GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out

By Gene Hall

There were two mandatory labeling issues for GMOs on state ballots Tuesday. Both were defeated.

In Oregon, the labeling measure was barely turned back with a 51 percent “no” vote. In Colorado, it was much more decisive with a 66 percent “no.”

In Hawaii—Maui to be exact—there was a local initiative to ban growing GMO crops altogether. It passed. As yet unexplained is the rationale, because these votes are not based on anything rational. GMO papaya is resistant to ringspot virus, and the non-GMO kind probably can’t be grown there. But hey, that’s someone else’s problem, right?

And why anyone would dislike corn that is grown with 85 percent less pesticide is a mystery. Such is the political nonsense of anti-GMO extremism.

The Maui ban is not likely to survive a court challenge. If a state issue ever passes, it likely won’t either, since there is no science behind any of them.  Nothing has been proven except that ballot initiatives are a terrible way to govern.

 

Gene Hall

Public Relations Director
Texas Farm Bureau
I believe that the only hope for a food secure world is capitalism and reasonable profits for America’s farm and ranch families–that the first element of sustainability is economic survival.
Follow Gene on Twitter and Facebook.

18 Responses to “GMO state labeling initiatives are shut out”

  1. CactusWest says:

    Regarding your comment “And why anyone would dislike corn that is grown with 85 percent less pesticide is a mystery. Such is the political nonsense of anti-GMO extremism”….. The answer is your transgenic biotech seed has risk. It was never tested (safety) long-term before market entry. It was hastily introduced to hit a market window of opportunity using deception and borderline fraudulent politics. Basically, transgenic seed is illegal if you go back and start peeling the onion. I might ask, would you ride on a new commercial jet that was tested the way transgenic seed was tested for safety. If your answer is yes, then you definitely have no regard for human safety. By the way I spoke with dozens of Iowa farmers who are feed up with transgenic seed and reverting back to non-traited seed. They tell me that the they use as much pesticide on their transgenic as they do on non-traited and further the non-traited performs as good or even better and costs much less.

    When it comes to labeling non-GMO groups as extremists, I would say that it takes one to know one.

    Good Day.

  2. Gene Hall says:

    Well Cactus, it’s just that virtually ALL of the science is going the other way from what you suggest. Even the EU has concluded their ban is nothing but politics. There are really no other products in the history of planet earth that have been tested more than biotech. I say virtually all, but I’ve never seen one that could stand much scruitiny. I’m going to post some links here from mainstream journalism and science sites. If you post some back, I’lll read them if they don’t have the words “organic” or “natural” in the link. Those are a waste of time. I’ll read any others. Have a good day yourself!

    http://www.usnews.com/debate-club/should-consumers-be-worried-about-genetically-modified-food/the-pervasive-myth-that-gmos-pose-a-threat

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-01-07/green-activist-reverses-stance-on-genetically-modified-food.html

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/jonentine/2013/05/29/anti-gmo-scientist-gilles-eric-seralini-activist-jeffrey-smith-withdraw-from-food-biotech-debate/

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/collideascape/2013/05/14/leaky-brains-and-gmos/#.UiUCajZJOSo

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2013/03/29/anti-gmo-writers-show-profound-ignorance-of-basic-biology-and-now-jane-goodall-has-joined-their-ranks/

    http://cosmosmagazine.com/features/senseless-fight/ 

    http://www.popsci.com/article/science/core-truths-10-common-gmo-claims-debunked 

    http://fafdl.org/gmobb/about-those-industry-funded-gmo-studies/ 

    http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/the-curious-wavefunction/2013/09/06/scientific-american-comes-out-in-favor-of-gmos/

    http://www.euractiv.com/science-policymaking/chief-eu-scientist-backs-damning-news-530693

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/sciencebiz/2010/12/14/non-gmo-foods-nonsense/

    http://realfoodorg.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/about-those-industry-funded-gmo-studies/

    http://scienceblogs.com/denialism/2013/03/29/anti-gmo-writers-show-profound-ignorance-of-basic-biology-and-now-jane-goodall-has-joined-their-ranks/ 

    Glyphosphate

    http://www.innovationfiles.org/points-to-consider-unfounded-claims-of-glyphosate-accumulation-in-breast-milk/ 

    http://www.innovationfiles.org/points-to-consider-unsubstantiated-claims-that-glyphosate-is-linked-to-kidney-disease/ 

    • CactusWest says:

      Do not send me anything other than specific test data that includes 5 to 10 years of testing (relative to human safety). Again, that is 5 to 10 years of testing before USDA/FDA approval. Just give me the specific link, the title and the author and his/her affiliation relative to the 5 to 10 year test program that was conducted before USDA/FDA approval.

      Anything other than that I consider not relevant.

      Thanks.

      • Gene Hall says:

        Nah – Don’t think so. Convincing you is both impossible and irrelevant. I’ll settle for being 4-0 on state ballot initiatives. Have yourself a good weekend Cactus.

        • CactusWest says:

          Sort of what I thought. The data does not exist, nor is/was there any follow-on testing to the original non-existent pre-approval testing. You will never admit it, but smart folks can see through the bully demeanor and the money-talks-veil of your org and the biotech companies. If only they would have been upfront from the beginning and engaged in extensive safety testing from onset. But they only know how to buy business, not earn it. Of course, if they would have followed extensive test protocol they would have missed their market window and we can figure out the rest of the story from that.

          Its all a legal sham.

          • Gene Hall says:

            I’m curious. Who made you the arbiter of what data is acceptable? Every scientific body in the world worthy of mention is satisfied. What makes you special? Sorry if I offend, but I post under my name, and I don’t know yours.

          • CactusWest says:

            I am just one of many and for that matter many scientist and professionals who would have liked to have had 5 to 10 years of safety data. I would ask you, what makes your biotech industry exempt/special relative to not having to produce safety test data. The pharmaceuticals, aircraft manufactures, NASA, etc have to. Your industry never had the time to do robust testing because it would put you outside the market window. Your industry bought off the FDA/USDA with “substantive equivalence”, hence made it so you did not have to undertake robust safety testing. In the aerospace industry it is referred to as “design by similarity”. Your industry convinced FDA that moving a gene was not a new design. I ran this one by some of my aerospace colleagues and they just laughed and commented that glad these folks do not build airplanes.

            I have commented on your site before as Mike Osweiler. I just used CactusWest for convenience.

          • Gene Hall says:

            Well gee whilikers…at least we now know who you are. I have never found it at all convenient to post under anything other than my own name. It’s a lot simpler that way. I have nothing to hide. This is not a complicated technology. In medicine biotech is routine. If I go to the hospital, I say, “make me well.” I do not say “make me well with 1960s technolgy.”

          • Gene Hall says:

            Don’t worry, there’s not a lot of traffic here on the actual Word Press site. Most of our action takes place on Facebook and Twitter, where we post the blog. Word Press is just where it “lives.” But you would not like it over in the social media world. It’s harder to be anonymous there.

          • Gene Hall says:

            But…since you have an “issue” we’ve been planting the stuff for 20 years without so much as ONE ecosystem disrupted. Not even one hint of a human health problem. Is this not data?

          • CactusWest says:

            No disruption? It is an unknown. There is virtually no test data. That is there was never any safety tests at the onset, there were no official follow-on safety test since there was no baseline safety tests in the beginning. That being said, there is no way to tell. There is nothing to measure against. That is exactly what the biotech companies wanted.

            Even if there is a “disruption” it would be difficult at this time to determine if transgenic’s was a cause or contributor.

            This is my last response as I have other commitments.

            Thanks for letting me present my comments.

          • Gene Hall says:

            Well okay…I want you to have the chance to state the case. I am here…waiting for the genetic apocalypse – which frankly…seems a little less likely with each passing year of …safe….effective…environmentally friendly GMO crops. Really. Best wishes.

  3. Jon Hardison says:

    Folks, I think, have all the reason in the world to be entirely freaked out by GMO. Part of the problem is the term can mean so many things. Rice is a great example. It has been modified over thousands of years to increase yield. I don’t think anyone has a problem with that or other minor things designed to address real problems in intelligent non-hasardis ways. The other side of GMO is the scary bit. First, the issue os simply not knowing what was done with the stuff. But then there are the obvious ‘WTF’ things, like coating seed in your-guess-is-as-good-as-mine. LOL!

    The Canadian bee situation. Yes, we all know that GMO itself has not been linked to hive deaths as has been implied so many times, but there is a direct correlation between hive deaths and GM planting. So far these deaths are associated with the insecticide the seed is coated with.

    When we have these conversations I think it’s important to remember that there are a lot of moving parts and lots unanswered questions that lead most reasonable people to the same conclusion. Questions like, “Why does a company that’s doing nothing wrong need immunity from legal repercussions?”, or “Why does MONSANTO need such close ties with government if their product is so widely accepted?” “If we’re free market capitalists, why is it such a problem that people be allowed to simply make a choice?”

    The GM side of this argument that’s not really an argument, is having their cake and eating it too. The product is questionable and rather than answering questions, the industry has largely chosen half-truths and circumvention. And keep in mind, we’re dealing with the public, so even if that’s not true, it holds the appearance of truth.

    Congratulations on your big wins! I’m not sure they’re going to do anything, long term, to help address the actual issue, but hey… The product is getting consumed on a huge scale, and the people have said they have no right to know. All is right in the world. :-)

    Note: Rather than throwing around articles about the CN bee thing, I’ll just post a link to the snopes.com article that separates the truth from the lies. Here it is…

  4. Jon Hardison says:

    …sorry about the typos. My keyboard has a mind of it’s own. 😉

  5. Declaring victory when public opinion is gradually building steam against us seems unwise. Especially at a time when the anti-Monsanto crusaders are girding their loins for a war on 2,4-D – and all pesticides, period.

    The general public loves a ‘fear factor’ scenario and GMOs have certainly proven to be a favored target. The majority don’t bother to understand the science, but rather take the word of politically motivated gurus who crave attention and get it by any means. “Your food is killing you” sells, for some reason.

    I observe their fervor, amused at the fact that they don’t grasp that eliminating GMO/glyphosate tolerant options will directly impact their own survivability. I believe I read somewhere that the USA is the only nation in the world that has never experienced a full-on famine. The reason is innovation.

    The same alfalfa-sprout eating Liberal elitist who cry over a third world with insufficient food, don’t grasp that their own privileged existence in a land of over-abundance sits precariously balanced on modern farming practices.

    The fact that they think U.S. farmers will be willing or able to revert to mechanical and/or hand weeding methods, allowing insects to destroy another ten to thirty percent of our crops while producing half the quantity we do today, demonstrates their gross naivete.

    Ignorance is bliss. There are people on this earth who wouldn’t know to breathe except that breathing is an involuntary reflex.

  6. I thought the issue here is with GMO labeling. Companies that produce GMO food do not want make this information available on a grocery item. Why is that? What do they have to hide, Mr. Hall, if such food is totally safe? I have and will continue demand my rights to know origins of my food. I suggest you all watch documentaries: Food Inc, Food Matters, and Hungry for Change. Read some facts on GMO seed makers – Monsanto and Dupont and learn about their long chain of lawsuits around the world.

    And finally, I want to comment on a long list of “mainstream journalists and scientist”. It made me laugh that you believe that safety tests and reports can have any value when 100% of them were sponsored and paid by the very same companies who push GMO products into people’s throats. I bet you right now those bio engineers somewhere in Monsanto lab working on a fresh report that will announce that GMO foods are actually better for you than traditional organic.
    But where are independent studies and reports? I’ll tell you where – they were shut down as soon as discoveries were made that for example GMO foods cause sterilization, birth defects, various cancers, etc. Of course paid media and scientists will say what they must say. What their owners want them to say… Google and read up.

    As a minimum, we need to have GMO labeled on every grocery item. Let people decide whether they want to consume it or not.

    • Well Michael. You’ve touched on every myth about biotech that’s out there. Check out the links above for mainstream science journals that disprove all of this. As I said, if you send me links I will read them unless they have the words “organic” or “natural” in the link. You already have the option. Organic means no GMO by USDA rule. The reason for ‘no’ (he patiently explained again) is because it will be costly to not only label, but to keep the product segregated. And, as the myth and misinformation in your post proves once again, your group does not want an information label. It wants a warning label – which of course, this climate friendly technology does not deserve. As a final…and I do mean final thought on this post…biotech is now commonplace in the world of medicine. When you go to the doctor, do you say, “Make me well” or do you say “make me well with 1950s technology?” ….that’s what I thought.

  7. CactusWest says:

    Oops! I responded out of order. You were responding to the other Michael.

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