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Showing posts from May, 2018

Thoughts for Today - Changes

The website GM Watch has harassed me for years, providing false, derogatory information about me.  I ignore it.  Most people ignore it.  They speak to their echo chamber and that's about it.  Recently they have found a tremendous ally in someone that used to be very close to me. She has been funneling information to them that is happily crafted into willful misinterpretations that are potentially quite damaging.  They then used bots to create spam letters to my university calling for investigation.  They only generated 1000.  However, the smear campaign fueled by personal issues to resolve has forced me out of my current position.  It is not fair to my university, students, farmers or colleagues to have leadership working with tremendous personal distraction. Anti-GE interests have been relentlessly spamming social media and email of journalists and papers to cover the story.  Nobody is interested. The Independent Florida Alligator  is going to run a story based on this a

135 - Engineering Plant Virus Resistance

In this week's podcast Dr. Paul Vincelli interviews Dr. Devang Mehta about genetic engineering solutions to plant virus problems.  Dr. Mehta describes the use of RNAi and CRISPR techniques, and some of the surprising things learned from their use.  The work is mostly performed in cassava, a key crop in the Developing World.

Talking Biotech Podcast 133 - An Extension Agonomist's View on Biotech Crops

Extension specialists are the boots-on-the ground connection between the university and the farm. This week's podcast is a conversation with Dr. Chad Lee, Extension Agronomist at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Lee tells it like it is. How important are GE crops? Are they the most important technology on the farm? What about common myths? Soy, corn, no till, glyphosate, dicamba.... A wonderful conversation! This week's podcast.

Another Lost to "Distracted" Driving

I can't say for sure that I've ever met Shawn Smith.  Chances are that I likely rode with him at some point, but was likely riding behind him as this elite cyclist disappeared over the hill in front of me. Gainesville, FL has a pretty tight-knit cycling community of riders, with excursions pedaling out daily from the edges of town on to beautiful country roads.  Hardly a time goes by that group rides are buzzed by drivers passing too close. Some do it because they are impatient and won't slow down to safely pass. Some to it on purpose because they feel a sick need to harass athletes or recreational riders.  Others do it because they are staring at a phone, reaching under a seat, or engaging any one of dozens of activities not conducive to driving.  We see it every day as drivers.  That car drifting  into the bike lane, then rapidly pulling back to where it is supposed to be. Every. Damn. Day. Distracted drivers kill almost ten people a day, and injure about 1000 a day

Interpreting "Weed Killer Formulations Toxic to Cells"

When I read it I think, "No S-- Sherlock." But to Carrie Gillam this is rhetorical red meat, another way to sell a book, put dollars in her pocket, and advance a cause --- by exploiting credulous media and readers.  Her second recent article in the Guardian says that the herbicide formulation Roundup is more toxic to human cells than glyphosate alone.  This revelation has been published many times before in actual journals, so this is not new information, just time to stoke the fear fire a bit more. Yes, products formulated to penetrate cells are usually toxic to cells-- in a petri dish.  Use of the product on crops means your cells do not get the same exposure, and your body is not a layer of slime in a Petri dish.    Researchers have examined glyphosate for toxicity or endocrine disruption potential against tissue culture cells. These limited systems are great ways to start understanding how a compound might affect cells, which can then inform later studies in

Indian Farmer Suicides

This week's podcast is an important clarifier about the issue of farmer suicides in India.  It is a complex issue that is unraveled by this week's guest.  Activists like Vandanda Shiva claim that it is all due to biotech (GMO) cotton and other crops.  This week's guest tells a much more nuanced story based on her studies. 

UCSF Hosts Activist Smear Campaign at Taxpayer Expense

The other day on Twitter I saw an unusual entry that led a popcorn trail to a new level of public records abuse at new taxpayer expense.      Thacker says that you should trust UCSF, a top medical school, and its archive on me in the "Chemical Industry Documents".  Hosted by taxpayers to attack taxpayer-funded scientists.  It’s my old buddy Paul Thacker, the guy that writesunfortunately inaccurate articles about me and others that ultimately endretracted or sporting corrections . He always seeks a way rub his stink on me, in a clear attempt to harm a public, academic scientist that teaches from the literature. And in this case he does not disappoint.   He posts a curious website, the Industry Documents Library  at the University of California San Francisco.   To Thacker and his buddies at US-RTK (the industry-funded hate group that seeks to silence and/or harm public scientists) this database has become a new repository for their “evidence” of foul connec

The Progressive Lacks Integrity- Exploited to Spread Thacker's Misinformation

Paul Thacker fancies himself a journalist that exposes unethical industry-academic collusion and impropriety.  The problem is, he's easily fooled.  He spawns false information that upon publication is frequently either retracted or corrected after publication.  Less credible media leave his word puddle uncorrected.  He's not very smart, and is an incredibly boring, rambling writer.  He is not analytical, not scientific-- instead he actively cherry picks and warps information to conform to the narrative he (or his sponsors?) wants told.  His hit pieces get a pathetically few retweets and shares.  He's largely irrelevant, even to anti-biotech folks, which is why I never wanted to give him the sick glee, exposure, or personal jollies by publishing a critical analysis of one of his (boring) tomes.   However, with the intent to harass, he continually uses social media to cite his own shoddy work as authoritative evidence that others (especially me) are corporate pawns, swo