GMO A Go Go is a short, 9-minute black propaganda film, which is sponsored by NaturalNews and which is directed against GMO corporations. It makes a variety of inaccurate and outright false claims about genetically modified food.
This article is dedicated to listing and debunking the claims made, sometimes implicitly, in this video.
|Claims of the movie||Analysis|
| GM food contains lots of fish and insect genes.
|| First off, the implicit suggestion that this is somehow undesirable is a textbook example of the composition and division fallacy. Incorporating a few genes from a fish or an insect into a vegetable does not make the vegetable more "fishy" or "insect-y"; this is not how biochemistry works. Secondly, most genes incroporated [sic] into GM crops actually come from bacteria.
| GM food routinely undergoes food irradiation, which destroys all nutrition. A banner saying "Now available in Europe" flashes across the screen.
|| The WHO's report on high-dose irradiation contradicts this claim, stating that "food irradiated to any dose appropriate to achieve the intended technological objective is both safe to consume and nutritionally adequate". The mention of food irradiation, a technology completely unrelated to genetic engineering, is an obvious attempt to exploit radiophobia.
|All data demonstrating harm arising from the use of pesticides, as well as other data which is inconvenient to the biotech industry, is dismissed as flawed by dishonest scientists.
||Unless Monsanto suddenly discovered a way to control the entire field of biotechnology, this clearly wouldn't be possible. This is an outright conspiracy theory devoid of any evidence. The recent EU ban on neonicotinoids, as well as the worldwide withdrawal of DDT and 2,4,5-T from agricultural use, shows that data inconvenient to the biotech industry is not ignored.
The producers are ignoring the anti-GMO activists' habit of sweeping all contradictory data under the rug by claiming it is was fabricated by shills, but are quite happy to promote any study that supports their worldview, no matter if it has been criticized or not. Accusing others of something you are guilty of yourself is known as psychological projection.
|Bacillus thuringiensis proteins (a.k.a. Bt toxins) incorporated into some GM crops are responsible for bee deaths and colony collapse disorder.
||Bt toxins are toxic to some insects from the orders Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and Coleoptera (beetles). Bees are in the order Hymenoptera, along with wasps and ants, and lack the gut receptors which cause Bt toxicity in these insects. A meta-analysis of 25 studies found that Bt-containing crops have no effect on bees.
|Bt toxins are untested and possibly harmful to humans. A grasshopper (from the order Orthoptera) is depicted to illustrate the insect toxicity of Bt.
||This is one of the more amusing claims in this video due to the widespread use of Bt by organic farmers. Contrary to what the video claims, many animal and human feeding trials that involved Bt-containing crops were conducted and have found no evidence of toxicity.
The use of an insect from the wrong order for the illustration (see previous claim) only adds insult to injury.
|Bt crops can withstand more weedkiller, because they produce their own pesticide.
||This is a conflation of the Bt toxin trait and the glyphosate resistance (a.k.a. "Roundup Ready") trait, which are completely independent. There exist GM strains with only one trait or the other and strains with both. The authors apparently lack elementary knowledge about the technology they are criticizing.
|The effects of transgenic food on humans are unknown.
||The first genetically modified crop was approved for sale in the United States in 1994. Nearly two decades later and well over three trillion transgenic meals consumed worldwide, not even a single case of transgenic food being linked to illness has ever been recorded. A meta-review of twenty-four multigenerational and long-term animal feeding trials shows that GM food is safe, many animal studies have proven transgenic food to be safe.
The scientific consensus says that there are no generic health risks common for all GM food. Any risk can only come from a specific engineered trait. This view is shared by the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the European Food Safety Agency, the International Council for Science, the U.S. National Academies of Science, and almost all national scientific bodies.
Transgenic food has been proven to cause genital baldness in goats, but Monsanto claims that these are "intended" side effects.Do You Believe That?
|Independent research on rats eating genetically modified potatoes resulted in slower growth, reproductive issues, organ development problems and other issues.
||This claim is apparently based on Arpad Pusztai's much-criticized 1999 paper. The Royal Society reviewed his work and concluded that it was "flawed in many aspects of design, execution, and analysis", that they "found no convincing evidence of adverse effects from GM potatoes", and finally that "no conclusion can be drawn from [the study]". Furthermore, Pusztai overlooked how potatoes tend to be a poor diet for rats.
On a side note, at 4:10 the video depicts dollar bills containing the Illuminati symbol. The implication that the Illuminati own Monsanto is quite hilarious, and betrays this video's roots.
|Genetically modified crops will take over on organic farms.
||The USDA has a mandatory limit on how much non-organic plant material can be included in organic crops. While contamination to some degree is unavoidable, it is typically very low, and can be reduced with sufficient space kept between organic and transgenic fields. In corn for example, proper isolation techniques can easily result in contamination levels of under 0.5%. Soybeans are another popular transgenic crop, but their method of reproduction means that contamination is extremely low with only minor precautions. The European Commission considers 1% to be an acceptable level of contamination.
|Biotech companies sue farmers out of business for accidental cross pollination between GM and non-GM crops. This is a nefarious plot to gain total control over the food supply.
||The first part is is an extremely common claim, yet in reality it has never happened. Percy Schmeiser was sued by Monsanto for growing their GM canola without permission, but this was hardly a case of accidental cross pollination -- Schmeiser deliberately selected for this trait among his own mildly-cross-pollinated crops. The OSGATA sued Monsanto with a similar claim, but their case was thrown out when they were unable to present any evidence that it had ever happened.
The second part is just more conspiracy-mongering.
|GM companies actively lobby against laws requiring the labelling of genetically modified food.
||This claim is true, but the reasoning behind this lobbying is misrepresented. Anti-GMO activists typically lobby for labels which would only specify whether the food contains any GM ingredients. As pointed out above, the scientific consensus is that no useful general statement can be made about all GM crops, therefore such labels would convey zero useful information to the consumer. Their only purpose would be to serve as leverage for anti-GMO pressure groups. In a similar manner, we do not put labels on food informing whether it was handled by black people, because the only purpose of such labels would be to provide leverage for racism.
|Hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers have committed suicide due to the introduction of Bt cotton in India.
||The International Food Policy Research Institute analyzed that claim using official Indian government data, and discovered that the suicides began years before the introduction of Bt cotton, and did not increase after said cotton became available. So whatever the cause is, it's not biotech. Bt cotton has massively decreased insecticide use in India, which has the added side effect of avoiding several million cases of pesticide poisoning every year. Moreover, comparative studies indicate that poor farmers using Bt cotton fare better economically and nutritionally than those using conventional cotton.
|Transgenic pig feed caused sterilization and growth problems.
||This claim is based on anecdotal evidence from one pig farmer from Denmark, Ib Pedersen, who claimed various improvements in his pig herd after he switched to non-GM feed. This claim is insane, since if it was true, the pork industry would have completely collapsed by now.
This video is pure propaganda. There's no better word for it. The multiple Illuminati conspiracy theory references throughout the video, the sheer amount of lies (ab)used by the video's creators, and sponsorship by NaturalNews makes this one of the worst sources for information on genetically modified food out there.
- ↑ "HIGH-DOSE IRRADIATION: WHOLESOMENESS OF FOOD IRRADIATED WITH DOSES ABOVE 10 kGy"
- ↑ BBC News: Bee deaths: EU to ban neonicotinoid pesticides
- ↑ J.J. Duan, M. Marvier, J. Huesing, G. Dively, Z.Y. Huang: A Meta-Analysis of Effects of Bt Crops on Honey Bees PLoS ONE 2008, 3(1), e1415
- ↑ There are some pesticides, such as imidacloprid, which have been implicated in bee deaths. But the Bt toxin is not among them.
- ↑ "BACILLUS THURINGIENSIS"
- ↑ Growth and Carcass Characteristics of Pigs Fed Bt and Non-Bt Corn and Harvested at US and European Market Weights
- ↑ Performance of growing-finishing pigs fed diets containing YieldGard Rootworm corn (MON 863), a nontransgenic genetically similar corn, or conventional corn hybrids
- ↑ Investigations on genetically modified maize (Bt-maize) in pig nutrition: fattening performance and slaughtering results.
- ↑ Effects of grazing residues or feeding corn from a corn rootworm-protected hybrid (MON 863) compared with reference hybrids on animal performance and carcass characteristics.
- ↑ [http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1296&context=animalscinbcr Utilization of Bt Corn Hybrids
in Growing Beef Steers]
- ↑ Utilization of Bt corn residues by grazing beef steers and Bt corn silage and grain by growing beef cattle and lactating dairy cows.
- ↑ Effect of Bt corn on broiler growth performance and fate of feed-derived DNA in the digestive tract.
- ↑ Comparison of broiler performance when fed diets containing corn grain with insect-protected (corn rootworm and European corn borer) and herbicide-tolerant (glyphosate) traits, control corn, or commercial reference corn.
- ↑ Comparison of broiler performance when fed diets containing grain from YieldGard Rootworm (MON863), YieldGard Plus (MON810 x MON863), nontransgenic control, or commercial reference corn hybrids.
- ↑ Bt176 corn in poultry nutrition: physiological characteristics and fate of recombinant plant DNA in chickens.
- ↑ Evaluation of transgenic event Bt11 hybrid corn in broiler chickens.
- ↑ Long term feeding of Bt-corn--a ten-generation study with quails.
- ↑ Results of a 90-day safety assurance study with rats fed grain from corn borer-protected corn
- ↑ "The case of the FLAVR SAVR tomato"
- ↑ "Assessment of the health impact of GM plant diets in long-term and multigenerational animal feeding trials: A literature review"
- ↑ "Genetically modified feeds in animal nutrition. 1st communication: Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn in poultry, pig and ruminant nutrition."
- ↑ "Genetically modified feeds in animal nutrition. 2nd communication: glufosinate tolerant sugar beets (roots and silage) and maize grains for ruminants and pigs."
- ↑ "Nutritional evaluation of genetically modified maize corn performed on rats."
- ↑ "Safety assessment of transgenic potatoes with soybean glycinin by feeding studies in rats."
- ↑ "Safety assessment of rice genetically modified with soybean glycinin by feeding studies on rats."
- ↑ "Evaluation of transgenic event Bt11 hybrid corn in broiler chickens."
- ↑ "Effects of feeding silage and grain from glyphosate-tolerant or insect-protected corn hybrids on feed intake, ruminal digestion, and milk production in dairy cattle."
- ↑ "A generational study of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans on mouse fetal, postnatal, pubertal and adult testicular development."
- ↑ WHO: 20 questions on genetically modified foods
- ↑ ICSU report on GM food
- ↑ http://www.nationalacademies.org/webextra/crops/
- ↑ The Lapine is a satirical website, but it's fooled a few conspiracy theorists before!
- ↑ Health risks of genetically modified foods
- ↑ "Review of data on possible toxicity of GM potatoes"
- ↑ Managing "Pollen Drift" to Minimize Contamination of Non-GMO Corn, AGF-153
- ↑ Gene flow from transgenic to nontransgenic soybean plants in the Cerrado region of Brazil.
- ↑ EC says 1% is acceptable GMO "contamination".
- ↑ OSGATA v. Monsanto
- ↑ "Bt Cotton and Farmer Suicides in India"
- ↑ Impact of Bt cotton on pesticide poisoning in smallholder agriculture: A panel data analysis
- ↑ M. Qaim, S. Kouser, Genetically Modified Crops and Food Security PLoS ONE 8(6), e64879
- ↑ http://www.rodale.com/gmo-soy