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Project News and Views

Announcement: GMO WTF, an Independent Course on GMOs at Cornell University

My name is Robert, and I’m a Cornell undergraduate who is hosting an independent course on GMO agriculture, in protest of blatant corporate sponsorship and academic corruption at Cornell University. Course speakers will include Frances Moore Lappé (Small Planet Institute and author of World Hunger:10 Myths and Diet for a Small Planet), Michael Hansen, PhD (Consumers Union), Stephen Druker (author of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth), Dr Belinda Martineau (formerly of Calgene); Dr Allison Wilson (Science Director of the Bioscience Resource Project); and Dr Jonathan Latham (Executive Director of the Bioscience Resource Project).

A year ago, I witnessed the pro-GMO propaganda that is Cornell’s “GMO Debate” course. This course is backed by the Gates Foundation-Funded “Alliance for Science”, and all of its professors were copied in emails with Monsanto, in addition to the head of the Alliance for Science, and the dean of the college of agriculture (CALS). Despite the actual lack of scientific consensus on GMO safety, in this class there was zero authentic debate, merely fallacious pro-GMO arguments constructed by each of the four professors. Several guest lecturers contributed, all of them pro-GMO, and many of them implicated in emailing Monsanto as well.

As you may know, if rigor, integrity, and the precautionary principle were applied to our current GMO paradigm, it likely would have been tabled long ago.

Yet Cornell turns a blind eye to academic and scientific integrity, in favor of classic biotech industry talking points (“we need GMOs to feed the world!”).

I’ve started a project in response to Cornell’s approach, entitled GMO WTF (dot com). It will manifest as an independent, expert-backed course on GMOs that I will host this fall, every Wednesday night (7pm) from September 7th to November 16th, most likely held in the upstairs auditorium in Anabel Taylor Hall, on the Cornell Campus.

For more information, please read my article on Independent Science News and share it with your friends. I feel that people are ready for this information to be presented far and wide.

Please, sign up via email on my website (gmowtf.com) for any updates on location, time, etc. and to receive all the lectures and future material for free!

P.S. You may have gotten an email from Cornell about a GMO online MOOC starting September 13th. This is not my project, and is something totally different! Cornell’s online MOOC is an online version of the pro-GMO propaganda that I witnessed as the “GMO debate” that I am protesting with my independent course. Several of the same people are involved, including the head of the Alliance for Science.

I encourage everyone, especially students, to sign up for both my independent course, and Cornell’s online MOOC. Ours will be a great lesson in critical thinking, and we can see a side-by-side comparison of pro-GMO industry talking points with our independent and scientific evaluation of GMOs.

Reach out at contact ( at ) gmowtf.com with any questions or comments. Together we can defeat corporate control of our university!

Thank you,

Robert Schooler

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How the GE Food Venture Has Been Chronically Dependent on Deception

Published Sunday August 21st 2016, by Independent Science News, “How the GE Food Venture Has Been Chronically Dependent on Deception” was written by Steven Druker, J.D.

Synopsis: The first examples of GE products investigated by the Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) were a disaster. A GE tryptophan supplement unexpectedly contained a toxic byproduct that permanently maimed hundreds of people and killed others, while the Flavr Savr tomato produced stomach lesions and unexplained mortality in mice. In both cases, the responsible agency, FDA, covered up the evidence and officially proclaimed there was no evidence of harm due to genetic engineering. The safety of GMOs is not a certitude argues attorney Steven Druker, instead, problems have been covered up and the scientific consensus has been misrepresented. Largely ignored in this deception has been the role of public officials.

The author: Steven M. Druker is a public interest attorney and the executive director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity. He is the author of the recent book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, and the Independent Science News article “The GMO Dark Act Cannot Survive the Light

Read the entire article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/how-the-ge-food-venture-has-been-chronically-dependent-on-deception/

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Cashing in on Cellulosic Ethanol: Subsidy Loophole Set to Rescue Corn Biofuel Profits

Published Monday 8th August on Independent Science News:
Cashing in on Cellulosic Ethanol: Subsidy Loophole Set to Rescue Corn Biofuel Profits
by Almuth Ernsting.

Synopsis: Essentially all US bioethanol comes from starch originating from food crops. The use of starch and food crops has always been portrayed as ‘transitional’, however, and the stated goal of biofuels has always been to use the whole plant since the starch component is essentially the low hanging fruit. This would mean using cell walls as the primary feedstock since these are the major structural component of all plants. Plant cell walls are much more difficult to turn into ethanol or any liquid feedstock, however, and negligible progress towards the goal of ‘cellulosic ethanol’ has been achieved. Now, by changing the definition of ‘cellulosic ethanol’, the EPA is set to allow corn refineries to benefit from the much larger subsidies available for cellulosic ethanol without them actually making cellulosic ethanol, or even making progress towards it. The definition change will also result in an illusion of biofuel progress.

Almuth Ernsting is Co-Director of Biofuelwatch.

Read the full story on: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/environment/cashing-in-on-cellulosic-ethanol-subsidy-corn-biofuel/

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The GMO Debate: One Student’s Experience of Pro-GMO Propaganda at Cornell University

Independent Science News has just published “The GMO Debate: One Student’s Experience of Pro-GMO Propaganda at Cornell University,” written
by Robert Schooler.

A current student explains his Cornell education path and his plans to remedy the curriculum at his Ivy League university. After a demoralizing introduction to academic study, Robert Schooler left Cornell and later returned to complete his degree. It still didn’t work out the way he expected, however, and so he now plans to run his own course at Cornell. His goal? To bring some science to Cornell’s Gates-Funded “Alliance for Science” and some debate to Cornell’s one-sided “GMO-Debate”. The first lecture, on Wed. Sept 7th 2016, will be delivered by Frances Moore Lappe, celebrated author of Diet for a Small Planet. The course will be free and open to the public (and available online). Tune in.

Read the full story at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-gmo-debate-one-students-experience-of-pro-gmo-propaganda-at-cornell-university/

For more about Robert Schooler and his three point plan to educate students, end corporate ag’s stranglehold on university science and promote healthy food and agricultural systems visit: http://www.gmowtf.com/.

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Don’t Eat the Yellow Rice: The Danger of Deploying Vitamin A Golden Rice

Published today (Monday 11th July 2016) by Independent Science News: “Don’t Eat the Yellow Rice: The Danger of Deploying Vitamin A Golden Rice, ” by Ted Greiner, PhD.

Synopsis: Never discussed in the saga of Vitamin A “golden rice” is the problem of “Yellow Rice Disease”. Yellowed or browned rice is discarded all over the world because it is a sign of potentially lethal fungal contamination. To convince these populations to eat it, the proponents of golden rice will therefore have to overcome an aversion which exists for good reason. If eating yellow rice is dangerous, why has this never been discussed, asks Ted Greiner? “Because the purpose of Golden Rice was never to solve vitamin A problems. It’s purpose from the beginning was to be a tool for use in shaming GMO critics”.

Ted Greiner is an expert in Vitamin A fortification and a former Professor of Nutrition, Hanyang University, Korea.

To read the full story: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/dont-eat-the-yellow-rice-the-danger-of-deploying-vitamin-a-golden-rice/.

More about GMO “Golden Rice”

Glenn Stone (2015). “Golden rice: the ‘GM superfood’ that fell to Earth.” The Ecologist. Read full story of Golden Rice yield drag and inconclusive nutrition outcomes at: http://www.theecologist.org/blogs_and_comments/commentators/2985163/golden_rice_the_gm_superfood_that_fell_to_earth.html
.
Christoph Then (2014). “Golden Lies: No credibility for Golden Rice campaign.” Report from Testbiotech. Read full report at: http://www.testbiotech.org/sites/default/files/Testbiotech_Golden%20Rice_Golden%20Lies_0.pdf. Testbiotech reports that those developing and promoting Golden Rice have failed to act with basic scientific or ethical concern.
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107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators

Published today (July 1st 2016) on Independent Science News: “107 Nobel Laureate Attack on Greenpeace Traced Back to Biotech PR Operators“, a short news item written by Jonathan Latham, PhD.

Synopsis: When 107 Nobel Laureates demanded that Greenpeace cease its opposition to GMOs and “golden rice,” no one in the press seems to have asked Read More »

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Financial Conflicts at National Academy Advisory Panel on the Future of GMO Regulation

Synopsis: A letter from academics, non-profits and farmer groups (signed by the Bioscience Resource Project) indicts the lack of balance, perspective and independence among experts chosen to carry out a new taxpayer-funded National Academy study. The study will advise the federal government on how to overhaul regulations concerning GMOs—including novel biotechnology products Read More »

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Organic Farmers Are Not Anti-Science but Genetic Engineers Often Are

Published today by Independent Science News: “Organic Farmers Are Not Anti-Science but Genetic Engineers Often Are” by Elizabeth Henderson.

Synopsis: Opponents of GMOs, including organic farmers, are routinely being called anti-science. But it isn’t organic farmers who prevent independent university researchers from accessing their seeds. Nor do organic farmers ignore scientific evidence of rising pesticide use and human harm. Organic farmers do work with universities to improve their methods, however; and they want more money for organic research. So, asks Elizabeth Henderson, who are the real anti-scientists?

Elizabeth Henderson farms near Rochester, NY: Peacework Community Supported Agriculture.

Read the entire article at: https://www.independentsciencenews.org/un-sustainable-farming/organic-farmers-are-not-anti-science-but-genetic-engineers-often-are/

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Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA

Published today (Tuesday May 17th, 2016) on Independent Science News, “Unsafe at any Dose? Diagnosing Chemical Safety Failures, from DDT to BPA” was written by Jonathan Latham, PhD.

Synopsis: Why do concentrations of harmful chemical pollutants continue to rise, in the environment and in our bodies, despite decades of campaigning against them? The chosen strategy of most environmental and public health advocates has been to focus on the elimination (banning) of specific toxic chemicals. Such campaigns are sometimes successful on their own terms, but the result is Read More »

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God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing

Published today in Independent Science News, “God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing” was written by Jonathan Latham, PhD.

crispr-cas9-300x166Synopsis:  According to the media, “genome editing” techniques can precisely alter the DNA of living organisms. Furthermore, these new genetic engineering techniques are so “red-hot” and “game-changing” they will transform the landscapes of medicine and agriculture. Their safety and effectiveness hinges crucially on the claim of precision, yet how plausible is it? This article delineates three ways in which these technologies currently lack precision. 1) Presen Read More »

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