Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Musings: Finger on the Pulse

It's been a rough week for anti-GMO activists.

First, the World Health Organization came out and said — contrary to a report issued by another WHO agency last year — that glyphosate (Roundup) poses no cancer risk. This Wired article does a great job of explaining the brouhaha.

Then an Oregon judge rejected GMO bans passed by two counties there, using the same pre-emption ruling that knocked out three anti-GMO ordinances in Hawaii. The judge based his decision on an Oregon Supreme Court ruling that found state law pre-empts local law when they are incompatible.

Babes Against Biotech quickly posted this meme, proving the gals — and the rest of their crowd — still fail to understand that the rule of law is the cornerstone of democracy, and laws have to be legal.
They're just worried, because it's not looking so good for the appeal of the overturned Big Island, Kauai and Maui ordinances when other states use the same legal reasoning as Hawaii. But hey, that doesn't stop them from doing what they do best: begging. In this case, it's to raise money to send Lauryn Rego to the Intermediate Court of Appeals hearing in June so she can denigrate participants and create a wild spin, just as she did with the Maui moratorium ruling and Pioneer-Waimea dust lawsuit.
It brought to mind the petition drive to get Sabra Kauka on “Oprah” so she can pitch the anti-GMO propaganda piece “Aina: That Which Feeds.” I never cease to be amazed at the PR machine behind these guys — and they way they blatantly use kanaka, keiki and kupuna to raise kala.

And just yesterday, the National Academy of Sciences issued an evidence-based report that found, among other things:

On the basis of its detailed examination of comparisons between currently commercialized GE and non-GE foods in compositional analysis, acute and chronic animal toxicity tests, long-term data on health of livestock fed GE foods, and epidemiological data, the committee concluded that no differences have been found that implicate a higher risk to human health safety from these GE foods than from their non-GE counterparts.

Before the report was even released, the antis were out in force, claiming all the scientists and the NAS were biotech shills. Sheesh. Talk about sore losers. It reminds me of Vandana Shiva's wild claim that Monsanto controls all the scientific journals in the world. Uh, if they wielded that kind of clout, do you really think they'd be in the middle of this shit storm?

Of course, the antis will never be assuaged, so no need bother with them, other than to poke fun. But the report will be very useful in helping all the reasonable folks in the middle who want to gain a scientifically-based understanding of both the technology and the controversy that surrounds it.

Because in the real American world, folks are happy with modern agriculture. A new survey found that 86 percent of registered voters polled view farmers favorably, while just 3 percent did not. Some 81 percent said that, “a strong and thriving American farm industry is critical to American national security,” with 92 percent supporting federal spending to help farms and farmers.

And in the other real world — the poor, hungry one — folks want and need biotech, even though well-fed Western elitists tell them they shouldn't have it. 

In Bangladesh, for example, Bt brinjal (eggplant) has so greatly reduced the use of insecticides that an entire village raising the crop was declared a pesticide free vegetable growing area. 

As Arif Hossain Romel, an Alliance for Science fellow from Bangladesh, noted in his Facebook post on the topic: “Surely a good development for better future.”


Anonymous said...

Academies of Science report: GMO's not harmful to human health's-not-harmful-to-human-health

Thanks Joan for your diligence and truthful reporting. What sh*t will the naysayers dump on this report?

John McHugh said...

“a strong and thriving American farm industry is critical to American national security,”

Finally, finally, someone recognizes that! If we are ever in a position where, like here in Hawaii, we are heavily dependent on outside sources to provide the food that we eat then we are done as a country. Stick a fork in it!

Anonymous said...

Where are all the comments? truth hurts, yeah ms. joan? no one got nothing to say when facts come out. keep on writing!

Anonymous said...

You know these people are free to raise their own food. I wish they would. Quietly. In fact I will go piss on their plants for them. A helping hand, so to speak.

Anonymous said...

Who needs pesticides? Who needs local farmers?

We can just buy our "organic" foods from Costco, via China (check your frozen package labels for source):

Google for the latest on China's frightening problems, not only with food safety in general, but with soil contamination on farmland.

"In 2014, China finally published a $150m national soil pollution survey from 2006-2011 that had been classified as a “state secret”. Officials and experts were “really tense” before the report’s release, one insider says, fearing it would harm agricultural trade. Hunan’s reputation for “cadmium rice” has hurt sales, many believe, even though official statistics show output has risen since the Caixin report.
The findings were alarming: nearly one-fifth of arable land was contaminated. There was no indication of how the contamination was distributed, or where the hotspots are."

Anonymous said...

The antiscience people are trying to regroup. Can't lose that cash cow!

It's shameful how much they harm farmers living on the fringe of survival.

Anonymous said...

Most "Farmers" work hard at their trade. The wannabes work hard at talking like they working. The go deep in their word game. People have a choice to eat food from "China". What Chinese food?? We really don't have any idea of what is going on in China. Kind of scary.

Anonymous said...

Any news about the JFFG? Or when the taping of the public discussion of its draft? Seems like a great amount of pseudoscience by the antis has been discounted recently. News of the Oregon farmer's fight against his county's ban against GMOs parallels what has happened here in Hawaii. Pre-emptory efforts are asinine when considering how government works - federal > state > county jurisdictions. Wish that the county can recoup the monies spent or pledged in defense of the soon to be ruled invalid 2491 by the Ninth Federal Court of Appeals next month.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know these people are free to raise their own food. I wish they would. Quietly. In fact I will go piss on their plants for them. A helping hand, so to speak.

May 18, 2016 at 4:51 PM

Gross. Seriously. Does your mommy know you are on the computer instead of taking your nap? Also I wonder if your hands are as small as your brain?

Anonymous said...

10:01 a.m. Actually!!! Urine is use in organic farming as a source of fertilizer. Just saying! just like any other chemical, there's a period of time before you can sell your product in the market. I forget the term that is used. tomorrow, the bridge to a great weekend. Have a good whizzing one!

Anonymous said...

I thought the piss comment was crude but after reading the organic fertilizer comment above, I remembered how the "organic farmers" here on Maui dispose of the sewage waste from their WWOOFers who are living on-site in shacks, yurts, and other non-permitted, illegal housing, with no cesspool/septic system connection.
The gentlemen farm landowners are very proud of the organic compost they use.

One of the reasons I stopped buying local organic produce.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks Joan. Does this mean that Bernard, Maunakea, Ross and Mel were correct all along? That Da Hoos and the rest of the lynch mob were wrong? That Furfaro and Bynum lost their elections because they pandered to the noise and not the rules of law? This is the democratic process. Like it or leave it. Thanks again Joan.

Unknown said...

I learned this from DR Dwain Beck at this winter's No-till on the Plains conference. In China, it is considered rude not to use the bathroom after consuming a meal (at a farmer's house). The farmer recycles those nutrients by returning your excrement to the land. Failure to use the restroom is considered stealing in a weird cultural sort of way.