Posts Tagged ‘BASF’

So is Anti-GMO Equivalent to Nazi Book Burning?


The idea that those that oppose GMOs through direct action are equivalent to Nazi book burners is a troubling notion.  It is based on two simplistic premises that science is neutral and that the advancement of knowledge is good.  However, the premises contradict each other.  If science is neutral, and science has the goal of the advancement of knowledge, then to my mind the advancement of knowledge can be neither good nor bad, just the uses to which it can be put.  Any thinking person can agree that although science may be neutral, scientists and everybody else, are not. That corporate greed can undermine the neutrality of scientific results should be a cautionary tale to us all. 

Consider that Nazi science was neutral, but the scientists were not. It is clear that Nazi science, although neutral, was often also immoral. Scientists could agree to go on wholeheartedly with the experiments, or sabotage them. The scientist as a Nazi would go on with experiment in good faith.  The scientist as a moral person would find any way possible to disrupt it.  So the question is who, if any, are the real Nazis in this debate?

Discussion over honest differences of opinion in the arena of scientific ideas is the way knowledge advances.  Theories change on as experiments warrant. However, as with a medical trial, the experiment stops when the precautionary principle suggests that harm could be done.

As the patient is on the operating table, the GMO supporters argue that the patient will die without the operation.  They argue that the anti-GMO people are causing the patient to die by halting the operation and saying that anti-GMO people are doomsayers. The death of the patient is itself a theory open to debate, as is the efficacy, morality and safety of the operation.  This makes the GMO supporters not only the doomsayers, but also immoral by openly violating the precautionary principle.

ISHTARMUZ’S REBUTTAL TO: UK GM WHEAT WAR: NOT REALLY ABOUT SCIENCE


Ishtarmuz’s Rebuttal toUK GM Wheat War: Not Really About Science

 
In the UK there is a battle brewing over a scientific trial involving genetically modified wheat. Last weekend a protester attempted to vandalize the trial, and a larger civil action is expected on May 27.  The ongoing battle, and its close cousin in the climate wars, tell us something about what can happen to science when it becomes the central battleground over politics and technology. Unfortunately, the scientific community itself has contributed to such tactics.
If this was a fair and open fight on any grounds, then  might have a valid point here. However, when corporations define the law, patent the tools and control the research, then it is not science, but propaganda. 
 

Plant scientists at Rothamsted Research, a complex of buildings and fields in Hertfordshire, UK, that prides itself on being the longest-running agricultural research station in the world, have spent years preparing for their latest experiment — which will attempt to prove the usefulness of a genetically modified (GM) wheat that emits an aphid alarm pheromone, potentially reducing aphid infestation.

Yet instead of looking forward to watching their crop grow, the Rothamsted scientists are nervously counting the days until 27 May, when protesters against GM crops have promised to turn up in force and destroy the experimental plots.

The protest group, it must be acknowledged, has a great name — Take the Flour Back. And it no doubt believes that it has the sympathy of the public. The reputation of GM crops and food in Britain, and in much of mainland Europe, has yet to recover from the battering it took in the late 1990s. In Germany, the routine destruction of crops by protesters has meant that scientists there simply don’t bother to conduct GM experiments any more.

The Rothamsted scientists have also attempted to win over the public, with a media campaign that explains what they are trying to do and why. After the protesters announced their plans to “decontaminate” the research site, the scientists tried to engage with their opponents, and pleaded with them to “reconsider before it is too late, and before years of work to which we have devoted our lives are destroyed forever”. The researchers say that in this case they are the true environmentalists. The modified crop, if it works, would lower the demand for environmentally damaging insecticides.

It would be a mistake to conclude that the protesters are in some way anti-science or fearful that the genetically modified crops might fail to work as advertised (though surely some protesters do have these views). Their main concern is that the crops will perform exactly as advertised, and lead to further gains in agricultural productivity.
Nothing like a straw-man argument.  I know of no protester that would agree here. The precautionary principle is the primary concern. They know that even if it performed, as advertised, that there is no way in principle to prove its safety.  They also know that given history, no one will really try to prove it safe, rather, the safety will ultimately be legislated to protect profit over people. The protesters have little recourse other than direct action.
It is not science that they fear, but the implications of scientific advances for economic and political outcomes. The organization leading the UK protests calls itself Take the Flour Back, and clearly explains its rationale   as follows:

Our current political system chooses to deal with world hunger through the model of “food security”, arguing that there is not enough food to go around and that we need techno-fixes to solve this. This approach ignores the fact that there is a global food surplus – many people just can’t afford to buy food. This problem is being amplified by land grabs- communities that used to grow food for themselves are being forced out of their ancestral homes, often by corporations expanding cash crop production.

The industrial food system throws away (in the journey from farms to traders, food processors and supermarkets), between a third and a half of all the food that it produces – enough to feed the world’s hungry six times over. (2)

Free trade policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund make it much harder for governments to protect small and family farmers from big multinationals. With the expansion of free-market capitalism, agricultural systems in many countries in the global south have become focused on producing cash crops for export to rich western nations. At the same time, their markets have been opened to food imports, including imports from US and EU companies at less than the cost of production. US farmers benefit from billions of dollars in subsidies which make up as much as 40% of US net farm income. This means they can afford to export their crops at well below production cost. (3) This is ruining the livelihoods of small farmers in the global south.

This is not the statement of a group concerned primarily with the potential unanticipated risks of GM crops to the environment or people, but rather, it is the manifesto of a group concerned that GM crops will perform exactly as intended.
This is a total non sequitur. He has ignored the premise, the data and the argument, only to repeat what he already said.  How is it that putting more food in fewer hands, farther from where it is needed, with less diversity and local control doing anything except feeding corporate profit at the expense of people’s food freedom?
Like many issues where science and politics intersect, those opposed to the productivity gains made possible by agricultural innovation have sought to use science as a basis for realizing political ends. A primary strategy in such efforts is typically to argue that the science compels a particular political outcome.  In the case of GM crops, opponents of the technology (mainly in Europe) have argued that the techniques are unproven or risky. However, such tactics have not succeeded  . So the next step beyond waging a political battle over science is now direct action against the technology of concern.
Those tactics have indeed succeeded. They have succeeded for the corporate military industrial congressional educational complex. As free and open access to education and research has been trumped by multinational corporate profits driving the economies of nations, the  search for truth has been reduced to the search for profit at the expense of people.
 
This situation is of course in many respects parallel to the climate debate. Efforts to compel emissions reductions through invocations that science compels certain political outcomes have borne little fruit, sosome activists have taken it upon themselves to directly attack the technologies at the focus of their concern  .

One difference between the climate wars and the GM wars is that some prominent scientists are participating in the direct action against technology (such as James Hansen and IPCC contributor Marc Jaccard). Another important difference is that in the case of GM crops, it is research itself being targeted, and the scientific community objects  .

 

I would agree that the methods used in much of the climate debate are indeed driven by nonscientific corporate influences, but more in the same misguided way as the GMO supporters have used it.  The difference here is that the end results of the climate change supporters are that we end up doing many things that we will have to do anyway.  We need real sustainable solutions to both climate change and food shortages.  The ‘why’ of climate change pales before the fact of it changing or the inadequacy of many of the current climate models. Simply,  no one has been able to effectively debunk the idea that small local sustainable solutions to both climate change and food shortages are potentially the best, and least risky, of alternatives.

One argument invoked by scientists in support of GM technology is that the world needs more food. But the world needs more energy too. In condoning direct attacks on energy technologies, the scientific community may have opened the door to tactics that it does not much like when they are applied closer to home.
 
The Original posted article by    and was posted at 5/23/2012 04:07:00 AM in his blog here  
In regard to Roger Pielke Jr.’s closing point, it must be pointed out that the chemical companies, now biotech companies, are intimately dependent on the oil companies.  When they push bio-fuels made from GMO crops they have made another vicious circle in the idiot cycle.  I seriously doubt they will every seriously show that the second law of thermodynamics can be overcome in this process, no matter how successful the business model.
 The repost of the original article and any quotes or images therein conform to the fair use provisions of local copyright law.

A Poisoned World – Pt17 – Food Inc


A Poisoned World – Pt17 – Food Inc

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RT: History of Monsanto


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Transfarmers: Dark of The Spoon #TheRevolution #GMO


 

 

 

Transfarmers: Dark of The Spoon #TheRevolution #GMO

 

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Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farmers!. #GMO #OGM #FYW #OccupyWallStreet #USDOR


 Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farmers!.  #GMO #OGM #FYW

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Anonymous Message To Monsanto We fight for farm…, posted with vodpod

scroll down for the text
this is a video response to
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/IT-Infrastructure/Anonymous-Attacks-Monsanto-Network…
congratulations on this succesful operation

(message we uploaded before the hack)

To the free-thinking citizens of the world:
Anonymous stands with the farmers and food organizations denouncing the practices of Monsanto. We applaud the bravery of the organizations and citizens who are standing up to Monsanto, and we stand united with you against this oppressive corporate abuse. Monsanto is contaminating the world with chemicals and genetically modified food crops for profit while claiming to feed the hungry and protect the environment. Anonymous is everyone, Anyone who can not stand for injustice and decides to do something about it, We are all over the Earth and here to stay.
To Monsanto, we demand you stop the following:

-Contaminating the global food chain with GMO’s.
– Intimidating small farmers with bullying and lawsuits.
– Propagating the use of destructive pesticides and herbicides across the globe.
– Using “Terminator Technology”, which renders plants sterile.
– Attempting to hijack UN climate change negotiations for your own fiscal benefit.
– Reducing farmland to desert through monoculture and the use of synthetic fertilizers.
-Inspiring suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers.
-Causing birth defects by continuing to produce the pesticide “Round-up”
-Attempting to bribe foriegn officials
-Infiltrating anti-GMO groups

Monsanto, these crimes will not go unpunished. Anonymous will not spare you nor anyone in support of your oppressive illegal business practices.
AGRA, a great example:
In 2006, AGRA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, was established with funding from Bill Gates and The Rockefeller Foundation.
Among the other founding members of, AGRA, we find: Monsanto, Novartis, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Procter and Gamble, Merck, Mosaic, Pfizer, Sumitomo Chemical and Yara. The fact that these corporations are either chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers is no coincidence.
The people of the world see you, Monsanto. Anonymous sees you.
Seeds of Opportunism,
Climate change offers these businesses a perfect excuse to prey on the poorest countries by swooping in to “rescue” the farmers and people with their GMO crops and chemical pesticides. These corporations eradicate the traditional ways of the country’s agriculture for the sake of enormous profits.
The introduction of GMOs drastically affects a local farmers income, as the price of chemicals required for GMOs and seeds from Monsanto cripples the farmer’s meager profit margins.
There are even many cases of Monsanto suing small farmers after pollen from their GMO crops accidentally cross with the farmer’s crops. Because Monsanto has a patent on theri brand of seed, they claim the farmer is in violation of patent laws.
These disgusting and inhumane practices will not be tolerated.
Anonymous urges all concerned citizens to stand up for these farmers, stand up for the future of your own food. Protest, organize, spread info to your friends!
SAY NO TO POISONOUS CHEMICALS IN YOUR FOOD!
SAY NO TO GMO!
SAY NO TO MONSANTO!
We are Anonymous.
We are legion.
We do not forgive.
We do not forget.
Expect us.

Haloa the Taro, A GMO Story


Haloa the Taro, A GMO Story

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