Opinion/Editorial Archive

GMOs and the Puppetmasters of Academia – What The New York Times Left Out

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

NOTE: The article below is in response to this New York Times article.

The Ecologist
by Dr. Jonathan Latham

This one goes all the way to the top:
Prof. Nina Fedoroff of Penn State, President
of
the American Association for the Advancement of
Science, shown with President G W Bush.
Source: Penn State

The NYT’s expose of Kevin Folta’s PR role as a pro-GMO shill in the employ of Monsanto barely scratched the surface of a huge web of corporate money, influence and intrigue that permeates the US’s premier universities and scientific institutions, writes Jonathan Latham – from Harvard and Cornell to the AAAS. Why the reticence to name all the names?

“Reading the emails make(s) me want to throw up” tweeted the Food Babe after reading a lengthy series of them posted online by the NY Times on 5th September.

The emails in question result from a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and are posted in the side bars of a front-page article by Timesreporter Eric Lipton (‘Food Industry Enlisted Academics in GMO Lobbying War, Emails Show‘). See also this account on The Ecologist. Read Full Article »

Why Are Climate Groups Only Focused on 50% of the Solution?

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

EcoWatch
by John Roulac

NutivaJohnMonExxonQuote_2To the leadership at Greenpeace, Sierra Club, 350.org, Environmental Defense Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council and all other climate groups:

Your organizations have worked very hard, collectively, to reduce world reliance on carbon-centric oil, gas and coal. Thanks to your work to reduce pollution, we certainly have a healthier planet. High praise is in order for the success of your valiant efforts in the face of corrupt vested interests.

Yet I, along with many others, must still ask: Will your plan win the race against time to avert climate chaos? Anyone paying close attention can see that, even if the world doubles the rate at which it’s adopting wind, solar, bike lanes, electric cars and conservation, the excess carbon in our atmosphere and seas will still lead to intense climate chaos. Read Full Article »

Recalls of Organic Food on the Rise, Report Says

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Letter to the editor submitted by Cornucopia’s Mark Kastel to the New York Times in response to the article below:

Source: TheBittenWord.com

To the editor,

Stephanie Strom’s Aug. 14 article, Recalls of Organic Food on the Rise, Report Says, is disturbing. Regardless of the rate, food recalls due to pathogenic contamination are too high in both organic and conventional food.

The increase in problems relating to organics should not be surprising. Corporate agribusiness has been poisoning our citizenry, and the FDA and USDA have been ineffective at controlling their recklessness. And Big Food now controls much of organics.

Industrial-scale (“factory”) livestock production produces sick animals that are maintained in abhorrent conditions. Organics was supposed to be the alternative, but we have seen an exponential rise in “organic” milk, meat, and eggs from the livestock factories, and a similar increase in imports of “organic” commodities from countries with endemic levels of commercial fraud and food contamination (China, India, former Soviet bloc states).

Consumers can protect their family by choosing authentic food from local certified organic farms and the companies that truly subscribe to the values that founded the industry. Brand scorecards are available at: www.cornucopia.org

Mark A. Kastel
Senior Farm Policy Analyst
The Cornucopia Institute
Cornucopia, Wisconsin


The New York Times
by Stephanie Strom

New data collected by Stericycle, a company that handles recalls for businesses, shows a sharp jump in the number of recalls of organic food products. Read Full Article »

Exposing Abuse on the Factory Farm

Monday, August 17th, 2015

The New York Times
by The Editorial Board

Source: Orin Zebest

While most Americans enjoy eating meat, it is hard to stomach the often sadistic treatment of factory-farmed cows, pigs and chickens.

Farm operators know this, and they go to great lengths to hide these gruesome images from the public. A popular tactic pushed lately by the agriculture lobby is the so-called ag-gag law, which makes it a crime to secretly videotape industrial feedlots and slaughterhouses for the purpose of exposing animal mistreatment and abuse.

These laws, on the books in seven states, purport to be about the protection of private property, but they are nothing more than government-sanctioned censorship of a matter of public interest.

On Aug. 3, a federal judge struck down Idaho’s ag-gag law for violating the First Amendment — the first time a court has ruled on such a statute. Read Full Article »

GM Foods: A Moment of Honesty

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

FieldQuestions
by Glenn Davis Stone

As the latest controversy over GMO’s unfolds – this time it’s about a House Bill that would ban labeling laws – it’s time for a moment of honesty about science and safety. Of course safety is hardly the only bone of contention in GMO debates, but safety is the issue that’s most hotly contested and that’s most central to the labeling bill.

Rep. Mike Pompeo, the sponsor of the bill, writes that activists are misleading consumers with false claims about unsafe food.  Actually, “more than 100 research projects over 25 years” have “affirmed and reaffirmed the safety” of GM foods.

Dr. Norman Borlaug
Source: Lou Gold

I must point out to my GMO-doubting friends that Pompeo’s statement about the research is accurate. A lot of studies have failed to find any health risk for any GM food. Bizillions of meals with ingredients from GM crops have been eaten with no direct linkage to health problems.  So for those of us who study GM crops professionally, there eventually comes a point to set aside allegiances and emotions and take a frank and careful look at the science.

I have reached that point, but I know of someone else who reached a similar point, someone who was ideally positioned to speak on issues of technology and food and safety. The late Dr. Norman Borlaug, “Father of the Green Revolution” and Nobel laureate, was a passionate proponent of GM crops. This humanitarian scientist captured something important about modern agriculture and how to deal with its critics. Borlaug realized that when lives were at stake, it is appropriate to be impatient, even downright irate, with anti-science critics of valuable technologies. Read Full Article »