The Science and Politics of the GMO (online class)


#1

The Science and Politics of the GMO (class)

For those interested in learning more about GMO.

What you’ll learn
Assess, understand and apply social science concepts as they affect the development and use of biotechnology products and processes

Gain an understanding of how biotechnology intersects with globalization, trade, poverty, food security, and environmental sustainability

Understand and evaluate research articles and research methods related to biotech crops

Learn to formulate well-structured research questions, recognize appropriate research methods, and assess research reports

Craft thoughtful and effective arguments, with supporting evidence at the intersection of science and social science on issues of public policy


#2

Pro-GMO propaganda at Cornell University

Cornell student Robert Schooler was shocked at the pro-GMO propaganda emanating from Cornell University and it’s Gates-funded ‘Alliance for Science’. But rather than just complain about it, he decided to fight back - with his popular ‘GMOWTF’ website and an important lecture series this fall by GMO experts on the Cornell campus - the ones that Cornell has been ignoring for years.

What I’m going to do about all of this

You didn’t think I was just going to complain about a pro-GMO, industry-sponsored Cornell all day, did you? Good, because I have come up with a plan to create actual, lasting change on campus.

A student-led, expert-backed, evidence-based GMO course

I have decided to host an independent course on the current GMO paradigm, in response to Cornell’s course. It will be held on campus, but will have zero influence from Cornell or any biotech organization. Every Wednesday evening, from September 7th to November 16th, we will host a lecture. This lecture series is completely free, open to the entire Cornell community and broader public, and will be published online (for free, forever) at my project, gmowtf.com


#3

you should invite the 100+ nobel prize laureates that claim GMOs are safe and necessary for life to continue on earth as the population rises.


#4

Their problem is, the vast majority of the experts and evidence come down on the side other than theirs.


#5

With an opinion like that I assume you also believe that Galileo Galilei should have kept his mouth shut and thoughts to himself too and thereby avoided a life time of imprisonment, for daring to challenge the establishment with his “minority” views. And, we all now know whose views “eventually” withstood the test of time.

Based on past scientific corporate lies, I believe it’s good to have a healthy dose of skepticism whenever “claims” are being made, scientific studies are being thrown around or “scientists” are being used to make declarative statements.

Deceit and Denial: The Deadly Politics of Industrial Pollution
Deceit and Denial offers a devastating account of the history of cover-ups of massive harms to public health by the lead and vinyl industries. Drawing on internal industry documents obtained in the course of lawsuits against the industries, the book paints a shocking picture of corporate indifference to human life.

My note: With regard to “tetraethyl lead” in our fuel and germane to relying too heavily on “studies” funded by the corporations who benefit from them and the scientists who conducted them …

“Heavily funded by industry, University of Cincinnati Professor Robert Kehoe for decades was the most prominent researcher in the field. He had the greatest resources and access to industry information. Through numerous testimonies and interventions, he deflected regulatory efforts. In Ethyl’s commissioned history, a company official said Kehoe “bought us time.””

My note: “bought us time; for what, you ask?” To continue the lie that “tetraethyl lead” was safe and to continue to profit from said lie while polluting the environment and everything that lives in it

Speaking of Scientists: forget you ever heard: “Better Things for Better Living . . . Through Chemistry"

Here is…The Teflon Toxin; DuPont and the Chemistry of Deception

DuPont scientists had closely studied the chemical for decades and through their own research knew about some of the dangers it posed. Yet rather than inform workers, people living near the plant, the general public, or government agencies responsible for regulating chemicals, DuPont repeatedly kept its knowledge secret.

Take your pick; on everything from Global Warming to Big Tobacco…

“Merchants of Doubt” tells the controversial story of how a loose-knit group of high-level scientists and scientific advisers, with deep connections in politics and industry, ran effective campaigns to mislead the public and deny well-established scientific knowledge over four decades. The same individuals who claim the science of global warming is “not settled” have also denied the truth about studies linking smoking to lung cancer, coal smoke to acid rain, and CFCs to the ozone hole. “Doubt is our product,” wrote one tobacco executive. These “experts” supplied it.

https://www.amazon.com/Merchants-Doubt-Handful-Scientists-Obscured/dp/1608193942/ref=pd_sim_14_5?ie=UTF8&dpID=41kjl5H2WhL&dpSrc=sims&preST=AC_UL160_SR107%2C160&psc=1&refRID=0C9A98M52Z1T88JDHJBW

Hopefully and unfortunately, the next time you hear or read the words, “scientific studies conclude… or 100+ Nobel Laureates all say…” instead of just accepting such statements as gospel, you will make a commitment to do your own work, by researching ALL of the viewpoints of an issue and after thought and reflection come to your own conclusions.


#6

Corporations have used science to deceive people by hiring a small number of scientists to use in court cases as expert witnesses in their defense against “well-established scientific knowledge”, like the fact that smoking causes cancer. However in this case you are the one going against well-established scientific knowledge, which serves the financial interest of the organic food industry.

Ultimately the question of safety is factual, and hundreds of studies have been done on short-term and long-term safety of numerous GMOs, including a substantial number of independent studies (about a third). The fact that GMOs are safe is beneficial to the financial interest of the GM industry but that doesn’t make it any less of a well-established scientific fact.


#7

I only trust science which aligns with my preconceived notions.


#8

What does this have to do with corporations? The current state of acceptance of GMOs in the scientific community has nothing to do with corporations. If you don’t like the business practices of certain corporations that are using the science then stick to that.

It’s especially ironic that you cite a book about a handful of scientists obscuring the truth on tobacco smoke and global warming because the side you’re on now is doing the same thing. Yes, really. Seriously, look into it. When is the last time science departments at Cornell University went off half cocked spreading things that were believed by only a handful of scientists obscuring the truth? And I mention Cornell only because they’re the ones offering the MOOC. Look at any other university with a department that studies the issue.

Whatever issues you have with particular corporations about how they use the science, if you address that by attacking the science itself you’re going to be deemed anti-science.


#9
  1. It has "everything to do with corporations and I provided just a “few” examples of corporations that have and continue to use scientists to sway public opinion. My BIGGER point is that just because someone has a fancy title or someone uses the word, “scientist” you shouldn’t “automatically” buy-in to whatever it is they are selling or trying to get you to believe just because they have a fancy title or are described as a scientist. A person should look at all available information and resources and come to their own conclusions.

  2. I wasn’t offering nor did I present myself as being on anyone’s side. In fact, I said and will say it again, A person should look at all available information and resources and come to their own conclusions.

  3. I made no claims about Cornell. I posted counter narrative from a person, Robert Schooler, who WAS a student at Cornell. And, I posted the counter narrative because, why? “A person should look at all available information and resources and come to their own conclusions.”

  4. I’m anything but… But people, such as yourself, are going to “label” people for a variety of reasons, I have no control over what other people do or don’t do. So… if that is what you believe then label away…


#10

Whether GMOs are safe in principle or practice has nothing with corporations. I don’t know how to state it any more plainly than that. Pretend for a minute that corporations didn’t exist. Would that have any effect on whether GMOs were safe? No. They’re simply two completely different things.

Yes, it’s good to look at evidence and try to figure things out yourself but when there’s an entire branch of science saying something they’re probably right,whether it’s GMO or climate change or evolution or whatever.


#11

You say that you didn’t present yourself as on anyone’s side, but I got the distinct impression that you are on a particular side. If you think you are portraying yourself as neutral, I think that you are deluding yourself. If I wanted to find out the truth about GMOs, you would be one of the last people I would turn to, based on your presentation above.


#12

Now this is just deception, your website GMOwtf.com clearly picks a side.


#13

It’s not my website! And I’ve made myself abundantly clear, above, as to why I posted it.


#14

I’ve consumed Soylent since the very beginning and i’m still consume Soylent 3x a day. Why would I consume Soylent if I thought it was harmful to me? I have made it abundantly clear that I posted a counter-narrative because I believe a person should examine the PROs and CONs of an issue and make a decision for themselves and additionally not accept something as fact just because someone else with a fancy title tells you it’s OK, as to me that’s abdicating personal responsibility.


#15

My point on corporations had NOTHING to do with GMOs. Did I mention GMOs ONCE in my post where I linked several books? NO. That entire post is about corporations using scientists to sway public opinion BECAUSE of their position of authority within society and NOT blindly accepting what someone tells you is OK just because they have a fancy title.

If your first sentence of your response you didn’t mention GMOs. You asked, “What does this have to do with corporations?” To which, I responded. (I even wrote only that specific sentence because that was what I was responding to)

1.It has "everything to do with corporations and I provided just a “few” examples of corporations that have and continue to use scientists to sway public opinion. My BIGGER point is that just because someone has a fancy title or someone uses the word, “scientist” you shouldn’t “automatically” buy-in to whatever it is they are selling or trying to get you to believe just because they have a fancy title or are described as a scientist. A person should look at all available information and resources and come to their own conclusions.

I will concede that GMOs “could” be implied (but that wasn’t my intention) at the very end when I am mentioning the fancy titles bit, I say… "100+ Nobel Laureates all say… But the point I was making was about NOT blinding accepting something just because someone or in this case a lot of someone’s say you should.

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald


#16

Thank you for coming down from on high and informing all us ignorant peasants about the appeal to authority fallacy. It is new and interesting information that I have never heard before. Previously I just accepted things as fact because someone with a fancy title said so, I shall now correct my flawed thinking.


#17

You’re welcome :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Now read this before going to bed and upon waking:

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.” -F. Scott Fitzgerald

btw, I had to google, “appeal to authority fallacy” :wink:


#18

You’re pretending this is a new issue that hasn’t been investigated yet and one side is just closing its mind. That’s not the case. Actually, it was the case when GMOs were a new thing, but the side closing its mind was the side against GMOs. The ridiculous label “Frankenfood” got applied very early. Many people against GMOs aren’t against them because they’re unsafe or for any other scientific reason, rather they’re against THE IDEA of GMOs. Those are the people that you ought to be telling to have an open mind.

Are you in favor of evolution being taught in schools? Do you agree with the idea that the current scientific consensus is a giant scam perpetuated by some percentage of people on the rest of us? Why not? Come on now, you have to be able to hold two ideas in your head at the same time, one that evolution is true and one that it’s not.

The science is in on GMOs and the conclusion is that with proper testing it is completely safe. That said, the strength of science is that there is never a conclusion that is 100% unquestionable. Anytime evidence leads in another direction, science follows. But that’s not what is happening with the people against GMOs, rather those people just don’t want GMOs to happen and they’re blindly resisting it.


#19

Since meat is safe to eat are you proposing forcing vegetarians, Jews & Muslims to eat meat (pork, crab, etc…) or just shaming them for their ridicules decision and telling them to have an open mind or do people have an individual fundamental right to decide for themselves what goes into their body?


#20

Don’t change the subject. We are debating the safety of GMOs not the merits of a religious belief.