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Sen. Bernie Sanders has proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let states require that any food or beverage containing genetically-engineered ingredients be clearly labeled.
Christopher Hannigan's profile photoAnthony DeTommasi's profile photoJonathan McGaha's profile photoKeith Childers's profile photo
Genetically engineered food has a lot of bad press, but there is no science that relates it to medical harm.  It's a purely artificial and meaningless distinction, and a backdoor to regulation for reelection's sake.
I anxiously await for people to start posting how they disagree with the labels.
There are piles and piles of studies showing GMOs cause medical harm. Very few human studies though. Even if GMO food itself is safe, the pesticides used to grow it, and the monocrop agricultural practices are suicidal. Literally. Look at suicide rates of farmers in India.
+Brady Postma , it's a valid reason to allow such foods to be sold. Not a good reason to ban labeling them for what they are.
Really, it should be up to Monsanto to prove that GMO's are safe. I haven't seen those studies either.
Monsanto owns quite a few officials, watch the debates and courts, its easy to see.
Monsanto controls the studies and whether other studies ever get published...this is well known in the science community. There are three parallel threads running in Sanders' forum on it now...I won't trouble to repost my extensive points from another thread on this very subject.
It ought to be, in the sense of what is right and the meaning of rights, every consumer's right to be told what they are buying.
It's not a sicentific take, it's a statement of political position. "If this initiative passes it will reify the war on science, and deal another body blow to the idea, already reeling from the climate change debate, that public policy should be based on good data and solid reasoning. It MUST be stopped." - you call THIS science?!
+Alex Emelianov Deciding that food of a certain kind has to be labelled is not a win for a war on science.
right, it's a war on science when we label food with the scientific breakdown of what is in it
they use that word "science"; I don't think it means what they think it means
+Mary Mangan While I appreciate a balanced voice in any debate (especially one as sacred and vital to our survival as our nutrition), +Michael B. Eisen doesn't provide a compelling argument that science proving something makes it anything other than still a "theory." Isn't that what we've come to understand as science? That's what makes it so great and powerful, and why we should continue to study and be weary of the effects of GMOs on bee colony collapse disorder, humans, other mammals we harvest, and plant life itself? That's supporting science, not a war against it.
+Ray conteur I don't think the word "theory" means what you think it means.
it's a war on science to misrepresent the hazards of GMOs in the name of promoting labeling legislation - and there is an incredible amount of misrepresentation coming from the pro-labeling forces
+Pat Gunn How so? Theory, in science, is that which has a hypothesis (or several) and has evidence to build that hypothesis(es) to be a theory. In this case, the theory is limited to that which has been tested.
+Michael B. Eisen You may be right that the kooks are probably mostly against this, but there are plenty of non-kooks too; people generally like to know what they're eating, and regardless of their reasoning I think it makes sense to let them. There are also plenty of non-kooks who are for labelling requirements too; be careful how you characterise the debate, lest you misunderstand it.

+Ray conteur The enterprise of science is based on doing sufficient testing in sufficiently distinct specifics that one can get a reasonable idea of the external validity of what's being tested. A hypothesis that has been validated by a number of experiments becomes known as a theory, and the term is used for things we're quite certain of. "Just a theory" is not generally something you should be saying if you're speaking in the context of science; the diminutive is not appropriate.
+Michael B. Eisen That's too easy to say and unsubstantiated (IMHO) in your articles...thus, a misrepresentation itself. For "pro-labeling forces" to get labeling legislation passed, they need to be persuasive. I would imagine the conglomerates that are manufacturing (and patenting!) seeds have much more power (money) to be persuasive and rest on their laurels vis-a-vis the lack of scientific studies on humans.

Also, note, that to be on the wrong side of science here is a matter of the survival of humanity, not just the reasonable needs of our current population. We can slow population growth (e.g., inject family planning tools into any culture), but to remove the stable food supply with an unknown entity en masse is pretty ridiculous, no? The amount of GMO (and the cross-pollination that's corrupting the non-GMO) crops is over-taking our food supply and that's the problem I have. I never want to eat GMO crops, no matter the human safety (just the same as not drinking Coke or not injecting Botox or Restylane under my skin for cosmetic purposes, both "safe" by science). If it was some food substances that could selectively be instituted and studied and then retracted if it proves faulty, I'd be less concerned.
+Pat Gunn I am not intrinsically anti-labeling - I am generally in favor of giving people information, even if they are going to act irrationally on it. However, the overwhelming majority of arguments I have heard in favor of labeling, including virtually all of what the groups backing the labeling campaign in California are using to support it - is demonstrably false or misleading, and a gross distortion of the underlying science. 
+Michael B. Eisen I think that's fair, although I hope you're finding enough people who either think labelling is good in principle or who have other reasons to like this that you're not seeing the conflict entirely in terms of pro-and-anti-science. As someone who's a university-kind-of-person, I wouldn't like to be seen in that light :)
+Erik Orgell My understanding is that "in lab mice" means "We might know it's effect on humans in 5 years, if we hurry."
What science?...Monsanto sponsors the studies and controls and prevents studies from being peer reviewed or published as part of the terms of selling the seeds. This is NOT crossbreeding of species to retain recessive traits as has been around for thousands of years and which happens in is wholesale grafting and manipulation of genetic material at the molecular level, only possible scientifically in the last decade or two at most. It has been subject to massive information control...Monsanto has infiltrated the FDA and the Supreme Court, and we are all aware of corporatist abuses at the legislative levels, on this forum.

The biggest concern is damage further up food chains...not necessarily humans...unintended additional impacts to weeds, the soil, insects... I posted extensively on this in a parallel thread, and hesitate to repeat at length, but people are GROSSLY overstating and mistating the degree of independent study required or ever actually being done...or how it even can be, with Monsanto control made legal since 1992 and some Bush assistance.

It took 60 years to uncover what we know about another product DDT...another Monsanto special.

Disclosure via specific mandatory labeling, explicitly detailing the distinction between traditional breeding versus some different designation for modern GM techniques in the lab, percentage of product modification, is a minimum requirement to properly inform the public.

The consumer has the right to know...plainly and simply and in such detail as to make their informed decision on whatever basis they it rational or irrational, that is the consumers' privilege and pleasure...otherwise, witholding desired information, is a form of fraud by omission.
Many of the arguments I'm seeing for labeling aren't very well founded. While I would support more clear and concise labeling, simply saying something is GMO or non-GMO isn't very clear or concise. I don't believe this law would provide consumers with more useful information regarding their food. Aside from that, the real problems we have with GMOs aren't so much with GM technology at large, but with the conduct of companies such as Monsanto. A proper labeling law may have some effect, but it's mostly a 'Get Money Out' issue than specifically a GMO issue.

A labeling law I would support would have to come in two parts.

First: Require specifying which strain of GMO was used (such as saying 'bt corn' rather than just 'corn'), or an easy method to find out which strains were used if multiple strains of GMO may be present (such as if your corn came from multiple sources which use different GMOs)

Second: Create an easily searchable database on the FDA's website that provides information and links to reports about every approved product.

In my opinion, stating something as GMO or non-GMO without giving more information would do more harm than good for public understanding and awareness.

+Anthony DeTommasi While I agree with a lot of what you say, I don't believe a labeling law would have the effects you'd like to see. Better government regulations (That is, not necessarily MORE, certainly there are many regulations that are redundant and ineffective) and a commitment to continual research by organizations such as the EPA to the effects of the products we use on the environment at large and sustainability as a top priority would do a lot of good in conjunction to a continual and effective fight against the existence of corruption in any and all branches of our government.
I agree some integration of a website with detailed info and some specific coding to make the distinctions clear on the products themselves. Good idea.

This would help avoid the fear of people seeing "GM" and running for the hills unnecessarily, as to a product that was bred through traditional agricultural techniques that have been around for a thousand years...but help someone intelligently choose NOT to patronize a product that implicates or has been modified in a way that mounting evidence is showing has resulted in the massive extinction of honey bees in North America. It is not all about human cancer or fetal is also about six legged frogs and intestinal collapse of positive species as well as targeted pests.
+Pat Gunn , I never agreed that lifting the ban on labelling foods is the same as war on science. Both may be tried by the same people, I may not agree with their positions, but I don't agree that allowing truthful labelling is the same as war on science.
If you come into this conversation believing - as most in the anti-GMO/label GMOs camp appear to - that GMOs are the product of an intrinsically dangerous technology being wielded by intrinsically untrustworthy companies - then it makes sense to demand the technology not be used until extensive studies to prove that it is not dangerous are completed. 

In contrast, I come into this conversation believing - based on everything I know about the genetics and molecular biology involved in the process - that GMOs are safe. The technology we are talking about here is actually very conservative in the context of all the other modifications we have made to plants by selective breeding and other "natural" techniques, and the actual genes that have been inserted  (insecticidal proteins and enzymes involved in animo acid biosynthesis) were well thought out. And when I look at the experiments done on GMOs over the past 20 years I see absolutely no reason to question this assumption. 

The problem is that there is effectively no way to reconcile these points of view - to someone who thinks GMOs are dangerous, my point of view seems insane and cavalier. To me, people who see GMOs as intrinsically dangerous simply do not know what they're talking about and are letting irrational fears trump science.

And I don't mean the anti-GMO forces are rejecting specific scientific studies showing specific GMOs are safe. I mean something much bigger. Because holding the point of view that GMOs are intrinsically dangerous demands rejecting a large fraction of what we have learned about genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry and physiology over the past several decades. If you're willing to do this, I don't see how we can ever agree on a common course of action. 
No...I see arrogance and blinders and an unwillingness to acknowledge that it took 60 years to realize the problems with DDT...also once laughed off from a place of dismissive rationalization.

The long term ramifications to other insect species have never been studied at all, just as one inconvenient example you ignore with broad sweeps of summary that fail to accurately reflect the reality. The only studies published have been done by, sponsored or restricted by the entity profiting from the product anyway. That is not faith in "science"...that is like having faith in the king's court version that would have a pariah executed for suggesting the earth was not the center of the universe.

It is easier to dismiss others' concerns if your version of things is based on inaccurate facts. You actually DON'T know "better" have incomplete information.

The rest of your post is a huge straw man argument...I do not see anyone advocating for abject terror at the mention of GM...I see a rational discussion of specific distinctions and a consumer's right to be fully informed with particularity and a practical methodology to do so.
Can we just agree that "You may not label GMO foods as GMO" does not equal science, and striking down that regulation is not war on science itself?
We can not eliminate risk from the world.

Is it possible that GMO crops have some hidden threat? Yes. Is it likely? No. To me it's just a likely - if not more so - that there are hidden threats in some types of organic farming owing to selection for different types of microbes harboring toxic compounds, or in the numerous varieties of "heirloom" crops that are being introduced. Has there been extensive research onto this? No.

If you are going to apply the precautionary principle, apply it consistently and demand the same demonstration of safety of any new food product - not just ones you happen not to like.
+Alex Emelianov I never said labeling itself was a war on science - I don't have any serious problem with accurate information being provided to consumers.
I believe we need better specific labeling in other areas as well...consistently and without special prejudice to GMO' I guess you agree with me and my desire for broader information for the consumer, right?
+Anthony DeTommasi I agree that it is always good to provide accurate information to consumers, provided it is practical to do so. I happen to think this labeling law will not accomplish this, because, like CA Prop 65, essentially everything will end up with a "may contain genetically modified ingredients" because it's the easiest thing for suppliers to write, and it will just end up being another waste of everybody's time. But, in general, I think labeling foods more accurately as to their origin, method of production and contents can only help educate the populace about food production and help make them both better consumers and better participants in policy decisions about agriculture, science and the such.
I am referring to my mention of specific coding and a web page, in a post right above yours in this present exchange between you and I this I think we are largely in agreement. An unspecified gmo "warning" absent detail and particularity, would be pretty useless, unless just as a practical necessity for political reasons, to get the ball rolling as an initial step necessary for later refinement to more complete and useful labeling.
+Michael B. Eisen , it's a false dichotomy. Lifting the ban does not guarantee accurate information. But the possibility of inaccurate information does not justify currently existing ban on any information.
a lot of people would not know what the label means. i would want a label.
need to educate the people. the research into it safety  should not be done by the company who has a vested  interest in it sale.
The devil is in the details. Anyone from California knows the idiotic Prop 65 Warning. Every residential and office building must display a sign "this place contains chemicals known to cause cancer and birth defects", so these warnings mean NOTHING. A label "this product contains GMO" is equally absurd. But there is huge difference between requiring a meaningless warning and allowing information about GMO varieties used or not used in a particular product.
It's possible to label that GMOs are not used. I think the NonGMO project's approach is perfectly fine. Like kosher, it's a label that a group wants to use for their philosophical reasons. But it's up to them to trace the products, test, and monitor the label use.
The US Government sets the Kosher rules? Please source that.
Dietary religious laws (while possibly making sense 2000 years ago prior to refrigerators) are absurd. We don't kill witches anymore or live in caves, so why pretend that a god cares what a person eats? Is it any wonder that the world is so screwed up?
how did kosher get into genetically engineered foods.
i want labels. people have right to know if the foods  are genetically engineered foods. i am not anti science. i don't trust the company.
I am somewhat curious when people acquired the right to specifically know if they are eating genetically engineered foods. Surely there is some greater principle here - that people have the general right to know what is in the products they buy - that needs to be applied more generally. Do we enforce a generally rule that people can demand labels for any food ingredient happen not to want to eat? I'm far more nervous about pathogenic bacteria on food than I am about GMOs. Can I demand that there be labels telling me which bacteria were present on the food? Can vegetarians demand that we label all food grown with animal manure at any point in its cultivation? 
People "acquired" the right to make their own state regulatory laws when the constitution and the tenth amendment were ratified. No constitutional right of a corporation selling products in a state conflicts with this right in any legally enforceable way. The legal grounds they are threatening states with are those of remuneration of damages... as if state government is to be held responsible for the financial consequences of consumer free will just for providing consumers factual information at the direct behest of those consumers.

So yes, people can demand labeling of anything they want, short of violating federal law. If you don't like it, ignore the label. But don't worry so much about what factors everyone else considers. Frankly, it's none of your business. People will decide how to spend their money no matter what you think of their reasoning.
people should have the right to know where, when, and how their products are produced.  period.  It's not about GE foods, it's about corporate transparency.  The idea of the 'free market' is an enormous load of cow manure if consumers don't have enough information to make educated choices.
If you oppose disclosure of food production information you are a corparo-statist feudalist.  No way around it.  I hope you like the idea of returning to the dark ages because that is where the so called conservatives (actually feudalists) currently in power are trying to lead our country.
I agree with complete transparency - indeed I am an information absolutist - that was my point exactly - why not promote better transparency, rather than targeting this at GMOs? 
Because when given the choice between transparency and opacity on any individual policy decision, an "information absolutist" will always choose transparency without resorting to slippery slope fallacy?

In other words, no one is saying that this label will singlehandedly solve every food production and consumer choice issue in America. That's the strawman being offered up by the opposition. Those wanting the labels just want more information, and will do with it as they please. Those against are saying they can't have the information because the public can't be trusted to use it responsibly and in keeping with preconceived outcomes.

Why is this so hard?
why not use concern about GMOs to illustrate larger issues of corporate transparency?  People want to know about GMO... they should know as much else as possible about their food too.  I am lucky to live in a rural area where I am often able to meet the farmers i buy from and wander about in their farm but for most that is not possible...  the next best thing is full, honest disclosure.  

GE in and of itself is not a concern to me, but doing business with Monsanto is something I seek to avoid to the greatest extent possible
No. You are completely misunderstanding my point. I am saying that I have no problem at all with labeling. What I do have a problem with is promoting labeling with a bunch of alarmist rhetoric that is almost entirely divorced from reality. Tell me you want to label GMOs because you don't like them. Fine. Tell me you want to label GMOs because they're poisoning our children, are responsible for autism, obesity, are killing the bees, and may bring on armageddon, I'm gonna call BS.
Look at India. They are responsible for tens of thousands of farmers committing suicide.
If Monsanto has such a PR and education problem that 98% of the residents of (any) state want to see GM labels, would not the millions being spent on litigation and lobbying not be better spent on... oh I don't know... PR and education?
+Michael B. Eisen No I am understanding your point perfectly... you attempted a corporatist coup on the validity of consumer information rights, implying those rights did not exist. They most certainly do, and constitutional legislative authority being usurped by a corporate entity wielding extended litigation as a cost prohibitive weapon is anathema to rule of law and American ideals.

You then followed up with a typical slippery slope fallacy, i.e. "where does it end"... it ends where the people want it to. The rights of corporations to secrecy are inferior to the constitutional rights of citizens to self-determination.
+Charlie Hohn I have no love for Monsanto - but associating a completely legitimate and utterly necessary campaign for better corporate transparency with a misguided and often dishonest campaign against GMOs does not service to the former. At best it's a distraction - more likely it makes it easier to dismiss people calling for corporate reform as guided by irrationality and willful ignorance like the people they've chosen to ally themselves with.
It is absolutely not misguided. GMO's and the pesticides they require, as well as monocrop agriculture should be outlawed worldwide. For the sake of the world's food supply. At least until conclusive, long-term third party tests prove that GMO's are harmless.
+Michael B. Eisen This is not a gotcha, but a legitimate request for enlightenment on a subject I am admittedly lacking deep subject matter knowledge. Given the analysis of +Anthony DeTommasi above, which you have not effectively rebutted as yet with authoritative sources to back your product safety assurances, could you identify a few independent studies, meaning in no way funded or bound by the terms of a contract with Monsanto nor any other entity with a vested financial interest in the conclusions? I would very much like to research this for myself.
+Michael B. Eisen while i'd like to limit any actions to those i deem rational, the fact of living in a representative republic is people should have the right to make purchasing choices even if their reasons seem irrational to us.  Certainly many things in the public dialogue - including almost anything from the mainstream Republican party and a good chunk of what the Democrats say too - seems wholly irrational to me but the bottom line is if someone wishes to avoid GE food, chicken, products with oregano in them... whatever else... it should be their right, for whatever reason, as long as it doesn't harm us or infringe on our rights as well.

I don't think it's unreasonable to disclose if food is GE.  I agree that there are many other food issues that need to be addressed as well.  Ideally all food products would provide a link to a website with information on where the food came from and how it is produced.  In the least we should have the right to enough information to 'vote with our dollar' by avoiding Monsanto if we so choose.  Monsanto thinks they can sue Vermont for disclosing where their products are.  Something wrong with this picture?  They'll be after your state too soon enough.  Though it looks like you live in California which is already thoroughally contaminated by Monsanto and other corporations.  The idea of California as a 'liberal' state is laughable.  It's a corporate statist state and I would know - I'm a third generation Californian and lived there for 30 years.  I much prefer Vermont.  If Monsanto wants to come to Vermont maybe they will take a nice long walk on lake Champlain in the winter... while the ice is thin.  Do us all a favor.
They don't exist +Keith Childers. He commands belief on his inaccurate "knowing" say so, absent actual reference or evidence, just like those who have preceded him in these threads the past two days.

Excellent job at decoding and debunking the impending coup on consumer rights he was working up to, btw.

I call BS on anyone who minimizes and denies the environmental / flora / fauna impacts that are becoming known only by tracing backward from observable damage already being done, and which were NEVER properly studied...long term especially. This newer laboratory manipulation of the genome has not even been around long enough for the proper long term analysis...not even in the form of a Monsanto shill report.

60 years for DDT damage to be definitively acknowledged. 
Which of those were peer reviewed and published WITHOUT Monsanto's prior review and veto authority?


The following presents a balanced and honest assessment of what is known and not known, without being alarmist or complacent, and links to further references at the end:

Again...the issue is not to prove or disprove harm...but the simple right of the consumer to know, especially until long term effects can be more definitively established.
Anthony's monomania is boundless. Who needs facts--or looking at the actual papers--when you assert that they are all useless. You do understand that Monsanto isn't the only source of GM plants, right? Or do you really believe that?

And, who needs any new information:

I'm sure you don't want to know these things. Ignorance is more comforting, I'm sure.
Yes...I know there are dozens of corps now...but Monsanto has been the one in control for the most part. are the one arguing to keep consumers ironic.

Are you a dupe or a shill?
I said authoritative reference, not persuasive writing on a blog post. For people so devoutly indoctrinated in scientific method and claiming it exclusively in support of their GMO label policy positions, I'm noticing an awful lot of opinion blogging with a disturbing lack of citation and peer review.

I am reading, though.
Only studies approved by Monsanto (or other patent holders) are allowed to reach peer review...that is the problem. Some of these posters here really ARE hired guns, it seems anyway.
+Anthony DeTommasi That's just an absurd misunderstanding of how science functions. I'm sure Monsanto would do their best to keep things they didn't like out of the literature, but they do not have anything remotely like the power you imagine they do.
I did not imagine it....did you even read the article from the editors of Scientific American I linked? They have had the power and have exerted it and there have been lawsuits concerning it. Keep slinging need to feed the kids...I do understand.
Still reading, but unless I seriously missed something, the National Academy report is not a citation for your claims of proven safety. It merely establishes a framework and methodology for evaluating human impact, and if anything is inconclusive on whether they can prove or disprove safety concerns due to "sizeable gaps in our ability to identify compositional changes that result from genetic modification of organisms intended for food; to determine the biological relevance of such changes to human health; and to devise appropriate scientific methods to predict and assess unintended adverse effects on human health."

Further, this report being authored in 2004, well before by citation above Monsanto even gave any independent authority license or permission to study the majority of GM seed at the center of the debate, I'd say this report is little more than an instruction manual for how to conduct research on the topic in the future, not a study on actual impact of any product in itself.
Yeah Mary is correct that Monsanto has eased up some control over certain seed stock from 2010 onward...but that is of limited value to this discussion...and none of this impacts the consumer's simple right to know, for whatever reason.
Oh I'm not budging on the constitutional right to regulate or consumer freedom points, I'm just digging deeper into the validity of the science that I had already yielded. What I'm finding so far is inconclusive at best, and this group is showing up a lot in comment threads trying to tilt the discussion without offering a whole lot in terms of peer reviewed study.
Monsanto has numerous former employees in the FDA...Clarence Thomas was their legal counsel in the 70's...and you can't frequent these threads without an aporeciation/awareness of the extensive corporatist abuses at the legislarive level. Monsanto was empowered since 1992 by way of certain impediments being removed per Bush administration directives. Donald Rumsfeld made millions when a company he was CEO of was absorbed / purchased by Monsanto in the 80's. You can't likely overestimate the power this company yields/has yielded.
Sorry +Keith Childers - I wasn't citing that report as containing large studies of GMO safety, rather as the authoritative support you requested for my assertion that we have no a priori reason to fear GMOs as somehow well out of bounds of normal risks associated with introducing new things into the food supply. 
Agreed, the skepticism is deserved due to past abuses. But I need a bit more than conspiracy theory, however plausible. Otherwise I'm no better than the average libertarian shill here blathering on about raw milk...
Yeah...I have never been the full alarmist these shills paint me to be...and am aware it is unsettled...but they are overboard expecting complacent acceptance. The unknown makes the case for consumer information...actually, there is no valid case whatsoever to be made against it, this is why they go for straw man and tu quoque over and over.
+Anthony DeTommasi I completely agree with you on the utterly dysfunctional relationship between corporations, legislatures and regulatory bodies in this country. Shouldn't people be trying to actually fix this? Is this really all about Monsanto, with GMOs as some kind of emblem of all that is wrong with American politics? Do you not see any benefits in the use of GM technology in food? 
+Michael B. Eisen  This debate isn't about a priori assumption of guilt absent proof, it's about the constitutionally protected right of consumers to dictate through legislation and elections how their food policy will be established and executed. There is very little scientific basis for "country of origin" labeling, but it's mandated because U.S. consumers want it to be.

The fact that I can't prove something is deadly is neither here nor there to a discussion on whether people ought to be able to legislate labeling for anything they want, short of constitutionally protected status. Now if we're talking about an actual "warning label", i.e. "this product has been shown to cause adorable toddlers to spontaneously combust", that's a different (strawman) argument as well.

Anyway, you already know my predisposition on the topic. I'm attempting to do it justice enough to read all the authoritative source material I've been presented before issuing a verdict. Contrary to what you might hear from some libertarians still sore from their rectal inversion, I am actually a pretty reasonable guy... 
+Michael B. Eisen Again, one does not have to give up all notion of benefit from a technology to advocate for its proper labeling and education of the public on how it might potentially affect them. 

I see your false dilemma and raise you a strawman:

"I think Apple should have to disclose how many people committed suicide in the production of their products on the product labels"

"Surely you must realize the societal value of the personal computer"

"... wtf"
But +Keith Childers I agree with you. I believe very strongly in transparency and consumer empowerment, and don't object to the enactment of legislation requiring the labeling of GMOs - I think it's silly and won't be useful, but that's true of an awful lot of laws. What I object to is the people in California who are backing this campaign relying on misleading rhetoric that completely misrepresents the technology and its relationship to conventional agriculture, and engages in ridiculous scaremongering that vastly overstates the risk of GMOs. 
Overstating risk is bad, but overstating safety without definitive proof and retreating to "nothing is really safe" higher ground when challenged is worse. I'd rather have public health policy err on the side of caution than the alternative, wouldn't you?
100% GM's have fed millions if not billions with better efficacy...prevented disease...improved nutrition...reduced pesticide use...I could go on.

The issue is that there needs to be more open, long term study and care in implementation in general...that there almost certainly WILL be unforeseen ramifications, some quite dire, eventually. There is no call for the tech to be abandoned (by me)... I want it more openly embraced and studied...and I want the consumers informed with particularity in the meantime. A proper balance between protecting intellectual property rights and allowing science to more freely do what it does best, has not been achieved, when it comes to consumer products being widely deployed.
Could've fooled me, but I'll admit sometimes I skim.

Back to reading :)
+Anthony DeTommasi I'm curious what dire ramifications you envision? I'm not trying to be an asshole - and I'm not foolish enough to completely discount any possibility. But when I look at the world and list off the things that I think have a good chance of causing dire consequences for humanity, I see a lot of very obvious, terrifying things - but GMOs aren't anywhere on the list. 
He and I actually came to rough agreement on the labeling. This has become a deeper exploration of the science...I only resent being painted with a tin hat on my head that I have never donned.
Long term damage to insect populations...effects one step further up the food chain...adaptive changes in competing weeds..possible impacts very long term in humans (immune responses, allergies, etc.). I believe there is recent evidence of plant sequences being incoprporated into dna on who really knows long term...but I am not losing sleep over that particularly. If you look at the link I threw in response to those thrown...instead of pontificating, you will see these and more.
As I have never donner the "I HEART MONSANTO" I get accused of wearing....
I confess to digging in on the shill stuff as counterreaction to Mary's inflammatory strawman, as if I have been advocating abandoning all hope if a gm should come within five feet....
Still reading. Jeebus I thought I was long winded...
Insect populations have been very rapidly evolving resistance to Bt Cry proteins for millions of years. For this to suddenly stop Monsanto would have to figure out something that evolution has failed to do. Impossible? No. But likely? 

I agree that we could, in theory, really fuck ourselves over with GMOs. But we are already doing this is so many other ways - some of which GMOs have some capacity to actually mediate - which is why I find imaginings of GMO-based armageddon to be so misdirected.
A label is hardly armageddon either.

I know, I know, you don't oppose labeling. But still, it's not like we're talking about plastering a big red "don't eat this or you will bleed to death from your anus" sticker selectively on anything we think a scientist might have fondled. If you want to wage an information war against people using false science, I'll probably join your army. I'm just not too sure that only one side is guilty of false science at this point.
I agree I also have a much longer and seemingly more threatening list of impending harms. Most concern direct human conduct.

I have only asked for specific, broader (not just as to gmo) detailed access to information to be consistently enforced and applied.

There is no valid case against this...and I do not believe you are trying to make one at this point, if ever. If I acknowledge this of you...repeatedly....please explain why dual degrees from Harvard and countless hours of blogging on point, are insufficient training for you to be able to let go of the armageddon strawman that has no applicability in a discussion with me?
+Anthony DeTommasi I was never arguing against broader information. I got outraged at the misleading information and generic attacks on science being spread by the CA Right to Know campaign and decided to try to counter them - not the labeling campaign itself.

And, while this has nothing to do with the broader point on which we all seem to agree about consumer information, the specific legislation in CA is doomed to be useless, in much the way the Prop 65 warnings about chemical hazards are now. There is literally not a public building in the state of CA that doesn't have a Prop 65 warning on it - stemming from an abundance of caution on the part of building owners. The same thing is all but guaranteed to happen with GMO labeling - everything's just going to have a "may contain genetically modified ingredients" label. If the people behind the labeling campaign were really interested in effective labels, they would have pursued a different strategy - perhaps, as others have suggested, defining what "this does not contain GMOs" would mean (as distinct from organic), or, as I would advocate, creating a more effective and reliable food tracking system that people could tap into to actually be able to learn whatever it was about their food they cared to know. 
I have never said the legislation as posed is adequate.

I made a comment that it might be a practical necessity to get a foot in the door, to be refined for genuine efficacy later...that is sometimes how controversial laws must be dissatisfyingly adopted in stages. I do not know if that is so...but it may be a longer term strategy being employed. I like very much your last idea...was it you and this thread where I felt linking a website to a coded label would allow endless information to be made too tired to look atm. With NFC will literally be only months until we can tap our cell phones to a single label on a food bin, and the related webpage for a product would instantly open. 
Certainly not the case with Prop 65, which was utterly useless and has all but completely ended action on the topic. 
We need education and open information...and appropriate laws...not lip service measures, as is the usual in this country.
Generic attacks on science, like... calling academics making principled arguments about corporations dictating the terms of independent review "conspiracists"? Take a look at the debate stylings of some of your bedfellows... it's no further reach for me to indict your entire point of view based on their tactics than for you to indict the entire movement to get GMO products labeled over the activities of some "Right to Know" campaigners in CA.

We have a pretty straightforward policy issue here. I don't even know why it's an issue we need to debate... you think it's pointless and will not achieve the ends its supporters desire, but you're fine to let it go through in spite of that (you pretty much stand alone in the anti- crowd on that position, but that's okay I'm not talking to them right now). I think it's a requirement for constitutional rule of law that 98% of the voters of a state and a commensurate proportion of their elected representatives supporting a bill, absent some clear cut violation of state or federal constitution, ought to be enough to get some legislation passed.

We both know the only thing holding it up is Monsanto's deep legal pockets and extortion tactics. Monsanto also seems to be participating in at least as much if not more of the same perversion of scientific study and public access to that study as you are accusing the other side. As a reasonable yet skeptical person, where am I supposed to err here, on the side of corporatism or caution?
Thanks Keith...I figured you would do your diligence and come to the rational conclusion that a healthy caution is mandated...and that more information and more study is warranted, if not mandated.
I'm still only about 1/3 of the way through these studies, but if they weren't peer reviewed (and it appears so far they were not) then they aren't worth the paper they're written on scientifically. indictment of Monsanto is not speculative in general, nor as to this specific information war.
+Keith Childers not sure which studies you're reading, but many on that list from earlier were peer reviewed (how are you determining that, btw?)
The problem is choice (sorry I'm a Matrix nerd).

You can't do 50 years of testing on everything. If we didn't acknowledge that, the stuff wouldn't be on the shelves at all. But it is. All we're talking about here is whether it should be labeled. The tinfoil hats among us will run away from it, the upper-middle class moms probably shop at the boutique organic grocery store anyway... so now we're down to the meat of the issue--the other 95% of us that just want to make our own food choices by whatever standard we like. That's mighty hard to do with corporations pouring literally billions of dollars into politics for no other reason than to suppress our consumer rights, i.e. limit our choice, limit our information, limit our thoughts. We get a chance to "win one" against those tactics, and the scientists jump up and start yelling that we shouldn't do it because it won't solve the entire corporatist abuse problem in the food industry? Huh?

So no, we don't have to head down the slippery slope straight to "label everything" whenever we want to label anything. But when this many people want to know, letting a corporation flat out refuse to disclose what is going into the food we're putting in our bodies despite constitutionally protected rights of the people to legislate those regulations is a major rule of law problem. And that is a far greater problem than Bill Nye the science guy oversimplifying global warming to explain it to kids, or Right to Know running its own sensationalized "science" campaigns to counter Monsanto's fairly blatant skewing of the available scientific evidence.
I'm doing what I always do when considering a source: reading the study first, then when it was published and in what publication, then looking up the publication to see whether it has any degree of credibility within the academic community for the subject matter or whether it's something analogous to the Cato Institute newsletter for fiscal policy.

This is part of the reason it takes so damn long...
I have a gut feeling unsigned registered domain on a server located in Chicago, by registrant Biology Fortified, Inc., located in Madison, Wi, is very much an analog to Cato, and exists to tote Monsanto's party line.
Eh that could just be a symptom of one of these fly-by-night $5/mo web hosting companies that have popped up everywhere, but again, skepticism is warranted.
I was thinking it exists as just a domain forward to corporate maintained servers...21st century front.
Nah, it terminates at a GoDaddy vps... it's legit. You can kinda tell from the free CMS template in use :)
Interesting... so definitely not the unaffiliated blog community hub for people with a passing recreational interest in biosciences that it purports to be, but hardly an astroturf front either.
Yeah...big aggro at world level though...hence all the foreign research.

Sorry to drag +Anastasia Bodnar into this one, but they are making conspiracy claims about Biofortified. I know it's completely absurd, and there's a huge range of absurdity in this long thread now, but if you wanted to address you can.

I'm sure it's easier to throw "shill" and "conspiracy" claims than actually take on the data, but we all know how it goes.

This is why we can't have nice discussions. are the only one really being inflammatory while the adults actually discussed things civilly after you departed last night, with your repeated strawman mischaracterization that is geared solely that you be dismissive and arrogant.

If you pause from pontificating long enough to actually stop trolling the thread to make ad hominem might recognize this, though I do not hold out much hope -- it seems you may have been sniffing the ethers of academia for too long, and the solvents have unfortunately impaired your reading comprehension. Sadly, the part of your brain that generates snarky quips has remained intact.

One of us certainly has reading comprehension problems. Who made the shilling and conspiracy claims +Anthony DeTommasi ? We have the data. Anyone can look through this thread and see for themselves.  Apparently you have memory deficits as well. Hope it's not related to anything you are eating....
It's called considering the source Mary. And discovering the undisclosed affiliations of a website through independent investigation is certainly part of that process.

I said very clearly that the discovery was not a smoking gun. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make in harping on it, other than continued ad hominem painting of anyone who does not blindly agree with you as a science denier or kooky conspiracy theorist.

I have read many of the studies you cited, and I'm leaning toward the conclusion that the science is indeed sound, despite misgivings about Monsanto's first right of refusal for publication of negative findings. But you need to acknowledge sources like anonymous surveys of Texas A&M faculty showing 40% of them would fear professional repercussions for publishing findings harmful to Monsanto's business interests, as well as the issue raised in the SA article. Selectively redacted science is no science at all.
Only after and because you started painting tin hats -- which you could see was explained already, if you would stop just pretending to read. Your strawman bs about exaggerated claims of fear and human devastation that I was clear never to make, is getting boring...but hey, its easier to be dismissive if you respond only to imagined positions instead of dealing with what a person has actually been advocating for.

Answer one question: does the consumer have the right to information adequate to make their own choice, regardless of the basis they may rely on to do so?
You must be reading another thread, or creating fictions in your head +Anthony DeTommasi. I have no idea what you think I said, as nothing in my comments looks like what you claim.

Humans have the right to have irrational fears. They just don't have the right to make me pay for them.

Answer one question for me: transgenic papaya--an academic project, and does not involve any additional product requirement: are you opposed to those?
"make me pay for them"

What? Beyond the cost of litigating with Monsanto, which is of corporate doing and not the people's, how does requiring GMO labeling cost you anything? Are you finally admitting your arguments are driven by self-interest for your industry, and are themselves indicative of "irrational fear" that consumers may not react the way you'd prefer? That's my problem with your side of this debate claiming science for its own... your ultimate outcome argument is nonscientific, unlike that of climate scientists.
If you read the thread for real...I already explain my belief that GMO in greatest part have done wonderful things worldwide.

Stop lying and creating fictional windmills that have nothing to do with what I have posted here.

There has been selective reporting via Monsanto influence...but there indeed is junk science fomenting fears....I advocate for BETTER and more complete legislation and labeling, to inform the consumer's ability to make choices on whatever basis they deem individually appropriate... nothing more. 
Repost of something I said in a parallel thread days ago:

When you really boil it down, there really is only one question that you need to ask anyone who opposes labeling: does the consumer have the right to know whether they are eating genetically modified foods.

I posit that there really is only one reasonable answer to that question and any other response will take the form of some alleged practical concern that can be easily addressed, rationalization to justify hiding information from the consumer that is sourced in corporate greed, or position of intellectual arrogance that someone or some group of someones dismissively "know better."

Consumer rights should prevail. Period.

No one is denying the benefits of GMO.


It's nothing but a silly, intellectually dishonest strawman tactic to continue to insist anyone advocating for the consumer's right to regulate and be informed must be denying that GMO has any potential or real societal benefit. There are half a dozen other fallacies inherent in the ongoing presumption of the correctness of a conclusion that does not follow from any of the scientific method preceding it, i.e. labeling will cause material harm to the industry and will result in further corporate greenwashing abuse.

Please stop claiming intellectual brotherhood with climate scientists. They operate largely unfettered by corporate interests, and their outcome arguments follow from their methods and findings. This debate is about nothing more than consumers' right to know, and you certainly won't find reputable climate scientists bemoaning the public having more knowledge about the topic, what we choose to do with it notwithstanding.
The only benefit coming from the persistent mischaracterization of what has been said in order to repeat her non-responsive mantra, is that she discredits herself in the process.
Are you really suggesting that tracking, testing, and monitoring of this would incur no cost to consumers? This is a free process--really? Without any taxpayer implications on the legal and inspection side? How can that be? Do fairies paint the labels?

I'm not sure what you think about "my industry". I have no association with agriculture.

As I keep saying: it's fine if consumers who have a philosophical objection to these products to label them themselves, track them, and pay for that. Just as kosher works. But I don't feel the need to have to pay for the kosher process, nor this one.
Producers print the labels you dishonest shill. It's a cost of doing business with the consumers of a state. You know how they print the redemption value for bottle refunds per-state... you'd have me believe there's taxpayer cost worthy of mention in that practice?

Labeling is not "tracking, testing, and monitoring". Statute says the label must be present for GMO product. Refusal to comply results in consumer complaint and investigation leading to removal from shelves by state law if out of compliance, as well as fines that would hopefully more than fund the cost of enforcement. If a producer doesn't like the terms of doing business in a state, it can stop selling there. It seems 98% of Vermont residents would not shed a tear should Monsanto do so.

This is not a federal level thing asking the USDA to randomly test and pre-certify every product before it hits the shelves. So many false dilemmas and strawmen... all coming from the side that purports to be all about science and truth. Is it any wonder you're being met with nothing but skepticism?
So you are saying that there would be no impact of this federal law; no resources used in the federal government to set the regulations and report on the status, none at the state level for the label standards and monitoring, and none at the consumer end? Really? You believe that? 

Have you actually read the legislation? Or do you just clap your hands and wish it will be like you say?
As a society we have agreed to undertake and share the costs of enforcing rights, some of which may not particularly apply to us individually. Whether you care or not, the consumer has a right to know. More complete disclosure of production information and labeling needs to be engaged in numerous areas of food sales, inclusive of GMO's.

You are the one accusing others of blinders while you repeatedly cycle through the same set of tired strawman arguments...I have told you plainly the legislation as posed is inadequate...why do you keep ignoring...oh...nvm...I forgot who I was addressing for a moment!
It's not a federal law you serially dishonest fanatic.
It is seriously frustrating nonsense...I feel it too is more insidious when coming from intelligent, educated people as here, more apt in disguising their fallacious rhetoric...but is no less contrived than when a libertarian starts spewing about "force," ...actually frighteningly similar in style and impact. Eventually it comes down to straight-up lies and kitty squirm if you push hard enough, just the same.
+Keith Childers why would Bernie Sanders be fronting an amendment to a state law? Are you on the right thread? Do you have any idea what we are talking about here? actually never do read links...if you even bother to ever click them...before moving right on to regurgitating your cycle of non-responsive monomaniacal (owed you this jab, you hypocrite) do you?

Hint: try the link at line five of the OP thread post from Mr Sanders' staff...maybe actually read what the proposed Sanders amendment would effect at the state level, before switching gears to repeat yet a different strawman...again...for the third time...before switching again...and again.

You have now firmly become a parody of everything you have accused while flailing around in specious defense of an untenable, unconstitutional position.

Do the consumers have a right to be never really answered straight...just offered disingenuine quibbles about costs?
The amendment he's proposing to the federal farm bill would authorize states to require labeling without fear of federal lawsuit (i.e. removing Monsanto's ability to use extended litigation as a weapon against cash-strapped state legislatures trying to execute the will of their constituencies). Besides requiring the FDA to report back to Congress in two years with an update on the study of long-term effects of GMO consumption and to what degree it has taken root in our food supply (something they should be doing anyway) it does not, in any way, shape, or form commit federal resources to the practice of product labeling and enforcement.

The actual labeling statutes and enforcement thereof still falls to the states.

Are you sure you're in the right forum? The focus group for paid Monsanto shills is two doors down, on the left... just past the Fox news crew.
Exactly--it is a federal bill. As I said. It has requirements to establish regulations by federal agencies. I don't know if you are aware of this, but that would require federal resources--again, unless you think the fairies do that. There is a also a subsequent reporting aspect. Again, apparently done by fairies.

But yeah, you are wrong and resort to namecalling. Stay classy Keith.  But your level of cluelessness explains what happened here.

Just had to repeat this for the laughter value, and in case you edit it later: By +Keith Childers _It's not a federal law you serially dishonest fanatic._  Ha ha ha ha ha...
The labeling laws themselves are not federal, and you're still a dishonest fanatic. Your criticism of the "cost being passed on to consumers" was most certainly over the labeling itself, and its enforcement. Neither of those concerns is federal. I said nothing to the contrary.

The laws the grown ups have been debating for the last 50+ posts were the state laws themselves.

You win the gotcha for my post not matching the thread OP, and I have no intention of editing it. That's the type of revisionism I expect from a corporate apologist.
Name calling, like "conspiracist" and "clueless"?

Tu quoque, the last resort of a cornered hypocrite.
Please explain to me the warped reality wherein law authorizing the states to execute their 10th amendment rights without fear of federal repercussion is a federal labeling law committing federal taxpayer resources to universally mandated labeling.

When you're done with that sophist exposition, please answer the original, much simpler question: do consumers have the right to know, or don't they?

Stop dancing around the core issue and looking for an escape route from the rhetorical trap of your own construction. You'll not be afforded one here.
Keep dodging the the consumers have a right to be informed?

Keith knows it is a federal game playing pedant! The issue is empowerment of the states to individually monitor and regulate labeling. You really are intellectually dishonest and scrounging for a pathetic "gotcha" at this point, because you have no valid answer to the question I have posed.

It is not going to help you save have embarrassed yourself enough by making non-responsive strawman arguments over and can't unring that to stick to the script and keep dodging:

Do the consumers have a right to be informed?
Search for that term on the page, dude. Hilarious.
Yes or no answer please. Stop misdirecting and harping on minutia.
Yes, I believe Jewish consumers have the right to label products based on their philosophy--sure. I believe that Muslim consumers have the right to label products based on their philosophy--sure. I believe that the NonGMO project can do the same, based on their philosophy. I don't know how many times I can say that. But since all these things already exist, I don't think that the federal government should be spending resources on this based on everyone's philosophical perspective. I think this is the third time I've said it--perhaps it will be the charm...
Stop editing your comments, Keith. They are way funnier when you first write them.
You did not answer straight yet again.

Do consumers have the right to demand detailed disclosure from the producers.

Do states have the right to enforce without fear of litigation from the producers.

Do the consumers have a RIGHT to know. That right is not being enforced under specific legislation at present...but keep lying and misdirecting...your weak sophistry and hypocrisy are plenty hilarious whether edited or not.
You want to play rhetorical games, jumping back and forth between critique of the logistics and cost of implementation at the state level, and mere authorization of the practice at the federal, then declare "gotcha" when someone has trouble keeping track of your meandering. Fine let's play. I have plenty of experience at dealing with your libertarian counterparts who use the exact same dishonest tactics, though not quite so purposefully.

Let's start with your little "gotcha" moment you're still victory lapping on. Yes or no question: Does the amendment to the federal farm bill Sanders proposed mandate GMO labeling, or commit federal resources to enforcement thereof?

No? So you must've been talking about the state bills, right?

Careful Keith...she might hurt herself squirming to avoid looking in a mirror. 
The Sanders amendment defines what a GMO is (poorly, but has definitions). It is setting standards there, that would have to be promulgated by the "Commissioner of Food and Drugs and the Secretary of Agriculture". It also would require reporting to Congress: "report to Congress detailing the percentage of food and beverages sold in the United States that contain genetically engineered or genetically modified ingredients".

It sets standards and tracks results--separate actions. This requires federal resources. Unless you are using a different English language, this legislation has those components.

Where do you think I said it was setting mandatory labeling? I never said that--you have got a little straw in your craw there....Please provide the quote, because I don't understand where you think I said that.

It would also both enable and require subsequent steps at the state level, which would generate further costs to taxpayers and consumers that do not exist now--otherwise the federal tracking wouldn't be possible. If states have to report on "the percentage of food and beverages sold in the United States that contain genetically engineered or genetically modified ingredients" as required by this report aspect, they'll have to track and submit reports. As written, it's not clear if a state can opt out of this--looks like they'd all have to report. Not sure how you think this will happen without further resources. Federal and state resource requirements would result from this. And states would have to conform to the federal definitions--would they not? I don't know how it would resolve if a state's definitions were different.
A reporting aspect and a plan to establish criteria to classify GM, GE and other subtleties for purposes of regulatory study and potential future policy. As if these were charges not already mandated by the FDA and USDA charters for all emerging food production and distribution methods...

That's seriously what we're going to split hairs on? A law stipulating timeframes for agencies already engaged in such study to formally report back to Congress? Again, as if this has substantial extra taxpayer cost attached. Slippery slope argumentation at its most tenuous.
I asked the question when you talked about extra costs being passed on to consumers. Your answer, off base though it was, seemed to center on the logistics of implementing labeling policy, including regulatory costs being passed on to the consumer through increased product cost... another typical unscientific libertarian doomsday prognostication tactic used to argue against any regulation, no matter how necessary.

Now your qualified explanation seems to be suggesting that any additional taxpayer cost to get the regulatory agencies to do the due diligence they should be doing anyway by a certain date, as an amendment to a *gasp* agriculture bill, should be hitched to the state level GMO labeling initiative wagon as an argument against... the very definition of a false dilemma.

So what exactly were you arguing about "making you pay for" if not the states actually passing labeling law (where you said the labels themselves would paid for out of your pocket) or the feds passing a law preventing Monsanto from punitively suing them for exercising a clearly defined 10th amendment power (where you said you didn't want your tax dollars funding a due diligence in which the agencies concerned are already rightly engaged to legally define the parameters of GMO classification)? Can you at least understand my confusion? You're mixing unscientific fiscal criticisms like you just made up every slippery slope argument you could think of, loaded them all in a cannon, pointed it in my general direction and lit the fuse. This tactic smacks of the same prior criticism I have levied... you claim your arguments are coming from dispassionate application of science to public policy, but your ultimate conclusions--unsubstantiated pontification on what net financial impact labeling standards would have on the industry and the taxpayers, and whether you find them personally worthwhile--are nothing of the sort. But keep trying to plaster that "science" label on your nonsensical sophistry to bolster its credibility... maybe a few people won't see through it.

You're going to hit every fallacy known to man at this rate. Logic professors can use your posts as instructional material. Maybe they'll even name one after you.
Yes, if some company invents the technology to turn poop into corn flakes, you're going to have to pay for government to study the long-term effects of eating poop flakes to determine whether it's safe. And hopefully in the interim the people would demand it be labeled so consumers could give informed consent to being human guinea pigs... or dung beetles as the case may be. That's the price of living in a rule of law society where the contract stipulates right to regulate and the people (misinformed, clearly inferior serfs that they are) get to decide the nature of those regulations through democratic process.

If you don't like it, I hear China has much less stringent regulatory requirements on food and thus much lower related taxpayer cost, and as an added bonus none of that pesky democratic self-determination stuff getting in the way... you might consider moving there.

It's more and more like talking to a libertarian with every post. Great job Mary.
The truly fascinating thing will be to watch how republicans (who support states rights to the extreme of secession) vote on this amendment. I suspect the outcome of that vote will reveal the true nature of the arguments against states being allowed to regulate their own food because of "bad science" when those advocates find themselves politically spooning with people who want evolution edited out of textbooks...

The common thread holding the unholy patchwork together will, of course, be the same corporate money funding  campaigns, research grants and endowed professorships at higher ed institutions with storied histories of corporate incest compromising their science.
She qualifies certainly as a new character in our pantheon of pathetic here...joining the Splaterisms and Lemony-fresh sense...I present for your viewing hilarity...the Merry Mangler!
Where is the final transition to martyr... I thought we had arrived?

Maybe I underestimate the masochistic urge to try and restore some measure of "face" and its instead time to hibernate, reconstitute and reemerge later with a slightly altered angle of attack, with rebooted strawman arguments fully restored as if they had not been fully deconstructed already...multiple times.

Option two may be more likely yet, on second thought...judging by the degree of initial dismissive arrogance, I suspect a good degree of overcompensation for a weak ego is actually in play.
+Karl Haro von Mogel You can choose to reduce independent investigation into the ulterior motives of a source to "conspiracy mongering" if it pleases you, but know that I do not accept anything without evidence. When +Anthony DeTommasi first proposed suspicion based on the domain's WHOIS record, I ran a tracert to discover what physical server the site terminated at. You'll notice my comment that it was hitting a GoDaddy vps, not a corporate data center as he surmised.

Now that you have provided the additional bit of clarity that you use a third party niche provider for web hosting (Green Geeks) I can better understand the coincidence of two unaffiliated biotech sites being colocated, even on a VPS. I will now reconfirm what I had already said: there is no smoking gun to indicate an industry affiliation or astroturfing practice. I will not, however, apologize for presuming to investigate such. This is a normal and reasonable practice in critical thought.
Somehow my message shows to me but not to you or other users in my family...but new comments do.
Odd I didn't think comments had circles restrictions. Just delete and repost.
I have reposted shows up for me but not for!
I even tried posting it elsewhere...I see it, but others can't...I am going to have to retype since new messages post....cutting and pasting seems to pick up some impediment.

I do not lie to win arguments...I leave that to others.

Initially, straight WhoIs search revealed exactly what I posted in this thread first, a server in Chicago, unsigned registration in Madison, Wi.

Another cite lists a different IP for, which after bouncing several links led me to the very closely named .org which indicates shared IP with other topical pages that seemed more than coincidental:

If you click the first link of supposedly shared use for, that site is another gmo type page seeming on also a common webpage template, and has an affiliation noted at the bottom of the page which claims it is a "Challenge Program of CGIAR"

I did not state anything definitive...I stated only exactly what I found and what seemed to be a connection to CGIAR. I noted my observation, and then did not refer to it again or attempt to use it in any way to villify or bolster arguments as dealt most expressly with flawed rhetoric and direct mistatements and strawman fictions by Mary. You now are making more a "federal case" than I ever did... inclusive of a direct character attack ad hominem as an alternative supposition toward a complete stranger during your first time addressing me...all for what may indeed be coincidence.

OTOH, what is NOT coincidence is that a quick google search of you reveals a long history of hostile battles on blogs and comments concerning these exact issues, in connection with your academic work toward PhD and grants you have received, federal or otherwise and whether the former is reflective of indirect "training" for future Monsanto employees on the tax-payers' dime... and whether it entails a fast track to eventual bid to fill the retiring positions at seed generators from a limited supply of incoming talent. I make no accusations of my own...again reporting what I see. Point is, this is not new at all for have been party to these rhetorical games and being named a direct Monsanto shill for literally years on end, as a part of your regular routine. I have been posting about GMO's for a grand total of two days...and have never seen you or your colleagues on these threads for any other topic over the last six months. There is a saying about a duck that comes to mind...but that would be needless snark at this point.

It matters little to me either way, who you are or whether you go to sleep dreaming of employment at a big corp., it changes nothing with regard to the unjustifiable position I oppose from Mary and your communal quest to oppose mandatory labeling being commanded of producers.

Now that I answered your question, maybe you can answer more directly than Mary:

Do YOU think consumers have the RIGHT to be informed?

If you answer honestly and directly...your heart may grow THREE sizes this day...and you will have the strength to bring the sleigh back down from Mt. Crumpet and restore xmas for CindyLou Who!!!!

Mundane little boxes like "conspiracist" and "science denier"? I agree, there's plenty of room for the Grinch to grow, but unfortunately for your little one-sided narrative, there needs to be growth in all directions... particularly when one side is standing pat on "we're scientists so we're right" but the conclusions about market impact and worthiness of policy for allocation of tax dollars are about as scientific as guessing my favorite color.

You may also want to take a look at the general tone and utterly dishonest debate tactics being employed here by Mary and Sam, shield-bearing members of your "community", to understand why your organization may be getting negative attention and assumptions by association. These paragons of pure science have been trolling threads all week, authoring such gems as "I know more about science than the rest of you ever will [via my bachelors degree in food management]", and... well heck just scroll up a bit.

When you guys decide to hop off your high horses and admit that, unlike climate science to which you claim affinity, your advocacy is fully deserving of the skepticism it is receiving due to Monsanto's influence on both the methods and what gets published, the illiterate masses will be down here on the ground, ready and willing to debate public policy as equals under law. Further, after the vote on this amendment when you find yourself standing on the same side of the aisle with corporatist regressives chomping at the bit to discredit evolution and global warming, perhaps you'll re-examine how well your beloved science has translated into policy, in much the same way Einstein reflected on the development of the atom bomb and the role his well-intentioned scientific genius played in genocide.
Did it catch that time...editing an existing message to uptake the post ...I even posted it directly to my circles Keith...dont know if you can see it there either.
i see it three times...very very bizarre...I even emailed the text to myself and cut and paste it from the email before posting to private circles as a fresh post. In editing multiple times, some invisible character must still be picked up that makes it private only to me? O.o

But grafted onto an existing post it then appears publicly...WTF!....I do not understand....I drafted it 11 hours ago and originally posted it last night...numerous edits must have infected something invisible...OR some serious G+ kung fu going on...just do not know what to think...

Ps...the cut'n paste post appears when posted by a family THEM...but not has POISON in it...beware!
Maybe you have a binarily modified special character in there, causing some as yet unknown haywire state in the system consuming it. No worries though... I'm sure it's just a fluke. The guys at Google say it's 100% safe to keep copy-pasting, and there's no need to post a user advisory while they investigate. really did start feeling paranoid there until it appeared on the back of an existing post by stream shows the same post three times now, inclusive of the one you can see.

I edited last night a bunch of there really is some invisible coding for message setting of public/private that must've been corrupted, and then replicated with every cut'n paste, yet added on the back of an existing message, that preexisting message's coding controls instead. I was getting oddly frustrated and a muzzle was on me while trying to reply to someone calling me a liar!
I just edited my reply because yours did a far better job explaining the "coincidence".

Apropos, I thoroughly enjoyed how the Nixonesque post from the biofortified dude immediately proceeded your query "where's the final transition to martyr"? As if on queue... maybe we have deciphered the source code to dishonest argumentation such that the predictive algorithm applies with equal precision to both libertarian drones channeling Beck and self-impressed career academics attempting to justify corporatist policy with questionable science.

I'm reminded of the movie Pi which ultimately climaxes with the protagonist drilling out the portion of his brain that allows such computation. I must confess, the thought does cross my mind from time to time, particularly in threads like these.
Agreed...I am seeing more and more that double-headed coin being tossed just the same regardless of underlying politics.

I am just aggravated that I sat comfortably for so many hours, mistakenly believing my reply to him was visible to all within the 30 minutes or so of his post that it initially took me to get the first draft out. I must have edited it into hidden character/coding oblivion ...and people may have wrongly presumed a "gotcha" against me in the meantime!
Sorry for digging this back up, but i just read this comment thread and... +Mary Mangan your logic and reading skills are subpar at best. I read the GMO thread of Bernie Sanders' and you were the only person with a total failure regarding discourse and reasoning. Please apply greater mental effort to public commentary.
+Christopher Hannigan I'll posit lack of mental effort wasn't the root of her failure to debate rationally and honestly. Indeed, I saw a great deal of effort being expended in sophist yoga contortions to reach foregone conclusions, followed up by an equally strenuous effort to package those arbitrary conclusions as unassailable science, topped off by a herculean effort to dance a circular Lambada around the issues of corporate influence and constitutional law put forth repeatedly herein.

All the while she worked quite hard to sidestep issuing an unqualified response to the one question that exposes her entire argument as justification for willful suppression of truth, the exact opposite goal of scientific exposition. Unfortunately, a hamster running itself to exhaustion in a wheel still doesn't get anywhere...

A for effort, D- for literacy and reading comprehension, F for intellectual honesty.
He +1'ed himself ROFLMAO

Self-impressed career academic diagnosis confirmed. "Good day" to you as well. 
Just for accuracy's sake I did not feel the need to duplicate his methods since I said very clearly that even if the shared IP were true it still wasn't evidence of an industry affiliation of any import to this discussion. You go right on looking for gotchas though.

I think you might have skipped right over the part where he said that he got the IP from another historical WHOIS record which showed that had previously been assigned the same IP as these other sites, which share strikingly similar site templates. But again, you're the one that keeps dwelling on it when both myself and +Anthony DeTommasi have yielded that there is no evidence of industry affiliation before you even spoke up in your "defense".

Now, would you care to address the meat of my other commentary in response to your diatribe, or at least give an unqualified answer to the question already posed: Do consumers have the right to mandate corporations must provide the information they are requesting through constitutional legislation? (Please note that right does not equate to voluntary compliance, but rather to a legally enforceable regulation that can be implemented by government)

While you're at it, can you please reconcile your continued insistence that your politics on this issue are supported by science, when in fact the practice of willfully suppressing information is adverse to the very nature of scientific inquiry?
You misunderstood/ignored a part of my explanation...still looking for some pathetic "gotcha," be it just a poorly aimed general insult to my intelligence and/or use of the internet at this I will endeavor to be more explicit, in deference to your choice to yet belabor the issue.

I never claimed NOT to recognize that the cite was a different word than biofortified ...I also explained that I did not just randomly link your site to that cite of my own accord, nor did I even imagine to go looking for some similarly named entity for any reason. There are a good number of "snoop" sites that purport to provide additional reverse lookup info beyond straight "who is" data...which immediate data I accurately had first noted. I then quickly cycled through a few other of these investigatory sites, tracking links they provided and contemporaneously posted my further observations. One of these sites linked YOUR org to the IP address of the biofortification entity...then claiming both were located out of California.

I then did a straight "who is" which I provided a link to in my earlier reply...and from there I found the HarvestPlus connection as I said. I did note that the WhoIs located that server out of Virginia. The names being so similar and there seemingly being a variety of server locations showing for both entities, California being the shared...I felt I had seen enough to at least note the connection. The snoop sites tend to be geared toward inviting you into paying for even greater detail, and as you may surmise, offer up suggestive plausible connections to urge belief they have something to offer, but payment is required to truly unlock greater detail. As your entity is but a side issue of the overarching topic of the thread and my actual concerns over labeling, I was not about to pay for greater clarification. ..this is why I really did not put too much stock in the finding even at the time, and did not rely on it more than to simply note my findings.

You have clarified and I have already acknowledged the connection appears false...CGIAR seemed a surprise anyway, as I have been quite plain that I believe you instead to be a shill for Monsanto, a private for-profit corp.,not of an admittedly previously unknown world agricultural organization. I still believe you seek ultimate employment in the lab of a seed at least partial source of strong pro-company bias in your positions.

Nice try at sidestepping that you have been a sort of "professional combatant" of these exact issues for years. The several topics I alluded to were meant primarily to communicate to you that I had indeed tapped into some of your prior arguments dating back several years, without inviting wholesale further digression into ad hominem attack of you as a person. It was meant as a disincentive to push for more particularized rehashing of your older battles and said, my interest is not in vilifying you but in addressing specious opposition to the consumers' right to know how food has been manipulated and produced, in areas beyond just GMO seeds and techniques.

Once again, I invented nothing...and had reviewed with interest your opponents' comments beneath the article dating back to early 2010...issues about grant funding, etc.

Your rising to the defense of Monsanto more directly:

Monsanto linking to your blog on their website about 3/4 down the page:

Monsanto and others using their PR teams to allegedly already support your group in questioned ways aside from remuneration:

Again...I don't care who you are or what your aspirations may be...only to the degree you want to pretend no motivational connection to Monsanto whatsoever and shrug off any questioning as to bias in your expressed viewpoints.

That said...I am not out on a witch hunt of you...I post to this forum and your people appeared to troll the thread with dismissive disdain and disregard for simple belief in the consumer's right to know.

Best of luck to you in your future in the GMO field...please strive for complete long term testing even of the more seemingly benign modifications...and also for Monsanto and other patent holders to abstain from stifling through direct and indirect means, contrary or damaging study findings from outside the industry's extensive network across academia and otherwise.
That second link could have just as easily been a RoundUp commercial...

Karl, your credibility is shot, lack of evidence for your blog's affiliation with industry notwithstanding. As +Anthony DeTommasi already noted, we have not seen your crew post a single thing on these threads for months, and you all decide to pile on to this one topic in force. That's quacking like a duck if I've ever heard it.

You may be a well-intentioned proponent of your scientific endeavors, working purely for the betterment of mankind with no ulterior motive whatsoever... it doesn't matter. You're still making the argument for selective information suppression in direct contravention of constitutional law. You state:

"I have yet to hear a convincing argument for mandatory labeling that shows that the actual benefits are greater than the drawbacks of the costs of segregation, testing, and other downstream effects."

Here's an argument for you: Per the 10th amendment to the U.S. constitution, the residents of a state have the authority to regulate their food policy through legislation, their ability to provide you with a "convincing argument" be damned. The residents of VT and CA, by overwhelming margins, support mandatory labeling. You stand with Monsanto in choosing the path of suppression and litigation rather than education and public outreach out of some supposed concern for the benefit not being commensurate with the cost... how is that scientific again? Isn't a discussion of cost vs. benefit one for the voters? It's their money after all, right?

Even if you can prove with 100% certainty that GMO product is safe, you're still wrong on the legal side of things... if people want to mandate that product labeling can't be green that's their prerogative. You live in a democracy, get happy with it.

And finally, for all of our benefit, drop the "science" act... this isn't about science. It's about pushing your own self-interest in a GMO market politically. You're standing with Republicans who want to regress society to the  dark ages of theocracy and superstition just to keep this industry from losing market share. Prove me wrong... support consumer access to information and consumer education.

Censorship and denial of self-determination through [punitive cost of] litigation are not the best ways to win hearts and minds in a free society, nor is holier-than-thou sophistry masquerading as objective science. And if you do happen to have that direct line to Monsanto that many suspect, please relay the suggestion that they redirect the hundreds of millions they are currently spending on lobbying, litigation and intimidation to public relations and educational outreach. That would go a lot further towards rebuilding the societal trust they've squandered through decades of pure evil than perpetual suppression campaigns.
Considering the fact that the 10th amendment exists and there are already existing precedents of states setting their own standards for consumable and durable goods, I'm left wondering why Sanders feels it necessary to pass additional legal standards to protect states from the fear of federal lawsuit. He's a Senator, he has a finger closer to the pulse than I do, which makes me wonder if there's someone trying to draft legislation designed to somehow block labeling requirements by states at the federal level?
It's precisely for the reason already stated: with no federal law on GMO at all, policy is up to the courts. This gives Monsanto great power to use litigation as a bargaining chip. If Bernie's amendment passes, even the most conservative of federal judges will have no option but to say "case dismissed". Monsanto will have to take litigation over the constitutionality of the amendment itself to court, i.e. sue the feds instead of the states, to get it overturned.

States clearly have authority to do this on their own, but all the better if there's federal law to keep it out of the courts.
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