Belgian protesters destroy GM field trial

Info Collected by GMWatch

Protesters have destroyed a controversial GM field trial in Belgium.

In Wetteren, a municipality in the Belgian province of East Flanders, activists succeeded in damaging the GM potatoes being trialled for blight resistance, despite a large contingent of police officers who had been ordered to guard the GM trial. The officers were unable to stop the 300-400 or more peaceful protesters of all ages, who included local people.

During the protest organised by the Belgian Field Liberation Movement (FLM) –  an informal collective consisting of farmers, scientists, consumers, and environmental activists, protesters climbed over a high fence and pulled up GM potato plants. The trial was also allegedly sprayed with herbicide. Some 40 people were arrested.

The non-violent direct action had been announced in advance with the FLM saying they planned to remove the GM potatoes and replant the field with non-GM blight resistant potatoes in a peaceful and public manner.

A sympathetic farmer was quoted as saying, “They [the GM lobby] talk a lot about farmers, but we are never heard. This type of action strengthens us and seems like the only way forward for consumers and small producers who are  independent of powerful interest groups like big agribusiness. ”

Press contact in Belgium: 0486/220161 or field.liberation @

Information taken from:

2.Belgium: NO GM crops on our fields!
A Seed Europe, 17 May 2011

The Belgian Field Liberation Movement has announced a public rally against genetically engineered potatoes in the village of Wetteren on May 29. At 11am the rally starts including debate, a press conference, lots of info, a local farmers’ market, a seed swap, organic chip frying, live music and a cultural programme. Some daring activists want to make an attempt to actually replace the GM crop with organic potatoes.

Ten years of engineering and heaps of money went into developing the so-called ‘DURPH-potato’ which is designed to be resistant to Phytophtora, a potato disease. Although most consumers do not want to eat GM food this GM potato is intended for human consumption. Without applying the precautionary principle, field tests in the open air now take place in Wetteren, although risks for people and the environment are unknown and unpredictable. Opponents claim we don’t need GM crops, “what we need is sustainable agriculture that contributes to food sovereignty and – safety, to biodiversity and a stable climate”.

Let’s come together and show that the resistance against GM agriculture is growing, let’s increase the pressure on the companies and universities. It will be an inspiring day that offers plenty of opportunity for future plans and cooperation. In the afternoon the publicly announced field liberation will start with a mass occupation of the field, replacing the GM crop with organic potatoes. Participants can choose from a variety of roles and tasks requiring different levels of public disobedience.

Come and make the resistance against GMO’s visible – stand your ground for diversity and agriculture with a future. VIVA PATATA!

More details and info:

247 responses to “Belgian protesters destroy GM field trial

  1. Now…that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout – a revolution.

  2. God bless the Belgians.

  3. FLM wasted belgian tax money,
    their so-called freedom to protest led to the destruction of an independent research from Gents Universiteit. This potatoe was intended for more research.

    Thank you ignorant people for trespassing private terrain and destroying one’s properties.

    In Texas, they would be shot, pity the Belgians have a law against that…
    (cfr a juweller who shot down a burglar was convicted of murder)

    • the only way to protect the world from genetic contamination is to destroy the GE trees, crops and animals wherever we find them.

      these mad scientists have no conscience and could care less that GE foods cause sterility, organ damage and death.

      I’d say this nonviolent method of resistance is not only honorable and should be supported and perpetrated wherever we can, but it also is our last resort.

      • Belgium – Home of the most ignorant hippies on the planet!

      • GE foods cause sterility, organ damage and death? My word! Surely you’d think that they’d do some kind of scientific testing! After all, what’s stopping them from doing that?

        Oh, wait.

      • Quite frankly, it’s a stretch to call destruction of crops “nonviolent”. It’s not violence to people, but it’s violent nonetheless. Even if one had a good reason to be highly against GM, it’s just wrong to destroy the property of others.

        The scientists involved in GM are not “mad”. There are safety precautions to take with GM things, but that is the same with conventional breeding. Conventional breeding involves changing genetics too, the only difference is that you’re acting blind with conventional breeding. It is most unfortunate that you are so misinformed Rady.

        • grandpappymike

          Are you saying that genetic modifications that could not occur naturally are safer than natural modifications and then saying others are ignorant (“misinformed”) who don’t agree? Dang, now that is bold.

          • Are you saying that you know exactly the scope of these (and every other) genetic enhancements, and that they are in fact not possible via regular breeding (which I’m completely positive researchers haven’t completely figured out yet), and then you’re questioning the level of others ignorance, when you’ve simply created your own straw man? Dang, now that is bold. Or ignorant, one of the two.

        • How many corporations have you worked in? I’m guessing very few by your English skill. Mad or not, scientists and the corporate heads who make decisions are human. New technologies need to be checked before being let loose. These technologies have been unregulated against the advice of many, many scientists. Truly I have given too much of my time here today.

      • I’ve heard this argument before.
        I assume that you are also pro-life/anti-abortion?

        Are identical arguments all you have in common?
        Odds are they aren’t.

        • Dutch Vanders

          Nice straw man argument. These “evil” potatoes have been modified for potato blight resistance. Contrary to popular belief, potato blight (the thing responsible for Ireland’s potato famines) are still a major threat to potato crops in the developing world where food is already hard enough to produce without having to use expensive fungicides. The thing about most GM products is that many of them take traits that similar plants have already been selected for, isolate them, and integrate them into another plant.

          It’s far more precise than the traditional method of genetic modification where it would take generations of people to select for traits or to integrate foreign genetic material (Seedless watermelons, anyone?) we can get it done in a matter of years. This means generations of people don’t have to suffer waiting for breeders to isolate and breed for desirable traits. In this case food scientists appear to be addressing the problem of trying to pick the appropriate potato for the strain of potato blight so they can avoid using fungicides, or losing a significant portion of their harvest.

          Attacking ALL GMO is silly and short sighted, and while I have no problem with discussing the dangers of using GMO to go out and actively destroy research that is currently undergoing safety testing because it sounds scary is just silly. Especially when that research has the potential to feed thousands and is addressing a real problem.

          • These blight resistant potatoes are not needed here, besides there’s no one I know living in the developing world, dirty, brown, beggars the lot of them. I’ll thank you very much not to be harshing my mellow with your so called ‘facts’.

          • Yes, the Moonbats are out in full force on this one. I don’t suppose many weep over the millions dead from Malaria due to a total ban on DDT.

          • another lie. DDT is still manufactured and used

            wow, amazing how you pro GM guys can’t seem to say anything accurate.

            or not so amazing, given how you keep your poison crap unlabeled

      • “GE foods cause sterility, organ damage and death”
        What all GM, universally? Like instantly? Or are you talking about a specific (one) example? Cross breeding plants leads to unpredictable and unexpected mutations and could cause any number of dangerous outcomes. Manually altering one specific set of DNA is obviously safer. They are the same process, one is just more controlled. There is nothing inherently dangerous rationally, Carrots used to be Purple until we selective bread and mutated them to be orange the world over. This is a dangerous process.

        Nothing is universally good or bad. Like Patents on GM is obviously evil, but Patents on Software is evil. This does not imply that GM and Software are both evil, it just means the patent system is broken – and it certainly is. Thankfully patents only last for 14 years though which isn’t much time, but still unreasonable.

        There is no evidence though food ever causing sterility, organ damage and death, if it did, the world over we would see our lives shortening as we are all consuming it. Besides it makes no sense that “all GM is bad”. Like its just a silly stance like saying all films are bad. Just makes no sense on any evil.

      • I guess violence against plants isn’t really violence.

        Poor plants. They never got a chance to show us whether they really were resistant to potato blight.

    • If you need to shoot down somebody so desperately, you can always do it on yourself. Nobody is goin to put you in jail for that.

  4. The potato research should not even be done. Already 14 yrs later they have found major problems with GE crops. With GMO BT in the blood of woman and fetuses. The emergence of super weeds, super pests and more plant disease and the degradation of soil. This GMO period in time is not done for the benefit of anything except for monetary profit of our own conceived up term ECONOMY.. it does not feed the starving, it does not help the land… it feeds nothing but a self assumed need for greed of money and for a self assumed and wrong need to control nature. So what if these potatoes were uprooted? This is NO big crime! How about arresting the murderers in in south america and in other underdeveloped countries who take land from poor people and sometimes murder them all in the name of ECONOMY>

    • Thank you for deciding for all of us what research should and should not be done.

      Agricultural Science

      • more like depopulation thru biotechnology

        a scourge on biotech

        To all these comments (and especially below) that condemn people protecting the earth from psychopathic science, you only reveal how corrupted you’ve become.

        this isn’t science. It’s biocide. It’s genocide. It’s ecocide.

        And it’s only done for profit — no morals involved. You guys ought to be hanged for destroying species after species.

        A pox on all of you.

        • Thank you for having integrity.

        • You do realize humans have been selectively breeding and other non-natural reproductive means to manipulate plants and animals for thousands of years, right?

          This really is no different, except it’s much faster, taking only a few generations of plants opposed to hundreds.

          This is science at it’s core, and it’s really only ignorance of folks like you that’s keeping the research from making breakthroughs that could help billions.

          • Exactly.

            This is what corn looked like before it was domesticated:

            That story can be told over and over again for every single plant you eat today. (Same for animals, if you eat those.) Nothing you eat is free from genetic modification.

            Yes, it’s possible for some GM foods to be bad for you. But it’s not possible for all GM foods to be for you unless you’re willing to admit that all food is bad for you. Each GM food is a special case, and EXPERIMENTS should be done- like this one- before releasing it as a food crop. To say that all GM food is bad speaks to very tiny minds that can only call things good or bad, not judge each food individually on its merits and demerits.

          • already debunked.

            inserting genes from a different kingdom is far different from selective breeding

            quit lying

          • One last thing… And then I’ll be off. But they didn’t insert genes from a different species. They inserted resistant, naturally occurring potato genes. 🙂
            @Geobear: This had nothing to do with “genocide”, “biocide” or god knows what. I do hope you’re not a smoker, though, ’cause your tobacco’s most likely a GM product.

    • 2/3rd of this planet would be hungry now if it wasnt for GMO food.
      Every day it saves billions of lives.

      Carrots used to be Purple but through selective and cross breeding a farmer produced a crop of Orange Carrots for the House of Orange in the Netherlands. Doing it quickly by hand using modern techniques to exclusively manipulate one characteristic is obviously no more dangerous then producing unpredictable results through cross breeding and mutations.

      The world will starve without it. We need to produce more food safely, the yield from a crop is the most important. The food we eat now is hundreds of times healthier than people ate 100 years ago and our life expectancy reflects that.

      • Shane, Please do more serious research. Please study the differences between industrial farming and sustainable–and the impact on topsoils and soil organisms. Food is only as nutrient dense as the soil it is raised in. This is measurable. We know that most commercial foods are void of nutrients. And there is a vast difference between cross-breeding plants and randomly inserting pieces of DNA across species. What is so amazing about all this is that any one of us could raise chickens, goats and vegetables in our backyards and be self-sustaining. Yet we depend on giant corporations to feed the world. What happens in an emergency? Do you think you will have enough food then? We need more people to be self-sustaining and local. GMO crops do not produce more. This is documented. And they are lacking in nutrients–and full of chemicals. I do not want synthetic petro-chemicals for dinner. Do you? But then maybe you are young and haven’t experienced repercussions of dangerous foods. Time changes your perspective.

        • “We know that most commercial foods are void of nutrients. ”
          This is clearly empirically not true. The food we eat today is clearly healthier and safer then the food we have ever had on this planet, its why we are living longer. I’m not anti or pro GM/Organic, I’m pro what works. I know almost universally academic studies on organic food versus randomly selected regular crops the organic field pales in comparison. But not always, Strawberries are a good example in California where there was promising research into the techniques used in some of the Organic farms produced the greatest yield, colour and the other farms adopted the empirically verified techniques that work.

          “GMO crops do not produce more.”
          Yes GM crops produce much more, that’s its biggest selling aspect. They make the crops heartier, larger, and grow in tougher areas that are already feeding the world. They would of starved alternatively. Golden rice for example is solving will solve the worlds Vitamin A deficiencies issues. This is nothing but a good thing.

          “This is documented. And they are lacking in nutrients–and full of chemicals. I do not want synthetic petro-chemicals for dinner. Do you?”
          Water is a Chemical. We are composed of 100% chemicals. Its a pejorative used by people who don’t understand the subject matter. I don’t care if petro-chemicals are in my food, as arsenic is found in all DNA. The questions are, what are the quantities and are they empirically dangerous. These are the questions. Petro based substances aren’t inherently good or bad. We just must exclusively look at the evidence and not use arguments that appeal to emotion like the one you used above.

          I do understand your fears about giant companies feeding the world and depending on them. I am in complete agreement but that doesn’t influence whether the science of GM is dangerous or not. It just piggy bags a real genuine question, is GM food dangerous, and wraps it into a needless political argument against globalization. You shouldn’t confuse the issue, and just focus on the Science and evidence or you will just go in circles because politically I agree, but that doesn’t change the empirical evidence about anything GM related.

          “But then maybe you are young and haven’t experienced repercussions of dangerous foods. Time changes your perspective.”
          Now now, lets not make a personal attack it weakens your core argument, I could just as easily say that you have never found yourself starving either, but that wont get us anywhere, would it?

          • I simply am stunned at the assumptions of pro-GMO visitors here. Do you work for the GM companies? Funny you bring up strawberries in California, where one of the most lethal pesticides is currently being pushed. So for you it comes down to quantity…yet from my experience, only a small quantity of good food makes me healthy and only a small quantity of poison makes me sick. Hmmm….I can’t engage in this anymore. This twisted, willful logic has wasted too much of my time today.

        • Yes, GM foods tend to be sterile… by design. That’s not an inherent problem with GM foods. In fact, the sterility has been requested by people like you who are afraid that GM foods will mix with the “natural” gene pool. Stop blaming GM foods for something that’s the activists’ fault.

          Re: being “full of chemicals,” pesticides have to be used in greater amounts on non GM crops. For instance, to prevent potato blight. If the potatoes themselves are resistant to blight, you need fewer pesticides to have a resistant crop. That’s the whole point.

      • oh, the same old lies — you must be from monsatan.

        that has been disputed repeatedly all over the world — even the WHO says so.

        you can lie all you want, but GM food does not have higher yield, uses more pesticides, causes superweeds, sterility, abortions, allergies and a whole host of health problems.

        take your poison off our planet

        • Genetically modified crops performing abortions on people? Sounds like someone got lost on their way to Narnia.

          Now, if we take a step back from looking at the obvious craziness of what you’re saying, and inspect the less obvious fallacy, we’d see that infant mortality rates are at a historic low, and even lower than average in regions in which GM foods are heavily consumed, and disastrously high elsewhere.

          So, I don’t know if you’re being deliberately wrong, or you’re just badly misinformed, but either way, what you’re saying is wildly inaccurate. Yes, Monsanto may rival Hitler in your opinion, but they’re also working to solve a serious problem inherent to unsustainably high population levels.

          GM crops don’t need to have a higher yield per plant in order to have a higher yield. They just need to thrive where crops otherwise wouldn’t be able to. There’s only so much premium farm land on this planet, and unfortunately, a lot of it isn’t located where it’s most needed. Being able to grow crops in less than ideal conditions and thereby feed millions who would otherwise starve… I’d say that’s worth a corporation or two acting like world-class jerks.

          Since the availability of food clearly isn’t a concern in your region of the world, I suggest exercising your option to purchase local organic produce, or even grow your own. I quite enjoy growing my own vegetables, and frequent my local farmer’s market, but I’m not so foolish as to believe that the things I have readily available to me are available to the rest of the world equally. Get a little perspective.

          • Not abortions on “people” Dr Don M Huber has written about spontaneous abortions associated with glyphosate, the monsatan chemical used on most GM crops

            gm crops don’t have increased yield, quit lying.

        • If by lying you mean “quoting relevant facts,” you are right: “we” (i.e., anybody who does not agree with you, and obviously is on Monsanto’s payroll) can “lie” all we want, it is not going to change your “truth” one bit. Must be very convenient, having all the answers at the ready without even having to think!

          • ascientist

            As to Rady’s statement “gm crops don’t have increased yield, quit lying”:

            Yield Effects of Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries

            Matin Qaim1,2, David Zilberman2
            1 Center for Development Research, University of Bonn, Walter-Flex-Strasse 3, 53113 Bonn, Germany.
            2 Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA.

            Onfarm field trials carried out with Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton in different states of India show that the technology substantially reduces pest damage and increases yields. The yield gains are much higher than what has been reported for other countries where genetically modified crops were used mostly to replace and enhance chemical pest control. In many developing countries, small-scale farmers especially suffer big pest-related yield losses because of technical and economic constraints. Pest-resistant genetically modified crops can contribute to increased yields and agricultural growth in those situations, as the case of Bt cotton in India demonstrates.

  5. And what about the farmers all over the world whose lives have been “uprooted” by GM crops imposed upon them and their land–driving many farmers to suicide…where are the apologies for that?

    • “I’m sorry your crops are so inferior to ours. Maybe you have heard about this thing called ‘free market'”
      Done for you.

    • That’s not a problem inherent in GM foods. I’m sure the same thing happened to farmers when selective breeding came around.

      It’s like saying that we shouldn’t have factory produced clothes because all the seamstresses will go out of business. They did. But clothes are cheaper now. So is food.

      • Yah, and “food” from factory farms tastes like shit and goes only a fraction as far. When volume trumps quality that’s what happens. Go visit a factory farm and tell me you like what you are eating. Oh yah, I forgot…Big-Ag was just recently trying to make it illegal to film or document what goes on in those “farms,” because it is so abhorrent. Maybe you call it food. I don’t. Either you people work for the GM industry or you’ve never truly checked out factory farms.

  6. Well.. your action is fundamentally undemocratic, violent and short-sighted. Do you really want to leave all research for GMF into the hands of private corporations (who undoubtedly do their research in some far away country that isn’t as open with their tests as Belgium)? You destroyed a small, harmless potato field. Who knows what the results might have been? It might have been: these potatoes are harmful for human consumption or the so-called benefits aren’t as they should be. You will NEVER hear this from Monsanto and co, but you might hear this from independent university studies.

    Once again you “extremised” the green movement and by doing so, making it very easy for politicians to ignore you. They can now get away by saying that everyone against GMF is just another extremist. Just as the ALF did this for year for the animal rights movement.

    So you didn’t do anything, be assured that this will lead to more repressive action towards the green movement and it will give politicians yet another excuse not take the GMF debate seriously.

    • no, YOUR action is undemocratic.

      GM food was foisted on us secretly.

      if you’re so goddam proud of your GM food, then LABEL it

      oh, don’t want to do that? Why NOT?

      cuz you know we don’t want your poison food

  7. What a bunch of luddite idiots. There is no confirmed case of a single person ever being injured in any way by GMO food products. People ranting about ‘sterility, organ damage, and death’ are clearly off their rockers and should be ignored.

    Humanity has been genetically engineering their food for millions of years. What do you people think selective breeding is? This just speeds things up a lot.

    • and so here we have the other deception from the GM food industry —

      that inserting genes from a different kingdom is somehow the same as cultivating a different breed.

      tell it to the wall — you biotech geeks are the only ones who believe that B.S.

      The rest of the world knows the difference between genetic engineering and breeding.

  8. Absolute idiocy. GM corn has been raised in my neck of the woods for years. On the non-food side, over 60% of cotton grown in the US is from GM plants. The FUD associated with GM foods is amazing. Next it will be causing people to vote democratic, support deforestation, and cause people to develop an addiction to licking the bottom of car tires.

  9. Bunch of idiots …

    The only viable way you’d stop GMO is with proper studies that would highlight that they’re improper for human consumption … exactly like this study could have shown. (“could” have because there is no way to tell the results before the end obviously and that’s never going to happen now)

    But I guess theses guys are afraid of the truth and are just looking for a way to get noticed and feel “special” …

    I seriously wishes they could charge all those arrested and have them pay a fee equal to the cost of the entire study, hopefully bankrupting those guys once and for all.

  10. @Sylvain

    Are you capable of telling us with a straight face that THE goal of this study was to determine if those potatoes, that have cost years and millions to develop, were or not safe for human consumption? Then you are a liar or just incredibly stupid.

    • Of course those potatoes were for NOT human consumption, you ignorant fool. Those crops were a TRIAL to make them resistant to a disease. You would know if you actually researched more but I guess reading anything with more than 200 words is too much for your brain.

  11. A sad, sad day for Scientific freedoms.

  12. SecularCitizen

    This FLM group’s ignorance is appalling. We’re entering the 21st century and idiots like this want to hold us back in the feudal erra. Looks like religious nuts aren’t the only problem in the world anymore…

  13. I remain confused. Where does the idea that GMOs are unsafe or unhealthy originate? This appears to be an “anti” GMO blog – could any of you provide me with any research, scientific or otherwise, that directly suggests that GMOs have significant undesireable side effects? In my best assessment it appears this entire line of thinking was engineered by environmentalists who wanted to drum up more support for opposing GMOs for more rationale – though short-sighted – beliefs.

    In most cases a genetically modified organism is a plant wherein genes encoding proteins of some utility have been integrated into the organisms genome for the purpose of providing a biologically advantageous outcome (larger crop yield, disease resistance). This takes a tremendous amount of effort and scientific research. They are not lacing these plants with poison. In all cases GMOs are the result of the introduction of a protein product via gene manipulation. When digesting food, including GMOs, your body breaks down these proteins with trypsin, chymotrypsin, hydrochloric acid, and pepsin until they can be absorbed as raw amino acids or larger composites. It is highly unlikely that your intestinal lining would readily absorb fully folded native proteins. Thus the suggestion that these products could be detrimental to ones health seems flawed. Also the above indication that GMO related byproducts were “found in blood and fetus tissue” is also irrationale and highly unlikely – both because we do not store large quantities of nutrients in our blood (especially at levels where specific protein types from a food could be purified) and because of the digestion example I just outlined.

    In ALL cases pesticide sprays and small chemical molecules used to protect and grow crops are SIGNIFICANTLY more dangerous to a human beings health – as they are directly absorbed from the food – in most cases.

    Any reasonable information someone could direct me towards that argues against GMOs with factual data collection would be appreciated.

    • grandpappymike

      I would but you apparently suffer from what psychologist refer to as “selective blindness”. If you cannot on your own find on the internet independent university studies that show that the supposed benefits from GMO crops don’t actually exist, than anything I point you to will be futile.

      • salientwanker

        And you seem to have an issue of understanding what burden of proof implies. It is not up to us to prove your claims right, as we are not the ones making an original claim. This is the same tactic nutty creationists use when debating evolution. It is as stupid as saying “prove god wrong”.

        To put it simply – No, you vapid, troglodytic moron. YOU prove your own god damn point.

        • grandpappymike

          Thank you for proving my point. I told you independent, repeatable university studies exist. It would have taken you about 10 seconds to find them and then you could have reviewed them for yourself if you really wanted the information you said you were asking for. Instead you equate doing some extremely simply research and reviewing data and the collection method with “proving god wrong”, brilliant. Then you must dehumanize me to show that you are of some superior intellect, but in reality only proving that an intelligent conversation with you would not be possible.

  14. According to Michael Crichton, environmentalism is a religion for many people today.

  15. You’re all a bunch of short-sighted, paranoid, destructive and dangerous idiots.

  16. Pingback: Activistas destrozan en Bélgica un campo de cultivo transgénico: 18 heridos | ddg

  17. I can, to some point, understand the idea behind the anti-GM part of this… but the anti-genetic modification part is absolute BS. I noticed one sentence in this article was just grasping for reason that was rooted in ignorance, the extra-ignorant parts are in bold:
    Without applying the precautionary principle, field tests in the open air now take place in Wetteren, although risks for people and the environment are unknown and unpredictable.
    The risks for people and environment are zero to none. Assuming GM did proper lab work, they would easily have been able to determine that the proteins involved did not spread gaseously, did not accumulate in excess in the soil, and were not toxic. If they hadn’t done any such lab work, then I could begin to see a reason to destroy these fields, but I highly doubt you even did any research into that. Get over your fear of genetic modification, it won’t cause the apocalypse, human stupidity will.

  18. “Def: Lud·dite
    noun /ˈlədˌīt/ 
    Luddites, plural
    A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology
    – a small-minded Luddite resisting progress; Any opponent of technological progress; ”

    I don’t these Luddite bast*rds themselves. This is what happens to children when their parents are close relatives.

  19. Ok, hippies, it’s time to pull the plug on GM crops, and let half the world population die of starvation, we have way too many people anyway.

    • grandpappymike

      You’re silly. The problem is not production, it’s distribution. You may also want to know warts don’t come from frogs and babies don’t grow in cabbage patches.

      • And what is the best solution to the distribution problem?…

        Moving production closer to the affected populations.

        What stops us from doing that now? It often requires crops with increased yields, better tolerance to different soil conditions, less vulnerability to diseases that require lots of fungicides to prevent, and resistance to pests.

        Is there anything we can technologically do about any of these things? Well, probably, but we would rather just pump more money into shipping food to countries where it is distributed poorly, falls largely under the direct or indirect control of exploitative and oppressive forces trying to control the people, and never quite makes it to the mouths of those who need it.

        • grandpappymike

          Sounds like you have an excellent grasp of the situation, are you the same person who made the original “hippie” statement?

          I honestly don’t know the best solution for the distribution problem. When dealing with tyrannical governments and roaming groups of bandits or rebels if you prefer, it’s not going to be easy. Stossel did a piece showing that sending foreign aid does not work, it just gets stolen and keeps the ruling parties in power. I suppose we can start there and stop doing the same old thing and try something new that does not require vast amounts of money and equipment that that local people cannot possible independently maintain.

          Moving production closer is indeed the most ideal solution for those who can raise their own food unmolested by outside forces.

          Asking extremely poor people to purchase seeds and chemicals every year I don’t believe is a reasonable solution. The University of Arkansas and others have shown you do not get increased yields from GMO crops. The only thing you get is plants that won’t die if you spray Monsanto’s Roundup on them. You can get that same result by not spraying Roundup. Allan Savory with the ACHM has showed you can convert barren land into lush grasslands with simple mob grazing. The land can then be used for native crops. Which leads me to point out that not all western farming methods can be used in all places.

          Small bio-diverse farms, raising native species are the best bet. You need little if any capital investment and thousands of years of mutations seem better suited for any adverse natural event that may arise.

          Well that’s my best guess anyway.

  20. What utter retards, they probably believe in the rapture too.

  21. The BIG promise of GMO was higher yields and the need for less pesticides. The reverse is true. Crop yields ultimately decrease (due to mono-farming) and pesticides increase. US government data shows that GM crops in the US have increased pesticide use significantly. We all know synthetic chemicals in our systems are linked to disease and death.

    On top of it, I’m shocked at the innocent trust most people put in corporate marketing. They actually think corporate agribusiness has their health in mind. You are a number in the minds of corporations. After having personally worked in too many corporations to count in my life, I have no trouble believing that If you die or get diseased from their “products,” they DON’T care. It’s about profit.

    By the way–smaller bio-diverse farming Feeds the Soil and Feeds more people. Period. It is far more efficient and prolific. Do some research.

    • I have done my research. Every statement you have written is false.

      Farmers using modern crop strains, including genetically-modified varieties, and modern chemicals are much more productive than those using “organic” or “bio-diverse” farming methods. They produce more, higher quality, and safer food and fiber than organic farmers, and they see their soil improving over time while organic farmers see their soil becoming less productive over time until they periodically have to take it out of productive use. By the way, modern farming methods are not a little more productive than organic methods, but produce up to 70% more potatoes in trials using the same strains in fields lying side-by-side. This understates the advantage of the modern method; the treated fields helps protect the organic fields by not offering habitat for pests that afflict the organic crop. Overall, if every farmer in the world switched to organic methods using heirloom varieties, they could produce enough food for about 2/3 of the people we have now. The 2 billion people who would starve to death are the victims of this protest.

      We know that synthetic chemicals used in modern food production are, in fact, safer than the chemicals used by organic farmers, such as those containg copper and sulphur. And don’t forget Bt, pyrethrum and rotenone, also used by organic farmers. Bt, the chemical that the potatoes in this trial produce, is one of the most commonly used in organic farming. Why then such an objection to it? By the way, are you making sure that you are using free-trade pyrethrum that isn’t produced from daisies picked by women and children working for pennies a day?

      There have been several outbreaks of e-coli poisoning in the US in the last few years. They have been caused by organic farms using insufficiently composted manure fertilizer, not “synthetic chemicals.” People have died from eating organic food.

      Perhaps you should do some research. Your ignorance is staggering.

      • Your examples are too few and too contrived to stand up. All the significant outbreaks have come from factory farms this past year. Any farm can be mismanaged–let’s be clear on that point. But I don’t believe you’ve visited a factory farm or an organic farm.

        The trials you cite fall flat on their face in practice. All of your examples are general and hold no water–just like the soil in GMO fields.

        I have no more time for this. These pro-GMO arguments from left field seem almost “planted.” But the arguments are full of holes. Just lame. I have tracked reports for too long to hear this drivel.

        Where is common sense? My senses tell me GMO foods taste like shit and make me sick. What’s the point in living if food tastes like shit and makes me sick? Yet I see how sustainable farming in healthy soils produces a surplus of food and I have experienced how it healed my body with food that actually tastes good. It is those sustainable farming methods which produce food so nutrient dense I need less of it. But apparently, GMO is the ONLY way to feed the world–according to your logic. Wow. Keep on putting all your eggs in one basket. It’s a good way to lose your eggs. One pathogen in a monoculture GMO farm can wipe out the whole crop. But you will tell me that’ s not true. I’m stunned at all of the arguments here today. It is sobering to realize how out of touch people are with their food. Good luck.

  22. The BIG promise of GMO was higher yields and the need for less pesticides. The reverse is true. Crop yields ultimately decrease (due to mono-farming) and pesticides increase. US government data shows that GM crops in the US have increased pesticide use significantly. We all know synthetic chemicals in our systems are linked to disease and death.

    On top of it, I’m shocked at the innocent trust most people put in corporate marketing. They actually think corporate agribusiness has their health in mind. You are a number in the minds of corporations. After having personally worked in too many corporations to count in my life, I have no trouble believing that If you die or get diseased from their “products,” they DON’T care. It’s about profit.

    By the way–smaller bio-diverse farming Feeds the Soil and Feeds more people. Period. It is far more efficient and prolific. Do some research.

    • @ginaann
      Does your home care about you? Does your car?
      Does the ground upon which you walk, or the air you breathe have any consideration for you, regard for your well being or stake in your future?

      Why should you expect a corporation to “care” about anything other than that which they are intended for? They are not meant to have concerns for individuals who are not employees or stockholders. There is nothing immoral about that. Just as there is nothing immoral about you shedding skin cells.
      If a corporation behaves so as to harm individuals, it is because people behaved immorally. If a corporation releases a product known to be faulty or harmful, it is because a person behaved badly.
      Is a person evil or uncaring because they have a brain tumor? Of course not. If that tumor causes them to go mad and harm others we do not hold them responsible for it.
      Corporations are organisms of a scale wholly different from that of humans. Ethically they cannot be compared.
      It is up to individuals to behave morally, not corporations. A corporation has no more capacity for moral behavior than does a building; and can be judged no more harshly.

  23. As the absence of harm can never be proven (you CANNOT prove a negative), the precautionary principal is, at its core, self-negating.
    Invoke it and you immediately prove yourself… well, lets just say foolish.

    Taking precautions is one thing, being an idiot is another. Standing in the way of those who are trying to cautiously improve the lot of humanity verges on evil.

    Shame on those who would damn us all through their blind passion.
    None are more injust than the self-righteous.

  24. While I’m a fan of genetic research, if these crops were capable of wild pollen release, then yes, they should have been destroyed.

    The great problem with GMO crops is the possibility of unintended hybrids with “wild” or even commercial crops.

    Imagine a great new insect-pest-free fruit tree that, when its pollen lighted on wild trees had a 2nd generation whose pollen killed bees.

    It would be decades before that was realised, and centuries before it could be repaired. (and who would step forward to pay for it?)

    Is it very far fetched to think that an insecticide gene might kill beneficial insects?

    testing should indeed be done, but not in open air where it can literally run the risk of destroying the crops it is intended to improve upon.

    • The thing is, you have to test it in open air eventually unless you plan to NEVER grow it. Plenty of tests were done before these open air tests.

  25. Pingback: El Movimiento de Liberación del Campo Belga arrasa un cultivo de patatas fuertemente custodiado [Eng]

  26. Science takes effort, yes, but technology for technolgy sake has also produced plenty of destruction in the name of profit. Do you believe every pharmaceutical commercial because of all the scientific hard work behind the synthetic products?

    I love the person above who “outlines” how the body breaks down GMOs. There is not one scientist on this planet who understands the variables of how the recombined DNA in a GMO unfolds. Scientists have enough trouble explaining why people with food allergies can’t digest certain foods…or why so many people who eat soy have toxic reactions. (Most soy is GMO anyway.) So add a slice of DNA from a virus or bacteria into your salad and tell me you know exactly how the body decides to play with that. Okay, go!

    • salientwanker

      That would be fine and dandy, were it not for you asshats insisting on destroying the very research that may answer those questions.

  27. Seeing things like this make me want to support GMO technology. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be bullied by thugs. I was on the fence before but these activists have pushed me into the pro-GMO camp.

  28. Tale to the farmers around the world who commit suicide every day because they are bullied by GMO corporations as they lose their crops and surrender centuries of traditional seeds. Of course, you will not see these daily stories on cable.

    • Talk to the messengers of the medieval times and how new forms of communications forced them to kill themselves. Talk to the phonograph repairmen, the people who constructed buildings by hand, the weavers who made clothing by knitting. Talk to the hunter-gatherers who didn’t have the skill of farming.

      As civilization advances, technology improves. Those who cannot compete in a free market must look for other ways to compete. Fitness. Sorry if we aren’t all socialist.

  29. I meant to say “talk to the farmers.” Is it really fair that U.S. farmers who refuse to buy GM seeds are stalked on their own land by corporate bullies and forced out of their family farms for not complying? GM seeds are programmed to not reproduce–so farmers are forced to keep buying more GM seed every year instead of using the seeds from nature which reproduce. Who are the bullies?

    • @ginaann
      I’ve read some of those stories, on ant-GMO blogs, but they don’t seem to be backed up by many facts. And I have a hard time trusting the word of people who would commit crimes to make their point. BTW I have friends, who are aid workers, that have told me about watching Africans starve because western environmental groups pressured African governments into turning down GMO food aid. Looking at the spread of GM crops the future seems inevitable, after seeing this I have fewer regrets.

    • The bullies are executives who made a decision to behave unjustly. Is it fair to judge the researchers for that?
      I’ve heard the horror stories about farmers whose crops were unintentionally pollinated by Monsanto’s test fields and were then sued by Monsanto for patent infringement. I am disgusted by such injustices; as well should all of us. Do I blame GM food for that?
      Do I want food to be grown where it could not grow before? Do I want it to survive diseases that would otherwise result in famine and the accompanying human suffering? Yes.

  30. Not all potato varieties produce flowers (and the pollen that would go along with it) plus if these crops were to flower it is possible that they would have removed the flowers. Besides, potato varieties are reproduced via cloning by cutting up the remaining potatoes and not from seeds that would have been produced if the plants did flower.

  31. Jimmy, There are thousands of farmers all over the world who you can talk to about how they’ve been terrorized and put of out business by GMO corporations. Do some research. It’s well documented in the legal system, in forums and on farms. They teach courses in college about it.

    I don’t normally advocate doing things illegal, but after tracking this for years now, when I read the above story about the Belgians and when I hear of so many other small farmers fighting back with whatever means they can (since the legal system is stacked against them due to GMO lobbyists), I have to cheer to myself. Small farms deserve the right to exist. Wasn’t that what America was about? The only way I got my own health back was by finding food from small farms that wasn’t GMO or processed. If small farmers can’t exist, what freedom do we have? In an emergency, where do you get your food? If your farmer is local you will be among the lucky. But if you depend on corporations who mainly raise food for animal feed, then you are in trouble. Cows are supposed to eat grass not grain, anyway.

    There are places all over Africa right now which are recovering from the Green Revolution, which ultimately diminished crop yields and destroyed soils. Many sustainable farmers all over Africa are proving that biodiverse farming produces plenty of varied food sources–while GMO only produces monocrops of grain, which is unsustainable over time. If an indigenous people must depend upon a corporation’s synthetic seeds of only one crop to survive, something’s wrong.

    GMOs are not inevitable–only if people like you buy into it. People are being brainwashed to believe the world is going to starve without GMO. But sustainable technologies prove that even small tracts of land can produce more than enough food when managed with biodiverse methods. Healthy soil has billions of living microorganisms to support the food chain. It starts there. GMO farming destroys the necessary species in soils necessary for the chain of photosynthesis and nutrient uptake. Every part of the world can be managed to produce plenty of food–and there are farmers modeling how to do it beautifully now. But corporations don’t want you to know about it.

    For me it comes down to taste. Food raised in good soil is delicious and it goes SO much farther. I spend less money on good food. GMO corn tastes like shit. Life isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy good food.

    • Your logic and information are questionable.

      For example: That classes on a given topic are taught means… what exactly?

    • This is a very complicated issue and not at all as one sided as you seem to think it. GM agriculture is one of the technologies, like nuclear power, that, though opposed by the more ideological segment of environmentalists, could actually improve the environment if used properly.

      In Silent Spring, Racheal Carson calls on the agricultural industry to find a way to avoid using of synthetic pesticides and fertilizer, GM technology is at least a partial answer to this challenge. As it reduces pesticide use and tillage while increasing crop yields. There are some potential safety issues and I’m no fan of Mansanto and their way of doing business, but these are manageable issues. Most of the fear related to GM technology is the result of ignorance and FUD.

      Before the green revolution agricultural yields could never have supported our present population. There has never been any indication that alternative agriculture has any chance of feeding the worlds present population. There have been some small scale, non replicated experiments of dubious merit. There is no doubt a significant market among yuppies for organic products, but there is a reason you don’t see these kinds of techniques used on a large scale, they’re not practical.

      There is a reason that after a little more than a decade 93% of soybeans and 86% of corn in the US is genetically modified. GMO is not only inevitable, it has already happened. Our task is now to make sure the use of this technology is as safe and effective as possible.

      • What??? GM increases synthetic petrochemical use exponentially. They spray more and more chemicals to stop the superweeds that develop resistance to the herbicides. The synthetic chemicals make the no-tillage plan problematic. No-tillage farming works when farms are managed in sustainable, bio-dynamic ways without chemicals. There are plenty of sustainable farms practicing no-tillage.

        The current industrial GM farming methods are simply not sustainable. The soils of America’s rich farmland are being degraded, eroded and destroyed. You can pull up regional maps that show how much topsoil is being lost due to industrial GM farming methods. Just look along the Mississippi River, where farmers are being paid by corporate subsidies to overfarm the land with chemcials. Meanwhile, most of the grain being raised goes to feeding animals, not people–which is ludicrous given cows are designed to eat grass. Grain makes ruminant animals sick, which is why they have to be then pumped with antibiotics or else the cows puke up what they eat (while they stand in their own shit).

        Grain farmers will not even eat their own crops because GM corn and soy is so blighted and unhealthy–but big industry doesn’t care because it all gets processed along with more synthetic chemicals into your cereals, breads and fast food. If you get sick they don’t care because the pharmaceutical side of the big dysfunctional conglomerate of companies will in turn profit . In fact, GMO seeds are being designed with pharmaceuticals in them. It’s all one big orgy at your expense. So who knows. You could soon be taking synthetic drugs in your food based on a recipe which some scientist cooked up in a lab. But of course, they are “scientists,” right? But what about all the scientists and researchers who are screaming about how unsafe all of this is? Are they not “scientists” too? They are silenced by big money so people like you and me won’t hear about it all in between the pharmaceutical commercials on your cable channel.

        • Wow! What a hodge podge of misinformation and paranoia. You can live in lala land with dead ends like bio-dynamic farming but don’t expect people to take you seriously.

          Back in the real world, the population is closing in on seven billion. You can whine all you want but unless you present a viable alternative no one will listen. And as far as a viable alternative to modern agriculture goes I can tell you one thing for sure, it isn’t bio-dynamic farming.

        • @ginaan

          You just pull words together and call them sentences, don’t you?

          Exactly how does GM produce superweeds? I thought that was a factor of using too much pesticide in the first place.

          Exactly how does GM increase erosion? I thought that was a factor of clearing and tilling in the first place.

          Seriously, you just run the ideas together like they are an argument, without having said anything.

          Strange but I’ve never seen these blighted poisoned crops uprooting, walking around an preying on unsuspecting humans like you have. The only people who claim that farmers can’t eat their own crops and that they are designed to give you cancer etc. seem to be anti-GM proponents.

          Get off your high horse, grow a brain and then do some reading.

          • Everything I said is substantiated. I never said GM is designed to give peole cancer. That would be a conspiracy theory. After tracking this for years now, it is clear to me I’m wasting my breath if you aren’t aware of the reality of superweeds and farmers who plainly speak about how they won’t eat the GM crops they raise. These are common realities. Do yourself a favor and don’t be so quick to shoot down what could be true. Just remember this little exchange for your future reference. It’s not as crazy as you want to believe.

        • Grain farmers won’t eat grain because they’re afraid of corn and soy? Madness.

          “Madness” was directed at your statements, not the implications of them. I fear for your grip on reality.

  32. Go Galt. Please.

    1) All this could have been avoided with a greenhouse type building over the crop. But, apparently spending a couple of bucks in the name of scientific method (reducing variables) is too much to ask.
    2) Luddites were against the decreasing quality of products that industrialization and increased competition encourages. They didn’t just smash machined looms, they attacked any imbecile who figured he could make socks with half the wool the old guy was using and sell them for 75% of his price.

  33. Wind-blown Pollen from Monsanto’s GM crops drifted into neighbors property and resulted cross breeding with non-GM crops. Monsanto sued THEIR NEIGHBORS for IP THEFT and won, forcing the farmers to turn their land over to Monsanto. The real theft was by Monsanto, and they should have been prosecuted for trespass and damages. If a bull had roamed into a neighbors property and did damage the owner of the bull would be liable. It’s disgraceful how the law can be turned on its head when judges get bribed.

  34. Boreas Aeolus

    The greatest potential risk in arbitrary genetic modification (or design) of organisms is the unquantifiable possibility of unpredictable complex alterations to ecological function at the eco-system level in eco-systems of various scales. You could get non-linear changes to the stable attractors (the stable equilibrium functioning modes) of ecosystems, where the eco-systems developed their stability through a long process of mutual co-adaptation of the constituent organism types in the bioregion.

    How do you properly account for this type of plausible risk, which is probably but not certainly of low probability but also is possibly of massively harmful effect?

    Here, the term “arbitrary genetic modification” is distinguished from controlled breeding in the following way. Arbitrary genetic modification is, or will be soon, effectively the computer-programming of life by insertion/substitution in arbitrary genome locations of designed or transplanted DNA sequences. Controlled breeding is is the incremental acceleration and biasing of evolution’s dna modifications via artificial selection of naturally produced genetic winners.

  35. A major factor in the potato famine was lack of biodiversity. When there is only one crop monopolizing a land, it is vulnerable to pathogens. Biodiverse environments cultivate Immunity, along with the variety of crops.

    • “A major factor in the potato famine was lack of biodiversity”
      Stuff and nonsense! Ireland had a surfeit of both corn and wheat, however restrictive English laws forbade their sale domestically. There was a ready selection of diverse foodstuffs being produced in Ireland but the Irish were unable to access them. The potato famine, like all famines, is at its heart political in nature.

  36. People have been breeding and messing with crops for thousands of years. For us to go back to a hunter gather lifestyle like you guys want we’d have to lose a couple billion people, how about you volunteer.

    • God I wish you guys would study things like permaculture, bio-dynamic farming, sustainable farming. No one is suggesting hunter-gatherer. No one is anti-technology. There are a spectrum of technologies in any culture. GM is only one, but bio-dynamic farming is farm more technologically advanced. Just because a company deals in volume and spins lab reports doesn’t mean it is technologically advanced. Do a little reading here about all the people who are farming and loving it–producing food that actually tastes good, makes the land flourish and makes you feel good. They are using technologies that might look simple, but they are highly sophisticated:

  37. The only way to protect the world from Genetic Modification is to perfect it.
    Come join us in the future where we end world hunger and cure all disease.

    • Look up permaculture or bio-dynamic farming. It is a MYTH that the world will starve. GMOs eat up land and use it inefficiently with monoculture farming. One small tract of land can grow a myriad of foods at high level production with biodynamic, biodiverse methods. The biodiversity makes it resistant to disease. If one pathogen gets in a large GM monocrop–it wipes out the whole thing. Yet we can raise more than enough food on many tiny tracts of land by working with the land and cultivating living soils–not killing soils with chemicals. It seems to me the GM crusaders who believe they are saving the world live in a mindset of “not enough.” Give this planet more credit. Managed sustainably, land is capable of producing infinite species of plants. Farmers are doing it everywhere if you open your eyes and tune in to what’s possible. If feeding the world means choking down shitty corn and soy the rest of my life, then I don’t want your religion.

      • A myth the world will starve? Now I KNOW you don’t know anything about anything at all.

        • Again, until you realize how prolific well managed soil can be, you will continue to believe that the world cannot produce enough food. But the world can in fact produce a surplus when managed with balanced technologies. Before you think I don’t know what I’m talking about, study permaculture, bio-dynamic farming and the peope who are doing it. This is done sustainably on a commercial scale. It is not a fantasy. here is just once source that would shift your perspective:
          The one thing I do know is that more people need to be educated on the many varieties of farming methods and how they impact all of us.

  38. It’s easy to protest genetically altered foods when you have a full belly.

    Selfish bastards.

    • How ironic. 90% of grain foods in American grocery stores are genetically modified. When I eat those foods–they DON’T fill me up. They make me hungrier and angrier because they are not nutrient dense. And they taste like shit. Have you compared the differences. What is the point of living if we can’t enjoy food. Food is life.

      GMOs also make me sick. The only way I got healthy from a chronic disease was by eating food from small sustainable farms. The food from those farms goes so much farther because it is nutrient dense from being raised in living soils–not in eroded soils. It takes far LESS food to fill me up when it comes from healthy farms. I actually do get full, unlike most people who are starved for nutrition from eating high volumes of swill being processed and served up in stores where people are out of touch with their food. And the healthy food healed my body–so I didn’t need to clog up the health system with doctor visits and drugs with side effects. Non-GMO, non processed foods healed me.

      We have been conditioned to believe high volume is desirable. But smaller amounts of food with higher nutrition go FARTHER. One bag of food from my local farm can last me longer than 10 bags of GM food from commercial stores. Small tracts of land ultimately produce far more food (with a surplus) than giant tracts of monoculture GM food. But we are so used to thinking in terms of volume, we don’t appreciate the high value of REAL food. Everything comes down to the soil quality. Life is a food chain. Everything comes down the soil. Cultivating healhty soil is the key.

      Don’t call me selfish. I support my farmer and I learn from my farmer. Communities of people are learning to grow their own food in their backyards and to share with others. There is nothing like good food and there really enough to go around. Quit believing there’s not enough. That’s the whole problem. It’s how we manage the soil and land that determines output.

      • This is anecdotal and unscientific. In double blind tests you wouldn’t be able to tell. Placebo effect is >30% and a self administered placebo is over 60% effective.

        Its why people think they can be allergic to MSG, sure – people are allergic to Peanuts etc, so being allergic is no red flag, but there is no actual empirical evidence that MSG causes many of the symptoms people claim it does. Most things are like that.

        Be careful using yourself as a guinea pig as your results will always be incorrect. Depend only on double blind peer reviewed trials. Everything else is garbage.

  39. Quack Sawbones

    It is interesting that people are confusing the topics of GM Research with GM Coporation. They are two different debates (but interrelated).

    GM has been around for thousands of years (its called cross breeding – This is why cows no longer have huge long horns). I have no issues that there are risks involved with the unregulated release (in Australia, for example, this is what the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator is for). Creating genetic resistances to Phytophthora infestans (the oomycete that causes the Potato Blight) would be FANTASTIC, because it would lead to reduced crop loss. The issue then lies with the responsible IMPLEMENTATION of this knowledge. Crop rotation and sustainable use of the land are ESSENTIAL but unrelated to this specific argument. Having a supercrop is great, until its implementation ruins the land and makes it a desolate wasteland.

    If you have a problem with GM Corporations (Bayer, Monsanto etc) who “ravage farmers” and make sure their corporate interests are looked after at the expense of people, I whole-heatredly agree. This is unethical implementation of knowledge (see David Suzuki). But don’t confuse and convolute the issues of GM Research with its implementations by GM Corporations. Responsible implementation and regulation of knowledge is essential for the safe use and distribution of GMs.

    In short, the problem is not with GMs themselves. It is with man’s implementation of them (like anytjhign else really).

    PS: I would be more than confident at drinking a vial of Virus DNA because I know that it gets broken down and denatured into basal components in the stomach before entering the rest of my body.

    • There is a difference between cross pollinating to create hybrid breeds and synthetically mixing single DNA strands from differerent species. These are entirely different technologies.

      • Quack Sawbones

        Point taken (and agreed with), but the above article says nothing about what technology or genes that are used. If I know my plant science, it is a resistance gene specifically for Phytophthora infestans that has been transformed (that is actually the term) into this crop of potatoes.

        My issue is not with the technology itself, but with human implementation (and lack of responsability or ethics in some cases) using blanket statements like “GM is bad” or “GM is perfect”. I bet the GM protest group above never asked what was the actual experiment being done, the intended goal, what safety protocols were in place (and when would they be invoked) and who had the authority to pull the plug. And, before people slam me, I don’t think the researchers would have asked the people “what is your issue with this?”. But isn’t that why we (supposedly) have government regulators for this technology?

  40. It would be ironic if, while these guys were ripping up potatoes at their protest, someone burned their houses down. It’s non-violent, right? It’s just private property, and we don’t respect that. If the arsonists wanted to be really nice, they could even set up ecologically sustainable lean-tos on the rubble.

    • Oh whatever. For years now corporations have been running amok disregarding every legal and moral rule, trampling on small businesses and ignoring labeling. One blog post about how some anti-GMO people get pissed off and that is suddenly something to be admonished. I guess Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers should have behaved better for their corporate king.

      • If you want to chastise immoral corporations you should act better than they do, not worse. Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers didn’t attack universities or destroy food. This kind of thugish behavior will only marginalize an already marginal movement.

        • Attack universities? Universities are among the biggest anti-GMO advocates. I suppose Thomas Jefferson was against the Boston Tea Party? If a corporate thug came to Thomas Jefferson’s farm and tried to put him out of business for not using their seeds, what would he do? He was the one who stood up against the King with the Declaration of Independence. They wanted to kill him for fighting the powers that be. He believed in state sovereignty. He fought against corporte banks his whole life. They thought he was marginal at the time.

          • The Arts departments from Universities usually are anti GM. The science departments never are.

            In Australia when the organic farming movement started the food produced didn’t pass Australian minimum health and safety laws. Of course there were protests arguing that it was a government conspiracy or some such. In the end, the minimum requirements for food was lowered here for organic produce and that’s what we have on our shelves.

            In almost every metric in every study around the world. Organic food produces lower yield food, with less nutrients, and despite what you say regarding permaculture and bio-dynamic farming they both produce less yield then regular farming practices let alone enhanced crops which are even higher.

            You can argue until you’re blue in the face that you personally feel ill eating any GM food (which obviously makes no sense), but that’s unscientific and is anecdotal evidence. No actual trial using double blind tasting has ever revealed any correlation, your personal political bias is influencing your feelings and emotions.

            Stick to the science. Everything else is just noise.

          • You realize that this article is about an attack on a university, right?…

            That this field was managed by Ghent University (in partnership with Vrije Universiteit Brussel and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, both of which have French counterparts to their Flemmish names, so remain untranslated).

          • No one is forcing anyone to buy GM products. It’s just not happening, the idea that it is is a complete flight of fancy on your part. And as someone who teaches at a university I can assure you that the anti-GMO crowd is a distinct minority. Every group thinks they’re the modern equivalent of an unrecognized Einstein or Jefferson, I think a better comparison would be to the Luddite weavers who destroyed mills which they thought would hurt there business. We are saving a page in the history books right next to them for you guys.

          • it’s also amazing to me how pro GM folks always resort to name calling when they run into those who don’t want your product

            85% of the US public wants them labeled…

            yet not one of you will respond to this —

            just easy to resort to violent language when you have no other sound argument

  41. “these mad scientists have no conscience and could care less that GE foods cause sterility, organ damage and death.”

    Oh god, more unsubstantiated opinion from the blog-sphere, woo-hoo, that’s the tool of what real activists, .

    I’m sure you have data to back this up. Site a few references, sited references and independent fact checking is the mark of a journalist.

    But more likely this is just more nonsense from the lets-type-outrageous-text-so-I-get-more-hits-on-my-blog-and-my-ad-revenue-goes-up department.

    Meh and meh, these ‘activists’ are part of the problem, not part of the solution. The world wants watch dogs not vigilante’s.

  42. Shane, Again, I have too much direct experience with comparing conventional vs. naturally raised foods. A dozen eggs from my local farm TASTE a million times better, LAST LOGER and make me feel better. A dozen eggs from the store don’t compare and don’t last nearly as long. This is true down the line–milk, meat, breads and fruits all go farther when raised on a biodiverse farm with grass. A half pound of pork belly raised on good soil and crops lasts me so long I can’t even tell you. Only a tiny slice fills me up, whereas the same poundage from a conventional store barely lasts–and it tastes raunchy by comparison. There is NO comparison in food textures and the way the food satiates me. So less goes much FARTHER. The proof is experiential. I’ve lived it now for too long. Grassfed raw milk is heaven. A small amount lasts me all week, whereas the same amount of conventional milk is like drinking flavored water. There’s no substance or texture to it. Your argument again is empty. It’s like trying to tell a mother she doesn’t know when her kid is healthy or sick. I don’t anyone to tell me that food from raised naturally doesn’t taste and make me feel better. I’ve been sick from the conventional crap and healthy with the natural. For me there is no argument. It’s truth.

    • “Shane, Again, I have too much direct experience with comparing conventional vs. naturally raised foods. A dozen eggs from my local farm TASTE a million times better, LAST LOGER and make me feel better. ”
      This doesn’t make it true. You can “feel” anything you like, but your personal experiences can’t count because they always (no matter who it is) lead us to false conclusions.

      Your personal views are always going to be bias as are mine. I’m sure someone could argue Organic food makes them feel ill, neither piece of information is useful in the debate.

      The alternative medicine industry is a billion dollar industry and is completely driven by anecdotal evidence with remedies that empirically don’t work. A lot of people think homeopathy works, acupuncture works, magnets work, chiropractics work etc etc. Millions of people swear by all of them, but their opinion isn’t useful or the anecdotal evidence they cite.

      We have double blind clinical trials for a reason, humans left to there own devices deciding whats “good” or “bad” on there own bias judgements always cause us to make false conclusions from our bias judgements.

      I mentioned previously the placebo effect is 30% and 60% if self administered? Do you understand what the wide sweeping ramifications are of that? That means if you think something will work or not work, on average society will be wrong 60+% of the time. Way more then half.

      If you eat GM food thinking it will make you sick – it will make you sick, if you think it will taste better – It will taste better. Whats interesting is these tastes and feeling are real, but are self generated. Human perception is very very frail and succumbs to hundreds of cognitive biases every day. This is what Science as a process was deliberately created to do. Allows us to keep in context hits and missus, challenges all assumptions to be tested and ensures that anyone can reproduce the experiment.

      This isn’t uncommon. Its how science has and always must work for us to portray an accurate model of the world.

      • Shane, Right…so if I eat my grandma’s apple pie, which is scrumptious and then eat a GM frozen pie from the store, it is only my imagination that my grandma’s pie is yummier and more satisfying…huh? I suppose that’s all in my mind.

        When I say I was sick–I was sick. I was deathly ill with neurological problems. It was only by discovering REAL food from farms with healthy soils that I regained my health. It was a long, painful journey, but I feel normal again. It was only through real food, not pharmaceuticals or synthetic foods, that I got better. I call it common sense and living in your senses. Since when did REAL food become an “alternative?” How far removed have we become from common sense? Again, I don’t need someone to tell me when I’m naturally healthy and why. Being natural should not be an alternative. You sound young.

        • No, we are comparing GM vs non GM, not your grand mothers pie versus a cheap frozen pie. Or if you prefer Organic vs Supermarket which ever experiment you wish to test. Preferably the food is from the one region otherwise certain regions could just naturally produce better crops.

          As a thought exercise, (and bear with me) to make your experiment empirical and thus useful you would provide your grandmother both sets of ingredients. Neither the person giving her the ingredients or your grandmother can know which ingredients are which (hence double blind as the provider often gives subconscious cues as to which ingredient is which, which has been proven empirically to effect the outcomes).

          Then your grand mother must standardize her cooking method, so it can be reproducible. This method must be documented step by step so anyone can reproduce the test. Thankfully we can escape all this complicated process and just test the organic Apple versus a regular apple, this is usually where all the testing occurs, never on some prepared food as there are far to many variables.

          Either way we have to have a randomized sampling of people, including a statistically significant number OR exclusively test all those who claim illness after contact. We must also have a control of random people either way.

          The people randomly selected, must be alone in a neutral setting and be given a pie/apple. To enforce the double blind, the person delivering the food must not know which is which.

          This must be repeated. Many times, over hundreds of people, and we have to calculate the hits as well as the misses.
          Then we must tabulate and determine which people preferred. Then we must see if a statistically significant indicate one way or another, including the control group.

          This is the only accurate way to determine with any level of certainty – anything else is just noise.

          Thankfully there are plenty of experiments doing just this exercise, and they usually test a range of qualities including colour, texture, taste, smell etc You should Google some, you would be surprised.

          Almost universally when organic crops vs supermarket crops are tested, the supermarket crops come up either equal or superior. Not always though. Your welcome to go Google and cherry pick THOSE few papers to better argue your point. Although this will only work until we have metadata papers published.

          Granted its science, so that’s not proof, we need to KEEP testing. Anything else is just noise, your personal “feelings” are not useful anymore then my “feelings” What we need is evidence.

          In regards Yield, Size and Nutrients don’t require such elaborate tests as above. This is easily measured directly, and near universally all organic crops have less nutrients and as stated earlier minimum food quality standards in Australia had to be lowered to enable the sale of any Organic crops as they did not meet our (admittedly needlessly high) standards.

          I definitely think western society is over protective and there is no way a drug like Aspirin would pass FDA tests today, as we are much stricter around anything sold to consumers. I am not arguing that Organic food is unhealthy, I acknowledge even the poorest food our society produces is superior to what we ate 100 years ago. But it is most certainly a farce to argue organic food in any scientific metric is superior yield, nutrients, size, taste or otherwise.

        • In regards to health, getting incredibly sick, then incredibly healthy then believing the item we changed caused the shift is a very problematic cognitive bias that we all suffer from daily.

          Its call the Regression toward the mean.

          Its a fascinating cognitive bias that all humans experience. A good example is, the myth that Vitamin C helps the common cold. A person feels a cold setting in, they do nothing. Only when they actually start suffering badly do they start looking for cures such as drinking Vitamin C or Drinking Green Tea or exercising or even wrongly trying to use antibiotics for a virus etc. But usually by the time you’re at a point where the problem is bad enough our body is at its lowest point, our health on its own starts to regress towards the mean. Regress to the average.

          Any spike in activity usually will regress to the mean, and we can never see it happening because we cant keep the hits and misses. Another good example is the Sports Illustrated Curse where as soon as an Athlete gets on the cover of the magazine, their career goes worse afterwards. Well as I stated above, the athlete is at the peak of there career when on the cover so more often then not (but not always) the athletes will regress to the mean and not be as successful. The same for the Curse of the Oscars as well.

          Another good example might be Apples stock prices, that have been massively inflated in value. The company is over valued at current prices and at some point in the future will regress to the mean. People will poorly associate that with the company Apple falling from grace, but it is merely regression towards the mean.

          Whether we are waiting for an elevator, reading a book or looking at our health our inability to detect the regression towards the mean, prevents self evaluation and diagnosis in these matters to be massively fraught.

          This is standard science 101, but a good book that explores this topic (in contaxt of this subject) is “Bad Science” by Ben Goldacre. He hates big pharmacology as much as anyone as well so politically you might agree with him.

          Hope that helps.

        • Just a quick rebuttal to the “no ethics or morals” comment. Sometimes these guys win some pretty honorable awards. Not in just in science, but the NOBEL PEACE PRIZE.

          • oh the Nobel Peace Prize — you mean the one that was given to Obama tho he attacked Pakistan his third day in office? Obama, the guy who is expanding middle east wars? Obama, the Nobel laureate who orchestrated a military coup of honduras after being in office for 6 months

            THAT Nobel Peace Prize?

            sorry, but you’ll have to come up with something more reputable.

        • We can’t all rely on the ethics and morality of ignorance as you seem to. So spread your FUD all you want, but don’t be surprised that no one is listening, and that the GMO food industry is growing at a rapid pace.

        • How dare you lecture anybody on ethics when you support starving millions at a distance.

          Must be nice being able to compartmentalize like that: “La, la, la, no potatoes for you poor people, you all should eat something natural like lichen and boiled tree bark. La, la, I’m so enlightened, why can’t you be?”

  43. Just to set a few things straight:
    – A large part of those 300 – 400 people were not Belgians.
    – This particular field test was being performed by independent researchers, at the University of Ghent. (Minor backer: Bayer.) This is not some “evil” multinational corporation we’re talking about here. By destroying independent research, you -will- hand this kind of stuff over to the large multinationals.
    – The demonstration was not peaceful. Vandalism and charging the field/the police officers cannot be considered as a non-violent form of protest.
    – These kind of tests are necessary to find out IF GM crops are dangerous or not, what the effects might be, etc…
    – These scientists are not “evil, misguided men devoid of a conscience”. How can you say such things, when you don’t even know them or their motivations?
    – It is because of these kind of people that the debate concerning GM crops has been impossible over the last few years. Boo’ing and forcefully shutting them up will not advance scientific research.

    This is undemocratic to the extreme. I can’t believe people actually support such violent and destructive behaviour.

    • GM proponents don’t get to claim “democratic” efforts when they refuse to label their foods

      sorry — your entire industry is based on secrecy and lies. hardly democratic

      but maybe you don’t know what the word really means — rule by the people. the people reject GM foods and yet you continue to fob them on us secretly.

      “Those who will not hear must be made to feel.” ~German Proverb

      ergo, crop destruction

      • So basically your saying, if you don’t do what we say we’ll get violent. When tomatoes were first introduced to Europe people thought they were dangerous, ignorance breeds fears. The future won’t be written by ignorant thugs.

      • Technically, it needs to be labelled as soon as it contains more than 0,9% GM products. 🙂

        Furthermore: “your” industry”? I continue to “fob” them on you? Again, you presume that I’m some kind of ignorant, amoral proponent of GM foods, without even attempting to disprove my point. Do not presume to know me or my motives.
        “Those who will not hear must be made to feel.” is undemocratic. The debate is being held in the (Belgian) Parliament, as well as on the streets and in the media. To rule by the people is to do so peacefully. Destroying research because you (a minority, I might add) don’t agree with it, is not a form of debate.

        If we’re going to resort to proverbs, then how about this one: “Violence is the last resort of the incompetent.”

        • “Technically” it should be labelled GMO if there is the tiniest percentage of GMO. Sounds like more lobbying again. Lobbyists have also made it possible to label food “organic” when there dozens of chemicals used. But that kind of insidious policy making is not “violent,” it’s just slithery.

          You sound so pious. So religious. So righteous. It’s okay for big-Ag to sneak policies through and shove GMO down our throat unknowingly, but one slip-up from natural proponents losing their temper–and you put on the church robe. Pull your head out of your formulated rationales and get human.

  44. Shane……what’s with your obsessive use of the words ’empirically’ & ’empirical’? i’ve never heard it as many times as you use it. when were you inspired by that word? i find that the most interesting. you can shoot off the answers to every question in the world & it still wouldn’t make me believe that you knew how to have a decent learning conversation without feeling offended with a simple opinion. no one was putting you down by saying ‘maybe you’re young?’………relax. empirically.

  45. GMO crops are dangerous economically & scientifically. Watch Food Inc and read Genetic Roulette by Jeffrey Smith to find out why.
    I congratulate the efforts of these protesters and encourage them, like most of the EU to completely ban all GMO crops.

  46. Still trying to understand how 300-400 people marching into field guarded by 60 police officiers and utterly destroying a crop can be considered a peaceful demonstration? Where I’m from this is a criminal act (Vandalism) and is considered anything but peaceful..

    • Still trying to understand how after years of GMO industry intimidating and terrorizing farmers out of business–how pro-GMO people can suddenly get righteous about traditional farmers reacting. I think a lot of the pro-GMO discussion I’ve seen on this thread is planted. Why is it so damn important to the people commenting here that GM take over traditional farming? Why are you so married to the GM industry, which is only a tiny moment in the history of evolution? Don’t underestimate nature. When nature doesn’t like something, she rebels. Don’t be so sure GM can survive.

      • tracy, you are the one who is against nature and evolution. Nature has struggled long and hard to finally create sentient beings (humans) capable of bypassing the tedious survival-of-the-fittest process by applied molecular biology, thereby accelerating evolution.

        Nature doesn’t like what these people did to this wonderful effort of her dearest offspring, and nature is rebelling right now through me and this reply to your post.

      • There is a reason that most food planted today in the US is GMO. There is a reason why every statistic shows GMO use rapidly increasing. There is a reason most of the population supports GMO’s. They are safe, effective, and in the long run better for the environment. You can accuse people of being shills all you want but the truth is that, by and large, people support GMO technology, we wouldn’t be winning this debate if that wasn’t true.

        Some people with full bellies have the luxury of ignorance and ideology the rest of the world doesn’t.

      • Dear Tracy,

        I’d like to add that the Belgian farmers were in favour of this particular trial… The 300-400 people were not farmers.

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  48. Boreas Aeolus

    Hmmm. No discussion whatsoever about my contention that unpredictable effects on eco-systems is the greatest risk of GMOs.

    Regarding health risks of consuming them, that would of course have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis i.e. a “kind of modification in kind of organism” basis, because these are completely different kinds of mods with different intended and unintended effects in each case. You can’t generalize about the health effects either way. You can’t say “It’s safe. Period” or “It makes people sick. Period” Either is a political statement, not a scientifically established fact. Each new application and version of GMO is potentially a different case that needs long-term health assessment.

  49. I’m more concerned about the predictable effects on me of dying in a potato famine.

    But hey, Black ’47 was a great year for starvation, desperation, immigration, cholera, and European revolution! Viva la Blight!

  50. Gregory Scheerlinck

    Being belgian is no walk in the park on any given day. But today I’m particularly ashamed of being one.

  51. shane is quite possibly the biggest shill i have ever seen on this website. he even attacks homeopathy and other “alternative” healing modalities. he is a science shill, as good as they come. or as bad as they come, depending on how you look at it.

    reading these comments that’s all i could think…shill shane, shane shill.

      • well, Shane, you get kudos for producing such a delightful argument. Some factual errors, but still, pretty clever.

        FDA approved drugs kill over 100,000 people a year, including NSAIDS. So you go ahead and keep taking your aspirin a day.

        Glyphosate is associated with spontaneous abortions in animals that eat GM infested feed. It is associated with human birth defects – particularly gruesome are the brain defects seen in Argentinian children.

        GM crops contaminate natural ones and the state of science is so nascent that no GM crops or animals should be on the planet until biotech grows up.

        GM crops and their requisite pesticides and herbicides are associated with pollinator decline — and if we lose our pollinators, the entire Age of Mammals is threatened.

        Your GM crops were developed to sell pesticides and herbicides. These chemicals pollute our air, waters, lands and biosphere, and contribute to one of the largest extinction spasms known on Earth.

        The biotech industry was born out of chemical companies who poisoned millions in the Nazi concentration camps — specifically Bayer, among others. Chemical companies like Monsanto poisoned Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia with Agent Orange — 4 generations later, their children are still being born with birth defects.

        Glyphosate is destroying natural rice — so much so that a national demand has been made that cropdusters stop spraying on June 1st of each year. Glyphosate has caused superweeds resistant to herbicide.

        Rats who ate GM potatoes developed smaller brains and other organs. GM food in lab animals has caused sterility. GM food is also believed to be responsible for the terrible spike in US diabetes, because it’s hidden in our food, in nearly every food source that comes from a factory.

        Genes inserted in crops, along with the requisite load of viral promoters, continues to operate within the new host that ingests it.

        And — oh you guys are so smart, aren’t you — you’ve seized control of regulatory agencies so that you can keep making money off poisoning the population.

        And when independent scientists come out with their studies showing all these dangers, what do regulatory agencies and the biotech industry do? Why, they get those scientists fired; they smear their reputations. They whisper behind their backs to make sure others dare not confront the profit paradigm.

        And this is who you want paying your salary to create food? Ooh, you must be so proud of who you work for. How does it feel? (Oh, but you guys don’t feel; you just look at your bank account.)

        Well, I wish I had a song and dance routine to go with this as clever as the one you posted, but research and investigations, not song and dance, is my strong suit.

        All of these facts I’ve written about, citing the relevant sources.

        Giving the growing body of evidence of harm caused by your mass experiment without prior informed consent (which violates the Geneva Conventions), there needs to be an immediate moratorium on all GM foods.

        Since governments no longer represent people, but instead corporate profits, we know that won’t happen. So we are left with the only means available — destroy the damn plants ourselves.

        Save the Earth from corporate greed, which is systematically destroying the biosphere, by any means necessary.

      • Hey Shane, Good job with your college education and the GM philosophy-religion you’ve discovered–but the reality is people used to live much longer before Industrialism–and they could get “hard ons” (as you reference), which would make the poor bastards in your Viagara commercials cry. People in the Himalayas, the Swiss Alps…the Intuits, the Aborigines and countless cultures thrived with solid bone structures and raging hormones with life spans far beyond the current. Try studying a little more:

        • good point, Tracy. I learned in one anthropology class that the average lifespan has varied over the millennia.

          • Yes. And in cultures where whole foods, especially healthy fats, were eaten people thrived consistently beyond a hundred years. By the way, thank you for posting so much good information, which is obviously overlooked by navel-gazers.

  52. Boy, this headline really got a huge response. Maybe you should try another headline here, something like “Big-Ag Corporations destroy Natural Farms all over the Planet Year after Year.” Or is that not Politically Correct?

  53. My God. The stupidity here. It is overwhelming. I’ve heard of environmental diehard nutcases before, but I’d never actually seen it! /not sarcasm

    You people are a danger to yourselves and others. In a very real way. /not sarcasm

    If you don’t want to use anything, don’t. But to dictate to others how to do things because you haver some sort of guilt, sin, or shame complex. Well that’s just disgusting. /not sarcasm

    Let me go collect my big check from “big-whatever” for my stirring defense of using tried and true science as opposed to feelings. /sarcasm

    • Again, you have no idea about how GM crops affect natural crops. This is a very different game from any your response makes it clear you are among the uninformed.

  54. This is easy to solve, even for Ginaann:

    1) We in the U.S. will develop blight-resistant potatoes, rust-resistant wheat, etc. using the best technology (genetic or otherwise) we can.

    2) We’ll grow these in our country where sensible people still far outnumber kooks.

    3) When European farming breaks down due to the scourges of rust, blight, etc., we’ll refuse to sell you our seeds and our crops. You can then fend for yourselves, which will be the natural result of your own actions.

    There, everyone wins!

    On a slightly more serious note, please understand that when Monsanto introduces a gene to a seed crop, they’re only doing what mankind has been doing for the past ten thousand years: findings plants that grow the best under the conditions one is in. They’re just using the best science to do it.

    But if you don’t want GM seeds in your country, don’t have them. When you starve, it’s your problem, not mine.


  55. ‘funny’ how the same people who usually rail on about how ‘the right’ doesn’t support scientific research are the same ones who also oppose any research into feeding the world’s population.
    how exactly is destroying property and setting back scientific research considered a “peaceful protest” ?? would you say the same about a group who broke into a lab to destroy stem cells ?

  56. All you Monsanto shills must LOVE the smell of napalm in the morning!

  57. Accusing someone of being a “science shill” is about the funniest thing i’ve heard in years. Oh, and vis a vis “he even attacks homeopathy and other “alternative” healing modalities,” you do realize that to believe in homeopathy, you have to believe water molecules have a memory, right? Of course, if you’re able to muster that degree of stupidity, go for it.

  58. The people who destroyed these crops are evil, stupid anti-human clowns who don’t care how many people starve. If you hate humanity so much, why don’t you commit suicide?

    You are regressive fascists.

  59. Non violent my arse. They were terrorists. The lot should have been machinegunned.

  60. I love that this blog is called Food Freedom. Apparently food freedom means eat what we tell you or we will show up with torches and pitchforks to chase the monsters away. Groups like this are usually full of well fed rich kids rebelling against mommy and daddy.

  61. Violence against property is still violence. There is nothing peaceful about destroying someone elses property. Please retract this statement “peaceful protesters of all ages”.

    • Yes, those “violent” protestors aren’t quite as crafty about destroying things like the big corporations who do it –slowly and insidiously.
      And yes, let’s do talk about how pissed off protestors really are. Imagine that.

    • we will do whatever it takes to protect the planet

      • Except behave like you have half a brain apparently. Violent actions will only marginalize an already marginal movement. Look at the reaction you’ve seen hear, people don’t respect thugs.

  62. “The non-violent direct action”

    Well well George Orwell explain what kind of person you are.
    Do you think people are stupid?
    This is pure violence. An attack.
    If you don’t like, don’t eat. It is none of your business what others eat.

    • LABEL IT

      why are you so afraid to address the obvious? — MAKE IT OUR BUSINESS

      you know you won’t label it cuz most people don’t want it


      • What is the point? Given the level of GM production, all processed foods currently on store shelves have some GM ingredients. You’d have to label everything.

        Though I’m actually not opposed to such a measure as it would help get people used to eating GM food.

        • GMO is not the same as what has been going on for thousands of years. Period. Try and argue that with the Nobel Laureates. You can try that hogwash logic in this forum, but it is evidence of how uninformed the people are who make those claims.

          The pro-GMO people who have somehow been attracted to this blog are ruled by fear of “not enough.” That is the entire mindset behind GMO–feeding the world. But the bottom line is when local land is managed sustainably it produces plenty.

          And how does it make sense to fill the world with seeds that don’t reproduce? How the hell does that add up to abundance? Suicide seeds are the solution for feeding the world? These corporations have been going to India, Mexico and every other country taking seeds that are thousands of years old from farmers and demanding them to buy the Monsanto suicide seeds. Hundreds of varieties of corn are being destroyed and lost all through Mexico. In India, hundreds of seeds are being destroyed as farmers lose their lands to big-Ag. Then they export the grain to feed animals not people! The pro-GM arguments here are uninformed and amount to spam.

          • GMO’s are tool and like any tools they can be used well or used poorly. They have the potential to produce more food while simultaneously improving the environment, whatever ignorant Luddites think. If people like Tracy ruled the world, humanity would still be dying of famine every time there was a drought.

            Who is going around taking seeds from farmers. Can you provide a reliable source on this. Suicide seeds are a bad idea, and they have received a lot of negative publicity, so Monsanto has agreed not to use them. That does not obviate the need to carefully monitor what companies like Monsanto do in the future.

            Your arguments don’t stand up to the facts. GM agriculture works, which is why it is spreading so quickly. There is a reason the whining Luddite fringe of the environmental movement doesn’t decide national policy.

          • Coexistence is not possible because of cross contamination. They are not a tool like any other; they are not benign. They are ecocidal.

            oh, and the reason they’re spreading is because governmental regulatory agencies have become corrupted by moneyed interests. If the world’s people voted on GMOs, they’d be banned outright.

            your argument is specious: just like biotech food, it looks good on the surface but upon close inspection fails.

  63. “the genetic engineering process causes mutations in hundreds or thousands of locations throughout the plant’s DNA. Natural genes can be deleted or permanently turned on or off, and hundreds may change their behavior. Even the inserted gene can be damaged or rearranged, and may create proteins that can trigger allergies or promote disease.”

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  65. It is astounding how much energy the pro-GMO visitors to this site have for arguing–yet how little apparent experience they have in tracking the most common issues around the practices of GMO companies. Your obvious surprise at hearing for the first time so many of the long-established issues surrounding GMO is in keeping with your thin arguments.

  66. Excuse me Steve White….but “We” here in the US is not everyone. I am part of the Millions Against Monsanto campaign & “We” here in the US salute the brave men & women who took a stand against this monster bio-tec company!! For all of you who are under the delusion that GMOs are good & will solve world hunger issues, please Google these two documentaries: “The Future of Food” and “The World According to Monsanto” which can be viewed online. Watch them in their entirety and you will have a completely different opinion on GMOs.

  67. WOW. Firstly Pro GM folks on this blog?!? Next is G. D. GM folks are ignorant of the facts and the philosophies regaarding resistence movement. Seriously someone posted asking something like “who gave them the right to destroy private property?!?! Honestly? Who gave monsanto the right to knowingly place trans genes willy billy into alfalfa, corn and other crops that polinate with everyone else’s crops? When did anyone get a chance to ask to be exposed to any number of their self tested and certified safe chemicals genes etc.?

    My friend was just telling me how his PTSD father was telling him that he thinks he relates to him so well because the childhood luekimia (which may have been caused by monsanto agent orange) has left him with PTSD as well. Thanks Monsanto for your responsible science over the years! Shit how much has to go wrong before we’re “allowed” to call the duck a duck?

    Thank God we have one or twospecies that aren’t financially viable to contaminate. The rest of us can eat those while the pro GM camp scientifically demonstrates the safety of these GM foods. The rest of us will have your Darwin awards waiting for ya!

    • “Who gave monsanto the right to knowingly place trans genes willy billy into alfalfa, corn and other crops that polinate with everyone else’s crops? When did anyone get a chance to ask to be exposed to any number of their self tested and certified safe chemicals genes etc.?”

      right on, Troy. the comparison can’t be made between the need to stop harm done to us vs. the “right” to do that harm, (all in the name of science).

      these guys remind of the “scientists” of the Catholic Inquisition who methodically recorded human response to torture.

      oh, but it’s SCIENCE! We MUST pursue it!

  68. Rady I think it’s amazing how much seemingly rational people will be completely complicit in their own victimization simply because they are told fairy tales that one day they will be the one vicimizing the others. Personally I find the whole pattern of abuse disgusting but it’s obvious that so many are really turned on by that kink.

      • yes, yes, we’ve seen that… or something similar.

        Read Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Engineered Crops, Union of Concerned Scientists, April 2009

        • That report only shows an increase in yield of 3-4%, significant but not monumental. You have to remember that even though most food grown in the US today is genetically modified, the technology has been used for less than 20 years old. We can expect to see lots of improvements in the future. Though this effort isn’t helped by thugs attacking universities.

          The larger benefits of GMO technology may well be environmental, since it will allow us to reduce tilling and pesticide use. GMO technology holds the promise of ushering in a second green revolution. You may scoff at such statements but you only have that luxury because advances in agricultural technology mean you have a full belly.

          • The numbers mean nothing because food cannot be measured by volume–it must be measured by nutrient density. Nutrient dense food goes farther. Why do you think there is an obesity epidemic? People are not getting nutrition from the food because it is empty in value. So no matter how many piles of bad GMO food that gets produced, it will never be enough. Full belly? When I eat only a little meat from a local farm, it fills me up for days–because it’s full of real nutrition and the cow is grazed on healthy soil with actual minerals and living micro-organisms in the soil. GMO kills off all the living micro-organisms in the soils.

            Quit being in love with numbers and focus on value. Value means less volume is necessary!!

          • @Tracy
            Your full stomach is mostly the result of the placebo effect. There is some difference in nutrient values between various crops, but this difference is fairly small. To get the total nutrient value neither the volume nor the nutrient density alone is enough. You must have both values and multiply them together to get the total nutrient value.

            Obesity today is primarily the result of what kind of food people eat and how much of it, not how that food is grown.

            You have the time and money to go out to a boutique organic farm and buy meat, that’s great, but not everyone can live that way. I’d like to see you take 200 grams of rice from a child that gets 700 grams a day and say, “Quit being in love with numbers and focus on value. Value means less volume is necessary!!”

    • What blog do you think you are visiting? No alternative technology to feed people? Maybe you are too enamored bythe world “technology.” Sustainable eco-agriculture is fantastically capable of feeling the world with a surplus. It means de-centralizing production and growing more local sources–just like the theme of this blog. You can’t sustain feeding an entire planet from a few big giant farms and only a few species of crops. It is ludicrous. You need many biodiverse farms all over the place. But big-Ag hates this idea because it takes away from their profits. They pose like heroes, but they are setting up everyone for a fall. One pathogen in a giant mono-crop farm can wipe out the whole crop. This doesn’t happen in a biodiverse farming environemnt–because the diversity creates layers of protection against a single pathogen.

      Not enough fertilizer???!!! What? Have you ever visited a grassfed farm? The fertilizer is comes straight out of the cows and grows the grass, just as nature has been doing it for years. As it is now, cows stand in their own feces in factory farms and their fertilizer rots and turns into toxic gas–so all that good fertilizer is wasted with the current model of farming. It’s completely out of synch with natural cycles. It seems to me the real fear is from those people who can’t stand the thought of things being too simple. Cows are supposed to eat grass not grain. Most GM grain goes to feeding the cows and then being transported clear across the world with more petrochemicals. It’s a complete fiasco. What seems most insurmountable is the fear of the people who are programmed to believe in this inefficient circus. Anyone who has ever grown a garden in healthy soil knows producing and buying local provides plenty.

      • Feeding the world with the present system would seem more ludicrous if it wasn’t for the fact that it’s been working for decades. Not that I don’t think a bit more genetic diversity would be a good thing.

        Even if we stopped growing crops there wouldn’t be enough field on the entire planet to feed all the cattle on grass. And if we wanted enough fertilizer out of those cows to fertilize all the crops needed to feed the world we’d need several more planets. There is certainly room for improvement, there are ways to make the current system more environmentally friendly, and we should pursue them. But the path you propose is a death sentence for most of Earths population.

        • Your understanding of agriculture is grain centered. right now most of the grain is going to feed the animals. It is unsustainable. This is the only model of agriculture you can imagine evidently. There are farmers all over the world right now producing more food than they can harvest by using permaculture technologies where the farming cycles are continually replenishing the soil without importing manures because of biodiverse coexistence with plants and animals. Small tracts of land are superabundant managed in these ways. There are sophisticated scientists and agriculturalists far more learned than me who would explain sustainable technologies in ways that would blow your GMO mind. A lot of very smart people have been developing simple, elegant technologies that leave GMO in the dust. But they are far beyond the mindset present in this forum.

          • There are a lot of advanced alternative technologies out there, one thing they share is that none of them have worked on a large scale.

            Most organic farming relies on nutrient imports from things like guano mining and fish meal taken from the ocean. Such methods are neither scalable nor environmentally friendly.

            A limited amount of excellent farm land may be able to provide good yields with the intensive labor of highly skilled agronomists, but that doesn’t mean it can scale to the kind of food requirements we face today. The belief that one of these technologies will work well enough to replace current methods is faith not science. It is a gamble we can’t afford.

  69. These are the reasons I stay away from GMO foods and foods that contain corn syrup and soy(of which the people in my family get sick on ever since companies went gmo soy). Oh and corn syrup is not the same as sugar like the commercial says the sucrose and glucose in sugar is bonded while in corn syrup it is not.

    And for those of you that still don’t believe it’s about the money. Watch the movie Food inc.

    But wait for those of you that haven’t noticed there has been a reawakening of sugar being used in commercially made foods in the US despite it’s import tax. Hunts Ketchup and the Pepsi Throw back to name a couple. I’v even seen Mexican Coca Cola on the shelves of many large chain grocery stores. This obviously means that the consumers have voted with their wallets and don’t want all this gmo crap in foods. Yes I know gmo sugar cane exists but it wasn’t ever excepted into the market, hence its death . And for people that still believe that the average consumer accepts gmo in would have no problem explaining the steady growth of organic food sales. again proof once again by votes by consumers wallets that they do not want gmo crops or animals as food or in the environment.

    GMO is toxic to the environment and should be eliminated from being in the wild. I have no problem with the study of genetics in the laboratory, I actually encourage it . There are lines though that should not ever be crossed. This experiment was one of them.

  70. By the way you are getting a getting a lot of comments here not because the GMO industry has infiltrated the site with shills, but because a science and technology site called linked to this article.

  71. Again and again you make claims spinned in your own head based on fantastical assumptions. Commercial organic is happening now using simple, elegant, ingenious, sophisticated technologies you haven’t begun to fathom. Your attempts at reducing organic technologies are haphazard and uninformed at best. Try to do some digging on commercial organic:

    • Most commercial organic methods involve technologies like fish meal and mined phosphate. The future you envision will result in forests cut down to provide pasture to manure producing livestock, the oceans depleted to produce fishmeal, and more people starving because it still won’t be enough to equal conventional agriculture.

      There are two categories of organic, the commercial variety that would devastate the environment if conducted on a large scale, and the boutique organic variety like Polyface that can’t scale to large volumes, as they require excellent land and a lot more labor than conventional methods by people with more education than conventional farmers.

      So your welcome to your farmer markets and premium meat, enjoy it. But don’t expect the world to starve in order to feed your ideology.

      • First off, it’s clear you believe the food and lives of 7 billion people should be in the hands of a few cororations–because that is THE model of GMO. It centralizes everything, so local access is impossible. GMO places control of all seeds into the hands of a few corporations–and wipes out natural seeds due to cross-contamination.

        Secondly, your claim that commercial Organic uses up land is false. We already have the land. We don’t need more. We need to manage what we have. What you don’t get is that eco-organic farming not only produces MORE food, it does not struggle with pathogens, soil erosion or fertility. You really can have land that produces like Eden. But perhaps you believe the story about how all men are evil and the Garden of Eden (fruitful land) is impossible. It is clear you don’t understand the seemingly “simple” technology of men like Salatin. Try reading his article “Ecological Agriculture: Can we Feed the World?” Don’t rush through it. Really read it. Think about the words and their implications–and how modern composting and cycling creates a perfect carbon cycle, rich soil and abundant crops.

        It is NOT organics which eat up land–it is GMO. The colonialists who came to America and ate up the land were not farming responsibly. They were not using organic technologies now being practiced. In fact, early colonizers mismanaged and depleted the land much like the GMO factory farms–with greed. Read “Changes in the Land: Indians, Colonists, and the Ecology of New England” by William Cronon–a groundbreaking book about what has really been going on in farming.

        Your analysis based on fish feed and phosphate is so OFF. It lets me know you don’t understand what is now known about the make-up of soil and how to manage it.

        • I read the article and it kind of proves my point. The author talks about a system that relies on manure for fertilizer. About 20% of the earths land mass is dedicated to pasture, even if all the manure produced on this land was collected it still wouldn’t be enough to supply the needs of large scale agriculture. Even if we cut down all the forest and converted it to pasture, there still wouldn’t be enough land. Intensive agriculture is needed to produce the amount of food needed by 6+ billion people. Salatin doesn’t do the arithmetic.

          • I wish I had time to deal with someone like you. I will bet you are a computer technician or a corporate devotee because your arithmetic begins and ends with a false premise– which you used to filter the entire article–which I doubt you read. Your model of “intensive farming” is a system dependent upon continually finding new land because it erodes the topsoil, produces pathogens and destroys fertility with chemicals. GMO is fully dependent upon synthetic pesticides and manures. And you can’t begin to measure the volume of production because it is so void of nutrition. Where do you think crops get nutrition from? The soil–NOT pesticides. Eroded soil produces malnutritioned plants. Why do you think people are so hungry for more food all the time?? Why are they getting fatter? Cause the food is empty of nutrition.

            Salatin is talking about composting. Composting is fertilizer. Modern farming technologies understand how to create manure out of existing waste of all types on a farm. You can feed the soil with compost from the waste of your own farm without importing new manure in. But you can’t do that on a mono-culture farm where only one crop is being raised like GMO factory farms. Do you not understand the concept of raising many foods simultaneously together–where biodiversity creates an interdependent eco-system of abundance? This is not possible with GMO chemical based technologies.

            Salatin cited an example–one of many he could have–demonstrating the superabundance of modern organic technologies routinely ignored by big-Ag who are in love with their single mono-crops and can’t fathom growing many foods in one place:

            He says:
            “For example, let’s say the United Nations
            commissions a study of genetically
            engineered rice production in Vietnam.
            Some land grant grad students and their
            properly credentialed Ph.D. mentor fly
            over there. Their genetically modified organism
            (GMO) paddy grows lots of rice.
            The adjacent one, built on indigenous
            methods, grows rice, tilapia in the water,
            ducks that make meat and lay eggs, and
            around the edges, prodigious bok choy
            and arugula. But these Western linear,
            reductionist, compartmentalized, fragmentized,
            systematized, parts-oriented
            researchers don’t measure the ducks,
            eggs, fish or edible greens. They went
            to study rice. And the GMO rice,
            in a chemical-ized paddy devoid
            of any other life in or around it,
            sure grows rice. Conclusion —
            our side can’t feed the world.

            Jimmy, I feel sorry for you because I bet you would die if you could taste my coconut cream pie made from grass fed cream and raw sugar. It fills you up and makes you swoon for days. And it’s cheaper than the processed crap they package at Wal-Mart that got transported and packaged to death. And it’s good for your hormones and nerves. You need some real food that makes you genuinesly satisfied and happy. Then you’d know what I’m talking about.

          • I never said organic food didn’t sometimes taste better. I have a rather large garden where I grow organic heirloom fruits and vegetables. I also raise bee’s and chickens (for eggs). They taste great, better than what I can get at Whole Foods. But that doesn’t mean I think such techniques are viable on a large scale.

            I did read the entire article, twice. Plant nutrition doesn’t come from pesticides, and the amount of nutrition in soil is limited, in our present system it primarily come from nitrogen produced through the Haber process.

            Whenever I talk to people about alternative agriculture they talk about Polyface farm. Why? Because it is exceptional, even if this technology worked on a large scale, we would need millions more Salatins (more per pound of food than we need today) to implement it.

            You are right that there are problems with modern agriculture. For instance, the soil loss you mention is a large problem, but GM crops should help us solve the problem, by reducing the need for tillage. GM technology is profitable partially because it reduces the need to use pesticides. GM technologies, properly used, are part of the environmental solution not the problem.

          • (I think the comment section might be glitchy)
            I never said organic food didn’t sometimes taste better. I have a rather large garden where I grow organic heirloom fruits and vegetables. I also raise bee’s and chickens (for eggs). They taste great, better than what I can get at Whole Foods. But that doesn’t mean I think such techniques are viable on a large scale.

            I did read the entire article, twice. Plant nutrition doesn’t come from pesticides, and the amount of nutrition in soil is limited, in our present system it primarily come from nitrogen produced through the Haber process.

            Whenever I talk to people about alternative agriculture they talk about Polyface farm. Why? Because it is exceptional, even if this technology worked on a large scale, we would need millions more Salatins (more per pound of food than we need today) to implement it.

            You are right that there are problems with modern agriculture. For instance, the soil loss you mention is a large problem, but GM crops should help us solve the problem, by reducing the need for tillage. GM technology is profitable partially because it reduces the need to use pesticides. GM technologies, properly used, are part of the environmental solution not the problem.

  72. Open your eyes. There is not always a hidden corupt corporation in the background… there is not always a conspiracy in the background.
    There are facts that people belive in but the majority of green activist disagree without thinking of
    where we are, where we’ve been, wher’re we going.

    We took wrong steps, we learnt something, we improved ourselfs. This is the neverending cycle.

    You have vaccines that killed people at the start ( I think GM food won’t) and then helped save millions.

    I don’t know I believe in science – therefor everything has to take some experiment – to be improved.

  73. Kids these days! They have no respect for tradition! where are the pitchforks? Where are the torches? In my day everyone had these when we were ignorantly calling for the blood of innocents.

    And if this is non-violence, so is turning over a car and setting it on fire. Call it what it is, a lynch mob.

    • Hmm, let’s see, cops beating people with clubs vs. people tearing up potato plants that destroy the planet … which is violent?

      you suffer from psychosis, Rob, if you think protecting the planet is violent and beating people with clubs is okay.

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  75. Jimmy, You almost had it this time–except GM INCREASES the need for pesticides. That is a critical point. Salatin and countless other organic famers,– especially those using permaculture technologies, ARE no-tillage. This is another critical point. The difference is that their processes build the soil sustainably rather than destroying the soil with chemicals. It is a perfect carbon cycle because the soil retains carbon and every other nutrient. The soil is good enough to eat–or at least make a really good mud pack for your face.

    • I have seen multiple studies that say the exact opposite about pesticide use ( Whenever anti-GM propaganda is written pesticide use is high but when scientific studies are conducted the numbers decrease.

      I have no doubt Salatin’s methods produce excellent food in an environmentally friendly way. But the idea that these techniques will work on a large scale is pure conjecture.

      • Jimmy, This study is so problematic and so obviously skewed for “Industry.” The terms are all general. The table averages displayed for lower pesticide usage in 3rd world countries are presented without any context. In the words of the study’s author: “the averages conceal a high degree of temporal and spatial variation.” What a contrived understatement. The study celebrates a market, which charges farmers higher prices for transgenic seeds–justified by lower pesticide usage. But nowhere does it discuss longterm effects of imposed patented pesticides upon crops and soil–nor does the study project in any way any increases in usages of pesticides necessary over subsequent years, which is the constant trend with GMO seeds. I could go on, but I don’t have time for humoring reports prepared by kiss ass scientists.

  76. Excellent action, friends!! Greetings from America, the heart of corporate biopiracy. Let’s start pressuring Bill Gates to NOT invade Africa with AGRA and all the monoculture/bank loans/GM seeds/etc that come with it. Here’s a link to the letter I wrote recently wrote. An article is in the process of getting published. More later.
    Any ideas of how to up the ante of citizen’s pressure with Gates and AGRA?

  77. I think this farce is caused solely by the lack of biological education in the minds of those who think that there is some kind of physical law that dictates that there must be a nutritional difference between GM crops and non-GM crops. Go figure.

  78. Can you post that to Youtube or vimeo so we can reproduce it here?

  79. Why do people always seem to associate GM technology products with horrible business pratices of AMERICAN companies?
    Goddamit people, how can you be oposed to RESEARCH that tries to better understand the issue that you are trying to ban in the first place, it doesn’t even make sense.

  80. Used this as a reference for my biology assignment on transgenic organisms, to illustrate the threat posed to research/ researchers by ignorant ‘activists’. Willing to bet that a highschool student (such as myself) would know more about biotechnology than those guys.

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  85. Jezus Christ. The comments I’ve seen here from some people… Especially you Rady. I guess it’ll be fine when I come trash your house because I dont agree with your opinion, afterall nothing illegal about “non violent protesting” eh 😉

  86. Because thats what this was about, protestors destroying private property, and believing it to be legal because they think their opinion is the correct one.
    Thats basicly the same reasoning terrorists use to go kill people ladies and gentlemen, good work.

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