John on GMO's - Viewers Respond
Apr 08, 2013
***Editor’s Note: Below is a transcript of John’s Mailbag from the April 6-7, 2013 edition of U.S. Farm Report, followed by a number of viewer comments…
Time now for our weekly look inside the Farm Report Mailbag. We get occasional comments like this, so I will take up the topic once more: “How long are you going to continue to push Monsanto’s poison GMO food on the American people for the sake of money?” P.J. Thompson. First let me reassure you, GMO foods are not poison. As I have said before, if there were even the slightest hint they were harmful there would be commercials for law firms soliciting GMO consumers for litigation like unfortunate mesothelioma victims. When it comes to blame, where’s there’s smoke there’s an attorney. Of course, the less cynical view is there is no scientific evidence whatsoever that our bodies react to GMO foods differently than non-GMO. We now have almost two decades of real-world data to back that up. However, I am actually less enthusiastic about GMO technology than I was a few years ago. The reasons are mundane…the cost-benefit ratio. We farmers have seriously degraded some traits like glyphosate resistance by failing to think more than one year ahead. In fact, many seed traits now are worth less simply because nature has evolved responses. There is also a growing suspicion in the fields that traits don’t just add positive attributes to plants, but can introduce hidden weaknesses under certain conditions. They are not silver bullets – they’re just priced like them. Consequently, I think the problem for GMO technology is not safety – it’s $4 corn.
#1: John, I just heard your report on GMO foods. What scientific data are you talking about - Monsanto data or real unbiased independent data? Who is doing this independent research? How much research have you seen? How far back have you looked? Chances are you will find little to no private research in America. You will have to travel overseas to find any independent research if it is still available and has not been lost or removed by governments. I am a farmer from S.D. and I started looking for these answers years ago and have come up with different results than you. I am not one of those green peace tree hugging Hippies that is against anything that threatens the environment. I am a conventional farmer and use all kinds of chemicals. I use GMO seeds because mostly I have to. Try to get non GMO seed that has any research to speak of today for yield is very difficult. John you are a smart man, but if you really want to find the truth about GMO foods then you will have to really hunt to find the truth. Don’t do it for me. Don’t do it for you or your audience. Do it for your grandchildren. I gave you a link below to start that new search. It is only a small piece of the puzzle. The real truth is there if you really want to find it.
Ben Quam - A South Dakota farmer
#2: Hi, I heard your editorial comment about GMO technology this morning. You said you believed the danger of GMO was not safety, but $4 corn. Not from my perspective. At 56, I found that I couldn't walk. My knees were on fire. I had pain in every joint. Stabbing pains in my feet. My shoulders were horribly painful. Otherwise, I was a healthy woman, taking no prescription drugs. My doc said to get off the three most common joint irritants: wheat, corn and cow's milk dairy. For me, it was wheat and corn. Within three days I could play tennis. Over the last three years I found it is GMO wheat and corn. My doc says that today's wheat has 80 percent more gluten than the wheat of my earlier days. First, I got off all wheat and corn. But I love corn chips, and "snuck" some GMO-free chips. No problem. Then I was in the U.K. for two weeks, where GMO foods are required to be labeled. I could eat wheat there, but not when I returned. As I understand it, arthritis is cause by inflammation. The proteins of wheat and corn got into my blood systems and irritated the cartilage in my joints. Proven by MRIs, I have no (or little) cartilage in both knees. But, if I don't eat GMO wheat and corn, I have no pain. Since I have been on this diet, I have convinced 15 or so family members and friends to try eliminating wheat and corn. They've had had the same results. Like me, you probably won't believe this unless something similar happens to you. I believe that if I've figured this out, surely the government and heads of chemical/seed companies know this, and what is happening to our food system is a travesty to our population. (P.S. I live in MI now, but grew up in Kansas where my family owns a farm and where I worked for the Farm Credit Banks of Wichita -- the first woman officer back in the '80s.) Regards, Jan Jenkins
#3: Dear Mr. Phipps, The public knows you just flat out lied in your report about the effects on humans with consumption of GMO products.
A. Cancer has increased substantially in the past 25 years
B. Bee population is severely compromised
C. Law just passed to prevent the public from suing companies such as Monsanto-- why would we need that law if they produce healthy products?
D. MANY farmers have justly filed suit against such companies and lost everything trying to fight them.
E. THIS IS THE BIG ONE- you wouldn't have a JOB if you told the truth about GMO's or geo-engineering for that matter. Is money worth it?
Shame on you! How on earth can you lay your head on your pillow at night -- lying and covering up lies?? It's disgusting! Concerned mother, Tracie Cesar
#4: Your latest comment that GMOs would be sued if there were any health effects is FALSE!
You need to get your facts straight or join the rest of the US PRAVDA media. 'Monsanto Protection Act' slips silently through US Congress http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-congress-silently-slips-830/
The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week - including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks. The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the “Monsanto Protection Act,” as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns. Robert Wistrand