Doctor's Note

This is the final installment of a 4-part videos series on the latest science on the public health implications of genetically engineered crops in our food supply. Check out the first three here:

For more on soy and breast cancer, see Breast Cancer Survival and Soy and BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy.

To put the GMO issue in perspective in terms of the death and disability resulting from the standard American diet, see Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease and my live presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food.

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  • Merio

    I think that Dr Greger manage pretty well this issue even if, of course i think that real answers will need time and the labeling of GMO food.

    I really can’t understand why people chose to kill the propositions in that sense.

    I mean everyone should have the choice to decide to avoid that kind of food.

    It’s a no brainer.

    And by the way even in this case i think as i said before that choosing a WFPB diet would probably solve even this “problem”.

    • tbatts666

      Labeling makes sense to me, though I am not like a super strong advocate for it.

      It seems to me like dr g is reporting that any potential danger likely is because of the roundup.

      Maybe instead of gmo labeling we could get roundup labeling.

      It seems there is a lot of corporate opposition to labeling. I guess we need strong advocates for labeling to overcome to money in politics.

      In any case it seems to me avoiding gmo foods is a lower yield dietary strategy than other things, like increasing fruit and veg consumption.

      • brec

        “It seems there is a lot of corporate opposition to labeling.” No doubt, as well as a lot of corporate support — organic food production and marketing is not, in aggregate, a small business and trade associations spend money on politics and lobbying.

      • Larry G Maloney

        Roundup is already highly regulated. The “weaker” version is sold to the public for gardening. the commercial stuff requires a commercial license to even use.

        • tbatts666

          Oh I didn’t realize there was a difference beyween the stuff I use on my sidewalk and the stuff they use on our food.

          • Larry G Maloney

            It’s a violation of Federal law to possess some of the Monsanto poisons without a license to handle it. That’s how dangerous it is. You can buy the “weak” version and even it’s DEADLY.

          • Jocelyn

            Wow!

          • Larry G Maloney

            Here’s a: Mosanto vs Farmers report from The Center for Food Safety. Chapter 3 zeroes in on the lawsuits against farmers. The entire report is very extensive in coverage.
            http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/cfsmonsantovsfarmerreport11305.pdf

          • Larry G Maloney

            Commercial potato growers use a lot of poison too. Before potatoes are harvested the skins must toughen. Crop dusters spray poison on the leaves of the potato corps to kill the plant. Once the plant is dead the skin toughens and they can be dug with less damage to the skin…but much damage to the food as a result of poison the plant.

            I drove for hours in Idaho with nothing but potato crops on both sides of the road. The pilots were busy killing the crop with poison.

    • Mangalore Cafe

      It appears that way because this post was a result of Lobbying. I bet Dr Greger’s “peers” from the Soy industry sat down with and told him what he could or could not say in this video. And This was the result.

      • Merio

        Well, the worst case scenario for me was that Dr Greger would not cover the issue, or covered poorly.

        He dedicated four videos on a subject that is higly controversial and showing that there could be problems.

        He is not like Dr Mercola that scream on the blog-o-sphere about GMO dangers and then promotes cholesterol denialism.

        Speaking for myself, i’m am against GMOs in agriculture from an ethic and historic prospective since i believe Monsanto (AKA Monsie) is like a sort of “Spectre”.

        But this is not good since this thoughts create a bias that “poison” my reasoning.

        And rember that Dr Greger is a promoter of a WFPB diet that is practically free on animal products.

        And guess what ?

        The meat industry is probably the biggest customer of Big Soy since they need this legume to feed their “endless” amount of animals.

        http://www.sustainabletable.org/260/animal-feed

        http://www.soyatech.com/soy_facts.htm

        Anyway i agree with you that one can’t trust blindly Monsie and his workers, since this company practically poison the world with PCBs:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polychlorinated_biphenyl

        http://www.chemicalindustryarchives.org/dirtysecrets/annistonindepth/intro.asp

        Od course Monsie it’s not the only one.

        Big Pharma probably is worse.

        http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60139-2/fulltext

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDbQNBla6aU

        • Mangalore Cafe

          You are absolutely right. I just don’t think comparison with Mercola makes sense. Atleast Dr Greger is not doing…. Is not a justification.
          And I think it would have been better if he had not covered this issue at all.
          He is being very vague and is also giving an opportunity for GMO lobbyists to comment here (and their brainwashed minions).
          I wonder what he has to say on Canola oil claiming to prevent and reverse cancer, blood pressure, obesity, Diabetes and what not, all their studies are based on Petri dish and animals.
          Since they somehow got these studies peer reviewed I guess Dr. Greger will lap it up. But it would be ironic cause its the same reasons he defend GMO and the industry Defends GMO saying that the studies were in petri dishes and on animals.

          Its so convenient.

          About Soy, You already know a lot more than regular folk, get ready for more.
          The Soy and meat industry is practically the same industry.
          Deans Diary also owns major Soy Brands. (this many know and they have ready made excuses for it)
          What people don’t know that if not for the soy industry Meat, dairy and poultry industry would not be that profitable.

          Soy Industry has bribed the GOVT and got a lot of subsidies(which are only on 1000 acres of land or more so the small farmer does not get these subsidies). Then the meat and dairy industry are already subsidized.
          Now Cargill the biggest producer of Processed soy products is also one of the biggest producers of processed meat.
          Monsanto not only feeds soy to the industry but also invented rBGH for dairy.

          What is Mindblowing is that soy “was” not a complete protein(not that I believe this myth). But the formula was changed so that soy could be included.
          Now why would the meat/dairy industry do this? If Soy was their enemy.
          What we don’t know is that a lot of lentils went off the complete protein list due to this change.
          BUT there are still enough of lentils that are complete protein like chickpea, Blach eyed peas. Yellow Peas, Horse gram I had a list of 18.
          Basically Monsanto wants to feed the world Soy one way or the other. Either through meat and dairy or directly to vegans.
          I think vegans should get over this Soy mania.
          Chickpea should be the next soy cause not only its complete protein but its also very healthy and no controversies at all.
          It only cause flatulence if you don’t soak it and cook it the proper way(that is soak it for 12 hours rinse the water first after half and hour then after and hour for 3 times. You discard the water before cooking You cook it without baking soda and you keep removing the scum you can discard that water too. Don’t worry whatever nutrients are lost in that water is negligible compared to the phytic acid that is in it. You can add a little Kombu while soaking and while boiling, for almost all lentils)

          • Merio

            Indeed it’s a big business, i think that nations should not permit companies to became more powerful than them, and decide the health and agriculture policy.

            We need an equilibrium.

            Anyway i tend to think that soy is really important for them since it has many industrial applications, it’s like a “food” petroleum. The best way to hit “Big Soy” and related companies it’s to minimize animal food consumption.

            And stop to subsidize junk food.

            Thanks for the other informations.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            Always Welcome.
            Yes that is the best way but we should also not replace it with Soy. There are enough grains and beans that taste so much yummier. If we need to eat soy lets eat Locally grown Organic GMO.
            This is a good read of what the Soy Industry has in store for us.

            The Era of Soy Imperialism and what your tofu is not telling you

            “The American Soybean Association is promoting “analogue”
            dals–soybean extrusions shaped into pellets that look like black gram,
            green gram, pigeon pea, lentil and kidney bean. The diet they envision
            would be a monoculture of soybean; only its appearance would be
            diverse.”
            Read the rest here http://worldpresses.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/the-era-of-soy-imperialism-and-what-your-tofu-is-not-telling-you/

          • Mark

            Agreed, save the planet by lowering consumption of products of animal origin and send a message to big soy (and corn) at the same time!

      • Jocelyn

        Ha no I think it was the Broccoli lobby right Dr. G?!

    • First Officer

      Let’s say this is true. How would labeling end products help find it?

      • Merio

        Help to find what ?

        GMO’s ?

        Well, there are already tests to assess the presence of GMOs in food:

        http://eprints.icrisat.ac.in/109/1/TrendsInBiot__20_5_215-223__2002.pdf?origin=publication_detail

        Than after you know that a food contain an amount X of GMOs than you could try to see if there is some correlation with patologies or other contditions.

        But my point is simply to know is a food contain GMOs so that i can decide to avoid it.

        For example maybe you are just following a particular diet w/o simple sugars, so you want to know if a product contain simple sugars so you can avoid them.

        • First Officer

          You can already avoid them through the organic and non-gmo labels, just like devout Muslims and Jews can avoid non-kosher products via kosher labeling.

          SO, again, i ask, how will labeling end products help find these real answers that need time to tell? After all, no one saves the labels of what they’ve eaten.

          • Merio

            Indeed that is my hope, that labelling could lead to better understanding of the possible problems, but i do not know if i am right.

            To me the labeling GMOs is just a no brainer.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            are you really being sincere in asking that question. Ok let me assume and give an answer. You do realize there is non-certified organic produce that is “NON GMO” which is much cheaper than certified organic produce.
            there is non organic produce that is NON GMO that is well NON GMO. Its the people’s choice there are people eating Organic Beef. They don’t mind the dangers of cholesterol(or rather think its a myth) and animal protein but they don’t want to put chemicals in their body.
            So the same way People don’t want to eat GMO. Infact many fruits need not be organic if you are concerned about pesticide content as that remains on the skin.
            Its safe (its another issues non-organic fruits may have less nutrients) and you are not making urself a guinea pig for GMO companies.

            I am saying If GMO’s were tha safe and you can see from the comments here many people actually are saying GMO is completely safe Why not Label it.
            These people who spend so much time arguing logical fallacies defending GMO can actually support it my buying only GMO. Go Figure!

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    In response to Monsanta those, “what’s the worry, by the time you get the glyphosphate in your body it’s diluted down.” (Paraphrased)

    And a great line from my old organic chemistry teacher, “the solution to pollution is not dilution!”

    • largelytrue

      Certainly the solution to some forms of pollution is dilution. I think you’d have to work fairly hard to get a definition of ‘pollution’ for which dilution is never a solution, and by the time you were through your definition might be more narrow than you’d like.

      • Misterimpatient

        I used to work for a chemical company. 100 gallons of toxic waste in a river is still 100 gallons, even if you dilute it in 10,000 gallons of water on it’s way down the drain. Gratefully, we never did that (on my watch). We paid Clean Harbors HUGE sums of money to truck our waste away and dispose of it according to regulations.

        • largelytrue

          Never said that there wasn’t a problem with persistent pollutants accumulating in the water supply or the world’s oceans. Some pollutants are clearly not that persistent, however, and minimally harmful in sufficiently low doses; and this in spite of the unfortunate fact that so many aren’t, and many others degrade into persistent, potent, harmful compounds.

    • Pat

      Since glyphosphate is an endocrine disruptor, the dose no longer makes the poison. Now even the tiniest amount can cause harm by binding to cell receptors.

    • Susan

      Apparently, you have not read the latest independent study from the Arctic University of Norway, which has detected “extreme levels” ( they used Monsanto’s word for the significant levels) of the biotech giant’s RoundUp herbicide in our food, proving that the agricultural herbicide manufactured by Monsanto has utterly changed our food supply. And it is anything but safe, no matter the propaganda.
      See more at:
      http://naturalsociety.com/food-found-extreme-levels-monsantos-round-norwegian-study/#sthash.7DOS2EI8.dpuf

  • Joe

    You’re “sympathetic to the biotech industry’s exasperation about gmo concern’s”? Poor little Monsanto is so picked on for no reason. Are you kidding me? They are desroying the planet and trying to kill us all. All those “studies” by the biotech industry are all lies, and they own the FDA and keep changing the “safe” allowable levels at their convenience.

    • Jeff and Karen

      We are huge fans of NutritionFacts.org and of Dr. Greger however we concur with Joe “Are you kidding me?” with regard to Dr. Greger’s sympathy for scientists on the payroll of Monsanto whose job it is to further the goal of all corporations to maximize profits for the shareholders – all externalities be damned! We would have thought Dr. Greger would sympathize with the lab rats – us the public – who are being experimented upon without our permission by a company whose ruthless pursuit of money is legendary. We personally know Percy Schmeiser who had his non GE canola fields contaminated by pollen drift from Monsanto’s genetically engineered canola and was then sued by Monsanto for hundreds of thousands of dollars for patent infringement something that was not very good for Percy and his wife’s health. Additionally, the thousands of farmer suicides in India that are directly related to the bankruptcy the farmers experience as a result of failing GE crops, the need to repurchase seed, and the escalating exponential need for more and more Roundup is also not very good for their health. All in all, we would classify Greger’s treatment of this issue as, at best superficial, but really pathetic.

      • sf_jeff

        Actually he said he was sympathetic but, …. and came back with labeling. So more a probably nothing, but caution is in order view then an probably nothing so leave us alone view.

    • largelytrue

      Some sectors of the anti-GMO fringe are loud and crazy and exasperating to many.

      “They are desroying the planet and trying to kill us all.”

      I find this comment a bit exasperating, myself. How is it that one can seriously argue that Monsanto’s goal is to “kill us all,” as if it were a mustachioed villain twirling its mustache and deliberately trying to do what it knows to be evil for evil’s sake?

      • sandial

        Well, “trying to kill us all” the end result is an expensive, cruel, unnecessary death. They want to make us sick so we will use the prescribed drugs are creating to fight cancer, cholesterol, leukemia, etc. and their drug pushing drs. are prescribing after they scare us mindless. The last chance at survival from cancer, after radiation, chemo is nutrition and a healthy diet. The cure is the same as the prevention (quote: Dr.Greger). But tens of thousands of dollars are spent on medications also treatments. Therein, you will likely die from the treatments, than survive. Yes, it will be the side effects of the toxic drugs, of which the big pharma is making millions on your treatment/ sickness, that will kill you dead. People are looked at as profit till death. This is very sad. And there is no shortage of people in the line up to take a dead person’s place.

      • Larry G Maloney

        LT, I’m not so concerned about Monsanto’s perceived intent as I am about their effect on society and my health. It’s hard to prove motive. It’s not so hard to see results.

        • largelytrue

          I totally agree with the point about motive, perhaps especially in the case of large groups such as nations, religions, corporations, clubs and so on, the behavior of which is the result of a complex mixture of motives in their members. It’s generally less hard to see results, but that also doesn’t mean that all results are easy to see. We can easily be in agreement here so far since we are talking in fairly loose-fitting terms.

        • Mangalore Cafe

          Thats the problem with Tin-Foil hat conspiracy theorists who unfortunately are anti-GMO.
          The motive is not to kill, why would they kill their own customer.
          The motive is simply to make money. In the process if people die they don’t actually care profit is the main concern.
          The best example is the Ford Pinto case. Ford was not trying to kill anyone.
          They messed up and they just though it was cheaper to let people die in accidents instead of issuing a recall and fitting a steel protector to stop the engine from crashing into the fuel tank.
          The only motive of GMO companies is to replace all natural seed with GMO seed. Farmer has too keep buying.
          Also is to sell roundup.
          GMO is very sound science. But that is not a justification.
          Nerve gas, the atomic bomb are all very sound science but that does not justify killing people with these bombs?

          GMO could be used in my opinion to protect the environment. Lets take a gene of fast growing grass and splice it with a teak tree and a bamboo too. So we have Round huge pillars of wood growing every 24 hours.
          We would never have to cut trees in the wild again.
          We could build everything from trees.

          Instead Monsanto is really doing something ridiculously. I mean what sort of an approach is Round Up to weeds. You just spray like a mad man a poison that willl kill off anything in the vicinity and will have effects on all the flora and fauna (killing small fragile creatures) in the 10 mile radius(and even more if it makes it way into a river)
          You create a crop that is resistant to that.
          WOW!!
          Anyone would be stupid to believe that Monsanto Came up with that solution to save Mankind.
          Its very easy to see they came up with such a solution so they could kill 2 birds(Actually 1000s) with one stone. Sell GMO SOy and Roundup too.
          I think the approach and the type of products GMO is creating makes it obvious that the intention of GMO is to only maximize profits by fooling the consumer.
          Why is this so hard to believe. I am pretty sure you @slider1:disqus and many other intelligent people have come across so many products ranging from cosmetics to slimming drugs that have fooled the consumer just to make profits.
          Its not new and its legal.

          • Rick

            Sounds like this must be a Monsanto employee doing his/her public relations thing. How many of you are there here?

          • Mangalore Cafe

            U got it right, that’s why I took the time to explain and elaborate on the truth

          • Susan

            GMO’s are not sound science according to retired chemical engineer, Thierry Vrain. It is random science. More is known now than after he received his Ph.D.. In fact, there are many things that he and many other scientists, have discovered they don’t know about the human gnome.
            Thierry Vrain retired from Agriculture Canada some 14 years ago, and is now learning to garden organically.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            Thats like saying Modern Medicine is not Sound Science. Just because they are just churning drugs that don’t work and kill people. What I meant is the subject of Bio engineering is sound science
            GMO don’t give a damn they are just creating hogwash just like pharma industry
            They are not bothered to do real reasearch and find a real solution(or cure in case of BIG PHARMA).
            They are just creating stuff they can get approved so they can sell it. They use fraudulent fake studies to do that.
            Yes anyone person who is worth their salt will know that nothing can beat organic farming. So GMO are using sound science to try and fix something that is not broken(or you can say their puppet masters broke it long ago with the “green revolution” its all interlinked).
            Let me give you the skinny on how food shortage and pests were created.
            Even right there are so called non-profit organization who visit third world countries and teach them how to farm “better”. They pose as experts and they do charity.
            Then after the hell breaks lose these GMO and pesticide fertilizer companies come in with “solution”
            Its a classic Problem reaction solution where they create the problem.

            There are no such thing as pests. If there were they would have wiped out our food supply thousands of years ago.
            Pests were created by modern farming.
            3 practices of Modern farming
            1.allowing the land to breath by opening it which diestroyes the microbial flora fauna inside as it gets exposed to the sun and air.
            2. Use of artificial fertilize that affects the PH of the soil and also kills a lot of microorganisms and small insects and animals
            3. CLEAN Farming. This is the main culprit they said to increase yield let us remove all other plants from the field as they will compete for the nutrition in the soil and also you get more land to grow the single crop so more yield.
            What this does it remove the food source of many normal insects who play an important role in the ecology.
            These insects are content eating a few leaves or stalks of “weeds” like the dandelion which we all know is rich in nutrients.
            But when that food source is gone, they have no option but to eat what is left. Since these are not dense in nutrition and these insects don’t have a fixed diet system they follow. They just keep on chewing on anything they get until they get the required nutrition out of it.
            So this results in them eating plants they would never eat and eating lots of it as it was not as dense in nutrition as the “weeds” they would feed on.
            Another simple example is the BEE business. These farmers have been advised to remove all trees from their farms. Where the hell will the butterflies and bees who pollinate the flowers live?

            The best trees to grow in a field are Moringa, they are nutrient dense so all insects just love to eat it and check on out you will see the highest number of caterpillars and other larvea on this tree.

            So all of this is created I am not sure if this was deliberate maybe it was a mistake but it sure is the cause of all current agrarian problems.

            In India a group of farmers rejected the “green revoluion” 60 years ago. Today while in the rest of India Farming is a high risk business, these farmers are growing 4 crops a year(and growing their own vegetables and fruits so they don’t have a to spend any money on food) with 0 input.

            While in other part of India its so worse that a farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. The only reason they do so is because they cannot pay the loan they took to buy fertilizers, pesticides and high yield GMO seeds.

          • Susan

            When I first began to grow using the organic method in 1970, I learned the hard way that saw dust while an “organic” waste depleted the nitrogen in plants. Everything turned yellow. To remedy the problem, I picked up two garbage cans full of poultry manure, feathers and all and mixed it with the saw dust. The high nitrogen content of the poultry manure created a rich, black humus out of the wood wastes, and after it cooled down, this was turned into the soil making everything ready to plant. I added bone and cottonseed meal, not realizing at the time how high in pesticides cottonseed meal is, but it seemed to make little difference to my garden. Now, I’ll have to find other ways of creating the same nutrients because I don’t want complete genes from antibiotic bacteria and high levels of herbicides depleting the minerals in my soil and blocking their way to be taken up physiologically into the plants and the people who need the plants to repair or heal their bodies. But back in 1970, I grew my garden not knowing anything, except that I did not want manmade chemical pesticides or toxic metal fertilizers. And I found that composting can do both, add nutrients to the soil and at the same time help beneficial organisms grow so they could fight disease, pests, and mulching eliminated most weeds,
            I found out what insects were attacking my plants and learned what their predators were. The predators were mail ordered and they controlled insects in my garden. A bountiful harvest of veggies, fruits and strawberries were ours for the picking, and all without DDT, chemical warfare agents, or other “Economic Poisons, which is what pesticides were regulated as back then when the cancer rate was far lower than it is today. Peer reviewed science used to be used to grow crops. It is no longer. And now, more and more people and animals are getting sicker and dying younger.
            GMO seeds do not yield more than growing organically, peer reviewed science has shown this. Plus, I did not buy toxic fertilizers or toxic chemical pesticides. I gardened with my brain and used common sense working with Nature rather than against her. This is missing in the way crops are grown today. And, the damage to our health, our central and peripheral nervous system, our immune system and the new diseases, allergies, and ailments are the proof of the pudding created since the first GMO crops came into the marketplace in 1996.

            India used to grow crops using the organic method. Then their elected officials were wined and dined by the biotech-chemical industry and deceptive practices were put into place as the farmers mortgaged their land to buy expensive large machinery, agrochemicals, and everything died when a drought came. Because without water, life cannot grow and genetic engineering cannot grow sustainable food that repairs and sustains life without the right ingredients –healthy soils, rich in organic humus, which increase water holding capacity and increase yield. Those from India were not allowed to farm using common sense, because common sense did not make the biotech-pesticide companies wealthy. The result was they were losing their farms and had huge debt from borrowing for unneeded big equipment. In the end, failed promises caused debt, depression, and lost farms, as well as suicides. That is, until the truth started coming out and the government stood with the small farmers and against massive agribusiness.

          • Alastair Leith

            Why would the health insurance industry invest in junk food corporations? to grow the pie, the more people need health cover from sickness the more they will spend on insurance. is that ethical? would they do it? no it probably isn’t and yes they do do it.

    • Larry G Maloney

      On what basis do you characterize Dr. Greger as “sympathetic” to the biotech industry? He reported a few studies accurately. That’s not an opinion! Fact is, Dr. Gerber reported that GMO foods in the human body simulated estrogen. Doesn’t that mean, even in very small amounts GMO can play havoc with women’s (and men’s) hormone secretion? Pre teens are experiencing puberty when generations past it didn’t occur until age seventeen. Each decade for the last several beginning puberty has started one year earlier. Sounds llke GMO’s are just another trigger for hormonal upheaval

    • Linda N

      Like Joe, Jeff, and Karen, I too find Dr. Gregor’s treatment of this issue pathetic. Buying into any of the Biotech industries manipulated studies and lies, is not something I would expect any good scientists or physician to do. Shame on you Doctor for giving credence to such self-promoting slop.

      • Rick

        Sadly I agree.

    • GodBlessAmerica

      Well said!

  • brec

    “[W]e need mandatory labeling on GMO products so that public health researchers can track whether GMOs are having any adverse effects.”

    And on mutagenic products as well? If not, why not? And labeling of all used herbicides and pesticides (including on organic foods)? If not, why not?

    Also: how will labeling help public health researchers do the tracking? (Not saying it won’t, but I’m unclear as to how it would.)

    • Larry G Maloney

      “Labeling” is permission to market GMO’s. I prefer to stop GMO’s.

      • Jackie Thomas

        well, I´d like to stop the selling of automatic guns, but ain´t gonna happen. If the American public won´t go into overdrive and have their congressmen pass laws on gun control, like background checks, then…

      • Rick

        Yes, but labeling is the best way to do so.

        • Larry G Maloney

          Good point, Rick. I’m for stopping GMO’s and if labeling shines enough sunlight on the problem to do that, why not? I’d hate to see the movement relax because labeling is practiced. Cigarettes are labeled. So is meat and dairy.

  • brec

    As to labeling, be careful what you ask for. In the video: “I’m sympathetic to the biotech industry’s exasperation about GMO concerns when we still have people dropping dead from everything else they’re eating.” Indeed. But I’d like some sympathy for my worry about mandatory labeling stomping on GM-food sales, hence quashing biotech R&D investment, and thus reducing prospects of improvement in the healthfulness and affordability of food.

    • Thea

      brec: re: “quashing biotech R&D investment, and thus reducing prospects of improvement in the healthfulness and affordability of food.”
      From my perspective, we don’t need biotech for healthy food. The NutritionFacts site shows how very much our existing whole plant foods are all that humans need for maximum health. Thinking that we need biotech to artificially create healthy food is not something that makes any sense to me. And as for affordability, whole plant foods are pretty affordable as-is. I guess I don’t understand your worry.

      • brec

        In 1970: “We don’t need computer systems for communication; we have telephones, radio, and TV!”

        An example of one kind of thing I’m thinking of is so-called “Golden Rice,” which is a GMO that provides beta-carotine (hence, Vitamin A) in rice. Proponents claim it could prevent hundreds of thousands of early childhood deaths per year. (GMO opponents claim otherwise; I’m not agitating for this specific cultivar, only using it as an example of a type of possibility.)

        Yes, for you and me, whole plant foods are pretty affordable. For billions of others, any significant improvements in crop yields could mean a big difference in their lives.

        We don’t know what the future of bio-technology might bring, so let’s take some care before stunting it.

        • Thea

          brec: It sounds like this is your argument: It doesn’t matter what concerns people have about an existing product. As long as there is a theoretical potential for something related to be beneficial in the future, then we should do nothing to protect people from (or even label) existing products. Again, this just makes no sense to me.

          I would argue instead: There is nothing to stop industry from coming up with a biotech product that is proven to be good for the planet and the long term health of humans, even if existing products (80%! of which are made to withstand extra pesticides?) are labeled and maybe even stunted.

          • brec

            No, that’s not my argument.

            If mandatory labeling succeeds in fulfilling many of its proponents’ [see note below] hopes, sales of existing and new GMO-containing products to consumers will plummet, and researchers will not get R&D budgets for developing new ones.

            By all means, specific concerns about any existing products should be voiced and researched. But as is evident both in comments here and across the ‘net, there is a lot of sentiment that GMOs should be avoided or banned across the board.

            I don’t object to whatever a supplier wants to put on a label, as long as it’s true. But mandated labeling implies that GMOs are unsafe and many — I believe most — consumers will reflexively avoid the labeled product based on that alone. On that point also see same note below.

            (You seem uncertain of the 80% figure; I don’t have a number myself, but in view of the GMO cultivars which enable the *reduction* of extra pesticides, I wonder if it’s that high. While I believe use of herbicides such as Roundup is up, GMO cultivars such as Bt corn have enabled a large decrease in the use of artificial insecticides.)

            Note: “many” is not “all”. But in monetary terms, a lot of the advocacy for mandatory labeling is from organic food producer trade groups.

          • Thea

            brec: Labeling is not banning. Yet it sounds like you are against labeling, because people may then choose to avoid eating the food for reasons you don’t approve of. And if they avoid eating the food, then that could mean that ultimately companies do less research, which you would consider to be a problem.

            I’m still not buying it. I’m not buying that consumers will all of a sudden stop buying products that they have been consuming for years. And I’m not buying that we need the technology that creates GMOs. Nor that if there was a real need for biotech foods, that the need wouldn’t be seen to one way or another. With a real need (not defined as a corporation wanting lots of money), the money would be there for the research.

            That’s just my opinion. I understand that you have a big fear about that research going away. It looks like you have nothing to fear, though, because GMO proponents, who want the food unlabeled, are definitely winning.

            For me, labeling is just labeling. For example, we label whether or not an ingredient is “artificial”. You can’t just say that a product has lemon in it if the lemon flavor is artificial. It has to be labeled as such. People then have a right to choose if they are going to eat that product with artificial lemon or not. Some people choose not to eat food with artificial ingredients. You may disagree with their reasons, but they have the choice. And that some people choose not to eat artificial food doesn’t stop companies from making a ton of money (and thus having money for more artificial research?) off of those products. GMO food should be no different.

          • brec

            Thea– We’ve gotten into two separable issues: #1 mandatory labeling, and #2 whether that will lead, indirectly, to less bio-tech research. #2 started from a thought I happened to have for the first time when considering this video and its comments. It’s not an “argument” that I had previously developed and researched, and you are right in saying (in my paraphrase) that the size of the effect, if any, of labeling on future research cannot be determined. It seems reasonable to infer that some people without any other knowledge will say, “Hmm, if the government requires this label, this GMO stuff must be dangerous, or at least risky, so the hell with it — I’ll buy something else.” But I can’t estimate the size of this effect. So I’d like to let #2 go and respond only as to why I’m against mandatory labeling.

            One aspect of my opposition is off-topic to this site: it’s a general opposition to making positive acts (as opposed to negative acts, i.e., refraining from actions) that some people want other people to perform into laws applicable to everyone. Because it’s a political/rights issue, not a nutrition science issue, yet it’s important to me, I’ll just mention it and move on to the specifics of GMO labeling.

            Why are GMOs singled out for mandatory labeling? As I commented more briefly yesterday, what about, for example, mutagenic crop varieties? Plants or seeds are bombarded with chemicals or radiation to induce genetic mutations — possibly hundreds or thousands of them — to see if any desirable traits emerge. Since the 1930s more than 2,000 mutagenic crop varietals have been released. Some of them are farmed and marketed by organic producers. I know of no one advocating for mutagenic product labeling, or for “the right to know” that they’re buying mutagenic foods or foods containing such ingredients. I’ve never heard of any proposition requiring such labeling being put on a state election ballot. Why is a technique inducing thousands of unknown genetic changes in a plant never mentioned for labeling, while an engineered technique introducing one or two specific genes with specific well-studied effects suddenly (within the past several years) a target for mandatory labeling? This, to me, is crazy. It makes clear, to me, that the mandatory GMO labeling movement is not based on science, i.e., on actual dangers, risks, or unknowns, but on sociology, politics, and (for organic producers) on economics.

            And mutagenic varieties are just an example. Why are the “right to know” promoters not advocating for mandatory labeling of all the herbicides and insecticides used on a food product or any of its contents?

            There’s another argument against mandatory labeling which I’ll just describe briefly: expense. Many products that have ingredient lists have long supplier chains. Labeling will require audit trails along the entire supply chain. The cumulative cost to the final packager who’s responsible for labeling may in some cases be significant and require an increase in consumer pricing. (But I have no quantitative knowledge in this area.)

            For these reasons, I’m disappointed that my go-to guy on nutrition science, Dr. Greger, has jumped on the mandatory labeling bandwagon.

          • Thea

            brec: re: labeling mutagenic crops. I’m all for that. In fact, the GMO process was originally described to me much the same way that you described mutagenic crops, except that GMO foods could also involve inserting genes from other species. Just because we aren’t labeling the mutagenic crops right now does not mean that we shouldn’t label GMO foods. In other words, the argument, “You should do all or nothing” makes no sense to me. Similarly, hopefully some day we can get some labels on the pesticides used.

            Also, I disagree that there is no science behind health concerns specific to GMOs. Which may explain why there is the focus to label GMOs and not the crops you are talking about. But even if what you believe that is true (ie: GMOs are as healthy as conventional crops), then there is also the issue of those pesky sociology and environmental issues which are not trivial. For example, I consider it to be morally reprehensible to Montanto be allowed to enforce a contract which does not allow a farmer to replant seeds from plants they have grown. With labeling, I can vote with my dollars on that very important issue. Without labeling, it can be very hard.

            Expense: It is my understanding that none of the many countries which already enforce GMO labeling have seen a rise in food prices. The expense argument has never held up.

            re: “…it’s a general opposition to making positive acts (as opposed to negative acts, i.e., refraining from actions) that some people want other people to perform into laws applicable to everyone.”
            This argument (made by many people – so I have thought about it a lot) does not make sense to me in regards to GMO labeling. As just one example, we force companies to put nutrition information on their packages because as a society, we have decided that this information is important. People can do whatever they want with the info. But it has to be provided. I consider that a huge public good. Same with forcing car manufacturers to provide seatbelts. But I don’t believe in enforcing seat belt laws. In other words, a better model for society in my opinion is to provide information and opportunities for safety. And then people can choose (no forcing positive acts) what they want to do about it. Provide the GMO label. Then let people decide if that’s what they want to purchase.

            I can understand your arguments from an intellectual standpoint. I even respect your opinion because you have thought it through so well. I just *strongly* disagree with you.

          • Larry G Maloney

            “I don’t believe in enforcing seat belt laws.” Most sat on their seat belts until the laws were enforced. Driving without using the safety equipment endangers not only the driver, but passengers, other drivers, and their passengers, and pedestrians. Seat belts help keep drivers in front of the steering wheel during an accident. How can you be for a law but against enforcing it? I’m for everyone not eating meat and dairy but don’t want it make it a law. That’s different from avocation non-enforcement of valid, beneficial laws. Sounds like the old big brother paranoia that causes million to fear loss of gun rights. Society is conditioned to demand what government wants by suggesting otherwise is a loss of freedom. Over a million babies are aborted every year by proclaiming, “A woman’s body, a woman’s right to choose.” The baby has little protection under the law. We profess fear of big brother to commit immoral acts as a pseudo rebellion against “control”. Keep in mind it’s with Governments blessing Americans are fed the garbage processed by big business and sold as food. We are alrady controlled by big business…they are truly the food police.

          • Thea

            Larry: “How can you be for a law but against enforcing it?”
            That may have been poor wording on my part. What I should have said was that I’m against any law that forces people to wear seat belts. Similarly, I’m against helmet laws. Let’s not get into the abortion issue. This is getting completely off topic.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Your new wording doesn’t help your argument. It’s not likely a baby will survive a car wreck without a seat belt holding the car seat in place. How do you feel about other vehicle safety laws, for example, do you oppose laws that force people to stop at intersections? I’m guessing you don’t oppose those laws. Government also dictates how strong concrete has to be in a building, etc. I bet you aren’t even aware of most Government mandated safety laws. Without them we’d be a third-world country. Therefore, why single out one safety related law? How often do we here, “and the diseased was not wearing a seat belt.”?
            Also, when motorcyclists crash and damage their brain it’s taxpayers who pay the medical bills. Helmets reduce the injuries. I bet brain injured hard core anti-helmet bike riders have a change of heart after the damage is done. I know their children wish they had them back in one piece.

          • Thea

            re: “Therefore, why single out one safety related law?”
            People have a right to endanger themselves and their families. (Parents have to choose what risks their children take all the time.) That’s a good part of what a mature life is all about. Making choices and taking risks and keeping your pinky toes crossed that the risks will pay off. Accepting consequences when the risk does not pay off. On the other hand, people do not have a right to significantly and negligently put other people’s safety at risk.

            So, there’s where I draw the line. Does the law allow multiple humans to live together peacefully without tromping too much on the rights and safety of others? That law – such as obeying traffic signals – is necessary. On the other hand, are we talking about behavior that mostly just endangers ourselves or our immediate family and say those with us at the time? (Driving without a seat belt.) Have the risk taker(s) been informed of the risks? (Good education and labeling). Have they been given safe alternatives? (Seat belts mandatory in cars.) OK, then go for the risk if you want. It’s not up to me to say otherwise, and I don’t want others telling me what risks I can and can not take.

            The taxpayer argument also holds no water with me, but again, we are way off topic. So, I think it’s time to let this rest.

          • Larry G Maloney

            “People have a right to endanger themselves and their families.” Child abuse laws say otherwise. Parents don’t have a “right” to not educate their children…because it hurts society. Your argument is valid in one respect. If someone is dumb enough to risk their child’s life based on a senseless claim based on her “right” then maybe society is benefited by the offspring dying so as not to reproduce such an ignorant line of feeble-mined thinkers.

            We have the right to feed our kids GMO, meat and dairy… none of which benefits society, all of which is destructive and costly to society. The only true rights we have are those guaranteed by our Constitution. I point out it does not protect us from seat belt laws or GMO’s.

            I already pointed out a driver flopping around in his car; out of control endangers others. I was personally in a car hit by another (before seatbelts) and went flying across the interior to the passenger side….unable to control the car. You have no idea how helpless we can be flying around in a car as it careens out of control. Nothing is gained by not using a safety device like a seat belt…or air bag, or sensors, or whatever other device is placed on a 3,500 pound automobile to protect the contents and those in the path of the vehicle. There’s nothing mature about risking a child’s life based on a stubborn attempt to emphasize some silly perception of “individual rights”. Society has rights too. If I have to live around stupid people I want the law to protect me from their ignorance. A brain -injured child is a burden to society for a lifetime…because an ignorant parent didn’t buckle up. Imagine looking at your brain-dead baby and saying, “I was exercising my right to not strap her in.”

            You are ignoring (or are unaware) of the risks you are already prevented from taking. It’s illegal to commit suicide, spray poisons without a license, build a room addition without a permit, prepare food in a restaurant without obeying hygiene rules, including washing hands and not touching food. I have a “right” (by law) to not buy a sandwich touched by someone’s dirty hands. The list of legal constraints is seemingly endless; necessitated by man’s desire to live close to each other, otherwise laws are not needed. Thea does not have a right to not use a seat belt. It’s mandaded by law.Thea does have the right to move to a lesser country where government doesn’t take such an interest in the safety of it’s citizens.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            Same here I don’t know why the GOVT allows me to kill myself smoking or drinking alcohol but not give me the choice in the case of not wearing a helmet. I wanna take the risk just like a smoker wants to take the risk of getting cancer.

          • Thea

            Mangalore: Well, I personally always use safety equipment. I just don’t believe in forcing others to when for the most part, all they hurt is themselves. I support you to have that right to take that risk for yourself if you want.

            I like your analogies. That might be a helpful addition for me to add in the future when I am trying to help people understand this particular value.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            I made that comment as an argument. Not advocating people be careless.
            There are times when you are just cruising on an empty road at night and you just want to feel the breeze in your hair. You remove your helmet and a cop stops you and fines you.
            I think its paranoia to expect an accident to happen every single second you step out of the house. Its very negative too.
            So I guess its up to us if we want to use safety equipment.
            IN the case of a seatbelt it affects other passengers in a car it keeps the driver in the seat. Otherwise he could go forward hit his head on the steering wheel and then drive forward and crash or run over someone.
            But in a helmet it only saves you, after the accident you hit the ground. You have already crashed there is nothing you can do about it anymore. if you had a helmet on it won’t help you control the bike and save a co-passenger or something.

          • brec

            For example, I consider it to be morally reprehensible to Montanto be
            allowed to enforce a contract which does not allow a farmer to replant
            seeds from plants they have grown.

            Aren’t contracts voluntarily undertaken by two parties? Why should it be morally reprehensible to enforce (via civil law) the terms of a contract?

            And then people can choose (no forcing positive acts) what they want to do about it.

            Requiring someone who offers a product for sale to provide certain features, that you (or I, or anyone) like(s) to have, upon penalty of imprisonment, is forcing a positive act and something I cannot condone.

            (Thanks for your kind words — and thanks for the work you do here.)

          • Thea

            brec: “Aren’t contracts voluntarily undertaken by two parties? Why should it be
            morally reprehensible to enforce (via civil law) the terms of a
            contract?”

            It’s never that simple. As a society, we have already decided that certain agreements simply can not be part of a contract, whether both parties agree or not. A person can not sell themselves into slavery. A person can not sell their own organs. A person can not sign away their constitutional rights. We have decided that there are lines to be drawn in order to live in the kind of world we want to live in. If I can have any influence at all, our society would develop a similar sense of decency around food and the seeds that grow it. That’s obviously just my opinion and plenty of people see no problem with corporations owning seeds. But I feel very strongly about my view of what a good world looks like and will work hard to make it happen.

          • Larry G Maloney

            “I don’t believe in enforcing seat belt laws.” The horse thief, pacing in his jail cell waiting for his destiny at sun up, prayed, “Lord, I’m all for laws again horse thievin…but I pray they don’t enforce it.”

          • Thea

            brec: There was one other point I wanted to make and left out. You make it sound like changing just one or two specific genes should be no big deal. But the tiniest of changes in biology can have huge impacts on the final product. So, the number of genes that we are talking about is immaterial to the issue in my opinion.

          • Charzie

            Stop it! Ridiculous! I have a right to know what I am eating and already grow a lot of it myself. Whether it be GMOs, pesticides, irradiation or mutagenesis, if I am ingesting it, and have any hesitation about what it contains because we don’t know what the possible effects are, I have a right to know that! My children and grandchildren have the right to decide their future, this is deceitful and deceptive! You sound like a shill, man cannot outsmart nature, our species has done fine until we started messing with the food supply! Even a lot of WEEDS are more nutritious than our damn food supply because no man bothers to get involved with it’s nature! These people are trying to make a profit at any cost, wake up!

          • Rick

            Hear hear !

          • Thea

            Charzie: It is fine to be passionate about an argument. But it is not OK to call people names. Your post goes against the rules of this site, and I am deleting it.

            In the past, you have been such a great contributor to the comments section. I hope you will do so again in the future.

          • Charzie

            Thea, I’d like to know how is it that the unnecessarily repetitious,
            and excessive belaboring of his/her opinions are fine throughout, and
            yet stating my opinion was not? I was NOT engaged in “name calling”,
            however, I DO think it IS ridiculous that anyone could possibly find
            objectionable the disclosure of processes or ingredients foreign to the food in question! I or anyone have a right to know what we are putting into our bodies, as do my children and especially my grandchildren! Why would I ever be concerned how having to label something truthfully might dissuade a potential purchase from some manipulative corporation , based on an ‘unfair’ appraisal? It is a BIG issue to me when man messes with nature, we cannot assume we are so superior that any industry needs to “improve” our food, look where that has taken us already, with rampant disease as reality! Our weeds are more nutritious than our “food”! You yourself argued your points in disagreement numerous times throughout, making your opinions obvious…in fact it was the sheer volume of this banter that prompted my remark! Please clarify as I am rather baffled by the incongruence here.

          • Thea

            Charzie: Calling someone a “shill” crosses the line, and you did so in more than one comment. I disagree with brec, but I kept my responses respectful–as did brec. Rather than attack brec’s character, I argued against his ideas. (And the reverse is true too.) That’s a huge difference. The prior is against the rules. The latter is encouraged when it is honest, healthy debate. Just because something is a big issue to you (it’s a BIG issue to me too) does not mean that you get to be rude, call people names, attack their character, etc.

            If the volume of comments bothers you – don’t read them. I mean that seriously. brec and I were engaging in respectful dialog that interested us. If it stressed you out, you could have ignored it. I hope going forward you will be very careful of the line as I would hate to loose you as a commenter.

            I hope that clarifies the rules for you. I took the time to dialog with you about this instead of just deleting your original comments without notice, because I hope this will help others as well as you avoid future problems.

          • largelytrue

            Labeling is more than just labeling, though, no? It means segregating crops that look exactly the same by eye (and most other properties) throughout the entire international food system and complying with regulations that would provide reasonable assurance that no cross-contamination has occurred. Does that seem like a trivial and inexpensive process to you? Should there be mandatory labeling that non-organic food is non-organic? A labeling model in the United States will probably follow from the ‘organic’ or ‘whole grain’ or ‘gluten-free’ model in that country, where the government defines what a food must be like in order to label itself in a certain way and empowers an organization to certify foods that want that label and verify that they meet the qualifications. Asking to put a scarlet ‘A’ on foods containing genetically modified organisms as ingredients may be asking for a little bit too much in terms of expense, and has the wrong idea about who should pay what. If you want a non-flouridated alternative to tap water in your home, you can get it, but you are the one who must pay extra in opting not to use that service. If consumers want non-GMO food to be clearly labeled, then the companies that market these foods should be the ones to put up most of the cost of labeling, so that they may pass on the cost to those consumers who actually value the labeling system by selecting non-GMO products despite their higher cost.

            Also, the USDA Organic label basically already embeds non-GMO within its definition (http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELDEV3004446 ) so at present there is not so much to complain about in the US, except perhaps to the extent that you are willing to consume either conventional non-GMO food or GMOs that are otherwise ‘organic’, but not both. Labeling GMOs specifically seems to me to be more of a political wedge by people who have realized that an outright ban on GMOs would be unpopular and untenable. The next best thing would to put a badge of shame on GMO foods and to forcibly separate GMO crops from all other foods at the expense of the taxpayer or the general consumer.

          • Larry G Maloney

            LT, the crops are already segregated. Just mix them and Monsanto will sue you. We’re just saying make it public knowledge, full disclosure.

          • largelytrue

            They are not segregated throughout the entire food system, Larry, which is what I was getting at. Once grain is collected at a distribution center and put in hoppers for food processors down the line (or animal feed), the GMO fraction tends to get mixed with the non-GMO fraction. In order to keep the crops separate throughout the entire food system, there would need to be a separate distribution and processing channel for certifiably non-GMO stuff. In that Seralini study, if I recall accurately, they state that they use mixtures of 11%, 22%, and 33% GMO maize. That they don’t use 100% GMO maize is presumably because they don’t have it easily available.

            Certainly you are saying to just ban GMOs, Larry. I recall you stated your intention in an earlier comment. Have you changed your opinion?

          • Larry G Maloney

            It must be tough, LT. How do you suppose they keep ingredients segregated when they bake a cake or bottle aspirin? If “they” are so dumb they can’t keep GMO corn from being mixed with normal corn then they should limit their careers to McDonalds. A buyer for GMO would buy X contracts to be delivered on X day and month. All the little people who want to buy GMO and process “food” would buy from him. those who want to continue buying non-GMO would buy from a broker who bought X contracts of non-GMO. That’s how it’s already done. Companies who are non-GMO are already labeling their food to protect themselves from the backlash from consumers. Ever operate a business? We have different grades of diamonds, paint, fuel, motel rooms, etc. We’re not breaking new ground saying GMO can’t hide behind a feigned attempt at complicating the labeling.

            Life is only as hard as you make it. We recycle most anything and separate the trash form the treasure. Samo for GMO and natural food.

            I bet you insist your beans not touch your carrots on the dinner plate. How do you keep them from mixing once their in your belly?

          • largelytrue

            Separating stuff and keeping it separate still costs money, particularly when you are dealing with massive crops. Contracts and different scheduling will deal with some of the segregation task, but fundamentally you have to spend more money in order to achieve the extra constraint. If some distributors decide that they have to build an extra vessel or run another vehicle for non-GMO stuff because they can’t reliably schedule their existing resources so deliveries are always on time and always segregated, that’s a real additional cost. I suppose that already the cost of segregating out non-GMO found is part of the added cost structure of firms marketing non-GMO-labeled products, and it will be that way so long as it is not externalized to other parties.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Imagine what you wish, LT. It starts off separated and MIXING it costs money. GMO goes one channel and non-GMO goes another.

          • largelytrue

            And how many channels do we have? Does adding 1 more cost money? How about the next 1? How about 10^3?

          • Larry G Maloney

            The channels for distributing natural food already exists. Nothing new is required. Do you know that 50% of our food is wasted? If it weren’t wasted by the grocer and the consumer then it wouildn’t matter how much was lost due to bugs.

          • Randall

            I farm both GMO and non-GMO. What you say is not true, currently most GMO’s are mixed. Some GMO’s I don’t have to separate. you have it backwards, separating crops is expensive.

          • Thea

            largelytrue: re: ” Does that seem like a trivial and inexpensive process to you?” Yes, absolutely. It is the responsibility of anyone who sells food to know where their ingredients come from. Moral arguments aside, without good tracking that is already in place, you wouldn’t be able to figure out where (which farm) sickness comes from when there is a contamination outbreak. And they are currently able to do that.

            The expense argument holds no water anyway. None of the countries which currently enforce GMO labeling saw an increase in food prices after the label law went into effect. Plus, at the moment, we are talking about all of 9 ingredients that could be GMO. If we hurry up and put a labeling system in place now, it will definitely be of minimal cost now and in the future compared to trying to get a system in place in the future when more foods are GMO.

            There are a lot of times when an organic choice for a product is simply not available. In those cases, we could still choose between conventional and GMO. So, the existence of an organic label is irrelevant. It is the GMO foods that need to be labeled in order to give consumers informed choice.

          • largelytrue

            Okay, but what about for informed choice about everything under the sun? At some point you stop tracking every single input to a crop. What about the concerns about particular types of pesticides and so forth? How about lead concentrations? Does all this need to be on the label? Do we need to separate out ultra-low lead foods just because we have an inkling that low levels may be more problematic than we currently think?

            “The expense argument holds no water anyway. None of the countries which
            currently enforce GMO labeling saw an increase in food prices after the
            label law went into effect. Plus, at the moment, we are talking about
            all of 9 ingredients that could be GMO”

            It would help if you came with a citation for this. Some types of labeling may be very easy and nondiscriminate, and some countries may have very little in the way of GMO inputs into their food system, and a system that labels imports from select countries as ‘GMO’ just to be safe, without

          • Thea

            largelytrue: re: “what about for informed choice about everything under the sun?” Happily, people aren’t asking for everything under the sun. We are asking for what is important to us.

            re: “It would help if you came with a citation for this”
            I first saw this information in the political ads in Oregon. I never looked closely at the source. But since you asked, I did a quick internet search and came up with the following which would get you started if you were really interested in finding out where the info comes from:

            The second bullet point on the following article is a nice summary.
            “2. There’s also no evidence that GMO labeling increased food prices in the 64 countries that have adopted it. Indeed, David Byrne, then European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, declared that “It did not result in increased costs, despite the horrifying (double-digit) prediction of some interests.” American food companies are already labeling their GMO products for export without increasing consumer costs.” (That last sentence is *very* telling.)
            http://www.juiceladycherie.com/Juice/gmo-labeling-will-not-increase-the-price-of-your-food/

            The other bullet points in the article are also good.

            The following article explains where the idea came from that labeling GMO products would actually cost any significant amount of money:
            http://grist.org/food/would-gmo-labeling-increase-food-prices/

            This page lists the 64 countries where GMO labeling is required:
            http://gmoinside.org/64-countries-around-the-world-label-ge-food/

            ——————–
            I am sorry to say that I’m not following the logic of your last paragraph. But I’m pretty much done with this topic myself. It doesn’t seem like we are going to understand each other on this one no matter how long we talk about it. Time for me to move on to posts where I can make a difference. And you can be happy that so far the anti-labeling movement is winning. :-)

          • largelytrue

            I don’t take an unsupported quote by a single bureaucrat as particularly authoritative, and I haven’t yet been able to get to something solid backing it. A department of Health and Consumer Protection seems unlikely to have much authority over what different labeling policies actually cost and why. I note that indeed the department is shifting in some way and that relatively recently a research group has been called to actually do serious research into economic issues (https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/eseb ) though there is not much documentation of what has happened there so far. Though widely quoted, this seems mostly like a case of drawing out one quote for making a particular claim, then copying and pasting from other sources in the media ad infinitum.

            The reliable sources that I find seem to suggest a range from $2 to $15 per year to the consumer as fairly reasonable to implement in a mandatory labeling scheme. Assuming that’s the cost level to detect in many of these other 64 countries, does it seem reasonable to you to just assume that a political official is clearly backing their statement with evidence of absence rather absence of evidence? How hard did the group preparing that speech actually look for price increases in countries where they were likely to be found before declaring that it “did not result in increased costs” flat out? You can see that this helps those in the public debate who want an easy way to dismiss ideas about there being an economic cost to labeling as a total myth, of which there are furiously many. The economics of GM regulation remains a topic of academic research and I don’t think that it got into researchers’ heads that it may be relevant because of some propaganda piece by industry. It seems to me that there is some ground for believing at the outset that it’s plausible that a complex scheme of segregation would cost money, especially when voters are imagining a scenario of increased choice (GMO and non-GMO options becoming equally available on store shelves) . Coexistence costs related to processes that keep neighboring plots from contaminating one another are an example of a relatively recent topic of research within this area (for example, http://connection.ebscohost.com/c/articles/23150509/coexistence-rules-regulations-european-union )

            Before you complain to me that these costs are small, remember that you have already said that one of the reasons that the system needs to be implemented now is that costs will magnify in the future if more GM crops come into play. I’m not opposed to mandatory labeling because I think that industry is guiltless or that it won’t at times try to introduce potentially dangerous technologies at low cost with the support of a misinformation campaign. I’m opposed to it largely because I think that there is a relatively limited area in which I think the consumer has a “right to know” some fact about a product to the point where producers are required to find it out and put it on the label. Consumer safety is definitely one of them, but “GMOs R Evil” is not an appropriate category for defining what innovations are potentially hazardous. The measure both singles out GMOs as the only potential hazard (giving pesticides a free pass in labeling, for example) and wrongly brands relatively innocuous genetic modifications as potential hazards.

            I am perfectly fine, however, with having an industry-independent part of the bureaucracy tasked with taking the potential hazards of a new food production technology on food quality seriously, and rolling a labeling scheme into that on a case-by-case basis. Some specific alterations in the chemistry of a food are conceivably dangerous and can be at a point where they are safe enough to go on the market, provided that they are labeled for some time so that consumers know how to avoid them if they wish and so that further safety data may be gathered more effectively. This is largely a matter for science to decide, and scientific claims are not something that should be decided by popular vote, any more than they should be decided by a revolving door between government and industry. From my vantage, endorsing a categorical labeling of GMOs just because GMOs are popularly thought to be harmful is like giving political ground to a movement of climate change denialists just because it’s popular.

            If you want me to take a more brutally democratic “(majoritarian) Might makes Right” approach to the political question, let me also say that it’s not that the case that I don’t share some important food-related goals with the anti-GMO crowd. But rather than let them expend their broad enthusiasm on what seems to me to be a stupid and unprincipled project, I’d prefer that they remain frustrated enough to actually work for a more significant goal, like reforming the USDA.

          • Larry G Maloney

            “People with a right to choose”, choose Camel cigarettes and abortion. My standard is much higher. Monsanto should not be allowed to market GMO’s designed to toughen plants so the new super strong Roundup poisons don’t kill the plants. That is deadly wrong. We profess to protect freedoms (of individuals, supposedly) by letting corporations use us as consumers of their poisons.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            @brec:disqus You just convinced me GMO is going to save the world. I want to support GMO in every way I can.
            I think that is why I need Labelling because I need to buy only GMO so that my money can go into the pockets of these big corporations who will save the world…YAY! I am saving the world.
            So Labelling is a must Don’t you agree I bet even you want to support GMO in everyway you can. right?

          • Rick

            A lot of the advocacy for labeling is from free citizens who do NOT want to be governed through corporate tyranny !

        • Mangalore Cafe

          brec GOLDEN rice was created just as an argument. LOOK we created something Good. I only ask one thing..Don’t Carrots grow in Africa? I mean all you have to do is grow carrots on the edge of the rice field and kids in africa will get their Beta carotene. Much higher and in sufficient quantities.
          The problem is you guys(and the GMO LOBBY) put words in peoples mouth. I bet you must have got influenced by the lobby(if you are not a part of it) but being anti-GMO is not being against Bio-tech.
          The problem is how bio tech is being used
          GMO is very sound science. But that is not a justification.
          Nerve gas, the atomic bomb are all very sound science but that does not justify killing people with these bombs?

          GMO
          could be used in my opinion to protect the environment. Lets take a
          gene of fast growing grass and splice it with a teak tree and a bamboo
          too. So we have Round huge pillars of wood growing every 24 hours.
          We would never have to cut trees in the wild again.
          We could build everything from trees.

          Instead
          Monsanto is really doing something ridiculously. I mean what sort of an
          approach is Round Up to weeds. You just spray like a mad man a poison
          that willl kill off anything in the vicinity and will have effects on
          all the flora and fauna (killing small fragile creatures) in the 10 mile
          radius(and even more if it makes it way into a river)
          You create a crop that is resistant to that.
          WOW!!
          Anyone would be stupid to believe that Monsanto Came up with that solution to save Mankind.
          Its
          very easy to see they came up with such a solution so they could kill 2
          birds(Actually 1000s) with one stone. Sell GMO SOy and Roundup too.
          I
          think the approach and the type of products GMO is creating makes it
          obvious that the intention of GMO is to only maximize profits by fooling
          the consumer.
          Why is this so hard to believe. I am pretty sure you and many other intelligent people have come across so many
          products ranging from cosmetics to slimming drugs that have fooled the
          consumer just to make profits.
          Its not new and its legal.

        • Rick

          So called “Golden Rice” is NOT an answer for anything. You “brec” have got to be a shill for Monsanto

          • Thea

            Rick: brec is a valued member of this community. Just because you disagree with someone does not give you the right to call them names or disparage their character. Your post violates the rules of this site and I am deleting it.

          • Rick

            Thea, I did not call him names. If you search on “shill” you will find a wiki which states ” a person who publicly helps a person or organization without disclosing that they have a close relationship with the organization” and urban dictionary states “a person engaged in covert advertising who attempts to spread buzz by personally endorsing the product in public forums.” I suppose you can say that is disparaging so I’ll give you that. I find the Monsanto GMO issue to be one full of extremes and see the company as evil incarnate. It’s interest in “science” only goes so far as it’s interest in money, and it is willing to pervert the one for the other.

        • Larry G Maloney

          brec, when we had “just” telephones for communications, our phones were free and they always worked. Is it progress to type hundreds of short messages with two thumbs instead of talking on the phone? How is that communicating? Vitamin A is easy to obtain. No one in the USA dies form it’s absence. It takes little of any vitamin to be healthy.. When you talk about hundreds of thousands needing vitamin A (or perish) it’s happening in a war torn country where food, in general, is absent. Millions starve from lack of corn and rice, which the USA has in abundance and feeds to animals. Monsanto’s business is growing more feed for animals.

  • donmatesz

    I don’t believe labeling of GMO-containing food is necessary so long as people have the legal right to label food as free of GMOs. If you want non-GMO food, just purchase foods labeled as free of GMOs.

    And I agree with Dr. Greger that the GMO issue largely distracts people from the real issues which are animal-based and high-fat diets.

    It is probably safer to eat GMO soy than to eat non-GMO beef and dairy. The latter foods are clearly proven to promote heart disease, whereas the harm from GMO soy or Round Up on it is hypothetical at this point.

    • VeganGMO

      Thank you! Mandatory labeling is wrong. It’s a cynical ploy for unfair rent-seeking practices upon agriculture by BigOrganic food interests.
      Before you ask for the “right to know,” know what’s right.
      http://www.vegangmo.com/?p=1369

      And all the fear-mongering of GMO isn’t helping. Scaring people away and raising the bar for access to perfectly safe nutritious protein sources like soy because “frankenfood” isn’t helpful for the animals. We should be encouraging efforts to produce and improve upon soy and other plant crops to make them as widely available as possible.

      • Larry G Maloney

        Isn’t “VeganGMO” an oxymoron? It’s like “prime steak” or “premium hot dogs”. Even McDonald’s had the good sense to turn down GMO potatoes.

        • VeganGMO

          How is it an oxymoron?

          McDonalds hesitancy to adopt Simplot’s Innate potato shows to which the extent of how irrational fear mongering is keeping food solutions from coming to fruition. http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2014/11/09/mcdonalds-mulling-embrace-of-simplots-bruise-reducing-innate-gmo-potato/

          • Larry G Maloney

            “Vegan” is someone who avoids meat and diary and generally avoids harmful foods, like processed products with chemicals and artificial ingredients in it.

            “GMO” Is, for example, Monsanto’s attempt to make plants more tolerable to their more powerful poison, Roundup so farmers stop complaining the poison is killing their corps. True Vegans would not want to eat plants that had a super strong poison on it.

            VeganGMO = Oxymoron

            You keep saying “irrational fear mongering” as thought it might get traction if you say enough. Monsanto is the company that invented a new chemistry that caused cows to double their milk production. Farmers didn’t want it because they already produced too much milk and the government had to buy the surplus. Monsanto forced dairy farmers to buy their drugs and increase milk production anyway. Likewise, small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them. Genuine fear causes small farmers to sell out or abide by Monsanto’s settlement terms…rather than lose family farms after generations of ownership. Again, that’s real fear.

          • VeganGMO

            Ah, see there’s your problem. Vegans avoid animal products as far as practical and possible. Genetic engineering can help with this in many ways. The rest of your screed is immaterial.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Genetic engineering isn’t preventing meat and dairy from causing heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, or any of the other epidemic diseases affecting Americans. fact is, it’s man messing with our food that created the majority of illness in the USA. They’ve already engineered us into a very sickly existence and now you say, “But wait, there’s more!”

            It’s expected that the same rational behind defending GMO’s by calling issues and concerns “fear mongering” would also avoid examples of Monsanto’s criminal behavior by labeling Monsanto’s atrocities as “immaterial”.

          • VeganGMO

            Issues and concerns raised with no basis in fact is indeed fear mongering and keeps the technology well-placed in the hands of only the largest corporations who are able to overcome them.

          • Larry G Maloney

            You keep talking about “fear mongering” but haven’t presented any cases. Even if you could dream up one would I be entitled to dismiss it as “immaterial”? or is that rule just for you?

            However, I have, in fact provided you with two example of Monsanto greed directing their policy to the detriment of individuals and society…to which you proclaim, “What me worry?”

            You remind me of the fella from Rhode Island who goes to Texas, buys a cowboy had and then goes around saying “Howdy partner.” The Texan’s say he’s “all hat and no cowboy”. You make empty accusations and ignore genuine facts. You and I exchanging postings has no purpose. Shouldn’t you be doing your home work?

          • VeganGMO

            Are you kidding me? Are you not familiar with a certain disgusting picture of rats with tumors? If that’s not fear-mondering i don’t know what is. The examples are so numerous as to make your denial absurd.

            Your Monsanto allegations are myths btw. Show one example of a suit for inadvertent cross-contamination. Good luck with that.

          • Larry G Maloney

            VeganGMO,”Rats with Monsanto Roundup induced tumors”, I agree, are as you describe, “disgusting”. And I suppose since it is true, Monsanto’s only ‘defense” is to whine about fear mongering. Since by definition, “fear mongering is using non-truths to influence opinion, this example does not constitute anything but making the public aware that Roundup causes tumors in rats. Knowing so would cause fear in an intelligent person. I don’t walk across the highway because of fear. Nor do I put my hand on a red-hot stove burner…again, because of fear. Fear keeps us safe if we listen. You may ignore the fact roundup causes tumors in rats, I choose not to.

            I never used the term, “inadvertent cross-contamination”. That is your gift. In that you have a technical name for it suggests you know it is fact.

          • VeganGMO

            You should know then that study was retracted. And please don’t come back with conspiracy theories.

            You lack cites of examples, where “small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them.” Even in court they could not provide any.

          • Larry G Maloney

            VeganGMO, I’m not familiar with your study. My source was originally a couple documentaries and a couple articles. However, why don’t you check out Monsanto’s own article, “Why Monsanto Sues Farmers bla bla bla”. I’m sure Monsanto will frame their lawsuits in their explanation so the lawsuits are palatable to you. If they say they are suing farmers for patent infringement then I’ll take their word for it. I do, however, question their motive.

          • VeganGMO

            And there you go. Your sources of information are not credible yet you persist in perpetuating the myths. Par for the course with anti-GMO conspiracy theorists.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Again, vegangmo, “the source” is MONSANTO. They posted a story on their Monsanto web site explaining why they sue small farmers. Is Monsanto conspiring?

          • VeganGMO

            Quote: “My source was originally a couple documentaries and a couple articles”.

            As for Monsanto lawsuits they have as much to do with GMO as suits by any other corporation.
            But what do farmers think? I Occupy Our Food Supply Everyday | The Farmer’s Life

          • Larry G Maloney

            Excellent article, VeganGMO. It won’t change the posturing of those here to promote GMO but it does frame the farmer’s experience wirth Monsanto. If Monsanto were a country it would be a third world dictatorship.

          • http://pythagoreancrank.com PythagoreanCrank

            Every company then is a “a third world dictatorship”. #WeAreAllMonsanto

          • Larry G Maloney

            I don’t follow your logic. Most companies do not have the power, influence, and resources of Monsanto.

          • http://pythagoreancrank.com PythagoreanCrank

            My point is Monsanto isn’t doing any insidious any more than any other corporation. It’s called capitalism. Check out the link to my article.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I’m really not interested in your article. All the link proves is that you are easily influenced. “Capitalism”, with government support and lobbyists intervention, is different from capitalism. Most capitalist companies do not wield the power of Monsanto,

          • VeganGMO

            You moved goal posts. Here’s what you claimed above:
            “Likewise, small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them.”

            The article you now cite via Monsato’s own site says nothing about suing for contamination:
            Why Does Monsanto Sue Farmers Who Save Seeds?

            That’s a patent issue, nothing to do with GMO. Ask a farmer what they think of Monsanto’s technology/stewardship agreement: I Occupy Our Food Supply Everyday

          • Larry G Maloney

            Did not! Just provided Monsanto’s propaganda for those who wanted to support GMO. I didn’t endorse it. Your previous article sums it up well. Consider my Monsanto link “reverse psychology”, after all you came up with a great anti-GMO article. Does tht mean you are contradicting yourself?

          • VeganGMO

            Do you still stand behind your claim below?
            “Likewise, small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them.”

          • Larry G Maloney

            It’s common knowledge. I make no claims, just repeat the facts.

          • VeganGMO

            Hiding behind semantics now?
            This is the claim you made: “Likewise, small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them.” If it is fact please cite your sources.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I further refined it as “common knowledge”. An entire population of people are aware of those facts.
            VeganGMO (chuckle) It’s obvious you are attached to me like a tick. Based on your bird dog attention to my posts it’s clear any “source” would be disputed and only serve to as fodder for more of your pro GMO and Monsanto nonsense. ANYONE who wnts to read for themselves need just do a search and find all the material they care to read. I think the link you provided about small farmers and Willie Nelson is an excellent start.

          • Larry G Maloney

            VeganGMO is truly an oxymoron. Seems to me a possible legal strategy would be for the small farmers to sue Monsanto for contaminating their land with patented seeds.

            Here’s the true story of the Canadian farmer you (someone) mentioned.

            The most famous of all the Monsanto patent infringement cases involve Canadian canola farmer Percy Schmeiser.73 Monsanto’s genetically engineered canola was found on Schmeiser’s land, but it is undisputed that he neither purchased nor planted the company’s seed. For seven years Schmeiser fought to prove that the seed arrived on his land through genetic drift or from trucks carrying seed to grain elevators. Unfortunately, the lower courts were not concerned as to how the seed wound up on the land, only that Schmeiser knew he possessed Monsanto’s intellectual property and had not paid for it.74 As Schmeiser’s attorney Terry Zakreski, explained: “Monsanto has a problem. It’s trying to own a piece of Mother Nature that naturally spreads itself around.”75 Even the vice president for Monsanto Canada, Ray Mowling, concurs: “[Monsanto] acknowledges that some cross-pollination occurs, and acknowledges the awkwardness of prosecuting farmers who may be inadvertently growing Monsanto seed through cross-pollination or via innocent trades with patent-violating neighbors.”76
            The Supreme Court of Canada heard Schmeiser’s appeal of the lower courts’ decisions on January 20, 2004, and on May 21, 2004 publicly announced its decision. Schmeiser was found guilty of patent infringement yet not liable to pay Monsanto any damages.77 We can assume that Schmeiser is just one of many farmers who has been targeted for possessing a technology he neither bought nor planted.

          • VeganGMO

            When you read the actual court documents (and not cut-n-paste spin by anti-GMO activists) you will find that Schmeiser intentionally pirated seed. Regardless, this issue is about patents and not GMO (non GMO breeds can be patented as well.)

            “Seems to me a possible legal strategy would be for the small farmers to sue Monsanto for contaminating their land with patented seeds.”
            Funny you should say that because a buncha organic farmers pre-emptively sued Monsanto for just that and when the court asked for historical evidence, they could produce none.
            Monsanto, Patents and Seeds – Part 3

          • Larry G Maloney

            Your link “actual court documents” appears to be an assembly of stories into one article complied by an unknown author. Your link does not bring up “actual court documents” as the reader would expect. Your alias should be “PinocchioGMO”.

            Likewise, your link, “Monsanto, Patents and Seeds – Part 3” is the same anonymous story.
            Farmer Schmeiser was technically guilty because of the way the laws are written. However the Court ordered him to pay ZERO in damages. The Court is sending a message to Monsanto.

          • VeganGMO

            Links 6,7,and 8 all link to actual court documents in the article I previously posted: David vs Monsanto – Part 2 of “Patents and Seeds” I would appreciate if you now apologize and stop with the name calling.

            Let’s keep our eye on the ball here. You claimed: “Likewise, small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields contaminating them.” The narrative is that patented GMO (nonGMO can be patented as well, making this a nonissue) is being used as a ploy to willfully contaminate non-GMO fields and then run farmers outta business or sue them for contamination. In fact, if a farmer discovers this they can call Monsanto and have them come out and remove them.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Neither of your links bring up “actual court documents” as you suggest. Instead, both bring up an unanimous story painting Monsanto to be gentle as a lamb in Court,and as pure as a new fallen snow. Monsanto “argued this or that”, the story points out, but no facts are supported by Court documents. A legal argument is not a fact. It’s the presentation of one side’s theory, so the Court will decide what is fact and what is not. Those facts are used to reach averdict and the entire case has a unique number. None of which is provided in your unanimous story.

            The pre-emptive lawsuit you reference was not based on my premise. Although Monsanto filed and settled over 700 lawsuits or complaints, none were against the group bringing the “pre-emptive” complaint against Monsanto. In effect, those complainant farmers had no Court standing. In my opinion the lawsuit was ill-advised by some attorney. Which side the attorney was actually on I do not know

            Regardless, that lawsuit does not meet the criteria I suggested, that being a non-GMO farmer who actually discovers Monsanto’s patented GMO crop seeds growing on their non-Monsanto GMO field. That would be an entirelydifferent theory than the one you claim. In your example, the farmers merely feared their non-GMO fieldswould be contaminated. I can’t sue you because I fear you might drive into my car…regardless of any previous wrecks you’ve been involved in
            with others.

            If your commercial crop showed up in my filed, unwelcomed, thus threatening my legally defined “organic” status, reducing my ability to qualify as organic, I believe I’d have a reason to sue. That scenario isn’t even “pre-emptive”‘. Even non-GMO
            crops have requirements to be “pure”. Non GMO plants sold in garden centers are labeled by species and name. Without some assurance the plants aren’t cross pollenated, or otherwise compromised, none of us could grow the
            species we choose and pay for. Who wants to plant yellow tomatoes and get red?
            Oh, your links aren’t numbered and none I checked are as you claim. How ’bout I call you “Mr. GMO”?
            It’s silly to pretend you are a vegan.
            BTW, Schmeiser was found to be guilty of the statute as written. A sympathetic Court ordered Schmeiser to pay ZERO dollars in damages. That’s a strong message to Monsanto.

          • Larry G Maloney

            proGMO, exactly how does a small farmer determine whether small amounts of GMO has blown into his fields? My understanding is Monsanto sends teams to investigate the small farmers befor3e suing them. In fact one team was fired when they didn’t find a problem and a second team found a “violation” and Monsanto sued.

            Of course plants can be patented but not with the money and power behind a Monsanto patent.

            Your story is a bit silly. It keeps talking about making the plot into a movie staring Clint Eastwood. It’s not a serious response to anything. But when you’re grasping for straws I guess it will have to do. OK, to stay on your point, I think Clint Eastwood would be a good leading man for this movie. Again, all your links go back to this same story. Do you have a case number (and state?)

          • Larry G Maloney

            Neither of your links bring up “actual court documents”. Both bring up an unanimous story painting Monsanto to be gentle as a lamb and as pure as a new fallen snow. Monsanto is alleged to “argue this or that, but no facts are supported by court documents.

            The pre-emptive lawsuit you reference was not based on my premise. Although Monsanto had suet or settled over 700 lawsuits or complaints, none were against the group bringing the “pre-emptive” complaint against Monsanto. In my opinion it was ill-advised by some attorney. Which side the attorney was actually on I do not know. Regardless, that lawsuit does not meet the criteria I suggested, that being a farmer who actually finds Monsanto patented GMO crops growing on their non-Monsanto GMO field. That would be an entirely different theory than the one you claim.

          • Larry G Maloney

            VeganGMO, THE MODERATOR IS DELETING MY MOST EXCELLENT REPLY. ( I guess Monsanto needs all the help it can get.) I’LL REPOST AFTER SHE GOES HOME.

          • VeganGMO

            Now you are calling the moderator a shill?!

          • Larry G Maloney

            The moderator is selective with enforcement. Jus this week she ended a discussion of hers claiming it was off topic…after posting a lengthy argument of her views. Ironically another post by Dr. Greger states, “Off topic is OK. I don’t have the power to voice my views ad nauseam and then claim the topic is closed.

          • hyperzombie

            Percy Schmeiser a small farmer……LOL. He has over 1000 acres.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Monsanto is a multi-billion dollar international corporation. They would starve trying to live off what they could sell to a 1,000 acre farm. Many farms used to be 1,000 acres. Today they have been combined by big business to be even bigger. Others are smaller.

          • Larry G Maloney

            hyperzombie, do you suppose a farmer with 1,000 acres has the financial resources to match Monsanto, a multi-billion dollar corporation? It’s truly David vs Goliath. The difference is greater than if a farmer of 1,000 acres was suing you, a gardener with one potted plant.

          • hyperzombie

            He never paid his own legal costs, and he makes a comfortable living nowadays renting out his land and going on speaking tours.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Do you suppose he’s grateful to Monsanto for all his good luck?

          • hyperzombie

            He made out like a bandit, unlike the poor kids that got sued by the record companies for downloading songs.

          • hyperzombie

            I dont get you Anti-GMO folks, so you are against GMOs yet you support a farmer that is trying to grow and sell his own Roundup ready crop.

          • Larry G Maloney

            Monsanto was awarded ZERO money damages from Percy Schmeiser. What farmer is trying to sell his own Roundup ready crop? BTW, Does “roundup Ready” mean the seed has been modified so the stronger Roundup poison won’t kill it anymore? Will Monsanto spice my genes so I’m Roundup ready? Otherwise how do I protect myself from the stronger poison, the latest Roundup concoction?

          • hyperzombie

            Does “roundup Ready” mean the seed has been modified so the stronger Roundup poison won’t kill it anymore?

            Roundup is not a stronger poison, unless you are a plant with the EPSP S pathway. All they did with RR crops is replace that pathway (one gene) with one that glyphosate can’t bind to, making the plant somewhat immune to Roundup.

            Will Monsanto spice my genes so I’m Roundup ready?

            Nope, because you are already Roundup ready. You would have to drink quite a bit to be harmed, most people that die from ingestion die from the soap that is in it not the active chemical.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I’m anti Monsanto poison and anti GMO’s wherein the genes are spliced specifically so the plant can be saturated with stronger Monsanto Roundup poison. This is so Monsanto can facilitate more sales and stop farmer complaints from Roundup killing their crops. If the Monsanto poison intended to kill bugs, for example, kills the plants but isn’t effective against the bugs, is it wise for Monsanto to make a stronger poison to kill the bugs and also genetically modify the food crops so the super poison doesn’t kill the food crop? Sounds to me like we’re going in the wrong direction, motivated by greed. The poison is stronger. The food crop is more resistant to the stronger poison. But humans have not been modified to resist the stronger poison. Why doesn’t Monsanto just modify humans so we can eat garbage? Am I missing something?

          • hyperzombie

            saturated with stronger Monsanto Roundup poison.

            Roundup is the least harmful herbicide out on the market, look up paraquat if you want to see a nasty herbicide. The application rate for RU is only 8-32 oz/ac, not even a drop per square foot, hardly saturated.

            This is so Monsanto can facilitate more sales and stop farmer complaints from Roundup killing their crops.

            Hmmm??? What farmer would complain about Roundup killing the crop? Roundup doesnt drift much, and it becomes inert once it hits the soil. I dont get this.

            If the Monsanto poison intended to kill bugs, for example, kills the plants but isn’t effective against the bugs, is it wise for Monsanto to make a stronger poison to kill the bugs and also genetically modify the food crops so the super poison doesn’t kill the food crop?

            Larry, Monsanto does not make any insecticides, and herbicides like Roundup only kills plants. It doesn’t harm insects at all, and I don’t know of any herbicide that kills insects. There is no super poison used at all in agriculture, some insecticides back in the old days were pretty nasty (nicotine sulphate, lead arsenic) but they were banned long ago.

            Why doesn’t Monsanto just modify humans so we can eat garbage?

            Monsanto is an Agriculture company and does not GE people, but the very first genetically modified humans are graduating high school this year.

          • hyperzombie

            We can assume that Schmeiser is just one of many farmers who has been targeted for possessing a technology he neither bought nor planted.

            He admitted to planting it and spraying it with Roundup.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I haven’t seen his “admission”. Where did you see it? I’d like to check it out.

          • hyperzombie

            Here is the federal court decision.

            http://decisions.fct-cf.gc.ca/fc-cf/decisions/en/item/38991/index.do

            He admitted to spraying the crop with glyphosate (roundup) and only saving the seeds that survived to plant again(and spraying again). He had about 1000 ac of RR canola (99%), that he was going to sell as Percys RR Canola, when he was busted.

          • Larry G Maloney

            He was a poor chemist and a poor criminal. Is he representative of the farming community? For eons farmers and gardeners have saved seed to plant next year. I do too. Now that Monsanto has patented their canola seed he was indeed “stealing” if he saved seed from a Monsanto GMO crop. However wasn’t it non-GMO he tried to toughen up with Roundup? It’s hard to follow how that is a crime. Regardless, one would hardly conclude GMO’s make for healthy humans because a farmer stole some Monsanto seed or otherwise attempted, in a crude manner, to toughen up seeds by spraying them with Roundup and saving the survivors. That’s an interesting side story. Petty thieves are everywhere. Monsanto steals health on a mass level with heavy duty poisons.

          • hyperzombie

            Is he representative of the farming community?

            Certainly not, he was most likely turned in by honest farmers in the area.

            For eons farmers and gardeners have saved seed to plant next year. I do too.

            Yep, and for eons farmers have also bought seed. How do you switch crops, or grow a new crop if there is no one selling seed? THere are farmers that only grow seed, and farmers are willing to buy it because it is better (less weeds, better germination and disease protection) and it makes them more money. Farmers have been buying seed yearly since the mid 30s or so for most crops and some crops you have to buy seed yearly (cotton, etc).

            However wasn’t it non-GMO he tried to toughen up with Roundup? It’s hard to follow how that is a crime.

            Well it is not possible to toughen up a crop with Roundup, and if he used any other herbicide he would have not been prosecuted.

          • Larry G Maloney

            He planted what and sprayed what ? “It’ is a pronoun…referring to what, if anything?

          • hyperzombie

            Oops sorry, he sprayed Canola with Roundup or Glyphosate.

          • Guest

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monsanto_Canada_Inc._v._Schmeiser

            Percy knew what he was doing. It was not accidental in 1998 like the 1997 contamination was.

          • Thea

            VeganGMO: Concerning cited examples, I believe there is only one example of an actual suit. But Montanto has fought hard to be able to do suits like this again in the future:
            http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/01/14/169318303/monsanto-lawyer-suggests-new-standard-for-suing-farmers

            Here is an example where a farmer has not been sued, but “just” harrassed. I haven’t studies this case, so I don’t know what the actual details are. Just thought I would share the example.
            http://www.nelsonfarm.net/issue.htm

          • VeganGMO

            Monsanto has no interest in suing their customers for trace accidental contamination. Court ruled against Schmeiser. Again, patent infringement, not a GMO issue. Still waiting for a citation for Monsanto using GMO seed to put farmers outta business for accidental contamination.

          • Charzie

            Holy guacamole, the GMO shills are coming out of the woodwork! LOL!

          • Larry G Maloney

            Charzie, you nailed it.

          • Larry G Maloney

            “Fear mongering” has nothing to do with who possesses technology. Technology, by law is protected by a seventeen year patent. Afterwards anyone can use the technology. The patent itself may or may not be a large corporation. For example, I can hold as many patetns as I care to pay for and get accepted.

          • Rick

            Monsanto is fear mongering all the time by claiming that we have to have GMOs to save the world food supply.

          • VeganGMO

            Citation(s) please.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            Yes I agree with you Genetic Engineering can help But not GMO Crops. They don’t help. Round Up Corn and soy only kills animals. You are supporting the wrong products.
            Its like saying science is great so we should allow Nuclear warfare as that was created by Science.
            Same way everything created by GMO is not good.
            Hypothetically they can do a lot good but they won’t.
            There is very less profit in that.
            I think maybe if you protested against these Crops that are unhealthy and Roundup that kills animals and flora fauna. GMO companies might give up on this idea of controlling the food chain. Instead focus on creating artificial meat and dairy/cheese

          • Larry G Maloney

            Vegangmo as the article points out the problem of world hunger isn’t caused by Monsanto not growing enough GMO’s

            http://www.foodmanufacturing.com/news/2014/11/governments-pledge-more-prevent-malnutrition?et_cid=4274173&et_rid=281014954&location=top

          • VeganGMO

            Again, GMO is a technology that can help. For example, Golden Rice for which, as the article mentions, is a problem.

          • Larry G Maloney

            That’s convoluted logic, not based on fact, but on a false premise. You’re implying food is lacking vitamin A sufficiently for good health. Vitamin A is abundant in food. the problem is food is in short supply in poor countries that are war’ing over diamonds, gold, and power. You keep ignoring the facts and use every opportunity to promote Monsanto. If a lack of Vitamin A were the cause of folks starving then a vitamin pill would solve the problem. I just posted an article about hundreds of countries meeting to discuss starvation and a lack of vitamin A. It’s form lack of food, not from not having Monsanto’s next pricy mutatnt food substitute..

          • VeganGMO

            That’s a stunningly inaccurate and cynical take on world hunger and vitamin A deficiency. Here are some links that can help.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I hope Monsanto doesn’t pay you more than minimum wage. As shills go, you are very ineffective. Eacdh has to decide for themselves. I doubt you’ll win any support for Monsanto’s chemical and gene splicing operations.l

          • VeganGMO

            Again, GMO is a technology that can help. For example, Golden Rice for which, as the article mentions, is a problem.

          • Larry G Maloney

            It will help Monsanto make more money but do nothing positive for society.

          • VeganGMO

            Golden rice would bring an essential nutrient to malnourished people. What does Monsanto have to do with this?

          • Larry G Maloney

            Any rice would help a starving nation. Monsanto is primarily supplying chemicals and gene splicing to grow more crops for feeding animals, not people. As you must know it takes ten times the grain to feed a cow that is eaten by humans as it takes to feed the human’s directly. That diversion of food could feed the world.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            again ur wrong GOLDEN rice is like there is saying in my country eating food by taking your hand from behind you head.
            All anyone has to do is grow carrots that will not only give all the Beta carotene you need perma culture is a good practice.
            The reason why people in africa for example are finding it hard to get such nutrients is because for the last 30 years “NGO”(social service organization all funded by BIG Pesticide fertilizer and now GMO companies) in the name of helping third world countries produce more food has been introducing modern famring techniques and one of them is “mon culture” that is only growing one crop. So when it fails the farmer is dead and also he has to go and buy carrots from the guy who grows carrots and only carrots.
            I won’t even get into why this is what causes pests problems(you can read in my comments above I have explained it in detail)
            You can just grow carrots in between the rice and it will hardly affect the rice YOu can grow radishes you can also grow Moringa trees that grow very well in arid and hot countries which is the climate in most third world countries.
            They give free food once the tree starts to fruit.(it takes 6 years and that can be cut down with natural farming and hybrid methods). and it contains all the nutrients a poor man won’t even need rice he can just eat moringa pods and leaves and he can do body building only with moringa.
            Its a well known fact that in famines in Asia especially Japan and China in the last century or two Radish rice was very famous.
            It was the staple. Radish is similar to carrots and may even be better.
            And you can even use the leaves. That is what the poor did they just grew radishes in their own garden you don’t need a huge farm.
            While they bought cheap rice and just made radish rice and never had any deficiencies they made a nice stirfry from the leaves and its tasty too.
            So GMO is not helping anyone its just destroying the third world countries and creating HOGWASH.
            Yellow/Golden rice only has beta carotene but Radish carrots have a lot more nutrients and Much more than Beta carotene than Golden rice. And if you add Moringa well its a superfood.
            So seriously stop and change your point of thinking assuming you are not on the Payroll of GMO corporations

          • Mangalore Cafe

            YOu are not even Vegan Because a vegan will not be a part of animal cruelty. A perfect example is cosmetics that don’t have animal products but are tested on animals Even indirectly that is why vegans are now going organic as pesticides kill the flora fauna and various insects.
            Its not necessary same with GMO they are actually takes genes out of spiders and other insects and animals.
            Also if not spider it is promoting mass pesticide uses. Roundup can affect water bodies 10 miles away killing all living beings in it. And even further away it can change the sex of fish driving them extinct.
            See we already know that GMO companies are paying people like you to pretend to be vegan or raw vegan and promote GMO in these communities.
            So really stop trying.
            Second yes there are some sincere people that GMO companies LOBBY. Yeah lobbying does not only mean bribing it also means brainwashing fooling and twisting facts to change opinion.
            So if you are not getting a pay check to do this then you really need to get educated again and stop getting brainwashed by GMOs

          • brec

            The “avoids harmful foods” portion of your “vegan” definition is not in any definition at reference.com.

            … plants that had a super strong poison [Roundup] on it.

            To which species is this super-strong poison harmful? If homo sapiens is one: how many human deaths from the consumption of this super-strong poison have been documented?

            How did Monsanto force farmers to buy their drugs?

            …small farmers, surrounded by Monsanto farms, have been sued by Monsanto
            when Monsanto GMO’ seeds blew over in the small non-GMO fields
            contaminating them.

            I claim this is untrue, pending any documentation you can provide of this ever happening even once.

          • Larry G Maloney

            brec, I’ve been know to comment without first consulting your internet site, “reference.com.” I’m sure they appreciate the plug thought.
            brec, do you define “harmful” by death count alone?
            For the Monsanto story I suggest you read up or watch a video or two on the facts. I’m not chasing down links for you. Since you found at least one article supporting my words I’m sure you can find others. It’s telling that the only story you found was one you present as favorable to Monsanto. More than one farmer has gone belly up suing Monsanto. Since you aren’t well read on the topic take a moment and educate yourself. Then we can chat.

          • Mangalore Cafe

            It is an oxymoron Because GMO kills “animals” (flora and fauna and some small animals too like frogs, They also kill fish in water bodies around the fields its being sprayed). Do you forget round up is a toxic poison.
            While we consume very little of what is being sprayed as argued in the video above…but the animals insects fish in the farms are ingesting a lot more almost everything that is being sprayed.
            I don’t even think you are vegan. Cause a vegan should support Organic food only. Because pesticides also kills animals.

        • Rick

          It’s like saying OrganicGMO. I’m sure Monsanto would love the organicGMO category.

          • Larry G Maloney

            LOL, that’s a scary thought, :organicGMO”. But Monsanto couldn’t sell their poison!

        • Crider

          Monsanto contracts companies who shill for them on websites and social media.

          • Larry G Maloney

            I’m not surprised, Crider. Public relations is a big part of getting their poisons and other chemicals accepted by government and consumers. They claim they want to feed the world but the corn their farmers grows is for cattle, pigs, and chickens…all sold at a premium for people with money. The rest go hungry. Too bad Dr. McDougall looks the other way.

    • Jeff and Karen

      donmatesz, by that logic cigarette companies shouldn’t have to label their products as long as people who make tobacco free products are allowed to label them as tobacco free. Sorry, that is upside down logic. The label is the responsibility of the proponent of the product. In the case of genetically engineered organisms since their safety has never been established and many many doubts exist as to their safety they should not be allowed outside of a secured laboratory setting. It is a sign of the tremendous power of propaganda that we have allowed ourselves to become lab rats in this experiment rather than putting the burden of proof of safety on the proponents of the activity!

      • donmatesz

        Sorry I do not agree. If you want to avoid GMOs, look for products labeled GMO free. If the product doesn’t say GMO free, assume that it does have GMOs and avoid. Companies are clearly willing to label their products “GMO free” to make them appealing to consumers like yourself.

        “by that logic cigarette companies shouldn’t have to label their products
        as long as people who make tobacco free products are allowed to label
        them as tobacco free.” First of all, cigarette companies have never to my knowledge ever tried to hide the fact that their products are made from tobacco. Their labels have always proudly proclaimed the tobacco content. Secondly, if you don’t want tobacco don’t purchase a product made from tobacco.

        I strongly object to using force of arms (that’s what government is) to make anyone do anything. Mandatory labeling means creating a police force to monitor the labeling. How are you going to pay for this? By putting a gun to my head and forcing me to pay taxes so you will have money to pay wages to the police. I strongly object to being robbed of my hard earned money to fund a police force monitoring a hypothetical threat.

        As I said, if you don’t want GMO you avoid it, just like if you want to avoid animal products, you avoid animal products. When in doubt, leave it out. How will you know? In a free society there is a thing called the press, with private organizations like Consumer Reports, who gather subscriptions from people who want to know what to use and what to avoid. These organizations are the privately funded police who will monitor the food supply for you. They will compete with one another for your trust and your subscription money.

        Mandatory
        i.e. government enforced labeling is not required for consumer
        education or monitoring of food safety nor is it consistent with a
        voluntary society.

        If you want a police force monitoring these foods, either give your own money to one of the independent (non-government) watch dog organizations, or start such an organization yourself and gather donations to fund it. Don’t use thugs to rob me to get the money to fund what you want, but I don’t. That’s called robbery and extortion.

        On top of that, I would be surprised if you did not know that the FDA (the police force) and Monsanto have a revolving door for executives. Monsanto execs include many who have worked at the FDA, and the FDA staff includes or has included people who came to the FDA from Monsanto. Whenever you create these police forces, it is in the interest of the corporations at the effect of the police to infiltrate the police and to hire former policemen, because it enables them to manipulate the laws and the enforcement of the laws.

        In contrast, it is highly unlikely that any corporation would be able to control all of the watch dog organizations. The history of the organic movement is a classic example of how corporations use the government to get what they want. Before the government got into “labeling” organics and “organic standards” organic foods were monitored by private certification organizations. These had high standards and relatively low costs of certification. After the government got involved, costs of certification went up, and standards went down. Why? Because corporate farms that would not have been able to satisfy private certification standards wanted to cash in on organics. So they influenced the police (the USDA) to set lower standards and higher costs for certification. The higher costs made it impossible for many truly organic small farmers to get certified, despite meeting higher than USDA standards; while the lower standards allowed the large corporations to call their products “organic” even though they didn’t meet the standards held by private certifiers.

        “rather than putting the burden of proof of safety on the proponents of the activity!” As I said, if you don’t think eating GMOs is safe, don’t eat them. If you think everyone should avoid them, then educate everyone. And if you really want to weaken corporations like Monsanto, think about getting the government out of agriculture policy (there’s the police-y again) altogether. Why does Monsanto invest in GMO crops that it does? Because corn, soy, and so on are all subsidized by government. In other words, Monsanto is on the dole. It is big and dangerous because it is being fed by the deep pockets of politicians who steal money from you and I (i.e. impose taxes and borrow money causing our dollars to devalue) to fund their pet projects so they can influence public opinion and get “re-elected.” Eliminate the subsidies to crops and Monsanto won’t be interested in controlling those crops anymore because it will no longer be a cash cow for them.

        Meanwhile I will just patronize the vendors I trust and leave the others alone.

        • Crider

          Do you think fraud should be legal?

    • Charzie

      I already do eat a WFPD, and have a right to know what is in my food. Period!

    • Rick

      You must work for Monsanto.

    • GodBlessAmerica

      I WANT MY GMO LABELED! I have been spending a fortune on groceries buying only organic in the effort to avoid all GMO. GMO FOODS cause infertility, cancers and organ failure. They are poison. In American we do NOT have a right to safe nourishing food. This is a crime, especially against the poor and minorities who can not afford organic foods. Dr. Greger is obviously concerned about stepping on toes even if he does not take money from BioTech industry, or does he? I’m so disappointed!!!

  • SFRinAZ

    I have a difficult time whenever ‘Big Pharma’ Or ‘Big Pesticide Chemical companies’ tell us that it is not their manipulation of our food supply that has caused the increase in cancers and tumors in humans and animals. Something is causing it and instead of putting all of their billions into telling us not to worry could they please work on telling us why the incidence of diseases has increased? People are trying not to each as much meat as our ancestors but to replace it with a different protein that does just as much harm is not really getting us to where we need to be.

    • Larry G Maloney

      We don’t need a ‘substitute” for meat protein. Humans need very little protein. It’s already in most every plant we eat. Please name one example of a human being diagnoses with a lack of protein.

  • b00mer

    Am I the only one that does not care at all about this from a nutritional standpoint? I eat a whole foods plant based diet: no canola oil, no cottonseed oil, and I don’t think I could find GM tofu if I tried. Perhaps if I ate more papaya I’d be concerned.

    This comment has nothing to do with any ecological or social justice issues, for which there is room for vigorous debate. I just find it funny how so many health conscious people, whose diets probably contain zero to little GM food to begin with, are so concerned with the nutritional ramifications of GM oil and corn in the twinkies and cheezits.

  • Leslie Stanick

    If GMO’s are safe, why the great effort, expense, and intimidation tactics by corporations to prevent labeling? Just label it! We all have a right to know what is in our food. For myself, I buy organic. I think unless it says organic, assume it is GMO.

    The island of Maui has taken a vote to ban GMO food production on their island. They are being heftily sued by Monsanto. This corporation is bullying communities around the world, and it will only get worse. The most Draconian action is to ban non-GMO seeds, causing farmers in many areas to go bankrupt, having to rebuy GMO seeds every year, and purchase all the pesticides and fertilizers to support their GO crops. Non-GMO farmers are sued if any pollen or seeds from GMO crops are found in their fields. This is an obscene affront to nature and the natural cycle of food production and life. Stop GMO, stop Monsanto’s truly evil plan to own the world’s seed stock and control the world’s food supply.

  • Sherry Victoria McMurry

    I found the bombardment of articles flashing across the screen while the doctor spoke to be annoying and distracting. I do however, believe what he has to sat and have been spreading the word about GMO corn and soy to my co-workers.

  • Darren Clair

    This is all well and good, but how about the effect of the continued accumulation of Roundup and other pesticides in our environment? The same question applies to GMOs. We just don’t know, but since it is our descendents that will have to deal with it, we should avoid pesticides and GMOs completely until we have some solid data. I don’t think labeling goes far enough since many people don’t even consider their own health let alone their children and their children’s children.

  • Mangalore Cafe

    OMG! I just weep for the entire Vegan Community who trusts you. You just believe the industry sponsored studies of the soy industry. That is the problem you just take fraudulent industry studies read it. If its peer reviewed(which is not very hard for the industry orchestrate) and then you try and convince us.
    I don’t know if its this documentary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNf4o60LCus but I watched a small town where they used roundup and the entire community had symptoms that were clearly effects of round up. Because before that they were healthy.
    So no it does not cause the same symptoms as traditional food.
    The industry orchestrates studies, they will take two groups give them highly processed diet one with GMO other without GMO. THe non-GMO group is given a highly processed NON-GMO but a very unhealthy diet. This is how they get results such as the above.

    I still remember you have not removed the Coconut oil Study from your website. The study that show Coconut oil is not better than butter when it comes to cholesterol. Even though My friend had written to you pointing out the flaw in the study. The study fed hydrogenated coconut cream to the group. Its pretty conclusive that Hydrogenated Trans fat causes cholesterol increase.
    You hydrogenate Olive oil or even Hemp oil and it will become healthy.
    You did respond and admit to my friend that the “cohorts were wrong” But you never removed the study or the vidoe
    Even now you are just sifting through old industry sponsored studies never questioning them.

    • largelytrue

      Was that the study where both the coconut and safflower oil groups were receiving margarine in their diets, and the coconut oil group still showed worse effects on lipids than the safflower oil group? It’s not the strongest study in that the trans fats are present but not quantified, but it still does hint that coconut oil is worse than other unsaturated oils. This is confirmed by other studies of a similar type:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4025191
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6631232

      Margarine and bread spreads are given in the first study, but coconut cream is not, so that cannot be a source of trans fat in the coconut oil group. There is no particular reason to think that safflower bread spreads will have lower trans fat content than coconut oil spreads as the more saturated oil would require less hydrogenation to make it firm.

      The latter study makes no mention of margarine at all, nor bread spreads. It’s a 75% formula diet, actually, and the muffin component is stated to include oil, not margarine. Even if it’s hydrogenated and this is not stated, you’d once again have to state a good reason why the hydrogenated coconut oil would have more trans fat than the hydrogenated corn oil.

      What I tend to see is that coconut oil is pretty bad for you in comparison with unsaturated oils, even those which are poor in n-6. At best, this places coconut oil between things like beef fat and butter on the one end, and corn oil and safflower oil on the other; and I don’t really regard corn or safflower oil as particularly heart-healthy foods, either, so coconut oil looks pretty unhealthy to me at this time and I pity the followers of some of its promoters.

      • Mangalore Cafe

        You just arguing off your cuff. Because Not only was the Coconut oil group given two sources of transfat The coconut cream for some reason was hydrogenated. There is no such things as safflower cream or butter cream. So these two groups go only one source of Transfat.
        That is what I remember of the study. Well whatever you say is moot cause Dr Greger agreed in the reply to my friends email.

        Yes you obviously just “see” stuff..you judge it by the looks LOL Coconut oil has been consumed for thousands of years in many community.
        There are plenty of peer reviewed studies that show coconut oil is not only healthy but is almost like medicine.
        Unfortunately for the rest of the world these studies were conducted in India so they don’t feature on the Lancet and AMA journals.

        There was a big attack against coconut oil by the “vegetable” oil industry 30 years ago so they could get the baking and food industry to switch to margarine.

        The irony is they used hydrogenated coconut oil in all studies to prove its unhealthy and then replaced it with margarine.

        Seriously I think its a waste of time trying to spread the truth. I have given up all hope when I saw the latest advertisement of Canola oil.
        Apparently is cures/prevents everything from Blood pressure to even cancer. And the ad end with..Now you can eat as much oil as you want.
        I search the net and see the snopes article saying Canola is not toxic because Rapeseed is not toxic. They source that information from the Canola association website. They say Rapeseed was used as cooking oil in India.
        People used to die when Rapeseed was adulterated with Mustard oil in India. Mass poisoning which led to bans by Govt.
        Its so easy to lie, especially when you have people like you and DR Greger who will believe these lies.
        So I am just waiting for the lot of you to simply gorge on Canola oil eat tonnes of soy and become extinct so we the health conscious lot can take the human race forward ;-)

        • largelytrue

          I see stuff after reading scientific articles fairly carefully. Were you aware of the margarine in the coconut oil study which you state was so wrong it should be removed from the site? There are some studies stating a neutral effect on LDL in obese or sick people, but I don’t know of many that are well-controlled and show coconut oil to really be favorable for the lipid profile:

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.gsu.edu/pubmed/19437058
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.ezproxy.gsu.edu/pubmed/23105811

          Note that the group of women in the first study is obese, and the study is done under conditions of weight loss and as far as the variability in these small groups is able to resolve, the effect of coconut oil on serum LDL compared with what is probably a lousy baseline, under conditions of gradual weight loss, is essentially null. That doesn’t look good. Moreover, there is this bit to consider:

          “The reduction in HDL levels within group S observed in the present study
          may be explained by the high content of linoleic acid (51%) present in
          the soy bean oil, which may have undergone conformational changes during
          cooking. The process of heating transforms cis-linoleic and cis-linolenic acids into their respective trans
          isomers leading to alterations in lipid metabolism and to the
          under-expression of LDL receptors and, consequently, to an increase in
          blood LDL”

          Those pesky trans fats may be showing up again, perhaps due to high temperature cooking practices that make the soy bean oil more dangerous than it would be otherwise.

          In the second study the design is relatively weak (this is a small retrospective study based on a questionnaire about past habits), and the study focuses on overweight men. Given the variability in lipid profiles within groups, they can’t confidently resolve a difference between the two oils’ effect on LDL. Remember that my position is that all these oils are not so good for the heart anyway, so I’m not exactly cheering to see that one refined oil is not much worse than another. In the discussion section, the authors of this study suggest a study showing coconut oil to be favorable, but it’s a rabbit study:

          Carlson TL, Kottke BA. Effect of coconut oil on plasma apoA-I levels in WHHL and NZW rabbits. Biochim Biophys Acta1991; 1083: 221-9.

          And I don’t intend to dive into the rodent literature immediately. I imagine it is somewhat equivocal and harder to interpret for humans. I am cautious about interpreting literature on the obese as well, since I tend to assume that they’ve been consuming stuff that is bad for the lipid profile at baseline and that the marginal effect of increased saturated fat is therefore somewhat diminished. Since some of the bad effects of saturated fat may be due to animal fat in particular, the effects of plant saturated fat may be a bit smaller and harder to detect experimentally.

          You sound mega-dogmatic with your tirade about canola in response to criticism about coconut oil, including the apparent gloating over the idea that I should die soon — which I think is rhetoric that you should not treat lightly or nudge and wink about. At least bring citations for some of your new claims here.

        • largelytrue

          “…snopes article saying Canola is not toxic because Rapeseed is not toxic”

          Also, as an aside, when I look here (http://www.snopes.com/medical/toxins/canola.asp ), snopes is clearly not saying that rapeseed is categorically nontoxic. They are essentially saying that commercial canola oil is nontoxic because it’s a low-erucic acid variety of rapeseed and the chemicals which have mutagenic properties when cooked at high temperatures have been refined away from the product.

  • Aryaman
  • Jacob Dijkstra, M.D.

    Quote: “The maximum residue levels are set at parts per million. The concentrations found within human bodies is measured in parts per billion. This study found glyphosate can activate estrogen receptors at a few parts per trillion, increasing the growth of estrogen receptor positive human breast cancer cells in a petri dish. These results indicate that truly relevant concentrations of the pesticide found on GMO soybeans possesses estrogenic activity.”:

    I am confused. If these results would have been found in any other study not involving GMO or glyphosate, Dr. Greger would have made a really big deal of these findings with respect to the potential of increasing the risk of breast cancer. However, in this video he wants to put possible dangers of glyphosate in perspective by indicating that we can improve our health by eating more healthy foods in general. That is not how research is done. We study the potential problem of one agent and report on this. Trying to sugarcoat the unpleasant results of the study with general statements as Dr. Greger did can be trusted to be done by the industry that produces the toxic chemical under investigation. Do I have to worry about objectivity when Dr. Greger states: “So I’m sympathetic to the biotech industry’s exasperation about GMO concerns when we still have people dropping dead from everything else they’re eating.”?

  • Charzie

    Of course Monsatan and friends are spending so much to defeat bills against GMO labeling…because that way GMO’s CAN be identified and tested properly! Afraid much?

  • Crider

    It’s not just the RoundUp-ready GMO soy, it’s also the RoundUp-ready GMO corn, the RoundUp-ready GMO sugar beets, the RoundUp-ready GMO canola, the RoundUp-ready GMO alfalfa fed to the farm animals. Pretty soon, we’re talking about a real pile of crap in the belly!

  • Steven Offord

    For credibility’s sake it would be worth describing Roundup as a herbicide rather than a pesticide as that is what it is formulated, marketed and applied to crops for. I know its also a broad spectrum anti-biotic but If read plenty of critical articles sugesting objectors are ignorant of science for not knowing the difference between a herbicide and a pesticide. Pesticides are formulated to target animal pests.
    It would also be nice to se some seperation in the analysis of health impacts of Glyphosate “Roundup” ( which is used to kill NON-GMO bread wheat pre harvest) from the possible hazards of distinct individual gentic modifications and the technology in general. Obviously GMOs designed to survive continual high applicationa of Roundup such as the “Roundup Ready” range will not ordinarily produce crops with no glyphosate residue. So unless they are deliberatly grown without applications it will be impossible to filter out the effects of the genetic modification from those of the herbicide residue.

    • hyperzombie

      First of, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides are all pesticides. Herbicides kill plants, insecticides kill insects, pesticides kill pests. Second there is NO GMO wheat grown commercially, so all wheat is non GMO. They only use Roundup to burndown wheat in rare circumstances, wet fall and or short growing season.

  • Ray Tajoma

    Your personal conclusive statements at the end contradicted the scientific evidence that you presented. I guess smoking 1 or 2 cigarrettes a day is also relatively harmless (and the same for consuming a little milk, egg and meat). A little rat poison, ain’t that bad.

  • HereHere

    Dr. G. tells us that the research hasn’t been done on whether GMO soy is safe for human consumption. I don’t eat much junk food, and certainly no animal products. I don’t want to learn in 15, 20, or 40 years that GMO soy is why I am dying of X, Y, or Z disease, or why I might have some other chronic disease.
    When I go out to eat with friends who want Chinese food, for example, I am stuck eating generic tofu that is genetically modified. I feel I don’t even have a choice to get organic, unless I stay home alone and be a hermit. But what kind of life is that?!
    Plus, there are broader issues about the ecosystem – i.e. what some call genetic pollution. We may lose the heritage soy (and corn, etc.) seeds, and basically have GMO force extinction on some non-GMO foods. If we should uncover a dangerous correlation between GM and disease, we may have nothing to turn back too.

  • GodBlessAmerica

    I have been a fan of this website, “UNTIL NOW”, Very disappointing conclusions here. Dr Greger obviously has not read Seeds of Deception, by Jeffery Smith.

  • sam sindy

    the video is no longer there….. :(

  • Guest

    opps

  • Nungiver

    And then there is the RoundUp and its generic kin that is sprayed near harvest time on non-GMO crops to kill the crop plants such wheat
    and legumes as this makes them easier to harvest. Unless of course the crop is going to be used as seed for another crop.

  • http://lasvegashomeopathy.com Sowmya

    Unless long term studies are not done, GMO’s should not be marketed for public use. We have enough processed foods and chemicals in our food supply causing various chronic diseases, I don’t think there should be more introduced. Our health care system is going to pay a bigger price in the future for our mistakes today.

  • K.Harapriya

    The point is not whether GMOs are harmful or not. The issue is that companies do not want to give consumers the right to decide whether they want GMO food or not. By not labeling foods, we are prevented form exercising our choice.

  • Polina

    Hello Dr Greger and NF team! Would be great to see your analysis of any research on soy (pure or processed, gmo or not) during pregnancy/lactation. Lately I came across some speculation, without any reference, that it it’s not recommended for pregnant women and babies. Wonder if it’s just another myth or there’s something to it. Thanks a lot in advance!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Polina, When I read something with no references I always question the material. Soyfoods for pregnant women appear safe and healthful for those who enjoy it. We mention tofu and tempeh in our soy section. There you can see more videos on soy if interested. I also wrote a post about soy “Should I stay away from soy if I have breast cancer?”