Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Food Babe Visits My University

It was 6:30 pm in the lab and I was just thinking about the last things I'd need to get done before I could go home.  Typical night.  Usually I'm riding home about 7 pm, but an email popped up asking me if I was going to go watch the Food Babe.  A click on a link would take me to the note on a UF Dean for Students Good Food Revolution Events website.  Vani Hari would be spreading her corrupt message of bogus science and abject food terrorism here at the University of Florida. Oh joy.



There's something that dies inside when you are a faculty member that works hard to teach about food, farming and science, and your own university brings in a crackpot to unravel all of the information you have brought to students.


She might have started from honest roots.  Her story says she was duped by an organic yogurt stand (join the club) into buying taro toppings that were filled with artificial, non-organic colors.  She realized that she could use social media to coalesce affluent consumers in a formation to cyber-slander change from businesses. Shove this dookie through a conduit of the science illiterate and...

An entrepreneur was born!

She found that a popular social media site was more powerful than science itself, more powerful than reason, more powerful than actually knowing what you're talking about.  Her discussion was a narcissistic, self-appointed attack on food science and human nutrition. There is a vein in my head that pulses when I hear someone deliberately misrepresent science for personal celebrity, and it was pounding. 

She went on about her exploits against Chik-fil-A, forcing them to change their formulation. She spoke about how she and her army of online vandals slammed Subway into removing a safe and useful food chemical from their bread.  She spoke of her "5 million person army" with a sly and knowing smile.  Vani likes Vani.


Who do you trust for real scientific information? 
This is why scientists go nutso.


Fallacy and deception. 

She went on about labeling GMO, making the argument ad populum that '64 countries label them so why don't we get the same rights?"  

She explained transgenic crops (of course not using that language) as dangerous, and untested.  There were claims about how the crops were linked to cancer and autism.  She also claimed that "GMO crops cause an increase in pesticides" which is completely false-- and she knows it.  Her words were cleverly chosen, carefully stated, so if someone holds her accountable she can weasel out.  

Food Terrorism. 

Hari then went on to talk about her successes in strong-arming Chick-fil-A, Budweiser and Subway into reformulating their foods and beverages.  She's proud that she was invited to corporate headquarters to force change, proud that a know-nothing with a following can affect change simply by propagating false information via the internet.  

That's not healthy activism or change based on science.  That's coercion, fear mongering and (yes) terrorism to achieve short-sighted political non-victories in the name of profit and self-promotion, ironically the same thing she accuses the companies of.  

Luckily, Starbucks didn't fold.  They refused her assault on Pumpkin Spiced Lattes and the demand for organic milk.  Unfortunately it was not corporate cojones it was likely simple economics. There's no way that they could source that much organic milk. Otherwise, Hari would have blackmailed them too. 


The UF Audience Reaction

There was a silver lining on that cloud.  I was really proud to see that the student audience was not buying it.  Throughout her presentation that was about Hari in the spotlight and "me-me-me", students got up and left.  She left gaping pregnant pauses where previous performances got applause-- only to hear nothing. Not even crickets.  This audience was not buying it, at least as a whole it was not excited by it.  Maybe they just wanted a Chick-fil-A and Starbucks.


No Question and Answer Session

While microphones stood ready in the audience to answer questions, there was no public Q&A period where a scientist that knows the research could publicly challenge her false assertions.  The audience filed out of the building, and apparently she may have stuck around to meet with individuals. However, I wanted her answers in a way students could hear, helping them to critically assess the arguments of scholars vs. self-appointed celebrities.  Questions like:
  • Why am I blocked for posting hard science facts to your websites?
  • How do you feel about transgenic solutions to citrus greening?
  • What is your evidence for higher pesticide rates?
... and a dozen others.


Overall. 

It was disappointing.  If this is a charismatic leader of a new food movement it is quite a disaster.  She's uninformed, uneducated, trite and illogical.  She's afraid of science and intellectual engagement. She's Oz candy at best.

I guess I'm just angry because I didn't get to lock science horns with The Food Babe. I would have liked to have asked a few questions that she could never answer. Moreover, the funds my university spent to bring her here would have bought a lot of seeds for school gardens county wide, field trips to real farms, and the opportunity to visit functioning labs and ask questions of actual scientists.

But who needs actual scientists in lab coats with lifetime dedication to science, when you can have a fly-by-night activist profiting from ignorance?  After all, she is a (self described) babe... 

I have to put a lid on this post.  I have an undergrad spending her first morning in the lab tomorrow and I need to meet her at 7 AM.  If I teach her well, maybe she'll get to stand up and hold the Food Babe accountable for her junk science someday.  That would make me remarkably happy. 


   





132 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for being the fine educator and advocate for science in agriculture that you are! As a farmer with a science degree, it heartens me to see educators like you! Thanks for what you do, it is appreciated by those in the agricultural industry who need a sound voice of reason now, more then ever.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Join us for the next UF event in our series:

    "Antibodies? Hell no!" My thoughts on immunology, with Jenny McCarthy

    "Common Ancestors: Deceptions of Darwin", My thoughts on Evolution, with Ken Ham

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you! Just like TheFarmedLife I am a farmer. I'm thankful to hear and to see that you are doing your job in teaching these kids about criticial thinking and decision making! Keep up the good fight, and thank you again!

    ReplyDelete
  4. The battle against junk science is an uphill battle. Keep up the good work. Did you crate the chart comparing Babe with Scientist? I'd like to share it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Whoever is responsible for arranging this event should be summarily fired.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not necessarily. It sounds like in this case she showed her true colors and nobody bought into her garbage.

      Delete
  6. Fantastic post. Thanks!

    I work in academia in adult science education and food production on the animal side. Next time I'm in Gainesville (happens rarely) I'd love to buy you a beer, if at all possible.

    ReplyDelete
  7. "She explained transgenic crops (of course not using that language) as dangerous, and untested. She also claimed that GMO crops cause an increase in pesticides" which is completely false"

    I wouldn't say completely. When it comes to Roundup (glyphosate) it doubled between 2001 and 2007 and I'm sure has gone up even more since then. That isn't even science, that's just pure data and facts.

    So based on that alone, I discredit everything else you said in this article. How can I believe anything else you say when you ignore basic data? Unless you believe the EPA is lying and out to get us?

    http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/pestsales/07pestsales/market_estimates2007.pdf

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/02/us-usa-study-pesticides-idUSBRE89100X20121002

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Justin, Do you think roundup is used on only GMO crops? What about all the no-till? You should do some more research!!

      Delete
    2. "So based on that alone, I discredit everything else you said in this article."
      Based on such a low threshold for discrediting, I discredit what you just said.

      Delete
    3. @Karl - this reminds me of a scene out of "Princess Bride" btw how are you?

      Delete
    4. The comment from the foodbabe was that GMOs CAUSE an increase in pesticides. Just because there is an increase in Pesticide usage that correlates to GMO crop existence, does not mean that the GMO crop usage caused the increase.

      Correlation does not imply causation. Wild assumption like this are why people have such a problem with the foodbabe.

      Delete
    5. The total use of the herbicide Roundup/acre has increased due to weed resistance born from unintentional artificial selection for plants that could resist Roundup "better" and were not all killed, as well as various other reasons. GMO crops have not caused the increase, but rather not properly managing the herbicide has caused the increase. We did not keep enough non-resistant "weeds" around to help reduce and dilute the resistant gene-pool. It's basic genetics if you care to use it.

      Delete
    6. Roundup is a herbicide not a pesticide.

      Delete
    7. You just got shut the hell up by science.

      Delete
    8. Roundup is not a freakin' insecticide. Gah.

      Delete
    9. Justin. I'm sorry, but GMO Crops and Round-up are two different things. Round-up DOES "cause an increase in pesticides" in their own way. Unfortunately for your argument, GMO's Do Not. Different products. Sorry.

      Delete
    10. Firstly, CORRELATION =/= CAUSATION.
      Roundup usage doubling does not mean that GMO crops caused the increase.

      Secondly, HERBCIDE, not pesticide. It kills weeds, not bugs.

      Delete
    11. Why is it that everyone feels that farmers have millions of dollars to spray on fields? An increase in usage? I grew up on a farm and my dad used only what was needed, no more, and quite possibly less. Why? Because it's expensive and farmers don't make a lot of money. I remember growing up and not being able to buy things like new jeans for school, or nice glasses because farming didn't pay much. We weren't a small farm either. People need to use their brains. Chemicals are free and farmers aren't going to use them with reckless abandon.

      Delete
    12. Based on food babe's statement that air should be 100% oxygen and toy should sit closer to the pilots on a plane because they control the nitrogen contaminated sore that circulates the plane, I discredit everything else the food babe says. Period.

      Delete
    13. The use of Round Up may have increased, but the use of other herbicides have decreased as Round Up takes their place. The overall use of herbicide (in addition to Round Up) shows a net decrease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23635915

      Delete
    14. Glyphosate-resistant crops (which are transgenic) have resulted in increased use of glyphosate, but GMO crops as a whole include Bt-expressing corn (which reduce pesticide use) as well as ringspot-resistant papaya. Lumping transgenic crops as "GMO" is a really useless category, similar to trying to describe the effects of all drugs administered by syringe, from heroin to insulin (http://wantonempiricist.blogspot.com/2013/06/being-anti-gmo-is-like-being-anti.html).

      Delete
    15. Do you know anything about pesticides at all, what, where, why, how glyphosate is used, and what is no longer used as a consequence?

      Delete
    16. http://foodbabe.com/2015/09/08/proof-monsanto-pays-public-scientists-discredit-movement-submitting-foia-request/

      Delete
  8. Ok, I'll bite, what's "Oz Candy"?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr. Oz is an infamous quack. She caters to his viewpoints.

      Delete
    2. Ratings bait for Dr. Oz' show.

      Delete
  9. «She's Oz candy at best.»

    Oz candy, I like that!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Best line ever to describe the Food(fraud)Babe. :)

      Delete
  10. When it comes to Roundup (glyphosate) it doubled between 2001 and 2007 and I'm sure has gone up even more since then.

    Roundup is herbicide, not pesticide.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/about/

      Though often misunderstood to refer only to insecticides, the term pesticide also applies to herbicides, fungicides, and various other substances used to control pests.

      Under United States law, a pesticide is also any substance or mixture of substances intended for use as a plant regulator, defoliant, or desiccant.

      Delete
  11. Oz Candy, I believe, would be someone that Dr. Oz has on his show to spread the woo.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Actually Justin, if you use your own data source and actually read it, you will see that it shows pesticide use peaking from 1975-1985 and steadily dropping off from there. Please refer to Tables/Figures 5.5-5.9 "Annual Amount of Pesticide Active Ingredient Used in the United States
    by Pesticide Type". You also need to consider the data sources, which are cited here. In addition, it's looking at usage/spend in total and not usage/spend as a percentage of acres of land farmed. That would be a more useful statistic.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I Love Foodbabe , she doesn't have a lot of fancy corporate approved credentials but she's got credibility among those who can relate to reality and have a sense of decency , not everybody can or does .
    Here's a challenge for you ...Discredit this scientist's science ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear anonymous: have you considered that you should go back to the group home for retards now?

      #1: The "Institute for Responsible Technology" is a total sham. http://academicsreview.org/reviewed-organizations/institute-for-responsible-technology-ifrt/

      #2: Stephanie Seneff's field - e.g. the topic of her doctorate, master's and undergrad degrees and the topic in which she teaches - is computer science (gee, I wonder where the Fraud Broad matches this). Her so-called "research" into " intersection of biology and computation" is total quackery.

      There's a reason she can only publish in "pay to play" journals that have no standards, no impact factor, and zero peer review: she's a total nutter and her assertions have been debunked and destroyed by ACTUAL experts in the fields of chemistry and biology, repeatedly. She doesn't even do any actual testing for her "research", it's all handwaving bullshit.

      Delete
    2. Dear shit face you are a corporate shill, go fuck yourself and your bullshit you are spreading. This professor quack has been exposed and we will not stop until you all are in jail for fraud

      Delete
    3. LOL at the fact that you used such an insulting, degrading term (see your first sentence) as an attempt to look smarter than someone anonymous online....but in all reality using that phrase just makes you look like an ignorant asshole. Don't be that anonymous online dick. Just don't do it. You just make yourself look bad.

      Delete
  14. She's saying on her Facebook page (after someone named Michael Crawford called her out for not answering questions): "Michael Crawford - were you there? I did stay after for questions and answered a lot of them! It was great to meet so many students and teachers! :)"

    ReplyDelete
  15. Well said Dr. Folta, well said!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Try checking the Facebook page Food Babe exposed. They call her out daily for her arrogance, ignorance and dangerous advice giving. She is indeed a TOTAL fraud. She shamelessly misleads her "army". Another useful Facebook page is Science Babe. She also tries to set the record straight with gasp, science. So glad to hear you people weren't buying her, excuse me, BULLSHIT!

    ReplyDelete
  17. This is AWESOME! Us in the farming community are so frustrated with her life that she is living in a bubble. It needs to stop. And I worry about the aftermath she will have left after she is gone. And she will be gone.

    ReplyDelete
  18. "I wouldn't say completely. When it comes to Roundup (glyphosate) it doubled between 2001 and 2007 and I'm sure has gone up even more since then. That isn't even science, that's just pure data and facts.

    So based on that alone, I discredit everything else you said in this article. How can I believe anything else you say when you ignore basic data? Unless you believe the EPA is lying and out to get us?"
    1. The increase in the use of glyphosate is an increase in the use of a specific pesticide, it doesn't mean total pesticide use has increased. In terms of dose equivalents and in terms of amount used per volume of grown product, pesticide use is in fact down.
    2. Discounting everything because one mistake is fallacious, doubly so when it comes from you misrepresenting or misinterpreting what was said.

    "Roundup is herbicide, not pesticide."
    Herbicides are pesticides, as weeds are a type of pest. Herbicides are not insecticides though.

    ReplyDelete
  19. apparently she's calling you a "liar" because according to her , she did do an Q&A session (via here post on her facebook page), and did not "leave" by a limo.

    She is so full of herself.

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  20. @seneca - she says that GMO caused an increase in Pesticides.

    You are just using DATA that there is in a increase in Pesticide use (so you discredit everything else)

    Yet you, provide no data yourself that the increase is due to GMO crops.

    Please do so, otherwise your comment is "discredited" as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but thanks to toshiba and fujitsu, herbicides and pesticides will be not necessary http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/05/22/fujitsu_grows_lettuce_in_chip_factory/

      Delete
  21. "I Love Foodbabe , she doesn't have a lot of fancy corporate approved credentials but she's got credibility among those who can relate to reality and have a sense of decency , not everybody can or does .
    Here's a challenge for you ...Discredit this scientist's science ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw" She has NO credentials, fancy or otherwise...therefore she is not a source of reality. As for the video, Smith is a buffoon and Seneff is a computer scientist with no expertise on the subject.

    ReplyDelete
  22. "Roundup is herbicide, not pesticide."

    Yeah, I was waiting for someone to point that out :)

    My point is still the same though. Especially when the conversation is geared around modern GE food (aka Monsanto). One of the big promises of GE food from Monsanto was to reduce all the bad chemicals to make it better for humans eating the food and the environment.

    The reason pesticide use decreased slightly (maybe 1% or so per year) is the plants make their own pesticide and I'm almost certain that is counted since it doesn't need to be sprayed on. So the fact that it hasn't dropped more is kind of weird in my opinion.

    Also, to just say pesticide use hasn't increased and zero in on that without mentioning the fact that herbicide use has most likely quadrupled in the last 15 years is disingenuous.

    I'm sure most people, even those that are backers of GE foods in general, would tell you eating less Roundup is better than eating more Roundup. Basically even if GE foods are 100% safe, the extra use of Roundup is not and I find it hard to believe anyone could disagree with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on the fact that you don't know a herbicide from a pesticide, I discredit everything else you said and everything else you will say.

      If you knew you made an important mistake, why wait for someone else to correct it for you?

      Delete
    2. Maybe because it's a low toxicity herbicide, so farmers start to use this herbicide instead of the more toxic ones.

      Delete
    3. "maybe 1% or so"... "I'm almost certain"... "kind of weird in my opinion"... "most likely quadrupled"

      Your post is literally filled with speculation. The whole point of this article is a criticism of unsupported junk science, and this is how you defend it? Come back with some facts and quit talking out of your ass.

      Delete
  23. I would pay good money to sit in a room where the "V" girls (Vani and Vandana) are duking it out as to who is more wonderful. The level of self-aggrandizing behavior would be epic.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Seneca

    "1. The increase in the use of glyphosate is an increase in the use of a specific pesticide, it doesn't mean total pesticide use has increased. In terms of dose equivalents and in terms of amount used per volume of grown product, pesticide use is in fact down."


    That is the most used herbicide (see you did it too, you called it a pesticide in your #1). It also just happen to be the one that the GE plants are made to resist. He was talking about this in relation to GE crops, so I think it's a valid point to bring that up.

    I do not believe that overall herbicide use is down overall, even accounting for stuff other than roundup. I bet the others have dropped and have been replaced by round up and round up use overall has also increased. The only valid thing I've read from you (and a couple others) is that this is total usage and not accounting for a possible decrease or increase in farm land in use. Why don't you show me how much farm land has increased over the same time period and then we can talk further.

    I will say it does seem the pesticide use is down though, every so slightly, but that doesn't take into account the pesticides the GE plants produce themselves does it?



    "2. Discounting everything because one mistake is fallacious, doubly so when it comes from you misrepresenting or misinterpreting what was said."


    It just makes everything he says come off as biased and not coming from a good place. He basically started out with the end goal of making her look bad. Then he made the facts fit his narrative. That is not science, that is pretty much the opposite of science. That's politics.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Prof.
    As a scientist, it would fall within your field to provide a counter argument with the scientific rebuttal. Just take one of her arguments, such as Subway and the use of azodicarbonamide. As in a peer review process explain the errors in the hypothesis and data.
    Take the time to explain to the lay person how this point or argument could be wrong. This is what I find frustrating with the scientist and farmers when faced with opinions like Vani's. This whole blog post was filled with as much arrogance and emotion as you claim she had. I get you feel she has no scientific argument to stand on, but prove it. My father is a scientist and I have always respected his love that science does not involve emotion just the data and facts. My best friend is a farmer and often get frustrated that her knowledge of land and plants is not shared with others. But not everyone has a scientist and a farmer in their back pocket to ask questions. Most of population is relying on bloggers at their finger tips. Vani's voice and others are going to get stronger, if those who oppose do not provide clear scientific but relatable responses are going lose. It is an injustice to those of us who could use your skills and knowledge to get both sides of the story. Just because is seems obvious to you does not mean it is obvious to me and you lose a tremendous opportunity to educate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Professor Folta understands that most people who will read read his blog have already read the reasons why her claims are wrong. If he repeated why they were wrong every time he wrote about the FB, not only would that take up a lot of his time, but most of us would be frustrated by reading the same explanations over and over again, week after week. You can go into Professor Folta's blog history to find the answers. Alternatively you can follow Professor Joe Schwarcz on facebook who tactles the FB's absurdities week after week.

      It is not because scientists have not answered the FB's absurd claims and claims that she is gaining in popularity. Scientists have done so over and over again. It is that for a large swath of the population, the FB is selling what they want to buy - simple answers and fear. You can show them that those simple answers are wrong, and that the fear is both unfounded and that the FB profits financially from the fear she creates, but they don't care. They have already decided on the narrative that they wish to be true.

      Delete
    2. Miles, I get that his blogged is covered with all sorts of answers. However, he had a opportunity to tap into her 840k followers by saying click here to see the my explanation of this...click here to see why she is wrong here...but he didn't. Prof relied on the individual to search his site to find the answers. Do you honestly think the Foodbabe army is going to search that out? No, but he could have pointed th curser in that direction. This is the missed opportunity to teach. Does prof audience have a basis is science, probably. Does the Foodbabe army? Probably not, so make it accessible and at the appropriate 'grade' level. People are drawn to keeping it simple and easy. As far as Facebook making a profit and promoting their agenda, I don't know. But after my first post, I found Ask the farmer on Facebook and it was clear and accessible. It only had 4000...was it blocked from likes, no. I just see an outreach and marketing method that is being surpassed but has the ability to do the same. This issue isn't going away and I want both voices heard loudly and I see a voice that needs to be heard and questioning why there is a struggle.

      Delete
  26. Prof.
    As a scientist, it would fall within your field to provide a counter argument with the scientific rebuttal. Just take one of her arguments, such as Subway and the use of azodicarbonamide. As in a peer review process explain the errors in the hypothesis and data.
    Take the time to explain to the lay person how this point or argument could be wrong. This is what I find frustrating with the scientist and farmers when faced with opinions like Vani's. This whole blog post was filled with as much arrogance and emotion as you claim she had. I get you feel she has no scientific argument to stand on, but prove it. My father is a scientist and I have always respected his love that science does not involve emotion just the data and facts. My best friend is a farmer and often get frustrated that her knowledge of land and plants is not shared with others. But not everyone has a scientist and a farmer in their back pocket to ask questions. Most of population is relying on bloggers at their finger tips. Vani's voice and others are going to get stronger, if those who oppose do not provide clear scientific but relatable responses are going lose. It is an injustice to those of us who could use your skills and knowledge to get both sides of the story. Just because is seems obvious to you does not mean it is obvious to me and you lose a tremendous opportunity to educate.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Thank you for educating students with actual science. The agriculture community sincerely thanks you.

    ReplyDelete
  28. RE : " Her ( Sennif's ) so-called "research" into " intersection of biology and computation" is total quackery. "
    Response :I shared a link to Seniffs video ...it's over an hour long ...it very calmly and convincingly shows her highly educated views of the step by step process by which glyphosate causes human health problems ...if you want to discredit her , offer speciific credible information showing why she is wrong ...do ya have a link to that ?
    Bet ya dont !
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    RE: she's a total nutter and her assertions have been debunked and destroyed by ACTUAL experts in the fields of chemistry and biology, repeatedly.

    RESPONSE : Got a link to that ? At least it is assuring to see that you seem to understand that it is possible for there to exist ' Nutters' in high places in American academia ...It doesnt seem fair, adult-like or reasonable that ya dont wanna allow others to do that as well .
    I mean , if MIT can somehow allow 'Nutters' to occupy leading roles in their University then surely the author of this blog or any of us are no less reasonably distrustable without some evidence of virtue or familiarity , especially when a google of the authors name immediately brings up accusations of ties ( funding ) by Monsanto !


    RE : Loren Eaton said...

    "I Love Foodbabe , she doesn't have a lot of fancy corporate approved credentials but she's got credibility among those who can relate to reality and have a sense of decency , not everybody can or does .
    Here's a challenge for you ...Discredit this scientist's science ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw" She has NO credentials, fancy or otherwise...therefore she is not a source of reality. As for the video, Smith is a buffoon and Seneff is a computer scientist with no expertise on the subject.

    RESPONSE : I dont have a PHD in fishing ...I dont have certificates stating that I have researched the habits of local fish but if you saw the resulting catch of my last fishing trip you wouldnt need further convincing that I am a great fisherman ! I see the results of Foodbabe's work and I can see that she is a great human being ...credentials may or may not mean anything , there's someone with similar credentials to exactly disagree with most every controversial subject .

    RE:Seneff is a computer scientist with no expertise on the subject.
    RESPONSE : The video link that I shared of Sennif obviously disputes this thoroughly , she's done lots and lots of related work and has much passion for it ...If ya are gonna have any credibility WHAT-SO-EVER ya are gonna have to offer an explanation of why her assertions that glyphosate damages the shikimate pathway of the human gut bacteria and thus is a danger to human health if consumed by humans !
    Here is that link once again for you to be very afraid of trying to ' SCIENTIFICALLY ' discredit ...but ya can just keep calling her names if that's all ya got .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pathetic response , y'all .. what an uneducated fool you are to write like this and expect people to take you seriously. Fish bite, by the way, try it without bait ... science is something we seek out and discover, like the fish you never catch lower than 6 fathoms.

      Delete
    2. I have to say that I wasted an hour slogging through Seneff's article on glyphosate in a vanity journal (i.e. one where the authors pay the cost of publication and there is no peer review). It was a great example of ignoring dose (i.e., something that is toxic at a high dose can be perfectly safe at a much lower dose), of *really* shaky plausibility arguments with no data to back them up, silly extrapolations from high-dose animal experiments to real-world conditions, and just plain misunderstanding of toxicology in general. The author is, if I remember right, a computer technician at MIT, and perhaps she is quite good at that. But as an environmental toxicologist, it was clear that she was far more interested in building a case (however implausible) against glyphosate than actually trying to figure out what its effects really are.

      Delete
  29. Dear Anonymous @ at 2:54 PM,

    I bet you 75% of roundup is used specifically with GE corn and soy.

    With love,

    Justin

    PS. Do you not like your name?

    ReplyDelete
  30. "Response :I shared a link to Seniffs video ...it's over an hour long ...it very calmly and convincingly shows her highly educated views of the step by step process by which glyphosate causes human health problems ...if you want to discredit her , offer speciific credible information showing why she is wrong ...do ya have a link to that ?
    Bet ya dont !"

    Actually Seneff argues (they did no research on the paper) that correlation using their selective review of papers (which the criteria was never defined), can equal causation to almost every common disease. While you may be able to pick up a fishing pole and fish, understanding biological significance with cell bases assays (in vitro) and how they relate to animals (in vivo), is not that simple.

    Seneff relies on retracted papers (Seralini) to make claims to kidney dysfunction and increased cancer risk.

    Even if she impresses the uninformed on youtube, she doesn't have the background or training for this type of analysis.

    Glyphosate is incredibly safe compared to traditional herbicides (btw, herbicides and insecticides are both pesticides).

    http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/glyphogen.html
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230011001516
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0273230012000943

    I just wish Kevin would have had the chance to ask a couple questions.

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Here's a challenge for you ...Discredit this scientist's science ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw"

    Go to the 28-minute mark where she blames Glyphosate for the Boston Bombings and School Shootings, and then Smith backs her up with anecdotes about GMOs. Done. You're Welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Brilliant! I got sick of listening to them after five minutes but had yto go back for that. Talk about preying on the fears of people.

      I didn't need to hear that to know that they were talking nonsense but it sealed the deal.

      I'd also mention that throughout the conversation, or at least the parts I watched, she often refers to her assumptions about links to disease. If she were seriously presenting a piece of researched, published science then I would expect more definitive claims around these links.

      Assumptions are a great get out of jail card card for people who fear legal recourse.

      Delete
  32. Per total pesticide usage, a recent global study looking at the last 15 years of GM technology. Our usage is going down and we are using less toxic chemicals.

    "Crop biotechnology has reduced pesticide spraying (1996-2012) by 503 million kg (-8.8%). This is equal to the total amount of pesticide active ingredient applied to arable crops in the EU 27 for nearly two crop years. As a result, this has decreased the environmental impact associated with herbicide and insecticide use on the area planted to biotech crops by 18.7%"

    ReplyDelete
  33. Link:
    http://www.pgeconomics.co.uk/page/36/-gm-crop-use-continues-to-benefit-the-environment-and-farmers

    ReplyDelete
  34. Kevin, Thanks so much for going to this and posting this blog. As a dietitian I cannot tell you how much I appreciate scientists, farmers and ag experts taking the time to publicly refute the "Quack Quartet" (Oz,Mercola,Babe,Jeffery Smith etc)with science and research based information - you all are truly Scientific Superstars.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Justin, you seem to "bet" wrong a fair amount. So far, every assertion you "bet" on has been demonstrated to be false.

    Pro tip: don't play the ponies.

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thank you, thank you for helping to debunk this person. It makes me crazy that scientists are limited by the truth and activists can spew whatever grabs headlines. As I told my someone earlier today, if you must scare people half-to-death to bring them over to your side (i.e. dangerous food, chemicals, etc.) then your argument must not be compelling.

    ReplyDelete
  37. Text from one of the links that addresses the central thesis of Samsel and Seneff's theory you find so impressive.

    "The authors believe that glyphosate is responsible for pretty much every chronic illness in humans, . .. .. Their thesis is that the compound is an inhibitor of the metabolizing CYP enzymes, of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, and of sulfate transport. . . let's go right to the central thesis that glyphosate inhibits CYP enzymes in the liver. Here's a quote from the paper itself:

    A study conducted in 1998 demonstrated that glyphosate inhibits cytochrome P450 enzymes in plants [116]. CYP71s are a class of CYP enzymes which play a role in detoxification of benzene compounds. An inhibitory effect on CYP71B1l extracted from the plant, Thlaspi arvensae, was demonstrated through an experiment involving a reconstituted system containing E. coli bacterial membranes expressing a fusion protein of CYP71B fused with a cytochrome P450 reductase. The fusion protein was assayed for activity level in hydrolyzing a benzo(a)pyrene, in the presence of various concentrations of glyphosate. At 15 microM concentration of glyphosate, enzyme activity was reduced by a factor of four, and by 35 microM concentration enzyme activity was completely eliminated. The mechanism of inhibition involved binding of the nitrogen group in glyphosate to the haem pocket in the enzyme.
    A more compelling study demonstrating an effect in mammals as well as in plants involved giving rats glyphosate intragastrically for two weeks [117]. A decrease in the hepatic level of cytochrome P450 activity was observed. As we will see later, CYP enzymes play many important roles in the liver. It is plausible that glyphosate could serve as a source for carcinogenic nitrosamine exposure in humans, leading to hepatic carcinoma. N-nitrosylation of glyphosate occurs in soils treated with sodium nitrite [118], and plant uptake of the nitrosylated product has been demonstrated [119]. Preneoplastic and neoplastic lesions in the liver of female Wistar rats exposed to carcinogenic nitrosamines showed reduced levels of several CYP enzymes involved with detoxification of xenobiotics, including NADPH-cytochrome P450 reductase and various glutathione transferases [120]. Hence this becomes a plausible mechanism by which glyphosate might reduce the bioavailability of CYP enzymes in the liver.
    Glyphosate is an organophosphate. Inhibition of CYP enzyme activity in human hepatic cells is a well-established property of organophosphates commonly used as pesticides [121]. In [122], it was demonstrated that organophosphates upregulate the nuclear receptor, constitutive androstane receptor (CAR), a key regulator of CYP activity. This resulted in increased synthesis of CYP2 mRNA, which they proposed may be a compensation for inhibition of CYP enzyme activity by the toxin. CYP2 plays an important role in detoxifying xenobiotics [123].


    Now, that presumably sounds extremely detailed and impressive if you don't know any toxicology. What you wouldn't know from reading through all of it is that their reference 121 actually tested glyphosate against human CYP enzymes. In fact, you wouldn't know that anyone has ever actually done such an experiment, because all the evidence adduced in the paper is indirect - this species does that, so humans might do this, and this might be that, because this other thing over here has been shown that it could be something else. But the direct evidence is available, and is not cited - in fact, it's explicitly ignored. Reference 121 showed that glyphosate was inactive against all human CYP isoforms except 2C9, where it had in IC50 of 3.7 micromolar. You would also not know from this new paper that there is no way that ingested glyphosate could possibly reach levels in humans to inhibit CYP2C9 at that potency.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Go to her page and look what she has to say about microwaving water. This alone should discredit anything she says. And to those haters that keep bringing up "google" searches that proves she is wonderful and knowledgable. I can google search Alien abductions and rapes and find lots of articles on them. Doesn't mean it happened. Here is the link to "her" page, read her own words, and then argue away! Anybody who supports this is a Whack-A-Mole. http://foodbabe.com/2012/07/30/why-its-time-to-throw-out-your-microwave/

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thanks for mentioning that Anon. That microwaving water is my favorite F*B* post by far. I spent about 2 hours reading her stuff one evening and that was the proverbial "nail in the coffin" for me. I know some pretty sharp scientists and am pretty well versed in food science and nutrition, so that sort of blather is truly sad, especially when she sucks so many people in.

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  40. Yes, Miles, and Just me. I have been in the food industry for 35 years, and have dual degrees in Food Science. Unfortunately many times it is perception that wins out over reality. Because perception normally has a much better story associated with it than reality. It really bothered me and I wrote a letter to the Dean and the head of the Food Science department asking for their justification for allowing this quack to speak at UF. Have not heard anything back yet, but hopefully there will be some retractions made.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Seneff's earlier work " Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure" was thoroughly discredited by the blogging surgical oncologist at Respectful Insolence:

    Stephanie Seneff: Following the Geiers dumpster-diving in the VAERS database


    So what is the “analysis” that Seneff et al tack onto their incompetent review of the evidence relating vaccines and autism (or, more properly, failing to relate vaccines and autism)? Well, they start out by following the pioneers of dumpster diving the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). It’s a time-dishonored tactic of antivaccine cranks, because VAERS is not a reliable measure of autism incidence or prevalence. The reason is that anyone can report cases to it, and the adverse reactions reported might or might not be related to vaccination. I’ve cited the example of a skeptic reporting to VAERS that vaccines turned him into the Incredible Hulk, while another reported that vaccines turned his daughter into Wonder Woman. Then there’s the issue about how the VAERS database has been distorted by litigation, with lawyers encouraging parents to report autism as an “adverse reaction” to vaccines.

    ReplyDelete
  42. Also, having your university pay Vain Hair (as she is called in some circles) must be greatly galling.

    ReplyDelete
  43. My favorite Vani Hari position on food, or microwave ovens, to be more precise, is that microwave ovens cause water to act as if it were exposed (by sound, i presume) to the names Hitler and Satan.

    Who knew? All this time, my microwave tabletop has been channeling Hitler. Better get me a set of Guten tag Hop Klop shoes !

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmDYPVgWUkY

    She's a real piece of work and, unfortunately, it speaks volumes that she's able to fool so many. Thank you, Kevin, for fighting such an evil. - F.O.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Yep ...I will never ever ever ever be adept enuff at chemistry and all the other scientific fields that pertain to this discussion of GMO's
    (Glyphosate in particular ) to debate the billions of twisted details !
    AND
    I ( Like 99.9999 % of the rest of humanity ) cant / dont want to spend a large chunk of my life studying whether or not all the strange things that users of Monsanto products do to my / our food is safe or even sane !

    I just want to peacefully enjoy my food and that's why I try to grow as much of my own food as possible and believe me it tastes so much better than corporate processed food ...it's just unbelievable .
    AND
    Being a distance runner I have a keen sense of what nutritional values specific foods have to me
    AND
    There simply is no comparison between the enormous value of truly organic food and the corporately poisoned food-like stuff that corporations like Monsanto and the american 'food'industry try to pass off to the public as real food !

    That being said and true ...all I/we have is our intuition and what food we put into our bodies should not be taken lightly ...' we literally are what we eat ' !

    Does my intuition tell me to trust this lil lady ' DR Sennif ' who makes sense to me and has lil , but ridicule , to gain from her
    Stances on Glyphosate or should I trust Monsanto whose actions lead to un-natural farming and depletion of soil, monopolization of food systems and so much more terrible stuff all for the sake of corporate profit .
    Should I trust the company that made Agent Orange or this kindly lady ?

    Should my intuition lead me to trust FoodBabe when everything she does appears to be sincerely guided by a passion for good food for us all OR should my intuition lead me to trust Monsanto who gets it's way through political manipulations ?

    The choice is easy ...I want clean food ...natural food ...local fresh food ...I'm perfectly happy and willing to grow my food myself and I hope many others will also without need for chemicals and Monsanto can go back to creating other weapons of mass destruction as they like so much to do !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you're admitting that you lack the formal training to make an educated decision so, rather than take the word of people who ARE educated in the field you are not, who CAN provide the exact expert advice you lack, you're going to trust another person who also has your same lack of experience because of your "intuition". It's frightened, willfully ignorant people like you who would have been burning witches a couple of centuries ago.

      Delete
    2. I appreciate that you believe your clean home-grown food is better for you. I am sure the luxury of being able to pick and consume it at the peak of ripeness and freshness makes it taste better. But be careful to not equate this to a health benefit you, as a distance runner, could detect. Being an endurance athlete does not give you magic insight into each chemical your body ingests to pick out discrete reactions. People make horrendous health decisions all the time based on intuition, mostly because a lot of biology is counter-intuitive. This is why science is so important--it is based on the idea of removing subjectiveness as much as possible from the process. As Richard Feynman wrote: "Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself. The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool."

      Delete
  45. Linda west EckhardtOctober 22, 2014 at 8:54 PM

    You guys are still asking and answering the wrong question. It's the dirt. See my post today called why I recommend organic food. Http://www.everybodyeatsnews.com

    Linda west Eckhardt editor
    James beard award winning cookbook author
    Bs: U.Texas foods and nutrition
    Author of the forthcoming Never Hungry.

    ReplyDelete
  46. http://althealthworks.com/4175/ray-seidler-was-the-first-epa-scientist-to-study-gmos-in-the-80s-now-hes-got-a-message-for-anyone-who-thinks-theyre-safe/

    ReplyDelete
  47. Just throwing this out, could the increased use in pesticides and herbicides be accounted to the increased use by homeowners? Those who want that perfect lawn and are not educated in the effects of over application, and are not properly applying chemicals to their yards? just because there in an increase in chemical use does not mean it is all from agriculturalists. Most people are so far removed these days it makes me sad.

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  48. So according to the Good Food Revolution events page the university is going to show Food Inc. on July 29th at the Weimer Auditorium. I work two jobs to pay for my education and it absolutely disgusts me to know that my tuition money is being used to promote factless fear mongering like this. Is there something I and my fellow students could do to show our objection to these events?

    ReplyDelete
  49. Roundup is a pesticide. Pesticide is a generic term which includes herbicides (Roundup), insecticides and fungicides. Strictly defined laundry detergent is a pesticide. Somehow the scientific illiterate have come to equate pesticide with insecticide. When you make comments like Roundup is not a pesticide your ignorance is showing.

    And plants don't make their own pesticides - again your ignorance is showing.

    The use of Roundup on Roundup Ready crops has greatly reduced the amount of herbicides used today. Think about all the different herbicides that have been replaced by Roundup - there are a lot of them. Herbicides used on non Roundup Ready crops before Roundup Ready crops came to market.

    Think about the insecticides that have been replaced by GMO crops (Roundup Ready crops with the BT gene)-some very toxic insecticides have been replaced by the use of these crops. Providing much greater safety to the environment and to farmers who do not have to handle those insecticides.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Your influence is stronger and longer lasting...one student at a time. Us scientists and aggies don't always fit in with the popular crowd.

    ReplyDelete
  51. Anonymous said "Does my intuition tell me to trust this lil lady ' DR Sennif who makes sense to me and has lil , but ridicule , to gain from her Stances on Glyphosate . . . Should I trust the company that made Agent Orange or this kindly lady ?"

    When did the question change. The question people were responding to was this challenge from Justin: "I shared a link to Seniffs video ...of the step by step process by which glyphosate causes human health problems ...offer speciific credible information showing why she is wrong ...do ya have a link to that ? Bet ya dont !"

    When did the question change from "Is there sound rationale to question the theory Stephanie Seneff advances that links glysophate to all kinds of human ailments?" The answer to that is a resounding yes. If the question has somehow changed to "Is Stephanie Seneff a kindly person who is sincere in her beliefs" then I have no reason to question that. She does strike me as a pleasant person, perhaps someone I would enjoy having as a neighbor. In fact she bears a resemblance both in appearance and manner to a wonderful elderly lady I knew growing up, whom I remember very fondly.

    I don't have to believe that Stephanie Seneff is intellectually or ethically dishonest to question whether the theory she advances is correct or even plausible. Nor am I obligated to accept what she says as gospel truth because she is a nice lady and what she says somehow damages Monsanto. If you want to base your personal decisions on her advice, be my guest. But I will vehemently question the wisdom of basing public policy on Seneff's theories. I don't have to accept Justin's implication that Kevin Folta or other commenters are somehow ethically dishonest because we know Seneff is correct and it is an inconvenient truth that we are trying to sweep under the rug or hope people do not find out about. Hogwash. If I were in charge of a research institution, I would be very skeptical of allocating scarce research funds to studying links between glysophate and human illness based on the quality of arguments and theories Seneff puts out there. Look, I am not making a moral judgement about Seneff, I just think she is punching above her weight class on this topic.

    Guess what, I also enjoy gardening, and buying produce at farmer's markets and roadside stands. I have always done that and I will continue to do that whether Stephanie Seneff advises me to or not. My favorite roadside stand is Deb's Produce found in the parking lot of Earl Mays Friday through Sunday summer and fall. She and her husband farm 1200 acres mostly soy, corn and alfalfa but about 8 years ago transitioned 40 acres to fruits and vegetable. Their farm is about 40 miles from the city and it so happens I had the opportunity to visit their farm as part of a tour 2 years ago. They are not organic as they use fertilizers and will use pesticides as needed. Her produce is consistently very high quality, and Deb herself and her husband are wonderfully witty, pleasant people who care deeply for their land and seem committed to offering good food. I'll put their character up against Seneff anyday.

    ReplyDelete
  52. I can't believe they allowed this junk-science pushing airhead at your university!

    For a multitude of reasons, I don't take her seriously. I think one big example of her hypocrisy that really bothers me is the fact that, at least last time I checked, she drinks alcohol.

    The carcinogenicity of alcohol is well established and is well beyond the supposed "toxicity" of the various chemicals she is always singling out on her site.

    Now this doesn't mean I believe alcohol is bad for you, some studies show it may be healthful in moderation. However, if alcohol was invented just this year and they started selling it, the Food Babe would be pushing for prohibition and telling everyone to avoid consuming this extremely toxic, dangerous poison. Yet her problem with Budweiser was some "fish guts"?

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hello, where can I find peer reviewed studies showing that pesticide use has *not* increased with GMO crops?

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  54. Insecticide use has steadily been declining over the years. Herbicide use is on a slight uptick, but most of it is due to increased use in (comparatively) lower-toxicity glyphosate and some weed resistance.

    The USDA has a really informative report on the matter; pesticide info starts on around page 22.

    http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/1282246/err162.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  55. Join The Million Masks March, Hey There NSA, Wanna Join Us,we'll Bring Pizzas.....

    ReplyDelete
  56. "You would also not know from this new paper that there is no way that ingested glyphosate could possibly reach levels in humans to inhibit CYP2C9 at that potency" Please point out exactly which scientific article showed how you would know that, comparing apples to apples in units. Thankis!

    ReplyDelete

  57. The term "relatively less toxic is meaningless" for several reasons

    1. This comment is in reference to the recent epidemic of renal failure in Central America.

    The relevance of CYP450 inhibition, beyond the liver detoxification of xenobiotics and drugs, is that aldosterone, a mineralocorticoid, is synthesized by another Cytochrrome P450 enzyme--CYP11B2. If glyphosate inhibits it the patient would develop hypoaldosteronism also known as Addison's disease. This is a disorder in which Na is lost while K is retained. Loss of Na causes hypovolemia, dehydration, low blood pressure, vomiting. In the veterinary world it is commonly misdiagnosed as renal failure because sodium wasting and dehydration lead to elevation of blood tests normally associated with renal failure--at least in the veterinary world. This is clearly speculative, but...if glyphosate suppresses CYP2C9 in trace amounts, it is reasonable to suspect it could also suppress CYP11B2.

    Not good.

    http://kfolta.blogspot.com/2014/07/glyphosate-math.html

    2) glyphosate is only one ingredient in Round Up-the effects of adjuvants are not being accounted for, nor cumulative toxicity from exposure to other xenobiotics, as well as stress conditions (dehydration/ heat stroke among farmers in Latin America for example)

    3) Genetic polymorphism known to play a role with cytochrome activity, as well as other diseases

    Thank You, Anonymous

    Thank You Anonymous

    ReplyDelete
  58. Gee, that was not nice of you, I REPLY to a comment, yet my response is attached to the latest one, not the one I replied to, sorry to Ena, that reply is not meant for you ... Very dis-heartening. Obviously a page fault of some sort.

    ReplyDelete
  59. Sorry, missed the out the precious post I was responding to:
    Karl Haro von Mogel said...
    "Here's a challenge for you ...Discredit this scientist's science ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h_AHLDXF5aw"

    Go to the 28-minute mark where she blames Glyphosate for the Boston Bombings and School Shootings, and then Smith backs her up with anecdotes about GMOs. Done. You're Welcome!

    ReplyDelete
  60. In this post the author demonstrates the sort of self righteous vanity as is being attributed to the subject. I am not impressed. It's an activist blogger food fight except one has a chip on his shoulder about not being more publicly recognized.

    ReplyDelete
  61. But... she's hotter than him!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  62. RE: Rick says
    RE:"
    When did the question change. The question people were responding to was this challenge from Justin: "I shared a link to Seniffs video ...of the step by step process by which glyphosate causes human health problems ...offer speciific credible information showing why she is wrong ...do ya have a link to that ? Bet ya dont !"

    RESPONSE :
    I didnt come here to join a conversation ...I came to voice my opinion about the anti-Foodbabe rant
    AND
    secondly ...unless ' Justin ' posted the same comment as I did then that comment that you refer to belongs to me .
    AND
    RE : whomever' it was' ranting about how we should have ' FAITH ' in the experts opinions ...well there's a billion extreme examples of why that's often and maybe even usually ' NOT TRUE OR JUSTIFIABLE ' !

    But no matter how much ya resist reality it's obvious that GMO's should be terminated as a human experiment and whether it can be proven scientifically that they are GOOD or BAD doesnt matter in the end cuz INTUITION WILL DECIDE and that decision will be based on the glaringly obvious PROS and CONS of
    GMO"s
    VS
    ORGANIC FOOD
    AND
    Here is a glimpse of what that looks like
    RE : ORGANIC FOOD
    CONS = NONE
    PRO"S = Everything , better health , food security , local economics .Less govt corruption !

    VS
    GMO"S
    PRO'S = NONE WHAT-SO-EVER
    CONS =
    -Chemical Russian roulette upon the food supply .
    - Monopolization of seeds and food production
    -Soil depletion and pollution
    -govt corruption , bribery etc
    - Universal local economic stagnation
    -Judicial terrorism practiced upon real farmers
    - secrecy about ' what is actually in our food '
    - etc etc
    This is my Intuitive opinion of the matter !

    ReplyDelete
  63. The "pros" of organics is using land that could feed hundreds to feed dozens instead, while providing no measurable improvement to the nutrient value of the various crops. The "cons" of using GMOs and other modern farming techniques is feeding more people on the same or less land while reducing overall inputs and/or replacing earlier pesticides with less toxic ones. Based on the evidence, I'm strongly pro-GMO and pro-farmer. Ultimately, farmers are businesspeople. They have to be to feed themselves and their families. They don't spend a cent on farming unless they can expect a decent ROI.

    ReplyDelete
  64. An excerpt from a commenter posting on Food Babe's "microwaves are bad, mkay" article.

    Hold onto your hats kids, you're about to get blown away by SCIENCE.

    "... So you have this excessive heat applied to food in small areas, which then causes all sorts of damage to its nutritional value (by heat, photons, bosons, whoknowswhatons? whocareson?).
    God knows what is done to the molecule of all the food components (water is the least important).
    One thing I know. If I put bread inside the microwave oven what comes out is something terribly looking and tasting. None of the other type of ovens do that to bread unless you over cook it.
    So what the microwave oven can easily cause is the damage of food by excessive heat in small areas by just overstaaying the food stay by a few more seconds"


    Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiiigghhhh
    (that's all I have to say about Food Babe & her mindless followers)

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have to say I am confused by this blog and all the comments - I consider myself very scientific and practical in my approach to an organic (as much as realistically possible" lifestyle - for the pure fact that ANY chemical added to my body system is inherently foreign (meaning we as humans have barely evolved much in the last 1000 years physiologically), so whether a chemical is deemed "safe" or not scientifically, our bodies still see it as foreign and as such increases the risk of IMO body reacting to it in an "inflammatory response" which can trigger a whole slew of chronic physical issues/responses - modern medical science is only recently (the last 5 years or less) learning the full extent of body inflammatory responses and what they now find they trigger regarding disease - my point simply is: if you can avoid ANY foreign substance being introduced to your body, is that not enough to want to eat more organic?

    ReplyDelete
  66. GMO's great defect is Monsanto, monopolic and anti-farmer, pro-politician approach, is like if microsoft bans opensource or destroy other systems

    ReplyDelete
  67. RE : Henry Dickerson says " The "pros" of organics is using land that could feed hundreds to feed dozens instead "

    Response :
    Ya cant make something true just by repeating it often !
    This is utter nonsense just mathematically not to even mention the long term damage to future productiveness that present corporate driven farming has on that land .
    It's just ludicrous to imply that their is a shortage of land for growing food as if that's the problem or as if the present producers of food actually want to produce plenty for everybody ...they dont want that at all and that is a big part of the problem with leaving food production in the hands of the powers that be ...the govt pays farmers ' NOT TO GROW FOOD ' and this is because at some point in the ' overproduction of food for the sake of money the prices and profits start going down and down and down .
    If ya are stuck on the concept that only mega acre corporate owned farms can grow our food then ya might be blind enuff to believe this but most of us drive by many thousands of acres every day that could grow food but doesnt .

    There's plenty of studies out there to dispute that GMO can even compete with organic production at all and my garden is proof enuff to me that we can very very easily produce all the great organic food that the world's population can demand many many times over .

    ReplyDelete
  68. Food for thought...individualized food engineered around consumer's genetics/ microbiome. Also encourage a plants microbiome to be beneficial for it's own survival And human consumption.

    There are so many positive potentials, why not blast Oz with the missed opportunity. Inform the public that non-gmo's are still lucky genetic mutants from mutagens used in breeding during the 50's!

    Deepen the discussion.

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  69. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Kevin,
    I am glad to hear that UF students are smart enough to not be all that influenced by Food Babe. Having had conversations with anti-GMO/anti-pharma people, I know that no amount of (real) information you provide to them will change their mind. In fact, I have heard that my judgement has been cluttered by being too educated. And that when I am old and wise enough to realize that, I, too, will join the conspiracy theorists.

    Being anti-GMO may actually not be about believing GMO is bad (as some anti-GMO do not even know what exactly GMOs are), but about feeling smarter than the 'supposedly smart' scientists.

    I hope all is well with you,

    Denise

    ReplyDelete
  71. Thank you so much for writing this! I am a student at UF, and I was one of the students who did not buy into her pseudoscience so readily. While I'm not the brightest when it comes to science, I'm also not stupid. What really got me suspicious was that she did not support her claims very well, even claims from personal experience. She talked about her dramatic transformation after switching to a healty diet, yet she showed no before and after pictures. I can't even find any online. Also, I realized that her main focus was on her growing popularity and her blog. She really seemed to care more about self-promotion than food. She kept talking about her "awesomeness." I've never heard such shameless bragging in a speech that's supposed to be informative about health. Overall she left a very bad impression. Some of her Facebook fans say that most people left because of other events, but that's not true. I can assure you that most people left because they thought/knew she was spouting a lot of bs. I asked around for other students' opinions on this lady, and out of about 30 students, 28 of us did not buy into her so called facts.

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  72. I see the points made about Food Babe and can understand why people are irritated that she is making money of something that they have put the work into and she has not. Why don't you all stand up and educate the public? I'd love to hear from scientists objectively who have done research themselves about all the chemicals in food. Food Babe has brought awareness to the public. Whether you like her ways or are not fond of the money she is making from this, that's your opinion and everyone is entitled to it. Bottom line, Americans are sicker than before and consuming more chemicals than most of the world.. Shed some educated light on how to improve this. I'm all ears.

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  73. https://www.minds.com/blog/view/339294826262433792/monsanto-ordered-to-pay-93-million-to-small-town-for-poisoning-citizens

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  74. "Lock scientific horns," I only see one set of horns here. You are doing yourself a disservice if you think she could even hold a logical argument about how to spell GMO... or would ever agree to that (wait... I think she just made my argument for me).

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  75. Thank you! I wish I was one of your students!

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  76. I'm not saying I believe anything the Food Babe said but you didn't refute anything specifically in this post. If you wanted to educate the public, it would help if you linked to or explained the reasoning that what the Food Babe said was wrong. Instead you just state it's wrong.

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  77. I found your post very interesting. I can understand your frustration at the idea that a university would provide a platform to such so-called experts and that might result in undesired impact on students. Yet I found the experience you described to be even more worrying/enlightening if we consider the fact that a large part of the population does trust and applause people such as the Food Babe. They are the most exposed and don't get a teacher or specialist to correct the wrongs afterwards. This is an even greater damage. So in my view, your University at least "succeeded" (if we leave out the ridiculous cost of her intervention) in showing the extent of the nonsense the population is exposed to.

    ReplyDelete
  78. "Ya cant make something true just by repeating it often !
    This is utter nonsense just mathematically not to even mention the long term damage to future productiveness that present corporate driven farming has on that land .
    It's just ludicrous to imply that their is a shortage of land for growing food as if that's the problem or as if the present producers of food actually want to produce plenty for everybody ...they dont want that at all and that is a big part of the problem with leaving food production in the hands of the powers that be ...the govt pays farmers ' NOT TO GROW FOOD ' and this is because at some point in the ' overproduction of food for the sake of money the prices and profits start going down and down and down .
    If ya are stuck on the concept that only mega acre corporate owned farms can grow our food then ya might be blind enuff to believe this but most of us drive by many thousands of acres every day that could grow food but doesnt .

    There's plenty of studies out there to dispute that GMO can even compete with organic production at all and my garden is proof enuff to me that we can very very easily produce all the great organic food that the world's population can demand many many times over .


    October 24, 2014 at 1:24 PM"

    Provide one bit of evidence. You don't have any. Also, that which works in gardens does not scale up to farms. If anyone is repeating lies and trying to make them true, it's you. The yield of organic crops is, on average, 25% lower on the same amount of land. That's not counting the extra land needed for the cattle needed to provide "organic" fertilizers, which further encroaches on habitats for protected species. Before you sound even more ignorant, educate yourself. You're welcome. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120425140114.htm

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  79. Holy cow 105 comments. Vain Hair (thanks for that one Liz, made me chuckle) sure brings the whack jobs out to play.

    I don't usually wish ill on people but have a sick yearning to hear of her drinking raw milk and getting sick from it, after all she advises parents to feed their infants raw milk and to lie to their doctors about doing so. That kind of dangerous advice makes me sick to my stomach.

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  80. Thank you, Dr. Folta.
    Here's a perfect opportunity for new president, Dr. Kent Fuchs, to focus on the goal of achieving Top 10 University status.

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  81. That gal is the worst. She's just feeding into whatever ridiculous "healthy" food trends are floating around and the panic they cause. I have no doubt she is making a nice chunk of change off what she is doing but like all the other sham food trends and their advocates it's a lot of dishonesty.

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  82. what an idiot, she is.

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  83. Thank you so much for taking a stand against ignorance and fear-mongering!

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  84. How the hell is telling people what is in their food "fearmongering"?? DEAR GOD STOP HER! PEOPLE MIGHT EAT LESS DORITOS FOR CHRIST'S SAKE! THEY MIGHT CUT DOWN ON SYNTHETIC ADDITIVES AND PETROCHEMICALS! VELVEETA'S STOCK IN SYNTHETIC CHEESELIKE PRODUCT MIGHT DROP!! OH THE HORROR!! Seriously, are you that afraid your grant money will stop if people don't eat enough GMO's?? Your precious experiments won't get pubwished you poor baby. You won't get the fame you so dearly deserve!

    Thanks, but I don't want to drink milk from cows with mastitis. I don't need rGBH or glyphosate in my system. I've had GMO foods, I've eaten shit laced with pesticides, chicken fed soy and ground up bones of other chickens. No matter how "advanced" your precious GMO's are, it tastes disgusting and has no nutritional value. It's bad for the bees, for the soil, for HUMAN BEINGS and their intestinal flora, and it's disgusting that you try to suppress information and labeling, using your title as a scientist, to make sure everyone in America is forced into harmful consumption of chemicals, out of your fear that your precious widdle research grants will dry up. Informed consent? I guess that doesn't matter in the science field, just spray everyone with toxins and then talk about it later.You scientists published shit in favor of tobacco and DDT, you have no integrity when it comes to funding.

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  85. What's both alarming and disappointing, Mr.Folta, is that you're actually represent the side of the "educated." If you are an example of the state of science today then we're in serious trouble.

    I came here expecting a Food Babe take down .. because she's often wrong or overly simplistic. She's also doggedly determined to ignore any other information, even when it's based in reason. But ... so are you.

    Junk science is rampant in the alternative health movement. That's very true. As someone who is active in that community I can tell you it's exhausting to even contemplate the mountain of wrong headed ideas. But, on some things they're right. And, as someone with a conventional science background as well, the ignorance and close mindedness from your side is equally daunting ... but sometimes you're right, too. Just not nearly as often as you'd like to think.


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  86. Did someone really counter with 'herbicides are not pesticides'?

    True, but really, do you want to be ingesting EITHER?

    Food Babe is getting heat because she is hitting a cord of TRUTH- there is a growing an unstoppable wave of concern about our food system in general.

    Regardless of the tit-for-tat 'science' the message is that we want things healthy, natural, and transparent. Labeling is actually good science. It's honest, 'peer-reviewed' by your peers of humankind.

    I also question those who throw around the word 'science' as a cause, because as a past biological researcher, I know that results can be obtained and translated for almost any outcome. There's WAY too much biased 'science' out there these days. Think of the funding that is needed to even make the tests- my sister is a PhD Chemist studying atmospheric chemistry in relation to global warming, and man it is nearly impossible for her to get any University grants for her work. The biotech companies can certainly get their money, and from who? Big ag, chem, etc..

    Transparency is the answer. How can you debate that?!? Leave the education for individuals. And it's sad that anyone would get so upset over the hard work of Food Babe because they have such low expectations for the intellectual capacities of Americans. You are only making this a bigger issue, for more to see, and wonder about, and discover for themselves that there are alot of issues with what is out there in our food supply.

    May the truth prevail!

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  87. Hello share your blog is great information for us , i read your blog using unique and best information. Mymenu nutrition given diffrent types of services Food Nutrition Menu

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  88. Kevin YOU are the food babe!! Not her

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  89. The level of smugness on here is toxic. Why don't some of you credentialed geniuses in the comments section solve the environmental issues Vani is looking into? That is, if you can take time away from your brave sniping about how there's no way she could have a brain in her fuzzy little head. Though for my dollar, I'd have to say scientists have done more to destroy our world than they have done to spare it, so forgive some of us if we don't put you on a pedestal just because you have a degree and are 'really smart'. That an a dollar can get you a cup of mediocre coffee (with caramel coloring!)

    ReplyDelete
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  91. I did some research on "Folta" and "Food Babe" and it lead me to this page.

    Your article seems more like an attack piece than it is science.

    When you are going to throw stones make sure you do not live in a glass house. See this among other articles I have been seeing, http://www.naturalnews.com/051184_Monsanto_money_Kevin_Folta_academic_corruption.html

    Before reading of this controversy I never heard of you although I had heard of the Food Babe. What is very disconcerting is the "hidden" ties Monsanto and cohorts seem to have with US Academia. It seems to compromise their reputation and the integrity of their work.

    Here, with you photo of a letter you wrote as well as correspondence with Monsanto, there is an appearance you wish to hide the tentacles. Was it worth creating a conflict-of-interest, or at worst, a sellout of your integrity for $25,000?

    You have a lot of explaining to do.

    Was it not Jesus who said before you complain about the speck or splinter in another's eyes get the log out of your own?

    I guess I will not be donating any monies to the University of Florida.

    They should, at a minimum, review these ties to Monsanto, follow the money trail, look at your research. They should hire an independent ombudsman to conduct an investigation and make the results public.

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