What the Anti-GMO Brigade Wont Admit…

Last night, I got into a back-and-forth with GMKnow over on Twitter (you can read the exchange here). As is obvious from one look at their website, they’re vehemently opposed to GMOs. However, the point of this post was because the exchange was funny for one particular reason, at least to me. Namely, that the one point I wanted them to at least address, they wouldn’t. So, they’re anti-GMO, and, therefore, have a problem with inserting genes into a crop for our consumption. Yet, strangely, won’t even address mutagenesis organic crops that have thousands of induced mutations as you can see from my first tweet:

Her/his/their response was to deflect on how the GMO-biotech ag science (oddly reminiscent of pre-WW2 language: “German science!” “British science!” as if the two were mutually exclusive) claims of GMO DNA being the same as that of normal food:

What they meant to disparage was the claim of functional equivalence, which doesn’t at all imply sameness of product, but sameness of result. Yet, they wouldn’t touch the mutagenesis claim. So I asked again:

Still, no reply. Instead, they accuse me of deflecting and again harp on about sameness (functional equivalence) of food:

So, I answer their question by saying that “it would only be subterfuge if they lied. The only ppl who think so are scientifically illiterate like u and other phony orgs.” So I proceeded to re-ask, for the third time, the same question:

Can you believe that they still didn’t answer? Actually, I do. Because to answer truthfully would undercut their claim that GMOs are dangerous on account of 1-3 additional genes. Their reply to this last tweet was to call me “Sir Pesticide”, accuse me of using science to impress my GMO peers, and finally closed with: “Be gone with you!” How mature. Frankly, I don’t expect them to ever see how ride the anti-GMO position is with contradiction, false knowledge, and uses ideology to counter evidence.

Anyone familiar with agriculture in the 20th century will know the role that mutagenesis played in both organic and conventional agriculture. The process involved blasting seeds soaked in toxic chemicals with gamma rays to induce double-chromosomal strand breaks randomly (this deletes or rearranges genetic sections), then planting the seeds to see which, if any, exhibit beneficial traits. Then, breeding that tiny, tiny percentage that showed beneficial traits, and, hoping against hope, that genetic drag didn’t bring in undesirable traits along with the singular beneficial trait. Then, spending year after year planting generation after generation, of those seeds to weed out the undesirable traits with no guarantee of success! And, to top of our irony cake with a retarded cherry on top, no long-term safety studies need to be performed on such a crop. A significant portion of the seeds that were painstakingly developed from this process are now grown as organic crops. As plant scientist Kevin Folta wrote: “it has been done for decades. No opposition, no labels wanted, no protesters, no fear.” 

I’m sure by now you’ve noticed why GMKnow couldn’t afford to even try to answer such a question: there is simply no way to answer without making GMOs look super-safe in comparison, and if there’s one thing they can’t do, it’s admit they are wrong. Tow the party line at all costs is the de facto tagline of the extreme left. This is despite the fact the majority of organic crops today exist by such a process, and these crops contain thousands of rearranged genes and mutated genes potentially eliciting new proteins, allergens, etc. (no safety studies are performed to find out). Yet, despite this, they still manage to vehemently oppose the insertion of 1 to 3 understood genes in a precise fashion. And, in case some may underestimate just how pervasive this method of creating new cultivars, over 3000 have been created using this method. See the below table sourced from Folta’s article titled Atomic Gardening – The Ultimate Frankenfood. (My edits in red.)


How is that for intellectual consistency? Rather, blatant hypocrisy, with a side-serving of cognitive dissonance.

The science of transgenics is a convenient place to cultivate misunderstanding and fear. But somehow the same fear mongers miss mutation breeding. ~ Kevin Folta [Emphasis mine.]

Somehow, indeed. It’s too bad that organizations like GMKnow is so far down the rabbit of baloney, they couldn’t turn around to save their lives. If they could, they might actually make the world a better place. Instead, they’re making it worse.

To close, here’s an infographic by Genetic Literacy Project that builds on Folta’s above:


14 thoughts on “What the Anti-GMO Brigade Wont Admit…”

    1. I wanted that left unspoken. Let them connect the dots themselves, but yes, it is. Remarkable how a culture can mold your risk perception and get it so wrong.

  1. Sir Pesticide! Funny for Grade 3, I guess.

    You should pen an OPED for the NYT’s. Use the in-line of “skeptic-come-convert.” Keep it under 1,000 words, and you never know. If it lands at the right time it might just be taken up, and believe me, you can write a hundred-times better than most of the OPED crap i’m dealing with.

        1. I’m enjoying it. I don’t even see Dilma 🙂

          I’ll probably be in Sao Paolo mid-way through the World Cup (25-29 June). You making any trips out to the big, evil city?

  2. Well, the radical anti-GMO side at Organic Consumers Association is already turning on their soon-to-be-former allies (and donors) with a petition to similarly ban and label all mutagenic crops – including the organic ones: http://goo.gl/QoEMTa
    At least they admit mutagenesis is akin to GMOs, but the organic companies upon whom their existence relies cannot afford to have all the consumers whom they’ve now so flooded with disinformation about GMO safety find out that so many of their products are by their own definitions ‘not found in nature’ Frankenfoods.
    Organic foods are not “GMO-free” nor are they produced without the pesticides, antibiotics, or hormones they so frequently disparage in advertising and via their funded anti-GMO campaign partners like Organic Consumers Association. Loopholes abound in the organic production system but such truths are never even whispered by organic marketing gurus like Stonyfield CEO Gary Hirshberg.
    Mutagenesis is just another fracture in the organic fairy tale foisted upon the public via multi-billion-dollar black marketing campaigns according to a recent report by Academics Review: http://goo.gl/fWWsZn And the Organic Consumer Association’s petition shows their real desire has little to do with organic, food safety or the environment. Groups like this are no more than anarchist disruption agents hell-bent on using food fears to achieve a deep-ecology misguided return to pre-industrial society.
    You would think those funding Organic Consumers Association like Stonyfield Organic, Organic Valley and others paying them to push GMO labels while they denigrate the safety of competing, less-expensive conventionally grown foods would realize this and the slippery slope they’ve created by such dark alliances. Fear profiteers who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

    1. Wow, that is great news! That should discombulate the rank-and-file severely if it ever turns into a disivise issue, though, I have my doubts it will break them apart (one can wish though). I think, if such an event will ever happen, it will be after ‘the final war’ against GMOs and it needs to be won too.

      Nice closing paragraph, but I don’t think they would see it at all. People in marriages of supreme convenience never see more than a few steps ahead, so caught up in emotion and the moment. I hope this split really does come.

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