Showing posts from October, 2014

On Morning Television in Winnipeg

This is a video from Morning News Winnipeg, October 24, 2014. Mike Koncan was the interviewer and asked great questions with almost no prep time. That guy is a pro! Thanks Mike!

Will Sock Puppet Deception Sway Your Vote?

As the discussions of ballot propositions heat up, it is fun to read the comments sections of news articles. It is a way to explore the rationale for decision making and a gauge of public perception.  It is a way to learn new arguments that may be compelling for or against the initiatives.  It is interesting to see how others attempt to persuade voters to make a decision, one way or another. But are there deliberate efforts to blanket comments sections and social media with the same cut-and-paste messages?  Is there an effort to do so under different usernames to build the deceptive appearance of swelling support? A quick Google search suggests this is the case. For example the comments section of the Stateman article that deliberately deceives readers by making detection of the DNA encoding herbicide resistance to "pesticides", you'll find a comment from "Noah Dazinger" a name attached to someone that shows up frequently in comments sections arguing agai

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

Hypocrisy- The Soft Underbelly of Labeling Laws

Here's how you know that GMO labeling laws are just wrong-- protectionist exemptions.  In short, labeling promoters will tell you it is a necessary right to know, that GMO-based ingredients are untested, unsafe, and need labels so that they can be avoided. Unless they are products they care about, or influence their state's economy.   Somehow those are perfectly fine. Vermont is a wonderful example.  The recently-passed laws require foods derived from transgenic means to bear a label indicating their presence.  Labeling proponents say that foods using recombinant DNA intermediates are dangerous, untested, and should be banned! EXCEPT... if they are used in foods Vermont makes!   Examination of the public draft reveals the hypocrisy.  It is written so that it exempts cheese from being labeled.  The enzyme chymosin, the main entity of rennet (the concoction that causes milk to curdle) is almost exclusively derived from a transgenic (GMO) intermediate.  It used t

The Other Side of Robyn O'Brien's Glowing Huber Review

Dr. Don M. Huber was hit by a car on October 8, which prompted Robyn O'Brien to write a glowing assessment of his mission and claims in her Healthy Bites page at Prevention .   The title is Dr. Huber's Brave Crusade Against Biotech .  I thought it would be appropriate to share a scientist's perspective, and show his angry crusade against science, reason and a certain public scientist that made him accountable for his claims. Of course, I do wish Dr. Huber well and hope for a speedy and complete recovery. The burdens of injury in the elderly can be a challenge to the injured as well as to the family, so I hope he is well soon and without long-term consequences.  This is a difference of ideas.  Relative to science, it is critical that we find the truth about his mysterious pathogen.  If it is true, the first Edible Arrangement on his porch will be from me, and I will happily assist in further study in any way possible, as I have offered already.  If it is not true, and he

100 Billion Animals Over 15 Years

As someone that has followed recombinant DNA technology for almost four decades, I can remember the awakening of the technology.  As it moved toward implementation, I remember what activists said.  I remember dire predictions of doom and gloom, of horrors and suffering.  Most predicted that every animal consuming GM feed would be dead within days, maybe a year if they were lucky... including humans. Here we are 18 years later, and none of those predictions came true. None. Of course, papers like the famous Seralini Lumpy Rat Extravaganza argued that consumption of transgenic crops, or the herbicide used on them, caused massive and grotesque tumors (that the controls got too- but the authors conveniently forgot to show). For over twelve years retired plant pathologist Don Huber has traveled the globe, warning of a GMO-based pathogen that is killing humans and animals that consume the feed. Based on their dire predictions, it is a wonder any of us are still alive.  Especially th