"Traditional Breeding (i.e. its biological basis: sexual reproduction):
  • Evolved over eons (along with “checkpoint” mechanisms to eliminate mistakes)
  • Occurs between closely related organisms
  • Genetic exchange occurs in reproductive cells,
  • and occurs between related chromosomes,
  • through homologous recombination
  • Amount of DNA and spacing between genes remain the same
(Traditional) Genetic Engineering (particularly of crop plants):
  • Is human-made, recently (and subject to human and other errors)
  • Involves any gene from any organism (alive or dead) or synthesized in a lab
  • Occurs in somatic cells
  • Insertion into chromosomes occurs “randomly”
  • Causes insertional mutation of recipient’s genes at rates of 27-63%
  • Gene spacing and amount of genomic DNA are altered
  • Involves “selectable marker” genes (e.g. kanamycin-resistance gene)

Genomics are like an orchestra with regulatory sequences as conductors 

If you watch the red link above and linked right here titled popped secret, as I sincerely hope you will, you will learn that music is a  great analogy for the way genes operate. The excellent documentary is a great story about geneticists and archeologists solving a fascinating science puzzle.

Traditional breeding practiced by ancient peoples in Mexico nine thousand years ago, nine thousand!  Transformed a green bushy grass called teosinte into the corn we all know today.   
Four genes produced the dramatic effects turning that little blade of practically inedible green grass at the top of the image into the beautiful corn cob below.

   Just four regulatory genes!!!  

The movie brings up a couple of important points illustrating the nuts and bolts of the engineered crops and - the most commonly deployed regulatory sequences--conductors of our orchestra controlling expression of many genes (Symphony musicians). Even one instrument out of tune will destroy a symphony.  But what if the "conductor",  called a promoter in genetic engineering,  of a classical piece of ancient music created nine thousand years ago, is plucked from a different century and specializes in radically different style of music or is plain incompetent? 

It turns out this is the case with the "conductor" of the orchestra inserted into today's Agricultural GMOs. Both the promoter that tells the organism to read the new piece of DNA (sheet music), as well as the terminator that tells it when to stop are terribly flawed.  CAMV promoter contains Gene VI1  while the nos terminator doesn't terminate transcription! The most commonly deployed terminator called nos instead causes post-transcriptional modification including splicing. Both can result in uncharacterized fusion proteins which could be toxic or allergenic. 

Imagine if you will that classical piece of music re-done thus.
It will give you an idea of the quality of music you'll be hearing, or rather eating and feeding to your kids. 

  And dammit, don't you want it terminated?

14:40 Point #3 Nitty Gritty Science. Word Processing Analogy 

- Genome as a Book -

Genes are not two-dimensional modular components-- they operate in complex networks, but for the sake of argument lets roll with  Stephen's book analogy instead.....

15:20 If a genome is like a book..and genetic engineering is like word processing.....then the corn book was edited fifteen years before anyone even read it -because it wasn't translated it into "English " yet!  

The book on corn was finally decoded and published in 2009, but GMO corn was planted in 1996!

 Corn is a very complex plant that has 12,000 more genes than humans do, stuffed into ten chromosomes instead of humans' twenty-three. Boasting more genes than human corn genome proved tough to decode. So, the seeds of corn we co-evolved with for nine thousand years, was genetically engineered before the code was even known, and the "book" had been read. 

Here's what actually happened --Genetic engineers picked  up Hemingway's "For Whom the Bells toll" cut out a chapter here and there, spliced  it to a paragraph from "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen, cut out a couple of sentences from Tolstoy's  "War and Peace" - in the original untranslated Russian! -- splicing it to a few pages from "Fifty Shades of Grey",  along with several pages  from Dr. Seuss " Cat and the Hat". 
This novel and quite original piece of classical literature  mash-up was capped off with three pages from Madame Bovary by Flaubert --in FrenchWhen it was all said and done one or two copies  of this novel creation (transgene) were pasted  entirely randomly by a blind person throughout Iliad and the Odyssey --before 90% the books were even translated into English.
 Then both genetically edited new and improved Iliad and Odyssey were republished in Braille*  
Now...go ahead and enjoy making sense of the new improved Iliad and Odyssey, please. 

 The minor difference being you aren't  just reading this modernized and "innovative" piece of classical Greek literature or listening to God-awful ear-bleeding noise some call music for entertainment...you are feeding it to your babies for breakfast and dinner. 

What did that mashup innovate? 

An herbicide tolerant crop sprayed with Round Up...an unwanted unneeded antibiotic and a probable carcinogen. 

Let's look at the most prevalent plant at the science source suggested by Stephen--Round Up Ready corn (Monsanto's NK 603)  here. It was produced using a gene gun which inserted two different  transgene constructs  ("sentence" mash- up)  completely randomly

along with superfluous unintended  promoter fragments in reverse orientation described here:  

Further experiments which determined the sequence of the ends of the integrated DNA in NK603 revealed that an additional 217-bp fragment containing a portion of the enhancer region of the rice actin promoter was present in the reverse orientation proximal to the 3’ end of the transformation cassette, and that this small fragment maintained an EcoRV site 20-bp upstream from its 3’ end bordering corn genomic sequence (Figure 12). These findings confirmed and explained the results from this Southernblot analysis.The 217-bp fragment includes polylinker sequence (50 bp) and the first 167 bp of the enhancer region of the rice actin promoter

12:50 Analogy between GMOs and typewriters... smartphones... WiFi..microwaves...I-pods...I-pads... internet...etc. 

I don't know in whose world this technology appears precise, but on my planet when a laptop pastes sentences it was never asked to- no one will ever convince me the computer is precise to "one letter."  That defective laptop gets thrown to the curb

A. Genetic engineering is more advanced, effective and desirable than traditional breeding. I see the buzzword "innovation" as an unquestionably beneficial deed. It isn't-- innovation produced the nuclear bomb
B. Critics of GMOs are Luddites     
 C. Inevitability - genetic engineering must be embraced and must displace traditional breeding. 

These implicit claims are comical. A consumer might choose one technology without committing to other technologies, in the same way,  that popping an aspirin for a headache doesn't commit you to aggressive chemotherapy, and neither are agricultural GMOs analogous to medical GMOs or vaccines routinely conflated by Agrichemical Corporations-anymore than metal bands can be called an orchestra. 

 Can you force your customers to chose an Android over and I-phone or strong arm them into buying a Ford rather than a Honda?
 Can you break into someone's house and pour a Coke down their throats if they prefer orange juice?
 No. Not unless you conflate the product itself with science, and the customer who rightly rejects it for absolute absence of merit with a Luddite anti-science fear- mongering lunatic. You also have to attack the alternative- organic crops that our moms and grandparents simply called food, because GMOs are excluded from organic designation. So, you will see Monsanto and its minions perpetually misrepresenting organic food and attacking anyone, whether NGOs, farmers or scientists,  researching or advocating for organic methods of production.  

This particular anti-science Luddite uses the most advanced anesthetic monitors, was one of the earliest adopters of medical recombinant DNA  products-insulin, erythropoietin, interferon and Neupogen,  and supports  4th Generation Nuclear reactors, to boot-- nevertheless, rejects inadequately tested and unsafe agricultural  GMOs.  

Us Luddites anti-science cranks rejecting defective merchandise and Monsanto's war on science have gotten used to a litany of absurdities. We understand that for Monsanto's sleigh of hand to work it's crucial that science itself is conflated with technology and its products, which in turn are conflated with recombinant medical products-- as similar to each other as Dr. Seuss is to Hemingway. 

From the absurd concept that science--a systematic, methodical search for knowledge-- is actually  (defective unwanted) merchandise flow a variety of comical suggestions.  Even though no one I know, or you know eat cell phones or laptops for breakfast, when agricultural GMOs are not conflated with medical GMOs, they are often compared to all sorts of electronic gadgets.

As an educated and health conscious person you have every right, and as a parent or a pet owner responsible for your family's health even a duty to reject GMOs for a variety of different reasons....including an unwillingness to risk your kids' health to benefit a Corporate bottom line. 

But returning to Stephen. Having never defined GMOs himself this "scientist" mentions in passing one of the villains who stand in the way of  GMOs- Greenpeace. But you know the cast....NGOs, evil activists, moms, grandma's, Hawaii's physicians, and hundreds of independent scientists unaffiliated with the pesticide industry. 

According to Stephen, Greenpeace developed the term GMO to be intentionally confusing and mystical. Well, that makes sense because after listening to him, I am confused-- but it left me wondering whether Stephen was a participant in this Greenpeace conspiracy. How did he know?  Was he there in Greenpeace's strategy meetings? 

Hmmm. Perhaps it's  preferable the public remains confused ???  

Some biotech pied pipers would have us believing it's impossible to define GMOs while a scientist had absolutely no difficulty doing so here,  which begs the question: " who pays the piped piper"? 

Points four and five. Whatever. 

 I recall claims we always hear about safety testing and redundant regulatory oversight.

 I was stunned by the unscientific statement "we ingest DNA and proteins all the time, so they are safe" and assurances about GMO  post-market testing??? Post-market testing???  Huh?

The first is a very ignorant claim--botulinum toxin is just a protein.
 Would you eat it? Would you? 

 Allergens triggering anaphylactic shock are just proteins. 

--and in vitro digestibility tests are inadequate to screen food allergens out. Blinded challenge studies are the gold standard allergy tests because in vitro food allergy tests are so unreliable. 

How many blinded challenge allergy studies have been published comparing GMOs to non-GMOs? None...Zero

Current GMO allergy testing is utterly inadequate, just like the standard rodent tests. In fact, it wouldn't be incorrect to call GMO safety testing a complete sham.

And the later statement about Post-market testing is an outright blatant lie. It's impossible to associate adverse effects with untraceable unlabeled products-- with a majority of the medical community in the dark about GMOs, along with consumers --and no infrastructure set up to trace and report adverse effects. 

"Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts" --Feynman 

Today's CRISPR Cas9,  while much more precise than transformation with a gene gun or Agrobacterium, was not deployed in any plant GMOs on the market today. [2]-update 4/17/2016 Yet even this new and much more advanced technology causes off-target effects. Imagine typing a letter to your mother on your PC and your genetic editing program inserts random pieces of your letter into separate emails sending them to your coworkers,  clients, and neighbors, which is why scientists are still refining the system and the enzymes to improve precision and reduce unintended editing.

 Humanity is obligated to make prudent choices and be very discriminatory with technologies and their products-- including genetic engineering. Science split the atom to produce energy for civilian use as well as maim thousands with a  nuclear bomb. So, regardless of the number of fans Monsanto has for its mutated carcinogen soaked plants--  that ear-splitting noise, some call music,  will never sound like Bolero- but don't expect to learn that at our universities. 

  Science corruption, tragically, is not an exception but the rule as this courageous scientist who uncovered pollution illustrates here.

What these agencies did in [the Washington, D.C., case] was the most fundamental betrayal of public trust that I’ve ever seen. When I realized what they had done, as a scientist, I was just outraged and appalled.

"I grew up worshiping at the altar of science, and in my wildest dreams I never thought scientists would behave this way. The only way I can construct a worldview that accommodates this is to say, These people are unscientific. Science should be about pursuing the truth and helping people. If you’re doing it for any other reason, you really ought to question your motives.Unfortunately, in general, academic research and scientists in this country are no longer deserving of the public trust. We’re not"

University or a For-profit Corporation? 

Science corruption isn't unique to the University of Illinois, from which this "scientist" hails. It is pervasive throughout our highest institutions of learning-- Cornell, University of Florida, and  Purdue- whose dean issued an alert just urging "experts" to counter anti-GMO "falsehoods"
Thousand of studies and trillions of meals consumed prove the safety of biotechnologies,” he said. “We would never withhold medications with a safety record like that, and it’s just as wrong and just as anti-scientific to do so for food.”
 As a medical professional licensed to prescribe drugs, I'd love to challenge Purdue's Mitch Daniels to post links to Phase I, Phase II and Phase III human clinical trials for GMOs that FDA approved drugs have to undergo--they just do not exist!  Whether you like or hate gambling, let me assure you a thousand dollar bet for the Dean of Purdue to produce a link to the GMO clinical trials or a record in the form of data or a citation to a peer-reviewed study elaborating on that "record"  for trillion  GMO meals just can not lose. Guaranteed winner- NEVER again will you see gambling odds like this!


 Whoever pays the piped piper sets the music.  I find Monsanto's most distasteful, but most embarrassing of all is my alma mater-UC Davis--and this breaks my heart.  I think that Deans and Chancellors of University of Florida, Cornell, Purdue and UC Davis, including  Linda Katehi, should be wearing all those corporate logos on their lapels to disabuse students of the illusion that they are paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in outrageous fees for an independent science-based education.

 It might make them pause and reconsider taking out a mortgage for a DeVry,  Pepsi, Nestle, Mars, Dow, Dupont, Monsanto -approved Corporatized MisEducation. UC Davis is no longer an institution on a mission to educate students. It's a place where greed rules and excuses are made for outright bribes

Did you believe monsters would look like monsters? I've got news for you...

they don't  

This is what hallowed people without a conscience look like

After New York Times chief food writer Mark Bittman advocated GMO labelling, she called him “a scourge on science” who “couches his nutty views in reasonable-sounding verbiage”. His opinions were “almost fact- and science-free” continued Ronald. In 2011 she claimed in an interview with the US Ambassador to New Zealand: “After 14 years of cultivation and a cumulative total of two billion acres planted, GE crops have not caused a single instance of harm to human health or the environment.”

Today's monsters whose voices are amplified by a cadre of presstitutes attacking and smearing anyone ruthlessly for opposing their radical agendas work at the University of California, populating one of the dozens useless think tanks.

US regulatory agencies GMO & pesticide policy is  "don't look-don't find"

Monsanto Concluded