Sunday, March 29, 2015

Fact Checking March Against Monsanto Protesters #1


  1. The case against GMOs is voluminous. To wit:

    There's a reason that GMOs are banned broadly, although not entirely, in Europe (along with fluoride).

    We Americans are possibly the most brainwashed people in the world. Thank goodness we are waking up and GMOs are in retreat here.

    So what, that some individuals are in a poor position to verbalize their views; so what, that they are not in a position to be spokesmen for the cause. That is the case in any group (except really small, selective groups, such as Ron Paul supporters).

    I've participated in the 'March Against Monsanto' for a few years, now. The folks want unadulterated food, clearly marked, nothing more. Monsanto works hard to keep food GMO status secret, for good reason: increasing numbers of folks want nothing to do with GMOs. Monsanto, and its defenders, are on the wrong side.

    1. And here's the counterpoint:

  2. The video focused on a 1999 study, an extension of it, and a protester who cited it.


    There are lots of thoughtful MDs, such as these two, who preach against GMOs:

    The second physician, Kelly Brogan, is an MIT and Cornell trained neurobiologist and medical doctor. She writes clearly on a limited range of subjects she is expert in, and makes air-tight points.

    Each of us in my family of four stays away from GMOs based on our own read of things. But, no doubt, we could not verbalize such to the satisfaction of the video guy.

  3. The real hilarity this week in the GMO world is not some inarticulate, mistaken housewife who was a poor choice to put behind a megaphone.

    The real hilarity is the bozo -- and science Ph.D. to boot -- who claimed glyphosate -- used in conjunction with GMO seed -- was harmless, then quickly retracted his statement when challenged:

    On this matter -- food safety -- which is important, go for substance, Bob, not flash.

  4. The problem isn't Monsanto's poisonous crap. The problem is that the government enforces Monsanto's IP. A true libertarian does not believe in IP.

    1. Hmm, I'm a libertarian and I believe in IP. No true libertarian fallacy?

      The problem I have with the GMO is that as a pollutant it cannot be remedied if it escapes into nature and over time the damage can be great or even catastrophic. A chemical air pollutant like sulfur dioxide will over time be neutralized by nature and what harm it causes can be remedied by the polluter. Not so with the GMO. Once it escapes into nature over time it can cause continuing harm and there's no way the GMO polluter can remedy it.

      Imagine Spanish moss as a GMO product. How can it be stopped? Or the damage it wreaks throughout the south ever be remedied? I don't favor regulating GMOs, but the consequences of them escaping into nature is a difficult issue for libertarians.

    2. In the sense that you support IP you're not a 'true libertarian' as IP is government imposed aggression that violates true property rights. As ideas can be 'owned' by an infinite amount of people at once and are not scarce by nature unlike physical goods.

    3. @dave

      An important distinction to be made, is between IP laws (illegitimate) and IP contracts (legitimate).

    4. @ Dave

      "you're not a 'true libertarian' as IP is government imposed aggression"

      Well, if I used your logic I would consider you to not be a "true libertarian" in that you're clearly against "true" property rights.

      Taking your argument further, the predominate/current system by which ownership of property in the physical realm is protected is "government imposed"(here in the US). So are we to invalidate the protection of IP because of the dominate form of ALL property protection is a gov't monopoly?(for now)

      Of course not. That's a silly argument.

      Now, that you define property as requiring "scarcity" is the real issue. I define property as I believe Bastiat did, meaning requiring "value", which is sets up a different set of circumstances under which we would try to interact with each other under the non-aggression principle.

      Normally, I stop short of defining who I think is or is not a "true libertarian", but if you're going to claim such based on your definition of property then naturally I'm going to throw the same label back at you. (the I'm rubber, you're glue argument)


      The problem is an epistemological one, probably only solved by distinct communities that either respect IP as property or not, which under libertarian society should be fine. I have my personal opinion on which society would do better, given that those that respect property rights seem to excel versus those that collectively decide who can own what, but that's a whole separate issue/argument that's already occured and I don't feel like doing it again at this moment.

  5. Protesters in general are usually not particularly knowledgeable so it's not remarkable that someone can make a few look foolish.

    However GMOs like all products of science are declared safe on relatively short term testing and peer review. Science doesn't do the more rigorous processes and testing that engineering does for things like your cell phone, your car, your computer, and so on. Products of science like GMOs do not get seals of approval by third parties such as UL or a CE mark. They get government approval from agencies like the FDA using the manufacturers' testing.

    Can we trust that GMO foods are safe to consume for 20 years? 40? 60? We'll find out after major food crops have become almost entirely or entirely GMO. Is that a good idea? Is gambling with the food supply which will be the exclusive IP of Monsanto worth it? Those are the questions people need to be asking.