Sue Mallender Does Not Live in the Real World

Back in May of this year on a particularly wet day League of Nerds co-host, James, and I attended a March against Monsanto protest in Nottingham. The protest was attended by a relatively large group of people who I presumed were there to protest against the agriculture company Monsanto. Instead it became apparent very early on that they were there to protest against genetically modified organisms as a whole. March against monsanto nottingham 7

The main event began with a speech from one of the organizers who, for some reason, was wearing a full body painting suit presumably because she though it looked like hazmat gear. Stood there in the pouring rain with her painting suit slowly melting, she told the crowd that GMOs have been shown in independent studies to cause advanced ageing, damage reproductive organs, and that “it’s not the gene that is been put into the crop. It’s actually been shown to be the genetically modified process itself”. The protesters then took to street chanting “hell no! GMO!” before stopping for a short while to listen to some more speeches. One of these speeches came from the head of the Green Party in rushcliffe, Sue Mallender who unlike others was not only speaking for herself, but on behalf of her political party - The Green Party.

The speech Sue Mallender gave to the march against Monsanto protesters

Sue starts her speech by saying that the Green Party are the only political party against GMOs…as if their ignorance and arrogance is something to be proud of. As she was saying this I wondered if she would have a problem refusing a diabetic their insulin or preventing research using GM animal models that have the potential of saving millions of lives.

Later in her speech she mentioned a BBC4 radio program called Seeds of Trouble and went on to say that the program disguises how the people who lived next to farms growing GM-crops in Mexico were suffering from higher rates of cancers and birth defects. I was able to track down this program to a 2003 two-part series on the politics and science of GM food production. The shows are nothing short of anti-GM propaganda at a level that would make David SHUKMAN blush. What’s interesting is that there is no mention of a higher risk of cancers or birth defects. The only thing that comes close is a larger portion dedicated to a Dr. Ignacio Chapela controversial and highly flawed 2001 Nature paper “Transgenic DNA introgressed into traditional maize landraces in Oaxaca, Mexico”. The data within the paper was infact so flawed that Nature issued a statement admitting that they should not have published it.

After listening to Sue’s speech I had a lot of question for her and she was kind enough to let me interview her later on in the day.

Interview with Sue Mallender on her views on GMOs

My first question to Sue, which I though would be the easiest to answer, was ‘why are you against GM-food?’ Sue began to talk about how she does not like some of the companies who produce them. This is a fair enough point but it was not the reason she gave 30 minutes earlier when she said that GM-food has been shown to increase your risk of cancers and birth defects. I was really hoping that she would mention this again but presumably because I introduced myself as a scientist and someone who had worked with GMOs in the past she was a little worried to discuss it with me. She also mentions that some GM-crops have been given the ability to resist certain herbicides, which increases the amount of these herbicides used. When it was pointed out to her that this ability is not the only ability GM-crops can be given, she danced around the question and fell back onto anti-big company paranoia.

Towards the end of the interview she begins to talk about how she would solve the worlds food shortage problem without using GMOs. She believes that the worlds more affluent countries should switch back to using organic farming techniques and share their food with the less fortunate ones. Whilst I am not opposed to countries sharing resources, there will be places where this is practically impossible. How would we get food to them? Is the shipping not going to exponentially increase the price of the food? When this was pointed out to her she did what any good politician does and danced around the question. If she truly believes that this would end world hunger then calling her naive would be an understatement and she frankly does not live in the real world.

What was most worrying about the whole day was not that these people who turned up to protest GMOs did not have a clue about anything they where talking about. It was that they would most likely elect a person like Sue Mallender into power, who also does not know what she is talking about.

Podcast – #027 – March Against Monsanto

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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'.

12 Comments on Sue Mallender Does Not Live in the Real World

  1. Articulate post, the psudeoscience crowd can’t discuss these issues at the scientific level, so they must resort to fear, uncertainty, doubt, and the distortion or complete rejection of facts. Sadly, the anti-logic crowd is large, this much is not a question, just look at religion.

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  2. She’s correct. How are Democratic and Republican parties against GMO’s when they are both bought by chemical companies, Dupont and Monsanto??? The Green Party has never sold out to the chemical companies. Nor have they sold out to banks or any other corrupt corporation. Myles Powers supports all kinds of corruption it seems. Including Disease Paradigm fraud. Visit http://www.houseofnumbers.com for TRUTH

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    • Myles Powers works for a Chemical Company. So of course he doesn’t support the Green Party. They threaten his pay check.

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    • He’s in the UK, it’s not Republican/Democrat over there. The fact is he wasn’t talking about her political stance. If you read the piece, he was merely addressing her lies with science. If you don’t like science, go bury your head in some religious book with talk of deities who will one day come from the sky to save you, it makes so much more sense, right? (sarcasm)

      The only corruption here is from people like Sue Mallender, who spread FUD and lies to advance her anti-logic agenda.

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    • “Disease Paradigm fraud” You just showed that you are a science illiterate fraud.

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    • ”ZOMG TEH KEMIKULS TEH AIDS IS FAAAKE LOLOLOLOLOLOOLOLOLOL!!!!!!” or so sayeth you, mr wacko

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  3. There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill’s Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility. The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.

    Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn. This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth9 and disruption of the intestinal immune system.

    Regarding biological gradient, one study, done by Kroghsbo, et al., has shown that rats fed transgenic Bt rice trended to a dose related response for Bt specific IgA.

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  4. Although there are attempts to increase nutritional benefits or productivity, the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.

    Herbicide tolerance lets the farmer spray weed-killer directly on the crop without killing it.

    Crops such as Bt cotton produce pesticides inside the plant. This kills or deters insects, saving the farmer from having to spray pesticides. The plants themselves are toxic, and not just to insects. Farmers in India, who let their sheep graze on Bt cotton plants after the harvest, saw thousands of sheep die!

    Genetic engineers continually encounter unintended side effects GM plants create toxins, react to weather differently, contain too much or too little nutrients, become diseased or malfunction and die. When foreign genes are inserted, dormant genes may be activated or the functioning of genes altered, creating new or unknown proteins, or increasing or decreasing the output of existing proteins inside the plant. The effects of consuming these new combinations of proteins are unknown.

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  5. In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called for a moratorium on GM foods stating that “there is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation.”[1] This was confirmed in several animal studies. Many doctors have also acknowledged that GM foods cause adverse health effects and are prescribing GM-free diets.[2] After reviewing more than 600 scientific journals, world renowned biologist Pushpa M. Bhargava, concludes that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are a major contributor to the sharply deteriorating health of Americans.

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    • Agreed. A four-year study by 400 scientists concluded in 2008 that monoculture and genetic modification of crops are creating significant problems and that small-scale organic farms are best qualified to feed the world. The study was virtually ignored by the US corporate press. How did we develop such an unhealthy food model? If you follow the money, you’ll find that this was a strategy initiated by the Rockefeller Foundation and large agricultural companies to breed dependency and gain more profits.

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2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. More Nonsense from March Against Monsanto Protestors | Myles Power (powerm1985)
  2. Fact Checking March Against Monsanto Protesters #2 | Myles Power (powerm1985)

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