Posted by: Michael D. Austin | January 20, 2013

Killing Us Softly With GMOs

For those of you who’d enjoy an accessible digest about the dangerous lack of safe science behind the U.S. advent of GMOs, I’d recommend that you read Stephan A. Schwartz‘ excellent article, The Great Experiment: Genetically Modified Organisms, Scientific Integrity, and National Wellness,” in “Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing” (Volume 9, Issue 1 , Pages 12-16, January 2013).

Tumorous rats fed GMO corn

Tumorous rats fed GMO corn

“In September 2012, pictures of seriously tumorous rats (Figure 1) went viral across the Internet, setting off passionate and acrimonious exchanges between proponents and opponents of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Charges and countercharges flew like verbal grapeshot across the various levels of the digital world and scientific media as each side tried to spin what these photos meant.

‘GMOs may be creating an entire generation of cancer victims who have a frighteningly heightened risk of growing massive mammary gland tumors caused by the consumption of GM foods. We are witnessing what may turn out to be the worst and most costly blunder in the history of western science: the mass poisoning of billions of people with a toxic food crop that was never properly tested in the first place, wrote…” read the rest here.

Are you most inclined to trust the pseudo-science of a gigantic corporation which stands to make billions from selling you and your family toxic foodstuffs? Or are you most inclined to trust the aggregate reputations of mere thousands of independent scientists, whose primary headrush is good science, who might individually be earning just a family sized income? Consider this: in one of his books about anthropogenic change, James Lovelock mentions it’s nearly impossible to get scientists sitting in one room to agree upon anything. But here you have thousands of scientists from different countries agreeing that science behind testing of GMOs was completely flawed.

The stakes here are astronomically high. They’ve seldom been higher. The Earth is changing beneath our feet, caused by us. And if we don’t speak up for what we believe, our children will have Hell to pay. The U.S. government and the massive corporations which have corrupted scientific review of the data assessing whether or not GMOs are safe, are killing us softly while we accept their toxic, destructive conclusions.

*****

Now, if you need examples from real life about how I could make these shocking declarations, I’d offer you the anecdotes below. You don’t always need a scientist to tell you what you’re experiencing is real. Scientists are not priests, nor are priests scientists.

Consider carefully the sources of your data. Most of us, including me, don’t know everything about everything. I might next week. I’ll let you know. So you must come to depend on people and sources you trust who can interpret things for you. This has been a fundament of life on Earth for the last 15,000 years. Paraphrasing Arthur C. Clarke, the truth will always be stranger than science fiction.

The very same Stephan A. Schwartz who penned the article above once said to me, “…my life is about the arc of the data.” In context, he meant that he’s an honest seeker of truth through scientific study. He steers around sloppy science because the truth is far more fascinating and inspiring. He works diligently to do good science. Stephan is author and director of some of the most remarkable research projects and books I’ve ever seen chronicled. Every so often, I’ve met and talked with some of the respondents in his studies and books, people who are at the top of their own field.

A few years I noticed that Stephan was presenting at astronaut emeritus’ Edgar Mitchell’s Institute of Noetic Sciences, and I wrote that he’s a “courageous empiricist.” I’m sparing with that designation because I don’t find many of his mind. I wouldn’t currently include the brilliant thinker, Daniel Dennett, PhD in that group. Stephan once debated Dennett with Ed May in front of a group of ABC News executives, managers and staff; Dennett was rendered red-faced and speechless by an honest, simple question of Stephan’s. Dennett excused himself early from the debate, and I’ve read that guffaws from the ABC audience about his behavior encouraged his exit.*

It’s also my honor to know a rocket scientist friend – one who worked on the engines for the International Space Station. Two mutual friends introduced us. He’s humble, and has the kind of profession where he can’t really tell you exactly what he does for a living. When I first met him, he explained to me he does, “computational fluid dynamics.” Years later as I recalled for him that he told me that, he was mildly surprised and perhaps a little nervous that I’d remember such a casual conversation. He politely said he had never done that kind of work.

This rocket scientist is quite a good person – one who many of us would aspire to be like. He’s a good father and has a better memory than mine –  I didn’t attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology. We both appreciate beer. It’s a curious twist of life that we both share a passion for music from the band, Rush. We became concert buddies and shared enthusiasms about Neal Peart’s lyrics and the Rush brand of special speed metal. He has also introduced me to the guitar-driven music of the band Dada.

Once, I was excited about the possibility to discuss a book with my rocket scientist friend,God is Not Dead,” from Amit Goswami, PhD. Goswami’s book is meta-physical, about accessible comparisons between upward causation (atheism) and downward causation (god or monism). Now, bear in mind that any rocket scientist will know lots about physics.

In beautiful southern California on a warm evening, my friend and I stood in the early evening Sun, in the parking lot of a popular concert venue before we entered. I had encouraged his honest opinion, although I could sense he wanted to hold back because he knew I was newly acquainted with Goswami. Once he understood I’d be open about his opinion, my friend dismissed Goswami as, “a quack.”  Point taken. But I don’t think he ever finished Goswami’s book because he found Goswami’s reasoning to be faulty.

On that occasion, my friend handed me two of Daniel Dennett’s books. At that point in time I didn’t know Stephan had debated Dennett, and I hadn’t an inkling my friend would offer Dennett’s thought. I think one of the two books was, “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” and in this moment I don’t recall the other one. In earnest, I took them home and started to read them. About 20 minutes into the first one, I had to put it down because I felt that Dennett was going nowhere I believed to be reasonable, based upon my own experiences and intuitions. I was surprised. I actually got an upset stomach from trying to read it. I’ve come to trust my gut instincts, as I’ve found them highly accurate. Eventually I returned the books to my friend, explaining that I couldn’t make it through them.

So, why did I ask you to read through all this? It felt like I needed to explain that its important you not only check facts yourself, but also it’s very important that you find the right experts, those who depend on real science instead of massive hush money. You know what to do. Trust your intuitions, instincts and experiences. Speak up.

*****

*: From Russ Targ’s book, “The Reality of ESP,” is this section of the forward by Stephan A. Schwartz on page XV:

“Along with Ed May, I once debated with Daniel Dennett, a prominent critic of ESP research, at an event produced by ABC News for station news staffs and station managers. We debated along for about thirty minutes, with Dennett making dismissive and disparaging remarks to anything Ed or I said, but always in generalities. Finally I said to him: ‘Let’s pick an experiment we both know, and you tell me what it wrong with it, and I will respond.’ Without a moment’s hesitation he shot back in the most deliberately condescending act I have ever witnessed, saying, ‘You don’t actually think I read this stuff, do you?’ There was a moment’s silence, the laughter began, first as giggles, then as chuckles, and finally, as guffaws. It suddenly dawned on Dennett what he had said. He blushed and sat down, and left as soon as he could.”


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