GMO soybeans

Should California require labeling of genetically modified foods? That’s the goal of Proposition 37 on the November state ballot. Supporters say GMO labeling will provide California consumers with valuable information, while detractors claim it will simply add unnecessary confusion and cost to the food system.

Stacy Malkan, spokesperson for Yes on 37 campaign, author of "Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry"
Greg Palla, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association
Belinda Martineau, Principal editor and scientist at UC Davis and a supporter of Prop. 37
Bob Goldberg, Professor in the Department of Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology at UCLA, opponent of Prop. 37

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    If you want MY money then tell me what is in the food I buy. It’s my right to know. Instead it seems as if some BIG agriculture folks think they have a right to make money over my right as a human being to choose the food I want to buy for my family.

    Why is it so hard to do what milk cartons do. Looking at the container of organic milk I read ‘From cows not treated with the growth hormone rBST. According to the FDA there is no difference in milk from rBST treated cows and non rBST treated cows’.

    As someone who reads labels, they already tell me if a food item has produced in a place that also handled nut products so if one has a nut allergy they will be forewarned. Do the same with GMO foods.

  • Tim Riley

    Great show…
    Regardless of whether GMO technology is good or bad, safe or potentially harmful, why not give people the choice and let the people decide whether they want these products or not? Who can argue with giving consumers more information to decide for ourselves?

    • I’m sympathetic to the idea that consumers should have information about what they’re buying, but these labels are meant to spread uncertainty and doubt rather than provide information.

      As we know, all domestic crops are heavily modified in one way or another through selective breeding, hybridization, and now in some cases transgenesis. What matters is not which method was used, but which specific modifications were made.

      We should evaluate each new product on a case-by-case basis, and we should consider the technical details of each specific type of modification. We should educate consumers more about how biotechnology works, but we should also realize that food safety issues are too technical to be determined by popular vote. There’s a reason we have agencies like the FDA to help evaluate the safety of new technologies.

      • tracyag

        Tim, going to have to disagree with you again here. The safty issues are to technical to be determined by an industry run FDA in my thinking. This issue is about consumer choice. Once the labels are on, proper education with information from appropriate science from independent laboratories can help consumers with there choice. But without awareness, there is no choice.

        • I won’t argue that there’s no industry influence at the FDA, but don’t let conspiracy-minded thinking cause you to disregard experts in general. (That’s the same kind of thinking that drives the anti-vaccine crowd and global warming deniers.)

          Consumers of course want information, but selectively presented information can be misleading. Adding this information to nutrition labels suggests to consumers that there is a substantive nutritional difference between GM and non-GM foods, but it doesn’t explain what that difference might be, and in fact no such difference has been convincingly demonstrated.

          Imagine I propose a label for foods that were harvested on Friday the 13th. Lots of people may believe that those foods are bad, even though there’s no material difference between foods harvested on different days of the week. Labels would just add fuel to the mistaken notion that Friday-foods are dangerous. They would increase consumer choice, but not in a helpful way.

          • tracyag

            “Experts in general”? There are experts on both sides of this issue. Those of us who question the place of genetically engineered organisms in our food are not unscientific conspiracy theorists. I have formed my beleifs by looking at the science on both sides and recognizing the effects that money and statisitcs can have in the interpretation of results. My conclusions are different than yours, but they are not without merit.
            If there were no difference between GM and non-GM there would be no patent.
            I do think that we may agree on one point though, there are also foods that have been created with traditional breeding that have become a challange for much some of the population. This propostion does not cover those foods. Wheat is one of those foods, but here we do have labels that can help people to avoid such products.

          • rural gal

            That is a facetious argument. What in the world does produce picked on a Friday have anything to do with something tangibly different that may do us real harm? Stop trying to imply it’s all superstitious innuendos. Enough science is out there to make us concerned, without all the hocus pocus imaginings.

            Okay, so, the industry says, on the one hand, “These crops are no different than conventional. Therefore, no label to distinguish a difference is needed.” So, the oversight agencies played along and called it “substantially equivalent.”

            On the other hand, however, they insist it’s different enough to warrant a patent, so they could own all the “non-different/different” seeds.

            Which is it? Having your cake and eating it, too, much?

            Stop the paternalistic shenanigans already and give the people what they want — INFORMATION to make our own choice.

  • Rhet

    As a producer of food myself, I believe farmers and factories should be able to add anything to foods, be those foods produce or processed foods, including modified DNA, arsenic, lead, gasoline, E Coli or parts of dead squirrels if we see fit, because we are businesses and businesses have no requirement to be ethical in this freedom-loving land. Just the other day I bought a hamburger and discovered some unknown worker’s human finger in it, and I thought to myself, thank YOU McDonalds for the extra protein! (sarcasm)

  • Charleston

    You can’t trust labeling…labels can be switched. We need to be able to identify GMOs, by sight.

    It seems to me that the simplest way to solve this problem, is to label GMOs inherently, using the same technology: Require that ALL GMO’s include a gene that will make them fluoresce under UV light.

    We know this can be done…why not do it? It’s the only way to be sure…

  • Marek Bre

    Most people have no idea that GMO food is in the marketplace. I didn’t. I want to be able to buy a tomatoe and know that it does not have genes or chemicals engineered into it. I want to know that I’m eating a tomato: with no chemicals.

  • $11165038

    When GMO’s have been widely banned in other parts of the world, it makes you wonder what they know that we don’t.

  • Guest

    Wow, soon my food container will carry one more label with information to ignore. Go ahead and put it. I am certainly suffering from information overload.

  • Martin Pickard

    California should lead the way in full disclosure labeling. With honey bees colony collapse due to gmo and water and air and land pollution due to farmer fertilizers and chemical sprays we are human guinea pigs. Cancer rates are on the rise and unknown physiological disturbances can be attributed to environmental stimuli. Lets walk with caution.

  • Ben

    A new GM corn is being developed to withstand double doses of Roundup. NOT good for the environment and who knows the impact on the biosphere? Other GM varieties will offer real good and should be provided. Gotta have labeling so we can choose!

  • Hannah Preece

    The reason I would choose non GMO is because I don’t like the patent system around GMO. I don’t like the fact that the onus on keeping non GMO crops out of a field lies with the farmer when they have no control of how the wind blows. The science is beside the point.

  • Guy

    Please discuss the pros/cons of the labeling, setting aside the question of whether GMOs are good or bad.

  • cri8tor

    How will pure strains be effected by the pollen of GMOs?

  • Christine Bush

    40 years, when compared with the history of agriculture, does NOT an ancient technology make! Cross-breeding and genetic engineering are not equivalent. Labelling foods is not “unnecessary fear mongering”, but suggesting that doing so will result in economic havoc and consumer confusion IS fear mongering. I will be voting YES on PROP 37.

    • tracyag

      That is exactly what I was thinking when he said 40 years was ancient. 10 year olds are the only ones I know of who think 40 years is ancient…

  • Pedos

    Is there any possibility for the genes that have been introduced in food to become incorporated by my body?

    • Nope! The DNA and proteins in your food get digested and used to fuel your body. The wild type DNA from the plant and the inserted transgene are treated just the same by your digestive system.

  • Laura Cooper

    Calling this an ancient technology is ridiculous. in the past, NATURE decided which genetic sequences were spliced. We only just recently acknowledged that our so called ‘Junk’ DNA is not in fact junk. The fact is, we don’t understand the purpose of the vast majority of our DNA. with the current technology, HUMANS are deciding which sequences are selected and these sequences are being inserted randomly into the genome.

    Also, with the state of the environment as it is, why would we be focusing on increasing the population further by producing more food, which is treated more heavily with pesticides?

  • Tia

    Last Thanksgiving, I cooked a large dinner for friends and family and overbought the Romaine lettuce for the salad. Some three weeks later, I discovered the bag of Romaine — Trader Joe’s, organic — at the bottom of my vegetable drawer, looking as fresh as the day I bought it. Bemused, I didn’t throw it out; I also didn’t eat it. I photographed it, and then every month for SIX months, I photographed that perky head of lettuce. After six months, it finally began to decay.

    I have grown many varieties of lettuce. Years and years ago, that lettuce was rushed to the table to keep it from wilting. Now, it lasts longer . . . but SIX months is a record. I don’t know about you, but I feel a bit odd consuming sixth-month-old obviously genetically modified lettuce.

  • Marek Bre

    These are food products. PRODUCTS. Not a food. they are a modified food. Chemical companies Monsanto and Dupont are the 2 biggest supporters behind these food products. At a minimum, we need to at least know we are purchasing these products – and not a tomato. Just a tomato.

  • Sarah Lloyd

    Please, have the courtesy to convince us through education and science that GMO foods are safe. It insults our intelligence to insist that we’re too stupid to understand so we’re better off not having the information. Label and educate!

  • Cynthia

    My work involves Proposition 65, a similar consumer right-to-know law in this state. Since most mass-produced products intended for sale in California are also sold nationally, any warning labels seen on California products end up going nationwide. I think if Proposition 37 passes, there will be a similar effect, so I can understand why agribusiness is so against it.

  • The opponents of Proposition 37 are not concerned about the stifling of scientific research or their inability to feed the 3rd world, they don’t want to lose money in the California market. If given the choice, some people will choose not to buy GMO food – and why is that not their right?

    Also, from lead paint to cigarettes to saccharine to DDT, companies have sold very dangerous products that were deemed “safe” by the government for a very long time. But NOW we should completely trust Monsanto nad similar companies and give up even the choice of what we choose to buy and eat?

  • Joan

    Just label it, I want to know if I am eating Genetically Chemically Engineered Produced Food.

  • juanb

    Could you also make them tastier? I’d eat more fruits if they tested like like they would with all the modern agricultural techniques, which make them look good but tasteless.

    • Beth Grant DeRoos

      Heirloom variety of fruits and vegetables taste great.

  • Karisa Bohon

    GE food proponents often talk as if this is the only solution to growing enough food for a burgeoning population. I think it is really about profits for the giant corporations who hold the patents on seeds that cannot be kept to grow the next year’s crops, as farmers have traditionally done for millenia. It’s about selling more pesticides and fertilizers. Thousands of farmers in India have committed suicide because buying into Monsanto’s GE cotton has gotten them into overwhelming debt. The environmental impacts of the increased pesticides and fertilizers are ruining our oceans, with global negative impacts.

  • Scott Law

    I would like to hear more discussion on the how the enforcement of labeling would work. There was an accusation I read somewhere that lawyers would be empowered to sue food companies/retailers – another version of the current ADA mess. If this empowers more lawyers looking for settlements it is the last thing we need in this state

  • nanie

    how much is monsanto or others paying these speakers ??
    if there is a law requiring “informed consent” for medications and many other procedures why should there not be “informed consent” for what we put DAILY in our bodies??
    why is europe totaly against gmo’S ???

  • Pedos

    Can the bacteria that live in my digestive tract uptake the genetic material that has been introduced into GMO?

    • Marinette

      There is evidence that the bacteria in our digestive system does in fact take this up and then produces the pesticide. If you can find it, see Jeffrey Smith’s new film “Genetic Roulette”, which addresses this exact point, among others. People, particularly pregnant women, have been found to have the pesticide in their blood streams long after they stopped eating GMO foods, indicating that intestinal bacteria may be generating it.

  • Pedos

    If GMOs carry genes that result in the synthesis of pesticides within the plant, can these genes be upatken by bacteria in my digestive tract?

  • Laura

    Greg provides a good argument for why GE foods are good for farmers. Farmers make a profit from GE foods, so why should we trust his opinion of the science? It benefits big farmers to be ignorant to the science of it.

  • Pedos

    If GMOs carry genes that result in the synthesis of pesticides within the plant body, can these genes be upatken by bacteria in my digestive tract? Can these bacteria then synthesize pesticides within MY body?

  • katie

    I believe in transparency. Consumers need to know what they are consuming. Unlike some of the guests, I dont believe that we know everything there is to know about genetic modification – its a young science, and nature has spent thousands of years in working out genetic variations in plants – its foolish to think we know better in a few dozen years of experimentation and thinking that making crops resistant to pesticides is an undeniable good for everyone.

  • ison

    Ms. Malkan, thank you for your advocacy for Prop 37. But please do not advocate more animal testing! Non-human animals have suffered enough for our benefit.

  • Peggy

    It’s highly likely that some persons will be more sensitive to GMOs than others, just as some can tolerate gluten, and some cannot. We label foods to indicate they contain gluten, so those who can’t tolerate it can avoid them. What’s the problem doing the same for GMOs?

    • Pedos

      Good point! I would like to know if I am eating genes that code for pesticides.

    • The thing is, we’re not talking about one substance here. There are different products that have different genes inserted. Typically it’s one gene that’s inserted, which codes for one protein. (NB: A typical plant already has tens of thousands of different proteins in it). It’s conceivable that people could develop allergies to a specific protein, but this is the type of thing that needs to be tested on a case-by-case basis.

      • tracyag

        Tim, the one gene=one protein theory was out the window years ago. That is exactly the problem here. This science is not precise, and the unintended consequences are not studied, mostly not even known.

        • You’re referring to alternative splicing, but intronless minigenes don’t undergo alternative splicing. In any case, genes are tested for correct protein expression after insertion. You’re just trying to scare people by saying that biology is complicated.

          It’s a strange attitude to say that because we don’t fully understand biology, we shouldn’t have biotechnology. How do you go on breathing, knowing that the physics of non-ideal gases are not fully understood?

          • tracyag

            Yes, there is testing to make sure they express the protein they are looking for. But what about other proteins that also may have been altered, created, or omitted by the process of genetic engineering? It is not just the one gene that is desired that is inserted, there are others that are used for markers, or regulating expression of the desired gene or an undesired plant trait that are also inserted. Genetic engineering is complicated. Proposition 37 is not. Label what has genetically engineered ingredients, and let each consumer decide for themselves if they wish to participate in the experiment.

      • Dahne

        It’s more than one gene. Other genes are needed to get the desired trait expressed. Also the genes in every genome interact and are affected by any change, especially introduction of foreign DNA to which the original genome must adapt.

        • The number of genes will vary case by case. Whether it’s one or two or ten, the point is that the genes encode specific protein products. We may not understand everything about the genome, but we actually do understand the rules of protein translation quite well. And we know that we eat lots and lots of proteins all the time, and only a few are harmful or allergenic in humans. We of course don’t want to put any harmful ones into our food, but that’s why we test new things before we eat them.

          You can speculate wildly about unknown dangers caused by unknown mechanisms, but that starts to sound like uninformed paranoia. And it’s strange that the paranoia is directed just at genes and not at other aspects of biology. For example, when we take a crop originating from one continent and grow it on another continent, that’s unnatural. The soil conditions are different, the temperature is different, it could cause all kinds of changes in the plant. But do we assume that these factors will somehow conspire against us to make the plant toxic, absent any specific evidence? No, that’s just not reasonable.

    • If GMO were an ingredient I would totally agree :). However, genetic modification is simply a process. Depending on the intended effect, the resulting product could be anything from a tomato that can grow in saltier soil to rice that contains more vitamin B.

      • Jgrey

        So, I still care to know. Erring on the side of caution maynot be a bad thing. If we are putting the onus on the consumer, then let the consumer have the information to make his or her own decisions. Monsanto is expert at killing things (agent orange, round-up) and their corn seems to do the same.

        • jgrey

          And actually GMO IS an ingredient. GMO corn, GMO soy.

    • rural_gal

      How about having an immune response to pesticides or the Roundup residue left on the crop after being copiously doused? I understand Monsanto’s sweet corn being sold at Walmart is registered as a Plant-Incorporated Pesticide (PIP) with the EPA. The corn itself has been engineered so that the pesticide is expressed in every cell of the plant — which means, we cannot wash it off. Why would I want to eat THAT?!

  • AR

    Geez, I generally don’t feel this way but shoot, KQED is not getting comparable speakers. None of the Yes on 37 folks are able to get their word in!!!!

    • Esther

      Yes you’re so right!!!

    • Marinette

      Michael Krasny should be ashamed of himself for this show. He brings his pro-GMO childhood buddy on, and then they proceed to run roughshod over the Yes on 37 spokesperson. The cotton farmer sucks up 50%of the air time with his unsubstantiated statements, and then when Krasny finally lets the Yes on 37 person speak, he cuts her off, interrupts, blows her off, and goes to the one or two anti-37 comments he gleaned out of the many he received. Look at the comments here: clearly many more people want GMO foods labeled than do not. Krasny – shame, shame, shame. I have NEVER heard you pollute a discussion with your own viewpoint as much as you did with this show. KQED owes us another show on this.

  • Bettina422

    It seems absurd to me: if just about everything would be labelled, the label becomes meaningless.

  • People need to stop conflating genetic engineering technology with bad business practices or products of particular biotech companies. Blaming the genetic modifying process for Monsanto’s business model is like blaming carbonation technology for Coke machines in schools making America unhealthy.

  • Joan

    Go Dr. Michelle!

  • Pedos

    If GMOs carry genes that result in the synthesis of pesticides within the plant body, can these genes be upatken by bacteria in my digestive tract? Can these bacteria then synthesize pesticides within MY body?

    • No, bacteria don’t take up just any piece of DNA. It has to be in plasmid form. They have enzymes that attack foreign DNA (so that they don’t get invaded by viruses).

      Also, Bt is not a typical pesticide. It comes from a bacterium, and it’s a protein-based toxin that specifically affects insects, not people. In fact, it is considered organic and is sprayed on plants by organic farmers as a biological insecticide.

      • tracyag

        Tim, another nice precise incorrect answer. The actual answer is, we don’t know, it has not been studied.
        BT is used in organic farming, instructions are: “Use in late afternoon or on cloudy days as Bt breaks down in sunlight. ”
        The bacteria that produce the toxins would also be washed off prior to eatting, if they had not already broken down.
        That is not even close to having a plant that is intended to be eaten food producing this toxin in every single cell and can not be washed off prior to consuming. It is not even logical to assume that the history agriculture has with the use of BT as an organic pesticide is in any way indicative of the results we can expect when we combine bacterial and plant DNA to produce a new organism. We don’t know what will happen, we don’t know what is happening. It hasn’t been studied.

  • Esther

    This interview is slanted – Micheal Krasney is obviously on the side of Monsanto. What about bringing in the science studies of Russia and other European countries. Micheal is bringing in too many comments that are against Gmo labeling. I expected a fairer interview. Something is not right here.

    • tracyag

      Esther, the only question I had after the forum was “how much money does NPR get from Monsanto, Dow ,Cargill, etc?” Yeah, the bias was more than evident! The only person who even actually answered the questions, when she wasn’t interupted, was Stacy Malkin.

  • Pedos

    Can patented genes become incorporated into different (non-targeted) plants by accident?

    • El3737

      Yes, trangenic genes have already transferred to related weeds making the weeds as immune to herbicides as the mutant crops themselves.They are the so-called “superweeds” you may have read about. Newer mutant crops are being bioengineered to withstand even deadlier herbicides in an effort to kill resistant weeds, but some weeds will survive and develop resistance to the more deadly herbicides as well. This sets up a never-ending chemical war with nature that nature always wins…while our “foods” beome more and more toxic.

  • Joe Morris

    I am a rancher in Ca. and have talked with ranchers in Nebraska who used to run their cattle during the winter on corn stalks after the main crop has been harvested. They tell me that now days that practice is changing because since the advent of Bt (gmo) corn, the cattle no longer will eat and do well on the crop residue. Without claiming that cattle are smarter than we are, they clearly know something that we do not. The right to know makes sense. Prop 37 is not “anti-science”; it is against pseudo science that we ought correctly to be skeptical about it.

    • Pedos

      Can we have more information about this? This is very interesting!

    • Neighbor

      This’s informative.

      Can company lower the price to test its genetic altered food in certain area without informing?

    • Joe Golden

      It’s quite possible that the Bt toxin is interfering with their gut flora balance. Likely it is killing some which could also lead to overgrowth of other bacteria/fungi resulting in a dysbiosis..

      It could also be doing this to humans. Of course it would be difficult to study and likely Monsanto would not allow such a study to be done with their product.

    • utera

      wow, orwellian in your ability invert the meaning of words…

  • Ben

    Your expert earlier mentioned a case by case examination of these GE products. Will this prop require that level of labeling?

  • Joan

    This is a huge and multifaceted topic but disclosure is what we all expect and deserve. Labeling doesn’t necessarily mean that information is a “warning” to the consumer. The companies that write the labels if Prop 37 passes have the opportunity to put the information positively in an effort to include the consumer in a decision making process as Belinda Martineau proved with the tomato.

  • Joan

    Ben call in the station with your questions.

  • Marek Bre

    Farmers in India are dropping GMO seeds because the seeds do not grow well, they can not afford to pay for them every year – something farmers are required to do instead of saving seeds from their crop, GMO seed companies require that seeds be purchased each year. Farmers were going broke, and had no food to show for it.

  • Pedos

    Ranchers in Nebraska used to run their cattle during the winter on corn stalks after the main crop has been harvested. They tell me that now days that practice is changing because since the advent of Bt (gmo) corn, the cattle no longer will eat and do well on the crop residue. Without claiming that cattle are smarter than we are, they clearly know something that we do not.

  • Peter

    Prop 37 seems well-intentioned, but badly crafted. If one advocates transparency, why the exemptions? and if one wants to know it’s safe, then why not advocate for a testing process instead, and then have a simple “tested safe” label? Seems to me there are better solutions than what is proposed by 37. Just because an issue is important doesn’t mean we need to accept a badly designed solution.

    • tracyag

      This initiative is actually well crafted. “No initiative measure addressing more than one subject area may be submitted to the voters or have any effect. (Cal. Const., art. II, §§ 8(d) and 12.)” These “exemptions” are actually clarifications to keep the initiative legal.

      There is a testing option, non-GMO Project verified. This is a nice option and a growing number of responcible companies are utilizing it. But this comes at a cost as it is a testing proceedure. That makes these products more expensive and out of the reach of some consumers. Prop 37 says label any foods that are GM or are made with GM ingredients. This only requires tracking of the products, no testing. If a farmer is planting GM crops they know it, they paid for the seed. siple tracking of the product from the farm to the product. Labels change all time, and there is 18 months to comply with this.

  • Pedos

    BT is a natural pesticide placed in an unnatural place. /Bacillus turingensis/ occurs naturally, the BT toxin occurs naturally, but never within a plant. I want to know if such a plant can hurt me? Can foreign pesticide genes be introduced within MY body?

  • Melissa

    If Monsanto and Dupont wants less skepticism, why can’t I find out how my food is manufactured? Attempts by journalists to see the process have been denied access. I’m furious that I am unable to have access to this information. I don’t think labeling goes far enough!

  • Esther

    Let’s see- you’re comparing the inconveniences of this bill to health. Hmm…whats more important? California needs to lead the way, and Monsanto I’d pouring money into this campaign because they know that the passage of this bill will lead to REAL science studies not studies only backed by Monsanto money. This is not about feeding the masses- this is about making money plain and simple with no concern for public Heath. And why are four Monsanto connected influential leaders in our government now in appointed health and epa positions. And why do you only have Farmers against this proposition- there are more Farners in support of. Slanted interview Micheal!!!!!

  • Kristie

    I’m in favor of labeling but not this proposition. Why are dairy products and organic products exempt?

    • tracyag

      Organic products are already regulated so that GMO seed is disallowed. Dairy Products are not under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Health.

    • El3737

      Kristie , you have fallen for the no 37 argument that Prop 37 is full of “loopholes,” but California law only allows for
      one issue per initiative. Prop 37 concentrates on foods in supermarkets. If it were to include more at this time, the very people criticizing it for not covering enough items would be the first to haul it into court for covering more than one issue.
      Frankly, it is hard to believe that you are in favor of labeling.

  • Joan

    Good Job Stacy. Sorry you didn’t get the last word in on the program.

  • Kris

    The California Dept of Public Health, the agency that will administer Prop 37, states that Prop 37 will fall under the Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetics Law which gives them the authority to monitor food labels and safety, which they already do. They have also testified that whole foods such as almonds or olives will still be able to be called ” natural” even if processed by milling or pressing.
    In Europe, when labeling was implemented, food costs either did not rise or rose a minimal amount (2 cents per package).
    The opposition is truly a tempest in a teapot, but a very well funded tempest. WHY all their fear of labeling – perhaps because once we label, the medical consequences of GE foods on human health can be tracked.

  • 99to1

    Here in America we’re kept largely ignorant of public policy in Europe and other advanced nations that runs counter to the corporate agendas (e.g., Monsanto and DuPont, primary funders of No on 37) that dominate U.S. policy and news coverage.

    Here’s a current news story about other governments enacting policies on the basis of scientific study to protect their populations from known or potential hazards of GMO foods:

    Russia Bans Use and Import of Monsanto’s GMO Corn Following Study

    Following the groundbreaking French study that graphically linked the lifetime consumption of Monsanto’s GMO corn in rats to massive tumors and direct organ failure, Russia’s premiere consumers rights organization has suspended both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn within the nation’s borders.

    French study:

    Russian import ban:

    Read more:

  • Terry Koch

    As usual, KQED shows it’s soft bias with a headline that could have been written by big agricultural interests. Thanks for broadcasting this debate but it would be nice if KQED could have more balanced coverage of all issues.

    • rural gal

      Can we assume their bias may be influenced by NPR’s underwriters? ADM, perhaps?

  • 99to1

    Here in America we’re kept largely ignorant of public policy in Europe and other advanced nations that runs counter to the corporate agendas (e.g., Monsanto and DuPont, primary funders of No on 37) that dominate U.S. policy and news coverage.

    Here’s a current news story about other governments enacting policies on the basis of scientific study to protect their populations from known or potential hazards of GMO foods:

    Russia Bans Use and Import of Monsanto’s GMO Corn Following Study

    Following the groundbreaking French study that graphically linked the lifetime consumption of Monsanto’s GMO corn in rats to massive tumors and direct organ failure, Russia’s premiere consumers rights organization has suspended both the importation and use of Monsanto’s GMO corn within the nation’s borders.

    French study:

    Russian import ban:

    Read more:

  • Lisa

    I heard most of the show during my commute this morning and it sure seemed like nearly all of what the guests representing the opposition had to say was how safe GMO’s are and what a benefit GMOs are to world food production. What does any of this have to do with what the proposition is actually about- the labeling of GMO’s and giving consumers the right to choose?
    Perhaps Monsanto and Dupont would have done better to save the millions they’ve spent on trying to get people to vote NO, and instead used that money to convince consumers to purchase GMO labeled products once they have the right to make the choice.

  • Judy Y.

    I’ve read about a
    two-year long French feeding study designed to evaluate the long-term
    health effects of a genetically engineered corn found that rats fed
    Monsanto’s maize developed massive breast tumors, kidney and liver
    damage, and other serious health problems. The major onslaught of
    diseases set in during the 13th month. This is so disturbing.

  • Beth Grant DeRoos

    In listening to the show again I heard Dr Kransy note that seafood isn’t an GE/GMO food. Yet we know that GE/GMO get into our waterways which end up in our oceans. Then there are the farm raised seafood products, being fed GMO/GE feed.

    • Joan

      So, that would explain the rise in shellfish allergies.

  • Doris F. – Sacramento

    Why aren’t those companies involved with genetically engineered foods spending millions of dollars on educating consumers about the wonderful benefits of GE foods. Instead (I understand) they have funneled more than $30 million into CA to defeat Prop 37. There was no huge uproar when “Organic” began appearing on products. In fact, there is pride in being a part of the organic movement.
    Show some pride Monsanto, Dow Chemical +++ Just label GE foods.

  • Your1Friend

    Take notice, California!

    Russia has just “suspended” GMO corn.

    So sad that our former Cold War adversary can tell “junk science” from the real thing much better than the US can.

  • April in Oakland

    Gotta say, I am a huge Krasny fan, but I feel like he was not equal in the amount of time he gave the pro side.

    The anti prop 37 side ever talked about why they think GMOs are good for the environment but they kept saying they had a positive environmental impact. (they don’t).

    Also, what about longer term consequences, the fact that GMOs cannot be adequately contained, the fact that there is a revolving door in the US government and Monsanto?

    What about food security? With less biodiversity it would be easy to contaminate a crop and then wipe out a vital food supply. 88% of corn is now GMO, so what will happen if that gets contaminated in some way, either by deliberate terrorism or unintended consequences? I will tell you that we will see mass starvation of livestock & possibly humans, and a huge economic impact.

    God/Mother Nature/The Source…whatever or however you think creation came about, I think our creator has more wisdom than Monsanto and their underlings. I trust nature more than mankind.

  • LAM

    Isn’t the topic labeling the products? It’s not about the pros and cons of GMO and whether that will help us feed the world. When the manufacturers had to add nutritional information and calorie information to the labels did they discuss whether vitamin A or B or C was necessary in the diet? Let’s stick to the real topic.

  • Guest

    Isn’t the topic labeling the products? It’s not about the pros and cons of GMO and whether that will help us feed the world. When the manufacturers had to add nutritional information and calorie information to the labels did they discuss whether vitamin A or B or C was necessary in the diet? Let’s stick to the real topic.

  • Pascale

    One of the genetic modifications includes conferring a gene that produces a protein which degrades oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is released by fungus such as white mold to attack crops. This protein that degrades oxalic acid contains “cupin” domains that are known to be potent allergens: The same allergens found in nuts and soy. This protein is of course naturally produced by some plants during their germination and/or at different stages of their development to fight fungus infections. In GMO, the protein is expressed throughout the plant, and at all stages of development, so we eat it. I moved from France (GMO-free) to the US and within 3 years of living in the US, I became allergic to nuts, soy and berries. Hum…

  • Cate

    Michael, this show is not one of your best. You clearly did not do your homework on the science and political history of GMOs before putting this show together. I wouldn’t be so troubled by this if the issue of labeling weren’t so important. As others have said, you owe this subject another more balanced show and this time, let the yes on 37 folks speak!

  • utera

    labeling has helped us prevent obesity in america…oh wait.

    the truth is people ignore labels. in the gmo debate there is mostly ignorance, and those who fight most for this are just fearful for questionable reasons.

  • Suzanne M

    Want to know more about scientific evidence pointing to the disasterous effects of GMO from the website of well respected Dr. Mercola:

  • utera

    Simple fact, food labeling does nothing for consumer health, just look at the results of previous attempts…people ignore them. The only ones that care are the ones who sow fear based on ignorance and pseudoscience, as seen in the comments below. This is the new boogie man for some I guess..

    Hate to have to tell you this, but nothing in nature is meant to naturally be good for you, most things are indifferent or will kill you. You think bird flu had to be made by science? No, if it gives us nutrients and doesn’t kill us, its just a happy accident, not some pre ordained gift from god or whatever.

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