Intro by Scott Creighton – OpEd by Tom Kiely
Tom Kiely, a guy I am fortunate to do interviews with every now and again (including tonight at 7:30pm eastern) sent me an email in response to an earlier article of mine regarding the Ayn Rand Institute and their new book about feeling good about being a selfish asshole.
The info was fascinating. It was a video of a speech given by an Ayn Rand Institute fellow proclaiming her love for GMOs and Monsanto.
He included with that email a link to the video I post below as well as a rather interesting analysis of it he wrote himself.
I am posting his email below the video without asking him first but I don’t think he would mind, it’s good reading.
I’m sure we will be discussing it tonight during the interview.
Video and email from Tom after the break:
Tom Kiely writes:
Here is a video from the Ayn Rand Institute of a scientist telling us why GMO’s are good for us and how misguided activists who are against them are. I spent the time to view this to see if there might be something that I didn’t already know and what I found was a carefully constructed talk in favor of making huge profits by manipulating nature in the laboratory. Yet this profit motive was not really mentioned. Instead the speaker portrayed the scientists and companies like Monsanto merely as dogooders sincerely trying to help out mankind.The woman giving the talk said she was a scientist and I found her talk full of weasel wording. Here are a few examples. Early in her talk she claimed that GMO’s were good for you because several government agencies, such as the EPA and the FDA, have given them their stamp of approval. I found this to be a rather odd statement from an Ayn Rander who I would expect to be saying that the EPA and FDA were burdensome bureaucracies that don’t really help people and merely impede the profits of capitalists with mountains of needless regulation. Later in her talk she reverses herself on the needless impediments of government bureaucracies at least two times.When talking about the great benefits of GMO’s and the unreasonableness of its activist critics she never once mentions the fact that much of these seeds are designed to not produce new seed but rather force the farmer to come back to the agri corp who sold them the seeds in the first place over and over again if they want to stay in business. This fly’s in the face of the way farmers used to handle the procurement of seed, often off of their own crops. So which is it, are the scientists trying to help humanity or are they trying to line the pockets of big agri corporations and how is non heirloom seed an improvement over nature? As mentioned, she never once brings this up nor, when she is trashing the GMO critics does she bring it up as one of their criticisms. It is just an inconvenient truth that she totally omits.She speciously tries to conflate previous “low tech” genetic modification such as humanity’s ancient method of naturally creating cultivars in the field with the current high technology which allows scientists to combine the genes of plants and animals in the laboratory, something that nature never does.She singles out corporations such as Chipotle as being bad for choosing not to serve food made with GMO products.Dihydrogen MonoxideOne of her more interesting examples of being unfaithful to the Ayn Rand ideal is how she is against the mere labeling of foods to show if they contain GMO or not. Since when has Ayn Rand been in favor of Big Brother censoring simple information so that the noble populace can make up their own minds in their own self(ish) interest?To make her point against labeling she uses this rehtorical slight of hand:“Well I’ll tell you what’s really dangerous that activists aren’t talking about. Dihydrogen Monoxide. Dihydrogen Monoxide is a colorless and odorless liquid. It’s been found contaminating many foods like fruit and milk. Accidental inhalation can be fatal and ingestion of too much can cause cerebral edema, a swelling of the brain. Dihydrogen Monoxide, sounds like nasty stuff but it’s just the scientific name for water. To people who aren’t scientifically versed the name isn’t informative, it just sounds scary. Did I fool you, are you mad at me? You should be. Just keep that in mind every time you have an activist telling you that they are just helpfully trying to inform consumers. These activists are really demanding that food manufacturers slap a label on their products effectively announcing to the world that there’s something wrong or dangerous about them. Hiding behind the guise of better informed consumers they’re trying to scare people. Like moms trying to make the best choices for their kids out of buying foods that in reality are just as innocuous as water.” Did you notice that? She says that water has been found found contaminating many foods like fruit and milk. So here she is comparing water to genetic manipulation of food in the laboratory, which by the way must be safe because that arch enemy of Any Rand’s, the FDA, says it is.Here is how she explains how moral the scientists are and how evil the critics are. Notice how she never mentions the profit motive yet contrary to what she says, there would be no GMO without it despite the presence of humanity’s need for better nutrition not because of it as she alludes:“Improving farming including the seed that we plant it’s not only a worthy endeavor but it’s a moral one. Improving upon nature is what makes human beings great. But I don’t think that anti GMO activists are too concerned about people. I don’t think that consideration for human beings are at the center of their ideas or judgements. Instead it’s the view that natural is better for example that causes anti GMO activist to hype the negatives, distort the evidence and to completely ignore the benefits that GMO have been bringing to the table for the past twenty years.”I could go on. She mentions that GMOs are better resistant to herbicides such as glyphosate, which she claims is no worse for you than baking soda. (did you ever see the video of the glyphosate lobbyist who made a similar claim but then refused to drink a glass of it when it was offered to him?) Nor does she mention the damage to soil when repeated and higher doses of herbicide are introduced to it via plants that can tolerate higher and higher doses of herbicide.Also not touched on was the idea that the food material produced by GMO has never been encountered by the digestive systems of the beings who must eat it and the bacteria in their gut which must help to digest it.I think I’ll go out and get some non GMO Chipotle now.
Filed under: Uncategorized