Sunday, August 31, 2014

12-year-old Girl Dies Hours After She is Injected with HPV Vaccine

The family of a 12-year-old girl from Wisconsin who died hours after receiving an HPV vaccine is grieving the loss of their daughter. Meredith Prohaska, described as being an extremely active and healthy girl, passed away on July 30th. [1]

According to a news report, Meredith’s mother took her to the doctor for a sore throat. At the doctor appointment, she received the HPV vaccine. Later in the afternoon, the mother found her daughter unresponsive on the floor, and she was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The parents suspect the vaccine as the primary cause of their daughter’s death. However, Meredith’s autopsy report rules her cause of death as inconclusive. [2]

Medical dogma is immune to “new insights,” especially when it comes from a parent on this topic, specifically. Many families also share Meredith’s story; the pain and emotional suffering is all too familiar. [3]

But despite her death, every excuse will be given to point away from the vaccine – this is called medical indoctrination – and there is a very good reason for doing so. The banal message from medical investigators, likely being to the grieving parents: “We don’t know what killed your daughter, but we know it was not the vaccine … vaccines are proven to be safe and effective. We’re terribly sorry for your loss.”

This is almost the exact message Dr. Geoffrey Swain offered, like a good little parrot, in the news interview immediately following the conversation with the grieving parents. He has an important role calming parents’ fears about vaccines, and his motives to manipulate public opinion were not so obvious, but if you knew he received money from the CDC or an organization that promotes vaccines, you may have a different opinion of him. More on that later in the article.

While it is reported the medical tests for the young girl will take months to get back for an answer, you can take this predictable script from the medical investigators to the bank.

Here’s why…
The System is Protected

Did you know, as an example, global sales for Gardasil, just one of the HPV vaccines manufactured by Merck Pharmaceuticals, were $1.8 billion in 2013? [4]

Did you also know since 2006, over 35,270 adverse events caused by HPV vaccines have been reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)? [5] This certainly isn’t news to government agencies and it shouldn’t be to you, either.

The same companies that manufacture vaccines also create drugs that are the fourth leading cause of death in the United States – they have a bad track record of leaving a path of death and destruction. [6,7]
I say all of this because the hard-to-swallow-truth is this: profits from selling vaccines are protected by law. Profits from selling vaccines must be protected at all costs. And yes – vaccine manufacturers profit in the hundreds of millions every year, peddling their vaccines to doctors and government agencies.

The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 (Public Law 99-660) created the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Under this program, vaccine manufacturers (and doctors) are given complete immunity from any legal liability if your child is harmed by their product. [8]

This law gives parents, like Meredith’s, few options to seek compensation legally. However, this law does not prohibit you from asking your doctor questions about vaccines or to exempt your child from being injected.

Coincidentally, questioning vaccines is the biggest enemy to pharmaceutical profits and the system. And here’s the kicker: For this system to work; you must be convinced to get your child vaccinated.

Adverse Reactions to Vaccines are Usually Downplayed

In society, it is taboo to question your doctor about vaccines, who, more often than not, act like a “Shot Salesman” or a puppet for the pharmaceutical industry, like Dr. Geoffrey Swain, instead of a medical professional.

During the news report of Meredith Prohaska’s death, Dr. Geoffrey Swain, a professor and medical doctor at the Milwaukee Health Department, states, “Vaccines in general and the HPV vaccine in particular, very, very safe. It’s a very safe vaccine and very effective,” and that, “serious side effects are nearly one in a million …” [2]

Why would Geoffrey downplay the role of vaccines in Meredith Prohaska’s death in a news interview?
Could it be because he received an award from the Centers for Disease Control for over $900,000 to investigate immunization rates? Or possibly because he received over $159,999 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a vaccine promoting non profit organization, investigating how school-based clinics could increase immunization rates? [9]

Maybe his roles for the Immunization Task Force for Milwaukee Public Schools, Wisconsin Council on Immunization Practices, and National Immunization Advisory Workgroup, National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) have some influence on why he promotes vaccines? [9]

Are you sure there isn’t a hidden agenda?

Whatever his motivations are, Meredith Prohaska’s death is a public relations disaster waiting to happen and her autopsy report must remain inconclusive. Admitting a vaccine is at fault for her death would “scare” other parents into not getting their child vaccinated, and that’s certainly not good for business.

One of the most powerful and effective actions you can take on becoming an informed parent, is to start investigating vaccines right now.

The sudden loss of Meredith Prohaska’s young life ending shortly after being vaccinated is a most tragic story.

Sadly, I predict her parents will not get many answers as to the root cause of her death. I understand many of you reading this story can empathize with her parents because you have also met this medically imposed “wall of silence.”

Nothing could damage the reputation of a company brand more than their vaccine maiming or killing children – this subject is strictly forbidden from being discussed.

Help Meredith's family

“All Natural” Bee-Saving Pesticide is Genetically Engineered

Farm Wars | Aug 29, 2014 | Barbara H. Peterson

Here we go again, folks. Recently Natural News published an article titled “New, all-natural pesticide unveiled by scientists – and it won’t kill the bees!“
Good news on the honeybee front — a team of scientists in the UK have created a biopesticide made from spider venom and plant protein that may provide hope for the endangered pollinators.

A study published in the research journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B [PDF] states that the experimental, nontoxic biopesticide Hv1a/GNA is “unlikely to cause detrimental effects on honeybees.”
Let’s just take a little peek at the source document – “Proceedings of the Royal Society B,” shall we?
Recombinant GNA, and the fusion protein Hv1a/GNA were produced in the yeast expression system…
Definition of “recombination:”
Re·com·bi·na·tion noun \ˌrē-ˌkäm-bə-ˈnā-shən\: the formation by the processes of crossing-over and independent assortment of new combinations of genes in progeny that did not occur in the parents.
What is a “fusion protein?”
Fusion proteins or chimeric proteins (literally, made of parts from different sources) are proteins created through the joining of two or more genes that originally coded for separate proteins. Translation of this fusion gene results in a single or multiple polypeptides with functional properties derived from each of the original proteins. Recombinant fusion proteins are created artificially by recombinant DNA technology
Sounds like genetic engineering to me. But wait, there’s more…

The making of the Hv1a/GNA pesticide from the Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology:
Optimising expression of the recombinant fusion protein biopesticide ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a/GNA in Pichia pastoris: sequence modifications and a simple method for the generation of multi-copy strains


Production of recombinant protein bio-insecticides on a commercial scale can only be cost effective if host strains with very high expression levels are available. A recombinant fusion protein containing an arthropod toxin, ω-hexatoxin-Hv1a, (from funnel web spider Hadronyche versuta) linked to snowdrop lectin (Galanthus nivalis agglutinin; GNA) is an effective oral insecticide and candidate biopesticide. However, the fusion protein was vulnerable to proteolysis during production in the yeast Pichia pastoris. To prevent proteolysis, the Hv1a/GNA fusion expression construct was modified by site-directed mutagenesis to remove a potential Kex2 cleavage site at the C-terminus of the Hv1a peptide. To obtain a high expressing clone of P. pastoris to produce recombinant Hv1a/GNA, a straightforward method was used to produce multi-copy expression plasmids, which does not require multiple integrations to give clones of P. pastoris containing high copy numbers of the introduced gene. Removal of the Kex2 site resulted in increased levels of intact fusion protein expressed in wild-type P. pastoris strains, improving levels of intact recombinant protein recoverable. Incorporation of a C-terminal (His)6 tag enabled single step purification of the fusion protein. These modifications did not affect the insecticidal activity of the recombinant toxin towards lepidopteran larvae. Introduction of multiple expression cassettes increased the amount of secreted recombinant fusion protein in a laboratory scale fermentation by almost tenfold on a per litre of culture basis. Simple modifications in the expression construct can be advantageous for the generation of high expressing P. pastoris strains for production of a recombinant protein, without altering its functional properties.

So, according to Natural News, genetic engineering, cloning and mutagenesis are “all natural.” So much for labels. Need I say more?

©2014 Barbara H. Peterson

Research Reveals How Sugar CAUSES Cancer

© Green Med Info
Green Med Info | Apr 22, 2014 | Sayer Ji

The average American consumes their body weight annually in this cancer-causing substance, and yet hospitals freely feed it to their cancer patients, oblivious to the harm it does.

Hospitals feed cancer patients sugar and high carbohydrate diets for a reason: they are abysmally ignorant of the role of nutrition in health and disease -- hence their burgeoning growth and packed rooms.

Even though the science itself shows – at least since the mid-20's with Otto Warburg's cancer hypothesis -- that tumors prefer to utilize sugar fermentation to produce energy rather than the much more efficient oxygen-based phosphorylation* – hospitals have actually invited corporations like McDonald's to move into their facilities  to 'enhance' their patient's gustatory experience, presumably to provide comfort and take the edge off of the painful surgery, radiation and chemo treatments erroneously proffered to them as the only reasonable 'standard of care.'

But the times are changing, with new research requiring these medical institutions to reform their dietary strategies, at least if they wish to claim that their interventions are in fact 'evidence-based' ...
New Study Reveals Sugar Doesn't Just Feed But Causes Cancer 

A groundbreaking new study, uncovered by one of our volunteer researchers at Greenmedinfo – Jonathan Middleton – is the first of its kind to identify sugar, not only as  fuel source for an already existing cancer, but as a primary driver in oncogenesis – i.e. the initiation of cancerous characteristics (phenotype) within previously healthy cells.

Published in the Journal of Cliinical Investigation and titled, Increased sugar uptake promotes oncogenesis via EPAC/RAP1 and O-GlcNAc pathways, researchers addressed a common perception (or misperception) in the cancer research community regarding sugar's relationship to cancer: namely, "increased glycolysis [sugar based metabolis] is frequently viewed as a consequence of oncogenic events that drive malignant cell growth and survival."

Contrary to this conventional view, the new study "provide[s] evidence that increased glycolytic activation itself can be an oncogenic event..."  That is to say, the activation of sugar-based metabolism in a cell – driven by both the presence of increased quantities of glucose and the increase glucose receptors on the cell membrane surface (i.e. "overexpression of a glucose transporter") – drives cancer initiation.

Moreover, the study found that "Conversely, forced reduction of glucose uptake by breast cancer cells led to phenotypic reversion." In other words, interfering with sugar availability and uptake to the cell causes the cancer cell to REVERSE towards its pre-cancer structure-function (phenotype).
What Are The Implications of This Research to the Diet?  

What this new research indicates is that sugar – of which Americans consume an astounding 160 lbs annually (imagine: 31 five-pound bags for each of us!) – is one of the primary causes of metabolic cell changes in the body consistent with the initiation and promotion of cancer. And, the research indicates that removing it from the diet, and depriving the cells of it, could REVERSE cancer.
Hidden Sugar, Crouching Cancer 

It has been estimated by the USDA that the average American consumes 200 lbs of grain products annually. Why is this relevant to the question of sugar in the diet? Because refined carbohydrate products – e.g. crackers, bread, pasta, cereal – are actually 'hidden' forms of sugar. In fact, puffed rice causes your blood to become sweeter (and presumably feeds more cancer cells sugar) than white sugar, as it is higher on the glycemic index. Adding the two figures together – annual per capita consumption of sugar and grain-based products – we get a jaw dropping 360 lbs of sugar (both overt (table sugar/high fructose corn syrup) and covert (grain carbs) annually – all of which may contribute to promoting the ideal metabolic situation of cancer cells: aerobic glycolysis.

This is one reason why the ketogenic diet – that is, a fat- and protein-focused diet devoid of carbohydrate, both in simple (sugar) and complex (grain product) form – has been found so useful in the most aggressive of cancers: including brain cancer. Once you 'pull the rug out' from under the sugar/carb-craving cancer cells, they are forced to either undergo programmed cell death (apoptosis) or re-differentiate back into non-cancerous phenotypes.

If It's So Bad For Us, Why Do We Eat So Much?  

One of the primary reasons why we eat sugar and carbohydrate rich diets is because they are addictive. Within minutes of consuming sugar/carbs our body goes through a neuroendocrine roller coaster. Your brain can not survive very long without glucose, the fundamental energy unit of the cell, and will 'freak out' if deprived of a steady stream of this 'nutrient' within only 2-3 minutes. The endocrine system, on the other hand, perceives the danger of high sugar – namely, glycation associated damage to protein and lipid structures within the cells of our body; think: blood caramelizing, getting sticky, and gumming up the finely tuned works – and will release hormones such as insulin, adrenaline and cortisol, in order to try to get the elevated sugar in the blood and tissues under control. Insulin forces the sugar into storage within the cell, both as glycogen and as fat, but often does its job too well, causing available glucose levels in the brain to be depleted – setting off a vicious cycle of 'emergency signals' telling the body to release more cortisol and adrenaline to increase the levels of glucose in the blood. This, of course, will result in additional insulin production and release, causing the same cycle to be repeated over and over again.

This seemingly endless vicious cycle is responsible for the insatiable cravings a high carb/sugar diet generates – not to mention the fructose-based hedonic effects generated in the brain that modulate both opioid and dopamine receptors in the nervous system (not unlike alcohol), and the pharmacologically active peptides in many gluten-containing grains, which also drive addictive behaviors and an almost psychotic fixation on getting carbs at each meal.

No wonder we have an epidemic of cancer in a world where the Westernized diet prevails. Certainly, we do not mean to indicate that a sugar/carb-rich diet is the only cause of cancer. There are many other factors that contribute to cancer initiation and promotion, such as:
  • Chemical exposure
  • Radiation exposure
  • Chronic stress that suppresses the immune system
  • Vaccines containing hidden retroviruses and cancer causing viruses
  • Natural infection with bacteria and viruses that are cancer causing
  • Lack of sleep
  • Insufficient nutrients (lack of methyl donors such as B12, folate, and B6 will prevent the body from 'turning off' (methylating) cancer-promoting genes
Even though cancer is a complex, multi-factorial phenomena, with variables we can not always control, one thing we can do is control what goes into our mouth. Sugar, for instance, does not belong there if we truly want to prevent and/or treat cancer.  And don't forget, carbohydrates that don't taste sweet on the front end – bread, crackers, cereal – certainly convert to sugar in the body within minutes post-consumption.

In a nutshell, if you are concerned about cancer, have cancer, or would like to prevent recurrence, removing sugar and excess carbohydrates is a must. Not only is it common sense, but it is now validated by experimental research.

 *Note: Cancer cells prefer to ferment sugar as a form of energy even when there is sufficient oxygen available to the cells to do so; hence Warburg's description of cancer metabolism as 'aerobic glycolysis' or the so-called 'Warburg effect'

Sayer Ji is the founder of, an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO Free Coalition (GGFC), and an advisory board member of the National Health Federation.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Monsanto in Ukraine: IMF loan for Ukraine may give GMO giant a backdoor into EU

RT | Aug 30, 2014
Reuters / Bogdan Cristel

Ukraine’s bid for closer ties with the west could come at a cost. With the IMF set to loan the country $17 billion, the deal could also see GMO crops grown in some of the most fertile lands on the continent, warns Frederic Mousseau.
Very few, not least the Ukrainian population are aware of these details, but according to Mousseau, who is a Policy Director at The Oakland Institute, in return for the cash, Ukraine could very well become a test ground for GMO crops in Europe, something the rest of the European Union has been looking to prevent. RT caught up with the Frenchman, who voiced his concerns at what may lay ahead.
RT: When this $17 billion deal is approved by the IMF and the Ukrainian ban on GM crops is lifted, does that mean it is just a matter of time before Ukrainian farmers grow modified crops?
Frederic Mousseau: This is very likely because there is a lot of pressure from the bio-technological industry, such as Monsanto, to have these approved in Ukraine. It is also part of the EU Association Agreement, which has a particular article which calls for the expansion of bio-technology and GMOs in Ukraine.
RT: If it was one of the pre-conditions of the multi-billion dollar loan, do you think it is fair to say that Monsanto has considerable influence over the IMF and the World Bank and even dictates terms to them?
FM: We saw in 2013 that Monsanto invested $140 million in new seed plans in Ukraine. It is clearly the bread basket of Europe and it is a key target for a company like Monsanto, which sees this huge potential for production and this huge market. Europe has been quite resistant in allowing GMOs, but if they are successful in Ukraine then there might be a domino effect in Europe.
RT: Was it a coincidence or a pre-planned action back in December 2013, when the ban on GM goods was lifted in Ukraine, just weeks before the IMF was supposed to give that county a loan?
FM: It can’t be a coincidence because we have seen a very strong mobilization of the industry and the agro business in lobbying the government and the EU to have these changes in the legislation. Also we have seen this investment coming in prior to any adoption of GMOs. So clearly this pressure was there and to have such a clause in the EU Association Agreement means that the lobbyists in the industry must have been at work for months before that.

AFP Photo / Juliette Michel
RT: The president of the US-Ukraine Business Council has said that it is necessary to get the Ukrainian government out of the agriculture business and transform it into a private sector industry. Can we say that America has set its sights on the vast fields that could be a gold mine for agriculture?
FM: There are these seed businesses like Monsanto and pesticide companies, but there is also the land of Ukraine, which has so far been under the control of the Ukrainian government and has not been available for sale. There will be a big push to privatize this land and make it a valuable commodity, which can be acquired by foreign corporations. What we have seen in recent years is that even if the land could not be purchased, it has been leased on a massive scale. Already 1.6 million hectares have been acquired by foreign entities and it is very likely that if the reform programs continue, there will be more companies, more interest and they will be looking to strike deals for Ukrainian land.
RT: There is considerable anti-GMO sentiment around the world. If you take this into account, how beneficial would it be for Ukraine to rely on the US-based GMO crops industry?
FM: It comes as part of an agreement with the EU and we know that European citizens and farmers are against GMOs, but still we have a deal with the European Union, who have worked out a deal with Ukraine to expand the use of GMOs. It seems like it has been something that has been arranged by the lobbyists of corporations and the civil servants within the European Commission. We have seen all over the world that this is not beneficial for farmers, it is not beneficial to citizens. It is just in the interest of the corporations who are taking over control of seeds used by farmers around the world. The food that is produced does not become better or cheaper.
RT: How harmful potentially do you think growing GMO crops could be for those rich fertile Ukrainian soils?
FM: We have seen in the US, where GMO crops have been cultivated for a couple of decades now. We have concerns about the quality of soil because the use of GMOs comes with a high level of the use of fertilizers and this destroys a lot of the organic materials in the soils. There is also a very high risk of contamination for those farmers who choose not to use GMOs and we have seen this very clearly in North America where there has been a lot of contamination.

Seeds of Truth: A Response to Michael Specter’s Article in The New Yorker

Eco Watch | Aug 29, 2014 | Vandana Shiva

I am glad that the future of food is being discussed, and thought about, on farms, in homes, on TV, online and in magazines, especially of The New Yorker’s caliber. The New Yorker has held its content and readership in high regard for so long. The challenge of feeding a growing population with the added obstacle of climate change is an important issue. Michael Specter’s piece, however, is poor journalism. I wonder why a journalist who has been Bureau Chief in Moscow for The New York Times and Bureau Chief in New York for the Washington Post, and clearly is an experienced reporter, would submit such a misleading piece. Or why The New Yorker would allow it to be published as honest reporting, with so many fraudulent assertions and deliberate attempts to skew reality.

Seeds of Doubt contains many lies and inaccuracies that range from the mundane (we never met in a café but in the lobby of my hotel where I had just arrived from India to attend a High Level Round Table for the post 2015 SDGs of the UN) to grave fallacies that affect people’s lives. The piece has now become fodder for the social media supporting the Biotech Industry. Could it be that rather than serious journalism, the article was intended as a means to strengthen the biotechnology industry’s push to ‘engage consumers’? Although creative license is part of the art of writing, Michael Specter cleverly takes it to another level, by assuming a very clear position without spelling it out.

Specter’s piece starts with inaccurate information, by design.
“Early this spring, the Indian environmentalist Vandana Shiva led an unusual pilgrimage across southern Europe. Beginning in Greece, with the international Pan-Hellenic Exchange of Local Seed Varieties Festival, which celebrated the virtues of traditional agriculture, Shiva and an entourage of followers crossed the Adriatic and travelled by bus up the boot of Italy, to Florence, where she spoke at the Seed, Food and Earth Democracy Festival. After a short planning meeting in Genoa, the caravan rolled on to the South of France, ending in Le Mas d’Azil, just in time to celebrate International Days of the Seed.”
On April 26, at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, one of Germany’s most renowned state theatres. I gave a keynote speech for a conference on the relation of democracy and war in times of scarce resources and climate change. From Berlin I flew into Florence for a Seed Festival organized by the Government of the Region of Tuscany, Italy, The Botanical garden of Florence (the oldest in Europe), Banca Etica and Navdanya. I was joined by a caravan of seed savers, and we carried on to Le Mas d’Azil where we had a conference of all the European seed movements.

It would be convenient in the narrative that Specter attempts to weave, to make this exercise look like a joyride of “unscientific people on a ‘pilgrimage.’” Writing about the European governments, universities and movements accurately would not suit Specter’s intention because the strong resistance (including from governments) to GMOs in Europe is based on science.

My education doesn’t suit his narrative either: a Ph.D. on the “Hidden Variables and Non-locality in Quantum Theory.” Specter has reduced my M.Sc. Honors in Physics to a B.Sc. for convenience.  Mr. Specter and the Biotech Industry (and The New Yorker, by association) would like to identify the millions of people opposing GMOs as unscientific, romantic, outliers. My education is obviously a thorn in their side.
When I asked if she had ever worked as a physicist, she suggested that I search for the answer on Google. I found nothing, and she doesn’t list any such position in her biography.”
Specter has twisted my words, to make it seem like I was avoiding his question. I had directed him to my official website since for the past few months I have repeatedly been asked about my education. The Wikipedia page about me has been altered to make it look like I have never studied science. The Biotech Industry would like to erase my academic credentials. I have failed to see how it makes me more or less capable of the work I do on evolving and ecological paradigm of science. I consciously made a decision to dedicate my life to protect the Earth, its ecosystems and communities. Quantum theory taught me the four principles that have guided my work: everything is interconnected, everything is potential, everything is indeterminate, and there is no excluded middle. Every intellectual breakthrough I have made over the last 40 years has been to move from a mechanistic paradigm to an ecological one. I had the choice to continue my studies in the foundations of Quantum Theory at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) or to take up a research position in interdisciplinary studies on science policy at IIM, Bangalore. I chose the latter because I wanted a deeper understanding of the relationships between science and society.

This was my email response to Specter, copied to the editor of The New Yorker, David Remnick:

A tight schedule must have kept Specter from mentioning Africa in his piece, although he intended to, given that a considerable amount of the world’s poor are also in Africa and must be fed. But Africa might not have needed addressing, probably because the Biotech Industry is happy with the progress they are making in deploying GMO cotton and banana in Africa. In the U.S., six-week human trials of these bio-fortified bananas are happening as I write this. And what are these bananas? They are bananas into which they have put a gene found in another variety of banana that has elevated levels of Beta-Carotene. They could have just used the banana with higher Beta-Carotene if the intent was to alleviate Vitamin A Deficiency, but there’s no money in that.

Specter calls me a Brahmin, which is inaccurate and a deliberate castist aspersion, insinuating falsely, elitism. ‘Shiva’ is not a Brahmin caste name. My parents consciously adopted a caste-less name as part of their involvement in the Indian Independence Movement that included a fight against the caste system. But this is inconvenient to Specter’s narrative.

Specter’s gift for half-truths is evidenced when he says:
“Shiva said last year that Bt-cotton-seed costs had risen by eight thousand percent in India since 2002. In fact, the prices of modified seeds, which are regulated by the government, have fallen steadily.”
“Bt-cotton-seed costs had risen by eight thousand per cent in India since 2002” is incorrect. I did not say that. The cost of cotton seed after the 2002 approval of Bt-cotton, when compared to the price of cotton seed before Monsanto entered the market in 1998, has increased exponentially. The percentage was used in reference to this increase. I was a little conservative when I said “8000%”, since I didn’t maximize the number for effect. I’m not predisposed to hyperbole. I am grateful to Specter for pointing this out. I’ll redo the math now.

Monsanto entered the Indian market illegally in 1998, we sued them on 6th Jan in 1999. Before Monsanto’s entry to the market, local seeds cost farmers between ₨5 and ₨10 per kg. After Bt Cotton was allowed into the market Monsanto started to strengthen its monopoly through (i) ‘Seed Replacement’, in which Monsanto would swap out farmers seeds with their own, claiming superiority of their ‘product’, and (ii) ‘Licensing Agreements’ with the 60 companies that were providing seeds in the Indian market at the time. Monsanto ensured a monopoly on cotton seeds in India and priced the seeds at ₨1,600 for a package of 450 gms (₨3555.55 per kg, out of which the royalty component was ₨1,200). ₨3555.55 is approximately 711 times ₨5, the pre-Bt price. The correct percentage increase would be 71,111 percent.

It is this dramatic price increase that I always talk about.

The reduction of prices that Specter mentions was because the State of Andhra Pradesh and I took the issue to the Monopoly and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission (India’s Anti-Trust Court) and Monsanto was ordered, by the MRTP Court and the Andhra Pradesh Government, to reduce the price of its seed. Monsanto did not willfully reduce its prices, nor was an “Invisible Hand” at work. He quotes the Farmers Rights Clause in Indian law from the Plant Variety Protection and Farmers Rights Act, deliberately misnaming a clause as an act, misleading anyone who might want to do some research of their own, as many readers of The New Yorker do.
“Shiva also says that Monsanto’s patents prevent poor people from saving seeds. That is not the case in India. The Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001 guarantees every person the right to ‘save, use, sow, resow, exchange, share, or sell’ his seeds. Most farmers, though, even those with tiny fields, choose to buy newly bred seeds each year, whether genetically engineered or not, because they insure better yields and bigger profits.”
I do say Monsanto’s patents prevent poor people from saving seeds. They prevent anyone who is not ‘Monsanto’ from saving or having seeds including researchers and breeders. This is true in most parts of the world. Specter makes it appear as though Indian farmers are protected and have always been, merely by mentioning “The Farmers’ Rights Act of 2001.” I happen to have been a member of the expert group appointed by our Agriculture Ministry to draft that very act. We have worked very hard to make this happen and I am very proud of the fact that India has built Farmers Rights into its laws. But the farmers are not completely protected since Monsanto has found clever ways around the laws, including collecting Royalties renamed as ‘Technology Fees’. This issue has many pending cases in Indian courts.

This section in Specter’s piece is designed to deliberately break the established connections between GMOs, Seed Patents and IPRs, and mislead his readers to echo Monsanto’s attempt to hide the catastrophic implications of a seed monopoly and Bt-Cotton’s failure in India as it tries to enter new markets in Africa proclaiming it’s success in India. Indian farmers can’t choose to buy genetically modified or hybrid varieties. Choosing would require choice, an alternative. Monsanto has systematically dismantled all alternatives for the cotton farmer. Monsanto’s hold on corn, soya and canola is almost as strong as their monopoly on cotton. Approximately $10 billion is collected annually from U.S. farmers by Monsanto, as royalty payments. Monsanto has been sued for $ 2.2 billion by Brazilian farmers for collecting royalty on farm-saved seeds. The seed market is no longer governed by market forces. The element of choice is missing altogether. The farmer can only choose if he has an option.

In its evidence to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Agriculture, the Monsanto representative admitted that half the price of Monsanto seeds is royalty. My work and the work of movements in India, has prevented Monsanto from having patents on living resources and biological processes. Article 3(J) of our patent clause was used by the Indian Patent Office to reject Monsanto’s broad claim patent application on climate resilient seeds. In other countries that do not share our history, Monsanto uses such patents to sue farmers, such as Percy Schmeiser in Canada (for $200,000) as well as 1,500 other farmers in the U.S. In the case of Monsanto vs Bowman, Monsanto sued a farmer who had not even purchased seeds from them.

If Specter had really listened, he would have heard what I was actually saying about seed monopolies, even if it was inconvenient to his story. I’m sure that during his research over the last 8 months, he would have come across at least some of these examples of oppression.
“Although India bans genetically modified food crops, Bt cotton, modified to resist the bollworm, is planted widely. Since the nineteen-nineties, Shiva has focused the world’s attention on Maharashtra by referring to the region as India’s ‘suicide belt,’ and saying that Monsanto’s introduction of genetically modified cotton there has caused a ‘genocide.’ There is no place where the battle over the value, safety, ecological impact, and economic implications of genetically engineered products has been fought more fiercely. Shiva says that two hundred and eighty-four thousand Indian farmers have killed themselves because they cannot afford to plant Bt cotton. Earlier this year, she said, ‘Farmers are dying because Monsanto is making profits—by owning life that it never created but it pretends to create. That is why we need to reclaim the seed. That is why we need to get rid of the G.M.O.s. That is why we need to stop the patenting of life.’”
If Specter had actually travelled across the cotton belt in Maharashtra State (surely the Monsanto office could have easily directed him there), he would have heard from his trusted sources that there is a decline in Bt Cotton cultivation in favor of Soy Bean due to failed Bt crops. He would have heard of Datta Chauhan of Bhamb village who swallowed poison on Nov. 5, 2013, because his Bt cotton crop did not survive the heavy rains in July that year. He would have heard of Shankar Raut and Tatyaji Varlu, from Varud village, both who committed suicide due to the failure of their Bt Cotton. Tatyaji Varlu was unable to repay the Rs. 50,000 credit through which he received seeds. Specter could have met and spoken to the family of seven left behind by Ganesh, in Chikni village, following the repeated failure of his Bt Cotton crop. Ganesh had no option but to buy more Bt Cotton and try his luck multiple times because Bt Cotton was the only cotton seed in the market, brilliantly marketed under multiple brand names through Licensing Arrangements that Monsanto has with Indian companies. Multiple packages, multiple promises but the contents of each of those expensive packets is the same: it’s all Bt. It’s vulnerable to failure because of too much or too little water, reliant on fertilizer, and susceptible to pests without pesticide, all additional costs. The farmer, with a field too small to impress Specter, does not choose Bt Cotton of his free will. That choice is dictated by the system Specter attempts to hail.

Specter and the BioTech twitter brigade have found resonance and are harping on my “confusing a correlation with causation”. Allow me to explain the cause to these scientific and rational people and hopefully help them pull their heads out of the sand.

By destroying the alternative sources of seed, as I explained earlier, a monopoly was established. Promises were made of higher yield and a reduction of pesticide costs to initially woo farmers. With a monopoly, Monsanto increased the price of seeds since it didn’t have to compete in the market. In India, the agents that sell Monsanto seeds also sell the pesticides and fertilizer, on credit. A Bt Cotton farmer starts the cultivation season with debt and completes the cycle with the sale of the crop after multiple applications of fertilizer and pesticide acquired on more credit. As the Bt-toxin was rendered useless, the crop was infested by new pests and yields of Bt Cotton started to decline, more fertilizer and pesticide were purchased and used by the farmers in the hope of a better yield next time around, destroying soil health. Degraded soil led to lower yields and further financial losses to the farmers. Many farmers would plant seed from another brand, not knowing it was the same exact Monsanto seed Bollguard, and that it would not fare any better and would require more fertilizer and pesticide than before, going deeper and deeper into debt. This cycle of high cost seeds and rising chemical requirements is the debt trap, from which the farmers see no escape, and which drives these farmers of the cotton belt to suicide. There is a cause for each and every farmer taking his own life, he is not driven to it by correlation. And the cause is a high cost monopoly system with no alternativeIf it were any other product, Monsanto would be liable for false advertising, and a product liability claim due to intentional misrepresentation regarding Bt Cotton. Specter promotes a system of agriculture that fails to deliver on its promises of higher yield and lower costs and propagates exploitation.

Not only does Specter support a system which leaves no alternatives for farmers, he also promotes the force feeding of consumers, with GMOs, including victims of disasters.
In 1999, ten thousand people were killed and millions were left homeless when a cyclone hit India’s eastern coastal state of Orissa. When the U.S. government dispatched grain and soy to help feed the desperate victims, Shiva held a news conference in New Delhi and said that the donation was proof that “the United States has been using the Orissa victims as guinea pigs” for genetically engineered products. She also wrote to the international relief agency Oxfam to say that she hoped it wasn’t planning to send genetically modified foods to feed the starving survivors. When neither the U.S. nor Oxfam altered its plans, she condemned the Indian government for accepting the provisions.
Specter is ill informed about the cyclone in Orissa, or he copied this information from another inaccurate report accusing me of making the cyclone victims starve. The US aid was a blend of corn and soy, not grain. The agency distributing it was C.A.R.E. After the cyclone in 1999 that devastated the east coast of India, Navdanya was involved in the rehabilitation of the victims on the ground in Orissa and has been involved in such efforts each time there has been a calamity in that region. The shipment Specter mentions, under a humanitarian guise, was an attempt to circumvent India’s ban on the import of GMOs. The farmers who received the tainted shipment called it inedible. A nondescript mixture of soy and corn is not food for rice eating peoples. We tested this mixture and found it to be genetically engineered corn and soya. The results were sent to the Health Ministry and the Government ordered an immediate stop to the illegal import of GMOs. The hybrid rice available in the market would not grow in the saline soil left behind by the cyclone. Navdanya provided the farmers with salt-tolerant varieties to allow them to rebuild their livelihoods and for them to have food. The Orissa farmers, later, shared their salt-tolerant seeds with the victims of the tsunami that hit Tamil Nadu in 2004. Monsanto, through its influence in USAID, has used every natural and climate disaster to push its GMO seeds on devastated communities, including Haiti after the earthquake, where farmers protested against this imposition. Monsanto has also taken thousands of patents on climate resilience in traditional seeds and has acquired climate research corporations to exploit the vulnerability of communities in the future. This is not humanitarian from any perspective.

Specter is also supporting the Biotech Industry attack on Governments passing GMO labelling laws in the U.S. Coincidentally, following The New Yorker piece, Michael Specter just wrote another piece questioning GMO labeling in America. The Biotech Industry is now suing the state of Vermont for its labeling laws. The grounds of Monsanto’s suit is that labeling their product would infringe on Monsanto’s first amendment right. Specter’s two articles work very well together.  An obvious question is whether Specter set out to do a profile on me at all or whether this was a calculated attempt to attack the burgeoning anti-GMO movement within the US?Both articles were conveniently timed to mislead consumers in the US about legislation in their own country by using fallacies about the situation in India.
“Between 1996, when genetically engineered crops were first planted, and last year, the area they cover has increased a hundredfold—from 1.7 million hectares to a hundred and seventy million. Nearly half of the world’s soybeans and a third of its corn are products of biotechnology. Cotton that has been engineered to repel the devastating bollworm dominates the Indian market, as it does almost everywhere it has been introduced.”
Being the only seed in the market through monopoly would, of course, be domination. The Bt-cotton seed is not dominating markets because it is effective. Bt-cotton has led to the emergence of resistance to Bt in the Bollworm and the emergence of pests that never affected cotton earlier, forcing the increased use of pesticides accompanied by lower yields. Specter quotes acreage but fails to mention that in the US, Round-Up Ready corn and soya are plagued by super-weeds. The only new “technologies” being touted by the Biotech Industry are Bt and Ht (Herbicide Tolerant). Both these ‘technologies’ have failed to deliver on what they promised- the control of pests and weeds. This is because they got the science wrong, the ecological science that allows us to understand pests and weed control, and the evolution of resistance in pests and weeds.

Almost a century and a quarter after The Jungle Book, Specter is stuck in Kipling’s India. He uses imagery of elephants and natives to subtly invoke a fetishized idea of eastern cultures that resonates with a western perspective, a truly romantic one.
“The majority of local farmers travel to the market by bullock cart. Some walk, and a few drive. A week earlier, a local agricultural inspector told me, he had seen a cotton farmer on an elephant and waved to him. The man did not respond, however, because he was too busy talking on his cell phone.”
The third person account of a farmer on an elephant with a mobile phone makes for a lovely visual. What is Specter trying to achieve with this? There is an implication of contradictions here, an idea that milestones in “development,” like the cell phone, symbols of modernity, have no place in the same frame as an elephant. If Specter looked around, listened and understood, he would have noticed that the cell phone is a necessity of life in the 21st century, even in India. In fact, India has more mobile phone subscribers than the US. We also have elephants and they do exist together. Elephants cost more than a midsize car, to buy and to keep, especially in a semi-arid area like Aurangabad.

Invoking imagery of a quaint India reveals an ethnographic prejudice that fits right into the strategy of seemingly ‘helping’ India while extracting, like colonizers, capital and natural resources from the colonies. In ways other than the obvious, Specter sounds like an Angrez Sahib (English Sahib) describing the ‘natives’ in 1943, when he notes
“skin the color of burnt molasses and the texture of a well- worn saddle”
One can only hope that he may overcome his disdain of non-white, non-industrial populations, Indian farmers, and farmers in general, because he seems to view them as inferior and incapable of feeding themselves and their growing population even though the Food and Agriculture Organization reports that 70 percent of global food comes from small farms. It shows the sort of narrow minded thinking that is paraded as reason in a bid to justify the imposition of GMOs to create new sources of royalties. A system of food production that accounts for only 30 percent of the food people eat cannot be presented as a solution to hunger.

Specter attempts to use the 100-degree heat and dusty roads to distract from the elephant in the room, which incidentally has a farmer riding it, no cell phone, just crippling debt. How are second-hand stories from one village, during a fleeting visit “a scientific study” about the situation across the 3,500,000 hectares of cotton cultivation in Maharashtra State. I have been going to Vidarbha in Maharashtra since 1982 when we launched Samvardhan, the national organic movement, from Gandhi’s ashram in Seva Gram. I have seen, first-hand, a proud region of hard working, productive farmers, growing diverse and multiple crops, reduced to indebtedness and a complete desperation. And Navdanya has been working in this devastated region for the past two decades to create hope and alternatives for the farmers and the widows of those who were driven to suicide. The crisis we witness today is like the crisis created by colonialism. Specter mentions the Great Bengal Famine but only provides partial information.
“In 1943 alone, during the final years of the British Raj, more than two million people died in the Bengal Famine. “By the time we became free of colonial rule, the country was sucked dry,” Suman Sahai told me recently.
The Bengal Famine was caused by the ongoing war as well as a tax in which the British took 50% of every farmer’s crop. This sort of taxation, in today’s India has taken the form of royalties, especially in cotton. Even before a seed has been planted, money has left the farm and made its way to St. Louis. It can’t be difficult to see the similarity between seed monopolies and colonialism.

The real reason for the Bengal Famine was speculation–as evidenced by Amartya Sen’s extensive work–that drove the prices of food so high that most people could not afford it. It was mostly a man-made famine. The same system of speculation that caused famines, like that of 1943, exists today. It’s now more organized, more lethal and captained by Wall Street. Large Agri-business, armed with near-monopoly power, increase prices beyond market determined increases in costs.

Although, Specter writes about India becoming an exporting nation, he hides the fact that as a result of ‘Free Trade’ India has now become heavily dependent on imports of oil-seeds and pulses—staples for millions of Indians. In the nineties, because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), prices of tortillas in Mexico City rose sharply while the price of corn, sold by Mexican farmers, went down. Free trade does not imply free-market, and more often than not it means the poor go hungry while profits of corporations, especially in agriculture, increase.

International financial speculation has played a major role in food price increases since the summer of 2007. Specter quotes import and export data many times in his piece. Most of this trade is mandated by trade agreements written by these very corporations. Due to the financial collapse in America, speculators moved from financial products to land and food, which explains the increasing speculation on food and land-grab. This directly affects prices in domestic markets. Many countries are becoming increasingly dependent on food imports. Speculators bet on artificially created scarcity, even while production levels remain high.  Based on these predictions, Big Agriculture has been manipulating the markets. Traders keep stocks away from the market in order to stimulate price increases and generate huge profits afterwards.

In Indonesia, in the midst of the soya price hike in January 2008, the company PT Cargill Indonesia was still keeping 13,000 tons of soybeans in its warehouse in Surabaya, waiting for prices to reach record highs. This artificial inflation of prices is a result of profits to be made from financial speculation, and creates hunger when there is actually enough food to feed everyone on the planet. Frederick Kaufman, in his Harpers Magazine article, “How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it,” writes that “imaginary wheat bought anywhere affects real wheat bought everywhere.

Specter would have served The New Yorker and himself well by doing a little more research before narrating the stories from his trip to India. His one-day trip speaking with one farmer and a nameless agricultural inspector is hardly part of scientific reasoning. Specter’s piece is ripe with fabrication. He says he went and met cotton farmers near Aurangabad in:
“late spring, after most of the season’s cotton had been picked.”
For the record, in the Maharashtra state, cotton is a Kharif crop, sown in June or July depending on the monsoon and harvested between the months of November and February. It is unlikely that the farmers would have waited for Mr. Michael Specter to show up this May so that he could catch the tail end of the harvest.  As curiously, Specter chose not go to the Vidarbha region with the most Bt-Cotton related farmer suicides.

We work with the farmers and the widows in Vidarbha to rebuild their lives and give them hope. Farmers that have escaped the debt-trap created by Bt Cotton and it’s ancillary requirements of chemical fertilizers and pesticides have done so through the use of seeds made available through organic farming and community seed banks set up by Navdanya. Through the availability of these seeds and not having to buy pesticides and fertilizers, the net income of these farmers has increased.

Nilesh, a Bt cotton farmer in Chikni village in Yavatmal District, for an acre in 2013-14, spent ₨1,860 for seeds, ₨1,000 for pesticides, ₨1,500 for fertilizer, ₨500 for irrigation. Without adding any other expenses he might have had his expenses amount to ₨4,860 per acre. His yield per acre of 1 quintal (100 kg) that sold for ₨4600 left him with a lossof ₨260 per acre. In contrast, Marotirao Deheka who farms organically in Pimpri village in Yavatmal District spent ₨400 on seeds, ₨750 on irrigation, ₨3,000 on all other costs to a lower total of ₨4,150 per acre. Yet, his yield of 3 quintals, which sold for ₨15000, earned him a net profit of ₨10,850.

The role of  “journalist-turned-activist,” or more accurately “pundit,” we now see across the pro-GMO lobby. Take the case of the British “activist,” Mark Lynas, who touts himself as an anti-GMO turned pro-GMO activist. Following his conversion, he has subsequently written extensively in favor of GM crops. But no one in the UK’s anti-GMO movement had ever heard of Mark Lynas—until his much publicized talk in Oxford. Like Specter, Lynas has become one of the strongest, most articulate voices for the GMO movement. The question remains—are these journalists “sponsored” by the GMO movement? Or are they simply writers who believe that GMO crops are good for the world (despite information to the contrary)?

Whatever is the case, it’s undeniable that the pro-GMO lobby is adopting a more sophisticated approach to its propaganda machine. It has turned its story of debt, hunger and suicide into the articulate voices of storytellers, of communicators, of respectable media houses.

Has The New Yorker been influenced by loyalty to its benefactors? Marion Nestle, a dear friend, and Francis Lappe’s (another dear friend) daughter, Anna Lappe, received invitations from Condé Nast to participate in an image clean up for Monsanto. They obviously refused. Please refer to the recent article (August 7, 2014): Read the Emails in the Hilarious Monsanto/Mo Rocca/Condé Nast Meltdown.

For the record, ever since I sued Monsanto in 1999 for its illegal Bt cotton trials in India, I have received death threats, my websites have been hacked and turned into porn sites, the chairman of a girls’ college founded by my grandfather, has been harassed. Actions have been taken to impede Navdanya’s work by attempting to bribe my colleagues to leave—and they have failed. None of these systemic attacks over the last two decades have deterred me from doing my research and activism with responsibility, integrity, and compassion. The concerted PR assault on me for the last two years from Lynas, Specter and an equally vocal Twitter group is a sign that the global outrage against the control over our seed and food, by Monsanto through GMOs, is making the biotech industry panic.

Character assassination has always been a tool used by those who cannot successfully defend their message. Although they think such slander will destroy my career, they don’t understand that I consciously gave up a “career” in 1982 for a life of service. The spirit of service inspired by the truth, conscience and compassion cannot be stopped by threats or media attacks. For me, science has always been about service, not servitude.

My life of science is about creativity and seeing connections, not about mechanistic thought and manipulated facts.

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”  —Albert Einstein

The GMO Deception: Q&A with Prof Sheldon Krimsky

(GM Watch) In his newest book of essays, “The GMO Deception,” coedited with Jeremy Gruber, Sheldon Krimsky, head of the Council for Responsible Genetics, criticizes the agriculture and food industries for genetically modifying the food we eat

A couple of corrections need to be made to the interviewer's points. First, there was nothing "unrealistic" about Séralini's long-term safety study on GM maize NK603 and Roundup. The experiment tested low levels of Roundup below regulatory safety limits, and the GM maize at the same standard proportions of the diet that are tested in GMO studies performed for regulatory purposes.

And second, regarding the interviewer's question, "this one negative finding carries more weight than dozens of positive ones?" - there are no other long-term safety studies on NK603 maize, and no long-term safety studies were carried out for regulatory purposes on the complete formulation Roundup as sold and used. Séralini's is the only one. It's not valid to cite results of studies on other GMOs to claim safety of this GMO; and it's not valid to cite regulatory studies on glyphosate alone to claim safety of Roundup.

GM Watch | Aug 19, 2014 | Karen Weintraub

For 30 years as head of the Council for Responsible Genetics, Sheldon Krimsky has been following the debate over genetically modified foods. Krimsky, a longtime Tufts University professor, has written or edited 13 books about science and society. In his newest book of essays, “The GMO Deception”, coedited with Jeremy Gruber, Krimsky criticizes the agriculture and food industries for changing the genetic makeup of the food we eat. He says he’s not in favor or against genetically modified organisms, but believes that science demands caution.

Q. Why did you write this book and why now?

A. There’s quite a lot of confusion, ambiguity, and controversy over GMOs and it’s hard to understand where it’s all coming from and why science has not been able to resolve it. We thought this was the right moment to put together a volume on various topics that have been subject to public interest and controversy, such as: Are they safe to eat? Are GMOs going to be our savior of world hunger? Are GMOs really going to contribute to sustainable agriculture?

Q. You’ve clearly taken an anti-GMO position in the book.

A. We were not going to produce a balanced presentation of "here’s Monsanto’s position" and "here’s the position of Greenpeace". Rather, we took a wide spectrum of people who were skeptics for different reasons and we wanted their voices to be represented.

Q. So you’re not opposed to GMOs, just skeptical?

A. One of the core values of science is "organized skepticism". When claims are made, you have to start with skepticism until the evidence is so strong that your skepticism disappears. You don’t in science start by saying ‘Yes, I like this hypothesis and it must be true.’

Q. Why has the issue of GMO safety become so contentious?

A. The problem with GMOs goes back to 1992 after the Quayle Commission [named for then-vice president Dan Quayle] issued guidelines for biotechnology. That report advised the FDA that "you didn’t need to test any of these products". They simply told industry if you see any problems, let us know.

Q. You disagree with that approach?

A. You cannot predict what’s going to happen to an organism if you put in a foreign gene. It could interfere with other genes, it could over-express some things and under-express other things. You cannot make predictions without testing them.

Q. So, if a company inserts a gene, they can’t control where it goes or what it does?

A. Genes do more than one thing. If you think of the genome as an ecosystem rather than a Lego system, it gives you a different idea of what the possibilities are. We have to test in order to understand what the foreign gene is going to do to the organism.

Q. Why is tinkering with genes any worse than breeding for traits we want?

A. Hybrid crops are in the same species. In genetically engineered crops, you’re taking a gene from a completely distant species, and putting it in a plant genome. It’d be like saying let’s put a few animal genes into the gamete of human beings and assume that it’s no different than if we just threw in some genes from another human being.

Q. What about the testing that has been done? Hasn’t the vast majority of research found GMOs to be safe and no different from ordinary crops?

A. Why is it that every time a scientist finds an adverse result in a feeding experiment they are vilified? Is this the appropriate way of treating scientists who’ve found a negative result?

Q. Can you be specific?

A. The most recent case was a French scientist who published in a peer-reviewed journal. At first the editors supported his work. Then they got a lot of criticism about the study. A little over a year after it was published, the editors retracted the study — not because there was anything wrong, not because there was scientific fraud, but because the results they said were not definitive. Immediately, over 100 scientists around the world came to [the author, Gilles-Éric] Séralini’s support and said this is unconscionable. This isn’t how science works. Another journal went ahead and decided to publish the study that was retracted.

Q. Wasn’t there criticism that the scenario posed by Séralini’s research was unrealistic?

A. When you’re looking at risks for a product or technology, it is rational to look at worst-case scenarios. If you’re testing the safety of a new airplane, you want to test it at the limits, not in safe flying conditions.

Q. So this one negative finding carries more weight than dozens of positive ones?

A. Whenever you’re looking at the risk of a product, a single negative result is more important than 99 positive results, especially when a substantial number of those positive results are funded by the agribusiness industry. We’ve had products on the market for 50 years: PCBs, asbestos, tobacco, DDT. Early on people said they were safe.

Q. Is there anything that would convince you that GMOs are safe?

A. I would feel convinced if there were independent studies asking the right questions and seeking experiments looking for the most vulnerable cases.

Q. Do you eat GMOs yourself?

A. I try to buy organic, because that’s the only reasonable way we have to avoid GMOs. It’s very difficult when you eat in restaurants, but in our home we try and buy organic.

Boston Globe, 18 Aug 2014