The Risk-Monger

 

In my previous blog, I introduced 10 reasons why you should not feed your family organic food as a means to open up a rational debate. With these further 10 reasons, I want you to reconsider your position on the use of crop protection substances:

  • Have you been manipulated by good story-tellers?
  • Have the scare campaigns been over-played by groups or individuals who have profited from fear-mongering?
  • Should we stop with these name-calling debates and activist marches and concentrate on important, evidence-based discussions?

I used a pro-organic campaigner’s template for this list to highlight the emotional blackmail used in the debate (“Are you a good mother?”)

Food is a very personal, and very emotional issue for each individual. Concerns multiply when, as parents, we struggle with decisions that affect those precious to us. I totally get that, so I do not expect you to agree with all 20 reasons. But if you accept even 5 of the 20 reasons, then you should reconsider your position before you decide to share or retweet some feel-good argument from someone paid by the organic food industry. Stopping the spread of stupid is the first step in enlightenment.

Here are reasons 11 to 20 on why not to feed your family organic.

 

Mamavation top 10 alternative 2
You are free to choose organic if it makes you feel good, but if you want to influence others to do the same, then you have to address these 20 points.
  1. GMOs save lives
    Today the BBC entered the debate on whether the genetic modification of human embryos should be allowed. They made the argument quite clear, GM saves lives. Anyone who takes medicines every day or injects insulin to fight diabetes with the hope of enjoying more good quality years appreciates the achievements of biotechnology. Plant biology is no different, no matter how the opportunists try to scare it up with the M word or calling them “chemicals”. We have a technology that can increase food supply, reduce hunger, fight diseases like Vitamin A Deficiency that kills half a million children a year, and neo-Luddites are going around shouting slogans, destroying test fields and spreading falsehoods in their witch-hunts. History will look back and scoff at this period (which I call the Age of Stupid).
    The most ridiculous element of the organic lobby’s big jump into the GMO debate is that GM technology is a tool for reducing both organic and conventional pesticide use. It should be welcomed as a scientific advance for organic farming. Instead they have created a fiction, to milk the anti-Monsanto crusade, that GMOs lead to more pesticide use, and that glyphosate causes all sorts of diseases. It does not. A shameful pack of Luddites with blood on their hands.
  2. Hormone scaremongering is overplayed
    There has been a lot of fear about conventionally farmed livestock being given growth hormones and for many, the amount of hormones does not matter, but rather that it is not natural and hence is not supposed to be there. The organic industry lobby uses this chapter of the naturalist fallacy to get nervous consumers to act against conventional livestock farming, but the numbers are so ridiculously insignificant as to make this argument embarrassingly overplayed. See a clear example comparing levels of hormones in beef compared to potatoes, peas and cabbage. If you choose to eat beef and you are concerned about hormones, then stop eating … everything!
    This of course is nowhere even on the scale when one considers the level of endocrine disruptors found naturally in coffee, soybeans and chick peas (and we are not even talking about hormones from birth control pills and HRTs flushed into the water systems). See a useful table that puts stupid into its place.
    Sorry to be blunt, but hormones in beef is an over-hyped argument to prey on the fears of the vulnerable and insecure. “Hormone-free” is a meaningless marketing pitch by unethical snake-oil salesmen.
  3. Higher levels of pollutants in groundwater from organic fertilisers
    Organic farmers only use cow, pig and poultry manure and other natural composts to fertilise their fields. This runs off into surface and groundwater, increasing nitrate and acidic levels which can have enormous consequences on local ecosystems. See an EPA supported study. As organic farming increases to meet the growing demand, are we prepared for the onslaught to the environment? As well, creating a larger market for livestock manure at a time when we need to reduce meat consumption is counter-productive to our goal of reducing CO2 emissions to combat climate change.
    Conventional farmers have the option to use synthetic fertilisers which, when used precisely, are more efficient for direct nutrient management, emitting far fewer pollutants and reducing CO2 emissions. It is pure madness to reject this technology just because it is not natural, given the dire environmental consequences organic fertilisers are causing. And yet the organic lobby continues to tout the environmental benefits of their medieval farming practices.
  4. Organic farming has led to serious E. coli outbreaks and fatalities
    The over-emphasis on cow manure in organic farming has led to many serious human health crises, including most importantly, E. coli outbreaks due to fecal contamination from manure. In the US, E. coli affects thousands each year in everything from mild stomach discomfort to fatalities particularly among the vulnerable, elderly and disabled. A study comparing organic and conventionally farmed vegetables found E. coli traces on 10% of organic but only 2% of conventionally farmed vegetables. Indeed, bacteria are natural and organic consumers need to understand that natural is not always desirable.
    The worst recent case of E. coli occurred in Germany in 2011. The public panic and regulatory mismanagement created headlines during an outbreak that affected almost 4000 consumers, 800 with long-term illnesses, killing 53. Months later, after so many conventional farmers were falsely put under suspicion and had lost markets and international exports, the source of the outbreak was found to be an organic sprout farm (growing produce directly in fresh cow manure).
    Strangely, it was fortunate that the source of the crisis was an organic farm. If a conventional, industrial-scale farm had been implicated in the E. coli outbreak, the environmentalist activists would have run opportunistic campaigns to undermine public trust in the food chain and reduce fruit and vegetable consumption for a significant duration. In the German case, the hypocrites said nothing.
  5. Organic food causes increased cancer susceptibility
    “If you want to prevent cancer, eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables per day!” We hear this often but what does it mean in an economy or region where a significant part of the population cannot afford to buy five fresh servings? Organic is a luxury brand for the wealthy or aspiring populations (why Hollywood celebrities have jumped onto the “Bash conventional farming” bandwagon). Organic has no health benefits (outside of psychological) – see Reason 7 – but rather, by artificially interfering with the agricultural marketplace and campaigning to handcuff conventional farming , the organic lobby is putting price pressure on the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables. While this does not affect the arrogant, affluent FoodBabes of the world, it denies a significant part of the population from access to cancer-fighting micronutrients.
    Bruce Ames did a study on this, finding that the lowest 20% income bracket in the US had the highest cancer rates. Excluding lifestyle issues like smoking, diet and the lack of access to fruit and vegetables was the highest contributing factor to cancers. Ames’ conclusion is to increase access to fruit and vegetables for the poorest population.

    I just think all this business of organic food is nonsense basically. We should be eating more fruits and vegetables, so the main way to do that is to make them cheaper. Anything that makes fruits and vegetables more expensive may increase cancer.

  6. Animals suffer when denied medicine
    This is the barbaric face of the organic lobby. Fearing the overuse of antibiotics in livestock management, organic activists like the FoodBabe are demanding that large retail and restaurant business source only drug-free meat. Animals, like people, get sick, and when a child is suffering from an illness, most parents would want to ease that suffering with medicines (including antibiotics if serious). So too with animals. That organic requirements or standards in many countries forbid such interventions means animals will suffer for some rich person’s narrow self-indulgence in steak purity. Let Vani Hari raise her own cows and pigs.
    Bottom line, if you choose organic because you think it is healthier and better for the environment, what the hell are you even doing eating meat??? The hypocrisy of the watermelon-type environmentalists outrages me. Worse, they then demand grass-fed beef or free-range chicken because they think it is better. All I can say is for you to go to an abattoir and watch your dinner get its throat cut and bled out, then tell me what a marvellous humanist you are.
    If people want to eat and enjoy meat, that is perfectly fine. Just don’t go about drawing lines where you are better than others because of your organic pretentiousness. That is just obscene hypocrisy.
  7. Reduction in agricultural yields creates more global food insecurity
    This is a no-brainer and perhaps the strongest reason we should prevent the selfish endeavour of encouraging organic farming. With a growing global population, yields per hectare need to be going up, not down. We have had the good fortune of not having any significant crop failures in the last few years – there has been little impact on global food reserves. But as more extreme weather conditions are expected in the coming decade, the idea that we can be complacent about food production levels is troubling.
    Besides weather and disease outbreaks, there are also man-made stresses that play havoc with global food security. A decade ago, environmentalists had pushed for increased biofuels production and as agriculture recalibrated for the new energy opportunities, food stocks decreased dramatically, prices soared and many poor economies faced crises. I have argued that the Arab Spring phenomenon was due to the fall-out from the food price increases that had affected most middle and lower income countries at that time.
    Rising demand for lower-yielding organic food production will irresponsibly add stress to the global food production levels. The organic lobby’s reply is smug and cynical: there is no problem, we just need to reduce food waste (… and lower population levels). But here is an issue to ponder. Consider tomorrow what would happen if Coca-Cola bowed to activist pressure and committed to sourcing only organic, non-GMOs. It would be impossible to produce sufficient maize for this one global client and prices in poor countries would go through the roof. What a great victory that would be!
  8. Organic accentuates social exclusion

    “I enjoy shopping in organic islands of food purity in suburbia since there are no lower class, noisy, smelly people. I feel better about myself when I eat organic because I want to have only the best for me and my family. I understand it is expensive, but quality always is, and I can afford it! Indeed, I am a total asshole!”

    Organic is just one piece of a nasty fabric I have referred to as the economic injustice of environmentalism. The Green Movement has influenced policies to help the rich, aristocratic class do well at the cost of the poor, working class. Whether it is subsidies for solar panels (paid in the form of higher rates on those who could not afford panels) or electric cars, the affluent do not think about the consequences of their actions on the poorer classes. As prices increase on food and choices go down, will the FoodBabe feel sorry for those without?

  9. Exporting anti-technology ideologies on poor economies is immoral
    Many of the comments I have read against my first ten reasons on the Risk-Monger Facebook page have been narrow and locally based. They only buy locally, don’t worry how their food demands affect global food security, they shun large global food companies, and expect that everyone in the world will do just fine making the same food decisions they make in their isolated economic wonderland. But putting organic, anti-GMO demands on poor, developing countries is immoral. I have lashed out regularly at Greenpeace for its environmental colonialism and attacks on the capacity of developing countries to try to have access to modern food technologies. Their campaigns against Golden Rice exemplify the moral vacancy of that horrid organisation.
  10. Organic campaigns create an unfair prejudice of conventional farmers
    Pro-organic groups like Pesticides Action Network or Friends of the Earth are trying to portray conventional farmers as “industrial farming” or faceless factory farms. They have created a public villain, indiscriminately pouring chemicals down the throat of Mother Nature, mistreating poor animals and not caring about nature or our health, but only big, Monsanto-sized profits. This is contrasted by the saintly, bucolic image of the organic farmer, who loves the land, is concerned for our health and earns just enough to support his children who will lovingly take over the homestead some day. I have given examples in what I refer to as the vulgar vilification of farmers, and as someone who grew up on a small family farm, I resent the arrogance of these cosmopolitan zealots.

You are perfectly free to choose to eat organic if that makes you feel good and you can afford it or live with the consequences and contradictions – that is why we have religion. But if you feel compelled to tell others to do the same, share pro-organic arguments on your social media pages or try to influence policy-makers and companies to change widespread behaviour patterns, then you had better have your facts straight. Bear in mind that feeling good and wanting to believe certain claims does not count as evidence.

So I have proposed at least 20 reasons not to feed your family organic. If you disagree, you can either call me names (that seems to be the fashion today) or debate me on each of them. If there are at least five reasons that you can accept as valid, I would suggest that you also re-examine your position. It would be more intellectually honest to realise flaws in arguments than to continue to push bad ideas that have enormous consequences.

And please, people, I know for most of you, this is religion, but try to lighten up just a little!

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Comments

  1. You my friend are as dumb and as ignorant as they come, your crappy article is full of hole, lies, and just a huge lack of research. You also have a huge problem with food babe! Your comparisons are childish and lack truth, our environment, bodies, atmosphere, are being harmed manipulated, and destroyed by gmo’s ! Our inner cities are food deserts, not because the food is expensive, its because they do not have access to even gmo fruit and vegetables, let alone organic, join a csa, farmers market, grab a bucket and some dirt( non gmo source) and grow your own, then what you dumb f ing excuse! Yes! Gmo’s have depleted our top soil, ocean temps have risen, there is some much ground water contamination in the world from pesticide run off its amazing you said that is doesn’t happen, thats because, you did little to not one once of research before you wrote this horrendous article! I am an Organic aquaponics farmer, with a background in botany, and biology, And I have seen first hand the destruction that gmo crops have unleashed on the planet! Manipulation of genes that self replicate is not a positive thing! Everyday, a country or city bans gmo’s, its not because they are good, its because in those countries the doctors and scientist care about their land and people! This country is so corrupt and only care about lining there pockets with monetary rewards. I also know for a god dammed fact you either work for monsanto, or have on the past, or a biotech company with ties to the worst company of man kind!

  2. My favourite part is when you say”we have the technology to blah blah blah”, yeah we have it but don’t even use it for good. Monsanto spends an awful amount of time trying to contaminate organic and sustainable farms with gmo seeds and pesticides, then they turn around and sue them take their land and grow gmo crops. Three major heath organisation have called out monsanto and deemed glyphosate a cancer causing chemical, not one, not two but three! The rise in food allergies,(and again lack of research) ,a good amount of they are life threatening! Diabetes is caused by gmo! Diabetes has almost tripled since gmo were introduced to the food system, gmo sugar and salt play a huge role in diabetes.

  3. The collapse of bee colonies globally! With out bees we all suffer, and I you can say honestly they are not affected by gmo’s and pesticides, then you are dumber than I thought originally! And to your “hormones are not bad” theory, I would like you inject yourself with oestrogen every day, and then when you have done it for six months, and you grow boobs and your voice changes and the real you is unrecognisable anymore, we will kill you and cook you and eat you, then when my DNA is altered because your oestrogen laden meat, and I get sick because my body is rejecting your unnatural DNA, but then me and special lady have kids, now, because your tainted gmo meat and hormones that self replicate have affected my dna, cause my kids to have allergies to food, unable to take antibiotics, and suffer from a hormonal imbalance that forces them to take more gmo products that are far pricier than if I had just eaten non gmo organic food! And if you would like to say that this a story and is bull, wake up, this happens everyday! Its not a story its a reality for hundreds of families! So gfy

    1. Thank you for your comments Bryan, I will respond to all three in this one message. I imagine you have heard a lot of frightening things from activists campaigning against big chemical companies, lobbyists for 2.5 billion USD organic food lobby, Mommy-bloggers (like the FoodBabe or Mamavation) who repeat remarks that are emotionally heavy (Are you a good mother?) or frightening (It’s got chemicals in it!!!) without any scientific foundation, and the more it is repeated, the more it sounds true. But repetition on social media is not a good source for evidence and sadly we are being told not to trust evidence any more. I understand you can be upset when someone stops and asks for evidence, or provides data and studies that do not support the stories and claims from the blogging gurus (who get referral fees from the organic industry). I wish you would remain civilized, but I have heard a lot worse on my Facebook page and after bringing three teenagers into their 20s, I understand verbal abuse will pass. I suppose what I would like to say to address all of your claims is that the dose makes the poison. One aspirin can do some good, 100 might cause some issues. The dose of hormones in the beef, if any (usually it is supposed to pass through the cow before it is slaughtered) is very low, far lower than what we get naturally through coffee, cabbage and soy. The numbers are there in the links for you to see – I do not shout horrific stories like the Mommy bloggers – maybe if I told you that Monsanto sold soy seeds, you would get angry, but I am afraid that would be unethical (and non-GMO soy has the same toxins). I have presented links to studies showing who pesticides approved for organic farming are far more toxic to bees, that cancers increase with declining consumption of fruit and veg. Glyphosate is indeed a toxin – it needs to be in order to kill weeds, but on the scale of dose, it is very low compared to toxin in things like coffee and organic-approved pesticides like Rotenone and copper sulfate. See a link to a table with the doses – least toxic, water at the top … you will notice that glyphosate is there, but not so high. https://doccamiryan.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/toxicity-table4.png?w=676 If you agree with those that tell you that Monsanto is paying for all of these studies, or that they are doing horrible things to people and farmers, you have enough of their books and products to buy, their detox programs, their organic produce, … what exactly am I selling you? Nothing I am afraid – I would prefer that you would stop and think of what the organic lobby is doing reinforcing the fear and insecurity. I could ignore your insults, but I am afraid the tendency to insult today is because too many ignore too many others.

  4. Sorry To have insulted you Dave , My anger gets the best of me sometimes. I glad you have kids, but I doubt you can put yourself in my shoes. When I come across an article so full of shit I have to comment, I know first hand glyphosate is not kinda a dangerous chemical, I know for a fact that monsanto is trying to pass the dark act to be able to lie to consumers, about the harmful gmo’s in the food system. Keep comparing gmo’s to coffee is just ignorant, Comparing natural coffee to man made gmo’s is like saying all cats are really dogs, it’s a very bad attempt to prove a point, I will watch you drink round up( just a glass ) see how non toxic it is on your last gulp! I don’t support bloggers or non gmo lobbyist. I support Nature and real science, not pseudoscience mad up by humans to control humans. Your science articles on bees are bull and you know it, bees are on a rapid decline, and IT IS DIRECTLY RELATED TO GMO”S AFFECT ON THE ECO SYSTEM, Environment, and pesticides, gmo or not. BEES ARE DYING and if you believe the big ag companies you are sadly wrong. Monsanto also uses nicotine in there weed killer, you may not see it listed because thats what they do! So for you non toxic chemical argument, your are mistaken again. MONSANTO IS PAYING FOR THE STUDIES!

  5. 1.) Are you seriously arguing that it is inhumane to not give livestock, which are intended to be slaughtered, antibiotics? “Animals suffer when denied medicine” So, it’s okay to raise them in the horrible, dirty, disgusting farms…which ultimately perpetuate their disease and then pump them full of antibiotics because it’s humane? Okaaaaaaay. Got it.

    2.) You failed to acknowledge the fact that organic produce is significantly higher in all the nutrients, polyphenols, antioxidants, etc. So, let’s just say…you could just buy and eat LESS organic…or MORE less nutrious GMO produce. Hmm… Seems like a wash to me.

    3.) I have to follow Bryan Fender’s argument regarding the declining bee population. You sir, are failing to see the repercussions of GMO farming on global agriculture at large. Once the bee’s are gone, we are in very big trouble.

    4.) Monsanto is indeed in bed with the FDA as well as many other multinational companies. And they do indeed, fund many studies supporting the use of Glyphosate. I find it sad and quite concerning that you should so blindly trust the information you have provided.

    I frankly don’t have time to gather a well developed argument to many of your points. But, I will say, that I feel sorry that you are so inclined to push this agenda. While you see the organic lobby as fanaticism and paranoia, it is actually not that. It is people doing what people should do. Questioning those in control. It is people demanding answers, demanding evidence and demanding truth.

    This day and age it is all too easy to be bombarded with propaganda from the FDA, USDA, Fed Government and more. To say any of us know the truth to anything, is in fact, the most ignorant statement of all.

    1. Thank you for your messages Caitlin – I’ll reply to both of them here. As I said to Bryan, glyphosate is toxic (it needs to be if your target is to kill weeds to allow your vegetables to flourish) as are most things (even water) but it is the dose that makes the poison – there are many other substances far more toxic than glyphosate including baking soda, vinegar, coffee and quite a few pesticides approved for use for organic farming including copper sulfate. See https://doccamiryan.files.wordpress.com/2014/03/toxicity-table4.png?w=676 for a helpful table. This is science, not Monsanto science, but testing that has been done since the 1970s to determine what are tolerable exposure levels (and then multiplied several thousand-fold by regulators to ensure safety of all individuals, including the most vulnerable). You can choose to ignore the science, that is your personal choice, but please do not impose that view on others unless you have some reasonable evidence. You can say you don’t trust your government regulators, but be aware that is a fear, not an argument. For your points, on your first response, I understand the stories told of how disgusting farms are – as you may have read in my two blogs for this, I grew up on a farm and did not see that. I am a vegetarian as I cannot accept that animals would suffer for my dinner, but it is not for me to tell you what to eat and what not to eat But if a farmer is raising cattle and they get sick, please do not deny him or her the choice to let the cows get better. The farms you see on the documentaries by angry urban idealists are not a fair portrayal of most farms – don’t believe the activist’s documentaries, go and visit a farm.
      I hear argument 2 a lot from organic lobbyists, but so many studies (both scientific and taste-tests) rejected or could not replicate these views that organic is more nutritious. Organic food also have toxic pesticides sprayed on them, but since they are from a natural source, I understand in the US, they are not tested for their residue levels (but be aware that even natural substances can be very carcinogenic to humans). But OK, if you want to believe it is true, then i am sure you can find some evidence to support you. I provided three independent studies that found no difference between organic and conventionally farmed food.
      For point three on the bees, wow, that was a crisis started by the organic lobby but unfortunately the beepocalypse never came – honeybee populations are growing again and several studies in the EU consider diseases, parasites and cold winters as the main causes for the past declines. But the organic lobby has created this perception to try to cut the throats of conventional farmers so I am sure you have heard the rhetoric on a daily basis. But even if you repeat it a hundred times, it is still in need of some evidence (opportunity is not evidence).
      The funny thing is that I do not have an agenda – I am a professor in risk management who is fascinated at how people reject evidence when they want to, and how others use fear and uncertainty as lobbying or marketing tools. What you say about multinationals holds true also for the organic industry (from farmers, organic pesticide producers – there are over 3000 organic certified pesticides – manufacturers to retailers) but since you want to agree with them, you allow the contradiction. I am curious how so many people, sharing the same rhetoric, mantras and fear, can disregard so many obvious facts. That is my agenda … somewhat academic perhaps, so thank you for your contribution.

      1. You do not even consider the fact that your “tables” and “studies” are flawed. You consider that because they are peer reviewed, they are fact. Shall we compile a list of studies that, years later, upon further research have been discovered to be flawed? Or shall we talk about the published scientists, heavily awarded for their research who have since been found to have been fudging their data? Because those situations exist, fact. People cheat their way to the top… CONSTANTLY..and if you don’t think, you have absolutely no idea of how society works.

        Monsanto funds research and a google search isn’t going to pull that information up for you. So, go ahead and trust the evidence that you trust.

        If you want to chose your to live your life based on science equations and peer review studies, then by all means, live your life. You can be just like that character from the movie Along Came Polly.

        Maybe one day you will get cancer and you will read the studies and the doctor will tell you, “no, do not change your diet, NO GOOD EVIDENCE shows that it will help your cancer”

        OR

        Maybe you will be desperate for your life and decide to try the organic, vegan, no sugar diet…or whatever it is you come across.

        After all, only the atheist calls out to God when he is at his most desperate moment…

          1. Thank you for the link Caitlin and I agree completely with it – as a Popperian, I know that a scientific theory is only as robust as its ability to resist skeptical challenges (why I am a climate skeptic – climate scientists need to be skeptical, and those who are not, have become political – not a good sign). So I do stand up against those who interfere with science, whether they are corporates, politicians, lobbyists (also for the organic food industry) or activists. On your previous comment, you mention my tables possibly being flawed – well this is data, well tested, replicated and fairly resistant to falsification. If the weatherman says the temperature today is 75°F, and your thermometer says the same, then you may think that it feels a little warmer or cooler, but you should not consider it as flawed data. That glyphosate has been tested to have an LD50 of 5600 classifying it as slightly toxic, and caffeine has an LD50 of 192 (thus very toxic, not to mention the more than 1000 other carcinogens in your cup of coffee), this is data – there is no politics involved, it is not Monsanto that made this up. You’ll notice that the pesticide widely used by organic farmers, copper sulfate, is also “very toxic”, coming in at LD 300, but I hope you are also aware that the US does not test for organic certified toxic residue levels so we really have no idea how toxic organic food is (see: http://appliedmythology.blogspot.be/2012/12/pesticide-residues-on-organic-what-do.html), so indeed, I agree, don’t be a lemming.
            So why is everyone all uppity about glyphosate and not the much more toxic copper sulfate or rotenone used by organic farmers? It is not about facts and data any more than that today is 75°. Some may conclude that it is because the evil beast of Monsanto has met with a anti-globalisation movement (wearing all those Anonymous Guy Fawkes masks), but that is too simplistic. Within the industry, there is in-fighting and I think some of the big companies are moving into the growing organic pesticide market so any crisis would be an opportunity. Also, the organic industry has been playing very unfairly, attacking scientists for industry funding and then trying to hide funding they have been doing (like WSU). The activists do not have ethical codes of conduct so it came as no surprise that an NGO scientist, Portier, working for the Environmental Defense Fund, managed to be the chief adviser on the IARC panel that gave the probable carcinogen decision on glyphosate – EDF did not disclose Portier was their man but as we live in the age of double standards, when I revealed that, nobody seemed to care – I need to form a RiskMongerArmy I suppose. See my blog here and ask yourself why you had never heard this news before: http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2015/03/31/iarcs-glyphosate-publication-another-organisation-captured-by-ngo-activist-shills/. Monsanto has no credibility to be able to defend the widely accepted data on glyphosate, activists have a free pass to say whatever they want, more dangerous substances will be used in their place and the farmers will suffer since they do not work as well. Lemmings is an appropriate word.
            You mentioned a personal remark about me as well. For the last four years, I have been quite ill with a rare type of vascular disorder. I did change my lifestyle, lost 50 lbs and take 4 pills a day which allow me to hopefully live long enough to some day hold my grandchildren. See my blog: http://risk-monger.blogactiv.eu/2011/09/13/how-chemicals-and-radiation-are-saving-my-life/ which also makes some strong criticisms about the medical establishment. But should I have shunned the accepted science and followed advice on Natural News to not take pills and instead eat more turmeric, or for cancer patients, only to take baking soda? These are not scientists in the conventional sense of the word, and I am sure Kuhn and Feyerabend would not think their work should be held responsible for the rise of anti-vaxxers. Many people are confused and afraid out there and social media gurus have not been acting responsible by increasing the temperature.
            So maybe I am a lemming … but I am a lemming still alive.

  6. Caitlin Stivaletta-

    Prop 65 to which your linked a article refers to, is a statewide joke. According to prop 65, going to Disneyland can give you cancer. I’m not kidding.

    Google “prop 65 Disneyland”.

    In addition, as noted , organic pesticides tend to be carcinogenic when they are tested.

    1. Prop 65 also means coffee sales-points need to post warning labels. OK, I understand that when I show data that indicates caffeine is far more toxic than glyphosate, I do not then mean that we have to stop drinking coffee. This human condition to always become more afraid needs to be evaluated!

  7. http://www.fws.gov/contaminants/Issues/Pesticides.cfm
    Even wildlife fish and game point out the impact.
    http://landscapeipm.tamu.edu/types-of-pest-control/biological-2/types/ texas a and m science department states the harm to benifical predatory insects!
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=L5is16A8pfw
    If you think what this lady is saying is bullshit, even NASA says its happening, which leads me to believe that she knows her shit, scientifically speaking.
    http://m.fasebj.org/content/early/2015/01/28/fj.14-267179.abstract?sid=1a34c0c7-9f71-4c7f-9314-a07c1df8f4ce A wealth of scientific info for you, my tiny brain may be to small to process, but I think that it says it kill bees!, a scientifc journal of all places? Oh side note, it mentions nicotine, that mixed with glyphosate, I am sure thats not safe for anyone, and when it concentrates and builds up in crop cycle and contamintes top soil, which leads to run off, and so on, I’ve painted enough for you.
    http://beyondpesticides.org/pollinators/research.php
    This link is the best because it has my favorite predatory insect as it mascot, and because its full of proven scientific studies for you. : )
    http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/mbcn/fruit103.html
    A plethora of universites, study the affects of pesticides on insects and enviornment, and there are thounsands just like this one, a pattern is emerging, do you see it yet?
    http://www.ukessays.com/essays/environmental-sciences/what-are-the-impacts-of-pesticides-environmental-sciences-essay.php
    This is just an essay I found, full of fun FACTS!
    http://m.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/recombinant-bovine-growth-hormone
    The Fucking America cancer society, Full of scientist, who would have thought to look there?
    http://www.jhsph.edu/research/centers-and-institutes/johns-hopkins-center-for-a-livable-future/projects/meatless_monday/resources/meat_consumption.html
    More facts.science based
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130211162236.htm yet another university
    http://www.tufts.edu/med/apua/about_issue/antibiotic_agri.shtml An alliance FOR antibiotics, Says that hormones and antibiotics ….. Well you can read.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120417102506.htm every ocean based animal big or small, bird or fish or mammal has plastic embeded in there bodies, and a actual city of trash and toxic waste floating in our ocean, if that does not concern you, well sir you are one sick individual!
    http://www.environmentmassachusetts.org/sites/environment/files/reports/Bag%20Ban%20Fact%20Sheet%20_0.pdf
    Gotta love Mass!

    1. Thank you Bryan for this load of links. There are thousands of articles published every day in all different types of journals – some like nature and science that have high Impact Factors (average number of citations per article) and others that charge researchers to publish the articles, are available online and are rarely read and never cited because of the low academic quality. So depending on your search words (and selectivity of findings), you can find a lot out there (and I hope you also paid attention to the thousands of articles out there that rejected the pesticides are the root of all evil hypotheses). In any case, it is quality rather than quantity that matters – I once blogged on how I searched for: Is being a vampire a profession? and got some interesting results. The Internet can prove anything if you are specific enough.
      I clearly do not have time to comment on all of the links (it is 4 am in Brussels and I have a lecture to give tomorrow) but be aware of the quality of the sources though – ones like Beyond Pesticides or Agriculture Defense Coalition are as compromised to me as Monsanto sources may be for you.
      One of your links said that pesticides are harmful to human health but did not specify which ones – all substances with a LD50 level less than water are harmful. Another link went on about how Rotenone is very toxic – true, and Rotenone is still used today by organic farmers. Also note that the whole bee crisis has opened up an enormous amount of funding in the research world (funding in perceived times of crisis is like open bars for alcoholics), so many studies took bees in a lab and stuck them in the pesticides and then observed their behaviour – field trials were too expensive and took too long (and did not give the results they wanted to publish). You noted that glyphosate is being mixed with nicotine and this is harmful to bees. Please be careful here – Monsanto is not involved in the bee debate (although activists have tried to lie their way in). Neonicotinoids are the pesticide class in question, the EU has banned three types even though their own research has not proven the link between neonics and bees (the power of activists to push bad science into politics). Obama’s pollinator task force looked at the science, consulted stakeholders and took a more logical approach to find means to improve bee health. Banning something that is not the cause of the problem, if there is actually any, is not a way to solve the problem.

  8. Concerning the EHEC outbreak in Germany back in 2011, you write: “Months later, after so many conventional farmers were falsely put under suspicion and had lost markets and international exports, the source of the outbreak was found to be an organic sprout farm (growing produce directly in fresh cow manure).”
    Where do you have the information from that the organic farm grew their produce directly in fresh cow manure? According to a report by the BFR (http://www.bfr.bund.de/cm/350/ehec-outbreak-2011-investigation-of-the-outbreak-along-the-food-chain.pdf) the source of the EHEC outbreak in Germany and France was most likely certain batches of fenugreek seeds imported from Egypt. The horticultural farm in Lower Saxony who sprouted them was organic, but it does not matter if an organic or conventional farm sprouts contaminated seeds. Manure is not considered a source of the contamination. While the report acknowledges that manure in general can be a source of contamination with pathogenic germs, the very EHEC strain involved in the 2011 outbreak was has never been isolated in animals or foods before. In addition, the homepage of the horticultural farm claims that they are vegetarians and therefore don’t use any animal-derived fertilizers at all.
    Some excerpts from the report:

    “According to the current findings, BfR assumes that the EHEC O104:H4 outbreak in Germany is attributable to the consumption of contaminated sprouts. The outbreak pathogen was very likely introduced via supplied fenugreek seeds into the sprout production. BfR believes that a causal input via water, humans, animals or pests into the horticultural farm in Lower Saxony is hardly probable, in particular because the outbreak strain was not detected in any of the samples taken despite intensive investigations.”

    “It should be noted here that the fundamental possibility exists that zoonotic agents and other pathogenic germs can exist in organic fertilisers, especially if farmyard manure (e.g. solid dung, liquid manure and slurry) and other organic substances are used as the basic materials, thus possibly constituting a health hazard for humans and livestock. It has been established in the meantime, however, that the EHEC O104:H4 strain is a recombinant of an enteroaggregative and an enterohaemorrhagic E. coli which has never previously been isolated in animals or from foods and which had only been detected in humans before. According to the latest level of available knowledge, therefore, it is not to be assumed that EHEC O104:H4 has any major significance for the contamination of agricultural matrices.”

    Mommy bloggers are telling me that conventional produce is killing me because it is laden with pesticides and mean GMOS. You are telling me that organic farming I killing me because it is laden with fresh cow manure. It seems like Food Babe syndrome is spreading everywhere.

    1. Thank you Suisiola for this information – I did not realise that the BfR did a report – I suspect they quietly released it but I enjoy how, in the Foreword, they congratulated themselves and mentioned how successful they were. In 2011, I had written several less charitable blogs on how they created unnecessary widespread panic without evidence. I read a good part of it as this is a high-water point in poor risk communication and your quote is from page 117, but pay attention, they are not blaming the fenugreek seeds from Egypt – but that they were trying to determine how the E coli pathogens got onto the fenugreek seed (and where). Earlier in the report, they admit that at the time of writing, they did not have evidence. One of the problems is that the original batch at the farm where the contamination took place was long gone by the time the authorities had traced the source due to the one large restaurant outbreak. Also why the German authorities had rejected the connection after their first visit to the farm showed no traces. The report interestingly did not get into what others had concluded – they said this strain is normally spread from humans and Germany allows sewage and human feces as fertiliser. I have seen media reports that linked the this outbreak to human waste but thought it was a bit of sensationalism – so I am going to give this report a closer read since if organic farming uses human waste (that may be a 21st reason). Why can’t they just accept that synthetic fertilisers are better. In rereading this report, I’ll consider removing this example, but as the BfR report confirms, as my other links, and the present reports coming out from the Mexican cucumber crisis in the US, the use of manure in organic farming leads to higher disease outbreaks.
      About your point that I am just as much of a scare-monger as the Food Babe, that is a good point (and as we live in silos, many consider me far worse than Vani). I thought the irony in using the ‘If you love your children’ trip that the Mommy bloggers manipulate was evident but you may have a point that my sarcasm could spread fear (among the fear spreaders). So I’ll take your remark as constructive but feel I should ask you if the Food Babe would publish such a remark, give the link a good part of the evening to read, accept some points and then not ban you from my site.

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