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(Modern Farmer)   Why does everyone hate Monsanto? Let me count the ways   (modernfarmer.com ) divider line
    More: Obvious, Monsanto, GMOs, Friends of the Earth, Aasif Mandvi, proprietary software, Agent Orange  
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2186 clicks; posted to Business » on 05 Mar 2014 at 3:07 AM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



34 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2014-03-05 12:40:25 AM  
cdn.styleforum.net
Alright, I'm ready.
 
2014-03-05 01:40:13 AM  
This picture is a pitch-perfect imitation of the old Soviet style propaganda posters.
cdn.modernfarmer.com

Reminds me a bit of this one from North Korea:
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2014-03-05 04:41:29 AM  

AverageAmericanGuy: This picture is a pitch-perfect imitation of the old Soviet style propaganda posters.
[cdn.modernfarmer.com image 850x525]

Reminds me a bit of this one from North Korea:
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 262x363]


Thatsthejoke.jpg

In the meantime, antiscience is never going to stop. Which is why people like Monsanto and other labs don't respond to them. In much the same way that smart scientists don't give air time to creationists and young-earthers.
 
2014-03-05 05:48:11 AM  
One thing this article glosses over is how Monsanto sues people who voluntarily label there product free from a Monsanto product, and then pays millions of dollars to fight for "voluntary labeling" of GMO's.  It seems a bit hypocritical of them.  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/12/business/monsanto-sues-dairy-in-mai n e-over-label-s-remarks-on-hormones.html
 
2014-03-05 05:50:17 AM  
So, what is the best PR strategy to placate the scientifically-illiterate paranoids?
I tend to agree with
vharshyde: n the meantime, antiscience is never going to stop. Which is why people like Monsanto and other labs don't respond to them. In much the same way that smart scientists don't give air time to creationists and young-earthers
 
2014-03-05 05:52:04 AM  
Doesn't matter what Monsanto does, the market place is deciding for them. Chipotle, Cheerios, Whole foods etc see that statistic where 93% of the people polled support GMO labeling laws and are responding.

People remember the tobacco labeling fight and assume if a company is willing to spend millions fighting regulations they must be up to something.
 
2014-03-05 05:57:30 AM  
their not there.  Jeesh.
 
2014-03-05 06:53:34 AM  

relaxitsjustme: People remember the tobacco labeling fight and assume if a company is willing to spend millions fighting regulations they must be up to something


Maybe they're fighting because the regulations are just kowtowing to antiscience fearmongering smugbags?
The tobacco companies were fighting the science (ie, tobacco is bad for one's health).
Here, the tables are reversed.
 
2014-03-05 07:00:04 AM  
"Beneath all this is a fundamental disagreement about technology. At one end you have the... position, which suggests our innovations are hurting more then helping us. At the other end are the technological utopians who see restraints on innovation as intolerably prolonging the suffering that would end in a more perfect future."

And the wide middle swath of regular people who simply don't feel comfortable not being allowed to know whether the food the feed their family is GMO or not.

GMO should ALWAYS be labelled as such, and like a good capitalist, you "let the market decide".
 
2014-03-05 07:04:34 AM  
In a New York Times poll conducted last July, almost a quarter of respondents said that they believed that GMO foods were unsafe to eat or were toxic. And nearly 93 percent supported a GM labeling law. (Monsanto's position has been that there is a lack of scientific evidence backing up those claims, and that mandatory labels would inaccurately put fear in the heart of consumers. It has spent millions to defeat various state-level bills and ballot proposals.)

Call me a cynic, but when 93% of the public supports simple labeling and the company says no, I get a bit suspicious.
 
2014-03-05 07:38:54 AM  

jakomo002: Call me a cynic, but when 93% of the public supports simple labeling and the company says no, I get a bit suspicious


 I'll take the scientific consensus over the public's consensus any time of day.
The public doesn't realize how much the extra cost required  will hurt their pocketbook, let alone their collectively not-too-high IQ. And no, it's not the simple cost of the label, but the entire infrastructure behind it.
The label issue is the equivalent of the 'Teach the Controversy' creationists use.
 //trollish Godwin: 93% of Germans wanted Jews  labelled.
 
2014-03-05 07:39:34 AM  
I'm sure they're more popular than Union Carbide is in India, though.
 
2014-03-05 07:45:06 AM  

ltr77: One thing this article glosses over is how Monsanto sues people who voluntarily label there product free from a Monsanto product, and then pays millions of dollars to fight for "voluntary labeling" of GMO's.  It seems a bit hypocritical of them.


I am sure they're over it.
 
2014-03-05 08:21:31 AM  

AlanSmithee: jakomo002: Call me a cynic, but when 93% of the public supports simple labeling and the company says no, I get a bit suspicious

 I'll take the scientific consensus over the public's consensus any time of day.
The public doesn't realize how much the extra cost required  will hurt their pocketbook, let alone their collectively not-too-high IQ. And no, it's not the simple cost of the label, but the entire infrastructure behind it.
The label issue is the equivalent of the 'Teach the Controversy' creationists use.
 //trollish Godwin: 93% of Germans wanted Jews  labelled.


Companies have no concerns about cost when it comes to putting things they want to on labels. Sometimes they are so keen to put stuff on labels that they even attempt to fight the FDA over whether their labeling constitutes medical claims.
 
2014-03-05 08:36:29 AM  

AlanSmithee: relaxitsjustme: People remember the tobacco labeling fight and assume if a company is willing to spend millions fighting regulations they must be up to something

Maybe they're fighting because the regulations are just kowtowing to antiscience fearmongering smugbags?
The tobacco companies were fighting the science (ie, tobacco is bad for one's health).
Here, the tables are reversed.


I'm a chicken farmer, I have no problem providing my customers with information about my product.  Consumers have a right to know how their product is made.
 
2014-03-05 08:54:33 AM  

vharshyde: AverageAmericanGuy: This picture is a pitch-perfect imitation of the old Soviet style propaganda posters.
[cdn.modernfarmer.com image 850x525]

Reminds me a bit of this one from North Korea:
[2.bp.blogspot.com image 262x363]

Thatsthejoke.jpg

In the meantime, antiscience is never going to stop. Which is why people like Monsanto and other labs don't respond to them. In much the same way that smart scientists don't give air time to creationists and young-earthers.


The body of peer-reviewed science regarding individual gene modifications is sparse and nowhere need comprehensive enough to say that any one product is safe or unsafe.

The biggest challenge is that any specific gene modification may have different effects (postive, negative or both). In that way, being against GMO is like saying you're against medicine. On the other hand, fighting against careful study and labeling of each individual modification (or modification set) is like saying that all medicine is harmless in any dose and should never be questioned.

As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.
 
2014-03-05 09:06:20 AM  
What irks me is the trend of breeding strains of seeds that produce sterile offspring, so you have to buy new seeds every season.  When I get heirloom seeds, I get a fail rate of about 25%, but with fresh little packets from the store, the next generation seeds have a fail rate of 75%+.

And for all those folks that think they never eat GMO, let me introduce to seedless grapes, watermelons, burpless cucumbers, bananas, etc.
 
2014-03-05 09:07:50 AM  

stuhayes2010: I'm a chicken farmer, I have no problem providing my customers with information about my product. Consumers have a right to know how their product is made


Do you tell your customers that your chickens are raised with GMO feed?
 
2014-03-05 09:11:11 AM  

AlanSmithee: jakomo002: Call me a cynic, but when 93% of the public supports simple labeling and the company says no, I get a bit suspicious

 I'll take the scientific consensus over the public's consensus any time of day.
The public doesn't realize how much the extra cost required  will hurt their pocketbook, let alone their collectively not-too-high IQ. And no, it's not the simple cost of the label, but the entire infrastructure behind it.
The label issue is the equivalent of the 'Teach the Controversy' creationists use.
 //trollish Godwin: 93% of Germans wanted Jews  labelled.


So wait, Monsanto's position is that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is unsafe.  Which therefore means that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is perfectly safe.  So why not label food and allow consumers to make the informed decision on their own?
 
2014-03-05 09:12:25 AM  
Monsanto is the epitome of pure evil.

Some people are into that kind of thing.
 
2014-03-05 09:13:45 AM  

cherryl taggart: What irks me is the trend of breeding strains of seeds that produce sterile offspring, so you have to buy new seeds every season.  When I get heirloom seeds, I get a fail rate of about 25%, but with fresh little packets from the store, the next generation seeds have a fail rate of 75%+.

And for all those folks that think they never eat GMO, let me introduce to seedless grapes, watermelons, burpless cucumbers, bananas, etc.


In real farms, it is often cheaper to buy new seeds than to collect and store seeds from the previous crop.
As for the fruits you listed, yes, they are all GMOs, but not the GE kind that get the luddites' panties bunched up.  many of fruits/veggies on the market were created using radiation and mutagenic chemical baths. Of course, that's been going on for close to a century now, with no ill effects, and there were luddites back then who protested. Ironically, modern GE methods are far less risky, as we are dealing with one or two new genes, as opposed to several dozen.
 
2014-03-05 09:15:15 AM  

Close2TheEdge: So wait, Monsanto's position is that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is unsafe. Which therefore means that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is perfectly safe


There is NO credible evidence.
 
2014-03-05 09:15:37 AM  

relaxitsjustme: People remember the tobacco labeling fight and assume if a company is willing to spend millions fighting regulations they must be up to something.


^ This.  Monsanto's actions throw immediate suspicion onto their products.  Just label the stuff already.
 
2014-03-05 09:16:27 AM  

AlanSmithee: Close2TheEdge: So wait, Monsanto's position is that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is unsafe. Which therefore means that there isn't enough scientific evidence to suggest that GMO food is perfectly safe

There is NO credible evidence.


So they won't mind labeling the stuff then.
 
2014-03-05 09:18:04 AM  

ryarger: As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.


But that is true to any new breed/variety introduced to the market.   Why pick on GE foods for extra scrutiny, when traditional methods are far riskier?
 
2014-03-05 09:21:04 AM  

AlanSmithee: ryarger: As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.

But that is true to any new breed/variety introduced to the market.   Why pick on GE foods for extra scrutiny, when traditional methods are far riskier?


Riskier?  How?
 
2014-03-05 09:36:36 AM  

Marcus Aurelius: AlanSmithee: ryarger: As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.

But that is true to any new breed/variety introduced to the market.   Why pick on GE foods for extra scrutiny, when traditional methods are far riskier?

Riskier?  How?


Traditional methods for creating new varieties, radiation and mutagenic chemicals, introduce dozens of new untested genes in the new organism. GE techniques only introduce one or two genes, and these are well-studied. The risk is significantly less. But we've been okay with the old process for many, many generations now, and our present review system has been very effective in keeping  the 'bad apples' off the market.
 
2014-03-05 09:42:23 AM  
Gasoline, meet fire.
 
2014-03-05 09:42:59 AM  

AlanSmithee: Marcus Aurelius: AlanSmithee: ryarger: As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.

But that is true to any new breed/variety introduced to the market.   Why pick on GE foods for extra scrutiny, when traditional methods are far riskier?

Riskier?  How?

Traditional methods for creating new varieties, radiation and mutagenic chemicals, introduce dozens of new untested genes in the new organism. GE techniques only introduce one or two genes, and these are well-studied. The risk is significantly less. But we've been okay with the old process for many, many generations now, and our present review system has been very effective in keeping  the 'bad apples' off the market.


That's one way to look at it I guess.

Another way to look at it is that selective breeding, radiation, and mutagens will never give us a glow in the dark tomato.

But my main concern is the push back on labeling.  When a company makes a product, it is traditional for said company to put their name on it and show some pride in their work.  When a company not only rejects this but actively tries to cover up its involvement, they look suspicious as hell.  I can understand WHY they don't want GMOs labeled, since GMOs keep getting a black eye - which is mostly self inflicted to begin with.

Bottom line is they're picking the wrong battle, and it's not doing them any favors.  Every time they oppose GMO labeling, they're telling the public that their product is not safe.  It's utterly stupid and counter productive.
 
2014-03-05 10:08:06 AM  

AlanSmithee: Marcus Aurelius: AlanSmithee: ryarger: As people fall into pro- and anti- GMO we lose the reality that GM is just a technique and that it's the individual modifications that need to be publicized, studied, labelled and understood.

But that is true to any new breed/variety introduced to the market.   Why pick on GE foods for extra scrutiny, when traditional methods are far riskier?

Riskier?  How?

Traditional methods for creating new varieties, radiation and mutagenic chemicals, introduce dozens of new untested genes in the new organism. GE techniques only introduce one or two genes, and these are well-studied. The risk is significantly less. But we've been okay with the old process for many, many generations now, and our present review system has been very effective in keeping  the 'bad apples' off the market.


It's true that the "old fashioned" way introduces more randomness, but modern techniques allow for more drastic changes of the type that would statistically take ages to produce randomly.

It's the potential side effects of these targeted mutations that are most concerning. You say the modifications are "well-studied" but compared to other sciences the peer-reviewed literature is lacking. Too much of the study is kept under lock and key as trade secret and even the patented modifications don't have extensive published testing.

If someone were to hybridize two tomato strains that created a strain that ended up being fatally toxic to some, that would be seen as a tragic accident. The odds of an toxic side effect coming out of breeding two otherwise healthy plants is negligible and no one would expect this to be caught via testing.

However, if someone were to specifically modify a tomato for a specific effect and created a fatally toxic breed and didn't detect this by thorough and transparent testing, that would be negligence.

Properly and widely studied, labelled and monitored, GMOs can be among the most useful tech advances probably for centuries to come. But they have to be approached as science first, capitalism second.
 
2014-03-05 11:23:20 AM  
Marcus Aurelius
ryarger


You both make good points (thanks for keeping the conversation informative, as opposed to the usual paranorants I often see in GMO threads).
Alas, I'm too busy at work to discuss this further.
But we can maybe take this up on a future thread?
Cheers!
 
2014-03-05 12:13:43 PM  

AlanSmithee: Marcus Aurelius
ryarger

You both make good points (thanks for keeping the conversation informative, as opposed to the usual paranorants I often see in GMO threads).
Alas, I'm too busy at work to discuss this further.
But we can maybe take this up on a future thread?
Cheers!


Absolutely.  And thanks!
 
2014-03-05 12:50:25 PM  
Founded in 1901, Monsanto was one of a handful of companies that produced Agent Orange, and its main poison, Dioxin.

Dude, Monsanto is evil, but it's not *that* evil.  Dioxin was a contaminant (though Agent Orange was bad enough without it).  *Nobody* produces dioxin on purpose.
 
2014-03-05 03:36:36 PM  

AlanSmithee: In real farms, it is often cheaper to buy new seeds than to collect and store seeds from the previous crop.


Ok, maybe that is true.  But why not give people the choice?
 
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