rigorously, including the ability to consult proper GM labels on food. Those who oppose GMO labeling do so in large part in order to prevent such scientific research from being carried out, because they live in fear of what the results would be. This suppression of the ability to do the epidemiological science also demonstrates the pure fraud of the “billion GMO meals” lie. There is of course zero science to justify this, since such science cannot be done in the absence of data. But we can assume that Monsanto and the US government think the results would be very bad for GMOs, since otherwise they themselves would want the scientific work to be done.
Getting back to the site, we the people welcome the work and input of experts wherever they act in accord with reason, science, and democracy. This is extremely rare today. But of course experts are only consultants, and science itself can legitimately be only a consultant to political rationality and morality. In the end it’s always up to we the people to make the political decisions (and all social decisions are ultimately political), including the decision to surrender our sovereignty to technocrats and corporations, which is so far the decision modern people have made. Most of all we must overthrow this most heinous of world-historical mistakes and derelictions.


  1. I enjoyed starting the New Year with some good news on this front! And I laughed when I saw the sentence about anti-GMO groups being blamed for the failure of the crops. That’s okay by me! I would love to feel they are that powerful.

    Comment by dualpersonality — January 1, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

    • Glad we’re off to a good start! Yeah, we’re not quite that powerful yet, and such spewing from them just demonstrates how stupid and bullying they are. But give it time. Eventually we’ll be able to give them what they’ve been asking for all these years.

      Comment by Russ — January 1, 2016 @ 2:28 pm

  2. […] is availability of high-quality open-pollinated cotton seed. As we’ve seen most recently with sugar beets in America, one goal of corporate agriculture, especially the GM-based paradigm, is to monopolize seed […]

    Pingback by Indian Agriculture, Crises and Solutions | Volatility — February 22, 2016 @ 4:37 am

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