Thursday, June 30, 2016

Musings: Trending...GMOs and TVRs

A group of Nobel laureates is the latest to call out Greenpeace, the Consumers Union and others for their fear-mongering and falsehoods around GMOs. 

So far, 107 of the world's top scientists have signed a letter calling on Greenpeace to abandon its campaign against the crop technology:

WE CALL UPON GOVERNMENTS OF THE WORLD to reject Greenpeace's campaign against Golden Rice specifically, and crops and foods improved through biotechnology in general; and to do everything in their power to oppose Greenpeace's actions and accelerate the access of farmers to all the tools of modern biology, especially seeds improved through biotechnology. Opposition based on emotion and dogma contradicted by data must be stopped.

How many poor people in the world must die before we consider this a "crime against humanity"?
Standard issue uniform for anti-GMO activists.
As Richard Roberts, chief scientific officer of New England Biolab, told The Washington Post:

It's easy to see what Greenpeace is doing is damaging and is anti-science. Greenpeace initially, and then some of their allies, deliberately went out of their way to scare people. It was a way for them to raise money for their cause.

In other words, it's exactly what we've seen playing out in Hawaii for the past few years, when the Center for Food Safety joined Earthjustice in spreading lies about the seed crops grown in the Islands, with ignorant, opportunistic politicians like Gary Hooser and Margaret Wille piling on.

Venezuelan videographer Guido David Nuñez-Mujica saw something similar happen in his country, which in 2000 was a pioneer in biotech:

“And then we had an early sign of the dark times that would come later and of the anti intellectualism that destroyed the life of millions of people. An experimental field of GM papaya was burned by anti GM activists, and the scientists responsible for the experiments were harassed and threatened with jail.”

He's got a Kick-starter campaign to raise money for a documentary that tells the story of the scientists, as well as farmers denied the virus-resistant papaya technology that has come under attack in Hawaii.

The Laureates join the American Academy of Sciences in confirming the safety of biotech. So are you gonna believe them, or know-nothing, narcissistic nitwits like Babes Against Biotech and Dustin Barca?
Yeah, they can, and are.
Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders is desperately trying to retain some relevancy by fighting the newest iteration of a national GMO labeling law. The Senate is using a “gut and replace” mechanism — like the one employed by the Hawaii Lege to advance a tax credit for organic farmers — to move the measure forward. 

Sanders stirred up trouble by trying to make like it really was an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood (language in the original, gutted bill) rather than the labeling measure. Come on, Bern. Fight the bill on its merits, but don't throw up red herrings.

Opposition to this bill underscores the uncompromising rigidity of the anti-GMO movement, which has been screaming for national labeling under the guise of the public's “right to know.” But now that a bipartisan bill is moving forward, they don't want it because it doesn't accomplish their goal of making GMOs sound so scary that consumers buy higher-priced organics instead.

But what's really funny is how the antis are now savaging one another over this bill, with Food Democracy Now! publishing a list of the supposed “sell-out” companies that support the bill. Here's an example of the hyperbole: (emphasis in the original):

With this act of ultimate betrayal, Whole Foods cements its position as a poison-pushing distribution partner of Monsanto, the world's most evil corporation that produces poisonous, deadly crops laced with bt toxin [ironically, an organic pesticide] and glyphosate, a cancer-linked herbicide.

Wow. Now even Whole Foods is a shill.

In other national news with local implications, Airbnb is suing San Francisco over a law that requires the company to remove unlicensed rental units from its website, claiming it violates federal commerce laws and free expression. 

Ya, right. The only thing it violates is Airbnb's opportunity to make money. The company is valued at some $25 billion, and it thrives in part by dealing with illegal rentals.

Under the San Francisco law, the company would be fined $1,000 per day per violation.

Now that's a law that Hawaii needs to consider imposing. At least Gov. Ige vetoed the law that would have allowed  Airbnb to collect tax revenues from those listing on its site. The law required only that people "attest" to being legal — which is how so many unqualified vacation rentals on Kauai got permits.

Practically every major U.S. city is struggling with how to handle the boom of short-term rentals. Most have enacted or are considering regulations for services like Airbnb.

Los Angeles started to take action against rent-controlled apartments that have been illegally converted into short-term rentals. "I think short-term rentals pose a serious threat to affordable housing," said attorney Randy Renick, who represents the Los Angeles tenants. "And in Los Angeles, the platform most widely used by landlords to evade the law is Airbnb."

New York state and San Francisco are also close to cracking down on short-term rental sites with hefty new fines.

NYC hosts violating the ban would face fines of $7,500, with Airbnb saying some 40,000 hosts would be affected. 

One can only hope this is the start of a trend. 


Anonymous said...

Science is the way to cure our ills not fear mongering, faith or ignorance

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the anti's will be quick to condemn these "uneducated" Nobel laureates, as nobody can know more about GMOs than da Hoos and his minions. I'm happy to see the that learned world, however, truly understands the benefits of designing food that will survive todays challenges in farming.

Anonymous said...

I assure you one million Europeans can be wrong. Are they ever right?

Anonymous said...

Where are all the comments? Oh yeah it's really hard to argue against facts and science.

Anonymous said...

I wonder whose funding those doctors projects?

Anonymous said...

I wonder who's funding Greenpeace.

Anonymous said...

The 107 Nobel Laureates have greater collective intelligence that the "1,000,000 Europeans who can't be wrong No GMO" who need a CRISPER insertion of smart genes real soon. As for Greenpeace, the US should yank its non-profit privileges in this country and leave them to to their dirty deeds in Europe. Their posture on GE is shameful, arrogant and deranged.

Anonymous said...

Over one million Europeans were wrong when they supported German Socialism in the 1930s.

Anonymous said...

80 million world citizens are dead because the leading European country started WWII.
History is no gauge of anything.
The present is what counts.
Bottom Line---as Walter Lewis stated in hos opinion at GI today, "The Council ain't listening to the folks"...well gee whiz Walter! You are correct.
Ever since Da Hoos, JoAnn and newcomer Mason endorsed mob action and allowed an endless line of the unwashed, wealthy patchouli endowed, elitists to control the Council, try to end Big-Ag, end all good relationships with Big Land,threaten the Mayor and whatnot...any person of a pale complexion who testifies is treated to the eye-rolling vacant gaze. They no listen. They no care.
This is at Da Hoos' and JoAnn's doorstep. Even the so-called "good Haoles" are treated with less than expected decorum.
Result of Da Hoos/JoAnn/Mason.....Big Land doesn't trust the Council and will do nothing to assist anything. And by the way....Big Land controls everything in the long run. The remaining 3 Big Landowners were here before Statehood and will be here after. And the "NEW" semi-Big NS landowners Wells, Zuck etc are so rich that they will never need to sell and their Paradise will be sealed.
“There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.” It is always the land and water.

Anonymous said...

Joan, you forgot to mention that the Surfrider Foundation is closely allied with Greenpeace.