7

votes

United States of Monsanto preparing for war on Paleo?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created October 02, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Did anyone see the recent Mercola post about the meta-analysis done by Stanford claiming that Organic food has no benefits?

It raised an interesting point I hadn't heard before: The Department of Homeland Security are increasingly looking into organic crops and pastured livestock as biosecurity threats, with the ideal future being one whereby food has been bio-engineered to resist any kind of attack, and livestock is kept indoors for the same reason.

By implication this would mean the end of paleo as we know it.

Obviously we're all aware of how a corporation like Monsanto would love to sit atop a global system of food slavery, with populations eating only their patented genetically engineered foods which we have to rent from them. It's enshrined in law as part of their responsibility to their shareholders; externalise any risk or consequence to ensure the maximisation of profit. And we know the incredible political influence they have to guide policy to their own benefit.

So is this something we need to start thinking about seriously, and pro-actively rather than reactively, when it's too late?

Interesting article, definitely worth a read: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/09/17/organic-vs-conventional-food.aspx#_edn17

I know it's reaching into conspiracy theory to speculate, but I don't think it's outside the realms of possibility that there might someday be a severe outbreak of a "Bovine Flu" mutation, the political fallout of which could see organic grass-fed Beef deemed illegal and off the menu for good.

I can't face not being able to eat steak.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Really concerning

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 03, 2012
at 11:31 PM

ANML, that was my point, thank you.

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on October 03, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Look up farm subsisidies as percentage of growth domestic product.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 03:58 PM

I'm hoping we've got a few more years before they can force farmers to use a patented product, but who knows? Maybe Chief Justice Roberts will consider it a tax. If we do see mandated GM foods, you can bet it will start with the GM peanuts that don't contain the protein that causes peanut allergies. That might go hand-and-hand with laws that allow manufacturers to drop peanut safety labeling if they use "safe" peanuts. By the way, how would we feel about it if someday a biotech group splices together celiac-safe forms of wheat, rye, and barley?

Medium avatar

(3213)

on October 03, 2012
at 02:12 PM

Don't be so fast to ridicule Americans, the whole world follows the same, "money-saving", "mass-producing" system

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:42 PM

@Michael: I'm not sure how to express how little I am concerned about Thorstein Veblen's critique.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:37 PM

@Matt: No really, in some cases, you do need less chemicals. Not every GM crop is Roundup Ready. Read about Bt crops, which allow the plant to produce a natural pesticide that only expresses at the point where membranes rupture, selectively targeting pests and leaving pollinators free to do their thing. I'm not a fan of monocultures, but fortunately there are upper limits to how much of that is actually profitable.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:32 PM

@raydawg: You're right, I overstated my point re: grains, but I maintain that you don't have to worry nearly as much about GMO's if you're just eating the right stuff in the first place. To my mind, the major danger of GM is insidious malnutrition from unnaturally high crop yields. I agree Roundup, etc. are not ideal to have on our foods, but in many cases, they're the lesser evil compared to what you'd have to use for conventional crops. Even organic may end up with a bigger ecological footprint than GM.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 11:26 AM

Reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides? Not really. Most end up requiring proprietary chemicals just to be modestly productive. Traditional crop breeding gave us a wide variety of traits that we bought upby Monsanto and other multinationals. Only to get tossed aside forprofitable vertical integration.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on October 03, 2012
at 10:16 AM

They're inserting their genes into everything, it's not just grains, but also vegetables. There's not just a problem with the genetic modifications, but the tons of nasty organophosphates used as weed and pesticides that you need to worry about as those are fat soluable, therefore you can't just wash them off.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 03, 2012
at 05:14 AM

'Ruining everyone who isn't your customer is pretty much never a viable business strategy.' According to Velben, yes, it is... http://www.philosophy.uncc.edu/mleldrid/SAAP/USC/TP16.html

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:50 PM

@ANML, I believe that Mercola is FAR more dangerous than the regulatory branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. I simply refuse to engage in a technical debate over anything that is promoted through he or his website. He is a snake-oil salesman and does not deserve the time of a competent individual.

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:32 PM

I think the point was that "ordinary" food would be better off defined in how closely it conforms to natural, rather than what is most commonly eaten.

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:20 PM

Did you read the article or are you just responding based on what you already knew of the study? Your reply seems out of context. All you have done is comment that the study was misreported - which is the starting point for the question - not the question itself. It's the impetus for considering why it was poorly written and misreported. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the claims made, unless you honestly believe that the government bases its regulatory decisions on what consumers are choosing to buy?

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:17 PM

PinkPika, you're assuming pesticide residue is unhealthy. I'm sure it's unhealthy at certain doses, but whether it's unhealthy in doses coming from regular food is a whole another matter.

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Did you read the article or are you just responding based on what you already knew of the study? Your reply seems out of context. All you have done is comment that the study was misreported - which is the starting point for the question - not the question itself. It's the impetus for considering why it was poorly written and misreported. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the claims made, unless you honestly believe that the government bases its regulatory decisions on what consumers are choosing to buy? You may currently grow your own produce. But do you grow your own tobacco?

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Wow that is concerning.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:18 PM

You're kidding, right?

2e6e673ce3eb647407d260d4d57a731b

(1021)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:09 PM

Americans are fucked in the head

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:07 PM

On an aside, I dislike that it is the norm to call pesticide laden food "ordinary food" or "conventional". And it seems that having 180 times less pesticide residue would be considered healthier, but I guess not according to that study.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:04 PM

Let's hope so...

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:55 PM

lol Americans are funny.

  • Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

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8 Answers

15
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:49 PM

First, this is straight conspiracy theory and fear mongering.

Second, the study showed that organic food was ???no healthier??? than ordinary food. There were no significant ???differences in nutrient content". The same study also mentioned that conventional food tends to have upwards of 180 times more pesticide residue than organic food and 100 times more likely to have non-pesticidal artificial chemicals. Thanks, I'll stick to the organic foods.

Finally, you ask, "is this something we need to start thinking about seriously" -- To that I answer yes. And we already have. I buy most of my produce from farmers markets or organic resellers who use local produce. I grow my own produce. I do similar things with my meat (not growing my own, but I would like to). We should be pursuing, proactively, local solutions to the supply chain.

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:32 PM

I think the point was that "ordinary" food would be better off defined in how closely it conforms to natural, rather than what is most commonly eaten.

3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:50 PM

@ANML, I believe that Mercola is FAR more dangerous than the regulatory branch of the Department of Health and Human Services. I simply refuse to engage in a technical debate over anything that is promoted through he or his website. He is a snake-oil salesman and does not deserve the time of a competent individual.

9f54852ea376e8e416356f547611e052

(2957)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:17 PM

PinkPika, you're assuming pesticide residue is unhealthy. I'm sure it's unhealthy at certain doses, but whether it's unhealthy in doses coming from regular food is a whole another matter.

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:07 PM

On an aside, I dislike that it is the norm to call pesticide laden food "ordinary food" or "conventional". And it seems that having 180 times less pesticide residue would be considered healthier, but I guess not according to that study.

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:20 PM

Did you read the article or are you just responding based on what you already knew of the study? Your reply seems out of context. All you have done is comment that the study was misreported - which is the starting point for the question - not the question itself. It's the impetus for considering why it was poorly written and misreported. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the claims made, unless you honestly believe that the government bases its regulatory decisions on what consumers are choosing to buy?

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 07:13 PM

Did you read the article or are you just responding based on what you already knew of the study? Your reply seems out of context. All you have done is comment that the study was misreported - which is the starting point for the question - not the question itself. It's the impetus for considering why it was poorly written and misreported. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on the claims made, unless you honestly believe that the government bases its regulatory decisions on what consumers are choosing to buy? You may currently grow your own produce. But do you grow your own tobacco?

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 03, 2012
at 11:31 PM

ANML, that was my point, thank you.

5
62fafa8cb15af7c562fa8c270f7b6174

on October 02, 2012
at 05:53 PM

Monsanto is very scary, but I hope you'll be happy to find your fears aren't well founded here.

'Biosecurity' of free range vs confined livestock is primarily discussed in relation to avian flu. Studies that can be found regarding this show that free range is actually better protected against these outbreaks than confined livestock. Please google this yourself: "free range" biosecurity threat

It's not necessarily wrong to theorize about conspiracies, but there is a certain enjoyment to imagining new evils for Monsanto which I think is wrong. It distracts from discovering facts. If there's something to take seriously, it is the fact that most studies show basic sanitation measures are most effective in addressing 'biosecurity threats' but they'll always advocate widespread use of vaccines and antibiotics. Here are two links going different directions: free-range chickens at no increased infection risk and managing biosecurity threats

4
C0237fd9e277fcef496d538beda1f35b

(287)

on October 03, 2012
at 03:36 PM

On the front page of our paper today, there was something about scientists creating a genetically modified COW that produces milk that is better for people with milk allergies.

Now...tell me that you can't see down the road where they would make this mandatory for farmers to use this type of cow.

Then everyone ends up on those floaty things like on Wall-E.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 03:58 PM

I'm hoping we've got a few more years before they can force farmers to use a patented product, but who knows? Maybe Chief Justice Roberts will consider it a tax. If we do see mandated GM foods, you can bet it will start with the GM peanuts that don't contain the protein that causes peanut allergies. That might go hand-and-hand with laws that allow manufacturers to drop peanut safety labeling if they use "safe" peanuts. By the way, how would we feel about it if someday a biotech group splices together celiac-safe forms of wheat, rye, and barley?

4
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on October 03, 2012
at 10:20 AM

If this is a worry, and it should be for most everyone here, support the GMO labeling efforts in California. Send those groups money and help get labeling passed at least in one state.

I don't think Monsanto is out to kill the Paleo movement, they have bigger targets in mind. They've already won a lot of battles by quashing labeling efforts.

Once that's done, at the best, it'll get a momentum going to get them labeled in other states, then in every state. At worse if it does pass only in California, we can ask our buddies who live there to tell us what got labeled and didn't, so at least we can vote with our wallets.

I don't much care about crap in a bag/box products, but I do want to know which veggie producers support and use GMOs so I can buy from elsewhere. Yes, I know, farmer's markets, but they're not available in my area, and I'd have to travel to Union Square on weekends (1 hour each way) to buy from them.

3
F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

on October 02, 2012
at 06:16 PM

I dont think your being conspiracy theory crazy. I still remember having to buy eggs at my local farm store and then having to drive to an un-marked warehouse to pick up the eggs from the farmer. Anyway concering Monsanto take a look at this the bills are still active by the way.

Monsanto Protection Act

Bc0b5d25e16dde7904ef174ed70ce8a1

(76)

on October 02, 2012
at 06:50 PM

Wow that is concerning.

F2b854f65de6621f5ecb6ec9ba14eb49

(574)

on October 13, 2012
at 10:28 PM

Really concerning

3
83456bd85c99b73a03dc9ccf7eb44255

on October 02, 2012
at 05:12 PM

Our government, for the most part, has a terrible record of picking and choosing what to regulate and what to not. Since there is HUGE money at stake here and large companies control Washington, it's not too far fetched that our government will step in and try to regulate organic growers in favor of their "buddies" Face it, their "buddies" contribute thousands if not millions of dollars to each political party. So, yes, I think it is a big threat and we should be proactively contacting our local politicians to stop any restriction of our food sources.

2
89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

on October 03, 2012
at 04:59 AM

Is Monsanto a threat to paleo?

You don't have much to worry about. Monsanto engineers grains. Why would anything they do affect paleo any more than, say, what Kellogg's or General Mills does?

Nutritionally, the main danger of GM foods is that they produce a lot of grain with compromised micronutrient nutrition. Next-gen GM foods are trying to address that problem (golden rice is a noteworthy example) but if you don't major in grains, there's no nutritional threat.

If anything, Monsanto has a lot to offer. GM crops greatly reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides, which would otherwise spill over into other crops, pollute rainwater, and increase irrigation requirements. Even if you never eat them, GM crops may end up being better neighbors than traditional crops.

But nutrition isn't really the problem you're concerned about.

You're worried that Monsanto is going to try to shrink the market to being only what they can extract license fees from. You seem to think it's self-explanatory that they would want to do that, but I think your economics are simplistic. Ruining everyone who isn't your customer is pretty much never a viable business strategy.

Or, to paraphrase my good friend Morbo, "CORPORATIONS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY, LINDA!"

We can expect them to keep doing what they're doing: producing seeds, lobbying for corn and wheat farmers, and trying to extract excessive license fees out of people who accidentally hybridize their seeds. We can expect a moderate amount of rent-seeking where they team up with organic farmers to get governments to limit overall pesticide use, thus forcing anyone who hasn't gone GM or organic to do so. If grass-fed beef takes off so dramatically that it starts to make a dent in corn feed prices, there will be a million other things that will happen before OMG KKKORPORASHUNZ post-apocalyptic disaster scenario happens. Like, for example, they sell a little more GM alfalfa.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:37 PM

@Matt: No really, in some cases, you do need less chemicals. Not every GM crop is Roundup Ready. Read about Bt crops, which allow the plant to produce a natural pesticide that only expresses at the point where membranes rupture, selectively targeting pests and leaving pollinators free to do their thing. I'm not a fan of monocultures, but fortunately there are upper limits to how much of that is actually profitable.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on October 03, 2012
at 10:16 AM

They're inserting their genes into everything, it's not just grains, but also vegetables. There's not just a problem with the genetic modifications, but the tons of nasty organophosphates used as weed and pesticides that you need to worry about as those are fat soluable, therefore you can't just wash them off.

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:32 PM

@raydawg: You're right, I overstated my point re: grains, but I maintain that you don't have to worry nearly as much about GMO's if you're just eating the right stuff in the first place. To my mind, the major danger of GM is insidious malnutrition from unnaturally high crop yields. I agree Roundup, etc. are not ideal to have on our foods, but in many cases, they're the lesser evil compared to what you'd have to use for conventional crops. Even organic may end up with a bigger ecological footprint than GM.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 03, 2012
at 11:26 AM

Reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides? Not really. Most end up requiring proprietary chemicals just to be modestly productive. Traditional crop breeding gave us a wide variety of traits that we bought upby Monsanto and other multinationals. Only to get tossed aside forprofitable vertical integration.

Eed7dabde3d61910685845e04605267f

(2934)

on October 03, 2012
at 05:14 AM

'Ruining everyone who isn't your customer is pretty much never a viable business strategy.' According to Velben, yes, it is... http://www.philosophy.uncc.edu/mleldrid/SAAP/USC/TP16.html

89c5726021149f9833fb0dbb66f838f6

(149)

on October 03, 2012
at 01:42 PM

@Michael: I'm not sure how to express how little I am concerned about Thorstein Veblen's critique.

1
61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on October 02, 2012
at 04:48 PM

Farmer's Lobby > Monsanto Lobby

/end thread

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:18 PM

You're kidding, right?

Cebbca9a78d5612bf3468b273c2010d5

(452)

on October 02, 2012
at 05:04 PM

Let's hope so...

61c1efcc482019e016c45270b18c7453

(645)

on October 03, 2012
at 08:37 PM

Look up farm subsisidies as percentage of growth domestic product.

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