Public skepticism is growing over a new report that claims genetically modified (GE or GMO) foods are safe for consumption, particularly as information emerges that the organization that produced the report has ties to the biotechnology industry.
“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”
― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
"Companies like Monsanto need favorable science and academic allies to push their controversial products through regulatory approval and on to American farms. Corporate agribusinesses pour millions of dollars into our public universities, play a heavy hand in peer-reviewed scientific journals and seek to influence prestigious scientific bodies like the National Research Council."
Let's connect some dots:
The above quote points to something once exposed by Gloria Steinem. In Ms. Steinem's analysis, she showed that advertisers influence what magazines will report. In other words, any reporting that proved detrimental to advertising/sponsors' interests, would be largely censored.
Academia has experienced a massive loss of funds due to budget shortfalls created by War abroad and the ridiculous expenses of the Homeland Security state at home. That means research departments end up reliant on corporate funds and these funds influence the content (and conclusions) of research in the same manner that advertisers impact content.
The MSM is entirely in private corporate hands. As Robert Parry relentlessly points out, this leads to a diverse press corps all repeating the same memes, talking points, and species of analysis.
(Anyone who differs from the Group Think will be ignored, denigrated, deprived of a job/income, and sometimes "disappeared," the Pinochet favorite.)
Big Pharma is blocking the public's access to the TRUTH about vaccines. Recently, a film that presented the testimony of a whistle-blower from the Centers of Disease Control was banned at the Tribeca Film Festival. (My comment about that also was taken down from this site).
There is a blackout on any truths that don't pass snuff with the 1% master class. Whether it's punishing a CIA Fellow (Drake, Kiriakou) who blows the whistle on torture, or an army grunt (Manning) who blows the whistle on the wanton use of violence against civilians, or an I.T. employee (Snowden) who blows the whistle on illegal surveillance of the citizenry, or a service that makes channels for unpopular Truths available (Wiki-leaks/Assange)... those who present a narrative that deviates from The Official Story are penalized.
The same PR firms that managed to lie about the dangers of cigarette smoking (for decades) likewise managed the disinformation campaign related to Global Warming's link to Fossil Fuel usage.
I've made the following 2 points before, but they deserve mention again:
When the legal climate is based on the presumption of innocence, knowing trespassers profit. It takes a lot of time, research, money, and brave iconoclasts to build cases against "the official stories." Meanwhile, the trespassers get away with murder.
Today's corporate power brokers would rather do harm and pay for damages if and when they get caught, and if and when those damages can be proven in a court of law... then do the right thing.
We see the above shown in the behavior of the Big Banks, the Energy polluters, and even in U.S. police departments.
The prevailing ethos seems to be you're only wrong if you get caught.
The biased science money can buy
Some more Facts The WHO recently found as reported on PBS http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/roundup-ingredient-probably-carcinogenic-humans/ now lets look at who is supposed to be protecting . you first there is food Czar Michael R. Taylor was named deputy commissioner for foods at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January 2010. ........other positions noted " ...vice president for public policy, Monsanto Company.
Then from a previous piece on Common dreams "....Obama's Administration, like the Bush and Clinton Administrations before him, has become a literal "revolving door" for Monsanto operatives. President Obama stated on the campaign trail in 2007-2008 that agribusiness cannot be trusted with the regulatory powers of government.
But, starting with his choice for USDA Secretary, the pro-biotech former governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, President Obama has let Monsanto and the biotech industry know they'll have plenty of friends and supporters within his administration. ...http://commons.commondreams.org/t/gmos-safe-to-eat-says-research-group-that-takes-millions-from-monsanto/22538/3 The Totally rigged systam..
In criminal law, something called, circumstantial evidence alone can be so overwhelming, it can convince a jury to convict, even on a murder charge. Shouldn't the same apply to GMOs? Since the introduction of these over 25 years ago, observing anywhere from a 14% to 28% increase in something like 14 autoimmune illnesses, along with decreasing lifespans in the U.S., it's pretty easy to point the finger at such GMOs as the cause. I'm not alone in this observation either. Many MD's also are aware of these statistics and many advise their patients to avoid GMOs as much as possible.
We have seen similar problems with feeding farm animals GMOs, with many becoming ill or sickly once given GMO feeds, however, in every case where farmers have returned to using non GMO feed, their animals recover their health. Shouldn't this be enough evidence for rational people to decide the fate of GMOs?
Herein lies the clear evidence of the corruption of agencies of government with mandates to protect us, our environment and our livestock from unscrupulous industry and it's profit driven business model, with ever increasing profit the key phrase. Only agencies and members of congress corrupted by these monied interests could such a state of affairs exist at all. Were it the aim of such agencies to accomplish it's mandate, GMOs and many chemicals wouldn't even be issues, but already relegated to the dustbin of good ideas that didn't work.
Sorry for the late reply, it's often near the end of the day that I get the chance to check the CD site. The sentence from the article you referenced, “Companies like Monsanto need favorable science and academic allies to push...” may not have been what Gloria Steinem's expose was about. From what you were saying it seems Steinem was revealing how the barrier between the news content side of the news industry and the business side is a fiction. Print media gets the vast majority of its revenue from advertisers while the electronic media get virtually all its revenue from advertising. Large sponsors have and do dictate a news media's content. Examples abound.
When people see stories of unimaginable corruption in oversight agencies they ask with disbelief 'where are the indictments'. You will present a litany of violations, as you did in your response to the article, much as a prosecutor would in court, and the finish is similar to so many other exasperated responses, ”The prevailing ethos seems to be you're only wrong if you get caught.” A problem is there's no ethos...they can't be shamed.
It's not often one gets a neat and tidy encapsulation of something that's involved and complex but about a half dozin years ago, economist Richard Wolff gave a talk that is still on Youtube, with the Youtube title “US Wages, American Exceptionalism, Consumerism, and Capitalism”.
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcA1v2n7WW4). It was recorded by the Media Education Foundation with the title “Capitalism Hits the Fan”. Wolff has an interesting combination of being somewhat informal yet poignant in his presentations. At about the 39:30 mark of the almost one hour talk is a 10 minute segment prefaced, 'What Won't Work: Re-regulation' That small section is as insightful as it gets and extrapolates to topics of failed regulatory agencies in general. Indeed to almost everything in our society.
The regulatory system that helped create the New Deal worked for decades. But attacks on the New Deal, which existed from its inception and throughout the Reagan and Bush the 1st years and aided by Clinton and the New Dems, had left it a shadow of its original self. Why? How could that happen? What was left in place when those regulations were created were powerful sources, large corporate sources, with the incentives and resources to undo those regulations at every opportunity it could until they were virtually eviscerated, as Wolff puts it. In a functioning democracy that would be no mean trick. But of course, this country never had a functioning democracy. FDR saved capitalism but it was capitalism itself that was the cancer. Even if there were no nuclear and environmental monstrosities, the economic and financial costs on the population, here and worldwide, the violence and cost of militarization and the blowback it creates, the health hazards from every direction, the quality of life dropping like a stone, these are all unacceptable. It does show that such a reality couldn't coexist within a functioning democracy. While socialism is virtually a synonym for functioning democracy. And while I never heard him mention about himself or read about this, a gallon of beet juice to a liter of coconut oil says Rupert Sheldrake is a socialist.
The purpose of a regulatory agency is to allow a limited amount of bad stuff to happen for the sake of profit and always has been since the Interstate Commerce Agency was first created in 1887. Just the year before corporations which were granted their first human right, equal protection under the 14th amendment. Created by the raliways' pals in government mostly to regulate the railways exploitive rates on freight, and since expanded to cover all kinds industry, corporations quickly realized that regulatory agencies actually provided public relations cover and because the process itself was so full of holes, the industry could capture the regulatory agency. And that is exactly what has been happening.
More than 270 independent scientific societies around the world have made public their position that GMOs are safe and advantageous. Those 270 societies have a combined membership more than 300,000 members. Scientific advisory boards in the EU have also stated that GMOs are as safe as any food. Over 120 of the largest, most distinguished, and reputable scientific organizations in the world have published positions papers explaining that GMOs are safe and that the technology is a significant step forward, for agriculture, medicine, and industrial processes. I personally work in biomedical research, and have been involved in projects working to computationally develop entirely new genes that produce specific proteins that are essential to the development of new vaccines, antibiotics, as well as new plant varieties with increased nutritional content, resistance to fungus, bacterial invasion, and insect invasion. The labs I work in or have worked in are funded by government agencies - not commercial companies. Thousands of independent labs, like mine, are pursuing new products to improve human health and reduce the resources that are required to feed the world. There are very few scientists, research technicians, and graduate students in molecular biology (out of maybe 100,000 world wide) who would claim that any of the GMO plants now on the market cause any harm.
The direct scientific evidence is rather strongly in favor of the position that GMO food is no riskier than convention food - there have been close to 1,800 scientific research studies published that show no harm from GMO food in either humans or livestock; there have been maybe 12 papers published that claim harm. Every scientific paper that I have read that claims harm from GMOs offers opaque data collection and/or poor experimental techniques. In several cases, the papers were retracted by the journal that published them, after it became clear that they did not adhere to reasonable standards of being reproducible and consistent with the known scientific knowledge of the relevant molecular biology. One person in Italy was censured by his university after it was conclusively demonstrated that he had fabricated his data (i.e., he lied) to be able to publish "data" that showed harm from GMOs.
The non-profit organizations that have developed GMOs certainly have no profit motive - they are driven by scientists who have a strong desire to make a better world and advance human knowledge. Scientists who have committed their lives to research, and spent 30+ years in school and training to become research scientists are absolutely not going to falsify data, push false "propaganda", or make any claims to support any commercial enterprise; that is a good way to be out of job and throw away 30+ years of your life. So, when 270 scientific societies support a technology, the technology is good and beneficial, regardless of what company makes a lot of money from that technology.
You really need to focus on the people telling you that GMOs are harmful - you know that there are continual, high-dollar campaigns to get you to reject GMO and conventionally farmed products. Why? Where is the money coming from? You guessed it - from companies and a few individuals who have become very rich by selling you organic products at inflated prices. They don't have science behind them - they only have profits in mind. Think about it. By whipping up emotional responses, these groups are getting a lot of websites to give them free unethical advertising.
You are really out of touch with reality if you actually believe what you just wrote. Think about this: the automobile industry provides a major share of the advertising revenue in the U.S., yet the media was quick to jump on those companies when it was found that they had lied about fuel economy. As far as Monsanto is concerned, Monsanto's revenue is not much different than Whole Foods, and a lot less than Wal-Mart's If you want to attack a company for controlling the food supply, Whole Foods and Wal-Mart have way more control of the food supply than any Biotech company could ever hope to have.
The development of GMO crops and animals extends way beyond Monsanto. There are 5 other large public corporations, about 20 NGOs, and 15 or so small independent companies that have developed and licensed GMOs. And that does not count China, which is investing heavily in genetic engineering, and has announced that it (China) intends to be a major player in biotechnology. Some people who are familiar with the biotech industry think that there may be 80 or more new GMO crops and plants moving through the regulatory process now in different countries. The Gates Foundation, well known for its focus on, and generous support for, initiatives to improve health and wellbeing in underdeveloped countries, has made a large investment in startup company Editas, that is focused on leveraging CRISPR/Cas0 technology to develop new approaches to preventing and curing disease through genetic engineering. Several other major biotech agricultural companies have filed close to 30 patents relative to CRISPR/Cas9 technology, with the expressed aim of developing many new genetically engineered crops. So, Monsanto is only one of a growing number of for-profit and non-profit organizations working to improve the quality of food, the availability of food, and world food security through genetic engineering. It is not just Monsanto saying GMOs are safe...there are many, many other organizations saying the same thing.
Making extreme statements like " apply the death penalty to corporate psychopaths the likes of Fascist Monsanto and its ilk" does not improve the creditability of what you are saying. The only "conspiracy" is the insistence of certain companies and nonprofit organizations to continue to propagate false claims about the danger in GMOs - a propaganda campaign that works only because so many people are so ignorant of basic biology. The claim that a "research group" takes "millions from Monsanto" is unbelievably ignorant of what the NRC is, or how it works, or why the NRC formed this particular group. To begin with, the NRC is NOT a "research group"!! Then, there is the funding issue: About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, and funds provided by the Academies member organizations.
Far from being a scandal that corporations hire scientific labs to do various investigations, that is the very thing, more than any other, that propelled the U.S. into a position of technological leadership, and for many years gave the U.S. the highest standard of living in the world. As the technology becomes more complex, it is essential that we have people who are willing to move from corporate labs and corner offices to government (and occasionally to academia), and the other direction as well, for it is only through a constant mixing of people and duties that all organizations involved will be able to understand what is going on in the other two.
And even if the claim of this article were true, so what? It is not just those particular 50 scientists, or that particular organization that says GMOs are safe and beneficial, 270 other scientific organizations world-wide, representing perhaps 500,000 scientists, have released statements and reports stating that GMOs are safe.
Would you trust someone with no experience in working on aircraft, and with no relevant educational background, to tell you if an airplane was safe to fly? Of course not, you and I and every person who flies on commercial aircraft depend on a government organization to assimilate and evaluate reports from both the manufacturer and independent consultants, and decide if the airplane is safe. We have the same regulatory structure for pharmaceuticals, and we have the same structure for food. We depend on the CDC to spot businesses that are making people sick by serving poorly prepared and handled food. The FDA routinely identifies companies that are causing food poisoning outbreaks. The D.O.J. has been active in food safety as well, sending executives to prison for failing to take steps to insure that the food their company was producing was safe. The CDC/FDA/DOJ combination has been working hard to insure a safe supply of food. GMOs do not and have not ever harmed anyone, and that is why the CDC/FDA/DOJ army has not ever accused any biotech company of any wrong doing.
So, there are hundreds of thousands of scientists who would tell you just what the NRC said. It is not about money. It is about using the best technology available to provide the most nutritious food possible, at the least cost, with the smallest possible environmental footprint. Anyone who says otherwise had better produce scientifically verifiable evidence to back up their claims. Trying defend your position by attempting to discredit your opponent is grade-school playground stuff. Making laws, or taking regulatory action that contradicts scientific evidence is a very poor public policy that leads to tyranny, as history has seen many times.
- Are you here to have a conversation, or not? When you start off with a very false statement (that I am paid to comment here), it is hard to believe anything you say.
- You are grossly wrong that organic production methods are better. There are several hundred thousand farmers, who produce the vast majority of our food, who would tell you otherwise.
- More facts on organic production: organic dairy farms produce only a little over half as much milk per cow as conventional dairies. You can go ask any organic dairy farmer how much his/her cows produce, and then ask a conventional dairy farmer the same question. The data on milk production is public knowledge - it won't go away just because you say it is a lie.
- You are quite mis-informed if you believe that only GMO seeds are patented. Example: many of the seeds that you buy in little seed packets to plant in your garden are patented. Farmers have been purchasing patented seeds for over 80 years. Again, any farmer who actually makes a living from large-scale commercial farming will tell you the many reasons they have always used patented seeds, and why they choose to purchase seed every year instead of saving seed from year to year.
- Instead of making off-the-wall claims that glyphosate is toxic and carcinogenic, you could first try educating yourself in some basic biochemistry and toxicology so that you are more informed about how chemicals do or do not interact with living cells.
- Making crude, vulgar, and clearly false statements does not make you right, but it sure sends up a flag that you don't have any facts to support your position.
- No farmer is forced to purchase any particular seed, ever. They purchase the seed that appears to be best suited for meeting their objectives - just as you would buy seed for your garden - if you wanted to grow giant pumpkins, you would talk to other people who have successfully grown giant pumpkins to see what seed they used, and you would probably talk to seed dealers and others who are knowledgeable about giant pumpkins. That is what farmers always do in deciding what seed to buy. If GMO seeds were not the best available choice on many farms, they would not be sold. Farmers, not corporations, decide what to plant.
- "GMO" has made it possible for millions of diabetic people to live and lead normal lives. "GMO" has made it possible for all of us to have pizza, because without "GMO" there would not be much cheese. "GMO" makes possible all of the medical research that brings new, improved drugs to market. Not so long ago, President Jimmy Carter announced that he had a form of cancer for which there was no cure, but then, thanks to "GMO" he is still alive today, and doing well. There is a good chance that someday you will have cancer, and it is increasingly likely that "GMO" will in some way be the treatment.
- If you are so mistrusting of "science", what would you do if you ever got sick? After all, a few large international corporations supply almost all of the medicines and vaccines used anywhere in the world. The same science that develops life-saving medications and vaccines also develops GMO crops.
- The technology required to do genetic engineering has recently become much more widely available. From the eradication of mosquitoes that carry some of the worst diseases of mankind, to the development of pigs whose organs can safely be used for organ transplants into humans, "GMO" is about to radically improve our lives, just as the radical new technology called the "automobile" radically changed and improved the lives of my grandparents and all Americans in the 1910 - 1940 time period. The people who today are screaming that GMOs are destroying the world are about as out-of-touch and foolish looking as the people who demanded that no automobiles be driven on city streets unless someone walked ahead of the car, carrying a red flag!
Well, your assumption that independent scientists cannot "test GMOs" is completely false! A patent does NOT restrict research. A patent simply insures that the holder of the patent receives financial benefits from the invention. You are using a commonly used argument against GMOs, that there are no "long term tests". The reason is simple: there is zero evidence that suggests that GMOs do any harm. There are no medical reports, research papers, or anything else that suggests that GMOs are harmful. In fact, nearly all humans have been eating plants produced by radiational mutagenesis since the 1930's - not just a few crops, but an estimated 3,000 varieties of just about every crop there is. Anyone who understands molecular biology knows that radiational mutagenesis is far more likely to produce those "off target effects" and "changes we don't know about" that the anti-GMO activists keep claiming are the reason we can't trust genetic engineering. The inescapable reality is that the varieties of crops that have been derived by radiational mutagenesis have been a major contributor to crop development, and never, ever, has there ever been a proven claim that a crop variety was harmful just because it was produced by radiational mutagenesis. Crop scientists were doing radiational mutagenesis (and occasionally chemical mutagenesis) long before we had any understanding of the genetic code. Today, we do understand the genetic code, and we learn more and more about the details of cellular metabolism and cellular development with each passing day. Human studies are terribly difficult to conduct, always subject to bias, and even under the best of conditions are always suspect because human subjects know that they are human subjects, which invariably alters the outcome. On top of that, regardless of what the organizations that are pushing this "GMOs are dangerous" propaganda say, there is simply no creditable scientific evidence that GMOs have caused harm to humans, or to the 10 generations of cattle that have been fed GMO-derived feed their entire lives (that's close to a billion head of cattle in 20 years), or to the countless generations of laboratory animals that are fed rations containing soy (which is largely GMO-derived). For those of us who have had formal training in biochemistry and molecular biology, the claim that GMOs are intrinsically unsafe is as oxymoron and the claim that the earth is flat. Why? Because for the claim that GMOs intrinsically cause harm would require that many, many principles of biology be false - principles that have been developed and used over the last 60 years to discover new and important medications, GMO treatments for cancer (such as President Jimmy Carter recently underwent), GMO bacteria that produce the insulin that keeps millions of diabetics alive, and so on. We use those principles of biology everyday to successfully do genetic engineering in the lab to make further new discoveries. In other words, the science as we understand it "works" - everyday, tens of thousands of biological and bio-medical labs around the world routinely do genetic engineering to bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals, and the experiments produced with those modified organisms produce explainable results.
The organizations that have convinced you that GMOs might be harmful have deceitfully withheld a lot of information, so that what they want you to hear will be believable. They want you to believe that the FDA "illegally" approved GMO crops, saying they were not materially different from existing crops. Based on scientifically verifiable information then, and now, the FDA was correct, and you would be very hard pressed to find more than a dozen people who hold professorships in molecular and cellular biology who would try to claim that GMOs are "special" and more likely than any other new crop variety to be harmful.
You other assumption - that scientists are being paid to say what industry wants - is beyond unbelievable. I know; I work with research scientists. They spend a decade or so past their undergraduate college work in graduate and post-doc programs, building up a creditable collection of research work that eventually earns them the right to become an independent scientist. All of that hard work, and living for many years on a wage that is at or below the minimum wage, is thrown away if they are found to make false statements. In fact, just recently, a faculty member of an Italian university was censured by his own university after it was proven that he had lied about his experimental results, and fabricated "data" in his effort to "prove" that GMOs cause harm. Independent scientists say what they think, not what some "industry" wants them to say. The deceit and deception in the "antiGMO campaign has even extended to one individual who violated the rules of a major medical journal to get an "anti-GMO" opinion piece published - he claimed no conflicts of interest, whereas in reality his work had been funded by an anti-GMO activist organization. But there are tens of thousands of scientists who receive no money at all from anyone or any organization related to GMOs that will tell you that there is no harm in GMOs.
So, the scientists on the NRC panel that reviewed the existing evidence on GMO safety are independent scientists with a reputation on the line. You are being really ill-informed if you really believe that the scientists on the NRC panel were paid to deliver a specific conclusion. They are not politicians, they are not salesmen, and they are not spokesmen for any particular organization, and you claim that the are is totally false.
Here is a statement from By: Eric Sachs, Ph.D., Environmental, Social and Economic Platform Lead, Monsanto Company
The research scientists employed by Monsanto work in teams focused on creating solutions that are core to improving agricultural productivity and sustainability. Of course, the specific research projects that we work on are agreed to by management teams throughout the organization. However, as employees, we are encouraged to publish the results of our research. In fact, since 2000, Monsanto employees have published more than 1,000 studies related to the science, safety and benefits of our products.
In addition, university, government and other public-sector researchers independently conduct research on our products. Since the introduction of GM technologies in the mid-1990s, hundreds and hundreds of independently conducted scientific studies have been published in scientific literature (see the Biofortified website), including studies focused on risk assessment that have expanded the growing body of evidence supporting the safety of GM crops and validating the conclusions of regulatory authorities worldwide. From 2001 to 2010, more than 50 studies were conducted in Europe alone, funded by the European Commission (at a cost of >200 million euros) and performed by more than 400 research groups. These studies are summarized in “A Decade of EU-Funded GMO Research.”
With regard to public-sector research, Monsanto worked with other GMO developers and the American Seed Trade Association to establish principles that enable the public-sector research community to independently conduct research studies on commercially available seed products and provide assurance that the public sector research community is free to design robust, scientifically sound experimental protocols and methodologies, and to derive independent conclusions. Importantly, researchers may publish their findings without any review or approval by Monsanto.
More information about the ASTA initiative can be found here.
Information about Monsanto’s Academic Research License, which allows researchers to do research with commercialized Monsanto products, is available here.
Monsanto has ARLs in place with all major agriculturally focused U.S. universities and the USDA Agricultural Research Service―about 100 in total.
You are failing to understand the science, rather totally. There is an extensive body of scientifically determined and verifiable knowledge that says "GMOs are safe". The reason you have been taught to demand "long term tests" is because the organizations funding anti-GMO sites are smart propagandists: they know that any really long term study always has so many confounding factors that the results of those long term tests are always equivocal. Unfortunately, the biology and biochemistry that leads scientists to conclude "GMOs are safe" is shrouded in the arcane language and complexity of molecular biology, not unlike many other things in our lives.
The safety of GMOs is no different than the safety of aircraft: when Boeing or Airbus design and build a new type of airliner, we do not demand that 10 of them be flown for 30 years before we accept that they are safe. No we don't - we accept the ability of the FAA to judge that the design and test documents provided by the company are complete and accurate, and meet all the regulations for the licensing of a new aircraft design. Do we as passengers get involved in these aeronautical engineering judgments? No, of course not - every time you step into a aircraft, you are trusting your life to those few individuals with special training and experience in the science and art of aircraft design and aircraft design evaluation. We accept this process of government overview for airplanes and pharmaceuticals and many other products to a greater or lesser degree. No one is on social media and discussion boards claiming that "Boeing has killed thousands of people and pay the FAA to cover it up", but that is exactly what people are doing with respect to GMOs. The relatively small number of people who actually understand the biology of GMOs are satisfied they are safe. On the other hand, you and many other people with no apparent understanding of biology are loudly saying "GMOs are dangerous", but rather than point to verifiable facts, you point to conspiracy theories, and try to win arguments by discrediting anyone who opposes your position.
I think blame is a waste of time. When it comes to agencies with mandates to protect the public and these do the opposite, the blame game is pointless. Like with many things that are broken, identify the problem first and then fix it.
What we do know for certain is that, the decision makers at agencies like FDA and USDA are former lawyers and lobbyist from the industries they regulate and that is never a good idea. The problem is, we the people no longer have any control over any of the processes placing such people in these positions, if indeed this has ever been the case. This is a predictable result however, when those with the most money have all the influence, or as Greg Palast put it in the title of his book, "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" is far more than a title, but a reality both parties are equally responsible for allowing to be or remain as the status quo.
Fixing such a system is a whole other matter and requires Americans to be able to get on the same page, especially as this involves understanding issues like food safety. Sad as it is, corporate media does a very poor job of informing the public about such things and may well be the largest obstacle there is to overcome.
History, thank you for offering a rational analysis rather than a name-calling tirade.
I absolutely agree that money begets influence.
However, I would like to offer you a different perspective.
1. The only people who have any chance to understand what is going on in an industry are the people who have worked in that industry.
2. Our entire modern civilization is based on the resources of very large corporations, and has been evolving in that direction since the beginning of the industrial revolution.
3. Developed countries, including the U.S. have pretty much seen the well being of their people track with the well being of large corporations in those countries.
3. Given our dependence on large corporations, it is important that they have a large voice in government.
4. The U.S. is rapidly letting itself be demoted to a second-class country, as a result of the many different obstacles that are being thrown up to prevent corporations from doing their job in society of providing goods, services, and jobs.
5. Fortunately, corporations are for the most part governed by people who are among the brightest, most disciplined minds in the world. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about governments.
6. People who screw up don't stay in positions of power in corporations. But governments are full of all manner of people with divergent objectives, led by politicians who are increasingly paralyzed by their adherence to a particular ideology.
7, Corporations are rational and predictable, governments less so.
8. What we do not need is government by the loudest minority. Those are typically called dictatorships.
9. We do not need government to make rule and regulations based on fiction, lies, and fear. We do need government based on facts, led by people who understand science, and not by people who follow ideology at the expense of truth.
Yes, there have been a substantial number of papers come out of that study. Essentially every paper addresses confounding factors, as do all such studies involving human subjects. Epidemiological studies like the Nurses Health Study can and often do suggest correlations that appear to be worth following. But every study report has to be evaluated on its own merits as to the extent the authors properly dealt with confounding factors they did identify, or factors they missed. Inappropriate reliance on studies of this type is one of the main reasons we see so many flip-flops on dietary guidance.
Now, since you think that the Nurses Health Study is exemplar of good science, (and it is an impressive epidemiological study of a select population) and you seem quite sure that GMOs are causing harm, did that conclusion come out of the Nurses Health Study?
You offer no facts to back up anything you say. Why should I or anyone believe that you are right?
Since you do not wish to deal in facts, there must be some other motivation...
You organize protests by claiming Monsanto controls the food supply, but you have no facts to backup what you say.
I think your real motivation has nothing to do with food, you don't care about the environment, and you don't care about farmers, and you don't care about health.
All you care about is grabbing political power - just like every other dictatorship has done before it throws out elected government.
It is an old tried and proven formula - rally the masses around an emotional issue, then blame the government for the problem,then take over.
Many, many dictators have come to power on that formula.
You want maybe stick to facts from now on, or continue to play in emotion and speculation?
Why don't you offer some facts to refute what I said, not just empty claims?
I think it's impossible to draw the line between where government begins and corporations end. The TPP, TTIP and TISA are perfect examples of this, since these deals done in secret are designed to make banking and corporate interests the official heads of state. Something one could argue has always been the case, especially if you happen to be a person of Native descent and while I agree on some of your points, I can't on all. Not when one considers what happened with the CEOs who drove so much of the economy into their pockets in the last meltdown. Instead of prison for these banksters as happened in Iceland, they were richly rewarded for doing the wrong thing. Of course, it wasn't the wrong thing if you were one of the people who became even more wealthy at the expense of others, but isn't that how 67% of middle class wealth has been transferred to these Masters of Mankind since the mid 70's to begin with? Besides, isn't it time to change a system that is in practice, welfare for corporations and capitalism for everyone else? How many times will taxpayers be required to bail out these too big to fail institutions, now that most all regulations governing the financial boys are long gone?
While I agree government has been broken a very long time, perhaps always so, depending on one's point of view, but I think we can do much better as plain ordinary people than we're doing now and I agree, science should certainly be listened to much more than it is today in the halls of rule makers. At the end of the day, we're all just human beings inhabiting the exact same earth and since there isn't another one to go to should we ruin this one, everyone capable of grasping that thought should be aware and willing to argue for our survival. Rule by corporations is in conflict with that idea.