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Showing posts from June, 2017

Dr Nestle, Cry Me a River

I don't like the vindictive feeling of saying, "Well there's karma coming back to say hello," or the whole eye-for-an-eye thing. Nobody ever should be maliciously misrepresented in media, and I'll always be critical of that.  But it is important to point out amazing hypocrisy. Someone that claims to have been wronged is the exact same person that celebrated the harm of others, and promoted false information to hurt someone professionally and personally, and refused to discuss it or make corrections when kindly approached about it.  The emails are all shown below. Before September of 2015, I felt rather positive about Dr. Marion Nestle. I always appreciated her views and always took the time to consider them and understand where she was coming from even if I disagreed. In fact, we probably agree on food issues much more than we disagree.  So in September of 2015 when she decided to unfairly amplify the retracted distortions of Paul Thacker and Charles Seife

Food Evolution -- The Movie

The discussion of genetic technologies in food has been an asymmetrical fear fest dominated by misinformation.  The bad information has penetrated social ranks through the internet, but also through art and film.  Scott Hamilton Kennedy and Trace Sheehan shatter this trend with a fact-based response to the avalanche of misinformation. In true documentary style they allow the story, the circumstances and the personalities to tell the story.  You can listen to the an interview with the  Food Evolution  Director, Producer and a scientist in the film.  The film is only somewhat about technology or "GMO".  It is really about science, experts, belief, and hypocrisy.  Why do you believe what you do?  Who is trying to fool you? Jeffery Smith, Chuck Benbrook, Zen Honeycutt and "Food Babe" Vani Hari make appearances.  Their words are their own-- and it is refreshing to find a film that holds them somewhat accountable simply by letting them speak. Critics of te

Life on a Planet Without Patricia Moreira Cali

Today was her memorial service. We knew this day would come someday, but took a long time to get here in some ways, and it still in others it came way too soon.  The reason I'm writing this is because she deserves another permanent memorial, this time on the internet. I can share another viewpoint with readers interested in seeking more about her and her mission.  I've known Patricia probably for twelve years. For the last four she lived with leiomyosarcoma, an aggressive, rare, and unusual cancer. This disease took a beautiful and vibrant person from all of us, way too soon.  I would like to use this opportunity to share some of the highlights of her brief time on this planet, as some of the things she did for others that were truly remarkable.   Patricia Moreira Cali and I stopped for some Southern delicacies on a ride home from a chemo treatment in Jacksonville.  Her Mission to Help Children Patricia was a world traveler .  She was original

Glyphosate Regulatory Evaluation and the IARC Decision

To listen to this week's podcast, click here !    Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup, has been used as a non-selective (kills all plants) herbicide since 1970.  It blocks a necessary step in plant metabolism and the plant dies, yet it has lower acute toxicity than table salt to animals. It is inexpensive, and a small amount works well, with rapid turnover in the environment. For this reason it has been widely used in municipal, agricultural and residential applications for decades.  Glyphosate sales increased upon the advent of genetically engineered crops. Some of these crops were engineered with a gene that circumvents the toxic effects of glyphosate on the plant, so the herbicide kills weeds but not the plant itself. The technology has been widely adopted and is popular with farmers.  The chemical has been tested and approved but government agencies all over the globe.  Hundreds of studies have concluded that it is extremely safe when used as dire

Uptick in Troll Chatter

Everybody asks me, "Have things finally settled down for you?" They never settle down, the hassles just take on different forms.  I've been watching daily defamation for years now, and long enough to note when there is a curious and concerning uptick in troll chatter.   Dozens of sock puppets, likely representing one single person, follow mentions of me online and then write nasty comments in the comments sections. Usually this happens a few times a week, but over the last week activity is high.  Somewhat flattering?  The fact that someone has a job to follow me and my mentions around the internet is oddly creepy.  Ena Valikov has been doing it for years. This could be her, but I suspect it isn't.  I have some good guesses. The main vehicle appears to be Disqus and Google Alerts.  When I post or something is posted about me on a Disqus-enabled website he/she must get an alert, because there always is a multi-sock puppet convergence right after.  Why

An "A" for Consistency...

Once again, the we see the familiar rejection of the old axiom, "You can't polish a turd," as apparently you can.  The Florida Department of Education posted their results from last year and pointed out that "Science performance remained consistent." That's great because consistent means the same level of achievement as in recent times.  Must be pretty good, right?  A quick look at the numbers shows that this science glass is half empty, not half full.  "Consistent" performance isn't such a good thing if it is consistently awful.  What does "consistent" mean?  Let's look at the numbers from the standardized FCAT exam that all students need to take: The FCAT is a standardized exam students take in 5th and 8th grade . In a sense we can wipe our collective educational brow, as "consistent" means it isn't getting worse.  At the same time it shows that half the students do not pass the

Talking Biotech Podcast 85 - Biotech, Forest Restoration and Conservation

There are many threats to forests, including unprecedented challenges by pests, pathogens and climate change.  This week's podcast discusses how biotechnology may be applied to forest restoration & conservation. With Dr. Ellen Crocker, postdoctoral researcher from University of Kentucky.  Follow her on twitter @evcrocker