Ministry of Controversy

Keep ‘Em In The Dark

Skull_and_Bones_tomb Once more, the big agricultural supplier Monsanto seems to have decided that the best way to keep its products selling is to control the flow of information and terrify potential critics with its legal muscle. In the past, Monsanto has sued dairies that tried to label their milk free of the recombinant bovine growth hormone it sold, which boosts cows' milk production, on the grounds that this "misled" consumers into thinking something was wrong with rBGH.  When in doubt, rough up the farmer and keep the consumer in the dark.

Today, the New York Times reports that a group of agricultural scientists have complained to the EPA that Monsanto, Syngenta, and Pioneer Hi-Bred choke off research on their genetically engineered seed.  Scientists cannot study insect resistance in these plants, for example, without the companies' permission. 

As the Times notes, these are scientists who see value in genetic engineering.  Yet they are still being bullied.  I don't understand why these big companies cannot buy better public relations advice.

So, where is the political leadership in all this?  Everything Monsanto does affects the commons.  We all share this ecosystem.  We have a right to know.

Posted by on February 20, 2009 at 4:39 am, in the category Ministry of Controversy.
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44 responses to “Keep ‘Em In The Dark”

  1. ChristyACB says:

    This whole seed issue is getting ridiculous and surely you’d think people would have learned by now not to mess with the balance in the ecosystem with plants not meant to be there! Hello…Kudzu!

    Creating Round Up ready seeds is a nightmare! I don’t want to eat anything sprayed directly with roundup, do you?

    And we all know that some insects are starting to show some resistence while birth rates in bees and the like drop near it. Of course, Monsanto isn’t going to lie down while anyone officially studies that effect! lol.

  2. This to me is a sign of the dominant business mentality where profits trump all other concerns. That mentality gets to the point of a close minded pathology that does not lead to happy endings.

    On principle I do not have an objection to crop science and bio-engineering. I think there are enough potential benefits that the risks are worth it if they can be monitored and avoided as much as possible. These big seed companies are not doing themselves any favors with their heavy handed approach. It makes them look bad to the general public, like they are trying to hide things. At some point the farmers might just get disgusted enough to say F you.

  3. When I was an edit writer the minute you criticized Monsanto in print they were on you. Their machine for searching you out and ranting is amazing.

  4. Michele says:

    Linda, how interesting. Like I said, I don’t know if that is frightening–or just monumentally stupid.

  5. Bob Vaiden says:

    …And I’ll be ready to sue anyone who plant “ROUND-UP READY” lawn grass seed around here. I can’t imagine what we may end up sacrificing for the fetish of “lawn obsession”.

  6. Jon says:

    “Monsanto’s rBST product, Posilac, is a supplement of the naturally occurring cow hormone BST, that when administered to cows allows them to produce more milk. Many dairy farmers use Posilac because they can produce more milk with fewer cows. The milk from treated cows is identical to milk produced by cows that are not treated. There is no laboratory anywhere in the world that can tell the difference between milk from a cow that has been treated with Posilac and milk from one that hasn’t been treated. Milk from treated cows is just as safe as milk from untreated cows. This has been affirmed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association and regulatory agencies in 30 countries.”

    http://www.monsanto.com/monsanto_today/for_the_record/rbst_milk_labeling.asp

    I think that, in the interest of fairness, both sides of the story should be told. i like things natural, but I also realize as everyone should that hybridized seed has the potential and has eleviated hunger by increasing food crops in many impoverished countries. It also increases yield in the US and developed countries keeping adequate supplies and keeping costs lower that they would be. Growing food organically or buying organic food is absolutely a choice one should have. Realizing that there is no legitimate science that shows any nutritionla difference or harm from hybrid seeds is good to know as well. Mindlessly fighting against modern agricultural practices without educating one’s self to the relevant facts is irresponsible.

    Pushing for measures to restrict food supply without knowing or disclosing all the facts is unconcienable. Monsanto’s defense of it’s practices are simply protecting their livelihoods. If there is evidence that they are doing something harmful, it should be publicized. Companies like Monsanto spend tens of millions proving their products are safe. It is only natural when anyone makes false accusations or inuendos suggesting their products are unsafe they would be very protective of their products and reputation.

    More direct to the point the statement that some milk is free of rBST is absolutely false. All milk has it and has had it forever. It is naturally produced by cows and the levels in milk from cows given more to produce better is no more or less than cows not recieving the hormone. Labeling saying cows are not treated with rBST is misleading and falsely implies the milk is somehow purer or different. It is not.

  7. Exhibit A of that close minded pathology. Why is it that they can never bother to use a spell check?

  8. Dave says:

    If you can provide a link to a peer-reviewed, published study proving the safety and efficacy of Monsanto’s products, I’d consider that telling both sides of the story. Linking to the company itself saying “Trust us! We come in peace!” is far from a persuasive argument.

  9. olie says:

    ChristyACB said…
    “Creating Round Up ready seeds is a nightmare! I don’t want to eat anything sprayed directly with roundup, do you?”

    How do you know you aren’t? Midwest farmers have a tough time making a profit. Are they using RoundUp ready seeds to increase their margin? I think yes.

  10. Jon says:

    Christopher, If you are going to check my posts for typos, you will be very busy.

    Perhaps since you were so concerned about my spelling you missed the comntent.

    “There is no laboratory anywhere in the world that can tell the difference between milk from a cow that has been treated with Posilac and milk from one that hasn’t been treated. Milk from treated cows is just as safe as milk from untreated cows. This has been affirmed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, World Health Organization, American Medical Association, American Dietetic Association and regulatory agencies in 30 countries.”

  11. Jon says:

    Funny, I saw no peer reviewed published study showing how unsafe or in effective Monsanto’s products are in the post. I would suggest if you think you can find any peer reviewed, published study showing how the use of this product.

    I looked at the USDA website and found this from 1993.

    “FINDING OF NO SIGNIFICANT IMPACT
    for
    Sterile Sometribove Zinc Suspension
    (Methionyl Bovine Somatotropin, POSlLAC@)
    For Use in Lactating Dairy Cows
    NADA 140-872
    Monsanto Agricultural Company
    St. Louis, MO
    The Center for Veterinary Medicine has carefully considered the potential environmental
    impact of this action and has concluded that this action will not have a significant effect
    on the quality of the human environment and that an environmental impact statement
    therefore will not be prepared.”

    From 1995

    “The number and severity of the reported conditions raise no new animal health concerns about the safety of Posilac®. There is no indication that the drug is any less effective than labeled. In addition, FDA and State regulatory officials have found no indication of a change in the incidence of violative drug residues in milk associated with the commercial use of Posilac®.

    Based on the these reports of adverse reactions to Posilac®, FDA finds no cause for concern.”

    You could easily have found this yourself. Perhaps you tried and failed and instead of accepting the facts felt you had to say something and replied that you expect me to provide peer reviewed, published information to prove a negative.

    If you and Christopher had done a minimum of research rather than taking a stand based on emotion you would have discovered that Monsanto sold the rights to Eli Lilly and no longer manufactures the product.

    Thank you to you and Christopher for proving my point that some people are ready to condemn without educating themselves to all sides of an issue.

  12. Jon says:

    PS- since levels of the naturally occuring recombinant bovine growth hormones are identical in milk from POSILAC and from non- POSILAC treated herds the labeling of milk as “not containing recombinant bovine growth hormone” is untrue.

    Once again the only side affect from use of this product is more milk identical to any other good quality milk.

    Once again, I think the adherence to the non-proven assumption that non-hybridized products are superior to hybridized products is untrue. There is zero indication that this is true despite decades of testing. If you have money to burn, go ahead and buy alternate products. It’s your money, waste it wisely.

    Once again opposition to the use of these products adds to the cost, reduces productivity and in the extreme limiting their use causes hunger and starvation. Having seen people starving in person, I bristle at people sitting in their comfortable homes with full bellies judging that these technologies should not be used when they have no concept of the consequences or the facts.

  13. The comntent becomes rather irrelevant when the tone and style of delivery over powers it. A smarter person would recognize that.

  14. Dave says:

    Interesting, since I did no such thing there, Sparky. I simply pointed out to you that the strongest argument can be made with primary-source documents. Quoting a manufacturers’ website… well, Metabolife made a lot of great claims too, no? You’re the one taking a position- I would think it was up to you to bolster that argument, not me. Who says I have my mind made up one way or the other?

    I think YOU illustrated that some people are too caught up in how clever they can be on teh interwebz to actually read and comprehend what other people write.

  15. Jon says:

    David, you imputed the information I gave you by saying it was from the company and you didn’t trust it.

    Your implication was that the information from the company refering to FDA, The World Health Organization, The American Medical Association, The American Diatetic Association and 30 countries regulatory bodies that have found it to be safe could not be trusted. You wanted “a peer reviewed, published study”. I then gave you the source of the FDA and showed you this was resolved over 15 years ago and multiple times. I gave you the information you said you wanted. Now you say that I am being too clever for you and you despite your demand to me for peer reviewed data and impuning the information given to you initially you say you had not formed an opinion. The intelligent thing for you to do would be to investigate it on your own and find out the truth yourself. Instead you simply said my information was not good enough for you and then when given exactly what you said you needed, you claim I am acting clever and not listening.

    I have a flash for you, I am not acting and I understand very well what you have written and asked for and recieved, even if you do not.

  16. Michele says:

    So why don’t rBGH customers among the dairies label their milk, “Now with rBGH! A breakthrough product!”

    Why sue people who say they don’t use it, instead of advertising it, if it’s so terrific that only ignorance could make a consumer avoid it?

    I’m not stupid. I read newspapers every day. And if you are asking me to place my trust in industry over Mother Nature–forget it. I read the papers.

  17. Jon says:

    PS- i would suggest you refrain from applying nicknames. You know how clever I am.

    OK, David?

  18. Jon says:

    If you want to require dairies to label their milk if it contains rBHG then every dairy would have to do this as ALL milk contains rBHG. If you want to require that they label the amount then they will ALL have the same amount. Organic or not rBHG is a natural hormone in all milk at exactly the same concentrations, according to the FDA, the AMA, the American Dietetic Association.

    There is no repudable organization that refutes this, not one. It is simply a natural hormone that is given in higher than natural doses to increase milk production. Higher levels of it do not show up in the milk, never did. It has been used for 15 or 20 years and no difference has been shown between treated cow’s milk and non-treated cow’s milk. Dairies that say their milk has none are lying. Dairies that suggest only dairies that use rBGH have it in their milk are lying. Dairies that say they have less are lying. If truth in labeling is what you want all milk will be labeled as containing rBGH in exactly the same amounts.

    People who believe that there is a difference are at odds with every scientific study ever done and every scientific organization of any credibility.

    This is not a matter of this being my opinion, it is not my opinion, it is fact. If some adiry doesn’t want to use it and you want to pay more for this milk, fine. If you think it is a different product or that the extra rBGH shows up as a greater percentage in the milk you are wrong.

    I urge you not to trust the industry. I urge you not to trust me. I urge you to do your own research and you will find the facts, just as I did.

  19. Dr Dog says:

    Hi Jon,
    I like your logic and endorse your comments. One minor correction that may help you in dealing with those with less understanding of the area, there is no recombinant bovine growth hormone in natural cows milk. There is plenty of bovine growth hormone, but none of the recombinant variety. Recombinant means that the bovine growth hormone is derived from recombination technology, thus a cloned cDNA sequence encoding BGH. The product, BGH is identical to natural BGH as you point out. Of course, all milk contains BGH and you are absolutely correct, recombinant BGH and natural BGH are indistinguishable. I like your posts, keep up the good work!

    Dr Dog

  20. Dr Dog says:

    Dear Christopher,

    My reply to those who trust spell checkers. You will not find a single spelling mistake in the following

    Wrest a Spell

    Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    It plainly marques four my revue
    Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

    Eye strike a key and type a word
    And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar write
    It shows me strait a weigh.

    As soon as a mist ache is maid
    It nose bee fore two long
    And eye can put the error rite
    Its rare lea ever wrong.

    Eye have run this poem threw it
    I am shore your pleased two no
    Its letter perfect awl the weigh
    My chequer tolled me sew.

    -Sauce unknown

    Have a nice day

    Dr Dog

  21. Dave says:

    “Thank you to you and Christopher for proving my point that some people are ready to condemn without educating themselves to all sides of an issue.”

    All I’m saying is that this statement (copied and pasted directly from your post, my friend) has nothing to do with what *I* posted. I gave you the opportunity to educate me, and you came back and lambasted me for asking for primary source material (which any good scientist/researcher will insist upon).

    Scientific studies are amazing things. When one is trying to prove a point- any point- it’s often possible to pull sections of the study out of context and make it say the exact opposite of what it actually proved (or disproved, or failed to disprove- if we’re going to be accurate about what the scientific method really does). So you see, I don’t trust what Monsanto tells me a scientist discovered; I also don’t trust what Betty of Betty O’Flangans Crunchy Organic Nuggets tells me a scientist said about HER products. But I’m a reasonably educated person, so I can read a journal abstract and get a pretty good sense of where it’s going, and whether or not I have to read the whole thing.

    I did read the link on Monsanto’s site; they don’t list studies proving safety, just an absence of ones proving danger. The FDA link makes reference to some studies, done somewhere, sometime, by someone, but I’ll be damned if I can find an actual citation in those interim guidelines.

    I looked at your USDA cite from ’93. Note that it’s not an actual study, but an Environmental Assessment that draws upon data provided by the manufacturer and a review of the current scientific literature. By current I mean current for that time- most of the references were published between 1985 and 1988. More to the point, though, is the fact that it asseses the impact not on humans but on the human environment- the stability versus biodegradation of the product when released into the environment, worker exposures, and transmission to indigenous species.

    Also, just so we’re being clear here- your 1995 paper does not refer to health issues caused by Posilac in humans. It refers to health concerns in moo-cows injected with Prosilac. So, since I’m not too worried about my udder swelling, I don’t see where this cite makes me feel better about consuming the product.

    Now, there’s an interesting study in PNAS by Capper, et al, that talks about rBSTs potential for decreasing the negative effects of waste from dairies. Of course, this is based upon an industrial ag application, so I wonder if it’s as applicable to a smaller, more localized distribution model of farmimg (which is how I buy my milk). I’ve bookmarked the article so I can read it when I get the chance.

    So I can appreciate that you feel it’s important to research an issue before taking a stand on an issue. I do that. But when it comes to an additive without a lot of data (especially longitudinal data) about its health effects, I would tend to err on the side of staying away from it. But I’m just goofy that way, I guess.

    To get back to my original point- you still need to “Show me the Data,” Jon.

  22. Dave says:

    I sure do know how clever you are! I respond to the level at which I’m engaged. Bad habit of mine, won’t happen again.

  23. I like clever Mr. Dog. Maybe you can teach that to some people.

  24. Jon says:

    Thank you Dr Dog, I appreciate the correction and your insights.

  25. Jon says:

    You have all the time in the world to post irellevant little ditties and no time to study the facts.

  26. Jon says:

    I would rspond in kind but my third grade rants are a little rusty.

  27. Jon says:

    Another perspective on “Organic” farming;

    “perspective
    Reasons you should buy regular goods
    By Jackie Avner
    Posted: 07/29/2007 01:00:00 AM MDT

    I don’t like to buy organic food products, and avoid them at all cost. It is a principled decision reached through careful consideration of effects of organic production practices on animal welfare and the environment. I buy regular food, rather than organic, for the benefit of my family.

    I care deeply about food being plentiful, affordable and safe. I grew up on a dairy farm, where my chores included caring for the calves and scrubbing the milking facilities. As a teenager, I was active in Future Farmers of America, and after college I took a job in Washington, D.C., on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee staff.

    But America no longer has an agrarian economy, and now it is rare for people to have firsthand experience with agricultural production and regulation. This makes the general public highly susceptible to rumors and myths about food, and vulnerable to misleading marketing tactics designed not to improve the safety of the food supply, but to increase retail profits. Companies marketing organic products, and your local grocery chain, want you to think organic food is safer and healthier, because their profit margins are vastly higher on organic foods.

    The USDA Organic label does not mean that there is any difference between organic and regular food products. Organic farms simply employ different methods of food production. For example, organic dairy farms are not permitted to administer antibiotics to their sick or injured cows, and do not give them milk-stimulating hormone supplements (also known as rbGH or rBST). The end product is exactly the same – all milk, regular and organic, is completely antibiotic-free, and all milk, regular and organic, has the same trace amounts of rbGH (since rbGH is a protein naturally present in all cows, including organic herds). Try as they may, proponents of organic foods have not been able to produce evidence that the food produced by conventional farms is anything but safe.

    Do organic production practices benefit animals? Dr. Chuck Guard, professor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University, told me that it pains him that many technological advancements in animal medicine are prohibited for use on organic farms. He described how organic farms don’t use drugs to control parasites, worms, infections and illness in their herds. “Drugs take away pain and suffering,” he said. “Proponents of organic food production have thrown away these medical tools, and the result is unnecessary pain and suffering for the animals.”

    In order for milk and meat to qualify as USDA Organic, the animals must never be given antibiotics when they are sick or injured. On organic farms, animals with treatable illnesses such as infections and pneumonia are left to suffer, or given ineffective homeopathic treatments, in the hope that they will eventually get better on their own. If recovery without medication seems unlikely, a dairy cow with a simple respiratory infection will be slaughtered for its meat, or sold to a traditional farm where she can get the medicine she needs. I don’t buy organic milk because this system is cruel to animals, and I know that every load of regular milk is tested for antibiotics to ensure that it is antibiotic-free.

    Organic milk certainly is not fresher than regular milk. Regular milk is pasteurized and has a shelf life of about 20 days. Organic milk is ultrapasteurized, a process that is more forgiving of poor quality milk, and that increases the shelf life of milk to about 90 days. Some of the Horizon organic milk boxes I’ve seen at Costco have expiration dates in 2008! There is a powerful incentive for retailers to put the ultrapasteurized organic milk on the shelf just before the expiration date, so consumers will think the organic milk is as fresh as the regular milk. After all, consumers are paying twice as much for the organic product.

    Do organic production practices benefit the environment? In many cases, they do the opposite. Recently, Starbucks proudly informed their customers that they would no longer be buying milk from farms that use rbGH, the supplemental hormone administered to cows to increase milk production (even though the extra hormones stay in the cow, and the resulting milk is the same). The problem with this policy is that Starbucks will now be buying milk from farms that are far less efficient at making milk. Without the use of the latest technology for making milk, many more cows must be milked to produce the same number of café lattes for Starbucks’ customers. More cows being milked means more cows to feed, and therefore more land must be cultivated with fossil-fuel-burning tractors. More cows means many more tons of manure produced, and more methane, a greenhouse gas, released into the atmosphere.

    I see Starbucks’ policy as environmentally irresponsible. When a farmer gives a cow a shot of rbGH, the only environmental cost is the disposal of the small plastic container it came in. But the environmental benefits of using this technology are enormous.

    Attention all shoppers: Safeway is adopting the same misdirected policy as Starbucks, judging from the prominent labeling of milk at my local Safeway store: “Milk from cows not treated with rBST.” When I’m feeling particularly green, I drive past Safeway and shop at another grocery store in protest.

    Consumers assume that organic crops are environmentally friendly. However, organic production methods are far less efficient than the modern methods used by conventional farmers, so organic farmers must consume more natural and man-made resources (such as land and fuel) to produce their crops.

    Cornell Professor Guard told me about neighboring wheat farms he observed during a visit to Alberta, Canada: one organic and one conventional. The organic farm consumes six times as much diesel fuel per bushel of wheat produced.

    Socially conscious consumers have a right to know that “organic” doesn’t mean what it did 20 years ago. According to the Oct. 16, 2006, cover story in Business Week, when you eat Stonyfield Farms yogurt, you are often consuming dried organic milk flown all the way from New Zealand and reconstituted here in the U.S. The apple puree used to sweeten the yogurt sometimes comes from Turkey, and the strawberries from China. Importation of organic products raises troubling questions about food safety, labor standards, and the fossil fuels burned in the transportation of these foods.

    Does buying organic really benefit your family? Remember, there is no real difference in the food itself. At my local Safeway store, organic milk is 85 percent more expensive, eggs 138 percent higher, yogurt 50 percent, chicken thighs 80 percent, and broccoli 20 percent. If the only organic product you buy for your family is milk, then you are spending an extra $200 on milk each year. If you buy 5-10 other organic products each week, such as fruits, vegetables, eggs, yogurt and meat, then you could easily approach $1,000 in extra food costs per year. Families would receive a more direct health benefit from spending that money on a gym membership, a treadmill, or new bikes.

    When I share this information with friends who buy organic, I get one of two responses: they either stop buying it, or they continue to buy organic based on a strong gut feeling that food grown without the assistance of man- made technology has to be healthier.

    I don’t push it, but I wonder: Why do people apply that logic to agricultural products, but not to every other product we use in our daily lives? There are either no chemicals, or the minutest trace of chemicals in some of our foods. But other everyday products are full of chemical ingredients. Read the label on your artificial sweetener, antiperspirant, sun lotion, toothpaste, household cleaning products, soda, shampoo, and disposable diapers, for example. The medicines we administer to our children when they are sick are man-made substances. Chemicals aren’t just used to make these products; they are still in these products in significant amounts. It just doesn’t make sense to focus fear of technology on milk and fresh produce.

    I say, bypass the expensive organic products in the grocery store. Buy the regular milk, meat and fresh produce. It is the right choice for the family, animal welfare and the environment.

    Jackie Avner (jackie.avner@gmail.com) lives in Highlands Ranch.”

    http://www.denverpost.com/search/ci_6474474

  28. Dave says:

    What I posted was an analysis of the citations you provided, all in my search for the facts. I even mentioned a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences that appears to favor your argument, so I’m clearly not just dismissing information that I may not agree with. I would say that what I posted was quite relevant, but I must be confused as to the meaning of “relevant” in this context. Please enlighten me, Jon, instead of just insulting me.

  29. Jon says:

    the use of BGH was discovered and has been used since 1937. In 1994 it was synthesized and the use greww. Before it could be used it was subjected to over 150 studies, as I noted. These are relevant. If you want to see the studies I would suggest you get a freedom of information request and get them.

    There is zero evidence that milk from treated and non-treated cows is any different. The substance used is identical to the natural hormone, BGH. No one anywhere denies this. the 1995 study does not mention impacts on humans because there is none.

    You want me to provide the 150 studies done before acceptance in 1995 of the rBGH or you discount the studies as unreliable and you will avoid milk from cows treated withrBGH. I don’t care. It is an unreasonable fear, but you can live in fear if you choose to. In my opinion and every scientific organization in the world it is unrealistic and unfounded, but your perception is your reality and you have every right to your own peculiar way of looking at things, no matter how wrong and unfounded your assumptions and fears are.

    When you get a chance you will find the reference to waste is because each treated cow produces, on average ten pounds more milk a day. the decrease in waste by utilizing less cows would be scalable for any size farm. It seems that in this case as in others you somehow never have time to study things that will enlighten you. You have all the time in the world to argue and no time to put up an arguement and fall back on suggesting I am not convincing you. My position is to state facts according to my understanding and document my positions. If you disagree you should present an arguement against my position. Simply saying you are not convinced is nonsense. If you think I’m wrong, prove it.
    After much study and amid some controversy, the FDA approved the use of bST in dairy cows in November 1993. Commercial sales were delayed for 90 days, however, because of a Congressional act (1). FDA based its rulings on findings that (a) bST is species-specific for cows, (b) bST is a protein that is digested in the intestinal tract of human beings and cows, (c) milk contains bST naturally and supplementation does not increase the amount of bST to levels outside the normal ranges, (d) bST supplementation does not change milk composition, and (e) bST has not been found to cause growth-promoting activity in a variety of species

    http://www.eatright.org/cps/rde/xchg/ada/hs.xsl/advocacy_3793_ENU_HTML.htm

  30. Be sure to read a handful of the comments to Jackie Avner’s article. There Great! It seems Ms. Avner is in the biotech business looking to breed allergen free cats using Transgenics. “Transgenic refers to the process of introducing new genetic material into a cell. A transfected cell is a cell with new DNA material in it.”

    http://www.felixpets.com/index_files/Page673.htm

  31. Dave says:

    Jon, what I took issue with in my original post is that you presented the manufacturer’s own PR as a solid argument in their favor. Since you seem to be a cheerleader for them, I figured you must have something more that could give me an “aha!” moment, so I asked for the gold standard: peer-reviewed, published, primary source materials. You presented some sources as if they were, but they really aren’t. That’s been my beef (no pun intended) throughout this whole thing- that it is intellectually dishonest to bolster an argument by claiming that your “proof” is stronger than what it really is.

    I cannot argue with you and claim that I know of a current study, meeting my criteria, that demonstrates that rBGH is UNsafe. So, I’ve asked you to provide me an example of a true, scientific study that proves it’s safe. If you also cannot do this, it may be that there just isn’t enough data to know for certain. Unfortunately, that’s an all-to-common result of research: we end up without enough information to consider the study conclusive.

    As for your personal attack on me about “not having time to study things that would enlighten me”- the point you make about the PNAS article is right there in it, and I understand how they reached that conclusion. I was simply stating that I found the conclusion interesting, and wanted to ponder the implications a little more. Is that ok, Jon? To read something and consider it food for thought, and maybe plan on talking it over with some folks I know in the field? Or do I need to formulate a hard, fast, inflexible position on something the second it’s placed in front of me?

  32. Jon says:

    As you should know it takes years of studies and millions and sometimes billions of dollars to get FDA approval. Your suggesting that this is not peer reviewed is nonsensical. I am also quite sure that the claims made by Monsanto of the other approvals would not be published if not true. You have gold-plated studies, could there be some hidden side affects; maybe, anything is possible, although 15 years of studies have not surfaced anything.

    If you wanted to study it further and educate yourself some more and question it of others you should not have been so obnoxious and you should never accuse me of being intellectually dishonest as the only person being dishonest is you.

    To put it sustincly, I simply stated a well documented fact with a very solid source. You impuned the source simply because it was referenced by the manufacturer. You then accused me of not understanding what you said. You then continued to be biligerent by saying I could have pulled things out of context, with no suggestion as to how you arrived at this conclusion. You make claims that this is something new when it has a 71 year history. When your incorrect assertions are confronted you say you need time to study it and imply I have somehow pressured you into confronting me.

    Please study things before you make assertions that are simply not true.

    Sincerely,

    “Sparky”

  33. Jon says:

    Interesting, is “they’re” some relevance to the article?

  34. They’re might be. Your the expert at spurious claims and arguments. Let me know.

    Just curious, can you spell pompous?

  35. Jon says:

    There is no relavence.

    Pompous that would be;

    C-H-R-I-S-T-O-P-H-E-R

  36. As I suspected, no you can’t spell pompous. If you had looked up the meaning of the word that might have helped.

    I hope you are not being paid to litter the internet with your knowledge. Your benefactors aren’t getting their money’s worth. Your approach turns off more people than it attracts. A big giant gas bag that causes the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise with every breath is a real turn off. The dearth of comments in the posts in which you pontificate other than from those who find you objectionable just might be an indication of your level of success in educating the ignorant masses.

  37. Dave says:

    Wow, aggressor to victim in 3.2 seconds. Impressive.

  38. Jon says:

    I have no hope of educating you. You are not a thinking person. You exhibit this with your angry responses when you are unable to formulate any logical response.

    To recap; I have simply stated facts backed up by hundreds of studies by the FDA, the American Dietetic Association, the UN World Health Orgainization, the European Union, hundreds of other tests by states and countries and none of these tests have shown anything other than the fact that milk from cows treated with the recombinant bovine growth hormone produce milk that is indistinguishable from cows that are not treated. Not one hint of any proof otherwise has been offered.

    Having no knowledge of the facts and being incapable of mounting any comeback based on fact your predictable response is to personally attack me. This shows an absolute inability to discuss the subject intelligently. Your supposition is that these personal attacks are a good substitute for your ignorance. It is not.

    Let me leave you with my previously submitted and now twice ignored advice;

    It is far better to be silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. The Immortal Bard

    Here are your sole contributions to the discussion with me:

    “Exhibit A of that close minded pathology. Why is it that they can never bother to use a spell check?”

    “The comntent becomes rather irrelevant when the tone and style of delivery over powers it. A smarter person would recognize that.”

    “I like clever Mr. Dog. Maybe you can teach that to some people.”

    “Be sure to read a handful of the comments to Jackie Avner’s article. There Great! It seems Ms. Avner is in the biotech business looking to breed allergen free cats using Transgenics. “Transgenic refers to the process of introducing new genetic material into a cell. A transfected cell is a cell with new DNA material in it.”

    “They’re might be. Your the expert at spurious claims and arguments. Let me know.

    Just curious, can you spell pompous?”

    “As I suspected, no you can’t spell pompous. If you had looked up the meaning of the word that might have helped.”

    “I hope you are not being paid to litter the internet with your knowledge. Your benefactors aren’t getting their money’s worth. Your approach turns off more people than it attracts. A big giant gas bag that causes the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to rise with every breath is a real turn off. The dearth of comments in the posts in which you pontificate other than from those who find you objectionable just might be an indication of your level of success in educating the ignorant masses.”

    Looking over your comments to me there is zero discussion, zero input of information, zero rebuttal with fact to any of the information I supplied. Your “contribution”, once again, is a big fat zero. You started with and continued with nothing but lame insults. If you want anyone to respect your opinion (if you have any) you should re-evaluate your methods. A very good start would be to do some research and try to educate yourself before I reach the obvious conclusion you don’t know what you are talking about.

  39. Jon says:

    I’m no victim. A victim is someone that is told an untruth and doesn’t have the intelligence to question.

  40. To recap, as you so accurately pointed out now that you feel it is relevant, I never once entered a discussion with you about milk. You have major problems with reading comprehension. I was discussing YOU and the impression you create. It’s not good.

    Are you being paid for this? Who do you work for? If you really want to educate people, why don’t you start your own blog or site with all the facts about what you are so passionate about? Or is that too much to expect from a big giant gASS bag?

  41. Jon says:

    So you entered into the discussion about hormones in milk and hybrid seeds and thought that since you know absolutely nothing about this you would personally attack me?

    You didn’t want to enter the discussion and you somehow just wanted to express your opinion that you think I have problems with reading comprehension?

    You didn’t want to intellectually engage me after your previous experience where you exhibited the same distasteful habit of resorting to personal attacks when your knowledge of a subject fails you?

    You thought that lacking any arguement you felt you would jump in and attempt to cover your shortcomings in intellect by being ignorant and abusive?

    This is a stunning admission. I do appreciate your honesty however, it is a refreshing change

  42. “So you entered into the discussion about hormones in milk….”

    No you do not understand. I never entered the discussion of milk.

    Have you ever considered brevity as a way to enhance your communication? Sometimes the messenger deserves to be shot.

  43. Jon says:

    Goodbye Christopher.

    At first I enjoyed popping your pompous balloons but alas the continual ease of verbally defeating such an intellectually defenseless person as yourself has become tedious and the degradation you continually and seemingly unashamedly heap upon yourself with comments such as that above is sad, very sad.

  44. You betcha Sparky! Tedious is a very apt description. Adios.

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