Saturday, December 16, 2017

Exciting Interview with Chief Executive Officer of GMOs are the Bomb, Inc

Mr. Bob Folly, the CEO of GMOs Are the Bomb, Inc., is a leader of agricultural biotechnology, awarded with the National Medal of Technology in 1998, the Mother Theresa Medal presented by the Queen of England in 2006 and 2008, the Norman Borlaug Medal of Innovation in 2000, the World Food Prize Laureate in 1993 and 1995 through 2016, and the Rachel Carson Prize for environmental stewardship for 2017. He coauthored more than 300 peer-reviewed publications. Today, Mr. Folly stopped by the Washington  Tribune to discuss  the challenges of addressing consumer concerns about biotechnology. 

His comments have been formatted for clarity

Savages Killing Millions of Poor Africans

WT: GMOs Are the Bomb started marketing Pesticide Ready GMO seeds in 1996, over two decades ago, yet they continue to raise consumer concerns. Why do you think that might be?

Folly: Over the decades our Pesticide Ready GMOs have been commercialized, there has not been a single food problem associated with our seeds, not even a runny nose; trillions of meals have been eaten by billions of animals and not a single problem has ever been reported.

We are frustrated that GMOs remain controversial in spite of the stellar record of transparency we  instituted and the fake news reporting how we  hide our studies behind confidentiality rules and proprietary information walls and purchase  scientists and endorsements of science institution, including the National Academy of Sciences .It is fake news you know.

I agree with my colleague, Hugh.  GMO rejection is based on privilege and elitism that's killing starving people in the undeveloped world and they should really be held accountable for human rights crimes.

WT: Here are some recent consumer comments about GMOs I'd like to read you, Mr. Folly.

"The strong popular reaction against GMOs is due to the anti-science bias of those profiting from GMOs — hiding data, fudging data, misleading people, threatening any scientists that attempt to do unbiased research, threatening farmers who choose not to grow GMOs, etc. These GMO advocates are like kids fascinated with a box of matches in a dry California forest.

“When engineering GMOs, during the gene insertion process, hundreds of adjacent genes are inadvertently damaged. These damaged genes produce damaged proteins which can be allergenic, toxic, or carcinogenic  — a dangerous game of Russian Roulette. 
“In addition, GMO produce is doused with large doses of pesticide  — more and more each year as weeds become resistant. Glyphosate (Roundup) is now found in the urine of the majority of Americans from the food they eat, and glyphosate has recently been found to be carcinogenic. Records uncovered at Monsanto show they knew about these carcinogenic properties decades ago but there was money to be made. 
“Personally, I suffered several chronic health issues (digestive problems, allergies, brain fog, low energy, frequent colds and flus) in the 2000-2010 period. Then I took a 30-day non-GMO challenge in 2011. For 30 days I ate no GMOs and only ate organic food. Within 3 weeks my chronic health issues disappeared and I turned that 30-day diet into a permanent diet. It was life-changing. Now the only time symptoms return is when I eat that crappy food in restaurants when on vacation."
Folly: We are on top of it, don't you worry. We recognized the need for a team of special communicators to improve consumer understanding and organized the GMO are the Bomb Education Response Teams ( their skills in copy-and-pasting exact quotes from our manuals  with authenticity flourishes for our profit's sake is outstanding)

We screen them for ability to (never) think independently (and then we refine their ignorance).
So, it is just a matter of adding a few more members to our Communications Teams and all these consumer concerns will be erased, I mean addressed.

GMOs are the Bomb University is very competitive — we only accept the most enthusiastic and passionate. In fact they are often more passionate than we are about the immutable safety of the GMOs we design (to sell our invariably safe pesticides).

When They Go Low-- GMOs are the Bomb ™  Hit the High Road 

WT: We interviewed a veterinarian who claims that GMOs have not been proven safe.
How can she possibly say that when they've been eaten by billions of animals
Don't dogs and cats eat a lot of GMOs? 

Folly:  No. Never heard of her.

Thought bubble: (vets have all kinds of sophisticated toys to detect and document organ damage. Ultrasounds to peer into and measure animals' insides and endoscopes to crawl down intestines and other plumbing,  and to top that off  harvest biopsies of many organs that  GMOs have never possibly in history caused any damage to.... by any conceivable mechanism!)

Oops, so sorry...where were we? . There have been no studies published in veterinary or human medical literature, none discussed at any medical conferences because clearly our GMOs are that safe.

WT: This vet has  been writing about some bacteria that glyphosate could be suppressing that could be predisposing animals to bladder and kidney stones. She says after several years of asking questions of Monsanto friendly scientists, none provided the answer- a cheap three day test called MIC.

Folly: Well, we have that under control, we already took care of it.

Our conclusion is that kidney stones in animals and people are caused by PH  alterations which have  nothing to do with (the extra oxalate adjuvants)  glyphosate which has no effects on kidneys or kidney bacteria, so we don't need to do her three day test. 

Thought bubble:

But all those  social justice warriors are such courageous warriors they will surely stand up for her.

WT:  I heard GMOs are not discussed in any veterinary or human medical literature or professional conferences and most clinicians in veterinary and human medicine are unaware of them.  Without data collection and research on pets whose diets are composed of significantly more GMOs than human diets, I am not sure that claiming that GMOs are safe for pets-- never mind humans--
is very science based.

Folly: No data to squabble over is about the level of scientific rigor we like.

Cochrane Review Supports Safety of GMOs

WT: What do you say to those who claim that absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence and that GMO Advocates don't understand secondary effects?

Folly: That's just another way to say that since there are no long-term blinded clinical trials — randomized life-long feeding trials  — that we are relying on the power of false negatives. And it is a negative, for sure.

WT: I am glad you mentioned blinded clinical trials and RCT.  because it appears you understand the framework for scientific evaluation and hierarchy of scientific evidence, according to which the safety literature primarily composed of 90-day rat trials and opinions of the science institutions falls on the bottom of the pyramid of evidence.  GMO advocates haven't appeared to climb the mountain of evidence to prove they haven't caused harm in independent long term randomized blinded clinical trials.

There are no cohort studies, no case control studies, and due to heterogeneity in parameters, methods and standards in a body of science skewed heavily towards  short term pilot studies on very small number of experimental animals as well as predominance of  industry studies. 

Thus it would be enlightening  to ask a committee of independent medical experts (in collaboration with internal medicine experts in animals, since most are conducted on animals) provably free of any conflicts of interest -- like the Cochrane Collaboration with a One Health Component--  grade the strength, weakness and limitations of the available GMO safety evidence and review the level of possible industry or other, ahem, bias. The Evidence Based Medicine Model. 

How do you feel about it, a Cochrane review on GMOs, Mr. Folly? 

Folly: Well, that's a little silly. Food isn't medicine- drugs are- and there is absolutely no mechanism identified  in the most thoroughly researched (by us) drug, I mean food,  in the history of science. -- The process of genetic transformation using CaMV viral promoter, bacterial transgenes and  terminators inserted ever so precisely into a plant -- which could possibly lead to any harm.

WT: But aren't there therapeutic diets for kidney disease, for example commercialized since the 50s called Hills Science Diet ...can you really say food isn't medicine when our pets have been therapeutically treated with prescription diets for decades? I am sorry, did you say these transgenes were inserted precisely? ...I read they insert completely randomly.

Folly: Hmmm. These are the most  deliberately precisely modified and rigorously tested plants in history of all of science! We are certain of it, and our (confidential proprietary) studies prove it -- you'll just have to trust us on it. (And besides, it would take a very long time and a lot of financial resources to trace those crazy things people are scared of  to our GMOs.)


Folly: Listen, I want to share something exciting with you.  Five years ago our forward thinking leaders established several Rapid Response Communication Teams trained at our own University. We educate passionate mommy bloggers, farmers, cooks, nutritionists, fitness coaches, dentists, skeptics and other very talented (quasi ) professionals.

They reach out to consumers winning hearts and minds of those in the middle,  promoting public science (i)lliteracy and building understanding and trust....
(through a variety of front groups, several movies, many seemingly independent blogs  we ghostwrite for them at several very experienced Public Relations firms. The best PR firms our millions can buy situated in Washington for lobbying ease! It took over fifty years for the public to catch up with tobacco scientists, and we learned a lot from them. Now you see why GMOs are the Bomb?)

WT: What do you say to the consumers who are still uncertain about their safety?

Folly: We hope people are smart enough to realize you can't believe everything you read on the internet.

(And so we say: "Don't let the images of cyclopic pigs, monstrous rat tumors and hermaphroditic frogs scare you! This is all a normal part of the process.")

WT: What about the fact that some college-educated members of the public claim your Response team consists of science-illiterate sockpuppets and trolls? 

(The vast majority of  science and agriculture advocates selling our safer-than-natural-food GMOs and pesticides on social media are like clean slates, having at most achieved intermediate or undergraduate degrees without honors. And of course, most are anonymous and thus completely unaccountable)

Folly: Unfortunately, we find it challenging to engage graduate scientists to promote our (safer-than-any-natural-food-ever eaten) GMOs and crop protection products (because most value their reputations) but we are working on it and there is no truth to the claims that we hire trolls in spite of  all the Fake News you read.

I'll be honest with you. If it wasn't for the pathetic state of journalism in this country we might find it challenging. Without influence seeking, self-promoting, opportunistic, science illiterate lazy journalists we would have a much more difficult time confusing the public about GMOs. 

WT: Thank you very much, it has been my pleasure! Just one final question, if you don't mind
If GMOs are the Bomb, why do farmers commit suicides at five times the rate in general population and twice the rate of military veterans? 

Folly: That is incredibly tragic, but we are absolutely committed to farmers and our beyond reproach mature and responsible approach to dicamba roll out  this year proves it!  And while I appreciate an opportunity for this interview, I must say, you have been exceptionally challenging. Thanks

WT: Thanks for taking the time to talk to me. I appreciate it, very much

Next post: Fake News, Fake Food Movement Leaders & Fake Journalizmz

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

GMO Propaganda Evolution

Junk Science Meets Hollywood

 Papaya! The poster child of GMOs that's going to win your heart... 

Or Agrichemical  Corporate Trojan Horse Dousing Paradise with Pesticides? 

Monsanto, Dupont, Dow Chemical and allies in the processed food industry are waging an expensive media blitz campaign since California triggered a conversation with its ballot initiative to label genetically modified organisms.

It's no surprise to anyone following biotechnology farm wars and knowers of Propaganda strategies to sell the public on safety of everything from Toxic Sludge to Monsanto's first genetically engineered and soundly rejected product--Bovine Growth Hormone, described decades ago in  must read books such as "Trust us...We are the Experts" 

Yet the agro-chemical corporations' brazen deception is still stunning, and it smacks of desperation.  Desperation so profound  that they reached deep into Hollywood to woo and dazzle you with sexy science celebrities Bill Nye and Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Behind the scenes, Monsanto is embroiled in class-action lawsuits with victims of  non Hodgkins lymphoma which the cancer experts at the World Health Organization last year linked to  Roundup, the glyphosate-based herbicide sprayed on greater than 90% of commercialized GMOs. But you won't see a health advisory about Monsanto's probable carcinogen in this "fact" based junkumentary.

Instead, the movie focuses on papaya, a boutique fruit representing less than 0.5% of GMOs that Hawaii exports to affluent consumers.  Permit the GMO science persuader-in-chief Mark Lynas, among many others with no science degree of any sort to pummel your brain with his industry cultured science pearls and sit your ass down and cringe through a movie painting critics as ignoramuses and guilting them for standing in the way of science. Science!--Cue beautiful cinematography, clever editing and emotion arousing music pulling your heartstrings. Ah, power of the arts has finally been put to great use to frame meticulously selected, pure-intentioned victimized patent holding scientists determined to help people. Most especially the poor in third world countries.

But what has this movie brushed out as it explores the central question: Can GMOs be a force for good?  As biotechnology advocates plead to increase food production for the next billion hungry mouths about to arrive on our planet, ardent promoter  of GMOs and photogenic scientist next door at my alma mater,  Pamela Ronald and her organic-farmer husband assert that organic and GMO agriculture are complementary, puzzled about all the fuss between radically different worlds of farming-- dumpsters of evidence are piling up that prove otherwise.

Dicamba resistant GMOs that were commercialized in spite of highly predictable drift show that, "you either have to choose to be on the side of using the product, or on the side of being damaged by the product." igniting a war between neighboring farmers, who are just trying to deal with the pestilent superweeds our innovative Roundup Ready technology created - chewing up their farmland. So much for peaceful coexistence. 

Pay no attention to the disease-causing herbicide-sprayed GMO corn and soy that ate America whole -- check out these nifty luxury papayas and "life saving" bananas destined for Africa.

This multi-multibillion dollar agrochemical conglomerate whose mega profits are rooted in selling ever greater amounts of toxic herbicides, insecticides and their associated genetically engineered seeds can't believe you are skeptical of their motives to feed the starving in undeveloped nations as they clamor to expand their global market share.

Ignore the dumpsters of wasted food piling up that our innovative technologically advanced system isn't advanced enough to connect to the hungry-- and pay no attention to the SuperWeeds.
 It doesn't matter that growing hunger rates parallel adoption of GMOs and rising corporate profits, as this independent scientist examining food riots and food crises would have shared with you -- had he been invited to be in Food Evolution. But he wasn't and neither were forty five other highly esteemed scientists.

 It certainly doesn't matter that GMOs are optimized for monocultures, feeding primarily cars (40% goes into ethanol), factory-farmed livestock, junk food industry and our pets. And as a long practicing clinician, I will have much more to say about GMO safety to  pets -- they eat more GMOs than people do.

Behold the arbiters of  "unbiased science and humanitarianism"

Behold the arbiters of.. air quotes.. science and data.

Care to explain why Food Evolution is comparing Monsanto's profits with Whole Foods'?
Fact is my nose detects Public relations and marketing tactics in a supposedly independent science feast.
 Pray tell what Monsanto's profits and their market competitors have to do with scientific facts.
Trying  hard to keep 'Monsanto' dirty fingerprints  out of this documentary.. supposedly an unbiased movie about science, facts, and D.A.T.A. while really only underscoring Public Relations tactics.


The main point the director of this movie drives home obsessively is safety of GMOs,  as solid as if it was written in granite rather than evolving, fluid science. Since rock solid, definitive GMO safety by sheer coincidence, is Monsanto's feverish dream -- it's worth mentioning that Alison, this movie's star, published a "landmark study" hyperbolically spun by the very same supporting actors promoting this junkumentary (including Jon Entine of Genetic Literacy, Kevan Senapathy with her platform on Forbes,  Hank Campbell of Science 2.0 and ACSH...).

They framed data showing  billions of chickens gaining weight  to  the ripe old age of slaughter at 47 days... as evidence that GMOs are safe for your pets over 10-20 years, or your kids over a life time averaging 85 years.  I called it "Junk Science meets Junk Journalism" 

Ah, so the weight gain of billions of chickens was due to genetics - confounding factor she didn't correct for in her famous billions of chickens GMO study? Oh, by the way, the more efficient production of chicken meat must automatically indicate the safety of GMOs.
No, not just to chickens, don't be silly--but safe to you, too, of course.
GMO safety case closed!

If one were to apply Alison & Co.'s methods of  over-interpreting chicken production to health implications in pets and humans, one would  arrive at the  troubling conclusion  that GMOs are in fact associated with obesity. With its world-leading consumption of GMOs, the United States is also coincidentally a leader in obesity epidemic seen in pets and humans  associated with devastating chronic diseases: diabetes, kidney, liver and heart disease as well as cancer. These diseases will never be diagnosed in livestock (Alison's area of expertise) because they have long latency periods, and chickens slaughtered at 47 days just don't live long enough.  And even if it was possible, Alison wouldn't be the one diagnosing these chronic diseases: she isn't a veterinarian! Livestock geneticists can't diagnose GMO harm to health of living patients, any more than plant scientists or astrophysicists -- neither the producers nor the scientists in this movie can speak credibly on GMO safety because they are overstepping into the realm of veterinary and human medicine.

Ask yourself a really simple question. Are you happy with Alison setting (mostly lowering)  scientific standards of risk assessment of GMO impacts on your health?

Would you see this  "expert", environmental activist and an animal welfare aficionado for your own or your four- legged best friend's medical advice?

Thanks @PanTranshuman ;)

Here's a suggestion. Don't be a dunce!  You have every right to feel insulted. 
Get outraged at these Propaganda Mongering  Public-Manipulating  & Infantilizing Relations 

Revenge of Evidence Based Medicine --Science Evolution.  next post.