August 19, 2017

A Case Study in the Pathology of the “More Testing” Ideology

Filed under: GMO Health Hazards, Reformism Can't Work — Russ @ 10:41 am


Syngenta’s products are no less purely cosmetic, and we don’t need “More Testing” to know it.

I’ve long criticized the rote call among GMO/pesticide critics for “more testing” when we already have far more than enough evidence. I diagnose this as a symptom of philosophical bankruptcy on the part of those who have no idea how to use the Himalayas of evidence we already have and no idea what alternative to poison-based agriculture to advocate. Most of them don’t really believe in the potential of agroecology, however much they pay lip service to it. Worse, most of them don’t really want to abolish technocratic control of food and the devastation of the ecology. Their aversion to GMOs is more of a fluke than a coherently principled position. Indeed, many of them openly say that they’re not anti-GMO or anti-pesticide at all, and merely want more tests in order to confirm that GMOs are safe.
Today GMWatch has reached a nadir. They’re so beholden to the “More Testing” dogma that they’ve seen fit to reproduce a paper put out by a Big Pharma front group called “Understanding Animal Research”. Looks like under the right circumstances GMW and Syngenta can see eye to eye; check the list of Members at the UAR site. Of course the purpose of this site is to prop up the increasingly discredited notion that corporate animal testing can guarantee the human safety of products. We know this is a lie on several levels: In principle it’s doubtful that animal testing necessarily gives human-applicable results; even assuming a test could in theory be valid, in practice the tests are designed to incorporate various methodological frauds such as irrelevantly short durations, wrong parameters, use of tricks like “historical control groups”; even then the tests are often shoddily performed in such disreputable laboratories as the notorious IBT.
GMWatch itself has helped publicize many of these frauds, which makes it all the more telling how they still close ranks with the corporate testing regime any time they can get establishment endorsement for such meager, lukewarm statements as this from UAR’s Abstract: “Currently, the scientifically-assessed direct hazardous impacts of GM food and feed on fauna and flora are conflicting.”
GMWatch is so proud of this Abstract that they don’t shrink from reproducing this triple lie from it, which they themselves have helped debunk so many hundreds of times: “Modern agriculture provides the potential for sustainable feeding of the world’s increasing population. Up to the present moment, genetically modified (GM) products have enabled increased yields and reduced pesticide usage.” Clearly, the fundamentalist commitment to “More Testing” drives one into bed with some strange bedfellows indeed.
It’s unfortunate to have to criticize such an often excellent information aggregator this way. But it’s not enough to do some good, we must especially refrain from evil. If the More Testing ideology requires one to make common cause with Big Drug and give aid and comfort to the false corporate testing regime which needlessly wastes so many animals for nothing but its worthless destructive unsustainable products, that should cause one to seriously question the path one’s on. The right path never requires such corruption.
To say again, we who reject poisonism have vastly more than enough evidence, affirmative and negative (Strict Proof), to convince any honest, rational person to become an abolitionist. If we have not yet motivated a sufficient number of people, this is from a combination of a lack of reason and energy on the part of the people, and our own inadequate communication and tactics. But under no circumstances is it from a quantitative lack of raw material. On the contrary, where we see anti-GMO people who keep mindlessly calling for More Testing we’re really seeing those who aren’t truly committed to abolitionism, to food sovereignty, who are not opponents of corporate control, and whose criticism of GMOs doesn’t necessarily reflect any underlying values at all.
Strictly speaking, this hasn’t been an “anti-testing” piece, though it is that also. But it’s primarily the insistence that we already know all the facts about corporate agriculture, have known all the facts for decades now, and that only procrastination, out of hopeless confusion or a lack of real commitment, could be the purpose of still pretending we don’t know the facts once and for all. And this procrastination, in turn, is part of what’s delaying the true beginning of the necessary transformation humanity must make.


  1. Right, this is true. And in general we already have most of the information we need to make the transition to a human based, (somewhat) sustainable economy.

    But we won’t do it! We have substituted the void in our lives with corporate profits – production and consumption growing to infinity. And behind it lies of course the deregulated, private money banking system. Money should be publicly issued, and banking should be a public utility.

    Because of our systemic failure, we face terminal degradation and conflict. I wonder if anyone, such as the Chinese, will get right. Though it seems doubtful right now.

    If they do, I wonder what sort of history they will write about America, or if they will even care.

    Comment by dolph — August 19, 2017 @ 2:46 pm

    • It sure looks terminal, and the Chinese are almost as terminally committed as the West. It looks like no one, including the vast majority of critics of the system, will do anything to change anything. I hate to say it, but so far it looks like the individualist preppers will, by default, embody the highest level of organization toward any possible future, i.e. none.

      Those would be the right money reforms if the centralized system was sustainable at all. Some years ago I wrote many posts about that. Search the site for “MMT”, for example.

      Comment by Russ — August 19, 2017 @ 3:51 pm

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