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January 20, 2016

Boycott Simplot

Filed under: GMO Health Hazards, GMO Hoaxes, GMO-Based Poison Infliction — Tags: — Russ @ 9:56 am

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Here’s the necessary call:

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Boycott Simplot.
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Consumers as a group need to Boycott Simplot and speak with one loud voice that we’re doing so. If McDonald’s of all places is boycotting them, shouldn’t everyone? The campaigns have to ask and then pressure schools, restaurants, and other procurers to stop buying from Simplot.
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Here’s a basic fact for the campaign to stress: Vegetatively propagated direct-food GMOs like potatoes are the most dangerous because 1. They’re direct food or just minimally processed, which means genetically modified and other mutated genetic fragments will be least broken down during processing; 2. Since they’re clones they carry along unexpurgated ALL the mutations of the entire genetic engineering process. (As opposed to crops like maize where the original genetically engineered plants then may have been back-crossed with another variety, and therefore may have had some of the mutations bred out of them. Not so for cloned potatoes.) Plus, industrial potatoes are among the most pesticide-laden crops.
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The “new” Innate V11 potato the media’s been touting is really nothing new, just another variety into which Simplot put the same four RNA interference (RNAi) transgenes they’ve put into four previous varieties. I wonder which one has the most mutations.
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Contrary to the propaganda, RNAi technology is even more imprecise and incomprehensible to the developers than the older genetic engineering techniques were. (Scroll down to the section, “Worldwide: Lack of regulation of a new type of GMO based on gene-silencing technology”.) RNAi continues all the problems with regular genetic engineering – mutations, scrambled genomes, chaotic protein and metabolite expression – and adds chaotic gene silencing effects. RNA interference uses double-strand RNA (dsRNA) to silence genes. Studies have already found evidence that at least some types of dsRNA in food can transfer to the genomes of mice and bees and cause silencing of their own genes. It’s also known that some novel dsRNA types survive cooking and digestion in humans and can be found circulating in the bloodstream. Cf. the link for those studies.
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So we know the alien RNAi material will reach our cells, and we know it enters the gene code of mammals. From there it’s a logical hypothesis that it may also enter and modify the human gene code in chaotic ways. So far we’ve only been talking about the intended gene silencing effect. Then there’s the many chaotic effects we can expect from the constant imprecision of the genetic engineering process.
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As for the standard lie that “Our diets are full of dsRNA [or the cauliflower mosaic virus, or whatever version of this lie is relevant to a particular case] and we eat it all the time without ill effects…”, this is typical evolution denial. We’ve naturally evolved with our cuisines, including naturally evolving dsRNA, over millions of years. As always with genetic engineering, the violent insertion of alien material into a completely unecological context, and the subsequent forcing of this unevolved entity as far and wide and fast as possible, is a qualitatively different case. The attempt to leap over all the carefully developed safeguards of evolution, those of genetic mechanism, physical development, geographical friction, and time, will always conjure the most severe risks which will inevitably lead to the most severe harms.
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With GMOs this effect is made worse by the fact that unlike ecological genes which have mechanisms to regulate the incidence and intensity of their expression, the alien transgene is supplemented with an alien “promoter” gene which turns it on full blast 24/7. This is meant to use brute force to help overcome those evolutionary safeguards. It’s a good microcosm of the entire genetic engineering phenomenon.
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There’s a brief introduction to the food safety implications. As for product quality, these potatoes are typically worthless GM products being touted mostly for the “anti-bruising” trait, i.e. a purely cosmetic purpose which was never a problem before. We see once again how all GMOs are phony solutions in search of phony problems.
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And if bruise-resistance really were an important trait, there already exist non-GM varieties which are bruise-resistant. As per the law of GMOs that for every kind of touted product-quality or agronomic-trait GMO there already exist non-GM varieties which are better, less expensive, and safe.
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As for bruise-resistance, another trait claimed for the Innate potato, there are plenty of non-GM varieties in the European potato database and the UK Potato Council database. A bruise-resistant potato with moderate resistance to late blight is also available in the Kifli potato from the Sarpo blight-resistant family.

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Another transgene is supposed to cut down on the amount of asparagine in the potato. Asperagine is a precursor to the potentially dangerous substance, acrylamide, produced during deep-frying. But in fact asperagine levels vary widely among conventional potato varieties.
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But weirdly, the potato that Simplot chose to genetically modify to make the Innate potato was the Russet Burbank, which belongs to a potato family – the Russets – with the highest levels of asparagine, as shown in the comparative analysis cited above.

The obvious question to the GMO potato fans is: Rather than genetically engineering a naturally high-asparagine potato to make it low-asparagine, what’s wrong with existing non-GMO low-asparagine potatoes?

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In other words they cherry-picked a high-asperagine potato in order to bluster about how much their engineering lowered the levels, even though there are several low-asperagine varieties already conventionally available.
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It gets better. Asperagine is a relatively lesser source of acrylamide. Where can we find lots more acrylamide? You got it, poison-based agriculture.
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That’s partly because the acrylamide problem may result from bad practices in chemical agriculture – in which case it could be solved by cleaning up those practices. Acrylamide is a building block for the polymer polyacrylamide, which is used in irrigation to stick degraded soil together so it won’t blow away. Not only is this practice banned in organic agriculture, it isn’t needed because soil with high levels of organic matter isn’t so prone to blow away. Acrylamide is also an ingredient in herbicides, added to reduce spray drift and improve plant absorption.

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So there’s vastly more acrylamide suffused throughout the food products of herbicide-tolerant GMOs. Therefore GMOs give with a huge hand what they claim to take away with the extremely tiny hand of lower-asperigine potatoes.
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One of the media lies about this product is that it’s genetically engineered to resist blight. “A potato genetically engineered to resist the pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine….”, the piece opens. In fact it has no such “engineering”, but has been conventionally cross-bred with a conventional variety, as the article later implicitly admits:
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Haven Baker, vice president of plant sciences at Simplot, said late blight — the cause of the Irish potato famine — remains the No. 1 pathogen for potatoes around the world.

“This will bring 24-hour protection to farmers’ fields and, in addition, has the potential to reduce pesticide spray by 25 to 45 percent,” Baker said.

The late blight resistance comes from an Argentinian variety of potato that naturally produced a defense.

“There are 4,000 species of potatoes,” Baker said. “There is an immense library to help us improve this great food. By introducing these potato genes we can bring sustainability and consumer benefits.”

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Presumably the piece is more accurate about Simplot’s strategy and timetable.
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The company has already been selling its first generation of Innate potatoes to consumers, selling out its 2014 crop and currently selling the 2015 crop of about 2,000 acres.

Cole said those potatoes were mostly grown in Idaho and Wisconsin, and are being sold in supermarkets across the nation.

But one of the company’s oldest business partners — McDonald’s — has rejected using any of Simplot’s genetically engineered potatoes.

Cole said the company plans to introduce the potatoes to other restaurants and hotel convention centers as precut and pre-peeled potatoes, where he said the resistance to bruising makes them a good product.

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Another article clarifies that last point: “Doug Cole, the director of marketing and communications for J.R. Simplot, said that the potato would be rolled out at restaurants and hotel convention centers and introduced to customers in 2017.” Here’s more on the chronology to date. This is from August 2015.
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The first generation of the Innate potatoes, approved in March by the Food and Drug Administration as safe for consumers, were marketed as White Russets. Doug Cole, the company’s director of marketing and communications, said about 400 acres’ worth sold out last summer in grocery stores in 10 states in the Midwest and Southeast. The company plans to market about 2,000 acres of potatoes next summer.

“Our focus is on the fresh market for the coming year,” Baker said. “We think the benefits are clear. We’ve got customers, and it’s a place that we’re excited to be. To some degree I think we need to prove that consumers are willing to buy White Russets, and they know what they are and that they see the benefits. Then I think the other parts of the industry will come.”

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To sum up, the “first generation” was grown in 2014 and sold raw in supermarkets on a limited basis. A larger but still small amount is being sold right now “in supermarkets across the nation”, i.e. as part of the general commodity stream. Looks like the plan is similar for 2016, with increasing emphasis on “precut and pre-peeled potatoes”. Is that the only way they’re appearing in stores? That’s the only way the retailer on back through the supply chain could charge a premium. Otherwise the pilot farmers must have been supplied with the seeds at a discount (or Simplot itself is growing them; possible, given the minuscule acreage so far), since these potatoes couldn’t have been sold at a premium. But Simplot certainly intends to charge a premium, otherwise how would they recoup their development costs? The McDonald’s rejection is putting a big crimp in their plans to introduce the GM potatoes to the processed product stream.
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The flack avoided saying “schools”, “hospitals” and so on, but he has to mean those as well. Anyone who wants to do something about this can start inquiring of institutions right now: “Do you buy from Simplot? Their potatoes contain these dangerous ingredients, and that’s going to get much worse. Eventually they’ll jack up the price on you as well. Wouldn’t it be better to switch to a different supplier? If they’re not good enough for McDonald’s, surely they’re not good enough for you!” Meanwhile he did emphasize restaurants, so make sure to educate yourself about what a restaurant is serving and let them know, “A place serving Simplot won’t be my spot.”
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This can be done in an organized way, stand-alone or as part of a broader campaign against poison food. Looking beyond the procurement struggle, all motivated individuals should eschew all Simplot products and publicly call for a general boycott.
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This is a particularly egregious case of a GMO which is absolutely worthless from ANY point of view other than extra profit for the seller of the tubers if he can fool farmers and procurers into buying them (and fool consumers, through lack of labeling; and the GMA would try to keep RNAi GMOs out of any labeling policy which might ever be enacted), and as another occasion for the bottom-feeding cultist fanboys to shriek about how wonderful the idea of GMOs is, and especially about how horrible the science-based, public health-conscious critics are.
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The botox apple is another example of perfect worthlessness.
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3 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Ban GMOs Now Blog and commented:
    Excerpt: “Contrary to the propaganda, RNAi technology is even more imprecise and incomprehensible to the developers than the older genetic engineering techniques were … RNAi continues all the problems with regular genetic engineering – mutations, scrambled genomes, chaotic protein and metabolite expression – and adds chaotic gene silencing effects. RNA interference uses double-strand RNA (dsRNA) to silence genes. Studies have already found evidence that at least some types of dsRNA in food can transfer to the genomes of mice and bees and cause silencing of their own genes. It’s also known that some novel dsRNA types survive cooking and digestion in humans and can be found circulating in the bloodstream.”

    Comment by Jeff Kirkpatrick — January 20, 2016 @ 11:53 am

  2. Re-blogged & will tweet this too.

    Comment by Jeff Kirkpatrick — January 20, 2016 @ 11:53 am

    • Thanks Jeff.

      Comment by Russ — January 20, 2016 @ 1:32 pm


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