Last week I posted that I had heard nothing from the organizers. I sent them a note and received a timely reply from Miguel Robles, the person I originally contacted at the organization. Miguel has always been kind and supportive.
He told me that the reason we were not invited to present a workshop was not about GMO per se, but that the "conference is focusing particularly on the global social-economic-political repercussions of genetic engineering." He then went on to the talking points, mostly about how this is all about money, destruction of small farms, etc. He made a claim that breeding is superior to GM technology. Of course I responded curiously if he was a breeder or if he knew anyone that bred trees.
He then baited me with discussion of "stacked" traits and wanted to know if I found the technology helpful. Of course, all technology has strengths and limitations. While it is not great to need more herbicides, the stacked traits will strongly suppress evolved resistance.
He started to wind up with, "Anyhow, as you can see, we are not scientific experts and are not here to debate the scientific potential of GMOS. We are here to talk about the global social/economic/political repercussions of genetic engineering" and I'm not sure exactly what that means.
He concluded with, "I like that you would like to share your perspective with the non-GMO crowd and it would be great if the biotech crowd would also include opposing opinions into their conferences."
Of course, I reminded him of the CATO Institute invitation where Jeffrey Smith and GE Seralini accepted, then withdrew. Frankly, I'm not interested in opposing opinions, but I'd love to see opposing evidence.
It is clearly a gathering of the converted, an enclave of true believers united to cry together in a haze of anti-scientific doom and gloom. Smith and Shiva will cash their paychecks and ironically scientists will be called paid shills.
At least we tried to reach across the chasm here. It is important to discuss the science of the issue, but it is clear that there is no interest in doing this at Justice Begins with Seeds.