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THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Thu 20 Aug 2015, 17:17:16

One of the reasons I've cooled off on debating this issue is that when I see someone on a site telling their story about "How I'm Adjusting To Being Homeless," and I look at their profile very often they describe themselves as "environmentalist foodie" or something similar, and I think "Wow, if I spend my time arguing with people like this, I'll end up the same way," except I won't be worrying about whether the food at the soup kitchen is GMO-free and gluten-free.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Fri 21 Aug 2015, 05:44:16

If you're genuinely gluten-intolerant (i.e. undiagnosable celiac disease, because you need to have been consuming gluten for a month for the test to work) you would definitely worry about whether your food is gluten-free or not.

I was bedridden for three weeks before I finally decided to try giving up gluten, and I got better within two days. I developed eczema in my forties (a side effect of celiac) and would get very ill if I subsequently unknowingly ate gluten.

The lifestyle people who bang on about feeling bloated after eating gluten are not gluten intolerant.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Fri 21 Aug 2015, 12:06:09

I've known two people with celiac and it puts a real dent in their ability to do normal things like travel on business. The first one had years of very poor health before getting a diagnosis.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby careinke » Fri 21 Aug 2015, 14:51:25

My wife is Celiac, believe me, things have gotten much easier for her since Gluten Free has become such a fad. Heck, even cheerios have gone GF.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Fri 21 Aug 2015, 16:13:19

I'm aiming for a psychotic-free lifestyle. I'm avoiding another site where the guy trying to dominate the GMO discussion is literally a full-time psychopath.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Sat 22 Aug 2015, 06:33:50

Curiously, I got it (or it got bad enough to feel really ill) about a year after the only time I used Roundup (and got some on my skin). I've since checked online and there is apparently a lot of debate over whether Roundup could be responsible for a lot of celiac disease.

Either that or my mainly pizza and sandwich diet working away from home at the time was the tipping point.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Sat 22 Aug 2015, 19:56:34

davep wrote:Curiously, I got it (or it got bad enough to feel really ill) about a year after the only time I used Roundup (and got some on my skin). I've since checked online and there is apparently a lot of debate over whether Roundup could be responsible for a lot of celiac disease.

Either that or my mainly pizza and sandwich diet working away from home at the time was the tipping point.

The nice lady (Stephanie Seneff) pushing that "theory" about Roundup is that programmer from MIT and she is also an antivaxxer who says on youtube that nobody should be getting vaccinated for anything. So if by "debate" you mean insane people shouting gibberish, yes. Of course, someone will say "Just because she's a militant antivaxer doesn't mean she's wrong about other things!"
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 00:14:58

There were plenty of different scientific pieces. Something designed to kill stuff could easily do damage to our gut flora, with potentially negative longer-term complications.

But correlation does not imply causation. It may have been a total coincidence in my case.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 05:51:25

It could if it was designed to kill gut flora, which it is not. Roundup is one of the most researched herbicides known to man. It is harmless to humans when applied correctly to crops.

Just one of many that I could list

http://www.google.com/url?url=http://sc ... i6pQ_-fV_g
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 06:57:13

Cog wrote:It could if it was designed to kill gut flora, which it is not. Roundup is one of the most researched herbicides known to man. It is harmless to humans when applied correctly to crops.

Just one of many that I could list

http://www.google.com/url?url=http://sc ... i6pQ_-fV_g


It's a broad spectrum systemic herbicide. Your review is 16 years old. This is slightly more recent http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23224412

The effect of glyphosate on potential pathogens and beneficial members of poultry microbiota in vitro.

The presented results evidence that the highly pathogenic bacteria as Salmonella Entritidis, Salmonella Gallinarum, Salmonella Typhimurium, Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium botulinum are highly resistant to glyphosate. However, most of beneficial bacteria as Enterococcus faecalis, Enterococcus faecium, Bacillus badius, Bifidobacterium adolescentis and Lactobacillus spp. were found to be moderate to highly susceptible.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 07:18:24

In vitro results? Test tubes. Salt is poisonous to bacteria in certain concentrations. Should we ban salt? Come now. You know damn well that you have to do animal and human studies on effects. Those have been done. The results are that the EPA and the FDA has concluded that glyphosate is not harmful to humans when applied properly to crops. Show me a peer-reviewed study that shows otherwise.

Like I originally stated, if Round-up is used in the proper application it is no threat to humans. There are many studies both in humans and animals that have confirmed this fact.

Bottom line is doomers hate corporations of all types. They hate when humans can enhance product yields by use GMO and herbicides. Why is this? My only conclusion is that doomers want more people dead than alive. At least Montequest was honest about this.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 09:58:49

If it kills beneficial gut flora and doesn't kill damaging gut flora, it doesn't need to be done on animals or humans and your salt analogy falls down.

Why jump to defend something with an ancient article you googled? Can you not entertain the idea that a poison could be potentially dangerous? I'm not anti-corporation, I'm anti-bad shit that happened to me. C Difficile etc have become more prevalent recently, which would correlate with increasing use of glyphosate. Yes, correlation does not imply causation, but it does mean more such studies are needed to gauge the extent of the risk. But you'd rather accuse me of being anti-corporate and come out with some BS about salt than actually consider mitigating potential risk.

Here's an interesting article from 2015 that goes into the ongoing risks of glyphosate http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/04/150422-glyphosate-roundup-herbicide-weeds/ including the increasing use for dessication, and the unknown dangers of low, long-term exposure (oh, and the UN report saying it's a potential carcinogen).
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 10:22:09

where is your peer reviewed paper that shows that round up is harmful to humans? National Geographic article does not count as a peer-reviewed paper, by the way.I can post much more recent studies on roundup if you are too lazy to do the research yourself. just let me know.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby davep » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 11:00:14

Cog wrote:where is your peer reviewed paper that shows that round up is harmful to humans? National Geographic article does not count as a peer-reviewed paper, by the way.I can post much more recent studies on roundup if you are too lazy to do the research yourself. just let me know.


You cited a paper that was sixteen years old. The NG article was a synthesis of current concerns. And one of the major ones was Despite its widespread use, USGS hydrologist Paul Capel said there is “a dearth of information” on what happens to it once it is used. [in the environment]. That means there have not been studies of its impact once it gets into the environment, and hence the questions over long-term exposure.

And if you'd bothered checking the links in the article you'd see references to studies done by the WHO (for the cancer link) and others for the combined effects of glyphosate and the other agents it's combined with that are never actually tested together, yet are biologically active. Etc etc.

And are you suggesting my original link to the effects on gut flora isn't peer reviewed? If so, why? Your clown dancing routine is getting dull.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Cog » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 11:38:03

Still waiting on the peer reviewed paper that suggests that Round up is harmful to humans. I guess I have time enough to wait before Round up kills me.

Your gut flora paper shows what happens in a test tube. That is not a peer-reviewed paper on what happens to humans with the dosages that humans are exposed to. Those papers indicate there is no harm to humans. Prove me wrong. You can be the hero here. Just cite the paper.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Outcast_Searcher » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 12:26:08

I just noticed this. (Sorry if a repeat).

So, it would seem that the WHO's claim that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic in humans" is at odds with other credible agencies. Apparently their findings are also highly biased, as they ignore data they don't like and also sources they don't like, and will declare a few positive findings enough to declare a hazard while they IGNORE negative studies.

Funny, if this kind of blatant bias came from an industry study, the GMO haters would have a fit. But if its from the WHO and supports their position, then mum's the word. Nice (NOT). Credible (NOT).

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glyphosate

World Health Organization position[edit]
In March 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer published a summary of their forthcoming monograph on glyphosate, and classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic in humans" (category 2A) based on epidemiological studies, animal studies, and in vitro studies; it noted that there was "limited evidence" of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.[5][11][12][65] The German Institute for Risk Assessment responded that the work group reviewed only a selection of what they had reviewed earlier, and argued that other studies, among them the widely-cited cohort study Agricultural Health Study, do not support the classification.[66] The IARC report did not include the German regulatory study published in December 2014, nor did it include industry-funded studies. The IARC also does not conduct risk assessment; their goal is to classify carcinogenic potential, and "a few positive findings can be enough to declare a hazard, even if there are negative studies as well."[67]


Glyphosate toxicity[edit]
Human toxicity[edit]
Human acute toxicity is dose-related. Acute fatal toxicity has been reported in deliberate overdose.[56][57] Early epidemiological studies did not find associations between long-term low-level exposure to glyphosate and any disease.[58][59][60] In 2013 the European commission reviewed a 2002 finding that had concluded equivocal evidence existed of a relationship between glyphosate exposure during pregnancy and cardiovascular malformations and found the evidence "fails to support a potential risk for increased cardiovascular defects as a result of glyphosate exposure during pregnancy."[61] A 2013 review found that neither glyphosate nor typical glyphosate-based formulations (GBFs) pose a genotoxicity risk in humans under normal conditions of human or environmental exposures.[62]
US Environmental Protection Agency position[edit]
The EPA, which last reviewed glyphosate in 1993, considers glyphosate to be noncarcinogenic and relatively low in dermal and oral acute toxicity.[33] The EPA considered a "worst case" dietary risk model of an individual eating a lifetime of food derived entirely from glyphosate-sprayed fields with residues at their maximum levels. This model indicated that no adverse health effects would be expected under such conditions.[33] As of March 2015, the EPA was in the midst of reviewing glyphosate's toxicity.[5]
European Food Safety Authority position[edit]
A 2013 systematic review by the German Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), conducted as part of the EFSA's review process, examined epidemiological studies, animal studies, and in vitro studies that it found valid, and found that "no classification and labelling for carcinogenicity is warranted" and did not recommend a carcinogen classification of either 1A or 1B.[9]:Volume 1, p139, see also 34–37 It was provided to the EFSA in January 2014 and published by the EFSA in December 2014[9][63][64]
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 16:14:55

davep wrote:
Cog wrote:where is your peer reviewed paper that shows that round up is harmful to humans? National Geographic article does not count as a peer-reviewed paper, by the way.I can post much more recent studies on roundup if you are too lazy to do the research yourself. just let me know.


You cited a paper that was sixteen years old.
...
suggesting my original link to the effects on gut flora isn't peer reviewed? If so, why? Your clown dancing routine is getting dull.


OK, I'm going to say this once, because this state of the art microbiology, well state of the art for 1940 anyway.

If you grow bacteria in vitro, you see all sorts of things. Specifically, you get to see which bacteria can grow on little more than a carbon source on "minimal media"

(wikipedia)
Minimal media are those that contain the minimum nutrients possible for colony growth, generally without the presence of amino acids, and are often used by microbiologists and geneticists to grow "wild type" microorganisms. Minimal media can also be used to select for or against recombinants or exconjugants.
Minimal medium typically contains:
a carbon source for bacterial growth, which may be a sugar such as glucose, or a less energy-rich source like succinate
various salts, which may vary among bacteria species and growing conditions; these generally provide essential elements such as magnesium, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur to allow the bacteria to synthesize protein and nucleic acid
water
Supplementary minimal media are a type of minimal media that also contains a single selected agent, usually an amino acid or a sugar. This supplementation allows for the culturing of specific lines of auxotrophic recombinants.


If you grow bacteria on minimal media (in vitro) and add roundup, which makes them fail to grow because it interferes with the shikimate pathway this HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HOW BACTERIA WOULD GROW ON RICH MEDIA OR IN VIVO because they get the amino acids they need from their environment. That's simply the whole basis of microbial genetics.

Fine, if someone just stepped out of a time machine from the 1930s, we would not expect them to know that. But for someone today who claims to care so very very much about these "issues" that they berate people using their supposed expertise, it's just pedantic anti-intellectual hooliganism.

And of course the same people that reject basic plant science have no trouble rejecting basic microbiology and no problem reject vaccinations. Follow the issue and you'll see how many of these people pass through homeless shelters, and no wonder! Jesus, everyone is in denial about something, but trying to knock down reality itself like so many bowling pins doesn't end very well. If I ever went that route, I'd at least hope to end up in a mental happy place rather than a pit of psychopathic anger.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Sun 23 Aug 2015, 17:17:33

And I just want to add that in many cases these are also the same people that are animal rights activists that claim the only possible reason for animal research is pure sadism and evil and they are somehow saving the world by ranting at strangers. Some of these people have been ranting away for literally 30 or 40 years, bouncing from issue to issue.
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Re: THE Monsanto Thread (merged)

Unread postby Subjectivist » Sat 02 Dec 2017, 00:24:10

So Monsanto has dodged the bullet — for now. The European Union has just voted to relicense the controversial herbicide glyphosate — marketed as Roundup — for another five years. That's far less than the 15 years initially sought, but much better than the total immediate ban sought by some countries and legions of vocal environmental activists.

The glyphosate saga is a fascinating case study in how easily politics can derail science. In watching the glyphosate issue evolve I found myself gradually becoming more and more aghast at how quickly and thoughtlessly evidence-based policymaking was thrown away in European centers of power.

I don't want to over-hype it, but it felt a little like mob rule. You can still burn the witch in Europe — if the witch is called Monsanto. Over glyphosate Monsanto was stitched up good and proper, as we say in England.

But no one feels comfortable being in the position of defending a company with a reputation as terrible as Monsanto, so despite the obvious perversion of both science and natural justice, the activists very nearly got away with it.

All in all this was a textbook case of how science and reason so easily lose out to hysteria and emotion, especially when you can find a good pantomime villain. This was never about glyphosate as a chemical. It was about glyphosate as a symbol, a symbol for opposition to Monsanto, pesticides, GMOs and a modern farming system which populist factions of different political stripes, led by the Greens, now love to hate.

Here's roughly what happened, so far as I can tell. At some point before 2015, anti-Monsanto activists, seeking a way to deal the company a severe blow, discovered that a little-known and rather flaky offshoot of the World Health Organization — the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) — could be co-opted to declare the hated Roundup carcinogenic.

IARC was the perfect target because it finds almost everything carcinogenic. Glyphosate was eventually placed by IARC in its 2A category of “probably carcinogenic,”' a designation it now shares with red meat, wood smoke, manufacturing glass processes, drinking “very hot beverages over 65C” and even the occupation of being a hairdresser.

In IARC’s higher Category 1 “carcinogenic to humans” designation you will find familiar and uncontroversial villains such as tobacco smoke and plutonium, but also sunshine, soot, salted fish ('Chinese style') and — latterly — bacon and other processed meats.

The activists needed IARC because every other scientific and chemical safety agency that had assessed the toxicity of glyphosate had found it pretty non-toxic, and certainly by far the most benign herbicide on the market. Those giving glyphosate a clean bill of health in terms of carcinogenicity included the European Food Safety Authority, the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization, the European Chemicals Agency and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

The activists likely guessed that far as media headlines were concerned, WHO and IARC would be perceived as pretty much the same thing. They were right. "Roundup weedkiller 'probably' causes cancer, says WHO study" was how the Guardian and most of the rest of the world's media covered the resulting March 2015 IARC decision.

As a strategy it was frankly Machiavellian, but also quite brilliant. I can only admire the campaigners who came up with it. And it very nearly paid off.

Here's how the plan was put into action: a statistician called Chris Portier, previously attached to the Environmental Defense Fund, a US-based campaign group, worked closely with IARC and seems to have been influential in its decision. I don't have any special insight into this, so can't offer any great scoops, though I think we're all indebted to the dogged persistence of “Risk Monger” David Zaruk and also reporters at Reuters for what we know so far.

In particular, we now know that early drafts of the IARC assessment were extensively altered at a late stage to point towards a carcinogenicity finding - even when the science they were assessing pointed away from this. As Reuters reported:

“Reuters found 10 significant changes that were made between the draft chapter on animal studies and the published version of IARC’s glyphosate assessment. In each case, a negative conclusion about glyphosate leading to tumors was either deleted or replaced with a neutral or positive one."​

We also know now that Portier had an enormous financial conflict of interest because he was contracted by a US-based legal firm that hoped to hoover up millions in a class-action lawsuit that would be based on the expected IARC carcinogenicity decision. Portier, it was revealed last month, was paid $160,000 by a legal firm that expected to clean up in a class-action lawsuit against Monsanto.

Imagine if glyphosate had been given a clean bill of health, and the scientist leading the assessment had been paid $160,000 by Monsanto. Yet double standards are such that when eye-watering conflicts of interest like this are exposed, they are waved away because, well, we're environmentalists, so we’re supposedly always on the side of the public interest.

What I still find shocking is that the activists were clearly not interested in whether glyphosate was actually harming anyone in the real world. If the environmental groups had really been concerned with ecological or human health issues, they would not have started with campaigning to remove the most benign chemical in world farming. They would have started with the most toxic. Glyphosate would have been last on the list, not first.

Likewise, if Greenpeace, Avaaz, Corporate Europe Observatory, Pesticide Action Network and all the other campaigning groups that flocked to the cause with their million-strong clicktivist petitions were really concerned about human cancer risks, they surely would have focused first on bacon.

I'm not joking. According to IARC, bacon is “carcinogenic to humans.” Bacon is something people actually ingest voluntarily in large quantities via eating it in sandwiches and breakfasts, whereas glyphosate is present at only trace exposures in the parts per million range, if that. As always, the poison is the dose.

Many of these same groups have waged a long campaign to downgrade evidence-based policymaking in general in Europe, and were instrumental in removing the position of EU Chief Science Advisor in 2014.

So why focus on glyphosate? Because glyphosate is a “chemical,” and chemicals are bad, especially those that can be called “pesticides.” Bacon is familiar, and to most of us smells nice while frying. Not a good subject for an international campaign.

Roundup was targeted to strike out at Monsanto and GMOs.
But why glyphosate rather than one or other of the more toxic pesticides still widely used by farmers? The answer is obvious: Monsanto makes glyphosate. (Partly: since it came off patent, Chinese generic glyphosate has flooded the market.) Therefore getting IARC to pronounce it a "probable carcinogen" would be a way to strike out at both Monsanto, and — by proxy — GMOs in general.

It would also be great PR for the green groups, by keeping Monsanto in the headlines, linking it with "pesticides" and cancer, and keeping GMOs firmly locked out of Europe by giving a continuing chemophobic tinge to the ongoing hysteria about GMOs.

As an example, here's the kind of language the activists were using in the 1.3 million signatures campaign:

"Did you know a poisonous, potentially cancer-inducing chemical could be present in your body? This is possible because our food is being sprayed with it. In fact, scientists have found traces of the hazardous chemical Glyphosate in the urine of nearly 1 in 2 people tested... The World Health Organization has labelled it as “probably carcinogenic”."

And so on. This kind of thing makes me ashamed to call myself an environmentalist. I do not want to be part of a movement that so explicitly sides with ignorant, emotive populism against rigorous scientific evidence.

The activist campaign was successful in recruiting several EU member states in blocking the renewal of the glyphosate license. In particular Italy and France were steadfast in the anti-GMO — ahem — anti-glyphosate camp. In the latter, President Macron had pledged to ban glyphosate anyway within three years, or earlier if a substitute is developed.

Macron clearly understands nothing about chemistry. Glyphosate was first discovered in 1974 after decades of searching. Nothing since has come close to its profile of non-toxicity and broad-spectrum activity. Glyphosate was called a “once in a century” herbicide for good reason.

This is precisely why the European farming community, realizing what a threat it was under, belatedly mobilized against the looming ban. I know a lot of people here in the UK who had begun stockpiling Roundup. There really is no viable substitute, and banning the herbicide would have meant a lot more plowing and associated soil erosion in an expensive effort to control weeds and stop crop yields from falling too far.

I even use glyphosate myself, in small doses on my vegetable garden. It is good at knocking back perennial weeds that can't easily be pulled, and nothing else on the market has such low toxicity. I found it infuriating that environmentalists would remove it and leave much more toxic chemicals unopposed.

But this isn’t just about glyphosate. It’s about the principle at stake here. Decisions about licensing chemicals should be based on scientifically objective risk assessment, not on activist campaigns or on industry reassurances. It's a tough thing to say, but science is not democratic. One person's opinion is not as valid as another's. Expertise counts — just as it does with airplane pilots and heart surgeons.

An even deeper principle is that the truth is for everyone. Scientific truth is there to defend people against corporations, but equally sometimes to defend corporations against people. Truth is truth, and fairness is not selective. Otherwise, it’s not fair.


[url=https://allianceforscience.cornell.edu/blog/europe-still-burns-witches-—-if-they’re-named-monsanto]Europe still burns witches — if they’re named Monsanto[/url]
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