The Unnecessary War

I don’t think I’ve ever written about GMO labeling. I’ve always thought it was pretty clear why anyone opposes it. Today someone asked me why a company would work so hard against regulations like this, and I answered as best I could at the time, but class was beckoning and my response was more of a survey than any kind of in depth commentary.

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If GMOs are the bee’s knees, why wouldn’t you want … a label to tell you if it contains them or not? Why would a company fight so hard to resist labeling if they think it is genuinely in the consumer’s best interest?

Those are good questions, and it’s really easy to see how some could interpret the fight against labels as an attempt to hide something. Trust me when I say that there’s nothing to hide. I probably sound like the biggest shill ever, but the beard doesn’t give a fuck. I hate labels. Well, I hate pointless labels that don’t convey any useful information. More on that later.

Before getting into why I and so many others are against labeling, we need to look at who’s running these campaigns and why. One might think, and rightfully so, that it’s just concerned citizens taking on Big Ag or Big Food or Big Whateverthehell. That’s understandable because those regular citizens are the ground troops. I’m hesitant to say they’re pawns, but… Anyway. As with any good story, there’s layers, and layers this one has.

I’ve touched on the front groups leading the charge against biotech before, but some may need a refresher. I’m just going to plagiarize myself for a bit to save time.

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) seems to be well-respected among progressives. commondreams.org links to them and compares the OCA to foundations like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU according to Biology Fortified. Awesome, right? Not so fast.

Some might ask if there’s anything wrong with supporting organic agriculture. Honestly, nothing. I buy organic from time to time. If the produce looks better, I don’t care who grew it. But the OCA isn’t as magnanimous as I am. Their website states that they want “The conversion of American agriculture to at least 30% organic by the year 2015″ and a “global moratorium on genetically engineered foods and crops.”

Now why would anyone want to halt production of GE crops? OCA explains:

“GMOs are created  in a lab, by inserting a gene from one organism into another unrelated organism, producing plants and animals that would never occur in nature. No long-term safety studies have been done on humans, but animal studies link the consumption of GMOs to an increase in allergies, kidney and liver disease, ADHD, cancer, infertility, chronic immune disorders and more.”

OCA is fairly open about representing the interests of corporations in the organic market, and based on what I can tell, around 1/3 of their funding comes from these businesses. They couldn’t possibly be into advocacy for the money, right?

“The burning question for us all then becomes how – and how quickly – can we move healthy, organic products from a 4.2% market niche, to the dominant force in American food and farming? The first step is to change our labeling laws.

Ronnie Cummins, President/CEO of OCA

Maybe they are only interested in our health. Maybe they’re just misguided about biotechnology. Maybe I should stop wondering and dig a little deeper.

OCA began as the Pure Food Campaign, started by Joel Jeremy Rifkin, a bit of a crusader against technological advancements. While he did well to make us aware that global warming is a serious problem, he’s opposed to biotechnologies and nuclear power. I’ll never understand the picking and choosing which sciences to accept, but what can you do?

In 1998, Ronnie Cummins took over the campaign and has continued to use it to smear anyone who dares not to drink the organic Kool-Aid. Since then, they’ve formed various coalitions with the deceptively named Center for Food Safety (The Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition is awing of the FDA.) and the Institute for Responsible Technology. OCA has also run anti-GMO campaigns that received funding from Whole Foods which, for a group with such an anti-corporate stance, makes them come off looking like a bunch of assholes. It’s not like they needed help in that area, but I’m going to help anyway.

Cummins, at a 2001 protest outside of a Starbucks (They’ve been doing the Monsanto milk song and dance for over a decade. What a bunch of dicks.), said “[M]ost consumers aren’t smart enough to know what they want.” Brilliant, that coming from someone who declares we have a right to know.

One of OCA’s partners in crime, as mentioned above, is the Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). This is a weird one, and there’s waaaaaay too many heads on this hydra to even begin effectively taming this beast. Let’s start at the center.

Jeffrey Smith, a flying yogi, seems to be at the heart of this tangled web of who knows what. As part of the now defunct Natural Law Party, he ran for senate in 1998 on a “vedic science” platform. The NLP was the political face of the Maharishi Institute, a transcendental meditation cult based in Fairfield, Iowa of all places. Smith now controls the IRT which is part of the GMO Inside steering committee. Academics Review also has this to say about Mr. Smith and IRT:

“Some of the sources of IFRT’s annual budgets can gleaned from financial sponsors acknowledged on Jeffrey Smith’s website.  They include a range of organic, natural products and alternative health providers that mirror reported contributors to GMO labeling ballot initiatives in California and other states.  Among the largest donors are Organic Valley (George Simeon), Stonyfield Organic Yogurt (Gary Hirshfield), Natural News Insider (Mike Adams) and Mercola.com –  alternative health and nutraceuticals (Joe Mercola).”

Oh yeah, he also worked at Genetic-ID with John Fagan.

Fagan is a molecular biologist who used to work at the National Institutes of Health before moving to Fairfield, Iowa (uh-oh) to practice transcendental meditation and take a professorship at the Maharishi University. He was a cancer and gene therapy researcher before he decided tinkering with genes is dangerous. Obviously, this revelation came with his opposition to biotechnology/GMOs.

1996 saw Fagan founding Genetic ID, a genetic testing lab that seems to specialize in finding GMO DNA in food. Genetic ID is responsible for the Starlink corn scare way back in 2000. Purported to be an independent lab, its links to Jeffrey Smith, the Maharishi Institute, and the IRT bring that independence into serious question. Did I mention John Fagan is also on the board of GMO Free USA? Yeah. GMO Free USA also got started with the help of OCA.

Genetic ID also has another curious connection to an anti-GMO group. Or should I say a Non GMO Project? I feel more than comfortable saying that Genetic ID is the mysterious independent lab that GMO Free USA and GMO Inside refer to when they “discover” GMO DNA in random food products. They couldn’t possibly stand to benefit by proclaiming such discoveries and stirring up fear in their bases.

Damn. I forgot just how tangled all those groups are. Not mentioned up there is that Millions Against Monsanto is part of the OCA. You probably already know that. It’s not some secret, but oh well.

As you can see by their own comments, it’s about banning GMOs and taking over the food market. Why does anyone want to take over a market? $omething tell$ me you know the an$wer to that already.

Obviously organic can’t compete with conventional farming, and… Wait. I need to back up for just a little bit and talk about the Maharishi cult that seems to be pulling the strings behind all of this hullabaloo.

Organic isn’t exactly their endgame. Biodynamic farming is what they’re really after.

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So what’s the big deal with biodynamic farming? Who cares if they’re beholden to “lunar rhythms”? You tell me if these are the people who need to be making our agricultural decisions. Here’s an example of what biodynamic includes:

Making Biodynamic compost, using the Biodynamic compost preparations, is a very deliberate process. Rudolf Steiner described this as a process of literally making the compost pile inwardly sensitive and receptive. In this sense it imparts a cosmic intelligence to the pile and ultimately to the soil the compost is applied to.

Don’t get me wrong. Believing that a pile of rotting shit can have some mystical sense of self doesn’t mean that said pile isn’t good for fertilizing crops. This sort of thinking just leads to other, wilder beliefs about how to farm such as this method for keeping away field mice:

Thus you obtain your burned mouse-skin at the time when Venus is in Scorpio. And there remain, in what is thus destroyed by the fire, the corresponding negative force as against the reproductive power of the field-mouse. Take the pepper you get in this way, and sprinkle it over your fields. In some districts it may be difficult to carry out; then you can afford to do it even more homoeopathically; you do not need a whole plateful. Provided it has been led through the fire at the high conjunction of Venus and Scorpio, you will find this an excellent remedy. Henceforth, your mice will avoid the field. No doubt they are cheeky little beasts; they will soon come out again if the pepper has been so sprinkled that a few areas remain unpeppered in the neighbourhood. There they will settle down again. Undoubtedly the influence of it rays out far and wide; nevertheless, it may not have been done quite thoroughly. But the effect will certainly be radical if the same is done in the whole neighbourhood.

Yeah… This doesn’t work and it sure as shit isn’t economical. If these fuckwits think magical mousedust and horoscopes are where we need to take farming, I’d hate to see their ideas on modern medicine.

[Oh Jesus, I looked! Why would I look?]

So to sum up who’s behind the labeling – mega-hippies and luddites that want to corner the food market. It’s not about a right to know but their desire to cash in. I’d love to be wrong about that but I can’t always give the benefit of the doubt to everyone. Sometimes we have gut feelings that just feel right. I know that’s the antithesis of skepticism, but it’s inescapable.

Now, I’m not a contrarian. Just because a bunch of folks who got way into fake eastern culture want labels, that’s not a reason to oppose them. They’re attacking my wallet though, and Bobby don’t play that.

Labeling GMOs will require already labor-intensive farming to be amped up to eleven. In the interest of brevity, I’ll just include the steps required with no further explanation on my part. This post by a harvester goes into more detail and explains just how much of a burden will be placed on farmers and harvesters. And believe me, they aren’t going to add all this unnecessary labor without upping their costs. They want us fed, but they have to eat as well.

Step 1: Corn seed is delivered to the farm.
Step 2: The seed is planted.
Step 3: A combine harvests the corn.
Step 4: The combine pours the corn into a tractor-trailer.
Step 5: The corn is then delivered to grain bins where it’s stored until sold.
Step 6: When sold, the corn is loaded back into trucks and delivered to grain elevators where it’s once again stored by the purchasers until needed.
Steps 7 – ?: The corn ends up on your plate.

That’s the barest boned way to explain how food gets from field to producer. Now, add several hours of cleanings and inspections between each step that weren’t there before, and suddenly we have farmers unable to work as quickly. This is because farmers don’t segregate every brand of seed they have. Some do because of the customers they serve, but that cost is put on them. With labeling laws, every type of seed will have to be separated, and with that separation comes regulations that only allow so much contamination across those brands.

“Well, they’re all GMO,” some might say. Yeah, and that’s a term so broad that it means next to nothing. I’ll get to that in just a second, but for now, know that grains will have to be segregated to meet several certification standards.

Since farmers are being slowed down by all the new inspections, cleanings, and whatnot, they’ll need to hire more laborers, buy more machinery and trucks, and build more bins. Not to mention, they’ll need to buy more fuel for the added machinery. Oh, and certification isn’t free either. Inspections also have to paid for. The costs start adding up really quickly, and guess who gets to pay for it all. No, not the shit-stains demanding labels on food they don’t eat anyway. Don’t be so silly. You and I get to pay for it all because it’s our food being labeled for no apparent reason. Yay!

From GMO Answers:

A new grain bin cost approximately $2/bushel to buy and install, so a 50,000-bushel bin will cost $100,000. If we currently have sufficient storage for commingled grains and seeds, what will be the astronomical figure to segregate them by trait? That answer is dependent on how we are going to segregate. In order to have true traceability, GMO seeds and grains would have to be segregated by trait, so Roundup Ready–traited grains would have to be segregated from Bt-traited grains, and the stacked or combined traited grains would have to be segregated from those that are just Bt or just Roundup Ready, and the combinations of traited grains would have to be segregated by the combination or stack of traits in the seeds, too, because otherwise, you don’t have “truth in labeling” to say which GMO is in the product.

I mean, surely, we need to label grains and seeds by GMO trait, right? Because otherwise “we don’t know.” This is the premise of what the activists say is the problem, right? The uncertainty of GMO? We can’t commingle traited seeds and grains, because then we no longer have true traceability. Absolute and utter segregation by trait or combination thereof is required to meet the demands of what is being called for in GMO labeling legislation across the U.S.

This brings me to a my last reason for opposing GMO labeling. What the fuck is a GMO?

Obviously that means genetically modified organism, but which ones get labeled?

Is the label only for hybrids? Or will it cover radiation breeding? Are chemical mutagens regulated by this new label? Induced polyploidy? What about cisgenic crop? Transgenic?

Where do we draw the line and decided that one particular breeding technique requires a label but not the others? (All but two of those are allowed for use in certified organic farming. Care to guess which ones?)

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“Contains GMO” offers no information to a consumer. GMO doesn’t identify any nutrition content (unless it’s biofortified, but those are being blocked by ecoterrorists, so don’t worry your pretty little heads about it), nor does such a label identify any allergens. GMO corn isn’t the same thing as GMO papaya which isn’t the same thing as GMO soy.

“Sugar-free” is a sensible label. Diabetics need to know what to avoid.

“Contains phenylalanine” is a label phenylketonurics definitely need.

“Gluten-free” is good for those with Celiac disease or other (legitimate) sensitivities.

Are you noticing a pattern with these labels? They’re intended to warn customers.

Why do GMOs need to carry a warning? It’s already been established that all GMOs are not created equally. An apple that doesn’t brown is in no way similar to corn that produces Cry proteins. Hell, this year’s RR corn isn’t the same as last year’s RR corn. We’ll need a lot of labels if we want to do this correctly.

And that’s my main point. Label supporters don’t want to do it correctly. By slapping arbitrary labels on products, we’ve done nothing for anyone but the organic groups that want to increase their market shares. They want to demonize all GMOs except the ones they can and do use. Once the labels are in place, then the boycotts of labeled products can begin. Boycotts of products they don’t buy anyway because they already have a goddamned USDA Organic label of their own (and Non GMO Project Verified). That’s actually funny to me because the USDA can’t be trusted about GMOs but they’re spot-on with organics. But that’s not enough. They have to pay out the ass for some pointless burden they’ve imposed on themselves, so everyone should have to pay out the ass.

It’s childish. It’s petulant. It’s totally fucked up, and I can’t be in favor of anti-science fearmongering.

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23 thoughts on “The Unnecessary War

  1. I think your article very ignorant, anytime man manipulates nature and our food chain, it alters biologically and physiologically how our bodies can utilize it. In example, if beef is raised on grass it is very healthy, and high omega 3’s and conjugated linoleic acid. It’s anti-inflammatory. If beef is finished on corn, man manipulated, is inflammatory due to the high omega six fatty acids. This causes heart disease and dementia amongst other things including autoimmune diseases. Even though sugar is not healthy, High fructose corn syrup it is much worse. When man manipulates our food chain, it screws up our Health! Keep it natural, keep it safe!

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    • Dr. S,
      Beef would not exist at all without man-made manipulation. Pretty much nothing we eat as a staple diet today would not exist without man made manipulation. Nature doesn’t create giant fruits that are super labor intensive on the plant. We do, because we want to eat them. If you want “completely natural” Then go dig around in a forest, and don’t touch anything at all that we have made or modified. Good look!

      Liked by 4 people

    • I trust you don’t eat any farmed foods then. There’s absolutely nothing natural about agriculture, organic or not. Foraging is the only way you can escaped foods manipulated by humans, so don’t give me any hypocritical crap about man manipulating nature if you eat anything that was planted, tended, and harvested by humans.

      Liked by 3 people

    • And as far as high fructose corn syrup, you realize that a blueberry has a much higher content of fructose to glucose (48%F – 40%G) then HFCS (51%F – 48%G) does? So if HFCS is terrible, then blueberries are the straight up devil.

      Liked by 4 people

      • I’m not taking glycemic index. What health benefit does HFCS have? None it’s and empty source of food. Derived from GMO corn which has BT Toxin. Blueberries are high in anthocyanins which is a bio active flavonoid compound beneficial against many chronic diseases. How can you even compare the too???

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      • All HFCS comes from Bt corn? Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining. I don’t suffer hyperbolic nonsense or chicken little rhetoric. If you want to have a discussion on this page, you’ll conduct yourself like a rational adult or you’re gone. I don’t put up with bullshit in my personal life, and I sure as shit won’t put up with it here.

        And do you even know what a flavonoid or anthocyanin is? Because I put that last wildly out of place sentence of yours into the Google machine and it’s the first sentence in this paper.
        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2011.00164.x/pdf

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      • How quickly you get off point to ridicule me instead. I’m sorry if you were neglected as a child, belittled by you friends and now have a chip on your shoulder where you hide behind your little computer with your pathetic little blog. I came here to have a intelligent interaction with other intelligent people. Many have logical input with getting degrading. I won’t be back as its a waste of my time to interact with the likes of you. Have fun throwing stones at others. Remove me from your list.

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    • ANY time man manipulates nature is bad? Then, I guess you don’t get your teeth cleaned or go to the doctor or buy anything to eat that you couldn’t grow yourself? Man has manipulated nature since man evolved. If you want no part of it, then get off the internet and the computer that is non-natural, and go live in a tent and sleep on the ground.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Wow! Such emotion! I don’t eat my computer! We live in a highly technical age. However we don’t have to live to bio pollutants that cause cancer, sterility and brain damage. Our food source is critical for wellbeing. Period. The cleaner the better. It’s evident that the people on the site are heavily biased against the natural food movement.

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    • Fun fact: beef cattle that are “grass-fed” are also fed grain most of its life, just the last couple months on grass to get that label. They would be nutritionally deficient on grass alone. #themoreyouknow

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      • Funny, ranchers I talk to that raise grass fed cattle say their beef never eat grain. I’m sure not all grass fed ranchers adhere to that but where I buy my meat, I have peace of mind.

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  2. Steps 7 – ?: The corn ends up on your plate.
    Yeah, that question mark has several digits and the corn isn’t corn like you think. The vast majority of corn in this country is fed to livestock, so actually a steak or hamburger or porkchop ends up on your plate.
    And if not used for livestock, it’s aggregated again as it’s processed into things like beer (yay), corn starch, HFCS, corn meal, corn flour, and hundreds of other things. And the people who buy those things may buy from a variety of vendors so this week’s toothpaste (yep – it’s in there) might be from another farm, another field, another state than next week’s.
    Ask the companies who verify NON-gmo. They have to do genetic testing on the stuff from every vendor you use for each ingredient you use to guarantee there’s no GMO genes. It’s expensive. The average food company isn’t going to bother with any of this. They’re going to add a label that says, “May contain…” which, if you’re not buying certified GMO-free, you already know.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll offer brief points of rebuttal:

    1) GMO-labeling proponents are just in it for the money.

    Correct. And important to mention. Of course, let’s be under no illusions that companies against GMO labeling aren’t worrying about their market foothold. These companies know GMO labels could threaten their profits. There’s big money and a big profit incentive on both sides. Presenting this problem as an issue only for one side is disingenuous.

    2) Consumers don’t know what “GMO” precisely means

    No. But just because “GMO” can be used to describe many types of foods, some allegedly safe, some allegedly not, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference. That means we have inadequate terminology.

    3) It would be expensive

    Yes. But keep in mind the vast sums food companies spend opposing GMO labeling: roughly $20 million in each of California, Oregon and Washington. That’s just to oppose 3 ballots in 3 states. The more pro-labeling ballots, the more money will be spent. Are we really saying food companies can spend vast sums opposing labeling, but can’t afford to invest in infrastructural changes to track GMOs?

    The effect on consumers is indeterminate and will change depending upon the study you read. Conflicts of interest are abound in these studies. From the better ones I’ve seen, the price increase per family of 4 per year will be between $2 and $55.

    4) GMO labels are pointless because there are no health concerns

    GMO foods are no riskier to eat than traditional foods. I trust the science.

    But GMOs still pose a threat to the environment (i.e. pesticide resistant crops, requiring greater pesticide use) and to biodiversity (i.e. GMOs can lead to monocultures, which are more suseptible to disease; less biodiversity means a smaller pool of beneficial genes to draw from) farmer welfare (increasing cost of GMO seeds, and GMO companies buying up traditional seeds to raise their prices) and aboriginal culture (i.e. pollination between GMO and non-GMO varieties threatens culturally-important crops).

    So there is a very cursory summary of different issues relating to GMOs outside of health concerns. Shouldn’t consumers be worried about these issues too? Why do those against GMO-labeling think consumers should only care about their own health, and not about any issues outside of themselves? Isn’t that essentially solipsistic?

    So there are lots of reasons to worry about GMOs. Thus a GMO label (or a better-crafted label that separated out the foods that we should be cautious of) has significant value to consumers.

    Thus, GMO labels are useful. Prices wouldn’t increase drastically. Food companies have vast sums to invest in infrastructure changes that they instead spend on opposing labeling. If GMO as a label is ambiguous, then we need to develop a more useful term for consumers. Pointing out that consumers are ill-informed about GMOs doesn’t help that situation.

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    • “Of course, let’s be under no illusions that companies against GMO labeling aren’t worrying about their market foothold. These companies know GMO labels could threaten their profits. There’s big money and a big profit incentive on both sides. Presenting this problem as an issue only for one side is disingenuous.”

      It’s not disingenuous of me to point out on my blog why *I* don’t support labeling. And in case you missed it, a pretty good chunk of those 2800 words were about the attacks on conventional market shares. I don’t care about the side trying to demonize and destroy competition through dishonest means just so they can increase profits. Why would I give them a voice here when they’re loud enough elsewhere? Fair and balanced is anything but when one gives credence to blatant falsehoods.

      “But just because “GMO” can be used to describe many types of foods, some allegedly safe, some allegedly not, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a difference. That means we have inadequate terminology.”

      The terminology is fine. The bastardization of the jargon is the problem. The fact that there are many different processes of genetic modification is why a singular GMO label becomes worthless. I feel like you didn’t really read this blog very closely. Are you sure you didn’t skim it, because I feel like you wouldn’t have even bothered with this rebuttal(?) if you had. In fact, you kind of proved the point I was making about a GMO label being nonsense.

      “Yes. But keep in mind the vast sums food companies spend opposing GMO labeling: roughly $20 million in each of California, Oregon and Washington. That’s just to oppose 3 ballots in 3 states. The more pro-labeling ballots, the more money will be spent. Are we really saying food companies can spend vast sums opposing labeling, but can’t afford to invest in infrastructural changes to track GMOs?”

      It’s not the food companies’ job to track the various GMOs. That responsibility would fall to the farmer which gets passed on to the consumer. That’s why I focused on the increase in labor intensity on farms. Are you sure you read the whole blog?

      “The effect on consumers is indeterminate and will change depending upon the study you read. Conflicts of interest are abound in these studies. From the better ones I’ve seen, the price increase per family of 4 per year will be between $2 and $55.”

      Are they better because they support your idea that labels won’t make a difference? There’s a saying where I come from: “Citation or GTFO.”

      “But GMOs still pose a threat to the environment (i.e. pesticide resistant crops, requiring greater pesticide use)”

      GMOs != pesticides. You cannot blame the breeding method for evolution or pesticide usage. This is why pesticides like Enlist Duo have been produced. Pesticide usage is down by the way. Herbicide use is up a bit, but that’s no reason to label GMOs. In fact, that’s a complete non sequitur.

      “and to biodiversity (i.e. GMOs can lead to monocultures, which are more suseptible to disease;”

      Do we blame GMOs or the farmer? Again, farming practices are not an argument for a label. If that were the case, I’d be justified in demanding a label that tells me if a farmer used Massey Ferguson equipment, where he got his fuel for said equipment, who built his grain bins and where they got the materials to build them. This is also a non sequitur.

      “less biodiversity means a smaller pool of beneficial genes to draw from)”

      You do realize we’re talking about organisms we’re genetically modifying for beneficial traits, right? This is a non-argument.

      “farmer welfare (increasing cost of GMO seeds, and GMO companies buying up traditional seeds to raise their prices)”

      Huh? Where are you getting this from? If you’re implying that farmers are too stupid to shop around for the cheapest seed, we’re going to have a serious problem. Capitalism exists in agriculture too. Farmers aren’t the hayseed dipshits we see on TV. If seed prices get too high at one provider, they will go elsewhere. This is just ridiculous to even bring up in a discussion about labels, and I can’t believe I felt compelled to respond to something so irrelevant.

      “and aboriginal culture (i.e. pollination between GMO and non-GMO varieties threatens culturally-important crops).”

      Citation or GTFO. You say you trust the science but your comments are sounding more and more like biodynamic talking points against biotech. I’m starting to suspect you’ve been less than honest with me.

      “So there is a very cursory summary of different issues relating to GMOs outside of health concerns.”

      I didn’t make any points about health concerns in the blog, but ok.

      “Shouldn’t consumers be worried about these issues too?”

      Sure. In the context of labeling, these aren’t issues though. “Contains GMO” does not say anything about breeding technique, pesticide usage, market performance, the price of seed, or anything relevant to the nutrition of whichever product it appears on. GMO labels are an attack on a technology by an anti-technology lobby. Did you read anything that was written up there? I spelled it out how organic lobbyists are trying to do away with GMO altogether, and here you are repeating their talking points that have nothing to do with the issue whatsoever.

      “Why do those against GMO-labeling think consumers should only care about their own health, and not about any issues outside of themselves? Isn’t that essentially solipsistic?”

      What are you even talking about? Not once did I mention health in those 2800 words up above except to point out the need for LEGITIMATE warning labels. GMOs pose no health concerns. Do you really trust the science or were you lying before? I’m not going to say what I think, but you probably already know.

      “So there are lots of reasons to worry about GMOs.”

      And somehow you didn’t mention a single one. Imagine that.

      “Thus a GMO label (or a better-crafted label that separated out the foods that we should be cautious of) has significant value to consumers.”

      It has significant value to stockholders in organic companies.

      “Thus, GMO labels are useful.”

      No. You didn’t even say how they would be of use other than as a way to scare people away from them.

      “Prices wouldn’t increase drastically.”

      Says who exactly?

      “Food companies have vast sums to invest in infrastructure changes that they instead spend on opposing labeling.”

      Food companies don’t separate harvests. Harvesters and farmers do. Learn where your food comes from.

      “If GMO as a label is ambiguous, then we need to develop a more useful term for consumers. Pointing out that consumers are ill-informed about GMOs doesn’t help that situation.”

      That’s the whole goddamn point of this thing. The organic lobby has caused the confusion by misappropriating terms. I really, truly don’t believe you read this post. Your “rebuttals” didn’t actually rebut anything I said, you argued points I didn’t make, and you parroted Food Babe and her ilk like a champ. But I’m disingenuous? Ok, dude. Whatever you say. Sorry for being opposed to costly labels that contain no helpful information and serve the singular purpose of giving organic foodies something to easily boycott while increasing their profits at my expense.

      And if you feel like I was hostile in my responses, you’re right. The arguments are getting old because it’s the same thing over and over and over with no one yet making a serious point as to what, how, or why anything should be labeled.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is an excellent article, however, I have an issue with one of it’s very slight points – that Organic Food is innocuous. For plants raised organically it is merely inefficient – ignoring the advances of modern agriculture. In agriculture, I happen to know that farmers will avoid treating sick animals with effective medicine so as to not lose their organic status. Many of these farms try to manage illnesses with completely ineffective remedies such as homeopathy and herbal remedies.
    I, therefore, believe that Organic farming of animals is cruel and unacceptable. I will NEVER buy organic meat, milk or eggs!!

    Like

    • Oh, my. I was not aware of that, but I guess it makes sense. Not that I don’t believe you, because I have a feeling you’re right, but do you have any data to support the claim that organic farmers don’t treat their sick animals correctly? I’m a veterinarian, and one of my pet peeves is homeopathy. I would love to have that kind of ammunition.

      Like

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