#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you

Background

Last week I wrote about the anti-science campaign being waged by opponents of the use of genetically modified organisms in agriculture. In that post, I promised to address a series of questions/fears about GMOs that seem to underly peoples’ objections to the technology. I’m not going to try to make this a comprehensive reference site about GMOs and the literature on their use and safety. I’m compiling some general resources here, and a list of all FAQs here.

Question 2) Maybe GMOs aren’t automatically bad, but isn’t it obvious that it’s dangerous to consume crops that produce their own pesticides and can tolerate high doses of herbicides?

Approximately 90% of soybeans, maize, cotton and sugar beets grown in the US are have been genetically modified to produce a protein that kills common insect pests or to make them highly tolerant of an herbicide used to control weeds, or in some cases both. To make a rational judgment about whether these specific GMOs are good or bad, it’s important to understand exactly what they are and how they work.

Bt soy and corn

The pesticide resistant plants have been engineered to produce a protein isolated from the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (known generally Bt). Each strain of Bt produces a different version of the protein, known as Cry, each highly specific to a limited number of related species. Bt has evolved these proteins as a key part of a reproductive strategy in which they kill insects that ingest them and then eat nutrients released by the dying host. The Cry protein found in Bt spores must be activated by a protein-cleaving enzyme found in the host gut and then bind to a specific protein on the surface of cells in the digestive system, which Cry then destroys. Insects, who are not huge fans of this strategy, eventually evolve resistance by modifying one or both of these proteins. Bt stains that rely on this insect adapt in turn, creating highly-specific strain-insect relationships.

The irony of Cry becoming a major bugaboo of the anti-GMO movement is that, until the gene that produces it was inserted into corn, it was the poster-child of a “natural” insecticide, preferred over chemical pesticides because of the potential for extreme host specificity and complete biodegradability.  Bt spores were sprayed on crops for decades, and are still widely used to control pests by organic farmers. But the effectiveness of Bt as an insecticide is limited because it degrades in the matter of days – more rapidly when it rains. This led agricultural biotechnology companies to try and insert Cry genes directly into the plants, and there are now many varieties on the market, each targeting pests that are a particular problem for a given crop (some varieties of Bt corn, for example, targets the European corn borer).

Given what we know about  Cry proteins, there is very little reason to be concerned about the safety of eating it. These are proteins that have evolved to kill insects – and not just insects in general, but very specific subsets of insects. And humans are not insects. Regulatory agencies in the US and Europe have consistently rejected claims that plants that produce their own Cry cause problems in either humans or farm animals.

Nonetheless, anti-GMO activists continually raise the spectre of “plants that make their own pesticide” as if this alone was sufficient reason to not only avoid them, but to ban them. Here is a banner running on the website of one of the organizations pushing the CA GMO-labeling initiative:

If you don’t know a lot about plants, I can see how this would seem threatening. But this picture and the anti-GMO campaign it accompanies are based on the flawed premise that “normal” plants are pesticide free. This could not be farther from the truth. Almost since they first appeared on Earth, plants have had to reckon with a diverse array of animals determined to eat them. And this is a battle that continues today, as anyone who has tried to garden, or wandered through a forest, can attest. To fight off these pests, plants have evolved a dizzying array of defense mechanisms, including the production of a diverse arsenal of chemicals targeted at the insects and other pests that afflict them.

As far as I know, natural pesticides have been found in every plant in which they have been sought, including all conventionally grown crops. Wheat makes a family of proteins lethal to hessian flies, peas contain the insecticidal protein PA1b, tomatoes tomatine, and so on. And even if the corn in that picture was not genetically modified, that cute little girl is about to get a mouthful of the insecticide maysin. Indeed almost any mouthful of unprocessed plants from any source will likely contain some kind of natural pesticide that is inert in humans. There is nothing at all unusual, or particularly worrisome, about eating plants that contain the Bt Cry protein as we’ve been eating insecticides for eons.

I’m sure some people will say that we may have been eating insecticides all along, but we haven’t been eating Bt Cry protein and, under the “you never know” principle, should just avoid it. This would all be fine and good if there weren’t strong evidence supporting the value of Bt corn and soy in reducing pesticide use on farms and limiting collateral damage to insects that are in the vicinity of, but not eating, the relevant crop. As a panel of the US National Academies of Science reported in a 2010 study of GMOs:

The evidence shows that the planting of GE crops has largely resulted in less adverse or equivalent effects on the farm environment compared with the conventional non-GE systems that GE crops replaced. A key  improvement has been the change to pesticide regimens that apply less pesticide or that use pesticides with lower toxicity to the environment but that have more consistent efficacy than conventional pesticide regimens used on non-GE versions of the crops.

To me, the demonization of Bt in anti-GMO rhetoric is a emblematic of everything that is wrong with the GMO debates. The producers of Bt crops have done a horrible job of explaining why plants expressing a single insecticidal protein should not – and do not – harm humans. And the anti-GMO advocates either have not bothered to understand the science behind their activity, or (worse) are cynically exploiting peoples’ fears of pesticides to promote their cause.

Glyphosate tolerant crops

The second major class of GMOs (mostly soy) have been engineered to be tolerant of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup). Glyphosate is a small molecule that inhibits an enzyme, 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS), which catalyzes an essential step in the biosynthesis of the amino acids  phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. By denying rapidly growing plants these amino acids, it is able to rapidly inhibit grown of plants onto which it has been sprayed. Glyphosate is generally considered to be inert in humans, who get these amino acids from their food, and do not have an EPSPS.

The obvious problem with using glyphosate to control weeds is that it will, under normal circumstances, also kill crop plants. However, plants that have been engineered to express an alternative form of EPSPS that functions normally even in the presence of glyphosate. These plants are thus “Roundup Ready“, and will survive doses of glyphosate used to kill weeds in the field.

Although the EPSPS gene used in Roundup Ready plants comes from a bacterium, the necessary changes could now easily be made to the plant’s own copy of EPSPS. Thus Roundup Ready crops, which produce no new proteins not found prior to genetic manipulation,  shouldn’t really be places in the same class of GMOs as Bt expressing plants, which are expressing a new protein. And there is absolutely no reason to expect that there are any health risks associated with eating the altered form of EPSPS found in glyphosate resistant transgenic plants.

Concern about Roundup Ready plants focuses instead on the adverse effect of glyphosate on people and the environment. There are some suggestions that high doses of glyphosate are bad for humans, though these studies are hotly contested (note this was a Monsanto-funded study and must be assessed with that in mind). But the more important question is whether the use of glyphosate in conjunction with Roundup Ready crops is better for humans and the environment than the alternatives. Here, the aforementioned NRC report concluded that:

GE soybeans, corn, and cotton are designed to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate, which has fewer adverse environmental effects compared with most other herbicides used to control weeds.

This does not argue that glyphosate is safe. However, it suggests that the net effect of the GMO – Roundup Ready- has been positive. There is a bigger discussion to be had about the role of herbicides in farming – but this is really orthogonal to issues of genetic modification.

NEXT: Question 3) Why should I trust the big companies that develop these crops? Didn’t it take years to realize PCBs, DDT etc. were bad for us?

About me

I am a molecular biologist with a background in infectious diseases, cancer genomics, developmental biology, classical genetics, evolution and ecology. I am not a plant biologist, but I understand the underlying technology and relevant areas of biology. I would put myself firmly in the “pro GMO” camp, but I have absolutely nothing material to gain from this position. My lab is supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. I am not currently, have never been in the past, and do not plan in the future, to receive any personal or laboratory support from any company that makes or otherwise has a vested interest in GMOs. My vested interest here is science, and what I write here, I write to defend it.

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54 Comments

  1. Mary
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The other thing I keep asking people who are opposed to herbicide-resistant plants is if they are also opposed to the conventional ones. For some reason they can’t answer me.

    And just the other day I stumbled across this paper, that shows a disproportionate number of plant species make cyanide compounds–because they were great for early farmers probably!

    “Why are so many food plants cyanogenic?” http://1.usa.gov/LL4VvH Provides several examples of cases where they have proven that these are “chemical defence against herbivores beyond reasonable doubt”.

    That “fresh green” scent of cucumbers? Cucumber genome project says it’s a compound that confers resistance to bacteria and fungus. http://www.nature.com/ng/journal/v41/n12/full/ng.475.html

    I suggest to people who don’t want to eat pesticides produced by plants that they learn to photosynthesize, because they won’t be eating plants anymore.

  2. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I generally do not have a problem with GMOs. However, as a scientist, I am extremely concerned about the use of Roundup, which “roundup ready” crops would most likely encourage to be used in excess. Here’s a news report on a pathogen connected to the use of Roundup:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/02/24/us-monsanto-roundup-idUSTRE71N4XN20110224

    Furthermore, the other issue that scientsts fail to address (likely because it’s not their area of expertise) is the issue of *cost*. Pushing GM crops on farmers who can’t afford to re-purchase seeds every year is a serious issue. For instance, it wasn’t too long ago when Indian farmers were committing suicide because of their rising debts due to the cost of seed and pesticides (even recently, the Indian Ministry of Agriculture has officially pointed this out: http://digitaljournal.com/article/323656 ). So, there is a policy issue to address, that lies outside of the scientific realm.

    In general, as a scientist, I am opposed to any policies that are implemented that force small farmers to become increasingly dependent upon corporations that make profit off of the purchasing of seed or pesticide every year, particularly when that profit comes at the expense of human dignity and life.

    Unfortunately, it is entirely a first world problem for scientists NOT to see the problem with policy (or the ethics of our policies), as it plays out for those who can afford the least failure, I suppose. I’d love it if your blog delved into the POLICY issue, as well. Let’s see other humans as *human* for once, and subject to immense economic pressures.

  3. Ewan R
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    Disclaimer – I’m a Monsanto employee, comments contained herein are entirely of my own devising and nothing to do with the wiring inserted through the back of my head by HR last week. (or Monsanto in general)

    “However, as a scientist”

    Doesn’t go particularly well with…

    “Here’s a news report on a pathogen connected to the use of Roundup:”

    Particularly as Huber is still yet to publish (one assumes because his accusations are batshit crazy if you look at them in any detail at all – guy claims to have discovered a fungus which is smaller than a polyribosome… sure buddy, sure you did)

    “For instance, it wasn’t too long ago when Indian farmers were committing suicide because of their rising debts due to the cost of seed and pesticides ”

    Infact the suicides started well before the introduction of the GM seed and continued at the same general rate the whole time – GM seed was so bad for Indian farmers that it caused a pre-emptive wave of suicides. It’s almost like you aren’t a scientist at all.

    “particularly when that profit comes at the expense of human dignity and life”

    Yeah, increasing yields 50-150% and approximately doubling incomes has no doubt severely impacted the dignity and quality of life of India’s cotton farmers (numbers taken from, y’know, science, done on, y’know, Indian farmers utilizing GM cotton) – they’d be far more dignified and happy if they were making 50% of their current income and had their kids out backpacking on insecticides 8 times a year.

    ” is entirely a first world problem for scientists NOT to see the problem with policy (or the ethics of our policies), as it plays out for those who can afford the least failure”

    Yeah, particularly telling when disingenuous shits like you are hell bent on imposing policies which deny technologies which actually help people based on fabrication. You are the problem.

    • Robert Sadler
      Posted October 9, 2013 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Dude, you need to chill out :)

    • Simon Moore
      Posted February 24, 2014 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      well said!

    • David Eagen
      Posted July 18, 2014 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      NO, Ewan R does NOT need to chill out. Ewan you need to start screaming. The ignorance that is passing for science is dumbfounding. The ignorance that runs this world is mass murder. Until people learn the truth then they will continue to run this world on fear.

      We need more Ewan’s standing up and speaking the truth. Morons need to be educated so that we can continue to grow.

      Thank you Ewan I appreciate you taking the time to try and educate us.

  4. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    @ Ewan: Here’s a reference of D. M. Huber’s own work, himself, since you wanted to glibly brush off the news report that cited him: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1161030109000628

    You know, I’m gonna go with Dr. Huber’s expertise, seeing as he’s worked in this field for so long and just *may* have some idea about what the hell he’s talking about. http://www.nvlv.nl/downloads/Dr_Huber_bio.pdf

    And, I’m also gonna go with findings cited by the Indian Minister of Agriculture, seeing as he’s actually somewhat accountable for what happenes to his people.

  5. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    @ Ewan: also – do you have any citations for your stats, or are you gonna ask us to take those on faith?

  6. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Well, I tried to post this comment earlier, but it got lost in moderation, I suppose.

    @ Ewan: Although you want to brush off the news article, it cites preliminary findings from Dr. Don M. Huber, who has spent much of his life working on plant science at an established research university: http://www.nvlv.nl/downloads/Dr_Huber_bio.pdf

    Here’s an article from 2008 by Dr. Huber on the topic of glyphosphate and plant disease: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1161030109000628

    And, as far as associations and causes of suicide by Indian farmers go, I’m going to go with studies conducted by the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, seeing as they have some responsibility for investigating what happens to their farmers. Monsanto does not.

  7. Ewan R
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Hopefully this won’t get too tied up in moderation due to links

    first couple years, yield increase, insecticide decrease

    Another yield increase & pesticide decrease paper on early data – this one uses Mahyco data on yield so may be on the optimistic side

    IFPRI Report on suicides in India

    Shall leave it at that for the moment, suggest literature search for Qaim’s work or just ‘economic impacts of Bt cotton in India’ or such in pubmed or google scholar – the evidence is pretty clear.

  8. Ewan R
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Anon Scientist – the work of Huber you link isn’t associated to the wild claims made about discovery of new diseases linked with glyphosate use, if Michael suddenly claimed that he’d discovered nanometer scale rats eating drosophila genes one could hardly cite his other work as supportive of this claim. His claims are wild (a cross kingdom pathogen, eukaryotic in nature, but smaller than organelles found in eukaryotic cells) and unsubstantiated (hence the lack of any published evidence).

    “I’m going to go with studies conducted by the Indian Ministry of Agriculture, seeing as they have some responsibility for investigating what happens to their farmers”

    If that is the case why are you going by an article in digitaljournal.com? Where is the data to back this up, farmers in India have been at an elevated risk of suicide since before the introduction of GM cotton, solid data thus far shows no increase, but generally no decrease either (some provinces show an apparent decrease, but this isn’t universal (IFPRI report above)) – now that >90% of farmers utilize GM cotton it seems to me that any increase will predominantly (in terms of numbers) happen to GM farmers simply because, y’know, that’s how math works – one must explain why, if the technology is so bad, 90%+ of farmers have adopted it and in the same time period Indian cotton productivity (both total, and on a per hectare basis) have increased year on year.

  9. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    @ Ewan: Apparently, the article was about a leaked document from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture. Anyway, the issue of cost of material is a real one that is still under consideration by the Ministry today. I am, in general, opposed to the hawking of goods that force impoverished farmers to spend more on up-front costs. This includes seeds and pesticides. Why doesn’t Monsanto make everything free, especially if they are going to create plants that make seeds that can’t be saved back for future planting?

    Like I said, I am not opposed to GMO. I use a type of GMO in the lab, regularly, for my experiments. I am opposed to the patenting and profitting off of technology, if it is, in fact, meant to benefit humanity. That basic sentiment should be apparent to anyone reading my comment with any intelligence.

    Finally, I didn’t claim that the article I cited by Huber addressed his statement about the pathogen – just that it was an article by him on glyphosphate, which establishes his level of expertise on the topic. Apparently, the preliminary findings Huber mentions haven’t yet been published, which isn’t abnormal since the news article was written in 2011.

  10. Richard R
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Anon Sci,

    Disclaimer – Monsanto employee, not PR, not a scientist.

    You said: Why doesn’t Monsanto make everything free, especially if they are going to create plants that make seeds that can’t be saved back for future planting?

    Please read this where Monsanto subsidiary Mayhco gave free Bt trait technology to insert in open pollinated (allows seed saving) eggplant in India. Technology denied to Indian farmers by anti-science advocacy:
    http://www.saworldview.com/article/eggplant-surprise

    I am guessing Monsanto does not make everything free because they have to pay cotton breeders to develop new hybrids that outperform existing hybrids. If you want a hybrid seed you have to pay people to grow that seed, put it in a bag and ship it to the customer. These things do cost money. Do you propose shutting down research on new varieties?

    On the issue of seed costs, why would farmers continue going back for more Bt products to the different producers if they didn’t work? Why wouldn’t they save the F1 generation seed and continue growing it? Please read: “On the ‘Failure of Bt Cotton’: Analysing a Decade of Experience” by N Chandrasekhara Rao and Ronald J Herring in the May 05, 2012 issue of Economic and Political Weekly. http://www.epw.in/

  11. Mary
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    @Anonymous Scientist: here’s another opportunity for me to try this out. Yes or no: are you opposed to conventionally developed herbicide resistance (like the ones that use Clearfield)–or if something was conventionally developed resistant to Roundup?

    The reason I need to understand this is because it’s not clear to me whether you mean you dislike the herbicides, rather than the GMO-ness.

    And also from your statements I imagine you are not opposed to the non-profit or government-developed GMOs–yes or no there too, please.

  12. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Eh, what does it matter what *I* think? It should matter what the farmers think, in the case of GM crops.

    Yes, I dislike herbicides and pesticides. Not too long ago, Monsanto was the major producer of Agent Orange to be used as defoliant in Vietnam. A lot of people suffered from the dioxin exposure – even Monsanto’s own employees – and it took a long time for anyone to receive recognition for it.

    I am, in general, skeptical of anything hawked by large corporations with bad track records. If Wal-Mart went totally organic and “earth-friendly,” I’d have the same reaction.

    I am also extremely familiar with farming as it is practiced in many rural places in the U.S. I know there’s a lot of chemical exposure that farmers have to deal with here (among other things). All those pesticides and herbicides seep into well water in rural places, too, exposing more folks to environmental contaminants – not just the farmers.

  13. Mary
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Thought so. Your issue isn’t with GMOs but with agriculture. But you pick on GMOs as a proxy for the other stuff.

    Of course, we know there are organic pesticides too. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/06/18/137249264/organic-pesticides-not-an-oxymoron

    If only there was a way to use harmless proteins, or antisense RNAs, to reduce synthetic or toxic chemicals…oh, wait…

  14. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    My grandfather grew tobacco to use the extract as a pesticide, back in the day. I know about organic pesticides.

    Yes, I have issues with how agriculture in general is practiced in many places. There’s nothing wrong with being critical of things – that’s what we practice in science, right? It’s possible to have issues with more than one thing, in more than one way, at a time.

    As I keep saying, I don’t dislike all GMOs or even GM crops. I have reservations regarding *some* GM crops and with the idea of making profit off of small farmers who may not be able to continuously afford patented technology.

  15. Richard R
    Posted June 12, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    http://government.arts.cornell.edu/assets/faculty/docs/herring/WhoseNumbersCountWarangal_RH_IJMRA.pdf

    Anon sci, what the underlying narrative in your comments suggests is that farmers are incapable of making economic decisions as to what is best for them. You have attributed the ongoing tragic issue of farmer suicides to one single issue – ge traits, even when presented evidence that it has predated the introduction of ge traits. It seems to fit with your apparent preconceived anti-corporate bias, but overall it is insulting to the decision making abilities of farmers. The oversimplification of a complex issue like farmer suicide is sad, but an easy story to spoon feed to urban populations.

    I don’t have an issue with anti-corporate bias. That’s fine. Manipulating that bias to deny impoverished populations access to technology is sad (see link in my earlier post above where the corporation was willing to give away the technology).

  16. Luke
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Sorry to interrupt the flow of argument, but I think there is a typo at the start of the Bt section:-

    “Bt soy and corn

    The __**pesticide**__ resistant plants……”

    Should probably be “pest resistant”, or possibly ” ‘pesticide containing’ “

  17. Mary
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    “Manipulating that bias to deny impoverished populations access to technology is sad” +1. Exactly.

    I’m delighted to hear of your support for the academic and non-profit projects that will soon be helping farmers in the developing world, Anon. And also–some stuff will start to come of patent soon too. It will be interesting to see what farmers do with that. I wouldn’t withhold technology that farmers want to use for themselves.

  18. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    @ RR: No, it’s not insulting to small farmers. The fact of the matter is that they often have NO choice in what they purchase or grow. What’s insulting is that you folks from Monsanto don’t seem to think that most people can think beyond a few clever slogans or trivial bits of data. I may be a scientist, but I also know the realities of farming. I don’t need a corporation to explain those things to me. As for the data, I can judge for myself whether it represents non-biased reviews (by authors with no COI) and well-controlled experiments. I don’t NEED the equivalent of corporate used car salesmen telling me what’s been written, when Google and PubMed searches can retrieve articles for me, too. Every well-trained scientist knows that, just because data exists in a publication, it doesn’t mean that that data is accurate, either.

    There is no such thing as CHOICE for an impoverished farmer, or for anyone who lives in poverty, for that matter. In fact, “choice” is a *myth* that only a very few priviledged individuals can really claim to have ever experienced. For instance, even for people living in the middle class: everything we buy, even at the level of the grocery store, represents a limited range of “choices” that have already been made for us by a grocery store chain’s upper management, by a corporation, or, in some countries, by the government (and we all know about corporate influence on various governments around the world).

  19. Posted June 13, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I’m just loving this #GMOFAQ series. It’s some of the most approachable writing I’ve seen on the subject. Great stuff, please keep going, it’s sorely needed. Thanks!

  20. Richard R
    Posted June 13, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    “just because data exists in a publication, it doesn’t mean that that data is accurate, either”

    This coming from the person who cited a news article as evidence that GE crops are responsible for farmer suicide and unpublished data as evidence that glyphosate is harmful. I read once, paraphrasing here, that one study is not a scientific discovery, it is the replication of that study that makes a scientific discovery. In the glyphosate case, you don’t even have one study. What you have is a scientist that issued an open letter prior to concluding his research and getting it published. Reminds me of the cold fusion fiasco, however, at least the cold fusion scientists sent their paper in for publication at the same time as their press release.

  21. Binay Panda
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    I am glad that Michael pointed out very clearly that his interest in raising this topic is only scientific. I am alarmed how many people talk about GM crops and India and most of them are either anonymous (hence, I don’t know where they are or about their background) or do not reside in India or not are aware about the ground realities in India.

    I am a genome scientist and I live in India and like Michael, I don’t care about the politics of the GM crops but I am interested in letting people know/educate them about the Science behind the GM crops. At the same time, I don’t want to discussion to be hijacked and sidetracked on the politics of GM crops/GMO.

    I think I should tell all of you the following:

    1. It is a fact that India has witnessed quarter of a million farmer suicide in 16 yrs (between 1995-2010). I am neither directly involved in gathering the statistics not have any first hand knowledge on this, hence can’t comment anything beyond this. But I do know that one of the respected reporters (who I have deep respect for quality reporting) and who writes for a National Daily, The Hindu, has elaborately covered this issue many times. Again, I am in no position to support or deny his claims but from what I have read and heard about him, I would highly doubt if his reporting turns out to be false. For those who are interested in reading a bit more, please refer to his recent column here (http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/sainath/article3401466.ece) and many more older columns that one can search and read.

    Now, you can draw your own conclusions. I know one thing for sure, I don’t like poor farmers in my country to die (and I am sure no one in this forum want this either) and anything that will prevent the farmers’ suicide will have my support.

    2. Whether GM crops should be used or not in a country is not that simple. Agrarian societies like India (more than 80% of people in India are directly or indirectly linked with agriculture) decide whether to accept or reject a GM crop not necessarily based on scientific facts behind GMO only. Aspects like affordability, long-term availability of seeds, acceptability of the companies selling the seeds/technology to the society, long-term cost-benefit ratio, long-term financial benefits to farmers, enhancing chances of the domestic corporations to compete, political support for a particular technology, how strong/weak the lobby is for a particular company selling the GMO technology etc. play a role too.

    3. I believe, this debate of GM crops should be restricted to science behind GMO ONLY rather than whether it’s good or bad for certain countries. As science should be left to the scientists, farmers (the real stakeholders) should decide, based on multiple factors, whether they should adopt GM crops.

    4. Our job as scientists is to educate farmers on the facts and not solicit either to adopt or reject GM crops.

    Thank you.
    Binay

  22. Ewan R
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    “Apparently, the article was about a leaked document from the Indian Ministry of Agriculture.”

    So we’ve gone from out of the mouth of someone to an apparently leaked document. The case grows stronger. Oh wait no, that’s flowing in the other direction.

    “Anyway, the issue of cost of material is a real one that is still under consideration by the Ministry today.”

    Cost of material has been something the Indian government has kept a pretty tight hold on since the introduction of Bt in India, obviously it is something which will continue onwards (as little as agribusiness might like this)

    “I am, in general, opposed to the hawking of goods that force impoverished farmers to spend more on up-front costs.” Even when it improves end of year returns? Odd.

    “Why doesn’t Monsanto make everything free” You’re aware about how business operates right?

    “especially if they are going to create plants that make seeds that can’t be saved back for future planting”

    Two points here, first – why would you give it away for free in any circumstance, giving it away for free when it can’t be saved makes less sense as you’d have to keep producing it. Rather more importantly the whole statement is based on the fallacious idea that this seed cannot be saved for future planting – legally it can’t be (in the US at least, I don’t know how things operate in India on that front and was under the impression that it was unenforcable there) but biologically it can (although with hybrid seed it is a rather silly thing to do)

    “I am opposed to the patenting and profitting off of technology, if it is, in fact, meant to benefit humanity.”

    What if it can do both? What if the value can be shared between the inventor and the user (as is the case with GMOs in agriculture) – if an Indian farmer increases their overall cost by 3% and their net income by ~100% (or 17% although with a 7% increase I nupfront costs…) is this truly that bad? (cultivation cost of Bt cotton hybrids averaged 22,431Ru/Ha, cultivation cost of non-bt non-hybrids was 21,713Ru/Ha – Net income for Bt cotton = 21,558 Ru/Ha, net income for non-bt non-hybrid = 33,688 Ru/Ha) So here is a case where farmers pay a little more up front (a relatively insignificant amount compared to what they’d be spending anyway (although seed costs are 10x, insecticide costs differences make this up instantly and then some (insecticide costs on Bt are 3005 Ru/Ha avg, and 7546 Ru/Ha average for non-Bt – so around 4500 Ru/Ha difference, which is only 121 Ru/Ha less than the cost of the Bt seed (and therefore has farmers around 200Ru/Ha up before one even gets into any of the other positive effects of the seed) – similar benefits are seen over regular hybrids (although lesser in terms of overall net income, regular hybrids being only 3,000 Ru/Ha down with Bt cotton therefore only being a 17% increase in net income, noteworthy is that the cost of production of non-Bt hybrids is actually 7% higher than Bt hybrids, so even the upfront cost analysis would support the use of Bt over non-Bt hybrids – so if that is your argument then clearly you’re simply opposed to having farmers pay for better seed, regardless of whether it is a good or bad thing for them – you’ve simply decided a priori that it is.

    http://fbae.org/2009/FBAE/website/images/PDF%20files/Socio-Economincs%20of%20Bt%20cotton%20in%20India.pdf
    Are you as opposed, in the case above, to the farmers utilizing hybrid seed as you are GMO seed? Are you opposed to them paying for seed at all? (given that even the non-hybrid, non-Bt stuff costs them)

    “just that it was an article by him on glyphosphate, which establishes his level of expertise on the topic”

    It does, but not really in the way you think. His work has been largely shown to be unrepeatable and meaningless at nutrient levels found in agronomic soils. Connections with SDS in soy are spurious, and his claims around the pathogen remain completely batshit crazy – which tends to be a hallmark of science by press release rather than peer review. Extraordinary claims backed with zero evidence.

    “have reservations regarding *some* GM crops and with the idea of making profit off of small farmers who may not be able to continuously afford patented technology.”

    And yet you don’t actually look at any of the evidence which shows conclusively that the farmers pay out far less than they make on the technology. There are a lot of issues with how farming is financed in India, but these issues are pervasive across all of farming, the 3% increase in cost (or 7% decrease if you switch from non-Bt hybrid to Bt hybrid) isn’t (as far as I can see) going to make a bit of difference should things go wrong (because frankly if you lose your entire income for the year does it matter if you owe 20,000 or 20,600? Is the extra 600 going to push you to suicide?) whereas a 100% increase in income quite clearly will.

    Also the requirement to continuously afford patented technology goes away eventually, that’s kinda the point of patented technology – eventually Bollgard I will be off patent, and if it follows the pattern of RR in soy will be available widely, then BGII will be off patent, then the next and the next – that’s how patents work – inventors are rewarded with a monopoly for a set period of time after which their invention is publicly owned.

    “The fact of the matter is that they often have NO choice in what they purchase or grow”

    Which makes it rather odd that any of these studies could find farmers growing Bt, growing non-Bt and growing hybrids/non-hybrids – sneakily everyone has given the farmers a bunch of choice to hide the fact that they don’t have any choice. Likewise studies that report rates of adopters, non-adopters, adopters who didn’t reuse the technology, people who dropped the tech and came back to it… all indicative that you’re simply grasping at straws with the NO choice aspect (is there an infinite amount of seed variety available? No, but just because there isn’t infinite variety doesn’t mean there is no choice.

    “don’t NEED the equivalent of corporate used car salesmen telling me what’s been written, when Google and PubMed searches can retrieve articles for me, too”

    Then why the hell is it that it appears that you do? You pull out horseshit while giving utterly no credence to the weight of the scientific literature and the reality of the world (adoption rates, yield increases, overall production) – you’ve made your conclusions and sought out the articles supportive of them, and a sorry bunch they are.

  23. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Here is a PubMed search, for those interested in reviewing the literature on glyphosate:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=glyphosate%20toxicity

    Too busy to get to other comments.

  24. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 14, 2012 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and toxic effects of glyphosate (or other pesticides/herbicides/defoliants) on unintended targets/organisms (not just humans) can adversely impact crop yield as well as local ecosystems, in general.

  25. Posted June 15, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I am opposed to the patenting and profitting off of technology, if it is, in fact, meant to benefit humanity.

    Are you fucken high???? You really don’t think firms and individuals that invest labor and capital to invent things that benefit humanity should earn a profit from the sale of those inventions????

  26. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 16, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    @ CPP: Yeah, douchebag. I am for non-profit or government-funded institutions investing labor and capital to invent things that benefit humanity, instead. You don’t think that Monsanto is doing this “for the people,” do you? If you do, you’re fucking delusional.

  27. Posted June 17, 2012 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    I am for non-profit or government-funded institutions investing labor and capital to invent things that benefit humanity, instead.

    So am I. But I am also for for-profit institutions and individuals who need to make a living investing labor and capital to invent things that benefit humanity and then make a profit off of them. I see no reason why profitmaking and non-profit/government funding of innovation should not exist side-by-side.

    You are really completely against any form of capitalism whatsoever? Because you are gonna have a really hard time distinguishing things that don’t “benefit humanity”–and thus presumably could be invented, produced, and sold for a profit–and those things that do–and thus cannot. Does Google benefit humanity? Does a hugely popular Hollywood movie benefit humanity? Do meatball sangwiches benefit humanity?

  28. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    @CPP: I don’t give a crap about Hollywood “movies.” Most of them are completely empty marketing-vehicle garbage, these days. Ask any art critic. I’ve been boycotting them for over 10 years, now. I also don’t care much for Google. If I need to look up articles, I can find them on PubMed, which is government-funded. Meatball sandwiches may benefit humanity, but they are an invention that precede the rampant capitalism that we see today – so that was obviously a troll comment.

    If you really like Monsanto that much, why don’t *you* work for them?

  29. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Also, CPP: it is idiotic to conflate capitalism with inventiveness.

  30. Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I don’t give a crap about Hollywood “movies.” Most of them are completely empty marketing-vehicle garbage, these days. Ask any art critic. I’ve been boycotting them for over 10 years, now. I also don’t care much for Google. If I need to look up articles, I can find them on PubMed, which is government-funded. Meatball sandwiches may benefit humanity, but they are an invention that precede the rampant capitalism that we see today – so that was obviously a troll comment.

    The question isn’t whether you or art critics appreciate Hollywood movies or find Google useful. The question is whether in your utopia where all inventions that benefit humanity are forbidden from being licensed or sold for profit, individuals or firms will be allowed to make a profit on Hollywood movies, Internet search engines, or meatball sangwiches. The general questions that must be answered include the specific procedures to be used to decide which inventions are allowed to be profited from by their inventors and which are not, as well as the identities of the decision-making entities that will be following those procedures.

    If you don’t have answers for these questions, then your assertion that inventions that “benefit humanity” may not be profited from by individuals or firms is nothing more than a big load of fucken bullshitte that you are just dumping out of your clueless ass.

  31. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    I see I hit a nerve, CPP. Eh, just because I don’t expound on the reasons for my beliefs online doesn’t mean that I don’t have good reasons. I’m just too busy.

  32. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    @ CPP: Here’s another scientist’s observation on the issue.
    http://scientopia.org/blogs/thusspakezuska/2011/08/31/a-farmers-laments/

  33. Posted June 17, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Eh, just because I don’t expound on the reasons for my beliefs online doesn’t mean that I don’t have good reasons. I’m just too busy.

    Sure thing, holmes. Whatever you say. We’ll just go ahead and trust that you have a detailed plan for implementing your utopian vision of a world in which inventions that “benefit humanity” may not be profited from by individuals or firms, but you are just too busy to share this detailed plan with us.

  34. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    @ CPP: why would you want a sincere, well-thought-out response from me, if you can’t provide one for your own opinions?

  35. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    @ CPP: In fact, I’d appreciate it if you went ahead and expounded on the benefits to humanity of the kind of corporate capitalism we see today on your own blogge. It would be great if you could include why campaign contributions to our elected officials by oil and pharmaceutical companies benefit humanity, as well.

  36. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    @ CPP: one final observation, for you. Apparently, Monsanto gives more in campaign contributions to Republicans than Democrats.

    http://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/pacgot.php?cycle=2012&cmte=C00042069

  37. Ewan R
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Anon Sci – on your final point there – possibly somewhat more to do with where the customer base resides rather than some despicable ploy. Although I’ll admit that giving money to Repubs is despicable regardless.

    “Here’s another scientist’s observation on the issue.”

    Well, an engineer (take that engineers!). Who is utterly uncritical of the claim the farmer she talked to made about sterile seeds (which is a bit sad, because sterile seed technology isn’t employed whatsover and claims that it is are generally the hallmark of crankitude and lack of doing any sort of research into the issue), and also about tasteless corn (most GM corn tastes horrible, but that’s because most corn tasts horrible – field corn != sweet corn) – I see no reason why Bt sweet corn would have less flavor other than if the variety sucked (some varieties will be better or worse than others obviously – perhaps Syngenta (I think they’re the only ones who had a Bt sweet corn at the time) just have sucky germplasm for sweet corn – ain’t the technology that is making it that way though.

  38. Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    This “Anonymous Scientist” is obviously completely unable to think clearly and critically about anything, and can’t even stay on topic. And somehow he or she thinks it is relevant to the question how their supposed plan for disallowing profitmaking on inventions that “benefit humanity” is supposed work that Monsanto gives political donations to the Republican Party and that I supposedly “like Monsanto”.

    This is a clear sign of someone who couldn’t possibly comprehend how to recognize relevant scientific evidence, let alone assess its validity.

  39. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    @ CPP: Oh, it hurts.

  40. Anonymous Scientist
    Posted June 20, 2012 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    @ CPP: Also, I prefer to be referred to as “it.”

  41. Posted June 28, 2012 at 2:55 am | Permalink

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  42. RobbL
    Posted July 9, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Michael,

    Maybe you are going to go into this in your next response, but isn’t the real problem is that corporations don’t have any credibility. In general, the average person has no real ability to check on complex scientific claims. They can only go on what they hear from others. They have learned to their sorrow not to trust people with money on the line.

    Corporations in this country seem to me to be completely oblivious as the value of retaining a good reputation so that people would trust them if and when the occasion arises that trust is needed.

    Everyday we are bombarded with advertisements that contain, at best, exaggerations, and at worse obvious falsehoods. Corporations have a horrendous record of lying whenever there is any economic advantage and concealing dangers that they have created. Just this week, we find that banks have been routinely lying about the LIBOR, which is used to set variable mortgages.

    Historically we have the example of the tobacco companies’s lies about cancer and many other companies lies about their products. Maybe Monsanto is pure as snow, but a rational person can only be skeptical. Not skeptical about GMO’s in particular but skeptical that a corporation’s claims add value to any scientific debate.

    Personally, I think people are wrong to worry about GMO foods, but I understand why they do.

    One more point. If you are a corporation trying to convince people of your honesty, fighting to prohibit labeling (no matter how silly the accompanying “studies” are) simply makes rational people wonder why, if GMO’s are safe, they can’t be labeled as such. It just makes it seem like a big cover-up.

  43. Shyentist
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Your first argument is utterly ridiculous; it’s based on a false equivalency. Essentially, you’re saying:
    “Since X is a Y, and some Ys (like W, V, and Z) are naturally occurring and considered safe, then X is safe.”
    I do very much hope you don’t apply this logic to other areas of your life. For example, I hope you don’t eat rhubarb leaves due to the fact that humans eat the leaves of many plants and those leaves are natural and safe. I also hope you don’t drink H2O2 due to the fact that H and O naturally occur in H2O and are considered safe. This is really shoddy reasoning.
    Humans evolved eating plants with naturally-occurring pesticides and that is a far more rational explanation for why we don’t have adverse health reactions when we eat moderate levels of those unmodified organisms. After all, those of us with genes that would make us sensitive to the compounds in peas or wheat would have been less able to compete against humans who tolerated these compounds well. Ipso facto, the current human population is made of individuals who are descended from those who best tolerated food sources. I don’t know about you, but I’m not willing to be an evolutionary experiment with regards to GMOs. I’m sure some humans will tolerate them just fine, but why risk not being one of them when non-GM food is safer for everyone?
    Is it possible that Bt Cry, being a protein isolated from a bacteria, could be implicated in the rise in atopic disease? Has its effects on autoimmune disease ever been studied? You said yourself that this protein has been widely used for a long time as a topical treatment in agriculture (even organic), but that it quickly degrades and washes away when used in this way. Doesn’t it logically follow that its tenacity in GMOs (i.e., it can’t be washed away) would mean it’s more likely to end up in the resultant food supply than if it were a topical pesticide that could be cleaned off?
    My criticism of your points on GM soy would be similar to my point on autoimmune disorders/inflammation and the link to antibiotics. Again, protein from a bacteria is used in a novel way. Considering sensitization to novel proteins is the hallmark of atopic disease, in what way can we claim GMOs are safe without eliminating the link to the exponential growth of atopy in the population? I recall a time that antibiotics were considered perfectly safe; they are now being implicated strongly in the rise in atopic disease.
    While it’s typical that our current regulatory environment would consider GMOs are safe due to the dearth in studies outside of traditional “are they toxic/carcinogenic?” vein, it’s disappointing to me that anyone with a strong, active, scientific mind – like yourself – wouldn’t consider the other ways these organisms may degrade quality of life (or be actively dangerous). I realize atopic disease isn’t your specialty, but the fact is, there needs to be better, cross-disciplinary research before I’m convinced GMOs are benign. And I suspect many others feel the same.

  44. Cornelius
    Posted October 22, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    @Ewan R, I know these comments are old, but is there a way that I can correspond with you either via email or some other way about this issue?

  45. Posted November 11, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    The desire to know about more the foods we’re eating still exists despite the disappointing failure of the GMO labeling mandate of Proposition 37. If you want to avoid GMOs in your food, there are still alternatives, including buying organic, as any product that carries the USDA organic seal cannot contain GMOs. In addition, be sure to pay attention to the little stickers on your grocery store produce. The numbers on these sticker indicate how the produce was farmed: 4 digits = conventionally farmed, likely subjected to herbicides and/or pesticides; 5 digits, beginning with 9 = organic certified, no GMOs, pesticides, or herbicides; 5 digits, beginning with 8 = conventionally farmed and GMO, almost certainly subjected to herbicides and/or pesticides. Stay healthy!

  46. Mitch W
    Posted November 24, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    India’s cotton production for 2012:

    http://www.thecropsite.com/reports/?category=39&id=307

  47. Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    There are a lot of forces acting for and against introduction of GM crops in India.

    I live in Canada but was born in India and have quite a lot of links with grassroots organizations in India involved in many fields of work mostly to do with preservation of ecology and addressing poverty related issues for the marginal people in India.

    For the Indian context, there are many issues relating to GM crops and why these are resisted at the grassroots level. I shall cover in this post only one of them :

    Biopiracy
    ————

    Often this issue slips under the radar, under the weight of other related issues of GM crops. Basically, this recent act, coming under the Ministry of Environment and Forest, and in force since 2002 – has in its scope the following opening text :

    QUOTE
    The Biological Diversity Act 2002 was born out of India’s attempt to realize the objectives enshrined in the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) 1992 which recognizes the sovereign rights of states to use their own Biological Resources. The Act aims at the conservation of biological resources and associated knowledge as well as facilitating access to them in a sustainable manner and through a just process For purposes of implementing the objects of the Act it establishes the National Biodiversity Authority in Chennai.
    UNQUOTE

    What it means, in the case of plant, animals and micro-organism families that are not imported but locally evolved, or had been imported in the long lost past and has evolved further within India to acquire region specific traits that make it suitable to the soil and the climate – including those that have been used by the folk and indigenous people of India for medicinal purposes, as tonics or as cure to some illness or injury, and those plants that are used as food, either cultivated or wildly grown, are the collective intellectual property of the nation.

    This means, the genome of this biomass may not be copied or studied, or tinkered with, without explicit permission of the Government of India.

    So, studying the genome without explicit conditional permission, and then genetic ally tinkering of same and eventual patenting of any modified life form, essentially violates the Biodiversity Preservation Act of 2002. A new term has been coined to represent this violation – Biopiracy.

    So, in the case of Bt.Brinjal, where 4 different types of Indian Brinjal were studied, genome sequenced and Bt.variety developed, violated the above act. This was more or less outside of the public brouhaha about if Bt. Bringal should or should not be introduced on Indian farms.

    Between 2002 and now, India has a different Govt in place, and essentially in cahoots with the GM corporations. Nonetheless, the act has not been repealed, There is enough prima facie evidence that the law has been violated. The Govt of India, according to this law, should not only ban introduction of BT. Cotton, it should sue Monsanto and its Indian partner for violation of the act and penalize them, perhaps removing their license to do any further business in India.

    But, as I said, the new Govt is a different animal, and was dragging its feet on the issue. So an NGO firm has initiated a Public Interest Litigation in a provincial high court, against the Govt of India, in order to force it to sue Monsanto. The case has progressed to the stage where the court has ordered the relevant provincial authority to issue a notice to the Govt to file a case against Monsanto. A lot of strange drama is going on about it, with Govt officials involved in the case suddenly getting transferred etc.

    This case is catching peoples attention. There is another one pending at the Supreme court about banning or putting a moratorium on a majority of the GM crops till various long term effects are known – being investigated by an expert committee comprising of six scientists, three on behalf of the Govt and three for the petitioners.
    
These two cases are sending a bit of a shiver in the whole GM wagon train, and a worry creeping in – if my grassroots friends are correct – that if the cards are not played well at this time by the GMO lobby, the whole game might be lost.

    This issue – basically of Biopiracy, is the first of my many objections to the issue of GM crops in India.

    Cheers.

  48. CanolaPatientZero
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I decided that your article was tl;dr….. once I saw that you went to Berkley… They get money from Monsanto so anything you have to say has most likely been paid for by them….. Just because you can’t see that doesn’t mean others don’t.

    And for the people like me who can prove harm we are SOL since the 2013 farm bill includes a Monsanto rider so they can’t be sued… Now ask yourself….who benefits from that?

    If their products are so safe why would that part of the farm bill? Why would it be needed? How the hell do you even PRETEND that is even legal?

    Journalism fail :/

  49. Daniel
    Posted June 4, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    The real problem with GMO’s is they’re allowed to be developed FOR PROFIT.
    People rarely realize, GMO’s aren’t the enemy – multi-national corporate empires (Monsanto) are the enemy here.

  50. Karl Hayden
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    I get diarrhea or intense stomach cramps whenever I consume soybean oil. I trust my gut, no pun intended.

    consuming round up is not in my best interest.

    • Simon Says
      Posted February 24, 2014 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      there is no Roundup in GMO soybeans, they have a gene that produces a different version of an enzyme that is not effected by roundup. you probably need to have your gallblader checked….

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  • [...] Roundup-ready corn and the herbicide Roundup, read geneticist Michael Eisen’s June blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you.”For a broader view of the literature on health studies focused on genetically modified foods, [...]

  • [...] For some-more on a discuss over risks from Roundup-ready corn and a herbicide Roundup, hearing geneticist Michael Eisen’s Jun blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and because they should not shock you.” [...]

  • By Single-Study Syndrome and the GMO Food Fight | on September 20, 2012 at 8:35 am

    [...] For more on the debate over risks from Roundup-ready corn and the herbicide Roundup, read geneticist Michael Eisen’s June blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you.” [...]

  • By G.M.O. Food Fight | "Global Possibilities" on September 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

    [...] For more on the debate over risks from Roundup-ready corn and the herbicide Roundup, read biologist* Michael Eisen’s June blog post: “#GMOFAQ How Bt corn and Roundup Ready soy work, and why they should not scare you.” [...]

  • By בוטוקס לטיפול במיגרנה on September 27, 2012 at 9:56 pm

    בוטוקס לטיפול במיגרנה…

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    [...] one agrees with these points or not – I disagree with 1, but agree with 2 and 3 to varying degrees – none of them apply uniformly to all [...]

  • By GMO's and God's design - Page 2 (politics) on January 10, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    [...] fewer adverse environmental effects compared with most other herbicides used to control weeds. http://www.michaeleisen.org/blog/?p=1135 The second issue is insecticide. Pesticide resistant plants produce a protein called Bt. Different [...]