Thursday, December 18, 2014

Germany's "energy transformation:" unsustainable subsidies and an unstable system

Marita Noon,
Perhaps when Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel was a child, she attend a party and was the only one who came without a present, or wearing inappropriate attire—and the embarrassment she felt haunts her to this day. That’s how psychodynamic psychology (Freud) might explain her December 3 decision spend more money on Germany’s failing energy experiment to avoid, as Reuters puts it: “the embarrassment of missing her government’s goal of a 40 percent reduction of emissions by 2020.”
As Europe’s biggest economy, Germany has also embraced the biggest carbon dioxide reductions through a program known as “Energiewende”—or, in English, also called energy change, shift, or transformation. Energiewende was launched in 2000 under Merkel’s predecessor who offered subsidies for any company that produced green energy.
While the European Union (E.U.) has committed to carbon dioxide cuts of 40 percent by 2030, Germany’s national goal aims to get there a decade sooner—which may have seemed achievable early in the program. After the 1990 reunification of Germany, the modernization of East Germany brought rapidly reduced emissions. However, the program’s overall result has raised costs and the emissions the expensive programs were designed to cut.
A few months ago, Bloomberg reported that due to increased coal consumption: “Germany’s emissions rose even as its production of intermittent wind and solar power climbed fivefold in the past decade”—hence Merkel’s potential embarrassment on the global stage where she’s put herself in the spotlight as a leader in reducing emissions.
On December 3, while 190 governments were meeting for two weeks of climate change talks in Lima, Peru (which, after 30 hours of overtime, produced a compromise deal that environmental groups see “went from weak to weaker to weakest”), Merkel’s cabinet agreed to a package that continues Germany’s optimistic—though unrealistic—goal and increases subsidies for measures designed to cut emissions. Regarding Germany’s “climate protection package”, Barbara Hendricks, Environment Minister, admitted: “if no additional steps were taken, Germany … would miss its targets by between five to eight percentage points.”
The results of the German agreement will require operators of coal-fueled power plants to reduce emissions by at least 22 million tons—the equivalent of closing eight of them. The Financial Times (FT) believes the plan will “lead to brownouts in German homes.”
With the goal of generating 80 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2050, Germany has aggressively pursued a green dream with unsustainable subsidies that have produced an unstable system described by FT, on November 25, as: “a lesson in doing too much too quickly on energy policy.”
So, what are the lessons? What should the U.S., and other countries, learn from Germany’s generous subsidy programs and rapid, large-scale deployment and integration of renewable energy into the power system? These are the questions U.S. legislators should be asking themselves as they argue over a tax extender package that includes a retroactive extension for the now-expired Production Tax Credit for wind energy.
Fortunately, the answers are easy to determine. Finadvice, a Switzerland based advisor to the utility and renewable industry, did an exhaustive study: “Development and Integration of Renewable Energy—Lessons Learned from Germany.” The introductory comments of the resulting report, includes the following statement: “The authors of this white paper would like to state that they fully support renewables as a part of the power portfolio. …a couple [of the authors] have direct equity interests in renewable projects.” The author’s viewpoint is an important consideration, especially in light of their findings. They wanted Germany’s experiment to work, yet they begin the Executive Summary with these words:
“Over the last decade, well-intentioned policymakers in Germany and other European countries created renewable energy policies with generous subsidies that have slowly revealed themselves to be unsustainable, resulting in profound, unintended consequences for all industry stakeholders. While these policies have created an impressive roll-out of renewable energy resources, they have also clearly generated disequilibrium in the power markets, resulting in significant increases in energy prices to most users, as well as value destruction for all stakeholders: consumers, renewable companies, electric utilities, financial institutions, and investors.”
After reading the entire 80-page white paper, I was struck with three distinct observations. The German experiment has been has raised energy costs to households and business, the subsidies are unsustainable, and, as a result, without intervention, the energy supply is unstable.
Cost
We, in the U.S., are constantly being told that renewable energy is close to cost parity with traditional power sources such as coal and natural gas. Yet, the study clearly points out the German experiment has resulted in “significant increases in energy prices to most users”—which will “ultimately be passed on to electricity consumers.” Germany’s cost increases, as much as fifty percent, are manmade not market-made—due to regulation rather than the trust costs. The high prices disproportionately hurt the poor giving birth to the new phrase: “energy poverty.”
The higher costs hurt—and not just in the pocket book. The authors cite an International Energy Agency report: “The European Union is expected to lose one-third of its global market share of energy intensive exports over the next two decades due to high energy prices.”
Subsidies and instability are big factors in Germany’s high prices.
Subsidies
To meet Germany’s green goals, feed-in tariffs (FIT) were introduced as a mechanism that allows for the “fostering of a technology that has not yet reached commercial viability.” FITs are “incentives to increase production of renewable energy.” About the FITs, the report states: “This subsidy is socialized and financed mainly by residential customers.” And: “Because of their generosity, FITs proved capable of quickly increasing the share of renewable power.”
Germany’s original FITs, “had no limit to the quantity of renewables to be built” and “lead to unsustainable growth of renewables.” As a result, Germany, and other E.U. countries have “had to modify, and eventually phase out, their program because of the very high costs of their renewable support mechanisms.”
Germany has also begun to introduce “self-generation fees” for households and businesses that generate their own electricity—typically through rooftop solar, “to ensure that the costs of maintaining the grid are paid for by all consumers, not just those without rooftop PVs.” These fees remove some of the cost-saving incentive for expensive solar installation.
Section four of the report, “Unintended Consequences of Germany’s Renewable Policies,” concludes: “Budgetary constraints, oversupply and distortion of power prices, transaction-specific operational performance, market economics (i.e. Germany proposing to cut all support for biogas), debt structures, and backlash of consumers paying higher prices were all factors contributing to regulatory intervention. Projecting past 2014, these factors are expected to continue over the next several years.”
Stability
Hopefully, by now, most people—especially my readers—understand that the intermittent and unreliable nature of wind and solar energy means that in order for us to have the lights go on every time we flip the switch (stability) every kilowatt of electric capacity must be backed up for times when the sun doesn’t shine and the wind doesn’t blow. But, what most of us don’t think about, that the report spotlights, is that because the favored renewables benefit from “priority dispatch”—which means that if a renewable source is generating power, the utility company must buy and use it rather than the coal, natural gas or nuclear power it has available—the traditional power plants operate inefficiently and uneconomically. “Baseload thermal plants were designed to operate on a continuous base. …they were built to operate at their highest efficiencies when running 24 hours a day, seven days a week.” Now, due to renewables, these plants operate only a fraction of the time—though the cost to build and maintain them is constant. “The effect of fewer operational hours needs to be compensated by higher prices in these hours.”
Prior to the large integration of renewables, power plants earned the most when demand is high—in the middle of the day (which is also when the most solar power is generated). The result impacts cost recovery. “There are fewer hours in which the conventional power plants earn more than the marginal cost since they run fewer hours than originally planned and, in many cases, provide back-up power only.”
This translates into financial difficulties for the utilities that have resulted in lower stock prices and credit ratings. (Note: utility stocks often make up a large share of retirement portfolios.) Many plants are closed prematurely—which means the initial investment has not been recovered.
Because the reduced use prevents the power plants from covering their full costs—yet they must be available 24/7, power station operators in Germany are now seeking subsidies in the form of “capacity payments.” The report explains that a plant threatened to close because of “economic problems.” However, due to its importance in “maintaining system stability” the plant was “kept online per decree” and the operator’s fixed costs are compensated. 
*****
Anyone who reads “Development and Integration of Renewable Energy” will conclude that there is far more to providing energy that is efficient, effective and economical than the renewable fairytale storytellers want consumers to believe. Putting a solar panel on your roof is more involved than just installation. The German experiment proves that butterflies, rainbows and pixy dust won’t power the world after all—coal, natural gas, and nuclear power are all important parts of the power portfolio.
Why, then, did Merkel continue Germany commitment to an energy and economic suicide? It is all part of the global shaming that takes place at the climate change meetings like the one that just concluded in Lima, Peru.
If only U.S. legislators would read “Development and Integration of Renewable Energy” before they vote for more subsidies for renewable energy, but, heck, they don’t even read the bill—which is why calls from educated constituents are so important. I am optimistic. Maybe we could learn from Germany’s experience what they haven’t yet learned themselves.
The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens' Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE). Together they work to educate the public and influence policy makers regarding energy, its role in freedom, and the American way of life. Combining energy, news, politics, and, the environment through public events, speaking engagements, and media, the organizations' combined efforts serve as America's voice for energy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Greenpeace again offends indigenous people

By Craig Rucker
web posted December 15, 2014
 
Greenpeace sign at Nazca lines



Greenpeace likes to pretend it's on the side of local people, especially indigenous peoples. But time and again they demonstrate a shocking degree of cultural boorishness. Now Greenpeace activists have Peruvians up in arms, after trespassing all over treasured Incan cultural sites at Machu Picchu and Nazca, while doing ridiculous publicity stunts to highlight their claim that tiny amounts of plant-fertilizing carbon dioxide are causing "dangerous" planet-wide climate change...... The damage affects some 1,600 square meters (0.4 acres) next to a hummingbird etched into the desert soil. A spokeswoman for the prosecutor said that, under Peruvian law, damaging the historic site could be punishable by a prison sentence of three to six years. ......Many politicians and business people are afraid to stand up to Big Green bully groups. CFACT is unafraid. We have challenged Greenpeace and Big Green at every opportunity, such as here,here,hereand here. We are committed to working for people, as well as nature......To Read More.....

My Take - On a personal level, I don't much care about these ancient pagan cultural sites, especially since the religions of Central and South America were centered on human sacrifice - on a massive scale. But even so, everyone should be offended. Why? I think there is an important lesson to be gleaned from all of this about the greenies.

These sites belong to someone else.

It’s the property of the Peruvian people. It doesn’t belong to Greenpeace, and these self-righteous environmental activists have no right to damage their property.

This is just one more act of disrespect from the Green activists. They hate humanity and the outcome from the things they support – or are against - in so many arenas are ample proof of it. They are the spear point of the left, where the emotional and philosophical foundation for the green movement was created - in 19th century Germany and codified into law in 20th century Nazi Germany.

The roots of that philosophy go back to the ancient Germanic Druids. The one thing they all have in common - the pagans of South and Central America, the Middle East, the Celtic Druids, the Nazi's and the Green movement is their willingness to sacrifice human beings on the altar of their nature worshiping based beliefs. We really do need to come to a complete understanding that western environmentalism is the secular religion of the urban atheist, with its roots in pagan Celtic nature worship. Once we grasp that everything they do falls into place.

 

ACSH’s Top 10 Health Scares of 2014

Posted on December 15, 2014 by admin

10. The Food Babe attacks ingredient found in Subway bread
9. Formaldehyde found in baby shampoo
8. Consuming gluten is harmful to health
7. Prenatal exposure to pesticides linked to autism
6. Hydraulic fracturing (Fracking) pollutes drinking water
5. Liquid nicotine used in e-cigarettes poisoning children
4. Cancer epidemic from medical scans
3. GMOs not safe for use in foods
2. Thimerosal in Vaccines poses threat to public health, says RFK Jr.
1. Prenatal exposure to phthalates linked to lower IQs in children
 
Go Here to find out about the “Scare”, the “Hype”, the “Facts” and the “Bottom Line”. 

Sunday, December 14, 2014

GWPF Welcomes Non-Binding And Toothless UN Climate Deal

Lord Lawson: After Lima, UK Climate Change Act
Should Be Suspended

Press Release 14/12/14

Contact:

Dr Benny Peiser
Director, The Global Warming Policy Forum
10 Upper Bank Street, London E14 5NP
mob: 07553 361717
peiser@thegwpf.com


London 14 December: Dr Benny Peiser, the director of the Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF), has welcomed the non-binding and toothless UN climate agreement which was adopted in Lima earlier today.

Dr Peiser said:

“The Lima agreement is another acknowledgement of international reality. The deal is further proof, if any was needed, that the developing world will not agree to any legally binding caps, never mind reductions of their CO2 emissions.”

“As seasoned observers predicted, the Lima deal is based on a voluntary basis which allows nations to set their own voluntary CO2 targets and policies without any legally binding caps or international oversight.”

“In contrast to the Kyoto Protocol, the Lima deal opens the way for a new climate agreement in 2015 which will remove legal obligations for governments to cap or reduce CO2 emissions. A voluntary agreement would also remove the mad rush into unrealistic decarbonisation policies that are both economically and politically unsustainable.”

Lord Nigel Lawson, Chairman of the Global Warming Policy Forum, added:

“The UK’s unilateral Climate Change Act is forcing British industry and British households to suffer an excessively high cost of electricity to no purpose. Following Lima, it is clearer than ever that the Act should be suspended until such time as a binding global agreement has been secured.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

CCD and Neonics: Scientific Corruption and Conspiracy!



Neonics ban tied to corrupted bee research by scientists at EU’s ethically-challenged IUCN? Part I

By David Zaruk

Within a day of publishing the internal document and the first part of his investigation, one of the scientists behind the IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides threatened and then started legal proceedings against him. The blog host in Brussels, EurActiv, took his article down. Then, as the GLP reported on Thursday, the Times of London reported the key findings of Zaruk’s story, calling it one of the biggest scientist scandals since ClimateGate. EurActiv agreed to restore the blog, conditioned on an “apology”, which he amended to this report. When I asked Zaruk how he felt about the circus, he said: “Welcome to Brussels”.

Here is Zaruk’s article, the first article in a multi-part series scheduled to appear on EurActiv, and reproduced in full for the Genetic Literacy Project:

The Risk-Monger recently came across a strategy document carelessly left on-line by activist scientists that lies at the heart of the founding of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (ICUN) Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides. The Addendum to this document (see page 3) spells out a rather distasteful anti-neonicotinoid campaign strategy lacking in scientific integrity. The process has been tried and tested before by activists, but their behaviour has never been so clearly articulated in writing. I thought this document should be shared so we know the type of people are standing behind the “science” defending the bees.

[Note: The Genetic Literacy Project’s Jon Entine uncovered a similar case of possible research corruption in the United States in an investigation of the disputed studies on neonics and bees by Harvard nutritionist and organic activist Chensheng Lu.]

How did this story unfold?......To Read More....


Bee-gate: European IUCN task force mired in corruption scandal over neonics ban plot. Part II

David Zaruk
 
The IUCN Taskforce on Systemic Pesticides has demonstrated how activist scientists can exploit the weaknesses in the peer review process. The group is set up like a private club of like-minded researchers who publish articles citing each other and recommending each other to peer review their papers…..If one needs any further proof of how this taskforce confirms their bias among themselves, look at the list of references at the end of the “high-impact” concluding publication. Of the total of 14 sources, 10 were to articles from the same very authors of the report. Was there really so little other credible science out there that they had to keep referencing themselves?……It was sadly neither published in Science nor Nature (as the 2010 anti-neonic strategy document had expected), but instead, the journal of Environmental Science and Pollution Research. Rather than being in the upper echelon of scientific publications, this tepid, dare I say mediocre journal is an open-source, pay-per-publish service (it has an Impact Factor of 2.76 – for comparison, Science has an Impact Factor of 31.48 and Nature has 42.35 – Impact Factor, to simplify, is based on the average number of citations each article receives). Environmental Science and Pollution Research’s publisher, Springer (along with IEEE), recently had to retract 120 articles from open-source journals for being computer-generated gibberish. Was this high impact paper even subjected to a peer review?....To Read More....


 

Still More Politicized Pseudo-Science?

Paul Driessen

Widening efforts to blame neonicotinoid pesticides for honeybee “colony collapse disorder” and other “beepocalypse” problems have taken a fascinating turn.

Insisting that scientific evidence shows a clear link between neonics and honeybee population declines, EU anti-insecticide campaigners persuaded the European Union to impose a two-year ban on using the chemicals. Farm organizations and the Union’s Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Department unsuccessfully opposed the ban, arguing that evidence for a link is not persuasive, and actual field studies in Canada and elsewhere have found little risk to bees from the pesticides.

Then this year’s canola (rapeseed) crop suffered serious losses of 30-50 percent, due to rampaging flea beetles. Over 44,000 acres (18,000 hectares) were declared a total loss. Euro farmers blamed the ban.

Now it appears that the campaign against these newer, safer pesticides – and the scientific papers that supposedly justify the ban – were all part of a rigged, carefully orchestrated environmentalist strategy.

A recently leaked memorandum, dated June 14, 2010, summarizes a discussion earlier that month among four European scientists who wanted to block neonic use. The memo says the four agreed to find prominent authors who could write scientific papers and coordinate their publication in respected journals, so as to “obtain the necessary policy change to have these pesticides banned.”

“If we are successful in getting these two papers published,” the memo continues, “there will be enormous impact, and a campaign led by WWF etc could be launched right away. It will be much harder for politicians to ignore a research paper and a policy forum paper” in a major scientific journal. Initial papers would demonstrate that neonics adversely affect bees, other insects, birds and other species; they would be written by a carefully selected primary author and a team of scientists from around the world. Additional papers would be posted online to support these documents – and a separate paper would simultaneously call for a ban on the sale and use of neonicotinoids.

(The WWF is the activist group World Wildlife Fund or World Wide Fund for Nature.)

One meeting attendee was Piet Wit, chairman of the ecosystems management commission of the environmentalist organization International Union for Conservation of Nature. Another was Maarten Bijleveld van Lexmond, who became chairman of the IUCN’s Task Force on Systemic Pesticides, which was inaugurated in March 2011, just after the European Union agreed to finance the Task Force to the tune of €431,337 ($540,000). Vouching for the Task Force as an “independent and unbiased” scientific “advisory” group was the same Dr. Maarten Bijleveld, who is also a founding member of the WWF’s Netherlands branch and an executive officer of the IUCN’s environmental committee.

Further underscoring the “independent” nature of these organizations, the EU awarded the IUCN €24,014,125 ($30,000,000) between 2007 and 2013. Moreover, IUCN task force membership is by invitation only – making it easier to implement the Systemic Pesticides Task Force’s stated purpose: to “bring together the scientific evidence needed to underpin action on neonicotinoid pesticides.”

The entire operation is odorously reminiscent of ClimateGate orchestration of alarmist research and banning of studies questioning “dangerous manmade climate change” assertions, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s 1972 DDT ban, regarding which then-EPA Administrator William Ruckelshaus later admitted that he had not attended a single minute of his own task force’s lengthy hearings or read a single page of its findings, which concluded that the insecticide was not dangerous to humans or most wildlife.

The IUCN/WWF campaign also recalls the equally well coordinated effort by Fenton Communications, CBS “60 Minutes” and the Natural Resources Defense Council to ban Alar (a chemical used to keep apples ripening longer on trees), in a way that would channel millions of dollars to the NRDC. It reminds me of former Environmental Defense Fund senior scientist Charles Wurster’s assertion that, “If the environmentalists win on DDT, they will achieve a level of authority they never had before.”

Never mind that the Alar scam sent many family apple orchards into bankruptcy – or that millions of African and Asian parents and children have died from malaria because radical greens have made DDT largely unavailable even for disease control. For them, humanitarian concerns rarely enter the discussion.

As science writer Hank Campbell observes, all these campaigns reflect proven strategies “to manipulate science to achieve a political goal.” They follow the Saul Alinsky/Big Green script summarized by Madeleine Cosman: Select and vilify a target. Devise a “scientific study” that predicts a public health disaster. Release it to the media, before legitimate scientists can analyze and criticize it. Generate emotional headlines and public reactions. Develop a government “solution,” and intimidate legislatures or government regulators to impose it. Coerce manufacturers to stop making and selling the product.

Environmental pressure groups have repeatedly and successfully employed these steps.

In a recent speech, Harvard School of Public Health Professor Chensheng Lu claimed that his “Harvard Study” clearly demonstrated that neonics “are highly likely to be responsible for triggering Colony Collapse Disorder.” However, pesticide expert and professional pest exterminator Rich Kozlovich says the vast majority of scientists who study bees for a living vigorously disagree. They cite multiple problems, including the fact that small bee populations were fed “astronomical” levels of insecticide-laced corn syrup, and the colonies examined for Lu’s paper did not even exhibit CCD symptoms.

President Obama has nevertheless relied heavily on all this pseudo-science, to support his June 2014 memorandum instructing relevant U.S. agencies “to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees …in response to mounting concerns about [their] dwindling populations on American crops.” The “serious” problem, Mr. Obama insists, “requires immediate attention.”

He is playing his role in the Big Green script but, as my previous articles have noted (here, here and here), nothing in honest, actual science supports his call for yet another Executive Branch end-run around the Legislative Branch and a proper vetting of what we do know about neonics and honeybee problems.

Neonics are vital for numerous crops: canola, soybeans, wheat, winter squash, citrus groves and others.

Derived from a synthetic form of nicotine and often applied to seeds, “neonicotinoids” are incorporated into plants to defend them against pests. This allows growers to be much more targeted in killing crop-threatening insects: only those that actually feed on the plants are affected. This approach (or spraying) also means growers can successfully grow crops with far fewer large-scale insecticide applications, and dramatically reduce reliance on more toxic pesticides that do harm wildlife, including bees. Real-world field studies have shown that bees collecting pollen from plants treated with neonics are not harmed.

Other research has identified serious problems that truly are afflicting bees in Canada, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Varroa mites carry at least 19 bee viruses and diseases – and parasitic phorid flies, Nosema intestinal fungi and the tobacco ringspot virus also cause significant colony losses. Beekeepers have accidentally killed entire hives, while trying to address such problems.

Colony Collapse Disorder has shown up from time to time for centuries. A hundred years ago it was called the “disappearing disease.” It now seems to be ebbing, and bee and beehive numbers are climbing.

We need to let real science do its job, and stop jumping to conclusions or short-circuiting the process with politicized papers, anti-neonic campaigns and presidential memorandums. We need answers, not scapegoats. Otherwise, bee mortality problems are likely to spread, go untreated and get even worse, while neonic bans cause widespread crop failures and huge financial losses for farmers.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org), author of Eco-Imperialism: Green power - Black death and coauthor of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the save-the-earth money machine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's Time to Abolish the USEPA!

A Wake-Up Call For U.S. Farmers: The EPA Is Trying To PutYou Out of Business, ByDr. Henry I. Miller 12/03/2014
The Environmental Protection Agency is arguably the worst regulatory agency in the history of the world. But perhaps I understate.  EPA has long been highly politicized, disdainful of science, relentlessly incompetent and corrupt. The agency is a miasma populated by the most radical, disaffected and anti-industry discards from other agencies, who collude secretly (C) and sometimes illegally with environmental extremists. An analysis by the Competitive Enterprise Institute has estimated that the annual cost of compliance with EPA regulations is more than a third of a trillion dollars......




“Sue and Settle “ practices, sometimes referred to as “friendly lawsuits”, are cozy deals through which far-left radical environmental groups file lawsuits against federal agencies wherein court-ordered “consent decrees” are issued based upon a prearranged settlement agreement they collaboratively craft together in advance behind closed doors. Then, rather than allowing the entire process to play out, the agency being sued settles the lawsuit by agreeing to move forward with the requested action they and the litigants both want.

EPA's New Overseer Of'Scientific Integrity': The Blind Leading The Blind, By Dr. Henry Miller 12/04/2013
If you needed to hire a person to head the financial integrity division of the Securities and Exchange Commission, how about someone who had held that position in Bernie Madoff’s investment firm? In effect, that’s what EPA has done by choosing Francesca Grifo as its “scientific integrity official.”.... EPA’s science is shoddy, and its scientists and administrators routinely manipulate it to fit their radical policy agendas. Moreover, transparency is less important in government regulation than the content of decisions. Putting it another way, transparency is desirable, but arriving at the right decisions about public health and environmental protection is what is paramount.   The EPA has long been intellectually, scientifically and ethically bankrupt. Francesca Grifo will fit right in.....

Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency, By Dr. Jay Lehr
Of all the regulatory deadweight on the economy, the Environmental Protection Agency is almost certainly the heaviest of the federal government’s intrusions. If voters should hand control of the White House and Congress to the GOP in 2016, structural reform ought to be the heart of the program to rescue America from the disasters Obama and the Democrats have wrought. Part of that structural reform should be replacement of the EPA with a more effective and economical institutional arrangement.  The Heartland Institute has put forth a plan to do exactly that.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a rogue agency that has long outlived its effectiveness and should be dismantled and replaced.  Here is Dr. Jay Lehr’s five year phase out plan.  Dr. Lehr was one of the founders of the USEPA and now says it hasn’t done anything worthwhile since 1980.  It’s time to get rid of it.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

GMO’s: Scare Mongering at Its Worst!

By Rich Kozlovich

Mike Adams, who publishes Natural News and styles himself as the Health Ranger recently posted an article entitled, The Agricultural Holocaust explained: the 10 worst ways GMOs threaten humanity and our natural world on July 27, 2014.  Originally I posted this rebuttle to Adams 10 complaints against Genetically Modified Organisms in a ten part series.  Here are all ten articles in one post. 

He claims "genetically modified organisms (GMOs) a serious threat to humanity and the environment? The reasons span the realms of science, social justice, economics and the environment, and once you understand this, you'll readily understand why so many environmentalists, humanitarians, responsible scientists and social justice advocates are strongly opposed to GMOs", and lists ten reasons why?
 
He starts out with - Every grain of GM corn contains poison, and goes on to say;

GM corn is genetically engineered to develop a deadly pesticide in every grain of corn. When this corn is harvested and turned into Corn Flakes, corn tortillas, corn syrup or other corn-based foods, that same poison remains in the corn.

What is the effect of human children eating all the poisons grown in GM corn? Nobody knows for sure because the tests haven't been conducted on human consumption. That's why GMOs remain an untested experiment that exploits humans as guinea pigs.
 
First of all, this “deadly” pesticide isn’t deadly to anything except the targeted insect pests because it's the dose that makes the poison – basic chemical science! When they use this kind of language it’s a lie of omission, because presence doesn’t mean toxicity, and they know it. Furthermore it’s more likely that cooking will destroy what minute amounts exist in it anyway but even if it didn't just because some chemical is detectable it doesn’t mean it’s harmful. We can test down for parts per quadrillion and even lower in some cases. As a health issue those numbers are meaningless because the molecular load will be so small cells won’t react to it.
 
As for "no tests being conducted on human beings", there’s a reason for that. We’re not allowed to test human beings, and these eco-activists know it, yet they continue to use this same lie of omission over and over again. In the real world everything - and I mean everything - gets its final testing when its released to the public, and GMO’s have been used for decades in this country without one iota of evidence of harm.
 
What they fail to tell you – making another lie of omission – are the benefits of GMO’s, including less total land needed to plant the needed food to feed a growing world population, less pesticide use (including herbicides) because they’re now more resistant to insect pests and weeds, and can even allow for planting in soil that has high levels of salt, expanding usable acreage numbers substantially. Since the plants are healthier because they're disease resistant, all of this allows for higher better quality yields.
 
Without modern agricultural tools, including GMO’s, according to Norman Borlaug 25 years ago, we would need all the land east of the Mississippi with the exclusion of three states to generate the same level of crop production they had then. With the world's growing population how much more land would be needed. Picture that as a worldwide dilemma.
Part II
 
His second claim is - GMOs have never been safety tested for human consumption, and goes on to say;

Although GMO advocates ridiculously claim GMOs have been "proven safe in thousands of studies," what they don't tell you is that those were all short-term studies on animals, not humans.

In fact, GMOs have never been shown to be safe for long-term human consumption. What happens when a child eats GMOs for two decades? Does it substantially increase their risk of cancer, diabetes, kidney failure or future Alzheimer's? Nobody knows, exactly, because the tests haven't been done.

As often happens with other chemicals,
GMOs are simply let loose into the world with an attitude of "let's see what happens!
Although I’ve largely addressed this in my previous post, I will add this. Nothing can be proven safe; it’s called proving a negative. Scientifically impossible! You can only prove what things do, not what they don’t do. It’s like demanding someone“prove” they’re “not” cheating on their spouse. Can’t be done! And these people know this, making it another lie of omission. Since these products have been used for decades, and there’s no indication that GMO’s cause anything, including “cancer, diabetes, kidney failure or future Alzheimer's” why does he say it? Because speculation is easy! He might just as well make the claim – “we don’t know if GMO’s causes AIDS!”
You can make any accusation and frame it in the form of a question and not have to prove anything one way or another. But the thought is planted in people’s minds there’s something nefarious about GMO’s, and the companies producing them. This has been the scare tactic activists have been using going back to Silent Spring and the mother of junk science, Rachel Carson.
Dr. Madeleine Pelner Cosman, Ph.D. notes that there are seven steps to this process and usually follow this pattern:
1. Create a "scientific" study that predicts a public health disaster
2. Release the study to the media, before scientists can review it
3. Generate an intense emotional public reaction
4. Develop a government-enforced solution
5. Intimidate Congress into passing it into law
6. Coerce manufacturers to stop making the product
7. Bully users to replace it, or obliterate it
 
One more thing that needs to be addressed and that’s exactly what pesticide is he talking about? Since GMO Bt cotton is his theme later in his article, we need to see what the EPA thinks:

"Bt products are found to be safe for use in the environment and with mammals. The EPA (environmental protection agency) has not found any human health hazards related to using Bt. In fact the EPA has found Bt safe enough that it has exempted Bt from food residue tolerances, groundwater restrictions, endangered species labeling and special review requirements. Bt is often used near lakes, rivers and dwellings, and has no known effect on wildlife such as mammals, birds, and fish.
Humans exposed orally to 1000 mg/day for 3-5 days of Bthave showed no ill effects. Many tests have been conducted on test animals using different types of exposures. The results of the tests showed that the use of Bt causes few if any negative effects. Bt does not persist in the digestive systems of mammals.

Bt is found to be an eye irritant on test rabbits. There is very slight irritation from inhalation in test animals which may be caused by the physical rather than the biological properties of the Bt formulation tested.

Bt has not been shown to have any chronic toxicity or any carcinogenic effects. There are also no indication that Bt causes reproductive effects or birth defects in mammals.

Bt breaks down readily in the environment. Because of this Bt poses no threat to groundwater. Bt also breaks down under the ultraviolet (UV) light of the sun."
 
We have to get past this outrageous scare mongering and realize they're big argument is that GMO's are "unnatural" because of how the genes are implanted. That's completely the wrong take. Our only concern should be what the genes are supposed to do, not how they got there.
Part III

He next claims that, “GMOs transform farming freedom into farming servitude” and then goes on to say:

"Because GMOs are sold with an intellectual property restriction that prevents farmers from saving their own seeds, they invoke "economic servitude" where farmers are forced to buy expensive new seeds each year from the GMOseed supplier.

As a result, farming practices (like seed saving) that have sustained humanity since the dawn of civilization are now being criminalized. And when GM crops fail, as they frequently do, the economic burden placed upon farmers is often too much to bear. That's why farmer suicides have skyrocketed in India among farmers who bought GMO seeds.

Reportedly, over 270,000 suicides have already happened in India due to crop failures, and more happen every day."

First of all, no one is required to buy these products, in spite of any international agreements. Secondly, Monsanto doesn’t have a monopoly on GMO’s in India since Indians are actually creating their own GMO’s, so Indian farmers have large choices.

This is another failure of logic and another lie of omission. The Health Ranger keeps claiming “organic” agriculture is exploding all over the world, including India, when in reality it’s only increasing amonga rising health-consciousness among Indian consumers, rising disposable income due to globalization of markets, and an expanding middle class in the nation of more than 1 billion people”.

In short, they’re just as gullible to the green propaganda as foolish Americans who waste their money in places like Whole Foods.
Organic produce doesn’t taste any better, it isn’t any healthier or better for our bodies than foods produced with modern agricultural processes including GMO’s, and in point of fact, they’re using pesticides such as the copper pesticides, which is accumulative in the soil because unlike synthetics, copper doesn't break down. Copper is one of those heavy metals they scream about. Does anyone besides me see a problem with consistency of thought here? Oh yes, they use a number of pesticides inorganic farming -“The only difference is that they're "natural" instead of "synthetic." At face value, the labels make it sound like the products they describe are worlds apart, but they aren't. A pesticide, whether it's natural or not, is a chemical…….Sadly, however, "natural" pesticides aren't as effective, so organic farmers actually end up using more of them!

Now, for the most outrageous claim of all thatfarmer suicides have skyrocketed in India among farmers who bought GMO seeds”, giving the impression GMO's were somehow responsible for all these deaths. This link is an emotional picture story, but read the article carefully and it becomes clear these suicides were caused by worldwide agriculture economics and failed crops due to bad weather conditions.

The reality is this - linking GMO’s to these farmer’s suicides is a logical fallacy known as “correlation is causation”. As one writer noted:
“The correlation between farmers committing suicide in India and the introduction of GMO cotton in the country has become widely accepted. Two documentaries, Seeds of Suicide and Bitter Seeds center around the phenomenon. In less direct ways, GMOs are mentioned in nearly every article about these suicides in major media outlets. But a new study from The Cathie Marsh Centre for Census and Survey Research (PDF) challenges these assumptions and lends more weight to the argument that the correlation is unfounded. But will it make a difference?"

"The analysis reveals considerable variation in trends in suicide rates across the nine cotton-growing states. The data, although not ideal, and the modeling do not, however, support the claim that GM cotton has led to an increase in farmer suicide rates: if anything the reverse is true. The Indian farmer suicide story has become received wisdom for some anti-GM campaigners."

"In fact, we find that the suicide rate for male Indian farmers is slightly lower than the non-farmer rate. And Indian suicide rates as a whole, although contested, do not appear to be notably high in a world context. The pattern of changes in suicide rates over the last 15 years is consistent with a beneficial effect of Bt cotton for India as a whole albeit perhaps not in every cotton-growing state."

This isn’t a unique or shot in the dark study with no supporting science behind it. In 2008 the International Food Policy Research Institute found similar results saying:


"Suicides in general, including farmers’ suicides, are a sad and complex phenomenon. Hence, their underlying causes need to be addressed within an equally complex societal framework. Here, we provide a specific case study on the potential link between technological choices and farmer suicides in India. Although officially recognized for having increased production and farmers’ income, Bt cotton, genetically modified, insect-resistant cotton, remains highly controversial in India. Among other allegations, it is accused of being the main reason for a resurgence of farmer suicides in India.

We first show that there is no evidence in available data of a “resurgence” of farmer suicides in India in the last five years. Second, we find that Bt cotton technology has been very effective overall in India. However, the context in which Bt cotton was introduced has generated disappointing results in some particular districts and seasons. Third, our analysis clearly shows that Bt cotton is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for the occurrence of farmer suicides. In contrast, many other factors have likely played a prominent role. Nevertheless, in specific regions and years, where Bt cotton may have indirectly contributed to farmer indebtedness, leading to suicides, its failure was mainly the result of the context or environment in which it was planted.

"It’s a complicated issue and it’s perhaps natural to desire a clearcut villain: GMOs. Keith Kloor at Discover Magazine’s website wrote in an article last year title: The Real Seeds of Deception:'"

In Keith Kloor’s article, The GMO-Suicide Myth, he notes: “the suicide rate among male farmers in the nine main cotton-growing states was just under 30 per 100,000 in 2011. That is about the same as suicide rates among farmers in France and Scotland, so Indian farmers do not seem unusual……Nor is there any sign that suicides rates changed significantly after 2002, when GM cotton began to be introduced.
This has been an insidiously mendacious effort by the environmental movement to blacken the reputation of agricultural products that are working wonders for humanity and an attempt to brand Monsanto as a criminal organization, neither of which be held responsible for anyone’s suicide, let alone farmers in India.

Tragic as this is, these farmers made a business decision that turned out badly compounded by “very complex equation that includes institutional, social, and governmental factors in India.”

How many really successful years did they have as a result of GMO cotton? I don’t know and he doesn’t say, but there must have been many years of success after success since the acceptance curve in India for transgenic plants is so high Indian farmers must not believe GMO's are destructive, or they wouldn’t use them. Every year more and more farmers are moving to transgenics because they work and all these anti-GMO claims are false!

Now the Health Ranger can’t have it both ways. If organic is so great why did they buy these expensive products in the first place? Would their crops have failed due to bad weather conditions and all the other problems Indian farmers face if they were organic?

Did anyone ever see what happens to a non-transgenic cotton crop when weevils attack? They will destroy every plant within sight. In one Indian state the only cotton plants left standing were GMO’s. What alternatives do eco-activists like Vandana Shiva and Health Ranger Mike Adams offer? Remember – all those farmers using “organic” methods were wiped out. What exactly are the goals of these anti-GMO activists? One thing seems to be glaringly clear. Doing good things for the Indian farmer isn’t among them.

As for the patent argument on GMO’s these activists despise so badly - that’s a back door to getting rid of GMO’s. If these companies can’t patent these genetic modifications there will be no GMO’s because there will be no money, and that’s what they really want. They don’t care about these poor people who have committed suicide, but they push this myth because it fortifies the narrative they’re promoting. And no matter how much information comes forth to expose the speculations, the lies of commission, the lies of omission and all the logical fallacies, this false narrative is one that’s difficult to break.

Please view this video, which takes an hour, but it's a fast hour and well worth the time, in spite of the fact his leftist prejudices show at the end.


Part IV

Adam’s fourth proclamation is that “GMOs run the very real risk of runaway self-replicating genetic pollution and ecocide”. He goes on to say
Unlike isolated chemicals, GMOs self-replicate. This means there is an automatic risk of a runaway ecological holocaust caused by genetic pollution from GMOs.

Once (sic) scientist calls this risk "ecocide" and has calculated the risk of ecocide caused by GMOs will approach 100%. As I wrote in this March 2014 article:

As Taleb convincingly argues, genetically engineered crops are specifically designed to have a survival advantage over conventional crops, allowing them to better resist droughts or infestations of pests or weeds. This survival advantage -- if it's as real as seed manipulators claim -- means genetically engineered plants can out-compete non-GMO crops in open fields. The genetic pollution which is already underway across North America will only get worse, therefore, and there's no reversing it because all living systems -- even genetically engineered ones -- have a natural drive to spread, multiply and survive.

The result is that GMO crops will out-compete and thereby displace non-GMO crops over time. Why does this matter? Because the rise of GMOs is nearly synonymous with the collapse of genetic diversity in seeds and food crops.

So, the Health Ranger’s argument is that all these GMO’s are better and will out compete all non-genetically improved varieties, and will spread this genetic superiority all over the planet. And somehow this is a prelude to ecological holocaust?

Is that his argument? That’s not much of an argument!

They claim the increase of genetically superior plants will spread to feral plants and be the cause for the collapse of genetic diversity – that’s a red herring since genetically superior plants have been displacing biologically incompetent varieties since time immemorial.

There is only one difference. In the past the transfer of genes took place via selective breeding and cross-pollination. Now humanity has gone past that via modern technology into a realm of genetic potentials that were impossible in the natural scheme of things. Now we have the opportunity to tailor plants to meet our needs far beyond anything that is possible “naturally”. And better yet, these enhancements are permanent, and we should be happy about that.

Eco-activists rail against agriculture for using too much water. GMO’s are responsible for a serious reduction in that need. Eco-activists rail against the use of pesticides. GMO’s reduce that need tremendously, not to mention how much less land is needed versus these "all natural" farms that are forced to reduce wildlife habitat to achieve the same level of production. Not only do they use more land, but they have to use more water, more pesticides – “which includes more than 20 chemicals, mostly containing copper and sulfur, along with nicotine sulfate, which is extremely toxic to warm-blooded animals”, and more energy.

Does anyone besides me see a serious lack of consistency in their thinking?

Is it possible that the real reason for their hate of these products has more to do with “patent exhaustion” than biodiversity? Is it possible they’re real hate of Monsanto and is they’re not giving these seeds away for free? Is it possible they don’t fully grasp that Monsanto spends a billion dollars a year on genetic research?

It takes approximately three hundred million dollars to bring a pesticide to market. One year Bayer tested twenty five compounds and none of them made it to the market. How much was spent on these compounds? I have no idea, but remember they’re probably testing a large number of compounds each and every year and most of those compounds will yield no financial benefit to Bayer.

Monsanto spends billions to bring one product to market, and eco-activists rail against them as greedy monsters committing ecocide. Nonsense! All these claims are wild speculations and logical fallacies since thus far all these GMO’s have been a major source of benefit to humanity. Let’s try to get this right once and for all. If there’s no financial reward there will be no technical advancement, and there will be no new products, including new medicines, in which GMO’s have played a significant role. Companies have been;


“engineering animals and plants to produce proteins to use as medicine. An example of pharming is raising cows with human antibodies-containing milk. Sheep and pigs have also been modified to produce milk containing human blood-clotting protein factor-eight, interferon, and insulin.”

“The virus-free blood-clotting protein is ideal for hemophila patients since traditional methods of producing this protein run the risk of being contaminated with viruses. The mass production of insulin from these animals benefits diabetes sufferers as well.”

“Crops are also used to produce human proteins. In the U.S., rice has been engineered to produce alpha-antitrypsin; in the United Kingdom transgenic sheep have been used to produce this protein, which is used to treat liver disease and hemorrhages.”

“In the late 1990s, about a quarter of all insulin, growth hormone, hepatitis-B vaccine, and antibodies for cancer treatments were produced by GMO.”

One last point regarding patent rights! At some point all of these patents will run their course that these GMO’s will be part of the public domain and can be utilized by everyone creating far reaching benefits to the poor and malnourished people of the world. But, that can only happen if they’re produced at a profit in the first place for the benefit of the stockholders of these corporations that have been financing the research and producing commercially valuable products for humanities benefit. That profit also provides seed money for future research!

One can foolishly rail against them as greedy for their desire to make a substantial profit - if that’s one’s bent - but no one should be finding fault with the beneficial results they’ve produced for humanity, and the environment!

Part V

The Health Ranger’s fifth complaint against these products is that, “GMO agriculture is breeding a new generation of chemical-resistant superweeds”, saying:
“The rise of chemical-resistant superweeds is a horrible problem for modern farmers. In the same way that deadly superbugs have arisen from the abuse of antibiotics in hospitals, "Frankenweeds" have arisen from the continued growing of GMOs and the routine application of glyphosate to crop fields.

Glyphosate-resistant superweeds have become such a problem that the very industry which once claimed GMOs would require "fewer chemicals" to grow food is now recommending fields be treated with a triple or quadruple layer of multiple chemicals to attack the superweeds with different chemicals.

That's why agriculture experts are right now
sounding the alarm over glyphosate, GMOs and superweeds, calling for an end to the unsustainable GMO farming practices that seriously threaten the sustainability of agriculture.”

Crops such as cotton, corn, soybeans, alfalfa and sugar beets have been genetically altered to tolerate glyphosate in order to increase yields and avoid the costly and time consuming weed control processes of the past. This has been so successful eco-activists claim farmers have adopted an over reliance on GMO’s (which increased production by more than 98 billion dollars over the last twenty plus years and saving from having to use hundreds of millions of kilograms of pesticides from being sprayed) resulting in “overuse” of glyphosate creating “superweeds”, such as Palmer amaranth. And it would appear weeds are showing up in fields all over the world that have become resistant to the herbicide glyphosate.

Palmer amaranth is particularly insidious because it out competes cotton – and other crops - for all the things necessary for productive harvests – moisture, light and nutrients. So, are these now “superweeds”?

Before we answer that question we have to understand what exactly “resistance” is? Often times I will see commentaries claiming an evolutionary spurt is causing resistance. Nonsense! Evolution has nothing to do with these changes in plants or insects, bacteria or virus’ for that matter. I’m going to address this from an insect control perspective because it’s easy to explain and the pattern is universal. Pay attention!

Resistance is a genetic phenomenon where-in a percentage of the target pests are naturally resistant to some compound. Hence each successive generation will pass that trait to some of their offspring thus having more resistant numbers in the population. Eventually the resistant members become the dominant gene pool. However they’re not “super-roaches”, “super-rats”, or super anything else for that matter. Whether its cockroaches, weeds, or pathogens – resistance is the pattern in nature! Something we only fully realized after insect pests developed resistance to DDT, including bed bugs. We didn’t know we were following nature’s patterns and cycles. We know that now and can adapt.

While hyperventilating one writer claimed “Chemicals Are Creating Frightening New Superweeds.” Then disparagingly asked, The 'Solution'? More Chemicals.

Yes - that is the solution!

Eco-activists state that this has to stop because these “superweeds” have found their way into organic fields. Let’s understand this correctly. This is another logical fallacy that’s a lie of omission. Whether it’s these resistant varieties of weeds or the non resistant varieties these organic farmers are going to be devastated without the use of herbicides, so making this claim is nothing more than a red herring fallacy, since they're not allowed to use synthetic herbicides anyway and still be 'organic'. As for those farmers who are not 'organic' farmers, but still aren't using transgenics - they're would still have to face the problem of resistance eventually. Transgenics didn't create the resistance problem, but transgenics will be the solution!

Companies such as Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences and other biotech companies didn’t stop researching new and innovative approaches to transgenics when the current products went on the market. They clearly understand the “resistance” factor in pesticides and have been working of herbicide resistant crops which will become available. Will these new products eventually become ineffective? Of course! But that’s no reason to abandon chemistry that works – especially when there’s no alternative, and it’s more environmentally friendly than plowing and tilling.

If there is no alternative there is no problem!

Ah, but there is – according to eco-activists – an alternative. Heirloom varieties! These are varieties that have been grown for hundreds of years and breed true year after year. In other words, “organic” farming, which I addressed in a previous post!

Heirlooms are hardy, but as is the case with all these old hardy varieties - they aren’t that productive. And they’re still left with the problem of weeds and insect pests because even these varieties come under attack from something, and then there are all the other negative issues surrounding “organic” farming.

They claim we can only thrive by obeying nature’s rules. I couldn’t agree more. And what’s nature’s rule regarding plant pests? Plants can’t run away when attacked, they don’t have claws, they don’t have teeth, they don’t have heavy fur coats to protect themselves – so what do they do? They make their own pesticides to sicken, kill or repel pests. The vast majority of pesticides we consume are naturally occurring in the food we eat, and most of them test carcinogenic. So I subscribe to nature’s pattern. Build a better pesticide, and create more GMO’s to tolerate them.

Eco-activists demand perfection - from everyone else. A perfection they're incapable of delivering. They demand utopia, claiming they can deliver it if we just listen to them, but when you consider their policies have killed more people over the last 60 years, (probably more than the socialist monsters of twentieth century like Stalin, Hitler and Mao combined) we must believe the facts of history. They only deliver dystopia - squalor, misery, poverty, disease, suffering and early death. The legacy of the left!

Those who are rational recognize that history and sanity forces upon us the conclusion the best we can hope for is the most acceptable imperfection. And as imperfect as these modern agricultural marvels are - they've saved more lives than any advancement in all of humanities previous history.
Part VI

The Health Ranger’s sixth complaint is that, “GMOs may have long-term unintended consequences on the environment”. His logic is as follows:

"What happens when genetically engineered plants cross-pollinate with non-GMO plants and are then subjected to the random mutations of plant evolution?

No one knows because it's never been tested in the open world. Or, I should say, it's being tested right now on us all, in the world's largest genetic experiment ever conducted (without our consent, no less).

The problem in all this is that Mother Nature has a way of bringing about unintended consequences, even from well-meaning scientists. Is it possible that an artificial, genetically engineered trait could dominate future plant generations but begin to show a completely unintended physiological trait that scientists never intended? You bet it is. From Thalidomide to Fukushima, the world is full of examples of catastrophic consequences that scientists once swore could never happen."


First of all I’m not aware of any “random mutations” caused by GMO’s, and apparently neither is the Health Ranger since he didn’t list any. Another lie of omission and another logical fallacy! He says this hasn’t been tested in the open world, and then states the world is an ongoing testing lab. Did he really say that? It can’t be both ways!

However, I can tell you absolutely what will happen to any of these plants if they were subjected to “random mutations”, or mutations of any kind. First of all, if this was an issue of plant evolution as he speculates, it would be meaningless because evolutionary theory requires millions of years and an untold number of mutations before any meaningful change would take place. However, in the real world versus the theoretical world, 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal. Ergo, those that survived would not last long in the real world and thus have no impact on anything, because only those things that survive and thrive affect their surrounding environment. And why exactly is that bad?

I often see ec0-activists claiming that DDT “destroyed whole ecosystems”. I have yet to see anyone tell me which ecosystem was destroyed. I have yet to see anyone who can actually define an ecosystem. Let’s try and understand that these so-called ecosystems can’t be destroyed. Ecosystems change, that’s not destruction. Too little water, too much water, too much heat, too much cold, and the plants and animals that populated that are will cease existance in an area and will be replaced with different animals and plants. That’s not destruction - that’s change - and that’s gone on throughout Earth’s history.

As for defining an ecosystem; the only legitimate ecosystem is the planet itself, and the environmental variations are extreme. Everything else is a temporary environment that’s subject to change to the detriment of some species and the benefit of others.

When products are released for use to the public - that is the final testing ground for every new product there is. Whether it’s paint, cars, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, shampoo or baby formula! Since GMO's have been used extensively for decades we can definitively state - GMO’s have been seriously tested worldwide and none of his speculations have any foundation in reality.

So what is foundational logic for the views expressed by eco-activists? As is always the case they make unwarranted claims via speculative questions, spew out logical fallacies, lies of omission, lies of commission and freely make use of weasel words such as – “this may occur”, or “is it possible”, or “could dominate” which is purely speculatory, but raises concerns in people’s minds. All of which is an appeal to the Precautionary Principle, an irrational concept that demands we “must” prove something is safe before it can be used. If the world had adopted the Precautionary Principle in 1850 we wouldn’t have electricity – because we know electricity isn’t safe.

Since there is no foundational evidence for their claims for harm, which is presented in the form of questions. This is an attempt to put the ball in someone else’s court for answers they know can't be supplied because – as I have said before, and it gets a bit tiring saying it – they’re demanding someone prove a negative. Can’t be done.

Are there unintended or even undesirable consequences with technology old and new? Of course! We live in a risk versus benefit world. Every new advancement will have negative potentials - which eco-activists harp on constantly - but they never evaluate the consequences of not adopting new technology.

Perhaps they're needing help to achieve clarity? Well then, here it is!

All these amazing modern technological agricultural advancements of the twentieth and twenty first centuries have benefitted humanity far beyond anything medieval mankind ever dreamed of, including average life spans of 70 and even 80 years in some areas of the world. Admittedly, medical science has made amazing progress during that same time frame, but there's two things the most amazing medical wonders ever devised can't cure - malnutrition and starvation! That falls under the purview of pesticides and GMO's and those who utilize that technology
Part VII

His seventh claim is that, “GMOs collapse biodiversity”, saying;

"In an effort to monopolize the global seed supply, GMO companies are buying up smaller seed companies and shutting them down, collapsing their seed supplies. The following chart shows some of the seed consolidation activity that's concentrating ownership over seeds into the hands of a very small number of powerful, unethical corporations:"

(Editor’s Note: He provides a chart in the article at criticism #7. However, there’s no citation or link as to its origin. I can’t confirm anything the chart shows, except there seem to be an awful lot of seed companies - and based on everything else he’s said in this article – I have to wonder if he doesn’t want anyone to know its origin.)

"This consolidation of seed companies has caused an alarming collapse in seed diversity over the last decade, placing humanity at increased risk for catastrophic crop failures due to a loss of genetic diversity.

That's the problem with genetic conformity: it makes the crops far more susceptible to systemic diseases that can cause catastrophic crop failures. Precisely this scenario is happening right now with banana crops, as most commercial banana trees are genetically identical clones.

As a result, a fungus has attacked banana crops and is causing devastating destruction across the banana industry. The industry is responding by -- guess what? -- foolishly turning to genetically engineered bananas which will suffer from the exact same weakness of genetic conformity, practically guaranteeing a future disease epidemic.”

Before I go on, let me state from the outset that the worst lies start with the truth. But once the truthful statements have been twisted with lies of omission and logical fallacies it’s perverted to generate erroneous conclusions. It’s a lot like snake oil salesmen and a fast hustle. It’s true that genetic diversity is important to continued health in seeds, but everything he says after that is seriously flawed.

Let’s start with this business of loss of genetic diversity he claims is being caused by “unethical” companies deliberately causing a “collapse” (what does that mean?) in the seed market. That’s a load of horsepucky! When I first read his claims I have to admit it took me by surprise because not once could I remember seeing any commentaries about this, and there was nothing in my files. So I sent out a request for information to my net hoping someone out there could provide some information on this. People started responding back about what he portrays as a deliberate and nefarious effort to destroy biodiversity.

We have to understand that, just as in any industry, there are natural ebbs and flows. There is a constant ebb and flow regarding seed stock involving GMO’s, non-GMO’s, hybrids, self pollinators, and cross pollinating plants. Just as there is in any business. Recently there’s a resurgence in non-GMO breeding efforts because it appears we’re in a growers market. This makes sense as the ASTA -American Seed Trade Association states on its web site – “everything starts with the seed”.

One of my correspondents, who works for a large international trade association involved in Agriculture, stated the entire seed industry is very “robust….big and small companies alike”. All these so-called consolidations have actually strengthened the mid-sized and small companies because they’re more agile than the larger companies and can move more quickly into profitable situations.

As for these companies deliberately trying to “collapse” the seed market – I keep asking - what does that mean? Does he imply these companies are buying up smaller seed companies and destroying their seed stock? It seems to me that’s what he’s trying to convey – but he won’t dare say it because he knows it’s a lie. No company would deliberately destroy seed stock because these large science based companies know better than anyone how science is constantly moving forward and tomorrow they may suddenly discover a new tool to unlock some “genetic assets in a seed line”. “Self interest alone would compel companies to preserve genetic resources.”

Is he trying to say these large companies are buying up all the small companies and hiding seed stock? Well, that’s loony. They’re buying seed stock to utilize it in some fashion, and they’re not ever going to eliminate the small and mid-size companies, and I doubt if they want to. It wouldn’t be worth the cost and it wouldn't prevent new companies from forming. GMO companies are not causing a loss in genetic diversity, they’re preserving genetic diversity and enhancing the genetic diversity that already exists.

About twenty five years ago Waste Management Incorporated decided the pest control industry was a good fit for their corporation because they felt they had corporate expertise in the legislative and regulatory arena that was compatible with the pest control and lawn care industries. So they went around the country and bought up a large number of quality regional pest control companies. Overnight they became the number three company in the nation.

A lot of prominent people in the pest control industry started covering themselves in sackcloth and ashes, wringing their hands, believing this was the end of the small pest control companies – the conglomerates were taking over – “it’s the end of the pest control industry as we know it!” A few old hands just chuckled, shook their heads and said – that will never happen – and they were right, and the conglomerate “consolidation” scare ended.

Are bigger companies still buying smaller companies? Of course! That’s the nature of business! Are small companies still coming into existence? Of course! That’s the nature of business! Everything else is horsepucky!

There’s one more thing about his claim that large companies are deliberately “collapsing” (what does that mean?) the seed market that bothered me from the start. He provides not one piece of evidence other than a chart without a source link - not one link to a commentary explaining the information on the chart - not one commentary from anyone in the seed market, including any small companies warning us of these alleged abuses - not one quote from an honest broker of information and not one news story! Why?

He then asks us to take a leap of faith and believe that GMO’s are destroying the banana crops in the world. He now issues another really big lie of omission, claiming;

“This consolidation of seed companies has caused an alarming collapse in seed diversity. As a result, a fungus has attacked banana crops and is causing devastating destruction across the banana industry. The industry is responding by -- guess what? -- foolishly turning to genetically engineered bananas which will suffer from the exact same weakness of genetic conformity, practically guaranteeing a future disease epidemic.”

There’s a real problem with this Jeremiad he fails to include in his statement. The lack of bio-diversity is common in bananas because bananas are self pollinating. Bananas are not suffering from a lack of diversity due to GMO’s. There are wild species that are pollinated by bats, but those used in food production aren’t. I don’t know about anyone else, but somehow I think that’s an important piece of information. Don’t you?

Currently the banana we’re most familiar with the a variety called the Cavendish, and it is under attack from something called the Black Sigatoka fungus, which is becoming resistant to fungicides. Did any kind of genetic engineering have anything to do with this. NO!

The variety that preceded the Cavendish was called the Gros Michal, also a self fertilizing banana. It became commercially “unviable” in the 1950’s due to the Panama Disease, which is caused by a fungus to which the Cavendish is immune. However, the Gros Michel isn’t extinct and can be used where the Panama disease isn’t found. But let’s understand this. The Gros Michel variety became commercially interesting in the 1820’s and it took about 130 years before this naturally occurring problem struck. All that happened long before GMO's.

Within the next 10 to 20 years is seems likely the Cavendish, which like almost all bananas lacks genetic diversity, will suffer attacks that can’t be thwarted with fungicides. This will have a serious impact on large commercial and small farm agriculture. However there are a very large number of varieties of bananas out there we’re not familiar with which could produce one or more replacements, although they would be substantially different that what we’re used to. But no matter what direction agriculture goes in this matter we must come to realize that this problem is a naturally occurring one that can’t be blamed on GMO’s. In fact it seems rational that GMO’s will be the answer!

Scientists have made announcements about the complete sequencing of the banana genome, and by utilizing genes from wild species that reproduce via seeds they could potentially develop a non-seed variety that would be immune to fungi and even pathogens. Resistant genes from onions and dahlias were introduced into plantains –a member of the banana family used in cooking - which are demonstrating resistance to a greenhouse fungus. Will they make it in the real world? The only rational answer is yes - eventually! Will this lead to high tasty high yield bananas at some point. The only rational answer must be a resounding YES, eventually! But only if we abandon all this scare mongering about GMO’s. GMO’s will save commercial banana production and will end the need to make so many applications of fungicides, which is a very real financial burden for small farmers. That's why American Farmers Just Love Their GMOs and You Should Too.
Part VIII

He next claims that,“GMOs put control over the food supply into the hands of profit-driven corporations.”

"Before corporate agriculture, food production used to be under the control of local farmers who cared for their families and communities. But now, food seeds are monopolized by greed-driven corporations that care nothing about families or communities (but worship profit at all costs).

It almost goes without saying that these corporations make decisions in the best interests of their shareholders, not the best interests of humanity or the environment.

Expecting corporations to place the long-term sustainability of life on Earth as a higher priority than their own quarterly profits is a form of insanity. Corporations only exist to maximize short-term profits, regardless of the long-term cost to humanity or the planet."


When food production was under the control of local farmers was at a time when a very large portion of the population was involved in agriculture. Before WWII America was still a largely agrarian society with approximately 75% of the population involved in agriculture. (*Editor's Note: That 75% figure is inaccurate - faulty memory - in 1940 18% were actual farmers, but that doesn't include all those that were a part of agriculture, so I will try and find where I got that number and correct it.) Currently it stands around 2%, and that amazingly small number is feeding not only the other 98%, but a substantial number of people in the rest of the world. And doing so at prices that are very low! Except lately!

Now government policies are demanding we put food into our gas tanks in the form of biofuels to overcome a problem that doesn’t exist –anthropogenic climate change – causing the price of grains to rise, which has caused a corresponding rise in the price of food – worldwide! And those self same government policies are set up to force more of the same, with the ardent support of the eco-activist community.

So then – who are making decisions that are not in the best interests of humanity? These “greed-driven corporations” who have abundantly provided an amazing variety of foods at very reasonable prices, or the eco-activists and their cats paws in government who are placing restrictions on farmers for what’s grown, how it’s grown, when it’s grown and how it’s to be used.

Is it true that large scale agriculture places a priority on quarterly profits? Of course! Agriculture is now and has always been a business venture. If there’re no profits– there’s no food. As for the long term cost to humanity – well so far it means more people will live, and those lives will be longer and healthier lives than ever before.

In agriculture making decisions that are best for the stockholders has consistently been what’s best for humanity because they’re in the business of providing what humanity needs.

I would also like to see the evidence where these corporations worship profits at all costs because they don’t care about the communities in which they live. I don’t think he can support that claim. However, I can. When you see corporations start “going green”!

Corporations have been ‘going green’ mostly because it’s subsidized by the taxpayers. In Spain every green job (which is virtually impossible to define) ended up costing two plus jobs. Green energy is raising the price of energy worldwide and cannot be maintained without government subsidies, tax breaks and outright grants. All this is costing humanity billions of dollars of borrowed money going to the few well connected and the activists. All this causes taxes to go up, and taxes cause all prices to go up. Why isn't he and his cohorts attacking the real reason for these added costs to everything, which in turn must impact the cost of food.

So what’s his solution? Apparently he wants everyone to go back to farming and live a 19thcentury life style. Does anyone really believe that’s possible? I’ve said it before and it’s worth repeating now. Twenty five years ago Norman Borlaug noted that if we were to abandon modern agricultural techniques we would need a land mass as large as everything east of the Mississippi with the exception of three states. That was twenty five years ago. It would be ever greater today. And almost everyone would have to become subsistence farmers.

Is there anyone out there who can remember what happened when Pot Pol overthrew the government of Cambodia and forced everyone out into the fields? Pot Pol was a Cambodian communist who lead a revolution against the Khmer Republic. As is the case with all communists he replaced an ineffective and corrupt government with a totalitarian dictatorship imposing "a radical reform of agrarian socialism" on the Cambodian people. Urban dwellers were forced into the countryside to work on collective farms and forced labor projects. He lasted four years. In four years he managed to kill twenty five percent of the Cambodian population.

As to the Health Rangers' statement that, “GMOs put control over the food supply into the hands of profit-driven corporations”, I say – good! Because government control over the food supply has never been anything except disastrous to humanity, especially when in the hands of socialists (Editor's Note: Communism is the left wing of the socialist movement and fascism is the right wing. Two sides of the same coin.) like Stalin and Mao, both of whom starved tens of millions to death for political reasons. As for small farmers, they would be unable to feed the world, especially if they were all to adopt agricultural policies in accord with what the Health Ranger wants - everyone to “go green” and embrace “organic” – a sure system to bring about the eco-activists goal of reducing the world’s population to one billion people, with no more than two billion.

So the choices are twofold. Turn everything over to the activists and their myrmidons in government who have been, and always will be, unanswerable for their decisions, or those with a profit motive, who must respond to the market place to continue in business.

We need to understand this once and for all. History has shown the policies and schemes of the eco-activists and eco-bureaucrats - at every level, not just agriculture - have been irrational, misanthropic and morally defective. Putting what’s best for humanity in their hands is a proven formula for dystopia. Why is that so hard to understand? Why is that so hard to get?
Part IX
The Health Ranger’s ninth complaint is that; “GMOs may be harming pollinators”. He goes on to say:
“Although the evidence on this isn't yet conclusive, GMOs may be contributing to the harming of all-important pollinators, without which we would all starve from lack of food crops.

Honeybee pollinators are dying in record numbers across North America, and many scientists fear we may be witnessing a catastrophic collapse of pollinator populations. Evidence is already emerging that neonicotinoids -- a class of pesticide chemicals -- may be responsible for the collapse, but there's also evidence that GMOs may be worsening the population decline.

Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

"If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man." - Albert Einstein

Well, let’s take that last part first. Although this Einstein quote is spouted over and over again, it’s not clear that Albert Einstein ever said any such thing. And if he did it proves beyond any shadow of a doubt he may have been a great physicist, but he stunk as an entomologist.

Secondly – and there he goes again – claiming GMO’s “may” be harming pollinators. Another weasel word claim based in the Precautionary Principle. Criticism in the form of a question without one iota of evidence. As for his question; “Were GMOs ever tested for their long-term impact on pollinators in the wild? Of course not. That would cost too much money, and the promotion of GMOs is all about making money; the environment be damned.”

Testing the long term impact in the wild (what does that mean?) isn’t too expensive – it’s impossible. How do you define “in the wild”? What tests should be conducted? What should be tested? Where should it be tested? However, the decades of continued use of GMO’s has demonstrated no harm in the wild, whatever “in the wild” means. Once again – the real world is the final testing ground for every new product. The question he needs to answer is this. What “in the wild” harm can anyone point to? None of that can be properly defined, which is a common tactic among the eco-activists, that way they can keep asking the same questions without being specific. Specifics are what pin them down and they avoid that like the plague because when they do they enter the world of facts and science, where they consistently lose, because they’re fighting a battle of emotion, and always have.

We need to get this. They win the battle of emotions. We win the battle of facts. To win the war we need to start winning both the battle of emotions and facts.

As for GMO’s having a detrimental impact on pollinators, the article Let's deal with the idea there really is a any problem with pollinators in the first place. Let’s start with European honey bees and whether their numbers are declining – and what are the real facts about what would happen if every bee on the planet died tomorrow.

On January of 2012 I pointed out in my article, Colony Collapse Disorder: Cause – All Natural:

“First, it is not true that there has been a mysterious worldwide collapse in honey bee populations. In fact managed hives (which contain the bees which do the vast majority of our pollinating) have increased by a remarkable 45 per cent over the last five years. Lawrence D. Harder from the department of biology at the University of Calgary and Marcelo Aizen from Buenos Aires set about pinning down a couple of myths…….The bee disaster scenario is dependent upon data which is far too regional to take seriously and ‘not representative of global trends’. The truth is that there are more bees in the world than ever. They go on to say; ‘It is a myth that humanity would starve without bees.’ While some 70 per cent of our most productive crops are animal-pollinated (by bees, hoverflies and the like), very few indeed rely on animal pollination completely. Furthermore, most staple foods — wheat, rice and corn — do not depend on animal pollination at all. They are wind-pollinated, or self-pollinating. If all the bees in the world dropped dead tomorrow afternoon, it would reduce our food production by only between 4 and 6 per cent.....‘Overall we must conclude that claims of a global crisis in agricultural production are untrue.’

President Obama signed an executive order this past June to all Cabinet secretaries and agency heads requiring “the federal government to develop a plan for protecting pollinators such as honey bees, butterflies, birds and bats in response to mounting concerns about the impact of dwindling populations on American crops.” The President claimed,ADVERTthe problem is serious and requires immediate attention to ensure the sustainability of our food production systems, avoid additional economic impact on the agricultural sector, and protect the health of the environment".

Blatant nonsense! On Saturday, June 21, 2014 I posted the article, Presidential PollinatorProtection: More Activity as Substitute for Accomplishment, dealing with each pollinator the President addressed. I went on to say:  Let's now deal with the slaughter of bats - which are all protected - and birds - many of which are protected or endangered. It's the green movement that must take responsibility for their slaughter through their promotion of wind energy. Bats are killed extensively by the “low-pressure air pockets created around the swirling blades of the turbines cause bats' lungs to implode, instantly killing them”.

This is a direct result of following the same idiotic green energy production ideas that failed under Jimmy Carter, and another lack of consistent thinking that should concern everyone. These Cuisinarts are causing massive slaughters worldwide of protected birds and bats; massively larger than environmentalists claimed was being caused by DDT (which was a lie and doesn’t kill bats at all) and the government has given them a pass!

As I pointed out in my article, "Green Power and Precautionary Double Standards”;We absolutely know these monsters are killing at least 573,000 birds every year, including some 83,000 eagles, hawks and other raptors - in clear violation of US laws. Other estimates put the toll at closer to 13,000,000 birds and bats annually. Why are the "precautionary" activists stone-cold silent about that? Why? Because “unintentional kills are to be expected”! If you killed a bald eagle in an “unintentional” accident would you get the same kind of pass? No! Because this double standard is deliberate.

(Editor's Note: Since this article was published some have finally stepped up, but they also fail in consistent thinking because they're willing to accept kills in smaller numbers.)

What about butterfly protection? That is nothing more than a direct attack on genetically modified crops. In reality there’s no real evidence GMO’s impact butterflies negatively, except for a Cornell study in 1999, and even the author, Professor John Losey, noted the study was a "laboratory study” and not to be taken too seriously against real world activity. The butterflies in the study were forced to feed on corn pollen, which proved something entomologists already knew – Bt enhanced corn pollen can kill Monarchs. Apparently he doesn’t believe this study lays ground work for any real concern saying; "our study was conducted in the laboratory and, while it raises an important issue, it would be inappropriate to draw any conclusions about the risk to Monarch populations in the field based solely on these initial results."

In the real world Monarch butterflies don’t like, and generally don’t eat corn pollen, or anything corn pollen rests on if given other options. As for Bt enhanced corn pollen landing on other plants such as milkweed - it had better be right next to the corn field since corn pollen is heavy and doesn’t travel far, and there is very little milkweed around corn fields. Also the study did not display how much Monarchs would have to eat to be harmed or how much exposure there would have to be to Bt in the real world.

Steve Milloy notes other scientist who’ve weighed in on this subject saying:

Warren Douglas Stevens, senior curator of the Missouri Botanical Garden, suspects that in a natural setting butterflies, which apparently don't like corn pollen, would avoid eating it if they encountered it on their food source.

Tom Turpin, professor of entomology at Purdue University, believes there is little threat to Monarch butterflies encountering Bt pollen on milkweed because there is very little milkweed in and around cornfields. Preliminary studies have shown that corn pollen, which is fairly heavy, does not travel very far.

John Foster, professor of entomology at the University of Nebraska, believes automobiles pose a greater risk to Monarchs than Bt corn.

However this Cornel study provoked a very real effort to discover what impact Bt enhanced corn pollen would have on Monarchs and answer the questions regarding dose and exposure by a “large informal group of scientists who came together in workshops held by ARS to discuss the questions" of dose and exposure. Their work demonstrated that:

“monarch caterpillars have to be exposed to pollen levels greater than 1,000 grains/cm to show toxic effects.

Caterpillars were found to be present on milkweed during the one to two weeks that pollen is shed by corn, but corn pollen levels on milkweed leaves were found to average only about 170 pollen grains/cm in corn fields.

Reports from several field studies show concentrations much lower than that even within the cornfield. In Maryland, the highest level of pollen deposition was inside and at the edge of the corn field, where pollen was found at about 50 grains/cm2. In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains/cm2 at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm2 beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.

In the Nebraska study, pollen deposition ranged from 6 grains at the field edge to less than 1 grain/cm beyond 10 meters. Samples collected from fields in Ontario immediately following the period of peak pollen shed showed pollen concentrations averaged 78 grains at the field edge.”

The conclusion arrived at by this group of scientists? "There is no significant risk to monarch butterflies from environmental exposure to Bt corn."

The claim that we don’t know if GMO’s have an impact on pollinators is a red herring that has no basis in reality, and we need to understand that!
Part X
I’ve been writing this article in my head since I first read his piece, but didn’t start the actual writing until a few days ago. It has also been the most difficult of the ten articles to organize because it’s nothing more than a very long attack on the personal qualities and character of those who work with the latest agricultural technology needed to save untold millions from the suffering of malnutrition and starvation. And his tenth “reason” to be against GMO’s is the same repetitious horsepucky he’s spouted throughout the article. Therefore, my response had to be organized differently than the rest. In this post I will address each component of his argument as it’s presented.
Unfortunately, it takes paragraphs of facts to overcome cleverly worded sound bites, as a result this article has taken me longer to construct, and is in itself much longer than I would like, since I'm sure a substantial number of my readers will move on before they finish.

One more thing! I generally hate this kind of refutation for two reasons. I spend more time organizing their thoughts into some sort of logical progression than I do responding to them, and they repeat their positions over and over again while saying nothing, forcing me to waste time giving the same answers over and over again. But if you fail to challenge every aspect of their positions you’re accused of being afraid to face their “facts”.
The Health Ranger's tenth reason to be against GMO’s is: “The kind of scientists who collaborate with biotech companies are the most dishonest, corrupt and unethical scientists in our world”. He goes on to say:
The world of science consists primarily of ethical, reasonable people who are doing their best to contribute to knowledge and progress for our world. But the darkest "fringe" fanatics of bad science are found in the realm of GMOs, where scientists routinely accept money from the biotech industry to lie to the public and attack "GMO skeptics" -- people who are skeptical about the false promises made by biotech corporations.

First of all, scientists working on any project deserve to be paid, including those working on biotech projects, and secondly -generally speaking - ethics are usually a matter of whose ox is being gored. Third, it’s been my experience those scientists I consider “fringe fanatics of bad science” have been those who’ve sold their integrity for government grant money. As my friend Jay Lehr, one of the founders ofthe EPA, once noted:

“Yes, science is following the government money, and it’s a problem in all industries. We’ve totally distorted science, not all of it, but certainly at the university level. They know they have to say what the government wants to hear in the grant proposal process in order to get their money. U.S. EPA rules the roost, and if they’re not out to prove or say bad things about chemicals of all kinds, they won’t likely get the money. This is all driven by the environmental advocacy groups that control U.S. EPA today. It’s a horrible thing, and what it has done to science mostly at the academic level is bad. But U.S. EPA’s goal is to remove every useful chemical from the environment. They are driven by environmental advocacy groups, who are basically Socialists wanting to destroy capitalism and progress and make us a weaker nation. It’s hard to understand their motivation but they are an unhappy bunch.

When confronted by these kinds of comments I have found the first thing done by the left is to snort and smirk, with a morally superior air, in an attempt to denigrate such comments as conspiracy theory nonsense. Unfortunately for all of us - it isn’t!

Recently the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works released a “Minority Staff Report” entitled, TheChain of Environmental Command: How a Club of Billionaires and TheirFoundations Control the Environmental Movement and Obama’s EPA”, which states among other things;

“In reality, an elite group of left wing millionaires and billionaires, which this report refers to as the “Billionaire’s Club,” who directs and controls the far-left environmental movement, which in turn controls major policy decisions and lobbies on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

This 92 page document needs to be read by everyone who stands in defense of worthwhile environmental policies and honest science.

He claims those scientists working for biotech companies are ‘lying’ to the public but fails to list one demonstrable lie, nor can he cite any false promises, especially since GMO’s are working wonders feeding the world and helping to produce pharmaceuticals that would never have come into being otherwise.

He goes on to say:

Biotech-linked scientists and journalists are the most nefarious and evil-minded of their kind, waging vicious smear campaigns against environmentalists while working desperately to block the public's right to know what they're eating. "Biotech shills" have been a key part of the defeat of GMO labeling laws in California and Oregon, for example, where their message has been, "Make sure the public NEVER knows they're eating GMOs!"

Once again he resorts to personal attacks without presenting one fact that supports his assertions and then uses a common tactic of the left by transferring the guilt and actions of themselves onto those they disagree with, but saying;

Biotech-linked scientists and journalists are the most nefarious and evil-minded of their kind, waging vicious smear campaigns against environmentalists while working desperately to block the public's right to know what they're eating”.

A “vicious smear campaign” against environmentalists? I would like to see what he construes as a “vicious smear”. It seems likely he refers to anything that exposes the fallacies of his position with facts that can be scientifically substantiated.

 Smear campaigns are a tactic of the left, and right out of Saul Alinsky’s book The Rules For Radicals. Eventually they resort to threats, and in some cases violence. The eco-activists are the spear point of the left, and their tactics are the tactics of the left. We really do need to understand that! If they can’t get you to buy into their lies they attempt to bully you into submission.

As for this business about labeling; that’s nothing more than an attempt to place these products on a list to be targeted by eco-activists. Once that happens there will be no end in sight to their lies, and scare mongering. Is it any wonder the industry is afraid of the backlash from consumers and take a strong stand against such labeling? These eco-activists know this and are counting on frightening consumers. As one person stated, “that's ultimately the food industry's problem." No, it isn’t. It’s humanities problem! Such tactics will only cost the food industry money. The cost to humanity will be in misery, suffering, malnutrition, starvation and early death.

The Health Ranger rails against the biotech industry calling them criminals who should be tried for crimes against humanity for promoting these products. So where exactly are these alleged crimes against humanity happening? To whom have these alleged crimes against humanity occurred? In spite of all this hyperbole they are incapable of demonstrating where one person has died from these GMO’s, and the Indian suicide claims are a myth, which I addressed in an earlier post.

It would appear his crimes against humanity are imaginary! Yet, in just one arena, the stand by these eco-activists against the introduction of Golden Rice since 1999 has cost the lives of millions, and millions more who have been blinded and suffered from “a vulnerability to childhood infections, anemia and poor growth” as a direct result of their stand. I don’t know about anyone else, but that seems to me to be evidence of “real” harm, and “real” crimes against humanity because “real” people are suffering and dying. And who will answer for those “real” crimes against humanity?

He continues with his illusionary smears against those in science and journalism who won’t tout the green line by saying;

In every way imaginable, the scientists and journalist who blindly push GMOs are a great disservice to the scientific community and will only discredit science in the long run as the long-term harm caused by GMOs becomes undeniable.
REAL science allows for skeptical questions and embraces the precautionary principle, but quack "GMO science" abandons precaution while disparaging anyone who poses reasonable questions about playing God with nature.


Again – what is the “undeniable” long term harm? If it’s undeniable there must be evidence to support such a statement, and speculation isn’t evidence. Real science does allow for “skeptical questions”, but “real” eco-activists don’t! His ilk has demonstrated over and over again that eco-activists love name calling and personal attacks, because when you’re bereft of facts that's the only fallback position available.

 Let’s take Anthropogenic Global Warming – oops – I forgot, the world isn’t warming any longer so it’s now Anthropogenic “Climate”Change – as a classic example of such intolerance, calling those who disagree with AGW as “skeptics” and “deniers”, and claiming they’re the equivalent of“holocaust deniers”, and “flat Earthers”.

However he exposes what is the real foundational for their position. The Precautionary Principle (PP), which I have addressed in a previous post. Make no mistake about it – there is no end to the irrational demands which will be imposed on anything they oppose based on the PP. And there will never be enough testing, or enough money spent on testing or enough evidence in support of a product’s use that will provide a satisfactory answer for the green left.

 The Health Ranger continues by claiming the blind are leading the blind saying;

GMO shills, of course, dismiss all these concerns (or hope you don't notice them). Their foolish strategy is to cover their eyes, cover their ears and march humanity down this path of destruction, all while hoping to cash in on quarterly profit dividends in the mean time.

 Why is it everyone who disagrees with them is an industry“shill”? What a mixed bag of logical fallacies. Just what are these concerns he’s talking about that hasn’t been addressed? While he and his cohorts in no way accept any evidence that's in opposition to their positions, they will not, and cannot, present any factual information that is credible beyond speculation. Fortunately the public is becoming aware of their “Chicken Little – the sky is falling” scenarios. It’s like Dan Rather intoning– “questions remain”!

He then resorts to anti-capitalist demagoguery saying “hoping to cash in on quarterly profit dividends in the mean time”. When did it become criminal to make money for doing good work? Once again, I have to waste time pointing out that if there are no profits there are no products, and that’s what he wants. As a side bar - I don't see him giving away all those "health" supplements he sells on his site.

What should really concern society is not that companies are making profits by producing viable worthwhile products, but how the green movement cashes in by scare mongering against these products, as they did with the Alar scare.

He goes on to say;

There is no rational justification for putting the entire world at risk with genetically engineered crops that have clearly failed to be subjected to responsible long-term scientific testing.

Somehow I don’t think feeding a growing world population is an irrational justification for promoting GMO’s. Although the eco-left activists do! They’ve publically stated over and over again the world’s population needs to be trimmed to no more than two billion people. And those are the “moderates” among them! The “radicals” want to see humanity wiped out! As for putting the “world at risk” - other than his unfounded speculations - just how is the “entire world at risk”? We’ve been using GMO’s for decades and they’ve yet to demonstrate any harm – either in the short or long term. And that’s the fly in the ointment isn’t it? Long term consequences! What exactly does that mean?

Those of us who’ve had to deal with these people understand “long term” means “forever”! And until we can prove nothing does any harm “forever” – which is scientifically impossible – according to them it can’t be used. That’s the real world application of the PP by eco-activists.
 
But now he steps into it with both feet by claiming;

As with most other chemicals -- aspartame, Agent Orange, Bisphenol-A and so on -- industry simply unleashes them onto the world and hopes nothing goes wrong.

He’s back to logical fallacies and lies of omission. None of these products were merely dumped on the public. All chemicals, and GMO’s, have been tested extensively. As a basis for his reasoning he throws out products that have been attacked over and over again, such as Aspartame, Agent Orange and Bisphenol-A, which have all been tested and retested and retested ad nauseam. What have been the results? Let’s explore this!
In order to show how irresponsible Adams is let’s take a look at his examples of products “unleashed unto the world”.


"The constituents of the sweetener are phenylalanine and aspartic acid, two amino acids found in many different proteins, and methanol, an alcohol found in many fruits and vegetables, as well as in wine, whiskey and beer. At the levels supplied by Aspartame, only the phenylalanine is potentially dangerous, and then only to the relatively small proportion of people who are born with a condition known as phenylketonuria — an inability to metabolize this particular amino acid. In light of this, the FDA has mandated a label on Aspartame-containing products warning those people of its phenylalanine content."

"Aspartame has been tested and re-tested again and again to see if it is really a threat to human health — indeed it is probably the most widely tested food additive in the United States, if not the world. And the results of all this testing are that the product is safe at typically consumed levels — up to 40 milligrams of Aspartame per kilogram of body weight."

They’re quoting from the article The Truth About Aspartame and Your Health that goes far deeper into the chemistry of Aspartame and the real world of facts versus the world of imagination and speculation of the eco-activists.

Agent Orange – Dioxin is the common name for Agent Orange and has been called the most toxic manmade substance on Earth by eco-activists. Yet “two independent laboratories using different methodologies reported a single serving of the ice cream contained about 200 times the level of dioxin the EPA says is safe — according to the existing EPA standard. Under the new EPA standard, a serving of Ben & Jerry’s would exceed the EPA’s safe level by a whopping 2,000 times. The level would be about 7,400 times what the EPA says is safe for a 40-pound child.”

What’s even more interesting is a genetically engineered mouse cell line is “used for the detection and relative quantitation” for substances like dioxin.

Apparently those who attempted to assassinate Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko believed all the hype. He had 1000 times more dioxin in his blood than normal, and yet he lived. He was sick, in pain and suffered severe acne, but “the most toxic manmade substance on Earth”, failed to kill him.

So how dangerous are dioxins?No credible study to date has shown an increased risk of cancer, developmental disorders, or other illnesses attributable to exposure to "background" levels of dioxins or other organochlorines. Until very recently, even scientific studies of people exposed during industrial accidents to extremely high levels of dioxins failed to find any long-term adverse health symptoms.”

“Some scientists and policy advocates assumed humans are just as sensitive to dioxins as are guinea pigs and rats. Only later did it become widely known that humans (and several other species) are thousands of times less sensitive than these laboratory animals.”

Bisphenol-A - On July 7th of this year Angela Logomasini, Ph.D. published an article entitled, Greens' Attempt To Ban Bisphenol A Will Endanger Public Health”, stating;

Yet the overwhelming body of science on BPA shows the exact opposite: BPA bans are not only unwarranted, but they are the real danger to public health.” She goes on to say;

“EWG and other anti-BPA activists ignore the fact the comprehensive reviews of BPA science find BPA risks to be negligible and the benefits substantial. In addition to U.S. Food and Drug Administration, governmental bodies in the European Union, Japan, and Canada, as well as the World Health Organization have all studied BPA and concluded the risks are negligible. The best-designed studies show that the human body metabolizes BPA quickly, passing it out without any impacts.

 Ignoring these comprehensive scientific reviews, greens instead focus on myriad small, inconclusive, and poorly designed studies to sound the alarm and generate media hype. For example, EWG says in its press release: “It [BPA] has been linked to cancer, obesity, diabetes, infertility, hormone disruption and early puberty in children.”

It doesn’t matter what history and reality show, eco-activists will accept no conclusions that are contrary to the tenets of their secular neo-pagan religion – environmentalism.

Adams ends by saying; there is presently zero willingness on the part of biotech corporations to expend the kind of time, money and resources required to establish such safety. There is also zero willingness in the minds of GMO-fronting scientists to even consider the possibility that they might be wrong.”

It seems to me that can only be construed as a deliberate lie since he must be aware they’ve spent millions testing these products. The rest is all emotional horsepucky with a warning of playing Russian Roulette in hopes that Monsanto has thought of everything, and then intones that history proves otherwise. Well, truth is the sublime convergence of history and reality, and here's the truth. All advancements carry risks, but as history has shown, those advancements have far outweighed the risks, otherwise we would be living in mud huts, half starved, sick and short lived. Everything eco-activists yearn for. Just like so many in the third world who suffer from the actions of these misanthropic and morally defective people.