I can’t count the number of times that I have been discussing GM crops with someone only to get the response, “Oh, I have no problem with the technology, it is just Monsanto that is really bad…” and what generally follows is a re-hashing of all the common half-truths, myths, and conspiracy theories surrounding the company. It can be hard to point out the unsupported nature of these claims without seeming like a corporate fan boy or shill, but we can’t unskeptically give into our knee-jerk anti-corporate sentiments. As the Pythgorean Crank says in his latest post titled We Are All Monsanto,
I hate to sound like a corporate defender or apologist. What a weird position I find myself in. The worst of Monsanto’s offenses may be the sum of its parts and that’s always been a problem of big business. We should be wary and resolute in business ethics. But lets not cry wolf lest that wolf finally sneak past us…
This is just getting into 9/11 truther territory now. None of the charges levied against Monsanto are unique, inherent or evil. Just the same with the vilification of GMOs. Huh, imagine that. Others are discovering the same and sharing their stories. We don’t have to throw Monsanto under the bus in order to reach out to the GMO haters. Let’s not be complicit in fanning the flames of yet another conspiracy theory.
Madagascar Against Monsanto Prank:
Ever wonder what depths of ignorance and gullibility that the anti-GMO movement can sink to? A recent prank by a young man from Madagascar tested just that…and the March Against Monsanto folks fell for it hook, line, & sinker*. Eventually the prankster outed the hoax,
To my new friends from March Against Monsanto:
I apologize, I have tricked you for many days now, and I must now stop because I am getting scared of your community, and even though I do not respect your ways, you are humans and I feel bad tricking you into thinking I am one of your group. You mean well, but you are not using science in a good way to help Madagascar.
There was no March Against Monsanto (MAM) in Madagascar. I made the signs and gave them to my friends to see what your group would say. My teacher (who does not agree with this project because of the trickery) told me that your group will accept almost anything regardless of the scientific process, this was my experiment to see if he is correct. In my opinion, he is correct, and your group should not have the same respect as people who are careful about their science. When we talk about science, we must be very careful how we use peoples emotions, otherwise it is manipulation…
You can read the full story here.
*wait…that’s not very vegan
Fluoride & IQ Update:
Not that I expect it to change anyones mind but there is a new study published examining the effects of childhood fluoride exposure on neurological development. Unlike previous research on the issue such as the oft cited “Harvard study” which looked at exposure from uncontrolled sources such as coal burning and ground water, this study examines exposure from sources more typical of community fluoridation and dental health programs. In short the study found that,
These findings do not support the assertion that fluoride in the context of CWF programs is neurotoxic. Associations between very high fluoride exposure and low IQ reported in previous studies may have been affected by confounding, particularly by urban or rural status.
You can read more about this study over at the NeuroLogica blog.
The No Kill vs. Open Admission model of sheltering has become a major issue and source of division among some animal advocates. In this new article the author attempts to parse the two and wonders if there is perhaps a middle ground between the most vocal sides of the debate.
Behind the vitriol, the two sides agree on many things. Shelters should have partnerships with rescue groups and veterinarians. They should be staffed with caring volunteers who look for good homes, not just any home. They should offer animals exercise and attention. They should actively push spay and neuter programs. If you’re looking for a shelter to support, these are the things you should care about. They are what make the difference between a good shelter and a bad shelter. You may be able to avoid the difficult philosophical question of whether euthanizing shelter animals is humane.
No-kill is a truly admirable goal, but it only works when a community is willing to back it with time and money, and to open their homes to unwanted animals. If that doesn’t happen, no-kill can become a very dangerous slogan. If a shelter can’t guarantee a good home to an animal, is it right to keep it alive in a cage, or bouncing back and forth between the shelter and a bad home? Or is it better to give the animal a quick death? I suppose only a dog could answer that question.
Read the full article at Slate.
The China Study Again:
The folks at The Reality Check podcast tackled The China Study in their latest episode. This study, or rather best-selling book, and its father-son team of authors have become quite popular in the vegan community since the book appears to make a strong case for the total avoidance of animal protein for personal health. But does the data actually support the authors conclusions?” Not really, but to find out more listen to the episode here.