Roundup Ready Crop and the Green PolkaDot Box

 By: Myles Power Edited by: Peter

I recently uploaded a video to YouTube critiquing an american advert asking people to vote yes for proposition 37. For those who don't know, proposition 37 was the failed attempt calling for the mandatory labelling of all genetically modified food in California. To try and get people to vote yes, the advert mislead the viewer into thinking that GM-food poses a threat to human health and that Bt delta endotoxins are not safe for human consumption (even though they are used in organic farming). At the end I discussed my personal thoughts about about the proposition, and how I was actually for the labelling, but angry at the misinformation in the advert.

My video did fairly well in the first day, and quite a lot of people contacted me giving me their thoughts on proposition 37 and GMOs. Out of all the people who contacted me one in particular stuck out. It was a tweet from the GreenPolkaDotBox, a company that sells non-GMO food in big green polkabot boxes. As well as selling the boxes, their website claims that they also "educate the public about the links between diet and disease, motivating them to seek out healthier, clean, organic alternatives" and how to "protect our children from the debilitating consequences of processed and genetically modified foods". Their tweet to me said "It is very important that we are well informed about what is in our food as well as knowing the real dangers". In my video, I briefly mentioned that there were potential dangers to genetic modification but foolishly never gave any examples. This has led people to believe I was talking about examples of GM-crop on the American market when actually I was talking about examples confined in the lab or in a controlled experiment. This is why I was so fascinated with the GreenPolkaDotbox's tweet, as they where obviously talking about dangers in GM-crop on the market.

greenpolkadotbox

I replied back asking for an example of the dangers of GMOs from a reliable source. What I got in return was a link to a pdf hosted on their website on the dangers of glyphosate (AKA Roundup herbicide). Before I go any further I have to stress that GreenPolkaDotBox is not some anonymous commenter online; they are a company that sells non-GMO products whilst pushing the idea that GMOs are dangerous. If anyone should be able to give me a link to a reliable source showing these dangers, it’s a company in which it’s entire business is based around these dangers. You can imagine my surprise when the best they could give me was an open access paper entitled ‘Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases‘. First the paper is a prime example of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) and references many questionable papers including ones from Andrew Wakefield. The paper also quotes the highly discredited paper ‘Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize’ which shows you the level of scientific understanding we are dealing with. Secondly, the paper says that glyphosate is responsible for everything from autism to obesity, which is not supported by the literature. Thirdly, most obvious and unforgivably, the paper is about glyphosate and not GMOs. Like others who apparently have research that shows dangers of GMOs have not bothered to read the research they are quoting. You would think a company who’s product is based on theses so called dangers would not be so lazy.

roundup

The common misconception among anti-GMO-ers like GreenPolkaDotBox is that glyphosate (roundup) is produced in roundup ready GM-plants. It does not take a degree in biology or an advanced knowledge of science to understand why this is so stupid it just takes a little bit of common sense. Why would someone make a plant which produces a compound which can kill it? These plants do not produce glyphosate; they are resistant to the herbicide, this is even mentioned in the paper which GreenPolkaDotBox is quoting. The paper says that roundup ready crops which are resistant to roundup allow for more of the herbicide to be used in farming and if thats the worst example of the dangers of GMO that the Green PolkaDot Box can throw at me then I am going to say GM-crop on the market are safe.

I, of course, contacted the Green PolkaDot Box with my problems with the paper they sent me but am still awaiting a reply.

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About Myles Power (562 Articles)
My name is Myles Power, and I run the educational YouTube channel, powerm1985. I spend what little free time I have sharing my love of SCIENCE! through home experiments, visiting sites of scientific interest, and angrily ranting at pseudoscience proponents. I am also one of the founding members of the podcast 'The League of Nerds' - which I co-host with James from 'The History of Infection'.

9 Comments on Roundup Ready Crop and the Green PolkaDot Box

  1. Great video once again! You rock! The only thing I disagree with is about the labeling. The way I see it no food producer should be coerced into spending vast amounts of time and resources on labeling a harmless product to satisfy the ravings of delusional fear-mongers. Now, labeling cigarettes makes sense because they really are dangerous. GMOs are not.

    Can you imagine the time and money it would cost a small company that makes … cookies, say, to research the source of every ingredient that goes into its chocolate chip oatmeal cookies…? Flour, sugar, butter, oatmeal, eggs, chocolate chips, flavorings, etc. And to change the labeling every time he changes a supplier…? OMG! It would be far cheaper to just slap a “contains GMOs” label on all its packages, whether they contain GMOs or not, and accept a small decrease in sales from the anti-GMO-ers. The only benefit this law would bring is to the throng of predatory lawyers who would be lurking in the shadows — searching for erroneous labels and then launching reams of lawsuits.

    May I share with you the libertarian solution…? It’s voluntary labeling. See, people who are paranoid about GMOs and want labeling will be looking for products that say “No GMOs” on the package. Producers of non-GMO products will want to cash in on this fear and will be motivated to voluntarily label their packages in great big bold letters “Contains No GMOs.” They don’t need to be compelled to do it.

    The products that contain GMOs don’t need labels because people who respect science won’t care about GMO content one way or the other. The anti-GMO-ers will just assume that unlabeled products are riddled with tumor producing toxins and avoid them. They’ll wander off to buy some organic e-coli infested spinach…. :-)

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  2. Thank you for this video. You’ve used actually science to prove what I’ve been arguing while some GMOs can be and are bad not all GMOs are, and they do have benefits. Monsanto on the other hand is a different story and they do have some very messed up practices, but the practices of one company shouldn’t diminish a product as a whole. I will be using this video to back up my claims. Thanks again.

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  3. I love your posts. You are the only person in my bubble that finds the arguments of anti-GMO proponents unfounded. I share yours posts and videos of GMO’s often on my facebook, but I get silence treatment from everyone. I guess that is inherent nature of facebook to ignore anything substantial we can learn. Also, I am going to major in genetics and I find anything in the field and related area really fascinating.
    So, thank you for your time and effort into all these videos and posts. :)

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  4. In my mind there is no question that genetically modified crops will only grow more common going forward. With the current population growth rate and the urban sprawl associated with modern living improving crop yield will become increasingly more important. The problem I have with Genetically Modified Foods is not that they might be dangerous, but more along the lines of the business tactics used by Monsanto. Monsanto has over zealously defended their intellectual property by suing farmers who’s fields lie adjacent to fields where GM crops are being grown for having some plants that have some of their genetic modifications. Because cross pollination or a few errant seeds are apparently a real threat to their business.

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    • Instead of reading the reports on those law suits. Go and read the ACTUAL case files. I have read them all and only one of them looks as if Monsanto is being a bit over zealous. Most of them is the farmer finding these seeds on their land KNOWING what they have and then going on to plant their crops using the seeds without paying for them.

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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Drinking roundup makes guys live longer! « Biology Fortified, Inc.
  2. Bad science in the paper ‘A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet’ | Myles Power (powerm1985)

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