GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto

By Jeff Kirkpatrick

January 7, 2017

“In the long run, there are no secrets, in science. The universe will not cooperate in a cover-up.” -Arthur C. Clark.

GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto

Nobel Prize recipient Richard Feynman said that “scientists should not only tell what’s true but…make clear all the information that is required for somebody else who is intelligent to make up their mind” about how to use a technology. He also said that technology “carries with it no instructions on how to use it, whether to use it for good or for evil” and that how to control technology “is something not so scientific and is not something that the scientist knows so much about.”

Two of his more well-known quotes were: “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong” and “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Feynman also warned us that “Experts with delusions of certainty create imitative forms of science, producing the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisors.”

We are now at a critical time known as the Anthropocene [1]. The planet is undergoing dramatic climate changes that threaten life on Earth. Combined with the massive loss of biodiversity and plant genetic resources, our food security is approaching a great threat level across the globe. The forces behind GMOs are those driven by profit; they do not solve or fix anything, but instead exacerbate those forces that propel us faster into the Anthropocene. GMOs are the embodiment of the industrialization of agriculture: they promote monocultures, are linked to a loss of healthy soils, they are a contributing factor in the pollution of land and water. The reliance on fossil fuel-based fertilizers indicates that the powerful hidden forces that promote climate denialism and those that enable the unjust spread of GMOs around the globe need to be identified, and the lies, myths, frauds, and unethical behaviors they adhere to and live by must be exposed.

It is in this context that I have combined a number of articles published by GMWatch along with some documents revealed through a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) by “US Right to Know” into one publication. It is sadly necessary to show that not all science is true science; not all scientists fit the requirements of ethical and honest behavior.It is also necessary to expose those who support and promote fraud and abusive behavior. The kinds of tactics that have been employed resemble those that are consistent with sociopathic personality traits. These types of actions are unacceptable in a civilized society, much less in a scientific debate, no matter what the topic might be.

Read the full publication here:

GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto

“‘Science is science,’ declared my college biology professor, alluding to its own rigorous standards, openness, and integrity. Today, my response would be ‘not quite.’ For in the autocratic, commercially driven hands of multinational corporations, ‘science’ becomes the instrument of an overall business plan that results in serious corruptions of scientific attitude, method, and peer-reviewed accountability. This confidential, proprietary ‘corporate science’ closes off Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of science as ‘keeping options open for revision.’ It becomes … the central chattel in a comprehensive business strategy to corporatize global agriculture. This is accomplished through a remarkable matrix of controls and public subsidies that takes monopolizing corporate behavior and its wildcat offshoots to historically unforeseen depths of danger to people and planet.” – Ralph Nader, forward, “The GMO Deception – What you Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk,” ed. Sheldon Krimsky & Jeremy Gruber, editors, Skyhorse Publishing (2014)

“We must as citizens and professionals join together to reverse the present situation. Publicly funded, independent research grants need to become a hot political issue. That would be the most efficient remedy for chronically unanswered questions and the corporate take-over of science. In conclusion, we once more quote Mayer and Stirling: ‘Deciding on the questions to be asked and the comparisons to be made has to be an inclusive process and not the provenance of experts alone.’ But then again, whom should society rely on for answers and advice should the time come when all science resource persons work directly or indirectly for the GE producers?”- Terje Traavik and Jack Heinemann, “Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research – Still No Answers to Ageing Questions,” Third World Network; 2007

“A lack of truthfulness concerning the limits of scientific knowledge, motivations, expected benefits, and the basis of conflict can lead to significant misunderstandings and mistrust between scientists, policy makers, and the public.” See: “Essential Features of Responsible Governance of Agricultural Biotechnology,” by Sarah Hartley, Frøydis Gillund, Lilian van Hove & Fern Wickson, PLoS Biology, vol. 14, No. 5; May 4, 2016 (7 pages)


[1]. See: “Escape of Genetically Engineered Organisms and Unintentional Transboundary Movements: Overview of Recent and Upcoming Cases and the new Risks from SynBio Organisms,” by Andreas Bauer-Panskus, Sylvia Hamberger, Mirjam Schumm & Christoph Then, Testbiotech; September, 2015 (38 pages)

Excerpt: “We are at a crossroads. There is no doubt that in the age of the ‘Anthropocene,’ biodiversity has already been severely impacted by human activities such as those in agriculture and land use. Gene flow from transgenic organisms and/or from organisms derived from synthetic gene technologies into the environment and native populations, is adding an extra level of risk to biodiversity. If we do not manage to stop the uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms, all future generations will have to deal with new uncertainties, risks and long-term impacts created by current short-term economic interests and flaws in international and national regulation.”

Also see: “The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration,” by Will Steffen, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney and Cornelia Ludwig, Anthropocene Review; Vol. 2, No. 1; April 2015 (18 pages)

Also see: “Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists,” by Oliver Milman, The Guardian; January 15, 2015

Also see: “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity,” by Johan Rockström et al, Ecology and Society, vol. 14, Issue 2; 2009

Excerpt: “The current and projected rates of biodiversity loss constitute the sixth major extinction event in the history of life on Earth—the first to be driven specifically by the impacts of human activities on the planet. Previous extinction events, such as the Tertiary extinction of the dinosaurs and the rise of mammals, caused massive permanent changes in the biotic composition and functioning of Earth’s ecosystems. This suggests non-linear and largely irreversible consequences of large-scale biodiversity loss. Accelerated biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene is particularly serious, given growing evidence of the importance of biodiversity for sustaining ecosystem functioning and services and for preventing ecosystems from tipping into undesired states … Currently, the global extinction rate far exceeds the rate of speciation, and consequently, loss of species is the primary driver of changes in global biodiversity …  Since the advent of the Anthropocene, humans have increased the rate of species extinction by 100–1000 times the background rates that were typical over Earth’s history … Until recently, most extinctions (since 1500) occurred on oceanic islands. In the last 20 years, however, about half of the recorded extinctions have occurred on continents, primarily due to land-use change, species introductions, and increasingly climate change, indicating that biodiversity is now broadly at risk throughout the planet.” [Citations omitted]

सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)


Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author(s) and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2017 Genetically Modified Ethics





This entry was posted in Anthropocene, Biodiversity, Biotech Propaganda, Conflict of interest, Corporate control of food system, Corruption, Disinformation, Endangering the biosphere, Ethics, Genetic Diversity, Monsanto, Transgene escape. Bookmark the permalink.

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