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Whole Foods GMO Policy Could Hurt Artisan Food Makers

Leon Kaye | Wednesday August 13th, 2014 | 142 Comments
Whole Foods, GMO policy, GMOs, Leon Kaye, artisan cheesemakers, organic, GMO free, genetically modified, Monsanto

Yes, Whole Foods, we get it

Whole Foods has long made a splash for its stance on genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Non-GMO labeling and signs are all over its stores and prove this has been part of its overall success is in the company’s performance.

While many retailers disappeared after the 2008 financial crisis, Whole Foods continued to grow. Its stock price has long been on an upward trajectory, and the stock has stoked plenty of portfolios with its split last year. Shoppers cram the beautiful stores to buy everything from pricey supplements to the more cost-competitive 365 Everyday Value private label products — and of course, the artisan goodies, from breads to cheeses to snacks.

But the company’s promise to have GMO labeling on all of its products by 2018 is having consequences. As the Guardian showcased last week, artisan cheesemakers who rely on Whole Foods to sell their products are worried about Whole Foods’ directives to its suppliers. Why? While many of these cheesemakers allow their cows to graze on grass, shun antibiotics and churn their products in small batches, some do use a small amount of GMO feed. Similar challenges are faced by small vineyards and breweries that could find traces of GMOs within their supply chains. The result has been angst within small businesses, many of which are headed by people who have devoted their lives, and finances, to their beloved crafts. That one GMO ingredient in their product’s supply chain could have a massive impact on their businesses.

Blame for this absurd trend must be laid on all sides. The shenanigans of companies such as Monsanto, which spent millions to defeat California’s GMO-labeling initiative, Proposition 37, fuels a fair amount of anti-GMO sentiment. A U.S. Department of Agriculture that comes across as siding with agribusiness over the interests of small farmers also fans the flame. Then there are the spit-spats over studies that indicate GMOs are evil — or then again, maybe they are not. Indeed, it is fair that customers have the right to know what is in their food. Transparency is often the banner call many of those deeply involved in the GMO controversy. And after all, while Monsanto has long been against any GMO labeling, the company actually supported such efforts across the pond.

But at the same time, many anti-GMO activists base their invective on emotion, not science — analogous to the conventional-vs-organic debate when it comes to produce and most food in general. Oddly enough, Whole Foods’ self-serving top 10 tips to avoid GMOs does not even mention why GMOs are to be avoided. Celebrities weighing in on GMOs launch about as much eye-rolling as those who have weighed in on the debate over vaccinations. And let’s remember when GMOs first appeared in the mid-1990s, they were often lauded as one way to feed a world that could reach 9 billion people by 2050. Now the debate has shifted to an organic vs. frankenfood debate, with no middle ground.

The result is that the small businesses many of us put on a pedestal for their deliverance of healthful foods are now in danger of losing customers. And rambling blog articles railing against GMO foods, which again, do not even outline the perceived dangers or risks, hardly help the small local cheesemaker, brewer or vineyard. The hysteria generated against the likes of Cargill, ADM and Monsanto have caught up too many small businesses in this web — leaving out any middle ground, reasonable debate and acknowledgement that maybe, just maybe, GMOs have a justifiable role in delivering safe, secure, healthy, and YES artisan and handcrafted foods we pay a pretty penny, or not, to enjoy.

Image credit: Whole Foods

Leon Kaye has lived in Abu Dhabi for the past year and is on his way back to California. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Other thoughts of his are on his site, greengopost.com.


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  • craptacularesque

    They actually do NOT have a role to play if we want to sustain a healthy planet. Leon, you don’t understand. Let’s forget about any perceived health risks by ingesting gmo crops. Let’s look instead to the ecological consequences. No way do I want to ingest something that has been designed to stand up to manufactured toxins in the form of herbicides and insecticides, and that is ALL gmo crops are designed to do. They bathe in poison to increase their yield, at the expense of our world. No thanks.

    • Cassandra

      Did you know that crops that only have the Bt trait and do NOT have the herbicide resistant trait are actually sprayed with LESS pesticide and not sprayed with Roundup? Did you know that Bt is also used by organic farmers because it’s based on a natural bacteria’s toxin against insects?

      • craptacularesque

        Did you know that that’s not all there is to it? Pfft. Don’t be willfully ignorant. Suffice to say, we don’t need that stuff.

        • Cassandra

          At least we agree it’s not simple. I got a chuckle out of your assumption that I’m “willfully ignorant” simply because I asked if you knew a couple of essential points that your comment showed you either didn’t know, or were ignoring. Yes, this is complicated and you don’t appear interested enough to find out why the worldwide mainstream scientific community supports this tool. Bt and RR crops are only two traits. I understand the layman’s concerns about RR, because they don’t know the chemistry or biology to understand what glyphosate does, or why it’s so much safer than the herbicides used before glyphosate.

          There are thousands of GM traits being developed in crops to help farmers and consumers but as long as people like you are jumping to conclusions and condemning gm crops, public sector scientists are being held back from bringing drought resistant and disease resistant crops out to the market. Universities can’t afford to keep spending money on projects that might fail on the market. Fortunately, a few philanthropic organizations can afford to push ahead on this very expensive research. Golden Rice and high Vitamin A bananas will be out soon, I hope. GM rennet is probably in the cheese you’ve been eating for decades. Rainbow Papaya is a wonderful success story that happened many years ago and there have been no problems. Check that out to expand your horizons.

          Better yet is what genetic modification has done in the field of medicine. Human insulin is so much better for humans than insulin collected from slaughtered livestock. The Ebola drug that recently saved a couple of people was made with genetic modification. Gene therapy is closing in on being able to cure AIDS and genetic defects in people. GM provides us with growth hormones, vaccines, fertility drugs, albumin, and even microorganisms that clean up soil pollution. There’s a whole world of information out there if you just start looking at websites by scientists at universities and professional science organization, instead of reading websites that were created with no other purpose than to lie about GMOs.

          Even a quick read of the Wiki page on genetic modification would give you an overview, lists of GM products, and a good bibliography to check into. Compared to some of the complex medical projects that gm is used in, transforming corn is the least complex and the best understood. We know exactly what gene is going in. We have easy tests to see where the gene is inserted and there are ways to profile the resulting plants’ different proteins to see changes. You don’t have any clue to how much goes into this, yet you feel your opinion should override the opinion of scientists at the National Academy of Science and our food regulation scientists because it sounds scary and icky to you.

          Seriously, please, do some basic research on this topic so no one will have to call you willfully ignorant.

        • craptacularesque

          I am not interested in reading your novel. Also, I’m tired of hearing from shills like yourself. You honestly think we can’t see through you? Move along, now, and fill another comment section with your garbage.

        • Cassandra

          So, you’re into accusations and holding your fingers in your ears. Even if you think I’m a shill and even if you stick with your anti-GMO stance, you will benefit from learning outside that tiny, tiny framework of information and misinformation you’re working with now. There are patent issues, resistance management issues, and charitable use issues you could be working on instead of staying ignorant about genetic modification. What a shame. Your life benefits from my colleagues’ work on a daily basis. Find something worthwhile to protest, other than proven technology that the experts know is beneficial.

        • craptacularesque

          It’s too late, sis. We know who butters your bread.

        • Cassandra

          If you can’t be bothered to learn even the basics about what you’re complaining about, I won’t bother trying to explain it again.

        • rebeccagavin

          Wow, what an ignorant jerk. Crap, if i may call you that, refusing to read a few paragraphs and respond in kind…with facts and/or information, instead falling back on the lamest non-argument of all time (the shill gambit) shows you, not Cassandra, to be ignorant. Anyone, including Neil degrasse Tyson, who tries to interject a note of scientific fact into this debate gets accused of making money from Monsanto. That is the equivalent of holding your hands over your ears and saying “La la la la la.” If you are hoping to influence the undecided reader you are going about it exactly the wrong way.

        • First Officer

          “shills like yourself” SAS, Shill Accusation Syndrome, strikes again !

        • craptacularesque

          Ha ha, I didn’t know that was a thing! I guess I’m not the first one to notice your ilk.

        • rebeccagavin

          There are certain key words that ring empty bells for me in modern discourse. “Ilk” (ewww). Koolaid (find a new beverage.) and Sheeple. There must be a style book out there that says, “If you want to sound like a pretentious wanker, memorize these cool words.

        • craptacularesque

          And if you want to sound like a complete idiot, use the word “wanker” on a U.S. comment section.

        • rebeccagavin

          Hit a nerve did I, crap wanker?Got some late breaking science you wish to enlighten us with?

        • craptacularesque

          It cracks me up when you conjure the word SCIENCE. You’ve no clue. It’s okay, though. I mean, you’re probably from a red state and they have notoriously bad science education.

        • rebeccagavin

          You are the one not to yet to mention science. Pray, start now

        • rebeccagavin

          quite amusing that your naive self thinks you know something about my politics,

        • craptacularesque

          I don’t pray, sweetie. I do.

        • rebeccagavin

          well….

        • rebeccagavin

          Then let’s go tell me the scientific support for your vacuous positions

        • Cassandra

          Are you claiming to understand the science of genetic engineering better than the people here who develop it or farm with its products? Can you explain why you’re against it, in scientific terms, citing scientific evidence?

        • craptacularesque

          The people who develop genetically engineered corn and/or farm with its products aren’t here on this forum, smart one. You’re just a corporate shill who doesn’t know your slip is showing.

        • Cassandra

          Right there you show YOUR slip up. People who pretend to know things with certainty, when they have no possible access to evidence are NOT scientific or credible. That’s immature thinking. Every time I state something here I worry about being accurate and try to check it out against the literature. I don’t pretend to know everything or have all the answers and I would never make a fool of myself by claiming to know who all these commentors are. When I’m wrong I admit it. It takes a small minded attitude to INSIST that everyone who disagrees with you is a fraud.

          Where’s all this science you were bragging about to Rebecca? All I ever hear from you is “shill.” That’s not even an argument. It’s more like a parrot screaming. I’ve had some interesting conversations with people here, but you’re disappointing, so far.

        • craptacularesque

          I don’t pretend to “know things with certainty,” but you do. The whole reason we want clear labeling is because we DON’T know. And really, I have “no possible access to evidence”? That’s pretty damning, right there. You’re letting it slip that there’s no evidence gmo crops are okay. Because they’re likely not. Also, I never “bragged about” science. We just want labeling of gmo crops, and anyone who spends the amount of time and energy denying us information we have a right to is clearly a shill. Feel free to be as disappointed as you like.

        • Cassandra

          I’m sorry you misunderstood me. You said no one here is a genetic engineer or farmer. That was what I meant by stating things with certainty that you can’t know. For instance, stating that I’m a shill is a lie, yet you keep stating it as if you’re certain. I’m a biologist, teacher and nursery owner. I was once in genetic engineering and haven’t had any connection to any biotech companies since the 1980s. I have no stock and live on a shoestring selling butterfly host plants and have two other nature-related businesses. I speak up here because there are so many lies about biotech I’m afraid you’re going to hamper some extremely important research by creating faux outrage and misguided laws and bans.

        • craptacularesque

          The only things I have been speaking against are:
          1. The presence of gmos in our food without our explicit knowledge, and
          2. The attempts at preventing labeling of gmo products.
          You read my comments and see lies.

          I don’t understand you, and I don’t pretend to. I know that anyone who is against labeling products with the truth about what’s in them is a shill, plain and simple. I don’t care what else you do–sell all the butterfly host plants you want. Just don’t interfere with me getting the information I need about what I’m eating.

        • Cassandra

          I am not against labeling products if they contain organisms that have been modified. Yay! I can’t be called a shill anymore:-) One reason I’d like to see labels on modified produce is so people who think they’re being affected by GM will actually know if they’re eating any of it.

          Here’s an aspect that concerns me. If you’ve read the research on gluten sensitivity you already know that a lot of people who think they’re gluten sensitive are either sensitive to some other aspect of wheat, or are simply imagining it, because in double blind tests they don’t react to gluten at all, but react if they think they’re getting gluten. Or they react to wheat, but not specifically to gluten. Regardless of whether it’s safe or not, knowing if they’re eating GM corn, for instance, would provide peace of mind for some very concerned people. There are no GM wheat or tomatoes on the market in the US, but I hear people complaining about them because they think they’re genetically engineered. If GM produce gets labeled, people will start to realize how few fruits and vegetables are actually GM.

        • rebeccagavin

          Did you know that logical fallacies are a thing? Cause I think First Officer kindly asked you to get specific in your criticismv If that isn’t too much of a challenge.

        • Mike

          She spouts off idiotic nonsense straight from the Monsanto book on how to divert the conversation away from topic. Plus, all she does is troll GMO stories.

        • Mike

          She is a blooming idiot. I just say that because I don’t think she has reached her full idiot potential yet. But she is obviously well on her way there.

        • Mike

          Bt corn is classified as a pesticide and not as a food. cAssandra forgot to mention that.

        • Jason

          Bt corn is regulated by the EPA (because of it’s bio-pesticidal activity), the USDA (because it’s an agricultural crop) and by the FDA because it’s a food or food ingredient.
          Where do you hear this nonsense?

      • Mike

        Did you know that Bt corn is labeled as a pesticide and not as a food?

        • Cassandra

          Says who? Your statement doesn’t appear to make sense. Are you trying to say that food regulators don’t consider Bt corn food?

    • First Officer

      All corn stands up to manufactured Altrazine, courtesy of Mother nature. Almost all crops stand up to insecticides, mostly because they’re not insects.

      • craptacularesque

        Cool story, bro.

    • Lover of Nature & Humanity

      well said, the people have spoken. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

      This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel whishes, the governement have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believeHere’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

      Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

      http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

      Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

      http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

      The New York Times, 07/27/13

      A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

      MSNBC, 2/25/11

      Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

      Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      Reuters / NPR, 10/10

      Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

      Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

      eat GE fish

      Washington Post, 9/17/10

      Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

      Yes – 95%

      http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

      KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

      Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

      Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

      http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

      Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

      2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

      food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

      strongly agreed with this.

      http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

      ABC News, 6/19/01

      An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      • Mike

        it’s funny that cASSandra stopped posting comments when first officer started. Probably the same person.

  • HELLNOGMO

    WHY do you think Whole Foods has a thriving business in the first place…MOST customers are there because they DO NOT WANT GMO!!! You can get GMOs in every other grocery store but, even they are expanding thier organic sections due to demand! Get a clue Leon. Write about another subject, you obviously missed the mark on this one.

    • Leon Kaye

      My response to your rant is to get a clue: most customers are there because of Whole Foods’ brilliant marketing and the customer experience.

      • Lover of Nature & Humanity

        No Leon you’re wrong. This why:

        The New York Times, 07/27/13

        A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

        MSNBC, 2/25/11

        Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

        Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

        Reuters / NPR, 10/10

        Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

        Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

        eat GE fish

        Washington Post, 9/17/10

        Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

        Yes – 95%

        http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

        KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

        Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

        Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

        http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

        Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

        2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

        food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

        strongly agreed with this.

        http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

        ABC News, 6/19/01

        An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

        • Jason

          You seem to be presenting the same information over & over. Yes, we’re all familiar with the polls showing a majority of Americans would favor labeling. That’s really an irrelevant poll because none of the participants were given information about what the costs of such labeling would be. In other words, it’s like asking a bunch of people if they want a Mercedes. Most would say yes. Now… ask them if they want to BUY a Mercedes and I suspect the responses would be different. The evidence for this is shown in the public votes in California & Washington.
          But all of that is a moot point. In the absence of data showing a legitimate health or safety issue, and it’s nothing deceptive, the govt has no authority to mandate what a company puts on it’s label. Companies are owned by people and people have a right to free speech. What a person says via the labels on his products has already been ruled as protected under the First amendment of free speech.
          I bet we could take a poll of Americans and results would show that a large majority would agree that Kim Kardashian shouldn’t be allowed to speak publicly. Does that mean it’s ok to take away that right from her?

        • Jim

          Jason, the costs of labeling are exactly zero. Printing a few extra words on a label costs nothing.

          According to your logic, the ingredients list should also be optional, because most of the ingredients on the list have no legitimate health or safety issue.

        • Jason

          You apparently didn’t bother reading the links I supplied that explained what changes would need to be made in order to meet a labeling mandate. You need to think farther than the tip of your nose. How do food producers know if their grain supplies are GMO or not?

          As for the rest, you’re saying basic ingredients don’t have any health impacts? Sugar has no health impacts? Obese people might disagree. Dairy has no health impacts? Lactose intolerant people might disagree.

          Besides… It’s not “my logic”. It’s the law.

        • Jim

          Yes, it’s unfortunately the law right now, because the law in the US is written by the wealthy corporations.

        • Jason

          Yah…. And peoples rights are important…. Unless it conflicts with something you want.

        • Jim

          Of course, rights of corporations always trump rights of people in good ole’ Murica.

        • Jason

          Of course not. Companies are not living breathing people. They are, however, owned by living breathing people who have rights. Rights that most seem to think it’s ok to trample on simply because they own a company. I suspect that if you were in their seat, you’d see it differently.

        • Jim

          Of course I would see it differently. If I were in their seat, I would want to make as much as possible by selling the lowest cost, lowest quality products that science could produce, and I would want to make sure that the people had no idea what they were eating so that they would continue to buy my products. All corporations want to hide the truth about their products, and you can’t really blame them, because they are out to make money for their shareholders.

          The GMO manufacturers learned a hard lesson in Europe. They learned that if people can identify GMOs, they won’t buy them, period. The only way to make sure that people buy food containing GMOs is to make it impossible for people to tell the difference.

          Before you go off on freedom of speech and all that, remember that the government has the right to regulate commerce. The government mandates all kinds of information on product packaging, including weight or volume, ingredients, safety warnings, calorie content, and so on. None of those mandates have been held to violate the first amendment.

        • Jason

          Impossible for people to tell the difference? Interesting. Can’t people see “Organic” or “GMO free” labels? Why aren’t people flocking to those in droves? It seems like, given that they are clearly GMO free alternatives that the. Using public would be supporting them. Yet, organic crop acres are still less than 1% of our total crops. Huh.

          Va Pharmacy Bd. v. VA Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748, 766 (1976), the Supreme Court found that “Advertising, however tasteless and excessive it sometimes may seem, is nonetheless dissemination of information as to who is producing and selling what product, for what reason, and at what price….therefore, even if the First Amendment were thought to be primarily an instrument to enlighten public decision making in a democracy, we could not say that the free flow of information does not serve that goal.”

          As a result, the Court decided that the government has the burden of establishing sufficient justification for regulating speech. Merely “wanting it” is not sufficient justification.

        • Jim

          Jason, the government has the right to mandate whatever information on packaging they want. Is there any scientific justification for requiring the listing of every single ingredient in processed food? Of course not. Most of them are completely harmless and could be omitted without consequence to anyone. Yet, the government mandates that they be listed. You clearly don’t understand the law, but you are taking random citations from random cases out of context and using them to argue your point.

        • Jason

          Clearly they do not have the ability to mandate anything they want as evidenced by these cases. They are not random. They show that the govt has to establish sufficient justification for mandating laws that infringe free speech. Now your argument has devolved into making silly accusations that are obviously not true. Don’t bother. I’m better than that.

        • Mike

          Companies are not living breathing people. Then why have they been classified as such and can invoke their first amendment rights and claim they have been violated? Idiot

        • Jason

          Somebody here hasn’t done a good job of reading. They have those rights because they are owned by living breathing people WHO HAVE THOSE RIGHTS.

          Now, before you start calling other people names, maybe you should make sure you have all the information? You’re making yourself look foolish.

        • Mike

          Idiot!
          Companies know if their products contain GMOs or not. On the outside chance that they don’t know, they can simply label that the product may contain GMOs.

          This is not an article about basic ingredients, it’s an article about genetically modified organisms. Try to pay attention.

        • rebeccagavin

          Mike, are you saying that a company who, for example, makes jams jellies, using beet sugar in some batches and cane sugar in others, due to market forces such as price or availability,should have to redesign their system to keep track of which went into every single batch? And you don’t think that would cost anything? Who is going o inspect and enforce this new law to be sure that the labels are accurate? Is that going to cost zero? You have volunteers lined up? Hold your opinion as you wish, but you seem completely ignorant about the realities of manufacturing. Did you not even read the original article? Or did you just see the letters GMO and jump in, mouth open?

        • Jason

          Someone seems to be making themselves look foolish again….

          I realize the article is about gm organisms. The post I replied to brought up the basic ingredients list. I replied to that comment. Possibly you should practice what you preach and “try to pay attention”?

          So, how exactly would a company know whether the grain they buy is GMO or not? Does GMO grain look different? Does it smell different? Is it stored in special containers? Shipped in special trucks or rail cars?

        • Mike

          Thank you Jim.
          Those were scare tactics that Monsanto and company spent tens of millions of dollars to promote. They have been determined to be lies and hopefully will no longer work. The trolls will have to come up with something better.

        • Cassandra

          Genetic engineering is a process, not an ingredient. Do you objects to cisgenics, or only to transgenic modification? How do you feel about mutagenesis? Did you know varieties produced via mutagenesis don’t require the safety testing that GM crops require? There’s something you should protest. Mutagenesis produces random, dramatic genetic mix ups and unpredictable changes.

        • Jim

          Cassandra, stop bringing up other processes that have nothing to do with the discussion, and don’t tell me what I “should” protest.

        • Cassandra

          Those processes have everything to do with the discussion.

          1. Mutagenesis has been used for many years and from these highly destructive genome scrambling processes (toxins and radiation are used) we learned that we can get some new traits and creating hazardous traits is extremely rare. Ironically, the products of mutagenesis have no regulatory oversight, no safety testing. If you object to messing about with a crop’s genes, and you don’t even know this was done for decades before genetic engineering, then you’re not actually knowledgeable enough to weigh in on the topic of labeling. Genetic engineering is just a buzzword – a popular thing to be against, but if you knew more, you would either realize that the process is not inherently dangerous, or you would at least be consistent in your opinion and ask for all genetic manipulation processes to be regulated and labeled.The processes, such as mutagenesis, that genetic engineering is replacing are actually more random than today’s GM processes, but most people still need to learn that. (Genetic engineering = genetic modification, as these terms are currently used)

          2. Transgenics and cisgenics are definitely relevant. These are the two different kinds of genetic modification. Bt corn and RR crops are both examples of transgenic modification because they received genes from other species. Some GM crops, such as rice, are being developed only using genes from the same species, which is called cisgenic modification. If you want to have an opinion on this, aren’t you interested in knowing the bare essentials so you can be sure exactly what you’re against?

        • Jim

          1. Mutagenesis is different from genetic engineering. You may think that they have similar effects, and it would be logical for someone who wants one to be labeled to also support labeling the other, but those are entirely your opinions. They are separate processes.

          2. I am aware of everything you said in #2, and again, I’m not sure how it’s relevant. Some people think cisgenic modification is “safer” than transgenic. I don’t really know, and I don’t really care. I think they should both be labeled. If the manufacturer wants to go further and indicate which one was used, that is fine with me.

        • Cassandra

          I agree that they’re different, but mutagenesis has more random and less predictable results than genetic engineering. I’m glad you know about the things I mentioned. I wish more people did. I actually would like to see GM produce labeled, but only because it matters so much to other people, not to me.

        • Cassandra

          If moving a rice gene into a rice plant’s genome is something that requires labeling in your opinion, I still honestly wonder about two things.

          Do you have an objection to scientists breaking into chromosomes and changing the sequence?

          Do you feel that gene editing, which is just changing base pairs at predetermined locations entirely within a chromosome, is inherently dangerous and should require labeling?

          I have to ask these things because it doesn’t make sense to me that one part of all this technology is being targeted as dangerous and requiring a label. Maybe you know more than the average bear, but most people seem to think that plant improvement was all done in the field by selection until genetic engineering came along. Now, after more than twenty years of successful genetic modification work that has brought life-saving medicines and vaccines; rennet that doesn’t require killing calves; insulin that matches human insulin, instead of the less healthful insulin from slaughtered livestock; the cure for Ebola, etc.; there’s a trendy movement against genetic engineering. It doesn’t make sense to me.

          Do you want labels on sugar extracted from GM beets, even though there’s no DNA or protein in purified sugar? If you want to influence federal legislation, and it does need to be federal, you need to be very clear on what you want and exactly why you want it.

        • Jim

          I’ll just answer your two questions.

          Do you have an objection to scientists breaking into chromosomes and changing the sequence?

          I don’t have objection to scientists doing whatever they want. I am a scientist myself and I don’t like government intrusion in my work. All I am arguing here is about labeling.

          Do you feel that gene editing, which is just changing base pairs at predetermined locations entirely within a chromosome, is inherently dangerous and should require labeling?

          I don’t think it’s inherently dangerous, although it could be dangerous in some cases. But in any case, I think it should be labeled. I also think people should be educated about what it is so they can make an informed decision about what to consume.

        • Cassandra

          Okay, that sounds reasonable.

        • Mike

          WRONG!!!
          You keep telling yourself that if it makes you feel better, but more and more people are figuring out what genetically modified foods really are and are taking a stand against them.
          Plus your comments, even though they are ignorant, help to keep GMO stories in the headlines. So, thanks for that.

        • Jason

          Wrong, huh? Could you please explain to me how I am wrong and provide evidence to support that claim? I’ll be waiting.

        • Cassandra

          Yes, there are plenty of people finding out about genetic engineering. It’s taught in every college and university.

      • Mike

        That’s a load of bull.

        If that is really the best you can come up with, then you must have dropped out of school. No doubt you still live at home.

  • Mike

    I can’t understand why the GMO nuts have dug in their nails and refuse to budge on labeling products that contain genetically modified ingredients. It’s a simple and inexpensive request.
    I’m sorry, but any company that suffers a loss because consumers refuse to buy their GMO laced products deserves what it gets. I’m not willing to sacrifice my families health over a companies desire to make a larger profit.
    The more companies that use GMO free ingredients, the more GMO free ingredients will become available. Artisan food makers have been given an advanced notice of the policy Whole Foods is planning to implement, which gives them plenty of time to secure a GMO free supply chain.

    • hyperzombie

      It’s a simple and inexpensive request.

      Labeling GMO in NA will cost about 500 dollars per year per family of 4.
      Why do you hate poor people?

      • Leon Kaye

        A lot of these people who are in a frenzy over GMO don’t think about low-income people or small businesses. Apparently name-calling and insults back up their claims.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Hey Leon, we can clearly see that your article-for-hire is nothing but publicity for the un-natural food industry. I thought you folks believe in democracy in the USA. Most consumers support GMO-labeling laws. It appears that you and Big Ag and the pesticide/poison and GMO companies/God players want to impose a food dictatorship on the population of the world.

          Please go advocate for something that actually do good for people, the environment/ecosystems and our future generations. We’re not fools and we can do our research and thinking, no thank you. We believe and food safety, better taste, soil teeming with micro-organism and bio-diversity. Which part of that don’t you folks understand.

          Maybe folks like you need to go to a different planet far, far away, because your are harmful to the health of mother Terra that sustains us, the biosphere and our progeny. I am low income and I am vegan and I do my best to consume only natural, GMO-free and organic mostly foods. Since when you this toxic industry have poor people interest in mind. Eating less food that are nutrient-dense is better… less obesity you know.

          That is the point, small food artisan must fall in line with the desiderata of the masses/consumers. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

          This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel whishes, the governement have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believeHere’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

          Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

          http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

          Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

          http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

          The New York Times, 07/27/13

          A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

          MSNBC, 2/25/11

          Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

          Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

          http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

          Reuters / NPR, 10/10

          Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

          Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

          eat GE fish

          Washington Post, 9/17/10

          Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

          Yes – 95%

          http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

          KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

          Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

          Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

          http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

          Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

          2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

          food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

          strongly agreed with this.

          http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

          ABC News, 6/19/01

          An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

          http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

        • JoeFarmer

          Do you belive in Xenu?

          Check him out! A moron like you would lap it up!

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          The problem here, you have no idea what you’re talking about or how to state it, so your un-intelligible rambling don’t deserve an intelligent answer.

          You are not capable or formulating a rational argument without cursing – bye!

        • hyperzombie

          Well, if you truly are a Nature and Humanity lover, you should embrace GMOs.
          GMOs=
          Less pesticides
          Less land needed for crops
          Less beneficial insects being harmed
          Less soil disturbance
          Less erosion
          More affordable food for the poorest members of society
          More crop diversity

          Future GMO=

          Even less pesticides
          Even less land needed for crops
          Less Fertilizer
          Even less insects being killed to protect crops
          Higher yields
          More nutrition
          Tastier foods

        • hyperzombie

          LOL, I looked up “Xenu”, now my brain hurts…. I cant believe that people believe that insanity..

        • JoeFarmer

          Remember that next time you watch a Tom Cruise movie. He’s all about that Scientology stuff.

          I quit watching his movies when Top Gun came out.

          “We’re in a flat spin, heading out to sea!”

          Well, if you’re in a flat spin, you’re descending vertically and you don’t have the option of moving horizontally!

          But the concept of Zenu is pretty awesome if you have a big bag of weed and are listening to Dark Side of the Moon. Isn’t Roger Waters a Canuck?

          I know Captain and Tennille are, and I can’t help but to hold that against you. And Alan Thicke. How do you guys eject all the dum-dums and foist them on us honest Americans?

      • Lover of Nature & Humanity

        What a joke~! You diseased food makers and supporters love poor people. That’s is why you’re spraying cancer-causing chemicals to kill them. Clever Eugenics… population control Agenda.
        I thought you folks believe in democracy in the USA. Most consumers support GMO-labeling laws. It appears that you and Big Ag and the pesticide/poison and GMO companies/God players want to impose a food dictatorship on the population of the world. Please go advocate for something that actually do good for people, the environment/ecosystems and our future generations. We’re not fools and we can do our research and thinking, no thank you. We believe and food safety, better taste, soil teeming with micro-organism and bio-diversity. Which part of that don’t you folks understand.

        Maybe folks like you need to go to a different planet far, far away, because your are harmful to the health of mother Terra that sustains us, the biosphere and our progeny. I am low income and I am vegan and I do my best to consume only natural, GMO-free and organic mostly foods. Since when you this toxic industry have poor people interest in mind. Eating less food that are nutrient-dense is better… less obesity you know.

        That is the point, small food artisan must fall in line with the desiderata of the masses/consumers. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

        This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel whishes, the governement have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believeHere’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

        Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

        http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

        Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

        http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

        The New York Times, 07/27/13

        A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

        MSNBC, 2/25/11

        Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

        Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

        Reuters / NPR, 10/10

        Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

        Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

        eat GE fish

        Washington Post, 9/17/10

        Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

        Yes – 95%

        http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

        KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

        Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

        Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

        http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

        Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

        2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

        food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

        strongly agreed with this.

        http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

        ABC News, 6/19/01

        An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

        http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

        • hyperzombie

          you’re spraying cancer-causing chemicals to kill them. Clever Eugenics… population control Agenda.

          Yep, great plan. that is why the poor are living longer than ever before and are still having more children than the general population.

          I thought you folks believe in democracy in the USA.

          I believe that the USA is a constitutional Republic, that is why gays can marry, and there is no more slavery.

          Please go advocate for something that actually do good for people,

          That is why I support GMos, better for the environment and poor people, most of them can’t afford to pop down to the local Whole Foods in their SUV for Organic foods.

          the environment/ecosystems and our future generations.

          In the Future almost foods will be GMOs, except for a small amount eaten by elitist douchebags. And the environment will be cleaner and we will grow far more food on a smaller amount of land.

          We’re not fools and we can do our research and thinking, no thank you.

          Totally disagree, you are elitist fools. The Eugenics movement of the 21 century.

          We believe and food safety, better taste, soil teeming with micro-organism and bio-diversity

          Well then you should support GMOs, it is far better at doing all those things than Organic.

          mother Terra that sustains us, the biosphere and our progeny.

          Mother Terra is going to kill you and everyone that you love, and not even shed a tear. She doesn’t give a crap about you, nutter.

          We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you.

          What religious nuttery, prove Organic is safer?

          This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism.

          Wow, providing affordable food is terrorism,,, Yikes.. You need more tinfoil to protect you from the evil GMOness.

        • JoeFarmer

          Gee, why not just spray chemtrails?

          Or put fluoride in the water supply?

          How many times have you seen Sasquatch or ManBear?

        • hyperzombie

          Yep, no need to worry about GMOs, the chemtrails, illuminati, and fluoride will get you first. Yet you won’t even know, because the WIFI signals, and radiation from the microwave will scramble your brain, unless the tin foil hat is nice and tight.

        • JoeFarmer

          Oh, the HugeManatee!

          I don’t know how some of these folks manage to drag themselves out of bed each morning.

      • Jim

        Who gave you that figure, Monsanto?

        Printing a few extra words on a label costs absolutely nothing.

        • hyperzombie

          Who gave you that figure, Monsanto?

          Cornell University

          http://dyson.cornell.edu/people/profiles/docs/LabelingNY.pdf

        • Jim

          The study you cited assumes that people will switch over to the non-GM or organic options, and includes the cost of those options in the estimate. This isn’t a cost of labeling, this is consumers choosing what they want to buy.

          Oh, and did you see the disclaimer? “This document reflects my personal opinions and does not represent the position of Cornell University. The work on this report was supported financially by the Council for Biotechnology Information.”

          In other words, this is a non-peer reviewed study prepared by one individual who was paid by a group representing the GM foods industry.

        • hyperzombie

          The study you cited assumes that people will switch over to the non-GM or organic options, and includes the cost of those options in the estimate.

          Yep, they assume poor people are just as stupid as you are.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Mr. Zombie, it appears your agenda and that of those you work for is to turn the World population into hyper zombies like yourself who regurgitates and believe in ‘pseudo-scientific/mercenary research’. You folks get real upset when educated & enlighten people like Jim above do not buy into your deceptions.

          I am a firm believer in God of Abraham, at our family table we often pray that the Most High God intervenes and pronounce a judgments on these matters and on all these organizations and people promoting them, whose agenda is to destroy, alter and replace the original creation. We like things as they were before just fine. He made them perfectly fine. They are defective, you thinking and mindset are. To me, it’s both a physical and spiritual battle. Biotechnology is an anti-God demonic-inspired science of death. We don’t need you to make any changes, thank you. What we need is to better manage and utilize what we already have. Biotech and chemical agriculture is not sustainable and their outcomes are uncertain and problematic for today and the future. And by the power of the Almighty Yahweh, you will not succeed. There are far much safer and effective alternatives than your solution from Hell.

          Since you’re not happy with the natural order here on our beloved Earth, maybe you ‘scientific nutcases’ should pack and go far, far away to a different planet to create the world of your own liking. And please, by the way take with you all toxic pesticides, deadly chemicals and nukes. We the natural humans will remain here and protect it for the future generations.

          In closing, let me say just because something is based on science, it doesn’t mean is good for us humans to develop and use. For instance, nuclear is just another existentialist threat to humanity and the ecosystems that sustains us. With all your knowledge, please acquire wisdom and understanding. You folks are the worst threat to civilization in recorded history. Talking about helping the poor, please go fool some ignoramus or sheeple. People are waking up to your agenda based on lies, ruse and deception. Even Hungry Third World are pushing their corrupt government to reject your frankenstein foods.

          Civilization doesn’t mean technology at any cost. A truly advanced and mature civilization will work to secure the survival & well-being of its species with the clear understanding and acceptance of its inextricable dependence and connection to its natural environment, but not destroy it in the name of so-called ‘scientific progress’.

          By the way, try to have an intelligent discourse supported by facts and commonsense, not insults when your are cornered.

    • Guest

      I don’t understand why you GMO crazies want to force feed their toxic crap. The people have spoken, and have rejected it soundly all over the world. What is your problem? or should I ask, what is your agenda? Eat it by yourself Mike together with those you suppose to love and protect. We just donot need it. There are many other safe, healthier ways to increase food production and protect crops naturally from pest. NO THANK YOU!

      The food artisans must fall in line with the desiderata of the masses/consumers. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

      This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel wishes, the government have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believe.Here’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

      Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

      http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

      Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

      http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

      The New York Times, 07/27/13

      A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

      MSNBC, 2/25/11

      Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

      Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      Reuters / NPR, 10/10

      Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

      Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

      eat GE fish

      Washington Post, 9/17/10

      Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

      Yes – 95%

      http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

      KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

      Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

      Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

      http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

      Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

      2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

      food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

      strongly agreed with this.

      http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

      ABC News, 6/19/01

      An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      • Lover of Nature & Humanity

        Sorry Mike, I put this post in the wrong place.

    • Lover of Nature & Humanity

      Well said Mike

    • Jason

      Mike I agree with some of your post. The more companies use GMO free ingredients, the more will be grown and will become available. But the step that needs to happen right before that is that people need to buy foods with GMO free ingredients. If consumers demand those goods, then companies will move to supply that demand and farmers will grow the supplies that those companies are buying. Our current supply demand system handles this very well.

      So, my question is… why do we need to pass a law to force this? If people really demanded it, you’d be seeing that in their purchasing patterns. I think you’re underestimating the costs of this legislation though. Here’s a link to a blog that I thought did a good job of explaining why making this a law would be very costly to consumers.
      http://thefoodiefarmer.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-costs-of-gmo-labeling.html

      Cornell university recently published a study on this issue as well, claiming that, for residents of new York, food costs would go up on average $500 per year.
      http://dyson.cornell.edu/people/profiles/docs/LabelingNY.pdf

    • hyperzombie

      GMO is not an ingredient, it is a breeding method. No other breeding methods are mentioned on the label, well not since the 50s.

      • Mike

        You are an idiot!

        • hyperzombie

          Funny, I am an Idiot, because I know that GM is a breeding method not an ingredient? LOL

    • Guest

      Atomic tomatoes anyone?

    • hyperzombie

      Non Gmo does not mean herbicide and insecticide free. Look up Clearfield crops, you are just switching herbicides, instead of Glyphosate (roundup) you get izamonox (beyond).

  • Cassandra

    Here’s why I’m pro-GMO. The science supports that Bt reduces insecticide use, and here’s an article by USDA scientists that shows how Roundup can reduce toxic run off from farms. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18268303
    Don’t take my word for it. Look up atrazine. Glyphosate is much less toxic. I’m for GM technology because it’s already saving lives in medicine and has such potential for good things in crops. Even if you can never accept Roundup Ready, there are very beneficial crops soon to hit the market. When you search the news look up genetic engineering and you’ll get more serious news about the field. People like Mike Adams running around talking about genocide make me want to come here to set the story straight. People have absorbed horrible rumors as truth.

    • CommonSensor

      The problem with GMO’s is their genesis, splicing genes is not part of a natural process, i.e., cannot be found in nature. Hybridization is a natural process because it can be done outside a lab and uses evolutionary forces that exist in nature. Saying GMO’s are ok because they allow alternatives to things like atrazine is irrelevant to people that believe truly natural foods wouldn’t have any patented, lab-created chemical treatments. Scientific studies, while possibly valid, miss the point for people that value natural foods. There is also the risk that playing with genes risks unknown consequences because no one can predict the combination of conditions and factors that could result in things going wrong on massive scale, possibly unrecoverable.

      • JoeFarmer

        Incorrect. Look up horizontal gene transfer. Happens all the time in nature.

    • Leon Kaye

      Thanks for making your points. I’m not entirely pro-GMO (and trying to present a balance view was a massive fail in this case, hahahaha!), but I do appreciate you bringing them up in a level-headed balanced way.

      • Cassandra

        Thank you for writing the story and for your kind words. I was in research and then I was a biology teacher, so I feel compelled to fight rumors that demonize useful technologies and scientists in general.

    • Lover of Nature & Humanity

      Eat it just by yourself Cassandra and feed it to your loved ones. I thought you folks believe in democracy in the USA. Most consumers support GMO-labeling laws. It appears that you and Big Ag and the pesticide/poison and GMO companies/God players want to impose a food dictatorship on the population of the world. Please go advocate for something that actually do good for people, the environment/ecosystems and our future generations. We’re not fools and we can do our research and thinking, no thank you. We believe and food safety, better taste, soil teeming with micro-organism and bio-diversity. Which part of that don’t you folks understand.

      Maybe folks like you need to go to a different planet far, far away, because your are harmful to the health of mother Terra that sustains us, the biosphere and our progeny. I am low income and I am vegan and I do my best to consume only natural, GMO-free and organic mostly foods. Since when you this toxic industry have poor people interest in mind. Eating less food that are nutrient-dense is better… less obesity you know.

      That is the point, small food artisan must fall in line with the desiderata of the masses/consumers. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

      This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel whishes, the governement have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believeHere’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

      Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

      http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

      Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

      http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

      The New York Times, 07/27/13

      A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

      MSNBC, 2/25/11

      Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

      Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      Reuters / NPR, 10/10

      Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

      Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

      eat GE fish

      Washington Post, 9/17/10

      Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

      Yes – 95%

      http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

      KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

      Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

      Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

      http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

      Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

      2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

      food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

      strongly agreed with this.

      http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

      ABC News, 6/19/01

      An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

      http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

      • Cassandra

        You’re yelling at the wrong person on this, at least to some degree. I’m not against labeling actual GMOs.

        I wrote my piece to explain that I’m a supporter of the science of GMOs because there are people here who don’t understand that ecologists and a number of conscientious people who actually like what genetic engineering already does and can do to fight medical problems and reduce the use of harmful chemicals in agriculture.

        I’m for labeling of organisms: the produce, the cornmeal, the animals and the steaks. I don’t believe the food is inferior or dangerous, at least not the few that are on the market so far. While the food is whole and it’s modified, it seems reasonable to let people know about the modification because it matters to them, as you so vividly pointed out.

        I will never support the labeling of distilled water with the last organism that it was in, and I couldn’t support labeling of refined sucrose because the beet it came from had a different gene in it than another beet. That’s sheer superstition. Refined sucrose is chemically the same, regardless. So, if you think refined sugar is magically different if it comes from a modified beet, you are welcome to yell at me for disagreeing about that.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          I’m not yelling at you. We are passionate about this. Please do not take this personal, or be too touchy about it. You are tempering with people well-being. We like our foods just as it is thank you.

          Listen, studied and practice agriculture. I come from a line of dozens generations of farmers. This soil is more important than you science. Please tell one instance where GMO have prevent hunger or increased crop yield. Give me independent evidence.

        • http://creating-a-new-earth.blogspot.se/ Earth’s Internet

          She can’t tell you that, but here is more devastating News on the Chemical pollution front which generally goes ignored by Pro-GMO advocates

          http://finance.yahoo.com/news/decision-could-boost-popular-weed-killer-071141969–finance.html

          .

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          I agree, the problem is systemic. The way one treats nature is mind-set issue. It’s stems from how view and value the natural world and people. GE/GMO tech is part of the three headed beast of Big Ag that is killing both man and nature:

          Pesticides
          Chemical fertilizers
          Biotech

        • hyperzombie

          Agriculture is NOT natural, never was and never will be.

        • http://creating-a-new-earth.blogspot.se/ Earth’s Internet

          Well with an attitude and admission like that, it certainly explains why the natural world is in the proverbial and literal toilette

        • hyperzombie

          It is not an attitude or an admission, just the truth.
          I am naturally designed to travel with my buddies and a spear, and stab some large wild animal. Then chase it until it dies of exhaustion or bleeds out, chop the corpse into smaller pieces and bring it home to my pregnant woman that has spent all day picking berries and twigs. Yep, lets get back to the natural ways. I wonder how long nature would last if we all started doing that.

        • hyperzombie

          ignored by Pro-GMO advocates

          Nope, we just realize that 2-4-d is a common herbicide now. All that changes is when it is sprayed, not how much.

        • JoeFarmer

          Why do you consider this “devastating”?

          2,4-D has been used in agriculture since the early 1950s. In spite of that many years of use, there are only about about 3 common weeds that have show resistance to 2,4-D in the United States.

          2,4-D has been studied for years and its safety has been confirmed numerous times. It’s even safe enough that it’s sold in hardware stores and home centers to consumers for lawn use.

        • http://creating-a-new-earth.blogspot.se/ Earth’s Internet

          Haven’t had much luck playing follow the leader lately have you ?

        • JoeFarmer

          As usual, you have nothing to add.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Frank, these transgenic gang are extremists you can’t make them see the light. You wasting your time as far they are concerned, but sensible and smart readers on this board will be enlightened . They are hired guns, paid to post these nonsense.

        • hyperzombie

          2-4-d So horribly toxic, that it can’t even kill your lawn. Oh, the Horror!!! It must be banned,,,,think of the children!!

        • JoeFarmer

          Yep.

          That’s why the opposition has to run the Agent Orange gambit. There’s no there, there.

        • hyperzombie

          So true..

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Great post, Frank!

          Hey Cassandra, what do you think of Frank’s post?

        • Jason

          One example where GMOs have increased crop yields? Really??

          Yield Effects of Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries
          Matin Qaim, David Zilberman

          Insect-Resistant GM Rice in Farmers’ Fields: Assessing Productivity and Health Effects in China

          Jikun Huang1, Ruifa Hu1, Scott Rozelle, Carl Pray3

          GM Crops: The Global Economic and Environmental Impact – The First Nine Years 1996-2004
          Graham Brookes and Peter Barfoot
          There are a few sources.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Where are the links, Jason? I need to know who paid/comissioned for these studies.

        • Jason

          I gave the titles and authors of each. You should have no trouble finding them.

      • Jason

        As bad as slavery…Really? You know… you have the option of growing your own. No one forces you to go the grocery store and buy from the non-organic sections. No one picks up the food and puts it in your basket.
        Take a little responsibility for your actions.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          Listen Jason, obviously who don’t understand GE/GMO is and its effect on other nearby organically grown crops, namely cross contamination. Jason, are you growing your own? I farmed organically for many years and this year, but this I only grow a garden. Please do not make assumptive statements about people you don’t even know. I looking to day to buy farm land to setup am sustainable veganic farm.

        • Jason

          What assumption statements have I made? You likened GMO foods to slavery as if they were being forced upon you. I reacted to those statements. Your post came across as though someone was standing over you force feeding you these foods. When, you obviously know that other option exist. You are, apparently, practicing some of those other options.

          I have a pretty good knowledge of what GE / GMO is. And I’m well aware of what they can do to neighboring crops. Suffice to say, I’m not terribly concerned about it. And no… I don’t grow my own. In my opinion, it’s not worth the time & effort.

        • Lover of Nature & Humanity

          If you never grow any garden or crop, how the hell should I listen to you? How do you know that GE/GMO is good and necessary? If you haven’t analyse soil composition of an organic and pesticide-free farm as opposed to chemical-based farming, why should I listen to you. Stop regurgitating what you’ve been told and find out about things for yourself.

          As someone who grew organic crops for years, I speak from both experience and knowledge. I am no longer farming, but I can never be two busy to grow a small garden. Maybe if you have some connection to the land, you will care more for it and you eat.

        • Jason

          Still beating this dead horse?? I’ve been in Ag for 20 years and a certified crop consultant for 14. I’d wager I know more about soil chemistry, nutrient management and crop development than you ever will. But nice try, anyway.

    • Lover of Nature & Humanity

      The horrible and horrendous thing here is your beloved GMO. I won’t be surprise that you yourself feed organic food to your family since you can afford it, supporting a multi-billion industry. Listen Cassandra, “Live and let live”. the people have spoken: they reject it, even with the millions dollard campaign the Evil Transgenic Mafia. Get a conscience and do the right thing if not for yourself but for your great-grandchildren if you have any.

      By the way not all science is good. The myth Frankenstein was also the product of scientific breakthrough, so is nuclear science, chemical, biological weaponry.

  • Lover of Nature & Humanity

    Hey Leon, we can clearly see that your article-for-hire is nothing but publicity for the un-natural food industry. I thought you folks believe in democracy in the USA. Most consumers support GMO-labeling laws. It appears that you and Big Ag and the pesticide/poison and GMO companies/God players want to impose a food dictatorship on the population of the world. Please go advocate for something that actually do good for people, the environment/ecosystems and our future generations. We’re not fools and we can do our research and thinking, no thank you. We believe and food safety, better taste, soil teeming with micro-organism and bio-diversity. Which part of that don’t you folks understand.

    Maybe folks like you need to go to a different planet far, far away, because your are harmful to the health of mother Terra that sustains us, the biosphere and our progeny. I am low income and I am vegan and I do my best to consume only natural, GMO-free and organic mostly foods. Since when you this toxic industry have poor people interest in mind. Eating less food that are nutrient-dense is better… less obesity you know.

    That is the point, small food artisan must fall in line with the desiderata of the masses/consumers. We don’t have to produce any evidence to you or your ilk about dangers of GMO,pesticides, herbicides and fungicides; the burden of proof is on you. Prove us beyond a doubt through non-biased, fully independent studies of the safety of junk you want to force-feed us. What kind of dictatorship/autocratic oppression is this? As a black person, I’ll tell you this almost as bad as slavery.

    This is the worst form of terrorism, government sanction and pseudo-science supported terrorism. Except in the case of immoral and cruel whishes, the governement have to always fulfill the wishes of the people. What, you no longer believeHere’s the evidence to back-up my claims.

    Haiti Farmers Reject Monsanto “Earthquake” Donation, Burn GMO Seeds

    http://curezone.com/forums/am.asp?i=1643174

    Haiti to Monsanto: “Take Your Seeds and Get Out!”

    http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/haiti-protests-monsanto-genetically-modified-seeds-gmos.html

    The New York Times, 07/27/13

    A recent New York Times poll found that 93% of Americans favor labeling of GE food: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/28/science/strong-support-for-labeling-modified-foods.html?_r=0

    MSNBC, 2/25/11

    Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?

    Yes – 96% of over 45,000 voters believe genetically modified foods should be labeled

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

    Reuters / NPR, 10/10

    Poll conducted by Thompson Reuters and National Public Radio finds 93% of

    Americans believe all GE foods should be labeled as such; only 35% willing to

    eat GE fish

    Washington Post, 9/17/10

    Should genetically-modified food be labeled?

    Yes – 95%

    http://views.washingtonpost.com/post-user-polls/2010/09/should-genetically-modified-food-be-labeled.html

    KSTP – St. Paul/Minneapolis, 9/21/10

    Should Genetically Modified Salmon Carry a Different Label?

    Yes, Should be labeled as genetically modified fish – 95%

    http://kstp.com/news/stories/S1754678.shtml?cat=1

    Consumer Reports, 11/11/08

    2008 Food Labeling Poll found that 95 percent of respondents said they thought

    food from genetically engineered animals should be labeled, and 78 percent

    strongly agreed with this.

    http://www.greenerchoices.org/pdf/foodpoll2008.pdf

    ABC News, 6/19/01

    An ABC News poll found that 93% of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1

  • Christopher Kuebler

    Europe’s artisanal cheesemakers, breadmakers, etc., seem to do just fine without GMO’s……..Monsanto is a flack. It’s GMO “modifies” the proteins in the seed/grain. Just a small amount of change in protein structure can trigger the inflammatory response and trigger the immune system to do all kinds of damaging things to the human body. Don’t believe me? Just ask someone whose loved one died just from consuming the protein known as peanuts, merely from the inflammatory response……….that’s what allergies are all about. Inflammatory reaction to pollen protein. I can’t understand why the scientists don’t get this. But then again, they are being paid by Monsanto, etc., and the FDA and USDA is merely a revolving door for Monsanto, etc. ……………………..

    • Lover of Nature & Humanity

      GMO lovers Gmo makers are science deniers and fabricators of their own sick delusional self-funded studies just for the sake of profit and who knows?… Maybe some other sick, evil agenda.

      • Cassandra

        I have my own reservations about GMOs, which I’ll get to, but first of all, I have to ask this. So, according to you, all the large, mainstream scientific organizations worldwide who stand up for both climate change and GMOs are all just sick science deniers????? The National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Medical Association, the worldwide Academies of Science, the European Commission, the European Food Safety Administration, and on and on. Something doesn’t add up here. Look at Neil DeGrasse Tyson, E.O. Wilson, and two former leaders in Greenpeace, Mark Lynas and Tom Moore. Ask yourself why scientists are speaking up for GMOs.

        When I believe something then l look around and see ecologists and other scientists who have more expertise than I do saying the opposite of what I believe, it gives me pause and I dig deeper into the topic. Sometimes I have to change my mind. I have read tons of articles against GMOs to find out where I may be wrong.

        So far, the problems I see with GMOs have to do with poorly managed growing strategies that allow the development of resistance, patent issues, and the potential for putting herbicide resistance traits into horticultural crops that may invade natural ecosystems or restoration projects. Arguing about the moot point of Bt crop safety, for instance, takes away from serious issues and may even prevent people from getting crops that can save their lives, e.g. Golden Rice. Think about that.

    • Jason

      Well, of course they CAN trigger an allergic response. That’s exactly why the FDA requires allergenic response testing before granting approval. There are many GMO products that have never made it to commercialization for this very reason.

  • Jim

    Why can’t these small artisan businesses just stop using the “small amount” of GMO feed? True it may cost a few cents more per pound, but it’s not some game-changer that this article makes it sound like.

    • hyperzombie

      True it may cost a few cents more per pound,

      Well to ensure that it is non GMO, they most likely would have to buy Organic, that will drive up the cost of grains by 2 to 3x the amount and shipping is more.

  • K Pk

    It doesn’t take a scientist to know that eating crops modified to withstand a good dousing of Round-up is not a good idea. Nor is eating the other class 2 carcinogens found in 90% of our processed food, you know the stuff all the other countries ban. Yeah, I must admit I get pretty emotional at the thought of my kids ingesting that stuff. So, kids lets support that small business and eat some Round-up. I don’t think so. You can go right ahead though, suit yourself, we will take a pass :)

    • Mary Mertz

      Actually it took scientists to create a seed that was engineered to protect the plant itself from insects while also making Round-Up the safest product to date. Glyphosate begins dissipating immediately upon application. Less pesticides and herbicides are used. The resultant crop – whether it is corn, soybean, cotton – doesn’t have a “gmo ingredient” in it, they are simply products produced by a biotech process. A gmo ear of corn is the same nutritionally and safety-wise as an ear of corn produced by any other method. Both organic and nonorganic have trace elements of pesticide residues that fall significantly below the limits set to insure health safety. My farm chooses to use biotechnology because it is the best for our environment and a smart production methods. Earlier pesticides had very long residual affects. We grow a great deal of corn and soybeans….my children and nieces and nephews grew up working in the fields and eating our farm raised – grain and grass fed beef cattle. There have been absolutely no health problems and now the healthy grandbabies are arriving. I’m sorry you have been made so fearful of biotechnology. It really provides so many advantages and opportunities to face a hungry world. Check out biofortified.org

    • Cassandra

      There’s a problem with the way you’re looking at this. The common goal of all farmers is to use no toxins or the least harmful chemicals to solve the perennial problem of pests. If you take away GM crops you’ll have more use of fossil fuel by farm equipment and loss of soil from erosion. You’ll have more spraying of insecticides to get rid of pests that Bt would have killed.

      I’m for GM crops because they’re taking us in the right direction. RR crops have been a boon to farmers, and keep environmental damage from farming down because glyphosate has replaced atrazine and other harsher chemicals.

      RR crops have been a public relations nightmare, however, and just like you did above, people keep conflating this one obviously scary-sounding trait with all the other GM traits which are clearly advantageous to humans and the environment. Human insulin is a GM-produced medicine. The Ebola medicine is a GM-produced medicine.

    • Canadian_Skeptic

      “It doesn’t take a scientist to know that eating crops modified to withstand a good dousing of Round-up is not a good idea.”

      But it does take someone with at least a small degree of knowledge about plant biochemistry to understand why the genetic modification in this group of GM crops isn’t a big concern. Glyphosate (RoundUp) targets a specific enzyme in a biochemical pathway that produces essential amino acids (note: mammals don’t have this pathway). To make plants resistant to glyphosate, a different version of the target enzyme is inserted into a plant’s genome. The enzyme performs the exact same function as the native enzyme, but has at least one specific change in the protein sequence that makes it resistant to the effects of glyphosate.

      http://www.pnas.org/content/103/35/13010.full

  • Lover of Nature & Humanity

    Skeptic4Life, I take my health and that of my family very seriously. I only speak from substance, experience and commonsense. If you do your research, you’ll find out you are among a minority that do take seriously, my above statements about the “Evil Transgenic Mafia”. I could say more about this, but it’s up to you to make your own research and form your own opinion, that is unless you’re nothing but an anonymous hired gun but that shops at Whole Foods in real life…???

    Why Does Everyone Hate Monsanto?

    In recent years, no company has been more associated with evil than Monsanto. But why? (find out for yourself)

    http://modernfarmer.com/2014/03/monsantos-good-bad-pr-problem/

    Monsanto’s Harvest of Fear.

    http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2008/05/monsanto200805

  • Lover of Nature & Humanity

    Vandana Shiva’s Crusade Against Genetically Modified Crops
    Vandana Shiva accuses multinational corporations such as Monsanto of attempting to impose “food totalitarianism” on the world. Early this spring, the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva led an unusual pilgrimage across southern Europe. Beginning in Greece, with the international Pan-Hellenic…
    The New Yorker from RSS

    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/08/25/seeds-of-doubt