Time to bid adieu to GMO regulations

Most people are familiar with the story The Emperor’s New Clothes by Hans Christian Andersen.

The emperor, while parading around naked, proclaims that he has had an exquisite new wardrobe made, and is showing it off to his citizens. Out of fear of retribution, the citizens agree with the beauty of the wardrobe until a young child naively points out that the emperor is indeed naked and was scammed by a couple of weavers.

I feel there are parallels with this story and our situation with the regulation of genetically modified crops. About 30 years ago, Canada and other western governments put in place regulations around the release of these crops, requiring that they undergo significant screening to show they are no risk in terms of food, feed or environmental impact.

While governments had to put in place significant resources and personnel to develop and oversee these regulations, the producers of these products, primarily private plant-breeding companies, also had to invest significant amounts of money to collect the necessary data and deal with regulators. Both governments and industry are finding it increasingly expensive as more and more products come to market.

With new tools such as gene editing, there will likely be even more work.


The considerable research that has been required to satisfy GMO regulations has never found a problem, which begs the question, why do we keep doing it? | File photo

So some people might wonder how many products of these new breeding techniques have been found wanting and were not released into the market because they were deemed a risk as either food, feed or environmental threat.

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The answer is zero.

It disturbs me to see less-developed countries using valuable resources to implement western-style regulatory systems for such crops when those resources could be better used elsewhere and such technologies probably hold greater potential than in the western world.

Some people have made their careers debating from a pro- or anti-GMO point of view. Organizations have developed on both sides, again taking resources that could be better used elsewhere. In addition, we are devoting resources to develop international policies to regulate shipments for low-level presence of GMOs and for GMO labelling, even though there is no scientific basis for either.

Let’s get rid of these needless and expensive regulatory systems, deploy the wasted resources to where they can do more good, and return to where we were 30-plus years ago, when plant breeders used any process (traditional breeding, mutation, genetic engineering, gene editing) to produce new material that had value to the farmer, the processor or the consumer, and let the market place decide the true value of the products of plant breeding.

Graham Scoles is a plant sciences researcher, breeder and professor at the University of Saskatchewan and an honorary life member of the Canadian and Saskatchewan seed growers’ associations.

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  • BanGMOs108

    Independent researchers and scientists around the world say the exact opposite.
    It is long past time to BAN genetic modification, gene editing and mutagenesis altogether! The human and animal populations are already suffering from this unproven experiment.

    • Keith Duhaime

      Evidence? Funny how I can’t seem to find any.

      • Harold

        That only proves that you are not the hub of all knowledge. How you find the contrary evidence – is in the pursuit of proving yourself correct; not in the pursuit of proving others wrong. In contentment to prove others wrong, is from the mind of a brain washing. Correctness is not earned by an Authority say so. Evidence doesn’t just fall into your lap; Corporate advertising does, and they pay a truck load of money to produce it. As I have said before: you along with others are locked-out of your highest corporate executive offices, therefore proving yourself correct is unattainable. Did you decide that? Correctness is in clarity and clarity is understood by all; unexposed liars are confusion. While you are seeking evidence, others are gaining FOIA documents from YOUR highest office, and that is to say that you have no standing either; those are the facts that are standing in your way. If the Corporation has your truth, why do they conceal it from you? FOIA; does that tell you anything? I can tell you one thing, you don’t need a FOIA to gain information from a truth sayer; only a liar. The only thing that you are seeking is the permission owing to the lack of evidence that allows you to continue to do what you are doing and Monsanto has adequately provided you with just that; a faith – Monsanto is always correct and others are always wrong; a deity is born and who am I or others to argue. Keep the faith. Is Monsanto a scientist or someone with a profit to gain? I see a conflict of interests and I don’t need to wonder where that does lead.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          Excellent pile of meaningless babble.Thanks for the laugh.

          • ed

            Not true, but you are well aware of that I am certain.

          • Harold

            Thanks for your meaningless opinion. I got nothing but at least you got a laugh and that is something more.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            OK, well for starters If you are correct then Benbrook is a liar. Or perhaps as you are wrong. An foia is necessary to get people to waste money reviewing their papers.

      • ed

        It as easy as looking.

        • Keith Duhaime

          Well. I have access via UBC to just about everything you can find on WoS, PubMed, Agricola, etc. and I still can’t find it. So where is it?

          • richard

            Are you suggesting glyphosate is not a patented antibiotic/antimicrobial…. both systemic and persistent? Are you suggesting that increasing levels of agritoxins in the foodstream, both connected to transgenics, are symbols of progress in agriculture? Are you suggesting that the publics rejection of GM has nothing to do with the fact that there’s nothing in it for them other than being manipulated? Need more evidence?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            No, he is suggesting correctly that the chelation is not a problem. We spray chelated minor minerals to cure deficiency problems quite often. Athletic turf guys spray chelated iron 3 to 4 days before a TV game and the grass turns a nice dark green in time to look great for the game. Agritoxins??? Post the studies along with proof that any residue is biologically significant.

          • Keith Duhaime

            Do you have any contextually relevant evidence to support your allegations? Again, funny how I can’t seem to find any. Neither could the Italian government for their defence in a lawsuit by one of their own farmers.

          • Keith Duhaime

            FYI, maybe you should skip on charlatans like Joseph Mercola, Mike Adams, Vandana Shiva and Food Babe as your go to sources of info on Monsanto, glyphosate, vaccinations, smart meters, etc. etc. BTW, my understanding is that the patents on glyphosate expired some time ago.

          • Harold

            You remember the BS term “social license”? This is nothing more than an attempt to gain corporate dominance over the public and using propaganda to gain the public’s will to allow it.
            Clearly, who benefits from this rhetoric and dialogue; the public or the corporate? Should the public keep their dominance or hand it over to Corporate control – is the question, and to that is a very simple answer; yes or no. “Bid adieu”? (was the bill board lights too bright for the public to see?) What we are seeing here is corporate trolling – and those who will take the hook; it is about corporate profit protection – above that of public will protection. In the various comments I can see those who have taken the hook and those who will not, and each have their reasons. From my perspective, the corporate through legislation and allowed secrecy already have three quarters of the “pie” (public dominance) and it stands to reason that they want to legislate total ownership of that pie through the blessing of the public’s will. It is not about Science, or health; or the environment: they are only the smoke and mirrors of profit protection. The corporate own many of the strongest words and phrases but they are used to mask the corporate fragility; the public only owns one word of strength that can utterly destroy them – the word is: NO. Who’s afraid?
            How often has our ability to say NO been legislated away from us and to who is benefit; the benefit of sorry? Canadians sure say that word a lot, don’t they?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Your comment is nothing more than a shill gambit combined with a leftist bias. Which bias reveals a lack of knowledge of economics.

          • Harold

            Had I not put my many words “out there” – you would have nothing to criticize. You, a man with only the few words of your say so – must be feeling very safe. You are giving nothing more than your “hit and run”. Did you think that I hadn’t noticed?

          • richard

            No answers to some pointed questions huh? As per usual the flight from complexity is a function reductionist indoctrination and corporate heeling? Quelle surprise? But its ok, the increasingly saavy consumer has already left the cult of eminent myths and is procuring their sustenance from more credible sources…..I know…..shoot the messenger…..You guys should be thanking us….. We’re simply trying to show you why thirty years of obstinacy, aint working……But if GM is your tune… keep playing….the musicians on the Titanic did.

  • Rob Bright

    More antiscience, industry propaganda from The Western Producer. I wish you guys would get with the program and stop spreading corporate PR on behalf of the agrochemical/ biotech industry (but I guess that’s where all your advertising dollars come from, eh?)

    Too bad. You’re part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  • StopGMO

    But, who is performing these “significant screenings”? Not Health Canada so I am guessing it is the biotech industry. This is considered bias and obviously a conflict of interest. Also, 30 plus years ago, transgenic, genetic engineering did not exist until the mid 90’s. This technique does not and cannot occur in nature. It is lab created and completely unnatural.

    • Bill Pilacinski

      The first transformed plants were reported in 1986 – 31 yrs ago. Botulinum toxin, the most toxin substance known is natural. Aflatoxin, the most potent carcinogen known, is natural. Try to find any food you normally eat, as it grows, in nature.

      • ed

        Arsenic is natural as well, but that does not mean that creating it artificially and eating it is safe.

        • Robert Howd

          Perhaps you missed the point. Natural does not mean safe, GMO does not mean unsafe, and the mechanism by which products are produced is generally irrelevant.

          • StopGMO

            There have been many unbiased studies showing GMOs are not safe. GMOs have never been proven safe for long term human consumption, and unless you can provide 1 study proving me wrong, what you are saying is completely false and misleading.

          • Robert Howd

            “GMO” refers to several different methods of modifying genes, so saying “GMOs are not safe” is inherently too broad to be true. However, since no adverse effects on humans or animals have been reported for currently marketed GMO crops or their products (such as corn or beet sugar) resulting from the genetic changes, this is a moot point. Introduction of new food products is based on “substantial equivalence” to existing products, and no human safety testing is or ever has been required for products receiving this designation, irrespective of the method used to produce the new variety. That’s the system we have in the U.S., and there’s nothing false or misleading about it.

          • StopGMO

            Please review this compiled list of many unbiased studies: http://gmofreeusa.org/research/gmo-science-research/

          • Robert Howd

            Lots of interesting papers, but I saw nothing of significance on consumption of GMO crops in the selection I scanned (the first 110). No. 4, a rat feeding study from Egypt, looked interesting, but was fatally flawed – an N of 3 per group! Lots of credible work on glyphosate actions, but this is not GMO toxicity. With this complete non-relevance rate, I didn’t bother perusing further.

          • Keith Duhaime

            And where are these studies? I’ve searched Agricola, WoS, PubMed, etc. and can’t seem to find a single relevant study. Neither could the whole Italian government it seems when they were being sued by one of their own farmers over nonsensical anti-GMO legislation.

      • Harold

        So what you are saying in essence is that some mushrooms are safe and some mushrooms are extremely toxic. (the results are obvious, immediate, and traceable) Did scientists discover that or did sickness discover that? I’m always curious about the masters of Science. They don’t seem to know the cause of anything unless immediate and obvious and yet they remain the experts as if they truly matter. Rather than to know the cause so that it can be stopped, they throw drugs at it and cut off organs as if they have done you some kind of favor in that the unidentifiable cause can bring you back later for more surgery and drugs. It’s like driving to a body shop and buying a tank of gas and driving away without your fender and thinking that they’ve done you an “experts” favor. I don’t wonder what scientists have truly wrapped their collective minds around; for me, it is as obvious as a toxic mushroom.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      … The snake DBA in cattle, naturally occurring GMO sweet potato, and HGT occurring in artisanal cheese examples have all been cited for you many times. Thus these things occur naturally. And due to the naturalistic fallacy that fact is not relevant to safety. Just like last tim, and the time before , and the time before ………

  • Rob Bright

    The misinformation in this article is blatant. GMOs have NEVER been properly regulated and, indeed, have never even been adequately tested for safety. In 2001, the Royal Society of Canada released its report on GMOs (commissioned by Health Canada.) The Royal Society listed many concerns with GE safety and had a very extensive list of recommendations for adequate testing and regulation. Of this lengthy list — almost 50 recommendations — Health Canada and he government of Canada decided to implement only 2.

    GMOs have never been properly regulated, nor adequately tested for safety. While the FDA ignored its own scientists and broke its own food safety laws to grant GMOs the fraudulent status of “substantial equivalence,” this designation has been shown to lack scientific validity. This substandard (and illegal) approval process for GMOs has been in place ever since.

    Steven Druker’s book, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,” clearly outlines the fraudulent and antiscience process the FDA took to acquire this illegal approval of GE products.

    • Robert Howd

      The Wikipedia article on the Starlink corn recall has this to say about the adverse effects: “Following the recalls, 51 people reported adverse effects to the FDA; these reports were reviewed by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), which determined that 28 of them were possibly related to StarLink.[32] The CDC studied the blood of these 28 individuals and concluded there was no evidence the reactions these people experienced were associated with hypersensitivity to the StarLink Bt protein.[33]”

    • RobertWager

      Do tell Rob, which of the recommendations have not been enacted? you do know about how Canada regulated GE crops don’t you?

  • Neil Batchelor

    Well I think we do it to assure an uncertain consumer that what we are doing is safe. The Non -GMO foods market is up around $550 Billion dishes dollars and even the most pessimistic forecast has it increasing by 16% per year. That is a significant number of consumers who have essentially told us “Hey! We don’t want GMO food. Figure a way around it.” If we as an industry had started having the conversation with consumers 30 years ago and controlled the GMO narrative, you might have a hope in hell of repealing regulation. But as it stands we didn’t and you don’t. Consumers drive the bus.

    • Harold

      Is there a Law that says a Law cannot be repealed? Is there a Law that says that a Regulation can’t be repealed? THERE ISN’T ONE. In Law – in the Courts – all Laws are assumed as publicly accepted and therefore they are enforceable. The public can make their own Laws – in majority of public consent – and pass it through the Politician to the Acts of Parliament and make that Law enforceable. The politician cannot repeal any Law to favor the public unless the public are steering that bus. Consumers drive two buses; the Political bus and the Personal spending bus. Consumers just don’t know of their power and that power has never been taught; failure has been taught in place of. When there is a blank/nothing at the end of the question – “what can we do that works”? – failure has been taught.
      In the absence of the public/consumer – the corporate drive both buses – and they drive politicians to create and repeal Laws to favor them, however, there is no emptiness for the corporate after their question – “what can we do that works”?
      The public never gets heard because they have not been taught by our government-run educational systems – “this is how to be heard”. Therefore, the public rely upon – and are taught by – their own fantasy protests – but in turn they walk away empty handed. When you cannot think, you are the subject of accepting and doing what you are told to do.
      To follow up on your last statements, you said: “but as it stands we didn’t and you don’t”. Didn’t is – time past – and don’t is present time – and the longer that you don’t – it stands – now drive the bus – or you don’t. Have we been taught how to “drive”?

      • Neil Batchelor

        I wish your response made some kind of sense. I think my points were clearly made: We have not engaged the consumer as an industry regarding the progress in genetic technology, and we are now paying the price for that. Indeed, I would venture to say the fight is already over as far as the wealthiest consumers are concerned (eg: those in the EU, North America, Japan, South Korea, for example) and our counter pro-technology arguments have come 30 years too late. One has only to look at the increasing premiums for Non-GMO and Organic produce to realize that the horse is out of the barn, down the road, across the field, and in the neighbour’s organic hay. I have yet to see a slowing or even a reduced acceleration of the consumer demand for what they perceive as safe and healthy food. What do you think would happen if GMO labeling of food products were made law? Given that, at least in this country, political power resides clearly in the urban areas, and those areas are clearly anti-GMO, it would seem to me that politically GMO food labeling would look attractive to even the most obtuse Liberal government strategist (of which there are quite a number currently in the House).

        • RobertWager

          But the great equalizer is customer oriented GE traits. These will bring the public on-side.

          • ed

            Has not happened yet.

          • RobertWager

            They are just starting to reach the market. Stay tuned.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Happening slowly now. Check out what Uganda just did. And then the GE papaya is an old example.

        • Harold

          Don’t take my comments personally. The intent of my comments is to focus on an object – and that object is not you. Your statements point to an object and my comment also points at the same object in order that it be examined or enlarged. The only reference that I make to you personally is the fact that you are pointing to an object. In my previous comment, the object was your last two statements only – in your previous comment. In short; you said – you can’t – and I countered with – you can. I was not referring to your entire comment and perhaps the separation created confusion. I assumed that you could make the connection. Had I responded to your entire comment there would have been pages and pages more.
          I have an lengthy examination for each of your talking points; (objects) are you interested? 30 years, technology, Money, pricing, government, and your question that you asked me (what if) regarding labeling. Which would you like?

          • Robert Howd

            Unfortunately, none of your statements in this forum make any sense whatsoever. I think you’re wasting your time here.

        • ed

          We get this with this guy all the time.

          • Neil Batchelor

            Gotcha. Troll duly ignored.

    • David Kucher

      If Henry Ford asked the consumers of 1900 what they want, they would have said, faster horses.

      • Neil Batchelor

        Yes, some 85 years before the dawn of the Age of Information, where consumers can research for themselves, social media can disseminate group-think at the speed of light, and lack of the ability to respond to active market forces can eliminate you as a business almost overnight – right, Kodak?

    • ed

      Great stuff.

      • Neil Batchelor

        Honoured.

    • Denise

      Millennials and baby boomer women ( who do 70% or more of the shopping) drive the consumer bus.Their main concern is having good health achieved by eating nutritious, pesticide-free, non-GMO food. The health of our families and the next generations depend on us paying attention to what we put in our mouths. Big Pharma loves chemical farming techniques. More business for them.
      The health and well- being our our children and their children depend on us being conscientious consumers. More and more people are waking up to the reality that we cannot be zombie shoppers anymore.

      • Neil Batchelor

        This illustrates my point exactly. No one has to tell us (or mothers as in Denise’ case) to be genuinely concerned about food security and quality of supply. One of the first things you learn in University psychology (or economics) is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Among the highest are food, shelter, fire, and water. Fear for our food supply is written in our genes (pun intended). We will not be able to re-direct the narrative in the face of nigh-on instinctive fears. As I said, we are 30 years too late to undo the lack of communication. Even now, the premiums for organic produce and grains is bringing unprecedented premiums to corn and soybean growers. Cash croppers are noticing and reacting, unsatisfied with $3.50 corn and watching $12 organic corn disappear into an ever increasing consumer-driven market. Some are no doubt wondering why they are paying premium prices for traits when the net farm receipts remains static and organic and Non GMO premiums are allowing profit on far less acres. Maybe it’s time we faced some uncomfortable consumer perceptions and realized there is a market opportunity going begging.

      • Robert Howd

        Since there are no documented adverse effects from eating GMO food, it seems to me that you’re wasting your time worrying about it. Specifically, why would you care, health-wise, if sugar comes from GMO or non-GMO plants? Wouldn’t it be more useful just to avoid the sugar in the first place?

  • Derek Ward

    If you are referring to the Lenape potato, it was developed using conventional breeding techniques and made it into the food chain.

    • Robert Howd

      Yes, I believe you’re right.

  • Happy Farmer

    Use Google to find the truth-I doubt it!

    • Keith Duhaime

      Google is the last place to look. Even Google Scholar is iffy. Best to stick with Agricola, PubMed, WoS and other reputable resources. Too bad the Italian government didn’t figure that one out before a farmer took them to court and had their nonsensical anti-GMO legislation tossed.

  • ed

    Most of our trading partners are either zero tolerance on GMO’S or want assurances that they could be safe. Some use them for livestock feed only as it is butchered in a small window of time so will not be impacted by the long term damage caused by GMO’S, thus they want to know the trace levels in any human consumption sgipments. Without regulation our exports will drop dramatically which will torpedo our export agricultural model. Going back to zero GMO as you suggest may be the awnser but will most likely trigger the most debate and discussion that you are also proposing to avoid. Tough spot.

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      Not relevant. The ignorance of others is no reason to stop progress. The farmers must decide what to grow.

      • ed

        They are having choices removed everyday. That doesn’t leave much deciding to do other than the grade of oul to put in the tractor, or the width of your airseeded. Fentynal dealers have been making progress and you want to “what”?

      • Neil Batchelor

        Incorrect and indicative of an invalid base philosophy that I have seen many growers make over the 25 years I have been in Ag: I can decide what the market will do. You can’t. You never could. Ultimately you can only react to what the market is telling you can be sold. And increasingly, a very large segment of the market is saying no to GMO’s. Act accordingly, or ignore at your peril. When was the last time someone came through with some new crop that you and your neighbours grew, and ended up sitting on for years sometimes, all because you failed to read the market accurately (or believed the sales pitch a little too much)?

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          Incorrect. Farmers are independent business people. They get to decide what to grow and when. If farmers want to take risk. They get to do so. The very thought that regulations in this scenario should deny them opportunity is ridiculous. Increasingly??? maybe, maybe not. What is certain is that there are a number of often dishonest and almost always strident trouble makers trying to slow progress by any means or excuse they can come up with. In your case you are simply trying to fear monger by making a questionable claim. There are quite a few nations developing GE crops. and more knowledgeable people are starting to oppose the ignorance every day. All business decisions are made at a businessperson’s peril. I will be growing GE sweet corn for retail markets next spring. It will be labeled as such. I may well run into some ignorant and/or dishonest folks that will oppose and I may not make a dime. But I will continue and as the years pass and nobody gets sick or dies. The crop will gain acceptance and the opposers will look stupid. Ignorance is no reason to stop progress and the farmers get to decide.

          • Harold

            A independent can only be independent from other business but all business are dependent upon consumer choices. If any business produces a product that the consumers will not buy; that Business – is out of business. (Bankrupt) You are incorrect: Farmers are not an Island unto themselves unless they give up the Title (Farmer) and grow food only to feed their own family. If Consumers will not purchase your product, then converting to a product that they will purchase – is called progress. If tomorrow all of the consumers said no to GMO, what are you left to do but to burn your crop; you are independent from what? Many times progress has led to many unwanted and unacceptable outcomes whereby thereafter those instruments were removed; history Journals will tell you that – the progress thereafter – was in the knowledge – of what not to do ever again. The progress of WW11 was to be that we would have no more war but in the name of “progress”, we have continued to have far many more. What went wrong: the word progress? Your connotation and examples of the word “progress” doesn’t move me in the slightest. What a Farmer does – IS – his business. and bankrupt it remains – HIS – failed business, and no one has the right to make those decisions for him; “farmers do get to decide” – every morning when they awaken for that matter; so do consumers.
            You are flying in a market that was provided for you, not a market that you have created for yourself.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            Your closing is largely incorrect. I am creating my own market each time I introduce a new product. When I do this I am also assisting progress by educating my customers. That you are to hard headed to understand progress does’nt surprise me in the slightest. You got your wars wrong and I have never heard of any war since WW1 that was fought for progress. I passed economics with straight A grades. And your doom and gloom crap regarding GE crops is complete nonsense. Sales will continue you grow just as the impeccable safety record will continue to lengthen.

          • Harold

            If there are no hungry – there is no market and that includes all things in the market place. The Market is provided for you by their hunger and you are only the supplier. Is this a fact or is it a hard head? If you create a product that there is no consumer “hunger” for – that product does not see the light of day. GE was created for you, you did not create it, and people are now deciding whether they will or will not continue to hunger for it.
            You said that you passed economics’ with straight A grades.
            … are you sure that you didn’t mean to say – accounting? For that I would take you at your word unless proven otherwise by your performance.
            Your reference to hard-headedness doesn’t move me in the slightest and neither has your public education nor your regards to History. Perhaps you should argue the word “progress” with Webster and his dictionary, and not with me.

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            If there are no hungry. There are no people. GE was not created for me. But next spring I will use it for the first time. Thus I will be attempting to create a local market for GE sweet corn. i will grow small quantities at first as I passed economics and realize that the “hunger” might be small at first. Thus my crops will see the light of day. Yet again.

          • Harold

            If the people hunger for “Organic” food there is a market for “Organic” produce/ product. If the people hunger for cell phones there is a market for cell phones If the people hunger for TV then there is a market for TV. If the people do not want any of these things then there is no market for them. Really, I don’t know how I can be any more basic. … Tell me how a new dollar value is created and tell me what the economy represents? Give me the basics.

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          BTW we try new crops a bit at a time in order to test the market. Almost all have sold OK to well. Fear of failure is not a reason to slow progress

  • ed

    Yes, the spelling and grammar are proper and that is what an English Professor would look for if it was to be vetted by other educational experts. Good point!

  • Sheryl McCumsey

    Good analogy. We have a lot of people in Canada who have gut issues but forget about that………….we had best not point out what is going on here.
    “A senior University of Saskatchewan official says there’s nothing wrong with the ties between its professor and agribusiness giant Monsanto, but some current and former faculty disagree, saying it’s another example of growing corporate influence at the U of S and other Canadian universities.”
    “Graham Scoles is a plant sciences researcher, breeder and professor at the University of Saskatchewan”
    I believe this has been coined a “conflict of interest.”
    Why does a professor feel the need to defend this industry??
    Of course we are not likely going to see the other 750 studies showing serious concerns with this technology mentioned in a farm publication or at this university. We will pretend we don’t see that.

    • RobertWager

      So a person who devotes his life to the study of plant is biases and not to be listened to? I see. Interesting POV.

      • WeGotta

        Straw man much? Oh ya, yes, you do.

        A person who’s income depends on profits from the lab projects he puts out IS BIASED when that person advocates for less restrictions on those lab projects.

      • Harold

        “A person who devotes his life to the study of plant” is not a person who has studied everything. Where do we place a person who has spent his life studying the human body; out to sea? What are you trying to sell?

        • Eric Bjerregaard

          He is not selling anything but the facts you are resistant to.

          • Harold

            Yes, Robert is selling facts, and that is precisely why I directed my question to him and not to you.

          • RobertWager

            I am well aware of every National Health Authority position on GE crops. Which ones claim they are harmful?

          • Eric Bjerregaard

            No one cares who you directed a question to. You are not dealing with this honestly. Thus no respect is due. Besides this is a public forum.

  • Robert Howd

    What adverse environmental effects have been observed from the uncontrolled release of Scott’s bentgrass? Widespread mixing with the non-GMO grass is not, per se, an adverse environmental effect. As far as I am aware, the environment doesn’t seem to care, it’s just those who wished to sell the non-GMO product. In this context, it’s a *commercial* disaster, not an environmental disaster.

    • Rob Bright

      Right. Because intentionally releasing never-before-seen species into the environment is obviously the responsible, completely predictable, and absolutely most harmless thing one could do. …

  • RobertWager

    The official report found the reduction in activated charcoal during the purification process was to blame. And the FDA does not recognize any safe dose of L-tryptophan suppliments.

    The CDC looked at every single alleged allergic reaction to Starlink and found exactly zero real cases.

    How is a herbicide tolerant grass an environmental threat?

    • Eric Bjerregaard

      Thanks

    • Rob Bright

      … Steven Druker explored this L-trytophan nightmare in his book, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth,” and provides the best and most likely explanation of what really happened. …

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    No we don’t. Only idiots want GE crops gone.The rest of us realize that currently approved ones are good tools for improving our excellent agriculture production. Soon there will be GE crops in Central Africa as well. Disease resistant and nutrition enhanced.

  • Damo

    The markets say otherwise.

  • ed

    Right on. The majority of people do not want it now. Labelling would kill it off very quickly, and they know it.

  • TED

    I always get worried by people who call themselves Factchecker or Truth Teller. Invariably they are not.

    The FDA investigated the EMS outbreak in detail and determined that EMS was likely caused by over consumption of L-tryptophan.

    • Harold

      We shouldn’t worry about the people who call themselves Ted, George, or Bill? I fail to see the logic. To the intelligent; both are merely “handles”. Truth tells of its self and a mortal only points at it. If you cannot see the object – then he has not pointed at the truth – so what are you so afraid of; being unseated?

  • Hannah Rose

    Trust me, the University of Saskatchewan and their staff are too busy educating their Agriculture and Bio-resources students strictly the FACTS about GMOs and the overall importance in future food security to deal with your uneducated complaints. Your username is “fact checker” but simply googling various topics and researching based off of some random website or Wikipedia page is not the way to develop a full understanding of how GMOs work, and their purpose on this planet.

    They are also too busy worrying about how we are going to feed this ever expanding population not only in Canada but in developing nations, most of which are still struggling with malnutrition and people starving to death while you sit there and defend a topic you clearly know nothing about.

    GMO’s help the environment through reduced pesticide and insecticide use, as well as a reduction of CO2 emissions through conservation tillage practices. Health wise… did you know they’ve managed to have 2.5 MILLION fewer cases of pesticide poisoning in India PER YEAR by using GM crops?!

    These facts are just the tip of the iceberg. I could literally go on and on and on about the positive health, environmental, and GLOBAL impacts GM crops have made on this planet. So instead of googling everything supposedly wrong with GMO’s, perhaps you need to examine the other end of the spectrum, or discover an alternative to future food security for all of mankind… 🙂

    • Harold

      You say “trust me”? Why? Do you think that it adds credibility to all that is written? I know that what you are saying in the most part is not from your words of discovery, but words given to you by an authority for a recital.
      I know this to be true in evidence of your “cut and paste” presentation and the words “trust me”. Does anyone start their opinion piece with “don’t trust me”?
      Your comment has elements of truth which are very easy to agree upon but the pictures they paint are false. I would not say that you are the liar but would suggest that you have been lied to by the same methods of “cut and paste” that were given to you; yes, lots of facts.
      To help you at your home, may I give you some advice? The highest levels of Co2 comes from your mouth at a level that makes the level of Co2 in the environment almost non-existent. If you believe that Co2 is a poisonous gas, order everyone in your home to stop breathing and then let me know if the temperature in your home drops. Another word of advice; don’t breathe on your plants; the Co2 will kill them. Haven’t “they” been teaching us this? Spraying toxins at safe levels onto the floors and breathing in the chemicals of air fresheners are perfectly ok, so go ahead if you wish, but lets get rid of Co2; its poison. .

      • Hannah Rose

        It adds credibility considering I go to the U of S, so yes… you can trust that the information I am providing you is from a credited source.

        Can I just ask where you are getting your information from? What do you do for a living? Where did you go to school? Have you been taught this, or simply done the research yourself via the ‘trustworthy’ internet?

        There’s a big difference between Co2 being a poisonous gas (not sure who labelled it as that…) and having TOO MUCH being produced into our atmosphere. I’m going to go ahead and guess that along with not agreeing with GMO’s, you probably don’t believe in Global Warming either then, hey….? I’m not interested in having a discussion with someone who is strictly “internet educated”.

  • StopGMO

    Now I understand why this is so full of misinformation and bias, industry PR talking points. Check out the author who it’s written by. https://agbio.usask.ca/faculty-and-staff/people-pages/graham-scoles.php#Education

    • RobertWager

      Please demonstrate the “misinformation” so that we can all understand it. if you cannot well then why should we believe any of your comment.

  • Robert Howd

    Isn’t your data on papaya sales a bit old? 2005? The more recent data paint a different picture, particularly since Japan approved the import of the GMO papaya in 2012. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe914

    • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

      I can see you don’t grow papaya as your link with data up to 2011 proves my point. “Papaya production in Hawaii peaked in 1985 at about 2,650 harvested acres; since then, production has declined at an annual rate of 2.6 percent, down to 1,350 acres in 2010 (USDA/ERS 2011). ”
      AND
      “While it was available on the Los Angeles market, the Brazilian Golden papaya was the most expensive cultivar, with an average price of $2.00/lb. The non-GM Sunrise papaya from Hawaii was available until August 2010, with an average price of $1.80/lb.” The Hawaiian imports to NYC also mentioned highest prices for non GE Solo from Hawaii. It would be much more if we didn’t have to deal with the market blowback to all Hawaii papaya due to Monsanto’s PR ploy papaya ruining the reputation for the rest of us.

      Haha, Japan was the giveaway you don’t grow… if the US guinea pigs won’t swallow it, the Japanese… who don’t even allow GE food cultivation and like the rest of the developed world has labels is not a viable market for GE. Tragically Monsanto’s GE ruined the market for everyone.

      Your article mentions the X17-2 line was transformed with T-DNA containing the CP gene with a frameshift mutation that would have prevented it from being translated into a protein. However, the current X17-2 line somehow ‘repaired’ the frameshift, and the CP gene is now translatable and expressed thus referring the resistance through an unknown RNAi molecule. It produces novel proteins that resemble known allergen epitopes.
      http://www.i-sis.org.uk/GM_Papaya_Should_Not_be_Deregulated.php

    • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

      I can see you don’t grow papaya as your link with data up to 2011 proves my point. “Papaya production in Hawaii peaked in 1985 at about 2,650 harvested acres; since then, production has declined at an annual rate of 2.6 percent, down to 1,350 acres in 2010 (USDA/ERS 2011). ”
      AND
      “While it was available on the Los Angeles market, the Brazilian Golden papaya was the most expensive cultivar, with an average price of $2.00/lb. The non-GM Sunrise papaya from Hawaii was available until August 2010, with an average price of $1.80/lb.” The Hawaiian imports to NYC also mentioned highest prices for non GE Solo from Hawaii. It would be much more if we didn’t have to deal with the market blowback to all Hawaii papaya due to Monsanto’s PR ploy papaya ruining the reputation for the rest of us.
      Haha, Japan was the giveaway you don’t grow… if the US guinea pigs won’t swallow it, the Japanese… who don’t even allow GE food cultivation and like the rest of the developed world has labels is not a viable market for GE. Tragically Monsanto’s GE ruined the market for everyone.

      • Robert Howd

        As Kanawai knows, papaya production declined after 1985 because of the ringspot virus wiping out the trees. The Rainbow (GE) papaya was first sold in 1998, and saved the industry. Now 80% or more of Hawaiian papayas are GE varieties. As Kanawai also knows, the GE papaya was developed by Dr. Dennis Gonsalves of USDA and Cornell; Monsanto was not directly involved. …

        • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

          Nope, PRS has been in Hawaii since the 1940s non-gm Kapoho still grows in the monoculture of Puna and is the only one that sells at a profit without tax payer subsidized RMA payouts. After GE ruined the market now less than 1/2 of the GE acres are even harvested (according to your own source.

          Monsanto owns the patent and pushes the PR that they “saved” an industry they needlessly destroyed the market for everyone. As the report you linked above shows the Non-GM still sells unlike the GE but not as much as it would if Monsanto never “saved” us.

          • Gmo Roberts

            … There would be very few papaya if it wasn’t for gmos. But no instead tell us again about your scientific pig and papaya story. That is always good for laughs.

          • Robert Howd

            Very selective reading of that article. Here’s what is actually says: “The decline in papaya production in Hawaii is due to several factors, including high input and labor costs, and low crop returns. As noted earlier, Hawaii produces mainly the small-sized Solo-type papayas. The most important Solo-type cultivars grown commercially in Hawaii include Kapoho, Sunrise, SunUp, and Rainbow. A more detailed description of the different papaya cultivars is presented in Table 1. Kapoho and Sunrise are not genetically modified (GM) cultivars, while Rainbow and SunUp are GM cultivars. The vast majority of papayas grown in Hawaii are of the GM-type. In terms of acreage distribution, GM cultivars, such as Rainbow (77%) and SunUp and other non-disclosed varieties (5%), account for 82 percent of the total. Non-GM cultivars, such as Kapoho (9 %) and Sunrise (9 %), account for just 18 percent of the total area (USDA/NASS 2009). The shift to GM papaya cultivars was the result of the introduction of the PRSV disease into the main growing areas during the 1970s. In the 1990s, this disease threatened to wipe out Hawaii’s papaya industry completely. The GM papaya cultivars played a significant role in saving the Hawaiian papaya industry from devastation by the PRSV disease.”

          • Kānāwai Māmalahoe

            Lol…even your own quote shows that the non-GE kapoho and sunrise still grow in the infected monoculture planted as part of Monsanto’s PR…that clearly show the transgenic is not needed to “save” anything Also, your report shows the non-GE is the only ones that sell for more than the cost of production without tax payer subsidized RMA payouts. Half of the GE acreage is already abandoned and not even harvested according to your own source!

            … I appreciate that your source continually reinforces my point that the planting of transgenic trees in the 90s destroyed our export market.

  • Denise

    Kinda like sorting through a bag of rotten potatoes looking for the odd ones you can salvage and crossing your fingers in hope they won’t make you sick when you eat them. The best of the failed GMO experiments and we’re the guinea pigs. No “Precautionary Principle” measures are used in today’s testing and regulations.
    GMO products were only created for one reason: to sell more pesticides.

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    The testing has been done. Quite well in fact. That is why the safety record is impeccable.

    • Show me one human study. One.

      • Harold

        You took the words right out of my mouth. Clearly you have done your homework. Those who are looking to find nothing – find nothing.

  • Eric Bjerregaard

    As you well know and have been informed man times. Almost all of those countries allow imports. Your comment is not only a shill gambit. It is wrong as GE use continues to expand because the crops sell.