Anti-GMO leaders withdraw from ‘Great Biotech Debate’ — Forum will go on

| May 28, 2013 |
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Over the weekend, the cartoonish ‘March Against Monsanto’ played out in many cities across the United States and the world, invariably to small crowds—although the organizers and anti-biotech NGOs did their best to claim inflated numbers in an attempt to garner headlines.

One of the biggest disappointments for organizers was in foodie central, Denver, where an estimated two hundred people (organizers had predicted 5,000) turned out to hear anti biotech author and activist Jeffrey Smith rail against Monsanto.

That’s the same Jeffrey Smith who earlier last week withdrew from the planned “Great Biotechnology” debate scheduled for June 4 at the CATO Institute in Washington, DC. The event was shaping up to be a genuine first—a civil discussion between pro-science advocates sympathetic to the role of biotechnology in food and farming and dedicated opponents who believe transgenic foods are a violation of nature and harmful to humans and animals.

Smith, if you’re not familiar with him, founded an organization known as the Institute for Responsible Technology. He’s written two anti-biotech self-published books and produced a documentary narrated by the wife of Dr. Mehmet Oz, whose show he has appeared on numerous times to rail against Monsanto and crop biotechnology.

Oz often characterizes Smith as a “scientist.” However his employment history reflects no formal training in any aspect of science, let alone biotechnology. Keith Kloor, who writes a respected blog for Discover, refers to him as a prototypical purveyor of pseudo-science. “He is the equivalent of an anti-vaccine leader, someone who is quite successful in spreading fear and false information,” Kloor writes.

As Kloor notes, Smith’s Wikipedia bio seems a fair representation of his cult following and importance among anti-GM campaigners:

Jeffrey Smith, flying yogic instructor.

Jeffrey Smith, flying yogic instructor.

A variety of American organic food companies see Smith “as a champion for their interests”, and Smith’s supporters describe him as “arguably the world’s foremost expert on the topic of genetically modified foods”. Michael Specter, writing in The New Yorker, reported that Smith was presented as a “scientist” on The Dr. Oz Show although he lacks any scientific experience or relevant qualifications. Bruce Chassy, a molecular biologist and food scientist, wrote to the show arguing that Smith’s “only professional experience prior to taking up his crusade against biotechnology is as a ballroom-dance teacher, yogic flying instructor, and political candidate for the Maharishi cult’s natural-law party.” The director of the Organic Consumers Association says Smith is “respected as a public educator on GMOs” while “supporters of biotechnology” have described him as “misinformed and misleading” and as “an activist with no scientific or medical background” who is known for his “near-hysterical criticism of biotech foods.”

Organizing opposites

When I was putting together this panel, Smith was clearly the perfect choice to represent the “other side.” After all, in controversies, you don’t get to choose your opposition; the public does that for you. For whatever reason, Smith has become wildly popular among the antis, and his books—however dubiously written and sourced—are cited as canon by rank and file protestors.

Despite his questionable reputation among serious scientists (he is often referred to in conversations with top geneticists as a ‘scam artist’) over the course of the months planning this event we talked many times. I found Smith to be engaging, witty, and in his own way very smart. I too wondered if he was a huckster, cashing in on his new celebrity; I can say, honestly, I found him nothing if not sincere. At every step along the process, he demonstrated integrity. I believe his understanding of science, risk and genetics are frighteningly thin, but I don’t believe the misinformation he is spouting is entirely calculated. I like him to this day, and hope at some point we can re-engage in a civil and open discussion.

Smith and I are communicators, although of two very different kinds. As we were planning the event, we agreed it would be best to bring scientists into the mix. He opted to recruit French professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, whose paper released last fall claiming that rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn developed multiple cancerous tumors turned him into a global celebrity among anti-biotech campaigners. The anomalous study was savaged by mainstream scientists and rejected by every major independent research organization in the world that reviewed it. It was rife with methodological problems and obvious ideological biases.  Nonetheless it has become a poster child for “GMOs will kill you” and Monsanto conspiracy theorists. Seralini, who agreed to join us via Skype, was the best the anti-biotech campaigners had to offer.

To counter Seralini, I originally recruited Anastasia Bodnar, a biotechnologist with a degree in sustainable agriculture who was previously a President’s Management Fellow and worked at the National Institutes of Health. Most notably she is co-director of the non-profit Biology Fortified a site popular among young sustainability focused scientists, geneticists and food experts.

However, because of a work conflict, she had to pull out. On short notice, I recruited a more than capable replacement in Kevin Folta, Interim Chair of the Horticultural Sciences Department at the University of Florida. He’s published two seminal texts on genomics and dozens of articles, and actively engages biotech issues in public. Like Bodnar, he is one of an emerging group of post-ideological scientists who understand the constructive potential of biotechnology.

Smith pulls out; Seralini follows

The debate began to unravel just two weeks before the scheduled event. Smith objected to the unexpected substitution of Folta, who is an active online presence, engaging and debating campaigners and carefully laying out counter, science-based arguments. Smith immediately balked at the substitution. According to Smith, Folta had “crossed the line” in some criticisms of him, although he didn’t provide any examples. His nerves clearly jangled, Smith ultimately decided he was not comfortable with Folta, and said he would not debate. He then said he had too many commitments, and could not prepare for the event even if he had wanted to. He then promptly flew off to Denver to address a relative handful of fellow anti-Monsanto conspiracy theory protesters missing out on the opportunity to talk with tens of thousands of people through this Internet streamed debate.

Seralini’s withdraw was equally messy. After Smith’s decision, he suddenly decided that my previously published criticisms of his studies were “libelous” and that he would never be involved in a debate with me. In fact, I had posted a number of articles in Forbes about the Seralini Affair seven months ago; he was well aware of those, as he had reference them in communications in the weeks prior to his pullout.

Why the sudden turnaround? Seralini sent a torrent of bizarre notes, saying he would not debate Folta because he was not a toxicologist and only a toxicologist would fairly review his work. Folta, of course, is a prominent plant geneticist that reviews and edits scholarly work across disciplines.   The Great Debate was never going to focus entirely on Seralini’s controversial study; it was about the future of food and the farm. But the hubristic French scientist apparently had been expecting to turn the debate into the Eric Seralini Show; when he finally realized he’d have to debate science—and the broad issues of biotechnology and world food security—he panicked and withdrew.

It’s only a guess, but I believe Folta scared the bejeebers out of him. Folta is a dogged defender of science, with a nuanced understanding of the benefits and the challenges that accompany this powerful but complicated technology. He’s not afraid to go on the web or into public hornet’s nests to make the case for science.

Folta and I, with CATO’s support, are committed to going on with the public event. We will present both sides of the issue—in fact we will go out of our way, for the sake of a vigorous public discussion, to “make the case against biotech crops.” This is a debate worth having. We may yet add a third presenter. Stay tuned for updates. Please do check out the event on Tuesday, June 4, 2:00-4:00 pm Eastern Time. It will be streamed live on CATO’s site as well as on the Genetic Literacy Project.

Jon Entine, executive director of the Genetic Literacy Project, is a senior fellow at the Center for Health & Risk Communication and STATS (Statistical Assessment Service) at George Mason University.

  • FosterBoondoggle

    It’s great that you’re setting out to try to create a forum for real debate on the merits. CATO is, however, a very unfortunate choice as host. An organization founded and largely funded by Charles Koch is not going to have a whole lot of credibility with the people you might hope to persuade — if you’re really trying to change minds, that is. The CATO sponsorship makes It look like a right-wing version of the same kind of tribal communion as Saturday’s anti-Monsanto minute of hate.

    • Jon Entine

      CATO is hosting the event, not “sponsoring it. CATO has not taken a policy position on these issues. No one is being paid. Venue is not an issue; the content is. When it was a debate with four participants, all sides were in agreement with the venue. It will be broadcast/streamed on the Genetic Literacy Project and CATO and I believe at Biofortified.org. The forum is what it is. Accept it on its merits or don’t.

      • FosterBoondoggle

        I’m not someone who needs to be persuaded. I’m just making a point about the host/sponsor/whatever-term-you-like and how they’re perceived by the vast majority of progressives. Obviously its too late to change but it was an unfortunate choice, at least if persuasion is the goal. Kind of like that NYT story last month about the anti-GMO nutritionist being kicked off the nutrition academy’s GMO advisory panel. It pretty much guarantees that the anti- crowd will just ignore the content, and doesn’t help with the “cognitive closure” problem.

        • Jon Entine

          Foster: It wasn’t a “choice” it was an offer, out of the blue, by CATO. If any other organization is keen on doing this, they should do it, but everyone else is too darn scared. Frankly, I don’t believe the antis are genuinely interested in a science based debate–that’s where they look the worst. I understand how anti-biotech groups might want to twist the venue choice, but in this case, it’s big stretch, though who knows, the antis are crazy enough to do anything.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

      I’m glad you brought up this point, but I think we’ll get a good cross-section of interest. Like Jon says, it is not the venue, but the message. Give me a microphone and a chance to share science and I’ll do it anywhere, and have, including some hostile environments (where I was called a “witch”, another a “Monsanto employee”). At the end of the day I made more friends than enemies!

      • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.rose.7509 Matthew Rose

        Great to have you post under the Waikiki anti-Monsanto march article Kevin! We need many more like you, you are an inspiration and voice of hope and reason. It’s been getting scary over here, but finally the silent majority has started to raise their voices. Enough is enough, when local hard working food growers, like our rainbow papaya farmers, are now being targeted & accused of selling poison. Seriously? Tested & re-tested & analyzed for a decade to the point that even the uber strict Japan now allows them to be imported, & Walter Ritte comes out & claims “Hawaii papayas are poison”. Now even the longtime farmers who don’t necessarily farm biotech engineered food are realizing they can’t stand by and let the frenzied mob take over. So looking forward to this event, so wish the “GMO expert” Mr. Smith would not have backed out, but I figure now hopefully the general public will realize how phony & profiteering the leaders of the anti GMO movement are. Sorry, guess I’m ranting now, just tired of all this….

  • Micha

    Delete the “ad hominem” attacks, and there’s not much left in this article. If you want to win the public’s support for genetically engineered seeds, stick to science (real independent science, not biotech propaganda science).

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000980613760 Kevin Folta

      Micha, it is not an ad hominem. The fallacy of ad hominem is to attack the man instead of the message. There’s no message here to attack. They backed out. They should be sternly criticized for their cowardly actions and breech of an agreement. That’s a criticism, not an attack, that is well deserved.

      The real criticism should be coming from the anti-GMO movement. They should be DEMANDING that their best experts go into a neutral debate and beat down the scientists with their superior anti-GM data! Where are you?

      There is plenty of independent science. It was on the docket to be discussed, as well as point out the propaganda that relies on a science-less emotional plea and fear embraced by Smith, Seralini and the rest of the anti-biotech movement.

    • BioWonk

      Ah yes. “Stick to the science” and don’t illustrate the theatrics of misinformation, reliance on appeals to emotion and how unqualified is the presenter speaking against the science.

      “Stick to the science” is the rallying cry of those who know how transparently dishonest are the tactics used to discredit the science and the science advocates, but don’t want it to be discussed.

  • Susan

    If you are truly interested in the truth, perhaps you can promote the
    idea that biotech firms such as Monsanto change their current contract
    to allow health testing of their products? Currently, it prohibits any
    research.. We need valid, independent studies.

    This should be against the law.. (pardon the text, that’s how it copied from the pdf.)

    “Gro w er ma y no t pl a nt and ma y not tra n sfer to o t hers f o r
    planti n g a ny Se e d t ha t th e Growe r has produc e d co nta i ni n
    g pa t ented Mon sa nto T echnolo g i e s fo r crop breedi n g, re se
    arc h , o r g ener a tion of herbicide r egistrat i on data. Growe r may
    no t cond u c t resea r ch on Grower ‘ s c r op p r oduced f r om Seed
    ot h er t h a n to m a ke a g r onomic compar i sons an d con du ct yie l
    d test i ng f or Grower’ s own u s e .”

    http://thefarmerslife.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/scan_doc0004.pdf

  • mg81992

    I just want to point out that the numbers of people who marched on Saturday does not remotely reflect the actual numbers of people who recognize that there have never been independent studies of GMO safety, are deeply skeptical about GMOs in the food supply, and alarmed by the evidence that they are not in fact safe for human consumption. The anti-GMO movement is growing and the biotech companies can continue to exercise their control over politicians for only so long. The public’s right to know what’s in its food is a basic right and GMO labeling is coming. My own opposition to GMOs is rooted in personal experience.. The one time I ate GMO corn several years ago (before I even knew about GMOs), my throat closed up in an allergic reaction and I had severe trouble breathing. Fortunately, I recovered and have since switched to an all-organic diet. My health has improved dramatically.

    • http://www.facebook.com/matthew.rose.7509 Matthew Rose

      Nothing grown for consumption is 100% guaranteed safe, not even your beloved organic produce, which is more likely to carry e-coli, a potentially deadly bacteria, than conventional commercially farmed produce. Death from e-coli IS proven just google & read the news articles, death from a GMO plant so far has not. I eat GMO papaya every single day, no ill effects what so ever. If the public should have the right to know then it should go the same way for organic, a label that states potential for e-coli contamination. I’ve had reactions to peanuts, shell fish, over consumption of wheat, hives from food combos I’m not even absolutely sure about. You’re claim that GMO corn made you allergic is suspect. How do we even know the corn you ate was GMO, in combination with what, etc?

      • Brian Loma

        people who consume Organic regularly tend to understand the need for washing food before consuming it. Most issues of e-coli in food are not local grown and consumed but are mass produced and packaged without the care and handling that happens from local soil to local table efforts.

  • BioWonk

    So the former go-to guy for GMO opponents ,Mark Lynas, recants and they get this huckster who wants to bring the discredited scientist from Caen as his “expert”. That’s like jenny McCarthy bringing Andrew Wakefield to a vaccine debate.

    Then, of course, Smith backs out as soon as he finds he’ll be facing someone who is an actual expert but won’t just play the quietly stoic scientist while Smith flings his propaganda at him. How very telling.

  • Jay G

    Great Bio-Tech Debate? This is about as cheesy as this lame website. Your damn contact us email address doesn’t even work. No wonder guests backed out – certainly not worth their time.

    Reviewing your “mission statement,” it reads: “Intricate science scares people who don’t understand risk and complexity.”

    I had to laugh, really hard! I understand risk perfectly well. I understand I don’t want to “risk” cancer by going through radiation machines at airports, or from smart meters. I understand I don’t want to “risk” disease and illness from eating unproven science when I DON’T HAVE TO (organic non-GMO) – that completely eliminates the “RISK.” Why risk it? In the name of science? Why add “complexity” to growing crops? Wait, I know, so they can sell more pesticide – it’s their business model.

    My petite wife of 41 years has been a vegetarian for most of her life. She used to eat tofu all the time, tofu and veggies. Until, that is she had to have an emergency bowl resection to remove a huge tumor choking off her colon. Now she doesn’t “risk” eating tofu anymore.

    So much for your mission statement. Try again. Genetics in the hands of bad scientists and profit-driven companies is the biggest “risk” of all. Plus, your mockery of ideology is quite ignorant. Someday you might some ideals of your own.

  • Hal Lee B

    I would sincerely love to see or read a debate on GMO food. Currently it seems like the Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetically_modified_food) is biased towards supporters (it states simply that there is scientific consensus that GMO food is safe and it does not even mention the fact that GMO foods are banned in many European countries). I think both sides have some good points, but the attempts by the corporations to prevent labeling as well as the budget rider that forbids the FDA from reconsidering a GMO that has already been planted push me towards favoring organics and non-GMOs.

  • JSladden

    Where does it say that 200 people turned up to Smith’s talk? The link itself doesn’t say that.

    • Brian Loma

      you are right, the link says over 2000 attended!

  • Donna

    Want some science? Just look at the studies of other countries…..According to Germany’s University of Jena study, the following is highly suggestive of a correlational cause of honeybee die off, “The study in question is a small research project conducted at the University of Jena from 2001 to 2004. The researchers examined the effects of pollen from a genetically modified maize variant called “Bt corn” on honey bees. This particular study revealed no immediate evidence suggesting a “toxic effect of Bt corn on healthy honeybee populations.” However, happenstance revealed something more profound and showed that the bees in the study were impacted significantly by a parasite. A parasite that killed substantial populations of bees. The University of Jena states a “significantly stronger decline in the number of bees” that had been fed high concentrations of Bt poison feed. Hans-Hinrich Kaatz professor at University of Halle, Germany has stated that GMO feed, particularly corn, may be responsible for an “altered the surface of the bee’s intestines, sufficiently weakening the bees to allow the parasites to gain entry — or perhaps it was the other way around. We don’t know.”

    • Jon Entine

      Uhh…Doona, if you read the study, it clearly says that the parasites were the issue for bee health, which is the scientific consensus. Anything else–as the study actually states–is PURE SPECULATION. The issue of whether any GMO feed could “alter” the internal organs of any insect or animal, including humans, has been asked, studied and answered since then–a resounding no, in dozens of studies. Moreover, there is no plausible biological mechanism for a PROCESS–genetic engineering–to create a reaction independent of the traits being altered. It’s just not possible–zero chance–if you have even a high school understanding of science. Any trait–whether engineered through selective breeding or mutation breeding (such as through chemicals or radiation, which are random and haphazard and done in a lab but are considerable “acceptable” to organic farming and conventional farming) or done rigorously and precisely through genetic engineering–could result in reactions to the specific proteins passed along. But selective and mutation breeding (again, both acceptable to organic farming) is much more dangerous, as you wholesale import lots of proteins that express many different random traits, including harmful ones. Here’s a little science for you courtesy of the US Department of Agriculture: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm352067.htm

      Now unless you are a conspiracy theorist and totally reject science, there is no question that GE breeding is the most precise and responsible choice going forward for agriculture. That’s the science…unless you believe kooks and anti-GMO/anti-science diatribes.

  • Frank

    I was in Denver, the statement that only 200 showed is a lie.

    • Jon Entine

      200 was the number estimated to me by independent journalists rather than activists.

      • Edro

        Jon if that statement is true why don’t you do your own home work, check out our photos. do a head count and admit to being a propagandist. Spinning a lie is pretty spineless wouldn’t you say

  • Ellice

    “One of the biggest disappointments for organizers was in foodie central, Denver, where an estimated two hundred people (organizers had predicted 5,000) turned out to hear anti biotech author and activist Jeffrey Smith rail against Monsanto.” – That entire statement is a lie, I was one of the organizers for Denver and in fact the permit holder for the event, we never expected 5000, the most we had in RSVPs was a little over 4000 but in reality we only expected about a quarter to show, which they did. You may look at all the picture that are posted on facebook which show a crowd much bigger than 200, so perhaps you should contact the people who did organize the event before you think you have any right speaking for them. MAM-Denver organizers were in fact were very happy with the turnout and the event in its entirety

  • Jenn

    I was at the Denver MAM and I have to say there was closer to 2.000 people than 200 just saying

    • Jon Entine

      I reported what independent journalists on the scene told me…not what activists claim.

      • Brian Loma

        You misquote sources you cite in your article!!! The link with the word 200 is actually supposed to be 2000 according to the link you used!

  • Someone Who Can Read

    This is a horribly written article written by a horribly dim person. I guess this is the kind pseudo intellectual crap that only the Koch Brothers would fund. Your argument is circular, unimpressive and devoid of fact. Jon, how much money did you received from the Kock brothers to write this crap? I’m working on a piece about pre-evolutionary biology that they might be interested in supporting. You think you could get me a meeting?

    • Jon Entine

      Our funding comes from three sources: From the Templeton Foundation, the
      Searle Foundation, and support from George Mason University.

  • Caroline

    This is the worst piece of Koch funded propaganda I have ever read in my life. You should be ashamed to have posted this online with your name on it, Jon. Instead of character attacking Dr. Smith, you should very much stick to the facts. Not money, not funding, not lobbying, facts. Anyone who has done more than 10 minutes of research on GMO’s knows that they are money making poison. And I was in Denver on March 25th, we shut down traffic for 5 blocks. It takes more than 200 people for that. Jon, I suggest you pull your head out of the Koch Brothers’ money filled anuses and open your eyes. The Monsanto Protection Act will be repealed, and if there is any justice, your ability to type on the internet will be revoked. You ignorant Koch slut.

    • Jon Entine

      Jeffrey Smith is not a doctor. He is an activist with no background in science. Our funding comes from three sources: From the Templeton Foundation, the Searle Foundation, and support from George Mason University.

  • Brian Loma

    You really don’t know how to read other peoples information correctly and quote stories effectively. Your inclusion of the Denver March Against Monsanto Rally is a bold faced lie! You link to an article that suggests there were over 2000 people at our event. Indeed as a person enlisted to count the ‘March’ itself we had over 1000 people participate with a group of about 300 that went to our 16th St Mall and even shut down traffic in parts of town as people peacefully marched and brought attention to this horrible corporate crime upon the American Citizens. Do you really think people will believe your lies!

    • Jon Entine

      I reported what independent journalists on the scene told me…not what activists claim. Our funding comes from three sources: From the Templeton Foundation, the Searle Foundation, and support from George Mason University.

      • Brian Loma

        If you are citing independent journalists, why did you misquote a link you shared in your own article that contradicts your own writing? As one of the over 2000 in attendance, I watched local news crews take great footage of large crowds, only to show clips where only a dozen people could be seen. A quick Bing or Google search would have provided you with the truth…

        • Nicholas Papantoniou

          his intentions are of sabotage. Honestly Jon that line Sound’s like something someone would say when in a tight squeeze. Our funding comes from blah blah!

          Brian two scenarios, a)Jon is pretty much an employee of Monsanto he has teamed up with them im sure :)…making his speeches@universities propaganda!!, don’t waste your time. His clearly brain washed.$ b)They have there own PR teams they have been caught out before falsifying identities of high profile scientists. They play dirty and the reality is this guy is getting paid for this.

  • Edro

    To anybody who read this article its propaganda ! MAM Denver had well over 3500 attendees with photos of our march on our. FB page. Denver March Against Monsanto. The author of this article is pro-bio-tech.let him feed shit to his kids thats on yo but don’t try and poison mine.

  • David Bloom

    There were about 4000 at the Denver march.

  • First Officer

    Seralini probably thought he could browbeat a newbie such as Anastasia Bodnar into submission. If so, I think, as he is in so many other situations, sorely mistaken.

  • Nicholas Papantoniou

    GMO regulation according to FDA

    “plant foods developed by new methods of genetic modification are regulated within the existing framework utilizing an approach identical in principle to that applied to foods developed by traditional plant breeding”

    “In most cases the substances expected to become components of food as a result of genetic modification of a plant will be the same as or substantially similar to substances commonly found in food.”

    The head of bio tech at the FDA James Maryanski 1985-2006

    stated that “the white house directly ordered no seperate special testing category for GMO’s or any new laws for agencies to deal with this form of new technology meaning the white house asked its agency to write a policy were by GMO’S should not be submitted to specific scientific testing meaning it was a political decision not scientific that GMO’S are okay to eat.

    • http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ Jon Entine

      You are not stating the facts correctly. The FDA carefully reviewed GMOs and correctly stated that GMOs could be regulated under existing laws. That’s not a political decision. GMOs have not been banned in Europe and China. They are widely sold in both places. In some cases they are limited to animal feed, while in others (such as China), GM foods have been approved. There is no clear evidence that any specific diet is the healthiest in the world. Regardless, foods made through genetic modification are identical in every respect to non-GMO variety except in cases where the nutritional value has been enhanced (such as Golden Rice) or a trait has been added or knocked out to address a major threat (such as allergen free nuts). They can and are being incorporated as part of all diets.

      • Nicholas Papantoniou

        What im saying is “that was your review” political not scientific based findings there is no need to dig deeper when the truth slaps you in the face, from the head of BIO TECH@ the FDA please look it up and prove me wrong. This is were it all began. If something is based on a lie such as this then why trust anything else coming from that party.

        So if GMO’S could be regulated under existing laws then why the special treatment no GMO tags why no labeling, why do Monsanto get there own protection bill. if they are regular. Why the High ranking government officials. The head of Monsanto was the head of the FDA and back and forth for a few years, you are obviously blind or just have other intentions. Because money is more and there’s literally grows on trees. Famous expression isnt it Money doesnt grow on trees. Who’s kicking back now laughing.

        Spain is the largest producer of GM crops in Europe with 76,000 hectares i have friends here in Australia with 15,000 hectare farms. Europe produces nothing when it comes to terminator seeds. Since were on the topic of GM Countries take a look at india and tell me everything is okay there. tell me there BT crops are doing better than ever because thats what im expecting you to come back at me with.
        China has destroyed multiple shipments of GM products recently and the only way they are allowed in is by strict testing they do not allow bio tech companies to conduct these tests. Its telling America we do not trust you. Same as Europe with the strictest gmo standards. The industry means to much to the USA in current times.

        In regards to the comment about healthiest diets well its not hard to do research maybe you have only heard of jenny craig diet or low carb diets. it amazes me that you have not done your research on healthy foods before writing such a post. Im sure one of the 600+ industry food tests or was it 1000+ in another post that i read (in the same week may i add) of yours has done some research on healthy living / diets also comparing gmo produce to non gmo or maybe you do not want to admit the truth. You need to stop saying there is no evidence because there is plenty. Stop stating tests done by FDA or bio tech funded companies / scientists / universities / food research in America. Bio Tech owns pretty much everything in America Agricultural now. Its obvious this post should have been researched with BROADER resources.

        • http://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/ Jon Entine

          It appears you are willing an eager to distribute as fact every paranoid fragment of information that confirms your paranoid viewpoint. You reject the views of endorsing the health and safety of GM foods and crops by every major independent international organization in the world, including every major European science regulatory oversight agency, and the conclusions of 99% of studies on the safety and health of GMO foods. I’ve learned that when people are determined to believe conspiracy theories, whether it’s that the government is creating autism by forcing us to get vaccines or that the FDA and every major international oversight group is in cahoots with Monsanto to take over the world food supply, there is no arguing with them. You will believe whatever crackpot theories you want regardless of the science. That’s your right. This site will stick to addressing the science.

          • Nicholas Papantoniou

            again you misinform the public with propaganda.
            Please visit the link below im not gonna waste my time with you

            every major independent international organization in the world you say heres australia and new zealands!

            Does FSANZ commission its own scientific studies?

            No. It is the responsibility of companies that have developed GM
            foods to demonstrate the safety of that food and to supply FSANZ with
            the raw data from scientific studies to prove this. The data must be
            obtained using sound scientific methods and be collected according to
            strict quality control criteria. This procedure is no different to that
            used for new chemicals and drugs and is standard practice for
            standards-setting agencies like FSANZ internationally. FSANZ experts
            review the scientific information and form their own conclusions from
            the results of the studies. We can, and do, request companies to
            undertake additional studies, where necessary.

            Refrence
            http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumer/gmfood/gmoverview/Pages/default.aspx

          • Nicholas Papantoniou

            Conspiracy crackpot theories! How you gonna Live Jon, Day by Day. Power to the people freedom forever yeh im a huge fan of area 51 im also the boss the head honcho elnumero uno, the bourne identity. Why are doctors encouraging gm free diets in America Jon. Eventually your cause will fall.

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    Jon, Where did you find all the phony anti-gmo folks to post comments on this site. You look absolutely brilliant by comparison to the foolish crap they have posted. Come on you did this on purpose didn’t you. Even if they had 2000. That is a pitiful number for any city over 100,000 for an issue that they claim is poisoning their families.