August 9, 2017

“Impossible”, i.e. Fake Food, Fake News, Fake Media, Fake Regulators, Fake Humans


Corporate violence makes rivers of real blood flow

The New York Times has long been the premier purveyor of fake news, i.e. systematic lies, on everything from the Iraq War and “war on terror” to GMOs and pesticides to the housing bubble.
By now this corporate tabloid is so brazen that if you were to read a randomly selected paragraph from any issue you’d often have a hard time telling whether it came from a “news article” or the op-ed page.
Since the NYT’s coverage of genetic engineering is among the most corrupted, it’s unsurprising that an article has this corporate flackery and right-wing rhetoric spliced in:

Impossible Foods is finding out what happens when a fast-moving venture capital business runs headlong into the staid world of government regulation.

Investors like Bill Gates and Khosla Ventures have poured money into a variety of so-called alt-meat companies. Silicon Valley has noble goals, applying technological solutions to address major issues like climate change, farm animal welfare, and food security.

But food is not an app. It is far more heavily regulated by governments and much more heavily freighted with cultural and emotional baggage.

Ronald Reagan couldn’t have said it better. Of course the bit about Silicon Valley’s alleged goals goes beyond editorializing to being a flat out lie. The scribbler and her editors know perfectly well that Silicon Valley has no goals but profit and power and is just as opposed to real action on climate change, animal cruelty, and food security as the NYT itself is. This is proven by the fact that a core writing standard at the NYT is for reporters to regurgitate as “fact” whatever governments and corporations say about their own goals, regardless of how unevidenced or contrary to the evidence such claims are. In this case, the “journalist” goes even further and asserts the alleged goal on her own authority. This NYT paradigm, which is followed by the entire mainstream media, is a major constituent of how this media disseminates fake news.
Similarly, for corporate media like the NYT the most hysterical, hyperventilating exaltation of capitalism and high-maintenance technology (and the most shrill defenses of these) is considered the normal baseline while even the most moderate questioning or skepticism is branded “emotional baggage.” It’s like Chomsky’s observation that when the NYT says “the people” it means big corporations and the rich, and when it says “special interests” it means the people and the environment.
Oh, I almost forgot to mention what this is all about. You’ll have to forgive me, but by now all the particular GMO scams blur together into one fuzzy streak of lies and religious wingnuttery. Each new scam is just like all the preceding ones and musters the same canned lies which were completely refuted years, often decades ago. By now only the wicked and the morbidly, terminally stupid still support GMOs and genetic engineering. In this case, GM yeast generates a synthetic version of the heme protein found in soybean roots. This protein is then incorporated into synthetic vat meat to make it “bloody” like a rare hamburger. The target consumers are the kind of wingnut who wants a bloody meat look and texture but doesn’t want to eat real meat. Allegedly, many vegans fall into this bizarre category.
(The Gates Foundation is a big investor in this strange product which is certainly nothing but a boutique item. That’s exemplary of how all the Gates claims to philanthropic motivations are nothing but lies. On the contrary, this exemplifies how the Gates Foundation is motivated by nothing but profit, power, tax dodging, and technocratic religious fundamentalism. Bill Gates is the same as any other televangelist.)
This particular scam does engage some broader trends and pathologies. Is celebrating a literal blood-lust, just offering a substitute for real blood, the right way for vegans to go, in their personal actions and social advocacy? I condemn all forms of animal cruelty, not just the specially cherry-picked ones middle class vegans usually care about. Therefore it seems to me that it’s the blood-lust itself which should be criticized rather than appeased. There’s certainly nothing natural about it; it’s not “human nature”. Indeed, the blood-lust in eating bears an uncanny resemblance to the jingoism of chicken-hawks who have never been to war and would collapse in tearful hysterics at the thought of having to go to war personally. In the same manner, CAFO eaters never want to see how CAFOs and slaughterhouses work. Meanwhile I’ve read much that’s been written by farmers who perform their own slaughter, and though most enjoy meat, I’ve never read one who revels in the blood. Only some parasitic eaters do that. So to the extent we see vegans celebrating the “blood”, we see their affinity group.
(By no means do I mean to criticize veganism as such. I have great respect for vegans with political integrity, and animal cruelty is one of the several reasons I abominate CAFOs and call for the abolition of industrial agriculture. But I despise anyone who is nothing but a myopic, anti-political, generally ignorant “lifestyle” enthusiast whose objective action not only serves systemic evil but runs counter to their own alleged cause. This is the case with anyone who claims to care about animal welfare but opposes abolitionism and acts as a corporate operative, supporting any aspect of corporate agriculture and food. Like all agronomic, ecological, and socioeconomic crises, the crisis of the ongoing animal holocaust through factory farms, environmental poisons, and habitat destruction can be met only with a strong, coherent, disciplined, relentless movement for the abolition of corporate industrial agriculture in toto and the global transformation to agroecology and food sovereignty. But just as with the crocodile-tear climate criminals and de facto climate deniers, so any self-alleged animal welfare activist who claims to find common ground with the corporate onslaught is a liar and a fraud.)
As for the Impossible Foods, they’ve been wrangling with the FDA over the lack of taxpayer-funded, regulator-guaranteed advertising for their product. I’ve written before about the FDA’s fraudulent non-regulating “regulation” of GMOs, which literally is nothing more than a voluntary exchange of letters: The corporation asserts (it doesn’t need to provide any evidence at all) that its GM product is safe, and the FDA replies, “We acknowledge that you claim the product is safe.” That’s it.
The beef here is that Impossible Foods wants the FDA to go beyond this abdication. They want the FDA to state affirmatively that their blood-pack is safe to eat. So far the FDA has refused. (The EPA actually lies more aggressively than the FDA, which in this case prefers passive abdication.) Meanwhile Impossible has “self-affirmed” that its synthetic blood-letting proteins are safe by paying flacks impersonating scientists (they’re all contractors for Monsanto, DuPont, ADM, the Gates Foundation, etc.) to assert this, again with zero testing or evidence. Literally everywhere we look, whether it be to the government regulator, the corporations, the scientific establishment, or the mainstream media, we the same absolute lack of contact with reality – no testing, no evidence, literally nothing but lies made up out of thin air.
It would be rather comical, like a bad liar on a sitcom, if so much weren’t at stake: Page 1 of Impossible’s FDA submission has the usual rote citation of the FDA’s “substantial equivalence” religious dogma, while page 6 acknowledges that the GM product is a “novel protein”. (This self-contradiction is meant to justify the company’s patent. If the heme protein is “identical”, why should anyone be able to patent it? This kind of contradiction has been standard throughout the GMO/pesticide era. Dow even managed to spook the EPA, it was so brazen about denying synergistic pesticide effects in its regulatory application while celebrating them in its patent application.) Meanwhile their website touts the product as “identical” to what we eat in nature. Once again we see the congenital culture of the lie among technocrats.
GMOs are indeed impossible foods. Impossible to improve health and nutrition, impossible to improve food safety, impossible to improve food security, impossible for crop biodiversity, impossible for the soil, impossible for the environment, impossible for the good of farmers and communities, impossible for science and reason, impossible for any coherent human culture, impossible for animals, impossible. On the contrary, they’ve long been proven to be directly destructive of all of these values and goals.
PS. “I hacked my body for a future that never came”: This headline pretty much sums up all high-maintenance technological deployments. But this author and her self-mutilating brethren, with their “hi-tech” version of cutting, are especially mentally ill. Be aware of the level of physically violent dementia these creatures demonstrate.