Skeptical Raptor's Blog hunting pseudoscience in the internet jungle

GMO foods transfer DNA to humans-another myth

franken-corn-DNAHere we go again. A pseudoscience pushing website (which occasionally tosses in stories about real science) is trumpeting a primary research study (published 6 months ago) that may, or may not, indicate that plant DNA may survive intact in the digestive tract and show up in the bloodstream. You just know what they’re going to say next.

This will now be all about genetically modified foods.

In case you’ve ignored this area of pseudoscience, genetically modified crops are foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs); of course, all types of agricultural breeding induces genetic modification, but in general, GMO usually implies actual manipulation of the genes. Based on some of  the worst science available, anti-GMO cultists have condemned GMO foods as being dangerous. Of course, there is actually no science supporting the anti-GMO claim, and the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe to humans, animals and the environment.

A paper published in the online journal, PLoS One, seems to indicate that possible DNA fragments pass from the digestive tract into the blood. The authors, Spisak et al., concluded:

…based on the analysis of over 1000 human samples from four independent studies, we report evidence that meal-derived DNA fragments which are large enough to carry complete genes can avoid degradation and through an unknown mechanism enter the human circulation system.

Based on our knowledge of the digestive process, fats, DNA, carbohydrates, and proteins are broken down into their simplest components, and specialized transport systems move these simple components across the barrier between the digestive tract and blood. They have evolved to not transport full size molecules, partially because the blood is incapable of carrying large foreign molecules (and could induce an immune response). Moreover, small constituent molecules, like amino acids instead of the whole protein, or glucose instead of a long-chain carbohydrate, are more easily transported to locations in the body to be then used as fuel or building blocks for new proteins and DNA. We just have not seen a mechanism in the digestive tract that can move large molecules, like gene-length DNA fragments, into the bloodstream.

In fact, the authors admit that the mechanism is unknown, though it’s curious that years of study of the molecular transport of nutrients has never uncovered this until 2013. Based on this limited evidence, here’s what the anti-GMO crowd says about it:

What biotechnology and biotech corporations like Monsanto have done, is they have allowed for the transfer of genes from one to the other without any regard for the biological limitations, or constraints. The problem with this is that it is based on very bad science. The conditions and biological ‘rules’ that apply to vertical gene transfer, at least those that we are aware of, do not necessarily apply to horizontal gene transfer. Biotech science today is based on the assumption that the principles governing the inheritance of genes are the same when we move genes horizontally as they are when they are moved vertically. It just goes to show that GMO’s should be subjected to much more experimentation and rigorous research before we continue to consume them. 

Oh no. Franken-foods might cause franken-humans. And because…Monsanto.

But since this is a skeptical website, let’s look at this research and the conclusions of the anti-GMO lunatics more carefully:

  1. This study is a primary publication that has not been confirmed by subsequent research. On the list of scientific evidence, the quality of primary research is good, but not great, and certainly not enough to establish a firm scientific consensus.
  2. The study was published in a moderately low impact factor (3.730) open access, online journal, PLoS One, which has the publication philosophy of “publish first, judge later.” Well, we’re judging now.
  3. The study examine minuscule levels of DNA in blood, nanogram levels. We definitely are able to detect nanogram levels of DNA, but at that low level, substantial risk of contamination is so high, that if one were to see these results, the initial hypothesis would probably be “this blood sample was contaminated,” rather than the infinitely more complex and undiscovered mechanism to move these huge molecules into the blood. Yes, Occam’s Razor does apply, the simplest explanation might be the best.
  4. In fact, RW Lusk of the University of Michigan, spent six months reviewing the data and methods of Spisak et al. and concluded that they must consider contamination as the source of plant DNA, not some mysterious digestive mechanism. Lusk stated that contamination can account for these results, because DNA measurement is so sensitive, that even washed laboratory equipment harbors DNA fragments.  
  5. In a review of the papers by Spisak et al. and Lusk, it was concluded that “Poor commentary and cherry-picking data helps no one. Spisak’s study tells us about a significant biological finding that needs to be carefully analysed. The cautionary tale is that one must not extrapolate wildly from good science to create horrific scenarios that are not based on any scientific observations whatsoever.” In other words, even if Spisak’s work is not set aside by potential contamination, it doesn’t say anything about anything dangerous about modified DNA.
  6. But let’s assume that there’s some unknown, mysterious mechanism that allows DNA to be transmitted into the blood (while excluding long chain carbohydrates, whole proteins, and other large molecules). The numbers are so small, just a handful complete genes, that the probability that those DNA molecules will have any effect on the body is near 0.
  7. Genes don’t easily jump from one species to another. If gene transfer were so simple, the medical usefulness of gene therapy would be extremely high, instead of being incredibly difficult. We’re trying to transfer genes to cure diseases, and we’re finding it almost impossible. If consuming a few kernels of corn, introduced some gene into the bloodstream that somehow gets incorporated into the human genome, well that would be a miracle. But reality is, even if the article is accurate, and there’s doubt to that, it has little clinical meaning.
  8. But the most important thing is that if there is some heretofore mysterious mechanism to transfer DNA from the digestive tract to the human genome, it should be noted that nearly everything we consume contains DNA. The probability that any number of DNA fragments from hamburger, salads, cereal, eggs, or the billion other foods will eat getting into the bloodstream is higher, substantially higher, than a modified DNA fragment. But we don’t turn into corn. Or lettuce. Or a cow. Or a chicken. It just doesn’t happen.

I don’t know if the study in PLoS One is going to stand given the high probability of contamination, which has been demonstrated by another researcher. But even if it is confirmed by other research or becomes the initial observation that leads to a new mechanism of transport of nutrients, it provides NO evidence whatsoever that GMO’s suddenly become dangerous because those genes will be incorporated into our human genome. You may as well become worried that we’ll turn into a chicken after eating an egg.

Note: This updated article was originally published on 25 February 2014.

Key citations:

Comments (59)
  • Notso F. Stupid

    Check Skep’s bio. He worked for the medical industry. He is conservative. He has an agenda. He calls people nasty condescending names in the comments section. Now check the PLOS site.

    They have 10 pages or more of research on different GMO related stuff. A no brainer on who you are going to listen to…. and it’s not the conservative windbag.

    But, first hand, I lived on Kauai, one of the most beautiful and sacred places on earth. Since sugar left the island, much of the land that is privately owned or owned by the state, is being used to test GMO crops. All the common sense concern about stacking pesticides, cancer in nearby schools, etc., is being fought off by these big companies. As usual. It’s redundant, money wins over common sense every time. People of the island just wanted them to disclose what pesticides they were using…but noooooo, that’s trade secret, blah blah. It’s frigging insane.

    You don’t even have to be a genius, or even if you flunked science as Skep assumes, we still much smarter than ol’ Skep. We know that screwing with mother nature for profit is bull. We don’t need or want no stinking GMO, got it? Monsanto is nothing but a bunch of thugs, same as the fracking industry.

    • Skeptical Raptor


      You ought to check out my article on cherry picking. Pure synthetic cherry picking. LMFAO.

  • Henry

    This bit at the outset is PURE BUNK: “… of course, all types of agricultural breeding induces genetic modification, but in general, GMO usually implies actual manipulation of the genes. Based on some of the worst science available, anti-GMO cultists have condemned GMO foods as being dangerous. Of course, there is actually no science supporting the anti-GMO claim, and the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe to humans, animals and the environment.”

    “all breeding induces genetic modification?” Not like THIS breeding, buddy!

    “cultists?” Ooooh, hurt me with your words!!!!

    and finally. “the vast scientific consensus says that GMO foods are safe?”

    Common sense + a bit of reading + observation will tell you that Genetic Engineering is one of the stupidest, most fraudulent, and most dangerous things we’ve ever done. Open your mind. LOOK. THINK.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      Bring science. Ad hominems only prove that you’re an ignorant, uneducated fool. But If you’ve got real science cult member, I await it. :)

  • Kristin Lund
    I know this study was retracted (by science publications not the scientists or the authors). The retraction was picked up by more publications than the original study, yet no one gave a good reason for the retraction. The study was too small is the only one. Has anyone of those ppl advocating a retraction ever looked at the studies by Monsanto to prove gmo’s are safe? 90 days is hardly enough time to determine anything, yet Monsanto’s studies are sound? I don’t see real objective Ness on your site. Maybe you should actually look at the other side of the argument instead of ranting and raving about bad science. It makes you sound like less than a scientist, than someone paid by Monsanto to beat the drums for their lies. Study the history of the pesticide industry. We are spraying glyphosate all over gmo crops because supposedly these crops don’t take up the poison. Meanwhile, glyphosphate is in our rivers streams and drinking water. It is found in toxic levels in the umbillical cords of babies and in men’s urine. Glyphosate, by the way is a cousin of DDT, you know the chemical that was banned because of the damage it causes. We don’t know what will happen with Monsanto’s wonton experiment with our environment and our health, just from the 100 of thousands of pounds of this toxin sprayed in our environment annually. You want to claim that’s safe too? You don’t sound like a skeptic to me. In either case, if it’s so great, and you really believe it’s so great, then why don’t you replicate the rat study with your body and tell us all what happens, if you live to tell about it.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      DDT saved more lives in the world than just about anything I know, except for vaccines. I’m glad we don’t have have malaria in the USA and Europe.

      But whatever. The study was retracted for:

      1. Poor study design
      2. Low number of experimental animals
      3. Bad statistics. In fact, I know 4th grade science fair projects with better stats.
      4. Because it did not show correlation, causation or plausibility.
      5. Because one of the co-authors is a homeopath. A fucking homeopath. Someone who thinks water has a memory and can cure disease wrote a “science” article? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

      We’re done here. But thanks for playing.

  • James T.

    Skeptical Raptor, it looks to me like you left your skepticism and critical thinking at the door, while picking up a nice side of bias. Personally, I’m all for genetic engineering, in controlled laboratory conditions, with strict controls to prevent release into the environment, and long term, multiple-generation testing. Without those safeguards, we’re making many gambles that are certain to lose. You work in the medical field? Let’s see where your experience and education has put your mind…

    Vertical gene transfer… what mechanisms do you think they use to generate recombinant DNA? One way or another, all gene transfer vectors are designed for one purpose – to get foreign DNA into a target organism. Considering this is done purposefully, what the hell do you think is going to happen when you toss the dice a quadrillion quintillion times? Contamination will occur. Mutation will occur. Results you couldn’t possibly predict will occur.

    Plasmid vectors appear to be mostly useful in getting bacteria to manufacture a specific substance… so guess what vector is probably used for more complex organisms? You guessed it… viral insertion! And wait, since the viral insertion vector is “non infectious” we’ll also be needing a “helper virus” with better capabilities… viral DNA is still present in the modified product, and in fact can be depended on as a marker of a successful insertion. So, what do you think happens when real life kicks in for the organism, stresses occur, genetic damage and mutation happen as per the status quo of life… how many times do we roll the dice before something unexpected happens? How do you think the immune system reacts to this surprise viral DNA in the system? Maybe a little chronic inflammation? Maybe a little immune system stress? Maybe a long term inflammation of the bowel, leading the chronic immune system fatigue and body-wide inflammation? That’s not even starting on the glyphosate or 2-4D…

    Also, perhaps you may want to direct some of your “skepticism” toward the industry that tells you that people can’t survive without this “low-cost” food… you know that modern industrial farming is far less efficient and far more expensive than good practices in organic and natural farming methods? Russia produces a large portion of their produce in back yards. With less than half my yard converted, I produce enough food for many. A friend of mine nearby does small plot intensive farming in people’s back yards he rents and makes incredible yields, using only bicycle power. The only reason Mrs. Mom of 4 on food stamps is unable to obtain quality food is because the entire western agricultural paradigm is fundamentally flawed and will never produce affordable, quality food – it’s not designed to. It’s a simple supply/demand profit machine, not considerate of the qualities of its inputs or outputs, only quantities.


    • Skeptical Raptor

      Looks like you flunked science. So, you’re going to convince me that some unknown virus, randomly picks up one gene out of 100’s of thousands in the plant, but the inserted gene, infects a human, extremely rare, and then causes problems.


      If gene transfer were so easy, why is it that gene transfer research is so hard? Because you are simply an uneducated person.

      Oh and Russia? It’s because it’s a poor, sad country where all of the money is concentrated in few, and Putin has to commit to a policy of irredentism to take the minds of his poor, xenophobic populace off of how lousy his country is. They have to grow foods because they’d starve.

      Then again, you have NO peer reviewed research to support your close-minded ignorant views.

      • James T.

        Haven’t flunked a thing I’ve tried at, science included. I use science as a tool to assist common sense and intuition, to inspire and to problem solve. It’s not a way of thinking though. Science is just trying to define what is. What is, just is, with or without definition, and regardless of how you define it. All of our best attempts to define are still humbled in the face of the reality of our universe. If you lose that humble perspective, science becomes very arrogant and often stupid, a barrier to actual understanding. As it seems to be with you.

        A biological structure evolved for vertical gene transfer, being manufactured along with a gene for production of a poison, being produced by the food supply. I can see the cheesy comic strip with the caption “what could go wrong?”

        Russia is a poor, sad country? Irredentism? Browse something other than Fox news or whatever garbage you’re reading and take a look around. Russia has been barely lifting a finger while the US sets up bases all along their borders, staying pretty laid back considering the economic assault that’s been initiated against them. Russia’s state of affairs makes perfect sense if you look at the political backdrop. Regardless, you make my point for me – it’s cheaper and more efficient to produce food naturally, locally. Why use industrial farming methods then? It’s a profit and control scheme, which patent seeds and bio-terminator genes play a part in. One day the US will have a decent logistical disruption and people will realize how vulnerable that infrastructure is… until then, remember the fun things… “food security = national security” … “if you bought it, a truck brought it.”

        Where are the long term tests? Where, oh where, are the long term, multi-generation studies? If everyone was so confident, where are the studies to back that confidence? I suppose you don’t like the Seralini et al study? There was quite a firestorm over that, and there was an fantastic response to criticism from the authors of the study where they very effectively defended and supported their results. Too bad the journal got leaned on.

        Oh well, good think we have keeners like you to be the long term test subjects.

        • Skeptical Raptor

          You have flunked science, which uses a rational and logical method so that you don’t have to rely upon guesswork, “intuition”, and common sense. It relies upon evidence, something you can’t even spell you’re so uneducated.

          Let’s move on. Your knowledge of genes is simply idiotic. Next.

          Your strawman argument about my political leanings is ridiculous. Russia is an oligarchy barely different that the fascist Czars, Lenin and Stalin. It is irredentist, it’s actions against neighboring countries support that. But you can go on believing in your worthless intuition and screwed up common sense.

          Your Argument from Ignorance is laughable. You believe if that I haven’t “proved” that GMO’s are safe forever and in every delusional situation, then it must be bad. Yup, you flunked science. I hate arguing with uneducated fascists who use the same idiotic and illogical arguments as your climate change denier cousins. You all must get together and hug it out.

          • James T.

            Oh, wow, how intimidating, you’re calling me names! You must be a really great, well-educated person with a good head on your shoulders. A much better person, clearly. Do you have a white picket fence and 1 1/2 kids? You’re completely uneducated about the reality of life, if your attitude is any indicator. I hope I am never called educated by blind drones like you, because that would mean I’d fallen into the trap as well.

            Science, as pointed out, is a tool. Be science, think science, and you’re a tool too. A means to an end. It’s not the be-all end-all of human thinking, and many great scientists and thinkers still made their greatest achievements by leaps of intuition. Go tell Einstein about how intuition is so useless compared to science. Science is something I can pick it up and put it down, as I need to, and in order to use it well it must be understood for what it is – heavily influenced by the opinions of the researchers and very human interpretations of the situation. Science is calcified by formations of repute and career, and if you are unable to perceive that then you have been residing under a rock. I don’t have to rely on guesswork to determine that if a chemical that’s poisonous to a large portion of the ecosystem is also going to be poisonous to me. Similarly, I don’t need guesswork to figure out that if you put the biological machinery for vertical gene transfer into an organism, there’s going to be an increased risk of vertical gene transfer, or more accurately, a risk, that hadn’t been there before. If you want to try and use science to make yourself feel safe, again, go right ahead. Enjoy the symptoms and side effects. I use science like a hammer. It makes stuff happen when I want it to, I use it well, and I enjoy great success with it. It does nothing for me at the spiritual, existential level, and that’s where the meaning is in life. Keep on missing the boat ^_^

            As I said, you aren’t following the news if you think Russia is the antagonist. Get a clue. Pick 10 international news agencies and compare all their stories, it might start to round out your square ass perspective.

            The fact is, I can “prove” anything is safe, in particular conditions and quantities. The meta is this. It’s like you’re trying to tell me that falling is safe. I’m pointing out that at some scale, it’s obvious that falling is dangerous or fatal. You’re trying to tell me that because some studies of falling 6″ showed minimal danger, falling is safe, and everyone should jump off a bridge. Go for it bud. Jump off that bridge. Why don’t you drink up your cup of 2-4D or perhaps you’d like the fire hose? Oh wait, glyphosate is so much safer, right? Drink up.

            How is a long-term multi generational study not something you’d want? I’m not asking for the moon here, or being unrealistic. Have kids? Plan on it? Are you so selfish that you wouldn’t even care about your kids’ kids being potentially sterile? Or the total failure of reproduction after only a few generations? Those crazy uneducated fascists…

            Oh and by the way, I heard the Seralini et al rat study got republished by a different journal, with additional critical response. What were your thoughts on the results of that study, smart ass?

            Also, occam’s razor this. Seems like every independent study on GMO’s seems to turn up negative results, while all the industry-funded studies seem all positive. I think in law they call it a “conflict of interest.”

            You should change your name to parrot donkey or something, that way you could at least metaphorically suit your debate style. It’s fun though, thanks for the entertainment. Pretty easy to poke holes in arguments as devoid of thought as yours. It’s like wrestling with an angry teenager who thinks they’re really strong but are really just laughably cocky…

          • Skeptical Raptor

            Here’s a quote from Sam Harris: “Water is two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. What if someone says, “Well, that’s not how I choose to think about water.”? All we can do is appeal to scientific values. And if he doesn’t share those values, the conversation is over. If someone doesn’t value evidence, what evidence are you going to provide to prove they should value it? If someone doesn’t value logic, what logical argument could you provide to show the importance of logic?”

            Since you’re someone who does not value logic, logical arguments and scientific values, I have nothing more to give you but my disdain and strong insults. So that’s how it works. You have no evidence. You lie. So I get to call you a dumbass, because the argument is done. You value bullshit and pseudoscience, and you get to be treated pretty badly for that.

          • James T.

            So you conveniently ignore anything that doesn’t suit you, and ignore all the logic presented. Nice. I value and use logic and science in day to day life, as I expressed. I just value other things as well, and use whatever tools are best suited to the situation. Do I have to spell out my entire thought process in a logical step by step fashion so you can follow along, not get lost when the idea moves too fast? Also, logic is not science, and science is not logic. They may relate in some ways, but as I pointed out, modern science is not about fact, it’s about interpretation and money. Science today has become a brand name, a marketing tool, and a slave to outside interests that have little concern with fact or the advancement of knowledge.

            A scientist can define water as hydrogen and oxygen all he wants. To a tree, does it matter? Life doesn’t need science to exist, and science is only a parody of reality.

            I’m not concerned with how you treat me, I just find it entertaining and ironic that you so quickly become disrespectful and hostile just because you don’t agree with someone or think you’re better than them, while acting like you’re still so much the better person, despite acting in a completely juvenile fashion. You remind me of me as a teenager… judgemental, arrogant, narrow minded and shallow. Maybe one day when you’re smarter you’ll look back on this conversation and realize where I was coming from.

  • Drewtazy .

    You make the assumption I am white and rich ……and I will make the assumption that you are a shill for Monsanto. You are the one that dabbles in pseudo science . On the one hand GMO’s are patented as unique and on the other hand you say there no different or harmful for consumption. You can’t have it both ways. People deserve a choice as to whether they want to eat Franken foods or not.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      Ah, the old ad hominem. You have no evidence for your close-minded views, so try to switch the claims against the other side.

      YOU are a white rich Republican using the global warming tactics they use. How can you sleep wanting the poor to starve because of your white privilege pseudoscience? You’re a sad person.

      • Jeremy Rawley

        You get any shill checks from Monsanto yet? I’m still waiting for mine, along with a cruise aboard the S.S. Conspiracy Theory. I even asked them on their Facebook page about it. No answer.

  • Drewtazy .

    if gmo’ s were so great they’d willingly put them on food labels. If they were so great they wouldn’t have to be forced on people who do not want them.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      That’s a strawman argument, and a typical one for the white privileged class. Labeling food increases the costs on so many levels, so those who cannot afford the luxury of listening to pseudoscience and left-wing science deniers, have to pay more. A mother of 4, using an EBT card, can’t afford to indulge in your fantasies about the safety of GMO’s.

      Why is it that liberals like you hate other humans and want them to die? Is it some odd eugenics belief?

      Well, I hope you like cuddling with your climate change denier pals. They hate people too. And they reject real science too.

      • Jeremy Rawley

        Does he want to build a straw man? Then knock it down and say he won?

  • Mike

    Heard Alex Jones raving about this paper today on his radio show, as “Confirmed: GMO DNA can infect human beings.” Knew immediately he must have had it wrong (as always). Not quite as egregious as his oft-repeated claim that childhood cancers are up 10,000% in the last 40 years (I kid you not).

    I would quibble about one thing in the article, though. You mention that PloS One is a “publish first, judge later” journal, but I don’t believe that to be true. They have a peer review process just like any other journal. They were the only open-access journal to reject that deliberately faked paper submitted as a test last year after they couldn’t confirm all the necessary legal clearances had been made.

    • Skeptical Raptor

      The rate of cancer is the same as it was 40 years ago. The mortality rate from cancer is improved, you need to look at survival rates post diagnosis. Some cancers are stubborn. And some cancers we’ve bested.

      But you know Alex Jones and Mike Adams are lying about cancer, since smokers have dropped by like 200%, and that is the #1 cause of cancer in the country.

  • 99problems

    If evolution is true, then every living thing on this planet has evolved to get where it is, if you study science you know how delicate an ecosystem is, how can there be no danger in genetically modifying organisms?

    • Skeptical Raptor

      You make it sound like that there was some “goal” for evolution. In fact, evolution is random and responds to random circumstances. Humans evolved intelligence, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume that humans will use science to benefit it.

      You are inventing a logical fallacy, one in which YOU predict the future, patently impossible. It’s called the Slippery Slope Fallacy.

      Your knowledge of biology and physiology is massively deficient. Tomorrow a 100,000kg meteor can disrupt the ecosystem. The ecosystem adapts. The ecosystem adapts to humans, and will adapt long after we died out.

      • 99problems

        So… not gonna answer my question? How can you say there’s no danger in genetically modifying organisms?

        • savim

          Because no credible evidence of this exists. It’s like asking “how can you say purple unicorns are not a danger to society?”

          • 99problems

            Is harvard a “credible” source to you people?

          • Skeptical Raptor

            1. No it’s not a credible source. It’s a press release, which is not peer reviewed. It ranks at the bottom of acceptable sources of data, just above Natural News and
            2. It said nothing about anything. It was speculative, not real science.

        • Skeptical Raptor

          I’m a scientist. I don’t work in absolutes. I don’t know that there is not a teapot floating around the dark side of the moon. To insist because I don’t know that it’s there is evidence that it is, that’s the Argument from Ignorance, a formal fallacy.

  • Megan

    Monsanto Is Jacking with plant DNA. It Is Possible That They Messed With It Enough That It Is Now Able To Pass Some Sort Of Barrier Unpassable Before. GMOs Very Very BAD!!!

    • Skeptical Raptor

      Wow, you really don’t understand that DNA is DNA is DNA. There’s no magical Monsanto DNA.

    • Jeremy Rawley

      Patents =/= copyrights. Patents EXPIRE. Patenting plants isn’t new–it dates back to the passage of the Plant Patent Act of 1930.

      Introduction of genes into the environment: Cross-pollination isn’t new. “Organic”, conventional, and wild plants cross-pollinate GE fields and each other all the time. Why are GE plants any different? If you’re so paranoid about crop purity or environmental issues, just use a greenhouse!

      • Skeptical Raptor

        Excellent answer. The strawman argument about Monsanto–I get so tired of that.

        And as of today, there is no evidence that GMO genes have shown any harm to the environment. I guess we could rely upon the Argument from Ignorance, that is if we can’t prove it won’t happen, the it’s guaranteed that it will. I won’t however.

    • Jeremy Rawley

      1. Monsanto doesn’t sell food, they sell agricultural products. There’s hundreds of seed companies and Monsanto hardly has a monopoly on anything.

      2. Monsanto had nothing to do with inventing saccharin. It was first synthesized by a Johns Hopkins chemist, Constantin Fahlberg, in 1878. It has never caused cancer.

      3. Monsanto had nothing to do with inventing Agent Orange, nor were they they only manufacturer. The U.S. Army created the formula; Monsanto, Dow, Uniroyal, Hercules, and other companies only manufactured it. They never claimed it was safe, and in 1952, Monsanto warned the U.S. government AGAINST using Agent Orange, citing concerns of dioxin contamination. The government’s response was to ignore the data and use Agent Orange anyway.

      Saying GE foods are bad because Monsanto made Agent Orange is as retarded as saying Ziploc bags are bad because Dow made Agent Orange or that Krupps coffee makers are bad because that company used to make tanks. These aren’t the only companies with shady pasts. Volkswagen was founded by the Nazis. Mitsubishi’s Zero fighters were used by the Imperial Japanese Army and Navy. Bayer made heroin until the end of World War I, and during the Third Reich, they made Zyklon B while aiding Josef Mengele in his inhumane experiments. Kodak and Siemens used Holocaust labor. Nintendo sold playing cards to Japanese soldiers and politicians, including to at least one war criminal “honored” at Yasukuni Shrine. Chase assisted the Nazis by freezing the bank accounts of Jews. Last but certainly not least, Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews, Slavs, Gypsies, LBGT people, and others who didn’t fit Hitler’s racist ideal while Imperial Japan killed millions of Chinese, Koreans, Filipinos, Malays, East Indians, and Allied soldiers and forced civilian women into sex slavery.

      These atrocities were the acts of governments and militaries. None of this makes the companies’ products bad. It doesn’t mean all Germans and Japanese are terrible people, nor that you should stop using Ziploc bags. It doesn’t mean your VW Beetle or Mitsubishi Lancer is going to explode. It doesn’t mean your Wii is going to commit a repeat of the Rape of Nanking. It doesn’t mean your aspirin is secretly designed to murder you. More importantly, 1) the Monsanto of Agent Orange and the Monsanto of agriculture are two distinctly different companies (Pfizer bought the former decades ago), and 2) probably everybody who had a hand in developing and selling Agent Orange is dead–from old age, not Agent Orange poisoning. The people crying about Monsanto being the Great Satan aren’t looking for the truth in context. They just want to make a laundry list of decontextualized tragedies so they can smear anything the company produces.

      4. Handful of studies? Define “handful”. Is 600+ safety assessment studies on GE foods a “handful”?

      • Skeptical Raptor

        As someone who has family members who have fought, and one died, in the Vietnam war, let me say this. Agent Orange was considered a lifesaver.

        War gets dirty sometimes.

        But thanks Jeremy. You saved me an hour of digging up stuff.

        • James T.

          As someone who’s also had family in wars, you know what’s a real lifesaver?


          US never should’ve been in ‘nam.

      • hyperzombie

        Wow, great comment. You win the internet!
        Hope you don’t mind, but I am going to plagiarize the bejesus out of your comment.

      • Jeremy Rawley

        5. “Increase in allergies”
        Yeah, and pirates prevent global warming. Correlation is not causation.

    • savim

      What does this have to do with gmo safety?

      • Skeptical Raptor

        Pseudoscience people use strawman arguments all the time.

  • Pingback: The "Frankensquito"–trying to save lives in the Florida Keys

    • Jeremy Rawley

      That’s all you have? A shill gambit? You just committed an ad hominem fallacy. Instead of attacking the argument, you attacked the person making it. You just admitted you can’t defend your anti-GE stance.

  • Pingback: GMO foods transfer DNA to humans – another myth | Illuminutti

    • Ripshed

      Why is marijuana and gay marriage banned in so many countries? Got an answer for that, punk?

    • James T.

      Cheers for a well structured response :)

    • hyperzombie

      Avoid the GMO humans

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